Small-Business Owners Assemble

As I spend more and more time thinking about ways to build and develop this website and blog I decided it would be really great if I could use it to help out others.  I mean who wants to just listen to me blab about myself and my adorable son right?  I have so many friends and acquaintances who are putting themselves out there, trying to make a living in this crazy world we live in.  I myself am now one of those people and wouldn’t it be great if we could all help eachother out a little bit?  Learn about the promotional offer, the future of this site and Monthly Giveaways below!

CAN I HELP YOU?

So I have decided to add a new directive to this fledgling project; Helping Promote Small Business Owners through my website platform in the form of exposé articles as well as my growing social media presence with promotional posts. There is also Ad space available on the website at a first come first serve basis.  Like they say, all press is good press.  So I put this out to my readers- if you own a small business, are thinking about starting one, or know someone who does and think they might be interested- reach out to me and see if we can put together some sort of partnership.  The more positive presence you have on the web the more people grow to trust you and your products.

Each partnership will be unique and catered towards the individual business. Not all businesses need the same type of promotion and I am capable of recognizing that.  Check out this great offer during this start-up promotional period, getting in on the ground floor of this project will not break the bank!  For only $50 I will write up a 500-1000 word promotional article and conduct social media advertising for your business or product, with 3 months included!  I will also include your personal logo and links to your websites and social media pages.  If you are happy with the outcome of our partnership after the first 3 months we can discuss continued shared support.

-For Product Based Businesses:  I will do an honest and positive product review on a product that you provide as well as discuss your business and your future goals.

-For Service Based Businesses:  Along with the article I will promote your business through a discounted offer of your choice with only a small return commision.  (This commision will go up so get in now to be locked in to that price!)

TAKING THE NEXT STEP

Furthermore, I plan to build on this idea and off this platform by establishing a small Online Store with the possibility of a brick and mortar down the road.  So if you have a creative side or have a product you are already selling and would like to expand, this is the perfect place for you!  Commissions will be fair and marketing of your products will be included. This would be a very low risk endeavor with only positive outcomes.  I have a unique set of skills that will be leveraged to make this endeavor a successful one!  So take a leap of faith today and do something great for your business!

EVERYONE LOVES FREE STUFF

My final promotional endeavor will be monthly giveaways, you heard me right, MONTHLY GIVEAWAYS!!  Giveaways are a great way to get exposure for your brand.  Because everyone loves free stuff right?!? The more exposure I am able to acquire the more people will see my webpage.  This means if you choose to place an add or I write up an article about your company, the more people will see it.  Giveaways will be held at the end of each month and the products will be grouped according to relevance.  So if you would like to get even more exposure let me include your product with one of my monthly giveaways!

Contact me at momlifeexposed@gmail.com or message me on my Facebook page if you are interested!

 

The Pursuit is Happiness

Fed is Best…duh! | My Struggles with Breastfeeding and Formula

As someone who has been there, making the choice to breastfeed or formula feed your newborn can be difficult.  I say this as someone who has done both and understands the struggles that come with either decision. Here’s my story.

IN THE BEGINNING

Feeding your baby is your #1 job once he or she is born.  Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed is a very personal decision and can be affected by many different factors.  This is a topic I struggled with minutes after my son was was born, a month in, three months in and 7 months in.  During my pregnancy I became incredibly anxious and breastfeeding was no exception.  As a Type A personality who needs to thoroughly prepare for everything and know exactly what to expect, giving birth to a new born human really threw me for a loop.  I read up on the different positions to hold your child while breastfeeding, picked up Lansinoh Lanolin Cream and Organic Bamboo Nursing Pads and bought 6 different types of bottles in case he didn’t like some of them.  As far as I was concerned I was as prepared as I could have been, especially since I obviously assumed I would be one of the women who was naturally going to be awesome at it. 

Boy was I wrong, on all accounts!  There is actual photographic evidence of my cry of pain the first time my son tried to latch but instead bit down as hard as he could with his toothless gums. Just because he didn’t have teeth doesn’t mean those little gums aren’t rock solid and felt like the jaws of death!  Throughout my stay at the hospital he just couldn’t seem to get the hang of it and I was already starting to feel like a failure as a mother, just a few days in to my new job.   By the time we got home from the hospital my nipples were so sore I was barely holding back tears every time he tried to nurse.  It got to the point where I would let him sleep longer than recommended because I dreaded the next nursing session.  Frozen nursing pads with lanolin on them gave me some short term comfort but everything just felt wrong.

