Friday, June 29, 2012

What To Expect Giveaway WINNERS

Audra-Anne Bowen and Mrs. Pancakes are the winners of the What To Expect giveaway!!!  Very exciting.  Please email by Sunday (7/1/12) at 5 pm EST with your email address and mailing address to get the ball rolling and receive your prize.  New winner(s) will be chosen if I don't hear from you by Sunday, so get on it.

Everyone enjoy your weekend, it's almost July!  And, more importantly, next week I have a very special post for you.  A post about a special person that I (almost) met this week.  We were within 10 feet of one another.  Her name rhymes with Mosie Rope...

Stuff People Google 58

Today's search phrase confused me. 

baby blanket pucking

At first I thought the typist had intended to type "baby blanket puking", but accidentally added the "c".  I assumed it was a search about cleaning baby vomit out of a blanket.  Seemed like a viable explanation.  For kicks, I googled the exact phrase to see if my theory held up.  It sort of did.  Yes, the 2nd highest result involved puking and blankets, but the top result did not (nor did any of the other results that I care to scroll through.  The top result was for where a whole mess of hockey themed baby blankets are sold.  Hmmm.  But,  if this is what someone was looking for wouldn't the word "hockey" be a better search choice than "pucking"?  The mystery continues...

Check back at NOON for the winners of the What To Expect giveaway

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm Afraid of Holding Babies

No, the title of this post isn't a phrase from Stuff People Google (though it certainly sounds like it is).  Rather, it's an accurate description of how I feel when a new parent excitedly hands me her teeny tiny bundle of joy.  I sometimes decline.  Not outright decline, but sort of blow it off.  No, no, no...she's so comfortable we don't have to move her around, you hold onto her or I have to run to the bathroom, I'll hold him when I get back.

Truthfully, I'm not afraid of all babies.  I'm cool with the 6+ month olds.  It's the newborns that freak me out.  They're just so small.  Who's seen a newborn lately?  I've recently been in the company a two day old baby who was, actually, on the big side (over 8 lbs).  Even her tiny big self scared the BaJesus out of me.  Thankfully she was fast asleep and there was no offer to transfer her to my sweaty palms.  Even so, I positioned myself at a safe distance across the room.  

You would think that a baby crazy lady like myself would be overly eager to grab whatever babies I was offered.  I think it's far more common to squeal and reach out at the sight of one.  But I don't.  I wish I did.  Instead, I get scared and force myself to sit down on the nearest surface (floor included) like a 4th grader who's holding a baby for the first time under strict parental supervision.

Why?  The obvious answer: I'm afraid of dropping, crushing, bending, breaking and/or upsetting the tiny person.  I'm afraid of being bad at it.  Because if I accidentally hurt or upset the baby or if I'm randomly bad at it, that could reflect on my ability as a future mother.  If I don't shine at baby holding, the parent could think I'm non-maternal and, worse, I could feel non-maternal.

Unlike me, Michael Jackson had absolutely no fear of holding his baby...over a balcony.

There's not a happy ending to this post.  I didn't have a break through last week with an exceptionally easy infant.  I didn't discovery a zen trick to calm me down at the sight of a newborn.  But that's okay.  If I'm awkward as hell with everyone else's baby, I have faith that I'll be natural with my own...not because I'm an eternal optimist but because that's what I've been told.  Plus, practice makes perfect and when it's your own baby there's a lot of practice.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Giveaway: What To Expect When You're Expecting

As promised last Friday, I have a giveaway for you today.  And not just any giveaway, a giveaway  from the one and only What To Expect When You're Expecting.

You know that WTEWYE (yes, I'm using a 6 letter acronym) is a book, arguably the bible of pregnancy reads.  You also know that it's a movie, a recently released movie that stars Cameron Diaz.  I still haven't seen it and the thought of Cameron Diaz with a fake baby bump still isn't appealing to me.  But that's neither here nor there.  You may not know that WTEWYE is also a website, an iPhone app and a collection of books.  WTEWYE is taking over the pregnant world.

Cameron with her fake bump for the movie.   Believable?

The WTEWYE collection of books includes the original that you know, What to Expect in the First Year and What to Expect in the Second Year.  From what I hear, the First and Second Year books are just as crucial as their predecessor, which makes me exceptionally happy about today's giveaway - the FULL collection.

