Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Didn't Understand

I once wrote that one of the more frustrating phrases for a non-mother to hear is "you wouldn't understand because you don't have children".  It's a pet peeve of mine.  It's patronizing and not always accurate.  Ironically, I recently found myself saying those my head.  

It all took place on the subway, where everything blog-worthy in my life seems to occur.  I was happily sitting for my commute home.  Unlike most evening commutes, there were plenty of open seats.  A mother and her toddler walked onto the subway.  The toddler was relatively sturdy on her feet with the curliest brown hair I have ever seen.  My first inner thought was - what a cutie.  

Remember Curly Sue?  Another cutie with curly hair.
She's all growns up and recently had a baby.

Upon entering the subway car, the mother immediately asked her mini me to sit in an empty seat between me and another woman.  The toddler partly refused and partly ignored the request.  Unphased, the mother then asked the toddler to sit in different empty seat.  Again, the toddler refused and this time walked away from the mother.  My interest perked.  How was the mother going to handle this blatant disobedience in such a public forum?  Plus, the train was about to start moving, safety was becoming an issue.  

The mother calmly followed the toddler's path, asking her to sit in yet another seat.  No dice.  The train started to move.  Ultimately the toddler didn't sit.  Instead, she placed her small hands on a pole and spun.  She spun and spun and spun as the train moved and shook and wobbled to its next stop.  And as the whirling dervish made circles, the mother turned to a nearby stranger and said "she's just crazy!" in a genuinely tickled, proud tone.

FYI - These are whirling dervishes.

I already told you my first, distinct inner thought.  Here was my second: she's crazy because you let her be crazy.  I didn't understand how this mother let her two-year-old so blatantly defy her.  I didn't understand how this mother let her two-year-old behave objectively dangerous.  No one should be spinning around those subway poles while the train is moving regardless of age.  Those sort of antics are reserved for drunk college kids who typically crack open their heads at the end of the show.  More than anything, I didn't understand how this mother was seemingly pleased with her defiant child and neither embarrassed nor fuming.  

Before I accidentally made a sour face to match my sour thoughts, I reminded myself that the hellion wasn't mine.  And, more importantly, who knows how I will eventually act and feel when it is my hellion.  So, truth be told, I didn't understand.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Most Popular Names of 2012 (a psychic prediction)

I've put my super psychic powers internet searching and excel spreadsheeting skills to use one again.  Last week I went to one of my favorite online baby name resources (Baby Namescape) to check out baby name popularity by state.  Baby Namescape not only breaks down popularity by state, but it also shows popularity by city and hospital.  The mystery about Baby Namescape (that remains unsolved despite my grueling efforts) is how often the lists are updated.  I can't tell whether the lists reflect daily popularity, weekly popularity, monthly popularity, yearly popularity so far...or something different.  My frequent use of the site tells me that it's a daily aggregate of the most popular names, but I have no corroboration of this.

Below is a snapshot of the Baby Namescape website - the stats below are from yesterday (8/27/12) for New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, NY.  You can also look up New York as a whole and Brooklyn as a whole.  Not every hospital is included on the website, so the results aren't ironclad.  But it's certainly a great tool for researching general naming trends.  

The lists below contain the most popular baby names in the country (last Thursday, August 23) based on the number of states that had the name as the #1 most popular name.  The rest should be self explanatory.  The only thing that is not self explanatory is the most popular boy name in Iowa. 


  • Sophia (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin)
  • Emma (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Vermont, West Virginia)
  • Ava (Georgia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island)
  • Isabella (Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee)
  • Olivia (Colorado, Mississippi, New Hampshire)
  • Addison (Iowa, Nebraska)
  • Chloe (Louisiana, North Dakota)
  • Avery (Maine)
  • Ella (Utah)
  • Jordynn (Delaware)
  • Josie (Montana)
  • Kylee (Alaska)
  • Logan (Washington DC)
  • Mia (South Dakota)
  • Nevaeh (New Mexico)
  • Rylee (Wyoming)


  • Mason (Georgia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Arizona, New York, Virgina, Washington)
  • Jayden (Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada)
  • Jacob (California, New Jersey, Texas)
  • Carter (Vermont, Michigan, Wisconsin)
  • Liam (Indiana, Kansas, Colorado)
  • William (Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina)
  • Aiden (Utah, Hawaii)
  • Ethan (Connecticut, South Dakota)
  • James (Maine, Missouri)
  • Michael (Illinois, Maryland)
  • Noah (Minnesota, New Mexico)
  • Alexander (Oklahoma)
  • Benjamin (Wyoming)
  • Brayden (West Virginia)
  • Bryce (Alaska)
  • Daniel (Delaware)
  • Eli (North Dakota)
  • Gabriel (Washington DC)
  • Isaac (Oregon)
  • Jace (Idaho)
  • Jackson (New Hampshire)
  • Jose (Nebraska)
  • Joshua (North Carolina)
  • Nicholas (Montana)
  • Ryan (Massachusetts)
  • Security (Iowa)....REALLY?!????

