Friday, December 18, 2009

Moody Mamas & Fierce Mamas Trunk Show

Get ready for the New Year by stocking up on really hip, adorable maternity and nursing clothes from Moody Mamas and Fierce Mamas by Christian Siriano -- we'll have the One Hot Mama store stocked with their fabulous designer dresses, tops and more Friday, December 18th through Wednesday, December 23rd. Hurry in! (Remember that you can make an appointment for private shopping in the morning or evening by emailing or texting me at 213-500-4560)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fun Fun Fun

We're feeling Christmassy, so our sale is still on at One Hot Mama -- hot maternity and nursing clothes (those are for easy breastfeeding, dear), slings, bras, even Spanx are all 20% off when you buy at least $100 worth of gorgeous stuff. And coming next week, in store only, a Moody Mamas trunk show (yes, the sale will apply). Not samples, not seconds, not last season's castoffs. Write me for details!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blacktaking Said It First

And better -- here's her post on a horrific story that is being headlined to scare mums away from nursing. Like they needed more encouragement to not do what comes naturally!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Day of our Sale!

Yes, I took a little holiday. Had myself a birthday and then Thanksgiving. Ahh. To celebrate, we are giving One Hot Mama shoppers 20% off purchases over 100 bucks. Cool. Stock up on your Bravados, Belly Bandits, Balboa Baby Slings, nursing bras, nightgowns -- and get something sexy for yourself as well! Where? Oh, yeah --!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kourtney Kardashian & The Belly Bandit

Two very important things to say, here.

1. Have you seen the latest Life & Style magazine (you know you gobble all those glossies up, even if it's only in the checkout line or a doctor's waiting room!). We had to share this page with you:

Why are we so excited about a celebrity pregnancy? Because of the fab custom Belly Bandit she designed with the Banditas. Wherever can you buy this cool, corset-looking postpartum belly wrap that's all the rage? Why, here at One Hot Mama, of course!

2. That said, maybe all new moms need to read this and this as well, and remember that it's 9 months up, and 9 months down. Rock the Bandit, but remember to enjoy your baby and your new shape as well!

(Since the Belly Bandit is one of the few products that I didn't personally use immediately postpartum -- they invented it when my babies were 3 -- here's a review from someone who did.)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What Your Baby Really Wants

Just to be with you. Really. Seriouslly. When I gave birth for the first time, I really wished that what my baby wanted was to be with the nanny who hovered over us. But, though she was a lovely soul, he wanted to hear the same heartbeat he'd been nestled underneath for 37 weeks. What made me think of this was a lovely new mother I saw the other day whose baby was in a bucket (okay, it was a carseat/infant carrier, but it's really a plastic bucket) the entire time we were together. That, in and of itself, not so bad, and if baby's asleep, I don't care if he went nighty-night in a Home Depot orange janitor's bucket, he's staying put! But this poor newborn was awake, and the grandmother was compulsively rocking the car seat back and forth on the floor with such vigor I was worried she'd launch the little girlie right into the air.

What most babies do best with is quiet, gentle movement. All that jiggling and rocking is tiresome for both of you!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What's Up in the World of Hip, Hot Maternity & Nursingwear

LOTS! We have so much stuff coming into the store that it's hard to keep track! Add to that my sewing six costumes for the family, and that should explain why this blog has been a bit subdued of late. But come visit the store and see for yourself what great tops, pants and holiday dresses we have for those who are lactating and gestating.

Coming soon -- late-night Thursday shopping hours for those of you who still have jobs!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pregnant in LA? Wanna Be On TV?

All I can say is that we did a show with these casting directors, who are sweet, and while we had some "what were we thinking" moments, we are always happily surprised to see the show and remember our babies when they were, well, babies. And doing this show means you end up wit some great stuff, I think! :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our Hip Maternity & Nursingwear Store Has Moved!

Okay, so we're still physically located in Studio City, right above Coldstone Creamery and next door to California Pizza Kitchen (yum!) but we've moved our 11-year-old website to a new host -- Amazon. Makes programming easier for my overworked hubby, but makes checkout and shopping waaaaay easier for you mamas to be and nursing mamas! We've even been able to point you in the direction of our favourite strollers and car seats, breast pumps, nursing pillows, cotton diapers, diaper bags and books. (And when I say "we" I mean me. My husband really doesn't get into the breast pump selection thing. That may be too metro for any dad!) One explantion about the strollers & car seats category -- it's heavy on twin things because, well, our last, most equipment-heavy baby experience was with our girls. Even then, I relied heavily on my slings, and wouldn't have another baby without one. But I really won't have another baby (for those who've lost count; we have four) anytime soon, if ever. :)

Browse around the new One Hot Mama online store, and do tell me if you like or hate the changes. But I really hope you love them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tall? Really Tall? Pregnant? This Chick Can Help

Tall mamas to be can rejoice. I sometimes get desperate calls from girls who love One Hot Mama's clothes, but aren't 5'2" like me (which of course, makes me jealous. Ditto about straight-haired girls). Maternity clothes aren't made in a wide range of sizes because they don't have as large a market as non-pregnant people.

So look what I found for a customer today! Maternity jeans with a 36-37 inch inseam!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This Is What It Feels Like to Be Pregnant With Multiples

Ah, memories. :) The story of the hen who gave her life in the heroic feat of laying this egg is here.

Our Los Angeles-Area Maternity Store

So nice to have people notice what we're trying to do, which is to help mamas look their best. Check out this sweet yelp review:
It's hard to find a genuine mom-and-pop establishment in Studio City these days, but this is one of them so I highly recommend them.

Thanks so much! Read the rest by following the link above. And note that we are now only open on Sundays by appointment -- just email or call us by Saturday afternoon and we'll take care of you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Take Your Babies Out To Dinner!

Are you the parents of a new or not-so-new baby? Are you craving a meal you didn't cook, or one that doesn't arrive in a cardboard box? Then get yourself out of the house and patronize your neighborhood bistro -- little one in tow. I know that lots of people say that children shouldn't be allowed to leave the house. And heaven forbid you feed your baby mothers milk while you eat. (Tip: take a sling so you can nurse and dine at the same time!)

Now, I know you have had this conversation with your friends or family or spouse, or all three, and you don't know what to do. I merrily traipsed around the world with our four and nursed them everywhere and left several establishments when a baby couldn't hold in their loud protestations. I'm not talking about taking a crying baby to Le Cirque on a Saturday night. But now that Bob and I are no longer the parents of people whose diapers require changing, I think I can finally speak from the other side of the fence.

We were in Mammoth, California this weekend (installing laminate floors in a condo while our girls watched about 12 hours of tv at a stretch) and went out to dinner on Saturday. We hit Gomez's around 7:30. There was a baby in the dining room who occasionally bleated out baby sounds, and while I noticed them (like I noticed a peal of laughter or clinking silverware) it was no big deal. Okay, the big deal was that a baby was making noises and for the first time in twelve years, it wasn't one of ours!! Also, my breasts didn't ache at the sounds of hunger. And there were lots of people and sounds in the room. Nobody cares -- really cares -- about the momentary vocalizations of your baby. So hit the road. Help a local restaurant out. And feel like a grown-up again. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pregnant With Twins -- What to Do?

If you found this blog because you want to carry your twins to term and birth them naturally, you've come to the right place. You probably saw us on Bringing Home Baby, or visited our store.

In any case, congrats! It feels like just yesterday that I saw two yolk saks on a routine confirmation of pregnancy ultrasound and FREAKED OUT!! Here are the first --and most important -- things I can share with you.

Run, don't walk, to our Amazon store and get Dr. Barbara Luke's twin book. She's the one who has correlated early weight gain with fuller term, higher birthweight babies. I'm 5'2" and 110, and everyone who knew I was having twins would say, they'll be early, or you'll be in NICU (neonatal intensive care) then. I was determined not to, especially because I had a 4 and 7 year old at the time. So if you hear nothing else from me, remember this -- gain 20 pounds by 20 weeks!!! That's pretty much how much I gained total in my singleton pregnancies (around 25) and it was really hard work to eat that much, because I'm on a gluten-free diet. But I did it (why? Because near the end of your pregnancy, you will be full after two bites of salad -- babies are taking up all the room). My girls were born -- drug-free -- 3 hours shy of their 39th week, at 6 pounds 2 and 6 pounds 5 (my singletons were 6.14 and 6.9, so I don't make babies much bigger than that). They nursed immediately and went home in 2 days.

You can do it. I was in class with Gurumukh on Saturday and they were born on Monday. I joined the Y and swam every day, not because I'm a swimmer (so not) but to relieve the pain of carrying all that weight. It was glorious to be in the water.

You gotta start now!!! :) Enjoy. Be strong. You're going to have an amazing time -- it's a real privilege to carry any baby, but two is extra miraculous!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big Girls Don't Cry

Suffice it to say that becoming a mother means, theoretically, that you are now a grownup. (Yes, even if you're chronologically challenged -- you're about to be responsible for another human being, so whether you're 16 or 36, this is where the rubber meets the road.) I've literally helped hundreds of moms and moms to be online and in my store who are completely flummoxed by the changes in their bodies.

That's because, no matter how many pregnancy books you've read or Baby Story episodes you've seen, you won't know how pregnancy will look on you until your body is well into its explosion of blood volume, weight and hormones. (Sounds so sexy, doesn't it?) And while we all want to think that we'll just have our regular bodies, but with a cute basketball tummy attached, the truth is that our other body parts will want to be at the pregnancy party as well. As my dear sister said to me when I was thinking I was all belly around 7 months along with my first, "oh, no, sweetie. I'm behind you, and your ass is definitely pregnant as well!"

So I can imagine your surprise and shock when you discovered that the part of you that really got into your pregnancy (or your nursing) was your boobs. We've been motoring along in our childless lives, thinking that a DD cup was really well endowed. Nursing mamas know that the alphabet's the limit when it comes to bountiful breasts! While we have to accept all these changes gracefully as a small price to pay for our wonderful kids, I have seen women reduced to tears when they find out their new bra size is an F cup or larger. They really weep when they see what the available options are for purchase (One Hot Mama hasn't sold these options before due to their complete lameness, stylewise.)
So rejoice, girls! Bravado has a hot new item called the Sublime Nursing Bra. It's perfect for large-breasted mamas, and we're making sure you feel even more special by only stocking it in F to I cup sizes. What's even better, it comes in band sizes 32 to 38 and there are adorable matching knickers (panties to Americans).
Just be careful that feeling all sexy and pretty again doesn't lead to, well, you know, more of the above.
From The Woman With Four Children ;)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Today, we remember the 2,996 souls who perished on 9/11. In addition to those innocents, remember the survivors, many of whom were babies and children when their parents were killed. We always think of one member of the One Hot Mama community whose husband died in the World Trade Center and who, though grieving, had to nurse and raise her infant. Wherever you are, and to all those with friends and family who are no longer here, we wish you godspeed, and we hope a small measure of peace.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One More Day

Tomorrow the twins start preschool and then I start the long slow climb back to regular-person productivity. Meanwhile, I pray the Lord will forgive me for all the whining I did about how hard life was with one -- only ONE -- baby to nurse and change and nap with!!!!!

(But remember mamas, nothing's harder than that first baby. If only we could work out all the kinks on a starter baby you could give back to your sister, say!) :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Once Kids Are In School I Can Blog Again -- Until Then, A Few Random Thoughts

Two down, 2 more to go. After Labor Day I will once again have this blog putting along, but having all four kids at home all summer has tapped my reserves of creativity, will and free time. To make you laugh, here's a sampler from an email making the rounds (that I am sure was written by a guy, so you can share with your hubby):

Random thoughts from people 25-35 years old:

  • I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
  • More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can
    think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell
    my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves
  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you
    realize you're wrong.
  • I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to
    have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and
    sticks when they've invented the lighter?
  • Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're
    going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to
    be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the
    direction from which you came, you have to first do something like
    check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to
    yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're
    crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
  • I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
  • Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know"
    feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?
  • Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't
    work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically
    fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all
    know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards
    or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.
  • There is a great need for sarcasm font.
  • Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and
    suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.
  • I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually
    becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting
    90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's
    laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little
    bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the
    only one who really, really gets it.
  • How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  • I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than
    take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
  • I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear
    your computer history if you die.
  • The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to
    finish a text.
  • A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the
    spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.
  • LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".
  • I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
  • Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron
    test is absolutely petrifying.
  • Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart",
    all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".
  • How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod
    and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up
    to prevent some jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
  • Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in'
    examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete
    idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and
    said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"
  • What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?
  • While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and
    instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.
  • MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I
    know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  • Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
  • I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the
    shower first and THEN turn on the water.
  • Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty,
    and you can wear them forever.
  • I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
  • Bad decisions make good stories
  • Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!
  • Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?
  • If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
  • Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go
    around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly
    nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be
    a problem....
  • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work
    when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything
    productive for the rest of the day.
  • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't
    want to have to restart my collection.
  • There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are
    going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
  • I'm always slightly terrified when I exit Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
  • "Do not machine wash or
    tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.
  • I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people
    watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will
    they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't
    watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and
    leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'
  • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?
    Dangit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and
    goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone
    and run away?
  • I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not
    seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
  • When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she
    hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light
    internet stalking.
  • I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
  • Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising
    speed for pedophiles...
  • As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers,
    but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
  • Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still
    not know what time it is.
  • It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.
  • I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to
    answer when they call.
  • Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
  • Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car
    keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the
    Donkey - but I'd bet money, everyone can find and push the Snooze
    button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes
    closed, first time...every time...
  • My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would
    happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the heck do I respond to that?
  • It really ticks me off when I want to read a story on and
    the link takes me to a video instead of text.
  • I wonder if cops ever get ticked off at the fact that everyone they
    drive behind obeys the speed limit.
  • I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
  • I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or
    Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Swing Low, Sweet Boobies!

Q: The other day I happened to be nursing and sat down in front of a mirror (for the first time in five years of nursing!) and was horrified to notice that my baby's head was *clearly* at the same level as my navel. Picture it, can you understand my horror? Please help with any suggestions you might have. Is an underwire bra in order (please say no!)?

A: You are quite a funny lady. I got your letter and after picking myself of the floor, I ran to the mirror. I am going to tell you what supermodels and others who make a living in front of the camera already know. Gravity works. Not only have you been lactating (which, by itself, does *not* change the shape of your breasts), but you've been pregnant once or twice and you have aged five years. Have you gotten a load of Susan Sarandon's boobies lately? They hang *real* low, and everyone labels her the sexiest mama in the known universe. What do actresses/models do? They know that angle is everything, and if they're over the age of 22, they use surgical tape to hold up their lovely assets. Of course, a fair percentage of my fellow Los Angelenos have assets of the silicone variety, so don't judge yourself against surgically enhanced perfection.

When you look in the mirror next, take stock, then breathe in deeply and straighten out your spine as if it continued up and out of your head and was being pulled from above. Use your back and abdominal muscles to support your spine, which will help your twins to stand as proud as they're able. Posture really counts!

Now, I know lots of lactation consultants are anti-underwire, but I used to wear them all the time and had no issues. Lots of bra companies even have mock underwire these days, which is like a flexible plastic version. Our own Belly Materna bra uses a flat, flexible version that shouldn't cause any mastitis problems. The real danger to nursing breasts is an ill-fitting (too tight) bra -- and lots of us just use the size we were pre-baby as our forever size. The next time you get a minute sans baby, go to a real lingerie store (NOT Victoria's Secret) and get measured properly for a bra. Don't just get the size you've always gotten. Try on a variety of styles, including underwire. You'll be amazed at the difference. And don't worry about how you look naked. Men are just happy to see any boobies at all, usually! :-)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Hot Mama is Back!

What? You say. You left town and your business? Yep, Bob and I and the kids have been in Wyoming taking our first big break in a year. Actually, he's still there and I flew back with the twins by myself in order to get orders out to our hot mamas! :)

While flying, I noticed a lot of people who were not so nice to stressed-out travelling mums who had kids under 2 (mine were actually so easy, now that they're 4!) More on that tomorrow. In the meantime, come visit our Studio City/Los Angeles-area maternity store -- I have some hot duds in for this incredibly hot weather (okay, in Wyoming I saw fresh snow and hail, so the heat comes as a surprise!)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Los Angeles Moms to Be Needed!

