The 4th Trimester (and Beyond): What No One Tells You

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There is a lot of info out there about what to expect when you’re pregnant. We so diligently go to our frequent OB or Midwife appointments to get both ourselves and the baby checked up on.

But AFTER baby arrives? When they send us home from the hospital with a new human who doesn’t sleep and pretty much ZERO clue what we’re doing??? Yeah it doesn’t really look like all the beautiful hospital photos plastered over Instagram. You want to know the REAL SHIT?

Well, that’s what I’m here to talk about today.

For starters, I want to mention that I think it’s kind of ridiculous that we go to ONE follow up post partum appointment at 6 weeks to get a check up and then we are usually sent on our merry way to figure out shit on our own and deal. Babies get checked out SO often in the beginning and for legit reason! But why are post partum mothers so neglected in our system? We have just had a serious trauma on our bodies. A HUMAN just made an exit, one way or another…through a now gaping hole down below or via slicing our insides open. (Yep, not sugar coating this ya’ll. You deserve to know the truth!) But I think maybe checking up on the mother’s health: physically, emotionally, mentally, hormonally – ALL OF IT – needs to happen more than ONCE after having a child.

Okay, that is my rant on our current medical system…and now onto the good stuff. Here are some of the TOP things that no one tells you about the 4th trimester (the first 12 weeks of the postpartum period) and beyond:

Breastfeeding is a BITCH! – Yes, I said it. I have breastfed all three of my children, and eventually I promise, it’s beautiful, but Lord, it hasn’t been easy. For something that is supposed to be so “natural,” I’m flabbergasted at how incredibly hard and painful and time consuming it can be, especially in the beginning. Of course, you may be one of the lucky ones where everything goes smoothly from the start and never have any nursing issues. To you, I say, “Thank your lucky stars! God Bless you!” But for most of the moms I know, it hasn’t been rainbows and butterflies from the get-go. I have heard, “oh if they are doing it right, it won’t hurt.” I call BULLSHIT! It hurt every single time starting out. Not that it hurts for everyone, but I am convinced that some babies are just so tiny (and y babies were tiny) that it’s impossible for their itty bitty mouths to get around your ginormous milk filled titty. (sorry, that’s not my usual choice of word, but I’ll do anything for a good rhyme – well, not anything). Now if the pain never goes away, there could be something inherently wrong. I noticed with my 3rd babe that the pain level was BEYOND bearable. It was clear that something was truly wrong with his latch, and we ended up seeing lactation consultants, tongue tie specialists, craniosacral therapists, YOU NAME IT to help with correcting his latch. On top of the latching issues, I also had a CRAZY oversupply (which I feel like a jerk saying, because the flip side is that many mamas just cannot produce ENOUGH milk). But my oversupply and fast let down was causing baby to basically choke every time he tried to eat making things super hard for all of us. My first baby dealt with this by ripping off my nipple screaming at the top of his lungs while milk sprayed voraciously into the air. I felt so embarrassed to feed him in public, because I was already terrified of having my boob out in front of strangers (those covers are a pain in the ass), but now I’m SPRAYING and he’s drawing attention by screaming?! I had to pump for 3 months before he finally would latch and have a full meal. I walked around the house shirtless most days (because of the pain) afraid to go out by myself with the baby for the first 3 weeks. Your boobs leak milk whenever they feel like, and if they get too full you are at risk for super painful clogged ducts and even worse infections like mastitis! This shit is no joke. Even once we got into the swing of things with breastfeeding my children, you are still tethered to them if they can’t or won’t take a bottle, making it difficult for anyone else to watch them. I totally don’t judge anyone for choosing not to breastfeed if it’s not working for them. Everyone needs to make the best choice for themselves and their families. DESPITE ALL OF THIS – breastfeeding is something I was really committed to and wanted to make work. At the end of the day, I am definitely glad I did. It DOES get significantly easier typically after the first 6-8 weeks, it feels amazing to be the sole source of nutrition for your child (and kind of incredible actually), and I do feel like it’s been a nice bonding experience for me and my boys. So I don’t regret all of the hard work…but it IS hard work!

One resource that has helped me in the past during those brutal nights of late night breastfeeding was an online community hosted by Lynzy of Lynzy and Co. She created the hashtag #latenightnursingfeed for mamas to come together in the wee hours of the night (or anytime really) to talk about the ups and downs of being a new mama.

