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COVID-19 Tips for TTC, Expecting and Brand New Moms

hugging couple

hugging couple

Photo by Shvets Anna from Pexels 

During the global COVID-19 crisis, pregnant, trying to conceive couples and those within weeks/months of giving birth are questioning the safety of going to the hospital, doctor’s office, labs and clinics.

Yale University Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology Mary Jane Minkin ffers tips and tells women to stay calm but be prepared.

“As we experience unprecedented times with many unknowns, the most important thing to remember is that health care providers are prepared to handle all health-related concerns. And, they are taking all steps necessary to be available to their patients,” says Dr. Minkin, who is also the founder of MadameOvary.com . “However, women must take personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing and utilize telehealth appointments if available.”

Here are Dr. Minkin’s Facts and Tips:

  1. Get your flu shot: Pregnant women have altered immune systems; therefore, they are at an increased risk for respiratory infections.
  2. Don’t hesitate to call the doctor’s office. Even if you’re not experiencing serious symptoms, doctors and nurse practitioners are available via phone to answer all your questions and concerns. This is the safest first step, rather than going directly into the office. Doctors will do their best to evaluate symptoms, prescribe medicine or make proper arrangements based on symptoms for you to go to a lab for testing or the hospital. Your healthcare provider should make sure you do not spend time in the waiting room, and you will be escorted directly to specially designed isolation rooms for fetal monitoring, or labor.
  3. Pregnant women should revisit doctor schedules with their OB/GYN. OB/GYN offices will still be seeing their pregnant patients, but visits will be deliberately spaced apart to avoid spending time in the waiting room. It is also wise not to allow friends or family members to accompany you to your appointment, or ultrasound, at this time.
  4. Stock up onPre-Natal gummy vitamins like Vitafusion  which should be taken when trying to conceive through breastfeeding.
  5. If you suspect you might be pregnant, and showing signs and symptoms like morning sickness, food cravings, mood swings, and fatigue, etc., have First Response Early Result Pregnancy tests at home, so you don’t need to leave the house until Covid-19 settles down.  Women can take a test up to six days before a missed period. Be sure to call your doctor right away if the test is positive to put a proper plan of action in place.
  6. Mothers infected with the coronavirus should follow their pediatrician’s guidelines for breastfeeding and precautions to take (wearing a mask and gloves, hand washing, etc.) while spending time with baby.

Stay healthy moms, moms-to-be and soon-to-be new moms!!!

9 Sibling Newborn Baby Photography From Around the States

angela Weedon

sibling photography

Derksen Photography – Fresno, CA

This downtime has been a great time for us to review our 10-year blog archives and uncover some of the best and most loved content shared over the years. Among them is this post that shared 9 very adorable and creative newborn sibling photos that parents had professional photographers take.

The super cute sibling portraits come from talented photography specialists from all across America and feature a new baby with their older sibling(s), including this one above from Derksen Photography in Fresno, California.

It with these others below combine to a curated list of 9!

Which is your favorite? If you’re expecting baby #2, or 3 or 4, which one would you replicate for your family living room?

angela Weedon

Angela Weedon – Dallas, TX

 Katie Bower Photography – Georgia

Ema  Photography – New York

Kayla Paler Photography – Minnesota



Disney Photography

Carrie Sandoval – California

Melissa Rodriguez – Texas

sibling photography photo

Carrie Sandoval – California

Try American Ninja Warrior Junior Host’s Quick Circuit Workout for the Family

 American Ninja Warrior Junior Akbar Gbajabiamila and family

Looking for ideas for a fun, kid-friendly workout while social distancing?
 American Ninja Warrior Junior host Akbar Gbajabiamila uses a quick circuit work out with his family. The former athlete and father utilizes just  four simple moves with his own kids and helps create an effective family workout session with no equipment required.

1. Start with a body weight cardio sequence:

3 Minutes: 

30 second Jumping Jacks

30 second High knees 

30 second Butt kickers 

30 second Body Squats

30 second Jumping Jacks 

30 second Mountain climbers 

planks

Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels

2. Planks- we love timers in our house. So I get my kids doing one minute circuits with different planks! 

– High plank

– Forearm plank

– “Up-Downs” (this is where you go from high plank to forearm plank and alternate which arm you lead with)

 

3. Animal walks… keeping it fun and educational, I always integrate different animal movements into the exercises with my kids. It keeps them distracted and moving around. Two top favorites: 

– Crab walks

– Bear crawls 

 

4. Wrap with relay races. Similar to something done in football called “suicide drills”, now the whole family gets involved.

