The Right Breast Pump for You!

pump_03Deciding on a breast pump is tough. I felt overwhelmed while researching breast pumps when I was new mommy-to-be. I was geared toward prices and wasn’t sure if that was due to quality or production. Once I discovered that my insurance will cover a hospital grade breast pump, I was able to pick the right breast pump for me. With my first son I choose the Ameda “Purely Yours,” which was a double electric pump. The pump included an electric adapter with battery option (for on the go) base, tubing, bottles, and suction accessories. It didn’t come with a carrying bag but was given the option to upgrade. The size of the pump was good for any small over the shoulder bag pump_02so that was a plus. Even though I could have used my Ameda again, the time in-between my first and second son was long enough to change pumps especially  with constant technology growth. So I decided to try the Medela  “Pump in Style” double electric pump. I really enjoyed using this pump and felt it had more options for stronger suction. The pump included only an electric adapter on the base, tubing, suction cups, bottles, and a carrying bag. I did have the option with my insurance to pump_01upgrade to a backback for a little more but was happy to use the bag. When I was out of town while breastfeeding and had forgotten my pump, I made a quick purchase that made me the owner of a Medela “Harmony.” The pump was a single manuel breast pump and while it was a little work out, it did the job! I’d advise to keep one of these handy. Some hosptials do give you a manual hand pump when you deliver your baby. Ask your doctor if that is something yours will do.

I wish I never stressed the first time around but that was because I didn’t know my pump could be covered by health insurance. Once I knew I could pick out a hospital grade quality pump with no or little cost was such a relief! A company that I always go to and fully recommend is the “Breastfeeding Store.” They are a family owned business which specializes in working with Military Moms and Tricare Insurance. Even if you’re not a military family, you are welcome to fill out their form and they will work with your insurance company. Their process is so simple and they make sure that Moms are able to get the right breast pump so that breastfeeding is simplified and enjoyable.

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5 Tips that Make Breastfeeding Easier

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After going through the breastfeeding process twice, there’s a few tips I wish I knew ahead of time. My first son I breastfeed for 15 months and my second well, we are still on the journey. During my first and second, I learned to enjoy my time feeding baby and hope to help others who wish to breastfeed. Here are 5 tips I came up with that helped my journey and I hope for them to help yours as well:

  1. Patience – being calm and patient allowed me to relax with my baby. This also allowed me to enjoy the time I had feeding Baby. The more relaxed I became the more milk I produced, after feedings I eventually able to pumped what baby didn’t eat!
  2. Breastfeeding Pillow – This can be anything from a regular pillow to ones made exclusively for breastfeeding. I used “My Brest Friend” for both kids. I loved the way it clipped around my waist and gave both baby and I support, it was perfect for breastfeeding.
  3. Nursing Cover – Using a nursing cover helped my breastfeeding anxiety in public. I used anything from a muslin swaddle blanket to wraps made for breastfeeding. Even the right loose t-shirts opted for a cover and that was enough. The importance of allowing yourself to go out n’ about as a new Mom is a lot. Breastfeeding shouldn’t stop your freedom.
  4. Nutrition – A healthy balanced diet helped me produce more milk. I also felt I was restricted from more foods while breastfeeding than pregnant. I learned quickly specific foods either didn’t allow me to produce quality milk or would upset the baby’s tummy! To eliminate what foods didn’t work, I created a list of what I ate, how I felt, how it made baby feel, and how I would replace it, if needed. Another reminder was how much calories you burn while breastfeeding your baby. Increasing your food intake is normal and will help increase your milk production too!
  5. Schedule – Stick to a feeding schedule. Not only is routine healthy in any lifestyle, it also helps develop one of the first schedules for your baby. Even though its breastfeeding, think of it as lunch, breakfast, and dinner, as well as snacks. You may also start to produce enough milk to include snacks as milk you pumped after feeding baby nights before!

As I encourage any Mom or Mommy-to-be to breastfeed these are just a few tips that helped me while feeding my two boys. A huge help was investing in a breast pump! A breast pump allowed me to increase my supply as well as keep breast milk safe for baby to eat while I was away. Pumping also gave my husband, grandma, and friends the ability to bond while feeding baby. The Breastfeeding Shop helps Mommies-to-be obtain a breast pump through their medical insurance. They make the process fast and easy. All you have to do is follow the instructions on this form and submit it! I would recommend using this company to help make the breastfeeding process easy and stress free! The mom life was created to be enjoyed, stay positive and strong!

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Run Revel – Mount Charleston 2017

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On April 29th, 2017 I ran my first downhill marathon. Just an hour out from the glowing Las Vegas Strip you will find cottages and two lane roads up Kyle Canyon, this is Mount Charleston. Most runners gravitate towards downhill marathons with bright eyes and their heart set on a BQ time. While downhill racing tends to give a runner a new PR, it’s not as easy on your body as you would think. When I registered for Mount Charleston, I wanted a vacation along with the experience of a downhill race. I knew I wasn’t ready for a BQ but a PR would be in my future. Run Revel is known for their downhill beautiful courses and quality race experience. They host a few races a year with half and full marathon distances. When you Run Revel, you know you are joining a strong group of runners that train hard and finish strong.

runrevel_03When I told Mav I registered for Mount Charleston, he jumped online and said, “you know this is going to be a Vegas vacation.” While there are hotels near the race finish line, you bus up to the start line from a parking lot in Summerlin. Since we drove to Las Vegas and had a car, staying on the strip was ideal for us. We drove up the day before the race, checked in and headed out to packet pick up. Once I had my bib, I was getting excited. Training for a downhill race included a lot of uphill runs, along with stretches, fuel prep, and IT roll outs. One thing that always makes me nervous while running is my knees, I can train, prepare, and supplement. However, I never know if they are going to act up. I knew if they were going to give me trouble, a downhill race would be when be when pain may show up. Instead of being scared, I prayed and figured if Mount Charleston was going to be my race then everything would go as planned. Las Vegas holds a lot of my favorite restaurants, so Mav and I had an early dinner and for the first time ever, I was able to get to bed by 8 PM with a 3 AM alarm.runrevel_04

Before I knew it 3 AM rolled around and I jumped out of bed, from that moment I started pre race hydration with nuun performance. I can’t eat before a race so nuun performance has been a game charger for me. It’s the right amount of carb and electrolytes to keep me hydrated and strong throughout my long runs. Mav drove me to the parking lot in Summerlin, I sat in the car for awhile until I braved the chilly windy weather and jumped in the bus line, which was headed to the marathon start line. While in line, everyone was ecstatic and excited. Talking about the previous years race, where they flew in from, and that BQ they were chasing. One women shared her story of chasing a BQ for 15 years, I admired her journey and wished her luck. I thought to myself, “this race is serious, it’s a make it or break it for a lot of runners.” Driving up, we passed the half marathon start line…a part of me thought, “can I change my mind now.”  Soon, we were at the start line which was a cute little cabin restaurant and lodge. While the race temperature at finish was a perfect 72 degrees. The start line reminded me of my fun chilly race in Florida this past January. You forget how chilly and windy it is the higher up the mountain you go. Knowing I would be running and warmed up soon, I just couldn’t wait until that blow horn went off.

