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Eight Easy Ways You Can Prevent Headlice This Summer

June 21, 2017 at 7:25 AM • Posted in Family Health & Wellness, Mom Resources, Safety TipsNo comments yet

Summertime is (officially) here in the metro area and we want to make sure that your family stays safe and healthy this year. We’ve teamed up with our friends over at Combers KC to share eight easy ways you can prevent lice this summer today on the blog. Take a look…

prevent headlice

Eight Easy Ways You Can Prevent Headlice This Summer

When school ends for the summer, a lot of people think head lice ends too. But, kids are just as likely to get headlice in the summer as they are the rest of the year. In fact, summer is our busiest season. So, as your children head off to summer camps, sleepovers, scouts, daycares, etc…  here are some great preventative tips to keep them lice free:

#1 Pre-Check Before Camps

Children should be checked for any indication of head lice before and after summer camps. You want the all clear before they leave, but you also want to make sure they didn’t pick it up while they were away.

#2 Detect Early

Check your child’s head before and after sleepovers as well. Early detection will make lice removal much easier and it will stop the spread to the rest of the family.

#3 Take Preventative Measures

Preventative shampoos, conditioners, and spray shields will help prevent head lice too. Lice do not like these scents, so adding one of these to your packing list for camps and family vacations will assist in lice prevention.

#4 Sleep Head To Foot

Having children sleep head to foot will also help them avoid getting lice. 95% of people contract lice through direct head to head contact, sleeping this way will avoid this.

#5 Send Comfort Items With Kids

Children can take their own pillow and blanket as well, just to be sure there is nothing transferring back and forth.

#6 Keep It Up

Girls, who are more susceptible to getting lice because of their longer hair, can wear their hair up, off the shoulders. Buns, braids, ponytails, and even hats will keep the hair up and make it more difficult for lice to latch on.

#7 No Sharing

Make sure no one is sharing brushes, hats, helmets, or any other hair accessories. If possible, write your child’s name on them so everyone knows who’s is whose and there is no confusion.

#8 Get A Good Comb

A good Nit comb will save every parent a lot of stress and frustration. If you see your child scratching, or just think you see something suspicious in their hair, checking them with a Nit comb will be the easiest way to find traces of head lice.

As always, if you need any help checking or treating for headlice, call Combers KC (913)451-2662

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22 Spraygrounds To Check Out This Summer

With summer temperatures in full swing here in the metro area, you’re likely wondering how you can both escape the heat and keep the kids active this year. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team has put together your ultimate guide for Spray Grounds here in the metro area. She’s compiled a list of 22 places you need to put on your summer bucket list. Take a look…

Sprayground Kansas City

22 Spraygrounds Around Kansas City!

It’s summer, you’re hot, I’m hot… we’re ALL hot! And nothing says summer like water parks, splash parks and really anything to do with water. As a mom of littles and mediums that don’t fully know how to swim or have been scarred by going under water one time, it can be nerve wracking when going to the pool.

Take my pool for example. Living downtown is great! You get a mix of people, however, they are mostly young and no kids. So it can cause a lot of stress on everyone when trying to take your kids to a populated pool.

So over the past few years, I have grown to LOVE spray grounds! The water is not too deep and they can enjoy themselves in a fun, non-scary place with water. I can either join them in the fun or relax on the side. Mind fully at ease.

So if you are like me and you love spraygrounds, then have no fear and take a look at this amazing list of spraygrounds throughout the metro area!

Missouri

#1 Dagg Park

701 East 21st Avenue, North Kansas City

#2  Harmony Park

East 10th Street & Agnes Avenue, Kansas City

#3 Blue Valley Park

23rd Street and Topping, Kansas City

#4 Douglas Park

2632 Jarboe Street, Kansas City

#5 Jacob L. Loose Park

52nd Terrace and Summit Street, Kansas City

#6 Sunnyside Park

8255 Summit Street, Kansas City

#7 Longview Tract

7101 Longview Road, Kansas City

#8 Golden Oaks Park

North East 46th Street & North Antioch Road

#9 Garrison Square

4th Street and Forest Avenue, Kansas City

#10 Central Park

Linwood Boulevard and Bales Avenue, Kansas City

#11 Lynkins Square

East 8th Street and Myrtle Avenue, Kansas City

#12 Parade Park

1600 John “Buck” O’Neil Way, Kansas City

#13 Seven Oaks Park

East 39th Street & Winchester Avenue, Kansas City

#14 Spring Valley Park

East 27th Street and Woodland Avenue, Kansas City

#15 McCoy Park

24 Highway and North Delaware, Independence

#16 Rotary Park

24th and Hardy, Independence

#17 John Anderson Park

4701 East 135 Street, Grandview

 #18 Miller J. Fields Park

1301 South East 3rd Terrace

While the amount of Spraygrounds in Kansas is not as extensive, these are great parks to check out as well!

