Baby Name Game

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Choosing the perfect name for your baby is way more difficult than people let on. My husband and I have had baby names picked out for years and I never gave them a second thought until I actually became pregnant. Then we were both going back and forth on whether or not what we had chosen was what we actually wanted. After all, you are choosing a name for this little person whom you haven’t even met yet and it’s a name they are stuck with forever (usually). Here are just a few things that pop up in the named debate:

What Will The Nickname Be?

So this wasn’t something I thought would be a thing because I always knew that whatever we named our child would end up being what we referred to them as. I suppose I have lived my whole life as Rebecca. Only those close to me call me Becca (never Becky), but for the most part I am always referred to as Rebecca. That’s how I introduce myself, and that is how people address me in my professional world. I love my name and see no reason to shorten it save for the occasional endearing nickname a loved one has given me.

But what about kids at school, teachers, other family members?? Everyone wants a nickname. So when you pick out a name, you almost have to figure out what it could be shortened to and then you have to decide if that’s something you are ok with calling your beloved child. It is no easy task.

Can The Name You Choose Be Turned Into A Cruel Joke?

Name your kid Harry and every kid will be using Harry to describe every part of your child’s anatomy. Choosing a name that won’t turn every fourth grader into a Rhyming Ronnie is important.

Initials.

Why for the love of all things chocolate, did someone have to mention initials to me? I am forever grateful but boy did that make for some sleepless nights for me. Once I started thinking about monograms and if my child’s name would spell out something awful I couldn’t get certain combinations out of my head. No matter how much I liked a name, if it ended up spelling out R.A.T. or R.O.T. I had to trash it and start over.

Does It Sound Intimidating When You Need To Yell?

This may not be a problem for some people. But I have practiced my mom voice more times than I like to admit using the full names I had picked out. It needs to flow effortlessly and also send chills down their spine so they know I mean business.

Does It Belong To Someone You Dislike Very Much?

Obviously I didn’t have any problems picking out names I liked because I already knew which names were a hard no based on people I am not a fan of. Explaining to my husband why we could never use one or two names he mentioned because I literally couldn’t stand someone who had that name was an entertaining conversation.

Did Someone Steal Your Name?

Ha! Ok, so you can’t really steal a name. Or can you? Insert evil laugh here. Names are for the taking but it definitely sucks when someone you know uses a name you have been saving for years because it’s like watching the entire future of your unborn child change before your very eyes. It’s silly but it is a very real thing. We had a boy name picked out and then someone I know named their son that. I told my husband it was no go. We had to throw away the idea and start from scratch. For months we went back and forth because he didn’t see the big deal. Alter a very long time, I agreed that if that was the name we really wanted we would still name our son that (if we had a son).

After second guessing myself and my choices a hundred times (my husband was set from the start), I finally decided that the names we had chosen all those years ago were the ones we loved. I guess I needed to run through all the tests myself before I was happy with the choices we made.

Here’s the problem, if we have more than two children we are screwed. It took us approximately three years to agree on one girl name and one boy name. And after debating name alternatives over the last four months I can tell you we are in for some trouble if we ever have a third. Lol.

Wishing all you momma’s to be lots of luck on your name journey!

Rebecca


Pregnancy Symptoms Nobody Talks About

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With pregnancy comes a plethora of symptoms that everyone warns you about. Most notably fatigue, nausea, the constant urge to pee every 20 minutes, being ravenous, and the reminder that your hormones will have you laughing and crying all within the same five minutes. These are all symptoms moms-to-be expect and prepare themselves for. But what about all the symptoms nobody talks about?

I am not ashamed to admit that I have used Google more times in the past 20 weeks than I have had to scurry to a bathroom to pee. And that is saying a lot because I pee like 15 times a day. What can I say? I am a total Google Whore.

Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who has never experienced any abnormal side effects from creating/growing a human being. You, my friend, are a beautiful Unicorn. If you are like me and you have questioned every single thing you have ever heard about pregnancy because you feel like you are alone in your weirdness, stay calm. I am here to list all the symptoms that nobody ever talks about. At least, nobody I have had the pleasure of knowing. So feel free to bond with me over the shenanigans that is my reality…

Dry Mouth and a Horrible After Taste

Every blog, every pregnancy app, every baby book, and just about everything else that talks about “what to expect,” had prepared me for never ending supplies of extra saliva. Everyone made it sound like the inside of my mouth would feel like the Atlantic Ocean when, in fact, my mouth was drier than the Sahara Desert. I have never felt so parched in my entire life and there was nothing I could do to make it better. It didn’t matter how much water I drank, how many cinnamon candies I popped, or how often I chose soup over solids, my mouth was dry. Because of this I felt like I had a constant bad after taste in my mouth even though I barely ate any food in the first 12 weeks. Apparently, my saliva glands don’t work during pregnancy.