runrevel_01Starting down the hill, it was really windy. I once again had a flashback to my first marathon and tried to keep a positive focus. The first couple of miles were steep and allowed me to gain momentum, this is were I kept a steady 8-8:30 min/miles. Hydration stations and port a potties were located just about every mile down the course. I kept to my plan of at least getting an ounce or two of water each stop, along with my honey stinger gels each hour of running. nuun performance keeps me hydrated for a good portion of the run, while the gels give me the amino acids my body needs. This course had so much to see and kept me mentally free. my focus on the scenery and the sounds of the outdoors kept me on pace. When I would set my eyes on the distance I could see the north side of the strip. Coming up on the half marathon start line, I was feeling good. This is where it started to warm up and I knew I was halfway to finish. Arriving at mile 18-20 during a marathon is tough, I always feel like I’m almost finished but the miles start to get longer and I need to stay head strong. This is also were the Mount Charleston course tends to flatten out. I started to feel my quads on fire. I knew if I wanted to PR, It was going to have to be on me and my training. With 5k to go, it really hit me. I wanted to walk but my legs weren’t ready to give up. I kept my focus on the signs of the spectators cheering the runners on. Since most of the course is closed off, it does give spectators a tough time to cheer on loved ones, unless they drive up or live along the course. I’m always for spectators towards the end of 26.2 miles!! Since my head was telling my body to slow down but the crowd was telling me to “finish strong.” Before I knew it I could see the finish line, approaching it took forever even though it was a quick minute. lol. I could see Mav to my right at the finish, this gave me the strength to push harder. Shortly after I finished I checked my time, which was better than the time I saw while crossing the finish line!! I finished in 4:09:45 for a 9:31/mile, a new PR for me!

Looking back at this marathon, I found myself in most of the miles. Run Revel exceeded my expectations, from a organized quality course to the quality of challenging runners. Once you run a downhill marathon, it’s tough to meet your running goals with any other course. This was my third marathon, and I plan to make a Run Revel event my fourth. If you are pursuing your dream of running Boston, I would advise to sign up for a downhill marathon. Run Revel shaved 17 mins off my previous marathon time!

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Breastfeeding Simplified at The Breastfeeding Shop

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The age difference between my first and second son is almost 3 years. Since I breastfed my first son, It came natural to do so with my second. Even though the age difference isn’t large, the advances in all sorts of baby gear made it hard to reuse the second time around. One of these items was my breast pump! While my first breast pump worked great, it also had seen a lot of love. So once again I found myself shopping breast pumps. This time around, I also was running a lot so I needed one that was convenient for travel. Luckily, I didn’t have to search far as I did with Baby Baby. The Breastfeeding Shop was a one stop, easy and great way to shop the perfect pump!TravelBreastPump

By offering a variety of breast pumps and accessories, I knew I could find one for the comfort of home and travel. Along with bottles and storage items I would need. Since they work with your insurance company, they help ensure your breast pump is covered. Their expertise is working with Military Moms and Tricare insurance, so that they can receive the top of line breast pumps at no cost.

In order to start the process to your insurance covered breast pump, you will need a prescription. No need to worry though, if you don’t have one yet.  The Breastfeeding Shop is able to contact your doctor on your behalf.  Once the prescription is available, you are able to fill out this form. In a few easy steps, the claim is processed and the pump is shipped directly to you! The Breastfeeding Shop simplifies the breast pump process and allows Moms-to-be access to the best products.

 

It’s Giveaway Time!

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TinkerBell Half Marathon Weekend is in just a few short days. This half holds a special place in my heart as it is my first! In honor of my first half, I am giving away a Momentum Jewelry Wrap to two lucky winners! In order to win, please click on the link below and make sure you follow my Instagram!

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Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks Review

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I was excited when Baby Mum-Mum reached out to Pray Run Live Love because their baby rice rusks were next on my list while shopping for the boys. We are always looking for different snacks, especially ones that offer a healthier alternative. If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you know that when I first introduced solids into Baby Baby’s diet, I made all his food. I really enjoyed knowing everything that went into his body. Of course over time and “grandma” visits, his diet isn’t always restricted to what I can make. So doing research and purchasing items that reflect a good diet is what I strive to do.BabyMumMum2

Now that I’ve begun the same process of making food for Little Little, I’m starting to introduce more healthier pre made snacks into his diet as well. We love Baby Mum-Mum Rice Rusks! Not only does Baby Baby eat them with peanut butter, Little little enjoys them too on their own. This past month I started adding snacks to his diet that he can feed himself with.  I was sent four flavors: original, original “fruit juice sweetened, no salt added,” banana, and carrot. Little Little liked all of them but favored “carrot” the most. The packaging is great and allows us to throw a few 2-pack mum-mums in the diaper bag for out ‘n’ about snacks. I could have seen Baby Baby really loving these snacks when we first introduced him to solids. They are lightly flavored and practically weightless. Since they quickly disolve while in your mouth, I’m not worried about the boys choking or eating too much. They are perfect for teething and introducing solid foods. I recommend Baby Mum-Mum to any child 3 and under.

