Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Reality

The reality is, I don't have time to post. I don't. I am not good enough at multi-tasking in this early stage of parenthood, especially in the middle of the holiday season. I truly want to share everything about my pregnancy, like where I registered (Amazon.com and Buy Buy Baby) and where I got my maternity clothes (mostly Gap Maternity) and what I craved (tomato soup). But, I barely have time to pee these days. So, something has got to give...and keeping up with NSB seems to be that thing.

It is as temporary hiatus. A pause. Once I get into the swing of things and the holidays wind down, I will be back. I love to write. I love the dialogue we have on NSB. So, I will be back.

Talk to you later and happy holidays. What an amazing year this was. I am so excited for the joys that 2013 will bring.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Revealing Method

It's time to start sharing now that we all know I was pregnant for nine months this year.  I'll start from the beginning.  So, how did I reveal to my husband, family and friends that I was pregnant?  Before I get to the answer, let's look back at my post from June 2011 about all the exciting ways that one can reveal that she is pregnant.  Here is a brief summary of that post:

  • Online Method - blog about it, tweet it, post it on Facebook, make an online photo album with your sonogram photo, send an email, Evite everyone to a party featuring your baby bump
  • Phone Call Method - no explanation needed
  • Creative Face-to-Face Method - a dinner party, a colorful (think pink or blue) cake, a t-shirt with a message, etc.
  • Revealing Gift Method - a mug for your parents that says "I love Grandma/pa", a t-shirt for your husband that says "#1 Daddy", etc.

Check out the post for a full post (here) with awesome (might I say) suggestions.

So, which of my awesome suggestions did I take?  None.  Well, none when it came to the biggest and most important reveal - my husband.  I just walked out of the bathroom completely stunned and said, "I think I'm pregnant."  To which he said, if I remember correctly, "What does that mean?"

The conversation then proceeded with me explaining that I used the pregnancy test (like I said I would five minutes earlier).  I waited the appropriate amount of minutes for an accurate result.  I looked at the pee covered stick.  There were TWO pink lines.  Then I repeated, "I think I'm pregnant."  This time he said, "You are pregnant."  It wasn't a could be, might be, "think" situation.  I was or I wasn't, and I was.  Pure joy.  Then I took another test, for good measure. 

I will never forget that exchange.  I will never forget that day.  So, the lesson quickly became - it doesn't matter how one reveals her pregnancy.  It's unforgettable no matter the method.





Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Being Thankful

Today's post is a late tribute to Thanksgiving.  I hope you had a good one.

During pregnancy there are so many rules.  There are prenatal vitamins to take and foods to avoid, ways to sleep and clothes to wear.  The list of to dos is dwarfed only by the list of not allowed to dos.  And on top of all the guidelines dictated by science, there are wives tales that further instruct.  All these rules create so many (too many) opportunity for worry - Am I doing this right?  Did I remember to do that?  Should I do that?  One's mind can really get away from her.  Mine certainly did at times.

When my worries became overwhelming, I coped by being thankful.  It worked...usually.  I tried to forget the lists of dos and don'ts and, instead, make a list of thanks.  Sometimes the list included milestones, like reaching a big ultrasound.  More often the list included just everyday things, silly things.

Some sample list items:
  • No one ever told me to lay off desserts.  In fact, my mother encouraged me to eat ice cream...all the calcium.
  • I got some cute and comfortable hand-me-down maternity clothes from friends.
  • I bonded with other pregnant friends and mom friends in a way that I couldn't before I experienced pregnancy for myself.
  • At least once a day, a stranger would congratulate me.
  • My hair was shiny and thick from the prenatal vitamins and the hormones.  And my nails were stronger than ever.
  • No one ever commented on how big my butt became.
  • I got a seat on the subway...most of the time.
  • I had a legitimate reason to discuss baby names whenever I wanted.

This list, as cheesy as it was somedays, was a great tool.  Realizing that I was eight months along and no one had even joked that my ass looked as pregnant as my belly was a great distraction from all the do's and don'ts.  Yes, there's a lot to worry about during pregnancy, but there's also a lot to be thankful for.   It's just a matter of finding those small moments of sweetness or comedy.  When you do, it's amazing how easily they can overpower the big moments of worry.  

Were you a worrier during your pregnancy?  Do you think you will be?  How do you/will you cope?



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Surprise Baby

Now that the cat's out of the bag (aka the baby's out of my bump), I have so many pregnancy stories to share.  I have thoughts on baby showers and registering, cravings and maternity clothes, and everything else from the pregnancy test to reaching (and passing) my due date.  But before I get to the sharing, I should explain why I didn't post about my pregnancy in real time.

When I learned I was pregnant at the beginning of the year, I wanted to wait to spread the news until I passed the twelve week mark.  It's a traditional milestone and it felt like the right milestone for me and my husband.  It was such a joyful, awesome discovery that we wanted to enjoy it between the two of us for a bit.  So, we did just that.  Then we told only immediate family and a couple close friends and let it settle some more.  Then, at twelve weeks, we told the rest of our family and friends and enjoyed a whole new round of excitement.

It finally seemed like a reasonable time to post my fantastic news on NSB. But, it didn't feel like the right time. Even with the news making its way through my social circles, I wasn't ready to share it with the public at large.  So, I decided to wait until it felt right and ignore what seemed reasonable.  Turns out it didn't feel right until last week.

From the start, my pregnancy felt like an immensely personal experience.  My reaction to that feeling was to keep it intimate.  I didn't share baby bump photos on Facebook and I didn't leave away messages on Gmail about my morning sickness (which I had).  I instinctively wanted to keep social media away from my belly.

Many, perhaps most, women shout out their pregnancy from the rooftops, which includes Facebook and online announcements.  I get that.  It's the reverse of what I did, but it equally expresses the true awesomeness of being pregnant.  For many, being pregnant is simply too amazing to contain.  For me, keeping my pregnancy amongst family and friends made me feel like I was preserving that awesomeness.   So, despite the fact that I constantly publicize my personal joys and junk on NSB, I pulled back and let this personal joy stay personal. I hope you forgive me for pulling a fast one on you.  Now that my beautiful baby has arrived, I'm ready (at last) to share and discuss.



Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Next Stop

Some of you know why I took a hiatus and some of you may have guessed.  Some of you are just annoyed that I haven't posted in two weeks.  Well, the wait is over.   I'm back.  And, I'm a mom.  That's right, I'm a mom.  My hiatus involved giving birth to my first child, recovering (ouch) from said birth and mostly staring for endless hours at the perfect little person who was one day in my belly and the next in my arms.  There has also been a lot of poop, but we can discuss that on a later date.

For today, I'm just excited to share that I have officially reached my next stop - baby.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Brief Hiatus

Hey Everyone - Next Stop Baby and I are going on a brief hiatus with big, exciting changes to the blog when we return.  Thanks for understanding and check back in about a week or so.  Happy November and happy weekend!  Talk soon.

~Leah

Stuff People Google 74

Another week, another bizarre phrase that someone googled.


shop key boob


Am I just not in the know?  Does everyone research and keep up with "shop key boobs"?  Does this have something to do with a Halloween costume (it was googled the week of October 22nd)?  Please explain, someone.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sandra or Sanford Anyone?

I've lived in New York city for a while and I've now officially lived through Hurricane Sandy.  She was a real bitch, to be frank, but I can't complain because I was spared in some major ways.  Some of my friends, family and coworkers were not so lucky and I give them major kudos for trooping it out through flooding, loss of power, loss of water, loss of sanity...

But, this post is not about Sandy the Frankenstorm, she's received enough attention.  This post is about Sandy the name, sort of.  Here's my question: Do you know anyone who named their baby after a storm, major historic event or natural disaster that occurred on the date of the baby's birth?



Any baby girl Sandra's or baby boy Sanford's named over the past couple days?  
If so, tell me about it...stud.





Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Foxy and Refreshingly Private

What kind of celebrity couple are Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green?  Are they A list?  B list?  D list?

Let me make it easier.  I think we can all agree that they're not as famous as Brangelina and likewise agree that they're more famous than Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott.  Right?  Meaning, they're somewhere between super famous and reality star famous, but I'm not sure where exactly on the spectrum.  Most of that fame comes from Megan's success.  No offense to Brian Austin, I'm totally willing to admit a brief crush during his Beverly Hills 90210 days, but he isn't Mr. Limelight.

Why does any of this completely ridiculous characterization matter?  Check out below, which is a snippet from Megan Fox's Facebook page.




Who knew that Megan Fox was pregnant?  I have to admit that I did.  That's attributable to my unhealthy addiction to celebrity gossip websites.  But I bet some of you, more mature folk, didn't know.  The reason that some of you may not have known is because she didn't splash her pregnancy in every available media outlet.  She wasn't showing up on red carpets rubbing her belly.  She didn't do a spread in Us Weekly to discuss her cravings and nursery decor.  She didn't announce the gender on twitter.  She generally kept a low profile and privately enjoyed the pregnancy with her teen heartthrob husband.

For the record, I'm not a super fan of Megan Fox.  I happen to think she's a bad mediocre actress.  But I was impressed by her relative discretion when it came to being pregnant.  She announced her son's birth not by PR blast, but in her own words on her Facebook page several weeks after the fact.  There's still no photographs available to the public.  

