Thursday, March 6, 2014

10 Things to Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

I'm currently 40 weeks, 2 days pregnant. Admittedly I'm extremely hormonal, as well as a wee-bit grumpy. This post is a bit of a rant that has been bubbling up inside me since SH and I started telling people our good news.

Throughout my entire pregnancy I've been surprised at things people feel it's OK to say to you. I can only hope I have not been guilty of saying these things in the past (and here is a very public apology if I have!)

In no particular order, here are 10 things never to say to a pregnant woman!

  1. Wow, You Barely Look Pregnant! 
    I know when people say this they mean well. In reality the pregnant woman will feel like she's an inadequate baby-grower. In all likelihood hearing comments like this will make her worry that her baby isn't growing well and trigger neurotic/hormonal calls to her OBGYN.
  2. Wow, You're Huge! You'll Never Make Your Due Date/Are You Sure There Is Only One Baby In There?
    On the flip side, saying she looks huge won't make her feel good either. Best bet, stay away from her weight all together. If you want to say something, how about the good old fashioned "You look great!" 
  3. Enjoy the Quiet/Your Alone Time Now
    I'm going to venture to say anyone who has willingly gotten pregnant, and is excited to meet their bundle of joy, understands things are going to change in a major way. We know it's going to be loud. We know we will be giving up some alone time, especially in the beginning. But when a woman is near or past her due date comments like this are not constructive. In fact, they may make said pregnant woman feel a bit stabby. I may be speaking from experience. 
  4. It Gets Worse/You Think It's Bad Now...Just Wait
    Throughout a pregnancy, if you ask a woman how she's doing/feeling she may be one of those completely honest women who lay it all out there. Some examples: I haven't slept in weeks, I'm so tired! My heartburn is out of control! I can't roll over/get up off the couch. Sure maybe she says these things when she's only 30 weeks pregnant and understands, yes, they will get worse. But you are asking how she is feeling now and those feelings are very, very real. Saying they are going to get worse, also not constructive or in any way helpful. 
  5. How Does <Enter Husband/Boyfriend/Partner's Name Here> Feel About This? 
    Seriously? I'm going to venture to say if a pregnant woman excited about the pregnancy, in a majority of cases her significant other is going to be excited too. And...if he/she is not, is it REALLY any of your business? 
  6. I Didn't Know You Were Trying
    This is one of my favorites....while some women may be open with telling family, close friends or strangers on the street they are trying to get pregnant there are others who keep this info quiet. There may be many reasons, including she's tried in the past and had difficulties and doesn't know if it will ever become a reality. Or maybe she wasn't trying but it happened anyway. This goes back to the, it's really not any of your business and there is no way for the pregnant woman to respond that isn't completely awkward. A simple "congratulations" would be a better option. 
  7. Are You Disappointed It's A Boy/Girl?
    Seriously? Why would anyone ever say this to a pregnant woman? I had a really hard time with people who couldn't accept that I am VERY happy I'm having a boy. I would have also been happy with having a girl. What I want? A healthy, happy baby. There is no disappointment here. And again, MYOB - if I was disappointed would I really want to tell you that? 
  8. When Are You Having Another One? You Can't Only Have One..That's Selfish
    Seriously? Let her have this one first. And if she only wants to have one, that is between her and her husband/boyfriend/partner. You saying its selfish is not going to change her mind. Also, what if said pregnant woman cannot have another one? You never know ones situation. 
  9. Any of Your Negative Pregnancy/Birth/Newborn Baby Stories
    I'm sorry you puked the entire 9 months of your pregnancy. I'm sorry your child's birth was a traumatizing experience for you. I'm sorry you ripped from one end to another. I'm sorry your epidural didn't go as planned. I'm sorry your baby didn't sleep for 9 months. Instead of telling her all the things that went wrong or were hard for you, why don't you try and support the pregnant mom and tell her all the things that went right! The one caveat is if she asks if you have experienced any of these things. That's different, she may want advice and need your support. There is no reason to come right out and offer these things, however. 
  10. You're Going To Breastfeed, Right? 
    I'm not going to touch the mommy-wars here. Look, a woman's choice on how she feeds her baby is one of two things 1) Her choice and her choice only (along with her husband/boyfriend/partner)  2) Not a choice at all. Maybe it's not a possibility for her. Leave it be. If her baby is fed, and healthy, it is none of your concern how she does it. 

What about you? What things have people said to you while you were pregnant that rubbed you the wrong way?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review

My friend Joanna over at Baby Gators Den has done this year-end quiz for the past four years. What a great way to look back over the year and document some memories.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before? 

Found out SH and I are having a baby boy in March 2014!

