Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dr. Oz Releases a Pregnancy App!

TV’s Emmy winning Dr. Oz, host of the hour long Emmy-winning nationally-syndicated "The Dr. Oz Show" and Dr. Michael Roizen, who co-authors a book with Dr. Oz, have launched a new iPhone app for expectant mothers looking for answers to their questions about having a healthy pregnancy called YOU: Having A Baby.

The app provides expectant mothers with advice and information about their pregnancy from conception through infancy in an easy-to-use Q&A format based on content from their best selling book of the same book co-written by the two docs and other medical experts.

The app is available for download for $1.99 from the Apple App store for use on the iPhone or iPod Touch or on for any other device or phone

Not a bad idea because 1. the app is way cheaper than the book if you haven't already purchased the book; and 2. you may just not have time to read another book anyway as you prepare for your new baby. Certainly though, you can "play" with the app  and take advantage of the information while waiting at the doctor's office, during your lunch break, while in line at the grocery store, etc....Fun!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Celebrity Update: The Gossip Edition

It's been awhile since I posted the latest updates on pregnant celebrity gossip so here it goes:
Alicia Keys and her fiance rapper/producer/writer Swizz Beatz say they plan to wed before the baby comes. Getting all traditional are we? 

Wait a minute, mainstream blogs and rags are reporting on Sara Gilbert outing herself now? Hmm...I was wondering how come I was getting so many hits on my blog for people looking for photos of her and her kids Levi, 5, and Sawyer, 2, who she has with her longtime partner since 2002, Allison Adler. I only reported on it  in my March 30 post about other Gay Celebrities - a whole 5 months ago! 

Levi Johnston is alleged to have gotten his girlfriend pregnant before hooking back up with his now-fiance Bristol Palin, Sarah Palin's daughter. The National Enquirer reported that Johnston's ex-girlfriend, Lanesia Garcia, was pregnant. The two had a fling last year while Johnson and Palin were on the outs, sources told the paper.  "Levi insists the baby isn't his, but no one really knows for sure," a source told given his track record and obvious fertility, it's going to be hard to deny without a paternity test. Apparently, Bristol is so upset, she is thinking of calling the wedding off, say sources.

Our celebrities over in the US  are quick to simply say "no comment" and deny a pregnancy rumor flat out and leave it at that. The less details to prove the rumor false the better to not even substantiate or feed into an untrue rumor, right? So it appears that best friends of Southeast Asian actresses don't know that protocol. Actress Kris Aquino, daughter of former Phillipines Prime Minister Corazon Aquino, was rumored to have had a gameshow in development scrapped because she supposedly was undergoing a high risk pregnancy. Apparently, she had just had a marriage to a basketball player  James Yap annulled so it was all the buzz.  But leave it to the best friend Boy Abunda to blab extra details in an attempt to clear the rumor.
 “There’s an ad airing commercially now,It’s an anti-cervical cancer advocacy. It’s a Glaxo product. When Kris and I agreed to do their commercial, the contract stipulated, among other things, that Kris must submit to an HPV-DNA screening to check for the virus that causes cervical cancer. After the test, she took her first dose of the anti-cervical cancer vaccine. Oh, and during the test, she had her monthly period. On July 1, she shot the commercial. On July 8, she left for the United States. On July 18, she had her monthly period again. That was in Orlando. Even when she got to Boston, she still had her period. So how can she be pregnant?”
Wow dude! That was a whole lot of TMI right there!

Every other blog is talking about Heroes star Ali Larter and former Bachelor contestant Melissa Rycroft being pregnant so... here's me joining in though I try to focus on B and C listers and ethnic celebs that don't get as much press.

But lookey here, even old child stars, like Full House's Jodie Sweenie, more recently known for coming out about their drug addiction are getting some paparazzi and celeb blog love like from the likes of PerezHilton even.

Finally, Black Celeb Kids has a cute photo of Christina Milian and her daughter Violet Nash who were spotted in LA lately. Cute! Cute!! Both of them!

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Eco Friday: Visit a Local Farmers Market Near You


Whether you are into making your own baby food or just feeding the family wholesome home grown fruits and vegetables from a local source, your best bet is to hit the local farmer's market near you to stock up on goodies. Even in urban areas, cooperatives of farmers make arrangement to bring their wares into the city. Most of the time, even if the foods are  not "certified" organic by the USDA, you can rest assured that many of the produce are often grown with little pesticides and other chemicals because the farmers eat the food they sell as produce. In many markets, you can also find small businesses that sell homemade baked goods and breads or fresh picked flowers. 

When my little one as in swim class at a local pool, we made it a weekend adventure to hit the farmer's market that started shortly before swim class was over and stock up for the week!

Check out Local Harvest for a listing, map and other resources taking you to the nearest farmer's market to you. The website helps you find farmer's markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats and many other goodies.

photo: Source: Michelle Obama visits a DC farmer's market two blocks from the White House.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Study Says Kindergarten May Determine a Child's Future Salary

Remember that prolific poem "All I needed to learn I learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum? Well, according to a recent study, it may have been all you needed to earn a decent salary as an adult too!

provocative new study concludes that children who do well in Kindergarten earn substantially more as adults. The study was based on a longitudinal Tennessee experiment that tracked 12,000 children students who are now 30 years old. It concluded students that had learned much more in kindergarten were more likely to go to college than students with otherwise similar backgrounds.  They were also less likely to become single parents, save more for college and earn more.

All else equal, they were making about an extra $100 a year at age 27 for every percentile they had moved up the test-score distribution over the course of kindergarten. A student who went from average to the 60th percentile — a typical jump for a 5-year-old with a good teacher — could expect to make about $1,000 more a year at age 27 than a student who remained at the average. Over time, the effect seems to grow, too.
To read more on my thoughts about this study and about parental guilt, check out my post "Keeping the Guilt of Raising Children in Check" over on the Family Today Section of The Washington Times Community Section and please feel free to comment over there too!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bellyitch Bump Day: The Pregnant Statue

I found these beautiful statues of pregnant women on the Flickr-sphere
Vltava River - Prague =This statue is just by the side of Charles Bridge
source: Clarice

The Faroe Islands Art Museum - T├│rshavn-

Pregnant in Dublin
Source- Will Parfitt

source: JamieBean716
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Christina Applegate reveals her baby Bump!

One of my favorite actresses and cancer survivor Christina Applegate announced that she and her rocker fiance Martyn Lenoble are expecting their first child. 

Seen showing off her bump for the first time this past Sunday at the LA premiere of Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore is the 38 year old actress who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and had a double mastectomy to reduce the chances of the cancer returning!

Given that she's pretty stylish, I hope to be able to count on several months of fashionable Bellybump red carpet photos! Woot!

Congrats to Christina and Martyn!
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz said Baby's Gender is still a Surprise

Besides laughing off rumors circulating on the net that they were to have gotten married on a Yacht this past weekend, Swizz Beatz told People that he and Alicia are not going to find out the babies sex in advance. When asked if a daughter or son will join their family which includes Beatz' kids from his ex-wife Moshonda, he replied: "We don't know. We're just going to let that be magical. Whatever we're blessed with, boy, girl, twins, that baby is being born to blessed parents," he said. 

I'd hope with modern technology from ultrasounds they'd know it were twins by now, but I guess you never know. Beatz has two sons: Kasseem Jr., 3, and Prince Nasir, 9.

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Holly Robinson Peete to host View-like show for Moms

Celebrity Apprentice runner up Actress Holly Robinson Peete, who is married to announcer and ex-NFL player Rodney Peete is slated to co-host, along with several other celebrity moms, a new talk show this fall that will be formatted like The View. According to a press release,  the yet-to-be named show will be co-hosted by Holly and five other women, all of whom have kids ranging from babies to adults.

This is so cool at how diverse the cast will be. It will feature among others an African America, an Asian American, a Brit and a gay mom! Woot!  Read more:

Here’s the release from CBS:
CBS has ordered a new daytime talk show for fall 2010 featuring a panel of well-known news and entertainment personalities who will examine topical events and contemporary issues through the eyes of mothers. The daily one-hour series will be co-hosted by Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

The co-hosts—moms with children ranging in age from infant to adult—will swap stories, challenge each other on issues and engage the studio audience and viewers at home about events in the headlines and their own homes through the lens of motherhood. Show segments will include guest interviews with entertainers and newsmakers, live remotes from the field and personal home footage shot by the co-hosts themselves.

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Picking a Pediatrician

 Most parents chose a pediatrician for their child before the baby is even born. For first time parents this decision can be confusing. The majority of parents end up switching pediatricians a couple times at least before they find one that they are comfortable with. Prepare yourself before making your first decision and you may avoid having to switch which can be a hassle and also upsetting to your child.

 The first aspect you have to consider is the pediatrician’s demeanor and bedside manner. A good pediatrician will be warm and friendly - it’s difficult to get a child to cooperate or settle down when they don’t feel comfortable with the person examining them. It’s important that your pediatrician shares similar views as you on the things that you find most important. Additionally, they should have an open mind towards differing opinions and respect your thoughts and opinions.

 The office and staff is just as important to consider when making your decision. Since you will be dealing with the receptionists, nurses, and medical assistants it is imperative that you consider them in your decision. Talk to the staff to see if they are accommodating and warm. Inquire about how long it takes to get an appointment for a sick child. Some offices have a difficult time getting kids in quickly which will become very important for you if your baby is sick. Ask who you talk to when you call with a question - in some offices you can talk immediately with a nurse and in some you leave a message for someone to call you back later. Deciding which system you feel most comfortable with will save frustration later.

Many parents find it important for the office to have two separate waiting rooms - one for kids who are sick and one for kids who are not. Since illnesses are passed so easily from child to child it is nice to avoid these germs when coming in for a well-child checkup.

Set up an interview, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make the best decision you can with the information you have. Your child’s pediatrician will be a big part of those early years so it is important that you and your child feel comfortable with them.

Some sample questions are:
  • What is your philosophy about child rearing?
  • Who covers the practice when you are out of town?
  • Do you have a 24 hour hotline and a nurse practitioner on call for emergency advice?
  • What is your policy on minor emergency visits without an appointment?
  • What vaccinations do they recommend and what is the schedule?
  • How do they feel about listening to parents about their children's condition?  Mommy knows best or they are the professionals?
  • Cost and what insurance coverage is accepted?
  • If you wanting to use holistic solutions, how does the pediatrician view this?  How do they feel about breastfeeding?
One of the best baby gifts for a new mother, is a list of recommended pediatricians from other mothers.
Dr. Cristina Ramirez provides holistic chiropractic care for pregnant women, babies, and kids. She keeps her two young boys healthy with regular chiropractic adjustments.  My Baby Clothes Boutique provides her advice to the parenting community. 
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Favorite FREE Educational website for Babies


My 2 1/2 year old daughter has been enjoying the fun educational games on the Kneebouncers website for the past 6 months. The website was created by a couple of parents to provide fun online fun for the smallest learners. I think on account of that website (and this educational laptop she also plays with) she's able to recognize letters, numbers and shapes and master a lot of the basic skills they teach in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

She knows where to find the keys on a laptop too. I do say these children are becoming more computer literate at an earlier age than ever!
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Winner of EcoSmart Home Pest Kit Announced

Congratulations to Melissa Mundy

for winning a package of ecofriendly pest control products from EcoSmart!

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Eco Friday: Pregnancy Loss Support Balloon Release

Here is a novel idea to deal with the pain of dealing with a pregnancy loss. A group in my husband's native Trinidad & Tobago organizes a balloon release annually. The occasion is in recognition of the "emptiness of not being able to share in the lives, the celebrations, the little moments and milestone events" of those babies loss due to miscarriage, still births or neonatal passing. The event, called Missing Solace, is meant to give families the opportunity to celebrate their children's lives in a special event. Families are allowed to attach messages to each balloon.

So where does the Eco part of this Eco Friday come into play?

For special events like this to not sway pseudo and quasi environmentalist who may not support balloon releases because of their impact on polluting rivers and the environment, and because of their potential to harm birds and other wildlife that may discover the latex in the popped balloons, eat it and die -- there is this:

An earth friendly balloon MADE just for Balloon Releases!

Ecolovy is a company that produces ecological and environmentally friendly biodegradable balloons that are supposed to cause less harm to the environment and has been used world wide at events. The company that makes them Ecolovy Balloon, LLC is based in Japan.

Man! They think of EVERYTHING!!

Check out the VIDEO from last year's release here!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

OB Group Says Even Double C-Section Patients can have VBACs now!

I saw this wonderful report at US News & World Report today:
Pregnant women who have had a previous cesarean section may now be given the option of having a vaginal birth if doctors get on board with guidelines issued yesterday by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The organization says that the procedure, known as vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC, is safe and appropriate for most women who have had one prior C-section (with a horizontal incision below the bikini line) and even for some who have had two previous incisions or those carrying twins. "The potential risks and benefits" of both VBAC and a repeat C-section should be discussed, and the "ultimate decision...should be made by the patient in consultation with her health care provider," read the guidelines, which were published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 

Okay! This is great news! I recall after my second child, I wanted to try for a  VBAC, but I was discouraged by my OB who is a high profile doctor of a practice at a shi shi area -- you know the type of practice where the OBs schedule their C-sections around their vacations and golfing sessions. I suppose he was thinking of his malpractice insurance maybe too given that there is a higher risk of a previous c-section scar rupturing during a vaginal birth attempt.  I tried for it anyway, without his support, but failed because my son's heart rate dipped to dangerous levels because his cord was wrapped around his neck.  

