Help keep the kids from getting too crispy this summer! {Giveaway-2 Winners} #SunscreenBands

Do you remember when you were a kid, a sunburn was just part of Summer?

Sunburn

I don’t ever remember having sunscreen being applied to me before I headed out for a day in the sunshine. My Mum used to slather on the Ban de Soliel deep tanning oil and go lay outside for hours.

Now that I’m a Mum, I wouldn’t thin twice about applying sunscreen to my kidlets before we went out. Even on cloudy days.

Cover your kids in sunscreen

We are now aware of the dangers that can come from too much sun exposure. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause some serious skin damage and can contribute to skin cancer. It is so important that we protect our skin by wearing appropriate clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreens that have a broad spectrum SPF of 15 or over.

UV rays and their effect on skin

Sunscreens should be applied 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and should be reapplied regularly, after swimming, exercise or excessive sweating. For more information on how to use sunscreen correctly, please visit the Canadian Cancer Society’s website.

A great tool to help remind you to reapply your sunscreen are Sunscreen Bands.

Sunscreen BandsSunscreen Bands are a safe, non-toxic, recyclable product that is used along with your sunscreen. They help monitor your exposure to the sun by way of it”s colour changing abilities.

Put on a Sunscreen Band, apply a sunscreen with an SPF15 or higher to your skin AND on the band. Go play or work outside and as time goes by, the band will change colours, reminding you when it’s time to reapply your sunscreen and when you need to cover up or get out of the sun completely.

Colour changing abilities

This technology is so great, that now I feel safer going out in the sun with my kiddos knowing that even if I lose track of time, the Sunscreen Band is there to remind me when it’s time to refresh our application or head for the shade.

It’s also a great way to get the kids to head home from a day at the park and hopefully avoid any meltdowns that normally occur when Mum and Dad say that it’s time to go 😉

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Sunscreen Bands are to be used with your own sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater and are not recommended for children under 3.

To purchase Sunscreen Bands, please click on this link to find a retailer near you. Or to purchase online, click here. There currently no retailers carrying Sunscreen Bands in Western Canada, but you can purchase them online here. Use promo code “SAFESUMMER” and receive FREE shipping in Canada and the US, and as an added bonus, you’ll receive a bonus sample pack! Sunscreen Bands will be available from Amazon.ca soon!

Sunscreen Bands have generously provided a set of 5 packs of bands to giveaway to 2 lucky Raincity Parent readers. This giveaway runs from June 27th-July 4th, 2014 and is open to residents of Canada and the US only. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PTPA Winner

It just comes with the territory of having babies… Not true! #PelvicFloorWeakness #YMCCommunity

If you’ve ever given birth, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

My Mum has it, my sister has it, my girlfriends have, it’s just a part of life now after having babies. Right? Nope!

Giving birth after effect

After being pregnant, having a baby or being overweight or obese, many women experience “leakage”. This can happen during exercise, sneezing, coughing and even laughing too hard. You may also find that you need to pee more frequently and urgently, and on occasion, not get to the potty in time! How about farting by accident in the middle of yoga class or when you’re in the vicinity of some uber gorgeous man? Have you starting having issues going #2? What about having sex with your partner? Has it become uncomfortable or even painful?

Did you just fart?

Did you hear that?

If you said “Yes!” to any or all of the above, then you probably have a pelvic floor problem.

What is a pelvic floor problem? It’s when your pelvic floor (the group of muscles that hold your bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum in place) become stretched, weakened or even too tight and don’t function properly.  The most common types of dysfunction are stress incontinence (leaking with exertion) and pelvic organ prolapse (when the internal organs protrude into and eventually out of the vagina). Stats will tell you around 33% of women have pelvic floor challenges but because it is a taboo subject it is often not reported so the real number is likely much higher.  

Types of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, your first line of defence should be seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist – you do not need a referral and it is covered by extended health if you have physiotherapy benefits.  A gynaecologist may also be helpful if surgery is required and if so, a pelvic floor physiotherapist should remain part of your pre-hab and re-hab care before and after surgery.  

