Monday, May 31, 2010

1 Week Only Special Offer From Kelly Smith Photography

Exclusively for Expecting Inside the Beltway Fans/Followers *
$150 Maternity Photo Session (value: $375)

Package Includes:
30 minute maternity session 
5 hi-res images of their choice on a CD (printable up to 8x10)
Online password protected gallery of images (approx 25) to view & purchase from
Sneak peek on blog 

Must mention Expecting Inside The Beltway when booking session
Must book by June 8th to receive this offer (reminder-Kelly is not available in July)

(979) 574-0303
*cannot be combined with any other discount or package

And the Winner Is...

...Mic @ If Crossroads  


Mic wins a 30 minute Maternity Photo Session from Kelly Smith Photography
CD of hi-res images (approx. 25) printable up to an 8x10
Online password protected gallery of images from session
Sneak peek on blog
($675 value)

Congratulations Mic!! (please e-mail me your full name!)


Didn't win but still interested in a maternity photo session?
I'll be posting a limited time discount from Kelly Smith Photography in a little while!


Thanks for entering! Keep reading and look out for another giveaway next month? Have anything you want me to research- let me know!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

ONLY 1 DAY LEFT TO ENTER TO WIN A FREE MATERNITY PHOTO SESSION!

Just a reminder - only 1 day left to enter to win a free maternity photo session courtesy of Kelly Smith Photography.  Entries must be in by noon on Monday (Memorial Day)! 


Click here for details on how to enter!


http://expectinginsidethebeltway.blogspot.com/2010/05/eitbs-may-giveaway-maternity-photo.html





Friday, May 28, 2010

This is the kind of day I'm having

...and it's not even noon. Hope you're having a better day!
Have a great weekend!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Now you can subscribe to EITB!

Hi all,

Just wanted to let you know about a new feature I added to the site.  If you are interested in reading EITB posts, but don't have time to check the site everyday to see if there's a new one, you can now get EITB updates sent to your inbox! Just enter your e-mail address and you'll receive new posts!  Oh, and no one has access to this list but me!


Oh and only a few days left to enter to win a free maternity photo session


For details on how to enter: http://expectinginsidethebeltway.blogspot.com/2010/05/eitbs-may-giveaway-maternity-photo.html

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effects #2 & #3: Boobs and Back

Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effect #2: Boobs

(If you’re a guy friend who reads this blog for giggles, I ask that you please skip this post.  If you don’t, I’ll know because you won’t be able to look me straight in the eyes ever again!)

Yummy
They are bodacious and you can’t miss them.  My husband is definitely a fan of this side effect.  It’s neat to some extent to have hooters that you can’t take your eyes off of, but to be honest, I like having a smaller chest that doesn’t try and escape from your clothes.  But for the most part women like this side effect and I get it.  It’s a bit empowering and makes many feel sexy.

Yucky
However, personally, having these gargantuan things doesn’t make me feel sexy – I feel like a circus freak.  Because I know I am basically a walking milk factory.  I had to stop letting my cat sit on my lap last pregnancy because he would go into a bit of a frenzy when he got a whiff of my aroma.  Creepy, I know.  To boot, I seem to find crumbs in my cleavage on a regular basis and my daughter thinks my cleavage is binky storage.  Oh and cleavage zits, come on, really?

Because these two go hand in hand, I'm including Yummy/Yucky Side Effect #3 in today's post as well...

 Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effect #3: The Back Transformation

Yummy
Seriously? NOTHING, unless you always secretly wished you could do the Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk transformation.

Yucky
You know the saying “With great power comes great responsibility?,” well with great boobage comes… linebacker shoulders/back.   Ok, it’s not just your boobs that cause this but also weight gain and your expanding rib cage (it expands to help increase your lung capacity during pregnancy so you can take in more oxygen for you and baby).  Regardless, it’s awful and I think I hate this side effect the most.  I thought I could make it until June before this happened or at least until after my friend’s wedding last weekend, but it’s too late for me, the transformation has already taken place and I now slightly resemble Quasimodo 
I’ll miss you most of all back, see you in the fall!

