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Four years ago, I became a mom to the sweetest little boy. When he was placed in my arms, I counted all his perfect little toes and fingers and felt so thankful. At the time, I was working at the local children's hospital as a speech-language pathologist. I evaluated and treated children with a wide variety of genetic disorders, disabilities, and developmental delays. Day in and day out I saw children fight illnesses and rare neurological disorders.
When I became pregnant, I tried hard not to worry about all problems my child could be born with or acquire, but it was difficult. I breathed a sigh of relief when Xander was born healthy. I shook away more nerves when he passed his newborn hearing screening. Little did I know his medical problem would slowly arise in his first year of life. I never would have guessed my child would have feeding problems, leading to issues with weight gain.
Sarah Jessica Parker, the style icon and former Sex and the City actress, was spotted in this relaxed and casual ensemble of a classic gingham top, boyfriend jeans, and a pair of fabulous white eyelet, pointed toe pumps. Since her days as Carrie Bradshaw on the hit series Sex and the City, women have looked to her for the latest and greatest in fashion trends. She’s known for always giving her looks a unique and sometimes quirky spin. However, this is a casual look we can all relate to on some level with gingham and boyfriend jeans being on trend. I've come up with four ways you can incorporate some of these looks and patterns into your summer wardrobe.
The other day I was having a conversation that went something like this: ugh, after the first birthday was the worst. Not the birthday part. Oh the birthday was amazing with two cakes and lots of family and friends -- and we were so happy that we made it through the first year without really knowing what we were doing. I would give anything to go back to my daughter’s first birthday party and watch her unsure steps and big eyes light up every time someone walked through the door.
What I’m talking about is the First Year Relationship Meltdown. That, for me, was the worst and judging by my conversation with a new mom, I’m not alone. She’s a new mom and I’m a veteran, but it seems like she is having the same exact problems I did: he’s having a hard time understanding why no one is still not paying attention to him, she’s exhausted, he says she’s changed, she says he hasn’t, they barely spend time together and bath time has turned into a tug-of-war about who exactly is going to do the bathing. And I didn’t even mention the 7 PM crazies.
But I’m here to say it gets better. It really does. Yes, some new parents will never experience the First Year Relationship Meltdown and I am truly happy for them, but a lot do struggle after the first birthday.
Several years ago I took my first ever Pilates class. After years of running, a few years of biking, and six months of swimming, I felt it would be good to add something that wasn’t cardio to my normal routine.
I took Pilates to ‘flatten my core’ but I learned fairly quickly that it is an all-over body workout that will strengthen and tone all the muscles, not just the abs. In just a few months I noticed a huge difference in my waist, my posture, and in the way my back felt (It didn’t hurt!). I also noted when I was slouching, and I learned to stand straighter on a daily basis. Pilates lengthens your body, so you appear longer and leaner if you regularly practice.
As a nursing student working on the OB floor, I thought I knew a thing or two about pregnancy. Like pregnant women pee a lot, birth is a beautiful thing, and there’s something about due dates and mucus plugs that seem to mess with people’s minds a little bit.
Yes ma`am, I was pretty confident that I knew the basics of pregnancy, although I also knew enough to realize that there are a lot of surprises.
But then I got pregnant.
And got the biggest surprise of my life when I realized, I knew nothing about what being pregnant is actually like.
Pregnancy is a time when your body goes through a wide range of changes. You gain weight, your balance is off, and your feet and hands swell more often. Women who were fashionable and favored heels and cute body-fitting outfits before becoming pregnant often find as they progress in their pregnancies that they have to change what they view as fashionable.
In the celebrity news lately, I have seen a few photos of pregnant stars’ feet after a long day in heels and I really cannot say that the fashion choice was worth the obvious discomfort that the star was experiencing. Kim Kardashian tweeted a picture of her feet recently after a long day of promoting her Sears fashion line. The picture showed her swollen feet with obvious deep marks on her skin from the high heeled shoes. Earlier this week another picture was released of her feet literally bulging out of her heels as she walked around. Now I am no fashion expert -- many of my days off work are spent in my pajamas -- but when I do get dressed up, I love heels. At just 5 feet 2 inches tall, on a good day, I see heels as a great way to boost my height and make me feel like a woman. However, when I was pregnant I ditched the heels as soon as I began to get a baby bump. Even when working in an office and dressing up for work on a daily basis, I wore cute flats to both keep me more comfortable and protect my growing belly.
Do you ever have one of those days where you send your child off to school with her homework folder, a perfectly packed lunch box, and a brand new sweatshirt and she comes home empty-handed? You’re not alone. Young children tend to lack organizational skills.
The good news is that organizational skills can be taught. The more organized you are at home, the more your child will internalize the steps toward organization.
There are many benefits to teaching your children organizational skills. Kids feel more secure when they have some control over their lives. Organization also fosters independence, improves self-confidence, decreases anxiety, and decreases clutter.
Bottom line: External clutter causes internal clutter. It’s time to get organized!
“We go after the cool kids.” That’s what Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries said about his company. Recently, this 2006 interview with Jeffries' with Salon Magazine resurfaced in an article from the Business Insider.
Jeffries continued; “We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong, and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."
An uproar from Abercrombie shoppers and non-shoppers alike sprung forth soon after. Bloggers like Jes Baker went as far as creating an entire spoof advertisement spread and attached them to a letter directed at the CEO regarding his statements.
Indeed, even the store’s children’s line, which is geared to kids between ages 7-14, bears the tag line, “Classic Cool.”
What a kind of message is Abercrombie sending our children by emphasizing that they only cater to the “cool” kids? And for that matter, who are they to define “cool?
Soon after my second baby was born, I met another mom who swore by the healing powers of baby massage. Of course I had read about it in the past, but never learned more about it. After I watched her baby fall into a total state of calmness with a bit of massage, I was intrigued. A quick google search led me to many research based articles on the benefits of infant massage and another search led me to a list of infant massage classes in my area. Soon I found myself in a classroom with my baby and together we learned all about infant massage. After our series of classes, infant massage became part of our daily routine, as much as diaper changing and cuddling. Still to this day my son, who is now two, enjoys a quick back rub, paticularly when he is cranky or over tired.
Infant massage is a regular part of parenting in other countries such as Africa and the South Pacific. It continues to be passed on from generation to generation . In the United States, infant massage is slowly becoming more popular, but still is a fairly new parenting practice. Clinical research on the benefits of infant massage began in the 1970s. Multiple studies have supported a wide range of benefits of infant massage, paticularly for premature and medically fragile babies. Specifically, studies have shown an increase in weight gain, improved myelination of nerves and improved immune system, which all encourage emotional, cognitive and physical developmental growth.
Full term, healthy babies can also enjoy the many advantages of infant massage, including improved weight gain, neurological development and digestion. Here are just a few of the benefits that you and your baby can experience with the power of touch:
Do you ever get tired of the look of a picture frame or a furniture piece in your home? Maybe you don't have extra money to buy new home decor, but there is always the option of changing and updating them.
If the piece you would like to update is made out of unfinished wood, you are in luck: you can make a dark-brown stain yourself and change the whole look of the item.
No need to even pay for paint: updating an unfinished wood frame or furniture piece only takes a few ingredients you probably already have at home: steel wool, coffee grounds, and vinegar.
You will need these supplies: