Friday, February 18, 2005

Why Were Moms Invented?

Merrily Manthey column Port Charlotte Herald Moms know where the scotch tape is. You readers are so wonderful. You must know I dearly love humor from real life. And that must be why you keep me well supplied with clever and amusing material to tickle my happy, smiling cells. Here's an example. Young school children were asked, "Why were moms invented?" 1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is. 2. Mostly to clean the house. 3. To help us out of there when we were getting born. How were mothers made? 1. She used dirt, just like for the rest of us. 2. Magic, plus super powers and a lot of stirring. 3. The inventor made my mom just the same like she made me. She just used bigger parts. What ingredients are mothers made of? 1. Mothers are made out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean. 2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think. Why did the creator give you your mother and not some other mom? 1. We're related. 2. The creator knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me. What kind of little girl was your mom? 1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff. 2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy. 3. They say she used to be nice. What did mom need to know about dad before she married him? 1. His last name. 2. She had to know his background. Like, is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? 3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say 'no' to drugs and 'yes' to chores? Why did your mom marry your dad? 1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot. 2. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on. Who's the boss at your house? 1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goofball. 2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed. 3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad. What's the difference between moms and dads? 1. Moms work at work and work at home, and dads just go to work at work. 2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them. 3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's. 4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine. What does your mom do in her spare time? 1. Moms don't do spare time. What would it take to make your mom perfect? 1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery. 2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue. If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be? 1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that. 2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me. 3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head. * Out of the mouths of babes, I'm telling you. That's the great thing about keeping a blog. You can write down every funny thing your kid will say. And I can imagine they will say a lot of funny things. That's what I enjoy about children -- their brutal honesty and what they believe to be true. One morning I woke up and kiddo#1 was standing next to the bed giving me the ol' stare. I said good morning, asked if he wanted to come in bed and he promptly told me that my breath smelled and I needed to brush my teeth. What's cuter than that?

What's In Your Medicine Cabinet?

Aches, pains, pregnancy, oh my! A shopping list for all those wonderful pregnancy symptoms. Morning Sickness Motion sickness wristbands (or "sea bands") Mouthwash, mints and flavored dental floss Travelsize tooth brush for your purse Calcium-fortified antacids Cool wet-wipes for freshening up Calcium-fortified antacids Hair ties to hold back your hair Sensitive, Swollen Breasts The right bra that fits you well. Try a bra without underwire. Or try a sports bra or shelf-lined undershirt Cool gel compresses Heating pads on a warm setting Upper and Lower Back Pain Abdominal support bands (Belly Bras) for the lower back stress Contoured pads for your office chair Long body pillow Deep heating rub by spouse or partner Swollen Legs and Feet Footrest of ottoman to prop your feet up Support socks or hosiery (try Gel inserts Foot soaks with epsom salt Comfortable (and wide!) shoes Nasal Stuffiness Saline nasal spray (use under doctor's direction) Vaporizer at night/humidifier at day Mentholated cough drops Herbal nasal inhalants (sold at health and natural foods stores) Mental Fuzziness or "Pregnancy Brain" Naps when possible A to-do list (that is managleable -- think 3 or 4 items) Special places for your most needed items (keys, shoes, purse, remote) Reminder notes A sense of humor Blue Moods and Fat Feelings Pictures of adorable, drooling babies to admire Favorite comedy movies Beauty appointments (hair, makeup, nails) Partner/spouse/family reminders that you are amazing! Mental reminders that you will have a beautiful baby

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Mommy Madness -- Newsweek article

My Newsweek magazine came in the mail today. On the front is a momholding her baby with all these extra arms doing something else like holding toys, picking up the telephone, making breakfast. The cover story? "The Myth of the Perfect Mother -- Why It Drives Real Women Crazy." An interesting read for mothers and mothers-to-be. And of course dads and dads-to-be. Let me know what you think.

Stretch Marks, Acne, Veins. Where's my Pregnancy Glow?

