Friday, February 28, 2014

Max: 6 Weeks Old

Max is 6 weeks old today. What?! I can already tell I'm turning into that sentimental mom because I was a little sad at my 6 week appointment yesterday that I'm all done with pregnancy doctor's appointments. I mean, sure they were annoying, but Eric and I had fun going out to dinner after them and I can't overlook that they are the place I first heard Max's heartbeat and got to see him moving around on the screen. Plus, I genuinely loved my doctor and nurses, so it's weird that I won't be seeing them often anymore. Oh #momproblems!

Anyway, MAX. 

He is much more awake these days, and he is following voices and people with his eyes. He also smiles more, but he doesn't yet smile in response to anything… right now it's probably when he has to poop or is dreaming about boobs :) 

Max continues to be skeptical about my ability to parent him. For example, when I put him in the car seat, he wonders "where is this crazy woman taking me!?" 

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So skeptical. "Seriously, what are you looking at?"

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He is improving in his sleeping, but he still seems to enjoy day time sleeping just a little more than nighttime sleeping!

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Max's adventures of the last week include: visits to his grandparents house and one of his great-grandmothers, more restaurant visits (restaurant sleeping), and more visits in general from the many people who love this baby. Max also made some new friends at a Mom's group I went to on Tuesday. Today, he is going to try out Baby and Me yoga. 

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Honestly, Max is a really great baby. He doesn't need to be held all the time or put into his crib already asleep. He only cries when he needs something or is having gas pain. He loves visitors and is flexible about going basically anywhere (so far!). I know this could all change tomorrow, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts. But, please don't change tomorrow? 

6 Weeks

Looks Like: 

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Likes: eating as slowly as humanly possible, Dad and Max time, holding his own pacifier, grabbing my hair, throwing things (I'm not kidding, I put a cloth over him while I'm changing him so he doesn't pee on me, and multiple times he has grabbed the cloth and thrown it- I have a collection behind the dresser at the moment). 


Dislikes: stopping at the gas station, still hiccups...


Feeding: Well, he continues to eat very slowly. In fact he used to be a little faster at taking a bottle at least, but he has even been slow playing that lately. He is also terribly inconsistent about how much he wants to eat, one day a lot, one day nothing- as you can imagine my boobs love this game. On an unrelated note, how many times can I say boob in one post? 

Sleeping: Max is sleeping in his crib now and most nights he goes to bed at about 10, wakes up around 1-2 and then again around 4. He has had a very occasional bad night but they are few and far between, thankfully. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Post Baby Fitness Goals

This Thursday is my 6 week postpartum appointment, which means that assuming all is well I'll be cleared to work out again. I know I will experience a whole new level of challenges as I get back into a workout routine, but I figure motivation should not be one of them. I don't have any illusions that I'm going to be doing hardcore exercise 6 days a week, but I do have some definite goals. 

I should also mention, the doctor said it was okay for me to resume walking and yoga when I felt ready, so I've already been walking with Max and I went to my first yoga class this past Sunday. Yoga went really well- it was so much easier than doing it with a huge stomach in the way! When it has been nice enough to get outside, walking has gone well too. But yesterday I decided to walk on the treadmill and I realized just HOW slow I really have to walk at the moment. So, that was a good reality check about just how slowly I'm going to have to take things in the next few weeks or possibly longer. In case you are wondering what I mean by slow… I walked for 20 minutes and did not make it a mile. So slow :) 


Short Term Fitness Goals

1. Walk 4 times per week. I'm hoping at least 2 of these walks can be done outside, but I also have a treadmill in my house so this is the type of thing I can do with Max in the Ergo or sitting nearby in his Rock and Play :) I imagine most of my walks will be about 20 minutes long, and slow. 

2. Swim 1-2 times per week, assuming the doctor clears me for this. I'm not too worried about getting back into swimming since I swam regularly throughout pregnancy. However, the logistics of swimming will be more difficult because I obviously do not have a pool in my house (though that would be amazing!). I'll try to get one swim in on the weekend when Eric is home and then another either after school or when my mom watches Max. 

3. Yoga 1 time per week. Again, physically this should be fine but logistically a bit more difficult. However, there is always at home yoga for weeks I can't make it to the studio. There is also Baby and Me yoga that I want to try. 


Next Month or So

1. Begin a super slow version of Couch to 5K. By that I mean, I'll probably only do it 2x per week, and I may repeat some weeks if necessary. I'm really not sure how running is going to go so I'll just be flexible with this goal. 

2. Slowly resume some core exercises, again- if I'm cleared by the doctor to do this. 


In 2014

1. Complete at least 1 Sprint Triathlon. This means I'll have to get on a bike again which honestly scares me given how much the bike hurts my butt anyway, forget about after having a baby. Ha. Also, I'm having visions of myself pumping in the car 10 minutes before the start. Good times. 

2. Try a Pure Barre class. I've been wanting to for awhile and my yoga studio offers them now, so there is no excuse not to. 

I know I'm bound to encounter some new challenges with working out, but both my parents were great models of making exercise a priority even with kids, so I know it can be done. 

What are your fitness goals for 2014? 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Being a Mom.

I've been a mom to a newborn (vs. mom to a baby in belly, which is still a mom) for a little over 5 weeks now. This is a summary of how it's going so far...

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Physical Recovery: As I mentioned several times on the blog, I had a bit of a rough physical recovery. I had a bad tear, plus a case of either mastitis or a bacteria infection or possibly both. I finished my antibiotics last Monday, so I'm just praying at this point that the 104 fever does not return! Overall, I'm doing a lot better though. I can pretty much walk normally and I only struggle when I'm sitting for way too long or sitting on a super hard chair. I returned to yoga yesterday and I felt great the whole class. The fever has not been back since the antibiotics and the bacteria was gone from my blood at last check. Fingers crossed this remains! Also, on a less serious note, I continued to be itchy for about 2 weeks after delivery (much less than while pregnant but still there), that seems to also be gone. Wahoo! 

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Emotional Recovery: The morning after I gave birth to Max, I woke up with silent tears running down my cheeks because I was in so much physical pain. But I am happy to report that my emotional meltdowns have been few (they have happened though) despite the hormonal shift and sleep deprivation, two things that usually lead to making me a bit of a mess. In fact, I have felt quite stable since giving birth and I am very thankful for that. I guess the best way to sum up how I feel is that 85% of the time, I feel great about being a mom and having an adorable baby. I enjoy the cuddles. I am impressed by how much we are still able to do even with a baby (while knowing all these restaurant visits will not last, ha ha). I enjoy talking to Max, giving him kisses, listening to the cute sounds he makes, and reading books to him. 85% of the time, I feel so happy that this is where my life is right now. But, there are times when I feel tremendously overwhelmed. There are times when I want nothing more than to go sleep for 8 hours, not wake up to feed him, not wake up to pump.  There are times when it's time to feed him that I think "ALREADY?!" along with a big fat sigh that all I do is feed this child. Last week I posted the following on Facebook: "Full disclosure: it's not all sunshine, rainbows, and wine tastings. It's 2 am, I'm tired and covered in spit up. I don't want to "enjoy these moments" or hear that I'll never sleep again (that much is clear.) What I really want is to be rich enough to hire a night nurse." That about sums up how I feel in those moments. 

