BabyBackups--The One Thing EVERY New Mother Should Have (#Giveaway)

Every once in a while I get to review a product that is so awesome it makes me want to cry because it was not around when I REALLY needed it. Today, my friends, BabyBackUps is that product. Had these suckers been around when Ollie was crapping all over the place, I would have not ended up in the shower at 4am after a particularly INSANE diaper blowout when he was only a month old. (The long time readers know what I am talking about.) I present, the best damn blowout controlling invention I have ever seen... BabyBackups!


BabyBackups are one of those ingenious products where once you see it you think, Why didn't I think of that?! Well, after reading the story of the family behind BabyBackup, I know why.  It appears no one had a need for a blowout solution as bad as they did. Imagine, having a daughter who was prone to constant blowouts. Imagine having to have that beautiful little poop blasting machine baptized in a WHITE dress, in front of God and everyone!  (HA! Never in my life have I been able to say, God and everyone, and mean it literally... Hahahaha!)  Sorry, I digress... So, like any AWESOME mom would do, a solution was made... enter, BabyBackups.  Long story short, the baptism went off as planned, the poop machine blasted away, but not a drop hit her white dress. The end. Amen.

NOW CASTING FIRST TIME EXPECTANT PARENTS!

Direct Casting called sent to me by major casting company:
 
Becoming a first time parent is exciting, unforgettable and...just a little bit scary!  Your baby's first year will be filled with triumphs, milestones and tears as you jump on the roller coaster ride called parenthood.  Magilla Entertainment and a major cable network are now casting a new documentary series that will tell the story of parenting, told by the parents themselves as they navigate diapers, 4 AM feedings and everything in between.  If you and your significant other are preparing to welcome your first born into the world and want to share your story - from the pregnancy to the first birthday - in a heartfelt and moving way, please contact us at castingdirector@magilla.tv with your names, locations, ages, phone number, recent photos and a few sentences about your story.  Please don't forget to tell us how far along you are in your pregnancy! 

Eepples Milk Charms- The new mother's timekeeper!

Have you ever come across a new baby product and thought, where the hell where you when my kid was a baby? Of course you have!   Well today’s product is that way for me.  In fact, I sent the owner and creator an email once my Milk Charms arrived saying just that!  These little wonders would have saved me a lot of time and guessing back in the days of my pumping and baby bottle use. I present Eepples Milk Charms, the new mother’s timekeeper…

 
  • Double sided dial: one side features the days of the week, the other time of day
  • Works with virtually any bottle
  • Made from food grade polypropylene and silicone, BPA and phthalate free materials
  • 100% recyclable and made with as much recycled material as the manufacturers can get their hands on!
  • Made in the USA in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Dishwasher safe - top rack
  • UL tested
  • Patents pending
  • Works with formula too
  • Pack of 3 - features three attractive color combinations

Some of you will have to reminisce with me, while others will probably relate to this next story of the days of pumping and bottles. Don't worry it is not a crazy rant... OK maybe a little...

My Mommy Blog has been named a Top 10 of 2013!!

The pressure is on now...  Parenting.com just notified me that, First Time Mom & Dad, has been named as a Top 10 Mommy Blog of 2013! PARENTING. DOT. COM!!!!  They are THE Parenting site! I am absolutely blown away!  ME... US!  This Blog... WOW.
WOW! WOW! WOW! Sorry, I am just so incredibly stoked!  They... Me... Top 10!!!

And then, as if being named in this incredible list, with the likes of Scary Mommy, is not enough, they even said really nice stuff about us!

"Loveable Duo." They called me and FTD a Lovable Duo!!  HAAAAHAHAHAHA!  Loveable. Us?  I totally just shed a tear over that. And hell yeah our stories are, "a bit crazy at times," we are talking about Parenthood here. That shit IS crazy!

Oh wow, you all... WOW!

Thanks to this incredible honor, I better keep bringing the crazy to prove we really do deserve this.  So, stay tuned.

For now... I'm off to call my mom... WHOO HOO!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  
It's already proving to be FANTASTIC! 

Oh, sorry, to see the complete list of the TOP 10 (INCREDIBLE) Blogs of 2013 on Parenting.com, CLICK HERE.

6 Things You Should Know Before You Pop That Baby Out...

(I love this post. If only I knew all of this, and followed it, when I was a new mom...)

I have no doubt that every mother will agree with me when I say, during pregnancy the only thing you get more of than stretch marks and bad gas, is parenting advice.  Between the always ready to share been-there-done-that mothers, parenting books and online resources, the information available today for new mothers is overwhelming. What's more, you never know what to believe since one book will contradict the next, and what one mother swears by, another mother will insist did not work for her baby. Weeding through all of the advice can be daunting, to say the least.

Looking back, I wish I was given more advice on how to deal with becoming a mother, and less on the three million different ways to rock a baby to sleep. I needed to know about the self-doubt and failures that came along with motherhood, or that having a baby would take a huge toll on my marriage and personal life if I let it. After talking with numerous other mothers, I realized we all struggled with the same issues; things it seemed no one bothered to warn us about in between lessons on feeding, changing and rocking our newborn to sleep.  I've put a list together of the top six things all new mothers to know.  Things we wish we didn't have to learn the hard way.

Tips for dealing with Morning Sickness.

The following is a excerpt of a report on Morning Sickness from the American Pregnancy Association.  The complete article can be read here- http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/morningsickness.html


Morning Sickness:

More than half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness. Morning sickness is the nauseated feeling you get during pregnancy. Morning sickness can be, but is not always, accompanied with vomiting. The nausea is often a result of the increased hormones in your body. Many health care providers think morning sickness is a good sign because it means the placenta is developing well.
There are a number of do's and don'ts you can try to help alleviate your symptoms.

Helpful Do's and Don'ts:

Do:
  • Eat small meals often
  • Drink fluids 1/2 hour before or after a meal, but not with meals
  • Drink small amounts of fluids during the day to avoid dehydration
  • Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning
  • Avoid foods and smells that increase nausea
  • Ask someone else to cook for you and open the windows or turn on fans if the odor bothers you
  • Get plenty of rest and nap during the day
  • Avoid warm places (feeling hot adds to nausea)
  • Sniff lemons or ginger, drink lemonade, or eat watermelon to relieve nausea
  • Eat salty potato chips (they have been found to settle stomachs enough to eat a meal)
  • Exercise
Don'ts:
  • Do not lie down after eating
  • Do not skip meals
  • Do not cook or eat spicy food


It is absolutely amazing to me that the "mothers instinct" is real and prevalent from my first few weeks of pregnancy.  I LOVE Saga Blue Cheese, Goat Cheese, Sushi and a Good Beer with a cigarette, I could eat raw tuna, shrimp, mussels and oysters all day!  Since being pregnant none of those things I crave or want, in fact now I really want to puke.  What I do crave, that I NEVER craved before baby, are salty potato chips, everything bagels with cream cheese, spaghetti noodles with a bland ragu-like sauce and all together bland foods. 

I suppose it really is true... EAT WHAT YOU CRAVE!!!  

The Mothers Intuition is amazing and if you don't trust it you are a fool!-(Think Mr. T)   

You really are losing your mind when you are pregnant!

From the American Journal of Neuroradiology: Study of change in brain size during and after pregnancy. 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Qualitative decreases in maternal brain size have been observed late in pregnancy. The aim of this study was to quantitatively evaluate changes to the maternal brain during and after healthy pregnancy and to compare these changes with those observed in cases of preeclampsia.

METHODS: Three-dimensional T1-weighted MR volume images were obtained in nine healthy participants before and after delivery. Additional images were obtained in some of these participants before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and within 52 weeks after delivery. Five women with preeclampsia were examined before delivery and 6 weeks after delivery. Three of these patients were examined within 52 weeks after delivery. Images were registered, and both brain and ventricular volumes were calculated by using a semi automated computer program.

RESULTS: Both the healthy and preeclamptic groups had a reduction in brain size during pregnancy that was maximal at term and that reversed by 6 months after delivery. The ventricular size showed a corresponding increase in size during pregnancy and a decrease in size after delivery. In the preeclamptic patients, brain size was significantly smaller (P = .05) than in healthy participants, both before and after delivery.

CONCLUSION: The brain decreases in size during pregnancy and increases in size after delivery. The changes follow a consistent time course in each woman. The mechanism and physiologic importance of these findings are speculative at the present time.
(Find the study in it's entirety at http://www.ajnr.org/cgi/content/full/23/1/19.  There are a few different studies available, I chose this one to cite because it is very thorough and is available in its entirety 

Unfortunately, there is complete speculation and conflicting opinion as to why the shrinkage happens and no study has even begun to say that this shrinkage leads to our daftness, or anything else for that matter. The research of the different studies show the shrinkage between 3-5% and 4-8%, so not to worry it is not something crazy like 50%. It's also important to mention this shrinkage is most visible late in pregnancy, well into the third trimester.

How much weight should you gain while pregnant?

YAY! I have been told that over the next 9 months I am to gain at least 25 pounds, and if I gain 40 it will not be the end of the world!  This is way to good to be true, what’s the catch? So far I have found out that the catch is that my butt, thighs, feet, arms, back and well pretty much my whole body is subject to this weight gain, not just my belly. Oh, P.S. As a result, stretch marks are very possible. I knew this couldn’t be a free pass to the buffet line!



Below is an excerpt of an article on Pregnancy Weight Gain from The American Pregnancy Association website.

Dos and Don'ts for expecting parents. (Pregnancy Humor)

These are tips to live by! Oh and if you are questioning any of these... you might need to get your head checked!




Tips for new Parents

No matter how much warning, preparation and natural instinct new parents have, nothing prepares them for parenthood quite like their own child.  NOTHING! Below are my top five of twenty, hard lessons learned, so far, as a new parent.




Bare Bottle from Bittylab

*Today's post is a partnership between FTM&D and Bittylab.  FTM&D received the Bare® bottle free of charge to conduct this review.  All opinions expressed are our own.  AS. IF?!


Five Words. Bottle Shaped Like A Boobie! Enough said.  CLICK HERE to go get one. 
Still Here? Ok, then here is why you should be ordering your Bare® bottle right now… Weaning moms, don't you run off just yet… Look at this thing!




Why am I reviewing a bottle when the man-child is nearly two, and hates bottles? Because we are weaning, and I need help! And since the Bare® Bottle was designed to look like and mimic a Mother's breast, I thought what the hell, I'll give it a shot! Well... look who is no longer disgusted by the bottle...

5 Tips for Summer Safety for the whole family!


YAY!  It's finally here... Summer! The warm beautiful weather, outdoor activities and family fun are plentiful this time of year.  Unfortunately, so are the opportunities for sunburns, heat rashes, bug bites, water dangers and many more summer activity hazards.  Below are five important summer safety tips to help make your family's summertime more enjoyable.

Why yes, that is Oliver and Professor "The Bloody Cat" playing at the beach!

Baby Trend Sit N' Stand Stroller Review & #Giveaway!


(Baby Trend provided FTM&D with a Sit N' Stand® Ultra Stroller- Reseda Item #: SS66436. free of charge in hopes that we would publish our honest review.  All opinions expressed below are our own.)
FTM & FTD Review!


I am so excited to bring you today’s review of the Baby Trend Sit N' Stand stroller.  I am positively in love with it.  When the opportunity was presented to us to review a stroller from Baby Trend, FTD declared we needed a Sit n’ Stand stroller.  I was not so sure since I use the hell out of our lightweight one.  Then FTD started talking about the features of a Sit N' Stand, Oliver’s needs and what kind of stroller would be the best long term for our family. I started to see things his way…


  • Ollie is growing up and getting restless in his stroller.  The Sit N stand allows him to have options,   and it makes it easier on us not having to get him in and out repeatedly on walks through the zoo or park.
  • In the event that we have a baby 2 (Don’t get any ideas just yet you all!)  The sit n stand is made for just that. We can put a newborn carrier in one section (Front or Back!!) until the baby is big enough to sit upright, while Ollie sits (or stands) in the other.
  • For traveling across the world, or just through the airport, the sit n stand holds our luggage.
  • The stroller is perfect for our family now and later.


3 Easy Steps for a Healthier Pregnancy


3 Easy Steps for a Healthier Pregnancy

My first pregnancy was a textbook journey through the worst associated symptoms. My life felt like it was being turned upside down, and my body was along for the ride with recurring nausea, fatigue, swelling in the worst places, lower back pain, depression and frequent headaches. Despite eating well, doctor-approved weight gain and daily supplements, the symptoms were in control every day.

With my second pregnancy, I knew things had to be different. After all, I could suffer through the symptoms and survive, but I didn't want my child to suffer along with me. My solution was to identify and adopt ten healthy habits. The doctor was supportive and even gave me some advice to get started.  I made sure to check with my doctor about everything pregnancy related: cord blood banking, breast-feeding, nutrition and more! I'm not sure which was most effective, but these three steps together helped me have a more enjoyable pregnancy free from any severe symptoms.

Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can lead to recurring headaches. In fact, other symptoms of dehydration may not even be noticeable until the condition becomes severe. If you're drinking the same amount of water after pregnancy, you aren't getting enough. Blood volume increases to support baby's needs, and that means mom needs more water.

Sleep
A huge number of people are sleep deprived, and this problem increases the risk of infection and many types of disease. Add a pregnancy into this equation, and the lack of sleep becomes dangerous. I have difficulty quieting my mind at night, so I started using a form of guided meditation. Other possible solutions include yoga, making a to-do list for the next day before lying down and eating foods with a sedative effect for dinner, such as turkey and tea made from rose hips and hibiscus.

Eating Natural
What is often called healthy eating is often a poor substitute for what I call eating naturally. Most foods at the grocery store contain chemical preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and even known carcinogens. Contrary to popular belief, very few of these ingredients have been tested for safety during pregnancy. Unfortunately, even raw produce often has traces of pesticides on the skin.

The remedy is to pick items with the shortest ingredient lists and always wash vegetables before cutting. Also check out the Environmental Working Group's lists of most safe and most dirty vegetables and fruits.

Taking time to identify and adopt healthy habits that aren’t already a part of your life will help any woman have a chance at a more comfortable pregnancy.

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter,@moorekm26

A Sunday Blessing for mothers and daughters...

I came across this and absolutely loved it.  I usually avoid bringing religion into my blogs, becuse to each their own, but this message is beautiful.  Take or leave the God part... (Personally, I NEED the God part, because I need hope on yucky days...)





The Cost of Pregancy...How much is it really?

The following is a friend's inforgraphic. 
It is filled with quick facts about the cost associalted with Pregnancy World Wide!
Check  it out!

Tips for new Parents -Hard lessons learned by Moms and Dads


No matter how much warning, preparation and natural instinct new parents have, nothing prepares them for parenthood quite like their own child.  NOTHING! Below are my top five of twenty, hard lessons learned, so far, as a new parent.  

The Blooming Bath for Babies- Review and Giveaway!


When I was contacted to do a review of the Blooming Bath for Babies, there was no way I could pass it up! This innovative flower of awesomeness gives you and your baby, a safe, comfy and fun way to bathe...

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