Sunday, March 29, 2009

Burn baby burn!

Check out the latest fitness craze! Some of you may have seen these at the gym and passed by the cannon ball with the handle. Probably thinking, what the heck do you do with you do with that thing? This medieval looking thing is actually called a kettlebell and you can do oodles of exercises with it. Some of my close friends and family may be a little hesitant to try it because workouts I've suggested in the past didn't exactly stick. Those of you who still have a mini trampoline in your living room know what I'm talking about.

I'm not alone on this one though. Kettlebells are becoming increasingly popular. They were featured in the January/February issue of Women's Health magazine. They say the reason it works so well is because all the weight is centered below the handle and when you swing it almost every muscle in your body has to work to counteract the momentum. The result is a total body work out! Awesome right! Another cool thing is the amount of metal it replaces in an at home gym. You can use this workout tool in place of most traditional equipment and not only do you save space but you save time too. You can do this at home so you don't need 90 minutes of weight training at the gym. I keep mine in my living room right along with the Stella's Little People and their farm house. Its easily accessible so I can do my exercises in between Stella's breakfast and our trip to the park. Mine looks more like a medicine ball with a handle but it works the same way. I got it at Target for around 30 dollars. I have also seen them at Sports Authority and I imagine you can find them anywhere that sells fitness equipment. Happy fat burning!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

Being pregnant for the first time is quite the learning experience. During my pregnancy I scoured many books and spent countless hours searching the Internet. I wanted to know everything that was happening to my body and the little person growing inside. But as well prepared as I thought I was, nothing could have prepared me for what was to follow.

I was certain that I was going to breastfeed my daughter. In my mind that's what a mother does and I didn't want to miss out on any part of being a new mom. Though I had been told that some women struggle with nursing, I didn't think I would. My mom said that I would be able to feed my baby just fine and mom knows everything, right? However, after an exhausting but relatively smooth labor we brought our bundle home, and I eventually went from exhausted to down right miserable.

It was about a week before the hell began. We spent the first week like most new parents delirious, joyful and doubting nearly every decision we made. But before Stella and I could really get the breastfeeding thing down I started to feel sick. Trying to diagnose what was happening to me was extremely frustrating. Every time I tried to feed my baby I became very nauseous. I was prescribed some medication that was supposed to help but the sickness got much, much worse. Did I have a mastitis? The flu? No answers. I remember the night I gave up on nursing Stella. I was totally defeated and very sad. I felt like such a failure though the relief that came with that decision was almost as strong as the sense of defeat. At this point the smell of my own baby was making me nauseous and I just couldn't do it anymore. Unfortunately my illness was caused by something more than nursing and I spent the next four days in bed. My husband was doing everything. My mom and niece came over a lot to help as well. I felt useless as a mother and sicker than I'd ever been in my life. Not exactly how I had envisioned my first weeks home with my brand new baby.

To make things worse, as if they could've been, it was almost two months before I started feeling the special bond that a mother feels to her child. Talk about depressing. I wasn't able to nurse and my illness had sucked all the life out of me. I didn't even feel like a person, let alone a mother. It was a devastating but thankfully short-lived experience.

The first weeks with Stella were nothing like I'd imagined. The wonderful part though is that there are no time limits on bonding with your baby, no deadlines to be met. I just need to love my daughter, because she definitely loves me. Seeing us today you would never know we started out the way we did. We adore each other, just like a mother and child should.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

gimme gimme

Before I start this post I just want to say that I am guilty, guilty, guilty! But . . . what is the deal with all the crap we buy our kids? Can you say over indulgence people! As the mother of a 14 month old and part of one of the largest consumer groups ever; I have bought my baby everything under the sun, and then some. Half of the toys she never even liked and how many toys does one baby really need? They just want everything out of your cupboard anyway! I should just give her some wooden spoons and let her go to town. But I can't risk her not having all the developmental toys right? She has got to learn how to stack blocks or else she won't learn anything in preschool and then she will be behind in elementary school and then she'll never get into college! The excuses we come up with to buy more stuff are endless. You can always find a reason why you NEED something. I am pretty sure that I am not the first new mom to participate in the baby shopping extravaganza but lets hope I learned something from it when the next one comes along.

