Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Ready Formula

Are you ready?  Ready to get pregnant?  To have a baby?  

Are ya?  

ARE YA?!?!!!!

They're questions that I've been asked by many a family member, friend and bold stranger.  I usually blow it off with a canned answer like "I don't even know what it means to be ready" or "Not just yet, standby".  Both are true and both usually move the conversation along without follow-up.  Readiness incorporates so many factors: emotional, physical, fiscal, geographical...yada yada yada.  It's the sum of many smaller readinesses - some logical, some enigmatic and all unique to the woman (and couple).

A friend recently declared to me that the biological clock in her body must be broken or simply non-existent.  She's happily married, makes a comfortable living at a stable job, owns a beautiful home with her husband and has a generally awesome thing going...but, she has zero baby itch.  She's done some research about how a woman's age affects her ability to get pregnant and give birth to a healthy child, which led her to mark her 33rd birthday as conception kick off.  Ready or not, it'll be go time.

The Maternal Clock...tick...tick...tick

Another friend told me that her parents' health was the overriding ready factor.  She too is happily married and loving life.  She likely would have opted to love life as a wife and not a mom for a few years, but an unexpected and serious medical diagnosis in her family changed that.  She wanted her parents to know their grandchildren and for her little ones to know their grandparents.  The sad news provoked a very happy decision: baby making time.

A Tickler Whipper for baby making time...bow chicka bow bow

Dear Moms and Moms-to-Be, 
What was YOUR ready formula?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Childhood Joys

During a typical sidewalk stroll, my eyes dart to the windows of clothing boutiques and coffee shops.  I think, can I afford that dress and do I really need more caffeine in my bloodstream.  Without having any children (and not being a child), toy stores allude me and playgrounds may or may not exist, I haven't noticed.  It's the wine shops and new restaurants that grab my attention.  But lately, with babies on my brain, I'm suddenly noticing bits of everyday life that I've ignored for the past couple decades.  I've found myself seeing the colorful, child-enticing particulars of my neighborhood - the balloons, the gumball machines and the motorized, lightning dragon-horse-snail.   

I totally acknowledge that this last photo doesn't appear entirely child-friendly (at all) given the manhole, orange safety cone and thick, metal chain...but you can imagine how child-friendly it would look minus all those things.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First there was DINK, now there is SAHM

Remember those DINKs?  Well, today is all about SAHMs - an entirely different demographic.

You may be familiar with the acronym SAHM.  I, however, was not until about 10 minutes prior to writing this post.  I first saw it on a twitter profile, "I am a SAHM."  It reminded me of "I am Sam, Sam I am" (...Dr. Suess anyone?) and I ignored it.  By the third or fourth time, I arbitrarily decided it was some sort of club, likely religious in nature.  Around the tenth time, it was google/urbandictionary search time.  The results revealed that I was way off (not surprising) and SAHM has zero to do with religion or spirituality in general.  Rather, it stands for Stay At Home Mother.

I will not eat green eggs and ham,
I will not eat them Sam I Am

A couple things struck me about this discovery.  First, the twittersphere is occupied by a lot of stay at home moms, which makes sense.  Home-based jobs, including the job of mothering, allow for unfettered and unsupervised access to the internet.

The other thing I noticed is that the job of stay at home mom is a touted badge of honor.  The SAHMs are a proud bunch.  And of course they should be, but I note this because non-stay-at-home-mothers don't seem to proclaim their motherhood as dominantly on their twitter profiles as the stay-at-home kind.  Whenever I saw "SAHM" in a twitter profile it was the first identifier (i.e.  I am a SAHM, a photographer and a lover of lucky charms cereal).  For non-SAHM moms, it was one identifier tucked into a list (i.e. I love pickles and road trips and my twin baby boys).

I have no doubt that working moms love their children and their motherhood just as much as SAHMs.  Perhaps I'm overanalyzing an underwhelming amount of data, but my guess is that SAHMs self-identity is spread less thin than working mothers, making it more natural for them to put their SAHM hat front and center.  I also think the publicized pride might be a tiny poke at those feminists (there is a camp of them) who think that modern day SAHMs are a step backward in the women's movement.  For the record, I disagree with this camp - the feminist movement was about gaining choices, not about being required to do the exact opposite of past generations.

My last hypothesis on the matter of SAHMs is that there is a lot more put into the stay-at-home versus back-to-work decision than a mere "what strikes my fancy?" question.  Household income and the specific career at hand are certainly two of those questions.  But, I think a discussion of those considerations (and the many others) is fodder for another post...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baby Beanies, Bonnets and Bucket Hats

Try saying that title 3 times fast, or even 2...

Today's post is an answer to one of my first posts, Baby Bears, that featured some baby winter hats.  Below are a fantastic selection of adorable, handmade baby summer hats.  Personally, I'm not a huge summer hat lady unless it involves watching a televised horse race from the racetrack...which has never happened.  But, summer hats are a must for babies, who have no business attending horse races, hat or no hat.  Reminder: 21 years (not months) is the legal age to gamble.

This organic cotton hat by LEFTright is genius.  The dream bubble in the hat below is full of sushi (my favorite).  Check out the Etsy shop for versions with ice cream, airplanes and more.  And get a 20% discount on your purchase with the coupon code "nextstopbaby".    

This adorable dinosaur themed hat by TrishyBear was an immediate pick for this post.  You know how I feel about dinosaurs.  Enjoy free first class shipping on all purchases from TrishyBear with the coupon code "Nextstop". 

by TrishyBear

Your baby boy (or girl) would be too cool (and too young) for school in this reversible John Deere Madras bucket hat by The Sassy Sewer.  Enjoy a 20% discount on all stock items with the coupon code "Nextstop".

by The Sassy Sewer

Pretty Lizzy Lu makes this baby bonnet in the geometric blue fabric below and several other organic cotton fabrics.  Sizes from birth through 18 months are available.  Use the coupon code "NSBpromo" for a 20% discount on your purchase.

by Pretty Lizzy Lu

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stuff People Google 6

This week's Stuff People Google scares me.  Thoughts?

steps to faking a pregnancy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Peanut Gallery

Another symbolic dream (remember Big Friggin Babies): I was at a restaurant and ordered blueberry pancakes, my favorite.  The waiter brought out the pancakes with a bowl of blueberries, which was apparently to my specification.  I was about to scoop up some delightful little berries when the waiter quickly grabbed the bowl off the table and berated me for trying to eat them.  I was beside myself.  What the hell was he doing?  He was beside himself.  How dare I eat blueberries while pregnant!  We then got into a screaming match as I argued that 1) I was not pregnant, and 2) even if I was, blueberries are perfectly acceptable for pregnant women to eat.  He disputed both points.  I don't remember how it concluded other than I never ate the blueberries. 

This time around I didn't have my mom to interpret for me, but I also didn't need her.  I've recently been witness to several know-it-all comments toward pregnant women about the "don'ts" of their pregnancy.  Don'ts as in, don't eat that, don't wear those shoes, don't exercise that way.  Unsolicited advisers of any topic should tread lightly, but when it comes to such a sensitive and unique experience as pregnancy I have been shocked at how rarely that occurs.  What shocks me more is how often these bold directives come from complete strangers or women who have never been pregnant.

I lost my shit on the waiter in my dream.  I imagine my real life response would have been on par.  Telling a pregnant woman that she's doing something she shouldn't is the equivalent of telling her that she's already a bad mother.  It's mean.  Unless she's doing some drunk rollerskating while smoking a stogie, let it go.  Eating soft cheese or wearing stiletto heels isn't catastrophic behavior.  And, most importantly, she has a doctor who is far more qualified to be dishing out judgment.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Peter Rabbit Nursery

All my Winnie the Pooh baby shower ideas and nostalgia led to the collection of these sweet items for a Peter Rabbit themed nursery.  Compared to Pooh, Tigger and crew, Peter and his family were far less lively.  Yes, Peter was constantly getting his mischievous self into trouble and barely slipping out of the Gardner's clutches, but Beatrix Potter painted a soft and serene rabbit world - a world that seems ideally suited for a nursery.  These pieces share a vintage vibe and common color palette of sky blue, wheat and white.  And what could be more cuddly than a cute, little rabbit?  By the way, I actually found a book entitled Create Your Own Peter Rabbit Nursery...which is comically specific, but highly rated by the 2 people who reviewed it on

Pottery Barn Kids makes Peter Rabbit bedding (below) and a valance, nightlight and stroller blanket. 

by Pottery Barn Kids

I am truly taken with this beautiful creation by Celadon Home.  This 12" x 12" art is a collection of heart shaped cutouts that tell the story of Peter Rabbit.  It is both modern and vintage and would be a unique addition to your nursery.  Use the coupon code "THANKS10" to a receive 10% discount on your purchase.

by Celadon Home
by Celadon Home

Storytime Art by Lori Biebel makes both the Peter Rabbit clothing hooks and growth chart seen below.  They can be personalized by adding a name for no extra charge and NSB readers will receive free shipping when they mention this blog in their purchase comment.

by Storytime Art
by Storytime Art

These wooden blocks are hand cut and the edges are filed down for a vintage, worn look.  Enter the coupon code "BABY15" for a 15% discount off your purchase.

by Holly Licari

This toy chest is hand-painted by Originals by Barb Mazur.  It is made to order and customized. Check out the top that has the child's name (Eli) and date of birth (8-15-01).

by Originals by Barb Mazur

You may also want to pick up Peter himself.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?

The short answer: No

Speaking of, anyone seen the self-portrait nudey pics of Blake Lively that made their way from her cell phone to the world wide web?  Too hot for this blog...but let me say this - I call into question (read: think she's regretful and lying about) her claim that they were photoshopped and not actually her.

A non-naughty photo of Blake Lively, google the naughty ones yourself

What is too much when it comes to posting thoughts, photos and videos about your pregnancy and baby on the internet?  A naked pregnant belly?  Photos of mom, dad and baby in the delivery room?  Sonogram images?  I once saw a photo posted on Facebook of the mother-to-be mid ultrasound as she and the father-to-be found out the baby's gender.

Click HERE to watch any of the 1,000+ youtube videos that show
the result of a pregnancy test as the mother herself discovers it.
There is fresh pee (yes, pee) on the pregnancy test in this video.


I feel like a voyeur (read: creepster) when I see an especially intimate pregnancy, childbirth and baby postings of a person I barely know or don't know at all.  Yet, logically, the person was well aware that my eyes and many others would become witness to the personal experience.  Still, I can't help but feel a little awkward.  Facebook itself has felt a little awkward and shutdown some profiles and pages with breastfeeding photos that were deemed obscene.  When it comes to those that I do know, especially long distance friends, it's wonderful to see updates on their growing families.  And, admittedly, I don't mind being a bit of a creepster when it comes to some Facebook friends (not friend friends) who I wouldn't otherwise have inside scoop.

I wonder how I will feel when it's my turn - whether I will splash my bikini clad baby bump all over the internet or wait until my child heads to college.  I imagine it's a battle between wanting to keep some things private and wanting to shout your joy from the roof tops.  There's no wrong choice, which is comforting.  Unless, of course, Facebook thinks you're a big perv and removes your photo per policy.

What photos and news will/have you posted?

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Bagel Family - My 100th Post!!!

My favorite bagel spot was packed last weekend.  Packed with mommies and daddies and kiddies.  And everyone was referring to each other in noun form.  The following was spoken by either a Mommy or Daddy.

"Hi Daddy, I got you a cinnamon raisin bagel."

"Thanks Mommy."

"Mommy wants Daddy to wait outside with the kids."

"Kids, Mommy said listen to Daddy."

"Daddy is asking the Kids to please go outside now."

"Coffee is for Mommy and Daddy.  Juice is for Kids."

My bagel shop had turned into a weird grammar club.  I was torn between irritation and jealousy.  I was irritated in the same way that I am irritated when people say "we're pregnant."  I was jealous because these Mommies were all so damn bubbly and coordinated, meanwhile I was grumpy and disheveled.  So, I half kidding asked my husband to call me Wifey and he fully not kidding refused.


Does one gain a child and lose her name?  I can understand using "mommy" and "daddy" when talking to your children about your spouse, but do I have to start calling my husband "daddy" in all contexts from childbirth forward?  The whole "kids" thing especially confused me.  People spend so much time and consideration in naming their child, don't they want to use said name?  I get the shorthand function of using "kids" over listing multiple names, but it was way overdone.

Yet, something about the overuse seemed symbolic of their devotion to each other and the satisfaction they took in their roles.  They were like a special little club - the club of being a family.  Aww shucks.

The experience confirmed two things: 1) this wifey needs more time before she's ready for club initiation, and 2) this wifey needs more coffee before she's ready to face that many mommies, daddies and kiddies on a weekend morning.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stuff People Google 5

This week's phrase of Stuff People Google actually makes sense, but some accidental punctuation made me laugh.  Clearly the typist wants to see some nudie pics of Teen Mom's Maci Bookout, but the "mom naked" as a separate clause made me giggle.

maci from teen ,mom naked

Thursday, June 16, 2011

One Vodka Soda Please, Hold the Vodka

A woman should announce her pregnancy when and where and to whom she chooses.  It's a major moment and choreography is allowed.  But it doesn't always go as planned.  Despite wanting to control the big reveal, there are obvious signs that point the outside world straight to PREGGERS before the official word is announced.  Alcohol, or the avoidance thereof, is one of these signs.

After some group brainstorming (read: asking my husband during a long car ride when he had no option but to answer me...his attempt to fake sleep didn't work) and a few glasses of wine (in my living room when I was done driving), here are some ideas:

"I'm on antibiotics" - Fake an antibiotic prescribed illness.  Everyone knows you can't drink alcohol while taking antibiotics because it nullifies the curative effects.  Do adequate prep if you're dealing with especially nosy friends - what is the sickness and what are the meds.  A two month prescription of twice daily vicodin for pink eye will probably get you caught.  Don't give details unless asked, the less elaborate the more believable. 

These are NOT antibiotics.
But they are gummy and delicious and
perhaps a good substitute for prenatal vitamins

"I'm not feeling well" - Telling everyone that you're not drinking because you don't feel well is certainly closer to the truth (if you're not into the whole lying thing), but less likely to work.  It's hard to fake illness in a credible way and anyone already suspecting that you're pregnant will think your sickness is morning sickness.  Plus, there's always that one friend who''ll say, "you can still drink, just one."  If you go for it, don't be flamboyant - fake coughing won't fool anyone - and head home early.

A sick puppy?  I don't buy it for a second.

Enlist the Waiter - This is ballsy and only recommended for usage with the right waiter.  After everyone orders, excuse yourself to the bathroom and track down the waiter.  Then, confess your situation, ask him/her to bring you a non-alcoholic version of whatever you ordered and beg that the secret stays that way.  If you think your friends are the type to review the bill in minute detail before paying, tell the waiter to charge you for the alcoholic version anyway or that you'll pay for your virgin beverages on the side.
Don't enlist a waiter that looks like this guy

Order a Drink-look-a-like - Order your own drink outside the presence of all friends/family.  Go to the bathroom and grab a drink on your way back or have a co-conspirator order.  A soda water with a splash of cranberry juice and a lime looks like an alcoholic drink.  No one will ask.  If anyone does, it's a vodka soda with a splash of cran.  And if anyone has the balls to ask for a sip, then first call him/her out for being a weirdo (everyone knows what a vodka soda tastes like) and casually allow it.  If they comment that it tastes weak, DENY DENY DENY.  You didn't notice.

Soda water with a splash of cran...fooled you, right?
Garnish is key, go for the lime, lemon, cherry, whatever.

Fake Drink - You could always pretend to drink but not actually drink, although it's tricky and annoying.  Even your most clueless friend will put two and two together if you try this at an intimate dinner party because despite all your sipping the beverage level will remain at freshly poured.  At a crowded bar or party, just dump out part of your drink in the bathroom.  If anyone asks, you're on your 2nd or your 3rd.  I recommend practicing before the big show to avoid dribbling.

Fake drinking gone wrong

(ps - images found here, here, here, here and here)

I would LOVE to hear stories of people carrying out any of the above. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower, T-t-t-ttttterrific

Last week I told you about my childhood (and adulthood) love of Winnie the Pooh in my post on Things You Must Have a Baby To Do.  This week, I'm continuing my tribute to the Disney classic with ideas on hosting a Pooh Bear themed baby shower.  It's naturally a gender neutral choice and the predominant colors of honey yellow and sage green emphasize this.  

The Invitations

I love the vintage look of this invitation by Shutterbug Sentiments.  It's a digital file, so you buy the image and print as many invitations as you need.

by Shutterbug Sentiments

Design Serendipity makes this invitation and can also make matching cupcake toppers, place cards and signs - just ask.

by Design Serendipity

The Menu

Drinks - Hot tea, just like Christopher Robin served Pooh and friends, with all kinds of flavor choices.  For the summer, try lemonade and iced tea.  Click HERE for a super simple Apple and Honey Iced Tea recipe from  

Food - Honey, haycorns and thistles would be ideal, but being that the latter two are figments of Christopher Robin's imagination, stick with honey.  Check out all the delicious honey foods below.  

via The Knead for Speed
This Honey Bee Cornmeal Cupcake is straight out of 
the Hundred Acre Woods as far as I can tell 
(click HERE for the recipe).  

via Baking and Books
This Spiced Honey Cake (click HERE for the recipe) 
looks so delicious I want to lick my computer screen.

by Vintage Confections
A bowl of honey hard candies like the ones below 
from Vintage Confections would look and taste golden.


The Decorations

These paper circles by dmk Supply can easily be made into cupcake toppers by attaching a toothpick or lollipop stick.  They are made from the original 1964 children's book. 

by dmk Supply

This confetti by Joy in the Journey comes in three different shapes: Pooh himself, Piglet and the two friends together.  I love the tan plaid.  Use the coupon code "summer10" for 10% off your purchase.

by Joy in the Journey
by Joy in the Journey

Here's an idea for an inexpensive and fitting centerpiece: a hurricane/vase full of acorns. Of course living near an Oak tree (in the fall) would make this DIY project sure thing, but if that's not the case go to the Acorno Wedding Guide website to buy yourself some acorns by the pound.  

via The Simple Day

The burlap material used to make these flags by Celebrate With Fun has a natural, woodsy feel that will work perfectly with the Pooh bear theme.  The words can be customized to read "Sweet Treats" (hang it above the refreshment table) or "Baby Last Name" or "Congratulations Mom-to-be-Name."
by Celebrate With Fun

The Games

This game requires guests to match the the Disney movie with its famous song.  Made by a Princess is also hosting an awesome GIVEAWAY - after you head to their Etsy shop and see all the cool stuff they make and sell, check back for details to be posted later today.

by Made by a Princess

The Favors

42 Things makes upcycled products, including this awesome Winnie the Pooh bookmark - a great, eco-friendly favor or gift for a winner of a baby shower game.  Use the coupon code "DOGDAYS10" for a 10% discount on your purchase through June 30, 2011.

by 42 Things

I love (and own) one of these honey dippers from Crate and Barrel that would be a perfect favor for your Winnie the Pooh baby shower.

via Crate and Barrel

The Thank You Cards

With all the gifts the momma-to-be will receive it's likely she'll need a thank you card or two.  These gorgeous thank you cards are hand painted by For Stationery Sake (also featured in Summer Baby Shower, Bzzzz).  Truth be told, I'm obsessed with this Etsy crafter.  Not only is she offering 10% off any item in her shop with the coupon code "NEXSTOP", she is also GIVING AWAY this set of thank you cards.  CLICK HERE to enter!!!  Now that is sweet.

by For Stationery Sake
by For Stationery Sake

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Three Men and a Baby - My Memory

A twitter friend (that's right, I'm developing twitter friends) reminded me of the classic cinematic masterpiece, Three Men and a Baby.  Apparently my old friend/nemesis Sophie the Giraffe makes a cameo in it, which was the focus of our conversation (read: asynchronous exchange of ten word phrases).  I hadn't seen Three Men and a Baby in well over a decade and I immediately went to my Netflix cue and added it to the top.  It should arrive just in time for a weekend viewing.


This is a great picture for at least 3 reasons:
1) exaggerated puppy dog face
2) mustache
3) "ooooh"

Before re-watching, I decided to jog my memory for those movie moments that my 12-year-old self noted:

  • The baby's mom was British
  • The diaper changing scene was a funny highlight
  • One of the three men was an architect
  • Someone was trying to steal the this even true?!  My memory is so foggy around this issue, but I seem to recall a baby snatching caper 
  • Ghost myth - at the close of one scene, when everyone has exited the room, a dark and shadowy figure walks by the window curtain.  All of my tween friends and I were convinced it was a ghost.  Well, truthfully, I personally wasn't convinced...I was the type of kid that secretly pushed the Ouija board compass to spell something crazy while all the other girls at the sleepover freaked out.
  • The baby had strawberry blond, curly-ish hair
  • The apartment they shared was big and very cool with something unique about the front door that I can't quite put my finger on - was it an elevator that led straight in? Can't remember...

Once I watch, I'll follow-up with a list of memorable moments that my ageless older self notes.  I'm excited.  I think I'll drink orange soda and eat microwave popcorn for a truly authentic experience.