Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eating for two? You may want to slow down.

New guidelines were released on Thursday for how much weight women should gain during pregnancy.

The facts:

-A normal-weight woman, as measured by BMI or body mass index, should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. A normal BMI, a measure of weight for height, is between 18.5 and 24.9.

-An overweight woman — BMI 25 to 29.9 — should gain 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy.

-For the first time, the guidelines set a standard for obese women — BMI of 30 or higher: 11 to 20 pounds.

-An underweight woman — BMI less than 18.5 — should gain 28 to 40 pounds.

The reality? I gained about 50 lbs. I was normal weight going in and lost about 35 lbs the first month after birth. The rest of the weight throughout the next year. My OB never raised any concerns. I was healthy and happy. Baby was happy, although he was pushing 10lbs when born, but that has more to do with genetics then if I ate ice cream or not.

The most important message from the Institute of Medicine: Get to a healthy weight before you conceive. It's healthiest for the mother — less chance of pregnancy-related high blood pressure or diabetes, or the need for a C-section — and it's best for the baby, too. Babies born to overweight mothers have a greater risk of premature birth or of later becoming overweight themselves, among other concerns.

The guidelines call for increased nutrition and exercise counseling during pregnancy, saying doctors or midwives may need to consult a dietitian to tailor a woman's care no matter her starting weight. Also, providers should discuss whether a woman plans to breastfeed, which not only is optimal for the baby but helps the new mother shed pounds, too.

What did you gain? If it was over the recommendations was your doctor concerned?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ode to my favorite kitchen utensils

As I was cooking dinner tonight I realized that I have two go to utensils in my kitchen. These are the two I use pretty much every time I cook. I really believe I could throw away all the others in my kitchen drawer and do fine with these two.

First is the black plastic skimmer. I use this for everything from straining vegetables to a makeshift colander to draining canned beans or vegetables. I love this spoon and couldn’t live without it.

Second is the wooden spatula. I love this for sautéing, stir-frying, scraping; you name it. It’s great for scramble eggs, browning meat and stirring stews.

What’s your favorite utensil?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Slick site spotting - Ittybits

Slick site spotting of the week :

Ittybits is a Daily Candy for the stroller set. You sign-up and getting daily emails with information about quick dinner ideas, the hottest storage devices and latest parenting news.

From the site:
We aim to help parents simplify, enrich and improve the lives of their children, families and communities. Many moms and dads strive to be well informed, stay up to date, and be conscientious about what they do and buy. However, we all know that juggling careers and family (or sometimes just life itself) can leave little time to sift through the countless parenting resources available to find the type of recommendations and ideas that Ittybits delivers to inboxes Monday through Friday. And that’s why we’re here – to make life a little better, a little easier, and definitely more fun!

Click it:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Two Tuesday tips- Potty time!

Who knew that potty training would be the hardest part of raising a child? So far it's at the top of my list of difficult phases. This past weekend we went “diaper-free” to kick the potty game into high gear. We were about 70% successful. There were some wet shorts and puddles in stores we had to contend with, but being it was the first time my son ever went without a diaper, we’re on the right track. Here are a couple tips for those of you who are potty crazed like me:

1. My niece was always scared by the auto-flushing toilets in public restrooms when she was little. So much so that she would hold it in all day for fear of using the crazy toilet. My sister had to hold her hand in front of the sensor or position herself in front of it while my niece went. I read a nice little tip recently that if you drape a length of toilet paper over the sensor (folded over a few times), you can fool the HAL-like eye. Then when your child is all done, pull it off and let the flush happen. No more worrying about getting sucked down the pipes!

2. Now that we are trying to go diaper-free but don’t want to stay chained to our apartment, we love our portable potty. It’s from Potette Plus. It has little flip out stands that you can put on the ground where ever you go or flip out to fit on an adult toilet. It also comes with plastic bags complete with absorbent pads inside to wrap around and catch the goal. One more bonus, it fits nicely in your bag.

I actually can't wait until I don't have to say "potty" anymore.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Two Tuesday tips - Pancake time!

Who doesn't love pancakes? The syrup dripping over the sides, the butter melting on top...mmmm. Here's two great tips to enjoy them even more:

1. I just read this tip online and think it’s brilliant since I always seem to throw away leftover food. When you have too many pancakes leftover after a big weekend breakfast, wrap them up and refrigerate. On a week day, just throw them in the toaster and viola! Hot, crispy on the outside, soft in the middle. A great time saver for the crazy mornings.

2. And cutting up those pancakes in to perfect bite sized shapes? The pizza cutter does wonders. Use it for pancakes, waffles, bagels, soft fruit. Maybe I’ll try it on steak next!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

5 things NOT to do for Mother's Day

With so many lists telling you what to do and how to do it, I figured a few pointers on what not to do would come in handy.

1. Don’t buy an appliance, cooking utensils, new vacuum cleaner or anything that reminds her that, yes, cooking and cleaning is all she does, as a gift.

2. Do not take her to a fast food restaurant or anything that resembles it.

3. Do not expect her to do any household chores or cook.

4. Do not be generic or cliché. No balloons that scream “I just ran by the store on my way home to get this because I forgot until just now”.

5. Do not forget Mother’s Day! You don’t have to spend $$$ or make extravagant plans. Just make sure you honor her in some way to show that you appreciate her.

Happy Mother’s Day for all the women out there that go through this crazy thing called motherhood.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's Prom time!

In honor of Prom season, I present a small gallery of the worst prom dresses I've ever seen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mother's Day gift idea!

My good friend makes wonderful soaps and is having a sale for Mom's Day!


Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 10th and what a better gift then Roman Ruby Botanicals Gift Box!

We are having a special Mother's Day sale this week, free shipping anywhere in the US or hand delivery in the SF area on any purchase of $30 or over (Please have all orders in to us by noon Wed May 6th for mail delivery)
Don't forget all the Mom's in your life: Mom, stepmom, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, grandma, friends, cousins, teachers...

Prices are $8 for 1, $15 for 2, $20 for 3, or a beautiful gift box of 4 for $30.

~Grapefruit Mint (clean and refreshing)
~Hyde Park (flowering herb essential oil, rose petals, chamomile flowers, and hibiscus flowers)
~Lady (Shampure essential oil in goat's milk. If you love Aveda's Shampure scent, you'll love this soap)
~Orange Peel, Honey & Chamomile
~Gentleman (our new masculine soap. Sandlewood, Mint & Patchouli) comes in all glycerin or all goat's milk base
~Lemon Peel & Rosemary
~Lavendar & Wine
~Tahiti (mango & papaya essential oil and hibiscus flowers)
~Hawaiian Tropics (yummy coconut soap)

So get clean yourself or clean up your mothers!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dining out is for everyone!

It’s sad, but true that parents around the country, and probably world, avoid dining out with their children in tow. On a email group I subscribe to, a newcomer to the city asked where would be the best places to bring their 2 year old for Happy Hour. I sent some suggestions of places I've either been or have heard about. Then one reply came in from a commenter and I was compelled to blog about it. She basically tells the original poster that it’s not worth the effort to go out with children and that once her child turned 5, they stopped all together. I was dismayed to hear this. First, why deny yourself the socialization? Second, why deny your child the experience? I believe very strongly if you follow a few simple tips and start taking your child out to restaurants at an early age you can have a perfectly wonderful time. They will learn to behave and be respectful and you will not kill your social life.

We’ve all had issues at restaurants. I know it can be more of a pain then a glass of Pinot can cure, but if you don’t do it at all, what happens when you’re forced to? Your child will be even crazier since he/she won’t be prepared or knowledgeable on how to behave.

So here are my tips and please, please, please don’t stop going out to dine. Oh, and if you know of kid-friendly spots or know some neighborhood establishments that would like to institute a family friendly night, pass them along. After the tips I list some places around the city that do just that.

1. Going to a restaurant with a child much like flying with one. Bring plenty of things to keep your child occupied. Crayons, stickers, books. Keep them busy!

2. Bring additional snacks and drinks. I know you’re going to “eat”, but sometimes the wait for the food is just too long for little ones and a lot of places don’t have bread baskets.

3. Explain before going to the restaurant what you are doing and how you should act. Quiet, cordial, etc.

4. If your child does start acting up, remove him from the situation. Get up and take him outside for some fresh air. Sometimes they just need to let it out.

5. Lastly, clean up your mess as much as possible. I know you’re not going to pick up every crumb from the floor, but at least tidy up as much as possible. Wait staff will appreciate it as well as other diners.

I think those are the main things to consider. And if you just go in with a clear mind and a good attitude, so will your children.

Now here’s a list of some family nights where you don't have to worry as much and can still get out. Check the restaurant website for details.

Axis Café - Monday
1201 8th Street
(between 16th St & Irwin St)
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 437-2947

Goat Hill Pizza - Monday
300 Connecticut Street
(between 18th St & 19th St)
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 641-1440

Chenery Park - Tuesday
683 Chenery St
(between Carrie St & Diamond St)
San Francisco, CA 94131

Squat and Gobble - Tuesday
3600 16th Street
(between Castro St & Market St)
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 552-2125