Mamahood Styled


// ivf round two //

day 1 (saturday, sept. 26th, 2015):

ahhh, today was our baseline appointment. we were so anxious and nervous leading up to it. i had no idea what the ultrasound would reveal, especially after what my body went through a month prior. we were so pleasantly surprised when our doctor told us everything looked beautiful. my lining was thin and although i wasn't able to get bloodwork results because it was a saturday, i feel confident (per my doctor) that we are in perfect shape for round 2. we discussed our protocol- this round we are starting with slightly higher dosage, hoping to stim for only 10 days versus last cycle's 12 days. we talked about using all of our 2012 sample- he had mentioned that they wanted to be cautious about using it all, since it's our last sample but we don't want to take chances, and feel committed to just go for it. i mean, this is the sperm that produced the miracle that is oliver; i have felt since day 1 that this was the right sample to use, but i let science takeover my intuition- never again! we are going about this round so well-versed in this topic that we even asked about doing picsi instead of icsi (how the sperm is chosen and injected into the eggs). we got to chat for awhile and then went over meds, leaving with almost $4,000 in medication to start that night. we felt overjoyed and relaxed- a huge weight od doubt and stress lifted off our shoulders. perhaps we are going about this wrong, as this is how we acted the first round, but f it. it's who we are. we are genuinely positive people. we are rational and pragmatic (me more than him) but we are optimists. of course, we worry about how we will feel and react if this doesn't work again- because we did fall. hard and dark. but oh well, we will cross that bridge when we are at it. for now, one day at a time. my nights are not being spent looking up other ivf stories, comparing and reading statistics. instead, we are just grateful for this chance and our lives are so busy, it doesn't even matter.

sooo, we woke up at 4:30am to be on the road by 5am...we had our appointment at 10am, and after, my parents met us for a quick lunch. we departed in the parking lot and off we went back home to our baby boy. we arrived in the late evening, and took our first set of shots.
300 cc of Gonal F
1 vial of stinging Menopur
but the shots weren't that bad. we thought we gave them wrong only to realize we did it right- woot. I think we were still hyped on adrenaline!
-US/Lab report: lining thin, lots of follies ready to go, and Estradiol at 25.87.
day 2: (sunday, september 27th, 2015)
holy exhaustion and fatigue! i don't know if it was the 15 hour trip, or a serious side effect from the meds, but i li-te-ra-lly could NOT keep my little eyes open by noon. around 2:30pm, i finally gave in without even knowing, all slept til 5pm with my baby boy. other than the neverending exhaustion (which i did look up and is, in fact, a side effect, everything felt normal).
shots did sting today- ouch!

day 3: (monday, september 28th, 2015)
i can feel little twinges in my ovaries today! grow, follies, grow!! i woke up feeling like i am about to get sick, which i haven't in soooo long. bad timing! my throat is achy and my head feels like it's floating- like i need to pop my ears but can't. woke up so exhausted and hit snooze twice! oops! loooong day at work today- didn't get home until after 7pm and still had to make dinner and prep for tomorrow. Halfway into doing the dishes, I gave up and went upstairs to bed. sooo exhausted.

day 4: (tuesday, september 29th, 2015)
ovaries feel heavy and busy today, lots of twinging. still feel like i am going to get sick- wah. busy day at work- but a good positive day! feeling good emotionally! shots hurt today- ouch! not looking forward to tomorrow's travel but we are going to make the best of it- we are so tired!

day 5: (wednesday, september 30, 2015)
last day of september! we woke up at 4:30am and were on the road an hour later, with our toddler in tow to oceanside! we arrived at 8:40am without making any stops (a first for us) and oliver slept the entire way up. i felt so bad because i fought keeping my eyes open for the first hour until i finally sucked it up and woke up completely. roomie met up with us at the doctor's office that monitored my first labs and ultrasound. they drew my blood and everyone got to come into the ultrasound room which was nice ( i mean, other than the actual vag ultrasound- heeeey, everyone). the tech wouldn't tell us anything, but geoff was able to sneak a look at the screen as she was measuring my ovaries' follicles and he said they looked bigger than last round. we'll see! we went to starbucks with roomie and hung out for an hour- it was so fun and we didn't want it to end. we drove 30 minutes down to scripps aquarium for oliver (where the octonauts live, he says). we were there until 12:30pm and he really enjoyed it. since we were now in la jolla, we met up with jack, lizett and our godchildren cash and baby jack at burger lounge. a few years ago, we were all in sd for kyle and alex's wedding. we were really hungry so started walking around aimlessly in our hotel neighborhood and stumbled upon burger lounge. omgosh. at the time, we were still coming off of being vegeterians and were in looove with their quinoa burger. best ever. i came home and attempted to recreate it, even. flash forward, it is now our go to double date place- we always try to meet up at one. during my pregnancy with oliver, i had my first ever craving for a cheeseburger and we drove down just for the day to get one haha! so so good! we took the boys to a park that overlooks the ocean so they could run out their crazy energy. it was so hot and humid- eek. then we parted ways, stopping at ikea along the way, only to realize that we forgot to buy what we went to get, haha. we arrived back home by 7pm- just in time for our shots! tonight was the first night (day 5) that i dreaded the shots. the ultrasound made me cramp and hurt (and even filled my eyes with tears- definitely feeling a lot more pressure) and the idea of painful shots (i'm talking to you, menopur), is no fun.

day 6: (thursday, october 1st, 2015)
my ivf coordinator/nurse sent me a text this morning: "labs came out okay. estradiol at 486.5" last cycle, i never asked about my labs or ultrasound results, other than wanting to know if we were on target (which we hardly were and the process was extended a few days). this cycle, i'm more aware and ask specific questions. currently waiting on her response for follicle measurements. i sometimes feel like i'm pestering but oh well, it's my body and i want to know. plus....$$$, right?!

eek! just got my results:
endo: 7.5mm
Right ovary: 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 11, 11, 11
Left ovary: 5, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 11, 11, 12

My response text was: "it that good?" and she replied, "Yes it is." haha! I am over the moon excited! I know that the smaller ones are probably too small so far but you never know, we still have a week to go! and I definitely feel we are doing better than last cycle because by this appointment, we were told we were behind and had to increase meds- this time, I'm staying on 300cc of Gonal F and 1 vial of Menopur! woot, grow follies, grow!
Next appointment is in L.A. Saturday at 11am!


// ivf //

// i started writing this post in the middle of our two-week wait (end of july-beginning of august) and didn't come back to my blog since. it's hard to look back and feel just like i did when i started typing this unfinished entry //

we are currently in the middle of our two week wait to see if our ivf treatment is a success. even writing the word success makes me feel like i am desperately trying to hold on to every shred of hope my mind and heart can muster. you see, our ivf journey was a positive one from the start. it felt like everything had somehow lined up to make it a one-hit success. the entire process came with a huge learning curve that i somehow managed to understand and now feel pretty well versed in, although there is still a lot to learn. what i have realized with every passing day, is that i want this to work out with every part of my being- more and more with each passing minute of each and every day. not that i didn't at first; but in the beginning, i kept a realistic view of the grand reality that more often than not, the first shot at ivf isn't a success- fertility clinics sell double and triple packages because it's a guessing game with soo many factors- but now, now all i do is pray. i pray hard. i light candles. i ask for help and guidance. i have fallen apart in the last week multiple times, for the first time throughout this process that has been a year in the making. and i am writing to center myself. to be honest with myself. because feeling the devastation i have felt recently, is something i don't want to feel again. so instead, i am hoping that by writing our journey, i will find peace with however the results of this end. and to be honest, i am pretty sure one of our babies implanted. we decided originally not to test at home, but we haaave to. right? ahhhhh, the hope of this!!this has to be it!! in the meantime...

i meant to write a complete IVF FAQ section and document all our pictures because I was sure that despite everything we were going to beat the odds and bring another little miracle into this world. We did pee on a stick and got a light positive- which confirmed what we knew. oliver's intuition further confirmed this and when we finally received our bloodwork, an early miscarriage was confirmed. i guess we were an ivf success- just not completely. and since then, my prayers have become so specific, so so so specific. 

