7 Things to Do Before Your Baby is Born

I’m the type of person who gets through life with lists – daily to-do lists, grocery lists, lists of podcasts to listen to, books to read, future vacation spots, and even restaurants I want to try. The *list* goes on!

So it’s not surprising that I had a long list of items to buy, things to do, and appointments to make before my baby was born. I want to share a few things that I did that kept me sane, and a few I wish I had done before the big day.

PACK YOUR BAGS
You never know when your baby is going to arrive so it’s best to do this weeks ahead of time, just in case. I packed a bag for me, a bag for baby, and even a small bag for my husband, and had them all sitting in the closet by our front door for a month ahead of time.

Must haves: toiletries, slippers, socks (for both you and baby), a notebook and pen, a folder (so much paperwork!), hair ties, nursing pads and bras, Lanolin, a nursing pillow, burp rags, an outfit to go home in (for both you and baby), and your birth plan.

INSTALL CAR SEAT
This seems like a no brainer, but believe it or not, some people forget to do this crucial step. You don’t want to be rushing to get the car seat installed when your water breaks. This, like packing your bags, should be done a few weeks ahead of time just to be safe.

If you have any questions or need assistance, most fire and police departments have trained specialists to assist you in free car seat installation and inspection. Check your local government website for more details.

SIGN UP FOR HUGGIES REWARDS & STOCK UP ON DIAPERS
You may be surprised by how many diapers your baby will go through (about 10-12/day), so stocking up now is essential! I decided to buy strictly Huggies when I found out about their rewards program and it has saved me so much money!

You earn points for every Huggies purchase which you then can redeem for more diapers, gift cards (my favorite!), toys, or even donate diapers to people in need. They even send you exclusive coupons and offers. You’re already buying diapers, might as well get something in return for it! Sign up here!

Sponsored: Get Rewards Points & Save on Essentials with Huggie’s Rewards!


GET 2 WATERPROOF CRIB MATTRESS PADS
Yes, I said two. Why you ask? To keep me sane in the middle of the night. I layer the first waterproof mattress pad, then a fitted sheet, then another mattress pad, and finally another fitted sheet. So when my little one has an accident or throws up in the middle of the night, I simply take off the first layer, and the second protective layer is already in place. No stressing about washing sheets and remaking the bed in the middle of the night! It’s worth the little bit of extra money!

CLEAN THE HOUSE
You won’t have much free time to clean house when your baby arrives. So get the house cleaned, dusted, vacuumed, and if you can, even get your carpets cleaned. I rented a rug doctor 2 weeks before my due date, and not only did it look great and make my house smell so fresh, It also made me feel better about letting my little one roll around on the floor.

PAINT YOUR NAILS
This may seem silly, but a little extra “glam” goes a long way after having a baby. Take some time, relax, and pamper yourself. Not only will it make you feel a bit more put together in the days and weeks following your baby’s arrival, but it will look nice in pictures. And believe me, there are going to be more than a few photo ops.

COOK & FREEZE
If you haven’t gotten the message yet, let me tell you, your hands will be full most of the day once your baby arrives. Cooking healthy and delicious meals will unfortunately not be at the top of your priority list so it’s best to cook and freeze as many meals as you can now. My husband and I planned out our favorite meals and spent a whole day cooking together, portioning out, labeling and freezing them. It was a fun day-date!

But most importantly, get excited, try to relax and go with the flow!

6 Signs Your Significant Other May Be Unfaithful

Questioning your current relationship status? Here are six background signs of a potential issue.

They refuse to delete their dating site profile

If you met your significant other on a dating website like Match.com or eHarmony, you’re not alone — 20% of current relationships began online! But, if you’re in a committed relationship and they refuse to delete their dating profile, or, you find an account that they didn’t tell you about, it may be time to tell your partner to hit the bricks.

You notice calls and texts from random numbers on their phone.

Cell phones are never too far from most people’s hands these days — 37% of people even feel compelled to check their cell phones every 30 minutes or less. But, if your partner is receiving texts or phone calls day and night from numbers that you don’t know, a Reverse Phone Lookup may be the perfect tool to help you out. A Phone Lookup uses Public Records to tell you exactly who owns the number in question, and, whether or not it’s time to contact a divorce lawyer.

You catch them lying about their background.

You may feel like you know everything there is to know about your partner, but, you might also be wrong. If your partner’s recent behavior is making you suspicious, a Background Check is a simple way to learn about what they may be hiding. While a Background Check won’t tell you if your partner is seeing someone on the side, it can let you know about other secrets they may be keeping from you- like a hidden Criminal Record or property that they never told you about.

They have an app designed to hide information on their phone.

These days, it seems like there’s an app for everything, and cheating is no exception. Three of the major offenders currently available are CATE, TigerText, and Vaulty Stocks.

CATE (which stands for Call And Text Eraser) is an app created in 2011 by former police officer Philip Immler after seeing a friend go through a divorce because his wife found incriminating messages on his phone. It’s designed to intercept texts and phone calls and store them within the app instead of appearing directly on your phone. The app owner then uses a passcode that is typed directly into the phone to unlock whatever Phone Records they’ve decided to hide, which also gives them the option of not using an icon to access the app.

TigerText is an app that helps cheaters by storing their iPhone messages on external servers instead of on the phone itself. The user can then set a time limit, and once the timer is done the messages are deleted. TigerText’s founder, Jeffrey Evans, claims that he created the app as a way to ensure privacy and not to assist cheating partners. But, like many forms of new technology, TigerText is frequently used, unfortunately, as a tool for cheating in a relationship.

Vaulty Stocks is designed to keep naughty pictures and videos hidden on your phone. If someone attempts to use the app but has an incorrect passcode, they’ll find what looks like a perfectly normal app for checking stocks instead of proof of cheating.

They have an account on a website like AshleyMadison.com.

Okay, so this one isn’t so much a sign that your other half may be unfaithful as it is a sign that they are being unfaithful. AshleyMadison.com, which launched in 2001, is a type of online dating website that differs in one way from major dating sites – instead of their target demographic being single people seeking a relationship, they choose to encourage people who are already in a relationship to use their service to find a lover. In fact, their motto is “Life is short. Have an affair.”- far from the type of online service, a faithful partner would use!

They make sudden changes in their schedule or appearance.

If your partner is suddenly working overtime every night of the week, working out (especially when they hate exercise more than anything) and/or trading their regular clothing style for something fancier, there may be a reason to be concerned. If your partner seems to be changing their look without reason, it’s probably time to keep a closer eye on their activities.

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What Is a Healthy Post-Pregnancy Workout?

So you want to get back in shape now that your baby has arrived. That’s great, but remember your body has just been through a whole lot. It’s important to take things slow and to care for yourself as you start working out. Here are several healthy, post-pregnancy workout options, plus an idea of how long you should wait before you begin.

How Long to Wait

Most doctors say it’s a good idea to wait about six weeks before you get back on the scale and start thinking about a normal exercise routine. Your body needs time to recover, and of course, you’re going to want to have some time with your baby too. So don’t worry about getting back to your workout routine until at least two months or so have passed.

Walking

Walking is a perfect, no-stress, post-pregnancy workout option. You can start with this earlier if you like, as long as you remember to take it very slow and to be careful with your body. It’s also a great way to bond with your baby, as you can walk while pushing your little one along in a stroller.

Kegels

When you need a low-impact workout that will make a huge difference post-pregnancy, try some kegel exercises. Sit or lie down and contract the muscles you would use if you were to try and stop urinating. Doing 15 to 20 of these is a great way to help your body start to heal and shape up.

