find your ItFactor.

So what is it that makes that someone special? It’s that indefinable something that draws people in. Let’s inspire your thAng, and rock it out.

*Ham it up with him: A Sexy Wife

Playful banter seems to be a gal’s best friend. I enjoy getting a good grin out of my collegiate love… especially, those inside, unspeakable jokes in front of people. Fun little games make marriage enticingly sweet. So, don’t give up the sizzle. Have fun with him, and turn up the heat with class.

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Beastfeeding – Better Make that BREASTFEEDING.

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No baby blankets. Back to sleep. Don’t wake up to feed. It’s ok to fly when pregnant – heck, it’s ok to leave your house (my sweet grandmother went grocery shopping at night when preggies!). So yes, just about EVERYTHING about raising babies has changed since the last group of moms walked in our shoes.

Except Breastfeeding.

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Assuming Eve didn’t dish out formula or operate a pump, nursing hasn’t changed since Cane and Abel were breastfed. Well, pumps and lactation consultants aside.

Some of you could have been Eve it comes so naturally. You’d excel without reading a single book or blog. For others, it CAN be a BEAST! In my 22 months of nursing experience, I have seen the good/ the bad/ the just plain painful, but I’ve learned a few ways to take the edge off.

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WHAT I WISH THEY’D TOLD ME: How to make it easier on you, so you can keep at it.

Be ready to hand the keys to hubs, crawl in the back seat, and nurse on the go.(If you’ve never dangled your bosom over a car seat while buckled in, try it! It’s fun. But I strongly recommend tinted windows).

Eating for two – STILL! My OB recommended I continue to take prenatal vitamins. Since breastfeeding burns an extra 500 calories a day, make sure you’re not under-eating because of this!

AAAHHHHH!!!! Apparently (thanks for the unpleasant surprise, people!) it is normal to be excruciatingly painful the first few weeks (usually just first child). Of course, double check with an expert that everyone’s latched on/ position is good… but yes, this is part of it. And after 4-6 weeks, one day, the pain will simply be gone. Poof.

Supply goes up if you start pumping as soon as you get home from the hospital (see photo). So with all your spare time (remember they are sleeping 20 hours/day at first), pump between feedings – even if just an ounce or two comes out at a time. And don’t forge to sock yourself with some breastmilk freezer bags.

Take a nursing cover everywhere you go. I have one for my purse (which is too frequently disguised as a diaper bag) and one for the house. Unlss of course, you’re braver than I am. And if so, you go girl.

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ABOUT TRACY VIDAL:

Tracy is a mommy of two precious boys, a 27-month-old, and a 9-month-old. She is a Mary Kay Sales Director, and her favorite part of her job is making a difference in womens’ lives, and the flexibility that this lifestyle affords her. Tracy is grateful beyond words that she is able to make an executive income while also not missing a single moment along the FAST track of newborn baby through childhood.To learn more about the Mary Kay opportunity, click here.

Tracy Vidal Biz Card

 

Baby Nutrition – Is My Baby Getting Enough?

Hey, LC readers! Did you know that March is National NUTRITION Month?

Fittingly, Jenni June - mother of four and certified family sleep consultant- is here with us today, to give us her advice on this hot topic of PROBIOTICS.

What do you think? Comment below to let us know your opinion!

A Baby Sleep Schedule that’s E.A.S.Y. Squeezy!

sleeping thomasI won’t even tell you what my family calls me, in reference to my “absolute silence mode” when the boys are napping. For many of you, no explanation may be necessary- this is the time of day I regain my composure. Whether you’ve figured out the perfect schedule for your baby(or babies!) or struggling to juggle all the things you need to get done before 7pm bedtime (totally recommend that, btw), I hope you’ll find some things in here to improve your smoothly running LLC – Lovin’ Life Crew!

1.  Get advice from a mom (but not your own). Love her dearly, but she has probably already dispensed her wisdom before you thought to ask. To avoid any outdated advice (“We always gave newborns tons of blankets!” Yikes…), do you know someone just *slightly* ahead of you in life, that could give you some new ideas? If not, what mommy forums could you seek out advice, from moms who have been where you are?

2.  Do the same’ol, lame’ol boring routine EVERY sleep time.  Activities that you do solely pre-bed will clue your bumpkin that it’s that time. Especially if you’re implementing a new schedule.

  • Go around the nursery saying “good night” to each object in the room
  • Sing the same baby lullaby (Lullaby Confessions CD is here to help). You may want to brush up on your favorite Christian lullabies, or ask Google, “What are the lyrics to Hush Little Baby?” if you can’t remember what all the things mama is going to buy.

3. It has to be YOUUU. If you are exhausted, tired mommyyour kids will be dealing with a tired mom. If you’re worried about a bill you didn’t have time to pay, your kids will have a distracted mom (not to mention the lights will eventually be shut off). So ultimately, to give your children YOUR best, you have to be good to yourself. And no matter how many children you have and what their ages, I solemnly swear IT IS POSSIBLE to create a schedule that is a hybrid best-for-mom/ best-for-children.

 

I swear by this schedule- which is more like a pattern: Eat –  Activity – Sleep + You-time.

Download and print the E.A.S.Y Cheat Sheet here (thank you, NoobMommy!).

 

easyEAT: Nummy-nummy-time fires off the EASY cycle with some energy!

ACTIVITY: Go for a walk, bath time, watch funny baby videos on Youtube, undo your nicely-folded laundry… whatever! My toddler sometimes enjoys a good “morning soak” (wherein he just sits in the tub and stares into space)… I wish that were my morning activity!

SLEEP: Start your baby bed time routine at the first sign of sleepiness

YOU TIME: While they sleep, it’s time for YOU YOU YOU.  My goal every naptime: do at least ONE thing that’s just for me.  Even if it’s paint one fingernail. You bet I smile every time I look down at my hand after that.

EAT: The cycle repeats as soon as they wake up.

 

ABOUT TRACY VIDAL:

Tracy is a mommy of two precious boys, a 27-month-old, and a 9-month-old. She is a Mary Kay Sales Director, and her favorite part of her job is making a difference in womens’ lives, and the flexibility that this lifestyle affords her. Tracy is grateful beyond words that she is able to make an executive income while also not missing a single moment along the FAST track of newborn baby through childhood.To learn more about the Mary Kay opportunity, click here.

Tracy Vidal Biz Card

3 Tips to The Best Baby Shower Ever: Going BEYOND a Unique Baby Shower Theme.

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“It’s A…. And You’re Invited!” You know the drill. Parents-to-be announce their news, and you’re invited to celebrate. Suddenly, you find yourself scanning pages of online registries. If there is no registry, you’re probably wondering, “What IS a good baby shower gift?” Or as the host– please tell me I’m not the only one– you are carefully balancing diaper-cake layers on top of each other. Wherever you are in the process, it’s time to take a step back and spend your time and money on what is really important.

1. MAKE THE MOM-TO-BE LAUGH. HYSTERICALLY.

pregnant-lady-tra-la-la-1Your pregnant friend will soon be in painful labor. Assuming you have her future in mind when getting her a gift, what if you lightened things up? Make her laugh so hard she cries.

  • Frame an inside joke. Attach a sticky note on the front: “Throw me in your hospital bag, in case you need to smile mid-labor!”
  • Arrange a group of attendees to show up with beach balls under their shirts (intro music and costumes can really drive this one home)
  • Serenade the new mom with some baby lullabies (have everyone join in, by passing out lyrics to baby lullabies)
  • Buy a card so funny you had tears running down your cheeks in the Hallmark store
  • Buy her a lighthearted parenting book (any title along the lines of “Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay” should make her smile)

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2. AVOID 2 HOURS OF GIFT OPENING.

(Special note: this hold-tiny-outfits-up-to-your-pregnant-belly ceremony MAY be unavoidable. Know thy audience!)

If you can politely skip out (or speed it up) remember that every moment at this party should be treated like rare currency. Quality solo time with the pregnant mom will soon be difficult to come by! So schedule the majority of the party to talk, sing karaoke baby lullabies, take goofy tummy pics… the Pinterest list goes on!

3. DO SOMETHING UNFORGETTABLE (even with Preggo-Mommybrain).

  • Since LC came into my life, I now skip the Baby Einstein and give the gift of lullabies for babies with a Lullaby Confessions CD. I believe the positive affirmations in these lullabies can make an amazing difference in every baby’s life!
  • Go off-registry for something totally over-the-top-chi-chi (would the expectant couple enjoy babymooning at the Ritz Carlton for a weekend?)
  • Have everyone sign a card, saying, “Your final gift is: no thank-you notes allowed! Instead, enjoy your baby or take some you-time!”

THE BOTTOM LINE: The most important thing to give an expectant mom is a reminder of your LOVE and SUPPORT from pregnancy through motherhood. Knowing you have her back is far more valuable to her than any diaper cake or Pinterest-inspired decoration could ever be!

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VIDEO: “Newborn Skin-to-Skin Contact” with Jenni June

Happy Monday friends!

After celebrating “love weekend” (Valentine’s Day), we thought this installment from our dear friend Jenni June would be pretty appropriate!  Check out this great educational video on “Skin-to-Skin Contact” with your baby….enjoy!

For more info on certified sleep consultant Jenni June, visit her website at www.jennijune.com!

Thank You, Babies R Us!

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We are just days away from Valentines Day and love is in the air! For LC, it’s our love and appreciation for “Babies R Us”! We appreciate that we were invited to their baby fair and had the opportunity to meet so many of you new blog readers!

Two babies dozed off while parents listened and talked to us, CD’s were sold, several new stores (other than Babies R Us) across L.A. will now be carrying our music because of your demand, AND we partied!

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As a people-person who is forced to sit at a desk all day everyday, it’s always a joy when I have the opportunity to get with groups of people and chat. It’s a love of mine to talk about the great music we produce and share with the world. Meeting the wonderful people of Los Angeles and seeing the smiles on their faces from hearing the music and/or learning about what we do and how it helps your family was a true joy!
Thank you for joining “Team LC”!
Barrie

Enjoy our latest album, “Tropical Encouragement” by clicking here! 

No Un-Love. Ever.

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I’m living by a new rule: NO UN-LOVE. EVER. In fact, I AM ON A QUEST to watch every thought that goes through my mind and every word that comes out of my mouth. (Yes, Psalm 19:14 was my inspiration on this one). That seems pretty simple, right? Um…. Yeah… Super simple when I’ve had a tear-your-hair-out kind of day, and my hubs comes home and compares our living room to a “war zone.” No un-love! Or when the repair man rings our doorbell EVEN THOUGH there is a sign saying “Please don’t ring – we have 2 babies sleeping.”  No un-love!

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Outlawing The In-laws

Are you the peacemaker? It’s a blessing and a curse, I personally believe. However, when it comes to sharing the turkey and snuggling close for family pics, it totally works in my favor. We all have that “one” in-law that we have outlawed in our minds. Yes… you are thinking of them right now.

Thank you

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Keeping it Real…Real Cool, That is!

 

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Last month, Megan wrote one of the most hilarious and relatable blog posts I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here. No fail there, girlfriend.

And on the note of keeping things REAL… Let’s deal with some imperfections many of us are dealing with this summer.

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