3 Easy & FREE Postpartum At-Home Workouts

Post in collaboration with The Mint Julep Boutique.

“If you breastfeed, the weight just sheds off.” Raise your hand if you heard this myth. Here I am, seven months later, and still a chubby-cheeked, chunky vegan. If the weight came off for you with no diet change or exercise, WOW. You are so blessed, but I’m not impressed by genetics. I am however impressed by those who choose to take care of their temple while also chasing around demon possessed tiny terrorist calling out “MOMMOMMOMMOMMOM.” I like to think your reward will be in heaven for your patience and discipline!

Motherhood is fun for me; I get to learn how to navigate life a whole new way while also raise a tiny man (the first of hopefully many.) I must admit, going to the gym is not fun OR cheap for your average new mom. The price of gym memberships = price of formula or diapers or toys or you get where I’m going… Something for baby. While our gym membership is free on base and super close, I just can’t bring myself to leave Anakin yet. I want to include him in everything we do! Some may need the mental and physical disconnect from their babies just for an hour, and that’s okay. For me, the opposite happens – I get anxious and just can’t enjoy my workout being away from him or I feel like I should be spending that time with my husband since I CAN NEVER SEE THAT BEAUTIFUL MAN ENOUGH (I’m obsessed with him.)

At the same time, I can’t be a bum. Anakin needs a quick mom to get the dog food before he does. He needs a mom strong enough to do a thousand squats a day when he army crawls to my feet and cries. He needs a mom with endurance because nap times are just long enough for coffee (and, on a good day, blogging.) So let’s snap on our high-waisted leggings, squeeze into a nursing sports bra, and rock these mindless three beginner postpartum workouts with our terrorist- I mean tremendous babies!

Wear Baby

When I baby-wear: the commissary, going for a walk, busy markets, cleaning the house on a fussy/ clingy day, in airports.

Wearing Anakin has been a great way to strengthen my back and core! Early postpartum I struggled with back pain and numbness (I’m assuming from the epidural.) Now I can feel a huge difference in my energy and back strength! Just make sure you’re following the company’s recommendations to safely carry and not just going off a rando on YouTube; not all carriers are made the same.

Floor Workouts

This was MUCH easier before Anakin started power crawling and standing up, but my tip is to do this while baby is awake! Use a DockATot, jumperoo, or a chair to entertain them and do what you’re comfortable with. Yoga, planks, push-ups, sit-ups, and any body weight movements. I personally don’t want him near weights (he’s an adventurous spirit) just because it’s one less safety hazard. When he’s older, ya girl is going to weights!

Walk The Dog(s)

Maybe you don’t have dogs, but spend time outside! You can use a stroller or a carrier, just go outside around the neighborhood, a trail, a track, or a plaza. I need to go outside to just disconnect from the endless to-do list at home. Anakin loves to watch his dogs, checking out the lighting in stores, or see colorful produce. Going for a walk can boost your energy, relieve stress, and be a great form of exercise!

These are my tips to sneaking in some muscle and tone during the postpartum season of life. Thanks to The Mint team for partnering in today’s post! They make these workouts easier with comfortable and practical leggings. Plus their tees are SO SOFT and COMFY! This is my second top from their site, and I’m obsessed with it (even for those bum days). Here’s a last tip: if you sign up for their e-mails, you’ll receive $10 on your first order! As always, you are so loved and are doing great mama!
What are some ways that you keep your strength up? Comment below!
Like this post? Here are some others you may enjoy today!
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Nursing Friendly Travel Outfits And Thanksgiving Recipes

Holidays can be stressful, especially when you have to catch flights to spend them with loved ones. As a new mom, there’s another level of stress when it comes to traveling; his name is Anakin. While I can’t control delayed flights, condescending comments from someone at the Thanksgiving table, or  chili-like blowouts on the plane, I CAN control what I put into my body, and how to dress when nursing while traveling.  Here are some nursing outfit ideas and an awesome savory and sweet Thanksgiving bowl!

