Tall Mom tiny baby: March 2014
                                                                                           

Making Attainable Fitness Goals

Friday, March 28, 2014

The weather is finally getting warmer, and I’m so excited I could almost die. Almost. My dry-weather running shoes have been sitting, crying in the closet without me to pound the pavement with them. It’s time to get them back out. After I’ve been cooped up mostly inside for the end of fall and all winter, I tend to go a little crazy once spring arrives. But to get myself going and not burn out too quickly, I am going to set reasonable goals and enjoy the results.

Setting Goals. I think it’s important to set a wide variety of goals that are not just related to weight loss. After all, there will be weeks when the scale does not budge an inch. I generally prefer to set my goals related to improving speed, distance, endurance or increases in weight. With those goals, the weight loss usually comes along. I break the goals into pieces to make them easier to achieve. For example, if I want to double the amount of weight I’m lifting, I will go slowly. It would be dangerous to jump right from 50 to 100 lbs. So I’ll do 50 lbs four or five times, then try 55 or 60 lbs. And before I know it, I’ll have made my long-term goal.

Keeping Motivated. It’s pretty easy to stay motivated in the first week or two of a new workout regimen. Sometimes I can barely move the next day, but I feel sassy and strong. I’m breaking out of my routine and feel like an exercise goddess. Then I get complacent, or worse, disappointed that I’m not seeing immediate progress in my strength or endurance, like I did at the beginning. I recently started using the Nike Fuel Band to keep track of my activity. I’m still figuring out how it works (syncing it to my phone, etc.), but so far I love it and it helps give me that extra push on days when I need it.

Helpful Tools. If I had to choose one thing for my workouts that I really could not live without, it is my smartphone. OMG, it has everything. It cannot lift weights for me, of course. But I can use any one of hundreds of apps to find workouts that are perfect for my goals. I can track my progress and even interact with others who are looking to achieve the same ends. Besides the phone, I love portable fitness equipment. My newest purchase was a set of pull up assist bands. I got them from Beachbody.com after reading all the good reviews. They can be used just about anywhere, and are not only for pull-ups. I can stuff them in my pocket, run a mile or three, then do some resistance training and run home. They are especially useful when traveling since they can fit just about anywhere.

Reasonable Rewards. There are points when achieving goals just isn’t enough for me. That’s when I bring out the big guns. I pick a prize that I am dying for that will motivate me to do even more. I currently have my eyes on these. The hard part will be deciding which color combo I want!

This winter has beaten me down a little, and I am so ready to spend a lot more time outside. But I’m not going to let my excitement run completely out of control. I will create attainable goals that will allow me to keep my motivation, use the tools available to me and find some rewards that will keep me going.

Swing Into Spring

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Even though winter decided to stick around a little bit longer than we had hoped here in New England, I'm still making sure to take my tiny baby outside to get some fresh air. His favorite activity right now is going on the baby swing! He could sit in that swing for a half-hour, happily watching the older toddlers play around on the rest of the playground. I absolutely love this age!

Dealing With Allergy Issues When You Are Breastfeeding #WellAtWalgreens #shop

Monday, March 24, 2014

disclosure
April Showers are about come our way, and with that means tons of flowers. Tons of flowers naturally means allergy season will be setting in as well. I have my fair share of allergy issues, and recently Tall Dad has had a bit of a stuffy nose. Because I am still breastfeeding Itty Bitty, my allergy medicine and recommended vitamins are a bit different than Tall Dad's - so I went out and purchased a whole bunch of goods to help make our Family Allergy Kit!
well at walgreens, walgreens, allergy season breastfeeding medicine
I went on over to our local Walgreens to start gathering the items for our allergy issues. #WellAtWalgreens products are buy one get one 50% off in March - and I don't know about you, but I could really use some extra money in my wallet about now. Plus, one of the reasons that I love shopping at Walgreens is due to their Way to Well Commitment, where through December of this year, the company will bring preventative wellness services to local communities!
well at walgreens, walgreens, allergy season breastfeeding medicine
The first person I needed to #shop for was Tall Dad. I grabbed a box of Wal-tin and WalZyr - they are the #WellAtWalgreens brands, so we saved some money! This should keep him sniffle free, which is super important because he works around food, and the last thing he needs to be doing is sneezing all over the place!
well at walgreens, walgreens, allergy season medicine
Next up, I needed to gather items for Itty Bitty. Now, I don't know if he has allergies, but if he's anything like me, he's going to be a snotty mess this spring. Since he's only eleven months old, he isn't allowed to be taking spring allergy medicine. So, in the mean time, my goal is to keep his nasal passages squeaky clean! To do that, I'll need saline spray as well as a humidifier to keep the air nice and moist.

