Month: January 2016

Drink Water! A 30-Day Challenge (With 50+ Free Printables)

Artsy Nanay - Water Challenge

I was never a water person. I rarely drink water (by itself), and when I did I was very picky. If I taste just a slight hint of flavor there, or lack thereof, I refuse to drink it anymore. I just want my water to be tasteless and clean. It’s very hard to explain what kind of water I want but I hope you somehow get it.

When I got pregnant though, I started to experience the importance of water. Note that I did not use the word “learn”, because I already knew then that drinking water and staying hydrated is important – what I didn’t know though, is the exact physical effect of not drinking enough. And so it happened – the lining of my uterus got too thick so I had to drink more or else my baby would run out of water.

You can just imagine my fear. It’s the life of my baby we’re talking about here. I didn’t even like water – and now I had to drink more?!

The complications of my pregnancy is an entirely different story to tell in another time, but what’s important is that somehow I got through. And drinking enough water everyday was a big help.

Unfortunately, I slowly drifted back to my same old non-water drinking life after my pregnancy. I’m just human, and I just can’t help it. But now, even without a matter of life-and-death situation, I’m taking control and committing to drinking enough water everyday. This is still in line with my goal to live healthier as I mentioned in my earlier posts – and also the reason why I specifically made it a point on my morning routine.

Benefits of Drinking Water

There are countless reasons why we should drink more water. Mind Body Green, shared a few:

  1. It makes us feel good. Our body is made up of mostly water, you see. And not drinking enough water might lead to different health issues. It also pumps up our energy (which is why it’s good to drink water the moment you wake up!). It flushes out toxins. And finally, it boosts our immune system.
  2. It makes us look good.Sure, drinking water can make you healthier – that’s a given. But did you know that just by simply drinking water, you can actually look better? Yes, that’s right, because water can help you shed those extra pounds, make your skin glow, and it’s even good for your hair!

Making It A Habit – The 30 Day Challenge

Now, if you’re like me, drinking water doesn’t come up naturally – so it has to be a conscious effort for me to be able to drink more water. It has to be a habit.

They say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Forming one could feel like a chore or a burden at first, but after 21 days it would feel more natural because it becomes a part of your routine. It finally becomes habitual. However, just to make sure that it does become a habit, I’ve decided to extend the 21 days to 30! Not to mention that there are surprisingly a LOT of different 30-day water challenges out there.

I have found a lot of other people online (especially on Pinterest) taking on this challenge like me, and I have found incredibly creative ways to go around doing this. Let me share some of my finds below:

Artsy Nanay - Water Insipiration 2

Artsy Nanay - Water Insipiration 1

  1. By marking water bottles.Sara at JewelpieMorgan at Modern Mommyhood, and countless others (like me) mark water bottles with hours when to drink water. (Pictures below are theirs respectively).
  2. Through the Water Jug Challenge.Some like Danielle at Today’s The Best Day mark water jugs. This idea is perfect if you stay home a lot.
  3. By enjoying coconut water.Dani Stevens talks about drinking coconut water to hydrate. Here in the Philippines, it’ more popularly known as “Buko Juice”.
  4. Through healthy fruit infused water. And finally, numerous recipes are available online on how to infuse water with fruits for additional vitamins and flavor – watch out for my next post as I share with you my collection of 55 fruit infusion recipes! In the meantime, take a look at my Pinterest board below as I pinned different ideas to help with my water drinking challenge: Follow Artsy Nanay’s board Staying Hydrated! on Pinterest.

My Personal Challenge: Drink Water!

And now let me show you my battle plan:

  1. The Water Intake Log.First, I prepared a water intake log for myself. I also made stickers that I can easily stick on my bullet journal. (By the way, these are available as free downloads at the end of this post!).
  2. Marking My Bottle.Then, as what I’ve mentioned above, I marked the water bottle that I take with me to work. Yes, this was my prize when I completed the 10th day of my morning routine. It’s just a small 500ml bottle. I almost bought a 1L one, but it would’ve been too heavy for me to lug around, so I settled for this one. Plus, it has a tea strainer!
  3. Rewarding Myself.After I marked it, I realized it was just too crowded and I didn’t like the way it looked, so I reduced the marks. And since I also drink water at home, I dedicated two mugs for morning and evening drinking instead. These are what I usually fill with other goodies, like coconut water – or fruit infused water! Little treats for myself for starting and ending the day healthier. I lessened the marks after by removing them using a bit of polish remover and washing it thoroughly right after.

I have tried this challenge before and have failed. Take a look at the original habit log below. The box with slashes mean the number of glasses missed. I was trying to make up for it on other days, but eventually I thought allowing myself a “way” for me to “make up for it” would ruin the challenge in the first place and even encourage my lack of discipline. So I’m starting all over again! I really hope it goes better this time around.

Artsy Nanay - Water Challenge Freebies

And now, as promised. below are free printables: a water challenge log, and water tracker stickers: mini ones and mason jar ones. Enjoy!

Downloadables:

Free Printable: Water Challenge Log (90 downloads) Free Printable: Water Tracker Stickers (Small) (80 downloads) Free Printable: Free Water Tracker Stickers (Mason) (103 downloads)

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All of the credit goes to the talented people over at Freepik.

New Year And Facing Life’s Challenges

Hi guys, Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve last posted but don’t worry, I’ll start writing more from now on. A new year calls for changes and here are mine right now:

Artsy Nanay - New Year Goals

New Year and New Changes

  1. I have recently quit my job.Yes, I’m back to being a stay-at-home mother and freelance content writer. This might mean possible financial challenges this new year, but I am pumped up and ready.
  2. I have joined Mommy Bloggers Philippines.This is probably one of the highlights this month. I’m really happy that they responded to my email, I’m just waiting for their go signal so I can proudly put the group’s badge on my site.
  3. I will officially be an artist.I’m currently working hard on my art and hope to be part of an artist group this year!

2016 is going to be a big year and I’m very very excited!

Aside from that, this month also marks the anniversary of my life’s biggest challenge. It’s weird to think that exactly a year before, I was hooked to a life support machine with tube inserted to different parts of my body. You can read the whole story below. This was from my original FB post:

Dearest friends, it really is such a good thing to be able to talk to you again. I have missed you all, and honestly it still feels like a dream to be alive and typing right now especially when I almost died.

Ever since I got pregnant last April 2014, I bled from the very first day. Hence, I was forced to leave my job. I took meds and while the spotting didn’t really stop, I felt fine. But then when August came, it got worse. Blood started flowing between my thighs one day so I was rushed to Medical City.

My cervix dilated to almost 3cm. there was too much blood that during the ultrasound, they had to flush out more blood because they can’t see the baby anymore, only hear his strong heart beat.They also discovered that I had a low-lying placenta. Thankfully, a miracle happened and both me and my then, unborn child, survived.

After two weeks of confinement, I was allowed to go home, though this time I needed to be in complete bed rest which meant that I wasn’t allowed to stand up, not even if I had to pee or poop. I did everything in bed.

Come October, another complication came. I was diagnosed with a genetic gestational diabetes and went on a strict diet. I had to check my blood sugar three times a day and inject insulin twice a day which meant that I had to prick my fingers to examine my blood thrice, and inject myself twice a day.

Come November, painful contractions started and again I was rushed to the hospital. My baby was becoming so long that he can’t fit inside me anymore. There were even times that his foot would get lodged into one of my ribs.

After a week, I was allowed to go home, but after a day the contractions started again, and again I was brought to the hospital. Twice this happened, and every time I would be placed in the Intensive Maternal Unit, or the ICU for pregnant women, with my belly and arms hooked into machines and IVs monitoring me and my baby’s every heart beat and movement.

Upon the third time, I wasn’t allowed to go home anymore. I stayed at a ward with 6 other patients, our bed spaces divided only by thick curtains. It should have been fine if only I was allowed to go to the bathroom to do my thing, right? I never felt comfortable pooping in bed with other people around, even after three months. Yes, I stayed in the hospital that long.

Everyday, I had to pass two Non-Stress Tests which monitored my contractions. This was very important since my cervix dilation did not really close up since August. The injections and finger pricking doubled as well. Plus, aside from being hooked up into an IV, I had to take several meds, with one required to be inserted into my vagina everyday. Thank God the nurses assisted me in everything.

Come December, we found out that my baby had three cord coils around his neck. I spent Justin’s birthday, my mother’s birthday, and Christmas at the hospital. On the morning of December 31, the contractions were already too strong to control. I was brought to the Delivery Room. I labored all day but after 24 hours, my cervix still wasn’t dilated big enough.

After normal labor, I suffered from induced labor. You could tell by now how much our hospital bill would be so I was trying to endure everything without anesthesia. But after a few hours, especially after they burst my water bag with something that resembled a mini crow bar, I finally gave up to the pain and enjoyed a nice dose of epidural, which to my horror was not enough for the pain anymore since my baby still did not want to come out.

After another two hours they gave me a stronger one and was brought to the operating room to undergo a C-section. Yes, I went through 3 types of labor. Then, on the night of January 1, I gave birth to a perfectly healthy, though a bit premature, bouncing baby boy named Aleister Gregory. My due date was supposed to be January 29.

It didn’t take me too long to recover. I spent only an hour in the recovery room, and then I was able to stand up already and poop inside a locked bathroom the next day.

After a week though, still in the hospital, while breastfeeding my baby, I suffered a seizure. That was the last thing I remembered. My eye sight just flickered, everything went black, then, after what seemed to me was just a second, I opened my eyes and found a lot of doctors examining me.

That night I slept, and then I woke up ten days later inside the ICU, at the Acute Stroke Unit, with a respirator inside my throat breathing for me, a feeding tube inside my nose, my tongue really swollen that it couldn’t even move nor feel and taste anything, bruises of different colors everywhere, wires hooked from my chest and my head to different machines. I was unable to feel my limbs, I was hooked into 6 IV bags, my vision was really blurred, I was twisting in unbearable, unspeakable pain, with a priest beside my bed, blessing me, and when I tried to move I discovered that my hands and feet were tied to my bed.

I vaguely remember though that I stood up and saw my mother looking at my body, but I wasn’t really there. I was at her back, and she walked right through me.It scared the shit out of me.

I wish I could tell you that it couldn’t get any more worse, but when they started removing the tubes…did you know that respirators are attached so deep that they are lodged inside your neck? And the food tube inside my nose? That thing went as deep as my chest. They pulled it out when I was already awake. Both tubes had blood after being pulled out. And yes, it still got worse.

I gagged at my own saliva, and I was told that I already woke up a couple of times but I didn’t talk, and when I did, I wasn’t able to remember my husband, Justin. When I tried remembering him, the nurses told me that I got so stressed out I convulsed again. I still can’t remember anything that has happened during those ten days, even now, and probably never will. Good thing when I finally woke up, my memories of Justin returned.

My doctors said that I developed a seizure disorder after giving birth with post eclampsia. My blood pressure went as high as 200 over 100.

A few more weeks after that I was already allowed to go home. Our bill amounted to almost 2 million. Until now, we still owe the hospital 400k. We are going through really hard times right now, and I’m still taking antiepileptic meds to control seizures. I am still not allowed to work nor study anytime soon. But with a proud smile on my face I can still say that I am the happiest and luckiest woman on Earth right now, with Justin, Baby Agie, and the second life granted to me.

Thank you for reading!

My body still sometimes fails me until now. My still shaky hands would drop things, or I would wake up and feel completely wasted even though I’ve had a good night’s rest. But little by little I can feel the recovery. There were things that I was able to do before I got pregnant that I wasn’t able to do anymore after giving birth that I am already capable of doing now – like work and draw and a bunch of other little things that remind me that I am getting better and I will even surpass the old pre-maternal me. And I am going to do a bunch of those things this 2016. Again, Happy New Year!

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