I had a Materniti21 test done so we knew he was a boy around 12 weeks. When the doctor's office called with the results of the test (negative!) she asked if I wanted to find out the sex. SH and I had decided we did want to know, but it was 9am and I was at work in a small little flex room. I didn't want to find out there by myself. I asked the nurse to call back and leave me a voicemail. She was so sweet to do it. The hard part was waiting ALL DAY, after work (we had an after work team dinner I had to go to) and the long drive home to listen to the voicemail with SH. When she said the test revealed there was a Y chromosome we both paused and looked at each other - I forgot my biology and what that meant. She confirmed that with 100% certainty I could tell my husband that, yes, we were having a BOY! There was a lot of happy celebration.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 

I never make resolutions. Why wait until a new year has started to try and make positive change(s) in your life? Dates are just numbers and personal change/growth should be continual.

A few things I worked on, and will continue to work on:

  • Worry/Stress less about things outside of my control
  • Enjoy time spent with family and friends
  • Pay it forward
  • Lose some weight - not by dieting but by changing my lifestyle/habits
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

Yes! Yes! Yes! 

My brother's wife had a beautiful baby girl in June, one of my best friends from Germany (who married one of my best friends from growing up on the Cape) welcomed a baby girl in July and one of my closest college friends and sorority sisters had a baby boy in November. 

I also had many other friends who gave birth, and know several others who will be giving birth in 2014. Yay! 

4. Did anyone close to you pass away? 

Thankfully, no.

It was one of my biggest fears this year (see working on worry/stress less about things outside of my control).

5. What countries did you visit? 

We went to the Dominican Republic for our 5 year anniversary - back to the same amazing resort where we went on our honeymoon. I'm thankful for that trip for many reasons, not the least of which I think our travel will be kept to a minimum for the next few years.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A job I love and more quality time with loved ones

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 
  • April 15th - My 36th birthday and the day of the Boston Marathon bombing
  • June 5th - 8th - Our anniversary trip to Punta Cana
  • June 26h - The day my niece was born
  • June 28th - The day we found out (for sure) I was pregnant
  • July 10th - The day we first saw the baby's heartbeat
  • August 3rd - The day we told my dad, mom & stepdad and in-laws that we're having a baby!
  • August 24th - The day we told my dad, mom & stepdad and in-laws that we're having a baby boy!
  • September 15th - Mariano Rivera's last game at Fenway Park
  • October 1st - The day of my 18 week UltraSound where we saw baby boy move all around and went shopping for nursery furniture
  • October 12th - Game 1 of the ALCS with my brother (even though we lost)
  • October 24th - Meeting Tim Wakefield
  • October 29th - The day SH first felt the baby kick!
  • October 30th - The Red Sox winning their 3rd World Series since 2004
  • November 9th - Early family Thanksgiving with mom's family
  • Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with family
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 

Creating baby S!

9. What was your biggest failure? 

Probably working too much and not focusing on the more important things in life

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No! Hallelujah! 

Unless you want to count pregnancy-related sicknesses? Like vomiting my way through both my first and second trimesters? Because that really, really sucked. 

11. What was the best thing you bought? 

I've bought lots of cool baby things already, but probably my iPad mini or iPhone 5s. Of course they are the reason I am never on my computer anymore (and part of the reason I haven't been blogging). 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? 

SH for sure. He continues to amaze me every day with how supportive he is of me and our family. I am one lucky woman. 

My mom - she continues to find strength while living with ALS

My stepfather - for taking such amazing care of my mom

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? 

Nobody who is in my close circle, thankfully. 

I am continued to be disgusted by acquaintances and celebrities, but I can't spend time and energy worrying about them. I'm so sick of people who take advantage of their situations and continually seek attention and feel like they are owed something because they are going through a hard time. The end.

14. Where did most of your money go? 

Towards electronics (see the iPad and iPhone above), bills (mortgage, car payment, etc) and baby stuff 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? 

I know this is getting repetitive - but Baby S! 

16. What song will always remind you of 2013? 

Oh jeez. This one is HARD because there are so many:
I could go on and on. Let's leave it at these.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: 
  • Happier or Sadder? Happier overall, but sadder about my mom's declining health 
  • Thinner or Fatter? Ha, well fatter b/c I'm 31 weeks pregnant, but before getting pregnant I had lost 11 lbs and was only a few pounds away from my first goal weight
  • Richer or Poorer? Uh...the same?
18. What do you wish you did more of? 

I wish I spent more quality time with family and also wish I did more organizing around the house before getting pregnant. 

