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-Megan

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I just received a first birthday party invitation.  I love first birthdays!  They are such a fun celebration!  They are as much a celebration or the parents, as the kids.  “Hey!  We survived the first year!!!”
 
 

I have a few go-to gifts when it comes to First Birthdays (click on the pictures to see the products on amazon)
 
 

1.  Plan Toys Wooden Blocks- $20

This is a great set of small blocks.  Perfect for little hands, and both my kids loved to chew on them as well.  And my 3.5 year old still loves to play with them.


 
 

2. Green Sprout Organic Bath Toys- $24

These are a little pricey, but they are SO cute and they are machine washable.  Everything in the bath goes in my daughter’s mouth and other bath toys can get really grimy.


 
 

3. Battat Hug Links- $15

This is a favorite toy in our house.  Its actually many toys in one! Each ring is a rattle by itself, they link together to form a chain and (my daughter’s personal favorite) they can be taken in and out of the container!  And, like everything else at this age, they are great to chew on!


 
 

4. Wood Ramp Racer- $35

This is another toy that still gets much love in our house well past the one year mark.  I find myself playing with it when ever we play cars.  I love to watch the hypnotic rhythm of the cars going down the ramp.  I love the simple wood design too.


 
 

5.  Radio Flyer Classic Tiny Trike- $70

If you’re looking for something that is a little more of a keepsake, classic kids toy, you can’t go wrong with Radio Flyer.  Again, this toy has gotten use well beyond one year.  And it is just so darn cute!


 
 

6.  Green Toys Vehicles- $20

Green Toys are VERY popular in our house.  We own the pink dump truck, the garbage truck, the boat (as well as the sand toys and kitchen set).  Its a local company that makes their toys out of recycled plastic.


 
 

7. Doll Stroller- $30

Regardless of gender stereotypes, both my kids love to push around their dolls and stuffed animals (and sometimes each other) in this little doll stroller.  It folds like a real umbrella stroller for easy storage.


 
 

8.  Cardboard Stacking Blocks-$12

In my experience, kids under the age of 4 love toys they can stack, knock over safely, and fill up with other treasures.  These cardboard blocks fit all of those criteria!   Its great for eye-hand coordination and no one gets hurt if the stack goes flying!


 
 

Oh…now to decide what to get the birthday girl!!  What are your go to toys for this age?

If I have learned anything while being a parent, it is that things usually don’t go as planned.  And for a planner by nature, this has proved to be challenging for me.  Right now, one child is home from school sick and the other is in her crib boycotting her nap.  This was not how I had planned this day to go! But I have been working really hard to embrace the chaos and even enjoy it!

I had already thrown in the towel on this week, that nothing was going to “get done.”  I reminded my self that my children are the most important thing in my life and making sure they are happy and healthy is my main goal every day.  That means that everything else I have planned on any given day, just might not get done.

Then, while flipping through my favorite blogs, I saw this post on Babble about Parenting Mission Statements.  And I decided a mission statement was exactly what I needed to put this crazy days (which is really every day, right??) into perspective.
So here is mine;

 

To say “I love you” to my children every day.  To raise them to be kind, accepting, contribution members of our community and to always lead by example.  To learn to embrace the small moments and not sweat the small stuff all at the same time.

So, that is what I am going to do today, and tomorrow and the day after that.  And I hope somewhere in there I can go grocery shopping, get some work done and maybe clean up the cheerio explosion.  But only after I build a block tower.

What is your Parenting Mission Statement?

Ahh…Pizza

As I mentioned earlier this week, I am addicted to Pinterest.  I love browsing and have found some pretty great ideas.  Like organization tips, crafts for the kids and most recently, recipes.

Last week, I tried this recipe for cauliflower pizza crust.  And let me tell you…it was delicious!

My husband and I have working hard to clean up our diet over the past month.  In the year of having two kids we had become way too reliant on coffee house pastries,  take-out for dinner and dessert with wine to relax after the kids were in bed.  We were (and are) in the trenches, but we weren’t taking care of ourselves.  (More on our journey back to health later.)

One of the efforts we have been making is to eat more vegetables and less carbs.  So when I saw this cauliflower pizza crust, I was excited to give it a try!

The version on Pinterest is from this website.  Her recipe is an adaptation from this recipe “the original cauliflower pizza crust”.  And I modified the recipe a bit more!

I wanted to make two individual pizzas and I wanted to cut down on the overall cheese used, so I upped to amount cauliflower used and decreased the cheese.  I also wanted to up the veggies used for the toppings. We used pizza sauce, fresh spinach, caramelized onions, roasted cherry tomatoes and one Aidell’s Sausage (1/2 a sausage per pizza). You could use anything you wanted for toppings.