Abdominal Contractions

Start by breathing deeply into the belly. Contract your abdominal muscles as you breathe in and then relax on the exhale. Try to slowly increase the amount of time that you contract your abs. This is a great way to relax your muscles and create toning in your abs after pregnancy.

Lifts

Try doing some head lifts where you lie on the floor, bend your knees, and relax your stomach on the exhale, lift your head and neck off the floor and hold them up. Then inhale as you lower your head back to the ground. When this gets to easy, try raising your head and shoulders off the floor too.

Pelvic Bridge

Try lying flat on your back with your feet bent, then inhale. As your exhale, start raising your pelvis off the floor and draw your abs upward. Lift your hips off the floor until your body forms the bridge position. Try to hold this for a few seconds, then lower back down. Start with 5 reps of these, then try to build to 10.

Dancing

If you were always more into cardio than stretching, you can get back to your favorite workout by dancing. This is a safe option for post-pregnancy that will get your heart pumping. Try putting on your favorite song and then shaking your groove thing the whole time. For at least 3 to 4 minutes, you will get your heart rate up, which will be great for your body.

5 Ways to Know Your Marriage Is Over

When you’re struggling in your marriage, one question you may have is how do you know when it’s really over. Many couples will argue for years before they decide to call it quits. However, there are some couples who will get upset with one another for a couple of months and decide to go their separate ways. In either case, the decision to end a marriage isn’t an easy one. The following are some of the ways you can know if your marriage is over or not.

Abuse

If there is domestic violence in your marriage (physical, mental, emotional or sexual) and the perpetrator doesn’t want to get help, it’s best to leave the marriage. While domestic violence can go on for years or even a lifetime without leading to death, not everyone is that lucky. Unfortunately, people don’t know how far it will go.

Affairs

Affairs are another reason people get divorced. Some people stay together after infidelity, but that’s after each person has agreed to work on the marriage. If one person is unwilling to work through what has happened, it usually won’t work and the marriage will end.

Unwillingness to Improve the Marriage

When one person is unhappy in the marriage and the other person doesn’t want to do anything to improve it, the person who is unhappy will have to make the hard decision to end  it. Some people stay in marriages forever being unhappy, while others decide they don’t want to live that way. This is the question you will have to ask yourself if you’re in this situation.

Abandonment

When one person has abandoned the marriage, it’s time to make a decision of how to proceed. Abandonment is a legal issue that will need to be handled by a competent family lawyer. According to Tamia Y. Tymus, a family law attorney at Frasier & Griffin PLLC in Raleigh and Durham, NC, you can use marital abandonment in court to prove fault in the divorce. This can help with getting spousal support, custody and even child support.

You can learn more about this in this video:

 

Counseling Is Just Not Working

Before getting a divorce, it’s a good idea to seek marital counseling. If the counseling doesn’t help resolve the problems in the marriage, then it might be better to separate and divorce.

Take your time as you decide whether you should get a divorce or not.  It’s not an easy decision, and it shouldn’t be decided on in haste. Stick it out until you know for sure that is your only choice.

 

Learn a Second Language with Rosetta Stone

With so many benefits of learning a second language, there is no reason not to do it.

  • Boost Brain Power
  • Improve Memory
  • Enhance Ability to Multi-Task
  • Sharpen the Mind
  • Reduce and Delay Dementia
  • Enhance Decision Making

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In the busy world we live in though, it can be difficult to find the time to learn a second language. Most people don’t have the time to take a class at a local college. They don’t want to sign up for an online class because they can get overwhelming as well.

What people need to learn a second language is the ability to bring the lessons with them where they go. They need the audio to listen to as they are in the car, taking a walk or even cooking dinner. Being able to bring their lessons wherever they go makes it possible for them to learn while continuing to live.

Of course, just being able to listen to words isn’t enough. It’s important to read and write the language. This can be a bit more difficult, unless you have someone to help you. That’s when a tutor can be highly useful. With regularly scheduled times to meet with a tutor, you can easier fit them into your busy life. Those times can be when you do something for you and your future. You will be so happy you did it too.

Learning a Second Language Easily

How do you get all of this though? No, you don’t have to purchase audio files, books, and more to get started. You don’t have to search for a tutor. Instead, you can simply sign up for the world’s best language program – Rosetta.

Rosetta provides you everything you need to learn a second language. 

They have a proven method from 20+ years of extensive research. Their program has been crafted by expert linguists. This improves performance and delivers quick results.

With TruAccent technology, you can learn a second language by mimicking the speed and tone of the words as you speak aloud. It’s amazingly easy to do.

Tutors are included and they are native to the country where the second language is spoken. This helps you build conversation skills and guide you through important lessons. There’s even video for face-to-face interaction. which can greatly help build confidence.

A new, but amazing addition to the Rosetta program is Stories. This intuitive and fun technology allows you to read and record stories to receive feedback on pronunciation.

Rosetta Stone has been recommended by the best media outlets, such as Macworld, TechCrunch, and CNN.

If you’re not convinced it’s for you – watch and learn about Peter’s Story here.

Get Started TODAY

You can get started today with the language of your choice, just click here. If you have any questions, feel free to click on the chat icon on the lower right hand side of the screen.

A FREE DEMO is available for you. Choose from Spanish, English, French, Italian, or German.

We hope you’ll open your mind and world by learning a second language. The benefits are incredible and your life will be greatly improved.

Crocheting for Stress Relief

Crocheting does the body AND mind good!

Crocheting helps people relax. It keeps their mind active, so they can process some of the mental stress they deal with each day. Just a few minutes of crocheting can lower anxiety levels significantly, which has many health benefits, such as:

  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Better sleep
  • Lowers irritability and restlessness
  • Staves off dementia

 

When starting to crochet, most people find that they simply want to make blankets. It’s the easiest project since all you have to do is crochet back and forth.

There are only so many blankets you can make, though.

For those who are ready to take it to the next level, can find many crochet patterns online. Many of these crochet patterns are free, like the ones at AllFreeCrochet.

This website has a wide variety of crocheting patterns for you to use to create different items. Shalls, sweaters, scarves, and more can be found on this website. You don’t have to pay for the patterns, and they can be accessed at any time that you need them.

What else does AllFreeaCrochet provide?

FREE eBooks

Yes, you can download eBooks on crocheting. This means you don’t have to be online when you are crocheting. You can use these eBooks to improve your crocheting skills by learning different types of designs. You can also follow patterns in this eBook on your phone or computer while you are away from home and Wi-Fi.

Giveaways

Not only do you get free crochet patterns, but you can also enter in giveaways. Many of the users of AllFreeCrochet win these crochet-related prizes, so you should give it a try.

Collections

You will find many different types of patterns. When you find a collection of patterns you like, you can continue to go to them simply by clicking on Collections. This will show you the different categories of patterns, and you quickly and easily, you can get the patterns you need.

Tutorials

Can’t figure something out? No problem! Try out the Tutorials section of the website. This will take you step-by-step through the process of your first project.

Videos

Do you learn best by watching someone doing it? Check out the videos that are available. You can watch the videos, rewind them, fast forward them, and pause them. This can make learning new ways to crochet much easier and make your projects a success.

Show Off

AllFreeCrochet is a community of people who love to crochet. You can submit your project so others can see the beauty you have created for yourself or someone else.

If you end up at the level of creating your own patterns, you can show off those as well. It’s a great way to help those who need it, just like you did.

Check Out AllFreeCrochet

AllFreeCrochet is available right now. Go ahead and browse the patterns to choose one that you would love to do. Look around to see what else you would like to participate in as well. It’s a community of people who love to do what you do – crochet.

Top Ways to Prevent or Reduce Bloating

Bloating is something that most people deal with – unless they hardly eat anything. That’s because bloating is a consequence of eating and digesting that food.

Some foods make some people bloat more than other foods, but figuring which foods those are and then avoiding them can be difficult.

As you start the journey of figuring out what will help you prevent or reduce bloating, consider these 10 ways.

Eat Slower and Less

Eating too much too quickly can cause bloating. Your body isn’t able to process all that food in such a short amount of time. The result is bloating.

When you eat, take each bite with mindfulness and then think about how it tastes. Be sure to drink water in between some of the bites. Just take your time and really enjoy what you’re eating. Not only does this help you with bloating, but it can help you stay on top of whether you’re done eating instead of overeating.

Identify Food Allergies

Some foods cause people to bloat because they are allergic to them. The only way to really identify what you may be allergic to is by eliminating them from your diet.

Dairy causes bloating for a lot of people, so start with that. If you cut out dairy and still deal with bloating, introduce it back into your diet and try another possible culprit such as gluten. As you take out and put back in foods in your diet, you’ll start to see what each of them does to your body.

Avoid Gassy or Airy Foods

The reason your stomach is bloated is because you have air inside of it. This air can come from gas or simply just air. The biggest cause of air in the abdominal is soda or other carbonated drinks. Cut down on those, or eliminate them all together to see if that cuts down the bloating.

To avoid swallowing a lot of air, don’t chew gum, drink from a straw or eat while talking. All of these can cause you to swallow air that could lead to bloating.

Eliminate FODMAPs

Some foods are harder to digest, and people with irritable bowel syndrome should stay away from them. These foods are:

  • Watermelon
  • Wheat
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Artichokes
  • Beans
  • Apples
  • Pears

 

Try to eliminate these foods from your diet to see if they help with bloating. Many people with IBS report that bloating is the biggest problem they have with their condition, and eliminating these foods can reduce the severity of that symptom.

Exercise

Constipation causes bloating, and one way to beat constipation is by exercising. By doing something physical for 30 minutes a day, you can get your digestive system more on track so the bloating may be less.

Use Probiotics

Probiotics are good for the digestive track. Take a supplement each day to keep you regular and to help your body digest foods effectively and efficiently. It can take some time before probiotics start doing their job, so give it a couple of months.

Now you know some new ways to help you with bloating. Try them out to see what works for you.

Keto Diet 101: What You Need to Know for Success

The keto (ketogenic) diet has grown in popularity over the last two years. People are drawn to it because not only does it help them lose weight, but it can cut down on cravings, it’s been known to improve mood, mental focus and energy.

Before you embark on this fat-burning endeavor, you should learn about it in this Keto Diet 101 guide.

The Keto Diet: Low Carb / High Fat

People lose weight by entering a state of ketosis. This physiological state breaks down fat into ketones, which the body uses for energy. The only way to enter the ketogenic state is to reduce the number of carbs in the body and increase the amount of fat.

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Since the body doesn’t have enough carbs to run, it switches over to fat, which is a more efficient fuel source. This is what makes people lose weight faster.

The amount of carbs that people should consume in a day varies when trying to enter ketosis, but the recommendation is no more than 20 net carbs.

Medicinal Uses of the Ketogenic Diet

The keto diet has been used to help people with neurological conditions, such as seizures, especially in children.

Research has found that this type of diet can be effective in controlling brain conditions as well. In particular, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s symptoms may be lessened following the high fat/low carb diet. This could be because of the brain’s need for fat due to it being mostly made up of it.

What to Eat on the Ketogenic Diet

Due to the limited carb intake, it’s incredibly important to look at all of the ingredients in manufactured foods. Sugar is a carb, so avoiding all sources of it can help people stay under the 20 net carbs.

Most people who follow a ketogenic lifestyle stick with whole foods since it’s easier to control the carb, fat, and protein in meals.

The biggest surprise that people encounter when switching over to keto is the focus on fat. For years, most dieters stayed away from things like chicken skin or fat on ribeye steaks, but those are highly encouraged with the keto diet.

