March 31, 2012

Books.

Part of my 2012 resolutions was to finish a book each month.
As of March, I've read 6 books this year.


I highly recommend each and every one of them.
I don't think I really need to tell you what any of them are about unless you've been living under a rock...
Except maybe Divergent....
Go here to read about it. It's pretty awesome and I can't wait for the next book to come out.


What are you reading?! Suggest me something awesome.



March 27, 2012

A normal day...

Last weekend we took a normal trip the bookstore.
The kids and I have done this lots and lots over the year.
Sometimes alone.
Sometimes with Kristina.
But this time was probably the most normal trip,
because we went with a certain man.


He's handsome.

My bangs have gone weird.

Grumpy pants.

Helping handsome man pick a book.


Oh and I'm part of a giveaway. Go here.  It's pretty awesome.

March 22, 2012

Why I've been slackin....

Baby O turned 3 months old a WHILE back and I completely forgot to post anything about it…but for good reasons.
I’ll explain in a bit… read on.

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Isn’t he just a handsome little happy man?!
The answer is YES.
If you try to answer otherwise, well you must be half blind.



Now the reason that I’ve been so forgetful and all over the place lately….
the beginning of March was a madhouse. A MADHOUSE I tell you.
We were all over the place trying to kill time and run some random errands.
Lots was going on.
Lots that most isn’t my place to talk about.
But for me, this happened… … …
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Do you guys remember this pic? This was the day hubs deployed last year.
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In the car…
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He is completely incapable of EVER taking a serious picture.
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Taking him HOME!

A huge thanks to Ally & Renee for the pics!!

March 19, 2012

Mom body. Guest post::Sarah!

I'm Sarah. I blog at Fortune Favors the Brave and Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. I'm a 23 year old mom of Irish twins: Matthew and Cambria. Irish twins is the terminology (not scientific, by any means) used when your kids are less than one year apart. Mine are 11 months apart to the very day. Technically, it was planned. I got pregnant at 17 and was a mom of two by the time I was 19. Now, unlike most girls in their teen years, I was never self conscious about my body before kids. I was technically a bit underweight when I got pregnant, but overall I had no problems with how I looked.

Having two pregnancies back to back is pretty rough and when I was pregnant with my daughter, I craved whole milk and chocolate. During my last trimester, I gained 8 lbs in one week and got a big warning from my ob/gyn to watch what I was eating. I ended up gaining 42 lbs with my first pregnancy and losing 32 lbs before getting pregnant with my daughter. I then gained 56 more lbs in that pregnancy.



Here's 33 weeks with my first
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And here's 39 weeks with my second - ignore the awful undies LOL. I was not going for sexy here!
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After I had Cami, it was time for me to really see what my body looked like post pregnancy and it was not pretty. I'm short and I had a huge belly with both pregnancies, as you can see. It took me over a year to lose all the baby weight I had gained in the past 2 years - which was depressing after losing almost all of my baby weight in a month with my first pregnancy with no exercise. I was very very unhappy with how I looked though and most of that related to my stomach. As most of you moms will probably be able to relate to, I had a huge pouch of wrinkly extra skin. It is not attractive...ever. When you bend over, it comes with you and is just flapping in the wind. It sticks out over your jeans. I did have stretchmarks and I'm sure most people would assume that I hate them because 99% of women do hate them. I don't though. I never had the chance to hate them. My husband beat me to the punch by telling me that he thought they were so cool looking - like tiger stripes. And I do love love tigers and I immediately loved them. I still love them. It's like a mom tattoo. I will proudly wear them forever :)

I have heard a million times how I am tiny and how so-and-so wishes they could be tiny like me. But being tiny doesn't automatically make you happy with your body. And being tiny certainly doesn't make up for that awful wrinkly, flappy tummy skin. I was very very self conscious about my stomach for the longest time.

