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Sometimes it is hard. Life. You know, the never ending chores and seemingly endless list of things to do. Boring. Menial. Mindless tasks like laundry and dishes.

There are days when it is hard to get up and move on through the day. Can we just use the d word here? Depression... lulls... hard times... Whatever you call it. Just CALL IT. Treat it for what it is, and face it.

You don't have to face it alone. But please, promise me you won't hide away in the house with your babies. There are so many options available to you. First and foremost - FIT4MOM© fitness groups provide a structure that allows you to get moving and playgroups to socialize.

Finding a social group is important because it is OK to ask your friend to watch your kids while you go to an appointment. Think of it as "gifting" them time with your child. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you have developed relationships in a social structure like a weekly playgroup, these "drop off" play dates can make life so much better. And what a gift to give your friend! Time for her to relax and take care of...

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I remember the first time I ran across "stroller fitness" at my work computer. I was 6 weeks and a DAY postpartum, and back at work. I missed my baby so much, and felt so depressed about my body. I wanted to join this "FIT4MOM STROLLER STRIDES" group, but I didn't even know what to wear to class. I've never even been to an exercise class, much less a mommy workout group, for heavens sakes!

I finally summoned up my courage to attend a free Our Village "non-walkers" play date at one of the ladies' homes. I met the moms who went to Stroller Strides. I talked. I asked questions. Turns out, they were a lot like me! And so welcoming. "The first class is always the hardest..." "Your baby might cry, you might have to change a diaper during class, and its ok..." many said.

It took another few weeks, but I finally signed up for my first class. I was so nervous, and as I loaded up my stroller I felt the "fight or flight" kick in and almost walked away from the group... ya know... just pretend to be visiting the park. Walking over to these fit moms doing a warm ups took...

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The moment I walked in I knew that I had found something special. My 3 year old and I had no idea what to expect that day. Let me back up... earlier this summer I had the opportunity to attend a sample music class with a friend in Clear Lake at A Minor Melody. I thought maybe we would hear someone sing with their guitar. Maybe my daughter would sing, maybe she'd curl up on the floor and pretend to be a dog.

Having done some research on music programs in the Houston area, I knew that there was a big difference between library time (but GOSH I LOVE library singing / playtime, and still 100% think it is so valuable) and a formal, structured, focused music program my musicians and music educators. Unfortunately what I wanted to do was just a little out of my price range. So we walked in and sat down.

The class was a Music Together® Family class. It was unstructured, allowing all the children permission to participate, or not. To observe, or experiment with voice and instrument...

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Fit Moms of La Porte 2015

The good news... summer is here! The bad news... HEAT is here. For many Stroller Strides mamas, baseball / softball mamas, hike it baby mamas.... have found that are so many options for keeping cool! You can get outside with your baby safely and enjoy your summer.

Stay out of the sun during the middle of the day. In other words... picnic early (hello brunch), workout early in the day, and stay inside from 11-3 (hello nap time).

  • Ice packs wrapped in a room temperature towel can help cool babies bumpkin in the stroller.
  • Frozen water bottles - these are perfect for Stroller Strides! Babies are fascinated with the bumpy sounds of the bottle after thawing, and you can drink it after your workout!
  • Ice cubes with the hard shell are a go - to item for me in the summer. I fill my lunch bag with them, and let my toddler play with them. Ice cold, and they don't leak due to the thick plastic shell. Dish wash, and freeze!
  • I love a...
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Q:"Should I Exercise While Pregnant?"

A: This is a great question that you should talk to your OB-GYN about. The majority of women are able to exercise safely and effectively throughout their pregnancy. However, in the case of a high risk pregnancy or complications, your doctor may advise you to stop exercising - either for a period of time or for the duration of your pregnancy. But for women experiencing a normal pregnancy, exercising can be one of the best things you do during these 9 months!

Exercise is so important during pregnancy because right after delivery, when you are at your weakest physically, you are asked to care for another human being - and you want to be ready for that! Staying fit helps you to go STRONG into the second act of motherhood. Exercise can also help decrease or prevent:

  • Excessive weight gain and postpartum weight retention

  • Gestational diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Maternal discomforts (nausea, leg cramps, back pain, constipation, swelling, depression, etc)

  • Surgical or...