Kansas

#19 Pierson Park

1800 South 55th, Kansas City KS

#20 Eisenhower Park

2901 North 72nd Street, Kansas City KS

#21 Heathwood Park

North 10th Street and Parallel Pkwy, Kansas City KS

#22 Roe Park

10400 Roe Avenue, Leawood KS

While I have not been to most of these parks, this is merely a guide of locations throughout the metro area. It is always wise to check the time and dates before heading off for a day of fun!

*Pro tip* Pack plenty of snacks, water and extra clothes/towels when heading to the sprayground. Also, if you have or can purchase some, water shoes are a great idea for your kiddos when they are playing in water. Some of the grounds can get slippery and the last thing you want to do is heal boo boos when you want to have fun.

I hope you find this list helpful and enjoy your time this summer!

From iFamily to Yours,

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Fun & Easy Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Be Active Year Round

June 7, 2017 at 7:03 AM • Posted in Family Health & Wellness, Get Moving! Sports & ActivitiesComments Off on Fun & Easy Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Be Active Year Round

Are you looking for fun and easy ways to encourage your kids to be active this summer and beyond?! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad, shares some simple ideas you can use at home (and on the go) to get the kids moving this year. Take a look..

encourage your kids to be active all year round

Ways To Encourage Your Kids To Be Active Year Round

As a parent, you always wonder about your kids. Are they sleeping enough? Eating enough? Playing or laughing enough? It’s a constant cycle of questions that circulate your head space everyday.

When I look at my kids, I see them living a life that I always wanted. Not like a stage mom kinda life, but one full of friends, happiness and healthy habits. I have blogged about my life growing up and how it wasn’t the healthiest and how I wish someone would have guided me down a healthier path as a child instead of an adult. So I strive to make sure that my kids are eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise so ensure that they will live happier and healthier lives as they grow. Try to remember, while you’re encouraging your kids to be active, that they’re not adults and they’re not in boot camp. Making sure that they’re having fun is always the key to keeping them active.

Here are some easy ways to get them moving:

#1 Sports

Obviously this is a no-brainer but sports is not only limited to soccer or basketball – There are many, many other things that your little ones can do. Try putting your kiddo in dance or gymnastics. These activities also require a lot of muscle movement and, of course, they are fun!

#2 Hiking

A simple family outing is my favorite! Enjoying nature and each other’s company not only gets you moving but it also builds that family bond!

#3 Exercise

As a family, my kiddos and I go on jogs in the morning and occasionally they participate in a few fun circuits with me. My kids love going to the gym as well but it can be a little difficult for two of them since the equipment they want to use is so big.

#4 School Yard Games

Games like tag, kickball and all those fun activities are great! They are running, laughing and of course, throwing in a little friendly competition.

#5 Swimming

Swimming is a great way to keep your kids active. For one, they just think they are having fun in the pool (which they are) but they are actually doing forms of resistance training. The pool was my favorite way to exercise during the last few weeks of my pregnancy.

#6 Stairs

Simply taking the stairs when you are at places like the mall or library is an easy way to add a little extra cardio. We live on the 7th floor so we rarely take the stairs at home. But when we visit the library we almost ALWAYS take the stairs. The kids love to see who can get to the top first!

#7 Biking

Riding bikes always seems to be one of the kids favorites! They can ride for hours and not think a thing about it. Again, it is great for muscles and balance as well.

#8 Parks

This is what they are made for! Running, climbing, swinging and all that jazz. Find a great park that “grows with your kid”, meaning they have different levels for different ages is a great way to keep them busy. Don’t forget to bring water and band-aids. There are usually a few scrapes that come  along!

#9 Skating

Ice in the winter and roller all year round! Ice skating takes a lot of muscles to balance yourself. Not to mention you are having fun listening to music too!

I hope these were some easy tips on how  you can keep your kiddos active all year round!

From iFamily to Yours,

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Donating Blood? What You Need To Know Before You Go!