Bump Life Version of Cauliflower Pizza Crust

adapted from an adaptation of an adaptation

Crust

  • 2 cups ‘riced’ cauliflower
  • ¾ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • Olive oil (to brush on crust)

Toppings- All the topping must be precooked, since you only broil the completed pizza

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Spinach
  • Roasted Tomatoes (halve cherry tomatoes, put in baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast in oven while backing the crusts for the same 15 minutes)
  • Caramelized onions- I love the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe.  I like to cut the onion with a mandolin to get them thin, It takes a while, so I always cook a whole onion when I do it. You can keep the extras in the fridge and they are great in scrambled eggs in the morning!
  • Aidell’s Sausage:  We wanted the flavor, but to also keep the totally calories low, so we just used 1 sausage (split between pizzas), cut it thin and sautéed it in a pan.

“Rice” the Cauliflower

Add 1 large head of cauliflower (or I used 1 bag of prewashed cauliflower) through the grater attachment on your food processor (or you can grate it by hand). Don’t over pulse, it should look like a grain (or I thought it looked like fine shredded cheese).  Placed riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minute.  There is no need to add water.

I used all the cauliflower I microwaved, but the original recipe said to just use 1 cup and save the rest.

Pizza Crust:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix all the crust ingredients together and divide into two piles on the cookie sheets.  Pat out to two 8” circles (about ½ inch thick).  Brush with olive oil (or spray with olive oil spray).

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes

Baked crusts

Remove from oven, top the crust with sauce, cooked toppings and a sprinkle of cheese (we used a pretty light sprinkle of cheese to keep the total cheese used to about 1 cup).  Broil for about 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted.

Dig In!!

*Depending on what toppings you use, this recipe comes in at about 300 calories per pizza.  If you used more meat or cheese than we did, it would be higher.  The crust by it self is about 300 calories for the whole recipe.

Do you rely on this to get you through the day? Me too…lets learn more.

A few weeks ago, a friend, fellow fitness educator, blogger and mom (in fact, when we met I think she was just barely pregnant with her first son) asked me to take part in her series on adrenal fatigue she was running on her blog www.radliferocks.com.

I’ll admit, I was hesitant at first.

First, because I am “so busy” (and I put that in quotes because saying you’re so busy is almost a cliché these days; yeah, yeah Megan, we are all busy). The thought of putting one more thing on my plate just seemed too overwhelming.

Second, because I didn’t know anything about adrenal fatigue and a quick google search left me a little skeptical.  I have a background in nutrition, it was my major in college and some of my professors were and are at the forefront of Nutrition Science.  I also freely admit that it is a growing and evolving science that I certainly don’t know everything about, but between my educational background and my years of being a personal trainer, I feel like I get a bit jaded by whatever the next nutrition trend is.  I feel like I have heard it all;

“Oh, you’re not eating gluten? I see.”

“No, I haven’t tried the Paleo diet.”

“Yes, lots of people are doing South Beach”

“I am sure your uncle did lose 30 pounds on Atkins”

I figured adrenal fatigue might just be the next thing on that list of trends.  But I agreed to go along with it because Selena is awesome and she was a huge help to me on my blog with her series on Green Smoothies.
 Then I read her post, and to quote Selena;

“So I went on my way, doing what I do best: EVERYTHING.  I am a very driven person, and push myself to be great. It is unacceptable for me to aim for anything less than the stars.”

I chuckled because she was describing me. She went on to talk about what she had done in the last few years;

  • Had 2 kids- check!
  • Took on new clients- check!
  • Started a blog- check!
  • Tried to be a good wife and mother- check and check!
  • Family drama- check!

She felt like things were falling apart. She was fighting nagging injuries. She was often emotional.  She was always feeling exhausted.  She was feeling a little extra padding around the middle.  She was relying on coffee and too much sugar to get her through the day.  I couldn’t have described my life better myself.

Even this afternoon, my to-do list said, write adrenal post, but I had just got the baby to sleep and I thought, “I could raid the kids Easter candy, make an iced coffee and watch trashy TV instead.”

And I realized, I NEEDED to write this post!  Not because I promised Selena, but because I needed to find out what I could do to listen to my body better.  I needed to get the information on adrenal fatigue, test out some solutions and make my own conclusion about what is going on for me and I am sure for many, many moms out there.

So, come with me as I learn about Adrenal Fatigue and test out Selena’s theories and solutions.  Am I completely sold?  No, not yet.  But I am completely sold on the fact that nutrition is the foundation of a healthy life and a healthy mama is the foundation of a healthy family.

Lets find out what this is all about together, shall we?

Welcome April!