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The best rule of thumb for exercising during pregnancy is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If your body is telling you to slow down, then do it. But if your body is feeling great, then continue to work as hard as you feel comfortable. Instead of focusing on what your heart rate is (which is what doctors used to recommend) it is better to rate how you feel on an exertion scale. If 0 is not moving at all and 10 is going “all out”, you should try to keep your exercise between 5-8. Many women find that they can continue to do the same types of exercising they were doing before they were pregnant throughout most of their pregnancy. There are even pregnant women out there running marathons! But if that puts you over an 8 on the scale, you might want to stay away :)

One group of muscles that is really important to focus on during pregnancy is the upper back and shoulders. With the changes in a pregnant woman’s body structure, the shoulders tend to get rounded and the back hunched over. This only gets worse as the baby is born and you are spending time nursing, rocking, reaching into the crib,...

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The first time I ran across Fit4Mom I was looking to begin working out after having my first baby. I loved kids and was looking forward to having some of my own so it was a perfect fit for me. I started going to Stroller Strides in Clear Lake mid summer, and absolutely loved it! I loved working out with other moms and while meeting their fitness goals. After taking two sessions of Body Back - I exceeded my fitness goals. I never thought I could run, plank, burpee, and build my abs!

Fast forward to fall 2014-- I wanted to look at bringing classes closer to my home, in case I did get pregnant, I wanted to be able to make it to class with the new baby. Afterall, I couldn't imagine life without my support group and this workout routine that worked so well for me and my daughter. One of the biggest factors in my decision was that I wanted this group to be around when I had my own children. I wanted them to grow up with an awesome group of playmates, as well as experience firsthand moms who make health a priority. So, I purchased a FIT4MOM La Porte | Deer Park | Pasadena...

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If I was a superhero (and my little definitely looks to me as one), my nemesis would be the STOMACH FLU. Uhhh boy. Nothing gets me down like this super contagious viral tummy bug.

I would like to take a moment to document my last week for your sheer enjoyment: Puke. Puke. Migraine. Water & crackers. Nap. Pacing. Netflix. Water & crackers. Puke. Pacing gain. Nap. Diarrhea. Migraine. Water & crackers. More Pacing around at 2 am. Water & crackers. Diarrhea. Puke.

Spread this out over 4 days, my poor little and I were suffering. Also suffering? My laundry machine! I washed the sheets /blankets three times, and ran 3 loads of "super nasty" clothes. Ran out of clorox scrubbing bubbles and wipes, as well as toilet paper.

She told my husband, "Mommy can't do ANYTHING." It was soo true! In that moment, no. I could not even find her favorite DVD and put it in the Xbox. Her poignant comment made me feel even...

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Where do you buy your fitness clothing? Too often fitness companies don't offer XL or size 16+ pants. Not cool.

Here are some recommendations from a freaking AWESOME Stroller Strides instructor who is a women in a larger body:

  • Kohls
  • JC Penneys
  • Zulilly
  • Lane Bryant
  • Enell Bra - Easy measurements up to 60 " bust, 53" rib (size 8).
  • She Fit (up to 7X), velcro band for nursing mamas!! Personalized Bust Band
  • Katie K Active - 3X, bright colorful fitness clothing
  • Rainbeau Curves - (up to 5X) Cute fitness clothing and compression bras
  • Thick to Thin
  • ...
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As you all know our bodies are constantly changing during pregnancy! A woman’s body will go through more changes during the 9 months of her pregnancy than a man’s will in his entire life! It’s important to know how these changes can affect your exercise routine. And it’s also important to know what signs your body will give you to tell you to slow down or stop.

One of the ways your body prepares to give birth is through the hormone relaxin. This hormone kicks in to loosen your joints, particularly those of the pelvic bones in order to more easily deliver a baby. However, relaxin can affect other joints of your body as well, and you may notice that you feel a little wobbly at times. It is important to be careful during exercise when doing side to side movements or balance activities because your joints are more likely to give out in these situations. Another time to be careful of this is during stretching. Stretching is very important during pregnancy but overstretching can be a problem while the joints are so loose.

As the baby grows and the uterus enlarges, all the...

