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Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas

 

Father's Day last minute

Father’s Day is less than 4 days away. Close to 90% of those surveyed in Shopular‘s annual survey about this gift-giving season said they planned to get a get a gift for dad.

The top Gift Picks for Dads that the virtual shopping app discovered: Clothes were the top gift pick (at 31%), followed by Electronics (24%), Tools (22%), Sporting Equipment (10%), Books/Music (5%), and Home Accessories (5%). Sadly, the proverbial “Tie” has lost serious ground – being favored by less than 3% of consumers as a popular gift item for Dad.

If you are one of those last minute shoppers still scrambling for a gift, no worries. We’ve got some tips and suggestions.

1. Amazon.com is offering free one day delivery for Prime customers and some others. Two day delivery is still available too. If you’re going to go that route, for $99 you can get the Invicta Men’s 6977 Pro Diver Collection Chronograph Black Dial Black Polyurethane Watch. Dad can wear it to sporting events, at outings and even while swimming!

2. If you want to go the Do-it-yourself route, get the kids to bake up some of dad’s favorite cookies, brownies or other pastry and package it in a tin can you pick up from the dollar store.

3. Has Dad been meaning to drop a few pounds and has had his eye on one of those multiple DVD short course programs, but didn’t want to shell out the cost? Consider Shaun T’s INSANITY MAX:30 Base Kit – DVD Workout . It’s $99. My husband and I have done a couple rounds of the original Insanity and had amazing results. We got toned and lost wait. This kit can be delivered before Father’s Day if you order today or tomorrow.

4. Another Do-It-Yourself idea is a homemade card. There are plenty of ideas of how to make and eye-catching card in no time flat in Pinterest.

5. If dad loves and lives in his man cave,  Apple TV Streaming Media Player Bundle is a good bet for $89.

6. Cologne usually goes over well. My fave scent is Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male which offers a  3 Piece Gift Set for Men you can get from Amazon.com in one to two days and just in time for Sunday.

7. For that Sports Dad, get him digital tickets to his favorite match or game, use First Hand Tickets and search a wide array of events and get a good price.

8. These days, because of the camera function on smart phones, people rarely use real cameras. But they don’t have as much functionality and clarity in printed images as digital cameras. Activeon has a new high action sleek new easy-to-use, long battery live, built-in LCD digital camera, CX. It retails for about $99.

9. Dad’s old shaver has seen better days and he may have been putting off getting a new one. Why not surprise him with a replacement of his old one?  If you can’t find it in stores or online, he can try our fave, the Braun 3Series 380S-4 Wet and Dry Shaver which is perfect for after the shower or in-between while going from day to night. It’s just $69.

10. If you’re on a budget and want to keep it low cost, pick up a basket from the dollar store, ribbons, some of his favorite candy bars, wine, socks, his favorite barbecue sauce, or whatever dad likes and arrange a homemade gift basket. Commercial baskets don’t always include all of dad’s faves so doing it yourself solves that problem.

11. Tools are also a good bet. We recommend Stanley 94-248 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit which is $49.50 and can be shipped and delivered in time for Father’s Day.

12. Get crafty and get some card stock and print out some DIY Coupons for services like mowing the law, a free day out, washing his car, for packed lunches for a week, a special dinner of his favorite dishes, getting to sleep in, or taken on a family outing or adventure like hiking or the beach.

These are some ideas to start you off. Good Luck!

How to Co-Sleep with Your Baby without Bed Sharing

co-sleeping-425ce

Followers of the “attachment parenting” philosophy aren’t the only proponents of co-sleeping; even studies published by the British Medical Journal, Military Medicine and Lancet have shown that there are marked benefits to co-sleeping with your infant. The “Sleeping Position, Orientation, and Proximity in Bedsharing Infants and Mothers” study published in 1996 indicated that infants sleeping near a parent boast regular heart rhythms, more stable temperatures, and fewer long pauses between breaths than infants who sleep alone. The “SIDS Global Task Force Child Care Study” published findings in 2001 that showed that deaths attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome were at their lowest rates in countries where co-sleeping is a culturally-accepted, normal practice. However, there are a variety of situations that make sharing your bed with an infant infeasible or downright impossible for your family.

So, can you and your baby reap the benefits of co-sleeping without sharing an actual bed? In a word, yes.

How Can You Co-Sleep Without Bed-Sharing?

