Walking off the baby weight

Everyone says it takes one step at a time, right?

One step to a healthier lifestyle, one step to a new you, how about one step  to get back into your jeans?

Everything requires you to take just that one step, including losing the baby weight.

And taking that one step is exactly how I got back into my pre-baby clothes, with a little help from my good friend Spanx. Of course.

I started with a slow, mile walk with a friend or my mom a few days a week and then increased it to every day, each day pushing the stroller a little faster, taking the uphill route, or going and extra mile or two.

To help make each exercise count, I really had to push myself.

It helped that the walks helped soothe Charlie, and would usually put her right to sleep!

That’s when Bike2Power’s new Stroller Smartphone Mounting Kit became a necessity on my walks! The mount easily clips to anywhere on the stroller handles with a one-size-fits-all rubber band. The band is securely strapped and locked before the phone is even attached.

The kit also comes with a phone cover/screen protector, this keeps your phone safe if anything should happen or fall.

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Once the phone is in the case, the black back of the case securely locks into the rubber band on the handle. While the stroller was empty, I tried to shake off the mount, bounced the stroller up and down and shook it from side to side, though the phone did wobble, it never detached and stayed on the stroller.

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The first time I went for a walk with Bike2Power’s Mounting Kit, I was underwhelmed because I couldn’t access the screen on my iPhone 6. So, I used my phone to play music off of my phone, which was nice.

I really enjoyed not holding my phone or having it flop around in my pocket while I was trying to power walk to some 90’s jams.

After using the mount a few times, I found that while I did have to push hard on my phone to access my apps or type a text message, it became easier and easier.

If you have/are having a baby, stroller and an iPhone, I would highly recommend this product. My phone was safe and secure, and I was able to enjoy a walk with music or even on the phone without having to steer the stroller with one hand and hold my phone in the other.

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The kit is waterproof and not only works on strollers, but really anything you can wrap the rubber band on like: bicycle handles, wagons, four wheelers, golf bags, etc.

These kits are available for iPhone 5/5s, 6/6s, 6/6s Plus, Galaxy S5, S6 and S6 Edge, and there is an universal stroller mount which is compatible with any smartphone or case.

Bike2Power also has great customer service. When I initially signed up to test this product, I was shipped the wrong phone case size. Within a matter of days I had the correct kit in my mailbox with postage paid for the returned kit.

Want to try it out? These kits are available on Amazon or click  —–> here.

Cheers to getting back into those jeans!

Guilty Mommy


So it happened, the thing all parents fear.. she fell.

My daughter fell. From a pretty high height. She fell off of her diaper changing table.

On my watch.

She cried. I cried (harder than her). She bruised and healed, and I still felt the guilt of her falling and hurting herself.

I am her mom. Her mother. I gave her life. And I watched her fall and get hurt.

Now, this was a few weeks ago but I am still reminded of what happened daily when I change her clothes or change her diaper. So, to combat this reminder, and to reduce the potential fall factor, I started changing her on the floor. Can’t fall from there.

My 11-month-old wiggle worm cannot stay still. Not even to get a diaper change. So even though the floor is now a huge changing mat, it is still a struggle to get her changed or dressed.

Today I was tired, today I was achy and not in the mood to wrestle a diaper onto a crying baby who just wanted to move.

So I took off the dirty diaper, wiped the baby bubble butt and let her go. Onesie undone and one sock on, she crawled around her room, onto her toys and finally focused on playing with her rocking chair.

She’s laughing as I’m watching this miracle of life play and have fun in front of me. I am in awe of how much she has grown and her personality. And even though I’m tired, I wouldn’t change anything for the world. So I grabbed her to blow raspberries on her belly and join in on the fun.

When I snagged her I noticed her thighs were a little wet. “You better not have peed,” I told her. Nah, she couldn’t have peed, I’ve been watching her – must be from the wipes.

Mind you, when I put her down her cheetah-print hooded head was rolling all over the floor near her rocking chair.

I put her diaper on, while snapping her onesie it feels damp. “You seriously better not have peed.”

