Sometimes I’m the worst

I always have amazing ideas and ambitions, but the problem is that I have too many things I want to do. I can’t do EVERYTHING. I think I have finally come to accept that. I have a HUGE secret project going on right now and with that, I’m going to drop a lot of other projects and focus on the things I’m most passionate about and the things I want to do for a lifetime. I hope that I can continue updating this blog because I love sharing what’s going on with my life, connecting with readers, and just having a venue to JUST. WRITE.

Going forward, I have to stop striving to have an amazing blog. You’re going to get what I can give. It’s that simple. I just have other priorities. I can’t deal with blogging on a schedule right now, even for my fitness updates. I don’t know what kind of posts you’ll get, honestly. We shall see!

I’ll leave you with this cuteness.

cl1 Sometimes Im the worst

Hump Day Dump Day

Today was so busy and so insanely crazy. I worked on cleaning mine and Dustin’s bathroom for probably four hours. Have you heard of the iPhone app Unfuck Your Habitat? It’s pretty awesome. It’s simple, but it’s really helping me to clean up and take care of projects that I’ve ignored for so long. You should check it out. Nope, totally not paid for this mention. UFYH has no idea who I am. icon smile Hump Day Dump Day Anyway, it took so long because, well…. FOUR KIDS. That is serious stuff.

After cleaning, I showered and dressed. When Dustin got home from work, I headed to Biloxi to fill out EMPLOYMENT PAPERWORK! This mama is going back to work. I’m going back to a retail job I had once before, but starting back as a part time sales associate because that’s all they have at the time. I will be so happy to be working for my wonderful friend Ashley again, waiting for a management position to open up. I am really looking forward to this.

I would not be taking a part-time job if not for another cool bit of news. Dustin’s teenage cousin is coming from St. Louis to stay with us for the summer. Keeping our kids (I originally typed boys out of habit) will be her summer job. She is doing it for room and board only, which affords me the opportunity to just get my foot back in the door at the company that started my love of retail. I am excited to learn more about her and have some help with this house full of children.

Harper and Nick have decided that they want to be roommates now. Harper was sharing with Quentin and Nick had his own room. However, with Harper starting Kindergarten in fall, their maturity gap is closing. They are having so much fun together, so toward the end of the summer, Harper’s stuff will be moved into the schoolboy room. For now, they are sharing on a trial basis. They fight a lot, so we have to see if some of that dissipates.

I’ve been laying out on the deck a couple of times a week and wanted to leave you with this cute picture. Angel Baby wanted in on the action.

swimsuit Hump Day Dump Day

Mama Makeover Monday (on a Tuesday) – Week 4

It has now been four weeks since this post, in which I revealed my postpartum body and promised weekly updates.

So here’s the thing – I could rattle off excuses all day long, but it won’t change anything. And honestly, there just can’t be excuses when changing your body, because there will always be something that comes up. What’s important is what we do when we realize our goals are slipping between our fingers. I had a baby over two months ago and not much has changed on my body since the initial weight fell off. No excuse for that.

That being said, what has changed? Well, I finally found my way with a workout routine. I have been lifting heavy and it’s so much fun! I am also still running. I lift one day, rest the next day, run the next, rest the next, lift the next….. so forth and so on. On my “rest” days, I do a few things, like some ab work, extra crunches, walk the dog, have a dance-off with the kids – anything but sit on my ass all day. I have gotten to the point where I crave exercise. I am so excited to be at that point again. It’s been a long time!

I have been slipping on diet, but have finally gotten in tune with my body again, so it’s getting better. Anyway, not much has changed in the last 4 weeks, but in the interest of full disclosure, I’m here with an update anyway.

5/13/14 – 140 lbs, 33 in. waist.
6/10/14 – 140 lbs, 32.5 in. waist.