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Learning doesn't have to be boring - or on an electronic app. Sometimes I think my child truly loves to show off all she has learned and really needs that positive attention. So, we play games! Playing letter games doesn't have to cost a lot of money. These bathtub letters are under $7. These are so rough, even after "a good chew" they are still useable. Modify these ideas to suite your child- and have fun learning! Share your ideas below!

Game 1

1) Child pulls letter out of the pile and identifies it.

2) Mom shows how to draw the capital and lower case in the paper.

3) Ask child: same or different?

Game 2

1) Child picks a group of letters. Give child an object (sunglasses)

to identify the answer.

2) Mom asks, which letter starts this word.... Palace, puh-puh,...

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If you have a young daughter, then chances are some of these "shopkins" may have found their way into your home as well. At first I was annoyed with more little collectible toys to keep track of and organize. Then I began to watch as my daughter played with them. They had names, personalities, and they soon became her favorite playthings. Shopkins in the Barbie kitchen, all over the table, in the pockets of the car door, and, well... Yes they were everywhere!!

I struggle to enjoy pretend play- it's just not my thing- so here was more I couldn't do with her.

However overtime and with her adorable love for these toys, I began to find ways to play together with her.

Here are some of our games we play:

Sorting:

✅ by color

✅ by function (dinner, dessert, wearables, appliances)

Matching:

✅ look for "Twinsies" (identical)

✅ look for "Cousins" (same type but different color)

Guessing:

✅ place a mystery shopkins inside hand have your child guess after a series of clues.

✅ give her a chance to give...

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Getting dinner made has always been a challenge for me, even before my baby. The last few months, I have found a system that seems to work well for getting dinner on the table throughout the week for me so I wanted to share it!

STEP ONE: Identified the biggest challenge. What is your biggest challenge?

-- Staying in budget at the grocery store

️ -- Finding time to prep and cook

-- Having ingredients and seasonings on hand

-- Baby needs to be held from 5am to 9pm

-- 5:30pm, and NO IDEA what to do for dinner

Although ALL of these are problems for me from time to time, by far my biggest challenge was finding time to prep and cook. Narrowing that down, specifically it was the meat dishes- so much time to thaw, cook.... And then I had to add the side dishes!!! [Overwhelm]

Here is how I have addressed this problem over the last few months and it has INCREASED the number of meals we eat at home during the busy weekdays.

On Monday, right after lunch... I start cooking the meat for the week. Keeping things even...

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You know the feeling.... The house is a wreck or generally needs work in EVERY ROOM... but your body is saying "NETFLIX, SOFA, RELAX". Now, I am always going to vote for relax a bit... cause the dishes WILL wait. That's just me. But I am talking about that seriously unable to clean anything feeling, or to care one bit about it. If you don't know what I am talking about then you are a way cleaner lady than me, and well, this lazy mama's idea/tip probably won't help you! (Please share yours below in the comments... people like me NEED your passion for clean!)

If you DO know that feeling... where you just need someone to inhabit your body while you zone out for an hour... then guess what? I HAD A BREAK THROUGH IDEA! I was feeling the same way. Yet, the chores were piling up.

Time for a Housecleaning TABATA Session! (Tabata Pro Online http://www.tabatatimer.com/) This app is for timing your fitness for quick transitions and repeated sets of intense fitness. Ok, so Hiit fitness...

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Have you met Theresa Johnson? She is a mommy to Kylie (2) and found FIT4MOM in the spring. Her first visit was to an Our Village playdate. Then she tried out the Stroller Strides class. I am so happy she joined our group. She is an awesome woman and mommy! Here is more about her:

Best thing about being a mom? The best thing about being a mom is seeing Kylie happy and smiling. I love how she discovers and learns things so quickly. She has the best smile and biggest heart. Her happiness in the morning makes every day awesome.

Hardest thing? I hate leaving her at daycare every day. I wish at I could stay home with her. I feel guilty leaving her but I know it's good for her social and cognitive development. She is learning vital social skills that will help her later on. Also when she is being rotten when she's tired lol. She is very strong willed just like me. I fear the teenage years.

What gets you out of bed every day? Kylie does. I know everyday that I get up and get going makes the weekends so valuable and...

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Best Fitness Option 77571 La Porte

La Porte is a community full of healthy people! We love to indulge in some delicious Gringos & Jimmy Changa's ( Tex Mex food) but we also love to feel great about our bodies and stay healthy. Here are some options that I know about that are right here in La Porte. Do you know of others? Add them to the comments below!

Zumba

Joleen has a studio on 9406 Spencer Hwy with ongoing evening classes. This is an energetic, fun-filled workout that doesn't make you feel like you are exercising. Joleen has a full house of dancers regularly. She's a local favorite - so if you have the dancing bug, then check out this local option.

ReFIT

ReFIT is a fun way to burn some calories with friends. Do you like dance games like on the XBox? Well, this is right up your alley. I love how energetic and lively the workout is. You won't be still for long it this class!

Christy Hayes, certified REFIT instructor

The HappyFit Studio

This company started in Pasadena, and has branched out to include a cycling...

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So "parenting method" is always a very sensitive topic. I've heard many opinions on this subject and I totally might change mine in the future. However, if it weren't for some of these outspoken moms sharing their concerns- I would NEVER have given Barbie or Disney princesses a second thought. So.. I have read all these opinions... and well.... I don't like them as much anymore. Do I allow them? Of course? A little bit of anything won't kill you... (except my baking, sad but true- I am no Snow White!)

Please read, hate, love, disregard, ponder. I want you to raise your daughters how you see best, with all the love and heart and wisdom you can muster. That is what any good mama does! XOXO

With 50% of girls using unhealthy methods of weight control and changing their body with plastic surgery before 18... I have to take a step back and wonder... "What can I do to prevent this from being a struggle for my little girl?".

Body image is EVERYWHERE. We all know this.

These are things I do...

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What are the benefits of stroller fitness?

1. No childcare costs! Stroller Strides, and Stroller Barre allow babies to accompany mom in the stroller, while she works out. These classes not only "allow" strollers, but they babies are a crucial part of our class. We keep them safe while keeping eye contact and singing songs that they love. From my experience, a "Stroller Buddy" baby will learn to sing his A-B-Cs, and count forward and backwards sooner than you can believe. Watching each other's kids grow up is a unique benefit to this program, unlike drop-off child care, we see and speak to each other's children and get to know them- for all the many,many, many good days and the occasionally ugly ones. (Moms of threenagers??? ***support!!***)

2. Small group training is much more affordable than personal training, while allowing each mom to have a modification that works for her: prenatal, low impact, or a more challenging modification.

3. Postpartum depression is a very real danger to the welfare...

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Moms - here is a chance to demonstrate that community service is an important part of life, and it can be done with friends!

  • Event date: March 12th, 2016
  • Location: TBD, based on service project
  • Age: toddler +
  • Time: morning 8-12, come and go as needed.
  • Cost: free, supply any tools that you can

We all want to serve; it is in our DNA to want to help those around us. It leads our children by example and fills a need in us to be a part of something bigger than we are. We have so many needs right here in our own city and community, why not focus locally and serve at home? Join us as we kick off a service revolution in La Porte with a day completely dedicated to serving others called "Servolution".

Team FIT4MOM

Join our team with your toddler child or older! Sign up and type in the team 'FIT4MOM'. Make sure to sign up yourself, and each child you are bringing. The city will place us in a location & project that we can serve with your child to make the community a better place.

...

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Without strollers, there would be no Stroller Strides. Without kids, we’d have no need for strollers. But let’s be honest. Sometimes the kids just aren’t feeling the whole “being strapped into the stroller” deal. Why do it?? It is worth the struggle because I know how life changing Stroller Strides has been for me. Without the support and community that this group has given me, I would be a different mom and a different person.

  • We are setting a positive, healthy example for our children by participating in these workouts. We are worth taking an hour of our day to focus on our well-being.
  • And the amazing thing about Stroller Strides is that we can do this easily without having to find a babysitter for our children or wait until they are asleep or whatever other reason might have stopped us before.

“But, my child HATES being in the stroller for that long. How is that enjoyable for me??” Good point. It really is a good point. My response is that I truly get that it can be stressful and for you personally, it might be pushing you...

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ETHICS INTEGRITY PRINCIPLES ACCOUNTABILITY

I recently had a "bad massage". Has this happened to you? I asked for deep tissue full body massage, but what I got was someone who clearly was new to the job or "winging it". I am still sore and achy a week later! Yikes! This really isn't a reflection of massage therapy as a profession, because I could have spoken up. I could have said 'no, stop. no, too hard, no, that's too tender, no.."

Why didn't I? Silly, right? Well - there I am- bare and face down under a sheet, on a table, in a dark room, in a long hallway, with a stranger, Somehow, I was intimated, embarrassed for her not knowing how to do her job... silly right?

Silly. But then I remembered the fundamental power a person in charge has, like with teaching a class. I had to ask myself, do moms in my Stroller Strides class feel this inability to speak their concerns to me? Am I making myself open and concerned for their safety. Do I regularly ask, "Any questions? How are you feeling?".

After college, when I became a geographic information systems analyst, I joined the...

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Run clubs...

Just like group fitness they offer the accountability of a buddy who needs you there as much as you need them. You offer each other: Motivation. Pacing. Honest Feedback. Accountability.

Who can be in a run club?

Walkers? Runners? Marathon runners? Sprinters?

Yes, well it depends on the club. Some clubs are set up to run a set path as a group, or split into fast/slow group. Sometimes you start at the same time, and wait until everyone crossed the finish line.

La Porte Bike Trail

If you are looking for a 4 mile run, we did a run club in the fall of 2015 that had a 2 mile and a 4 mile run. We parked at the Pecan Baseball Fields park, then walked across Fairmont Pkwy & Canada Rd intersection to the bike trail heading east along Fairmont. From this position, we split into a 2 mile or a 4 mile group, and took off at our own pace. Most of us had strollers and some had a friend or two with them.

The four mile mark was Bay Area Blvd, the two mile mark was a bit trickier - 1/2 between Fair and Malone.

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When I had my baby, I wanted to sing to her all the sweet lullabies I could find. I had researched music for children when I was younger, and I know the importance of singing and talking with a newborn and baby. (Read more: Early Childhood Music and the Brain from Lullaby Link) I have seen how babies can calm down with soothing music, and engage with mom during fun singing activities. Music so very important to our lives, and good for us. (Read more: Does Singing to Your Baby Work? from Psychology Today)

Since it had been many years, since babysitting and hearing my own mother singing lullabies... I totally forgot the tunes and the words! I was a new mom, first time mom, and headed back to the office after 6 weeks, so every moment I shared with my...

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Britax Recall Information

Britax has just informed us that they are conducting a voluntary safety recall on certain Advocate ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight, and Marathon ClickTight model CONVERTIBLE car seats manufactured between August 1, 2014 and July 29, 2015.

These car seats may contain a defect with the red harness adjuster button, which would pose a safety hazard. They have assured us that if you own one of these models, you may continue to safely use your car seat as long as you check and confirm that the shoulder harness straps remain tensioned when securing your child in the car seat.

The attached image to this post indicates the model numbers included in this voluntary safety recall.

  • If your model # IS NOT on the list, your car seat is NOT included in the recall.
  • If your model # IS on the list and your car seat IS registered with Britax, they will be automatically sending you a remedy kit with further instructions within the next 7-10 business days.
  • If your model # IS on the list and you are NOT registered with Britax,...
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It's that time of year and we are all feeling it - the winter blues. We are smack dab in the middle of winter and the combination of cold, snow, and being stuck inside all the time is starting to wear on everyone. Not to mention the sickness floating around - yuck! Is it spring yet?! It often seems like all anyone talks about is the weather or the latest cold/flu virus everyone is catching during this season. And it can get depressing!

Actually, seasonal depression is a real thing. It's called SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Fitting name, right? Although we probably all feel the winter blues, some of us may actually feel more deeply and truly depressed. New moms may also experience postpartum depression, which can be worsened by the winter season. If this is you, I encourage you to talk with someone - either a health professional, or at least someone you can confide in.

While serious depression is something that needs to be professionally dealt with, there are some things we can do to fight the more general winter blues:

  • Eat well
  • Get enough...
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Contact us and we will set up an appointment!

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A Minor Melody

Family Music Classes for Baby & Up - Music Together®

Bayou Baby Children's Boutique
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Stroller Strides is not just a "stroll in the park", but a challenging workout for all levels of fitness.

Serving moms in La Porte, Mont Belvieu, Deer Park, Baytown, Pasadena, Houston, and surrounding areas.

2016