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Sunday, November 30, 2008
Monday Giveaway: 5 Barbie: A Christmas Carol DVD's

Most little girls have a Barbie or want one. She has been an iconic figure for decades. For Christmas Mattel is releasing Barbie: A Christmas Carol for families to enjoy.

It's Barbie's first Christmas movie and it will prove to be a favorite for this and many years to come!

In this animated holiday tale based on Charles Dickens's classic story, the usually lovable Barbie takes on a decidedly different demeanor as the self-absorbed Eden Starling, a singing star of the London stage who forgets the spirit of the season. When Eden pulls a Scrooge and demands that her fellow performers rehearse on Christmas Day, she's visited by a trio of spirits who remind her what giving is all about.

GIVEAWAY: Mattel is offering 5 Growing Your Baby Readers to opportunity to win one of these DVD's.

To enter please comment here with your e-mail address.

  • Extra Entrants: Blog about our giveaway! Tell your readers about our giveaway and then send us the link in a separate comment for an additional entrant to the giveaway.
  • Regardless of outcome - ALL bloggers who write about our giveaway will be linked back in our winners post.

*All comments are moderated and may not appear immediately*

Giveaway Closes on Friday December 5th, 2008

Giveaway Rules

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And The Winner Is...Miss Gigi Mae Tether System and Book

The Miss Gigi Mae Tether system is a unique product that will keep you from pulling your hair our when your child goes through the ’cause and effect’ stage of their development.

Created in the shape of a friendly lady bug, this adorable organizer will keep all of your child’s toys, books and other accessories with them and not on the floor.

P.A.W. Prints of Illinois offered 2 Growing Your Baby Readers the opportunity to win a Miss Gigi Mae Tether Systems and Book.

Congratulations to our winners Dorit Z and Lisa W!

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Amanda and Frances Enjoy The Park

Amanda Peet was spotted playing with her daugther, Frances at the Coldwater Canyon Park in Beverly Hills.

The adorable tot enjoyed the sandbox and slides barefoot. What is it with celebrities not putting shoes on their kids?

Amanda Peet play with her daugther at he Park

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Pregnant Moms Asked To Skip The Hairspray To Prevent Birth Defects

Pregnant women are being asked to go 'au natural' amid fears that some cosmetics could lead to birth defects.

The move follows the publication of a study which found that women exposed to high levels of hairspray during pregnancy were twice as likely to have babies born with hypospadias, a condition in which the urinary tract grows on the underside of the penis.

These findings have led to calls for a new EU-wide cosmetics labelling system.

High levels of phthalates, also used to soften plastics such as PVC, have been found to affect hormone levels, while parabens have been the subject of concern since 2004, when a study claimed to have detected parabens from deodorants in cancerous breast tissue.

The French government announced last week that the country's health authorities were considering a labelling system for cosmetics that would indicate whether or not products were safe for pregnant women.

But the UK government said that the EU should address the issue as a whole, adding it to a range of changes currently being made to the European Cosmetics Directive.

North American officials haven't discussed whether or not they have plans to follow suit with special labelling.

Related Articles:


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Texas Toddler Survives Three Story Fall

In an amazing event, a toddler who tumbled from a third-floor window at an apartment complex in Austin escaped serious injury.

Lt. Doug Dukes said told a local news outlet the 23-month-old fell through a screened window while playing with other children Friday afternoon.

The fall is believed to be an accident and the tot was taken to an area hospital for observation.

It was not clear whether the child landed on something that cushioned the fall.

Related Articles:


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If You Meet A Pregnant Woman - Say Something Nice!

As I enter into my last month of pregnancy, I must say that I will be glad to have the baby in my arms soon.

This is not because I don't like being pregnant, but because I would like all of the pregnancy horror stories to end.

Even though I already have a son, I didn't get to do the whole pregnancy thing - getting ripped off 16 weeks early. This makes me a target for those who have delivered full term babies to tell me their horror stories of 48 hour labors and ripping from one end to the other.

In the last few weeks I have heard about:

  • someone losing their baby at 36 weeks (that's where I am)
  • someone who had a botched c-section
  • someone who's hubby cheated 4 days before baby #2 arrived
This on top of multiple inquiries about if I am going to bust soon...

