Lullabelay: Belay On, Baby!

WARNING: THIS PRODUCT IS NOT FOR CLOSED MINDED, JUDGEMENTAL, OR SANCTI-MOMMIES. THIS PRODUCT IS INTENDED FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO FIND A BETTER SOLUTION TO COMMON, EVERYDAY STRUGGLES.

I’m proud to introduce you to the most AMAZEBALLS baby product to hit shelves since the sippy cup! Meet the Lullabelay!

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Why yes, that is an infant hanging from a shopping cart. This mother said she usually has to wear the baby in a sling/wrap and sit the older sibling in the cart, which makes it difficult for her to shop comfortable because, let’s face it, grocery shopping is tedious enough without a 12lb baby attached to your body. She says she loves wearing her baby, but it makes shopping difficult because she has trouble bending over, reaching up, lifting things, and doing other tasks without worrying about the safety of her baby.

Other issues moms run into? Napping infant! How many times have you loaded a wide awake, playful infant into their carseat only to find them dead to the world once you arrived at the store? Suck! You think to yourself, “There’s no way in hell I’m going to get tis baby into the slin or cart hammock without waking it up and he hasn’t napped this hard in a while”. Enter the Lullabelay!

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It’s SUPER easy to use and comes with a carrying case for your car, diaper bag, or purse.

Simply unclick the carseat from it’s base and cover it with the mesh canopy provided.

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Hold sibling’s hand with one hand, the carseat with the other, and grab a shopping cart.

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Clasp the silver belays onto the sides of the cart to distribute the weight evenly.

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Clasp the red belay under the canopy or the carseat handle.

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Use the adjusters to lift and tighten the straps so baby rests comfortably at a height you like.

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Go shop!

I hear you saying…

“I’d bump my legs on the carseat the whole time I was shopping!”

Nope, this wasn’t even an issue. Mom shopped at a regular pace and didn’t bump her legs. When you push the cart ahead at half-to-arms length, there’s no way you’d bump your legs!

“The baby is just hanging there?!”

Yes, the baby is hanging there suspended by metal clasps that were originally engineered to suspend hanggliders and mountain climbers from ropes 40 feet in the air; the same clasps that 150lb man relies on when he’s ziplining through the amazon.

“What is the carseat falls or the cart tips?”

You’re right, the thought that the cart might tip never occurred to the safety experts in the big government office, whose sole job is to test products for safety in all possible instances. C’mon, gimme a break! This product was tested and approved! The way it’s designed and the way the weight is evenly distributed on the shopping cart prevents tipping over.

And, keep in mind that the carseat the child is in was designed to protect the baby in the event  of an automobile crash at 75 mph! Even IF the carseat did fall (a mere 3 inches), baby probably wouldn’t even wake up.

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This product is perfect for moms with a baby and a toddler or older child (or several), but it’s also perfect for twin moms! Lay one baby in a cart hammock, or wear one baby, and have the other in the carseat.

This is even great for moms who only have one baby, but want to utilize the entire cart for space OR perhaps they just want some where to set their purse or diaper bag.

I WANT ONE! I WANT ONE! I WANT ONE!

Get the Lullabelay HERE NOW!

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Fit Pregnancy: MILF-to-Be

Here’s me yesterday at my doctor’s appointment, “So, Dr. Yium, am I being paranoid or is my weight gain coming on too fast?” In an attempt not to send me into mom-to-be despair she kindly replied, “Well, yeah, but remember there’s two of them AND they’re growing a few weeks ahead of schedule”. 

Hmmmm….so…you’re still saying I’ve gained too much too fast? I’m 17 weeks and I’ve put on 13lbs so far. Twin books tell you to gain 1lb to 2lbs a week during your pregnancy but by the end of this journey that’s either 40lbs or 80lbs! Um…I’m not planning on gaining 80lbs! I’m aiming for a total of 30-40lbs tops with these two so I gotta slow this gain-train down!

Here are some things I’m planning to do, which you can implement as well.

