Essential Oils


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Essential oils have recently taken on a bigger role in my life, and they have been a total game changer. I wanted to share with you how and why we use them in our home.

When I was pregnant with baby #2, I became increasingly frustrated with not being able to sleep, lots of stress, constantly feeling fatigued and constantly had difficulty relaxing. I chocked this up to moving from one state to another half way through my pregnancy, but who knows. I knew about oils, but didn’t really feel like I knew enough to start using them regularly or to their full potential. I was looking for options that would help me feel better, and finally get relaxed, but mostly wanted alternatives to the products that I was using that I knew contained harmful chemicals. I wanted to ditch those toxins for sure!

I had previously ordered a home essentials starer kit with doTERRA (all the most commonly used oils + a diffuser) and had tried navigating through them but just felt overwhelmed, and so they sort of were shelved. But in the last 4 months or so, I found two lovely ladies on social media who talked constantly about all the amazing uses for essential oils and had a large facebook group where users could share recipes, ask for help with issues, and just receive the overall support that they needed to really feel comfortable using the oils.

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I was cautious at first, but I joined this team and the community really helped me find my stride. I now feel comfortable mixing my own blends not just for my diffuers, but also for roller bottles. I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching and asking questions, but I’ve definitely found a way to integrate oils into my everyday life.

Now, before anyone starts questioning me, I 100% still believe in modern medicine (I’m a nurse practitioner after all married to a physician), and this is certainly not a substitute for that, but it’s certainly a way to compliment it. My love of Beautycounter tought me that there can be safe and effective products that do not contain harmful toxins, and oils just feel like the right step towards a healthier lifestyle for us and our children. For example, supporting our immune systems with On Guard, or encouraging relaxation and a good night’s sleep using lavender or serenity. I’ve discovered an amazing homemade lemongrass scrub for the shower (which supports healthy skin and smells amazing!) or a homemade roller bottle for tummy discomfort.

A few people have recommended the book, Gentle Babies, so I plan to read that and learn more about how oils can support me more while pregnant, nursing or around my newest addition, since there are a few oils you can’t use or need to be diluted. If you don’t already use oils and are interested in learning more, you can READ ALL ABOUT THE STARTER KIT HERE. Also, come follow my health and wellness Instagram @healthy.beauty.mama where I have covered some of my favorite ways to use the oils in my starter kit and plan to share more as I learn and discover even more amazing ways to use my oils.

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I plan to share some of my favorite diffuser blends, recipes for my favorite bath soaks, scrubs, roller bottle recipes and so many other amazing concoctions you didn’t know you could make!

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I hope you’ll join me and I know you’ll love oils just as much as we do!

 

My 2nd Trimester Recap


I hope you enjoy this 2nd trimester recap! I’m sharing all those big moments, weird symptoms, lessons-learned, decisions we’ve made and how my fitness plan is evolving.

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Sweater (no longer sold) // Pants // Watch // Bracelet

Weeks 15-26 of my Pregnancy

Though there were less BIG milestones (in the form of dates) during the 2nd trimester, there is one big date that I don’t think I’ll ever forget…

Important Dates

  • Week 16 – November 29th: I most definitely felt baby boy move for the first time. This was a couple weeks earlier than it was for my first pregnancy, but once you feel it and know what that feeling is, there is NO mistaking it! It was SO EXCITING. It was right before Thanksgiving and we were still recovering from John’s ER visit due to croup (which was very scary as it was his worst respiratory illness to date) and we were exhausted from sleepless nights and pure hypervigilance.
  • Week 19 – December 13th: This was when we had our anatomy scan. We already knew we were having a boy because we did fetal DNA testing and got those results around week 13, but it was amazing to see how much development had occurred since our previous ultrasound around week 12. We got to see all the structures of the brain, verified that we had a 4-chamber heart, take a look at the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, stomach, diaphragm, etc. We even got to see a 4D image of his adorable little face. His hands were up blocking his face for the majority of it, but he still looks absolutely delicious.
  • Week 24 – January 11th: Since we were moving to another state and changing OBs mid-pregnancy, my first appointment with my OB in Columbus marked a repeat of my anatomy scan. I never saw no to taking a peek at my little nugget. He still looks great, but it’s amazing to see how much growth takes place in 5 weeks!

Current Symptoms

  • More energy! After about 16 weeks, I hit my stride, which was good, because we moved from Oklahoma City to Columbus, and I needed to have energy to hit the ground running and unpack. I took a few weeks off from the gym, because let’s be honest, pregnancy + a new house with 3 stories + a TON of boxes to unpack is cardio alone.
  • Some swelling. I’ve noticed that my legs have started to swell. I feel like this is happening quicker than in my first pregnancy, but maybe I just don’t remember it well. I definitely have a good ‘ole sock line by early morning, and more of an indentation by the end of the day. I feel that compression socks are in my future so I just ordered these on Amazon. They got really great customer reviews, so hopefully they will help moving forward.
  • Belly pain. I think it’s mostly reflux and gas. Things really start to slow down the bigger you get!

Baby Decisions (so far)

It’s really hard to move in the middle of a pregnancy and have to find a new OB. I really loved my OB in Oklahoma City, and she really got me. She also knew how to deal with my sometimes crazy husband. I had some complications with my first delivery which require me to see a high risk OB, so having to find a new one halfway through the pregnancy was very stressful to me. However, we found a great doctor here and we have come up with a plan together that is reassuring to both myself and my husband. I had an emergency c-section with my first babe, so the decision of attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) vs scheduling a c-section was a big one. With the help of my OB, we’ve decided to let my body see what it wants to do. I’m going to schedule a c-section at 39 weeks, but if I happen to go into labor before that, we’ll see what happens. I can’t have any pitocin because of my previous c-section, so if I’m going to be able to have a VBAC, my body’s going to have to do all the work with no medical assistance. We’ll see…

Fitness Gameplan

I was a member of Fit4Mom when I lived in OKC, and I have continued attending classes since we moved to Columbus. Fit4Mom, if you haven’t heard of it, focuses on strength in motherhood. I love that slogan, seriously. They provide a wide array of fitness classes that you can do either with or without your children, allowing mom’s to stay healthy, model the importance of exercise for their children, and creates a village of other mama friends. I cannot tell you how important my OKC village was to me, and I miss them all so much!

Since relocating, I’ve joined the Columbus East franchise, and signed up for their 6-week Fit4Baby class. Fit4Baby is a 6-week program designed to strengthen the body for all the changes it will experience during pregnancy. What I love about this is that all the participants are also pregnant mamas and the exercises are geared towards reducing all those aches and pains that come with pregnancy. As a bonus, staying active throughout pregnancy also gives you more energy, and may speed the labor, delivery and record processes. Those are all things I’m for! If you’re looking for a franchise, click here, type in your zip code and try a class for free.

Our Family Trip to Clearwater

For the past two years, we’ve gone on a family vacation with my husband’s family. Last year we went to the Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms in South Carolina and had a great time with all my in-laws.

This year we decided on Clearwater, Florida. John did really well on the two airplanes (OKC – IAH – TPA) and was obsessed with the safety information card. He showed me how the oxygen masks would be available if necessary, and stressed that I put on mine first, and then helped him with his…this little boy…

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Most of the family had already arrived when we got to Tampa and we shared a cap to the the Hyatt Regency, which was a really great, family-friendly resort. They had a great restaurant in the hotel did a great job at accommodating our party of 16; the food was super yummy at Shor and the service was prompt. If you go there, get the mixed grill for dinner. It was seriously delicious! John even loved the chocolate croissants for breakfast from the coffee shop in the lobby.

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We had seriously some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen in my life! The fireworks on July 4th were also pretty beautiful. They may have woken John up, but they were quite the show.

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Sleep proved challenging. I brought a twin-sized blow up air mattress for John to sleep on, but he wanted absolutely nothing to do with it; in fact, the first night he was silently crying (I thought he was sleeping) for almost an hour after I put him to sleep. Instead, he insisted on sleeping with me. This would not have been bad, except he insisted on sleeping literally on top of me the entire night. My chest was his pillow. This wouldn’t have been terrible, except my 2.5 year old is the loudest snorer! Even with ear plugs, I had a difficult time sleeping at night.

My sister-in-law Lina was really amazing for coordinating the hotels, getting us cabanas on the beach, making sure everyone was fed and clean and dry and even babysitting John at night so I could go eat with “the adults.” I really wish we lived closer and got to see everyone more often.

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The only thing that would have made this vacation better was if Bashar was able to come. Unfortunately, he had to stay in Oklahoma City and work the July 4th holiday at the hospital. We really missed him, but our days were full of text exchanges and FaceTime calls. John really missed his “baba” as he calls him, and was attached to my brother-in-law Andrew, who I think he viewed as his baba-replacement. John’s not really able to say many multiple syllable words, but he nailed Andrew after about 2 hours. It was impressive. He also played with his cousins non-stop. I swear he had expanded his vocabulary significantly after being around older kids for 5 days.

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John was absolutely obsessed with the beach. It was the first thing he asked for in the morning, “me go beach?” and the last thing he asked for before bed, “mama, me go beach?” It makes me sad that there isn’t a beach in Oklahoma City where I can take him. I suppose the playground with the sandbox will have to suffice until our next trip!

I think next year we’ll pick a different location, although this one was really nice; I certainly wouldn’t mind returning. Next year though, we’ll definitely plan it better to ensure that Bashar can come. It was a real bummer that I was with all of his family and he had to miss it! Any other suggestions for fun family-friendly beach vacation in the US? Leave them below!