Working Mom

On July 1st, 2013 my husband and I welcomed our new addition, Markus.  I hope to continue sharing thoughts, tips and ideas with you when possible.  Now that I’m a working mommy, I’m sure all kinds of interesting work/child juggling topics will come up.  Thank you for reading!

P.S. Follow my hasthtag on Twitter #workingmom101

Colder days

Colder days bring more stir crazy parents and kiddos. Luckily, with the help of Pinterest and sites like Hulafrog we can easily come up with fun and educational activities for the little ones. Yesterday, we baked cookies, went to the pool at our local Y and then created this fun looking craft.

Toddler craft

Happy new years eve!!! (If you click the link, it will lead you to some fun new years eve activities.)

Getting Crafty

Being at home has allowed for a lot more time for arts and crafts of all kinds.  We’ve gotten into paint, felt, painting with corks, glitter gluing pom poms, and stickering just about anything.  Here is our latest masterpiece which is very seasonally appropriate.  What are you getting into with the kiddos?

It’s going to be a diy kind of Christmas

I’m on a creative kick with the kiddo so we went to Michael’s and bought a bunch of felt stickers and felt sheets and are in the process of making some bookmarks for the grandparents.  It’s something that he enjoys doing both at home and at daycare and I know grandparents enjoy getting hand made things from the kiddos.

But, overall, I think it will be a diy Christmas all around, especially as we’re choosing to focus the gift giving on the little ones.  At the same time though, I want to give the adults something useful and at the same time inexpensive. So I’ve turned to Pinterest and found the following diy gifts.

cranberry lime vodka... holiday home-made [boozy] gift:     Made a "no sew blanket" for my Mom for Christmas this year and she loves it- so soft and cozy.:    Homemade hand scrub! Hands are silky smooth afterwards! I made 8 mini mason jars and sent them home to my family. I warped a pink ribbon in top and they were a hit for valentines day!:    Great home made gift ideas - perfect for cheap wedding favors.:

“I bring the flowers.”

For the last 6 months or so whenever we’ve gone to a party, I’ve had our son bring the hostess some flowers.  Now, when he knows we’re going, and sees me cutting down the hydrangeas, or sees them in the car, he says “I bring the flowers.”  I’m just trying to raise him as a little gentle dude and know that every girl out there appreciates a flower or two.

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Potty Training Our 2 Year Old Boy

As you may have read in my blog post about what I’ve learned from our 2 year old, I spent this summer at home.  It wasn’t by choice but rather by circumstance.  We’re lucky that he could still go to daycare some of the days but momma and baby certainly got some extra bonding time and part of it was all about the potty!

From what my husband and I gathered, the fact that we’re nearly there in terms of being fully potty trained (just gotta get through the nights) is nothing of a short miracle.  From what we also gather, boys are much harder to “train” than girls.  I went into this summer with no plans of conquering the potty but when he began to show interest at around 18 months we went for it.  Things did come to a full stop when he hit two and stopped showing any interest in not wearing diapers but by that point, I was committed.  It was summer time, and in the summer livin’ is easy! And really, when would I ever again get a this much time to help him out with this monumental life change.  So I read, I prepped, and I set low expectations, and bought many small cookies.

I had zero excitement about closing ourselves in a bathroom or in our home for days. We had some initial push back, as expected. But I figured the yard and no diaper could get us on our way, and it did.  Every time he’d tinkle in the grass after the pool he’d get a cookie.  We then moved on to getting TWO (!!! can you sense his excitement?!?!) cookies if he went on his little singing potty.  We were doing pretty well but still wearing diapers as we learned when to ask him about whether he needed to go (about every 20 minutes) and watching whether he’d go or not.  . I also wasn’t sure how daycare would react to this new step in his little life but as I learned, they were quite in favor of the process and were fully on board.  So momma went out and bought some toddler underpants with fun pictures on them and we were going to go full speed at this thing.

One day we ventured out in underwear and no diaper for an hour long buggy ride and then a trip to the store and had no accidents!!! We were all sold and since that day haven’t looked back.  We did have some hiccups in the #2 department as that was a scary process but the more he learned about it, the more ok with it he got.  We still put a diaper on him at night but he does wake up dry a lot of the nights and asks for the potty first thing after waking up.

We are SO proud of our little dude and I don’t know how I would have been able to do this without being home so much this summer.

Yay for potty training!  Yay for a potty going *everywhere* with us now, yay for no more expensive diapers!  But most of all, YAY for our little super dude!

Children’s Museum – Easton, MA

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This morning myself and the kiddo tagged along with a friend and her kids to the Children’s Museum in Easton.  I had heard of it but had never gone…even though it’s only a 20 minute ride from home. The place might be on the small side, as it is inside of an old fire station, but it is awesome.  Perhaps kids smaller than 1 may not have that great of a time inside, but that’s what the outdoor garden is for.  You can play music, play with water, climb, and even have a picnic.  I was almost ready to call it a day when Markus said “No! Funny house!” so back inside we went where he played on the second floor and then pretended to mail postcards for about 15 minutes.

This is a definite must.  And on the way back, you should stop at The Farmer’s Daughter, which apparently does breakfast and lunch, or play at the big park next door which houses Shovelshop Pond.  So much to do, so little time!

Growing Pains be Gone!

Our toddler has been a real nutter lately.  He’s acting out, hitting…mostly me, screaming and just being exceptionally verbal…which certainly helps us understand him better.  With that, new rules have come in to play.  On days that he is home, the TV goes off by 9am and isn’t turned back on until 7pm for some night time shows.

The other day he woke up from his nap and had an all out fit that he couldn’t watch something on TV.  Unfortunately one of the loving daycare teachers, and I don’t mean that sarcastically, let’s him watch some Mickey on her phone from time to time after nap time. So I brought down two books and just read them aloud while he screamed his head off.  Eventually, he came over and we read Strega Nonna and The Witches (a special book about Lake Winnipesaukee).

But, today he’s a new kid.  I’m sure the fact that we can go outside helps but we played, walked, and got soaked by left over rain water.  After going inside and playing some music he lay down on my chest and I told him random made up stories.  He kept asking for “more” until he fell asleep right there next to me.

These are the moments I’ll treasure for ever.  Thank you for laying me off previous employer.  You don’t know how thankful I am to spend this extra time with our son.

Dollar Store finds

I was planning on heading to the dollar store to buy some items for a second birthday party and came across this awesome pin-spiration! Now that I’m home with the kiddo more days than usual, I need help coming up with creative and fun stuff for us to do!

Use a clear shower curtain liner to make a dry-erase sheet your kid can draw all over.

Toddler Lunches

I promised to share what I send to daycare with my kiddo, to be clear this isn’t all for lunch but for all his meals for the day. So here goes.  Today he got some veggies (cucumber, avocado & carrots) with buttered multigrain bread and cheese, blueberries, goldfish with craisins, some left over chicken parm with cauliflower, applesauce, strawberries, and raisins.  Of course we didn’t forget the milk and water. What do you pack to school with your kiddo?

Part Time Mom

That sounds way worse than what it actually is…but, we all might feel like part time parents, at least those that work the live long day and only see our little’s at night and on weekends.  But I’ve moved up my part time parent status now that I am unemployed, hopefully for a short duration.  I now have my son at home on Mondays and Wednesdays, on top of the weekend of course and the daycare days have become significantly shorter, from 10 hour days to 8.  We found it important to still keep the little one at daycare because he loves it so and is learning a lot but I am also greatful that I get to see him more and really see him learning about everything around us.

