8/21: Thoughts from the week

-Thank you so much for all of the awesome car seat tips and recommendations! I’m excited to check out the brands the you listed and decide soon. Little miss is getting to be too tall for her seat, and while we’re going to keep her rear-facing as long as possible, she’ll be more comfortable in something larger. 

-While I was pregnant, I couldn’t imagine what labor would feel like, and towards the end with every little twinge, I’d think to myself, “Maybe this is it!!!”

No, not at all.

When it was it, I had no doubt in my mind. 

Labor feels different to everyone, and for me, the beginning stages felt like extreme menstrual cramps, with most of the pain my back. When I was in the most difficult stage of labor -which ended up being 3 hours for me since the cord was wrapped- it was like a wash of pain that came from my toes all the way up to my soul. There’s nothing like it. (Not to scare any pregnant friends- it was extreme but I’d do it again in a second if I needed to.)

I came across this article on positions to make labor more comfortable, but none of them worked for me. Writhing on the floor on my hands and knees, deep breathing and mooing seemed to do the trick, and towards the end, draped over the back of the bed with warm compresses on my back was the only thing that seemed to work. I tried everything and things that I thought would feel good didn’t. It’s really a matter of experimentation. 

– I may or may not already be thinking about family Halloween costumes. It’s been tricky to think of something for the 3 of us- all I have so far is a mermaid for Oliv, Tom as a fisherman and me as a… ? I don’t know. Fisherwoman? Taking ideas πŸ™‚


– Oliv LOVES music. If she ever starts to fuss, I start singing a song and she immediately forgets what was wrong. Maybe she just thinks I’m crazy, but it works. When she was a newborn, she wasn’t a fan driving around in the car very much- it took her a week or so to get used to it, and we had quite a few ped and lab appointments. The cure: Zumba music. I’d pop in a ZIN cd and.. silence. I think she remembered it from all of the dancing we did together while I was pregnant and teaching.

She also loves when I put music on my computer for us to listen to during the day. We have our favorites (Pandora children’s, Elmo, Jewel) and recently when we visited Jeni, she gave us a stash of music to burn. Liv has enjoyed her new tunes, and was also given a stack of CDs from our Australian baby whisperer friend, Lisa.


Here are some of the ones we listen to often:

-Jewel- The Merry Goes Round (from Target- has some unique songs as a fun way to change it up from the usuals) 

 -Baby Mozart 


-Fisher Price- “If You’re Happy and You Know It” has all of the classics, and Liv’s favorite: “Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” even though their version is slightly different than the one I used to sing at summer camp.

-Lisa’s CDs, including Paul Jamison, “Hello Mr. Whiskers,” “Franciscus Henry,” ABC Dance Party and other mixes

-She also gave me a ton of ideas for fun things to do with Liv around the house. (You can only sing songs, read books and play with toys for so long. At least my sanity can haha)

I’ll share the ideas with you in a full post, but here’s today’s:

Mess-less fingerpainting!

All you need are finger paints, a zip baggie and tape.

Finger paint

(these are for baggie painting only until she stops trying to eat everything. For *real* finger painting we’ll make our own using a recipe like this, so when she inevitably puts it in her mouth, I won’t be freaking out. I ordered her a baby smock for our first real finger painting adventure)

Just fill the baggie with a combo of paint and tape to the high chair tray (we used packing tape).

Finger paint 2

She was in awe of the colors and loved pressing down and mixing the colors in the middle. So much fun, and a great way to distract her while I put our lunches together. (Usually I’ll give her raw fruit in the mesh feeder, but I’m in desperate need of a grocery trip)

Art minus the mess! 

Finger paint 3

I’m excited to do more projects like this in the future. (Here are some of the other things we do together)

So what did labor feel like to you? What helped?

Any fun art or other activities you like to do with your kids? Thank goodness for Pinterest… and nanny friends πŸ™‚


Post Navigation:


  1. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on August 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    What an adorable craft idea!! Not going to lie, I am terrified to give birth after hearing people talk about it, everyone says it’s the most painful thing in the world but that they’d all do it again in a heartbeat which just confuses and scares me. lol

  2. Shelly on August 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I love the mermaid costume! Tom could be a fisherman and you could be a life preserver (wear a big red pool float around your neck), or you could be a shark!! … or he could be a pirate and you could be a parrot- that would go with a mermaid. My friend and I were a pirate and parrot for mardi gras one year- she wore a beak and several multi-colored feather boas. πŸ™‚

  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    That mermaid = too cute for words!!! πŸ™‚

  4. Lindsay @ Fit with Farrar on August 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    That is such a great craft idea!! Thanks for sharing!! Good luck with your family Halloween costume!