Edgy & Coz y

  • Fuzzy vest – great for warmth, using as a cover or pillow! Here’s the same one from PinkBlush 
  • Button up blouse – great for discreetly nursing
  • maternity leggings – great for comfort and breathable
  • Zip-up combat boots – easy to take off for TSA
  • Diaper bag

Lightweight & Adventurous

  • Elbow Patch Cardigan – great for light warmth. Similar styles available at PinkBlush.
  • Camo loose tee – great for pulling down or lifting up to nurse.
  • Maternity leggings – over-the-belly band is great for hiding tummy if lifting tee.
  • Sandals – easy to remove for TSA
  • Diaper bag

Sweet Potato & Ground Beef Bowl (vegan)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • 1 sweet potatoe
  • 1/2 bag of Beyond Beef (plant protein)
  • vegan mozzarella cheese

1 – Cut veggies to desired sizes

2 – Put sweet potatoes in a skill with oil of choice (I used olive oil)

3 – Mix onion and peppers in when potatoes reach desired taste.

4 – Add frozen Beyond Beef three minutes before removing from skillet

5 – Add salt and pepper, mix

6 – Add mozzarella to melt

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Super thankful for PinkBlush for collaborating on this post for you guys! Enjoy!

Instagram Q+A

 

For the past few weeks, my DM’s and e-mail have been filled with questions! So here are my answers to the most asked questions this month!

Military:

 
Is there a way to be notified when my package is delivered to someone deployed?
The package will only be able to be tracked until the APO delivery, not to when it is delivered to the deployed member. This is for their safety! Your S.O. will be happy to let you know when their package is safely in their arms.
Why do you label packages with “top”, “personal”, and/ or “public”?
Top lets my husband know, “this is the side you open”
Personal means “What’s in this box is for you.”
Public means “What’s in this box is for everyone, NOT YOU!”
 
Do you have any tips for sending baked goods in a care package?
I have only sent cookies! I let them cool before placing them in a zip locked bag (with zipper, not a folder over), and then place the zip locked bag into a lidded container. Here are examples in my Christmas Care Package Blog Post.
 
Is your husband home for good now? //   Is your husband always gone?
For as long as he is a part of the military, there is no “for good.” He isn’t always gone, just like 20% of the past few years (which is nothing compared to what I anticipated via movies and Army Wives).
Can you go through a security gate for an airport homecoming?
At our airport, no. But I honestly haven’t tried. If I can wait months, I can wait an extra five minutes to not feel like a burden on the airport staff.
My significant other is interested in the military, what type of job should they apply for to not be traveling often?
I think if they are joining to serve their country, any job that they would be passionate about is amazing. If they’re looking for benefits without deploying, I’d suggest praying about another career to fit your family’s needs.

Photography:

 
How did you start building your photography portfolio?
I think I accidentally started to build it as soon as I got my first camera when I was a pre-teen. I became emotionally attached to all of the photos I took and started to confidently direct and pose others in high school. When I first stared making money from photography, I would share highlights of EVERY SINGLE SESSION because I was so honored and excited. Although I am still honored to be hired, I don’t share every session now, because it may not attract the clients that match my professional style.
How did you get into the business side of photography?
I went to school for business marketing and management, which is what I’ve done the past few years for local businesses. My own art had always been a side job (like super side job… like lowest priority job) until I got pregnant. It has been an incredible tool to express myself and also tell the stories of others while traveling to new countries or life changes with clients. But I don’t want to die with the label “photographer.”
 
How long have you been doing photography?
My first digital camera was gifted to me as a pre-teen. First photography class was in high school. First film class was in college. But time is the slimmest factor! Look at what someone is capable of producing, and let the resume be what it is: just a piece of paper.

