Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Myth of the Instant Post Baby Body

So the gossip rags media is at it again, pushing a false unattainable and unrealistic image and standard of how quick a woman should lose her baby weight after pregnancy and giving birth.

This time, the suspect folks at US Weekly thought it was a good idea to erase some of Kourtney Kardashian's post baby body for the cover issue where she showed off her new baby for the first time. Kourtney and her on again/off again boyfriend Scott Disick welcomed baby Mason Dash Disick on December 14 in Los Angeles.

The cover (above left) features a photo of the new mother taken on December 22 - just a week after giving birth to son Mason - with her previously billowing tunic digitally reduced to make her look like she had already lost the baby weight.
The U.S. edition of OK! magazine claimed to have an exclusive with the 30-year-old, quoting her as saying: 'My diet secrets - lose 10lbs in 10 days.'
According to a Daily Mail article:
Kourtney told Women's Wear Daily: 'They doctored and Photoshopped my body to make it look like I have already lost all the weight, which I have not.'
I love Khourtney for standing out against the egregious airbrushing. She tweeted about the madness, adding: 'One of those weeklies got it wrong again… they didn’t have an exclusive with me.
'And I gained 40 pounds while pregs, not 26... But thanks.'
The original image of Kourtney wearing a white tunic was taken by photographer Albert Michaels from the StarTraks agency and was first published in rival magazine Life & Style's January 11issue. So it wasn't even an exclusive. How are they going to take a photo, change the clothes (notice they even changed the sweater the baby is wearing) and then call it an exclusive?!

The fact of the matter is celebrities should not be held to the standard. It takes 9 months to pack on the weight and the average woman should not expect to take it off in less than 9 months. The obsession with the post baby melt down is out of control and yes these women are paid to look good and can lose out on roles if they take too long to get back into shape, but it is disturbing that as soon after she pops out a baby, there is a photo of her on the cover of one of those weeklies a few weeks later touting how she lost the baby weight fast. It presents to regular woman and people in general that it is normal to expect the baby weight to melt off. Many times, these celebrities lie through their teeth claiming the weight came off breast feeding or exercising and eating healthy. I would hedge my bets that some get tummy tucks and liposuction on the C-section operating table. Others I wouldn't doubt engage in some dangerous diets.

It will take some serious change in societal standards for us to realize that there is no way in hell a woman can have a baby one week and be back to her pre-baby size weeks's just not normal. This is not to say some do not obtain I am aware of women who can and have, it's just not average. I do wish the magazines would stop rushing to put new celebrity moms on their covers with their new post-baby bodies...well at least not weeks after they give birth anyway!

Some more unrealistic bounce backs:
Bachelorette Trista Sutter put on nearly 43 pounds before giving birth in April, a big jump from her normally 110-pound frame. She supposedly bounced back to 108 pound in 6 months!

Grey’s Anatomy Ellen Pompeo 39-year-old two weeks after giving birth on September 15th, appeared at an October 1 event.
Kendra Wilkinson had a C-section and the doctors strictly prohibit certain exercises because of the incision and the fact that a c-section is major surgery. So it baffled me to see her all up on Ok! magazine with a barbell in her hand. She is seen below with her 3 1/2 week old son Hank Jr.

Just 30 days after the birth of her twin baby girls, Rebecca Romijn shows off her amazing post-baby body. Can't believe this woman had twins!

Halle Berry, a little over one month after giving birth to her daughter in 2008 was seen at an industry event looking this fabulous. At least she still has her full boobage showing.

The most realistic I was able to find during a search was Gwen Stefani. This photo taken 2 weeks after she gave birth show a more reasonable post-baby body.

Who to blame, the magazines for pushing this ridiculous standard or the public who buys magazines and want to believe in the myth of the instant post-baby body?
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Celebrity Update: Let's Stalk Paula Patton

I'm loving how the "Precious" Actress/Star is wearing her pregnancy these days...Let's stalk shall we?

at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, held Saturday evening at the Shrine in Los Angeles. the red carpet of the 67th Golden Globes Awards show. at the People’s Choice Awards 2010 held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

at a random event recently...

The Precious star, 34, and husband Robin Thicke expect their first child — a boy to be named Julian — in May.


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Monday, January 25, 2010

Product Review: Baby Bond Nursing

I have tried various nursing covers. The over-the-shoulder baby holder was my cover of choice with my three children. That was years ago. Since then, there have been numerous companies and brands come up with different types. I received a sample of The Baby Bond Nursing cover to sample. I carted it along with me when I visited a friend who had just given birth weeks ago. She was nursing and I figured she'd make a good guinea pig model to test out this cover.

I loved the pretty packaging the nursing cover came in. The material was lightweight and the fabric was soft. What makes this nursing cover different from the rest is that the baby is not completely covered and can freely interact with the world. I know my kids used to love to pull off the cover when nursing because they'd be hot or want to be nosy. They used to get distracted by whatever noise in the world was going on beyond the cover. So this cover offers a solution to that problem. You could wear the cover above or below the bustline depending on how baby is nursing.

A novel idea indeed. The only thing though is that two college educated women had a bit of a tough time figuring out how it all worked based on the diagram that came in the box. Once you can figure it out, I think you'd be golden. I guess we should have checked out the video from the company's website, huh?

My friend also didn't like the fact that it didn't appear that your nipples would be completely covered which can be a problem if you are prudish about exposing your goodies in the middle of the mall somewhere. I suppose after practice, a new mom would get the hang of it and be golden. It turns out we got the BabyBond Original™ which is to be worn like a sash, "functioning like a nursing top. Nurse from the top of your shirt. Separate the layers of fabric to achieve latch on. Double panel keeps breast covered above & below. Belly & back remain covered with your own shirt."
Doh! We didn't get that until way later!

It looks like a pretty creative and unique alternative to the traditional nursing cover. At least it is lightweight and fashionable and would do the trick!

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Top 10 SEXIEST Baby Making Videos

To replace my post with the Baby Making Music playlist which got yanked off when Imeem was acquired by MySpace music, I've created a very erotic list of sexy videos to get you in the mood to procreate! Oh and in response to my younger readers, I tried to keep them recent. Enjoy!

warning-- OVER 18 ONLY-----NSFW ----seriously folks!

First up, Video phone by Beyonce featuring Lady GaGa.

Next up is Madonna's "Human Nature" - an S&M smorgasborg

Human Nature - Madonna

Matty RJ | MySpace Video

Then the very very sexy Trey Songz "I invented sex" - You'll need a cold shower after this one

Next up is the very sexy Freedom, by George Michael - Nothing like Hot models lip syncing to get you in the mood, eh?

Chris Isaak's Wicked Game is untouchable - The absolute HOTTEST!

One of my favorite's of all time is Ciara's "Promise" b/c I think the baggy sweats look is so sexy.

No Doubt Fiona Apple's "Criminal" is a hot one! - reminds us of how slack we were in College no?

D'Angelo's Untitled is guaranteed to make you go over the top!

You know my baby Prince had to make the list with "Little Red Corvette"

prince little red corvette

olman_rock | MySpace Video

Finally, Justin Timberlake and Scarlett Johansson heat it up in "What Goes Around...Comes Around" - a mini movie Michael Jackson style, but the chemistry in this video is whoa!

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bellyitch Bump Day: The Carnival Belly Redux

Because I am preparing feverishly (fitness-wise) to travel to Carnival next month in my husband's native Trinidad & Tobago, I became intrigued by this photograph of a woman with her belly painted like a peacock that I discovered in the Websphere. It reminds me of the colorful costumes often decorated with bright billowy feathers and plumes, jewels and appliques.

I also loved that the woman is of East Indian decent and nearly half of the people in Trinidad are also of East Indian descent. The other near half is of African descent with a sprinkle of Hispanic, Syrian & Other mixed in between. It is truly a very multicultural island.

Photo credits are in the picture.

Very neat! and this is a Redux because I've done the Carnival Belly before.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Celebrity Update: The Fashionable Suri Cruise

taking a break from pregnant celebs this week. I've heard of some women who can't be seen without their heels on, but never a 3 year old.

behold, the ever adorable super cute and tres fashionable Suri Cruise:

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Let's Talk about the Challenge of the Professional Woman Deciding to Start a Family

Many professional women have a difficult time deciding when to have a baby. The challenge has to do with the decision to sacrifice their climb of the corporate ladder for a kid. Waiting a little longer has its benefits: you may be farther along and more senior at your job and so much so that while you are on maternity leave, your clients may wait or you may have proven your value to the company enough and established yourself as virtually irreplaceable.

There is no doubt that the benefits of waiting are generally increased financial security, advanced maturity and perhaps a mental and psychological ability to better handle the responsibility of raising a child. However, we all know that if you wait too long, you run a risk of having a challenging time conceiving or maybe not being able to conceive at all. That is another conversation for another day.

I am one of those annoying people who always pesters her friends of child bearing age to have a baby whenever I get a chance. Yup I am that nosy body. A couple friends confessed to me that I am the reason they had their first child; they were tired of me harassing them to have a baby. Call it the Catholic in me! You know how we're always trying to make sure earth is amply populated, as if that is a big problem. ha!

In any case, I was also that professional woman who grappled with when to start a family. I worked in the DC office of a high pressure top New York law firm. Among the 60 lawyers in my office were at least 10 married women of child bearing age, all eager to have children, but none willing to be the test dummy for how the firm would react to a pregnancy.

It was eerie to me to see us all, metaphorically speaking, looking at each other daring the other person to jump first. The law field is and can be cut throat, especially around the time I worked there, everyone was on their best behavior trying to prove to the partners that they were worth the 6 figures they paid us and better yet, worthy of partnership in a few short years. Being elected to the partnership met the brass ring and a healthy cut in the revenue the firm would make, that could mean millions for some, if they played their card right.

Needless to say, the men in my firm had an easier time not having to worry about a break in the climb to the top. After the first woman decided to take the plunge, would you believe that 6 of us later followed suit within in the next two years after?

The concern is after you take off for maternity leave after having your baby, you can never be certain what the state of your position will be like when you return, especially for professional team jobs.

I know when I left for 5 month, my responsibilities were dispersed among remaining associate s who used that time I was away to develop bonds with my clients, my partners and get a better and intimate familiarity with my cases. Needless to say, when I returned, none of them was all too eager to give me back my caseload. It all went downhill from there and after a year or two, I left that law firm.

Some of the women at my firm felt guilty about coming back to work full time and did not want to leave their small babies home with a nanny or in a daycare all day all week. Luckily, the firm was flexible and allowed part time. The problem with part time is you take a pay cut because presumably you are in the office part of the time, but in a legal environment, you can't really not work once your 20 hours are fulfilled especially if there is an ongoing assignment for a client or a deadline. Your professional responsibility is to the client. So there you are getting paid half the salary for the same amount of work. What a conundrum!

Then there were those whose husbands made enough money that they didn't have to return to work if they didn't want to and they got to stay home. Lucky chicks. The only problem with this option is after your kid and maybe subsequent born children get school age and you find your self itching for some daily adult interaction and stimulation and to be challenged again, it isn't that easy getting back on track. By the time you get back in the workforce, the men in your graduation class have moved on. Some are senior professionals, and sometimes your value has been degraded by your absence. You almost have to start over in some instances. The high power go-getter ladies who were driven enough to be trying to shatter the glass ceiling are not too keen on answering to someone younger than they and therein lies the problem with that alternative.

It's a topic for conversation and matter that affects women's childbirthing choices and the professional work space. I'm not certain the American workplace will change much even with laws like Family Maternity Leave Act (FMLA) in place. Attitudes persist. I know I used to regularly bump heads with women who elected not to have children at all. Surprising to me, they were the hardest on me and had no sympathy for children related absence from work on interruptions. Go figure!