He has become quite the little chatter box, and quite the little fit thrower, but aside from the latter, our days together are splendid.

Here is how I break them up:

6:30-8:30 or so we play in doors with the TV on.  I’m sorry, I can’t help it.  Mommy needs time to get in to the groove with the day

8:30/9 – 10ish we are outside for what we call “a buggy ride”

10am we have a healthy snack…I’ll be sure to post some photos soon

10:30-11:30ish we are once again outside playing in the yard (we used to go to the local Y for some free swim but with the summer here we reeled those expenses in…besides, our pool will be open this weekend!)

noonish we have lunch and watch a half hour of TV (if he even makes it this late)

NAP TIME!!! at school it’s from 1-3, at home it can start at any time after 11…

The afternoon hours are spent going to the grocery store, going on another buggy ride and playing outside until daddy comes home

I find that the morning is always the hardest to get through but after the nap it’s all down hill until daddy gets home and it’s dinner time

Good luck to you all making it work on your schedule!

Work and Daycare

I just saw this great story about how Rachel Zoe, who apparently had another baby, opened up a daycare in her office and calls it the best decision she has ever made.  It certainly would make life easier to have an at work daycare center…but what happens when you lose your job?  Discuss…

Work Life Balance

This lady couldn’t have said it better. “Work life balance…is there such a thing?…Go with the flow!”

Tales from a Working Mom: Is Balance Possible?

Daycare Lunch List

Check out a friend’s helpful blog post about making fun lunches for your little ones.  I have to say that being creative nightly with food that might or might not get eaten is the hardest thing.  What do you feed your little ones?

fruits

New Year’s Eve Fun

Ringing in the new year can be difficult with little ones.  This might partly be due to you being tired and not wanting to stay up, or wanting to stay up and indulge in a bit of bubbly but not being able to as you are too busy running after the little crazies. So, here are some fun activities to keep them somewhat quiet, excited, and occupied!

New Year's Eve Bingo

Toys

girl-boy-blocks

I came across an interesting article about the best engineering toys for kiddos.  I love blocks, and remember having too many Lego pieces to count.  What are you getting your kids for Christmas, or any other holiday this season?

Safer Home

City Adventures Safety Table Cover/Playmat

Folks, it’s been a while.  But I was perusing Zulily and saw this neat sharp corner table cover which not only protects little heads and eyes but makes it a way cool table to play with cars on!

Making Your Parents Proud

I know, I’ve been MIA.  For the past month or so my little one and I have been coughing and finally caught the real cold and have ended up on antibiotics due to high fevers and just not being able to shake this thing.  Unfortunately, it looks like my husband is next.  However, I stumbled upon this lovely article from a LinkedIn employee that just pulled at my heartstrings.  Read the Making Your Parents Proud posting and think back on your lives!🙂

Returning to Work

Some mommies, or daddies, are just planning their return to work.  And wouldn’t you know it, but LinkedIn pushed an interesting story to my feed that I thought could serve us all well.  The article is titled, Returning to Work: Some Hard Truths for First-Time Mothers.

I have to be honest that I was actually ok with getting back to work as it allowed me to separate my life a bit better and it allows me to not only focus on my child, who is very well taken care of, but also on myself.  It allows me to use my brain for things that I went to school for but also, I have a bit more freedom, especially during lunch.  It’s the only way I’ve been able to keep up my running!

During my mat leave, I checked in regularly with my team, and actually opted to work part time from home during my last month…which to be honest is something I won’t repeat as it put too much stress on everything.

I like the last point the most, out of the article: “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t be happy working and being a Mom. There are many differing opinions on this and I’m all for supporting women in whatever role they want – whether it’s working full time or being a stay at home Mom. Both are really hard yet rewarding roles. However, working full time and balancing motherhood can really be an exciting time. Sure, you might manage things differently now, you might have to cut out for your child’s school play or doctor appointment, but you still can be a committed professional who adds value and delivers for the business every day all the while having fun and reaping the rewards of being a professional working woman.”

How do you balance being a working mom?

I also thought I’d share this blog with all you working dads out there: The family room blog.

Fall Activities

As summer draws to a close, after a week of mid summer temps, we’re all probably beginning to realize that our house is about to become much smaller due to all activities outside the home being brought in.  However, the fall is a great time for some of the following:

Apple Picking
Touch a Truck days
Those last playground outings
Jumping in big leaf piles
Head of the Charles River Regatta
All kinds of other things to do on the South Shore of MA

Here are some other neat activities to keep you and your kids entertained (click the image to get to the site):

Toddler Approved!: 10 Quick & Easy Toddler Activities

$245,000…

Apparently, that is how much you will have spent on your child by the time he or she turns 18.  I’ll let that number sink in with you a while…

Daycare Lunches for Toddlers

lunch logo

I heard a story this morning on the news that stated that children who bring in a lunch actually get a less healthy meal than those that purchase their lunches.  Now, I’m not sure which schools were surveyed but I can see how it might be a struggle for parents who try to do the right thing, but every once in a while have to resort to a quick bag of chips and a sandwich in their child’s lunch bag rather than cutting up veggies, berries, etc every night.

I try to pack the right things, but it’s even more difficult with a 1 year old who seems to play with food rather than eat it and changes his mind weekly as to what he likes and dislikes.  So I searched…here are some great quick resources for all you parents out there:

Daycare Food/Snack Ideas – Pinterest board
Toddler Lunch Ideas – Parenting Magazine
Toddler Menus – Wholesome Toddler Food Online Blog
Toddler Lunch Ideas – Babble

Preparing for Maternity Leave

How to Financially Prepare for Maternity Leave, should have done this the first time around. Might need this in the future.

I might not be in this boar currently but I know for darn sure that I’ll be taking the full time allowed to be home with my baby.  But how do you prepare to be without funds, potentially, for an extra 6 weeks?

Here are some quick tips!

  • Set a new family budget. I knew that in order to afford the extended maternity leave I was planning to take, my husband and I would need to start adding to our savings well before the baby arrived.
  • Started looking for deals on baby gear. This can be a massive expense, especially if you let your hormones and emotions dictate your purchases. By giving myself months to search out the perfect products at the perfect prices, I minimized my expenses on everything from a crib to a high chair to a car seat.
  • I set aside an additional $250 a month for the rest of my daughter’s material expenses; I also knew – because I’d talked to my health insurance provider during my first trimester – that adding a third person to our policy would increase our monthly premiums by about $200.

Family Vacations

As summer quickly draws to an end and I begin planning our Thanksgiving break, my parents are coming in to town, I looked for camping/glamping places in Vermont.  It seems like there would be an abundance of stuff to do, even in colder weather.  Ben & Jerry’s overdose anyone?

Well, I came across a place called Tyler Place.  It’s a family resort of sorts.  It looks like you would typically consider going for a week and the whole family can relax and the parents can go off and do something on their own while children of all ages are minded to.  It may not be the typical “family” vacation, but every parent needs a bit of alone time, and why not on vacation?  Take a look at this unique vacation option at The Tyler Place.  Or how about staying in a real life tree house at Moose Meadow Lodge?!?

