A message from my heart to you!

Hi friends! 

This email has been a long time coming and I was avoiding it for quite awhile. Prior to joining the ranks for motherhood, I thought I had the answer to the pressing question,  "what do I want to be when I grow up?"

I had worked in the fitness industry, whether part-time or full-time, since 2009. I started by writing a blog about the fitness classes I was trying out in my neighborhood, then I became a Zumba instructor ->became certified in other formats -> a personal trainer -> a fitness nutrition specialist and finally a health and fitness coach.

This was my path and all of you were part of it in one way or another. 

Then I became a mom and I don't know if this happens for everyone but I lost all my passion towards my work. I still love to workout. I still eat healthy BUT sharing it and working with clients no longer DRIVES me. I've tried. I just can't fake the funk. 

I am sharing this all with you because I value transparency and I've come to call you my friend. 

It's B-A-N-A-N-A-S  to just drop a business that was providing you income and food on your table but I can't continue doing something I've lost total passion in. Maybe one day, I'll decide to pick it back up but right now, I am delving into new passions and enjoying every single moment of mommyhood.

I won't go into all the details YET. You were receiving my emails because you were interested in clean eating, meal plans, fitness tips, etc. 

If you no longer want to receive emails from me, you don't have to do anything. If you want information on my mommy hood podcast and you want to remain connected to me and my next venture, join this email list: http://eepurl.com/cN7Tq5

Thank you so much for your support. I couldn't have enjoyed eight amazing years in the health and fitness industry without you. 

You are amazeballs! 

 

-- 

Peace, love + guilt-free pancakes...
 

Melissa Herreria

If we aren't friends on FB yet, we should be!! 

Finding time to workout with a baby/toddler

Its been forever since I have written on here. Mostly because I have been literally running around like a crazy woman all day for the past ten months. Most days, this is me:

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Overwhelmed and exhausted. 

But today, I feel in control! 

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I am so proud of myself. I worked out first thing in the morning for 5 days straight! I feel like I can really complete this program. It's been awhile since I have felt any sense of control in my life and although I know we can't control everything, its nice to have a routine going. I wanted to share it with you in case there is someone on here with a baby or toddler who feels that you can't figure out how to take care of mommy and baby. Here's how the past 5 mornings have looked: 

  • We wake up, change his diaper and change him out of pjs
  • I get dressed in my workout clothes, bring out toys for him to play. Usually theres a "non-toy" that is interesting to him like luggage or a box that can keep him entertained trying to figure it out while I workout.
  • I nurse him before I start my workout.
  • I press play and workout. There are some distractions but its all good. He runs between my legs, crawls under my planks, jumps on me, etc.
  • I then set him up with fruit for his breakfast so he can eat it and play with it while strapped into his highchair at the doorway of the bathroom while I shower. I have a clear shower curtain so I can watch him. 
  • I get dressed. 
  • Help him finish his breakfast. We go to Starbucks for an iced coffee, and I have my breakfast at home.
  • Play a little more and then nap time and I start to work!!!! He naps a good hour and a half in the morning. 

Its nothing like the routines of my past but it works and we are both getting what we need.

Traveling with an infant - surviving the first plane ride

I was hesitant in writing this post because I feel like we got lucky in a sense. We didn't plan ahead much for the plane ride and everything people told us to expect on the plane really didn't happen for us. 

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So here is what we were told: 

1. Baby will sleep the entire plane ride because of the amazing white noise of a plane flying through the air.  

2. Baby will need Tylenol or Benadryl to go to sleep.  

3. "Just" nurse the baby during take off and landing (although true it's easier said than done). 

Here's our reality:

We flew JetBlue and decided to spend the extra money for the Even More Room seats because it was our very first time flying with a baby and we didn't know what to expect. This is where we got lucky. We took the first flight out (highly recommended) and even though the flight was full, the Even More seats weren't.  No one was sitting next to us. This gave us the opportunity to spread out and have the baby lay between us to play and stare at the TV.  

If you want some sanity, purchase those seats. Even without the extra seat, it's so much easier to maneuver around with the extra room. If you have money like that, buy your infant a seat. That extra space was worth it.  

Our son did NOT sleep the entire flight. He's not a long napper and as I've mentioned in previous posts, he likes routine so we kept to his nap schedule. We had to leave our home at 3am to catch our flight. My husband and I went to bed early and we got the baby to go to sleep an hour earlier than usual. He was in bed at 6pm. He had seven hours sleep before we woke up him to leave. I think that made a huge difference in his temperament. 

