Week 1: Are you ready to have a baby?

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Lemon WaterLemon Water: Aly’s Angle

Aly's Angle is meant to be a blog about my experiences participating in the 52 Week Be Better challenge, and that it will be. But I have decided to also write about my journey discovering the balance between being a new mother and the CEO of Be Better Movement.  I hope you enjoy my honest and transparent perspective on the weekly challenges aimed at turning self-improvement into global improvement.

It is a crazy feeling knowing that your world is going to change dramatically and forever but not knowing exactly when it is going to happen. Was snuggling and watching a movie with my husband tonight the last time it’s going to be just the two of us? Was the nap I took earlier the last uninterrupted nap of my lifetime? Everyone curiously asks, "Are you ready?" I know they are referring to items like, "Do you have the car seat installed? Are your hospital bags packed? Is the nursery complete? But when I hear this question, I can’t help but think, “As ready as we will ever be.”

Originally, when we discovered our little girl’s due date, I was disappointed that it would fall right around the holidays. If she were two weeks early, she would have been born Christmas Day. If one week early, it would have been New Year’s Day. Well, now January 1 has come and gone. It is the start of 2016, and I am so grateful that her arrival will coincide with the new year.

I have been thinking about what my New Year’s resolutions are going to be. I determined that instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I would have two focuses: Motherhood/Parenthood and Be Better.

My first focus is my transition into motherhood. This includes being the best mother possible while not losing sight of my passion for being a wife. It means determining what motherhood looks like for me and enjoying the process of becoming a parent with my husband, Cory. It’s including our baby in our adventures and being flexible as we adjust to our new lifestyle. Most important, it’s being present in the moment and not trying to be too engulfed in analyzing what we should and "shouldn’t" be doing. Trusting our instinct is key.

The second focus is Be Better. The balance of being a new mother and growing the Be Better Movement in 2016 excites me. At times, if I am being completely honest, I do get a little freaked out. But most of the time, I am overcome with excitement. I love what I do; it fuels me. People often ask, "Are you going to keep working after the baby is born?" Luckily my response goes something like, "Yes, because I love what I do." I don't know how I am going to make it all happen, but I truly believe that when you love what you do, you find the energy to get it all done. The 52 Week Be Better Challenge is my way to make an impact in this world. I believe that being involved in things that make a difference and that make me happy will make me a better mother.

Here are my quick thoughts on lemon water, as I sit here on the couch writing this blog at 1:43 a.m. because I am feeling some strong contractions.

IMG_1804My husband and I are lucky to live in the city of Orange in Orange County, California. We have a good-size backyard (about 6,000 square feet) for a town in Southern California. Anyone outside of California probably wouldn’t consider that much land, but here it is a big backyard. The reason I’m telling you this is because we have five fruit trees in our backyard: three orange trees, one fig tree and a lemon tree. This week, I picked lemons from my own backyard to use in my room-temperature lemon water.

I fill up our big pitcher with water, squeeze lemons, and refill my cup throughout the day. The best part of this week’s challenge for me is getting up first thing in the morning and heading to the kitchen. Drinking a big glass of water – especially lemon water – is such a refreshing way to start the day. It’s so important, especially being as pregnant as I am, to drink as much water as possible.

Little side note: I have a friend who is a dentist, and he told me that if you drink a lot of lemon water, you should do it through a straw because the acid from the citrus is hard on your teeth.

I hope you enjoy this week’s challenge. We (I and my intern team) have been overwhelmed by all the new signups who plan to participate in 2016. We cannot wait to see all the completed challenges and posted pictures.

Just typing this is making me thirsty. Goodnight.

Aly Simons