Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Tips to Great Posture

Not that I have great posture... yet. But, I've been going to the chiropractor often for a few weeks now have been told that nothing will help me more than getting into a habit of maintaining a good posture.

But when you've been a sloucher for years, how do you do that?

1. Helium Balloons
   The first thing I was told to do (by my doctor, when he caught me slouching) was to pretend there were 3 helium balloons tied to me. One tied to the top of my head, one to my nose and one to my bellybutton. If you just imagined this happening to you, you probably sat tall with your nose pointing straight out and you pushed your belly out and created the natural curve in your spine (that slouching eliminates).

2. Make Bed Angels
  I used to do all sorts of stretches every morning by bending side to side on the floor, putting one leg on top of a dresser while reaching to the other on the floor. While these were my imagined 'wake up' stretches in my early 20s, I would probably tip over or pull something if I tried that now. One exercise which I still do and that feels amazing is to make snow angels... in bed. I imagine you could do this on the floor as well, but I like waking up the muscles along my spine while waking up the rest of. Less likely to hit the snooze button! Plus, who doesn't love taking over the bed, in an act of rebellion against your spouse :)

3. Uncross Legs
  I read somewhere that while it might be ladylike to sit with crossed legs, that it can actually misalign your posture. On my first doctors appointment (ever, yep. I'm a recent convert) he found my right leg was 1.5 inches shorter than my left (and my left was doing most of the work)! The best way to sit in a chair is to have your ankles directly underneath your knees, and an inch or so between your knees and the end of your seat.

4. Ears Over Shoulders
   Another easy to remember trick is make sure your ears are over your shoulders. Not your collarbone or your chest. This is the quickest way to remember that good posture includes your neck as well as your back!

5. Use Props
   There are lots of reasons why you might still have to lean forward or sit awkwardly at work. Raise or lower your work screen/monitor to sit at eye level. Raise or lower your chair to the best position for you. And if still find yourself slouching forward, consider a footrest or portable lumbar back support that you can affix to your office chair. At the very least, it will remind you to lean back and keep that good posture going, even when hard at work!

So tell me...
What have you done to improve your posture?
Do you have certain habits that you always find yourself doing?
Have you ever visited a chiropractor, or had a doctor tell you how to improve your posture?

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

22 weeks- Gender Reveal!

How far along:
22 weeks

Baby Boy!

What's the protocol:
The great coffee debate. Oh yes, I do still have coffee. Usually when on roadtrips I'll get a small or have some from Tom's cup. Today I was eating at the window (staring at the pedestrians outside) at Pret and this guy walks by with a huge beautiful iced coffee. I told Tom I missed coffee. We went to Dunkin' Donuts and I debated asking for something else because I knew people would stare and judge the pregnant lady with a cup of coffee.

Forget that it could possibly be decaf, but whatever.

I'm just getting fed up (already?) with people telling me to not eat this, be careful of high blood sugar, high blood pressure and falling down. I guess if someone ever approaches me and 'just wants me to know' that I shouldn't have any caffeine, I can 'just let them know' that there is such a thing as decaf coffee.

I'm also not against having a sandwich from the deli if it's all that is available for lunch and I will probably oversee and do most of the nursery painting (with many breaks and proper ventilation).

Amazing! I went to the chiropractor and after he fixed 28 years of bad habits, I am sleeping like a rock and able to bend all the way over without shooting pain. And here I thought the only reason people went to the chiropractor was if they were in an accident or got whiplash.

Best moment this week: 
SLEEP! And finding out the gender, of course!!

Worst moment this week:
Um, loosing control. I had a weekend away set up for the entire family to learn the gender of our baby, and everything went wrong with scheduling. I felt like the weekend I set up was hijacked, and got grumpy. Guess it also has something to do with missing my mom and only being in town about 16 hours to see her, versus the 2-3 days as originally planned. And, I am a control freak who will need to get over that. But, it was a great weekend away and worked out perfectly. So, the worry was really for nothing.

Miss anything: 
I miss slender ankles. I never had those beautiful svelt ankles that look amazing, but well, they are monsters and holding water like crazy. I have imprints from all my shoes at the end of the day, even flip flops. Since I got the massive swelling from being burned 3 weeks ago, I assume my body thought "well, lets just keep those. She's going to have them swell up later in the pregnancy anyway, it'll save us some paperwork'. Pft.
I've been shocked at how drastic (?) the movements are suddenly becoming. And how I can predict when baby is going to move. It feels like baby is putting his feet on my left side and, as though pushing off the side of an Olympic size pool. He then pushes off to swims to the center of my belly in a big powerful (?) motion. I told Tom that baby was winding up to move, and he didn't believe me. And it ended up being the most intense baby movement we felt yet. And, oddly enough, I've never felt baby or heard baby's heartbeat on my right side- always the left and the center. Guess that's where the placenta is located, like a big airbag absorbing the impact or something.

Pineapple, and strawberry rhubarb pie!

Lovenox injections nightly at 0.40mL and morning prenatal vitamins.

Remember how I was 'coaching' Tom to give me the shots? Well, I've forgotten and need to get back on that again. My injections are migrating north as I grow, and to get them back towards the lower side of my bump, I will soon need his help.

Any suggestions on how I get over this? How do I hand the needle over to another person? When I get bigger, will it be necessary for help?
Queasy or sick: 
Toothpaste. Well, I should be honest and say toothbrush here. The gag reflex is horrible!

Looking forward to: 
More movement! And getting the nursery painted and starting to work on getting the house organized (so we don't have to worry about it in the last trimester.)

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Yellow Cabs in NYC

Why Yellow?

In 1915, Chicago entrepreneur John Hertz (of future rental-car-company fame) opened the first Yellow Cab Company in his city. To unify his fleet, Hertz had commissioned a local university study to “scientifically ascertain which color would stand out strongest at a distance,” per his biographer—and yellow won.  With a consistent color and make, “official” taxicabs signal to wary riders that they’re duly regulated by city government.
innyworld on Instagram
The logic of visual standardization became fully entrenched with a 1967 ruling that all “official” New York taxicabs be painted yellow.
midnight.xpress on Instagram
NYC has long been regarded as the home of the yellow cab (although there are yellow cabs all over the place, any major city seems to have them, if only because of their eye catching color). When we have visitors, they sometimes mention that they want to take their first taxi cab ride. And while there are many types of cab and car services available- they really mean a yellow cab.
innyworld on Instagram
In addition to yellow cabs (which pick up in Manhattan ONLY below West 110th Street/East 96th Street), you can hail green cabs (from anywhere above the 110th St/96th St line, or while in the other boroughs) or call a local car service and requested a car to pick you up.
By Z22 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

So tell me...
Have you ever visited NYC and ridden in a yellow (or green or car service) taxi cab?
Does your city have a yellow cab service as well?
Did you find the drivers are crazy drivers, or that it's the only way to get around all the traffic?


***The above text is from the below cited sources. Please feel free to click over to the original articles, which you can do by visiting the following links: 
Taxicabs of New York City

Thursday, August 13, 2015

20 weeks- Outside belly movement!

How far along:
20 weeks

We won’t find out until August 22 at the gender reveal party

Maternity clothes:
I am in maternity clothes, except jeans (which will come when warmer temperatures arrive).
Since this questions is now moot, the new topic here is:
What's the protocol:
I'm starting to think about a registry, as I know 2 baby showers are in the making. One of which is trying to involve me and I keep telling them to have fun and do whatever they think would be best. This is the normal way, right? To give them a date (or range) and a list of people, and let them go at it? Or should I give them a theme, games? I'd rather let them plan it, and just enjoy to be honest :)

Well, I bought a pregnancy pillow! After all that debating I decided it was worth it in the end... after my husband encouraged me to splurge a little on my comfort. He is also the one who encouraged me to visit his chiropractor this week, who discovered that I've been walking around on a tilted pelvis (forever? I've never been adjusted before) and that my right leg was AN INCH AND A HALF shorter than my left. Poor left has been doing the most work for who knows how long. No wonder I was in so much pain. But... I slept amazing last night and feel much better after!

Best moment this week: 
Tom was able to feel the baby move! Also, we had our anatomy scan and found out the baby is doing well... and, having not seen him/her in two months, is HUGE! I look at my belly and can't imagine a baby that big in there. 6.5 inches curled up, or, as will be measured next week, 10 inches total from head to toe. That's half the length of a full grown baby! 

Worst moment this week:
On August 1st, we went to the beach and I sustained 2nd degree burns to my legs below my knees. Which is crazy considering that I BATHED in sunblock ever 2 hours. I was the sunblock police. But, then again, I know pregnant bodies are (despite strong and life sustaining) also wimpy bodies. My ankles and leg skin was too swollen to walk, and air hitting my legs made me cry out. Took two days for my to walk anywhere outside the apartment, and they are still swollen. I'm guessing the sunburn caused the swelling, and my body just figured that since I would likely swell up anyway... why not just keep it? Not a big fan of my cankles, but what can I do?

Miss anything: 
I would love to wear my wedding ring- but my hands have swollen as well (in addition to the bottoms of my feet, which makes mornings pretty painful). I have actually seen eyes go from my belly to my hand and then to my face, which makes me more aware of all times I have done it as well. Such a gut reaction, to look there.

And, this article was probably my favorite read of the past week. So You Think You're Pro-Life from Beauty Through Imperfection explains that while many consider themselves pro-life, we don't support pregnancy in others unless it's picture perfect. So many girls have resisted the pull of pro-choice abortions to carry a baby to term, and even if they are young, unwed or disheveled, we should give them a smile and support this new life they chose to carry to term.

