It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hands-free breast pumps

Since becoming pregnant, I've gotten a LOT of advice on what I absolutely have to have for the baby and/or myself. And I'm not going to lie, some of it is a little scary. At 36 weeks preggo, it's becoming blatantly clear that A) there's no turning back and B) kids need a lot of crap.

One of the recommendations I received is that I should register for a hands-free breast pump--that way I can get work done while squeezing out food for the munchkin. The best part about registering for this device is seeing the amazing photos that come with it. Take a look...

Apparently, the pump comes in super handy at the office. And no ladies, we don't need to hide in the bathrooms anymore. We are women, hear us roar! We can pump at our desks, during meetings or video conferences...basically, wherever and whenever we want.

And if our male boss walks in? We'll just pretend we don't have two big suction cups on our lady bits. As long as we're wearing a cute suit and smiling, it's totally legit.

Think you need to give up drinking while pumping? Heck no! You can do both at once. Pinot anyone?

Worried about missing out on a game of Words with Friends? Never fear! You can candy crush that game all day long with your super portable pump.
And thank god you can finally get those Glamour shots you've been wanting to get. These photos will prove that you can truly do it all as a working mother! (Perhaps next year's Christmas card?)

And finally, well, I'm not really sure what this shows. Perhaps that you can check out the local renaissance festival while pumping? Or take your older kids trick or treating? Or fulfill your husband's role playing fantasy?

P.S. A big thanks to my friend Jackie for buying one of these for me. I'm totally going to pump on the crosstown bus, subway and crowded, tourist-filled restaurants. (And I'm going to wear my old Miss Wyoming crown.) Stay tuned for that blog! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easy ways to help the environment

I remember the day I became an environmentalist. I was in my 20's and working as a morning reporter in Indianapolis. After work one day, I was watching an episode of Oprah which was all about the state of our world. It talked about how many plastic bags Americans used everyday, how many paper towels, how much wasted energy, etc. I remember having this sinking feeling in my gut and thinking, "Crap, we can't keep going like this."

Fast forward to 2014, and now that I have a little boy growing and kicking in my belly, I've taken my appreciation for the environment to a whole new level. Even though I haven't met him yet, I'm pretty sure I'm going to like him (most of the time) and I want him to have the most beautiful and perfect planet for the next 100 years. To me, if I didn't take care of the Earth, it would be like telling him I didn't care about his future. (And how could I resist this smile??)

So on this Earth Day, I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to help the planet. I hope you'll see how easy it is and you can do it too!

1) Recycle- It seems so easy, yet everyday I see people throwing away items that can easily be recycled. Last night at work, a co-worker was getting ready to throw away his paper bag and aluminum top from his Chipolte dinner which can both be recycled. I told him to hand it to me (I also had the same items) and I took them home to recycle. I also recycled my soda lid and receipt. Super easy.

Luckily in NYC, you can recycle just about everything, so I keep this list on my fridge as a reference. Your city (hopefully) has the same kind of list. If it doesn't, ask your lawmakers to help out!

(And for the love of god, never throw away a water bottle or a soda can because those can always be recycled.)

2) Say No to Plastic- I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that I say no to plastic bags everyday. I fit whatever I can into my purse or work bag and I also carry these two reusable bags with me everywhere. These two bags have probably saved more than a 1,000 plastic bags. One Saturday while shopping at several stores, I realized I said no to plastic six times. Six! Think about the impact we could have if we all did this.

(And I know what you're thinking. You never remember to bring reusable bags with you. Trust me, if you start making it a priority, you will. My husband now takes a bag with him every time he goes to the store. He's even left and come right back, realizing he forgot them! Lesson: If a man can do it, you can too :-)

3) Get rid of the paper trail- If you haven't already, sign up for paperless statements for all your bills. It's so much easier to pay your bills online anyway! There are also several websites/apps I like that help get rid of junk mail and paper waste.
  • Phone Books- Click here to opt out of phone books. These were my biggest pet peeve in Chicago because we'd get dozens of them dropped off on our doorstep every couple of months. What a waste! (Oh and here's a hint: in 2014 you can get any phone number you need online. It's great.)
  • Junk Mail-  There is a new phone app I love called Paper Karma. You just take a picture of the junk mail you receive, and they work to get you off the mailing list. It's fantastic!
  • Credit Card Offers- Click here to opt out of credit card offers for 5 years or for life! 
  • Catalogs-  Click here to opt out of catalogs. This website has helped me get off the mailing lists for at least 50 companies.
4) No more plastic bottles!- Oh yes, Americans love their plastic water bottles. In fact, we go through 60 million of them everyday in this country. And unfortunately, it's believed that 86% of them never get recycled. Oh, and it takes 700 years for them to decompose. And you'll spend nearly $600 on them this year. Now are you convinced?? I carry my reusable water bottle with me everywhere. Check out for awesome reusable products.

5) Limit your waste - I love that my mother-in-law tells me that she now limits herself to using one paper towel in public restrooms because of me. Everyday I encourage you to think about what you're using. Do you need that much toilet paper? Two, three or four paper towels? Are you really going to eat those leftovers you're taking home in a Styrofoam container? Do you really need to print that entire document? A little bit goes a long way!

6) Unplug! About 10% of household energy use goes to appliances that are plugged in but not being used. Save money by unplugging them after each use! I've started with our coffee maker and toaster. Also turn off the lights, TV, etc. when you're not in the room.

See how easy it is?? We owe this to our kiddos. Happy Earth Day today and everyday!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pregnancy symptoms

When I was a kid, I remembering watching those "I didn't know I was pregnant" interviews on Oprah and Phil Donahue. You know the ones--the women claimed they had no idea they were expecting until their water broke on the New York subway and voila, they delivered a healthy 8-pound baby right there on the 1-line. They explained that they didn't have any symptoms, and at the time, I thought that totally made sense.

Fast forward to now. As a woman who is 8.5 months pregnant with a little boy kicking in my belly non-stop and every part of my body aching, I think-- there's no frickin' way.

It's funny, because I was just thinking about these oblivious women recently when another one made headlines. Mandy Bachelor of Indiana had just finished an eight hour shift at the assembly plant she worked at when surprise! Faster than John Travolta could mutter the name Adele Dazeem, Bachelor was pushing out a baby boy versus the gallstones she thought were causing so much pain. Oddly enough, this was Bachelor's 4th child, so it's not like this was her first rodeo.

When I heard this story, I thought it would be a good time to do a public service announcement of sorts. I'll explain all the crazy things that happen when you get pregnant so perhaps Mrs. Bachelor and all the other women out there will know the next time. You're welcome.

1) Number one--you know your pregnant when your belly goes from this to this...

Now, I know we've all had a big lunch and felt like we were more bloated than normal, but a pregnant belly is vastly different from any Taco Bell belly. It's super hard and it has distinctive lines where it begins and ends. A Taco Bell belly is a bit more jiggly and that kicking sensation you feel usually goes away after a day.

2) Number two--you know you're pregnant when your farts could clear out a room. Heck, they could clear out a small country and should be registered as weapons of mass destruction.

3) Number three- you know you're pregnant when your eating habits mirror that of a 13-year old boy. Apple Jack's, Captain Crunch, Capri Suns, Fruit name it. Oh, and you want to eat these delicious teen treats 22-hours a day.

4) Number four- you know you're pregnant when you're walking in Central Park and all of a sudden you feel the intense urge to vomit. You then have to squat behind a tree to bid adieu to your Apple Jack's and Captain Crunch in front of all the tourists walking by. (Purely hypothetical story, by the way.)

5) Number five- you know you're pregnant when you look down at your belly and see this...

I'm really not sure how you could mistake a baby's kicks for anything else. Sure, we've all had that dinner that didn't agree with us, but I'm pretty sure I've never felt a burrito kicking my bladder.

6) Number six- This is a pretty good one know you're pregnant when co-workers and strangers on the subway exclaim, "Oh, you're pregnant! When are you due??" This is when you might want to take notice of the fact that you might not just be bloated.

7) Number seven- You know you're pregnant when your habits mirror that of a 90-year old man. You grunt while getting up, you grunt while sitting down, you grunt while putting on pants and you have to have your spouse take off your shoes.

8) Number eight- You know you're pregnant when you cry at everything. Verizon Wireless commercials normally aren't so sad.

9) Number nine- You know you're pregnant when you have to ask the person behind you to give you a big push so you can get onto the crosstown bus.

10) Number ten- You know you're pregnant when you want to take the chicken wing the person is eating next to you on the subway and smack them across the face with it because good lord that thing stinks.