My weight did not fall at all, but my waist shrank half an inch. The picture doesn’t show much difference, but I can tell (in person) my ass and thighs are firmer and my belly is slightly smaller. I want everyone to know that as soon as I hit publish, I’m going to clean that mirror.

side 4 week Mama Makeover Monday (on a Tuesday)   Week 4
front 4 week Mama Makeover Monday (on a Tuesday)   Week 4

I know, barely any difference. Anyway, I’m not done and I think you’ll see more progress with my next photographic update in two weeks.

OH, me?

I have FAILED y’all. Truth be told, I have not been well-behaved when it comes to nutrition. I’ve had Harper’s birthday cake, Coke, movie popcorn, and my mom’s chicken pot pie. Through all of that, I gained weight. I wasn’t consciously avoiding an update, but I think we don’t necessarily want to report our failures, but are excited to shout our successes from the rooftops.

Well, I’m here to tell you.. in the last couple of weeks, I have made zero progress. I can be honest about that. if anything, I’ve moved in the opposite direction. The thing is, I’ve been eating crappy. I won’t even tell you the “reasons,” for they are all really excuses.

Next week, I will be back with an update on my fitness progress and it likely won’t be pretty. I just have to be real with you.

So come back Monday to see the real deal!

DIY: Bow Holders

When I found out I was having a girl, I knew three things for certain:

1. My family is complete.

2. I have a new relationship with God.

3. There will be a bow holder.

I knew that for a bow holder, I needed something simple, yet ornate. Yeah, I know that doesn’t make sense to you, but it certainly does in my mind. A nursery tour for Claudia’s room is coming as soon as I move out the twin mattress guests have slept on while Claudia sleeps in our room. For now though, one of my favorite details, her bow holders.

bow holders1 DIY: Bow Holders

There isn’t a tutorial here because it really is so simple. I bought two decorative frames from Michael’s, sprayed them glossy black, and hot-glued gold ribbon on. Yes, that simple.

bow holders 2 DIY: Bow Holders

Six Weeks … It begins.

On Friday, I had my c-section follow-up appointment and was released. I am now able to do as I please, including working out. I will be taking it slowly at first, considering I did have major abdominal surgery a few weeks ago. I think it’s so important to listen to your body, at any stage of fitness. Yesterday, I sprinkled in a few squats, push-ups, and lunges throughout my daily routine. I also didn’t shy away from going up and down the stairs numerous times a day, sprinting up them when I had to go. These little things can really help you to keep your energy and heart rate up.

I took Before pictures yesterday and took my waist measurement. Y’all, it’s not pretty. I have debated whether or not to share here and I really didn’t want to. I kept justifying all the reasons it would be fine to leave out the before until I have good progress pictures.

I’m only six weeks out and still have swelling, so…. And I mean, nobody wants to see that gross belly!Oh my god, the loose skin is gross.

Then, I was scrolling through some inspiration pictures on IG and I realized that the most inspiring, encouraging, and motivating accounts for me were the ones that are very raw and very real. I also noticed how much better it made me feel to realize that the loose skin and stretch marks are part of being a mother and that I am NOT alone in having them. I also totally believe that a lot of the loose skin can go away with time and you know what? I’m okay with the stretch marks. We all should be.

All that to say, I am sorry if this disgusts you (cause it sure does me), but if you are the kind of person who is put off enough by these pictures to stop reading, then you aren’t my target audience anyway. If you have ever felt like your body will never be good enough or that you don’t have time to attain a high level of physical fitness, my journey is for YOU. We will figure this out together!

Without further ado, here is my 6-weeks-postpartum body, 140 lbs, 33 inch waist, ready for its makeover. I also encourage you to follow me on MyFitnessPal, where I will fully disclose everything I eat. I’m going to update here every Monday (at least that’s the plan).

starting 51214 Six Weeks ... It begins.

I am hoping that having this pictures up and really putting myself out there will encourage me to just. keep. going. And I hope that my progress will encourage you to do the same.

WAY-late Easter post

This was such a special Easter for me. We stayed at home, just our family, and hunted eggs and had a lovely Easter dinner. We spent the day outside and it was just absolutely laid back and lovely. I woudln’t change a thing!

easter collage WAY late Easter post

The absolute highlight for me was trying to get a picture of all the kids for the first time.

1 WAY late Easter post

2 WAY late Easter post

3 WAY late Easter post

4 WAY late Easter post

It’s such a joy just look at them all in one place! My stepson will be here for a visit next month and I can not WAIT to get them all together! I am so blessed to have a large, healthy family. Every day I pray that I will always remember how lucky we are to have each other and more importantly, that the kids will realize how fortunate they really are!

The plan

After my first c-section, I had a hellacious recovery and the last thing on my mind was getting back into shape. I just wanted to live. This time around, I took great care to ensure that at the end of it all, I could get into the best shape of my entire life. It all started by losing weight and working out a lot before getting pregnant. I was already living a healthy lifestyle when we decided to have another baby. Once that decision was made, I focused on workouts and diet while trying. It not only set me up for a healthy pregnancy, but distracted me from the heart-wrenching process of trying to conceive. I continued diligently on my NO Sugar, NO Grains lifestyle, going off-course only on holidays and maybe a fro-yo on a Friday. Then, somewhere in the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, I lost my shit. I had SPD, was exhausted, and was completely overrun by kids. I struggled to motivate myself to cook and developed several food aversions. Sometimes, the only thing that didn’t make me gag was fries or ice cream. I fell apart as far as nutrition goes. Being on modified bed rest for nearly half of my pregnancy caused me to be unable to work out as well, other than walking the dog four times a day.

Now, I’m 3 and a half weeks post-partum, after delivering my LAST BABY EVER. There is no time like the present to get myself into the best shape of my life. I jumped back on my NSNG wagon almost immediately after discharge from the hospital. I am already 7 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I honestly would probably have reached it already if not for the damn jelly beans. We bought a GINORMOUS jar for the boys for Easter and I absolutely can’t keep my hand out of the jar. It’s like crack (so seriously, sugar is scientifically proven to be addictive). It’s time to get my hand out of the candy jar and get back to what I know is good and healthy.

I have goals and a plan to help me reach them.

fitnessgoals The plan

You’ll notice that I have not included a weight goal. While I have been striving for 110-115, I am okay with not reaching that if I put on a ton of muscle (which I should with the training I’m planning). Instead, I’m shooting to be able to wear a size 4. Again, I’m good with not being able to squeeze into size 4 jeans if I get a nice round rump. icon smile The plan

More than anything, my ultimate goal is to wear a white bikini. I have not worn a bikini since I was probably 23-years-old. I will never look perfect in a bikini. After four kids, two of them born via c-section, it’s just not happening. I just want to feel confident in it. I plan to reach that by summer 2015.

I haven’t had definition in my arms since high school, when I worked those puppies out on the pole every day (calm down, I’m talking about a color guard flag pole). It’s time to get back there. They were starting to shape up before I got pregnant and stupidly stopped weight training.

I want to get back to the place where my meals are balanced without much thought – back to where it’s second nature and I don’t hover over the jelly bean jar, talking myself out of eating all of them. PFC refers to protein, fat, and carbohydrate breakdown. My girl Cassie can do a much better job explaining PFC eating, so go read this post to shed some light. Then follow her on all the social media. She’s my best resource, followed closely by trainer Vinnie Tortorich and fellow NSNG eaters.

I have no doubt I can achieve all of these within just a couple of years and here is how I plan to do it…

theplan The plan

Again, I have to get my diet balanced back out. That is the number one thing that controls weight loss and it’s the part I can do now instead of waiting until the doctor clears me for workouts.

I used to be a BEAST with water consumption. Honestly, I barely have time to even remember to eat lunch or finish my coffee these days. I must work that water in though.

