9 Things Pregnant Women Are Sick of Hearing From Strangers

things pregnant women are sick of hearing from strangers

I want to clarify that this post does not pertain to my beloved family and close friends – people I don’t mind getting personal with and sharing details of my life with. This one is dedicated to the Nosy Nancy’s of the world who I’ve never met before and will never see again after our little “encounters”.

Now well into my second pregnancy, I’ve noticed that strangers LOVE talking to me about my pregnancy. It’s really quite baffling. I sort of noticed it during my first pregnancy, but I was just so enthralled in my new state of maternity that I didn’t mind the questions and sometimes off-putting remarks. Now that this is my second time around and the nostalgia of being pregnant has faded, some words for the wise: No, I don’t want to talk to you about it; yes, you’re being too personal, and for the love of God, DO.NOT. touch my stomach. You’ve been warned…

1. When are you due? 
I know, I know – this is the inevitable question – but must we really share with these complete strangers the presumed birth date of our new baby? I always wonder – what’s in it for them? So they can quickly calculate how far along I am in the 9 month journey and then make a judgement call on if my stomach looks “about 8 months” large?

2. Are There Twins In There?
This one always comes from old men who think they’re being funny. I get it, I get it – you’re making a joke because I’m so hugely pregnant. You’re hilarious, sir…really, you should be a comedian.

3. You Look Great!
This is all well and fine, but I mostly dislike the tone that accompanies this “compliment” — which is usually pure shock. It’s as if they picture all pregnant women laid up on the couch, sitting pretty at 500 pounds and stuffing their faces with donuts. (OK, while I might not be 500 pounds, there’s been a time or two – or maybe every Sunday – when I’ve been posted up on the couch with some maple bars).

4. Wow, They’ll Be Close in Age
This one usually follows the “when are you due” question. And after the complete stranger has computed my personal life (what month of pregnancy I’m in and the age of my toddler), the light bulb goes off for them: this woman’s kids will be close in age. Thank you, Captain Obvious! And from here there’s a 50/50 chance that they’ll either go into their experience of also having children close in age and tell you stories of how well they played together or, they take the negative route and say, good luck – I can’t imagine having two under two! Big gulps.

5. Let Me Guess — it’s a Girl! (or Boy!)
I always think it’s odd when complete strangers try to guess the gender of my unborn baby. Do they think they have some sort of psychic power? I blame it on all the old wives tales like, “if a pregnant woman is carrying high, it’s a girl — low, it’s a boy” and other assumptions that make every Suzie Q at the grocery store a maternity expert. I secretly love when they get it wrong though: Nope, nosy Nancy – it’s a boy. Better luck next time. 

6. You’re All Belly
I know this is meant to be a sweet gesture but really, they’re not fooling anyone. What are they going to tell me instead, “Wow, your arms are looking really FAT!” Or, “Yikes, look at the size of your thighs.” And let’s be honest, they didn’t know how I looked before pregnancy so can they really comment now on the fact that I’ve only gained weight in my mid-section? Me thinks not.

7. Have You Had Any Weird Cravings?
This one always makes me feel like they think I’m a mad woman who can’t control my eating habits (don’t look her straight in the eye or she might try to steal our bagel – these pregos are unpredictable!) And again, what’s in it for the questioner? So she can go home and tell her husband over dinner tonight that she met a pregnant woman at Starbucks who will only eat chocolate covered pickles with sprinkle on top? I refuse to be a part of the gossip chain so I usually reply with a smile, “just salty things.”

8. Your Bump is So Cute
I know this one is well-meaning but honey, I do NOT feel cute right now; carrying my 19 month old on one hip and trying to push the cart at Target with my hair disheveled and wearing my prego uniform including my husband’s baggy t-shirt and my tried-and-true yoga pants (even though I haven’t been to yoga since my daughter was born). But, thanks, complete stranger, thanks for trying. And again my question; what’s the alternative? “Wow, mam, you have an ugly bump – it looks abnormal. Really, you should get that checked.”

9. Can I Touch It?
Umm, excuse me, have we met? Can I awkwardly touch your shoulder and invade your personal space? If your answer is “no” to either of those questions, then my answer is most definitely, NO! And, spoiler alert: it feels like a basketball!

First Pregnancy vs. Second Pregnancy

I’ve been reminiscing about my first pregnancy lately and how it was so extremely different from this second pregnancy. We’re talking night and day! I’ll also be the first to admit that I was a little anal-retentive with my first one. I’ve relaxed A LOT this time around, so I’m sharing some funny differences between a first pregnancy vs. second pregnancy:

Frist Pregnancy vs. Second Pregnancy

First Pregnancy: You document your nutrition and ensure each food group is a part of your daily diet.

