July 2013


Week in Review

Friday, July 26, 2013

This past week, I determined that becoming a mother is much like going back to the awkward age of puberty!  I'm not sure that my body will ever be the same after King Diaper entered the world.  I had vowed that I would enter my 40's happy, confident, slim and ready to take on any challenge.  Well, two of the 4 are true!  And, I suppose I can live with that.

One bit of advice that I can give any new mother, regardless of age, is get out of whatever rut you are in.  DO NOT allow yourself to live in maternity clothes.  Or, even worse, don't squeeze yourself like a snausage into whatever clothes you are determined to fit into.  Just start over.

Why?  Well, for starters, King Diaper pulls and tugs on everything I own causing a wardrobe malfunction at every turn.  So, shopping will include the need to consider this.

Second, your body shape may not ever be the same.  And, if it does bounce back, it might not bounce back immediately.  Or, if it does bounce back immeadiately, you are a true freak of nature and other women hate you.  (Just kidding, bask in the glory of that enjoy some ice cream!)

I have learned to rethink my wardrobe.  What once was flattering in terms of style and fit, no longer is.  I am not going to spend the next how ever long mourning my previous happy weight.  I'm going to enjoy being King Diaper's mommy and figure out what I can fit into and feel good about.

Try on clothes that you wouldn't have tried on before.  No, this doesn't mean a G String Bikini.  Try on lots of different shapes, styles and patterns and figure it out all over again.  Find things that fit your new lifestyle and activities.  And whatever you do, limit the amount of stretchy pants!  Go for things that you might not have to iron, skirts, dresses and things you can throw on and feel good in.  Trust me, you will thank me for that!

I'm still busy figuring this mommy thing out, but I do know that I'm going to love it and that doesn't leave a lot of room for obsessive diets and self loathing over a few pounds.  Working out every day, I'm on it.  I'll be back to my happy weight at some point.  I don't even know that I want to set a goal for it.  I just know that I have the following goals:

  • Be happy and enjoy being King Diaper's mommy.
  • Work out and eat to be healthy.
  • Try to keep a relatively clean house.
  • Balance work and home so that I can do a good job at both.
Well, that is quite enough.  Life is busy, and I'm trying to soak it all up -  changes and all.  Have a great weekend.  I'll post wardrobe suggestions and ideas soon!

Delivery Delight

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Have you ever seen the lady that you know discovered her 'look' somewhere around 1985 when Dynasty was at the height of fashion?  You know the one the lady that found a look that works for her and has kept it for 20+ years.  Okay, maybe you are younger than I and have no clue who Linda Evans even is.  Put it like this - know anyone who looks good but dated?  That's the one.  Well, I'm determined not to be this mother!

I'm not sure how to avoid this pitfall entirely, but I do know that one thing is keeping it fresh and up to date.  No better place to start than with your face and hair.

I subscribe to a service called Birchbox.  For $10 a month, you get a little box of goodies that include everything from perfume samples, eye cream, hair pins, lip gloss, nail polish....you get the picture.  Its like a pretty little present delivered to your door each month.

Last month, I received a hair protectant spay, hair pins, eye cream, blush and acne cream.  All great scores.  

So, its ten bucks - and you may be thinking thats a lot of cash over the year.  Here's how I see it.  
  1. The products really are great and high quality.  Worth the money for sure!
  2. I travel a lot for work so its a way for me to always have sample/travel size items in my bag while on the road.
  3. Using all of the these samples saves me money on products that I would ordinarily buy to try out, but I'm not committing to a full size deal until I've tried it out!  
  4. Even if you don't travel and don't buy a lot of products to try, its always stuff that you can/will use.  So you are paying for beauty stuff you will actually need!
Its plenty of bang for your buck.  And, I've found quite a few perfumes, facial creams and other products that I have actually bought that I liked.  

Looking for a gift for someone that has everything or that you don't know what to get?  This is the gift that keeps on giving and requires little effort on your part.  Sign up a friend or loved one for a 3 month subscription.  You can do it all online and they get a little gift for three months in the mail.  