Missed Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effect #1: Hair?  Here's the link: http://expectinginsidethebeltway.blogspot.com/search/label/Yummy%2FYucky%20Side%20Effect%20%231%3A%20Hair

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Check out the Preggiepon Section for some new deals

I just added a few more sales/discounts to the Preggiepon section


Nursery Furniture Sale @ Babies R US (only 2 days left)   
JJ Cole Bundle Me for $20 @ Amazon.com & Babies R Us*
BOB Revolution on Sale at REI









*If you're like my friend Aubyn who had no clue what a bundle me was until she actually got one-it's awesome and I highly recommend it.  Basically it goes over the car seat and you zip it around baby so no need to smash your little one into an uncomfortable jacket/coat in the fall/winter.  Just dress them appropriately for the weather and then zip the bundle me over them.  When you go into a store you can just unzip the front so your little one doesn't overheat.  I love this thing.  I bought a second one --a toddler sized Urban Bundle Me for S's stroller (since she grew out of the other one). Came in handy this past March and will again in the fall

Monday, May 24, 2010

EITB's May Giveaway: Maternity Photo Session

Should Your Belly Be In Pictures?

EITB’s May Giveaway:  MATERNITY PHOTO SESSION
Courtesy of Kelly Smith Photography

What the giveaway includes:
30 minute Maternity Photo Session
CD of hi-res images (approx. 25) printable up to an 8x10
Online password protected gallery of images from session
Sneak peek on blog
($675 value)

To enter you must:

1-   Fan/Like EITB’s Facebook page or Become a follower of the blog.  If you're new and   do both you get 2 chances.

2-   Comment on this post or on the blog and tell me in 20 words or less why you want your belly in pictures (or just say I’m in).  

Already a Fan/Follower?:
      If you are already a fan or follower then you just have to do Step 2 so I know you want to be included in the contest!

Details:
-Contest runs from Monday May 24 until Monday May 31 at noon. On Monday May 31, I will do a random drawing of entrants. 
-Must be pregnant to enter.
-Must live in the DC Metro Area.
-Remember my audience is regional so there aren’t hundreds of people in drawing and you have a good chance of winning! 

For more information on Kelly Smith Photography
(979) 574-0303

Thanks Kelly for sponsoring this great giveaway!!

Maternity & Newborn Photography


My daughter, Sophie, has become pretty fond of looking at her own baby album recently.  We go through it every couple of days and she pats her little baby pictures and kisses family members.  It's quite sweet.   These little strolls down memory lane made me realize that I only have about five pictures of myself and my husband from when I was pregnant with Sophie.  What's worse is that they were all taken during the same weekend -- one week before Sophie was born.  So needless to say,  I pretty much looked like the Goodyear blimp.  

I don't like having my picture taken -- it makes me extremely uncomfortable and I have trouble acting normal when I'm nervous (thanks Counting Crows).  The other night in an attempt to get at least a few pictures of my husband and I dressed up and me preggers, I had my friend Kim take no less than 7 pictures of us at our friend's wedding.  I think maybe two look decent (not her fault, mine).  They tried to get me to pose Demi Moore style--it just didn't work. But I am definitely trying to capture the pregnancy a bit more this time around.

I also regret not having Sophie's pictures taken when she was 1.  My husband and I did a great job of chronicling her life until then.  Since she started running we've had a more difficult time getting good pictures (or getting her to stay still for that matter).  So it's taken 20 months, but I am finally having her pictures done this week.  Now, watch it rain!

So in the midst of all the other things you have to think about during your pregnancy, consider having your pictures done professionally.  It's something you'll always have to look back on and show your children.  And if you are not photographically inclined get your little ones pictures done.  My mother is still mad at me for waiting this long-but I was sure I could do it myself just as well.  I couldn't.  I'm artistically challenged and had to give in.

Here are a few well rated photographers/photojournalists in the area that specialize in Maternity and Newborn/Children's Photography.  There are probably hundreds of photographers in the area to choose from, but I chose these five based on their ratings, offerings, location, and price. While they will all travel locally, they are based in Manassas, Arlington, DC, Bethesda and Gaithersburg and all are reasonably priced for this area.  