  5. Sarah on August 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Labor… Hmm. I forgot! I wish.

    Mine also felt like really bad menstrual cramps at first. For the first 8 hrs, I alternated between walking laps around the medical campus (in hopes of dilation), sitting in the whirlpool, and draping over a medecine ball with Hubs rubbing my lower back. The only thing that seemed to alleviate the pain somewhat was him rubbing my lower back, poor guy! By the time my contractions were two minutes apart (but still only dilated to 7 CM) it was time to get to the hospital and I absolutely took that epidural. I remember saying them telling me when I was having a contraction and I was just in disbelief! I’ve never had pain that was so all-consuming before. People keep saying things about how they would feel embarrassed about being naked, etc., but honestly that pain is so IN YOUR FACE that I didn’t even know what naked was, let alone cared about it.

    I’d do again too, though. I’d probably even try to do it natural again. I wasn’t a huge fan of my emergency C-section.

    I absolutely love that finger painting idea with no mess. It’s brilliant. We’ll be doing that!

  6. Pinky on August 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    The mermaid outfit is so cute….maybe you could do a little mermaid disney theme? Pilot as prince Eric and you could be flounder, just dress in blue and yellow. Or ursula, but she wasn’t a nice character.

    Or you could be a ‘beachy souvenir globe” theme.

    Have a great one!

  7. Rachel on August 21, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    The Pilot = fisherman a la Gorton’s
    You = pirate queen!

  8. Cat @sugaraddictsanonymous on August 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    hey! Check out Laurie Berkner and Red Grammer (Grammar?) for music for liv too! I used to teach preschool and those were some favorites of the kids. They loved rocketship run and the goldfish song from Laurie Berkner, and pretty much everything from Red Grammar!

  9. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on August 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Aaaaaaah the days of finger painting. A favorite past time of mine for sure! πŸ™‚ I remember my mom letting me finger paint all the time when I was little. Loved it!

  10. Ana on August 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Ohhhh my, such a great idea, I wish I knew that when I my son was that young – he is now 10!
    I will pass it along to my friends who have babies. I absolutely love this idea!!

  11. Morgan on August 21, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I love the art idea… I am so adding that to my list of to-dos. I have also been plotting Halloween costumes on Pinterest for my little one that I’m pregnant with now for next since she should be almost a year old by then. I loved baby-idea stalking so much last winter between baby headbands to newborn photo op costumes to big, gorgeous, over-sized dresses and nursery ideas – so much in fact I’m pretty sure I “willed” myself pregnant..lol anyways- keep up that awesome mommy work! Liv is a very lucky baby!

  12. Jess on August 21, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    That mess free finger painting is genius!!!

  13. Azka on August 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    We’re going to do this finger painting today! Thanks for another wonderful idea!!

  14. Kristen on August 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I agree that labor was hands down the worst pain of my life but it helped to know that there was an end in sight. Obviously I didn’t give a crap about that at the time- I truly thought I was going to die- but I did try to remind myself that it would all be over soon. I labored at home for 15 hours before I went to the hospital. I just got my exercise ball out and swayed back and forth on it moaning loudly (glad we don’t have too close of neighbors. They could’ve got the wrong idea hearing all that haha).
    When we got to the hospital,sadly there was a couple that came in and I could hear everything. She was 8 months along and found out right then that she lost her baby! Her husband got there and went CRAZY- cops were called. I was so worried about what he was going to do. I was afraid it was going to be a situation of, “If I can’t have my baby then you can’t have yours” and start shooting or something. We had to move rooms. Very scary stuff. That definitely distracted me from my pain for a little while!

    I cannot wait to try out the mess-less painting! My little man is almost 6 months so he’ll love that.

    • RunEatRepeat on August 21, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      Oh my gosh! That is scary πŸ™

  15. Michelle W on August 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Way off topic, but I finally jumped on the Amaze-balls bandwagon. I am in LOVE! And my little girl must like them too, because she is kicking around like crazy!