Concerned, I look for a wet spot on the carpeted floor, no spot. I inch closer to the chair and sniff and rub the carpet.. feels a little wet. Smells a little like pee.

Oh man.

I look at my little girl and give her a defeated look and pull her in for a hug. I wrap my hands around her and brush against her hood. Her sweatshirt up to her hood is completely soaked.

Oh boy.

I quickly undress her and stand up to put her on the changing table away from the urine soaked carpet and I notice the wet stains on the knees of my brand new leggings.

Oh brother.

I stealthy change her all without one peep or wiggle from my maniac mover. I look down at my newly clothed baby who is smiling up at me and her eyes are sparkling with joy. That’s when I realize she’s up on the changing table and I was ok, and more importantly, so was she!

It still amazes me that I am responsible for this little life. She is mine and I am hers. There comes a point as parents when we have to let go of the guilt we carry and be in the present with our babies.
For me, that was the whole pee-on-the-floor thing.

You’re not alone moms and dads, babies cry, parents cry. Then life goes on, faster than most of us ever imagined. So be in the present, learn from the past and look forward to the many more adventures in the future.

Cheers.

Working Overtime

I spent my Monday off running errands with my daughter, and overdosing my usage of the kitchen, which means there will be plenty of recipes coming your way this week (teaser – spinach and apple muffins, crock pot burrito bowls and of course lots of chocolate).

Having days like today make me appreciate my time that I do get to spend at home with my family.

While nursing my daughter to sleep for her first nap of the day, I reminisced about close to a year ago when baby C was first born and I was struggling with going back to work.

I found myself having anxiety about leaving C, stressing over pumping milk, keeping up my supply, not being able to soothe her cries and missing out on her life. Missing her smiles, coos, what if she did something she’s never done before and I don’t get to see it?

Forty hours a week away from my baby, it seemed like the impossible.

My husband was very sick through the last few weeks of my pregnancy all the way through the first six weeks of our baby’s life. He was actually admitted to the hospital twice, the first time just days after she was born, and the second time was the night before I was supposed to go back to work. My first thought was, “Yes, I don’t have to go back to work yet!” immediately followed by, “Holy sh*t woman, your husband is in the hospital, snap out of it!”

That was my wake up call. That was my ‘earth to mommy, time to put your big-girl work pants back on.’

I took the extra few days to make sure everything was set for C’s first days of daycare and organized the house in-between visiting the hospital and caring for my six-week old daughter.

The night before my first day at work was terrible. The babe didn’t sleep, couldn’t sleep, it was almost if she knew I was going to be away from her.

After no more than a few hours of sleep it was time to get up. Getting ready for work the next week seemed strange, like I was watching myself get dressed and put make up on. I got up earlier than I needed to and I spent those last fleeting minutes nursing this tiny little nugget.

As I drove to work, which is only a mile away, I held back tears and the feeling of guilt for going back to work and leaving her in the care of someone else instead of taking care of her myself. My body was at work, but my heart and head were at home with my Michelin-man thighed daughter with an even bigger smile.

I thought my first few days at work would drag and I would count down the minutes until I could go home, but between getting back on task, pumping and talking about C, my days went by faster than I could ever imagine. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and now being a working mom is second nature.

  • Relax. Easy for me to tell you, right? But you have to soothe your anxiety and breathe. Not only is your stress doing damage to you, baby and hubby will feed off your vibes too.
  • Take pictures. Bring in frames, keep out your phone, DIY the crap out of your office with that baby’s face. Keeping pictures near will help you remember why you are going back to work in the first place.
  • Know why you are going back to work. It doesn’t make a difference if you can’t afford to stay home or enjoy your job, either way they both end with it being the best thing for your family and you. That’s the priority.
  • Have a plan if pumping. Make a plan when and where you are going to pump/store your milk before your first day. And talk to your boss/immediate co-workers about your schedule so they know when you will be unavailable.
  • Create a relationship with daycare provider. Keeping close touch with whoever will be taking care of your child is irreplaceable during those first few weeks. Be honest with them if you want pictures and updates throughout the day, or if you don’t. Creating a comfortable relationship with them will help just not for everyday communication, but you when you’re on the verge of a breakdown and have to see their face either in FaceTime or picture. And don’t worry, you won’t be the first, or the last.
  • Enjoy the time you’re at home. And if you can, keep work at work so you are 100% present at home.

