Postpartum

Screen time? Yep.

We all start off motherhood with the same idea – my perfect baby will never see a screen until at least 2 (or something like that). They will be content all the time to play with only wooden toys which inspire independent, imaginative play.

Ha.

Continue reading “Screen time? Yep.”

Postpartum

Fostering Learning Through Chores

I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Well, not just a bit… at times it takes over my life (especially when my parents are due at my house in an hour). There, I said it. Zach probably just gasped, not out of surprise that I am a perfectionist… more-so because I ACTUALLY owned up to it. My Type A plays out in many ways, both at home and at work. At home, I like things to be in order, neat, and spotless which is laughable when you have a toddler and two big dogs. The bathroom and kitchen are my most anxiety-inducing areas that are never clean enough. My perfectionism paired with a curious toddler can lead to entire days just following her around. As Ellie started walking/doing somersaults, I quickly learned that I need to work alongside her rather than chasing after her with a rag in hand. Picking up and cleaning not only plays into her natural curiosity, it also helps me feel productive in keeping my life moderately organized. Here are some of the little things that Zach and I do to foster learning and responsibility through housework with Ellie. Continue reading “Fostering Learning Through Chores”

Postpartum

Oh wait, I used to have hobbies.

Hi, internet. It’s Kristin. It’s been a long holiday season, but I finally have my shit together enough to write again. I’ve been thinking a lot about new year’s resolutions since everyone is sharing theirs all over online. Now, I stopped doing “official” resolutions a long time ago because frankly, who can honestly say they’ve kept theirs? But this year I realized that I do need to set a few goals for myself for nothing but to keep myself sane. As a new(ish) parent it’s so easy to have your whole self sucked into your kid’s world 24/7 and let everything else fade away. For me, that means that things I used to really enjoy doing during my downtime have been seriously neglected. Yep, I used to have hobbies. Now my “hobby” is screen time after Finn goes to bed to try to help me unwind after my day. So…here are my 2019 goals for myself: Continue reading “Oh wait, I used to have hobbies.”

Pregnancy

Lessons on Loss

This week, our post is a heavy topic we feel necessary to bring to light, albeit heartbreaking. A friend of the Where’s My Epidural moms has been gracious enough to share her miscarriage story. This, as we all can understand, is an extremely sensitive topic and for that reason our friend will remain anonymous. If you have ever or do ever face this and need assistance, the Pregnancy and Postpartum Support website might be helpful. This resource is specifically for Minnesota, if you reside elsewhere, check online to see if there is another support group. Continue reading “Lessons on Loss”

Postpartum

Our Favorite Books (right now)

Both Karen and I are pretty avid readers, so it’s natural that we want our kids to be too! The best way to do that? Give them access to lots of books! Here are a few of our favorites right now (Don’t see yours here? Let us know what they are!)

Finn’s (and Kristin’s) Favorites

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

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Finn has been reading this book for months and months and still isn’t sick of it. It follows a little boy as he explores the freshly fallen snow in his city neighborhood.

Because I’m Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa

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This is the book I got Kris for Father’s Day. It’s so sweet – it features a monster dad and kid (not gender-specific), with the dad telling their child all the things they’ll do “because I’m your dad”. Highlights include always having cool Halloween costumes and skipping school so they can get a hot dog in New York City.

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer

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A story about a little girl who has to figure out what to do when she is supposed to do when she is told to bring her mom in for Mother’s Day – but she only has two dads at home!

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

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The classic story I grew up reading featuring a mischevious (and helpful! He cleans!) mouse who will ask you for everything and anything after giving him a cookie for a snack.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

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Did you know dragons LOVE tacos but HATE spicy salsa? What happens when you give them tacos with salsa? Let’s find out!

Poke-A-Dot Books by ikids

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This series of books is brilliant for little ones who have busy hands. They feature plastic “dots” that they can poke to make a clicking noise on every page!

Elliot’s (and Karen’s) Favorites

Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton

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In our household, you really cannot go wrong with any Sandra Boynton book. The rhyming is so stinkin’ catching (yes, I often am rehearsing them in my head while at work)! I once had a speech pathologist tell me that these books were some of their top picks. Barnyard Dance has been one of our favorites since Ellie was tiny. Sometimes I even give it a “hoe-down” spin.