Resort Map

Eating Habits of 1 year old’s

Our 1 year old has suddenly stopped eating as much during dinner.  He’s way more into putting beans in his hair, hiding pasta between his legs or behind the high chair, or generally just throwing food around.  Although funny at times, such as the bean head incident, we began to wonder if this was normal.  Perhaps he’s just not hungry, which is odd for our child, perhaps he doesn’t like his food, but we’re supposed to get him used to normal people food…

So I googled, and came across a great article put together by the Vermont Department of Health titled Feeding Your Toddler 1-2 Years Old.  Take a read, take notes, and enjoy the ride!🙂

Playing While Cooking

Our kiddo wants our attention…most of the time.  He’s lately taken an interest in hanging on to my legs and going between them while I’m in the kitchen.  I end up giving him random stuff to play with.  Below are some ideas that you can use to distract the littles while you’re trying to make a meal.  I’d say all of them are great, minus the water play as I know for  fact that I don’t want to be cleaning up a major spill while something is boiling over on the stove top.

Babys-First-Sensory-Bin-6Clothes Pin Drop - Activities for Young Toddlers20 Toddler Activities by teachingmama #Kids #Toddlers #Activities Finally some great ideas! No more momma going crazy on the weekends!

Solid Food

Website has many baby food and toddler recipes! {Even divided by stages}

Our 1 year old kiddo has been on solids for a while now but we just recently did away with formula, for the exception of a splash of it in case he wakes up starving at 4am, and converted to milk & water and all solids.  It’s been a game changer because we are trying to also give him more protein rich foods, i.e. meats & fish.  Luckily, he’s started going to bed a bit later…to be perfectly honest, that’s a whole other conversation as he hates going to bed now…which allows me to prepare some food for all of us so we can eat dinner together and we all eat the same thing.  Luckily, so far he’s interested in doing everything we’re doing, and more importantly, eating everything we’re eating.  The challenge is that if there is any food around, he wants it.  So, we don’t leave it around, and don’t snack, which is kind of good for all of us.

Our daily meals are the following:

Early morning meal: milk in sippy cup, greek yogurt mixed with oatmeal cereal, berries & milk.

Snack: milk in sippy cup and fruit or a cheese stick

Meal: milk in a sippy cup, some protein in form of a hot dog or chicken, cottage cheese with fruit puree

Meal: milk in sippy cup, protein, macaroni or some other veggie puree, fruit

Dinner: milk in sippy cup, protein, macaroni or veggies, fruit

We’ll throw in some snackable food in between the last three meals.  He loves mums and puffs and really…anything.

What are you feeding your kiddos?

Cape Cod with the Kiddos

cape cod

Many of you might be heading to the cape to spend some time by the sea shore.  Here are some great ideas for what you can do on the cape, besides sit on the beach, with the littles!

Fun things to do in the Yarmouth area

Kid friendly activities across the cape

Minitime – cape with the kiddos

Head Lice

No, our boy does not have them, but a woman I work with was talking about a time her daughter brought some home from school.  So that led me to wonder, “what are you supposed to do with them?”  Luckily, as always, pinterest has a list of numerous remedies.

How To Get Rid of Head Lice. A natural and homemade remedy that works and is cheaper than store bought treatments! Also ideas for preventing head lice, and treating linens and furniture.

Father’s Day

Greetings mommas and babies.  What are your plans for fathers day?  Just like mothers day I don’t feel like we should dote on the parent once a year but rather help and be kind throughout the year.  But if you’re in a crafty mood, check out these pins from pinterest dedicated to Father’s Day giftables!

M&M Bow Tie Father's Day Card Idea for Kids to Make their Daddys! #frugal gift

Daddy DayCare

Does your child stay at home?  Do they stay at home with mom or dad?  I know friends who are in both situations but according to this article, the number of stay at home dads has drastically increased.  So if you’re a dad and stay home, please let me know how you found yourself in the situation

Raisin up the Nose? No Problem

Here is an article I thought was worth sharing.  What do you do if your kid jams a raisin, or some other object, up their nostril? Block the other and blow in their mouth! Read more in this article.  You can even view the video!

Nursery Idea

When I all of a sudden changed our nursery motif to a nautical one, a big flag went of for everyone and they realized we were having a boy.  But, you can very easily repurpose such a room for a girl with some cute pops of pink. Here is one idea how:

Nautical Nursery for a little girl - Navy, Aqua, Magenta, Pale Pink <3

Memorial Day with the kiddos

Memorial Day Craft for Kids: Fireworks Marble Painting

This Memorial Day the husband plans to open up our pool and we are headed to the Cape to spend some time on the beach and with good friends.  I cannot wait to begin making beachy memories with the kiddo and see how he enjoys the water and playing with all of his pals.  What are your Memorial Day weekend plans?

Keeping Kiddos Occupied

Even for those of us who have our kids in daycare, there will be days where they have to stay home, either due to illness or your daycare being closed for cleaning or other reasons.  I came across a great list of activities to keep the kiddos occupied. So click on the image below and check it out!

33 Activities Under $10 That Will Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer

Mother’s Day

Happy belated Mother’s Day gals!  I don’t really care about this holiday just as I don’t really care about Valentine’s Day.  If something nice comes out of it, great but I don’t think you should treat mom nicely only once a year.  But, how was your mother’s day?  It was a beautiful Sunday, we were headed back from NH from my half marathon race – you can read more about it in the Fit Momma section – but although the baby was being particularly fussy and my husband was sick as a dog, and there may have been a tiff or two, I got to do yoga on the deck overlooking Alton Bay and once we got home got to play outside with the baby with some water in a bucket, followed by a nice nap for baby and a margartia for mommy and some back porch sitting with hubby.

That is one LONG run on sentence if I’ve ever seen one🙂

These are a few of my favorite things!

Daylight Savings – Preparing your kids

This weekend we spring ahead.  Which means we lose an hour of sleep! What can you do to prepare?  Well, the Today show covered the topic adn suggested you prepare yourself today, Friday.  Go to bed 15 minutes earlier and wake up 15 mintues earlier.  That also goes for your kiddos and babies.  We get our little one ready for bed at 7, sounds like it will be 6:45 today and 6:30 tomorrow.  Let’s hope it will help little Markus, and mommie on Monday morning!

1st Birthday

Now…I know, we are about 4 months away from our son’s first birthday.  I don’t plan on doing a big shabang as I know he won’t remember at all, but the one thing I’d like to splurge on is a nice cake.  I reached out to a local bakery, Artisan Bake Shop, and hope to work with the folks there on creating a cake for our little one.  The nice cake will more than likely be for adults, and I’ll bake something small for him to tear in to.

Here are some cute and simple cake ideas from Pinterest:

simple and cute beach themed fondant cake with blue and white waves and an orange crab . ocean theme . sand pail and shovel . 1st birthday cake idea    Beautiful Cake Pictures: Pink Ombre Ruffled Little Sparkle 1st Birthday Cake: Birthday Cakes, Cakes With Ruffles, Pink Cakes1st birthday cake

And here are some other fun and sweet ideas.

