Archive for January, 2013

Prenatal/Pre PR Flashbacks- January 29, 2013

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

This morning was one big flashback to 2 1/2 years ago.  I should say it was lots of little flashbacks to 2 1/2 years ago.  You know, when I was all round and glowy, maybe a little sleepy too.  Ah!  Here she is…

amy p 2FLASHBACK! September 2010, about 34 weeks pregnant

I joined a group of round, glowy and sleepy gals this morning at Rapid Fitness in Raleigh.  I have been to lots of gyms, but I seriously love this one.  I like fitness classes because I’m an uber-extrovert who can’t stand the solidarity and monotony of running.  (Let’s be honest.  I hate running in general.  If that’s your thing, they have plenty of treadmills and ellipticals with fancy TVs.) What I really love is that they have specialty prenatal exercise classes.

No.  I’m not pregnant.  Thanks for asking, though.

Now that we have that cleared up, I have an explanation for my attendance to this class.  Rapid Fitness’ prenatal class was being featured on NBC 17’s local morning newscast.  As part of my Public Relations job, I do Media Training to prepare clients for interviews.  After helping Brandy, a Personal Trainer for Rapid Fitness, they asked me to use my baby blogging skills to tell all my darling readers more about what they offer.  I was there to observe and tell you all about the prenatal class.

Disclaimer: Rapid Fitness gives me free classes that I don’t attend like I should.  My opinions, however, come up more than they should.  They are totally free and totally honest.

Being with the TV news crew gave me flashbacks to all my early morning hours as a news reporter.  I was all busy and harried, maybe a little stressed too.  Ah!  Here she is… (Really cold and miserable on this day, apparently.)

news 1FLASHBACK!  No joke. EXACTLY 3 years ago today January 29, 2010 (Found it on Facebook.)

This morning Brandy discussed the importance of prenatal fitness.  As a personal trainer and mother of a 2 1/2 year old, she works with moms-to-be to stay fit before pregnancy.  She explained to Page Crawford from NBC 17 that exercise while you’re pregnant can help with the following…

  • More energy
  • Less moody
  • Better sleep
  • Easier labor and delivery
  • Decreased chance of Gestational Diabetes

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.  “Ha!  Sounds good Amy, let’s go workout when I’m already more tired then I have ever been in my entire life.  Did someone poison my food?  Seriously.”  I hear you.  These recommendations come with a caveat.  Do what your doctor says is okay.  Don’t push it.  That is something they really stress at Rapid Fitness.  Let me tell you, these were some seriously dedicated pregnant chicks.

photo rp 1

You see the blond on the left?  That’s Jennifer.  She is my sweet, adorable coworker whom I love working with.  You want to talk about a tough cookie?  This poor girl has had an awful pregnancy!  She has been sick EVERY DAY.  If you have questions about Zofram and extreme exhaustion, Jennifer can answer them.  She is expecting a boy in May, and I think she will be glad to not be pregnant.  Yet here she was this morning, toning muscles and keeping her body strong.  She is my new hero.

All the exercises they offer in the class are modified and lower impact to make them safe for pregnancy.  They did lunges and squats to prepare your legs and booty for the big pushes of labor.  The class then used small free weights to tone arms.  I know I’m not the only one whose arms were seriously sore after labor. It’s hard work to pull yourself up by your legs like that.  Bouncing and sitting on the exercise ball while lifting the weights was encouraged.  Of course breathing, stretching, and water breaks were a huge priority.  (Wait, not those kind of water breaks!)  


I’m making it a personal goal to do more low-impact exercise the next time I get pregnant. (Whenever that is. Again, I’m not pregnant.)  I did a lot of walking the first go-around, but I want more overall tone this time.

Were you/are you able to exercise during pregnancy? What kind of exercise did you do/are you doing while pregnant?  Did you take a class?  Did it help you feel better during pregnancy or labor and delivery?  

Watch the NBC 17 segments here and here so you can see some of the exercises.  (The second link is longer and you can hear more interviews!)


Paging Dr. Princess- January 27, 2013

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

This is a collection of some of Charlotte’s newest things:

Photo1 (1)

Do you see a theme?  Well played Disney marketers, well played.  Good job getting your characters on everything from the cup my kid drinks from to the training pants on her little hiney.  Disney has an even further reach than the toddler department.  I’m interested to see what’s next.  I’m not picking on Disney, exclusively.  Sesame Street seems to have their hands on preschool merchandise as well.  You should see all the Elmo stuff in our house.  The thing that has been sticking  out to me lately is PRINCESS.

She loves those snow boots.  I’m a good little suburbanite mommy so we searched the aisles of Target for the perfect pair.  I gave her the choice of all the boots on the shelf and she said “Pincess!”  We went to a 3-year-old girl’s party this weekend.  Princess theme.

Hmm.  I’m not sure how I feel about all this.  I’ve read the criticism of the whole princess industry and how it’s making our daughters image obsessed, subservient prince-seekers who will end up on the pole if we let them watch The Little Mermaid.  I’m worried I’ll have to start dressing like Pam on “The Office.”  She was “Dr. Cinderella” for Halloween to show her daughter positive princess role models.

pam halloweenCourtesy: NBC

I love princess stuff.  Love it.  I can try to deny it, but I’m a pink, glittery girl-girl at heart and always have been.  We watched “Tangled” this weekend because I LOVE THAT MOVIE!  Of course Charlotte loved it too.  I find the more recent princess movies have much stronger, more confident female leads then classics like “Snow White” and “Cinderella.”  I think they send better messages.

I took a class in college called Gender and Media Culture and it ruined every story for me, ever.  This is the class where we had to watch “The Accused” and “Boys Don’t Cry.”  We got to analyze the rape scenes and discuss how the Cinderella Syndrome is a worldwide epidemic, forever infecting women’s psyches.  Apparently all the princess fairy tales of our youth are the reason women end up contestants on “The Bachelor” because the only thing they’ve ever been told is that they have to find a man to be happy.  Oh, did you know that EVERYTHING is a metaphor for deflowering a virgin girl?  I didn’t either until I took this class.

So, you see my dilemma.  I decided to take it easy and just go with it.  She’s just a little girl and princesses are just a part of that.  If I make a big deal about it, it becomes a big deal.

She got that “Tangled” book pictured above with a little hair clip of Rapunzel’s hair.  I showed her how it lit up and you put it in your hair.  I was never more proud of her after what she did next.  She didn’t want it in her hair.  She took it and made it a stethoscope.  She “listened” to our hearts before making it the thing doctors use to look in your ears.  Then she said, “I doctor!”


I don’t think I’ll need to dress like Dr. Cinderella after all.  My little princess is already practicing medicine.


New Digs- January 25, 2013

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

SP makeover pic

Hey there!  I was a little quiet on the blog this week, but believe me when I say I had blogging on the brain.  I had been wanting a makeover for awhile.  Thanks to Sarah at One Starry Night, things are freshened up quite a bit.  She came up with this fabulous design that I hope all you darling readers like.

I’m working to stretch my writing and make my site even better.  I can’t do it without the help of people like Sarah.  Poor Kelly has the arduous task of being my blog host.  She is with the amazing Twenty 70 Hosting  and has to hear my Widget whines and HTML blunders.  Both Kelly and Sarah are so kind and patient with me and my Internet ineptitude.

Thank you with all my heart for reading my blog.  Please comment and email.  I always want to know what you’re thinking, good and bad.  It blows my mind sometimes that people read the words I write.  This blog has been an outlet, a community, a recorder and a soapbox.  Above all, it’s been a happy blessing.


Shower shouts- January 21, 2013

Monday, January 21st, 2013

This weekend I went to the baby shower of a first-time mom.  Amber is a girl I grew up with and one of my sister’s best friends.  (See picture below. That’s Amber.) Julie is my little sister, but Kristen and Amber made up their gruesome threesome.  I feel like the other two are sort of “little sisters” too.

Amber had a mountain of gifts, thoughtfully wrapped and checked off her registry.  Many other young mothers, me included, talked about different gifts.  You know, how no Americans knew who Sophie was 5 years ago, unless you had a baby in the last 5 years.  Now like, OMG everyone’s baby LOVES them!

I sat there with my two-year-old but I found my mind running.  I wanted to shout out, “Oooh!  Let me tell you how to best use that!” or “I used that this one time when…”  I chatted with the mom-to-be about childcare and other things, but I wanted to say more.  I found myself bubbling up with advice that I had to consciously bottle up at the shower.  I didn’t want to be like, “I know it all because a person came out of my birth canal and I kept it alive for two years!”  No one likes that woman.  Then I thought, “Oh that’s right.  I have a blog.  I can write whatever I want to there.”

So here it is.  For all the Amber’s out there with your big bellies and glowing faces. My advice.  Take it or leave it.  I give it with love.

  • Get a really good breast pump.  DO NOT cheap out on a breast pump.   It pays for itself as much as you use it.  Oh!  It pays for itself anyway.  For working mothers, breast pumps are now tax deductible.  Go ahead and warn your husband they are like $300.  But, save the receipt!  Again, TAX DEDUCTIBLE!  I did not rent one from the hospital because of this.  I had the Medela one that looks like a purse.  It was great.
  • Get a hands-free pumping bra.  Looks hilarious, but extremely handy.  You’re welcome Bessie, now hook on up to that there pump and get yourself milked!  That’s  a good girl!
  • Get on a waiting list for a day-care NOW!  If you’re not already on one by your baby shower, you may be screwed.  Sorry.  It’s true.  We were on five and only one could take us when I needed to go back to work.  Oh, it’s $150 to just get your name on the list at each one.  No, it’s not refundable.
  • Wrap up those Dr. Brown’s bottles and take them back to the store.  They are a gigantic pain in the ass.  You will spend the next year of your life with a tiny bristle brush washing those stupid parts.  I’m not convinced they are any better than any other bottle and now I will have to use them for the next kid because I have about 25 of the damn things.
  • Take the Brest Friend pillow to the hospital.  For me, it is the greatest breastfeeding invention of all time.  When I was shopping for Amber I saw the new Born Free pillow and got very excited.  It looks really great too and may have some features the Brest Friend pillow doesn’t have.
  • You may have to buy more than one nursing pillow.  I had a Boppy at the hospital.  A friend brought me a Brest Friend.  Boom!  That worked.  Find the one that works.  For me, the Brest Friend worked when she was little, but the Boppy was better when she was older.  Like I said, the Born Free looks phenomenal.  You’ll have to adjust as you get more comfortable with nursing and your baby grows.
  • Find a pediatrician.  We toured ours before the baby was born.  I didn’t know it, but having a lactation consultant at the pediatrician’s office was WONDERFUL for those newborn visits. Yep, I whipped out my boobs for the nurse at the peds office.  I needed advice and I knew she could give it.  Be weary of peds offices that don’t have them and be weary of peds offices that pump out formula samples.  Formula is fine, but advice that helps you keep nursing is even better.  You CAN do it.  It’s just hard at first.
  • Buy a boxes of unscented maxi pads before you go into labor.  No one tells you you’re going to have a heavy period for 6 weeks after the baby is born and you can’t wear tampons.  Use unscented.  Trust me.  You’ll thank me later.  Use the big ice pack ones they send you home from the hospital with while you’re still sore.  But, you’ll run out and be with 8 extended family members who came to see the baby and you be all like, “Ah!  Someone go to the store!”
  • Get your FMLA and maternity leave stuff lined up.  I was in a panic because we got a new HR rep at my old job when I was 8.5 months pregnant.  Fortunately, I got some of the necessary paperwork earlier.  MAKE SURE you know how much time you’re taking off and what’s paid and what’s unpaid.  My husband and my daughter were on my insurance so right after she came home from the hospital I had to get on the phone and make sure she was covered.
  • Fill out paperwork for the cord blood banking now.  I totally didn’t and have no cord blood saved.  Not the end of the world, but it would be nice to have.
  • Take everything from the bassinet at the hospital.  Diapers, wipes, everything.  It’s yours.  You paid for it with insurance.  Ask for two bulb syringes and two squirt bottles.  Get the nurse to grab you extra ice pack pads and that numbing spray to take home too.
  • It’s okay to cry a lot.  You will.  You’ll cry at every freakin’ commercial with a baby, or when your mom leaves after staying with you that first week.  You’ll suddenly be afraid that EVERYTHING will harm the baby.  Ugh.  It’s a little rough sometimes.  You’ll get it together, but you cry a lot in the first few weeks.
  • This is awesome.  It’s great.  Not all the time.  Sometimes it’s really hard, but it’s also amazing.

Phew!  That’s all I got today.  I may have to do a Part 2 of one of these posts.  Okay, other moms, what did I miss?  What did you wish you had known?

Pin it!  You know you want to!


Gold Stars! January 15, 2013

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

If you don’t already read my friend Erin’s blog, you totally should.  She came up with a fun idea for a link up and I’m all about it.  Why?  Because it has to do with sparkly stickers.  Let’s face it, I love sparkly stickers about as much as my two-year-old loves them.

Her idea?  Parents should get gold stars for being awesome, or simply for doing things that aren’t terrible.  Agreed.

I think this is gold star worthy:

  • My little potty-trainer said she needed to drop a deuce.  Yes!  We’ve been working on that.  I hurried her to the commode.  I helped her pull down her pants and a turd fell out and rolled on to the bathroom floor.  I did not groan and grimace.  Nope.  I plastered a shit eating grin on my face and said, “Uh oh!  That’s okay!  You got really close to the potty!”  I helped her do her business and cleaned up.  My little one then reminded me “You no eat poo poo, Mama!  Is yucky!”  I had my shit eating grin on for nothing.