Vegan:

 

I’m trying this whole vegan thing. What are your favorite products or places to shop? //  What are your food staples?
For boxed, canned, or frozen food, I shop at our base commissary. The commissary does have a lot of vegan alternative, but most aren’t “healthy.” For produce, I shop at farmers markets or locally owned produce stands. Lastly, for specialty vegan items, I shop at Sprouts Market or Whole Foods. Some of our home staples are black beans, lentils, garbanzo beans, Spanish rice, tri-colored quinoa, white rice, vegetable broth, red potatoes, California avocados, hummus, and a lot of spinach.
What do you order from taco restaurants now?
Most have vegetarian options that I order (modifications: no cheese or sour cream, extra veggies)! My favorite spot serves buffalo roasted cauliflower tacos with avocado fries.
Do you take supplements?
B12, iron, and prenatal vitamins.

Pregnancy / Personal:

What vegan concealer do you use?
Anastasia Beverly Hills
What did you do to clear up your pregnancy acne? Any recommended make-up products?
I use a Simple face cleanser, vegan Posh exfoliating face scrub, and a vegan Posh face mask (all for my specific skin type: dry). My current favorite face make-up product is Juice Beauty CC Cream (as mentioned in my 2nd Trimester Favorites blog post).
 
How did you decide what to keep when minimizing your closet?
Throw away: anything stained or poorly made and over-worn.
Keep: anything nursing friendly, that will both fit nicely right after giving birth and as my body changes post delivery.
Donate/ Sell: anything that barely fit before pregnancy, anything that doesn’t bring me joy or happy memories.
Note: I did not throw away any real leather or animal derived products. That just seems even more disrespectful to the life that was taken for the sake of “fashion” and, by donating, now someone else doesn’t add to the supply/ demand of more animals killed.
What are all your tattoos?
Ring Finger: wedding date in roman numerals (marriage).
Wrist: “McClung” – husband’s last name (marriage).
Forearm: cross with banner saying “God Is Love” with Kingdom Hearts logo and roses surrounding (Christian / Disney). On the opposite side of my arm is a compass with a fighter jet pointing towards north and an anchor pointing south (career path with USAF and ABF / current blog name)
Elbow: Hair cutting shears with banner saying “Mother Knows Best” (Disney / family)
Upper Arm: Mickey with brother’s initials, Minnie with sister’s initials (Disney / family)
Thigh: Sora and Kairi from Kingdom Hearts with text saying “One Sky, One Destiny” (Disney / R.I.P. Tribute)
How has your vegan pregnancy been going?
Extremely healthy! I am joyful to be able to remain as ethical as possible and bring this little bean safely into the world.
Where did you decide to register for baby items and why?
Target and Amazon for the convince of gift buyer’s and free shipping. Babies R Us for the reward points system! All three were used by friends and family, with no unaccounted for items.
What is your baby boy’s name?
We aren’t sharing his name online until we are ready to share his birth announcement.
When is your due date?
September 13th!

Most asked question:

 

What filter do you use on your photos? // How do you edit your photos? // What is your favorite photo app?
For my photography page: Lightroom and Photoshop.
For the blog page: PicMonkey social media templates.
For personal: VSCO app with A6 or HB2 filters modified (- filter, +exposure, +grain, -temperature). In the past, I used Facetune’s whitening and details tool for crisp backgrounds, but I don’t put much, if any, effort into my personal Instagram now!

What I Eat In A Day (Vegan Meal Ideas)

Breakfast:

Avocado Toast & Apple Toast

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Avocado Toast: choice of bread base (toasted,) sliced avocado, Mexican spices, pink Himalayan salt // Drink of choice: orange juice

avo

Apple Toast: choice of bread base (toasted,) sliced apple, organic cinnamon, (optional: almond butter, vegan peanut butter, and/ or agave syrup) // Drink of choice: organic chai tea latte with coconut milk (specifically Rebel Kitchen)

apple

 

Lunch

Burrito Wrap

Cook rice of choice, black beans, avocado, vegan cream cheese, salsa, local hot sauce. Load into spinach wrap.

burrito

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Dinner

BBQ: Garlic Lemon Artichoke, Potato Slices, & Sweet Quinoa

Soak artichoke in lemon water for 15 minutes while oven preheats to 400. Bake for 20 minutes, then coat in garlic and squeezed lemon juice. Place in foil, then BBQ until desired char.