If this random sampling is any indication of general 2012 trends, Sophia, Emma and Isabella are going to remain on top...for a while.  On the boy's side, it seems that Mason may just overtake Jacob for the number one spot in 2012.  And where did Carter come from?  It was #36 most popular name in 2011, but it seems to be on the rise.  Is this the result of the undeniably, ever-charming Carter Oosterhouse?  Could be.  Regardless of the cause, it looks like Carter is going to make a star appearance on the 2012 list.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Stuff People Google 66

At first, I wast a huge fan of today's edition of Stuff People Google.

pregnant women are rude

In my experience, people are rude to pregnant women and not the other way around.  People are especially rude to pregnant women on the subway (more on that here).  But, there are two sides to every story, yes?  So, I racked my brain for an example of a particularly rude pregnant woman.  BAM - Gisele Bundchen.  If my memory serves me, Mrs. Tom Brady was full of misguided quotes during her first pregnancy, which included an assertion that it should be illegal not to breastfeed.

How else are pregnant women rude?  Do they swing their bellies around like weapons?  Steal snacks in the office place?  Cut ahead in long lines?  I thought line cutting was primarily occupied by a sector the senior population...yes, I've gone ahead and said something colorful about the senior population once again.  I wonder if there will be a backlash like last time.  For those who don't remember the last time I said something remotely unkind about the senior population (here), I suffered the wrath of one very angry commenter.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Is She or Isn't She?

Is Catelynn Lowell pregnant or what? 

A long time ago, I falsely announced (here) that Catelynn Lowell was pregnant, again.  I say falsely because if she had been pregnant way back then she would have certainly had the baby by now.  My announcement was based on Catelynn's MySpace where she, at the time, declared that she was expecting.  To be specific, the "details" section of her myself page said "Children: Expecting".  Here's what the details section of her MySpace page looks like today:

Earlier this year, rumors (not started by me) once against swirled that she was knocked up.  These rumors came to a head in early summer with a cover of In Touch magazine that featured Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra.  The cover declared "I'm Pregnant!"...a statement attributed to Catelynn herself.

Now, I know that In Touch magazine isn't known for its hard journalism, but I would have guessed that fact checking comes into play when a cover and feature article are at issue.  With all the defamation suits that celebs throw around these days, what magazine would put out a cover story with false information?  So my assumption, upon seeing the cover, was that Catelynn Lowell was preggers again.  This time for real.

The plot thickened when Ms. Lowell gave an exclusive interview to US Weekly shortly after the In Touch cover went public.  In that interview she stated that she was NOT pregnant, despite the In Touch cover and article.  And so the pendulum swung back. 

But wait.  In response to Catelynn's interview with US Weekly, In Touch responded with one of those "we stand by our story" statements to the Huffington Post.  It's their story and they're sticking to it.

So, which is it?  Did In Touch get the scoop from a ratty insider or is Catelynn Lowell genuinely waiting for number two until she's a tad bit older?  She's currently 20, if anyone was wondering.

I guess time will tell, again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An Unannounced Birth

What's the deal with birth announcements?  I love receiving them, but how important are they?  If a birth goes unannounced, did it really happen?

A birth announcement is an announcement of a birth.  Shocker.  The a traditional birth announcement is made on a card or postcard and snail mailed to friends and family.  A while back I wrote a post about some cute announcement options, like the one below (here's the original post).

Not everyone sends a traditional birth announcement.  There's a reasonable explanation for this - modern technology.  Nowadays, parents announce the birth of their new family member with a Facebook post or a text (more inventive ideas here).  Especially close family members get a phone call and a visit to the hospital.  Still, some choose to double up their announcement by mailing traditional birth announcements even when the recipients already got non-traditional birth announcements.  Why?  I think there's a couple reasons: it's more formal, and more classy (let's be honest), than a text and it's a photo sharing opportunity (a pic to hang on the fridge is awesome even when you've seen photos online).

All that said, traditional birth announcements are not necessary.  Quite frankly, formalities aren't as appreciated these days as they once were.  Few people know which side of the plate the fork goes on (versus the spoon and knife) and I'd wager that even less people give a rat's behind whether they get a traditional birth announcement.  The joy is the baby's birth, how people are informed isn't all that important.