One kid starts and runs to the end of the driveway, comes back, tags the next, and so forth. We make it a fun competition to see as a team how quickly they can complete the drill. 

 

Nice! Thanks Akbar! Catch  American Ninja Warrior Junior    airing on Universal Kids!

What To Call the Quarantine Babies {Non Obvious Names}

No doubt, we may be welcoming some new Coronavirus Quarantine kids in 9 months or so. Now, these kids cannot be given names too obvious  about the world circumstances that surrounded their conception.

Therefore, we’ve got  to be creative when it comes to giving them names to not be too obvious. Despite that funny meme out there, you certainly cannot call your baby Quarantine! Nope that will not do, but we can get creative with it.

Tina

Consider Tina for a girl.  Tina is a female given name. It originates from Old English Tyne/Tyna/Tina, meaning river. It is also a diminutive for names such as Albertina, Bettina, Christina, Christine, Kristina, Martina, Valentina.

No one would ever thing it was a derivative of Quarantine.

Rhona

This is a girl’s name of Scottish origin and means “might” and it will take the will of the might to defeat this disease. The name was coined in Scotland in the late nineteenth century, according to the website Nameberry.

And because the spelling “Rona” would be too obvious that it was a take off Corona, adding that “h” is smart.

Corey

Similarly, Corey is a masculine version of the name Cora and means Chosen, per SheKnows. The name has Irish, Scottish, American, Gaelic and English heritage and origins. It’s a perfect all around name for a virus that affected us all around the world.

And no, we cannot go with Cora. It’s too obvious and frankly, could be embarrassing.

Quinn

Derived from the Irish surname O’ Quinn which is from the Gaelic O’ Cuinn (descendant of Conn), the name means wisdom, reason, or intelligence.

When you think of the names that start with the letter Q as in Quarantine, certainly Quinn is high on that list right? It’s a name that is unisex and can apply to a girl or boy.

Then, we have the names of the governors, here in the US anyway, who have lead their constituents  very well to get them thru these times:

Gavin

California’s governor Gavin Newsom stayed in front of the viral spread a bit when he recently ordered a complete lockdown of the Bay Area in which residents must stay home unless they need to go out to purchase essentials.

Andrew

New York’s Mayor Andrew Cuomo has also been an active face on TV given his state has had the most cases of the virus to date: over 10,000.

Larry

My state’s Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland has remained ahead of the feds with his active approach. Each of his press conferences has been reassuring and he held a press conference when we had our first and second deaths.

Jay

Governor Jay Inslee, the governor of the state that saw the very first case, Washington. He set the example for other states to follow.

Gina

Rhode Island’s Governor Gina Raimondo was aggressive in ordering a shut down as well.

Ned

Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont similarly signed a recent executive order as part of a new campaign called “Stay Safe, Stay at Home” that will require non-essential businesses to close.

Finally, if one is looking to give a kid a name after the times, an obvious pick would be  the scientists, health officials delivering us all solid news on how to stay healthy.

Anthony

As summarized by The Guradian, “[t]ested by Donald Trump, who demands loyalty over facts, Dr. Anthony Fauci has earned praise from the US public for telling the truth about coronavirus, even when it means contradicting the president.”

There are others around the world as highlighted in this recent piece on The Guardian you can read here!

No matter what parents select, any baby born out of love (and forced seclusion) is a blessing.

Reminder: Do’s and Don’ts to Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic

hear no evil

hear no evil

It’s not like you haven’t been inundated with advice and news lately but it never hurts to be OVERINFORMED and that’s why I’m sharing some Do’s and Don’ts for surviving the coronavirus pandemic from University of Arizona doctor Dr. 

Jane M. Orient:

Don’t panic. That is always good advice. If you, like the world’s economy, operate on just-in-time inventories, and did not take advice to stock up 3 weeks ago, do not join a mob at a big-box store. Somebody there is no doubt infected. Plus, there’s the risk of getting trampled or injured in a fist fight over the last roll of toilet paper. Most of the world survives without that luxury good. If you have no rice or beans or pasta in the pantry, that is more serious, but you should still avoid mobs if at all possible. Take-out and drive-through places are booming.

