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Summer warning for new mothers

So I have started going to the tanning bed to prepare for our summer vacation at the beach next week. I know, I know, tanning beds are the devil. 

But when you have skin like mine, any amount of sun exposure can be deadly, so in order for me not to have to wear a blanket while we are at the beach, I wanted to get my skin ready. 

My skin is virtually see-through I am so pale, so I knew I was going to burn, even with minimal time in the bed. It was to be expected. 

But what I did not expect was while my skin burnt the anticipate amount, my newly born stretch marked were at third degree burn levels. It just didn’t cross my mind. And it should have. I should have known better. I mean, it is fresh skin. Skin that has never seen the light of day, literally. So after three trips to the tanning bed, I have blood red lines where my stretch marks used to be. 

So new mothers… beware. Take extra precaution if you have newly formed love lines from your sweet little miracle. 

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The only celebrity pregnancy I care about

Generally I don’t follow celebrity news. I do not care who is dating who, who is gay, who wore what to the party, or any of that other hype that gets thrown at us around every corner. 

I also am not the biggest fan of keeping up with celebrity pregnancies. Andrew and I kept our pregnancy relatively quiet up until just before we found out the sex. We wanted to make sure Turner was healthy and happy and just enjoy the time with our family and close friends. Even when I went into labor, we didn’t post anything about it on social media and made sure Turner was here and perfect and healthy until we shared it with anyone other than our family. I think that it is something that is private and special, so I could not even imagine being famous and having my pregnancy and weight gain, and cravings and everything plastered on the front of every magazine.

So generally I try to respect that and give celebrities their privacy… as if me resisting the urge to google and update or buy a magazine will stop the business that is celebrity babies…

But I am just obsessed with Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. Just them in general, so for them to be having a baby,  I am pretty excited about it and am buying into everything that is their pregnancy. I think my fascination goes back to their romance on That 70s Show. There is just something completely romantic about two characters who met so early in life and had an on screen romance ending up together. It’s the same joy I get from knowing the voices of Mickey and Minnie Mouse are married in real life or that hope I will always have from being a child growing up in the 2000s that Britney and Justin will find their way back to each other. Hopelessly romantic. 

Well, Mila appeared on Ellen, something else I am totally obsessed with. During her interview she talked about how she wanted to have a natural birth. Good luck sister. In my opinion that is a nearly impossible feat. I mean, I know it happens, and happens often, but no matter how much I had in my head that I might be able to do it… I was ready to have every drug possible to make that pain go away. Not only was I not able to have drugs to stop it, but my hopes for “as natural as possible” birth was halted when I was rushed for an emergency C section. But regardless, more power to Mila for at least wanting to give it a try. 

She is being private about the due date and names and all of that and I respect that. But during her interview, she slipped up and said that Ashton was taking lessons to learn Russian to be able to speak to baby. She said that he had been taking lessons for about 6 months. So assuming he started a month before the baby was born (because Mila said the baby was planned) I am predicting that Baby Kutcher will be born in August. 

As far as names go, I think they owe it to the world, if it is a girl name it Jackie and if it is a boy name it Kelso. Now THAT would be poetic justice. 

, SiteDart Author

Aside
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I am overweight. And I do not say that in an attention seeking, tell me I am not fat, fishing for compliments kinda way. It is a fact. I had Turner almost 10 months ago. In that period of time, I have lost 20 of the nearly 50 pounds I gained while pregnant. I know all the experts say that it takes 9 months to put the weight on, give yourself that much time to get it back off. Well, I am slacking. 

Right after I had Turner, when I was still breastfeeding, the weight came off pretty fast. It was easy… or at least easier than now. As soon as I stopped breastfeeding, I gained it all back basically. Around Christmas time I was dieting hardcore. A very strict, 1200 calorie diet. That is when I lost most of the weight. I didn’t want to look like a whale in our first Christmas photos. I decided to start dieting after a friend’s wedding. Seeing pictures of myself almost made me want to vomit. I am a whooping 5’ 2’’, so I have no room for any extra weight to go, let alone 50 pounds. 

