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    Chiropractor Mama Dr. Dolly and professional photographer Elisa B. share about adventures in intentional and natural parenting while living in Virginia's beautiful Blue Ridge.
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Pay it forward, plus

Here’s a few opportunities to give and get a little more than that warm, fuzzy feeling inside knowing you helped spread the good on this planet.

If those ideas don’t nab ya, then how about taking a meal to a friend or neighbor in need, send a thank you card to someone who deserves it, and tell your child, “I love you.”

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Health Happy Round-Up: Safe & Healthy Tips for Weight Loss

Welcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up that  focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, or tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote in this month’s health newsletter from Spinal Health & Wellness.   There’s some great tips for weight loss, especially for new moms.  Enjoy!


Crash diets and sporadic exercise plans may not only prevent you from reaching a desired goal of losing excess weight and maintaining those results, but they can also lead to some serious health risks to the sudden (instead of gradual) stress on your organs and joints.
There are safer methods than yo-yo diets or weekend warrior workouts:
  1. There’s evidence that breastfeeding and taking probiotic enzymes may help new moms shed post-partum pounds.
  2. A study conducted over 12 weeks found that exercise alone (1 hour per day, that can be split up into 2 to 3 intervals instead of continuous) without dietary restrictions resulted in substantial weight loss. Read more.
  3. Reduce sugar intake…that includes fructose that is linked to weight gain.  In fact, fructose converts more cells to fat than any other sugar!
  4. Drink more water.  Your cells and your body are comprised of 70% water, but how much do you drink?  Simple formula: drink half of your body weight in ounces.  For example, if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water per day.  If you’re well below this average, slowly increase by 1 cup per day.  If you’re pregnant, nursing, or in hot and arid climates, you should increase your water intake even more than the general formula.

Remember, always consult your physician if you begin a weight loss program and feel dizzy or unwell…be safe, be healthy, and be well!

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Happy Green Baby — Seminar Scoop

happy-green-baby1Thanks to everyone who participated in today’s seminar!  What a fun group.  For those of you who couldn’t make it and are out of town, no worries…get your Happy Green Baby highlights right here.

As promised, I’ve collected all the links and info into one location to serve as your Happy Green Baby information headquarters.  Don’t forget to bookmark this post for future reference.

Cloth Diapers

Feeding Baby



Family-Friendly Grand Opening

As a friendly reminder, I hope to see you at the grand opening festivities for Spinal Health & Wellness on Thursday, October 8th from 4PM to 7PM.  We want to make this fun-filled event enjoyable for the entire family. Participating vendors are offering FREE portrait sittings, chair massage, face painting, and kid-friendly snacks. There’s also fabulous door prizes including 8×10 portraits, HappyBaby coupons and snack samples, and much more.

Healthy Mama Workshop

healthy mama smallI’ll be back at Downtown ACAC on Saturday, November 7th as the featured speaker for the Pre-Natal and Post-Natal seminar series offering a Healthy Mama Workshop that begins at 11:45 AM.

Moms will learn safe and ergonomic postural considerations for both parent and baby while babywearing.  Also, augment the breastfeeding bonding experience by caring for mom and baby’s back needs.  This workshop will teach you how to stay comfortable longer while wearing baby–preventing spine or pelvis injuries on baby.  You’ll also learn body support tips for the most common nursing positions, and caring for your baby’s back from infancy to toddlerhood.

Bring your baby carrier/sling and nursing pillow, if you use them.

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Happy Green Baby

Hey Moms!

If you’re in the central Virginia area this coming weekend, stop by for a  one-hour class on simple ways to go green–an intro to cloth diapering and preparing homemade organic baby food from scratch–at Charlottesville’s Downtown ACAC (111 Monticello Ave.) on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 at 11:45AM. This event is free and open to the public as part of ACAC’s pre-natal and post-natal seminars.

Happy Green Baby classes focus on surrounding a baby with a safe and and healthy environment, void of synthetic chemicals and harmful toxins.  This class will teach parents simple ways to go green, through an introduction to cloth diapering and creating homemade organic baby food, as well as a brief overview on wisely choosing items that come in contact with a baby’s mouth and precious skin, such as non-toxic bottles, baby skincare and baby sun care.

The workshop will be led by me…besides editing Traveling with Baby, I’m also a Chiropractic Physician practicing in Charlottesville.

I’m excited to offer Happy Green Baby to parents.  There’s enough learning curves involved with a new baby; I want to help parents feel confident and simplify the learning curve involved with raising a healthy, happy, and green baby.

For more information on Happy Green Baby, please call the office at (434) 566-0126 or visit www.scoliosisdoc.com.

I hope to see you there!

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Charlottesville Life

Just over a week ago, Calvin’s grandparents and cousin M came to town to visit and take Calvin on adventures in the local area.  We had a crowded apartment, but a fun visit.  Calvin was so entertained, that I was able to make it to several networking events.

