Relevant Modification

“Relevant Modification”
I chose this title and name for this blog because that’s what it’s all about- Making modifications to the way we do things if it’s relevant to growing into our own future.
If you know me, you know that I’m not a fan of doing things the way they’ve always been done just because “It’s the way we’ve always done things.” Now, I’m not necessarily a “rebel,” and I am certainly no “hipster,” and I don’t even think I fit into the category of “Hippie” since I don’t believe in doing things for the mere purpose of being different than somebody else. I DO believe in asking questions, doing research, and deciding on the best course of action for myself (and applying it however it pertains to my family) based on that. I’m not someone who thinks I can invent a new way of doing things that will change the course of History, but I AM someone who dreams of changing the future by STUDYING History and learning from it.
This blog is about changing the things that aren’t working in our lives, tweeking the things that are good but not functional, and celebrating the things that really do work for us- all to make our lives as fulfilling, healthy, and natural as they can possibly be! I hope to celebrate the fact that we are all different people, while explaining things that have worked for me personally to simplify, naturalize, and beautify every day life. I would like to share what I’ve been learning about everything from nutrition to vitamins, baby-wearing to secrets to a healthier pregnancy, cloth diapering to how to find cute clothes for baby and yourself on a budget, and a lot of things in-between. I believe that the closer we get to the way that God designed things, the happier and more successful we will be in life, and THAT is the heart of this blog in a nutshell!❤
I'll admit, a lot of these things will be pregnancy and family nurturing in nature, just because that's the stage of life that I'm in & that's what I'm passionate about right now. ;] I encourage you to dive in, look around, take what applies to you, and leave the rest for someone else! Because like I said, we are all very different people. :] I hope you can find something that will be helpful to you, and if not? I hope you have a fantastic day anyways, and that you're inspired to search your own life out to see in what areas you can become more fulfilled by doing things the way God designed them to work.❤
Peace & Love.
Gianna.

DIY up cycled doll clothes / cheap DIY dolly and me outfits

Hello all!

This is a little off the beaten path, but useful none the less, I hope.😉

I should probably mention before we dive in that if you are OCD, or a perfectionist of any kind, you may want to go find another tutorial! 😂 The pictures are quick-snapped with my iPhone, and I eyeballed all the measurements. Did I say measurements? I mean I used my judgement briefly before snip-snapping away with my scissors and sewing it up.😉  This one is for the mamas who would rather get it done in 20 minutes! Of course, you’re more than welcome to take the general idea and measure everything out for a more designer look. I won’t judge if you don’t. 😜😘
So moving on! This is a quick thrown together “tutorial” for how to make a doll romper (or dress) out of a toddler tshirt or onesie. Tutorial is a little iffy. I’m not a world class sewer, so bear with me and take it the best way possible. 😂 

I have this reoccurring problem where my daughters’ clothes drawers end up FULL of clothes that are still so cute but too stained to re-sell.:/ What to do? Luckily, they are both obsessed with their dollies, who need new clothes every so often when they completely destroy the ones they have. 😑☺️ So what better way to hold onto the sentimental clothing that no longer fits than to up cycle it into something dolly can proudly wear for awhile? It’s also a super easy way to make dolly and me outfits! Simply buy two of the same shirt and make one into a romper for dolly.🙂 This is a great option for little boys who are practicing to become good daddies one day.😉 it can be hard to find doll clothes for those special dolls and teddy bears, right? Right.
You will need:

A sewing machine and coordinating thread , scissors, tape measure (heh), pins, and the shirt you want to up-cycle.

SO! Grab your kid’s tshirt and lay it out on a flat surface. I chose to use this cute-but-stained onesie!

  

Lay your dolly out on top of the shirt to get an idea of size, and roughly trace the shape of a romper or little dress- leaving length for hemming if desired.

This is what I ended up with. I used a marker, but you can use chalk or fabric marker of you like.

(Also note that I chose to use the existing collar as part of my cut. You can do this, or cut your own collar, flip it over, and sew it up if you would rather)

  
Then chop away! Woohoo 

My marks are gonna show because I shortened the sleeve opening. Oops. 😂 don’t be like me, guys.   
Put the right sides of the fabric together and sew across the shoulders!

I’m using a tight zigzag stitch all the way through this process to give it a bit of stretch.  
(If you want to add sleeves, do that now. I don’t have pictures of that because i didn’t bother, but if you have ever made sleeves before I’m sure you can do it.)

Since I’m not doing sleeves, I flipped the “sleeve” edge of the fabric over, so that the right side of the fabric was showing, and pinned it and sewed so there wouldn’t be a raw edge sticking out.

  
It should look like this now when flipped right side out  

 
Now, laying the romper right side out like pictures above, we are going to hem the leg pieces and make them even with each other. (If you’re making a dress, just pin all the way around to make the hem even)

Sew across each hem piece (4 of them, don’t sew them together) using the same seam allowance for each, then turn the romper inside out again. 

  
When you’re done with that, pin the corners of the leg holes together juuuuuust how you want them (like this). Then place pins where you want the arm openings to start. Really, add as many pins as you want. 😂

  
Sew up the outside edge of the romper from foot to arm hole, then repeat on the other side.

  Now sew from the inside corner of one foot opening to the other. 
 Trim off any excessive extras. 
Turn it inside out! You’re DONE ALREADY! Whaaaaat.

  
Yes it’s a little rough. Let’s be honest, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time on it. What’s important is that the tiny child you made it for is happy, and for at least 5 minutes that doll will not be naked. 🙌

  
  

Hope you have enjoyed this. & I hope you clothe all the dollies. 😂 Be sure to let me know if you try it and how it went for you! ✌️
Peace& Love.

Gianna. 

Natural Baby Hair Spray

Hey everyone🙂

So slight backstory:

I came across this idea when I was looking for hair spray for my wild child’s extremely fine and silky hair. Her hair doesn’t stay put for braids, or twists, or even a simple pony tail (much to my chagrin). 😜 I know that most of that is due to her constant moving and bouncing, but I was still in need of a way to at least keep her hair together long enough to get to church. I wasn’t a huge fan of the idea of putting hair spray in my toddlers hair, because I hated what it did to my hair and was in the process of moving to a more natural hair routine for myself… But her hair was prone to fly-always and looking like she didn’t have a mother who cared 🙈🙈, so something was needed! 

  
I asked some friends what they use for their littles, and an acquaintance recommended aloe Vera. I consulted Google for a bit of looking into it, and learned that it’s a wonderful natural conditioner, among other things! So I bought my supplies and gave it a try. My first try yielded greasy hair that stayed wet looking because I didn’t realize a few drops did the trick. 🙈 So we tweeked it &tried again, and I am pleased with the results. I’ve been using this on her hair for about a year now, and I love it. It doesn’t cause build up, and it leaves her hair soft and shiny and it really catches the light! I also have recently started to use it on my 10 month olds crazy hair that stands straight on end. 😊
It works well for both of them!

Okay! So. On to the good stuff. 

  
You’ll need a spritz bottle (small is good, to keep things fresh) 100% pure cold pressed aloe Vera oil (I bought mine on Amazon), lavender essential oil (optional but recommended), and clean water to fill.

If your child (or yourself!) has more fine or thin hair, you’ll only want about 1/8 tsp aloe or less in your water. If your child has thicker or curly hair, you may want a touch more. But a tiny touch is all it takes.🙂 add 2 drops of lavender EO, and fill the rest with water! It’s that simple. Shake well immediately, and shake well before each use. 😊 

Its scary easy. 

I use this as a detangler, as well. I generally spray it throughout their hair before I brush it out, and add more as needed for very tangled areas. I also use it as a finishing spray. :) 

Does it hold up as well as a store bought hair spray? Yes and no. 

If you’ve ever tried to hold a toddlers hair in place with hair spray you’re probably aware that short of “mega hold instant freeze” type of products, hold just doesn’t keep well. I’m happy and satisfied if my daughters hair remains smoothed and looking like I did in fact comb it today even if it’s being worn down. ;) 
Bina’s fluffy locks normally:  

  When we comb it with our hairspray: 

 Gennas hair in its natural state (yay morning faces):  
After we comb it out with hairspray:

 

I’ve recently started using it on my own hair because of that wintertime dryness, and I like the affect that it has on my hair as well. 

Anyways! If you make some for your baby or yourself, I would love to know how it works out for you! Make sure to come back and let me know. 😘

10 Nuggets of Advice For New Moms. <3

Hello All. :]

I’m just going to jump right in and throw this out there…

Yesterday I cried a lot.

I cried because I was exhausted. Waking up on a scattered 4 hours total of sleep when you were already boarder-line exhausted isn’t the best way to start a day. Especially when you’re greeted with the never ending energy and exuberance of an 18 month old. Somehow in that moment that cute bundle of energy just amplifies your own sluggish inability to form a complete sentence. (Luckily- toddlers are very good at communicating entirely through gestures, grunts, and head bobs)


I cried because it felt like life was upside-down. After all, new routines take time and work to establish, and new normals take a lot of awkward to get to, and everything in between is just a whole lot of uncertain newness. It’s not bad or unpleasant… It’s just different. & that can be rough. Especially if you have a dear child who thrives on routine.

I cried because… Hormones.

& mostly I cried because it hurts to break. I mean.. My flesh doesn’t like to die.

Years ago, at the beginning of this journey of Motherhood, I told God that I wanted to learn to love deeply, knowing that it would come at a cost… He has been so faithful in gently leading me through normal life situations and using them to break me so He can rid me of the walls I’ve built up in my heart, freeing me to love more perfectly. It’s difficult sometimes, and yet It’s amazing what the intense love we have for our children can inspire within us… Bravery, courage, resilience, humility, and so much sacrifice. While I don’t consider the every day (and night!) tasks of motherhood to be a trial or tribulation, I do want to allow the moments of intense pressure that arise to make me a better person. I don’t want to smooth things over and make them “okay”. I don’t want to numb myself with coping methods… I want to feel it all intensely and allow it to reveal things in my life and heart that need to be changed. I want to become less self focused and allow my heart to be turned towards my husband and my children until thinking of them first and foremost is completely natural to me.

I want motherhood to make me into the image of Christ. Because the more of that my children can see as they grow and are taught by me, the easier it will be for them to see and serve and follow Christ on their own.


Anyways. Despite the hardships of yesterday, today has been great. :p & as I giggled to myself over how dramatic life’s ups and downs can be while newly postpartum, I was reminded of my first time mommy days, & my favorite bits of advice that I love to share with my close friends as they anticipate motherhood. The advice is made up of things I felt I learned the most dramatically in the first few months of Motherhood.🙂 I hope that by sharing them, I can encourage someone else who is now where I was then. (Or maybe even is where I am now, because goodness knows I need the reminder some days! Heh.)


1. You’re about to go through the biggest identity change of your lifetime. Know that, and don’t be afraid of it. You’re about to find out exactly what you’ve been getting your identity from, because in the first weeks of your child’s life, it’s likely that you won’t be able to draw your identity source from those things anymore. Embrace this as a time to ask God who you really are as He sees you. And don’t stress about it… Becoming comfortable in your new skin takes time.🙂 it’s beautiful, and you are beautiful. This is the beginning of something wonderful! Everything you have learned and been in your life thus far has been preparing you for this! You can do it. ❤️
2. Going from woman and wife to wife and mother is a big step. Talk about your feelings, and remember that your hormones dictate a lot of them. Choose to believe the best in every situation, and TALK about EVERYTHING (This includes being willing to listen patiently, and being as understanding as you want him to be. It’s an adjustment for hubby, too). Communication is so important right now for your marriage! Don’t let miscommunication and misunderstandings take away what should be a wonderful bonding time for your new family! This baby is half you, half him. It’s completely wonderful. Fall in love all over again.🙂


3. You’re the only person who knows your limits. Other people can’t read your mind. When it comes to the recovery period just after having a baby, every woman is different. Some welcome guests immediately, some wish to be left alone in privacy to bond with their new child. You’re the only one who knows when you’re feeling overwhelmed or when you need your space. Your husband, relatives, and friends aren’t bleeding after a 14 hour intense labor and running on far too few hours of sleep (not to mention dealing with a roller coaster ride of hormones and new emotions)… So if you don’t let them know when you’ve had enough, they won’t respect those wishes on their own.😉

4. Find another mom who you trust, who you know you can text any time of the day or night to ask “IS THIS NORMAL?!” Seriously. There are moments when you just need to vent… Or want to know if it’s okay that the baby’s temp has gone up a half a degree or if she needs a sweater because it’s damp outside?? Or if the baby’s poo changing color is good or bad?? Or why you feel like crying all day even though you’re so happy, or if you’re a bad mommy because the baby has been crying for an hour and you can’t make it stop… That person who will reassure you that there is no normal but that you’re doing just fine is a lifesaver.🙂


