Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Weird Pregnancy Facts (VIDEO)

A Woman's foot can grow up to one size during pregnancy. It's possible for twins to come from two separate fathers. Twin births are very common in Nigeria.

I knew most of the 'weird' facts in this BuzzFeed video.

If you have a minute and 38 seconds, you can see how many you already knew too.

Check it out.

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Celebrity Photographer Amateur photography tips

With over 4 million babies born in North America each year, more and more parents are taking it up on themselves to save money on a professional photographer and are grabbing their cameras and taking amateur pics on their own.

Top celebrity newborn photographers Keri Meyers and Jennifer Blakely, who have photographed Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox's son Noah, Ian Ziering and his wife's  new baby and Donald Trump Jr's newborn, took notice and started a website to help guide new parents. 

“In the current economy and with the easy availability of advanced cameras, a lot of new parents are looking to take their own pictures of their newborn baby, so although we always recommend you hire a professional newborn photographer," Meyers said. "We have developed some tips for those looking to handle the photo shoot independently.” 

Here are 5 simple ones: 

  1. Babies can be "jumpy", so have someone within arm's reach of baby at all times.
  2. Turn off your camera's flash and use a large window with indirect sunlight.
  3. Make sure the room is very warm. Use a space heater if needed, but avoid having heat directly on the baby.
  4. Use white noise (i.e. hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, or iPhone app).
  5. Keep it simple – dress the baby in a neutral sleeper or diaper cover.

“With the low cost and availability of SLR cameras these days, more and more amateur photographers are starting their own home-based photography businesses; however, what’s alarming is the number of these photographers who haven’t been formally trained or mentored in newborn photography,” said Jennifer Blakeley, who recently launched, a website dedicated to helping new parents find the industries top photographers.

Not only does their site address a wide-variety of safety issues around amateur photographers handling babies for the first time, it also has a search function that enables new parents to easily view and find a reputable newborn photography in their area.  

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30 Best blogs for the Working Mom

Balancing the demands of a career and a growing family is no small feat, but it’s one that the modern American mother juggles every day. Managing the daily responsibilities of getting children to and from their various activities, providing them with the attention and affection that they need, nurturing your marriage, and still contributing to the family’s finances by holding down a job requires a large measure of patience and a solid support system. For more and more women, the backbone of that support system is made up of the global village created by the Internet. Blogs that cater to working mothers make up quite a large corner of the blogosphere, and these 30 entries exemplify the advice and help that they offer.
If there’s one thing that working moms never seem to have enough of, it’s time. These five blog entries offer helpful hints for managing and making the most out of the limited amount of time you’re allotted each day.

Quick Weeknight Meals
After a long day at work, the last thing that most working mothers want to do is tackle an elaborate, gourmet dinner. These blog entries showcase the best in quick, simple, kid-friendly cuisine for those nights when homework help and overtime at the office collide.
Making the Most of Family Time
Between school, your spouse’s career, and your own work, finding time to spend together as a family isn’t always easy. Ensuring that you make the most of the time you do have available to spend together is a priority for many working parents, and is where these five blog posts shine.
Dealing with Nanny Envy
Working parents struggle, sometimes for weeks, to find the ideal nanny for their family. When nannies prove to be a less-than-perfect fit, it’s a disappointment. When she’s so wonderful that everyone in the family adores her, it can feel like less of a triumph and more of a cause for private jealousy. Fears that your children will love their nanny more than they love you and feelings of envy towards the nanny who’s paid to stay home with your beloved little ones all day are perfectly natural, albeit painful, parts of being a working mother. These five blog posts tackle nanny envy, and offer working mothers some support.
Guilt and the Working Mother
Despite the fact that you’re working to provide for your children and help them have the best possible quality of life, guilt over leaving them in the care of strangers can begin to creep in and haunt even the strongest moms. These bloggers understand that guilt, and discuss it candidly in their blog entries.
Breastfeeding after Returning to Work
Under section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers must provide breastfeeding mothers with a reasonable amount of break time and a private place, other than a restroom, to pump or express breast milk for a full year after the birth of their child. Because breast milk is the best possible source of nutrition for infants, it’s important that working mothers have the support they need to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. These five blog posts help the breastfeeding, working mom learn the best ways to manage nursing after her maternity leave ends.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Snooki's Maternity Style in 12 PHOTOS

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi has been having quite the fit pregnancy. We know this because throughout her second pregnancy journey, the MTV reality show personality has been sharing videos of her fitness routines and gym visits with her millions of social media fans and followers.

They have also been able to monitor her bump watch through the frequent belly progression photos she features, many with stylish outfits from her new clothing line, Snooki Love by Nicole Polizzi.








With fiance Jionni Valle at 6 months preggers


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Report: Cost to raise a child in the US is $245,000

The cost of raising a child exceeds the rate of inflation, and a new US  government report states that it would could close to a quarter of a million dollars to raise a child. 

This cost does not include college costs. It cost $245,000 to raise a child born in 2013 thru high school graduation, according to newly released estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture

This is a 2 percent increase from the year before, up from $4,260 the year before.

This estimate varies depending on where you live because families in high-income and high cost of living areas in the Northeast of the United States could spend close to $455,000 to raise a child where rural families in a low-income area, for example, would spend $145,500. 

The numbers include the cost of housing, food, transportation, clothing, health care, education, child care and miscellaneous expenses, like haircuts and cell phones. 

And the startling part is these estimates do not even include the cost of college! gasp!

What do you think of these astronomical costs? Sounds legit?!

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Celebrity Kids with the Most Hair Critics

Tia Mowry-Hardrict is the latest celebrity mom hit with excessive public criticism over her child's hair.  Some are coming after the Instant Mom actress's decision to let her 3 year old son Cree wear his curly natural hair long, and plaiting it once in a while.

The former star of The Game clapped back at critics on her Instagram recently posting the above photo with the caption: 
I am proud to have a SON that embraces his natural hair :). Hair length does not define your sex. Last I checked a penis and a vagina does. Pick up a book, educate yourself, and embrace cultures outside of your own and maybe you will see that there are PLENTY of MEN wearing top knots and MEN with long hair. Here's a shout out to all the moms who have boys and girls with natural hair!    Live ON!
For a long while, many critics lauded at Beyonce Knowles and her husband Jay Z Carter for the fact they did not style their daughter's hair to their liking, and harness her tresses into a ponytail. Some people actually launched a petition over it. Sheesh! Over 5,000 people are that pressed. 

Bey's harshest critic, Sandra Rose, proclaims that all the public harassment worked because since the bruhaha, Blue has been seen with her hair tamed lately. 

Angelina Jolie too faced a lot of flak for permitting her daughter Shiloh Jolie-Pitt to "dress like a boy" and for keeping her hair short like a boy, according to critics. 

No wonder, some like British singer Rochelle Humes, choose to conceal her daughter's face in social media. It doesn't stop many from commenting on her hair and whatever they can see anyway.

It comes with the territory. People feel that when you are a celebrity, part of that status is all of you, including your children, and therefore they too are public and subject to criticism. Your decisions are not your own and you can expect to be criticized for them, no matter what.

Kinda sucks! 

Your thoughts?
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Back to School: 5 tips for getting the kids to school on time

For families with school age children, there’s hardly a more hectic time of the day than a weekday morning. In addition to getting themselves up and ready for the day, parents are tasked with helping younger kids get dressed, serving breakfast, making lunch, and going on a scavenger hunt for the school day’s missing essentials.

If you’re in the market for a less chaotic morning, consider these 5 tips:

1. Do what you can the night before. From selecting school clothes to sorting through paperwork and making lunches, prepare as much as possible for the morning the evening before. Setting aside 20 minutes in the evening to tackle the essential tasks can decrease morning stress and chaos. If your child is a budding fashionista, every Sunday night select five outfits for the week and let her choose what to wear from that selection each day.  A shelf closet organizer works great for storing preselected outfits for the week. Planning breakfasts and lunches in advance, along with doing any prep work the night before, can also help mornings go more smoothly.

2. Designate a place for everything. Put baskets by the doorway to store shoes, and hooks inside the foyer to hang coats and backpacks. Insist on a house rule that requires children to unpack their backpacks and bring their lunchboxes directly to the kitchen once they are home. For children who play instruments, have a set place for instrument storage. Take an old photo frame, remove the glass, and hot glue ribbon strips along the back. Hang hair barrettes, bows, and other accessories on it.

3. Have an in and out box. Use a mail sorter, paper sorter, or two wire baskets as an in and out box. Label each box or section clearly, and upon returning home from school place any papers that need your attention into the inbox. Once you’ve attended to them, move them to the outbox. Before bed, have your child put the paperwork into his school bag or folder. If your child needs money for his school lunch, keeping an extra few dollars in the outbox is always a good idea. Having a few dollars on hand is especially helpful on the mornings you discover you have no cash.

4. Set your stuff by the door. If you’re not ready, you’re not going to be able to help get anyone else ready. It’s worth staying up a few minutes later than everyone else or waking up a few minutes earlier to be sure all of your things are by the door and ready to go.  Get your coffee cup, organize your briefcase or work bag, and select your shoes and pull out your own outfit while you have few moments to yourself. You’re less likely to be forgetful or distracted when you can focus on your needs alone.

5. Delegate! What tasks can you assign to someone else? Look for opportunities to delegate tasks to others. Can your 10-year-old let the dog out while you prepare breakfast? Can your 5-year-old help set the table? Can your spouse make the bed or clean up the dishes behind you? Consider ways you can better divide the morning tasks. Every little bit of help counts.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Milla Jovovich's 2nd pregnancy delays final Resident Evil movie

So this makes That makes TWO "Milas" originally from the Ukraine having a baby! Mila Kunis and now Milla Jovovich!

Great news for model-turned actress Milla Jovovich but sad for fans of Resident Evil movie franchise!

Jovovich, who plays the film's protagonist Alice, told her Facebook fans today that she and her producer/director husband Paul W S Anderson are expecting their second child and have decided to put the movie on hold.

Here is the full message:
Happy Monday everyone! This was originally going to be a post to tell you how excited I am about flying to Cape Town to begin working on Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.  But… My husband Paul and I just discovered that we are expecting another baby!!! 
So after a lot of discussion, we thought it would be in everyone’s best interest to wait till the baby is born before we set out to try and tackle an RE movie. Between the stunt work and what will become my ever-expanding belly, we didn’t think pregnancy and zombie killing are the best combo! Lol! I imagine the only thing I’ll be killing in the near future is an endless supply of cupcakes. Yikes… 
In all seriousness though, we want to make the best movie possible and that would be extremely difficult, to say the least, in my present condition. 
I would like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has been working so hard on the movie in South Africa already and we are so looking forward to working with you all next summer. And when we arrive, it will hopefully be with the newest member of our little family! 
Thanks so much for understanding! All the best! 

Congrats. The couple, who have been married since 2009, have a 6 year old daughter, Ever Gabo Andersonspost signature!


How to tell your boss you're pregnant

In a recent Forbes article, contributor Liz Ryan has a wonderful essay about how to tell your boss you are pregnant. It begins:

Right after I got married, my co-worker Andrea told us she was expecting. I talked to her every day about how she was feeling. Being pregnant was a new experience for Andrea, and I was all ears, hoping to be in the same spot myself before long.

I noticed that when I’d go grocery shopping late at night, I’d come home exhausted. I thought I might have anemia or Epstein-Barr. I had no energy. When I told my husband the news of the day at work, I’d tell him about Andrea and her baby-on-board updates. “She gets hot,” I said. “I didn’t know that about expectant moms. She needs to put her feet up on a chair. Interesting, right?”

“It sounds like a trial to have your body go through all those changes week to week,” my husband observed. “I know that if that were you instead of Andrea, we’d get the play-by-play!”

He meant that I love to track changes and talk about them. I thought, I might be pregnant now. I sure feel weird. I made an appointment to go see my internist, but I didn’t tell my husband.

continue reading
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Christina Aguilera welcomes daughter

Congrats to Christina Aguilera and Matt Rutler on the birth of their daughter, Saturday, August 16, Us Weekly reports.

The Grammy Award-winning singer gave birth via C-section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif, the site states. 

This is the second child for the singer who is mom to 6-year-old son Max with ex-husband Jordan Bratman.

Back to School: My 4-year old learned to read using Online software


I learned recently that a friend of a friend's child, who is 10 years old, has never owned a book outside of books assigned to him at school.

This child has every digital gadget, tablet and video game at his disposal yet has never been given an actual book to read for leisure ever in his life. Hopefully, he has educational games and access learning sites as well, but it's not the same. 

The sad reality is there are many homes like his and the children in them may suffer schools and risk lagging behind their peer who do read and have access to books.

Reading, and chapter books, are the building blocks to reading comprehension, composition and sentence structure, and command of language, orally and in writing. Many standardized tests require students to master these subjects, not to mention some school entrance tests.

To combat this reality, more and more schools are turning to electronic forms of games and software to reach children the only way some know how. 

My children's school, for example, use a nationwide program called First in Math. It is a competitive game where each child logs on and completes educational games and tests for stickers. The administrators and teachers can monitor when a child logs on and how many stickers he has accumulated. In our school, the computer teacher gets swarmed as he goes to the bulletin board to post the latest results of top students in each grade. It is a healthy way of encouraging competition for learning.

It is also a wonderful example of how digital games can be used to supplement children's learning when they may not have adequate resources or parental support at home.

They are also great for supplementing information and materials your child may be learning at school.

My 6-year old for example went thru the Starfall (free and paid) website instructions, and currently is going through the program which costs about $7.95 monthly. It is totally worth it in my book because combined with some other video-based learning tools, that program helped her learn to read when she was 4-years old.

She does 2nd grade math and she is only in Kindergarten and her oral communication and vocabulary are tops, partially because of it. It helps that her school also has the software embedded in each Kindergarten class so she is very comfortable with it and gets a chance to get even further in the lessons daily. 

It has over 2,000 Learning Activities for 2-6 year olds. I love the fact that she gets to pick an avatar that has her skin color and hair type. When she completes a lesson, she gets to pick an electronic prize from play money she accumulates at each level. 

Again, its the element of incorporating games fun with learning that makes it great! I purchased it after seeing a pop-up ad for it several years ago and renew each time!

Check it out and use our Bellyitch  link to get the first month FREE!

Good luck and do let us know how it's working for your little one!
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First ever Research on Celebrity "Bump watch": It damages mom-baby connection

New research finds that "bump watch" may be contributing to  pregnancy anorexia in average pregnant women, and interfering with pregnant women's bond with the babies they are carrying.

In a study published in the journal Psychology & Marketing, researchers discovered that pregnant women who follow celebrity pregnancies a little too closely and who already had a high concern about their body were likely to stress about weight gain during pregnancy. 

The study found that such obsession over weight may lead to pregnant women connecting less with the baby they are carrying. 

It's the first time a study focused on celebrity pregnancy's impact on women's body image, Jayne Krisjanous, a marketing professor at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand told Science of Us.

However, it is important to note that the 400 women studied were already more inclined to have negative body images in the first place, so that the fact the would be further negatively impacted by seemingly "perfect" and skinny pregnant celebrities should come as no surprise.

I launched Bellyitch in 2007 when I was pregnant with my last child as a way to document my pregnancy. I started monitoring and featuring pregnant celebrities who were also expecting when I was on this blog, yet never felt inclined to match their weight gain or pregnancy growth. 

Thus, it truly is about each woman and those already confident in their body image, may not necessarily have the same reaction to following a "bump watch."

What do you think?
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