She’s Here…+3rd Trimester Workouts I’m currently Loving

I’m excited to announce the arrival of our new treadmill! ūüėČ
treadmillSince we purchased our house a few years ago, hubs and I have entertained the idea of getting a treadmill. We just weren’t sure of where to put it. We have three bedrooms upstairs, and while 1 sat empty for awhile, we knew sooner or later another babe would fill the space. Larry was worried that if we put it in our basement, he wouldn’t be able to use it¬†because he would hit his head on the ceiling. We decided, last weekend, to take that risk.
Instead of purchasing one from craigslist, we opted for a brand new one. I know this machine will be put to great use so I wanted to make sure we had something of great quality that would last us without zero problems. We purchased it from 2nd Wind and are very happy so far with the customer service and sale. They also delivered it and assembled it. I came home from work yesterday and there she was just sitting there, waiting to be used. 2nd Wind will also come out and service it if something goes wrong.
Buying the treadmill forced me to focus on decorating our rec room. Initially, we thought the space would be great for a bar. But then came the Princess Sofia tent, the Frozen ball pit, and a mini¬†trampoline and soon it became Madelyn’s play place. Larry’s dreams of¬†“The Bear Den” will have to be placed on hold…indefinitely ūüôā¬†Instead, I finally displayed the 2013 Chicago Marathon poster which depicts the Chicago lakefront running path-my favorite place to run. Around it, I have saved bibs from special races (PRs, first 5k/half marathon¬†after baby, etc). Before I hijacked Larry’s “mancave” I made sure he was okay with it and he was. So this is what we have so far:
IMG_4186My second favorite room in our house.
I cannot wait to actually use it for RUNNING! I was able to manage a slow jog for about 2 minutes yesterday and it actually felt pretty good, but I didn’t want to press my luck since it’s been many weeks since I last ran. So instead, I did a walking hill workout while watching Usain Bolt on Ellen. How crazy is it that he was on Ellen the same day our treadmill arrived?! After my hill workout, I did some barre-like glute and thigh work and then headed upstairs for dinner.
My workouts these past few weeks have slowed down dramatically while my motivation has ramped up. (Hello Ragnar Relay 2016!!!)
Things that work for me in the 3rd Trimester
  • Walking! Something that felt uncomfortable for me the majority of my 2nd trimester finally feels okay. I’ve been doing a lot of walking along the lakefront-trying to enjoy the weather while I still can. A have a few different 3 mile routes that I tend to stick to.
  • Riding my bike. I’ve been told that pregnant women shouldn’t ride their bikes because of loss of balance or something. I’m happy to say that my balance to still pretty great and bike riding is still working for me.
  • Elliptical. Hello¬†early 2000’s it’s nice to see you again. I can’t remember the last time I used to¬†the elliptical at the gym before¬†this pregnancy. But the elliptical reminds¬†me of the early days of college when I’d head to the Klotsche¬†center in my fold over cotton yoga pants and t-shirt with a Cosmo magazine in hand. My workout gear has slightly improved and I’ve since switched up the literature-making it a more enjoyable experience.
  • Spin class. My go-to cardio these days. As my belly grows and burpees and jumping around¬†are getting slightly more challenging, spin class has become my replacement when I want a good sweaty workout without the high impact.
  • Barre.¬†Always and forever. The only part I ever have to modify are abs and positions when the instructor has us on our bellies. When I can’t¬†get to a class, I¬†rotate through DVDs at home. My favorite substitute to an actual class are Physique57. They’re challenging, upbeat, fast paced and not¬†super cheesy.

My goal in this pregnancy was to stay as active as I possible could as long as it was safe.¬†I think I’ve done a good job of that. I still feel pretty good until I get to the end of the day and I have some¬†sciatic pain that I’m sure won’t go away now until I deliver, since we’re so close to the end. The only benefit of this is on demand massages from my husband. Maybe we can keep that tradition up post baby?! I’m hoping that staying active will help me come delivery day and to help me¬†bounce back a little quicker after the baby. And exercise while pregnant makes babies smarter…it’s¬†science!

