Vlogs

Updates… and VLOGS! What Fun!

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Things have been pretty quiet here on the ol’ bloggeroo lately.

It’s summer, Bee is home Mondays and Fridays, and I’ve been spending as much time soaking up these Littles as I can before I head back to work {*SOB*} in the fall.

So for that, my writing has taken a bit of a hit.  And that’s not to say there hasn’t been anything noteworthy happening around here!  Quite the opposite, actually.  I’ll go into more detail in an upcoming post, but for now, here are the bullet points:

– Bubs is nearly 10-months old and crawling around like a wee speed demon.  Well actually, he’s more butt-scooting than crawling.  He pushes himself on his bum while pulling himself forward with his legs and supporting his chubby upper-bod with one arm.  One arm, so he can hold something in his other hand.  Natch.

– He’s also still not sleeping through the night.  Which means no one is sleeping through the night.  Except for Bee, actually.  She sleeps like a dream, thank God.  But at nearly a year old, I’m still getting up with him around three times a night.  Ugh.  We’ve tried “sleep training” him, but you know what?  I really hate the sound of my baby screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night.  It feels wrong to me, so we threw the whole Cry It Out business, OUT the window.  Call me crazy, but I’ll probably keep going to him until he just one day, MIRACULOUSLY, starts sleeping through the night.  And perhaps it’s just my sleep-deprived, exhausted brain talking here, but for now, I’m sticking to that statement.

– Despite the sleepless nights, he is one of the chattiest, happiest little babies I’ve ever met.  He has dimples for days and shows them off to anyone who looks his way.  His blonde hair is fluffy and growing into one badass mullet, it’s pretty spectacular.  Those two, nasty bottom teeth have finally poked through, and now we just await… the rest.  Sigh.  Teething SUCKS.  But thank goodness for hacks like THIS 😉

– Bee has entered the dawn of the Threenager, and a few months early at that.  Hooray.  “What is a Threenager,” you ask?  What, you don’t know?  You poor fool!  A Threenager is a JOY to have around!  Um, not.  A Threenager is a toddler who is prone to being moody, judgemental, and stubborn as hell.  The power struggle is real, and it’s CRAZY.  I am definitely revisiting my mantra a LOT these days, and constantly having to remind myself that, “she’s two.  She’s two.  She is only TWO.  And you are the Mama.  You Are The Mama.  What YOU say, goes.  Jeebuz…..”

– Yes, Bee can be a challenge.  A perplexing puzzle of a little human.  But she really is, at the end of the day, the greatest achievement in my life.  She is remarkable – brilliant, funny, polite and kind, and I know I totally sound like one of “those” parents, but if you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, you’ll see I’m not full of sh*t.  She is the light in our lives, and manages to charm everyone who crosses her blazing path.  I’m loving every second watching her become the person she’s meant to be, and consider it a privilege to be her Mama.  *SOB*

– I’ve launched my newest podcast series through my iTunes channel!  Well, I’ve published the intro to the series.  You can check out what’s to come HERE.  Make sure you subscribe so you get the updates as they happen 🙂

Although the writing has been thin, I’ve been spending more time vlogging for my YouTube channel.  Head on over to check out the latest, but for your immediate viewing pleasure, please have a laugh at two of my recent contributions to the internets!

So there you have it!  This is what we’ve been up to lately around these parts.  I’m going to be a bit more diligent with the writing – I can feel I’m a bit rusty and would like to get my “voice” back. Until then, I’m gonna keep up with the vlogging and podcasting so you can join me in any way that suits you best.

Don’t be a stranger!

#ASKAMAMA {Mondays} with Trisha Hughes: Part 2

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In part 2 of my #ASKAMAMA episode with Trisha Hughes {from Eat Your Beets}, we finally get to your questions!

In this video, Trisha tackles:

1. Paleo “on the go” – how to stay satiated while out-and-about

2. As a Mom of 4 how does she “do it all”, AND keep everyone happy with lunches

3. Tips on how a newbie food blogger can stand out in the crowd

4. Find out where Trisha cuts her hair!

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To connect with Trisha:
Eat Your Beets {dot com}
trisha@eatyourbeets.com
IG: @goeatyourbeets
FB: /eatyourbeets

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To reach me (Beth):
I Am The Mama Mantra {dot com}
iamthemamamantra@gmail.com
IG: @iamthemamamantra
FB: /iamthemamamantra
T: @themamamantra

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Music from the YouTube Music Library

It Takes a Village: #ASKAMAMA Monday with Bria Evenson

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It’s BACK, guys.  And with a whole new format, to boot!

The old proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and at it’s core, that’s what #ASKAMAMA is all about.

I’m seeking out Mamas (& Papas!) to offer advice and tips and stories and tales and misguided adventures to any and all of you who are looking for answers and/or anecdotes outside of your immediate circle of peeps who you lean on regularly for such things.

The goal is to expand your Village because, really, raising the next generation – and the next, and the next… – we’re all in this together, don’t you think?

#ASKAMAMA is on Youtube & the Podisphere, so going forward you can reach out to The Village on all your fun, fancy mobile devices and submit questions however suits your needs!  The podcasts will be the full, unedited interview with each Mama (& Papa!), and the vlogs will stick to the original format in that they will focus solely on the submitted #ASKAMAMA questions!

Bria was so gracious and patient with me as I took my time to work out all the kinks, and I’m so grateful to have had her as the first Mama to kick off this new series and… phase?  Chapter?  Let’s say both.

I’ll be announcing the next Mama in the coming days, so stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, here’s how to reach Bria directly:

Email:  briaevenson@beachbodycoach.com
Instagram:  @bria_evenson_fitness
Facebook.com/BriaEvensonFitness
Twitter:  @FitBria

And again, here’s how to submit your questions on parenting, lifestyle, cooking, the great Big Questions of the Universe:

  1. Post it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ASKAMAMA
  2. Leave what’s on your mind in the comment section of this post
  3. Head to my Facebook page and either drop me a private message or post the question on my wall
  4. Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com
  5. Fill out the trusty ol’ question form at the bottom of the page

This is going to be SO much fun, guys.  I’m really excited!  And I hope you all stick around and have your Village grow with this series.

The Return of #ASKAMAMA Mondays!

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I’m back!  And with me comes the return of #ASKAMAMA Mondays!

I had some really sweet enquiries over the past few months as to when I was going to start up AAMM again, and the answer was always, “as soon as we’re all settled!  And thanks for asking!

There have been quite a few changes and adjustments made in our lives since Bubs came along, most recently being the big move into our new home.  Bee started a new daycare and has finally stopped asking to go back to the “old house”.  All the boxes are unpacked and everything has a place.  So….

Finally.  Settled.  And if feels SOOOO amazing.  So amazing that I decided to get back to one of the things that really made me happy, making #ASKAMAMA Mondays.

I’ve changed the format slightly: I’ll now be making little videos to introduce the Mamas as well as writing a post!

And as for the first Mama of Season 2 – as I’m calling it – I really wanted to get Bria Evenson of Bria Evenson Fitness on board.  Not just because I’ve know her for forty years (actual time: 19 years….yeah, that somehow sounds longer), but because I truly believe her to be an inspiration.  She’s a woman who took her destiny in her own hands and decided her calling was to help, motivate & guide countless others in becoming their best selves.

Watch the clip to learn more about Bria 🙂

Bria is open to answering any fitness & nutrition questions you may have, but can also help out with any ol’ parenting question you can think of!  The whole point of this series is to ask someone outside your comfort circle for advice – an impartial third party, if you will!

Now, here are some ways you can ask Bria a question:

  1. Post it anywhere on social media using the hashtag #ASKAMAMA (links to my profiles above)
  2. Leave what’s on your mind in the comment section of this post or below the video on YouTube
  3. Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com
  4. Fill out the trusty ol’ question form at the bottom of the page
  5. And of course if you’re a follower of Bria, feel free to send your question to her directly!  Her social media links are:

E-mail:  briaevenson@beachbodycoach.com

Facebook:  Bria Evenson Fitness

Twitter:  @FitBria

Instagram:  bria_evenson_fitness

Deadline for submissions is Sunday, March 8, and her first video will go LIVE Monday, March 16!

