Sunday, December 21, 2008
Not a bad choice, you say? Perhaps not -- if I had chosen a scent other than lemon!! Ack! Even the thought makes me queasy right now! But fear not -- I never present a problem without a solution. When both Bob and I were about to hurl in sympathy ourselves, I grabbed a jar of Vick's Vapour Rub and smeared it on our necks. Like smelling salts of old, we recovered!
In other news, the One Hot Mama store is open and it is fabulous! Please come visit and then spread the word on yelp, citypages, superpages, wherever you and your opinions roam! (Yes, for those of you with synapses firing on all cylinders, I left my sick pumpkin at home with my Fairy Godmother, aka my Mum).
Three more shopping days, but more importantly, that many wrapping days!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Saving my butt again, just like when she flew in to take care of me when I was put on bedrest for SIX weeks (before the internet, people!) while pregnant with my son, and again after my daughter was born and I began hemorraging from over-activity postpartum.
Take a moment to thank your mom today -- you never know when she'll be there for you!
Friday, December 12, 2008
The new, sexy, adorable, comfortable store will be right down from the California Pizza Kitchen in the California Pavilion at Laurelgrove, and we can’t wait for you to visit. Shopping couldn’t be easier. Valet park in the garage on Laurelgrove, and we’ll validate your ticket. Take the elevator to the second floor, and check out the goodies that arrive almost daily. We have toys to entertain your little ones while you shop, and if you forget the wipes, we have them on hand! Afterwards, nosh at CPK or get massaged at The Massage Company or do what I do, which is to enjoy some Coldstone ice cream. We’re open weekdays from 10 (after preschool drop-off) to 7, Saturdays noon to 7, and Sundays noon to 5. If I’m not there to help you, my mom Christene will be. Our bestselling item right now is the amazing Belly Bandit postpartum belly wrap, and we have tons of fab outfits to make holiday travel and entertaining easier. Come check it out!
One Hot Mama
12265 Ventura Boulevard, #203
Studio City, CA 91604
And for online shopping, we’re still at http://www.onehotmama.com. Pictures soon!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
NuMamaSpa -- saw it on Daily Candy today, and just had to let you know. If you're in LA, book early and often, and if you're not, write the mommy-daddy creators behind the idea and tell them they're geniuses. (Maybe you can prevail on them to travel to you!)
The thought of a stress-free massage is enough to sustain me for the day. :)
Saturday, December 6, 2008
No, I'm not whining about the gig (another day, another post, perhaps) but I want to remind anyone who's questioning their seeming lack of ambition or ability after becoming a mom (or becoming one again) that they aren't nuts. I remember my manager, Sara, telling me that she knew people who hadn't changed their life a bit after having children, and that she didn't like those people all that much. (At the time, she may have been commiserating with me over being dumped by my agent!)
My son is now 11, my daughter 8 and the surprise twin girls are 3 1/2 -- and only now am I back at work as an actress (for a laugh, check out my imdb page and play Spot The Pregnancy/Birth Hiatuses) and at our really fun site for moms from the first trimester to the fourth, One Hot Mama. We are opening a store (in this economy!) next week, and I literally did not have a spare moment of brain power, or, more importantly, psychic energy to devote to such a venture for the past four years. To be fair, I did have twins on the last go-around, but I reallly feel that people are more willing to cut you slack with multiples. And, more to point, I was more willing to do that for myself.
So whether you've just had a baby and are wondering what comes next, or you are on your fourth and the youngest starts kindergarten in the fall -- pace yourself. Stay the course. Whatever you're doing right now is just where you need to be. If you're truly miserable, change something up. But please, do not beat up on yourself for not doing anything. We're in this for the long haul, and there are no grades. You are the best mother for your child.
Have a great day, and a sleep-filled night!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
2. Today, One Hot Mama signed a lease and will officially open a real store in Studio City, California within the next two weeks (now you know why thought number 1 occurred to me!)
3. We're all real women. I just read a cool article about another female entrepreneur with a clothing line, a website and a store, and I went to her site so I could send her my regards, and was met by a banner saying something to the effect of, "clothing for real women" --in sizes 14 to 26. Now, I get that she's meeting a need, but do you need to slam other chicks to do it? Do we say, One Hot Mama, clothes for real women who've used their uteruses? Ugh. No. You can serve your community without claiming it's the only real way to be.
4. Cool sales around LA this weekend, including my friend Suzie's amazing sample sale of Burgundy Blue kids' clothing. A bit of a trek to downtown, but cool and should be worth it.
Sunday December 7th
noon until 6:00pm
Burgundy Blue: SAMPLE SALE*funky fashions for babies and toddlers
1250 Long Beach Ave STUDIO 309
**conveniently located one block from the 10 Freeway, at Alameda
also near the 5, 110, and 101 Freeways
Friday, November 28, 2008
Pretty cool stuff. Stay tuned for news of a store opening!
Monday, November 24, 2008
So I love The Mogul Mom -- lots of great insights for those of us with an extra demanding kid known as our own business. Check her out, and while you're there, you can post a comment and win a Balboa Baby Sling. Cool, no? Cool, yes.
And look for really cool news for SoCal hot mamas -- coming soon!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
That's not to say that you won't have a great time, but in case you're a little nervous about either the trip or the destination (at some point, your baby will need to eat in front of a roomful of relatives, here are some random thoughts:
- Assume that some boob (pun intended) will have a bit too much wine and say something totally inappropriate about breasts and/or breastfeeding. Maybe that's just my family -- but in case it happens to you, a beatific smile is always handy. Feel free to think bad thoughts on the inside. The other option is to say that yes, you hope to wean soon, so that your breasts can go back the work nature intended, selling beer.
- Nursing on a plane will save you from (most of) the screaming that babies seem conditioned to do in aircraft. Of course, since you're crammed in like sardines, you may be next to someone who doesn't appreciate your fine mothering skills. And, if you're in first class, be prepared to be next to Barbara Walters or someone else who thinks nursing makes them "uncomfortable."
- Both of the above situations will be abated if you just remind yourself what a good mom you are. And that you have a right to be in the room (or, in the first case, the plane). If those fail, read about other people's reactions here and keep some funnies in mind from Breastfeeding.com here.
- (By the way, if you have miles, use them for upgrades now before baby needs his own ticket!)
- Use a sling, both for travel and for family gatherings. Keeps all those germy hands and curious eyes away. And yes, I apologize for all the mothers of older kids who look just like petri dishes to you and who want to touch the baby. Remind them that stroking the top of a baby's head gently feels just great. And if they touch his little hands, smack 'em! (Just kidding.)
- Lastly, dress appropriately. Meaning, you don't need to disrobe to feed a crying infant. Here is a fabulous new shirt from Japanese Weekend, but we have lots more!
Have a great trip!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Send them to:
Peppermint Baby Boutique
Attn: Sling Drive
1778 N. Plano Rd., Suite 100
Richardson, TX 75081
I always feel odd putting my nursing clothes and slings in the Goodwill pile; I know that whoever discovers them and knows what they are will be psyched, but I worry that the volunteer sorters will be like, "what up with the clothes with holes in the boobie area?" I try to pass such goodies on to friends, but once you're kids are nearing junior high (my eldest son), the moms stop making so many babies. (Not me, apparently!) :)
Monday, November 17, 2008
- First, they couldn't be more snippy about babywearing being fashionable. Yeah, those indigenous peoples who did it hundreds of years ago were all about The Next Big Thing.
- Second, even if it is fashionable, the point is to actually bond better, make breastfeeding easier, and to to have your child be integrated into your life, rather than hauling them around in a plastic bucket (aka infant car seat).
- Lastly, it's not supposed to hurt! Pain is an indication that you're doing it wrong. This applies to other areas as well (ahem).
But my point (originally, anyway) is that you shouldn't let self-righteous people who think their parenting method (breastfeeding, Ferberizing, babywearing, spanking on demand, whatever) entitles them to be snotty dissuade you from trying out said method. Okay, except for the spanking on demand one. I made that up. Based on what my parents did (kidding mom!). I get that the ad made fun of the "I'm a better mother than you are" crowd, but you know what? A lot of what we imagine as other mothers looking down their noses at us is just our own personal insecurity. They are probably pretty well occupied with snot running down someone's nose, strange rashes on backsides and the constant surfeit of sleep.
So let's cut everyone a little slack, girls.
Happy birthday to me, today! :)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I bought a Belly Bandit for myself and wore it on Thursday. Oh. My. God. What was the best part -- hard to choose, between the improved posture, better positioning of the boobies I have left, having an assist in keeping my stomach held in. But the best may have been the reduced fatigue on my back.
We have so much fabulous stuff -- more clothes arrive every day. It's really making me think -- just think, mind you -- about opening a store. Any thoughts -- besides Are you nuts? And, What took you so long?
Happy weekend -- now that you're parenting -- no longer a relaxing part of your week!!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Here goes the Readers Digest version of what I did to facilitate my desired vaginal birth of twins (I had two other children and no time to recover from surgery; I knew natural would make returning to my older kids easier):
- Barbara Luke's twin book and Elizabeth Noble's twin book both had info on the importance of natural birth and some links and stories that were helpful.
- I gained twenty pounds by twenty weeks of pregnancy (not as easy or as fun as it sounds -- I had to work really hard, as my single pregnancies totalled 25 pounds max!)
