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How to Glow Through Severe Morning Sickness When Pregnant

Catherine the Duchess of York is finding out the hard way that being pregnant can be, shall we say, less than romantic. Between the tenderness in areas that never hurt before and morning, noon and night sickness that for some results in dehydration so severe it can only be helped with a trip to the hospital and an IV; pregnancy can be a royal (no pun intended) pain for any female. Does it make anyone else feel better to know that nausea doesn’t give royalty a skate? Not that I would wish HG (Severe Morning Sickness Hyperemesis gravidarum) on anybody. If you have ever suffered from morning sickness; then you know it makes you wonder why those with deep pockets don't go the surrogacy route. Oh well, kudos to them for doing things the old-fashioned way!

Did You Glow When You Were Pregnant

The only "glow" that I could lay claim to especially in the first three months that I was pregnant was the red-faced look that came from spending hours at a time with my head hanging over the toilet. I may have also been a tiny bit flushed when my blood pressure shot up from eating too much salt.

I would like to know if somebody out there really experienced the glowing look that people attribute to being pregnant. And if you did; please tell us how you managed it!

Word is that paying close attention to your diet, meditation schedule and exercise regimen will help you to get your "glow" on but since I did good to monitor my caloric intake and nutrition let alone having time for yoga; you can’t prove it by me.

Meanwhile, I’m sending up prayers not just for Kate but for all women who are finding out the hard way that those precious babies don’t always come easy. I wouldn’t have traded the moment I first felt that flutter of life for anything in the world…but glowing wasn’t in my wheelhouse.


Before Giving Birth My Personal Pregnancy Bucket List

Women who have a pregnancy and a baby or two under their belt know that there's lots of stuff to do before giving birth. First-time moms have fun stuff on their to-do list like decorating a nursery for baby, putting together a layette and arranging all those sweet, little baby clothes inside the closet. As a mom that has more than one; I'm here to tell first-timers to go ahead and fold them and put them in the dresser drawers, hang them in the closet or whatever but do not dawdle over this; there are bigger fish to fry and more important things to do right now than making sure the baby's outfits are organized.

The purpose of this article is to send these soon-to-be mommies a message that their world is about to be completely taken over by the love and care of a newborn and the time to indulge yourself a little is now! You see, for the next couple of years, you will come to view taking a little time for yourself even if it’s to perform the most basic of self-maintenance procedures as an almost sinfully delightful self-indulgence.

Here are a few things every pregnant woman should do before the little angel arrives and turns her world topsy turvy. If you are already a parent and pregnant with a second, third or fourth, the recommendations that follow will still apply. You know what’s coming and that’s even more reason for you to take my suggestions and tick off the items on this list! Call the kids’ grandmother, get a sitter and get started!

Spend Time with Friends
Starting with your childless friends, set up lunch dates or invite them to just drop in for a visit. You will not automatically become friendless after baby arrives but you may find yourself having less in common with couples who are child-free. Contact your girlfriends that are already parents and encourage them to get a babysitter so that you can have a nice, long chat and catch up with NO baby talk allowed. Revisit your friendship the way it was pre-baby.

Visit the hairdresser to get a cute, low-maintenance haircut, a do that doesn’t require constant attention to look nice, invest in a mani-pedi so that your toes look pretty in the stirrups and while you’re at it; get a massage. Nobody’s saying to let yourself go after baby arrives but quick fixes are mommy’s best friend. And who wants to take a new baby to the hair salon where the air is filled with the smell of perm solution and hairspray? Not me!

While you’re looking pretty and fresh out of the salon, plan a date night with your significant other. Get reservations at a favorite restaurant that holds special meaning for the two of you as a couple, visit museums or art exhibits that will frown on patrons showing up with a fussy baby in tow. Do adult things that you will not be able to do after giving birth. And cuddle..cuddle a lot!

The future is uncertain but one thing is for sure; your life is about to change. Be spontaneous and make spur of the moment plans; every aspect of your life is about to be on a schedule beyond your control. Now is the time to snuggle, hold hands and take naps together. Give your baby the best gift of all, parents who love and cherish each other.

Thanks for stopping by, Oh Baby Green Living if you have some ideas for solving environmental problems, parenting tips or have something to add to my "pregnancy bucket list" of things to do before giving birth please leave a comment!


Creating a Baby Safe Sleep Environment

A beautiful, decorated nursery is lovely but creating a baby safe sleep environment should be the first order of business when a newborn is expected. The facts are that while fluffy pillows, quilts and bumper pads are cute but they just aren't safe.