What a stark contrast from those celebs who sell their baby photos to the highest paying tabloid/gossip magazine (more on that here).  So, back to my original question - what kind of couple are Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green?  Non-exploitive like those A listers and non-desperate like those D listers.  I'm still not sure where exactly on the spectrum that they exist, but good for them.

If you knew that Megan Fox was pregnant, how did you find out?  Did you know she gave birth?  Did you think she was discreet or just as shamelessly exploitive as the rest of them?


Friday, October 26, 2012

Stuff People Google 73

What is this week's edition of Stuff People Google about?!!


hot process soap cupcakes


This scares me.  I have a feeling it has something to do with cooking meth.  Have I watched too many HBO/Showtime series?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Couple of Baby Name AHAs!

Last week, a friend (thanks B!) sent me a very cool article from iVillage about my #1 fav topic - baby names.  The article (here) lists ten categories of baby names (think places, spiritual, antique, etc.) and what choosing a name from each category says about the parent.  For example, parents who choose places as names (i.e. Brooklyn, London, Paris, etc.) envision their child in the limelight.   There's probably definitely no scientific research behind the assertions, but I thoroughly enjoyed them.

This short, sweet article, beyond providing some entertainment, provided two serious AHA! moments for me.  For those of you who don't know what an AHA! moment is, shame on you and I'll explain.  It's Oprah's term for an epiphany.  She made it up and I think it's now in the dictionary or at least the urban dictionary.  It's AHA! as in "I get it!", which is literally how Oprah defines it in her video explanation below.  So strange that this video exists on Youtube.




My first AHA! moment inspired by the iVillage article was the realization that my theory on uniqueness being the single most important factor in choosing a baby name (remember this post?) is not true.  Well, it's not true for everyone.  People have many reasons for choosing their perfect baby name, many of which are totally unrelated to uniqueness.  Aha!  There's more than one end goal for finding the perfect baby name and there's more than one path to get there.

Here are the categories of names listing in the iVillage article:

  • Place Names
  • Religious Names
  • Vintage Names
  • Nature Names
  • Political Names
  • Celebrity Driven Names
  • Pop-Culture Inspired Names
  • Ethnic Names
  • Family Names
  • Really Unique Names - this is my category, right?

Here's the other, more significant AHA! - I don't prioritize uniqueness in my baby name preferences.  I don't fall into the "really unique names" category.  What's that?!  Hold up now...

The article, understandably, listed names like Apple and Pilot Inspektor as really unique names.  I don't like either as I've previously mentioned (here).  There both a bit too out there for me.  Too unique.  On the other hand, I'm don't like Isabella or Jacob (the most popular names of 2011).  They're too common for me.  Not unique enough.  But, here is where the AHA! really hit home, if I'm forced between Jacob and Pilot Inspektor, I'm going with Jacob.  Turns out that uniqueness is more of a secondary concern for me.  I know, I'm baffled too. 

This double AHA! left me totally confused about what type of baby namer I am.  For a woman who's written about baby names several dozen times, this was concerning.  I was suddenly without a baby name identity.

Don't feel too bad for me...pretty confident you didn't...all that happened was a daily trip over to Nameberry.com to search around and rediscover who I am.  The process was quite quick and here are the results: my taste is vintage, classic and traditional with consideration (not absolute prioritization) of how popular the name is according to the SSN website.

What type of baby names do you like?  Any of the categories listed by iVillage?  Maybe you're a mesh of more than one or fall into a category overlooked by iVillage?







Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stylin' Flower Girls and Ring Bearers

How cute are flower girls and ring bearers?  Right?  Sometimes they cause a bit of unwanted drama (think screaming, flailing tantrums), but mostly they cause a collective "awwww" from all the wedding guests as they slowly, awkwardly, adorably make their way down the aisle.

Not everyone welcomes babies, toddlers, children...anyone under 18... at their wedding for a plethora of reasons (including the screaming, flailing tantrum potential), but that's a whole different post.  Today, I'm focusing on wedding fashion for the mini members of a wedding party.  It's not wedding season, but it is the season of wedding planning for all those folks who will be getting hitched in 2013.

All the clothes, shoes and accessories below are for infants and toddlers (0-2 years) ...aka babies...but many come in larger sizes (and alternate colors), so be sure to click on the hot links below each image to get product details.  Also, most of the Etsy shops featured in this post specialize in infant/toddler/child formal wear, so check out the entire shop for other adorable products.