You will bleed – A LOT! – Oh, you just thought the baby comes out, and that’s IT? Ummmm no. I bled for WEEKS! And I’m talking filling up 4 humongous pads stacked together in a hospital granny panty diaper in a couple hours. During labor and delivery you may rip and need stitches which can make it really painful down there and you will be loaded up with ice packs and witch hazel in your crotch. It hurts every time you pee and you have to use a squirt bottle to rinse with warm water each time. Your body has some serious healing to do inside, and all of the afterbirth takes awhile to remove itself. Even if you’ve had a C-section you are not immune to the bleeding. It might be less, but it’s still there. 

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You will still look like you’re pregnant – Once the baby comes out, your baby bump doesn’t just magically go away! You still look like you’re pregnant for awhile. Instead of being a hard bump, it’s just all gooey and squishy instead. I wore pregnancy jeans for weeks after having my babies, even once I got back into exercise. This is totally normal, so please be KIND to your body. For some reason, society places so much pressure on us to “bounce back,” not just physically but in many different aspects…but this post partum time is not about bouncing back. It’s about rest and recovery which is SO important. Again, your body just went through something MAJOR. It took 9 months to grow a human and your body will take time to adjust and heal. Trust me…when you’re ready, I’m your GIRL, and I have a health + fitness challenge support group with your name on it. I’ve GOT you. 😉 It’s definitely possible to feel confident and comfortable in your body again. But don’t feel that you need to rush into “getting your body back” right away.

You will be STARVING! – I mean ravenous. You will eat a crazy large meal, and then want another one hours later. You just did WORK pushing out that baby! Your body is in overdrive making milk for a tiny human and replenishing constantly. This is totally normal to last a couple weeks or months if you continue to breastfeed.

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You may not INSTANTLY bond with your baby – I remember thinking that my first baby would pop out and it would be love at first sight! There was some element to “wow, I created this human, and I love him” but I didn’t feel that overwhelming GUSH of obsessive love that I thought I would right away. I knew that I would do anything for him and would take care of him with all my heart, but it took TIME and getting to know him and his personality and quiet moments together for that love to grow and grow and grow.

You may CRY for NO REASON – Your hormones are going super crazy right after birth. You have a new human who can’t talk, can only cry to communicate, and no idea what you’re doing. You also aren’t sleeping. You’re incredibly exhausted around the clock with 24/7 duties (remember the breastfeeding?) so it’s SUPER normal to just cry and be extra emotional.

Postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression can happen to anyone – This is one of the most important things to check in with yourself after having a baby and know that it’s COMMON and happens to MANY women. It also doesn’t have to happen right away. I was never diagnosed with PPA or PPD, but I was right on the borderline, especially with Baby #3 this time around. They give you those dumb questionaires to fill out where you know the answers that are going to diagnose you or not, so most people don’t fill them out truthfully or maybe they aren’t even sure WHAT they are feeling with all the craziness going on. I’m not sure if I answered in full truth with the first two kids…I honestly don’t remember, but this time around…I tried to do my best to answer as truthfully as possible. And I hit right below the line of diagnosis on the scale…but here’s what I experienced. The sadness came more frequently than what I had remembered in the past. I was in a foggy state some days. Things that would typically make me happy, didn’t neccesarily make me unhappy, but I was kinda just going through the motions. Remember, I was walking around shirtless and in pain while nursing, recovering in between nursing sessions, and going to multiple appointments to check up on the baby and fix his latch. Lots of tears. Typically when I’m stressed and tired and overwhelmed I tend to snap at people I love (something I’m not proud of and working on)…but I felt I didn’t even have the motivation to snap. Plus trying to give attention and love to two other children. It was a lot. EVERY day and every moment wasn’t sad. I was happy many days and moments also, but for a person who sees the bright side of most things and likes to stay positive, it was a weird feeling for me to be upset a heck of a lot more then normal. I thought about going to therapy, even if I didn’t have a real diagnosis, but I ultimately never went. It likely could have helped, but it felt daunting to add yet another thing to my schedule. It helped a lot to start exercising again, which is a great stress reliever for me, and as time went on and breastfeeding got easier, sleep got better, things got a little better. But I won’t lie…sometimes all of these things are still hard and I still have tough days that pop up unexpectedly and catch me by surprise even 8 months later. I talk a lot about it with the hubby and he has been super supportive. I think getting some alone time has been one of the best things that has helped. Being a stay at home working mom is amazing and a blessing, but it’s also tough to get a break. So hiring a babysitter for some mornings to work my business or run an errand, finding time to recharge and do something that feels like ME. Then I’m usually a much better to come home and be a better mom. I do think it’s also easier for me once they get a little older. There are different challenges, of course, but the baby stages with lots of crying are hard for me. Postpartum anxiety or depression is not something to be ashamed of though, and if you are feeling any of these symptoms, don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor or a loved one and get help.