Anyway, three years later, before delivering my third child, my daughter, and weeks before my due date, my water broke. I had an easy labor and was advancing quickly and barely felt contractions, but because I had already had 2 C-sections at that point, it was pretty much set that I'd have to get a scheduled C-section. I was pretty frustrated because was it not in the charts for me to get a C-section, I really feel I could have delivered my daughter vaginally.

I admit. I have Vaginal Birth envy. LOL!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bellyitch Bump Day: Teenage Pregnancy Barbie?

I heard CNN report yesterday on a story that I posted last week regarding Forever 21, a fashion store that targets tween and teenage shoppers, decision to launch a maternity line. Apparently, there's outrage and speculation that the store purposefully made available the clothes online and in brick and mortar stores in 5 states (Arizona, Alaska, California, Utah, and Texas.), 3 of which have the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country (Arizona, California and Texas).

The chain says it was mere coincidence. I suppose that could be true considering those are some of the largest states in the union, so it makes sense they'd have the highest rates of pregnancy.  They have more people in it. duh!

Anyway, this isn't the first time outrage was expressed over what some gleaned was an inappropriate exploitation of teenage pregnancy. In 2003, Matel sold a pregnant version of Barbie's best friend Midge! It was sold in Wal-marts and eventually pulled over outrage and customer complaints about the moral and ethical implications of the dolls targeted to small children. Check it out:

she came with a cell phone, bottle, rattle, money and a removable belly...
I'm not sure if this blonde version is real, but check out the removable baby!

This wording is real, but not part of the packaging that came with the Midge doll. I am thinking this was a satirical creation ....I hope anyway because the clinic I assuming must be an Abortion clinic.

 Is this crazy or what?
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The highs and lows of motherhood

I love being a mom.

I love those mornings when my two little boys snuggle up to me in bed. I love their soft little hands caressing my cheek as they are slowly waking up. I cherish the out of the blue “I love you” and chunky little arms around my neck. The curve of their toddler bellies and thigh rolls make me melt. The mispronunciations of little boys make me smile - the way apple becomes bapple or belly is belby always makes me laugh.

Small things become thrilling when you are always with little ones. Wagon rides, ice cream, the hose - these are all suddenly reasons for wild excitement. Dance parties in the living room, running laps around the house, making forts with blankets and pillows….the joy these simple activities bring is contagious.

Yup, I love being a mom. But, as much as I love being a mom there are days when I feel overwhelmed, unappreciated, and completely unfit for this important job.

There are days when the joys seem to be outnumbered by the hardships. When tantrums, whining, and an unhappy boy throwing yogurt across the kitchen test my patience and sanity. Some days I feel like a short order cook, a ref, and a maid. Days I don’t get to shower and am lucky if I get to brush my teeth. Days when I’m too busy to eat breakfast and the house looks like two small tornados roared through it. These are the days that I question my competence as a mom. How does everyone else make it look so simple?

I worry about everything - I worry about their safety, fitting in at school, random freak accidents, the teenage years, if they are eating enough vegetables. Oh yeah, skin cancer! Trying to keep a toddler hat on their head is enough to send any mother over the edge. I can’t watch the news because the stories terrify me. Being a mom often means feeling helpless to protect the most precious things in your life.

Oh, and are they precious. These boys mean the world to me. Being a mom is both the hardest and most joyful thing in the world.

By Dr. Cristina Ramirez. She is a chiropractor whose focus is treating pregnant women, babies, and children. She is a chapter leader of the Holistic Moms Network and is a mom of two young boys. She contributes her knowledge and expertise for a baby clothes boutique to use for their customers.

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Black Nigerian Brit Couple births Blonde Hair Blue Eyed Child

A Nigerian couple living in London gave birth to a blue-eyed and blonde haired non albino white baby girl. Well, I find the comments to all the various news feeds to this story HILARIOUS. Well you can imagine all of the milkman wise cracks. Notwithstanding, this tiny blessing named Nmachi, which means “Beauty of God”, baffled her parents Ben and Angela, and is a genetic miracle because the couple said they have no White ancestors in their blood line that they know fun!

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