Lastly, and most importantly..

  • Drop the guilt. You know, that sinking feeling like you’re doing something wrong by going back to work, kick it to the curb. I’ll be the first to tell you, you are not doing anything wrong by going back to work. Do not feel guilty!

You’re an employee, you’re a boss, you’re a coworker.. You’re a mom. That means you’re also a master chef, cleaning lady, sex-pot wife, Thursday night tv watcher, toenail painter, DIY-er, laundry folder extrodinare, do I need to go on?

I’m not going to lie, it’s hard, exhausting, stressful and so much more, but it’s worth it. The first few days will be hard, but life has this crazy way of moving fast and not stopping for anyone, including you momma.

You can do this, you can do everything – you created a life, how hard can work be?

You are woman, let’s hear you roar.

Oh, and don’t forget the coffee. Lots of coffee.

Cheers to you, you 40 hour+ lioness. Rawr.

I won’t be that kind of mom

That’s what I would say for the whole, full nine months I was pregnant, “I won’t be that kind of mom.”

I won’t freak out over little things and I will stay close with every single one of my friends. I won’t stare at baby monitors and triple wash baby bottles to make sure every speck of ‘maybe it’s dirt or maybe it’s a water mark’ is gone.

I will be a cool mom, duh. I’ll be chill, relaxed, dress impeccably everyday and still had time for dates, girls weekends, coffee and cocktails.

Duh, it won’t be that hard.

The ‘duh’ is on me.

After ten short months of full-blown motherhood, I will admit, I was completely wrong. So, I made a list, because that’s what I do, of all the things I was so, so completely, immeasurably, wrong about:

  • Boogers gross me out. Snot, boogie, farmer’s blows, whatever you want to call the nasty stuff that lives up in those nostrils, I hate them. They give me the heebie geemies and make me squirm. Well, all except my daughters, I willingly dive in there knuckles deep and dig for gold, I’ll use my own shirt to wipe her draining nose. But your boogers, keep them away from me.
  • Ew, what is that smell/stain/coming out of your baby. Pretty much any adult bodily function shouldn’t be shared, in my humble opinion. But spit up, diarrhea, yellow, seedy breast fed baby poop, farts and so much more – bring them on. My baby once had a blow out up to the back of her neck in Sam’s Club, all up the back of her shirt (unbeknownst to me), I didn’t find it until I put her in her carseat… that’s a fun story.
  • I hate going to grocery stores alone. Not anymore. I find solace in the aisles of Wal Mart, peace between the produce at Tops. Thank the lord for quick trips, long hauls and everything in between, as long as I am alone. I’ll bring my baby another time, now I will meditate next to the meats please.
  • I won’t be overprotective. Yeah freaking right. You bet your bottom dollar I have the need to know exactly what my daughter is doing at every minute of the day (emphasis on need, I work 40 hours a week). When she was first born I was very close to collecting social security information and a background check if you wanted to hold her. I’ve since gotten better, now I only require a copy of a driver’s license.
  • I won’t rely on caffeine, I’ll sleep when the baby sleeps. HA!! Let me say that again, HA!! That one actually makes me laugh out loud, I can’t believe I actually believed that. While my first few weeks at home with my daughter was a little different than most (I’ll get to that in a later post), I did not sleep, coffee was my savior, my God and top of my favorites list.
  • I will not be able to function without at least eight hours of sleep. I love sleep, it is one of my favorite things to do. That was a hard habit to quit, and my body paid for it. This reverts back to my previous point of still being so completely and totally in love with coffee.
  • I won’t compare myself to other moms. Oh but I do. And it’s a hard hurdle to jump over – accepting that we all are amazing mothers to our kids and are giving the best love to our children, nobody else can come close. Even if you made a new train set with fresh, organic wood from trees you grew in your backyard all while the baby was sleeping.
  • I will not lose touch with friends. It’s not that you want to lose friends, nobody picks that as a goal to have, but it happens. Just like any other time in your life, people change, you as a mother change, and your friends that don’t have kids won’t really understand what’s going on in your life no matter how much they try, or don’t try. I have a core group of friends that I couldn’t get rid of if I tried, but I am lucky, and sometimes it is still hard to find someone to talk to. (So if you’re a momma or not a momma, I’ll be your friend!)

Those are all things I swore up and down wouldn’t change when I had my baby. But they did, and it is for the better. Even though I may be a tinsey bit strict and a little nutzo, I’ll ease up eventually. Like maybe when she’s 33. I’ll be 58, I could be chill at 58.

Mostly, the list contains everything that I wouldn’t do. But now, I’m not the center of my universe, she is. So I have no problem wiping boogers, butts or always having an eye on her. I will happily stay home and cuddle than go out. Everything I do is to care, love, and protect her.

Maybe I was too immature to see that from the start, but from the moment I held her in my arms, my fears and silly things I wouldn’t do disappeared, and my life changed, for the better.

So here’s to boogers, dirty diapers, and relaxing next to the frozen vegetables. Cheers.

First Solo Mission

As promised, this blog will contain the many crazy, silly stories that make up my life.. This is one of those stories.

For the first time I took a road trip with just my daughter. I’ve driven a few hours here and there with her before, but my husband was always either at the other end or meeting me. This time it was just me.

I have been having anxiety about traveling with just her for months. What will I do if she starts crying? What if she gets hungry? How will I be able to comfort her?

I thought about this trip all week, dreamed about it every night and when it came down to me leaving on Saturday morning, half of my brain told me just to back out.

I waited until baby girl was fed, changed and tired and thought “this is perfect timing,” she will sleep for the 3 1/2 hours and hopefully I won’t hit traffic and everything will be A-OK.

So I packed up the car and hit the road.

I downloaded an audio book to listen to thinking it would help me keep my mind of the long trip and help pass the time, and everything seemed to be working!

45 minutes into the trip baby girl is sleeping, I’m on the third chapter of my book, there’s not too many cars on the road and the sun was shining. See, you were being silly worrying about how this trip would go, everything is just fine. You can do this!

Then I got to my first toll, that’s when the loudest truck on the face of the planet decided to speed though the EzPass lane.. waking up my sleeping baby. Waking up my sound, sleeping baby. Waking up my sound, sleeping baby who just realized she’s stuck in her car seat and can’t get out.

She started out calm, but the cooing and mumbling turned into frustrated grunts which turned into angry screams as she tried to get out of her car seat.

On top of that, I told myself, don’t drink anything, don’t even take one sip. You are not stopping on this trip.

Well, I got thirsty. Just a little water wouldn’t hurt, right? Wrong.  Now I have to pee, in pain pee, counting down the mile marker signs to the rest stop.

So, as I’m singing 10 Little Monkeys as loud as I can for the thirtieth time, I finally make the 20 miles to the rest stop.

Shaking from having to go to the bathroom, I quickly park, grab the baby and the diaper buy and skip/sprint/Foxtrot into the crowded rest stop. As i finally shimmy my way to the bathroom, I stop in a panic. What the heck am I going to do with my daughter while I use the facilities? I will not put her on a dirty bathroom floor, I didn’t bring a carrier, what the heck am I going to do?

Then my body took over, as I stealthily wiggle my pants off with one hand and manage to pop a squat while holding my daughter on my lap. In a public bathroom.

Let’s touch light on this one more time. I am squatting over a toilet while holding and entertaining my daughter in a public rest room.

On top of that spectacular sight, after managing to wash my hands and getting covered in water, because remember, I am holding my almost 10-month-old daughter, I decided to change her diaper. Let’s set the scene, the changing table is next to an automatic soap dispenser and automatic paper towel holder.