5. Sit outside every evening, weather permitting. Bonus points for doing this with hubby and baby. The fresh air does wonders for the soul.
6. Set bedtime for baby an hour before you and hubby usually retire. I did this by feed scheduling during the day, with the last feeding at the same time every night. Since the baby was eating every 3 hours, and the stretch right after the 8pm feeding was the only stretch she was permitted to sleep longer than 3 hours, this quickly became her longest stretch of sleep, which continued to grow until it became all night. If you would rather feed on demand, you can still develop a bedtime routine at the same time every night that cues baby that this is bedtime. That hour of uninterrupted time with hubby is completely invaluable to your outlook on life! ❤️


7. Don’t stress on the bad days. His mercies are new every morning. I remember days as a first time mom when my baby screamed for hours and nothing I did would console her. Baby’s crying can quickly dismantle a new moms mental stability, and I called my husband in tears many times wondering what I was supposed to do. Those were long and hard days.. But looking back, those are the days when I really became a Mother. Those were the days when I didn’t have it figured out, and I didn’t have the answers… All I could offer was my presence, and all the love in my aching heart. And I learned that was enough. I was enough. Even if things weren’t perfect… As long as I was continuing to do my best, and opening my heart up, it was gonna be okay. We were gonna get through this. And we did.🙂 and they bonded us so much. I remember whispering “This is a first for both of us, you know… We’re gonna have to learn this together.” And I was so relieved to realize that I didn’t care that she didn’t know everything, and I don’t think she cared that I didn’t, either.”

8. The hard moments make you willing to adapt. It’s true. When things get really difficult, we realize something isn’t working like it should and we tweek things until they work smoothly. That’s how motherhood works. We’re good at it! So embrace it. Don’t get caught up in a blame game or feelings of failure when something in life just “doesn’t work”, just look at it as an opportunity for improvement. Try try try something new. You will succeed. :]


9. Don’t buy into our culture’s idea that fearing failure and harm is what makes you a good parent. Surprise! If you’re human, you are absolutely gonna make parenting mistakes. There is no way to make it through parenting without hurting your child. But guess what? We believe in a God who is a REDEEMER. That means not only does he forgive, but He makes something beautiful out of our mistakes. If you continue to say “I’m sorry! Please forgive me!” And continue to pursue an open and honest relationship with your kids, the good, the bad, and the ugly will all only make your relationship stronger. So do your best, and do what you believe is right, and leave the rest to be worked out in the daily grind.

10 charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭4-8‬ KJV) This is the only standard that you should try to live up to in your daily life of motherhood.

Love, Peace, & lots of coffee to all the mommies! 😘

❤️#xoXO

Gianna.

Nesting is my favorite. <3

Hello All.

With only 11 weeks to go until I get to see my little bebe face to face at last (give or take about 2 1/2 weeks), nesting is in full swing around here!

Husband thinks I’m silly, because it’s still 2 1/2 months away, [and how much can a baby really need!!] But he graciously puts up with me just because of how happy it makes me to “fluff the nest” and make our living space more functional and soft. Also because my nesting instinct has caused me to organize and dejunk for the past 7 months, and he is very okay with that. *hehe*

I thought I would share some of my favorite projects as of late.

In a word? SEWING.

I sewed a cover for a craigslist rocker, glider for the nursery:

(before)                                                   (after)

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& I sewed up what will (Hopefully) be baby’s first outfit.

One of Anthony’s old t-shirts for if it’s a boy:

(&sea blue moccs, & a red THX newborn diaper)

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& one of my favorite old tanktops for if it’s a girl.❤

(with baby pink moccs & a polkadot THX newborn diaper)

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I’m not the world’s most accomplished seamstress, but these were SO fun.❤ I love the idea of baby’s first outfits being so sentimental and familiar! I guess I tend towards the sentimental things. :]

Plus now I have outfits ready, & [FINALLY] names picked out. This makes my mommy heart SO happy & calms the nesting anxiety within. ;] I feel like I’m basically ready now, minus a few details that can be worked on as I go.😀

In case you’re itching for some fun sewing projects of your own:

Here’s the tutorial and pattern for these repurposed t-shirt sleep sacks: http://thismamamakesstuff.com/tutorial-rockin-baby-gown-t-shirt-refashion/

I’m also going to be attempting these: http://www.feathersflights.com/2012/04/baby-shortall-from-adult-t-shirt.html

&of  course more tiny leggings, because they’re SO fun to make&& WHO doesn’t love bitty leggings in cute prints??? : http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/09/super-simple-leggings-only-2-fabric-pieces.html

happy sewing & nesting & homemaking, mamas.❤

Gianna .

Secret Weapons of Pregnancy [3rd Trimester Edition]

If you didn’t get a chance to look at the post that prefaced this one, Secret Weapons of Pregnancy [1st & 2nd Trimester Edition] you can do so by clicking on the title. :] I won’t bother repeating myself on the matters of nutrition and vitamins that I discussed in that post, so it may be helpful to review it really quick if you haven’t already done so. ;]

Moving along! The third trimester of pregnancy is honestly my very favorite one. I know this varies from woman to woman, (with the majority of women preferring the comfort of the second trimester), but for me the “comfort” of the second trimester was overrun by the stretching pains, awkward “is it a baby bump or is she just fat?” moments, and the squeamish impatience that may or may not be a character flaw I need to work on. ;D Don’t get me wrong, I deeply appreciate and enjoy each trimester and it’s unique challenges and joys! But really, who doesn’t love the homestretch of a marathon? ;]

These are some tips and ideas of things you can do in the 3rd trimester to prepare your body for that “marathon” of labor that comes right before that sweet little bundle is [FINALLY] in your arms.❤

(As I noted in part 1 of this post, all of these things are suggestions and things that have worked for me, but they may not necessarily be right for you. Please DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, and talk to a trusted health care provider/ midwife about these things. My midwife and I probably do not see eye to eye on every single thing that has to do with my care and my baby’s care during pregnancy, but she trusts me to base my opinions on solid research I’ve done, and I trust her that she is keeping my baby & my health first in her concerns, and I respect her opinions very much.)

Vitamins:

Along with the Prenatal vitamins I’ve been taking, I double the dose of C & E towards the end of the first trimester/beginning of the 3rd trimester. Whenever it is that you really feel like your belly is starting to get “out there” is a good time to double up, since C and E will promote that elasticity that keeps your belly from getting itchy and uncomfortable.