Here is a resource called Post Partum Support International which is an online community of mamas along with helpline for support.

Your hair will clog up the drain like WHOA – Oh holy hair loss! When you are pregnant, your hair is thick and luscious and you don’t lose the normal daily amount. But post partum? Oh LAWD! For me this didn’t happen right away, but a few months post partum (maybe 4-5), and my hair just started coming out in CLUMPS, especially in the shower. It happened every day for a few months and just tons of it was coming out, I couldn’t believe I still had hair left on my head! I have two spots on the side of my hairline where it’s most obvious, and then it all takes forever to grow back in and looks crazy. But it does usually get back to normal over time.

Poopin’ ain’t easy – Hey, I warned you in the beginning, I was gonna keep it real here ladies. For whatever reason, after having a baby, it’s incredibly difficult to poop. I guess all of that going on down there and body parts shifting around makes things go outta whack. Usually it resolves after a few days, but I swear the 3rd time around going to the bathroom didn’t feel completely normal for over a month. Colace will be your best friend.

You’re not a playa, you just SWEAT a lot – This actually happened to me more in the months leading up to birth while pregnant and during labor and delivery than I really remember postpartum, but this is another thing that can happen. I remember kicking off all the covers every night because I was SOOOOOO hot and wanting to constantly sit by the air conditioner (granted it was a summer pregnancy!), but as a person who dislikes the cold and prefers warm weather, this was weird for me! I don’t sweat a lot typically, but hormones are crazy and it’s pretty normal to sweat it out during this time.

Bringin’ Sexy Back ain’t really that sexy the 1st time back – Yeahhhhhh, so after pushing a human outside of you and everything shifting around in there, hormones raging…doc gives the green light but whaaaaaaa? I was definitely not ready for that after my 6 week appointment!!! Haha! But when I finally felt comfortable again, it did NOT feel like normal! It felt painful, super dry, your boobs are probably leaking and you definitely don’t want them touched now that baby is touching them, and you may not feel like that sexy lady you once did because your libido is LOW. It took a few times (and a LOT of LUBE) to get to feeling back to normal again, but it does typically go back to feeling good again! If it doesn’t, there could be some underlying pelvic floor issues, and a pelvic floor therapist could be really helpful!

You’re only cool if you pee your pants – No, no, that’s not true. That was just in the movies. But you MIGHT pee your pants. Speaking of pelvic floor therapy, this might be a really good option if you can no longer control your bladder. Jumping, sneezing, coughing, and laughing just aren’t the same anymore after having a baby. It’s super important to strengthen those muscles if you want to get it as close to normal as you can. Kegels may help, but pelvic floor therapy could be a good option. Also aside from your bladder, if you are feeling any pain down below (regardless of whether or not it’s during sexy time), a pelvic floor therapist may be able to help.

Your abs might separate – Yes, your abdominal muscles might actually SPLIT apart from each other. Crazy right? I think having a strong core in advance can be helpful with this, but even still it can happen. You will know if there is more than a finger space between the right and left abdominal muscles when you are in the process of sitting up, but you can also check with your doctor. If this happens to you, I would be very careful when jumping back into exercise. Skip the crunches, sit ups and similar exercises or else you can actually make it worse. I had slight ab separation after Baby #2 and over time it eventually closed up. If the separation is drastic, then there are also physical therapists you can see to help with this as well.

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Your will never sleep the same again – Of course we all know that there is little sleep in the beginning. And it DOES get easier…but you still won’t sleep the same. That passed out cold, nothing can wake you up sleep? Yeah, no. As a mom, you are on constant alert and you hear EVERYTHING. And when you don’t hear ANYTHING? Then you’re awake, because you’re afraid something’s wrong LOL. Welcome to mom sleep.