If you have a photographer in the area that you love and think I should add - please let me know!


Kelly Smith Photography $$$
Kelly Smith
E-mail: Kelly@kellysmithphotography.net
(979) 574-0303
*Not available in July

Arlington Photography $$
Magin Urdanick
E-mail: Magin.Urdanick@mac.com
(703) 585-2256
*Booked through September

Cleverly Candid Photography  $$
Stephanie Ascari
E-mail: Stephanie@cleverlycandid.com
(703) 855-9565

Susan Braswell Photography  $$$
Susan Braswell
E-mail: susanbraswellphotography@verizon.net
(571) 243-6700

Sweet Bee Photography $$
Brittany DeFrehn
E-mail: sweetbeephotography@gmail.com
(301) 514-4747


Friday, May 21, 2010

Pregnant Women v. N/A Beer

I was going to title this Pregnant Women v Beer and leave out the N/A cause I thought it was funnier, but I realize that this is a controversial issue and didn’t want to make it any more contentious than it already is. 

So here we go.  First, some background.

I don’t have many vices.  I don’t smoke or take drugs.  I’m not a gamer or a shopaholic. What are my vices then?  Well, I probably spend a little too much time on the computer, I require a coke or a small cup of coffee everyday, and I enjoy a good beer.  How much beer you say? When I’m not pregnant, I’ll have a few a week.  When I’m pregnant? I might have one real beer at the end of my pregnancy, a sip of my husbands’ here and there, and then buy a few six packs non-alcoholic beer over the course of the pregnancy.  Do I down my six pack in a night? Hardly.  It may sit in the fridge for a few weeks before I polish it off.

What does my Ob/Gyn have to say about all this?
During my first pregnancy I had a few non-alcoholic beers, but the choices in PA (where I lived for the fist ¾ of my pregnancy) were dreadful.  My ob/gyn in PA had no issue with non-alcoholic beverages. I had no history of alcoholism and had a healthy pregnancy.  So during this pregnancy I had no hesitation getting some N/A beer. 

I love my ob/gyn practice here in VA and when you talk to them face to face, the doctors are candid and open with you.  However, when you contact them about a controversial issue like drinking and pregnancy, even if it is N/A beer, they err on the side of caution.  When I e-mailed them and asked if the occasional N/A beer was ok, the triage nurse got back to me on behalf of my doctor to say “No, not if it has any alcohol in it.”  Which is funny since that is not what others said to me last year.  But I doubt I would be able to get any doc (especially in this litigious area) to go on record in an article saying it’s ok.  Talk to your doc in person and you might get a different answer.

So there's alcohol in Non-Alcoholic Beer?
The term non-alcoholic beer is a bit of a misnomer because it actually does have some alcohol in it…less than 1/2% to be precise.  A regular bottle of beer on the other hand has about 5% alcohol.  So it would take 10 non-alcoholic beers to make 1 real beer.  So if you have one or even two N/A beers along with a big meal, the alcohol crossing over to the fetus is pretty negligible.


So what’s the big deal with drinking N/A Beer? What are the health risks?
Personally, I don’t think it’s that big of an issue if it’s done in moderation.    However, there are two major fears: 1- that pregnant women will imbibe copious amounts of N/A beer in a single sitting to get a buzz or consume large amounts on a regular basis negating the whole N/A thing, and 2-that no one (not the CDC, Mayo Clinic, March of Dimes, etc) knows exactly how much it takes to harm a fetus and cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs).  So the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the March of Dimes, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist have all gone on the record stating that women should steer clear of alcohol entirely during pregnancy (including the N/A stuff).  Have they gone a bit puritanical/overboard on the issue? Maybe, but since FASD’s are 100% preventable and there are some newer studies out on impact of consistent low dose alcohol consumption, I get that they are just trying to help.

How large of a problem is regular alcohol consumption during pregnancy? 
According to the CDC, 10% of women report drinking alcohol during pregnancy – not the N/A stuff but regular wine or beer. 