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Breastfeeding: I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding, and it's not mostly love, it's mostly hate. I knew breastfeeding would be hard, it's been hard for basically all my friends. I also know how good it is for Max, so in my mind, it was never a choice to not even try. I'm not crazy about it: Max has had formula a few times during all of my health issues and guess what? he is fine. I have said from the beginning, I am not against giving up on breastfeeding at some point. I know I will never last a year. But for now I'm doing it. I knew it would be hard, but I think I misunderstood what exactly would be hard. Yes, it's physically hard but I've been lucky that with the nipple shield, Max latches. But what is really hard for me is the fact that it NEVER, ever ENDS. I spend over 8 hours a day feeding this child, and it's not a nice 9-5 job, it's a never ending 24 hour a day battle. Max eats every 3 hours on a good day. It takes him about an hour to eat, which means that I really only have a two hour "break" of not feeding him, sometimes less when you factor in burping after, diaper changes etc. This means I literally have not slept more than 1.5-2 hours in the last month. It means I can't leave Max for more than that time either (except when I was in the hospital dealing with my own health issues). Most of the time it's okay, but sometimes, I really just want to throw a bottle at someone else and say I GIVE UP. Eric does give Max a bottle of pumped milk, usually at the 7pm feeding, but since I still have to waste time gathering all the pumping crap, pumping and then washing all the stuff, it's hardly a joyful break. Sometimes I feel like the only quality time I spend with Max is when he is attached to my boob. Sometimes I feed Max for an hour and he wakes up an hour later screaming to eat. Sometimes I want to scream back: I GIVE UP. But I haven't…. yet. 

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Maternity Leave: I'm taking 12 weeks off from work to hang out with Max :) Not surprisingly, I am not really cut out to be a Stay At Home Mom. I love being able to spend this quality time with Max. Plus, I can't even imagine trying to deal with kindergarten children right now when I'm really just not getting enough sleep. But I also struggle with the structure of the day, being home a lot and being by myself a lot. I only have one other friend who is also on maternity leave, most of my friends and family are at work during work hours, like I normally would be. My mom has basically been my saving grace as far as entertaining me during the day and helping me around the house so I'm not spending the day in a messy house and feeling like absolutely nothing is accomplished. I'll probably have more to say about this later, since Eric has been home a lot of the time so far and that obviously makes things a lot more fun. 

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Support: As I write all of this, joys and complaints, I am fully aware that I am incredibly lucky as a mom. I have been overwhelmed with help and support for the past month. Eric, not surprisingly, is a completely hands on Dad. He and Max are already best buds and I can count on him to take good care of Max, do a million diaper changes, cook dinner, shovel the driveway (a MILLION times) and keep me sane throughout. Beyond our little family, Max's grandparents are also too good to be true. My mom has been at my house almost daily helping to clean and organize, bringing me food and keeping me company when Eric is at work. Both sets of grandparents give us much needed breaks when they come over and give Max all the attention he will ever need and they have even babysat when we have had three date nights. Max is completely loved and spoiled by his aunts and uncles, who have also provided him with attention, presents and of course Caroline has provided us with priceless photos of this important time in Max's life. It goes without saying that our friends and other family members have also given us support and gifts and more support. Not one second has passed on this journey that I have not felt loved and supported by all these wonderful people in our lives. Max is lucky, we are lucky. 

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 Photos from The Boss Baby by Maria Frazee :) 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Max is 1 Month Old!

Believe it or not, Max turned 1 month old yesterday! It was also Eric's 33rd birthday. At one point we thought they could potentially share a birthday but Max was having none of that, he wanted his own month! We have been at the Cape all weekend, and we spent the day yesterday wine tasting at two wineries to celebrate these two important birthdays. Max was pleased to see that Westport Rivers Winery had a champagne named after him. 

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It's hard to believe that a month has already passed, but when I look at how much Max has grown in the past month, I guess it's not that surprising. A lot has happened since his 3 week update!  As I mentioned then, I put Max on a feeding schedule. He now eats at 7, 10, 1, and 4, both AM and PM. The biggest change I made to implement this schedule was just making sure he was eating enough at each feeding so he wouldn't want to eat again 10 minutes later. This works 90% of the time, and then sometimes we have nights like last night where he falls asleep while eating and then demands to eat again as soon as I put him in the crib. But, I'll take 90% of the time. Obviously the ideal situation would be for him to start to stretch out those night feedings so that he is only waking up once, but that may take another month… or longer :) 

As Max gets a little older (ha!), he has had a bit more excitement in his life. He had another play date with his friend Maya. We went out to lunch and the two of them sat next to each other in their car seats. They were even mistaken for twins. He has continued to be a restaurant champion, especially now that we discovered the trick of turning a high chair upside down so he can sit in his car seat right at the table. He has also been babysat by both sets of grandparents so Eric and I can go out for a little bit by ourselves. 

Plus, Max FINALLY passed his due date! He is officially "supposed to be here" and it's so hard to believe that he could be only a few days old rather than a whole month at this point. 

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Max had his first Valentine's Day and miraculously fit into his newborn valentines day shirt. 

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Max is also starting to notice things around him a lot more. His eyes follow people and toys now and he seems to enjoy when we talk and make faces at him. It's fun to see the beginning of his personality developing! Overall, Max is just a great baby, and we love him very, very much. 

Looks Like: 

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Max has his 1 month appointment at the doctor on Thursday and I'm looking forward to learning how tall he is and how much he weighs. I feel like he has grown a LOT! 

Likes: giving hugs when we are burping him, hanging out with the many people who love him, making noises, fighting with his swaddle

Dislikes: still hiccups! 

Feeding: As mentioned above, he nurses about 8 times per day, sometimes 9 if necessary. He tends to eat more in the later afternoon/early evening and since I often pump at the 7pm feeding and Eric gives him a bottle, I think he gets the most at this feeding (though I really have no way of knowing that). 

Sleeping: This is so much more consistent now. Max now has many more good nights than bad nights. He goes into his swaddle and bassinet after the 10pm feeding (around 11) and sleeps there only waking up for 2 feedings until about 7am. I'm really happy to say that he does not have to be put in the bassinet already asleep, he is capable of getting himself to sleep which is wonderful. Max is also more awake during the day, but it isn't all that consistent. 

Whew, so much to know about Max! I'm hoping to get a post up later this week about motherhood after 1 month. Stay tuned :) 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Just Show Up

It's been almost 4 weeks since I last worked out, and this week I am hoping to show up to my yoga mat a time or two. I don't think I'm ready for a class yet, so I'm going to try to find a postpartum video online… I wonder if they talk about placenta in those? I hope not. I don't feel more ready to listen to that now that I've seen real placenta. Seriously though, placenta aside- I need yoga right now. My back and my body hate me right now from hunching over a baby all day and so. much. sitting. on. the. couch. I don't have any high expectations for what will happen on the mat, just that I will show up.

(PS. My doctor cleared me to do yoga before my 6 week appointment, FYI)

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You know those days when it just seems like the universe is telling you not to work out? That was me at my last yoga workout, the Sunday before I had Max. Here were my super awesome reasons to skip yoga: 

1. I was fighting a cold. 

2. I was up half the night itching. 

3. My car wouldn't start because the battery died (car seat installation gone wrong). 

4. I took Eric's car but then forgot my yoga mat. 

5. I walked into yoga without my wallet or my keys which have my card for yoga on them. 

6. I was now really late, and I hate being late. 

Yes, I had some reasons to skip yoga on that Sunday morning. But I also had a lot of reasons why I just HAD to go to yoga.  See 1-6 above. I was also meeting a friend there, and I was worried we would NEVER be able to do prenatal yoga together if I didn't go (insert dramatic voice here). Plus, I was about to have a baby and if that wasn't scary enough, I was in a constant state of panic that my liver was attacking him. Plus, I just love the Sunday yoga teacher. I couldn't skip it. 

So I didn't. 

If you've ever done yoga before, you probably know there are certain themes that are constantly emerging in yoga no matter which studio you practice at. I was first drawn to the idea of breathing in a difficult moment. When you are in a super hard pose and your muscles want to give out, that is exactly when you need to breathe more. In life, when you are in a difficult moment, that is exactly when you need to breathe more. I may never master the art of shutting my mind off and focusing on my breath, but I do carry the idea of breathing in a difficult moment into my life. 

But the yoga-ism that I need right now is the idea of just showing up. This is applicable to everything. Had a rough night and don't want to deal with work in the morning? Just show up. Your friend is going through a really hard time and you have no idea how to help her? Just show up. It's 5am and Max is crying hysterically and you have no idea what the heck is wrong? Just show up. Oh wait, that's just me, ha ha.

I was talking to my friend the other night and she was telling me that she has been trying to work out more and it's hard because she works a full time job and she has a 1 year old and those are great reasons not to do anything when you finally get home (she didn't say this, I did!). But, like my reasons above, they are also reasons why working out is essential. She told me that Eric advised her to just tell herself, I'll go downstairs and bike for 10 minutes. Just show up. 

When was the last time you had to just show up, either in a workout or in life? 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Max: 3 Weeks!

It was another big week in Max land… I guess when you are only 3 weeks old, every week is a big week? 

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A big highlight of the week included Max's first trip to a restaurant! As I'm sure you guys know, Eric and I love to eat out. We realize that having a baby is going to reduce the amount of times we can really do this, but we don't want it to stop entirely. So last Saturday night we took Max to one of our favorite restaurants. He was a complete delight the entire time and I got to have a glass of wine. I'm telling you people, having a newborn is just SO much better than being pregnant. We are going to try bringing him to a different restaurant tonight and then tomorrow we are going to leave him with Eric's mom while we go to a less baby friendly place by ourselves :) 

Since Max is Eric's son he owns more than a normal amount of football attire. He doesn't really fit in 0-3 month clothes yet but I put him in one anyway for the Superbowl. We went over to my parent's house to watch the game and Max slept through most of it. But he was rooting for Seattle, don't you worry. 

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But what he really cared about was making himself very comfortable in Caroline's lap. 

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Max also had his first play date yesterday with his new friend Maya (my friend's new baby). I totally used this as an excuse to teach Max that both names begin with the letter M. You can take the teacher out of kindergarten, but not the kindergarten out of the teacher :) 

As much as I would like to say that the week has been all flowers and rainbows, there have been a few challenges. Yet again, my health came into the picture and I spent all of Monday and Tuesday dealing with that. I am hesitant to say it's totally over because who knows what could happen, but as of now I feel great and hopefully I will not be back at the hospital anytime soon! Not only is it really not that fun to spend hours away from Max, but it also messes up his schedule especially when I came home from my CT scan on Tuesday and had to pump and dump for 12 hours. I have struggled the past few weeks with whether I want to just feed Max every time he cries (even if it's 3 seconds from the last feeding) or whether I want to establish a schedule. Though I normally would always go for a schedule, I let myself be swayed by the fact that Max was early and little and "maybe I only know 5 year olds and don't know newborns at all." As a result, I ended up with a baby who literally wanted to eat every 5 seconds from 11pm to 5 or 6 am. Woo Hip! But, Monday and Tuesday messed with the "schedule" SO MUCH that by the time my friend came over yesterday, I was ready to discuss how to nicely put a baby on a schedule. I know this could mean many things for many people, but I think people who know me as a teacher would assume I will not let my baby scream bloody murder if he is hungry…promise! 

What the "schedule" means for me is: I picked times that I want to feed him, every 3 hours and I am sticking to those times if at all possible. Honestly, a lot of this is about forcing myself to feed at these times even if I have to wake up from a nap or plan to eat a meal at a later or earlier time. I would like to say goodbye to cluster feeding and my instinct is that when kids (or newborns) know what to expect, it's a lot more calm for both of us. In order to do this without a screaming baby, I am making sure he REALLY eats at every feeding. If he falls asleep, he gets all his clothes taken off, diaper changed, body tickled etc. I also finally conquered the Max vs. swaddle (see sleeping below). He has only been on the "schedule" for 1 day now but last night was by far his best sleeping night thus far, so I have high hopes. I also know every day won't be perfect and I very well may be saying in my next update that the schedule is being thrown out the window! 

To end on a more positive note, Max attended his first birthday party last night on google hangouts for Lisa! He loved saying hi to many of my lovely blog friends. I enjoyed being entertained by them while Max had some ridiculous hour long feeding and then screamed really loud when it was time to be done eating (even though he took himself off… typical). Next time the two of us will be organized enough to actually wear stripes! Seriously, I have to figure out how to wear normal clothes again...