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You will feel like a ROCKSTAR when you put on real clothes – What used to be an every day occurence…getting showered and dressed…will now feel like an ultimate luxury!!! You will feel like a total rockstar…even when you are still wearing maternity jeans.

Someone will tell you that you need to enjoy every moment and you will want to slap them – Hah. Kidding. Not kidding. So many people will tell you that you are so lucky and blessed (AND YOU ARE), and that your children will “never be this small again” so you just have to “ENJOY EVERY MOMENT.” Well, in that moment when you are exhausted, in pain, stressed out, the baby is screaming, you’re in a fog, and you can’t hear yourself think…it’s HARD to appreciate that moment, and you may just want to tell someone to eff off haha. Instead, just BREATHE. This moment was hard. You don’t have to enjoy this one. But you WILL get through this moment. And you can enjoy a different one later.

Alright, now that I’ve shared all the craziness and behind-the-scenes of the 4th trimester and probably scared you all off from having any future children… 😉

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I DO want to acknowledge that while the 4th trimester and the early days of mommin’ are HARD…it IS also very beautiful. You DO have many wonderful moments as well. Seriously, nothing can compare to a newborn snuggle sesh. There is something so precious about holding that tiny human in your arms and knowing they are fully dependent on you and they trust you, regardless of whether or not you have all the answers. Watching your partner hold your child and seeing them as a parent will send a beautiful wave of love and emotion over you for them that you have never truly felt before in that way. As a mom of three, watching your children bond with their new sibling for the first time will bring happy tears to your eyes.

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Yes, mommin’ is the hardest job I have ever done. But it’s also the most special. Things DO get easier as they grow and you start to figure them out and their unique personalities. Try to remember to have GRACE with yourself. You are also human and figuring things out. Life is forever changed and it’s a brand new adjustment for you and your family. You have a new needy little roommate and need to figure out how to live together.

So it’s OKAY if you don’t have all your shit together. It’s OKAY if you no longer have control of everything. It’s OKAY to not totally feel like yourself right now. It’s OKAY that you don’t recognize your body. This is all a normal part of what we moms go through. Have patience and know that this stage is a SEASON and it won’t last forever. Take things one day at a time. And my best advice is to find a mom group of support. Local is even better. That TRULY helped SO much during my experience as a new mom.

XOXO,

Gina

 

 

Basic

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Cardigan Sweater: Target / Tee: Target (this color not available online) / Denim: Motherhood Maternity (yep, still rockin’ em) / Booties: Target – these are old, but I’m also loving these and these / Sunnies: Vintage / Necklace: Stella & Dot / Travel Mug: Francesca’s / Lip: ModelCo – trio available on Birchbox / Nails: Essie Luxedo

Happy Fall ya’ll!!!

Excited for my first outfit post on the blog since having my little man, Knox. Fall is in full swing, and we are finally feeling those chillier temperatures. I always thought I was a summer girl, because I absolutely LOVE the beach, but lately the past few years of summer humidity have me enjoying the fall season so much! (And let’s be honest…I’m sure the huge preggo belly all the way through this summer also had me craving fall! Haha.)

We went apple and pumpkin picking the other weekend and Nico is begging us to carve pumpkins this year. Last weekend we went shopping to begin putting together our Halloween costumes. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (only behind Christmas), and our neighborhood really goes all out, so it makes things extra fun. We are also hoping to score a hike up to Bear Mountain at some point this fall before it gets too cold, because the foliage is amazing this time of year.

My outfit is a pretty basic fall get-up, but I loved the color on this cardigan and it’s super soft. It’s lightweight and perfect for layering during the fall season. I’m still rocking the maternity jeans at 8 weeks post partum, but I’m about a week and a half into my 21 day exercise and nutrition program that I’ve been following, and I’m feeling great! I haven’t missed a day of working out, and I’ve been been following the nutrition pretty well although I have had some extra meals/snack to compensate for nursing, and I’ve also had a few glasses of wine. Gotta survive #momofthree life, right?

Wishing you guys a Happy Friday and an awesome weekend!