What exactly are Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)?
FASDs are a range of conditions that could impact a child whose mother drank during pregnancy.  They stem from physical deformities to severe mental retardation.  For more information go to:

How many babies are born in the U.S. each year? How many are born with FASDs?
Approximately 4,000,000 babies born each year in the U.S., of this number, approximately 40,000 babies (or 1%) are born each year with FASDs. 

What’s the rest of the world have to say about the issue?
Well evidently American’s can’t hold/manage their alcohol because most of Europe doesn’t have the same attitude towards alcohol. Especially since wine and beer are so much a part of their cultures.  I checked out some international discussion boards on the issue.  Baby Centre UK (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/pregnancy/nutrition/foodsafety/alcohol/#2) actually says a few drinks (beer/wine NOT liquor) a week are ok, but recommend abstaining if possible.  The Berkeley Parent’s Network (http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/pregnancy/drinking.html) has some interesting posts from European members who discuss how they didn’t cease their usual drinking when pregnant.  One doctor in Germany gave these guidelines: 1. No regular drinking (i.e. every single day), 2. No binge drinking (i.e. having quite a few drinks in one session), 3. Not hard liquor; stick to wine or beer. 

So despite all this you’re still going to do a N/A beer taste test and blog about it?
Yup.  I completely understand the issue and still do not believe I am in any way harming my child by consuming basically what equates to probably 5 regular beers over the course of my entire pregnancy. Good lord, I know for a fact that my mother, some aunts, and many of my friend’s mothers drank --the real stuff—during their pregnancies in the 60s and 70s.  Oh, and they smoked too!  I am not condoning it and I personally don’t do it (drink regular alcohol), I’m just stating fact. 

If you like the taste of beer and choose to have a non-alcoholic beer during your pregnancy, I don’t want you to waste your money on crap N/A beer.  I’m not here to tell you that you should or shouldn’t drink N/A beer, that decision’s between you, your spouse, your doctor, and your own personal savior -- whoever that may be.  I do hope however, that you don’t over do it.
---
The Taste Test

So last week my friend Malvika and I sat down after dinner to test out a range of N/A beers.  I should note that we only sampled 2-3 ounces of each beer.

First, a little about our preferences…

Cara: 
When I’m not prego, I prefer lagers and some ales.  I like beers with some body/flavor to them, a little hoppy even.  Preferred beers:  Yuengling Lager, Sam Adams Seasonal Brews, Clipper City Gold Ale, Harp, and Bass.  In the summer I like lighter flavors, Hefeweizen and even the occasional MGD or Miller High Life.  I am hardly a beer snob.

Malvika:
When I’m not pregnant, here’s what I prefer:
Saranac - usually have one before I move onto Miller Lite
Miller Lite - for when I am drinking a lot
Duvel - champagney beer and very yummy
Hefeweizen - for warm days and drinking outside
Chimay - super yummy beer, but I can only have one or two - not heavy
like Guinness, but filling

The Contenders:


Ok so here are the results of our taste test:

Beck’s
(German, Brauerei Beck & Co)

C: As my daughter would say, “yuck.”  I don’t mind regular Beck’s, but this was awful.  Tasted like skunked Milwaukee’s Best.

M: Agree, yuck, tastes like cheap, bad, college beer.

Buckler
(Holland, Heineken Brewery)

C: Not offensive, but not good, either. Boring and a bit metallic tasting.

M: Smooth, but not flavorful.

 Clausthaler           
(German, Binding Brauerei)

C: Flavorful, but not lovin it.  Definitely a German beer.  A wee bit bitter. I had it once before and thought I liked it.  Not so much this time.

M: Don’t really like it.  Not much to say about it.  (Even tried it in a glass—as opposed to a plastic cup—to see if it would taste better.  It didn’t.)

Kaliber
(Irish, Guinness)

C: Like a lighter Guinness.  Malty, flavorful and a bit heavy – not my thing.

M: Very flavorful and malty, reminds me of Chionay or Duvel. This is probably my favorite.

