So it’s been a little over a year since I started this blog. I started it because I wanted to inspire other moms and moms to be, especially those with multiples, but in general.. all moms. I am a firm believer that you CAN have it all. You can be a great mom, take care of your family and your SELF, maintain your health, and feel and look good, without going nutty. If you want to have a career outside the home, you can have that too. You just need to be organized and have a positive attitude. After almost a year of being back at work full-time, I still believe that. I have had my fair share of low points this year, especially in the last month or so. I went through a very difficult time in my personal life. Even through that, I was able to maintain some semblance of sanity. How? Whenever I’m feeling down, I tell myself that this will pass and everything happens for a reason. If it’s something I can learn from, I try to find the lesson and then I get over it and move forward. I got a new haircut, went to Vegas with my girlfriends, and let loose for a few days. And I didn’t feel guilty about it. It was much-needed for me, and my husband enjoyed the bonding time with the boys. Most of all, I find that being grateful for what I have, helps me bounce back from setbacks much more quickly. I have a healthy happy family, amazing friends, and an awesome career. It’s cliché to say there isn’t enough time in the day, and I catch myself saying it every now and then if a day gets away on me, and yet most of the time, I find time to have a glass of wine, catch up on the real housewives, or write a post for this blog. I must be doing something right! If there are any new moms or moms to be out there reading this, if there is only one piece of advice I can give you that I truly feel has helped me find this balance even with twins, it is this: GET YOUR KIDS ON A SCHEDULE. Since they were born, my boys have been on a schedule that allows me to predict when they will be up and when they will be asleep. It didn’t happen on its own, it was a constant and consistent effort to get it that way. BUT IT WAS WORTH IT. Sleep experts believe that putting your children on a schedule also helps them sleep better. This has certainly been my experience. They are a few months from turning 2, they go to bed at 630pm and wake up at 630 am and they nap once a day from 1230 to 300. That is 14.5 hours that I have to myself. I use 9 of them for sleep. I use the rest to do whatever the hell I want. Work, cook, drink, nap, you get the idea. It is the absolute best gift you can give yourself if you have twins (or more), or even just one baby. Life is good! The holidays are upon us and I am feeling more excited for the future than ever! I am looking forward to another year of blogging, thanks for sticking with me on my journey as a modern twin mom!
Aaaaaahhh baby gates. The image gives me shivers. I remember all throughout my 20s and early 30s, visiting the homes of friends and family with small children, I just could not figure out how to open that damn baby gate. I always ended up stepping over it. And the closet and drawer latches that seem like they intend to keep out the CIA? Enough to drive a person insane. For the love of god I just want to throw out my garbage! Or get a spoon! And god forbid they had one of those little latches on the toilet lid. Guess I’ll be waiting to pee. Obviously I’m being a touch dramatic, but I found these things so annoying that I already started dreading the day I would have kids and have to turn my home into a trap of sorts. So when I got pregnant, imagine my absolute DELIGHT when I started reading “Babywise” and read about house proofing vs baby proofing. This was actually a real thing??? I had wondered if you could just TEACH children to respect certain boundaries but I didn’t know there was an actual term for it! I loved it and quickly decided I would house proof my babies.
So, if you, like me, don’t like the idea of having everything in your home locked up or put away, and enjoy the thought of keeping your home looking and feeling fairly similar to pre baby, this post is for you. I’ll give some quick tips but the best thing to do would be to pick up a copy of “Babywise” or check out some babywise blogs (I like this one). The basic premise of house proofing is that you remove or displace things that could pose an immediate and significant safety danger to your child, and this will be subjective. Everyone will have their own non negotiables, but anything that can be used as a teaching opportunity to house proof your baby, should be used as such. You first teach your child the words “no” and “stop”. I think I started using these words as soon as they could sit up and roll around. If you use these words often, they WILL learn what they mean. You then simply use every opportunity to show your child what is and is not acceptable. The boys were not allowed to go near the edge of the staircase by themselves and this was the case for all other things that were off-limits. Kitchen cabinets and drawers, bathrooms, mommy and daddy’s room, etc. It’s a very simple concept, it just takes diligence, consistency, and patience. You must be consistent. Once they are old enough to handle a responsibility, you allow them that freedom. So for instance, once they showed interest and had the ability to maneuver their way up and down the stairs, we allowed it, with guidance. Now, at 20 months, they walk up and down the stairs like adults, holding the railings or our hand. They know they are not allowed to start walking unless we are there and say it’s ok. If they do have a lapse in judgement and reach for a cabinet they are not allowed into, a simple ”no” or “stop” does the trick. I’ve done a post in the past about keeping a home peaceful with children. I’m not gonna lie, I do like a clean and organized home. Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I want toys cluttering every inch of my living room and I certainly didn’t want any unneeded baby proofing. For me, house proofing my boys has been awesome. Not only do I feel that it has taught them to obey and respect boundaries from a very early age, but it does something that baby proofing doesn’t. It works even if you are not at home! Like magic! Baby gates are great if they make you feel secure at home, but what do you do if you go to visit someone who’s house is not child proof? At the end of the day, like everything else in parenting, this may appeal to some and not to others. But if it is an a-ha moment for even one person, I’ve accomplished my mission! I’d love to hear your thoughts on baby proofing and house proofing! Thanks for stopping by!!!
