Monday, June 29, 2015

weekend & parks

I hope you all had an amazing weekend! We had a busy but fun one spending time together and meeting new resident families from B's program. This was the last weekend we had him all to ourselves! He's officially started his Anesthesia residency full-throttle but I am so happy they we had this free time together!

I wanted to share a few of our favorite parks in Milwaukee County. We are so fortunate to have so many amazing parks here. Parks are such a great way to get out, play, set up a picnic and enjoy our city! It's hard for me to choose a favorite because each one has its perks. But I definitely prefer the ones with longer walking trails. Gabriel ends up falling asleep every.single.time. We also have a few we are going to check out for the first time this summer! Do you guys have a favorite park in the area?! I'd love to know!
  






Milwaukee County parks we love:

Veterans Park
Hoyt Park
Hart Park
Greenfield Park
Lake Park
Jacobus Park
Bradford Beach
Franklin Park
Hales Corner
Estebrook Park

For a full list of the parks in Milwaukee County  check out this link!





Monday, June 22, 2015

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

When I was emailed and asked if I wanted to write about the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) I immediately said yes. As someone who used to work in the medical field for close to seven years in both clinical and administrative positions I saw first hand all of the wonderful work that CMNH do to help children all over the U.S.

I would like to introduce you all to an amazing 7 year old named Olivia from Wisconsin. These days it’s hard to keep up with joyous, little Olivia. She spends her time swimming, singing and playing with friends, and that is just when she’s not skiing, playing guitar, reading or drawing. With her remarkably busy and active schedule, it’s hard to believe Olivia spent her first 11 weeks fighting for life. Born at 25 weeks and weighing 1 pound 1 ounce, Olivia’s first moments were less than joyful. Doctors told her family the chances of significant physical disability and development delays were very high, and Olivia may not enjoy mobility the same way other children do. And they were right. Olivia does live life differently, but in a truly wonderful and unique way that leaves her family feeling blessed for every single day. After five eye surgeries and six years of follow-up appointments, Olivia beat the odds and has grown into a compassionate, energetic and positive young lady. This is one of  the beautiful lives that CMNH are impacting every day!


Here are a few facts that you may already know about this network of hospitals:

One in 10 kids in North America is treated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals each year

Every day, member hospitals treat 16,000 children in emergency rooms

Every hour, member hospitals provide surgery for 97 children

U.S. members hospitals provided $3.4 billion in charity care in 2012





I've seen first-hand the team of professionals that work tirelessly to help save lives on a day-to-day basis. What's exciting is that now Pampers and Wal-Mart are donating $200,000 to CMNH! I have personally used Pampers night-time diapers for both boys since they were born (when they go to bed) and they have been the best night time diapers for us! Your next purchase of Pampers can help save a life! You can donate to CMNH via this link as also! If you have any personal stories with CMNH- I'd love to hear about it in the comments or on Instagram!





To wrap up I'm also giving away a $25 giftcard to Walmart where you can buy Pampers and other products that help support the Children's Miracle Network ! It's super easy to enter just leave your email via rafflecopter! Good luck! (U.S. Residents only please) Full Disclosure* I was compensated for this post via a gift card to purchase diapers. The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway










Thursday, June 18, 2015

Door County part 1

We arrived yesterday to Milwaukee after a little family vacation! It feels good to be back but I'm missing that place already! When we decided to take a little getaway  before B started his residency we threw around a few ideas. First, we thought about flying to California because it's one of our favorite places to visit. Then we thought about Puerto Rico (where my family is from) but after discussing the timing and overall bang for our buck we decided to make it a vacation within Wisconsin. Although we'd love to visit those places with the boys in the future we figure we would all enjoy it more once they are older and can engage more in outdoor activities. Once we narrowed down the state B immediately mentioned Door County. I'd never been to the area but had heard wonderful things about it. I'm a huge fan of Wisconsin but before this trip I was kind of clueless of how much Wisco has to offer. It is truly stunning!


If you follow me on Instagram you saw quite a bit of overgraming on my part, hehe! But it was great to read a lot of your experiences in the area and recommendations! We were able to check off quite a few items on our list and the best part was that there is so much to do in DC that every day was something new. Even better was that since we are only a few hours away we all still had energy once we arrived and unpacked. I cannot recommend enough where we stayed during our trip to DC. I had a few of you ask me about it and I thought it'd be a good idea to do a specific post since I have so many pics! Also, I'm working on a post specifically for places we visited. Otherwise, this post would be way too long lol! 

I did a little researching and found out about the Bayshore Inn online and via reviews. When we arrived B and I looked at each other and were like, "Where are we?!" It is truly that peaceful and breathtaking up there. Also, a plus is the ride over! We took the more scenic route and had views of the shoreline all the way up.


The grounds are gorgeous and so well cared for. The owner's maintain the area and keep everthing in pristine condition. Every night we had the most spectacular sunset and it was a great place to return to after a busy day of exploring. 


The grounds also have lilac bushes in almost every corner. Since they are about a few weeks behind in season when we arrived the bushes were in full bloom. Every morning we woke up to the scent coming through our windows. 


We were able to play on the beach and skip some rocks as well. The dock is absolutely stunning and where we spent most of our evenings. You can swim on the beach as well but it was still a bit cold for us and the boys. We opted for the indoor pool although they have an outdoor one too. Eventually when we visit again we'll be able to take the boys kayaking. But for now we were happy being able to just splash around.




We cannot wait to visit again and take in the sunset from that side of Wisconsin. I am so happy and thankful that we were able to spend this time up there and have that time away before things get so busy with residency. 


I think making it a staycation with the boys turned out to be the best idea for us. If you or your family are thinking about a little staycation I definitely recommend Door County! It is such a gem and we are so lucky to have a place like this in our state! 




Friday, June 12, 2015

7 months post partum

I recently realized that other than Cristian's monthly picture on Instagram I haven't given any updates on how I'm doing after his birth. I've always found reading other mothers experiences of birth and labor helpful. And I thought that perhaps this might be helpful for some of you that are either expecting or already had your little one. It's been such a huge learning experience for me having two boys under two and as the saying goes, " it doesn't get easier you just get stronger!" 


Physical:

As I mentioned during my Earth Mama Angel Baby review I healed in the perineum area a lot faster with Cristian. However, in terms of abdominal, uterine and overall body healing it's taken a lot longer to bounce back this time around. I think it's definitely a combination of not being in my twenties and having a second little one so quickly after the first. As much as I love how close the boys are in age I didn't anticipate the toll it would take on my body. Recently, my abdominal muscles finally joined together! I am ecstatic because I could fit my fingers through the gap for almost 7 months. 

As far as weight, I'm not really putting much notice to it. Although I'm back to my pre-pregnancy size I continue to work hard to gain all of my core strength back and tighten up my wobbly bits! I started up my Bikram yoga that I love so much! Along with walking, and breastfeeding I'm almost to where I'd like to be. I've also finally come to terms with my stretch marks. I didn't have any with Gabriel and silly me I thought it'd be the same this time around. But I have to say that they are a beautiful and constant reminder of birth, growth, and the absolute miracle of pregnancy. Motherhood is such a real and raw experience and I feel so blessed to be able to experience it.


Emotional/Spiritual:

Honestly, give me a good commercial and I'm busting out the tissues! Please tell me I'm not the only one?! I'm just overall more emotional since becoming a mother. It might be the combination of hormones or having two little guys that pull at my heart strings daily. However, I've become more intentional about breathing and meditative time throughout the day. Just saying a short prayer and breathing through the frustration that can be very heightened at times. Even simple tasks like washing the dishes or folding the laundry have been moments where I take the time to be thankful for what we have. It's really been an amazing way to boost my mood and I have been more patient with Gabriel as a result. I am a work in progress, hoping to better myself daily, and through motherhood I've learned the most.


