Tips for preparing your first child for a new sibling

One of my biggest fears of welcoming a new baby was how my toddler would handle the new addition. He has always been a bit of a momma’s boy and I was afraid how he would react to not having my undivided attention – and so I started to do some research. I took courses, read books, reached out to the community – and I feel like I have now done all the research so that you don’t have to. So here are some of my top tips for how to prepare your toddler for a new addition and create the easiest transition possible. The good news though, every mom I have spoken to says the transition from one to two wasn’t as hard as they expected.

Before baby arrives

There are lots of steps you can do before the baby arrives to help prepare your toddler for this big life change. Something interesting that I found out as I started learning more about what to do was that your preparation differs by age. So most of my focus is for 2-3 years apart.

1. Get some books about becoming a big brother/sister

I have found that books does wonders for my little guy – he tends to really grasp concepts through repetition and visual learning so we got a few different books that talk about becoming a big brother

2. Visit friends with babies

It seems to be the time where a lot of my friends who went through the first pregnancy with me are starting to have their seconds, so I have been introducing Max to their little siblings and showing him how to interact gently with a baby

3. Work on sharing

This has been an area my toddler has really struggled with – and it is only going to be more important once his little brother arrives. This has been another area where we have used books – we also try and praise sharing behavior with us and also when we have friends over for playdates.

4.Spend quality one-on-one time

One of my biggest fears has been not being able to have the quality time with Max that I currently have because I really love spending time with him at this age where he is developing more of a personality. I have been taking him out of daycare once a week to have special “Mom and Max days” so that he knows that he is special to me. I have also talked at length with my partner on how we can make sure I continue to have this one on one time with him once the baby arrives.

5. Do a test run ahead of time

A few of my friends have introduced a toy baby that their toddler can practice with. We found that Max really liked talking about some of the tasks he can help out with once baby is here. It seems to get him excited the idea of helping get a diaper or read stories to his brother. We want him to feel included and helpful.

What to do once baby arrives

This is the tricky part because not only are you introducing a new baby, but you are going to be spending periods of time away from your toddler, the longest he has ever experienced and so it is important to create as little competition for your attention as possible.

1. Get your toddler a gift from baby

This is a great way to show your child that he is still very important and that his little brother or sister already love him.

2. Involve your toddler

It takes a village right, so an extra set of hands with the baby, even if they are little toddler hands can be useful for both of you. Have him hand you wipes during diaper changes, or have him pick out books to ready to the baby.

3. Never make it about the baby/Have baby wait also

A lot of research that I did says the fastest way for your toddler to develop resentment towards the baby is to use the baby as an excuse to not have time for your toddler. Instead of saying ‘ We can’t go to the park because the baby has to nap’ say something like, ‘We will go to the park after lunch. Also it is ok to make the baby wait sometimes too so your toddler doesn’t always feel like second fiddle -\

4. Keep your toddler occupied

The time your toddler is most likely to get worked up is when you are solely focused on the baby, and we all know how much a newborn needs to eat – so try and find ways to keep your toddler occupied during this time. Read books with your toddler while you food, or create a special toy box for when you need to spend time with the baby so your toddler still feels special.

5.  Accept all feelings, even if they are negative ones

Your toddler is going through a lot of emotions, and then adding a new baby to the mix is only going to amplify these emotions. It is important to give your toddler a safe space to talk about all of their feelings – even if it is anger or jealousy – and then use language that makes them feel heard and that is the most important feeling your toddler needs right now.

Good luck mommas – you got this

xo

Mia

 

 

 

How to heal after pregnancy loss

This truly might be the hardest blog post I have ever written, but maybe the most important one. Despite the fact that every google search will tell you 1 in 4 women go through pregnancy loss, actually experiencing it is the most isolating feeling in the world and I am hoping that one person reading this will find some – I don’t even know the right word -but maybe comfort, in knowing that you truly aren’t alone. Not that that will make it any easier, but I did find it easier once I started talking to other women who had a miscarriage as well and maybe I can be that other woman for you.

The new beginning

I must admit, when I saw those two pink lines I was surprised. With my first pregnancy I knew days before I was testing positive that I was pregnant. I was feeling so hot, I was having terrible indigestion, I was exhausted. This go around I didn’t feel pregnant at all, but I figured I should test before going out for a Thanksgiving dinner – and to my surprise it was positive. Because everything went so smoothly with my first pregnancy, I had it in my mind that this would be no different – and so two days into finding out we were pregnant, we told our inner circle. Three days into finding out I hopped on a plane for a work trip. Eight days into finding out, it was over.

The end

I remember waking up that morning and I saw a bit of spotting. I thought that was weird but it was so little I didn’t think much of it, that was until I got to the bathroom and it was very evident what was happening. I was all alone on a work trip and I was losing my baby. I called my husband right away in absolute hysteria. He tried to calm me down by saying it might not be a miscarriage  and that I should speak to a doctor, but I knew what was happening. I had an interview for a story I was working on in 30 minutes, so what did I do? I grabbed some toilet paper and got dressed and went to the interview -that is the thing about us women, we suffer through the worst of pains all on our own  with a smile on our face because that is what society makes us think we have to do. Thankfully I was able to get a hold of my doctor and figure out the next steps – being RH negative I wasn’t sure what to do next – so at least I know what to do physically – but emotionally was a whole different story.

After speaking with my husband I went out for a little solo dinner. I tried to sit at the bar solo, but the only spot they had was a table in the back facing out to the entire crowd. Even though no one was actually looking at me I couldn’t help but feel like all eyes were on me as I went through every emotion and thought possible. From trying to be thankful of the beautiful family I have, to complete and utter devastation thinking about the one that was no longer. I couldn’t help but blame myself – what if I didn’t get on that flight? What if I didn’t have that second cup of coffee? The next few days was filled with a rollercoaster of emotions – from thinking I would be ok to bouts of extreme sadness.

The New Beginning

The miscarriage took a lot form me. it took my excitement, it took my joy. A few months later when we were pregnant again, I didn’t have that same happiness when I saw those two pink lines, instead I felt fear that it would happen again. Every morning, instead of looking forward to the first ultrasound, first kicks, I was waking up looking for signs that it would go wrong again. Instead of dreaming of my future family, I was dreading every doctors appointment, every lab test, every milestone. So much so that my blood pressure was through the roof every time I had an appointment for anything. My joy was overtaken by anxiety and fear. So just know that all your feelings, emotions, and fears are completely validated. But I did find a few things helped me on this journey.

1. Reaching out to the community

My friends were amazing. Checking in constantly and lending a shoulder to cry on, but for some strange reason it didn’t give me any relief. And so I took a step that I was so afraid of, I posted it publicly. I share a lot of my life online but I didn’t think I would share this. But then I remembered how almost ashamed I was that it happened to me, that I did something wrong, despite knowing how common it is. And so I shared the news and I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for how many incredible women reached out and shared their story. Telling me about their experience, about their isolation and feeling alone. I felt so terrible for the women and what they had been through – but in some way I also found a community that I knew what I was going through and that created a safe space for me.

2. Don’t blame yourself

I know that this is easier said than done having gone through it first hand, but something I found useful was doing research and trying to think of what happened to me logically. Every once in a while an invasive thought of blame would pop up in my mind. My therapist would tell me to let those thoughts sit and feel them, but then let my brain refocus on the logistics.

3. Understand what grieving you need and allow yourself to take it

There were so many feelings that came along with the loss. Sadness, exhaustion, isolation. While there was a side of me that wanted to just brush it off and focus on work – I realized that wasn’t healthy. I needed to take the time to grieve the loss and accept the feelings. I also needed to understand what I was mourning for the next step in healing. I realized that I was mostly mourning not growing our family and so while I mourned the loss of this child I know emotionally we did want to try again. And if you need to take a real break – take it. Women shouldn’t feel the need to have to hide what they are going through and pretend that everything was ok.

4. Memorialize your child

I kept trying to shove my feelings away saying that I was only a few weeks along and I shouldn’t be this sad. But that isn’t true. No matter how early or late you are in your pregnancy  – a loss is a traumatic experience that you should grieve. I found it both hard but also soothing to think about this baby. I wrote down thoughts and feelings about this pregnancy and I felt like that helped me.

At the end of the day there is no right or wrong way to heal. There is no timeline on how long it should take. And even when you do “move on”, you never forget the trauma, the loss, the sadness, but you just take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Nothing will take this grief away, but you will find ways to slowly get back to you, to find reasons to smile again, to find joy.

Sending the biggest hugs mommas

xo

Mia

Why VIICODE is the best eye mask I have ever tried

Working in TV during the day and taking care of a toddler at night my skin care routine sometimes slacks. With the early mornings, and long days my skin usually shows the wear and tear, especially my eyes. So I was thankful when I found an eye mask that actually works.

I have been using VIIcode products for over a year now and I absolutely love the VIIcode O2M Oxygen Eye Mask for dark circles. The unique nutrients help reach deep to the bottom layers of the skin, helping activate blood circulation to reduce dark eye circles, sooth wrinkles, and help maintain health, soft skin.

 

There are three main ingredients that really help achieve this balance

 

Caffeine

Caffeine works as an antioxidant and anti inflammatory that helps circulate blood flow. It really helps with reducing dark circles and under eye bags. Another big plus is that it helps protect the delicate skin around your eyes from UV rays. This doesn’t only protect you, but also helps anti aging.

Tea polyphenols

Tea polyphenols help absorb water and help moisturize the skin. It also works like collagen – which helps with skin elasticity and anti aging. Another big plus is it helps cell renewal, which in turn helps tighten and smooth the delicate skin around your eyes.

Retinol 

Retinol has amazing skin care products, which is why I use it in my skin care products for my entire face so I was really excited when I saw it was a main part of these eye masks. One big positive of retinol is that it helps prevent the degradation of collagen. This in turn reduces fine lines and reinstates skin elasticity. It also helps protect the skin from the outdoor environment that can harm it.

I have tried a hundred eye creams and eye masks to try and reduce my dark circles and wrinkles but this is one that has actually worked and I can’t recommend it enough.