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Pregnancy + The Barre Code

Happy Friday! Any fun plans for the weekend? I’m looking forward to a low key weekend with my girl after celebrating her three years of life last weekend. We have a date to the farmer’s market and a baby room to get in order.
Speaking of babies… I’ve been very fortunate this pregnancy to be able to keep exercising without zero complications. Now that I’ve entered my third trimester (wait what?!?!), I’m definitely slowing down-but overall I still feel great and I credit¬†that to staying so active through my pregnancy.
While running has officially been put on hold until after baby is born, one workout that remains constant in my pregnant life is barre, specifically classes at The Barre Code.
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When I was pregnant with Madelyn, there were no barre studios in my area, so I did Barre DVDs instead. While they were good, nothing compares to taking an actual class and staying accountable.
The one thing that I love about The Barre Code as opposed to other traditional barre studios is that they offer a variety of other classes, specifically those that are cardio based.¬†So far, I’ve been able to modify all the classes¬†that¬†The Barre Code has to offer. While I tend to stick with mostly barre, I sometimes try to sneak in a¬†cardio class.¬†Some days, no matter how pregnant you are,¬†a good sweat session is just necessary.
Here’s a run down of all the classes that The Barre Code in Milwaukee has to offer and how I was able to modify them through my pregnancy, the first two trimesters.
Brawl-(description taken from website) Brawl, which has been recognized by SELF magazine as one of the best workouts in the country, is an intense class that combines cardio kickboxing sequences with strengthening work for the thighs and glutes. 
-Such a fun¬†cardio class! I like it¬†because you actually have to remember and¬†think about what’s coming next, so it’s good for the exercising the¬†mind and body.
First trimester modifications:¬†Not too much to modify in the first trimester. Keep an eye on your breathing and make sure not to get out of breath. That’s the main modification for most of the cardio classes. I was able to still get a good workout in, but definitely didn’t go all out like I did pre-pregnancy. I used to leave that class drenched.
Second & third trimester modifications: Range of motion when doing any core¬†twisting exercises has been limited. You’re supposed to avoid any twisting when you’re into the second trimester, so as the belly started growing I¬†avoided this. Instead of twisting, I would just¬†keep my core center and move my arms (in a¬†punching motion). I’ve also had to dial down the cardio.¬†A few weeks ago,¬†we had a segment that was hook left, hook right, burpee.¬†Repeat. I was able to keep up in the beginning but through out class when I¬†felt like I needed a little break, I just kept doing hooks in place of the burpee and skipping out on every other set of¬†burpees. For moves like diagonal knee raises, instead of jumping I would just keep my supported leg on the ground for every other. That helped control my breathing a little bit. You know your body, and you know what you are capable of.
TBC & Interval (Interval has now been replaced with HIIT)-(description on¬†their website) I combined these two classes because a lot of the moves are the same, it’s just the layout of the class that is different. TBC has a cardio section, but is mainly toning. Where as Interval is mostly cardio with a small section of strength training sandwiched in.¬†I will focus on the¬†modifications I made to the cardio sections and talk about the¬†toning modifications in the barre section.
First trimester modifications:¬†Same thing as Brawl, make sure that you are able to still talk, never work so hard that you’re losing your breath. Always have water with you and drink it throughout class as needed.
Second trimester modifications:¬†The belly’s starting to grow and jumping, burpees etc are starting to get a bit more challenging. For mountain climbers, I took them to the barre. You can still get your heart rate up and keep your core engaged while placing less strain on your core. On days when I couldn’t do burpees, I would either walk one foot back at a time or walk my hands out to a plank,¬†hold it, and walk my hands back in toward my feet. Things like jump squats, I eventually just went to onto my tip toes and never left the ground. A-Jacks also became non-existent sometime in the second trimester.