Second Pregnancy: Is gold fish off the floor and your toddler’s leftovers considered a full meal?

 

First Pregnancy: You take photos every week to document your growing little bump.

Second Pregnancy: Woops, you’re already in the third trimester; better take a picture of the bump so you can document it for the baby book that you’ll never have time to make anyway!

 

First Pregnancy: You avoid soft cheeses, turkey sandwiches, sushi and wine like the plague.

Second Pregnancy: Ehh- everything *safely* in moderation.



 

First Pregnancy: Your nursery is complete and perfect 3 months into pregnancy.

Second Pregnancy: You’re scrambling to get the room and “gear” together up until the last second.

 

First Pregnancy: Most of your soon-to-be son’s/daughter’s clothes are purchased new and hanging nicely in his/her closet months in advance.

Second Pregnancy: You’re all about the hand-me-downs – either from your older kids or your friends’ kids – spit-up stains and all! You also consider if it would be wrong to dress your newborn son in your daughter’s old pink pajamas – who will know?

 

First Pregnancy: You attend every class offered on child-birth, parenting, and breastfeeding and take notes.

Second Pregnancy: You could teach those classes in your sleep.

 

First Pregnancy: You read every pregnancy and parenting book cover to cover, sometimes twice.

Second Pregnancy: What is this thing called “reading” and who the hell has time for it?

 

First Pregnancy: You complete pregnancy-safe workouts at least three times per week.

Second Pregnancy: Chasing around your toddler and walking the dog = exercise complete.

 

First Pregnancy: You do your kegel exercises every day in preparation for labor.

Second Pregnancy: This time around the baby will just fall right out, right? 😉

 

First Pregnancy: You track your weight gain weekly, if not daily, to make sure you’re growing in the “normal” range.

Second Pregnancy: You have no idea how much you weigh except when your doctor checks you every month, because you threw away your personal scale after the first baby. (I gave the weight tracking duty to my husband: “Just tell me if I’m getting really fat” 😉 ) 

 

What else would you add?



Things That Become Difficult When You Have a Toddler and a Baby Bump

I’ve been lucky enough to have two “normal” pregnancies with no complications so far, and for that I am thankful. But, I will not lie, this second pregnancy has been much harder than my first. Maybe it’s because I just blocked out some of the less-glamorous aspects of being pregnant from my memory after the first time, or maybe it’s because I now have an energetic little toddler running around 24/7. Either way, the simple, small tasks of every day life have become increasingly more and more difficult when you have a toddler and a baby bump. Here are a few that come to mind:

toddler mom

1. ROCKING YOUR TODDLER TO SLEEP OR CUDDLING BEFORE BED TIME
Gone are the days when my toddler can cuddle up on my chest before bed time. She still tries but it’s not the most comfortable of places with a huge basketball between us. The cuddle sessions have evolved over the last few weeks from cuddling on my chest, to cuddling on the side, to now cuddling with Dad. :(

2. PUTTING YOUR TODDLER DOWN TO SLEEP IN HER CRIB
Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! Belly bumps make it almost impossible to gently place a toddler in her crib for nap time or bed time – especially if the mattress is on the bottom level. My only solution is to reach in as far as my baby bump will allow and then ever-so-gently drop my toddler onto her mattress while saying a quick prayer that the minor fall doesn’t jolt her wide awake. This works about 75% of the time, and that percentage keeps dwindling as the bump gets bigger and the height of the drop increases.

3. MAKING MEALS FOR YOUR TODDLER
Nausea and food aversions have made it pretty difficult to whip up any sort of weird-smelling vegetable, chicken, or any other food that doesn’t sit well with me on that particular day. What’s worse? Watching your toddler attempt to eat said food while she smears it all over her face and the high chair. I’m still trying to perfect hiding my look of disgust during meal time. “Mmm, yummy green beans!” (barf!)

4. READING WITH YOUR TODDLER ON YOUR LAP
My daughter LOVES reading books so this has been a big adjustment for us. No longer can she sit directly on my lap while turning through the pages of her favorite books. We’ve switched our routine to her sitting directly beside me, tucked under my arm enjoying Good Night Moon for the 50th time that day.

5. PUTTING SHOES ON A TODDLER
Bending down to almost ground level to place shoes on a moving target is quite the challenge. I’ve found that counters come in nicely, if you can get your little one to sit still for more than 5 seconds and not jump off!

6. OVERALL EXHAUSTION
During my first pregnancy I worked full time, and often kept long hours at the office Monday through Friday – I thought that was tiring, even though I had the weekends to rest and do nothing. Now, this second time around, staying home with my 18 month old daughter is sort of like completing an obstacle course over and over again, 24/7. I chase her around, bend down then up to pick stuff up off the floor, lift her up and then down, carry her around for long periods of time, etc. Let’s just say, I hit the couch hard after she goes down at 7PM every night.

I know life is about to get a whole lot harder with “two under two” in the house, but at least I’ll be able to bend down and touch my toes when that time comes. 😉

Pregnant moms with toddlers, what else would you add? 

“All In” – a Reflection for Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I’ve been doing some reflecting on what it really means to be a mother.

I’ve been on the recipient end of Mother’s Day for three years now. The first year, I was newly pregnant with my first baby and beaming with excitement and anticipation, not knowing what it would truly mean to hold the title, “mom”. I remember celebrating with my husband at brunch and talking about what we thought it was going to be like having a little one running around “this time next year”. We were bright-eyed, still selfish and probably a little nervous.  The second year celebrating Mother’s Day, I would classify myself as a “new mom” with a 6 month old daughter – my first true Mother’s Day because I then knew what it was like to hold this title. I knew what it was like to carry a baby for 9 months and then give birth to that baby and love that baby unconditionally. And I knew what sacrifice truly meant – giving up sleep, personal hygiene and maybe even a little bit of sanity, to care and nurture this tiny human. Now, here I am on my third Mother’s Day, with a daughter who is now almost 18 months old (seriously, where did my baby go?) and a new little bundle of joy ready to make his appearance, come October.

As I reflect back on the past year and a half and what it has truly meant for me to be “Mom”, I decided that being a mom means being all in. Just stop and think about the weight of these two words for a second: ALL. IN. There’s not much else in life you can say that about. You’re not all in with your career – even the most dedicated employees take a sick day or a vacation day and can mentally unplug. You’re not all in with your healthy eating and exercise routine – guaranteed you take a cheat day to eat a California burrito or you skip the gym on Sunday mornings so you can sleep in. But being a mom means committing and encompassing this role 100% of the time – even when you’re away from your child, you never “unplug” from being a mother. I don’t care if you work every day, work part-time, are a stay-at-home mom or work-at-home mom – you are Mom. And you’re all in.

pre-baby self

You’re all in from the moment you see the plus sign on a pregnancy test. You are carrying a baby and it’s time to start eating healthy, giving up certain indulgences (like glasses of wine, raw fish and unpasteurized cheese).

You’re all in when it’s time for your baby to make her appearance and you go through the most intense experience of your life: labor.

You’re all in when your newborn baby wakes up every three hours and you rock her back to sleep each time.

Mother's Day

You’re all in when you feed your baby milk, purees, solid foods – making sure to provide the best nutrition for your baby all day, every day.

You’re all in when you read and play with your baby – teaching her new skills and watching her grow.

You’re all in when making decisions for  your baby. You will research topics until you’re blue in the face, discuss in length with your pediatrician, take a quick survey with your mom friends and then decide what is right for your baby. You provide the care your baby needs, always, because she depends on you and you know what’s right for her.

And as your baby grows and goes through new developments and life stages, and as you add to your family with new babies, you’ll continue to be all in, forever. Why? Because you’re Mom.

Happy early Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful mother’s out there! And give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re amazing all day, every day! xo

 

Thoughts on Baby #2

I’m not sure why I was so shocked to see another positive pregnancy test. Maybe I thought I would only ever see one in my life, or maybe I thought my body had been through so much with the first pregnancy and the first year of motherhood, that it was physically impossible to get pregnant again. But, there it was clear as day, two little lines – baby number two was on the way!

My excitement was very different this second time around. I was of course happy for Mike and I to bring another little girl or boy into this world, but I was most excited for Blake. Just as Blake made Mike and I “Mommy and Daddy”, this second baby would make Blake a “big sister”.

I have two younger sisters of my own, and looking back on my childhood, there’s not a single memory without them in it. We were best friends, partners in crime, and soul mates for as far back as I can remember. We share the same core, the same history of how we were brought up – and I’m excited for Blake to have that. A true and unconditional love like no other.

Like Blake, I am the oldest, and I know the responsibility that’s in store for her – and it’s big. She’ll be the big sis, the one he/she looks up to, follows around and takes the lead from. I’ve begun looking at Blake in a new light – witnessing her gentle qualities and kindhearted spirit – this girl was made to be a big sister, and I am so proud of her already.

I wish Blake could understand completely when I say to her, “you’re going to have a little brother or sister soon”. What I really want her to understand is that this little baby is going to make her life colorful and fun. This baby is going to give her a sense of companionship and the two of them will have their own little tribe. There will be fights, yes, but there will be so much more love and laughter. Life is about to change in a big way, for the best.

Baby Helms #2, we can’t wait to meet you!

baby #2

10 Things I Would Tell My Pre-Baby Self

Dear Pre-Baby Kristin:

  1. You know how you think that labor is going to be really hard? Well, it’s going to be even harder than you can ever imagine, so BUCKLE UP, sister.
  2. SLEEP. Forget whatever you think you have to do that is more important than sleep…it’s not. Just go to bed and enjoy a solid 9 hours of uninterrupted shut-eye.
  3. Do more exercises to strengthen your back and arm muscles. You’re going to have an ever-growing little weight in your arms 24/7.
  4. Breastfeeding is harder than you think and will be a constant worry of yours when the babe is here – prepare yourself and go into it with the right mindset.
  5. Appreciate the simplicity of your life right now – like going to the grocery store, going to get coffee or even just taking a walk. Things are about to get a whole lot more complicated with strollers, diaper bags and a tiny little human.
  6. I know you have big plans for your career after the baby is born, but be prepared to pump the brakes a little bit in the beginning.  You’ll come to realize, raising a baby is a full time job.
  7. When I say raising a baby is a full time job, I really mean it’s a 24/7 job – and it will be your hardest one yet. But don’t worry, it’s also the most rewarding.
  8. Right now you’re the most selfish you’ll ever be – enjoy it! Do what you want to do whenever you want to do it. Soon your daughter will be your number one priority.
  9. I know you think that having a dog is good practice for having a baby,  but it doesn’t even come close, sister. Sure, it’s a step in the right direction but, nope – not even close.
  10. I know you think that you will love your baby a lot, but the truth is – you can’t yet comprehend this type of love. This love gets you out of bed every 2 hours to take care of your baby, without any hesitation. This love keeps you up at night worrying that you’re doing enough for your baby. This love makes you blind to all of the things that you previously considered “gross” – poopy diapers, snot and baby spit-up. This love will send you on an emotional roller coaster – creating so much joy that you think your heart will burst,  creating doubt and feeling more lost than you’ve ever felt and feeling the most complete in your entire life. Embrace each emotion – this is all a part of the journey called motherhood.

What would you tell your pre-baby self? Let me know in the comments below!

pre-baby self

Baby Bloggy Bootcamp

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

I originally found out about the Baby Bloggy Bootcamp in San Diego last month from the trusty Rookie Moms (I just love those two) who were also speakers at the event. After looking at the line-up and learning that we could bring our babies to the actual conference, I was eager to attend!

Baby Bloggy Bootcamp

The day was full of helpful information that pertained especially to new bloggers and mommy bloggers (which hit home for me in both categories). It was so much fun to be in a room filled with fellow women bloggers who were also mothers. Talk about a sense of camaraderie. I especially loved the tips from Tiffany Romero and Francesca Banducci (Founders of Sits Girls) about the key components that should be found on every blog – from SEO tips and tricks to best practices for sponsored content. I found it all extremely helpful.

baby bloggy bootcamp

The Swag

I’m all about swag, especially when it’s really, really good swag – like the products we all received at the Baby Bloggy Bootcamp.

ErgoBaby really spoiled us all with a new Ergobaby 4-position 360 Carrier, Ergobaby Swaddler and Ergobaby Wrap.

ergobaby

The new Ergobaby Four-Position 360 carrier is amazing. As you may have gathered from its name, it offers 4 different positions including a new, front-facing position. During the conference, Ergobaby demonstrated how to use this new product – which I found very helpful, even though it is extremely easy to use! I tried it out with Blake as soon as we got home and she fell right asleep in the comfortable carrier – snug as a bug in a rug! I can’t wait until she gets a little older so I can try the front-facing position.

Ergobaby 360 carrier

We also received a beautiful Liz Lange maternity dress. The fabric on this dress is so soft and very figure flattering for your baby bump. This is weird to say, but it made me want to be pregnant again! Having the baby bump is so much fun. And although I’m not currently pregnant, I know firsthand how hard it is to find luxury, stylish maternity pieces that are also affordable. I’ll definitely be putting this Liz Lange dress to good use during my next pregnancy and will happily check out the rest of their maternity clothing line, available at Target.

I also loved the samples of Honest Diapers, which I’ve been wanting to try on Blake for a while, and the cutest (and most delicious) candy I’ve had in a long time, from Sugarwish.

honest diapers         sugarwish

 

All in all it was a wonderful event and I hope to attend another Sway Group event in the near future.

 

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

Babies in Bloom Presents #BABYFEST14

Calling all San Diego and Orange County new moms and moms-to-be! Babies in Bloom is celebrating new and expecting parents during their upcoming event, #BABYFEST14.

Babies in Bloom Event

WHAT: This unique event is designed to bring you the latest in products, services and information, including keynote speakers: January from Birth Without Fear and Kim Rosas from Dirty Diaper Laundry. You can also expect over 65 vendors and exhibitors who cater to growing families.

ALSO ENJOY:

  • Raffle prize giveaways
  • Children’s activities
  • Demonstrations, cloth diapering, babywearing

WHEN: Sunday, March 23, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

WHERE: QLN Conference Center, 1938 Avenida Del Oro, Oceanside, CA 92056

COST: $5 online, in advance, $8 at the door. VIP and VIT ticket options are also available, please see details below.

  • VIP Tickets $125: Includes admission to BabyFest, a deluxe gift bag which includes a special-edition BabyHawk mei tai baby carrier, exclusive Chewbeads necklace, Moraki cloth diaper and more. Plus a special “meet and greet” event with January Harshe, Birth Without Fear to start the day.
  • VIT (“Very Important Teether”) Tickets $25:Includes admission to BabyFest and an exclusive Chewbeads necklace.

*All proceeds from this event benefit the March of Dimes.

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS HERE

An Ode to Tuck

Now that I’m officially on maternity leave from work, I’ve been able to spend a lot of quality time with my first (4-legged) baby – Tucker.

cute dog

He is my heart and soul and has taught me so much about life, love and responsibility in his short 2 1/2 years with our family.

When Tucker was only 6 months old he was diagnosed with a very serious disease, polyarthritis. My poor baby was on heavy medications for almost one year straight – meds that made him have to urinate every 2 hours, made him groggy, dehydrated and essentially killed his little spirit. I was heartbroken. My husband and I would have to wake up with him every 2 hours during the night and let him out to go to the bathroom and make sure he had enough water. We’d also have to cook special meals of chicken and rice for him because his stomach couldn’t digest dog food with all of the harsh medications in his system. During this time I remember thinking, this is what it must be like to have a newborn baby! With a  lot of love and patience, Mike and I successfully nursed Tuck back to health and he hasn’t had a flare-up of this awful disease in 2 years! He is now happy, energetic, thriving and he melts my heart everyday!

Since I’ve been pregnant, Tucker has taken on a new responsibility as my little nurse. I call him my little furry E.T. because I think he seriously feels everything that I’m feeling – he’s so in tune with my emotions. He’s also my little shadow – waiting for me when I get out of the shower, one step behind me as I walk up and down the stairs, curiously watching what I’m doing in the baby’s nursery and curled up next to me on the couch with his head resting on the baby bump. It recently dawned on me that he’s taking care of me just like I took care of him when he was sick.

caring dog

His love for me and the baby on the way is unconditional. I couldn’t have imagined a better dog to prepare me for motherhood and show me how to be selfless when caring for another being. Our baby girl is so lucky to have the best big brother, Tuck.

They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but I can truly say Tucker is more than that – he’s family.

cute dog

The Dish: Chicken, Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil

Now that I’m officially on maternity leave and have some extra time, I’ve decided to start cooking new, healthy meals every night. I’m a huge fan of mozzarella cheese, tomato and basil anything, so this chicken dish was very appealing – not to mention easy for this rookie chef!

Ingredients:
– 2 Organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
– Mozzarella Cheese – enough slices to cover the chicken breasts
– Handful of Cherry Tomatoes, halved
– 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
– 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
– 1 Bunch of Basil, chopped
– 1 Tbl Olive Oil
– 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Chop tomatoes, onions and basil and add to a mixing bowl:

photo (2) copy

  • Mix vegetables with olive oil, balsamic and minced garlic (I buy the pre-minced garlic from Sprouts):

Combine vegetables and mix

  • Brown chicken breasts in skillet on the stove top, adding salt and pepper to each side
  • Place browned chicken breasts in Pyrex dish and place mozzarella cheese on top:

chicken dish

  • Add tomatoes, basil, onions, garlic and oils mixture on top, place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked:

chicken mozzarella recipe

  • Dinner is ready! Bon Appetite!

Image-1 copy

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