Movement has become a steady thing! And while it is not all day and I really notice it when I finally setting down for the evening, every evening I feel a little something. Can't wait until baby grows some more muscle and starts making intentional movements, versus just random jabs here and there.

Tom felt the baby this week, and has since been running to me whenever I tell him he/she moved. What a wonderful first for him! I have had this baby growing in me for 5 months, but his is the first effects that he has felt himself!

I just want every Popsicle on Earth. And garlic bread. But mainly I've been wanting sugar- which compelled me to back sugar cookies (and use the Christmas cookie cutters).

Lovenox injections nightly at 0.40mL and morning prenatal vitamins.

So, at week 20 exactly, I have quit resisting the inevitable. I'm getting larger and rounder, and having trouble getting the needle into the lower sector of my belly. So I've started 'coaching' Tom on how to give me my shots. Which is the hardest thing for me to do- give up control over my impending painful shot and to hand the needle over to a man who (in my oversensitive opinion) does not chop vegetables correctly. You remember I have a knife-handling phobia, right? All those years in food service have really done a number on me.

Any suggestions on how I get over this? How do I hand the needle over to another person?

Queasy or sick: 
Toothpaste. Still hate it.

Looking forward to: 
Gender reveal in just over a week! Steady kicks to grow stronger. And Tom to feel more kicks from the baby.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Grief for God's Glory- Sam and Nia's Viral Video

If you're reading this in 2015, you've likely already seen the Youtube video where a husband (Sam) surprises his wife (Nia) with a positive pregnancy test. The internet loved it- everyone loved it- and it was shared and praised all over Facebook, nationwide news channels and anywhere else you looked.

They post daily vlogs online (similar to blogging, but video and in their case, daily). They were doing this recreationally in addition to working, and suddenly, due tho an unorthodox pregnancy announcement, their channel had millions of viewers.
Then the next day she miscarried.

The whole world did at least one of three things.
1. They ignored it (because it is awkward, confusing and/or sad).
2. Said things like 'why do people share everything on the Internet' and shamed them.
3. Accused them of staging the entire thing (saying that they knew it would go viral and boost their viewership).

And, while I can understand reason #1 and the reasons for ignoring the miscarriage (it's awkward. sad, or just confusing to many people)- I can't stand hearing people say reason #2, a day after they themselves likely shared the hot new video on their own Facebook page. Hearing that you weren't allowed to tell others in the off chance that you might make life a little to real or uncomfortable (for them) has always been a big pet peeve of mine.

And #3 is ridiculous. It's impossible to know when anything you do online will be praised, ridiculed or shared over a million times. Try as I might (and did), HuffPost chose not to accept the article I linked just above. The internet is tricky, and there is a lot of competition out there. And (I'm 100% sure) that anyone who has lost a baby can attest, that hearing her description of actually loosing the baby is spot on. That is something you only learn that when you have truly lost a pregnancy.

Listening to Nia weep for her new understanding of all those who've miscarried with her, explaining the (very literal) physical and emotional relief that sweeps over you when you birth a baby and the feeling of gratitude for the beating heart in her eldest- it slaps modern culture in the face.

In a world where a wanted pregnancy is praised and an unwanted one is discarded...
the mourning of a early pregnancy miscarriage where a heartbeat is lost, that is something that is not even acknowledged or shared. To expect it to be acknowledged as a real event that took place, and offered support and respect is not something offered to those who loose a baby*.

*Except in late pregnancy loss, when the baby is more likely to be accepted for the baby it is, versus medical tissue.

These vloggers have encouraged me, and others as you can see throughout the comments.
They later mention that they feel blessed to have so many new viewers offering comforting words, and know that while the Lord has taken their baby to Heaven he has blessed in another unexpected area. And, I assume, that is where #3 happened, and the conspiracy theorists decided to shame their efforts to be transparent and honest.

I do not nearly have the reach these two do, but the comments I receive when I wrote about my miscarriages, aftermath of dealing with them, and now my pregnancy announcements have meant the world to me. To imagine, while half of their comments are attempting to tear them down, the other half needed are offering prayers and support. The same local television and news sources that told the story of Sam and Nia's pregnancy announcement told a followup story sharing the sad news. But- no one is sharing that or making go viral. It's all but been ignored, outside of the Youtube comments beneath their videos.

But then...Two days later...
Sam tells all their new viewers that while he understands that not all that are watching are believers of Christ, he knows that they need Him. It is short, and of course started an uproar in the comments below- but they did something amazing with the platform that they didn't have even a week prior.

To God be the Glory- in all circumstances.

So tell me...
Have you seen the videos above?
Did you (honestly) feel any of the reactions in #1, #2, or #3?
Were you as thrilled to see the call to Christ as I was?
------I've not seen that until today on a flourishing Youtube channel.

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