My Summer Post Recap: All things Baby, Back to Work, Engagement, Re-branding & Travels!

It’s been a summer for the books! So much growing, traveling, fun & so many firsts in our life! As I was rounding these up, I went back to re-read some of my posts – I need to take some of my OWN advice and remember why I wrote the things that I did.
The post that hit me the hardest was “The 5th Trimester: Learning to Balance Time & Give yourself a Break.” This post is very near and dear to my heart – definitely the most honest words I’ve written to date. If you are a working mom, or will be…check it out!
The most exciting thing that happened personally this summer, is that Craig and I got engaged! We are so official now!
The most exciting thing that happened blog wise, is that I re-branded from “Kayla Marie” to “Running with Strollers.” I finally found my niche and can’t wait to keep writing & bring great content to all my readers!
Here is a recap of this summer’s posts. I have re-linked for easy reading if you may have missed one in the craziness that summer can bring 🙂
Calvin Turns 4 Months + The challenges & rewards during this time 
Back to Work! + My Working Mommy Essentials
The 5th Trimester: Learning to Give Yourself A Break
*My favorite & most honest post of the Summer <3*
My Favorite Way to Order Prescription Glasses + Pics of this Baby Bear!
4th of July Inspired Family Photos
We got engaged! + Our Favorite Vacation Photos 
Calvin turns 5 Months + How Having a Baby Changes Your Priorities
Our Day Trip to NYC + Getting Out of your Comfort Zone 
Mom goes to Nashville + Increasing Your Happiness + How to wear Shorts & Boots
*Blog Re-Brand!!*
Flying with an Infant + Travel Necessities! 
Calvin turns 6 Months + Remembering to Live in the Moment 
Calvin Tries the MamaRoo!
Shirt Dresses: Perfect for the Transition to Fall
Here’s to a new season, more firsts, and finishing out 2016 strong.
So much love for all of you! ❤

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One Month Out – Final Preparations 

We’ve officially hit the one month mark! How did this happen? It feels like I was just sitting on the beach with my friend Laura telling her I think I might be pregnant. She didn’t believe me until at least 20 weeks, btw. A lot of friends and family having been asking if we’re ready and how we’re feeling, so I decided to give ya’ll a thorough virtual update.

One second I feel like we’re ready and the next I’m having a mild panic attack thinking of last minute details I need to perfect. This past week I was telling Craig how much we need to do this weekend and he says, “like what?” Cue Krazy Kayla Pregnancy Rampage answer of, “WHY ARE YOU ACTING LIKE WE’RE READY?” You can tell who the calm one is in the relationship…so thankful for his patience. I do feel as if I have several weeks left, but I know that realistically we should be prepared for this party to start any day now.

I spend all week working and preparing  for my 12 week office absence, so we really try to focus on us and baby prep on the weekends. I have to say we did a good job at starting early, and spacing out the long list of tasks (mostly fun & exciting) that come with preparing for baby #1. It also helps that we have extremely supportive friends & families that can’t wait for the little guy to arrive.

I know that this info is probably super irrelevant for my friends without kids but I know so many other mamas-to-be and friends who will be in this position soon. There are so. many. things. to. do. and I want to share what my reality has been over the past couple of weeks, leading into this final month. Current Moms, please tell me I’m on the right track 😊

Mental Preparation

I know I’ve talked in the past about how mentally tough this journey has been, but I think staying mindful and remembering what matters most, goes a long way during pregnancy. I’ve decided to take anything I read (including articles like this post) or advice I receive with a grain of salt — focus on you and your baby, in an effort to stay grounded. It is an on-going process and something I have had to remind myself of often. During this time, keeping everyone in both your personal and professional life happy, is literally impossible (I know from experience in trying) and should not be #1 priority. I’ve been most content when I stay in the present and envision only positive thoughts and plans for my families future. *insert tranquil yoga setting here*

 

Paparazzi Preparation 

I’m getting so excited to see our lil’ man and I know I’m going to be a crazy person with capturing every moment. Both of our families won’t really be able to get to the hospital right away or be around for every milestone, so we’re going to try and capture as much as we can. I got a super nice Nikon camera for Christmas a few years ago and have only used it a few times. My iPhone is so convenient for taking pics but I’m constantly having to delete apps, emails, and photos for more storage. I know there are apps, clouds, and storage mechanisms to help with this, but I finally have a reason to use this camera, and learn some photog skills. I couldn’t find any of the accessories so I jumped on Amazon to order batteries, USB cable, and an extra memory card. I’ll say it again, thank the lord for online shopping. Now we’re in business. Apologies in advance.

