How to Keep Your Baby from Getting Sick

What do you do when your family is sick and you’ve got a newborn in the house?

Well – our baby Lucy has experienced this twice in her short 7 week life!  When we brought her home from the hospital, her dad and siblings were sick.  This week, my son had a fever, then me, then my daughter, then my husband…baby Lucy is the last one standing (or, um, laying down!).  Thankfully she’s not sick yet. 

Here’s what we’ve done so far in an attempt to keep baby from getting sick: 

  1. Hand washing.  This goes without saying.  No one touches Lucy without washing their hands.
  2. Keeping the kids at a distance from the baby. 
  3. If you’re sick, you don’t touch or get near the baby. 
  4. We avoid public crowded places.
  5. Put gloves on baby to prevent her from sucking on all those germs.

Then, we found out my husband and I have bronchitis.  My dad who is a family physician suggested keeping Lucy in her room so she’s not exposed to all the germs in the air from coughing etc.  So for 2 days now, she’s in her room exclusively.  Before going in to feed her and play with her, I wash my hands and put on a mask. 

Her bouncy chair and activity mat are in there now, and the quarantine seems to be working all right.  I figure at 7 weeks, she won’t remember the boredom and isolation of being in her room.  🙂 

I hope to be able to say that she will stay healthy all this week.  Praying for it!


Happy Thanksgiving!

As I write, my son is playing a toy flute (boy it’s LOUD!), my daughter is asking for a video (the answer once again is NO), and baby Lucy is sleeping (go Lucy!).  For all this activity, I am thankful! 

I was listening to Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah on the radio a few days ago and he read a beautiful poem.  I can’t recite the poem, but here’s the jist: 

Be thankful for the dishes piled up in your sink, for that means you are fortunate to have a family to care for.

Be thankful for the loads of laundry, for that means you have lots of clothes to wear.

Today I am thankful for so many things, including the mess of toys in my family room.  Just 4 Thanksgivings ago, we found out the baby I was carrying was going to die in the womb.  I was 20 weeks along at the time.  That little girl did pass away at 26 weeks, but a just year later, we had a healthy baby girl.  That little baby (that’s her on the header of my blog) is 3 years old now (pictured with me above).  How time flies, and I’m so grateful for the precious gifts God has given. 

I’m thankful for you, my friend and blog reader.  I’m glad we can connect over keyboards and chat even if our homes are miles, states, or countries away. 

I’m thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is good, faithful, and true. 

May you and yours have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving!!!   Thanks again for reading!

P.S.  If you need tips to cut calories over your Thanksgiving feast, read my article, “Guilt Free Thanksgiving.” 

Quick Chicken Stew

chicken stewSomething warm for a busy family evening…try this Quick Chicken Stew, courtesy  You can serve it over brown rice. 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Directions:

    Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken and cook about 1 minute. Mix in garlic and onion; cook until tender. Stir in carrot, zucchini, and red bell pepper. Pour in tomatoes with juice. Season with red pepper flakes, basil, and bay leaf, and continue cooking 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender and chicken juices run clear. Stir in the butter until melted, and season with salt and pepper just before serving.

    6 Weeks Postpartum

    Many nights, I go to bed thinking about things I want to blog about.  But then another day goes by, and I’m back in bed with “blog” on my to-do list still. 

    I think you understand because you’re a mom!  I realize with a newborn and 3 and 5 year old, many days it’s just about getting everyone fed 🙂  But today, before I go to bed, I must write something!

    Today marks six weeks after baby!  Wow, how time has flown.  I absolutely love having a baby.  Lucy is the sweetest thing.  I do miss being able to leave the house in under an hour (ha, ha, remember how long it takes to pack up little kids and a baby in a car?). 

    So, now that I am done pampering myself after my c-section (not working out, eating whatever I feel like)…it’s time to start exercising again and think NUTRITION! 

    The plan is:

    1.  Exercise at least 4 times a week for 30 minutes.  I’ll start with easier exercise videos and then ramp up (I just bought Jillian’s 30 Day Shred – I’ll let you know how I like it).  I will go back to spin class in January. 

    2.  Write down what I eat and keep my food journal an open book.  My husband is my accountable partner (he wants to lose those sympathy pregnancy pounds too!). 

    3.  Say no to sugar.  I am allowing exceptions (Thanksgiving, upcoming birthday party) but will “eat clean” when at home. 

    4.  Listen to my own audio course each day, Losing Weight After Baby: 31 Days to a New You beginning December 1. 

    My goal is to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight/size in 6 months.  So that means I’ll be able to zip up my skinny jeans on May 10, 2010. 

    What’s your goal?  Let’s help each other get there!

    Book Review: Fit for My King

    fit for my king

    If you need some divine intervention when it comes to weight loss, this book is for you!

    Written from a Christian perspective, author Sheri Rose Shepherd shares how God healed her from an eating disorder and how she lost 60 pounds for good.  She encourages the reader to win the diet war once and for all, not with a complicated plan for counting calories, but by changing your heart and mind.

    Fit for My King: His Princess 30-Day Diet Plan and Devotional is more devotional than diet plan.  You’ll find 30 days worth of devotionals that address your mind and heart.  If you’re looking for specific tips for avoiding those late night cravings, you will be disappointed.  Instead, this book looks at transformation from the inside out.  If you can see yourself as the princess God created you to be, then you will have the strength to make the right health decisions.  After all, royalty deserves the best, healthiest, freshest foods.

    If you are struggling with self esteem and emotional eating, these devotions will help you find assistance in Christ.  There are wonderful prayers and action steps at the end of each devotion.  I would suggest getting an accountability partner to read the book with you to make the most out of it.  Then you have someone to keep you accountable to the diet portion of the book.  The diet plan is simple but hard:  fast from sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners, and artificial food for one month. 

    The book also contains many “princess” recipes.  A few of the names are a bit cheesy (“Kingdom Kabobs”) but I’m sure they taste great!  If you want to feel like a princess while fasting from sugar, white flour and artificial foods, these devotionals will be a welcome companion for the Christian reader. 

    Fit for My King is available November 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

    Podcast listener lost 60 pounds!


    This was the highlight of my day…I received a great email from a Losing Weight After Baby podcast listener who wrote about her miscarriage and unhappiness about her weight.  She was at the highest weight of her life.  Understanding her need for change and encouragement, she sought out tools to help her and found my Losing Weight After Baby podcast.  She began with mini-goals.  Her the big audacious goal was to lose 50 pounds.  She knew this would help her be healthier in the future especially because she wanted to get pregnant again. 

    Guess what?  She did it!  On the day her baby would have been due if she had not miscarried, she had achieved her goal and lost not 50 pounds – but 60 pounds! 

    And now she’s pregnant! 

    She wrote, “You had practical advice and were a positive influence in my decision to get physically active.   Thank you Arlene!”

    You are so welcome…your email made my day.

    Let’s all be encouraged that we can set mini-goals with a long-term goal in mind, just like this podcast listener!

    My Chocolate Free Day!


    Confession time…for the last few days weeks months, I’ve been enjoying a little something sweet each day – usually something chocolate.  Dark chocolate being my favorite.  You know, when you’re pregnant, you’ve got cravings.  Then after baby is born, you need a little pick me up for those late night feedings. 

    Well, I’m realizing that I cannot go on like this forever (my 6 week recovery period after c-section is almost over).  A few things woke me up yesterday.  Talking about one of his patients, my father who is a physician said, “If you need to have chocolate every day, you’re depressed.”  Hmmm….I didn’t like the sound of that much.

    Then I started reading the book, Fit for My King: His Princess 30-Day Diet Plan and Devotional by Sheri Rose Shepherd.  Convicting.  Got to get back on the bandwagon.  Pregnancy cravings must die.   

    So I decided to have a chocolate free, sugar free day today.  I made it all day long and before going to bed, I picked up a hoodie to hang in the closet.  There was something in the pocket.  I reached in…it was a Kit Kat from Halloween!  Can you believe it?  Chocolate found ME!  But I’m happy to say, I laughed about it and DID NOT eat the Kit Kat!

    So one victory down…a chocolate free day!  If you can meet a small goal, someday you’ll meet a big one.  I’m taking it one chocolate free day at a time.