Last, but certainly not least, it was time to shop for yours truly. The layers of pollen and flower lined streets of Rhode Island are going to be incredibly difficult for me this spring if I don't take preventative measures. Usually I would take the same medicine as Tall Dad, but since I'm still breastfeeding, I need to play it safer and take a more minimalist approach. Here are the seasonal allergy tips that my doctor gave me:
well at walgreens, walgreens, allergy season breastfeeding medicine-Drink lots and lots of water to help keep you hydrated
-Use a humidifier or saline spray
-If you have a sore throat or a cough, take zinc gluconate lozenges
-Gargle with chamomile tea (and heck, you can drink that as well!)
-Short acting medications are recommended over the long-acting varieties (ie the 4 or 6 hour instead of 24 hour dose)
-Take medication right AFTER you nurse
-Keep up with your recommended vitamins during allergy season

No matter what, you'll want to talk with your doctor to see what he or she recommends is best for you and your baby.

Here's what I bought for myself:
well at walgreens, walgreens, allergy season breastfeeding medicine
Some water, saline spray bottle, chamomile tea, zinc gluconate lozenges, mini packets of kleenex, and some super cute chap stick because my lips always get super chapped during allergy season.

So there you have it! My whole family is ready to tackle allergy season! Bring it on spring, we're ready :)


What do you use to fight allergies?
#CollectiveBias

Sesame Street Elmo Makes Music PPAC #Giveaway

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Do you or a little loved one enjoy Seasame a Street and Elmo? Well the whole gang is coming to the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) Friday April 4 through Sunday, April 6. Tickets are available at PPAC's website, and you can also enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post for a family four pack!
Mark your calendar for a musical event like no other—monsters making music! Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and all their Sesame Street friends are taking to the stage to share their love of music in Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music” at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC.)

Jenny, an enthusiastic new music teacher, arrives on Sesame Street only to discover that her instruments are missing. Jenny’s new Muppet friends quickly come to the rescue and discover ‘instruments’ they never knew existed…rubber duckies, trash can lids and even cookie jars. Elmo, Abby Cadabby and friends teach children that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together.

Like television’s Sesame Street, each Sesame Street Live production features timeless lessons for all ages. Through the razzle-dazzle of this Broadway-quality musical production, children learn about patience, acceptance and teamwork. The universal appeal of a Sesame Street Live production continues long after preschool. Adults will appreciate the high-tech stagecraft, cleverly written scripts, and music they’ll recognize and enjoy sharing with children, such as “The Hustle,” “You Should Be Dancing” and “Rockin’ Robin.” “Elmo Makes Music” features nearly two dozen songs, including classics that children will love to sing along with such as “C Is for Cookie” and “The Alphabet Song.”
​For more information or to charge tickets by phone, please call PPAC Box Office at 401-421-2787. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ppacri.org. For information online, please visit www.sesamestreetlive.com. Become a fan of Sesame Street Live on Facebook and a fan of PPAC on Facebook.

Enter below for a family four pack to see Sesame Street Live -  Elmo Makes Music !
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10 Reasons Why We Love East Side Music Together Baby And Mom Class

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Episode 5 of ParentCast (Tall Dad and my new podcast,) is as all about babies and music.  We were able to interview the super talented Jennifer Romanat - owner and teacher of East Side Music Together. She's a dynamite educator, and I already gushed about how much fun her baby music class is over in this post. Itty Bitty and I took things to the next level and tried out her 0-5 month old Music Together class, and I have to be honest with you guys.

It has become the highlight of my week.
Why? Well, I've decided to come up with a top 10 List as to why I love East Side Music Together
10. The music doesn't make me nauseous. 

Musical light up baby toys are clutch and sometimes save the day, but more often than not, these devices also drive parents literally INSANE. If I have to hear Twinkle Twinkle, or Red Is Rojo sung by an electronic device again, I honestly might be chucking that brightly colored object out the window. 

East Side Music Together sends you home on your first day with a whole kit including a music book as well as 2 CD's chock full of awesome songs.  They are fun, and not the same old songs you listen to day in and day out. 

Sure, some have the singer barking like a dog on pitch (which drives Tall Dad bonkers), or singing about rolling a ball around, but others are so fun that you can roll the windows down and rock out to your bad self without fear of being judged by those next to you.  (Well, for the most part :-))

Plus, each eight week session rotates, so if you sign up for another 8 weeks, you get a whole new slew of songs and CD's. Hallejluah!

9. I can actually play and sing this music!

The melodies are simple, and reside within a singable range. You don't need to be Julie Andrews or Mariah Carey. You just need to be you.

