Monday, April 30, 2012

Join The Diapering Debate With Hot Topic Tuesday

Today we feature four posts from our bloggers -- two in defense of disposable diapers, and two outlining the benefits of cloth diapering.

Give them a read and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Happy Tuesday!

Hot Topic Tuesday: Why I Chose NOT To Cloth Diaper

When researching diaper types for this post, I came across an abundance of cloth diapering websites advocating for just how wonderful their products are. The benefits of cloth diapering range from helping the environment to being more comfortable for your child. Check out this site that compares the two diaper types. I found very few sites however in the tune of “Go Disposable!”
The article describes the diapering decision as a war and quite frankly, I don’t understand why it has to be that way. I don’t think it is fair to insinuate that cloth diapering is superior in some way. If cloth diapering is so fantastic, why is there an entire two sided aisle at Target with five different brands of disposable diapers?
The article goes on to explain about the only real benefit of disposable diapers being convenience. Almost every cloth diapering website I’ve read states that disposables are still suggested for emergency preparedness, vacations, during illnesses that may involve dirtier diapers than normal or when the parent has a weakened stomach (for example, morning sickness). I think Zany Zebra says it all better than I do.

So with all of that positive information, you’re still wondering why I choose to use disposable diapers? (And yes, most of them DO in fact have to do with convenience)
-     It’s not just about what I want to do. My children have a father. He is an amazing man. He takes the driver’s seat in parenting and we make decisions together. (I find this is not always the case with dads which is the only reason I am mentioning.) Even if I wanted to cloth diaper, he doesn’t. It’s not fair for us to not agree on something this important. We had a full rational conversation about the benefits and disadvantages of each and decided cloth wasn’t for us.

5 Reasons Why I Use Cloth Diapers

By Elizabeth

Cloth diapers were not a big decision for me; at least, deciding to use them was a no-brainer. Deciding which ones to buy was much more difficult (that’s a whole other issue!)
My mom used cloth with me and has often extolled the virtues of cloth diapering.  She loved saving money, loved buying a product that could be reused instead of thrown away, loved how gentle the cloth was for my sensitive skin, and frankly, she loves doing laundry. So I always assumed I would use cloth, too. For the most part, I have.

With my first son, I used cloth exclusively at home but would use disposables when going out. Yes, you can use cloth “on the go,” but it’s easier not to. I also keep disposables on hand for babysitters/ church nursery workers. Again, you don’t have to do that, but I think of it as a courtesy.

Life has been much more hectic with my second son, and I’ve used cloth diapers less as a result. For one thing, we moved three times in the first 18 months after he was born. Also, keeping up with 2 kids keeps me very busy. I took a little time off from cloth during our first move, and since then, I’ve used them at least 50% of the time. I’m finally back to using them exclusively at home, and I’ve gone from buying a small pack of diapers each week to about one per month. That’s a pretty good savings either way.

1. Cost
Diaper companies like to claim that cloth diapering is not cost-effective. This is true if you buy the most expensive cloth diapers you can and use a diaper service. But the moms I know who use cloth diapers don’t do that.

Hot Topic Tuesday: How A Martini-Swilling Single Girl Became A Cloth-Diapering Mama

By Heather Novak

I am a mama? I have two kids? I have a mummy tummy?
I used to be a martini-swilling-cigarette-smoking-single-girl out on the town (or table top) with my pals. I used to leave lights on in rooms I wasn't in, run water too much and too long, and eat Hostess Twinkies and McDonald's like they were part of the four food groups.

As I have grown up and changed mostly for the better, I feel I am wiser. I am more satisfied with who I am and how I choose to live my life. I choose to live my life instead of it just happening around me. Part of choosing how I spend my days, my money, my life is rooted in my two daughters now. I think of how I want them to live, what I want them to know and how my lifestyle will teach them more than my words ever could.
Look at that great big bum! Love it!!!
Google "reasons to use cloth diapers" and you will get 2,440,000 results.

Google "disposable vs. cloth diapers cost" and you get 83,300 results.

Google "disposable vs. cloth diapers environmental impact" for 86,100 results.

We love to debate this topic -- this cloth vs disposable diaper topic.

Who is to say one is truly better than the other?

Hot Topic Tuesday: Convenience Is Key -- Why I Use Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers get a bad rap. They clog our landfills and require large amounts of energy to manufacture. They’re not all bad, though. Studies about the environmental impact of disposable and cloth diapers provide no magical answers about which diaper is best for the environment, but here are a few reasons why I use disposables.