June 5, 2017 at 7:28 AM • Posted in Family Health & Wellness, Mom ResourcesComments Off on Donating Blood? What You Need To Know Before You Go!

Donating blood can feel like an intimidating process if you’re not familiar with it but it’s an incredible gift to give to our community. If you’re able to donate, check out these six, simple reminders to know before you go from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger Erin. Take a look…

What you need to know before donating blood

Donating Blood? What You Need To Know Before You Go!

If you’re looking for something to do this summer to “give back” that is free, easy and (fairly) painless, think about donating blood!  A few years ago my husband started with the American Red Cross and we started giving blood regularly.  It has been an extremely rewarding experience for both of us and I would highly recommend it!   Here are some reminders to know before you go:

Reminder One

In the words of Derek Shepherd, “It’s a beautiful day to save lives!” A pint of blood has the potential to save as many as 3 lives so get out there and start saving people!

Reminder Two

Drink lots of water and eat iron-rich foods a few days before giving blood.  Both men and women have a certain iron level you must meet in order to give blood or you will be deferred.

Reminder Three

In most states, you must be 17 years or older to donate blood. Also, certain health conditions and travel destinations can affect your eligibility to give blood. You must be at least 110 pounds to donate.

Reminder Four

It is helpful to know a few things about blood types.  If you are O negative, that means your blood is universal and can be used by anyone without the chance of rejection so therefore this blood type is in high demand. If you are AB, you are able to receive any type of blood donation.

Reminder Five

Whole blood donations can be done every 56 days and power red cell blood donation can be done every 112 days.

Reminder Six

If you are afraid of needles, just look at the picture of my husband below! He conquered his fear after many years and is able to regularly give blood with no issues!  The feeling of accomplishment and helping people far exceeds the small feeling of the pinch of the needle!

donating blood what you need to know

There are many opportunities to donate in KC! If you are looking for a place to donate check out the American Red Cross or Community Blood Bank. Both companies are running promotions right now with the KC Royals and Worlds of Fun if you donate.

From iFamily to Yours,

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22 Simple Summer Snack Ideas Your Kids Will Love!

May 30, 2017 at 11:46 AM • Posted in Family Health & Wellness, Food, Mom ResourcesComments Off on 22 Simple Summer Snack Ideas Your Kids Will Love!

Happy Tuesday, Kansas City!

Summer break is in full swing here in the metro area and,  if you’re like me, you’re already dealing with the constant battle of feeding (always) hungry kids at home and on he go. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, is here to help. She’s come up with a list of 22 simple summer snack ideas your kids will love this season. Whether you’re heading off to camp, venturing out to the park, or relaxing at home – we’ve got you covered right here on the blog. Take a look…

22 Simple Summer Snack Ideas

22 Simple Summer Snack Ideas Your Kids Will Love!

The kids are out of school and, unless they are in summer camp, chances are they are like mine…and will be snacking! Kids seems to want more snacks than anything else, especially on days when they are very active and hitting those growth spurts.

Snacking during summer can be tricky at times, especially if you’re not prepared. It always seems to be easier to just stop somewhere to grab some fruit snacks or another sugary “snack”- And we all know what happens when they get that sugar overload! There are kids bouncing all over the place, attitudes change, and, of course, they are not receiving any nutritional value. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with what I like to call “fun snacks” (such as fruit snacks or the occasional sour patch kids) every once in a while. Of course, only you know what is best for your child.

But if snacking is something that just seems to be hassle getting together of too time consuming, here is a list 22 of my favorite go to snacks! Especially during the upcoming summer time heat!

Fresh Fruits

1. Apples

2. Mandarins/ Cuties

3. Bananas

4. Grapes

5. Berries

6. Pears

These are some of the best fruits to pack! They don’t need to be kept cool and you can throw a few in your snack back or purse! Plus they don’t have much waste (wrappers, bottles) o you don’t have to worry about a huge mess. For those really hot days, I freeze our grapes and let the kiddos eat them on the road. They taste like grape popsicles! If you have a smaller kiddo and need to cut the apples beforehand, soak them in a little lemon juice water to prevent the browning.

Veggies

7. Carrots

8. Celery

9. Cherry tomatoes

10. Edamame

11. Broccoli

These veggies are also great to just grab and go! A little wash off when you get home, chop them if not already in “baby form” i.e. baby carrots and you are set! My littlest loves tomatoes so these always get packed!

