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 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 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 ($25.29)
Bizarre crib bedding from Land of Nod ($29-$89)
Art print from Once Upon a Paper ($20)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Name That Bump 2

Okay, let's try this again with some hints.  The mama-to-be in the photo below is a singer and has two children.  Name That Bump!  

Stuff People Google 67

After almost nixing Stuff People Google (here), all the crazies started searching some freaky phrases.  Awesome.

who is the muscular chick with the lisp...

This may be one of my favorite editions of Stuff People Google ever.  The "..." is because I'm actually unable to determine what comes after "lisp", yet I know there was more.  When I see the phrases that people search and ultimately end up at Next Stop Baby, sometimes the phrases are too long for the Google Blogger machine to show me them in their entirety.  Instead, Google Blogger gives me the beginning of the phrase and then an ellipsis to keep me guessing.  There's no way to learn the rest of the phrase.  Blast!  This has never happened before with a Stuff People Google phrase, until today.

What do you think the typist wrote after lisp???  Check back later for the 2nd edition of Name That Bump.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Top 10 Reasons to Find Out the Baby's Gender

I haven't done a Top 10 list in a really, really long time.  With all the talk of gender neutral versus gender specific baby stuff from Tuesday (here), I was inspired to get back on the horse.  Here I go...

Top 10 Reasons to Find Out the Baby's Gender

1. Surprises are overrated.

2. Control is underrated. 

3.  Bonding.  Some say that knowing the baby's gender helps create an extra dimension to the mom-baby bond because you can start to develop a more detailed vision of who your youngin' will be.  In other words, you can let your imagination run wilder than you could without knowing.

4.  Nursery Decorating.  This is a driving force in most decisions to learn the gender (this and #2).  Unisex bedding options are sparse and finding gender neutral accessories can be tricky.

5.  Prevent People from Guessing.  Whether family, friends or complete strangers, they will all guess at the baby's gender.  And you know about those wives' tales (boy = carrying high, girl = carrying low, boy = pregnancy glow, girl = pregnancy sucked out the pretty...).  Who wants a bunch of strangers guessing that you're having a girl?!

6.  Hand Me Downs.  People inevitably offer expecting moms their hand me downs, which is fantastic when it comes to saving some bucks.  Whether those hand me downs are gear, clothes, toys or otherwise, a lot of them will be gender specific.  If you don't know the gender, you generally don't get the hand me downs.  Now, you may get the them after the baby is born, but you risk losing the goods to another baby who's gender is known in the meantime.

7.  The Name Game.  Picking a name can be anxiety inducing for some.  If picking one name sounds like a huge burden to bear, then picking two names will clearly be twice the stress.

8.  Knowing is Half the Battle.  Parenting with success is arguably the most important mission of one's life.  The more information one can gain about the mission to come, the better off one will be when the mission arrives...or so I hear from G.I. Joe.

9.  Testing the Gender Predictors.  Between the Chinese Gender Predictor calendar thing and the long list of wives' tales, there are an infinite number of non-scientific ways to predict the gender of an unborn baby.  If you use the scientific method to find out the baby's gender, then you can put those non-scientific methods to the test.

10.  Coping With What's To Come.  Some parents-to-be have their heart set on one gender or the other.  Learning the baby's gender at an early stage can help set expectations.  It will also buy time to grow comfortable with what's to come and seek out friendly advice.   

Any other reasons that you can think of?  Agree or disagree with any of the items on this list?  If you want to check out my other Top 10 lists click here, here and here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nobody Likes Gender Neutral Baby Clothes. Nobody.

I've spent a lot of time blogging about gender neutral baby stuff, whether it be gender neutral clothes (here) or baby shower themes (here) or nursery decorating ideas (herehere and here).  The reason for my focus on all things unisex baby has been twofold.  First, I have a bunch of friends who have decided to keep the baby's gender a mystery and so I've been inspired on a personal level.  Second, it's harder to find cute unisex baby stuff than gender specific baby stuff, so I feel that my internet searching/window shopping skills are better put to use.

I've recently become aware of a backlash to my efforts.  Well, not specifically to my efforts, but to the efforts of everyone designing, making and selling gender neutral baby stuff.  Well, not specifically to all gender neutral baby stuff, but to gender neutral baby clothes.  People are seriously boycotting unisex baby clothing.  Have you noticed this?  Is this a new trend or am I just newly aware of it?

These cutie sleepers are by Hanna Anderson 

Lately, when I attend a baby shower for a gender unknown baby, I notice guests gifting the mom-to-be with gender specific outfits.  These clothing gifts include one outfit if the baby turns out to be a boy and one outfit if the baby turns out to be a girl.  Something blue and something pink.  Yellow is out of the mix entirely.

On one hand, the gift giver is getting the mom-to-be baby clothes, which is great because most people avoid gifting clothing for gender unknown babies.  It's also a positive if you think, like most, that gender specific baby clothes are way more adorable than the unisex comparables.  On the other hand, the mom-to-be will eventually have to return one of the outfits. Returning any gift is not ideal, both because you're disposing of a carefully considered item and because it's a pain (receipts, getting to the store, picking out something new, etc.).  The latter must be especially annoying when one is caring for an infant...for the first time.

Target is notoriously bad with baby shower exchanges (FYI)

What are your thoughts on this trend?  Have you participated in it?  Are you a mom who received gifts in line with this trend?


Friday, September 7, 2012

Stuff People Google 66 (and Name That Bump)

WOOHOO - Stuff People Google is back this week with the following slightly bizarre phrase:

cute photos of childs on balcony

There's the obvious grammar issue and there's the weird substance.  Why would one want cute photographs of children on a balcony?  I can't think of a reasonable answer to this question.  What I do know is why the typist landed on Next Stop Baby - a photograph of Michael Jackson holding his son Blanket over the edge of a balcony from a past post (here).

Now - Let's also talk about Tuesday's preliminary edition of Name That Bump.  Let's first review the headless photo first:

Now, here is the reveal:

Nicole Richie!!! 

I got some feedback via comments and offline conversation (with friends and family who called and said things like - that's such a weird headless photo, who the hell is that, there's no way I could tell just from the photo).   Going forward, I'm going to incorporate "Name That Bump" editions as a Next Stop Baby staple (haven't decided how often that will happen).  The photo created intrigue, if not a bit of frustration, which is a good thing.  But, I'll also include a couple hints to give everyone a realistic chance of guessing the momma-to-be.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Diaper Bags for Everyone

Choosing the perfect diaper bag is a highly important choice in a mom-to-be's life.  A diaper bag is a handbag (of sorts) and deserves the same consumer consideration as a leather boho satchel, a sequin evening clutch or a waxed canvas weekend duffel.  Yes, practicality plays a part that it probably wouldn't with an everyday bag, but that doesn't negate the need for style.  Oh no. 

So, where do you start your search?

Factors for Choosing the Right Diaper Bag:

Cost - Hello.  This is always a factor.  You likely have a budget.  Arguably it's okay to spend a little more on a diaper bag because it will get a ton of hardcore usage and you want it to last.  On the other hand, some (not me) would say that it's purpose is not for style so it's not worth wasting the money on.

Practicality - This factor has many subfactors.  Will it stain easily?  How do you clean it?  Is it well made or will the seams come lose after one big trip to the in-laws?  Are there enough pockets to organize all the baby accoutrement?  Are all those pockets easily accessible or will you be fishing around for a pacifier for 10 minutes while your new infant screams her beautiful head off?

Style - Some may disagree with this factor, but even if you think style is frivolous when it comes to diaper bags, no one wants to carry a hideous bag (diaper bag or otherwise).  Perhaps the newest Marc Jacobs diaper bag isn't for you, but you don't necessarily want a Winnie the Pooh, vinyl disaster. 

Each of the following diaper bags have the trifecta of goodness: cost (everything under $150), practical (multiple interior and exterior pockets) and style (oh yes).

Versa diaper bag by Skip Hop for $70.

Baby bag by Vera Bradley for $99.

Waxed canvas diaper bag by Barnacle Bags for $112.

Satchel diaper bag by JJ Cole for $70.

What diaper bag do you have/want?  How much would you be willing to spend on a diaper bag?  PS - check out an old post (here) that features two other Etsy crafters who make affordable, cute diaper bags.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Farewell to Stuff People Google?

So, you may have noticed that for the first time since my April trip to the Caribbean, I didn't post a weekly edition of Stuff People Google last Friday.  That's because I didn't have a phrase to post!!!  I haven't come across something fun and interesting in a while and I didn't want to post something totally boring like "rainbow baby nursery" or "how much to spend on coworker baby shower".

It was a quagmire that I wrestled with all last week.  Then Friday was upon me and I had zero plan of action.  So, Friday came and went and I didn't even address it.  Not a highly professional way to deal with the issue.

What's worse is that I still haven't come across anything interesting to post for this Friday....or any future Friday to come.  I'm hoping some weird people find Next Stop Baby over the next couple days.  If not, I'm temporarily putting Stuff People Google on hold.  I have no other option!

Meanwhile I'm considering a new weekly series of posts.  The front runner of the moment is "Name That Bump".  Here's how it will work: I post a photo of a headless pregnant lady, you guess the pregnant lady.  Exhibit A:

Do you know who this lady is?  More importantly, would you be interested in participating in this fun game once a week?