Role Model

By Posted on 0 Comments4min read165 views
This complete revelation just hit me the other day when I was driving on the 405 on the way to my precious daughter’s first-ever hockey game.  Yes, folks.  We dream of the day where we finally become a mom and bring a new life into this great vast planet, she (or he) is perfect and then they grow and find their own way, their own dislikes, their own music style, their own type of friend and roller hockey (I’m certain there will be a post on this topic eventually).  This sort of forced wake-up call that your child’s days of being a child move faster and faster every day and it makes you think…

Am I doing all the things right?

I’m a good mom, I feel like my best is enough.  Most days.  I work hard, and with focus, which helps me to set a strong example.  I cook good healthy food, give her tons of love, have random dance parties before bed, make sure she is surrounded by friends and family, sports, art, music, events, playdates… BUT I mess up and I know it. I’m sure on some level I  mess up daily.
This one day, I completely messed up River’s ponytail, I knew she would hate it, but we were running late and I left it anyway and didn’t offer to redo it 🙁 I was completely maxed out as a hairstylist at the moment.   Ok I know this isn’t a big deal, but to her it was.  From a childs perspective that is a pressing issue. Why should we want to be parents?
I’d like to also admit to the following: forgetting favorite snacks, being too tired to skateboard, ordering the whole neighborhood out of my house.  Wait, that part is not a mess up.  Freshly mopped floors are priceless, ten minutes of cleaning is worth it.  I digress, going back to my main point.  Presence is lacking, we are too booked, running on no breakfast, multitasking parents and it takes a toll on our kids.  Moms, Dads, parents, family friends, and even people without kids.  We have to set better examples.  I have many friends with kids. Some of them are incredible, tuned in, on top of their manners, etc, and then there are others who aren’t going to make the parents of the year list.   JoJo I’ll admit it, sometime’s I’m no picnic to be around.  However, I promise that I take note of it, the second my grumpy side lurks if the ugly face, I regret the actions I’ve taken to whomever it is.  Especially if it’s a child.  They’re so unaware of how we behave and why, therefore they have so many questions, so naturally, they seek us for answers, and it truly couldn’t be more flattering.  In my 405 Fwy revelation, I realized why I’m here.
  • To set an example: lead the littles so they see who to be when they grow up.  Not what to be, that’s a whole other story.  If we show this type of kind, generous, and forgiving behavior, imagine what they can do in this world.  When we are old farts that will work out for us when those younger generations will be calling the shots when it comes to our sponge baths.
  • Facilitate their needs: So basically fill the future emotional bank accounts of the needs of these little future badasses.  If I don’t focus and work my ass off today, I won’t be able to provide the things my daughter will need in the future.  Did you know the average college tuition to a four-year university is $34,740?  I don’t know about you, but that is a nice chunk per year I’m going to have to own up to. We’ve got this, right?!

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That’s all. Just those two simple steps are the sure-fire way to create the most well-balanced human.   Kidding, obviously, children need so much more.  I just realized that at times we seem to move through life so fast, as parents and leaders we must think about every action we take before we take it.  I hate to admit it but, it took me a good portion of six hours to write this post.  Why?  Well, I was on a roll, fingers a blaze at the keyboard.  Then I had to stop, make dinner, homework, wash the dishes, mop the floor (or I will strongly dislike myself all week).  Giggle in bed for a bit, talk about Spring Break is over, convince my daughter to go to sleep, try not to fall asleep, instead grab the laptop, and then boom, I’m back.

I’m glad to be a parent in this day and age.  Yes, we have many unique obstacles and choices to make as to not raise poor quality humans (eh hem) it just comes back to basics.  Kindness, love, and presence.
I get up at 4:30 am, the world is quiet, there is an incredible amount of uninterrupted silence.  I can focus on myself, maybe run, maybe write.  Who knows, maybe even take a long shower and take my time to get ready for work.  For the record…my favorite job description is mom.

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Techie Kids 🖥

By Posted on 0 Comments2min read380 views

Back when River was only a few months old in 2009, I wrote this heart felt post about being aware as parents with technology use in front of our children.  Flash forward almost a decade, it’s everywhere and there ain’t no stopping.  If you’re child is anything like mine growing up in a rapidly changing world of technology and smart devices then you know what I’m talking about.  Even though we have great control over our hand held devices in our home, River has a genuine passion for technology and wants to get involved.

Having a mom who works in the digital space, she’s seen me build a few hundred websites, navigate popular social media accounts and even work for hours creating a graphic design piece for a client or edit a how to video.  She’s ultra aware of what smart technology is capable of and even knows her way around a few programs.  Which leads me to my main focus for this article.

