Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Beautiful Mommy Blog Post - "Babies Ruin Bodies"

My Mom just sent me the link to this post from a fellow Mom blogger and it brought me to tears. It is a beautiful way to describe the incredible transformations our bodies go through as mothers and a positive way at looking at the evidence left behind after the miracle of birth. There are things about my body that will never be the same after carrying the twins but I wouldn't trade those beautiful little boys for any body in the world and they certainly bring me more joy than a six pack. Enjoy this beautiful post from a young mother...

28 December 2013

"Babies Ruin Bodies"

An Ode to my Postpartum Body.

Before I became pregnant, someone told me, "don't have a baby, babies ruin your body."

It has been over a year since Anabel began her life. This time last year she was a 
microscopic speck inside of me, and we were announcing our pregnancy. Between then 
and now, I have gained and lost fifty pounds. Four months after her birth, and my body 
still carries proof of her existence. 

I have dark pools under my eyes. A valley where my belly button once was. Hips with a new 
amplitude that my teenage self wouldn't recognize. I have lines mapped across the 
mountainsof stretched skin left over on my midsection. Lightening bolts on my sides proving 
I once was too small to contain all of the love that filled me. Lines indicating that my 
daughter once lived inside of me. 

Do you realize the significance in that? Every limb, finger, toe...her heart, even, 
developed near the very place my own heart beats inside of my chest. Those mountains of 
skin are all I have left to prove that we were once one and not two. 

How can I be ashamed of that? 

I have so much to say about seeing my grandfather's eyes embedded into the sockets, and 
under the brows and lashes of her father's. I see the seventeen year old boy I fell in love 
with, and my grandpa as a child all at once every time she looks up at me. She even 
wears my ears and my chin. The two very things I cursed having the most growing up. Not 
much makes me feel more beautiful than seeing tiny renditions of those same features on 
Anabel, and realizing just how special they are. 

My body grew that. 

Not everybody has that privilege. 

Sure my belly is a bit softer nowadays, but the way it moves when I jump up and down 
sends my girl into fits of giggles. And yeah, my hips are hardly as narrow as they used to 
be, but they sure know the perfect figure-8 motion to sway her to sleep. My twenty-one 
year old hair is even beginning to gray, but not much soothes her more than my hair 
between her little fingers.

I am not something flawless in the eyes of society, or even close to what I once was 
physically, but my perfect girl sees me for who I am. 

To her, I hang the moon. 

She knows my heart - she knew it long before we met.

And she loves me for it.

I cannot tell you how much worth and validation I feel because of that truth. 

My body is only a vessel for my spirit. An incredible vessel. It is strong, well, abled, and 

My body is full of life. 
My body is powerful. 
My body made me a mother. 

If anything, I was ruined by the world before I knew her, and she made me whole again.

- From the blog "We Seek Joy"

Now don't get me wrong - if someone was handing out tummy tucks, boob jobs and butt 
implants on the corner I'd take all three... but for those of us that have to live with the
"birth marks" that building our little blessings has left us with, let the words of wisdom 
in this post remind us that there are much more important things to focus on.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Mommy Must Haves & Newborn Needs

I have added my own personal opinions as well since I recently had twins.

I have polled 25+ Mom's across Canada and asked them for their favorite must haves and tips. Including nurses/medical professionals and moms of multiples. Answers are in order of popularity when numbered.

This list is updated often so please check back. (last updated Jan 13, 2014)

See below:

breast pump - 1. Medela Electric (Double Pump, Freestyle) Must for twins, 2. Avent double pump
tip: these are expensive you can borrow, rent or buy a used one as well

nipple cream - Lansinoh, Medela nipple cream & breast pads, Lanolin, breast milk

- Some say no cream or aids should be needed as breast feeding should not be painful if it done correctly. If it is painful for you, seek out the many local help options to assist you and baby with getting the proper latch.

