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In honor of National Literacy Month, I'm taking off my mommy-brain hat and putting on my librarian-hat (under which is still a mommy-brain) and recommending some books for you and your kiddos to enjoy this month - and every month!

It's important to read books to our kids so they can grow their imagination and vocabulary. It's just as important as adults to model that behavior. Specifically, moms need to read to:

a. escape reality

b. remind yourself that you CAN, in fact, read AND you have time to do fun things!

Motherhood can turn our brains into mush if we let it. Or, we can work that muscle again and get our brain back, just like we work hard to get our body back!

Check out your local library and check some of these out!

For Kids

Journey by Aaron Becker - Absolutely gorgeously illustrated children's books that are...

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After reading this article about hospital bags of moms around the world, it made me think of what my essentials were during my two hospital deliveries. There were some essential differences because they were born in different hospitals and each had their own suggestions; however, I must admit there was one huge difference from the first boy to the second....snacks! I picked and packed my snacks before I chose a going-home outfit. Babies look cute in anything, right?!

While it's important that moms follow the guidelines of their hospitals/birth centers, it's also nice to get advice and creative ideas from moms who have been-there-done-that. Consider this a Pinterest of Hospital Bags, if you will.

Here are some of my suggestions, gathered from my successes and failures:

1. Snacks - obviously, super important to me. Not just because I had long labors, but because I didn't want to be dependent on hospital food. A lot of hospitals...

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One of the programs we offer at FIT4MOM Seacoast is Body Back. Body Back is a results based fitness program; that offers high-intensity workouts and nutrition guidance from a certified Instructor. All within a safe community of other moms in the very same boat. The small group meet at least twice a week, at the wee hours of the morning, in a beautiful setting (which we have plenty of here in the seacoast), and dedicate this quiet hour to sculpting their bodies and creating realistic nutrition goals for the client and family. Aside from the significant muscle burning and the discomfort of being pushed through limits, it rather sounds like a morning at the spa. And couldn't we all use a little quiet exercise/mommy strength time?

I had the pleasure of speaking with one of our Body Back mommas, Katie, about her time in the program. She's a real mom like you and me: juggling work, family, and personal time, including how to dedicate time and mental energy to getting fit after baby. She's a true inspiration for those moments when getting fit again feels...

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In my family, we celebrate Thanksgiving the Italian way. During an Italian Thanksgiving feast, you eat every 2 hours. The menu goes something like this in our house:

  • 11am - Hors d'ouevres and cocktails
  • 1pm - Antipasta and refreshed cocktails or wine
  • 3pm - Pasta dish (with my uncle's homemade Italian meat sauce - it's to die for!.) VINOOOOOO.
  • 5pm - Turkey dinner with all the fixins: yams, peas, gravy, stuffing, potato pie... and more wine please
  • 6pm - nap on the couch (with 2 kids, I'll have to forgo this tradition for now)
  • 7pm - Dessert - including but not limited to: pumpkin pie, ricotta cookies, Oreo pie (yes, it's a real thing!), coffee with those delicious, novelty creamers I never buy.

We've had the same menu for almost 15 years and after the first few Thanksgvings I learned two important lessons: pace yourself, and wear stretchy pants.

This year, though, is different. Since having my son 11 months ago, I've reached a health and weight milestone. I'm back at my pre-baby weight, the weight I was when I was...

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We're so excited to announce our new blog series, "Motherhood" here at FIT4MOM Seacoast!

Through this series, we will discuss all of those things moms are thinking about: Why is grocery shopping so hard now? What are dads really thinking about? Did I remember to put on a bra? How can I possibly love another human this much? Motherhood is crazy and beautiful and with every struggle and success, we want you to know you're not alone.

So, to kick off our series, we asked our moms "What does 'motherhood' mean to you?" It's a loaded question. How do you possibly put these feelings/struggles/doubts/all.of.the.things into words?

There are some days when I run on auto pilot - waking up and entering the sudden chaos of my days and not processing the days events until my body finally falls back on my bed, utterly exhausted.

This question makes you stop and think about what all of this does mean, what is it that keeps us going, day in and day out? Every mom I asked did the same thing when asked this question: looked at their baby(ies). They are the...

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Sand castles

It's a beautiful time of year to live on the Seacoast. The weather is perfect (most days!) for sitting on a beach, and you're never too far away from the beautiful ocean. Before you strut your stuff in a bathing suit, here are some helpful details to make your trip a total win.

First, here's a list of local beaches to enjoy with your family!

Fort Foster: Just a short drive to Kittery, ME! More information at http://www.seacoastnh.com/travel/scenic-walks/fort-foster/

Great Island Common in New Castle: great green space and playground for kids to run around. Here's more information on fees and parking, http://www.newcastlenh.org/pages/newcastlenh_common/great

Wallis Sands: there's a beachfront store in case you forget something! #win. More info at...

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Farmer's market season is in full bloom here on the Seacoast! There's nothing like walking by such delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables. We're so lucky to live in an area with many working farms, most of which are open throughout the season if you were looking to get more in touch with nature and pick your own produce. It's a great trip with kids - they can taste fresh fruits, explore textures of different plants, and smell all of the wonderful smells and hear the wonderful noises a working farm has to offer. Also, tractors! (if your kids are as into vehicles as my boys, you know that's a magical word)

Here is a list of local farmer's markets and times, as well as working farms if you wanted to visit - they are great trips any time of the week!

Seacoast Farmer's Markets:

  • Portsmouth - Saturdays 8am - 1pm at the City Hall Parking Lot, 1 Junkins Ave.
  • Dover - Wednesdays 2:15pm - 6pm at Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce, corner of Central and Sixth streets
  • Exeter - Thursdays 2:15pm - 6pm at Swasey Parkway off Water St....
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This month, Stroller Strides had a special theme: Field Day! The idea was to play some of the games we played in gym class or on the playground with our friends while getting in a killer workout and some killer laughs. And we did both!

For starters, we played tag - when was the last time you played tag? Like, dodging and running away from a friend because you didn’t want to be the dreaded “It” kind of tag? I can personally say that it's been at least 15 years since I ran around so freely (and clumsily) trying to avoid the “It” fate.

Tag was followed by throwing water balloons in a huge parachute - major arm workout and major splash zone! The kiddos had lots of fun watching that one.

Then came the obstacle course. This was much more challenging than your typical course! It started with hopscotch (fun!), moved on to medicine ball squat + throws (not so fun), then army crawl (OMG), followed by high kicks (OMGOMGOMG), and then walking with a water...

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Welcome to Our Village FIT4MOM Seacoast! They say it takes a village to nurture happy families, and we agree.

This blog is a resource for seacoast moms interested in reaching their fitness and health goals while fostering community with other like-minded moms. We will post information on upcoming classes & playgroups, as well as share relevant research and facts about questions any mom might have - what's the best sunscreen for my newborn? How do I get my toddler to eat veggies? We want to build community both on and off the yoga mat!

There are so many ways to get involved with FIT4MOM Seacoast! From playgroups, running clubs, and mom's nights out, there's something for everyone! Click on the link to learn more about the program and how to purchase a membership.

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