For the Flower Girls (ladies first)

White knit and tulle dress by Ralph Lauren ($175)
Tulle ballerina dress by Us Angels ($146+)


Jeweled collar by JCrew ($48)



Lace bow headbands by Little Blooms Handmade ($12 each)



Barefoot baby sandals by Happy Threads ($18)



For the Ring Bearers


Sage boys jumper by Beane & Company ($70)



Two button school blazer by JCrew ($158)



Alexander baby boy shoes by Pink2Blue ($32)



Elephant bow tie by Olive and Vince (~$16.44)



Monday, October 22, 2012

Name That Bump 5 - Revealed

As always, before I reveal the lady behind the bump from Name That Bump 5, here is the headless photo to refresh your memory:




And the lady is - Gwenyth Paltrow!!!  Amy and Ella Mae were correct.  




WW and Mother of Pearl, the headless image definitely looks as if it could be Posh.  But, Posh Spice (aka Victoria Beckham), while married to a Brit (soccer player David Beckham), is not what I would consider an accomplished actress.  She may have starred in Spice World with her fellow Spice Girls bandmates, but an Academy Award winner she is NOT.


Remember Spice World (circa 1998)?  Okay, I never saw it (shame on me), 
but I hear it's a cult classic.  I've just never met anyone in the cult.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stuff People Google 72

I was truly baffled by today's edition of Stuff People Google:


louis borgenicht baby ├Ągarmanual


The non-English words were the primary source of confusion.  The word "baby" made me hopeful that the search was appropriate for NSB, but I didn't know.  So, I googled it...of course.  Turns out that Louis Borgenicht is the co-author of The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Guide.  


I don't own it, so I can't vouch.
Check out Amazon.com reviews here.

Still a little confused as to why the typist wrote half in English and half in (what I believe to be) Swedish.  But, that's neither here or there.  Very excited to welcome Swedish readers/followers!  Come back anytime.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fact Checking - Baby Style

In celebration and acknowledgement of the upcoming presidential elections, I thought it was fitting to do some fact checking.  No, I'm not going to reveal the truth behind Governor Romney's plan for reforming the federal tax code or expose what really happened at the US Embassy in Syria.  What I will do is throw out some interesting baby facts for us to ponder.  Let's get this party started (click on answers to see the source of my info):


Average weight and length of baby at 40 weeks - 7 lbs 10.08 ounces and 20.16 inches

Original Gerber Baby - Ann Turner Cook


Ann Turner Cook in December 1996


US State with the most births - California

US State with the highest birth rate (number of births compared to number of women) - Utah

Top selling baby toy on Amazon.com - Sophie the Giraffe, obvy





Doctor who delivered the most babies (arguably) - Dr. Walter "Papa Doc" Watson, practice in Augusta, GA, delivered 18,000+ babies, still delivering at age 100

Year that TLC's A Baby Story premiered - 1998

Highest amount of money paid for photo of celebrity baby - $11 million was allegedly paid by People Magazine for photos of Brangelina's twins (Vivienne and Knox)




Busiest Labor and Delivery Hospital in US (arguably) - Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, TX

Best selling baby book (through 2000) - The Poky Little Puppy




Number of children fathered by Eddie Murphy - 8 (Bria, Myles, Shayne, Zola, Bella, Christian, Eric, Angel)

Amount of money Jay Z and Beyonce spent on Swarovski encrusted baby shoes for Blue Ivy - $800


Designed by Ruthie Davis




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Name That Bump 5

So, you're starting to get into Name That Bump based on the slight increase in participation on Name That Bump 4.  This week's edition features a headless blond who has won an academy award for a starring role (aka - she's a film actress) and is married to a Brit.  I think I've said too much...




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blue Boy Baby Shower

Maybe I created today's mood board because I love Jones soda, maybe not.  Either way, here are a bunch of fun and yummy items to pull together a classic, blue baby shower.






Clockwise from top left
Cupcake toppers by Apple Candy Design ($2 digital file)
Blue gummy bears ($10/1.5 lbs on Amazon.com)
Jones blue bubble gum soda ($55/24 on Amazon.com)
Blue polka dot paper straws by Back to Zero ($4/25)
Lucky star origami by Origami Delights ($13/100)





Monday, October 15, 2012

Name That Bump 4 - Revealed

Before the big reveal, here's the headless photo from Name That Bump 4:





AHA!  You guys are getting a hang of this.  Everyone guessed correctly.  Nicely done.  The lovely lady with the lovely baby bump is Alyson Hannigan, who stars in How I Met Your Mother and has two daughters, Satyana (born in 2009) and Keeva (born earlier this year).  Alyson is pregnant with Satyana in this photo.





