Monkey Turns Three

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Dear Nico,

Three years ago today you came into our lives 2 weeks earlier than expected. I thought I would be going to work, but the doctor said it was time for you to make your appearance. Papa and I were freaked out and nervous but excited at the same time. It took probably 36 hours or so before you finally arrived, but there you were. So tiny and fragile, my little monkey.

You changed my world the very minute you arrived. I learned about unconditional love and how fiercely I could love another human being. I learned that being a mom is hard…like REALLY hard…like how did no one ever tell me it would be THIS hard?! But it’s also the most rewarding job I have ever had in my entire life.

I have watched you grow over these past three years into an incredible little human. Everything you choose to do you do it full out with 110% effort. There is no holding back. You go all in…always. You are so intelligent, always seeking knowledge and answers. Reading books is one of your favorite things to do, and I know that will be such a huge asset in your future. You have a wild sense of adventure like your Papa, but you also approach situations with caution like myself.

You may drive me crazy sometimes, especially when you are tired and don’t want to nap, but you also make me melt into a puddle when you are sweet to your little brother or you hug me tight.

I seriously cannot believe you are three years old today. This is the year you go from toddler to little boy. You are growing and changing and becoming more and more independent each day. It makes me sad to lose my little baby, but I’m so proud of all your new accomplishments and achievements and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Sweet Little Monkey, Nico Bonzo! Mama and Papa love you SOOOOOOOO freakin’ much.

XOXO,

Mama

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Sun Kissed

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Dress: ASOS / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Earrings: Stella & Dot / Bracelet: Vintage / Sunglasses: Brickyard Buffalo / Lip: MAC Snob

Ahh this dress! During an online shopping spree for our June wedding season, I saw this dress at ASOS, and I just HAD to have it! I just love the bright neon florals for summertime, and it was perfect for the outdoor/indoor wedding we attended in Ithaca, NY. I hedged my bets with this one hoping it would fit as only the smaller size was available. I normally would have gone for the slightly larger one, but it seems my hard work in the “gym” aka my living room has paid off and I was able to slip into this delightful fit and flare silhouette! So happy that it worked out, and we had an amazing evening watching the sun go down and dancing the night away with great friends.

It’s been a busy summer here with lots of traveling and more coming up in the next few weeks! Nashville is SOOOOO soon!!! Eeeep! If you don’t remember, here is a post of me from last year’s Summit breakin’ it down with CIZE at 8 months pregnant! LOL! I am getting so excited to return to the place where I met all my coaching teammates in person for the first time and looking forward to learning from the best about how to keep moving my business forward and changing lives along the way.

In other news…not that you all particularly care, but the fellow moms out there might! We are in the midst of potty training with my toddler, and so far it’s going MUCH better than I had anticipated! I speed read the Oh Crap! book which helped to reassure me that we were more or less on the right track! I can’t believe we are crossing this big milestone and he seems to be aging SO rapidly right now! Threenager attitude and all! LOL! The baby learned to full out crawl and now a week later he is pulling himself to standing. SLOW DOWN KID! Ahhh they grow up too fast don’t they? But I do admit, it will be pretty darn cute (and terrifying) when they are running around together/in opposite directions. Haha.

Hope you are all having a great week so far!! I am having a blast with the Jam out in July Challenge!! I don’t know why I haven’t been blasting music in my house during my workouts already! SUCH a great idea and such great motivation!

Make it a happy one!

