Thursday, January 31, 2013

Top 5 baby items I *thought* I needed

Recently I have been trying to get things in the kiddos rooms a little more organized. I have a box in Lucy’s room overflowing with clothes to box up and put in the attic and I think she is done with the swing so that needs to go up too. All of this has made me think about the things I HAD to have with Henry that I have not even seen or used with Lucy. I’m sure many of you can relate to this.

Here are the top 5 things I thought I needed with baby one that I have not even dragged out or used the second time around. Now of course everyone is different, but it just makes you think. What was something you had to have with your babies that you look back now and realize you didn’t?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Healing Power of Laughter

Just a few weeks ago I moved everything I own from the town where I’ve lived my whole life, to my new home here in north Texas. Today, I’m thankful for the warm greetings I received from neighbors and co-workers, but I still remember that the “weather welcome” was not so warm. Nothing says, “Welcome to your western winter wonderland” like three snowfalls and a graupeling. I learned that what looked like a billion Styrofoam BB’s on my outdoor lawn furniture was actually strangely frozen snow pellets called graupel. I can laugh today – partly because the sun is shining again - but this Louisiana girl experienced a whole new kind of thrill ride as my car and I slid backwards down the driveway, then virtually tiptoed along the salted/sanded roads to my new job at the hospital and then home again.  

I’ve actually journeyed through a number of substantial transitions in my life. Who hasn’t, right? For me, each one has been its own learning experience and I’ve realized that God has consistently provided me with helpful lifelines that make them easier. So I thought I’d share a few.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jump like a star!

As a working Mother of two, it’s challenging to find time to take care of myself. But because it’s something I value and feel it makes me a better Mom and person overall, I’m always looking for easy ways to accomplish it. To do it though I’ve found it needs to be easy and fun and ideally come right to me. That’s why I’ve signed up for a daily email with a tip each day to help make my lifestyle healthier. I signed up here:

Yesterday’s challenge was to do a jump like a star. (Yes, you read that correctly, and I thought the same thing.) I always get an email with today’s task in the morning and usually do it right away. When I did the jump, it made me laugh – which made me happy. So, I decided that when I got home from work, I’d ask my five-year-old and two-year-old to do it with me. What a fun, simple way to engage yourself and family in a physical activity!

As you can see from the video, we enjoyed ourselves and are looking forward to future challenges:

Are you challenging yourself daily? Go for it! And feel free to post videos of your efforts to improve your well-being, too. We’re all in this together.

Mandy Forbus is a Sr. Marketing Specialist for Texas Health Resources and Mom of two superstars.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Look Mommy, I'm Sweeping!

Ava is at the age where she'd rather drag a broom around the room than go to Disneyland. Why? Because that's what Mommy's doing. The picture says it all. Though unfortunately out of focus, her expression is priceless:

"Look Mommy! I'm sweeping!"

Ava was bound and determined to get her hands on that broom. It was quite a chore to keep it from her long enough to give the kitchen floor a once-over. And you can forget trying to get the broom back once she's got it.

I wonder if there's a way to bottle this enthusiasm and save it for her teenage years.

Rachel Raya is the Director of Internal Stakeholder Communications at Texas Health Resources and Mom to Ava.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flu relief for Moms-to-be

A recent article on discussed the trickiness of dealing with the flu or flu-like symptoms while pregnant, since there’s a need to be conscious of how medications for symptom relief might affect your little one.

Dr. Noushin Firouzbakht, OB/GYN on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, said there are over-the-counter medications that are safe for pregnant women, and it’s important to check with your OB/GYN or a trusted source like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website to find out what’s safe for you. You can also find general info on medication and pregnancy here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Exercising with the Kids

With the beginning of the new year, the obvious resolutions are to eat better, exercise and maybe even lose a few pounds.  It is now approaching the end of January, and my resolutions are still going strong.  I have my kids to thank for that! 

Generally speaking when I work out, no gym is involved.  I pop in an exercise video or get on the treadmill for a short run (okay, very short run) or walk.  Since having children, I seem to take less and less time to work out because I prefer to spend my time with my family (excuse #1).   Now that Preston and Emory are ages five and two, they prove over and over again that I cannot use them as an excuse any longer to get out of exercising.  So on my latest wellness kick, I have incorporated them into the mix. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Anchor in Stressful Times

It’s so much more than a ring.

A couple of years ago my husband and I went on a cruise without the kids. It was a wonderful vacation and I was so relaxed—something I had not felt in a long time. At one stop, we bought a ring for me. The stone is red and it’s surrounded by very tiny little diamonds. To see the ring you wouldn’t think it was anything special, but to me it is. Over the past two years, it has become my anchor when I get anxious.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Child Development Gem

Oh my sweet, sweet, Henry. He’s two and a half and I am sure most of you know what all entails in having a two-year-old. And he’s had his terrible moments but he is mostly a wild man. Words that I commonly use referring to him are: wildman, bezrk-o, silly and well so on. These same words are often also used to describe his mother, so it’s all meant lovingly.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mr. Friendly

Before having Elliot I couldn’t tell you the last time I struck up a conversation with a complete stranger at the grocery store or in a restaurant. It’s not that I’m not a friendly person; it’s just that I had no reason to engage some. And more importantly, I wasn’t doing anything to make them to want to engage me!

Boy did that all change. Something about having a baby invites all sorts of attention – and that’s fine, Lauren and I like it. We are proud of our little man. When Elliot was little, it was always nice to hear how cute someone thought he was, or maybe to catch the occasional grandchild story from an older couple. This was all well and good—it had a natural flow to it. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Family that Plays Together, Stays Together

Ed and Julie at a mud run
Julie and I were raised in game-playing families; so since the time our kids could sit up, we had them playing games. It doesn’t require much science to reinforce the value of these shared experiences.

We then extended this philosophy to athletic pursuits. While I was playing competitive tennis and Julie was teaching aerobics, we decided to investigate what we could do as a family. Twelve-year-old Brandon was already dipping his toe in “Duathlon” (run, bike, run) and “Triathlon” (swim, bike, run) events, so we researched related options.

The multi-sport lifestyle fit with our values, time, and budget. We jumped in as a family. Although we pursued individual goals and races, we often trained together. Once per year, we competed as a team. Our capstone event was the annual Cleveland Family Triathlon. The way this was organized, each of us would select one of the three triathlon disciplines. Brandon was the outlier and competed individually. Most often our daughter, age 6 the first time, would take the swim leg, Julie the bike, and I would finish with the run. We went on to win 4 of the 6 years we participated. Our reward was the post race carb feast.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In my life, change is the only constant

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed a driving need to take stock of my life at the end of each year and then again on my birthday.  (I wish I had the discipline to journal on a regular basis, but if a habit like that was going to happen, I believe it would have surfaced by now.) 

Recently, someone said to me, “If you were to make a list describing yourself in Dec. 2011 and then another one for Dec. 2012 each would look quite different.”  Of course, I couldn’t resist this opportunity to reflect – below are my lists.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year, New Resolutions

Like many I started out my year with a couple of New Year’s resolutions. My goals for 2013: 1. Be on time 2. Eat healthier 3. Exercise. 

Two weeks into January and I will admit that I’m off to a rocky start.  I am doing better with arriving on time. Just recently I attended a wedding with my husband and two children. We made it into the church just seconds before the processional began down the aisle. Okay so we were later than I planned. At least we were seated before the bride walked down the aisle.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Freezer to the rescue

All I wanted for Christmas (materialistically at least) was a freezer.

And why would I want a freezer instead of say jewelry, designer purses or other fun items? It’s because I’m tired of the nightly dinner dance. And, yes, I realize that only wanting a freezer for Christmas makes me officially old.

I’m tired of trying to figure out a fast, healthy item to prepare. I’m tired of work emergencies, late meetings and a heck of a commute derailing our attempts to eat healthy. Let’s face it. Who wants to figure out a plan for dinner after spending two (or more) hours in the car commuting, eight (or more) hours working and – in a perfect world – 30 minutes to an hour exercising? My husband and I have a sweet deal where if I cook he cleans so at least that saves some time at the end of the day, but actually getting a meal on the table at a decent hour can be just a bit too much some days. And with the cost and little nutritional value of ordering pizza on those days that get derailed I knew there had to be a better way. Enter the freezer.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Striving for imperfection

Hi, my name is Melanie Medina, and I’m a recovering Type A. In my strive for perfectionism, I have achieved pretty darn good grades throughout school, increasing responsibility in my professional life and some mean hospital corners on my bed.

My drive has also wrought intense anxiety, an eating disorder, anger when I can’t control a situation, low self-esteem, anxiety, an autoimmune disease that flares up under stress, anxiety and did I mention anxiety?

Not exactly the type of personality trait that makes a girl feel “well.”

What’s kept me from total ruin is motherhood.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Unintended Benefits of Making Baby Food at Home

A few weeks in and Lucy has become committed to eating real food. And by real food I mean Cherrios. I have also been introducing some new flavors (and textures) which she isn’t always thrilled about, but don’t they say you have to try something like 12 times before you like it? Anyways it’s going great and my two year old has rediscovered his love for Cheerio’s and other baby foods as well. He is constantly taking food off her tray and of course he is also willing to share his own. I find myself saying “Henry, thanks for sharing, but Lucy is too little” a lot!

