Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My First Baby

Well - I've finally done it! I've completed my first video for My First Baby!

It's been a long time coming since I found out AGES ago that SuperFutureDad and I had been picked by Meredith Video Studios to be a part of this fantastic - and fun - project.

If you haven't visited My First Baby before, you're in for a treat. It's an online community where first-time moms and moms-to-be share their experiences on their journey toward the Mommyhood. The best part is, it's all video so you get to see people's cute little nuggets or you get to watch their bellies expand (like mine is!!!).

My introductory video is live so if you have 30 seconds (the videos are only between 30 secs and a minute) please check it out and leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you now that you can actually see what I look like carrying Butterball! Plus, feel free to leave me ideas for videos that you'd like to see in the future!!!!

And don't forget that some of the webisodes will be featured on a nationally-syndicated lifestyle television show called 'Better.' You can also follow 'My First Baby' and 'Better' on Facebook and Twitter.

OH! Before I go, I should also give you an update on where I am in this journey!

I am in my 18th week of pregnancy (4 1/2 months) and feeling great!!! My energy has returned. The headaches and insomnia have, for the most part, subsided. I can definitely tell I am gaining some weight - won't be too long before I need to move fully into maternity wear. I'm getting my exercise from mowing the lawn and walking to the pool and swimming. If I could swim everyday, I would - it's the best!

As for Butterball, here's what BabyCenter has to say:

Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

Monday, June 21, 2010


For the past three days I have dreamed about chasing tornadoes, watching my dog get into a fight with another dog, sex, and myriad other topics. They are so vivid, I swear they are real. Even the hubs woke up to me one night kicking the blankets off like crazy (I was running!). I'm averaging about 4 - 5 dreams a night since getting pregnant with Butterball. Sometimes they continue even after I've woken up for a potty break. It's freaky!

Turns out though, it's totally normal and lots of preggo women experience vivid dreams. But why? Thanks to BabyCenter.com I found the answer. Here's what they have to say:

Dreams During Pregnancy

Many women report that their dream life shifts into high gear during pregnancy. Interestingly, during the second and third trimesters, you spend less sleep time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the cycle in which most dreams occur. Why, then, all those frequent and vivid dream memories?

It's probably at least in part because you may be interrupting a dream-filled cycle when you wake up to pee, cope with heartburn, leg cramps, restless legs, or a backache, or to shift to a more comfortable position. Waking up during REM sleep makes you more likely to remember your dreams.

It may also be in part that dreams seem so vivid during pregnancy because for most women pregnancy is a time of such heightened emotions — from joy to apprehension and everything in between — but no one really knows for sure.

Here's a look at some common themes and what they may mean, according to Patricia Garfield, a clinical psychologist and author of Women's Bodies, Women's Dreams.

You're caring for baby animals. During the second trimester, many pregnant women dream about cuddly, baby-like animals, such as puppies, chicks, and kittens. Friendly creatures in your dreams are generally thought to signify that you're tuned in to your instincts. Menacing animals, on the other hand, may represent ambivalence about the strange new creature entering your life.

You have a sexy encounter with an old flame. Many mothers-to-be are concerned about their changing figure and its effect on their sex life — while many others feel more sexually charged than ever. Both feelings are often reflected in your dreams. Not only do erotic dreams offer comforting reassurance, but they may mirror the sexiness you feel during your waking hours, too.

Your mate is straying. If you dream that your partner hooks up with an ex-girlfriend or a total stranger, it can signal insecurity about holding his love and attention through a time of great change. Right now, you're dependent on the goodwill and support of those around you, especially your partner. Fearing his loss is a common emotional reaction to being pregnant.

What did you dream about during pregnancy? Were they crazy? I'd like to hear all about it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What a Good SFD!

On Father's Day, I feel it's only fitting to acknowledge and thank the hubs for being such a great partner, especially during these first four months of pregnancy. He may not realize I notice all the little things he does, but I try keep up (he does so many)! So here is brief list of SuperFuture Dad's best moments:

1.) Buying me cherries and protein-enhanced bread. I happened to mention the other day that I was craving cherries and lo and behold, what do I find in the fridge yesterday?! Fresh, beautiful, red, ripe cherries! Yum-o! He also knows I've been having a tough time eating meat and therefore getting enough protein. As I was deciding on what to eat for breakfast this morning, I pulled open the breadbox and saw a brand new loaf of bread that reads "protein-enriched." He's very thoughtful.

2.) Giving me massages and foot rubs. I don't often like massages - I have a hard time relaxing during them. But SuperFutureDad gets in there anyway, not letting me squirm away. He works his fingers in just like I ask him to which is very nice. He also does not shy away from pulling my toes and rubbing my feet. My toes have never cracked so good - Thank You!!!!

3.) Scooping and filling the cat litter. Believe it or not, this is actually a chore I miss. I love the idea of caring for my kitties and making sure they're poop is getting scooped is something I know makes them happy. However, since getting KU'd, SuperFutureDad has really stepped up (and to be honest, he's had to because of risks of toxoplasmosis). And even when I said I'd take care of the litter when he goes away on a trip next week, he flinched and said he'd rather I not I risk it because of the potential for birth defects when dealing with cat feces. So I'll be calling his dad. Another good man!

4.) Letting me sleep. I've slept a lot during my pregnancy. Sometimes 12 hours a night. That means I've let some household chores slip by the wayside. He's never bothered me if I need to catch some shut eye and he's never made me feel bad for not keeping up my end of the chores. Not that he would do either of those things, anyway. But it's still a lovely attribute and I'd like to say thanks.

5.) Going to baby classes with me. We haven't officially gone to our first parenting class yet, but when we received the list of available classes to take from the doctor, he pulled out his schedule and made sure we picked classes we could both attend. It will be so nice to have my partner there!!

6.) Spending a 'baby day' with me. On one particular day off that we both shared, SFD really wanted a burger and fries. I couldn't stomach the idea and suggested a stir-fry place instead. He agreed. Then I said, "Why don't we stop at some baby stores and check out some cribs?" He said, "Sure. How many stores?" "Four," I said. And without even raising an eyebrow, he agreed. And so we spent the entire day doing baby stuff. We ate stir-fry because all I can stomach is veggies and tofu. We went to eco-friendly stores, baby boutiques, and big box stores all in the name of seeing what's what when it comes to baby cribs and gear. And I have to say, it was so much fun!!! So thanks for being a great SuperFutureDad!!!!!

I love you!!! Happy Father's Day.   

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Find Me Here

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I've been accepted as the Fargo New Moms Examiner! Yippee!

You may be asking, what in the world is an Examiner?! Essentially, it's a current events and trends Web site that localizes what's going on in your community with real-time postings.

It's not like the news station that I work for full-time. We focus on hard news there. Of course, you can head to that Web site and Facebook page anytime for up-to-the-minute newsworthy items from across the state.

Examiner.com is different in that writers get a specific topic to report on - hence, I'm the New Moms Examiner. All of my items will inform and help new parents get a grasp on what life is like raising kids in the Valley. I'll cover media happenings, classes, upcoming events, etc. The bonus is - if there is something you'd like me to write about - just let me know. You can send me a blog comment, an email or contact me directly from my Examiner.com profile page.

Practically every large to mid-size city (including good 'ole Fargo) has its own Examiner page filled with articles from writers like me. So, if you're interested in becoming one (you have to apply) let me know! I can help you with the process and even tell you about the incentive referral program.

Ok, before this sounds any more like an info-mercial, I'm going to wrap this up! Hope you check out my Examiner.com page and spread the word.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where's Scooby-Doo When You Need Him?

A funny thing happened when I came into work Friday. I thought I would share the resulting email:

Did anyone notice something wrong with the refrigerator in the corner of the breakroom? Was a green bag causing trouble?

The reason I ask is that when I came into work this morning, my green lunch bag was on the breakroom table and my bag of salad, jello (and possibly a yogurt) were missing. A bag of chips and bottle of water were still inside.

If my bag was causing trouble (those green bags are known to be a bit racy), I apologize. Sometimes that fridge gets full and blocked with stuff and my bag is big - sorry!

However, if it was acting harmlessly, and someone decided to violate it and its contents, please abstain from this behavior again.

I'm pregnant, therefore hungry, and I will find out who you are.

PS - If you decide to post this note on one of those passive-aggressive breakroom note Web sites, again, I will find you.

PPS - The salad was Caesar. 

And this is the kind email I got from a co-worker in return - which I very much appreciate:

Your bag was on the break room table at 12:30 am so at 1:00 am I put your salad, jello and yogurt in the refrigerator by the door.
It’s in the butter tray with your name on it now.
Jello ,Yogurt, salad was very warm so It must have been setting out for sum time.
Sorry I forgot to leve you a note.

Needless to say, I will not be consuming the above-mentioned foodstuffs for fear of dying a slow, botulism-laced death.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Trusting Life

On The Minds of Moms Magazine has done it again! My editors, Dani and Sheri, have put together another amazing issue filled with incredible advice, meaningful stories and inspiring profiles. I am so honored to contribute to this magazine and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing for it.

For this latest issue, I met and interviewed an incredible woman named Laetitia Mizero. At first, her story will bring you to tears (and yes, I admit, that's sort of the vibe I was going for) and then it will uplift your spirit to make you feel like anything is possible. And it is. Laetitia is proof.