Not much to do, but here are a few tips I can offer from my experience and my awareness of other professional women who have been in my shoes:

1. Analyze how the company/firm has responded with other pregnant women. Have a conversation with one and interview her of her experience.

2. If you are junior or a rising professional, work hard to obtain client contact and develop a relationship with your clients so they are comfortable with you and develop a preference for working with you. It makes it harder for another whipper snapper to try to outseat you and take away the client.

3. Before you start the process of "trying" work out your budget with your spouse/partner and make sure you have a cushion in case you decide not to return or you get back and find yourself unhappy about tasks being taken away from you and you start to look for something else.

We can plan but as always life doesn't always go according to plan.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

What's GG Up to? Wearing Natural Biodegradable Diapers

Getting ready to be potty trained! We tested out the organic diapers sent us. She sampled a couple of the Nature Babycare disposable diapers which are eco friendly and consist of 99% compostable material. Because of this, these diapers are a great biodegradable option to traditional disposable diapers.

I know a couple of you guys are considering using natural cloth diapers as an alternative to landfill producing regular diapers.

I tried to go that route when I had my first, but just couldn't fathom the idea of having wash away poopy diapers all the time. I tried. Really I did.

I was born in Africa, so you know my mom used natural diapers on me and I have a smooth bottom I suppose because I didn't have to sit in poop combined with the chemicals they put in diapers to make them absorbent for too long. TMI! I know! I know!

Anyway, these puppies worked just fine and were just as absorbent as conventional diapers. They were thinner so I didn't think they'd work well, but to my surprise, it did the trick. So there you have it, if you can't go the all natural route, this could be a cool alternative. Again, a little pricier than conventional. I was sent two to sample, but they run $11.99 for 44 ct.

But GG is soooo smart that she knows very well how to use the potty but does not want to. With the price of diapers going up and this recession looking like it isn't subsiding too soon, homegirl is about to go to Potty Boot Camp starting NEXT WEEK!!!

With us luck!!

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lessons from Haiti: Get your Family & Baby Emergency Kit Ready

All these images I've been viewing from the coverage about the Haiti disaster have me thinking I need to update my emergency kit. Especially, if you are pregnant and/or have young children or an infant in tow, you may want to make sure your family is extra prepared to make it through long periods of time without electricity or communication.

We had a portable emergency kit I made in each car and one in the basement. Sometime this summer, we cleaned the cars an out went the kits and the various elements scattered about. I think the water and other stuff in the basement kit has expired. Yes, bottled water does have an expiration date.

The earthquake coverage also got me thinking about our decision to switch telephone service to FiOs by Verizon which is a voice over internet phone that relies on electricity. There is a backup battery in our basement that has a shelf life of 7 days. In case of a disaster, I'm screwed. With our traditional landline underground based telephone service we traded in, we wouldn't need electricity to communicate with the outside world should wireless phone towers get toppled. Granted, I live in DC and we aren't near a fault line and usually don't get hit bad too much by hurricanes and never ever get tornadoes, but there was 9/11 and we are quite close to the source of a constant terrorist target, the Nation's Capital.

Whew! So I did some research and came across this excellent list of items to have in your kit. Check it out. Get yourself prepared, people! (oh and these Tips from Wired magazine are a must read)

What Belongs in an Emergency Kit
When trouble strikes, it's helpful to have an emergency kit handy - something that's accessible to your entire family. Here are some things you may want to include in a waterproof container:
Food Items:
  • Bottled water
  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Cookies, snacks
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned meat, fish
  • Dried fruit
  • Canned/boxed beverages
  • Fruit drinks
  • Peanut butter
Non-Food Items:
  • Plastic forks and cups
  • Napkins
  • Can opener (non-electric)
  • Batteries for flashlights and radio
  • Plastic trash bags
  • Charcoal
  • Water purifying tablets
  • Flashlights
  • Candles and matches
  • Clothing and bedding
  • Extra socks and underwear
  • Pillows
  • Sleeping bag and blankets
  • Washcloth and towel for each person
  • Soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving kit
  • Contact lens solution
  • Hair care items and mirror
  • Dentures
  • Sanitary napkins and tampons
  • Paper towels, toilet paper
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • Watch or clock
First Aid Kit:
Keep contents of first aid kit in a waterproof metal or plastic box.
  • Prescription medicines (four-week supply)
  • Bandages and Band-Aids
  • Antiseptic
  • Adhesive tape rolls
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Allergy medication
  • Insect repellent
  • First aid handbook
  • Scissors
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Safety pins
  • Thermometer
  • Needle (for splinters)
Items for Infants:
  • Small toys – don’t forget favorite stuffed animals
  • Clothes
  • Diapers and baby wipes
  • Milk or formula
  • Powders, creams or ointments
  • Bottles and nipples
  • Baby food
  • Sheets, blankets, rubber pads
  • Portable crib
  • Plastic bags
  • Pacifiers
You should also store some basic hand tools such as a hammer, nails, screwdrivers, wrench and small hatchet. These could be useful if you need to make emergency repairs to your home later. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the emergency kit is kept.
Develop an emergency plan, too!
Most public safety experts strongly recommend that you develop an "emergency plan" and review it with your family. Children may be at school and adults at work when the storm hits. Have a plan for getting back together in a safe place that you've all agreed on. Ask an out-of-state relative to serve as a central family contact point. Post the written emergency plan in a place where your family knows to look, and don't forget to add an extra copy to your emergency kit.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bellyitch Bump Day: The Haitian Belly

The image above is of a line to attend a pregnancy clinic run by the international medical aide group Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors without Borders) in Haiti from years ago. The group and other aide organizations have been organizing volunteers to aide the people of Haiti devastated by the earthquake that hit their tiny Caribbean island nation yesterday. I am extremely proud of a friend of mine who has agreed to travel there herself and volunteer for six weeks with a US version of this same group.

I am always saddened and heartbroken when catastrophes like these occur and take so many innocent lives. Especially in this time when our own country is in the midst of a recession and people are hurting, it warms the heart to see people dig in their nearly empty pockets and give. One effort enables people to give $5 through a simple text message. It is wonderful to see so many others volunteer time and at least the effort to promote the message of how those who can give should give around. The way the country and world is galvanizing support is great especially for Americans. So many of us are self-absorbed and can lack a world view, so to see concern for humanity, is great! It appears like radio, schools, the media, bloggers, the Twitterverse, and various industries are chipping in anyway they can. Good stuff man.

In this New York Times video about natural family planning failure in the impoverished nation, the reporter interviews Naomi, a poor pregnant Haitian woman living in a cinder block home with her nine children that she can barely care for while expecting her tenth.

I discovered this story in my search for efforts being made to aide the sick, missing and dead. The destruction caused by the quake is so horrific that I can barely watch the reporting on it on TV. After looking at this video, I couldn't help but wonder if Naomi and her children were okay.

Heaven knows. I pray they are.

If you haven't heard of the numerous ways you can help by donating, check out the following:

- Text Yele. Wyclef Jean is urging donors to text 'Yele' to 501501 and make a $5 contribution to the relief effort over cell phone. Click here to get more information via Wyclef's Twitter page.

- Save the Children. Donate at or make checks out to "Save the Children" and mail to: Save the Children Income Processing Department, 54 Wilton Road, Westport, Conn. 06880

- UNICEF. Go online to or call (800) 4UNICEF.

- Red Cross. Go online to and click Donate, or call (800) REDCROSS.

- Direct Relief International. Donate online at

- Mercy Corp. Go online to or mail checks to Haiti Earthquake Fund, Dept. NR, PO Box 2669, Portland, Ore. 97208 or call (888) 256-1900

To find information about friends and family in Haiti: The U.S. State Department set up a toll-free number to call for information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747.

The department said some callers may receive a recording because of heavy volume of calls.

