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Pregnant Woman’s Thanksgiving Tips on Avoiding Intrusive Questions and Fights

 

Tis the season for conspicuous consumption and overeating.

Also, welcome the season of family gatherings, togetherness and bonding. Sadly, this is also a time for tension, rudeness and gaffes, feeding grudges, creating new ones and dodging snarky barbs, criticism and other well-meaning but annoying questions and comments from family members.

My audience is pregnant women mainly so if you’re expecting, I know your emotions are on level 100 and tolerance for bull is at -100!

Here are some quick tips I thought of to set you and the kids straight in the manners department and for escaping the family gatherings still loving one another, well, mostly.

Moms-to-be – Bite your tongue, mama! Bite it! If it will help, carry a squeeze ball to torture when you run out of nerves to handle some of the intrusive questions and comments you will get:

  • Were you trying?
  • Did you want a boy/girl?
  • Why did you pick that name?
  • So you are sticking with that name (the passive aggressive version)
  • Another one?
  • This is it right? (the passive aggressive version)

Your Kids- Your children might have heard you talking about Aunt Sally’s no-good boyfriend with no job or Uncle Rob’s arrest or Cousin Barb getting fired for the 3rd time this year. Remind them to not bring any of this  up or butt in with an opinion on whatever personal stresses, trauma or gossip they may or may not have overheard you yapping about this year. Trust.

Manners – If you’re hosting, remind the kids of basic manners. You know they won’t remember.  Tell the kids to take coats and throw them gently in that pile on the bed when there is no more room in the coat closet.  Remind them to say please, and thank you and to share their toys with their cousins and other children coming over. And to play nice and try to stick to the basement. Ha! Just kidding, but yeah.

If you are going over someone’s house as a guest, remind them to not complain out loud about Great Aunt Wilhelmina’s funny smell, or twist up their noses at your cousin’s girlfriends attempt as string bean salad. It’s hard not to wear emotions on your sleeve when you’re staring at raisins in a macaroni dish, but blame the Food Network (in  your head) and don’t start any beefs over it.

Dinner Topics: Politics and Religion – Try to avoid both topics especially in these contentious times. If they come up , switch up the convo.  Even if everyone in the family are of the same political bent, these are still complex topics that can get heated and go from 0 to 100 Real Quick!

Clean Up – Know when to call it a night and rap up. If you’re a guest, don’t take all of the people’s leftovers in the carryout container you brought with you. Leave them a spoonful or two.

But do offer to do the dishes, or send in one of your older children to help. You’ll still get the credit! ha!  If you’re expecting, you’ll probably get a pass anyone on clean up duty because you shouldn’t be on your feet anyway!  Yeah, milk this pregnancy for all it’s worth! ha!

If you’re hosting and you had enough, feel free to hug and kiss the last stragglers good night, blame it on the baby and leave them right there and all the dishes for your spouse and kids to clean up. Hopefully, they’ll get the hint and exit after you leave. Ha! That’s not rude. Is it? ha!

I think that’s it!

Chime in and drop us some more on line! Connect with us @Bellyitch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

Keep Your Sanity With These Toddler Thanksgiving Travel Tips

Now that Halloween is over, it may be time to start shifting focus on Thanksgiving planning.

If your family is hitting the road and taking a long-distance car trip to your Thanksgiving destination this year, here are snippets from our Thanksgiving travel tips to make it a smoother ride especially if you’re traveling with a toddler:

Set Clear Expectations

Before venturing out on the road, start small and positive by setting guidelines, says Carrie Krawiec, Michigan-based family therapist at Birmingham Maple Clinic. “Parents can set their children up for success by creating easy-to-remember expectations before leaving home,” she says. Create a list of five car behaviors to follow, such as keeping your hands to yourself and your bottom in the seat, using an inside voice and avoiding putting your feet on chair in front of you, suggests Krawiec.

Encourage positive behavior with travel rewards. “Parents can gauge their child’s level of attention by saying ‘I am going to watch these things and every five minutes if you have done this, you will earn a point for a sticker or silly band,’” says Krawiec. “This will make travel more cooperative.”