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Liquid Calcium & Magnesium:

     Since you’re growing a whole set of bones and teeth for a tiny person, it’s really next to impossible to devour too much calcium! Taking a supplement will turn out well for your teeth and bones as well, especially if you are having  pregnancies less than 2 years apart (like me. hehe) I like to take liquid because it seems to absorb better and with less discomfort. Besides. Who REALLY wants to swallow a million pills a day. (not I!) Take the recommended daily dose throughout the 3rd trimester, and then double it (one dose in the morning, one in the evening) about a week before your expected due date.

     It’s also worth noting that magnesium helps you to relax and sleep better (which we all need a little more of in our lives once we hit that big belly stage), and calcium/mag will help to lower your sensitivity to pain, while also giving your muscles what they need to be strong. Am I hearing a woo-hoo for the affects of this in labor? ;] SPEAKING of labor, my Mom and I both have been lucky enough to have dr./midwives who allowed us to consume liquid calcium by the tablespoon-full when active labor was established. (you want to avoid doing this too early on, as calcium can relax or slow labor if it isn’t fully established-much like hot water can) We took it once every hour up until close to transition, and it is wonderful how it can take the sharp edge off of the pain.

    Also worth noting: Calcium is great to continue taking while breast feeding, as it will supply your little one and help to replenish you after spending the better part of a year growing a child. :]  & a few months down the road, it makes a WONDERFUL teething “medicine.” I have heard multiple moms tell me that it worked better for their child than Tylenol and oragel, and the same is true for my daughter.

(I chose to take the “beeyoutiful” brand, because it comes from a trusted source & absorbs well you can get that HERE)

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Red Raspberry Leaf Tea:

Different than the pregnancy tea I mentioned in the first post, this tea is stronger and more concentrated in ingredients that will tone your uterus in preparation for labor. Start with a cup a day, and gradually move up to 2-3 a day towards your due date. You can also alternate Red Raspberry Leaf Tea and Pregnancy tea if you like. They’re both lovely tasting, and need little sweetener.  This tea will likely help you out by increasing your Braxton hicks contractions, so by all means listen to your body and decrease the dose if you feel you need to. And by all means, mamas, STAY HYDRATED. You can’t blame the RRLT for making you crampy and yucky feeling in the last trimester if you aren’t drinking enough water!

Do your reading on this tea and it’s benefits. It’s a wonderful tool that I wish every mama would use.

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For the last 5 weeks:

   There are several different versions of this intense herbal concoction that is intended to prepare your body for labor, but the version that I took was called 5-W. (so called because it’s for the last 5 weeks of pregnancy) These pills should be started at the lowest dose, and increased until you’re taking the maximum recommended dosage approximately 2 weeks before your EDD. I don’t get worked up about mothers going overdue, since every baby and every woman is different, and also because plenty of research shows that the original timeline used to determine gestation is closer to 42 weeks than the 40 weeks that are prescribed to every women in modern day medicine. That being said, I do think that every woman should be doing her part to ensure that her baby DOES come when it is ready to come, and to me that means giving your uterus a head start with natural herbs, and walking, walking, walking to get baby in optimal position so that when he or she decides it’s time to arrive, there is nothing holding them back! :]  Some websites say that these pills “induce labor”, but I would tend to disagree. If you have an irritable uterus, this is not for you, obviously. & again I say, if you don’t intend to keep your body properly nourished and hydrated, PLEASE do not attempt something like this. But if you are a low risk, healthy woman, this is not going to force your baby out. Trust me, from someone who walked 2 miles a day (briskly!), took this stuff, drank RRLT, and even tried DANCING, babies tend to wait to come until they’re ready to come. :p

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Evening Primrose Oil:

This is a controversial subject, so discuss it with your healthcare provider and research to decide if it’s right for you. I started taking it orally at 3 weeks before my EDD, and about a week before my EDD, I would poke a pin in the capsule of one of these pills, and insert it vaginally before bed. (don’t try it during the day, it will leak out! haha) The purpose of it is to soften up the cervix to allow dilation to happen naturally, therefore aiding in an on-time labor.

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>>>We’re all adults here, so I am just going to come out and say it. I apologize if this makes you uncomfortable, but chances are if you’re pregnant then this isn’t new to you, so just try to take it the best way possible! 

Sex Is A Good Idea.

 Having sex does much of the same thing as Evening Primrose oil. There is a natural substance in semen that will also help to soften up the cervix, and help your body to dilate properly. It’s even delivered right to the source. (sorry if that was too graphic) I mean if you are feeling up to it, by ALL means go that natural route with this- every night! ;D I’m sure your hubby will be thrilled! & Let’s face it, there’s going to be a long drought coming up after giving birth, so you might as well enjoy the rain now-if you know what I’m saying. :p Sex also works a lot of muscles that will be useful during labor. It’s especially good for pregnant women to be “on top”, since they are able to control penetration to their own comfort level & get a good abdominal work-out. Connecting with your husband on a sexual level will also do great things for you emotionally during pregnancy. Feel-good endorphins from the exercise, confidence from the approval, feeling beautiful, and emotional closeness to your spouse – what’s not to love??

Other Helpful ideas:

Water:

By now, your amniotic fluid is turning over a lot. To keep myself motivated to drink water, I tried to think of my baby as being in a fishbowl. (It was a cozy, studio style, fully furnished fishbowl of course!)  Ya gotta keep that fishbowl clean. The only way to do that is by giving it a constant supply of fresh clean water. Of course, it’s much more complicated than that in real life, because we are fearfully and wonderfully made! But it’s a good image to keep in mind. ;]

 

Don’t Soap The Belly.

That skin is working hard to keep up with your growing insides! So try to avoid stripping the natural oils out of your skin that help it to do it’s job. Just avoid rubbing soap over your stomach when showering, and be sure to moisturize when you get out of the shower. My favorites are cold-pressed coconut oil or olive oil.

Moisturize before Bed:

Rub a good belly oil or just plain coconut oil on your stomach every night before bed. This helps so, so much in avoiding itchy stretching skin throughout the day! Don’t forget the breasts, hips, and thighs, as they are stretching too. Some nights I have hubby rub the oil on my belly while he talks to our baby. Small child is always a fan of this, and I feel like it gives us all some good bonding time.❤

Exercise Is Your Friend.

Especially the good kinds. Like walking. And chasing your toddler. & Babywearing. & walking. Did I mention walking? ;] Walking isn’t just good for inducing labor when you’re a week and 5 days over due… Walking is a wonderful natural thing that a) helps the baby get in a good position. b) uses gravity to get the baby nestled down and engaged. c) helps you stay active and build up stamina for your big work out coming up. d) Gets your blood pumping, your heard thumping, and fills you with feel-good endorphins. What’s not to love?? Bouncing on an exercise ball is good for getting that baby down there, too. Swimming is another great activity for pregnant women, since it’s very low impact. Try googling “pregnancy exercise” if your midwife or doctor hasn’t given you a list of exercises that help strengthen you for labor. There is a ridiculous amount of info out there. Set a goal, set a routine, and I promise you it will make you feel better. Many of the aches and pains of pregnancy can be eased with a good walk and some exercise.

Walking is also wonderful for labor. If you’re having “false labor” (I hate that term… let’s call it “practice labor”), walking will help to calm it down so you can rest. If it’s the real deal, walking will amp it up a notch! (maybe take that cell phone with you incase your water breaks half way around the block?) ;]

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Stretching:

Because ligaments all become very gummy in preparation for the exit of your child through a space that otherwise wouldn’t be nearly big enough (try not to think about it too much), it’s not a terribly good idea to put a lot of strain on them by trying to become a ballerina in your 3rd trimester. That being said, there are stretches you can do that can greatly reduce the pains that come from everything else in our body stretching. ;] Middle back pain is something that many pregnant women deal with, because of all the weight pulling at the front of their frame. While good posture is an obvious must, these up-and-down stretches will help too. Bonus points if you breathe deeply while doing this exercise, and think ONLY on things that are good, lovely, pure, kind, and of good report for the few minutes you’re stretching. ;]

1. Start on your hands and knees, knees under hips, and hands under shoulders.

2. Slowly look up, and dip your back down in a fluid motion, breathe deep & stretch deep. hold for a few seconds.

3. Slowly look down as you arch your back up, breathe deep & stretch deep. Hold for a few seconds.

4. Back to starting position. Repeat 10x, or as many as it takes to feel relaxed.

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Emotional Health:

   The best thing you can do for yourself is to find someone you trust and talk about your feelings. Even the ridiculous ones. If there is fear in your heart, TALK TO SOMEONE and find a way before God to let it go and find healing from it. Fear inhibits anything great that we purpose to do, and labor is no exception. I don’t say this to bring condemnation on anyone, just to give you hope that it doesn’t have to be “normal.” Our culture has breathed so much fear into women about labor and the “pain” of it, that I hear young girls saying all the time “I’m not going to have babies, because it’s too scary and painful.” It’s sickening, and saddening. I could preach on this, but I think I’ll save it for another time. ;] Just know that the moment you are looking at your baby for the first time, every single second of that pain was so, so worth it.❤ You were MADE to do this, you were called to do this, and you absolutely have what it takes.❤

xoxo.

Gianna.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Struggle.

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If I could go back in time and tell newly postpartum self one thing, it would simply be “Don’t be afraid of the struggle.”

In fact, that would probably apply to labor.

And to pregnancy.

And to marriage.

And to dating.

And to my teenaged single life.

And to those awkward pre-teen years.

&… Well, I think you get the point.

But really, I need the reminder to not be afraid of the struggle every single day of my mothering life. It’s a hard lesson to learn, a schooling laced with tears and confusion and feelings of complete inadequacy… But once grasped, it is the quiet confidence that the craziest days of our lives truly and desperately need.

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I remember so well that struggle… The feelings of anxiety that were not welcome in my heart amidst the euphoric bliss of being a new mother. The precious child that I had carried for pretty much eternity (okay so it was only 41 weeks) was finally in my arms, and I got to gaze into her precious little face and smell that heavenly newborn smell every single day. and night. ;] …She was a good baby, too! For the first day or two I woke her up every 5 hours to feed her at night, and every 3 hours during the day to be sure she was getting enough, and to help establish my milk supply… But there were still those days when she would cry and cry and cry (& I wasn’t much better) and nothing that I did could seem to appease her. I thought surely I must be the world’s worst mother. Did I not have what it takes? Why didn’t I know what she wanted? Was I doing the right thing? Not knowing what was going on stressed me out. Surely every other mom in the world would know what to do right now, and there I was so hopelessly lost. No experienced mothers, including my mom, seemed concerned about it, which made me feel EVEN worse. Why was I all worked up if it wasn’t a big deal?

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It took me until about now, days after my daughter’s first birthday, to realize the biggest thing that the last year has taught me. It’s taught me not to be afraid of the struggle… And how that means that in the middle of a really hard every day, you can’t hold yourself to impossible standards, because they will leave you with regrets that are not yours to carry. If you hold your every day life in comparison of the best pieces of each of your friend’s lives that you see on facebook, instagram, and pinterest, you are setting yourself up to a) feel like a failure, and b) be unhappy with the beautiful life that is only yours to live. Not being afraid of the struggle means understanding in your mind, even before it is understood deep in your heart, that the really hard moments of struggle are the moments that make life workable. Those are the moments where you choose to bend, to change something, to try something different and new… The moments where you become desperate enough to change what you’ve always done and the way you’ve always done it, even the way that you always pictured yourself doing things. Its a choice motivated by the rub and discomfort, a choice that you make in love to do what’s best for those around you. The struggle makes you realize how much what you’re fighting for means to you. The struggle helps you to make things better, and more functional. The struggle weeds out selfishness, it gets rid of the fancy cover that we put over all of our problems, and on all of our deepest fears and insecurities. The struggle helps us realize who we are under our own facades, and the struggle pushes us to focus on bettering our real selves, and to spend less time on our images. The struggle makes us brave, because we see more clearly that challenges are to be taken head-on, and never to be run from. The struggle takes us deeper in every relationship around us, and blends us to the people that we struggle with.

Ladies, the struggle is what makes us “Mom.”

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Getting through that struggle, and being willing to go through the struggle, is what makes us that one person that our children know they can depend on and run to no matter what.

The struggle of birth. The struggle of learning to care for a new life. The struggle of teething days. The struggle of new dynamics in all of our previous relationships. The struggle of growing pains. The struggle of adapting to each new phase of life and making it work. The struggle of balancing everything that calls for our attention.

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Honestly, some times it feels like every day is full of the struggle of motherhood… But I know, looking back over the past year, how much that struggle has already changed me! It gives me courage to keep embracing the struggle, even when I want so badly to escape it some days… Because even if I distract myself from the struggle with GOOD things, it will not have the same deep rewards in my life and my children’s lives as we will reap if I apply myself to the mundane, and embrace it as a challenge.