Grains &  Nuts

12. Granola Bars

13. Energy Cookies

14. Almonds

15. Trail Mix

16. Gold Fish

17. Dry Cereal

These are items we keep in our home all the time! Our oldest doesn’t like granola and the boy doesn’t like almonds so we get the Ziploc snack size baggies and fill them with a variety of these snacks. This way they can choose their own, not overdo it and still be a happy camper. Our energy bites are the only thing that really takes time to prep. For our kids we use about 2-3 mashed ripe bananas, about 1 cup and a half oatmeal and a few table spoons of chocolate chips. I mix them all together and bake for until they are firm. My kids love these especially with ice cold milk!

Drinks

18. Water

19. Fruit Water

20. Lemonade

21. V8 Juice

22. Juice Box

These should be every parents go to drink arsenal! One thing that my kids love to do is freeze their drinks (I guess they get their love of ice from me!). They will freeze their cups of whatever and when they are ready for some, they grab a spoon and dig in! I also fill their water bottles half way and freeze them. When we are ready to go out in the heat, I fill the rest with water and they have instant ice water that will last much longer than a few cubes.

I hope these easy snack ideas will make your kiddos summer snacking a lot easier! Let us know what simple snack ideas YOU have to help other moms on the go!

From iFamily to Yours,

Brigette

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8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

May 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM • Posted in Family Health & WellnessComments Off on 8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City! We’re back at it with another Work It Wednesday from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie. This week she’s giving us the inside look in why gym friends are the best friends to have. So, get ready to get active and find your tribe. Take a look!

8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

 

8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the
Best of Friends for Mamas

 

Alright guys, if you’ve been reading my posts, you already know that I spend lots of time in the gym.  And sometimes lots of time in the gym can mean being away from friends and family.  But I am lucky enough to have made some incredible friends at the gym, and they not only make my workouts worth it, but they have become a huge part of my life.  I am not sure where I would be without them.  Here are some reasons why they are the best.

#1 They see you at your worst—and they love you anyway.

I mean, seriously, who looks good at the gym?  Who looks good sweating it out and pushing themselves until their arms shake and they can’t do anymore reps?  Well, I guess some people do.  I am definitely not one of them.  I sweat like a pig, I have a terrible lifting face, and while I love workout clothes, they’re not what I wear when I am dressing to impress.  And yet these amazing people still talk to me.

#2 They support you, even when you don’t want them to.

I can’t begin to tell you how many of my gym friends have offered support, not just during a tough class, or when I was training for half marathons, but in real life situations.  I had thyroid surgery and they were all checking on me.  I was struggling with some stressors and they offered to help.  I didn’t want to go run one day and they dragged me out there and reminded me that we always run on Mondays.  I didn’t want them to support me at that moment, but I am so glad they did.

 

#3 They make you want to come to the gym.

Not feeling your workout today, but dying to chat with your friend about what happened on Dancing with the Stars last night?  Better get your butt to the gym and talk about it.  They’ll be glad to see you.

 

#4 They push you to do better.

I used to be a stuck in a rut, boring workout person.  I went to the gym daily, did 40 minutes on the elliptical machine and then went home.  Until one fateful Saturday when my now dear friend Larry approached me and said, in his amazing, unfiltered way “aren’t you ever going to do anything else?”  Then he walked me through 3 other cardio machines that morning.  I woke up so sore the next day and completely in love with my new routine.  Then he started challenging me to come try some classes.  I was hooked.  So in a sense, I owe a lot of my fitness passion to him.

 

#5 They keep you sane.

My gym time is my calm time, my sane time.  These people are my friends and we vent and we destress and we take out our frustrations on some weights.  We shake away our stress in a Zumba class.  We laugh until we cry when one of us makes a clutsy move during class.

 

#6 We aren’t just gym friends.

These amazing people have become part of my life.  We talk outside of the gym.  We have girls nights and playdates and park time and we are a part of each other’s every day.  I am so blessed to have these people and know that they have my back.

 

#7 They become the voices inside your head.

When I am out running by myself and I want to quit, I can hear them in my head telling me that I can’t give up yet.  When I hear one of our favorite workout songs on the radio I hear them all singing along.  When I think about skipping a class or not going because it looks too challenging, I hear them telling me to suck it up and just go.

 

#8 They just get it.

There is something about pushing through a tough class with a room full of people that bonds you, whether you like it or not.  There’s a comradery that comes from working out together.  You can look at each other in the middle of a particularly tough class and just know that they get it.  The struggle is real.  And you’re not alone in it.

8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

 

Now these people aren’t just limited to people I take classes with.  I have friends from the gym who don’t take classes.  Who I started chatting with because they lift at the same time I do on weekday mornings.  People who I stopped to ask questions when I was first starting, or who asked me some when they were new.  Somehow seeing someone every day and not at least saying hello seems strange to me.

I have a fantastic group of gym friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  They have become some of my best friends and the people I talk to the most.  They are my tribe.   I just hope they all know how much I appreciate them.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

Work It Wednesdays: Why You Should Consider Working Out on Vacation

May 3, 2017 at 8:17 AM • Posted in Family Health & WellnessComments Off on Work It Wednesdays: Why You Should Consider Working Out on Vacation

Hello, Kansas City! Once you get in a regular workout routine, it can be difficult to figure out how to handle it on vacation. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie, is back with another great Work It Wednesday post, and let’s just say — it’s all about balance. Take a look!

Work It Wednesdays: Why You Should Consider Working Out on Vacation

 

Work It Wednesdays: Why You Should Consider
Working Out on Vacation

So I was a little nervous about going on vacation. I had never left my kids for longer than 48 hours. I wasn’t sure how many clothes to pack. Did I need a hair dryer or would there be one in the room? Is 4 swimsuits enough for a 10 day cruise? Do I have everything the kids need ready to go? It was the best kind of stress I had had in years. I also worried about whether or not to pack workout clothes. Working out is what I do. Its what I love, its my job, its my sanity, its my me time. But I was going on vacation. For the first time in 8 years. And I was determined to enjoy every minute.
I thought back to my last vacation, also a cruise, which happened to be my honeymoon. My husband and I had done Weight Watchers and worked out 5 times a week in preparation for the wedding and we both agreed that we were not taking workout clothes on our honeymoon. We were just going to relax and enjoy and get back at it when we got home. And it was fabulous. We had a fantastic trip. We ate too much, drank too much, and napped daily. It was fantastic.
The more I debated, the more I got frustrated with myself. I knew that 10 days was not going to make or break me. I knew that if I took the time off I would be fine. I knew that my body could use the time to recover and it might actually be good for me.
I also knew that my workout time is my calming time. It’s the time that I spend processing my day, destressing, and basically just getting my mind right. And I feel so much better when I am done. I take a rest day at least one day a week, and then have one lighter day as well. And I have noticed that while my body needs that rest day to recoup and renew, I also drag a little bit. Working out is my coffee and my pick me up. I was worried that without it, on top of eating too much and drinking too much, I was going to be a mess by the end of the trip. So I decided to pack 7 workout outfits. I would not set an alarm to make it to the gym early. It was vacation. I would also not miss out on any excursions so that I could go to the gym. Again, vacation priorities. But I would workout anytime I felt myself dragging. Or anytime we had a late start or a day at sea. I would just listen to my body and go from there.
I ended up using all 7 workout outfits. I slept in when I was tired, I shortened my workout to accommodate an excursion. I did longer workouts on our days at sea. And I took rest days. I enjoyed my vacation, my unlimited drink package, and the desert they offered with dinner every night. And vacation was fantastic. I returned feeling rested and renewed and relaxed. I didn’t stress about not working out enough, or working out too much and missing out on all the fun. For me, it was the perfect balance.
Taking a break, or backing off a bit like I did, are both totally acceptable options. Listen to your body and do what works for you. I have a feeling I would have been miserable (bloated, irritable, feeling unbalanced) had I not taken the time to at least get a little bit of a workout in while I was gone. But I never felt that way on our honeymoon. My point is, relax. Its vacation. Its not like giving up your routine permanently. Life is too short. Miss the gym for an ATV tour on a gorgeous island, or go sweat it out for a quick 30 minutes when you’re feeling bloated and tired. Just don’t stress! Health is always about balance.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fitness Clichés that Actually Ring True, and a Few that Don’t

April 12, 2017 at 6:35 PM • Posted in Family Health & WellnessComments Off on Fitness Clichés that Actually Ring True, and a Few that Don’t

Happy Hump Day, Kansas City! We’re back with a great Work It Wednesday post from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie. This time she’s tackling fitness cliches — some being true, and some…not so much. If you’re trying to stay fit and need a little extra motivation, she’s got it for you below. Take a look!

