Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for the Crunchy Mom

Can you believe Mother’s Day is a week and a half away? Crazy! My husband asked me the other day what I would want for Mother’s Day and I actually had some ideas….since I needed to write them down for him anyway, I’d thought I’d share them here for some other husband’s inspiration! 😉

Gift Ideas for the Crunchy Mama

Books. Crunchy Mamas are all about learning. They love learning new things, and usually like reading for fun, too. Check out her Amazon cart or other list of books she may be wanting. Some of the ones on my list are….
1) Mama Natural’s Week by Week Pregnancy Guide
2) The First Forty Days
3) Magic of Motherhood
4) Long Days of Small Things

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Gardening. If your wife is the gardening type, treat her to a garden day together! Either pick up some plants you know she’s been wanting (blueberry bushes, fruit trees or rose bushes are a good place to start), or a trip to the garden center, and spend the day as a family working in the garden! Some things to help her out with her gardening would be an awesome bonus!
1) A cool gardening kit like this!
2) Cute gloves like these.
3) A fun knee pad like this!

Self-Care. All mommas need to work on self-care! Getting her somethings to encourage her to take care of herself, and watching the kids so she can, is such a great gift! Some self-care ideas would be….
1) A trip to get a massage, or mani/pedi
2) Toxin-free nail polish! Did you know that there are tons of hormone distrupting chemicals in nail polish? Gross. I would absolutely love to get the Crescent Crush or the Pothole Polish colors from Native Polish!
3) Young Living Starter Kit!!! MEN. This is the best gift you could ever give her! The health of your wife & kids is definitely worth it. She will love the diffuser, and trying out all of the 11 oils it comes with! A super awesome BONUS during the month of May is the extra 15mL bottle of Tangerine. It smells devine and she’ll find so many different uses for it! You can order it for her HERE, plus, she’ll get added to an awesome community full of like-minded women who love natural health!
4) Bath bombs– y’all. These scream self-care! Make sure you get your wife some- but make sure the ingredients are actually good for her and not full of yucky chemicals!

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Snacks. Men, women need their snacks- especially chocolate. Whether it’s that time of the month, or pregnancy cravings, your wife will always want a special stash of healthy stuff just.for.her. She’ll love you for it, promise. Some of my favorite are….
1) Lily’s sugar-free chocolate! She would love a bar {or 3!} of these!
2) These Wolfberry Chocolate Bars are so good for her health, and she’ll enjoy them!
3) Any other of her favorites…..

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Cookbooks. Healthy cookbooks can sometimes get pricey, but we women love them! The great thing about this gift is, you’re also treating yourself! 😉 Some great ones would be….
1) Against All Grain
2) Necessary Food 
3) A Better Weigh to Healthy 

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You know the woman in your life. Use these to give you some inspiration, but use this day to make her feel extra special and totally loved. ❤

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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22 Week {Pregnancy Update!}

On Sunday, we hit 22 weeks with Baby #2! What?!?! How in the world am I over halfway? It’s crazy how much faster pregnancy seems when chasing after a toddler….I just hope I’m ready for when this crazy boy comes! ❤

22 Week Update

The past week….

I’ve been craving- chocolate milkshakes and ALL THE CARBS. Seriously.

I’ve gained- a total of ~5lbs so far, thank the Lord! I started the pregnancy higher than I wanted, so I’m thankful I’ve kept the weight gain down, and the midwives are pleased, too!

I’m feeling- HUGE! Ha! I’m so much bigger in the belly than I was with Caleb. Guess that comes with having 2 in 2 years.

I’m looking forward to- the splash pad opening in a month. I know….not baby related. But it’s SO hot and humid but still a little too chilly to swim.

I’m wearing- maternity clothes alllllllll the way. Except dresses- the dress above is a regular dress and I can still wear a few non-maternity tops. But yeah….bring on the stretchy pants!

