This cool pregnancy announcement tops them all

Gone are the days when you would just call your mom, your best friend, your sister and say, “Guess what? I’m pregnant!”

Pregnancy announcements have been taken to a whole new level, with expectant parents finding very big ways to share their big news. Some of the cool, creative announcements that have gone viral lately include a Frozen-themed tune, a pregnancy rap, a bun in the oven and a home-made horror flick.

Those were all pretty incredible, but this latest reveal just may be the most mind-blowing one we’ve seen so far. Introducing California couple Jacky Shu and Ben Snyder – and their dog Sir William – in their Wes Anderson-inspired pregnancy preview titled, “The Pretentious Presentation of The Uterine Inhabitant.”

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Amazing, right? I bet Bill Murray would jump at the chance for a role in the sequel: Their birth announcement!

I’m so impressed by all of these parents’ creativity, but it does build the pressure for the rest of us to come up with wild ways to break the baby news, too. My pregnancy days are behind me now, so I’ll happily remove myself from the competition. There’s no way I could top this one, anyways.

More memorable pregnancy announcement ideas…

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6 ways having a baby after 35 is like skydiving

I will never forget being pregnant with my third child, and walking into the exam room for my final ultrasound before giving birth. The technician and a nurse were whispering something in a conspiratorial tone to one another. “Psst, blah, blah…advanced maternal age…” was all I could make out. Then they saw me standing there, and stopped talking immediately, acting as if I’d just overheard a conversation about national security.

“So, you’re over 35,” the tech said to me in an overly casual tone. She exchanged a knowing glance with the nurse.

Whoa. I felt like she’d just seen a note on my records indicating I had alien DNA! The funny part was that at the time, I was only 34. When I corrected her, she looked visibly relieved. Phew! That was close. Luckily for her, I still had another year to live, er, deliver.

I am certainly not the first mom to notice that having a baby after 35 still carries with it a certain stigma, something my fellow blogger Victoria Merkys wrote about in a previous post. Sometimes it seems like when it comes to making babies, you might as well be 80 years old when you are 35. Crazy, huh? But also sort of true. And kind of like skydiving because…

You should be really sure before you jump. Skydiving is not an activity one should enter into lightly, nor is a pregnancy, especially after the age of 35. Careful thought must go into the decision to try either activity.

It can be risky. We hear about skydiving accidents once in a while, sure. Likewise, there are certain risks associated with a pregnancy after 35. It is often harder to conceive. You are more likely to suffer a miscarriage, or to have a baby with a chromosomal abnormality, and your risk for delivering the baby prematurely also goes up.

But a lot of people still do it. Despite the risks associated with skydiving, some of my family members and friends have still done it. Similarly, having a baby later in life is a growing trend, as the CDC noted in a recent report.

No one regrets it. I am yet to talk to anyone who says this about skydiving: “I should never have done that.” Instead, people who jump out of planes love it, say it was one of the best things they ever did, and claim they will never forget the experience. Same goes for anyone who has a baby after 35. Does any older mom look at her baby and say, “Ugh, what a mistake!?”

Some people will think you are crazy. Skydiving is not for everyone. Whether you do it is a personal choice that only you can make. This is also true of the decision to conceive after 35.

You will have support every step of the way. Before you jump out of a plane, you typically go through a course on safety and technique. Then it’s time for your tandem jump, where you are strapped to someone else. You will also have support throughout your pregnancy, from family, friends, and doctors. You do not have to jump alone.

See, skydiving is a lot like having a baby after 35. Just a word of advice, though: No skydiving while pregnant, at any age!

Photo: Flickr

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Pumping sucks, but MIT is gonna fix that.

It is a truth universal: Some moms prefer bottle-feeding. Some will only breastfeed. But, everyone knows that pumping sucks.

It sucks because it makes us feel like a cow. Or a robot. Or even worse, a robot cow.

It sucks because we are forced to do it in bathroom stalls. It sucks because we sneak off to the bedroom to do it on the one evening when our friends from out of town surprise us with a visit.