Life is so beautiful. & These babies I’ve been given to guard and raise up to be incredible people were given to ME for a reason. I’ve been taught and given everything that I need to succeed as their mother, and I intend to keep learning all of my life to give them everything that I can. I don’t want to let life slip by, trying to keep myself motivated by public opinion, or trying to “cope” with the struggle of normal life. I want to LIVE with purpose, knowing that there is beauty in this struggle! Knowing that right now THIS is my destiny, and THIS is where I will find my fulfillment.

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I’m expecting baby #2 right now, I am 17 weeks along and looking forward to April VERY much!❤ & I thought that I would be worried or stressed about the changes to come, and the potential struggle of 2 babies under two, and what that would mean for every day life for me… But instead I feel confident that the God who has changed me and made me adequate to the tasks of today will certainly do the same for me tomorrow… I’m trying to take it a day at a time, and learning to adjust life to the challenges of a growing baby bump & a toddler who still loves her snuggle time. ;]

& Above anything else, I am trying to remember that love always changes us for the better.. That God designed it that way.. That we are happiest when surrendered to love in any and every form, even if that form of love is sacrifice.❤

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Mamas, you are amazing. Nobody in the world could take your place or fill your shoes. You and only you hold the power to make or break your home and the little hearts that grow in it. This isn’t a guilt trip, its an encouragement! A “rah-rah-go-you!” to help you remember that every day IS important, that every sacrifice DOES good, that at the end of the day when you are exhausted- you have made a real difference in the world by just doing what you do. Thank you, Mamas. Keep up the good work. & tomorrow? Don’t be afraid of the struggle. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.❤

-Gianna.

Secret Weapons of Pregnancy [1st& 2nd trimester edition]

Let me just start by saying that I wish each woman the happiest, healthiest, and easiest pregnancy and delivery possible!

I’ll also add a disclaimer at the beginning of this post, since when it comes to matters of nutrition, health, and supplements, there are as many opinions as there are products, and many of those opinions can get quite heated! But fortunately for me, I am the one who is composing this blog post, so you’ll get to hear MY opinions, and how I came to them. ;]  Although I do plenty of research for the choices I make, I also rely heavily on what “feels right” to me in my decision making. Because every woman and situation is different, I am a huge advocate of both of these things! Do your own research, do NOT just take my word for it! & use your own judgment! A mother’s instinct is a powerful thing. ;]

I would also like to say that it is important to discuss supplements you intend to take during your pregnancies with your health care provider. However, there is a disclaimer to that as well. Most healthcare providers have not been trained in herbs, vitamins, and their affects and benefits on the human body. A lot of these medical professionals have also not been trained extensively on nutritional needs, and honestly a lot of their schooling and knowledge in these things is somewhat limited and dated. Since they operate in a world of medicine, that is what they know well. Does that make sense? I have nothing against doctors! I think they’re wonderful, and a great resource to have! I am simply noting to you that you cannot rely on your doctor to do all of your research for you, or to make all of your family’s health decisions for you. :]

Okay! Let’s get started, shall we? ;]

My Secret Weapons of Pregnancy! [First and Second Trimester Edition] (there will be a whole post on third trimester secrets coming later!)

These are “secrets” that I would LOVE to shout from the roof-top! Being a huge supporter of natural birth, I would love to make the whole experience more enjoyable, attainable, and effective for every single woman out there! A healthy baby is what we all want, but is a smooth delivery too much to hope for? I don’t think it is. We’ll address the emotional preparation for it another day, but today I want to focus on boosting your pregnancy power! ;]

Prepare before you conceive:

Having a happy healthy pregnancy can be more attainable if you prepare for it ahead of time! I encourage any young lady who is preparing for marriage, or who is even starting to THINK about children to start preparing NOW. The longer your body has to store up vitamins and build up healthy nutrition, the better things will go for you in your pregnancy! This is especially important for mothers who already have children. With your first baby, your body had (?? 20+ years maybe?) to store up the vitamins and nutrition it would need to produce an exceptional and healthy child! Growing a human being takes quite a toll on your body, though, and conscious thought should be put into replenishing those lost (but certainly not wasted) nutrients. Calcium and magnesium, iron (naturally- I discourage the use of iron suppliments), along with B vitamins, C complex vitamins, and vitamin A should be readily available. Many of these things can be found in whole grains (not the store-bought kinds- sorry!), red meats, chicken, fish, vegetables, deep greens, whole RAW milk, real cheese, and other such natural foods. Getting enough protein is a necessity in any stage of life, and it is scarily neglected in our day-to-day food consumption!

I very much recommend the book “Let’s Have Healthy Children” By Adelle Davis for health and nutrition advice. While she tends to come across a little strong in her beliefs, I still think there is good to be taken from her book! Besides. Who can really find a book they agree 100% with? ;] It is a wonderful guide to preparing for conception, pregnancy nutritional needs, preparing for a healthy delivery, and the benefits of breast feeding. It even includes a nutritionally sound baby formula recipe, for those unable to breast feed their child for whatever reason. The book is no longer in print, but I found mine on amazon.com, and they do still have them available there from time to time.

I also recommend finding yourself a good prenatal vitamin to start on before you plan to conceive. It can take vitamins a little while before your body is absorbing the full affects of them, and then there’s that pesky fact that the first 4 weeks of pregnancy one is generally unaware of the existence of the baby. ;] Since those first 4 weeks are vital in the aspect of cells splitting and splitting and splitting again to form your wee one, already being on a multi-vitamin that supplies the demand suddenly put on your body is a really good idea. ;]

*The prenatal vitamin that I currently take is not actually labeled a “prenatal” vitamin. It’s a women’s multi vitamin that is well balanced and very well conducted. It was designed for women’s needs specifically, and is chocked full of little extras that promote energy, beauty, and over all health. I chose to use it for a prenatal vitamin because it supplies all of the basic needs that I feel prenatal vitamins should meet. It also contains the B vitamin folate, which I prefer over the synthetic version folic acid. These pills are called “super mom,” and are available >>Here<<. (I get the vcaps instead of the tablets because they are easier for me to swallow… I have to take twice as many for a daily recommended dosage, but that’s okay to me since swallowing tablets while not feeling my best does NOT work for me!)

(forgive the cellphone quality pictures. My DSLR is on loan to my mother right now. heh)

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In the first few weeks of pregnancy:

Now, I will be the last person in the world to tell a mama in her first trimester that she needs to adhere to a strict diet. Mostly because my two pregnancies have been SOOOOOO different from each other! In my first pregnancy, I was hungry ALL the time. I loved cottage cheese (great source of protein) and spinach (great source of iron), and would eat them together with seasoned salt on top for a snack almost every day. I also loved muffins of any kind, and Mexican food! (I had to watch that a bit! haha) Now this current pregnancy (my second) has been completely the opposite! From about 6 weeks, I have been at the mercy of whatever food choice sounds like it might go down and stay down! (although luckily I haven’t vomited yet) I am not hungry very often, and have been eating small amounts every few hours because feeling full makes me feel just not pleasant at ALL. I just cringed and shuddered typing about cottage cheese and spinach, as I can hardly stand the THOUGHT- let alone the taste- of those things this time around! I have had to become creative with snacking, and I have been eating a lot of soup because it’s so easy on the digestive system. :]  The point being that in these first few weeks, I would say its probably okay to eat what you need to eat to keep going- ESPECIALLY if you’re throwing everything up! But if you can try to steer towards things like protein and away from empty carbs (things made with white flower and starch), you will probably feel much better.

First Trimester Tips and tricks:

*If your morning sickness is quite bad, try to just eat something like toast that’s dry, just a few bites every 15 mins or so. Keeping your stomach from getting empty is a good way to avoid making your “morning sickness” worse.

*Have hubby grill some chicken tenders and put it in the fridge for you to pull out and gnaw on with some whole wheat bread, and something fatty like mayo if you can handle it. Protein is what you need to keep going, and the good carbs give you fuel.  A lot of women prefer dryer meat during this time of the pregnancy.

*Find something you can drink. Anything. And sip it out of a straw. Avoid carbonated beverages, but natural juices can be a very good thing. Whole raw milk is wonderful if you like it! (You can’t possible get too much calcium in your system while growing a baby or breast feeding) If you can’t keep down a whole lot of liquids, try making your own popsicles! That can be an easier way of getting some liquids to settle on a queasy stomach.

*Frozen greek yogurt. I got mine in squeeze-tubes, and popped them in the freezer. They’re an easy snack for you or the kiddos! [Protein! yay! haha]

*Suck on a mint, or a lemon drop! Hard candy helps, true story. If you like ginger, then get ginger chews or ginger candies to suck on.

*Take your vitamins with a meal or snack close to bed time. In the first few weeks, vitamins made me feel sleepy and a little yucky! So taking them before bed allowed me to sleep through those unpleasant side affects, and wake up to the energy they provided.

When you start to feel better:

This can happen anywhere between 10-15 weeks, normally. & my, is it a glorious feeling! ;] This is the time to start being more conscious about having an adequate diet!

Things to consider-

*My first thought when I started to pay attention to getting exceptional nutrition when I was pregnant was “My goodness. The grocery bill is ridiculous! Is it worth it?” The answer is “YES!” Do you have to spend a fortune to be healthy? No. But good food does cost money! The reason health has declined so dramatically in our country is because its so much CHEAPER for manufacturers to produce a product that is less natural, full of preservatives, and made with chemical-filled ingredients we can’t even pronounce. We buy those products because, well, they’re cheaper! Right? & we don’t think about it that we pay the price later on for saving money on good solid food. Medicine and emergency doctor visits, just for example. Beyond that, we must remember that we’re building the foundation of something that will be permanent- a little human being that will continue to grow on the outside of us. Would you build your new house with cheaper products, intending to live there for many, many years? Well, if you did I bet you would soon realize that the cost of repairs and replacements throughout the house as it aged would have been avoided had you spent a little more on quality building pieces to begin with. As Adelle Davis said in one of her other nutritional books “There is nutrition that maintains, and there is nutrition that grows.” Basically she was saying, as an adult you may be able to get away with faulty nutrition that barely maintains the health of your body (until your body becomes under stress, that is), but little people are growing and growing! They need sound enough nutrition to GROW, and to grow in health. Brain growth and development, bone and muscle growth, and body maturing are no small tasks! we aught to give our children every possible advantage in these areas.

*A good goal is to have protein as your main course, and sides that benefit you nutritionally. Brown rice, quinoa, grilled veggies, fresh salads, seasoning your favorite side dish with yummy herbs, and trying a new vegetable recipe is a great way to add to a meal! Try steamed/boiled cauliflower, sprinkled with garlic salt and parmesan cheese! Or steamed asparagus with butter and salt! Maybe try making artisan mashed potatoes occasionally, with red potatoes and leave the skin on. drain them after boiling and put them immediately into a bowl and use an electric mixer to combine them, some milk, and a dash of butter, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Trying new things is fun, and it makes for interesting meals. :] Our favorite proteins are grass fed beef (steaks occasionally, and more often hamburger. We love grilling hand-pressed burgers or making a stir-fry with chopped veggies and lean hamburger!), hormone free chicken and turkey ( because even though those hormones may have been “safety approved” there have been studies that show they do affect your body, and by extension the body of your unborn child. The very idea of eating meat of animals who have been given chemicals to make them fatter?? ugh! What do we expect it will do to us?!), and (wild caught!) Alaskan salmon, and tilapia! (this is cheaper and safer to buy frozen, as you avoid the risk of spoiled fish, and meat that has been thawed and unthawed multiple times). Fish is a wonderful addition to your diet, and contains fabulous things for your baby’s growing brain. :] If you don’t like fish, it’s probably because you haven’t tried my mama’s recipe yet. ;] But in any case, a total lack of real fish in your natural diet calls for the addition of cod-liver oil capsules into your vitamin routine. The natural DHA found in fish is really important to the health of that little brain that is developing VERY quickly!

-Are you wondering if extra vitamins are necessary? If you are wondering about how someone like me who tends to believe that the things God created should be our standard for “natural” and “good” believes in taking so many vitamins during pregnancy, I will explain where I am coming from. I do not recommend adding any vitamins (ESPECIALLY in a synthetic form) to your diet that could be potentially harmful to you or your child if accidentally you were to take too much. Things like iron, in my opinion, should REALLY try to be obtained naturally, as it is very difficult to get enough iron naturally to harm yourself. (Iron can be obtained through dark leafy greens, red meat, and cooking with a cast iron pan. In extreme need of iron, a woman who eats a small piece of liver once a day for a week will likely be cured of her deficiency.) However, when it comes to things like vitamins C & E, and B complex, and Calcium, not only is it not dangerous, but it’s extremely helpful! If you want to guide your diet carefully enough to be sure you get all of these vitamins in the amounts that are adequate for optimal health benefits, you are more than welcome to! Just know that it is more difficult in the world we live in. The ground has been raped of so many of its natural resources, including the high mineral content that it once held, in turn making vegetables and grains of lesser quality, and the animals who live off the grass that grows less fortified in these things that would have been stored up in their blood, and in turn their meet. It’s not impossible, but it is difficult. I chose to take capsules because I am then aware that I am getting AT LEAST ____ amount of each vitamin that I take. :]