Don’t treat fever without a doctor’s advice. Fever is not a disease. It is an important defense mechanism. Very high fevers (say 105 degrees) can cause brain damage, and children can have seizures. But don’t pop Tylenol or ibuprofen at the first sign of fever. Many of the casualties in the 1918 pandemic might have been caused by heavy use of aspirin. Like aspirin, popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) such ibuprofen also have detrimental effects on blood clotting. Try lukewarm sponge baths for comfort.

Don’t rush out and get a flu shot. I know, a lot of doctors and public health authorities urge everybody to do this. Influenza can kill you, and the flu shot decreases that risk by 30% to 60%—but there is evidence that it can make COVID-19 worse, both from the earlier SARS epidemic and lab research. Like with so many things in medicine, we have to play the odds.

Don’t go to the emergency room or urgent care unless you are severely ill. There will be sick people there, and you might catch something. You also might end up with a big bill, say for a CT scan you didn’t really need. And if you have the flu or a cold or COVID-19, and don’t need IV fluids or oxygen, they can’t do anything for you. Telephone advice lines could help greatly.

Don’t go to events that are crowded, especially indoors in poorly ventilated rooms. Staying home is good.

Don’t demand to be tested and rely on the results. The tests are still in short supply and not very accurate. If you are at low risk, a positive test is likely to be a false positive. And if you are infected, the test may be negative at first. We need much more testing—mainly for public health monitoring.

Don’t waste. Expired medications are probably still good. Most drugs or essential ingredients are made in China, and supplies are running out. Masks (also mostly made in China) are meant to be disposable, but likely can’t be replaced (see below).

Don’t touch your face or your eyes. That is very hard—preventing that is one function of a mask and eye protection.

Don’t fall for internet scams, or malware. Hucksters will always be around to try to profit from panics. A new type of malicious virus is embedded malware in sites that come up on a search for information. (If you want to find the Johns Hopkins University dashboard of cases and deaths, go to the university’s website, don’t Google “coronavirus map.”)

Now for some dos:

Do prepare to take care of yourself and your family. Be sure you have a fever thermometer, disposable gloves, plastic garbage bags, and cleaning supplies. A pulse oximeter, available in many places for around $40, is good to have to check oxygen levels.

Do clean and disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs, telephones, computer keyboards, toilets, and countertops often. Virus can persist there for days.

Do remember that sunlight is the best disinfectant. If you don’t have a pocket ultraviolet lamp (they are or were available on amazon), try putting things like masks or paper currency out in the sun. The idea should be rigorously tested, but in times of need, you may have to guess.

Do wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer. With SARS-CoV-2, most disinfectants work, including 70-percent-alcohol-based sanitizers.

Do put a mask on sick people if you can. For protecting yourself you need a minimum of an N95 mask and eye protection.

Do take your vitamins. Most people may be vitamin D deficient. Your need for vitamin C escalates with infection. Some 50 tons of vitamin C was shipped to Wuhan, and studies of effectiveness are underway.

Do get your essential prescriptions refilled for 90 days—the supply chain depends on China. If your managed-care plan won’t pay, consider paying cash. You may be able to get a good price with a coupon from goodrx.com.

Do protect your immune system, with adequate sleep, exercise, fresh air, and diet, especially avoiding sugar if you feel ill.

Do help your neighbors, and be responsible about protecting others as well as yourself from contagion.

###

 

Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital. She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fifth editions of Sapira’s Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis published by Wolters Kluwer. She authored books for schoolchildren, Professor Klugimkopf’s Old-Fashioned English Grammar and Professor Klugimkopf’s Spelling Method, published by Robinson Books, and coauthored two novels published as Kindle books, Neomorts and Moonshine. More than 100 of her papers have been published in the scientific and popular literature on a variety of subjects including risk assessment, natural and technological hazards and nonhazards, and medical economics and ethics. She is the editor of AAPS News, the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, and Civil Defense Perspectives, and is the managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

5 Must Have Spring Maternity Clothes

angela simmons style

If you will find yourself pregnant in the Spring, you can certainly look forward to looking chic in some cute warm weather outfits. After the long, harsh winter, a lot of fashionistas and preginistas a like look forward to sprucing up their wardrobe and adding color to their life.

Even in these difficult times, these days, you can always experiment with new clothes and ways to accentuate your growing bump.

