Sunday, July 31, 2011

Special Guest Sunday: San Francisco

Only in San Francisco would they try to make male circumcision illegal. The proposed ballot was to prevent any male under the age of 18 from having a circumcision. The group for this ballot explained that the genital mutilation was not permitted by the boys since they are under age.

Since I don't have any boys, I haven't made a decision on if they will be circumcised or not, however, I believe that should be my choice as a parent. I choose what to feed my children, if I want to vaccinate, where they go to school, when they go to bed, and basically every other decision for their well being.
So here is the article I found this past week.

It's Official: Circumcision Ban Cut From Ballot

The initiative did not offer exemptions for religious rituals such as the Jewish bris or Muslim khitan.

Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 | Updated 6:13 PM PDT
It's Official: Circumcision Ban Cut From Ballot

The common practice of circumcision would have been a crime.O

A San Francisco trial judge removed a proposed ban on male circumcision from the city's November ballot.

Superior Court Judge Loretta Giorgi made a tentative ruling final Thursday morning, saying that the proposed law prohibiting circumcision of male children violates a California law that makes regulating medical procedures a function of the state, not cities.

"It serves no legitimate purpose to allow a measure whose invalidity can be determined as a matter of law to remain on the ballot after such a ruling has been made," Giorgi stated.

The initiative would have banned the circumcision of males younger than 18 in city and county of San Francisco. And if you were caught circumcising a child, it would have been a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to a year in jail, with no exemptions for religious bounds.

During a hearing on Thursday, Michael Kinane, an attorney for the proponents, argued circumcision was not a medical procedure. He also said the ballot measure included an exception in cases where circumcision was needed for health reasons

Giorgi was not swayed by those arguments.

San Francisco would have been the first city in the nation to hold a public vote on whether to outlaw the circumcision of minors.

Backers of the ballot measure had argued the ban was necessary to prevent a form of genital mutilation from being forced on children. Kinane pointed out Thursday that the federal government bans female circumcision.

Critics contended the initiative posed a threat to constitutionally protected religious freedoms and cited comic books and trading cards distributed by the measure's proponents that carried images of a blonde, blue-eyed superhero and four evil Jewish characters

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fashion Friday: Prego

Love this simple little scrabble tile necklace.
Don't you??

Not only does the Belly Charms store on Etsy have these necklaces, she makes all sorts of pregnant, mother and baby charms. So sweet. Check out her store.

Found on Etsy HERE

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wild Wednesday: More Celebrity Moms

Did you ever see the Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake??

She is coming out with a new movie soon. It has a lot of interviews with celebrities.
Find the Article HERE

Morissette details birth experience

Alanis Morissette. (WENN.COM file photo)

Alanis Morissette and Gisele Bundchen are among the stars who have opened up about their birthing experiences for Ricki Lake's new documentary.

The Ironic hitmaker and her rapper husband MC Souleye became proud parents to son Ever on Christmas Day, while Brazilian model Gisele welcomed baby Benjamin in 2009.

Both stars, along with actress Molly Ringwald, who gave birth to twins in 2009, will detail their labour for Lake on her new show More Business of Being Born, which debuts online next month.

Lake tells, "Gisele talks about her water home birth. The C-section rate in Brazil is very high, so she is totally going against the grain. She was incredibly articulate and beyond gorgeous.

"We filmed Alanis Morissette twice: Before she had her baby and after. Molly's story is incredible. She had a twin delivery at an advanced age and the second was a footling breech vaginal delivery, which is almost unheard of today because doctors aren't taught to do that. They go usually right to the C-section."

And there could be one more star guest making an appearance on the series.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trusting Tuesday: Centering Pregnancy

Have you heard of it? Centering pregnancy isn't a new idea or concept, but it is slowly being introduced around the country. Here in Arizona I know of at least 3 OBGYN/ Midwife practices that are participating in Group Prenatal Care, or Centering Pregnancy.

Centering pregnancy is where a group of expecting mothers and their partners meet for prenatal care as a group. They are all due within the same month so they are all going through their pregnancy together.

There are a some pros and cons to centering pregnancy. To find the position statement from the American College of Nurse Midwives click HERE

I think there are more pros then cons. You get your individual care, you learn about what to expect and you interact with women who are going through the same thing as you are.

Besides- when was the last time your prenatal visit was 2 hours long??!?! (homebirth mama's don't answer this question!!) Most OB appointments are somewhere around 5-15 minutes. Sometimes longer if needs be, but there really isn't a lot of time to talk about "normals" that you are experiencing. Individual appointments are to rule out any problems, but in group settings there is also time to talk about individual things one on one with a midwife.

All I know is that I trust the centering pregnancy program and I think it is a wonderful program for expectant mothers. It may not be offered or it may not be right for you, but take a look into it and support it where available.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mommy Monday: Prayers

Do you pray with your children?