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We live in a home with no TV subscription, no satellite or cable, just streaming off our Apple TV.  River doesn’t get up and watch Saturday morning cartoons on USA or Cartoon Network.  She seeks out her favorite channels on Youtube Red or navigates to her Netflix login where she can find suggested shows based of her recently viewed.  This is truly a movement in the future of how our children receive information.  It’s also where she draws some of her creative inspiration.  She’s watching kids her age create their own content and have a blast while doing it.  For months she’s been working on her own videos and asks me repeatedly to help her set up a youtube channel.  So of course I watched her videos, gave her some tips and kept pushing her to create something unique and totally her.  After several attempted tries she’s come up with a bunch of great ideas.  Starting with some super fresh how to videos which are on their way she is very excited to be a positive channel for kids to learn, laugh and hopefully feel inspired by what she has up her sleeve.  Below is one of her first silly videos where she does my voice over in my fashion photography commercial I posted a year or so ago. Silly girl, I just love her witty little personality!

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Riversmom Re-boot

By Posted on 0 Comments1min read172 views

Recently I found myself curious again about my previous efforts running a mommy blog.  Back in 2007 when I started it was a whole other ballgame.  A ballgame that had a much smaller audience, a better reach option for unique content about being a mommy in todays world.  At the time I didn’t know anyone else blogging about parenting, or health topics, I was the go to blog to read amongst my group of mommy friends. So what I’m really saying is that to bring this blog back to life, I need some good content and topics that other moms are talking about!

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I’ve been beyond busy as a mommy to one perfect little girl, River Rae.  She’s now 8, homeschooled, multi talented, hilarious and sassy as can be.  She’s basically a tiny me, so yea!

I hope to cover topics in the coming weeks, months and hopefully years such as: positive parenting, technology and children and healthy eating and activities for kiddos and moms!

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What’s Really For Dinner (Part 2)

By Posted on 0 Comments4min read235 views

growth hormones in our food, antibiodics

So as if the debate on meat eaters versus vegetarian wasn’t confusing enough I have some more exciting info to share.  For all the meat eaters out there, next time you sit down to order a burger or even a steak at your favorite fine and dine restaurant, just know that more than likely especially if the option of Organic Meats, Corn Fed, or Free Range isn’t listed on the menu anywhere, you’re preparing to eat a nice helping of added hormones and antibiotics.  Oh big deal you say, my Doc has given me antibiotics several times.  Yea that Zpac sure seemed helpful when you couldn’t kick that heavy cold, however do you really understand the adverse effects of Antibiotics?  Antibiotics literally kill all living bacteria inside your body, and yes if they are consumed through eating meat treated with Antibiotics they still enter your body.  So what’s so bad you ask about killing all the bacteria….well we need good bacteria to ward off all sorts of diseases and infections.   Many adults later in life are now more than ever seeing bacterial infections (the bad kind) in their systems, Candida Albicans  or even Chronic Fatigue.   Okay, so without getting too off track here back to point, Antibiotics and other Hormones are being added to way too many of our food supply and making some serious changes through out the population.  The obesity epidemic alone has dramatically changed in the United States where food is altered more so than other countries.

You may be wondering why are these crappy things being added to our food?  Well Antibiotics and Hormones help grow bigger, fatter animals, who in turn produce more milk and more meat, which means more money.  Big surprise huh the ugly monster beneath all the madness is money, who’da thunk it!  Fortunately, we are a very aware society and becoming more aware everyday, and finding Organic meats, cheeses, milk and produce is becoming more simple.  Granted yes reaching for Natural and Organic options can be harder on your pocket book, however you can always choose to be more selective on which items you spring for.  Look for Farm Raised, without Hormones, Antibiotics etc.  Also grabbing up some raw cheese or switching to a milk alternative is also a great option.  I know I was raised on whole milk, so I completely understand the craziness behind cutting out the cow when it comes to milk, at the same time we’ve got some fantastic options for rice, almond and now coconut milk all around us.

Here is a few facts I found on a super helpful site:

  • Antibiotics given to cows to treat mastitis results in antibiotic residues in milk. Apart from causing health problems in those who drink this, it can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance amongst bacteria present in the person’s body.
  • Scientific studies link rBGH to cancer citing the fact that the presence of rBGH in the cow’s blood stimulates production of another hormone (Insulin-Like Growth Factor) in the cow and traces of it are found in its milk. Since this hormone is also active within humans, it can lead to uncontrolled cell division or cancer.
  • Exposure to growth hormones in beef could be putting Americans at risk for infertility. A recent study found that women who routinely ate beef were far more likely to give birth to boys who grow up to have lower-than-normal sperm counts.
  • Hormone residues in beef have been implicated in the early onset of puberty in girls, which could put them at greater risk of developing breast and other forms of cancer.