  

Hospital Stay Preparation 

I have had a half-packed hospital bag ready for some time now, but am finally finishing up, and just started a baby bag. I am using a rolling carry-on size suitcase for my things, and the diaper bag for Baby C. I feel like I’ll be adding items up until we go to the hospital, so I’ll probably end up over packing, per usual. Craig is in charge of snacks and drinks for after delivery. Oh, and his clothes/personal belongings. And taking care of me and the beebs.

Car Seat Preparation 

We’ve had our car seat for at least a month but finally installed it in the car this past weekend. Then we went to McDonald’s (clearly being easy on myself this month) and pretended we were driving around with another human being in our car. Apparently 90% of people install the car seat incorrectly, so they require parents to get them checked at the local fire or police department. It was pretty intuitive, but we plan on doing this at the end of the month, when they are holding the next session. We are also installing an additional base in Craig’s car, so we don’t have to change when we change cars.

 

Maternity Leave Preparation

There is a lot of paperwork to fill out and acronyms to learn when preparing for maternity (and paternity) leave…FMLA, STD, FLI, etc. I started this convo with HR several months ago and just got my FMLA approval in the mail this week. Although I’m a beginner, my best advice is leave time to learn the ins & outs, utilize experts (HR & accounting) and make the decision that is best for your family, regarding leave. Everyone holds a different financial and professional status.

Baby Gear Preparation 

Onesies, blankets, books, everywhere! Below are some of the latest larger items that we’ve gotten ready. I’ll probably let you guys know down the road how we ended up liking these items but for now here is what we decided on:

  • Place for baby to sleep in the first 0-3 months – We decided on a Graco Pack n’ Play Travel Lite for our room. If you purchase from this link, you get a $40 Buy Buy Baby gift card with purchase. It’s small, perfect for traveling, and has a raised bassinet that vibrates for sleeping.
  • Graco Glider with Ottoman– for nursery and feeding. We decided on a neutral cream color with cherry wood to match the nursery furniture.

  • Breast Pump (ugh, TMI)- still not to sure what I’m looking at, but I was able to get this Medela Starter Set through insurance for free. Surprisingly, it came within 2-3 business days.
  • Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play for when Baby C is just straight chillen. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this item. PS – my Mom & I found this basically new (and certified sterilized) at a gently used store for half the price.

  • Urbini Omni-Plus Stroller – this goes with our car seat to make it the complete travel system. I love the heather gray color and bassinet option.

Knowledge Prep 

I’ve done a lot of reading, studying, and asking questions, but my actual plan is to learn by doing. I guess you could call it wingin’ it. I know there will be instances where I have no idea what to do, but for the most part I know I will love him, be obsessed with him, and the motherly instinct will kick in. Also, reallyyy banking on years and years of babysitting paying off for me here. My biggest fear is the actual time when I am going into labor…we took 3 birthing classes to prepare for that as much as possible, but I truly don’t know what to expect. I envision us being excited and freaking out. I’ve been told to not have too many expectations, as it will always go differently than planned. Send positive vibes our way!

And just because you all are amazing, I’m going to leave my readers with a sneak peak at his initials because we finally made a decision … 

I hope everyone is off to a great 2016 – I have a post coming up later this week with some special mama guests…I’m so excited for everyone to hear from these seriously credible babes. 💋

PS – I’ve been on a “Revenge” Netflix binge for the past week but am already getting sick of Emily Thorne. I need some recos for this final month & maternity leave!

Talk soon!

💕 Kayla

Prenatal Yoga : Why I tried & My First Impresh

Okay friends, I’m writing again about a ‘future mom’ topic bc that’s what’s surrounding my everyday! If this doesn’t benefit you now it will in the next couple of years 😊 I know I’m only about two thirds through this pregnancy adventure but I am able to recognize that among many changes in life right now, there are two big effects that occur while your bun is in the oven: the physical changes & the mental. I’m not sure just yet which one is more demanding.