Now you know.  (source)

A controversial question: does sending a traditional birth announcement imply that the recipient should send a gift?  Hmmm.  Well, no, it's not a prompt.  But, inevitably, some people may take it that way.  Those who were invited to the baby shower and already gave a gift won't think twice about a sweet birth announcement, those who haven't had an official opportunity to give a gift may feel compelled.  So, again, it's not a prompt, but it does have that effect on some.

Here is some basic birth announcement etiquette:

Who - Send them to whomever you want.  Friends, family, coworkers, neighbors...anyone.

When - Once the baby is born, ASAP.

What - Include the name, birth date, birth length and birth weight.  And, in my opinion, go with the photo card so everyone can appreciate the cuteness up close.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Stuff People Google 65

Today's edition of Stuff People Google likely brought the typist to Next Stop Baby thanks to one of my most popular posts of all time.  First, here's the phrase:

people who named their kid katniss

It's not the craziest or grossest phrase I've shared.  Rather, I think I googled these exact words at some point last year when I was writing the highly popular post I referenced: Katniss Is Not a Real Name.  I was taken aback by how popular that post was (and still is). 

Many people challenged my assertion...that Katniss is not a real name.  There are comments that 1) Katniss IS a real name and 2) many popular names having been derived from characters in famous works of fiction.  My opinion was swayed by all the comments, but only slightly.  I still have yet to meet someone named Katniss or even hear of someone named Katniss.  So, I'm holding firm that Katniss is not a real name until that happens.  I'm curious as to whether the typist of today's phrase found an answer to his or her question.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

So Many Parenting Books, So Little Time

A first time pregnant lady starts her maternal education, typically, with a pregnancy book.  Makes sense.  I've previously given you a list and some reviews of not-so-serious pregnancy books (here).  Eventually the education turns to the actual labor and delivery, then parenting.  Also makes sense.  At a certain point one can become saturated with pregnancy knowledge.  A mom-to-be is naturally freaked out curious about the next step (aka the arrival of the baby) and a little knowledge can prevent curiosity from turning into anxiety.

What does a newbie mom-to-be read when she wants to learn about childbirth and parenting?  Well, turns out that childbirth is usually covered in the pregnancy books.  Easy enough.  It's the how-to-parent guides that come in separate manuals.  There are many books and many theories about the perfect techniques for helping babies smoothly transition from womb to world.  So, choosing the right guide can be a little overwhelming.

In a previous post, I (briefly) covered the method of attachment parenting (more on that here).  But even for this one parenting style there are a bazillion book of which is entitled Beyond the Sling and written by Blossom.

Side note: Blossom currently stars on The Big Bang Theory.  
Remember when Blossom was on Blossom?

Back to the topic at hand - how can you successfully sift through all these parenting styles much less all these books about parenting styles?  I have no idea.  Yeah, not the answer you were hoping for.  I can share that my circle of friends recommends The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp.  I've heard it called the sleep bible.  Apparently it helps your baby be happy (hence the title), which in turns helps your baby sleep.  

There's also Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, which is SO hot right now.  Even if you're not a first time mom-to-be you probably know about this book because it's been all over the news this year (here, here and here).  Apparently it's the next Tiger Mom style, a reference that will only make sense to you if you remember how hot the Tiger Mom book was last year.

Starting with personal recommendations is a great tool.  General surveys work, but make sure to ask those friends whose parenting style you admire.  Peruse the reviews on  People are overly detailed and often brutal in their Amazon reviews, which is quite helpful.  Use your local library to test the waters on a couple books that seem like good fits.  Or be the obnoxious person in Barnes & Noble who basically reads the book before purchasing.  Keep in mind that there's no wrong choice.  The idea is to get you excited for the next step, so if it takes a couple tries then so be it.  

If you've read a parenting book and have some solid advice - Leave A Comment!  Sharing is caring.  


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Baby Boy's Airplane Nursery

Guess who learned some tricks on Inkscape?!!

You probably don't know what/who/where about Inkscape.  It's a free version of Photoshop...which is design software for your computer.  Now that you know what Inkscape is, you probably don't care who learned some tricks on it, even though you've already guessed that the someone is me.

So how, if at all, do my new found talents on Inkscape affect you?  I'll be able to deliver you some better looking mood boards because I can now cut around the edge of objects.  Woohoo.

And we're off with a baby boy's airplane nursery.  Blue and gray/silver seem to be the best colors to work around.  Though I imagine any pop of something else could be easily added to that mix: red (like below), yellow, green, orange, etc.

Come Fly With Me crib bedding by Land of Nod ($29 - $172)
Airplane Pillow by Little Korboose ($25)
Airplane nightlight by Pottery Barn Kids ($39)
Little Paper Planes craft book from ($20)
Iron airplane sculpture from Pier 1 Imports ($39.99)
Airplane wall decal by Graphic Spaces ($50)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Stuff People Google 64

Perverted phrases are common place in the weekly edition of Stuff People Google.  Today is no exception.

boob enjoyment

I really don't have a comment.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Where to Register for Your Baby Shower (Revisited)

A relatively long time ago (February 17, 2011), I wrote a post about the most popular places for an expectant mother to register for her baby shower.  That post included the following stores:

Pottery Barn Kids
Buy Buy Baby
Babies 'R' Us
The Land of Nod
Baby & Child (by Restoration Hardware)
Serena & Lily

I broke out the pros and cons of each store, quite succinctly I might check out the post (here).  But, after 1.5 years of baby shower attending, I have some important real life experience to share.

First, that list is really two separate lists: the regular stuff stores (sell regular baby stuff) and the fancy stuff stores (sell fancy baby stuff).  Although, some of the regular stuff stores carry fancy stuff.

Regular Stuff Stores:
Buy Buy Baby
Babies 'R' Us

Fancy Stuff Stores:
Pottery Barn Kids
The Land of Nod
Baby & Child
Serena & Lily

The average lady should choose one of the regular stuff stores for her registry.  She can also choose one (or more) of the fancy stuff stores, but not only a fancy stuff store.  The fancy stuff stores are good for bedding, specialty toys, nursery furniture, etc., but not the basics.  Not the essentials.  They don't carry the diaper pails, breast pumps and bottles. 

Second, the regular stuff stores, in addition to being less expensive than the fancy stuff stores, also accept coupons.  And, not just that, they give out tons of coupons.  So they actively assist in bringing down the cost of their items.  This is fabulous for the shower guests, who get more bang for their buck, and fabulous for the mother-to-be who is likely to get more swag because money goes farther.

Here are some great resources and strategies for getting coupons for the regular stuff stores:

Buy Buy Baby - First and foremost, Buy Buy Baby is an affiliate of Bed Bath and Beyond and it accepts Bed Bath and Beyond coupons.  So, get on the Bed Bath and Beyond mailing list to start collecting those 20% off coupons that are accepted at both stores.  Next, Buy Buy Baby advertises (with coupons) in most pregnancy and parenting magazines.  You can peruse some of these type magazines in Barnes and Noble and when you come across one of these awesome coupons, spend $3 on the magazine and save yourself 20% (probably more than $3) on the baby shower gift.  Buy Buy Baby also price matches. 

Target - Did you know that Target has a whole section of its website dedicated to printable coupons?  Now you do.  That section (here) has a separate section of baby product related coupons.  Bing!  Target also has in-store circulars (those flimsy magazines with all the current steals and deals of the day) and Sunday newspaper circulars.  Both types of circulars often include Target coupons.

Kohl's - I'm not as aware of Kohl's having any paper coupons, but the Kohl's website is constantly running promotions for 15% off everything...sometimes 30%, so check.  Especially on weekends and holiday weekends, Kohl's prices can't be beat.  Kohl's also does price matching.

Babies 'R' Us - Get on the Babies 'R' Us email list asap (via the website) and find yourself the recipient of all the up-to-the-moment deals and printable coupons.  Also search the internet.  Websites like and often carry Babies 'R' Us printable coupons.  Google the phrase "Babies R Us coupons" and look at the image results (versus the web results).

Last, there is one major regular stuff store that I didn't put on my original list:  It's not a regular stuff store in the sense that there are no brick and mortar locations.  But, it is a regular stuff store in the sense that it has all the baby essentials...and some. also hosts a universal registry, so you can add items to your baby registry from ANY website and include those items in the single registry so shower guests go to one website and see it all.

Any experience registering at any of the stores that you'd like to share?  Good, bad or ugly?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Helping Hand From the Start

Mothers help their children.  They start helping from conception and keep helping...forever.  That's the ideal, of course.

This timeless and instinctive behavior, to nurture one's child, has taken intense (and arguably extreme) forms in modern times.  We all remember the recent TIME magazine article about attachment parenting.  And even if you don't remember the article, you most certainly remember the cover photo...

from May 21, 2012

And if that imagine doesn't jog anything, google the words "TIME magazine breastfeeding", then google the words "attachment parenting".  You'll be caught up in no time.

As I did in my response post to the TIME Magazine article, I'll again reiterate that I don't support or not support attachment parenting.  I do, however, think it exemplifies a hands on approach to parenting.  Say (or think) what you want about attachment parenting, you can't successfully argue that parents who subscribe to its tenets are laissez faire about child rearing.  Quite the opposite, it's an active, considered, and deliberate way of parenting.

