Oh baby! I’m not sure whether it’s the sleep deprivation or just the passing of time that makes a new mom forget what it was like to try to juggle life, family, work AND a new baby. Honestly, it’s not always easy to do it all, so I try to find tips, tricks, and products to help smooth these sometimes-rough waters ☺. I’m happy to be writing this today to share one of my new favorite secrets and latest discoveries that’s helping me balance it all — babywearing.
Now, let’s rewind about 6 months – you may recall a post I did about an amazing carrier that carried big ol’ Cashy boy in the Colorado mountains, while I was 6 months pregnant. If you don’t recall, long story short – while we were in Colorado filming Extreme Weight Loss, one of the crew let me borrow their Ergobaby Carrier for a hike with Cash. I was a bit skeptical, being 6 months pregnant, that the carrier would be all that comfortable with a 2 year old…especially one that doesn’t like to be contained. Much to my surprise, the carrier was a hit, and I was sold! I bet you can guess what my first purchase was when I got home…
Enter little Ruby, and enter amazing Ergobaby infant line. My two saving graces have been an amazing swaddle we received as a gift and my Ergobaby Wrap. I have learned how valuable wearing my baby can actually be with these wraps and carriers. Not only does babywearing give me the bonding time and closeness I crave with little Ruby (and she definitely needs with me), but it also allows me some hand-free time to FaceTime with Chris, return a few emails, fold laundry, and most importantly, keep being an active mom to Matix, Marley, and Cash.
Why am I so in love with this wrap? Unlike most “structured” baby carriers, the soft fabrics almost seem to mold to your body and to baby. The tight fit on my back and shoulders makes Baby Ruby feel lighter than when she was in my belly! I feel like I could carry her around all day and not get tired or achy. New moms – I’m sure you can relate – that upper back/shoulder tension you get from carrying a newborn and nursing all day long it brutal, to say the least. The relief has been very much appreciated ☺.
This wrap was made for multitasking, baby-snuggling moms…like me.
One of the biggest perks of all? This wrap allowed me the freedom and flexibility to begin moving around and burning off those “baby pounds” that added up over 9 months!
One of the most often asked questions is, “When can I start working out after having a baby?” While this answer is different for everybody (be sure to ask your doctor first), I figured I’d share some of my own personal tips to getting your body back while bonding with baby…through babywearing ☺
Safety first! Use a babywearing carrier, like the Ergobaby Wrap, that is properly designed for the age of your infant or toddler. Read the directions and understand the correct positioning and usage for your baby and at what age they can change positions.
Balance! Balance! Balance! Remember, you just had a baby. Just as you may have started to lose your balance and center of gravity before delivery, the same is most likely happening post-delivery. As your weight is changing and the muscles are retracting in your abdominal and leg/hip areas, your body needs time to adapt, once again. Think about it – for 9 months, you got used to carrying most of your weight on your front and center!! Bottom line here is that you must take it easy anytime you are carrying your baby, using your arms or the carrier, and ease into any kind of exercise. Baby’s safety is most important…don’t move too fast or too quick, wear supportive shoes, and make sure you feel stable with the baby in the carrier, no matter what it is you are doing.
Walk, don’t run! While you may be tempted to jump right into some pre-baby exercises like squats, lunges, and running… don’t! At least, not if you are wearing your baby. For all of the above-mentioned reasons, you should maintain safety first. The best news I can deliver is this: most weight loss happens while walking anyway!!! Yes, you read that right. How do we get 400 lbs individuals to lose 200 lbs in one year? By reminding them to simply walk! Walking is one of the best ways to stay active, maintain relationships (like playing with your kids and carrying baby), and burn many calories! Amazing, right??
Work that walk! Now that we know the power of walking is often underestimated, and that it can be one of the most effective calorie burners in your arsenal of exercises, it’s time to figure out the how. It’s easy…secure your infant in a wrap or carrier, set a timer for 30 minutes and get moving! Focus on alternating between slow and brisk walks to get your heart rate up (again, safety first). A couple ways to easily do this are:
Time it – 90 seconds fast, 90 seconds slow. Alternate between the two until your time is up.