The Constant Need to Brush Your Teeth

I think dental hygiene is very important but even I have to admit that I have crossed a line when it comes to brushing my teeth. Maybe it was the whole dry mouth/bad taste that had me reaching for my toothbrush every hour but I am genuinely surprised I have teeth and gums left.

It didn’t matter if it was 2:00 in the afternoon or 3:00 in the morning, if I could sneak away to brush my teeth I was doing so. People at work probably thought I had a condition because I was always being stopped with a toothbrush in hand. I can’t explain it but the need for clean was too strong to ignore.

Round Ligament Pain

Look it up, read an encyclopedia on it, enroll in Med School. Just do whatever is necessary to learn about it. Because I had never heard of it before pregnancy. Sure everyone talks about back pain and “aches and pains,” but nobody ever actually explains round ligament pain and they certainly don’t tell you it’s nothing to worry about. The first couple of months I was convinced my unborn child was being ripped from my uterus. I couldn’t understand why it hurt to walk, sit, stand, laugh, cough… It was like a constant punch to the gut.

After calling my doctor and trying to explain this odd pain that came and went as it pleased, she finally says those three words. And do you know she said them like I was supposed to know what they meant? She said it as casually as telling me she had a Veggie Burger for lunch. Luckily, she explained what it was and told me it was nothing to be concerned about. Just another part of creating human life. Yaaayyyyy…

Sore Boobs and Headlight Nipples

I know what you are thinking: “Everyone knows about sore boobs!” Well, yes, you are correct. Everyone tells you it’s one of the first telltale signs of pregnancy. And boy are they right! I knew I was pregnant before I missed my period because of these bad boys. But what they don’t tell you is that it never really goes away.

The soreness changes but it never really ends. At least, it hasn’t for me. In the beginning it was excruciating. I honestly wanted to chop them off; every slight bump and gust of wind sent me into a tailspin. Thankfully, over time the severity of soreness has changed. But I find that my boobs are just sore all the time in general. By the end of a long work day they just feel tired and bruised. Battered boobies. Lol.

Oh and the nips. My nipples are “on” 24/7. Nobody ever mentioned hard nipples were a thing until after you give birth. But mine are living their best life and they want the world to know they are there.

The Occasional Peeing of the Pants

Yeah, another one for the “after you have a baby” symptom that actually starts before baby is even here. Not to brag, but I have always had a champion bladder. I could go an entire day holding my pee with zero issues pre-pregnancy. My bladder gets the last laugh though because every time I sneeze I have to pray to the bladder gods to see me through without wetting my pants. And it doesn’t matter if I had just relieved myself 20 minutes ago. If I go into a sneezing fit, by the fourth sneeze it is pretty much a given that I will be losing another piece of my dignity one squirt at a time.

Bloating and Horrible, Shameful Gas

Ummm… Yeah. So not only does my stomach bloat up every time I eat something (no matter how small), my gas could rival that of an entire locker room full of football players. I have so much air that needs to escape I am surprised it hasn’t started coming out of my ears. I have never experienced such horrific gas and my husband is convinced I need to see a doctor. He isn’t satisfied with word from the OB that this is something most definitely normal and caused by this beloved child we will soon meet. He has asked me on several occasions to excuse myself to the restroom when I feel the urge to which I reply: fuck that noise. If I did that I would never leave. He will just have to love me through this very difficult time.

I Am So Effffinngg COLD!

I am always hot. It doesn’t matter what season or where I am, I am always on fire and I need air conditioning like the Pope needs Jesus. So imagine my surprise when I realize that has all changed and I can never get warm. I am always freezing and there is not enough heat or enough blankets to keep me warm. I was told something about blood flow and baby and blah blah blah. All I know is I am relating to every single elderly woman at work who has an extra sweater, a blanket, and a space heater on at all times of the year.

I am sure there are other very random symptoms I will find along the way. And I will continue to embrace them as they come because I just know it will all be worth it when Baby T arrives.

What about all of you pregnant momma’s out there? Care to share any of your questionable symptoms?

Rebecca

 


6 Healthy (and Easy!) Pregnancy Snacks

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Eating healthy is something we should all do but I am very much a flawed human being and I like carbs, and sugar, and Moscow Mules… You get the point. But this whole pregnancy thing means I should be extra conscious of what I am putting into my body. It’s not just me after all and I am kind of responsible for the growth and health of this little bean for almost 10 whole months.

The first 12 weeks were hard for me because I couldn’t even think of food without wanting to vomit. But after I got over the initial “food is enemy” phase, I kicked my butt into gear and started thinking about all the ways I could add nutrients to me and Baby T.

I find that I am ravenous in the mornings. Which is so not normal for me because I have never been big on breakfast. But now I wake up and want to eat all the food. I find that I am less hungry around lunchtime and dinnertime is a complete crapshoot for me. Some nights I am starving and other nights I just really have no desire to eat. This yo-yo appetite isn’t the best for baby so I have started buying/making smaller snacks that I can eat throughout the day. The key is making sure they are healthy and filled with nutrients but I also need them to be yummy.

Here are my go to healthy pregnancy snacks.

Apple and Cheese

We know we should stay away from soft cheeses but there is nothing wrong with a hard cheese like Cheddar or Monterey Jack. Snacking on an apple and cheese can give you the much needed fiber and calcium you may be missing. I love a Granny Smith Apple with some Sharp Cheddar. Check out Wegman’s or your local grocery store for the single snack size cheese packs. They make it so easy!!

Fruit and Cottage Cheese

I keep a tub of Cottage Cheese at work and usually pick up whatever fruit I am feeling when grocery shopping to add to it for a quick snack. I prefer strawberries usually but occasionally I will grab blueberries or pre-cut mango chunks from Wegmans to throw on top. If I am really tired, I will buy those 100 calorie Breakstone Cottage Doubles so I can grab and go without the added fuss. Fresh fruit is always a better option but I am not opposed to easy. This snack can offer a great source of calcium, folate, and protein.

Hummus and Carrots

Pick and choose your favorite fresh veggies but I almost always reach for baby carrots. Wegman’s (clearly my fave grocery store), carries to go packs of hummus that are super easy to throw in my bag and eat on the run. It is one of my favorite work snacks and with all of the different flavors Wegman’s carries, I haven’t gotten bored with it yet. Hummus and Carrots can provide fiber, iron, Vitamin B6, and protein to name a few very important nutrients you and baby need. But don’t stop there! Throw in some broccoli, tomatoes, celery… Whatever your stomach desires.

Banana and Yogurt

So this is kind of my go to breakfast. These days it isn’t enough to fill me up so I have to add another addition, but this is kind of a staple in my diet. I typically eat two bananas and a yogurt of my choice every morning. Most people will tell you to reach for the Greek and they are absolutely correct that it is healthier for you. And while I do buy Greek occasionally, I usually stick to Activia Yogurt because I like the flavors and it’s just enough yogurt for me to feel satisfied. It is still a great source of calcium, it’s a probiotic, and I find other ways to get my protein. Bananas offer a great source of Vitamin B6, B12, and potassium (which can help with that dreaded heartburn).

Egg Sandwich

Oh Eggs… Eggs are known as a magical food that can make everything better. Unfortunately for me, I have never been a huge fan of them. I don’t dislike them but I am also not running to my nearest farm begging for fresh eggs either. However, eggs are an amazing source of Vitamin D which is super important in pregnancy. It helps build your little bean’s immune system, bones, and teeth. Eggs are also a great source of choline which helps with the brain development of your little one.

So I have found the best way for me to consume eggs is on an English Muffin with cheese. Not the absolute healthiest way to eat them but I simply run down to the little café in my building and they whip me up an egg and cheese English Muffin and I am good to go. It’s filling and I am still getting the nutrients I need.

Pickles

I feel like I don’t even need to explain this one. Pickles are delicious. And while they don’t offer too many benefits in the nutrient department, they are extremely low-cal and crunchy and juicy and just so so delicious.

There’s my list! I would love to hear what your favorites are so leave a comment! I am always looking for more yummy foods that can also be considered healthy so I don’t feel so bad when I eat an entire bag of Salt and Vinegar Chips.

