Lydia's Journey BEYOND Hollywood

Follow an actress's journey beyond Hollywood. The life after a successful 10 year career...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Experiment

I have always been addicted to TV for as long as I can remember.
It's probably one of the main reasons I became an actress.  Growing up, I remember our family TV being on all the time.  I can do everything while watching TV.  Fold laundry, cook, check email, get dressed, all while keeping one eye glued to the TV.  It's quite a skill actually!  I'm the queen multi-tasker!
But lately, I felt like my addiction to the tube, as well as the computer, kept me from doing the best job possible as a mom to my babies.  I noticed my toddler's behavior was getting more aggressive and frustrating (to both himself and ME).  I figured it's because of his molars coming in.  And then I thought, I wonder if all this noise from the TV bothers him?  Or maybe he's frustrated at competing for my attention with the TV and computer?  I wonder how different our day would be if I cut all of this out for just one day.  To see.
So yesterday, I came downstairs to Sesame Street already on and the babies mesmerized as usual.  (I fear I'm raising future TV addicts!)  So I turn the TV off and explain to their dad that we are not having any electronics on today.  Well, no TV or computer.  I need my coffeemaker.  ;)
The day started off very peaceful and quiet.  No excess noise or sound.  Just us.
What I noticed about this experiment was my toddler really was a lot calmer than usual.  Happier even. I found myself looking at their faces more.  Enjoying my time with them.  Having fun, playing more, being silly.  I felt more relaxed, present, calmer.  I didn't miss it much really.
Not until about 4pm when I needed to start on dinner and the tantrum began.
And like the unperfect mom I am, I ended up finally turning the TV on, and putting on Sesame Street while I finished making dinner.  Tantrum averted.
Even though my experiment didn't last ALL day like I hoped, I learned a lot from the quiet time I spent with them.  And I plan to incorporate less TV and computer time in my day, and more quality and quiet time with them.
Logging off now...  :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guest Blog: Tips for New Moms

Guest Blogger, Katie Moore, shares her recent article with my readers.  :)

Tips for New Moms: Prevention and Treatment of Diaper Rash

Having a newborn in the home can present many challenges for a new mom. Along with figuring out feeding and sleeping schedules, a new mom will also have to learn how to comfort her baby when he is uneasy.
One of the most common problems that results in discomfort for baby, and added stress for mom, is diaper rash. It was long thought to be representative of neglect, but this hypothesis is patently false. Inflammation does result from infrequent diaper changes, but there are many more causes. Prevention and timely treatment are the best ways to minimize or eliminate this problem.

Preventing Diaper Rash
Contact dermatitis is the inflammatory erosion of the epidermis. It occurs with prolonged contact between skin and feces or urine. This type of diaper rash only affects areas in direct contact, and it is recognizable in this manner. Other causes include disruption of the skin's beneficial bacteria and allergic reaction.
Knowing these causes immediately suggests several preventive measures.

* Disposable diapers often contain a variety of chemicals, including whitening agents, chlorine, perfumes, dyes, and synthetic materials for added absorbency. Moisture and warmth cause skin pores to open and allow entry to these chemicals. It is worthwhile to investigate chlorine-free and hypoallergenic diapers.
* Cloth diapers are washed in different detergents. These are possible allergens. If this type of allergy is responsible, it will likely result in a rash anywhere touched by the dampened cloth, so this is easy to test.
* Skin bacteria and yeast are not understood well by modern science. There is a definite interaction between intestinal flora and skin populations. Antibiotics for baby or breastfeeding mom are sometimes responsible for diaper rash.
* Dietary changes also cause changes in intestinal bacteria and presumably diaper rash. Instead of switching to formula in one day, try mixing formula and breast milk in increasing amounts over a week or more. If carrots will be introduced as baby food, a breastfeeding mom can eat carrots too and only provide them to baby in small but increasing amounts.

Treating Diaper Rash
Researchers estimate 25 percent of babies visit the doctor for diaper rash. These visits are largely unnecessary. The rash is rarely serious enough to warrant treatment and is easily treated with a couple of tactics. The first step is to allow the skin to dry and cool. A sheepskin sleeping blanket is easy to clean and waterproof, so diapers are unnecessary during sleeping hours. Zinc oxide, vitamin A and D enhanced ointments, and herbal preparations of witch hazel are all useful. 

If the diaper rash does not go away with treatment, or if you have questions and concerns prior to treating the rash, do not hesitate to call your doctor. Just like your OB doctor was a resource throughout pregnancy for guidance on topics such as immunizations, cord blood banking, and circumcision your baby’s Pediatrician will guide you in these sorts of situations.

The most important factors influencing propensity to diaper rash are nutrition and hygiene. Staying clean and gradually changing the diet will prevent most occurrences. If a rash fails to clear with the
suggested treatment, it is time to visit the doctor. Keeping baby healthy is the best way to reduce mom's and baby’s stress.