Light Post to Light Post – Most neighborhoods and pathways have light posts or other items along the path that are evenly spaced. Use them as your goal for each round of slow and brisk walking.
Be a kid again – When exercise seems daunting, rest assured that simply playing is exercise in and of itself! Take the kiddos outside and engage in tag, ring-around-the-rosie, or even a little skipping. Play is a natural form of exercise for kids of all ages, and is great for mom and dad too!
So much you can do with that baby swaddled next to you, huh? Ruby is near 4 months now (already!!). I try to cherish every moment with her…time flies faster than I want it to. Thank goodness for the Ergobaby Wrap, I can love on my Ruby all day long, even with our crazy, busy lives ☺
In honor of shamrock day, Matix and Marley made some adorable leprechaun masks to play with (and to dress Cash and Ruby up in!). Hands down, these kiddos are the cutest little leprechauns this world has ever seen ;).
You family can have some fun too making your very own leprechaun masks :). All it takes is some construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, and some St. Patty’s Day creativity!
Feel free to post pics on Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter. Tag me and hashtag #PowellStPattysDay – Matix, Marley, Cash and Ruby would love to see!!
St. Patrick’s Day is so fun for kids thinking about leprechauns, pots of gold and green shamrocks. Cash and I discovered the simplest way ever to make darling shamrocks! Not only does it use one of our favorite green foods (an extra bonus!), it’s so easy, even a toddler could do it. Check out what we came up with!
Here’s what you’ll need:
-Bottom 1/3 of a bell pepper
-Green Finger Paint (aka washable )
Here’s how we did it:
1. Pour some paint onto a paper plate for your child and let them stamp away!
2. We used his finger to make the stems for the four leaf clovers.
Cash’s masterpiece! And of course, we had to enjoy the part of the pepper we didn’t stamp with. Mmmmm.
Happy 36th birthday to the most amazing man alive…my one and only, and my best friend
Chris, for your birthday this year, we thought there would be nothing better than to let you know just a few of the many reasons we are so grateful for you in our lives.
Our kiddos took this task pretty seriously…Matix and Marley were so cute and wanted to write down what they were going to say to make sure they didn’t forget anything important :). Ruby had PLENTY to say about you, and Cash? Well, he’s two and a half, and said whatever came to his hilarious little head.
Without further ado… out of the mouths of your babes…
Now, from me? Too much to possibly write here, so I’ll keep this short and tell you the rest in person…
I love you so, so much, Babe. We may have the occasional spat (let’s be honest, they’re almost all my fault!), but no matter how many we have, these statements will always hold true:
YOU are my best friend,
YOU are the one I laugh with about the silliest things,
YOU make me a better person, just by being around you,
YOU are my mentor,
YOU are my partner in crime,
YOU are my rock,
YOU are my everything.
Working, living, and raising a family together 24/7 can carry some challenges…but I’ll tell ya…I wouldn’t have it any other way. The benefits of having you to experience every aspect of this life with me far outweigh those challenges. This life is so much better with you in it (not just for me, but for those reading this too). Thank you for being the love of my life. Thanks for standing by my side as we accomplish our dreams and help others accomplish theirs. I am a better person because of you.
Thre is nothing more special that getting a handmade card from one of your children. Our nanny helped Cash make the cutest picture for us for Valentine’s Day featuring a big bouquet of flowers on the front. It was so adorable. And get this, she used CELERY!
Perfect for not only Valentine’s Day, you could make a card featuring this celery-inspired bouquet of happiness for Mother’s Day, Easter, Grandparent’s Day, a get well card, even a just-to-say-I-love-you card. The possibilities are endless!
Interested in helping your kids make their own? Here’s how:
So, I have been meaning to post this for quite a while now and keep forgetting. I don’t know HOW I keep forgetting…I have barely anything going on these days…not ☺.
