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Preemie Born at 23 Weeks Celebrates 1st Birthday

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 by No Comments

First birthdays are special, but for 25-year-old Rachel Crockett, the celebration for her son Conner marked a milestone many said would never happen.

Back when her water broke at 23 weeks, doctors delivered the bad news. Her baby was going to die. But when she saw his heartbeat on the scan, she knew differently. She knew she could save him.

Studies show that babies born at 39 to 41 weeks of pregnancy do better than those born 37 or even 38 weeks. When Rachel’s water broke at 23 weeks, her doctors told her she would miscarry.

In the UK, abortion is limited to 25 weeks or less. Rachel and her partner Craig Walkow told the doctors they wanted to save the baby, but even though Conner’s heart still beat, they were told her “case” would be treated as a miscarriage.

Desperate, they knew they had to find a specialist hospital to save their baby. They found one 39 miles away, but doctors said she couldn’t be transferred unless the hemorrhaging stopped.

Time was running out. She did the only thing she could think. She lied and said the bleeding had stopped.

They made the transfer to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and a day later she gave birth to Conner. She was only 23 weeks and two days along and the baby came into the world weighing only 1 pound 2 ounces.

“We thought we would never get the baby we always wanted, but I pushed them.” Rachel Crockett via the Daily Mail

Conner celebrated his first birthday in October, 2014. It was a milestone many didn’t think would ever happen.

Conner was in the hospital for the first 7 months of his life. He suffered many setbacks including fungal meningitis, perforated bowels, and a brain bleed. He also had to undergo eye surgery to have his retinas reattached after they started to detach due to a condition brought about by the ventilators.

While Connor has already faced more challenges than many children face their entire childhood, with more undoubtedly in the future, Rachel doesn’t regret her decision. In fact, now she calls on maternity units to do more to save babies who are routinely considered “unviable.”

She is also pushing to have the abortion limit amended to 20 weeks. She says, “I think the abortion limit should be lowered to 20 weeks – especially considering what happened with Conner. By then, you can see their sex – they are a person.”

Photo credits: wikimedia

Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor Is Smart and User-friendly

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by No Comments

Baby monitors offer peace of mind and a measure of freedom to get other things done while baby sleeps.

Levana’s new Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor does more than just keep an eye on your baby. It has the ability to pan/tilt/zoom and record and is even equipped with the ability to play lullabies.

When you hear about all this baby monitor can do, you might think it would be complicated to use, but the 3.5 inch touch panel features intuitive graphic icons that make it a user-friendly monitor option.

With such technology, I can’t help but think of how my mom used to talk about having eyes in the back of her head. Now we can have eyes all over the house! The Keera Baby Monitor features a camera that operates smoothly and silently from anywhere in the house.

It lets you adjust the camera view horizontally (300 degrees) and vertically (110 degrees), plus you can zoom in to get a closer look if you want. It’s a great way to see what your child is doing whether they are asleep or playing. It also lets you record video and take pictures with a 2GB micro SD card if you want to capture something adorable or funny!

The Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor equips parents with super powers to see what’s going on anywhere in the house. It runs on a powerful battery designed to last up to 24 hours and the monitor and camera can be set to “sleep” when there is no noise in the nursery to extend battery life. When the baby wakes and makes any sound, the camera and monitor activate.

The Smart LED Indicator Ring changes with the sound of your baby’s voice so you can tell how loudly your baby is crying even if the monitor is on mute. Sensitivity controls can be adjusted to suit your needs.

This monitor also includes an interactive feature that let’s you talk to your baby through the two-way Talk to Baby intercom. Use it to sooth them and let them know you’re on your way.

Photo credits: Amazon

Royal Baby Number 2 Due in April

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 by No Comments

Prince William and his wife Kate have formally announced their second child is due in April.

That ends speculation as to when, and amid rumors of a baby girl on the way, they did not reveal whether they are expecting another son or a little girl. However, the formal announcement did rule out twins by using the singular word “baby.”

Kate has been out of the public eye with severe morning sickness since September 8 when the world found out she was expecting again. Since then, royal watchers have been waiting for any bit of news or a glimpse of the popular Duchess of Cambridge.

As for the due date, now, we can quit guessing and mark our calendars for April, the same month the royal couple will celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary on the 29th.

“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2015.” – official palace press release

As for Kate’s morning sickness, Kensington Palace has said that her condition is “steadily improving,” and if all goes according to plan she will return to her schedule of engagements on Tuesday, October 21, when she is to accompany her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, to welcome the president of Singapore and his wife.

The Duchess usually keeps quite a busy social schedule, so her absence has left a big hole. Along with greeting the President of Singapore and his wife, she is also planning to attend the Wildlife of the Year Awards Ceremony at the Natural History Museum on Tuesday evening. Only time will tell if she is really up to it.

Now that she will be back in the public eye, I’m sure we’ll be seeing every phase of royal baby bump number 2 and the Duchess’ maternity fashion choices highlighted at every occasion.

The baby will be a brother or sister to one-year-old Prince George and will be fourth in line to the British throne following Prince Charles (grandfather), Prince William (father), and Prince George (brother). While Prince George is a direct heir to the throne, the new baby is considered his alternate.

Photo credits: Paulo Carvalho

Timeless Baby Names

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 by 1 Comment

With my first child I decided to go with a name I thought was different…unique but pretty. I chose a name I’d never heard before that was easy to pronounce and meant flower.

By the time she was three the name had become so popular it seemed like one out of three little girls had the same unique name as my daughter.

With my son, I chose a more traditional name and while it was somewhat popular, it turned out to be less so than the new trendy name I had chosen for my daughter.

With that experience in mind, if you really want your child’s name to be special, you might just be safer going with a timeless baby name. What do I mean by that? It’s one of those names that’s been around but never grown old.

Like music, you can call these 10 baby boy names and 10 baby girl names classics. I’ve included their meanings to help you find that perfect name.

Classic Baby Boy Names

  1. Alexander – defender of the people
  2. Charles – free man
  3. George – farmer
  4. James – supplanter
  5. John – God is gracious
  6. Matthew – gift of God
  7. Max – greatest
  8. Ryan – descendant of the king
  9. Sam – shortened form of Samuel which means his name is God
  10. William – strong-willed warrior

Classic Baby Girl Names

  1. Anna – gracious, merciful
  2. Bridget – exalted, lofty
  3. Caroline – beautiful woman
  4. Emma – universal
  5. Helen – light
  6. Julia – youthful, downy
  7. Kate – pure
  8. Margaret – pearl
  9. Mary – of the sea, or bitter
  10. Sarah – princess

While some of these names seem old-fashioned, most of them sound relevant for today. In fact, I can’t help but think of the royal family with the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, and his new son Prince George, and even the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. I guess they are classics right down to their names.

Photo credits: sigckgc

Man Arrested After Calling Wife Fat 2 Days After Giving Birth

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 by 1 Comment

Back when I had my first baby, the doctor told me to keep my weight gain to 15-18 pounds for the entire pregnancy. Amazingly I did it.

Yet even with that, I’ll never forget lying on the hospital bed after giving birth, turning on my side and realizing that my flabby belly was resting on the bed beside me. As a first-time mom riding a hormonal roller coaster of happiness mingled with uncertainty that I was up to the job, it was a mental adjustment to say the least.

Would my body ever return to pre-baby fitness? What would I wear home from the hospital? Nothing would fit, so it was maternity clothes.

I can’t imagine what I would have done if had come home to a husband who called me “fat” or told me to quit being lazy so I’d burn calories. And all this when my daughter was two days old!!

No that didn’t happen to me, but that’s exactly what happened to one Georgia woman. She and her husband got into an argument after the dog pooped in the house and he told her to “quit being lazy and burn some calories” by cleaning it up. Remember we’re talking two days after giving birth.

During the exchange he told her he didn’t take off work to help her out after giving birth, but to have a “vacation.” He went on and threatened to leave her because she was fat!

She walked out the door and went to a neighbor’s house where she called the police for help in removing her personal belongings and the baby from the home. When the police arrived, the husband said his wife was only acting like that because of “female problems.”

These situations can be tricky for the police, but it turns out that when the husband told the wife to go f*** herself, he was taken away in handcuffs and charged with disorderly conduct. I have some good ideas for an “appropriate” sentence for this guy, how about you?

Photo credits: wikimedia

Kids, Sugar, and Halloween

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 by 1 Comment

With Halloween around the corner, I think back to my favorite treats.

I was never a candy corn fan. It made it into my family’s “do not like” bowl. When we came home with our hoard of candy, we’d pick through it and fill up the bowl with the stuff we didn’t want.

That was our parent’s candy to eat, and they seemed to like it all.

Now I find that some of the candies I liked best then are on the Least Favorite Halloween Candy List now, like Sugar Daddys. Yes, they were sticky, but their sweeter-than-caramel goodness lasted. Good and Plenty is another candy for the reject pile according to the list, and one I still buy occasionally today.

The biggest surprise on the list for me was “any” hot cinnamon candy, since that was and is a favorite for me. In fact, I recently bought a package of Atomic Fireballs for in the car on vacation.

All in all, I liked all but two of the candies that made the reject list and all I can do is think of my parents with that “do not like bowl.” They liked everything we put in there, and now if you filled a do-not-like bowl with the candies on this list, I’d eat almost all of them.

Even though I still have a sweet tooth, these days I lean more toward things like homemade cookies. Back then, it was like I could just keep eating piece after piece of candy, if my parents let me.

Turns out there is a biological reason for that and the research shows that our tastes actually do change regarding sweets as we grow older.

Recent scientific findings show that kids who are still growing have a “heightened preference for sweet-tasting foods and beverages during childhood.”

That same study says, “The liking for sweet tastes during development may have ensured the acceptance of sweet-tasting foods, such as mother’s milk and fruits. Moreover, recent research suggests that liking for sweets may be further promoted by the pain-reducing properties of sugars.”

That pain-reducing property may be why I go to sugar when I’m feeling down, but that’s a story for another day.

It’s no secret that kids like candy, and that they can eat a lot of it if we let them. It’s up to us to make sure our younger kids don’t overdo it.

Around age 15 or 16, when growth has stopped, the study showed taste preferences similar to adults. As a mom, I’m not so sure those findings are quite accurate.

Photo credits: Thomas

Book of Pictures for Baby’s Birthday

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 by No Comments

With digital cameras, iPhones, and other devices at the ready, I think we have more baby pictures than ever. Yet where are they? By the time your child is three, can you put your finger on exactly where pictures are from year one?

One thing I’ve started to do for the babies in my life is to make up a photo book just for them. I like to choose an album that has the little window for a picture to be embedded in the front cover. This type of photo book is a year at a glance.

I started doing this when my girlfriend’s phone crashed and she lost all her son’s pictures from the first year. Fortunately, I had quite a collection and put them in chronological order. She loved it, and her little boy does, too.

Jeremiah Book

Another thing I’ve done is to make up “read to me” photo books. This takes more time, but the kids love it. I title them things like, “Jeremiah Is Two!” and start with some birthday pictures with captions, and add to it throughout the year.

It’s not as fancy as scrapbooking but it’s a great way to capture milestones and tell a short version of “this is my life” year two (or whatever time frame you want to cover).

Fun things like, “When Jeremiah was two he liked to eat pancakes with a fork” show him learning to use a fork and that he liked pancakes. Plus it’s a great opportunity to tell stories they’ll carry with them the rest of their lives.

For these, I print out pictures on a piece of paper using large colorful letters to tell the story. If you want to get fancy and use a computer program, that’s fine, but a marker works and gives it a fun, age-appropriate look.

I put the finished sheets in a binder with the pages in protective plastic so grubby little fingers can turn the pages without causing damage.

With all these pictures at our disposal, let’s use them! What do you do with your baby pictures?

Photo credits: Personal photos used with permission

Kate Middleton Morning Sickness Waning

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 by 1 Comment

Kate Middleton has been out of the public eye since Kensington Palace made the official announcement that she is expecting her second child with Prince William last month.

Just like when she was expecting Prince George, she is suffering from a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. It’s caused her to cancel multiple royal engagements including her first solo tour to Malta at the end of September.

However, it looks like she’s ready to step back into the limelight.

According to Us Weekly, the “Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to greet the President of Singapore and his wife during a royal engagement on Oct. 21.”

The royal couple is scheduled to meet with their guests on behalf of Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Garden Hotel in London and as of now it looks like Kate plans to be there.

A Kensington Palace source told Us that the intensity of the Duchess’ sickness took everyone by surprise, but that the baby is well and that Kate Middleton is doing her best to stay healthy.

During her absence, she has written letters of apology. One such letter written when she had to cancel her appearance for the launch of The Art Room’s ninth center in the U.K. In it she says, “I am truly sorry that I cannot be with you all today as you celebrate this milestone. As patron of The Art Room, I feel great pride to see the work that the charity is doing. Vulnerable children flourish in the safe havens that The Art Room provides; this highlights just how important it is to support children at a time when they most need help and support.”

I hope she feels well soon as she presses forward to meet all her obligations. Part of me wonders if she is having another boy since this pregnancy is mimicking her first. I only say that because I experienced heartburn with my daughter but not with my son.

Time will tell, but I’d love to see them have a little Princess, wouldn’t you? No one knows officially how far along Kate is, but rumor has it the baby is due in April 2015.

Photo credits: The Incredible World

Skinfix a Centuries Old Diaper Rash Cream

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 by No Comments

I’m a fan of natural products, and I just learned about a centuries old remedy for diaper rash. It’s called Skinfix Diaper Rash Cream. The recipe for this cream was originally blended by a man by the name of Thomas Dixon in Victorian England in 1850. He sold the formula in his store.

The family recipe for this cream was passed down through British Pharmacopoeia and is an all-natural blend of botanicals, vitamins and minerals designed to prevent and heal skin problems from head to toe.

In 2007, Thomas Dixon’s great-great-great granddaughter brought Skinfix into existence as a skincare brand that’s all natural, and fragrance- and paraben free. That means it can be used to help heal your baby’s diaper rash, but also eczema, chafing, and heat rash, too.

My kids didn’t get diaper rash often, but it seemed no matter how careful I was they did get diaper rash from time to time. In fact, it’s one of the ways I knew my son was teething. While it may be a “harmless” rash, it certainly can make our babies fussy! I wish I would have known about Skinfix when they were in diapers!

Skinfix has been pediatrician and dermatologist tested, and has been shown to relieve diaper rash in just one application according to 90 percent of the moms who have tried it. In the short time Skinfix has been an official brand, it has grown into a national business but it wasn’t until 2013 that they launched in the U.S.

This is one product that offers everything we could look for in the natural realm, without the work of making it ourselves! And since it’s worked for more than a century, I’d say it’s been well tested!

No matter how careful you are, your little one will probably get diaper rash at some point. Most babies do. So plan ahead.  Learn how to treat diaper rash, plus prevent flare-ups. Your baby’s little bottom will thank you!

Photo credits: Joanna Lane