I also love playing these songs. 

Okay, so not everyone is a musician. I get it.  But these songs are relatively easy, that if you DID want to take up an instrument, you could purchase a relatively inexpensive ukulele, learn 4 chords, and be able to play 90% of the songs.  Look at you rock star. You're like the next Beatle.

8. Move at your own pace

So, fine, maybe you're not ready to be the next John Lennon. You're not into rocking out with your windows down, and belting tunes while you drive down 95. Don't fret. Jennifer lets you learn and participate at your own speed. If you or your child is more of an observer, then sit and observe. There's no judging. It's all about enjoying the class, however that best suits you.

I like to live life to it's fullest, so I'm that mom singing, dancing, and possibly adding some harmonies to the songs during class. Tall Dad is more of a quiet singer, but enjoys doing more of the movement with Itty Bitty.

Whatever floats your boat! Just have fun!

7. I get to dance, and be silly, without a care in the world.

So to piggy-back off of number eight, I LOVE that I can be carefree.  Even though there is a whole class of people there, we are all in our own worlds, enjoying the smiles on our children's faces. I am carefree, and have an hour of straght fun and giggles. It honestly makes me feel like a kid again. We all could use more time like that! 

6.  I meet more parents, and know them by name

This may sound silly, specifically if you don't have a kid, but oftentimes when I meet new parents I refer to them as "Tommy's mom", or "Sarah's dad." I have absolutely no clue what these adults are named.

Well, East Side Music Together classes start off with a hello song, where everyone around the room introduces themselves, and their children. It's awesome! I actually know these peoples names! Game changer for sure!

4.  I am able to see what Itty Bitty might be like in a few months or a couple of years. 
The East Side Music Together Classes are designed for 0-5 year olds, so its a nice mix.  I'm able to glance around the room and get a good idea when Itty Bitty might be walking, dancing, and playing with the more complicated instruments.  It's great to see a wide variety of ages. I leave appreciating, and loving, his crrent age, but I'm  also excited to see him be able to do even more when he grows up a bit.

3. Seeing families with more than one kid...gives me hope.

I used to dream about having a bagillion kids. Seriously. I wanted to be like the little old lady that lives in the shoe. But then I had Itty Bitty, who had colic for 6.5 months, and still doesn't enjoy sleeping through the night. Tall Dad and I occasionally talk about having only one kid.

But then there's that ache in my heart that knows I might want at least one more. To which, the little devil on my shoulder yells - "Are you kidding me? How would you EVER be able to juggle two kids?"

Then, I see them -these rock-star moms and dads at East Side Music Together doing just that - juggling!  They have two kids, however many months or years apart, and they are rocking it!  I watch how they give each child individual attention, are able to combat mini tantrums, but also how the kids are able to play with one another, and keep each other busy. These parents look just as tired as me, and they take about 2 more minutes to get their kids dressed after class, but they can do it.  

They give me hope.  Sure, it's not something we are even thinking about venturing in for the time being, but I at least know that we could have another and be able to manage.  I just may have to sign up for multiple days of Music Together to tire the kids out each day!

2. Itty Bitty mimics older kids

I thoroughly enjoyed our initial babies-only class. It was so nice to meet other parents of babies in the same age, and enjoy our squishy squirmy newborn babies.  But now that Itty Bitty is bigger and wants to play, I love having him in the mixed ages class. I would suggest it for any baby who is able to sit unassisted. Honestly. They watch the big kids dance sing and play, and are encouraged to do so themselves.  Plus, the big kids get a kick out of seeing the babies.  

One boy, who's probably a year older than Itty Bitty, loves to give him high fives each class. Other kids come over and share their musical instruments with him.  

Itty Bitty learned how to hit rhythm sticks together properly by watching these kids, and also started belly dancing during East Side Music Together classes while he watched other kids dance around. I truly believe having him see other children of various ages is helping him learn in ways that wouldn't be accomplished by having him at home with just me or a baby his age. 

1. Quality bonding time
My top reason for why East Side Music Together Rocks is because it is an invaluable bonding time for myself and my child. I get to see him learn and shine, and he is able to enjoy something WITH me. I'm not distracted by dishes or laundry. We aren't worried about naps or feedings. We just get to have fun for an hour and enjoy one another's company. It's the best.

East Side Music Together is currently open for registration - and Jennifer even offers a Saturday morning class for those of you who are busy during the work week.  I highly recommend your checking it out - and if you do - please let her know you heard about it from Tall Mom tiny baby :)

You can learn more by visiting East Side Music Together's Website, or find them on Facebook.

Don't forget to listen to our ParentCast Podcast Episode about Babies and Music!