Wow! Here it is April already.
I hate the cliché “Time Flies,”  But March just whizzed past.

My big milestone happened early in the month.  I hit 100 posts!

It gave me a great time to reflect and see where I’ve been, where I am going and where I still am….in the trenches!

My only two other big posts for the month are a perfect example of how in the trenches I still am.  My kids have been sick…a ton.  And I’m always exhausted because no matter what kind of sleepers you have (I like to think I have great sleepers), as moms, I don’t think we will ever get a full night sleep again.

But in true “it takes a village” fashion,  I was honored to have so many awesome experts here at Bump Life to guest post and pick up the posting slack!

We started off the month with Jessica Edelen giving us her words of wisdom on how to pick a preschool for your little ones.  The good news is Brady finally got into a preschool for next fall and this article helped me see how important it is, as a parent, to trust your gut sometimes.

The guys over at Prepare Us helped me check one thing of  my never ending to do list, get prepared for an earthquake!   Their ready to go packs are amazing and they gave us some awesome tips on how to make sure You are Prepared for a Disaster.

Sharon Lincoln, CPCC, inspired us to do a little spring cleaning in our brains with Spring Cleaning: Letting Go of Old Thoughts

Chalita Photikoe, L.Ac., gave us some solid, straight forward advice an how to get pregnant with Tips for Trying to Conceive

Wordless Wednesdays have become a favorite of mine and I got to a few this past month.  Images are so important in our lives these days, but I love how an image can make me think and reflect on my life and my kids a little more. (click on the images below to read more)

So here we are in April!  I am up early, while the rest of the house is still asleep.  I am looking forward to the month ahead.  I have a lot of great posts coming up, and more awesome guest posters.  I’m going to try posting a few recipes I have tried and get back to some of my favorite lists and answering some of your questions.  So stay tuned!

Have anyone you think might like to join us this month?  Forward this post over to them or have them join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bumplife

Does this picture need more explanation?? Read on to find out!

 

I LOVE pregnant bellies.

 

There have been quite a few beautiful pregnancy photo shoots floating around in my slice of the internet lately.  I love photos of pregnant woman.  I think they are not only beautiful, but such a touching reminder of such a fleeting time.

 

I loved being pregnant and loved my pregnant belly, and I LOVE the photo above.   But I really regret not having those lovely black and white, softly lit images for myself.

 

So, send me yours!

 

Really, I mean it!  I’d love to see your pregnancy photos and maybe even use the images on my blog (with your permission, of course!)  Send me your favorite shot, professional or iPhone-in-the-mirror snap shot to meganflatt@gmail.com

 

Now, want a little more info on that picture above??  This is a very pregnant me visiting the riders on the AIDS Lifecycle charity ride from San Francisco to LA (585 miles over 7 days).   ALC supports AIDS research and services, and thousands of riders participate raising millions of dollars each year.  I have done the ride twice (pre-kids), my husband has completed 6 rides and my 60+ dad has rocked out 7 rides so far and is ready to go on his eighth ride this June (want to support him? Click here to donate!).  I was visiting my husband and his friends at the end of Day 5, also know as Red Dress Day,  This is my good friend and yes… he rode his bike in that outfit!  ALC is an amazing organization, that does amazing things and I am honored to be associated with the organization and the riders.

Seeing dad off on Day 1 of the 2009 ride

Do you have a well-stocked disaster bag?

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.  Re-watching the footage from that disaster reminded me, again, how vulnerable we all are to a natural disaster.   And last Monday, my own little house was jolted by an early morning earthquake.  Now, this one was only a 4.0 and nothing even fell of a shelf, but the first thing I thought was.

Why do I still not have an earthquake kit???

This task has been on my to- do list for months, if not years.  I’ve downloaded lists, I thought about all the places I need to go to collect the supplies; target, REI, the hardware store.  I’ve heard the stories, I have a family to protect, and yet I still have yet to cross it off my list!

Well, now I have no excuses!  I have been introduced to PrepareUs, a local company that sells disaster preparedness bags.    These bags come with everything you need to survive after a natural disaster and I mean everything (Full size toilet paper anyone??). 

Not only do you get a well stocked bag, but a full step-by-step guide to help you prepare for a disaster, no more wondering what you should or need to do, its all spelled out for you here.

One more thing really sets these PrepareUs bags apart.  Their unique refill system.  They will automatically alert you if anything in your kit is about to expire and replace it, at cost, insuring you are always up-to-date and never have to think about your disaster kit again!

The guys at PrepareUs have put together a list of helpful tips to ensure our families have the ability to anticipate and conquer in any unplanned event.

With 7 things, break it down to one task a day and you’ll be prepared for anything by this weekend!

  1. Make a List: Take 5 minutes and just think – if there were a disaster right now, what would you do? What would you grab? What are your top 5 must grab items in the house?
  2. Stabilize and Secure: Go around your house and make sure all heavy and fragile objects are sturdy and secure, especially above your bed or where you would normally sit and lounge about. (Bolt that picture to the wall that is precariously leaning on top of the fireplace!)
  3. Plan: Become familiar with your children’s school evacuation plans and make a plan that works for your family so that you all know where to go, how to reach each other, and what each one expects from one another.  Write this down for each person and stow it in a safe place that is always near. (i.e. a wallet or backpack) Make a plan with babysitters and let them know where you expect them to go in case they have to evacuate you are not able to get home.
  4. Backup: Make sure you back up and keep extra copies of important data such as computer files, birth certificates, passports, and other items you feel necessary on either an external hard drive or online cloud server.
  5. Educate: Look up your local red cross shelters, find the local radio stations that you can tune into for information in case of emergency, and find the local 911 dispatch number to directly call local dispatch instead of a general 911 operator.  Also learn how to turn off your water and gas lines.
  6. Supplies: Make sure you have a Go-Bag with enough of the essential supplies: food, water, sanitary items, and any medications needed for each person in your family to last for a few days; keep one in your home, along with smaller versions in your car and/or office.
  7. Pets: We all know that pets are members of the family, so don’t forget about them!  Be sure to keep extra food and water to sustain them for a few days as well.

Natural disasters can be stressful and terrifying, but preparing for them doesn’t have to be.  With these few simple steps, you can become armed and ready for any unexpected occurrence, creating the safety and security that your family deserves.  For more information on anything we discussed, or to purchase fully equipped Go-Bag Packages, visit www.prepareustoday.com

 

*PrepareUs supplied the 7 tips and I was offered a discount on a go-bag as a thank you for this post.  As always, my opinions are my own

Checking out sister

On Saturday, the “baby” will turn 1 year old.  All the cliches are true, I can’t believe it has been a year, I can’t believe how small she was, etc, etc.

 

I have loved watching her grow up over the last year.  All the milestones; rolling over, scooting backwards across the floor, the first wobbly steps (yes!  She is already walking, before 1!) and she just started mimicking sounds.

 

What I have really loved, is watching the relationship between brother and sister bloom.  Sure, he “accidentally” knocks her down and won’t let her hold any of his toys, even if he is not playing with them, but for the most part, he is really sweet with her.

 

She is starting to want to interact with him and making sounds that mean his name.

 

I love that they make each other laugh and hold hands in the back seat and tonight at dinner, he shared his cracker.

 

They say no other relationship shapes the person you become more than that with your sibling and I am so excited to she who they become with each other as their guide.

 

I'll picture this when they are screaming at each other in a few years

The BUMP Life Kids

Hello Bump Life Readers!

 

The Trendiest Kids on the Blog is looking for guest bloggers and I’d love to join their team.  So here is a little more about me, BUMP Life and why I think I’d be a good fit for their blog.

 

As a personal trainer who specializes in pre and postnatal fitness, I have spent my career helping moms be healthy and fit.  But what I loved most about working with my clients is the conversations about REAL issues that we talk about between bicep curls.

 

When I had my son, Brady, in 2008 I realized how much bigger this conversation was than fitness.  Fitness is important but so was everything else.  Especially the sense of community, the sense of a good friend, that person you can text and say “I’m having a hard time with this parenting thing” or “what bottles did you baby use?”

 

I realized that by sharing stories, we all felt better about the job we were doing as parents.
When my daughter was born, I needed a community even more.

 

So, I started blogging.

 

I want BUMP life to be that friend, that community. I want it to be a hub of information.  I want to help moms navigate the waters of parenting and not feel like they are alone.

 

A checklist for the hospital, got it.  How to prevent leaky diapers, yup!  A story about my kid throwing a temper tantrum just like yours….yeah he does.  A video review of my favorite baby spoons (with a demo by my lovely assistant baby Rylan)…coming this Saturday!

 

I think writing for Trendiest Kids on the Blog would be a great opportunity for me as a newbie blogger and a whole lot of fun!!  I love to share information with my mommy community and I would love to share information with the Trendiest Kids on the Blog community too!!

 

After all, we are all in the BUMP life together!

 

So be sure to check out their site, Trendiest Kids on the Blog, you’ll get some great information on kids products and who knows….maybe you’ll see me over there soon!

 

Come learn more about me and join the conversation at:

www.facebook.com/bumplife

twitter: @bump_life

Blog: www.bumplife.com

 

Megan Flatt

San Francisco Bay Area, California

Mom to Brady, 3.5 and Rylan, 1 (next week!)

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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!