Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day

Happy Leap Day everyone.  The mystical February 29th is once again upon us. 

For most of us today is just an extra day in February that doesn't much affect our day-to-day lives.  But, for a rare few, it's a VERY special day.  Those few include Ja Rule and Antonio Sabato Jr.  What could these two characters possibly have in common?  Today, February 29, is their birthday.

Being born on leap day can cut both ways.  On the positive side, when your actual birthday rolls around it is far more special than the average once-a-year-birthday.  On the negative side, in the non-leap years you're forced to choose a date other than your birthday to celebrate.  There's probably something a bit lackluster about celebrating your February 29th birthday on February 28 or March 1.

I wonder if more women schedule c-sections for February 29 than the average day?  Or is it a day to avoid?  And now for some Ja Rule...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tree Inspired Nursery

I've pulled together some ideas for a tree themed nursery.  I know, TREE themed?  I started with the more general idea of nature themed, but I kept finding tree items that I loved.  The natural colors are good for a boy or a girl and the overall feel is mature even though these are baby products.

1. Tree of Life crib bedding by Poids Plume ($425)
2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein ($12 on
3. Organic wood tree teether by A Summer Afternoon ($12)
4. 3-D Personalized Tree Art by Domestic Notions ($64.80)
5. Lumbar tree pillow by Classic by Nature ($30)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Stuff People Google 41

What does this even mean?!?

snooki and baby dinosaur

Seriously, does anyone know why someone would google this phrase.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Feeling Like Fergie

Stacy Ferguson (aka Fergie) (aka Fergie Ferg) is well known for many fabulous things.  She sings, she dances and she's even acted (check out her IMDB page here).  She's also known for some not so fabulous things.  She used crystal meth on the regular back in the early 90s and she once peed her pants while on stage during a concert....

I was gonna draw an arrow to 
highlight the evidence...
but it seemed unnecessary
(image here)

When one feels like Fergie that could mean many things, good and bad.  It could mean feeling embarrassed after doing something supremely humiliating.  It could mean feeling extra glamorous and ready to rock out sequin unitard.  It could also mean feeling pissed off because everyone thinks you're pregnant, but you're not.  Poor Fergie is constantly being mistaken as pregnant.  CONSTANTLY.  It's  the result of an unflattering angle, an unflattering outfit and sometimes both.  She's the subject of pregnancy speculation just as often as she's the subject of recognition for her career.

Here are some exhibits to prove my point:

Exhibit A: Fergie wears a flowing blue shirt, thinks she's pregnant

Exhibit B: Fergie is photographed leaving dinner
 (maybe too much sushi? white rice can bloat....) 
in an empire waist dress and thinks she's pregnant

Exhibit C: This is just a bad angle 
and an ugly shirt, but 
thought it was the look of pregnancy

Exhibit D: Here, called 
Fergie "thick" (how friggin cruel), 
which was a supposed sign of pregnancy

Ever mistaken someone as pregnant?  It's hurtful.  Ever been mistaken as pregnant?  It sucks.  First, it automatically brings about self image issues.  It makes you feel fat or unfashionable or both.  Second, it brings about privacy issues.  These issues are best explained through some exhibits, much like Fergie's pregnancy rumors.  

Exhibit A: Your friend calls you out for being pregnant because you're not drinking alcohol.  What she doesn't know is that you're taking medication for a medical condition that you don't want to talk about.  It's something you wanted to keep between you and your doctor.  

Exhibit B: Your friend calls you out for being pregnant because your boobs are looking particularly large.  What she doesn't know is that you're wearing a pair of chicken cutlets because you wanted to look amazing in a strapless dress for the first time in you life.  It's your best friend's wedding and you wanted some keepsake photos in which you look more shapely than a 12-year-old boy. 

Exhibit C: Your friend calls you out for being pregnant because you're constantly talking about babies.  What she doesn't know is that talking about babies doesn't mean wanting babies. 

In all of these exhibits, you have the option of evading the question (and probably perpetuating suspicion), straight up lying, or revealing embarrassing information.  Three bad choices.  So, here's my firm advice to nosy friends:  Don't be so nosy.  Be a friend and not a private investigator.  If you are truly friends with someone, she will tell you she's pregnant when she's ready.  Forcing someone to admit she's pregnant or defend her non-pregnant status isn't very friendly.

Don't make your friend feel like Fergie.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Equally Awful

Did you hear that Leah Messer had a miscarriage?  UGH.  Here is the full story from OK! Magazine.

When I heard the sad news I had been ironically working on a post about the fact that Leah Messer was pregnant again.  A cheeky post that went something like this:

If you know I love Teen Mom, you also know that I have mixed opinions about it's overall worth to society.  I've asked the question before (here) and I'll ask it again: is Teen Mom teaching teens about how truly difficult it is to be a teenage mother or is it glamorizing teen pregnancy?  I think, and I could certainly be wrong, that the founding idea behind Teen Mom was to encourage the use of birth control (and celibacy).  I haven't come across any statistics on whether this principal has in fact affected the general teenage population, but when it comes to a specific teenage individual, Leah Messer, we can now say with certainty that the whole importance of birth control message didn't resonate.  She's nineteen and recently announced that she's pregnant, again.

I was actually inspired to write a post about Leah's Messer's pregnancy by one of my favorite NSB followers who emailed this question: why haven't you covered the Leah Messer pregnancy?!  A solid question given my juvenile obsession with the Teen Mom franchise.  Of course it was blog worthy news, but I was biding my time as I searched for my angle.  So, I started the post (above) but couldn't figure out where to take it.  Then, news of the miscarriage hit the internet and my angle found me.

Pregnancy is major.  It can be major good or major...not good.  That's because not all pregnancies occur under ideal terms.  It's easy to think of the married couple in their thirties who get pregnant after thoughtful consideration, financial planning and a month of hot, unprotected sex.  Of course that's not always the case.  Pregnancy can also be the result of a couple teenagers having a one-night, supremely awkward romp session after drinking far too many Natty Ices.

aka Natty Ice

Miscarriage, on the other hand, is pretty much always awful - whether you're sixteen or fifty, a billionaire or poor as hell, ready or not ready.  There is no upside to discovering a pregnancy and then losing that pregnancy.  For a woman whose discovery of pregnancy is major good, loss of that pregnancy is awful.  Totally and utterly devastating.  For a woman whose discovery of pregnancy is major not good, loss of that pregnancy is still awful.  Losing a pregnancy won't erase the emotional turmoil that occurred while the pregnancy existed.  And, even in major not good cases, unexpectedly losing a pregnancy may still provoke sadness.  A loss is still a loss, even if it's accompanied by a sense of relief.

Upon hearing news of the miscarriage, my heart hurt for Ms. Messer, even if she did ignore the good word of Dr. Drew.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stuff People Google 40

Baby names are a prevalent NSB topic.  I love looking at baby name websites and blogs.  I love discussing baby names with friends.  I love stalking celebrity baby name choices.  I love all things baby name related.  And so, today, not only am I posting a phrase that someone googled, but I'm also taking the liberty of responding to the phrase (it's a question).

is manee a guy or girl name 

Manee isn't a name, if you're defining "name" as a word that is listed on the social security administration website (as a name) or a word that is listed on (as a name).  Both the SSA website and Nameberry are about as comprehensive as it gets in the lovely world of baby names.  But, if you love Manee, here are a few name suggestions that are on those websites, all of which Manee could be used as a nickname:

Boy Names

Girl Names

The only "Manee" I know (not personally) is Manny Ramirez.  I'm assuming that "Manee" would be pronounced the same as "Manny".  FYI, Manny Ramirez's full first name is Manuel. 

Manuel "Manny" Aristides Ramirez Onelcida
image here

I'm all for choosing the name that you like, regardless if it's a name as defined in this post or if it has an unusual spelling.  Your baby, your name choice.  Period.  But, in this specific case, if a person is digging the name Manee...perhaps going with Manny would be a better choice?  For me, "Manee" is too close to manatee and that's not an awesome name reference. 

This is a manatee
image here


Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Tom Petty and those Heartbreakers said it best:

Making the decision to try to get pregnant is HUGE.  For some, it's a decision that was made a long time ago, but other factors (and parties) had to get on board.  For others, it's a decision that came after a lot of thinking and waiting and considering and waiting and more thinking.  In either case, once this HUGE decision is made it's then time to go ahead and get pregnant.

Whether trying to get pregnant means casually pulling the goalie or purchasing an ovulation test kit and creating spreadsheets, it's impossible to know when it actually happens.  The word "it" in that prior sentence does not stand for "sex" know when sex happens.  Rather, it stands for moment that one actually becomes pregnant (fertilization then implantation... look it up), which is impossible to determine without some sophisticated medical equipment.  And so, whether your approach is laid back or full throttle, there will be a period of waiting to see whether you get your period, or not.

When you've made that decision that it's go time, that you're ready to get pregnant, that you're as ready as you'll ever be to become a parent...waiting can be hard.  It can be excruciating.  Typically it's two weeks between the day that a woman can get pregnant (ovulation) and the day that a woman should get her period (menstruation...I had to write it).  Even if a woman's cycle is a little unpredictable, it's still about two weeks before most pregnancy tests will give an accurate reading.

Thank you Wikipedia for this helpful chart.  

Taking a pregnancy test before the two week mark, while tempting, isn't a great option.  The results are not necessarily accurate, which will lead to waiting another few days to retest while coping with potentially false information in the meantime.  So, if you have to wait, how can you make it a little less hard?  In true Family Feud style, I've polled a bunch of ladies and the number one answer on the board is "Stay Busy".  Fill your social calendar.  Start (and finish?) a new TV series, I recommend Homeland.  Bake yourself, your friends, your co-workers some cookies.  Learn to knit.  Do anything that will take your mind off waiting and do it constantly until the waiting is over.  An idle mind is the devil's workshop (it's a proverb of some sort), so keep your mind full of thoughts other than "how much longer do I have to wait?!".

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Goodbye Katniss and Seraphina

I popped by Nameberry last week as part of my weekly (and sometimes daily) ritual.  Shock.  For the first time in a very, very long time neither Seraphina nor Katniss were listed in "Today's Most Popular Names".  What?  WHAT?!!  For the better half of 2011 both Seraphina and Katniss were listed every single day, all day long, without fail.  But on February 8, 2012 at approximately 2:54 p.m., neither were listed.

Had the queens been dethroned?  Well, not quite.  I went back to Nameberry over the weekend and there she was, Katniss, not giving up so quickly.  Seraphina, however, was still missing.

Here is what the "Today's Most Popular Names" section of Nameberry looked like for most of 2011.  This screenshot is from a post I wrote in the beginning of November 2011 (here).  Notice the prominence of both Katniss and Seraphina.  The size of each name indicates how many people are searching it (bigger size = more people), pink is for girl names and blue is for boy names (if that wasn't obvious).

Here is what the "Today's Most Popular Names" looked like this past weekend.  Small Katniss, NO Seraphina.

BUT WAIT, this is what it looked like just a couple hours later.  NO Katniss, small Seraphina.

And another couple hours later...

Why was I stalking Nameberry this past weekend and why am I giving you the play by play?  I want a record.  I want visual proof that the times, they are a changin'.  This is clear indicator that the next wave of baby name trends is almost upon us.  I'm guessing there will be a resurgence of Katniss when the first Hunger Games movie comes out in a little over a month, but the "it" factor is no longer.

So what are the new "it" names?   I spent a great deal of 2011 predicting what they would be (here, here and here).  Now that it's 2012, we don't have to guess anymore.  There are proof points all around us.  Unfortunately, the only thing proven by Namberry this weekend is that Seraphina and Katniss are on the way out, I didn't see any clear names or trends that are on the way in.  The three babies born into my (extended) circle of friends since the new year are a baby boy named Luc, a baby girl named Peyton and a baby girl named Penelope.  Not enough material to show a trend.

Celebritywise, here is the latest for 2012:


Exton Elias (son of Robert Downey Jr.)
James Timothy (son of Danny Pudi)
Micah Emmanuel (son of Sarah Drew)
Jonah Christopher (son of Jo Dee Messina)


Elliotte Anne (daughter of Marla Sokoloff)
Maxwell Lue (daughter of Lindsay Sloane)
Kaya Emory (daughter of Lindsay Davenport)
Fiona Lee (daughter of Danny Pudi)
Beatrice Jean (daughter of Bryce Dallas Howard)
Romy Hero (daughter of Aaron Johnson)
Blue Ivy (daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z)
Willa Lou (daughter of Keri Russell)
Sebella Rose (daughter of Roselyn Sanchez)

The only trend I spot is amongst the girls: the middle names Lue, Lee and Lou are nearly identical.  Hmmm.  It's a kickback to the 1920s/1930s South?  

What names and names trends are you noticing?  What have the babies in your life been named?  What names are your pregnant friends pondering?  

PS - Happy Valentine's Day!  Here's to hoping you find yourself in the presence of dark chocolate and champagne by the day's end.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stuff People Google 39

Who the hell is Brynlee Lastella?  Today's edition of Stuff People Google is a mystery.

show me the real brynlee lastella

When I saw that someone googled "show me the real brynlee lastella" I was intrigued and decided to google the phrase myself.  I found that Next Stop Baby is in fact one of 7 results that comes up due to a post I wrote on baby names that included Brynlee.  Another 1of the 7 results is a highlight reel from the wedding of Bryn Lee and Mike (here).  But there's nothing that reveals "the real" Byrnlee Lastella...much less the fake one.  So then I googled "Brynlee Lastella" with the quotation marks.  Nothing.  Zero results.  It's a total mystery.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blogiversary Part III - YOU (The readers)

It's the last day of blogiversary fun.  Tomorrow will be back to the usual with the 39th edition of Stuff People Google and it's a mysterious one.  To wrap up the week of blogiversary posts, today I'll share some statistics about YOU, the fantastic readers of Next Stop Baby. 

I'm very grateful for the faithful followers of Next Stop Baby and hope this crew continues to expand over time.  It's hard to tell how many of you there are though I'm fairly certain, after a year, that this group includes more than just my mom.  Chrissy, Jessica Morris and The Mrs./The Mom name a few of these regulars who I have never met face-to-face but feel like I know from their frequent comments.

In addition to regulars, there is a large population of first time and one time readers.  These are folks who find Next Stop Baby thanks to some keen internet searching.  Sometimes these searchers are looking for information actually contained in the pages of Next Stop Baby...and sometimes not so much.  This segways to the first statistic of the day:

Top 10 Search Phrases That Bring People to Next Stop Baby (aka Stuff People Google):

  1. rosie pope speech impediment
  2. farrah abraham
  3. rosie pope speech
  4. catelyn lowell pregnant again
  5. owl themed baby shower
  6. next stop baby
  7. maci bookout pregnant again 2011
  8. how much to spend on a baby shower gift
  9. rosie pope
  10. rosie pope speech problem

The #1 phrase on that list brought 2,667 searchers to Next Stop Baby over the past year.  That's a lot of people typing "rosie pope speech impediment" on their computer screens.  Between Numbers 1, 3, 9 and 10, you can see how obsessed internet users are with Rosie Pope and her speech.  I'm happy to have supplied some relevant information for Rosie Pope haters fans. 

You can also see how often Teen Mom brings people to Next Stop Baby.  People think Farrah Abraham is a hottie.  Period.  Her name, "Farrah Abraham" is very close to overtaking Ms. Pope's lisp issue.  I think it's a photo of her from an old post (below) that's drawn the crowds.  Meanwhile, Catelynn Lowell was rumored to have been pregnant again (wrote about that here) and Maci Bookout spends 50% of her screen time on Teen Mom talking about wanting to get pregnant again with her new ex-boyfriend Kyle King.  Yes, EX-boyfriend -hey broke up about a week ago, or so tells me.  Hence, people want the scoop on both of their uteruses.

Owl themed anything was HOT in 2011, hot like Farrah Abraham.  All my posts that include owl themed baby stuff have been very popular.  I don't know why.  If anyone does know why, please enlighten me.

Then there's the lone ranger: Number 8.  How much does one spend on a baby shower gift?  It's a common concern (and common search phrase) that I tried to answer (here).  In fact, it's even more common than it appears because people search extremely similar phrases (i.e. "how much to spend on baby shower gift" or "how much on a baby shower gift") all the time.  The list only accounts for the exact phrases that were searched the most.  If I were able to add statistics on all the different ways that people searched that question, the combination would be much higher on the list.

You may be interested to know that people outside the U.S. read Next Stop Baby.  Makes sense, this world wide web stretches farther than our American borders.  It's no surprise that the top 4 countries are all English speaking, but who would have guessed that my nursery decorating ideas and rants about rude subway riders would intrigue the Germans and Polish? 

Top Ten Countries that Visit Next Stop Baby

  1. United States 
  2. Canada
  3. Australia
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Russia
  6. Germany
  7. India
  8. Netherlands
  9. Singapore
  10. Poland

The Polish flag.  I'm grateful for their readership.

That is that for the blogiversary week.  It's been a good year of blogging.  Cheers to another...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blogiversary Part II - Best Posts

Today is the official blogiversary of Next Stop Baby - the one year anniversary of the First Post on February 8, 2010.  Yesterday I thanked a bunch of people.  Today I'm going to reveal some behind the scenes info about Next Stop Baby itself.  It's gonna be a potpourri of good stuff.

What are the most popular, best posts on Next Stop Baby?  There are a bunch of ways that I've tried to answer this question. 

Random publicity has been an indicator of a more favorable posts.  Back in July 2011, the post entitled Name Poaching - It's a Jungle Out There was featured on Stumble Upon.  I have no clue how Stumble Upon chose this post, but I assume that someone important at Stumble Upon liked it, which is awesome.  Then in last fall, a Canadian radio DJ decided that he liked the post entitled Top 10 Signs Someone is NOT Baby Crazy.  He tweeted it to all his twitter followers, who then retweeted...and so on.  Again, awesome.  Who would have guessed that a male, Canadian, radio DJ would have read Next Stop Baby?

This is Canadian radio DJ Todd Hancock that reads
(or has read) Next Stop Baby.  Seriously.
(photo from his twitter page).  

The most viewed post is another way I've determined what the general population finds to be my best work.  Below is this list.  Rosie Pope and Teen Mom dominate, which isn't surprising because these are hot topics for random internet search engine users.  It's also not surprising that most of the other slots are filled with baby shower themes (Owl, Milk and Cookies, Nursery Rhymes).  These are also topics that a random internet searcher would seek out.  Random, lucky number 7 is a result of Stumble Upon.  In sum, these statistics are almost entirely the result of what people are most likely to search on the internet, and not necessarily what regular NSB followers like most.

Most Viewed Posts:

  1. Rosie Pope Said...Wha???
  2. A Day of Celebration - Teen Mom 3
  3. Teen Mom 3 - It's On
  4. Owl Themed Baby Shower, Hoooo-Hoooo
  5. How Much To Spend On A Baby Shower Gift
  6. Milk and Cookies Themed Baby Shower, MMMMMM Good
  7. Name Poaching - It's a Jungle Out There
  8. Your Burning Rosie Pope Questions
  9. Slightly Scared of Being Pregnant in Heels
  10. Nursery Rhyme Baby Shower, Hey Diddle Diddle
Next is a list of the most commented on posts.  This list gives an idea as to what NSB followers (versus random internet searchers) prefer and find interesting.  Some of the posts on this list were controversial (as controversial as a baby blog can get) and some were hit popculture trends of the moment.  Then there was the recent post entitled Baby Crazed Grandparents that sparked a commenting feud out of nowhere.  I was completely taken aback by the attention this post received.  This list doesn't count Caption Contests and Giveaways.

