Friday, December 2, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

Woo hoo! It's officially December, which means it's appropriate to start listening to Christmas music, decorate your house in tinsel and lights and spend an exorbitant amount of money to prove you love someone. Oh wait.

I love the holidays, I really do. There's nothing better than waking up Christmas morning and spending time with your loved ones. But Christmas presents definitely add up. And now that my husband and I have a child, things could get out of hand quickly. Since Baby C really has no concept of Christmas this year, we're really not doing much for her. I got her a pair of Christmas pajamas (I love the tradition of getting new PJs for Christmas Eve), and we may get her one more toy. But I know she'll be totally spoiled a lot of other people (grandparents are currently going bananas), so I just don't feel we need to spend a ton of money.

Then I heard about a great way to keep spending on your kids in check during the holidays. Each kid gets 3 presents: one thing they need, one thing they want, and one thing that's educational. Or if you want to do four presents: one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing they wear, one thing they read. I love that idea and I think it's a great way to a) keep things in check and b) not have your child expect a dozen presents on Christmas. Don't we want to teach our kids the true meaning of the holidays?

I'd love to hear some ideas from all of you - how are you planning on keeping Christmas spending in check? 

Bonus - any fun holiday traditions you do with your family?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stylish Mom = Oxymoron?

I just googled "how to be a stylish mom". I wish I was kidding. 

It's easy when you're a mom to think you're condemned to a life of yoga pants and old t-shirts when you're around your family. Why bother getting dressed? It's just going to be puked on/spit up on/pooped on/spilled on! But I was always that person who dressed up for work even when I was working from home. If I'm going over to a friend's to hang out, I don't just put on my tracksuit (okay, sometimes I do). I think that how you put yourself together gives you a feeling of self-worth and confidence. Clearly, what's on the inside matters WAY more, but what's wrong with feeling good about how we look?

Figure out what works for you

Are you going to be that mom with a crisp button down shirt and ironed khakis? Heels and pearls? No one said because you're a mom you have to be relegated to sweats and tennis shoes. You still have style! You just have to figure out what works with your new life as a mom. Me? I was never a heels girl to begin with, so that was easy. My new "uniform" is whatever is comfortable and makes me feel good. Sometimes, it's a cozy sweater with jeggings and boots. Sometimes, I layer a cardigan over a blouse, roll up my jeans and put on my TOMS. And yes, sometimes it's sweats. But I refuse to believe that I shouldn't put effort into what I wear just because I'm not going to work or going out for dinner. I dress for myself, thankyouverymuch.

Make your hair stylish AND functional 

I know, sometimes we're lucky to get our hair washed - who has time to style? First off, if you're washing your hair every day, stop. It's not good for your hair (sez Ken Paves, hairstylist to the stars). If it's oily, use a dry shampoo. So that saves some time right there. If your favorite go-to style is a ponytail, try twisting or braiding back the front section. What about a bun instead? Headbands are also great to keep hair out of your face and add a touch of style to your outfit.

Cute mom Kourtney Kardashian making the bun look sexy!


Okay, so you're probably not breaking out your diamond bracelet when you're playing in the park, but having a few accessories can really spice up any wardrobe. Obviously, some pieces are going to be more enticing for little hands, so choose wisely. I'm a big fan of stacking a few simple silver bangles on my wrist. Bonus - they entertain Baby C for diaper changes and can be a good distraction from crying if needed. 
Lovely Reece Witherspoon with a simple necklace and bangles

One bright color

It never fails - whenever I feel totally blah in a t-shirt and jeans, I throw on a hot pink or bright yellow scarf and instantly cheer up. And I even get complimented by complete strangers while waiting in line at the grocery store. Having a brightly colored handbag, pair of shoes or scarf can add instant style and glamour to a plan outfit.

Beautiful mommy Jessica Alba doing a bright color perfectly

If all else fails, wear red lipstick

Nothing makes me feel more glamorous or sexy than putting on some red lipstick. Not mulberry or mauve. RED. The key is finding a red that works with you...the clown look is not sexy on anyone. Well, except clowns, I guess. 

Hot mama Gwen Stefani rocks her trademark red lips!

Remember, style is not something you buy. Style is something you already have. So don't feel like you have to go and buy a whole new wardrobe. Try searching fashion blogs for new ideas (my favorite is Kendi Everyday - be quickly becomes an obsession), or join Pinterest and comb through the hundreds of style pins. Or maybe see if anything that works for me works for you.

Oh, and if you're on Pinterest, we should be friends! Find me here!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Reasons I'm Thankful for Claire

Happy Day After Thanksgiving, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! We are observing Thanksgiving tomorrow so we can celebrate with Claire's grandparents coming in from out of town! Woo hoo for family!

If you haven't checked out Young House Love, you are missing out! They write about adventures in cheap home improvement, DIY successes, and family - and are super, super cute and hilarious. Anyway, my two fave bloggers (John and Sherry of YHL) also write regularly for BabyCenter (check out their blog here) and totally inspired me to write this blog entry. Now I don't want to blatantly rip them off, but since we're still in the realm of Thanksgiving, it's time I pay homage to my little girl's first Thanksgiving and why I'm so happy she's around.

1) She makes me laugh - ALL THE TIME.

I'll admit, it's pretty easy to make me laugh. I love to giggle and be silly. But Baby C turns it up to 11 ( This is Spinal Tap? Anyone?). The expressions she makes, her daily discoveries and her goofy nature is just funny. Plus, she laughs back. So it's just one big laughing cycle. That probably sounds annoying to most people, but it really is the funniest thing ever.

2) I am more active.

Even though Baby C has only been around for 8 1/2 short months, she has completely changed my life. Okay, I know every parent says that, but it's true. First off, she really makes me want to be a healthier person all the way around. I'm not going to lie - sometimes, I would like nothing more than to eat a Reese's Pieces Blizzard on my couch and keep up with those Kardashians. (Oh right, like that doesn't sound good to you). But I'm aware that everything I do influences Baby C. We go on daily walks, and we try to have an "excursion" every day, whether that's to a class, a friend's house, the park...That, plus that whole pregnancy weight gain thing. I needed to nip that in the bud.

3) I am healthier.

As I started making Claire's food, I noticed I took great care in selecting and preparing her meals. I made sure things were as balanced as they could be, made sure she ate lots of green vegetables, and I tried to go organic whenever I could. And then I would reach for chips and salsa for myself. Something wasn't right with that picture. Now, I do my best to have lots of fresh fruits and veggies on hand for snacks. I'm also trying to be better about my long-term health. I see my doctor more often and ask more questions. I need to be around for the long haul with Baby C. And I nag my husband to do the same. Sidebar: why don't men like to go to the doctor?

4) I'm more invested in my community.

Having a baby makes you lay down your roots, whether you want to or not. You get to know your neighbors. And you may even stalk neighbors you notice with strollers on their porch. Not that I do that or anything. The thing is your community is now your child's community, and you want to know EVERYONE and what their story is. You want to know the good parks, the restaurants that have clean bathrooms, the teacher that will challenge his students, places to avoid. Not only that, but you also want to take care of your community. You making your community a better place means that it's a better place for everyone, including your family.

5) I have never loved something so much. 

Baby C is seriously my world. And loving something so much is scary. But I throw caution to the wind and love her more each and every day. And that's all I can say about that before I turn into a puddle.

6) Watching her learn and discover is just as fun for me.

Seriously, I think I get just as excited when Claire discovers a new skill. I don't know who clapped more when she learned how to clap! I'm so excited to experience childhood all over again and help Baby C make memories that last a lifetime. How lucky am I?

7) She makes me a better human being.

I hate bike riding. Really, it's one of my least favorite things to do. But when Claire's ready to learn, I'm going to take her. I'm going to step out of my comfort zone because it's the best thing to do for my daughter. I'm also trying to live more honestly, more lovingly and with more integrity because kids need to learn that from their parents. A girl like Claire deserves the best of me.

And that's just a few reasons of why I'm thankful for my little girl. Sappy, but true.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hi, I'm Claire's Mom - Nice to Meet You

Oh hey, friends. It's November! Sorry for the prolonged absence. Nothing like having back-to-back illnesses, a family emergency, a mobile baby and studying for two tests for pre-grad school to take me out of the blogging game for 6 weeks. Ay. But I'm back!

Now that Claire's getting older and in need of constant redirection, er, entertainment, we are venturing out and trying new things. We go to story time at the local library, we took a music class at Gymboree, we're taking gym classes at The Little's been great fun. But one thing that always takes me by surprise at all of these places is the kids are totally running the show...all the way down to parents' identities.

I first noticed this at Gymboree. Here's how my first conversation went:

Me: "Hi there! I'm Melissa and this is my daughter Claire."
Parent 1: "Oh hi! This is Zoe."
Parent 2: "This is Bella. Hi Claire! Hi Claire's mom!"

I almost wanted to interject and remind them my name was Melissa, but I refrained. Next up was The Little Gym.

Instructor: "Okay everyone, please welcome our new student Claire and her mom."
Me: "Hi, I'm Melissa."
Group: "Hi Claire! Hi Mom!"


Now, clearly I do these extracurricular activities for my daughter. I'm not going to Gymboree or The Little Gym for my own enjoyment (although who doesn't like a good parachute game? Am I right?). But I'm amazed at how parents don't even introduce themselves unless it's as their child's parent. Is that it for my identity? Am I now Claire's Mom and nothing else?

I should probably cut parents a break. After all, some people have a hard enough time remembering one name. Two might be more than they can handle. And if there's someone who will be around my daughter for awhile, I'd prefer they'd remember her name. That's not going to keep me from introducing myself.

Sidebar: if you haven't yet watched the show "Up All Night", you are missing out! It has a fantastic cast (Will Arnett, Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph) and it's hilarious even if you don't have a child. If you do have a young one, it's like they peeked inside your life for inspiration. Imagine my surprise when I'm watching "Mr. Bob's Toddler Kaleidoscope" and everything that I just wrote about appears in the first 3 minutes.  I couldn't embed the episode (sorry y'all), but you can find it here on Hulu. I promise, it's worth 21 minutes of your time.

See, who doesn't love parachute games?

*Psst - any website I linked to, I do not get paid for. I love them and I'm just spreading the good word.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Eager Eater

Since we last caught up about baby food, Baby C was just dipping her toes into the figurative baby food pool.  We started out with avocado and banana, and have since mastered and enjoyed pumpkin, peas, sweet potato, apple, pear, peach,'s a veritable farmers market in my little girl's tummy!  With new foods, we're trying some rather interesting combinations.  I don't think I'd eat carrots and applesauce, but who knew my 6 month old would be more adventurous than me!

She looks like she's having fun, right?

Now that Claire is starting to eat a varied selection of food, I have to be choosy when picking out my produce.  Clearly, organic produce is ideal...but I don't have a money tree in my backyard.  Here are some things I do to save a bit of money (and in some instances, time!):

The Dirty Dozen

If you have a limited baby grocery budget, but still want to buy organic, prioritize with the Dirty Dozen.  These are foods that carry the most pesticide residue.  They are apples, blueberries, celery, grapes, kale, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers.  The way that I look at is anything that I'll either eat with the skin on or has a very thin skin, I should probably buy organic.  So even if they're not on the list, I'd probably add other berries, like raspberries and blackberries, as well as pears and plums.  Bananas?  Definitely don't eat the peel (intentionally) and even if I did (?), it's thick so pesticides would probably not be able to seep into the fruit.  Same thing with oranges, avocados, cantaloupe, etc.  But as my husband always reminds me, he didn't eat organic growing up and he's just fine.  The jury's still out on that one...

Buy Frozen/Canned

Frozen fruits/veggies are a money and a time saver!  It's usually much cheaper and the prep work is usually done for you!  For instance, my favorite way to make Baby C peas is to buy a bag of frozen (and shelled!) sweet peas, steam them in my rice cooker, puree them, and voila - baby food for 4 days!  Easy as pie!  Canned is similar, but you have to be a little more careful.  First, be sure to check that nothing else is added (should just be the fruit/veg and water).  It's also tough to determine whether or not it's organic.  Just remember my peel rule and you'll be fine.  With the abundance of canned pumpkin in the grocery stores right now, I picked up a can for $1 and got 5 2 oz. servings out of it!  I figured it was way easier and cheaper than buying a baking pumpkin, roasting it, scooping it out, pureeing it...a lot less messy, too!  You can find great organic applesauce made of just apples and water that is way easier than baking or steaming, then peeling, then mashing apples.  Hey, I like to make my baby food, but I also like to work smarter not harder.

Farmers Market

Getting your produce at the farmers market is a great way to go.  Most of the time, food is organic, it's local, and you can likely talk to the farmer themselves about their produce.  On occasion, the market can be a little more expensive than going to a grocery store, but try some different strategies to save some money.  Ask if you can get a flat of berries for a cheaper price then freeze them.  Or try going close to closing - vendors are usually willing to cut you a deal so they don't have to pack as much back up.

Something else I do to get a bigger bang for my buck - make food once or twice a week and store it in the freezer in these:

I usually make food on a Saturday or Sunday, and then again midweek.  My preferred method is steaming in my rice cooker.  I can leave it be for about 10-15 minutes, let it cool down, puree and baby food is made in the time it would have taken me to pack up Baby C in the car, drive to the store, and pay 2-3 times the price for the same amount of food.

Who makes food for their little one?  Any money or time saving tips you can share?  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No One Told Me!

When most people talk about how life changes after having a child, they only tell you the good things.  "You are filled with such a sense of joy and love."  Yes.  That's true.  But no one wants to talk about the ugly things.  Or the negative things.  Oh, let me break it down for you.  Some aspects of LAB (life after baby) are great.  Obviously, the biggest part of LAB is baby!  And that's awesome...99% of the time.  You have a cute reason to make silly faces, dress up in mini clothes, and go to Disney movies.  But there's a few things about LAB that aren't so glamorous.  Here are some things to watch out for:

You will get more cavities

I had a dental checkup 3 weeks postpartum.  It was great because I had a whole hour lying down by myself!  I think I actually fell asleep at one point.  To all those people who don't like the dentist, go after you have a newborn and it's like a spa.  Anyway, one thing my dentist told me is the people he sees who get the most cavities are new parents.  Not kids after Halloween.  Not junk food addicts.  New parents.  He's a dentist and he had 2 within the first 6 months of his son being born!  His reasoning: you are eating at weird times (or constantly eating if you're breastfeeding) and not brushing after each time you eat.  Sometimes, you'll fall asleep without brushing your teeth because you're so tired.  And you can throw flossing out the window.  To keep cavities at bay, try flushing your mouth out with water after you eat at the very least, but brush if  you can.

You may go bald

This may be a bit dramatic, but you will lose A LOT of hair postpartum.  Don't be alarmed - it's just hormones, and it's more than likely all things will go back to normal (i.e. pre pregnancy) by the time your baby is 1.  But I remember very vividly washing my hair about 6 weeks after I had Baby C and feeling like my hair was coming out in clumps!  This was even more concerning considering how full, thick and non-shedding my hair was during pregnancy.  It basically boils down to being annoying to me, but if it's an issue for you, trying experimenting with a different cut, or ask a stylist what they recommend.

You will cry at the drop of a hat

My husband STILL makes fun of me for this.  For whatever reason "Dog Days are Over" by Florence + the Machine was mine and Claire's song during my pregnancy.  When I first started hearing it on the radio, I was about 4 months pregnant and Claire was really starting to move around.  I distinctly remember one of the first times she kicked was during this song, and since then, it's held a very special place in my heart.  About 2 weeks after Claire came into the world, the song came on the radio during a car trip and I completely burst into tears.  Why?  I have no idea.  I also broke down at a few doctor's appointments, watching "The Today Show", and maybe at a Subaru commercial (okay, it's the one below).

Powerful stuff, right?  I wasn't much of a crier before.  It's probably the hormones.  But having a child does make you more sensitive, I've found.  You feel things differently, you feel more, you're more affected.  So I'll probably keep crying at commercials because it makes me think about my little girl.  And I'm okay with it.  I cried at this one, too:

DAMNIT!  Now I'm crying again.

You will probably not sleep soundly for a long time

Even if you're blessed with a solid sleeper, you will likely not get the 8-10 hour chunks you were used to getting because you wake up to go to the bathroom (thanks, extra 100 ounces of water I'm drinking) or because you're worried that your baby is sleeping on their stomach/dropped the binky/too cold/too hot or because you're busy figuring out what you'll tackle on your to-do list this weekend.  So, my advice to all of you who don't have kids - SLEEP.  And enjoy it.  And maybe sleep a little more for those of us who can't anymore.

Childbirth doesn't make everything disappear

Sorry - those 35 pounds you gained at pregnancy?  Only about 15 of that will be gone when you leave the hospital.  That weird line down your stomach?  Yeah, it'll stick around for months.  Other things you thought were a quirk during your preggo time may not go away immediately after childbirth.  It can take weeks or months, or even longer in some cases.  Having realistic expectations can go a long way, but talk to your doctor if you're feeling like you need some extra guidance or help.

How did your life change after having a baby?  What's something you wish people told you to expect?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mahvelous Meal Monday!

Happy Monday friend-os!  Sorry I haven't done one of these in awhile - I was on vacation, then it was Labor Day weekend, then I was busy...yada yada yada.  Excuses, I know.

Anyhow, I love Real Simple.  If I could pick one magazine that I wish my life looked like, it would be Real Simple.  Good food, nice clothes, clean houses... sounds just about perfect.  Doesn't just looking at the cover give you a zen-like feeling?

One of my favorite recent recipes comes from Real Simple.  And it's just that - really, really simple and really, REALLY delicious.

Grilled Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas

This recipe was fantastic because most things I already had on hand (except parsley, which I omitted anyway because it's not my fave) and it literally took 10 minutes to prep and 20 to cook on the grill.  I prepped the chickpeas and the chicken while Baby C slept and still had time to do laundry, er, catch up on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians".  For shame, I know.  Another change I made was adding feta cheese to the chickpea salad and putting it on some mixed greens - gotta get the veggies in, right?  Plus, this is a healthy, cheap meal (all in all, it comes to about $3 a serving).

Bon appetit!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My (Fictional) Mom Role Model

Not that I need a pretend person to model myself after.  I have PLENTY of amazing parents in my life that I admire for how they raise their children.  But if I were to pick my favorite made-up mom, it wouldn't be June Cleaver.  Or Carol Brady.  Or Cindy Walsh.  It would be Claire Dunphy from "Modern Family".

If you're not watching "Modern Family", do yourself a favor and get on it.  It is one of the funniest shows in the past decade, maybe longer.  Claire is the Dunphy matriarch - she is a stay-at-home mom of 3 kids and married to Phil, a kooky but totally lovable guy.  What I love about Claire is that she seems like a real mom.  She loves her family, but admits when they drive her completely insane.  She's tightly wound and neurotic, she gets frustrated, and she doesn't always make the right choices.  I love Claire for all that she represents - that perfection is overrated.  Husbands, children and families aren't perfect.  You should stop trying to be perfect, too.  Check out Claire going a little bananas on her husband Phil...would you see Carol Brady make a mess like that in her kitchen?      

My Claire moment recently - yelling at my husband that I wanted to spend some time having fun.  He TOTALLY wanted to go have fun after that conversation.  It's all in the delivery, folks...

Do you have a TV role model?  Who is it and why?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My New Rules to Live By

Rules to live by - they've always existed.  When I was younger, I had to do my homework before I could do anything else, I had to have a glass of milk with dinner, and I had to practice the piano every day for 20 minutes.  When I worked, my rules were always return a voicemail within 24 hours after receiving it, always having an agenda prepared for any meeting, and checking my work email before I went to bed every night.  Now that life has evolved again, so have my rules.  Here's what I try to do every day so I can be a better me, a better friend, a better wife, and a better mom.

Do something good for yourself

I don't think people (and parents in particular) spend enough time on themselves.  It's a busy world - you're working, you're going to and from places, you're not sleeping enough as it is.  But take some time to something good for you.  The nice thing is you define what "good for yourself" is - maybe it's switching out a soda for a glass of water, maybe it's walking to the store instead of driving, or maybe it's eating that piece of dark chocolate and washing it down with a glass of red wine.  Whatever is your "zen now" thing, do it.  And do it every day.  I like to watch "Sex and the City" reruns while Baby C sleeps - but now I'm adding in doing weights and resistance training during commercials.  I get to relax with my guilty pleasure AND I'm doing something for my health.

Do something good for someone else

You probably already do something good for someone else every day.  Do you call a friend just to say hi?  Do you make your significant other dinner?  Try upping the ante a little bit.  It doesn't have to be a big gesture every single day.  Maybe make your spouse's lunch for the next day.  Buy coffee for the person in line behind you.  Drop off some items at Goodwill.
Have a sense of appreciation

No matter how hard things might feel or how bad it seems things are, make sure to feel grateful for something.  My little Baby C was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder at birth and I thought it was the worst thing ever.  After we went to Children's Hospital to consult with her endocrinologist, I looked around at all the other children and families who were thriving with odds stacked against them.  So Claire has to take a pill every what?  She's a growing, healthy, happy baby girl and things could be much, much worse.

Get outside

I know they say milk does a body good, but I think fresh air beats it.  There's something about taking a deep breath or feeling the sunshine on your face.  Plus, Vitamin D is essential for everyone!  Get out there!


Now that Baby C is getting bigger (read: heavier), I am waking up with pains and aches in places I've never hurt before!  Just taking 2-3 minutes to stretch when I wake up and before I go to bed is rejuvenating and also relaxing.  When I have a little more time, I love to squeeze in some yoga in the mornings.  Clear mind and happy body.

What are your rules that you live by?  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bon Appetit!

As mentioned in a previous post, we have made the plunge to solid food!  Okay, that does not sound super exciting for peeps who don't have kids, I know.  But it's a big deal.  In theory, solid food takes longer to digest so babies eating solid food should start sleeping in longer stretches.  Not the case for my dear daughter yet, but I remain hopefully optimistic.  Plus, you get all those cute pictures of sweet potato puree all over eyelashes, hands and dining room walls.  Ay.

Since starting Baby C on solid foods a month or so ago, I have become the Ina Garten of baby food making.    I keep things fresh, organic and simple.  And I add lots of creme fraiche.  Kidding.  But that might not be so bad...

For wee ones just starting out on solid food, there are a few rules you should follow.  Purees are the only way to go.  No additions (like oils), no spices yet, no chunks (for risks of choking).  And you should introduce different food gradually.  Since you have no idea what your baby might be allergic to, allow 3-5 days before introducing a new food.  When there's been no adverse reaction, like rashes or, ehem, diarrhea, you're free to add that fruit or veggie to the list of acceptable foods!  Hooray!

But why am I making my own baby food?  Is that a lot of work?  It's a touch more work than picking up a few jars of food at the store, but here's why I do it:

1) It's cheaper - as you probably know, in my other blogger life, I write about financial literacy and how to save money.  So I'm sure you're not exactly shocked that I make my own food to save a little bit of money.  Let me break it down for you: a jar of quality baby food runs about 50 cents a jar.  That probably sounds pretty cheap, but depending on how much your little cherub eats, you could go through two or three jars a day, meaning about $7-$10 a week, $30-$40 a get the idea.  It adds up.  With about 10-20 minutes a week and about half the price, you can make your own baby food.  Super bonus if you grow your own fruits and veggies!

2) You are in complete control over what your baby eats - when you purchase baby food at the store, you're not exactly sure what's in it (hint: if there's anything you can't pronounce in the ingredient list, don't get it).  While the same could be said about purchasing your produce, making your own baby food is a great excuse to head to your local farmers' market!  Support local farmers, buy high quality produce and maybe even get a few tips from them!

3) It's fun - or at least, it's getting there.  I'll admit, steaming and pureeing fruits and vegetables isn't most people's idea of a good time.  But the older Baby C gets, the more we can start experimenting with different spices, tastes and textures.  I'm looking forward to expanding her palette and watching her enjoy new flavors.  Fingers crossed she won't be a picky eater...

Under my "Feed Me" tab, I've posted some great websites that I use frequently - check them out!

Anyone out there make their own baby food?  Why do you do it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Body After Baby

I'm going to say something that might scare some of you all who don't have babies yet - with delivery, you can expect to lose 12-15 pounds.  A normal, healthy pregnant woman carrying one child should gain 25-35 pounds during the nine month gestation period.  So what happens to the extra weight?  Oh right.  You have to work to lose it.  But with all the other things you have to juggle, how does one get in shape after baby?  Again, I'm not a fitness expert or a physician (make sure to check with them before you start any nutrition or workout regimen), but I was at my pre-pregnancy weight 4 1/2 months after giving birth to Baby C.  This is how I did it:


Yeah.  It's that simple.  Within three weeks of giving birth (and nursing what seemed like every waking moment), I had lost over half of my pregnancy weight.  I literally did not do anything.  The first two weeks, I barely got out of bed because I had a c-section and moving was not so much fun.  Breastfeeding burns anywhere from 400-800 calories a day!  Whew!

Set a goal

Around my 36th week of pregnancy, I pretty much gave up on physical exercise.  I was so swollen and uncomfortable and couldn't fit into anything anymore.  Every time I passed someone running on the street, I got insanely jealous.  So I set a goal and decided to run a half marathon 6 months postpartum.  I signed up with some friends so I would be accountable to others.  I set out a training plan.  In theory, this would have been fantastic and I would be a week away from running my first half marathon.  But two weeks into my training, I broke my toe and that took me out of the game.

But do set a goal.  "Losing the baby weight" does not count as a goal.  A goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART).  "I want to lose 20 pounds within 3 months of getting cleared by my doctor" is a great example of a SMART goal.  When setting goals, keep in mind what it will take to achieve it.  Will you need to go to a gym, and therefore, need to get a babysitter?  Do you have a partner that is going to help and support you?  You have to set yourself up to succeed, so figure out what that will mean and go for it!
Plan around a big event (if possible)

Can you plan your pregnancy near a high school reunion?  What about a big wedding?  I'm kind of kidding, but honestly, knowing you'll have to see some people you haven't seen in awhile (and hopefully looking fabulous) will be a huge motivator to kick it into high gear.

Work out with your baby

If you integrate your baby into your workout, there's no excuse to why you can't get some exercise in!  And before you think I'm suggesting getting on a cardio machine with your baby in a carrier or propping them up against heavy weights, let me explain.  You can use your baby as resistance...basically, the cutest weights you'll ever lift.  David Kirsch, a top notch celebrity trainer, has some suggestions over at Weight Watchers.  

Be flexible

There are a whole host of issues that can crop up when you're a new mom.  For one thing, you have no idea how exhausted you're going to be.  Your baby could be a solid sleeper....or not.  You could be incredibly sore for weeks after labor.  Maybe have plans A, B, and C.  Plan A might mean going to a kickboxing class, but you're too tired.  Plan B could be having a few workout DVDs and hand weights to make sure you get some physical exercise in while baby naps.

Be patient and appreciate your body  

Above all, just give yourself a break and acknowledge what your body has already done thus far.  It has supported another life (or lives!) for 9 months during pregnancy, it has survived the labor process, and it is now helping to develop a healthy child.  You can't wish the weight away (unfortunately), but by making good choices with your diet and trying to fit in exercise when you can, you can work it off. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Registry Reviewed

When I was pregnant with Baby C, I had no idea what to register for.  While I wouldn't exactly classify myself as a minimalist, I didn't want more than I needed and I didn't want a lot of stuff.  Each baby store will tell you that you need everything and probably at least two of them.  Here's my quick and dirty list of what I wish I knew when I was registering:

Feeding Must Haves

*Pillow - If you choose to or are able to breastfeed, some sort of pillow really helped in the first few months (I have a Boppy, but I've heard good things about My Brest Friend)

*Pump - Again, if you choose/are able to breastfeed, some sort of pump is really helpful.  If possible, try to rent one from the hospital or borrow one (with new accessories of course) from a friend before you register for one.  Pumps can be really spendy, and some moms don't take to pumping really well.  So then you're out more than a hundred bucks.  I was super lucky to have a friend loan me her automatic pump that I used frequently for the first few months.  Also, I have a Medela hand pump and while it takes longer, it's nice to be able to do in bed and it's quiet.

*Bottles - while Baby C gets almost all of her food straight from the source, having a handful of bottles is great for pumped milk or formula.  It's tricky because not all babies will take to all bottles so don't stock up on a ton.  Another hint: if you're breastfeeding, try to find bottle nipples that match your, eh, shape.  I look for bottles that are BPA free, and personally, we could get by with about 3-4 bottles.  My suggestions are lifefactory and Phillips AVENT.  

Feeding Nice-to-Haves

*Nursing cover - if you'll be out and about with your baby, having some sort of privacy might be nice if you're not into putting it all out there.  Personally, I just used one of the larger swaddling blankets from Baby C's collection and draped it over my shoulder.

Feeding Take-it-or-Leave-Its

*Bottle warmer - some parents really like having these - personally, if I needed to heat a bottle up, I'd just run it under a warm faucet for a few minutes.  (Microwaving bottles zaps a lot of the nutrients in breastmilk/formula)

Bath Time Must Haves

*Hooded towel/washcloth - you could probably get by with one of each, but you really need no more than two or three.  Most likely, you'll be doing wash at least evey other day, so if you wash your towels with every load, you'll always have a clean one to use.

*Baby soap/shampoo - I love Baby Bees and California Baby - I use the same stuff for myself, so it cuts down on products in our bathroom!

Bath Time Nice-to-Haves

*Baby bathtub - I give Baby C a bath in the sink, but it is nice to have a bathtub you can tote with you so you don't kill your back.  Since our bathroom is small and we have very little storage space, I have the Puj tub I can fold flat and store in a cupboard.  It only works until babies are about 16 pounds, so it may not be for everyone, but I really enjoy it.

Playtime Must Haves

*Bumbo seat - Bumbo seats are great!  It helps your baby develop neck strength and this is particularly helpful if your little one is not a fan of "tummy time"(since it's recommended that babies are put to sleep on their backs, pediatricians recommend giving babies ample amount of time on their tummies to work on their neck strength).  When babies get a little older, it helps them develop the muscles to start sitting on their own.  And I also used it in place of a high chair for the first few weeks of solid food feeding.

*Books - it seems silly to read to a 2 week old baby, but babies can get a head start on learning language development skills just by listening to you talk.  One of my showers was a book shower - I loved it and I hope to instill a love of reading and books to Baby C.  For young babies, look for books in black and white - it's easiest for them to see contrasting colors.

*Toys - I never thought about registering for toys, but I'm so glad my good friend gave me some at my shower.  Look for toys that are age appropriate, and do a little bit of research before handing over any toy to your baby.  There have been many scares the past few years about toys made with lead based paint, particularly toys made in China.  Since about 25% of items in the US are made in China, know what brands are safe and which ones to avoid.  Check out The Soft Landing to find toys that are safe for baby.  Baby C's personal favorite toy is Sophie the Giraffe.  It's soft, it squeaks and it's great for teething!

Playtime Nice-to-Haves

*Activity mat - if you have a blanket and some toys of different colors, shapes, textures and sizes, an activity mat isn't necessary, but it is really nice to have.  I definitely recommend getting one that's easy to wash (babies are yucky), and one that has toys that are easy to take off so you can pack a few in your diaper bag when you're out and about.  I have one from Baby Einstein that's not made any more, but all different brands make activity mats.  Find one that you like

*Exersaucer - when babies get a little older and have good head control, many of them will love an Exersaucer.  Again, mine from Baby Einstein isn't made any more (scored it on Craig's List for $40 when they retail for above $80!), but many different types are available.

*Jump Ups - these fun contraptions you can hang in a doorway and watch baby go to town jumping and laughing.  I don't have one of these, but I have some mommy friends who swear by them.

Bedtime Must Haves

*Multiple sets of fitted sheets/mattress pads - your baby will puke and/or wet through their pajamas.  It'll probably be when you have the other set in the wash.  I have two fitted sheets and two mattress pads, and there have been occasions (rare, but they happen) where I have no linens left.  Start with at least two, but if you have a baby with acid reflux or a heavy wetter, I'd recommend having at least three.

*Swaddling blankets/wearable blankets - having loose bedding in your crib is not recommended until baby is much older.  All babies need in their crib is a fitted sheet and a swaddle or wearable blanket.  I totally recommend swaddling babies the first few months.  It helps them sleep and gives them a sense of security.  Once they outgrow their swaddles, put them in a wearable blanket to keep them warm and also give you a sense of security.    

Bedtime Nice-to-Haves

*Cosleeper - this was a must have for us, but some people want their babies to sleep in their cribs from Day 1, which is totally fine.  Baby C slept in our room until she was about 3 months old.  Cosleepers (mine is from Arm's Reach) come right up to your bed, making night time feedings so much easier.  It also gives you peace of mind - you can keep your baby close, but not in your bed with you.  Many cultures sleep with baby in bed, but I kept having these horrible feelings that I'd roll over on our tiny newborn (you won't, unless you're on medication, narcoleptic or drunk).  Plus, it serves as our travel crib when we go out of town.

*Pacifier - babies have a very powerful sucking reflex.  It helps them to relax and go to sleep, especially in the first few months.  For Baby C, a pacifier was a must have, but some babies don't like them, or some parents don't want to give them to their babies.  Look for BPA free pacifiers.  I love Soothies or Phillips AVENT.

*White noise machine - if you're looking for something else to put on your registry, a white noise machine can be a great addition.  I love our Sleep Sheep, but you can also use a fan or humidifier for white noise.  It helps block out household noise to aid in baby's sleeping.

Bedtime Take it-or-Leave-It

*Crib bumpers - I have beautiful bumpers for my crib.  Guess what?  As soon as Baby C made the move to her crib, they had to come out because they are a suffocation hazard.  Now that she's a bit more mobile and knocking her head into the crib rails, I may put them back in.  However, in a few months, the bumpers can turn into baby ladders that they can climb to stage a crib breakout.  You can look into breathable bumpers, but I say forget it.  It'll make your nursery cuter, but that's a silly reason, especially when they can increase the risk of SIDS.

Travel Must Haves

*Stroller/travel system - I have the BOB Revolution, and while it's pricey, I think it's worth every penny.  It's a jogging stroller and it's sturdy enough to handle terrain off the beaten path.  I know friends who have multiple strollers for different things, so the way I figure, I have one stroller that does it all, which probably saves us money or breaks even in the long run.  Look for something lightweight, and that you can easily fold up with one hand (you'll most likely be holding baby in the other).  See if there are consignment stores in your area that will let you "test drive" a stroller before buying it.  

*Car seat - this is probably the most important thing to have, as you can't leave the hospital without having this in your car and properly installed.  I have a Graco Snugride (snaps into the BOB with an adaptor you buy separately) and while I don't absolutely love it, it does its job.    

*Baby carrier - a baby carrier is great to have your hands free to go on walks, go to the store, or do things around the house.  I have a Bjorn and a Moby, and for security reasons, I definitely like the Bjorn better (I feel better when I can snap my baby into something).

Traveling Nice-to-Have

*Mirror - this is to see what your rear-facing baby is up to while you're in the car.  I don't have one, but I'm looking into getting one.

Traveling Take-it-or-Leave-It 

*Cart covers - obviously, people want to protect their babies from what they can, and who knows where that store cart has been or when it was last washed (if ever).  I say kids are going to get sick, regardless of if you have a cart cover.  Save your money (or your friends and family's money), wipe down your cart with some sanitizing wipes, and call it good.

Miscellaneous Must Haves

*Swing/bouncy chair - it is great to have something to put your baby in besides a crib.  I personally wanted a bouncy chair - it was smaller and more portable than a swing, plus it was less expensive.  I loved mine from Bright Starts.

*Thermometer - I can't give any recommendations because I'm still searching for the perfect one myself, but for very young babies, pediatricians usually recommend taking rectal temperature (it's the most accurate).

*Baby monitor - although Baby C is in the room next door to our bedroom, it's really nice to have a baby monitor.  A) I can hear her better than I can through the walls and B) it can travel.  I can be in the kitchen preparing dinner, or I can be outside working in the yard, and I can hear her when she wakes up.  We have a great one from Sony with two wireless receivers.  One is always fully charged and ready to go and you can take them anywhere without having to worry about an electrical outlet. 

Phew - I think that's it!

Moms - was there anything I missed?  What did you consider a must have or what was something you wish you didn't register for?

Psst - none of these companies getting a plug have sponsored or paid for my endorsement.  I just really love them and wanted to share my recommendations.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's a Mompetition!

I'm going to say this at the very beginning.  I'm an Aries.  For those that know me well, they know I'm pretty true to my sign.  I'm enthusiastic, loyal and tend to be the planner or the initiator of events or parties.  But I'm also about as stubborn as they come, a little shortsighted and can turn very small things into a very big competition.

As soon as I became pregnant, the game was definitely on.  I was going to have the cutest nursery that ever existed.  I would be the most glamorous pregnant woman that had ever lived.  My baby would be the most perfect human being ever born.  But, as it turns out, every other parent is just as competitive.  They have really cute nurseries...gasp - cuter than mine!  There were SUPER cute prego ladies out there.  And you guessed it - SO. MANY. BEAUTIFUL. BABIES.

And the mompetition only starts at pregnancy.  Labor and delivery turns into a Strong Woman death match.  How long was your labor?  Did you use medicine?  Soon after, everyone is fixated on comparing newborns.  Does your baby sleep through the night?  What does your baby weigh?  How tall is your baby?  Is your baby speaking 8 foreign languages?  While I know that most people ask out of curiosity and complete good nature, the Aries in me figures it's another ram showing their horns and readying to duel.

I would like to call a truce to the mompetition.  I'm going to try to stop competing (or trying to quiet the urge) and just focus on being a great mom to my little girl.  I may not have a hand drawn mural in my nursery (you can barely read my handwriting) or document my baby's every waking moment in a colorful collage (I wish I could go all Sherry and John from Young House Love), but I love my baby just as much as any other parent.   And the truth of the matter is that's probably where the mompetition comes from.  Doesn't everyone just want to be the best version of themselves to their special people?

PS - according to the "new" zodiac calendar, I'm not an Aries anymore, but instead a Pisces.  Hmm.  I don't know if I buy it, but Pisces are supposed to be more understanding.  I'll work on that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mahvelous Meal Monday!

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend!  My family and I spent ours doing a little home renovation - painting a bathroom to be exact.  And I should clarify...when I say "my family", I mean my husband.  One of us has to watch the baby!  (painting while wearing a baby is probably not recommended by most people).  And I saw "Crazy Stupid Love" with my friend Kate - fantastic movie!  Go see it!

Here's what I cooked up last night!

Grilled Salmon and Zucchini with Red Pepper Sauce

The sauce took all of 5 minutes to make (3 of which was toasting the almonds), and grilling took about 10. Super quick, easy, and healthy meal!  Bonus if you have a vegetable garden and planted zucchini (which is probably going crazy with the prolific squash right now).  It was delicious!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Baby's First Veg

Or fruit.  I think avocado is technically a fruit because it has a pit.  Anyway...

After a discussion with my pediatrician, Baby C started her love affair with "solid" food a few weeks ago (I have solid in quotes because I don't really count purees as solid food, but I digress).  First, we took the plunge with some rice cereal.  But just like her mama, Claire was ready for some guacamole.  Mmmm...

Avocado is an excellent first food for babies.  It's full of essential nutrients, minerals and a good source of fat for brain development and chunky thighs.  Since I was (and still am) pretty determined to make most of Claire's food, I also thought avocado was a good way to start this adventure in becoming a baby food chef. It really couldn't have been easier.

My tools:

My sous chef:

The process:

Scoop out a ripe avocado, blend in food processor (or mash with fork) until no chunks remain.

The result:

1 small avocado yields about 2 - 3 ounces of baby food.

 Isn't it pretty?  I know avocado green was kind of a 70's thing, but I like it.  But maybe that's also because I really, really like avocados, especially with chips and a margarita.

Moral of the story: making your own baby food is as easy as pie (except pie's not that easy to make).  It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can keep it in the freezer for 3 months.  And like any good guac aficionado knows, avocado oxidizes and turns brown.  If it bothers you or your baby, just skim off the top layer.

Yum - bring on the burritos!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mahvelous Meal Monday!

Howdy folks!  Hope you all had a wonderful what to make for dinner?!

As you know, fish is a super important food to include in your diet.  Salmon happens to be a favorite of mine, and it's a superfood!  The omega 3 fatty acids are good for your heart, and eating salmon twice a week can help with joint health, brain development and functionality, and may even ward off certain types of cancer.  So there's my pitch for salmon!

This is one of my favorite quick and easy meals from SELF Magazine that I've been making for years.  Most of these items will keep in your pantry for at least a few months, and the fresh produce will only set you back a few bucks.

Salmon Cakes with Garlic-Spinach Saute

I prep the salmon cakes during one of Baby C's naps, and then I only need about 7 minutes to fry them up and saute the spinach when it's time for dinner!  I start my rice cooker when my husband's on his way home from work and the meal comes together in the perfect amount of time.

Sorry for the lack of pictures - it gets eaten too quickly!  Enjoy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mahvelous Meal Monday!

Happy Monday, friends!  Time for another quick, easy and healthy meal!

I love gnocchi.  Like really, really love gnocchi.  Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, I'll order their gnocchi 8 out of 10 times (maybe I'll order the special or a really yummy sounding ravioli the other 2 times).  So imagine my delight when I noticed a package of gnocchi in Trader Joe's during my weekly grocery shopping trip!  I found this great recipe from Eating Well, so I assume it's pretty healthy.  The gnocchi was $3 for the pack and the other dinner supplies came to another $3.  It made 3-4 servings, so it was perfect for a light lunch the next day.

Gnocchi with Zucchini  Ribbons and Parsley Brown Butter

I was able to prep the zucchini ribbons (super easy to make with a plain ol' vegetable peeler) and cherry tomatoes during Baby C's nap time.  I omitted the parsley, too.  All in all, this recipe probably took 15 minutes to put together and it was so delicious!  I paired it with a glass of pinot grigio and a simple salad.  Looks pretty yummy, right?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saving for College

Just when I thought babies couldn't get more expensive (you want me to spend how much on clothes they'll grown out of in a few months?!), there's the largest expense of them all looming 18 years away.  College.  Gulp.  Right now, the cost of college is somewhere between an arm and a leg...I don't even want to try to guess how much it will cost when Claire is ready.  So that's why my husband and I started saving. Before she was born.  Seriously.

Let's be clear - we haven't stopped contributing to our retirement accounts or taken out a second mortgage on our house to finance her education.  And the personal finance blogger in me wants to remind you there are scholarships and loans for college, but not for retirement!  Always contribute to your retirement first.  But we have a small amount that we're using to start growing her college savings.

But what vehicle is the right way to save?  Where will you be able to get the best rate or not be hammered by taxes?  I'm not an expert and I still haven't decided what the best route is for us, but here are some options:

Traditional savings account - I'm hoping you all have at least one of these (smile and nod).  This is an easy way to stash some money where you have complete liquidity (easy access), but poor interest rates.  I really like ING Direct - they have pretty good rates and you can have multiple sub accounts that you can label for certain things, like "Baby C's College Fund" or "Mommy Needs a Massage Account".  What?  Never mind.