and today, well today i find us on the edge of our seats as we are days away from ivf 2. which wouldn't be possible without the help, support, and motivation from our amazing support system. 
my anxiety has been through the roof this week. i have been so cool, calm and collected as we embark on ivf 2 and now that the time is here, i feel like i can't even breathe. i'm hoping that by writing it all out, i'll feel better. i have some pretty huge fears considering not only what we have been through, but what girlfriends have recently been through. it seems that too many i know (or read about) have recently lost their itty bitty babies. how is that possible? i can't ever find a reason that makes sense to my simple mind.

after being so open and sharing everything about it through social media, i am unsure now, whether i will or not. my main reason for doing so was to create awareness and do a tiny part in helping break the shame that comes with infertility. i found dozens of instagram accounts that were separate from personal accounts- the majority were void of who the person was because they didn't want to share with their friends/family. i didn't get it. why wouldn't you want their support, and let them in? why would you feel ashamed?

and yet, now, i am getting it. it's not that i feel shame. because i absolutely do not. it's that sometimes, your mind is so consumed by your ivf thoughts that you are viewing the world through ivf lenses. and no one else is. i have had a beyond amazing support system. i can never ever ever repay them. and yet recently, i find myself careful about what i say about it. situations in our lives that entice pain are relative. you can hurt for someone else, but in reality, life goes on. we get tired of hearing the same sob story over and over. you get ready to move on. i feel confident in my relationships and know my support system is strong and willing to lift me- but do i want to burden them with that? i don't know. i have no idea. i get glimpses of doubt and such. everyone has their own crosses to carry and to dump this addition to their already heavy plates seems insensitive.

and like i said, i'm sensitive as it is. i will probably never forget miscarrying and the pain that came with it. ivf round 1 was great until it wasn't. and when it wasn't, it was so much pain. my heart goes to the mamas that lose children later. i could never survive that pain. no way. and yet, it doesn't make my loss and pain any easier. yet i'm so blessed with a loving husband (even if he does get on my nerves a lot and i drive him crazy) and a beautiful, wild son who is going through his terrible twos. not a day goes by that i don't thank God for the miracle of their lives. in the midst of frustration, i often stop myself and regroup, thinking how blessed i am to even get to go through that moment. and yet, i have been told soo many times that "at least i have oliver." i know this is coming from a loving place. i do. our situations could always be worse and we tend to find comfort in lessening them.

but really, my son doesn't compare to anyone else, just as another baby of mine wouldn't compare. do moms of multiple babies only hurt for one? it just doesn't make sense. and my son is my everything. our blessing, our miracle. i don't even need to explain more because to think that someone may imply we are not simply satisfied with him....well, that's beyond me. why do parents grow their family? and wouldn't each set of parents be sad if they wanted to but couldn't? it's a completely different situation when you don't have a choice. completely different.

i have so many doubts and fears as we are about to go through with this. i'm silently crying inside and the fact that we have to do this again because i feel weak.  but gosh, above all i have hope. i really do. so so so much hope.


// diy subway tile //

We have been debating whether or not to do DIY home improvements on our owned condo for the last year. We know we want to sell and relocate sooner than later and it's hard to continue making it a home when we know we will not be staying here forever. We compromised and did some smaller, less expensive DIYs in the meantime! We had been drooling over white subway tile backsplashes and didn't realize how cost effective it actually is! 

Kitchen backsplashes have a million options on installation, but this is the one we went with. I warn you, the hard parts can definitely be done in a weekend, and although not necessarily difficult, some parts are a bit tedious- or at least were for us! I still strongly recommend doing it yourself! I wanted to share how we did ours in case anyone is interested! And for those wondering how inexpensive this can be- our initial expense was $131 for our space! We ended up exchanging some materials and purchasing others and I estimate we ended up spending no more than $150- I stopped keeping track after one too many trips to Home Depot or Lowe's! 

1. Buy a sample of your desired tile. Go home and measure how much of it you would need to cover your space. If your backsplash includes behind your stove, make sure to account for the space behind it. 

2. Purchase your supplies:

- Tiles (we originally wanted the larger 3x6 individual tiles but they were too big for part of our space so we opted for the smaller, which only came in a mosaic. We ended up buying enough for 24 square feet) 
- Tile Adhesive (we bought the premixed kind and recommend it) 
- Trowel 
- Grout Float
- Grout Sponge
- Grout (we went with an non-sanded tinted grout- there are different color options and depending on the tile gap, you would get sanded or non-sanded. We were right at 1/8" and decided we'd prefer non-sanded; anything above 1/8", sanded is usually recommended)
- Tile spacers (we got one bag and ran out at the end and had to reuse the earlier used ones- if you're doing individual tiles or your space is bigger than ours, you'll definitely need more than one bag)
- Caulk (we originally went with a bright white and it looked way too bright compared to our grout. We ended up buying the same brand in the same color as the grout, and realized that this brand is so watery, it was such a pain to do it. I love caulking- it fixes everything- but this brand was way watery and I had to wait a few hours for it to dry, then add another layer so it looked thicker. If you want it to match as your caulk, then I recommend the headache, but if you want white, I'd recommend a regular silicone based caulk; by the way, we already had some regular caulk on hand and ended up needing it to fill in spaces, too). 
- Grout sealer- this is the very last step and you apply it a day or two after everything is done- you can add an epoxy sealer to your grout and never have to seal but this was more cost effective for us. 
- a piece of wood to act as a scaffold behind your stove (if this is applicable to your kitchen)

Step 1:
Turn off the electricity to your kitchen outlets via the breaker. Remove outlet covers, tape up your outlets, and cover your countertops- it gets messy! 

Add that piece of wood behind your stove. Feel free to clean under it, too. I couldn't believe how dusty it was under there- isn't that a fire hazard?! Embarrassingly enough, I also found an avocado pit and a brand new cookie sheet. :/

2. Find the center of your kitchen. This will be your starting point. For us, this would be our sink. Lay out all of your tiles on the counters so you know approximations on where cuts will have to be made, what corners will look like, and where cabinets will meet. We did NOT do this and have some major headaches when we reached the top of our cabinets and realized that they were all installed crooked!!! Thanks, builders who did ours! 

Apply your adhesive with your trowel. Follow the instructions on the label- super easy! 

Step 3:

Tile away! If you are doing a mosaic, make sure the tiles are evenly spaced, you'll need spacers at the bottom to make room for your caulk line. If you are doing individual tiles, you'll need spacers throughout each tile. How you insert them is up to you- Geoff and I had two different methods and both worked! 

Step 4: Cutting tiles

As soon as you hit your first outlet (can you believe our little space has EIGHT of them!?), you'll need to cut. We originally purchased a tile cutter attachment to the dremel- didn't work! Geoff tried a drill attachment- took way too long! Finally, he ended up just using his grinder and it worked perfectly! I don't have a picture of him doing this, but don't worry about cuts being perfect! They'll be hidden behind the outlet. Do make sure your outlet can still screw in properly, though!

Step 5: Admire your adhered tile and let it dry for 24 hours! 

This is when we realized a couple of things: our cabinets were installed completely crooked, leaving very awkward gaps in our tile edges. We had to return our original tile ends and go to a different hardware store to find some that matched better. Geoff was a genius and literally grinded/sanded down each piece to fit the narrow, crooked space. Here is when we also found out that you can take marked tiles and get them cut for FREE and hassle free! What?! No one had ever told us this! I would definitely go this route next time! Lay out all of your tile, mark your cuts, go get them cut, and THEN start. As long as you measure correctly, it would make everything so much faster and easier!

Step 6: After 24 hours, it's time to apply your grout. Follow the instructions on the label, the application is pretty easy! When cleaning off the grout, you'll be rinsing your huge sponge a lot! Rinse it, fold in it half like a hamburger, and then wring it out! 

see the crookedness below:

Step 7: Add your caulking! This took me a few steps and an extra day and even though we went with the harder to apply caulk, I'm really happy with the results. I also used regular white silicone caulk to hide all of the crooked areas and it worked seamlessly.

