Friday, March 30, 2012

Reading to Your Baby In the Womb

Something I did while I was pregnant was read to my little girl. I had no idea how close to her it would make me feel. It was such a wonderful experience I had to write this post to share some insight of why reading to your baby before he/she is born can be a great experience for all mothers! 

A miracle is growing inside you, and before you know it, you will be holding your new baby in your arms for the first time! As you prepare for baby's arrival, there are a number of things you will probably do naturally: rubbing your belly, singing to your baby and fixing the nursery to be just so.

Some parents take it one step further and read to their baby in the womb! Though developing babies don't have the ability to hear early on in the pregnancy, Medline Plus medical encyclopedia suggests that baby's ears are developing between weeks 19 to 21 of pregnancy. This doesn't mean your baby can decipher words, but rather the tone, rhythm and inflection of your voice can be easily detected after these weeks. (Think of this "hearing" as though you were hearing a television through the wall of the next room.)

Clipart Image: A Pregnant Woman Reading a Book

Have you considered reading to your unborn babySupport is rising up from moms everywhere, and even TV's popular celebrity doctor Dr. Oz has encouraged new parents-to-be to read to their babies in utero.

In an article co-written by Dr. Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen, the suggested benefits of reading to your unborn baby include fostering early brain development and establishing an auditory bond with your baby. Reading is thought to give your unborn baby a "head start," so to speak, by providing him/her with the foundation for language. Not only that, but hearing your voice (in the manner that you will be using it to communicate with your baby after birth) is thought to have a calming effect on your baby in the womb and gives your baby the opportunity to learn and recognize your voice distinctly as its mother's.

However beneficial to the fetus reading in the womb may be, your baby may not be the only one who benefits! Some mothers testify that reading to your unborn baby is beneficial to mommy-to-be as well. When you read a story to your baby bump, you may find you develop a stronger emotional bond that personifies your big belly. This helps you mentally prepare to be a new mommy, and you will be an old pro at reading stories like, "Guess How Much I Love You" by the time baby is born!

In addition to letting baby hear Mommy's voice, it is now commonplace for a father to take advantage of the opportunity to talk and read stories to his unborn baby. After all, why should Daddy miss out on all the fun? It may be a great way to develop cohesive family bonds and good "practice" for when baby actually arrives.

Of course, these are the suggested benefits of reading to your baby in the womb. Just as there are mothers who swoon at the idea, there are also mothers who would feel completely silly doing so! It is up to you to decide whether this is something you feel is appropriate and beneficial for your growing family.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dancing 2 Year Old

As I was sitting at my computer today I saw the cutest, most adorable video and just had to share it. Let me introduce 2 year old William Stokkebroe! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SPRING Into Cleaning

It's that time of year again, the time of year we all fear- Spring Cleaning. This year can be different though! There are many tips and tricks out there that will get your enthusiasm up, and keep your spending down! With a little knowledge and the right tools, you will have no problem being efficient without using up a lot of precious free time.

Here are some important things to focus on, and easy ways to get things done!

1. Make A Checklist. Creating a list of what needs to get done to make your house fresh and welcoming for Springtime will allow you to easily see your progress, allow you to not forget to accomplish something and remind you of what supplies you will need at the store. Therefore, you will waste no time at all at the store since you will already know what you need and not have to run back to get it. You will also spend less time trying to remember what else it is you wanted to get done this spring

2. Concentrate on ONE area at a time. We all know how easy it is to start cleaning the kitchen sink and wind up down the hall cleaning out a closet. Meanwhile, the sink isn’t really clean and the closet still needs work. So, simple tip- concentrate on one area at a time. Set a manageable goal for yourself, such as, sweep and mop the kitchen floor. This will allow you to give your full attention to the task at hand so you do not have to go back and redo the halfhearted job you’ve already attempted to finish!
Photo by Adam Cleaver    

3. De- clutter, De- clutter, De- clutter. Through those long winter months clutter forms almost everywhere, no matter how hard you try. By getting rid of things you do not need, and organizing the keepers, you will spend less time actually cleaning a space.

      4. Create a Daily Cleaning Schedule- AND STICK TO IT! Holding yourself accountable for the things you want to clean will make it go by much faster. Turn on some music and get too it, start checking off those tasks and you will be done in no time!


5. Buy Multipurpose Cleaning Supplies. Often times we find ourselves buying a different cleaning aid for each area of the house, but there is simply no reason too! It is easy to find supplies that are useful in multiple areas of the house and that are also affordable! (There are even certain supplies that are better for the environment!) 

6. Don’t Forget the Linens! This is something I remind myself to do 
each year when spring cleaning… washing the curtains, comforters and couch. I have slipcovers that go over my couch cushions, making them easy to wash. If you throw in a load of laundry consisting of sheets, or curtains or even clothing if it needs to be done, before you tackle something else, you will be doing two things at once and effectively managing your time.

7. Create a New Look. This is something I prefer to do, but something you certainly don’t have to do. When I am done cleaning, I like to rearrange the accessories and/or furniture of a room. I often replace decorations depending on the season, giving the house a fresh, spring look. This will help you feel a difference in the home too. Everything will seem new, fresh and very clean!

Whether you are aiming to clean the whole house, or just a few rooms, these tips are sure to help!  Open the windows for some fresh air, blast some good music and spring into cleaning!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stem Cell Research: Helping Breast Cancer Survivors Regain Some of What They Lost

Pasillo rosa - SCA by SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget

Breast cancer is something I hold dear to my heart. A few years ago a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. The past few years have been a struggle for her, her family and her friends, but her strength has prevailed as she has beaten the cancer. However, the fear of it returning is something she lives with everyday. Not only have I learned to cherish each day for what it is, I have learned that the strength of one person can be so great, it can change not only their own lives but the world alike. 

            I wrote this post in hopes to get some responses/discussion, as stem cell research can be a controversial topic. I have found myself questioning it sometimes, never agreeing or disagreeing, just curious to find out more. Learning the possibilities of hope it could bring to a woman like my friend brings joy to my heart.

Scientific research has not only evolved from the past to shape the world we live in today, but it is also creating new possibilities for the future. Day to day there are breakthroughs in the scientific world that change our forever. Just today, GMA did a special interview with Suzanne Somers who has offered to be a ‘guinea pig’ for what could change certain women’s lives forever.

Somers, known best for her three-year role on the hit sitcom, “Three’s Company,” has also been known over the years for her all natural anti aging regimens. Most recently however, Somers has emerged as the first woman to legally undergo reconstructive surgery on her breast using her own stem cells. A breast cancer survivor, she has lived many years with ‘lopsided’ breasts- an issue many breast cancer survivors face. Known as “Cell Assisted Lypo Transfer” the surgery removes fat tissue from the stomach in which stem cells are then harvested. Parts of this surgery are not yet FDA approved; however, Somers says that after this clinical trial is complete is will most likely become FDA approved and could even be covered by insurance companies. Other medical experts warn that the stem cells could turn cancerous in years to come.

Stem cell research is a controversial topic in which people argue why it’s right, why it's wrong, how it should and should not be used. This shows an example of ‘New Hope,'  as ABC calls it, for women who survive breast cancer. The strength it takes to survive cancer is immense. For a surgery to be made available that allows women to reshape their bodies using their own stem cells could also be life changing, giving them confidence and strength for the rest of their lives.