Getting Back my Body

Having a baby takes a big toll on the body. You can’t really think about exercise and fitness for quite some time as you can imagine First of all you are simply exhausted for months and second of all it is a daunting task. Most women pack on more than a few pounds and they want to stay there. Confronting them and putting them in their place takes energy and dedication. Going to the gym is simply a luxury time does not afford you. Since you are up at all hours, you can perform any activity you like when you like.

As for myself, I am planning on betting back my former body sometime in the near future, and I will do it at home between feedings and changing the baby. I am usually dressed rather casually! A home routine works for me. I am going to devise a bare bones no-nonsense program that I will now share with my readers, which can be done affordably with very little additional equipment – you’re not going to need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on the best elliptical machine after reading this post – the most you’ll need to spend is $50, although you probably already have a lot of the things around your home anyway. It is not complete yet, but it hopefully will give you an idea how it works, why it works, and what is involved. It is based on consultation with trainers and friends who work out.

Things to do in a chair

Many things can be done while seated if you need a break for the feet. This particular set of exercises is for the upper body. Here’s what I recommend:

Lifting small weights of about 6-10 pounds (depending upon your strength and ability). Lift them from the shoulders up toward the ceiling at least 10 times.

Lift the weights to the side ten times from the waist (your lowest position) to shoulder height.

Perform ten curls.

Things to do standing

Most exercises are best done standing if you can. You can do all the above weights and then add the following:

Squats: perform 10 to tone up thighs

Lunges: walking into the lunge perform 10. This will stretch the quads nicely.

Go on tip toe, up and down, twenty times to get the calves.

Things to do on a mat

Sit ups and crunches are most comfortable on a yoga mat but they can be done using the large inflated ball. Put your arms behind your head and repeat the exercise 30-100 times (I am not kidding) to get that belly back into shape. This is your target area as a new mom. Do it daily if you can!

The Plank: to strengthen the core and arms, do the yoga plank position for 60 seconds. This position places all the weight on the forearms and toes. You do not bend your knees. Pulling in the core as you hold the pose is the key.

Stretching: ah, it feels good to get the inner thighs. If you are really tight, take it slowly and work toward more stretch. Put the legs in a V position and move them farther outward as you improve. If you are not alone, someone can stretch you, taking each leg and alternately pushing it toward your chest.


Bugs and Baby

What good mom wants her baby to get a bug? They do get colds from time to time. Such cute little sneezes. Tylenol to the rescue. But what if baby gets a bug of another kind? This is rare, but especially if you take the tyke outdoors, it can happen. You can be sitting in the park on a nice sunny day when a bee or wasp descends out of the blue. You can be ensconced by a picturesque river when a snail crawls upon your tot. You can be in the backyard minding your own businesses when a fly wants to snoop. Whatever the case, and you can be sure they will arise, it is time for some baby pest control.

Of course you will never apply toxic chemicals or repellants. There are things to buy that are safe and you need to stick with them and read the labels. In addition, apart from shooing the menace away, you need to cover baby in the face of any insect onslaught. Bites can cause allergies and may lead to a hospital visit. So take great care if you live in an area where little beings reside or if you are traveling to unknown regions.

Gnats, mosquitos and horse flies like to suck blood so you want to be sure to avoid areas where they abound. Keep your windows closed or use screens to deter their entrance. Baby will enjoy the fresh air in any case. Outside check for standing water and wet grass. Inside watch for spiders, crickets, dust mites, termites, silverfish and the like. If you see them, it’s time for a pest control service. Prevention is potent when you have a young one. Seal up cracks, holes, and other entry points into the home. Your technician will point them out and take care of them in no time flat.

If you have a pet, look for the signs of fleas. There are much better guides out there than what I could write, but I will give you this one tip – they like tender, young flesh. In hot weather it is hard to bundle baby up so eliminating the problem and heading it off is your best bet. It can be an insidious problem as many cats and dogs are resistant to the usual treatment. Check outside for bee and wasp nests and inside for cockroaches and ants. These are the common predators you are likely to see. Don’t leave food out for an extended period of time. Learn about eradication without using toxins or traps that baby could tamper with. Keeping a clean home is a great defense. Sanitizing is the definition of de-infestation.

If you must use chemicals, or your pest control service insists, it must be natural. Ask about leaving the house and for how long as the process is undertaken. New options are appearing as science has embraced eco-friendly options. If your baby is at the crawling stage, it is particularly important to avoid any treatment residue. Your offspring will eventually encounter an invader, so don’t panic. It is normal and likely to occur. Just know what to do before and after the fact to keep baby secure and healthy.


Jolly Jumper Installation

I hate when you buy things on line that say “some assembly required.” That means getting out the tool box and grabbing the stud finder that my husband had to buy but never seems to use. It means an hour of pouring over the instructions, muttering a few curse words, and some trial and error attempts. This describes me in front of a jolly jumper for the baby. He will love it to death—what kid doesn’t want to bounce around. But it is going to tax my patience getting there.

I wanted to save a few dollars so I bought the kit version. It seemed a simple enough device so I didn’t expect much trouble. I tore open the box with anticipation and laid out dozens of pieces. The big ones were no problem: the seat, some rods and springs, and the like. But there were all kinds of little nuts and bolts. Fortunately I wouldn’t have to paint anything, but as for the rest, I was dumbstruck.

The instructions were not, in fact, in English. Are you kidding me! Who has a dictionary lying around the house in Chinese! Really. This was the living end. I had always been able to do this sort of minimal assembly in the past. I am handy around the house. I fix things on a regular base, hence the tool box filled with implements of varied need.

Well, I stared for a long time as you can well imagine. Then I started to follow the bizarre diagrams hoping that the part I was holding in my hand matched the odd photos. They didn’t look the same to me! I puzzled and pored over the project for some time. Finally, after three hours of manual and mental labor, I had arrived. The jolly jumper was done, ready to use, cute as a button.

It seemed small but was supposed to be a standard size for a toddler. I didn’t doubt that and stood content towering over the bouncer. The kid better enjoy this to death or it will be a matter of mine. I will die from aggravation.

I asked my neighbor if I could borrow her little daughter for the trial run. She was older and more experienced so I thought it would be safe enough and also let me know how a kid would proceed once ensconced on the seat. She obliged. The tot was hesitant at first. I guess her bouncer was a bit different; but she started slowly to rise up and down. Then she went faster and faster, really getting into the act. I was delighted and beamed a wide smile.

I expect some good usage of the jolly bouncer after all my effort. I also expect to make, or assemble I should say, more things in the future having this success behind me. I have gained some confidence in my handywoman role and am ready to tackle some new challenges. There is nothing like success to motivate you to brandish a drill and wrench. I can save money in the process and keep my budget intact.


Choosing a Car Seat: Perhaps the Most Important Parental Decision You Will Ever Make

car seat belt

Riding in a car is just flat out scary.  Or…it should be.  Car accidents are one of the leading causes of child and infants deaths.  Properly buckling your child in a car seat is not only the law, it just makes good sense.  But what car seat is the best?

The information can be overwhelming.  First, you will want to know the laws about car seats for your particular state.  They are not all the same.  Many require your baby to face the rear of the car up until a certain age or weight.  As your child grows in height and in age, the regulations will change as well so be sure to keep up.

There are a number of places that you can go online to find out the safety ratings of car seats.  You can not only compare safety features and ratings, but cost and other details too.  Consumer report’s website is one such place you can find information.

You can actually get an all-in-one car seat that is designed to be the one and only one your child will ever need.  There are some pretty decent ones out there but I did not find one I felt was good enough in ALL areas, only those that were GOOD ENOUGH in all areas.  To me, there’s a big difference.

Keep in mind that different tests are performed and those tests are performed by different sources so what seat is the number one best of the best is a bit up in the air.  Some brands that offer great seats with great ratings are: Britax, Graco, Saftety 1rst and Recaro.  Costco has a good car seat that is priced right too.  Sunshine Kids is a less heard of one but a nice, safe, affordable one all the same.

My personal favorite is Britax and is the model I chose in the birth to two years of age version.  I picked it for the safety ratings and some other factors I liked.  Some of the disadvantages are that it is larger than ones that fit in the front of a grocery cart or on the upside-down high chair hook ups at restaurants.  But I chose it for safety in the car, not for other conveniences so I just deal with the drawbacks.

Just because one brands gets an “A” for infant rating does not necessarily mean the same is true when it comes to their toddler or booster seat versions.  Choosing a great, safe seat is among the most important things you will do as a parent so please, do your homework.  Check out more than one source for the ratings too because a particular company may be sponsoring the test or even the online page you are reading.

Life, these days, pretty much requires having or being in a vehicle.  That’s just how it is.  Your child will most likely spend a good amount of his or her childhood in the car which means, for the early years, in a car or booster seat.  Choose wisely, like your child’s life depends upon it because…you never know when it might.