- I think Mothering Multiples (or one of the previously mentioned books) had a section with affirmations I said every day -- like, "my babies are born naturally weighing over 6 pounds each after April 1st" (I needed it to be that date or after in order for my higher-grade insurance to kick in!).
- I wrote to people online in natural birth groups (try babycenter.com), looking for support. Only got back stories about people who had one baby vaginally and a c-section for the second. NOT what I wanted at all! ONE lady wrote with a link to a site that had several stories of natural solo homebirths of undiagnosed twins. If I had printed it out on paper, it would be in tatters, because I read it nightly and about twenty times during early labour, rocking back and forth on my giant birth ball.
- Another inspiration twin birth collection that I perused is here.
- I did yoga weekly (Kundalilni) and swam at the Y every other day or so.
- I told the babies "head down, back to belly, easy out" every day. Out loud.
- I told April (baby B) that she couldn't just hang out after Georgia was born, that there would be a lot of space and it would seem like fun, but that if she didn't engage right away, the doctor might not let her come out naturally. In fact, after Georgia's birth, I grabbed April's butt so that she couldn't flip.
I was also overdue (they ended up being born a couple hours shy of 39 weeks) and fighting induction, so I did permit my doctor to artificially rupture my membranes, or break my water. I had agreed to an epidural catheter in case of emergency, but we never ended up putting it in. More on the actual birth later!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
If you follow the link above, you'll get great tips for cleaning out your closet, which is something we especially need to do when we (a) get pregnant (b) have had a baby (c) have stopped having babies -- in other words, all the times our bodies change. I used to look fabulous in deep vee neckline tops -- that is, I did when I still had boobs. Now, after four kids, not so much. It pains me to toss (recycle) them, but I must face facts and switch to high-necked, low-backed tops that show off my sexy, curvy ... shoulders. Just because something is pretty, doesn't mean it's pretty on you. Proof? Michelle Obama's victory rally black-and-red Narciso Rodriguez abomination of a dress -- 77% of respondents in one poll said ditch it! Now that's what I call bipartisan support!
Where was I? Oh, yes. Shopping! My poor husband Bob will be up all night tonight and the next two days, publishing all the cute stuff i got to our website, but I'll give you the head's up now -- fabulous wrap tee-shirt cardigans that you can wear open or tied, lots of comfy nursing pyjamas, pretty dual-purpose maternity and nursing tops, some basic and beautiful maternity tees (without the goofy sayings -- I mean, I know those make funny shower gifts, but since you feel as large as a billboard, do you really want to dress like one?), hot yoga pants and the greatest maternity foundation garments (am I dating myself?) ever. So keep visiting us at One Hot Mama for some great shopping for hot mamas.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Enjoy (oh, and if you're preggers, wear a t-shirt with a hole cut in it and paint your belly. Jack-O-Lantern, Aquarium, Earth -- the possibilities are endless!)
Monday, October 27, 2008
- My two secret weapons with kids under two was always those tiny bottles of bubbles (get the party favor size). They are a great distraction for the baby or toddler, and I find that they cheer the people around you up as well (who can be cranky to be seated near kids -- go figure). I also used to carry California Baby Aromatherapy spray in the Overtired and Cranky formulation, but now that we have those liquid limitations, I don't know if you can do that anymore.
- Use a sling. That way, you can schlep your baby (these work up to 36 pounds, so you can carry most toddlers) and they'll feel cozy and safe in your arms while you have a hand free for your passport and ticket. I could not have survived without a baby sling. My two faves are the Balboa Baby slings and the Over The Shoulder Baby Holder. I even have used two slings to carry my twin babies bandolier style. With a sling, your hands are free to use the phone or eat, while nursing or cuddling -- very key! And it can multi-task as a changing pad, pillow and extra blanket.
- Not a sling person? Give the Ultimate Baby Wrap a try -- easier than schlepping a car seat and travel system through the airport. Check those in your luggage and go hands (relatively) free.
- The very best travel companion for a baby? Your breasts (sorry, no photo handy!!) ;) Nursing during takeoff and landing is better than chewing gum, and for the toothless set, it's the only option. There's less likelihood that a flight delay will precipitate a feeding crisis (milk is always on hand, the right temp and ready to serve) and it calms many a fussy baby.
- In case Barbara Walters or someone just as baby-unfriendly is next to you, use the sling for privacy and wear a nursing shirt for extra discretion. I would have been sunk without nursing clothes. Not shilling any particular style, but even though I know breastfeeding in public is legal in all states, I felt less like a side show with my mammaries covered up! Tossing a nursing tank, for example, under a jacket gave me coverage and access on planes, cruises and trains. But any nursing shirt will help with too-close seatmates. And don't let them intimidate you -- they were babies once!
