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

Casual Maternity Wardrobe Basics

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 by 1 Comment

When I was expecting the first time, I didn’t need to actually wear maternity clothes until I was about five-and-a-half or six months along.

By that time, the practical part of me didn’t want to spend a fortune on a maternity wardrobe I’d only be wearing for less than four months. However, on the other hand, I didn’t want to look like a frump making do for that time either. So I decided on a few basics that I could mix and match.

With my daughter, I was due in early spring. So I needed clothes to take me through the last months of winter. For me, essentials included a several long tank tops that I could wear for layering warmth, or just wear around the house when my hormones ran warmer than the thermostat registered.

Finding tank tops long enough to cover a growing belly can be a challenge, but Forever 21 offers several options that can work. I also figured I’d could wear them after the baby was born.

Long-sleeve tees were my other staple wardrobe piece. Calvin Klein long sleeve tees offered enough fashion sense to make me feel like I still looked good, and they were relatively inexpensive.

The one item in my wardrobe that was true maternity wear was my maternity jeans. I confess, at first I just unzipped my regular jeans, but that doesn’t work well when you’re walking around. I tried buying jeans bigger than my normal size, but they really didn’t fit my legs right.

So I broke down and bought three pair of maternity jeans at Old Navy. They fit my legs, and they didn’t look like grandma jeans. I also had a couple pair of leggings I’d wear around the house. All I had to do is slide the waistband under my belly.

The last thing I bought, that I’d never even heard of before, was a maternity bra. Who knew that I would change two cup sizes! I bought bras that doubled as nursing bras so I only had to spend money once on bras I wouldn’t be wearing post nursing.

If you’re expecting, my recommendation is don’t bother putting off getting clothes you can wear through your pregnancy. You’re going to have to buy them anyway. Go ahead and shop for clothes you like, maternity pants that still look like regular jeans, and shirts that will cover your belly.

And just so you know, my shirts were too stretched out to wear when I wasn’t pregnant.

photo credit: Helga Weber via photopin cc

Mom Hides Baby in Truck to Avoid Ticket

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 by 1 Comment

Police in Lauderdale Lakes, FL spotted a Dodge Stratus driving with a headlight out. They attempted to pull the car over, but the driver drove for almost another quarter of a mile before coming to a stop.

It turns out that the driver, 19-year-old Breona Synclair Watkins, used that time to have a 14-year-old male passenger in the car stash her 5-month-old baby boy in the truck because she didn’t have a car seat. She was trying to avoid being ticketed.

When the car came to a stop, the mom gave police a name and birthdate that did not check out. It was the name of the owner of the car who later said she hadn’t given permission for Watkins to use her car.

Watkins finally gave them her correct name and they found she didn’t have a license. They took her into custody and placed her in the backseat of the squad car. It was then that they heard crying and found the baby in the truck along with a tire iron, a used gas can, plastic bags, and other items.

What started as a routine stop for a burned out headlight turned into her arrest for charges including child abuse, resisting an officer, driving without a license, and failure to have a child restraint. I think if we asked her now, she’d prefer a ticket for not having the car seat.

Why on earth would any mom think of putting their baby in the truck? The fact that Watkins was already in the backseat of the squad car when the police heard the baby crying makes me wonder what she would have done if the baby didn’t cry. Would she have said nothing to keep herself out of more trouble? I can understand she was afraid, but the choices she made were not in the baby’s interest.

According to Watkin’s confession, the baby was originally being held on the lap of a 14-year-old minor when the police turned on their pursuit lights. She told the teenage boy to hide the baby in the trunk so she wouldn’t get a ticket for no car seat. That was all going on for the quarter mile the police followed them with lights flashing.

She bonded out on $7,000 and last I saw relatives are awaiting custody.

Photo credits: Hezakya Starr

Study Says You Can’t Teach Your Baby to Read

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 by 1 Comment

We all want the best for our kids. Sometimes as new parents we fret over small things like our child’s lack of hair, how many teeth they have or don’t have, when they start to sit up, roll over, or crawl, when compared to other babies.

Most of the time there’s no need to worry, and I often remind new moms that by the time their kids enter kindergarten, they’ll have their teeth, hair, and will be able to walk and run without giving it a second thought.

But while we can’t do anything to hurry hair growth, when it comes to academic skills, can we give our babies a jumpstart by using teaching products designed to give them an edge by learning to read?

According to a new study, the answer is no.

The study conducted from New York University’s education school worked with 117 children aged 10 to 18 months and their families. Some babies were introduced to the Your Baby Can Read program, while the rest received no such help.

Over seven months, the researchers assessed a number of metrics of language development and reading comprehension, and they determined that the babies did not learn to read.

Results showed that babies who completed the program scored the same as the group who didn’t when measuring early reading skills. According to Susan Neuman, one of the authors of the study, she thinks this conclusion can apply to most programs that claim to teach infants to read.

“I don’t think it’s a problem of the particular product. I think it’s a problem of the issue of development. These children do not have the internal capabilities to learn how to read at this young of an age.” – Susan Neuman

She went on to encourage parents to read to their infants and introduce them to new vocabulary words and pointed out that introducing children to books does develop some psychological and developmental capabilities, but it doesn’t teach them to read.

However, an interesting finding in this study is that while the babies didn’t learn how to read, the parents thought they did. I guess that just goes to show you the power of parent’s hopes and dreams for their kids!

Photo credits: Harald Groven