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Believe it or not, since I finished up work, I’ve been extremely productive.  Aside from getting Jack healthier and finding my groove here at home, one of my top priorities was getting my new website up and running.  I’ll be moving this blog to its very own domain at Babyrific.net.  Same crazy content, brand new look.  [Don’t forget, it’s dot net]

babyrific.net banner

I revamp websites much like I shop—I browse around and fill up my cart, only to change my mind 1,000 times.  In line with a few other projects that I’m working on, I’m so happy to finally report that it’s moving day around here.  I’m still in the process of tweaking the new site, but I’ll be making all new updates over there.   Jeff prepared a little song and dance just for the occasion.

What are you waiting for?  Come join me!

As I shove a handful of Golden Oreos into my mouth for dessert, it’s so fitting that I stumbled across this insightful article from the yesterday’s Times: 6 Food Mistakes Parents Make.

The Times highlights the mistakes as:

  1. Sending children out of the kitchen
  2. Pressuring them to take a bite
  3. Keeping ‘good stuff’ out of reach
  4. Dieting in front of your children
  5. Serving boring vegetables
  6. Giving up too soon

As I quietly tell myself, stay away from the cookies, for all moms and dads of good and picky eaters alike, I highly recommend reading the article in its entirety.

It’s so coincidental that this article should come out just days after a recent discussion with girlfriends about kids and picky eaters.
Spaghetti face
Is my kid picky? Not sure yet–too early to tell. What I do know is, not too long ago, I read that I was already feeding Jack one of the “kid foods to avoid.” Despite the due diligence in trying to feed healthy alternatives and steer clear from over-processed crap, it feels like my learning curve is waning a bit. What else am I doing ‘wrong?’ Sheesh.

On a regular basis, Jack’s diet consists of waffles or oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, steamed peas, spinach, brocolli or carrots and a protein for lunch; grapes, bananas or melon for snacks; and whatever we’re having for dinner, which ranges from pasta to chicken breast to stir fry.

Lately, when I try to introduce something new, the guy has this new thing. If he’s unsure about the new food he’s eating, particularly if it has a new texture, he’ll give a blank look, open his mouth and simultaneously reject the food with a very discriminatory “Eeehhhhhhhhhh.” In slow mo: feed boy, open mouth, looks at mom and releases.

It takes some convincing—often at the his dad’s taste buds expense—to assure him the new food is just as delicious as the peas or pasta.
For the most part however, he’s generally a good eater–sometimes too good. When I take him out of his high chair, before I can grab those pieces of dinner he’s purposefully thrown on the floor…he’ll vacuum them up with his own fingers.

Like Jack, I’m still learning here. I’m so sure I’m not the only one still trying to figure it all out. There are many mistakes to be made, in terms of fostering healthy eating habits. Along with my older brother (who I like to compare to Drew Barrymore’s brother from 50 First Dates minus the lisp and steroids) as someone who habitually hid boxes of Twix in my mom’s grocery cart when she wasn’t looking, um, I’m aiming to fine tune my eating AND feeding habits, in hopes that my kid’s trapdoor release reverses itself or stays shut when the good stuff goes in!

Many apologies on the lack of posts lately.  Things have been crazy.

Actually, crazy is an understatement.

With things being rattled at work for my beloved–in a good way–Jeff’s on a rocket ship, as my friend describes, which means I’m a single working mom during the week.   So, besides taking the bus to another town to pick up my sometimes uncooperative boy who can only nap once at daycare and waiting for a cab to get us home before bedtime, while simultaneously calling Jeff and whining that “this waiting for cabs and buses is BS,” I’ve had my plate full.

But such is the beauty of life, right?

I’ve been busy lately…busy thinking, busy plotting, busy reading, busy cuddling, busy coping
Basically, all kinds of busy.  Well, besides busy blogging or busy party planning that first birthday extravaganza that everyone else thinks is necessary (for our kid.)

(Have I mentioned that my kid eats shoes?  Obviously, he doesn’t know any better which is why in my book, my shoe-eater doesn’t “need” a party with coordinating centerpieces.  Free flowing parties with family and a few friends?  Now that’s my idea of fun.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess)

But I digress…

It’s been awhile since I’ve stepped outside of my own glass-accented corridor to see what’s going on around in the blogosphere, nevermind my IRL friends and family.  (like I’ve told a few friends why I’ve been MIA–my head’s so far up my ass, I have no idea which way is up anymore.)  Throngs of men, women, from moms to dads to students, in a spectrum of occupations and interests are now blogging.  I recently wrote an article on how blogs, or rather, web 2.0 technology has changed the informational landscape.  And, it truly has:  everyone is sharing.