Charge Electronics

Even though you may limit your toddler’s time with tablets and electronic games at home, an iPad or Gameboy may be just what your child needs while traveling on long road trips. “With the age of technology, we have a big bonus,” says Christine Gutierrez, New York-based psychotherapist.

Many vehicles come equipped with DVD players and outlets for charging electronics to ease the challenge of traveling with young children. Pop in your child’s favorite movie or host a family sing-along with his favorite CD.

Make the trip educational, too. Download educational games and applications on a tablet to entertain your child or pick up a book or CD before taking off on your road trip. “Compromise is key here,” says Gutierrez. “Make baby happy and the rest of you shall be happy in the car as well.”

Chomp Down on Snacks Often, hunger cravings can cause a toddler to act out or misbehave. Prepare for a long road trip by packing a cooler of snacks and drinks to satisfy his hunger. Non-messy items, such as grapes, carrots or fruit gummies, will keep your toddler and your vehicle clean during snack time. Juice packs or milk in a Sippy cup can also comfort a sleepy toddler while traveling.

Break Out Goodie Bags The idea of being locked inside a vehicle for hours on end doesn’t necessarily sound appealing to a young child; however, if the trip includes goodie bags filled with games and activities, she may be more than eager to jump into that car seat.

Keep the bag in the front seat with you and break out games and activities along the way as your toddler gets antsy, such as a coloring book and crayons, an etch-a-sketch or even bubbles to blow out the window. Make the trip educational by purchasing a map and asking your toddler to point out states you drive through or license plates from each state. When your toddler is tired of one game or activity, take out another to keep her occupied.

Parents can include any of the following in a “goodie” bag for a long road trip with toddlers:

  • Dry erase board with markers
  • Stickers
  • Small Cars
  • New Books
  • Paper for Drawing
  • Travel Versions of Favorite Games
  • Dollar Store Finds

You can make activities much simpler by bringing along a lap desk or a cookie sheet your child can place on her lap. As a bonus, using magnets on the cookie sheet creates a game of its own, and the raised edges will prevent crayons or cars from landing on the floor of the car.

“Planning ahead is the key to preventing restless, unhappy children (and parents) during a car trip,” says Richard Peterson, vice president of education at Kiddie Academy. “In fact, you can even sneak in a little education along the way by playing classic car games, adjusted to fit your child’s age.”

Peterson suggests asking toddlers to search for shapes, colors or specific objects along the way. “The games will serve as a distraction, but also help to hone observation skills,” he says.

If all else fails, crank up the tunes or make a pit stop at a park along the way to deter boredom for your little one. “Boredom is probably the biggest difficulty your child will encounter during a long car trip,” says Peterson. “Toddlers live in the here and now and do not have the life experience to understand that the destination will be worth the time in the car seat.”

How Celebrities Celebrated Thanksgiving 2018 (PHOTOS)

What were our fave celebs and “Bellyitch Bumpwatch” alums up to this Thanksgiving? Here is a snippet, curated from our fave celeb sites:

Jennifer Lopez – “Thankful for mornings like this with the ones I love most. I am truly blessed,” A-Rod wrote on Instagram. “#HappyThanksgiving to all of you and your families. #gratitude”

Mindy Kaling – “Thankful for her. Happy Thanksgiving.”

 

Kristin Cavallari- “Turkey, leather and wine,” the E! reality star wrote on Instagram.

Kourtney Kardashian– How cute are Penelope Disick, Mason Disick and Reign Disick in their matching pajamas? The parents celebrate the holiday with their kids and the majority of the Kardashian family in California.

Lauren Conrad“Feeling pretty thankful for these two (and pie) today!” the designer said of her husband and son. “Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!”

Khelani – The pregnant sister tweeted, “We are abundant & ever so grateful!”