Prize: What to Expect book series including What to Expect When You're Expecting, What to Expect in the First Year and What to Expect in the Second Year.
How to enter (and win): Post a comment (on this blog, BELOW) about what you expect to happen when you're pregnant or what you did expect about pregnancy before you pregnant.  Craving pickles and ice cream?  Going up a bra size?  Barfing...frequently?
Enter by: Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 5 pm (EST), no exceptions...sorry
Number of Winners: Two!!!
Shipping: US only
Winner Announcement: Two winners will be randomly selected using and posted Friday (6/29/12) afternoon.  So, check back!

So, what are/were you expecting???

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stuff People Google 57

Who knows what today's edition of Stuff People Google means without looking it up?


There are a host of things to discuss about the word natakar.  First, it's Slovenian.  Second, it means waiter.  Perhaps there's another definition that I'm unaware of (likely) because who uses Google to look up the word "waiter", whether in English, Slovenian or any other language?  There must be a more interesting story behind this strange word.  Third, how pray tell did the typist find Next Stop Baby by typing the word "natakar" into Google???

PS - Next Tuesday (6/26/12) on NSB will be an awesome, awesome giveaway!!!  I haven't done a giveaway in a while, this one will be worth the wait.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Lisping (Mrs.) Pope is Back

Who's been watching the 2nd season of Pregnant in Heels?  A lot of you.  I know this because every Tuesday the traffic on Next Stop Baby skyrockets between the hours of 10 and 11 p.m. as people across America find the need to google the phrase "Rosie Pope speech impediment" (it's still the reigning Stuff People Google champ).  For those who don't know, Next Stop Baby is in the top 3 results on Google if you search this phrase and a lot of people search this phrase, especially when Pregnant in Heels is airing.

Rosie Pope - pregnant again, lisping as always

I myself am guilty of not really watching this season.  I made it through most of last season because I thought it was important to the blog, being baby related and pop culture relevant.  This season I haven't managed a single episode.  I've barely been able to handle a couple minutes here and there.  It's official, I don't like Pregnant in Heels.  And it's not Rosie's speech impediment (or lisp or accent or whatever) that bothers me.  I'm just not into the show.

This past Tuesday was one of the few times I've tuned in for a couple minutes.  I was specifically motivated to check out the episode because I know someone who knows someone who used to date one of the husbands that was featured.  Yes, I'm four degrees from Rosie Pope.  Anyway, I watched for about three minutes.  The first 5 seconds were spent identifying the guy, the next 2 minutes and 55 seconds were spent thinking, "meh".  There were two couples.  The husband in one couple was experiencing pregnancy-like symptoms.  The woman in the other couple was pregnant but hated maternity clothes.  Rosie to the rescue.  I didn't see whether she fulfilled her two very complicated missions of relieving the non-pregnant man's morning sickness and finding maternity clothes that satisfied the fashion sensitive mama-to-be, but I assume that's exactly what happened.

For an admittedly baby crazy individual, it would seem that Pregnant in Heels would be right in my wheelhouse.  But, again, it's not.  It's just not.  Maybe it's too formulaic for me?  Can't be.  The Cutting Edge is one of my top favorite movies of all time and arguably the most formulaic movie of all time.  Maybe it really is Rosie's lisp?  No.  I just don't find it that bothersome.  It's more comical than anything and slightly endearing.  Plus, I'm obsessed with the Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Ever heard Teresa Giudice pronounce cumin?

I hear Teresa Giudice (above) uses a lot of "ingredientses" in her cookbook

I think it's the lack of drama.  Teresa Guidice flipping a table, that's drama.  A husband faking having pregnancy symptoms, that's annoying and kind of boring.  A woman who doesn't like maternity clothes - who cares?  I mean...snooze fest, right?  I say right.  But, clearly you say WRONG because you're all watching, ever Tuesday on Bravo.

So, please, tell me - WHY do you love Pregnant in Heels?  Why?!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rainbow Nursery Decor

Today's post is in celebration of gay pride week.  If you didn't know it was gay pride week, you probably don't live in NYC.  Now you know.  Enjoy the mood of the week and the mood of the board below - a rainbow themed baby's nursery.  I'm thinking white walls and white sheets to compliment the bright, bold, fabulous decor ideas below.

(Starting at top left, going counterclockwise)

Elephant wall print by Alpha Bino ($24.12)
Fabric wall art by The Old Pink Porch ($35)
Origami garland by All We Need is Origami ($19)
Rainbow stacker by Land of Nod ($49)
Ribbon pillow cover by The Red Pistachio ($27)
Braided rug by Green at Heart Rugs ($125)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stuff People Google 56

Some googled the following and found Next Stop Baby.

next arop baby

The typist clearly had her fingers misaligned on the key board.  An "s" easily becomes an "a" and a "t" easily becomes a "r" when one's left hand is slightly off center.  Which is not really interesting other than the misalignment only occurred for 1 of the 3 words.  What is interesting to me is that the individual was still directed to Next Stop Baby...Google is magical.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Top 10 List - Baby Chair/Swing/Bouncer

A while back...a long while back...I began collecting advice about the most essential baby accoutrement.  I wrote a post specifically soliciting such advice (here).  When a lady like me has a baby, she is limited to the bare essentials because there simply isn't enough room in her NY apartment to get greedy.  So, I wanted to figure out what was essential (versus helpful). 

Based on NSB comments and some general surveying of friends, I started writing posts about the "Top 10" most essential baby products for someone living in a small space.  First, I covered places to sleep.  Next, I covered baby carriers.  After many moons, I'm revisiting the Top 10 list with a post about things that hold the baby while mom is cooking dinner, taking a shower or doing random stuff around the home.  Just because baby's awake, doesn't mean mom can reasonably and logistically hold baby.  In comes vibrating chairs, swings and bouncers.  Each is slightly different in concept, but all three provide the baby with some stimulation while mom is zipping around. 

Today's products, as always, work well in small spaces.  They are light weight, compact and mobile.  In the world of baby chairs, swings and bouncers, those words are rarely used.  In fact, I found the opposite is true.  These type products are more often heavy and bulky with limited mobility.  Despite this, I managed to hunt down a few good men options.  Note that all prices listed below were found on shortly before I posted.

Graco Swing By Me 2-in-1 Portable Swing ($69.98).  This swing got mixed reviews on Amazon.  The overall consensus was that it is in fact small and portable, but it eats batteries.  Several people also complained that the swinging motion is pretty noisy.

Bright Starts Ingenuity Portable Swing ($58.99).  I was simultaneously impressed by the low cost and depressed by the use of "Ingenuity" in the product title.  Baby swinging isn't all that serious (or ingenious).  Amazon reviewers had great things to say with rare exceptions.

BABYBJORN Babysitter Balance ($149).  Yes, this is the high roller choice.  But this is also the most compact choice, it literally folds flat.  And, it's not battery operated, so no burning through costly AAAs.  The vibration comes from the baby's natural movement and the unique design of the chair.   

Fisher Price Playtime Bouncer ($38.69).  This is the least expensive product that I found and it is truly compact.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that more than one reviewer used the word dangerous (or some synonym) in the review...

Infantino Fold and Go Bouncer ($65.99).  The reviews were overall good.  But, the consensus was that it wasn't great for newborns because there is only one reclining position that is fairly upright.  It was also noted that this product is more of a chair than a bouncer despite it's title.
 Have you used any of these products?  Anything to add about their functionality in a small space?  Any other recommendations for compact baby bouncers/swings/chairs?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Meathole of the Week: Amber Portwood

Who remembers the movie Ernest Goes to Jail?  I do.  Sort of.  I don't remember the plot or really anything about the movie other than the title and the lead actor.  For those who need a refresher, it came out in 1990 and was a sequel of sorts to Ernest Goes to Camp.  Jim Varney played Ernest in both. 

What's the segway?  Well, much like Ernest went to Jail in 1990, Teen Mom's Amber Portwood is heading to jail in 2012.  She will be the little darling of the Indiana Department of Corrections for the next five years.  And, as the title of this posts suggests, she will also be the Meathole of the Week on Next Stop Baby.  That's right, I'm bring back the Meathole of the Week because the original post (here) was so darn popular.  Speaking of, I almost made Ms. Hilary Duff a two time Meathole winner thanks to more annoying comments she recently made about how she's a genius at changing diapers and her son's a genius for rolling over.  Irkity Irk.