XO,

Gina

{34} Lately…

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Lately I’ve been…

reading  Caught up on some Health Magazine at the beach yesterday. Love their tips for healthy eating and exercise.

writing  Lots of e-mails, and catch up on blog posts before heading out to NASHVILLE on Thursday! if anybody has any good recommendations for while I’m out there, please let me know!

listening  The Coffee Shop (Ch. 31) on Sirius XM Radio. Puts Nico to sleep every time and he loves it.

thinking  That I need to get things together before this new baby arrives. I am 33 weeks today. Holy guacamole! I delivered at 38 weeks with my first babe, so it’s crazy to think that it’s less than 2 months before we will be a family of FOUR.

smelling  The yummy mocha that I treated myself to this morning.

watching  Finally saw the movie, Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon. The movie is based on the book by Cheryl Strayed with the same title. Being an outdoorsy person, I was a huge fan of the book as it depicted a woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for 3 months. I thought the movie did a decent job of portraying the book, but I definitely preferred the book over the movie. Although, I must say that is generally the case with me!

wishing  A very Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people in the world, Erin, who we spent the 4th of July weekend with at Seneca Lake. Her bday was yesterday, and I know it’s going to be an amazing year for her! Love you butt buddie!

hoping  For the internet to keep working. I have wasted a ton of time today hopping from cafe to cafe around the neighborhood and it’s like the internet is not working anywhere!?!?! What in the world is going on? Came back home and hoping it will stay on here so I can actually get some work done today!

wearing  Living in lots of dresses, maxis and flip flops on these hot summer days.  Whew!

loving  Speaking of these hot summer days, I actually love them…because that means BEACH TIME! Since we won’t be able to attend our family vacay to the OBX this year, I am going to try to soak up as much local beach time as possible this summer!

wanting  More space in my apartment! We are going to be doing lots of furniture rearranging in the next few weeks to make room for our new little roommate. Why do such tiny humans need so many things? lol.

needing  To finish planning Nico’s 2nd Birthday Party. We need to have it early this year, because his birthday is two days away from my due date. So I finally picked a date and ordered the cake. Now it’s time to figure out the food and decor. I seriously cannot believe he is going to be TWO.

feeling  SUPER excited for my upcoming trip to NASHVILLE for the Beachbody Coaches Summit! Excited to finally meet my team in person and for all the amazing events, workouts, and trainings that I get to be a part of. I’m sure it’s going to be an incredible experience that I will never forget.

craving  All the sleep I can get. Starting to get a little more tired again in this last trimester. Trying to get as much sleep as possible, because I know there are some all-nighters coming up in the near future again. Yikes!

clicking  On this adorable blog by Amaris, both mama and fashionista. Her outfits are chic yet casual, and her baby girl is sucha doll!

 Hope you all have a great week! I started off my morning with a Banana Chia Pudding breakfast, a Turbo Jam workout, and a walk around the neighborhood. Time to buckle down now and get crackin’.

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HAPPY MONDAY!

What have you been up to lately?

XO,

Gina

Easy Breezy

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Tribal Palazzo Pants: Target (sold out, but similar here) / Tank: Old Navy / Sandals: Dolce Vita (sold out but similar here) / Sunnies: Vintage Kenneth Cole / Necklace: c/o Stella & Dot /Earrings: c/o Stella & Dot / Bracelets: Guilty Jean, Stella & Sparkle, Vintage / Watch: Michael Kors / Lip Gloss: Smashbox Savvy

Can you believe today marks 31 weeks of pregnancy! WOWZA!!! The 2nd half has been flying right by! I delivered at 38 weeks the first time around, so I am starting to get a little nervous about everything we have left to do before baby’s arrival? Now you might be thinking, what could they possibly have to do? They already have everything they need, and they are even having another boy! Well, trust me when you live in a small Brooklyn apartment, you need to figure out how you are going to go from fitting a family of three to a family of four! Haha. We spent this past weekend getting our TV mounted on the fireplace so that we can eventually get rid of our entertainment center to make room for the rocking/glider chair that we will have to move OUT of the nursery (through the window, because it won’t fit through the door mind you), so that we can then fit crib #2 into the nursery. Whew! Just thinking about it makes me exhausted already.

I found the most comfy palazzo pants at Target during the spring time, and as soon as I saw that stretchy waistband, I thought they would be perfect during my pregnancy. I could not have been more spot on! At 31 weeks, these (non-maternity) pants fit me with room to spare! And they are SO incredibly comfortable!

