Monthly Archives: October 2012

Cancer Fact Friday

Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Reseach

I came across some information regarding alternative treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients.  The Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research shares a few websites to get more info on different types of treatment so I wanted to share. 

I tend to wonder if ‘alternative’ medicine should really be the norm (but hey that’s just me).  Check out this info and let me know what you think.

Know the facts and pass it on!!

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Marathon Training Update

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The marathon is only 10 days away \O/. I am SO ready to get to that starting line!! It almost feels like I’m in the last semester of school before getting my degree. Not that I don’t love running (or learning) but you know how you’re just ready for a little break.

I’ve enjoyed this race training journey and have learned so much about myself, physically, mentally and spiritually. People said if you can get through the training the race will be an added bonus. Well I’m not sure how I’ll feel on race day but I am feeling like a victory is the only option after all of the training and fundraising.

Last weekend was our last long run, a 15 miler that felt great. My hamstring was a little tight when I finished but other than that the run felt good. I actually thought I was going to stop at 10 miles then get the other 5 in later but since I was feeling good I decided to do one more 5 mile loop.

Let the tapering begin!! It’s time to scale back on EVERYTHING, mileage, cross-training and intensity and prepare myself for race day. As my Aunt Shelly suggested, I went to see a chiropractor, Andrea Buccino, in Caldwell, NJ last week and I felt great after the visit. I was little sore but not as tight. I’m scheduled to see her at least once a week until the race and for 2 weeks after the race. She was great!! Andrea talked me through everything that she was doing and I left there with no questions, looser legs and some how I even felt a little more confident. How does that work?

I’ve started visualizing the starting line. This is pretty interesting especially since I am 100% amazed by the idea of getting over 47,000 people organized enough to start a race and end it with a bunch of goodies, entertainment and MILLIONS of cheers along the way. I can’t wait to see how everything works out. New York Roadrunners have this down to a science. After all they’ve been doing this every year since 1970. Whoa!!

I’ve started my checklist of things I need the day before and the hours before starting, the goodies I’d like my family to have available during and after the race and of course all that my little one will need. I think this will be the longest I’ve ever been away from him. I’m projecting that I will leave my house around 5:30amish and have him back in my arms around 5:30pmish. AAHHH!! I’m sure we’ll both be fine. He will be in the hands of my cheering squad: four grandparents, 2 cousins, an aunt, an uncle and his father (loads of love all around).

I saw a marathon commercial this morning and I was so amped!! I’m ready NOW!!

ING NYC MARATHON HERE I COME!! WOOPWOOP!!

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Me before our 15 miler and my running partner’s feet after.

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Pumpkin Time!!

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Last week I took a week off of blogging but I have loads to share. It’s amazing how things just all tend to blend together.

 

A couple weekends ago, we had loads of family fun. My hubby, son and I spent the entire weekend together, that doesn’t always happen. I was supposed to go line dancing on Friday but choose to just hang out with the fam instead. We went to a kinderfest in Verona but it was an outdoor event, we are not really fans of the cold so we zipped through there very quickly. It looked like the families were having tons of fun with kiddy games for ALL ages, including a bouncy castle for my 13 month old. Maybe next year it will be warmer and we can enjoy the activities.

 

Sunday, was the highlight of the weekend for me. We started off at church, for the first time as a family of 3. My hubby enjoyed the service as I was stuck in the basement attempting to listen to the sermon while running after my, now walking running little one😆!

 

After church and grabbing a bite to eat, my crew scooped up my mother and 8yr old brother and went pumpkin picking! That was so much fun. My little one enjoyed the “hay ride” and was so excited when he saw all the orange pumpkins when we got to the field. He loved rubbing, rolling and beating the pumpkins like a drum hehe!! I just can’t get enough of his joy from the simplest pleasures in life. (Next year we will have to explore a REAL pumpkin patch.  I was very surprised when I saw a pick up truck dropping off pumpkins.)

 

After picking pumpkins, reconnecting a lost child to her mom (it is so important to LITTERALLY hold on to our young ones in these large open settings) and of course taking way more pictures than we know what to do with, we headed to the farm’s store. We were all in heaven!! There were so many fresh veggies and homemade whatever, including donuts that were amazing, that we didn’t know what to choose.

 

Needless to say we spent more time there and got home a lot later than we wanted to. I’m finding that the weekends are precious in so many ways. Time must be spent wisely. I used to think that moms who mapped out EVERYTHING, especially the weekends, just went overboard. Well I completely understand why now. It is so important to have a plan and try by all means to stick to it so your work week won’t start off so hectic. Having a plan saves time, money and aggregation. I need to revisit some organizational tools I USED to use.

 

This past weekend we did the breast cancer walk in Newark. Well…my sistercousin, little one and I got there a bit late and didn’t get to walk but we enjoyed the music, dancing and great spirits at the race. Then we headed to my aunt’s house for brunch. I LOVE going to her house. She knows how I make you feel welcome. It was a great way to end the weekend. Of course I ended up staying out later than I expected and had yet another week of not getting the week’s meals done. Thank goodness my hubby cooked so we have some stuff to start with.

 

What do you do to stay organized? How do you get family activities, meals and fun done without extra madness?

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Cancer Fact Friday

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Today’s fact is about breastfeeding and breast cancer.

Here’s an interpretation on a 2002 report from PubMed:

The longer women breast feed the more they are protected against breast cancer. The lack of or short lifetime duration of breastfeeding typical of women in developed countries makes a major contribution to the high incidence of breast cancer in these countries.

You may say things have changed since then but here’s more info from National Cancer Institute as of 2011:

Longer duration of breastfeeding: Breastfeeding for an extended period (at least a year) is associated with a decreased risk of both hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative breast cancer.

I found both of these to be very interesting. I understand breastfeeding is a challenge BUT maybe if there is more support and encouragement for moms to breastfeed we would have fewer incidences of breast cancer. Breastfeeding is definitely a public health issue.

Let’s continue to fight for a cure for breast cancer and take steps to prevent it as well.

Know the facts and pass it on😊!

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Babywearing Across the Globe

In some cultures wearing your baby is second nature.

Here are some moms wearing their babies around the world!

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20121011-082012.jpgNot yet a mommy but nurturing early😊

Thanks for visiting Learning Life.
Wear your baby…it’s a great experience😉!

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Benefits of Wearing Your Baby

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Here are some benefits of wearing your baby:

  • Happier Babies: Babies are used to be so close to their mommies for 9+ months so after being born, wearing your baby allows a hormonal exchange that helps the parent get used to parenting and the baby get used to the world. Studies have also shown that babies that are worn tend to cry less and become independent sooner.
  • Healthy babies; There are many health benefits that come along with wearing your baby including the power of touch. Touch enhances a baby’s development. It has also been said to be very beneficial for premature babies to be held to help with their development.
  • Convenience: As a new mom, I don’t know how I would have gotten anything done if I weren’t wearing my little one. And as you may have read in yesterday’s post I got to travel a little lighter.
  • Great Exercise; Many of us know the benefits of exercising, it’s a stress reliever, and reduces our risk of getting many diseases, plus wearing your baby while you exercise allows you to introduce your baby to counting, up and down motions and early exposure to a healthy habit.
  • Better View; give your baby a better view of the world; No more seeing the world from below and no more seating people as giants. When you wear your baby he/she gets to see life in a very different way

So I’ve read about all of these when I was pregnant and questioned some of it but still found this information to be very interesting. Now as a babywearer, I can say it has been a great journey so far for my family and me. Thanks for visiting Learning Life.

Wear your baby…it’s a great experience😉!

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My Babywearing Journey

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Time to clean up!

In celebration of International Babywearing Week I’d like to share my babywearing journey with you.

In 2004 I spent 6 weeks in Ghana for a study abroad program and it was during this visit that I was introduced to babywearing. While I was exposed to images of Africans wearing their children through photos and documentaries, I had never witnessed it first hand nor did I have a name to call it. It was during this trip that I also had a baby tied to my back for no more than about 5 minutes. I never really thought much about it to be honest. It was just an amazing experience during a trip to a village in Africa.

Then in 2007 I joined the Peace Corps, an experience that changed my life. I was placed in Botswana AND I feel in love with my life. During my time there I worked with The King’s Foundation that used sports to develop children. Every Saturday we went to a field, played a few organized games, the fed the children, a great way to start just about every weekend. It was during these outings that I REALLY became Comfortable with babywearing.

There was a set of twins about 7/8yrs old who would come with an infant tied to their back. I would take the baby so they could play. For the first few weeks the twins would stay very close to me and keep an eye on “their baby”. Once I gained their trust and they saw me struggling to pick things up and put them away they tied the baby to my back. I was NOT comfortable at first; I would walk around bent over and holding on to the baby with at least one hand. They would laugh but do it every weekend until I was comfortable and they showed me how to do it myself. I was amazed at how little that baby crow and how little stress was put on my back. AND I was able to do just about everything but run. I got to a point where I could even serve the other children with “my baby” (as the twins began to call him) tied on my back.

A couple months later I was introduced to a hip carry by my friend (who’s now my auntie in law😉). Again at first I wasn’t comfortable AT ALL but I got used to it after a while. Still amazed at how little stress was put on the body and how much I was able to get done, I vowed to wear MY baby when the time came.

Fast forward a couple of years (2010), I’m back in the US, and I’m now pregnant and I stumble on Metro Minis, through twitter, which has babywearing classes. I wrote home to Botswana and told my in-laws about the class. It was kind of funny for them that there was an actual class for something that was so natural for them. The class was great, my hubby and I got to try a few carriers, woven, stretchy, structured you name. I didn’t realize there were so much research and so many benefits for both the baby and the caregiver until I took this class. I walked a way with a new carrier, loads of information and motived to share with the rest of my family.

For the first nine months or so I carried my little one in a woven Girasol Wrap. He was very warm and cozy through many football games, train rides between Brooklyn and Newark and we made it through the holiday madness without too many people trying to grab at him. The wrap allowed me to keep both of warm through the winter months as well. One of my favorite parts of wearing him was being able to quickly nurse him no matter where we were. We never had to fight with a stroller, he cried very little if at all (I don’t remember getting more than a whimper), and he was able to see people eye to eye instead of looking from down below. It was very easy for me to get house work done too. I would vacuum, do laundry and wash dishes with him on my chest or my back. Wearing him helped me learn his cues for when he had to go to the bathroom also (he started pooping in the potty when he was about 1 month old). Oh and I can’t forget the exercises I was able to do. We walked and did squats and lunges. We even completed a breast cancer walk with him wrapped right on my chest.

When he started sitting up a little more and crawling I purchased a Maya Wrap (ring sling) and that has been very helpful since he likes to get up and down a lot more now. I’ve still been able to nurse on the go. He likes to help me grab and bag things at the grocery store too while he’s in the sling. The nice thing about the Maya is it pocket. I can toss a diaper, wipes and a little cash in there and leave my bags in the car if I need to.

Yesterday, I won a Britax soft structured carrier and we used that for our bus ride to daycare this morning. That was pretty comfy and cozy now that it’s a little cool outside. I think I’ll wear this one for a little while before investing in a soft structured carrier that will allow me to carry him on my back. I was able to try a Kinder Carry from one of the mom’s at the Babywearers of Northern NJ event yesterday and I think I liked that one, but we’ll see.

All of this babywearing in my neighborhood, where it is not as common, has allowed me to spark up some great conversations about the benefits of wearing your baby. It has been very motivating for me to bring these options to more moms in urban areas who are not always exposed to alternative options when it comes to caring for your child. I also love how supportive my family has been as I explore the world of parenting and learn from them and teach them a few things too. My sistercousin is now convinced that wearing her baby is a must when the time comes. YAY! So far, I’m loving this babywearing journey and so happy I get to share this experience with others. I hope this post inspires someone else to try something new or even just ask a question.

Thanks for visiting Learning Life.

Wear your baby…it’s a great experience!

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Getting ready to leave for our walk to daycare in our new Britax soft structured carrier
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With my brother at the 2011 ING NYC Marathon (That inspired me to run this year!!)

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Happy International Babywearing Week

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It’s international babywearing week!! YAY! (October 8-14).

So what is babywearing you ask? Baby wearing is using a carrier (soft carrier, sling and in many countries, a towel or long pieces of fabric), to carry your baby.

While babywearing is far from new, it’s been given a name to help people identify a choice in parenting. Women in many countries have been wearing their babies for decades and have reaped the benefits of doing so. Now with so much research in the world, and with so many cultures bringing their life experiences, babywearing is becoming a lot more popular here in the US.

There are loads of activities going on this week so checkout Babywearing International for more info and to find groups in your area. Today I went to an event hosted by Babywearers of Northern New Jersey. I missed the fashion show but still got to see many of the carriers that moms were sporting. AND I entered a raffle.

Look what I won!!

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I’ve been wanting an Ergo since my little one started school but they’re kind of expensive and I think this Britax soft structured carrier may do the trick for our walks to and from day care. The event was great and I met some wonderful moms. It’s always nice to be surrounded by like minded-people.

Do you wear your baby? What’s your favorite type of carrier?

This post is an introduction for the week. Look for more posts this week about babywearing, my reasons for doing so and other thoughts and activities from the week.

Wear your baby…it’s a great experience😃!

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Moving Mommy Monday

This weekend was pretty calm, just bunch of running, football, cleaning and a fundraising event. Well that doesn’t sound too calm but it felt like it was HAHA!!

Friday, when I picked my little one up from daycare, HE WALKED TO ME. YAY!! He’s been taking a few wobbly steps here and there but this time he had bit more control. Our walk home was a bit different too because he just wanted to be on the ground. I guess you can say we’ve reached another milestone (and my hubby and I better be ready). So we cleaned up a bit and just relaxed.

Saturday, I hit the pavement for a 12mile run with my running buddy and a new running partner we met at last week’s running deal. My buddy Kabibi wasn’t feeling to well so she took it easy and our new partner and I kept moving. I love Kabibi she has so much drive and doesn’t let anything stop her. It may have taken us a little longer to get the mileage in BUT she got it done. The best thing about long runs with a partner is that you get to chat and share life experiences with each other. We had a conversation about sexual child abuse. I got a chance to share some of what I learned at the Enough Abuse training of trainer. We parted after about 7 miles so I got my prayer list done.

Saturday night, I headed to a fundraising event for GrassROOTS Community Foundation. My Aunt Tracy is always introducing me to great causes and amazing people. (I love to see African Americans having a great time or giving back to their community. We just can’t seem to get this stuff on the news. I just don’t get it.) Back to the event, GrassROOTS is an organization that is promoting health among young African American girls. Black Thought of the roots is connected to this organization and gave a great performance. The nice thing about these events is that we get to hear inspiring stories by the people who have dreamed big and made big moves like Dr. Janice Johnson Dias who started this org. AND we heard some great music from a few new musicians. Oh and we had a great time on the dance floor. The DJ was playing some great songs that didn’t include any line dances (so rare now a days). Overall, we had a great time for a great cause.

Sunday, we went to a football game, dropped my cousin off a Barnard University and my little one and I hung out at Aunt Tracy’s to watch the lifetime movie Steel Magnolias, exactly why I don’t have cable. TV can really take up way too much of your time. I literally sat still and watched TV for 5 hours, that’s more than I watch at home in a week. LOL.

Another great weekend that ended in reflection. I’ll be thirty soon and I’ve just been asking a lot of questions about my current place in life and my future. (More about thins in about a month probably, after my race😉). Hope y’all had a great weekend!!

Making moves as a mommy…it’s a work in progress😉!

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Cancer Fact Friday

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So we now know that PanCAN projects that pancreatic cancer will move from the fourth to the second leading cause of cancer death by 2020 if we don’t continue to take action. We also know that PanCAN is making strides towards ending this horrible disease.

They need our help to continue to make progress. I took a pledge to do what it takes to end pancreatic cancer. Will you do the same? It’s really easy, follow this link to pledge, share the pledge (if you choose to) and visit the site October 16 for more info.

Between now and November (pancreatic cancer awareness month) you will receive 3 ways to contribute to the vision.

Let me know if you decide to take the pledge. Let’s keep fighting.

Know the facts and pass it on😊!

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