When people ask why I “put things out there,”  I kind of shrug my shoulders in that “Why not?” kind of way.  Jeff and I have discussed how in the past, generations before us kept everything private and disclosed.  While yes, privacy is certainly important for everyone, don’t we learn early on in life that everyone gets something out of sharing?

I started blogging for a million reasons, pretty much the same reasons why I chose this career path in the first place.  But above all, writing, like it’s always been, is a platform for me to share, express and release.

Speaking of sharing, I stumbled upon this story via Maegan’s blog via one of her commenters.  Sadly, a blogger named Stephanie and her husband were in a private plane crash and were severely injured.  Unlike many other bloggers, Stephanie, a young mother of four,  besides her day-to-day musings, wrote about how she was blessed every day.   She celebrated the beauty of life, above all.  It’s said that while she’s facing a long road to recovery, her children are being cared for by her family,.  She and her husband are doing well considering the circumstances.  Since I first read about it a few weeks ago, the story has been on the Today Show, as well as spread throughout the blogosphere.  Many people have started fundraisers, auctions and benefits.  Though difficult circumstances, it’s a beautiful story and one that’s truly touched me and put things into perspective.

Again, such is the beauty of life.

****

I’ve got plenty more to share, so stay tuned!

Lots of stuff going on these days. Grown up stress–you know, the usual. But because I write about our lives in a way for the whole world to see, I often have to censor the good stuff. Since humor is cathartic and I need to laugh to stay in good spirits, I have to share these sites.

Not that I’m passive aggressive all the time, but I do love having a platform to unleash some veiled frustration. But better yet, I stumbled upon this hysterical site and found myself laughing and pointing at my computer screen. I’ll admit, I’ve written my fair share of passive aggressive notes.

My husband could’ve written this one. He’s given me a stern talking-to about my careless microwave-time-leaving. To love Jeff is to love his OCD charm.
*

Postcardsfromyomama.com is another site that I love. This one makes me laugh so hard, I cry. My mom doesn’t email, but if she did, I’d be sending in entries daily. If I could only record our conversations…
But thank God there are other moms who do send such awesome emails! Thank you funny mamas. I hope I am you one day.

Consume, Digest, Then Poo

Offspring – I am cancelling the reservation to Arun’s restaurant. People are losing everything to the flooding in Iowa; people are losing their homes from bank foresclosures (USA Today highlighted a family who took out a home equity loan for $100,000 – their house is now worth $60,000); the price of oil is making travel via car or air prohibitive yada yada yada and I am going to have my hard working princess daughters spend $100 each for a fancy dinner – food we consume, digest then poo? I would rather spend money supporting the local restaurants. Mama

I’m not a prankster person myself, but I certainly felt like the world was pranking me with the same usual commuting chaos this morning.

customtime_270x124.gifI did, however, get a kick out of Google’s April Fool’s pranks.
I’m so gullible, I was like, no way! A custom time stamp? AWESOME. haha. E-flux capacitor? Brilliant.

I’m one of the dumbasses that believed them!

Google’s Gmail rolled out a fake “custom time” feature, which lets users send e-mails into the past and consequently never miss important deadlines again. The new feature “utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality,” Google wrote.

While we’re talking about jokes, there’s this wildly popular blog on WordPress called Stuff White People Like. (I’m not linking to it, sorry.) One of the older entries is, Asian Girls.

I mean, I laughed out loud…at first.

For the most part, the blog is meant to be humorous (I think.) But seriously, when you’re generalizing and calling people’s kids’ annoying hybrids, it’s surely a disturbing joke.

Um, aren’t we ALL hybrids? And please, don’t even venture to the comments section. Brace yourself if you do.

Should white guy / asian girl marry, they produce hybrids that are atheistically pleasing, but are very annoying. This practice is also a means by which white people can catch up to the asian peoples in the population race, as most of the hybrids often act white rather than asian.

Yikes.

I was perusing some friends’ myspace pages tonight and I saw Erin’s look alike meter, so I thought I’d play along.

Check out our results:

I should whip this out the next time a stranger asks me if Jackson’s mine. But then again, this is the same program that claimed that I look like Barry White.

Ultimate Blog Party 2008I know, I’m a little late. Keep your party hats on because I’m not one to miss out on a good party! I know it’s the tail end of a great soirée, but I’m peeking into the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom.