We are gearing up for a 4th of July trip to Seneca Lake this Thursday…but not before I check in with the baby doc on Wednesday. Fingers crossed for a good appointment and a good trip to come!

Make it a great week everyone!

XO,

Gina

Why I’m Tougher This Pregnancy

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Pregnancy. What a wild ride it is…and each time is different. My first pregnancy was cut tragically short due to a miscarriage after 7.5 weeks and ended in devastation and sadness. My 2nd pregnancy, I was a nervous wreck for the entire 1st trimester and then some. Afraid to work out. Afraid of another loss. Eventually as time wore on, I started to become less nervous and embrace my pregnancy along with all the ups and down, scares, vomiting, nausea, itchiness, heartburn, early contractions, duck waddling, and more. With every sonogram (and I had a lot of them) I felt closer and closer to my Little Monkey. Eventually, on August 29, 2013, my little boy was brought into the world and everything made sense. All of that craziness was worth it, and my life was forever changed. I can’t believe that little boy is now almost 2 years old, and I have another on the way.

Most women would say that being pregnant the 2nd (or in my case 3rd) time around is more difficult. I would have to agree that it has been quite challenging. However, I think it has somehow made me TOUGHER. And here’s why:

1st Trimester Nausea & Exhaustion

I thought this was bad before, but this pregnancy was much worse! Previously, I would get sick, and then feel better, but I pretty much felt a constant wave of nausea all day every day for the entire first trimester. Even if I got sick, I did not feel any better. I tried ginger candies (I was repulsed), preggie pop drops, eating small frequent meals, and sea bands, but nothing really seemed to do the trick except letting time pass. I was also much more exhausted, but couldn’t exactly fall asleep whenever I wanted to. Knowing that I was able to get through this first rough of a 1st trimester with everything else going on in my life makes me feel like one tough cookie.

I Have a Toddler This Time Around

This is probably BY FAR the most challenging aspect of this pregnancy! Previously, if I needed a nap or I felt sick I could lay down and rest. As a stay-at-home working mom this time around, I cannot just take a break when I need to. My toddler is very active and wants to run around and play all day. He takes one nap a day, and at the beginning, I was napping right along with him! With the 2nd trimester, I gained a lot of energy back, and now I work during his nap time, but it was a a struggle in the beginning. There was a lot of time for planning during my last pregnancy, but I feel as if this pregnancy is just flying right by! Anyone that can get through a pregnancy while taking care of a toddler is tough in my book!

I am Running My Own Business

Speaking of work…since the company I was working for folded in September, I decided to take a step in a new direction as a fitness coach and freelance writer. I now stay at home with my son, work from home, and make my own schedule, but it’s also extremely tough to fit everything in in one day on top of being pregnant. Toddler playdates, doctor’s appointments, conference calls, emails, quiet time to write, taking care of the house, building a business…there is so much to fit in each day, and only so much time. I find myself working a lot of late nights trying to get it all done, and luckily my husband is good about letting me sleep in a lot so that I don’t run myself ragged.

I am Working on My Fitness

As I said before, I was previously scared to work out during my last pregnancy. I walked a lot, which was a great way to keep active, but I did not feel “in shape” at all. This pregnancy, I have been doing the PiYo program (combo of pilates and yoga) at least 4-5 times per week for at least 30 min per day, hiking on weekends, etc. My body feels so much more physically fit, strong, & toned, and my lungs have so much more endurance and capacity. I feel so much more energized on a daily basis after I have completed my workouts, and I generally just feel tougher!

I am Eating Healthier

I do feel that I generally ate pretty healthy during my last pregnancy, but since becoming a fitness coach, I have paid even more attention to what I am putting in my body on a daily basis…especially processed foods and sugars. Of course, this pregnant mama is never going to completely cut ice cream out of her diet…I mean we all have to live a little, right?!?!  Sometimes those pregnancy cravings will get the best of me for sure. I am not perfect, and will never claim to be!  But on the whole, I am conscious of what I am eating and I strive to make healthy, clean choices for myself and my growing babe.

