The Busy Life: Toddlers, Blogs, and More

Hello Stranger, 

And that's totally on me. I  feel so guilty that my personal blog has been so neglected. I have these dreams of getting lots of fun posts up for you, but then life happens and whomp whomp. I'm sure you're curious as to what's keeping me so busy. Well, for starters, everything, but here's a few.

Caleb

This kid has me like whoa. He is so active. I am that mom chasing her son everywhere - the grocery store, the zoo, the park, the library...anywhere you can run which is everywhere if you ask Caleb. I'm working on getting him to listen to me, bahahaha. He's too cute, though. The cuteness makes up for all of it. Not to mention, I get a good work out. I feel like he's been on and off sick with croup or a cough since February, but I think we're starting to get over it. Gawh, winter and the sick season with toddlers is terrible. I'm so glad for spring and summer on the way. I'll write more about Caleb soon. Can you believe he's two and a quarter already? 

New Blog

I've started a new blog adventure. It's called Raising Tacoma. Basically it's about raising Caleb up in Tacoma. I am trying to write about places we go and things we do in the area, but also more genetic toddler things so if you don't live in Tacoma you still can get something out of it. Maybe someday it'll make money, bahahaha again. But for now I am just looking to create a little space on the web for mom friends to get ideas and connect. So come on...read it, share it, love it!

O'Neill Grandparents in San Diego

The last weekend in February, Caleb and I flew down to San Diego to visit my parents, aka Grandma Jan and Grandpa John. Caleb was a champ on the flights there and back - best yet! We enjoyed the sunshine, the beach, bubbles at Balboa Park, the Railroad museum, shopping at UTC, visiting Grandpa John's work and just chilling.

Easter

Easter was pretty low key here. Sadly, Josh caught the stomach bug Easter morning, so Caleb and I went to church together. Then we let dad rest as we walked the park and enjoyed the sun that showed up in the afternoon. He also refused to wear his adorable Easter outing. Apparently collared and buttoned shirts are not a thing right now. 

We also did an Easter egg hunt at the park down the street. We were joined by our friend, Sebastian. Luckily Caleb didn't realized there was candy inside the eggs until after the hunt was over. Then he was thrilled to discover chocolate inside. I think he would have picked up like two eggs had he known what lie inside. Caleb also discovered temporary tattoos and bouncy houses. Woo Hoo!

There was also some Easter egg coloring fun, too! Read about how we did it on my Raising Tacoma blog!

Brown Grandparents in Tacoma

About two weekends ago Mimi Nada and Papa Don visited us here in Tacoma. Unfotunately there was a ton of rain, but we still managed to have a great time. We went down to Olympia for breakfast and the Farmer's Market, we did some Southcenter Mall shopping, and strolling in Sumner (with crepes at Craft 19, of course). Josh and I can thank the grandparents for a date night, too! 

It's so cute because with both grandparents, Caleb got super attached. We so glad to have such loving family and the opportunities to see them. 

The Everyday

Don't discount the everyday, it's busy. I have laundry to fold, dinner to make, a house to clan, a dog to walk, a toddler to chase...all of which keep me away from the blog world. I hope you understand! I'll try to keep up with updates, but for now I hope this fills you in on all the happenings. 

XOXO, me.

Time for Yoga: Stretch it Out

So yea, I’m totally sore and tight. I had no idea how taxing having a baby could be on your body (eh hem, beyond the actually giving birth part that is). I knew my arms would probably get a bit sore from carrying a baby - yea, that’s a story. I think it was one of the first time I held a baby, and it was for a gal at church at one of our community groups. I think she was glad to get her hands free because I held that baby a long time, but I was so nervous and was holding so tightly that my arms were sore for days afterwards. Haha!  

But back to what I was just saying…oh yea, I was complaining about being sore. But seriously, guys, my shoulders, back, legs, neck are all sore – actually, I should really say what’s not sore!

I’ve been doing yoga on and off for a few years now, so I’m still a beginner. But I’ve picked up some moves from my yoga classes. I really enjoyed my prenatal/postnatal yoga class. I haven’t really done much yoga since Caleb has gotten more active and doesn’t sleep like a newborn anymore. However, I did just sign up for a mom and baby yoga class here in Tacoma. I’m curious to see how Caleb does in a yoga class with me. I fear that he might be too needy and I won’t get any benefit from it. But if anything, though, it’ll be quality time to spend together and maybe I’ll meet some new mom friends in the process.

I wanted to share some of the poses and stretches that I wrote down from the yoga class. Please remember that I’m still a beginner so my form may not be perfect and I might not be calling the pose as an instructor would. Also, I am not a professional nor a doctor, so please be sure you’ve got the green light from the doctor before doing any yoga or exercise.

When doing these, I suggest keeping the pose for at least 30 seconds or longer. Take a break between with baby pose or laying flat on your back.

  • Baby Pose – Arms out in front, legs in a wide V
  • Table Top – Keep your back flat, pull your tummy up & in
  • Cat Cow – Arch your back up and then down
  • Arm/Leg Extension – Extend arm and lift your opposite leg
  • Arm Up/Leg Out – Extend leg out perpendicular, lift arm up
  • Arm Under – From above pose, bring your arm down and under
  • Baby pose for a break
  • Pelvic Lifts – Lie on your back, and lift your pelvis up & tuck your arms under
  • Clam – Lie on your side, lift knee but keep your heels connected. Bring your knee up & down
  • Lie Flat for a break
  • Tree – Stand straight, bring your foot to your thigh or calf, try to balance
  • Pigeon – Bring your leg up towards your chest, and lie down
  • Forward Bend – Legs spread out, bend forward
  • Warrior 2 – One leg forward and bent, the other leg straight out, your body facing outward, arm out
  • Triangle – From Warrior 2, lean down with arm opposite of bent leg and put your other arm up
  • Squat – Squat down with arms pushing out at knees
  • Eagle Arms – Cross one arm over the other, palms face each other (like a twist)
  • Downward Dog – Butt up, slight bend in knees, push down on heels
  • Baby pose or lie flat to relax

Take it easy and be nice to yourself! Don’t stress and if you can only fit a few minutes in, that’s still awesome. Comment and share if you have any great stretches/poses, or if you’ve found other ways to work out those sore muscles!!

Another Blog, Oh My!

Over the past six (almost seven now!) months, I have come to realize that mama-hood is one big research project. I shouldn't call myself a Stay-at-Home-Mom (SAHM) rather Mama Researcher. Babies are constantly changing, and you have to keep up with those changes. How do you know what to do? You look it up or ask around...research it! 

I started my research job before Caleb arrived since there are many questions to look into during pregnancy, too. One place I went to for information was the Hellobee site, which is a pregnancy, baby, and parenting blog. Recently, they were looking for contributing bloggers, so I applied. I was surprised to find the next day an email congratulating me as one of their newest blogger. 

Needless to say, my writing for my personal blog has slowed a bit. I am writing about two posts a week for Hellobee. I have a pen name that I write under, but I'm not sure if I can share that here on my blog. I bet if you know me well enough, you can figure it out. So go over to Hellobee and check it out. 

And I promise to keep up my own blog, too! Bear with me, though, as life is pretty crazy right now. Some big news on the way. Stay tuned!

New Mama: What to Wear?!

When I go through some sort of big change in my life, for instance, having a baby. I tend to get some anxiety. Usually, the anxiety comes out in a crazy, small detail of my life. Then, I obsess about that detail and try to get it under control. I guess my mind thinks if I can get this detail under control, then I can get everything else under control and all will be normal again.

One detail my crazy mind decided to focus on once was clothing. With the changes in your life after giving birth, followed by breastfeeding, I just didn't know what to wear. Moms, are you with me? I was so wrapped up in maternity clothes that I didn't even think about wardrobe changes after the baby. I guess I figured I would go back wearing all my same clothes. 

While I'm lucky I fit back in all my pre-baby clothes - thanks to yoga, eating right, and feeding a baby - they all don't necessarily "work" anymore. Many of them are work style clothes and don't accommodate the million feedings you have to do each day...not to mention, not completely comfy. 

Now that I'm five in a half months in, I can share with some confidence some clothes that work great for breastfeeding mamas. 

Nursing Tank Tops

I bought and tried on a zillion (ok, like four) different nursing tank tops before I found the ones I liked best. My favorite is the Bravado! Designs Essential Nursing Bra Tank. It works perfect under sweaters or button-ups or can even be worn on it's own for a hot day. I have it in black and blush. 

The other one I have is the Undercover Mama Nursing Tank. What's nice about this one is you can use your own, real bra and then this just attaches to it. The only downside is you can't really wear it on it's own because the straps are your bra. However, it works great under clothes. I have it in off-white and use it a lot.  

Maternity Bands

Did you have one of these during your pregnancy? I'm talking about those bands that make it so you can wear your regular jeans unzipped, so you can hold off buying maternity jeans. I had the Ingrid & Isabel Bella Band. Well guess what...I found that they work well for after pregnancy, too. How it works: Let's say you're wearing a normal bra and t-shirt. If you go to nurse, you'll likely pull your t-shirt up for baby access. However, then you have your bare skin showing. The belly band will cover that right up! So don't give it away or store it...use it!

Button Shirts

This one is probably pretty obvious, but you can button down/up your shirt easily. I wear a tank top underneath so you can even just wear it like a jacket in warmer weather. My favorites are flannel and plaid type shirts like this Thread & Supply plaid top or this Allison Joy Verna Double plaid top. I've noticed a trend lately with sleeveless or short-sleeve plaid, too. Wouldn't this top be nice in the summer?

Wrap Shirts

One of my PEPS friends clued me in on these types of tops. I have the long sleeved version of this top from The Limited in two colors. I wear the Undercover Mama tank under this one since sometimes the wrap is loose. I think this top is also pretty cute and would be great for a working mom. 

Loose Fitting Shirts

Who doesn't like a nice, loose fitting shirt? I am a petite gal, and I thought loose shirts might overwhelm me. Not so, if you find the right one! I love looser tops; they are so comfy. They can be t-shirts or blouses. I'm pretty sure this top would look great on almost anyone! My mother-in-law (she's cool & not to mention a former model) and I both have this top! I also love wearing this sweater shirt - although it might be too warm now that it's summer.

Wrap Cardigan

I got the tip about these from my church mom's group and they were totally right. These wrap cardigans are perfect. They button to the side and are so cute and stylish. You can wear them with jeans and booties and BOOM you're ready for going out. I specifically have the Bobeau brand Fleece Cardigan and I love it so much I bought two colors - gray and blue. Also, these are usually available at Nordstrom (and on sale often). They come in different material as well. Click here to check out some lightweight ones on sale right now. 

Mom Shirts

I'm not talking about mom shirts like we think of mom jeans. I mean shirts that make you feel good to be a mom. I love my #MomLife shirt and my Mama Bear shirts. They're fun and cute - embrace your mom-hood! 

Bras

Did you know you're going to want to sleep in a bra? I didn't know this prior to being pregnant. Oh the things you just had NO IDEA about before getting pregnant. My favorite for nighttime is this Cake bra. Then, my favorite for daytime is the Bravado Designs Seamless Nursing Bra. It's comfortable, smooth, and stretchy. 

Bottoms

I talk more about tops because bottoms are pretty straight-forward. You can wear jeans, capris, shorts, and skirts and match with a top. I would warn against dresses, though. It can be tricky to do any sort of nursing in a dress, unless you fully undress and "ain't nobody got time for that."

So, what are you wearing? Do tell!