Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Off the Registered Path - MORE Name Gifts

Below are some awesome, personalized name gifts for a soon-to-be or already-existing baby.  It's my second collection of this type, my first collection is here.  I've come across so many more fabulous namesake treasures, that a second edition was required.

Bankie Baby makes this certified organic cotton fleece owl blanket.  There are lot of descriptors in that sentence.  Each blanket is designed and handmade by shop owner Katey, who is happy to collaborate with you about customized colors and ideas.

This is the second feature for Petite Lemon in 2 weeks (here is the prior feature).  This Animal Crackers print is adorable and the variety of colors could work with just about any decorum.

The letters below are made by Australian Etsy shop Mooza Designs.  Made from Japanese paper, there is a variety of beautiful colors and patterns.   

I have a soft spot in my heart for baby beanies like the one below, made by Five 18 Designs.  The personalized letter stamp feels far more cool and fashionable (as all infants should be) than other embroidered beanies that I came across.  Check out this Etsy shop for personalized baby and toddler clothing as well.

Sarah + Abraham started out as a small Etsy shop and has grown and grown.  Its speciality is personalized stationery and children's products.  The print below is in the flashcard style.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Drinking While Trying

Drinking while driving is an undisputed bad idea.  And, it's illegal.  But what about drinking while trying?  Can one maintain normal drinking patterns while trying to conceive a baby? 

Depends who you're asking and what your "normal drinking pattern" is.

If you're asking me (who's NOT a doctor, nor any sort of expert in the matter), I'd say it depends.  It depends on your personality.  It depends on whether you're the type of person who drives with both hands on the wheel at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock or whether you rest your left arm on the window frame and casually grasp the bottom of the wheel with your right hand.  How much risk are your comfortable with?

Do you use the turn signal or
just GO (after a quick peek)?
image here

Most of us are aware that there is a risk in drinking alcohol while pregnant.  I did some hardcore lowcore internet research on the subject and found conflicting information as to the specific risk.  Some say that any drinking while pregnant is high risk behavior.  In fact, some say that drinking during the few days before getting pregnant is a bad idea.  Others say that drinking while pregnant will probably not put the fetus at risk unless it's excessive and/or constant, although the first trimester is the most sensitive development period and extra precautions should be taken.

With this, here are your drinking while trying options:

  1. Clean and Sober:  Lay off the sauce.  It'll be an oh-so-sweet reunion someday, but time apart is healthy for all relationships.
  2. Surf the Crimson Wave:  Don't drink alcohol until you're confirmed to be without child.  When you get your period and therefore aren't pregnant, go a few days without sex and have a few days with vodka sodas.
  3. Live in Moderation: Regardless of your normal drinking habits, set yourself strict limits that equal less often and less alcohol per sitting.  Then go to Costco and buy yourself a life's supply of pregnancy tests.  The more you test, the more likely you are to know when the switch from trying to being takes place.
  4. Drink up!: I'm sure you know someone who drank herself silly at a New Years Eve party while unknowingly pregnant.  If you don't, I do.  And, the baby is just perfect.   

You know you.  You know if you're the type of person who could have a drink and feel comfortable.  And you know if you're going to cry yourself to sleep for the remaining 8.5 months after a half glass of pinot grigio.  Do what's comfortable for you while keeping the health of your unborn baby in mind.  Oh, and your doctor knows a lot more about your unborn baby's health than I do, so start there!

Someone who will never cry about drinking pinot grigio.
image here

Monday, August 29, 2011

Top 10 Signs That You Are Baby Crazed

The premise of my career as a blogger is the baby craze.  It's the time in one's life when the rush of weddings has passed and all minds turn to babies.  Or, from my experience, the time in life when female minds turn to babies and male minds hone their dodge and weave tactics. 

How can you be sure that you've crossed into The Baby Craze?  I'll tell you...