I’m going over all of this kindof fast, and I will admit that it’s somewhat challenging for me to voice my opinions on these things, because I know they will be contradicted. I hope you feel free to take what you agree with and leave the rest where it is for someone else. ;] Please also know that I didn’t dream any of this up, and if you would like to see more research behind any of the things I’ve said, please request it and I will point you to my source. But as you can see, this post is getting long enough without me listing every source for every idea. ;]

Now! On to the second trimester! :]

The Second Trimester:

Your second trimester starts around 15 weeks. By this time, you’re probably starting to show! & That’s great! Looking down at my growing belly always reminded me to take my vitamins and apply coconut oil to my skin. ;]

*Coconut oil is wonderful lather for the skin! I used it to lather my belly, breasts, and thighs every time I got out of the shower (be careful not to wash your stomach with harsh soaps during pregnancy, as this can strip out the oils necessary to promote a healthy stretch!) I also like to mix it up with lotions or oils that are specially formulated for stretching skin! Anything with vitamin E oil, olive or coconut oil, shea butter, etc, is probably going to be great for your skin. A few favorites of mine are Earth Mama Angel Baby Body Butter, and Nature’s Pearl Ultra Rich lotion. They both have a pleasant and mild natural scent, and feel just wonderful on that growing belly! Research suggests that the motion of the application of lotions/oils on the skin stimulates the skin and keeps it healthier, ensuring a more comfortable stretch. A good natural product is also important, of course, along with promoting healthy skin from the inside (that’s where vitamins come in!).

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*Vitamins C and E will help that skin stretch naturally! Vitamin C promotes Elasticity throughout your skin, and Vitamin E will keep skin tissue healthy, and help to keep it from scarring. (that’s what stretch marks are) While stretch marks are thought to be a hereditary problem, an extremely adequate diet, along with ample amounts of vitamin C & E, can help prevent them. [living testimony.]  Vitamin E also has the added benefit of preventing Varicose veins, and is very helpful in treating/managing them if you already have them. I’ve been taking them combined, by a brand called Good’n Natural. I take 500mg of C and 400IU of E a day (1 pill) the first trimester, and then up it to two pills (1 morning, 1 evening) in the second and third trimester.

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*I’ve also been taking Grape Seed extract (Nature’s Pearl brand), to keep blood sugar at a normal, and to strengthen blood vessels and promote energy. The assist in the war against varicose veins (which don’t actually run in my family, I don’t think, but I’m not taking any chances! haha) Grape seed extract is very health promoting for any stage of life.

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*Pregnancy Tea

Pregnancy tea is one of the best secrets to a healthy pregnancy! I drank at least a cup a day during my second and third trimester when I was pregnant with Genna. I’ve just started drinking it again now in this pregnancy (I’m about 14 1/2 weeks), and I’m quite enjoying it. With my first pregnancy, I tried to save money by buying red raspberry leaf loose-leaf tea and making it myself, and I don’t think I’ll be doing it again this time around. It’s hard to get it to taste good enough with not much sweetener to tolerate it daily! So This time around I’m going with Natural Medicinal’s Organic Pregnancy Tea. It has a delightful minty taste that needs only 1/4 tsp raw honey to two bags of tea, and is delicious iced as well. I buy it on Amazon in bulk (6 boxes in a case), and the price comes out the same as if I would buy 5 boxes (in the grocery store) and get the 6th free.  Red Raspberry leaf is a wonderful herb that helps to prepare and train the uterus for the marathon it has to run at the end of the pregnancy. ;] Probably because of the tea, I had Braxton Hicks contractions from about 25 weeks on. (that’s good- you want that practice!) In the last trimester I mix up the tea routine, but that’s another post. ;]

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*Walk it out.

No, seriously. Walking in pregnancy is not just for the end of pregnancy when you want the baby to come out! Walking (especially a fast-paced walk that gets your heart rate up- but not one that gets you breathing so hard you can’t have a conversation) does just about everything good for your body that can be done while pregnant, thanks to a very perfect design by God! Walking will ease those growing aches and pains, keep you feeling more peppy, and most importantly, walking regularly helps the baby to get settled in a good position before it gets big enough that it’s hard to change that position! Bonus points if you include your daily walk with God in this- as even secular research has found that connecting with God (Although they would say meditation works as an alternative) while taking a brisk walk relaxes, rejuvenates, and refreshes the mind, body, and emotions greatly. I tend to agree. I got a free bible app (youversion), and I listen to it on audio mode while I walk. It’s wonderful.

*Please Drink Enough Water.

I know everyone says this, but it’s more than a good idea! It’s the difference between uncomfortable swollen ankles, fatigue, and nausea as apposed to energy, and in general feeling good. I’m terrible at drinking enough water, so I have some tips for those of you who are like-minded. ;]

-Get a special water bottle. (no, seriously, and learn to keep it near you. Figure out how many times a day you need to empty it to get your quota of fresh water down, and make it a habit. I found it was easier to drink water from a bottle than a glass.)

-Flavor your water. (Lemons are good, so are cucumbers, and fresh fruits like strawberries or blueberries. Anything herbs you like may also make water drinking more bearable, as did Ice for me!)

Alright. Hopefully this hasn’t been overwhelming, even though it is a lot of information to take it at once! If you’re thinking of having kids, please do seek out the book I mentioned above, as well as the book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit” (Also by Adelle Davis) and learn about how to prepare now! (There are so many helpful references to guiding your diet available, I’m merely listing a personal preference here!) If you’re already pregnant, I hope you found some useful information!  I can’t wait to share the 3rd trimester eddition of “pregnancy secret weapons!” Which will talk also about labor preparations and helpful vitamins specific to the last trimester, and the last few weeks. :]

In parting, I would also like to encourage you to start slowly with any of the above mentioned vitamins and herbs, and work your way up to a full recommended dose, especially if you are already pregnant. :]

AND, of course, NUTRITION is the principle thing to a healthy pregnancy. I’m not talking about the health fads that the world comes up with as the latest and greatest thing. I’m talking about a good, old fashioned, the-way-God-intended food intake that is varied and delicious and full of every good thing that God made and blessed for the nourishing of our bodies. You can take all the vitamins you want, and it won’t make up for an inadiquate diet. But good nutrition paired with good vitamins are the key to a healthy pregnancy, and an exceptionally healthy child.❤

Peace&Love[&Nutrition] to all!

Gianna.