Pure Sweetness

Happy Sunday! I hope you are enjoying your summer!

So far, motherhood has exceeded my expectations. I really did not know a love like this existed. We are madly in love with our little guy. Each day gets easier and so much sweeter. Luckily, he sleeps well at night, so I am not as sleep deprived as I was the first few weeks. Gone are the days where I sleep with both eyes closed. He slept for 3 hours straight last night, and I woke up to make sure he was breathing.

Our sweet boy is 6 weeks old today! He is a very happy, even-tempered, baby (so far). We know this could change, but, for now, we are (happily) going with it.

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We are very lucky because Tyler gets 6 weeks of paternity leave. I know…this is unheard of! It has been so nice to have him home. He and Henry have really been able to bond. It just melts my heart. Tyler loves him so much. He especially loves when I pull out his preppy hand-me-down clothes (this kid has more clothes than me).

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Just like with health and nutrition, I have been doing a lot of research on child development. I am really into a blog called CanDo Kiddo. Because of Rachel’s blog posts and books, Henry spends very little time in baby gear. She is a huge proponent of tummy time for many reasons including reducing the risk of flat head syndrome, so we try to do tummy time at least 3 times a day. Sometimes he lasts 30 minutes, and sometimes he lasts 3 minutes. We just go with it. All that to say, he has become really strong. He has actually rolled over twice both of which were probably flukes, but it was fun to see.

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Look at that sweet face.

Last night, we went out for our first dinner as a family of 3! Henry did great! I fed him before we left, and he slept the whole time. Easy peasy! Ha!

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I am doing my best to get in my workouts and eat healthy. I am spoiled because Tyler is home. It’s okay…I will adjust when he has to go back to work. For now, we are walking first thing in the morning 3 days a week as a family, and I am going to barre3 the other mornings. I am eating oatmeal with flaxseed for milk production and drinking a protein shake with tons of greens midmorning. Breastfeeding has made me super hungr.! Now, I am not eating perfectly. I am definitely eating my fair share of coconut ice cream at night!

Being a mom is extremely rewarding and trying at times, but nothing can beat having your baby smile at you for the first time. Pure sweetness.

Time to make lunch! Henry will be getting up soon to eat.

Have a healthy and happy week!

Finding Our Groove

Hello there! I hope you are doing well, and I am glad you are here. Henry is one month old today, and I finally feel like I have come up for air! People were not kidding when they said that first month is the hardest. I would say, though, that we are finding our groove. I know it will change next week, but we are much more comfortable in general. We now know that he won’t break. The hardest adjustment for us is the lack of sleep. I have become very good at power napping. 🙂

For someone like me (type A and a little controlling), having a baby has definitely taught me to let go and go with the flow. It has been a humbling experience. Having said that, though, I am working on creating somewhat of a schedule for us and Henry. In fact, I am following many of the principles from Babywise. I am still being flexible, but it is nice to have some sort of a guide. Basically, Babywise promotes having your baby sleep, eat, and then play. In the beginning, Henry just ate and slept, but now he is more alert during the day. It is so much fun! We have been doing tummy time and working on focusing. I love these black and white cards!

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I am such a sucker for his legs right now. Hehe!

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Another thing that Babywise promotes is putting your child to bed when they are awake. This was the hardest thing to follow the first 4 weeks especially because we kept him on the main floor to nap in his swing or sleeper. He cried like crazy when it was time for nap especially if he had just played. There is a fine line of stimulating versus over stimulating a newborn. I decided that it was time to put him down his his pack ‘n play in our room for naps. The first day, he screamed for 10-15 minutes, but then he fell asleep. I wasn’t going to let him go more than 15 minutes. We have been doing this for 3 days, and he is going down like a champ. He might cry for 5 or 10 minutes, but then he self soothes and falls asleep. Thanks to a suggestion from a friend, we have started to swaddle him with one arm out. Who knew?!

