Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Video Diary 7312013

I wanted to share my plan for getting back into shape after the baby. I am going to attempt to use the same plan that I used after having Savannah. My goal is to be in great shape by the time I turn thirty in February. I don't have a goal weight or size. I just want to feel good and be as toned as possible without looking like a body builder. 

Ab Workouts

This app makes you watch a twenty minute video before you're able to do any of the work outs. That was kind of irritating but it might be helpful to you. 

Nike Training Club

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this app! There are several workouts to choose from within the different categories. Each workout is broken down into minutes. I like that feature because I can break down the work outs if I'm short on time. You can also try the workouts in the Get Focused category if you need a shorter workout. Those workout target a specific area for about 15 minutes. This app works. Trust me. I  used it after I had Sav and I had some really great results. 

What are some of your favorite ways to workout?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Thing About Parenting That Surprised Me The Most...

*I have received product or compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Today I wanted to take some time to reflect on what surprises me the most about being a Mom. All your life you hear these stories about parenting. You might hear a parent with a new baby talk about the sleepless nights. You might hear a Mom or Dad talk about having to drive around the block all night to get their little one to sleep. Since I grew up with a baby in my home I was pretty familiar with babies. 

What I wanted to talk about today were the little things that have surprised me. The stuff I didn't grow up hearing about. The stories that don't necessarily get told all that often. For starters, I am very surprised at how selfless you become once you become a parent. I've heard this before but no one ever made the degree of selflessness that clear to me. I remember when there was a day when I'd shop and shop and shop. Ever since I became a parent I don't have the desire to buy things the way I did before. Of course I still love trend watching and treating myself to something every now and then but I have to make a conscious effort to shop for myself. I want to do things for myself and take time out for myself but the truth is whenever I do have free time I use it to do something fun with my kids. Being selfless goes far beyond these two examples but you get where I'm going...

I'm also way more cautious than I've ever been in my whole life. I've never been so aware of how to prevent something from happening. Before I had kids I don't remember using sunscreen unless I was at the beach. Now I'm rubbing everyone down before we leave the house and then spraying everyone every two hours while we're out. Since babies have sensitive skin I've already started thinking about rubbing a little diaper rash ointment on Baby M's bottom at night to prevent diaper rash. I would hate for him to have any discomfort. I plan to use Dr. Smith's diaper rash ointment for long car rides and overnight sleeping. We'll be going to the beach in September and I've already started gathering things for water safety and researching baby tents for the beach. These are some of the little things that surprise me about parenting. There are so many little things you'll do just to prevent something else from happening. From choosing the right car seat to finding the perfect beach tent I'm so much more cautious then I ever thought I would be.

Another thing that surprises me about parenting is how much it has made me appreciate my own parents. Before I became a Mom I don't think I ever really thought about how hard it must have been for my parents to raise my brothers and I. I had a great childhood but I'm sure it came with some sacrifice. I think about my parents in a completely different way now. I am so much more understanding. Now I know for sure that everything they did for me (whether I liked it or not) was done out of love and in consideration of my well being. I am so much more appreciative of every time they told me no or changed my curfew. For every Christmas and family vacation. I can definitely get where they were coming from. 

What has surprised you the most about parenting?

Dr. Smith's diaper rash ointment is now available nationwide at Walgreens. Visit the  Dr. Smith's website to find a Walgreens in your area. For a chance to win a $50 Walgreens gift card and a supply of Dr. Smith's diaper rash ointment enter using the widget below.

Friday, July 26, 2013

How to get through the next day after a Sleepless Night...

I can barely keep my eyes open to type this post. That's how sleepy I am. You know how it is with a newborn. They sleep all day and you get minimum sleep at night. This is the part you forget about when you see that positive pregnancy test.

So far this week I think I have gotten maybe a combined total of ten hours of sleep. Yep. You read that right. I think I've slept for about three hours a night this week. Not complaining, just stating the facts. Baby M wakes up every few hours to be fed and changed. That's to be expected. What I didn't expect is for Savannah to start waking up during the night. You remember all the hard work I did to get her to sleep all night after we moved to Texas? Well. This week has been a recurring nightmare of those days.

I think she's a light sleeper like me so she wakes up if she hears the baby crying too loudly. Not only does she wake up but she gets out of bed and comes to check on him. Sweet, right? It wouldn't be if you were me. Last night they were both up for a while and I had this feeling of defeat. They were beating me at my own game. No worries though. I have a game plan that will put an end to all of this night waking. More on that later...

I have been amazed at how easy it's been to still get through the days while I'm past tired. Here are some tips that I've found very useful. Thank you for everyone that made a suggestion via our Facebook page....

~ Stay Busy

As crazy as it sounds staying busy when you're exhausted helps the time fly by. You won't feel as sleepy if your occupied by another task. This is my go-to method for getting through the tired days after a sleepless night. I clean, cook or take the kids out. It helps keep that sluggish feeling at bay until you can actually sleep.