I Have Been Through It Before

I have a newfound confidence this time around. I mentioned being afraid a lot during my last pregnancy…but this time I am more confident with my decisions, I realize that there are some things that are just out of my control, and I have to let go a little.  I generally have an idea of what to expect this time for labor and delivery (although I do understand that things could be completely different), so I am not super anxious about what’s going to happen. I understand that things may happen unexpectedly, I now know what contractions feel like (and I know to drink tons of WATER to prevent dehydration and early contractions), and I know not to freak out if I go into my regular check up and they tell me I am not leaving without a baby. I feel prepped and I feel calm.  I’m actually more anxious about how things are going to go POST-delivery when I have two children! Haha.

Curious as to what you other mamas are going through out there? How have you been feeling throughout your pregnancy? If you are pregnant for a 2nd time around, have you felt that it’s been easier or harder? Do you feel tougher as well or has it all been a lot to handle?

I definitely feel that my workouts combined with my nutrition have played a HUGE role in my “toughness” this pregnancy, both mentally and physically. It keeps me going and keeps me strong.

Happy Monday to all you Mamas, and everyone else out there reading! We had a nice weekend with family and friends. Today marks 28 weeks pregnant for this gal.

Let’s make it a great week!

XO,

Gina

Happy New Year!

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The past year has been a bit of a roller coaster.  My family has suffered a lot of loss, but we have also shared in a lot of joy.  There have been changes in my career, trips across the country, exciting wedding celebrations, babies born, and interesting adventures.  Watching my son grow this past year has been the most amazing part.  He turned one in August with a nautical birthday party, and he has been soaking up knowledge like a sponge.  He amazes me every day with the way he communicates and how much he can remember.  He is sweet as pie and shows so much love and affection.  I feel incredibly blessed and lucky.

I also feel extremely lucky to have so much love and support from all of you.  Thanks for sticking by me this past year through the good times and the bad.  There were moments when it was tough to find the time or energy to continuing blogging and creating, but this is always a place I love to come back to, and I appreciate you all coming back here as well.  Some of your favorite posts from this past year included the beautiful fairytale wedding of Melissa and John, some creative ideas for engagement gifts, and when I tried out these fabulous new hair extensions.  I also heard from a lot of you about how I survived the first year of motherhood and the gear that got me through.  As always, please let me know what types of posts you would love to see more or less of in the coming year.

I can definitely say I am excited for what 2015 has to offer.  I’m going to jump into a P90X program starting TOMORROW, and I am so excited to get back into shape again.  I have always been athletic having played soccer and basketball my entire life through college and beyond.  After having my child, I have struggled to find the time and the energy to get into a regular workout routine.  When I was working outside of the home, I quite frankly hated to spend my free time away from my son.  Now that I am home most days, it’s tough to even have free time!  I received the P90X DVD program a couple years ago as a Christmas gift.  It was on my wish list and also on my bucket list as something I wanted to complete as a challenge to myself.  Although the program is still in the shrink wrap, it’s something I have not been able to let go.  I despise the feeling of not being in shape anymore, and although I have lost all of my baby weight, I do not feel like my healthy, energetic self anymore.  I plan on joining an online challenge group to keep myself motivated on this journey, and I am looking forward to feeling good again and setting a good example for my son.  If you are also interested in joining me in my fitness journey, please let me know and I would love to give you more information about the group.

Aside from getting fit and healthy, I am setting my sights on a family vacation to Tulum, Mexico!  I have never visited, but I have heard so many amazing things.  Our itinerary is completely open, so if you have any ideas or suggestions on where to stay or what to do while we are there, please share!

The photo above is from New Year’s Eve on my friend’s rooftop in Baltimore, MD.  We had a blast on our trip, although we are now trying to recover from the yucky sickness we managed to catch while away.  Poor lil guy has the croup plus a fever!  We have finally unpacked all of our Christmas goodies from the car, took down our tree, and put away all the decorations for the season.  I’m always sad when Christmas is over, but I am excited for a fresh start in 2015.

Hope you all had a wonderful year, and I am wishing you all the best for a happy, healthy new year in 2015!

XO,

Gina

Vintage Style Swimsuits

Vintage Style Swimsuits
1) Splendid Malibu Stripe One Piece: Swim Spot / 2) Rocksanda Ilincic Talgo Color Block Swimsuit: Matches Fashion / 3) Adreana Degreas Striped High Waisted Bikini: Moda Operandi /  4) Red Polka Dot Swimsuit: ModCloth / 5) Island One Piece: ModCloth / 6) White & Black Polka Dot One Piece: ModCloth / 7) Black High Waisted Bottoms: Mini Hammer via Etsy / 8) Floral Two Piece: ModCloth / 9) Zimmerman Verano Floral One Piece: Madewell / 10) Betsey Johnson Floating on Petals Two Piece: ModCloth / 11) Cherry Two Piece: ModCloth / 12) America Stars and Stripes Fringe Tankini (this is kids and obviously too small for me, but it was too adorable not to share): Shop Justice 
Also a fan of these suits from grey dog (not pictured).
Memorial Day Weekend has passed which means it’s officially summer in my eyes!  We went north to New Hampshire over the weekend, and lucky for me, I didn’t have to put on a bathing suit.  I know lots of women tend to be self conscious at the beginning of summer.  Leftover weight from the holidays that hasn’t come off…pasty pale skin that hasn’t gotten tan yet.  You know the drill.  It’s normal.  Only this summer, I’m feeling a bit more self conscious than usual.  I mean, last year I was pregnant in a bathing suit, so as uncomfortable as that might be, at least I felt that I could own my body and be proud that I was carrying a little guy in there.  Now, 9 months post birth, I am feeling great, and I have shrank back to my pre-pregnancy weight…and even back almost to my wedding weight!  I should be screaming and jumping for joy at my accomplishment!  However, it’s been said time and time again not to look at the scale.  The scale does not measure how you look and feel.  My body has been through a year, oh it has.  I’ve been stretched out and starved for time and I’m completely out of shape.  Breastfeeding and walking have gotten the weight off, but my body looks completely different than I am used to.  My belly is much squishier, and that jiggle jiggle is anything but attractive.  I have been patient with getting back to my normal self.  No crazy diets or workouts here.  Just steady walking, breastfeeding, and trying to eat healthy when I can.  What I really need is time to tone.  Or maybe I just need to make it a priority.  It’s tough, this mom thing.  By the time I get home from work, it’s time for Nico’s bath and bedtime routine.  After that, it’s cooking, dinner, clean-up, and I maaaaybe have an hour or so to get anything done, yet I am exhausted.  The last thing I want to do is a work out at 10pm that would keep me up even later with all the adrenaline.  I do hope and plan to get back on some kind of fitness routine in the near future, but in the meantime…it’s bathing suit season people, and what is a beach-loving mommy to do?
Well…I have decided to embrace and love the body I currently have and find a suit that flatters it as much as I can.  Work with what ya got, right?  Besides, my body got this way because of the incredible tiny human who now fills my life with so much joy.  There is something to be said for that.  We moms make sacrifices for our children every day, and if a little extra belly fat is what it takes to be blessed with such an amazing little boy, then so be it.  Luckily, vintage/mod/retro style suits are all the rage right now, and I am planning on rocking an adorable high waisted swimsuit or one-piece this summer.  Who says you can’t look hot in a onesie!?  The most important thing is that I am comfortable, so I am going to go with what works for me right now.
Would love to hear from any new mamas on what you plan on donning to the beach this summer?  OR if you have any great fitness routines that you swear by, I would love to hear from you as well!
Hope you have a happy one!
XO,
Gina

