Thursday, September 14, 2017

Taking it Easy on Yourself - Commercial Silk Review

It has been a tough couple of months.  Work has been very busy, we had a several-week long heat wave (with temps 100+), and I have not been feeling so well.

I am hoping that since it's almost Fall (late September), that things will get better.  I'm definitely less nauseous, and today, the temperature was under 80 degrees!!

I've been pretty hard on myself recently because I would do things like not eat the healthiest, skip workouts because I'm too tired/it's too hot, or oversleep and then miss another workout opportunity.  If I miss mornings, I'm pretty done for the day since I tire out from working and the day.  However, I know I need to be kinder to myself and slow down sometimes.

We're finally taking a family trip soon, which is exciting!!  I haven't been anywhere in a good while, and we get to take the boy on his first plane ride.

Another enjoyable thing is that I received a lovely addition to my home from Commercial Silk (

I was immediately drawn to this mini cherry blossom bonsai tree.  I think it adds a nice touch to the mantle and reminds me of my trip to Japan almost four years ago.

Since I'm fairly incompetent when it comes to gardening, I really appreciate having a silk-based, realistic-looking plant in the house that requires no care and brightens my day every time I see it.  Even the dirt looks real... and no bugs!!

If you are looking for something like this for either yourself or as a gift, I definitely recommend checking out Commercial Silk.  They have larger and smaller trees and other topiaries for indoor and outdoor applications.  With the need to conserve water here in California, it is nice to have this realistic and sturdy option.


FTC Disclaimer: I was provided a sample from Commercial Silk but was not otherwise compensated to provide a positive opinion.

For more information:

Friday, September 1, 2017

All About Carbs

Thanks to those who commented on my last post!  It all seems pretty unreal right now, but I'm starting to get pretty impatient and excited!

I wanted to talk about one of everyone's favorite things -- yep, carbs.  In my last pregnancy, I was shocked that I ended up developing gestational diabetes.  After my son was born, I didn't exactly stay on top of watching my diet, and my yearly blood sugar tests kept inching toward pre-diabetes. 

Earlier this year, I decided to reign it in and go back on a similar diet I did during pregnancy -- basically, low carb.  I was eating a ton of fat, just trying to see what would happen.  Well, by the time my next scheduled blood sugar check came along, I was pregnant.  I had been tested early last pregnancy, and this time was no different.  The results showed that my average blood sugar level was the lowest it's been in years, and I passed my glucose test with flying colors.  (I also did a separate lipid panel, and all looks great there, so don't fear eating fat, people!!)

Now that I'm getting closer to the midway point of my pregnancy, I know I'm going to have to start spot-checking my blood sugar soon, as I don't know yet what this pregnancy is doing to me yet.  Normally, the gestational diabetes test is given around weeks 25-28, which is when I found out last time, but some crude research has convinced me that the condition may roll in as early as 20 weeks.  Thus, a have about a month left -- not to indulge in carbs, but you know what I mean.

I haven't exactly been the best eater this pregnancy so far.  My "morning" sickness has been significantly worse than last time.  Even now, at about 15 weeks, still feel nauseated, though mostly at night, and my aversions to smells and certain foods has lingered.  Thus, I've been pecking away at carbs more than I should, but I've at least been trying to moderate how many I have at a time.  As I am slowly, slowly starting to feel better, I have been trying to incorporate more fat and protein, but I still can't really stand chicken or avocado or some of my old low-carb staples.  At least there's cheese, though even that had been iffy for me for a time period.

Anyway, I will be HIGHLY surprised if I don't get diagnosed again this pregnancy, but I guess you never know.  I've seen stats like 57% chance of a repeat diagnosis, versus figures like 80%.  My activity level has been about the same so far -- I want to step it up, but from my last post, you'll remember I have some complicating factors, not to mention, it has been so, so, so hot around here (approaching 110 degrees), which makes it nearly impossible to function, let alone exercise.  Come on, September and Fall!

If this does happen again, hopefully I will already be eating appropriately by then, so I won't experience the utter disappointment and adjustment of last time.  The only thing, though, is that a diagnosis could affect whatever the birth plan I have.  There's really no point, since nothing with birth is planned, as I have learned. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Latest Addition

Please excuse my latest extended absence, but I am back for now.

In January of 2012, I wrote a post about "The Ukrainian" (my husband) was being upgraded.

If all goes well, another family member is getting an upgrade soon.
Big Brother is watching you.