I couldn’t be happier to be back, guys.  I can’t wait to see what you throw Bria’s way, and for what she has to say!

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A bit more about Bria, in her own words:

Even as a CHILD, as early as 7 years old, I remember feeling self conscious of my body…of wanting it to be different from what it was…isn’t that sad? NOW I have a daughter who is almost that age and it makes me SO scared. My struggles and insecurities with my body only grew through high school and flourished into a very sad eating disorder into my 20’s. No matter what I did, or how I looked, I could never seem to stop bullying my own body for never being good enough.
At 22 I was lucky to meet my husband, who showed me what it meant to be really loved and made me realize that I was worth that…so with his support and getting help, I finally learned to stop being SO unkind to myself and at least try to respect myself for who and what I was. Having my children helped a lot with that.

As a mother, you realize the insane and amazing things that your body does to bring a child into this world…it is almost unbelievable. SO after my 2 children were born I really did have a deeply rooted respect for my body, and became determined to treat it with love.

But in-spite of those feelings, I was still haunted by the same insecurities each morning getting dressed. Was this really how life was….destined to be trapped by these negative self thoughts? No matter how many kilometers I ran, I still felt the same.

I decide I was going to commit to a workout program called P90X. It was unlike anything I had ever done before, but I was determined to start and finish it….and you know what happened around week 7? I found the love for my body that I had never known. It came through the hard work, the respect, the appreciation of choosing to commit to something that was good for me and see it through. For the first time since I was 7 years old, I felt a sense of freedom from my own thoughts that I had never known.

I FELT PEACE.

This was why I decided to become a fitness coach with Beachbody. This company, the people in it and what it created, had helped me facilitate this love for myself at last, and I KNOW I am not alone.

If you had told me that a year and a half into my journey as a coach, that not only would I get to work with INSPIRING people every day, that I would get to help other people like ME finally find that peace and love for themselves, that I would find a HEALTHY way to set a positive example for my children, and turn my struggles into a fire and a light to share with others, ALL while staying home with my family and generating income that is trending towards six figures…there is not a chance I would have believed you.

BUT, now I have learned something else:  ANYTHING is possible.  And I am determined to help as many women as I can live their healthiest and most fulfilling life.  I am dead set on making a dent in negative self image and body bullying.  If I can scratch the surface of that and make it a little better for OUR daughters… it will be worth every bit of sweat 🙂

#ASKAMAMA Monday with Kat Armstrong: Maintaining My Style!

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Kat’s OOTD:  Top by Bird Apparel; Cosmic Leggings by This Little Piggy Boutique (leggings can be purchased in-store, or contact Kat or Faye for more info)

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Kat’s got the Rocker Mama look down pat, even with two small kids!

On today’s #ASKAMAMA episode, she talks about her style , how she maintains it amongst the chaos, and provides a few tips on how you can do the same!

 *****

Here’s how to get in touch with Kat directly:

Blog:  ThisIsThePlaceBlog.com
E-mail:
  Kat@thislittlepiggyshop.ca
Twitter: @kitten_arms
Instagram: @thislil_piggy

 

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To send in a question for an upcoming episode, you can:

Post it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ASKAMAMA

Leave what’s on your mind in the comment section of this post

Head to my Facebook page and either drop me a private message or post the question on my wall

Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com

Fill out the trusty ol’ question form at the bottom of the page

Close(r) to The End?: 34 Weeks Pregnant

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How far along?  34 Weeks.  But since my midwife is “convinced” I will have the baby between 37-38 weeks, I feel much farther along than that.

Seriously.  She actually told me that she’s sure Pelé will come within the next 3-4 weeks.  Which… I mean… okay.  But, really?

And since I’m doing this post late, that actually means 2.5-3.5 weeks.  Yes, it’s only a couple of days difference.  But when it comes to having another baby, those days mean everything!

Holy sh*t, sh*t’s getting real….

Baby’s size:  BIG.  Well, probably only big in comparison to Bee at this stage.

He’s definitely starting to run out of room in there – the baby that was once Pelé, the great, lithe Brazilian football player, jumping and bouncing and kicking away in my belly, is now a big, fat, lazy kid, slowly rolling around, all elbows and knees and feet up in my ribs….

According to Babycenter.com, he’s around the size of a cantaloupe and weighing in at close to 5 pounds.

Some nights though, when I’m having trouble falling asleep because gravity is pulling my belly in unholy directions, he feels a LOT bigger than 5 pounds.

Total weight gain:  At my last midwife weigh-in, according to their ever-changing scale situation, I have gained 26 pounds.  2 pounds more than with Bee, and counting.

NOTE:  Since I am posting this a few days late after a wedding and a weekend away indulging in breakfast buffets and gourmet food, I can say with all surety that I have gained more than that.  

Maternity clothes?  A little ditty about a rare case of maternity clothes being “optional”:

My hair stylist is an adorable, first-pregnant woman, currently 37+ weeks along, who never ever bought maternity clothes.  Not one thing.  I saw her last week and she was wearing a crop top.

A CROP TOP.

That somehow managed to cover most of her cute, perfectly round belly, and not look weird or forced or ridiculous.

As for me?  Still, yes.  Of course.  Is there any need to answer this question anymore?  It’s not like I’m suddenly going to stop wearing maternity clothes this far in the game, right?  Unless I finally reach the end of my rope and once and for all decide to, “f*ck clothes.  F*ck pants.  F*ck anything touching my skin ever again!”  Which, honestly, sometimes, I feel like it’s getting close to that.

But, in the case of my hair stylist, I guess it is possible.  That there is a magical tribe of pregnant women out there who don’t need to wear maternity clothes.  Who can tweak regular fashion to accommodate their growing frame and get away with it throughout the entire 9+ months…

bitches.

Best moment this week:  I’m writing this a couple of days late because we were out of town for a wedding – Hubs’ best friend got married in beautiful Caledon, and acted as their officiant.  There was an unseasonable chill in the air, but the wind only brought out the incredible movement of the bride’s stunning dress, and it meant that everyone had to enjoy just one or two drinks more to stay warm.

My parents came along to look after Bee while we attended the ceremony, which my in-laws also were invited to.  So Bee had both sets of grandparents to entertain her at the SAME TIME.  For the first time since… well, since before she has memory!  She was spoiled with love, allowing Hubs and I some brief time to ourselves.  It was glorious, and even the cooler than normal weather couldn’t bring us down.

ALSO.  Baby clothes!  Okay, so I wouldn’t say that this was a “best moment”, but starting to finally wash and organize all of the stuff we have for Pelé is calming this nagging nesting urge a bit.  I’m starting to feel like we’re actually getting somewhere in preparing for his impending arrival!

As I type this, Hubs is in the basement unloading the hundreds of planks and knobs and screws and Allan keys from the IKEA box, sorting it all out so we can tackle it together once Bee is up from her nap.  We’ll see how much help she and I are in the cramped quarters of the basement, but I’d like to still give it a go, since it was my project to begin with!!

Anyway.  Baby clothes!  If you watch my vlog you’ll see that the most recent purchase, a set of TEENY TINY OHMYGODTHEYARESOTEENYTINY baby socks completely threw me off-guard when I first saw them.  Really, truly.  Holding them in my hands, I thought, “no.  NO.  There’s no WAY they’re this small when they come out.”

It’s amazing how you forget these things, the incredible teeeeeeeniness of a newborn.  How teeny their wee little feet are.  Their hands, their ears….

The saleswoman assured me that yes, they will definitely fit him (they stretch, so…).  Even though it’s just so hard to believe…. I’ll keep you posted on that.

Miss Anything?   If you’ve been following along you’ll know that I’m a big fan of wine and beer, and that I say with each and every update that I miss it like crazy.  This is all still very true, especially after being at an amazing wedding where the booze was flowing like… booze at a wedding.

So I don’t need to go into that again, since I’m worried that you’re all going to start thinking I’m more excited to get my hands on a glass of champagne than the actual baby I’m about to have.

Ehem.

Seriously though.  Booze aside.  As I come to the end of my rapidly fraying pregnancy rope, here is a bulleted list of the many other things I am missing:

  • Being able to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling like an asthmatic, water-logged hippo.
  • Rounding a corner/approaching a counter without caution.
  • Drinking that fourth cup of coffee in the morning, just because.
  • Bending over.
  • Going to the bathroom only when I really have to.
  • SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT.
  • Actually wanting to wear skinny jeans, or any pants in general.
  • Not having to worry about whether or not my belly will hang out from under a shirt.
  • Running and jumping and playing with Bee, with all the energy in the world.  Picking her up and throwing her around. Having her sit on my lap while I read her stories.  Snuggling with her as close and as tight as possible.  Lying on my husband while we watch TV after she goes to bed.  Keeping up with him and his tallness at a regular pace on those rare evenings when we can pick her up from school together.
  • Just… feeling like myself.  I can’t wait to feel like myself again.

Movement:  Actually, this week, he’s slowed down quite a bit.  I guess it’s because things are getting pretty tight in there, but also, a baby’s movement slows as they approach their due date.  So maybe the end really is near!

Food cravings:  Still carbs and sweets, but I’m not too fussy.  I’ve been eating a lot of salty food, too.  My palate is open-minded as I approach the end!

Anything making you queasy or sick:  The only time I’m not interested in food is in the evening – I could eat four breakfasts and pound a couple of burgers at lunch every day, but once 4pm-ish come around I just stop being hungry.

This is becoming a problem because it also means come dinner-prep time, the last thing I want to do is cook.  So lately it’s been a lot of half-assed dinners and takeout, which honestly I’m not too happy about.  I’m just hoping the desire to batch cook kicks in soon so I can at least stock up on stuff to freeze before Pelé arrives!

Gender:  Boy.

Symptoms:  All the same glorious things as 32 weeksplus one more surprise!

  • Swollen feet
  • Lower back pain
  • Swamp mouth
  • Insomnia (formerly The Witching Hour)
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Heartburn
  • NEW THIS WEEK:  SKIN TAGS (down boys).  I had a couple with Bee and thought I’d managed to avoid getting them this time around.  Sadly, not the case.  I noticed one last week and cried for ten minutes.  They’re super gross and super random and I have no idea why they happen during pregnancy but they DO so please don’t approach me as though I’m a leper because as quickly as they appear, they disappear almost as soon as you have the baby.

Belly Button in or out?

Looking forward to:  So many women are telling me these days to “enjoy these last few weeks!  Soak it all in, the majesty of being pregnant, having the belly, feeling the baby move around…..”

Blah, blah, blah.

Guys.  Seriously?  Aside from being able to do all the things on the Things That I Miss list again, and obviously finally having Pelé in my arms, the one thing I am looking forward to MORE THAN ANYTHING is:

NOT BEING PREGNANT ANYMORE.

There.  I said it.  Am I a horrible excuse for a woman for feeling this way?  I don’t think so.

But tell me, if you’re pregnant, are you going to miss it when it’s all over?  I’d love to take a poll on this.

Or, if you have been pregnant, do you wish you could feel all that “majesty” all over again?  

Let me know!

 

#ASKAMAMA Monday with Kat Armstrong: Slings & Carriers & Wraps, Oh My! All Things Babywearing!

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There’s always more to learn when it comes to Babywearing, and on her first #ASKAMAMA episode, Kat talks about all the benefits and shows us how to use three different types of carriers:

  1. The Ring Sling (Sakura Bloom Sling)
  2. A Soft Structured Carrier (Ergobaby)
  3. A Woven Wrap (Storchenwiege Woven Wrap)

Check out what other types of baby carriers Kat sells at her Toronto boutique, This Little Piggy (both in-store and online)!

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Here’s how to get in touch with Kat directly

Blog:  ThisIsThePlaceBlog.com
E-mail:
  Kat@thislittlepiggyshop.ca
Twitter: @kitten_arms
Instagram: @thislil_piggy

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To send in a question for an upcoming episode, you can:

Post it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ASKAMAMA

Leave what’s on your mind in the comment section of this post

Head to my Facebook page and either drop me a private message or post the question on my wall

Shoot me an email at iamthemamamantra@gmail.com

Fill out the trusty ol’ question form at the bottom of the page