Slice red potatoes and marinate in favorite oil and Cajun rub.

Boil and cook desired quinoa. Once water is absorbed, all butternut squash, kale, raisins, and cinnamon. (Should smell like pumpkin pie!)

BBQ

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Maternity Must Haves (2nd Trimester)

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Juice Beauty CC Cream & First Aid Beauty Lip Therapy

I am trying to avoid re-purchasing products that are not both vegan and cruelty-free. I found this amazing CC cream by Juice Beauty from a pushy sales women. At the moment there was not reason not to like it, until I saw the price (EEEEKKK! AWKWARD!) I ended up bringing to the counter and taking it home, in hopes of hating it so I could immediately return it. The joke was on me because this formula has been stellar! It evens my hormonal skin tones, protects my skin with 30 SPF, heck, it even smells like fruity pebbles being packed with certified organic ingredients. I wear the shade sun-kissed glow, which is slightly too dark, but will work for the rest of my summer pregnancy in the butthole of Florida.
At Sephora, I found this awesome, colorless, and scentless “lip therapy” to replace my chap-sticks and to wear as a moisturizer before applying a matte lipstick. It’s easy to grab out of the front pocket of my purse, and could easily slip in a side pocket of a diaper bag for easy access. Will definitely splurge again in repurchase both of these!

Oil Diffuser & Doterra Oils

One of the few, but very annoyingly common “signs” of pregnancy has been a bloody nose and sinus pressure. It bothered me the most at the beginning of allergy season, to the point where I purchased our first oil diffuser and these two oil blends. The Doterra Breathe is a blend of Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca, Lemon, Ravensara, and Cardamom and is meant to maintain feelings of clear airways and easy breathing while minimizing the effects of seasonal threats. The Doterra Serenity is a blend of  Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, and Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oils and vanilla bean and is meant to support restful sleep.
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Passion Planner & Thank You Cards

Pregnancy brain is real, SO REAL! I have become the most forgetful person when it comes to times, dates, meetings, and why I walked into a store. The passion planner was a beginning of the year purchase, but is utilized more now that I forget anything and everything. It’s used to keep track of bills, passwords, business inquires, scheduled sessions, groceries, maintenance, bible verses and inspirational quotes to meditate on!  Along with my planner, these thank you cards from Target are so great for jotting down a quick grateful note for the sweet gifts arriving for our babe!
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Maternity Jeans

There are few maternity pieces that I’ve purchased so far (1 denim pants, 1 denim shorts, 2 leggings, 2 tees) because most of my closet consist of loose fitting and flow-y items. Most maternity pieces are frumpy, have patterns that I hate, or are loud colors (as if I wasn’t already standing out enough with a bump.) Luckily these pair of jeans have been flattering and just my style! They’re made my Articles of Society and can be found at A Pea In a Pod maternity stores. They’ve lasted from week 14- 27 weeks, and still have a ton of life left in them!
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Growth Images

Because I’m a photographer, a lot of people assumed I would do the weekly bump growth trend; where you take a photo doing the same pose, in the same shirt, in front of the same background to see how much your body changes. While it’s a cute idea, it’s not fun when you’re going through a pregnancy solo due to a deployment.  So my own spin on it has been focused on the baby’s growth while showcasing some of the most adorable gifts and updated sonograms. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from it, and you can keep up with new posts on Instagram under the hashtag, “#growingmcclung.” For just the regular, good ol’ bump featuring photos, checkout “#babymcclungbump”.
instagram.com/aangeladriana
parenthood

Parenthood (Netflix)

Lastly, as with all deployments, comes dominion over the television. We currently only use Netflix and Hulu in substitute for cable, but I LOVE THEM. Parenthood has been on my list for a while and I am so glad I watched every. single. episode! It’s so relate-able, and reminded me of home in the bay area (the show takes place in Berkley, CA). They dive deep into relationships, marriages, parenthood, illnesses, career choices, and eventually bring on a veteran character that is struggling with PTSD. It’s not a cookie cutter family, but it is funny enough to make me laugh out loud all by myself and embarrassingly cry when it’s just so REAL.
Well, that’s it for my maternity favorites for the second trimester!
You can checkout my first trimester favorites here: https://anchorsandplanes.com/2017/03/19/maternity-must-haves-1st-trimester/