The practice of co-sleeping without sharing a bed has become much more common now that there are two commonly accepted terms. The first is co-sleeping, which means that parents and infants sleep in close proximity, but on a separate sleep space, in the same room. The second is bed-sharing, which refers to a sleeping arrangement in which parents and children share a sleep surface. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages new parents from sharing a bed with their infant, but has encouraged a co-sleeping arrangement in which the baby does sleep in the parents’ bedroom, just in her own safe, separate space. Groups that promote breastfeeding, like La Leche League, suggest that co-sleeping leads to higher breastfeeding success rates than a separate room arrangement.

Co-Sleeper Products

There are entire lines of co-sleeping products that allow you to keep your baby on the same level as your mattress and within arm’s reach, but maintaining your own sleep surfaces. Researching various makes and models of co-sleepers can help you get a better idea of how well you feel each will suit the needs of your unique family. The Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper attaches to the parents’ bed, providing the benefits of co-sleeping without the risks of bed-sharing.

Portable Cribs

If you’re only planning to practice co-sleeping temporarily, a collapsible, portable crib might be the solution to your problems. Easy to assemble and lightweight, you can move the crib from one room to another as needed with relative ease. There are weight limits specific to each model, so you’ll want to be sure that your baby hasn’t’ outgrown his. Also, it’s important to be sure that each re-assembly is completed according to the manufacturer’s instruction and presents no pinching, choking or other hazards.

Bassinets and Cradles

While a cradle isn’t collapsible like a portable crib, it is lightweight and easy to move from one room to the next as the need arises. It’s not advised that children who are old enough to sit independently sleep in cradles or bassinets, but they can be ideal for parents of newborns who only plan to co-sleep through their child’s early infancy.

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Father’s Day: Celebrity Dads on Instagram

celebrity dads

With Father’s Day right around the corner, we thought we’d take a moment to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the cutest celebrity dads of a few of our past Bellyitch Bumpwatch moms and alums. Altogether now: Aaaawwwwww!

nick-lachey-dad-instagram

Vanessa Minnolo’s Nick Lachey

ye and north

Kim Kardashian’s Kanye West

rossdale and son

Gwen Stefani’s Gavin Rossdale

jay and blue

Beyonce’s Jay Z

josh duhamel

Fergie’s Josh Duhamel

swiz beatz

Alicia Keys’ Switz Beatz

adam housley

Tamera Mowry-Housley’s Adam Housley

marvin humes

Rachelle Humes’ Marvin Humes

simon cowell

Simon Cowell

nick and mo and roc

Mariah Carey’s ex Nick Cannon

channing tatum

Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s Chamming Tatum

marco-perego

Zoe Saldana’s Marc Peregp

rodger biermannd and son

Rachel Zoe’s Rodger Bermann

brady and sons

Gisele Bundchen’s Tom Brady

cash and daughters

Jessica Alba’s Cash Warran

dissick and kids

Kourtney Kardashian’s Scott Disick

Two of the Historic Thompson Sextuplets Head to College

thompson sextuplets

Two of the historic Thompson sextuplets graduated from High School Friday and are headed to Howard University in the Fall.

About 18 years ago,  Linden and Jacqueline Thompson made world history when they delivered the first set of sextuplets on May 8. Sadly, one died but still they became the first set of Black sextuplets born in the United States: Emily, Richard, Octavia, Stella and Ann-Marie.

It was also historic because then, they were the first natural (born without fertility treatment or in vitro fertilization) sextuplet pregnancy and the longest sextuplet pregnancy in the United States — more than seven months.

The amazing birth barely made national headlines until 6 months later an Iowan family welcomed the first surviving set of septuplets:  Kelsey, Alexis, Brandon, Natalie, Kenny Jr., Joel and Nathan.  Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey and their miracle babies  got tons of national attention, were showered with gifts and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The media continued to cover them through each milestone and they appeared on the Oprah Winfrey network last year when they all turned 17.

The McCaughey septuplets on the set with Oprah. The show, celebrating the babies' first birthday, will aire on Thursday Nov. 19, 1998. (Photo supplied by the show)

The McCaughey septuplets on the set with Oprah. The show, celebrating the babies’ first birthday, will aire on Thursday Nov. 19, 1998. (Photo supplied by the show)

If it wasn’t for all the attention The McCaugheys got, there wouldn’t have been the protests and rallying of activists to also give support and gifts to the Thompson Sextuplets. In the DC area, Jessica Avor, then 16-years old, saw a newspaper article on the disparity in treatment and organized a massive drive which helped secure strollers, diapers and even a van for the family. Only then was the Thompson given mainstream media attention.