Most Commented on Posts

1. Rosie Pope Said...Wha?!? (53 comments and counting)
2. Katniss is Not a Real Name
3. Baby Crazed Grandparents
4. A Little Boob Goes a Long Way
5. Giving It The Old College Try

Below is the picture from the very first Caption Contest.  My favorite caption contest and favorite picture.

Now, I'll turn it to you.  What was your favorite post this past year?  Thanks in advance for sharing.  (I'm guilty of saying "thanks in advance" ALL the time, so much so that I probably contributed to it being a phrase on the list from this post)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

First Blogiversary

This Wednesday (tomorrow) is the blogiversary of Next Stop Baby.  On February 8, 2011, I published the first post on Next Stop Baby.  It was aptly titled, First Post.  For the past year, I've continued to write and so many of you have continued to read (THANK YOU!!!) and even comment.  It was a year of growth and change and more change and more growth as I learned about blogs and about blogging.

Since the start, one thing that hasn't changed is the Next Stop Baby font/logo.  The informal cursive reminded me of the way I write on post-it notes.  The casual vibe was just right.  I almost went with, "Reminder - Get Pregnant".  Interesting side note, I wanted the webpage but that was already taken.  So I had to add the "-" (    

I never read blogs before I started writing Next Stop Baby.  And, I didn't really plan this project in advance.  Not at all.  I had no life long aspiration to become a blogger.  Rather, starting a blog was an extremely random and very impulsive decision.  The blog's theme was an obvious choice because on February 8, 2010 babies were everywhere in my life.  Now, a year later...they still are.  Since starting Next Stop Baby, three friends have had babies and four friends are currently pregnant!  (I suspect more may be making announcements in the coming months).  I can't even count how many Facebook friends have had babies and are pregnant...  

In honor and celebration of this one year milestone, I'm going to share a little about me that's never before been shared, a little bit about what I've learned about blogging, and a lot about the behind the scenes of Next Stop Baby.  You may have read the page "This Blogger" located on the homepage of Next Stop Baby.

If so, you discovered no very little personal information about me.  So, maybe you want to know a little more?  What you've probably learned by reading posts is that I live in New York, I have a day job that I commute to via subway (aka "the train") and I'm obsessed with The Hunger Games trilogy and Teen Mom.  Here are a few things that you probably don't know:  I'm in my 30s (don't now judge my obsessions with The Hunger Games and Teen Mom), I ran a marathon last year because it was on my baby bucket list and I would like a big family (read: lots of kids)...I know, I better get going on the latter.

Another image from Hunger Games, of course.  That's Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.  How age inappropriate would it be if I went opening night at the movies (3/23/12)?

And now it's time for what may seem a little bit like an acceptance speech.  I owe a bunch of people big THANK YOUs for all the support they've given to Next Stop Baby this past year.  

Big Thank you to the following websites that have been down right amazing in driving traffic to Next Stop Baby over the past year, without my ever requesting that they do so:

Big Thank You to my #1 Commenter: WW - who I know and love.  Also thanks to commenters Jessica Morris, Chrissy, Mother of Pearl, Coll and Lia.  Your continued reading and commenting has often been the inspiration I needed to keep writing.

Big Thank You to all my guest bloggers who have included some incredibly talented friends and family members:
*Notice how these guest bloggers have names similar to my biggest commenters...coincidence?

Big Thank You to Rosie Pope, who has by and far been THE biggest source of interest on Next Stop Baby.  More on this later in the week.

Next Stop Baby was not a premeditated plan.  But, I can now say that sometimes premeditation is overrated.  Sometimes the extremely random and very impulsive decisions in life work out.  This isn't a plug to give peyote a whirl or quit your job and become a belly dancer.  Rather, the lesson I've taken is that cultivating one's creativity is rarely harmful, so don't limit your aspirations to the same old.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Stuff People Google 38

People love Teen Mom and some people love feet...

farrah abraham feet pictures

In other news, next week is NSB's blogiversary.  Get excited.