Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Into 2015...

So, this is weird. I spent the better part of 2014 growing a human in my body, so as I sit down to recap the important moments of 2014, I'm realizing that most of them are going to involve pregnancy... but here goes, eh?

In January, I participated in the January Cure. I was feeling majorly burnt out from the 2013 holidays, but I managed to make a decent dent in my 30x30 goals.

February was pretty mellow. I participated in the #inversionsmakeyouhot instagram challenge. I managed to get a post up every day - even when I got sick at the end of the month.

March was a pretty cool month. Though it was the middle of tax season and I was pretty whelmed, I taught a really fun class at our local Lululemon, showed off a friend of mine's amazing new clothing line, and shared some of my favorite leg workouts you can do at home.

In April I took a staycation.

In May we flew up to Livermore for their Wine Country Festival, and later hubs and I ventured up to the Strawberry Festival in Oxnard.

In June I told you our big news, and not related to that at all, we became an internet television household.

July I got some friends together and we all did yoga at the beach. It was a blast. At the end of the month, I turned 30. That was real. We spent the weekend touristing around San Francisco. I loved every second of it and hubby laughed at me the whole time.

August was pretty mellow. I did manage to replicate a wrap I fell in love with at a local restaurant. So much yum.

In September we celebrated our 3rd anniversary! I can't believe how quickly 3 years went by!

October was when I wrote about changing my yoga practice. At the end of the month, I was lucky enough to be thrown the most adorable baby shower.

In November I put the finishing touches on little dude's room, and started really looking forward to meeting our baby.

This month, we ended the year with the most amazing and exhausting gift of all.

I am so looking forward to everything that 2015 has to offer. I know it is going to be filled with all new challenges. I hope I will have time for you to follow along as I learn how to be a parent and get my butt back into shape!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Yoga Baby; A Birth Story

Selfies taken from video diaries I made. Top left; 1:30am before we went to the hospital, Bottom right; 4am after we found out for sure we were stuck at the hospital for the duration.

Part of me wanted to start this post, "It was a dark and stormy night..." because it was very dark and very stormy - and on some weird level I knew (even predicted) my baby would be born during a storm.

Instead I'm starting like this...

On Friday, December 12th at 10:55pm, our son was born.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Yoga Baby; One Week

Yoga baby was born last Friday, December 12 at 10:55 pm. 
I do not have a week 41 picture because... Dun dun dunnnnnnn... I was in labor all day! 

This little human is entirely too perfect to wrap my head around. 

I'm working on getting his birth story written out. Hopefully I'll have that to post soon. 

In the meantime, don't expect to hear much from me on the blog for a little while. We're adjusting to life with a brand new, very needy little person in our home, and it's hard for me to justify the moments he's not in my arms, sitting at the computer when I should be getting some much needed shut eye. 

I hope you all have wonderful holiday. If I don't manage to check back in before Thursday, Merry Christmas! 

10 Christmas Traditions

*Yet another post I wrote this before our little man arrived. My friend Claire shared her list of Christmas traditions via vlog. I was going to follow her lead and post a video, but I haven't felt much like prettying myself up lately, so no video is happening. :P

1. What is your favorite Christmas movie? 

This one's a tie between White Christmas and Scrooged.

2. What is your favorite Christmas song?

Carol of the Bells. I was talking to my big sis about this one the other day in the car. I think it's one of the only songs I am always in the mood to hear. I particularly love the Transiberian Orchestra version, but it also great performed by pretty much anyone.

3. When do you open presents?

Since we got married, hubs and I have been alternating where we go for Christmas day each year. That's usually when the presents get opened - with whomever's family we're with. We open presents from each other whenever we feel like it - sometimes as early as the 23rd, but usually we open them on Christmas eve, or whatever the night is before we go where we're going.

This year I have no idea what's happening since we're planning to stay home on Christmas day. Since we'll have such a tiny wee one, we're not planning to bring him around to any big family functions. We will be opening some gifts with my immediate family (sisters, parents, bro-in-law) on the 23rd, so that'll probly be our big present opening day.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Mustache You Some Questions

I scheduled this to post as of Tuesday night. Some time sensitive answers may have changed by the time this goes up on Friday.

A zillion years ago - and by that I mean a few weeks ago - my friend Hilary, who writes at Embrace the Neon, tagged me to answer some kinda fun questions. Hilary is quite possibly my very oldest friend - as in, we became friends when it was still socially acceptable to befriend someone by saying "do you want to be my friend?"

Read on if you share my interest in random tidbits about other folks lives...

Four names that people call me (other than my real name):

Ryssa, Lyss, Sissee, Lyssa-face

Four jobs I have held: 

Barista, Speech & Debate Coach, Intimate Apparel Production Coordinator, Yoga Instructor

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

Scrooged (JUST watched this the other day), The Princess Bride, Pride & Prejudice (the Kira Knightly version), Dirty Dancing

Four books I’d recommend: 

I read like a child. Consider yourself warned. These books would be considered "fun" or "light" or even (some of them) "trash". The Princess Bride, The Hunger Games, One for the Money, some of the books in the middle of the Sookie Stackhouse series. Stop before you get to the end though, for Pete's sake, save yourself.

Four places I’ve lived:

Tuscaloosa, AL, Stockton, CA , Florence, Italy (for a month, but it counts), Playa Del Rey, CA

Four places I’ve been:

I've decided to choose the most random places I've been: Columbus, OH, Peachtree, GA, Russelville, AR, Tucumcari, NM

Those last two were courtesy of this road trip of awesomeness and Interstate 40

Four places I’d rather be right now:

Is it weird to say I'd rather be at the hospital? Yes, but I think I have a great reason for wanting to go there.
Bed, surrounded by cozy pillows
Laying on the couch
Basically laying down anywhere. Sitting in this chair is uncomfortable.

Four things I don’t eat:

Capers, and along that same line - lox, banana peppers aaaaaand ripe tomatoes (have to be underripe)

Four TV Shows that I watch(ed):

Orphan Black, Walking Dead, Parks & Recreation, Sherlock

Four things I am looking forward to this year:

This is going to be a little one-note #sorrynotsorry: Meeting my son, no longer carrying him around in my body, low key Christmas at home, taking adorable pictures of the little dude.

Four things I’m saying:

"He's good"
"Good girl, Panda. You scared the bad guys"
"Still no baby"

Four people I’m tagging to do this next:

Claire, Amy, Alyssa, Rachel

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 49

Thor is due any day now. He's done cooking as far as I'm concerned and I'd much rather snuggle him than lug him around in my abdomen anymore.

But this is what I've been doing for exercise this week...

Wednesday Panda and I walked about 3 miles. It was a little rainy, but I wore a giant bright red Bama sweatshirt (Hubby's) and we treaded carefully over the slippery areas. We got home just a little damp. Panda needed to towel off... which is one of her favorite games ever. I'm convinced it's the only reason she'll tolerate getting baths.

Thursday afternoon I went to vinyasa flow. It was tough - as are all classes not geared specifically toward pregnant people, but I got a solid yoga flow on, so I felt really great after class.