Physical: Pregnancy makes you feel like you constantly just ran 5 miles, like you just tried doing the splits in an adult dance class for the first time in 2 years (not speaking from experience), or like you just went horseback riding for 8 hrs straight, lol. The problem is that the only place I have been running is to the restroom, and the only serious stretching I’ve done is reaching down to tie my shoes. I do have to say that I was able to keep up my regular workouts at Orange Theory until 18 weeks and then one day, I just was not able to keep up anymore. I’m not going to lie –for how active I was before, I didn’t know it would be so hard on the bod. *current moms are all thinking “just wait!”* In our birthing class last week, the nurse asked “What do you like about being pregnant?”  My answer was that it has forced me to slow down. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am constantly going, going, going and for the first time it’s OK to take it easy. Let me clarify by saying in NO way do I think pregnancy is an excuse, it is a time to listen to your body, and what your baby is telling you he needs. It took me about 24 weeks to accept this, but I do think it’s okay for us to take this time and turn it down a notch. I hope there are other 1st time ‘busy body’ mamas out there that can relate.

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Mental: The responsibility that comes with growing a baby can seriously be a big mind eff, if you let it. The anxiety is real, ppl. One second you are feeling your baby kicking and can’t wait to meet him, the next second you’re wondering how you’re going to be responsible for someone else’s life, forever. One day you’re feeling prepared and the next you’re wondering why your nursery doesn’t look like you’re Pinterest board yet….even though he won’t sleep in there for the first 6 months. I’ve found that it helps me to stay off of google and minimize my time spent on the “What to expect” community posts. While apps can be helpful for referrals on products and such, there are also posts called, “how many weeks are you and how much weight have you gained?” If you see this topic, just click away and never look back. Not something anyone needs to be comparing with others. You’ll see women who are on week 25 and have “lost 20 lbs” –bitch, no you haven’t.

Onto the topic of this post! So, this past Sunday I woke up and my body was sore as hell per usual, and I was definitely needing a mental pick-me-up/social interaction. I was laying in bed debating how I can convince myself to go to the apartment gym and at least get on the elliptical…the struggle! I finally decided it was time to look up prenatal yoga as an alternative. Besides the body pains, I think half the reason I haven’t wanted to hard core workout is because the tight spandex and double layer sports bra wearing is extremely uncomfortable. At yoga you can wear looser, comfier clothing… and honestly if you didn’t want to wear a bra you can prob get away without it. Jk, I wouldn’t do that to anyone. There happened to be a class 2 miles from our house at a studio called Honor Yoga, so I last minute got my ass to class. 

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If I were explaining the progression of prenatal yoga (which I am) I would break it up into three parts:

1.) Introductions — We spent the first 10 minutes of the class getting to know each other. All of the moms were asked to introduce themselves, how far along they were, if they were having a boy or girl, etc. If I were in an actual workout class where I was actually trying to burn a serious amount of calories, I probably wouldn’t have patience for this. Before pregnancy I was a bootcamp teacher and took workouts too seriously — if it weren’t high intensity it was a waste of time. Considering we’re newer to the area and I’m always looking for others to connect with, I was super into  and excited about the introductions. Everyone else was between weeks 17-19 (I probably should have started this sooner) and also having their first baby.  What a great way to meet people in my same life sitch and listen to what they are experiencing. We can learn a lot  by simply listening to others.

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2.) The practice — To be honest I don’t know many of the formal names for the poses but after the introductions we went into the actual practice of sun salutations, breathing, and stretching in a flow type format. At the beginning there was a lot of sitting in the butterfly and indian style positions (again, not the correct names of these positions) which isn’t super comfortable but they give you Mexican looking blankets and a thing called a bolster to sit on which the tail bone liked 👍🏻 If you can’t tell, comfort is pretty much the theme of my life right now. The practice was definitely not super difficult in a physically demanding way, but there were some poses that did burn in the shoulders and quads, and it was just enough to stretch the important parts.