1.  You casually exchange the word "sex" for the phrase "baby makin' time".
2.  You purchase random and deeply discounted baby products (though you don't have a baby).  In doing so, you don't think, "Wow, I'm officially a crazy, crazy hoarder and I belong on TLC."  No, you don't.  You DO think, "Wow, I'd be a crazy, crazy idiot not to take advantage of this deal given how many baby showers are in my near future...including, possibly, maybe my own."
3.  Every time you see a baby, even one of those tantrum-throwing, ear-piercing, nose-filled-with-boogers, smelly ones, you give an audible "Awwwwww!"
4.  You refuse to take vacation because it makes more sense to save up your vacation time...for when the baby is eventually conceived and ultimately born.   
5.  Admittedly, prenatal vitamins would be premature given that you're not actually trying to get pregnant.  But adding some Flintstones gummy vitamins to your daily routine is totally different. 
6.  You keep and add to a list of restaurants that are baby/child-friendly.
7.  You skip an invitation to see the latest romantic comedy at the theatre because you're into rewatching your favorite childhood movies from the comfort of your couch.
8.  Regardless of what's hot in the fashion world, you find yourself drawn to empire waist tops and shift dresses. 
9.  One out of every four conversations in which you actively participate involves baby names.
10.  You're not "there" yet, but you secretly are.

What other telltale signs can you think of?  How can you identify a baby crazed person?  Why do you know that you're baby crazed?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Stuff People Google 15

I hope after all the online research, this individual watched Mean Girls.  It's all about the burn book double reverse.

how to stop popular girls

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Been Around the World

Today I present you a collection of lovely gift ideas for worldly parents-to-be and their mini traveling buddy-to-be.  Or, for a family who loves geography.  Or, for a family who just loves beautiful and unique keepsakes.  Enjoy.

This hand embroidered lovey (12" x 12") by Dolce Dreams is colorful and fun and could easily segway the lesson of "hello" to "bonjour".

Everything about this print by Circle prints can be customized, not just the baby info.  You can choose the colors (background, map, heart and font) as well as the font style.

The personalized growth chart below is made by Petite Lemon and comes in poster paper or canvas.  There is a game of "Can You Find?" hidden throughout the vibrant design.  AND, receive a 15% discount off any item on the Petite Lemon website with the coupon code "NEXTSTOP15". 

This handmade hoop art by a.e. wilder is a mini solar system of buttons made personal with the baby's name and birthdate.

For a family who is spread across America, Happing Landings makes this map with marks for home (a star) and relatives' homes (hearts). 

Image Nations makes this next gift - a vintage globe made personal by a family tree.  Beautiful.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Three Months of Experience

Guest Blogger Alfie Toner is back!  And I'm so grateful that she is.  (Click HERE to read her first guest post)  As a seasoned mother of two, she has lots of parenting experience.  But, what about those first few weeks with her first child?  Even experienced mothers were inexperienced at one time.

Does three months of doing something equal "experienced"?  If you dig a ditch for three months, you can pretty much say you're an experienced ditch digger.  But, how about if you perform surgery or fight crime for three months - would you say you're an experienced surgeon or police officer?  If you play golf for three months are you an experienced golfer?

I recently reminisced with my sister about newborn babies.  Thirty some years ago, her daughter was born three months before my daughter.  I remember watching her with her newborn baby during the last three months of my pregnancy from the vantage point of a childless mom-to-be.  She let me try diapering my niece.  I was completely inept.  It was a disposable diaper, made to the right size and shape with sticky tab closures, but I struggled terribly.  Folding a piece of cloth and opening large safety pins near my helpless, wriggling niece would have been dangerous.  Meanwhile, my sister seemed able to change a diaper blindfolded.  I was in awe of her skill, confidence and ease as a mother.

We remembered nursing our babies together a few months later, when my daughter was a 4-week-old newborn and my niece was a fast growing 4-month-old.  My sister settled herself on a kitchen chair, lowered her top, unsnapped her nursing bra and let the baby lean in to latch.  Within a moment, mother and baby were happily bonding and nursing.  Meanwhile, I set up in a big arm chair and got pillows to prop up my elbows.  I put a cloth diaper in arms reach for clean up and burping, and made sure a clock was in clear view to track the length of time my daughter would spend on each breast.  I prepared a glass of grape juice to replenish my fluids and wondered how I would get to it without spilling if I needed to reach with my left hand.  I thought about the last feeding four hours earlier and remembered that I had started the baby on my left breast, so I should start her on my right breast this time.  I made sure my daughter was swaddled, then propped her up and fidgeted to unbutton my blouse.  A few minutes later, the actual nursing had finally begun.  I kept one eye on the baby and one eye on the clock.

My sister watched me as she sat contentedly bonding with her daughter.  Once I had officially settled, she asked what the heck I was doing?!  I explained that the baby book instructed me to sit in a comfortable place, have everything at hand and allow the baby to feed for a certain number of minutes on each side.  I was watching the clock because I didn't want to miss the moment when I had to switch my daughter to the other side.  My sister smiled and gently mentioned that strict adherence was probably unnecessary.

Laughing at this memory all these years later, I remarked at what a natural mother my sister had been as she comfortably guided me to relax and enjoy the bonding experience.  She told me that it only felt that way because she had a whole three month of nursing experience, she was three months ahead of me in knowing how to care for a baby.  Only three months or, perhaps, a whole three months.  I guess when it comes to some things, three months most definitely qualifies as "experienced".

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mommy's Favorite is Your Favorite, Or Else

I don't know much about stage moms.  I hear that the show Toddlers & Tiaras would be a good learning tool on this front, but I'm far too scared to watch.  A 3-year-old wearing foundation, blush and false eye lashes is simply not natural.  I'm getting the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

Eden Wood from Toddlers & Tiaras
Don't look directly into her eyes...

I can, however, understand the desire for your children to like the same things that you like.  For example, I love the beach, just love it.  The ocean, the sand, the unobstructed sunshine - it's all perfect.  If I someday have a child who despises the feel of sand between her toes, I would probably be devastated.  I would be heartbroken if my 4-year-old son told me that An American Tale was a stupid movie.  Or, what if I have a daughter who hates shoes?!  GASP.

Of course there's no point worrying about it, mostly because I don't have kids and less so because it would be out of my control even if I did.  That's what I thought until I recently listened to a news story on entitled Baby's Palate and Food Memories Shaped Before Birth.  This article doesn't explain how to force your child to love An American Tale, but it does have some advice on how to guide your baby's food preferences.  Here's a quick summary: Everything that a pregnant woman eats affects the smell and flavor of the amniotic fluid only a couple hours after consumption.  The more often a pregnant woman eats certain foods the more exposed the unborn baby is to such foods.  When a baby begins to eat food (other than breast milk or formula), he or she is more likely to enjoy foods that are familiar based on experiences in the womb.  If mom eats broccoli every day twice a day during pregnancy, baby is more likely to enjoy eating broccoli when it comes time for solid foods.

I will be eating a ton of drunken noodle and ice cream during pregnancy.  I could probably forgive my child's rejection of The Cutting Edge (an amazing work of cinematic genius), but I don't think I could survive without sharing family meals of Thai food and ice cream sundaes. 

"Toe Pick!"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bella Byte Giveaway

Mimi is the winner!!!

******Giveaway Closed******

Last Tuesday, I featured the 3 Little Owls print by Bella Byte in the post A Hootiful Nursery.  Bella Byte is back today with an awesome giveaway!

I discovered Bella Byte's Etsy shop not so long ago and quickly became obsessed.  Designer, Jayna, is such a talent and so pleasant to work with.  I have her "Brush Your Teeth" print hanging above my toilet.  I plan to update this post with a photo when it's properly framed.  Her prices are incredibly reasonable and her designs are fun and colorful, making them ideal for a nursery or playroom.  AND, she is generously giving one lucky NSB reader a $14.99 to use on any product in her shop.  Keep in mind that the most expensive product in her shop is $14.99.  Delightful! 

Vintage Alphabet Nursery

TYVM note cards

Summer Popsicles

Prize: Any combination of Bella Byte products (prints, notecards or mommy calling cards) up to $14.99 value.  Bella Byte will also include free shipping!
How to enter (and win): Go to the Bella Byte Etsy shop, check out all the cool prints and cards, then post a comment (on this blog, BELOW) about your favorite. And that's it. One entry per email address.
Enter by: Friday, August 26th, 2011 at 5 pm (EST)
Number of Winners: One
Shipping: US and International
Winner Announcement: One winner will be selected using and posted on Friday (8/19/11) night. So, check back!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stuff People Google 14

This individual had a deep question for the world wide web.  I hope he or she found somewhere other than this blog for an answer because the only Pope I've written about is Rosie.

why does the pope lie

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blog Roll, Sorta

You may have noticed that I don't have a blog roll on Next Stop Baby.  For those who don't know, a blog roll is a list of blogs that I support, read, and/or love.  The list is posted on one's blog to share the wealth with my readers (and cross promote with other bloggers). 

Why don't I have a blog roll?  It's not that I don't wanna be a team player, rather, it's that I'm simply not into baby blogs.  This may shock you given that I sorta write a baby blog, but I swear I'm not a hypocrite (on this front).  Most baby blogs give a daily diary-like account of what it's like to be a mommy and have a baby.  That's not really my shtick.  I'm not a mommy and don't have a baby (more on that here).  At this point in my life, my obsession is the pre-parenthood, superficial stuff: baby names, nurseries, baby showers and the social idiosyncrasies that separate non-parents from parents.

With all that being said, I still manage to kill plenty of time surfing my beloved internet for sites about babies, pregnancy, nurseries and everything in between.  So, while I may not have a blog roll for you, I do have a website roll (which includes a blog).  Below are my favorite online time kills, some are from previous posts and some are brand spankin' new.

Celebrity Baby Gossip - Some individuals are born into celebrityhood, like Harper Seven.  I have zero doubt that her wardrobe is worth 5 times as much as mine.  10 times?  Anyway,, and dedicate entire website sections to celebrity babies.  You'll find everything from gratuitously adorable photos to cool product plugs to mind bending articles about things like Snooki wanting to have mini guidos and guidettes.

First comes love, then comes marriage,
 then comes guidos in the baby carriage

Baby Name Polls - is a great baby name website in general, but the real action is with the baby name polls.  These polls allow the public to vote and offer an opinion on name choices that an anonymous-parent-to-be is haggling over.  You will easily kill 5 minutes (or 5 hours) by looking at all the names that people poll and all of the vicious comments that people leave.  Ouch.

From an actual Baby Name Genie Poll
Poll Question: Cali Dream vs. Skai Dream vs. Fiyah Dream
Poll Comment: I hope it's fake, otherwise I feel sorry for the poor kid with the dumb, ugly 'name' and the  even stupider, pathetic 'mom'.

Baby Name Ideas - There's 1,000+ baby name websites, here are my two favorites: Baby Namescape and Nameberry.  Baby Namescape gives real time(ish) statistics on the most popular baby names in a given state, city and hospital.  It's magic.  Nameberry has a blog that posts everyday (sometimes multiple times a day) with baby name lists, ideas and stories.  There is always a funny or interesting context so that you're not just reading bullet points.

Celebrity Nurseries - Chic & Cheap Nursery has a growing collection on their blog that includes Kelly Kapowski's mini me.

Tiffani Thiessen's daughter, Harper,
 has some gorgeous digs

Mommy Blog - There is one (just one) mommy blog that I get a kick out of: Mommy Shorts.  The writing is succinct and the stories are actually funny and heartfelt.  There's also some good laughs to be had with the caption contests and parental tweets.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Whole Nother Meaning for Crimson Wave

Let's head back to 1995 and reminisce about Clueless.  The word timeless comes to mind.  We were introduced to Suck and Blow and plaid blazers.  We learned that "the valley" was a bad, bad place.  And, though we knew it was more than just inappropriate, we rooted for step-siblings to get their french kiss on.  It was one of the best movies of the year and it is one of the most quotable movies of all time...if you were a teen female in 1995.   Being that I fit into that category, one of my favorite Clueless quotes is when Cher (Alicia Silverstone) says "I was surfing the crimson wave.  I had to haul ass to the ladies'."

Here's the trailer.  CLASSIC.

At first I didn't understand what "crimson wave" meant.  When a savvy friend explained that it was akin to "time of the month" and "monthly gift" (lame), I immediately added it to my repertoire.  Why say "I got my period" when you can say "I'm surfing the crimson wave"?

Years and years...and years...later, I've coined an alternative meaning for "surfing the crimson wave": getting drunk on red wine when you find out you're not pregnant.  I'll start from the top.  Trying to get pregnant is quite involved, and I don't just mean the sex part.  There's also the no alcohol part.  I think most of us know that alcohol is a bit of a no-no when pregnant, especially in the first trimester.  But one doesn't usually know the instant she becomes pregnant, which can lead to having an innocent dirty martini (or three) while being pregnant.  With this in mind, I have several friends who've decided to stay sober during the "trying" phase in order to eliminate the accidental drinking while pregnant scenario.

If trying isn't successful (aka you get your period), alcohol is a least until you have unprotected sex again.  And so, with the crimson wave as we know it from Clueless comes the crimson wave as I've coined it - a whole hell of a lot of red wine.  My precautious friends lay off the sauce until they get their period, then wham: bring on the wine while the coast is clear! (Aka surf that crimson wave!)

While there are clear differences between Cher's version of the crimson wave and mine, both definitions could require some hauling ass to the bathroom.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Hootiful Nursery

How many times have I written about owls?  Well, first their was my post on an owl themed baby shower.   Then I worked owls into my first ever mood board.  For today, I've pulled together an all owl (all awesome) nursery decor post.  Below are some beautiful products that are diverse in both look and price.

1. Owls Sky cribset by Dwell Studios ($360)
2. Owls Sky coordinating throw pillow ($34)
3. Nightowl Crib Bedset by Rosenberry Rooms ($399) 
4. Treetop Friends Crib Bedding by Rosenberry Rooms ($220)

Three Little Owls digital print
Bella Byte Design Studio ($9.99) 

Owl Mobile by EvelynX Gift Shop ($60-65).
Use coupon code "NEXTSTOPBABY" to receive
a 10% discount off your total purchase at EvelynX!

Drawer knobs by Monkey Baby Boutique 
(price ranges on style and quantity)

Porcelain Owl Lamp by House 8810 ($44) 

Owl Bookends by Pottery Barn Kids ($29)

Owl wall decal by Tweet Heart ($12)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Minky Snuggle Bunny Giveaway

GIVEAWAY CLOSED - Betsy is the winner!!!

You may remember Auntie Jill from the post about personalized name gifts that you won't find on a baby shower registry.  Or, from A Dinosaur Tribute?  Or, from the Bunny Buddy Blanket Giveaway?  She's clearly a regular.  An awesome regular.  She hand makes a variety of plush toys from zebras to rockin' dinosaurs to shaggy goats (my favorite, I think).  Her designs are original and she crafts in her smoke free home.

Today is, once again, all about Auntie Jill because she is generously giving away one large (12" tall) Minky Snuggle Bunny to a lucky NSB reader.  It looks so soft I just want to pet my computer screen.  The photos below are the Minky Snuggle Bunny up for grabs.  Auntie Jill made it especially for this giveaway.  It's the perfect prize for your own little one or for a friend's little one, have a baby shower coming up?

Well hello there, Mr. Bunny.
You look so happy, snuggly
and slightly inebriated.

Minky bunny tail, check.

Forget inebriated, this bunny is wasted!
Don't tell your baby.

Prize: One large Minky Snuggle Bunny ($30 value)
How to enter (and win): Go to the Auntie Jill Etsy shop, check out the plush toys and minky snuggle bunnies and post a comment (on this blog, BELOW) about your favorite. And that's it. One entry per email address.
Enter by: Friday, August 19th, 2011 at 5 pm (EST)
Number of Winners: One
Shipping: US and International
Winner Announcement: One winner will be selected using and posted on Friday (8/19/11) night. So, check back!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Stuff People Google 13

Remember the "little boob"?  Well, these two are weirder.

long boob

my long boob

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Wouldn't Understand...

Hearing the words "you wouldn't understand because you don't have children" is annoying. 

For starters, you're off on the wrong foot when you begin any sentence with "you wouldn't understand."  It insinuates that the listener is less intelligent/less emotionally sensitive/less awesome than thou (read: it's wicked rude).  When you're combining this patronizing phrase with the sensitive topic of parenting, you enter a danger zone.  Believe it or not, us non-parents are quite capable of sympathizing with you parents on a number of issues - exhaustion, time management and vomit and/or urine and/or diarrhea clean up to name a few.

It's also an assumption, and as my former office administrator used to say: when you "assume" you make and "ass" out of "u" and "me".  You're assuming that the listener doesn't have children and isn't trying to have children.  If you are wrong on either of these points than you most certainly have made an ass out of you.  You probably know whether your listener is a parent, but you might not know whether your listener is desperately trying to become a parent.  If the latter is true then you are rubbing salt in a serious wound.

Ever gone swimming in the ocean with an open cut?  It hurts.
image HERE

Turns out, I'm not the only one who has something to say about these 8 little words.  I googled the phrase "you wouldn't understand because you don't have kids" and got 30,700 results.  Here are the highlights:

  • It's listed on several parenting websites as the worst thing you can say to someone (even accidentally) who is struggling with infertility
  • Parents don't have a monopoly on busy schedules - restaurant owners, tax accountants and emergency room doctors are discussed as some of the more notoriously sleep deprived individuals...even more so than new parents
  • There's a whole host of people who have a very clear understanding of parenting though they have no biological children (examples: aunt/uncles, Godparents, older siblings, daycare providers) because of the depth of their relationship with a child.  In fact, some non-biological parents have a much greater understanding of "having kids" than biological parents.

I would like to think that when a parent says, "you wouldn't understand because you don't have children" that it's coming from a good place - a place of loving their child and loving their role as a parent.  Nonetheless, it's annoying.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ice Cream Sundae Baby Shower, Cherry on Top

Who doesn't LOVE ice cream sundaes?  An ice cream themed baby shower is great because it's simple, it's fun and it works for a boy, girl or surprise.  It's probably best for a spring, summer or fall baby shower, but adding a little hot fudge or hot chocolate could certainly make it work in winter.  Filling small glass bowls with colorful and varied toppings will be a decoration all unto itself.  As you'll see, powder blue/turquoise, pink and light gray were the most commonly used color palette.

The Invitation

The first invitations are made by Loralee Lewis.  The font and scalloped edges are perfectly old school.  I want to be drinking a strawberry frappe out of an oversized straw, stat.

by Loralee Lewis

Itsy Bitsy Paper makes the next invitation.  It's sweet and simple, and the color combination is customizable.  Use the coupon code "NEXTSTOPBABY" to receive a 20% discount on your purchase.

by Itsy Bitsy Paper

I can't decide if this next invitation by Embellished Paper has a classic or mod feel, but I love it either way.  Use the coupon code "BLOGBABY" to receive a 20% discount on customized invitations.

by Embellished Paper

The Decorations

Belva June designed the printable package below.  It includes invitations, thank you cards, circles for cupcake toppers, labels and gift tags, food labels, drink wraps, 8 x 10 poster and a tri-colored banner.

by Belva June

This ice cream cone confetti by Creating Your Memories is delightful.  The color combo below is "mint chocolate chip" and check out the Etsy shop for more options.  Use the coupon code "nextstopbaby" to receive 15% off your purchase!  Sweet.

by Creating Your Memories

This printable package by Anna and Blue is cost effective and covers all the bases.  For only $15.00 you receive printable files for an invitation, banner, bottle wrappers, gift tags/labels, place cards, favor tags, cake toppers, a welcome sign...and more!  Receive a 30% discount off any items in this shop with the coupon code "icecream30".

The Favors

Sending the guests home with actual ice cream could be a tricky, but these ice cream shaped cookies (made by Fun Sugar Cookies) take away the melt factor while maintaining the delicious theme.

by Fun Sugar Cookies

The ice cream scoop below is from Crate and Barrel and would make perfect gift for the winner of a baby shower game.  Maybe a game of who can guess closer: how many ice cream scoops does the unborn baby weigh?  Okay, that might be weird and difficult to calculate.  

Your guests would love sprinkles for some future ice cream sundaes.  The colorful ones below can be found at Sur la table and


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

I'm talking about having children.  According to a credible news source you're damned if you have them and according to a different (still credible) news source you're damned if you don't.

In one corner we have the
Wall Street Journal Online

In the other corner we have
The Huffington Post

A few months back the Wall Street Journal online published an article entitled So Cute, So Hard on a Marriage.  Children are hard on a marriage?!?  Shocking!  Not really.  Everyone knows that adding an expensive, screaming, pooping baby to a household is going to poke holes in the marital bliss.  The article first details when and why the hardship occurs.  It's depressing.  The second half discusses ways that a couple can preserve their relationship when a baby is added to the mix.  Slightly less depressing.  There's a comparison of couples who engage in counseling and those who don't.  The statistics are convincing that the counseling participants are happier in their relationship.  And, just when you think the cynical title has given way to a happy ending, the author slips in: "the rate of divorce, however, was the same for both."  WAY depressing.

Now, before you tell your beau that children are off the table because you love him soooo much, consider a more recent article by The Huffington Post: Are Childless Couples Heading Toward Divorce?  The summary of this article is YES.  Children give a couple reason to stay together and work out their differences.  It's undeniably easier for a childless couple to walk away.  Statistics show that childless couples are twice as likely to get a divorce as child-full (hahaha) couples.  In fact, the more children a couple has the less likely they are to divorce.

What does all of this mean?  At first glance, it seems these articles present conflicting theories and these writers are trying to confuse the bag out of us.  At second glance, maybe not.  If you mush all this information together here's what you'll find:  Childless couples are more likely to get divorced than those with kids, but when a couple with children wants a divorce no amount of therapy will deter that plan.  Both articles concede that children create significant stress on a relationship.  Neither article reveals any demographic that is statistically isolated from divorce.     

What does all of this REALLY mean?  Don't take relationship advice from the Wall Street Journal or Huffington Post, their prestige isn't based on their intimacy expertise.