Friday I took pregnancy yoga. Since I was 40 wks that day, I got to pick how intense our class was. I said to go for the tough stuff and do a labor inducing class. Obviously that didn't work, as I am still pregnant.

Saturday I took the day off in favor of an evening walk with my honey and Panda Bear. We only did a mile and a half. I was a little disappointed because I'd planning on it being my exercise for the day.

Sunday I opted for more walking instead of prenatal yoga. I did 2 miles in 40 minutes at a 1.5% incline. I felt pretty good afterward. Then I did some yoga stretches on my own.

Monday hubs worked from home so we went to the gym together in the early evening. I walked another 2 miles on the treadmill, upped the speed to 3.5 so I could walk to the beat of my music, and increased the grade to 2%. I actually worked up a bit of a sweat, which was a nice change from how I've felt about most of my workouts lately.

On Tuesday I decided to go to cardio barre. I was a little worried it would be too hard, but a friend of mine is just a few weeks behind me in her pregnancy and she's been going every week, and I took the beginner class. It was easier than I thought it would be. I definitely still needed breaks and it was a good thing I didn't attempt an advanced class, but I got a pretty great workout in... and then I proceeded to scarf down a cheeseburger for lunch. :)

How was your week?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Yoga Baby; Week 40

Week 40

Whelp, we made it. Today is Thor's "due date". The Universe decided we would do the full 40 and maybe a little extra, so here we are...

Here's what's happening with me and the little guy...

Cravings: No cravings. I get hungry and so I snack on whatever's around and then I don't want meals because I'm full of snacks.

Aversions: Just don't ask me what I want to eat after I've had a snack. The answer is nothing. 

Energy:  Sometimes my energy is actually really good, but don't expect me to want to stay up past 9pm.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga, Week 48

Wednesday evening I accompanied hubs to the gym. I did 30 minutes on the treadmill at 2.5 mph (just a touch above painfully slow, but at least I'm walking, right?) and followed it up with 20 minutes of recumbent biking. I wore 4 strips of KT tape on my belly because it was feeling especially heavy that night.

Thursday morning, we got up earlyish for a quick Thanksgiving workout. I did 40 minutes  on the treadmill, followed by 20 minutes on the recumbent bike. I did not end up wearing tape on Thursday and it worked out OK. In retrospect, I probably should have, but I just plain didn't think of it as we were leaving.

Friday pregnancy yoga ended up being a lot of stretching our vocal chords. We didn't even start actual yoga until halfway into class, but everything we did felt great.

Saturday morning we went back to the gym for more walking and biking. I did 30 minutes walking at 2.7 and 34 minutes biking. My little sister met us there and did almost the same workout I did, except she managed some running while we were on the treadmills. It was nice to have her next to me to chat with while we cardio'd.

Sunday afternoon I was back at my regular prenatal yoga class. I missed it last week.

Monday I went back for more pregnancy yoga. It was a lot of talking again, but we did do some stretching - a lot for me, actually, since I mentioned it feels like baby's head is burrowing into my hip.

Tuesday it was pouring rain most of the day and I spent the day at my parents' house. I didn't get much exercise at all, but it was a weird day, so I'm ok with that.

How was your week?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 47

Wednesday I ended up doing more rest and cleaning - not too much cleaning though.

Thursday I taught my power yoga class, but I was pretty beat afterward, so I opted to take the rest of the night off.

Friday I worked about half the day, then had a baby checkup and then went to see the latest installment of the Hunger Games. I won't get into that here, but I thought it was just OK.

Saturday hubs got up and went to the gym, but it was too late for me to feel not stressed about the state of the house, so I cleaned mostly.

Sunday I also didn't workout because I was helping out at my mom's holiday pottery sale. She collected $2,000 for Doctors Without Borders. She's amazing. I'm so proud of her.

Monday commenced my first official day of leave. I was(am still) a little stumped on how to spend my days, but there is a pregnancy yoga class at my studio on Mondays, so I went back for round 2. I felt better about this class than last week. There were more first time moms, which meant more friendly faces. I actually met a mom who is due the same day as I am. There was another woman there who had just passed 40 weeks and was looking for a class to put her into labor, so every time we were going to do something potentially labor inducing, Kristen, our instructor, gave us 38 weekers an alternative, so our babies would get some more cook time.
After class I took Panda out on a 45 minute walk. We walked veeeeery slowly. She was a great walking partner - not pulling me around, and being a good listening. We only walked about a mile and a half, but it was good for both of us to get outside and breathe the fresh air.

Tuesday afternoon I taught my last power yoga class for a while, and then I took power yoga after. That may have been my last class too, but I'll just have to see how I'm feeling next week. Even child's pose is hard sometimes. It feels squishy and can be difficult to breathe if I'm not in the exactly right position. I have dropped my back knee in the crescent twists now. It hurts my wrist to stay up and support all of my new weight on one hand. I also modified side plank for the same reason. I am still finding ways to challenge myself by working around the wrist discomfort though.

How was your week?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Yoga Baby; Thor's Nursery

We've got just a little time to go before we meet this little guy - ranging from any day now to 4 more weeks. I've been spending a decent amount of time getting his room ready for him. I meant to post this ages ago, but it kept conflicting with other things I wanted to post first!

I hope you had a lovely weekend! Ready for the tour?

This is roughly what you see when you walk in. Hooray for panoramic photos, right?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Currently; November 2014

I haven't really been reading much... unless you count instruction manuals, then I've been reading a ton.

We did not get to Walking Dead in time, so the episodes have started coming down off Instead we've been catching up on Sons of Anarchy. I haven't loved it. Jax feels so one-note to me, and I am just waiting for everyone to die. We kind of stopped watching after the thing at the airplane hanger with Clay. Hubs was way more into the show than I am and he kinda lost interest after that. I don't blame him, so I haven't been pushing to pick it back up.
I also just marathoned the first season of Orphan Black. I have a lot more free time lately, so I watched that by myself. It's pretty amazing so far. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend. I'm excited to start season 2.

Listening to...
Still super into Serial.

Struggling with...
Hahahahahahahaha. Everything. Even sitting is difficult. Hubs laughed at me when I was moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer last week. That was real.

Inspired by...
The little man. He is amazing... and he is so big. Holy smokes.

Workouts are...
Wimpy. Luckily, my body and I communicate really well, ;) but I've been majorly wimping out on these workouts. If you follow my weekly workout recaps, you may have noticed a steady decline. I'm still getting to power yoga about once a week, and I try to dance or at least get a day or two of light cardio in, but a lot of days I am just too tired, or I wore myself out doing household stuff.

There is zero diet happening. I'm not even being very careful about what I'm eating (oops). I occasionally enter things in MyFitnessPal, but mostly out of curiosity. I just eat what I want when I want it. Luckily, I usually crave a balanced meal, so maybe I'll have mac and cheese for lunch, but I'll follow it up with a kale salad, so I'm getting a little of everything, good and bad.