EATING

Yes, I’ve been advised to eat 140 grams of protein a day, but that’s like eating 6-7 steaks a day! That’s not happening! Instead, I’m fitting in protein in throughout the day via eggs and ham in the morning, yogurt, babybel cheese with fruit, almond butter & jelly sandwiches at lunch and protein at dinner with ground beef, chicken, steak, or fish. I’ve been a cereal junkie this pregnancy, but I’ve been using almond milk and drinking it when I’m done for added protein and calcium.

I snack on fruits such as apples, plums, cherries, strawberries, and pineapple throughout the day and I eat a salad (loaded with colorful veggies) or sauteed spinach each night. Gotta get that iron amd folic acid in! PS: Don’t waste your energy or stomach space with iceberg lettuce- it has zero, zip, zilch nutrients.

Eating at home as often as you can and packing snacks when you leave the house are real waist savers. When you HAVE to eat out, try to choose high protein, high nutition content when you can. My vices have always been pizza and Taco Bell and I’ll be damned if I turn down those things when opportunity arises. Life’s too short!

FITNESS

Given my history of trying to get pregnant I was WAY cautious regarding working out once we found out we were pregnant. Even though running when you’re already a runner is considered safe for most people, I didn’t consider myself “most” people. I did yoga, light walking, the stationary bike, and lifted 8lb free weights the first 12 weeks.

Then, around 14 weeks, I got the green light for returning to usual activities. Now, I try to brisk walk 1-2 times a week uphill/downhill, prenatal yoga or hatha yoga once a week, zumba 2-3 times a week and usually one day of “active” rest.

Add workouts into your daily schedule like you do meetings and other obligations, but take into account your tired periods. For me, afternoons are rough energy wise so even if I have a free afternoon, I usually choose to nap instead and then schedule my workout for the early evening. Know your pregnant self and respect it.

Here’s this week for me: 

Monday: Brisk walk neighborhood greenbelt

Tuesday: Bike/Elliptical at gym, light arm weights, lunges & squats

Wednesday: SUP (standup paddle board) and prenatal yoga

Thursday: ZUMBA

Friday: walk Town Lake Trail, light arm weights at home, standing crunches

Saturday: ZUMBA

Sunday: sit on your ass happily

My schedule is WONKY and varies according to my work schedule and other priorities that week, but I try to look at the week ahead each Sunday and add my workouts to my calendar in advance. That way, I won’t accidentally schedule anything over a workout.

I weigh myself every morning for consistency, but I also take into account that some days I’ll be a bit higher in weight due to low water or not enough fiber the day before. Be patient with yourself and accept that everyone gains weight differently during pregnancy. Everything happening to your body is beautiful and such a blessing. Focus on health, serenity, and the strength you feel creating new life.

Stay gold, 

That Girl

 

Getting Back into Work Mode

The only word I can really use to describe my every day at the moment is “busy”. I feel like I have something I HAVE to do every single day…oh how I miss my summer already! Not that my summer was as relaxing as they used to be…lounging by the pool, sleeping in till 10 (at the earliest), trying new restaurants, seeing all the new movies, etc. etc. Nope, Caden changed all that didn’t he? BUT, this summer was much more substantial…every second truly counted because I was soaking up every bit of baby that I could. I am SO thankful I will always get every holiday & summer off to spend with my little one(s) (#teacherperk), but it also makes going back SO much harder. I get so spoiled during all that time off…Nate has to practically drag me to my car every Monday morning while I kick & scream the whole way.

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Last day of summer on the lake!

Even though it is extremely tough going to work and it never gets easier…I am proud and happy to be a working mama. I love that Caden gets to hang out with his Nana or his Daddy on the days that I’m at work…not many kids get to spend as much time with those two important people in their lives…Caden has no idea how lucky he is, but one day he’ll appreciate it. I love that I set a good example for my son, showing him that I can work all day and still come and re-boot my energy so it’s all for him. I love that Nate and I can still have our “wants” that makes us happy like our TV show addictions, “fun” money, and frequently dining out.

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“Daddy Day-Care”

Do I randomly feel tears well up in my eyes when I am driving to work? Yes, I do…especially those dreaded Mondays. But, I have 22 adoring faces smiling at me all day long…I get to take care of someone else’s babies while their mamas are missing them too. Someone has to do it right? Just like our pediatricians, hair stylists, first responders, doctors, reporters, etc. Everyone is missing someone when they’re at work. And what would we do without those mommies and daddies who left their littles too? I know I’m not the first person to have to leave my sweet baby for a few hours a day, and I don’t pretend that I am.

How lucky am I to have this perfect boy waiting for me every day? I know Caden can feel my love for him whether I’m sitting right next to him or we’re miles apart. I know that he can somehow tell how important he is to me. I love that the time we get together every night and weekend is even more purposeful and valuable to us. At the end of the day, when I get to come home and see that ear-to-ear smile…there’s nothing like it.

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The First Trimester

So, I’m almost 15 weeks into my pregnancy and I figured there’s probably alot of people wondering how things are going. In fact, I KNOW there’s alot of people wondering because I get a text, phone call, email, or facebook message asking about the twins every few minutes, lol! Don’t worry…I LOVE it!

For 3+ years when people reached out it was with a sad smiley and a pitiful, “How are you coping?” because it was always our let downs, disappointments, and fertility struggles people wanted updates on. But now, because of a LOT of prayer and faith, it’s my twins!

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Now, given that we traveled to Hell in our underwear just trying to have these kids, I swore I’d never complain about pregnancy, my babies, or anything regarding that area of my life. In fact, I’ve laughed after vomiting, smiled as I fell asleep for my 3hr afternoon nap, and calmly told people “No, I can’t do that because I need to rest my body”, which is very unlike me.

Do I miss wine? Hell yes!

Do I miss coffee? Hell yes!

Was I sad I couldn’t cliff jump while visiting in Arkansas? Of course!

But, I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for these babies and for any of you mamas out there still trying to conceive, do NOT give up!

We conceived on my birthday, June 7 at 12:00pm.

I found out I was pregnant on June 21, Father’s Day and text my husband a picture of the + sign with a message that said, “Happy Father’s Day!”

We found out they were twins a few weeks later during a tearful ultrasound where I had begged God to at least let me hear a heartbeat. He let me hear two! I nearly came off the table crying tears of joy.

My mom and I celebrating my release from Texas Fertility Center!

My mom and I celebrating my release from Texas Fertility Center!

I felt SUPER for the next week or so, but then I traveled to Los Angeles for work and nausea took over. Suddenly nothing but bean & cheese tacos, yogurt, or bread & butter were appealing to me. I ate when I could, but for a few days I kept NOTHING down! All food found its way out, one way or another.

I discovered that taking my advanced prenatals (6 pills a day) at night seemed to help IMMENSELY and eating every 1.5-2 hrs worked like a charm too. Once I discovered that, I was able to eat yogurt, cottage cheese, avocado with olive oil, berries, watermelon (lots of watermelon), oatmeal, and protein shakes. Wheatgrass shots also helped me get nutrients in quickly.

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Before I got pregnant I imagined myself eating high protein and superfoods, but protein is really what made my stomach flip! Eggs, chicken, sausage, ham, ground beef, and definitely turkey made me so sick I wanted to punch the person who mentioned it. The rule around me was “Do NOT talk about food. Order it. Eat it. Move on.”

After about two weeks of that I felt fine again, although I was incredibly lethargic. I’d sleep from 8/9:00 at night until about 7:30/8:00 in the morning. I had ZERO energy at work, no energy for working out or doing anything after work and I’d come home to take a nap for 2-3 hrs just to get through the evening. My friends told me this was a normal sign of pregnancy, but I’d never heard of anyone being THAT tired. Turns out, these sweet chunks o’ love were sucking me dry of iron. I didn’t even realize that low iron meant lethargy, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

After getting my iron supplement I started feeling like a rockstar again! I’m eating eggs, steak, fruits and veggies, yogurt, orange juice, cheeses, and drinking a gallon of water a day! I’m doing zumba 2 days a week (with less intensity of course), doing prenatal yoga, and walking or riding the recumbant bike. I’m only sleeping 9-10 hours a night now and I don’t need an afternoon nap.

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I’ve gained 8 proud pounds and I’ve got enough of a belly that I made an “I’m Too Fat for That” box of clothes in my closet and traded skinny jeans for maternity jeans. The pregnancy glow is actually the jar of sweet almond oil I wear daily after dry brushing my body to avoid stretch marks, and my teeth are whiter from My Magic Mud, my pregnancy safe teeth whitener.

I worked hard to get here and I plan to rock this pregnancy, rock the birth, and rock motherhood!

Stay gold Ponyboy, 

That Girl

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Unnecessary Crutches for Babies & Kids

Being a former Child Life Specialist and currently a Love & Logic facilitator, I’m a bit of a tough love advocate. Now, I’m definitely not one for “cry it out”, nor will I tell a toddler to “suck it up” when they’re upset, but these days it seems like we’re unconciously raising a bunch of weenies by offering all sorts of crutches to cope with life’s struggles. Here are a few that I deem totally unnecessary.

1. The Wipes Warmer

  1. Puh-leeze! Please don’t take offense to this is you have one, but let’s give kids a fighting chance. Yes, the chemical soaked wipes are cold, but they touch your heiny for a nanosecond before we’re either done or they’ve warmed up against your hot baby skin.

 

  1. The Safeheads Helmet

This one kid of cracks me up! I discovered this little “gem” on instagram and thought, “How will kids learn to be careful and watch what they’re doing if they’re raised in a bubble?” This is a helmet you put on your child the moment they start crawling or walking to avoid head bumps and bruises. Do I want kids to get concussions or need stitches as tots? No! but, do I think a little head bump or a tumble from time to time is good for their overall growth and development? Yes!

I once nannied for an 11 month old who constantly bumped his head, fell over backwards and tripped over his own feet. He always had scratches, black eyes, or bruises and his mother said something so wise, “I just figure that’s how a new walker is supposed to look?” She’s right!

3. Bottle Warmer (past infancy)

Warmed/Heated milk is best for baby to consume in their early days because it’s easier to digest, soothing, and easy on tummies; however, if you find yourself heating baby’s milk after a certain point (say 1 year!) you’re conditioning the child to need heated milk. Then what are you going to do when you’re out and about and you have to buy bottled water to help you put the formula together and there’s no way to heat it anywhere in sight? Yikes!

Photo credit: Ipadinsight.com There’s something very disturbing about this image!

4. Ipads

I’m amazed with how early I see parents using Ipads, Leapfrogs and other electronic devices to “entertain” their kids, i.e. keep them occupied during mealtimes. Does this help once they’re toddlers? Absolutely! But, should a nine month old be staring at a light up screen to get through their food pouch? No. This is definitely a crutch used by parents that’s not for the child’s best interest.

5. The Beck and Call Parent

I’m an advocate of attachment parenting, which means responding to your baby’s cues. Keeping baby/toddler close and meeting their needs at the ready has been proven to raise responsible, confident, secure children. That being said, I know a whole camp of parents who consistently find themselves running up to the day care f school to bring forgotten lunches, homework, coats, PE shoes, sunglasses, snacks, etc. Being this parent makes you the crutch that stifles child’s growth towards maturity and self-responsibility.

A parent who always REMEMBERS, has a

Let’s take a step back and evaluate our choices regarding our young children. Are we being good parents by removing all potential obstacles and any, and all, experiences where they may feel hurt, frustration, disappointment? If so, we’re robbing them of the opportunity to learn that sometimes life is hard and we have to develop coping skills, be it physically or emotionally, to cope with life’s struggles.

Stay gold Ponyboy, 

That Girl