Look at our big boy…

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Lastly, I went to my one month postpartum doctor’s appointment yesterday, and I am cleared to go back to barre and yoga! Yahoo! I have been walking every day either by myself or with him in the stroller for 30-40 minutes. It has felt great, but I am ready to stretch and start toning my muscles especially my core. It is so strange to flex my abs and hardly feel anything. They were stretched just a bit. 🙂

The night before my water broke, I bought video series from foam rolling expert, Lauren Roxburgh. It is called Happy, Healthy Pregnancy – Bundle and Beyond. I use the foam roller probably every other day for 5 minutes or so, but I do the same thing each time. I was very excited to see a video series for pre and postnatal utilizing the foam roller. Anyway, her postnatal videos are awesome! I did both (about 15 minutes) this morning after Henry and I got home from our walk, and it felt great!

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I am doing my best to post when I can…I hope to be back soon! It’s crazy how fast the day goes with a baby. Nights are another story! Ha!

Have a great week!

 

Welcome to the World Henry Linden Watson

Hello! It has been a loooong time! There is a good reason though…we welcomed our sweet boy, Henry Linden Watson, into the world on May 29th at 10:33 a.m. He is perfect!

I thought I would share some pictures and tell you a little bit about his birth.

My water broke in the middle of the night on the 28th which was our 5 year anniversary. We had plans to go to out that night, but those plans quickly changed. Instead, we enjoyed a delicious dinner from Zoe’s Kitchen.

I wasn’t totally sure if my water had broken, but we decided to go the hospital just in case. Interestingly enough, I tested negative for my water breaking, so they discharged us. As we were walking down the hallway, it was clear that my water had broken, so we went back to the same room to take the test again. Yup. I was right. My water had broken. I was admitted and watched over night.

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They decided to induce me in the morning because the baby was at risk for infection if we did not get things going. I really didn’t want to get an epidural, but, alas, at the 12th hour I gave in. For me, pitocin made my contractions really intense and REALLY close together. I needed some rest. I was getting to take a nap when I started to feel pressure. If you can believe it, I was 10cm dilated just an hour after I received the epidural. 45 minutes later, our sweet boy was born. It was a pretty emotional experience. I instantly started crying and so did Tyler (it was the third time I had seen him cry :)).

Here is our first family photo…

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Here he is all cleaned up (so far this is my favorite picture of him)…

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Henry weighed 6 pounds 3 ounces and was 19 inches long which is great for a baby that is a month early! The only issue he had in the beginning was low blood sugar, so we had the option of giving him formula to get his numbers up or we could go to the NICU. We chose the formula. I really didn’t want to introduce formula or a bottle until much later, but we did what we had to do. Luckily, his numbers went back up within 24 hours, and 48 hours later we came home!!! We were very thankful for the 2 days in the hospital. We learned so much!

The first night was pretty rough because we did not know his cries yet. We are pros now. Hehe. Anyway, here is what he looked like after his first night at home. We, on the other hand, did not look so peaceful. We were up because he was fussy, and I think I checked to see if he was breathing at least 10 times!

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We are adjusting to the lack of sleep, but he does sleep well when he sleeps. Thank goodness! We know this is temporary and part of the job. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

One thing is for sure, he loves his daddy and Grandma Marty.

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My mom has been here for a week and will stay this week as well. I am not sure what I would do without her. She has cooked our meals, cleaned the house, bonded with Henry, and made me take naps. I sure do fall asleep fast now, and I am getting very good at power naps.

As for me, I am feeling great and healing nicely. I attribute it to the healthy lifestyle I followed while I was pregnant. I took a 20 minute walk today which felt amazing!

I will check back in again in a week or two. The days go by so fast with a newborn (the nights are another story…haha).

Have a great week!

Weekend Things

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend! I flew solo because Tyler went to his nephew’s graduation in Wichita. I wish I could have been there, but, for this first baby, I decided not to fly after Christmas. I rather be safe than sorry.

I actually got a lot done over the weekend. I spent all of Friday afternoon organizing the nursery. It looks great, and I felt so accomplished when I got done! Saturday morning, I went to an awesome yoga class at Infinity Yoga in Brookhaven. I have been going to the beginner’s class for the past few months, and it feels so good! If you are local and are looking for a yoga studio, you need to check them out! They have studios in Dunwoody and Old Fourth Ward as well. Saturday afternoon, I went to a breastfeeding class. I left feeling totally overwhelmed and nervous because there is so much to think about!!! I know I just need to do it to feel better.

We did learn a lot including things like this…awesome.

