Fitness With a New Baby


After all of the excitement of giving birth and the transition of settling in with a new baby has passed, many new moms begin to focus on losing the weight that they gained during pregnancy. Many mothers hope that this process will not be too difficult, while others who may have struggled with weight issues in the past dread trying to lose the pregnancy pounds. Mothers who breastfeed hope that nursing the baby will help them lose weight, but worry that their caloric needs will hamper their weight loss efforts.

Although carefully choosing healthy, nutritious foods is an important part of losing weight after giving birth, exercise is equally important. However, many mothers are sleep deprived and busier than ever. Sometimes this makes trying to find time for a consistent workout seem impossible.

Mothers of newborns should keep in mind these three things when starting an exercise routine in the first few months of a baby’s life.

1. Don’t start too early.

Moms should always wait for the “all clear” from their care provider before beginning an intensive exercise routine. Your doctor or midwife was likely an educator when it came to learning about delivery choices like pain management available, umbilical cord blood banking and circumcision; continue to learn from from them about the best way to transition back to your old body. During the first two weeks of the baby’s life, mothers should take it easy and spend as much time resting as possible. Between the two-week mark and the six-week post-partum exam mothers still need plenty of rest. However, moms may be able to stretch and do a few short walks each week if they have the energy for it.

Every mom is different. Each woman should listen to her own body. If dizziness occurs or anything hurts, mothers should immediately sit down and take it easy for a while. A mother may not have the energy for any form of exercise in the post-partum period and that is perfectly fine. The body goes through major changes in this time and needs plenty of rest to recover from childbirth.

2. Ease back into your routine.

In the final weeks of pregnancy, most women back off on their exercise routines. The growing abdomen, swollen hands and feet, clumsiness, and lack of energy in the last few weeks can make even the most dedicated athletes take a break.

When mothers finally begin to get some energy back in the first few weeks of the baby’s life, sometimes they forget that they should slowly work back up to their previous levels of fitness. It will take some time to get back the strength, flexibility, and stamina that they may have previously enjoyed. New mamas should be patient with their bodies as they begin to work out.

3. Figure out ways to fit it in.

Sometimes care for tiny infants can seem so intensive that mothers can struggle to stick to a consistent fitness regimen. Energy levels may fluctuate greatly. Making exercise a priority can be very hard during this time. Some moms may have better luck if they include the baby in their exercise. If possible, taking a mommy and baby exercise class at a local health club may be just the thing to help a mother get regular exercise. Other moms begin walking with the baby in a stroller or can wear baby in a carrier. Many infants are soothed by the movement and sleep while mom exercises. Mothers may want to break exercise into a couple 15-minute increments and do it several times throughout the day.

The most important thing to remember in the first few weeks of a baby’s life is to focus on priorities. If a mother is barely making things work with the needs of an infant, adding the pressure of an exercise routine will not be helpful. Moms should realize that this phase of a child’s life will pass quickly. In future months as babies get older, they will have more time and energy to work out and get fit.

This article was written and submitted by Katie Moore. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

 

Bored. Overtired. Typing. (When things get funny)

Last night was our anniversary. Eighth anniversary. This does not sound too impressive, but since we dated for 4 years before that…it kinda feels like forever. Forever in a good way.  Until your husband posts awkward pictures of you in your very early dating stages on his Facebook page and then writes a status update that gets 70something likes. Sorry that I did not write you a ooey-gooey fb message, babe.  Our love was already clogging up the stream and I did not want to make anyone gag on their spicy black bean burger.

So, we went out to dinner at Screen Door like we (almost) always do. Why go somewhere fancy when we won’t like the food as much? Let’s be real.  I put on my heels and packed the flats just in case we had to walk any farther than across the street. My tiny feet don’t do heels well.

We hit up the Nordstrom Rack for 45 minutes after dinner. Because. We. Could.  Closed da place down. Beaverton style.  Right after Hubs told me about how he is really getting the hang of navigating most of Portland we took the wrong exit.  Lesson to never be prideful.  You might lose 7 precious minutes of tot-less shopping.

It was a blast.  Love you babe. You are beyond amazing and I am blessed by you everyday.  I am the lucky one.

I was going somewhere with this post…what was that?

Oh, yeah.  When things get funny.

So last night after our date I was so tired, but completely buzzed from the fun.  I was restless.  I felt like a baby who needed to be swaddled.  I almost stole hubby’s pillow out from under him to bury my head under.  I could not fall asleep.  Yesterday morning hubs also had an early meeting and I had a date with little people who were bummed daddy was already gone, but thrilled he left them little bowls of banana chips on our nightstand.  MAJOR CRUNCHING in my bed at 6:45. Good thing they are so cute.

Then today continued the saga of crazy toddler antics.  After getting a late start on naps (because I had a meeting) we were already on the wrong track from the get go.  Little man could not go to sleep and then went in and woke up his sister.  If you have young children you know this is a major offense.  Since my tots nap everyday having both twins not sleeping is a problem. Especially during a season of struggling with peace and obedience.  So after sneaking into the other room twice I said they could just lay together and be quiet and that I needed 20 minutes of quiet before they could get up (yes, I know…bad idea).  Somewhere inside of that small window they found a crayon and Little Miss went to town on her toddler bed (only used for her naps).  My children writing with color crayon on furniture? Thought I would never have those children. 🙂 This ended nap time. Insert lots of tantrums from lack of sleep and a last minute trip through the sprinkler in their underwear.  The children. Not us.

Hubby had some family from LA text him tonight to ask him if he wanted to meet up for a bit.  This left me home alone to occupy my time.  We have been without cable for almost 2 months and I have to say I have hardly noticed.  Tonight I am far too tired to be productive. Turned on a stand up comedian (not the dirty variety) and almost died laughing.  Apparently when all you have watched lately is documentaries on Helvetica (the type face) and urban planning, your little ones were running napless, and you are tired, any comedy is off the charts funny.  I started out mildly amused and by the end I was a giggling mess.  Now I am trying to blog under the influence of these same conditions and this is what you get.  Random stuff and sentence fragments.  Maybe only slightly more interesting than my brief post on my Grocery Outlet trip today.  Well, guess I should call it a night.

What was the funniest thing that happened to you today?

Do you have any crayon where it does not belong at your house?

 

-Excuse the bad photography. I had no intentions of blogging any of this.

Grocery Outlet

Today I made a quick stop at Grocery Outlet before one of our last planning meetings for the Riverfront Family Festival (the best free family event of the year).  Here is my loot for today.

Total for the trip was $16.83

  • The Aidells Natural chicken sausage was 2.49 (Plenty left)
  • The Stonyfield 4 pack was $1.49 (small stock)
  • The smaller Stonyfield Greek yogurts were 2 for $1 (almost gone)
  • The eggs were marked down to $2.97
  • The white cheddar was for Hubs and was $4.39

Have you found any scores this week?

When the days get long.

Sorry things have been a bit more quiet around this blog lately.  Hope this day finds you well!  This post is just to share where I have been at lately and let you know that you are not alone if things are rough at your house too.  This mama thing is not easy. 

Lately the days have been a little long…especially the week days.  I love my sweet children and being a stay at home mama.  Nothing huge has gone down at out house. I am blessed and the children have been healthy …but, WOW.  Mothering these little ones has been intense.  We usually average 1 or so “rough” days, 1-2 “good” days, and the rest “okay” days in a week.

The past couple weeks my days with the children have all been “rough.”  I cannot remember having this many long days in a row since right after our youngest was born.  I was recovering from a c-section, had 3 in diapers, could not lift any of them, and had to move them through every daily task (as they really could not do much themselves) on very little sleep.  It was hard, but we got through it.

Lately I am dealing with new levels of sibling fighting, 4 year olds who are very smart and determined, a 2 year old who is equally determined and considers herself 4.  She is more “two” than the twins ever were.  She is pretty sure she should be able to do everything they can do and most definitely “holds her own.” Little Man is giving me a run for my money.  His brain never stops and this tot’s stamina is an amazing thing.

As they grow I am also trying to let them have more freedom around the house and it is a rough transition (with crafts, creativity, playing in different parts of the house etc.).  The house can quickly spiral out of control and teaching them to clean after themselves is a bit exhausting.

I feel like 2 of my 3 little ones are simultaneously at harder stages of development than they have ever been at before. We have had days where I have basically just stood amidst them and carried them through communication.  I was constantly working with them, disciplining them, texting my husband to tell him that THIS MOST DEFINITELY IS THE HARDEST JOB IN THE WORLD, loving them, and hopefully shepherding them the right way (most of the time).

There were times I got really angry….and then later apologized.  I was offended they would act this way towards each other and toward me. I was tired. I was pretty close to feeling “done” a few times (whatever that would mean).  I hid in the closet and ate a cookie, did my devotions more intentionally, took more rests during naps, and I am still standing.

The word going around is that consistency is the key.  I am here to tell you that YES, it is so important. But it is not a guarantee that your little ones will obey or immediately turn their behavior around.  We try to be pretty consistent with the little ones.  When things got extra intense I became more aware of it…and things were still rough for awhile. It can take time. If you are struggling with your children like I am, keep going!

For the first time I am experiencing some of the typical mommy feelings in a fuller way than I had before.  I now know what “mommy guilt” feels like, along with feeling like a “bad mom.”  I know I have been listening to lies and discouragement that is not from God.

We have had lots of conversations with the children about important stuff.   There has been lots of gospel talk (Jesus, sin, our need for a Savior, etc.), lots of prayer, we are implementing a new ticket system, and I am hoping we are turning a corner (or will soon).

Some seasons of motherhood are fun, while others require extra patience and perseverance.  This post is a bit humbling to write. Just coming out from my rock and keepin’ it real.

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Check out this awesome post my friend Anna happened to share as I was finishing up this post.  It says it all so much better than I can.

 

I am linking up with Far Above Rubies. If you are visiting I would love to hear from you and come and visit your blog!

Life in Bullet Points

 

  • We have had some of my family in from out of town and it has been so fun.  Gatherings everyday and many shared meals.  Sadly, they head home today.  Good news…we get to party with Hubs side of the family tonight. Life is full… and I am tired.
  • I told Hubs that I can care for the Littles and carry out a busy schedule, but I can not care for the Littles with a busy schedule, AND keep up on the house.  Can you say laundry mountain? Good thing I have some awesome laundry basket dressers to hold it all while it waits.
  • Captured one of the all time best toddler lineups. Love those sweet faces and wish we saw them more often.

  • Little Man sweetly looked at me nursing our youngest yesterday and said, “You are like the cow….and she is the bucket.”  Good observation.
  • Summer has been a little late in coming (like the last two years) and this morning I brought down a tank and shorts and Little Miss said, “Are we doing summer today?”

  • After a father daughter trip to Home Depot on Father’s day bead board has been purchased.   They are waiting to be installed into my eating area.  I am super stoked! I will post updates as things get moving.

  • Just got my catalog for the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  Lots of cropped trousers. I am 5 feet tall and looking forward to a different trend.
  • Had a chat with the produce guy at LifeSource (our awesome local health food store) yesterday.  The only organic fruit in the fairly reasonable range for the last couple weeks has been Valencia oranges.  He said we should be seeing some stone fruit coming down in price fairly soon and that most of the organic apples are now from outside the country and will remain spendy till September-ish when we have local apples again.
  • Had an awesome time at the OCEAN Homeschool Conference last weekend.  It is kinda like going to summer camp for homeschool moms (and dads…but I am not sure they get the same buzz from it).  🙂  So encouraging and fun!

I will leave you with this gem.

 

So Fresh, and so Clean, Clean.

First things, first.  My second guest post over at Frugal Living NW is up!  This post highlights one of our favorite hiking places, McDonald Forest near Corvallis.  So thankful to have the opportunity to do a couple fun posts on such a practical and helpful site.  Go check it out and give them some comment love.

Most of their posts are about saving money in the NW (readers from all over will benefit from their posts), but right now they are doing a series on frugal family outings.  Check out their growing list of places to visit in greater Portland area.  Also, check out my first post for them on Hoyt Arboretum.

When we took the pictures (a long time ago) that are in BOTH articles I had no idea I would be including them in a guest post.  One post I am wearing a St. Patrick’s shirt from 6 years ago and gym shorts, and the other post shows me wearing 3 awkward and thick sweatshirts after being ill prepared for a cold hike.  Just keepin’ it real I suppose.

And on the other great news…the ol’ blog got a make-over!  The hubs spent hours sprucing up the place to make it more visually appealing and cleaner.  Isn’t he amazing? I would have absolutely no idea how to do this stuff.  It is still a work in progress, but it finally has most of the elements I was hoping to include (there is a bug or two that will be fixed soon).

Let me know if you are having a hard time digging anything up and I will send you a link.  The search feature should help with most of that.  All of the posts are still there, but we are still working on some of the categorization.  It is now time for me to dig through most of my old posts and try and re-categorize them into my new streamlined list.  Fun stuff!

(Review) Eco Store Natural Products

When Eco Store offered to let me review two of their products I was thrilled!  As I dug around on their site to pick out my two products I was even more excited because their prices were awesome!  Who doesn’t love a company whose favorite phrase is “No Nasty Chemicals”? Genius.