My stomach last summer - I wish I had an updated picture. 
With my recent regular exercise, the floppy hangover part has lessened


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I am now 4 years postpartum and have finally come to terms with my mom body. And this was my epiphany: We all have to see those perfect celebrity moms bounce back immediately after pregnancy like nothing ever happened. We all have to look at all kinds of models of what we, as women, are supposed to look like. But how realistic is that? Do you think the "imperfect" body is more popular or the "perfect" body? I guarantee that the normal, "imperfect" body is higher in numbers. So why should we be made to feel mad/upset/sad about what our bodies naturally will look like after having a baby? Why would I hide my body? I'm sure there are little twerps out there that would look at me and go "ew" but I'd rather endure that and have ONE mom look at me and go "hey, her body looks just like mine and she's confident...why can't I be?" Why can't our bodies be the standard?
I'm not perfect...I'm normal. You're not perfect, you're normal! And there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being normal :) Plus...you usually get some pretty cute little monsters out of it all :P


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Thanks, Sarah for sharing your Mom body with us.
Now if anybody else would like to join and share theirs....


My Three Bittles
 
Grab the code. Take a button. Link up. Spread the mom body love!


Loving your mom body:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Guest posts:
Jessica
Rachel

March 16, 2012

Mom Body: Guest post by Rachel!



Hi, I’m Rachel! I am a momma to 3 young kids and we currently live in Alaska. Do I love my mom body? Sometimes, maybe, it depends. Until quite recently, I had a rocky relationship with my mom body, I would look in disgust at my stretch marks and saggy boobs. I hated the scale. I wore “safe” clothes, like jeans, loose shirts, hoodies, and lounge pants. My husband constantly told me how beautiful I was, or how hot I looked, but I still felt less than confident about my body.

After my last baby, (almost 2 years ago, sniff), I was hovering around 160. For quite awhile actually. I wore my stretchy pants for a few months after giving birth because I just couldn’t fit in my jeans. We ate somewhat healthy meals, and although I didn’t exercise, I did eventually manage to fit into my regular clothes and shed another 10 lbs.

Fast forward to last summer. Still weighed around 150, never exercised, but I felt ok about myself. Then I turned 29! And I started to freak about how I really needed to get fit before 30. I don’t know why 30 is so scary to me, but it is. I had nightmares about being forever unhealthy and a little pudgy, because you know, once you hit the ripe old age of 30, life is just about over, or so I led myself to believe.

Then I watched a few documentaries that literally changed my life. **Food Inc., Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, The Gerson Miracle, and Forks Over Knives. All of these made complete sense to me and my husband. This was the moment we began to change our habits. If you haven’t seen these, I totally recommend them. I felt ignorant as a consumer, and didn’t want to feel that way ever again. So we started buying more local, (as local as possible anyway when you live in the Arctic). We cut portion sizes, only ate meat once or twice a week, bought organic when available and drastically cut down on processed foods. I felt better about myself, I had more energy, and I lost some more weight, nothing drastic, just a few pounds.

In January I decided that I really need to get to work on my body. I was depressed from the lack of sunlight, I was stuck in the house everyday from the extreme temps, and I really wanted to change. I wanted to feel good about myself, not for anyone else. I think that is what is important, you have to do it for yourself, or you may get frustrated and give up. So to give myself a kick in the pants, I started drinking Body by Vi shakes twice a day. I also started working out at home to Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. Home is where it’s at for me. I have 3 young kids, I really don’t leave the house in the winter unless I need to, so this worked for me. My kids would try to do it too, which was really cute by the way. If you don’t feel motivated at home, get out. Go to a gym, the Y, your backyard, anywhere. About 30 days ago I decided 30 Day Shred wasn’t for me, and I bought Power 90 from the Beachbody online store. I am in LOVE you guys. I cut back on my shakes to 1 a day now, do a workout 6 days a week, and I have never felt better. It’s so easy, the packet that came with the DVDs tells you exactly what to do each and every day. No guesswork, simple, and great for beginners. I am now down to 135, and my body has lost a layer or two of fat, I am starting to look toned, my clothes hardly fit anymore, and I have never felt more confident in my life. As a bonus, I have tons more energy, which every mom needs more of anyway.

I still have a ways to go, I don’t worry about the scale anymore and I know I will never have a perfect body, but I have embraced that. I have curves and I love them. I have big hips and I love them. I have saggy mom boob and I sorta love them.

*Can be found on netflix.

Thanks, Rachel for sharing your MOM BODY with us! 

March 15, 2012

Jessica’s mom body (guest post)

 



Hey everyone, I'm Jessica from www.freckledmama.com

I'm really loving Amber's "Love Your Mom Body" series, and I wanted to weigh in because I myself am going through my own struggle with loving my "mom" body. 

The last eight weeks I've been really trying to do just that, not just love my "mom" body but to love my body period ( I wasn't all that crazy about my body BEFORE becoming a MOM). In the last eight weeks I made a serious effort to change my body; I wanted to lose weight..or so I thought! 

We have all heard "Big Is Beautiful", that we should love our bodies no matter if we are a size 2 or 22. I never felt that way, and didn't understand why I couldn't just love my curves, or ever wear a sleeveless top. I've always heard big is beautiful, but we see magazines, t.v, and movies and the women are 99% sample size 2. 

In my last eight weeks, I have really come to understand how wrong and dangerous both sides of the spectrum really are. I think it is dangerous to try and display ONLY models in sample sizes in beautiful clothes, just as wrong as it is for obese women to be on magazines screaming big is beautiful. (I also really hate that bigger women have  their own clothing section, but I'll get to that another time) I really feel like, the reason it is so dangerous is because it is gives false security to continue unhealthy lifestyles. It gives the obese an excuse to not change their lifestyle to be healthy, and to encourage being fat and happy. It gives the women who try so hard to be smaller size than their body deems healthy, motivation to keep chugging those diet cokes and cigarettes to fit into that size 2 (or whatever size is smaller than their build). 

It is true that we all come in different shapes and sizes, before and after becoming mommies, and that is beautiful but not the whole story. I really want to let you consider the only way we should be categorizing beauty, since it is in the eye of the beholder anyways and that is healthy

Healthy is beautiful! 

Eating clean, exercising, and keeping active is loving your body! There is absolutely no goal size, no clothing tag, or number on the scale that determines what is healthy for you and your body. I honestly know a size 16 woman who runs five miles a day, A DAY, and runs marathons! She is gorgeous, but it doesn't matter what I think because she knows how beautiful and happy she is because she takes care of herself. That woman will never be a size 2, she just isn't built that way,same goes for a size 2 woman that will never be a curvy size 8. Doesn't that take some of the pressure off?

I've changed my lifestyle in the last eight weeks. I went from, eating crap and never working out to eating clean and working out five times a week. I cannot even begin to explain in all the ways my life has change for the better that it really makes it seem that being twenty pounds lighter is just a bonus. I feel so much better, and happier that it is honestly leaking over into all areas of my life. I feel my body changing, becoming stronger, I have more energy, I sleep better, I feel beautiful and for the first time I can remember I'm actually loving my body. I ran two miles in twenty-six minutes yesterday and I'm SO PROUD of myself. I love my MOM BODY! I know I will continue to loose weight until my body determines it is fit enough to maintain, and I'm okay with that!

I want encourage all of you to get active and eat better. 

NO MORE hating your body or feeling down about yourself. NO MORE hating on EACH OTHER! Show everyone how beautiful healthy can be at any size! 

I wanted to include some progress photos of myself. 

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BEFORE.
Excuse the flash, these pictures really weren't meant to be seen. I took these the night before I started working out. I could not even do one push-up.

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20lbs lighter, and able to do push-ups.  Excuse the messy thrown around room, we've been living out of it and renovating it. These were taken right after I got back from the gym.

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I'm not where I'm going yet, but I feel like I'm finally on the right path. 

Thank you to Amber for letting me address her lovely readers and for encouraging women, mom or not, to love their bodies!



((if you’d like to be part of the “loving your body” guest posts email me at mythreebittles@yahoo.com)
Thank you Jessica!!

March 11, 2012

Loving your mom body Part 4

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not telling you guys to NOT work towards a body that you will love. I'm just telling you HOW to love the current body. Honestly, this pertains to any woman and not just moms.
Today we'll talk about fitness.

FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU!
For me, going to the mommy gym (gym on post that allows you to bring your kids. You watch them play on one half of the room, you work out on the other) during preschool. I take baby lady and Baby O with me.
Working out at home does not work for me. I get lazy, unmotivated, there isn't enough room the way my living room is set up and I get bored and feel silly.
At the gym, I'm already out of the house to take handsome man to preschool. They have real machines and what not. And I can throw my headphones in and go to town while baby lady happily plays or stares angrily at kids that tried to talk to her. (seriously... if you know my baby lady, you know this is how she is)

So, figure out what works for you.
It's not just about fitness, it's about being healthy.
Going to the gym or working out everyday does you NO good if you're living on McDonald's 4x a week. (Nothing against McDonald's. We eat there more than I'd like to admit)

Some good at home workouts that I've heard amazing things about:
Jillian Michael's 30 day shred
P90x
Insanity
Anything Zumba
There are a few others that I'm forgetting.
Check out my Pinterest fitness board for random tips and at home workouts.

Eat three meals a day.
Meal plan to help you balance your meals.

Find inspirational people/blogs.
Some I suggest are:
Jess from IROCKSOWHAT
Reyna at Glamour Glory
Flabby to fit
Taralyn at Undressed Skeleton

Guest posts coming soon.
Email me at mythreebittles@yahoo.com if you'd like to be a part or the "loving your mom body" guest posts.

March 05, 2012

Loving your mom body. Part 3



Since we’ve already purged your closet, today will be all about shopping!

Now I know we can’t all afford major shopping sprees so for those of us that can’t, I’m going to explain to you how I got myself a new wardrobe.

Easy peasy…

Clearance racks and thrift stores.

A few weekends ago, I went thrift shopping with my dear friend, Rachel.
The highest priced item was a kickass leather jacket. $20.
My total was $80!
I walked out of there with the leather jacket, 2 t-shirts, a swimsuit cover up for this summer, an oversized sweater and 4 or 5 tops. (I can’t remember which now).
So really, not to shabby considering $20 of it was for the jacket.

Then after chatting with the husband, I told him I had a few things in my target cart that I was going to order because I NEEDED new clothes. He insisted that I go out and about to try to find a few things so that I wasn’t waiting for mail to come. (It seems to take FOREVER to get packages up here).

So, I willingly agreed. The next day, Kristina and I loaded up the bittles and went shopping.
All in all, I spent about $250 on clothes.
I ended up with 4 pairs of jeans. 2 pairs of shorts. a pair of sandals. 4 tank tops. a dress. a pair of jeans for handsome man. a pair of jeans for baby lady. a t-shirt. 4 shirts. and a shirt for the husband (that I may have claimed as my own).

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Some of the clothes.

Point being: Don’t be afraid to shop at thrift stores. Or the clearance rack.
The only thing I paid full price for that day was the sandals. $19.

Some of my favorite online sites include:
Forever 21  Free shipping over $50. (Except to Alaska and Hawaii. It’s $14)
Old Navy.  Free shipping over $50. Ships to Alaska in about 3/4 days. And online they usually have a coupon on the main page for 15-30% off.

Some of my favorite in-store:
Hot topic.
Pacsun. (Their clearance section is amazing!)
Thrift stores. (You have to search but you come across the most amazing items)

Actually pay attention to size charts. Measure yourself to get the best fit.
Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed by whichever size you have to click.
The only people that see the size is you and the cashier.

Take my word for it, once you have a few things that actually fit you right starring at you in your closet, you will feel a lot better about your mom body.


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Top: Pacsun.
Jeans: Old navy.
Boots: Old Navy’s new rain boots.
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Because I don’t understand the mustache obsession.

March 04, 2012

306.




It’s day 306 in this deployment.
Day 306 is going on record as the day that almost broke me.
But I said, EFF YOU day 306!

Let me go back a bit…. this whole week has been a nightmare.
Feverish kids. Coughing up lungs.
Whining babies. Missing preschool and daycare.
3 sick kids = no sleep for momma. I’m talking NONE.
I’m honestly not sure how I’m still moving.
Ok, so sick kids… Started Wednesday night with handsome man. BURNING up.
Next night, baby lady…. puking and fever… I considered an ER trip until I realized it was snowing, freezing and I had 3 other sick kids with me.
Medicine, ice packs, cold wash cloths, Popsicles and cartoons have probably saved my life this week.

Thursday I find out on Facebook that someone I cared about had passed away. I had no clue she was even sick. I hadn’t seen her in years and she probably honestly didn’t even remember who I was, but it was still heartbreaking. She’s in a better place now but it saddens me that everyone that knew about it and I had become so distanced in growing up that I found out about it through Facebook. Nobody is to blame of course, it's part of life and growing up. I'm just truly blessed to have known her.

Friday. 8:08am. I received the scariest phone call I’d ever gotten. My friend called me hyperventilating and telling me to get to her house now. Her husband had been hurt. He’ll be fine, thank God but her phone call consisted of: “patrol…blown up…KAF…” phone cut out. He finally got to call back, she came over. We cried a lot. Now it’s just the anxious waiting game to find out where he’s going and when she’ll be by his side. I’m not going to go into details of the drama that’s come along with that because it’s not my story to tell.
From my aspect, I want to scream at almost everyone in her life and just hug her until this is all said and done.

In the midst of this madness, I have emotional crap going on that I’d just rather not discuss… but my brain hurts. My heart hurts. Everything is drained. I am drained. And I’m worried sick about my friends and family in Tennessee because they were under mass tornado craziness. (Everyone is fine)

Saturday we shower and load up the sick kids because we ALL needed to get out of the house. We took the bittles to Barnes and then headed to walmart to get a few articles of clothing for her to pack up for her husband. Now keep in mind the kids are still a bit sickly. No fevers but still whiny and coughing and should have just stayed in bed but there are certain times that you just HAVE to get out of the house. They were excited about the day out… until we got there. Handsome man whined and threw a fit because he wanted to skip drinks and snacks and go straight to the books. Baby lady just needed to be held. And Barnes was packed. The line was ridiculous. The stares we received were even worse.
We finally make it back to the books and handsome man just stands there pouting. Baby lady starts bloody murdered screaming and saying, “I don’t want to see that”.
She didn’t know where she wanted to sit. She didn’t want to see who knows what. She just stood there and cried. I scooped her up and headed to the bathroom, needing a quiet place to calm her down… I open the bathroom door and almost run into someone in the line.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
A few leave, I set her on the counter and calm her down a bit…we head back out… same thing. So I go to the corner and stand her in it. She’s whining that she doesn’t want to see the people sitting over there trying to pick books!! WHAT IN THE HELL!?!
She eventually calms. We eat and drink and pick books and head to walmart.
While at walmart, I pick up some kid laxative. Baby lady has issues in this department and NOTHING and I mean NOTHING else was helping. She would scream and cry trying to push so I was desperate.

We get home. I give her some. She drinks half of it before I realize I used the wrong size medicine cup and she drank a bit too much. Before bed, she goes potty. I think “that wasn’t too bad”… throw in the usual they stay up and press my buttons until 1am… we all eventually get to sleep.
3am I wake up to her screaming. I run out my door to find her standing in the hallway taking her underwear off, covered in poop. COVERED in poop. She drops her underwear, I scoop her up and head to the toilet.
She’s flipping out. Between it being 3am and her being covered in poop, we’re both flipping out. I get her cleaned up and put back to bed after a fight about which underwear she wants to wear. I’m honestly not sure how Baby O and handsome man have slept through all of this. Handsome man woke up, looked at us and fell back asleep.
We settle on underwear, she goes back to bed. I go downstairs to get stuff to clean up this disaster in the carpet… … … …
I gag.
Thank God for Pinterest.
A while ago I came across a pin talking about mixing dish soap with peroxide. Instant stain remover. And let me tell you, yes!! Not a bit of a stain up there. Thank you, Pinterest.
Now keep in mind they’re still sickly. Poor baby O has tossed and turned ALL night.
I’m exhausted.
About 6:30, she wakes up again screaming that her teeth hurt. HER TEETH!! Didn’t we just go through teeth issues?!
She comes back to bed with me. She wakes up a few more times screaming about her teeth and I finally go downstairs to get her some medicine. In the midst of this my husband is online and trying to text my phone… this is where I lost it.
He’s trying to talk to me. I’m trying to calm baby lady down. I’m trying to keep her calm and quiet so baby O doesn’t wake up. I’m exhausted. EXHAUSTED.
I end up asking baby lady if she wants to come downstairs. While screaming, she hands me her pillow case that she calls her small blanket. Her blanket. her baby cat. Her 2 little fellows (mini bears) and her sippie cup. I have my phone also. And then she wants me to carry her. *sigh*
Downstairs, I set her down. Go to turn on cartoons. Netflix doesn’t want to load.
I have a baby screaming that she wants to watch do do do do do Dora.
And my phone is dinging like crazy from my husband wondering what in the hell is going on.
It’s 7am.

It is now almost 9am.
I have coffee. Baby lady fell asleep.
Both boys are sleeping.
Husband went to bed as well.
And here I sit… listening to music and blogging.

So I go on record saying that day 306 almost got the best of me.
But dear day 306, don’t you know I’m invincible?!
So… shove it up your ass.

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