Ladybug Girl Gives Thanks by David Soman & Jacky Davis

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Again, this entire series is a household favorite. Lulu is this awesome little girl whose superhero alter-ego is the star of this series. I chose this specific book as we have a few seasonal books we throw into the nightly mix. With Thankgiving upon us, we read this one every night.

Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth

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This is much like most other counting books but the ladybugs are these cute little raised bugs on each page. Ellie loves to help turn the pages and feel the little ladybugs. At the end of the book she likes to point out all the animals for me to tell her what each of them are. As a note, Ellie likes this one so much she stands on it… the binding is starting to go. I just consider it well-loved.

First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

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The combination of bright colors and simple pictures are really eye catching for Ellie. She loves to point out the various images and try to repeat the words after I say them to her. While there is not necessarily a story throughout this book per se, this is a great learning tool for any kid in the early stages of language development (albeit, boring for mom or dad).

Never Touch a Spider! by Make Believe Ideas Ltd.

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Spoiler alert – your kid will touch the spider. This books are top notch in the sensory books department. Each page has a fun design molded into it and Ellie loves to flip through and feel the funky designs. The story is really cute and gives a fun spin to bugs.

Postpartum

Happy Birthday, Finn!

This is a few weeks late, but here goes…

Well, it’s finally happened. Finn is 1. It’s been the longest and shortest year of my life, full of some of the best moments and tons of challenges. We fought together through struggling with breastfeeding for the first few months, and came out the other side to make it to a full year! Finn is the funniest and most curious baby (toddler??) and loves to read books just like his mom. He’s also gained a ton of confidence and is walking all the time now!

It’s also been incredible to experience this journey with Kris as my partner. He is the best dad to Finn and it brings me so much joy to see them play and laugh together.

photo credit: fotofilm studios

I’m excited to see what the next year brings; if the last 12 months have been any indication it will be full of fun, laughter, learning, frustration, and love.

Love you, Finn!

Postpartum

Why is my hair falling out??

Real talk – did you know that gorgeous hair you had while pregnant comes with a price? After you have your baby, your body is like, “hahahaha, you thought you had nice hair?? JUST KIDDING!” And then your hair starts falling out.

I had heard about postpartum hair loss (which is caused by your hormones going back to normal levels), but I was 3 months in and I still didn’t have anything happening out of the ordinary, so I thought I was safe. I have been blessed with pretty nice, thick hair, so I wasn’t anticipating any weird hair stuff after having Finn. And then it happened. Around 4 months postpartum, my hair started falling out like crazy. As in, handfuls in the shower crazy. It’s disgusting and scary. I became convinced that I would look like I had a receding hairline or bald patches at the end of this whole thing. (This can happen, I guess, but most women won’t have hair loss to that extreme.)

This insane hair loss kept happening for weeks, but it did finally stop. However, how all that hair is regrowing at the same time, leading to a fun halo of fuzz around my hairline. Since I am lazy and wear my hair up a lot of the time, I’m pretty self-conscious about it, but as my stylist said, “at least that means it’s growing in!”

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So load up on bobby pins and hairspray and brace yourself, the hair loss is coming…but you’ll survive it.

~Kristin

Postpartum

Family leave is important!

This past week, General Mills was all over the news in the Twin Cities. Not for a cool new cereal, but because they overhauled their family leave policies to better support their employees. Instead of 3 months maternity and 2 week parental leave, now General Mills employees are eligible for 18-20 weeks of paid maternity leave for a birth mother and 12 weeks paid leave for partners and adoptive parents…how amazing is that?? This news, along with the fact that it’s Labor Day weekend, got us thinking about parental leave policies in general and why they are so important. Continue reading “Family leave is important!”

Breastfeeding, Postpartum, Pregnancy

Moms Like Tech Too!

Isn’t it crazy how quickly technology can change? Kristin found a couple really interesting articles about new tech for breastfeeding and pumping and we thought it would be fun to write about new tech out there and what’s on the horizon. Not going to lie, we’re pretty envious of what is new and coming soon! We do not endorse any of these products and cannot speak to their effectiveness. We just found them interesting and want to share. 🙂

Pregnancy

Reliefband

Nausea/morning sickness got you down? Hate the taste of ginger? We’ve been seeing an uptick of these nausea relief bands. I am super curious if they work, because it could make a huge difference for so many pregnant mom’s early (and for some poor souls majority) pregnancies. (Photo from Reliefband’s website)

BabyBuds

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Ok, this one is lost on me. I’d heard of playing music for baby in-utero… but this just feels too far for me. If anyone has tried this and believes it had a positive impact, I really want to know. All I can think of is the game my siblings and I played as kids, attempting to have a conversation under water while at the pool. Did any of you do this growing up? How well did it work for you? (Photo from BabyBuds’ website)

Breastfeeding/Postpartum

Nanit Baby Sleep System

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This is no regular video baby monitor. Nanit mounts above the crib to show you a bird’s eye view of your lil’ babe. It tracks baby’s movements and gives you insights into theisleep habits, giving your average sleep and wake times and rating how well they are sleeping. This information is then used to give you tips on how to improve their (and your!) sleep for future nights. (Photo from Nanit’s website)

Willow Wearable Breast Pump

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Confession: we both are jealous of anyone who owns this. A breast pump that is truly wireless and cordless? Game-changer!! Instead of using bottles, the Willow pumps directly into self-sealing storage bags, so you can just take them out and pop them in the fridge or freezer without having to worry about spilling a drop of that milk you work so hard for. The pump comes with one unit per breast, and you can pump one at a time (how cool if you need/want to pump while baby is nursing on the other side) or simultaneously. PLUS it hooks up to your phone via Bluetooth and will tell you how much you’ve pumped! Seriously amazing. (photo from Willow’s website)

Yoomi Self-warming Bottles

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Unless you get a magic baby who will take cold bottles, you’ll probably need to try to figure out how to warm them up when your baby is hungry. Enter Yoomi, who made a self-warming bottle!! The warming part is “charged” in your microwave, then is ready to go whenever you need it, which is perfect for those on-the-go feedings. (Photo from Yoomi’s website)

What amazing tech did we miss? Let us know!

~ Kristin & Karen

Postpartum, Pregnancy

Yoga: For Preparation and Recovery

During my pregnancy, I religiously went to yoga every Thursday night. It became such an important part of my routine, that most nights of the week you could find me on my yoga mat before bed.  Alright… I know what you’re thinking, “Karen, I had no idea how hippy dippy you are!”. Yeah, I sort of can be. I really stand by the fact that yoga helped my pregnancy, labor, and recovery a ton. Yoga became my routine postpartum as well. My body felt like it went through a woodchipper, as you can relate with if you’ve ever given birth. I’ve mentioned that I had some pretty significant hip pain during my third trimester that continued after giving birth. I am definitely not an expert or a yogi, but I do think it worth it to share some of the information I found most helpful from my prenatal and postpartum yoga classes.

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga just feels good. Your body is tired and sore a lot and the moves prenatal yoga instructors have you do stretch out those sore joints. Most importantly, prenatal yoga has you do a lot of hip exercises. My yoga instructor is also a doula and had a ton of great recommendations for moves during different points of labor. Below are just a few moves I found very helpful during my pregnancy. As with anything, be very careful about your form and consider going to a prenatal yoga class so a trained instructor can assist with appropriate form.

Postpartum Yoga

If you could pick any food to describe how your body felt after having a baby, what would you say? I’d say a big bowl of chocolate pudding. My body pretty much melted into my favorite corner of the couch and I was certain when removed from that spot, I would leave part of my body behind. Needless to say, the last thing I wanted to be doing was yoga and stretches with a bunch of people… outside of my house. A few months postpartum my yoga instructor began a new postpartum class and I hesitantly joined. This, along with rigorous physical therapy, really helped my hip recover. It’s now about 90%, but leaps and bounds from where it was. Here are a few moves to help the postpartum mom’s body that I recommend – in general, not just for hip issues. These moves can help with diastasis recti recovery as well. I had some separation and found these moves to be beneficial.  

I hope this post was helpful and interesting to you. I am a big advocate for yoga, but really if you can try to stay active in anyway while pregnant, I am a strong believer it has a positive impact on your labor and recovery.

Namaste, ladies.

~Karen