Rebecca


First Time Pregnancy and Mommy Advice

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It happens to all first time moms and it’s a tale as old as time. The second you announce to the world that you are pregnant with your first child, every single person who has ever carried and birthed a human being has advice they dish out whether they are asked for it or not. I always knew my day would come but I guess I wasn’t prepared for the amount of unsolicited advice I would receive.

Most people offer advice because they genuinely want to help and I am the kind of person who will listen gracefully and smile my way through it because I know it’s a natural conversation piece when you become pregnant for the first time. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a little frustrating at times.

I will be 32 in August and my little Bambino is due August 1st. I am the oldest of four and I played a huge roll in their infant to childhood upbringing. My youngest brother is 16 so I had all kinds of fun practicing my mom skills on him. I have been surrounded by moms and babies since I was a little girl. And the older I have gotten, the more family and friends have gotten pregnant before me and some are even on their second and third children. I have spent more time at Baby Showers and Kid’s Birthday’s than I have bar hopping. I have always loved kids and I am the first one to offer up my babysitting services to anyone who will hand their little bundle of joy my way.

All of that isn’t to say I am an expert on all things baby and pregnancy. I’m not. But I don’t think anyone ever really is. I have a lot of experience with babies and children. I have changed hundreds of diapers, fed many hungry mouths, been up all hours of the night (baby brother was a screamer), dealt with snotty noses, and even some snotty little brats (they were still cute though). Babies, toddlers, kids, teens… They are all unique and each one carries their own personality and needs. Having a child is definitely like a box of chocolates. You really never know what you are going to get. So I often find it funny how parents think what worked for their children will work for every other single child that comes into this world. It just isn’t realistic.

I have been very mindful over the years to not offer up my two cents or words of advice to expecting mothers or mothers trying to survive their demonic threenager. One, because I didn’t have children of my own yet so why would I list all the things they should/should not do. And, two, because I knew that I would someday want a child of my own and that I would not appreciate anyone telling me what I was doing was “wrong” or “not necessary.” I have carried the same motto over the years when it comes to moms and their children: “Whatever works for you and your babies is all that matters.” And I wholeheartedly stand by that sentiment.

I am well rounded enough to understand that every single one of us are different and that means the way we choose to parent will be different. I think this is a beautiful thing. Your family is your family and as long as you have a happy and healthy child, that’s really what is most important.

Of course, having mommy friends to help you along the way when things seem overwhelming and bleak is also something to give thanks for. I am the first person to ask a question if I have one and there are times I reach out for some wanted advice/mommy faves so I have another perspective. Because perspective is key! If I have a list of things that I want to follow for my child/pregnancy and every single one of those items on my list is a total fail, going to one of my trusted mommy friends for another take on how to do something is a blessing in disguise.

All of the aforementioned applies to first time pregnancy as well. Everyone has an opinion on what you should or should not be doing during pregnancy. And there are so many women who think that what they experienced during pregnancy is exactly what every woman experiences. Like how their body reacted or changed is how every woman’s body reacts or changes. This one has made me LOL a few times. I just nod and smile.

So what do you do as a first time mom-to-be? I say take everything with grace and a grain of salt. Some advice will work for you, and some of it will just make you laugh… or shake your fists in a fit of rage while you sit in the Target parking lot crying. The beauty of advice is that you get to pick and choose what works for you, and then let the rest of it go.

This is your life, your pregnancy, your motherhood. Whatever works for you and your babies is all that matters.

Rebecca

 

 

 


No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

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I recently had to make a dessert for my work Christmas Party. I have a very long commute and I knew I needed to make something that would be quick, easy, and delicious. I stumbled upon this no fail recipe and modified it a little to my liking. I was able to have these done in less than 20 minutes and they were a huge hit at the party. So much so that I didn’t have any leftovers to take home, which was probably for the best. They taste like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and who doesn’t love those?!


Total Time: 20 minutes plus chill time

Yield: 24 Servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs and butter; give it a few stirs until combined. Stir in sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Press into a greased 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a microwave or double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer. Chill 30 minutes; cut into squares. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes longer. Store in the refrigerator.

Other Variations

  • Swap Creamy PB for Chunky PB
  • Use Dark Chocolate instead of semisweet
  • Add a pinch of Sea Salt
  • Use crushed pretzels instead of graham cracker crumbs for a saltier combo

Let me know if you give this recipe a try and if you have any other yummy additions!