Friday, October 12, 2012

Stuff People Google 71

Today's edition of Stuff People Google isn't a total bizarre phrase, I don't think.


maternity belly donut


I've never heard of a maternity belly donut, but I think I can imagine what it is - a donut shaped pillow that fits a pregnant woman's belly bump so she can lay on her stomach.  Um, is that a crazy guess?  Does anyone know what a maternity belly donut actually is???

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm Told That Babies Steal Sleep

Today's post revisits a topic I've written about before (here) - how babies affect parents' sleep.  If you're pregnant it's something that everyone is warning you about, if you have a baby it's something you're acutely aware of and not happy about.  Lack of sleep sucks.

Earlier this week, a blogging friend (Kendall) who writes On An Inhale posed a simple question on Facebook:



On An Inhale is not a baby blog.  It's a yoga, health, nutrition blog.  But, again, lack of sleep sucks and it sucks not just for parents, but for everyone.  And by "sucks" I mean that it has a serious impact on a person's health and well-being.  Hence, On An Inhale took on the topic.  

The question itself (above) wasn't mind blowing, just a general topic that seemingly all sorts of people could weigh in on.  The discussion that ensued was far more controversial.  Poor Kendall was pounced on by comment after comment that she clearly didn't have children because lack of sleep was not a choice for parents.  No amount of planning could assist a parent in gaining more sleep.  Essentially, nine hours of steady snoozing was a forgotten fairy tale once baby arrived. 

I get that newborns don't sleep much...at all...and when they do it's in small chunks that adult bodies don't find satisfying in the least.  I get that parents of a 3-month-old are literally running on adrenaline, sweat and as much caffeine as they can stomach.  But, am I wrong to think that at some point the tables adjust (though they may not completely turn).  At some point, a parent can get seven hours sleep at night without it being a miracle, right?  Maybe nine hours of straight zzzzs will be reserved for weekends when the kids are at their grandparents, but does sleep deprivation last from a child's birth until college graduation?

Someone, please, answer me.  And if you don't have anything nice (and reassuring) to say on this topic, then please don't answer me.


PS - If you want to check out On An Inhale 
click HERE for the website 
and HERE for the Facebook page. 








Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Name That Bump 4

Okay, I'm trying it again.  With a whopping two comments on Name That Bump 3, I was somewhat encouraged to keep going.  Okay, not really.  This seriously doesn't seem to be catching on.  But I'm going to beat the dead horse until...I don't know....

Here she is, this week's headless pregnant celebrity.



And here are your hints: She stars in a hit television sitcom and she recently (earlier this year) added a second daughter to her brood.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Supporting Friends (GIVEAWAY!)

Happy Monday and Happy Columbus Day!

Regular NSB readers may have noticed that a certain "Jessica" posting comments all over the place.  If not, you will now that I mention it.  Not only is Jessica a friend of NSB, but she's also an amazing crafter and the lady behind Little Partridge.  First check out some fun stuff available on the Little Partridge Etsy shop and then (keep scrolling down) check out details on an awesome GIVEAWAY.

Burp cloth cupcake sets

Personalized trick or treat bags

Diaper cake

Today through Thursday, Little Partridge is hosting a major giveaway ($75 gift certificate!) to celebrate the launch of its new, spiffy website.  Here's a screen shot of the website:




So, how do you enter this awesome giveaway?  Head over to the new Little Partridge website (click here) and follow the instructions.  Good luck!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stuff People Google 70

Today's edition of Stuff People Google brought the typist here based on one, very old, very interesting post.  First, the phrase:


pregnant cake with foot


The related post was part of a series of caption contests that I hosted on NSB.  I don't do the caption contests anymore, but I vividly remember each photo.  The image below is from Caption Contest Dos.



This cake was featured on Cakewrecks.com and freaked me out the first time I saw it.  Actually, it still freaks me out. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Celebrity Babies Everywhere!!!

If you read Next Stop baby with any frequency (and I hope you do), you know that I can't help myself when it comes to celebrity baby news.  It's not a regular posting topic, but I do write about celeb baby names and celeb baby gossip (i.e. rumors about Jessica Simpson's baby name choice, Blue Ivy's conspiracy, etc.) when it's too hot to ignore.  Today is a discussion of both these topics together.

There have been SO many celebrities having babies over the past couple months.  So many.  Let's review with the assistance of some names, dates and photos:


Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler 
welcomed Camden Jack Cutler (boy) on August 8th

Kristin and Camden


Giuliana and Bill Rancic 
welcomed Edward Duke Rancic (boy) on August 29th

Edward


Vanessa Manillo and Nick Lachey 
welcomed Camden John Lachey (boy) on September 12th

Camden John (not to be confused with Camden Jack)


Adriana Lima and Marko Jaric 
welcomed Sienna Jaric (girl) on September 13th

Adriana (no pic of Sienna yet)


Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Wilkerson 
welcomed Tucker McFadden Wilkerson (son) on September 18th

Melissa (no pic of Tucker yet)


Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. 
welcomed a son in mid/late September...that's all the info I could find. 

SMG (no pic of baby boy yet)


Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman 
welcomed Olive Barrymore Kopelman  (girl) on September 26th

Drew and Will (no pic of Olive yet)


Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth 
welcomed Tennessee James Toth (boy) on September 27th

Reese (no pic of Tennessee yet)


Two things I noticed right away - they're all baby boys with the exception of little Olive Kopelman and Sienna Jaric.  And who would have thought that two couples would choose the same name (Camden) and initials (CJ) for their sons.  Strange.  I wonder if Kristin and Vanessa are pissed about it, each having thought that they chose such a unique, modern name.  I also wonder if their joint choice will launch Camden into the top echelon of popular baby names?  Like Kourtney K. did with Mason.  Last thought, I love Reese and Jim's choice of Tennessee (though I wouldn't choose it myself).

More importantly, which names do you love and which do you hate?  Whose choice surprised you?  Are there this many celebrities having babies all the time or was January 2012 a particularly romantic month in Los Angeles?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Katniss Strikes Back...Again...and Again

It's been almost one year since the notorious post in which I declared that Katniss is not a real name.  After all this time, comments are still rolling in about how wrong I was/am.  People love The Hunger Games.  People love Katniss Everdeen.  People think Katniss IS a real name.


There she is.  Badass.


I get it.  In fact, I got it about two weeks after I wrote the original post, so I wrote a follow-up post (here) taking back my assertion that Katniss was the modern day equivalent of Spock - a science fiction character and not a name.  It wasn't a full take back (I never said that Katniss is a real name), but I did admit some wrongdoing.  Nonetheless, the Katniss backlash continues.  So, I'm trying again.



(The beginning of the most recent comment on 
the year old "Katniss is Not a Real Name" post)



I'm still not going to declare that Katniss is a real name (despite the snide, but funny and informative comments I've received).  What I will do is acknowledge that I'm not sure that there is such thing as a "real" name.  Any word is a name, right?  Well, in some states there are words that legally can't be names (think: terrible, horrible 4-letter words) and a judge can actually rename a child if the parent chooses one of the forbidden words.  Beyond those rarest of rare circumstances, pretty much any combination of letters can be a name.

Celebrity parents are the most shining example of taking a seemingly random word and turning it into a name.  Apple Martin (Gyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's daughter) always comes to mind in these type discussions, though there are far more random words that have become celebrity baby names (i.e. Pilot Inspektor).  So, I admit, Katniss is not just the name of a book character, it's also a viable option for the name of a real life lady or gentleman.  That's my amended statement - Katniss could be a name.


Pilot Inspektor Lee (son of actor Jason Lee)
 

Will Katniss become a popular name and someday reign the Top 100 list?  Ummm, I don't know, though I kinda, sorta doubt it.  But, I'm perfectly happy being proven wrong.  So, go ahead - prove me wrong.  Start naming your babies Katniss!!!



Friday, September 28, 2012

Stuff People Google 69


It would have been appropriate to have a sexually charged phrase for today's edition of Stuff People Google.  It's the 69th edition after all.  But, no one has grossed me out (in that way) lately.  Well, truth be told there have been a few search phrases involving teenagers and meatholes...but they crossed the line for me.

Instead, to celebrate the 69th edition of Stuff People Google, I'll give you some old favorites that have creepy sexual undertones and then reveal today's totally non-sexual phrase.



(I think the most disturbing edition of all time)






And now, today's edition:


the baby partridge are so cute


What or who are the baby partridge?  And, elementary schools seriously need to add grammar lessons back to the curriculum.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Difficult Dilemma Between Friends

There is a clear difference between baby crazed individuals and non-baby crazed individuals.  The more crazy the former gets, the more glaring the difference.  Being a baby crazed individual, I must consciously simmer myself around non-baby crazed friends.  I intentionally guide my conversational instincts toward movies, work, and noteworthy happenings on my commute (versus names, baby shower tales and family planning discussions).  Sometimes I slip up, but that usually only happens when I'm around other baby crazed individuals.  The joining forces of multiple baby crazed ladies can be explosive...and super annoying...to the non-baby crazed.  But, all-in-all, controlling the baby talk is doable.