This was the first thing in my pinterest feed! hahaha Funfetti Chocolate Chip Birthday Cookie Recipe   Look Whoo's Turning One! 1st Birthday, Woodland Owl Party - Kara's Party Ideas - The Place for All Things Party   I like how they've iced around the edge of these to make it seem more cake like! I bet pull-apart cupcakes would be fantastic if you used silicone cupcake molds and then took each one out before icing!   Lil' Chick Cupcakes - make with fav gf cake mix - cute!   Confetti Cake Stack

Happy Valentine’s Day

Are you looking for neat crafts for you and your littles?  Here are some ideas.  For more, go to pinterest and type in “Valentine’s Day crafts.”

   Red Solo Cup Valentine's Day Craft For Kids {Heart Man} #Funny valentines card idea #cheap art project | http://www.sassydealz.com/2014/01/red-solo-cup-valentines-day-craft-for.html   Valentine's Day Craft for kids made with wine corks so mom can have fun too ( not at the same time obviously or she can buy them at a craft store if wine isn't her thing.. )   Handprint   Valentine's Day craft: I'm Cocoa for You | Spoonful Teacher & classroom gift. Hot chocolate.   Symmetry: cute valentines day craft for kids

Graco Recall

Who DOESN’T have a Graco car seat?  Graco is recalling its Graco car seat buckles.

“Graco Children’s Products is recalling almost 3.8 million car seats because faulty buckles can make it hard to free the child in an emergency, the company said on Tuesday…The seats in the recall are the 2009 to 2013 model years of the Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride with Safety Surround, My Ride 70, Size 4 Me 70, Smartseat, Nautilus, Nautilus Elite and Argos 70…Graco told regulators that the problems with the buckles stemmed from contamination with “foreign material such as food or dried liquids.” But investigators dismissed that explanation, saying that buckles getting dirty with food and drink was “completely foreseeable,” and not an excuse.”

You’re Doing Ok Mom

When I was still staying home with the little one, this commercial always made me choke up.  So I’m sharing it with you🙂

Happy Friday!

Infant Activities

I wanted to explore some ideas for what we can do with our little one.  We, my husband and I, feel like he has so much more fun at daycare that I decided to poke around and see what I can do to make time at home more fun. I won’t be as concerned once the weather gets warmer, but these single and teen temps are keeping all of us at home.  So, I googled…and found this amazing mommy blog filled with ideas for children of all ages!  The blog is called, The Stay at Home Mom Survival Guide. You HAVE to check it out.

Baby Proofing

DAILY DOSE OF BIRTHCONTROL! Children gone wild – 20 pictures which will make you laugh! | Vivas

Our little one is on the move, no, that is not him pictured above.  But, if you want a funny glimpse into what might happen if you don’t baby proof then you may want to check out these hilarious photos of children gone wild.

But seriously, it has taken all of a few days for little Markus to flip some switch in his little brain and he’s babbling, crawling everywhere, pulling up and getting his to tooth out all at once.  It’s pretty miraculous.  My husband even confessed this morning that this is a really fun age.  But besides the usual plug covers and door latches what should we be thinking about?  Shockingly, not, there are zillions of child proofing lists out there.  For one, we know we need a couple of baby gates for our stairs.

Here is a childproofing checklist from baby center for those of you who want to childproof before the baby even crawls.

Here is a link to a parents.com checklist for all your safety needs.

Any mommies out there read Real Simple magazine?  Well they also have a childproofing checklist for various rooms in the house.

I think these three are a good start.

What are you doing to childproof your home?

Teaching Your Children About Work, and Life

I came across a really nice article about one father who wanted to pass on some business/life skills to his 3-year-old son, titled 12 Things I Want to Teach My Toddler About Work.  Here are the things I thought were the best pieces of wisdom as they apply to both work and life:

Gather knowledge… but also gather knowledgeable people.

Take responsibility for outcomes.

Share credit for accomplishments.

Don’t expect life to be fair. Life just is.

Don’t think you’ll always get a trophy.

Don’t expect someone else to boost your self-esteem.

What wisdom do you want to pass on to your children?

Boston Children’s Museum

Today, upon dropping off the baby at daycare I noticed our local parent’s magazine mentioning an article about Boston Children’s Museum and all the great things one can do there.  Upon reading the article I learned that it’s great for kids 0-3!  Although I’m sure Markus would enjoy petting animals and crawling rampant I’m thinking it would be a lot more fun for all involved parties to wait until it’s warmer out and he can truly move, as I expect it to be rather soon.

So what’s my point?  Check out your local museums and see what kinds of children’s activities they have, I assure you, you might be amazed at the wonderful offerings!

No children’s museums in your area?  How about a fun house for kids of all ages?  Here’s one in my local area called Monkey Joe’s that is actually found in a lot of different states.

Baby Registry Must Haves

        

A friend of mine had put together a must have list of items that I’m sure she has sent around to a number of her friends as I know that I have forwarded it around as well.  Well, here is my random order list.  What are your must haves?

  • Humidifier or Vaporizer.  We practically use this thing every single night now that it’s winter time.  Plus, the fact that the warm mist humidifier/vaporizer has a spot to pour Vick’s into it, is amazing!
  • Wubba Nub pacifier with those animals attached.  Our little one loves them as it gives him something to hold on to.
  • At least three crib sheets
  • Mattress protector
  • Boppy Pillow or my brest friend – Although I used this to feed the baby it was also a dream to sit on while my bottom healed…
  • Long sleeve onesies!
  • Sleep & Play outfits for…sleeping and playing.  We mostly use our’s for sleeping in.
  • Sleep sheep or giraffe, for the first couple of months I also downloaded a few white noise apps and had it going all night
  • We love our Summer Infant video monitor. We got ours at Target.
  • Pack n Play with a bassinet, it worked for us to have him sleep in there for the first month before we transitioned to a crib
  • Glider!!!
  • We also love this night glo Fisher Price sea horse that we turn on as we get ready for bed.  It soothes him every time.
  • A jumperoo, our kid frickin loves it!
  • Tommie Tippee bottles
  • Night light
  • Baby Bath
  • Happiest Baby on the Block book
  • A medicine dispenser with a nipple on the end – I thought that these were just a nice to have and then came across one at a TJMaxx and went for it.  Let me tell you, it has made a WORLD of difference when trying to get my son to take his medicine.

Some things that we got and ended up being useless:

  • A swing – we were told that many a baby would just happily sleep their days away in one.  Well, our baby did not and pretty much hated the thing asleep or awake.  The times we did use it were far and few between.
  • A baby bjorn – luckily we got one at a yard sale for $20, otherwise we would have been really sad if we had bought it at full price.  We probably used it 5 times, and out of those five, he enjoyed it maybe 3.

Essentially, any large activity items I would encourage you to test out at a friend’s house or at a store and then buy them at a consignment sale.

I hope this was helpful and I’m sure there are many things that I may have missed, but here is a great blog that should help you!

http://www.kaylaaimee.com/category/what-i-love/baby-favorites-registry-recommendations/

Resolutions

I read somewhere once that once you have a baby or babies you often feel like your old self is lost.  The suggestion this one article made was to write down all of the things you miss and identify those that make you the most happy and either resolve to make time for them or replace them with something else that might not be as time-consuming but equally fun.  So, here are the two things I’m going to resolve to do, outside of making time for me and the husbando, which luckily is becoming easier with an earlier bed time for the little one.  Anyway, here is how I hope to accomplish finding time for exercising and reading.

