The Fashion of Sweat | How to Prep for a Run with Baby

Picking out a workout/running outfit almost falls on par with picking out an outfit for a night out.  Make sure it matches the weather, make sure the colors match, make sure it’s comfortable for moving around in, that sort of stuff.  Although I have been known to go out  in the middle of the winter in a very short skirt- not the best decision of my life.  But for working out, there are a few very specific things you need to keep in mind as you decide what to put on.  The last thing you want to have to be doing is adjusting your clothing in the middle of your workout right?

FEEL THE BURN

No I am not referring to a sunburn.  One of the worst things that can happen during the middle of a workout, particularly a run when you are far away from home, is chafing!  This time around in my training, it is an unfortunate issue for me because I still am working on getting rid of that stubborn fat that built up on my arms, legs and tummy from pregnancy.  This is a particularly tricky part of my outfit decision at the moment, because you need your running pants to be tight enough to hopefully avoid that pesky chafing but if they are too tight, well then I just start to look like a sausage link.  So once I find a pair of pants that are relatively clean and fit well then I will match the color top.  Over the years I have acquired a very ridiculous amount of workout clothes so I have lots of color options to choose from.  I would say at least half of my wardrobe is working out or being active outside related, I may have a problem.

If I end up making poor choices, the inside of my arm and, well, you know, down there, are two of the most common places to chaf.  I have found two solutions for this issue, coconut oil and Honest Organic All-Purpose Balm.  I know it may sound a little silly, especially if you correlate coconut oil with the kitchen, but it is being used now for tons of beauty and skin care needs.  So I put some under my arms and down between my legs before heading out the door and it works like a charm.  I also throw a small container of it in the bottom of the jogging stroller just in case.  I have been known to be standing on the side of the road with my hand down my pants trying to avoid some serious discomfort later on!  Probably had a few people driving by wondering what the hell I was doing!  The Balm is great for a spot that may have developed without realizing it until it was too late and helps it go away pretty much overnight!

MOBILIZING AN ARMY

Once I have my outfit all situated then I have to get the stroller loaded up and my little guy ready to go! My necessities are water and one bottle mixed with my BCAAs, my phone and fitbit watch, chapstick and my Duduma Polarized Sports Sunglasses.  These are a recent purchase and I am super happy with them, even with my small face they look good and stay nice and snug on my face.  In the’ Valley of the Sun’ sunglasses are an absolute must!  For my little run buddy, he gets a bucket hat and lots of Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion since he is paler than the surface of the moon!  So far he hasn’t burned or even gotten a base coat, and he’s spent a decent amount of time in the sun, which is just the nature of running in a flat valley full of developments and very little shaded areas.

Now that have everything I need and we are both situated it’s time to get out the door and get my sweat on! I just completed my 8 mile mark this weekend with only 7 weeks left till the marathon!  It was a rough run but my pace is getting faster and I don’t feel like I’m trying to run through jello as much anymore!

 

InStitches Embroidery & More

Are you looking to get jackets made for your kid’s sports team, or maybe group t-shirts for a bachelorette party?  InStitches Embroidery & More should be your first stop to fulfill all of your personalized clothing or graphic design needs.

HARD WORK FOREVER PAYS

In a quaint little town in rural Vermont you will find a woman burning the midnight oil as she combines colors and switches screens on her machines.  You might hear the tick tick of the embroidery machines running in the background as camo hats are turned into personalized uniforms for a local company.   The impeccable design style combined with beautiful color creations set this company next to some of the best in the industry.  It can be hard to succeed as a small-business in a small town, but the fact that this town and the surrounding area has supported and returned to this company for all of its personalized clothing and advertising needs speaks volumes.

InStitches Embroidery & More is a woman owned custom apparel and design company run by Kayla Bessette based out of Bristol, Vermont.  She purchased the company in February 2017 after being employed for six years as a Graphic Designer and Project Manager.  Looking back at her first year, with her first anniversary approaching, she has acquired several new large clients and has regained the trust of former customers who had previously moved on to different companies.  Positive feedback and loyal returning customers will continue to help this company grow and flourish in the years to come.

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PRODUCTS FOR ALL 

Her products range from custom embroidery and screen printing on clothing and hats to graphic design and promotional advertisements.   Every single one of her products are professional looking and of the highest quality.  At InStitches, the customer’s vision comes to life in a personalized custom product and brand to promote their business or event.  If the product cannot be produced on the premise by Kayla, she will happily find the best option to outsource any project.  She is dedicated to her clientele and has even driven two hours to buy shirts from a retailer for twice the price, because her wholesale supplier fell through, but the client needed the products that weekend.  This type of customer service and commitment to her craft is what will continue to help InStitches thrive and be successful.

InStitches, with Kayla at the helm, is a crucial part of the local community and even donates items to charities for good causes. She works with the Three Day Stampede, a yearly fundraiser to raise money towards finding the cure for Cystic Fibrosis.  She creates a new featured design each year and all of the proceeds are donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, seaking to find the cure.  She has also coordinated with the Vermont Air National Guard to make t-shirts for the organization.  Although the company is based in Vermont, InStitches is willing and capable of working with customers from anywhere to design your perfect product which will be shipped directly to you.  To start your order today you can contact InStitches at institches@gmavt.net or visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/InstitchesVT/?pnref=lhc.

 

THE CHARITY OBJECTIVE

Stay tuned for more on the Three Day Stampede Toward the Cure for Cystic Fibrosis in my ‘Create Good Karma’ section.  In the meantime, you can check out these links below to learn more about the disease and the way a small community has come together to battle it.

http://threedaystampede.org/

https://www.facebook.com/threedaystampede/

www.cff.org

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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.