What really gets us is when our kids start asking for stuff, that's when mom really goes off her rocker. When they see the amazing new toys on commericals or that the neighbor kid has. How do you control it then? Its like a double assault, not only do you want your kids to have everything but now they want it too! Self discipline seems like a pretty easy concept but yet it is so hard for many of us to implement. Christmas for example, if you say you've never gone a little overboard on Christmas then you are a big, fat liar! The spending frenzy of holidays can be intoxicating, exciting, stomach wrenching, and stressful all at once and we still do it every year. Maybe we should focus on making memories with our kids rather than buying them the toy they so desperately want, can't live with out and won't play with for more than a month. Do you know anyone that buys their kids gifts for Easter? I sure do! An Easter basket, a little candy, no problem. But video games and new clothes, come on.

Now don't forget, I have admitted my guilt in this area but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try to control my spending impulses. Our kids really don't need all the stuff we buy, the "moms are big suckers" industry just makes you think they do, resist! By Teaching your kids at a young age that they don't need and won't get all the stuff they want you are actually doing them a favor. Just tell them that next time they are asking for a new Barbie; "trust me honey, mommy is doing you a favor by not buying you this toy". I'm sure they will understand.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I've got a biter folks!

Who knew someone so sweet could be so vicious! I've always known that babies like to chew on things when they get new teeth, but nobody ever told me my baby was going to chew on me! My husband gets a huge kick every time my little sweetie sinks her teeth into my skin. She always manages to get just a little bit too, and man those teeth are sharp!

So what are you supposed to do? Usually my instincts would tell me to swat her away like a mosquito, but my baby isn't an insect. I try to remain calm because I can only imagine what it must feel like to have tiny sharp teeth cutting through your gums, but holy cow does it hurt!

I've heard some parents say "bite her back, it worked for me!" Maybe it does work but can you really imagine biting your child, it sounds a little ridiculous. A method that I've tried, and probably will continue with is a gentler approach. I look Stella in the eyes and say "no biting, that hurts". Has she bitten me again? Of course, but at least I am teaching her something constructive! Its all about learning.

Dr. Lawrence C. Pakula of the American Association of Pediatrics seems to be on the same train of thought. He suggests explaining to the child in a concise way that we do not bite because it hurts people. The longer drawn out explanations only provide more attention to the negative behavior. To reinforce this we shouldn't allow the child to bite pets or stuffed animals either. Pakula also mentions that interrupting the behavior before it starts is helpful as well.

So even though I continue to get bit on occasion, and my husband laughs, I think I will just stick to what I'm doing. Because in the grand scheme of things this is just a phase and eventually Stella won't have the urge to bite me anymore, thank God! Hopefully in the future when she is playing with other children and gets frustrated she won't bite because she knows "biting hurts people"!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Hello moms, friends and family. I have decided to create a blog to write about the thing that I'm most passionate about. The thing that has given me more joy in one year than I have ever experienced in my whole life; motherhood.

Since the birth of my daughter Stella I have been searching for something that allows me to stay at home but still have the ability to contribute outside the home. Going through all the trials that a new baby brings I have spent countless hours on the computer looking for ways to get my baby to sleep, eat and much more. What I noticed is that I am not alone! There are so many moms out their looking for answers, support and just someone who can relate to the challenges of motherhood. I'd love for this blog to be a place where other moms can get those things. I hope to provide some tips on getting little ones to eat, or fun activities to do with a toddler. I also hope to give some comic relief with a funny story or two.

What this blog will become I'm just not sure. You'll have to come back and see! I look forward to sharing the adventure of motherhood with you and I plan to have more for you soon.