Speaking of drinks, enough with the sodas already. I usually let myself have a huge fountain Cherry Coke once a week. Those days are gone – all it does is cause me to want ALL THE SUGAR.

I am so excited for Dustin to start teaching me how to swing that kettlebell. I had little patience for it before, but knowing the benefits, it’s worth trying again. Go read his blog post about kettlebells while we’re talking about it.

Going along with that, it’s time to get on a weight-lifting regimen. We have a nice weight bench in our garage now and I intend to work it this summer. I have no idea what I’m doing though. Thank God for my husband.

Now, for exercise I DO know, I’ll be running again. I don’t have any solid goals I want to reach with running. I just want to do it for fun – because it’s meditation and good old-fashioned cardio. I hate running during summer, but I gotta get after it!

The recovery

I had an emergency c-section with my third child, as a result of shoulder dystocia. It was a traumatic experience and it took me a couple of months to get over the physical impact and even longer to recover emotionally. After much research, prayer, and discussion with my OB, I decided to have a repeat c-section with Claudia. I prayed every night that this time would be different, that I wouldn’t suffer from emotional trauma and that physical recovery would go more smoothly. I’m happy to say that despite the universe trying so hardly to bring me down, it has been immensely better than the emergency c-section recovery.

This time, when planning the c-section, I also elected to have a tubal ligation and chose to have an On-Q pain pump while recovering in the hospital. The pump is inserted into the incision area to deliver local anesthetic so that fewer/weaker drugs can be used. Strong narcotics put me straight to sleep and I didn’t want that. It was a great choice, because the incision itself did not hurt a bit. Before discharge, I was hobbling around much better than I was the first time, assisted by narcotics of course. I was discharged 2 days after the delivery, as is normal in uncomplicated c-sections at my hospital. Dustin took the entire week off of work to be with us and my mom was there for a few days as well. I knew that this would help me recover quickly. I rested a lot while Dustin was home and stayed on top of my pain medication. There were still times when I was pretty sure I was going to pass out from pain and I was just so damn tired. I actually did too much that first week too, come to think of it. Target trip at 4 days post partum, anyone?

IMG 1546 e1397704993746 225x300 The recovery

Then Dustin went back to work last week and I got crazy. Okay, so I didn’t actually get crazy, but I did try to do entirely too much. In the midst of a really bad and painful week, I also got a stomach bug and am now battling some sort of respiratory issue. I’m happy to say that I only take about one pill a day, in the morning. When I get up, everything is stiff from a night of sleep and I can barely walk upright. This time, recovery has been vastly different and I’m so thankful for that.

However, you then have the breastfeeding story, which I’ll talk about another time. It has caused way much more pain, both emotionally and physically. At the end of the day, I’m just so thankful that this experience has been a good one overall. I am also thankful for 4 healthy children and my strong and healthy body that brought them here. Let’s be honest – I’m also thankful that I’m done being pregnant forever.

The baby and her family

Turns out that 1. I’m lazy. 2. I change my mind a lot. 3. I just want to move forward. This means that I am not going to be recapping how I prepared for the birth or even the day of surgery itself. I’m going to start with showing off my daughter and you will get a few surgery details within the recovery post.

March 31, 2014 at 12:21 p.m., we welcomed our daughter via repeat c-section. Claudia Love Christian weighed in at 7 pounds and was 20 inches long. She truly is the most beautiful thing. So teeny, with long legs and big eyes!

claudia 500 The baby and her family
IMG 1418 500 The baby and her family
paw paw 500 The baby and her family
nick 500 The baby and her family
headed home 500 The baby and her family
bassinet 500 The baby and her family
quinny 500 The baby and her family

I could seriously drown you guys in photos, but I’ll exercise some restraint – for now.

We are settling into a good routine quite nicely and are all just in love with this sweet girl!

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read about my c-section recovery!

pixel The baby and her family