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I went to barre3 on Sunday and then met a friend for coffee (I drank water :)). Even though Tyler was gone during dinner on Sunday night, I still made an awesome dinner! Tyler got really sick of salads for lunch a few months ago and asked if I could start making enough at dinner so he could take leftovers. Honestly, I used to make just enough for the two of us. Anyway, I tried a new recipe on Sunday night, and it was sooooo yummy! New favorite for sure!

Sarah at Making Thyme for Health has some amazing recipes. You need to try her One Skillet Mexican Quinoa.

One of my favorite smells in the kitchen is garlic and onion sauteing along with herbs and spices. Mmmm…

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The final product was bursting with flavor and so satisfying! I crumbled a few blue corn chips on top for an added crunch. Also, as you can see, I didn’t make the guacamole. I opted for half of a fresh avocado which was delicious. Let’s face it, nothing beats the creamy goodness of fresh avocado.

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Lastly, I thought I would share my favorite almond butter and dark chocolate as of lately. My nutbutter and dark chocolate obsessions definitely go through phases. Sometimes I want sunbutter while other times I want NuttZo. This week I am craving almond butter! I also brand hop when it comes to dark chocolate. I find Green & Black’s to be a little creamier than other brands. I am definitely craving creamy things right now.

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Note: NaturAlmond is a local company. I am not sure if they are distributing their products to other areas of the country. If so, buy some ASAP! If not, I am sure it is coming!

Have a great week!

My Baby Shower

Hello! I wanted to put up a post last week, but it ended up being a busy week! My baby shower was on Saturday, and family and friends were in and out the week before.

Speaking of my baby shower, it was positively perfect in every way! My friends did an a amazing job! Two of my friends from Atlanta were hosts along with my best friend who lives in OKC. They actually didn’t meet until the morning of the shower (except for one of them who was sick). Luckily, they are both really easygoing, and they got along really well! I stayed upstairs until they were ready for me to come down. I was blown away at how great it looked! They put a lot of thought and effort into making it a special day for me.

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The shower was actually at our house. I offered it up, and it worked out very well. The best part was being able to walk my gifts upstairs!

I was definitely showered with some wonderful gifts. One of my favorite gifts was from Tyler’s sister who actually surprised me along with my niece who is married to Tyler’s nephew. She is actually more of sister-in-law given the fact that we are only 6 years apart in age. Tyler’s sister gave me the outfit that Tyler and her boys came home from the hospital in. It is precious and so special!

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It was so wonderful to have so many of my favorite women in one room. It really made me see how many great friends I have made in Atlanta in just 5 short years. They are all amazing women!

Tyler’s family was pretty well represented. Luckily, my mom was there to represent our side. I am so grateful for her and everything she has done for me and our growing family. My mother-in-law has also been extremely generous in helping us to get ready for our little guy. She actually made him TWO quilts and other handmade things. Very sweet.

Check out the awesome diaper cake! So cute!

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I am 33 weeks today! It is hard to believe that he will be here in less than two months (hopefully). I am feeling really good. My belly is definitely growing, but, overall, I feel really good.

I am not working at all for the month of June. It will give me time to relax, batch cook veggie burgers and energy bites to have while I am nursing, and read Baby Wise. I have heard wonderful things about it, so we are going to give their method a try. We will be flexible, but I need some sort of road map as to how to do this!!!

Have a great rest of your week!

 

 

Listen to Your Gut

Well hello! I just looked back at my last post, and it was over 3 and a half weeks ago. Yikes!

I do have a lot to share with you today! First of all, I am 31 weeks pregnant today which is a huge milestone. He is mostly formed. Now, we just need to fatten him up! He is moving around like crazy which has been, by far, my favorite part of being pregnant. I totally freak out when I haven’t felt him for a while. A little food usually gets him going. Tyler and I are getting really excited to meet him and are wondering who he will look like. I have heard that a lot of baby boys look like one of their grandpas…we will see! I have been lucky in that my pregnancy has been pretty easy. I attribute it to keeping up with my usual lifestyle habits including eating healthy, whole, foods, incorporating some sort of movement into my day, and staying hydrated. I drink soooo much water! Hello having to go to the bathroom all the time! I just feel like we both need it. I am hoping these things will make for an easy last two months and smooth delivery. I am crossing my fingers! My shower is actually next weekend which I am really looking forward to!  All of my favorite women in one room (well most of them…I will miss my sisters :)).

