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I need to put together an emergency box.

I know, I know, I live in earthquake country and I have two small children.  I will, I promise.

But I do have an, emergency box of sorts in my car that gets a regular workout.  We’re not talking flares and matches, but this is the emergency kids supply bag.  I started this box in my car when I was out with my then infant son and he had a complete blowout and I realized I had never restocked his change of clothes in my bag, didn’t have enough wipes and had no blanket or anything else.  I cleaned him (kind of) with a crumpled napkin, put him back in his carseat, draped a burp cloth over his naked body and drove home in tears.

Now I keep a box in the back of my car with “just incase” supplies and I use items from this box ALL. THE. TIME.

  • Diapers: If you have an infant, remember to change the size of the diapers in your emergency box when they grow out of a size. You don’t want to have a diaper emergency with your 18 month old and realize you only have newborn diapers.
  • Potty Chair:  We are still newly potty trained in our house and knowing there is a potty in the back of our car just takes a little of the stress off our outings.  No frantic running to find a public bathroom or getting stuck at the park with no bathroom.  We know we can always go back to the car, or try before we go somewhere.
  • Wipes: A full sealable container- these wipes get used for a lot more than diaper changes, chocolaty hands, sandy feet and goopy car seats.
  • Changing Pad: I use a large waterproof ‘lap’ pad, or the pad that came with your diaper bag
  • Ziplock bags and a few plastic grocery bags: Bags seem to come in handy to contain all sorts of things; diapers, dirty clothes, beach collections…
  • Change of clothes: A full change of clothes for each kid and at least a tshirt for you (you’ll be thankful for it when you yank your vomiting child out of his car seat on the side of the road 20 minutes into a 4 hour car ride).  I also keep a pair of my preschoolers pjs in car for those times dinner at the in-laws runs a little late and we can just have him ready for bed before we even get home.
  • A travel roll of Paper towels
  • Wash clothes, burp clothes, bibs
  • An extra blanket: I have 2 of the hospital flannel receiving blankets.  They fold up small and again can be used as anything from a changing station, to cover a wet carseat, as a towel after an unexpected splash-fest, or of course as an actual blanket.
  • Emergency Feeding Items: Think of things that you know your kids like in case you are stuck in Tahoe traffic past dinner time, or decide to stay out longer than you planned; think Stable snack items: such as applesauce ‘crushers’, trail mix, jar of baby food, crackers etc, juice box, a few bottles of water, self contained powdered or premixed formula (if you’re using).
  • A bottle, a sippy cup, a few disposable bowls (for doling out unexpected snacks)
  • Warm hats and sun hats
  • Bubble soap, a sand toy shovel or a plastic truck: Just in case

Ok, earthquake kit next….

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You know the saying “the cobbler’s children have no shoes?”

I am the cobbler:

I am a personal trainer who specializes in pre and postnatal fitness, I have a degree in Nutrition and I write about how to make healthy decisions before, during and after childbirth.

But when it comes to my own postnatal health and fitness,

I am a poor barefooted kid….

I council my clients on the importance of healthy eating, but find myself grabbing a latte and a luna bar for breakfast.  I put my clients through the fitness paces, but have lacked the time or motivation to do much for myself.  I hit that mid day slump and either go for a second coffee or reach for the sweets.

I am tired, still holding on to too much ‘baby weight’, and just overall not feeling healthy.  For many of us, it is easy to know what we SHOULD be doing, but as new parents, it is hard to actually do it.

So, it is time for this proverbial cobbler to get his kid some shoes!!

Who’s with me?!?!

I have enlisted the help of my friend and Holistic Nutrition guru, Selena Moffitt, to help me on a path back to health.

THE GREEN SMOOTHIE CHALLENGE

In a recent post on her blog, 1 Moms Mission, Selena talked about green smoothies and the reasons we should all be drinking them. (read her original article here). Basically, even if you are a veggie lover, it is hard to get everything you need into one day.

I love smoothies, but have been a bit intimidated to add veggies to my blender.  I mean, that can’t taste good right?

Selena disagrees and she has oodles of recipes to prove it.

Here’s the challenge;

Each week this month, Selena will give me a new recipe to try.  We’ll post the recipes here so you can try them along with me. I’ll make the smoothies for a week, then report back the next week on how I did.  How they tasted, how I feel, my energy level and even my weight loss progress.  I am also going to give them to my 3 year old, so I’ll post his reaction too!

So welcome Selena!  Read her introduction and the first smoothie recipe we’ll be trying this week.

***Hello!  My name is Selena Moffitt and I am so excited to be a part of Megan’s challenge.  We go back a few years in the fitness industry and I have to say, I’m happy to know that I am not the only one who had to change up my life and reboot my health after having kids.

