A sample video from Udemy’s bestselling online childbirth preparation course, https://www.udemy.com/childbirth-prep…
*Quoted as expert
As a kid, I would flip through my baby book, hoping my mom had filled in some of the blanks while I was sleeping or at school. But every time I took the book off its shelf, I saw the same barren pages between the faded pale yellow covers. Listed were the date and time of my birth, my birth weight, a lock of hair from my first haircut … and that was all. I promised myself that if I ever became a parent, I wouldn’t start a baby book if I couldn’t commit to the project. As an adult, I know that I’m amazing at starting projects. But finishing them? Not so much.
This is why I’ve never owned a baby book.
It turns out, I’m not alone. In the age of the smartphone, many parents are finding the traditional baby book just doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t mean those of us who are sans baby book aren’t capturing the important moments. There are plenty of ways to hold onto the milestones, the mispronunciations that are too cute to correct, and everything in between – while letting go of the pressure to fill in the blanks.
. . .
4 | Film them
There is nothing quite like a video to preserve a moment. At the end of each year, Bailey Gaddis, the Ojai, California mother and author of “Feng Shui Mommy,” creates a “Year in Review” video montage of all the short takes she’s recorded of her four-year-old son throughout the year. Not only does the video showcase milestones and random sweet and funny moments, Bailey loves that they double as holiday gifts for the grandparents. As an added bonus, videos won’t create clutter.
A little something to lighten the mood around childbirth.
Sometimes, it takes a natural disaster to make things clear.
When an out of control wildfire chars over 242,000 acres, destroys 972 structures, and forces 88,000 people out of their homes, many couples are forced to come together in ways that leave lasting imprints on their relationship.
My husband and I spent a week holed up with our four-year-old in a hotel room escaping the flames and smoke of the Thomas Fire while obsessively checking our phones for updates and praying that our house survived. Our relationship was tested, but we came out of it with an appreciation for how we were able to show up for each other when things got real.
We were not the only ones. Many of the couples I spoke with post-fire reported significant shifts in their relationships after the shared experience of a natural disaster.
- The structured bucket seat allows baby to sit in an ergonomically-friendly position, in all positions, minimizing “my crotch hurts” fussiness.
- There’s also goodies for the adult. The crossbale shoulder straps and lumbar support allow you to go for hours with your child strapped to your body without feeling like your back is being slowly tortured. I would know – I went on a four mile hike with this carrier (and my child) and I could have gone further.
- You no longer have to worry about losing that bulky newborn insert. You can now simply adjust the leg width and wa-lah (!), newborn ready.
- It’s more comfortable for dads. My husband, who is a lot a bit larger than me, had problems adjusting our original carrier to suit his wider and taller frame. The Omni 360 carrier is so versatile and easy to adjust he gets a little twinkle in his eye when he gets a turn with it.
What better way to start this new chapter of your life than with a crisp white slate, set in a whimsical winter woodland?
Winter weddings offer many advantages (like better rates!) but one of the brightest aspects of a wedding during this chilly time of year is the cheery, loving, and fresh-start vibes reverberating through the season. Oh, and there are few things as romantic as cozying up by the fire with celebratory champagne and your sweetheart, while snow gently coats the land. The following destinations offer the best in winter wedding venues.
1. Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe – Incline Village, NV
Whether you want the backdrop of the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, an intimate mountain lodge, or the grandeur of the Lakeside Ballroom the Hyatt can deliver a wedding even more spectacular than all your Pinterest wedding boards combined. As you near the big day, the Hyatt will help calm your nerves with sunsets that make you forget to breathe, a spa full of magic-hand masseuses that melt your stress, and nearby tree-lined slopes that offer endless exploration.
*I received a free tracker but was not compensated for this review.
My husband and I are currently on a yearlong recon mission to figure out the best way to conceive baby #2. . . when we’re ready. And yes, we know how babies are made, but we would like to skip the months of blindly trying and being faced with negative pregnancy tests – instead, we would like to know my body well enough to strike when the uterus is hot.
The discovery of the clinically-proven EarlySense Percept Fertility Tracker was a big win for us. The tracker consists of a sensor, that you place under your mattress, that tracks signals from your body like your breathing and heart rate. This information is used to predict your next period and 6-day fertility window, then sends this info to the corresponding app on your phone.
What I’ve learned so far from this contact-free fertility monitor:
*I always ovulate 12 days after my period ends. When it’s baby go time you’ll be sure to find me on this app on the daily, making sure I make the most of that sacred egg release.
*I’m a mediocre sleeper. According to the app I get an average of six hours of sleep a night (not great.) And, it takes me an average of 20 minutes to fall asleep, and I spend only 10 minutes in deep sleep.
*I’m less stressed than I thought. My mental app says my stress levels are high, but according to Percept my stress levels range from low to medium – so, yay! This makes me feel less stressed about being stressed.
Thank goodness for this nifty tracker because I was this close to making my husband help me track my basal body temperature and help me decipher what discharge was “ovulation discharge” – not as romantic as it sounds.
Wishing you happy and knowledgable baby-making!
The Rockies are synonymous with stoke-worthy skiing but with so many resort options it can be tricky to pin down the spot that will be just right for your needs.
The following resorts offer a bevy of amenities; whatever kind of traveler you are, you’re certain to be pleased.
- Jackson Hole Mountain Ski Resort
Known for its extreme terrain and a few runs that require avalanche safety equipment, Jackson Hole is best left to the experts. A favorite for those who go hard is the heli-ski tour – what’s more extreme than dropping from a helicopter onto an epically steep slope?
If you prefer to leave the intense snow sliding to others, the overwhelming beauty of this rustic wonderland makes it a prime locale for sitting fireside with a hot cup of something tasty, while you take in the majesty of the American West.
Sleep: Spring Creek Ranch. Located on a wildlife sanctuary and towering 1,000 feet over the town of Jackson, these luxury accommodations will allow your ears to enjoy a symphony of howling coyotes and elks practicing their mating call, while your eyes feast on unbeatable views of the Teton Mountain Range.
Plus, the limitless blue skies and Wilderness Adventure Spa, which offers unique goodies like High Altitude Facials and Soul Readings, ensure your mind, body, and spirit leave refreshed.
Eat: Mangy Moose. This cavernous steakhouse offers location-appropriate hearty options, like elk burgers, prime rib, and brisket. The “Moose” also hosts live music and is a fave après ski bar for locals.
Explore: Tour the National Elf Refuge by horse-drawn sleigh. Sit back, cozy up, and get your camera ready as a horse pulls your sleigh through snowy terrain dotted with thousands of elk. These rides are generally available from mid-December through early April and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the Wyoming wilderness.
*Quoted as expert
1. A Holiday Focal Point
Hypnobirthing practitioner, doula, and author of Feng Shui Mommy Bailey Gaddis recently attended a birth the day after Thanksgiving. “The mom had me set up a mini Christmas tree in her hospital room with a ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ ornament hanging on it,” Gaddis tells Romper.
Sounds cute right? In fact, the Christmas tree served a powerful purpose during the birth. “She used the tree and ornament as her focal point during the birth, saying it helped her look beyond the pain of birth and focus on the joy she would feel sharing her first Christmas with her daughter,” Gaddis explains. “And, because this mama is such a lover of the holidays, she had me run out to buy candy canes she could suck on for a jolt of refreshing energy.”
A sample video from the online childbirth preparation course, Birth Transformed.
You’ve reached the halfway point and it’s getting real. The next six months will dissolve quicker than a bride’s mascara as she’s listening to a poignant speech. But, the good news is many of the six-month to-do items include goodies like shopping and planning the ultimate vacay, so say a yay!
Because you’re likely a work before play kind of gal, let’s check off the more tedious items first, then dive into the fun stuff. (And ICYMI, here are the 12-month and 8-month checklists for your destination wedding!)
1. Look Into Travel Requirements
There might be quite a few travel-hoops to jump through before reaching your wedding destination, especially if your wedding will be in a different country. Research whether things like visas or certain vaccinations will need to be obtained before entering the country, and ensure your passport is up-to-date.
Who you choose to spend time with during pregnancy makes a difference.
Pregnancy sprinkles change on just about every area of your life. These changes can create feelings of instability, anxiety, and other not so fun emotional gremlins.
This time of change gets a lot easier when you to surround yourself with individuals who will support you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Seeking out the following individuals, and inviting them on your journey to motherhood, will not just make your own experience easier, but will create a happier and healthier space for your baby, in and out of the womb.
1. A Medical Care Provider Who Gets You and Supports You
Medical care providers are often viewed as medical wizards possessing omnipotence- we give them a lot of power.
Ensure the person you’re choosing to hand a piece of your power over to is someone who deserves it.
Find a care provider that makes you feel safe, that makes you excited about being pregnant, that fills you with hope, and is stoked when you hand over your list of birth preferences.
Find a care provider who radiates support for your unique needs and desires during pregnancy and birth; that type of care is your birthright.
2. A Mom-Friend Who Only Gives You Advice If You Ask For It
It’s fun to have someone to commiserate with when your pregnant back is harassing you, and your feet have assumed the texture of Playdoh. It’s less fun when all you want to do is have a cathartic session of complaining with someone who gets it, but instead, you’re met with advice.
Find a friend that’s so down to bitch about crummy pregnancy symptoms, cry about how amazing (and insane) it is to be growing a person inside you, and process all the other pregnancy goodies and non-goodies without telling you how to fix it, or “enjoy it now because it won’t last.” Find a friend who is safe to Just Be You with.
3. A Pregnancy Massage Therapist Who Gets You In All The Right Places
I didn’t receive a massage until the middle of my third trimester, because I didn’t know what I was missing. My incessant heartburn, achy back, and paper-thin temper were all soothed by the end of that first massage, and stayed that way for about a week.
I hopped on that wagon for the rest of my pregnancy, and my massage therapist (who was a mama of two) became one of my friends (see #2) that I could complain, cry, and laugh with, without any judgment or unwanted advice (but, sometimes I would beg her for advice because she knew her stuff, about all the things.)
4. The Vulnerable Side of Your Partner
Did you know your partner (if your partner is a male) will experience a drop in testosterone during your pregnancy? This drop in the “masculine hormone” facilitates their ability to be softer and more nurturing.
While these changes may be initially jarring for your partner, it also opens a gateway into their vulnerability.
Coaxing out the vulnerable, more emotionally open, side of your partner could help them reconcile with their hormonal changes by seeing how you positively respond to the resulting vulnerability and openness, and how the shifts can deepen the bond in your relationship.
Being able to share your concerns, fears, and hopes about the massive change careening into your lives will make you and your partner feel less alone and more secure in your partnership.
5. A Doula Who Has No Agenda But Helping You Have Your Optimal Birth
While your medical care provider will help to ensure your body and baby remain physically safe throughout pregnancy and birth, a doula can help you feel emotionally safe, which in turn creates more physical well-being.
If you choose to hire a doula, ensure you feel comfortable around them and safe to freely express yourself.
When you tell your doula your desires for your birth, you want them to be all in, instead of trying to impose their views of the “right way” to birth on you.
It’s all about you mama.
6. Your Kindest Self
The goal of finding this person, who conveniently lives inside you, is not about putting on a happy face for others, but locating that tender space within where you cut yourself some slack for not feeling totally jazzed about birth, or freaking out at the sight of your ballooning body, or thinking that there’s no way you’ll be a “fit mother.”
Your kindest self won’t knock you for having these thoughts and fears, but will whisper a calming “shhh” into your heart and give you a long hug. And if she really loves you, she’ll put you down for a nap.
You’re spectacular; remember that as you seek out these fabulous people existing outside your home, inside your partner, or within yourself. You deserve to have a tribe of loving, supportive, and judgment-free folks lifting you up and making you feel like the human-growing-goddess you are.
P.S. Until 12.31.17 you can get 10% off my favorite baby carrier at ErgoBaby.com! Just use the super simple coupon code BBMkp9VIniU 😉 And, FREE shipping!
Your baby can communicate from the womb if you just learn to listen.
The Tibetans believe that pregnancy is the time when a woman has the strongest connection to “another realm” because her baby is living partially in her body, and partially in the spirit world. This spiritual gateway is also believed to release the full voice of the woman’s intuition, allowing her to send and receive messages to and from her baby.
For some, these messages come via clear voices heard in the mother’s mind, or said by another at the exact time the mother is asking a question of her unborn baby. But, for many pregnant women messages from their baby come through in more abstract, but just as powerful, channels.
Following are ways you can open up this magical communication channel with your baby, helping to ensure they’re able to be one of your guides throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
1. Clearing the Clutter
When the energy around or within you is stagnant, the channel of communication between you and baby becomes blocked. To begin clearing these blocks, get rid of the clutter in the primary areas you spend time in, only keeping objects and pieces of furniture that you love or add usefulness to your life.
After your outer clutter is cleared, ensure your inner environment is uncluttered by forgiving others for wrongs you feel they’ve committed, and forgiving yourself for missteps you believe you’ve made. Just let it all flow out – your communication channel with Baby will blossom in the clear space that is left.
2. Practicing Heart-Centered Meditation
Now that you have a clear channel for communication, begin to tap into it by minimizing distractions, closing your eyes, and placing your hands on your belly.
As you sit, notice warmth from your heart center beginning to radiate down towards your uterus, then notice a warmth spreading up from the center of your uterus.
Allow the warmth from your heart and uterus to connect and create a channel of love that is alive with love for your baby, and from your baby.
You don’t need to search for any profound messages in this space, just sit, and be, and feel warm with your baby.
3. Doing Free Flow Journaling
You’re now tuned in to a feeling-connection with your baby, and are now ready to explore your thinking-connection.
To do this, set aside twenty to thirty minutes, preferably after you practice the heart-centered meditation, and begin writing. There is no prompt for this writing exercise, just write whatever comes to you, even if you just write, “I don’t know what to write” for the first few minutes.
Let words pour out of you without pausing to analyze spelling, sentence structure, or even the topic you’re writing on – just keep writing.
You’ll likely notice, if you commit to the full time, that interesting and meaningful messages will begin flowing from pen to paper, maybe even messages that don’t seem to be coming from your own mind . . .
4. Becoming Aware of the New Rhythm of Your Thoughts and Desires
The more you tap into your psychic connection with your unborn baby the more you’ll notice the rhythm of your thoughts and desires shifting.
You may start to think about relationships, work, or maybe food in new ways, and notice that you’re having desires for conversations, experiences, or other facets of life that you never had before.
What if these subtle shifts are your baby communicating with you? Maybe this is his way of encouraging you to live a life that will optimally set the two of you up for your new life together – may be.
5. Taking A Few Moments of Stillness Before Acting
Subtle communication, with your intuition or baby, is often missed when you hastily move through life.
To ensure you’re able to honor the messages from your baby, pause before you speak, make decisions, or transition into a new activity. This pause may just last a few moments but can create the space for you to live with greater intention and a heightened awareness of the needs of your baby.
An added benefit of developing this psychic connection with your baby, before they’re born, is that it will make their transition from womb to the outer world smoother for you both. You’ll have a preexisting mode of communication, which will enhance your baby’s ability to “tell you” what they need, and your ability to decipher and respond to those needs.
This enhanced communication will also make the many moments of challenge easier to navigate because you’ll be connected to the bigger picture – that the two of you are co-authoring an epic love story.
P.S. Until 12.31.17 you can get 10% off my favorite baby carrier at ErgoBaby.com! Just use the super simple coupon code BBMkp9VIniU 😉 And, FREE shipping!