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One thing that has been so freeing during this pregnancy is that I have really learned how to listen to my gut. My gut has been telling me that a little whole fat, organic, Greek yogurt is not a bad thing. Before getting pregnant, I basically avoided dairy (with the exception of ice cream) and gluten. Now, I am eating some yogurt and Ezekial bread. I feel good, so I am going with it. I might eliminate them after our little guy gets here, but, for now, they are working for me. They both make me feel satiated which is very important right now. I want to feel nourished and satisfied. Interestingly enough, I just read a blog post today from one of my favorite health and wellness gurus, Kimberly Snyder, on how to be a breast milk queen. She is not an advocate of dairy at all, so now my wheels are turning a little bit because her case is legit. But, I am going to continue to go within and listen to my body’s needs.

Speaking of my body’s needs, I have been experimenting with tempeh stir-frys thanks to some inspiring Instagram posts from Kimberly Snyder. I am not a huge fan of soy especially processed soy, but I do enjoy fermented soy like tempeh.

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Again, my gut is telling me to stay away from soymilk and other soy-based products. They tend to be genetically modified, and I am still unsure as to whether or not it mimics estrogen in our bodies.

Today, I made a really yummy stir-fry with tempeh, coconut oil, and tamari. I added bok choy (loaded with calcium), carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, and red onions. Of course, I had it with half an avocado (probably my favorite food). It was very satisfying! I might make it again tomorrow. I have been eating a lot of eggs for lunch, and I am thinking it is time to bring something else into the rotation that is plant-based but loaded with protein.

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That’s all I have for now! My next project is to find yummy energy ball/bar and veggie burger recipes. I want to make a bunch and freeze them so I have them at the ready when I am breastfeeding. I hear you get pretty hungry! If you have some recipes that you love, please post them below!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

Recipes of the Moment

Hello! It has been a while! I promised myself that I would not let this blog stress me out, and, instead, energize me. Today, I felt the need to share!

Life has been busy, relaxing, busy, and then relaxing. We seem to have days where we are super busy doing stuff for our little guy and the house, and then there are days where we binge watch our shows on Netflix and kind of do and think about nothing. It’s been a nice balance. I would definitely say we are nesting though. Tyler has been amazing! He might be nesting more than me.:)

Speaking of our little guy, I start my third trimester next Wednesday. I honestly can’t believe it! This. Is. Happening! To be honest, I am getting nervous, but I am also so excited to meet him.

As for what I have been eating lately, well, I have been craving really satisfying meals and snacks. There are two things that I have been making…a lot. Both leave me and Tyler feeling very satisfied. They are both filled with nutrients but don’t weigh us down.

The first thing I have been making is a peanut butter banana chocolate smoothie in the afternoon. The stretch between lunch and dinner is waaaaay to long for this mama.

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1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 heaping spoon of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon cacao, a handful of ice, and topped with Purely Elizabeth granola (sometimes I add a scoop of Vega’s Vanilla Protein Smoothie and a handful of spinach)

Our other favorite weekend lunch is this amazing Spicy Avocado and Chickpea Salad Sandwich from Vegan Richa. I serve it as an open faced sandwich on gluten free bread.

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Look at all of those plants!

We are headed out to buy a rug for our room (finally), and tomorrow we are going to a childbirth class. Eek! I’m a little scared about what we are going to learn, but I guess that is why they offer classes. Might as well be as prepared as possible.

Have a great weekend!

What’s your favorite meal or snack right now?

Key Lime Pie

Happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend! We were spring cleaning machines, and we also did a few things to get ready for our little man. Tyler built his crib on Saturday. It was a pretty memorable day.

I have made multiple batches of these cookies over the course of the last month. We still love them, but I decided it was time to try something different! I have always loved key lime pie. In fact, when my sisters, mom, and I went to Key West years ago, we ordered key lime pie every night. They all tasted and looked different, but they were all amazing! What I don’t love about your standard key lime pie is how much refined sugar and other not-so-healthy things go in to making it.