~ Drink lots of water

This may not be true for everyone but drinking ice cold water throughout the day keeps me alert. I have been doing pretty well staying off of caffeine. Caffeine tends to make me feel less energized, or maybe it's the crash from the sugar in a soda. At any rate drinking water has done wonders for my energy level.

~ Sleep while the baby is sleeping

Everyone has heard this. Unfortunately, I've never been a good napper. Napping actually has the opposite effect on me. If you are a person that does well with naps try sleeping when your baby does. Since Sav doesn't take naps anymore I can't sleep during the day, but if you're able to do it GO FOR IT!

~ Don't feel pressured by your checklist

If you're like me you feel the need to get things done during the day. When you're super tired throw that list in the garbage. Take your time getting things done. Ease into your day. Don't rush it. If you can get a load of laundry done, great! If you can't, don't sweat it. Try to keep your day as calm and carefree as possible. Staying in a relaxed state will keep you from exerting more energy. I take the pressure of cooking dinner off of my plate when I'm really tired and it helps me.

~Rest when you can

Try doing some stationary activities with your kids. Read books, color, paint or work on some fine motor skills if they're old enough. If you have a child that will watch a movie throw one on. Even if you can't sleep just sitting and resting does wonders.

I use all of these during the day to help me stay mentally sane after a sleepless night. It's not easy but you can do it. As soon as both kids are asleep at night I go to bed too. A couple hours of sleep is better than no sleep at all.

What are some of your tips for getting through the day after a sleepless night?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Video Diary 7232013

This video is a little bit (or maybe a lot) of a rant. Hopefully it helps someone or maybe it will give you a good laugh. Enjoy! 

What are some of the things you get from strangers while out? Share them in the comments!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Influenster: Lifeway Kefir Review

As part of the Influenster Lifeway Kefir campaign I am testing these products for free, yummy! I was so excited to get invited to review this product line. As you know, I am in the process of slowly getting back in shape so these products are right on time. For this campaign I am sampling the Strawberry Frozen Kefir and the Vanilla and Raspberry flavored Lowfat Kefir Probiotic drinks.

If you're interested in trying Lifeway Kefir products go to their website and sign up for a coupon here. The frozen kefir is to die for!! It is delicious. Savannah loved it so we'll be trying out all the flavors.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Video Diary 7172013

Here is another entry for my video diary. Please be gentle with your comments. I attempted to cook and do this video at the same time. I almost didn't post this video for very ridiculous and shallow reasons but then I reminded myself that I just had a baby and I got over myself.

Oh. And if you've ever wondered what a kitchen looks like in military housing here it is. Florescent overhead lighting, gotta love that! Other than that this is probably the "best" kitchen we've had on a military installation. It's actually pretty spacious compared to what we've had at other duty stations.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Video Diary Entry 7152013

Hope you enjoyed this video!! More to come!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Baby Update: Four Weeks Old

Time is flying. I have always said if you want to pass time quickly have a baby. I can not believe my son will be four weeks old tomorrow. Whoa. I thought it would be nice to share how we're doing. I think I am adjusting like any other woman with a newborn. I'm tired and still riding on what little adrenaline I have left. Things have been going pretty smooth for the most part and I am very thankful for that.

Our sleep pattern has been pretty normal. He wakes up about every three hours to eat and be changed. He normally goes right back to sleep after being nursed. We have been doing a mix of co-sleeping and putting him in his crib. It just depends on how tired I am. Please spare me any lectures on co-sleeping. I am not interested in them. Baby M will eventually sleep in his crib every night. When he starts having longer stretches of sleep he'll make a permanent move to his room. He sleeps in his bed during the day for naps so I'm not too concerned about the move. I didn't co-sleep with Savannah but then again I wasn't as tired then as I am now.

Breastfeeding is still going well. Between nursing and pumping I'm a little milk machine. Love that. We've been able to go on a couple play dates and are slowly getting back into the swing of things. I am hoping to get better about taking both of them out by myself. I never knew how much goes in to taking two small children out for errands or an activity. It's been a learning experience. And I am still learning.

I'm going to start working exercise back in to my routine this weekend. I'll keep you posted on how that  goes. I don't own a scale so I'm not sure where I am in terms of weight since giving birth. I'm looking forward to getting in incredible shape. My plan was to be in amazing shape before my thirtieth birthday in February and I plan to accomplish that goal. Watch me work. We'll be talking a lot about fitness in the coming months. 

What was your first month like after baby? Is it all a big blur?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Vacation Tips for the Family

5 Tips for a Summer Vacation Every Family Can Enjoy

Between the planning, packing, and getting everyone else ready, family vacations can get a little stressful before the trip even begins. However, with the right preparations, every family trip can be smooth sailing and stress free. The key, as in all matters of motherhood, is to plan ahead, but not over-plan so much that you have to hand out a daily newsletter.  

• Tip 1: A family travels on its belly.  The key to avoiding cranky kids (and parents) is to make sure everyone is eating frequently and eating the right things.  Plan ahead by packing portable snacks like pretzels and fruit.  This will help avoid some impulse buys and too many sugary snacks along the way. Even if you have to take stops and grab something on-the-go you should still make healthy fast food decisions to avoid the repercussions later!

• Tip 2: The next key to a successful family vacation in making sure everyone gets enough rest.  This may mean paying a little bit more, but it is more than worth it in the end.  Typical family destinations, such as many Orlando hotels, are rife with family-friendly packages (including quiet hours policies!)  However, if you are traveling more off the beaten path, be sure to pick lodging that is not too low-budget.  While the cost may seem too good to resist while you are planning, it is all for naught if your room faces the pool bar someplace with no quiet hours.

• Tip 3: Don’t forget the hand sanitizer.  What mom worth her weight would travel without it?  You bought it and packed it, now don’t forget to use it.  Did you know airplanes don’t get a real thorough cleaning until their last stop of the day?  If your flight leaves at 4:00pm, then that plane has been a sort of germ incubator all day.  Don’t be paranoid, but be prepared.

• Tip 4: All the good done for our spirits while we are on vacation can be undone so easily with a bad “reentry” into real life.  Consider coming home a day earlier.  Let the whole family rest, sleep well and eat a couple normal meals before having to get back to school and work.

• Tip 5: Finally, remember to take some grown-up time.  Take turns with the kids to give each other some alone time or get a bottle of wine and some plastic glasses to enjoy on the hotel balcony after the kids pass out.  

So, after all the prep work is done, remember the most important rule of family vacations: slow down and enjoy the time together!  (That and use lots of sunscreen.  That’s one of the most important rules too, of course.)  

*This post was written by Kendra, former Orbitz Director of Communications and promoted into full time position in the care of Motherhood.

Coming Soon on the Blog...

Alright. I am not going to pretend like I have TONS of time but I wanted to mention some of the fun things that I'll be doing around here. Once I completely get my life back together and find a regular routine I'll be back to posting several times a week. 

I also will be adding a radio talk show via blog talk radio to the site. The show will be live on Sunday evenings. Right now I only plan to do fifteen minute shows. I want to get a feel for how it goes and see what the interest level is before I try to grow the show. As you might remember I went to school for broadcast journalism and I worked for a radio station while in college so I'm pretty excited about this new endeavor. I'd like to thank my girl over at Baby Teems for giving me the idea to expand my blog in this way. Hopefully I can talk her into being a guest on the show!

Of course I'll continue to write about my experience as a mother and stay at home Mom of two. Going from one to two has been a huge adjustment. I'll be writing about that soon. Is there anything else you want to see here on the blog? I've been asked to talk more about my marriage and relationship with my husband. I may do that but I'll have to do it in a way that feels natural for me. 

As always thank you for the support of my blog! Oh. And if you're a blogger I'll be getting back to reading and commenting this week too!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Baby Boy's Birth Story Part III

I feel like it's been forever since I've done a new post. It's been a very busy couple weeks. If you've had a baby you know what I'm talking about. Between the not sleeping, breastfeeding, pumping and trying to find a new rhythm it's been crazy. Luckily, my Mom was able to come spend a couple weeks with us and my husband was on paternity leave so it wasn't too bad. I'm hoping to get back to posting regularly in the coming week. 

Our first couple weeks have been pretty great. Baby M is such a good baby. Like most newborns all he does is eat and sleep. We've been able to go on several family outings which has kept Savannah's life very normal. Baby M's newborn and two week check up both went very well. He's gained weight and is growing so fast. He looks so different now. It's amazing how fast they change and grow.

I know I mentioned on the blog before that I was a little nervous about breastfeeding this time around. My milk supply with Sav was never enough to feed and pump to build a stash for the freezer. This time around I have more than enough milk. I could probably feed my baby and a few others. My husband jokes that we should stop buying milk and the whole family should switch to breast milk to save a few bucks. He's funny. I don't know if I'd actually do that but at least Baby M has plenty of milk ready when he needs it. I'm just so happy that I'm having a better experience with my supply this time around. Praise God from whom all breast milk flows!

Sleeping has been a little tough. Due to all the cuddling he got while everyone was here I believe he's already figured out that he doesn't want to sleep in his own bed. Y'all already know how I feel about the sleeping situation. I will start sleep training as soon as my husband permanently goes back to work. I'm not too concerned about training him since he's still so new to the world. 

I haven't done an outing by myself with both kids yet but I'll be sure to let you all know how that works out for me. I'm sure it will be entertaining if nothing else. I haven't started doing any serious exercising yet. I'm waiting until I've been officially cleared by the doctor. My appointment is in August. Until then I plan to go for walks when I can and stay as active as possible. It's so important to keep moving after a C-Section. I hope everyone is enjoying their Independence Day!