The State Department has also set up links on its Web site to facilitate donations to disaster relief agencies.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Product Review: The Grime Fighter & Episencial Body Butter

Next up to review from Sprout Baby, an ecommerce retailer offering a selection of environmentally safe and eco friendly baby products for eco-conscious parents, is "The Grime Fighter" a non-toxic all purpose household cleaner. The cleaner is made by Babyganics, a brand specializing in creating cleaning products that are not only baby safe, but also environmentally friendly.

Since we've had to cut back a bit in my household, we unfortunately (for me especially) haven't been able to get our usual house cleaners in to do their semi monthly clean sweep. ICK! I hate this recession because that has also meant that Moi, who hates cleaning, have had to pick up the slack.

So this product came in handy when I saw it included in the box of products to review which included the hand sanitizer (which I reviewed last week), the body butter (reviewed below) and the bio friendly diapers (to be reviewed next week).

Okay folks, I literally took the 2 fl ounce spray bottle sent to me and started from the top of our house and with a rag cleaned everything: the crib, changing table, beds, tv cabinets, dining room table, the refrigerator, stove, counters, oven and even a spot on the no wax floor in the kids room.

The great thing about this product: No noxious fumes. Amazing! I thought the chemicals that created the fumes were what made a household cleaner work. Well that went out the window and I was pleasantly surprised to see that this stuff cleaned all surfaces and really got down to and cleaned the caked on guck. Like the stuff on the mystery crap from the fridge handle. I sprayed a couple spritz and let it set and after a few moments, that stuff came off effortlessly.

I give this stuff a thumbs up! All natural good stuff and it's good for the environment but does the job.

I also received to review an 8 ounce jar of Episencial better body butter, a "silky soft hydrating lotion" that is free from the bad stuff like additives, parabens, and petroleum. First off, cool points to a product that uses the word "stuff" in its label. ha!

Episencial Skin Care is the first company to create an all-natural and fully sustainable skin care line for babies and families. According to the company's website, the products from the makers of the butter are inspired by Eric Carle, illustrator and creator of the world famous "Hungry Caterpillar" book. Carle's images even appear on the label. Neat. I've loved that book since I was a kid and so do my kids.

The product is made from all natural ingredients of organic calendula, borage oil and the bottle it comes in is recycled and BpA free!! How's that for green product? Love it.

I was skeptical when I first poured some out because the consistency wasn't as thick as many of the other body butter products I've used in the past, but I suppose it is the petroleum and other artificial ingredients that give some of those products that texture.

To my amazement, the butter managed to keep my skin ash free for an entire day in the dead of winter, so there you go! A natural body butter that's good for the environment and can do the job. Cool beans.

You can pick up both products in these stores and on line at Sprout Baby, the online store that sells organic and wholesome products and features eco friendly and organic lines. Love it thought the better stuff can run you a pretty penny. For example, a 75 count of the Grime Fighter wipes will set you back $7.99 which is pretty steep, but hey, being eco friendly can be costly. The bad ingredients must be less costly, I suppose.

Five belly bumps up!!

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bellyitch Blog Spotlight: Mommi Jewel Blog

I love Jewel Kipapa because she is one of my frequent commenters and I also love Jewel's pregnancy blog, Mommi Jewel Blog. In it, she tracks pregnancy milestones and lots of photos and lots of great stories. She and her honey boo are too cute. His birthday is the same as my baby girl's GG's on New Year's Eve. People always tell me that GG will have a wonderful time on her birthday each year, especially when she grows older, but according to a recent post by Jewel, I now wonder how that would affect her family and significant other. You have to go read to Mommi Jewel Blog to find out what I'm talking about...

Jewel's posts are very candid and she is an open person, a free spirit I believe. On the first page alone she shares so much about her family, her sister's natural birth, the holidays with family and her step son. All Love. All the time. Very endearing and emotional.

I can really feel her spirit through the computer screen and no I am not on the sauce as I type this, just loving Mommi Jewel Blog, that's all.

Take a peeksy if you have a free moment.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

What's GG Up to: Being a Mini Me

love this photo. I'm certain my Blackberry/Twitter loathing husband isn't going to be happy seeing this pic! ha!

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