 O’Douls Premium
(American, Anheuser-Busch)

C: Like drinking flavored, carbonated caramel water. Weird after taste.  Only get if there are no other options.

M: Tastes like flavored fizzy water, but without good flavor.

O’Douls Amber
(American, Anheuser-Busch)

C: Good amber flavor, smooth.  I definitely like this one.

M: Decent. Much better than regular O’Douls.


St. Pauli Girl
(German, St. Pauli Brauerei)

C: Light, flavorful, actually tastes like beer.  Sort of reminds me of Miller High Life.  My favorite of the group.

M: Huh, surprising, it actually tastes like beer.

Penns Best N.A.
(American, Pittsburgh Brewing Co.)

C: Man, this stuff is dreadful. I mean truly awful.  Don’t bother. I had to wash my mouth out after drinking. 

M: Ugh, awful and it smells like ever clear.

Not tested during this tasting but worth mentioning:

Gerstel
(German)
Flavorful, malty and pleasant.  I couldn’t find it this time to include in tasting but it’s quite good and I believe Trader Joe’s carries it.

 Bush N/A
(American)
For what it’s worth I have a friend who’s a self-proclaimed beer snob that swears by it. 

Beer not your thing?
Ariel makes several non-alcoholic wines, a sav blanc, a chardonnay and a cabernet.  They taste a bit wine cooler ish but are sort of refreshing.

The domestic N/A beers can be found at most grocery stores.  The imports are carried at Total Wine & More http://www.totalwine.com/StoreList.aspx?state=VA&store=203 and Trader Joe's in the area.  Oh and if you should just want to try one, Total Wine sells them individually.


So there you have it.  Comments are welcome.


Have a great weekend! 


Oh...ever thought about having a maternity photo session as a keepsake of your pregnancy?  We're giving away one next week!  






Thursday, May 20, 2010

LAVANILA HEALTHY BABY COLLECTION & BABY SEARCH

In an effort to provide moms and dads with the healthiest baby skincare products possible, LAVANILA has created a collection of chemical-free, vitamin-enriched, infant-safe formulas. The Healthy Baby Collection contains 100% natural ingredients and has been tested and approved by pediatricians. Every product is gentle enough for everyday use—even on newborns, kids, and adults with sensitive skin. 


Check it out at Sephora:
http://sephora.com/browse/section.jhtml?categoryId=C22420


Hey Moms!  Do your skin issues force you to pass on beauty products?  Miss those amazing smelling body washes and moisturizers? Check out LAVANILA's line of natural products for women.  You can even search by scent!:
http://www.lavanila.com/
_____
LAVANILA BABY SEARCH

Enter your baby in the LAVANILA Happy, Healthy Baby Search---your little one could be the face of their new baby collection

http://www.sephora.com/win/healthybaby/


*** You have to post your baby's pic on a separate URL to enter.  If you don't have your own family website or blog then upload one to Snapfish or Shutterfly.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What The Heck Is Happening To My Body?! Yummy/Yucky

In the tradition of the book Yummy/Yucky, I’m going to layout what I think are some of the Yummy (Awesome) physical side effects of pregnancy, along with some of the more Yucky (Awful) physical side effects of pregnancy over the next month or so.  

Your body goes through incredible changes during pregnancy -- some women get very upset about these changes, others don’t.  Despite the following commentary, I really didn’t get too distraught about the changes I experienced (& am experiencing again).  The baby and I are in good health and that’s what really matters – you just have to laugh at the other stuff.

Yummy/Yucky Pregnancy Side Effect #1: Hair

Yummy
My hair is pretty thick to begin with, add to that pregnancy hormones (Androgens) and my prenatal vitamins and I have the fastest growing hair in America.  You might be saying, “well, what’s wrong with that?”  To which I’d respond, “Not a thing, if it were only the hair on my head that was growing at lightening speed!”  But alas, it’s not just the hair on my head that is growing out of control.  My hair actually looks great and isn’t the problem. (It’s when all my beautiful hair falls out post partum that I get pissed).

