Exercising with Baby, No Carrier Necessary

Exercising with Baby, No Carrier Necessary

I love exercising. It makes me feel strong and fit. It gives me energy for my day and clears my mind. I usually like to exercise in the morning before the kids get up, but that doesn't always work out. When the baby wakes up early though, that doesn't stop me. I put together this little routine for exercising with baby that both Hailey and I love. We use it whenever she wakes up during my usual exercise time or when we just want to play together!

The Perfect Easter Basket for Your Baby

The Perfect Easter Basket for Your Baby

With Easter just a few weeks away, putting together an Easter basket for the kids is at the forefront of our minds.  For older kids, you can just walk down the aisle of your local pharmacy or discount store, swipe your arm along the shelf, and you have everything you need for your Easter basket.  Babies can be a bit harder since they can't eat the candies and many of the toys may not be appropriate for putting in their mouth.  The following are my picks for Easter baskets for babies. Best of all, everything is available on Amazon, so no leaving the house!!

Snow Day Sidetrack

Snow Day Sidetrack

Due to my crazy schedule/life, I generally write my blog posts the day before they are published. I have long wanted to have a collection of blog posts at the ready for when life happens, but of course life keeps happening, so it hasn't happened. So when a snow day occurred on my usual writing day, my whole schedule got shot in the foot. In a good way. Like I got to spend quality time with the family.  

What Your Baby Needs for Their First Swim Class

If you have been following along on Facebook, you know that both my kids started their new session of swim classes this week. T was returning and Hails took her first class the day she turned 4 months. It may or may not surprise you to know that there are several things you will need if your baby is starting swim class. Instead of just listing it all out, I decided to make a video to explain what you will need and why. Below the video are links to all of the things I mention.

Here are all the items mentioned in the video:

Hailey's Swim Suit from Love Buns

Captain America Swim Trunks (Similar to Tyler's)

Huggies Swim Diaper

Reusable Swim Diaper from I Love Bub

Swim Cap from Splash About

So what did you think? Did you like the video? Would you like for me to continue to include video every once in a while? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Weekend!!



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Language Resources for Babies

Recently I was contacted my Kim Marino, the mama behind For the past 18 years, she has been working doing home based speech and language therapy-with the little ones that just came home from the hospital and are on feeding tubes to school aged children working on cognitive rehabilitation.  Kim has put together various resources for kids and babies to develop their language and cognitive skills.

Kim asked me to try out one of her products, the MY FIRST SOUNDS AND WORDS FLASHCARDS with my little ones.  This is a set of 40 flashcards which target early sounds and words which your baby can say.  As parents, we are always looking for tools to help our children learn and develop.  For me, especially with Hailey's hypothyroidism, we are continually looking for fun ways to develop her brain.  You can read a bit about Hailey's diagnosis here.

The flashcards were sent in a digital file which I printed and laminated.  They include images of everyday items as well as 2 blank ones for you to insert pictures of you and your baby. The images are photo quality and the names are printed below the picture.

At first I was a little skeptical at how much Hails would get out of these based on her age. I mean she just turned 4 months yesterday.  But, I was pleasantly surprised by her reaction.  First off, she loved looking at the pictures on each card.  Then she would giggle at me as I over articulated and emphasized the sound/word on each card.  After a few times playing with these, she is now starting to try to mimic the sounds.  Totally impressive for a 4 month old.

In addition to developing language in my newborn, I also love working on the cards with my 3 year old. With him, he will name the picture or make the sound and we will talk about the letters that we are pronouncing.  He loves to help when showing the cards to Hailey, which makes this a fun learning activity that we can do all together. For example if I pick out the owl card, Tyler will name the animal. Then I ask him what sound the owl makes. Once he responds we will hoo back and forth with Hailey.  Finally I will talk with Tyler about what letter starts the Hoo sound and point it out on the card.

I love that this helps in the learning and development of both my kids even though they are at different stages.  Both kids are entertained and help each other make it a fun activity.  Although Tyler likes to point out to me that Hailey can't talk, he does get pleasantly surprised when she tries to copy our sounds. There is also a bingo game using the same words and images, but we haven't gone too far with that yet.  We have been having far too much fun with the flash cards.

You can go check out the flashcards here.  Feel free to poke around the site and explore the other resources as well.  We give them 2 thumbs up!!



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When Perfect Isn't Perfect

On May 12, 2016 my daughter was born. She was perfect. The doctors said she was perfect each time they checked her out. I saw her and all I saw was perfection. Then 5 days later we got a call from her pediatrician.  

Her doctor told us that the hospital had contacted him with the results of her last blood test. Her TSH levels were very high. He had made an appointment for us for the next morning with an endocrinologist to check her out and let us know how to proceed. I am always a researcher. I have to know all the facts about a situation.  So I fired up my fingertips and did some searching. Based on the limited information we were given, I.e. Elevated TSH levels, I determined that their concern was that Hailey had congenital hypothyroidism. There are a variety of ways that this can manifest. The thyroid can be deformed or in the wrong place or underdeveloped causing it to produce less hormones or no hormones at all. The hormones produced in the thyroid are essential for proper growth and brain development. This is especially important in the first three years of life.

On the bright side, if caught in the first few weeks of life, and properly treated, the child's hormone levels should return to normal and they should develop properly.