When I was looking for my two products to review I decided that I would look for items that I had either not successfully made before, or had not found a natural alternative for at the store (I make a good chunk of our basic cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. Don’t worry, it is super easy).

I chose the Pure Oxygen Whitener (The natural version of OxyClean), and a cleaning product called Cream Cleanser.

 

The first time we used the Oxygen Whitener we threw it in with my husbands whites.  The load included dress shirts and under shirts etc.  He said he could totally tell a difference in their color.  We normally just use my homemade detergent and not any extra bleach or laundry care additives like Oxy Clean because of expense and questionable ingredients.  It was great to have something we felt good about throwing in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to try the Cream Cleanser because my vinegar and water mixture I use for most basic cleaning was just not cutting it with my sinks.  I really needed something that I could use to scrub and polish.  It was so nice to have something with some more substance to it.  My sinks looked much better after using this stuff.  I do think that for my purposes I would prefer it to have a bit more grit to it.  If you use it be sure to rinse this stuff well after scrubbing to get a nice shine.  It is so nice to have something like this to add to my small cleaning stash.  I think I will mix it with a paste I make out of dish soap, lemon juice, and baking soda and I think it will be the perfect thing for sinks and tubs.

Eco Store caries products within 5 main categories; Baby, Bath and Body, Hair Care, Household, and Pet. The packaging is BPA free and everything is made in the USA. How is that for a commercial?

Although all of the prices are excellent, I was most excited about the value of the baby products. They had Baby Body Wash for $4.25, Baby Shampoo for $4.40, and Nappy Balm (diaper rash balm) for $5.10. That is really good. The only downside I am noticing is that I don’t think the product is specifically organic.  But because it is chemical and “bad stuff” free, I would feel comfortable putting it on my little ones.

The best news? They just posted about a 25 hour sale that runs through tomorrow night for 25% off everything (use code 25for25).  I have not seen many sales from them at all…especially since they have lowered their prices.  This would be a great chance to try a couple things if you are needing anything.  When they posted about this sale I immediately rushed to put this post up so y’all would be able to get the best price.

Let me know if you try any of their products. I would love to hear about your thoughts and how they worked for you.

Disclosure- Beyond receiving the two products, I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Game Mode Mama (Alternative title-Sergeant or Shepard)

I have my game face on much of the time I spend with my children.  Not necessarily a grumpy face (although that happens plenty), but like I am trying to accomplish a mission.  Acting as if my resolve and focus will get us safely and sanely through our day.  Maybe my gumption (do people still use that word?) will keep us all on track?  The almost constant use of phrases like “Sit in your chair until you finish your food,” “Use loving words,” “Can you try asking that again the nice way?” “Please stop screaming.” “Do unto others,” “Please be kind,” etc. leads me to think that it is me and my words getting us through these (often long) days.

Is this the way we should handle our task as mothers? I don’t think so.  We will not win our children’s hearts with our barked demands or by hollering things through the house.  Yes, we need to use our words to guide our children.  But we should also remember that the tone we use ourselves will be reflected in our children.  I often wonder, “Why are my children always so demanding?” Part of it is their nature. They are young and often very focused on themselves. The other part is probably what they are seeing modeled.  If I am spending most of my day in “game mode,” making semi-stern faced requests,  that is what I am going to get back.

Are all of my children’s behaviors my fault? No.  I cannot take all of that on. BUT, I lead by example.  If I am not acting in love or am more focused on results and staying on track, my children will notice.  Mommy will not be fun to be around. Mommy will be more of a Sergeant than a Shepherd.  I want to lead my children to Jesus and help be a picture of who He is to us.  How do we want Jesus to treat us? With firm demands and a lack of patience (not that he ever operates like that)? I don’t.  I rely on His grace.  I want to show that same grace to my children.

 

Some verses I found this morning that speak to some of these things:

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1

“Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.” Ezekiel 16:44

“But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” 1 Thessalonians 2:7

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

 

Real life example-It took me 25 minutes, 1 long cuddle, giving the baby 3 more helpings of berries, 2 tantrums, one coloring project, and many “Mommy phrases” to get me through typing 2 of the sentences in this post.  When you allow yourself to be “in the moment” with your children and meet their needs, things might MOVE SLOWLY.

 

Today’s Goals-Be sillier, laugh more, loosen up, pray more, be joyous, watch my tone, love more loudly.

P.S. Blogging does not magically turn me into “Super Mom.”  I totally still struggle just like everyone else.  But, I have hope.

 

We are linking up with Raising Homemakers today! If you are visiting from there I am so glad you stopped by!  I would love it if you would leave a comment with your blog so I can come over and “visit” with you!