Here is a list of Spring Staples that you might want to add to your Maternity Spring wardrobe:

  • Jumpsuit 

It is unconventional and different and something that you wouldn’t think to wear while pregnant given how hard it is to put on and take off, but a jumpsuit may be the fresh element to make your maternity look pop. Opt for one with side snaps or fixtures for ease of taking on and putting on during bathroom breaks. You can also repurpose a jumpsuit for the unofficial fourth trimester.

  • Accessories 

When it comes to accessorizing during pregnancy, it’s easy to get carried away by the numerous choices in stores. However, you can stick to the essential items that lift your mood. Consider also selecting a scarf in a soft and romantic or bold and geometric print. The beauty of investing in a quality scarf or shawls is that they are quite a great way to layer up and still look fashionable. Also, think about a bright belt to punctuate a solid-colored dress.  Instead of fastening it on the waist, you can do so just above the baby bump for an empire waist look.

  • Maternity leggings 

When you are shopping for maternity clothes, you mustn’t forget about maternity leggings. These pieces serve a dual purpose of putting your look together and as support for your aching legs and are a valuable addition to your wardrobe. Not only are they cozy, but they also offer a continuous fit throughout the pregnancy and into postpartum. If you get thick leggings, you can also easily wear them under layered tees or tops for a casual look.

  • Spring jacket 

While you’re pregnant, you know that you’ll get hot and cold as you experience rises and drops in your body temperature. For this reason, every maternity collection should include a nice light jacket. Get a jacket that can be dressed up or down, and worn at work, or at play, at a corporate meeting or while going for an evening walk on the weekend.  Consider one in a breathable material like cotton so you don’t get overheated and risk having to take it off and add it to your load of stuff you need to lug around.

  • Maternity tops & t-shirts 

As your bump starts to grow, you will need to swap out your smaller tops for larger sizes. You can start to invest some few maternity tops, t-shirts as well as tanks at this time. Get them in standard solid colors like pink, grey, white and black so you can easily mix and match and pair them with your maternity leggings, jeans, breathable yoga pants or shorts when you are at home or out and about running for errands. They also come in handy when you want to engage in some light bodywork exercise.

If you stick with these staples, you’ll find that they can carry you through your entire pregnancy, into the other seasons and during your post-partum days as well.

These 20 Parenting Coronavirus Memes Are the Levity We Need Right Now

Coronavirus outbreak + schools out of session + parents being forced to telework and homeschool their children for the first time = lots of humorous memes and social media jokes to infuse levity in a serious time.

Here are my faves including a few of my own:

1

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Siri & Alexa are about to Unionize the way those two will be overworked these next few weeks with people like me home & asking questions every half hour 😩

Posted by JJ Ghatt on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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I drove to the store across the street and on my way there, I saw gatherings of 4-7 of my neighbors enjoying the weather…

Posted by Jay Jay Ghatt on Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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"And on the third day of the quarantine in the year two thousand twenty, frustrated by the accumulation of flatware…

Posted by Jay Jay Ghatt on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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How to Incorporate Art in Your Homeschooling



During the coronavirus outbreak, with a lot of schools closing, parents are home creating their own curriculum, helping their kids through online distance learning courses and working hard to keep their kids educated, entertained and engaged.

Irvin Lippman, the executive director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art, wants parents to not forget to incorporate art in their plans.

Art, culture, and creativity have always made a difference in powerful ways, especially during challenging times,” he said. “Being inspired and creative have not been canceled.”

The museum started a new series called “Keep Kids Smart with ART ‘ will be available online to help parents and their children who are home from school.

According to the National School Boards Association, kids who study art are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.

Studies show that art helps kids earn higher report card grades because skills developed through art lead to better learning in other areas.

You should be encouraged to get your art education on and here as tips for parents and students on using art in your home:

  • Provide a special “creative zone” at home.
  • Make sure that your “creative zone” is mess-friendly and able to stand up well to spills and art-related fun.
  • Focus on the fun process, not on the outcome.
  • Create a special area to showcase your child’s artwork.
  • Watch and encourage your children as they work on their art.
  • Ask them questions to engage them while they create.

Have fun and get creating!

Saint Patrick’s Day Facts and Activities to Add to Your Homeschooling



A lot of families in the US are home St. Patrick’s Day and their kids are distance learning.

It may be easier to incorporate a little bit of the story behind St. Patrick’s Day into their home schooling curriculum.

