Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No More Binkis!!

So its been a long time I have posted, and I am sorry.  I am going to try to be more deligent about this.  2011 has started with a bang, we have so much good news to report its kind of crazy -- weddings galore in 2011 -- Abby and Beau, Alison and Joe, Alexis and Fletcher, Meg and Dave; and Sean and Rachel! Congrats!  Also, we are so excited about all the new babies that will be entering the world this year -- Nathanna and Craig in Feb., Lisa and Jon in June, Kate and Andrew in June, Mike and Jen in July and Dave and Amber in July too!  Its going to be a very crazy year.

We have also had a lot of changes since my last post -- We are moving.  Matt got a job in NYC and has been working for JP Morgan since October.  So, what does that mean for James and I -- we are moving to CT as soon as we can sell our place.  Its definitely a struggle being a single mom during the week but we have found our rhythm and we are just looking forward to our place selling.

So, enough of the catch-up...onto mommy issues.  The BINKI!! I know that in previous posts I talked about trying to get rid of it, or at least keep it for just night time, but the time has come for it to go!  We had gotten James down to just using the binki at night, but three weeks ago my friend Morgan decided that her daughter's paci had to go.  The doctors kept telling me not to worry about it until we moved, but at this point I was feeling he is going to be 3 before we move, so I am going for it!!!  I decided that I would just not give the binki to James -- I literally collected all the binki's in the house and threw them away.  YES, I threw them away.  Lets be serious -- they are gross after years of usage -- you can afford to go out and get some new ones if you have another child.  Many books tell you to make up a story about them going to other kids who needed them -- but knowing my child I knew that wouldn't work - we are very much in the "mine" stage. 

The first night was actually pretty easy.  James went down without even a peep.  Granted we did make sure he was very tired.  James didn't even ask for the binki.  The next couple of nights were tough in the sense that James had a hard time falling asleep.  Remember -- the binki helped to soothe and now they have to figure out how to truly self soothe.  Interestingly enough, over the last three weeks James has only asked for his binki once -- the 2nd night, and when I said no more he kind of accepted it. 

Its so nice to say that we are a binki free house now!!  While we are still struggling a little with sleeping through the night, we are sure that now after all of the holiday excitement that will change too.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sun Safety First

Summer is upon us now and we are spending more time outside then ever before.  James loves to be outside which is great, but sometimes finding things to do for a toddler can be daunting.  We live in the city, so just going to the beach or pool can be easier said than done.  That said, regardless of what we are doing both Matt and I feel so admit about making sure that sun safety is always first.

We lather James up with suntan lotion every day, he wears a hat, sunglasses and we try to stay in the shade or under an umbrella as much as possible.  This summer though, has been a large learning curve for us in the world of suntan lotion.  Last summer we used Nutrogena Baby solely.  We thought it worked great and was easy to use.  This summer we got thrown a curve ball when James came down with Fifth's disease.  Turns out he is acutely sensitive to almost everything -- including this seemingly benign, dermatologist / doctor recommended lotion.  After some exploration we found that the lotion contains Vitamin A which when applied as Suntan lotion can actually cause an increase to sun-sensitivity. Certainly, ironic no?  Its amazing how easy we are to buy lotions full of chemicals that say Doctor Recommended!

So we started doing research and by using the EWG's website we found that Nutrogena was ranked as a 4 (5 being the worst for you) and Aveeno Baby which people told us to use as well as was ranked as a 5.  (Scary-Right?)  Badger and California Baby's suntan lotion are the safest.  They are purely zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (no PABA) which means that this suntan lotion scatters and blocks both UVA/UVB rays on top of being waterproof.  It goes on thick and white, but protects James all day.  We love it, and because the formula is simple and chemical free James does not have skin reactions. 

Now as a more educated mom, we send James to the playground, beach or even to the park covered in California baby and we always have their "suntan lotion stick" on hand for easy facial an ear touch-ups!  (Don't forget the ears -- this is one of the most prominent spots on the entire human body to get skin cancer because everyone forgets to cover them!).  And, at the end of the day I am now happy that I found a reliable product that protects my baby's sensitive skin.

That said, the lingering question I have is why as a society of moms are we allowing these major companies to poison our children in order to make a buck?  Why do we have to fight to uncover this information? These questions truly frustrate me on a daily bases! 

And, with that I say be sun safe this fourth of July weekend, wear hats, sunglasses and stay under umbrellas on top of all that suntan lotion!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Changes All Around!!

So I am so sorry that I haven't posted in a while, well a while doesn't really sum up the 6 weeks of neglect.  But, with the balance of mommyhood, sometimes things fall behind, and unfortunately this blog did just that.  On a positive note, it has been a very busy but successful last 6 weeks.