I hope this encourages you if you have been thinking of tackling this project! Let me know if you do! 

P.S. A trip to the hardware store is never the same without this guy befriending everyone he meets and getting into mischievous trouble!



Have you heard of TheLBBrand?! Run over here and check out the amazingness that is this brand! Jen, the creator, is an amazing soul. Talking to her, is like connecting with an old friend who you haven't talked to in awhile, yet you seamlessly pick up like you haven't missed a day! I connected with her over a year and half ago and have been motivated and inspired by her ever since! Her brand, Little Boogaweezin/ The LB Brand strives for the connection of modern parenthood and womanhood. She encompasses the unity we all strive for as we go through this rewarding yet challenging point in our lives. Her brand makes you feel like a badass individual, while still being a mama! That balance that I know I strive for daily, and sometimes gets overshadowed by the demands of mamahood, my career, and my marriage. My first feature was here and now I am happy to be a fitness contributor for The LB Brand! I am sporting the Protector.Mother.Lover muscle tank in sea foam green that can be purchased here! I love the idea of wearing this as your outfit and coming straight home or to the gym to workout! Below are two workouts and my article! Enjoy!


I look over to my now two-year old shoving kale salad in his mouth from my bowl, as he already finished his, and I am overcome with a sense of pride. Every time I work out with him, I catch him huffing and puffing, doing baby burpees or squats while he watches me out of the corner of his eye. His confidence is contagious and I wish it was something that didn’t get tainted as we grow and learn. Especially with our images of our own bodies, our own self-love.
I loved being pregnant, once I found out I was pregnant. You see, my husband and I were told that after his first bout with Testicular Cancer in 2010, surgeries and extensive Chemotherapy, there was NO way he could have children naturally. Two years later, he was diagnosed with Cancer a second time, just as we found out we were miraculously expecting our first, and only child (as now, it is literally impossible to get pregnant naturally). At the time, my after-work job was as a Personal Trainer at a local gym (working out had become a passion of mine when he got sick the first time, as I began to prioritize health). I kept working out, with the guidance of my midwife, with the same intensity as before, yet listening to my body (and her recommendations to a tee). I was constantly greeted with stares that appeared to be full of judgment or comments about how I should not be working out while pregnant. The truth of the matter is that working out is my therapy and I genuinely love it. It definitely helped me stay in shape during my pregnancy and I genuinely believe it gave me the strength to push through a delivery with no medications, and a much easier “bounce-back” within three weeks of having him.
Two years since his birth, I probably look the same since pre-pregnancy, but I know that my body composition has changed tremendously. The weight I never had to worry about, and the metabolism I was always praised about, completely shifted. My entire life I never worried about weight as the incessant food I ate did nothing to my physique. Now, my stomach and thighs are the first to gain weight. I breastfed for 19 rigorous months, and although I was one of the “unlucky” ones whose weight did not go below pre-pregnancy and could not eat whatever I wanted, it definitely kept me healthy, as I knew everything I was consuming was going straight to my precious miracle baby boy who, truth be told, I was just trying to keep alive and occasionally get a shower in for myself, here and there. At 7 weeks post-partum, my husband did a 12-week clean eating and weightlifting challenge, and although strict “clean-eating” has been part of our everyday life since 2010, this took it to a whole other level of measured commitment, with counting macronutrients. Combined with lifting heavy weights, it absolutely gave me results like never before: sculpted muscles, firmness, and abs. Alas, the coveted abs. Then when I went back to my regular 80/20 rule of eating, I found myself feeling deprived and binging. My abs would fluctuate and I would measure my success by how many I could see or what the number appeared on the despised scale. I had anxiety whenever we would eat out and felt unhappy with my appearance. I wanted my abs year round! I couldn’t believe I was facing these issues. As a counselor and personal trainer, I knew I needed to change my ways of thinking; my husband hid the scale and it took me months to relieve that anxiety. I thought about my baby boy- did I really want him growing up thinking he had to weigh his food or be judgmental of foods? No, I wanted him to be educated and aware, and make balanced, healthy choices for fuel and health!