Your body is going to go through a lot of transformations when you're pregnant. Your skin especially may experience a lot of changes, some of which can be ignored and others you want to pay special attention to. The often mark of motherhood are those stretchmarks. If you've got stretchmarks, you're not alone. 50% of expectant mothers bear the lines of pregnancy. As your body shifts and grows in your stomach and breast region, you may experience some discomfort as your stretch marks might itch. They will however fade overtime and you can't really prevent them from happening. Stretch marks do tend to run in the family so ask your mom if she had them and that's a good indication if you'll get them too. Pregnancy along with heredity will increase the risk of vein problems such as varicose veins, spider veins. Varicose veins will show up on your legs and thighs while spider veins can show up on your legs, ankles or face. Increased hormone levels, blood volume, and weight during pregnancy puts added pressure on the veins and may contribute to the development of varicose and spider veins.You can prevent permanent damage to your vein walls by exercising regularly and trying not to stand still for too long. It's also a good idea to elevate your legs when you can, sit with your legs uncrossed, and wear good support hose. Some varicose veins are pain free, but others do cause a little or a lot of pain and discomfort. Remember, that the worst will disappear, but talk to your doctor if your pain is severe. Does your skin appear a shade or two darker? At least 90% of women will have some darkening of their skin which is thought to be attributed to high estrogen levels. You may find it on your face, on or around your nipples, in your armpits or perineum (the area between the vulva and the anus), on your inner thighs, and around your navel. Minimize the darkness of these spots by protecting yourself from the sun, and if you're very bothered by them, talk to your doctor. More severe cases can be treated by an ointment available by prescription. Other skin changes pregnant women observe are red and itchy hands and feet, blotchy patches on their legs, easily removable skin tags (small, loose growths of skin) on their arms and breasts, weak fingernails, itchy abdomens, and, vascular spiders, (tiny, red, and bumpy "spiders" that can appear on their upper bodies, face and neck and disappear after birth). The skin change you should concern yourself with most is not specific to pregnancy, but it's too often ignored during pregnancy. If you notice any change in the size, shape, or color of a mole, or if one of your moles begins bleeding, take it seriously and tell your doctor. You should be especially wary of any mole that grows larger, more jagged at its edges, or darker in color. If you have a large number of moles, you should examine them monthly throughout your pregnancy. So --- where is that pregnancy glow? :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Birth Day Live from the Discovery Channel

Mark this on your calendar to tape or Tivo. This Monday, February 21st (President's Day) at 4 pm EST, the Discovery Channel will have a 10 hour live broadcast of 3 women giving birth. Birth Day Live is the name There will be 3 different locations: - San Diego, CA - Baton Rouge, LA - Silver Spring, MD The show will cover a variety of topics from c-sections to inducing to premature babies to overdue babies. I don't know if I can last the entire 10 hours, but it should be interesting to watch!

Pregnancy Preparation. Where are all my checklists?

The plumber came this morning to fix the bathroom sink. We had to turn off the water in the entire house. I settled down to watch the plumber and read the morning newspaper. Kiddo#1 was concerned for our dog, Rufus. I don't know exactly why. They were playing in the yard, fine as can be. Kiddo#1 wanders to the neighbors (good friends of ours) and gets their hose. Turns the hose on and drags it over to our yard. Decides to bring it in the house so he can fill up Rufus' water bowl (which is in the kitchen). Forgets about the hose when he remembers plumber is here. Plumbers are very interesting to kiddo#1. Hose continues to dispense water in kitchen. Mom and plumber completely oblivious. Rufus incredibly happy at the sight of all the water. I finally come downstairs to find a mini pool in my kitchen. Yell for kiddo#1 and at Rufus. Run as quick as a pregnant woman can to the hose and shut it off. Walk back to get hose and return it to neighbors hose. As I'm walking back to my house, I think to myself, Why didn't anyone ever tell me that my kid was going to do something like this? And who does it get it from? Not his mom that's for sure! The thing is, you can't ever prepare for all the obstacles and events and details that having a baby/child/kid/teenager will entail. But that kind of thinking is tough to grasp. I'm a listmaker. Not just your grocery list. But packing for a trip? Gotta have a list. Errands to run? Got my pen ready! Chores around the house? Follow the list. Pros and cons of preschools? The list speaks. Having a baby? A whole mess of lists. When I was pregnant with kiddo#1, I was obsessed with lists. I had lists weighing pros and cons of cribs, strollers, diapers, bottles, playtoys. I had lists of what I needed to pack for the hospital. I had a list of what I needed to eat. What I couldn't eat. What I should ask my OB. What I needed to complete: nursery, annoucements. A list of commands to train the dog. A list of pregnnacy cravings and where to purchase items for pregnancy cravings (that was for my husband). Writing my birth plan took ages for me because I revised and rewrote until the very last minute. But all my lists went out the window when kiddo#1 was born. I was too tired to think about my lists and my life was both chaotic and wonderful allowing no room for lists. Now with current Belly, I don't have any lists written. I have a general idea of my lists in my head. But I don't feel compelled to chart, track and note any small detail. That's the beauty of being a mom. As much as you can prepare for your baby, a lot of it comes from actual doing and experiencing than just by making lists or attending classes or reading magazines (or even blogs). I thought I was really prepared. I read all the books from front to back. I had detailed conversations with my doctor. My friends had gab sessions about everything baby related. My mom sent me emails, subject - Mom to Mom Tips. But the thing of it is, you can't really know what to expect until you actually go through it. A friend of mine went through a 20 hour labor. My first was only 5 hours. Diapers, eating messes, crying, sleeping --- it all starts to click when you actually have that baby in your arms. Knowing all of this now has made for a much less stressful pregnancy. Now I have to have a polite conversation with kiddo#1 as to why we don't bring garden hoses into the house.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Shopping for Baby and Mom!

I hope you all had a great Valentines Day! :) Hubby, kiddo#1 and I had a yummy dinner of spaghetti and meatballs followed by the best darn cookies ever. Kiddo#1 decorated them. Nothing is better than snacking on a cookie with "MOM" written in frosting. I think I have a shopping addiction. And it's morphed into a shopping addiction denial. Who me? On the internet? Shopping? No! It's for the Belly. It's for kiddo#1. It's not for me! In my desire to be win the coveted Best Mom of the Year award, I find myself glued to the internet looking at images of toys, nurseries, onesies, bottles, strollers, carseats, maternity clothes. I have a stack of pregnancy and child magazines with postits marking all the pages of items I would like to add to my wishlist. I probably won't purchase 99.9% of what I mark. No wait, make that 95%. Or maybe 85% to be on the safe side? But it's fun to look. And it's fun to see what new items they have out there for babies since kiddo#1 was a baby. Some of my favorite sites: Maternity Mall Baby Style Dreamtime Baby Posh Tots Blossoming Babes Fancy Babies Collection Gap Maternity Olie Bollen Baby Wit Oompa Pokkadots Old Navy One Step Ahead Those are just a few from my Favorites. Do you have any favorite online stores?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Pregnant Sex Myths

"Let's talk about sex baby, let's talk about you and me..." -Salt N' Pepa Let's talk about sex. Not to be squeamish. After all, sex is what got us here in the first place. Sometimes expectant mothers and fathers will be less interested in sex or will cut back once they are pregnant. You should really view this however as a time for hassle-free, fun sex. Your partner will agree and since you don't have to worry about birth control, take full advantage before the wee one arrives. Sex is perfectly safe during pregnancies. With normal pregnancies, you can continue to have sex until your water breaks. Make sure to check with your OB or midwife but if given the go ahead, then by all means, dim the lights, spray on some perfume, turn on a little Marvin Gaye. Some women report that sex during pregnancy is the best they've ever had while for others, it may not be so great. Heightened pleasure can come from the increased blood flow to the genitals. Another reason for its pleasure can come from the fact that there are no worries. After all, you're already pregnant, so you can concentrate on feeling sexy. If you don't sex as appealing during pregnancy, this can be due to many factors. The same engorgement (increased blood flow) can push women over the threshold of ecstasy and give them an uncomfortable feeling of fullness after sex and some women might experience cramping during or after. Or you could feel too tired or nauseated to even think or consider having sex especially in the first trimester. By the second trimester, hopefully you feel sexy again along with a rising libido. By the third trimester, you might feel unattractive with a large belly and the delivery in the near future. But repeat this to yourself: The sex drive of your partner may actually increase. Most men find their pregnant partner truly attractive. But your partner might be concerned about harming you or the baby so be aware of these sex myths. Myth #1 Sex will hurt the baby. Sex is not harmful for your baby, in fact in most cases, the motion of having sex will rock your little one off to sleep. I know, like a rocking chair. You won't hurt the baby by making love, even with your partner on top. The thick mucus plug that seals the cervix helps guard against infection. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus also protect your baby. You may notice that your baby is very active after your orgasm. This is because of your pounding heart, not because your baby knows what is happening or feels pain. On the same note, you partner's penis will not be able to reach the baby, even if he is that well endowed, because the cervix is shut tight. (We hate to deflate dad's ego but it just isn't possible!) Myth #2 - Sex will hurt me You probably won't be up for exploring alternative forms of sex but playing with other positions (you on top, sitting in your partner's lap, or a side by side spoon position) may be just the thing to send you over the top during love making. As the old saying goes, "Where there's a will, there's a way." With a little experimenting, you and your partner are sure to find a position and technique that works for both of you. Be encouraged, some women experience their first orgasm while having sex during their pregnancy. This can be attributed to the engorgement of the genitals with more sensitive nerve endings. And oxytocin, the hormone that maintains your pregnancy, is known to spark the libido. So perhaps reading those sex positions in Cosmopolitan really did pay off. Myth #3 - Having sex will cause premature labor. There is no medical evidence that the act of having sex causes labor. Stimulation of the breasts can speed up the production of oxytocin which can cause contractions when you are near your due date. As your pregnancy progresses, you will discover that you can and will have all sorts of contractions without going into labor. Your doctor or midwife may limit your sexual activity if your pregnancy is considered high risk with a history of premature labor, early cervical dilation, placenta previa, premature rupture of the membranes or vaginal bleeding. Myth #4 - Oral sex is a no-no. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about having sex during pregnancy. Normal oral sex will not harm you or your baby and many couples consider it a nice substitute if intercourse is deemed too risky. It can become a convenient option when you get too uncomfortable to have actual intercourse. Especially when you have a huge belly to think off, this can be a more preferred option. Just make sure your partner avoids blowing air into your vagina. If this is the first time you've heard of such a practice, it's being mentioned because blowing hard could cause an air embolism (obstructing a blood vessel) and it could potentially kill you and your baby. Your pregnancy is a wonderful time for having close and loving sexual experiences with your partner. Take advantage of your down time and get creative with each other. You might just discover a side to you both that you didn't know existed before. Pregnancy is a time when many couples open doors and find new and exciting ways to be intimate with one another other than just the act of having sex. Have you heard of any pregnant sex myths before? Tips for others? Email, comment, let me know. And since we're feeling the love, Happy Valentines Day! [I originally had the lyrics attributed to TLC. Ooops, was informed that it wasn't TLC.]