Pregnant With Grief

As i slowly approach what would have been my due date, it still feels like I've been through an entire pregnancy. Turns out, I've been pregnant the entire time, only just with grief. It's almost as if I thought the pain would go away, but instead it grew with me every month that passed during the time I was supposed to be pregnant. What would have been a life is just the shadow of sadness over mine. 

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What To Expect When You Miscarry

Within the span of 48 hours I discovered I was likely to experience a miscarriage and made it to the other side. I became a statistic. I became the 1 in 4 women who experiences pregnancy loss. It was strange to experience this loss because I pride myself in healthy living, and come from a long and fertile line of women. This miscarriage has been an emotional whirlwind, the following months were a complete blur and only now do I feel some clarity regarding the situation. 

In an effort to better equip other women who may either experience a miscarriage or know someone who does, I decided to document what it was like to miscarry, because it was surprisingly traumatic and painful. I even took a few pics, because it was all so overwhelming, and mostly because I had never seen anything like it.

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The Best Natural Beauty Finds on Amazon

Ever since I turned 30 I've started to notice a few signs of aging: mostly the wrinkles around my eyes when I laugh (which is a lot).  In a perfect world I'd never show signs of aging, or I'd whisk away the possibility with a quick dose of botox. But in an effort to live healthier and happier, I've really worked to switch out my beauty products for more organic options, unfortunately Botox doesn't fall into that category. As a young mother, I want my beauty to routine to be simple, effortless and effective all at once, that's not too much to ask, is it?!   I've been researching and trying all sorts of products this past year, but here are the 5 I keep coming back to:

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My Miscarriage Story

August 30th was an exceptionally overwhelming day for me. I was starting back at work as a French Teacher after a 4 year hiatus, leaving my son for the first time in 2 years, and found out the day before that I had lost my pregnancy. (you can read about the day I found out I would miscarry here)

I made it through the day of teaching, but truth be told I didn't do a great job. My mind was scattered, my hormones were raging and I had sporadic stomach cramps. I was so worried that I might start miscarrying while at school (and even more unsure about what happens when you miscarry) that I put in a menstrual cup and wore a pad....just in case. I memorized the emergency number to the nurse's office in case I started bleeding while teaching and had to run out of the classroom. I know it sounds ridiculous, but the only miscarriage story I had heard up until this point was my good friend's and she fell unconscious on her metro ride to work and had to be take by ambulance to the Emergency Room, so really, I had no idea what to expect, and certainly felt anxious about having that experience in a high school. 

My husband and I already had plans to see one of our favorite comedians that exact night with my younger brother and sister, and had already arranged for my 2 year old to sleep over my older sister's house. As odd as it was to carry on with that plan, it also worked out wonderfully as a distraction from the sadness that was waiting for the miscarriage, and offered me an afternoon at the beach free from being a mom of a busy toddler. 

I enjoyed the craziness and hilarity that is Bill Burr, but really my mind was racing. We didn't want to upset or alarm my younger siblings who were with us for the night by sharing our bad news, so we kept it to ourselves and carried on with the comedy. Throughout the evening I had off and on cramping, and I sat in a sketchy casino ballroom on a metal chair, praying that God would have me miscarry that night. I just wanted it to be over with, and honestly I wanted to do it in peace, while my son wasn't home and I didn't have the extra emotional stress that is being a mom for the night. And there really is something sad and altogether uncomfortable about holding a baby in your body that is no longer growing. As the show progressed so did my cramps. It started with a lot of cramping in my back and a tightness in my uterus. As we began our drive home, I noted the time and noticed I had been cramping consistently for an hour straight. 

When we returned home, I made myself a red raspberry leaf tea and spent another hour in the kitchen, resting my head on the counter and rocking my hips. What I found so strange about the beginning of my miscarriage is how similar it was to actual labor. It was slow and steady throughout the afternoon with light cramps, but they built up in strength and in duration. As much as I tried to relax about what was happening and go with the flow (as I would with normal labor) it was also incredibly terrifying to see the amount of blood and clotting that came out of me that night. 

It was draining, it was painful, and it was emotionally insane. The strangest part for me was how long it went on. It felt like forever. I was actively bleeding for about 3 hours straight, so much so that I had to remain in the bathroom over the toilet--I really felt like I was going to go crazy in there. You don't really want anyone with you, but you also feel so alone. You literally watch your hopes and dreams go down the drain, and it is beyond upsetting. What's worse is that it seems to be just the beginning of the grieving process, which for me, has taken months to recover from. 

Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was the loss, but mostly I was angry. I was mad that I had lost my baby, sad to join a club I didn't want any part of, and shocked that no one had adequately prepared me for what happened to me that night. What was normal? What was to expect? I think part of the trauma of miscarrying a baby is having no clue as to what is to be expected. Every little clot that you physically feel pass through your cervix worries you--was that the baby?! In the end you know it when it happens, it's larger than anything else and, similar to labor, you can feel your cervix open and something pass. It's hard to see but also relieving, as the process is so painful. After I passed the gestational sac, I bled for quite a while longer. I felt strange afterwards, as I put a maxi pad on my underwear and climbed into bed. Maybe it was shock, but I felt like I was buzzing and couldn't sleep, only to wake up the next morning in a daze but having to face reality and get back to the real world. The world looked different that day, not because I didn't enjoy my time, I loved watching my son run around the local petting zoo with glee. But it was because I was stunned at what had happened the previous 48 hours of my life, shocked that my 9 month plan was randomly squandered by a few hours of uninvented bleeding. Undoubtedly, experiencing pregnancy loss has changed me immensely, and is something I am still working to accept and process. 

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The Benefits of Using a Menstrual Cup and How to Choose One

Whenever I used to hear about menstrual cups I'd shudder....they just seemed so dirty, strange, and foreign. But after some thought and hearing about another one of my friend's using one, I realized maybe foreign is exactly what they were to me, but maybe that wasn't a bad thing, perhaps they were better than what I was used to using, so I decided to give them a shot. 

It didn't hurt that I was sick of spending money on pads and tampons month after month,  especially since I had grown more suspicious about the ingredients used in feminine products and had switched to organic products in an effort to be more health conscious. Besides, I'm particularly bad about buying myself feminine products, partially due them being so unnecessarily expensive but also because whenever it's not my "time of the month" I try not to think about it and enjoy my time, which generally leads to forgetting to purchase said products until I'm in a panic the first day my period shows up. I don't know why I'm not better prepared for it, I act as if I have no clue as to when it's coming (I do, I use the Clue Period Tracker App and it rules). But for some reason,  I never have my act together for something you really do need to be prepared for. I'm just responsible like that. 

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How To Help Families After the Napa Fires

The recent fires in Northern California have really hit home for me. Having just moved away from the San Francisco Bay Area this time last year, I have so many great memories and friends there. Notably, look at little Jeffy visiting his first Sonoma Vineyard at a mere 6 weeks old:


Interestingly enough, he wasn't the only baby there. That's one of my favorite parts of the California lifestyle, people are so overtly kind and laid back--parents can easily go out to a brewery or winery and bring their baby. Now that's the way to live!

Having so many memories in Napa and Sonoma it is devastating to read the news and see the spread of the fires. Knowing the location of the fires and actually checking with friends to make sure their friends and family were safe was an eerie feeling. When disasters happen it can be hard to feel the impact of it, we are quick to feel sorry for what has happened, but often just as quick to go back to our everyday lives. This one felt so real for me, perhaps more upsetting to me than hurricane Maria that hit Puerto Rico, even though their devastation may have been worse (it was).

It's upsetting enough to think so many people lost their homes, but it's worse to consider 23 people lost their lives. A friend of mine recounted that one of the strangest things about visiting Napa after the fires was to see entire neighborhoods burnt down, with only washing machines and dryers remaining as evidence of the homes that were once there. 

 For more pictures of the aftermath of the fires click  h ere

For more pictures of the aftermath of the fires click here

This was a neighboring place for me, a place I went when friends were in town visiting, a place people escape to for Honeymoons and Anniversaries, a place where families live. During my time in the Bay Area I was part of a mother's club and sought both information and friendship through this club as I began my journey of motherhood. The Petaluma Mother's Club taught me so many things about motherhood, I loved their holistic and crunchy take on motherhood. They are collecting donations of gift cards to distribute to displaced families through the end of 2017. This is one way to give to local families, even from afar! 

The Petaluma Mother's Club is accepting donations of gift cards to help with local families who have been evacuated or affected in some way from the recent fires. Click here to access more information on their website or send gift cards electronically to 

Please consider helping these families as they regroup after a difficult time. 

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Reflecting on Las Vegas: How Can We Instill Kindess In Our Children

When I first heard the news about the Las Vegas shooting I initially tried to ignore it. It seems as though something awful and impactful occurs regularly now, and it's really starting to become overwhelming emotionally. It's as if I thought that maybe if I just pretended I didn't know about it, maybe it wouldn't have happened. But upon returning home from work, I sat down to read the news. I felt so sad for the families affected, sorry for our culture that hate and violence have continued to occur, and afraid for the world our children are growing up in. I have so many questions on my mind: Who has this much hate in their heart? Why is anyone allowed to own that many guns? Why are these bump stock devices legal and allowed on rifles anyway?  What kind of world are we bringing our children into? and will it ever get better? 

What's happened in Las Vegas doesn't seem like it could be real life. To hurt more than 500 people and murder 58 all in the span of 15 minutes seems inconceivable and so very terrifying. There are so many things that concern me regarding this shooting, amongst the many others we've had in the U.S in recent years, but the biggest question that I think needs addressing is why do these events continue to occur? It's not all about the guns (don't worry I know the guns are a big part of the problem, I'm just saying something else is off producing people who stockpile guns and ammo and pull the trigger.)

So what can we do to make the World a better place? We can continue to love our children, teach them how to be respectful humans who value the life of other people and show that same love and kindness towards others. When I was a child there was a song in Sunday School that always confused me. It was titled "JOY" and stood for "Jesus, Others, You". As a child I thought it was strange to put many people ahead of myself, it was almost as if my childlike mind couldn't understand the concept. But as an adult I can see the value in that lesson, that although we are naturally inclined to be selfish and think about our own desires, it is important to consider others to create a more peaceful and loving world. 

It doesn't happen on it's own and it doesn't happen at school. Raising a respectful human being begins at home. How do we show our children a love so great that they are able to go out into the world and share it? It takes selfless and dedicated parents to raise respectful children and foster an attitude of caring and helpfulness. It stems out of considering others before ourselves. We have to put aside some of our own selfish ideals in order to consider our children first. Maybe we want to watch a movie or go on our phone when we could be reading stories to our children. Maybe we'd rather eat dinner in front of the television instead of sitting at the table and communicating with our kids. But we need to lay down our selfish ambitions along with our phone from time to time and just be with our children. Watch them play, listen to their mumblings. It takes a great amount of patience, consideration and above all, time. But listen to your children, treat them with dignity and respect, and demonstrate what it is to be kind. 

Children copy what they see, and develop in how they are treated. We don't need to offer them the world, rather we should show them how to function properly and successfully in the world. Kindness and respect are far more important of a gift to our children than the newest scooter or coolest toy. How we treat others and how we work to develop care and consideration in our family culture has a lot to do with creating a better and happier culture. If we consider kindness, maybe we will be able to reach those who are hurting, and help to make these tragic events fewer and further between. And maybe I'm just a dreamer thinking this could help, but it's worth a shot and I'm willing to try. 

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What It's Like To Learn You've Miscarried

My days have been filled with angst and worry. What began as a joyous journey towards a new baby has left me with a racing mind and a bloated, aching stomach. It all began last week when I began spotting. It was my first week back at work--teaching--and I assumed that it was a normal part of pregnancy.  Even though I hadn't experienced spotting with my first pregnancy,  I readily believed that since I had already had a healthy pregnancy I would naturally have another.

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The Secret To Packing Easy School Lunches

Back to school means back to packing lunches. I for one find it hard to consistently pack healthy lunches for my son as well as myself now that I'm back to work as a teacher. I tend to feed him as many wholesome foods as possible, staying away from excess sugars and food dyes. For snacks, I'm all set: we eat a variety of fruits, raisins, trail mixes, freeze dried fruits, seaweed snacks, etc. But for lunches, I just can't seem to consistently make and pack hearty lunches for us both, especially as I'm tired from that day at work, and already trying to prepare a healthy dinner.  As a mother, I find it so hard to do it all well, luckily I found a simple solution to the lunch time grind with Nomsly--a healthy subscription lunch service for kids!

