31 May 2011

Favorite Baby Items: Stokke Tripp Trapp

I lusted over this highchair [high chair?] baby holder for a while and we finally got it a few weeks ago! S's parents wanted to buy it for Bay so we waited until they were in town. I wasn't sure if she would like a high chair because the few times we'd tried it, she would only stay in it for a minute or two before she wanted out.
The current Tripp Trapp color range
We practiced a few times when we were out to dinner during the week that my in-laws were here and I discovered that as long as Bay had something to chew on/ eat/ play with, she actually enjoyed having her own little seat.
We ended up with the grey and while I like it, I still wish they hadn't discontinued the whitewash [only in the US, too!] because that would have fit better with our existing furniture.
Obviously Bay likes her chair, too:

In case you don't know, the awesome thing about the Tripp Trapp [which was originally created in 1972 in Norway] is that it grows with the child so it can be used indefinitely. It can be adjusted as the child grows and can even hold a 300-pound adult! I'm hoping that none of my children will ever weigh that much but if they do, at least I won't have to buy new chairs.

Another feature of the Tripp Trapp that many other highchairs don't have is that it slides right up to the table, instead of having its own tray. It allows the baby to eat at the table with the whole family and feel included. I did find this tray on Amazon, though, which would be handy if you don't have enough room at the table, if it's too high, etc.
PlayTray for Stokke Tripp Trapp
PlayTray available here
The plastic thing that we have on Bay's chair right now is called the Baby Set [available separately] that we will use until she's about 18 months old. After that, she will just use the harness and then nothing at all. Note: According to the Amazon reviews, you don't need the Baby Set if you use the tray [I don't even think you can use them together but I'm not entirely sure].
Stokke Tripp Trapp Cushion
Cushion available here
There is also a cushion that comes in several prints and fabrics [I prefer the linen] but I opted against that because I had heard that they just got dirty and were too much of a hassle to deal with. Bay also doesn't seem to mind sitting on the wooden seat.

30 May 2011

Video of Bay: Babbling

We just moved to a new house this weekend and are still settling in so I haven't really been able to post. Here's a video I took recently:
And if you want more Bay, here are some pictures:
Just after her first time in the bath tub at our new house/ ever! And yes, I'm lazy and only gave her sponge baths for 7.5 months.

Trying to eat the camera, per usual
"I think I'm getting some more teef!"
I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day!

25 May 2011

Things That Infuriate Me: 'Just You Wait'

I posted about Ivanka Trump's pregnancy the other day [here]. While I love Ivanka, one thing I read in her Bazaar interview annoyed me. At the end of the interview, Ivanka mentioned having more kids in the future. "I'd love to have three or four kids," she says, pausing before giving a wry smile. "But my mom always says, 'Speak to me after you have your first.'"
ivanka trump
Photo and interview here
I always wonder why some people act like everyone who has a child will immediately vow not to have more because it's just so difficult [especially when you have the resources to hire as much help as you want]. Obviously some children have special needs or other issues that make things more difficult and I realize that. I just don't understand why, if kids are so horrible, people ask 'when are you going to have kids?' until you tell them you're going to and then they tell you how you're never going to sleep, etc.
My sweet baby who, shockingly, has slept well since the first week of her life
I've been lucky with Bay and I don't expect all of my kids to be good sleepers or to get along all the time because that's just part of parenting. I prepared for several years before becoming a mother and I constantly research as much as I can so that I can do the best job possible. That doesn't ensure that Bay will be completely successful in everything or that we will agree 100% of the time but it gives us much better odds than no preparation at all. I hate the 'just you wait' advice. I've also noticed that it always comes from parents whose kids are really badly-behaved.
The day before Easter- Bay actually let me put bunny ears on her!
I recently went to Mass [S goes every Sunday and I've been trying to get up and go more often] and saw a large family crossing the street to go into the Cathedral. I counted the children- all TEN of them! Yes, I realize it's a Catholic church and all but I couldn't believe it. And guess what? All 10 children [the oldest was maybe 9?] sat quietly with their parents through the entire Mass. They were the most well-behaved kids in there. That just goes to support my theory that the number of children you have is inversely proportional to how well-behaved they are [with exceptions, of course].

