Between the Gold

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How I got my Dog Ready for Baby

Today is national love your pet day and if anyone knows me... this is my kind of holiday. I remember when I was pregnant I used to say I wasn’t sure if I’d love my baby as much as I love Gunner. Let the record stand I was mistaken by 100%. But it does not change the fact that I love this dog so incredibly much and he will ALWAYS be my first baby.

When people learn that I have a 1 year old pitbull in my house as well as a newborn their mind always goes to one question... 

How does the dog do with the baby?

If I’m being completely honest, Gunner is such a good big fur brother. He loves to sniff Tate all the time. He runs to get us if Tate’s crying in another room. And for the most part if a person is holding Tate he’s incredibly gentle and with a little coaching will leave them alone. 

Once I found out I was pregnant I too was a little nervous of how Gunner would be with the baby. For one, he went from being my sweet social pup at the dog parks to my super protector against any dog that came anywhere near me.  Secondly, going from being the only baby to sharing the spotlight is hard on anybody. In my mind I wondered how will he cope with the change? Is he going to be extra possessive of the baby? Will he let other people come near him? 

But you have to know your dog. I know Gunner is such a sweet pup. And even with all the over protectiveness towards me I knew that he would accept this baby; cries and loud, smelly poops included. But I wasn’t sure how long this acceptance would take. So I got out the material and started reading up on how to acclimate your dog to your newborn and how to get him ready for the big life change. Here’s the best tips I found! 
  • Start slow. Aka do NOT just walk into the house after being gone for 2-3 days with a new baby. That adjustment is hard. I read that prepping the dog with things like recorded cries and loud baby toys is a good start. Another great tip I loved, was having someone bring the baby’s birth hat home and let your dog smell it so he can get used to the smell and know what to expect when you bring baby through the door. 
  • Share the love. This one was a little tough for us. I mean Gunner loves his papa more than anything but in reality he’s my baby. That meaning it’s mostly me that feeds, walks and plays with him. After having a new baby its nearly impossible to show him the same attention with baby demanding so much. Share some of that responsibility with your significant other/ support system. Start having them play with your dog more, walk them, etc. This is so important so that when you physically can’t do these things anymore your dog will already be used to the change and feel comfortable going with the other person just as much as they would with you. 
  • Don’t keep the dog away. Many people when holding Tate try to push Gunner away if he comes to the baby. But with us it’s the opposite. We let Gunner get his sniffs in (to an extent of course because he seriously would sniff baby all day if we let him). During my research I read if you try to keep your dog away from baby he will begin to resent the child and be skittish or angry when in its presence. 
  • Don’t stop the love. Just because you have a new baby does NOT mean that you should stop the affection with your dog! Now this one is the hardest for me. Between crying, diaper changes and being up all night it is so hard for me to find the energy to play fetch or even pet poor Gunner Bunner. But now with Tate getting a little older and a little more independent (some days), I make sure any additional energy I have I give some of it to Gunner. After all he still is my baby. 

Puppies and babies are very similar. And having two at the same time is definitely difficult but it can be done. Now there was some talk about getting another puppy at some point, but I’m sure with all the changes we all agree that should wait a while.

Aysia B. 


Post Baby Snap Back

Today’s the day. The Monday after the 6 week mark. Today’s the day to start my “post baby snap back”. But how do I start? Let’s be honest the only exercise I did for the past 9 months was getting up to the cabinet to shove more snacks in my mouth. Aside from the occasional yoga in my last trimester, my fitness life was slim to none.  So how do I trust my body to do all that I need it to do now that it has finished housing this beautiful baby boy? After it has been cut open and had a temporary new exit point created? After it is at the heaviest point it’s ever been in my life and with a lot more stripes then it started with? 

I’d imagine this is how the guys feel. You get a season ending injury with ample months off and then when it’s time, your expected to have your body perform the same as it did before. In short, I’m scared. 

Scared to take that first crunch, lap or stretch. Scared to have my incision pop back open. But most of all, I’m scared to fail. Scared to dedicate time and energy to exercise and then not move any closer to my pre-baby body. 