Crib bumpers are a hot topic with a lot of moms and while it's true that they continue to be included in most crib set collections; their use is no longer recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Some moms say that they are worried about their baby's legs slipping through the crib rails during the night. Maybe a sleeper could solve this problem. Take a look.

Obsessing over the nightmare of SIDS has kept me awake many nights. It seems just when I start to relax about it and focus (read: obsess) on some other issue; the news of another angel taken all too soon comes my way leaving grieving, guilt-ridden parents looking to blame themselves, a toxic environment or faulty crib bedding.

The first step in being certain that the crib is safe for baby is to educate yourself. Keep up with new information on SIDS, research and products to reduce the risk. At the moment we don't have all the answers as to whether SIDS is due to physical or environmental problems; education is the key to creating a baby safe sleep environment that is as close to perfect as we can get.


Get Ready to Mow the Grass on the Roof

Is it time to get ready to mow the grass on the roof! Could it be that very soon when it's time to mow the lawn that we not only need to haul out the trusty lawnmower but drag out a step ladder to climb up on the roof to finish the job after the "lower" lawn has been trimmed? Will we be weed-eating around the edge of the gutters in the near future?

This is a trend that I've watched spreading from large American cities on up into Toronto, Canada. In fact, an article published by Crisp Green it was announced that our Canadian friends are introducing a bylaw that requires all industrial buildings over 2000 square meters in size to have green roofs covering anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of the roof area with the percentage depending on the size of roof. In years 2009 and 2010 the city had already introduced bylaws that included residential as well as commercial structures of that size and is now targeting industrial buildings.

Knowing that traditional roofing materials are not that eco-friendly and that green roofs are very well...GREEN, this seemed to me to be a move in the right direction. It makes an environmentalist's heart pound to think of replacing shingles with lush greenery that will reduce fuel consumption through lower heating and cooling bills via its insulating properties and grass is just prettier than gravel covered tar paper!

BUT...yeah, that's right; there's a big ol' but about to bust our bubble.

You see, I'm as big a fan of preserving freedom as I am of going green and they are MANDATING what kind of roof people put on their houses. I don't really like it when laws are made tending to the minute details of my life. Even if the mandates result in something really good; I wonder what directives they are going to come up with next and whether or not my budget could handle the cost of a greener, better roofing system.

You see, one of the biggest drawbacks (negatives) of having a green roof is the expensive cost of installation. Just like shingle roofs, a green roof will "keep you covered" for many years but they are pricey.

The recent laws set for by the city of Toronto apply to new construction which basically means that contractors will need to allow room in THEIR budget to cover a new, improved roof. I can imagine with downturn of the economy that this is a less than popular law. It would be wonderful if going green were more affordable but it's not so there's no reason for my DH to get ready to grow the grass on the roof just yet.

Dirty Shopping Malls and Carts

I don't do Black Friday. Dirty shopping malls and carts are just not my thing especially when there's a nasty stomach bug going around; a good friend is puking and pooping clear water as I type. But I also don't like to get up at daylight and rush out the door only to dodge elbows of crazed shoppers trying to get at that (probably one or two at the most in stock) "teaser" product before somebody else does.

The crowds suck but the main reason I do my dead level best to avoid shopping malls during cold and flu season is to avoid becoming infected with every virus making its rounds. When it comes to malls and shopping centers; if you build them and throw out a few hot products tagged with super cheap prices they will come. And by "they" I mean staph infections, flu viruses and lots of other really nasty germs left all over the place and NO Virginia, not just the unflushed toilets in the restrooms. Those little buggers are everywhere.

What is the most germy, nasty spot in the public bathroom? Well, you may be surprised to learn it's not the commode; experts say it's the sink!

When you think about it it makes sense. What do people touch right after they go to the toilet or change the baby's diaper? Those germy hands touch the faucets that probably get washed once a day at best leaving some of the worst strains of bacteria to grow. The sinks and faucets are both damp and dirty which translate into spa-like conditions for a germ where they can thrive unhindered and be spread to each and every unsuspecting visitor.

And if you were counting on germicidal soaps to save you, you should be aware that a large percentage of handwashing soap from the dispensers that they tested contained high levels of bacteria! WTH!

It's still your best bet to scrub your hands after using the bathroom for the time it takes you to sing "Happy Birthday". However, in light of these discoveries, you might consider packing a travel size of your own brand of eco-friendly, chemical-free hand soap in your purse or diaper bag so that you don't carry the germs from the dirty shopping malls and carts home with you.


5 Uses for Breast Milk (Beyond Feeding Babies)

For those of you who produce enough breast milk to spare, here are 5 Uses for Breast Milk beyond feeding babies that are being tossed about on the web which, of course, means that the information may or may not be accurate and I am to be held harmless if you try one of the ideas out only to find that it doesn't work.

People are saying that you can use breast milk to:

1. smooth your skin? Word is that a generous squirt or two of liquid gold (what we call breast milk around my house) will moisturize and eliminate ashy-ness leaving your skin smooth as silk. This seems like a huge waste of good milk to me, but if you find yourself without lotion on a day when you need it; it's worth a shot.

2. Heal minor scrapes, cuts and scratches. I've heard that cosmetic or medical grade sugar over a wound will help it to heal and I suppose there could be sugar or some natural antibiotic in the chemical composition of breast milk that works in a similar manner.

3. Control acne. Perhaps the same components that helps to heal minor wounds work on the inflammation of acne. It would feel weird to wash your face in milk of any kind, but I actually like the idea better than bathing my monthly breakouts in chemicals, don't you?

4. Calm conjunctivitis. Talk about unusual cures for pink eye! It's been written that a few drops will fix those red eyes right up after a sleepless night. I have to wonder if a mom up all night with a fussy baby accidentally splashes some in her eye to figure this one out.

5. Take the place of milk in some recipes. The substitution would most likely work best in dessert recipes since everyone I've ever known who sampled their baby's dinner said it tastes sweet.

I love the idea of
recycling baby stuff
, household items and conservation of all resources so not wasting precious breast milk is right in my wheel house, but I'm not sure I've read anything that I want to try at the moment, have you?
If you have a tip that you would like to add to my list of 5 uses for breast milk or if you've tried one of the above suggestions, please feel free to tell us all about it using the comments section.


Recycling Crafts with Baby Food Jars

Here's my list of 5 of the BEST recycling crafts with baby food jars EVER. After collecting hundreds (thousands?) of glass jars over the last few years, recycling them has become a personal challenge. There are lots of blogs that have posted ideas but some of them are super and some not so much. That's why I've started a top 10 list (ok, I've got 5 so far)!

My husband was always laughing and calling me a "hoarder" and the "jar lady" but he stopped laughing when he saw how much money we saved by decorating the jars and giving them as baby shower gifts. My focus is primarily on the environmental benefits of keeping the empty jars out of the landfill but cheap gifts are pretty cool, too.

Now, here's my list that has many creative uses for baby food jars and where to go to find the instructions and tutorials.

Number One - Decorating the Empty Jars to Give as Gifts
Here's one that I've used over and over again. Don't let the jars decorated for Halloween throw you, just substitute ribbons in the baby's nursery colors. But they also make cool Halloween baby shower or party favors. I suppose that's why I keep going back to this project; it's versatile.

Number Two - Making Party Lanterns Out of Empty Glass Baby Food Jars
But speaking of parties, Here are some instructions for how to transform those empty jars into lanterns! Imagine strings of these twinkling lanterns at your next backyard barbecue or pool party. Sock some citronella candles in there for bug control and you're all set!

Number Three - Etching the Glass Jars
If you run out of parties and showers to decorate and make gifts for, go here to see how this crafty blog used a glass etching technique to transform the jars into spice containers!

Number Four - Make a Chandelier with Baby Food Jar Globes
Another of my favorites (that I have yet to get around to actually making) is this chandelier decorated with globes that are actually; you guessed it, baby food jars! I can just imagine my husband's eyeballs rolling in his head if I asked him to help me with this one.

Number Five - Make Magnificent Christmas Window Decorations
Being a mom who is never afraid to let her freak flag fly, I made a Christmas tree out of baby food jars to display in our window. I have plans to make either another tree so that I'll have a matching set or stars for the upstairs windows. Here
are the instructions for the tree that helped me use up all the jars that so many of my neighbors and friends left on my steps when you thought I wasn't home.

This one didn't make my list but it's cool all the same.

And last of all of the crafts with baby food jars is this one a space-age looking chair made with LOTS of jars. Not very practical, but cool looking and you use up lots of your stash!

Please feel free to add your own favorites to my list of the
5 BEST Recycling Crafts with Baby Food Jars
. Now, let the
baby food jar recycling begin and don't forget to come back and share your pictures!