Fitness Clichés that Actually Ring True, and a Few that Don’t

Fitness clichés that actually ring true…and a few that don’t.

 

#1 Fit is not a destination, it’s a way of life.

I talked about this in my previous post. Fit is a process. Enjoy the journey. Make it a part of your lifestyle. You can’t workout for a while and then stop and expect the health to stay. You have to make it a way of life.

 

#2 What you eat in private, you wear in public.

Unfortunately, this one is true. But who hasn’t eaten a cookie in the corner of your kitchen with your back turned so the kids can’t see and then told yourself it didn’t count because no one saw it?!? One cookie won’t kill you, but consistently eating badly will quickly curb those health goals and gains.

 

#3 The act of getting strong doesn’t start in the gym, it starts in your head.

You have to be mentally strong and positive regardless of what happens in the gym. You have to be able to tell yourself to keep going and that you are doing great, even when you feel like you don’t want to keep going and that you are the least healthy person on the planet. Get it done mentally so you can get it done physically.

 

#4 Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.

There are so many doubts, so many negative thoughts, so many misconceptions that can keep you from achieving your goals and sticking to a healthier lifestyle. You have to overcome all of those doubts and fears in order to come out on the other side, stronger and healthier. So tackle what scares you head on. Do a workout that you don’t think you can do. Once it is done, you’ll feel like the strongest person alive.

 

#5 Once you see results, it becomes an addiction.

I feel like this one could go either way. Some people see results and think ‘yay! I’m done! Goal reached!’ and they quit. Guess what? It doesn’t work that way. You have to work to maintain. But there are many people who are very motivated by results. It keeps them wanting more and pushing themselves harder. It makes them gym rats. It makes them healthy.

#6 You can’t out train a bad diet.

Again, sadly, this one is true. Weight is 80% diet, 20% working out. And oh how I wish those numbers were reversed. I would be the thinnest woman alive if they were. Winning in the kitchen is the hardest part of weight loss.

 

#7 You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go.

Unless a bear is chasing you, then you should probably go fast.

 

#8 The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.

Not true! I have had some really bad workouts. Painful, struggle filled, daunting workouts. Workouts that made me want to cry. (Mostly running on a treadmill—that’s just pure torture!) But the end result is good. The end result is strong. The end result is ‘yes I did do that!’

#9 If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

If you are always doing the same workout or the same weight or the same level, you will see results for a bit, but then your body becomes used to that workout and that movement or weight and it stops changing you. Change your routine up, push yourself a little harder sometimes, try something new. Keep challenging yourself and the results will come.

 

#10 One of the greatest moments in life is realizing that two weeks ago, your body couldn’t do what it just did.

I’m not saying it’s not a great moment. It is a great moment. It’s a great motivational tool. But nothing will compare to the day my kids were born, the day I got married, the day my kids walked for the first time, etc. Those moments, at least for me, will always top physical achievements as great moments. But physical achievements do feel pretty dang good.

 

#11 Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

What?!?!? That just can’t happen. Once I’m comfortable being uncomfortable, I’m not uncomfortable anymore. I know, too literal an interpretation. This one falls in line with the challenge/change line from above.

 

#12 Summer bodies are made in the winter.

While this one is probably true, I would LOVE to know when I can start working on my winter body. When does that happen exactly?

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

How to Deal with the Choice of Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Journey

April 11, 2017 at 5:16 PM • Posted in Family Health & Wellness, Maternity & Prenatal Resources, Mom ResourcesComments Off on How to Deal with the Choice of Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Journey

Howdy, Kansas City! Bringing a new baby into the world comes with it’s own set of worries and can be overwhelming. The responsibility of another human being is nerve-racking to say the least, particularly figuring out how to keep them fed. There’s plenty of controversy surrounding feeding a newborn, and our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, wanted to share her journey through the overwhelm. Check it out!

How to Deal with the Choice of Breastfeeding:  A Mother's Journey

 

How to Deal with the Choice of Breastfeeding:
A Mother’s Journey

Last week my husband and I took our oldest to Kindergarten round-up. I did surprisingly well, but I was told this is the easy part; you go and listen to a presentation and take some paperwork, none of it is real yet. Kind of reminded me when we first got pregnant with her. We tried for what seemed like so long, we prayed, we planned, and we mapped out cycles and when that stick finally showed that plus sign we couldn’t believe it. I know that shock lasted for about 7 months, that is when we started getting the room ready, buying the hundreds of items that you needed in order to bring this 7 pound little person home and when we started buying for me. I was never one to imagine that anything would go differently than what I planned. Labor would go smoothly and perfectly (which it did except for the 22 hours to get her here!) and then we would have a happy and healthy baby that would start breastfeeding right away. Just to be sure, I made a batch of flax seed muffins two weeks before my due date. I still remember the look on my Dad’s face when he tried one at breakfast one day; which was pretty much that same face I made every morning when I ate one. But with all this preparation I got the pump ready and sterilized and cleaned out the freezer for the containers of breast milk that would start flowing the minute little girl hit the ground!
News to all you new moms out there—don’t make plans ahead of time. Sometimes things just don’t go the way you plan and I know now that this is okay. To be clear I am ProChoice—Breastfeeding ProChoice that is, we will leave politics out of this. I believe that every mom has a right to choose whether or not to breastfeed their child and they shouldn’t be judged either way for this. From that first meeting at the hospital I was urged to breastfeed because of the wonderful benefits it offers. I completely agree; all of the benefits to me and my child let alone the bonding that I would get to do with her while feeding her, and even better was the money that we would save in formula, bottles, etc. I was on board—remember the flax seed muffins? Fast forward to labor and birth, we were blessed, all went just fine and I wasn’t too worried when we had issues latching that first time; this happens, we will bring in the lactation consultant just relax and hold her close. When she latched that first time it wasn’t like a huge relief, if anything it was worse.

When the lactation consultant came in the next day things went from bad to worse; we had tried so many times to get anything to come out I was now bleeding and baby girl didn’t want any part of that- and rightly so! The lactation consultant still tried to get her to latch; tried to get something to come out and at the end of the session said I was dehydrated and my milk just hadn’t come in yet; give it a little more time. By day two—I was in tears, baby girl was still doing fantastic trying to latch but she was still not getting anything if very little. Everyone said that it was still important whatever she could get. At this point it was extreme agony for me to have her latch; but as a mom you work through it. I never could have imagined something so easy to be so difficult—NO ONE warned me about this.

At the end of day two, I was in pain, crying all the time and the lactation consultant kept telling me that I needed to try harder, that I needed to maneuver myself and my babies’ head to make sure she was latching. After trying for a few more times, tears welled up in my eyes. I looked up at her face and all I saw was disgust, she told me if I didn’t try harder that little girl could start to become malnourished and sick; bottle feeding was not an option because it would confuse her. After she left, I was inconsolable. How could someone who worked in this line of work be so mean and heartless when it came to a mom that was obviously having trouble? I felt completely worthless, my husband did everything he could to make things better and our little angel wasn’t even complaining, but I knew she must have been so hungry and I (her mother and provider) couldn’t give her what she needed. We went home three days later; little girl was doing fine she had only lost a little weight and whatever she was getting was moving through her. There were several theories that we had; maybe it was the hospital setting that was making me nervous, maybe it was because baby girl hadn’t cried very much signaling my body to produce. Whatever the reason I was so glad to get away from that consultant who I thought was having a bad day which turned into having a bad week and then by the time we left she had completely given up on me.

Once at home, my doctor and pediatrician said to pump and/or feed every hour and let her cry a little bit. On baby girl’s first pediatrician appointment she had lost some weight; now we needed to look at the pump, maybe it wasn’t strong enough, maybe it wasn’t frequent enough. So back up to the room I went with that terrible sounding machine hooked up to me. At this point I wasn’t spending any time with my baby, let alone my husband who I am sure was stressed out as well. Having a crying wife and baby was probably not his idea of a first week at home! My entire life was pumping to get those few drops of precious fluid. You are probably screaming at this point asking why didn’t I stop? Because I am her mom, my one job is to take care of her, provide her with nourishment and I would not be beat by my bodies’ unexplainable problem. In my head, nothing and no one else could do this.

Then I got a call, from a nurse who happened to be my best friend. She “gave me permission” to stop, she told me I wasn’t a bad mom but I would be if I continued. Why did her words echo differently for me? I knew I didn’t have to pretend with her, she knew what I was like and she knew I wouldn’t stop; it was like an addiction, an addiction to be the best and provide because I thought that if I couldn’t do that simple thing then what else was I going to mess up on?