My oldest, having some
fun with disposables

1.   Convenience. It’s the number one reason why parents like disposables. They’re easy to use, portable, and no-mess-no-fuss.

2.   Cloth diapers affect the environment in their own way. They need to be washed with hot water and soap, and the washing machine and dryer (unless you air dry) require electricity. I agree it’s probably worse to cram landfills with tons of disposable diapers, but knowing that cloth diapers still leave an environmental footprint helps me feel a little better.

3.   I do not have a main-floor laundry room. I have to haul our dirty laundry down to our basement and lug it back upstairs when it’s clean. This alone is a good workout to help shed those last few pregnancy pounds. However, with young children roaming the house, I don’t have abundant opportunities to slip downstairs to start a load. If I risk it, I may come back upstairs to discover someone is bleeding or something has broken.

Must-Haves For Hospital When You Deliver

By Katie

I'm a day away from being considered "full term" in this pregnancy. Though it is still three weeks from my actual due date, if I go into labor tomorrow, we will have a new baby on our hands.

It's exciting and terrifying, all at once. The novelty of "oh, I'm going to have a newborn sometime way off in the distance" has worn off. Rather than sit and fret, I've been doing what all moms-to-be do: nest.

On my list of "to do" items is to pack my bag for the hospital. I want to be able to grab that sucker (or more accurately, have my husband grab that sucker) and roll it out the door when the time comes. Since I am using a lot of items on a daily basis, I have a checklist taped to the rolling suitcase that includes last-minute needs like my toothbrush. That list manages to keep growing but I haven't run out of room...yet.

So here is my personal checklist of must-haves for my stay in the hospital. I based this on my own needs and also suggestions from friends who responded to a prompt on Mumbling Mommy's Facebook page.

1. Food. In my experience, hospital food is actually pretty darn delicious. That being said -- going through labor takes a lot out of you. Add breastfeeding to your new routine and you can get pretty darn hungry in that little room. Pack a few snack items, like cereal bars or my favorite -- Larabars. I even threw in a few bottles of Ensure. When I had my daughter, my good friend Maddie and her mom brought me some fast food when they visited and it was like the nicest, yummiest thing ever.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

12-12-12: Reason To Fear?

By Sally

Last night I watched a few hours of the History Channel.  The topic was prophecies regarding possible worldwide upheaval on 12/21/2012.

I tend to not “buy into” these types of panic. In 2000, we were told that our world would be in ruin upon the stroke of midnight 12/31/1999. For those of you who were young then, the concern was that computers worldwide would fail to function due to not being able to convert themselves from 1999 to 2000.

There were “end of the world” parties everywhere (we are a strange life form).  Guess what?  Overall, most computers clicked to 2000 with no drama.

Now we are being warned of an impending SOMETHING on 12/21/2012.  I must say, that from my observation of the History Channel, the information is worth some concern.

Mother's Day Shout-Out

In the week leading up to Mother's Day, we would like to run readers' response to this prompt:

I'm a good Mom because....

Let us know why you are such a fantabulous mama and be entered to win a $25 gift card to Panera Bread. Think of it as a gift to yourself for being so awesome year-round!

To enter, either answer the prompt in the comment section of this post, leave your answer on our Facebook timeline or shoot us an email:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thursday Three: Things Your Newborn Needs

By Katie

We are adding our fourth child to our home in May. The calendar says that this lovely little girl will arrive towards the end of the month but my body says it may be as soon as next week. I am frantically trying to gather up the last few things that I am going to need before she makes her debut. And by "need," I literally mean the necessities. I'm still trying to find the right items for cloth diapering, nursing and general cleaning and clothing needs. One may wonder how I've arrived at this helpless point so close to giving birth and the answer is simple: I don't know.

I've set aside some time in my schedule this week for online comparison shopping and will be heading out to a few stores this weekend. With three other children in the house already, we are bypassing a lot of the "extras" that often accompany first, second and third borns. She will have so much entertainment just watching her siblings that we cannot stomach adding another gadget to our already-crowded residence.

Still. There are a few things that every newborn should have, and should have brand new. Here are my top three things that every bundle of joy "needs":

1. A woobie. Whether it's a blankie, a bear or a stuffed elephant, every baby needs something soft to cuddle with at night. After nearly ten months of being a part of mommy's body, a snuggly friend seems more than appropriate for companionship. Always follow safety precautions, of course, but find something soft, silky or both that belongs only to the littlest member of the family.

2. A statement onesie. Is there anything cuter than a chubby baby in a sassy onesie? Maybe it is because babies generally cannot speak or the neutrality of their earliest expressions, but putting a statement onesie on an infant always makes me smile. We have a few of these on hand already, but my favorite is this little St. Patty's Day clearance item that we picked up at Old Navy for $3.99. My grandmother was Irish and my mother-in-law's maiden name was "O'Hara." We thought this the perfect statement onesie for our little Irish princess.

God Bless Henryville: A Sign Of Reality

REUTERS/John Sommers II
By Sally

My husband and I were barreling home to Indiana from our road trip to Houston, Texas.  We had spent some wonderful days with my sister’s family, and spending time with each other. Being away from home, work, and the norm had been so healing.

We had just crossed the Indiana/Kentucky state line, and I was still in my mellow “I’ve been on vacation mode” when I saw a big sign on the side of the road that said, “God Bless Henryville.”

Initially, it added to my warm & fuzzy feeling. "What a nice way to welcome people into the state.”   Suddenly, the words below this caught my subconscious.   I can’t tell you exactly the words…but the gist of it was, “No storm is bigger than our God.”

It hit me hard and I burst into tears as I looked out the window.  I saw destroyed homes, dwellings without roofs, sheds that were shredded, trees that were mangled, neighborhoods leveled.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hot Topic Tuesday: Kids And Overnights

Are you the type of parent who loves to ship your kids off for overnights? Or one that simply cannot fathom the idea? Or somewhere in between?

Maddie and Heather C. take a look at the issue of kids, especially pre-K ones, spending the night away from home. Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

Why My Kid Spends the Night(s) Away

By Maddie

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a big fan of the BabyCenter Community.
Imagine my surprise when so many people disagreed with me when it comes to spending the night/nights away from my kiddo! I was astonished at how many women said that they had never spent a single night away from their kids.

My son has been spending the night with my mom since he was just a few months old. We lived with her at the time and if my husband and myself had something to do, he stayed with my mom.  He has spent countless weekends with my mother-in-law, who lives about an hour and a half north of us. When he was getting ready to turn 2, he even spent a whole week with my dad, who was about 8 hours away.

A Letter To My Daughter On Her 4th Birthday

By Katie

Dear Emilia,

As I write this letter, you are busy playing grocery store with your stepbrother, both of you using your imaginations to transform household items into grocery carts, goods and check-out stations. You keep popping your head into my room and asking me how much money everything in your bag will cost you. I tell you the approximate amounts and you smile ear-to-ear before rushing back across the house to relay the message to your brother.

You are a happy kid, in love with your family and especially your mommy. I see pieces of me in virtually everything that you do and am awed by the huge responsibility of being your caregiver, friend and role model.

We did not always have this family, this house or this life. For a few years we lived a very different existence. One where you had no siblings, I had no husband and we lived in whatever apartments or with whatever family we could. We didn't notice any struggles, however, because we had all we ever needed in each other. The blessings that we enjoy today are just added bonuses to what was already a unique and wonderful life.

When I was pregnant with you, I was scared of you. To put it more accurately, I was scared of not being enough for you. I did not have any of the things to offer you that I had always sworn I would have before I brought a child into this world. I felt ill-equipped and that you would reject me.

I realize that there is still plenty of time for you dislike me, resent me and tell me that you hate me (I hear those are collectively called the "teenage years"), but so far, to this date, you have done nothing but support me in everything I do -- never asking me where we are going, or what we are doing -- but you have been happy to just be with me. It's a gift, truly, that I never would have imagined possible on this date, four years ago.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Parents Change Diapers For Earth Day

By Katie

What did you do this weekend? Anything to commemorate Earth Day?

While I did not plant a tree or go clean up my local beach, I did invest in a few more reusable shopping bags and reevaluate some of the other ways I can change my daily habits in order to be more environmentally friendly.

My participation was a far cry from some parents, namely those in 300 different locations who participated in the "Great Cloth Diaper Change" on Saturday evening. These parents who have shunned disposables were trying to raise awareness and set a record for the most cloth diapers changed concurrently.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Child Care Costs Make Quitting Easy For Many Moms

By Rachael

More moms are opting to leave their jobs in favor of staying home with their children. The reason is not simply so they can witness the first smiles, steps, and words. It’s finances. Child care is expensive, and many lower- and middle-income families see no real monetary gains after forking over money for child care. It’s becoming more common to hear moms say they can’t afford to work.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Moms Worth Six-Figure Salary... And Then Some

By Rachael

Mommy wars, schmommy wars. We know all moms work hard. Whether a mom spends her days at home or in the office, she logs long hours and probably isn’t paid nearly well enough – if at all – for her tremendous efforts. That’s what was so sad last week about pundit Hilary Rosen’s snipey comment regarding stay-at-home mom Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Smiling on the job
To get an idea of what moms really do, take a look at’s calculation of a mother’s net worth. This site annually surveys moms to determine what tasks they perform in the home and how many hours they put in each week, and they calculate a salary based on the going rate of pay for each task. They have separate salaries for both stay-at-home moms and working moms. They claim moms at home would earn nearly $113,000 if they were, well, actually paid. 

The site says a mom’s job description includes roles like housekeeper, laundry operator, van driver, psychologist, cook, and day care teacher, but I think a few things are missing. I wonder how much more I could theoretically earn with these additional tasks figured into my salary:

1.   Sanitation engineer. If you’ve got kids, you’ve got vomit and all things potty-related. If you’ve got pets as well, you’ve got double the vomit and potty duties.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thursday Three: Ways To Make It Earth Day, Every Day

By Katie

Sunday is Earth Day and as a result, there will be a lot of activities planned for families around the world.

I think that it is great that there is a day dedicated to awareness about the planet and that people everywhere will pause for a moment to think about their own carbon footprint.

One day is clearly not enough to make a real difference, of course. For families, convenience often takes the place of true environmental advocacy. You do not have to be a tree-planting, hemp-wearing, dolphin-saving momma to make a difference, however.

There are so many minor things that we can all do everyday that impact the environment in a positive way. Here are three easy ones:

  1. Use reusable shopping bags. Just about every major grocery and all-purpose store sells cloth shopping bags now. You can pick up enough to carry your weekly load for around $10 or so. I like to keep a few in my car, my husband's car and in various places around the house to have on-hand for any purpose. Some stores will even give you a small discount for bringing your own bags along. If you have a gift to give, consider buying a reusable shopping bag to package it in. Can you imagine how much energy would be saved if everyone, everywhere used reusable bags instead of landfill-clogging plastic ones? Bonus: No more loss of hand circulation from carrying those darn plastic bags weighed down by milk jugs.

What You Want For Mother's Day: From Free To $3,000

By Heather Curlee Novak  

I was in an awesome store called Lifestyles in downtown Valparaiso, Indiana.  It has something for everyone and even my husband enjoys shopping there.  For anyone!  (And they gift wrap for free!)

I buy or want to buy  essential oils, incense, sassy hats, kitchen gadgets, yard decor and indulgent beauty products. gifts for babes and grandparents and everyone in between. 

They have an ah maze ing upstairs with art and furnishings and WOW.  When I was there last weekend buying a gift a lady and I were swooning over the really big wind chimes.  Like as big as a person deep tolling immediately soothing like a spa vacation big wind chimes.  She was saying she wanted really deep ones and I said they were probably a couple hundred dollars.  (But even crazier: Check out these three thousand dollar ones!)

She checked the price tag and they were over four hundred dollars!  She says "I think I will ask for those for Mother's Day." 


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Peek At Preschool: When Is Your Child Ready?

From circle time to centers, preschool is a complicated, wonderful, difficult, and memorable experience. This is part two of Mumbling Mommy’s series about preschool. Read part one here, where Rachael shares about her family’s preschool experience and discusses common misunderstandings and potential pitfalls of preschool

Ready for Preschool!
Megan started giving not-so-subtle hints that she was ready for preschool. Every time we drove past a certain school with a playground crowded with gaudy plastic toys along the main street in town, she insisted she wanted to go to school there.

“Don’t you like being at home with me?” I asked one day.

“But mommy,” she said, “I need to be with other kids!”

What really sent us hurtling down the path to preschool was Megan’s gazillionth request for me to role play Disney characters with her. I love making art projects with my daughter, and baking, and arranging the dollhouse furniture or building a block tower. I just can’t get excited about re-enacting the same animated movie scene over and over. And over. I doubted it was the career my parents envisioned when they signed me up for summer theatre workshops as a kid. It was also a sign that Megan truly needed company her own age.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hot Topic Tuesday: Premastication -- Not Such A Bad Idea

By Heather C.

Actress Alicia Silverstone best known for her role in the movie “Clueless” has sparked conversations nationwide so it only seems fair that I do a blog with my two cents as well, right? The topic at hand? Premastication.

My oldest enjoying pureed baby food
Premastication is chewing food with the intention to physically break it down in order to feed another. Think of the way mother birds feed their babies. This is not a new concept. Cultures have been doing it around the world for centuries. It’s a natural instinct for a mother to provide for her young but is it appropriate in mainstream America?

You can view the original video of Alicia Silverstone pre-chewing food for her son below. It first appeared on her blog.

When I asked my fellow mom friends what they thought about premastication, I got a very common response, “Ew!” Since this was not my initial thought, I wanted to dig up more.

People Magazine published the picture along with other celebrity moms (parenting in different ways) with the headline “Hollywood’s Extreme Moms.” The article gives the impression that what these celebrities are doing is not normal. And while I agree that the act of premastication is not a popular concept, that doesn’t immediately make it wrong. Here’s what I think:

What Pregnancy Does To Anorexics

By Katie

There are two things that you should know while reading this:

Is there anything more beautiful than a pregnant belly?
(this one is not mine, by the way)
Next week, I will officially be nine-months pregnant and I am an anorexic.

Now, before you go all children-and-family-services on me, let me explain.

At this point in my life, I eat plenty. I take my prenatal vitamins, supplement twice daily with a liquid iron booster and eat my fair share of square meals and then some ... and then some more.

At this point in my life, I am not starving myself or my unborn child.

But any anorexic will tell you that the disease is not solely about the actual food that you eat or any of the other actions that you take. It is a state of mind. For most anorexics, the disease marks a vicious cycle of mental abuse that is tough, if impossible, to ever completely kick.

Four Ways Facebook Makes Life Better For Parents

By Katie

There are a lot of social networking sites out there and like many moms, you are probably a member of at least three or four. Whether you chat it up on BabyCenter message boards or get your recipes from Pinterest, you spend time on social networks as part of your everyday life.

Photo via
If you are like the other 845 million other active users, you are on Facebook. The pros and cons have been exhausted by bloggers at this point. Still -- I'd like to throw in my two cents on four things that are just plain better because of Facebook, especially for parents. Let me know what I missed:

1. Birthdays. Even if you do not have time, money or a babysitter in line so you can go out and party like a Rockstar for the big day (who does?), you can feel the love with the dozens of birthday greetings you will get from friends, family, colleagues and random acquaintences on your Facebook timeline. In past years I have printed out the greetings -- sort of like one giant birthday card -- to keep for the future.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Significance Of Buying A Quilt

By Tricia

The comfort a quilt provides
The purchase of a quilt for a child’s bed is probably not a significant occurrence for most people. You decide you need one, pick one you like and done. Most of those people probably don’t contemplate whether or not it’s the last one they will purchase though.

In 4 days and 15 hours I will have my next CT scan to determine if any caner is evident in my body. I have these scans every 6 months now, a big change from the every 3 months it had been. You would think that I’d be a pro at it by now. My surgery was more than a year ago and to date I have had more scans than I care to count. They have all been clear but for some reason the gut wrenching fear doesn’t seem to get any lighter as time passes.

I’ve noticed a pattern before my scans now. I’ve started purchasing things for our home. I have stockpiles of clothes for my baby girl that will more than likely carry her into grade school and she’s only one year old right now. I bought new art work for the walls and a new sofa for the living room. People that know how frugal I am probably wonder what has happened to me! I didn’t put a lot of thought into my oddball purchases until last week when my son’s “big boy” quilt arrived.

Dear Summer Camps: Save Me

By Katie

When I was young, I knew everything.

Photo via
Before I had children, I was asked to help build a database of all of the summer camp offerings in the Central Florida (Greater Orlando) area for a special edition of the newspaper and an online forum. To be clear, I did not actually design anything in the print edition nor did I actually create the Web page where the data lived. I basically made phone calls double checking the camp information that organizations submitted via email, online form and phone messages on my personal extension. I was a fact-checker of sorts.

While the task got old pretty fast, it was an eye-opening experience for me. I looked at the amounts of money that these camps were asking on a weekly basis and was glad that an experienced researcher like myself was following up on this information. There clearly had to be inaccuracies in these numbers.

$230 for a week of "safari" camp at the zoo? Huh?

$400 for two weeks of ice hockey instruction (in Florida, no less)? What?

$650 for a month of learning about aquatic animals at a major theme park? Puh-leeese.

Even the inexpensive options like the YMCA and local churches were still pricey. I should point out here that at this point in my naive life, I had no concept about the cost of things like daycare. Ahhh, youth.

I underlined the exorbitant amounts and made the phone calls.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Exercise Options For The Busy Mom

A Guest Post By Sarah Forgrave

When people find out I recently became a certified fitness instructor, I think they assume I’ve been a fitness junkie my whole life. Y’know, as in kicking the tail off other girls in P.E. or slurping protein shakes and pumping steroids.

Not so.

I’m just a normal mom who had to work like crazy to get these 20 pounds of baby weight off and who understands how hard the demands of motherhood can be on the body. And then there’s the whole time factor. As in, moms of young kids have none.

Or do we?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Peek At Preschool: Does It Live Up To The Hype?

From circle time to centers, preschool is a complicated, wonderful, difficult, and memorable experience. This is the first post in Mumbling Mommy’s series about preschool. Check back later to read more and join the discussion.

My daughter Megan, enjoying some structured play
I dragged my feet on preschool for a long time. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and it seemed counter intuitive to make financial sacrifices so I could be home with our children and then turn around and pay to send them to preschool. Our community does not offer free public preschool, so we had to ask ourselves tough questions. Do we pay for a year of preschool or pay to replace our lumpy couch that’s been hanging around since my husband’s bachelor days? My husband, an educator, also knew that not all experts believe preschool is the great investment many have proclaimed it to be. More on that shortly.

After much discussion, we decided to wait until the year before our oldest daughter, Megan, started kindergarten before enrolling her in a two-day-a-week preschool program. That meant she’d start preschool this coming fall, in 2012, and she’d have time to get her feet wet in a classroom setting before taking the plunge into all-day kindergarten. (I have my hesitations about all-day kindergarten, but I’ll save them for another discussion.)

Then we added a second child to our household last fall and slightly altered our plans. I was busy caring for newborn Abby and didn’t have as much time or energy to keep Megan occupied. She was restless at home. And while she has a nice group of friends at our weekly library story time, has play dates with peers, and participates in the children’s ministry at church every Sunday, she was hungry for more time around kids her age.

Memoir Monday: Time Stolen

** Memoir Monday is a weekly series that features pieces of Katie's memoir-in-progress that covers her first pregnancy. Click here to see past entries. **

By Katie

The obstetrician’s office I visited had five doctors. They suggested that you try to divvy up your appointments in order to meet them all before delivery. They were on rotation at Winnie Palmer Hospital in downtown Orlando, so depending when you went in to labor, you never knew which doctor you would get.

My first daughter at
35 weeks
I saw the first guy about six weeks into my pregnancy. Before then, I had only seen nurse practitioners. According to the digital scale, I had gained four pounds since my last visit. This displeased the doctor very much.

“Four pounds already? That’s not good Katie. Most women lose weight in the first trimester.”

“How do you figure?”

“The morning sickness, the nerves. The weight gain doesn’t generally start until the second trimester. You are still six weeks from that point.”

“Well I haven’t had any morning sickness. I’ve been eating pretty healthy actually. Just a little more than I used to.”

He just shook his head and scribbled on my chart. 

I really hoped this wasn’t the guy on rotation once I’d gained 45 pounds and my water broke. The last thing I wanted was a lecture on laying off the candy bars while I tried to birth a small human.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Baseball Season Is Here, This Mom Cheers

By Katie

Baseball season is here and I could not be any happier about it. My love for baseball dates back to being a kid growing up in the cold Midwest. The start of baseball season meant that summer was coming. Sure, there was still the occasional snow at Wrigley Field in April or the games that required a down coat and thermal underwear because the wind off Lake Michigan was debilitating.

Still. The start of baseball marked the start of my favorite season and that happy feeling never got old.

Enjoying her first baseball game
Today I live in a summer-all-year sort of place but I still find myself giddy when I see the first pitches of the season being thrown out. This year was really special because my husband's team, the Miami Marlins, had the honor of hosting the only game on Opening Night in their new stadium. My husband loves Miami the way that I love Chicago. So even though I've never been a Marlins fan, per se, it made me happy to see such pride in him for his team and his hometown.

The Cubs are my favorite team but I've found in the past few years that I like to watch just about any team play. I dislike the Cardinals in a "they think they are SOOO great" sort of way (and most of the time, they ARE so great... ugh... I hate them) and would never dream of cheering for a team that was playing my beloved Cubbies. I don't hate the White Sox the way that I probably should and now it appears that I will have to form some sort of love for Ozzie Guillen since he has moved to the Marlins clubhouse.

Help Me Create The Ultimate Running Playlist For Moms

By Heather C.

Recently, I’ve talked about my new passion for running. One thing I didn’t talk about though was the music.

Music shapes our lives. It’s playing in the background of all our favorite TV shows and movies. We hum along to it as we drive. Some people play music when they clean their house and others have dance parties with their kids.

I listen to music when I run. The type of music you listen to is completely personal. It’s a preference. It can set the mood. It can bring you down or inspire you.

I don’t have a playlist. I prefer the variety of hearing something different each time I run. I load up my Pandora on the “Today’s Hit Radio” station and I’m continually surprised by what comes next. This doesn’t mean I don’t have favorites though.

Easter Kitsch Blues

By Heather Novak

Easter is four days away and I just got the decorations out. 


A sampling of my decor
Apparently with little kids you are also supposed to dip nasty hard boiled eggs into colored dye? 


And buy chocolate you do not eat long before the holiday arrives? 

I have no idea


you are talking about.

I also have no idea what I am doing:  I am hosting Easter this year. 

Learning The 'Awful Truth' About The Easter Bunny

By Sally

I was a very trusting child. I truly believed in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and of course the Easter Bunny. It was always so exciting to think about these magical gift bearers wandering through our home with gifts and treats.

In about 5th grade, I got into quite a verbal tussle with another student about the importance of believing in these beings.One of the kind Sisters at our Catholic school called my mom, and asked her to have “the talk” with me. The other children in class knew “the awful truth.” For my own dignity, my mother needed to speak with me.

I was stunned.   After the initial shock, I realized how generous my parents had been on those special days.  

I remember when our youngest found out the truth and questioned me regarding Santa.  I was honest.  He was very quiet for a moment and then said, “Where did you get the money to buy all that stuff?!”   Now I enjoy helping him plan the secret surprises for their daughter.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thursday Three: Ways Technology Is Good For Kids

By Katie

My husband is an online producer. His entire work week centers around the way a Web site looks and what topics are trending on Google. This is oversimplification and he's cringing somewhere reading this, but its the gist. He goes into the office but could literally do his work from anywhere that has a Wifi connection.

Photo via
I have built an entire business (albeit a small, humble one) on working remotely. Of my four permanent clients, I have met zero in person and never even spoken on the phone with three. Everything is done through email and instant messaging and hey, it works. There are women who write for this blog who I have never met or spoken with on the phone but I consider friends and colleagues.

Some people may criticize how "out of touch" people have become as a result of technology, but in my experience, it has actually made me feel more connected to my employers, friends and family.

It probably comes as no surprise that our kids also love technology. Sometimes the things that I observe them doing are downright eerie (i.e. -- two-year-old turning on and unlocking Kindle Fire, searching apps and finding Angry Birds, turning the volume up, and whizzing through the levels) but I have yet to find a real reason to tell them to step away from the tech.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Tidbits: Egg Decorating To Mystery Bunnies

By Maddie

My husband and I are not religious people. We do celebrate the typical Christian holidays, but we do not attend church or pray. That being said, I love Easter. I do know the religious meaning behind the holiday, and Jack will be taught what the Christian meaning behind the holiday is as he gets older. But at this point, we just enjoy having fun hunting eggs and playing the Easter Bunny for Jack. A few thoughts on the holiday as it approaches...

Hello... Easter Bunny?
  • I have posted now a couple times about my new family members (kittens). Last Saturday, while Jack was visiting my mother-in-law for the weekend, a very friendly bunny turned up on my front porch! I was confused at first. We live in an area that has some trees and a large drainage canal, so animal sightings are not unusual. But this bunny was decidedly tame. It let us pet it, it chased our cat. I decided this must be someone's pet bunny. We thought it would be a good idea to catch the bunny and try to find it's owner. During this fiasco, we talked to Jack and my mother-in-law. I guess that she told Jack that the rabbit might be the Easter Bunny! Guess what we haven't heard the end of since? We got the bunny back to its owner (which happened to be our next door neighbors) that day. Jack still wants to know what happened to the bunny!

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