For those visiting from the Blog Party, come, stay a while and grab a spoon while I call Cold Stone. For the usual crew, hangout for the tour because I have a few freebies below!

I’m Jen, but my closest friends call me Jenrab. I’m an editor/journalist and a new mama. I’m a huge Target fan, product junkie and obsessive researcher.

Chasing my dream landed us in the NYC area, where I live with my husband and 5 month old in a small apartment outside of NYC. Since having Jack, I’m trying to find that balance of career/mom/wife and everything in between.

This blog started out as an open letter to family and friends back home, as an update on the minutiae of my pregnancy and our my maniacal ways. It’s blossomed into my daily diversions of city living, motherhood, product reviews and green living, with plenty of nonsense in between.

I’m married to Jeff who’s quite the character. We’ve been friends since jr. high. I often write about the crazy things he says and does.

After a 2 year struggle with infertility, we welcomed our funny boy, Jackson, in September. And of course, he, too, makes me laugh incessantly. Motherhood is everything ‘they’ say it is and more.

As a journalist, it’s second nature for me to find an angle and tell a story of an otherwise forgotten moment…and Babyrific is just that. Everyday’s deadline time around here.

Feel free to join us for the crazy ride!

Kiss My Face EyewitnessAnd while we’re partying, did I mention how much I love party favors? Every good party should have an equally cool party favor. Everyone knows I love party favors, but since I can’t send you a homemade fruit tart, I can share a fun organic/natural product instead! I couldn’t think of a better chance to offer my first giveaways!

In order to achieve balance, something, somewhere has to give.

For me? It’s been sleep.

Every woman has their own tricks of the trade. This is one of mine. There are tons of remedies to soften the appearance of exhaustion. One of my favorite products to achieve that is, Kiss My Face’s Obsessively Organic Eyewitness Eye Repair creme.


I’m a HUGE fan of Kiss My Face products, and I’m an even bigger fan of their Obsessively Organic Line. I just can’t get enough. I have TWO of these to give away!! Comment if you want it!

I also have up for grabs, a bar of Kiss My Face’s Olive & Chamomile Soap. I haven’t tried it, but I love this line. I trust you will too.

Not that you asked, but even though I’m 31, I have skin like a teenager. Don’t get me started on what it was like during pregnancy! Anywho, I swear by the same line’s Break Out blemish gel. GOOD stuff!

The giveaways are open to partyers, friends and family alike! In order to be considered for the giveaway, please comment and leave a valid email before Monday night, March 17. I will announce the winner on Tuesday.

Check in for more giveaways to celebrate the unveiling of my new domain!

I’m in the midst of deadline week at work, so I’m sitting here staring at a pile of papers and hundreds of emails. It happens to be my publication’s Environment Edition which hits so close to home– literally. I’m currently reading this very interesting book called the Field Guide to Buying Organic. I’m only halfway finished, but so far, it’s an insightful resource that defines the significance of organics and the impact your shopping decisions has on the environment.

According to the USDA:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

With hundreds of Green books and publications on the shelves these days,4colorsealjpg.jpg it can be difficult to sift through the biased and unbiased information. So, I wanted to share a list from the book that has been around for quite some time, been circulated through all different media outlets and has even been a marketing tool for Whole Foods and the Organic Trade Association. I don’t mean to post this to be preachy and sanctimonious, but if anything, it sheds even more light on the organic movement and the significance as a new parent.

Top 10 Reasons to Support Organic in the 21st Century

1. Reduce The Toxic Load: Keep Chemicals Out of the Air, Water, Soil and our Bodies
Buying organic food promotes a less toxic environment for all living things. With only 0.5 percent of crop and pasture land in organic, according to USDA that leaves 99.5 percent of farm acres in the U.S. at risk of exposure to noxious agricultural chemicals.

Our bodies are the environment so supporting organic agriculture doesn’t just benefit your family, it helps all families live less toxically.

2. Reduce if Not Eliminate Off Farm Pollution
Industrial agriculture doesn’t singularly pollute farmland and farm workers; it also wreaks havoc on the environment downstream. Pesticide drift affects non-farm communities with odorless and invisible poisons. Synthetic fertilizer drifting downstream is the main culprit for dead zones in delicate ocean environments, such as the Gulf of Mexico, where its dead zone is now larger than 22,000 square kilometers, an area larger than New Jersey, according to Science magazine, August, 2002.

