Category: Parenting

“Mix-up” Not a Word You Want to Hear When Pregnant

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 by No Comments

Another “mix-up” has occurred involving fertility treatments. I can’t imagine going through all those treatments involve, and then the roller coaster of emotions when you find out you’re finally expecting, only to be told the baby is someone else’s.

Right now there is a woman in Rome who is in the headlines for just such a mix-up. She is pregnant with twins but learned the embryos implanted in her are not those of her and her partner. The mistake is said to be the result of the fact that four couples received treatment that day.

The woman learned of the error when she was three months pregnant and told there was “genetic incompatibility” between the babies and the parents. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened.

In 2009 an Ohio woman implanted with the wrong embryos chose to carry the baby to term rather than to terminate the pregnancy. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy and handed him over to his biological parents. In another in-vitro mix up, a San Francisco woman pregnant with another couple’s embryos didn’t learn of the mix-up until 10 months after the baby was born. When the biological father learned he had a son, he sued for custody and was granted shared custody.

The first story I remember about such a mix-up was about a white Staten Island couple who gave birth to a black baby. At the time, the court ruled that the biological parents were granted full custody. That happened back in 1999. Mix-ups don’t seem happen often but when they do, the consequences are far reaching.

Everyone wishes they never happened and part of me wonders if they happen more than we know. But beyond that conjecture, I hope those doing this important procedure learn from such mistakes and put policies in place to makes sure whatever went wrong isn’t repeated.

Photo credits: Saravanan Lakshmanan

The Original Loom Boom Hosts the 1st Annual Loomy Awards

Posted on Apr 22, 2014 by 1 Comment

Do your children enjoy making rubber band bracelets? If so, The Original Loom Boom is a must-have accessory.

The Original Loom Boom is a simple way to organize, display, and transport rubber band loom bracelet creations. Bracelets can be stored on the top cylinder and extra bands can be stored in the divided sections at the bottom. The cylinder itself is removable in case your child wants to bring it to a playdate with friends.

Each Loom Boom holds 40 bracelets and well over 100 extra bands. The product is available at Toys R Us stores nationwide.

As someone who hates clutter, I think this is a great product to encourage kids to keep their things organized. My niece is a big fan of the rubber band bracelet craze, so she was thrilled to have a way to display her collection and keep it out of reach of younger siblings. And, if your child ends up growing tired of bracelet making, this item could easily be repurposed for organizing ponytail holders and other hair accessories.

The Original Loom Boom is currently hosting the 1st Annual Loomy Awards for loom bracelet crafters. Prize winners will be chosen from four categories: Best Bracelet, Coolest Charm, Wackiest Wearable, and Best Loom Boom.

Three winners will each receive a $250 gift card, and one grand prize winner will receive a $500 gift card! Plus, all winners will receive a special edition of The Original Loom Boom! You can submit entries can be on The Original Loom Boom’s Facebook page.

Winners will be announced on a live web award show April 30. The web show will be hosted by Jake, the clever kid who came up with the concept for The Original Loom Boom.

Photo credit: The Original Loom Boom

Encouraging a Positive Self Image in Your Daughter

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 by No Comments

I really wanted to name this “Just the Way You Are” but it’s against every rule and addendum in the blogger handbook of how to create titles.

Encouraging  positive self image in your daughter is a hot topic these days. Women are finally letting the world know that we are tired of being stuffed into a Barbie mold, or trying to. We are finally accepting who we are with no makeup and unshaven legs. We’re just us.

Our daughters are the ones who are stuffing themselves in Barbie bodies and pretending that they like things that they don’t. They are the ones that are reading stupid articles that tell them how to modify their personalities so that boys will find them attractive.

This is one area that the trickle down theory doesn’t work — at least if that’s the only technique that you use. You are a much more important part of you daughter’s life than she is willing to tell you. She watches what you do and listens to what you say — it sticks with her her entire life even if she never acknowledges it.

I once knew someone who had trouble when trying on clothing because her mother’s voice was right there with her.

“That neckline is too low for you.”

“Wow, that’s not your color, is it.”

At the same time, I have my father’s voice in my head. He was always very encouraging and had a particular phrase he used to encourage me. I still have that in my head and it tends to streak across my mind in a blaze of glory when I feel like quitting.

Our words stay with our daughters. The examples we set stay with our daughters. The hardest part of parenting is keeping yourself in check so you don’t pass on problems to your children. If you talk about how much you dislike your thighs or nose, then you are telling your daughter that you aren’t good enough. That tells her that she isn’t good enough, either.

Not being good enough means that she feels compelled to change herself so that she is good enough. She reads those stupid articles, she weighs herself obsessively, and she reins in her natural intelligence so that she doesn’t outshine her current crush. How do I know?

I was that girl. I had extremely curly, dark hair in the 1970s when you were suppose to have straight, preferably blonde, hair. I was teased about my hair to the point that I would cry and throw up. I was a bookish introvert who had very little confidence. The more I was teased, the more I retreated into myself.

When I came out of that shell at age 16, I was a completely different person and I had not changed for the better. It was survival.

Looking back on that time, I can see now that I was pretty, I knew I was smart, and I was creative. My mother deflected any compliments that came my way, worrying that I would become conceited. I am still amazed when someone comments favorably on my looks. Now I know that there are men out there who can love me just for who I am, no changes necessary — at least one, anyway.

Tell your daughters not to change for someone, that it’s worth waiting for the guy you don’t have to change for. Tell them they are smart, pretty, creative, and accomplished. Let them see that you feel like you’re enough. Tell them that they don’t come up short and they aren’t too much for Mr. Right, if there is one, to handle.

Tell them that they are enough.

photo credit: JenavieveMarie via photopin cc

How to Take Care of Baby’s Umbilical Cord

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 by No Comments

When I brought my first child home from the hospital, there were things I had no clue about, and back then there was no Internet. I had been an only child, didn’t do a lot of babysitting, and  frankly, I was scared as hell.

Of all of the new things I had to learn, one of the most frightening was that weird looking umbilical cord stump. What if I accidentally pulled it off? What if it got infected? What if I hurt my baby somehow?

Guess what? She and I both got through it without too much emotional scarring and her belly button is lovely. While these are tried and true tips, keep in mind that I am not a medical professional. Always follow your health care provider’s instructions and talk to her about any concerns that you might have.


Keep the diaper under the cord stump. The diaper creates a moist environment that encourage all kinds of bacteria. Fold the diaper down to keep it under the area and keep it low enough that it doesn’t rub. Some newborn diapers actually have a notch cut into them for this very reason.

Sponge Baths Only

Don’t put your baby in that cute, little bathtub you got at your shower. The cord should be kept clean and dry until it completely falls off. Just wash the baby with a soft washcloth and comfortably warm water. It doesn’t need to be real wet. A quick spongebath is perfect. The bonus to this is that it gives you a little while longer to take it easy.

Naked Time

I used to give my babies some time each day to be naked. I’d put them on a blanket covered with a waterproof pad on the floor. This is much easier in the summer than the winter! It gives the cord stump as well as their bottoms a chance to dry out a little. A big benefit is that bacteria don’t like fresh air and sunlight, so there is less of a chance of infection or diaper rash.

Dress Her in Loose Clothing

I always liked to use drawstring gowns for both boys and girls for those first few weeks. You know the kind, the ones with the drawstring on the bottom so you can pull it tight with the babies little feet inside the gown? These cover enough to keep your baby warm but are loose enough that the cord gets plenty of air circulation.

Alcohol Swabbing or Not?

Not. At least I didn’t swab it with alcohol. I left it alone.

Is It Getting Infected?

I looked for signs of infection hundreds of times every day. Was it redder than normal? Did it smell funny?

Here are the signs of infection:

  • Bleeding
  • Cloudy discharge or pus oozing
  • Stinky
  • Abnormal redness
  • Fever of 100F or more

If you are concerned that your baby may be getting an infection, call your health care provider. It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.

photo credit: Stupid Dingo via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Cleaning Tips, Recipes, DIYs, Springtime, and More

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has cleaning tips, recipes, DIYs, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie gave us a recipe for cherry blossom cupcakes that celebrate spring.

Kenarry shared some tips for spring cleaning with small children.

Crafts Unleashed showed us how to make a bird feeder by recycling things you probably have around the house.

link ru salmon dip
Designed Décor shared an easy salmon dip recipe.

Purl Bee taught us how to make bunny hand puppets.

Sew 4 Home shared a tutorial for making stretchy headbands that are perfect for everything from errands to yoga.

Scary Mommy shared a funny post about feeling overwhelmed by chores around the house.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Designed Décor

Latch Board Offers a Quiet Learning Toddler Toy

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 by No Comments

It’s been awhile since my kids were toddlers, so when shopping for a birthday gift for my girlfriend’s little guy last week I found several new products. He is a curious one year old who loves to open every cabinet, drawer, and investigates anything that has moving parts. I found the perfect learning toddler toys for him in a latch board.

If you haven’t heard of a latch board, it is a board with plenty for busy little hands and inquisitive minds. It has lock and latches, numbered doors that swing open, and when they are opened toddlers find a picture. This wooden board is an educational toy that builds fine motor skills and can be used to learn about colors, numbers, animals and more. Plus, it doesn’t require batteries and yet offers hours of quiet play!

I mention quiet, because I have a toy I bought for him that I keep with toys at my house for when he is here, and it also teaches colors but I am very tired of hearing the phrase “yellow circle” over and over. I’m thinking maybe his favorite color is going to be yellow.

The Melissa and Doug Deluxe Latches Board is beautifully crafted with polished metal locks, latches and clasps. It’s quality all the way with smooth sanded pieces. The toddler in my life loves it, and it’s light enough that he is able to pick it up and carry it.

I’m thinking perhaps I should buy another to have here at my house. Then maybe he won’t notice if the “yellow circle” toy disappears. It’s one of those learning toddler toys that can grow with the child whether they are learning fine motor skills, colors, numbers, or more…quietly.

Photo credits: Amazon

True Confessions – Did You Immediately Fall in Love with Your Baby?

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 by No Comments

Every mom I have ever talked to remembers the first time she saw her baby. I have never had anyone say anything that was anything but love-gush and I am wondering if that is common. Did we all fall head over heels in love with our babies the first time we saw them? Did we all think they were the most adorable things on the planet?

I remember my dad laughing and telling me (after the fact) that he had been so concerned about my firstborn’s looks that he asked a doctor if she was going to need surgery to make her head look right. It had been a long, hard birth and her head was a little misshapen. He said that the doctor looked at him like he was nuts and told him that she would be fine.

I am happy to report that she is now a gorgeous, 31 year old who has also given birth to gorgeous children.

I have given birth eight times and, for the sake of total disclosure, I don’t think I thought any of them were adorable the first time I saw them. I got used to how new babies look after the first couple, but I am not sure that the screaming, red body covered in goo was ever something that I looked at and thought, “Whoa! Stop the presses! That child is adorable!”

I was usually still in pain, covered in ick, trying to push out a placenta, and exhausted. I am pretty sure I didn’t look very good to my babies the first time they saw me, either.

Do we give women who are pregnant for the first time unrealistic expectations about their immediate feelings for their children? It can’t be just me that needs a Dr Pepper, a turkey sandwich, and a few minutes to wrap my brain around how I’ve spent the last 12 hours before I am ready to fall in love with my baby!

It’s been a long time since I was pregnant with number one child, but I can remember feeling nervous about the whole thing. Would I be a good mom? Would it hurt? Would it all be OK? Then finally, what if I didn’t love my baby or think it was cute? OMG! What if I had a super unattractive child?

If a young women is feeling all of those things and she is told not to worry, she’ll love her baby the moment she sees it, I wonder if we are not setting her up for stress and feelings of failure if, the first time they lay that wet bundle on her chest, she looks at it with horror. What if it takes her a few minutes, hours, or even days to really fall in love with her child and to really think that it’s adorable?

When I have been asked about my experiences by pregnant women I usually tell them that sometimes the baby looks weird and sometimes it takes awhile for all of those maternal feelings to gush in. If they aren’t there immediately, she should know that they will be soon. Her mind just needs to process everything.

How about you? Did you fall in love immediately or did it take a little longer?

photo credit: madaise via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Recipes, Cleaning Tips, Crafts, Easter Decor, and More

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 by 4 Comments

Today’s link round-up has recipes, cleaning tips, crafts, and more.

Designed Décor shared her way of cleaning the microwave — the easy way.

Chocolate and Sunshine shared a recipe for chocolate lasagna.

Kenarry shared a cute Easter egg finger painting craft.

Crafts Unleashed shared some crafty ideas for using up those toilet paper rolls.

link ru spring egg display
A Beautiful Mess shared an adorable spring Easter egg display.

Chubby Hobby shared a tutorial for creating a plush ballet bunny.

Fishstick Designs taught us how to make homemade chocolate syrup.

Photo credit: Designed Décor and A Beautiful Mess

Prince George Visits New Zealand with Mum and Dad

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 by No Comments

Traveling with a baby can have its challenges, and I have to wonder about the big picture for Kate Middleton and Prince William as they made a trek to New Zealand.

First off, they didn’t have the freedom to just make a trip together with their son because typically two heirs to the throne are not allowed to fly together. But the Queen gave special permission, so they could check that off their list and fly as a family.

They traveled together from London to New Zealand – a 25 hour trip to Sydney where they transferred to a New Zealand Air Force jet for the last leg of the journey. That’s a long-haul even without an 8 month old. The flight’s arrival had been delayed because of stormy weather. Yet, when they arrived, Kate stepped off the plane looking as fresh as ever.

Kate's Legs
The Duchess of Cambridge disembarked wearing a double-breasted Catherine Walker scarlet dress and coat ensemble with a matching pillbox hat. She accessorized with a necklace and the Queen’s diamond and platinum silver fern brooch which is an emblem gift from New Zealand. It offered the perfect fashion complement, and when a blustery gust of wind blew Kate’s hemline, it offered a glimpse of her perfectly slender legs.

Not only did she look great, but Prince George cooperated with the cameras as they disembarked. Later, when he joined other young children for a “crawl-about”, it made for a perfect photo op, too.

No one yanked a toy away from anyone else or pulled anyone’s hair. It all went smoothly as he crawled around like a royal in his navy-blue shorts and white shirt. Makes one wonder if the children were screened ahead to be sure they were all mild-mannered tots.

Life “appears” to go so smoothly for them! Kate’s figure is back to perfect, her baby plays well with others, everyone is healthy, she and her husband seem to get along…no I’m not jealous. My kids are all grown.

I’m just saying, it would be fun to see behind the scenes wouldn’t it? Because there’s one thing we all know. Stuff happens and no one’s life is perfect. However, I have to say, Kate has stepped into royal shoes and portrays the royal image thing flawlessly. I applaud her. It can’t be easy.

Photo credits: The Royal Family ChannelANIMAX2013

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