I am the owner and founder of Radiant Life Health Counseling and 1 Mom’s Mission.com.  I am also a mother of two young boys, a fitness instructor, and fellow blogger.  While I blog about surviving motherhood, growing Godly children, and being great stewards to the planet, you will see some nutrition tidbits on my blog as well!

If you are reading this blog you are probably “surviving” motherhood and looking for ways to stay in shape and care for yourself in minimal time.

Motherhood is busy.  Ridiculously busy.  Staying afloat is the daily goal.  Megan and I are here to help.

My goal is to help busy women learn to use REAL FOOD they may already have in their home to eat for energy, curb sugar cravings, and lose weight.  No “special” foods or products.  No gimmicks.  Just.Real.Food.

I look forward to sharing my favorite green recipes with you all!  Please feel free to ask questions as I will make sure to reply to comments.  You can also visit my blog www.1MomsMission.com and my website http://www.RadiantLifeHealthCounseling.com.

Let’s get started with this week’s smoothie:

Easy Garden Green Smoothie

8 oz water
2 leaves Kale

½ c Zucchini (you may have a few million of these lying around from your garden?)

½ large carrot
½ banana
½ c frozen berries – the darker the berry, the more purple your smoothie

Optional add-ins:
1 TB flax
½  tsp brewer’s yeast*

1 TB coconut oil – melted**
Few pieces of ice (I like it cold!)

*brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast are not the same thing.  They both are great sources of B vitamins.  Brewer’s yeast has more chromium, while Nutritional yeast has more B12.

**To melt your solid coconut oil, heat up some water and pour it in a double boiler.  Place your tub of coconut oil in the hot water and let it melt.  DO NOT PUT IN MICROWAVE!

If you don’t have a powerful blender (I like the Blendtec), you may have a harder time getting your smoothie smooth.  Try lightly steaming your veggies or pre-chopping or grating them before you add them to your blender.

You can make a double or triple batch for ease!  It will hold refrigerated for at least 2 days.  You may have to stir it up a bit.  Enjoy!
***************

Megan again, see you back here next week for my results, to share yours, and to get the next installment of the GREEN SMOOTHIE CHALLENGE.

*********

Want to skip ahead and read all the smoothie posts now?

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 1- Garden Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 2- Radiate with RED

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 3- Fruits of Autumn 

Green Smoothie Challenge -Week 4- 2! Herbs and Dessert

There seem to be a million holidays to celebrate the special people in our lives, and the lives of our kids. But just what present do you give them….again?  What I have found is you can never go wrong with your kids’ artwork.  I wanted share my four favorite ideas for gifts that are; easy, cheap, and completely sentimental.

Note Card Set:  This year for mother’s day, we made a set of note card for each grandma.  Simply buy a set of blank note cards (I got mine at Paper Source).  I used paint we already had in our art box and let my 3 year old make his own handprint.  Then when the paint was dry, I came back with a second color and made prints of my (then) 3 month old.  I made 10 cards for each Grandma, stacked them with the envelopes, tied the whole bundle with a pretty ribbon and popped them in the mail.

Framed School Art:  Every month or so my son’s awesome preschool teacher sends home the art they have done at school.  Recently, my son brought one home that I just loved.  For my birthday, my husband had it matted and framed and I LOVED it even more.  I also take some of his school art, cut and fold it into a card and send notes to far away family members.

Canvas Foot Print: How easy is this one?  Premade canvas, black footprint and write a message on the side with a sharpie. Gift done.

Generations Keepsake:  My mother in law made this one for my husband’s birthday and it still brings tears to my eyes when I pass it in the hallway.  In the center is HIS one-year old hand print that was a gift to his father in 1975.  One the bottom is our son’s one year old had print in 2009.  Amazing.

What other personalized gift ideas have you tried?

My son’s dresser drawers have been overflowing with clothes, much of which doesn’t fit him, for a while now.  So much so, that I have actually stopped putting away his clean clothes for at least 2 weeks, determined to clear out his drawers first.  I have been waiting for a huge chunk of free time with visions of  the intricate piles and sorting system that would have to take place to accomplish the task.

Does anyone else do this?  Make such a big deal out of every project, that the projects never get done?

Well, I finally just bit the bullet.  Put the baby on the floor with a few toys and went at it.

It took 15 minutes……

This is a good reminder to me (and to other’s, I’m sure).  While plans and lists and schedules are great, sometime you just have to jump in and do it.  It is usually so much easier than you think.

So what can I tackle next????