It's two baby crazed individuals (Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott) 
with their crew of babies.  There's actually one missing, their new son Finn.  
Side note: healthy wishes to Tori, who was recently hospitalized 
due to complications from her c-section with Finn.  



Let's up the stakes from a conversation between a baby crazed and non-baby crazed lady to a conversation between a pregnant woman and a woman who has been desperately trying to get pregnant for some time.  You just cringed when you read that, right?  The contrast here is far more glaring.  The mama-to-be can't very well deny her state of being, especially if her bump is in full effect.  The non-pregnant lady can't very well deny her desire to be pregnant, especially if it was well known before Miss Preggers found herself knocked up.

Simmering baby talk to a non-baby crazed friend is easy enough.  Simmering baby talk to a non-pregnant lady (or anyone), when your bump is touching your bowl of soup, is not so easy.  So, what does a pregnant lady do?  Not talk about babies at all and ignore her twitching belly?  Meanwhile, what does a non-pregnant-and-desperate-to-be lady do?  Not ask the courteous, obvious questions?  Avoid pregnant people altogether? 

Italian wedding soup.  My favorite.


It's a difficult dilemma requiring some serious sensitivities.  With so many of my friends having babies, being pregnant, being baby crazed and wanting to become parents, this difficult dilemma has popped up on more than one occasion.  It's never easy to manage - not from inside the dilemma or even as an onlooker.  But, the one thing I have learned is to let the non-pregnant lady guide the way.  If she wants to avoid all contact for a while, let her, and if she doesn't want to ask the courteous, obvious questions, let her.  She's not trying to offend or be selfish, she's just coping.

When wedding season is over, there is a ranging spectrum of interests and desires when it comes to being baby crazy and starting a family.  Be conscious of that range.  No matter where you fall on the spectrum, it's healthy for you and important for friendships to avoid tunnel vision.  Be the change you wish to see in the world...okay, that's totally unrelated, but it felt like a natural conclusion to this deep-ish thoughts post.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Name That Bump 3 - Revealed

On Monday, I showed you the photo below and asked for guesses as to who the perfectly round bump belonged to.





Reveal time:


It's our favorite German-born model, Heidi Klum!  Ms. Klum, host of Project Runway, is mother of Helene ("Leni"), Henry, Johan and Lou.  The latter three are Seal's biological children and Leni is the biological daughter of Flavio Briatore.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Name Haters

True - I'm obsessed with baby names.  I love listing them, researching them, discussing them and generally pondering them for minutes hours at a time.  I've written about them more times then I care to count (check out the long list of name posts here).

I can't explain my obsession, but I do know that others share it, which is comforting.  I so appreciate a friend who's willing to discuss name meanings and origins with me, repeatedly, because she's equally as passionate about the subject.  I'm a name lover and I know it.  What I don't appreciate is those passionate individuals who claim to be name lovers, but are really name haters


Haters gonna hate...



Name haters love talking about names, but their side of the conversation is about how much they hate most names.  The joyful brainstorming session of a name lover is quickly smothered by a laundry list of bad associations and inexplicable distaste from a name hater.  Here a few short scripts to better exemplify:

Name Lover: "I'm really into modern names lately, like Mulligan and Gem".
Name Hater: "Seriously?!  Yuck.  Those aren't even names, they're a golfing reference and the centerpiece of jewelry."

Name Lover: "I'll never stop loving those turn of the century, antique names like Wyatt and Coralie."
Name Hater: "I'll never understand why people like those names.  If you're gonna name your son Wyatt, you have to hope that he's good looking kid because teasing will pick on him like crazy."

Name Lover: "I just met a little girl named Vera, I love it.  Thoughts?"
Name Hater: "It's not horrible, it's just that I had a really annoying coworker named Vera at my last job.  It makes me think of coffee breath and a nasal voice."





There is nothing that will invoke a pleasant reaction from a name hater, except if you reference one of the tiny handful of names that she happens to love.  It's a disastrous conversation when the lover and the hater come together on their favorite topic.  Well, disastrous for the lover.  And yet, a name lover can't easily avoid the conversation because the worst part of name haters is, again, that they think they're name lovers and genuinely love talking about names.

The thing is, name haters aren't always haters across the board.  Some of the nicest people I know are name haters.  It's weird.  I think because it's not necessarily rude to give a blunt opinion on a movie or restaurant, people think the same rules apply to names.  But that's not true.  Name opinions are personal and much more akin to fashion choices or haircuts.  The love of a name speaks to personality and taste.

I love shopping at JCrew (online sales), wearing my hair in a ponytail and classic, but less popular, names.  I get a bit peeved when someone disses any of these things.  So, if you're suddenly self identifying as a hater - quit it!