A happy baby is a quiet(er) baby, and if people aren't throwing you nasty looks, your trip is likely to go easier. I actually flew with my 1-year old back from Milan, and we were delayed THREE HOURS on the tarmac before taking off, and I kept Cameron occupied the entire time (he was still nursing, and I had my bubbles and other toys in my bag of tricks). At the end of the flight, my seat mate called his wife and said that sitting next to us had calmed his fears about having a baby (he was a big traveler).
Of course, it's not always that smooth! Good thing that guy missed the next flight we were on!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
My girlfriend, Anita and I used to have a version of this we called "Wedding Face." If the last time you had your makeup done was your wedding and you really really liked it and you haven't changed it since, and your wedding was not in the past three years, this could be you. (A corollary is Prom Face.)
Why is this bad? Because times change, and if you are still lining your lips in brown eyebrow pencil and drawing on uber brows, your Wedding Face is about fifteen years old. I was talking with another actress/mommy about this the other day -- without my periodic work as an actor, I would still have Wedding Face, but luckily, I get to see current makeup trends in the makeup chair. What to do if you're not around current fashion and its practitioners? Head to the mall. Someone will play with your face for free. You don't have to buy everything they show you. I had a period when I hadn't worked for a while, and looking at a magazine, I could tell that faces were starting to look really different. So my sister in law, two friends and I found a makeup artist to give us a lesson. Fun and educational! Yeah, I'm shallow.
The Mom Jeans solution? Same mall, but take along a stroller that will fit in a dressing room and try on things that look really new and out there to you. Remember, your body's changed, so you might be surprised at the shapes that flatter you now.
Posted using ShareThis
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Now, of course, I know that the baby was pretty close to newborn and probably needed a little help with his latch. Do I think that we all needed to see her entire boob? No -- I'm a big proponent of Mohammed going to the mountain, and not hauling out the mountain for Mohammed, and all, to see. But I realize something else, as well. I noticed her precisely because she was so indiscreet -- and, if I remember correctly, the poor baby was crying. I never noticed all the mothers I may have encountered nursing quietly.
Which brings me to plastic surgery. I rail against the likes of Jocelyn Wildenstein, the premier example of bad plastic surgery on the face, and various strippers and A/M/W* types with pneumatic breasts that look ready to explode on contact, but as my husband pointed out the other day, there are lots of people who've had facelifts and breast augmentations that I don't notice. When we only see the bad examples, we tend to be scared of the whole, but the truth is that have pretty much spent ten years nursing, and the only person who ever caught a glimpse of my aereola (for some reason, the body part that separates good cleavage from indecent exposure), was a zealous admirer who leaned right into the sling where my baby was nuzzled to say, "let me see her sleep!" only to be met by said infant nursing away.
What to do if you're pregnant and trying to figure out how to nurse in public, or if you have a newborn, how do you find good examples to emulate? Head to a local La Leche League meeting -- yeah, you're sure to find people showing it all (it's a roomful of women, after all) but if you watch carefully, you can catch quite a few moms who are really good at the subtle latch. Even without nursing clothes. But those help, too.
Let's hope, as I age, that I'm as discreet with my plastic surgery as I was with my nursing! :)
*A/M/W = Actress/Model/Whatever, a major proportion of the female population of Los Angeles between the ages of 21 and 35
Saturday, October 18, 2008
And don't get me started on accessories -- I can't decide between the cool product that will turn your regular purse into a diaper bag and sweet-as-pie baby-butt-casting kit. Coming soon to One Hot Mama!
Live your life.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Enjoy the You Tube clips of our Bringing Home Baby episode, the only one, so far as I know, to feature naturally birthed, exclusively breastfed, cloth-diapered twins.
Monday, October 13, 2008
When I was but 23 years old, a friend had a baby. She was the first in our group of randomly employed actor/poets to do so, and she had gained a good 70 pounds with the pregnancy. She was not married to the baby's father, and their relationship was tenuous. While she was still in the hospital, I thought it would be brilliant and supportive to gift her with ... a negligee, in her previous size, from Victoria's Secret!!! I may even have said something to the effect of, "so you can get back to being your sexy self!"
May God forgive me. I knew not what I did. Now, of course, I could give her something loose and billowy from our selection of nursing pajamas and nightgowns, but a teddy? Ack!
Feel free to add any horrendous post-baby gift stories. But I doubt they'll top this one.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Why does this matter? Because in today's world, visibility is everything. Just knowing something is possible for someone else makes it more so for you. I planned on nursing my twins, but everyone said that I'd have to supplement, and even though I was pretty sure I understood the biology, meeting one-year old, exclusively breastfed twins in my doctors office buoyed my resolve. When I hauled my nursing babies all over LA, Jamaica, Wyoming, Marta's Vineyard and Lord knows where else I've gone in the past three years, people would often approach to tell me that they didn't know it was possible to nurse multiples. So the more we appear in public (just quietly doing our thing), the more we inspire future mothers. And I think Angelina (& Brad) just may be inspiring future fathers, as well. Run out and buy the issue and send the publishers a love note, to cancel out all the whining. I'm sure Barbara Walters is cancelling her subscription as we speak.
The funny part is, even W doesn't understand what a hot mama is. Check this out, a poll where they actually ask people to vote which Angelina they like better -- the badass babe or the earth mother. Hello? Why not both? Why do people continue to think that a woman who cares to nurse and be attached to her children can only be a crunchy, granola, hippie? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but there are La Leche League members who paint their nails. Like me.
Peace out, from your fellow Badass Babe Earth Mother!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
- Aren't you totally in love with your baby?
- How are you sleeping?
- We're going to Starbucks -- wanna come?
- Let me hold him!
- Oh, I washed my hands this morning.
- You're not breastfeeding in here, are you?
- Which one is the good one? (when I had twins)
- Ouch!! That's why I would want a c-section/epidural/home birth!
- That whole instant-mother-love myth can, in fact, be a myth. And if you don't feel so into your baby, like I didn't, it can feel extra crappy for people to keep pointing out your lack of maternal instincts and feelings. Far better to offer a gentle opening -- "What an amazing little being. You guys are going to get to know each other so well. You know, I even have a friend (okay to fib) who said it took a couple weeks to really connect with her baby. Everyone's different."
- People are obsessed with your sleep. Often it's because it's the only thing they remember about the early days if they have children, or the only thing they've heard if they don't. It's none of your business, and not helpful at all to focus on it. Try this instead -- "The best part about being with a newborn is how time makes no sense. Ditch the clock and sleep when baby sleeps. Did you know sleeping through the night is defined as five consecutive hours? So don't stress about it. Stay in your pjs for the next forty days, if you can."
- This last-minute invite thing is going to come up a lot. Sometimes from childless friends, sometimes from friends with older kids, and sometimes from friends with full-time nannies. I know that part of it is because you still think of the new mom as her former self, but she can't really get up and go on a dime. So if the old gang is heading out for lattes and leaving her behind, offer to bring her takeout or just be quiet about it.
- The baby is cute, I know, but he/she just came out of someone's womb. Sometimes that womb feels a little empty, and it can be weird to watch your newborn passed around to all assembled. If other people are nuzzling your baby, it can feel like your services are no longer needed. (That's why it's great for new moms to nurse -- they have a reason to get baby back. So if you do get to hold the baby, give him or her right back.
- Wash them again.
- Wherever here is -- hospital room, living room, car -- is where the new mom is stuck for now, and however she gave birth, moving around might be a tad uncomfortable. So if you have issues with breasts, make yourself scarce. And, by the way, babies signal their need to nurse by opening their little mouths like baby birds and rooting around. By the time they're crying, it's too late. Pay attention, and let mom know it's okay to feed her baby.
- I almost have no words, and that's pretty unusual. :) How about never, ever asking a parent of twins to differentiate them based on value judgements? Not even, which one talks more, or any personality trait they could take on. Just offer, a simple, "God bless you. That's amazing to have two/three/four infants at once." Leave out the "I don't know how you do it" -- she doesn't either!
- If the mother feels like sharing her birth story with you, hear it, and reflect on what she's said, so matter how scary or against your personal biases it may be. Because, guess what? That's the birth she had, and telling the story is how she processes it and makes peace with it. If something seems to upset her, you almost can't be wrong by saying, "that's not at all unusual." We all just want to hear that we did our best.
- "What can I get you to eat?"
- "May I make the beds?"
- "Where's your washer and dryer?"
- "You hold the baby -- I'll take your toddler/dogs out for a walk"
- And, the all-time winner, after all of the above have been said, "Lie down/have a shower/I'll let myself out."
Oh, one last thing. I've had four babies. I thought they were all pretty amazing looking when I met them (except for one). When I look back at the pictures, though, the truth is that most babies are pretty hideous. So lie. (I had someone actually say to me that my baby looked better in person than in the photos I'd sent her -- what?).
"The baby's beautiful, and so are you."
Sunday, October 5, 2008
And that, sometimes, feels like the hardest trick of all. But bon-bons on the couch in sweats when you're a week away from delivery? Count me in!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
So, buy them for yourself this pregnancy, but don't be thinking posterity! :)
Jumper and Mock Turtle
Skirt and Top
This Season's Sweater
Long-Sleeve Mesh Top
This last one's actually really well made, but I need to move 'em out!