Tamera Mowry-Housley– “Thankful for you and our family. You have have been my rock. Thankful for your faith in God that inspires me to keep my faith,” the host wrote to her husband on Instagram. “Thank you for calming my nerves in the middle of the night. Thank you for loving me through it all. I love you. #happythanksgiving”

The Harts served meals at the LA Mission. And Pharrell was there too. Any Kylie Jenner.

Kylie captured her black and white family photo “Thankful.”

Danielle and Kevin Jones and their two daughters gear up to partake in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade alongside PAW Patrol.

Nick Cannon took the twins he shares with Mariah CareyMonroe Cannon and Moroccan Cannon, to lend a helping hand with Food Bank for New York City.

Meghan Markle-After teaming up with the women of London’s Hubb Community Kitchen to create a charity cookbook called Together: Our Community Cookbook, the Duchess of Sussex brings a bit of Thanksgiving spirit across the pond with a visit to the Al Manaar Cultural Heritage Center.

Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson Ross – NYC on the way to #macysthanksgivingdayparade Happy Thanksgiving ? everyone!!

Madonna  “What I am Most THANKFUL for! My Children have led me down roads and opened doors I never imagined I’d walk through,” the Material Girl wrote. “Fame, Fortune and Records Broken could never equal that which I treasure and value most. #blessed #grateful #children #family Happy Thanksgiving from Malawi!”

Reese Witherspoon– It’s almost Turkey time, y’all! ??? I am grateful for a day spent with loved ones eating, laughing and making memories. What are you most thankful for? #HappyThanksgiving (? @draperjames)

photos: Instagram

Here’s Your Thanksgiving Family Manners Dinner Guide to Not Losing It!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

Tis the season for conspicuous consumption and overeating.

Also, welcome the season of family gatherings, togetherness and bonding. Sadly, this is also a time for tension, rudeness and gaffes, feeding grudges, creating new ones and dodging snarky barbs, criticism and other well-meaning but annoying questions and comments from family members.

My audience is pregnant women mainly so if you’re expecting, I know your emotions are on level 100 and tolerance for bull is at -100!

Here are some quick tips I thought of to set you and the kids straight in the manners department and for escaping the family gatherings still loving one another, well, mostly.

Moms-to-be – Bite your tongue, mama! Bite it! If it will help, carry a squeeze ball to torture when you run out of nerves to handle some of the intrusive questions and comments you will get:

  • Were you trying?
  • Did you want a boy/girl?
  • Why did you pick that name?
  • So you are sticking with that name (the passive aggressive version)
  • Another one?
  • This is it right? (the passive aggressive version)

Your Kids- Your children might have heard you talking about Aunt Sally’s no-good boyfriend with no job or Uncle Rob’s arrest or Cousin Barb getting fired for the 3rd time this year. Remind them to not bring any of this  up or butt in with an opinion on whatever personal stresses, trauma or gossip they may or may not have overheard you yapping about this year. Trust.

Manners – If you’re hosting, remind the kids of basic manners. You know they won’t remember.  Tell the kids to take coats and throw them gently in that pile on the bed when there is no more room in the coat closet.  Remind them to say please, and thank you and to share their toys with their cousins and other children coming over. And to play nice and try to stick to the basement. Ha! Just kidding, but yeah.

If you are going over someone’s house as a guest, remind them to not complain out loud about Great Aunt Wilhelmina’s funny smell, or twist up their noses at your cousin’s girlfriends attempt as string bean salad. It’s hard not to wear emotions on your sleeve when you’re staring at raisins in a macaroni dish, but blame the Food Network (in  your head) and don’t start any beefs over it.

Dinner Topics: Politics and Religion – Try to avoid both topics especially in these contentious times. If they come up , switch up the convo.  Even if everyone in the family are of the same political bent, these are still complex topics that can get heated and go from 0 to 100 Real Quick!

Clean Up – Know when to call it a night and rap up. If you’re a guest, don’t take all of the people’s leftovers in the carryout container you brought with you. Leave them a spoonful or two.