BeautyBox5 also offers a beauty box subscription that has a $12 a month program.  But rates drop as you buy in for more months.  Three months is $10 and an annual subscription is $8!  

There are other subscription services that you can try out as well if beauty isn't your thing:
  • For the health conscious, try Klutchclub.  Natural beauty, health and fitness items arrive at your door for $18 each month.

  • Citrus Lane has care packages for mom and baby.  You can customize for the age and gender of the child.  Subscriptions start at $21 per month.

  • Or spice things up for a night with hubby with SpicySubscriptions. The price is slightly higher at $24.95, but this might be the best money spent all night for a much needed date night!  (No pictures posted since I agreed not to include adult content here.)  
Don't get lost or in a rut as a new mom!  I think it is super easy to be so busy with your new little life and just forget what your own interests and wants are.  With such limited amounts of time to shop or even think about what you want, monthly subscription boxes are a way to take the guess work out of what you actually want.  It comes to you!

Adventures in Baby Food

Monday, July 22, 2013

Baby food and feeding time has taken on a whole new set of needs with the introduction of soft foods. I found myself pouring over food choices, making food versus buying foods, organic food choices, best foods for brain development....you get the picture. Information overload! And, maybe I just over think it all! However, I did make the decision to purchase a Beaba Babycook. Based on reviews and all that jazz, this seems like the right fit for me. So, this little gem will steam your baby's food. Then it can be pureed into a nice smooth food for baby. For, my first go at this whole make your baby's food business, I tried carrots. Start with fresh carrots. You can use organic, baby carrots or whatever kind you like. The farmers market is also another great place to locate your veggies for making baby food. I recommend starting there. Dice up your veggies and follow the directions with your machine. In a nutshell, pour the proper amount of water into the steamer chamber. Place veggies in steamer basket. Seal machine and start.
Once you have finished steaming, the baby cook will beep. Empty your veggies into the food processor and blend until smooth. I did have to add some additional water to make a smoother consistency. You can use your own judgement on this. I will say that babies DO NOT like chunks of any kind at first. So the smoother the texture, the better. Once done, you can place into your container of choice and freeze for use as needed. I also purchased the Beaba Multiportions container for storage and freezing. Since they are made of silicone, its easy to remove your baby's food once frozen.
One final word of advice if you plan to make your baby's food, don't take it personally if they don't LOVE it when you are feeding them. You aren't a failure. It doesn't mean that the food isn't good or tasty. Introducing new foods to your baby is a big deal, and they are developing their palate and eating skills. Make feeding time a happy time when they develop a good relationship with both you and food. Meal times should have healthy options and include conversation - even with baby. After spending 15 years of marriage eating on the sofa in front of the tv with hubby at meal time, we are now learning to eat at the table all over again and make it a family affair. This has been a great opportunity for us to do something new and enjoy being parents in a whole new way.

Getting Back on Track

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Before baby (BB), I worked out 6 or 7 days a week. I was obsessed about diet and exercise. And, going into pregnancy, I was determined to come out on the other side in great shape and unfazed by this total transformation of my body. Mother nature had other plans for me. I started out my pregnancy biking, running, walking, weights...all of the things I had been doing before. The doctor felt fine with this. So, did I. But, at 20 weeks my cervix started to shorten. At 21 weeks, I started to dilate and was on strict bed rest. By 24 weeks, my water broke - then I delivered at 25 weeks. 193 days later, I brought home a baby and a lot more weight that I would have wanted too. First, I've decided that I am in fact an emotional eater. There. I said it. But, what am I going to do about it??? Well, BB I was in great shape. And, there is no reason I can't be again. After 40, its a big deal, but each day I'm living it and relearning how to manage baby, work and getting back in shape. Enter - Jawbone UP! If you don't know about this little gem, run - don't walk - and get one of these!!!
You wear this wrist band 24/7 and it measures your sleep patterns, steps, exercise and even food. Overtime, it can help you track you health, see patterns in your lifestyle and make better decisions. In short, its a fancy pedometer/lifestyle meter! You can even generate all kinds of fancy charts and graphs as it syncs directly to your smart phone.
Why do I recommend this for new mom's? Well, this is when mom's try and get back into shape like myself. I don't always have time for a big workout. But, I can always keep up with what I'm doing to make a difference in my overall health. And lets face it, being healthy is important to me! It was before. It is now. I just have to be a little more strategic about what I'm doing. So, here's to getting back on track AB (After Baby)! I'm not there yet, but I'm getting there! This is just one piece of the puzzle!