XO,

Gina

 

Knox’s Newborn Shoot

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Oh my goodness, I am so excited to finally share these newborn photos of our sweet baby, Knox Gannon Notes, taken by Tyler Lyons of Scratch Studios! Tyler was so patient with our family as Knox was super fussy during the first half of the shoot until he finally fell asleep and allowed us to position him in cute poses haha. We also wanted to get some family shots with our new babe, and you know how photo shoots go with two toddlers! But Tyler was awesome and patient and did such a great job! These photos were taken when Knox was about 8 days old, and I can’t believe he’s now already over 5 weeks!

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So thankful to Tyler for these amazing shots, and it’s going to be tough to figure out which ones to print and frame for the house!

Since my last post, nursing has definitely gotten a bit better. The craniosacral therapy was MAGICAL and really helped with Knox’s neck tension. I felt a huge difference after this appointment, and I HIGHLY recommend Amy from CranioBaby. He still needs work with stretching out his tongue which we are working on with sucking exercises and we are doing more tummy time for neck strength, etc. We aren’t in a perfect spot, and it can still bit a little painful at times, but hopefully it will get better and better as he grows and his latch improves. The good news is that this mama is a milk machine, so he is still getting plenty and growing strong.

Sleep is going okay. At night he is waking up twice currently, eating quickly, and going back down in the rock and play. Naps are tougher as he is a pretty light sleeper during the day, and I have two other noisy boys haha. He also likes to be moving for naps so we have been either using the swing, the stroller, or the K’tan wrap. As many of you mamas know, things are constantly changing with newborns, and as soon as you think you figure something out, then everything changes. Am I right?! So it’s a day by day survival.

This week has been tougher on me as I’m trying to navigate three kids on little sleep, also running a business, and trying to find some time for myself to clear my head, which is insanely hard to do. I know it’s just a season of life, and I’m trying to soak it in, but some days you just need a good cry, and that’s what happened yesterday. I find it tough to meet the needs of a newborn at the same time as a toddler. Something I went through last time around as well. It’s almost easier having all three boys together, because at least the older two can entertain each other. When it’s only two of them, it’s harder, because everyone wants and needs mama’s attention. Being a mom is not for the weak my friends, and my babies need a LOT of me right now. I just have to remember to ask for a break when I need it. Whether I have my hubby take over, call a babysitter for help, go take a walk to clear my head, call a friend or family member, etc, it’s so important to keep myself in a good headspace, so I can be a better mom for my babes. I think it will also help once I am cleared to start exercising again as that is a good stress reliever for me. My post partum appointment is next week, so I am hoping to start back up with my exercise programs again on October 8 for those who want to join me!

As always, thanks for reading! And I hope you enjoyed these sweet little photos as much as I did! Wishing you all a fantastic end to your week!

XO,

Gina

Maternity Shoot With Tyler Lyons

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Our little man has arrived!!!

I will be sharing my birth story along with some adorable photos of our new little addition here on the blog soon, but seeing as I never got around to posting our maternity photo shoot with Tyler Lyons over here, I decided first things first!

We headed to Rockaway Beach for some sunset photos in early July, and while family photo shoots with two kiddos under 5 are no, picnic, Tyler handled it like a champ and he was able to capture some beautiful photos of both the bump and the fam.

It’s still surreal to me that our little babe is no longer in my belly but rather he is here, outside in the real world! So grateful to have these photos to look back upon and remember this pregnancy with our sweet, 3rd little boy. ❤

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Wearing — Dress by A Pea in the Pod Maternity (now on sale!)

On Zack —  Button Down: Goodfellow & Co for Target / Shorts: Goodfellow & Co for Target

On Nico: Button Down: Cat & Jack for Target / Shorts: Cat & Jack for Target

On Luca: Button Down: Genuine Kids from Oshkosh for Target / Shorts: Old Navy

Thanks again to Tyler for capturing these awesome shots. We will cherish them forever.

I thought motherhood the 3rd time around would be easy peasy, but we are having a few challenges, especially with nursing. So we are heading to an ENT specialist in Long Island today to see if he can help. Luckily, nothing severe is going on or anything like that. Baby is getting plenty of food…it’s just that mama is in a ton of pain in the process. So hopefully we can figure out the cause and we can resume nursing in a less painful way!

Otherwise, things are your pretty standard sleepless nights and balancing raising three. The big boys go back to school on Wednesday which means that things may get a little easier, but we also have to get up super early on a sleepless night! LOL. I’m sure we will figure it all out and get into our new “normal” routine soon.