Exercise for 10 minutes a day or a half hour per week, at a minimum.  Now that I am going to begin training for the Big Lake half marathon, I’m going to really try to be diligent about finding time to train…but I think we all have 10 minutes a day to either go for a walk, do some crunches, or follow along with a video on youtube.  Take a look at some of the things I have pinned on my Pinterest, Fitness 101, board.

Reading, I’m going to follow the same thinking and try to read, something, for ten minutes a day or at least a half hour per week.  I miss following along with the No Obligation book club, and I got a book for Christmas, as well as left over books from the summer, that I’d really like to get to.

Looking for some other resolutions, or ways to accomplish those you’ve made?  Here’s a great article from Parents.com about 10 Real Parent Resolutions.  I personally like number 2, as I need to resolve to put my phone away and looking at stupid Facebook! And number 8 goes along with today’s post🙂

Saving for College

I have been thinking about the fact that although college is a LONG way away, 18 years may fly by faster than we think.  I have also been thinking about saving for our son’s education because, just like anybody, lately my husband and I have been spending like we own a printing press and just print money.  This usually happens around the holidays and everyone gets in to the giving spirit.

So with all of that in mind I decided to do some research and was horrified by the numbers I saw, in terms of what we should be saving per month.  This leads me to one conclusion, a very strict monthly budget is to be kept in order for our child to have a somewhat paid for college education, that, or we really do need to get our own printing press…

Below are some resources I stumbled upon:

The Internet Guide to Saving for College

Saving for College (Did you know that September is national saving for college month?  How ironic…)

Saving for College and College Savings Plans (Fidelity)

Section 529 College Savings Plans

Saving for College: A Timeline for Parents… (this has a great infographic)

Guide to College Savings Plans (cnn)

Baby Swim Lessons

Good morning and Happy 2014!  Lately, I’ve been really thinking about signing up for a gym with a pool so our little one can start getting used to the water.  I have since found a gym that not only has a pool but a baby aquatics class, if you must know this is offered at our local YMCA.

I decided to look up some information on when babies can start taking these kinds of classes and what to keep in mind.  So, here is some great information!

Baby Swimming Lessons from Parenting.com
6 to 18 months

Your child can…

  • Explore the water and start to feel comfortable in it.
  • Do very basic kicking and pulling movements.
  • Start to master floating and gliding, blowing bubbles, changing directions, and getting in and out of the water (all with help).”

Pediatricians Approve Swimming Lessons for Babies from TIME.com
“Parents should choose swimming classes that emphasize water safety and require a parent or other adult to be in the water with the child, according to an AP report, and classes should have at least one instructor for every 10 students.”

When Can My Baby Take Swimming Lessons? from babycenter.com
“A number of health and swimming clubs, such as the YMCA’s, offer parent-and-child lessons. Ask your doctor, daycare provider, or other parents to recommend a good program in your area. Try to observe a class before you join. The instructors should run a well-organized class and clearly demonstrate what they’re asking parents to do (how to hold a child in the water, for example). A lifeguard should be on duty at all times.”
Teething

Our little bundle of joy is four and a half months old and has two of his bottom teeth peeking out of his cute little gums.  There were some random nights and days when we would have a major screamfest on our hands for a half hour or so but for the most part, he’s been a little trooper.  Below is my list of random things that might help your baby while he or she may be teething…if you’ve identified that that is what is happening.

This advice comes straight from webmd:
“Here are some tips to help your baby feel better while teething:

  • Give your baby a mild pain reliever that is labeled for his or her specific age. For example, acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil) may help relieve your baby’s discomfort. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 because it has been linked to Reye syndrome, a rare but serious disease.
  • Use a clean finger (or cold teething ring) to gently rub your baby’s gum for about 2 minutes at a time. Many babies find this soothing, although they may protest at first.
  • Provide safe objects for your baby to chew on, such as teething rings.

Many parents use other teething remedies, such as gels you put on a baby’s gums. Many experts question if these work and are safe. If you want to try these products, talk to your doctor about which types are safe and how often to use them.”

And here is some advice from the Mayo Clinic:

“If your teething baby seems uncomfortable, consider these simple tips:

  • Rub your baby’s gums. Use a clean finger, moistened gauze pad or damp washcloth to massage your baby’s gums. The pressure can ease your baby’s discomfort.
  • Offer a teething ring. Try one made of firm rubber. The liquid-filled variety might break under the pressure of your baby’s chewing. If a bottle seems to do the trick, fill it with water. Prolonged contact with sugar from formula, milk or juice contributes to tooth decay.
  • Keep it cool. A cold washcloth or chilled teething ring can be soothing on a baby’s gums. Don’t give your baby a frozen teething ring, however. Contact with extreme cold can be harmful.
  • Try hard foods. If your baby is eating solid foods, you might offer something edible for gnawing — such as a peeled and chilled cucumber or carrot. Keep a close eye on your baby, however. Any pieces that break off might pose a choking hazard.
  • Dry the drool. Excessive drooling is part of the teething process. To prevent skin irritation, keep a clean cloth handy to dry your baby’s chin.
  • Try an over-the-counter remedy. If your baby is especially cranky, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) might help. Avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine. Benzocaine products have been associated with methemoglobinemia — a rare but serious condition that reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood.”

Good luck and keep an eye out for those pearly whites!

Working Mom Tips

I just stumbled upon a great site that has all kinds of tips for working moms.  It’s actually a weekly column!
Here are some tips I enjoyed:

  • Be unapologetic about your lifestyle. Making excuses for working is like wearing a short skirt and constantly pulling on it.
  • As soon as the school calendar arrives, add it to yours. This way you can plan around the school play and the parent teacher conference.
  • Disconnect to Connect. Turn off the technology for a set time each day so that you are present when you are with your family
  • Spend a night out each week – a date night or an evening with friends. This is your fuel; don’t let your tank run dry.
  • Don’t get so attached to your sitter that you can’t see her faults. Spot-check by arriving home unexpectedly to see what happens when you are not there.

Work Life Balance/Daddy Daycare

I came across a great article about the juggling act considered work life balance and how fun it gets when you throw kids into the mix.  Here is an excerpt before I let you read the article, titled Home Economics: The Link Between Work-Life Balance and Income Equality, your own time.

“Men’s absence from the conversation about work and life is strange, because decisions about who works and who takes care of the children, and who makes the money and how the money is spent, are not decided by women alone or by some vague and impersonal force called society…The central conflict of domestic life right now is not men versus women, mothers versus fathers. It is family versus money. Domestic life today is like one of those behind-the-scenes TV series about show business. The main narrative tension is: ‘How the hell are we going to make this happen?’ There are tears and laughs and little intrigues, but in the end, it’s just a miracle that the show goes on, that everyone is fed and clothed and out the door each day.”

Do you agree with the rest of the article?  Are men a lot more present in the home?  Should women stop trying to do it all?  Is it all up to”the benjamin’s?”

Sick Babies

Well, our baby has been in day care for two weeks and has caught his first cold.  He’s been stuffy and has developed a cough that won’t seem to go away, which makes for some pretty tough nights.  I just wanted to share some things with you if you are in the same boat.

Step 1: Don’t lose those nasal aspirators they give you in the hospital.  We got two and they seem to have vanished into thin air.

Step 2: We have tried running the humidifier and a safe space heater in the baby’s room.  We have also tried propping up his mattress at a slight angle with towels so he can breathe easier…nothing seems to be doing the trick and he wakes up in a panic and one of us goes rushing in.  He falls asleep immediately in our arms but cannot seem to get too comfortable, at least not for long stretches of time, in his crib.

I have been reading up on bronchitis and it seems to be pretty common in infants 3-6 months old.  No antibiotics can be prescribed, probably partly due to the babies size but also, because it’s a viral and not a bacterial kind of infection.  I did reach out to our pediatrician office and they have suggested doing some saline drops with the aspirator and then sucking things back out after a short while hoping that those will unclog his poor little nose.  Here are some additional articles.  If you have any additional tips, please do share them with me!

About bronchiolitis: kidshealth.org
Bronchitis: babycenter.com

Daycare

Monday starts a whole new chapter in our lives…daycare.  My mom has been living with us for the past month helping take care of Markus and now he is a bouncing jelly bean.  I’m pretty sure he’ll be crawling in no time, the kid is almost 20 pounds and isn’t even 4 months old!  We are going to stop by our daycare today to drop off some items and let Markus meet his teachers and care givers.  I know it will be a hard transition but in the long run it will hopefully benefit him to be around people and other kids.

I haven’t been able to bring him in to visit earlier so some of the advice in the attached articles may not apply to us but perhaps it will help YOU and your family prepare your child for daycare.  And hopefully the photo above won’t depict your experience🙂

8 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Daycare
Baby’s First Day of Daycare
A daycare Packing List for Baby
8 Ways Working Moms Can Ease Child Separation Anxiety

Motherhood

Such a sweet write-up by Jenna Bush Hager on Motherhoood.  It’s true, that first month you are so in the weeds you feel like you’ll never get out, but being at the end of our second month with our son Markus I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  We all have those “meltdown” days but when that day passes I am as high as a kite at how much he’s grown already.

But here is a question I was asked and now ask all of my new mommy friends, is motherhood what you expected?  Is it harder , the same or easier?  For me, that first month was a doozie, but it must be like that for every new mom.  I think we’ll be total pro’s with #2.  No, he or she is not on the way! :)  Happy Friday!

Mom’s Groups

Are you a stay at home mom in Mansfield, MA?  Go ahead and join the Mansfield Mom’s Group!

Father Son Relationships

Here is an article titled “Open Letter to My Son” that my husband sent me in the midle of the work day and caused me to blubber like a looney at my desk.

Back to Work After Baby

Yesterday was my first day back in the office after a month of working part-time at home while trying to take care of a baby.  Lessons learned? You’ll feel like you’re not doing any one thing well and hence will feel guilty, anxious and like everyone and everything is suffering from you taking on too much.  As I return back to the office I am feeling all of those typical things they tell you you’ll feel, sadness, guilt, elation (that you actually have time to eat a full lunch even if it might be at your desk), and many other emotions.  It certainly helps that baby boy is at home with grandma for the next 4 weeks before he starts daycare so I know that he is being cared for by a family member and I get updates via text with photographic attachments which are always nice.

I am also experiencing all the things moms who return back to work experience.  Feeling like you might be out of the loop (although being in touch and working part-time helped ease back in), rifling through hundreds of unread emails and trying to figure out what the most up to date status of a project might be, re administering authority, but also trying to figure out a quick way to pump through-out the day.

The guilt sets in again when I know I’ll have to sneak away from 15-30 minutes three times a day to take care of my business.  Reading the following article about not hiding the fact that you pump, is making me eager to not feel guilty for doing what’s best for my family.

What has everyone else’s experience been?

The First Few Weeks

Infant Brain Stimulation: Things to do with baby, by age

Our baby boy Markus was born on the 1st of July.  Since then, I’ve been pinning some things to a baby tips board on Pinterest as there are a lot of things that aren’t talked about unless you go out of your way to seek information, such as breastfeeding.  I was lucky enough to be able to have a lactation specialist come to the house a few times and calm my fears about me doing things wrong.  With all of the other things to get used to, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your baby is getting enough food, especially during two heat waves and if you’ve chosen to breastfeed rather than mix formula.

What they say is true.  Things do get a bit more regulayed as the weeks go on, but that doesn’t mean the pain goes away.  I’m choosing to suffer through it and hope things get even better.  What did you find to be the hardest part about the first few weeks at home?  Is it the fact that you truly only have access to one hand?🙂

40 weeks pregnant

That is how I think the baby feels, and I do too.  I really have been feeling pretty darn great compared to some of the stories I’ve heard.  I worked up to my 40th week, which I’m sure others can relate to is fun with all the people saying “you’re still here!” every single day for the two last weeks.

But what I can also say is that getting to this point really screws with your head.  I can’t speak for second or third pregnancies but I feel like with your first, everything is new to you, obviously.  As you get to the near end and begin seeing the doctor weekly you begin to wonder, is today the day?  And you do so for week after week.  After a while, you begin to think that the kid must be receding and this thing is actually never going to happen.  You begin to have odd thoughts about not being prepared, although you have been for weeks.  But then one night, when you least expect it after you round out your 40th week…wham-o!  Are you ready?  It’s time to go.  Whether the going is natural or induced, there is now no turning back and you better be ready.

Daycare Review – Boston South Shore

I know I’ve covered this topic in short before but since no one seems to write any reviews about daycare here are my two cents on the way we’ve decided to go with our daycare choice.  We visited 4 places, Bright Horizons, KinderCare, Mansfield Children’s Center, and last but not least Little Trails Learning Center.

All of these places were great and so we had to look at financials and rule some things out.  We initially only had KinderCare and Bright Horizons to choose from and although the cost was higher at Bright Horizons I really felt like our child would get a lot more bang out of those extra bucks.  There was a gym where even the infants got to crawl around.  There was more green outdoor space and it just made me a little more happy.  However, we really didn’t dislike KinderCare and so figured we’d opt for it because it was a bit closer to home and since we couldn’t really point to something we didn’t like it seemed like a good option.

Then a friend of mine mentioned Mansfield Children’s Center and so we went for a visit and were blown away.  There are 80 kids that attend this great little place.  They are taught manners, responsibility and are armed with all the other great tools one needs in order to survive out in the world.  Since the place is situated on 2+ acres there is also a lot of outdoor activity.  Classes get divided in half and one teacher takes the kids outside while the other half stays in and does crafts or reads or dances, etc.  Sometimes the older kids come upstairs and read to the toddlers.  Kids play outside and watch butterflies hatch and fly off.  Did I also mention that once the kids are potty trained, and the MCC helps with that, they are allowed to begin taking swimming lessons right on the property?  The infants have their own little area right next to the directors office and have swings that are hung from the ceiling and a nice closed in porch to crawl around on.  All in all, it made me never want to go to work but instead just hang out at camp MCC.  The only thing that threw us off, and apparently other parents as well, was the security.  There is no buzzing in system.  Because the place has been in business 30+ years, it is hard to change over to a new system but it is being worked on.  However, we hadn’t heard anything about this being an issue and were going to send our son there…until my husband got a lead on another place right in town, Little Trails Learning Center.  In terms of price, MCC came in right at the same price as KinderCare.

Little Trails is housed in one building and has children from infants to pre-K.  The one big open floor plan is divided into “rooms” where kids of certain ages spend their days.  They also have an outdoor playground and are close enough to a pond that they take walks there.  Since this place came recommended we had to go check it out.  We were a bit skeptical as to how 50 kids are managed in one open space.  The infants have their own closed off room so they have a bit more privacy.  We again didn’t have anything bad to say about the place.  It has all of the basics for our little one and we’re convinced he’ll be loved and cared for.  In terms of price, all I can say is we will be saving quite a significant amount of money in that first infant time.  So taking all of that into consideration, I have signed our son up at LTLC.  We are going to revisit the MCC option once he is ready to move on to the next age group as the place just had so much to offer and we want him to have as much fun and learning as humanly possibly.

If anyone ahs any specific questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me privately via a comment and I’ll be happy to tell you more about anything daycare related.

You’re Still Here?

Nope, I’m a figment of imagination.  No, the baby isn’t in the car as I chose to come in to work.  No I don’t know when the baby will come but it’s nice that you want to see it and hold it because apparently I do not.  I’m really not that bitter but come on.  Most of the people that are asking that question have either had a baby of their own, or are husbands with wives who have had babies.  Am I thrilled to still be waiting as I near the completion of week 40?  No, but at the same time, if he’s not ready to come out, then no matter how many times you ask me, he won’t “hurry up and get here.”

So I went online and googled how to answer the question, the obvious answer is with a smile and a nice “No, not yet.” But I did come across a hilarious blog posting that I think will lighten any mommie’s mood, so I encourage you to read the post titled, Inside the Mind of  Pregnant Woman Four Days Past Her Due Date and have a good hearty laugh.

Packing a Hospital Bag

False

Now that we are on official baby watch, I round the corner to finishing out week 39 tomorrow, we have gone through our list of what needs to be packed for the hospital.  My husband has his phone by his side, as I am still feeling perfectly fine to be at work, but we are ready.  Although I have to say that I am quite happy that baby boy didn’t arrive on my birthday, I’d like him to have his own special day.  We also have a close friend whose daughter was born a year ago tomorrow, so I’m hoping that he holds out another few days after that as well.  The first day of summer, today, would have been nice but so would St. John’s day, on the 24th, which we celebrate back in my homeland of Latvia.

But if I can be frank, I have this feeling that I’ll easily make it through the end of the month of June, or at least I’d like to so I can start my mat leave later in the summer.  But I digress, what are the essentials for packing a bag for the hospital?  Well, baby center put together a nice list:

1. ID, Insurance card and hospital paperwork are a MUST

2. Toiletries

3. Comfortable clothes

4. Camera

5. Chargers

Check out the full list online and good luck!

After Baby is Born

As I enter my 38th week and feel way more, and longer Braxton Hicks contractions I thought it might be wise to explore pinterest and see what neat things I might find🙂

Well, here are a few you all might enjoy:
* After Baby Delivery: What to Do After Baby is Born –>This great article gives you 10 things to think about after the birth of your baby such as naming him or her and calling your work so they can get the maternity leave wheels spinning!
* One mommy’s baby advice–>Everything from what to expect after delivery, bringing thank you notes for the nurses and the little extras that will help you if you remember to bring them in your hospital bag.
* Send a card to the white house & Disneyland–>Looking for something unique for the baby book?  How about a congratulations from all the Disney characters or the president and first lady?
* And how about a newborn survival kit?–>I like infographics so maybe you will too.  It covers everything from the must haves to what to expect in the first year from your baby.

And last but not least, this is something I hope to remember to do.  Bring a “0” candle and take a picture of baby on his first day of being out in the wild world:

Designing a Nursery

Well, our nursery is finally complete.  Just a few things left to do, get a changing pad and set up the baby monitor.  What do you think? Any tips on things we may have missed?

Here are the before photos, this was just a simple guest/work out room:

    

And here is the after:

    

Drool Baby Expo

This past Tuesday I attended the drool baby expo.  It was held at the Westin Waterfront hotel in Boston on a day that started off being hot and humid and ended with drizzle and a 30 degree temperature drop.  That’s spring in New England for you!  I headed in to Boston and was lucky enough to grab a spot on the street, no thank you $12 parking lot!  The expo began at 4pm and ran until 9pm.  You could get pampered, drink mocktails and nosh on tasty cupcakes.  What more does a pregnant lady need?  Vendors such as Uppababy, and Chicco were present as well as some lesser known brands such as a one year old company that prides itself on unjunking junk food such as Snickers and m&m’s, check out Unreal candy online if you want to find out where you can grab some of their goodies.

I walked away with a number of goodies and the gift bag was fabulous.  A few toys, some vendor mags and more Unreal candy!  Will you be coming next year?

photo taken by rebecca deaton photography

photo taken by rebecca deaton photography

Tipping the Scales

That moment when the nurse at your doctor’s office has to move the weight on the scale from 140 to 150…

Drool Baby Expo

Drool Baby Expo - Boston 2011 - Brought to you by StokkeMagic BeansAre you going?  Check out all of the awesome vendors who will be at this year’s Drool Baby Expo in Boston.  I’ll be blogging about the event on Friday!

Mother’s Day

All mommies love little gifts from their kiddo’s so I looked up some easy diy ideas for all you mommies out there that your husband can do with your child.  Have a great weekend and mother’s day!

Pediatricians

Good morning mommies.  Last week was a bit hectic so I apologize for not blogging.  So to make up for it I hope to do two postings this week.  Let’s start with pediatricians.  My husband and I have come across Westwood/Mansfield Pediatrics and as luck would have it the day I called they were holding an information session.  Geeze, who knew babies had to see the doctor  every month!  WMPeds, for short, seems to have a  pretty great rotating staff of doctors so you’re not necessarily tied down to one doctor but instead get to see all of them.  After a while if you become more comfortable with someone in particular, you can certainly ask to only be seen by them but I think that this is a great way of getting various opinions and getting the most out of your visits.

What are your thoughts?  Anyone have any specific experience with WMPeds?

The Thing with Ring Slings

Mommies, what is your feedback on Ring Slings?  They look like a pretty great invention that would allow you to keep baby with you at all times during those first few critical months.  But, are they safe, comfortable, useful?  This mommy says she couldn’t live without it…I look forward to your feedback as I peruse sites such as zulily and target for a ring sling thing🙂

Talking to Your Children About Tragic Events

In light of these horrific events I’d like to point you all to some resources for how to handle tragedy with your children:
* 5 Tips on talking to kids about scary news
* Boston Marathon Bombings: How to talk to your kids about tragedy
* How to talk to your kids about tragedies in the media
* How to talk to your kids about tragedies

Mom & Baby Magazine

Mommies,

I know it’s Wednesday and not time for my usual posting but I saw a tweet come through from Fit Pregnancy magazine and had to share it with you.  Go on line and download a free copy of Mom & Baby magazine!  Happy Wednesday!

Daycare Shopping

Good Friday morning mommies.  Today I want to ask for your advice on daycare.

My husband and I are stuck between two options, both of which are great but there is a $200 difference between them.  From everything that I have heard so far, everyone who has, or had, their children enrolled in Kindercare has loved it.  We got a good vibe about the one near us but had to check out Bright Horizons for the sake of comparison and I ended up loving it.  My husband has yet to tour the facility but I am torn.  I got an even better vibe about BH but is the money worth it?  And I don’t mean that in the sense of, “is my child worth it?” I mean it more in the sense of, will my child get MORE out of it for those $200?

So south shore mommies, I seek your advice.  Who has their children enrolled in Kindercare and who has them in Bright Horizons?  What has your experience been like so far?  Are there other daycare centers you recommend we explore in the Foxboro, Mansfield, Norton area?

Bargain Shopping

Wow mommas!  I am truthfully never going to buy full priced children’s clothes again.  In the last month I have visited two consignment shops/sales.  For those of you in or near Foxborough/Foxboro, MA I urge you to check out Kelsey’s Kloset.  It opened this past December and is super cute.  I picked up a few items for our little one but the proprietor has clothes for kids of all ages, there was even a girl in there picking out a dress for her father daughter dance.

Kelsey's Kloset - Foxboro,MA

But my biggest new to me stash comes from The Children’s Clothesline Consignment Sale that took place in Hanover last weekend.  Man oh man, they had clothes, books, cribs, strollers, car accessories.  You name it, this place had it!  After picking out 6 outfits or so, pants and hats included I walked away with about 11 different articles of separates and only paid $11!  Don’t worry if you missed this sale as they will have another one in April and I highly suggest you swing by Hanover.  You’ll see other great consignment shops along the way too!

The Children's Clothesline Consignment Sale IMG_1556

What are your tips for cutting back on a few bucks when it comes to buying children’s clothes?

Healthy Snacks for Pregnant Ladies

I am really trying to be healthy these days and not eat chocolate or sweets or any of that stuff that just has empty calories.  Now, I’m not perfect and every once in a while you have to indulge, especially during days when it feels like your little one is going through a growth spurt.  However, here are some healthy snacks that I have concocted that I truly enjoy.  What are you snacking on?

nutella and lingonberry jam (from Ikea) on a toast  IMG_1543  IMG_1518

P.S. Here are some great ideas of non perishable goods for your pantry from Fit Pregnancy magazine!

Preparing for Maternity Leave

Preparing for maternity leave is a scary concept.  Coming from someone who has in the past been unemployed for a very long period of time, this is something different entirely.  At that time, I was unemployed and didn’t need to worry about the work that was left behind.  In this instance, being out of work is an outcome of a planned circumstance.  I am lucky in the fact that my manager is supportive in whatever I choose in terms of the amount of time I feel that I need to take off, within reason of course.

That being said, there is a lot to prepare.  Mostly, myself.  How will I prepare to be out of work, then have no idea what is going on and eventually get back to work?  My very general plan at this point is to slowly wean myself leading up to my leave and reassign tasks that I would typically be responsible for.  My other plan is to continue to have monthly conference calls with my staff to keep somewhat of a pulse on the projects that are taking place.  It may be seen as untrustworthy, or even nuts by some moms or employees, but this is what will put me at peace and allow me to continue managing my work and my life.  It’s all about that fine work life balance isn’t it?

However, I think it’s important to do research, and so I did.  Below are some great articles for other working mommies who plan to return to work after maternity leave:

Maternity Leave Checklist from Baby Center
How to Prepare for Maternity Leave at Work
What to do When You’re About to Take a Leave from the Wall Street Journal

Some great Articles from Monster.com:
Prepare for Maternity Leave
Continue to be Corporate or Stay at Home?
Returning After Leave

Drool Baby Expo – May 21st, Boston

Tickets are going on sale today!  Keeps your eyes peeled for more info on the Drool Baby Expo website!

Maternity Fashion

Some ideas for you mommas in the Northeast who have to keep warm but don’t want to look like a giant panda bear during the winter time.

maternity fashion

Exercising While Preggo

Here are some DVD’s that I am enjoying while pregnant.  My husband also gifted me a treadmill for Christmas so I will use the DVD’s two or three times a week and the treadmill the other two or three days.  I’m trying to keep up the exercise before work, or going out for a walk at lunch if it’s nice out.  So far, it has worked. I am still growing as I need to be but I don’t feel like I’m totally out of control of my weight.

A little about the DVD’s:

I have really enjoyed the Complete Cardio dvd, it has a variety of different exercises with different trainers.  The Yoga Works slim dvd is about 50 minutes long.  I usually divide it up into three days, more or less 15-20 minutes each day.  I would say that dvd is good for the first and mid way through the half trimester.  I’m sure I could carry on with it but some of the poses pull a bit too much on the belly.  The prenatal yoga dvd is for those that are looking for a really relaxing practice.  I would say it would be nice for a Saturday morning and Yoga fitness is good for the first trimester although the 20 minute workout by Tom Morley would be fine if you wanted to do it later into your pregnancy as well.  Enjoy!

dvd's while pregnant

Boston Baby Expo

Hi Boston mommies.  For those of you looking for an expo in the Boston area, check out the Drool Baby Expo put on by Magic Beans.  Make sure to sign up for their newsletter so you can be the first to get your tickets!  Read all about ticket prices and view a video from past events.Cupcakes by Party Favors

Not sure if you’ll want to attend?  Don’t worry, I’ll blog about it after the event in May!

Best children’s hospitals in the U.S.

A few weeks back I happened to be home during the fun hours of the Today show and caught a segment which talked about the top 5 children’s hospitals.  For those parents out there who are wondering if their hospital made the cut, check out the full story and list on the U.S. News site, but here are the top 5 children’s hospitals as determined by medical experts.  Each hospital is unique in its own way.

1. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: The leader in kids’ cancer research.

2. Boston Children’s Hospital: Has conducted over 2,000 research studies in the past two years to advance medicine.

3. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center: Spends $30+ million on research annually.

4. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee: The best hospital for treating premature babies as little as two pounds.

5. Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora: Thanks to initial testing at the Children’s Hospital Colorado, the first pill to treat an underlying cause of cystic fibrosis hit the market last year.

When should you tell your co-workers about your pregnancy?

I went ahead and researched this and one of the sites that came up was www.thebump.com.  Their expert advice was to tell your boss once you were given the OK by your doctor, of course, but also potentially after a big assignment.  This shows that you’re not just going to slack off during the next several months and won’t prepare anyone for when you go on your maternity leave.

I found this advice to be very interesting.  Obviously this all depends on circumstance, your relationship with your manager, your workload and responsibilities as well as a slew of other factors.  However, since I love to share anecdotes, here is one sure way you want to avoid telling your manager that you are pregnant.  You more than likely don’t want to call him or her late after work, on somewhat of a hysterical state, after:

a) your first ultrasound and
b) after being rear ended and being en route back to the hospital

My story goes a little like this.  My husband and I saw our little bundle of joy on the screen for the first time and were over the moon over it.  My plan was to tell my manager about it the next day as I had alluded to the fact that all of these doctors appointments I had recently, were just that.  After we left the hospital, the husband was on his way home and I was on my way to meet some co-workers.  During this drive, I got severely rear ended and was worried that my now locked seat belt may have squished something.  I had to call my manager and tell him everything that had just transpired, that there was potential for me to have to stay home to deal with car insurance oh and p.s. I was pregnant.

So that folks, is one way to try and not tell you manager that you are going to be out for a period of time in several months.  However, since then, the work days have been long and I certainly think that I’ve been showing that I’m in it for the long haul🙂

I can’t wait to share more stories with you.

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