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When I was young, growing up in a fairly strict and regimented east indian home, I knew that I was growing up in a strict and regimented east indian home. What that means is, it was very evident from associating with my classmates and friends that I did not enjoy the same leniencies as they did. I wasn’t allowed to talk to or about boys, I wasn’t allowed to go to sleepovers, or even just go to a friend’s house to play. School was the most important thing, and I HAD to get good grades. I was enrolled in swimming, ballet and gymnastics at a very early age and this was pretty much the only socialization I got outside of school. Children were mostly seen and not heard, if I talked too much (I can be pretty chatty) I always got in trouble when I got home or when the guests left. We never expected adults to entertain us as children. You would never catch us demanding a friend of our parents get down at eye level and play make-believe with us.
Even in elementary school, I knew what University was, and I knew that I was expected to attend at all costs. It wasn’t an option. I knew that if I was a good, obedient indian girl, and got a good university education, I would be lucky enough to have some well-educated indian guy from a good family marry me (joy!).
As I got older, and entered junior high and eventually high school, not much changed. Once I entered University, the freedom that comes from attending such an institution was LIBERATING, but I still wasn’t allowed to date, and I still had to fight to go out with my friends. I still wasn’t allowed to talk to boys. Most kids at this age are actually thought of as adults. Not us indian girls! We are children until we get married (most likely to someone who our parents think is a good fit), then we become wives, and often, we simply gain another set of parents (our in-laws) to add to our misery (strong word, but according to EVERY indian girl I know who lives with her in-laws, misery is the right word). I will stray from this story a little bit to say that my home wasn’t a typical indian home in many ways, and therefore I was able to move out and live my own life for about 10 years before getting married, and no I didn’t end up having an arranged marriage and no, I don’t live with my in-laws.
I think I can say with confidence that this scenario is common with many kids who are born into first generation status. Their parents immigrated from another country, another culture, to give them a better life, and they brought their conservative ways with them. They just wanted the best for us, they didn’t know any better. I’ve seen similarities with other indians, as well as my chinese, italian, and polish friends (among others).
Did I rebel? A little, but nothing major. I did end up lying and sneaking around at times, but looking back, and looking at where I ended up, I think I’m fairly unscathed, other than the frequent thoughts I have of the things I WONT do with my own kids. Actually, I think the reason it bothered me AT ALL when I was young is because I mostly had caucasian friends, so the differences between me and them were as clear as day. Had I associated mostly with other indians, I probably wouldn’t have thought my life sucked so much. This is probably also the reason I grew up to be quite non-indian myself. I speak the language and make a mean butter chicken but I still don’t have many indian friends, I don’t attend 15 indian weddings every summer and I don’t enjoy indian music or movies and I HATE wearing indian outfits and jewellery.
Overall, I truly believe that growing up the way I have is the reason I have turned out to be the person I am (and to reiterate, my mom was especially NON-indian in many ways and so, I probably owe a lot of who I am, to her). Some of my upbringing was my strict culture, and the rest was just downright strict parents.
When I was growing up, I wasn’t ASKED my opinion on anything. I was told. I wasn’t given a multitude of options on what to eat. Dinner was dinner, and you sat there and ate it, even if it meant everyone else was in bed. Post Secondary Education wasn’t an option. Your parents pay for university, and you go. Period. Being able to express my thoughts and creativity was not a priority. My parents didn’t reason with me or care what I had to say. Why should they? I was a child. And they were the parents. We were taught RESPECT. It meant something. It means that you don’t argue with someone older than you, whether they are 30 years or 30 days older than you. Ever notice your indian friends have a lot of aunts and uncles? It’s because we would NEVER call an elder by their name. In my parents generation, they don’t even call their older brothers and sisters by their name. There is always some sort of prefix or other title. In fact, up until my teens, my younger brother and sister didn’t refer to me by my name, they referred to me using the more respectful label you use for “older sister”, until I got too cool in my teens and was embarrassed by them calling me that.
I look around these days and see way too many things that you would have never seen when I was growing up. For parents, a desire to be…liked??? For kids… A lack of respect. A mother at a park trying to reason with a tantrumming 2-year-old. Parents who claim that their children don’t know what the word NO means (because they don’t want to use the word NO with their kids). Parents who let their kids pick out their clothes, choose what they will eat, and decide when they want to sleep (if at all). Kids who think nothing of talking back to adults! I’m not judging. Just curious. I look at all the entitled kids I see these days. Kids with no manners. Kids who speak to me as though I am their peer. Could they be the offspring of these parents who are hesitant to use the word “NO”? I’m not sure.
All I know is that I plan on raising my children fairly similarly to the way I was raised. In this day and age it may not be easy, but I’m damn well gonna try. I have recently read several books that have me feeling hopeful for the future. You’ve all probably heard the “tiger mom” theory and, more recently, there has been a lot of chatter around the “french” parenting model. These tend to lean towards the more structured side of parenting. I haven’t read any books around the attachment parenting model, as it is not something I relate to (given my upbringing), but im not opposed to it. There are definitely downsides to being overly strict, just as too much freedom can be dangerous. I think the trick is finding the balance. More important, I think the trick is knowing what kind of kids you want to raise, what type of parent you want to be, and what the boundaries are, BEFORE you have kids (or very early in their lives). If you have a plan, you can work with it. If you wing it, I promise you’ll be scrounging. There is nothing that feels better than finding a few good books that you feel you can relate to, and learn from. In fact, reading these books has only confirmed to me that, for the type of adults my husband and I are trying to raise, we are on the right track. If you are on the same page as us, consider checking out the pages of these books;
Mean Moms Rule
Bringing up Bebe
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
I found each one of them to be easy to get into and stay with, relatable, funny, and best of all, educational. I took away more than a few great tips and ideas.
Thanks for stopping by, and I would love to hear your thoughts on parenting styles (past and present)!
I can’t believe I’m already writing about fall fashion but it IS August and everything is on sale, which means fall is literally around the corner. I love summer fashion, the cute shoes, bright colours and pretty, flowy dresses. But every year, at this time, I am absolutely ecstatic for Fall fashion. The deep colours, thick and rich textured fabric, cozy sweaters, and of course… BOOTS! Fall 2013 does not disappoint! Here are my top fall fashion picks, and if you are a busy mom, it is as simple as incorporating a few key colors and pieces into your outfits to feel like you are on top of it all. Remember, just because you are a mom, doesn’t mean you have to be frumpy. Take a few minutes for your SELF every day to pull it together. Keeping up with fashion trends does not make you a good mom. Not being into these trends doesn’t make you a bad mom. But when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you are instantly a better everything. A better wife, a better mother. There is nothing that lifts a woman’s spirit and soul more than feeling beautiful. The key word here is FEELING. Do whatever you have to do to FEEL good about yourself. You deserve it..and quite frankly, you owe it to yourself. Try it, you’ll like it!
Move over Black! Grey and navy are the new neutrals, and the old rule of not pairing Black with Navy goes out the window. Invest in a timeless piece of clothing, or if you’re non-committal, just some nail polish will keep you on trend.
The Ankle boot
There is nothing more appropriate for fall than the knee-high boot, I think it is timeless. But this fall, the ankle boot might steal the show. The thigh high has been seen everywhere also, and I plan to have both ends of the spectrum in my boot selection! Thigh high can look skanky if you don’t style it right, and ankle boots can also be tricky. I have always been leery of this style because if you have not been blessed in the height department, it can cut you off at the ankle, making your legs look shorter. The key is to wear this trend with the right skirt or pant length. A shorter skirt or pant that ends where the boot begins, is perfect for someone with shorter gams. If you are leggy, there are no rules for this trend!
I love tulip skirts. They are fitted on top and fluted on the bottom. No matter your size, this piece will provide a nice balance. For work, this is my top pick for fall.
The white pant
White in general is a great colour for fall. Ignore the “no white after labour day” rules! It adds some brightness to the muted and deep fall tones and is reminiscent of freshly fallen snow. Whether it is a beautiful new coat or some nail polish, treat yourself to some winter white this fall, and if you are not afraid of getting dirty, take the plunge and invest in a cute pair of white pants. A cigarette style will look tres chic this season.
And finally, I just have to give a shout out:
One of my very favorite designers is Victoria Beckham. When I was bopping out to her pop happy tunes in the nineties, who knew she would eventually create beautiful clothes? There are very few designers that consistently impress me, and she is (surprisingly) one of them. I love this dress from her fall 2013 collection. She has a great eye for detail and I love the structure in her pieces. I cant wait to pick me up one of these. Happy Friday everyone!
Well, the time has come to put my money where my mouth is. All this talk about diet, exercise, even BELLY BINDING, to get me into bikini shape less than 18 months after delivering twins (via c section, might I add..which meant I would be in no shape to even THINK of working out anytime soon after having twins), and where did I end up? I just got back from a much needed Vacation to Mexico, but more than that, one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to. It was a sun soaked week full of friends and laughter and I got to watch one of the most beautiful people I know (inside and out) get married. Did I feel 100% confident to put on a bathing suit? Umm no, of course not. Do I feel I am back to exactly where I want to be? No again. But it was a far cry from where I was even just a year ago. I wish I had before pictures but the reality is, that at this time last year, I was so horrified by my tummy and the way I looked that there is no way I was taking a picture because I couldn’t imagine I could ever get back to where I once was. But I pulled it off…I worked my butt off to feel good enough to get half naked on a beach surrounded by people. I am motivated to continue on this path, and in the meantime, if you are a new or expecting mom of twins (or more!!) I hope you will use this as motivation to get YOUR body back! Check out my other posts on losing the baby weight, belly binding, and other skin tightening tips I have used!
Alright, ladies. Here is what you all have been waiting for. I’m going to skip my natural tendency to give a big, long, drawn out introduction to what I’m about to say. The bottom line is, when you have twins (or more), your stomach is pretty much guaranteed to come out of the whole ordeal very scathed. You call it mummy tummy, I call it twin skin. You may or may not have the foresight to understand this is a real possibility but I will tell you now, if you are pregnant with multiples, you will most likely end up with a diastasis (abdominal muscle separation) and you will also very likely end up with stretch marks AND loose skin due to the extraordinary amount of stretching your tummy had to do to house 2 or more babies. What does this mean? Think POOCH.
Losing the baby weight is one thing. The mummy tummy? Twin Skin? That is a whole other story. The bad news is there is not much you can do to prevent it other than moisturize, moisturize, MOISTURIZE. Think of a well oiled elastic band being stretched to its limits as opposed to one that has just been taken out of the freezer. Extreme opposites, right? One would stretch fairly well, the other would snap in half.
At 16 months postpartum I am leaps and bounds from where I was after I delivered, or even 6 months later. In a few weeks, I will be sunning it up in a bikini. Yes I have lost all the baby weight but now I’m trying to tighten and tone AND minimize that mummy tummy. What motivated me was this website, when I first found out I was pregnant with twins. This woman gave me faith that I could escape from this with minimal aftermath. I also found this site and ordered her book, the second I saw this woman’s body and saw that she has a set of twins (in addition to other kids). These 2 resources were my primary motivators. If you are serious about getting your stomach back, you will check out both these sites and follow what these women have done. And you will also take note of my pointers below:
Moisturize, moisturize,MOISTURIZE during and after your pregnancy (I know already said this, but it’s important!)
Drink lots of water and try to take in extra vitamin C (increases elasticity on the skin) in addition to consuming lots of healthy fats (fish oil, coconut oil, etc.)
Once the babies are born, start the “sideways elevator” exercise as soon as possible! (Pull belly button towards back SLOWLY, stopping every few centimetres as though it is an elevator stopping on different floors, hold bellybutton at spine, and slowly release)
Start to bind your belly as soon as possible: wrap it nice and taught as soon as you feel comfortable enough to do so! Baboosh Baby and the Squeem are 2 to check out. Continue belly binding for as long as you can!
Use extras like stretch mark creams (I liked Strivectin and BioOil), and retinol
Dry brushing is supposed to increase circulation, exfoliate, and induce collagen production-all excellent things if you are trying to tighten up that belly!
Finally, the BBL laser is the newest non invasive skin therapy that promises to tighten skin. I have now had 4 treatments and feel that it has helped me.
ALL of these things got me to the body I have today (and if you ask nicely, I just may post pictures), 16 months after having my twins! Good luck on your journey and please feel free to ask questions!