Millions of Peaches

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I came across these photos that I had taken back in August.  Our yard has a peach tree out front that grew more peaches than we could possibly eat!  After passing them out to the neighbors, I swore I was going to make my first peach pie on the Friday of Labor Day Weekend.  I was planning on gathering all the ingredients early in the week, and I was going to make a blog post of how amazing it all turned out.  Well, folks, that clearly never happened, because I went into labor on Labor Day Weekend.  I had more important things at hand, like meeting my baby boy.  I can’t believe that was three months ago, today.  My life has changed in more ways than I could have even imagined.  I thought I could never love any more than the day when they put Nico in my arms for the very first time, but that love has continued to grow and grow with every day that passes.  My husband and I just constantly look at each other, look at Nico, and verbalize how lucky we are to have been blessed with such an amazing boy.  They told me time would fly by, and they weren’t lying.  Happy 3 Months my little guy.  We love you.

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Oh and by the way…those peaches did not go to waste.  We were lucky enough to have my mother-in-law stay with us for a few days after Nico’s birth.  One of the ways she helped out was by baking that amazing peach pie.  In my haggard new-mother state, I failed to capture this pie with my camera, but let me assure you, it was delicious!

*This post was intended for Nov. 29th, but we were on holiday celebrating Thanksgivingkah.  Hope you all had a great weekend!  I’m off to partake in Cyber Monday sales!

XO,

Gina

#20 Have Children

You may have been wondering why I suddenly fell off the blogosphere these past two weeks…or maybe you have already guessed.  Much to everyone’s surprise, our Little Monkey decided to grace us with his presence two weeks early!  Now this Great Freakin’ Adventure bucket list item is probably the most significant one I will ever check off.

Please welcome Nico Alfredo Notes to the world!  Born Thursday August 29, 2013 at 10:53pm at 5 lbs. 1.6 oz. and 19 inches.

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Ever since I was a child myself, I dreamed about what it would be like to have a child of my own.  As kids, my sister and I played house, school, doctor, and other role-playing games where we would play the “mom” taking care of our babies.  I guess that is just something that little girls do…or maybe that was just us, I don’t know.  As we grew older, the idea of having kids was something we tried to avoid, especially during our teenage and college years.  Finish school, get a job, get married, then have babies, right?  Of course, that doesn’t always ring true in the real world, but that’s what I was aiming for, and luckily, my life played out according to plan in that way.

However, the plan itself does not always go the way you would imagine.  Life is just not that way, and ours was no different.  It was not without struggle and some hard times.  We were fortunate to get pregnant pretty quickly, but then our world crashed down when we lost our little Peanut.  It was tough to move on, but the news of our Little Monkey on the way helped with the process.  Although we were scared of something terrible happening again, there was still that glimmer of hope which increased with every week of my pregnancy.

There were both ups and downs with the pregnancy, but all in all I would say I had a very healthy, wonderful pregnancy experience.  Toward the end, I loved feeling him jump around in my belly and we imagined every day what he would look like.  It still feels weird to not have him in my belly anymore, and I half expect to feel a kick every now and again.  I am glad to have this blog which documents most of this experience, and I look forward to showing it to Nico one day.

Now let’s look back to right before Labor Day Weekend.  What I thought would be a routine 38 week check up on that Wednesday morning at 9am turned into me being admitted to the Labor and Delivery unit that morning and staying there for quite some time.  My husband and I got called back for my routine ultrasound, and baby was not exactly cooperating that morning.  He passed all of the tests with flying colors, except he wasn’t making any sharp movements.  Now, I have my theories on this…we typically had 1pm appointments…maybe baby was just sleeping at 9am?  However, he also fell down quite significantly in the growth percentile.  He had been measuring small the entire time, but the docs said he was growing every time, so they were not really too concerned.  They kept a close eye, and at this 38 week appointment, the percentile dropped to where they started to be concerned.  My regular doc was on vacation that week, so they had someone filling in.  Because of the lack of movement and drop in growth percentile, and the fact that I was full term at 38 weeks, the fill-in doc recommended that I be induced that very day.  I’m sorry, WHAT DID YOU SAY???  Induced…today??? As in, RIGHT NOW???  Where is my normal doctor?  Who is this lady??  Does she even know what she is talking about?  She doesn’t even know our story!  Would Dr. Stein say the same thing?  These are some of the thoughts that ran through my head.  My husband and I were clearly in utter shock.  We had nothing with us.  Our hospital bag was all packed, but it was all the way at home.  I told myself beforehand that my “birthing plan” was more of a go-with-the-flow mentality, because it’s impossible to predict what will happen…but this is NOT what I was thinking, and I was not feeling like going-with-the-flow right now.  We went down to the Labor and Delivery unit at the hospital and I spoke with the midwife on call.  We did a series of extra tests, which the baby passed with flying colors, and I really second guessed this decision to be induced two weeks early.  It was ultimately our decision, but we had a strong rec from the doctors, and really, what was our alternative?  Go home, be stressed 24/7 about whether or not we made the right decision, or wondering if my placenta was somehow failing and baby was not getting nutrition the whole time?  Or get the baby out now safely while he’s still healthy, no matter what it took.  The choice for us was obvious.

Luckily, the hospital staff was wonderful, and because baby was still doing really well, they told me they would not rush the process, and make sure to take as much time as needed for as long as we could to make this induction happen and to try to avoid a C-section.  They let me have my “last meal” before being admitted, and Zack went home to pick up all of our stuff for the hospital, including our car.  The next time we would be going home, we would be going home with a baby.  This reality was finally creeping in on us, and it brought a whole new meaning to Labor Day Weekend.

Once the induction process started, it was a long road.  It finally got started around 6:30pm (after being in the hospital since 9 am).  12 hours and another day later things finally seemed like maybe they were moving along.  Unfortunately, after the midwife examined me…it turned out that things were not really moving along all too well.  Rather, than drug me up with more and more pitocin (which they did not think would work for a natural delivery), she suggested that we start the process over.  WHAT?  Again?  12 more hours of this?  And what if it doesn’t work again?  I am doomed for a C-section.  I wasn’t feeling too optimistic at this point, but I trusted that the midwife was recommending the best thing for me and what what we wanted for this delivery.  So, they let me take a shower, have another “last meal”, and we tried again.

Somehow, someway, the process worked this time and I started progressing.  That was a ridiculously happy moment for us, and I started to feel hopeful.  The rest of that afternoon, I felt contractions, but I wasn’t in a terrible amount of pain.  My mom, sister, and mother-in-law were able to make it up to NY in time to be there before the delivery.  I had very lucid conversations with them through my contractions, and I was generally pleasant for a lot of the time.

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I kept progressing, they eventually broke my water, and it was then that everything kicked into high gear.  My contractions started getting more difficult to handle, and thank God for those birthing classes my husband and I took as he was so helpful in getting me through a lot of them.  Eventually it got to a point where I said, “I don’t have to be supermom right?  I need an epidural.”  It didn’t kick in right away, but let me tell you…I was so happy when it did.  Before we knew it, the midwife was telling me it was time to push.  Already?  For such a slow start, this birth certainly was moving quickly now!  We didn’t even have time to tell our family that it was go time.  We just had to go.  A small army of medical professionals surrounded us and my nether region, but at this point, I was so over feeling awkward…I mean I had to pee in a bedpan for the past 24 hours, because they couldn’t unhook me from the machines…my humility had already gone out the window.  I pushed like a rock star for only 20 minutes, and our baby boy finally arrived!  Right before he came out, his heart rate started to drop, and there were talks of possibly using a vacuum to get him out.  I guess that was all I needed to hear to get him out as soon as possible.  Turns out, the culprit was the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice that had tightened up as he was coming down the birth canal.  Thank God for those last quick pushes.  They placed him on my chest, and I was so overwhelmed with emotion and shock, and I don’t even know what else.  It was so surreal that this little “alien” jumping around in my belly for nine months was finally here and a teeny tiny human in the real world.  My Little Monkey.  My Nico.