Many women start parenting during pregnancy.  This is done with diet, exercise, meditation and other life style choices.  Eating certain foods allegedly prepares the unborn child's developing palate (more on that here).  There's labor preparation through prenatal yoga and labor preparation through childbirth classes.  Some mothers-to-be talk, read and sing to their unborn baby in a specific way so as to communicate in utero.

With all the parenting methods used before the baby arrives and after the baby arrives, it's no surprise that a way to parent during the baby's arrival has emerged.  In comes the mother assisted Cesarean section.  Who knows what I'm talking about?  I know at least one of you does (because one of you emailed me about this topic, thanks again!).  A mother assisted c-section is when the mother pulls the baby out of her uterus all by herself.  Why leave the delivery to the doctors when you can get your own mitts in there?  And by "in there" I mean inside your abdominal cavity.

When I first heard about mother assisted c-sections, my mind immediately went to that episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians when Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to Mason.  Kourtney K. didn't have a c-section, but she did pull Mason out of her own cookie (cookie = vagina).  If you have more respectable taste in television than I, watch this clip below to see it all unfold (the action is around minute 4):

I remember being slightly freaked out and slightly impressed when Kourtney grabbed Mason and literally yanked him out of her.  I also remember wondering whether it was planned or spontaneous.  I'd wager on the latter only because who could plan that and effectively execute it?  With a mother assisted c-section, there is a specific plan for the mother to yank her baby out.  Or so I've read (here).  In the context of being an active participant in your child's life, I sort of get it.  In the context of being an active participant in your own surgery, I'm not a huge fan...but maybe that's because I'm squeamish and not a doctor.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Stuff People Google 63

Last week's edition of Stuff People Google (here) featured a search phrase about an 80's fashion trend.  This week's edition features a search phrase about a 90's fashion trend.

birkenstock sandals and socks

Well, Birkenstock sandals were a big 90's fashion trend (and coming back I should add...more on that in a second), but it was never trendy to wear them with socks.  Right?  In fact, it's never fashionable to wear any sandals with any socks.

Here are the Birkenstocks of the 90s (below)

Here are the Birkenstocks of 2012 (below)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pretty in Pink Baby Shower

Today's post was inspired by this sweet baby shower invitation from (below).  It's slightly non-traditional in that there are no bunnies or giraffes or pregnant lady cartoons.  It's a little cool and a lot sweet.

I'm typically resistant to sharing gender specific baby shower ideas.  I think it's easier to plan a baby shower for a girl or a boy than it is to plan a baby shower for a surprise.  So, I prefer to assist the surprise gender baby showers with my creativity (and uncanny ability to scour the world wide web).  But, it's been a while since I've posted girly girl baby shower ideas and then I came across that cute pink heart invitation.  Hence, today's post about a PINK baby shower.

The Decor

Hot pink cupcake liners by Bakers Bling Shop ($6.50/100)
Spring showers party banner by GFetti ($6/six foot banner)
Polka dot paper plates from Posh Party Box (matching napkins available)
Pink umbrella party picks by Below Blink ($3.50/two dozen)

It's just so easy to find pink decor.  Check out, check out Target, check out Michael's craft stores and dollar stores.  Check out anywhere that party decor is found.  Where party decor is found, pink party decor is found.  Don't be afraid to mix pinks, all shades of the highly feminine color get along nicely.

The Treats

Pink Champagne Cupcakes 

Strawberry cheescake jelly bean by Jelly Belly (consider all the pink Jelly Belly flavors: bubble gumcotton candy, strawberry daiquiri, pink grapefruit)
Neapolitan lollipops by Sweet Lollipop Shop ($14.95/five)
It's A Girl lollipops by Liquorish ($18/dozen)
Heart cookie by ($4.99/six)

Some of these treats are beyond the average kitchen mavens ability.  But not all.  The pink frosted heart cookie is an easy DIY with the help of a sugar cookie recipe (here) and a heart cookie cutter (here) and some pink frosting, which you can either find at your local grocery store or make by adding a couple dashes of red food dye to a basic white frosting.  Or, just frost your cupcake with white frosting and decorate it with some delicious, pink jelly beans.  

The Game Winning Prize

The pink umbrella above is from Debenhems, but just google "pink umbrella" and you'll find tons of fun choices.  Baby showers tend to feature cute (and sometimes embarrassing and sometimes annoying) games.  A pretty pink umbrella would be the perfect prize for the game winner (and it would make the embarrassing, annoying game worth the embarrassment and annoyance).