A topic of discussion for quite some time now has been just when (oh, when) will Cashy stop needing a pacifier. In all honesty, my Facebook fans weren’t the only ones worried – I was too! Cash was nearly 2 ½ years old, was speaking full sentences, could sing the National Anthem (um…yes, he can), was no longer the baby of the family, and still relied so heavily on his pacifiers. Yes, we were starting to notice his orthodontic consequences for still using a paci, but more than anything we worried about enabling an oral fixation habit, which can lead to food addiction later on in life.
Well, I am happy to report (if you haven’t noticed from recent pacifier-less posts) that the paci habit has officially been broken!
It was so much easier than I thought it would be too! Cash “bought” a toy he has been wanting for a while (Jake and The Never Land Pirates, of course) with his entire bag of pacifiers (instead of money). Watch this video to see it go down!
For all you moms and dads wanting to try the same thing and wondering if he missed his pacis: yes, he did ask for pacifiers every so often after we made the “purchase”. We simply reminded him, “Cash, don’t you remember you gave your pacifiers to the girl at the store and she gave you your pirate treasure chest?” After a moment of contemplation, he would nod his head and say yes, then go play with his new toy ☺.
Now, 4 weeks later, we are 100% pacifier free…even 100% free from him asking for them ☺.
“Are you here on holiday?” Everybody here asks…with their dreamy New Zealand accent, I must add.
This isn’t the first country (or state for that matter) that we’ve visited where this question seems to be asked repetitively. If not by the locals, then by friends, family, and our loyal Facebook, Instagram and Twitter friends. Nope. As a matter of fact, so much of our lives is spent on the road in beautiful, breathtaking places that Chris and I had only dreamed of visiting just a few short years ago.
While it might seem like the answer to that burning question should be an easy “yes” or a “no”, it’s slightly more complicated than that.
Yes, Chris and I get to travel the world. And we get to do it with our family in tow. But I must admit, not one single, itty bitty (or huge) trip we’ve taken since we have met has been for the sole purpose of vacation or pleasure. I kid you not!
All of them, every single one, to date has been for the purpose of work. Most of these trips are to visit our peeps or shoot the show, but occasionally our trips are to take business meetings, or visit some of our favorite morning or talk shows. “That’s a LOT of work trips,” you say! Yes, yes it is.
BUT…and this is a huge “but”, this doesn’t mean that we don’t make every trip a holiday ☺. Because we do!! We have learned that since time is precious…and it’s hard for us to take time for ourselves, or ever really travel just for fun, we can make fun wherever we go.
I never in a million years would have thought that I would have the opportunity to see the world like I have been able to. I also never imagined my 4th child would see 6 states and 3 countries just after her 2 month birthday. And that’s just little Ruby’s experiences! If Cash, Matix, and Marley ever write a book…I’ll tell ya, they would have some adventures to share!
How do we do this? We work hard (REALLY hard), nearly all day everyday with a huge smile on our faces. Why smile when we work? Two reasons:
One: We hardly consider this work. We get to inspire and BE inspired by people everywhere, and we get to make best friends with those people transforming their lives. The saying is true…
“Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Two: Because we know in the midst of these extremely long days we put in (on the phone coaching from afar, on the computer writing or tweaking programs, shooting the show, developing tools to help millions…not just those on the show), that when our work day wraps, a new adventure in a foreign location awaits the Powell Pack ☺.
The perfect example – Today we were lucky enough to get to spend half of our work day on one of the most beautiful, black sand beaches of New Zealand. Knowing this was the location of the shoot, we brought the family along to play between shoots. Cash had the time of his life (going on a scavenger hunt today) while Ruby smiled at everyone and everything ☺. And for us? What’s better than being able to sneak kisses and hugs from some of our bundles of joy during our work day? Dream come true.
So, whenever you wonder if “we are here on holiday,” you now have your answer.
It is no secret that our family’s busy life has us jet setting more than the average family. While most of the time, these travels are easy and somewhat predictable, thanks to an awesome nanny and two older kids that are superstar helpers, we occasionally encounter periods of time and travel that aren’t as easy and predictable as we would like.