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Trading in My Title

Do I still call myself an actress?
For many years, even before I was making any money as an actress, I identified myself to anyone who would ask, that yes, I AM AN ACTRESS.  I always felt that unless I claimed it, it wouldn't happen.  So I have been an actress for most of my life.  Getting paid for it for the past 20 years.  It's who I've always been.  And when I made the decision to leave LA and search for something MORE, the next phase in my life, I had no idea that I'd be trading in my title as "actress" for "Mom".  
It's funny, because I still have difficulty with that transition.  When other moms ask me what I do for a living, or used to do - I still say I'm an actress - even though I'm not actively pursuing a career.  I coach kids on their upcoming auditions, I do career consulting for new actors, I'll even cast your film if you hire me, or produce a project.  I have worn many titles, but actress has always spilled off my tongue first.  I think it will always be a part of who I am.  Maybe I'm just not used to simply saying, "I'm a mom now.  I stay home with my babies."  
I do think about getting more involved with my career, but I'm not sure why.  Boredom?  Maybe because it's safe?  - it's what I know?  
It's not that I want to work again.  Isn't that weird?  

So its time to pass the torch.  
I took my babies to an audition last weekend for an industrial shooting here in Austin.  Their first audition, actually.  Ivy got a callback.  :)  She goes Friday afternoon, and I couldn't be more excited for her!  I'd much rather be on set for her, than myself.  And I don't plan on being the stage mom, and moving back to LA for pilot season (well, unless she happens to have an amazing talent - then how can I deny her??  ;))  But taking them to an audition here and there (which are few and far between in their age bracket and city), would be fun and get us out of the house.  Maybe even make some college money??  Who knows?

But I'm liking my new title as Mom, the one who takes care of these beautiful babies.

Monday, September 17, 2012

**Beware of Scammers**

This weekend, a company arrived in my old hometown and gathered almost 1,000 locals in a "talent search" for young stars.  NOTHING angers me more than someone trying to take advantage of another person, except for when that person is a hopeful kid with a dream.  They promise success and lure these people into paying THOUSANDS of dollars in classes and workshops giving hope that their kid will be the next star on Disney or Nickelodeon or "High School Musical 4".
Listen to me:  DO NOT give them your money.  What they are telling you is bullshit.
Whenever you run into someone who says that you can be famous or have all these opportunities if you just pay money upfront is a scam.  ANYONE who asks for money upfront is a scam.  An agent or manager will take a small percentage off of work you book (usually 10-15%).  You do not pay them weekly or monthly.
It makes me SO MAD that they sit these people in a room, and they talk a nice talk, and get everyone excited and hopeful - and none of these dreams they can deliver on.
If your kid has talent, find an agent.  Get them auditioning, if that's what they've always wanted to do.  But let me tell you, it's hard work and a commitment on the parents end.  You will have to take them out of town a lot for auditions, maybe even LA.  Or better yet, have them take Theater Arts in their school and audition for local plays.  Let them figure out if this is what they want.  You do not need to fork over thousands of dollars to a company that can NOT do anything for your child's career.  If your kid is going to be the next big star on Disney, it's because they AUDITIONED for the CASTING DIRECTOR.  Not some company.  And an audition is always free.  Always.
If you have any questions, or are not sure if you are being scammed, and want to ask me for advice - feel free to email me.  I try and do what I can to help those who are just starting out.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Good News!

Ivy doesn't need a helmet!
They scanned her head and told me she is not a candidate for one.  In fact, she has a beautifully round head.  The doctor even went further and said she would hope her patients ended up with Ivy's shape AFTER using the helmet!  Great news!   YAY!!!
I decided not to take Nicolas with me on the appointment, which meant that I had to drop him off at a playcare facility for a couple of hours.  It's only my second time leaving him somewhere so I'm still a bit nervous.  I want him to not be traumatized and to have fun!  And trusting complete strangers to take care of your baby is TOUGH.  I'm always hoping they treat him well and he has fun.  Since he can't talk yet, he can't tell me.  :(

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Trying to Make Time for Everything Else...

Between one year doctor's appointments, 6 month check ups, dentist appointments, Baby and Me classes and story time at the neighborhood library, it's no wonder why we need to hire a housekeeper to tend to this house!  I barely have time to shower!  I had to move my daily morning shower to the evening, just so I don't have it interrupt our busy day!
Being a mom is exhausting!
But I'm trying to find time for me in the whirlwind of parenting.  Whether that means having dinner with girlfriends I haven't seen in a while, or taking off to watch a movie or play.  Sometimes I just need a quick break.  And in the midst of trying to find my groove with all this, I've decided to privately coach and consult other actors in their career.  Not sure when I will find the time to do this, but in a way - this is something for me.
My sweet Ivy turned 6 months old this week.  She has an appointment tomorrow to check if her head is so flat in the back that she needs a helmet.  :(  I didn't realize how common this was!  I felt like a horrible parent when her doctor told me the chances of her needing one.  I felt like maybe I didn't give her enough tummy time.  Or I let her sleep too much. (This little girl sleeps SO much!  I'm beginning to feel she is narcoleptic!)  Or maybe I didn't give her enough attention while I've been busy chasing around Nicolas.   I'm hoping she doesn't need it, especially since she has learned to sit up by herself and almost learning to crawl.  We'll see tomorrow...