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!

Postpartum 10 Week Update

So it has now been just about 10 weeks since Hailey girl was born. She is doing really well.  Her hypothyroidism appears to be in control and as of her last appointment last week we are down to monthly endocrinologist appointments instead of every other week.  She is also back on track with growth and weight gain. She's still teeny, but her rate of growth is now on track.

Now that she is on track with weight gain, it's time for me to get on track with weight loss. Pre-pregnancy, I was working out almost daily. About 1-1.5 weeks ago I started really missing my workout routine. I started to workout a few days a week. Nothing crazy, mostly cardio. I started Yoga Booty Ballet routines. These are fun easy workouts that combine cardio and strength. I'm not so into the meditation part of it, but the the routines are fun and light.

I hope to be able to keep this up and build on it in the coming weeks. Next week I go back to work, so I will again be adapting to a new routine. I hope to stick with working out while I make this transition.

As far as weight, I am now at 134 lbs. Pre-pregnancy I was around 120 lbs so I have a little ways to go. So far there has been little progress since the last update at 2.5 weeks, but also little effort so there's really no surprise. Plus, with breastfeeding you can't really decrease your calories too much. Now that I'm back to working out progress should be much faster.

As far as belly size, I'll let the pictures do the talking. This is the picture from last time at 2.5 weeks post partum.

This picture is from today at almost 10 weeks postpartum.

Definitely going in the right direction. Now to make it go a little faster. To get the skin tighter, I have been exfoliating and using a cream from It Works for stretch marks. However, there is only so much you can do. These things take time. I still regularly forget to use the belly bandit... Oh well.

I plan to do the next update in 4 weeks at just under 14 weeks postpartum. I hope to be down another 2-4 lbs by then.

What did you do to lose the baby weight? Do you still have weight to lose?



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Toddlers and Trips: How to Combine the Two

As a toddler mom with several road trips under her belt, there are a few useful tips that I’ve learned that I though I’d share. Especially, with all the pumpkin/apple picking trips coming up, I thought this might be pertinent.

The first tip is about departure time. We have found it best to choose a departure time shortly before lunch. We pack a lunch, pack up the car and head out. As soon as the toddler starts to get cranky, we whip out our packed lunch and eat. This keeps him content a while longer. After lunch is his usual nap time, so we get additional quiet travel time as the short man naps. This process gives you a good several hours of travel time without having to entertain your toddler.

When going on longer trips, we like to plan our route and note interesting locations along the way. We plan breaks in our trip by finding places that only take 1-2 hours to check out, but are perfect for toddlers to get their wiggles out.

While driving, we make up games based on what our toddler is into at the moment. So when he was all about colors, we would point out the colors of the things we passed by. When he's into singing, we have sing-a-longs of his favorite songs. When he's into counting, we count the cars we pass. We also have special toys reserved for when we are out of the house. This makes them more exciting to play with since we don't get to play with them all the time.

While we are not cool enough to have a built in DVD player in our car, we will load a few movies and TV shows onto our iPad as a last resort. The best thing is to be prepared and have several options for your toddler. Toddlers are fickle creatures and can be unpredictable, but coming in prepared is your best bet.

Good luck!!



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T's First Dance Class

Today I brought T to his first dance class. As a dancer, this was a day I was waiting for, for a very long time. It was also my son's first class experience without one of his parents with him. As a family, we are lucky enough that I work days and my husband works part time nights and weekends, so T is able to stay home and not attend day care. His one other class experience was swim class over the summer, but his dad was in the class with him. This time he was on his own.

As a dancer mom, I had mixed emotions. I couldn't wait for his first class, but I was unsure of how he would react. He had watched me teach class numerous times, but now he was the student and mom was going to off with the other moms in the waiting room.

At first he was excited to have space to run around in the dance room, but when class started he wasn't so sure. I stayed in the room at first to see if he'd warm up, but I soon realized he would not be participating if I was there. I took my first opportunity when he was detached from me, to make my getaway.

Conveniently, the dance school has cameras so you can watch your child from the waiting room. I watched as T stood by the door waiting for my return. He was intent on the class however. Soon he edged his way closer to the action. Eventually he stood with the group. By the time it was time to tap at the bar he was ready. Admittedly, he wasn't the best at following directions and was generally facing the opposite way at the bar, but he was participating!! I couldn't be prouder!!

This is especially noteworthy as he is also the youngest kid in the class and the only boy. The class ranges from 2.5-5 and he just turned 2.5 a few weeks ago. All in all i think it was a success. He already attempted to kiss one of the girls and came out of the class saying "T shuffle." What was helpful is that his teacher is one of my closest friends so he didn't feel like everyone was a stranger.

I can't wait until next Saturday to see how he progresses!!

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Pre-mom vs. mom vs. post-mom

Ok so the post-mom part of the title is a bit inaccurate, you never stop being a mom once you become one. I just mean to say post having your kids at home, but for title purposes, that seemed more catchy.

Today, I'd like to talk about why I think it's so important to be a multitasking mom, and it has to do with the 3 phases of a mom's life: pre-mom, mom, and post-mom.

Prior to becoming a mom, we all had lives and ambitions and we had a lot more time to ourselves to pursue whatever we wanted. We probably had jobs and families and all, but for the most part our free time was our own. Pre-T (my son), I worked full time, danced for sports teams, taught dance, took dance classes, was studying for actuary exams, and participating in community theater. When offered a new performance opportunity, I jumped at the chance. If a team practiced 3 times a week plus games, who cared. Dancing was how I enjoyed spending my time.

Now that I have T, guess what, I still enjoy dancing. Not only do I enjoy it, but I still pursue it. Just differently.

I still need to work full time to support the family. But my love for dance didn't stop just because I made a person. The thing about dance is your child rearing years are also your prime dance years. It's not exactly a field that you just jump back in when your kids are grown. Plus it makes me happy. I don't want to wait 18 years to make myself happy. So I adapt.

I still dance for companies and teams, but I choose teams that don't require as many practices. I teach at places that allow me to take my son with me and I specify when I am available to teach. I choose not to teach on weekends so I can have family time and I am available for all those fun weekend events that come up. I also select gigs that only require a few rehearsals, if any.

I make it work because while I love my husband and son and spending time with them, I know I am a better mom when I am feeling fulfilled. I am super lucky to have supportive family and friends as well. My inlaws are always willing to watch T if I have a rehearsal, my husband will bring T to my performances, and the places where I teach allow T to sit in class with me. Without that kind of support, I could never balance it all.

The emotional support is key as well. My husband encourages every endeavor I pursue. He never questions when I say I want to try something. When I decided to try pageants, that meant that our family vacations we're going to be wherever I was competing. My husband just asked when and where. He never questioned or complained or asked me to stop. We make it work.

This has a lot to do with my husbands pursuits as well. My husband works, but he also pursues acting. He understands the need to fulfill the part of yourself that was there pre-kids, so we work with each other so that both of us can pursue our outside interests.

Now back to the 3 stages. While it's important to pursue your interests during parenthood because you will be a happier better person, it's also important for after your kids grow up. If you do nothing for yourself when your kids are growing up, then what do you have when they leave? A lot of time and nothing to do. While it's perfectly acceptable to start trying new things at that point, it's nice to have something that you've maintained throughout.

You're the same person at all three stages. Your goals and dreams and inspirations may change, but you should never stop pursuing them. It's what makes you, you.

Love yourself and make time for yourself. It's one of the most important tasks in your multitasking life!!

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