So I’m going to get a little “granola” on you for just a second. When introducing solids to my babies I have (so far) gone the organic route. My thought is this, so far Lucy has only eaten organic milk, I mean straight from the source, so why not continue that. I try to avoid some processing if I can. Now I did SIGNIFICANTLY better with Henry but I’m getting better with Lucy. I’m talking about making my own organic baby food.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Saying bye-bye to the ba ba

Thirteen-month-old Jake sure loves his bottle.

Which makes sense; he and the ba ba go way back. Like 13 months.

It took us probably over a month to get him to actually drink out of a sippy cup during meals instead of just playing with or gnawing on it. It was exciting for us when he finally relented and learned to take big swigs from it between bites.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Morning Time for Mom

I am not a morning person.

I forget when this was, but a couple of years ago my son noticed my general demeanor and told his sister, “Mommy hasn’t had her coffee yet. Don’t bother her.”

I like to sleep in. I love snuggling under the comforters until I absolutely must get up. I’ve never been a morning person, despite many efforts to get there.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pretend Play

Sam has been really into pretend play lately. I know this is a standard developmental milestone, but for me, it’s just plain FUN.

For a long time, Sam mainly pretended to play the sports that his big brothers play. He loves to dribble the basketball and be the batter. And, of course, he LOVES to be the catcher (and just about anything will work as a catcher’s mask).

Monday, January 7, 2013

What to do about the flu

Coughs, sneezes, headaches, sore throats, tummy aches…flu-like symptoms have been hitting families full force. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high levels of flu-like symptoms are affecting most of the country right now.

Dr. Odilon Alvarado, internal medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, has seen a higher than usual amount of flu patients at his office recently.

“I haven’t seen this much flu in five years, at least,” Dr. Alvarado said.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Fitness Routine That Sticks

Happy Happy New Year! I heart new years, there is nothing like waking up January 1st and realizing you have a clean slate of a year ahead of you. Now like probably 97.999% of the country I have made many a resolution and then a few days later it’s out the window. And most of these have had something to do with getting myself into shape, whether eating better, working out, cutting out sodas, adding more greens, avoiding drive throughs and so on. Whether it has been to add something to my routine or take something away, I wanted to better myself, mostly my body. Let’s face it, you only get one body and it’s suppose to last somewhere between 60-100 years! It’s one of the only things we keep for that amount of time and it’s one of the things we abuse the most.

Well this new year I did not make a resolution that deals with my body, I kind of started that one in October. Trust me there is always room for improvement but my husband and I have a joint resolution, it’s called a BUDGET. I’ll probably write about that soon enough.

Previously I wrote how I joined a Mom’s fitness group. Well, I have been doing great! Now the first week I was 99% sure I was going to barf all over the place and then pass out in it, gross huh? But I am serious, it was hard! When I tell people about the group and how I get to take my kids and they stay in the double jogger, people tend to think it’s just a bunch of Moms going for a stroll through a park just yapping away at each other. NOT!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Prepping for Baby Number Two

Preparing to welcome a child into the world is nothing new for me and my husband. But explaining the arrival of a brand new baby to my daughter has been anything but easy.

To a certain extent, she knows something’s going on with my protruding belly. At daycare several months ago, she ran around lifting up her shirt shouting, “Baby, baby!” And lately, she’s been patting and rubbing on my stomach. I tell her that her little sister is inside my tummy and that she’ll be a big sister soon. Then, she’ll look at me with those big, beautiful brown eyes and just smile. But on rare occasions, she’ll grab my stomach with her chubby little hands, put her mouth to my stomach and start screaming. I don’t know if that’s her way of communicating with her little sister or not, but it’s entertaining.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Learning the hard lessons

I always knew ‘sharing’ was a big thing for children, but our two boys have really brought that home for me. Literally.

When we had Jackson a year ago, my husband and I admittedly hadn’t worked on the sharing concept much with our oldest child, Max. It didn’t really impact us until Jack was old enough to play with some of his toys – at which point Max decided he needed to play with the baby toys too. Like any good parents, we made a rule: Max couldn’t play with the baby toys since he had plenty of his own big boy toys.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's baby

Susana Rodriguez was expecting to be induced for medical reasons on Thursday, January 3. But little Salvador had other plans.

“He wanted to be born on New Year’s Day instead!” Susana joked.

She was surprised when she went into labor late last night after work. She delivered Salvador at 5:53 a.m. at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth – the first baby born at the hospital in 2013. He weighs 7.63 ounces and measures 20 inches long.

“It’s super special,” said the Fort Worth Mom. Salvador has two sisters, ages 3 and 6, and one 18-month-old brother waiting to welcome him home and wish him a Happy New Year.

Congratulations to Susana and family!