Sometimes motherhood kicks my butt, and other times I win too!

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Hi friends! It’s been so long since the last time I posted on my blog that I even forgot the password! Fifteen minutes later, and I’m finally in this familiar and loved space where I’ve shared so much of myself (the good, the bad, and the fashionable).

The business that now takes up all my time was built on blogging, so I will always go back to it. Even still, I struggle with the feeling of wanting to share everything on this platform and also nothing at all.

If you follow me on any social media, I’ve mentioned a few times how my nanny left from one day to the next, without a warning. It was a sad moment. I was flung into a situation where I was managing MAB full time and the home full time. For 2 years I had an awesome nanny from Tuesday through Saturday. She washed the boys clothes, kept our home neat, and would do school drop offs/pick ups. And I could focus on work, blogging and building my business during the day! IT. WAS. FREAKING. FANTASTIC. I couldn’t have done it without her (or my mom, or my husband.) It really takes a village.

Since she left, I have placed Mateo in part-time Pre-K, which means I have at least one boy, if not all 3 boys with me at all times. The only times I am kid-free now is when I’m on-site for gigs (and nana or hubby take over).

I thought I was cool the other day and took Levi and Mateo to the post office with me. You know…a quick trip. Well, there was a smallish line, but I really needed to pick up a check. The boys thought it was the perfect time to make a scene. They started chasing each other around me. Laughing. Yelling. Fighting. Running into other adults. MAKING A SCENE. I must have turned beet red. I asked them to stop. Pleaded. Separated. Nothing. Finally, I got down on one knee, looked them straight in the face and used my mad “I’m not playing” voice: “STOP IT! Right NOW!” The kind of voice that makes other adults a little uncomfortable.

I learned two things: Never take your 3 and 4 year old boys to the post office when there’s even a hint of a line. If you have to, make sure to have something you can bribe them with. Lollipops. A phone. Mickey Mouse…..WHATEVER YOU HAVE!!! GIVE IT TO THEMMMM! Aye.

On those days, I feel like MOTHERHOOD is kicking my butt. I feel like I’m no good at this mothering thing. Like I can’t even DEAL. (Read exasperation here.) And I ask, “Lord, whhyyyyy did you see it fit for me to be a mom of these 3 little humans?” Not sure I can get this right.

But other days, like today. Where I made them a home cooked meal of chicken and rice, and Levi still said “I don’t LOVE that food, mom!” and Mateo spills half of it on the floor while he runs around like a madman. On days like today, where I sat there anyways patiently and made sure they ate every last bite (this can take an hour!). And then cleaned up the kitchen, and baked cookies for them (Pillsbury, just FYI), and bathed them, and prayed with them before bed.

On days like today, I am reminded that yes, sometimes motherhood kicks my butt, but other days I am winning too!

Love,

Ana B

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A little throwback to Easter with the “primos”

Mother of Boys

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My dear friend Susannah of Alumbra Photography recently came over my home and captured Diego, Levi and Mateo in all their boyish glory. If these photos had a volume button, you’d hear lots of giggles, yelling, excitement and general silliness. 58-BuitragoBoys201565-BuitragoBoys2015b60-BuitragoBoys201549-BuitragoBoys201555-BuitragoBoys201556-BuitragoBoys201505-BuitragoBoys201507-BuitragoBoys201510-BuitragoBoys201524-BuitragoBoys2015b03-BuitragoBoys2015

Being a mother to these boys is by far the most challenging job I’ve ever known. I have learned to embrace the noise and the mess of it all. I can eat a full meal in like two minutes and I’ve developed cat like reflexes to dodge a toy car to the head. Survival folks! I have cried many tears of frustration, but also have cried out of sheer joy and pride over my little ones. I am growing along with them, and I don’t always get it right. I have learned to give myself room for mistakes, and ask for forgiveness from them when I need to. The beautiful thing about kids is their amazing capacity to love so generously. Levi and Mateo greet me with a huge smile and yell “MAMAAAAAAAA” every time they see me. Even if I just went to the bathroom. Yes, its freakin’ cute.

I know they won’t be this little always. I get excited about them becoming more independent. But I also just want to cherish this moment…when I’m still their world. God knows they’re mine.

Thank you again Susannah <3.

Love,

Ana B

All Photos by: Alumbra Photography

Mateo Turns One!

Last weekend we celebrated little Mateo’s first birthday with a mustache bash (thanks for the idea Steph!) We had specialty cupcakes, mustache cookies and cake pops by Fresh Bakes…sooo delish! Pablo wore his natural ‘stache, but the rest of us used stick-on ones I found at the party store :).

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{Matty’s little playmates, Isabella and Reagan <3}

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 {Uhm, how cute are her little moccasins? She loves her tio!}

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 {My sis and I grew a ‘stache for the party}

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I can’t believe my last little nugget turned one! On my very first blog post on Love, AnaB, I shared that I was expecting my third boy and how I was initially disappointed because I wanted a little girl so badly. It’s crazy to reflect on it now, because I have such a strong connection to Mateo, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. God truly knows what we need and His plans for us are perfect! And of course it doesn’t hurt that I am Mateo’s favorite person in the world (sorry, Pablo!). Thank you to all our friends and family who came to celebrate. You made it special <3.

P.S. I ordered Mateo’s Mustache Bash here on Etsy :)

Love,

Ana B

Round and round we go!

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(A few family pictures from our fall session with Susannah of Alumbra Photography)

So glad to finally share some of our family photos with you! Have you taken family photos with a baby, a toddler, and a hyper seven-year old? What a headache fun adventure! These came out great, despite the craziness! Thank you Susannah! <3

As you may have noticed, I have been very sporadic with my posting in the last few months. It’s not because blogging is any less fun or important to me, in fact I really love it. But I sincerely felt like I needed to focus my down time on the people that need me the most, my husband and the kids, with less distractions. (And sleep, I needed more sleep.) I think this is the struggle of every working mother and even stay-at-home mom: how much of your time and attention is enough for your kids and your husband and how much of your time is okay to dedicate to your job, your passions, your friends and yourSELF! (Plus sleeping.) There is no easy answer to that question as it is a very personal thing. It’s an area where all mothers need a little more grace and less judgement. I read somewhere that motherhood is not so much a balancing act, but more a juggling act. We just try to the hold the balls up in the air as best as possible. Because as balanced as we try to be, we are not perfect and every so often some area of our lives seems to slip.

But I want to encourage all my moms of little babies that it does get easier! Mateo will be turning 1 in less than a month and throughout last year I did my fair share of…ahem…complaining (oops!) to my friends, myself and a little bit on this blog on the difficulties of pregnancy, motherhood, newborns, lack of sleep, body changes, and well, the list goes on. But I am starting to see a light on this mom of three journey and it feels a bit easier and more enjoyable. (And yay, you’ve caught me on a good day!)

All of that to say, that I will absolutely continue blogging in 2014 with the goal to be more consistent. Not that my kids will need me any less in 2014, haha! I just want to keep up this juggling act and not let go of the things that I love and inspire me. Not sure exactly how I’m gonna do it, but I have some ideas in mind! And I’ve got lots of fun things in the works :).

I also want to hear from you on what kind of posts you like reading on here and what you’d like to see more of! Here are just some ideas…outfit posts, looks for less, adventures in motherhood and marriage, healthy food ideas, beauty and makeup, and hair tutorials.

Cheers to more blogging and more sleep in 2014! Let’s make it our best year yet!

Love,

Ana B

 

 

Motherhood is about Survival

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Ladies and gents, motherhood is unglamorous. Yes, there is nothing glamorous about motherhood. It’s quite the opposite. It’s challenging and tiring, and lately for me, it smells like a little bit of throw up on my shirt. I decided to cut my hair really short and many people asked me why. A new trend? To donate it to locks of love? Nope. None of the above. My hair has been majorly falling out post pregnancy. It’s happened with all three of my babies at about 3 months post-pregnancy, and it happens to some moms, not all. I was basically tired and desperate last week when I took a shower and it looked like I had shed a small animal in the tub (so. much. hair loss). And TMI. I know.

BUT I GOTTA SAY…I feel brand-spankin’ new with this haircut. I feel sassy, free, and ready to take on another load of laundry!

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Yes, I love long hair. Long hair is so dang sexy and beautiful. And yes, my hubby is not a fan of short hair. And yes, a short bob is like a big flashing sign that says “I’m a busy mom with little time to get ready”. But a girl has got to do to what a girl has got to do to survive motherhood. And I’m gonna rock the heck outta this short ‘do.

That is all.

Love,

Ana B

 

 

Body After Baby: Four Months Later

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Time is just flying by and I can’t believe it’s been four months since I had little Mateo! I’m really proud of my postpartum progress, not only physically but mentally as well. I have made some great nutritional changes that are making it easier to lead a healthy lifestyle.

When I reached my goal weight about two months ago, I stopped tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal. Now I just stick to a sensible diet of mostly protein and fiber rich foods. I have lost a few more pounds through weight-training, breast-feeding and eating sensibly. I believe that it’s necessary to track your foods and calories while you’re in weight loss mode. Now that I am just maintaining, I definitely get to enjoy eating out more, and let’s not forget my summer favorite…ice cream cones! However, I cook my own foods and eat clean and healthy 90% of the time. I wrote all the details on how I lost the bulk of the weight here and here. You can also scroll through the “Nutrition” link on my blog to see all my healthy food posts and updates.

My new fitness goal is to build more muscle all around and especially my lower body. Pablo (my hubby who moonlights as my trainer) has got me doing weighted squats and lunges and some serious ab workouts. I am in pain after our workouts, but I’m loving it! It’s exciting to know that I can change and improve my body, even after having three kids.

UPDATE 1/16/2015: I took a break but I am back on MyFitnessPal as MakeupbyAnaB. I am also active on Instagram at @Love_AnaB where I share more inspiration on food, family, and fitness. My beauty and fashion Instagram is @MakeupbyAnaB.  <3 Thanks for stopping by!

Love,

Ana B

 

 

 

 

Pop of Yellow and a Summer Hair Challenge

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Have I told you lately how much I love Target? It’s the only place I can shop for diapers, ground turkey, and my outfit for a babyshower! Seriously. I got this amazing dress there for about $20.00 and it’s so comfy and perfect for spring events.  Also, my affinity for yellow is growing fast. So cheery and bright!

outfitcollage.jpg blog_front blog_dressback blog_hair.jpg blog_messyhair.jpgSo on to my hair challenge. I have walked away from my straightener. Yep. I am tired of seeing my hair straight in every photo. But, I can’t spend a lot of time on my hair because well, I have three kids!!! So, instead, I am challenging myself to let my hair air dry and try all the amazing five minute hair styles that I’ve been pinning on my Pinterest page. This hairstyle (instructions here) literally took me five minutes and looks more interesting than my go-to straight hair down look. What do you think???

Love,

Ana B

Outfit details: Bag and Dress: Target, Wedges: Miami (old), Necklace: Curtsies and Petals, Watch: Michael Kors

P.S. Love, Ana B is on Instagram and Twitter too!

Photo Credit: Pamela Jabonete

little moments…caught on camera

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The fun thing to do with little Matty lately is to discuss his features in depth and how they compare to mine, Pablo’s, Diego’s and Levi’s. I personally think he has my pudgy nose and full lips. Pablo thinks he’s a replica of Diego as a baby. And many have commented that he looks like Levi. He’s too little to really know, but we will continue to discuss at length on any given afternoon who he looks like, cause that’s what we do.

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Levi gets really excited anytime he gets to hold or be extra close to his little brother. Matty? Not so much.

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I couldn’t resist but to take Levi outside for a bit to experience “snowquester”. He was not really feeling the cold…especially since he has a cold. Poor baby :(

diegosnow.jpgDiego on the other hand was as happy as a clam to play in the snow. We attempted to make a snowman. Do you see it back there? Yeaaaaa… it wasn’t any good. I blame the snow. Too slushy.

Love,

Ana B

 

Button Down

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On Saturday, I got a chance to sneak out of the house for a mani and mini shopping trip (God bless my husband for taking charge of the troop). I had purchased several button down shirts from Old Navy for easy nursing access and this blue one was only $14! They fit my new wardrobe needs: Comfy, cute and functional. I also love this jacket. It goes with everything and it’s the perfect transitional piece for my winter wardrobe to spring. I love that it covers my bum and has ties to adjust the waist. The style is very popular and can be found at H&M and Forever 21.

blogjacket blog_starsThere’s a bit of normalcy returning to my life now that I’m in the fourth week post-partum. I’m getting some energy back and God knows I need all the energy I can get to handle these three lovely boys!

Outfit: Jacket: PacSun (Similar Here), Coral Scarf: Similar, Stars Chambray Shirt: Old Navy, Boots and Cross-Body Bag: Aldos (old)

 

 

 

 

 

Body After Baby: The first few weeks

Yay! I’m back to blogging! I’ve been hijacked by a nursing newborn, and our internet was down for several days. But now I finally get to share on postpartum weight loss and nutrition. collage.jpg As much as I hate showing unflattering pictures of myself, I wanted to share how my body looked a few days after giving birth. I basically looked pregnant still, and I weighed about the same! While this can be very scary to a new mom, it was my third time around so I was not surprised. It’s completely normal to have a belly after giving birth due to swelling, extra fluids and an expanded uterus, which eventually shrinks back to size. Although its recommended to eat super healthy while pregnant, I tend to really crave sweets and fatty foods. Chinese takeout and donuts and pizza, oh my! I just kind of indulge a bit during pregnancy and then get back on track once I have the baby. I gained 35 lbs during my pregnancy, which is not too bad. (A 25-35 lb weight gain is recommended for the average size woman). My goal is to lose the 35 lbs plus an extra 5 lbs I had put on prior to my pregnancy. In the picture above, I show a weight loss of 17 lbs in two weeks. This Thursday I’ll be three weeks postpartum and I’ve now lost 26 lbs. (More pics to come!)

My weight loss plan boils down to eating four to five small protein and fiber rich meals a day and keeping my calorie intake to about 1500 per day. I don’t like diet foods so these meals are based on foods that I like, such as bacon and egg sandwiches, chicken and veggie wraps, lean burgers, oatmeal with fresh fruits, healthy chicken enchiladas, breaded parmesan eggplant, and chocolate protein shakes. The first week, I was bed-bound since I was recovering from a cesarean and also nursing the baby. My husband prepared all my meals for me…yes, he’s amazing!!! If you have someone willing to help you prepare simple but healthy foods, then you can start right away. If you don’t, you will have to wait until you’re able to prepare your own meals. For almost three weeks, all my meals have been prepared at home, absolutely no eating out. It’s a lot easier to keep track of what I’m eating if I prepare my own meals. I’ve also been using a really great app called MyFitnessPal to keep track of my meals, calories, and weight loss. If you open an account, friend me (my username is “makeupbyanab”) and you can see all of my meals with ingredients and calories.

I’ve also been breastfeeding exclusively. Breast milk is the most nutritious food for a baby, and it’s the natural way to get your body back. Breastfeeding can burn an extra 500 calories a day. I won’t be able to add exercise for another three weeks, so the breastfeeding serves as my time on the treadmill :). I’m adding a whole nutrition section to this blog where I’ll share my healthy recipes and fitness tips. I’ll also share my weight loss progress. If you’re trying to lose weight whether it’s post pregnancy or in general, it’s really important to have support to stay on track, so I’ll be yours and you can be mine!

UPDATE 8/26/2013: I no longer use MyFitnessPal as I have reached my weight loss goal. You can still add me and look back at my food diaries from February 12, 2013 through the end of March 2013 for meal ideas. I am active on Instagram at @instagram/love_anab and Pinterest where I share more inspiration on family, fashion, fitness and beauty. Thanks for stopping by!

Love, Ana B

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. This info is based on my own research and experience, and it is what works for me, but we are all different. When it comes to your diet and fitness postpartum, go at pace you are comfortable with and works best for you.