4 Things You Should Do Before Trying To Get Pregnant

4 Things You Should Do Before Trying To Get Pregnant

4 things to do before trying to get pregnant
***This is a guest post by Erica from Inner Parents***

Deciding to start trying for a baby is a very exciting time for any couple. Pregnancy is also a major life decision that should be carefully considered and planned. This article will help you prepare by explaining four key things to do before trying to get pregnant.

Talk about parenting with your partner

Before deciding to have a baby, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared to parent with your partner or prospective co-parent. This means talking about a variety of childrearing topics to make sure you’re on the same page regarding anything you consider important. In addition to agreeing on basics such as how parenting duties will be split up and whether one parent will stay at home with the child, it’s also a good idea to make sure you have a healthy communication style in general for those inevitable times when disagreements about parenting will arise. As top Canadian parenting website Today’s Parent reveals in an article for prospective parents considering trying to conceive, it’s important to be on the same page before your bundle of joy arrives because baby’s first year is stressful enough without added conflicts.

Get your finances in order

Raising a child is expensive! The U.S. Government estimated that in 2015 through 2017 the average middle class family spent approximately $12,000 per year per child. There are plenty of costs in a baby’s first few years of life, ranging from medical expenses to baby gear to the cost of childcare or the reduction in household income if one parent reduces their hours at work to stay home with the baby. Many parents start saving for their child’s future college education from birth or even before – yet another expense. Since this will be on top of other existing household expenditures and any debts such as mortgages or student loans, it is essential to make sure you are in a solid financial position before trying to get pregnant.

Take care of your health

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, women can take steps to ensure a healthy future pregnancy before they even conceive. Additional steps are in order if you think you might start trying to conceive soon. A good prenatal vitamin is essential while trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy. Another boost to the health of the mom-to-be could come from the many important dietary supplements such as probiotics for pregnancy.

Make the most of your childfree moments

Preeminent pregnancy and parenting brand What To Expect recommends crossing many must-do items off your bucket list before conceiving. Traveling to exotic locations, going to expensive restaurants or cultural venues, and trying exciting but risky activities are all hard to do with a child in tow. Before trying for baby, make sure you’ve done the things you want to do that are best done pre-parenthood.

 

Written by Erica at Inner Parents. If you want to read more from her, visit her website or follow her on Pinterest and Twitter.

So This Happened Over The Weekend… I’M ENGAGED!!!

we're engaged

This past Saturday, I thought Will and I were going on our first date day since Aria has been born, but it turned out to be more than just a date!

We made plans a week or so ago to go to Olive Garden and have some alone time together. Olive Garden is my favorite restaurant(I could drown myself in their alfredo sauce) and we go there a lot so I didn’t think anything of it.

Well, we pulled up to Olive Garden and Will immediately made a comment about how packed it was… I was thinking, duh it’s a Saturday at lunch time, but apparently he was starting to get nervous when he saw how many people were going to be inside.

I also noticed my mom’s car in the parking lot and said something to Will about it and he tried to play it off. My mom has a paw print sticker on the back of her car, which I could see, so I knew it HAD to be her, but still I didn’t think much of it.. I thought maybe she was at lunch with her friends… although it was weird she didn’t mention it, because we had JUST dropped Aria off with her and my dad.

So we parked, walked inside, and as soon as I walked in the door my mom, dad, and Aria were there. I was so confused at first and asked them what they were doing there. All they said was, “Turn around, turn around!” So I did and Will was down on one knee.

the proposal

We had our first date there almost 2 years ago so he wanted to ask me to marry him where it all started. It was so sweet and I cried. When I said yes, everyone in the lobby cheered and one of the hostesses was crying lol.

My ring is BEAUTIFUL and I couldn’t ask for a better man for me or a better dad for my daughter. I’m so excited for our future together ❤️

engagement ring

we're engaged

#loveYOU

loveYOU challengeInstead of seeing negativity on social media, I want to see y’all #loveYOU 💓

Everyday until February 14th I’m gonna post something positive about myself or something I’ve done for myself that makes me feel good. Whether it’s a picture I feel fabulous in, a post about relaxing and drinking wine, or a picture of my nails freshly done, I’m gonna post something I do for myself in the name of self-care and I hope y’all will do the same.

Spread the self-love💕

Follow me on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

3 Ways I Plan On Growing This Year

Growing in 2018

I’m honestly SO excited for this year! I just have a gut feeling 2018 is gonna be good to me. I like making goals for myself at the beginning of every year, as most people do, and usually those goals are related to school and my career. This year, however, I  want to focus more on myself as a person, separate from my achievements. There are three things I want to grow in this year:

First, I want to be a better friend. Between work and school, I’m super busy all the time.. and now that I’m a new mother, I’m going to be even busier than ever before. This year I want to do better about staying in touch with my friends and not using my busy-ness as excuse to not call, text, or hang out with them often. My friends are always understanding when I’m slow texting back or when they don’t get a call from me for a few weeks, because they’re just as busy with their own lives. Still, I want to make more of an effort to catch up with them at least once a week.

Second, I want to be comfortable doing nothing. As I mentioned above, I’m used to being busy and going, going, going all the time. I want to be comfortable with just relaxing and not feel like I have to be productive all the time. A break is much needed.

Third, I want to spend more time outdoors. I spend wayyyy too much time inside on my phone and laptop. This year I want to spend more time doing things outdoors. My boyfriend and I used to go hiking when we first started dating, so I want to start that back up. I also want to take my daughter and dog on walks and to the park regularly, instead of being cooped up inside.

How I Make Myself Drink 100oz Of Water A Day

drink water

Since it’s January and it’s a new year, now’s the time to make sure you’re growing, glowing, and staying hydrated. So I wanted to share how I’ve been able to make myself drink 100 ounces of water almost daily for the past 8 months.

My skin has been SO much clearer, even with me being pregnant and my hormones going crazy. I’ve also noticed I’ve had a lot more energy and been able to get out of bed earlier in the morning(I am NOT a morning person.) So what is this magic I’ve been doing to be able to drink so much water you might ask…

Well, it’s actually something really simple– I bought a big @$$ water bottle to fill up every morning and I know that I have to drink every drop of it by the end of the day.

…I told you it was simple! It’s been so helpful, because once I get my day started I don’t like to stop in the middle of what I’m doing to refill a glass or go buy a bottled water. Just being able to carry around the amount of water I need and be able to see it all right there has made it much easier to increase my water intake, because I mean, it’s RIGHT THERE.

64oz water bottle

This blue 64oz water bottle that I found on Amazon is my favorite. It was only $8! I started out using this bottle everyday and drinking 64oz. Once I got used to drinking 64oz everyday and was no longer really forcing myself to, I started increasing my intake gradually.

64oz and 100oz water bottles

I went to HomeGoods a few months ago and found this giant pink water bottle which holds 100 ounces of water. I can’t remember the exact price, but I do remember it was around $10 so I had to get it! This was right around the time I had begun trying to drink even more than 64oz everyday.

I can’t find the link to the exact water bottle I got from HomeGoods, but here’s a link to a similar but nicer one. If you know of anywhere else to find big, but cheap water bottles leave it in the comments!

Married At First Sight S6 E3 Recap: The Wedding Night

mafs season 6

It’s episode 3 and the couples are officially married!

The episode starts on the couples’ wedding night and if you’ve watched the previous seasons of Married At First Sight you know this is when the show starts getting real. Unlike most of the previous seasons, all the couples this season are actually attracted to each other!

So that brings us to an important question: which couples got it on during their first night together?

Jaclyn and Ryan definitely did …and it’s given away by the used condom left on their hotel room floor.

We know Shawniece and Jephte didn’t, although Shawniece hints she wants the D by showing Jephte the bowl of condoms left for them in their room(as if the lap dance she gave him in front of their friends and family wasn’t a big enough hint). Jephte is still “too nervous” for all that… but to be honest, to me he just doesn’t seem into the marriage at all. He proves that by reluctantly saving Shawniece’s number in his phone(why wouldn’t you want YOUR WIFE’S number??) and saving it under her full name instead of “my wife” like Shawniece wanted. Shawniece didn’t have to make as big a deal of it as she did, but Jephte could have at least acted like he cared… like, at least put a heart emoji beside her name or something.

As for Molly and Jon, I’m pretty sure they didn’t do anything, because they don’t mention it and Molly seems a little freaked out by the ball gag Jon pulls out to show her.