3. Protect Future Generations
Before a mother first nurses her newborn, the toxic risk from pesticides has already begun. Studies show that infants are exposed to hundreds of harmful chemicals in utero. In fact, our nation is now reaping the results of four generations of exposure to agricultural and industrial chemicals, whose safety was deemed on adult tolerance levels, not on children’s. According to the National Academy of Science, “neurologic and behavioral effects may result from low-level exposure to pesticides.” Numerous studies show that pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system, increase the risk of cancer, and decrease fertility.

4. Build Healthy Soil
Mono-cropping and chemical fertilizer dependency has taken a toll with a loss of top soil estimated at a cost of $40 billion per year in the U.S., according to David Pimental of Cornell University. Add to this an equally disturbing loss of micro nutrients and minerals in fruits and vegetables. Feeding the soil with organic matter instead of ammonia and other synthetic fertilizers has proven to increase nutrients in produce, with higher levels of vitamins and minerals found in organic food, according to the 2005 study, “Elevating Antioxidant levels in food through organic farming and food processing,” Organic Center State of Science Review (1.05)

5. Taste Better and Truer Flavor
Scientists now know what we eaters have known all along: organic food often tastes better. It makes sense that strawberries taste yummier when raised in harmony with nature, but researchers at Washington State University just proved this as fact in lab taste trials where the organic berries were consistently judged as sweeter. Plus, new research verifies that some organic produce is often lower in nitrates and higher in antioxidants than conventional food. Let the organic feasting begin!

6. Assist Family Farmers of all Sizes
According to Organic Farming Research Foundation, as of 2006 there are approximately 10,000 certified organic producers in the U.S. compared to 2500 to 3,000 tracked in 1994. Measured against the two million farms estimated in the U.S. today, organic is still tiny. Family farms that are certified organic farms have a double economic benefit: they are profitable and they farm in harmony with their surrounding environment. Whether the farm is a 4-acre orchard or a 4,000-acre wheat farm, organic is a beneficial practice that is genuinely family-friendly.

7. Avoid Hasty and Poor Science in Your Food
Cloned food. GMOs and rBGH. Oh my! Interesting how swiftly these food technologies were rushed to market, when organic fought for 13 years to become federal law. Eleven years ago, genetically modified food was not part of our food supply; today an astounding 30 percent of our cropland is planted in GMOs. Organic is the only de facto seal of reassurance against these and other modern, lab-produced additions to our food supply, and the only food term with built in inspections and federal regulatory teeth.

8. Eating with a Sense of Place
Whether it is local fruit, imported coffee or artisan cheese, organic can demonstrate a reverence for the land and its people. No matter the zip code, organic has proven to use less energy (on average, about 30 percent less), is beneficial to soil, water and local habitat, and is safer for the people who harvest our food. Eat more seasonably by supporting your local farmers market while also supporting a global organic economy year round. It will make your taste buds happy.

9. Promote Biodiversity
Visit an organic farm and you’ll notice something: a buzz of animal, bird and insect activity. These organic oases are thriving, diverse habitats. Native plants, birds and hawks return usually after the first season of organic practices; beneficial insects allow for a greater balance, and indigenous animals find these farms a safe haven. As best said by Aldo Leopold, “A good farm must be one where the native flora and fauna have lost acreage without losing their existence.” An organic farm is the equivalent of reforestation. Industrial farms are the equivalent of clear cutting of native habitat with a focus on high farm yields.

10. Celebrate the Culture of Agriculture
Food is a ‘language’ spoken in every culture. Making this language organic allows for an important cultural revolution whereby diversity and biodiversity are embraced and chemical toxins and environmental harm are radically reduced, if not eliminated. The simple act of saving one heirloom seed from extinction, for example, is an act of biological and cultural conservation. Organic is not necessarily the most efficient farming system in the short run. It is slower, harder, more complex and more labor-intensive. But for the sake of culture everywhere, from permaculture to human culture, organic should be celebrated at every table.

Source: Alan Greene, MD (Organic Trade Association), Bob Scowcroft (Organic Farming Research Foundation), Sylvia Tawse (Fresh Ideas Group)

Has anyone else read about this yet?  Newborn survives fall through train toilet

First email of the day from my beloved contained a link to this news story laden with unbelievable details including a premature newborn, a toilet and falling from a train…talk about a miracle survival story.

Like, whoa.

Since procrastination can be considered an art form, here’s a meme on 100 things you didn’t wanna know (thanks Susie):

Read the rest of this entry »