As I’m changing her diaper, she starts getting fussy so another rendition of 10 Little Monkeys is on deck. While breaking it down while monkeys are falling off the bed, I hear a squirt, squirt, and rollllll, squirt, squirt and rolllllll. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but by the time I got to six monkeys I figured I should probably look around… As I turn I see paper towels creating a pile on the floor.. seeping up the pink and white foaming soap that has descended all over the floor due to my booty popping to 10 Little Monkeys.

As I try to figure out how the heck I am going to clean it up, the cleaning lady comes around the corner, looks at the mess, looks and me. I tried to smile and explain but she just held up her hand and told me to stop.

Our reactions after the bathroom catastrophe.

I don’t think I’ve ever booked it out of a rest stop so fast in my life.

While still in shock about going to the bathroom with my daughter on my lap and making a mess in the bathroom, we get back in the car and hit the road.  My daughter soon realizes she is back in the car seat, back in the car = her hell.

She cries, I try to reach around and give her her binky. She cries, I try to give her her favorite minion doll, Bob. She cries and the process repeats itself over and over. Until I take Bob and make him dance over my head behind the driver seat head rest.. this makes her giggle and laugh.

So for the next 45 minutes, Bob was dancing like crazy behind my head getting switched from one hand to the other to try to make her happy.

Ten minutes away from our destination, she falls asleep, of course.

After a fabulous trip with friends and celebrating a new baby coming into the world, we got ready to hit the road again. This time, anticipating a dance recital from Bob, stops on the way home, and lots of 10 Little Monkeys. Ok mom, you can do this.

Ten minutes into the drive home, she’s sound asleep. Sound asleep at one hour, sound asleep at chapter 12, sound asleep at three hours.. until she finally wakes up as we pull up to our house. #blessed.

Now, just a few hours later, she’s curled up in her crib with her favorite blanket, which I forgot to bring on our trip. And I can’t help but smile and be thankful for the weekend time we got to share together and with great friends.

Plus, even when she’s angry crying, or looking at me confused while I hold her while I pee, she’s still pretty cute.

Cheers.

10 Ways to Spend Time on You

 

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I am so amazed and dumbfounded by the amount of support my last post received. I am in awe of every click and every view and I am so happy it was able to touch so many people! Thank you!!


I was to the point that I scraped multiple posts because I was second guessing if I could live up to my last post’s potential. Like I set my own bar too high.

But I couldn’t stop myself. I love to write, I love to express my thoughts and emotions. And if people want to read them and enjoy them, well, then I am one lucky lady!

I’ve been extra motivated lately, extra empowered, extra eager, extra feisty… extra. I sat back today for a second and tried to think why… where’s the extra coming from? My husband did buy a new coffee pot (after I didn’t know my own strength and smashed the old pot in the dishwasher), but this hasn’t just been a caffeinated rush. Then I thought to my husband snoozing on the couch, my daughter napping, the dog’s faint barks in her slumber, and then it hit me – SLEEP!

After nine long months, my darling daughter has finally started to sleep through the night! And so have I (the first few nights were rough for me).

I realized I have extra energy because I’m sleeping in longer than 45 minute spans, but this extra ‘oomph’ is because I am finally able to spend some time on myself!

Woo hoo, party time, time to spend time on myself!

Wait.. what do I do for myself? No baby to feed, change or dress, dog already has been walked and fed. What do I do now?

I realized I had no idea what to do for me, so after wasting precious free time sitting around not knowing what to do for myself, I came up with a list of 10 WAYS TO SPEND TIME ON YOU, whether you have a spare 5 minutes or a solid weekend.

  1. Paint your nails. So this doesn’t really pertain to men, but hey don’t knock it until you try it. I always feel better, clean, funky and fresh with a new coat on my tips. It’s an easy fix, as long as all the dishes, food, babies, husbands, laundry can wait 15 minutes to dry because let’s be honest, there’s no worse feeling than finagling a tiny brush around your dominate hand and then smudging the heck out of it.
  2. Couch and chill. No Mickey Mouse Club, no Peppa Pig, no Doc McStuffins (or ESPN First Take). Set yourself up in front of the boob tube and sit back, put those feet up (hopefully slipper clad) and let your mind take a break.
  3. Shop. Surf the web, wander through the aisles of Target, or anywhere and everywhere in between. It’s something you can do that can be a quick trip to a few different online pages or a weekend getaway. Get something for yourself – doesn’t matter if it costs $50 or $.50. Spend some of your hard-earned money on you.
  4. Get Outside. Now, this really only works if the weather corporates, which it has been such a warm winter here I’ve been on a few walks this week! Take a jog, take a walk, skip, do cartwheels down the sidewalk – anything to get some fresh air in those lungs. You’ll be surprised with how rejuvinated you feel.
  5. Read. Read a book, read a magazine, hell reading this blog counts!! Get sucked into a story, article, joke – get your head out of your busy schedule and succumb to a love story, murder mystery, biography. Let your mind take a journey to any world at any time all while enjoying your couch. Again, slippers aren’t necessary but are recommended.
  6. Play a Game. With a friend, play a game by yourself. Doesn’t matter either way, just don’t play it on your phone or computer. Take a break from all of the screens in your life. Pull out that old, wrinkled deck of cards in the corner of your junk drawer or finagle a board game down from the top of the closet. Get those dice rolling.
  7. Phone a Friend. After your done playing solitaire, call up that best friend you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. Call your grandparents, you know they won’t keep you on the phone long but you can feel the love and see their smiles through the phone when you call.
  8. Enjoy your favorite food or drink. This one might seem silly, c’mon Jill, I eat and drink multiple times a day. Here’s the key, actually enjoy it. Don’t chug your water, juice, wine, vodka, etc. sip it, enjoy it. Don’t inhale your favorite food because you know you only have a few seconds until the baby needs another bite or you only have one free finger in your balancing act to try to feed yourself. Sit down, relax, put your napkin on your lap and breathe in your meal.
  9. Take a Shower. One that isn’t interrupted by baby cries, phones ringing or rushing around before work. Soak up the hot water, shave your legs and sing the whole Adele album. You know once that shower is on your voice sounds just like hers. Hello. It’s me.
  10.  

    Sleep.
    This really should be the first one (I took a nap with my baby after work today). Snag your favorite corner of the couch for just ten minutes of shut-eye, or even just quiet time. Let your mind and body just take a break.

Now if you’re like me, you like lists and this one was great but kind of exhausting, how in the hell are you going to find time to do all of that with everything else going on in your life?

Well, good news for you, you can already cross something off that list, you read this blog! Good for you, overachiever. You go Glen CoCo.

Cheers.

 

Cheers

So here it goes.. my journey into the blogging world. As a first post, it seems obligatory to do some introductions, so here it goes:

I’m Jillian and 2015 was a big year for me, it brought the birth of my amazing daughter and it was the year I married my best friend.

Lesson 1: Always undress baby when feeding.. even if it looks easy and not messy. Babies are always messy.
Lesson 1: Always undress baby when feeding.. even if it looks easy and not messy. Babies are always messy.

Our life is far from the typical American dream family with a two-story home with red shutters, yard, golden retriever (no offense golden lovers!) and a white picket fence. In fact, we live in an apartment above my husband’s restaurant with great dane that looks like a cow and our yard is the side lot off the parking lot. I am also a step-mother to three wonderful children, two boys and a girl.

This big, floppy, drool machine is our dear Molly.
This big, floppy, drool machine is our dear Molly.

Though being atypical is amazing, it doesn’t come without challenges. Hence this blog. It’s a place for my crazy stories of being a new wife, a new mother (my daughter has been crying and crawling up my leg this entire post), a diary of my journey navigating and growing a blended family, easy recipes, attempts at DIY projects and everything in-between.

I hope you join me on this trip around the sun. So sit back, grab a drink sippy cup or champagne flute – and enjoy the ride! Cheers!