Barre Code-(Description taken from their website) A full-body workout that consists of isometric holds and heavy repetition, working muscles to fatigue to develop muscle stamina and endurance. A range of different props are used in each class to challenge the body and engage the mind.
My favorite prenatal class to take at The Barre Code.
First trimester modifications:¬†In the first trimester I didn’t have to modify anything. I kept working my core as long as I could to help¬†keep it strong for¬†labor and¬†delivery.
Second trimester¬†modifications:¬†I didn’t have to start modifying abs until I was well into my second trimester and the¬†bump became evident¬†(somewhere around 20 weeks). Some days I could lay flat on¬†my back without zero problems, but other times¬†I’d get short of¬†breath and I’d have to place the¬†playground ball behind my lower back. It all depended on¬†how the little one was positioned in there but at around 20 weeks I stopped¬†laying down, used the¬†playground ball and kept the “crunching” moves to a minimum.¬†Any movements where¬†the instructor had us in prone position, I would either do on all fours or standing, depending on what it was. Some seat¬†movements started to get tricky. There’s one move that works your hamstrings and seat where you have¬†one foot¬†on the barre and the other in the air. For that tricky¬†move,¬†I just kept¬†my feet on the¬†ground and did hip raises. At 27 weeks,¬†any balance work on the green disc became¬†non-existent. It was challenging enough for me just to do one leg lunges into a high knee without the added challenge¬†of the disc and so I set it aside for later use.¬†¬†Planks/push ups mostly stayed the same with a few plank modifications and taking rests when I thought I needed it. Thighs and arms for the most part didn’t need any modifications either, which is why I think this¬†class is my favorite¬†for¬†my pregnant belly.
I’m so glad that I’ve been able to keep working out through my pregnancy. I¬†wanted to write this post because when I was doing a google search for¬†pregnancy modifications at The Barre Code, nothing came up. There were a lot of¬†blog posts¬†for other studios that offered traditional barre classes, but I was more interested in the cardio¬†classes and some portions of Barre Code since it is faster pace and intense¬†than most barre classes.
A few *Important* things to keep in mind:
-This is just advice that has worked for me. Every pregnant body/pregnancy is different from one person to the next.
-If you’ve never taken classes at The Barre Code, I wouldn’t advise starting when you’re pregnant. Save it for post-baby. I felt comfortable keeping up with this workout because I’ve been doing it consistently for nearly 2 years now.
-Finally, tell you’re instructor that you’re pregnant!! You may not want to tell everyone right away, but it’s important for the instructor to know. They can offer you different modifications at various stages of pregnancy. Take time to ask them questions before or after class. If I get there early enough, I will usually ask the instructor what she has planned for abs and just adjust my own routine as necessary. My PT gave me a few ab exercises to do that are safe throughout all trimesters of pregnancy, so I usually just stick to those. You might feel funny doing something completely different than the rest of the class, but as they see your growing belly-they’ll get it!IMG_2513-2For more tips on how to make workouts lower impact, check out¬†this post!

First Trimester Recap

Thank you everyone for your kind words, messages/texts etc. We are thrilled and so excited for, what will likely be, the final addition to our little family!
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a glimpse of the behind the scenes from our photo shoot
I found out I was pregnant with #2 toward the end of February. I didn’t think I’d get a positive as quickly as I did. The first initial test had a very faint second line. So faint that when I came and told Larry I said, “I think that I’m pregnant.” He replied, “You think?” I showed him the test and we both agreed, though faint,¬†there was definitely a second line.
IMG_1482I took another one a few days later just to make sure. No doubt about it. Baby #2 is on its way.
IMG_1497I’m officially in my second trimester and so far I’m feeling a million times better than I have been the past few weeks. My energy levels are back to normal and the¬†extreme nausea has subsided.
My appetite has been all over the place. Eating paleo totally went out the window since all I wanted the first couple of weeks was CARBS! Not the healthy kind either. Bowls of cinnamon toast crunch, buttered noodles with parmesan cheese and a lot of pizza was consumed. How I managed to escape this trimester with nothing but a 3lb weight gain is beyond me.
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Aversions: Almonds. And beef jerky. I assume this has something to do with all the almonds and beef jerky that I consumed on my way to Guam. I still can’t stomach almonds…unless they’re covered in chocolate, like in a KIND bar or something along those lines. I could also do without hardboiled eggs, but I’ve been choking them down when I have to since they’re convenient and good for the baby.
Cravings: Equal parts of sweet and salty, so naturally Trader Joe’s Chicago mix popcorn¬†is right up my alley, kettle corn, green apples & sweetened sunflower butter. And oranges. I can’t eat enough oranges. Or cheese. When I was feeling nauseous, cheese was the one thing that made me feel better.
Workouts: The only thing that makes me feel “normal” in this growing body of mine: working out. I’ve been able to keep up running¬†about 3 times¬†a week and I’ve been keeping it to about 3 miles a run. It’s what I was doing before I got pregnant, so I don’t want to push for anymore at one time. Other than being slower, running still feels good to me. Because I’m not training for anything this summer, Madelyn has been joining me on a lot of stroller runs. She seems to be enjoying herself and that stroller is giving me a good upper body workout!¬† And barre. I’m still attending all classes. At the cardio classes I make sure just to¬†watch the intensity so that I don’t get out of breath¬†and for burpees I’ve stopped going all the way down to the ground and I just keep my arms in a full-arm plank position.¬†Exercise makes smart babies¬†ūüôā It’s science.
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Madelyn:¬† When we first told her she was going to be a big sister her response was simply. “No.” And that was the end of it. When I explained there was a baby in my tummy she got excited and¬†now she¬†will pat my stomach and say “good morning” or “good night baby”. It will be fun to see how she reacts to there being a baby in the house and interesting when she’s not the only one getting our attention. As of right now she doesn’t want a sister, she wants a “girl baby” and to name her Viviana after her best friend at daycare. I ask her once what we will name the baby if it’s a boy and her reply was, “Stinky!” No joke. That one had us laughing for awhile.
Energy: Finally feeling somewhat normal. The few days before I was set to leave for Guam, I was exhausted to the point where I couldn’t function. I had so much packing to do but I was too tired to even think about it. That was a few days before I found out I was pregnant. The week after I¬†returned home was one of the¬†toughest. I was about 6 weeks pregnant then, suffering from jet lag and a time adjustment. My body¬†was screaming, “what are you doing to me?!” It took about a week to feel¬†back to “normal”.¬†From that point on, I made it my goal to be in¬†bed by 8:30pm. When you’re pregnant with¬†a toddler to chase around, the¬†game¬†totally changes. First time¬†pregnant moms out there, my advice to you is to take a nap whenever possible. Times when I’d have my eyes closed for a minute, I’d hear a little voice saying, “Mama wake up!” And that was the end of that.
What I’m looking forward to in the second trimester
-Feeling the baby move! I’ve been feeling tiny little flutters, but I can’t wait to have Larry and Madelyn feel the baby moving around in there. That will¬†be exciting!
-Having our 20 week ultrasound and seeing our baby again.
-Getting a real baby bump. The in between stage is the worst.
-Making it through the day without feeling nauseous and tired.
-Planning a reveal party. {sigh}. Since we were surprised with Madelyn (all my idea), Larry really wants to find out what we’re having. While of course I want to know, I also like the fun of surprises. I feel like it’s the last real surprise you get in life. I finally agreed to find out but I had some conditions. We have to find out in a fun way (not in the ultrasound room) and I want all of our family to be there. Not sure what¬†method we’re going to use to find out¬†but the party will be sometime this summer. Grandma, you’ll have to get grandpa back up here!
Has anyone been to/hosted a¬†baby reveal party and saw a unique surprise?¬†I know balloons & cake are the two most popular ways, I’m just trying to think outside the box a little bit.