That attention led to Howard University giving the sextuplets a full scholarship when they graduated from High School. Now that Stella Thomson and Ann-Marie have graduated from DC’s Hospitality High School, they are heading to Howard in the Fall.  The remaining three will graduate next year.

Stella told the local news channel that she wants to be a veterinarian.

septeplets

The two local stories we found are among very few news coverage about them and even those two were told from the perspective of the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania young woman who organized the first drive.

Check them out:

DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG


 



Summer: ‘Camp Mom’ tips for Work-at-Home Moms

 

camp mom2

If you are like me and other work at home moms out there, you kind of dread Summer a bit because it means you will be responsible for keeping your children busy, entertained and intellectually stimulated so they don’t have too much Summer brain drain. You will have to do all that while managing your work obligations. Oy vey!

Many send their children to summer camps but a lot of camps only operate on a week or two-week increments and they can get very costly. To ease the challenge, it is a good idea to establish a strict schedule that includes work time, play time, and other activities in between. Without a routine, your work or project obligations can suffer and you risk having your kids play video games and watch TV all day.

Here are some suggestions of activities I came up with:

  • Use the morning to institute some reading or math drills time.
  • If you live near a library, use its facilities and take advantage of their summer reading challenges.
  • Go to the craft or dollar store and pick up supplies and incorporate an hour on some days for crafts.
  • Use card or board games for non-electronics hours.
  • Do outdoor activities close to home like make visits to the local park. My middle kid, who is a nature and animal lover, enjoys heading down to our town creek and exploring the dragonflies and frogs. My eldest likes riding his bike around the block and my youngest enjoys playing make-believe with her My Little Pony toys in the front yard.
  • Tack on active play time as well. Take a trip to a local tennis or basketball court. Toss the softball in the backyard. We go on a half mile loop in our town and stop periodically to do jumping jacks, burpees, situps and pushups in the evening. It’s a great way to stave off the summer excess weight gain as well.
  • Plan trips to the beach at least once during the summer.
  • Incorporate treks to the pool on a twice a week basis if you can.
  • If the budget allows, family visits to the roller rink, go cart track or cultural museums are other things you can do.

Here is the schedule I created for myself and hope to follow stringently. I’ve tried to allocate enough time in between for transitioning from activity to activity and made sure I put in ample time to work. You are free to use it to specialize your own schedule. Good luck and have fun!

Presentation1

Bellyitch Blog named among Top 20 Pregnancy Blogs of 2015

best blog

We don’t like to brag too often, but…we are very happy to share the news that Bellyitch Blog has been named among Healthline’s Top 20 BEST Pregnancy Blogs of 2015!

It was selected by the editors of Healthline, a physician-run and venture capital-backed website that reaches 30 million readers monthly.

The editors selected each winner based on quality, frequency of updates and contribution to the community. We are honored to be chosen among such quality blogs, many of which are already on our daily read list!

You can see the full list here: www.healthline.com/healthslideshow/best-pregnancy-blogs

…and since we’re boasting, we’d like you to check out our recently updated Media Kit for 2015 HERE!

It can also be found on our Advertise page. *hint hint* Join the legions of awesome brands that we partner with to deliver you updated campaigns and news about their products!

And if you are interested in starting a blog or if you already have one with a sizeable audience and are thinking of turning it into a more professional endeavor, our editor JJ has released on Kindle and iTunes her latest ebook: How to Set Up Your Blog as a Business in 6 Steps (Basics of Blogging as a Business Book). It’s the first book in a 6-book series for professional bloggers to help them navigate all they need to know to operate their blogs as profitable businesses.

Okay Okay. Enough chest-pounding for one day!

Yay! Kudos to the team!

The Ultimate Infant Travel Packing Checklist

infant travel checklist

If you are going to be traveling in a plane with your brand new baby this summer, here is a popular past posts with a complete infant travel list to check out and consider printing out.

Enjoy and Be safe!