You can find more information about this eye mask and how to purchase it here:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U5XUVL0/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk

xo

Mia

 

5 Ways to Boost Recovery Times from Exercise

 

Exercise is a vital part of staying fit and healthy, and in a world where obesity is on the rise and a quarter of the US population does not engage in any physical exercise at all, being able to incorporate exercise into your day is an excellent way to stay healthy and support your body.

But with exercise comes the all-important recovery period. For newbies or those pushing themselves to achieve more, the dreaded DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can be off-putting and create mild pain and soreness for a few days post-exercise. Exercise can also cause fatigue and make you feel like you cannot physically do anything else for a while afterward.

But with recommendations that you need to be engaging in at least 150 minutes of exercise that raises your heart per week, how can you improve recovery times from your workout?

 

Stretches

Never underestimate the importance of stretching post-workout. You should be doing dynamic stretching before your workouts, i.e., high knees, arm circles, lunges, or squats, and static stretching, which is holding the stretch afterward to help your body recover faster. Make sure you stretch each muscle group you have used for at least 30 seconds once you have finished the exercise, as this helps to reduce muscle soreness and pain.

 

Replace Fluids

You should be making sure you drink plenty throughout your workout, but if not, you need to replace fluids post-workout to let your body recover fluids it has lost during this period. This will allow your body to retain and continue its normal functions without dehydrating. If you are training for any type of sport or working out for longer than an hour, a drink with added electrolytes is particularly useful.

 

Massage

My absolute favourite way to recovery from exercise. Massages are an excellent way to promote recovery from your workouts. You can invest in at-home massage equipment, such as massage guns or chairs, to soothe and relieve muscle tension, or you can look into remedial massage therapy to help you work out any muscle tension or soreness in your body.

 

Ice Baths

Ice baths have become increasingly popular of late, and many athletes swear by them to help improve recovery times and boost physical and mental health. The idea behind ice baths is that plunging into cold temperatures will help to constrict and dilate blood vessels, which can help muscles get rid of waste products easier.

 

Recovery Foods

Ideally, you should be looking to consume some type of protein within 60 minutes of exercising. Protein and carbs can help your body repair, recover, and get stronger, so taking a high-protein snack, shake, or eating a protein-heavy meal post-exercise can improve recovery times and help you build strength and muscle. Adults need to eat 20 to 40 grams of protein after working out to maximize muscle growth.

 

With exercise comes the aftereffects in the form of soreness and fatigue; however, these tips can help you improve your recovery times, get back to working out with minimal downtime and soreness, and give your body what it needs when it needs it.

Happy working out friends,

xo

Mia

 

My favourite hiking apparel

This summer I came up with a Sea to Sky hiking Bucket List: The top 10 hikes I wanted to try near my own backyard. We are half way through the summer and I have been able to cross off 3 of these incredible hikes: Slhanay, Echo Lake, and Panorama. I am starting to feel more confident in my ability to hike more challenging trails and am loving being in the mountains now more than every before and a big part of that is having the right gear and knowing what to pack.

Of course I always take the 10 essentials with me to help me stay safe in the mountains, but I wanted to share of the gear that I love that helps get me to the peaks.

My favourite hiking gear 

Hiking boots: One of the most important pieces of gear is your hiking boots. My go to for longer and more challenging hikes is the Trezeta Argo. I really love the grip on this boot and also how light it is despite it having a lot of support. I also love its waterproof feature, especially when I had to do some river crossings for Echo Lake. Another big selling point for me was the double density EVA midsole cushions the support to reduce impacts on the ground, minimize vibrations and accompany the step.

T-Shirts: I recently started hiking in Devold Merino Wool t-shirts and I don’t think I will ever be able to go back to anything else. I love everything about these shirts, but mostly the breathability of them. Even on a really hot day on an exposed mountain I never feel sweaty or heavy in them. This is thanks to their thermo regulating and moisture wicking, keeping you nice and cool in the summer heat.

Hiking Pants: When it comes to pants I am a sucker for anything Luluemon – I just love their flexibility – it helps me climb when some of the hikes get technical. I am a big fan of the Base Pace High Rise Shorts for summer hikes – I especially like that they are pocketed .

Layers: No matter how hot it is I always bring layers with me (one of your 10 essentials my friends) I am a big fan of Columbia’s sweaters  – I have a few of them for work and they just really fit well and are very breathable. Their Omni Heat is also really great for base layers when hiking in cooler months.

Socks: Ok I didn’t think this was an important hiking element until it became a very important hiking element. I remember I was getting really bad blisters and thought it was because of my boots but then my husband asked what kind of socks I was wearing. Now I will only hike in specific hiking socks and in particular smartwool socks. They are also made from merino wool, so temperature regulated, but they have cushion in all the right places and are very breathable, which is great on hot days when you do have proper hiking boots on.

Sports bra: Again Lululemon is my go to here. I just love the support and comfort that I get from their sports bras. And it doesn’t hurt that they are cute so that when I want to go for a glacier lake dip they can double as a bathing suit.

Happy hiking my friends

xo

Mia