20 May 2011

Shayne Lamas is Pregnant

I feel like an idiot- how could I have missed this? I absolutely LOVE Shayne Lamas. I watched her on the Bachelor first and then on her own reality show Leave it to Lamas [oh yeah, and that Dr. Phil episode about The Dirty]. She seems like such a nice girl and never has anything bad to say about anyone.
Shayne Lamas celebrates Her 24th Birthday At Coyote Ugly Saloon in Las Vegas - 11/6/09 24
Anyway, I'm sending a big congratulations to Shayne and her husband Nik Richie. I can't wait to hear what they are having [if they find out] and what name they choose! I can't even venture a guess on names at this point.
Shayne Lamas Nik Richie bikini wedding cabo san lucas beach
Shayne and Nik

Jessica Alba Practices Hypnobirthing

As if I didn't have enough reasons to love Jessica Alba, I just saw on People's site that she was talking about Hypnobirthing on Ellen, which will air today.

I listened to the Hypnobirthing Audio toward the end of my pregnancy and it definitely helped me to relax. Looking back, I wish I had practiced it more [and read the entire book] and had S involved as I think it could have helped me be more calm/ less loud during my very fast labor [just over 2 hours from beginning to baby].
I love when celebrities talk about natural birth, not that it usually grabs many headlines. I hope that with Gisele, Miranda Kerr, and others who have successfully delivered naturally, over time our society will stop fearing the process. It shouldn't be a given that childbirth involves drugs or surgery [in my opinion, those things should be rare and used only when necessary].

Other posts about Jessica Alba

Celebrity Birth Announcement: Marion Cotillard

Actress Marion Cotillard gave birth to a boy last night in Paris. Cotillard and her boyfriend, Guillaume Canet, named their son Marcel. Yay for a nice [and what I consider classic] French name!
Marion Cotillard Gives Birth to a Son | Marion Cotillard
I actually intended to do a post on Marion Cotillard months ago, when she first announced her pregnancy... oops! For those who don't know her, she was in Inception [as Leonardo DiCaprio's wife] and won an Oscar [Best Actress] for her role in La Vie en Rose a few years ago. Oh yeah, she's also gorgeous. 


19 May 2011

Niki Taylor is Expecting Her 4th Child

I've always thought Niki Taylor was gorgeous but when I saw her on the most recent season of Celebrity Apprentice, I couldn't help but notice what a nice person she is. 

She was very sweet to everyone, her whole team liked her, and I got the impression that she's a wonderful mother. Already a mom to 16-year-old twin sons Hunter and Jake and 2-year-old daughter Ciel, she recently announced that she is pregnant with a fourth child, due this November.
Niki Taylor Expecting Her Fourth Child | Niki Taylor
Photo and article here

With the wide age difference, I'm guessing Ciel is more her style now than Hunter and Jake. Based on the fact that Ciel means 'sky' in French, I would assume they'd choose something else either French [maybe Fleur?] or nature-inspired. Here are some nature name suggestions:

Wren [I'm not a fan but a lot of people like it]
Nova [in keeping with the sky theme]
Iris [in case she wants to jump on the botanical name trend]
Luna [also sky-related]
Niki Taylor
Ash [on its own or short for Asher]
Bay [I've seen this on boy lists before]

Those are by no means names that I would have on my list, just those that I think might fit with their daughter's name.

Celebrity Mom-to-Be: Ivanka Trump

When I read recently that Ivanka Trump is having a girl [I was surprised as I've always heard that it's Jewish custom not find out the sex], I knew I had to post about her. I like Ivanka because while she's super gorgeous, smart, and wealthy, she still comes across as a very down-to-earth person. She said in an interview with Harper's Bazaar, "We have our work cut out for us to ensure that our daughter is grounded and not spoiled."
Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner
I can't wait to hear their daughter's name. I can't imagine they'll choose anything weird or trendy- I picture their baby with a traditional, possibly inherited Jewish name that's still accessible in the US.
Photo here
I would love it if they went with something like Miriam or Shoshannah. I love the Hebrew name Aviva but I imagine that could be too out there. She is due July 14 so we should know soon enough!