In a nutshell, a man named Patrick converted a large group of Irish people from Paganism to Christianity and was made a Saint.  Now considered the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick used the shamrock as the symbol of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The color green is used because of the rich green hills that are found all over Ireland.  You may be wondering how St. Patrick’s Day turned into a day for drinking, and there is a reason for that too.  St. Patrick told a bar owner who was cheating his customers by pouring short glasses of liquor that there was a demon in his basement and that the only way to be rid of it was to be generous.

After that, St. Patrick said that everyone should celebrate with some of the hard stuff on St. Patrick’s Day. However, the holiday isn’t solely reserved for those of legal drinking age; there are plenty of family-friendly things to do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day too.

Check out these 20+ blog entries to find craft projects to make with the kids, decorations for your home, recipes to make for your family and other activities to do as well.

Crafts

Make these simple crafts with your kids as part of your celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  This often overlooked holiday can be really entertaining if you make a point to celebrate it just like you would other holidays with special crafts, decorations and food.  These five blog posts will share some craft projects you can enjoy with your kids.

Decorations

Up your house’s festivity factor this St. Patrick’s Day by decorating in plenty of green and gold. Some of these decorating ideas are appropriate for younger children, while others are better suited for the older kids.  Get together as a family and enjoy some creative time together decorating your home.

Meals

All things green are up for grabs on St. Patrick’s Day.  What, you don’t think your kids will be excited about spinach and kale and other green leafy food?  No problem! Just make regular food green instead and see what the kids think of it.  It doesn’t have to be just for dinner, enjoy these five blogs that have breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas.

Desserts

While green is definitely the star color for St. Patrick’s Day, it isn’t all confined to just that color. After all, you can’t forget about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Make some rainbow inspired desserts instead of just green ones this year.  For some inspiration check out these five blog posts.

Activities

What kind of things can you do as a family or with the kids for St. Patrick’s Day?  Some cities have St. Patty’s Day parades, so you might see if your city is having one.  Or you might decide to have a party for the kids in the neighborhood.  Take a look at these five blog articles for some ideas on activities that your kids or your family might enjoy.

5 Apps That Won’t Let You Goof Off While ‘Teleworking’

Reprint from Techyaya.com Working from home can be very difficult if you are the type of person who requires structure, a dedicated office space and to be in an environment where work is getting done and there isn’t a comfy couch or bed within footsteps distance. With the novel coronovirus causing a lot of companies to require their employees to telework, many more people are going to have to find out how they shake out as a remote worker. For those who require assistance with productivity, fortunately, there are a lot of apps available to help create the structure they will be missing while out of the office and still expected to produce. Some people have a difficult time being productive with no immediate accountability, and need a little push. Here are some of the best apps for productivity on the market, so you can maximize your productivity without compromising your happiness. Here is a roundup of

1. Tasker or Shortcuts

To help with your work flow and keep you on track, use the Tasker app which automates and personalizes functions on your phone like your personalized smartphone functions, such as accessing your music when the headphones are plugged in, auto texting your kids when you’re five minutes away from picking them up at practice or downloading and saving photos into an album. The iOS version is Shortcuts.

2. Focus To Do or Pomodoro Time

I shared a bit about my discovery of a Productivity Journal using the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks tasks down into 25-minute increments, and to help that along and make sure you are continuously working through the day, there is the FREE Focus To Do app for Android which implements a productivity timer and the Pomodoro Time app, which utilizes the same technique.

3. Microsoft To Do App for Desktop and iOS.

As a compulsive list maker, I love the idea of a digital version that will hep you create pretty lists that do more like sent you reminders, set due dates and times for each tasks. Microsoft To Do App is such a desktop app. You can attach pics and docs on your phone and use it sort of like Evernote or Notepad. Then it syncs with the phone or tablet and computer to make editing, printing and maximizing the functionality of your daily to do list. The IFTTT (If this Then That) App on Android does something similar. You can download the App Version too called Wunderlist.

4. Freedom for iOS.

Freedom is one of many productivity apps that will block your access to all of the distraction like social media sites, game sites and others. It locks your desktop for up to 8 hours. This is great for stopping you from mindless and endless surfing when there is no one around to tell you to get back to work!

5. Pocket

Don’t pause to read all the interesting articles that come across your twitter and Facebook feed during the day. Instead use the Pocket app on Android and save them all for later to read when you’re done with work or taking a break. . h/t Entrepreneur