Everyone knows that One Hot Mama is the place to get their Belly Bandits, the amazing postpartum belly wraps (see Kym Douglas gab about the Bandits on this morning news show). Well, we have really good news -- if you are more than 4 months pregnant, live in Southern California, and are free to visit the office of the fabulous Banditas on August 6th between 6:00 and 8:00 pm, you can score yourself a free original Belly Bandit® and receive a $10 gift voucher for the hottest maternity store in Los Angeles -- One Hot Mama! They need pregnant women to try on some of their newest products and give them some feedback. They are looking for your help to make their brand even better -- and it couldn't be easier!

Remember, the confab will take place on Thursday, August 6th at the Belly Bandit corporate offices in West Hollywood, not too far from the Beverly Center.

If you're interested please email for further information. And tell your pregnant friends!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

One Hot Mama Celebrates a Win With a Sale!

Big, good news. One Hot Mama maternity & nursingwear is a real mom-and-pop business. We've been around for 11 years and I took four of those years off to gestate and raise our twin girls. Starting in September 2008, I came back to work and we've been busting our tushies to offer a great selection of hip clothes and accessories -- all for moms and moms-to-be. Our hard work paid off when we were included in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine's annual survey of their readers in the category of Best Online Maternity Store.

The results are in and we came in 2nd!!! Which, as Avis can tell you, is a great place to be. :) Two reasons. (1) We really do try harder. And (2) the overall winner was Destination Maternity, which happens to be the website for the Mothers Work conglomerate, owners of Pea in the Pod, Mimi Maternity & Motherhood. Not too shabby for a boutique that's based on personal service, selection and great value. Thank you for all your support and the votes that you placed for us.

Our gift to you is ... a sale!!

I gotta tell you, I join those of you who find it completely annoying that stores sell out of swimsuits and shorts just when it gets hot, instead putting winter coats in their windows in August. We're such contrarians at One Hot Mama that I still have summer stock arriving daily. Of course, we're in California, where it's 102 well into October! Anyway, shop away, and remember that we're here to help you be One Hot Mama!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Coolest Maternity Crop Pants on Sale

I love love love these Dragon Crop pants from Juliet Dream! Not only are they super comfy; they're super cute! (And I remember when designer Limor started her business -- back when my baby was still a baby!)

I just love easy-to-wear stuff -- and I have to tell you that I just got a pair of these, and, after four children, we are done. Baby days are over (sniff, sniff) but when duds are this cute, you just have to bite. And they're on sale -- The Coolest Crops are pictured below, and both are now just $59 -- regular retail was $78!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why Baby's Birthdays Are Big For Mamas

Today is my first baby's birthday. I remember the very moment he was born, after a "if you don't push him out right now, we have to have a section you!" command (talk about motivation!). All purple and not breathing for what seemed like minutes (probably only seconds, but long enough for Bob and I to be scared and not breathe ourselves). And tiny, and goopy. But so tiny and really easy to see the still-present existence of a miracle. What a gift.

Now my baby is still surprising me, with his amazing devotion to basketball. His lightning speed and ability to help other kids find their game. His ability to strip a computer game or new piece of electronics and make it work for him, instead of always cursing technology like his old mum. My baby is still sweet, and he is twelve today. He's a good person.

You may just be pregnant, or your baby might be toddling, but try to remember this one thing -- what's important isn't the clothes you wear or the fabulous stroller you sport, but the end result. What kind of person are you trying to give to the world? Dennis Prager had an interesting challenge the other day; he said, ask your child whether they think you want them to most be -- happy or good or successful. The answer, of course, should be good. (ie, Bernie Madoff's parents would not be so proud about his ill-gotten gains. And he was certainly happy in that swank apartment. Good? Not so much.)

Imagine what result you'd like, and work backwards from there. Parent for your result.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Hate People Telling Me to Breastfeed!

? With my first baby, I didn’t nurse because the lactation consultant was so hard-core and pushy about its benefits. I’m pregnant again and hate all those people telling me how good nursing is. What should I do?

A. Look, don’t not nurse because you think women who do are hard-core militants. That’s like not becoming a mother because you hate minivans. (I confess, the dorky-car-factor did make me think twice about getting pregnant. But now my crew of four kids, two of their friends and my hubby can all fit in our Honda Odyssey. Happily.) You’re still you, you’ll just be using your breasts for good. You can have the same friends you used to, see the same movies (only they’ll be on video). But to not breastfeed because of what some breastfeeding supporters say, is, well, not making me think you're mature enough for motherhood, actually.

Here's the real deal -- government-sponsored PSAs and formula-advertising "breast is best" canards aside, the reason you have breasts is to feed your baby. I liken nursing to using my right leg. Yeah, they have all these really cool high-tech prosthetics now, and boy, if you somehow couldn't use or lost your own leg, it would be such a blessing to be able to have a mechanical one -- but what would you say if Bulow Biotech showed up at your local baby fair pitching their amazing artificial limbs? Would you trade a working one for one of their cool models? No shaving required, totally convenient, never have to deal with charley horses again!

Damn skippy you wouldn't. You would certainly praise them to the heavens for all those in need of a new leg, but you would stick with the one God (insert "The Universe" or "Nature" if you prefer) gave you as long as you could. Same with mother's milk. And mother's breasts. I know that it might be hard at first, and that your doctor won't take the time with you to help, and that the first lactation consultant you encounter may have the beside manner of Bill the Cat, but don't let that distract you from the Truth -- you (meaning, 95% of women with intact breasts) have all you need to feed your baby with you right now. For the rare exceptions, or in cases of medical issues or separation or maternal death, there are, thankfully, milk banks and after that, formula.

If you're grown up enough to have a child, you're grown enough to read the information that abounds about all the benefits, nutrients and more that breastmilk surprise. But always remember the One Hot Mama Law of Parenting -- if it's free and readily available with minimal effort on your part, that's that's the way to go. Try it for 6 weeks at no cost; if it's not working for you, return your breasts for the full money-back guarantee!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

We're taking the entire weekend off -- the store's closed and I'm trying to stay away from the laptop -- to celebrate the birth of a glorious experiment, the United States of America!

I visited from Jamaica during the Bicentennial, and since then, the land of the Red, White & Blue has become my beloved home. Enjoy the parades, the beach parties and barbeque, the hot dogs and miles of bunting this weekend. And remember that we live in the land of the free because of the brave!

See you next week! If you need a One Hot Mama fix, order online -- if you're in Los Angeles and looking for maternity or nursingwear, and can't wait til Tuesday, order online and hold for pickup in the store on Monday!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

One Hot Mama, Customer Service, Amazon & The Belly Bandit

What a mouthful! :) But I really need to cover all these topics in one post. I've been getting some calls and emails that deal with above over and over again, so I'm putting the FAQs in one place!

As some of you know, One Hot Mama is almost 11 years old. (I can keep track easily because our son, whose birth inspired the whole operation, is about to turn 12!!) For more than a decade, my husband Bob and I have run what we hope is the coolest place to buy maternity and nurswingwear on the internet with one goal: to treat every customer like we would like to be treated. The One Hot Mama Golden Rule is that we want you all to be happy hot mamas, and we spell out our customer service information for all to see from every page of our site.

A few years ago, we became Amazon merchants. Our Amazon storefront has all the great maternity duds, nursingwear and accessories (like baby slings and Belly Bandits) that One Hot Mama has, with the added advantage of the Amazon name. Face it -- sometimes when you search around the internet, you find what you want and then wonder if it's safe to buy it from Joe Schmo, who probably is running his store out of his basement. Or his mother's. (Just for the record, One Hot Mama has a gorgeous store in Los Angeles, in the Studio City area. If you're in the neighborhood and in the market for hip maternity clothes, come visit!). If that sounds like you, Amazon offers the protection you need -- we don't even see your payment information!