First I would like to talk a little bit about my accomplishments.  I have registered for 3 triathlons!!! My first one is on July 18th and I am super excited.  Needless to say, I have finally grabbed hold of my life and made it a priority for me find time to workout for myself.  It has been easier than I thought and its definitely great that James enjoys going for runs and Matt and James will bike with me!  Even more I have found some great friends at work who are a. joining me in the last tri and b. pushing me to work out!  On top of all of this success I am happy to report I have officially lost 25 pounds.  Its so exciting for me, as my weight has always been a struggle, and now I have made some head way -- I still have more to go, but its a start!

On another note, we have made a lot of changes with James.  First we found out that he is suffering from 5ths disease which is leading to contact dermatitis.  Therefore, we have now switch to Tide Free detergent and we are still laughing that our detergent was the last "natural" switch that we have made.  Maybe the smell of the blue Tide makes me nostalgic, but all in all we have seen a remarkable recovery with a simple switch in laundry detergent and of course, the prescription hydrocortozone.

The other big change we have made is that we have switched to cloth diapers!!!  We are using Happy Heiny's and the Diaper Lab in Somerville has been a huge help!  We are off there this weekend because of James' sensitive skin we have to get totally enzyme free detergent (I never realized that even the organic all natural detergents that are main stream still have enzymes).  Anyways, we love the Happy Heiny's and James loves them too.  They are pocket diapers so you have to stuff them, but this means that you can add extra absorbancy for the night time or decrease the absorbance for light wetting times.  They are super easy to clean -- just throw them in the laundry, and so affordable!  We are so happy with the change!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


So I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks, and for that I am sorry.  But the last couple of weeks have been great.  First, I have been working hard at loosing weight and I can officially say that I am now down 10 pounds.  So I still have some ways to go, but I am truly excited to be loosing weight once again.

The past couple of weeks have also been great with James.  As I blogged earlier, we were working on getting James to keep his binki in the crib.  It was really rough and we seemingly gave up on the whole idea, but almost like a light switch James suddenly took to the idea.  Now, every morning he leaves his binki in his crib and he gets it when he is put down.  It's such a nice change and relief for us. 

It's just makes us so happy when goals can actually be accomplished.  Its such a struggle at this age, we feel like there are weeks or even months that all you do is take steps backwards, so when you finally make a significant step forward it feels like a huge accomplishment!!!

Goals Moving forward:
1. Continue weight loss through diet and exercise
2. Continue to encourage James to use his words and aid him through his transition into the toddler classroom at daycare -- hopefully this goes smoothly over the next week!  We will keep you posted! 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Obesity Epidemic

I have had a couple of rough weeks, and so I never posted last week.  I do have some good news though; I have lost a total of 6 pounds since I re-dedicated myself to losing this excess weight.  That is something I am really proud of, and last week I also ran 4 miles in 36:07 minutes.  My best yet and pretty much a 9 minute mile.  I hope to continue working on getting my time down.

I do want to explore an issue that has been bothering me for a long time, and I am so ecstatic that CBS and ABC had the guts to expose it on prime-time.  ABC did it through Jamie Oliver on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and CBS did it by airing Food Inc. Both of these programs expose the growing epidemic of obesity in this country.  It’s not only that we are more unhealthy today than ever before, but even our own government is setting up guidelines and instituting regulations that are actually enabling obesity.  Here are some important facts to consider the next time you go to the grocery store or allow your child to eat a school provided lunch:

  1. High Fructose Corn Syrup “HFCS”:  This is a bi-product of corn that came out of World War II.  Our government, in response to the Great Depression, started a program to support our farmers by buying corn.  We therefore, had such a large surplus of corn that our government went to food producers and offered to supply them with corn and all of its bi-products at a very minimal cost.  Thus, our food manufactures moved away from using sugar in their products to HFCS.  Did you know that HFCS can cause an unresponsive insulin spike which over time can lead to fat storage and even diabetes?
  2. Flavored Milk: I had no idea that chocolate milk has more sugar per serving than a can of soda.  Thanks to Jamie Oliver who pointed out that we can’t teach our children to eat the right balance of fruits, vegetables and diary if it’s always covered in sugar.
  3. School lunches:  Why does our government consider French fries a vegetable?  In my family potatoes always were considered a starch and never a vegetable.  Why are we teaching our children that fried foods are vegetables?  Why is the very institution that should be teaching our children in fact encouraging them to be obese by feeding them nothing but processed foods?  We should be appalled that our schools primarily feed our kids pizza, chicken nuggets, and other non-nutritious foods.
  4. Chicken nuggets: I have always known that chicken nuggets weren’t the best thing for you, but until I watched how they were actually made: ground up bone, skin and chemicals; breaded and then fried in oil, could I truly understand that there is absolutely no nutritional value.
  5. Chicken breast:  When we see the huge chicken breasts in the grocery store we should think, wow, what did they do to get it that big?  The answer – hormones.  Ever wonder why our daughters are going through puberty on average 2 years earlier than ever before?  It’s because our cows which produce milk, our chicken, our meat is all pumped up with hormones.  Furthermore, non-organic chicken is pumped full of dye in order for it to appeal to the American public, because after all of the altering of the meat by the hormones they need it to actually look like chicken.
  6. Juice – most of it is just sugar and water, even most that say 100% juice.  Even if the label says only “apples and water” know that most of the nutritional value has been pasteurized out as all of our foods are required to be pasteurized.  Encourage your child to eat the fruit and to drink water; they will get more vitamins and fiber from the fruit and learn that water is really the best liquid to drink.
  7. Brand named processed foods: Do you know that companies like Kellogg, Nestle, Kraft, etc. all have research departments that are trying to invent new processed foods that will appeal to the American public, and will sell.  Furthermore, they pump these foods full of sodium, fat and sugar in order to make sure who ever buys the product becomes addicted.