Now it’s time for a sit down with the in-laws and surprisingly the families of all the couples are very supportive. Even Jephte’s mom, who was extremely skeptical of her son getting married to a stranger, seems to be coming to terms with it now.

In the pre-honeymoon sessions with the relationship coach, nothing too much of note happens: Jaclyn and Ryan talk about how attracted they are to each other, Molly says she wants to take things slow sexually, and Jephte says he has to get used to the fact he’s married to a stranger because he has trouble opening up to people he doesn’t know… *facepalm* what did he think this was???

ANYWHO.. the couples head off on their honeymoon in Jamaica, and unlike previous seasons, they are are all staying in the same hotel and will have the support of each other. Once in Jamaica, the couples are wallowing in the sun and each other’s company… except for Jephte and Shawniece OF COURSE. Shawniece is trying to keep a postive attitude although their flight was delayed and their luggage hasn’t made it to Jamaica yet, but Jephte continues to bring up how he doesn’t know her so he can’t open up. Uhhh.. maybe talk to her and get to know her then? (Sidenote: if you’re over 21 and tryna get a lil tipsy, take a shot every time Jephte says “stranger” …actually, don’t, because you’ll probably die of alcohol poisoning)

And that brings us to the end of this week’s episode. The preview for next week shows Shawniece crying after Jephte tells her she’s a stranger for 80th time and then walks out saying “this is too much”. No, Jephte, you doing too much …or too little, I don’t even know. The other couples seem to be enjoying each other so far, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’m not sure how long Jon is gonna be okay with Molly wanting to take things slow.

If you watch MAFS, what do you think of the couples so far?

 

Baby Aria Is Here!!!

newborn

Yes, my mini-me, my diva, my baby Aria came into this world on December 20th, 2017 at 6:31am! If you saw my pregnancy announcement or baby shower post, then you know I was due January 7th BUT I ended up randomly developing pre-eclampsia at 36 weeks and had to be induced not even a week later. Her and I are both doing amazing now!

I plan on doing a post about my labor and delivery experience a little later on, but for now I just wanted to update y’all and let you know that Aria made her grand entrance into the world.

newborn

Our Baby Shower! 11/11/17

As of today, I’m 37 weeks pregnant! Can’t believe I only have 3 weeks left until my due date… and really, at this point Aria could come anytime.

Thanks to our family and friends who came out to our baby shower in back in November, we’re prepared with everything we need. Now we wait. ⏰⏳

In the meantime, I wanted to share some photos my Aunt took of the baby shower. My mom and boyfriend’s mom put it all together and it turned out BEAUTIFUL!

Cupcakes by my best friend Kat Buj. If you live in North Carolina and need any homemade baked goods, hit her up on her Facebook page: Buj Bakes

We had delicious food, a Mom-osa bar, played games… it was a fun day and we appreciated all the love for baby Aria. 💖

couple at baby shower

Confessions Of An Interracial Dater

love is love
***Guest post by Olyvia of Hello Olyvia***

Hey guys! It’s almost Friday, woot woot. Get excited! Okay, so many people ask me questions about what it’s like to be in an “interracial relationship.”I really hate that term. What is this, the 50s? For the most part, we are just a normal couple. However, there are some obstacles we face that others wouldn’t. 

Before dating my boyfriend, I had been alone for a while. The struggles of interracial relationships were long forgotten. I was shocked all over when we got together and I had to deal with the stare again. It sounds dramatic, but that’s because it is. People give us death stares, evil eyeseyes bulging with disbelief, looks of disapproval, and looks of straight up disgust. You name itwe get it. For me, it’s the worst thing we deal with because it’s so constant. Wherever we go I can look up at any given time and see someone staring at us.

If people aren’t staring, it’s because they assume we aren’t together. It’s honestly confusing because we are usually engaging in some form of PDA. It’s just weird when I’m standing in line, extremely close to him or sometimes kissing him, yet the cashiers try to ring us up at different registers. “Oh, y’all are together?” Um, yes actually. I am here with the man I’ve been kissing for like, five minutes. One cashier was petty and tried to ring us up separately after we walked up to her register together. I guess she didn’t approve.

But if you think that’s awkward, it gets worse. Nothing gets more uncomfortable than restaurants. Once my boyfriend, his family, and I went to eat together. I went inside while everyone else parked and asked for a table for eight. Eventually, everyone else came inside and sat with me while we waited. The hostess asked if they were a part of the table of 8 and they said yes, but somehow she ended up confused. I’m not sure how. No one else had 8 people with them.

Our table was finally ready, so she came over and notified my boyfriend’s mom. She got up, and we followed her, but the hostess jumped in front of me as we were walking to the table. “Sorry, ma’am. It’s going to be a few more minutes for yours,” she said. My boyfriend explained to her that we were together. I wanted to explain that even if we were separate, I had gotten there first. Theoretically, this was my table. She turned into a tomato and ran away before I could say anything.

For the most part, I can forget about the strangers who diss me in public. I’m no stranger to racists and I don’t know them or care about their opinion. It’s more difficult when people I know personally insult me because of my choices. I have been told I hate myself and other black people because I’m not with a black guy. Apparently, I have internalized racism that I need to work on. I should get a reality check because nobody can love and understand me like a black man could. Black love is stronger than any other!

I understand where these comments come from (Except black love being stronger  seriously?). There are many people who date interracially for negative reasons. I also get that my boyfriend won’t understand every black issue. What upsets me is that people who know me won’t have a conversation with me about it. They do what the strangers in the street do and assume these things. If they would just open their minds and ask me a question, I would be glad to resolve any confusion.

I don’t have any ulterior motives when it comes to interracial dating. I don’t do it because it’s a fetish, nor do I want “cute mixed babies.” I don’t want babies at all! I do it because I don’t believe in limiting myself to a group of people who look like me. I’ve never bought into the idea that because someone looks like me they will relate to or love me more than someone who doesn’t. Since I kept my mind and heart openI was able to find my soul mate. That is the real point of any type of dating, interracial or not.

So, now you’ve got the inside scoop on what we colorful couples deal with. You might be wondering why we even choose to go through this. It’s a valid question. Most people don’t like being ostracized. But the way I see it, I have two options. I can let ignorance and pettiness stop me from dating who I want or I can suck it up and choose my happiness over conformity. Clearly, I chose the second option. I will always be satisfied knowing I followed my heart.

There is another silver lining to all the conflict. You may have heard the Bible verse “adversity builds character,” and it’s true. The trouble we face as a couple makes us closer. We comfort each other and build resilience together. If we were the same race, we wouldn’t need to do these things. We wouldn’t have the same bond either. I wouldn’t choose any other experience.

Between the two of us, our race doesn’t matter at all. I will admit I do love admiring his tiny, pale nose that is so different from mine. I love when he marvels at my hair and how it shrinks and stretches. But ultimately, these things are only physical. The connection in our relationship is much deeper than that. To answer “what it’s like” dating him, I can only say it’s blissful. My heart is so full knowing that there is someone who can look past our worldly differences and only see my soul. 

Written by Olyvia at Hello Olyvia. Read more from Olyvia on her blog and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Should You Serve Your Man? 🤔

couple

I saw a tweet retweeted on my timeline multiple times over the past few days that really made me think… as a woman, should you serve your man?

To summarize what the tweet said: the girl tweeted that she serves her man his plates, cleans up after him, washes his clothes, etc. because he’s the man of the family and works hard. She also went on to say that girls today have too much pride and if they’re so independent that they can’t do anything for their man, then they shouldn’t ask him for shit either.

Now, I follow A LOT of different women on Twitter and because of that there were a lot of different reactions to her tweets.

The majority of the moms that I follow completely agreed that you should serve your man. The majority of the women I follow that are entrepreneurs, bloggers, and/or students weren’t having it. They were like, it’s 2017, he’s working, I’m working, we’re equal. Get your own plate.

I actually agree with both sides in a way. I work and go to school and my man does the same. As much as I consider myself a feminist and a strong, independent woman, I still find myself doing the “womanly” duties around the house for the most part. BUT if I’ve had a long day at work or school and I’m tired, I’m not doing anything but relaxing when I get home. I refuse to fix his plate when I’m exhausted and he has two working legs!

Not to be intentionally mean or petty, but we are equals. He works, I work, we both pay bills. So if I’m extra tired then that’s his cue to cater to me. If he’s had a long day and he’s tired/stressed, then that’s my cue to cater to him.

I agree with the tweets in that you should serve your man. If he’s treating you well, then you should do the same in return, and your man should serve you as well. Both people should give to the relationship equally and do what works best for them as a couple.

What do you think?