529 - the 529 is a tax-advantaged account (meaning funds are exempt from federal tax and possibly state tax in select states) that sets aside money to pay for higher education.  You can have a prepaid 529, meaning you purchase education "credits" at today's prices (i.e. 4 years at Smart Kid University for 2011 tuition, even if they won't attend until years later) or a savings account (just keep pumping money into it).    It's a good idea to find the different 529 options available for your state and see what any rules and restrictions are before investing. is a great website to find out more information.

Other resources I love that are not savings accounts but help with college costs are Upromise and Ugift.
Upromise is a rewards program from Sallie Mae that turns your every day spending into contributions to your child's college fund.  It's free to register, and it's surprising how quickly the money starts to accumulate!  Ugift is a way for family and friends to help - they can contribute to your child's 529 plan!

Anyone else have some good college saving strategies?  

Pssst - no one was paying me for any endorsement.  Anything highlighted is something I use and love, and I just wanted to pass it on.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mahvelous Meal Monday!

Happy Monday, everyone!  Welcome to Mahvelous Meal Monday!  In theory, I'm going to post a cheap, easy and relatively healthy recipe every Monday - no excuse for microwave dinners or takeout!

Today's meal: Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

I was looking for a way to use up some odds and ends in my freezer and refrigerator.  I had leftover spinach from a salad, 2 frozen hamburger buns and half a container of store-bought pesto.  So these yummy sandwiches were born!

Pesto Chicken Sandwiches
*makes 4 servings

- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1/2 cup of pesto (either homemade or store-bought)
- Sprinkle of pine nuts (if desired)
- Handful of spinach
- Hamburger buns

- Mix shredded chicken breasts, pesto and pine nuts together in large bowl
- Dress hamburger buns with spinach and top with pesto chicken mix
- Serve with a nice green salad and enjoy!

 Prep Tips
*I use frozen chicken breasts, boil them until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, let rest for 10 minutes and shred.  This whole process takes about 25-35 minutes and can usually be done during nap time.  Baby C takes about 45 minute naps, and I can prep the entire sandwich in one nap time.
*To make these a hot sandwich, put hamburger bun and pesto chicken mixture under the broiler, top with a mild cheese (like provolone) and keep under broiler until cheese melts.  Top with spinach.

This is a sandwich that is great hot or cold - it also makes excellent leftovers!

Friday, July 22, 2011

When I'm a Mom, I'll Never....

Fill in the blank.  Not go on a date with my husband.  Have ugly toys scattered across my living room.  Talk in a baby voice.

Turns out some of that stuff is hard to avoid.  I live 3 hours away from Baby C's grandparents (all of them), and while I love my friends dearly, a) many of them have children of their own and could use a babysitter themselves b) I'm not quite ready for non-family members to watch my 4 month old child.  And those ugly toys?  Yeah, they are brightly colored to help with infant development.  And a baby voice?  It comes out of nowhere.  One minute, you're talking to an adult about adult things, and next minute, you are talking about an octave higher than usual and making up words.  It's weird and I don't know how it happens.

What has this taught me?  Well, besides the fact that ugly toys might be necessary in helping Baby C learn and grow?  First, never say never.  I think I can say with certainty this will not be the last time I learn that lesson.  And second, never judge.  It seems easy to sit back (especially if you have no kids) and look at what parents are doing with their children and proudly say in your head, "I'll never do that."  And then you start talking in a baby voice.

Anything you swore you'd never do?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Diaper Decision

Cloth diapering.  SCARY.  White cotton rectangles held together with humongous pins.  A thin layer of material separating you from your baby's, uh, stuff.  No thanks.  I'll leave that to the crazies, thank you very much.

Then, I got pregnant with Baby C, and got to thinking about a lot of stuff.  And it seems strange to say, but diapering was one of the things I thought the most about.  I decided to join the crazies and wrap my baby's bum in cloth diapers.

WHY?  Was I some sort of glutton for punishment?  Did I have a large assortment of diaper pins at the ready?  Here are some of the reasons I decided to go cloth:

While the upfront costs of cloth diapering are more expensive than disposable diapers, over the course of diapering your child, it's estimated you can save over $1000!  Here's how:

According to a recent trip to my neighborhood Target, a 92 pack of disposable diapers costs $20, or about 22 cents per diaper.  Let's say your baby goes through 8 diapers a day, or 240 a month.  To diaper your baby in disposable diapers, it would cost $53 a month.

Costs for cloth diapering will range depending on styles and brands.  After doing a ton of research, I decided to go with bumGenius One Size All in One 4.0 at $18 a piece.  I have 20 diapers, which cost $360.  Total.  For good.  In theory (since the One Size fit 7-35+ pounds), I won't have to buy another diaper.  My cloth diaper stash will pay for itself in about 3 more months.  

If you keep your diapers in good shape, you can reuse them for additional children, saving you even more money!

While there is not any proven research showing that babies in cloth diapers have less diaper rash than babies in disposable diapers, Baby C has been in cloth diapers since she was 7 weeks old (she's now 21 weeks old), and she has had one instance of diaper rash - we used disposable diapers for a weekend out of town.  There are a ton of chemicals in disposable diapers, but the scariest one is dioxin (a known carcinogen).  There are trace amount of dioxin in disposable diapers, and while the chemical is banned in most countries, it isn't in the United States.  Many disposable diapers have dyes, fragrances and perfumes, which can irritate sensitive baby skin.

A disposable diaper can take up to 500 years to decompose.  Ewwww.  Not only do they take up space in landfills, but they use a lot of energy to produce.  Yes, cloth diapers come with an environmental impact of their own - I do an extra load of laundry every other day, which uses water and energy.  However, the impact seems not quite as severe as something that will be here long after many generations have come and gone.

*Cute factor
Totally vain, but I think cloth diapers are way cuter than disposables.  Am I wrong?

So there you have it - in a big nutshell, this is why I chose to cloth diaper.  And I'm so glad I did.  It's not for everyone, but I think if people got past the myths of what cloth diapering looks like today, I think more folks would do it.  It's really not that bad.

Do you cloth diaper?  Why did you decide to do it?  Are you happy with your decision?

Psst - I got most of my facts about cloth diapering here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Feeling Mahvelous!

Hello! I'm Mama Mahvelous, and thank you for joining me on my wee little blog devoted to our wee little ones (and all the fun that goes with them!). Blogging has been such a great way for me to express myself, grow, learn and connect, and I'm looking forward to doing that here!