It sucks because we are forced to give up our lunch hour for it and because when we need to pump they stick us in some side, storage cupboard with no window. Thanks. I love pumping and balancing a cup of soup on a teetering pile of files at the same time.

Once, I left a wedding reception to pump. It was held at the bride’s parents’ house. I tip-toed upstairs to the little sister’s room and pumped with her gerbil racing beside me. I could hear the revelry downstairs and I willed with all my might for that pump to heave my breastmilk into that bottle. All I got was drip after torturous drip.

Or, how about all the nights I set my alarm for 3 a.m. to mimic the flow, as advised by my midwife, when my daughter was in the neonatal unit. Or, the first time the midwife wheeled a two pump, electric system from 1963 with some kind of metal tubing approved by NASA next to my daughter’s hospital cot and told me to strap it on. Hell yeah, that hurt.

Because they do hurt. It’s not natural. You don’t bond with a pump like a baby — or feel you’re being nurturing. Or, any kind of blissed out zen moment.

Breast pumps suck. That’s their job. MG 2245 crop Pumping sucks, but MIT is gonna fix that.

But, now MIT is trying to change all that. MIT recently held a “Make the Breast Pump not Suck” Hackathon. Teams competed to pitch their ideas to investors and gain some start up funds. Here’s some of the ideas they came up with:

Mighty Mom utility belt is a fashionable, discrete, hands-free wearable pump that automatically logs and analyses your personal data.
Helping Hands: The bra helps women manually express breastmilk (a technique proven to be as effective as electric pumps) without their hands.
PumpIO: Software and hardware to make the breast pumping experience smarter, more data-rich and less isolating. Puts pumping women in touch with lactation consultants and communities as they are pumping to help reinforce their commitment to their baby.
Second Nature is a breast pump that mimics the way that a baby suckles with massage and compression. This team also designed soft, low-profile flanges to be worn discreetly.
Compress Express: A breast pump that mimics the natural and age-old art of hand expression, instead of archaic vacuum technology that dominates the market. Inspired by the simplicity of blood pressure cuffs, this creates a discreet, virtually silent and hands-free breast pumping experience.

Photos from the Hackathon:

For further advice on pumping, check out these posts:

You can read more from Stacie at her blog Mama Lewis and the Amazing Adventures of the Half-Brained Baby. You can also follow her on Twitter @MamaLewisBlog or the Mama Lewis Facebook page.

Photos of MIT Hackathon by Mason Marino. Descriptions of the breast pump innovations taken from the MIT Hackathon page.

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How much can you really make reselling baby stuff?

Is it possible to really make money reselling thrift-store scavenged baby clothes and gear? One blogger recently opened up about her experience trying to turn a profit, and I’ve got a few stories of my own to tell.

“Sometimes you find gold, and sometimes you don’t find anything,” Ashley Eneriz wrote over at MoneyNing. Details of a recent shopping trip to Goodwill, during which she picked up 6 items for $12, reveal there is some money to be made — but not loads.

A look at Ashley’s per-item profits, after subtracting the purchase price of each, as well as Ebay, Paypal, and shipping fees:

Janie and Jack airplane sweater: $7.67
Janie and Jack overalls: $1.14
Janie and Jack tank top: $0.79
Baby Gap dragon sweater: $5.56
Juicy Couture baby dress: $5.09
Kitestrings baby sweater: $1.51

Total profit: $21.76

There was a time I too was hitting the thrift stores on a regular basis in hopes of finding bargains, because (to put it bluntly) we were broke. Faced with caring for two young kids and no good job prospects in sight that would pay enough to afford child care, I got scrappy.

kids resale How much can you really make reselling baby stuff?

I had some luck selling name-brand baby clothes, and hit the jackpot a few times picking up Halloween costumes on clearance and listing them the following year. For some reason kid-sized shark costumes I snagged for $.10 a piece did amazing, and I sold seven of them on Ebay for $30-$40 each.

The Star Wars costume pictured here that I came across today (old habits die hard) that was tagged $2.50 but on a 75-percent off rack also would have been a pretty good bet, but I’m not in the clothing resale business any longer. For the most part, my profits ran along the lines of Ashley’s experience, and now that my babes are older I’ve moved onto other kinds of work (yes, like this writing gig happening right here and now).

There was a time though, when I met a few knowledgeable and ambitious women on the Bargain Hunters board, and things got wild. Not only did I learn how to coupon well before it became a craze big enough necessitate a reality show, my online mom-friends would post when they found an exceptionally good buy for the rest of us to see. Eventually, we noticed one particular store had some unmarked, mega-clearance deals gathering dust on their shelves.

You see, it seems rather than properly track and visually mark their items discounted, Kmart sometimes just puts items up on high shelves or in the stock room. Even though the price stickers aren’t updated, the computer system kept decreasing the sales price associated with the bar code.

The first unbelievable round of buys were diapers and wipes at 90-percent off. Their packaging was often outdated due to logo updates and seasonal changes, but the product itself just fine. I picked up two cartfuls one day, for something like $25. After hauling them home I sorted, then listed them on Craigslist for 60-percent of their normal selling price. Obviously they couldn’t go for full price, because then no one would have good reason to buy diapers from the weird lady with an SUV full of them!

Things got even crazier, believe it or not, when someone discovered a particular line of baby gear had been on clearance long enough to also be 90-percent off. At first I was disappointed not to find any of it in my local store, but then thought to ask a manager if they had any of that type in the stockroom — and I walked out the door that day with three new-in-the-box carseat/stroller combos for $60.

Sadly, at least for our group of bargain hunters, Kmart either caught on to their stocking issue or we cleaned out all the good buys, because the amount of finds dried up. During my best month I’d estimate I made $700 by reselling, but on average closer to $200.

In a weird way it was kind of a fun time, because there’s certainly a bit of a thrill to turning up a great buy and making money. In other ways, however, I don’t miss the unpredictability of it. I always met people I sold to online in the mall parking lot so they never had to come to our house, but I hated that ‘you never know who you’re meeting up with’ feeling.

Overall I’m thankful for the luck I stumbled into, and especially for my online friends who taught me so much about how to get all-out thrifty. Anyone out there who’s wondering where they’re going to get money for groceries next week — I feel you. Kudos to you for doing your best to find a way to make it work!

Photos: MorgueFile, Sara McGinnis

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10 darling infant costumes from One Step Ahead: Win $100!

Cherish your baby’s first Halloween, because it’s the last time you can choose the costume. Next year, he’ll have opinions. But for this first blissful year, you alone can decide what’s de rigeur for October 31, anything from Baby Elvis to a small slice of pizza.

So with that in mind, here are 10 possibilities for your own little one. If you happen to enjoy mini sock hop girls, diminutive lobsters, or baby bananas in snug buntings, you’re in luck! One Step Ahead’s slate of quality Halloween costumes are a step above what you’ll find in Halloween superstores. Constructed of comfy fabrics like chenille, plush and velour, they’re as cozy to wear as a baby’s soft skin deserves.

osa91 270x300 10 darling infant costumes from One Step Ahead: Win $100!

Will you look at that? Is that the cutest little baby lamb you have ever seen in your entire life?

Even better: At a mere $15-$30 per costume, the prices are rather shockingly reasonable. Take a look!

Inspired? There’s still time to get your tiny Trick-or-Treater into one of these adorable numbers.

One lucky reader will walk away with a $100 gift card from One Step Ahead by commenting below. Tell us what your little one plans to be, or what you’d buy with the $100. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. PST Friday, October 17. One winner will be chosen at random and notified by email. The winner will be listed at the top of this post by Monday, October 20.

Legal: U.S. only. Employees of BabyCenter or Just Pretend Kids and their families are not eligible.

registry 650x127 10 darling infant costumes from One Step Ahead: Win $100!

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