Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Introducing Baby to Isabel

We need to learn how best to help our first “baby” adjust to the new one that we will be bringing home very soon. Isabel came into our lives at 4 weeks old, a rescue from an ailing mother’s litter of six, and she has run the household since. We were told during her first year of struggle with separation anxiety that she was an alpha female, and required A LOT of attention. I had no idea the responsibility that laid ahead, the number of remote controls and furniture we would have to replace and the expenses that came along with having a pet. Despite all these obstacles, she’s become a part of this family, and it will be important in the coming months to help her cope with the big change that’s to come. We’re not really sure what the best approach is, and would love advice and tips if any of you have experienced this in the past. Should we begin introducing baby fragrances to the home? Should we start taking her for walks alongside a baby carriage? Should we gradually accustom her to spending less time with us?
My godson was born 8 months ago, and we slowly began introducing him to Isabel. They get along beautifully, except for Isabel’s desire to constantly lick his face. He giggles and laughs, which only encourages her to continue – so I’m certain that it will take some effort to get her to stop. While she is much more gentle and sensitive with Nicola than she is with adults, she doesn’t like when he’s the center of attention. She subtly gets in the middle if I’m playing with him, and insists, in her own obvious ways, to focus on her instead.

We're looking to begin preparing Isabel before our baby arrives with a few first steps. Please leave a comment if you have any other tips:
• Enroll her in a training class, and practice training techniques
• Introduce her to baby-related noises
• Introduce a baby doll to help her get used to the real thing
• Sprinkle familiar baby smells around the house, like baby powder or baby oil
A few other tips from Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisper

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

#BlissDom09 Rocked!

get-your-bliss-on Badges
I had the opportunity to attend BlissDom ’09 in Nashville, TN over the weekend, with over 250 fun and energetic women (mostly moms) who blog. It was refreshing to see that many of the moms decided to bring their babies, who behaved beautifully and contentedly accompanied their mommies throughout the conference in their cozy slings.

As an apprentice blogger attending her first blogger conference, I thought I’d feel out of place, but then quickly felt that I might actually fit in and also get the opportunity to meet some of the amazing bloggers who've inspired me over the years.

After a warm welcome by Beth from TheMidlifeWife, Erin from CouponCravings (who was also expecting) and Liz from SuccessfulAndOustandingBlog on my way to Hotel Preston, I couldn’t wait to experience the next couple of days. It was also great to see that I wasn’t the only one carrying a baby bump. Esther from FaintStarLite was already on her 7th month, and clearly empathized with another new future mom.

With a full schedule ahead of us, the event kicked off with a fun “Opening Holla”, and I had the privilege to finally meet in person some of the blogger friends I made over the years; Shannon from RocksInMyDryer, Allie from FussyPants, Michelle from WhiteTrashMom, Leighann from TheFullMommy and my one and only fellow Latina blogger, Carrie from BilingualintheBoonies, which I grew to adore during my short stay. It was great to also meet up with 3 of my favorite mommy bloggers, 2 which I met at the Sony Mommy Blogger Event last year, Jenny from MomminItUp and Deanna from DomesticChicky, and the fabulous Amanda from Ohamanda from the Pampers Mommy Blogger Event.

After some really interesting sessions and panel discussions by a few distinguished bloggers, we headed to the cocktail party and a great chat with some really fun and vibrant women; Renee from CutieBootyCakes & Joy and Kate from HappyToBeAtHome. The day ended with a fun PJ & Mamma Mia movie party, where I shared many laughs with Tara from IQuitForLijit and one of my favorite mommy bloggers, Jill from TheDiaperDiaries, while indulging in bite size Snickers and painfully watching Pierce Brosnan attempting to sing a tune to some of my favorite ABBA songs.

The workshops were inspiring, and the energy in the room left me wanting more. I was glad we still had tomorrow, a full day of sessions and an unrevealed surprise after breakfast.

The “two” of us slept like babies. Who doesn’t love hotel beds? I had a healthy breakfast and shared great discussions with Debba from Girlfriendology and the wonderful and inspiring Amber from TheRunAMuck. Barbara Jones, our delightful and comical event moderator, introduced the morning surprise; a short preview of a PBS special of Yanni Voices, followed by a surprise appearance from two of the artists. Brazilian Nathan Pacheco and Venezuelan Ender Thomas managed to leave all the married ladies in the room, including me, flabbergasted and flustered.

A productive and informative 2 full days of blogging and PR sessions, with inspirational women and devoted moms, further reinforced my decision to start my first blog. More to come, so stay tuned!

Featured Photo Credits: Secret Agent Mama

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Destination Maternity Rocks!

I finally realized that wearing my favorite jeans was just not going to work much longer. I tried the rubber band technique and wearing it zippered but unbuttoned, and that was not going to fly, especially at client meetings. Sixteen weeks and 3 days pregnant, I finally came to terms with the fact that I had to begin investing in maternity clothes. A colleague mentioned that I should check out this place on 57th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City, Destination Maternity. When I walked in, I couldn't believe how excited I was to be shopping for maternity clothes. They had a few levels, a spa, floors/racks of great clothes, amazing service and a supply of free water and juice. Even more amazing was the selection they carried and variation in prices. They carried collections like A Pea in the Pod, Mimi Maternity & Motherhood and just about any outfit to fit your personal taste. The service was really what stood out in my option. Granted, you're much cuter with a belly, so naturally the staff wanted to see how the clothes fit. They were so helpful, energetic and fun to be around. They also offered me a credit card (who doesn't these days?), but what was interesting was that a percentage (3-10%) of your purchase at many retail stores would go towards a 529 college savings plan. How smart is that? Right there and then, they were able to set me up with a 529 plan. "These plans allow you to save as much as a quarter of a million dollars for your child’s higher education expenses every year—and you won’t owe any capital gains taxes on the appreciation. The major drawback to this type of plan is that it covers only college and graduate school expenses—so private high school, for example, doesn’t count."

I bought the cutest button front maternity jacket for $43.99 and the cutest jeans for way below designer brand prices - which in my opinion, fit just as good. I also purchased a sleeveless faux wrap maternity shirt for only $19.98. You should definitely check it out. It's worth the trip.

By TwitterButtons.com