At the beginning of the school year I was also in my first trimester of a pregnancy, feeling ever so ill and totally adverse to any sort of food. It was then, that I passed by the Lunchables section at a grocery store and actually paused. I had never considered purchasing my son a ready-made meal, but it seemed so easy, especially at a time in my life where preparing healthy meals seemed so daunting. I picked one up and read the long list of ingredients and decided against it, while it seemed so easy and convenient, I couldn't in good conscience feed my son a box full of preservatives on the reg. Instead, I remembered a subscription service I had come across at an expo last spring.  Nomsly is a subscription service based in Boston, delivering chef prepared kids' meals to the greater New England area. They work with professional chefs and a nutritionist to develop a healthy lunch menu that features produce from local New England farms--can't beat that! So much healthier than Lunchables or the grab bag lunch I would throw together in a pinch. Each week there are 9 meal options, including vegetarian options. Check out a few meals from this sample menu:

 So many great and healthy options! My son is obsessed with the Soba Noodle Salad! Image Credit:

So many great and healthy options! My son is obsessed with the Soba Noodle Salad! Image Credit:

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My son loves their Asian pasta salad dishes, and to be honest I've even eaten some of their meals (seriously the BBQ Chicken was incredible). I can't help but eat them as well, they're fresh and delicious and so convenient. Another great element of Nomsly is their great customer service, which I always appreciate. They run specials all the time on their website, Facebook, and Instagram page--offering free meals! In fact the first meals I ordered were shipped to me free, which was the perfect way to try this guilt free. Free fresh food? Less work for me? Ok!!  Feel free to check them out with my code {click here} any order you place will provide me a little kick back, meaning more meals for J.P (and me, haha!). Also, rest assured that any promo code you come across will work in addition to using my link, so you don't have to give up any free meals to support me and my blog--mix and match them up and score some free meals! I was so pleased with my free meals, we keep ordering and haven't looked back! Thanks to Nomsly for making kid's lunches easy, stress-free, and healthy! So click here, give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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Intro to Motherhood and Me!

This picture represents so much in my mind: my sister in law was visiting (hence the great photo!), I was experiencing my first breastfeeding battle (thrush is the wooorst!) and I purchased the domain name for this site--in hopes of one day starting a blog to help other moms.  J.P was a mere 3 months old and I had already realized how much I had learned and loved about motherhood. So, here I am, a year and a half later (oops!) finally sitting down to write while my baby who almost isn't a baby anymore takes his nap. 


This picture represents so much in my mind: my sister in law was visiting (hence the great photo!), I was experiencing my first breastfeeding battle (thrush is the wooorst!) and I purchased the domain name for this site--in hopes of one day starting a blog to help other moms.  J.P was a mere 3 months old and I had already realized how much I had learned and loved about motherhood. So, here I am, a year and a half later (oops!) finally sitting down to write while my baby who almost isn't a baby anymore takes his nap. 

Becoming a mother changed me, in ways that I didn't expect but also in ways that feel so right. It is almost as if leaving the hospital with a newborn son and having the experience of labor and delivery behind me changed my lens on the world around me, but also the world within me.  As days turned into months and the nights grew longer somehow some of my former interests fell away and I didn't mind at all--I had a new baby to love and care for after all! Some interests seem to have slipped through my fingers, as though I couldn't hold old during the chaos of becoming a mother, being a wife, and working part time. 

I also gained new interests through taking care of my little guy. What to do with a baby at each stage, what to eat while nursing, what to wear to easily breastfeed, what products to use (or not!) and how to stay sane at 3 a.m. or at 3 p.m when you've been home all day. It's as if a whole new world opens up in front of you: milestones and growth spurts, sippy cups and hiring babysitters.  How not to get into the mix of mommy drama, how to be the best mother you can be while actually enjoying your time with your child(ren). For lost interests I'm trying to regain and new interests I'm working to perfect, I have decided to write in order to organize my thoughts and ideas and hopefully help some other moms with the things I've learned. I am going to find and define myself and hopefully offer ideas for you and your home along the way.