For all of you who have had nightmare deliveries, crummy pregnancies or unfortunate things happen after, it may be nice to keep them private until others have their babies safely in their arms.

I have no control over what my little monkey is doing inside right now, how incompetent the doctor is going to be or how my body is going to react to childbirth. But I do deserve the right to enter into this with faith, which is hard when you hear negative stories.

So...if you see a pregnant woman today, resist the urge to tell her about all the bad things you have heard and say something nice!

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Gwen Adds Another Stroller To Her Collection

The queen of strollers Gwen Stefani has added another stroller to her collection.

The new mom was seen out shopping in Culver City pushing a Brio Go, a stroller that is predominantly available overseas.

I guess recycling the strollers that she used for Kingston is out of the question...

Gwen Stefani with Zuma at in LA

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Record The Heartbeats Of Your Unborn Child With Beforme

When you are pregnant, nothing is nicer than hearing your growing baby's heartbeat.

Puffi Santel Intergalactico has teamed up with Robert Majkut Design to come up with a stethoscope with MP3 player that records and plays the heartbeats of an unborn child.

Called the ‘Beforme,’ the unique medical device is basically a combination of an MP3 player and a stethoscope, which can be used to listen to the heart beats of the mother as well as the infant. Apart from playing the heart rhythm on the headphones, the embryo-shaped device presents the heartbeats as a graph, on the display, as well.

Moms-to-be can record the heartbeat with just a touch of a button and send it to the doctor for charting and comparing the data. Moreover, the user can transmit the recorded data via USB cable or Bluetooth to the computer.

I don't normally support doppler-like devices because of how hard it is for non-medical professionals to get a proper heart beat. But this product looks interesting. I'd be interested to see how well it works...


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Saturday, November 29, 2008
Nicole and Harlow's Playdate

Nicole Richie and daughter Harlow leave a playdate yesterday in West Hollywood.

The little cutie, who chews on Sophie The Giraffe, wears one of our favorite kids designers: Amber Hagen.

Nicole recently got the parenting thumbs up from fellow celeb mommy Christina Aguillera. She was recently quoted saying,

"I really appreciate people that exude a lot of talent and hard work. Because our little ones were born one day apart, I have had the opportunity of getting to know her. I was blown away by how great of a mom Nicole is. I really am. She is a great woman and I think that having a child has made her grow so much, as it made me grow as well."


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How Does A Baby Get Stolen WITH A Vehicle?

At least once every couple of weeks, I read a story about a baby that has gone missing after a vehicle has been stolen.

It is the most preventable crime EVER!

If the baby wasn't left in the vehicle unattended, than they wouldn't be stolen along with the vehicle...

The most recent occurrence of this was in Chicago yesterday when an Amber Alert was issued for a 7 month old Osiel Hernandez that was missing when his mother's minivan was stolen.

His mom, Nuri Salgado, left him in the back seat of the running van, which was stolen about 4:30am. Apparently she brought him to work because she was breastfeeding, but didn't think to bring him in...

She left the van running, in Chicago at 4:30 am!!!! Is this a joke? Why didn't she just leave some gas money on the dash at the same time?

The baby, who appeared to be unharmed, was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

He was missing for 12 hours!!!

PHOTOCREDIT:Phil Velasquez

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New Test Could Reduce The Chance Of Delivering Prematurely

Australia's state government says that a breakthrough in fetal medicine at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital may reduce the risk of premature and still births.

Scientists from the hospital's newly-opened Kolling Institute of Medical Research have discovered a protein in the blood of expectant mothers which could identify babies at risk of being born malnourished, says NSW Health Minister John Della Bosca.

One Percent of mothers with low levels of the angiopoietin-2 protein will experience problems with poor nourishment by the placenta during pregnancy.

Malnourished babies are restricted in their growth and are at risk of pre-term birth, still birth, learning difficulties and heart disease later in life.

Previously, the only effective treatment has been to deliver the baby early.

Now, doctors will be able to measure the levels of the protein in the mother's blood as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy and treat the mom-to-be accordingly.

The good news is that this research will be able to benefit moms, not only in Australia, but internationally.

Related Articles:


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Friday, November 28, 2008
Kids Share Economic Fears With Santa

Parents aren't the only ones worried about finances this Christmas. According to Santa, kids are too.

Some of the kids crawling onto Santa's lap this year have more than stuffed animals and video games on their most-wanted lists. Several times already this season, Joe Jackson, a seasoned South Carolinian Santa, has been asked to get Daddy a job or Mommy money to buy the house back.

"You see things behind the beard that nobody else will ever see or hear. I've had children just literally tear my heart out," said Jackson, who is pulling on his red suit for a 19th season of playing Santa at private parties and festivals in the northern part of the state.

The slumping economy has families across the nation facing one of their toughest Christmases in years. That means Santa Claus, the jolly confidante for so many under 10, is hearing more simple requests than for a new Nintendo Wii or Elmo Live.

Timothy Connaghan, of Riverside, Calif says that, "Children are very trusting of Santa. They are very open with him. They tell him things they normally wouldn't discuss with other people. And they usually ask Santa to fix things. They know he is someone who can grant wishes." He has played Santa for 40 years and trained more than 1,500 other Santas across the country through his "School 4 Santas."

He coaches aspiring Kris Kringles to remember that a good Santa can't promise a new job or money to make everyone's Christmas dreams come true, "but he can tell them things are always going to get better," Connaghan said.

Kids writing letters to Santa aren't any more optimistic that the ones sitting on his lap. Denise Griffitts of Lafayette, La., who volunteers for Operation Santa Claus, answering about 250 letters a year from children in her area says that kids aren't asking extravagant gifts, "they're asking for personal care items, they're asking for school supplies, they're asking for warm clothing."

Maybe this year's economic issues will be a good thing for the holidays. It's never too late to teach kids that the holidays are about being with family and enjoying everyone's company. The expensive presents are just an added bonus. Simple isn't always a bad thing.


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Sprig Offers Toys With All The Bells and Whistles Powered By You!

Every parent dreads purchasing the supply of batteries that will be needed to power Christmas morning.

This is where Sprig comes to the rescue. The eco-friendly toy company has created a line of toys that are complete with all the bells and whistles, with one catch - they are powered by your child!

Sprig's Adventure Series trucks (priced between $20 - $50) harnesses the natural kinetic energy of push- and pump-action play to generate lights and sounds – all without batteries.

Although every Sprig toy is built for a happy planet, tough terrain is no match for their sturdy, earth-moving Eco-Trucks. Playing in sand and dirt is good, clean fun with the Eco-Trucks Excavator($14), Loader($14) and Dump Truck($14).

*Eco-Bonus* Designed for the active preschool child, all vehicles and character bodies are molded using SprigwoodTM – a durable, child-safe, bio-composite material made from recycled wood and reclaimed plastic.

More great Sprig features:

  • Realistic Mechanical Action
  • Indoor / Outdoor Vehicles
  • Sand Box Friendly
  • Paint Free!
  • Real Pine infused into plastic
  • Made in Prague

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Study Gives Hope To Developing Down Syndrome Babies

Researchers from the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland believe that unborn babies found to have Down syndrome could soon be treated in the womb with proteins to reduce the severity of the chromosomal abnormality.

Experimental studies in mice pregnant with Down syndrome pups showed that injecting them with nerve-protecting proteins could ease the extent of developmental delay in offspring.

Down syndrome occurs when children inherit an extra copy of chromosome 21 and the mice were engineered to have a similar condition by being given an extra copy of a segment of chromosome 16.

Both genetic abnormalities can lead to mental and developmental delays.

Researchers say that Down syndrome starved developing nerve cells of key proteins known as NAP and SAL which were needed for normal development.

When the pregnant mice were injected with these proteins, their Down-affected pups still reached their developmental milestones such as grasping a rod and responding to touch at the same speed as normal mice.

The brains of the treated mice also showed normal levels of other proteins normally found in reduced amounts where Down syndrome was present, providing more evidence that some effects of the syndrome had been removed.

The scientists will continue to follow the mice to see if the effects are long-lasting or even permanent.

While it was too soon to say if the same success was possible in humans, the treatment offers hope of at least being able to lessen the symptoms.


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Black Tie Baby Carrier

Cool Mom Picks found this fancy baby carrier that is perfect for the parent that needs to tote a tot to a dressed up affair.

Bronwyn Hand Crafted has created the black fur baby carrier that is designed after the popular Mei Tai carrier with a bit of a black tie twist.

It is also available in plain silk.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008
The Rossdales Spend Thanksgiving Relaxing At The Park

Gwen Stefani, husband Gavin and their two boys Kingston and Zuma spend a nice Thanksgiving day at Coldwater Canyon Park in Beverly Hills.

Gwen Stefani takes Zuma and Kingston to spend Thanksgiving at the Park

Gwen Stefani takes Zuma and Kingston to spend Thanksgiving at the Park

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Baby Born With Heart, Liver Outside of Body

Surgeons in India will attempt to save the life of a baby girl who was born with her heart and part of her liver growing outside her body.

The four-day-old girl is currently being cared for at the Bengal medical college on the outskirts of the northeastern Indian city of Siliguri.

"This is a very rare case, we are not sure if we can perform surgery to put her heart and liver back, but we'll try our best," a child specialist Miridula Chatterjee said.

In the 3 1/2 years I have been writing this site, I have read about many doctors performing some pretty amazing miracles. Lets hope this team can do something great with this baby.

Related Articles:


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Cool Prototype: Carbon Fiber Infant Safety Car Seat

Rory Craig of the Art Center College of Design, has designed this clever carbon fiber child's safety car seat prototype.

This well-designed seat is meant to appeal to racing enthusiasts with it's edgy style.

The seat is not only extremely lightweight strong, but suits the needs of all three stages a child goes through when using a carseat. The first is a rear facing infant seat, the second and upright forward facing toddler seat, and third a youth booster seat. This carseat achieves this by having a central pivot that is not only adjustable but also removable to allow for these three different configurations. By combining all these stages it allows the buyer to not have to purchase three different carseats throughout the childs carseat years.

The seat, which is not currently in production, is fictitiously named it the "Sparco Wingman". The designer named it this because he hopes to pitch the idea to the company in the near future.


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The Beckhams and Cruises Do Dinner

Two of Hollywood's biggest families got together last night for a Thanksgiving eve dinner.

David Beckham, wife Victoria and their three boys Cruz, Romeo and Brooklyn enjoyed dinner with Tom Cruise, his wife Katie and their kids Isabella, Conner (from previous marriage) and little Suri.


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Giveaway Reminder: Miss Gigi Mae Tether System and Book

The Miss Gigi Mae Tether system is a unique product that will keep you from pulling your hair our when your child goes through the ’cause and effect’ stage of their development.

Created in the shape of a friendly lady bug, this adorable organizer will keep all of your child’s toys, books and other accessories with them and not on the floor.

GIVEAWAY: P.A.W. Prints of Illinois is offering 2 Growing Your Baby Readers the opportunity to win a Miss Gigi Mae Tether Systems and Book.

To enter please comment here with your e-mail address.

  • Extra Entrants: Blog about our giveaway! Tell your readers about our giveaway and then send us the link in a separate comment for an additional entrant to the giveaway.
  • Regardless of outcome - ALL bloggers who write about our giveaway will be linked back in our winners post.

*All comments are moderated and may not appear immediately*

Giveaway Closes on Friday November 28, 2008

Giveaway Rules

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Brooke Shields Talks Motherhood In Cookie Magazine

Lipstick Jungle star Brooke Shields and daughters Rowan and Grier get the cover of this months Cookie Magazine.

In the interview Brooke talks about her childhood, career and being a mom.

Here are some highlights:

On good manners:

"There are so few children I like," she declares. "If you're not polite, you can't come to my house. Manners [represent] respect and kindness. I want people to like my kids, and if they're bratty, they'll have a harder time in life."
On being as involved as possible:
"My version of being selfish has shifted," Shields says. "My old version was to be comfortable, to get sleep and exercise. Now it's my children's worlds. They're not going to remember Mom was tired. They're going to remember I did the weather chart or story time at school. So you just do it. And you're tired." And at times, slaphappy, like when her daughters make her play My Little Pony. "I sit there and think, My brain's turning to mush!" But that's okay, since "it's the mundane stuff that's important,"
Her perfect night:
checking e-mail on her laptop while her hubby watches TV. That familiar comfort, she insists, is "as important as getting dressed up and going out."

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Alex Rodriguez Re-Unites With Family For Thanksgiving

Alex Rodriguez leaves Houston's restaurant in Miami holding and kissing his baby girl, Ella, as he talks to his ex-wife, Cynthia, and his older daughter, Natasha.

*The twist* Its been reported Alex arrived in Miami with Madonna on her private jet earlier that day.

Alex Rodriguez plays the family man in Miami with ex-wife and kids

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UK Teen Welcomes Conjoined Girls

Laura Williams, 18, has become the youngest woman ever to give birth to Conjoined twins.

The babies, who arrived this morning by Cesarean section operation this morning, are named Faith and Hope.

Both girls are believed to be healthy, according to early reports.

Speaking exclusively to The Daily Mail on Sunday, Laura said:

'It's scary every day and it's been the hardest decision of our lives, but if they're meant to be in this world and if they've come this far, we've got to hope they'll make it the rest of the way.

'We called them Hope and Faith because I'm always hoping everything's going to be all right and Mum says she's got faith in it being all right.'

We wish this couple good luck with the babies.

Related Articles:

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U.S. Officials Find Trace Amounts Of Melamine In Baby Formula

Infant formula sold in the United States has been found to contain trace amounts of the chemical melamine the Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday.

FDA spokeswoman Judy Leon said,

"There's no basis for concern because we're talking about trace levels that are so low ... that there's absolutely no risk."
Melamine-tainted formula was found earlier this year in China, where thousands of children fell ill and several died. In September, the FDA sought to assure parents and said there was no similar contamination threat in the United States.

The chemical, normally used to make plastics, has been found in milk power, wheat gluten and other Chinese-made ingredients used in a products ranging from pet food to candy.

Melamine's ability to make foods appear to have higher amounts of protein during testing has made it a cheap but dangerous substitute that can damage the kidneys.

Leon said that was not the case with the U.S. infant formula, which in September was determined not to be made with any Chinese ingredients.

The new results "are most likely a result of the manufacturing process or what comes into contact with formula in cans. It's not adulteration and it's not contamination," she said.

The FDA declined to name the manufacturer of the sample found to contain melamine, they just said that,

"Infant formula manufactured in the United States remains safe and nutritious. U.S. infant formula products meet the highest standards and specifications."
There are two things about this situation that bother me. The first is that the manufacturer of the formula is not being named and second, that the FDA assured us that there was no issue with U.S. formula after the whole China scandal and clearly there is an issue.

While I know that 'trace' amounts is not enough to worry about, but that fact that it is present is scary to me. I also can't forget that the FDA is the same organization that continues to say that BPA is ok in baby bottles, when the rest of the world contradicts their findings time and time again.

The effects of the Melamine in China will be seen for years to come. 50,000 sick babies don't get healthy overnight....


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Isla and Olive Are Hearts And Smiles!

Isla Fisher and daughter Olive, 1, head to the car after stopping at Bel Bambini on Robertson Boulevard LA.

Isla Fisher and daughter Olive head to the car after stopping at Bel Bambini along Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood, Ca

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Mom Uses Viagra For Infertility and Conceives Twins!

Lately there has been a lot of stories about the other medical benefits of Viagra. Just this week we heard about Calvin Mutessa who uses 'little blue pill' to control a rare condition called pulmonary arterial hypertension.

The Dailymail has a great story about Yvonne Finlayson and husband Mark Ruston's journey to have a baby. The couple struggled with infertility for years until they found the Sher Institute of Reproduction in Los Angeles.

The clinic, that had a good success rate with fertility treatment, suggested that Yvonne use Viagra to thicken her womb lining.

After trying many procedures, Yvonne and Mark, were willing to try anything, but they weren't very hopeful that the treatment would work at all.

Ten days later, back in the UK, Mrs Finlayson discovered she was pregnant - with twins!

Doctors warned the couple that one of the twins was not likely to survive.

However, they both held on and were born at Wishaw General Hospital in Lanarkshire. Lewis weighed 6lb 1oz and Ava just 4lb 11oz.

Even though the couple had to sell their house to pay for the fertility treatment, which cost a staggering £23,000 in total, they say that it has been worth every penny to get their twins.

Related Articles:

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Robeez Season Of Giving

Robeez is launching it's fourth annual Season of Giving campaign, a charitable initiative to donate shoes to infants in-need during the holiday season.

Giving is easy! Just send your friends this cute e-card - for free!

Here’s how it works: For every e-card sent from the Season of Giving website, Robeez will make a $5 product donation via its charitable partner, Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.). It’s easy: one card = $5 worth of Robeez footwear; 10 cards = $50 worth of Robeez footwear, and on and on!

A little bonus: For taking the time to send an e-card, Robeez is also offering senders a chance to win one of seven new Shoes and Socks Gift Sets. (They’re a great holiday gift idea too!)

A bigger bonus: For bloggers who share the Season of Giving campaign with their readers and send a link to their post to heartandsole@robeez.com, Robeez will make a $25 product donation via K.I.D.S.

The goal: To send a $250,000 product donation this holiday season.

The campaign starts November 10 and ends December 20. You can send an e-card from seasonofgiving.robeez.com.

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Pete Wentz Talks About Bronx's Name

Last week Ashlee Simpson and husband Pete Wentz welcomed their first baby Bronx Mowgli Wentz.

In an interview with Ryan Seacrest the new daddy explained the Disney connection to the name.

"The Jungle Book was something that me and Ashlee bonded over. It's a cool name."

But while the Fall Out Boy bassist, 29, opened about why his son got the name of the rambunctious boy in the Disney cartoon classic, he still refused to reveal the reasoning behind the first name

"We came up with the idea Bronx. We've been throwing [ideas] back and forth a while," he says. "It's kind of cool to just leave the narrative what it is. People are stoked or pissed or whatever. And you're like, you know what: I don't think anyone really has the real story."

Pressed by Ryan about whether the name, whose initials work out to BMW, was actually a joke, the new daddy insisted:

"No, no, no, it definitely is his name, but I don't think anybody knows what the real story is of why or how."

Pete then went on to gush about how well Ashlee, 24, during the baby's birth:

"Right before she went into labor, I was like, 'Oh, my god, I think I'm having a heart attack,' " he says. "My heart started beating real fast. You see your wife is in all this pain. And I don't know what's happening right now. She took care of me and made sure I was okay and then went into labor. That's why she's a saint."

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Angie Harmon In Pregnancy Magazine

Sporting a tiny bump, Angie Harman talks to Pregnancy Magazine about her difficult pregnancy, cravings and parenthood.

The mom-to-be, who expects her third baby this winter, tell the magazine that her husband, Jason Sehorn, is the best baby nurse. 'When the baby starts crying, he doesn't just lie there and snore. He gets up and makes himself useful'

Here are more highlights from the interview:

How has this pregnancy been going?

Let me tell you, when you are pregnant with the first one, it's great of course, and all new and "Yay!" With the second one it's still OK; you can pay attention to number on and she can share in the joy of the pregnancy. I remember how I used to sit in the bathtub and have [my first daughter] rub my tummy. I loved that!

But this third one has been horrible! First of all, I've had morning sickness. Hellooo! And then I got anemia, which was new and horrible. And then I tore a disc in my back. So with this pregnancy I have not had two good days in a row;talk about frustration. And you can pile the quilt of not being able to take care of the other kids like I like to right on top of that. Thank God I am getting a baby at the end of this, because if I wasn't I'd be insane right now!

How have your deliveries been?

Well, the first one was breech, and the second one was sideways, so I have had 2 cesareans so far and am planning a third - but I am totally fine with it. I learned a long time ago that it doesn't make me less of a woman because my babies come out of a different place. Me C-sections have been fine. They don't cut through the muscle anymore so the recovery time is quick. It's not like back in the old days when they used a rusty saw. We've actually made medical strides.

What foods have you craved most during your last few months?

Normally, I'm a salty-food person. I love potato chips and spicy things like Bloody Mary's. But since I got pregnant, I've been going all in for chocolate and sweets. Yesterday, I mowed through half a bag of Trader Joe's chocolate chips. Now, this isn't like some gourmet chocolate or anything. I think it's like 100% sugar! I've also had a hankering for real thick heavy beer. Maybe the baby's got some German in its blood.

What's your favorite thing about being a mom?

My favorite thing is watching the kids when they don't know I'm watching them, when I can step outside the parent role and just look at them like little human beings. I'm so amused by their actions.

To read the rest of the interview please pick up a copy of this months Pregnancy Magazine

Related Articles:

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Product Review: Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance

For the last few weeks we have been trying out Baby Bjorn's new bouncer: The Babysitter Balance.

Even though I got a sneak peek while in Vegas, I hadn't had a chance to see it in action until now.

While this seat may appear to be very simple and lacking of the lights and bells that it's competition has, there are many features that Baby Bjorn has incorporated into the Babysitter Balance that make it superior to other bouncers on the market.

Here is what I found:

Getting Started: When I opened my bouncer, I was pleasantly surprised that there was NO assembly required. The chair arrived ready to go.

This is the first baby product I have ever received that required no assembly. I was impressed.

Features: Suitable from birth(8lbs) to 2 years (29lbs), the babysitter balance adjusts to three positions: play, rest and sleep. The under-the-seat adjustment mechanism allows parents the ability to change the bouncer between these positions easily.

I personally love how compact this chair is when folded. It has the ability to fit into any corner or closet when not in use. It also makes this lightweight chair easy to carry and take to grandmas.

Another bonus for parents is the fact that this chair doesn't require any batteries as your baby's movements are converted into a comfortable rocking motion. This is great because the bouncer will stop when your baby falls asleep, preventing them from becoming accustomed to needing movement to sleep.

This bouncer was originally for our new baby, who arrives in just a few weeks, but when my toddler saw it - he had to try it out. If you put the sitter into it's top position and remove the restraint, it becomes a comfortable rocking chair for an older child.

The Babysitter Balance is now the chair of choice at our house for our little guy when he wants to watch TV or just relax while listening to music. I just hope he is willing share when baby #2 arrives...

Additional features:

  • All Baby Bjorn fabrics are machine washable and Öko-Tex Class 1 certified (guaranteed to contain no harmful substances).
  • Each seat comes with a reversible fabric seat and restraint system to allow you to enjoy several design combinations.
  • Anti-skid pads keep sitter firmly in place.
  • parents can purchase a soft, terry blanket that attaches to the bouncer or a wooden toy bar to further extend your child's enjoyment of the seat.

More information available at babyswede.com

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Naomi and Liev Bundle Up In NYC

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber bundle up to take son Alexander shopping in Greenwich Village, NYC.

Alexander rides in a Maclaren Techno XLR stroller and he is cuddled into a JJ Cole Bundle me plush shearling bunting bag.

The couple expects baby #2 in the next few weeks.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber take baby Alexander shopping in Greenwich Village for hats, sunglasses and cheese

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Monday, November 24, 2008
Baby Hiccups InUtero

For the last few weeks one of my friends, who is a few weeks ahead of me, has been complaining about her growing baby getting fetal hiccups - 3 times a day.

Up to this point, I thought she was crazy because I hadn't experienced that could be considered 'fetal hiccups', until last night.

Pregnant women often mention feeling their baby having hiccups while in the womb and wonder what causes this. These hiccups can start in the first trimester, but won’t be felt by mom until late in the second trimester or during the third trimester. Rarely do the hiccups bother the mother-to-be, however some moms might worry that it is hurting their baby.

While the exact cause of baby’s hiccups is unknown, many specialists believe that they may be helping to strengthen the diaphragm muscle in order to help the baby breathe both in the womb and once they are born. In many cases the baby will have the hiccups at the same time everyday.