Back to Amber.  Whatever we think about shows like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom, we can begrudgingly concede that the cast members make bank.  Yes they earn that money by acting like the lowest common denominator, but I think it's safe to say that a portion of that grotesque behavior is choreographed (intentionally or subconsciously) for the cameras.  Crazy sells.  So, I don't fault Amber for viciously arguing with her child's father on camera or generally making us gasp at her lack of parenting skills.  She's paid to do that, sort of.  And Mama Amber's not bringing home the bacon in any other discernible way. 

Where the problem lies is in her need to repeatedly break the law.  Amber is to Teen Mom what Angelina is was to Jersey Shore.  Angelina couldn't suck up the fact that she hated all the other guido punks for just a few weeks out of the year to set herself up financially for life (or at least a couple decades).  Amber couldn't subdue her desire to abuse drugs and physically assault people for the sake of her daughter, much less for the sake of a pay check.


In second thought, maybe Angelina is the true Meathole because she's just a loud mouthed pain in the ass, where as Amber has a clinical drug addiction.  Either way, both girls have successfully dumped their cash cows in the garbage.  And, in Amber's case, she dumped her daughter in the hands whoever is legally able to care for her while she spends half a decade sporting an orange jumper and trying not to drop the soap.

But wait, some of you are thinking - forget Angelina, those soulless producers over at MTV are the true Meatholes.  On some level the old, wise adults at MTV knew exactly the type of teenage time bomb they cast as a Teen Mom.  You're thinking that the MTV staff has taken their formulaic television programming to a disgusting new level by supplying underage, drug addicted, anger unmanaged mothers with more than enough dough to feed all of their gnarly habits (and not their kids).  I hear ya, but I won't subscribe to this perspective until I'm given convincing evidence that, on top of all that cold hard cash, MTV also provides free access to drugs and weapons for all its teen mothers.  I don't think MTV can be blamed when there are plenty of young ladies on Teen Mom that did the opposite of Amber and got their shit together (relatively speaking).

Nothing like a good Meathole discussion to kick off your Tuesday.  What's your take?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stuff People Google 55

Today's edition of Stuff People Google isn't particularly wacky or gross.  It's a simple term that is quickly becoming one of the top search terms that leads people to Next Stop Baby.  First, I'm impressed that so many people find NSB from a relatively common term.  That makes me happy.  Second, I'm curious to know why people are searching this term.  Are they looking for photographs of pregnant women?  Or maybe the definition?  Hmm...

baby bumps

Thursday, June 7, 2012

All Wives Tales Pointing to...

It must be exceptionally easy for you to tell what's going on in my life based on what kind of posts I write.  I get hung up on certain topics for chunks of time.  With May's gift of the new popular baby name list from the SSA, I was obsessively writing about baby names (here, here, here and here).  Today I'm going to write about baby gender predictions, which falls right in line with all the gender neutral posts I've been writing lately.

When the baby-to-be's gender is a surprise, it inevitably leads to guesses, hypotheses and even some harmless betting.  Some people just have a hunch that it's one or the other.  Others base their guesses on old wives tales.  For example, according to preggers legend, the appearance of the mother during the pregnancy is linked to the baby's gender - is she carrying high (girl) or low (boy)?  Is she all glowy (boy) or all haggard (girl)?  Is she slender with a basketball bump (boy) or pudgy with a tank ass (girl)?  If you weren't sure, as soon as you read "tank ass" you realized that it's not necessarily a compliment to be pegged as pregnant with a little girl.  I've heard that it's common for people to guess a boy up until about 7.5 months, then suddenly change their mind.  Apparently even slender, glowy ladies can appear haggard and pudgy at the end.

Remember how good Victoria Beckham looked with all of her pregnancies?   There was actually a bit of controversy because she supposedly only gained 15 lbs with her first pregnancy.  I can gain 15 lbs after a big meal.  Anyway, the photo above is from her 4th pregnancy...OR NOT.  It's a couple pretending to be Mr. and Mrs. Becks for the Daily Mail.  How random.  Were you fooled? 