Makin’ play dough and funny faces

I have two goals for this week;

1.  Have the baby nap in her crib more often than her carseat

2.  Have my preschooler watch less TV

Maybe I should not be tackling these two goals at the same time, since they are slightly counter productive.

The reason the baby doesn’t nap in her crib is usually we are out and about entertaining her older brother.  If she is napping in her crib, sometimes a cartoon and a snack is the best thing to keep a 3 year old quiet.

In preperation to tackle these goals, I have been collecting ideas for quiet or outdoor projects B and I can do during his sister’s naps.

1.  Make cookies

2. Pick tomatoes

3.  Art projects

4.  Puzzles

5.  Play Dough- Maybe we’ll MAKE play dough first

6.  Build with his outdoor blocks

7.  Do a scavenger hunt in the back yard

8.  Play in the sandbox

9.  Swing (B could swing for hours, unfortunatly it is more of a workout for me than him!)

10.  Fill his water table with bubble soap (he does this at preschool and all the kids LOVE it)

I found a great link for a few new ideas, they are a little young, but I really like that they are independant activites too.  Check out these activities for toddlers at Babble’s Toddler Times. What other suggestions do you have??

Wish me luck!

Welcome to Sharon Lincoln, this week’s guest blogger here at BUMP Life.  Sharon is an amazing life coach and a mom of two young children, so she ‘gets it’.  Read on for her advice and try out her challenge to focus on making small changes in your life this month.

Fall is a time of transitions, an opportunity to take a look at our lives and assess what changes we would like to make, or improvements that we’d like to create for the coming year. 

So often it’s easy to get bogged down with lists of things that we’d like to accomplish which as busy moms can easily get lost in the shuffle of our day-to-day responsibilities. The result is nothing gets done and we are left feeling dejected and uninspired. 

For the next month I challenge you to take a look at four different areas of your life and focus on making one or two small changes. You’d be amazed at how clear you can feel once your base line affairs are in order, making room for even bigger changes to occur in the future. Think of the little things that tend to nag you and go from there. Here are some examples to get you started:

Health and Well Being



  • I give my body what it needs to succeed

It’s so easy to overlook our basic physical needs when we have kids and family to take care of. When’s the last time you focused on your own health?

For the longest time I convinced myself that my eyesight was just fine. I’d only wear my glasses when driving, and got used to the challenge of seeing at a distance. I came to accept this as normal. Earlier this year I made the commitment to schedule an eye exam and get fitted for contacts. I decided that I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life living at half potential. By being okay with not seeing at 100%, I had to question what other areas of my life I was choosing to fall short in. By finally admitting I needed assistance, my world literally became clearer and my well being improved dramatically. It was a simple problem that I had lived with for so long when a solution had always been available. 

What areas of your physical well being have you been overlooking? Is there something that’s been nagging you that you’ve chosen to ignore? I challenge you to schedule appointments with your caregivers to face what you’ve been tolerating and fix it once and for all.

Physical Environment

  • My closet is well organized and free of clothing that no longer fits me

I don’t know about you, but so often my day gets off to a bad start when I have to sift through a disorganized closet to seek out an outfit for the day. Even worse is when I come across clothing that no longer fits (the clothes that I keep waiting to squeeze back into). Once I made the effort to clean out what no longer suits me, gotten rid of all the wire dry cleaning hangers, and folded my clothes in a more organized fashion it has allowed me to start the day on a positive note as opposed to feeling frustrated and deflated. I challenge you to clean out your closet and donate any clothing that you haven’t worn in at least a year. You’ll not only make more room, you’ll also be doing something good for someone else in need.

Finances

  • My bills are all paid on time

It’s so easy to overlook paying all the bills on time when we have so much going on in our everyday lives. Taking the small step of setting up on line bill payment will insure that you are making your payments in a timely matter, freeing you of late payments and falling behind on your financial goals. Most vendors will allow you to set up online payments and schedule email reminders letting you know that payment will hit on a certain date.

  • My will is accurate and up to date

Clearly this isn’t a fun task to complete, but knowing that you have a plan in order should the worst happen can put your mind at ease. Imagine the relief you will feel once you know that your family is well taken care of if something should go wrong. Taking the steps to set up a working plan will help alleviate stress around thinking about the worst case scenarios freeing you of anxiety and worry.

Relationships

  • I am fully caught up phone calls

This one can feel most challenging after a long day of work and dealing with the kids. So often talking on the phone is the very last thing I feel like doing. The idea of playing “catch up” with a friend who we haven’t connected with in a while can feel daunting as well. Many times it’s the idea of simply making the call that keeps us stuck. I challenge you to carve out 15 minutes each day this week to touch base with anyone that you owe a call to. Even a quick chat can feel most rewarding once we’ve taken the initiative to reach out.

  • I treat people how I want to be treated

Creating new friendships can feel overwhelming and lonely at times. In particular, when you are a busy mom with a full schedule. Many of us are transplants to the area, far away from close friends and family, or new to parenthood, which opens a whole new social landscape. Navigating through mommy groups and social circles can often feel like the days of high school, when we were all just trying to find our way and fit in. Live by the rule to treat people how you want to be treated, and the laws of attraction will naturally bring you closer to the those that you resonate the most with.

Our whole life is a sum of it’s parts. Though we may want to focus on improving on one area such as career or weight loss, it’s important to realize that each aspect of our life affects the others. By making an effort to improve on one or two small initiatives in each of the above core areas, it will naturally create more space for bigger changes to occur overall.

Sharon Lincoln, PCC, is a Certified Personal and Professional Coach. She is a mom of a two year old boy, and one month old girl and can be reached at sharonlincoln5@gmail.com

As busy moms, we hardly have time to tie our tennis shoes, much less get in a solid workout.  Luckily for us, research now supports our need for a quick, efficient workout.  Studies have proven that short bursts of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are as effective as longer steady state workouts.  You’ve probably seen these types of workouts crop up on your gym schedule or your late night infomercial viewing, but here is a super easy version you can do at home, in 10 minutes, with no equipment.

The basic premise of this workout is based on Izumi Tabata’s (et all; National Institute of Fitness and Sports, Japan) research on HIIT, in fact, that is the name you have probably heard, “Tababta Workouts”.  Tabata found that a workout that consisted of 20 seconds of high intensity efforts followed by 10 seconds rest, then repeated 8 times produced amazing results.   So in this 10-minute workout you’ll do 1 minute of warm ups, 2 four-minute “tabata” cycles and a minute to cool down…and you are done!

You can easily use the second hand on your watch for this workout, but if you are feeling techie, there are various smart phone applications that will keep track of your intervals for you.  I like Tabata Pro for $2.99 from iTunes.

Warm Up:  Spend 1 minute with a simple cardio warm up, like marching in place or jumping jacks.  Or spend 1 minute doing a speed pick up of the toys in your living room to make space to work out.

Tabata #1: Squats and Push-ups

:20 seconds: Standing with feet about shoulder width, squat down as if you are sitting on a chair that is about 2 feet behind you.  Keep your knees over your ankles, not shooting out over your toes.  Squat as many times as you can in the 20 seconds without sacrificing form.

:10 seconds: Rest- it goes by faster than you think!

:20 Seconds:  Drop down and do as many push ups as you can.  You can do your push ups on your toes or knees, but make sure your shoulders lower down directly over your wrists.

:10 seconds: Rest!

Repeat the above two intervals 3 more times.

Take about 30 seconds in between your Tabata sets, long enough to grab a drink of water and reset your tabata timer.

Tabata #2: Lunges and Abs

:20 seconds: Crunches- Lay flat on your back with your feet off the ground, legs at a 90 degree angle.  Keep a space between your chin and your chest as if you are holding a ball under your chin.  Crunch, lifting your nose towards the ceiling (not your knees).  Repeat as many times as you can while maintaining control

:10 seconds: Rest (and stand back up)

:20 seconds:  Right leg forward in a long stride lunge (the number one mistake people make in doing lunges is a too short stride length).  Dip up and down on the same leg as many times as you can in the 20 seconds

:10 seconds: Rest

:20 seconds: Repeat lunge with the left leg forward

:10 seconds: Rest (and lie down)

:20 seconds: Pedaling- bring both knees into your chest.  Engage your abs and push one leg at a time out towards the opposite wall.  Do not let your back arch.  If you feel your back arching, try aiming your leg a little higher up as you extend

:10 seconds: rest (lying down this time!!  Enjoy!!)

Repeat from the top starting with the crunches, standing up to do the lunges and lying back down for last set of pedaling for a total of 4 more interval sets

Cool Down: 1 minute, Stay on the ground and stretch bringing each knee into your chest, then twisting across your body for a low back stretch.

Done! Get up and get on with your day!

*You can do this workout as often as you like and you can substitute any exercises into your intervals segments.  Most experts agree not to add weights to any tabata, because of the fast pace and risk of injury. 

 



 Welcome to Meghan Hardin, Bump Life’s FIRST guest blogger!!  Read what she has to say about bras below!