Not only can hiccups be felt by the mom-to-be, but it can also be detected during an ultrasound and picked up on a Doppler while at the doctor’s office for a routine visit. After a mom-to-be has been assured that these hiccups are normal and are not bothering their baby, then they become something that can be looked forward to on a daily basis, much like their baby kicking.

I am loving everything that my little monkey is up to. Now that I know what is happening, I too will be looking forward to hiccups as long as they don't occur at 3am.

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Crummy Parent Alert: Belgian Couple Sells Baby On Internet

Our latest installment of the Crummy Parent Awards comes from Belgium.

A Belgian couple faces prison terms of up to five years after they illegally sold their newborn baby to Dutch adoptive parents who bid for the child on the Internet.

The baby, who was born earlier this year to a 22-year-old woman and 24-year-old man, was adopted by a Dutch couple four months ago.

The sum paid for the child has not been disclosed. As the adoption, which was agreed during the pregnancy, went ahead without official authorization, the Belgian couple .

The parents resorted to advertising the baby on the internet due to financial difficulties.

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Will Ferrell and Son At Lakers Game

Will Ferrell spends some time with his oldest son Magnus, 4, at the LA Lakers game this weekend.

Will Ferrell and son at LA Lakers game

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Sunday, November 23, 2008
Monday's Giveaway: Miss Gigi Mae Tether System and Book

The Miss Gigi Mae Tether system is a unique product that will keep you from pulling your hair our when your child goes through the 'cause and effect' stage of their development.

Created in the shape of a friendly lady bug, this adorable organizer will keep all of your child's toys, books and other accessories with them and not on the floor.

How it works: 4 of Miss Gigi Mae's legs are equipped with retractable over sized clips. This allows parents to clip on their child's favorite toys. The last 2 legs are outfitted with Velcro for increased versatility.

The whole system features 2 fasteners underneath so that Miss Gigi Mae can be attached to the side of a car seat, stroller, highchair, playpen, shopping cart, or crib.

Having toys accessible for your child to play with makes a trip to the store, mall or grandma's house much easier - not too mention it eliminates the germs associated with them falling on the floor.

GIVEAWAY: P.A.W. Prints of Illinois is offering 2 Growing Your Baby Readers the opportunity to win a Miss Gigi Mae Tether Systems and Book.

To enter please comment here with your e-mail address.

  • Extra Entrants: Blog about our giveaway! Tell your readers about our giveaway and then send us the link in a separate comment for an additional entrant to the giveaway.
  • Regardless of outcome - ALL bloggers who write about our giveaway will be linked back in our winners post.

*All comments are moderated and may not appear immediately*

Giveaway Closes on Friday November 28, 2008

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Michelle Williams Talks About Her Life Out Of The Spotlight

Actress Michelle Williams speaks openly with Newsweek Magazine about her latest role and keeping her daughter out of the spotlight.

Here are the highlights of the interview:

About Heath's early passing:

"It's so sad," Michelle says. When she's asked about how she's been doing in the past year, she's silent for a very long time. "I guess it's always changing," she says. There's another pause. "What else can I say?" Her voice is breathy and fragile, and she takes a few gulps of air. "I just wake up each day in a slightly different place—grief is like a moving river, so that's what I mean by 'it's always changing'." She stops again. "It's a strange thing to say"—her words unravel slowly, her eyes tear up—"because I'm at heart an optimistic person, but I would say in some ways it just gets worse. It's just that the more time that passes, the more you miss someone. In some ways it gets worse. That's what I would say."
On the Paparazzi:
"It burns a fire inside of me, the s––– that I've seen people do to get at me or my daughter," she says. "I won't forget it, and I won't support it. I don't want my daughter growing up feeling spied on or threatened."
On quitting acting to keep her life private:
"If it gets to the point where I can't situate my life in a way that they stay away more, then I'll drop a match on the thing," she says. "I'll be sad. I like to act. It's saved my life over and over again. It's given me a sense of self-esteem, self-worth. I have this thing that I'm in love with—acting—and now it has this baggage."
On keeping Matilda's life stable:
"I don't want to work while she's in school," Williams says. "I want her to have a routine. I want the plainest, simplest, most ordinary, habituated routine possible. I just want to know what's coming next."

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