Some of the best meats to eat are:

  • Brisket
  • Salmon
  • Pork shoulder
  • Ground beef (grass-fed)
  • Bacon

Vegetables are still important, but many contain carbs. Stick with leafy greens such as kale, lettuce, and spinach. Broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers are also good choices.

Oils are often made up of fat. Avocado, palm, canola, and olive are the best.

Dairy products should include whole milk and cheese.

Can’t make it through the day without a coffee? Don’t worry – you can still have it. Use ghee in your coffee as a creamer substitute. Stevia and other artificial sweeteners can replace the sugar.

Beginning the Ketogenic Diet

Most people have a difficult time getting through the first couple of weeks on a keto diet. Carb withdrawals can include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Mental fogginess
  • Hunger

If you can get through the second week, the third and fourth weeks are much easier. Weight loss is faster at this point, especially for those who are active.

How to Know When You’re in Ketosis

The signs of being in ketosis are different for everyone. The ones that most people experience are:

  • Bad breath
  • Positive blood test for ketones
  • Positive urine test for ketones
  • Reduced appetite
  • Increase focus
  • Improved energy
  • Enhanced performance
  • Insomnia

Most people report that ketosis feels like a huge cloud is lifted off of them. All of a sudden, they feel free from the weight that has been holding them down, and it’s not just because of the weight loss. The mental fog is gone, the cravings have ceased, and they simply feel better than they have ever felt. It’s a switch they feel that can’t be compared to how they felt before entering the state of ketosis.

Following the Keto Diet Long Term

The keto diet is not meant to be followed for a long time consistently. It’s best to cycle in and out of the keto diet, especially for women due to hormone fluctuations that can be influenced by limiting carbs.

Carbs are good for the body, but most people consume too many. Limiting carbs for a certain amount of time can help people control how much is in their system and it’s harm over time.

Disclaimer:

Before starting any diet, discuss it with your doctor. You should never follow a new diet or exercise program without the consent of your doctor.

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Could Lead to Future Blood Pressure Problems

New research has just come out that shows there’s an increased risk of elevated blood pressure if a woman suffers pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. Actually, this medical condition could be experienced as early as a year after birth.

About Pre-Eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition in which a woman develops high blood pressure when she is pregnant. The amount of protein increases in the urine when a woman becomes pregnant, and this can cause elevated blood pressure. If it is not controlled, it could be life threatening to  the baby and mother.

However, even if the blood pressure is controlled, the after effects of condition can lead to problem later after birth.

The problem is that blood pressure is usually not checked a year after birth. Most new mothers stop seeing the doctor after their follow up appointment shortly after delivery.

This means that high blood pressure goes unnoticed for as long as they don’t see a doctor.

A person with high blood pressure is seven times more likely to suffer from heart disease.

The percentage of women with high blood pressure after birth is high – 41 percent. This is a huge concern that needs to be addressed.

The other issue is that the blood pressure can increase and decrease. When woman had their blood pressure read inside of the clinic, it could be normal. When they left the clinic, it could be high. The sustained readings was only seen in 14.5 percent of the women. If in-clinic readings were looking at more than half of women’s high blood pressure reading would go unnoticed.

Going Forward

The researchers have this to say:

“Our findings suggest women who have high blood pressure during pregnancy should continue to monitor their blood pressure long after they’ve delivered their babies,” “It’s not only important to monitor blood pressure in the doctor’s office, but also at different times of the day and night, at home.” – Source

With this information, it will be easier to find women who are suffering from high blood pressure after delivery. This can save women’s lives.

If you’re a woman who has recently given birth or you have in the last year or more, have your blood pressure check regularly throughout the day. If you notice high blood pressure signs:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

 

If you notice any of these signs of high blood pressure, contact a medical professional as soon as possible. The effects of high blood pressure can damage your kidneys and heart. Take care of yourself, so you can take care of your baby.

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