17 May 2011

Random Baby-related Observations

Victoria Beckham still barely looks pregnant:
PRECIOUS CARGO   photo | Victoria Beckham
MELLOW YELLOW photo | Tori Spelling
Katie Holmes claims she is not pregnant [click here for the photo of her mysterious bump]. 
Katie Holmes Is Not Pregnant, Says Rep | Katie Holmes, Suri Cruise
Seraphina Affleck is 2 years old?!
SNUGGLE BUDDIES photo | Jennifer Garner
Kelsey Grammer is trying to get full custody of his two children with Camille.
Photo here
And of course, there is that whole thing about Arnold Swarzenegger's 10-year-old son with his former housekeeper that everyone [including Maria Shriver] just found out about. TMZ posted a couple of photos and even though they've blurred out the kid's face, it definitely looks like he shares some of Arnold's facial features:

10 May 2011

Celebrity Birth Announcement: Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone and her husband Christopher Jarecki welcomed their first baby last Thursday. His name is Bear Blu [really?] Jarecki and he weighed 7 lbs, 15 oz.
Photo here
I guess I shouldn't comment because I have a couple of animal-related names on my list but they're legitimate, established [not to mention family] names. I also don't mind the name Blue if it has meaning so I'll just hope it does for them.

Also, if you like Reese's Peanut Butter cups, you've got to try the ones from Alicia Silverstone's cookbook, The Kind Diet. I actually don't have it yet but I saw her on some show where she made these so I made a batch. I made them not too long after Bay was born and have been meaning to make more lately because they're delicious.

1/2 cup Earth Balance butter *I actually found this to be too much
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (preferably unsweetened and unsalted)
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares
1/4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener
1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips
1/4 cup soy, rice, or nut milk *I think I used Almond Dreams
1/4 cup chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts *I skipped these

1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. (If You Care makes unbleached liners made from recycled paper.) Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
3. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well.
4. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups.
5. Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.
6. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture.
7. Top with chopped nuts.
8. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving. 


09 May 2011

Is Katie Holmes Pregnant?

I just saw this photo on People's site and wondered how I could have missed Katie Holmes' pregnancy announcement. I did a Google search and other photos from different angles show the same thing.
SHOE IN photo | Katie Holmes
She's generally a very fit person so I think she's got to be pregnant. Another site speculated that she just had a ridiculously huge lunch...
What do you think?

In other celebrity mom and mom-to-be news, Gwen Stefani wore some crazy-looking pants [?]HAPPY GO LUCKY photo | Gavin Rossdale, Gwen Stefani
and January Jones is still looking fabulous.
CITY WALK  photo | January Jones
 People also commented on Ashlee Simpson's "post-baby body," despite the fact that her son, Bronx, is 2.5 years old. Strange.
NO SWEAT photo | Ashlee Simpson

07 May 2011

My Current Wishlist: Colorful Animal Planters

I nearly always stay away from plastic and bright colors but as soon as I came across these on Etsy, I decided I had to make an exception. These little planters are made from repurposed plastic toys, then painted and sealed [I'm checking with them about the type of paint and sealant]. They then come to you with plants already growing! All you have to do is water at least once a week and keep in a sunny spot. I think these would be great for teaching kids how to take care of plants- how fun!

There are several different types, but here are some of my favorites:
Penelope the Hippopotamus Planter & Succulent
Penelope the Hippopotamus
Lester the Lion Planter & Succulent
Lester the Lion
Rick the Dilophosaurus Planter & Succulent
Rick the Dilophosaurus
Monty the Pachycephalosaurus Planter & Succulent
Monty the Pachycephalosaurus
Sara the Giraffe Planter & Succulent
Sara the Giraffe
Randall the Allosaurus Planter & Succulent
Randall the Allosaurus
Zach the Triceratops Planter & Succulent
Zach the Triceratops
Beatrice the Apatosaurus Planter & Succulent
Beatrice the Apatosaurus
PlaidPigeon also offers a 12-pack of assorted planters [currently $200 with free shipping], which I think would make awesome party decorations/ favors or holiday gifts for several kids.

I've actually been trying to decide on favors for Bay's 1st birthday party and if I limit the guest list and keep everything else simple, a custom batch of pastel-colored animal planters is at the top of my list.

06 May 2011

Real Housewives' Baby Names: New York City

I decided to take one Real Housewives franchise at a time and comment on their children's names. Since it's on right now and is one of my favorites, I'm going to start with New York City.
Photo here
Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen
Sons: Francois and Johan

Considering the number of things I hate about Alex and Simon, I'm surprised that their kids' names didn't make that list. While I think they chose French names to fit with the rest of their overly pretentious/ wannabe social-climbing lifestyle, I still think they're great names... if only they lived in France. 

In one of the early episodes, Jill told Alex that the kids [particularly Francois] would be made fun of if he didn't go by a more Americanized nickname like Frank or Frankie [I forget which]. I assumed that New York would have enough international influence to avoid that problem but apparently not. Generally, though, I approve of the names: B+.
Photo here
Jill and Bobby Zarin
Daughter: Allyson "Ally"

Allyson is Jill's daughter from a previous marriage but she goes by Ally Zarin. According to Behind the Name, Allyson is a legitimate variant of Allison [a male name]. While I don't mind Allison in theory, I don't think I would use a -son name for my daughter. It didn't bother me until recently and the more I hear it, the less I approve.

I also really dislike the nickname Ally/ Allie. If you're going to use the name, go with Allison and call her that. Grade: D-.
The 2009 Astaire Awards: LuAnn de Lesseps with her children, Noel and Victoria
Photo here
Countess LuAnn de Lesseps
Son: Noel
Daughter: Victoria

I love LuAnn's children's names. Unlike Alex, LuAnn actually had much more of a reason to choose traditional French names: her ex-husband is a French Count from a prominent family and she's of French descent as well. She opted for English names, though, and they seem to fit her kids well.

I wish more people realized that Noel is a boy name and I'm so glad Victoria doesn't go by Tori or Vicky. I give LuAnn an A.
Photo here
 Ramona and Mario Singer
Daughter: Avery

While Avery has officially crossed over and become a girl name, it still sounds a little to masculine to me. It's a great name, though, but way too trendy for my taste. I do think Avery Singer has a nice flow to it, so I give it a C.
"Real Housewives of New York" star Kelly Killoren Bensimon and daughters Sea (brown hat) and Thaddeus (pink hat) raise money for the Animal Haven, SoHo, with some home-made goodies.
Photo here
Kelly Killoren Bensimon
Daughters: Sea and Thaddeus "Teddy"

Here's another example of someone who was married to a Frenchman [photographer Gilles Bensimon] yet chose not to go with French names for her kids. While I can't say that I hate Sea [I feel a sort of allegiance to water names because of Bay], it is kind of awkward to say and certainly doesn't sound like a sister for Thaddeus.

Speaking of Thaddeus, that's also a male name. I think it's awesome, though, and I love the nickname Teddy. I actually have Theodora at the top of my list for the next girl and plan to call her Teddy. Who knew I had so much in common with Kelly? In any case, I feel torn because on the one hand, the names don't go together. On the other hand, I can appreciate both because they're so similar to Bay's and my nonexistent future child's name. I'll give her a C+ [points deducted for sibling name discord].
Photo here
Cindy Barshop
Daughters: Zoe and Jesse

I honestly hate these names. One is feminine, one is masculine, and they don't sound like siblings at all. Some sites have the spelling listed as Jessie but either way, I just don't get that at all. It reminds me of Uncle Jesse and it's so 80s. Zoe's a real name but it's way overdone. Grade: F.
Bethenny Frankel and Bryn Hoppy - Bethenny Frankel And Family Out For An Early Dinner In Tribeca
Photo here
Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy
Daughter: Bryn

She's no longer on RHONY but I thought I'd include her anyway. Brian was the name of Jason's brother who died in a car accident. Apparently a nickname of his was Bryn [it's an actual masculine Welsh name] so they named their daughter that to honor him. Her middle name is Casey, though, which I don't understand or like. I'll give them a D+ [points added for honoring a family member and deducted because I don't like either name].
Photo here
It's a mystery: I can't find anything online that says what Sonja Morgan's daughter's name is. Weird!