I'm mostly just trying not to plan... at least not more than a few days or a week in advance. Since life could change very drastically at pretty much any moment, I'm just trying to get everything ready for our little guy.

As of today I am teaching one last class before taking the next couple months off. Mommy & baby yoga finished up on the 12th (oddly the day I usually post my currently posts, but my schedule's been a little off, so I spaced on that. oops), and I've stopped trying to get subbing gigs for the time being. I did some more subbing through the

What are you upto?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Yoga Baby; Week 38

Week 38

We are full term. Now the waiting begins...

Here's what's happening with me and the tiny one...

Cravings: Same old same old. Mac, peppermint/chocolate things, lemonade, french fries. I don't always want them. but if presented with them, I will eat them without fail.

Aversions: I've been better about this. Luckily hubs does most of the cooking, but I've started frozen meal prep, so I can't say I'm averse to cooking. ;)

Energy:  Everything is exhausting. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 46

Wednesday night I did Dance Central Spotlight for 45 minutes. Some things are harder and some things are easier, but it's nice to get some cardio in - even if it is just mellow dancing around in the living room.

Thursday night I skipped my workout on purpose. I opted to hang with my mom and sister for a bit in the evening after I taught my class. Teaching was actually a lot of work that day. I had to do quite a bit of demonstating.

Friday night hubs and I went to the gym together. I did 30 minutes on the treadmill, and 10 on the recumbant bike before we decided to call it a night. I was doing about 3mph, and it was hard at times. Hubs came by and told me he thought I was going too fast. My little sister showed up when I had about 10 minutes to go on the treadmill and walk/jogged with me for a bit. I like having her at the gym now.

Saturday we had more time at the gym because of the bama game. I ended up doing another 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 more on the recumbant bike.

Sunday afternoon I went to prenatal yoga. I love seeing the same familiar faces every week, but I missed some of the girls who are at about the same place in their pregnancies as I am.

Monday morning I tried a new prenatal yoga class. It's actually the class at the studio where I teach, but I haven't been able to go until now because it conflicts with my work schedule. It's so interesting how different the groups of women are at the different studios. I feel like the women at the Sunday class are much more similar to me - working women, most of us pregnant with our first, really open and friendly and talkative with everyone - whereas this class I took Monday *seemed to be* a lot more stay-at-home moms (most of them in their 2nd or 3rd pregnancy), and a little more clique-y. I feel weird saying that, but I think it has a lot more to do with the time of class than the location.

Tuesday night I went to power yoga. Now, you may be thinking "Alyssa, you have 2 and a half weeks to go before that baby comes, are you sure power yoga is a good idea?" to which I reply - a little wishy washily - "Yes." It seems scary - like there is the potential to push myself too hard or hurt myself and my newly achey wrists, knees, and hips, but when it comes down to it, my body is really good at telling me what I can and can't do. I talked about this a little bit before. I brought a friend along to a vinyasa flow class a couple weeks back and the teacher told my friend that I know and am really good at listening to my body. I don't always think that's true. I think my body is very talkative. :P Anyway, this week power yoga was really hard. I skipped a lot of stuff, didn't go very deep in much of anything, and took all the breaks. I was still a sweaty mess when I left  - I think the room was hotter than usual. I hope I can go back at least one more time, maybe next Tuesday, but we will just have to see.

How was your week?

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Shower For Thor

The weekend before Halloween some truly wonderful women, whom I've had the pleasure of knowing most of for more than half of my life, threw us and our little man a beautiful shower.

It was a gorgeous day - not Fall-like by any stretch of the imagination.

They had a gorgeous spread of delicious food, including a cake (torta, actually) made by my mama, an adorable onesie decorating station, and a fun game so folks could guess how big I am - thanks to everyone who cut shorter strings ;) - and everyone played bingo while hubs and I opened presents.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the afternoon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 45

I don't have any workout related pictures from this week. I barely have any photos at all, so you get a picture of my saturday morning project - an assembled baby swing.

I started Wednesday off teaching my mommy and baby class. We had one little guy who just needed to dance the whole class, so we spent a good amount of time dancing around in a circle, totally rockin out. Ended up working up a bit of a sweat, which was much needed. The rest of the day kicked my butt. I was exhausted, so if I got home and opted to snuggle with my pup on the couch, I wouldn't feel bad about it, but I ended up having the energy to do 45 minutes of Dance Central Spotlight. Hooray!

Thursday I had a dinner planned with an old friend, but I bailed because I was feeling stressed about the amount of stuff I needed to do that night after teaching and before my guitar lesson. I ended up with just the right amount of time to get everything I felt like I needed done that night.

Friday I ended up teaching two classes and by the time I was home from round two, I was beat.

Saturday was a busy day. Lots of baby prep. I taught an afternoon class. I thought about walking on the treadmill after, but I forgot my shoes, so we just went home.

Sunday I taught again. Since these classes have mostly been gym classes, I've been doing a lot of demonstrating. So, I've actually been working quite a bit when I do these classes - not so much as if I were taking them, but still.
Later I went to prenatal yoga. We talked a lot about low back/sciatic/piriformis pain/glute pain. I am working on relieving the tension I carry there - because apparently I carry so much tension there that I barely even notice it. Now that I'm trying to work it out, I'm noticing it and it huuuuurts.

Monday night I rested again, ran a couple loads of laundry, and generally overdid it on household stuff. My body was not happy with me.

Tuesday night I went to Power Yoga. It's hard to come back after taking a week off, but as always, I was so happy to be back. We talked about more piriformis stretches, but so many of them require forward folds and general squishing. I ended up in pigeon at the wall, which still gets a little squishy, but I can adjust as necessary to get as deep as possibly without squishiness. I also loooove supported bridge and supported shoulder stand for this and will sometimes/usually rock side to side to hit points with the block in my glutes. It feels awesome.

How was your week?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Yoga Baby; Week 36

Week 36

Wednesday marked one month to D-day. That was utterly terrifying, but also wonderful. I'm desperate to snuggle this little guy in my arms instead of inside my belly. 
As of today, we have just about 4 weeks to go. It feels like a waiting game now... a waiting game in which I dress about everything that still needs to get done!

Here's what's happening with me and the tiny one...

Cravings: No cravings. I have noticed I eat a lot of peppermint flavored things and mac and cheese. I don't outright crave them though. They just happen to be available and I like them better than other things. . 

Aversions: I still am not into cooking. 

Energy:  Waning. I'm not as sleepy as I was in the first trimester, but I sure do get winded quickly.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 44

Wednesday I skipped my workout in favor of having snazzy photos taken. ;)

Thursday night I went to Power Yoga. I know I've said this before, but it gets harder and harder every time. I was able to stick with most of it. All of my vinyasas were from my knees. I think - of the 20+ vinyasas we did - I maybe did 2 from my toes. I still managed a handstand at the end. I thought about forearm stand, but my right elbow's been bugging me, so I thought handstand would be better.

Friday was Halloween. I thought about a quick trip to the gym, but instead I went to my sister's and ate Thai food - probably too much Thai food, but whatevsies.