THE MYTHICAL NIPPLE SHIELD

So of course I jump on google to try to find some solutions and one thing that keeps coming up is a nipple shield.  What the hell is a nipple shield?  I think I remember one of the nurses mentioning that in the hospital but nothing else comes to mind.  So off to Babies-R-us we go to find this mythical thing called a nipple shield that I am convinced will solve all our problems.  Man was that exactly what it did! The Medela Nipple Shield is the one that I used, but you might have to give it 2 tries before you find the one that is the correct size for you.  Once you figure out the size you need, all you do is stick it on your boob and offer the pointy part to your infant who should latch on to it and start suckling.

The first time I used it was like a dream come true, there was still some soreness but nothing like before which had essentially felt like someone rubbing heavy grit sandpaper across one of the most sensitive parts of my body.  The best thing the shield did was allow my body time to heal without continuous pain, the worst thing it did was make it very hard for my son to learn to latch  without it.  Commence the unnecessary worrying and stress that for some reason all moms seem to do to themselves.  I ended up having to use the shield for the first two months of my son’s life and guess what- he is completely fine. 

I only ever met a few other women who were using or had used them in the past, or at least only a few women talked about it.  They seem to somehow have fallen into the category of things that lower your status as a good mom.  I hadn’t realized this until  a woman approached me at Mommy and Baby yoga class while I was using it.  She was so relieved to see someone else using one and until then had been embarrassingly hiding in the corner with her and her daughter both almost completely covered by a blanket.  It was then that I realized she felt ashamed for having to use a nipple shield and I was floored.  Sure I had realized it obviously wasn’t the norm and was slightly envious of women who seemingly had it all figured out but it never occurred to me to be ashamed.  That stupid little piece of plastic; while making the process much messier; had allowed me to supply my son with all of the nutrients he needed and I was incredibly grateful.

THE PROMISE LAND

On the day of his 2 month wellness visit he kept refusing the shield so on a whim I gave it a go without it and voila!  Like the last two months didn’t even happen he quit the shield cold turkey and we were off on a brand new nursing adventure.  Unfortunately, this adventure hit some pretty rocky roads only about a month later when, due to lack of sleep and a pretty nasty cold, my supply dropped dramatically.  On the third or fourth night of my son screaming in my arms because he was still hungry but nothing more was coming out, my husband had had enough and opened a bottle of formula.  He offered this bottle to my starving son who sucked it down with abandon while I held him and cried, feeling once again like a failure.  This was something I was very unfamiliar with feeling but there was nothing I could do to change it.  Sure there are lots of suggestions out there on how to increase your output but most of them involve sitting for hours attached to the pump.  I already dreaded pumping and after very little success and many hours wasted I gave up. Looking back on my hospital stay and follow up wellness visits one jarring realization I had was; not a single healthcare professional ever uttered the word formula to me.  Guess what- it is not poison!

Once I came to terms with this new situation however, I felt relieved.  Relieved that not all the pressure was on me anymore, relieved to not have to always be within 100 ft of my son at all times and relieved that I could sleep for longer than 3 or 4 hours at a rip!  Supplementing with formula offered me a little more freedom which was the hardest transition for me so far.  I obviously love my son with all my heart but at the same time I was feeling suffocated and needed a breather.  So beginning at 3 months we started supplementing once a day with formula.  Unfortunately this creates a snowball effect and by 5 months my right side had completely dried up and my left side was hanging on by a thread as his intake of formula increased.  The fact that we sold one house, bought another and moved in and out of those respective houses only after a cross country road trip did not help my situation.  Right around the 7 month mark, my son started to get his bottom two chompers and would use them in his frustration if not enough milk was coming out. Ouch!  It was at this point that it became apparent that I was only trying to hold on for my sake and it wasn’t benefiting either of us to continue.

Although it is recommended to breastfeed for the first year of your child’s life, it is not worth sacrificing your sanity and well-being for.  I will admit I still feel guilty at times, convincing myself there was more I could have done to up my supply.  But forcing myself to do something that made me miserable was not going to be good for me, my son, or my relationship with my husband.  I do miss it at times but I know I will have another opportunity down the road and hopefully it will go a little smoother the next time around.  So I will leave you with this, no matter how you end up feeding your child, as long as you do just that, it doesn’t matter how!  Just don’t start them off with chocolate cake!

Jogging Stroller Struggles | Tips for Running with you Little One

I am becoming intimately familiar with my jogging stroller which I have established a love-hate relationship with.  On one hand it holds all my water, my phone, my chapstick (which is a necessity), my IdealLean, BCAAs For Women, Raspberry Lemonade and anything else I might need; on the other hand learning to run without pumping my arms while pushing a 30 pound stroller is a very different type of running than I am used to.  I’m not going to lie, it is definitely not the most awesome thing in the world but it is also better than nothing.  Plus once you get the hang of it, it gets a lot easier I promise.