I still struggle with it, like I’m sure most women (and men) do! But, I am on a quest to love my body for what it is. I have incorporated “regular” foods into my diet and work hard to not feel guilt, but also not binge (as I have the appetite of a hormonal teenage football player); I work out hard and continue to do so for strength and endurance, rather than the previous priority of aesthetics being number one. I am on a mission to love my new body, love what is has created, and embrace that I am still in amazing shape! Working out is my “me-time,” just like having wine and pizza are, too! (Side note: pizza is my baby’s favorite food and the other night, he woke up at dawn, begging Daddy for quinoa- all about balance).
Whether you have had a baby (or three) or none, I am sure as women we can all relate! We want to feel and look fit, while still enjoying the foods we love. Although I was once a strict “clean” eater, my best results for my mental well-being have been being an intuitive eater, as the exercise part comes easy for me, most days. Baby, or no baby, being active is an outstanding achievement! We all want to be healthy! Nothing makes me feel stronger and more of a badass than giving my all to a difficult workout.
High-intensity workouts are my jam- intervals mixed with strength training are my favorite! Giving your maximum effort with very short rest periods are effective. You need to go hard! But you need to be smart about it and not hurt yourself!! It should hurt, but it should hurt good. Sweat, glistening, a burning sensation in the muscle(s) being used, & shaking- all great responses to a hard workout; dizziness, blacking out, sharp, localized shooting pain- not so great! Proper form is absolute key to success! How many times have you seen someone working on the elliptical or bike at the gym, chatting away, reading a magazine? If you’re there to do work, all you are doing is creating heat, rather than burning fat or gaining endurance and strength. As a busy working mama with a lot of side projects, ain’t nobody got time for that! I prefer a max of 30 minutes of daily HIIT workouts that can be done anywhere! Incorporating plyometrics, weight training and cardio are my jam! & I want it to be yours, too! Weights will NOT make you bulky! Pushing past your limits during a grueling workout is worth your time in gold! Psychologically, it leaves you in an all-time high, unlocking the badassness we all have inside of us!
Get a friend, or do these yourself, have a sensible approach to fitness while being realistic. Think long term goals. Think that you CAN. Commit! Try these workouts. Lift with proper form and with weights. Improvise, adjust. Too easy? Go harder, faster, stronger. Too hard? Go lighter, slower and focus on each movement. You’ve got this. Go to sleep in your workout clothes and wake up ready to do work! Wear your cute workout outfit to run errands and then go straight to your workout! A healthy and well-balanced LIFE is attainable! We are all in this together! We’ll have good days, rough days, amazing days, and unmotivating days. The important thing is to work every day toward your ultimate goal until this becomes part of your lifestyle. Because being a healthy and strong woman is rad.
Using a timer, set it for 50 seconds of hard work and 10 seconds of rest (I use the free version of the GymBoss app on my phone). Choose 6 exercises to complete 3-5 rounds in. Remember, those 50 seconds are meant to push you! Jot down your reps and each round, try to meet or beat that number! Get it, girl! I am here for you! We are all here for each other!

*all pictures by @gmontgomery



// easter 2015 //

this easter was so much fun! we woke (like this) and the first thing oliver asked was if the easter bunny filled his basket! it was so cute to watch him get excited over this! we read about jesus and the reason we celebrate easter and counted all of our blessings!

we always go to momma's and poppa's house for easter festivities. this year, i got to make breakfast and it was a hit! 

the day before, we painted eggs but o was more interested in peeling and eating them. i think he ate three. 

and somehow, my hands ended up way more stained than his. i should focus on the eating part more. 

the boys had their egg hunt on sunday:

that night, he dressed himself in his pjs, like this, haha!

the following day consisted of bunny food and egg salads and mama having a day off from work!

and still wearing his bunny ears and slippers for our morning walk.

wanna remember easter 2014 and a sneak of easter 2013? click here!

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