Landscaping, who’s got time for that?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a Mom to two small kids. Because I have been so busy with them over the last 7 years, I haven’t been able to create the garden oasis I envision for my front and back yards. I would love to plant perennials and annuals in the beds I have on both sides of my front porch and I would die to have tomatoes out back every summer.

But the reality is, there just hasn’t been time to create my dream garden these past years. Thankfully, Green Landscaping of Ann Arbor is available with all of my landscape needs! They can create a free landscape design best suited for my yard and they have helpful professionals who can come out and set it up for me! It is well worth your time and money to give them a call!


Nursing covers

When my son was born, I had a hard time breastfeeding him. I needed to use a silicone shield on my sore nipples both for comfort for me and because he just couldn’t get a good latch without it. My biggest struggle, however, was my nursing cover. It made him sweat while he was under it and I had to stick my head in the top so that I could help him get a good latch and keep it. The fabric was constantly bunching up around his legs and every time he kicked, I was exposed!  It was very hard to use and made life more difficult than it needed to be.

A good nursing cover should have breathable fabric like cotton or muslin so that baby can keep cool while nursing (and you too!) Also, you should be able to look down and see what your baby is doing without using your hands, because they are busy enough holding baby and helping him or her get started. I got rid of my nursing cover when my second baby came around and decided to go with a cover that had a hidden wire in the top so that I could watch her nurse and still keep my privacy.

Another idea they have on the market now are infinity scarves that double as nursing covers. As we all know, our diaper bags get filled in a hurry with diapers, pacifiers, wipes and other essentials, so removing a cover from the bag is a big help. The best thing about these scarves is not only that they can be attractively worn around your neck, but you can get one that is made of a jersey material. The jersey fabric is stretchy and breathable and can help hold baby in place while they are nursing which makes a nice cocoon for them and still offers great privacy for you.

It’s so nice to know there are so many options available for nursing covers, and when you think about it, this is such an important purchase because you will be using it for 10 months or more and you want something that will work well for both you and baby.

Give yourself time

“Give yourself time.” Those three words are ones that I say to my kids all the time, especially when they are trying something new, like riding a bike. “Give yourself time,” I say, “Don’t get frustrated, you’ll get it. Just keep trying!”

But when it comes to breastfeeding, it’s easy to get so frustrated and worried if you can’t get your baby to latch right, and you have such painful, sore nipples after the first few latchings that it’s tempting just to quit.

But what if we said those same words to ourselves? “Give yourself time. You are a new Mom, and remember that baby is learning at the same time as you! Be patient, you’ll get it!” It is so important to be encouraging to a new Mom who is trying out breastfeeding. She wants to get it right but it has to be what works best for Mom and baby, so classes and books will only take her so far.

Be patient with yourself, God gave us a beautiful design: we can not only create and carry humans in our wombs for nine months, but we have the power to sustain them after they are born too! How incredible is that? But it’s going to take time, feel free to laugh at yourself and marvel at your tiny human, how they are able to get the hang of latching after being a day old, or two days old.

What I would recommend is setting up a place in your home, in the nursery or not; put on some soft music, set your Boppy around your waist, and settle in for nursing. You and baby can take a nice nap right there were you are after he or she is done nursing. Don’t worry about what needs to be done, there is nothing more important than this. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience! I had myself all tied up in knots with my first baby, I wasn’t doing it right, he wasn’t getting the hang of it, the dishes are stacking up in the sink, etc. It’s an endless merry-go-round in your head and it leaves you exhausted.

Just remember, new Mom’s, to give yourself time. Relax and enjoy your baby, and soak in the time you’ve been given with your precious miracle.

A little bit about my kids

I am a Mommy to two healthy children, and I thank God for that every day and every night when I tuck them into bed. My son is almost 7 and will have a birthday this weekend. He is a first grader who loves math and science and has a love of learning! He is funny and wise, kind and caring, and at times, a real stinker!

My daughter is 4 and goes to preschool. She is learning to write her letters and her name, and the all-important job of socializing and sharing! She is kind and sensitive, at times dramatic and loves animals!

Having been a Mom for 7 years, and after almost 38 years, I can tell you that I have learned more lessons in my 7 years of being a Mom than I have in the rest of my life. It is a challenging, all-consuming job at times, my kids push me to my limits and there are days I have to fight to be reasonable and patient with them. Explosions sometimes happen because we are all only human but I have also found the power of apology to be just as important to them as me.

Making a change

Having a baby is such a miraculous joy. After a long 9 months of anticipation, there is nothing to compare with the first moment you see your baby face to face. You feel so much love, and a fierce protectiveness for this tiny human being who depends on you for his/her every need.

Although it can be easy to let life revolve around being a new Mommy, it’s also important to take some time out to yourself a few times a week for an hour or so so that you don’t get completely worn out.

Habits are formed over time; most people have found success with making a healthy change if they commit themselves to the change for 21 days. Why not start a new habit of exercise? This can be a great way to release endorphins, get more energy to take care of your precious baby, and shed some of those pesky baby pounds that just won’t fall off by only breastfeeding and eating healthy.

Fitness Boot Camp offers a 21-day kickstart program that offers 2, 3, or 4 times weekly semi-private training sessions with a professional personal trainer who will watch your technique and form and make sure you are making the correct movements for maximum muscle building and weight loss. They will encourage you when you hit a plateau and feel as though you aren’t making any progress, they can change up your exercise routine so that you don’t get bored, and most of all act as an accountability partner, helping you commit to the change one step at a time.

Your uniquely designed program might contain a combination of cardio and weight exercises depending on your goals and fitness level, utilizing the correct tools to get the job done.

So while you are enjoying watching your little one grow, don’t forget to take some time our for yourself, your baby will benefit with having a happy, healthy Mommy!

Parenting in today’s society

Any parent will tell you that it is not easy. There will be days that you want to throw your hands up in the air and say, “Enough! I’ve had enough! I can’t take it anymore!” But there are laughter filled days where you can laugh with your kids and truly have fun with them. Add to that the joy of watching them grow and thrive under your care, learning and expanding their knowledge and abilities on a daily basis, that is the beautiful part.

But I feel that there is more judgment in today’s society. Breastfeeding Mom’s have been put down because they don’t use a cover in public; or a parent corrects their child in the store, library or mall because the kid’s behavior is to the point that it can’t wait until you get back to the car. There seems to always be someone who says that that is not right. Children should not be treated that way. The message is that parent’s shouldn’t be allowed to parent their child.

The media has gotten so involved in our every day lives that we are afraid to be a parent. We are afraid to breastfeed in public even though it’s a beautiful, natural thing because it could show up on social media with fingers pointed and blame laid. We are more cautious about grabbing our wayward child’s arm because it can be misconstrued.

I say let parent’s be parents, kids are happier and healthier with boundaries, and as long as they know that you love them, that is all that truly matters.

The joys of Motherhood

Ah the joys of motherhood, bringing your sweet, brand new baby home and getting the wondrous pleasure of getting to know your newborn, adjusting to the lack of sleep, and beginning a new routine around baby’s schedule.

After a month or so passes, reality begins to set in that some of your baby weight may not come off as easily as you were hoping. You are having great success with breastfeeding, which does help shed some pounds, and hefting a diaper bag and infant car seat can help a little with weight loss but you are still having trouble losing the last few (or in my case, 30) pounds that were gained during pregnancy.

One thing you can do is get out and exercise. This is so good for our mental state as well as our physical state, because as much as we love our little cherubs, they can be exhausting and at times overwhelming, so getting out even once a week is a great idea to clear your head and get your strength back, which is so important!

If you are looking for a gym, fitness bootcamps in Ann Arbor is a great option. They offer semi-private trainers as well as private trainers, and they have great weight loss bootcamps available for those who qualify. They will first do a physical assessment and find out what your goals are; then they can target an exercise program that will work for you.

Loving on your baby is a wonderful thing, but loving your body, mind and spirit is also a necessary and important thing too.

Tips for Improving milk flow

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way for a new Mom and her sweet baby to bond. It also raises a lot of questions; am I doing this right? Is my baby latching on correctly? Why does it feel like I’m not producing enough milk? Those were all questions I asked as a brand new Mom and I wanted to make sure I did everything perfect for my new son.

But sometimes it takes longer to establish a proper latching technique, and sometimes baby falls asleep during nursing. This is a normal part of the learning process; seeing a lactation consultant can be very helpful if you feel as though your baby isn’t getting enough milk, or doesn’t seem to be gaining weight quickly enough. The lactation consultant will have hours available at the hospital to weigh your baby, check how baby is latching on, and can offer you reassurance and tips on ensuring a proper latch and ways to help you increase your milk supply.

One thing you can do to increase your milk supply is frequent feedings. Don’t be worried about the clock, go by what baby needs, give yourself time to just enjoy being a new Mom and feeding your child as frequently as they need to. After a while, a routine will become apparent, you will notice times of day that baby likes to eat, and how often will be figured out later as well. Remember that baby is learning too and it’s nice to know that you can learn together!