April Goals.

Happy April Everyone!

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So, as I did for March I am going to set some monthly goals for April. I am really starting to enjoy setting these short-term goals. They seem more achievable than when I would set a long-term goal.

With it being a new month, I’m here again to set my monthly goals for April! But first let’s recap. I want to go back to my March goals and see what I accomplished.

Get Liliana To Walk. Still a no go. But closer! She’s just about there! I give it a week or two and she’ll be all over the place.

Create an Easter Craft with the Kids. Check! Instead of a craft, we made Easter treats! We made Easter Bunny Cake Pops and Spring Flower Chocolate Pretzels. Both were super delicious!

Date Night with my Hubby. We were able to get out more than just once this month! I was so happy to have one on one time with my husband. It was well overdue. We needed it.

Mother and Son Date. We couldn’t accomplish this last month. With my husband working, and other personal conflicts going on, we did fun activities but it was with both kiddos, not just mama and son. He has spent a lot of bonding time with my hubby lately though!

Get Outside. We’ve still had cold weather, all throughout March. Even a snow storm. But, the nice days we did have we got outside. So, I’ll say this one was completed!

Explore New Recipes. I didn’t get to try as many new recipes as I would have liked, but we still tried a couple. So, I’ll say this was half completed!

March was a good one!

 

Let’s get into April.

I’m hoping the weather is nicer this month so some of these goals can be accomplished! Same as last month, I want to get outside.

Start a Garden. I want to spruce up my front lawn and add a flower garden. My mom bought me a Lily flower for Easter, so I’d like to get the mulch down and start off by planting that flower and going from there.

Grow My Own Vegetables. The hubs and I have been wanting to do this for a while. We love our veggies, and we really want to start our own garden in the back yard. We just never had the time. Now that I stay home, I think I can manage a veggie garden.

Add More Cardio into My Workout. With the weather warming up, I’m ready to get the little one and I out on our daily walks while my son is in pre-school, but as for now we brought our stationary bike upstairs and so far, so good with incorporating some cardio into my workout routine. I’m really enjoying it.

Open the House and Clean. Weather permitting, I really want to get the windows and doors open in the house and clean for hours. Crazy, right?! Get all the dirt and dust out of there, along with our millions of germs we’ve have cooped up in the house from all our illnesses.

Save Money for Vacation. Although vacation is in August, I want to start saving now. Just so we’ll have some extra money for the kids, alcohol, and groceries when we are down there and not having to worry about spending too much.

Clean Out the Kids Dressers/Closets. Out with the winter clothes, in with the spring. The amount of clothes my children have is unreal. I want to go through it all, find out what no longer fits and pack them away so I can fit their new clothes in there.

Does anyone else set monthly goals? I’d love to hear what you have going on in April!

 

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Bye Bye Bottle.

Hey loves!

It’s that time again where I should try weening my little one off the bottle. My youngest is about to turn 14 months old and this girl loves her bottle, or as she would say ‘ba ba’. She has an attitude like her mama and she’s already starting with the tantrums if she doesn’t get what she wants. I have a spoiled one on my hands, so taking her bottle way is worrying me a bit.

She loves having her bottle first thing in the morning, before nap time, and before bedtime. We’ve switched out the bottle for a sippy cup when she eats her food. Sometimes she throws it on the ground and wants nothing to do with it and other times she’ll drink it, shortly to realize it’s not her bottle.

My oldest was a little hard to wean off also, but we were finally able too. After going through a handful of different sippy cups, he finally found his perfect cup and it was all a piece of cake from there on out. They didn’t have half of the options they have today back when he was weaning off the bottle.

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We discovered the Nuby 360 Insulated Wonder Cup and few weeks ago and we love it. It comes in a variety of colors and designs, so it’s great for any little one learning to drink from a cup!

Little miss independent loves the fact that she can look like she can drink out of the big kid cup just like her big brother does. This nine-ounce, BPA free cup is perfect for little ones 12 months and older. She’s able to drink out of the cup from any side also.

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With the weather being very dreary and cold here in the Central Pennsylvania, we were able to get the cup outside on a warm day while visiting the park, and the entire time it stayed cold! As a matter of fact, it can keep liquids cold for up to six hours!

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While she hasn’t quite let go of the bottle yet, this cup is helping immensely! She won’t drop it on the ground during meal time and she genuinely enjoys drinking out of it. It’s a step in the right direction when it comes to weaning her. I was excited to discover this cup.

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While you can find the cup on the Nuby brand website, you can also find it at Babies R Us.

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*I received this product from Nuby as a review, but all opinions are entirely my own*

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All In One On The Go Snacking.