All Amazon merchants aren't the same, however. Each one sets their own shipping prices, and their own return policies. One of the hottest sellers in our store is the Belly Bandit Postpartum Tummy Cincher/Belly Wrap -- hot mamas love these in the Original, Couture and Bamboo styles. What they don't love is getting the size wrong, which they often do. Hey, they have to predict the circumference of their postpartum waists when they can't even see their feet! It's not easy! Of course, we try to help.

But the point of this entire post is to answer all the mamas who call me and say, "what if I get the wrong size?" Not a problem. You see, life is too short for us to make you call us and get some return authorization number, or to pay again for us to ship a replacement or (horrors!) to charge you a restocking fee. You just had a baby, so we make returns and exchanges easy. The fact that you can get to the post office is deserving of some sort of award. In fact, my youngest babies are now 4, and I have in my purse at this very moment a top that needs to go back for a different size -- it's been in that purse for two months. At this point, I'm just waiting for someone smaller than me to have a birthday so I can pretend I bought it for them!

But I digress. (As usual.) The point is that, no matter what you buy from One Hot Mama, no matter where you buy it (through Amazon or from our site directly), you'll get the same great treatment. Because I have been there. And you deserve to be treated, well, like the one hot mama you are.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Breastfeeding Myths -- Debunked, Busted & Destroyed

Strong words, but true. Dr. Jack Newman's page of Breastfeeding Myths addresses some common (breastfeeding moms have to change their diets) and just plain stupid (breastfeeding moms can't dye their hair) misconceptions about nursing. Wow, there are a lot of them!

The only one that's missing something is below:
12. There is no way to know how much breastmilk the baby is getting. Not
true! There is no easy way to measure how much the baby is getting, but
this does not mean that you cannot know if the baby is getting enough. The
best way to know is that the baby actually drinks at the breast for several
minutes at each feeding (open mouth wide—pause—close mouth type of suck).

I'll just remind you here that you can measure input by measuring output. Check poopy and wet diapers. We used charts with the twins to make sure we weren't applying April's diapers to Georgia and just not feeding her! :) If you can't tell if your super-absorbant disposables are wet, put in a square of toilet paper every time you change your baby.

Now go forth and use your breasts for their intended purpose -- free food for baby!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

This is for the One Cool Papa behind One Hot Mama:

I couldn't do it without you. Our family is a gift for both of us, and I am lucky to have a husband who I always knew would be such a good father.

For all the new mamas who may be thinking "yeah, wish I was so lucky ... my husband doesn't carry his weight at all!" -- here's a newsflash. I was like you for almost the entire first year of my son's life. Noting how much sleep I didn't get in comparison to how much my hubby did, how many hours I was nursing while he "got" to be out at work, and how much freer he was. Guess what? Men and women are different, and even if you've gone the full bottle-feeding route, the baby came out of your body (or some other woman's body, if you adopted). Yin and Yang. Black and white. Alpha and Omega. You're both necessary, just in different ways. So take a chill pill, toss your clock and stop taking inventory. You're in it together -- give him a big happy father's day hug!

What to Say to a Parent Who's Losing It

We've had a busy last few days -- Father's Day, then my Mum's 65th (!) birthday on Monday, then we took all four kids to Disneyland yesterday evening for our last hurrah until the SoCal annual pass works again in late August.

While we were shepherding everyone into a couple tables with the million dollars of fast food, I noticed a dad behind us with a double stroller (like us) and a kid on his back. The twins were under 2, and the "big kid" was just under 4. I was amazed by how overwhelming it looked to me -- he was outnumbered, after all, and he looked dazed. And then I remembered that we had been in that same situation with one extra kid! Our newborn twins came home to a house with a 4 and a 7 year old. No wonder people looked at me like I was pulling rabbits out of a hat.

Since I remembered the feeling of being so outnumbered and physically drained by every outing, I said something to him. He lit up, and we talked frankly about how hard little kids/babies can be. Turns out his wife had committed herself for a while. While that seems extreme, that leads me to the original inspiration for this post. When you see a parent losing it with their child in public, is it right to say something? The article starts with evidence of Liv Tyler daring to confront someone who's slapping a little kid -- as well she should.

Here's what I do, when I can. (As in, when my own kids aren't going so nutty as to distract me from a potential nuclear bomb going off next to me.) Yes, say something. Not necessarily along the lines of, "you suck as a parent." More in the vein of, "your daughter is beautiful/spirited/just like mine." Lie, if you have to (you can invent a child who did that very thing, for example), but try to speak to the person inside the screaming nut. That can often difuse a bad situation. Back to my dad-of-twins-and-a-toddler interaction -- speak to the people who are quietly losing it as well. The mom struggling to nurse her newborn, the parents schlepping luggage and kids through Customs & Immigration. The companion of the tantrum thrower in the checkout line.

All you have to say is, "I've been there." Those of us who've lost it will appreciate it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sometimes The Advice You Give Is The Advice You Need

Just found this one in the archives, and was checking it for the blog, when I realized that I needed to hear this exact rant today! Maybe you do as well ...

Q: I am a 22-year-old-mother of three. My children are 4yrs, 2yrs, and 3 months. I am having a very hard time getting back to my weight after my third child. After my first two I dropped my weight back down to 130lbs. I am now at 150 and no matter what I do I can not shake the weight.

I am also breastfeeding, therefore I can not diet as normal dieters do. I cannot take supplements or fill up pills. I have been working out 5 days a week since my youngest was 6 weeks old. I lost a few pounds at the beginning, but now I am stuck at 150. I am 5ft 7in tall and want to get back down to 130. Most of the weight that I can not shake is, of course, my flabbing tummy, hips and thighs (inner and outer). I can not stand it. I am so upset about this it has really affected me emotionally and socially. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!
Thank you,Lindsay

A: Dear, dear Lindsay:
What a timely letter (they often are). I'm going to answer it in the Ask Rox forum, because you've hit a nerve that will be familiar, I think, to a great many hot mamas. First, let me say what all mothers need to hear:

You have a great body
Your body birthed a baby
And is feeding a baby
That's one great body

Okay, platitudes aside, here's the dope. First of all, you have no idea what your "my weight" is, because you got pregnant with your first child before you even finished growing! My body at 17 was not the body I had at 23 was not the body I had at 27, and I had no children in that time. In my late teens, I was a rail with no discernible chest, then I went to college and gained the proverbial "freshman fifteen," which, in typical overachiever's fashion was actually twenty pounds. Bear in mind that I am just over 5 foot 2 and have the smallest frame possible (meaning really small bones -- my wrist is so small I have to cut down children's watches). Therefore, I had a face shaped like a Moon Pie and a chest like Dolly Parton's. Now, after weaning my daughter, I am still smallish, but thickwaisted from the front, and now, I once again have no discernible chest. All these bodies have been mine. In retrospect, some I liked more than others, but they were always good to me, though I was not so good to them.

Let me be blunt -- if you decide to climb Everest, you'll have to prepare for about a year. Get in the best physical shape of your life, find a reputable climbing outfit, raise money, get fitted out and find your way to Nepal. You'll learn about Everest, and one of the things you will learn is that it's rather chilly there. Once there, when you notice that it's cold, will it surprise you? Will you mention it repeatedly? Will it affect your self esteem? No, because you have other fish to fry. Well, having a baby (just one, mind you) is like climbing Everest, physically and mentally. We should try to be in the best shape possible before getting pregnant, we should prep by taking folic acid before even trying to get pregnant, we should stay in great shape throughout the pregnancy -- knowing that labor is a marathon and that the fourth trimester is fraught with hormonal changes, night sweats and mood swings the likes of which are hardly ever seen outside a Turkish prison. But we don't, because we're human. And, you, my dear Lindsay, have climbed Everest THREE TIMES in the past four years!! What, exactly, did you think your thighs might look like at this point? :)

To extend the Everest metaphor (only because I've read a cool book about it, not because I ever climbed anything resembling a mountain, myself. In fact, the description of the travails involved in getting to the BASE CAMP of Everest pretty much were enough to wipe that off my to-do list permanently!), after such a grueling climb, it takes weeks if not months for the climbers to recover. Vicki Iovine, one of my personal goddesses, writes in one of her umpteen books that, whether she put on a leotard and headed out to step class the minute her doctor gave her the go-ahead or just spent the entire post-partum time at Gymboree, her body needed, what a surprise, about 9 months to take off the weight it took nine months to put on! If you have three kids in four years, you can pretty much expect a forecast of slightly flabby, with fat in the horizon and storm clouds full of stretch marks. If we are to be quite frank, the same weight post-baby doesn't look just like it did pre-baby, right? For our New Year's Resolutions, Bob and I decided to get into great shape. All went well, for about three months, then he took off with Gilad's Quick-Fit System, and I got sick, busy, tired and trailed off. At this moment, it feels easier to get pregnant again so that my not-so-firm tummy would have a raison d'etre than to get back up on that Reebok Step I asked for last Christmas.

At this point, you're probably asking yourself, "Did she even READ my question? I feel yucky and want to look good!!" I do hear you, but I just want to point out that your body is just coming off a long, weird cycle of up/down, pregnant/not and is tired all the time. Not optimum for an Olympic athlete, not optimum for you. What can you do? Here's my 9-step program for looking and feeling great while nursing a baby and being a mom (do I need to remind everyone here that I'm not a doctor, have only played a nurse on tv and that all weight loss and exercise programs should be started under a doctor's supervision? Well, I just did.)
  1. From us, the Spanx power panty and stuff will hold it all in til your insides adjust and your muscles get stronger. Look good immediately.
  2. Stop wearing big, baggy or shapeless clothes. This only makes you look like hell. Go get a pair or two of pants or skirts and some tops that fit you now, flatter your face and that have some colour. Wear a little makeup and let your hair down sometimes.
  3. Stand up straight and as tall as you can.
  4. Throw away your scale. It's fairly useless. You can weigh 125 and be all flab, or 150 and be a sculpted vision. Muscle weighs more than fat, anyhow. Did you know that many anorexics are medically obese, because of the complete lack of muscle in their builds?
    I checked your weight out for your height. It is a bit on the heavy side of normal, but you just had another baby, and may be big-boned. I tried looking up your BMI, which measures your body fat as a function of your height and weight, but found that ... "BMI is reliable for most people between 19 and 70 years of age except women who are pregnant or breast feeding, competitive athletes, body builders, and chronically ill patients." That about says it all right there, doesn't it? You're still a little bit pregnant, so let it go.
  5. Check out She's got a half-hour show on Lifetime every morning that's a good, complete workout. She's a mommy of two, and she's full of practical, helpful, non-fad advice. If you can't get the show, to her store and get dvd or two.
  6. Did I already mention tossing the scale? Just checking.
    That's great that you're not popping any diet pills. Geesh! That shouldn't occur to you.
  7. Even though some of these suggestions involve getting a book or a tape, being healthy shouldn't involve paying anyone anything. Get the books and tapes at the local library, if you prefer. Speaking of which, get this one:
    Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding. I haven't read it yet, but I'd bet one of the things it suggests is to not clear the table by eating the last of the mac and cheese and pepperoni pizza that my kids live on! Other mothers seem to like this book, so it'll probably be helpful.
  8. Don't have any more babies for a couple years. Seriously, a woman's body needs two years after the birth of a child before getting pregnant again just to replenish lost minerals and let bones get back into place. I want another baby, but I just feel like I need a minute longer or my very bones will snap.
  9. Learn to dress the body you have now -- Trinny & Susanna of BBC's What Not Wear are your guides in this -- get either this book or What You Wear Can Change Your Life.

I hope some or all of this is helpful. Realize one very important thing ... the woman giving you this advice is thirty-seven and a half years old, so all the stuff I did after my two pregnancies was harder because I'm practically a grandmother agewise!! :) My body now is better and stronger than it was at 23, and in ten years, yours will be as fabulous as you want it to be. Put the focus on your insides -- how they feel. If you can keep up with THREE little kids, you are a strong and amazing young woman. Looking like a hot bod on the outside requires hours of dedication ... part of the reason Jennifer Garner of Alias and her husband are splitting is that if she wasn't at work, she was at the gym. Okay, that's according to the Enquirer -- but they're usually a little bit right. You already have a full-time workout on your plate -- with a 4-yr-old, a 2-yr-old and a 3-month-old trainer. Write me back when everyone's in school and you're able to run a couple miles a day. You'll be missing this mushy body time you had with your babies! :)


Update. Wow. I am now 43, and have had two more babies (at once!) and am once again faced with the reality of a not-so-great body. Denise Austin is no longer on Lifetime every morning, and I have slowly let go of my thrice-weekly workout in favour of collapsing in front of HGTV (house porn, really!) at the end of the day. I have to take my own advice, and be easier and harder on myself at the same time. Maybe you need to do that as well.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

You Matter, by the Great Seth Godin

For all you hot mamas and cool papas ...

When you love the work you do and the people you do it with, you matter.
When you are so gracious and generous and aware that you think of other
people before yourself, you matter.
When you leave the world a better place than you found it, you matter.
When you continue to raise the bar on what you do and how you do it, you matter.
When you teach and forgive and teach more before you rush to judge and demean, you matter.
When you touch the people in your life through your actions (and your words), you matter.
When kids grow up wanting to be you, you matter.
When you see the world as it is, but insist on making it more like it could be, you matter.
When you inspire a Nobel prize winner or a slum dweller, you matter.
When the room brightens when you walk in, you matter.
And when the legacy you leave behind lasts for hours, days or a lifetime, you matter.

And when you're a parent, there's a good chance you'll be all of the above.

(For more from marketing and life genius, Seth Godin, visit his blog.)

How To Be One Hot Grandmama

This is great -- confirmation that my mom and mother-in-law are trendsetters. Here's an article about Boomers ditching the name Grandma, which does sound so fuddy duddy.

How does it work at our house?

'Steen for my mom, whose name is Christene;
Gralice for Bob's mom, whose name is Alice (contraction of Grandmother and her name);
Poppa for Bob's dad;
Ganpa Douglas for my father.

There are many more variants for our various steps, but our cool birth parents led the way!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Is Breastfeeding Confining, Time-Consuming and Tough?

Q: People are telling me that nursing is confining, time-consuming and difficult. Is it?

A: Yes. So is being a parent, but you’re doing that. I don’t know of a way to mother that won’t take up a lot of what used to be your time, unless immediately post-partum, you hand the baby to a trusted person and then leave the room, never to be seen or heard from again. If that’s the relationship you’re looking for, get a cat.

Nursing is only confining if you let it be. Once you learn to nurse in public (see my Rules of The Road post for tips), you can go anywhere, and I mean, anywhere. It’s actually less confining than formula, because you can decide to take off to Mexico on Friday at noon and be on the road by 2 (been there, done that). A 10-hour delay in a third-world airport is no biggie (yes, we’ve done that too) nor is a snowstorm or earthquake or hurricane (thankfully, haven’t done that). You can feed your baby anywhere (and if the situation were really dire, you could also feed everyone else trapped in the hut with you).

Time-consuming, yes, but so is washing and prepping bottles and shopping for formula and going to the doctor (statistically, formula-fed babies get sick more often. That doesn’t mean that your particular baby will, or that your breastfed baby won’t, but chances are he’ll follow the norm). Not to mention that, there are worse things to do with your time than being forced to sit in a rocking chair and get the hormonal buzz that comes from nursing. And once you figure out how to nurse in a sling, you’ll be unstoppable. (Buy one from us!)

Difficult? I got a question for you — wasn’t sex kind of tough to figure out the first time? And maybe even the second. But you clearly persisted enough to become a mom. There are two people who need to learn to nurse here, one is you, and the other is baby. And he’s also learning to breathe, to poop, to live in a non-liquid environment. His schedule is full. He may be having a tough time too. So be patient. One thing is true: done correctly, nursing should not hurt. Get help if it does. It could be that baby’s lips aren’t pouting in a fish-face shape, or he has thrush, or a short frenulum or any one of a gazillion little things that an experienced lactation consultant or doctor or LaLeche League leader would notice. Read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding for troubleshooting.