My friend Elisa of ElisaB Photography invited me to a girlfriend-networking event hosted by SuzySaid.com at Millmont Grill.

ElisaB (with baby Lucian) & Dr. Dolly at the SuzySaid event - we match!ElisaB (and baby Lucian) with Dr. Dolly at the SuzySaid.com event.  We match!

There were yummy appetizers and lots of galpal networking in a small group of entrepreneurial women.  What a blast!

SuzySaidAmy of SuzySaid.com

SuzySaid.com (Amy) was a great hostess who shared some of Millmont Grill’s best appetizer’s with us–they collected school supplies for children in need as part of the event.

I also met Jenee Libby of Edible CVille who writes a fab food blog.  I also met Jennifer Hamlin of Events with Panache–Jennifer is planning the grand opening bash for my practice Spinal Health & Wellness.  I’m so excited about this!

The next evening, I attended C-Ville’s Best of 2009 bash in a parking garage in downtown Charlottesville.  I guess the location was appropriate since  the Charlottesville Derby Dames was the featured entertainment.

Charlottesville Derby DamesCheck out these tough gals on wheels.  I love the descriptive blurb in their program:

By day we are mothers, nurses, teachers, vets, bartenders, artists and more; by night we are rock stars on wheels, passionate about a sport that combines athleticism, showmanship, firece competition, and a mischievous good time.

Talk about having an alternate personality on the track!

I enjoyed the organic apple cider donuts and organic sno-cones–yes there IS such a thing, and Carpe Donut has them in CVille.  Seriously, the best donuts I’ve ever had.  If there is such a sugary thing to splurge on, well, this is it!

Carpe Donut

Dr. Dolly enjoying an organic grape snoconeI hadn’t had a snocone in a decade, and I felt like a kid again.  That’s why I was wearing a flashing jelly ring and light-up plastic guitar necklace.  The free swag was lots of fun, but I ended up sharing it with my very cool niece and very cute son.

After I left the party, I joined up with my family on the Downtown Mall to get some real food.  Okay, it was pizza with mozzarella, fresh tomato slices, and fresh basil, but that’s better than downing donuts and hotdogs (a.k.a. not real food).

We cruised the mall stopping to enjoy live music along the way like a barbershop quartet.

Barbershop Quartet on Charlottesville's Downtown MallThen, we ran into a guy with a 150 pound boa constrictor.  It was beautiful, but it looked very heavy.  If I ever think carrying my toddler around is a stress on my back, I can’t imagine how this guy must feel.

Man with 150-pound boa constrictor15 year-old snakeThe proud owner let us touch the snake’s back.  Calvin thought it was cool, but he was a little freaked out.  When he’s older, I think he’ll totally dig snakes.


Psst.  Stay tuned for some fun giveaways in the next couple of weeks.  Also, on Labor Day, I’m starting a new feature on amazing and inspiring women.  Can’t wait for y’all to check it out.  So, stay tuned!

–By Dr. Dolly
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Weekend Update: Runners, Balloons, and Tigers. Oh, My!

Calvin’s been gnawing on his fingers all week long.  The chewing combined with excessive fussiness, picky eating, and constantly needing mommy to hold him tells me that he must certainly be teething.

Here we go again!

Two year-old molars are the next to surface, and I hope they don’t take months and months to break through the gums.  I don’t know if Calvin Steve and I can take it!

I packed away my mei tai carrier a couple months ago since Calvin’s running and jumping and yearning for more and more independence all the time.  But, this week, I rummaged through every bin and shelf until I located it.  Babywearing my teething toddler has been such a sanity check in the early evening while I’m trying to prepare dinner.

Saturday morning, I woke up very early to make it to the University of Virginia track by 7:15 A.M. to set up a table for the Women’s Four-Miler Training Program.  I was cordially invited (representing my chiropractic practice) to attend to answer questions about running injuries, stretches, and other similar inquiries.  This super-energized program is mostly geared to helping new or first-time runners safely and effectively train for 11 weeks to complete a four mile race.  Proceeds from the event raise money for breast cancer research.

There were over 1000 women at the track early on Saturday morning doing their run or walk workout, stretching out together and listening to pumped up music blaring over loud speakers.  This phenomenal program is currently led by the friendly and mega-energetic Joan Esposito.

Joan Esposito at the Women's Four Miler Training Program on the UVa track

Joan Esposito at the Women's Four Miler Training Program on the UVa track

That morning, I left the home before my son awoke.

Once I got home, Steve told me that he took Calvin with him to the City Market to buy produce and grass-fed beef.  Calvin was grumpy and fussy, and he said “Mama” non-stop.

So, what happened once I walked into the door to greet him?

Nothing.  He looked up casually as if to say, “Oh, you’re here now.  Whatever.”  Then, he kept playing with his toy cars.  If his world was falling apart because I wasn’t around, he certainly wasn’t going to let me know it.

However, he didn’t have another fussy meltdown for the rest of the day.  So, I guess that’s a plus.

We breakfasted together as a family, then Steve dashed off to complete some tree cutting work.  Meanwhile, Calvin and I attended the fun and lively open house of the UVA Child Development Labs.  Calvin had participated in some studies earlier in the summer, but it was loads of fun to play with balloons and bubbles, listen to live music, finger paint, and eat yummy snacks.

Up and away at UVA's CDL

Up and away at UVA's CDL

Pssst.  It’s free to sign up your child ages 0-10 to participate in studies that help the psychology undergraduate and graduate students.  I was a psychology major in undergraduate, and I would have loved to observe or learn from studies with children instead of solely reading about childhood learning through a textbook.  The tests are short, usually playtime fun, and you get to observe your child the entire time!

Calvin's first tattooWhen Calvin got his first temporary tatoo, he didn’t know quite what to do with it.  He sorta scratched at it and looked puzzled.  I told him it was a Tiger booboo.  That seemed to make sense to him.

finger painting at the UVA CDL open houseHands down (no pun intended), Calvin’s favorite activity of the day was the finger painting.  He kept running back to the table, butting in front of other kids and smashing his hands on the table.  I think I’ll look up a recipe to create washable homemade finger paints so we can continue the fun at home.

Old Time Music received a standing ovation from Calvin

Old Time Music received a standing ovation from Calvin

Calvin had a busy day with us.  I love the free family fun in Charlottesville!  Hope y’all had a great weekend.

Tell me what you did with your family!

–By Dr. Dolly
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Weekend Update: City Market

I love me some Saturday morning sights, sounds, and smells at Cville’s bustling City Market.  Sue, the world’s greatest Chiropractic Technician, and I set up our table by 7:30AM to provide complimentary blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) screenings for Spinal Health & Wellness.

Blood Pressure Screenings at Charlottesville's City Market

Blood Pressure Screenings at Charlottesville's City Market

Several folks stopped by for their free screening.  Unfortunately, almost everyone had coffee (City Market staple) before getting their blood pressure checked.  In case you didn’t know, caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor and can drive up blood pressure a few points.

After Calvin and his Daddy walked around the market grabbing a few essential produce items, they stopped by our table for support and hugs.

Family Reunion 055

I just love the way my husband is adoringly looking at our sweet son. The blood pressure screenings were such a huge hit, that we’ll do it again next month, and maybe even through the rest of the market season.

Sunday is our typical relaxation day.  After spending the morning at church, we head home to quickly get Calvin fed before he collapses in a tired heap on his crib.  While he naps, Steve and I sometimes watch a Netflix movie or take our own naps.  Church-lunch-nap takes up the majority of the day.  If the weather’s nice (read: NOT blazing hot), and we’re feeling up to it, we ‘ll embark on a family walk or hike.

Craft Inspiration Attack

I’m going to start a new craft project.  By new, I mean something other than photographs and photo books.

I LOVED crafting as a kid, but that creative spark kinda got shoved under the rug when I hit the academically intensive track in high school.

Last week, I found this farm friends quiet book page on Homemade by Jill.  Suddenly, I grew nostalgic and remembered my treasured quiet book when I was a kid.

I absolutely needed to make one for Calvin.

I kept searching online and found patterns and more inspiration from a seasonal-inspired felt quiet book at Martha Stewart to several creative quiet book projects by creative and talented moms (A Lasting Love Fest, Making Ends Meet).

I love the free pattern at Modest Maven.  I’ll use the basics on this book to create the canvas for the pages and the quilted cover.  However, I’m going to go about this book in the economic-friendly way and use fabric scraps to inspire the pages similar to Homemade by Jill.

I can work with a sewing machine to do some basic things.  Forget embroidery.  I never had the patience or skill to pull that off without many, many mistakes.  I’ll stick to fabric markers instead.  Also, instead of creating ALL the pages, I’ve begun to delegate the task to some family members (starting with grandmas, but I’d love to ask his aunts, too).

I think this loving project will be cherished by Calvin and his future siblings for many years with the combined creativity from several family members.

As I being this project, I’ll blog about it and keep you posted.  I like to finish projects that I start.  Crafting projects have a tendency to get shoved by the wayside if they’re too difficult to complete (note: don’t get me any project that involves embroidery.  It just won’t happen).

I fully intend to finish this Quiet Book.  Goal completion date is Calvin’s 2nd birthday at the end of October.  I should have plenty of time, right?

I purchased muslin and interface (on sale at JoAnn’s fabrics), and I’m beginning to collect fabric scraps from friends.  I’m committed!

If you haven’t already, check out Part II of this week’s Weekend Update.

Your turn:

How was your weekend?  What’s your favorite way to relax with your family?

Have you started a crafting project lately?

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly