Saturday, July 26, 2014

Actress Alexis Fields welcomes son, Kaden

Congratulations to actress Alexis Fields on the birth of her son, Kaden on July 16. 

The Nickelodean  child star signaled that she was going into labor or about to deliver soon by tweeting, "As so it begins..."

Her sister, veteran actress and director Kim Fields, shared the news on her Twitter feed which Alexis later retweeted: 

Alexis, a couple of days later, returned to Twitter to tweet:

And what an adorable photo of the handsome feller. He looks like his dad:

This is her second child with her husband Kevin. The couple have a daughter Kacie and so we can see they're sticking with a theme of names starting with the letter K!


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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Ultimate Lux Babymoon Destination: The Soneva Fushi

Yesterday, I shared my picks for the best babymoon destinations and now today, I'm sharing my fantasy pick for where I would love to go if money was no object. I'd head to the original resort island desert hideaway, the award-winning luxury Soneva Fushi in the Maldives.

For about $1500 for a villa with a private pool per night at the unspoiled island locale, parents-to-be can truly get away and relax in a secluded getaway before baby.  Here are some pics from the resort to gawk at and at least temporarily be whisked away there even if it is for the brief moment you're perusing through this site. 




















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Can we quit congratulating women who were skinny pregnant on post-baby weight loss?

So former star of The Hills and TV personality  Kristin Cavallari revealed to E! that she took two months to shed 20 pounds and is a couple of pounds away from being her pre-pregnancy weight. It's not being jealous to not want such news from women who were pretty thin while pregnant trumpeted, right?

US Weekly  featured pics of Cavallari  spotted out and about looking trim recently. 

The Fabulist co-host also posted some recent gym and other recent post-baby pics on her Instagram account, including a before and after shot herself.

Look how thin Cavallari was at about 8 months pregnant when this E! photo was taken:

The headlines are the type of stuff that induces pregnant women to starve themselves while carrying their babies or entices others to start exercising too soon after having a baby or depriving themselves of nourishment so they can shed their baby weight as fast as possible.

These pieces also circulate unrealistic expectations among men and others who should be supporting a new mom to be the best new mom.  What lady wants their guy saying, "but celebrity so and so dropped 20 pounds in a week."

TOO SKINNY AFTER BABY: New Celebrity Moms face backlash for losing too much weight

Most women don't have access to an army of chefs, personal trainers, dietitians and private in-home gyms to help them drop the weight super fast. Neither are most women's careers depended upon them getting back fit quickly so they could land TV roles or get back on the road gigging.

Celebrity women have an incentive to work out like crazy and be uber mindful of their diet. 

Further, Cavallari may have the same type of constitution like fitness blogger Caroline Berg Eriksen whose before and after baby underwear Instagram photo caused plenty controversy last year.

But I suppose it's click bait and the people behind the headlines and articles are less interested in the collected psyche of women than their page view counts.

Yeah, this is me being holier than thou again and what? (smile)

Rise above.
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No you have a Favorite Child?

Attorney and Blogger Darcy Shapiro penned a recent HuffPo piece titled, "I Have a Favorite Child. Admit it, So do you" that a friend recently sent me.

From the clickbait headline, I assumed she would be sharing the fact that she preferred or liked one of her kids over her others and was challenging other parents to admit that they too have a fave kid.

Some of us, like me, who watch reality TV a lot, may recall a somewhat cringe-worthy moment when Kris Jenner proudly announced that her daughter Kim was her favorite. Way to go to confirm any insecurities or self-doubt those other five kids you gave birth to may feel about there mom! Sheesh!

Anyway, the HuffPo piece wasn't what I expected. Rather, it was Shapiro explaining how through the ups and down of her day, she had an appreciation and love for one child's positive behavior while maybe  was frustrated over another, but that shifted throughout the day and everyday. 

Good for her, but come on. Let's be really, real!

Many of us have that one kid we always boast about to our friends, or whose photo we share more in social media than the others. Clearly, to others who know we have more than one child, it must appear that we have a preference. 

And in real life, among friends, we may unknowingly complain more about our troubles or frustration with one kid, while only sharing laudatory news about another kid. We may lean into one child more at events or put an arm around that one child more. 

If you recognize that you may be guilty of showing favoritism, here is a way to confirm it: ask a close friend if they think you have a favorite based on that friend's observation of you and your children's interactions. Listen and get their honest opinion. The answer may surprise you. 

Then if it turns out that you appear to favor one kid over another to the outside world, chances are the kids pick up on your cues and think so too. That is not cool and you may want to give yourself a gut check and then shift your behavior, tone, language and decisions to adjust. 

I know I do and like Shapiro, try to tell each kid they are my favorite 9 year old or daughter (when I only have one daughter). I also try to have one-on-one mommy and me time or dates. I shower them with random compliments, periodically, and tell them I love them often so they don't ever have a chance to you know, to off balance those many other times when they're driving me up the wall and may say something crazy like, "Quit driving me crazy! Do you want your mom to end up in an insane asylum?!"  (ha!)

Many adults grow resenting a parent because they may have felt that parent did not like them as much as a sibling. It's the stuff that emboldens intense sibling rivalry or resentment. 

Further, Subconscious awareness about parental bias can have an impact on a child's relationships and behavior as they grow. They may act out with more outrageous negative behavior to at least get noticed or may do the opposite: be reclusive and choose not to share or be open and honest with that parent. None of that is good. 

Just something to think about, parents as we go about this challenging process of trying to raise good kids.

Your thoughts?
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Inside Jenni 'JWoww' Farley's baby shower (PHOTOS)

This Monday, Jenni "JWoww" Farley shared photos of her May 18 baby shower on her website this week, a couple weeks after giving birth to her daughter Meilani Alexander Mathews with fiance Roger Matthews on July 13.

Also, attending the pink-themed party were several alumni members of the MTV long running hit reality TV show Jersey Shore including her bestie Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi.

Check out the pics:



See the rest of the pics HERE!

photos: David Ragsdale/JWoww
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bellyitch's Top 5 Babymoon Destination Recommendations

Much is said about the importance of new parents getting a babymoon in before the delivery of a newborn, especially for first time parents who may be woefully unprepared for the drastic and dramatic shift in their lives to come. I don't believe they were en vogue when I was first pregnant, but if I could go back in time and do it again, these would be my top 5 destinations and why:

1. La Jolla Cove, California- This quaint Orange County city is an absolutely fab place to get away to for several reasons.  It's near the water and provides a wonderful place to have a late evening picnic or to watch the sun rise or set. It boasts a generous amount of day spas for getting a pregnancy massage or a couple's massage. It has lovely restaurants, boutique shops and brand name exclusive shops along the main boulevard. It's moments away from bustling down town San Diego where you can find a live band in any genre playing at the varying pubs, clubs, nightspots and hangouts there. Highly rated. I loved going there on my one year wedding anniversary and would highly recommend it as a baby moon destination. If I could live my life over again, I'd apply to get into the University of San Diego which is near this town. Yeah. I love this area that much.

2. Saint Marteen and Saint Martin, West Indies. This twin island which is a Dutch property to the South and French one to the north provides visitors all the pleasures of vacationing in Europe but with the extra plus of being in a warm tropical hotspot surrounded by water. The few times I've visited, I was able to escape to the the North and take in the villas of the French side or walk into a bakery and greeted by the shopkeeper telling me "Bon Soir" just as if I were in Nice. I could also appreciate the wonderful international flavor of its multicultural population. Locals speak over 8 different languages and as you walk from one block to the next you are bound to hear people talking in different tongues. On the Dutch side, there is gambling and  haggling. St. Maarten is known as one of THE best places to get a deal on jewelry.  Then for an added bonus, for the fee of the price of a tiny ferry, you can take a day trip over to the even tinier island of Anguilla, a famous and often visited getaway for many A-list celebrities because of how secluded the villas and rented mansions are. It's a great place to go to really get away and loaf on a quite beach. Love Love it!

3. Las Vegas, Nevada- You wouldn't ordinarily think this is a wonderful place for a pregnant woman to go especially since many people smoke at the various casinos that litter that town. However, to the contrary, there is a variety of entertainment options offering from Cirque du Soleil to Vegas show girl caberets to world class concerts from music industry legends. Prince, Toni Braxton, Celine Dion and others all headlined major nightly shows there. Even if you go there for a weekend, you're bound to take in a lot of sights and entertainment. And every time I go, I notice a brand new "it" hotel to supplant the one that was the hottest only a few years prior. Don't sleep on Vegas as a baby moon option. You can't get knocked up twice. So what happens in Vegas can stay in Vegas. 

4. Paris, France - It's not called the city of love for nothing. The museums, cultural sights, restaurants and shopping make this an ideal destination for any occasion. It may be a long while after baby comes that you will be comfortable either traveling with a baby, small child or children or okay leaving the kids for a Paris trip. While you have the opportunity, it may be a great time to take  this sojourn across the ocean and to Europe. 

5.  Local Bed and Breakfast - Because not everyone has the budget, time away from work option or interest in traveling too far from family or the doctor or delivery hospital while pregnant, taking advantage of a quick weekend getaway to a nearby inn, bed and breakfast or hotel could do! There are sometimes specials on sites like GroupOn, LivingSocial and other sites that can be taken advantaged of and it saves the cost of car rental and air flight. You can plan to catch a play, movie or head to a local lounge or nightclub in the day and then order in, watch movies, chill by the hotel pool and vege at night. It's a great option for those who already have kids and want some quiet time alone. 

All these options are wonderful for mom and for dad who may have had to deal with an irritable, irate and demanding wife for nearly 9 months. Getting away on a baby moon gives couples that time to reconnect and rededicate their love one last time before the restless nights begin with a new baby! 

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Doctor who helped US Congresswoman through high risk pregnancy honored

A doctor who helped a Congresswoman go through a high risk pregnancy was honored yesterday on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dr. Jessica Bienstock, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies at Johns Hopkins University, helped representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, congresswoman's baby, Abigail Rose, now 1-year old, survive a rare condition in the womb. Abigail had Potter syndrome and didn't have kidneys.

The disease causes the babies to have under-developed lungs and nearly always they newborns cquickly suffocate. Dr. Bienstock  injected saline in the Congresswoman's uterus and the baby improved substantially.

"If she's a happy, healthy miracle, Dr. Bienstock is the miracle worker who helped give the gift of help and life to this family," Speaker of the House John Boehner said when he introduced Bienstock on the House floor.

Abigail was born two months premature without kidneys and spent her first five months in intensive care. She is on dialysis and will need a transplant.

It was a touching moment and the Speaker even got teary eyed a bit thanking Bienstock and all doctors and those in the medical fields who help deliver miracle babies each year. Check out the video:

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Mom's Guide to Health Reform and Maternity Coverage

This week, two different U.S. Court of Appeals issued conflicting rulings about how the federal government can subsidize those residents who have signed up for healthcare.

A DC Circuit Court said the federal government went too far offering subsidies and a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals hours in a similar case upheld the subsidies in their entirety.

It all reminded me to share this guide that will help your realize how your old policy may have changed whether it is new, newly covered or discontinued.

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