What is/was your favorite childhood song?

How To Make A FROZEN Themed Baby Sensory Bottle #FROZENFun

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dear Itty Bitty, I think Tall Dad is starting to get sick of my singing. I, along with the rest of the world, have been obsessed with singing along to the soundtrack of FROZEN the movie. My favorite song is a tie between Love is an Open Door and Fixer Upper. You have been treated, daily, to a private FROZEN concert by yours truly. So, once the movie was available on DVD, I scooped it up, along with a couple of books for your cousins, and we made a baby appropriate FROZEN themed sensory bottle to go along with the excitement.
frozen, movie, dvd, baby sensory
So why all of this hub-bub about a Disney movie? 

Well, spoiler alert, the main theme of the movie is true love....true love which is actually shared by a family. 

Love from family members can conquer all sorts of challenges and trials, and that's why I've decided to write you this letter. I want you to know that Tall Dad and I will always be there for you.

As I said earlier, one of my favorite songs from Disney's FROZEN is called Fixer Upper.  Here are some of the lyrics:
'Cause people don't really change
We're only saying that love's a force 
That's powerful and strange.

People make bad choices if they're mad,
Or scared, or stressed.
Throw a little love their way 
And you'll bring out their best!
I loved this song the moment I heard it - because of those lyrics!  It's true, we all make mistakes. We all have bad days, wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or just have a round of bad luck.

What can change a bad day into a great one is love. This couldn't be more true.  I've had some tough days recently, and Dada has been by my side the entire time - showering me with love. I've been there for him too when the situation has been flipped.

We will be there for you. When you make bad choices, when you're mad or scared or stressed. We will always be there, to throw a TON of love your way.

We love you Itty Bitty,

Tall Mom aka Mumma

How To Make A FROZEN themed winter sensory bottle:

frozen, movie, dvd, baby sensory

1.  Pick up a copy of FROZEN the movie to watch for inspiration!  Being the frugal Tall Mom that I am, I picked up the FROZEN DVD at Walmart for only $14.96 (it's $2 off the regular price!) You can also get a specially marked box of Eggo Waffles and save yourself five additional dollars!   I picked up a couple #FROZENFun books that I'll be sending to my nieces in Florida.  They wish for snow - so I'll send some in a book :)
frozen, movie, dvd, baby sensory

2. You'll need a water bottle, water, some fun beads, pom poms, glitter or any other small object you can find that reminds you of winter.#cbias #shop #ad #frozenfun
I loved these spikey fun pom poms!
#cbias #shop #ad #frozenfun
3. Place the objects into the water, and possibly hot glue or super glue the cap shut. This way your baby won't be able to open it.
Tada! Pure baby bliss :)

frozen, movie, dvd, baby sensory

Have you seen FROZEN yet?  If so, what did you like most about the movie?

#collectivebias

Hello Spring

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I was never really a big fan of spring. It always seemed to be filled with rain, mud was everywhere, and end of the school year tests and grades always brought about extra amounts of stress. But something changed last year. I had my tiny baby last spring, and since then, I've seen the season in a whole new way.

I saw more flowers than I can ever remember.

Smelled the sweetest air, honeysuckle seemed to be everywhere! 

And I shared so many smiles with other new moms, basking in their post-birth glow! 
So I have turned a corner with spring. I've actually been looking forward to it.  

This winter has been a long one, but by now you probably have figured out that I love the snow, but I'm actually looking forward to spring. 

I can't wait to hit Blackstone Boulevard once again.
Or see Itty Bitty's face when the colorful flowers blossom!

So hello, Spring.  It's nice to finally greet you with open arms.

What's your favorite part about spring? 

How A Baby's Double Cowlick Is Related To Autism

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Do you remember rubbing balloons on your head to make your hair stick straight up thanks to static electricity?  Well that's what my Itty Bitty's hair does. But, no balloon required.  He's all Natural.  It's not the whole head, its just in the center top back of his head.  Just like Alfalfa's from the Little Rascals. I assume this means my Itty Bitty is going to be a little rascal himself :)
So why does his hair stand up like this? I really don't know, but I'm going to blame it on the perfect storm of cowlicks. You see, he has two hurricane swirls in the back of his head. Sometimes they are referred to as whorls.  Whatever they are, they mean trouble.  They converge right in the center, which sends shoots of hair into one another, forcing them to go up.  George Clooney and Mark Whalberg would be proud.

Double cowlicks actually have a bad reputation.  You see, I've searched the internet a little bit (never a good idea - especally about medical stuff), and people have made the most wacky assumptions about double cowlicks.
Get this:

Some people think that if a baby has a double cowlick, they are going to be left handed and be diagnosed with ADD.

Then, there are an overwhelming amount of posts about children with double cowlicks or whorls having....wait for it....autism. Yeap, that's right folks. The good old internet has solved another mystery.

Seriously? Autism because he has double cowlicks?  Who think's this stuff up?  Oh that's right, thanks Jenny McCarthy... (not really, but you get my drift.)

As I read these outrageous accusations, I decided to pour myself a glass of wine and see what other bogus things people thought point towards autism.  The list includes:

buddha bellies
 chubby legs
  slow growing hair
   clogged tear ducts
    and ears that stick out.

My kid has, or had, all of those. He was chubby as could be (especially around 3 months old,) still has short hair, and couldn't see out of his left eye for a month thanks to a super-glued-shut-clogged tear duct. 

But none of this means he is going to have autism.  If he does, it sure as heck isn't because of his adorable ears or chunky thighs.

So for the love of Pete, if you're reading this and worried that your baby's double cowlick means anything, take a breath. 
It means your baby is infinitely cute.

And you may need to invest in hair gel in their future.

What outrageous accusations have you come across on the internet?

Nurse Me Tender Review and Giveaway

Monday, March 17, 2014

Imagine being pregnant and wanting to nurse, but realizing after your baby is born, that for whatever reason, it's impossible.  It must be devastating.  Trust me, after speaking with a number of experts, it can happen very easily.  Maybe your milk supply just never came in, or your breasts couldn't work the way you had hoped. Or you needed to be on medication that prevented you from breastfeeding.

Maybe you're an adoptive parent and you wish you could hold your tiny baby in your arms while they fed like breastfeeding mothers do.

Or you could be in a situation like mine, where my Itty Bitty almost always refuses to take a bottle from anyone, and just wants to nurse and be held next to me. Maybe if someone else could feed him in a similar manner, he would take a bottle easier.

Now, please read this with an open mind, and let me introduce you to the Nurse Me Tender.

By now you probably know that I love helping promote local products. Well, I recently learned about a product that is from Nova Scotia. No, it's not completely local, but much of my family history derives from the beautiful part of Canada. So it's kinda local to me.

Anyway, this product is different than anything else I've ever seen, and at first I was a little puzzled. When I spoke to Tall Dad about it, he might have giggled and mentioned something about being Robert DeNiro in Meet the Fockers.  I learned, however, about more details concerning Nurse Me Tender, and I became incredibly impressed by this product.

Nurse Me Tender is an alternative to bottle feeding, and gives the baby and mom a "breastfeeding-like" experience.


Creator Christa Anderson realized that transitioning a breastfed baby to a bottle can sometimes be a struggle. Christa wondered if holding a baby in the breastfeeding position would help the process.

Plus, by actually wearing the bottle, the caregiver can be hands-free while the baby eats. Hands-free is something I take for granted when I breastfeed. It sounds a little silly, but I love that I have a free hand, so I can hold Itty Bitty's hand or stroke his head while he feeds. Actually, some of this blog post was written while I nursed thanks to my smartphone. Having a hand free rocks!

And yes, I just said caregiver. Why? Well, maybe dad, grandma, or someone else wants to help feed your baby, and wants to hold them in the cradle hold. 
There's something rather sweet and special to holding a baby this way. Maybe your baby is like mine, and fights being fed a bottle...and this might help. 

Many babies everyday are fed from bottles without any problem. So why have the Nurse Me Tender?

Well, I'll be honest. I don't think it's for everyone. 


Some people may think it's odd, and not be open or interested in it. 

But there are other people out there that I think would honestly love this product.

  • A woman who has undergone a mastectomy, or some form of breast surgery. Or maybe is undergoing treatments and her breastmilk is not safe for the baby.
  • A father who longs to hold his baby belly to belly as he or she feeds.
  • Adoptive parents, who otherwise would never even have the option of holding their baby in this manner.
  • Or anyone else who would like to try a different transition to bottle.
The Nurse Me Tender is incredibly comfortable, made with quality products and fabric. It comes with it's own bottle as well as nipples. The nipples are non leaking nipples, and act similarly to breasts. It is a left side only design, and is a one size fits all. You can hold your baby cradle, cross cradle, and in the football hold.
The bottles are BPA Free, Phthalates and PVC Free, and have an anti-colic air system.

For the time being, I believe most people in the US who own a Nurse Me Tender will wear them in their own homes. Reason being, many moms people are afraid or shy to breastfeed in public, and they may worry that it would be frowned upon as well to feed their babies with a Nurse Me Tender.

Maybe, someday in the near future, people will stop judging caregivers for how they feed their babies. Whether by breast or bottle, hopefully people will just realize that parents have the best interest for their own children and their families.


Christa and I have teamed up to do a Nurse Me Tender starter pack giveaway!  Enter below - Good Luck!
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Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Dear Kate Underwear Review

Friday, March 14, 2014

Women's Underwear: Some are pretty, some are slinky, black and lacy. Others are solid, strong and structured. Some are playful, some are plain...and then there are those that are the ugly ducklings. I'm talking about panties ladies and gents. Yeap. Panties, underwear, knickers- whatever you call them - young women like myself have a wide variety of panties. In addition to having our staples and cute pairs, we also have our period pairs of underwear.  The dreaded Granny Panties....

Alright gentlemen, now that you're officially scared, it's time to probably visit a different blog post. I'd recommend checking out this one, or this one, or this one.  

Back to business: okay ladies, lets talk underwear.

There are two main obstacles when it comes to underwear in my books. My period, and my newest friend - urinary incontinence.

1. My period.. My dear old Aunt Flow.
Having my period sucks, no matter what, but in addition to having cramps, being bloated, irritable, and feeling downright lousy, I have to worry about my underwear. I've always go on a hunt when my period starts, where I rummage through my closet (which we all know is the seventh gate to hell,) looking for my most boring full coverage pair that I can find.  Often I emerge with the only reasonable non-thong pair, and I walk out of my closet as if my panties were walking The Green Mile

"Dead man walking!" I want to shout, because I know those panties won't ever be seen in the same light again.  They could be injured in the line of fire that day, and forever be stowed away in the "granny panty" section of my underwear drawer. Disgraced, and treated like something from The Island of Misfit Toys.

2. PostPartum Urinary Incontinence  
I wish I had been a bit more warned about this issue before I had my tiny baby. I'll be writing a more informative blog post about this topic in the near future, but suffice it to say, I was wearing adult diapers after I had my son because I was peeing myself. Glamourous, I know.  I could tell you which adult diapers were slimmer, or felt more comfortable than others. I even had diaper rash. Super glamourous....

Now you know why I wore sweatpants so often during my first few weeks after giving birth. It was to hide my adult diapers.

Months went by, and I still had issues with leaking. I would wear sanitary pads on a daily basis, not because of a period, but because of pee. I grew increasingly frustrated, and ended up going to physical therapy for urinary incontinence.  

Now, almost a year later, I'm about 90% better, but there are still a few "surprises" now and again.  Like when I sneeze really hard....

So how can a young professional woman like myself deal with these two annoying issues?  Well, we can wear sanitary pads day in and day out, along with our ugly grandma period panties. Or we can take charge of our bodies, and turn the situation around.

I know I have.

I've started wearing Dear Kate Underwear
Dear Kate is founded and run by the ever talented, Julie Sygiel, who I met in Rhode Island after she had graduated from Brown University. While she was studying chemical engineering, Julie created Dear Kate underwear as a school project. Since then, the product has taken off, and Dear Kate is now housed out of NYC.

Dear Kate offers a variety of styles, cuts and colors - all of which are cute and modern - nothing like my grandma panties!  The coolest part about these panties is that the revolutionary fabric has three breathable layers that prevent staining and provide leakage protection. 

The panties are perfect for those who tinkle a bit throughout the day (ahem, like when I laugh too much) or for those super flow days of your period.  They are not meant to take the place of tampons or sanitary pads - but will offer extra leakage support and style as well as the fact that they won't stain!  You CAN look cute when you have your period!
Dear Kate panties offer either a mini lining (can hold up to one teaspoon of liquid) and the full lining ( which holds up to three teaspoons of liquid) 

I have both the Margot Brief Full and can tell you that I have been worry free each time I've worn it! 

Am I ashamed that I pee myself from time to time? 

Nope. 

Truth is, one in three women experience urinary incontinence for five or more years after childbirth. It's like saying I have allergies or sleep on my side at night. 
The reasons I may leak are sneezing, coughing, laughing and picking up my tiny baby and working out (they even have an athletic collection!)
Urinary incontinence isn't just for new moms. It is also super common among women who are aging. Pregnant women, who have added pressure on their bladder, may also leak from time to time.  So between periods and peeing oneself, it seems like a lot of ladies could be using Dear Kate!

Dear Kate products are a bit pricy - averaging around $30 a pair, but you need to keep in mind that these are special underwear.  They will keep you dry, will not stain, and could quite possibly become your favorite pair of underwear that you own.  They are easy to wash and can just be tossed into the wash - just skip the fabric softener and dryer sheets.  The company also has an awesome guarantee - if you're unhappy with their panties or if they do not fit right - they will replace your purchase for any reason.  Dear Kate products are made right here, in the USA, and all US orders and returns get free shipping!
I think these would be an awesome baby shower gift or new mom present.  I traditionally like to bring a new mom Padsicles, an inflatable donut, lasagna -- and now I'll add a pair of Dear Kates!  

Can't wait to try on your own pair of Dear Kates'? I know I sure can't. While writing this post I just went and purchased 2 more pairs for myself! 

If you'd like to purchase Dear Kate - just visit their website www.dearkates.com, and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Disclaimer - I received a pair of Dear Kate underwear to review. All opinions are my own, and I honestly couldn't be happier with this product! 

Pinterest Inspired Baby 11 Month Photo Shoot : Nailed It

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oh Pinterest, you've done it again! You've made this Tall Mom believe that she could take the cutest photos with the monthly stickers. Alas, I need to chalk this up to another one of my Pinterest Fails, because as you will see from the photo shoot below, we really "Nailed It!"


Have you had an epic yet awesome Pinterest Fail?  What did you try to do?

Sock Ons Have Met Their Match

Monday, March 10, 2014

WTF - I Just Swore In Front of My Kid

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I woke up this morning by being kicked in the boob. 


Why my boob?

Because H is for hell.
H is for Hell
That's pretty much how we sleep each night, thanks to the fact that our tiny baby is teething, except Tall Dad and I face inwards towards each other. Which, if you look closely at the diagram above, means that Itty Bitty's foot is at the perfect height to attack my bosom.

So after being jabbed repeatedly, I realized Itty Bitty was truly awake, and was ready for breakfast. 

I remember feeding him. But I don't remember eating breakfast myself. 

I think I had coffee. I think.

I was so tired.

I remember looking at Itty Bitty's blueberries, which were squished into our off white carpet. Next to it was some chicken. 

When did we eat chicken again?

The rest of the morning was a bit of a haze. I do know that I changed our tiny baby out of his pajamas and into his clothes. I checked his (might have a peanut allergy, don't even get me started right now) rash. It was the same as yesterday.

The diaper genie broke, and I got poop all over my hand. 

At noon, Itty Bitty finally decided to take his 10:15 nap. It lasted 17 minutes.

Sometime after that I received an email. An email asking me about a meeting. A meeting that was scheduled for 8 am this morning. A meeting that I was in charge of, scheduled, and was supposed to head.

I completely forgot about it.

So I swore.

Outloud.

In front of my kid.

I swore over and over and over for the next minute.

Still dressed in my pajamas, day old baby tossed chicken next to my un-pedicured foot, my fingers slammed away the keys. 

All I could do was apologize and schedule the meeting for the next day.

I hung my head in shame, and then realized Itty Bitty was looking at me. He just saw me have a mini freakout, say an inappropriate word (please god, don't let that be his first word....even though I said it enough that it's probably engrained in there somewhere), and yet he was staring at me with that goofy gummy half toothed grin.

I unplugged after that, and for the rest of the day I decided not to worry. Instead, Itty Bitty and I rolled around on the floor, read and reread his favorite book, and went to his music class.  I took the time to breathe, to smile, to laugh, and to not beat myself up.
I needed to give myself a break. Sure, I messed up. I forgot, and I also swore in front of my Itty Bitty. 

But I had to let it go. 

Because being a parent is harder than any other job or committee I've ever been a part of. It consumes my days, nights and dreams. My struggles being a parent aren't just emotionally demanding, but (thanks to teething) physically demanding.  I realized that I was, and still am, doing the best that I can do.

So here's to Tomorrow. I raise a glass to you, eastern sun, with your new day. I'll try to get dressed tomorrow, brush my hair, remember my 8 am meeting, eat breakfast, and run our various errands. I have great hope in tomorrow.

And heck, if it all goes out the window, as long as I have my meeting, I'll feel like I conquered the world.

Car Seat Safety

I, along with many parents, am a bit clueless when it comes to car seat safety. I wondered: What's the big difference between a bucket seat and a convertible car seat? Why can't babies wear coats in their car seat? When should we turn him around from rear facing to forward facing?

Plus, another hundred questions or so.
So Tall Dad and I interviewed an expert, Dina Morrissey, who knows all of the ins-and-outs of car seat safety.  You can listen to our interview right here, on ParentCast
I wish I had paid more attention to car seat safety when I was pregnant, and preparing for our tiny baby. Honestly. Even though we read the manual, and watched Youtube installation videos, Tall Dad and I really should have gotten our car seat installed or checked by a professional.  Plus, we should have had our maternity wing nurses help us put Itty Bitty into his car seat. 

