beet&baguette

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Category: Health (page 1 of 3)

8 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Having a Baby

Hooray, motherhood! Right?

Let’s get one thing out in the open: there’s a good chance that I’m not saying anything you haven’t heard before. With that in mind, here is a smorgasbord of tips / experiences / lessons / tricks / hacks / musings all related to new-motherhood.

1. Don’t have a birth plan.

Okay, before you get all WELL I’M HAVING A WATER BIRTH IN MY LIVING ROOM SURROUNDED BY LAVENDER DIFFUSERS AND A CIRCLE OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY, let me explain. I’m not saying you shouldn’t at least have a general idea of how / where you’d like to give birth. Do you plan on having a home birth? Great. Cesarean? Awesome. No pain medications? Perfect. However, if this is your first baby, you are likely completely mystified when it comes to labor and delivery. AND THAT IS OKAY. I wanted an unmedicated hospital birth and had a drugged-out-of-my-mind emergency C-section. And you know what, I’m fine with that. When I say “don’t have a birth plan”, what I mean is that I want you to feel okay about whatever happens, because guess what – the most important thing is that you and that little baby are safe and healthy.

2. Utilize the hospital nursery.

For goodness’ sake, DO NOT listen to anyone who says, “Don’t send your baby to the nursery when you’re in the hospital because that is when he needs to bond with you.” Trust me, when you are so physically and emotionally wrecked and exhausted, you need AND FULLY DESERVE the nursery. Those nurses are there to help YOU and BABY. You are not a bad parent for asking a nurse to take your baby for an hour or two so that you can sleep. You are of absolutely no help to your baby if you are not well-rested and alert. In the days after Colin was born, there was a point during which Richard and I were so deliriously tired that we couldn’t keep our eyes open — the nursery service saved us.

3. There will be days where all you want to do is cry.

We all have them. They suck. Do you want to know why we all have them? It’s because when it comes to parenting, no one knows what the fuck they are doing. Everyone pretends. We all make it look like we have our shit together, because that mom over there definitely seems to have her shit together. Ask for help. Friends, neighbors, family members — anyone that you trust. Just know that you will have days where you feel like a failure. You’re not.

*If you are experiencing extreme mood swings, crying spells, insomnia, or feelings of depression or anxiety, ASK FOR HELP. Postpartum Depression is real, but there is a world of help out there.

4. The bathroom will become your sanctuary.

Seriously. Even if you’re just peeing. You are in there, sitting, sans-baby. It’s wonderful. Brushing your teeth? That’s a luxurious self-care experience at this point, mama. If your partner is home with the baby, you’re golden. Just sit in there as long as you want. Bring your phone. Reply to texts, delete junk emails, watch Instagram stories, you name it! Oh, you know how sometimes you put toothpaste on your toothbrush, but the toothbrush flips over and the toothpaste falls onto the edge of the sink? You wipe the glob of toothpaste up with a tissue and throw it away and start over, right? WRONG. New MOM YOU will just use your toothbrush to scoop the toothpaste up and proceed to brushing your teeth. Why? For one, time. You literally don’t have time to start over, because your baby is crying up a storm because you WALKED OUT OF VIEW. Another reason is that you just don’t care anymore. Most days, I only have time to brush my teeth once. Yep, go ahead. Call me disgusting. Just you wait.

5. Your body will never be the same.

When I was pregnant, people told me this. I pretended to understand, but I really didn’t. I planned on working my ass off to get back to my pre-pregnancy self. But now I get it. Thanks to hormones on the fritz, my skin changed (acne, ugh) and my hair is thinner. My breasts (even though I only breastfed for a couple of months) will never be the same, ha. The muscles that I worked sooo hard to have are weak. Getting back in shape is not a walk in the park, my friends. Oh, and did I mention that you’ll likely be too tired to do much working out anyways? While I’m not there yet, I’m making strides. I am just now getting back into running (thank you, cool weather!) and I’m wiped out and in bed by 9pm almost every night.

6. Make mom friends.

And do your very best to stay close with your non-mom friends. You will need them all. You might think you are too good for “mom friends”. Trust me on this one, you need them. And you most certainly need your non-mom friends to keep you sane. There will be days where literally ALL YOU WANT is to have a conversation with another adult about ANYTHING but babies. Let your friends know how much you still need them around.

7. Get used to what your face looks like without makeup.

Because you won’t have the time. Nor will you really care (that’s a plus, I guess). I’m not at all ashamed to say that I started using Proactiv a couple of months ago because my post-baby skin was terrible. I was embarrassed to leave the house without concealer or makeup, but I didn’t have time, so I decided to give Proactiv a whirl and it has been my lifesaver. Really, I’m not getting paid to write about this. It’s worked wonders for me. Also, because I don’t wear makeup every day now, it’s really fun to play around with it when I actually have the time to enjoy it!

8. Don’t let anyone tell you that you take too many photos of your baby.

When I look through photos of Colin that we’ve taken over the last four and a half months, he looks like 5 different babies. That’s how much babies change. You will want to look back at every single little stage that your baby went through. You know why? Because you won’t remember. You will be so tired and drained that you won’t actually truly remember those early weeks. You will want to look at those 1,496 photos to prove to yourself that you did it. You raised and loved and kept alive that sweet and squishy little newborn baby.

So cheers to you, mama.

xo Cassie

Aiming for Balanced

Full-disclosure: I am a SparkPeople-turned-MyFitnessPal addict.

I am well-versed in counting calories, tracking sugar and sodium intake, monitoring daily activities, etc.

Yet, things have changed.

My diet and activity level over the last 7 months has been vastly different from my “normal” habits. The truth is, with the arrival of our little guy only two short months away, it’s time to start rethinking my habits. Yes, I’ve been enjoying my fair-share of indulgences whilst pregnant. Pfffft, why shouldn’t I? However, all along, I’ve kept in mind that I’d like to return to my “normal” eating/fitness habits as soon as possible.

The truth is, it’s been difficult.

I enjoy being active. I enjoy cooking healthy meals. I certainly enjoy seeing the results of hard work.

For example, I had every intention of continuing to run throughout as much of my pregnancy as possible. Instead, I missed out on two half-marathons in the fall because my body wasn’t in a place to train. Hell, the first trimester can be summed up like this: feeling hungover every single morning without the thrill of actually getting drunk the night before.

By the time the second trimester rolled around, I felt great. I actually felt pretty fantastic. I walked some, but I was afraid to run.

I hadn’t run in months.

The fitness aspect of my life fell completely to the wayside because I was terrified to push myself past “uncomfortable”.

I wanted so badly to run, but I didn’t want to injure myself or overdo it and somehow threaten my baby’s life.

You see, it’s too easy to read about the woman who gave birth hours after finishing a marathon in Chicago and wonder why that couldn’t be me. But hey, all pregnancies are different!

The bottom line is, my whole life is about to change. I don’t know what I’m in for. I do know that I’m not aiming for an outrageously perfect lifestyle.

I’m just over here aiming for balanced.

xo Cassie

Snow Day Adventure

On Sunday, we finally experienced a day of beautiful sunshine. The sun began quickly melting the snow and ice in our neighborhood, water rolling off rooftops like little monsoons. Richard and I ventured out for a brisk walk and to check the ice status of nearby roads. The top photo shows kids and adults (and even a couple of dogs!) sledding down a large hill near our house.

Snow Piles

Any snow that had accumulated in the clubhouse parking lot had been piled high by plows.

Richard

Richard, looking dashing.

Cassie

“Now take one of me!”

Power lines

We stood here for a bit, listening to the faint eerie buzz of the power lines.

Clubhouse

The lovely neighborhood clubhouse.

BBQ truck

A BBQ food truck set up shop in the parking lot. No customers, though. I would think that most people on neighborhood walks are likely to leave their wallets at home!

Purrito

Gretchen preferred to stay all snuggled up indoors – near the fireplace, of course.

Monday

Alas, yesterday’s roads were in much better shape… and Monday beckoned.

xo Cassie

7 Brilliant Beauty Buys

During the process of organizing underneath my bathroom sink, I was moved to write my first-ever beauty post!

Slash… procrastinate the much-needed organization under the sink.

Moving on, though!

Folks, these are products that I use almost every single day. They are a part of my routine. I wouldn’t share something with you that I didn’t absolutely love.

Best part is: six of these products are under $15 each, yay!

I’ll get to those first.

7 Brilliant Beauty Buys // www.beetandbaguette.com

Almay’s Clear Complexion Makeup with BlemisHeal Technology – $12.79, Target – This liquid foundation has a scant amount of Salicylic Acid, so you don’t have to feel bad about applying makeup, even if you feel a pimple coming on.

Jelly Pong Pong’s Glow Getter Highlighter – $12.75, BirchBox – A lightweight, pearlescent shimmer gel that is great for just under the brows, or to dab on the cheekbones. It’s a tiny bottle, but a little goes a long way!

Maybelline’s Face Studio Master Glaze Glisten Blush Stick – $7.99, Target – Stunning, natural, blendable color that won’t dry your skin out like a powder blush. I’m loving the Coral Sheen shade for warm weather days!

Maybelline’s Line Stiletto Ultimate Precision Liquid Eyeliner – $4.79, Target – Does this one really need an explanation? If you know me at all, you know I love a good cat eye.

mark.’s Glowdacious Illuminating Powder – $13, Avon – I’ve had the exact product that you see in the photo for years. Literally, years. Still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the compact. This shimmer powder / bronzer includes multiple shades, so you can use a lighter color for the inner eyelids and a darker shade for your cheekbones!

Revlon’s Colorburst Balm Stain – $6.89, Target – Want a lip stain that isn’t sticky or scarily unnatural looking? This creamy balm stick is the answer. Subtle, yet lasting color in a no-mess crayon.

The final product in the photo, my friends, is $22 from BirchBox and still deserves to be on this list, even if it’s just because of the scent.

Yes.

The scent of Beauty Protector’s Protect and Detangle Leave-In Conditioner is utterly tantalizing. I received a good-sized sample of it in my very first BirchBox, and I’m still falling in love with the scent every time I comb it through my fresh-out-of-the-shower hair.

And you guessed it.

I adore BirchBox.

Love samples? Considering signing up. $10/month, that’s like two Starbucks drinks!

Besides, who wouldn’t want the adorable boxes?!

7 Brilliant Beauty Buys // www.beetandbaguette.com

7 Brilliant Beauty Buys // www.beetandbaguette.com

Sigh, can I just be Anna Bond?

xo Cassie

Hiking at Umstead State Park

Whew, Friday certainly snuck up on me yesterday — and I did not have a Friday Feast to share with you!

Richard took the day off, though, so we enjoyed our own little “Friday Frolick” with a tuna salad sandwich picnic and hiking at William B. Umstead State Park.

Here are some photos from our adventure!

Hiking at Umstead State Park in NC // www.beetandbaguette.com

Hiking at Umstead State Park in NC // www.beetandbaguette.com

Hiking at Umstead State Park in NC // www.beetandbaguette.com

Hiking at Umstead State Park in NC // www.beetandbaguette.com

Hiking at Umstead State Park in NC // www.beetandbaguette.com

Hiking at Umstead State Park in NC // www.beetandbaguette.com

Get out there and enjoy your weekend!

xo Cassie

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