When I say that I am ProChoice to breastfeeding—this is a stance that I took after having my babies. I was all for the benefits and helping my child grow and prosper but my body had different ideas. The second time around I was more firm, when my milk didn’t come in with my second daughter, we had the lactation consultant come in; and I saw the same look in her eyes of disgust that I couldn’t do this one simple task. I cried one more time and then had an amazing nurse who gave me “off the record” samples of formula that we supplemented right away. I told the lactation consultant that I didn’t want to see her again and came to the reality that my milk didn’t come in, so what move on! And you know, my second daughter didn’t mind at all.

This is only my view and my experience. I am sure there are a hundred moms out there that had amazing experiences and there are lactation consultants who are helpful and take pride in their work—bless you for helping those new mommies. But I know there could be just one mom that needs that friend to tell her to stop! What may be best for your baby may be something entirely different than what you are doing. Think big picture instead of just one little room—what is the best for you and what is the best for baby. You are still a great mom and that baby will soon be sitting at the table refusing to eat her dinner and you know what? It’s okay to stop forcing her—its okay to let her eat when she wants—she came out that way, why would it change!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

April 5, 2017 at 6:07 PM • Posted in Family Health & WellnessComments Off on Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

Happy Hump Day, Kansas City! It’s been a gloomy few days here in the metro, but we are back to bring you the next installment of Work it Wednesdays with our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie. Today, Connie gives us some helpful advice on how to appreciate the fitness journey we’re on – regardless of where we might be. Take a look…

 

Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

 

I was approached by one of my people after class last week and she asked me “when can I expect to see results?” She had been coming to my class for a few weeks and always working very hard, and she was getting frustrated because she wasn’t seeing the physical changes she would have liked to have been seeing. I feel like this is such a common hang up for people when it comes to fitness and working out. I can’t tell you the number of times I have started a new workout routine or a new machine at the gym and immediately started checking the mirror for changes. And I know better than that.

We have become so ingrained with the need for instant gratification that it becomes daunting to have to work really hard for something on a consistent basis for a long period of time. It is one of the most common reasons I see people quitting their routines. But here’s the thing, anything worth having is worth working for. And, I believe fitness is about more than a change in your appearance. Its about a change in the way you feel, and a change in the way you see yourself. And that’s what I want to focus on.

There is a cliché saying in the fitness world: It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change. It takes 8 weeks for your friends to notice. It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice a change. It takes one day to decide that you are enough. 4 weeks is a long time to stick with something without seeing results. It’s a long time to tell yourself that its worth it and the work is paying off, when you can’t see it. But it takes one day for you to decide that you are worth the effort. Your health is important enough for you to take the time to make the effort to be better. To be healthier than the person you were yesterday. It’s a one day, one step at a time journey. It is daunting at first. It is miserable feeling like you are never going to be as in shape as the person next to you. It is discouraging to think that you are never going to get to your weight goal or your fitness goal. But guess what, you can get there.

A huge part of making the journey less daunting is noticing the small changes. Notice when you can go one minute longer on the elliptical machine than you could yesterday. Notice when you can push yourself through a 10 minute mile on the treadmill instead of a 10:20. Notice when you choose to eat grilled chicken instead of a burger and veggies instead of fries. Notice when lifting 12 pound dumbbells becomes 15 pound dumbbells. And notice how you feel. Notice when you wake up with more energy than you had a week ago. Notice that you sleep better at night once you get into a workout routine and stick with it. Notice that you no longer run out of breath chasing your kids around the yard. Notice those small changes and celebrate them, even if its just to do a little victory dance in your head.

After a while you will start to see yourself differently. We all tend to be our own worst critics. If you can focus on the small changes and the small victories, all of the sudden that voice inside your head starts becoming a positive one. Instead of saying ‘you are so out of shape,’ you now say ‘I can do 20 minutes of cardio now instead of just 15,’ or ‘I am stronger than I was 3 weeks ago.’ Once we can convince ourselves to be kind to ourselves, suddenly it becomes a whole lot easier to stay motivated and focused.

We tend to focus on the huge goals. The long term, big, scary, life changing goals. But fitness is a journey, not a destination. There is so much to see and enjoy along the way. So embrace the journey. Embrace the small stuff, and the big stuff will come. Stay consistent, stay dedicated and stay enthusiastic. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to enjoy what you are doing to be healthy. Enjoy walking your dog or riding your bike, or taking a dip in your pool. Enjoy your 15 mile training run if that’s what you’re into. Enjoy trying new healthy recipes that you aren’t sure about and discovering new foods you love. Just embrace the ride.

 

From iFamily to Yours,