But do offer to do the dishes, or send in one of your older children to help. You’ll still get the credit! ha!  If you’re expecting, you’ll probably get a pass anyone on clean up duty because you shouldn’t be on your feet anyway!  Yeah, milk this pregnancy for all it’s worth! ha!

If you’re hosting and you had enough, feel free to hug and kiss the last stragglers good night, blame it on the baby and leave them right there and all the dishes for your spouse and kids to clean up. Hopefully, they’ll get the hint and exit after you leave. Ha! That’s not rude. Is it? ha!

I think that’s it! Chime in and drop us some more on line! Connect with us @Bellyitch on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

How to Dress Your Bump For Thanksgiving

If you are expecting this Thanksgiving and are toting around a sizeable bump, God knows you may  not looking forward to standing on your feet preparing a meal and hopefully, you have been invited to someone else’s home this year and/or your family is giving you a pass on cooking so you can just kick up  your feet and relax.

Check out this post on How to dress your bump and this other post on 5 things NOT to wear at Thanksgiving!

And finally, I think the quintessential outfit ought to be this look that lifestyle blogger Loren Hamilton of Wear and When pulled off when she was last expecting. Follow her pattern of styling and you won’t go wrong!

Start with a shirt in breathable fabric like jersey knit or cotton. Then layer a light cardigan or collared shirt over that and finally a denim, leather or cotton blazer.

For the bottom, go with a comfy pair of dressy leggings or denim maternity stretch jeans with a pair of red ballet flats. Carry a large clutch to hold your stuff and then work it! Stylish and comfy!

Have fun and good luck enduring the endless belly rubs and all the love!!!

Secrets to Getting Your Kids To Eat Better This Thanksgiving

A common worry parents have around Thanksgiving? Their children won’t eat well.

They might not even eat at all. The solution? Imagine Thanksgiving from the perspective of a child. You don’t whose going to be there, the food or the schedule. In short, you don’t know what’s going on. And, on top of all that, you’re expected to just go along, and get along. As long as your kids aren’t infants, it doesn’t matter how old they are.

Filling them in on the plans for the day can solve a lot.

Eating expert and Sociologist Dr. Dina Rose, author of”It’s Not About the Broccoli: Three Habits to Teach Your Kids for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating” offers these tips to help your children and you conquer Thanksgiving and Holiday Eating and create a lifetime of healthy eating habits without focusing solely on nutrition:

1.       DO tell children what will be on the menu — and when. Don’t assume they know. Then, brainstorm together how they’ll find something to eat, if they’re picky, or how they’ll manage all the sweets and treats.

2.       DO let your children eat a meal before leaving home (or in the car on the way to the main event) if they’ll be too tired or too distracted to eat at the meal, or if they’re worried they won’t be able to eat anything at all..

3.       DO help your children figure out what they really want to eat by doing some taste testing, but only if they’re up for it. Assuming some of the food is unfamiliar, fill a plate with one pea-sized bite of everything on offer.

4.       DO tell your children that after the taste test they can help themselves to anything they want. Resist the urge to “push” the healthy stuff.

5.       DO resist the urge to tell your kids to eat-up. Remind them to pay attention to their tummies.

6.       DO help your children save room for treats coming down the pike.

7.       DO keep some familiar   s in the car for the ride home if your child is unlikely to eat at the meal.

8.       DO teach your kids to bookend Thanksgiving with a couple of no-treat days before and after their holiday feast. Even if Thanksgiving is outrageous, this strategy will even things out. Then, let them figure out their own holiday favorite treats.

Good News:

1.      Many children pick at their food. Nibbling, rather than gorging, is a healthy holiday habit.

2.      Many children would rather play than schmooze by the appetizer table.

3.      The mindless eating that parents do is easily avoided for kids who would rather run around than sit around.

4.      Happy holiday memories are more important than healthy holiday eating.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

5 Ways to Teach Kids About Thanksgiving

The first Thanksgiving as we know it was celebrated in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was a celebration that was born from the pilgrims desire to give prayers of thanksgiving to God for giving them a good harvest.  Thanksgiving was tied to religious celebrations for hundreds of years, but today there are many secular celebrations as well.  Many times, Thanksgiving is over shadowed by Halloween and Christmas because it’s not as flashy or filled with gifts and treats.  Here are some ways to teach your kids to be thankful and to enjoy Thanksgiving.

  1. Create a thankful jar.  For this, you will need a jar of some sort.  This is a great time to recycle a jar that you have recently emptied.  Wash and dry the jar thoroughly and remove any labels that might be on it.  Cut a strip of printer paper that is the right size to wrap around the jar.  Encourage the kids to decorate the strip with a Thanksgiving theme, making sure to write “Thank you” or “Thanks” some place on the strip with crayons or markers.  When the kids are finished, glue the strip of paper around the jar. If you like you can tie a pretty ribbon around the mouth of the jar.  Have the kids cut up slips of paper that can be used for everyone to write what they are thankful for during the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  During dinner everyone should pass around the jar and take a slip of paper out and read it.
  2. Read a book.  There are many books in the library or at the bookstore that explain the story of the first Thanksgiving.  Pick out a book that is age appropriate for the children you are reading to so that they can better understand the story.  Use the story to teach the kids how you feel about Thanksgiving and why you think it’s important.
  3. Perform a puppet play.  Gather together several lunch sacks, construction paper, glue, crayons and other things to create puppets.  If you’d like, you can also print out characters from clip art, cut them out, and glue them to a craft stick instead.  Even a sock puppet will work for this project.  Make puppets that represent the pilgrims, the Native Americans and maybe even a turkey or two.  As the kids are working on making the puppets you can talk about what the pilgrims wore versus what the Native Americans wore.  Keep in mind that historically it is believed that the Native Americans were dressed very simply and would not be wearing a big war headdress.  Once the characters of the puppet play have been created you can talk about the first Thanksgiving and then act it out with the puppets.
  4. Play a game.  Create your own Thanksgiving trivia game.  Go online and find a bunch of facts about Thanksgiving and put them on cards.  Each question should be on its own card. The person who gets the question right can keep the card, that way you can see who wins the most cards at the end.  The beauty of this game is that you can gear the questions to the age of the players.  You may need to have true and false questions or multiple choice questions for little ones.  This game can even be played at the table during Thanksgiving.  You can reserve a special set of adult questions to be added to the game.  You might want to print out the adult questions on a different color paper or using a different color of ink so that you will know which questions are meant for adults.  The game can be fun and challenging, and it will also teach your children a lot about Thanksgiving.
  5. Cook an authentic dish.  There are some misconceptions about what kind of food was served at the first Thanksgiving dinner.  Research with your child what foods would have been there and then prepare some of those dishes on the days leading up to Thanksgiving.  A few suggestions would be: succotash, corn soup, squash, beans, maple sugar candy and berries (even cranberries).  While you are cooking you can talk about how you think the pilgrims and Native Americans would have cooked their food since they didn’t have electricity.  You never know, you might find some new family favorites.

Spend some time with the kids talking about Thanksgiving and why it’s important to you and your family.  Many people find that adopting an attitude of thankfulness all year long helps them enjoy life more.  Give it a try and see what you think.

101+Things to Do With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

What to do with all that leftover turkey you have from Thanksgiving? Chop it up and make a sandwich or Turkey chili? Then what? There are loads of recipes online to give you creative options for your Thanksgiving leftovers.

We curated a list for you.

The Food Network’s Best Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Southern Living Makeovers for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Delish‘s 56 Ways To Totally Transform Leftover Turkey

Country Living‘s 28 Recipes That Will Make You Thankful for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Mental Floss‘s 10 Creative Recipes to Make With Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Kraft Leftover Turkey Recipes

Thrillest Transform Your Thanksgiving Leftovers With these next level recipes

How to Dress Your Bump for Thanksgiving by Trimester

This Thanksgiving, depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, you’re going to have to dress your bump for dinner appropriately. We have some style suggestions of looks to consider or inspire you as your plant your outfit for family gatherings this holiday weekend.

For the first trimester, you should go with an A-line blouse or collared shirt under a cropped sweater or jacket to draw the eye away from the tummy area if you are still not telling others. You may not be in maternity jeans  yet so wearing a top that covers the zipper area will allow you to leave it unbuttoned. Accessorize it with a cute tote and some fun pumps in classic colors fall colors like wine, navy, deep orange.

For a second trimester look, I take my inspiration from Kileen of Cute and Little blog. Go with a bump-hugging shirt dress like the Arran dress by Isabella Oliver. Throw over that a lightweight blazer. Add light jewelry and make up and top it off with a pair of low heeled pumps and a shopper bag.



 Another second trimester casual look I adore comes from Suzanne from My Kind of Sweet fashion blog. I like how she kept it simple with a shirt dress underneath a denim shirt that she tied above the bump. A pair of grey booties complimented the outfit perfectly.

If you’re in your final trimester, you’re getting close to delivery and style and fashion may be the furthest things from your mind. Keep it simple with a comfy maternity dress under a duster jacket  like this:



Good luck moms trying to keep those grimy hands off your bump, this Thanksgiving and Holiday season! ha!

10 Ways Your Child Can Help With Thanksgiving Set Up This Year

Thanksgiving is all about family and spending time together.

Generations often share the kitchen while creating some of the best tasting dishes.  Bring the kids into the kitchen this year and help them learn about some of your family’s traditional Thanksgiving recipes.  From toddlers to teens, there’s something everyone can do to help out.

  1. Lay out the bread to dry. Many stuffing recipes require stale bread.  Have your child set the bread out on the counter. Once it’s stale, allow him to break up the bread and dump in premeasured spices.
  2. Wash the vegetables for the crudité platter.  Serve a platter of crudité with some dip for guests to snack on.  Kids can wash the veggies and drain some pickles and olives before putting them onto a platter.
  3. Peel the potatoes. Around ages 8 to 10, most kids can use a potato peeler with supervision.  Teach her how to use the peeler than observe her in action before leaving her to the task.
  4. Add the marshmallows to the top of the sweet potatoes. Kids may enjoy the simple task of adding marshmallows to the top of the sweet potatoes, while sneaking a few as a snack, of course.  When kids help prepare a dish they feel connected to it and may be more likely to try it.
  5. Make some whipped honey butter. Allow a stick of butter to sit out until it reaches room temperature.  Have her add the butter, along with some honey, to a mixing bowl.  A couple of tablespoons worth are enough.  Add a few spoonfuls of powdered sugar and turn on the mixer.  Once blended, scoop the finished product into a pretty bowl and it’s ready to serve.
  6. Toss the salad. There are several ways kids can help create the dinner salad.  Let him tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces, rinse it off and toss it into the salad spinner. Once he spins the lettuce dry he can add in the rest of the ingredients, including the dressing. Have him toss the salad and set it on the table.
  7. Set the table. Depending on their age kids can set the entire table Thanksgiving table independently or set out items as you direct. Draw a table setting on a piece of paper. Your child can use the paper as a place setting guide.
  8. Plan the meal. Letting young ones help plan the menu for the big day will not only allow them to feel part of the celebration, but it may get them to try more types of food. Ask your children what vegetables they’d like to see on the menu and work together to find something appropriate to include.
  9. Snap green beans. Green bean casserole is a traditional dish served at many Thanksgiving feasts. Have the kids snap the ends of the beans that you’ll use in the casserole. Parents and kids can race to see who can finish snapping the ends off of their pile of beans that fastest.
  10. Mashing potatoes. Another traditional dish at the Thanksgiving table is mashed potatoes.  After the potatoes are boiled, kids can use a hand masher to help mash the potatoes up.

Consider what meal preparation tasks are age-appropriate for each child in your family. Assign each child at least one responsibility. The more involved kids feel, the more excited they’ll be about sharing Thanksgiving dinner together.