Maternity Must Haves (1st Trimester)

I am now a few weeks into the second trimester , glory to God. The first was not too gentle on me…

We had an incredible December in California visiting family  in the snow and bay area, so when I started getting ill at the end of December, I figured it was from flying and changing my environment. When we returned from Florida, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was so sore and “sick” that I called into work most of that week. The moment I started feeling well enough to get out of bed, I was boarding flights to Guatemala for a mission trip… this is where the nausea started to creep in. Every second we had a break from ministry, it felt like I had eaten something bad or drank the undrinkable water. Thankfully, I was too in love with sharing the gospel, that the voices in my head saying “you should skip today” went away.  When I finally returned home mid January, I had a scheduled doctors appointment to get medicine for whatever sickness I had… this is where the doctor laughed and said, “you’re probably pregnant.”

I was over taking pregnancy tests. The last one I took was Christmas day because all I wanted was to find out when I had family around. So when it was negative (again,) I gave up on that family dream. When the doctors asked to verify my blood for pregnancy before issuing any medicine, I left before they had a chance to tell me “no.” It felt like the only thing worse than hearing it from a stick, was to hear it from a medical professional.

So, I got it my car, cried, drove home where my sister’s entire family was visiting, picked them up, and drove to Disney World. About half way to the park is when I got a phone call from those pesky medical professionals, with my family in my car, making all of my Christmas wishes to heaven come true.

I could glamorize how amazing the first trimester of growing a human inside of your body feels… but there was not an ounce of glam. Every scent in Disney World became my worst enemy, every song made me cry, and every kid made me anxious. The second I got that phone call, I began researching what the cans and can’ts are, and how the heck I was going to get through seven more months of my face being over the bathroom throne.

These are the things that have made it all better (or at least comfortable) until week 14:

Trader Joe’s Ginger Mints & Lemon Ginger TeaProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

I have tried to start off my mornings with a hot cup of herbal tea. The first teas I tried were just ginger, but the ginger AND lemon tastes the best to me! They make me feel at ease and refreshed. It’s also been amazing for nausea and sinus congestion. The mints I found in nearly every pinterest post, but I can only take a few a day before they’re ineffective with hunger nausea.

Room Freshener / Belly Lotion / Hand Sanitizer ?/ Fragrance Oil

 

My sensitive nose didn’t stop at just “bad smells,” it was offended by anything that didn’t smell clean. Some of our home cleaning products were too harsh smelling, but this J.R. Watkins room freshener in Coconut is gentle and natural smelling enough to use in my bedroom. One of our large dogs is sharing the bed with me, and although she is adorable, she is the cause of a lot of discomfort.

Luckily I stopped using perfumes and started using this fragrance oil from Whole Foods (thanks to the recommendation of Shay from Pretty Little Liars.) The scent she recommended was “Persian Garden,” which thankfully, I haven’t stopped loving.

As if I wasn’t already terrified of germs, learning about the pregnacy added an abundance of soaps and sanitizers in our home, cars, and pockets. My favorite travel sized ones have been the aromatherapy Stress Relief (eucalyptus spearmint) and Firework Fizz from Bath & Body Works.

I am not afraid or truly concerned about stretch marks, but I have heard of how itchy and dry your tummy can feel the second half of pregnancy. When I know change is coming, I try to change my habits immediately, instead of waiting to discipline myself later (which is also why i started sleeping with a preggo pillow on my  left side six weeks early.) The Burt’s Bee’s Belly Butter is a natural fragrance free formula containing Cocoa, Shea, and Jojoba Butters. After drying off from a shower, I apply it to all the places on my body that won’t stop growing.

Miracol Water Bottle & Zero Water Filter

 

I have had water bottles in my favorites before! Water is my favorite since it is liquid gold traveling to places that don’t have clean water sources. Not only does it save the earth having a water bottle, but you can save a lot of cash! Airports, movie theaters, and events all sell a single water bottle for basically the price of a case. We have the Zero Water filter in our fridge, and my new favorite bottle is the 32oz. Miracol bottle.

Target Maternity Leggings

 

 

Another “starting early” purchase, has been these leggings. Lets be honest, before the pregnancy I was barely fitting into my sausage casing of leggings. One of the cons of being a tall size 7: it’s either going to be perfect on the legs and tight on the hips, or perfect at the hips and huge on the legs. After buying these leggings, I may never go back to normal ones! The can be either above the belly, or folded below. [Maternity Over the Belly Legging – Liz Lange for Target $16.99]

 

I was going to share my favorite foods, but lets be real… no one wants to see or hear about food at this stage!

I hope that this was the slightest bit helpful to you or a loved one! I am excited to eventually share about remaining a vegetarian through this pregnancy, trimester favorites, the journey of basically going through it alone with my husband deployed,and all the amazing collaborations coming up!

xoxo

– Angel

For all maternity related posts:click here.

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May Favorites: Makeup, Fashion, Health, Books, Film, Travel, & Food

Beauty:

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My favorite beauty product this month has been the L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream. This cream has completely hijacked and owned my foundation routine. I use this, concealer, and HD finishing powder. This product is very lightweight and breathable, yet helps even my skin color like a boss. (Click here to purchase for $7)

Fashion:

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Tiny cross body bags! In hot and humid weather, the last thing you want to carry is a giant bag. I got this cute little bag from Target on my recent trip to California. It’s big enough to carry a small wallet, my keys, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, lip balm, mints, etc, yet small enough to forget I’m even carrying it! The strap is comfortable and adjustable, which is LIFE because tall girls need that! (Click here to purchase for $25)

Health:

water

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Traveling a lot this year though high and low places has reminded me to ALWAYS carry a water bottle. If you’re in mountains or at the beach, clean water is so important! Camelbak has been my go to brand. They’re reliable, offer refillable filters, and don’t leak. I like to put a few meaningful stickers on mine to: 1) have a conversation starter 2) remember to grab my bottle. I’m currently using an Air Force printed bottle which I can’t find online, but you can find your branch on base or a plain one at Target.

Book:

aangeladriana_20150528104815

On our base, there is a mini thrift store where my husband and I will go and find treasures. From lamps to cookbooks, a lot of our new home is handmedowns thrifts. My favorite is this book, which by the grace of God landed in my hands. From the moment I opened it, I KNEW that it was given to me at the exact right time. As a newly wed in the military lifestyle, I felt like I was spiraling into the “military wife and nothing else in life” category which is a LIE from the enemy. Through this book and the word of God, I was able to get my dreams, motivation, and purpose back on track! If there is one favorite this month, THIS IS IT! (Click here to purchase for $12)

Movie:

Tomorrowland has rocked my world. As much as I hate to admit it, my expectations were not high. I felt like the trailers didn’t give enough info for me to be trilled. Luckily, as soon as the lights dimmed and the film started rolling, I was a goner. It had good vs. evil action, families that cared for each other, humor for both kids and adults, and unpredictable twists. One of those films that inspires you to strive for the best you possibly can and not just limit yourself to the best that exists. All in all, when it comes out on DVD, I’d go buy it!

Travel:

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone… never rang more true until I boarded a six hour flight without… headphones! ROOKIE MISTAKE, ANGEL! Rookie. Friggin. Mistake. I will now make sure they are the first thing packed, along with an ipod or phone stalked with Spotify Premium ($9.99 a month, they’re running a special right now – first three months only .99c!)

Food:

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All year round, my favorite meal is lunch. For may, my go to homemade hot sandwich was this toasted pesto, baby spinach, sliced tomato, and Swiss cheese on Rye bread. Rye is my favorite toasted! Try this with a mint, lemon, and cucumber detox water.