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PROS:

  • lightweight
  • no mess
  • several flavors
  • naturally sweetened
  • made free of all 10 common allegies
  • individually wrapped 2-packs

 

CONS:

  • quick to snap apart

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Surf City 10 – 2016

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New PR by 4 minutes! I’ll take it =)

The Surf City 10 was my first race since giving birth to Little Little. I was 8 weeks postpartum and cleared two weeks prior to the race to run, so I wasn’t sure how I would place. Throughout my pregnancy I continued to run, but as I approached month 8 and 9 I became discouraged with my time and pelvic pain. I wasn’t going into the race unprepared but not with as many miles as I would have planned. I opted to run the 10k as I knew I was strong enough to make the 6 miles down PCH. I really wanted this run to measure my strength and to challenge me mentally as I’m currently training for my first marathon in January.

Baby Baby had to join in on the fun!

Baby Baby had to join in on the fun!

My previous 10k time to beat was 57:37, which I ran back in March at 15 weeks pregnant. I knew this was definitely something I could do, especially with a mostly flat course and the sound of waves crashing in the background. The morning of the run I was excited and ready to go. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep but I had a lot of energy. I received an adrenaline rush shortly after walking over to the start line. The first 3 miles of the race were smooth, I was well hydrated and had a positive mindset. Mile 3-4 was the turn around which had a slight incline. It didn’t keep me from maintaining a 9 minute pace. Shortly into mile 4 I picked up momentum which gave me a push into a 8 minute pace. As I entered the last mile I kept my focus on all the positive things in my life over the past year and how good it felt to run free again. I finished the 10k at 53:26 which averaged to a 8:36 mile pace.

Surf City 10 is an awesome race and the views are breathtaking. The race is designed for runners of all distances which allows them to train for the Surf City Marathon in February. This year’s Surf City 10 will be special for me as it marks my new 10k PR. The race was great for me to test where I’m at in my running. As I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy registering for races to hold me accountable. I only hope to gain speed and strength over the years. My next race is less than two weeks away in Las Vegas. My time to beat is 02:13:06! It’s my second half-marathon and this time I won’t be 6 months pregnant, lol. Training has been going well and I’m looking forward to a new PR!

Post race family hangs <3

Post race family hangs <3

Pretend City Children’s Museum

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This past week the boys and I visited Pretend City Children’s Museum. Before visiting I really didn’t know what to expect, all I knew about the museum was it is designed to teach children, “how the world works.” When we arrived, we were given a tour and learned about each exhibit which made up a miniature city. The exhibit’s are all interactive and designed to allow children to explore them on their own. This gives a child the ability to be creative and to exercise their cognitive thinking skills. Each exhibit will tell you why it was created and how it will help your child’s development. Some of the skills a child will be building include: critical thinking, fine motor skills, social-emotional skills, leadership, appreciation for diversity, and the list goes on!

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Just a small view of “The Farm,” which also features live baby chicks!

What really I liked about the Museum is it has a little something for all ages. Baby Baby is almost 3 and I felt he was a good age to explore all the exhibits. He really enjoyed the farm, amphitheater, grocery store, and science center. For younger children, there is a soft playground area in the center of the city which helps build balance and coordination. For older children, the exhibits will allow them to develop their critical thinking skills. I also learned the Museum hosts different events, from Baby Steps to Autism Event Nights. I love this, since it allows Parents to connect with the community, gain knowledge and support.

There is so much to do at Pretend City, I felt the first visit just got Baby Baby’s brain thinking. I know we will definately be planning to go back. As he grows older, I can see him exploring each exhibit from a different prospective. I’m also excited to see how Little Little will grow with the city, once he learns to crawl. I included some pictures from our adventure. I couldn’t get all the exhibits, we did have other favorites such as the marina, beach, and home. After all, it is just like a city! Stay turned to future adventures, which I’m sure I’ll post on Instagram.