Yes, I am pregnant again.  This news came as a bit of a shock to some of the few we've told, who perhaps thought I was pretty much "one and done," and even myself, who considered selling off all the used baby stuff many times.  I don't really plan on going "public" this time, so if you don't know and just happened to stumble upon this, now you do. ;)  I have had a few complications that make me hesitant to broadcast, but things are far enough along now that regardless of how this goes, it's significant and worth blogging about.

This pregnancy is different in that I already know what to expect once the baby comes, moreso than I thought I did the first time around.  For example, I KNEW sleep was going to be slim, but I did not know how much it would impact every fiber of my body.  The sleep thing is actually creating the most anxiety for me right now, though it's not limited to that (for example, the birth ranks second), and I fully acknowledge that I'm going to have to face these things -- and more -- again in turn... and hopefully seek help if needed this time.

Putting that aside, I am curious how this baby will be similar or different than the child we already have.  I have four siblings who defined much of my life, so I'm hoping Tuesday ultimately enjoys having one... if not now, then someday.  I know I wasn't obligated to give him one, so the decision of having another really settled on a few personal factors that ultimately brought us here.  I know things are going to be chaotic for the next few years.  I might be outnumbered at times.  The introvert in me is psyching myself up for that, though I guess at least Tuesday is older and is interactive, helpful when he wishes, and getting more independent by the day

Second, onto vanity... I don't know what will become of my body, since I was already not the same after the first.  My stomach never flattened no matter how much ab work I did, and whenever I'd get bloated, you could totally see where the weaknesses in my core lie and when I lay down, I could feel where my abs never quite came back together.  I don't know if C-section or the fact that I don't spend as much time working out anymore contributed, though prior to this pregnancy, I was below my first pre-pregnancy weight and had a leaner mass overall.  Finding time to work out is going to get even more challenging.  At least my home gym is poppin' (I was not pregnant, nor planning to be, when this was set up or when I quit the gym).

I'm also worried about my career.  After Tuesday was born, I landed the most amazing job and hope to continue on with it.  It is so hard to be a working mom even with one, so I'm bracing myself here.  We are planning on bringing in help... wish me luck there!!

I've spent a lot of time talking about worries and logistics, but don't get me wrong, this baby is already very much loved, and I am excited to experience the mother/baby bond again.  By the way, I think it's totally okay to not be 100% excited about going through baby life again, and knowing that they grow to be cute little people puts everything into the bigger scheme of things.  I am not the type of parent who'd paint motherhood into a perfect pretty picture, so there.

Anyway, I am 14 weeks along at this point (pic on right), so I'm putting this out there a bit earlier than last time.  I found out super early, because I guess I recognized how it felt immediately and had two expired tests confirm.  I have had a lot of the same aversions/cravings as last time (weird carb-y things, which does not jive with my blood sugar) and just random waves of nausea throughout the day.  I have a lot more sensations of soreness and pain than last time, which worries me in terms of how I'll cope as I get bigger.  I'm probably just slightly more tired this time, thanks to insomnia and a toddler to keep up with.  But overall, the ickiness of the first trimester has been awfully persistent this time, and I keep hoping each time I feel bad will be the last time.

I've gained pretty much nothing so far, although I think much muscle has been replaced by fat.  I'm not concerned since I gained about 35 lb last time and know it will catch up with me soon, especially once I feel better.  I was hoping that more running would occur this pregnancy than my last, which would be easy since I barely ran at all last time after I completed Big Sur.  However, after spending the early weeks fairly active, I was thrown into a semi-high-risk category and put on limited activity for several weeks.  The restrictions were later removed (even though the issues are technically still there!), but getting back into things isn't going well.  I'm just trying to do anything to stay active at this point, and since I'm still feeling rather blah, it's touch and go around here.  I should add that so far, the baby is perfectly fine, so in spite of everything, I am grateful for that fact and will hope that things stay on course.

Speaking of courses/races, I am afraid I will most likely have to break my streak of Lunar New Year zodiac races, since the next one is right up on my due date, and I am almost certain I won't make it because I am under recurrent C-section watch, and even if not, then I'd need a pre-due date labor/delivery.  While I'm bummed about this, I'm so used to not having control of stuff by now that I will just roll with it.

We don't know the sex of the baby yet.  We did not opt to find out until he was born last time, but now that I feel compelled to plan more this time due to anxiety, we are going to find out.  Also, I just want to have the "other" experience.  Of course, we'd be happy with either. 

Sorry for the long post!  I'll probably add updates as we go along.  I think I should at least address my blood sugar issues and how that's going.