And remember, even one day of nursing is beneficial to your baby. So try it for one week. Then another. And another. Go as long as you can, and you’ll reap a lifetime of benefits. After all, you can always go from breast to bottle, but the reverse is a really tough road.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gratitude in Another Latitude

So we participated in the one-year blogiversary of the Blacktating Blog, and the winner of a shiny, new One Hot Mama gift certificate was a mama blogger who lives in Korea! I love how the internet makes the world even smaller!

Something she said in her nice post about winning was so true about moms in general that it bears repeating:
I decided to treat myself and buy whatever I liked instead of trying to buy the
most practical thing.

How many times do we mamas, when presented with a Mothers Day gift card or some unexpected cash, use it for diapers? Okay, I know that times are certainly squishy, economically, and who knows what the future holds, but if you are nursing your baby, you are contributing to the bottom line (insert your own baby poop joke here). But I do remember feeling stricken by guilt if I wanted to get a magazine in the checkout line (house porn is my thing!) because I was no longer working -- but I had to be reminded by my dear hubby that I was working, just no longer getting a paycheque!

The next time you get a little bonus, use it for a mama treat -- from a $5 magazine to a new car. Okay, that would have to be a heck of a bonus. If you get that one that big, use some of it One Hot Mama -- we have tons of new stuff! :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Exhausted With a Newborn? Sounds About Right

Q: I have been breastfeeding my newborn since he was born 8 days ago. I am exhausted, and am not sure how I can go out in public, or have people over. Is it okay to pump for those types of occasions so early? Do I need to wait 3 weeks? I do not want the baby to like the bottle better than me, so that is why I am worried.

A: Congrats on your baby boy, and to you for going through the marathon of pregnancy and delivery. However your baby was born, you are recovering from a not-small event. Your body is going through huge changes, and dealing with the demands of a being that's totally dependent on you. Bottlefeeding won't actually change that (darnit!) :). I have four kids, and it's ALWAYS a shock how relentless the demands of the first months are.

Do you know how to nurse lying down? Since nursing at the beginning is pretty much what you do all day and night, get youself in a position to be half-asleep while doing it. Remember that your baby is heading into his 10-day growth spurt, and will be at the breast even more in order to build up your supply.

As for nursing in front of people, they're the ones who are at the home of a newborn, so it won't be shocking. I hate nursing covers with a passion (it looks like you accidentaly tucked in a tablecloth) and they're unnecessary. You don't even need nursing clothes. Just practice, which is hard to get in 8 days. Check out my blog for info on how to do it discreetly.

As for the pumping, until your body adjusts its supply at around 6 weeks, it's just adding more work to your already tiring day! And it's not any where as effeicient as baby. If you're lucky enough to have great household help or a hands-on, not-at-work hubby (which is the only way that considering pumping would save you time), have them make you food, buy you new clothes and otherwise pamper you like the princess you are. While you eat, nurse and watch tv or read. You're still a little bit pregnant, so be easy on yourself!

You are doing the best thing for your baby -- but almost more importantly, for you as well! Those hormones will help your mood, the contractions are making your uterus smaller, and the convenience (trust me) can't be beat. You need to talk to someone who's been in your boat, not just all your well-meaning friends and family who are visiting in their gloriously unattached, dressed-and-made-up states. Find a LaLeche League meeting or check out the Pump Station's support groups (in LA) and go.

Good luck -- you're the best parent for your child.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hang In There, Baby!

Okay, you may be too young to remember this poster, but it was everywhere in the 70s, which is when my family moved to America from Jamaica. I love that it pretty much sums up how my husband and I feel at the end of a week like this one -- wrung out and barely hanging on! You may have had more than a few days like that since becoming parents, especially if you're a mom. No matter how well-prepared, mature and ready you were (like I thought I was), being responsible 24/7 for the care and feeding of a helpless little creature was a bit like being sucker punched.

But at least babies need us, right? Then they become toddlers and seem to spend all their waking hours either arguing with us ("Me do it!") or attempting to cause themselves bodily harm. Don't they get that throwing themselves into traffic, say, is just proving Darwin's case? Keeping them alive becomes even more physically exhausting than taking care of a newborn, which you hardly thought possible at the time. That whole sleep-deprivation thing wasn't even approved of without the presence of a doctor at Gitmo, and there you are, alone with a wailing mass of protoplasm who you have the responsibility of nursing every two hours throughout the night, without so much as a thank you, much less a watchful nurse with a clipboard who'll put a stop to the whole thing before you start hallucinating.

But I digress. I was trying to make you feel better. More to the point, I was trying to make myself feel better. Here's the money shot: if you have kids that aren't at full-time-school age, you are under siege. Not like in a real war, of course, but as real as it gets in LA's San Fernando Valley. So cut yourself some slack. Get off your own back. Realize that, although you may be out of the baby years, the light doesn't break into the murky shadows of the tunnel until they're safely in kindergarten. By then, of course, you may have done what we did, which is to re-up for another tour (man, this is a lot of battle imagery for a city girl. It was clearly a mad week!). We've had babies and/or toddlers in the house for almost twelve straight years. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it is different on the other side. At least, that's what I hear. :)

Go snuggle with your honey and hug your kiddies. Work, stardom, fortune -- all those can wait. But once kindergarten starts, watch out, world!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

Now that you're a mom, or about to be one, you may feel a little extra gratitude in your expanded heart for those who've fallen in service to this amazing country. I sure do. As we barbeque and swim our hearts out today, remember to say Thank You!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What Do You Really Think About One Hot Mama?

Friends, Romans, Countrymen:

My husband and I have worked for over ten years to make One Hot Mama a place to turn expecting and new moms into happy hot mamas. The good news is that all our hard work is paying off – we’ve just been notified that we’re a contender in Pregnancy & Newborn magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Online Maternity Shop. If you think that we're all that and a bag of chips (man, I really need to get out more -- my slang is so last century!), hop on over to Pregnancy & Newborn's site and let them know.

Here’s where you register --

They then send you a confirmation email. After that, log in and look for “Enter The Readers’ Choice Awards” under" Welcome, Your Name Here!" and head over to vote.

Don’t have a baby and need help in some categories? Either leave them blank, or ask a friend. Since I'm your friend, I'll suggest a couple faves of mine.

There are 23 categories, and ours is the 20th, by the way -- don't leave before you vote for One Hot Mama as best online maternity boutique!

Categories I have strong opinions about are:

  • Jogging Stroller -- BOB!!! (not just because it's my hubby's name -- they rock!)
  • Diaper Bag -- Kalencom (adorable and reasonably priced)
  • Baby Shoes -- I love Robeez
  • Breast Pump -- Avent is the best.
  • Maternity Top/Tee -- write in Maternal America – it’s fab!
  • Maternity Jeans -- we carry the Maternal America jean and it’s super hot
  • Maternity Must-Have -- we have the BellaBand and love it! A real budget stretcher
  • Online Maternity Shop -- hint, hint, here’s where One Hot Mama comes in

The polls are open until May 31st, but just like in real life, the earlier you vote, the better! Also like in real life, you're only supposed to vote once.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some Horrible Fashion Advice For New Moms

So I'm browsing the web this morning, and I see a cute article about how to do pregnancy chic -- cool, I'm all for helping women feel and look good. The author, Milly Smith, of course has a line of clothing, which is totally cute if you can spare over $300 for a dress. But here's the advice that had be seeing red:
DON’T OVERSHOP It’s important to be comfortable, and when I get home I
change into track pants and a T-shirt. After the birth you’ll be so sick of
wearing your maternity wardrobe that you’ll want to burn it.

Okay, maybe I'm not seething, but I do get annoyed that we are finally encouraged to be all maternal goddess-like when pregnant, but the minute you have the baby, shut up and stay home in sweats or pjs! We started One Hot Mama in no small part because of how invisible a new mom can feel, and dressing like the Invisible Woman is a sure way to be treated and feel like one.

Your maternity clothes are your friends in those first few months -- I wore my white maternity jeans for a full five months after my second baby was born, and they saved my life.
  1. I had something to wear
  2. I never forgot that I was donning temporary clothing
  3. We (and others) have so many cute outfits that work while you're pregnant AND while you're nursing that you'll get your money's worth. Think about your non-preggo wardrobe -- don't you break out the same ten items over and over again?
Yes, take time to get to know your newborn and have a babymoon and nap when baby naps and all that, but at some point, you'll want to leave the house. When that happens, it's not a crime to not want to look like a mother! Just because you are one, doesn't mean you have to dress like yours! :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Maternity Retail Addiction

Poor Bob. He's my husband, and I gotta say, as hard as it must be to be married to me, it's gotta be harder to be business partners with me.

After ten years, I'm still trying to restrain myself each buying season, but it gets harder and harder when the clothes are so yummy. Want to see? This is the stuff that arrived just this week, and there's more showing up every day. And I'm supposed to restrict myself to basics, like lots of other maternity sites? Blech! Boooring! Not gonna do it. Of course, this habit doesn't really endear me to dear Bob, but I'm hoping that when you see the hot maternity swimsuits, hip nursing tops and great shower dresses, you'll agree that they're worthy of parting with your hard-earned cash. And then I will be forgiven. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hot Maternity Swimsuit Arrives

Breaking News! Okay, maybe not stop-the-presses time, but this great tankini by Olian was featured in this month's Pregnancy & Newborn, and it just got to our store!

Order it here -- and I hope you had a Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Extreme Birth Stories -- Extremely Lame

It was some trepidation that I clicked on a link at this morning to the Top 7 Worst Ever Birth Stories. Actually, the title of the article was Extreme Birth Stories -- they are neither.

Read them, and it will remind you what doulas and mothers who have "survived" natural childbirth already know -- the only person that HAS to be at your baby's birth is you. Sure, I have no desire to push while swinging from a tree (that was a mom who was being hanged for witchcraft; in other words, she had lots to worry about, labouring being just one part of that!) but the article goes to great pains to repeatedly say, just because these women and babies all survived outside the hospital, that doesn't mean that you will!!

That's right, ladies, nothing to see here, move along, get your epidural and shut up!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One Hot Mama in Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine!!

We love being recognized for the cool duds we have for mamas and mamas to be, and this month's issue of Pregnancy & Newborn noticed that we are all about maternity swim!!

In the pic to the left, we have the Olian Maternity swimsuits on the bottom right and left, but take a gander at the top Belabumbum nursing and maternity tankini -- we have that as well, in solid red and in solid black. Sexy.

And here's one of our fave maternity swim cover-ups, although I like it as a top over an Everyday Cami from Ingrid & Isabel -- and we've been able to lower the price! That's right, "in this economy!" it's now $30!

Thanks to the great photos and stylists at this mag -- be sure to pick up a copy, and then head over to One Hot Mama to shop. The blue tankini will be on our site soon.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What Someone Hates About Breastfeeding

Great post!!

And so true --the loss of a dress can feel like the loss of femininity, at a time when you're doing the most womanly thing you can do. And no, that's not using your breasts to sell beer and cars.

It's why we are so into the hot part of mamahood. I remember all-too-well feeling invisible as a new mother, and I'm just shallow enough to know that looking good can help you feel good. On a 6-week bedrest with Cameron, I used my precious 10 minutes of vertical time a day to shower and put on something cute.

Here's what I said to the honest mom from Breastfeeding Moms Unite --

I have to say, I chuckled a little bit, remembering that feeling of not being able to wear a dress to the THREE weddings I had to go to with my one-year-old nursling. My whining actually caused my hubby to challenge me to start designing (I’m an actress by trade) and now we’ve had our mom-and-pop biz for almost 11 years. We have lots of hot dresses coming for spring, but let me tell you what I hate the most.

After lactating and gestating from 1996 to 2008 with only a 6-month break in there (and twins were the last nursers), I have gone from a 32DD to a 32Long. Now, I KNOW that the breakdown in breast tissue is actually due to the weight gain and loss of pregnancy, and I wouldn’t trade the convenience, bonding and greatness of nursing for anything. But my new boobies are, well, not as bountiful as nursing ones.

I have lots of hot mama customers say, “I can’t wait til they shrink!” — that was me as well. Be careful what you wish for!

Truly, though, the dress thing bugged me as well. We actually just gave away over 150 of them to Mothering readers, but we still have a little discount going for Mother’s Day. Check out if you’re still craving a dress.

Friday, April 24, 2009

What A Week!!

A week in the life of one hot mama:

Dog goes to ER and then to cardiologist,
At death's door but still here,
Camping with kids and poison oak,
Did a promo for Mothering Magazine readers
that gave away over 150 free nursing dresses!!!
Trying to get out the door to take kids to Disneyland with Grandma ...

I guess I should be easier on myself about posting. :)

That's the theme for the day for all of you ... you can only do so much!!

Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2009

What Susan Boyle Means to Moms (and Dads)

If you haven't seen it by now, you should. A frumpy, middle-aged woman enters Britain's You've Got Talent and claims to want to become a singing star.

I'll wait while you watch ...

Something, eh? Here's the first thing that struck me, before I read her story, or knew who she was or how she got there. She's got to be a mum.

Now, it turns out that she's not. She's a 47-year-old woman who's never been married or dated. But it was not a stretch to imagine that she'd kept that voice bottled up (no, not really, as she did sing at church) because she was busy with the kids and the house and a husband.

The reason so many of us (myself included, every time I watch it) weep openly at hearing that voice soar is because she is us. And the us who are artists or creative or policy wonks who then became mothers have all at some point said, "when do I get to soar?" For some, the answer is, "F- it -- my time is now! See ya later, kids!" Insert name of jet-setting celebrity with a coterie of nannies here.

But a great many more of us pack away our toe shoes and paint brushes and do the great, amazing, relentless, uplifting and wearying work of parenting. A lot of dads put away their ambitions to write, or race cars or play in a band, because of the duty and obligation of providing for their families. But one day, they won't need us 24/7. We'll be free to sign up for a singing competition.

And that is Susan Boyle's lesson for us -- it's never too late. The voice is still in there. The creative impulse still stirs. The stories still come to you in the middle of the night. Ply your craft however it can while your children still speak to you in public, and know that if Susan could wait 47 years to sing like an angel to the world, you can wait another decade or so.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Labor & Delivery

Another great Mamasource exchange:

Q: I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this. I was due yesterday and I started sporadic contractions as of late Tuesday night. Wednesday afternoon (about 4pm) they were pretty much every half hour and then all night last night they were every 15 minutes and pretty strong. I thought I would have had my baby by now but I went to Labor & delivery and since this morning about 9am they have totally slowed down. When I got checked this morning I was at 1 cm. I get a contraction maybe once an hour now. I am trying a VBAC but have a repeat c-section scheduled for tomorrow if nothing happens. Has anyone had the same experience? I just feel like I am not progressing anymore and with all the pain I felt last night, I don't want to go through hours of more pain. I am seriously considering going through with my c-section tomorrow morning if nothing happens tonight. I had a c-section with my 1st child since I was induced and never dialated passed 3 cm. Your thoughts are appreciated!!

A: Congrats on your son and soon-to-arrive daughter. My advice, such as it is, is obviously predicated on everything being fine with your baby in utero, with no signs of stress or reduced movement due to anything other than no darned room left to wiggle around! :)

First, a reminder that for all the advances of medical science, doctors still don't know what exactly causes a baby to be ready to be born. Due dates are actually suggestions, with a two week parameter before and after THE BIG DAY. So although you, your doc and the little wheel said you were due yesterday, your little pumpkin may not feel fully baked.

Now, on to the fun of a VBAC. Even though you have a C-section scheduled, there's nothing that says you can't unschedule it. Sure, your doc would really like an undisturbed Easter/Passover, and sure would you, but that early labour, although it seemed unproductive to you (only 1 cm -- but you were working so hard!!) you may now be fully effaced and baby may be more engaged. I suffered mightily through 12 hours (I counted every one) of labour with my son, during which I only got to 3 or so cm, and in retrospect, I should have kept my butt at home, swam or had a bath, danced or watched a movie -- done anything to ignore the contractions while giving them time to work. It's a bit of a paradox. You can't rush your labour -- and you want to help it along by walking or resting or whatever your body needs.

If you don't have a doula, just take it one contraction at a time. If you're tired and hurting right now, go to bed. You don't have to be awake for the times between the contractions. Maybe baby isn't wanting to be born until Monday (when there'll be a fuller staff at the hospital, by the way).

I have several friends who did VBACs and they were all glad to have had the experience. Labor can suck, because it is, after all, work! But you planned on going a different way with this birth, and you have to give yourself the gift of time to let it happen. Not gonna lie (4 kids -- three drug-free, last two twins) -- every single time I was in labour, I kept thinking, "this is ridiculous ... I can't do this ... what was I thinking? I don't want to get a baby out of my body right now ... let it/them stay in!" All that stuff is going through your head and it's noisy in there. :)

Whatever you do, you do. But you had a wish to labour and deliver. Be gentle with yourself -- and it does help reduce the perception of pain (and thusly, the pain) to say during each contraction, "this brings me one step closer to meeting my daughter" while simultaneously puffing out your belly and opening your mouth. Sounds wacky, but it works. Good luck!! REST!!

The uncertainty of how you'll react during labour is why I always advocate for a good doula. I was lucky enough to have the amazing Seannie Gibson for my last three babies, and her presence, while very much in the background, although very active when needed, enabled my husband to focus on what he could do, and me to let go and get the work done. If you're looking for a doula, start here. And what's the most important thing to do during your birthing experience? Experience it. That means, turn off the playoffs in the L&D room and focus on your partner and your baby (or babies, as the case may be). It's a miracle, every time. With an epidural, during a c-section, or under a tree in the middle of a forest. Pay attention to that.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Prayer For Mothers

A friend posted this on her blog, and I have to say, it's really a prayer for the Capable, but, by definition, that means Moms! :) The genius who posted this is my friend Samantha Bennett, from the Organized Artist Company. She's amazing, and so is this -- enjoy!

A Prayer For The Capable

And as you stand there
On time and
Appropriately clad for the event
With a high-fiber bar in your bag
And extra pens
Let us take this moment to applaud you.

You, the prepared.
You, the accomplished.
You, the bills-paid-on-time and the-taxes-done-in-March.
You, the one who always returns the shopping cart.
While the moody, the irresponsible, the near-hysterical and the rude seem to get
All the attention
Let us now praise you.

Just because everyone always expects you
To do well
Does not make it any less remarkable
That you always do so well.

So thank you.

For picking up the slack
For not imposing
For being so kind
And mannerly
And attending to all those pesky details.

Thank you for your consideration
Your generosity
For always remembering and never forgetting:

That a job well done is its own reward
That the opportunity to help someone else is a gift
That the complainers, the cry-babies, the drama queens, the never-use-a-turn-signals, the forgetful, the self-involved, the choleric, the phlegmatic and the your-rules-don't-apply-to-me-types
Would look pretty silly if they didn't have your calm stability with which to contrast themselves.

So take a minute
To pat yourself on the back
And say, "Job well done."

And as you consider someday
Showing up stoned
Or unprepared
Or not at all

And as you imagine someday being imperious
Or demanding
Or the one with the temper

Hear the unspoken "thank you" from a
Grateful nation that is a
Better, smarter, calmer, easier, friendlier and more organized place
Thanks to you
And your dogged diligence.

You are beautiful.
You are precious to us.
You are the oil on the water, the wheel that never squeaks, the one we all rely on
And while you probably would have remembered to send a thank-you note,
We forgot.

And just because everyone always expects you
To do well
Does not make it any less remarkable
That you always do so well.

And I would tell you to take the afternoon for yourself
Or sleep in tomorrow
But I'm pretty sure you already have plans.

So just take this very moment right now
To appreciate you
And all that you have done and done well
Even by your own high standards.
And remember:
You are beautiful.

And just because everyone always expects you to Do well
Does not make it any less amazing, delightful or delicious that
You always do so well.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Glamourmom & Other Hip Nursingwear News

Wow, we've been crazy busy at One Hot Mama lately. And of course, this rush at work coincides with, wait for it ... Spring Break! But now that the older two are 11 and 8, we were actually able to have them help out for a couple hours yesterday. Woo-hoo! Too bad they already knew about child labor laws and demanded breaks and payment.

So here's a smattering of the new stuff that's come in. There's so much, we can't keep up with posting it, so if you're in the LA area and looking for something to wear at any point in your Mommy adventures, stop by. My fave compliment came from a customer last week who said that we were like a magic closet for a nursing mama. I remember the feeling of revelation the first time I went to the original Pump Station in Santa Monica -- "what, they make pretty clothes that I can nurse in?! Sign me up!" I send people who need breastfeeding support and baby stuff to them (there's a Hollywood location as well) all the time because they're the best at nurturing new moms. We're here to offer the largest selection of fashionable nursing and maternity wear in Los Angeles, and we're the best at making you One Hot Mama.

We're getting so much new stuff that we're bursting at the seams! Some of you know about my love-hate relationship with Glamourmom -- love the versatility, the layering, the ease, but hate the goofy circle cut-outs for your boobies. Hey, you can't have it all. :) I just added a ton of new colour options to our line, so now we have their fab nursing tanks in twenty colours and styles!! So much for not liking their stuff initially -- if I was having a baby tomorrow, I would grab four of five of these tanks and live in them. They really do ease nursing in public and answer the question of what to wear in that fourth trimester.

Coming later this week, great tops from I Love Mom and fab dresses from Fierce Mamas!

Wierd Breastfeeding Question -- Or Maybe, Not So Uncommon

Q: Hi! I am a Norwegian mom and i was browsing the net for some information regarding lactation. Well to tell u in short, I leak milk when doing sex with my partner. Is there any way to stop it? Whenever i feel aroused it just squirts out. And also i have a confession to make -- i dont know how other moms think of it but i always get sexually excited when nursing the baby. Is it normal for moms to feel that way? Please advice soon.
Amanda, Norway

A: Dear Amanda,
Okay, this is a good one. This question points up one of the things that freaks us puritanical Americans out regarding breastfeeding, and that is, if it feels that kinda good, shouldn't it be done with your husband? (We'll address the leaking issue in a minute.)

In fact, I'm not entirely sure your letter is from a real mother and not some devotee of Jerry Springer's episode on lactating strippers. But I'll answer, because I think a lot of moms (and moms to be) have the same question, if not the same feelings.

Breastfeeding, the actual act of one's milk ducts being compressed in order to produce food for one's offspring (gee, hon, it sounds sooo sexy when *you* say it), should feel good, so that we do it. In other words, when it makes you scream in pain, you're likely to toss that newborn away if you're foraging in the bush and there are no formula marketeers in your hunter/gatherer group. It feels especially good for most moms because of their release of oxytocin, which used to give me, nursing my first baby, a buzz not unlike that first wonderful glass of a full-bodied red wine (which you should limit if you're a nursing mama, or learn to pump and dump).

After a decade of nursing (not the same child! Four of them, silly!), I was such an oxytocin junkie that I didn't notice when it was there, only when it was not. When my firstborn cut back from nursing all the time to hardly at all, I got a little weepy. As for the physical, just like in sex, some people feel every feeling quite intensely, others hardly at all. The erogenous zones are, like our faces and personalities, unique. So some women do feel stimulated, while I, for example, feel, well, nothing. (Perhaps I should speak to my doctor). Here's what my favourite breastfeeding expert, author Janet Tamaro (click here to get her book, So That's What They're For) has to say about having, say, an orgasm while nursing: "Don't panic ... Your brain has just secreted a hormone that is telling your body to feel good. This does not make you a child molester, and it doesn't make breastfeeding immoral. ... It's not that likely, so try not to worry about it or let it stand in the way of a comfortable breastfeeding relationship with your baby."

In other words, take that good feeling, and use it on your partner. From your letter, it doesn't sound like you're turned on by your baby, only by nursing. After baby goes to sleep, you can share the wealth with hubby. Which comes to the other part of your question. If you nurse or pump before you have sex, that could help stop the leakage. So could pressing your arms against your breasts when you start to feel letdown. Or you could just go with the flow and have sex in the shower and swimming pool or on a towel to deal with the extra.

You're perfectly normal. (Which may be the only answer you were looking for.) Albeit blessed with quite an abundance of milk. Contact a milk bank and see if you'd be a good donor!

Hope I was helpful!