This is only a sample of how we are being duped into being obese and how we are letting the manufactures and government lead our children into obesity.  It’s a staggering fact that the children today have a shorter life expectancy than us as parents due solely to the increased factor of obesity.

Now, how do we make a change?  First, we take ownership of what we bring into our homes.  I am not saying we all have to grow our own gardens or only shop for organic produce, but we should shop at local farmers market, buy frozen vegetables over canned, buy local if possible, and most importantly read the ingredients.  I think we should continue Jamie’s food revolution and stand up and say enough is enough.  We should return to going to the butcher for fresh meat that hasn’t been pumped full of hormones, we should go to the local bakery for fresh bread that isn’t pumped full of stabilizers and we should take ownership of our health and our children’s health.

One of my goals as a mom has been to teach James how to eat.  We laugh that he eats sauteed mushrooms with quinoa, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini and even spinach, but we have also done the work to get him to eat these vegetables.  We put it in front of him everyday regardless if he eats it, because one day he will decide why not, and believe me it works.  Desert in our house is fruit.  Fruit is always used as a snack along with “fishies” (Gold Fish).  But we are extremely happy with the way we are shaping our little child’s eating habits, and hopefully we will continue (hopefully our government will also jump onto the wagon and get in the program) to teach James to eat fresh and healthy so that he can have just as long of a life as us.

My goals for the rest of the week:

  1. Continue running.  I hope to get in a couple of solid runs this week and to continue my weight loss.
  2. Try a new recipe.  There are a lot of studies out there that say if you continuously try new recipes you will be a healthier eater.  Matt and I used to do this all of the time, but with the addition to our family we have become “lazy” in this category. 
  3. Continue tracking on WW and hopefully to loose at least a couple more pounds.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mommy's Goals Only

So last week I tried my best to meet my 10 mile run goal, but unfortunately life got in the way.  I wasn't able to get to the gym on Thursday or Friday of last week due to work so it was up to running on Saturday and Sunday.  I ran 2 miles on Saturday then that afternoon, we walked about 4 miles. So in total I ran 8 miles and walked over 6 miles this week.  I was shy of my goal to run 10 miles but I was proud of all the exercise I did get, including spending all Sunday morning lifting boxes and cleaning out our entire storage area.  Let me tell you I haven't been that sore in a long time.

As for this week, I have so new goals.  1. To track every day on  2. To run 11 miles 3. To complete the 5K I signed up for on Saturday.  I hope that this week I am more successful in completing my goals.  So far, I am off to a great start.  Today I ran 4 miles in 37:50 -- not so bad :).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mommy's Goals and Consumerism at its worst

Okay, so in terms of meeting my goal of 10 miles and 1 weight session, I have so far run 6 miles with no weight session.  I hope to be able to get my weight session in tomorrow and complete the last four miles on Friday and Saturday.  I can definately say that running 3.5 miles in under 35 minutes today was painful -- wow taking 4 weeks off certainly does effect you!

On a mommy note, I recently ran across a very thought provoking book, Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood.  The title of this book alone gave me chills down my back.  This book really brings out how we in society are being targeted from every direction to be consumers; so much so, that our children no longer are expected to use their imagination to entertain themselves.  Now, there is a toy for every single age, every type of play, every type of situation.  Are we taking the fun and development out of childhood by supplying our children with all of these material goods, tv, video games, etc?  My answer is yes (anyone else have an opinion?)

We have definately fallen into the consumer trap, this idea that you need to give, give, give to your child. Before James was even born we had a house full of gear that we were told we HAD to have, and now I can tell you we dont use half of it. 

I hope that we can get out of this need to get James everything, maybe that just comes with the territory when its your first, but I know Matt and I have recognized this and we are trying to get better.  That said, what I do know is that we do love to encourage James to be creative, to be outside, to love and laugh, and hopefully, we can instill these qualities in him versus instilling in him how to be a good consumer...I guess time will only tell.