My husband and I woke up at 2am and got ready. Around 2:40am, I began the process of waking our son. I walked in, rubbed his back and said his name. He opened his eyes but went right back to sleep. I walked out the room, did some things and walked back in ten minutes later. Turned off the sound machine and he popped right up. I changed his diaper and kept him in his pjs to minimize the fuss. Quickly grabbed his sound machine and crib bumper, packed them, and left the house.

Our friends picked us up so my husband went down first to put the luggage in their car and to install the car seat.

On the ride to the airport, he was wide awake. He's not a big car napper either.  

Once we parked the car and were headed to the shuttle train to our terminal, I placed him in the Ergo Baby carrier with a blanket over it to keep it dark. He falls asleep right away in that. It was a little before 4am. He fell right to sleep. He slept through check in, security, and the wait at the gate. About 30 minutes before our flight was boarding, I took off the blanket and began unsnapping the Ergo. I knew that would wake him. It did. 

So he was up, looking around at all the people, etc.  When they called the Extra Room Seats first, my husband went in and settled everything with the baby. I ate my breakfast and held on to the stroller to check at the gate. This was also a way to keep him from wanting to nurse right away since I had to nurse him at take off. Breastfed babies like to nurse for comfort especially when in new surroundings. I kept away because I knew, he'd demand his comfort if he even smelled me. 

BUT as soon as he saw me, he was all about wanting milk and fussed until I nursed him. I unlatched him a number of times so that I wouldn't fill him up but that wasn't very easy. We distracted him with toys and waited for the pilot to let us know that we were really taking off.  

By then, he was frustrated and not in the mood. My son is highly distracted when it comes to nursing in public so all the noise wasn't helping either. I had to gently turn his head towards me and encourage him to nurse. A bottle would probably be easier but I'm not familiar with it so I can't give you much details on that. 

He nursed the whole way up. We made it to the friendly skies and now he wanted a nap. "Cool! I'll just gently rock you to sleep and the white noise is going to send you straight to sleepy land, right? "

NOPE!

He wasn't comfortable laying on me.

He wasn't comfortable with his head on my shoulder.

He didn't want to lay in his beautiful free Extra Room seat. 

Luckily, we are short and when standing, we don't hit our heads at the top of the overhead compartments. My husband stood up, snapped the Ergo baby carrier and put the baby in it and within minutes he fell asleep. 40 minutes standing. Whatever needs to get done, right?

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Then he woke up and was up for two hours. We brought lots of toys along and we introduced them to him slowly. Only when he would get bored of one, did we give him the other. Don't introduce them all at once or else you have nothing left. They get bored quickly. Also, when baby is done with a toy, take it away before you give him the other one. This way you can reintroduce it later and it's like brand new. 

We also had the TV on and he watched some Mickey Mouse cartoons with no sound.  

Our flight was three in a half hours long so he requested another nap. After he nursed, I tried again to let him just sleep on me but NO, he wanted his nap in the carrier.

This time it was my turn.  

I snapped it on and sat down and rocked him that way. It worked. 40 minutes.  

When he woke, we were about to begin descending. Again, he threw a fit over nursing. My son doesn't take bottles or a pacifier, I was getting a little worried because I didn't want him to be in pain. I gave him my finger and it worked. He sucked on my finger and we had no issues with his ears, etc. 

Thank goodness!  

The flight back, we did exactly the same thing. The downside was that we didn't have the extra seat but the woman seated next to us was very understanding and she even entertained him a couple of times.  

Hope this series was helpful to you! Have an awesome trip with your infant! 

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Traveling with an infant - is it fun?

My husband and I have been on many vacation these past ten years together. And if you asked us how they went, they would all sound the same.

We got sun burnt and drunk. Very drunk.

We would get up early, sit in the pool, and drink all day in the sun. Come back. Nap. Then go out all night.

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So when we were planning our first family vacation courtesy of Team Beachbody to the Hard Rock Punta Cana, we were concerned we'd be stuck indoors all day working out naps and dealing with an overstimulated cranky baby.

 

That's not what happened. He was actually very pleasant to be around. Lol.

 

Was our fun different? Yes. Very.

 

But it was fun and that's totally possible. Here are some overall things that kept us all happy this trip.

 

  1. Lose all expectations and just go with the flow.
  2. Avoid the pool or beach during peak sun hours. That's 10am and 2pm, roughly.  I know it sounds like "all day" but it really flew by and helped us avoid an sunburnt baby.
  3. Or find shade and stay under it.
  4. Go with friends with babies or children  under 12. Our friends have children who wanted to spend all day in the kiddie pool so instead of feeling lonely because we weren't in the party pool, we made our own party in the kiddie pool!
  5. If you can bring the grandparents, do. I wish we brought a set of grandparents along. They would have happily stayed in with the baby at night while we enjoyed an evening together as a couple.
  6. Go to dinner early. That's when the other parents go. Plus it's empty enough that you can move tables around or chairs to accommodate your family.
  7. String the baby along to all the things you enjoy. You'll be surprised just how much they might enjoy it as well. My son loves dancing with me in the baby ergo.
  8. Baby wear all the time. It's so easy. You can just go about your day and baby will nap when they need to and nurse when they need to. You just go about your business and they are as happy as can be.
  9. Don't skip naps. Check out previous posts. Babies this small can't hang and a skipped nap leads to future meltdown.
  10. Bring toys to dinner so they can entertain themselves while you eat. And if you forgot toys, the napkin will do.

Remember, don't worry. You're baby is perfectly made for your family and will fit right into your lifestyle. You can't drink like a fish anymore but you can still have fun!

Traveling with an Infant - Sleep Edition

People always tell me, "You're so lucky your baby sleeps through the night."

And my response is always, "If you only knew." In a way, I am lucky because all his sleep troubles (and there were lots) early on in his life forced me to "figure him out." 

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See, my son does sleep 12 hrs straight at night and he's generally happy baby, but I learned that this won't happen unless I honor his naps.

My son is a routine-driven person. He thrives on it. He also likes to shut down, and at 5.5 months needs 4 naps a day that roughly total between 3-4 hours combined.

If he doesn't get that, then pretty much I'm up every hour with a really tired baby who can't settle for more than 40 minutes at a time.

So when I was heading on our first family vacation with baby, I scoured the Internet looking for information on how to make this work and besides a couple of message boards of moms asking the same thing, I couldn't find any. So now that we survived our first family vacation, here are my tips on traveling with an infant.

Keep in mind that my son is fairly adaptable. Not all babies are. And some babies are so easygoing, you're not even going to need my tips. But if you found this post, you might have a baby like mine, so here we go:

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  1. Find out whether the hotel/resort you are staying at has a crib or whatever your baby likes to sleep in. My son loves his crib and I didn't want to switch him up to a Pack and Play or have him sleep with us on vacation, so  I made sure we were going to have a crib. If your child sleeps in a Pack and Play, consider bringing it along. The extra luggage won't be muchof a hassle when your baby is tucked away in sleepland. 
  2. Pack sleep props. We packed his mesh breathable crib bumpers that he likes to push his head on and his Dohm sound machine. It made for extra luggage, but it was so worth bringing it. If you know the size of the crib or Pack and Play and you have sheets for it, bring your own. Anything that smells like home is welcomed.
  3. What does your baby nap in? My son won't nap long in his stroller, so we didn't bring it. But if your child does, then bring it regardless how bulky it is. We brought our Ergo and that's where he took his naps the entire time. This allowed us to be out all day and strap him on when he showed his sleepy signals. 
  4. If your baby is 6 months or younger, they probably can't stay up past 2hrs at a time. I brought along a cheap digital wrist watch so I wouldn't lose track of time (easy to do on vacation), and whether or not he was showing sleepy signs at the hour-and-a-half mark, he was in the baby carrier and he'd always go right to sleep. 
  5. For us, taking the first nap in the crib is important. So we never planned to do anything until after that first nap. My son wakes at 6 a.m. and goes back down for his first nap 90 mins later. That nap is usually a long one, so we knew that we weren't catching breakfast til at least 8:30 or 9 a.m.
  6. If your child cannot handle a change in schedule or doesn't do well when he/she is overtired, don't push your luck. Our resort restaurants weren't ready for dinner until 6 p.m. For the last two night's baby boy was ready for bed at 6:30 p.m. The first of those nights, I put him in the carrier, wrapped up dinner and had him in his crib by 7 p.m. All was well throughout the night. The second night, however, I pushed my luck and kept him asleep in the baby carrier til 8 p.m. He was up every hour unable to settle and I was pretty upset with myself.
  7. Don't go by what the other parents are doing. Yes, some babies can stay up at a party, have tons of stimulation and they sleep like champs. I saw it at the resort; moms and dads enjoying dinner with their very awake infants at 9 p.m. That's not my child. And if it's not your child, don't try to hang. Other babies sleep perfectly fine at a loud party. My son will as well but if I change the scenery, he will wake and the overtired mess begins. I can't party all night like that anymore lol.
  8. If your child has no schedule, and you're cool with that, then most definitely "do you" and go with the flow. If your child has no schedule and you're going crazy, seek help. There are tons of free articles online. I swear by The Baby Sleep Site and when I was going through sleep troubles with my son, I purchased an express sleep plan and it helped solve our troubles.

Having a happy baby on vacation takes work, but it's possible. Enjoy your trip!!