Our first problem was that we installed our baby's car seat in the middle of our back seat via the latch system.  If you car has six latch hooks, then you are in the clear.  A few cars have only four latch hooks, but the distance between each hook is 11 inches.  

Many cars, like mine, had only latch hooks for the two side seats.  When I installed my car seat, we borrowed the two inmost latches, which is technically unsafe because it is over 11 inches wide. 
Picture courtesy of The Car Seat Lady
This is a major no-no.

We also placed our newborn into his car seat incorrectly, and put his legs and arms in the same hole.  How is this even possible? Beats me, but Tall Dad and I were exhausted after giving birth to our son, and we didn't even notice that he wasn't in his seat correctly. Well, I'm not sure how valid an excuse that is because...

We didn't notice for a month.

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit these faults.  Lord knows we did other things that are technically unsafe. We had those plastic window shades that go up and down. Now we have the safe static cling ones. We also used a newborn pillow insert to help keep his head straight in the car...but come to find out - those aren't safety tested either. 

We learned that all toys and belongings in a car can become projectiles during a crash, and that any extra bells or whistles that were not part of the original car seat, are not recommended. 

Our family is incredibly fortunate to not have found out these lessons the hard way. 

The Rhode Island Hospital's Injury Prevention Center has a calendar of FREE car seat safety checks.  Just click here for more information, and try to swing by one this spring.  If three out of four car seats are improperly installed, yours might be one of them, and you'd rather be safe than sorry.

And don't forget to listen to our Car Seat Safety episode on ParentCast

Have you ever gotten your car seat checked?


DIY: How To Make Your Own Baby Wipes {guest post}

Monday, March 3, 2014

Naomi Shaw is a stay-at-home mom in Southern California. After being a stay-at-home mom for seven years she works full-time as a freelance writer. She enjoys blogging about mommy tips and DIY crafts providing insight, advice and more! She hopes you enjoy this article.


DIY: How To Make Your Own Baby Wipes

There is no doubt that babies are the sweetest little blessings. Their toothless smiles and their sweet coos are enough to make even the hardest of hearts melt.

There is no denying that babies are wonderful little beings; however, if you have recently become a parent, you are probably quickly learning just how expensive and messy these little beings can be!
The cost of formula, clothing,toys, diapers, wipes and everything else that this wee one needs really adds up– and quickly.

Fortunately, there is a way that you can reduce some of these expenses: By making your own baby supplies.Believe it or not, one of the easiest supplies that you can make on your own is baby wipes.

Making your own wipes for baby not only helps to reduce some financial strain, but it is also a lot better for your baby’s skin. Just take a look at the ingredients on those manufactured wipes and you will be running to grab the ingredients and start making your own homemade wipes.

With ingredients like citric acid, bezyl alcohol, Disodium EDTA and a bunch of other additives that you can’t pronounce the name of, you have to wonder just how safe those manufactured wipes are!

Stop throwing your hard-earned cash in the trash and stop putting your baby’s health in jeopardy and start making your own homemade wipes.

With this simple recipe, you can make wipes that are more cost effective and better for baby’s skin.

Recipe for Homemade Baby Wipes


To make your own wipes for baby at home, you will need:
· A roll of heavy duty paper towels
· A container to hold the wipes(just empty out one of the containers from those manufactured wipes that you bought, or an cleaned out plastic ice cream container will work well, too).
· 1 ¾ cups of boiled water, which should be cooled down, but still a bit warm.
· 1 tablespoon of pure aloe vera
· 1 tablespoon of pure Witch Hazel extract
· 2 tablespoons of Liquid Castille Soap
· 10 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract. Alternatively, you can use 2 capsules of Vitamin E
· 1 tablespoon of olive oil
· You can also add a few drops of essential oils, such as lavender

Instructions for Making Your Homemade Baby Wipes


Once you have the ingredients on hand, making the wipes is simple. Follow these easy steps:
· Start by cutting the roll of paper towels in half
· Remove the paper towels from the roll, one by one. Fold each towel into an accordion-type fold (like those manufactured wipes are folded in the container).
· Arrange the folded paper towels in a pile and place them inside the container.
· Combine the water, witch hazel, castile soap, aloe and either grapefruit seed extract or Vitamin E in a bowl. Stir.
· Add the essential oils to the mixture.
· Pour the mixture over the power towels and allow it to soak in. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes and then flip the container to make sure that the mixture is fully absorbed into the towels.

That’s it! Once you follow these steps, your homemade baby wipes will be ready for use. Your baby will have smoother, healthier skin – and you’ll have more cash in your pocket!
DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS