Category: Healthy Moms

Picky Eaters Party of Two – My Hidden Nutrition Mac and Cheese

Hello mamas! I have shared before how difficult it is to find foods for my super picky eaters. These girls of mine simply will NOT take even one bite if they don’t want to. So, I end up wasting a lot of food. I try not to make food a struggle at our house, but I think sometimes it just is. Other times I find myself doctoring up their most favorite food on the planet: Mac and Cheese. But, hell hath no fury like a child who does not get the right shaped pasta in her mac and cheese. It MUST be shells NOT elbows. Lesson learned.

Here is how I sneak in a little extra nutrition into their favorite boxed mac and cheese. (Yes, boxed because they won’t eat my super amazing from scratch recipe).

Picky mac and cheese

Ingredients:

Favorite Box of Mac and Cheese

Nutritional Yeast

Winter squash, pureed (can also use sweet potato, cauliflower to go unnoticed)

Avocado mayo (optional)

Why avocado mayo? Well, it’s adding in some extra healthy fats which little developing brains need.

Why nutritional yeast? The nutritional yeast is rich with B-vitamins which my kids may not get enough of because of their limited food choices. Helps sneak in a little extra fiber and minerals too.

Why veggie puree? The hidden veggies gives an extra boost of fiber and vitamins.

Here’s how I make it.

Boil macaroni according to package directions.

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While the pasta is draining, I put in the amount of butter specified on the package and get it melting.

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Once it is melted I add in the veggie puree and mayo. Once it is all mixed I add in the cheese packet and the nutritional yeast (which I have been able to convince my kids it is a “cheese booster”) and milk. Once all of that is mixed well I add the pasta back into the pot and stir.

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My kids will eat the entire box together. Some nights this is all they will eat despite me serving their favorite veggies and fish sticks, or chicken nuggets along side of it. Having all that extra stuff mixed inside the mac and cheese is like a little nutritional insurance policy. I don’t worry about what they aren’t eating because I know what little they are eating is still packed with good stuff.

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I have to admit, some of these ingredients do not seem appetizing on their own. I thought nutritional yeast just sounded so gross until I actually tried it for myself. Also, who puts mayo in their mac and cheese, right? But, none of these ingredients are even detectable when masked behind the cheese. It also helps to NEVER let your kids see what you add into the sauce! Afterall, the secret is in the sauce. 😉

If you have a picky eater making you jump through a lot of hoops to get them to eat, hang in there! Despite my kids desire to subsist on macaroni and cheese alone, they are thriving and hovering in that 80th percentile.

Got a sure fire, tried and true way to get your picky eater to eat their veggies? Please share in the comments below!

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

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Friday Favorites – Fitbit HR Charge Fitness Tracker

Friday Favorites (6)

My husband bought me a Fitbit for my birthday last year. Not because he thinks I’m out of shape but he knows how much I want one. I find myself in need of something to keep track of my bad habits so I can start to create new ones (sounds logical right?). Self care is such a struggle for me and I need all the help I can get!

The step counter is not 100% accurate. Somehow I can walk several hundred steps while driving my car; and I can just wave my hand (because who can talk without moving their hands?) and it will count as a step. Kind of a bummer right? But, that is because I am too focused on the numbers and not on how much fun I can have with my Fitbit!

Here is how I’m loving using my Fitbit HR Charge:

ADDING FRIENDS

Connecting my Fitbit app through Facebook has connected me to other friends using a Fitbit too! It’s like having a virtual support group. Knowing other people can see my activity level helps with accountability.

fitbit app screens

RACES

This has got to be my most favorite feature. I’m not one to compete for the biggest car, or the biggest house or the best of any material goods. But, we set a goal together and I will take you down! I got my first invite to a Work Week Hustle challenge and I was making it a point to go get every little request my family had. “You need a napkin, I’ll get it!” “You need me to pick up that tiny piece of lint all the way on the other side of the house? I’ll get it!” After all more movement means more steps which means I win!

WATER INTAKE

Now, I can easily track how much water I drink each day. I found a 16 oz. cup that I really enjoy using and every time I empty it I just add to the tracker before filling up again. This has actually helped me set a better habit to increase my water intake! (See bad habit identified, new habit created. My system works!).

CALORIE TRACKER 

Using this tracker has been super helpful in making healthier choices. I am a stress eater and I graze all day. All of that adds up and I have no idea why my jeans suddenly have a little less room in them. I know, simple math – calories in, calories out. Since I am horrible with numbers and I don’t have room to carry around a bulky notebook to write everything down this is a handy feature! What makes it even easier to use is the scanning option. I can scan the bar code on the package of my snacks or food items, and if it is in the database it will register the calories for a serving size. If a code is not in the system you can snap pics of the code and the packaging to help add it to the database.

SLEEP TRACKER

This is such a huge help for me! My kids actually sleep through the night but I don’t. I typically sleep between 3 and 6 hours per night. You’d think I’d get more done with those extra hours. But… I’m TIRED! Knowing where my sleep deceits are helps me know when I need to kick my self care into high gear and really stick to routines.

Even though I was disappointed at first because I felt like it wasn’t 100% accurate, I realize now our bodies are not an exact science anyway. Finding a truly 100% way to track what’s happening may not exist for the home user. But, that’s OK. I sure am having fun and enjoying how my Fitbit keeps me connected to my goals!

Got a Fibit? Wanna race? *wink*

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

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Gift Guide for New Moms

Good morning everyone! I’m so excited to introduce you to my new niece, Juliet!

Baby J

Isn’t she beautiful? And, so tiny! I haven’t held a baby this small since my girls were born. There were two to hold at the same time, so it felt different to hold one sleeping, tiny little baby. I swear my babies only slept like this a short amount of time before it was all crying all day. I think that’s just par for the course with twins.

Once Juliet arrived I wanted to get her something cute. After all, it has also been a long time since I got to shop for a cute little girly baby outfit. As much as I wanted to buy a baby gift, I really wanted to buy a gift for my sister in-law. This is child #2 for her. I feel like the more children we have the more effort we have to put into taking care of ourselves. By effort I don’t mean make up and expertly coordinated outfits. I mean managing stress and being able to feel refreshed. That’s hard to do with a newborn who doesn’t sleep through the night. Her son just turned six and I teased her that she was finally free from the sleep deprivation, but now she’s going right back in! So my gifts were inspired by those early days when self care is critical care.

Inside the gift bag for my little peanut Juliet I included some things I knew my sister in-law would enjoy. I didn’t want to just get her stuff she needed. I wanted to get stuff just for her to enjoy. Moms deserve a little something JUST for themselves to celebrate that giant feat of birthing another human being!  Here is my list of gift ideas for new moms:

Really Good Tea

Harney tea

A good cup of chamomile herbal tea (no caffeine) will help soothe those frazzled nerves from not getting enough sleep at night. You don’t have to break the budget to get good tea. Most grocery stores now carry some really great choices for around $5.00. Many of which look very fancy.

Chocolate

Taza Chocolate

If she doesn’t like chocolate then add in a different special little treat just for her. If you don’t know if she likes chocolate you can still put it in the basket. Worst case scenario she can always share the chocolate with hubby, or friends who stop by to see the baby.

Luxurious Lotions

HelloMellow Body Butter

A nice mild lotion with minimal fragrance so as not to irritate her skin or her baby’s skin. It’s just nice to have a soothing lotion on hand to feel pampered.

Lip Balm

Kiss My Face Lip Balm

New moms can dehydrate quickly so a lip balm will help keep lips kissable soft for baby’s tender skin.

Essential Oils

 

Essential Oil Roller Ball

A roller ball gives mom the chance to apply a mood changing, or uplifting sent when she needs to. Or, if she has a diffuser she can easily use to fill her room with a calming scent. Lavender is great for calming and soothing, and orange mixed with peppermint is great for an energy lift.

Gift Bag

RuMe organizer

You can easily put all of these lovely gifts into a paper gift bag, or even a basket. But, why not put them in a cute little accessories bag she can reuse later. Moms NEVER run of out uses for extra bags! Adding a monogram truly makes this gift personal.

What else would you add to this list of gifts for new moms?

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

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April 2nd is World Autism Day

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Happy Saturday!

I know, I typically do not post on a Saturday. But, today is an important day to share. April 2nd is now celebrated as World Autism Day and it kicks off a month long celebration of difference and spreading awareness about Autism. Not only are the statistics alarming (1 in 68 are diagnosed), but it is more alarming how difficult it is for autistic individuals and their families to find acceptance and understanding. This boggles my mind because we are so much more alike than we are different.