GOALS ON GOALS ON GOALS

If you are like me, you always have a goal to get in shape, lose weight, stay active and things like that.  And if you’re also like me, you fail at doing those things….often.  When I was pregnant and setting up our Baby Registry (which I obsessed over wayyyy to much) I thought “Hey- a jogging stroller will be perfect for me to go for runs immediately after birthing a 7 pound human in order to get back in shape!”.  Wrong, as usual.

However, I eventually did find my motivation about 3 weeks ago and began training for a half-marathon.   Although, that motivation ebbs and flows, especially on days after a particularly painful run.  So, my Graco Jogger Travel System is what has allowed me to take my little man and get my run on.   This has been particularly painful since I pretty much stopped running after my full marathon in May of 2016- drop the mic style.  But the pool in our backyard and the beautiful weather in Phoenix has driven me to find the motivation to get rid of the rest of that baby weight!  Plus my IdealLean, BCAAs For Women, Raspberry Lemonade are such a life saver! The difference I feel in my recovery is unreal and no this is not a sponsored post, I just love them and want to share with everyone how amazing they are!

I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS 

One of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make when running with my jogging stroller is what to do with my hands.  Obviously you have to push the stroller, but you’ve always been taught to pump your arms when you run right?  Therein lies the Ricky Bobby dilema.  My semi solution for this is to use one hand at a time, and switch arms often.  The tricky part about that is when you push with one arm instead of two the stroller tends to veer off in the opposite direction.  This is why hand control is very important and the more and more I run with the stroller the better I am getting at keeping the stroller moving straight ahead with one hand.  So, if you plan on running with a jogger, this is just something you will figure out as you use it.

The other big adjustment is having to pay attention to the road or sidewalk ahead of you to make sure you don’t hit any bumps too hard or run into anything.  Now this gets a little tricky because you have to see past the huge jogging stroller, and since I am only 5′ 2″ this can sometimes be a challenge.  If you hit a bump hard enough the stroller is capable of getting a little bit of air, just trust me on this.  So, all of this slowing down and avoiding can really screw with your pace and jack up your rhythm.  The best thing I can say for that is just push through it.

I love my jogging stroller and I hate my jogging stroller but as long as my little man will tolerate the time he spends in it I will continue to get whatever type of workout I can with it.

 

Getting Back to Fit•ish | How I’m Getting My Pre-pregnancy Bod Back

We all know those women who bounce back after having a baby within weeks, fitting into their pre-pregnancy jeans with their flat tummies carrying around an infant.  They are all over Instagram and Facebook and maybe you have friends who did the same thing (you know who you are).  Well I was not that woman, although props to those who did, I will forever be jealous of you.  And while I am getting closer and closer to my pre-pregnancy weight it looks totally different on me.  So what have I done you ask?  Well I have decided to train for a trail half marathon.

As my Instagram presence continues to grow with #fitmoms and #momsthatrun and #activemoms, I realize more and more how completely average I am. Ha! But that makes me a little more relatable.  No I don’t have a six-pack (maybe one day) and while to most people having run 1 marathon and 2 half marathons sounds pretty awesome-to the marathon running world that is crumbs in comparison.  So here is a little introduction into my active life, hopefully some of you can relate!

THE DEFINITION OF FIT·ISH

I have always been in decent shape as far as abilities go. As for physically, well, I have always liked cookies too much to ever get to any sort of ‘fitness model’ condition.  So deciding to run 13.1 miles isn’t all that out of the norm for me.  However, most people look at me like I am crazy when I tell them I actually enjoy running.  And I completely understand them because that was exactly how I felt also, up until a few years ago.  I started running half and full marathons after I turned 25 and had a bit of an identity crisis which pushed me to start setting new goals for myself.  I never actually thought it was going to be something I enjoyed or continued to do after my first one.  I am not, nor will I probably ever be fitness model material, but what is more important is being healthy and happy with how you look and feel.  So no I am not promoting for everyone to start running marathons, I get it, its not for everyone.  But finding that thing that challenges you to grow and become better is so important.

TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT

The day of my first half marathon I ran into an old friend who told me I would either hate it and never do another one or love it and want to sign up for as many as I could.  He was absolutely right, and not long after my first half marathon I began to train for my first full marathon.  Training for 26.2 miles is an incredibly different experience then training for 13.1 and I don’t anticipate doing it again anytime soon.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so glad I did do it but for now I am going to stick with halves and under.

Training for my first half was incredibly similar to my current training due to the fact that it had been a very long time since the last time I had done much running.  The first few weeks are miserable and I have to talk myself out of quitting multiple times a day.  Sometimes I only end up doing half of what my training plan called for.  I am currently way off of my intended plan and many miles behind but as long as you keep doing something it will all work out.  It’s once the runs start to become easy, your leg muscles get stronger and your stamina improves, you actually start to look forward to your run for the day and then it all feels worth it.  I’m hoping to get to that point soon!

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

Carbs. Carbs=Sugar. Sugar=Stored Fat.  There is much much much more to it than that, dont take my word for it, there is plenty of research on it.  But my point is this, cutting the intake of carbs increases your body’s need to kick into your fat stores for energy.  My husband and I have recently cut out almost all Simple Carbs and many Complex Carbs, and began following a very loose Keto diet.  As with pretty much every diet, there are pros and cons.  One big pro is that I was able to lose 5 pounds in only the first 3 weeks.  I also don’t have to starve myself, in fact if I am hungry there are lots of things I can eat whenever I want.  That means no calorie counting or any counting for that matter.  So if your bad at math this might be good for you!

The typical tagline of some of the biggest work out plans “Continue to eat all the foods you love!” is total b.s. if you ask me.  I love candy and ice cream but I definitely won’t lose any weight if I continue to eat those things.  That being said however, with a Keto diet you can actually eat a lot of foods that you already enjoy.  Cheese, chicken wings, burgers, Reddi Whip, and bacon are all on the okay list!  This is intended to be a lifestyle change but it is not for everyone.  This is not a plug for this diet and I am not recommending anyone to start it, it is simply part of my current active lifestyle and so far has been very successful.  I will now go enjoy some strawberries and whipped cream after suffering through a 6 mile run today!

 

Follow this link for some very good information about the Ketogenic Diet.

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101  (you might need to copy and paste it)

 

Rollin in the Poop|Diaper Changing Advice

Never in my life did I ever think I would become so obsessed with another human’s poop.  What color is it?  What is it’s consistency?  How many times did he poop today? Is that poop under my nail?  Every parent knows exactly what I am talking about.

THE STUDY OF POOP

My very first diaper change, ever, occurred the day after I returned home from the hospital with my first born.  Since then, very few things have turned out to be as I expected being a mom would be like.   The preoccupation with poop is one of them.  Of course I knew there would be countless number of diaper changes but I was not prepared to be studying what was inside of them like a scientist looking through a microscope.  I also did not expect it to smell the way it did, or that once you smell it you start to smell it everywhere!  Sometimes I will literally give my hands a few sniffs, check the sleeves of my shirt and look down the front of myself before realizing its actually just the food sitting on my plate or a candle.  Its not that my food smells like poop, I think its more my brain tricking me because it is so attuned to everything baby.

I lost track of how many times I got poop on myself after the first few weeks.  And every time it happened I thought of the beginning of Baby Mama “Is that chocolate or poop?”

Makes me laugh every time.  Although while babies are on breastmilk their poop looks a lot like the honey mustard dipping sauce with the mustard seeds in it that you get with an order of soft pretzels at a hipster restaurant/brewery.(Sorry for the visual) But since my son has started to eat real food his poop has become much more solid, which means it doesn’t really stick to the diaper anymore, more like just sits in it.  So when you pick up said diaper, if you aren’t careful that shit (pun intended) will literally go flying.  This is something I have done on numerous occasions, much to my displeasure later when I have to clean it up for a second time.  Another thing that has changed is his ability to roll from his back to his stomach with ease, which has now become somewhat of a game on the changing table.  Imagine trying to clean poop off the backside of a rotisserie chicken as it rotates, talk about a moving target.

POOP CHRONICLES

My messiest poop encounter thus far happened earlier this week.  It began during a 6 a.m. diaper change, in the dark and without my glasses on-which means I was doing it mostly by feel and muscle memory.   Now I know there are those super moms out there who get up at 6 before their baby wakes up in order to do whatever crazy people do that early in the morning.  I am not one of those moms, I love my sleep and will take as much of it as I can.  I am also a night owl so even though my son is now on a 7 p.m. bedtime schedule, my husband and I are barely ever in bed before 11.  Anyway back to the story.  So during this 6 a.m diaper change my son tries to begin his rotisserie chicken routine mid butt wipe.  As I continue cleaning him up while trying to keep him from flipping over my one finger sinks knuckle deep into the warm mushy mess.  “Oh goody” I think to myself.  This I assumed was the worst part of the situation as I attempt to wrap him up in a clean diaper and wrestle him back into his pajamas.  Well you know what they say about assuming.

Back into the crib he goes, unbeknownst to me with a huge glob of poop stuck to the leg of his sleeper.  And back to my bed I go to gratefully catch a few more Zs, only after making a detour to the bathroom to wash the literal shit out from underneath my nail.  Since he is such an amazing baby, he gives me a few more hours of much need sleep before deciding it’s time for us to get a move on for the day around 9 a.m.  As I make my way into the nursery bleary eyed and in need of a cup of coffee the scene before me is one of a very happy smiling baby with his legs propped up on the side of the crib.  That is not what immediately caught my attention however, rather it was the huge glob of something dark brown on one of those upright legs and the smears of that same dark brown color all over the crib sheet.  Crap.