- applying a few drops of breast milk to nipples right after feeding si one of the best natural healers
- start applying as soon as you start breast feeding – don’t wait until nipples are sore
- other great nipple aids: nipple shields, Lanisoh cooling pads, breast pads for leakage

tummy cream - LUSH Belly Butter, belly butter stick from Rocky Mountain Soap Company, Bio Oil, Cocco Butter, Almond oil (l'occtain)

tip: lube up tummy, breasts, bum and love handle area everyday from 4 months on.

diaper brand - Pampers Swaddlers are the best for newborns by far! Then Huggies (for boys) and Pampers (for girls) mostly, otherwise Pampers was the favorite

tip: NOT max dry. New born sensitive is what to start with and then on to the cruisers which are just as soft! DON'T get the 24 hr ones. They feel like card board!

diaper cream - 1. Penatane, 2. Arbonne, 3. Baby Butz, 3. Sudocream, 4. Calendula, Desitin, Vasoline, Baby Butz

- the hospitals are using a new cream called Baby Butz , that is supposed to be amazing. I find it to be really thick and hard to spread but works perfectly directly around the anus to prevent diaper rash and then use something creamier for the rest of the bum/area. 

- baby's bum needs to be very dry before applying the cream, otherwise it locks in the moisture and causes diaper rash.
- from a Mom who's child has NEVER had diaper rash: "we never used wet wipes - we kept a bowl of sterile water (Boiled daily) and used large square cotton pads to clean her and then used sudocream as a barrier cream"
- cornstarch also works well

wipes - 1. Costco diaper wipes... 'the best and cheapest', 2. Aleva Naturals

diaper bag – 1. Kate Spade, 2. JuJuBe "Packabe", 3. Scout by Patunia (best for Dad's) 4. Patunia Pickle Bottom, 5. Prada, 6. Gucci, 7. Tory Burch

tip: Skip Hop (best for travel),

soothers - 1. Gum Drop (Ortho approved), 2. Avent, 3. Soothies (medical), 4. Nuk

bottles - 1. Avent, 2. Nuk, Tommy Tippee, 3. Playtex, 4. Medela 

tip: Avent bottle warmer, steamer (saves time from boiling water, you don't have to buy a bottle drying rack - you can leave the bottles to dry in the steamer) I find a bowl of hot water works just as well and takes up less counter space ;)

formula - 1. Nestle brand, 2. Enfamile, 3. Similac, PC brand

tip: You should have formula as a back up even if you plan on breast feeding. Kirkland brand from Costco is basically the same stuff as Nestle and you get double the amount for the same price or cheaper

teething aid/med - 1. Tylenol/advil, 2. Hyland's teething tablets, 3. Kolic gripe water , 4. frozen chews/clothes, Calendula, 5. Camilia drops, natural teething powder called Nelson's Teething Granules,  Cuddles

tip: Amber teething necklaces seem to be a favorite. Numbing creams aren't really recommended any longer but Hylands does make a natural version that can be found on

gas aid - BioGaia drops, Gripe water, tummy rubs

baby bath products – 1. Aveeno, 2. Johnsons and Johnsons - I like Melaleuca

bassinet - 1. "pack n Play" with bassinet/newborn napper option, 2. Monte baby bassinet, 3. Jolly Jumper brand

tip: most typically won't need a bassinet per say just something that easily rolls or can be carried from room to room or a play pen. They will usually only use a bassinet for a couple weeks - 3 months max anyways.

car seat - 1. Peg Perego – Primo Viaggo (with the extra head support), 2. Brittax, 3. Chico (lighter option), 4. Graco, 5. Safety First

tip: a mirror for them to see themselves and you can angel it so you can see them in the rear view as well

stroller - 1. City Select (must for twins), 2. Bugaboo, 3. Umbralla strollers for travel, 4. Bumbleride, 5. B.O.B, 6. Safety First

swing - 1. Graco Swing/Bouncey seat combo, 2. Mamaroo (smaller, low to ground)

tip: vibrating/bouncy chairs can be just as great

high chair - 1. Bumbo with tray, 2. booster seats that attach to your normal kitchen chairs, 3. Lobster Chair (attaches to a table), Tripp Trapp, Inglesina (attaches to a table), Ikea (attaches to table) 4. Graco

monitor - 1. Summer Video, 2. Motorola, 3. Angelcare 4. Safety First, 5. Lorex video

sleep training system/book - 1. Baby Whisperer, 2. Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child (3rd edition), 3. Happiest Baby on the Block, 4. On becoming Babywise, 5. Kitty Raymond-parenting expert in Calgary, Tracy Spackman's method, Lullababy, Gina Ford 

- the 'sleep sheep' (travel)  was mentioned many times as were white noise toys/machines of all kinds. Also the Fisher Price aquarium seems to be popular.
- lots of newborns will sleep a ton until the development stage around 4 months where you may need to sleep train
- sleep sacs/gro bags are great post swaddling
- phone app “Total Baby” to keep track of schedule (only app for twins)
- for twins my favorite book and baby bible basically is 'A Contended House With Twins' by Gina Ford and Alice Beer.

swaddle blankets - 1. Aden and Anais brand 2. Muslin  

must have items for baby - swaddle blankets, lots of  burp cloths and bibs, Vitamin D drops, BioGaia Probiotic digestive drops, Sophie the Giraffe, Sleep Sheep or white noise of some sort, a humidifier works wonders for dry Alberta air, tummy time mat/play mat, vibrating chair, excer- saucer, Jolly Jumper, wipe warmer, sleepers that zip (as opposed to button up)

must have items for toddler - books, music, outdoor toys, playdough, chalk board, magnets, Cloud B, jolly jumper, stacking cups, a big box - you'd be amazed at what the box become with their little imaginations, Ipad

must have items for mom - HELP - as much as possible in the first 3 - 6 months, wine, time-off/nanny/nite nurse (must for twins), a cleaner/maid, frozen meals (my personal favourite),  melatonin (natural sleep aid for mom), hooter hider for public breast feeding, Thyme nursing tank top and Bravado nursing bras, nipple cream, & breast pads, nipple shields, maternity leggings, book: 'Girlfriends Guide to First Year of Motherhood', full bum undies for post birth maxi pad wearing, Belly bands for breast feeding, beaba baby cooker from william-sonoma, great for making home made baby food, M Coat while pregnant in the winter can use after too

travel items - a good baby carrier,  travel high chairs - My Little Seat, IPAD, umbrella stroller, good ear phones that stay on their little heads, bibs, kids backpack, hat for cold planes, books, soft baby toys, window shade, blanket, mirrors for the back of the seats so they can look at themselves, travel crib/play pen, tupperware, Skip Hop diaper bag, Gopod (travel excersaucer),

tip: get a cheaper car seat for travel so you don't have to take yours out of your car

baby carrier - 1. Beco carrier - makes a carrier where the baby can face out and in, 2. Bjorn, 3. Baby Wrap

play pen/yard – 1. Graco pack n play, 2. Baby Bjorn travel

vehicle for children - any safe all wheel drive and one with TV's, Something with LOTS of trunk space. A mirror in the car for them to see themselves and you can angle it so you can see them as well, Mini Van -Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna. Suv - Highlander, BMW

maternity store – Destination Maternity, H & M, GAP, Old Navy, Thyme 
Calgary - Posh Mommy in Kensington, Ella Bella, 
Edmonton - Yo Momma

tip: going up a size or two in regular pants and tops is great for the first 4 – 6 months, flowy tops are great, you will most likely need proper maternity pants for 3rd trimester, Topshop and/or American Apparel body con dresses

online maternity - Children's Place, Gap,, Topshop (my favorite), Forever 21, Hatch

kids store - West Coast Kids/E children, Joe Fresh Superstore, Babies 'r' Us, Restoration Hardware, Kazc Kids, Caters, Old Navy, Amazon

tip: babies go through clothes so fast and barely wear outfits before 3 months that you mostly need sleepers for the first 3 - 6 months, don’t spend too much money on clothes until they can wear them longer - 18+ months, size 5 shoes seem to get the longest wear for toddlers (about 10 – 18 months old)

online kids - Zulily, babyhalf off, babysteals, Neiman Marcus,,

baby/mom website - Baby Center, The Bump, rosie pope, What to Expect

tip: most have apps for phone as well

baby/mom blog - confessions of a scary mommy,,,
Other great tips:

- having friends and family give you frozen meals for the first few months as finding time to cook/make food can be difficult

- look into midwives or dulas for birthing process and look early in your pregnancy as they are hard to find – look into ‘the business of being born' movie - but be cautious of home birth as complications can arise that may cause issue for baby if not close to a hospital