Saturday I had a 1st birthday party to attend. In my mind I got up early and took a yoga class, but in reality I slept in. Then I came home and tackled lots of baby prep stuff. I think that counts as exercise. Yep. Totally counts.

Sunday my back was killing me. :( I woke up that way. Sitting made it worse. So, I spent the first half of the day waiting for prenatal yoga. Hubs got home from a mini man-cation around 11, so we got to spend some time together and I got a little much needed back massage before heading off to yoga. By the end of the day, back massage plus yoga made me feel so so so much better.

Monday night I had planned to dance with the xbox on Dance Central Spotlight, but I had a majorly crankifying experience buying bottles with rewards points at Babies R Us, so by the time I got home, I was not feeling it. I opted to sit at my computer and work on my hospital playlist instead. It made me feel better.

Tuesday was another weird night. Teaching power yoga, followed by a trip to the chiropractor, picking up the pup and voting. I rescheduled my guitar lesson for a different night so I could exercise and not feel stressed out, but I ended up just coming home and doing some cleaning and organizing of baby things. I walked up and down the stairs a few times. That counts as exercise, right?

How was your week?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Yoga Baby; Maternity Photos

Earlier this week, I met up with a friend of mine at Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks for a little sunset maternity shoot.

I'm not gonna say much else other than that. I am so happy with these photos. Have a look!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 43

Wednesday I ventured out of the office for a lunchtime workout of Fit Ballet Body, taught by my dear friend Chelsea. I basically get to skip the last 10 minutes of class because it's all abs, but the rest of class I thought I hung in there pretty well. There was some floor work - glutes and legs that I majorly wimped out on because of the stress it was putting on my (already sore) low back. It's a lot harder to tuck your tail bone and support your spine without the use of your abs. Womp womp.

Thursday I taught and then my sister called and asked if I wanted to have dinner. She just moved back here from Portland (that day), so of course I said yes. And then there was no workout. Oops.

Friday I had a doctors appointment in the evening, so I ended up out running errands with my hubs afterward. We made a late trip out to the gym after and I walked on the treadmill for a half hour while I watched the World Series.

Saturday I took a vinyasa flow yoga class, and one of my pregnant friends tagged along. It was fun. I'm glad she came.

Sunday morning I got up early to take yoga before my baby shower. It was a weird class. In general, it was ok, but it just had a weird flow. I missed my prenatal yoga crew.

Monday I taught yoga in the morning and then spent the evening cleaning the house. I had residual overwhelmed-ness from all the stuff we brought home on Sunday, and was feeling like our house was not a place for a baby, so I cleaned and cleaned.

Tuesday I ended up taking yet another "rest day", if you could call it that. I actually taught two classes and did a pretty decent amount of demonstrating, but I never really got warm or a good calorie burn.

How was your week?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Yoga Baby; Week 34

Week 34

With just about 6 weeks to go, I am already feeling huge, but taking my weekly pictures has been a shock. 

Here's what's happening with me and the tiny one...

Cravings: All I want are carbs and sweets. I still don't crave specific things - except I NEEDED to make these cookies last week (and I did). 

Aversions: Cooking. Haha, oh, that's not an aversion, that's just laziness. I have been better about eating vegetables though. Hoorah!

Energy:  I've been napping almost every day. On weekends I'll nap for an hour +. Weekdays they're shorter and usually just a little pre-bedtime shut-eye. BUT I did have a really great workout on Monday. I wrote about it a little bit in my weekly workout recap, but I started dance central spotlight with such lightness! It was such a nice change from my new norm of lumbering around. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 42

Last Wednesday was October 15th. By the time I got home from work, I was ex-freaking-hausted. No workout happened. As I write this I barely remember the evening, actually.

Thursday night I was back in Power Yoga after almost two weeks away. Everyone was surprised to see me - like it had been so long since I'd been there, they all thought I wasn't coming back. *le sigh* I'm pretty sure I'm right on track with where my yoga practice should be. I went to my knees in chuttarunga when I was too tired to tuck my tailbone in the full extension of the pose. This was my first time actually putting that into practice.

Friday night I was worried I wouldn't make it to Bollywood because I'd neglected to bring my workout clothes to work with me that morning, but I ended up with the perfect amount of time to run home, change and take the pup out before dance.

Saturday I tagged along with my hubby to the gym and did about 30 minutes on the recumbent bike. I was SUPER frustrated by the treadmill situation. I had planned on walking at a good clip for 30 minutes. There were a ZILLION open treadmills - one open to my right (I was second from the end) and about 5 open to my left... and some guy decided to choose the one on my right. He messed with my chi. I tried to stay on for a few minutes, but I just felt off balance, and I was majorly annoyed that of all the empty treadmills, he picked the ONE with a neighbor. Has that ever happened to you?
I also giggled to myself a lot once I realized that the person nearest to me on the recumbent bike (also right next to me, but there was a decent amount of space between the bikes) was a) wearing jean shorts (knee length, if you must know), and b) not pedaling fast enough to keep the bike on because c) he was too distracted by whatever game he was playing on his phone. I wanted SO BADLY to take a video and post it somewhere, but I didn't feel like I could be properly incognito about it. Rest assured, it was an amazing demonstration of proper attire and use of gym equipment. JORTS FOR THE WIN!

Sunday was back to prenatal yoga. I thought I might try boxing, but I've been ultra tired lately, so I let myself sleep in Sunday morning and then took care of stuff around the house until it was time for yoga.

Monday night I did 30 minutes of Dance Central Spotlight. I stopped at 30 minutes because that's roughly when hubs got home and I always feel bad/awkward hogging the living room. It was a great 30 minutes though! I was really happy about how my workout started. I downloaded a new song, so I was able to get excited about new moves (instead of the same 10 songs over and over and over again). When my workout started with the new song and new moves, I was pumped and energized. I felt really light on my feet, which is not a way I've been feeling lately. It was great.

Then Tuesday I took the night off. I taught my regular class and then didn't have time to squeeze in a workout before my guitar lesson, so that was that. I got home a little after 8, ate dinner and called it a night.

How was your week?

Friday, October 17, 2014

From Power to Prenatal; Transitioning My Yoga Practice

You guys know me a little bit, right?

I'm a fitness fanatic and I like to push myself to the limit. I think I've briefly mentioned this is some of my posts lately, but the transition from my former to current yoga practice has been tough - not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. It's hard to go from your personal limit - where the line is usually in your head because 9 times out of 10 you ARE strong enough to finish this set - to your pregnancy limit - where your body says "Nope, sorry dude." and you actually need to listen because otherwise your body will crap out and really, you don't want your body making that decision for you when you're 7 or 8 months pregnant.

Working out so hard that you pass out or throw up is not really an option at that point. Not that that's comfortable in any situation. I've only worked out that hard once and I immediately regretted it, but going from a super active and fit person to someone who goes on walks, gets winded walking up stairs, does prenatal yoga, and dances with an Xbox in her living room... has been a challenge.

Despite wanting to push myself to my former limits, my body just won't do that anymore. Now that my belly is actually starting to get in the way during yoga, I thought I'd take some time to document how my practice has changed and why...

Here are some of the ways I've had to adjust my yoga practice to accommodate for this little person.

Take a wide stance everything.

Forward fold - I cannot fold forward with my feet together or even hip distance apart anymore. The belly will not allow, so I take my feet wide apart so there is room between my legs for my bump and I can still get a good stretch in my hammys.

Don't be afraid to step off the mat. I did this for the first time about two weeks ago. I've been doing this modified twist for months, but just recently I had to step my front foot off the mat so my belly didn't get squished by my thigh. I was surprised, but it happened and that was that. Now my front foot is nearly always off the mat in this pose.

No more headstands (at least until this extra weight stops throwing off my balance and compressing my spine). I've been doing handstands and supported shoulder stands when I feel like I need to invert. I can't do regular shoulder stand either because it's too difficult to breathe.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 41

I don't have any pictures pertaining to my workouts this week, so you get my cute outfit from yesterday 

Wednesday I taught Mommy & Baby in the morning, which ended up being suuuuper mellow because we had two babies that just wanted to eat and sleep. We skipped the songs at the end and just stretched and did savasana. When I got home I put on some KT tape, turned on the Xbox and did 50 minutes of Dance Central Spotlight. I'm feeling more and more ridiculous dancing around, but at least I'm getting my heart rate up, right?

Thursday was a little wonky. I taught an extra class in the evening - my old class, actually - from 7-8pm. I thought I wouldn't have time to workout at all. I was slightly mistaken. With the amount of demo-ing I did during the class, I basically got a full yoga class in. I was pretty stoked. Workout not skipped after all.

Friday kicked my butt and I got stuck at work late doing tax things. October 15th, y'all. No sweat though, it gave me chance to catch up on some laundry and try on all the dresses in my closet to see what still fit and what I could consider for my maternity shoot.

Saturday I got my exercise by walking around the mall with my mom.

Sunday was prenatal yoga. It was harder than usual, but I think that's saying more about me. My body was wimping out because I'd given it 2 days in a row of rest. I even crashed at 5pm for a 90 minute nap.

Monday yoga ended up being cancelled due to a sick friend and working late for yet another tax deadline.

Tuesday was cray. Work errands into Beverly Hills and Culver City (highlighted by a lunch date with my honey), worked a slightly long day, got a chiropractic adjustment, picked up my pup, and went home for a half hour before my guitar lesson, ate dinner and then it was 10pm. At least I was up and about and not just sitting all day.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Currently; October 2014

Currently, I'm...

I finished Four to Score and I read about 8 pages of High Five before I decided to read something baby related instead. So, I pulled out my kindle and started reading Happiest Baby on the Block. I read the introduction. I think I get it. I don't feel like there's a lot of incentive to keep reading, but I will at least skim through it to make sure I don't miss anything important.

We finished Parks & Rec and are all caught up. Walking Dead is starting this weekend. We should be able to watch it online by borrowing cable logins from family. Hooray! Not sure what show we'll marathon next, but it's pretty crazy how much TV we're still able to watch with only the internet.

Listening to...
Serial! I'm also looking for some good songs to learn to play on the guitar, not necessarily tiny person appropriate, but bonus if they are. Suggestions?
I've also just started listening to the Hypnobabies tracks. They suggest you start way earlier than I'm starting, but I figure if I don't finish the whole class, they should still be helpful.

Struggling with...
Getting dressed in the morning. Every. Single. Day. My mom and I went shopping yesterday and got me some lightweight sweaters to throw on over the tank tops or maxi dressed I've been wearing almost every day, also some tops that should transition me into cooler weather pretty well. It's still tough though, man. Clothes are my nemeses.

Inspired by...
My tiny human. Still. I have a feeling this category is not going to change for a while. Haha.

Workouts are...
Getting a little lame (by my standards). As long as I do something almost every day, I generally feel good, taking the pup for a decent length walk, doing mellow yoga, or dancing in the living room are all acceptable. I wish I could work out more and harder - especially since I'm feeling whale-like - but that will just have to wait until January or February and I've mostly come to terms with that.

I'm trying to eat healthier. I've still been unintentionally carbo-loading, but I'm working on eating more veggies and protein.

My free time, or lack thereof. The rest of October is jam packed, and to kick off November, I'm trying to figure out when to take maternity photos. We talked about doing them at the beginning of October, but decided I wasn't big enough yet, so we have to reschedule. Bleeeeh. I need to figure out what the heck I'm going to wear

I did a little more subbing recently. I've been getting more consistent numbers in my regular classes since school started again. I also talked to the studio owner and we've got everything pretty much figured out for how long I'm going to continue to teach and what will happen while I'm gone. I'm super excited we've decided to give my classes to a long term sub and then I can jump right back in when I'm ready to come back.

What are you upto?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Yoga Baby; Week 32

Week 32

Last Sunday was the 5th, exactly 2 months from Thor's EDD. From here on out, it's looking like *less than two months to go! *fingers crossed*

Here's what's happening with me and the tiny one...

Cravings: Nothing in particular. I have been eating a lot of bagels for breakfast lately. I actually really wanted an onion or everything bagel, but I always opted for something more mellow because I didn't want to smell like onion all day, but this week I gave in and got an everything bagel... and it was glorious. 

I also wanted to briefly mention second breakfast because it's real. Every week day around 10:30/11, I get the munchies. 

Aversions: Vegetables. Not in a real aversion kind of way, I am just really not excited about eating them most times, which is weird because I usually love veggies. 

Energy:  Depends on the day. Usually I'm pretty good, but some days - especially in the heat we've been having - I could nap every day and be happy. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Summer in October; The Pregnancy Clothing Chronicles

Am I actually writing a blog post about this?

I think I am... even though the weather is cooling down (now). I'm also not including any pictures in this post because there is nothing glamorous about complaining about how your clothes fit.

Last Sunday, after spending the better part of the day in yoga clothes - having taught at 830am and then taken yoga at 1pm - I got out of the shower around 5pm so hubs and I could make our one outing of the day together; a quick run to Target for a new video game.

I showered before he did. I always do when we are planning to go out because it takes the length of one husband shower for me to get my face on. Usually that works out perfectly.

Usually was not this past Sunday.

This past Sunday I got out of the shower and started looking through my clean clothes for something light and flattering to wear into the 100 degree heat. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT I FOUND????


I found nothing that fit all of these criteria; clean, light, and flattering.

Maybe I just needed to do laundry? Yes, that's possible.

but I think I know what else you're thinking - "you're pregnant, Alyssa, get over your definition of flattering", but it's actually not that hard for me to find flattering things... usually (by my standards anyway). I kind of love my shape right now. When adorned appropriately, pregnant bellies are downright adorable and I'm proud to have one.
The trouble was finding things that were flattering and didn't also make me feel like I was wearing wool - because when its 100 degrees outside and you're pregnant, everything is itchy and hot.

I dug around and found a pair of clean, black maternity shorts with an itchy belly band that I can't fold down anymore because my son is too large and won't tolerate that kind of discomfort/tightness around the lower abdomen any longer, and a tank top that I only kind of like when I'm not pregnant, but was one of the few shirts in my closet that was long enough and could be easily paired with the shorts.

I was not comfortable. I was sweaty and itchy and all I wanted was to turn around, go back home and put on my pjs.

The next best option was to use this time at Target to buy things that looked large and comfortable... which is exactly what I did. I bought myself three super soft cottony things - a GOM nighty (on sale, woot!), this lattice back dress in black, and a really long cozy tshirt.

I wore them all within the next 48 hours, and today it is 20 degrees cooler than last weekend, so I may never need to wear them again. *face palm*

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 40

Wednesday I did nothing. Well, not nothing - I walked from Volkswagon to Whole Foods and back for a grand total of about a half mile walk. Haha. I had my TDAP vaccine and flu shot on Tuesday. I usually am not into flu shots (this was the first one I'd had in my whole life), but I am into protecting unborn children (specifically mine). Tuesday night I had - what I am going to call - a reaction to one or both injections. Obvs I felt like I had been punched hard in the shoulders, but on top of that I was up all night. I had chills. I think I had a fever at one point. No bueno. I called and spoke to a nurse, we went over some stuff and decided I didn't need to come in and get checked out. When I got up in the morning I told the girl at the studio I would be cancelling my class that day, and later in the evening I opted to stay in and rest. Go me.

Thursday night I did yoga with my mom and her friends. She taught a more challenging class than I've typically taken with her, which was actually perfect for me since I wanted to feel like I was working out in some way. It was more of a flow, and therefore, more my style.

Friday night I took Bollywood dance. We're still doing the Jai Ho dance. I guess there's some kind of showcase at the studio coming up and he's decided that this will be the dance they do. I am not planning on participating in it because I have no idea when it is or how pregnant (or possibly post-pregnant) I'll be by then, but it's fun to learn the choreography and dance around Bollywood style. I wore my KT tape for the second week in a row. I do think it's helping.

Saturday hubs and I took care of a ton of errands. It was a super productive day, including a Costco trip, Good Will drop off, and car maintenance. We also watched a good chunk of the Bama game together while walking on the treadmill. We were there walking for over an hour. I wore tape this time. I think it helped, but I did still feel some pressure/discomfort in my pelvis. It wasn't as bad as last week though, so I will give the tape some credit. I did not need to go flip upside down this time. I thought I might try to jog a little bit, but I decided against it. As much as I want to push myself, it will have to wait until my organs are all back where they're supposed to be.

Sunday I taught a flow class in the morning and then took prenatal yoga in the afternoon. There are still some things about prenatal yoga that I do not like, and some things that I just love - any and all side and upper back stretches, I could do all day. Hip circles though? Not for me. I don't get them.

Monday night I had my weekly yoga date. We tried to start a little earlier this time so we could get in a bit more of a workout before she had to put her little one down. We did ok, but I struggled a little bit coming up with our flow.

Tuesday night I taught my regular class, but I didn't have time for a workout after because I started my GUITAR LESSONS! I'm super excited about that, but it's not a workout, so... maybe another post. :P

How was your week?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Kitchen Adventures; #bakingbootcamp Apple Pie Biscuits

This weekend I wanted to bake.

We have so much fruit that needs to get eaten or frozen. I really wanted to use the blueberries first, but I wasn't feeling inspired by blueberries, so I opted to take part in the Joy the Baker #bakingbootcamp this time around and make her Apple Pie Biscuits.

Holy smokes.

I just... I was so... surprised... by how amazing these biscuits are. I guess because they're not really all that pretty. Seriously, go explore on Instagram and look at #bakingbookcamp... there are an unfortunate amount of ugly biscuits. I don't feel like I'm being harsh... am I?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 39

Wednesday I taught Mommy and Baby. It was pretty mellow compared to last week, so I decided to do some Dance Central Spotlight when I got home from work. I only did a half hour - as opposed to my usual 50 minutes. It was hot and hubs got home from the gym right as my half hour was coming to a close, and since I don't really like working out in the living room when he's home - other parts of the house I'm OK with, oddly - I decided to skip the 20 minute set I usually do. Plus I need to download more music for that game. I'm already sick of half the songs - mostly because they're majorly overplayed on the radio. I think if I hear Royals one more time I may stab someone.

Thursday night I was back on my mat for some power yoga. I was a little apprehensive earlier in the day because I didn't sleep very well the night before - lots of waking and vivid dreams - but I committed to completing the hour and a half long practice no matter how many breaks I had to take. I actually did really well. I took my time getting into and out of the poses and just listened to my body.

Friday night I went to Bollywood dance. We learned his choreography to Jai Ho. It was a lot of fun. I wore KT tape to support my belly. I think it helped. I didn't notice the baby hanging out super low or making me uncomfortable, so I'm gonna give credit to the tape.

Saturday my only exercise was a short walk with Panda bear on the beach. We went to Malibu as a late anniversary celebration weekend. It was lovely. I was actually amazed by how winded I got just walking up and down the beach. Sheesh!

Sunday we took another short beach walk. Later in the evening - once we were back in the Valley -  we went to the gym. I hadn't been feeling great most of the afternoon, but by around 4, I was better. We walked on the treadmill and watched the Niners game together. It was actually kind of fun. Ended up walking for over an hour. Not normally my cup of tea, but I had music and exercise, so watching the game without sound and getting the occasional high five from the hubs was fun. I did end up getting a little too high impact about halfway through. I didn't think I would need KT tape to walk on the treadmill, but I probably should have used it.  I had to go into the exercise studio and do a handstand to get Thor out of my pelvis... again. Oy.

Monday night I had my weekly yoga date. It was cut a little short to get my girlfriend's baby to bed, but we still got a decent amount of flow in.

Tuesday night I took Power Yoga. Though it was a great class, it wasn't the regular teacher. I had kind of a weird time adjusting to the pacing and the holds. Plus longer holds are harder for me now, so I found myself getting ants in my pants.

How was your week?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Yoga Baby; Week 30

Do I look bigger on odd numbered weeks?????

Week 30

Only 10 weeks to go... even more exciting and terrifying.

Here's what's happening with me and the tiny one...

Cravings: Grapes, mostly. Not very interesting. I did really want In N Out earlier this week. Didn't manage to get over there though. Sad.

Aversions: I have a love hate relationship with food right now. I always want to eat, but I am always always feeling completely stuffed. So, I'm averse to everything and nothing.

Energy:  Comes and goes.

Missing: I'm kinda over missing things. Same stuff though - clothes that fit and are comfortable, fitting in small spaces, all the foods I'm not supposed to eat, all the drinks I'm not supposed to drink, etc.

Movement: My favorite thing right now is when I first get into bed and am laying on my side and part of my belly is resting on the bed. He stomps/punches into the mattress like "what is this? get it out of the way!" out of frustration. It makes me laugh every time.
He's big enough now that he can "kick" both sides of my belly at the same time, which is cool and scary.

Feeling: Achy, but generally good. I am always thirsty. Always always always. I can have a full glass of ice water and I'm thinking about when I need to get up for more. Weirdly, this does not make me have to pee more, which makes me think I may be really dehydrated, BUT you wouldn't think that if you saw how much water I drink.

Wearing: Tunic tops and leggings, maxi dresses, shorts. None of my old clothes. Well, almost done of my old clothes. I wake up in the morning, stare at my closet and say aloud "I hate clothes".

Yoga: Still one of my favorite parts of every week. I love that I can feel strong, like I'm getting a good workout and not hurting my joints or feeling like I need to support my belly. I have been taking major advantage of being able to get upside down as often as possible - especially since I'm carrying so low, it gets really uncomfortable sometimes. Inversions help move him up and out of my pelvis, so I can relax.

Can't Live Without:  Still my body pillow and ice water. I've started propping up pillows on the couch/floor/bed so I can lay on my stomach without actually laying on my stomach.

Getting Ready? The baby's room is furnished! Last weekend my mom was going to come over and me put up the decals I got on Etsy, but the weekend got away from us. On Sunday night I did manage to lay it all out flat so the edges won't curl up.
OH! I almost forgot and am adding this after hitting *publish* - I started putting up the decals last night. I'm a little worried about where some of the pieces are going to fit. The room is not very big, but I'm confident we'll figure it out.
I haven't been buying much because I don't know what we'll get at the shower. Once I see what we don't need, I'll probly go on a bit of a shopping spree.

I did start to work on an emergency kit in the last few days. We're gonna keep it in the baby's room because in the event of an emergency, that's likely the first place we'll go. I'll tell you about it next week. ;)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 38

Wednesday morning I taught my mommy & baby class. That ended up being my workout for the day. We did some challenging stuff - some glutes and some core and somewhere in there I worked up a sweat, so I was perfectly comfortable taking the evening off and celebrating my anniversary with my honey.

Thursday night I did yoga with one of my girlfriends. I hadn't seen her in a couple of weeks, so it was really nice to catch up and do a little yoga in the process.

Friday was a weird day. I woke up feeling really icky. I hurt basically everywhere and I was especially exhausted. I decided to take the night off.

Saturday I planned to go to yoga in the morning, but it didn't work out. I wanted to be home to say goodbye to my hubs before he left for the weekend, so when he got out of the house a little later than planned, I wasn't able to make it to yoga. I did do a lot that day. Big accomplishments in terms of girly time. I got a massage, pedicure and attended high tea. All fun things.

Sunday I managed to make it to boxing! Hooray! I was feeling kind of tired, but I powered through it. It was one of those days I really wished I had a support belt for my belly, but I managed by just not doing too much bouncy footwork. Later I went back out again for prenatal yoga. We did a lot of shoulder work, which ended up being kind of tough because my shoulders had already been exhausted during boxing.

Monday night I had a hard time coming up with what I wanted to do for exercise. I finally settled on cardio barre, but then I didn't get home in time to change and make it out for class. So, Panda and I went on a walk. It's finally cooling down enough before sunset that I can take her out before dark. Hooray! We were about for about 40 minutes and managed just over a mile and a half. I briefly ran (so we would make it across the street before the light changed) and it was so weird feeling. I'm looking into options for belly support for exercise. Anybody have any suggestions? I've heard the FITsplint, Belly Bandit, and KT tape are good options. First I'll be trying KT tape. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday night is not my usual night for yoga with Jenny, but this week we did some rearranging. We got a pretty good little yoga flow in. My tummy is finally getting in the way in pigeon pose, and I brought blocks in so we could do supported shoulder stand.

How was your week?

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Dad Climbed Kilimanjaro

Last month, my dad and a crew of 12 other guys climbed Kilimanjaro. He posted this on facebook last week and I wanted to share it with you. I'm so proud of him and so moved by his endurance on this trip. I'll let him explain...

POLE POLE, is Swahili for “gradually”, “easy does it”. At 2 AM Friday morning we had been hiking two hours up from the Barafu Camp where we had four hours of sleep before setting off at midnight and stopped thinking about how I was able to continue. This was day two of the worst lower intestinal illness I have ever had. Barely able to even hydrate, let alone eat, I was lucky to be drinking one third of the 3 liters of water I should have been drinking. I could not fathom the idea of eating, so I forced down bites of peanut butter sandwich and energy bars. Hardly matching the calories I was burning. Yet my legs felt strong as long as I followed the mantra of Pole Pole. And I knew that I had to bring Ken to the top. 
Ken is a friend who died several months ago, accidentally careening his truck into a river in Northern California. He was a fellow adventurer who knew the Sierra Nevada Mountains like the back of his hand. We had been friends since our early teens. We were together when he met his future wife. We watched our families grow. We rafted down rivers in Alaska together with our friend Jim. He ran with the bulls with me in Pamplona. Ken wanted a party to celebrate his life and we said fine things about Ken. Many fine things. But I wanted to give Ken a parting gift. I was able to find a somewhat recent photo of my friend, stuck his mug on an 8.5 by 11 piece of foam board and carried this memento in my backpack for seven days, ultimately to the top of Kilimanjaro. 
This recent trip was beset with logistical difficulties even if everything went according to plan. But El Al Airlines did it’s best to screw me over (more stories on this later) and Turkish Air cancelled a key leg, failing to let me know they had cancelled and rescheduling me, and the booking agency Vayama also failed to advise me. Yet I ultimate arrived at Kilimanjaro Airport, albeit a little more battered and bruised than planned. 
I sat in the lounge at the Mountain Lodge in Arusha the Sunday morning after returning from the climb and reflected on the logistical problems solved, the physical difficulty of the climb, and the spiritual realizations I had experienced on this most bizarre of trips. The first realization was being overwhelmed as I went through Hortus Gethsemane beneath Jerusalem, which especially surprised me as I never considered myself particularly religious. The second being how I managed to climb in roughly an eight hour stretch 1,800 meters in elevation to the top of the Roof of Africa at 5,895 meters (about 19,400 feet), while being sick as a dog, dehydrated and barely an extra calorie to burn. Asante, Ken. Asante Sana. 
And thanks to the twelve members of our climbing team and our guides.

We were kept updated on all of his trials along the way - being stranded in Newark when the plane left without him, a cancelled flight out of Istanbul, closed gates when he finally arrived at the lodge in the wee hours of the morning, and finally beginning his trek with little time to adjust to actually being in Africa. With the encouragement of the rest of the crew, they were able to "boogie" their way up to the Roof of Africa - taking along a friend who would never be able to make the trip himself. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pregnancy is Uncomfortable.

What I'm doing here I call my "belly stretch". I do it whenever my insides feel especially squished and I just stick my belly out as far as I can. It feels great, but usually as soon as I relax, I'm right back to feeling squished again.  Also, Panda Bear cracks me up in this picture. 

There. I said it. Pregnancy is uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong. I am so so so happy and feel so very blessed to be able to grow this little human and bring him into the world, but I don't think there's a rule anywhere that says I have to be happy when my back hurts and my clothes don't fit.

Since I have just gotten into my third trimester, I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about some of the pregnancy symptoms that I've personally experienced thus far and how I'm dealing with them.

Sciatic Pain - Especially on my right side, since about the halfway point, I've been dealing with some sciatic pain. I've considered myself fortunate lately because I have the knowledge and understanding of how the muscles and bones work to optimally stretch it out. One of the key ways I've been able to work out my low back is literally curling myself into a ball and using the floor to hit points. If you have the stability and need to focus on one side more than the other, you can actually just hang out in a ball, letting only that part of your back hit the floor. My mat provided a really nice firm, but not hard/painful surface for me to work into my low back. I also found that by getting into a supported back bend like bridge pose with a block under my sacrum helps take some of the compression out of the low back and, if you're feeling stable, you can play with weight distribution.
The biggest thing for me, personally, has been working on engaging my glutes when I do lunges - not letting myself sink into the hip/pelvis. Even though it can feel better on the front of the hip to stretch it out, it puts all the extra pressure on the low back, so simply by keeping my glutes and pelvis engaged, I'm helping my low back.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 37

I moved this post to Thursday this week to accommodate my annual anniversary post. ;)

Wednesday I took the Fit Ballet Body class my friend Chelsea teaches. I told her before class I was majorly lagging and super low energy. I did end up taking a few little breaks during class, working out some soreness, joint discomfort, etc, but I was able to do almost everything. Hooray!

Thursday night I made it to Power Yoga. It was one of my best preggo practices since before I really felt pregnant. It's been a while since I felt that strong. The woman next to me even commented at the end that I was doing amazing. I was doing all the pushups, side arm balances, handstands. I took a little break at one point, but mostly I was sticking with it through the vinyasas. It really felt awesome.

Friday night I had planned to take Bollywood with my sister, but when we went to sign up an hour before class, it had been cancelled. So, I stayed home while hubs went to the gym and did Dance Central Spotlight for 50 minutes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AG; Year Three

Three years ago today, we ... married.

Two years ago, we ...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Currently; September 2014

First piece of artwork for the baby's room. My dad brought it back from Tanzania.

Currently, I'm...

FOUR TO SCORE! Haha. My friend lent me her copies of some of the Stephanie Plum books aaaaages ago. I mean years. The last time I picked this one up, Panda was a puppy. She got ahold of it and tore the cover up. I have since taped it all back together, but its still kind of a fun reminder of my girl who chewed up everything. Anyway, I was looking for something fun to read and I remembered I still had my friend's copies of books 4-6 (having already read 1-3), so I decided to give them another go.
I also downloaded Happiest Baby on the Block and Bringing Up Bebe. Haven't touched those yet though.

We got through Hell on Wheels so fast! The season was kinda disappointing, actually. Felt like nothing happened.
My honey finally agreed to watch Parks & Rec from the beginning with me. He LOVES it. I knew he would, but sometimes people just need to find things on their own. We're in Season 3.

Listening to...
I've added Take Me to Church to my short list of songs I play on repeat.

Struggling with...
Energy. Especially right at this moment. Sleep is a lot harder than it used to be. Plus its been really warm at night still, so if we opt for windows open over AC, I usually don't sleep very well.

Inspired by...
This kid. He amazes me. I haven't even met him and I am in awe.

Workouts are...
Harder and harder every day, but I'm keeping at it. I'm going for more fun, less focus. There is no part of me that feels the need to crank out 30 pushups at any point in a workout. Last week I was so tired in yoga, he gave us the option to do one or two pushups between side planks. I did one pushup and a childspose. I barely made it to the side plank on the second side.
Dance workouts are good. I can regulate the intensity better without skipping moves. I like Dance Central Spotlight and taking Bollywood classes for this.

I'm not proud. Lots of carbs and lots of sugar. Hubs made cinnamon rolls last week. So. much. sugar.

I keep going back and looking at our registry. I want to make sure that it's things we'll actually need and people will want to buy, so I'm constantly tweaking it. I need to stop though and just let it be.

Picked up some extra subbing gigs at one of the local gyms. Classes at the studio have been slow lately. Not sure why.

I've been doing a lot of online shopping. Like, a lot - zulily, target, old navy, nordstrom, you name it. So, I just wanted to take a minute to share Ebates with you folks. Basically they pay you to shop online... which is the coolest ever. You should try it. They send you quarterly checks, or sometimes you can get your payment in an online gift card. Once I got mine in the form of an Amazon gift card. You just spend what you were gonna spend anyway and get a percentage of that back from ebates.
Anyway, I highly highly encourage you to check it out (and use my link ;) ), especially if you do a lot of online shopping like I do. They're not paying me, but I think I get some kind of credit if you sign up using my link. :)

What are you upto?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Yoga Baby; Week 28

Week 28

SEVEN MONTHS! 3rd trimester, yo! Sheesh, how fast this is all going! So exciting and completely terrifying!

Here's what's happening with me and the tiny one...

Cravings: Cake. I made a chocolate bundt cake after my last post, and for the entire following week I still wanted more cake.

Aversions: Not any one thing or things in particular. Sometimes I just have zero appetite for real healthy food. I'll think to myself how I'm not hungry and food sounds terrible, but 10 seconds later I'll be on the couch with a popsicle.

Energy:  Major energy drop these last two weeks. I crash hard in the afternoons. Sometimes my energy is never that good to begin with. I pretty much feel like I could sleep all day every day.

Missing: Mostly the above. Energy. I was talking to a fellow pregnant friend about what workouts we used to do pre-pregnancy, and it really got me missing my tough workouts. I miss being able to challenge myself. I miss being better at things. Ha. I know that sounds terrible, but I really miss feeling strong.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 36

Wednesday was kind of a weird day. Hubs was trying out a new TKD studio nearby and its been tough to get motivated for most of my Wednesday night workout options. I used to love taking Power Yoga, but that class gets really hot and sweaty, so I'd rather do something more mellow. This week hubs downloaded Dance Central Spotlight on the Xbox specifically for me. So, Wednesday night while he was gone, I tried it out. It was kinda fun. Hard at times, but motivating because - at least for me - if I missed a move I had to do the whole dance again until I earned as many moves as I could or got sick of the song. I ended up dancing to 4 songs over and over for about an hour and a half. I worked up a sweat. I felt my quads and shoulders fatiguing. It was great.

Thursday was supposed to be my weekly yoga date. We missed Monday because of the holiday, but my girlfriend came down with a cold and even though she felt up for a light workout, I wasn't sure about voluntarily exposing myself to a cold, so I decided to give Power Yoga a go, even though I was pretty tired. Haven't been sleeping well and my workout the night before left me beat. So, yoga was really hard. I took more breaks than I had ever taken, made more modification than ever, and a few times even left poses to do something completely different because my body told me to. I did, however, start my practice with annoying sciatic pain on the right side, and by the end (thanks to engaging my glutes and using the block like a massage ball) I was feeling SO much better.