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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Duh moment of the day...

Umm.....duh!  That is what I have been telling myself all day since the dumb thing I did this morning.  Let me give you some context:

Last week I went to Whole Foods and there was a pleasant lady walking around with a basket of samples of cleanser and moisturizer.  Well, we started chatting and she told me that I looked like I needed a moment to myself (I don't know if her first clue was the baby in the carriage, the bags under my eyes from lack of sleep, or the disheveled look of my clothes/hair). She told me that the cleanser can also be used as a relaxing masque.  My brain immediately thought of a facial and how amazingly relaxing and refreshing that, I figured "what the heck" and I took the sample from her.  I then proceeded to ask her if there was any almond in it, and I mentioned I was allergic to almonds.  To this she replied "I don't think there is. But the ingredients are listed, so you can read them over."  I glanced at them, particularly the moisturizer, and I didn't see any almonds either.  When I got home, I stuck the samples somewhere on a counter (added to the rest of the clutter) and proceeded to forget about them.

Fast forward a week to this morning.  I was cleaning up some of the aforementioned clutter and came across the little skin samples.  My mind immediately jumped back to the vision of me laying in a white cotton robe on a bench and receiving an amazing rejuvenating facial.  I looked back at the package and thought "well, it isn't the spa, but it is close enough".  So once the baby was down for his nap and I changed over the laundry, grabbed my sample, and headed to the bathroom. 

Once I got the "masque" on, I headed to the couch and put my feet up.  It wasn't on for more then 5-6 minutes, when I started to feel really hot in the face.  "Hm...I pondered, maybe my face doesn't like this".  I walked into the bathroom and saw my very red, very hot face and proceeded to immediately wash it off.  After I was all rinsed, I pulled the cleanser ingredients from the wastebasket and listed as the fourth or fifth ingredient, is... GASP "sweet almond"...uh oh...

So immediately I went upstairs to grab the children's benadryl (the liquid form hits the blood stream faster then the pill-form).  I called my husband to put him on alert that I could die at any moment (he started heading home). Then I washed my face, took a shower, and tried not to panic.  After the initial panic subsided and I could feel the benadryl doing it's thing. I spent the remainder of the day looking at my red and sun-burned looking face and thinking about how STUPID I was for not carefully reading the label when I have a known allergy of an item found commonly in natural beauty supplies.

So, let this be a lesson to you.  If you or your children have an allergy--please please please, read the labels very carefully on both food and beauty items.  Don't just skim them and listen to a random hand-out-samples lady.  Read them (no matter how small the print) and be careful.  I really should know better...

In health and wellness,
Nicole Harter

Balancing Nursing and Solids

Striking a balance between food and nursing has been something I have been focusing on since the little one started solids at six months.  I basically called all my friends with kids that I knew had nursed and asked them what their system was for giving both food and nursing. (Sidenote: Don't you just love your mommy support system!)..  I just could just not remember specifically what I did with my first, and my friends were a lot more organized than I was, because some of them had written it all down!  I also looked online at various sites to see other schedules for babies.

What I came up with is that all babies are different.  "Great", you say, "that is SO not helpful."   "Well", I reply, it is helpful gave me more than one option to try when the first option didn't work out.  So I am going to list out the general guidelines of what worked for me, but not get into specifics of schedule because schedules are typically different for different babies.
  1. Nurse before feeding him food.  This is really important because most of your baby's nutrients should still come from your milk.
  2. Give it an hour after you nurse before you give your baby some food. That way, your baby isn't super starving while you try out foods, but also hasn't just been stuffed with milk.
  3. Try foods multiple times, even if your baby doesn't like it the first time around.
  4. Don't get stuck on certain amounts of food that you think your baby should be eating.  Some days your baby will want more than others.  Just feed your baby until they lose interest. Don't try to force them to eat whatever is in the bowl.  Let them tell you (nonverbally unless your baby is really advanced) that they are full.  It is important that you respect this so that they retain their own ability to feel full.  If they lose this ability, it can lead to overeating when they are older. It may also affect how much they want to eat at the next nursing session. 
  5. Ask for advice from other moms but don't get set on a direct comparison between your baby and someone else's baby.  Your baby may eat more/less than the baby down the street, which is totally fine.  Just because the kid next door is eating 3 jars of baby food each day and a whole banana, doesn't mean your baby needs as much.
  6. Go by your baby's cues. Don't feed your baby because the clock says 10 AM.  Feed your baby when he is acting hungry.  Levi got into a snacking mode when I did this because I was feeding him too often.  He would just eat a little because I thought it was "time to eat" but then he would be hungry 2 hours later because he didn't eat much at the last feeding.  After a while you will fall into a routine that he/she sets.  It usually works out much better than the schedule you set, because they don't fight you on it! 
I hope these tidbits help you find your way through those first couple of months while nursing and giving your baby solids.  And just remember, as soon as you get a system down pat--things will probably change to suit your baby's new growing needs!

In health and wellness,
Nicole Harter

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Wow, I knew I hadn't written in a while, but September? Really??? Well, I am very sorry. I guess the holidays and my sweet baby's face got the best of me. Maybe also the sleep deprivation (yes still) and the teething and the baby proofing. So I guess I have a lot to catch up on...

So many people make New Year's Resolutions and so many times we let them go.  Why??  Well, there are a number of reasons...
  1. We try to change alone, in a vacuum where everything else pretty much stays the same.  No support. No changes to the routine to support the change.  If we truly wanted it and it was possible in the current situation, wouldn't we have done it before the New Year's resolution?
  2. Our goals aren't aligned with what we truly desire.  So where's the motivation in that?
  3. Our goals are unattainable.  We want to lose 30 lbs by Valentine's day...uh...that isn't healthy!
  4. We don't know where to start. It feels so overwhelming, we give up and beat ourselves up over it.
  5. The goal is superficial. Maybe your goal is only skin deep and doesn't address other major issues.  Losing weight when you have emotional eating issues, drinking less when maybe you have a drinking problem, quitting smoking when maybe you don't have other tools for stress management.
So maybe when you are in the midst of beating yourself up over "losing" your New Year's Resolution, take a moment and pause. 
  1. Think about what you really want.  To lose weight? Mend relationships?  Stop a bad habit like getting too drunk at parties or smoking cigarettes? 
  2. Write down an honest list of what it would REALLY take to make those resolutions happen.  What are the things you need?
  3. Write down a list of what is standing in your way.  What are the road blocks, what would it take to take them down?
  4. Formulate your plan and take a single step on the list.  Seek help to hold you accountable, like a workout partner or a health coach.  Seek out help in your partner to make time for you to go to the gym or workout.  Find a referral to a doctor or couples counselor. Look up listings of AA meetings. 
  5. Then start executing your plan one step at a time.  Rework your plan as necessary. 
So what if it isn't 1/1/11 today.  It is January 19th...the first day you have towards meeting your goal.  If it is something you truly desire, then you will be glad you did.  You are the only one who can decide to change your life, but you can't do it alone without changing the things around you to support your goal.

Have fun storming the castle!

In health and wellness,
Nicole Harter