Showing posts with label New Moms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Moms. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why is my Little One Saying, "What the Hxxx??"

In these days of the Hell Challenge, I started wondering where kids learn it from

When I was in first grade, I remember quite vividly being outside during morning recess with my "boyfriend" (yes, kids are talking about these things at this age) running around and enjoying life.  I remember someone coming up to us and asking what I thought was a ridiculous question.  My reply was "Hell naw!"  And boy, virtually everyone on the nearby monkey bars within listening range took over from there…."Awwwwwwwwww!  She said a curse word!"  Of course some practically fell over themselves trying to get to the nearest teacher.  And of course, my freedom was taken from me- or at least my recess freedom.  I had to stand on the wall for the remaining recess periods the duration of the day.  I remember how puzzled I felt.  My parents, who both had leadership roles at our church, had told me that hell was where you were going if you were not saved. I'd heard my mom say the phrase many times before so I figured there should be no problem in saying it.  So why was I missing my recess? Were these people such heathens that they couldn't stand to even hear the word describing where they might be going?  These thoughts swirled around my mind all day until the teacher told me that I could participate in the final free-time activity if I'd apologized.  I stood and gave a very enthusiastic answer:  NO.  I felt I was indeed the victim.  The teacher, sensing that I was not feeling apologetic about the matter decided to call my mother.  "I guess I'll be letting your mom know then," she said confidently.  My mom was very active in the school PTA group so the teacher knew I'd change my act once my mom got involved. Surely, she'd knock some sense into me.  Imagine her mouth dropping when my mom said "We don't believe, or teach her that hell is a curse word. It is simply where the unsaved is going."  The teacher gathered her jaw from the floor and tried to regain composure and control, "Well, we do not approve of that phrase in school."  

My mom told me just not to say it around school anymore.  I always had better sense than to say, What the Hell around my mom, so I never had an issue with that.  I understand that the phrase might have a different connotation, so I didn't dare use it until I became an adult.  But my 3 year old son has decided that saying, 'what the hell' is his new choice phrase. Where he learned it from? I cannot pinpoint a direct source. But since he's started using it, my ears have been sensitized, and I now notice that so many places use variations of the phrase. Some had me a bit surprised.

  • Grandparents - this one isn't surprising.  My parents have always said it.  I've asked them to refrain until my son matures, but understandingly it's been rough for them to reverse 40-50 years of saying a phrase. 
  • Disney - Now this was surprising.  While watching his favorite movies, Cars 2 and Toy Story 3, I heard the phrase, "What the…?" multiple times.  I believe Mater says it multiple times, but I know he says it when the computer is changing his disguise to a 'monster' truck, and on Toy Story 3, the janitor of Sunnyside says it while in the bathroom cleaning.  Immediately, my son repeats it.  They seem to like phrases that express emotions at this age, and oftentimes learn those words or phrases first.  I've even heard the phrase used during a Disney Jr. cartoon. 
  • Other kids at daycare or school - As kids learn from adults, they widely use what they've learned with or against their peers in this setting.  Chances are that your child will pick up one or more of those bad habits.
  • Your daily news channel - While watching the latest "Breaking News" an analyst used the full-out phrase, What the hell.  And who was right there with me to instantly repeat it?? Yep, my son. What the hell?!  

What do we do now?  Well I spend a good 1-2 minutes directly after hearing my son repeat the phrase trying to explain that it's not what we should say.  Although sometimes he still says it, he remembers quickly after that it shouldn't be said, "Oh, sorry mommy."  At other times when he's more alert, he will scold whomever said it in the same fashion I use with him:  "No Mater, No Grandma, we don't say, 'what the'…You can say, What?! Instead. " It works for now.  It's hard trying to tell your 2-3 year of child that using the word hell isn't appropriate for some people, when it's widely used around you.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

6 Things not to forget in preparation for baby

We all know to have clothing and other essentials ready early for the arrival of our babies, but here is a highlight of a few that most parents (I'm guilty as well) forget to do as part of the preparation process.

  1. Remind your out-of-town family to pack a "hospital bag" too.  Okay, although it's not quite a hospital bag, it's still a bag they should pack if they plan to stay and enjoy new baby and parents for a few days. It's good to have this bag readily accessible so that they can just pick up and go if the baby decides to comes out of the schedule.  Chances are, they just may. The BBC reported that there is only a 4% chance for the baby coming on the due date.  They are more likely not to come on the due date if it's the first baby for the mom.  I and my family got caught off guard a many times before - finding out a loved one is going into labor and we have nothing packed.  It can slow your travel plans down by hours or even a whole day, and greatly increases the chances of you forgetting something. Avoid all that and tell your family to get their bag(s) ready.
  2.  Arrange for an emergency pet sitter. You never know when the baby is coming, so knowing that you already have arrangements for the other member(s) of your house gives an added peace of mind.
  3. Sleep.  This seems automatic, but you'd be surprised how many people don't try to get adequate sleep before the baby arrives.  The excitement and planning of it all can be overwhelming, but you cannot forget to take care of yourself first. You'll get very little sleep once your LO arrives and it's easier to deal with post-baby sleep deprivation if you've made great efforts to get the appropriate amount of sleep in the time leading up to the birth
  4. Install your car seat and set up your crib.  If you're not good at doing this, purchase your crib from a company that offers free set up on site, or have someone you know either help you or do it for you. I had a bassinet for my son during the phase I worried about SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), but moved him to the crib in his own room because I was not interested in being a co-sleeper for years to come. I was happy that the crib was up and ready, because my husband had encountered missing parts during their set-up process that they needed to go and find. Had they waited until after the baby was there, it could've prolonged the wait for weeks. The car seat was much easier to install, as we used the Keyfit30; but my husband had this already setup so that all we needed to do was walk out of the hospital and go.  It decreased the number of things for us to worry about and should be something you should think about doing as well.
  5. Discuss with your spouse/partner the important decisions you'll have to make. At the hospital, the doctors will give you options on whether to administer certain medicines or preventative shots. Research and/or ask your medical providers beforehand the purpose for, and side effects of each of them so that you can make the best decision for your family without hastily making a last-minute decision.
  6. Make primary and secondary plans for feeding. By the third trimester, most of us have settled upon a primary decision, and then we just make plans for that.  But we can forget that situations can arise that  don't allow for us to continue down that original path. While planning is very beneficial, and is recommended, we will not have total control over every aspect, as I wrote in my previous post. This is where the alternative plan comes in handy.  I'd previously made the plan to breastfeed and I drank teas and made other preparations to ensure my milk came in, but when I had to have an emergency C-section, my milk just didn't come in enough to satisfy my son, so we were then presented with the question from hospital staff, "What type of formula is your preference?"  Because I remembered what formula my mother used for us when we were babies, I simply decided upon that brand, but if you aren't familiar with a brand, then the hospital will give your baby what they themselves decide- which may or may not be to your liking. Avoid that by having an alternative available, and maybe even having it in the hospital bad just in case they don't carry it.  I knew that since I had sensitive skin, and my husband had a sensitive stomach, I might have needed to have something formulated for sensitive tummies ready just in case my son couldn't take the original version the hospitals provide. It came in handy when we found that indeed he did.  
    The breast pump is another area where moms can prepare for.  Start learning how to setup your pump and learning how to properly use it before the birth.  Lactation specialists come around to the hospital rooms after your child's birth, but they can be sought before the birth to help with breast pump usage.  The last thing you want to do is to add pain to already painful breasts with improper pump usage.  You may have to wait weeks to secure an appointment with a professional, so it definitely helps to seek that appointment before you need it so that you don't have the urgency of the need to feed, or the pain of already improperly feeding/pumping, and then having to un-learn bad habits.
Having a plan doesn't mean things will go as planned, but having an alternative provides a better scenario for you and your partner should things present themselves as atypical.  Making sure you take care of yourself is one of the biggest lessons I've learned as a mom.  You cannot take care of your baby sufficiently if you are not well yourself.  Get your sleep, get your nutrition, and make prepare yourself where you can.

*Visit us for our next post on Walt Disney World with a Toddler****

Friday, February 10, 2017

How to Combat lingering pregnancy brain fog

If it persists, you may have to take action

So my sister Is going through some postpartum forgetfulness, and it reminds me all too well of my own 2 year bout with it.  It's hard to prepare for your new baby when you can't remember the tips you've been read or been told.  The worst part of having what's dubbed as "pregnancy brain" is that you are mostly cognizant of the fact you've forgotten…What was the name again of that movie we saw two weeks ago?  Ugh.  I loathed it.  
What is this brain fog?  If you're pregnant, you already know.  A general dreadful feeling of trouble concentrating and/or remembering.  A sense of having a "twisted tongue" at times during speech.  You can even experience light-headedness, headache and irritability.   Not good if you're trying to get back to work or school.  The medical world has attributed it to your ever-changing hormones during pregnancy. 

After speaking with my doctor and my family, they all recommended that I wait it out.  "Oh, after you have the baby, your memory will return.  Don't worry about that."  Then 6 months later, my doctor said that it could last up to 18 months.  By 18 months I was sick of dealing with it.  Although I saw some improvement, It was not enough to feel good about.  I had recently started taking omega 3 supplements for my skin and cardiovascular health, but noticed that after taking them for a while, I slept better and also could concentrate and remember more.  I then started challenges to find out what else could help me. After a few months I felt so much better, I started reminding my husband of things he'd forgotten to do (much to his chagrin 😉). Here are some things you can do to diminish the brain fog symptoms and avoid dealing with it for as long as I did.

  • Lower your refined sugar intake.  That means you're going to have to fight your daily donut cravings.  Replace the refined sugar with healthier carbs like fruits and sweet potatoes.  I never even tried to lower my refined sugar, so of course I had issues. The refined sugar helps increase inflammation in your body, which exacerbates your brain fog and increases your chances of developing other diseases. 

  • Increase your healthy proteins.  I ate a lot of chicken already, but it was fried, battered and fried again.  The unhealthy oils used to fry the meat negated the good benefits the protein in the chicken had.  Instead, try to bake, or use olive oil with your meats

  • The Olive oil is a source of omega 3s.  This, along with certain fish like salmon and tuna, is considered to be "brain food" 

  • Increase your antioxidants.  Foods like pecans, cranberries and even green tea contain the antioxidants needed to help reduce inflammation in your body.  Dark chocolate also has the antioxidants, but you should look for unsweetened dark chocolate so the affect won't be countered with that unrefined sugar.

  • Herbal remedies. If you are no longer breastfeeding and you are partial to taking herbs, ginkgo biloba and gotu kola  

  • Exercise.  Also something I wasn't doing too much of. I know it can be quite difficult to keep up with as a new mom, but at least 15-30 minutes a day could bring about results for you.  Put your baby in their swing or play pen and start sweating. I like Jane Austin's 10 minute workout for quick and easy morning and afternoon stimulation.

 It is critical to consult your doctor first before starting exercise or taking supplements to ensure it fits with your medical plan after giving birth.  The goal is to be in good health for both you and your baby.  They're going to need you for years to come.

This is not an exhaustive list of reducing brain fog, but simply what has worked for me.  If you have had good experiences with other healthy options in reducing brain fog, feel free to share below.

Until Later…

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Packing the Hospital Bag: The Good, The Bad, and The Unnecessary

A minimalist mom's guide on what to UN-pack from your bag

There are a plethora of resources out there for what new moms might need to have in your hospital bag.  But here is a list of things you may not need. Not a minimalist? The list may then serve to remind you of something else to ADD to your bag. Enjoy!

  1. Health Insurance Card.  If your chosen U.S. hospital is part of the same medical network your doctor participates in, all of your information will already be there.  I never had to pull out anything but my Government-issued ID. This also applies to:

  1. Birth Plan.  Again, if your OB will be the same person delivering your baby, simply provide them with the birth plan ahead of time so they can discuss any concerns or suggestions they may have.  The tricky part comes when your doctor is called out on an emergency or for some reason cannot deliver your baby at the last minute. A stand-in doctor may not have been apprised on your wishes.  This is also true if you have an emergency C-section.  Sometimes that birth plan goes out the window to ensure you and your baby are both alive and well.

  1. Sanitary Pads and Panties.  While you may prefer to have your own panties after birth, the hospital can and will provide you with mesh underwear (mine were comfy high-waisted briefs) and pads.  For those who've had C-sections, they will offer gauze dressings instead of pads.  Having your own nightgown and slipper socks make you feel more comfortable during your stay, so I'd recommend definitely having those. 

  1. Breast Pump.  You will have a lactation specialist, who will encourage you to have your child latch onto you; securing that bond. If at some point you need a pump, they definitely will provide you with access.

  1. Diapers. The hospital has these.  I packed 1 diaper just in case we didn't go home directly, but the hospital actually sent me home with some diapers anyway.

  1. Baby Toys.  The baby is only a few days old when they go home.  The first 3 days should be spent interacting with family

  1. Snacks.  With hospitals now improving their cafeterias, they have many more offerings than what our mom's had access to.  I had fruit-on the-bottom Jello cups and yogurt, chips, crackers, salads, cheese, fruit and ice cream.  This was in addition to the entrees and other desserts available.  It was such a large selection and great-tasting that my husband and family actually waited to come back to the hospital to eat, instead of eating out and bringing me food.

  1. Make-up.  This is definitely debatable, but if you don't really wear much make-up normally, you shouldn't need it.  You may want it for photos though 

  1. Bluetooth Speakers.  Chances are you won't use them.  You're too busy either enduring contractions or actually pushing/delivering the baby to think about playing DJ.  After the baby comes, you will be quite tired.  If you feel they are a must, ask your partner to set them up and have your playlist ready on your phone.  Keep in mind the volume as other mothers may be sleeping nearby.

Hospital provided hat & blanket
  1. Baby toiletries.  While I agree it's a good idea to have your own toiletries, A good hospital takes the burden of having toiletries for your little one from your shoulders.  They will bath your babe (unless you request hands-off in your birthing plan) and provide a beanie cap for their heads.  a lot of hospitals use the same store brands you'd bring yourself. They will also swaddle your babe in blankets, so there's no real need unless you have a preference otherwise.

*Notables:  There are a few things that I feel you definitely should not forget, even if you wind up not using them: 

  1. Towel for your car ride to hospital should your water break
  2. Phone and car charger - if you don't feel you need a camera, your cell phone can serve as your camera.  Also family can reach you if need be.
  3. 2-3 outfits for your babe's last day - A lot of hospitals have professional photographers that come by for a quick photo shoot.  You may want your babe in different outfits for the shoot.  Or, your babe may spit up on one (or two).  You will want to remember yours too!  Whether the baby is alone in the pictures, or the whole family has matching outfits in the pics, spend less time overpacking and more time enjoying your new one!