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3.) Savassana — Otherwise known as the last 5-10 minutes of class where you lie on your back and the instructor does a lot of talking. Although, you can’t lie flat on your back while preggo so we built an incline out of the bolster and blocks, which was pretty nifty. In normal yoga classes, I have a hard time relaxing and focusing during this last portion of the class. It felt different this time …she had us put one hand on our heart and one hand on our belly so we could show our gratitude towards ourself and baby. Baby C immediately started moving around (so. cool.) The one thing she said that really resonated with me was, “You and your baby were brought together for a reason. He needs you, and you need him.” Although I am already a big believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ this was the first time I had thought about me needing the baby. There’s so much pressure to prepare for what we can do for the baby, that I haven’t fully grasped the joy, strength, and life he is going to bring to both Craig and myself. I can’t wait to find out.

Going into the prenatal yoga class, I had a couple of goals, to stretch and feel better physically, and to try and meet some other future moms. What I didn’t expect was the calming, mentally stimulating, aspect of the class. You just feel good after, like you did something beneficial for yourself and baby. Much more beneficial than playing bubble mania on your iPad and eating lemon cookies on repeat–although I would know nothing about that.

The conclusion: I will be going once a week on Sunday’s to continue to reap these benefits and think I will connect with others outside of class. Win, win in my preggo book.

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Thanks for all the positive feedback so far on my bloggin’ journey. Comment below and let me know what you think!

Thanks for visiting 💕

Kayla

My Pregnancy Style Picks : Fall Edition

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of stuff you have to buy as a new parent, and most of it isn’t for you! Like seriously, shit you never even thought of. I figured I would just want the basics until I found myself registering at babiesrus for a wipes warmer and bottle drying rack…

The last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of dollars on a new wardrobe that you can only wear for about 5-6 months at most. I somehow managed to squeeze myself into my normal clothes well into the 2nd trimester, but I finally gave in to all things stretchy around week 19…right at the start of fall 🍂🍁 I realized quickly that comfort is key, especially for long days trying to concentrate and perform well at work. Although I would have loved to sleep in, wear yoga pants, and lie around eating endless amounts of bagels at this point in the pregnancy, it just wasn’t really an option for this girl. My goal is to show you that comfort doesn’t have to mean “mom jeans” with tennis shoes…..

DISCLAIMER: In no way, shape, or form am I an expert on pregnancy — I’m simply sharing what I’ve discovered works for me SO FAR 🙂

Three pieces I’ve found myself wearing over and over are 3/4 sleeve length stretchy dresses, ponchos or scarves, and ankle boots. I’ve worn this look to work, on the weekend, and even to my baby shower back in October. The best dress I have found is the Liz Lange Maternity Scoop Neck dress, from Target which I own in both black and gray. They are literally the perfect length, weight and fit to wear all day and the side ruching feels like heaven to my growing belly:

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Adding a layer over this will add comfort, warmth, and style to an otherwise seemingly plain dress. At first I thought wearing a poncho or blanket scarf would be “too much” on my 5′ 3″ height but then I remembered I am dressing for two, right? Also, they are super “in” this season –I figure this because they are everywhere! I have had good luck finding affordable and versatile ones at Forever 21 and Marshalls. For some reason the Marshalls here is literally amazing and overflowing with items– they probably get all the overstock stuff from NYC. Here is the look I’m talkin’ about. So freaking comfy to wrap around your bod:

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Lastly, find some comfy fall boots to pair with these pieces. Although flats are most comfortable, logical, and the best way to keep your chiropractor off your back (haha), sometimes us preggos just gotta feel stylish. I would, however, recommend alternating days that you wear boots, wedges, or flats to avoid leg soreness, back pain, and swelling in your feet. I can only do wedges/even small heels about twice a work week. My comfiest boots are from Toms and Old Navy (I own both black and tan)- neutral colors such as black, tan or gray will be the most economical as you can mix ‘n match with anything. Here are some of my faves:

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Here are some of the “looks” I’ve put together with these essentials while navigating through the 2nd trimester of pregnancy out here in the Garden State:


princeton battle field
baby shower
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Most of all, I think it’s important that whatever you choose to wear is comfortable and makes you feel good. I’ll make sure to share my winter style picks/necessities with you all as the seasons change and holidays approach. Let me know what you think and what your fall “go to’s” are and how I can start to mix it up!

Thanks for visiting! 💕
Kayla