Friday, July 29, 2011

Stuff People Google 11

This is just so funny to me.  Everyone has there thing and believe it or not there are many people for whom this is their thing (read: it's been googled by many, many people).

little boob

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Difference Between Montana and Maine

The popularity of a baby name is most commonly measured on the national level - what is the most popular girl/boy baby name in the United States?  It's a good statistic to know and I've certainly written about it...multiple times.  But, am I the only one who's finding that the national popularity of a name can have little (or no) bearing on the popularity in the area that you live or the people (and babies) you hang around?

Of the six baby girls that I know, two are named Charlotte and two are named Avery.  It seems that Charlotte and Avery are popular name choices in the Boston metro north area.  Meanwhile, last week I had dinner (delightful Cuban food) with a Brooklyn friend who had never heard of a baby girl being named Avery.  She did however know many, many, MANY baby boys named Luca.  Luca?  For a boy?  Apparently it's a smokin' hot trend in some Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Turns out I'm the only one who considers Luca a girl's name

Luca Toni

Luca Argentero

Lenny Montana as Luca Brasi (The Godfather)

The conversation inspired me to find region specific data for baby names.  Below are two lists of the most popular baby names (in 2010) by state (according to the Social Security Administration).  You'll notice that there is a variety of boy names and only a handful of girl names.  Interesting.  Certain regions like the same names, which makes sense.  The Tri-State area (New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) loves Michael.  The Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington) is a united front when it comes to both boy and girl names.  Iowa is a path less travelled kinda state when it comes to name popularity, choosing Ava and Noah.


  • Ava - Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota
  • Emma - Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Maine, Montana, North Carolina
  • Isabella - Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming
  • Madison - District of Columbia, Mississippi, South Carolina
  • Olivia - Idaho, Nebraska, Utah, Virginia
  • Sophia - Alaska, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin


  • Alexander - Illinois
  • Elijah - Indiana, New Mexico
  • Jacob - Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia
  • James - Wyoming
  • Jayden - Florida, Louisiana
  • Logan - New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • Mason - Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin
  • Michael - Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
  • Noah - Hawaii, Iowa
  • Owen - Maine
  • Ryan - Massachusetts
  • William - Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia
  • Wyatt - Montana

Now, I'm about to blow your mind.  Have you found the website Baby Namescape?!  Clear your calendar for the next 36 hours and get ready to greatly depreciate your vision (from staring endlessly at your computer screen).  This website allows you to see the most popular baby names by State, City and Hospital - IN REAL TIME.  It's updated daily, as far as I can tell.  Here is a quick look at the range of name popularity across our great nation earlier this week (girl and boy).

  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama - Jordyn and Mason
  • San Diego, California - Natalie and Daniel
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Mia and Jayden
  • Cincinnati, Ohio - Emma and William
  • Las Vegas, Nevada - Emily and Anthony
  • Buffalo, New York - Gianna and Jackson
  • El Paso, Texas - Sophia and Santiago

The moral of the post: there are never enough resources to assist in the baby name selection process.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Feeling Moody

Today - my first mood board.  In an attempt to be a real blogger, I'm doing what real bloggers do.  I've made a mood board.  As a virgin mood boarder, I did a little research to determine exactly what I was doing.  According to my beloved UrbanDictionary, a mood board is:

1) A collage or collation of images and text expressing a certain topic or subject, often used to generate ideas or for project work.  Getting past the "mood board" stage of a project is often a big step for anyone who thinks they are soled.
2) An idiot's idea of hard work

I'm not sure which definition is more funny - the first for its complete disregard of the English language or the second for its substance.  Either way, turns out I didn't make a mood board.  I made more of a "stuff I think is great" board.  

My inspiration is a tiny, urban nursery.  I read a couple of nursery decor blogs like Chic Cheap Nursery and Project Nursery.  I love to see the design ideas and now that I'm a pseudo baby blogger it's good to keep up with other baby blogging peeps.  But, there's a huge assumption made by these nursery decor blogs (my favs included): the parents-to-be have a whole room that they can dedicate to a nursery.  Some of in one bedroom apartments.  This means that one room will serve as the bedroom for the parents and the newborn.  And who wants to turn their bedroom into a Winnie the Pooh meets Lemonade and Sunshine nursery?   

So, my "mood" is neutral colored (white, beige and grey) decor that works in a bedroom and a nursery.

It's my first shot at this, so be easy.

  1. 8 x 10 Heart Print from Aidari - The simplicity of the design is mature and the message is fitting without being cheesy.  Though sometimes acceptable in nurseries, cheesy doesn't fly in the bedroom-nursery uni-room.
  2. Benjamin Moore Natura Paint in Hot Spring Stone - It's the Switzerland of colors, so very neutral.  The grey undertone is soothing and there's something striking about it, though it feels akin to a blank canvas.
  3. Herringbone Throw by Serena & Lily - It's hand woven in Maine, comes in a five gorgeous colors and would be perfect draped over a rocking chair or wrapped around an exhausted mother and sleeping baby.
  4. Owl Pillow from Classic By Nature - The owl applique is made of faux white leather and the background is made of grey twill cotton.  It's modern and grown up, but the owl image still brings in a playful vibe that is apropos for a nursery.
  5. White Chandelier Mobile from Lil Sprout Creations - Pretty.  So pretty.  This mobile has the whimsy suitable for nursery and the elegance suitable for a bedroom.
  6. Owl Table Lamp from West Elm - It comes in white (above) or gunmetal.  The owl decor thing is trendy right now in nurseries and non-nurseries alike, for good reason.  It's simultaneously non-serious and serious - a fun contradiction in terms. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rubber Ducky Baby Shower, Quack Quack

I've been singing the Sesame Street classic (in my head) while pulling together ideas for this post...Rubber Ducky, you're the one.  The rubber ducky itself plus the Sesame Street association, make this baby shower theme an all around win.  It's great for boys, girls and surprises with both the theme (duckies) and the color (yellow) being gender neutral.  Below is my favorite ducky stuff with tons of generous discounts!

The Invitations

First up, an invitation by Grey's Greetings.  These invitations are imprintables, so you can print the words on your own at home (the surrounding image comes pre-printed) or Grey's Greetings can do the printing for you.  Get 10% off your purchase with the coupon code "NSBGGD".

by Grey's Greetings

Dots and Dahlias makes this next sweet invitation.  The colors and fonts can be customized.  Use the coupon code "NSBaby20" to receive a generous 20% discount on your purchase.

by Dots and Dahlias

The card below is made by db Photo.  It's blank inside for you to personalize with a hand-written Who, What, Where and When.  Use the coupon code "RubberDucky" to get 8 cards for the price of 6 (aka - buy 6, get 2 free).  Note the 2 extra/free cards you would like in your purchase comment.  Be sure to only purchase 6 cards.  This offer applies to all cards on db Photo and not just the awesome one below.

by db Photo

The Decorations

Giggle Bees makes so much great stuff I had a very hard time picking just a few to include.  The cupcake toppers and place cards below are two of the well crafted and adorable shower decorations available.  Get a 15% discount on your entire purchase with the coupon code "nextstopbaby15".

by Giggle Bees

by Giggle Bees

Piggy Paper makes the adorable duck shaped paper punches below.  They are perfect for adding a little something to the refreshment table.  Save 20% on your purchase with the coupon code "SAVE20" (makes sense). 

by Paper Piggy

This banner by Milk Dust Creations is perfect.  I love the scalloped border, textured card stock and twine string.  Get 10% off your purhcase with the coupon code "NEXTSTOPBABY10".  Awesome. 

by Milk Dust Creations

by Milk Dust Creations

These stickers by The Kraft Room could be used in as many ways as you can imagine - to seal your invitation envelopes, to stick on place cards or water bottle labels, to make your own cupcake toppers.  They are inexpensive and versatile.

by The Kraft Room

The Favors and Prizes

These bath bombs by Bath Bomb Confections are just awesome.  They come in the most creative, delicious (though not edible) flavors.  A perfect baby shower favor or prize.  Receive free shipping on any 24 count Box O'Bombs or any order of 24 or more bath bombs, just mention in your purchase comment.

by Bath Bomb Confections

There is also the obvious choice - rubber duckies.  It's cute, it's a little kitschy and it's definitely fun.

Last, there is bubbles that you blow (versus those that you bath in).  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Double the Baby...Double the Baby Shower Gift?

I've been on a baby shower "how to" kick lately (last week's post - Hosting a Baby Shower).  It's very now in my life.  I'm going to more baby showers then I ever have and expect even more in the future.  Hence, another post about a baby shower FAQ.  Does a baby shower for double the babies (aka twins) mean double the gift giving?

Answer - No, you aren't required to give more gifts just because the mother-to-be is pregnant with more babies (though it would help), but you may need to adjust your gift giving style.  There are two babies, so one amazing teether isn't going to suffice.  The parents-to-be are going to need two of everything, and two is more than one.  How do you handle this as the gift giving guest (gggggg....)?

  • Spend more money and get more stuff - This is the obvious option that should be chosen in an ideal world where you have all the money you need and want.  Most of us have to skip straight down to any other available option.  
  • Spend the same money, but buy practical products for two - Instead of buying one $40 plush snuggle blanket, buy two $20 sets of bottles.  Skip the $50 safari animal mobile and buy $50 worth of diapers.  Way back when (read: March 2011), I extended my opinion on baby showers when it comes to Practical versus Adorable gift giving - I believe in buying practical.  This belief is amplified when you have the same amount of money that must stretch further.
  • Share in a joint gift - If you know anyone else going to the baby shower, see if she's interested in combining financial forces and getting a joint gift.  Bigger quantity (and more expensive) items give you greater bang for your buck.  For example: Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers Size 2, 100 count costs $24.58 ($0.2458 per diaper) and 258 count costs $51.74 ($0.2005 per diaper). is awesome and shows you the cost per diaper breakdown, so you don't have to do the calculations yourself.  Bottles, onesies, and wipes also come in large quantities.


I'm also on a YouTube kick lately.  Here is a classic twin clip.  Da da da da da...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stuff People Google 10

This Stuff People Google confused me and made me kind of sad.  Who would google this?  Not because it's a horrible phrase to google, but because I'm genuine curiousity as to what context this phrase is relevant.  A boyfriend that didn't want the baby?  A mother that gave the baby up for adoption? 

i dont want to know the baby

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wooden Nursery Treasures

All of these delightful treats have (at least) one thing in common - they're made of wood.  The appeal of these products for me, other than the fact that they are unique and beautiful, is that they are gender neutral.  Each item would be great in a baby girl or baby boy's nursery.  And wood, as a material, has a mature character that could easily transition a space from a nursery to a bedroom.

Check out these vintage children's chairs from Old New House.  Before your little one figures out how to sit upright, they could function as shelves for books or bags or a resting spot for an over-sized stuffed animal.

by Old New House

This alligator peg rack by Maple Shade Kids is colorful and playful in all the right ways.  The details are eco-friendly: non-toxic paint, non-toxic glue and a soy-based sealer.  Use the coupon code "NextStopBaby" to receive 15% off your entire purchase (excluding shipping).

by Maple Shade Kids

This bookend by Graphic Spaces has a modern flare for a bookshelf full of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. There are tons of designs (fox, bunny, etc.) but the bird family is my favorite.
by Graphic Spaces

This moon is part of a mobile by Seven Acre Toys.  It's so simple and pretty.

by Seven Acre Toys

Like all things on Etsy (that aren't vintage), this rocking horse by RMD Creations is handmade and unique.  It's toddler sized and adorable.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hosting a Baby Shower

The fact that you want to host a baby shower for a loved one (presumably) is really generous and sweet of you.  So, kudos to that.  Now, how does one host a baby shower?  I've looked into it for all of us and here are my findings.

Who hosts?  Anyone.  Traditionally, family members were not supposed to host the baby shower because it was considered rude for someone to ask for gifts for his/her own family member.  But, this unusual tradition has long been thrown out.  I say unusual because usually party hosts do exactly that (think: birthdays, anniversaries, wedding showers).  Nowadays, a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker or group/combination thereof are all welcome to host.

When?  Baby showers are typically not a surprise event.  The baby is coming and the timing isn't all that flexible.  One to two months before the due date is standard.  Too far in advance can be difficult to logistically pull off given the short amount of time between the discovery of pregnancy and the due date.  Also, there are a lot of other priorities in the first and second trimester (not puking again, prepping the house, signing up for Lamaze class, making sure the baby is healthy and properly developing, etc.).  By the third trimester the timing is right to switch focus from logistical planning to fun planning.  On the other hand, avoid planning the shower too close to the due date in case of an early arrival or doctor ordered bed rest.

Planning the baby shower somewhere around here (ABOVE) is ideal
(image HERE)

Where?  You're the host, you get to decide - a living room, country club, local restaurant or few big blankets in the park.  Getting an opinion from the mother-to-be is a good start, both in terms of places she likes and places she does not.  Also, ask her for the guesstimated number of guests because it will affect the location logistically (is there enough space?) and financially (can you afford to host that number at that locale?).  This brings us to the next consideration, your budget.  Parties cost money and a baby shower is no exception.  Venue, food, drink and decorations add up.  Providing plenty of food and drink is more important than securing the swankest venue.  Guests may complain if they have to sit on folding chairs in your backyard, but they will most definitely complain if they are limited to a handful of greasy potato chips and a cup of generic brand diet cola.

My favorite brand of greasy chips

Who to invite?  This is the mother-to-be's choice, put it in her pregnant lap.  Be the sounding board that she may need on cusp invites, but in the end it's her call.

Theme?  First thing to consider is whether she is having a boy, girl or keeping it a surprise?  Next, does she have a theme in mind already - a favorite color or a favorite childhood memory (The Little Mermaid or Tootsie Roll Pops)?  Check out these theme ideas (read: here is some shameless self promotion):

If you've ever hosted a baby shower, please share your wealth of knowledge - comment below!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Three Men and a Baby - Revisited

I finally re-watched Three Men and a Baby.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience despite the fact that I had the popcorn, but no orange Fanta (which had been part of my plan).  The teensy mens running shorts, the comically large portable phones, the mustaches...amazing.  Two decades after my original screening, the plot and characters remained as entertaining as a I remembered.

Here is the list of my memories from the post Three Men and a Baby - My Memory (in bold) with some corrections and notes that I gathered from my recent viewing:

  • The baby's mom was British - YES, yes she was.  Surprisingly, I hadn't remembered anything about the baby's dad, which turned out to be Ted Danson's character.

  • The diaper changing scene was a funny highlight - It wasn't as funny at my current age as it had been at my previous age, though I'm certainly not too old or cool for potty humor.  There was a lot of projectile urination, which confused me given that the baby was a girl (Mary).  Can any mother of a baby girl please confirm whether baby girls projectile pee?

  • One of the three men was an architect - Tom Selleck's character was in deed an architect, which is central to the plot and thus not all that impressive in terms of my memory.  Ted Danson was an actor and Steve Guttenberg was a...umm...I already forget.  

  • Someone was trying to steal the this even true?!  Sort of true.  The bad guys were actually trying to retrieve their drugs that had been accidentally/intentionally delivered to the guys' apartment, but there was a misunderstanding that almost led to the snatching of baby Mary and then a later threat to take her.

  • Ghost myth - This was lost on me.  My memory about the precise scene and location of the ghost was gone, so I didn't know where and when to look.  Any helpers on this point?

  • The baby had strawberry blond, curly-ish hair - Nope.  The baby was bald, as most babies are.  I think I'm confusing this with the less awesome (but still good...per my memory) sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady.

  • 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?  Yes.  After re-watching, this is an unsurprising memory given the prominence of the lobby/entrance of the apartment.  Steven Guttenberg's character paints a big, flashy mural of the three men in the opening scene, which is ultimately modified in the closing scene to include baby Mary and her mother.

  • What did this experiment teach me?  One, my memory is pretty good.  Two, the Eighties was a decade of excess - big hair, big phones, big shoulder pads.  And, we should all be happy that it was authentically captured in movies like Three Men and a Baby.  Three, Tom Selleck hasn't changed bit.  What a looker, mustached and all.  Last, I think I should watch Three Men and a Little Lady, for old time's sake...

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Classless Babies

    I recently read a news article about an airline that has banned babies from first class flights.  All that crying is disruptive and all those baby accessories take up unavailable space.  Babies don’t make for a peaceful, comfortable environment and people who fly first class pay for just that.  I wouldn’t know because I don’t fly first class.  I do know that there is absolutely nothing peaceful or comfortable about coach.

    Ever notice that first class is a class, but coach is coach?  Not coach class, just coach.  I think this somehow adds to the classless antics that occur there.

    Speaking of class (and classless antics), check out the music video for Money Can’t Buy You Class by Countess LuAnn

    This past weekend I found myself stuffed into a tiny plane seat in the beloved coach section.  The article popped into my head when baby screams erupted about twenty minutes into the flight.  Thankfully the mini fit wrapped up relatively quickly and I wasn’t awoken from deep airplane sleep, of which I’m capable.  It was, however, pretty annoying while it lasted, even with my high threshold for cranky babies.  It’s the craze, I find all babies (even the screaming ones) adorable. 

    Another gratuitous YouTube sad, so cute

    Airplane travel is stressful and uncomfortable.  If you do it enough, the stress is mitigated by knowing the logistics and thus giving yourself enough time, food, water, and stored patience.  But, the discomfort remains, especially in classless coach.  The seats are narrow, the leg space is cramped, the food is gross, the air is stale, the flight attendants are bitter and drunk…no, that was just that one guy who emergency exited himself out of a plane and out of his career.  When you add a screaming baby to the list, it's an understandable tipping point for some passengers.  So, should babies be banned?

    I find excessively chatty passengers pretty annoying, but I’m fairly confident they can’t be banned.  Smelly passengers are also awful, but bannable?  Probably no.  On the flip side, there are plenty of adult-only hotels and facilities.  Sandals All Inclusive Resorts ban babies and I don’t think babies are allowed in most strip clubs.  Plus, the policy only included first class – babies weren’t all together exiled, just banished to the economic section.

    Again, I don’t fly first class, so it’s hard for me to step into those Gucci shoes.  But, I do understand the appeal of a babyless airplane section.  I wouldn't have minded a little less high pitched shrieking on my flight.  I wonder how I'll feel if I someday have a fussy baby and enough money for classy seating.  I also wonder how that policy will shake out when Victoria Beckham wants to bring Harper Seven into first class.  Then again, my guess is that Victoria Beckham flies in private planes where she can institute any policy she wants…


    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Stuff People Google 9

    Today's Stuff People Google is hysterical - someone desperate for quick medical advice, but instead got short story on nausea as a symptom of pregnancy (Smells Like I'm Going To Puke).  I guess google is some people's #1 source for ALL of life's crises.

    going to puke!!

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Name Poaching - It's a Jungle Out There

    Maybe you've thought about baby names your entire life or maybe it took actually being pregnant to consider the options.  In either case, it's a big deal when you finally settle on THE name.  It also immediately instigates a new decision - to tell or not to tell.  Should you reveal the name or keep it under lock and key?

    Reasons to TELL
    • It's way too hard a secret to keep and you'll make yourself miserable trying
    • You want/need to start monogramming and personalizing adorable baby products
    • Feedback on nicknames, pronunciation and random name-related complications are never a bad thing.  And if you do discover some sort of unanticipated angle (i.e. People could call him Chuck instead of Charlie), you have plenty of time to develop a game plan

    Reasons to NOT Tell
    • Surprises make good things better, and surprising... 
    • Avoid awkward reactions from people who don't like the choice and do a bad job of faking it
    • Avoid rude reactions from people who don't like the choice and don't care to fake it

    Now that I've given you some food for thought, I want you to put said food aside and snack later.  Let's talk name poaching.  I left this major issue off both lists because I think it should be a separate consideration.  When you finally settle on your name of choice, whether it's decades in the making or a fabulous find from a baby name book that you bought an hour ago, the threat of someone stealing it becomes real, and real scary.

    Revealing the chosen name could be a useful tool for staking your claim - it takes a mean biatch to snatch a baby name, especially from an expecting mother.  On the other hand, maybe your friends and family members are a bunch of mean biatches, so by revealing the name you're effectively waving the carrot.  And let's not forget about co-workers and acquaintances who could steal the name without falling into the brazen-jackhole category because they don't know you all that well. 

    I think we all remember George Costanza's perfect baby name - Seven.  And I think we all remember when that name was stolen from him.  Makes you wonder whether he should have kept it under wraps until baby Costanza existed. 

    It would suck if a good friend or favorite cousin stole your name, but I think the likelihood of that happening is about .04% (read: totally and completely unlikely).  Everyone else wants their baby name to be just as one-of-a-kind (within their circle) as you do - there's a mutual desire to avoid duplication.  And, more importantly, you don't keep mean biatches in your circle.  So, it's a wash.  You can keep it a secret and risk the rarest of chances that someone will randomly choose the name OR you can tell everyone and risk the rarest of chances that a meanie will poach the name.

    Go back to that food (the original two lists) and make your decision based on those factors, because poaching is an unpredictable, rarity that cannot be accounted for.

    Victoria Beckham 9+ months pregnant with
    Harper SEVEN
    (image HERE)

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Babies in Glasses

    Last winter I noticed a lot of babies in bear hats.  This summer I'm noticing a lot babies in sunglasses.  The big difference between these adorable trends is that I saw babies in my neighborhood wearing bear hats and I'm seeing only celebrity babies sporting sunglasses.  So, I'm hear to break a trend...though I feel confident that I'm already behind the curve.

    Baby Skyler is the son of fashion guru Rachel Zoe, which makes it unsurprising that he is a fashion innovator in his round, black shades - it's in the genes (and jeans...I'm guessing he wears those too).  
    Skyler Morrison Berman
    (image HERE)

    Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale's youngest son, Zuma Rossdale rocks out in Gucci pilot frames ($140).  Good news is that the large price tag matches the large sized frames, which will likely fit him for at least a few years to come.  
    Zuma Rossdale
    (image HERE)

    If you want your little one to hop on the mini sunglasses wagon and you can't afford $140 Gucci frames, I've got the scoop.  Baby Bandz has cornered the baby sunglasses market (and the market for unnecessary use of the letter "z") with prices ranging for $10-$25.  You can check out Banz World website or find many styles on, like those below.



    Julbo Infant Looping I Sunglasses come in a range of bright, fun colors like the orange/lime style below and cost around $30.


    Last up is these sassy pink shades (they also come in navy blue and bright green) by Sun Smarties.  They are the most inexpensive option, averaging $10 a pair.