Hope you all had a Happy Labor Day Weekend!

XO,

Gina

Joylab

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Sweatshirt: Joylab for Target (sold out) – also like this one / Side Tie Leggings: Joylab for Target / Sneakers: Blondo via Trunk Club / Sunnies: Brickyard Buffalo (old)

Okay, you guys. I am seriously behind on blog posts! This shoot was done back in NOVEMBER. I know, I know. Look how long my hair was! And this was before the baby bump even existed. But better late than never right? And guess what? Joylab, the now new-ish activewear line from Target is still fabulous…and comfortable and adorable…and totally perfect for that busy mom-on-the-go life.

I’m telling you, this sweatshirt is the softest, most comfortable ever, and was my go-to all winter long. The fit is loose with plenty of room for that belly that continued (and still continues) to grow as well. The leggings no longer fit with the bump, however, I look forward to wearing them again once baby arrives. Super sleek, comfy and perfect for either a workout, running errands, or hanging at the playground with your kiddos.

The rest of their line is adorable too, so I would check it out if you haven’t already!

This week has been a bit gloomy here in the Big Apple, and I’m personally missing the sunshine. However, mama and baby had a good doctor’s appointment this week…which if you have been following me on Facebook, you know it’s been a crazy roller coaster. I haven’t really shared over here, but we had a super big health scare with baby a couple weeks back which required some further testing, and luckily the results came back looking good, thank GOD. So to hit Week 26 this week with another good appointment is frankly the only real sunshine I TRULY need.

Happy Friday to all, and cheers to getting some more uber-belated blog posts up in the next few weeks!

XO,

Gina

 

Baby Notes #3 Reveal

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Oh my gosh, you guys. The reveal day is finally here!!! I have been waiting to share (and find out myself) for so long! Lemme tell you, holding onto that envelope for 2 weeks while Zack was out of town was not easy! Haha. But our props finally arrived, Zack came home, and Saturday was go time. We headed to Prospect Park with Tyler Lyons on Saturday evening around sunset to capture our reveal and our reactions along with the news. It was a beautiful evening, and we are so happy for our little Baby Notes on the way!

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Your guesses on Facebook and Instagram massively skewed toward girl. I honestly went back and forth each trimester thinking something different. Of course, I found this soccer ball reveal prop on Etsy, and I just HAD to use it being a soccer player and now that my boys love the sport as well. My neighbor was the first one to find out since she purchased the soccer ball for me to use for this shoot. Okay…keep scrolling to find out if you guessed it right!!!

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It’s a BOY!!!! Another Brother! #boysonlyclub

Oh my gosh. You should have seen poor little Nico’s face. He was CERTAIN it was going to be pink, and he was in SUCH a state of shock. I felt a little bad that we hyped up this reveal a little too much, because apparently he really got into it! He was hoping for a sister…That said, one day later, and he was back to being super excited again about his little baby on the way!

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So I had an extra ball ordered, because I wasn’t sure how easy they were going to be to break open, and I was a little nervous myself or one of the kids would break it before we actually got to take our photos! LOL. I will say that this thing was STURDY as a rock. I had to kick is really hard (and my foot actually hurt haha), so I don’t think buying two was necessary. But that said, we had an extra one, so we let Nico throw it down to take a few more photos once we knew we were having a little BOY! It took him about 4 throws before he could get it to break, but he finally got it!

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The official sonogram pic that the sono tech had put in an envelope for me. Yup. No doubt about that anatomy haha.

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Can’t believe I’m gonna be a #boymom for life!!! Wow! Another little monkey will be joining this crazy crew in August!

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Thank you Tyler Lyons for capturing this special family moment for us! It was so much fun!

Tyler also snagged a video for us from his phone, and I edited a little something together as well if you want to watch the action.

Thank you all for your patience! I know I was driving some of you crazy making you all wait this long to find out haha. One person even said they thought we were having twins because of all the hype hahaha. NO. I guess I have always just loved a big production. 😉

To see the reveals we did in the past for Nico and Luca you can check them out here (Nico’s) and here (Luca’s).

Thanks for all the love and I feel so incredibly blessed right now! ❤ ❤ ❤

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

XO,

Gina

Thirteen Journeys

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Today I am honored to share my story as part of the Thirteen Fit Apparel 13 Journeys campaign!!