To read the entire article - click here!

You can pick up your free copy at any Hornbacher's or Sunmart grocery markets in the Fargo-Moorhead area. OR, if you really like what you see, sign up for a subscription! You'll be so happy everytime you find a new issue in your mailbox - I promise!

Finally, if you are an editor, blogger, Web host, or any other business who desires a writer, please feel free to contact me. I am an award-winning reporter/writer who specializes in parenting, lifestyle, fitness, health, and design writing. But I can do it all: magazine, newspaper, television, web and radio. For more of my work, head over to my Web site and be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What is Necessary?


SuperFutureDad and I are beginning to wade through the massive 'must-have' lists that come with opening up any baby gift registry. Seriously? Do we need to invest in disposable bibs and potty training devices (already)? And all those toys out there!!!! It just seems like so much.... stuff!

Do we really need all these baby-rearing devices? Or is this a clever marketing ploy churned out by a man-behind-the-curtain partnership between merchandise companies and retailers?

I turn to you, seasoned mummies and daddies of the world:

What did you really need from your baby registry?

What things were you surprised you needed?

What do you wish you had registered for?

And what items and/or contraptions are still sitting in their wrapping on a closet shelf?

Please advise. 

Over and out.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Work Those Fingers

Hey everyone... I need your thoughts on something.

I'm researching an article on baby sign language...its pros and cons... and how it may help/hinder children with disabilities.

What are your thoughts on and/or experiences with baby sign language? What would you say are its pros and cons?

If you have a child with a disability, how useful have you found baby sign language?

If you know of any experts who teach baby sign language, please feel free to pass this post along. I'd love to get their thoughts, too.

Finally, if you do comment, could you please include your name, where you live and how many children you have. I may use you as a source for my article. If you prefer not to give me your real name, that's okay, too. Just make a note of that in your comment.

Thanks for the help ya'll!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

14 weeks

I think I've been really lucky. And I DO NOT take it for granted. I'm not just talking about the fact that SuperFutureDad and I are actually going to have a baby. A baby!!! I'm talking about my pregnancy journey so far.

Unlike some of my best friends, I have not had a terrible amount of nausea. I'm very thankful for that because it was really tough to hear and watch them feel so sick for, seriously, 9 months. Ugh.

But I haven't been without some side-effects. Here's a quick breakdown of what Butterball has been up to:

First Two Weeks (I found out within the first week of conception that I was preggers): Energy burst and extreme hunger. Like, every two hours hungry. But only for super healthy stuff. Carrots, cheese, almonds, fruit, granola. Yummy!

Latter Half of First Month and Second Month: Extreme aversion to meat. No chicken, fish, beef. YUCK!! This was really difficult to deal with because I had two trips planned during this time; Las Vegas (with the girls) and Belize (with the hubs). Needless to say, it was super hard to keep nugget a secret during Vegas but we told everyone in Belize because we were there with all my besties from high school! Love you guys!!!

There was also a lot of fatigue during this time. I became the queen of cat naps in my car, on the couch at work and in the living room chair. These areas have never seen so much drool in all their existence!!

Third Month: This is where things get weird. Like I said, I've been very lucky, but two of my side-effects have been painful and annoying to handle. Headaches and insomnia. I get pounding headaches about 3 times a week. They start with a mild but persistent pain on the left side of my forehead but within hours erupt into a crescendo of full-scale, wrinkle-inducing agony encompassing my entire cranium. OUCH! I end up having to lay down in a darkened room and trying to sleep it off, which can take hours. If I don't do this, I end up nauseous with major dry heaves. Nothing ever comes out, but the dry heaving leaves me teary-eyed with snot rippling from my nose. Pleasant, no? I think this is why SuperFutureDad hightails it out of the room when the "hwaph" chorus begins.

The insomnia is a whole other mess. Virtually every night I wake up around 3:30 and am wide-eyed for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. This is not a good thing, especially the days I have to work. The days I don't work, I can handle it by taking a fabulous cat nap. There is really no rhyme or reason to what I think about during these pitch-black hours and most of it I can't remember anyway. Although I do remember crafting a nasty letter in my head to someone (or something) that shall remain nameless. It was good, too!

This all leads me to my desires as I continue with my fourth month of pregnancy:
No more headaches!
No more insomnia!
Back to better eating - I know I need more protein so will vow to find someway to stomach meat products
Find a consistent exercise routine - I'd like to get back into yoga
Create a plan for how to prepare for Butterball over the latter half of pregnancy - nursery, finances, day care, registry

Enjoy this time!!!!! I am anxious to feel nugget move... I think that is the biggest step I want to experience next.

For your reference, here's a handy guide from BabyCenter.com on how Butterball is developing:

This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.

In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.