To Co-Sleep or Not to Co-Sleep | 11 Comments

By Julie Johnson | Category: The Journey of Motherhood

I woke up yesterday morning to a local radio talk show host mentioning  the dangers of co-sleeping. I actually like this guy from past shows. He is funny and interesting. Yet, instead of hitting the snooze button, my ears were ready to hear what he had to say on the subject. The only thing I did like was that his wife was still breastfeeding their 9 month old and she brings the baby back into bed with her to nurse about 3-4 times a week. He doesn’t think this is safe and wished that she didn’t do it. He went on to mention all the "dangers" associated with bed sharing. Whether I believe in bed sharing or not, let’s be practical here. The main concerns that we all hear are the risks of SIDS with co-sleeping. I find it illogical to think that it is safer for an infant to sleep in another room, down the hall no less, instead of being close to it’s mother.

With my first two children, my bed was my bed. That was that. If I had to sleep on their floor for whatever reason, so be it. Then came the "princess" and I figured out that I actually slept better with her right there.  When you have a child with you in bed, where are the mother’s hands? They are usually laying on top of the baby. When your child moves or lack of movement, a mother is aware. It is real hard to have that kind of reassurance when the baby is down the hall. Now I am not saying that everyone needs to co-sleep. Co-sleeping is kinda like childbirth classes, you prepare for it, study the pros and cons for your family situation and pay attention more to the "technique" of it. 

I would like to hear people’s opinion though. Have they done it, was it successful?
As for our "princess" when I was finally sick of being kicked in the back, I attempted to transition her back to her own room.  I will confess…she was ready for a twin bed. (And my back has since recovered.)

CAPPA’s Certified Lactation Educator and Trainer
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Lamaze childbirth educator
owner of Birth and Breastfeeding Solutions

Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007

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Simple Salt Dough | Leave a comment

By kristinabjornbak | Category: Kids Crafts

The holidays are coming, and for me, that means crafts.  I love doing crafts, but with little hands in the house, I have to be careful about what kinds of crafts I do and when.  However, I love to include my children if I can, and it gives us a great opportunity to spend quality time together.  A great way to do this is to use salt dough.

If you’ve never heard of salt dough, it’s something akin to modeling clay.  If you do a quick internet search, you’ll find a great number of salt dough recipes.  Choose one that suits you.  However, to keep it safe for the little ones, choose one that doesn’t have any extra non-safe additives, such as perfume.  A simple salt dough recipe consists of salt (obviously), flour, water, and sometimes cooking oil.

Follow the recipe for mixing and drying.  To add safe colors, consider "painting" with food coloring after the creation is dry, or knead food coloring into the dough before you model it.  Mixing part-way will give you a marble effect.  Of course, for older children who won’t be tempted to put things in their mouths or knock things over, acrylic paint is fine once the model is dry.

Have fun and let the kids be creative.  Use cookie cutters to make Christmas ornaments, let the kids make hand prints, or let them make something all their own.  But remember: if your child says that blob is a dog, then it’s a dog.

Kristina B.

Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2007

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A New Baby Is Born And So Is A Need To Exercise | 2 Comments

By kimevans | Category: Fit 4 Life

Kim_2 Wow, it’s simply amazing how you forget, no matter how many children you have, how all consuming a newborn is.  They are full of wonder and amazement and you find your wondering how you’re going to get anything done (for yourself) now that they’re a part of your life.  My husband and I welcomed our new son into our lives just over a month ago and we are so in love with him.  He’s our second child, we also have two-year old daughter who loves being a “big sista” and is already very helpful. Yet with all the help in the world I still find that my “to do” list doesn’t shorten, rather with each passing day I have more I want to do yet no time.

By way of a quick introduction, my name is Kim Evans, I’m the co-founder of fit+giggles, a mom of 2 (as you now know).  I’m married to a wonderfully supportive husband and we have a 6-year old Vizsla/Weimaraner dog with boundless energy.  My family and I are California natives and we live in San Diego.  Exercise is my passion and with everything I do I try to incorporate fun and creativity into it.

Growing up I always had one sport or another that I was involved in.  My love for exercise was formalized just over a year ago when a friend of mine and I officially opened the “doors” to a health and wellness company called fit+giggles…check us out at  The mission of fit+giggles is to reduce the aches, pains and injuries of new Moms while increasing their strength, agility and balance through improved function to achieve a healthier mind, body and spirit. Our first product is a postnatal exercise DVD that allows Mom’s to exercise with their babies…and I must add that the idea for the company was born from necessity.  This business was developed when, as a brand new Mom, I simply couldn’t find the time to exercise and I was experiencing all sorts of “new Mom” aches and pains.  My friend, a physical therapist, helped me exercise my way away from those pains.  With that, we set out to educate anyone and everyone we could reach on how they to could rid their body of these same pains.

This past January we were at a baby/new mom trade show in Los Angeles and had the amazing fortune of meeting Heather, the founder of Mom 4 Life.  Heather asked to sell our DVD on her website, and because she believed in our vision she welcomed me to contribute to this blog newsletter.  What a great way, I thought, to share my exercise passion and program with other new Moms. My hope is that together we can all get back into our pre-baby shape, learn safe and functional ways to do everyday activities like squatting to pick up dropped items, lunging to reach for the binky that’s rolled behind a chair or stretching to alleviate tension in the upper back, etc. all while bonding with our new babies.  My goal is to share with you what I’m doing on a regular basis to get my body back to feeling happy.  So with the intros out of the way, here we go.

October 1, 2007 – This is the long anticipated day that we welcomed Wyatt into this world.  My doctors advised me that exercise was something I shouldn’t be focusing on and that I need to allow my body to heal.  Hmmm, sounds like a fine idea but we all know that as soon as you have your new baby, your back to using your muscles in ways that they haven’t been used during the past 9 months or so.  You might not be officially exercising (I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say “who has the energy for that anyway”), but we are all rocking side to side for hours on end soothing our baby, bending over and squatting in funny ways to pick up dropped blankets, burp cloths, and binkys, and doing the oh so awkward and straining reach to get the car seat in and out of the car without waking the baby.  These are just a few of the things we do that, without a good night’s sleep, will likely cause you to break a small sweat or start to pant.  We quickly find that we’re using our muscles right away just to do everyday activities with the baby safely cradled in one arm.  Life doesn’t give us the 6 weeks window that doctors want us to take without “strenuous” exercise. 

With that being said, please join me on the journey of getting our bodies ready to tackle everyday activities safely…let’s take it together.

How did you start your journey back to your pre-baby body and comfort level, I’d love to hear about it?

Happy Bonding,
A Mom and Exerciser 4 Life

Posted Monday, November 12, 2007

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The “office” of Mom 4 Life video | 9 Comments

By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Surprize Me!

Here is something just for fun. . . we wanted to make a video highlighting our staff and a bit about what they do and who they are.  It took us a week or so to put it all together but we have it done and I would love to share it with you.  Click here to see the short 3 minute clip or click on the image below.  For those of you who are fans of the sitcom "the office" (as Britta, Anneke and I are), I hope you will feel that we did it justice!  Let me know what you think (and I am concerned if the volume is too low so let me know about that too).

Heather Ledeboer

I am a Christian, wife, mom and the original founder of Mom 4 Life. Now that Ashley owns Mom 4 Life, I am focusing my energies in homeschooling and asking God to use me in other areas.

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Posted Sunday, November 11, 2007

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Is There Lead in our Children’s foods? | 2 Comments

By jennylee | Category: Recipes & Kitchen Tips

Food Yes. Since lead is present in the environment, from both natural and man-made sources, a low level of lead is present in many food products. Lead is a naturally occurring metal found in small amounts in the Earth’s crust. However most of the lead found throughout the environment comes from human activities.

During the several months, we have heard of many toys been recalled by the news because of lead exposure.  Such toys that been recalled due to lead paints are Thomas The Train, Elmo, Dora toys and Fisher- Price.  To see other recalled toys, click here.

The most common source of lead contamination from human activities is likely to be from lead-based paints but exposure can occur from a number of sources:

• Eating foods or drinking water that contain lead

• Spending time in areas where lead-based paints have been used and are deteriorating or being worked on

• Having hobbies in which lead may be used

• Using ceramic ware that has a lead glaze.

Children are poisoned by mouthing objects with lead dust on them, such as fingers and toys, by chewing on surfaces coated with lead paint, such as window sills, or by eating paint chips.  The most likely sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipe and brass fittings used in household plumbing.  About 5 percent of children ingest enough lead from food and beverages to be at risk for adverse health effects. The FDA has estimated that about 20 percent of all dietary lead comes from canned food and two-thirds of that results from lead solder in cans. Acidic foods can leach lead from the solder in the seams of cans. Lead enters the food chain from soil, deposition from the air, containers and food processing equipment.  Lead can also get into your child’s foods by certain dishes, lunch boxes, and/or glasses you may use.

Want to test your home for lead?  You can buy lead test strips (a link of where to purchase lead test strips are on the bottom of my home page- and test your children’s toys, canned foods, lunch boxes, dishes, paint etc.  If you do find anything that contains lead let us know and get rid of it right away.

Why did I decide to talk about lead under Food for Thought?  Simple, Lead is a very dangerous metal that enters our kids bodies very easily and without us being aware of it.  It can make our children very sick and in severe lead exposure, death. However, there are things you as a parent can still do in helping your child’s body fight lead from a nutrition point of view.  Believe it or not iron, calcium and garlic can enhance the excretion of lead in the urine.  So if you think your child has been exposed to lead make an appointment to see his doctor but also provide them with high foods containing iron, calcium and garlic.

Jenny Lee
A mom and certified nutrition specialist and inventor of the Bee-Z Snack Shop

Posted Sunday, November 11, 2007

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