Bath Time Blues

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our family lives in a small house by American standards. We use every inch of our 1,200 square foot home. Adding a baby into our space has required a lot of planning. Every purchase that we have made involves the investigation of space saving features. Planning for our little Boo Man's bath tub was no different. I finally settled in on one of the folding tubs by Puj. If you have not heard of these tubs, I highly recommend it. For starters, it can be stored flatly by hanging it up in the shower.

The tub is soft and has large plastic covered magnets that help it fit together well within the sink.

Your baby should fit well until the 18 pound mark. Our man is 16 1/2 pounds and quickly outgrowing it, but it has served it purpose well. I've avoided a large plastic thing that takes up too much space. It is soft and helps to hold the baby well. In my opinion a baby must have. You can purchase or register for this item at most retail stores that carry baby items. I purchased mine at Target. Or, you can purchase one directly from the Puj site. In the coming months, I'll offer more space saving solutions to help you figure out space issues. Even if you have a larger home, baby stuff is big (ironic with such a small person) and takes over your life. Strategic planning will help you keep you sanity and probably save your neck when it comes to tripping over this stuff late in the night when getting up with baby!

How does all the new fit in with the old?

Monday, July 1, 2013

When I found out that we were having a baby, I was elated with all of the new. But, as soon as this all sunk in, I was struggling with where this all fit into my life. Over the fifteen years of marriage, my husband and I seemed to have accumulated 2 lifetimes of 'stuff'. What was I going to do with it all? First, watch Hoarders! After a few episodes of this, you might become convinced you are a hoarder. And, if nothing else, you will most certainly want to clean every room of your house! Immediately! Actually, I started out one room, closet and bookshelf at a time. Soon, we had the process down to a science. Even if you aren't having a baby, you will have a ton of stuff in your house that is not being used! Get rid of it! While we donated a lot of stuff to charity, I sold all of those things that were in good shape and would yield some profit toward the new stuff that we would be filling our house with. I sold new fabric that I had squirreled away for crafts. Yarn that I had bought for knitting but never used went as well. I sold CD's, shoes, clothes, furniture. Pretty soon, I had enough cash to pay for the fabric to decorate the baby's room and the paint we needed. I was pretty proud of this. As we went, I tried to think of how to rearrange things to make room for baby. Kids need a lot of stuff. Even after 9 months, I'm constantly amazed at everything that we have for a baby. But, then again, he's a person - he needs a space in our home too. That is what finally helped me to wrap my head around it. I've been looking at this as stuff, space and me really. Being without a person to be responsible for can develop some selfish habits. And there is nothing wrong with that. But, our son needs space to play and grow and be. As soon as I got over the whole, "look at all of this stuff" deal and began to embrace what all he needs - my life got a whole lot clearer. Sure, I have been focused on him and what he needs since before we ever saw his sweet face. But, it is so much more real when you are living it every day while him, his things and his needs. And I love it. Getting rid of the old didn't just make room for another person. It helped to change the scenery in our home. Our life was changing. It wasn't just us anymore. Those changes took our lives from being the old us to the new us with more stuff and new person. And, we are changing with it. I like the view from here. Some people usher in midlife with a convertible or plastic surgery. I did it with a baby, strollers, a need for a four door car and plastic surgery on the back burner! Shedding the old is a great way to start a new chapter in your life. It can be whatever you choose it to be! Make something great happen with some changes in your life!

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