As a whole parts of our society that has cut out dairy alone has seen a significant amount of change in their immune system, stating not getting nearly as sick or for the period of time they where sick as in the past.  Personally I can say my daughter has been drinking rice milk since one and shes only been sick  a few times in her span of three years.  Never once has she needed an antibiotic.  I guess it makes sense that if shes not ingesting these unknown hormones and additional bad bacteria her bodies going to be stronger and better able to kick a cold before it becomes something else.  I found some really great articles that speak more extensively on this topic, so if you’re interested further please take a look!

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/safe/overview.html

Hormones in milk, beef, could put kids at even higher risk

http://www.copperwiki.org/index.php/Growth_Hormones_in_Food

Thanks for reading!

Amber

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Halo Bar – “The Sinfully Healthy Snack Bar”

By Posted on 0 Comments1min read176 views

So even us health minded parents give in now and then and can’t help but allow our kiddo’s to enjoy a little candy or treat.  Unfortunately most of these big corp candy treats will not only rot your little ones teeth but they sure aren’t doing much for their minds.  What do we do?  We need a tempting alternative for those rewards or times when we want to spoil our little ones palettes!  Well folks that’s when you run literally to your nearest local health food store and demand a Halo Bar.

Shop Warby Parker Online

Holy moly where we blown away here at the Healthy Belly when we stumbled upon these geniuses at Pro Bar when we tasted a sample of the delightful snack bars that pack a good amount of Omega 3 & 6!  Beyond omega the bars are dairy free and vegan as well as made with organic oats!  They truly are too good to be true, and have extremely tempting flavors like S’mores, Nutty Marshmallow, Rocky Road, and Honey Graham.   With an extremely low serving of Sugar per bar and all natural ingredients what parent wouldn’t want to turn to this no-brainer snack food alternative.  The only problem is with a treat this tasty and tempting how do we save them for the kids?  When you spot the bars at your local retailer you’ll know the packaging alone says it all…

To Learn more about the Halo line check out their website 🙂

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What’s for Dinner? Really? (Part 1)

By Posted on 0 Comments3min read171 views

Gone are the days of a simple meatloaf dinner with a healthy side of veggies and a peach cobbler to satisfy the sweet tooth. In the fast paced tweet by tweet news environment world we live in, we can literally access tons of info in an instant. Don’t get me wrong as a mega lover of technology and all that it brings I’m thrilled. However there is a darker side to being more aware. This is great as we move into a world where really do we know what we are eating? Do we fully understand what we are feeding our families?

As I start this 4 part series on toxins in our food, I encourage all readers to take this info I’m providing and use it become more aware of the food around you and your family.  Read a little more at the market and pay attention to the tricky words they put so slyly on the label for instance, you’ve probably heard much about MSG Monosodium Glutamate

“It” is monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that’s known widely as an addition to Chinese food, but that’s actually added to thousands of the foods you and your family regularly eat, especially if you are like most Americans and eat the majority of your food as processed foods or in restaurants.

MSG is one of the worst  food additives on the market and is used in canned soups, crackers, meats, salad dressings, frozen dinners and  much more. It’s found in your local supermarket and restaurants, in your child’s school cafeteria and, amazingly, even in baby food and infant formula.

MSG is more than just a seasoning like salt and pepper, it actually enhances the flavor of foods, making processed meats and frozen dinners taste fresher and smell better, salad dressings more tasty, and canned foods less tinny.

While MSG’s benefits to the food industry are quite clear, this food additive could be slowly and silently doing major damage to your health. Read full article here.

BUT did you know that yeast extract is just another tricky little ingredient that you may not even be noticing in your products that you thought where MSG free.  That’s right yielding many of the same addictive and negative effects on your body.  Some of the side effects or symptoms theses two dangerous additives can bring on are:

  • Obesity
  • Eye damage
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and disorientation
  • Depression
  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness

So how do you keep MSG and it’s ugly friends out of your families lives?

When shopping in any market try to remember one simple rule, the outer edge of the market is where you will be most safe.  Not all products will be entirely safe, however more so then purchasing the pre-packaged junk sold by the big name crap manufactures out there who have no regard for your families best interest!  You can also purchase frozen fruit and veggies if shopping in the produce department is breaking your wallet.  Read read read……start to get familiar with the nasty ingredients that most likely live in your families favorites, also shopping in a small health food store will really help clear your head.  Not only do the employees know tons more and can really help you identify the bad stuff, you will be amazed at the alternatives out there.  Finally of course organic is always best, when really confused what to buy organic do a Google search on which fruits and veggies are most permeable to pesticides, that will really help you identify the important ones to purchase! After all you wouldn’t intentionally spray your families dinner with Raid right?  I’m not going to lie, eating this will end up costing more, however you must ask yourself what’s more important?

As always thanks for tuning into my ramblings more to come on my second installment 🙂

xoxox Amber

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☙ My Garden Girl ❧

By Posted on 0 Comments2min read1875 views

So kids wanna play and play and play. Moms want them to eat, rest, learn, grow and be challenged. With that said Being creative and keeping their daily grind fresh and exciting gets tough! Let’s face it moms the day to day that may keep you at bay probably bores the heck out of your little ones. Recently I’ve taken up a new hobby for River and I to do together, gardening!

We started a garden right at the beginning of spring! While it’s obviously a first for River I myself have never grown anything besides sea monkeys in one those plastic container things they come and that hardly seems like something to be proud of, ok I guess the are pretty cool 😉

Starting small we’ve worked our way up to quite an exciting variety and we are both having a blast taking care of it. Everything from the plants we picked to the watering and trimming, we do together! It’s so rewarding to be off doing something else and she stops to ask me if we can go work in the garden 🙂

So moms if your looking for a fun little activity for you and yours try it out, even if it’s a little 1 x 1 box just to put a few seedlings into so you can teach your child about nature and watch a vegetable grow before his eyes!

Here are a few tips for gardening with kids!

  • Get him or her their own little shovel, watering can, gardening shoes, etc.
  • Let them help and suggest the plants they’d like to see grow or even the fruits and veggies they already love to eat!
  • Make sure you got some color variety, this makes for excitement when your veggies start to bloom, plus you can work on learning all those colors.
  • Don’t forget to teach basics like, being gentle, caring for roots, taking or singing to the plants, silly but the kids love doing it!
  • I personally like to talk about the health benefits of eating all these yummy veggies your growing, it just may induce enough curiosity to get them trying it all.
  • Ofcourse purchase pesticide free fertilizers and organic soils, otherwise what’s the point, I mean this is for your family to eat.

For more information on natural organic gardening check out this website which I’ve found extremely useful The Organic Gardening Guru . I also found some great tips for Tot gardening at WildBound

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♕ Sleeping Beauty ♕

By Posted on 0 Comments2min read1271 views

What is it about the complete innocence of our little ones once they have passed out in our arms that is so seriously heart melting once they hit the “big kid” stage? Don’t get me wrong, when River was 6 days, weeks or even 6 months old the feeling was so serene and addicting. However when this little monster by day well and even by night for that matter completely wears herself out and turns to my lap as her drool mat, I melt!

My guess is that is has something to do with the fact that as they age we really start to see and feel like they need us a little less each day as they are becoming whole and completely capable little people. The whole sleeping thing in a whole has probably been my biggest task to tackle being a first time mom. I mean I want to sleep with her every night and let her repeatedly kick me in the face, ribs and stomach while hopefully grabbing 3 hours of uninterupted sleep, however I know the set backs of doing that. So every night we follow through with the routine, is it weird if I sleep next to her on the floor? Ok I’m kidding…

I think watching your child grow, develop and burn themselves out has to be one of the most full filling feelings I’ve experienced as a parent. I mean I get up work a few hours, get in a quick workout (if I’m lucky) and I’m ready for a nap. But toddlers, man they run around non stop, snack, color, destroy the house, need to go outside, the park, beat up the dog and wrestle with dad before feeling like they should take a little break! Guess I’m a little jealous 😉

Speaking of sleep…..who the heck decides it’s cool to be up at 4:45 a.m. to get stuff done! And no it didn’t take me two hours to write this, I’ve just been up since then to get some work done, get my workout in and have a few little minutes to myself before the Master of This House wakes up and takes the reigns! If only we had growth spurts it would make it a little more acceptable if we suddenly passed out anywhere as adults!

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Important Newborn Questions & Answers

By Posted on 0 Comments3min read135 views

The authors of Heading Home with Your Newborn answer important questions from moms about infant and baby care

heading home pic.jpg

Pediatricians, moms and authors, Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP offer a wealth of “parent-tested, pediatrician-approved” advice in Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality, Second Edition (American Academy of Pediatrics, September 2010). Available on the American Academy of Pediatrics official Web site for parents, HealthyChildren.org. Also available in bookstores nationwide. Here they answer a few questions from fellow moms:

Question: People often worry about taking a newborn out and you do not want to go to crowded spaces indoors like malls or parties where there could be germs and things like that; but in terms of how they can regulate heat, can they can go out if they are bundled correctly, in the cold for a walk? During the winter season is it best not to have them out and about like that?

Dr Jana: We have an entire section of the book called “Thinking Outside the House”. That is a good example of what people often forget in the Pediatrician books. Where you say; what about the practical? Can I step out of my house? Now all of a sudden my baby seems even smaller because we are going out in the real world. Especially in the very specific new born period – the first three weeks, think of the timeframe when babies really need to wear their hats because their heads lose heat. Here in Nebraska I would not recommend somebody taking a newborn out at the peak of winter. What you find is a lot of new parents do not want to step outside when it is 40 degrees out, because they are afraid it is cold, and there are lots of good accessories to keep drafts from getting in to the where the babies are in the car seats and infant carriers. Just try avoiding extremes temperatures.

Question: What is the most important thing you think parents should know and do before a baby is born?

Dr Shu: One important thing, just from a timing standpoint, you might need to look for childcare as soon as you conceive. Just the reality of a lot of childcare situations is that you have to get on some kind of waiting list to get in to the place of your choice. So I would consider that high on the list. You want to make sure that your financial affairs like insurance are in order. There are so many smart parents I know that just accidentally forget to add their child to their insurance, and they are stuck with a huge bill. That is something you want to put on your To Do list, as soon as that baby has a name and birth date.

Picking a Pediatrician before you deliver is also a really good idea, and that is something we recommend sometime in the early part of the 3rd trimester. The reason for that is you want to hit the ground running and get a head start, rather than play catch up when you have a baby and try to figure out somebody that you have a good fit with. Finally, the most important supplies you will need for having the baby include a car seat which you will need to have once leaving the hospital, something to clothe the baby in, diapers and feeding supplies.

Question: How can you prepare for the birth of a newborn if you wind up delivering early or have an unplanned c-Section?

Dr Jana: Some people have a sense they might deliver earlier, but for a large number of parents, it catches them completely off guard. People often ask as us, when is the best time to read the book? We wanted to make it so that you can start reading it 8 weeks in advance and then pick it up at two in the morning when you have a question with a one week old. The thing that catches people by surprise, most people do not plan on have a C section, most people do not plan on having a premature baby… getting those things that Doctor Shu mentioned really helps take away some of the stress of new parenthood because that unknown is not there anymore.

AAP_Sweepstakes_HouseAd_Final.jpg

If you’d like more information about caring for your infant visit Heading Home with Your Newborn at HealthyChildren.org.

*This post is sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network.

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peepee in the potty……sometimes.

By Posted on 2 Comments2min read335 views

As a first time mom I realize that potty training isn’t going to happen overnight, however I’d like to understand why somedays going on the potty is the coolest thing ever and why others it’s the worst topic I could bring up to my almost two year old. Know as a mom of a tot I’ve come to learn the signs of readiness, dry bottom in the morning, waking from naps talking about the potty, acknowledging the urges and so on. So like most mommies I’ve probably researched this way too far and should’ve of just sat back and went with my gut in the first place. After all my little River has always called the shots so why would this stage be any different!?

A few weeks back we decided that a reward like a piece of candy or a sticker would for sure entice her to hop on the pot and keep her coming back for more….nope. She was into it for about three days and has now decided shes doesn’t care for stickers or treats or going on the potty like a big girl. It’s funny how the balance of rewarding walks a very fine line (atleast with River) and come sometimes completly backfire in certain senarios. It’s been almost a week since Rivers been offered a reward for her toilet efforts and she has since awaken me almost every morning to tell me “mommy I poopin” 70% of the time its toots followed by peepee but hey shes’ realizing the sensations and thats all the matters. Now once the deed has been done we high five and talk about how shes such a big girl and that consistency seems to working just fine!

So my point here is this, lets just listen to our kids and what we already know about them first before we rush to the bookstore or hop on pottytraining.com. After all we are their mothers and know them better than anyone else ever will 🙂 If any mommies reading this would like to share their potty training tips or funny stories I think we’d all appreciate it! Email them over to us at editor@thehealthybelly.com

Thanks for stopping by
Amber

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