  • Diapers- One for each hour you’ll be in transit, plus extras in case of delays
  • Portable Changing Pad to put under your baby during diaper changes.You can buy disposable changing pads at supermarkets or reusable ones at baby stores.
  • Blankets-Bring a few — you’ll use them to lay your baby on, cover your baby, cover yourself if you’re nursing, protect your clothes from messy burps,

    shade your baby, and more
  • Plastic bags- Carry a variety of sizes for storing soiled diapers, clothes, and blankets.
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Wipes
  • Small bottles of disinfecting hand gel, baby wash, and baby lotion
  • Tissues
  • Extra pacifiers (if your baby uses one)
  • A few of your baby’s favorite toys
  • Clothes, socks, and booties or shoes
  • One to two outfits per day is a good guideline.
  • Washable bibs
  • Sun hat
  • Lightweight plastic feeding set with utensils, and baby food, if your baby’s eating solid foods
  • Formula, water, and juice if appropriate
  • Extra bottles, nipples, and sippy cups if appropriate
  • Energy-boosting snacks for you to munch on
  • Breast pump (if you use one)
  • Nightlight
  • So you can keep the room lighting soothingly low during middle-of-the-night diaper changes
  • First-aid kit
  • Baby pain reliever and supplies for treating minor injuries
  • Sling or front carrier – Get a lightweight, hands-free way to keep your baby close in crowded places like airports
  • Portable crib or play yard
  • A safe place for your baby to sleep or play
  • Inflatable baby bathtub -Can make bath time easier at your destination.
  • Car seat for safer travel by car or plane
  • Collapsible stroller -Can be gate-checked or stored in the overhead bin of an airplane.

Tips

  • Start preparing to pack a few days before you travel. Keep a running list of things to take, or put items out on a table or dresser as you think of

    them.
  • Use a diaper bag with a waterproof lining and a shoulder strap.
  • Be prepared for leaky diapers and baby spit-up on the airplane: Tuck an extra outfit or two for your baby – and an extra

    shirt for you – into your carry-on bag.
  • Prevent leaks by packing medicines and toiletries in resealable plastic bags.
  • Pack each of your baby’s outfits in its own zipped -plastic bag so you don’t have to hunt around for tiny socks, shirts, and so on.
  • Take your camera, battery charger, and an extra memory card.
  • Take a clip-on reading light so you can read without disturbing your baby.
  • Take the phone number for your baby’s healthcare provider in case you have questions while you’re on the road.

source: As seen on and reprinted with permission from BabyCenter.com,

MetroDad’s 25 Life Lessons from a Dad to his Daughter

metro dad

‘MetroDad’ Blogger Pierre Kim and his daughter

In honor of Father’s Day which is coming up, I dug up this fab post from dad blogger Pierre Kim, a husband and dad to tjhree  NY City fashion exec who used to write the hilariously funny and snarky, “MetroDad” blog.

His post “The Rules: 25 Life Lessons for my Daughter” is a must read.

Here are my fave rules among the list:

  1. When posing for any photos, assume that the only people who will see them are me, your mother, your boss, and the dean of admissions.
  2. Never date a man who is rude to waiters, doesn’t say “bless you” when you sneeze, or won’t offer you his jacket when you’re cold.
  3. Don’t worry about being popular. The “weird” kids are much more fun and will end up being your most interesting friends. Also, when it comes to friends you can’t trump quality with quantity. Choose wisely. Who would you call to drive your white Bronco?
  4. Give charitably, generously, and anonymously.
  5. Keep your eye on the ball and follow through, both in sports and in life.
  6. Never regret staying home alone with a good book.
  7. Learn from the bad as well as the good. Fall down, make a mess, break something occasionally. And always remember that the story is never over.

Read all 25 in Metrodad!

Father’s Day: 10 Apps for Stay-at-Home Dads

Apple’s powerful iPhone is one of the most popular mobile devices on the market and is widely celebrated for its ability to help busy professionals streamline their lives and boost their productivity. Working as a stay at home dad is definitely a full-time job and the iPhone can help you manage all of the different responsibilities that come with it. These 10 apps are effective tools for dads who stay home with their children and act as a primary caregiver, offering plenty of advice, tips and assistance along the way.
  1. Parenting Ages & Stages – Parenting Magazine is a beloved and trusted resource for parents. Now, their advice, tips and useful parenting information is available through this free app, which is fully customizable and will provide you with age-appropriate developmental advice and information about various milestones.
  2. Library Locator – If you can surmount the obstacle of helping a little one to understand the importance of being quiet in the library, a world of wonder and imagination opens up for her. With this free app, you’ll be able to find all of the libraries in your area, hitting every Story Hour along the way!
  3. ICE (In Case of Emergency) – When an emergency or crisis strikes, information that you know like the back of your hand can escape you. That’s where this powerful free app comes in handy, allowing you to store all of your emergency contacts and other relevant information. When you need to access your child’s blood type, allergy information or a list of medications he’s on, it’s all at the tips of your fingers with ICE.
  4. CBS Sports – Keeping up with the score isn’t always easy when there are little ones to attend to. Thankfully, this free app will allow you to follow all of your favorite teams, accessing scores, stats, news and highlights while managing your parenting duties.
  5. Habit Changer® Feeding Your Kids – Making sure that your children eat well and learn to make good dietary choices as they get older is a very important part of successful parenting. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most complicated. This free app will help you instill good eating habits and reverse less healthy ones though a series of small changes.
  6. Chore Bank – When kids are expected to complete a list of regular chores, it can help them learn a sense of responsibility that will follow them well into adulthood. This $1.99 app not only helps stay at home dads keep up with which chores have been assigned and which are completed, but also any allowances or spending money earned.
  7. WebMD – Knowing when to treat at home and when to consult a professional can be both confusing and a bit frightening. When your child’s health is in question, you’ll want a respected and trusted resource. That’s where the free WebMD app comes into play, loaded with features like Symptom Checkers, Drug Information and First Aid Essentials.
  8. Find My iPhone – Even if you try to keep your iPhone away from little fingers, there will inevitably come a time when a child is so entranced with your expensive device that she can’t resist. Unfortunately, that’s usually also when she’ll misplace it somehow. This free app helps you locate one missing iOS device by using another.
  9. The Weather Channel® – Planning a big, exciting outing only to be foiled by rain because you forgot to check the weather forecast can make for very unhappy children, which is why this free app should have a place on your iPhone. Get not only up-to-the-minute forecast information, but also push alerts for severe weather and high pollen levels.
  10. SimplyNoise – Dads who have discovered the magic of a car ride or washing machine know the power of white noise to soothe a restless sleeper. This $0.99 app features high-fidelity white, brown and pink noise that can lull your little ones to sleep in no time.
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What’s up with our new obsession with Upper Eastside Manhattan Moms?

odd-mom-out-season-1-supertease (1)

It seems we are all obsessed with the posh and uber competitive lives of mothers of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York.

They’re the buzz these days.

Recently, everyone went gaga after reading that New York Post interview with author Wednesday Martin about her much anticipated expose “Primates of Park Avenue” based on her life living among these women. All over comment pages, readers, mainly women, proclaimed their eagerness to see the bizarre world of wealthy Manhattan parents Martin described in her book eventually come to life on the small or silver screen.

It was as good as fiction! It very well could have been because it’s been revealed there were many holes in Martin’s claims about people, places and even the length of which she lived in Manhattan. 

In any event,  eager audiences wouldn’t have to wait for Martin’s account to be adapted into a movie or series. BravoTV got ya covered!

Tonight, at 10pm ET, the cable network will debut Odd Mom Out, a scripted series that chronicles Momzilla life on Manhattan’s Upper East Side but from the perspective of a mom who doesn’t fit in.

Jill Kargman, a mom of three, created and stars in the series and chats about the series in the July issue of Parents magazine.

Here is an excerpt, reprinted with permission from Parents:

What is a Momzilla? A Momzilla is someone who channels all of her type-A ambition and energy into her child. I do believe there’s a Newtonian law of energy where all of your drive for your career abruptly gets funneled into the fetus.

Your character, Jill Weber, also has three children. Is she based on your own experience? When I had Sadie, I had no friends in New York who were parents and I felt really lonely. The challenges of that period of my life have been retooled for this show. A lot of moms I speak to say, “Enjoy this time while it lasts because it flies by.” And I want to smash them in the head because it was really hard.

Have you ever felt like the odd mom out? At a ballet class when my oldest was 2, I told her to sit down “Indian style.” These four perfect moms gasped and glared at me. One said, “You can’t say that. It’s ‘crisscross applesauce’ now.” I ran into the bathroom and burst into tears because I felt like I was doing it all wrong.

What’s your advice to other parents who feel this way? Fly your freak flag and know there are others like you. Even people you perceive to be the perfect mothers, who have it all together, sometimes feel like the odd mom out too.

Good stuff! Read the rest of the interview in the July issue of Parents on magazine racks now.

 

Check out the series teaser: