Meredith

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10 Signs You’re a Normal Mom + $275 Target Gift Card Giveaway

10 Signs You’re a Normal Mom + $275 Target Gift Card Giveaway

I’m getting so sick of all of these Facebook video parodies portraying “Types of Moms”.

(I mean, of course I still watch them…)

You know the ones. It’s a video that showcases several moms, each acting out some exaggerations of a stereotypical type of mom: Granola Mom, PTA Mom, Helicopter Mom, Hot Mess Mom.

I’ve always watched these videos and struggled to find the Mom that I am. Yes, I buy organic fruit snacks, but I also get happy meals occasionally. Yes, I watch my kid like a hawk and carry neosporin everywhere, but I don’t freak out about cuts or scrapes because that’s just what happens to kids. So, which am I?

What if I’m just a NORMAL MOM?

I started thinking about some of the things that feel real to me as a mother, and I thought I’d share them. I think these are pretty normal Mom Traits, and they’ve applied while I’ve been on maternity leave at home with two kids, as well as my life as a working mom when I’m back in the corporate world as a working parent.

You might be a Normal Mom if…

A Messy Bun is your go-to

To be fair, a messy bun has always been my go-to. It just feels nice to actually have a reason my hair is always pulled back, instead of the real excuse of being lazy and not wanting to blow dry and style my hair.

You have or want Mom Gear

#MomLife #MamaBear #MyTribe ….you have it all, and if you don’t, you secretly want it. My own mom bought me this shirt and hat and they’re pretty much my favorite things ever. This mug is also one of my favorites, a gift from one of my best mama friends!

You’ve reheated the same cup of coffee 4,657 times in one day

I don’t care if you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom. That cup of coffee is being reheated ALLTHETIME. Monday. Saturday. Friday. Any Day.

Mom Brain is a real excuse for things

Not just things. ALL THINGS. It’s when Pregnancy Brain graduates to Mom Brain, and never leaves. It just sets up shop and will basically be with you forever.

You (and a crew of 10) won’t ever starve while out on a trip because you’re always equipped with snacks

This is a real picture of a turkey leg in my diaper bag. Clearly no one is ever going to starve if they’re out with me. I’ve got the Meats. #sorryarbys

Leggings are pants

Duh. They even make work-appropriate leggings. I know, because I have them.

You’ll survive the apocalypse because your diaper bag or purse has everything but the kitchen sink

I mean, is it not enough that I showed you a pic of an actual Turkey Leg snack in my diaper bag?!?! But seriously… you carry everything. Pocket wrench? Yes, actually, you probably DO have that! Frank’s Hot Sauce for your husband because restaurants in Minnesota don’t always have it? Yes, for real, I have it.

Laundry will always be never-ending

You’ve kind of just accepted it.

You worry about your kids constantly, to the point where you think you have a problem

I don’t even want to talk about this one. I’ll just say I have a totally irrational fear of something terrible happening to my kids (fires, drowning…whatever). I worry so much I think I have an issue, but I think most of us worry all the time, nonstop. It’s just what being a mom is about.

You complain about Mom Life and all the crazy things the kids do, but you’d never ever change anything about your perfectly messy, crazy and wonderful life as a mom.

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10 Signs You Might Be a Normal Mom

Enter the $275 Target Giveaway!

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Perfect Chocolate Keto Bulletproof Coffee

Perfect Chocolate Keto Bulletproof Coffee

I hate coffee.

It’s just not for me. I don’t like the taste, but I LOVE chocolate! After some experimentation, I finally figured out the perfect recipe for a Chocolate Mocha Keto Bulletproof Coffee. This stuff is creamy and delicious, and I’d recommend it to anyone who generally isn’t a huge coffee fan, like myself.

I started out by experimenting with Torani’s Sugar Free Chocolate syrup. I still like adding it, but the Chocolate Collagen adds enough chocolate flavor that I don’t need to add any syrup anymore. The collagen was really intriguing to me because of all the (supposed) benefits: better skin, hair, nails (I could use help there), along with skin elasticity (I could use a LOT of help there…#2babieslater). So we’ll see how it actually performs–I’ve only been using the collagen for a few days. But I do know that it’s delicious!!

Below is a video of how I make it:

Perfect Chocolate Keto Bulletproof Coffee 

1-2T of butter

2T heavy whipping cream

1 scoop of Perfect Keto Chocolate Collagen

1 scoop of Perfect Keto Chocolate MCT oil powder

Mix all with 8-12oz of your favorite coffee!! I used the Mama Java Medium Roast for mine, but we normally use Folger’s Black Silk, my husband’s favorite. I use a Ninja blender, but you can use a handheld mixer too! I will say that if you DON’T use the collagen, use a tablespoon of the Torani Sugar Free Chocolate syrup, because the chocolate MCT oil powder isn’t enough by itself to make it chocolatey!

keto-bulletproof-coffee

 

The Best Postpartum Underwear

The Best Postpartum Underwear

Now that I’ve been through two deliveries (and their aftermath), I feel I can definitely speak confidently about the best postpartum underwear that you absolutely MUST have after giving birth.

Yes, there’s the traditional mesh undies from the hospital combined with enormous pads, and yes they’re pretty comfy, but shortly after you return from the hospital you’re going to realize that nearly all of you feels like a broken puzzle trying to put itself back together, and you just don’t want to feel like you’re wearing a diaper anymore. You might not even put real clothes on for a month after you come back from the hospital, but heck, don’t you want to feel a tiny bit put together with some real and comfortable underwear that doesn’t involve a pad the size of a watermelon?

I did, anyway. Especially with baby #2. I was so busy, that wearing the huge pad was a kind of inconvenience. Once the bleeding tapered away but was STILL there, I hated always wearing pads. I decided to check out Thinx, the underwear that is always in my Facebook feed, touted as “period” underwear that can absorb up to 2 tampons’ worth, and then washes back to normal.

Well, I’m here to rebrand them as Postpartum Underwear (and also post-IUD underwear but that’s a separate post….).

Why limit these brilliant little panties as JUST for your period? These are exactly what you need as postpartum underwear to feel sane, feel like you actually have real clothing on after you come home and are sleep deprived and dreary-eyed, up all hours taking care of your new little one. These are what new moms have been waiting for, but I didn’t realize just how helpful they are as postpartum underwear until now!

The pros…

..to Thinx are that they have many different styles–and trust me, they don’t look or feel like padded underwear, though you can definitely tell that there’s some substance to the padded part. They don’t look like granny panties, like my maternity underwear did, which my husband would have burned if I hadn’t thrown those all away after getting these.

The cons…

…to Thinx are twofold. First, they don’t hold enormous amounts, so you’re best off to either buy several pairs and with them out if your postpartum bleeding is heavy, and then use only these as postpartum underwear once it’s tapered off. The second con is that they run small. Not exactly a con; more just a fact, so when you order, order a size or 2 up from what you’d normally wear. I think mine shrunk a tiny bit in the wash, so keep that in mind as well.

More Thoughts:

I was pleasantly surprised by how comfy, soft and stylish these are. I was a little skeptical, because I’ve always been so used to pads and tampons, so it was a huge relief to find that these weren’t in fact some sort of scam, are super well made, and actually do what they’re supposed to do!!! They may seem expensive at first (~$34 a pair), but they’re absolutely worth it. I’m going to purchase more pairs to see what other styles I’d like. So far I really liked the hip hugger, but I’d like to try the sport to see if those would be good. I would say the high rise probably wouldn’t be the best for postpartum underwear, only because honestly, it might not feel very good on your stomach unless you bought a couple sizes larger. In that case it may feel kind of nice to have some stomach support! I just haven’t wanted anything coming up over my already-flabby post-baby stomach, so I’ve tried to stick with low rise styles.

One other thought that might come up that’s a little TMI, but I know you’d want to know it…The question of, can you “feel” anything there? You know what I mean. The panic when you feel like something has leaked where it shouldn’t. And the answer is NO. This was something else I was skeptical of, because I hate that feeling. I don’t want to feel anything at all! So you’re good on this front, if you’re concerned about that. I’m actually wearing my pair now as I type this, and they feel awesome on all fronts 😉

So anyhoo, if you’re looking for a special gift for a new mama, or are considering what your must-haves for postpartum recovery should be, definitely consider these–just again, keep in mind to SIZE UP!!! Good luck!!

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The Best Postpartum Underwear

Fasting To Get Into Ketosis

Fasting To Get Into Ketosis

Let’s preface this post by me stating the obvious: I’m not a doctor. Please consult your doctor for any medical related questions. This is an anecdotal account of my fasting to get into Ketosis. Kthanks 😉

Fasting to Get Into Ketosis: My Experience

I’ve been on Keto for 2 months now. I’ve lost 16lbs in two months. This diet is WORKING (as it did the first time I went on it 2 years ago). I’m 21 pounds away from the weight I was when I got pregnant with my second baby, and 35 pounds away from my goal weight of 150. If we’re really counting the potentially unachievable, I’m 50 pounds away from my high school weight of 135.

Over the weekend, my family and I went to Valley Fair, an amusement park here in the Twin Cities. I had Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast, a bunless bacon cheeseburger and a few bites of one of those ginormous turkey legs while we were there, and then had bacon and eggs for dinner when we got home. I used my Keto Mojo ketone monitor at night to test my ketone levels, as I always do at night before bed, and I read a “Lo” on the monitor. I retested, thinking there must be something wrong. Nope.

So in typical me-fashion, I started overthinking everything. What did I eat? Nothing bad…was my protein too much? Was that stupid burger tainted with something? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

It’s so easy to take this monitor to be the Keto Bible. I’m SO guilty of it. It’s almost become an addiction, that I live and breath by this thing. Blood testing is the most accurate way to see what your ketone levels are, and I am the first to admit I take it to the extreme.

I decided to check into fasting to get into ketosis. I’ve already been intermittent fasting 16:8 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I basically eat from 12pm-8pm, and then don’t eat anything outside that eating window. This has worked tremendously well for me, and has helped propel my weight lost more than a pound (or a flat) the last few weeks. I need to also mention that prior to eating Keto, and every day growing up, I had to eat within 30 minutes of waking up or else I would get sick. It was awful…but Keto has completely changed this for me. For me to not be hungry in the morning AND to not get sick (and now to have completed a 39 hour fast and not have been hungry…) is a HUGE deal for me.

Anyway, back to fasting to get into Ketosis…

When you’re fasting to get into ketosis, your body is being depleted of glycogen and uses fat and ketones for energy instead of glucose. Ketone levels increase…boom, ketosis. Of course, it’s a little more complex than that, but that’s the gist.

What can I eat when I’m fasting to get into Ketosis?

Nothing. You can drink black coffee, unsweetened tea, seltzer type waters. Anything above 50 calories will break your fast. I drank unsweetened iced tea with a splash of lemon juice, and lots of water. Keep your body hydrated!!

How long do I fast?

My extended fast lasted for 39 hours. I originally was going to do 24, but then just decided to extend it because I didn’t want to eat before bed, and actually wasn’t even hungry!

What results can I expect?

Everyone is different. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with my ketone results, but happy with my weight results. Before starting, I was testing Lo on my ketone monitor. Usually I’m a 1.1-1.5, so this was weird for me. I tested a 0.6 after 24 hours, and then a 0.4 at 39 hours. I’m not sure why, but one thing I’ve come to realize is that even though I love testing and love my monitor, it’s not telling the whole story. I’m not measuring blood glucose, which perhaps I should be, and there’s no way to measure your body’s stress level, or other factors that might be contributing to a strange reading you’re not used to! After breaking my fast and later on in the evening (~6pm) I tested a 1.0. Go figure.

My weight loss results on the other hand were awesome. Although I didn’t consider fasting for the weight loss, I started at 186.8 and ended at 185. That’s a nice little biproduct! Just remember, everyone is different.

How do I break the fast?

I broke it with:

  • My Bulletproof Coffee
  • 4 organic farm fresh eggs scrambled in butter and cheese
  • 6 pieces of thick cut bacon from a butcher

It was delicious. I would have added an avocado, except we were out. Break your fast with some high quality, good-fat foods. It will taste amazing!!

Overall thoughts?

I would definitely do an extended fast again. In fact, I’d consider doing it once a week. It felt good to be in control of a little reset like this, and push through it. Like I mentioned, I didn’t do it for weight loss, but I hoped that by fasting to get into ketosis, I’d jump start my system again and reset whatever “wrong” I had unintentionally done to produce a Lo ketone reading. I honestly was expecting my ketones to be up to 1.8 or more (I’ve never tested higher than 1.8, no matter what I do). What I’ve really learned from this is to not place all my keto cookies in one cookie jar……the monitor isn’t the end all be all, even if I do love it…it’s a nice benchmark, but I’ll be fasting because I want to, not because I feel I HAVE to!

What are your thoughts on fasting?!

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Fasting to get into ketosis

I Tried A Hot Yoga Class and It Was a Hot Mess

I Tried A Hot Yoga Class and It Was a Hot Mess

Let me preface this story by stating a few things:

  1. The last time I tried a yoga class was about 10 years ago
  2. I have a hard time relaxing and getting my mind to stop going 100 miles an hour
  3. I have zero flexibility
  4. I hate the heat

All of these things would make me literally the WORST candidate for Hot Yoga, but we just joined a gym, and I decided to give it a try with my mother in law since she was in town and we had received guest passes for our family. I dug out my old yoga mat that I’ve used ZERO times, and we went to the 5:30 Hot Yoga class.

First of all, we were late to this particular hot yoga class. I blamed this on #momlife, because that’s what I blame everything on now. It’s a good excuse, covers just about every possible potential disaster (big or small), and also invokes at least minor pity with the majority of women, and sometimes men, if they have kids or a wife who seems mildly disheveled at all times.

Everyone was in this really dark room, and there were a TON of people in there. Mostly women and one man, along with a male instructor who came right over to us barking a command to leave our shoes outside. In my typical very awkward I’m-New-I-Don’t-Know-What-I’m-Doing manner, I forgot to take my socks off, so I was the only one practicing yoga in invisible sneaker-socks. My saving grace was probably that no one could tell I had them on since the lights were out; all the yogis were in their own yogi-mental-zone, and/or if they DID notice my socks, maybe they thought I had special expensive yoga socks, or at the worst, that I had a very bad case of contagious fungus on my feet.

The socks weren’t humiliating, though. Even if I did have a huge fungus I was trying to hide (I’m not), my socks were the least of my problems. First, the room was a million degrees. I’m sure I sweated off a pound out of plain perspiration, along with humiliation that made me sweat even more. The instructor rang out his orders in Yoga Language, and I had zero idea what was happening or what these poses were. A whole circuit was built around about 10 different poses, none of which were demonstrated…not like I could see anyway with the darkness of the room (thank GOD… my belly fat kept muffining over my yoga pants and was clearly visible thanks to my t-shirt that kept getting stuck in my under-boob-fat and pulling up past my belly button), but I kept trying to slyly check out the women around me doing all these poses and who were clearly understanding immediately what chaturanga, reverse warrior and five point star meant (and those are only a few of the ones I remember).

As I basically tried to bullshit my way through this hot, humid insanity, someone let out an enormous fart, which of course stank up the entire room. I went from smelling the Bounce dryer sheet that I had rolled my yoga mat up in, to the stench of rancid poopy odor, and hoped no one thought it was me (it wasn’t). I finally gave up on breathing in clean air and doing the poses right, and eventually just gave up and did my own poses. I kept looking at the clock wondering when in God’s name this thing would END…and in the middle of all of it, realized that I am just NOT cut out for yoga of any kind.

I tried to enjoy my own little yoga poses (aka sitting there pretending to stretch, occasionally throwing in a plank or two…), but my mind wandered and I wasn’t able to focus the way the rest of the Yogis clearly were. Perhaps it was that I’m not well trained (ok, definitely that I’m not well trained), but also I’d like to blame it on the fact that the instructor had really random songs playing during the class. Since when is Cake By the Ocean a Yoga song?! Where’s the Yo-Yo-Ma and Mozart? Isn’t this supposed to be mega relaxing?!

At long last, we were winding down, and as I attempted whatever the pose is called where you throw your legs back over your head while you’re on your back, I decided I wouldn’t be trying another class. I heaved my gargantuan ass and legs above my head, which in turn crumpled my boobs and belly fat right up to my face, and I just realized that Hot Yoga Yoga of any kind and I would never mesh.

At long last, the instructor brought out some towels. Everyone had their eyes closed in major focus, probably super relaxed, with blank, refreshed minds, but I could only watch the dude as he passed out the towels and think “oh my God YAY TOWELS! I hope they’re cold. Wait. This is hot yoga. What kind of cruel joke would that be if those towels were hot? Please be cold, please be cold, PLEASEBECOLD”. I told you, I just can’t relax and not think a million things ALLTHETIME.

Turns out the towels were cold, felt amazing, and were also dunked in an essential oil blend, which I inhaled so deeply I broke out into coughs, which likely disrupted everyone’s chi, but oh well. I was so grateful for the towel I didn’t care. It was just great to smell something that wasn’t farts!

To end my little Hot Yoga tale/experience, I would say that just because I suck at Hot Yoga and really don’t think it’s for me, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the deep thought, concentration and flexibility that others in the class had. All the power to you if you’re a huge yogi. Just like Cross Fit, TCX or HIIT isn’t for everyone, neither is yoga. As for me, Namaste in the other classes that cater to people with hamster-like brains that can’t relax…but maybe I’ll see about borrowing some of those nice cold towels if I ever get a chance!! 😉

hot yoga class

If You Give a Toddler a DockaTot Grand

If you give your infant a DockaTot (see this post here), your toddler will demand she have one too.

{this didn’t actually happen, but it makes the story cuter; what actually happened was that I thought the DockaTot was the best thing ever and she really loved her brother’s, so I thought she should have one of her own…}

When her pretty La Vie En Rose DockaTot Grand comes in the mail, she’ll immediately want to sit in it and watch a show.

She will then realize that to watch a show in her DockaTot, she’d really like to have a cookie to go along with the experience.

Then your toddler will realize that milk would taste really awesome with her cookie as she’s sitting in her DockaTot watching her show.

…Which will then attract another new friend to the DockaTot-sitting, show-watching, cookie-eating, milk-drinking toddler…

But none of it will matter because you realize your kiddo is so cute she can have whatever she wants!!!

Yes, it’s true–I loved the infant DockaTot so much I had to give the Grand a try, and my daughter loved it! Unfortunately so did the dogs, who keep trying to make it their own bed! Might be a new product innovation for you guys at DockaTot!!!!! Thanks again for the amazing product!!! Be sure to check them out–their items are AMAZING quality, worth the price, and have so many uses; we’ll be using ours for years to come!

Dockatot Grand Review