222 posts categorized "Health & Body"

Turnoff Week: Ideas to get out and about

April 14, 2009

This year's "turnoff" week is next week, April 20 to 26.  And, instead of being billed as "Turn Off TV Week", the organizers, Center for Screen Time Awareness, is calling the week "Turnoff Week", meaning we unplug from not only TVs, but also videos, games, computers, cell phones, and iPods.

Why turn off?

  • Screen Time cuts into family time and is a leading cause of obesity in both adults and children.
  • In the US and other industrialized nations around the world, screen time use continue to increase every year. 
  • The average daily usage for all screens, in some countries, has reached 9 hours per day.  This is for recreational use of screens and does not include work time.
  • On average, people watch 4 hours of television and then spend another 4 plus hours with computers, games, video, iPods and cell phones

So, what can we do?  Here are some ideas to start:

  • Hit the playground, and invite school/neighborhood friends.  Make it a huge playdate!
  • Find out what activities your school may be hosting.  Better yet, offer to plan and host an activity.
  • Host a session of board game playing at the community center, library, school, or friends house.
  • Check out free or reduced-cost swim sessions at the public pools (Columbia on Wednesdays; Buckman on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; and Dishman on Saturdays.  Call specific pools for details)
  • Gather friends for a short bike ride in the neighborhood.
  • Organize a scavenger or treasure hunt.
  • Check out the urbanMamas calendar for more ideas for fun.  There is something going on every day!

How will you be recognizing Turnoff Week this year?  What activities, if any, are planned at your school?

Need more tips or resources?  Kaiser has a great run down of sample activities, more information, and a screen-time toolkit to learn fun and healthful alternatives.  Check it here.

Mama & her allergies

April 07, 2009

Cherry_blossoms Holy Moly!  Allergies are here!  We haven't been able to post up so much because we've been too busy sneezing.  True to form, putting our kids first, we seem to have already talked about the seasonal allergies and kids.  But, what about the mamas?  Are you a mama with allergies?  How do you treat?  What allergy remedy suggestions do you have for pregnant and nursing mamas?

Naturopath Recommendations

March 11, 2009

We've talked about MD vs. ND and we've also collected some great suggestions for Naturopaths for Kids.  An urbanMama recently emailed requesting more recommendations for naturopaths:

I’ve struggled with a diminished libido since going on the pill when I first married my husband 13 years ago.  After a lot of couples counseling to help decompress what became a horrible situation in our marriage, I felt pretty confident that my decreased sex drive has been related to hormones.  I saw a naturopath a few years ago for help with this issue, but stopped seeing her after getting pregnant.  I’m still struggling with a range of hormone challenges (PMS being one), and would like to get back to a naturopath again.  I’m wondering if any urban mamas out there have recommendations for Portland area naturopaths who specialize in female hormones?  I would prefer someone in NE Portland, but am willing to go pretty much anywhere in the Portland area to get some help with this issue.  Thanks!

Stomach flu: What to do

January 04, 2009

All the families whose tweets I've been reading this past week have seemed to come down with the stomach flu that struck my entire extended family this week (Monroe rung in the new year by throwing up all over me at 1:30 a.m. January 1, and then it just spread). It's extremely contagious, if my family is any indication, but seems to affect the smallest people first.

I've consulted the family pediatrician and the internets, and here's what I've learned:

  • the stomach flu (which could be any of a number of different viruses) has an incubation period from four to 48 hours
  • the disease can be picked up by hand-to-mouth contact with vomit or poop, through kissing a sick baby or sharing a cup or sucking on the same toy
  • washing hands thoroughly, for at least 15 seconds of vigorous rubbing-together, is the best way to prevent transmission (though if you're caring for a child with the disease, it's hard to avoid it)
  • once you've got the disease, avoid eating or drinking anything while you're vomiting.
  • babies and toddlers can be tried on about an ounce of breastmilk or Pedialyte after they've gone for an hour without throwing up. For older children and adults, a few ounces of water, Gatorade or Pedialyte.
  • check for signs of dehydration: fewer than three wet diapers / trips to the bathroom in 24 hours; dry mucous glands in the mouth, compared to well family members; no tears when crying. If you think your child is dehydrated, take him to the hospital. Pregnant women and babies are most vulnerable to dehydration.
  • after four hours without throwing up, it's safe to try bland foods. I've heard differing opinions on what is best and would love to hear your advice; toast, bananas, applesauce and rice are popular options, and chicken broth and chicken noodle soup are also recommended.
  • one pediatric nurse recommended foods high in fat to recover from the diarrhea that usually follows the vomiting, such as toast with butter, whole milk, ice cream, fatty meat, and whole milk yogurt, and to avoid foods high in fiber, such as dried fruit. There seem to be two very different schools of thought here though.
  • the illness can last between 24 and 60 hours, but you could be contagious for quite a while afterward. In my family's experience, the vomiting lasts 12 to 24 hours (and a bit longer for the younger babies) and the general achiness, fatigue, and light-headedness goes on for as much as three days.

Is your family sick too? Any helpful hints or advice?

urbanMamas snowed-in health hotline

December 23, 2008

Monroe_poxy My sister Hannah just called with a concern; her baby, Angelica, has had a diaper rash for several days, and a fever for the past few. Today she developed a rash on her stomach and Angelica, 15 months old, has been very fussy. She needed advice; she's been calling the pediatrician's office but the line has been busy.

I advised her to see if she's been overbundling Angelica (her power was off yesterday) and switch to breastfeeding only; maybe Angelica's having an allergic reaction and at least that will reduce her exposure to new foods. It couldn't be chicken pox, we decided, as it didn't look like the pox; Angelica's had her regular vaccinations; her only exposure (to my children) couldn't have caused it as they've all either had the pox or been vaccinated long ago. Twitter friends offered the possibilities of thrush, roseola, or hand and mouth disease.

Then it occurred to me that, if Hannah's struggling with a not-necessarily-emergency problem, many other are too, and as doctors' offices aren't answering their phones with great regularity, we'll have to work together to figure it out. So here's an open thread to ask each other for advice (and give yours to Hannah if something occurs to you). I'll start it off: Monroe broke his front tooth in half this weekend (well, in 1/3 and 2/3 vertical chunks) after launching himself face-first into a stack of cookie sheets.One of the chunks is wobbling back and forth and our local dentist office is closed; he hasn't been crying (though he's worked himself a mark near my nipple -- ouch!) and I figure we may as well wait out the storm before getting it looked at. Any problems I should look out for?

Think out loud: Childhood Obesity

November 19, 2008

This morning, the OPB call-in radio program, Think Out Loud, will discuss the issue of childhood obesity (at 9am and 9pm).  According to the Oregon State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, one in four of our children are overweight.  The proportion of overweight children in our state is increaing.  The percentage of children who don't eat enough fruit & veggies is high (60%).

Despite the fact that we like to model good behavior with all our biking, homemade food, and additive-free cereal or bread choices, obesity remains a reality in our community.  The Think Out Load episode explores:

Have you struggled with childhood obesity? Are you the parent of an overweight or at-risk kid? Are you a teacher or school counselor? What barriers do you see for kids who are fighting the battle of the bulge? Who is ultimately responsible for preventing childhood obesity?

Feel free to listen, call in, or discuss here or there.

Unsustainable morning sickness: Nine months of junk?

November 12, 2008

I was nauseous in the face of herbs with my second pregnancy; with my first, I craved coffee milkshakes. I generally believe that nausea is our body's way of telling us what we should be avoiding, whether it be liquor (which I've never, not for more than a passing second, wanted in any of my pregnancies), coffee, or fresh salsa (who knows what bacterial dangers could be lurking?). Some of us can eat everything and do -- maybe those bodies are just made of sturdy stuff and don't need any special treatment? Who knows.

But many of us have been turning away from the simple carbohydrate junk food that filled our blissful teens and twenties and working to eat more "sustainably," whether we're following the lead of gurus like Sally Fallon or just trying to eat more local veggies. A mom from one of the listservs I subscribe to asked this question:

I'm pregnant and having a rough go of it.  I was sick for 9 months with my first baby with hospitalizations and all that because of the severe vomiting.

After a year of long, hard work, all the healthful food in my pantry and freezer makes me vomit, and the only things I want is crap from the store.  I am beside myself with guilt and unsure what to do.

Any advice from those of you out there who've been adopting Nourishing Traditions-style food practices in your household? Here is our previous discussion on horrible morning sickness.

Certified Nurse Midwives in Portland

November 06, 2008

Belly_reflection_crop

I know lots of urbanMamas have given birth with midwives, either at home, in the hospital, or at a birthing center, and we've given our feedback on certified nurse midwives before. Jess Bee asks for more of your advice:

I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for Certified Nurse Midwives at a Birthing Center in Portland. My insurance company will only cover this kind of midwife. The only one I have found so far is Michelle at Alma. Anyone have experience with her or anyone else?

Talking to your kids about drugs: New 'strawberry' meth makes it scarier than ever

November 03, 2008

Everett_playground

Unaccountably, when I read this article about drugs being marketed to kids forwarded to us by an urbanMama, chills go through my spine and I wonder, should I start talking to Everett about drugs, now? He's six, and certainly old enough to get the concept. We have talked about drugs, but it was more one of those "in the far distant future make sure you don't, because..." kind of conversations.

I don't know if there's any evidence that this "Strawberry Quick" (meth mixed with Kool-Aid powder) has popped up in Portland, yet, but it's both insidious and a likely big hit in our rather meth-soaked streets. The other scary drug for beginning users is "cheese," black tar heroin mixed with Tylenol PM and snorted, rather than shot up, as regular "adult" black tar heroin is. Kid-friendly. [Shudders]

I'm going to email the drug task force in Portland and ask if there's been any reports of this stuff on our streets. In the meantime, when do you plan to talk to your kids about drugs? Have you already? Any insights?

I quit! Now... what am I going to do about health care?

October 23, 2008

Doctors_office_green

Yesterday was my last day at work. It's a complicated story about "not giving 100%" and needing to spend way more of my percentages here at home on my kids. I'm starting a new freelance career that will pay a lot less than my former career, and naturally, includes only the benefit of complete freedom from externally-imposed responsibilities. Health insurance and maternity leave and retirement? I'm hoping my good, nourishing cooking and royalties from my soon-to-be-pitched book will cover me. (It's good to think positive.)

I can't afford Cobra and I think my income will be too high to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan (though maybe I'll be close). We get supplemental insurance through the Army Reserve's Tricare program for $82 a month but I doubt it'll help me without the primary insurance. I'm considering just paying out-of-pocket for services we need (like well-baby visits and the occasional checkup for Jonathan and myself, plus dental visits). Compared to the retail price of health insurance for my family -- between $400 and $1000 a month, plus deductibles and co-pays -- a few hundred here and there doesn't seem that bad. And honestly: I'll bet my out-of-pocket costs with employee-sponsored United Healthcare were at least $2000 in the past year.

Of course, that's assuming that I don't have another emergency like the one where Monroe ended up riding the ambulance to get stitches in his eye. And I have three extremely energetic and risk-loving boys. When I tweeted about my quandary over insurance, I found a few other mamas responded back almost immediately; they, too, were foregoing insurance due to great expense. We've talked before about insurance providers and insurance for pregnant mamas (thank goodness that's not a factor for me right now). While this is a great time to get very, very angry over the state of our nation's health system (John McCain accused Barack Obama's plan of being like England's -- I thought to myself, if only!) -- it's also a time to evaluate the options in reality. For those of you who don't get, or can't afford, insurance through your work or your spouse's work: What do you do?

Update: I wrote a post on WalletPop about "The Gilbert Plan," the way health care policy should be. What do you think about that?

Seeking Advice on Aspergers

October 19, 2008

Child rearing in itself is difficult, but combined with any disorders and the challenge grows exponentially.  An urbanMama recently wrote seeking advice from other parents who have dealt with Asperger Syndrome in their children.  She writes:

My son (age 6 next month) was diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago by his pediatrician. As kindergarten approached I made an appointment with a psychologist in July with the first available new patient appointment … today. Two hours later after what I thought was going to be a general check in and maybe some parenting tips – he has been diagnosed with Asperger’s (a form of high-functioning Autism) as well. Help. ADHD was a hard diagnoses and I’m having an even harder time keeping from sinking with this one. I am ignorant on it. I don’t know what my next step is as far as finding a great occupational therapist. I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know what works. I am greatly overwhelmed. Does any other mamma out there have experience with this? I can talk to the pysch for as long as I can afford it (literally), but I want and need to hear it from a mom.

What to do when mama's sick?

October 09, 2008

Tis the season to be sick!  We can have tons of ideas of how to entertain a sick toddler, but what do we do when we ourselves are sick?  Are there things left undone?  How do we give attention to the kids if we're lying in bed?  An urbanMama emails:

For the last month, it's been one cold after the next in our household. My son is 11 months old and HATES staying at home all day with nobody to play with. But when he's sick or I'm sick, we can't make play dates with friends. I've had a cold with coughing and sneezing for 4-5 days now. We've been reading books and playing with toys and taking the occasional walk, but he's extremely bored and antsy. I foresee a lot of this in the upcoming months. How do you cope when Mama's sick?