Shop well -- and I promise, there won't be any future mistakes. Okay, maybe a couple ... :)
No, it's worse than that. You could be seduced into ... getting pregnant again! We started One Hot Mama when our first baby was one, and focused on all things nursing. But two years later, when I "fell pregnant" (I love that expression, from my South African friends) with his sister, we added maternity to our offerings. Because we're a family business, I was the main model, so I was photographed in every stage of pregnancy, wearing fabulous clothes. After having a boy and a girl, we thought we were through. But God laughed, and I fell into that pregnancy thing again, this time with twins. This time, a maternity business came in really handy, because I grew out of my maternity clothes by the end of the first trimester!
Now the girls are three and I thought I was done. Body's mostly back, except for my breasts, which have, apparently, fled the country. They've left before, and their (temporary) return was part of the reason my husband was overjoyed that we were having twins. So their lack, coupled with how darned cute the clothes I'm buying for spring (you girls are so lucky to be able to shop at One Hot Mama this year!) have made me, well, a little broody (English friend's expression for wanting babies).
While you're in it, you may be focused on all the negatives, but there really is nothing so miraculous as having a little human inside your body, and to watch that evidence growing. All that plus not having to do ab workouts make me pine for the days when I filled out my Perfect Pants a little better. Yep, those great maternity pants have been with me post-baby, through a twin pregnancy, and are still my go-to black pants. So having a fifth baby would solve all my wardrobe and Itty Bitty Titty Committee problems. Of course, we couldn't afford to stay in our house, so maybe I'll just have to live vicariously through you guys!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Sure, you say, but tell me again what this has to do with Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler? If you watched Saturday Night Live's last two sketches with the inimitable Tina Fey as Palin, you couldn't help but notice that her partner in crime was, well, greatly with child. And that she was playing women, Hillary Clinton and Katie Couric, who have not been pregnant in quite a while. While I certainly admire her ability to still stay awake for a late-night broadcast at this stage in her pregnancy, I'd like to offer a few suggestions for minimizing the bump.
- Take a page from Governor Palin's book during her unannounced pregnancy with Trig -- all black on the inside (pants and tops) and structured, colourful jackets on top. And don't ever button the jacket -- use a non-maternity top and let its shape appear to be your shape, while the light is absorbed by the swath of absorbent black fabric on your belly.
- Accessories, accessories, accessories. Put 'em up by your face and make 'em colourful.
- Posture counts. For heaven's sake, if you lean forward, it looks like someone just heaved you a medicine ball.
- Distraction -- think legs and cleavage. If we can see those (and by we, I mean men) we will be too dazzled by bare skin to notice that pot belly.
- Keep your face on. Now is not the time to go barefaced, even if that's your usual look -- your skin is thinner and all sorts of funky lines and spots are making their appearances for the duration. And even if you carry your pregnancy weight primarily in the belly, some of up will creep into your face. Mascara and eyeliner will help counteract that.
- Carry things -- Bristol Palin carried baby Trig, Elaine from Seinfeld always had a magazine or purse in front of her. By the way, this works wonders after baby's born, too, and is yet another plus for using a baby sling instead of a stroller. When I was seven months pregnant with my first baby, I filmed a love scene standing behind an actor. Of course, that didn't even make sense, physically, but he was the only thing big enough to cover my girth!
- For more How To Dress During Pregnancy tips, check this out.
By the way, I really hope that these tips aren't used to hide your pregnancy from your prom date, parents or teachers in middle school. Everyone else, use away!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Well, we have a list or two here at One Hot Mama, but they're decidedly optional. All you need for your new baby are breasts (even just one will work fine) or an alternate milk supply, a car seat, diapers and some magical way to get more sleep. Okay, maybe earplugs.
But what about me? You wail. My body is being taken over by an alien. I hear that milk is going to come out of my previously perky breasts! And not just when bidden to do so! And every body part is going to stretch and gain weight and lose weight and still be stretchy. Never fear, Roxanne and One Hot Mama are here! Check out our various shopping lists for the newly pregnant, the about to burst, and the long-time nursers. See, even though we have a store and are ostensibly running a business to make a profit, I can't do that by guilting or shaming you into spending money. I love smart shopping, so use these lists as a starting point and go from there. We'll help you adapt your regular wardrobe for pregnancy and nursing, and winnow down the ridiculous number of choices of hot maternitywear down to the coolest and best.
And, in this economy, you'll appreciate that we're doing that in a very affordable way. (Although I also hate when magazines label some pair of $150 shoes affordable. I try to keep every One Hot Mama piece under $100 -- I break that rule only for truly cool stuff!)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
One Hot Mama is in the business of making women feel great about parenting during its most self-image-challenging times -- pregnancy, early motherhood, and lactation. The changes to their bodies during these times means that our customers are eager to look and feel good. One Hot Mama believes the two go hand-in-hand, and thus aims to carry, design and sell the best selection of clothes that make breaskfeeding simple and discreet while helping mom look great, and that make maternity style an attainable goal for women who can't -- or won't -- spend $350 on a dress they'll wear for four months.