I do.
Until about a year ago I always told my daughter what to say in her prayer and then she would repeat after me.

Slowly she started learning how to pray on her own.
It wasn't until recently when she REALLY started learning to pray on her own.
I am talking about "Please let me mommy have a baby" kind of prayers.
(that prayer lasted about 3 weeks... she has since quit praying for that... for now)

A few nights ago she prayed that we would be able to ride horses tomorrow.

Lucky for her, Grandma heard this prayer.

I want to teach my daughter about prayers. I want her to know that there is a power out there, I call it God. Some call it the universe, some call it karma, some call it energy, positive thinking, or whatever... but in the end I want her to know that her prayers aren't wasted. They aren't for nothing.

But I also want her to be realistic.
The baby thing... yes, someday it will happen. Some day her prayer will be answered.


Tonight when she prayed that we could find a real unicorn and ride it... I don't know how to gently let her down that no matter how much she prays that might not work out in her favor.

unless I visit a carousel...

How far do you go to help little prayers get answered??

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Special Guest Sunday: Parker's Birth Story

I woke up Saturday, July 2nd at 3:30 am excited. I felt a few contractions and I was so happy- I didn't know if it meant he would be here soon, but I was just happy to feel my body working to have a baby. They were not painful at all- and had no rhyme or reason to their timing- at least from what I could tell- and I fell back asleep...
Brett got up at 6:45 am to go golfing, I told him I was having mild, irregular contractions but that he should still go golfing- it took some persua
ding from me, but he went.
While he was gone I went on a walk, showered, got ready all without noticing any contractions- so I started thinking they weren't going to come anymore- and that was it for the day.

Brett got home from golf around 10:30 am- neither of u
s wanted to dwell to much on the possibility of having the baby that day, we didn't want to get our hopes up. So we decided to go to the mall, have lunch and walk around- turns out we ended up meeting one of Brett's best friends at the mall, and we chatted with him for a couple hours- helping the time fly.

After we said goodbye to his friend and we were heading home, it was 5 pm and my contractions were definitely becoming consistent and stronger.

For those of you who didn't know, I was planning on go
ing through my birth using hypno-birthing. Which is when you use methods you have practiced over the course of your pregnancy to bring yourself into a deep state of relaxation- and enjoy a calm, peaceful atmosphere of dim lights and soft music as you bring your baby into the world medication free.

We started keeping track of my contractions, meaning writing them down, around 6:30 pm. By then they were about 9 min apart and I c
ould talk through them-
They gradually got closer together and by 8 pm they were about 5-6 min apart.

Since 6:30 pm I had been listening to my relaxation music and trying to be sure I was relaxed- and calm, making it easier for my body to do it's job.
We did this for 2 more hours- timing contractions, relaxing and talking between contractions.
I was happy- Brett was happy, and we were beginning
to realize that our baby was coming closer!

By 10 pm I couldn't talk through contractions anymore- they were very strong and intense. At 10:30 I told Brett it was time to go- we got in the car (in between contractions, because I couldn't move during a contraction) and headed to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital- luckily I was pre-registered- so we walked to the front desk, she asked me a question (can't remember what it was)- I jus
t know I didn't answer as a contraction came I leaned over and put my head on the desk while Brett took over the questions.

They brought us to a room- I changed- they strapped heart beat monitors on my belly to hear baby's heart beat and watch contractions. The nurse
checked my cervix and got a really confused look on her face.

"hmmm, I can't seem to find your cervix" - "Let me go get another nurse"-
The other nurse came in, got the same expression on her face and said,
"umm, I think she's at a 9"

With this information I was relieved. We had wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but it being my first pregnancy I had no idea what to expect f
rom my body- I was happy to hear my body had done it's job.

From that moment on things turned into a mad rush around us.
Nurses were running around, bringing in tables, gear, and other nurses.
One nurse asked if I was planning on going un-medicated, when I told her I was she said it was a good thing- not sure I would have had time for medication.

They called my doctor at home, since she wasn't on call that night. My doctor was 37 1/2 weeks pregnant herself, but got up from bed and came straight to the hospital because she wanted to deliver my baby. I love my doctor!

Since we got there with such little time to prep, the nurse had to ask me all sorts of questions between contractions- allergies, medications, medical history- I answered in the beginning, but about after 15 min- Brett took ov
er the answering.

It took me about another hour to dilate to a 10- and then my doctor came in and asked if I wanted to push or let him come.

I wanted to push. By this time the most intense pain I was feeling was my lower back. It was the worst pain I felt my whole labor and delivery. I couldn't change positions- I tried standing, sitting, anything to help ease my back pain but it wasn't h
elping. I found the best position was on my side while Brett pushed on my lower back for counter-pressure.