Yucky
The hair on other parts of my body is also growing at warp speed--which is truly an issue now that I can’t see over my belly very well.  Now, my legs, eyebrows, armpits and bikini line are also in need of weed-whacking much more frequently.  I can handle that -- if I can just remember to do it! Out of sight, out of mind, you know?  It’s the other places that get me, like my face and belly.  I get these little furry sideburns that thankfully aren’t real dark, but they’re still there and make me feel like I should don a top hat, ascot, and cane and talk in a 1800s cockney accent.  And the belly hair, what is up with that?  By third trimester, I feel more like a Monchichi (a popular 80’s cartoon & doll) than a woman.  See picture at right.
Ok, maybe it wasn’t THAT bad, but it felt that way, so I am on belly hair watch now that I am 24 weeks.  Thankfully my husband laughed about it, however he did called me “hirsutie pie,” instead of “sweetie pie” for many months.  Look it up--it's certainly apropos.  A little mean? Maybe.  But definitely funny.

Thankfully the crazy hair growth thing is pretty temporary and can be managed.  So the deal is you can tweeze, wax and shave all you want.  Most docs don’t recommend depilatories and bleaches.  Another option that I didn’t find until after Sophie was born was Smooth Away (yes, the infomerical one).  I used it to remove the offending sideburns and belly hair post baby.  It worked, but a little bit of hair still grew back.  You can buy Smooth Away pretty much everywhere now (Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond and some drug stores). 


Next week - Yummy/Yucky Side Effect #2: Boobs 

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Year Ahead

So 2010 is a big year for me.  Not only am I having my second child, but I turn 35 this year -- today actually.  I’m sort of freaked out by this milestone and at how fast time goes by.  I clearly remember my life a decade ago.  Which is curious, since I can’t always remember what I did in the past day/week anymore!  So I figure it’s time to take stock, look back with fondness on the past decade, and then move the hell on. 

A decade ago at 25, I started dating my husband, landed my dream job at an international NGO, traveled to five countries, and did a 300 mile bike ride from NC to DC in honor of my cousin who died of AIDs.  In the following decade I worked with some amazing people in Asia and the Middle East, traveled to more than a dozen countries, finished my Masters degree, got married, got my teaching license, moved to PA, moved back to VA and had a baby.

And now? In this my 35th year I, started a blog, walked 5 miles for the March of Dimes (yes, it was last month but I am counting it), will have my second little girl, celebrate 6 years of marriage to my dear husband, and celebrate Sophie’s second birthday (which will also mark two years as a stay at home mom.)

Hrm, when I put my life in writing like that, it makes me feel a bit like I am regressing. Some would say I am, but I just think there’s no comparing my life then and now -- Apples to oranges.  My life and priorities are completely different now.  It took me a long time to stop making comparisons after I had Sophie.  This is going to anger some women, but I was very reluctant to stay home, resentful even.  Not that I don’t love my daughter with all my heart, but it took me almost a year to become comfortable in my new role.  I’ve been working since I was 15 (maybe younger) and had been told my whole life that I could do it all.  I assumed I was less of a women if I didn’t/couldn’t.  But my husband and I agreed before Sophie was born that I would stay home with her for at least the first year.  And, if there is one thing motherhood has taught me it’s that my decisions now are based on what’s best for my family.  I still plan to go back to work in the next few years, but I know that this is what’s best for my family right now.

But what else does my 35th year have in store for me?  Well, I decided to make some birthday resolutions.  Every New Year’s day my husband writes out his New Year’s resolutions, and I’m not talking a single list of a few things.  His resolutions are broken into four categories and under each there are four to five goals/resolutions; and some are really big/difficult.  He’s been doing this as long as I’ve known him and I marvel at his dedication.  I tried to follow suit a few times, but I usually only had a few things written down and I always lost the note card by the end of the year.  Not my husband, he knows exactly where it is and without a whole big to do, he goes about ticking off resolutions throughout the year.   

So why the story about my husband?  Because I realize now that I am a big ole scaredy cat who is terrified of failure.  Deep down I felt that if I wrote a resolution down and didn’t achieve it then I was a failure and everyone would know.  Having a baby has really helped me… get over myself.  I am much more laid back now.  I mean I used to be REALLY uptight. Ask my old co-workers, ask my husband!  So I am on this momentous occasion (my birthday, duh) going to lay out in writing some things I resolve to do over the next year.  I probably won’t get to them all, but I’m gonna try.

  1. Publish something.  I have always been terrified of people reading my writing.  Not so much the work stuff, because grant proposals aren’t really what I love to write, but essays and articles.  So starting this blog is huge for me. However, I’d like to write something for a magazine by years end.  However, if I don’t, I will still count the blog as a win and focus on next year!

  1. Help total strangers.  Again, this was a big reason why I started this blog.  I’m an SJ (personality type), I take care of people, I can’t help myself -- that’s just how I roll. I hope to be able help women during an exciting, yet emotional and occasionally stressful time in their lives.  Then once they’re through it I hope they pay it forward to another new mom in the area. 

  1. Support local women/mom owned businesses.  I live in a great neighborhood and am surrounded by incredibly enterprising moms.  Being around them has been inspiring.  As much as I can, I want to support them in their business endeavors as well as other women in the area—be it through my blog or other avenues. 

  1. Try new things.  I am a creature of habit.  I’ve had the same hair style for most of my life with the exception of six years when I had it really short and my husband called me T-boz (TLC from the “Waterfalls” era).  I’ve gone to the same nail salon for a decade and have been wearing the same nail polish (I’m Not Really A Waitress) for just as long.  I also have an irrational fear of group exercise.  I’m terrified I am going to make an ass out of myself; which is why I keep saying I’m going to Stroller Strides, but haven’t quite made it yet.  Ridiculous, I know.  Especially considering the fact that I once slept in an abandoned warlord’s house in East Timor and a hotel room with no locks in Afghanistan! I told you my hang ups were bizarre.  I have already started working on this one though. Last week, on Mothers Day I tried a new nail place and a new color.  The place was great, but I hate the color and can’t wait to change it.  I tried though! Regarding exercise, I am scheduled to take…wait for it…a prenatal yoga AND a prenatal pilates class in the next few weeks.  It should make for an entertaining post.  I also plan to take my daughter places I never had the time to visit when I was working.  Despite living in this area for a while, I haven’t taken advantage of all that it has to offer.  I plan to experience these places together with my daughter(s). Oh and learn how to drive stick.  It’s absurd that I am 35 and I can’t drive my husband’s car (or move it out of the driveway for that matter).

  1. Support and raise money for organizations in Afghanistan and on the Thai/Burma border that run maternal clinics, schools and safe houses for women and girls.  I used to work in both of those countries and while my focus at the time was democracy and governance, the situation for women and girls in both places is dire.  Social Action for Women (SAW) is local group doing great work on the Thai-Burma border.  In Afghanistan you sadly have to be a little more careful who you fund locally. Greg Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute (http://www.ikat.org) does great work but I’m looking into smaller, local orgs.  Should you get a chance, I recommend reading Nicholas Kristof’s editorial from Mother’s Day, “Celebrate: Save a Mother,” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/opinion/09kristof.html, as well as his book, Half The Sky.  Three Cups of Tea is another inspiring read and intro to the plight of women and girls in Afghanistan.  

So I have about five more resolutions, but they are personal and I figure I really have blathered on enough today.

Here are a few things I am working on that you probably care more about:  Pregnant Woman v. Food: The N/A Beer Edition, The Skinny on Prenatal Massage in the DC area, Awesome/Awful: What The Heck is Happening To My Body?!, and Prenatal Exercise options in the DC area.

Have a great weekend all!

C

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Baby sale this weekend at Appleseed Boutique in Old Town



Ok that title didn't exactly come out right, did it? 


If you've recently had a baby or are due soon you might be interested in this...


All spring and summer baby clothes at Appleseed Boutique in Old Town are 25% off this Saturday and Sunday only. 


Appleseed Boutique
115 South Columbus Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 535-5446