After seeing those pictures, I weighed myself and was disgusted when I found out that I weighted the same then, months after having my son, as I did when I was 9 months pregnant. How embarrassing. So I lost the weight. Between 20 and 25 pounds. As I mentioned in my response to the obnoxious viral epidemic known as the fitness mom, I am a very busy lady, so having lavish time to really hit the gym hard is nearly impossible. 

I lost about 20 pounds and have kept it off, give or take a little. When I was telling Andrew that I had lost that much weight, but still has 20 more to go, he was shocked. He couldn’t believe that I was ever that fat. At my biggest I was 164 pounds, both with and without baby. I just do not have the height to be putting those kind of numbers on the scale! Not to mention I carry my weight in my face, so there is no hiding it! 

So this week marks the beginning of yet another dieting/exercise attempt. While I have been making a diligent effort to not eat fast food, even though I love it, or eat bags of chips, which practically run through my veins, it still is not enough. I have to get serious. 

I am trying out Nutrisystem, which essentially means starvation. Another 1,200 calorie diet and lots of water. This time I plan to hit the gym. I avoided that at all cost last time. The company I work for gives us a free gym membership. Now if I can just find the time to go. This morning for breakfast I had a yummy blueberry muffin. But 5 minutes later and I am already practically starving. At least I have lunch to look forward to… a protein bar and two servings of vegetables. Yay. 

 I just do not want to see pictures of myself and feel physically nauseated by looking at myself. I could also use a boost in energy. I am always constantly exhausted beyond function. Hopefully, this will help. 

unnamed Wish me luck!

, SiteDart Author

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We have a 9-month-old walker!

Just shy of his 9 month birthday celebration this week, Turner decided he wanted to take his first steps! He is amazing! He doesn’t are to walk all the time, but when he decided to get up and go, there is NO stopping him. He just prances right around. He is still debating on walking and crawling, he seems to favor crawling as it gets him where he wants to go a little faster, but these last few days have been awesome watching him so excitedly run around. You can see him adorably run around here. 

He is growing so dang fast, I can barely keep up. Last night I was able to carry him like a baby from the car to the house before he started to squirm free, but it was nice to have a couple of seconds of baby time. He is SUCH a grown up! 

We had a battle with a respiratory infection and then a double ear infection that sent us to the ER, but luckily, everything is back to normal, and Turner is better than ever. The double dose of antibiotics Turner was on gave him a fierce diaper rash, but a day after the antibiotics ran out, the rash cleared up. He had a follow up appointment with the doctor on Monday. His ears and chest looked and sounded great. He was just over 20 pounds and had gone through a growth spurt, gaining a couple inches since his last visit, putting him at a whopping 29 inches tall! Apparently he is in the 88 the percentile for his height, which is great considering a stand an impressive 5′ 2″ and am the tallest in my family (excluding my dad). Hopefully Turner gets his poppa’s height. 

Each month Andrew and I throw Turner a little birthday party celebration. This month we did it a little different. Since Turner’s 9 month birthday fell on the same day as my niece’s 2 year bday and we had an actual birthday party for her this weekend, Andrew and I decided to combine Turner’s monthly party with that. Each month we take a picture to track Turner’s growth. So this month we took our photo opportunity to wish a Happy Birthday to a very special soon-to-be 11 year old. 

A couple of weeks ago I came across this Facebook page titled, Happy Birthday Colin. Colin’s story broke my heart. On Feb. 2, Colin’s mom created the page and began with this post, “I am Colin’s mom, I created this page for my amazing, wonderful, challenging son who is about to turn 11 on March 9th. Because of Colin’s disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don’t like him. So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn’t a point because he has no friends. He eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them, and rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office. So I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party. Please join me in making my very original son feel special on his day.”

I probably found the page a day or two after she created it and he had a couple 100 likes from people he her community. In the past month, the page and Colin’s story has been shared and now more than 2 million people like the page. The family has gotten tons of birthday cards and happy birthday wishes, none of which Colin has seen yet. His mother is waiting until his birthday celebration this weekend to break the news to Colin. My family was touched by the story and wanted to join in on wishing one amazing 11 year old a Happy Birthday, so this month’s birthday picture is dedicated to Colin! Image

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Facebook makes me question motherhood

This blog may be out of line. And it may be offensive. But I feel like I should write it and get opinions of mother’s who are not just in my geographical location. Luckily, because of this blog and following other blogs, I have made several mommy blogger friends who are great at giving their own opinions, regardless of what people may thing of that opinion. I need that insight here. 

I have recently joined several Facebook yard sale groups. I am not sure if these are common everywhere, but where I live in North Carolina, just about every town, county, or community has one. 

Since joining these groups I have found posts from mothers or soon-to-be mothers asking for free things. Posts like, “I am about to have a baby and I need all the free things I can get” or “I do not have a car seat for my two year old and I need a free one.” These posts seriously upset me. 

Part of me wants to spring to their side because I have this crippling concern of innocent children having to go without things they need. But then the other part of me wants to scream, “WHAT ARE YOU THINK?”

I whole-heartedly believe that having a child when you are incapable of providing for it is selfish and should be a crime. If you have to ask for free things because you cannot afford it for your child, why on earth are you having it in the first place. While I am sure you can give that child all the love you have, there is so much more to bringing a child into this world. 

It makes my heart hurt. Why are people so irresponsible. I admit I do not know every person’s story and some of these parents posting in the groups may have had some sort of tragedy or fallen into a sudden, undue hardship, but I am sure that is not the case for all of them. 

What encourages people to want to care and provide for an extra life when they can barely do it for themselves? I do not want to judge anyone because I know that everyone has a unique story, and that is their right. But I am just so discouraged after seeing some of these posts. 

Is it because of where we live? Is this a considerably impoverished region? Does it have to do with education? Is it just the culture of our area?

I get wanting free things if they are available, heck, I will take a bargain any day. But I think there is a difference in liking free things because they are there and needing free things because you have no other choice. 

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Finding new ways pregnancy destroyed my body

While motherhood has unexplainable joys. Joys and rewards that know no bounds and fill your soul with warmth and security and love, it doesn’t come without its headaches. I got to really experience one of those headaches this past weekend. 

I have been opened and honest about what pregnancy did to my body. Sacrificing my body is a small price to pay for the perfection I have found in Turner. But being reminded of how distorted and awkward my body is… I can do without it. This weekend I went to Victoria’s Secret for a new bra. I was still wearing ones that I had bought during pregnancy and knew it was time for a fresh start. 

I had a bra fitting and was measured, and to my surprise was given sizes and measurements that, well, I didn’t expect. I have always been a full C cup, and with pregnancy of course, that expanded. I went up a cup size and went from a 34 C to a 36 D. I expected that due to nursing and the inevitable pull of gravity, I would have returned to my original size by now. Well that was not the case. 

As the woman measured me, even she seemed surprised when she read my measurements in question form. “38 DD?” she said puzzled. I am sure her reaction was such due to the fact that I am only 5’ 2’’ and a chest measurement of that proportion must have been something that belonged in a circus. It didn’t help that after hearing the sales reps measurement my sister Ruby, you know the one who only reads my blog to scan for her name, said rather loudly, “WHAT?” 

 As I am sure my face turned a rosey shade of red, all I could do was point to my son and place the blame on him. The sales rep got us several bra options and we went to the dressing room. After trying on several makes and models and materials, I realized that due to pregnancy and the change my body has endured, my boobs are essentially freakshows. They in no way fit in any combination of bra. I felt like I was in my own episode of Golidlocks and the Three Bears.

Brittney and the Three (it was actually several more than three) bras. 

This one is too small. 

This one is too tight.

This one is too big. 

This one is JUST right… expect for the just right one never came. With my sister laughing at my troubles, I asked the attendant for help. Her simple explanation being that as a mother, I basically had to settle for the best mix because apparently bras are made for shapeless women who fit into Barbie’s measurements, and any sort of abnormality is certainly not accommodated.

So despite a tight fight around the circumference of my chest, I settled on a bra that at least held by boobs together. We will not even get into how obvious it became to both my sister and me that I had nursed more on one side than the other. 

 The realization of my destroyed body only continues. Even nine months after the birth of my son, I still am far from where I was pre-pregnancy. They say it takes you nine months to out the weight on, give yourself nine months to take it off… well, I think I need a little more time.

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Top 4 reasons you should NEVER buy or sell a used car seat

Your child’s car seat is probably the only thing that you will buy that has the potential to save your child’s life. You can get a basic standard model seat for less than $80. While I understand how tempting it is to go to a garage sale and buy a used seat that is half the price, I would strongly recommend against it.  

1) Car Seats Expire. 

A lot of people either do not know that car seats expire, or think it is all some hoax to encourage people to buy more seats. Well, you are welcomed to think that, but I think you’re nuts. 

Expiration dates are given to car seats for numerous reasons. 1) The plastic used when making the car seat wears down over time. The plastic gets brittle as it gets older, so the seat could break if it too old and you happen to get in an accident. Doesn’t it make sense that the sun and heat of your car can wear down the plastic and make the seat not as strong as intended? I think that is common sense. 

Often times, car seats come with special flame resistant materials on the straps that secure your child. Over time, that material wears off, making the seat less safe. This film on the straps is also the reason why you should never remove the straps from the seat and wash them in the washing machine. Instead, wipe it down with a wet wipe. 

This video is the perfect example of why car seats expire. 

2) Original paperwork. 

No car seat was created equal. Just because you have installed a car seat before, does NOT mean you can install them all. They are all made different and come with different parts and pieces. Nine times out of 10, if you buy a car seat from a friend or a garage sale, the seat probably does not have the original paperwork showing how to install the seat or how to use the additions that came when the seat was first purchased. Without this information, you could be missing crucial details that could save your child’s life. 

You need the original paperwork. More concerning than not having the original paperwork or parts and pieces, if that you have no way of knowing if the seat has been in a previous accident. A car seat is not designed to sustain multiple accidents. So if they car seat has already been in an accident, the materials are not strong enough to survive another one. Unfortunately, there is not a Carfax for car seat to give you an accident report. Yet another reason you are better off just getting a new one! If you do for some reason, still buy a used seat, you can call the manufactures to get a copy of the manual. 

 3) Car seats are recalled. 

As much as I hate to say it, sometimes seats end up at garage sales or given away because the seat was recalled by the manufacturer. Some parents may acknowledge the seat is not safe for their own child, but think they would be doing someone a favor by still giving it away. And while I can appreciate the thought that a car seat is better than no car seat, you should still be cautious.  Organizations likes the CDC, or your local health department keep a running list of car seats that have been recalled. You might have seen in the news where Graco recalled a ton of seats because of a faulty belt. I think it is safe to say that out of those thousands of seats that were recalled, not all of them made it back to Graco or were properly disposed of, and instead someone else is using it today. 

 4) New Technology.  

Have you ever looked up the evolution of the car seat? They have changed so much since they were first introduced. The first model car seats were introduced not for safety, but instead to let the child see out the window for a more pleasurable driving experience. So often I hear people say, “Well when I was growing up we didn’t have car seats, we didn’t even have seat belts.” I want to punch these people between the eye. Before safety standards for vehicles and the mandate for car seats, the cars we drove were a lot different. Do you think in 50 years, a 2014 Chevy Cavilers is going to be preserved and sitting in a collector’s garage? I think not. Cars are not built the same today. Back then, cars were luxury item that were built to last. They could crash and barely even have a ding on them. Today, you brush up against the curve and the car is totaled. We live in a different time. Cars today also run a little faster, and have considerably more drivers on the roads than back then.  

Image

A good example of how car seat technology changes  is that in 2002 car seats were not equipped with Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children (LATCH). Now however, they are a standard feature in nearly all car seats.

 The PROPER way to dispose of a car seat is to rip it to shreds. Make sure that you leave nothing left in a car seat so if someone happened to find it at the dump, they would not be tempted to get it. When there are so many different experts and organizations screaming about the safety of these seats, are you really willing to risk your child’s safety to save a few bucks? 

 I understand hardship all too well. I know that sometimes life throws up curve balls and sometimes we just cannot make ends meet. I have been there. If you find yourself in that situation, know that events like the upcoming one in my area, Buckle up, Baby! and local health departments will provide NEW car seats for FREE or at very little cost. And if you still cannot get one, message me. I do not care who you are or where you are. I do not need to know your story  or even why you need it. Just send me a message that you need a car seat, and I will personally get you a new one. Our children’s safety is just too important.

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