What do you do when two is enough? The big V?

July 28, 2008

We've talked forever about our decision to go with an IUD for our preferred method of birth control, with well over a 100 comments and going.  We have an urbanFamily looking into the big "V", a vasectomy, and seeks your doc suggestions in and around Portland:

Our family is looking at the big V this year for my husband. I'm looking for doctor recommendations.

Any more tips, tricks, or advice?  It's always welcome.

More than the baby blues?

June 29, 2008

I try hard to be what I call a Dalai Mama, appreciating my kids every day, showing patience when needed (always!), being present with them, you get the picture.  Of course this little trick is not foolproof, and sometimes I am less than patient, frustrated (imagine!), even annoyed, and maybe even want to run screaming down the driveway.  Last week I truly walked into the coat closet and shut the door.  And I tell myself that these feelings are pretty standard across parents, that I'm not alone in my frustrations and failings (uMs have confessed our failings before, too).  And I think  - as much as I can know - that I'm right.  But sometimes there's more to the frustration and desire to close that closet door than just the daily joys of parenting.  A friend recently wondered:

Something has not been right with me for months. I've been feeling mentally exhausted, I'm irritable and short tempered with my family, and have just become gradually more and more disinterested in my life.  I constantly have these fantasies about running away from it all.  And while I wouldn't (run away from it all), I am getting tired of having these negative feelings.  I'm not sure if I'm actually depressed or not, having not taken the step to speak with a professional, but I am curious about the experiences that others have had with anti-depressants.  Why did you start taking them and how have they worked? How long have you taken them and are you glad you did?  How did your feelings and emotions shift?  Where there any negative side effects?   

We've talked about post-partum depression before, but what about this post-post partum depression (not to be confused with clinical depression or serious mental illness).  In this case it seems like less than that, but perhaps more than the common frustrations of parenting small children.  Got any advice for this mama?

Seasonal Allergies and Kids

June 17, 2008

2499634641_1e905e5b07_m Though the sunshine is mostly here, so are those stinking allergens.  My poor, poor son has been rubbing his eyes and nose raw thanks to the pollen-filled air. Yes, it's time to reinvigorate the discussion on persevering Portland's pollen, but this time with the focus on the little ones.  The seasonal allergies are making him truly miserable.  The doc recommended over-the-counter allergy meds, but my preference is for something a bit less medicinal in nature.  Do the previous recommendations of local honey still work on the wee ones?  Where do you get yours?  How have you managed to keep your kids allergies in check?

When it flows: your favorite mama hygiene products

June 10, 2008

Over on one of our other favorite online communites, Marion Rice gets the conversation started about "Biking with the Flow".  For me, the conversation couldn't be more timely.  Many cycling women recommended the Diva Cup, something I'd never even heard of.  To date, I am a mostly ultra-thin-long-with-wings kinda gal.  When I got the paraguard IUD, I've noticed that I get the most abundant flow on day 1 and 2, and I can run through three "super" tampons in a morning.

We're all mama pals here, and we've proven that we can talk about anything.  An urbanMama Liz emails:

I think it would be great to get a conversation going on how fabulous the various cups are.

Care to share?  What products do you use to manage the flow?  Glad ragsNo applicator tampons?  Good ol' disposable "sanitary napkins"?  The Diva Cup?  How do you even use a cup?

Chicken pox take Portland

June 08, 2008

I've always been the vaccinating type. No judgment either way, but a mom who was a nurse swung my pendulum just far enough to that side of the decision spectrum. I feel at one with all my vaccinating and non-vaccinating mama community, I figure it's personal choice and leave it at that.

So when I found out my nanny's son had chicken pox, I didn't think twice.  All the boys were on schedule with their vaccinations, and Jonathan and I had it when we were kids. I shivered a little bit when I saw an email group discussing pox parties (I can handle cleaning up chicken poop but not the idea of purposely sharing germs with strangers, who knows why!) -- but figured it didn't pertain to me. Until this weekend, when I discovered that the diaper rash and odd little scrape on Monroe's head weren't a diaper rash and scrape... they were chicken pox, spreading rapidly. An hour later his head was covered with red spots. The poor thing has pox all over his scalp, face, genitals, thighs, on his tongue, back, oh lordy, they're everywhere.

Evidently the chicken pox vaccine is administered at 12 months, and Monroe's 11-month birthday is tomorrow. At first I wished I'd just had the vaccine (and evidently, if you want to vaccinate and discover your child has been exposed, you can have your pediatrician do an emergency vaccination). It's ugly, and Monroe seems to have a particularly bad case -- last night he was up screaming and writhing a good bit of the night, so my sunny Sunday is duller from my exhaustion. I'm dreading another night of feverish agony -- my choices for relief are an oatmeal bath and Benadryl, maybe I'll try the bath tonight. Update: Sunday night was much better, and thanks to unheard-of benefits mentioned below (like boosting the immunity of the adults exposed to baby's case) I've decided it's for the best!

Just so you know, you can catch chicken pox before the symptoms present themselves and until the pox dry out and scab over, from sharing food or licking one another (which Monroe does plenty of) or any other way bodily fluids can be transmitted. The incubation period is a couple of weeks. And once you get it, you should be inoculated for life. A very small percentage of children and weaker adults do die from chicken pox, so very young infants should be protected. If you think your child has pox, call your pediatrician and they'll have you bring your child in the back way. It looks like the pox has hit Portland, so keep an eye out!

Got lenses?

May 30, 2008

My husband started wearing glasses at age 5.  He went through childhood with these thick-rimmed black glasses, and he always talks about how challenging it was wearing glasses and being such an active kid.  We recently received some email from an urbanPapa, who seeks your advice and recommendations:

My three-year-old just got diagnosed with a mild case of lazy eye. It's most likely genetic as her grandma had this condition as a little girl. Anyhow, the eye doctor recommended glasses as a way to help her eye gain some strength. I've got a couple of questions:

1. Where can I find some really cute (and durable) glasses? I'm willing to pay for high quality.
2. Any tips on how to get a boundary-pushing three-year-old to wear aforementioned cute glasses?

When your abs separate ...

May 29, 2008

Many, many of us mamas grapple with our post-partum health.  Can someone offer their experiences and advice on what to do when your abs divide?  Lesley emails:

I have Diastasis Recti, the separation of my abdominal muscles due to my gigantic tummy during both pregnancies. (I first had a cesarean, then a VBAC, which I hear compounds the problem but is not a prerequisite).  It's time I deal with it.  Two years after the birth of my second (and last) child, it's not going away alone.  It wasn't noticeable after my first birth, so I didn't even know about it, much less do exercises to strengthen my abs. I felt like the pilates I was doing once a week after my second birth was not enough.

My muscles are a good 3 fingers apart and I've read that it can lead to back and other health issues
as I get older. So, I'm looking for resources to help me heal and fix my body. Do you have this, too? Have you been handling it with results?  Does anyone know a person who treats this? I'd prefer to do exercises; Surgery is pretty scary to me.  Help! It's not only a health issue, but I'm tired of having this poochy, saggy tummy!

Head Lice (ugh!) in Toddlers

May 15, 2008

I can remember being school aged, when there was a lice break out, we'd line up for the nurses office for her to prod through our scalps with wooden tongue depressorrs.  Rebecca had a lovely Mother's Day, encountering those small parasitic insects that love our hair.

Tonight, while bathing my 2.5 year old daughter, I discovered lice in her hair. We've battled this with my 9yo stepdaughter many times, but I never thought I'd discover them on my toddler at this age! She was actually incredibly patient about letting me comb through her hair to remove nits, but the idea of applying those horrible hair masks is pretty hard to stomach for such a little kid (chemical or organic - either way, it's rough going).

I washed and conditioned her hair with Fairy Tales organic Lice repellent products, then combed through to remove all the nits I could find. Naturally, my husband and I threw all the bedding in the wash. Short of repeating this process every day for a few weeks, I don't quite know what to do.  Any advice?

Recommend a smoking cessation program?

May 08, 2008

I am a mama who smoked both pre-mamahood and post-mamahood.  The only reason I stopped smoking as a mama is because I was pregnant with my second child, and I did not smoke during either pregnancy.  A good mama friend of mine smokes regularly still, and we talk about strategies on giving it up.  Associations, disassociations, breaking habits, finding alternative oral activites....  I know we are not the only mamas out there who have worked on making ourselves and our loved ones healthier by kicking the habit.  A mama recently emailed:

Does anyone have suggestions for a smoking cessation program? I am thinking of a naturopath that specializes in lifestyle changes like this.  A loved one secretly smokes (and chews) tobacco, doesn't exercise, doesn't eat right, doesn't sleep right, doesn't know how to deal with stress.  He's overweight and stressed out and less healthy each day.  He is the type of person that needs a lot of direction.  He is ready and he needs/wants a lot of help.  His priority is to quit the cigs and work on the rest as able. I have no idea where to send him for this help.  He would prefer natural approaches over medications.  Anybody want to share your experience of quitting smoking?  Any and all advice is appreciated.

A mama and her vertigo

May 04, 2008

Katie emailed explaining a situation that coincides with her period and that has her wondering.  Has any one experienced this?  Does anyone have any suggestions for therapy or treatment of vertigo?

For the last 7 months, once a month during the week before my period, I've been getting a horrible, debilitating case of vertigo.  It comes on instantly with no warning and lasts anywhere from several hours to a couple of days.  When it hits I have to lie down immediately, can't move without vomiting, can't see clearly and often have trouble breathing.  I've been to my regular doc, the ER and to my OB (just in case it's hormone related) and so far, no one can give me any answers.  I have two young kids and I can't be incapcitated like this every month.  Has anyone experienced anything similar relating to their monthly cycle?  Or do you know of any vertigo specialists that could help?  I've tried all the standard meds as well as several homephathic remedies and nothing is working. 

I'm really hoping I can get some help/info from all of you because I'm getting very frustrated and discouraged with this situation. Thank you!!

Getting Body Back After Baby

March 20, 2008

After I delivered our first baby, I just assumed that nature would take its course and the baby-weight would just drop off when it was supposed to.  I guess it did, but it wasn't too long after that I was pregnant with our second.  After I delivered our second baby, I was more anxious to get back into a fitness routine, starting on slow runs when I was 3 weeks post-partum.

So, mamas, we've all been through it.  Alicia is looking for your suggestions, thoughts, experiences:

I'd like to find out what others have done in the way of getting back your body after a baby. My little boy is now 3 months old, we've finally got nursing down and are sleeping a bit more. I'm feeling like I want to start an exercise and/or diet 'program' or perhaps even just a good a book or set of dvds? Before pregnancy, I tried some of the frozen meal weight loss plans and Weight Watchers, and randomly went to the gym. I've got about twenty five pounds to go to get back to pre-pregnancy weight--and I'm not really sure what to expect in terms of how my body will do. I've heard that the belly pooch won't go away until nursing is done--have others found that to be true? What did others do to get back to a comfortable, healthy weight and a stronger body after a baby?

And, for more ideas, check out our FITNESS index....

Penis & Vagina: How to learn discretion

March 19, 2008

When I was growing up, we never, ever talked about private parts.  It was a major NO-NO, so taboo, so "inappropriate."  That was my childhood household, and we are handling things very differently.  We want to be open and frank about our bodies with our girls, and not make it seem that our bodies are so forbidden.  Dana writes to us about questions she is grapping with, as she tries to model the balance between awareness of our bodies and personal privacy:

I believe that speaking with my son about or bodies as they are, penis, vagina, etc is the honest, most self esteem assuring way to deal with it.  My son is almost fifteen months and begining to talk but really doesn't have the words yet to talk about these things.  But of course he's a language sponge at this point.  Waiting to talk about penis and vagina until he can articulately talk about it I think would be a mistake.  The "comfortable with yourself" concept starts as early as he notices.

My husband often takes a bath with our son.  The first couple of times my son noticed that Papa has a penis, too, and my husband wasn't quite sure how to react.  I made the point that he is looking to us for clues about his body and self esteem and sexuality.  What a good oportunity to set a good example.   I can hear them in the bathtub exclaiming about how papa has a penis, and Jack has one too!  Wow.  He also really loves to see if everyone else has a bellybutton the same as he does.  OMG!  He has no sense of personal privacy and boundaries.  He would easily ask someone in the coffee shop if they have a bellybutton or a penis, too.  Of course, he LOVES to play with his own penis when he naked.  (He's a boy!)  And watches in amazement when he unexpectedly pees on the floor after a bath.  ("So, that's what that's for!")

Continue reading "Penis & Vagina: How to learn discretion" »

Baby's got the bug

March 17, 2008

In our household, it felt like a little kid infirmary over the weekend.  Both of our children fought fevers and pretty much stuck to sleeping all day long on the couch, sick ask can be.  Fevers have been running between 102 and 104, for which we have been giving chewable Tylenol (since we have no Motrin in the house).  I regretted not giving them some immunity boosters or even a flu shot earlier in the season.  Not too many other symptoms, other than the lethargy and fever.  One daughter has been fighting the fever for almost 6 days now, and the other is on her second day of fever.  On this Monday morning, I expect the trend to continue.

We received an email from Virginia last night, and we're all wondering, is it happening to you, too?

I'm checking in to see if any of your little ones have been really sick over the past couple of weeks.  My two year old woke up from his nap last Tuesday hot as a  lit match. I gave him Motrin.  The second it wore off, his fever went through the roof again and he had a febrile seizure and we ended up in the emergency room with nearly a 104 degree fever out of nowhere.  It was horrible.  He seems to be feeling much better but he's been complaining that his stomach hurts and today he seems to have a little nagging cough.  I've taken him to his doctor too.  On top of it, he's not congested at all.   What's going around???  I'm not one to worry over getting sick but this is a weird bug.  Have any of your kids had similar symptoms and how has
this one played out?  Thanks!

Tubes for a Happy Babe?

February 27, 2008

We're perplexed...Our Pediatrician and now a local ENT Specialist are recommending putting tubes into our nearly 7 month old Henrik's ears because of ongoing fluid that he evidently is having a hard time draining... He was diagnosed with his first ear infection at his 4 month check up back in November and we treated it with antibiotics, but his ears never fully cleared. Then just after the holidays while on vacation he had a night of the typical crying associated with ear infections so the hotel called the doctor for us and we started another round of antibiotics. That was nearly 8 weeks ago, and he still evidently has fluid and redness in his ears. Why are we not rushing to the operating room? Because Henrik might possibly be the happiest baby in Portland and he shows absolutely no signs of discomfort or pain at all, despite making 6 flights in the last 2 months and cutting his first tooth last week with hardly a fuss.

I've heard plenty of stories from parents who've gone through the nightmares of recurring ear infections and once they finally get the tubes they wish they'd done it sooner so I do believe they are helpful. My problem is that we're not exactly miserable here--Henrik wakes up with a smile on his face everyday--or does he just have an incredibly high pain threshold? The docs tell me there is virtually no way to clear the fluid without just putting the tubes in...with our situation it feels a little to me like killing a fly with a sledgehammer. I'm interested in a less invasive approach. Have any mamas out there experienced something similar? I've heard a lot about chiropractic solutions, especially craniosacral therapy, has anyone tried it for this reason with their infants? Any other ideas for clearing the fluid without having to do tubes? Or should we just back down and put the tubes in while we're "ahead"?

Could it be PMS?

February 22, 2008

This morning, I woke up on the wrong. side. of. the. bed.  Absolutely and completely.  It was all wrong from the moment the day started.  It continued to be wrong throughout the morning and into the the afternoon.  My husband took note of it, first by snapping back at me, then by asking if there was anything he could do.  The last time I felt this irrationally awful was ....  just about four weeks ago.

In the fall and in the depth of the winter, I would think, "could it be the weather?"  Now that blue skies and sunshine is on our horizon, I know better.  Could it be PMSDo other mamas out there experience the moodiness and discomfort that can accompany PMS?  How do you limit the ickiness?  How do you fare in limiting exposure of the negativity to the rest of the families?

Mama needs dipes too!

February 07, 2008

A mama recently emailed us about her situation, seeking your thoughts and experiences:

Ready for the whole diaper story in our house?  The babies and toddlers aren't the only ones wearing 'em.  There is also a stack of what the kids and I call "run dipes," which I must wear when I go running if I don't want urine soaking my pants, trickling down my legs and into my shoes.  And even when I dutifully wear my dipe, sometimes I need two!  And yes, I pee RIGHT before I leave the house.  I will NEVER know where it is hiding, why it waits until I've just left the driveway to come out.

I've always someone who wet my pants laughing, jumping rope, sneezing - aerobics was totally out.  But after two kids, my, my....  My sister-in-law (3 kids) just had surgery as it was so bad for her (and she's not the type to take that lightly), and another friend made the very fortunate, accidental discovery recently that those menstrual cups (diva?) seem to serve a double purpose and stop the urine, too.  Does anyone else share this predicament?  Whta do you do?  Mamas, I need ideas, tips, tricks, to keep the urine right where it belongs.  I'd rather it were just the kids in this house who wear the diapers.

When Mama ain't happy...

February 06, 2008

I don't think anyone here will disagree with me when I say that parenting is an incredible joy.  We love these little people so much and they do so many things that make us proud.  But there is another side to that coin.  A neighbor of mine once shared this wisdom about parenting:  "They will make you feel all of your emotions stronger than you ever knew you could."  Among those emotions?  Anger.

It's a very visceral emotion, and it arises without much warning or forethought.  And it's really, really difficult for me to process these emotions, especially in confrontation with my child.  Things can go many ways but the end is never very pretty.  And neither one of us feels good about it.  I know this is difficult to talk about, but I also know I am not alone.  Another mother wrote to us:

I feel like I am in kind of a dark place in terms of parenting. I have caught myself in behaviors where I am yelling, really yelling, at my child. This might include throwing things (coats/cereal bowls etc) this might be spurned on by me asking my child to clear the cereal bowl or to brush his teeth. And when it doesn't happen my hot point is right there. Although I have not hit my child I can imagine how parents do it. I don't think I would hit my child. But I am not ok with where I am finding myself in terms of my temper and lack of patience.

I have several stress points in my life that are not negotiable; I am raising my son alone and don't have lots of support. My son has recently been on/off medication that amps him up- and in turn really stresses me out with his behavior. So I need to find some solutions within those constraints. To me this is not a conversation about being single. I am looking to other moms who also find themselves short-fused, short-tempered, and parenting in a way that that they are not happy with.

What do you do- how do you manage the anger & stress and get to a better place with your kids?

I think that, for me, it was very important for me to step back and realize that I had these feelings and frustrations, not only with the situation but with myself.  I wasn't happy with my own behavior... so I had to ask how I could change it.

Now, I'm not a single mother, but I am currently the single caregiver to my two kids (with much support from two grannies until daddy comes home).  I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be without their support.  Add to that some behavioral issues my 4.5 year old is having at school, and life is not getting any easier day to day.  After some looking around and reading up, I have turned to the Love and Logic approach.  Today is day 5 and I'm trying not to let myself relax back into my old ways (and this morning - it was really, really tough!).  But reading the philosophies helped me realize that there was a power struggle going on, and that my son needed to have control over SOME things in his life, or he'd be constantly trying to control everything.  That cycle had to stop.  That's where Love and Logic came in for us.

Have any of you Mamas or Papas had some wild success breaking the power struggle?  I, for one, felt very freed, and much happier with my child when we weren't angry at each other all the time.  How is a mama to get past the anger and become a happy Mama again.  What other techniques have worked besides just a parenting philosophy?  Sleep, diet, exercise?  I'd love to hear what other parents are doing to manage stress and anger.

With a Cold and Pregnant

January 24, 2008

It is still cold season, can't you tell?  So what to do when your pregnant with a cold.  Emily needs some of your suggestions for curing or at least helping to get some relief.  She writes:

I am wondering if anyone has any cold remedies for a pregnant mama. I've got the vaporizer going and am getting as much rest as I can, but I'd love to hear what people suggest for a sore/itchy throat, sneezy/congested nose, and body aches. Thanks!

Dermatologist Recommendation

January 23, 2008

I was lamenting to a friend recently about how that now in my early thirties, I should no longer have acne or skin problems.  But reality is harsh, ain't it?  Joann is wondering about any recommendations for professional help to obtain her glowing skin she experienced during preganancy.  Got any?  She writes:

When I was pregnant my skin was in the best condition it’s ever been.  Glowing, perfect and no breakouts.  Unfortunately it’s been a year since my son’s birth and my skin has gone back to it’s oversensitive self.  I’m hoping some of the mamas out there know of a good dermatologist to help me get back to that great skin I enjoyed for 9 months.

A Spoonful of Sugar Will Help the Medicine Go Down?

January 19, 2008

Or won't it?  My nearly 5 year old son is a dream kid when it comes to taking meds in all shapes and forms.  And then there's my 2.5 year old.  Over-the-counter fever-reducers are fine, but when it comes to the prescription antibiotics, that's another story.  Two doses down (will sort of down) and 28 to go, and we are not sure how it'll go over when he returns to "school" on Tuesday.  When faced with the situation only once prior, some friends suggested chocolate syrup (who knew that he didn't like chocolate?), and then trying to figure out how to hide the taste with some other form of sugary sweetness.  In the end, we used a syringe, tipped him back, and down it went.  This time, it just ain't that easy. He tells us it "tastes yucky".  He is in a fit of tears and holds his hands in front of his mouth.  Wait, there's also the kicking and flailing body. We tried rationalizing and bribing him to encourage him to take his medicine to get better, but in the end, we had to succumb to holding him down and using the syringe method. There has to be a better way of administering bad tasting medicine to your kids.  Have you figured it out?  Will numbing his mouth with a popsicle beforehand really do the trick?  Do you have some good tips for giving medicine to unwilling children? Where is Mary Poppins when I need her.  She would know...

How do you purge the plastic?

January 18, 2008

Is plastic one of those necessary evils?  That exists in every family's home?  How do we minimize plastic dependence?  How do you pack lunches or store leftovers without it?  Gina recently emailed, wanting to hear more from the urbanMamas community:

Every time my toddler grabs her "sippy cup" (which I still have her use to avoid nasty spills on the couch, in her room, etc.) I am wondering... is it safe?!  I've just spent the last two hours surfing the web, reading about different symbols and grades of plastics and trying to really understand the environmental and health risks associated with plastic.  All of this business of chemicals leaching from plastics into foods and drinks has made me paranoid.  Now I'm also questioning the bottle my breastfed 4 m.o occasionally receives from her father.  Here I am pumping through plastic, into a plastic bottle, and then again storing my breast milk into a plastic bag.  And the soup I managed to make last night, the leftovers are sitting in my refrigerator (yet again!) in plastic Tupperware.  Don't even get me started on the toys and all of the rubber duckies in my shower.  I know I've read about this on urbanMamas before and I'm wondering... is anyone else out there concerned?  And what about stainless steel?  Has anyone tried out the foogo sippy cup or the Kleen Kanteen?  Are they really worth the $15.00 plus a piece?  Has anyone found someplace that carries these locally?  Most of the websites I have found are out of stock.  What, if anything, are you doing to minimize on plastic exposure?  Any suggestions?  Is there an affordable alternative... I want to raid my cabinets and discard all of the plastic before me but I need some good advice before I go overboard. 

How often do you bathe them?

January 14, 2008

The other day, I stayed home with one of our daughters, who was so sad and sick with a Rubber_duckyfever.  I was too busy playing nursemaid to even shower.  And, because she wasn't feeling well, I also gave her a free-pass for no-bath for the weekend.  It occurred to me that, by Sunday, she hadn't taken a shower since Wednesday.

I'm curious: how often do you bathe your little ones?  Is it a different schedule when they were infants versus toddlers versus older children?  Is it daily, every other day, or a different routine entirely?

Let's talk about sex... with the kids???

January 11, 2008

Do you remember the very first time you learned about sex?  Do you remember learning about the body and its sexual parts?  How old were you?  How do you think you'll approach it with your kids?  Will you approach it differently depending on their age?  Holly emailed the other day:

I recently read your post “Let’s talk about sex” and loved all the information and honesty.  I then realized I had a great opportunity to ask other parents about how and at what age they spoke to their children about sex.  We have a 5.5 year old daughter and a 2.5 year old son.  I have been given mixed information about when and what to tell them.  Does anyone have any advice?

Blood Draws: Less Trauma for Kids and Parents

January 09, 2008

Medical procedures on infants are probably more traumatic on us parents than they are on kids themselves, but that's not to say we shouldn't search for the best (aka painfree) care.  Vaish is looking for your advice on clinics that could provide a better experience (is that possible?) for blood draws.

My 6 month old has had two doctor visits for blood draws, and both times, they have failed to find his veins, and he has been poked in his arms, and legs 6 times. He is obviously very tortured by these visits, and I almost end up crying. Do you know of a clinic in Portland that is particularly good at blood draws?

The Throes of Teething

January 07, 2008

For a few weeks now my nearly-15 month old has been battling the good fight... getting his molars.  When his pediatrician told me about what to expect when getting his molars:
    "The gums will get red and swollen and then when the tooth breaks through they will look infected and possibly bloody at times"
I was all sorts of terrified!  I know this isn't the first time I've been through this but I have to admit, this memory from son#1 has been apparently blocked.  So now we're going through it, and the pediatrician was right on all accounts.  Add to that in-the-mouth fun the runny diapers leading to diaper rash and I have on my hands one generally unhappy fella!

Tana is facing the same situation: 

After much consideration and a few calls to the advice nurse it seems my 13 month old is getting his one year molars. All of his symptoms suggest a cold; fever as high as 102 degrees, a little throw up, runny poopy diapers, lethargic, little appetite. Then I noticed that he kept fussing with his teeth and sure enough he has 3 molars coming in all at once. Poor guy!!!  The advice nurse said, this could go on until the teeth break through the gums. Really??   Is there other mamas who can share in my experience and offer there advice and encouragement???

Tana, you are not alone!  Yes it is tough, and it's not pretty, but as one of my favorite mama mantras states "This too shall pass".  And yes, it will take a while.  Sadly, I don't have any recommendations on how to ease his pain other than in the feverish cases, a little ibuprofen (I use this sparingly, only usually when he's losing sleep because he's in pain).  Any other mamas out there have advice to offer?

Thimerosol-Free Flu Shots: Where to Get Them?

November 20, 2007

It's not really of whether or not to get a flu shot, but who provides the thimerosol-free option.  Lauralye in an older post mentioned that the option is available at The Children's Clinic.  Or perhaps FluMist is another low-mercury option?  Sarah asks:

I am looking for places to get mercury-free flu shots in PDX. My understanding is that there's a version that comes in single-dose portions (as opposed to one big bottle that they draw many shots out of) that lacks any mercury preservative. I am looking into getting this for my 2-year-old and for myself. I'm five months pregnant, but my midwives' office only had the mercury-laced kind. I know the question of whether to get the flu shot at all is another debate, but I'm just wondering if and where this alternative is available.

Do you vitamin? Which ones?

November 12, 2007

My daughter, running a fever for the second day today, started screaming at one point this morning: "Mammmmaa!  Mammmaaa!"  There was an urgency in her voice, and I knew it was bound to be bad.  I swooped her up and ran with her in my arms.  She was crying.  Before we made it to the bathroom, she vomited all over me.  Not a drop hit the floor.  It was all on me.

I ask myself, "Could I have prevented this?"  Another mama and I were talking about this recently: Do you give your infants vitamins?  Do you give you toddlers vitamins?  I remember being prescribed some TriViSol vitamin stuff for the girls when they were babies.  (I now recall that the pediatrician recommended TriViSol as a Vitamin D supplement because breastmilk doesn't contain Vitamin D.)  I never did give them the stuff.  I figured that nursing (strictly for the first 6 months then supplementally until 24 months) would provide the best source of immunity.  I also figured that most essential vitamins (here's a reference on vitamin guidelines *pdf) are best obtained from naturally occuring foods (5-a-day!).  So, I habitually offer well-balanced food choices.  Of course, pickiness can make a diet very carb-heavy and low on fresh fruits and vegetables.  (Please tell me I don't have the only child who lives on carbs alone alone and who thinks a Fruit Leather is a vegetable.)

We're also not big juice consumers.  Once, our pediatrician asked us, "Do you offer lots of juice?"  And, we said, "Sometimes."  She said some sort of strange "Oh" and was beginning to launch into this long schpeil on sugary juices when we assured her that we try to be good about 100% juices.  She said, "you'd be surprised how many juices aren't 100% juice."

So, during cold season, I offer vitamins more frequently.  I choose the gummi vitamins from Trader Joe's.  We've also tried gummis with just Vitamin C or Echinecea to boost immunity and antioxidants, and there are also some Winnie-the-Pooh multivitamins that they like.  They think it's more of a treat than anything.  How else can I ramp up immunity for the girls?  Make them rest well, well-balanced diets, nurse them through toddlerhood....  What else?

It's only inevitable that they'll get sick at least once during the winter.  One pediatrician friend once told me to even expect wee ones to be sick every month.  But, gosh, once they're sick, how can I make it better?

Mary recently emailed and is wondering if anyone has suggestions for natural vitamins for infants:

At our 4mo appointment, our pediatrician (from Metropolitan Pediatrics) advised us to begin a vitamin called Tri Vi Sol.  After the visit, we went home and I did some research and discovered it is made by a formula company.  I am exclusively breast-feeding my son, and I do everything I can NOT to support or put money into the pockets of formula companies.  Needless to say, I didn't buy the vitamin.  I should also mention that I believe that breast milk has everything in it that my child needs, so I'm a bit perplexed about giving him a vitamin at such a young  age. Anyone else have this experience? Do any mamas here have any recommendations for a  natural/organic infant vitamin that is NOT manufactured by a formula company? Thanks for your feedback!

Not In My Cart!

November 08, 2007

Nimcblogad150x200 All this lead paint and phthalates and what-not has me pretty wound up. A mama can't even walk across her own family room without tripping over - or eating - something toxic.  And then Nancy Nord, director of the now infamous CPSC, goes and declines the additional funds Congress appropriated to beef up the agency's (pathetically inadequate) work. Arggghh. No thank you, Nancy - as I tell my kids (and they now tell me...).  Check out the Not In My Cart campaign over on Activistas - because that's exactly how we feel about all this untested, toxic junk:  NOT IN OUR CARTS. 

Treating eczema in a 5mo?

November 06, 2007

Do any mamas have suggestions on how to treat a baby's eczema, especially as we head into the autumn and winter months of dry, cracked skin?  Jacquelyn emails:

My son is five months old and has eczema.  His back is so extremely dry and his legs and neck. His doctor told me to use eurcerin on him, but I don't feel comfortable with some of the ingredients.  So, I am trying to find a natural lotion or cream that I could use.  Does anyone have an idea that worked for them?  Thanks so much!

Support for an upcoming uterine biopsy

October 31, 2007

An urbanMama emailed us recently, seeking support and perspective from other mamas who may have gone through a uterine biopsy:

In a few weeks, I will have a Uterine Biopsy.  I am a pretty tense person by nature and my nerves tend to get the best of me. Going to the dentist for a routine check-up gets me worked up and feels invasive so you can imagine how comfortable I am with this procedure.

The reason I am writing is that I hope other UrbanMamas have some feedback about the procedure itself.  Has anyone had the experience of your cervix not opening easily or being lined up perfectly?  I have two children born vaginally so my understanding is that I should not have any of these unfortunate situations.  But, like I said, it looks like I’m going to freak myself out from now until the time of the procedure so I’m looking for some support. 

Phthalates: What's the Story in Oregon?

October 29, 2007

So what's the story with this tongue twister?  Avoid it like the plague or keep on chewin'??  I'd like to think that if it's for sale, it's safe (ha!!), but we know all too well how that goes.  Not surprisingly, California has recently banned its use in toys for kids under 3, and nine other states are fast on its heels (Texas, mamas, but not Oregon).  Kathleen is rarin' to take this on here in Oregon and wonders if others are already working on it.  If you're interested in seeing some action on this, too, or know who's involved that Kathleen might connect with, head on over to Activistas and let us know!  This is Activistas at its finest, connecting people who are ready to roll their sleeves up, dive in & create change.

And be sure to let us know who's gonna get your Mom Vote in '08.  The Presidential election might seem a long, long way off in pre-school years, but in national politics, mamas, it's just aroud the corner.

Adhesion Removal for 2-year old girl?

October 24, 2007

Lisa has a specific question and wonders if anyone has gone through a similar experience:

I just came from my daughter's 2-year check-up and the doctor recommended getting an 'adhesion' removed from my daughter's genital area. The doctor examined my daughter and we were told that this thin lining may open up by itself but it can cause leaking of urine as she grows older because the opening is not completely open. I was astounded. I've googled and asked friends and no one has heard of this before. Fellow urbanMamas, help! I'm reluctant to do anything about this and let nature take it's course, but don't know anything about this subject.

Put the thermometer where?

Fall is a lovely season, with the cooler weather and the falling leaves.  But as we roll through the change of seasons and back to school, no matter how much hand washing we do, there's bound to be a little sick going around.  Right now, my one year old has an ear infection.  In addition, I'm fairly certain that he's teething, too.  Add to that sleepless nights and I had one fussy bub on my hands this morning.  Halfway through the morning I thought he felt warm, so I headed upstairs to my "getbetter" arsenal to see if I could actually locate a thermometer.  I'll be frank and say that I've never owned a rectal thermometer for the babes.  I feel like it might be dangerous to try to wrestle them to stay still while somehow involving glass (and mercury?, surely not...).  Instead I stock three different type of thermometers for the little ones.  First, the ear scan thermometer, which is useless if you don't have the little covers, or if the battery runs out, or if the child is less than 2 (or3)?  Chuck that one out.  On to the next one, the flimsy digital read out kind that also needs a cover, but I don't use the covers when I put them under the arm.  I push the button and then try to wrangle my moody fussy baby to stay still while I pin his arm down long enough to register some kind of reading.  Result?  95.4°F.  Nope, don't think so...  even when I add a degree it's not even reasonable.  Last, and most desperate, attempt was made with the "binky" thermometer.  Apparently my child doesn't use a binky right because it decided his temp was 95°F.

I gave up.  I have many unreliable ways to guess whether he has a fever or not.  No good ones.  How do you check if your babe has a fever?  I usually end up going with my gut (and feeling their hands -- if their hands are warm it's unusual and means there is a fever).

Mamas with hypothyroidism

October 18, 2007

Oona has a specific question about her health and hypothyroidism:

I recently was told I was hypothyroid and started taking Synthroid. Two months later, I am having life-altering complications due to being switched to a generic (and after returning to the original medicine). I am finding my doctor most unhelpful and am trying to locate either a naturopathic doctor or someone who prescribes Armour natural thyroid. 

My doctor will not refer me to an endocrinologist, so it's time for a new doctor. The one naturopath I hoped to see isn't seeing new patients until January.  Has anyone had a similar experience and have a doctor to share?

Cold Meds: The Withdrawal

October 12, 2007

A week ago, NPR did a piece on FDA and labels on cough medicine.  Thanks to Courtney for pointing us out to it!  The premise behind it is that cough and cold medicines should not be given to children since, according to the report, "there is a lack of evidence demonstrating their safety and effectiveness."  Anita, another informed urbanMama, has just alerted us to the fact that Tylenol is voluntarily withdrawing all infants' and childrens' cough and cold medicines.  Should you by chance have any of the following products, you may want to considering not using for kids under the age of two during this cold and flu season.  Tylenol products include:

  • Concentrated TYLENOL® Infants' Drops Plus Cold
  • Concentrated TYLENOL® Infants' Drops Plus Cold & Cough
  • PediaCare® Infant Dropper Decongestant
  • PediaCare® Infant Dropper Long-Acting Cough
  • PediaCare® Infant Drops Decongestant (containing pseudoephedrine)
  • PediaCare® Infant Dropper Decongestant & Cough
  • PediaCare® Infant Drops Decongestant & Cough (containing pseudoephedrine)

Do the remedies that were suggested in the "How Do You Make Them Feel Better" do the trick for coughs as well?  Or, ahem, are there better ways to make kids comfortable in between fits of coughing?

Interested in Starting a Kids Yoga Class Downtown?

October 06, 2007

Nancy has a wonderful idea of trying to organize a group for a kids yoga class. 

My  4 year old son is, like many, really interested in movement right now. I've been looking for yoga classes for his age group in downtown Portland and am striking out.

So, my first question is, have urbanMAMAS already scouted this out and could you point me in the right direction?  (Note from the urbanMamas: there was a previous thread on Yoga for Kids with a few suggestions).

If such classes do not exist, I'd like to go to Yoga Pearl and ask them if they'd be interested in starting a regular class for kids. Before I do that, however, I'd like to be able to tell them how much demand is out there. And maybe even have a group of kids ready to sign up.

Is there interest out there?  Should Nancy inquire about setting this up?

Mamas: How do you really feel about your bodies?

October 04, 2007

It happens to the best of us.  It happens to me at yoga class.  Sometimes.  I look over to the fit yogi next to me, and I sigh.  "I want to be as taut as she is.  So young, so toned."  It happens to me on the rare occassion that I get to go out on the town.  At a bar or lounge, I will spy with my little eyes ...  I skinny little thing with the hip and happenin' clothes, the fashionista with the slim hips and the perky boobs to go with the snug outfit.

I feel good, I feel strong.  I hold my chaturanga for like 20 counts.  More maybe.  That's super core strength.  And yet, I feel sheepish about my body.  Sometimes.  My body has birthed two lovely babies. BUT, my hips are wider than before, my tummy flesh is nice and flappy and stretchy, and my boobs are smaller and saggier than ever after all those years of nursing.

In a NYTimes article today, they ask: "Is the 'Mom Job' Really Necessary?"  How do you feel about your body, post-babes?  Confident?  Wishing it could be a bit tighter and harder?  Have you considered a nip, tuck, suck, lift, trim?

And, in case this whole conversation has inspired you to get out and get active, check out the urbanMamas fitness index.

Where to walk indoors with baby?

October 03, 2007

In addition to rainy day outings (take 1, take 2, and Monday suggestions), some mamas need to get out there and enjoy some long walks with their babes.  But, with the weather bound to turn more and more as the days wear on, we need some suggestions on where to get our walk-wiggles out!

Hi! My name is Mary. I have a four month old son, Alejandro.  Since I was pregnant, and after his birth, we have gone for long daily walks at Laurelhurst Park.  I wrap him up in the moby wrap or in the ergo, and I get my exercise, and he gets to look at his new world & take a nap.  Sadly, on very rainy days we won't be able to do our walk outside.  My question to the urbanMamas is: where are their indoor tracks to walk with a baby?  We are a very low income family, and we can't afford a gym membership.  Any suggestions?  Thanks!