Hey Gals: Want to look 10lbs. lighter, a few years younger, and feel more confident? Hoist ‘em up! Did you know that as many as 8 in 10 women wear the wrong bra size? Wearing an incorrectly sized or old bra can contribute to breast tissue damage (and once it’s damaged, it’s not going to be fixed lest by the hand of a skilled surgeon…), backache, head/neck aches, not to mention the dreadfully dowdy saggy boobs. If you have any of those things, or if there’s bounce in your bust when you walk, chances are it’s time for some new bras. And for the new moms out there, don’t just assume that you’ll go back to your old bras once you’ve finished nursing and/or the pregnancy weight’s gone back off; you’ll likely go through several different sizes throughout the course of maternity/postpartum/nursing.

You can have your measurements taken just about anywhere bras are sold – certainly major retailers like Nordstrom’s, Saks, Gap and Victoria’s Secret. The salesclerks are trained to fit you, so don’t be bashful about asking. You might be surprised to find you’ve been wearing the wrong size (most women go too small in the cup and too big in the band). Not o.k. with another lady sticking a measuring tape around your lady lumps? DIY: 1) Measure your band size by pulling a measuring tape around the top of your chest (under the pits). If the number is even, that’s your band size – odd, add 1” to find your band size. 2) Measure around your chest and across the fullest part of your breast. Subtract your band size from this measurement to find cup size – every inch is a letter (so if your band size is 34” and your second measurement is 38”, then you wear a D cup).

Now that you’ve gotten the right size, try some bras on. A properly-fitting bra should feel right; you shouldn’t feel the cups digging into your breast tissue (cups too small), the band should be level all the way around (if it’s creeping up in the back, go down a band size), and the bra should perfectly form to your breast (if there’s gaping, creasing, pinching, or your cups runneth over, you’ve got the wrong size).

About four years ago, I mustered up the courage to have my measurements taken at Gap. I was shocked to learn that I’d been wearing the wrong size for years! After buying a grip of new bras, I noticed that my shirts looked better, I felt more confident walking around in fitted clothing (no movement there), and the bras just felt good. It’s important to get measured annually for two reasons: 1) Weight and hormone fluctuations regularly cause changes in size, and 2) Elastic doesn’t last forever – you’ve got to replace bras frequently. But really, what girl needs an excuse to shop for new underthings?!

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More about Meghan:

Having recently returned to my home state of Colorado from Marin County, California, my family and I are enjoying a return to John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.” As a full-time working toddler mama and wife, I work to squeeze all of the good stuff into every day (did I mention we’ll have another in early 2012?). It’s hectic but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Through my job with HealthGrades, I work to share my company’s mission of “Guiding Americans to Their Best Health.” By consulting with hospitals nationwide, my goal is to have a firsthand impact on improving the future of healthcare in this country. As a collegiate athlete and now a group fitness instructor, I enjoy the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle and sharing that lifestyle with my family, classes and coworkers.

Any one who know me, knows I am a sucker for a schedule, or a list, or a calendar.  While I still swear by them, I also see how sometimes my reliance on them can also be a little paralyzing.  This has really proven to be true with baby #2.  With my first, I followed the pediatrician’s recommendation of doing tummy time for 10-20 minutes 3 times a day to a T.  It was like sirens went off…
 

Everyone stop what you are doing, installment 1 of today’s tummy time will commence immediately!!

The whole world stopped while we did our required time.  And I had all the appropriate gear too; the mat, the black and white toy, the mirror, what ever else some expert told me was needed for a successful tummy time session.
 

Fast forward a few years and I found that, with a preschooler to keep after, my schedules were harder to stick to with the second baby, including my regimented tummy time.  While having coffee with a friend and a recent new mom to her second child, she asked how I found time for things like tummy time with my second.

 

Well, I had found a way to get in tummy time and of course the idea came from my mom.  I mean, mother knows best right?  After I lamented to her that the baby wasn’t getting enough tummy time because I couldn’t figure out how to fit in the longer sessions, she suggested that every time I do a diaper changes, I just flip the baby over for a few minutes on her tummy.  So after 6 or 7 or 8 or 10 diaper changes in a day, each few minutes adds up to plenty of total time.  I also found that if I put her on her tummy in her crib while I went to wash my hands, I could rack up a few more minutes.  By not being so concerned with the exact right way to do something, she was actually getting more time on her tummy and I was less worried.
 

My friend said, “That’s brilliant!  You should write a blog post about that”
 

So I did.

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About Bump Life

Bump Life is a place to support moms and families across all aspects of our lives. A place for tips, expert advice, parenting resources and entertainment. A great place to come for information, support or just a break from our crazy lives. From fitness to finance, from diaper bags to diaper duty, for everything bump, babies and beyond, you'll find it all here at BUMP Life!