Breastfeeding:

I was just telling B the other day that before we had kiddos I was clueless about breastfeeding.  I would have never guessed that it would be such a huge part of my life right now. I never planned on being a breastfeeder either. When I was about 6 months pregnant with Gabriel I started talking to other mothers about it and asking questions. Then I thought, okay I'll try and see if it works out for me. I had no idea that those first few weeks after Gabriel was born would be the toughest. The idea of bleeding nipples and chapped tissue was not something I knew would be a reality! But after that first month with Gabriel, breastfeeding became easier for me and I ended up nursing him for 14 months until he weaned. 

With Cristian, it has been so much easier. I hardly had any issues with bleeding or cracked tissue. Also, the painful days of waiting for my milk to come in was drastically shorter and less painful. Our bodies are amazing! Right now I don't pump and I'm basically on demand for him. I know this is not ideal for everyone but it's what works for us. I pump a bottle or two if I know I'll be going to yoga. Otherwise, I exclusively breastfeed. He is also such a fast nurser which has been so helpful with Gabrielito running around! 




Social:

I'm so thankful for all of the strong women in my life. My dearest friend of 15 years is also a mother and being able to talk to her about everything is always so refreshing. In my own family, I have my sister and sisters-in-law who are basically my best friends (I lucked out BIG time).  It's also been great to meet several mothers in person that are also bloggers and or just momma's I've connected with via Instagram (of all places)! Plus having a few mother connections locally have kept us busy. It's getting easier packing up both boys to go out now that it's summer and Cristian is getting bigger. It's also a lot of fun to see the  boys interact and grow together! That has got to be one of the best parts of staying home with them. And of course all of you who write to me and share your stories. I am so humbled that you would take the time to reach out to me. You are a part of my social growth and life as well. So thank you! 

It's been a whirlwind (almost) 7 months and I hope to continue to share monthly post partum updates! I hope they are helpful. As always if you have any questions about breastfeeding or other stuff feel free to let me know- I love hearing from you! 

Have an amazing weekend! 

Saturday, June 06, 2015

intern year

B recently received his residency schedule for his first year also known as 'intern' year. Intern year varies from program to program but the majority are similar in that resident's rotate to varying departments to learn more about the management of patient's in different levels of acuity. Basically, he's working all over the place but isn't being trained solely as an Anesthesiologist until next year. Also, it's considered hell year. So we are trying to soak up these last few days before he starts at the end of the month.

I've been told by a few of my physician friends and significant others of physicians that intern year was the toughest. I try not to become apprehensive about it but I do appreciate the feedback in order for me to become mentally prepared.

 As with anyone married to someone in a high-stakes profession I worry about a lot of things. I worry about my husband's overall well-being as he deals with people  in life or death situations while making decisions right on the spot. I worry about the communication in our relationship as we walk into another season that will require more on our part to reach out and become more intentional about our time together. I worry about his relationship with the boys and whether or not he'll have enough time with them and for them. And even with all these worries I have this hope and faith in my heart that everything is going to be okay. 

I don't think I'm shedding light on something revolutionary here but marriage and maintaining a healthy family dynamic is hard work. It doesn't just happen. It does help if you have both parties ready, willing and loving toward each other. But even under those circumstances there are always challenges that arise. I feel very fortunate to have found some one who values me and everything that I do. His love and support throughout the busiest and craziest times is what encourages me in every way. 

I am not looking forward to his 13 hour days or his work weeks that have been capped off at 80 hours for safety. But I am looking forward to those days he has off, the times where I can bring the boys over and have a quick lunch or dinner at the hospital. I'm looking forward to the times I know he'll come home and share a story of how he felt he made a difference in someone's life. I'm lookingforward to adventuring with the boys in our city, finding creative ways to keep busy and enjoy what we have. Those are the moments that will stand out for me and for us. 

So here's to intern year, the business, the craziness and ultimately the joy of being stretched out of our comfort zones and drawing closer together as a familia!