So, on Hailey's 6th day of life she saw an endocrinologist, had blood taken, and began taking a pill that she will likely have to take to rest of her life. The endocrinologist stated that based on her levels, it appeared that her thyroid was not producing the T3 and T4 hormones at all. A week later her blood was retested and her hormone levels were already on the rise. Her hormone replacement dosage was modified and another appointment was scheduled for two weeks later.


Tomorrow is her next appointment where they will check her growth and determine if her hormone levels have returned to normal. She feels bigger and stronger, but having the confirmation from the doctor will do amazing things for my peace of mind.

Finding out my perfect baby wasn't perfect was heartbreaking. After being told she was perfect multiple times in the hospital, we felt almost cheated. If we were told immediately we wouldn't have been lulled into this false sense of security. Not knowing if the condition has already had an affect on your baby is also scary. The odds that she will develop normally are good, which is reassuring to the math major in me, but nothing is certain.

On the other hand, treatment is pretty simple. You just take a small pill each day much like a vitamin. Giving the pill to an infant is a bit of a process since you have to crush it, dissolve it in water, and then get her to swallow it. I am well aware that there are much worse conditions. Having seen the affects that diabetes has had on my brother (blindness, amputations, kidney failure, etc.) I know that there are far worse conditions. But as a mom, any health issue with your baby can be overwhelming. Watching her give blood breaks my heart every time. Especially since it involves pricking her heel, then squeezing it multiple times to get the blood out drop by drop.

The conclusion is, at least at this point, is that when perfect isn't perfect, you just get stronger. It doesn't mean you don't feel the concern or worry or fear for your baby, you just learn to look on the bright side and try not to assume the worst. Sometimes I fear I will over analyze her development, but I try to take everything day by day. No matter what happens, she's still perfect in my eyes and in the eyes of her family. She is loved.



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Things to do While Breastfeeding 

When you have a newborn and you choose to breastfeed, you can spend much of your day with a small person attached to your boob. With 8-12 feedings a day clocking in at 20-40 minutes each, this is a lot of time spent sedentary. Here's a list of things you can do while breastfeeding to help pass the time.

1. Talk to your baby - Being in such close proximity, this is great time to chat to your little one. As my 3 year old likes to tell me, they can't talk back, but they can definitely hear you and recognize your voice. Talk to you them about your day. Babies are great listeners.

2. Catch up on TV - You are in one spot for like 30 minutes, prefect time to catch up on your favorite sitcom. You can also split a drama between two feedings.

3. Read a book - For those middle of the night feedings, put on a little nightlight and enjoy a good book. It's quiet, won't disturb anyone, and is a great time to read the latest bestseller.

4. Catch up on social media - You only need one hand to operate your phone right. You can use this time to catch up on Facebook and Instagram and all your other favorite social media sites. Share updates of the baby with friends and family.

5. Write a blog post - You can write a post one handed on your phone while breastfeeding. It may not be as efficient as using 2 hands, but it's a productive way to use your time.

6. Have a sandwich - A sandwich is easy to eat with one hand so you can have it while breastfeeding. What a great time to nourish yourself while you nourish your baby.  Just try not to drop crumbs all over the baby.

7. Read a story to your older kids - It may be hard for your older kids to understand that you can't run around with them while you feed the baby. Have story time with them so you get to have quality time with your older kids and the baby gets to hear the story too. Plus older kids love to help turn the pages!!

What have you done while breastfeeding your child? Share in the comments.

Next week we will be talking post-pregnancy body including stretch marks, fitness, sleep, and belly. See you then!



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Welcome Baby Hailey 

She finally arrived!! At 3:30 in the morning on Thursday, May 12, my water broke. At 2:40 that afternoon, Hailey was born. She was born weighing 6 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long.  Hailey came out loud and proud letting everyone know of her arrival.

Tyler was able to meet his new sister later that evening. He was definitely happy to meet baby Hailey and curious about her. He even got to hold her for the first time. On the the other hand, he is definitely not at all clear on how Hailey got here. I don't mean the details of course. However, he has commented several times that now we have 2 Hailey's, one in my belly and one in person. I'm sure as my belly goes down and with repetition he'll come to understand that there's no Hailey in my belly anymore.

Tyler's confusion about the process didn't start there.  When my water broke Thursday night, I rushed to the bathroom so as to minimize the mess. Shortly thereafter, Tyler emerges from his room with his blue bunny sippy cup. He wants water. He reaches over to hand it to me and I fill it in the sink. As he steps a little closer he steps in the fluid on the floor. He starts crying thinking he peed himself just as I am handing him the water. The water drops only adding to his distress. I try to explain that it's not his fault and he didn't do anything wrong, but he remained upset for a while.

On Saturday when we all arrived back home, Tyler went looking for his toy phone. I asked him who he wanted to call. He said the hospital. So we find his phone and he makes his call. He states into the phone that his bunny water broke and he needs them to fix it. Apparently, this is his interpretation of the events on Thursday night. I love three year olds!!

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for, introducing Hailey Jean!!

We are so excited about Hailey's arrival. Being 6 days late, she did slightly disrupt my school schedule as I missed taking a final exam. However, the professor agreed to allow me to take the exam this week so I am still able to complete the class. Also, summer classes began Monday, so no rest for the weary on that front, but breastfeeding does give me a lot of time to read!!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming on Friday!!



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