I make this look difficult

I was told by an old man in a yellow Polo not to have a 3rd child.

Are you someone who has children and doesn’t walk around looking like she just came in last place in a mud run towing a grocery cart full of unnecessities?

I make this look difficult.

I am forever in awe (and confusion) of those who can manage children, maintain knowledge of the whereabouts of their wallet, carry one bag and possession of their coupons.

This morning I left the house with my children, one with his juice and snack and the other forced to hold her own bottle on a trip to Target because, let’s face it, it’s the one stop shop all mothers rely on.

I made it a mile and a half and had to turn around to get the Similac coupons I left on the table. They’re $5 off!

When we finally arrived, my baby had fallen asleep so I needed to keep her in her baby carrier and stroller and also get a grocery cart (I refuse to say “buggie”) because I needed too many things.

When this happens, I push the stroller with the sleeping baby and trail the cart behind me.

My toddler refuses to sit in the cart, so he walks beside me. You can imagine what a hot mess we look like and the scene we create as we try to navigate the narrow labyrinth of the toddler, baby, and shoe sections.

When we’re finally done and headed to check out, I have a bag of items to return so we make our way to customer service.

I can see the cashiers whispering “Not it” to each other in the distance.

My son decides now is a good time to break away from me and take off towards the door, only laughing when I catch him and bring him back.

There’s a line forming behind me.

I put the new “backpack leash” on him that just came in the mail from Amazon.

He screams and tries to pull the “leash” off while I try to bribe and calm him down with phrases like “but it looks so cool!” “Lightening McQueen is in the backpack!” And “you look like a big boy going to school!”

People are judging.

I make this look difficult.

I have a return, a cart full of groceries, my own recyclable bags and 2 separate transactions.

I realize too late that I have again left my coupons behind (in the car) but instead of saying “just forget it” I decide to leave everything in a heap on the counter, take my baby (whose now awake and using her new found voice to make screaming noises just because she can) and my toddler, with his leash, (whose starting to cry because he thinks we’re leaving his Annie’s Bunny cookies behind) and go to the car to get the coupons.

When we get back, the line has decreased, as they needed to call for backup, and we finish the longest checkout in history. I stuff all the recycled bags full of our goodies, gigantic tower of paper towels and hand my son his cookies.

There’s a woman behind me carrying a newborn on her chest wrapped up so you can just see his little head. We have the same diaper bag backpack (from Target) and she looks at me and says very friendly:

“I like your diaper bag!”

Me: “Thanks, same here! Is he your first baby?”

Friendly: “Yes!”

Me: “This is what happens when you have two!”

Old man in the yellow Polo: “Don’t have a 3rd”

Me: (putting my head down) “I won’t”

Friendly lady with the newborn had on normal clothes, her hair in place and just enough makeup to probably cover the dark circles that come with having a new baby.

That was never me.

Even in college I carried a backpack AND a purse on my shoulder because I could never minimize or prioritize! Who knew how many different shades of pink lipgloss I might need throughout the day?

I couldn’t tell you where a tube of lipgloss is now but I still don’t go anywhere with just one bag of necessities.

I am a hot mess of snacks, diapers, missing coupons and changes of clothes.

The more children in have, the crazier this train gets.

I always picture an apocalypse happening and having to grab JUST one bag, both of my children, and running.

What if I forgot to replenish one of their sizes of diapers or there’s melted chocolate from a Chewy granola bar all over the first aid kit? What if there’s no container of portioned formula or room-temperature water bottle? That’s actually likely!

I usually walk out of Target (or any market, really) with one lingering sentence that I silently mouth to myself:

“I’m an asshole”

I’m pregnant!!

I haven’t been posting as much lately because I’m pregnant and for the 1st trimester, I had many food aversions and very little energy!

This will be our fist child and we are so happy, scared, and excited! This being my first pregnancy, I had no idea what to expect or how I would feel. I’m just beginning my 2nd trimester and (knock on wood) I’m feeling much better and have a much more normal appetite, except for the fact that I’ve allowed myself to eat more of the things I want!

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was determined to eat really fresh, nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, lean meats and very few carbs. I also planned on sticking to my gym routine, possibly cutting it back by a day….that was a really cute idea. Adorable.

FIRST TRIMESTER BLUES:

Little did I know that about 2 weeks after finding out I was pregnant I’d start feeling like I was HUNGOVER allllll day long! I found this to be quite unfair, as I literally hadn’t had a drop to drink. Everything made me nauseous. Everything. I couldn’t even LOOK at a piece of broccoli without wanting to die. I never actually threw up (which may have been a curse in disguise, as that might have at least given me some relief), but the feeling of being hungover lasted for weeks.

I would think of something to eat like a cheeseburger and fries one night or some Japanese the next, and I would eat the food that seemed somewhat appealing. Then, almost immediately after, regret it and wished I could take it back. Anything I ate became something I would never eat again. The thought of coffee made me ill and if I saw a cucumber, I’d cringe.

Smells didn’t bother me, ironically, but the sight of certain foods did and the feeling I had after I ate almost anything was even worse. What I always enjoyed and still do was Parmesan Goldfish. Not cheddar, not plain, not flavor blast, they had to be parmesan.

END OF 1ST TRIMESTER HAPPINESS:

At about week 8 or 9, I started feeling more like myself and at the present 13 weeks (again, knock on wood), I feel really good, other than the fact that by 9:00 PM I feel like I’ve been hit with a tranquilizer gun.

What I really love to do is grab my headphones/Pandora and head outside for a nice, long power walk. Sometimes I take a quick drive to different areas of town and explore different neighborhoods with my favorite music, or even enjoy the silence/sounds of nature. Really, the fresh air helps a TON with nausea and fatigue. I always feel better on days that I’ve had some sort of exercise.

Speaking of exercise, I had totally scaled back. Walking about 3.5 miles every other day or so has become my main source of calorie burning. I do go to the gym about once a week and get on the stair-master (although I found I have much less stamina and lose my breath much easier than usual, so I don’t go as hard). I also try to get some squats and lunges in a couple times a week, usually after a walk, to attempt to keep some muscle tone. TIP: Google “Bring Sally Up squat challenge” it makes doing squats more fun and goes by in less than 4 minutes. I usually grab a 10-15 lb. weight and hold it against my chest while I do them for a little something extra.

EAT THIS, NOT THAT:

After eating literally anything that would possibly help me feel better/satisfy some cravings, I started searching for healthier versions of foods for myself and the baby. I try to never have high fructose corn syrup or anything with aspartame. I never eat/drink anything “fat free”, “sugar free” or “diet” as these products usually contain tons of preservatives and harmful chemicals for the baby (and myself). Instead of Canada Dry, I’ll drink Hansen’s natural ginger ale which is sweetened with cane sugar and has far less ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup. I gave up my parmesan goldfish and replaced those crackers with Annie’s organic crackers instead. If I want chocolate chip cookies or blueberry muffins, I bake them myself. Even with all that butter and sugar, at least I know what I’m putting in my body and giving my baby. I try to buy my ice cream from a local farm store in our town. I have a real thing for chocolate covered pretzels, so I try to get the organic version from Whole Foods (delicious!!). When I want pizza, I buy pre-made dough at Trader Joe’s (non-GMO) and make it at home with the toppings I love.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still occasionally go to Chic Fil A and order a chicken wrap and fries for lunch and get a 3/4 unsweet, 1/4 sweet iced tea (they hate me), or I’ll stop and get some “sushi” (shrimp tempura and California rolls) with soy sauce. I still love Chipotle and we still go out to eat.

WHAT I WON’T DO:

Color my hair. I know some women do and I know some of it is considered ok as long as it doesn’t touch your scalp but the idea of putting hair color/bleach on my head while my growing baby is relying on me to keep him/her safe is unnerving.

Use deodorant with aluminum. Bone disease, memory changes and anemia have been found in studies about aluminum, which can  even enter milk of breastfeeding women. I use Tom’s all natural deodorant, which is aluminum free.

Shampoo and conditioner with sulfates or parabens. Studies have shown links between birth defects and sulfates, so I buy sulfate-free. Some of my favorites include Awapuhi Mango by Avalon Organics and Blackberry and Coconut Milk by Giovanni Eco Chic Hair Care.

Use self-tanners. There aren’t enough studies showing these products are safe to use and with all the chemicals and parabens included in the ingredients (even “organic” versions), I have a feeling we might see studies years from now linking self-tanners to some kind of disorder. I am naturally very fair-skinned and am self-conscious about my pasty legs, so I actually made my own all-natural body bronzer that washes off with soap and water.

I HOPE TO KEEP POSTING THROUGHOUT MY NEW JOURNEY! Let me know if you have any questions or even tips of your own!