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A glimpse of the bank, grocery store, post office, and gas station!

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Baby Baby grocery shopping! He loved naming the fruits and veggies along with their colors!

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The amphitheater! This was Baby Baby’s favorite, he loved playing with everything from the props to the soundboard =)

 

Wrapy Baby Wrap Carrier Review

Out n' About with our Wrapy!

Out n’ About with our Wrapy!

When it comes to baby wraps my goto wraps are K’tan, Moby, or Boba. All very similar but each carries a different style. So, when I was asked to try the Wrapy Baby Wrap I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was hesitant at first or maybe a little intimidated when I opened the wrap, since the wrap is so long! However, it does come with illustrated picture instructions which are easy to depict. The instructions allow for 4 different carrying positions with the wrap. I followed the directions for the position best suited for a newborn. In time I’m sure we’ll try others. I practiced with it weeks before baby arrived and maybe a few times after baby arrived, haha. Just to make sure I had it right, safe, and secure. Our first outing with the wrap was simple, we were out for about 3 hours and walked around maybe 1/2 hour during the 3. Little Little stayed asleep the whole outing! The wrap allowed the most skin to skin contact and for him to lay his head on my chest. It was nice to have him so close but also have my hands free. This was perfect, since I had my toddler with me and needed to be available for him as well. Overall, I’d recommend this wrap if you’re able to stay patient with instructions and want a Moby-like carrier wrap without the price tag.

Wrapy Baby Carrier

Wrapy Baby Carrier

Pros:

  • The material is 95% cotton and 5% spandex for a super soft and comfortable feel
  • The long length of the wrap allows you to secure it tightly for safety
  • Available in various solid colors: red, grey, black, and navy blue
  • Comes with matching carrying pouch, perfect for traveling
  • Machine washable
  • Great price for quality

 

Cons:

  • Instructions may be complicated for those who don’t do well with visuals
  • The wrap does claim you can use it with baby up to 35 lbs but I’d say more like 20 lbs
  • Does not support back babywearing

 

*you can read more and purchase your Wrapy on the following site:

Amazon.com

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Comfy & Cozy with Mama!

Mom of Two

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Only 10 hours old! So comfy and cozy <3

Early last week I became a mom of two! I can’t begin to explain how blessed I feel. My labor & delivery was fast and easy! From the time I arrived at the hospital until I was in advanced labor was all about 5 hours. As soon as Little Little was handed to me I fell in love, he is perfect…all 6 lbs of him! The transition into taking care of two little ones has been smooth. Of course, I’ve had Mav home with me this past week and he helps out with the small stuff. I believe the biggest help was being prepared. Prepared in the sense of having the right tools; rock ‘n play, dockatot, brestfriend, etc. all within easy access. It’s crazy how everything becomes second nature the second time around. I really can say I’m enjoying taking care of a newborn without worry. I didn’t get much of that with Baby Baby. While naturally I became a mother, anxiety and worry haunted me for months until I was able to relinquish the unknown to God. I’m so happy my prayers have been answered.

Coming home! Baby Baby watching his Little Brother!

Coming home! Baby Baby watching his Little Brother!

As for Baby Baby, he has taken an interest in his new Baby Brother. I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially after his visit at the hospital. He wanted nothing to do with me let alone his new Baby Brother but once at home, he was back to himself and attempts to help out when he can. It’s really a precious sight and I’m looking forward to watching the two grow up together.

Balancing my time between the boys has been a small challenge. Baby Baby is learning patience; he’s not use to Mommy not jumping up anytime he asks for something. While Little Little is busy being a newborn; he eats, sleeps, poops, and lays on Mommy. Once we find a routine that works, especially when it’s just the three of us. I’m sure balance will establish itself with time. I can give myself a little credit for only being 6 days in, lol. Overall, my heart is full and that’s all that matters.