But, if you don’t try you’ve already failed. So how am I combatting this fear? 
  • Working on my mindset. It’s easy to focus on the negative. What my body can’t do; what it doesn’t look like; why its not just snapping back; etc. Lately I have been (trying) to focus on the positives. Appreciating my body for all it has done for me these past 9 months. That change in mindset takes me to my next step.
  • Be patient and take it slow. Remember the tortoise and the hare? Well I’m moving like the tortoise. I’m trying not to rush to that pre baby weight. As long as I work like I need to it will come in due time. 
  • Researching the right workouts. While taking it slow I want to be sure I’m completing the right kind of workouts. Ones that connect with my needed target areas but doesn’t put too much strain on my incision or abdominal area. I was given strict directions by my midwife not to do any weight lifting until Tot is 6 months. So many of the workouts I am researching include cardio and weight-less strengthening. 
  • Including baby! Now working out is definitely supposed to be “mommy only” time, but sometimes that’s just not an option. That's why another thing I’ve been looking into is workouts to include baby boy. Which is why i’m super happy with today’s workout from Fit Pregnancy.  It has 8 simple workouts to do with baby that allows us to bond and me to workout at the same time! 

The hardest part of working out for me has always been the start. But this time around I have a little different motivation. So here I am starting again but with 15 extra pounds, more scars, and a beautiful new baby boy.

See ya! 

Aysia B. 


Embracing the Suck, aka Mommyhood

Since Tate has been born I’ve been sharing my thoughts and feelings on the blog. Pretty much like I do with everything else I think and feel. Nothing too deep (besides his birth story) just random thoughts that come to my mind . I’ve received an outpour of love and comments on the posts and social media shares. But what gets me isn’t the generic “I’m so happy for you” or “He’s so cute” comments, it’s the other ones. The ones that tell me “oh girl ignore those feelings, enjoy that baby”. Okay people don’t literally say that in the comments but that’s what it feels like doesn’t it? As a new mom if you talk about any emotion other than happy, love, or joy for your new bundle you get what can feel like a verbal lashing from the community or family members.

I’m not saying this to shame anyone that has commented or said anything under my posts. Trust me I appreciate the adult interaction at a bare minimum. I'm just calling to light what I see.  Plus it’s not your fault. We as a society are taught that when you have a baby it should be one of the happiest moments of your life. And I mean honestly it is! A snuggly baby with all the newborn smells. But with those joyous moments come a fair share of struggles! As a new mom sometimes you feel you are up to your ears in poop, laundry and emotions and all you want to do is scream out loud; not to anyone in particular or heck maybe to everyone! But the simple fact of having the feelings roll off your tongue and into the air seems to release some of the emotions. So when you do finally get the courage to say the words out loud the last thing you need is someone counteracting those emotions with “oh but just the baby”. 

Now don’t get me wrong I love my son. I mean you’ve seen him he’s like the cutest baby ever. And he’s good too. He eats like a champ, doesn’t cry a lot, and sometimes sleeps in his own sleeper through the night (okay saying sometimes is a stretch). But heck unless he can somehow take care of himself after 5 weeks he comes with struggles as well. And instead of someone saying something about “the baby” it’d be nice to hear... I understand. It’d be nice to have someone comment that they felt that way too when their baby was just weeks old.

Just like any other tough situation support goes a long way. Now I could care less what is said in my comments. Trust, I’m going to continue to post whatever I feel whenever I want. And the comments about little Tot don’t discourage me or make me personally feel attacked at all. But seeing those comments make me think about the women who don’t have such tough skin. This is how postpartum depression starts and gets ignored. Let’s not do that to these women anymore. Today take the time to comment on a mommy post and instead of saying something telling her to regard the sweet baby, instead comment and say “yesss girl... me too”. 

See ya! 

Aysia B.


Oh What a Year!

As I sit here on this snowy Friday, I reflect back to how things were. This time last year we were planning our first vacation together. The only plans we had involved sipping margaritas, jet skis, partying and multiple spa trips. The plans now consist of diapers, feeding schedules and sleep times. Not that I regret it at all, but it's crazy how things can change in just a year.

Everyone talks about how great having an off season baby is. Having daddy present for the birth and home after is what sells them. But what everyone forgets to tell you is that having a winter baby slightly feels like house arrest. Between the cold weather and increase in illnesses no one wants to take their baby out the house. 

So for someone like me who loves to move and run, this is especially hard. I want out the house! I mean we went to the mall the other day and I was so excited to get out the house you would have thought we were going on a real trip. 

But this house arrest bid isn’t the worst thing in the world. I mean there are definitely some positives:

  • I got to wear the same maternity sweats for like 2 weeks straight.  Yes- they’d been washed. 
  • Me & Tate are definitely beginning to connect. His feeding cues, sleep cues, and cuddle cues are starting to become a second language to me. 
  • There are so many shows on tv. I rarely watch tv on the regular but lately? I’ve been getting my full dose of trashy reality tv and then some. 
  • Looking forward to starting a new hobby! 

The most important part of staying in the house with baby are having the right tools to assist you with your sanity. Being that Tot is so new we are still experimenting to find products he loves. So do me a favor share your favorite “baby chillin” products with me!

In the mean time I’ll be adding bath bombs, home facials and a new hobby to my list of “mommy chillin” products. 

See ya! 

Aysia B. 


5 Things I Learned in my First Week of Mommyhood

I’ve been the last batter up in a game with 2 outs. I’ve climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I’ve had heart breaks, devastating losses and even went through nursing school. But never in my life have I done something as hard as this. 

Being a mother is hard. No I don’t think you understand. Take how much you think it’s hard and how much everyone tells you it’s hard, add it up and then multiply by 50. That should be about somewhere near halfway to how hard it actually is. 

Motherhood is in short letting go of all your wants, thoughts and beliefs and realizing that whatever this baby wants this baby is gonna get. 

Well in my first week home I’ve learned that and more. Here’s 5 things I learned in my first week home with this little Tater Tot. 
  • In the midst of taking care of them don’t forget to take care of you. You just had major trauma. I mean for christ sake a baby just came out of you! And whether via vaginal or c- section your body has to heal. My first night I was so worried about making sure Tate had everything he needed for sleep I skipped right over taking my pain medication. Well let’s just say when I woke up in the morning, my incision quickly reminded me that I had forgotten. Yea, didn’t do that again. I then realized in order to properly take care of him, I had to first take care of me. 
  • HAVE HELP. In addition to Briean, s/o to my mom for coming & helping. Lord would this have been so much harder without her. After a c- section you can barely do anything. Strict orders are no lifting objects heavier than baby. Aka no cleaning, washing or cooking. Without the extra help I’m pretty sure my house would look a lot crazier than it already does. 
  • Sleep. Whenever you can get it in. Babies sleep a ton during the day and with that extra help mentioned above, you should be able to too. At night when Tate has his “wake cycle” he’s not going to care whether I took my nap today or not. 
  • Shower. I get it after a c-section it feels like everything hurts. And I did not want to have anything remotely touching my incision, but trust me every day feels better when you start with a shower. 
  • Don’t push it. As we talked about before, you just gave birth. Your not who you were before. Your body is not what it was before. It’s going to take some time adjusting to the way this new body works and what it can handle at this time. So give yourself some slack and go slowly. There is no race to this motherhood thing. 

Now I’m only a week in. And I’m sure the going gets harder before it gets easier. But I’m also quite sure there’s no job in the world quite rewarding as this one. 

See ya! 

Aysia B. 


The Plan

Remember when we talked about plans? Yea I still haven’t learned my lesson. I still put my hopes in a plan and get a little more than slightly disappointed when it doesn’t go my way. But let’s be honest I wouldn’t be Aysia if I didn’t do just that. 

In one of our lamaze classes the teacher asked a question.

“What is one trait about your partner that you hope your baby has?” 

Now the quick answer to this for me would be Briean’s sense of humor. And if you’ve ever been around him then you fully understand why. His humor is one that can literally crack up a room. But that answer wasn’t the one that came to me. 

Contrary to me, Briean is very much a “go with the flow guy”. Don’t have my size? No biggie. Maternity pictures had to be cancelled? It’s fine! I mean I have very rarely seen him get genuinely upset about pretty much anything. And on December 29, 2017 that was just the trait I needed. 

I had a plan. I definitely had a birth plan. I’ve had the same vision of my birth for years. I wanted a quiet environment, with a midwife, a pool, essential oils, candles, the whole nine yards. I wanted a natural unmedicated birth with as little to no interventions as possible. Well let’s just say God and baby boy had a whole different set of plans. 

From the time I arrived at the hospital to the time my son was born almost nothing went according to this plan.

Due to high blood pressure I was unable to be on the “birthing center” floor like I had planned. Strike number 1. After 1 hour on the traditional labor floor, unmedicated and with the assistance of a shower, I moved very quickly from 3cm dilated to 7cm. It seemed like things were finally getting back on track. Yea... right. 13 hours later, little man moved a whopping extra 1cm to get me to an 8. Let’s just say things were NOT progressing. Baby boy was in a ROP position; right occiput posterior. Long story short, he was giving me back labor like nobody’s business. This along with my small pelvis was preventing him from moving down. After multiple position changes, conversations and much persuasion the midwife urged me to an epidural and Pitocin. Strike number 2. 

Now the pain relief was VERY much present after that epidural but so was the feeling of disappointment from a plan gone wrong. Nonetheless the show had to go on. After about an hour and a half rest, some food and family time it was time to recheck baby boys location. Another whopping 1cm. 9cm. That was it. About 18 hours in and we were at 9cm. 

At this point, my plan not only was thrown off gear but it was set to fire and blown to pieces. It was time to talk “other options”. And by “other options” my midwife meant a C section. Clearly I was NOT happy. Strike number 3. 

But this is where Briean’s lucky trait came in. Between multiple sobs, tears and dry heaves he was able to give me the pep talk of a lifetime. Reminding me that having this c section was not giving up. Nor did having the c section signal defeat. In fact it meant quite the opposite. It meant victory. After almost 20 hours in labor we were about to win the game. We were about to walk away with the homerun we came there to get. 

Tate Boddy-Calhoun born at 9:15pm via c section. At 6 pounds 11 ounces he was everything our hearts could hope for and more. A major plus? He looked just like me. And to be honest, after 14 hours of unmedicated back labor, he better. 

See ya! 

Aysia B. 


Adding Another One

It’s almost that joyous time of the year again... Christmas! Mostly everyone knows my favorite holiday is Halloween, but Christmas definitely falls to a close second. If you’ve been reading the blog, then you know that Christmas hasn’t typically gone traditionally for us for about 6 years now. 

Traditionally, for most families the holidays are spent together. People come from near and far to celebrate and enjoy the time together. Well since starting college football, Briean has always had a game during the holiday weekend. That means, family usually doesn’t travel to us, we don’t have a huge feast and presents are opened before or after Christmas. So this year is the same but slightly different at the same time. 

This year Briean does have an away game per usual, however, since Christmas falls on a Monday this year we might actually get to open gifts ON the actual holi-DAY.  Talk about a Christmas miracle! 

Even though Briean is always practicing and playing games during the holiday we have only missed ONE year of decorating. I’d say that is a huge accomplishment! We get a tree, hang the lights, etc, etc. This year, since we now have a much larger space to decorate, the holiday cheer has spread to much more than just a 5ft christmas tree.  We even tackled outside- as much as we could without putting Briean’s body in harms way. 

One tradition that I started for us back in college was a yearly ornament. No matter the size of the tree, each year I’d go out and purchase us an ornament that had some representation of the way the year went and added it to the tree! Now here comes the sad part. In one of our 3 moves I’ve lost the ornaments!! That means “our first christmas”, “gopher football” and so many other favorites are now gone! Knowing myself I would never throw away something so precious. So I’d like to say for now they are not lost, just misplaced and will eventually make their return. But, nonetheless the tradition must continue. So in due fashion another ornament was added to the tree this year. 

Traditions were never something we were really huge on in my household growing up. Besides putting the tree up as a family I can’t think of many other things we kept constant each year. But in growing up and hearing about other families and things they did repetitively, traditions begun to be something I definitely wanted to do in my family. This ornament tradition, though small, means so much to me, I can’t wait to go through the years with Bean and see what other ornaments and holiday traditions we can add as a family. 

This Christmas will be one I treasure forever. This is the last one we spend as a family of 2. And though I am a bundle of emotions for what’s about to come, I couldn’t be more excited for such a blessed change. 

What are some holiday traditions your families do that you can’t wait to do with your own current or future family? 

See ya! 

Aysia B.