Looks Like: 

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Likes: cuddling, stretching, yawning and sneezing :) I think he also loves being cute and when everyone tells him how perfect he is all the time. I can't wait to raise one of those children who loves himself… ha ha. 

Dislikes: when he hears me come into a room but I don't feed him immediately! 

Feeding: Max continues to be super flexible given the time he has had to spend away from me while I deal with health issues. He switches easily between breastfeeding, taking a bottle of breast milk and a few times he has needed to have formula. Now that we are on a schedule (see above), I am hoping he will not need to be as flexible but it's nice to know he can be, just in case! 

Sleeping: This week Max has been more awake during the day, which is actually really fun. I think overall the night sleeping has been better too, but I think the schedule and finally conquering the swaddle is going to make a huge difference going forward. I think last night was the first night so far that Max has not managed to get his hands out of the swaddle… success! 

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The next update about Max (I think) will be Monday February 17th, which is Max's 1 month birthday AND Eric's birthday. So much excitement! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

January: Music, TV, Books and Looks

Since clearly I am not logging any real miles, I changed up the Music, Miles, Book and Looks and added a TV section. I enjoyed reading Amber's recent post about what she was watching, so I decided why not add that this month? Believe it or not, I actually haven't watched that much TV and I'm kind of behind on some of my shows. 


Darius Rucker- Radio 

Danielle Bradbery- Heart of Dixie 


Aerial America: This is a fantastic show on the Smithsonian channel. It goes state by state (each episode) and gives you a bird's eye view of the state along with fantastic facts/stories about what the state is famous for. Last night, Eric and I watched the Ohio episode, so there was a lot about the Wright Brothers, some of the big sports rivalries in Ohio, the rock and roll hall of fame, and even a bit about the rubber made in Akron, where Ashley lives! Since we love to travel, we love to watch this show and learn some new things about places we now want to visit, ha ha. 


Big Bang Theory: I actually missed last week's episode (what with my annoying sleeping schedule at the moment), but this is just SUCH a great and hilarious show. If you don't know the premise, it's basically about a bunch of seriously nerdy guys who live across the hall from a wanna-be actress. Honestly, it's just hilarious. If you don't watch it, you should. 


I'm happy to report I managed to read 3 books this month, and I bought myself a Kindle Paperwhite that I am in LOVE with, so I think I'll be reading even more in February. Lots of 3am reading/nursing happening in these parts. 

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Orphan Train: This was our blogger book club pick this month. It's about an orphan girl named Molly who befriends and old woman who was also an orphan as a child. Their two stories are told side by side as they get to know each other. 

Touch and Go: Just another Lisa Gardner thriller. I enjoyed it and it was the perfect book to be reading in those last few days of pregnancy and first few of motherhood, just enough distraction :) 

Olive Kitteridge: This is a collection of stories all related to a woman named Olive Kitteridge and characters who live in her small town. The premise sounded good, but I should know myself better than to read books that win awards. I found this book super depressing and was counting down the pages until it was over. It was obviously well written, but that wasn't enough to hook me in. 



Not that anyone ever looked towards me for actual fashion advice, but this month will be more absurd than most. But hey, maybe you are having a baby and want to know what clothes you will need. If not, you can ignore this :) I am currently in a weird in-between maternity and regular clothes time, so I'm basically wearing both of them. I am probably the only person in the world who was hoping to be in maternity clothes longer because I love them so much ha. 


Pants: Motherhood Maternity Yoga Pants, Gap Loungewear Pants, Victoria's Secret Yoga Leggings


Nursing Tanks: Gap, H&M 


Zip Up Sweatshirts: Old Navy Maternity, Old Navy Activewear


I am not setting any goals for February, but I do hope to read some great books and to enjoy the early days of Max (and maybe less of the nights would be great too). Feel free to share a book or TV show you are enjoying right now in the comments, I need some recommendations!