I have a library full of healthy cookbooks, so I decided to look through all of the dessert sections. I finally landed on Kimberly Snyder’s The Beauty Detox Foods. She has been a huge inspiration to me over the years. I actually met her at a book signing we hosted when I worked at Whole Foods Market. She is beautiful inside and out. She is also pregnant right now, and due any day! She has great short videos on Facebook if you are looking for inspiration.

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She has a recipe for Raw Key Lime Pie that is full of raw ingredients that are whole and nutrient dense. The best part is that it is super easy to make and DELICIOUS!!!

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The crust is sooooo good!

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Final product before going into the freezer.

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It is definitely calorically dense, but a small piece does the trick!

I hope you have a great week!

Have you found a healthier version of one of your favorite desserts? If so, please share in the comments below!

I Love Healthy Fats

Hello! I hope you had a good week! My week was both productive and relaxing. I did get to hear our little man’s heartbeat on Wednesday. He was moving around like crazy. His heartbeat is my new favorite sound.

For the past year or so, I have been reading about the importance of eating more healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, coconut oil, organic olive oil, and even a little grass-fed butter) and less sugar. One of the people who I have been following closely is Dr. Mark Hyman. I actually heard him speak in Atlanta a few years ago, and he came back to town this week to promote his new book Eat Fat, Get Thin. I didn’t get to hear him speak in person, but he was on PBS last night. Tyler watched a little bit of it with me, and he said, “Hey, you eat this way!” Before I got pregnant, I really started to up my fat intake and limit my carbs. Now that I am pregnant, I am eating fat and carbs. I. Just. Need. Them. The carbs I eat, though, are complex (oats, Ezekial bread, brown rice, and quinoa). I eat very little refined carbohydrates. Dr. Hyman said that eating healthy fats and refined carbohydrates together is not a good thing. Luckily, I crave the good guys!

I eat all of the healthy fats listed above almost daily, but I am not good about rotating what seeds I eat. I definitely gravitate towards chia and sunflower seeds. I bought a huge bag of hemp seeds at Costco last weekend, so I thought I would throw together a smoothie this morning with some kale that needed to be eaten like yesterday. The smoothie was inspired by a recipe from Dr. Taz Bhatia called The Sweet One Green Juice. It is actually more of a smoothie which I prefer because the fiber stays in tact. I added half a banana, one clementine, a handful of kale, 1/2 cup almondmilk, 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds, and a handful of ice to my Vitamix (any blender will work). You guys…hands down best smoothie I have had in a long time! It is dreamy, creamy, and super healthy.

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I am headed to Whole Foods Market in a little while to do our weekly shopping, and you better believe I will be buying bananas, oranges, and kale or spinach so I can recreate this ASAP!

Have a great weekend!

What is your favorite healthy fat?

Random Things

Happy Sunday! There is nothing better than waking up without an alarm on a sunny Sunday morning.

Instead of writing about one thing today, I thought I would share a few random things from last week…

I alternate between oatmeal and eggs for breakfast. My favorite oatmeal recipe right now is oats, almondmilk, chia seeds, fresh organic blueberries from Costco, cinnamon, a dash of Himalayan salt, and a very large spoonful of sunbutter. I make the spoonful of sunbutter last until my very last bite oatmeal. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

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I received a text from my big brother, who is a pilot, on Friday that he would be here for 36 hours starting on Saturday. He has been to Atlanta but only downtown and Buckhead. He wanted to see some of the neighborhoods and why we like Atlanta. I took him to Highland Bakery, we walked the Beltline, stopped by Krog Street Market (beer for him and iced decaf latte for me), and we ended the night at El Taco. He said, “I can see why you guys like it here so much.” It is hard to be away from family, especially with a baby on the way, but our family is all spread out. We do love it here. Thank goodness for airplanes!

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I posted about these cookies on my Facebook page last week. They are so good. I will be making a double batch this afternoon. Also, I substituted the palm shortening for coconut oil.

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Lastly, here is a picture of me and our little guy. We both have had a big “growth spurt” in the last few weeks. He is moving around and kicking like crazy. Tyler was able to feel him kick last night. Pretty awesome!

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Have a great week! I can’t believe it is going to be March. Spring is on its way! Hooray!