Recently I decided that after years of suffering from “leakage” after having my babies, I wanted to get this issue under control. I hated buying extra pads because of my new desire for exercise. Every time I did high impact moves like running and jumping, my bladder became my worst enemy.  After having my first child, whenever I’d attend a fitness class, I would suffer from “leakage”.

Pee during exerciseTotally embarrassing!

Even though I’d pee before class started, as soon as a high impact exercise began, I’d be wetting myself like a dog kept indoors all day, excited to see his owner come home from work.

I thought that this was the new me and the only way to deal with it was to wear a pad during exercise.

I decided that this really sucked and made an appointment with Kim Vopni at Pelvienne Wellness.

Pelvienne Wellness

Kim is a Certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Pre/Post Natal Fitness Consultant, a Certified Fitness For Fertility Specialist, a Certified Pfilates Instructor and is trained in the Hypopresive Method. She is also a Trained Post Partum Doula which has many clients referring to her as The Fitness Doula.  

She asked me questions regarding my pregnancies and deliveries and had me do a series of movements to see how my body was moving.

When our session was done, Kim recommended that I make an appointment with a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.  She recommends all of her clients do so and she advises that you should schedule a pelvic floor assessment with your physio every year as a proactive approach. There is a list of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists across Canada available on the Pelvienne Wellness website.

If you do have pelvic floor issues and you are into fitness, here is a list of exercises that you can do and also ones that you should avoid:

Pelvic floor safe cardio exercises

  • walking
  • swimming
  • seated cycling
  • cross trainer (low resistance)
  • low intensity water aerobics
  • walking in the water, and
  • low impact exercise classes.

Cardio exercises to avoid

  • running
  • jumping
  • star jumps
  • skipping
  • boxing
  • high impact exercise classes that involve running and jumping, and
  • sports involving stop-start running and rapid direction change (e.g. tennis, netball, basketball, hockey, touch football).

I have also stumbled across an App for pelvic floor-friendly exercises that you may find helpful.

PFF_APP_V3

For Apple users.

For Android users.

I think that the authors of the pregnancy books, that we all pick up when we find out that we’re expecting, should really include information regarding your pelvic floor, for during pregnancy and after delivery. The information should be provided towards the beginning of the book so that you can start the exercises early to help prevent injury, strain and tearing of your lady parts once your baby decides to make it’s way into the world. Women don’t tend to know about ways of prevention until AFTER they give birth, and by then it could be more difficult to correct. Kim Vopni also offers workshops in person and via skype called Prepare To Push, where she covers the preventative information. This will also be coming out as a book in early Fall.

For more information about pelvic floor health, please visit the Pelvienne Wellness website.

 

Separating the “wets” from the “drys”…no time for soggy messes. #LilBeanzBoutique

Have you ever taken the kiddos swimming and somehow, after you’ve tossed all their wet gear back into the pool bag, a sneaky sopping swimsuit managed to find your cell phone and grocery list and decided it was a great idea for a group hug?

Wet cell phone

This happened to me, and went un noticed until we happily arrived at the grocery store 15 minutes after leaving the pool.

My phone was wrecked and I had no idea what we were to pick up at the store because my list had disintegrated and I suffer from a serious case of Mommy Brain.

A friend told me about the Wet Bag that Lil’ Beanz Boutique carries.

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Wet Bags

This bag is great to use with cloth diapers. When you have a bum change, instead if tossing the soiled diaper in your diaper bag and contaminating the world or using a plastic grocery bag, this bag contains the soggy mess and keeps it’s contents from leaking out and having your diaper bag smell like a port-a-loo. It can also be used for wet swim duds or soiled clothing and also to keep your valuables from getting wet. It’s water-resistant and completely washable.

I use ours to keep my valuables safe and dry. No more messed up phone and my shopping list will remain legible.

We’re planning a beach holiday soon, so this fabuloso bag will be joining us and keeping our electronic devices, passports, money, keys and books safe from sun, sand and water while we get in some much needed quality family time.

There are so many more awesome products available from Lil’ Beanz Boutique! Be sure to visit their website or Facebook Page to check them out. I personally am in love with the Head/ Neck Pillows and the Minky Blankets!

Lil' Beanz Products

Lil' Beanz Boutique

Taking the kids swimming solo should be considered an Olympic sport! #YMCCommunity

Our 4 year old daughter is currently enrolled in her second round of swim lessons where she is doing it all on her own. I mean, sans Mom & Dad.

Swim lessons

I decided that it would be a good idea to have her do them on the mornings that she’s not in preschool because she’s at the age where she needs to be doing something active, daily or she turns into a pre-pubescent teenager with her dramatic outbursts and irrational behaviour.

While she’s in her class, our 18 month old son and I paddle around the pool and splash away, burning off some of his surplus energy in hopes of an epic afternoon nap for him. This usually works out very well and our daughter and I get to spend a few hours in the afternoon doing stuff together like colouring, her homework from preschool, cooking or baking. She loves this, because now she gets me all to herself and I’m relieved of the refereeing duty of keeping our spawn from tearing each other’s heads off or destroying more of the house.

So after swim class, neither kid is ready to get out of the pool. And of course they want to go off in different directions. With the “Arms reach under 7” Rule, this makes Mommy swimming solo with the mites a challenging venture. We grab a floaty pad, not a floating maxi pad, but a foam “sheet” that both kids fit on, that doesn’t sink under their combined weight, and head over to the “river” and quickly float on down. Then a quick detour through the waterfalls and bubbles before heading back to the shallow end where Little Dude does a belly flop into the water. A couple minutes in the wading bubble pool and Mr. Man decides he’d like to go for a walk run around the pool deck, prompting a hasty retreat from the pool area into the change room. Not before said micro man throws an epic spazz and protests being strapped into the stroller that we’ve parked along poolside.

Fighting the stroller
Screaming all the way to the change room, one imitating a 2×4 in the stroller and the other stomping and pouting, we manage to find an available shower cubicle. I park the stroller inside and tell our 4 year old to stand guard as I grab our things from the locker right across the way.

As my back is turned, Little Miss Awesome, closes the door and locks it. I load up my arms with all our stuff, turn around and smack right into the door, dropping everything onto the soaking wet floor that has little bits of grossness swimming about. Through my teeth, I growl for her to open the door and by using that tone, she knows that if it’s not opened immediately, the afternoon is going to turn out very badly for her.

Once inside, swimsuits are stripped off, shampoo is applied and I allow the princess to do the rinsing of her and her brother as I quickly get dressed. Bad decision, ’cause immediately, water is being sprayed everywhere getting all our stuff wet yet again. Hilarity ensues and the kids are having a ball. I manage to get everyone dressed and the wee lad returns to his backwards arch as I try to get him back in the stroller. Jeez Louise! I pick him up, throw the pool bag into the stroller, turf the swim diaper in the bin and head to the van. Our daughter is being more helpful now, but insists that SHE open all the doors en route and throws a hissy fit when a gentleman holds the door open for us because she wanted to do it.

I just keep walking. At this point, I’m beyond nuclear meltdown and just have to get everyone into the van before I lose my cool.
We arrive at the van, I let the diva unlock the doors, but Grumplesaurus Rex will not sit in his seat!

I hate my car seat

Photo credit : Illustrated with Crappy Pictures™

Patience, don’t fail me now!

I wait for him to break his concentration and when he finally does, I get the buckles clicked. Touchdown!

The 10 minute drive home was filled with an awesome aria of screaming from the boy and the yelling from our daughter to “Be quiet!”

I couldn’t get home fast enough, but safely drove the posted speed limit, of course.

Have you attempted to take the little ones swimming on your own? What are your tricks to make it a fun and stress-free adventure?