   

Monday, September 24, 2012

Name That Bump 3

Alrighty.  It's the 3rd go at Name That Bump.  This gorgeous mama hosts a television show and has multiple children by more than one man (oh my).  Name that bump!



Vote for Next Stop Baby! Please.

It's that time of the year...it happens every year, twice a year...when I ask for your vote to help make Next Stop Baby a "Top Baby Blog".  It's incredibly simple:



Click HERE

Then click on the owl on the LEFT


Nothing else is needed.  Just two clicks and you're done.  Come back at noon for this week's edition of Name That Bump!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Name That Bump 2 - Revealed

After tons of comments (or not) and tons of anticipation (by WW), I'm finally revealing the person who belongs to the headless bump from Name That Bump 2.  One more time, here's the headless bump:





And, at last, here's the full photo:



It's Gwen Stefani!!!  Woohoo.  Exciting stuff.  As hinted, she's the lead singer of No Doubt (who's coming out with a new album after all these years) and mother of two boys, Kingston and Zuma.

Despite the fact that Name That Bump still hasn't picked up a ton any traction, I'm not willing to give up.  I'm giving it at least 3 strikes.  So, look for a new headless baby bump on Monday with the reveal coming on Wednesday. 


Friday, September 21, 2012

Stuff People Google 68

Today's edition of Stuff People Google made me laugh:


worst hat ever


And then it made me curious as to what hat the typist found on Next Stop Baby as a result of the search!

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about Name That Bump 2.  I will give you the answer later today.  Any last guesses?  Any guesses at all?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Top 10 Reasons to Keep the Baby's Gender a Surprise

After last week's post on the Top 10 Reasons to Find Out the Baby's Gender, I thought it was only fair to play devil's advocate and give you the flip side.


Top 10 Reasons to Keep the Baby's Gender a Surprise

1. Surprises are underrated.

2. Control is overrated. 

3. Practicality.  When the baby's gender is unknown, practical gift giving is the name of the game. Bottles and diapers are must haves for all babies.

4. Extra Motivation.  I've heard from more than one mother that not knowing the baby's gender gave her extra motivation to push on the big day.  Not only did she want to meet her baby (of course), but she was incredibly eager to find out the gender.

5. Avoidance of Tacky Gender Stereotypes.  Some parents are into pink lace for girls and blue corduroy for boys.  Some aren't.  For the latter, keeping the baby's gender a surprise will help avoid getting hyper gender specific gifts that aren't wanted in the first place.

6. Tempering Expectations.  It's easy to associate gender with certain life paths, career wise and otherwise.  This sort of dreaming can create severe and often superficial expectations before the baby is even born (i.e. baby girl is going to be a ballerina with long brown hair).  When you don't know the baby's gender you focus on more neutral, genuine expectations (i.e. baby is going to be smart with a great sense of humor).

7. The Guessing Game.  Examining all the wives' tales and using the Chinese Gender Predictor is good wholesome fun.  Friends and family can even get a baby pool going.  What's a baby pool?  I'll tell you: everyone throws a nominal amount of money in the pot and guesses the baby's gender, due date and weight.  Person who guesses correct gender and due date wins.  Closest weight guess breaks a tie. 

8. Older Generation Digs It.  While peers may think you're nutso for not taking advantage of technology, your parents' generation and beyond will give you kudos.  After all, your grandparents didn't even have the option to find out and they got along just fine.

9. Nursery Dilemmas.  For those who live in one bedroom apartments or studios, the baby's nursery won't be a space of its own.  Rather, it's part of shared space.  This means that the nursery decor must vibe with the entire living space - pink elephant curtains and blue airplane wall decals probably won't work.  Keeping the style mature and unisex is much easier when the baby's gender is unknown.

10. It Doesn't Matter.  Boy or girl, your baby is money.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lavender, Violet, Eggplant Nursery

After all that gender neutral talk last week, it's time to head back to the world of girly girl and boyee boy.  Never said or written boyee boy before.

Today's mood board features all different shades of purple to create a perfectly feminine nursery.  Just like I have been inspired to write about gender neutral baby stuff, I've also been inspired to pull together  a pretty purple nursery palette (say that 3 times fast).  More and more of my friends, who know they're having girls, are opting for purple nursery decor over pink.




(Clockwise from top left)
Lilac/grape cabin quilt euro sham from Serena & Lily ($68)
Medallion rug from Pottery Barn Kids ($399-$699)
Marcella tote from Z Gallerie ($59.95)
Pearhead wooden elephant bank from Diapers.com ($25.29)
Bizarre crib bedding from Land of Nod ($29-$89)
Art print from Once Upon a Paper ($20)