Example – traveling to Hawaii with a 2 week old. This was a hot topic of debate for many and understandably so. It was torturous for Chris and myself, as her parents, to figure out how we could make Ruby’s first trip as safe as humanly possible, and still accomplish the things that we needed to accomplish. I’m happy to report, the trip was a success on SO many levels ☺.
Let’s start with the 6 ½ hour plane ride from Phoenix to Hawaii. This, my friends, was my biggest worry. The thought of exposing Baby Ruby’s new immune system to an airport, let alone an airplane with re-circulated air for 6+ hours kept me up at night for an entire week leading up to the flight. I read as many google searched articles and forums that I could find on the topic – looking up moms and dads that had flown with their babies at such a young age…hoping and praying their babies were safe. I searched and read nearly every doctor-written and recommended site to see how early was too early for an infant to fly. While I saw the recommendation was 4-6 weeks (to allow time for their immune systems to strengthen), they did say flying earlier could be done with proper precautions.
So…precautions were taken. Chris found the BEST carseat cover that we used the ENTIRE way to and from Hawaii – it was a lifesaver. While I’m not sure how much it actually protected Ruby from the potentially bad air, it sure made Mom and Dad feel better. She only came out of her little cocoon to eat and be changed twice on the flight. Every other minute was spent sleeping (thank you, Ruby!!).
Also, we found that the location of her seat could help her stay out of germs way. Immediately behind first class (yes, we fly coach) and off to the far side felt the safest. We did splurge and buy Ruby her own seat though. While the cost seemed high to me, the investment in a healthier space for her was worth it to us.
When in Hawaii, the fresh, ocean air was amazing. I found myself happy to be there, nearly pollution-free, for Ruby’s 3rd week of life, even over our home state of AZ. She got a nice amount of clean air, indirect sunlight (which is great for reducing risk of jaundice in newborns), and a happy and stress-free mom and dad. She ate well, and grew bigger over the course of that week. While I even like to think I saw her smile a few times, I know better than to think it was real. But, Ruby did seem to thoroughly enjoy that third of her life on the Hawaiian islands, I must say ☺.
Cashy Boy…dream come true. I don’t know how a child that was SO hard to travel with (and we have traveled with him a TON over his 2.5 years of life) has become such a breeze!!! I’m not going to question it too much, I’m only going to be grateful ☺.
Hawaii was beautiful and amazing (and SO wonderful to see three of our Extreme Weight Loss peeps conquer their 6 Month Milestone Challenges), but I am happy to be home with Matix and Marley again.
The Powell Pack is complete once again ☺.
Next up in our world of travel? I can’t tell you, but I will give you a hint:
Rumpelstiltskin + G + 8 + path over water. Guess below:
Everyday: I Am So Very Thankful for the Four Amazing Kids Who Make Our Powell Pack Complete
POSTED ON December 4, 2013
The Month of Thanks if officially over, by my expressions of gratitude aren’t quite finished yet. I apologize in advance if these are getting old, but I can’t not show appreciation for these amazing blessings I have in my life…especially in the midst of so much sadness, tragedy, and heartache this world is experiencing.
On my mind today…
The four awesome kids I have :). They are each unique in their own way—even Baby Ruby—and they each bless our lives in ways too numerous to count. They have disagreements just like other kids, but I know they always have each other’s backs, no matter what. They love and serve each other, have amazing senses of humor, are so very talented, love to have fun together, make us laugh, try to make good choices, keep us grounded, put up with the crazy life we lead, and remind us daily of what is really important in life.
Matix, Marley, Cash, and Ruby—today (and every day) I am so very thankful for you!
Cashy and I just couldn’t resist joining in on the turkey-time fun during this Thanksgiving season. We turned to our trusty Fingerpaints to create Cashy’s very own turkey!
I should note: this craft was done pre-Ruby, pre-kidney stones, and pre-flu :). I’m just now getting around to posting though, hopefully in time for you and your little ones to enjoy before (or even on) Thanksgiving Day!