Yoga & Pregnancy: What NOT to do (video!)

I made this video months back after being in yoga classes (regular group mind you, NOT prenatal), and being dismayed that some instructors are not giving the pregnant ladies special attention (or modifications!).  I wasn’t particularly worried for myself,  as I was aware of what NOT to do, but a few times I had another preggo in the class and was definitely concerned for them. One time in particular, I wanted to walk over and say “Please, stop doing that!,” to a mom-to-be who was taking class as if she wasn’t carrying a 7+ month fetus.

Problem viewing video? Click here to view on Youtube! 

Bottom line is, yoga is great during pregnancy, but in a standard group class, we typically can’t not rely on the instructor to guide us through the whole time. Many of them don’t even know enough about pre-natal yoga to offer great modifications as the standard RYT (registered yoga teacher) does a brief study on it, but not nearly enough (which is why pre-natal teachers have separate trainings.)

That being said, mamas-to-be, please arm yourself with knowledge before jumping in a regular group class. Or, better yet, take a few prenatal classes to get going on the right track. Regardless, here are some clear NO, NOs from me to you. Ultimately, remember to listen to your body, and don’t push it (no, matter what anyone says). Take care of yourself and baby!

Disclaimer: Always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program. 

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Mommyhood Take….2! Pregnancy the second time around.

Yes, so we’re six months in on pregnancy number 2, and, if you haven’t heard already, Aria is expecting a little brother come October.

pregnancy 6 months

He’s already suffering second child syndrome (yes, even in-utero), not nearly getting the attention that Aria did while I was pregnant. I can’t believe it, but I’m already 6 months. Time flies when you’re not really paying attention!

With Aria every week was relished — from tracking her size with baby.com updates to journaling and recording every little pregnancy milestone. This go-around I’ve barely even stopped to think about being pregnant. Perhaps it’s because I’m running after a toddler, or because it’s just old hat now (one kid, I’m a pro right?), but this time I already feel like I’m neglecting my second child.

He must sense this too because he has definitely tried to make his presence known. While Aria was a super easy pregnancy, this go around I got a little taste of what some women go through in pregnancy (albeit still just minor infractions). From waves of nausea the first trimester to feeling bigger and more limited physically now, I’ve been forced to reckon with this pregnancy.

With Aria I barely even looked pregnant at 7 months, did yoga until almost the end and amazingly, aside from a few minor infractions like the occasional charlie horse at night, didn’t have any real side effects. Only when I was overdue (she was a week late) did I feel heavy and limited and like she was bearing down.

But this time, it’s as my body recognized pregnancy and kicked right into it right away. Granted I still have it pretty easy compared to some, but I’m definitely well aware of my limitations, especially when teaching yoga or trying to lift my solid three year old. Lower back pain and carpal tunnel have already reared their head, and I feel much heavier and limited (despite having only gained 10lbs to date). I’m also much more aware of his very active movements, although I’d just like to think that I have a star athlete in the making.

Perhaps it’s my unborn boy already crying out for attention (“hey, I’ll show you mom!”), but I find it so interesting how we treat second pregnancies and, for that matter, second babies (imagine the thirds or fourths!) No more pregnancy journal, or lovely pregnancy photo shoot, but really, well, just moving right along.

And even as I write that, I get a tinge of mom guilt, and think I should commit to savoring these moments a bit more. I mean, to his credit, he has given me a little pregnancy glow this go-around (the old wives tale about girls stealing your beauty and boys giving you more apparently holds some merit.) So today, I’ll give him a little more love and attention and try to not let him get lost in the shuffle (already). I guess a dedicated blog post is a start… hang in there kid.

Summer In The City…

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Having fun at Pier 25 Sprinkler Playground

A full list of Hudson River Play areas here.

We also still love to do this at the river.

 

 

 

 

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Scooting all over town on Mini Micro Scooter

 

 

 

 

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Girlfriends and bubble parties in the courtyard.

And when it’s REALLY hot… these work too.

Arizona Dreaming….

ImageSince spring is taking it’s time to be steady in NYC, I still find my self reminiscing about our latest vacation. I’m all about the luxury resort (always have been), but now that Aria is usually in tow, I also have my eye out for “family-friendly” spots. Our latest find was the Fairmont Princess Scottsdale, which is totally kid-friendly without feeling kid-friendly (yes, that’s a compliment)!

The expansive resort combines lots of great amenities for all ages, and still feels like a luxury resort. They have 5 pools on site, two of which are great for the whole family. We spent most of our days lounging at the zero entry pool, where we could keep a close eye on the little one but still enjoy pool service, palm trees, and amazingly (for a kid’s pool) a good degree of peace & quiet. The same pool area also boasts a water slide on the back end, playground on the far end and a great covered sandbox for the littles to enjoy. Aria LOVED them all and also made a few little friends that made her time (and ours) more enjoyable.

ImageThe Fairmont also offers an amazing kids camp. Aria was still too young for that, but The Trailblazers Kids Club is another way kids get to enjoy and mom and dad get some free time to enjoy the adult amenities– which incidentally include 2 Championship Golf Courses and the AMAZING Well & Being At Willow Stream Spa (a must visit!).  We also loved that all the restaurants on site (including the high end ones) offered kid’s menus, and the resort’s VIP lounge made grabbing a drink or snack at any time of day easy (another necessity with little A).

All in all, we so enjoyed our time there. The Fairmont Scottsdale is the best of luxury & family friendly, without any pretense and with plenty of relaxation. So, until we can return (or until the sun & warm temps return here), we’ll all be Arizona dreaming…

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Product Review: Dubble Trubble Organic Bath Products

We’ve graduated from using solely baby shampoos, and now bubbles and fun scents are in demand when Aria’s in the tub. I recently received a line of bath products called Dubble Trubble that contains certified organic ingredients and comes in fun fruity scents (like bananaberry and cool cucumber). It also creates bubbly suds in the tub (a must these days!).

dubble trubble line

Dubble Trubble is put out by Galvin & Galvin London Kids, a company founded by UK hair stylist (and dad) Daniel Galvin Jr.  Galvin started focusing on the little ones after he had a son of his own, and wanted a shampoo for him that didn’t have harsh chemicals. Following that Dubble Trubble was born– a line that is completely free of harsh chemicals, parabens, SLS and mineral oils. There are still a few preservatives in there (some long words in the list of ingredients!), but fortunately the line highlights natural organic ingredients and botanical extracts.

What I really love about the line is they are extremely eco-friendly and also give a percentage of sales to charity (The Prince Of Wales Foundation). Also, it’s very affordable (retailing at just $4.99 at Target) and comes in super cute packaging. Galvin & Galvin London Kids also makes a hair de-tangler that I can’t wait to try (yes, we’re at that stage!). For more info go to DubbleTubble.com. 

 

Core Fusion Mommy & Me At Exhale Spa

mommy & me core fusionFor those of you who read this blog regularly, you know one of my complaints is the lack of really good workout options that provide childcare here in NYC (it still blows my mind that more don’t exist). Unless you want to join select Equinox clubs or another big box gym with a child care center (usually at an additional cost), you’re likely to be looking at hiring a sitter to hit up your favorite yoga, spin or barre class.  However, ExhaleSpa is one spot that has answered my mommy prayers and offers a Mommy & Me Core Fusion class– combining a kick-butt workout and a pretty great childcare solution.

Unlike most mommy & me exercise classes (yawn), Exhale’s Core Fusion Mommy & Me focuses more on giving mom a great workout while letting our little ones  join in, socialize or just entertain themselves (and each other). It’s a typical challenging barre class, except you might see a toddler (Aria!) pulling down all the balls off the bars, or another group of littles stacking yoga blocks in the middle of the room. Oh, and of course there’s always a few pre-walkers hanging out laying on mats or snoozing in a stroller.

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Rachel Nicks is an amazing instructor and provides a tough workout, but also goes above and beyond by being extra attentive to mom & baby alike. She’s clearly an incredible multi-tasker, calling out (and doing) sequences but never skipping a beat when walking over to wipe a runny nose or pick up a disgruntled toddler. The workout itself is one of the best I can find. Barre classes have always gotten the best of me, and I’ll admit that there are time I use Aria as an excuse when it starts to really burn (…”what’s that love, you want me to get your sippy cup?”)

For now, Mommy-and- Me Core Fusion is offered only at the ExhaleSpa in the meatpacking district on select Monday mornings. Make sure to check their online schedule and get your little one ready to play while you suffer… I mean kill it! 

core fusion exhale barre

City Escape: Kid Friendly In The Florida Keys

founders park islamorada

So, we’ve been back in snowy New York  for the about a week and the Florida bug must have been contagious because since returning I’ve had two different mom-friends ask about recommendations in The Keys. The Florida Keys are an easy escape as the start of them (Key Largo) is only about an hour and a half from the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area. It’s an easy drive and great way to get a quick taste of island life. Aria’s Pop and Uncle Adam live there, so I’ve gotten quite familiar with them, especially the little treasures on Key Largo & Islamorada.

Where to stay:
The beauty of having family in any vacation spot is getting to crash with them and not worry about hotels. The Keys leave something to be desired when it comes to accommodations– a lot of roadside motels and no-frills spots that still end up being pretty pricy.

My first recommendation to friends to is check out Airbnb. Often you can find great apartments or private homes for rent (for a lot less than hotels). If you can get a waterfront spot, go for it– the beauty of the keys is really on (or in) the turquoise waters.  If you can’t score being seaside, don’t worry– most of the Keys are only a mile or so wide, so you’re never really far away.

One hotel I do love is Cheeca Lodge. It has gorgeous ocean front accommodations, beautiful spa, tennis and golf courses on site and a pool and private lagoon (which is perfect for the kids). They also have Camp Cheeca,” a day camp for kids 5-12 that explores the natural wonders of the Florida Keys.

What to do:
Now that Aria’s a toddler, I got to experience The Keys in a whole different way. This go-around, I was scoping out playgrounds and kid-friendly spots. And I found them.

Founders Park: This is a municipal park in Islamorada. It’s about $5 for non-residents to park and inside there is a huge pool area (separate fee) and a very pretty little beach with calm waters and two great playgrounds. It’s definitely worth a visit with a little one. Picture above!

Theatre of the Sea: I had passed this place hundreds of time and this trip the whole family made a visit for Miss Aria. It’s a bit of a mini tropical Sea World, but one geared towards preservation and education. They have dolphin and sea lion shows, a nature walk, a fun little bottomless boat tour (where dolphins and iguana’s make appearances), and a bunch of other fun things for kids.

Theatre of the sea

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: Another spot w/little beaches, endless bike and walking trails, and access to Key Largo’s best asset– the water. They do snorkeling tours and scuba tours, but you can also just rent a snorkel, mask and some fins and go in off their beaches. They are in the midst of the mangroves, which are a signature of Key Largo and great explore by kayak (also available for rent on-site).

Where to Happy Hour & Eat
There are endless spots for food and drink, but here are a couple of my regulars when in Key Largo & Islamorada.

Breakfast: Made To Order— sit out on the back deck and enjoy water views and good food.

Lunch:  The Islander Resort: Go for the shrimp tacos and stay to use their pool and beach area.  The pool area is “resort guest only,” but locals can always be found there. The pool also has a wide gradual entrance (zero entry) on one side and mini-waterfall which is great for the little ones.

Dinner: Morado Bay— This bayside retreat offers two great options– The Beach Cafe for casual dining and Pierre’s for a more refined dining experience. Both come along with good food and amazing views.

Happy Hour: The Lor-e-lie (Islamorda)— Great sunsets, drink specials, live music, island vibe. Grab a table or one of the adirondeck chairs next to the water (and away from bar) and let the little one loose in the sand.

Want to know another amazing Florida island spot for families? Check out my all time favorite kid-friendly vacation spot HERE. 

The Islander resort nap