“I kinda like myself,” she said.

“I kinda like myself” she said in a soft voice as we were sitting together in church.  She was drawing in her notepad, and generally going about her business and what she said totally caught me off guard.  I was floored.  I looked at Hubs to see if he had noticed and whispered what she said to him.  He looked over and said, “You are beautiful.” Wanting to affirm her, but not embarrass her or probe more into what she meant.  We knew this meant a lot coming from her.

She is a bit more cautious than our other two. Her twin brother is quite talkative and a deep thinker.  He always has something funny or interesting to say and could run the show if we let him.  He often takes up more of our attention in discipline, and gets more laughs and praise as a result of his personality.  She on the other hand, is a bit more fearful in new situations.  She often asks for my help when doing art projects or trying to write things.  She does not want to mess up.  For awhile I have been a bit unsure of how to lead this sweet girl.  I feel that some moderate shyness (normally when she is feeling uncertain of her surroundings) is only part of what she feels inside.  So many parents seem to want to “un-shy” their children.  That never felt right for me.

I have told my husband on a couple different occasions that if there is one kid we could totally screw up, it would be her.  I don’t want to contribute to any of her struggles.

God has slowly been showing me ways to help her.  She is the way she is for a reason. God created her.  I don’t want to try and change her.  But, I don’t want her to be fearful.  I don’t want her to be lacking in the confidence she needs for whatever God will call her to someday.  So we have made the conscious decision to try and encourage her as much as possible.

Yesterday Hubs told her he loved a painting she had done earlier in the day. She got an awkward smile on her face.  She did not know what to say. (She probably looked like I did when someone complimented me on my weight loss earlier in the day.  I felt like a deer caught in headlights.  Why is it so hard for me to take a compliment?) I knew it was because he was pointing to a part she had me help her with.  I directed his glance towards the part she had done by herself and he told her how nice it looked. She beamed. A natural happy smile that showed she was proud of her picture and thrilled he had appreciated her work.

This parenting thing is tricky. My brain quickly begins to swirl and take things too far: Too much confidence and we are afraid we lack humility.  Clean the house instead of being with your children?… and our priorities are out of whack and our children won’t know they are important to us.  Help a child complete her art work?… and she might have no true sense of accomplishment.  If I build them up too much will it cause them to think that the world revolves around them?  These are the things we might assume and apply to everything.

When she said those sweet words in church I knew it was big for her.  As my parents noted, she had came to a place some people never reach.  Am I there? Usually not. I leave a group of people and try to retrace all my words.  Did I say something stupid? Did I hurt someones feelings? In an attempt to cover the silence, make myself look a certain way, or make someone feel better did I talk too much? Did I make them feel welcome?  Why am I never anybody’s “best friend”?  My insecurities come out when I am around other people.   Why can’t I be more like my husband? Why can’t I be more easy going?  Will my children be as messed up as I am?  I pray that they will not.  I also pray that in time God will continue to work in me and quiet the voices in my head.

As I talk to good friends I learn that we are not as different as I thought.  Certain circumstances take us to places of self doubt. Different situations and relationships bring these feelings to the surface.  For me, a lot of it started in Jr High and High School youth group when I was constantly made fun of and was the butt of many jokes (hard for me to even admit or type).  Now, when I open my mouth I am afraid of being what they always acted like I was.  An outsider.  Never really fitting into either “group.”  I still find myself in those situations.  Stuck in two worlds.  Trying to connect them, make sense of them, and decipher God’s plan for me.

Will my daughter still struggle with confidence? Of course she will. But, seeing these strides in her through that sweet phrase was affirming for us.

Photographs

Here are some pictures from our mini session with the fabulous Heidi Helser.  She was doing a couple days of 30 minute sessions as a fundraiser for our local La Leche League (breastfeeding support group).  I was thrilled to have the chance to capture some pictures of our nursing days.  The slot I was able to get was while Hubs was working.  Thankfully, my sweet mama came along for to help out.  After I got everyone up from naps and pretty in record time, we headed to Bella Vie for our session…and on the way inside baby girl and I got stuck in a DOWNPOUR.  Wet hair, no hair brush, ya know. No biggie.  One of the rules of parenting is that there MUST be a bit of drama during family pictures.

Second half of this post contains modest nursing pictures.  Cut out early if you are so inclined.

Sometimes I think nursing is not shared about enough. It should not be a “best kept secret”.  It can be hard (trust me, I know), but it IS amazing.