Favorite snack this week- carbs. Ha! Protein bars are my go-to, but trying to incorporate some carrots & hummus or apples & PB.

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Why We’re Happy with 2 under 2

Surprise!!!!! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you saw around Christmas we announced that we are adding to our little family! ❤ The beginning of March, we had an ultrasound to see what Baby #2 is, and found out, to our surprise, that we’re having another boy! (My husband was thrilled- he doesn’t have to build another room onto the house! Lol)

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Of course we were congratulated, but a lot of people asked us why we were pregnant again, if this baby was a “surprise” or even if it was planned. What in the world makes people ask such nosy and intimate questions?

We actually were surprised that I was pregnant because of some health issues I had been having. We actually thought I was pregnant about 3 months beforehand but turned out I had a huge ovarian cyst. Hence, we were told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant for a while. The Lord had other plans.

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There are lots of reasons we’re happy with the boys’ age gap (#2’s due date is 1 month before Caleb’s 2nd birthday). Lots of them are personal preference…. And my very wise sister-in-law had always told me that the 2 year age gap is her favorite. I also noticed Caleb got along well with those around 2 years older than him and those children played well with him.

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How often or even how many children people have is their business and their business only. If they’re not taking handouts from the government, and especially if the people are married- let them choose their own path. For us, we believe that children are a blessing from the Lord and should be wanted & celebrated.

We’re so excited to be welcoming this baby in about 20 weeks!!

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Postpartum Update & Plank Workout

Happy Friday! Can you believe we are halfway through 2016? It’s completely insane. So, a loooong time ago I used to do these Fitness Friday posts and I just haven’t done one in forever (actually, June of last year to be exact)! I thought it was time to give a little update- now that I am 9 months postpartum.

Postpartum Journey

There are two months between these two pictures, but it seems like a year! I started going to a local women-only bootcamp twice a week, which has shown me I can push my body harder than I was. Starting next Friday I will start sharing my weekly workouts again, but today I just want to share with you a fun, 15 minute full body (PLANK!) workout.

I came up with this one evening when I was playing on the floor with Caleb. This will make all the muscles in your body work! ha. Enjoy!

Plank Workout

What are you doing this weekend? Any special plans for the 4’th?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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My Three Must-Haves for the Third Trimester

Okay, okay, so I’m not pregnant anymore. I know. But I was very much pregnant just a few months ago. I went above and beyond the normal ~40 weeks being pregnant. I was pregnant for 43 weeks! So, I totally know all about third trimester pregnancy pains!

Third Trimester

My #1 must have for ALL during the pregnancy, but especially the third trimester, is Young Living’s Gentle Baby blend. It’s wonderful! It’s calming, great to diffuse, and is great massaged into your growing belly!

Number two would be a belly band. Now, unfortunately, I never got one of these. And I SO wish I did! By the end my back and lower belly were so uncomfortable from the extra wight. My midwives kept telling me to get a belly band to wear while I was sleeping, and any major things I was doing. I should have listened to their advice!

Another great thing for third trimester sleep a boppy wedge pillow! I seriously (finally) got one the week Caleb was born, but it definitely helped my lower back pain in the night. Plus, there was less stress on my belly that way!

What were your favorite things during your third trimester? How did you survive?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Caleb’s Birth Story

I can’t believe how time flies. Caleb is three weeks old now! The past three weeks have been full of sleepless nights, tons of dirty diapers, and lots of nursing…but I’m loving every minute of it!

Today I want to share with y’all Caleb’s birth story. 

Home Birth

On Sunday, Sept 13, I was officially 2 weeks late. My belly was huge and I was just ready to have this baby. Since he measured big the whole pregnancy, we were sure he would come early. The Lord obviously had other plans….

That Sunday morning I woke up to lots of contractions. Painful contractions. Stronger than I had ever had before. Luke and I walked tons before church, hoping that would help the labor progress. After church, we went walking again and starting timing them….5 minutes apart, lasting about a minute and a half. Okay, this has to be it! I kept having them the whole day, but they never got stronger or closer together. So frustrating!

That night, I lost my mucus plug/had bloody show. I was still having contractions, so Luke decided to stay home from work, even though I wasn’t in active labor yet. Halfway through Monday, the contractions just stop. Not a single one. We decided to drive to my midwife to get checked. I was 3 centimeters and she wouldn’t strip me yet. Lovely. This was a waste… I think to myself. We go back home a little frustrated, but trusting in the Lord’s timing.

Well. No contractions after Monday. None! On Thursday night, I had a breakdown. I was so tired of being pregnant and just wanted that baby o-u-t!

I woke up around 12:30am on Friday to go pee, and had some contractions. They were about five and a half minutes apart, lasting only 50 seconds. I was pretty sure they would go away. I went back to sleep wondering when in the world I would have this baby. I slept until I got woken up to very painful contractions at 2am. I got up to go pee, only to have three contractions on the way to the bathroom. The contractions hurt so much, I was shaking through them and feeling nauseated. I woke Luke up to help me time them because they were coming so quickly and were so painful. They were two minutes apart, lasting about a minute and a half. Considering we had an hour’s drive to the house out of state where we were planning on the birth, we had to get going.

Luke called the midwife, and she didn’t believe that the contractions were that strong and close together. I got on the phone, and she quickly believed me. At 3am, we were on our way to the house out of state. All I could say on the drive was “dear God, keep this baby in until we get there”. I had never felt so much pressure in my life!

We got to the house at 4am, where I threw up for about five minutes before even getting into the house. I felt like…well, like crap. The midwife got there and wanted to check me. I told her if I laid on my back, I would throw up. She won out, though, and  she checked me. I was then more than 8cm dilated. She really believed me then! Ha! I spent the next few minutes throwing up (I tried to warn her!).

My plan was to labor and birth in the water, and I could tell I didn’t have much longer to labor. I just kept saying “can I get in the water now? Can I please get in the water now?”. After what seemed to be an eternity (it was really 20 minutes), I was allowed to get into the tub. What relief I felt! I was so thankful to be in the water. Luke supported my upper body and I just tried to relax into each contraction. It surprised me how much the midwives just left us alone, and let me labor how I wanted. Every so often they would pop in and see how it was progressing, but told me to tell them when I felt the urge to push.

At 6am, I felt the urge to push. I was honestly a little scared to push, so I tried to just ignore the urge for a few contractions. Around 6:15, I started to push, so both midwives stayed in the room. I kept pushing and pushing, and he was slowing making his way out. I could finally feel his head (with my hand), but I couldn’t figure out why it was taking so long. The midwives just kept saying I was doing well, and wasn’t tearing. Around 7am he started crowning (like, for real, painful)….and crowning….and crowning, but he wasn’t coming out, no matter how hard I was pushing.

The midwives had me stand up, and before I realized what was happening, my main midwife was in the water with me, helping my baby out. His cord had gotten across his shoulder like a seat belt, and that’s why I couldn’t get him out. In a few more pushes, he was out, but he wasn’t crying. Within a few seconds, he was crying and moving around, thank the Lord! He was born at 7:30am.

Within a minute, I was sitting in the tub, holding my sweet boy. I was so exhausted, I just held him, not really thinking much. Luke said “he looks like your mom!”, but I thought he looked exactly like my grandpa. Ha!

They clamped and cut the cord, then had to pull the placenta out (OUCH), but it looked perfectly healthy and normal. After a few minutes, they got me out of the tub and let me shower, while they dried off Caleb. By 7:45 I was in bed, skin on skin with my baby. He latched well within a few minutes. The midwives gave us some alone time, then came back in an hour to do his “check up” and message my uterus. Due to the placenta being pulled out, I had a lot more “afterpains” than the typical first time mom.

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Caleb weighed 9lbs 5oz, and was 21.5 inches long. I just gave birth to a 9.5lb baby in 5.5hrs without tearing. Nope, I didn’t tear a single bit. Thank the Lord!

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The three of us chilled at the house with one of the midwives for a little while longer, just to make sure we were all ok. We were back on the road to our house at 11am. We got home at noon and I was so thankful I was home, and it was all over with!

All in all, I had a wonderful first-time birth experience. I am so thankful we chose to do it at a home, with midwives, where I could labor in the water. I had no drugs, and everything was natural. I am so thankful to the Lord for keeping us safe and healthy, and so thankful for my amazing husband who was a big support and help. I couldn’t have made it through without him! He likes to say now, “that wasn’t at all as dramatic as a lot of people say it is. Not as scary as those books you had me read about birth!” Ha! That’s why I love him. 😉

What was your birth experience like? Thanks for reading Caleb’s story!

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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Why I Love Doing the THM Plan

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I am officially ready for our little Caleb to come! It feels like I have absolutely no room left! I’ve been having lots of really hard, strong contractions….so hopefully he’s going to want to come out soon! Ha!

THM Plan While Pregnant

Today I am super excited to share with you why I love the THM plan….and why it’s the perfect plan for a pregnant woman, too.

First, a little about my pregnancy so far….

*When I got pregnant I was a little “fluffy”- not skinny any more, but not chunky yet. I could still fit into some of my 4’s, but I was wearing mostly 6’s by that point. (My lowest was a 0/2).  Here’s a picture of me at 12 weeks…..

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At 14 weeks I got hit with a terrible bout of morning sickness….that lasted until 20ish weeks. I couldn’t keep anything in me, so I just started eating….well, anything that would stay in me. That led to a weight gain of ~16lbs by week 28. That’s not terrible, I know, but I’m 5’1″ and have a thick build- that extra weight was not exactly in my stomach.

So, I started the THM plan. It basically has you eating carbs and fats…separately. An “E-nergizing” meal has protein and carbs, and a “S-atisfying” meal has fat and proteins. There are also “Fuel Pull” meals that focus on just protein and low carbs & fats or there are “Cross-over” meals that have both good carbs and fats together.

From weeks 28 to 36, I was eating either “S” or “E” meals, with a “FP” snack every hour. That kept me full without gaining extra (un-needed) weight. Since 36 weeks I can’t keep a lot of food down, or eat a lot at one time, so I’ve been eating all “CO”s to help keep me full. At 38 weeks and 2 days, I have only gained 17lbs this whole pregnancy and feel SO good.

By eating more “Cross-over” meals for pregnant/nursing mothers, it helps keep (or give) you more energy to get through the day….and we all know we can always use more energy!

Being pregnant in the South….in the Summer….has had it’s difficulties, but having lots of smoothies and swimming a lot has helped keep me in shape, cooled off, and feeling good this whole time. Here are two of my favorite smoothie recipes:

Berry Spinach SmoothieTHM Mock Mocha Shake What else has helped me feeling good is working out….even if it’s just for a short time, or just stretching. It feels so good on my growing body, and it’s helping me stay trim and in shape for after Caleb comes! (I wrote some blog posts on just that: 5 Favorite Pregnancy Workout DVDs and Favorite Workout DVDs for the Third Trimester).

The Trim Healthy Mama plan is definitely not just for women! My husband does it with me, even though he doesn’t have an ounce of fat on his body. I give him just cross-over meals….but he says he has a lot more energy and feels better over-all eating this way.

My “little” brother and also my brother in law are semi-doing this plan along with exercising (they’re both seniors in HS), and my brother has lost around 20lbs and my brother in law has lost over 35lbs. I’m so proud of them both!

If you are thinking about trying out the plan, I would suggest reading the book- at least twice! Then join some of the official Facebook groups for accountability and tons of recipe ideas.

Have you tried the Trim Healthy Mama plan? Did you follow any plan while you were pregnant?

Sincerely,
Hannah Diane
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