My wonderful husband bought me a brand-new car about three months ago. A beautiful all black Toyota Rav-4. You can pretty much call her my third baby. We made a deal to not allow anyone to eat in car so it can stay nice and clean. Well, that lasted about two weeks… if that. We did great for the first two weeks. We only brought water in there and everything else was consumed in the house before we left. Then the busy, rushed mornings kicked into full gear where my son would refuse to eat breakfast all morning then decided he was hungry right before we had to leave for Pre-K. Of course. I couldn’t let him go to school hungry so he started taking breakfast in the car, whoops. He is in love with eating cereal without milk. That’s usually his breakfast. So, I would fill a little sandwich baggie full of cereal and let him munch on it on our ride to Pre-K and I’d fill a separate sippy cup with some water for him to have. No Biggie.

Of course though, forgetting he’s only four, whenever we arrived at daycare my car would either be filled with dropped cereal all on the floor or a torn-up baggie would be laying on the seat. Then, his sippy cup of water would be spilled on the seat or laying on the floor slowly leaking.  He’d never fail to make a mess with his food and drink.

So much for a ‘food free’ car. I kind of knew that wouldn’t last long. Especially with two young kids. Just the other day I was feeding my one year old french fries on the ride down to visit my parents.

Anyway, I’d constantly hear

“Uh-oh mommy, I dropped my snacks again”

“Oh darn, now all my snacks are dirty”

You would think I would have learned the first time that my son was going to make a mess, but you know, as a mom you always try to give them a million opportunities to do it the right way.

I mean.. it’s how they learn, right?

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Then! A few weeks ago, we were introduced to the Nuby Snack N’ Sip Cup. Not only did I instantly fall in love with it’s adorable design, my son was ready to rip the cup right out of the packaging as soon as he seen it. It’s an adorable little pirate theme, and he just loved the fact that he could have his snack and drink in one place. It’s a spill proof cup for ages one and older. It has a soft, flexible silicone straw and it’s BPA free. You can find it in multiple designs here. The lid to the snack container easily snaps shut, so if the cup gets dropped the snacks won’t go flying and the drink doesn’t spill. It’s wonderful when it comes to being on the go! He was so excited about his new cup, he wanted to take it into Pre-K to show all his friends and I’m excited that my car no longer gets full of cereal!

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This cup is a total win for me. My car stays much cleaner, he is learning to put to his cup in the cup holder and snap his snacks shut when he is done and I’m not going through a ton of sandwich baggies every week. I just rinse the cup out and it’s good to go for the next day. It’s the perfect size to put a good portion of snacks into the top and plenty of room for liquids on the bottom. I’ve come across cups where the snack holders were super small and barely any snacks fit into it. This is the first cup where I didn’t run into that issue. I love it! If now I could only find a fix for the muddy shoes and toys everywhere. Maybe one day!

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*I received this product from Nuby as a review, but all opinions are entirely my own*

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Mommy and Me Exercises That Any Mom Can Achieve

I always try to fit a workout in at home during the day while I am home with my daughter and my son is at preschool. When she was younger, it was a little easier. She’d take her nap and I’d get my workout done then. Now that she’s older and all over the place, it can make it a little more challenging. For some reason, my daughter decides she wants to love all over me as soon I start my workout. She crawls on me, tries to give me kisses and hugs me. I can’t ever pass that down. So, I decided to incorporate her into my workout routines. My little petite sixteen-pound toddler is the perfect size for some added weight! Plus, it gives me that extra burn and I don’t have to miss out on any love she’s trying to give mama.

All of these exercises are super simple, any mama can accomplish them! Whether you do one set of ten or three sets, anything is better then nothing and you don’t have to worry about taking any time away from loving on your little ones!

Here’s some ways to try and incorporate them!

 

 

Legs and Glutes

1

 Put them on your shoulders or hold them in your arms while you squat

Walk and do lunges while the little one is in your arms

Sit them on your lap while you do a one-minute wall sit

Sit them on you while you do glute bridges

Hold the baby and do side leg lifts

Lay on your back, lift your legs, and lay your baby on your calves to do leg raises

 

 

Arms

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Lie on your back and lift them in the air for a good shoulder press

Hold them under their armpits and do some bicep curls while standing

Lay them under you and give them a kiss every time you do a push up

Have them sit on your back while you do pushups for added weight

Do tricep dips while they sit on you

 

 

Abs

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Do some sitting Russian twists while holding them in your arms

Have them sit on your lower stomach during crunches

Sit them under you while you do a 30-60 second plank

Lay them on your stomach while doing leg lifts

Lay them on your legs while doing reverse crunches

 

 

Most importantlywalk walk walk!

It has so many health benefits that just walking alone can help you lose weight!

Walking for 30 minutes can burn up to 200 calories, re-energize you, improve your mood, reduce the risk of stroke, and even extend your life!

So, pop that little one in the stroller and enjoy the outdoors.

These are a perfect opportunity for a bonding moment with your babies!

Must I also mention, there’s an app called Sweatcoin that pays you to walk outside! If that doesn’t help motivate you, I don’t know what will! I’ve been using this app for about a month now, and it’s awesome! Of course, the weather hasn’t been to nice since it’s cold here on Pennsylvania so I can’t wait to put it fully to the test come spring and summer.

Check it out here.

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Lunch Made Easy: Featuring Nuby’s Sure Grip Miracle Mat Section Plate.

Hey Everyone!

When it comes to meal time for my youngest, it can be a nightmare! She is the queen of sliding her hand back and forth on her high chair top and knocking all of her food to the ground for the dogs to eat. Most of the time she thinks her food is just to play with, so she barely consumes any, except her ice cream. That she won’t share. She also enjoys feeding the dogs so I’m sure that’s half the reason why she does what she does, and I’m sure the pups don’t mind it either. She thinks it’s hilarious to throw the food off of the high chair and watch the dogs try and catch it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had to pick up food off the floor, or I find a three week old nugget piece underneath the sofa. It’s a never ending cycle when it comes to meal time with Miss ‘Do What I Want’.

Then I was introduced to the Nuby Sure Grip Miracle Mat Section Plate. First off, I can’t rave enough about adorable the Elephant design is! I just love it. Not only are they stylish, but these silicone plates are BPA and PVC free, come in multiple different colors and are for little one’s six months and older. It’s an integrated section plate with a non-slip base the sticks to flat surfaces. Best part is that it’s a plate and place mat all in one. It’s like a one stop shop for giving meals to the kiddos. You never have to worry about misplacing one or the other, it’s all together. Easy Peasy!

When I gave the Nuby Section Plate to my daughter at first, she gave me this side eye look which I’m sure she was thinking in her mind

“what’s this mom, are you seriously trying to ruin my fun”.

She could no longer fling her food right off her high chair and give it to the dogs. After a moment or two of staring at it, I could tell she liked her new plate. She noticed her ham, strawberries, and veggie straws were nicely placed in three separate sections, and she actually started eating her own food and not feeding the dogs! Total mom win! Thank goodness, my daughter was finally eating her food! Of course, near the end once she started getting full, she slipped the pups a few left over pieces, but no crazy messes like before! Plus, she couldn’t pick this plate up and toss it on the ground either. I was so relieved and she was nice a full. It was a win win situation.

Happy Mommy, Happy Baby.

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Once lunch time was over, the cleanup was simple! The silicone plate easily wiped clean with no hassle at all. Although I’m old school and wash my dishes by hand, these plates are dishwasher safe, so you can pop it right in the dishwasher for a simple, quick clean. I just gently wiped mine with some baby dish soap and water, sat it on my drying towel, and I was done! No hard scrubbing or anything!

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I 100% recommend this Nuby product. I am all for simplifying my daily routines when it comes to being a stay at home mom of two kids. There’s already so much on our plates to get completed throughout the day, and this product definitely simplifies my lunch time routine, which gives me a few extra minutes to get other household chores finished. You can find these adorable little silicone plates at your local Babies R Us. Check them out!

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*I received this product from Nuby as a review, but all opinions are entirely my own*

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Healthy Snack Alternatives: My Personal Favorites

One of my biggest guilty pleasures is snacking. I couldn’t possibly get through the day with just eating three meals. When I first started my weight loss journey, my hardest challenge was letting go of the snacks. It took me a little while to get into the groove of completely changing my eating habits. I attempted to completely cut out snacks and just eat strictly three meals a day, but nope. I couldn’t do it. After researching meal plans, I decided to incorporate two to three snacks into my daily eating routine. Of course, those snacks couldn’t be chips and cookies, I wish though, so I found my own personal favorites that I wanted to share. With these extra snacks in my day, I still lost close to 50 pounds.

Biggest part of snacking is the serving size. I make sure to measure out each snack and eat the correct serving size amount. It can be as simple as buying pre-packaged 100 calorie snacks or measuring them yourself using a food scale. Either way works, you just never want to overeat a snack, because that defeats the purpose.

Quest Bars. My number one favorite. These bars fill me up long enough between meals that I’m completely satisfied. They come in so many flavors you’ll never get bored of eating them. They are packed with protein and other healthy nutrition. They also have protein cookies and chips, check them out here!

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Raw Almonds. The nutrients in almonds are so great for you! Healthy fats, Vitamin E, Calcium, Magnesium… the list goes on! Not only do they have great nutrients, they help manage weight, lower cholesterol, improve digestive health, and lowers the risk of heart disease. I usually buy the Blue Diamond 100 Packs for a perfect on the go snack.

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Frozen Yogurt Blueberries. These are great when I am craving some ice cream. I get some vanilla greek yogurt, dip the blueberries in it, freeze them and that’s it. Another easy on the go snack, and totally kid approved! My son will eat these up.

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Peanut Butter Protein Bites. These are my go to when I want something sweet. They have just enough chocolate to curb my cravings and get my sweet tooth under control. This is another protein packed snack that keeps me full throughout the day. Check out my no bake, five ingredient recipe here!

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Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter. Another sweet snack for me (can you tell I like sweets?). I buy the Quaker Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes, spread the serving size amount of creamy peanut butter on top and enjoy. Quick, easy, and delicious!

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Try them out and let me know what you think! What are your favorite healthy snacks? I’d love to hear!

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March Goals

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Hey Everyone!

So I decided each month I’m going to share a post about monthly goals. I used to always set long term goals, which were achievable but sometimes I felt like I was falling short of accomplishing them. So, here we are with some short term monthly goals! I think this will be fun and at the end of the month I’ll share what has been accomplished and what hasn’t been. They can vary some self care to time with the kids. I’m really excited to give this a try.

Get Liliana To Walk. My girl does not want to walk! She knows that crawling gets her around faster so I’m pretty sure she feels no need to walk. She’ll be 13 months on the 10th and I’m hoping by the end of the month we can get her little butt walking! This is my number one goal!

Create an Easter Craft with the Kids. Easter is April 1st this year, so I really want to do a craft with the kids besides just dying eggs. I’m not sure what I want to do yet, but I want something sentimental that can be kept until they are older.

Date Night with my Hubby. We have been so busy lately and with the stomach viruses, colds, and sinus infections that we’ve been passing around all of February, I think we’re due for a date night. Just dinner or a movie, and mama is happy.

Mother and Son Date. I want a night or two with my oldest baby. I’ve been focused on his sister a lot this month with her teething and illnesses. She has been super clingy and whiny so my time with my boy has been a little neglected. So we’re due for a date! Maybe to an arcade or somewhere fun.

Get Outside. With it becoming slightly warmer lately, I want to get the kiddos and I outside more. Even if it’s just a short walk, I feel we’ve been cooped up in this house for way to long! We’re ready to break free and have some outside fun! I think a picnic will be happening also. You definitely feel like you’re in the house more when you’re a SAHM.

Explore New Recipes. I want to explore different recipes and share them. Preferably more healthier recipes since I’m working on being a fit mama. I want to explore foods that I haven’t tried before. Give my taste buds something new to try! If you have some delicious recipes, send them my way!

Do you have any March goals? I’d love to hear! I’m excited to give these goals a try and see how well I can accomplish them! So here we go!

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Tips to Help a Jealous Older Sibling.

 

Before I met my husband and we had our daughter, it was just my son and me. He was the only baby. He didn’t have to share me with anyone, share his toys, his grandparents, nothing. My only concern was him and only him, so he became a big mama’s boy, and to this day he is glued to my hip. I knew it would be a little tough bringing another child into the world.

When our daughter first came home from the hospital our son was so excited. He was eager to have a playmate, a best friend, a little sister. He was doing a great job with adding a new addition to the family and having to share mommy. Until he started to realize that she was here for good, and that he wasn’t mommy’s only baby anymore.

Why can’t we give her back”

“Do I seriously need to share my mom now”

“I thought I was your only baby”

Even for me the change was tough, I couldn’t imagine how it was for him. I got it, I understood. I knew it had to be tough so a big concern for me was figuring out how to make him never feel any less important than his little sister. I wanted him to know that they were both my babies.

From the day she was born and still to this day he is the most loving and caring big brother to his little sister, but he has his jealous moments, as I’m sure all older siblings do. He tries to act like a baby towards me thinking it will get my attention more, which I time and time again inform him that he is the big brother, he shouldn’t act like that and he needs to show his sissy how much of a big boy he is. There are times where he is a little too rough with her, and I need to inform him that hitting her isn’t the right thing to do.

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After experiencing this as a mother of two, I wanted to share some pointers that I have been working on to help refrain my son from getting jealous towards his little sister.

Give them their alone time with you. This is one I try to do weekly. Children enjoy one on one time with their parents. I try to do some activities with son by himself. We’ll go to the playground or make a craft together. We’ll try to do something that our daughter isn’t old enough to do yet, so I can show him that being a big brother can be fun because he can do some things that only big kids can do.

Teach them. Children learn through experimenting. You certainly don’t want them to experiment by hitting the baby and realizing that they are hurting them so encourage them to be gentle with the baby. Teach them to hug the baby softly, gently hold their fingers, or rub their feet. Let them know that a baby is fragile, and they aren’t as strong as them yet. Also let them know, that sharing is a good thing and just like they should share their toys they also should share mommy and daddy.

Never blame the baby. You don’t want your older child to think they can’t do something because their little brother or sister ruined it. You don’t want to tell them they couldn’t go to park because their sibling has a doctor’s appointment. Explain to them that you must run some errands first before going to play. You never want your older child to look at the younger one as a ‘burden’.

Involve them. Always try to involve the older sibling while taking care of the younger one. If you are about to feed them a bottle, have them help you hold it up. If it’s bath time, have the older sibling pick out the bath toy for them and help you wash them. If the baby is fussy, see if they can help get them to laugh. Having them do things together can help their bond grow stronger.

Give them praise. Support them. Let them know they are doing a great job at being a big brother or sister. Tell them they are doing a wonderful job when they help you out with the baby, and that you can see them becoming the best of friends. Reassure them that it’s fun being a big boy or girl, but also express how much you love them and that you understand it’s a big change in their life.

Don’t try to “fix” their negative emotions. Instead of insisting that their emotions aren’t real, try to understand how they feel. Show sympathy, but attempt to turn it into a positive outlook. Let them know that you understand how they feel but their little brother or sister loves them very much and needs them to help them grow up to be big like them. Also be sure to let them know that their help is really helpful to Mommy and Daddy and that you are very proud of them. You never want them to feel like they are wrong for feeling the way they do.

Never Compare. You don’t want your older sibling to think that you love the younger sibling more. So comments such as “you should be sleeping like your sister” or “see how they are being good” shouldn’t be said to big brother or sister. I’ve tried to refrain from those kind of remarks all together, even as they both get older.

These few tips have helped my son really enjoy his role as the big brother. Him and his little sister have built such a strong bond since the first day we brought her home. He still has his moments of jealousy, but just those few simple pointers has helped him tremendously along the way.

I hope they can provide some help for you other mama’s out there too!

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Weight Loss Journey: Round 2

Hey Everyone!

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In one of my first blog posts ever (check it out!), I talked about my weight loss journey and how I overcame major back surgery and lost close to 50 pounds. That was a major accomplishment for me and I pride myself every day for how far I have come since giving birth to my son in 2013.

With my second pregnancy I didn’t gain half as much and I bounced back so quickly throughout my little girls first year of life. Of course, having a toddler in the mix helped tremendously, but I was so dedicated on what I ate and how often I worked out.

But I’ve slacked off lately, bad. With all the stress of raising two kids, holidays, and planning parties I’ve gotten majorly off track. I’ve started to pile up the excuses, but not anymore.

So! Here I am again, ready to start back up this fit mom mission again. I’ve gained back close to 20 pounds since before I met my husband, and I hate it. I can feel it in my everyday activities, and sadly, the back pain has recently started back up. Luckily, it’s not even half as bad as before, but I’m not risking the chance of going through another surgery. My babies need their mama and I can’t be out of commission for a few months healing from another major surgery. So, after a hospital visit, MRI, and visiting a few specialists, I’m going to a physician on Friday to receive some back injections to help alleviate the pain and get me back on the right track.

I’m going to share a lot of my progress on my blog, including my daily workout routines, healthy meals, and what I do to keep my head on straight while trying to still raise two little ones and keep a happy home. I enjoy sharing my progress and attempting to motivate others along the way. I also have a fitness profile on Instagram, where I enjoy posting a lot of my journey (follow me of course!)

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My big motivation isn’t the scale, it’s the progress photos. Be ready to see a lot of those. I’ve come to learn that the scale is junk. Yes, seeing the numbers go down is one fantastic feeling, but feeling great in your clothes (and selfies) is even better and mama loves her selfies. As much as I enjoy cardio also, I’m going to incorporate a lot of weights into the mix. I want to feel toned and strong, not just lean and thin.

We all want to be the best mother to our kids, and this is one way I feel the most confident as a mother. My surgery happened at a really young age, which is very uncommon. I constantly have the fear that I am going to be unable to keep up with my children due to this injury, so staying in shape is a big priority for me. I’m doing this for my kids so I can run around with them at the playground and be involved in all their sporting activities. I like to show that even with the setback that I had, anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

I’m excited for round two of this journey and to be the best mama I can possibly be.

I hope you stick around for it!

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