When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I was told that I couldn’t work out anymore. This sucked for many reasons, but mainly, I enjoy working out. Secondly, although small frames DO run in my family, I am not immune to gaining weight. I have always worked out for my health first, but vanity a close second. There, I said it. I am THAT girl. I workout because I like to look and feel good, in addition to knowing I’m doing something healthy for my body. Not working out for a year? Eeesh. The thought made me feel gross.
Exercise is encouraged with singleton pregnancies but multiples are high risk and they don’t want you do anything high impact or too stressful so I had to stop. I gained half of my body weight. If I turned sideways, I was almost as wide as I am tall. My thighs got huge to support my belly and I have the stretch marks to prove it.
People would say to me, “Oh you will just bounce right back! You are tiny! It’s in your genes!” It’s not just about good genes. I knew deep down inside it probably wouldn’t be that easy.
Then I had the c section, and still couldn’t work out . It was probably a good 5 months before I even did anything remotely active.That 5 months was tough for me because I felt so disgusting and couldn’t do what I knew would make me feel and look better. Guess what people? I did NOT bounce right back. I have the stretch marks on my thighs to prove it.
I did the only thing I could. I watched what I ate. Every morsel. I’ve always been a healthy eater, indulging on the weekend and allowing myself a few guilty pleasures here and there, like caramel lattes or breakfast sandwiches on that delicious bread. But I cut all that out. That is when the weight started to drop off. And now, 15 months later, I still watch what I eat and now I have the luxury of exercising. I don’t spend an hour and a half in the gym like Gwyneth Paltrow, because, frankly, I just don’t have that kind of time, but I do give it my all when I’m there. You can have an intense, 25 to 30 minute workout and burn the same calories as you would in an hour and a half if you workout right.
When people see me now and hear I had twins they say “you are SO lucky! I am still trying to lose the baby weight, my kid is FIVE!” Ummm, it’s not really luck. It’s a conscious effort EVERY DAY. And I’m 37 so you can’t say I’ve got youth on my side either. In fact, I have to work harder now than I ever have to maintain my body weight, but I have found some great sources of inspiration that remind me it IS possible to look awesome after having twins. Check out this website, if this mom of 4 (including a set of twins) doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will. I ordered her book as soon as I saw her six pack.
Here is a typical day for me and what I eat:
Breakfast-Oatmeal made with water, a spoonful of raisins and some cinnamon, plus an Egg White Omelet or Protein Shake
Snack-coconut milk latte, A piece of fruit and some nuts or cheese
Lunch-Sandwich loaded with veggies and mustard,or a salad, or sushi
Afternoon Snack-Green Protein Smoothie (usually made with spinach, frozen fruit, Vega protein powder, coconut milk and any other goodies I want to throw in)
Dinner-Salad (yes, we eat spinach salad almost every night for dinner).
If we don’t eat salad, we may have chicken/steak/fish/lentils with veggies.
I don’t drink juice or pop. I drink coconut water if I feel that I need something other than water. I limit my dairy and I avoid anything white (except wine!), like rice, pasta, sugar and bread. If I eat rice, it’s brown, if I want something sweet I use coconut sugar or a little honey and if I eat bread it’s multigrain with all the good stuff.
Pretty simple. Like I said, I have my indulgences, I do drink wine and I do enjoy a decadent meal when I’m out. If there is a day when I feel like eating crappy, I do it, and I don’t feel guilty about it, because 99% of the time, I eat well.
My exercise Routine:
I workout 3 to 5 days a week depending on the week but I don’t spend more than 30 minutes. I switch it up all the time. From start to finish my heart is going fast and I mix up quick bursts of cardio with intense intervals of strength exercises. Click here to check out some motivating stuff (and awesome workout clothes!) but here is a sample:
1 to 2 minutes, warm up on the treadmill
2-5 minutes, run(sprint intervals)
5-8 minutes-skip rope
8-10 minutes-one legged deadlifts, push ups, burpies and abs (30 seconds each)
Run through the whole circuit 2 more times.
Keeping it simple is what allows me to be a busy (working) mom but still maintain my SELF. Summer is fast approaching and I don’t want to spend it covered up. 80% of your body is the result of your diet. If all you do is change your eating habits, you WILL see a difference! I hope I have helped at least one mom today! There is one thing that diet and exercise will NOT help and that is the dreaded mummy tummy! That is a whole other topic for another day so stay tuned!