19. What do you wish you did less of? 

Working and worrying about things at work - we don't save lives

20. How did you spend Christmas? 

The Saturday before Christmas we went and bought nursery furniture with my inlaws and then had dinner and opened gifts at their house. 

The Sunday before Christmas we went to Eric's grandfather's house and celebrated with their large (loud) family. 

Christmas Eve we spent with mom & Mike and watched A Christmas Story. 
Christmas Morning we Facetimed with my brother, SIL and niece.
Christmas Afternoon/Evening we spent with my dad and watched my favorite Christmas movie, one Magic Christmas. 

21. Did you fall in love in 2013? 

If possible, I fell more in love with SH and also with my tiny unborn baby (Cletus the Fetus)

22. What was your favorite TV program? 

Ohhh hmmm... Red Sox Baseball, Parenthood (we watched all seasons on OnDemand), Nashville, TheVoice, Survivor

23. Do you have anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? 

I have no time in my life for hate. I don't like several people, but hate? That's a bit extreme. 

24. What was the best book you read? 

Oh man - I love to read and am drawing a complete and total blank right now. How embarrassing. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 

The band Green River Ordinance

26. What did you want and get? 


27. What did you want and not get? 

A job I love

28. What was your favorite film of this year? 

Fast 6 (RIP Paul Walker) and Despicable Me 2

There are a lot of movies I want to see, some of which I anticipate being a favorite including American Hustle (shoutout to the #CorboBoys!) 

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 

I turned 36 (ha, I originally typed 26. Talk about a typo!) on April 15th - the same day as the Boston Marathon Bombing. 

I was working and SH called and told me not to worry, he was fine. I had no idea what he was talking about and he said there was an explosion in the city, but that he was ok. I said "Ok" and hung up. No big deal. 

Then I found out about the bombing at the Marathon and called him back in a panic, but couldn't get through on our cell phones. I called his work number and started freaking out. I knew he was OK, but was so scared about what was happening, and what could happen. 

My friend and co-worker was at the finish line in front of Marathon Sports minutes before the bombs went off. His girlfriend crossed the line just before the disaster. It was such a sad and scary day. 

I convinced SH to take an early train and meet me at work (probably not the smartest idea to get on public transit) and we went to a quiet dinner at PF Changs. 

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? 

Having a job I love (am I a broken record?)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? 

Non-existant! Haha. 

I bought most of my pre-maternity clothes from Ann Taylor, pretty boring. 

I accessorize a lot, especially with necklaces (including my new favorite necklace). 

My maternity favorites are leggings. I never thought I'd be the girl who wore leggings (heck, I probably shouldn't wear them in public) and am eating my words against people who do wear them in public. But holy heck they are the most comfortable thing I own right now. 

32. What kept you sane? 

The love and support of SH and quality time with friends (including our trip to the Jersey Shore this summer). 

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 

I don't really "fancy" celebrities much (I mean I don't mind looking at Ryan Reynolds, (RIP) Paul Walker and Channing Tatum, but I don't know that I fancy them). 

Since Varitek and Mike Lowell and Gabe Kapler are gone I don't fancy Red Sox players like I have in the past. 

Oh! I know. Former NE Patriot Christian Fauria. I totally fancied stalking seeing him twice in the complex where I work. 

34. What political issue stirred you the most? 

I stay as far away from politics as possible. Most recently I've been annoyed at all of the uproar from Si Robertsons comments. I don't agree with him or his stance on race, homosexuality or marriage but I believe people have a right to their own opinions and we don't need to agree with everyone. I also agree that A&E had the right to let him go based on his comments, but again we don't need to make such a big deal about everything. 

35. Who did you miss? 

My sweet baby niece and I always miss my grandparents, even though they passed away 9 and 4 years ago. 

36. Who was the best new person you met? 

Jake, the manager at La-Z-Boy in Warwick. He is one of the most selfless, inspiring people I have ever met. 

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013

Life is short, never take your health for granted and cherish the time you have to spend with family and loved ones. 

I've learned to let go of a lot of the smaller things and focus on what is important. This is the first year I really feel like I've been able to do so. Maybe not 100% of the time, but I've definitely grown in this area a lot. 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
  • "Celebrate we will, for life is short but sweet for certain" - DMB
  • "Live like you were dying" - Tim McGraw

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Forever Touch Fingerprint Jewelry $250 Gift Card Giveaway!

A couple months back, I got a wonderful surprise. I won a $250 gift card to Forever Touch jewelry from my friend Joanna.

I had seen the necklace she had made with her children's fingerprints and totally fell in love with it. With my gift card, I had a solid-silver heart shaped pendant made with my mom's, my dad's and my fingerprints. I am absolutely in love with it.

Yep, I was crying in that picture. The necklace just means so much to me. I will forever have a part of my parents in a beautiful keepsake, close to my heart. 

Working with Virgil and Cynthia was an amazing experience. They help guide you and work hard to make sure you are happy, keeping you updated with their progress every step of the way. 

One of the great things about Forever Touch is that you don't have to be local to get your fingerprint imprints. They will send you an imprint kit with detailed instructions on how to take your own imprint. In fact, I picked up my kit and drove it down to both my mom and dad's houses to get my fingerprints!

I can write more about my experience another time, but for now I know you want to get to the giveaway! 

Joanna is hosting another giveaway for a $250 gift certificate to Forever Touch in honor of Father's Day! Good luck. And if you win? Please promise to come back and tell me what you choose! 

Father's Day Gift Ideas (that won't be donated to Goodwill next year)giveaway hosted by Baby Gators Den

Father's Day is only a few weeks away and I've already started racking my brain for gift ideas for my husband. How can I find something special enough for the man who is such a loving father to my two children? I don't want to give some golf balls or something that's going to last a year or two then get tossed into a donate pile during the next basement purge. I want to give the fathers in my life something that they will hold close to their heart and treasure for a lifetime. Some of my most prized possessions are pieces of jewelry or keepsakes passed down from past generations because when I hold them I feel a connection to my great-grandmother or whomever it belonged to. So when you're thinking about Father's Day gift ideas for your husband, dad or grandpa this year, think outside the box. Wouldn't it be amazing to give them something that they can feel a connection to you and your children at any time or place? I've written about Forever Touch before and how much I love their keepsakes and jewelry. They can make whatever your heart desires for the father in your life. Just think about how special it will be for not only them, but future generations in your family.
Father's Day Gift Ideas (that won't be donated to Goodwill next year)
The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas that Forever Touch can design for you:
  • pendants
  • bracelets
  • cuff links
  • money clips
  • tie bars
  • tie tack
  • key rings
  • paper weight
  • whatever you can dream up, they can make...
The owners of Forever Touch, Virgil and Cynthia, are some of the kindest people I have ever met. Not only can they create one-of-a-kind keepsakes that will be treasured forever, but they make it an absolute pleasure to work with them. If you live in Rhode Island, you can visit their Cranston showroom (935 Park Ave., Cranston, RI 02910) but if you live out of state they can make the process just as easy by mailing you everything you need to make your keepsake. Give them a call at (401) 467-6880 or visit them on Facebook to talk with them about your one-of-a-kind gift.
Visit Forever Touch to learn more at:
I'm very excited to be able to giveaway a $250 gift certificate to Forever Touch to a lucky reader. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. There are multiple ways to earn an entry and the more you enter, the better your chances! Best of luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sit-A-Thon for Belle

There are many words I don't like. Cancer is at the top of that list.

I was devastated when I found out a fellow Rhody Blogger's 2 1/2 year old daughter, Belle, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). You can read Melissa's heartbreaking story about learning of her daughter's diagnosis here:

Rhody Bloggers immediately came together to find a way to help Belle and her family. A group of us have teamed up with La-Z-Boy in Warwick, RI to host a 48-hour Sit-A-Thon to raise money to help cover Belle's increasing medical costs.

If you are local, please consider stopping by La-Z-Boy and participating in some family-friendly activities to support sweet Belle (more information and a full schedule of events can be found here). You may even be lucky enough to see her!

If you aren't local, you can still help! A YouCaring page has been set up in honor of Belle. 100% of donations received will go towards covering Belle's medical expenses.

A special shout-out and thank you to Jen, Melissa and La-Z-Boy for all of their hard work organizing this event! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

How Did You Get Your Name?

My Rhody Blogger friend, Carla, has started a new series on her blog called Mom Before Mom. She wants to make sure her daughters get a chance to know her as not only mom, but the person she was before she became mom. I think it's a brilliant idea.

I've bought more books than you can count trying to get my grandparents and parents to document the stories that helped them become that person I love. Unfortunately it's too late to get those stories for some of them now. And while I don't have children, I love the idea of documenting my history. My stories.

Every week Carla is going to provide a writing prompt, and I'm thrilled to take part.

Prompt #1: How did you get your name? Did you always love it? Have you ever wanted to change it?

Image customized here

Sarah (pron.: /ˈsɛərə/)
The Hebrew name Sarah indicates a woman of high rank and is translated as "princess."

There is no romantic story behind how I got my first name. I wasn't named after a beloved family member or friend. There was no favorite artist, musician or actress that inspired my moniker. My parents chose to name me Sarah simply because they liked the name.

It turns out, my paternal great-grandmother was also named Sarah but I was not named after her.

My middle name is the same as my mother's and my beloved Aunt Anne (though I would always tell her she spelled it wrong, hers was the traditional spelling).

I've always liked my name. While at times I found it a bit boring and traditional, I loved that it meant Princess. It was a name that never embarrassed me, there weren't a lot of Sarah's in my classes (though it was the 11th most popular name the year I was born). It wasn't unique where people had a hard time trying to pronounce it.

I never had a cool nickname growing up. Sure, my mom called me RahRah, my dad lovingly called me Strawberry Shortcake and my grandfather always made me feel special by calling me Miss America, but I had no real nickname.

On the first day of school when the teachers took role call, I could never say "Excuse me, Mrs. X, please call me "some-super-cool-nickname". I was always just Sarah. And you know what? That's not all bad because while I may have felt a bit slighted my face never got red when the teacher called Aphrodite and my shy friend would say "Please, call me DeeDee." Note: there is absolutely nothing wrong with the name Aphrodite, it's beautiful, but was embarrassing for my friend when we were younger.

I tried to get a few nicknames to catch on, most notably Sam (my initials growing up) and Sa. Some close friends would call me Sam, but never on the regular and to this day only two people call me Sa (my neighbor Karen, who I would call Ka, and her dad).

As I'm sitting here I am remembering a pin that my grandparents brought me home as a souvenir from their trip to Hawaii (where, no doubt they went to see Penn State play in a bowl game). It was a white pin in the shape of a heart with a rainbow on it. It said Sarah and in smaller letters underneath is said Kala. The Hawaiin spelling of Sarah. I think I tried to get people to call me Kala for a while. In my high school German class I chose the name Soraya thinking it was the German spelling of Sarah (though honestly, I'm not sure that it is). I had an ex who was from Colombia and I liked when he would call me Sarita. Little Sarah. So while I never had a steady nickname, I did have quite a few different ones from different people.

Perhaps the thing that bothered me most about my name is when people would spell it wrong. Sara. That just looks wrong to me. It would annoy me if they would have ask "Sarah with an 'h'?" Yes, that is the correct way to spell it. It would annoy me more if they just left the h off.  I get the irony since my middle name is spelled Ann.

I never had dreams of changing my name. I would sometimes wish there was an i so I could draw it with a cute little heart over top, or that I had a cool androgynous name like Alex. I  always loved my Australian pen-pal's name Jocelyn, but I never really wanted to change mine. I figured when the time came I could adorn my baby girl with one of those adorable and less-traditional names. Funny thing, the older I get the more I'm drawn back to traditional names.

I found it cool that there were so many songs about Sarah's.

The only part of my name that was difficult growing up was my last name. It was an easy name to tease. I never felt it was quite right because it was such an Irish name, while the majority of the heritage I knew about is German (funny enough, my married name is German though my husband's heritage is majority Irish).

For that reason, I didn't have a hard time changing in when I got married even though I married into a mouthful of a name that nobody can spell or pronounce.

I didn't feel like I lost a connection with my family by changing my name. I'm so close with them it went beyond the name; we've got blood. With my new family my new name gave me an instant connection and I kind of loved that.
What about you? How did you get your name? Hop on over to Carla's blog to link up your story!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Thursday 11-1-2012

thankful (Photo credit: madison faith)
My friend Joanna over at Baby Gators Den has been hosting a Thankful Thursday linkup for a few weeks now. I've been wanting to join since I heard about it, but as you may or may not have noticed I needed to step away from the blog for a little while to help out with some family obligations.

The horrible devastation from Hurricane Sandy has really helped put things back in perspective for me. Sure life is challenging right now, but I am extremely thankful for how great my life really is. This quote really hits home, "It's not happy people who are thankful, it's thankful people who are happy" ~unknown

So this week, I am thankful: 
  • All my friends, family and loved ones are safe and didn't lose their homes, or more importantly their lives, during hurricane Sandy. My heart goes out to each and every person who has been affected by this disaster. I can't help but get teary every time I see pictures of Breezy Point, hear stories of looting and yes..even seeing the roller coaster from Jersey Shore's Seaside Heights in the water
  • That we never lost power, any trees, or had any flooding from Sandy. I'm especially thankful after what we went through with hurricane Irene
  • Even though I can't be thankful for the health of all of my loved ones, I can be thankful that I'm able to embrace every moment we spend together
  • On a less serious note...I'm seriously thankful for sparkling water
What are you thankful for this week? Hop on over to Joanna's blog and link up
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Pup Loves Pup