Most women are aware that "breast is best" but the real world often intervenes. Not many American women want to expose themselves in front of the in-laws, much less at the mall or at work. Often options are limited to awkward canopies or scarves, and some downright ugly clothes. At One Hot Mama, they not only get the tools they need to be mobile again, they get support and advice and humour. We serve our customers' needs not only for material goods, but for reassurance in their parenting and attractiveness. In doing so, we aim to be a profitable company, both in dollars and in helping babies get the best food on earth.
I hope you think we're doing our job well. Please comment or write us to let us know what you think, and where we could improve. Now, help keep my four kids awash in groceries (man, you don't appreciate the savings of nursing until they're weaned!) -- by shopping!
Have a great day!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Thanks, honey. You're One Cool Papa!
Monday, September 22, 2008
It's a sin that our culture is so uptight that you’ll be asked to leave a room while breastfeeding, but you’ll never be asked to leave that same establishment if you hit your child. Go figure. Someone else, somewhere else, said the most helpful thing you can do to advocate breastfeeding is simply to nurse everywhere. So I did. And I mean, everywhere. I pride myself on the fact that even friends who thought I was a freak for nursing a toddler (much less twin toddlers!) commented on how they were never visually offended (thanks … I think).
If you have a question about the actual law in your state (or, more importantly, the state where your in-laws live), look no further. Personally, if my kid's hungry, there's no law that could stop me from feeding her. The important thing to remember is, though, that breastfeeding is not against the law. In the United States, anyway.
But, two factors point the way to discretion for nursing moms. One is to stop cretins from acting, well, cretinous. The other is that most of us don't want our breasts exposed. We just want to nourish our nurslings without attracting gawkers. To that end, I've compiled some helpful hints for the seemingly revolutionary and dreaded act of breastfeeding your baby while outside your house. Read the entire article here.
My fave nursing story took place in 2002, when I was in the midst of whole house renovation and my second baby was not yet two. My general contractor, a burly, tough guy in his late 60s, one day started blushing and said something about it being unseemly to be nursing in front of people like I was (fyi, I was completely covered up). I had to laugh. Why? Because it was 7:00 am, and he was in my bedroom letting the tile guys into the bathroom. Public, indeed! :)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
First of all, count your lucky stars that you're pregnant now, and not even ten years ago. Then, the ubiquitous maternity overalls were just starting to fall out of favour, but most of what you could buy (even at then-on-the-cutting edge Pea in the Pod) looked like a tent. With ribbons to tie the excess in the back. There's now almost too many options for hip, hot maternity clothing. So what's a girl to do?
First, watch this -- it's one of an eleven-part series on maternity dressing that I taped for Expert Village -- how not to dress when you're pregnant!
Second, trust me (I'm nothing if not brutally frank!) to buy the best pieces out there to mix in with your clothes and the cheap throwaways from Target and your high-end Chaiken pants. We've just done the ordering for spring, and those of you due in 2009 will look hot to trot!
In the meantime, check out our current offererings -- they're changing every day. To make it easy, look at our Shopping List feature and choose Shopping for the Newly & Solidly Pregnant.
Happy shopping! :)
Friday, September 19, 2008
Pretty soon after that, I found Dr. William Sears' Baby Book, and that helped form me as a mother. I went hunting for a sling, and ended up with the only one you could buy in a store back then, which was, I think, called the NoJo baby carrier -- it had some goofy script print and was meagerly padded, but I wore it into the ground. From there, I discovered the Over The Shoulder Baby Holder and for a long time, it was the only carrier that we carried at OHM.
Then I met the great gals who designed the Ultimate Baby Wrap, and I loved how it acted like a Bjorn but was as comfy as a sling, so now we sell that as well. Then, at a pregnancy trade show (yeah, there is such a thing. How my life has changed!), I met the creator of the sleek, hip Hotslings line, and she told me that One Hot Mama had actually had inspired her to start her business. How could I resist? :)
And now, life has come full circle. Dr. Sears (and his large family) actually designed a new sling that has the feature I used to dream about -- a pocket!!! The Balboa Baby Sling also comes in dreamy, non-goofy colours. Awesome.
It's so great to see these carriers out and about these days. I mean, you can nurse in private and shop at the same time; if you're at home, you can shovel in some food without leaving your crying infant on the floor; your hands are free for your other child (or, in my case, other children); and, best of all, if you have twins (I did!) you can wear two slings bandolier style and carry both babies hands free! I never was one for a stroller with a singleton -- except to schlepp my gear. (I was always afraid I would miss the signs of choking or something.)