Brett was amazing during this whole process- he had my music going, lights dimmed, and was doing anything/everything I asked him, fanned me, stopped fanning me, pushed on my knees- anything. He kept encouraging me and stayed right by my side the whole time- I loved it.

After I told the doctor I wanted to push- we began tha
t process and it was an hour of pushing until we saw our baby boy.

There is nothing to compare to the feeling of seeing your baby for the first time.
It really is such a miracle- and I was over-whelmed with love for him.

Parker was blue- the cord was loosely around his neck- he was placed on me for about 3 seconds before the doctor said, that's good enough, and told the nurse to get him to the respiratory therapist ASAP. She was worried, whi
ch made us worried.

The nurse literally picked Parker up by his ankles, whirled around and dropped him on the respiratory nurses table. They began sucking stuff out of his lungs, nose, mouth and I still barely heard a peep. Brett went over to the table, watching the nurse and began talking to Parker- Parker turned around at the sound of Brett's voice and began crying. It was a happy sound!

Then our lives changed forever, and were so happy an
d emotional to meet our new son and make our family, a family of 3!!

Choosing to go un-medicated was a choice I had made before I went into labor- during labor and pushing I can't lie and say I never thought, "wow, this would be great without pain"- but after it was all said and done, I am so thankful I delivered this way-
It was amazing to feel my body do all the work and function the way it was supposed to.

We love you Parker, and are so overwhelmi
ngly happy you are here!

(My awesome labor looks gown was a baby shower gift-
I decided to wear it after I had the baby- I loved it, and so did all the nurses!
Thanks Wagners! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mommy Monday: Laborlooks Planning

This weekend I am in my hometown of Napa, California to do some business planning.

Well, that and some vacationing.

And some eating HERE and HERE

But seriously, a lot of business planning for our upcoming events, trade shows, and possibly a few new marketing ideas will be implemented.

So there might be a little blog hiatus this week. Because around all of this business stuff we will be loving on these sweet things! COUSIN LOVE!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Rising Hospital Costs

Let me just tell you how happy and thankful I am for insurance. No joke, this week I just paid off the last of my hospital bill for when I gave birth to my 2 year old daughter.
(does this mean I can't return her??)

Here is my state at a glance
California- Here

Find the Article HERE


The following charts present data about average facility charges for labor and birth in individual states. Average charges are provided for four birth outcomes: uncomplicated vaginal birth, complicated vaginal birth, uncomplicated cesarean, and complicated cesarean. Data are only available for states that participate in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, a voluntary program administered by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Where available, data on birth center charges for uncomplicated vaginal birth are also presented. These charts demonstrate significant variation across sites, birth methods, and states, summarized in the companion:Quick Facts.

ArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoFloridaHawaiiIllinoisIowaKansasKentuckyMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMissouriNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaOklahomaOregonRhode IslandSouth CarolinaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

View national average charges for the United States.

View a compendium of all states as a PDF or in Slideshare.


Compared with other states in this group:

  • Maryland hospitals consistently charged the lowest amount for all methods of delivery except uncomplicated vaginal birth, and in all years. Even for uncomplicated vaginal birth, charges in Maryland were $3000 below the national average from 2007-2009. Other states with consistently low charges are West Virginia, Utah, Vermont, and Maine.
  • New Jersey hospitals consistently charged the highest amount for all methods of delivery, and in all years except for complicated cesarean birth in 2009. Even then, New Jersey hospitals charged more than $14,000 above the national average. Other states with consistently high charges are California,Florida, Rhode Island and Nevada.

Charges for uncomplicated vaginal births grew by 7% from 2007 to 2008, with an average increase of $503, and by 8% from 2008 to 2009 with and average increase of $623. For all years, Kansas, West Virginia, and Vermont experienced the largest percentage increases.

Charges for complicated vaginal births grew by 7% from 2007 to 2008, with an average increase of $715, and by 8% from 2008 to 2009 with an average increase of $835. Charges in Rhode Island demonstrated the largest percentage increase from 2007 to 2008, growing by 23%. Charges in Vermont showed the largest percentage increase from 2008-2009, growing by 19%.

Charges for uncomplicated cesarean births grew by 2% from 2007 to 2008, with an average increase of $250, and by 8% from 2008 to 2009, with an average increase of $1,100. From 2007 to 2008 Kentucky showed the largest percentage growth with charges increasing by 13%. From 2008-2009, Wyoming by far showed the largest percentage growth, with charges increasing by 38%.

Charges for complicated cesarean births showed the largest increases from year to year in both percentage and absolute terms, growing by 8% from 2007 to 2008 with an average increase of $1,356, and by 9% from 2008 to 2009 with an average increase of $1538. From 2007 to 2008 Kentucky and Tennessee showed the largest percentage increases, growing by 16% and 15% respectively. From 2008 to 2008Wyoming and Vermont showed the largest percentage increases, growing by 33% and 20% respectively.

Data Source: U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUPnet, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Rockville, MD: AHRQ. Available at:

*Note: This sheet contains information for 33 states. Fifteen states do not share information with HCUP and two states, Illinois and New Mexico, only provide information for 2009.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wild Wednesday: 16 lb Newborn

This is WILD! Have you seen this article on a 16lb newborn??? HERE

Big birth announcement: couple welcomes a 16-pound baby boy

This bundle of joy must be bringing an extra helping of happiness: a couple in Texas are the proud parents of 16-pound, 1-ounce, 2-foot-long JaMichael Brown.

At 9:05 Friday morning, Janet Johnson and Michael Brown welcomed their son at Longview's Good Shepherd Medical Center. JaMichael, who was quickly nicknamed "the Moose," is the largest child ever born in the hospital—and possibly the state.

So exactly how big is a 16-pound baby? Let's put it this way: The average newborn is about seven-and-a-half pounds. The Brown baby's weight is just about equivalent to that of a six-month-old.

In a video for the "Today" show, JaMichael's parents said they had been told by doctors to expect a big baby, maybe 12 or 13 pounds, before the scheduled Cesarean birth. The 39-year-old mother suffered from gestational diabestes, which can result in or indicate bigger birth weights. Exactly how much bigger was the huge surprise.

As large as JaMichael is, there have been heftier newborns. The heaviest baby, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was born in Ohio in 1879 and weighed 23 pounds, 12 ounces.

More recently, a newborn nicknamed "giant baby" (born 2005 in Brazil) weighed in at 17 pounds. (The baby was delivered by C-section to the 38-year-old mother, who was also diabetic.)

But a bruiser of a baby born in Indonesia in 2009 tipped the scales at 19.2 pounds—setting a record for the country and capturing global attention on the Web. We sure hope the record stands for a long time.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mommy Monday: Things for a Toddler

I found this article on toddler gear- any input??

Toddler Gear: The Only 5 Items You Need

A while back I wrote about the only five baby items a new mom needs. Now that my daughter is nearly two, I'm ready to update my list for a toddler's needs. First time parents may be surprised by the items I can live without. And the money I save.

I came up with my baby list when I was forced to temporarily move out of my apartment when my younger daughter was just three months old. I had to pack up in a hurry and only took the bare essentials. I discovered that I never missed all the other gear that littered my living room and kitchen.

Once again, a temporary move has inspired me to live with as little child related stuff as possible. And like the first experience, I don't miss the plastic toys and other gear at all. So what can't I live without? Here are the only five items the toddler set needs:

1. Car Seat

Unless you plan to stay home all summer, you'll need a car seat. If you haven't already done so, you'll also need to upgrade your infant seat to a larger one to safely accommodate your growing child. And don't forget, experts recommend you buy a new car seat rather than borrow a used one since safety standards are constantly changing.

2. Crib

Even though my toddler manages to nap on a cot at day care, she still needs a crib at night. My pediatrician recently reminded me that parents need to shift their kids to a toddler bed or purchase a crib tent once their youngsters start climbing out of their cribs.

3. Stroller

Personally, I find a stroller indispensable because I live in New York City and walk everywhere. Once I move to the suburbs, I may feel differently. But I imagine a set of wheels are helpful no matter where you live since little feet tire easily.

3. Sippy Cups

Drinking from an open cup can be tricky for young toddlers. Many can do it, but not without frequent spills. So unless you like cleaning up after your child, some form of sippy or straw cup is quite helpful.

4. Potty

When a toddler starts showing signs she's ready to get rid of her diapers, you'll want a potty to help make the process move along more smoothly.

5. Crayons

Hands down, my favorite toddler toy is a simple box of crayons. Steal some paper from your printer and you can transform your little mess maker into a regular Picasso. You can also ditch the flashcards and use the crayons to illustrate your own alphabet and set of numbers.

Of course, you'll also need clothing and diapers. But I didn't include these on the list since I don't consider them toddler gear.

You're also probably thinking I forgot about the high chair, changing table and even the toddler utensils. Nope. I let my daughter sit on a regular chair at the dining room table. I change her diapers on a towel on the bed. (Sometimes I just do it while she's standing up in the bathroom.) And she's quite happy using our regular silverware, provided she gets a salad fork and tea spoon.

Finally, I'll admit that toddlers need books too. But that's what the library is for.

What toddler items can't you live without?

This article is part of a series related to being Financially Fit

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Special Guest Sunday: Porter!

I would love it if we featured a mom in a gown every Sunday. Because truly the most special guests are these new little lives that women are bringing into the world every day.
Meet Porter and his beautiful mama. Porter didn't wait for the doctor to make his entrance.
Hopefully I will get permission from his mama to post his birth story later this week!