Besides appearance based tales, there are a host of other scientific indicators unproven signs.  I wrote about some of these signs a while back.  What I'm curious to know this time around is whether any of them are remotely accurate.  They're fun to talk about and to use for guesswork, but do they work?  Even a little?  Here are the lists (from the past post):

Signs you're carrying a GIRL
  • You're carrying high
  • Your pee is dull yellow
  • Bad morning sickness
  • Sweet food cravings
  • Baby's heart rate averages more than 140 beats per minute
  • Your left breast becomes noticeably larger than your right breast
  • When you hang a ring (wedding band or otherwise) over your belly it swings from side to side
  • Your hair develops red highlights
  • The sum of your age at the time you conceived and the month in which you conceived is an odd number (example: 28 when conceived, baby due in July. 2+8 = 10 + 7 = 17...girl)
  • You are plagued by bad acne

Signs you're carrying a BOY
  • You're carrying low
  • Your pee is bright yellow
  • Baby is kicking a lot
  • Salty food cravings
  • The hair on your legs is growing like crazy
  • Baby's heart rate averages less than 140 beats per minute
  • When you hang your ring (wedding band or otherwise) over your belly it swings in a circle
  • Your feet are always cold
  • The sum of your age at the time you conceived and the month in which you conceived is an even number
Think back to your pregnancy, which of the above signs were accurate, which signs were red herrings?  Do you have a pregnant friend who suddenly appears to have auburn hair?  A pregnant cousin who's constantly complaining about cold feet?

Next, behold the Chinese Gender Predictor (or part of goes up to age 45):

I'm guessing that most of you have heard of the Chinese Gender Predictor and possibly used it.  It's a calendar of sorts that is based on lunar months and time of conception and magic.  It seems to be the most highly regarded gender predictor out there (other than sonograms and the technicians that do them).  I hear it's 50% accurate...badumbum, ching.  Go to Baby Center (here) and plug in your numbers to test it's genius.  Let me know how accurate it was in predicting your baby's gender, your gender, your aunt's gender, whatever. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gender Neutral Baby Shower

Last week I was somewhat successful in finding cute gender neutral baby clothes (here).  This week, I'm continuing my journey to proving that unisex baby stuff can be just as good as girl and boy baby stuff.  So, today I'm sharing some ideas for hosting a gender neutral baby shower.  I'm sure you've been to some.  Maybe one?

For starters, there are plenty of gender neutral colors: yellow (obviously), orange, most shades of green, gray (so modern and chic), white, black...yeah.  I'm not sure that a black themed baby shower would be cool, but a black and white, retro baby shower could be awesome.  I'm thinking checkered table cloth, jars of licorice and marshmallows, oreo cookies and milk, old typewriter print on stark white paper, newspaper wrapped favors.  Cue a mood board.

Modern black and white invitation by Kottage on 5th ($16 for digital file)
Newspaper fabric by Kokka Girls ($8 for 1/2 yard)
Black and white check linen oilcloth featured on Remodelista
Black licorice (image here)
Dictionary favor tags by Crafty Clementines ($25 for 50)

Or, veer away from color themes and go with a more complex theme.  Showers themed around holidays and seasons are easily gender neutral.  An autumn themed baby shower with reds, oranges and browns would be just lovely.  With the 4th of July coming up, a red, white and blue baby shower would be totally appropriate and gender neutral.  Again, a mood board for some visual inspiration.

4th of July Invitations by Ashley Kate Designs ($25 for 10)
Red, white and blue pinwheel (image here)
Star spangled banner by GFetti ($6)
Baby shower BBQ invitation by Tipsy Graphics ($16 for digital file)

Also check out the images below from previously posts.  Each image represents a different baby shower idea that I touted and all would work perfectly for a unisex baby shower.  Click on the caption to head to the original post.

from Orange You Excited for a Gender Neutral Baby Shower?

from Lemonade Themed Baby Shower, Pucker Up

from Mint Baby Shower, So Fresh and So Clean

from Rubber Ducky Baby Shower, Quack Quack

from Nursery Rhyme Baby Shower, Hey Diddle Diddle

Friday, June 1, 2012

Stuff People Google 54

Some people want a couple of beers on a hot summer night.  Others want a couple of friends to commiserate with over a bad breakup.  Still others would enjoy a couple of days off of work to relax.  I think it's safe to say that very few (maybe just this one typist) wants this: 

couple of plesiosaur

In case you don't know, a plesiosaur is a dinosaur and because it's fun to explain, I did write a post that involved a plesiosaur (here), which is likely why the google searcher found NSB.