Let me know what you think. What's your fave way to wear your baby? Have you dropped him/her yet? (Hint: Always be sure there's fabric between your body and baby's when using a sling! Learned that one the hard way.)
Have a great day!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Q: When I am going to get my life back?
A: When we stopped laughing, we realized how important this was to you. Sorry to tell you, but it’s going to take about a year. Yes, after a year as a mother you will realize that you’re not ever going to get your life back. This is not, however, a bad thing. Your new life will be better than you ever imagined. And harder, and more emotional, and filled with more love than before. I tried to act as if I was one of those women who could birth the baby in the field and keep harvesting grain like nothing had happened. I went back to auditioning (not the most confidence-boosting of ways to spend your time) when Cameron was three weeks old. Take my advice. That was stupid. Rest as long as you can. I spent the first six months of his life trying to get away, to do stuff I used to do. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to be mid-bikini wax and get a phone call from the babysitter with a wailing infant in the background. But know what? I’m a mom now. And so are you. And the sooner you accept that fact, the sooner the life you have will be better. I promise.
Scarily, I wrote that in 1998! And it has taken the better part of that decade to get me back into the drivers seat here at One Hot Mama. Now, I certainly have been a little busy (four kids in eight years is a little brutal, especially when the last two are twins!) and I did manage to work in between, but let's use this week as an example -- my husband and I met a bunch of friends for cocktails at a trendy, no-sign-outside bistro, we had a series of meetings about our business, I filmed a (small) part for a show airing this fall, and all our kids are fed and happy. Those things haven't happened all at once for ten years!
My point is that you need to cut yourself some slack. Yeah, you -- whether you're on your first baby our your third, or even if you're a dad. Pay attention to your family at all, and other things may slide. But that's okay. It's kinda like Chutes & Ladders (or Snakes & Ladders) -- get near the finish line, get pregnant again, and you slide right back to the start.
Enjoy the ride. :)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I have a 2 month old who I am trying to put in my hotsling, but it always seems that her chin is pressing to her chest, no matter how I put her in there. Is there a way to correct this problem?
And here's the answer:
First of all -- congratulations on the birth of your baby! You've survived the first two months, which I remember passing in a total fog! Now, on to the Hotsling. A 2-month-old baby is still really floppy, and has spent more of her life (in utero) completely folded in on herself. So her chin touching her chest isn't really a cause for concern, unless you think she's cutting off her air supply! But I'm willing to bet that when you look at the Hotslings wearing videos all the babies you see holding their heads up will actually be old enough to sit up unassisted. If you scootch her butt forward so she's in a prone position, her head will fall away from her chest. But if you hip carry her, that heavy head has nowhere to go but forward. Now you can happily purchase your hip Hotsling at our website.
Why is this worthy of a post, you may ask? One point bears repeating: Just as most maternity designers use women who are only 5 or 6 months pregnant to model their clothes -- because it looks better -- infant manufacturers use babies who are 4-6 months old. They aren't as slack-jawed and floppy as newborns. Now, you may think your newborn is different. I certainly did. And guess what? When I look back at his pictures (from ELEVEN years ago! ) and those of his three sisters, I see four kids who grew up to be cute, but whose photos I wouldn't use to sell half-priced poopy diapers! So don't compare your newborn to the images you see everywhere of non-newborn babies. Lastly, and this is what really gets my goat, don't expect things to happen before their time. Babies are not developmentally able to sit until around 6 months, and even great, steady head control doesn't happen until around the 4th month, so enjoy your rag doll while you can. :)
Have a great day -- oh, and we're clearing out a lot of our great maternity and nursing clothes to make room for new stuff. Check it out!
Monday, September 15, 2008
But here's the dirty little secret I didn't learn until I was about halfway into my ten straight years of gestating and lactating -- the first baby is the hardest one! Think about it -- what if you went to your job and every week, the tasks were different, so you were constantly learning and just when you got good at something, you got moved to a new department? First-time mommyhoood is just like that. Well, except for your supervisor is a bald, drooling bundle of fat that eats and poops constantly, and when he/she is mad at you, screams like a proverbial stuck pig. If you only have one child (which you may have very good reasons for doing) you will never get to use this wealth of knowledge on another kid.
So for me, putting my infant twins (third and fourth children) on a plane by myself to travel from Los Angeles to Wyoming (changing planes in Denver) took one tenth the energy of trying to wrestle my firstborn into my car to visit his cousins for his first Halloween -- across town!
My point? When you're all sweaty and harried and unsure of yourself and you see a hot mama trailed by several offspring, don't think, "man, I couldn't handle that!" Instead, know that I say, "I don't know how you do it!"
Hang in there, baby! :)