  16. Ashley on August 21, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Oh my gosh…is it weird that I want to fill a ziploc with paint and press it around just for fun? Hope not!

  17. JennP on August 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Yeah, labor was horrendous with my daughter. I labored all the way to 9cm drug free and then ended up with a crash c-section under general anesthesia. Baby #2 is due by repeat c-section next Tuesday at 39 weeks (yippee), and I’m TOTALLY okay with the fact that I *hopefully* won’t have to do the labor part again. For me, it started off as horrendous cramping, sharp back pains and intermittent vomiting and only got worse thanks to some crazy complications.

  18. chrissy on August 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    this is going to get weird: paul ryan looks familiar to me…..because he reminds me of the pilot!! apparently, i don’t know enough tall all-american dudes…..

  19. chrissy on August 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    oh, i forgot to add, maybe you guys should do a political theme:)

    • Shelly on August 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

      If so, the baby should definitely have the presidential candidate costume! πŸ™‚

  20. Katie @ running4cupcakes on August 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Love the finger painting idea and all the songs! And in general, I always appreciate your family posts – super helpful. πŸ™‚ btw- what kind of mesh feeder did you get for Livi and do you like it? thanks!

  21. Stacy on August 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    My cousin had her third child about 8 months ago. The first one was all natural and she was in quite a bit of pain. The third one, she was lucky enough to be able to hire a masseuse that helped her through labor. She said she would recommend this to anyone, plus you get a couple of free massages during your pregnancy.

  22. Alicia on August 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Gina! I love the Mermaid idea. You have to search on pintrest someone knit a baby mermaid costume. It’s adorable!

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2012 at 1:05 am

      i’ve seen it- super cute!!

  23. Heather (heathers dish) on August 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    When I was in labor it was a crazy pain that was just indescribable…I ended up having to have a csection but labor was definitely doable!

    Quick question: I know you posted this but what high chair did y’all get for Liv? We are in the market and I am so lost!

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2012 at 1:05 am

      we got the oxo sprout and love it!

  24. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on August 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I think you could pull off a pretty awesome pirate!

    And the no-mess fingerpainting is pretty brilliant!

  25. Justine on August 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Labor wasn’t bad for me. I was in denial that I was in actual labor the whole time until the midwife checked me and said it was time to push. I hear that the way it is most of the time with your second though. I think it’s mostly mental. Definitely not the worst pain I’ve ever felt!

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2012 at 1:04 am

      that makes me hopeful πŸ™‚

  26. Sarah Anne on August 22, 2012 at 12:42 am

    I am so blown away by that finger painting trick!! So so awesome!

    Reading all the HLB women having babies, sharing their experiences really makes me hope to have my own baby bean in the future. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Katy Widrick on August 22, 2012 at 8:57 am

    At 33.5 weeks I’m just now really starting to wrap my brain around labor…meeps! I am nervous and excited at the same time.

  28. Megan on August 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Love the finger painting trick! i’ve got a 5 month old so going to pull it out when she’s a little bigger. I agree that you can only sing songs, do tummy time and read so long without losing it (I’ve already lost it. Haha). My husband caught me using a baby voice with him recently.

    Labor was rough. i honestly don’t remember what made me feel better. It’s so in your face it’s hard to find relief in the transition stage. But earlier on, leaning on the floor sprawled over a birthing ball and rocking. Also, for me, cold compresses because labor made me so hot.

  29. Julie on August 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Every pic I see of Liv I just can’t get over what a gorgeous child she is! Just beautiful!

    It really is true what they say about forgetting how painful childbirth was once you have that beautiful baby in your arms. I really can’t describe the pain specifically although I do remember thinking it was unbearable. I had back labor so it helped a little bit to be on my knees draped over a big exercise ball w/ someone rubbing my lower back. (My husband almost lost an eye for complaining about his hand getting tired.) πŸ˜› Of course, the epidural which came later helped IMMENSELY! I looked at the anaesthesiologist afterwards & said, “You are a wonderful man!” He was like, “I get that a lot.” πŸ™‚

  30. Jen in MN on August 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I’m a “mean mama”……I make my daughter(s) listen to MY music instead of vice-versa (-; I’ve just always kept it that way! It’s mostly current pop hits type of radio so my 3 yr old actually loves it. When recently visiting her grandparents by herself, my mom played “kid music CDs” in the car for my 3 yr old. When she got back in the van with me, she asked for “kid music.” I just said, “No, that’s only for grandma’s car.” Dodged a bullet! Ha! (-:

  31. Barb on August 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    If Oliv is “eating” yogurt, you can use yogurt and a TINY bit of food coloring as paint! She will use her fingers to move it on the paper and develop fine motor skills and a curiosity for the world! This way, if she eats it…she’s fine! It’s just yogurt!

    Plus, when it dries, it looks just like paint and you can hang it on the fridge! πŸ™‚

  32. Kristen on August 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    You can use yogurt/ketchup/mustard as fingerpaints… so if she eats it, it’s no big deal. If she doesn’t like the taste of those things, she won’t eat it!

    Jim Gill is a great children’s musician… we adore his songs at the early childhood school I work at.

  33. Elaine on August 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I too felt like the best position when I was going through labor was rocking back and forth on my hands and knees. I also added some yoga cat cows. I don’t know if it helped at all, but at least I felt like I was doing something!!

  34. Lauren on August 22, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    When I worked in the infant room of my early childhood center we filled ziplock baggies with blue hair gel and random items like glitter, beads, and tinsel that the babies could push around in gel. They all loved it! And to make sure the bag stayed shut and they didn’t eat any of the gel we glued the zipper shutter and used clear tape to make sure it was extra secure. Hope you and Olivia have lots of fun with a new activity πŸ™‚

  35. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy on August 23, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I had to pin this art project idea — it’s such a great one!

  36. Felicia on August 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    you should totally get a lobster suit and go as sebastian!!! πŸ˜‰

    • Fitnessista on August 24, 2012 at 12:18 am

      undah the sea, undah the seaaaaa

  37. Morgan on August 24, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Mermaid is a cute idea! My baby is almost a year and I am thinking a koala bear costume would be so adorable!

    As for labor pain….I ended up being induced about a week after my due date because my blood pressure started to increase. They broke my water and started me on Pitocin. The pain started like intense cramps and you better believe I asked for that epidural right away :). Unfortunately the epidural kept wearing off and at one point the anesthesiologist wasn’t available and I went from feeling nothing to feeling EVERYTHING! I don’t remember behaving too poorly but my husband loves to remind me that I was dropping the F word like crazy! I described the pain like feeling I was going to jump out of my skin…it was sooo intense! Luckily I got more drugs ;0) and they had to actually wake me up out of my drug coma to have me push. Not a graceful delivery by a long shot…but you live you learn and I am hoping #2 will be a bit smoother.

  38. Kimberly on August 24, 2012 at 3:24 am

    The first baby was hardest. 21 hours of labor, natural waterbirth. At first, the contractions were all excitement – “yay the baby is coming!” By the middle of the night exhaustion and the fact that they kept getting more intense made “some” of the excitement wear off. Then a car ride = nausea. My husband was in training so he couldn’t be with me until I actually got to the birth center. Finally got to the birth center thinking “this is it! the baby is coming now – only to find out once checked by the midwife I was ONLY 2 CM! Ride to a nearby Radisson Hotel for 7 more hours of labor, then finally 7 cm. 1 1/2 hrs of pushing and finally my little “conehead” baby boy was born and hubby got to “catch.” What worked best for the pain was water – shower head pouring over my tummy while sitting back in the tub, then the jet bath at the birth center.

    Second baby was soooo much easier. Hypnobirthing was an amazing technique and turned labor “pain” into “pressure”. Only time it was hard was transition – then it was time to get in the hot water and push. =) 6 hours of labor and this time I got to catch! Beautiful Baby Girl. Amazing homebirth experience – so much so that my friend who got to be there decided to have her first baby using the same method – Hypnobirthing home waterbirth with a Midwife. πŸ˜‰

    I love your blog by the way. I will be following you from now on. Not in a creepy way, just on Twitter. =)

  39. Donna Porter on August 25, 2012 at 2:06 am

    As the mother of three children, including one who would live with her fingers in paint, sometimes the “mess” is so worth it!! Sensory integration and pure creativity can be awesome in those little fingers πŸ™‚

  40. Bianca on August 29, 2012 at 9:19 am

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.