It was a magical experience, that I don’t think you can even accurately describe or understand the feeling unless you have gone through it yourself.  We stayed at the hospital for about a day and a half after Nico’s birth, trying to recover and pick up all the tricks of the trade from the nurses.  My husband even videotaped a nurse doing a swaddle.  Trust me, it has definitely helped out at home!  It was pretty unreal taking our baby home and realizing that we were now officially parents who had a new job of raising this child.

My mother-in-law stayed with us for a few days to help out with cooking, cleaning, giving us time to catch up on sleep, etc.  We are extremely grateful to have such a wonderful support system.  Once she left, we missed her and the help, but it was nice to try and figure out this parenting thing on our own, and get into as much of a routine as we possibly could.

I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since our little Nico arrived.  I already feel like we have been through so much emotionally, mentally, physically, and more.  As soon as we think we have things figured out, something changes.  Everyone says this, and I thought I would be different, but breastfeeding is not easy.  Sleep is so important for your sanity and well-being.  And it’s integral to get out of the house every now and then.

Nico is doing well and gaining back his birth weight.  He has been a pretty awesome baby so far, and he sleeps a lot for which we are very appreciative.  As crazy and exhausting and hard as motherhood can be, I am loving every minute of it so far.  Just seeing that little face every day, the little smiles he gives, and knowing that my husband and I created such an innocent, wonderful little being makes everything worth it.  I already feel like time is moving by so fast, and before I know it, he will be going off to prom or getting married.  I am so excited for the journey that is to come and ready to take on all of the challenges that come with being a mommy.

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Heading home from the hospital

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Like father like son

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Nico with his Nana (my Grandma)

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He smiles!

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Silly Monkey

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First trip to Prospect Park

Since this major life change, I can’t promise to keep up with my blog as often as I once did, and I can’t promise I will take a shower every day.  But I can promise to give this baby the world, my best, and everything I’ve got.

XO,

Gina

Friday Favorites

1. Favorite Summer Drink – The Smoothie

I have been downing one of these almost daily.  They are super refreshing and hydrating for my prego body, not to mention tasty.  I love to mix it up with different fruits including watermelon, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, and more.

2. Favorite Recipe – Beer Can Chicken

My husband made this receipe from Bon Appetit Magazine last week, and it was absolutely delicious!  In the middle of cooking, the chicken actually ended up falling over on the grill, and he was convinced it turned out burned and terrible, but I beg to differ!  It was juicy and flavorful, and I would definitely request we have this again!

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3.  Favorite Wedding Hairstyle – Beautiful Top Bun w/ Headpiece

My beautiful cousin, Alex, adorned this stunning hairstyle on her wedding day last December courtesy of Creations-a-la-Nikki.  I love how super-chic and classy her look is, captured by the wonderful photographer Abby Grace.

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4.  Favorite Blogger – Keiko Lynn

I have been following Keiko’s blog for awhile now.  I absolutely love her retro-yet-modern, punkish-yet-feminine chic style.  Her blog is definitely one of those that I go to for inspiration.  And her make-up tutorials are phenomenal!

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5.  Favorite Funny Video – Dad Life

This video actually reminds me more of my own Dad, than of my husband, but who knows, it could only be a matter of time once Zack starts rockin’ the Dad Life style as well!  Haha.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend.  We are headed down to Maryland for one last quick trip (before we hibernate in NY until the baby gets here) for my sister-in-law’s baby shower for my future little nephew!  We are so excited our boys will be born right around the same time.  It reminds me of growing up with my cousin, Marisa, and I hope our boys create the same type of long-lasting friendship that we did throughout the years.

Happy Friday!

XO,

Gina