Years ago, I worked as an assistant in a school for autistic children. I worked in the preschool classroom during the morning and then in the afternoon I worked in the older classrooms. I have witnessed miracles happen and I have witnessed heart breaking sadness for children working so hard to cope. That experience changed me forever. In fact, after two weeks on the job I said one day I would write a book titled, “Everything I Needed to Know about Life, I Learned from Autism.” Later, I found a deeper passion linking parents to therapeutic services for their children. My wish would be that everyone could see autism the way I do- through love, compassion and understanding.

I found this post when I logged onto Facebook this morning. It is written by my friend Erin who is an amazing mom, a “Coastie wife” the owner/designer at Rose Door Designs; and now mother of an autistic son. I agree with her message and I simply love how beautifully she has shared her and her son’s story.

Erin and Liam

erin d

“Today is World Autism Awareness Day. And while I think it’s great (really!) if you want to change your profile pic, Light It Up Blue, or even share my cover photo, those things won’t necessarily make you or anyone else more “aware” of autism. But knowing someone who is autistic might.

My Liam was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in June 2013, just before his fifth birthday. He doesn’t “look autistic;” for many people he “seems normal.” But the more time you spend with him, the more pronounced his differences become…and the more amazing you realize he is. Liam struggles every day in a world that often overwhelms and doesn’t make sense to him. He shows up and he does his best and he fights his way through. He’s brilliant and funny and talented and sweet as can be. He’s my hero.

So today, you can say you know a person with autism. One person. Because every person with autism is unique. There are no cookie cutter signs or symptoms; you can’t spot it from across the room. Autism doesn’t come wrapped in a blue puzzle piece ribbon.

For anybody out there facing an ASD diagnosis–whether it be your kid, a friend’s kid, a family member–IT’S GOING TO BE OK. I promise. You will find your way. There are helpers. Liam has been able to make remarkable progress since his initial diagnosis thanks in large part to the incredible work of some really amazing special educators, regular classroom teachers, therapists, school psychologists, aides, and paraprofessionals. So, to those of you doing that really difficult, really important work: THANK YOU. I know it doesn’t always feel like it, but you make a huge difference in the lives of kids like mine every single day.

If you have any questions about Liam, what autism looks like at our house, or about ASD in general, I’d be happy to try and answer them. It is, after all, World Autism Awareness Day.

Love and light,
One Lucky Mom”

When I asked Erin for permission to share her post she asked me to really emphasize the value of the hard work special educators put into helping kids like Liam, “Special educators are absolutely saints and deserve millions of dollars and their own velvet roped VIP area in heaven. We are so, so thankful and forever indebted to his teachers and aides. They have loved him like their own and have made it possible for us to be better parents.”

I also asked Erin if she could offer any advice about what kind of support she needs as a parent, “I guess the best support anyone could offer me would be to try to understand. Ask questions, be observant, and offer to help maybe (though I’m not big on accepting help! LOL). It drives me nuts when people say things like, “Oh, he’ll be fine,” or “He looks so normal,” or “He doesn’t seem so bad.” It may be true in that moment, but they haven’t seen the day to day struggles.”

I would like to add to Erin’s advice by saying don’t judge a parent by their child’s behaviors. A child struggling to cope in public can often look like they are “misbehaving” and believe me EVERYONE has an opinion on how to handle THAT child. None of that advice is helpful. Instead, ask, “What can I do to help?” “Is there anything I can do to help you right now?” Sometimes just offering help with compassion offers enough room for a parent to take a breath and face that struggle. Sometimes knowing you are not alone in the struggle is all it takes for families living with autism to feel accepted.

autism ribbon

To learn more about Autism and how it affects families visit http://www.autism-society.org/

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

 

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Friday Favorites- Relax Body Oil by HelloMellow

Friday Favorites

This has to be one of my most favorite products right now! During the winter months the air in my house gets so dry and ultimately so does my skin. Even though it is officially spring I am not giving this product up! I was given a travel sized bottle of Relax body oil by HelloMellow as a gift from a friend. I could not wait to try it and once I saw the results I couldn’t wait to share it!

Clearly my gifting friend picked just the right product for me because relaxing isn’t something that comes easy to me. Even before I had the ‘twinadoes’ take over my life, I was never one to sit still. Now as a mom I rely on stolen moments of deep breaths with essential oils to keep my sanity. Hiding in a closet with a chocolate bar is delicious, but it’s not as relaxing as it sounds.

Relax

The directions say you can use this on wet skin right after the shower. Do not dry off! Using immediately after a shower leaves my skin super soft and amazingly hydrated. You can use on dry skin as well, which I often do before bedtime to ya know…relax! The scent is very subtle which is great for anyone with asthma, allergies or breathing issues. And, it won’t over power your partner sleeping next to you who always complains about too many flowers at bedtime makes him sneeze. *wink*

tracy feldstein

HellowMellow products were created by Tracy Feldstein, a massage therapist with extensive experience and education on bodywork therapies. Tracy wanted the most nourishing products for her clients. That’s why all of HellowMellow’s products are vegan, paraben free and without chemical preservatives which makes them perfect for nearly everyone! What’s in it you wonder? SPOILER ALERT: It’s NOT coconut oil! I know it’s hard to imagine a luxurious body oil company not using the most popular oil on the planet to make their products. Ingredients for each individual item is listed right online.

Relax 2

My new favorite Relax blend is made of cold pressed extra virgin sesame and olive oils, avocado butter, mango butter and essential oils of clary sage and grapefruit. (Smells great by the way!).

b4bc-survivorship-logo

By now you may all know I am always excited to share a product that does some good too! For every purchase of any item in the Balance line, 5% is donated to Boarding for Cancer Survivorship Fund. Established in 2009, the B4BC  Survivorship Fund connects breast cancer survivors with nature-based health & wellness retreats in order to enhance their path of healing and long-term survivorship. Since its inception, B4BC has connected 14 survivors to a retreat.

You can find additional products safe for expectant moms, nursing moms, the man in your life and even someone undergoing chemotherapy. The shop has convenient subcategories for weddings, baby showers, for the baby, for the home and in treatment and has pre-bundled gift packs for each occasion.

There are no affiliate links contained in this post. No financial compensation exchanged for review. Opinions expressed belong solely to The Whatever Mom.

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

 

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Spring Cleaning (Not A Guide)

Spring Cleaning

Phwew! Spring break is over and the kids are back at school FOR SIX HOURS TODAY!! We survived!                I survived!!! Now, to update you on our week!

Last year for spring break we took an amazing road trip to Mystic CT (<—click it) to see the aquarium and a few fun little museums. This year (are ya ready for this?) we stayed home to spring clean our house! I know…that crazy Whatever family! It’s all about balance right? Amazing fun doesn’t come without the price of cleaning up a mess. Don’t worry; this isn’t another blog about how to clean your house, or what schedule you should follow to spring clean in 30 minutes or less. This is a blog about survival.

Although I do love me a good clean house to live in, having me tell you how I clean my house really doesn’t matter. You know how to clean a house right? Even if you clean your house in a different order than I do mine you’re not doing it wrong. It may set you at ease to read this next confession of mine; I haven’t cleaned my home in five years. OK that’s a little misleading. I have cleaned my house, but I haven’t been able to clean my house for FIVE. YEARS. All the sticky parts were cleaned up and the most trafficked areas maintained, but cleaning any deeper just did not happen.

When you have two little kids always stuck to you like Velcro, and zero extra help you do what you can to survive. Even if that means stacking things high on top of the fridge, or into as many distant corners as possible to keep them from destroying things. That’s what you do. Survival. Survival can get dirty. I didn’t even take pictures to share with you because, well things were dirty. We cleaned behind furniture and found things we thought we lost years ago. Did you know spiders can create webs that connect your furniture TO the wall? Yep. Found a lot of those too.

We washed curtains, shampooed carpets, washed windows and here’s my favorite part: we threw things away!! If you’ve read my posts before you know I am an avid “chucker.” I love to throw out duplicate items, small random toys that have no meaning and riding my closet of tiny clothes I’ll no longer squeeze my mom bod into. I admit I felt a sharp pang in my heart when my five year olds fit into my old concert t-shirts. I’d be lucky if I could get even one of those shirts over my thigh now. *sigh*

We moved furniture to new locations and organized kitchen cabinets. So much work. But, so happy it’s all done. I am having a lot of emotions about the girls starting Kindergarten and I feel like settling things in our closets and cupboards will help me feel like I have some amount of control over this new season of parenthood (and maybe breathe a little better without the inch of dust on my walls). In some weird way it makes me feel more prepared. I feel like we are closing a chapter on their early childhood. All the baby stuff. All the toddler games. It’s all gone. We are no longer spending hours piled under tents and learning our ABC’s. My kids know their ABC’s.

This spring cleaning was about tucking away the memories of our lives at home the last five years. It was about me carefully and lovingly packaging those moments up neat. I packed away all evidence of our preschool years now preserved in a box on a shelf. We can visit those days again, but we won’t have those moments to live again. I’ll miss being at the park at 10:15 a.m. on a Tuesday soaking up the sun while listening to my kids gleeful screeches. I’ll miss watching them in the backyard lost in a daydream while swinging higher and higher.

As I blew off the dust that collected during the last five years of survival, I began to look forward to surviving the next five years. Bullies. Heartache. Bus rides. Science. Learning. Navigating friendships. Understanding more about the world. This spring cleaning was a way of holding on and letting go at the same time. It is so hard to let go of those “little” years, but I have to let them go to make room for what’s to come in the next five years.

I know I’ll never have everything perfectly crossed off of my list. I’ll never accomplish all the things I want to with my kids as time passes by too quickly. But, I’m doing my best to hold onto who they are today, before leaving those little people in our past. Now that our house is clean I feel like we each have a fresh place to start this next leg of our journey. Join me five years from now when I “deep clean” our house once again. *wink*

Got a great been there done that survival tip for the Kindergarten year? Please share it below! You can also share it on my Facebook Page or Twitter!

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

 

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How Far Do I Have To Run To Leave The Madness Behjnd?

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Have you ever had a day just so insane you wanted to run away? That was my day today! After months of my husband working 6 day weeks and traveling I was feeling pretty streched thin!

This week my kids have been especially crazy. They are constantly arguing and not listening and just not nice to each other. I knew my nerves were shot when I sent hubby this text:

Me:”I had to take away all the chairs from our kids today. I banned them from using CHAIRS!!!!”

Hubby:”I don’t know what to say except what kind of wine do you want me to bring home?”

Me:”THE BIG ONE!”

I felt like the harder I tried to settle the kids so I could have space to do a little work and maybe wash some dishes, the harder it was to wrangle them. So , I turned on the TV, went to my own room and called my mom.

Me:” This morning I told my child to get in the car and for some reason she starts running around the car and dancing across the front yard. I have yelled so much this week I swear the neighbors set their clock, brew a nice cup of coffee and watch out the window just waiting to see what $#@+ show my kids are creating each day”

Mom: Laughter. Of course she laughed. Not because I am funny but because she remembers what it felt like (and now she’s free from the tyranny that was the “know it all” me).

As soon as my husband arrived home I ran out the door to grocery shop. I had no list. No idea what I needed to buy. But I was gonna walk every aisle in each of the stores I regularly shop! First, I’ll treat myself to a chai latte from Dunkin Donuts. Uggh…except my driver side window is stuck and won’t open!! What is this day trying to do to me?!?

Never mind. I will drive to the Quick Check gas station and get something. I settled on a decaf coffee with chemical creamer. I didn’t even care. I wanted a stinking vanilla caramel latte darn it! As I looked around for a brownie (because I like my emotions to taste sweet) a beacon of light shown forth and there it was! A gluten free chocolate chip brownie. For ME. Waiting so patiently.

I didn’t even wait to pull out of my parking spot before snarfing that little slice of perfection into my mouth!

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#noregrets

I continued to my stores in absolutely no hurry. I read every single label on my food selections. I even offered to read the lables for other shoppers on their products. I am so not in a hurry to get back that I am actually sitting in the Aldi’s parking lot typing this post!

I knew I had to share this with all of you. Someone out there is having a day just like mine. Maybe they need to hear they are not alone, or permission to just laugh at the craptastic events of today. And, maybe I feel better knowing I’m not the only one who fantasizes about running away.

Whatever the reason you have read this far, thank you! Tomorrow is another day. I am hoping it is a better one. If not, I at least have the big wine! 😉

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

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Friday Favorites – Leslie Sansone Walking Work Outs

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This post does not contain any affiliate links and no financial compensation given. All opinions belong solely to The Whatever Mom.

After taking that really fun Aerial Yoga class a couple of weeks ago, I feel like I need to get back in the game with taking better care of myself through exercise. As a busy mom working from home and managing the household I tend to prioritize myself last. I keep trying to fit exercise in but then I find a reason to let life get ahead of me. Life has been a little crazy with twins and working from home by myself. Now, it is just time to say I’m worth all the time it takes to keep me healthy.

My mom sent me this walking DVD years ago when I complained about how hard it was to get my daily walks in, in between feeding two babies and their nap time schedules. Even though there is day care available at my gym, I wasn’t feeling very confident about leaving two little babies in someone else’s care just so I could spend 30 minutes on myself. But, this walk at home program did the trick during nap times and rainy days!

Walking With Leslie Sansone

 

I can’t find this awesome DVD anywhere in my house. Who knows where it is. Just when I gave up searching for it, I remembered there is YouTube! (Duh) I did a quick search and there she is! My faithful friend Leslie! Her walks are mixed in with some added aerobic movements so it feels like an actual work out and not just walking in place.

The last few weeks I have pulled up Leslie’s walking videos first thing in the morning. It isn’t the same as the walks I enjoyed outside in the morning before kids. I do have a treadmill, but that gets super boring for me. I miss taking classes at the gym, so for me these videos motivate me with the music and energy early in the morning! Plus, I get my 30 minutes of me time checked off before my kids wake up!

Walking With Leslie Sansone

My goal is to get back to feeling healthy again and finding more energy to keep up with my super active kids. If the happy side effect is weight loss that’s great! I just really miss that feeling of an aerobic rush. Before I was addicted to coffee, I was addicted to aerobics! I like being active and I am not a big fan of feeling like a slug.

Now that my girls are old enough for the kid’s room at the gym I can finally get there each week! They really love it because they have friends there. My plan now is to keep up with my morning “walks” and get to the gym as often as I can. If I miss a day at the gym I won’t feel so guilty because I already have a work out in!

Leslie’s videos are less than $15 per DVD, or free on YouTube. Her work outs are supported by the American Heart Association which recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day for heart health.

What are you favorite ways to get exercise outside of the gym?

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

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Learning To Fall with Grace

Learning to Fall With Grace

This week a group of my mom friends trusted me to take them on an adventure. We traveled an hour to take an Aerial Yoga class with my friend Delia. Delia has instructed newbies on the “silks” for about three years now. She is a natural at it and really great at letting people find their own comfort zone.

When I suggested this adventure I really had no idea what I was getting us into. I had zero reservations about the experience. That is until I arrived at the studio, took off my shoes and got into place in front of my silk. Silks are 10 feet of hanging fabric clamped to a chain and attached by a cable to the rafters or some other structure. I had no clue how demanding it would be to stay steady on them.

I followed Delia’s instructions very closely. I tried to mirror her movements as accurately as I could (and this old body would allow). But, half way through the class I was stuck upside down and swinging inches from the floor. I could not figure my way out and she instructed me to simply drag my hand over the floor to slow myself down, and then how to stop myself and lower myself out of the silk.

In that moment my instinct was to panic. I wanted to fight against the momentum and drop to the floor. Instead, I embraced this new feeling of flying and stretched out my arm to emulate the grace of an ice skater. I joked with my group and made silly faces as I slowly, and as gracefully as possible, came to a stop. I stood up with confidence and said, “I like to fall with grace and style.” My friend Delia commented, “Isn’t that what life is about, learning to fall with grace?”

That statement stuck with me. How many times do we find ourselves in new and sudden situations outside of our comfort zone? Parenting for sure will push you into realms of discomfort you didn’t know existed before. Do we brace ourselves against the momentum of life or do we embrace the chaos? Do we slow ourselves down long enough to gain confidence to get back up?

I feel like every new stage has brought about new challenges with my kids. From their behaviors to their food preferences to a first time with a new sickness. Most often I want to bristle and try to control things into perfection and make them more efficient and convenient for me as a parent. That seems to only make things worse. But, when I truly lean into the moment and just go with the flow and leave behind the instinct to panic things seem to get easier for me.

I stumble most days on this parenting journey. I rethink my choices daily. I wake up with zero reservations about my life with kids. That is until I am standing in front of the empty coffee pot with one or both of them screaming at me. When I find myself pushing back and yelling I remember to take a breath, find that amazing mom I want to be and let go of making the outcome perfect. If I fall, I get up and declare my grace through humor. I dust myself off and try again.

I wish I could say the rest of the class was easier after that, but it wasn’t. I got stuck two more times, thankfully not upside down. Delia came to my rescue with a boost both times. That’s what friend’s do.

Who knew taking a yoga class would help me discover that I am stronger than I realize? That when I am faced with a challenge I have a deep inner strength and determination that doesn’t allow me to give up. Who knew I would get a life lesson from a yoga class?

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

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Kids Get Sick – Get Over It

The Whatever Mom (7)

 

I am on day 10 of this crappy sickness with my kids. Is it a cold virus? Is it strep throat? There’s no fever or vomiting. They have tons of energy. But, I keep them home for their comfort. Thankfully, I work from home and can afford to keep my kids home as long as they need. By afford I mean not paying a baby sitter; I didn’t mention the cost to my sanity.

When my kids get sick I am wary about sharing on social media for fear of judgement. There is always a parent out there that has an opinion on what kind of cold medicine you give your kids- is it organic, dye free and homeopathic? “You do know you shouldn’t give kids too many antibiotics.” “There are alternatives to eye drops for treating pink eye.”  Then, there are the teachers who blame the parents for letting their kids get them sick. “Keep your kids home if they are sick.” No one intentionally sets out to spread germs. Germs are everywhere and during every season. If I post what we are sick with and show up to a party 3 days later I’ve just branded us as the source of everyone else’s illness.

So what is a mom to do?

  1. Don’t post every illness to social media. I have been guilty of posting about our second round of pink eye. I administer the drops and release my kids back to school three days later (per doctor’s permission) and suddenly another kid in the class gets pink eye. Now my kids are the target of blame. Really does it matter where the pink eye came from? A kid can get pink eye from a shopping cart, play spaces or a doctor’s office. If your kid gets pink eye identifying the source isn’t going to cure it. Following the doctor’s orders will.
  2. Use the medicine that works best for your child. If you are not one to follow homeopathic methods because you don’t feel they work for your child, then don’t waste the time or money paying into the guilt of “over medicating” your kid. It is completely OK to seek out the advice of a pharmacist or doctor on which over the counter medications you can safely use to comfort your child through illness.
  3. You don’t have to rush your child to the doctor for every sniffle. It is OK to use the wait and see approach. Most often that is the response a doctor will give you anyway. You are not neglecting your child if you wait a few more days to see how they are feeling before taking them to the doc’s office. Not only are you saving co-pays, or an extra bill but you are saving your child exposure of additional germs.
  4. It’s OK to send your kid to school with a runny nose. Every school has a different sick policy. Learn what your school’s policy is and follow it. Typically, it is the rule to be free of a fever and vomit for 24 hours before returning to school. If you have followed the rule and your child is fever and vomit free, but still has a runny nose and a cough with no other symptoms; it’s OK to give them cold medicine and send them to school. If they have the energy to make it through the day and their doc doesn’t see a reason for them to miss any more school. Always have a doctor’s note for their return to school. It won’t save you from judgement, but it will save you from some guilt.
  5. Disclose your kid’s sickness when necessary. It’s OK to cancel plans or disappoint your kids because they are too sick to attend an event. It might be tempting to send them to school or a party at friends while not recovered 100% to see if they can make it through. This runs the risk of exposing other kids to germs and setting them back a bit in their healing. I promise kids will get over the sadness of missing a birthday party, or a fun play date.

Most importantly, don’t judge another parent’s methods for dealing with their kid’s sickness. Unless you can see definitive proof of neglect there is no reason to suspect a parent isn’t doing everything they need to, to ensure their child’s health.

Instead of lashing out on Facebook about the types of meds a parent administers, or judging a parent for not keeping their kid home long enough; why not offer to help? Would you be willing to bring a meal, some cold supplies like tissues and cough drops? Can you send a get well card, or drop a note saying you are thinking of them? Taking care of a sick kid and balancing the rest of our life is stressful enough; we don’t need to hear someone else spouting their own opinions and standards.

I have the fortune of staying home with my kids on sick days. I understand not every parent has that luxury. When I drop my kid off at school and hear another kid coughing, I don’t think “man, couldn’t their mom keep them home longer?” I think, “Poor kiddo he/she must not feel well.”  Then I ask the teacher if she needs any additional supplies for the classroom and I make sure my kids wash their hands. The best way to safeguard my kids during cold season is to worry about what we are doing in our own home to stay healthy. I don’t have the time or the energy to get caught up in how everyone else is living.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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