Archive for February, 2009

Plugs for my peeps

February 26, 2009

So in addition to blogging about life and impending motherhood here, I have been contributing to a blog for working moms known as Work It. I was asked by the editor of this site if I would be interested in reviewing a product appropriate for someone expecting a newborn. I said sure. A little free swag and a chance to write about something relevant to me as a soon-to-be mom? Why not.

So I did my first official review. I enjoyed this a lot and hope that I helped the company and the blog’s readers by providing an honest assessment of the product. I should mention that in my professional life we do some outreach to mommy bloggers on behalf of our clients. So often I am on the other end of these exchanges trying to track down interested moms and send them relevant product for reviews.

As I’ve visited many of these mommy blogs, I’ve noticed most of these women have a policy on whether they’ll accept product samples, whether they want to be compensated for their review, etc. I have no such formal policy as of yet since I don’t know if anyone cares what I have to say about anything! I’ve never been a mom before. Everything I see at Babies ‘R’ Us seems like something I need (someone please help me before I deplete my savings on pacifiers and baby blankets), and I only recently learned what Dreft was—to think I almost washed baby’s clothes in regular detergent!

But in all honesty, I think it’s great that companies are reaching out to real consumers as long as it’s entirely transparent on both sides. It’s fabulous to see women looking to other women in similar situations for advice even though they’re complete strangers. I actually got a baby shower gift idea, the book Humpty Who?, from perusing a mommy blog and accompanying video promoted on mommysavers.com. So this word-of-mouth stuff shared via mommy blogs really does work.

And since I’m full of endorsements and recommendations today, I thought I’d plug one more thing. My brother-in-law started a blog where people can write in to share where they saw God today. I’ve added it to my blogroll, and I encourage you to check it out for a few minutes of feel-good reading to help you get through your day. Heck, we could all use a reminder every now and the of just what makes it all worthwhile.

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My two cents

February 24, 2009

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A few of my mommy friends have posted a link to this column on their Facebook pages in the last couple of days. I was intrigued to see it appear more than once, so I took a closer look. The question poser has a legitimate (in my opinion) question although she could have asked it more tactfully as Ms. Hax points out. But I do feel Ms. Hax was a bit harsh in her response. Rather than try to illustrate in a meaningful way why moms are so darn busy, Ms. Hax, I fear, may have only fanned the flames of misunderstanding that exists between moms and their non-mom friends. After all, this non-mom just wants to spend more time with her pal. Here intentions are in the right place.

As I face the imminent prospect of working motherhood, I fear my windows of opportunity for catching up with friends will significantly diminish. In fact, I know they will. My concern is how not to incite the kind of resentment in my friends that the woman who drafted this letter obviously feels toward her friends who are mommies. After all, most of my friends don’t have kids yet. I don’t want the presence of my offspring in our lives to put a wedge between us, but is this asking for the impossible?

To answer this question, I turned to the Internet and began Googling “friendship after motherhood.” Surprisingly, there are many opinions out there, and this is a much written about the issue. In fact, two women have even written a book on this very topic. Known as Motherhood Confidential, The Strange Disappearance of My Best Friend, a Rashomon-style Odyssey of Trials by Parenthood, the book poses the question “does sisterhood stand a chance against parenthood?”

As I mulled that question over in my head (all the while imagining myself as a present day Carrie Bradshaw contemplating this mysterious question while gazing out the window contemplatively), I kept coming back to one example of a friend who has been a mom for more than three years and who is always spearheading our girls’ outings, planning our book club gatherings and regularly calling and e-mailing me with updates on good books, new movies to see, etc. She has made it work so well despite now having two kids, a husband, a home to manage and a full-time job. She is probably one of the best examples of someone I know who is making a concerted effort to be a good parent and a good friend.

Now I realize that there are always extenuating circumstances. Some kids are more high-maintenance than others and require more of their mom’s time. I also understand that not everyone has babysitting options. And it’s true that some people have ill parents to look after in addition to their little ones. Bottom line—no one has it easy when it comes to balancing this thing we call life. But if I can take a page out of my friend’s mommy operating manual and make a conscious effort to be a good parent and a good friend, maybe, just maybe, I can keep my friends from feeling the need to write into an advice column about me.

Thoughts?

Fat face photos not for me

February 17, 2009

I completely agree that pregnancy is beautiful. But I’m not so sure it’s beautiful on me. My friends, many of whom live in other states, keep asking me to send them photos of my pregnant self. I have been reluctant to do so thus far. I am not exactly a pretty pregger. Meaning, I have gained weight in areas other than simply my gut, namely my face. But also my ankles. Yes, folks I am retaining water as they say!

And while I know my symptoms will go away after delivery, I don’ t exactly want to be the star of any photos during this time. Sure, I posed for pictures at my baby shower and other family events, but I am by no means seeking out the camera.

And lately, I’ve started to wonder if I am being completely selfish. Several people I know have had professional pregnancy pictures taken showcasing their pregnant bellies, and the radiant time that is pregnancy. It’s kind of cool. But me, I don’t want anything to do with a photo shoot. It even took me a few days to build up the courage to open the Snapfish photos my sister sent me from my baby shower. (I have issues. I know this.)

But I’d be curious to hear what the blogosphere has to say about this. Am I alone? Am I selfish for not capturing this time forever in film for my children to look back on when flipping through their baby books, or are others excited about the birth of their babies but in no way eager to document their growing bodies on film?

Note to self

February 17, 2009

I’ve got about six weeks to go before D-day (delivery day). I will soon be someone’s mom (gasp)! This is kind of a scary proposition to me. Though I am 30, I often feel every bit the child I was 20 years ago. As I visited with my mom yesterday, I hugged her and said aloud, “I can’t be nearly as good at this as you have been.” She assured me I would. Though I am not sure I agree, I will give it my best go.

Today, I decided to write a letter to myself reminding me of special things my mom did with me that I need to replicate with my daughter so she feels as special as I always have in my mom’s eyes. Here goes.

Dear Jacquie,

You can do this! You can be a good mom. If you give it your all, you may even be a more than good. In addition to all the every day support and caring you give your child each day, be sure to make her feel extra special with simple but heartfelt gestures that she may not remember to thank you for but will always cherish. For example,

• Take her to feed the ducks, just you and her.

• Even though you’ll be a working mom, take days off to be a chaperone/driver on school field trips and to attend school plays. She may not admit it, but she’ll love that you were there.

• When she’s old enough to appreciate it, go for mom-daughter manicures and pedicures. Make her feel like a princess.

• On Valentine’s Day, make her a handmade Valentine letting her know she’s the apple of your eye.

• When she goes off to sleepover camp, send her letters before she even departs so she has one or two waiting for her when she arrives.

• Learn to sew even a basic pattern so that some day when she needs an elf hat for the Christmas pageant, you can make her one, and she can tell the other kids, “my mom made this for me!”

• Be her biggest fan on the field and off, in school and out.

• Surprise her with her favorite cookies for no reason at all.

You can do this. You will get as much, if not more, from it than she will. Good luck!

-Jacquie (at 34 weeks)

Attention all long-legged preggers…

February 12, 2009

picture1You know who you are! You’re regularly asked how tall you are. You’ve been peppered a million times with questions about which high school sports you played (volleyball or basketball are the likely answers). You can rarely, if ever, buy pants off the rack. You know every single retail chain that carries a “tall” or “long” line of clothes, and you thank God for them every day.

But now you’re preggers, and you have the doubly difficult task of finding pants that are long enough and that will fit a pregnant body. I won’t sugar coat it—it’s going to be tough. If you’re like me, you’ll invest in a Bella Band to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy pants as long as possible. But that will only go so far.

Here’s a round-up of retailers that carry pants for us Amazons. If you know of some I’ve missed, please, please leave the name of the outlet in the comments so we can all reap the benefits of one more option when it comes to maternity leg-wear!

Gap.com: Check out its maternity section. I keep reading on other sites that Gap.com carries tall maternity pants with a 36” inseam, but I have yet to see them on the site. They do offer several 34” inseam options though.

JCPenney.com: JCPenney’s online maternity options are easy on the wallet and include lengths that run into the 34-34.5” inseam range.

Nordstrom.com: The maternity section of the site carries James Jeans 34” inseam, Paige Premium Jeans 34.5” inseam, Rock & Republic Jeans 35.5” inseam, Citizens of Humanity Jeans 34.5” inseam and Maternal America pants with a 34” inseam.

Tallgirlshop.com: While I don’t have personal experience with this site, I’ve seen it mentioned on blogs and Web sites as another option for us long-legged ladies.

I’ve also been thinking about buying one or two jogging suits/yoga pant sets for after the baby is born to bum around in the first few weeks. I know I’ll want only comfortable clothes to touch my body. I recently noticed that Eddie Bauer has a ton of clothing options for us tallies, including some loungewear that may just fit the bill for those first few weeks post-delivery. They run a bit on the pricey side, but heck our battle-weary crotches deserve it!

So cute!

February 12, 2009

I love dogs. I love babies. Put ’em together, and I’m mush.

Loved this clip from the “Bonnie Hunt Show” that I found on another mommy blog (Mommy Thoughts–thanks for posting)!

The Circle of Life

February 10, 2009

I went to my oldest friend’s dad’s funeral today. I saw her sister, mom and brother who I hadn’t seen in six years. I saw her parents’ friends whose lake house I fondly remember visiting with her during a weekend trip to the other side of the state. I saw my old high school guidance counselor. I saw my friend’s aunts, uncles and cousins whose faces I recognized from weddings, graduation parties and family gatherings at which I too was an attendee.

It was a mid-February day, and the meteorologists were promising a record-breaking 60 degree forecast. The Serenity Prayer, a classic reminder of what we can and can’t control, graced the back of the funeral prayer card. The cantor led us in the classic hymns of “On Eagle’s Wings” and “Amazing Grace.”

The limited leg room in our small pew kept us from kneeling during the Eucharistic prayer. So I leaned forward in my seat instead. Baby kicked. And kicked again. And a third time. She was unusually active for late morning. Typically, she waits until evening or until I recline at the end of the day to unleash her dance moves.

Perhaps she was trying to get more comfortable in the small space she calls home. Perhaps she was peeved at me for eating a small breakfast. Or better yet, perhaps she was reminding me that as one life was ending another was beginning. Perhaps.

They say to look around at funerals, and chances are you’ll see a pregnant mum-to-be. It’s almost as if God is reminding us that life goes on and so shall we.

Moms–it’s just what they do

February 3, 2009

Before I go on maternity leave next month, I want to leave my office and files in order. So I have started the slow process of cleaning out my e-mail while neatly labeling file folders. As part of my e-mail clean-up, I came upon the clip below that my mom forwarded me last Mother’s Day.

I am a huge fan of animals and have a very soft spot for baby animals in particular, so I of course loved the video and saved it in my personal e-mail folder. Having just stumbled upon it again–and now being seven months pregnant myself–I feel a special connection to the video. You’ll note the narrator saying toward the end of the video “Moms–it’s just what they do.” I can’t wait to experience that instinct for my new little one.

Enjoy!