My story is about an athlete. It’s about motherhood. It’s about challenges. It’s about entrepreneurship. It’s about hard work. It’s about priorities. It’s about putting your mind to something and accomplishing it.

I hope that something within my journey can connect or resonate with you today. We are all on our own journey toward becoming our #ultimateself, and I continue to work on mine every single day.

Thank you to Paige Festa for including me on this project, to the 12 other inspiring individuals who are also sharing their journeys in these next few weeks, and to Jocelyn Bold Photography for capturing the photos from this shoot.

Full story can found over at Thirteen Fit Apparel! Hope you can check it out!

Happy Monday!

XO,

Gina

 

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Black is Boss

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Dress: Tobi – now on sale! / Jacket: Goodnight Macaroon – similar here and here / Over-the-Knee Boots: ALDO – similar – also love these / Earrings: Forever 21 / Lip: MAC Dark Side

While I LOVE pops of color and mixing in lots of color to my wardrobe, there is always something super comforting to me about basic black. Maybe, it’s the New Yorker in me, but I gravitate toward black frequently, especially in the winter time. Black is just classic, and will never go out of style. I scored these over-the-knee boots on sale after Christmas of LAST year, and had been keeping my eye open for the perfect dress to wear them with. I saw this one from Tobi with the open V-back, and had to snag it! A little bit sexy, a little bit chic, and a little bit badass with the boots, no? The top knot with the drop earrings finish the classic look…and since it’s still winter…a quilted moto jacket so I don’t freeze. The day we shot this, we actually had weather that was creeping into the 60s which is crazy for a New York winter!

This week I hit the 12 week mark of my pregnancy! Yay! Hoping to come out of that 1st trimester fog soon, though been suffering with some headaches as of late, which are typical for me during pregnancy when my hormones are going crazy. We’ve also been dealing with an insane 4 year old this week. Not sure if it’s lack of sleep or if something deeper is going on, but it’s been impossible to get through to him. Mamas can you relate? I thought 3 was a tough age and 4 was honestly getting better for us. So I’m hoping this is just an off week for him, because it’s really been out of hand with pretty much everything. My 2 year old is dabbling in potty training, and he’s doing okay, but there’s also some stress that goes along with cleaning up pee off your floor every 20 minutes. LOL. #momlife

My February Challenge Group started up on Monday, and these gals are off to the races! Their progress in January was AMAZING, and I am so very proud at how hard they worked! We have lots continuing on with their goals, and some new faces just starting out with us as well! I decided I’m going to jump into a program called PiYo, which is a pilates/yoga based program that focuses on stretch, strength, cardio, and core. I did this same program when I was pregnant with Luca, and it was fantastic, so I’m going to dive in again so that I have something I can stick to this month and stay motivated to keep moving with my growing babe.

I have so many ideas and posts in the works for this blog in the next few weeks and also some exciting projects I’m working on, so stay tuned for what’s to come! Hope you have an incredible week!

XO,

Gina

Moto Magic

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Moto Leggings: Tobi (on sale!) / Coat: ZARA – similar here and here / Sweater: Madewell via Trunk Club – sold out but loving this color / Booties: H&M / Scarf: Gifted – also like this one / Sunnies: Brickyard Buffalo

Moto leggings are all the rage this season, and I have to say I am jumping on this train full force and loving it. I got my first pair from Trunk Club in an olive green, so when I saw these black babies from Tobi I HAD to have them in my closet! As a New Yorker, black is a go-to color in my wardrobe, and these will basically go with ANYTHING, so I was super excited to snag them. I just love the detail on the front of the thigh, and the zips down the size give them a little edge. They are super comfortable and the material is flattering, stretchy, and forgiving. I can pretty much guarantee these are going to get a lot of wear from me this season and beyond. Added bonus…these are currently on sale for 50% off.

This puffer coat from ZARA is also on heavy rotation this winter as 1) it’s WARM…and let’s be honest…that is a high priority for me in outerwear right now! I am not a cold weather loving gal, so staying bundled up is key. And 2) it’s a cuter puffer coat than most with the faux fur hood and leopard lining. It can be tough to make a warm puffer coat look cute, but I think ZARA did well.

This olive sweater from Madewell is SUPER comfy, and I’m sad the color is unavailable, but I do also love this one and I promise it’s warm!

I want to thank you all SO much for all your love and warm wishes for our big announcement we made yesterday!!! We got so much love over on Facebook and Instagram, and I cannot say enough how grateful I am to have such an incredibly wonderful community, family, and friends. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. We feel so blessed to be welcoming a 3rd child into our family, and we are excited for all the adventures this new chapter will bring!

I’m also excited to my experiences with you this time around when it comes to health, exercise, fashion, mom life and more!

Hope you’re all having an amazing week!

XO,

Gina

 

 

2017 in Review

View More: http://karenskaptures.pass.us/notes

WOW! I can’t believe 2017 is coming to a close. It’s been a year of personal growth, adventure, travel, family moments, and so much more. I learned a lot, and have come up with some exciting ideas to take with me into 2018. I plan to jump even more outside of my comfort zone this upcoming year, and see where the wind blows.

I want to thank each and every one of you this past year for supporting me on this journey…for reading this blog, for joining one of my health + fitness Challenge Groups, for commenting on a Facebook post, direct messaging me on Instagram, watching my IG Stories, giving me all of your advice and feedback on outfit choices or motherhood woes or workouts…or just telling me that you are inspired by a post or that you can relate. It truly means SO much to me. I started this blog and my brand really as a creative outlet a few years ago, but it’s turned into an incredible community which I am so grateful for. So THANK YOU for your continued support, and I hope you continue to take the journey with me in 2018!

Below is a look back at some of my favorite memories and experiences of 2017:

 

Zack and I finally went on a “Paint Night” Date and we loved it

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I was obsessed with smoothie bowls:

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I learned a ton about gut health + drank lots of kombucha (I did a LIVE @ 9 Episode on this which you can find on my Facebook page, but I promise to create a blog post on this for 2018 so it’s in written form):

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Boys both fell in love with soccer just like their mama:

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Helped hundreds of Challengers get on track with their nutrition with these amazing portion control containers:

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Little sis got engaged and asked the entire fam to be in the wedding 🙂 :

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Zack and I had a week-long road trip together to Asheville (thanks Mom + Dad!):

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I was able to take the family on an all-expenses paid trip to Punta Cana with Beachbody as a reward trip for my work with the company. To say they had a blast would be an understatement:

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I developed a passion for nut butters lol 😉

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Hubby and I did the Ultimate Reset Challenge Plant Based Cleanse program and we learned so much about our bodies, our eating habits, and made many tweaks and changes to our habits going forward (again, I owe you all a full synopsis of this experience in blog post form…coming at you in 2018!):

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Went to the Dave Matthews Concert with the fam:

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Spent many summer days at the NY Beaches + riding the rides at Coney Island:

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Took Nico on his first roller coaster ride at Hershey Park with the family:

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Celebrated our 10 Year NYC Anniversary:

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Went to Rhode Island with the hubs to watch one of my best friends walk down the aisle:

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Went to NOLA for my 3rd Beachbody Summit with my amazing team. We continue to grow, and I love training each new person how to become a #boss and build businesses that give them happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives:

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Completed multiple workout programs including Shift Shop, T25, Insanity Max 30, and 3 Week Yoga Retreat:

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Celebrated my sister’s Bachelorette Weekend in VA Beach rooftop style:

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Luca got his 1st haircut:

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Nico turned 4 and Luca turned 2 with a Construction themed Birthday Party:

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My challengers got amazing results with their fitness + nutrition:

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We went on family vacation to Cape May:

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and the OBX:

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Nico started his first year of “real” school through the NYC DOE and is loving Pre-K. Luca started a 2’s playschool co-op, and it was a bit of a transition at first, but he seems to be enjoying it now:

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We threw at Rainbow Sprinkle Themed Bridal Shower for my sister:

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My little sis and her high school sweetheart finally tied the knot after 13 years:

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Took the boys on their first-ever camping trip this fall with good friends:

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Had an epic Halloween dressing up like The Wizard of Oz characters:

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Did ALL the the holiday things to celebrate the season (and enjoyed my most favorite/stressful time of the year):

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Welp!!!!

That is a WRAP. Wow. What.a.year.

It’s been a good one full of fantastic memories. Thanks again for your continued support of popcorn and pandas. I appreciate you all SO much. More than you know.

I wish all of you an incredible New Year!!! I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store.

XO,

Gina

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