Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Aveeno Baby Lotion Recall

aveeno baby lotionAveeno has just voluntarily recalled their Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort lotion due to high levels of bacteria in the product (yuck!) The products were sold in AL, AR, FL, GA, KS, LA, MS, TN, and TX and the bacteria found is considered to not be hazardous to baby's health.

Read more here.

While not so hazardous, its still frustrating that these baby product contamination recalls seem to crop up so often. But I'm glad they do catch them and nip them in the bud--I'm not quite prepared to start making my own baby soaps and lotions!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Product Review: Bare Escentuals Skincare Trio

Do you remember that I went for a free makeover at my local Bare Escentuals at the Palisades Center Mall a few weekends ago? Well, I've been using the products I purchased since then and I'm ready to give you my review!

I'm going to split the review up into two posts--skincare and makeup--to save you from reading a novel. So here goes my skincare thoughts...

(Disclosure: I have a cousin who works at a Bare Escentuals botique. The contents of this review, however, are all my honest and unbiased opinions. I have not been compensated in any way for this review. All customers are entitled to a free makeover at this store.)

Firstly, the store makeover experience was great. It was so nice to have a makeup pro pick out the correct foundation color for me and also show me how to apply the products, including the skin care line. And, since I was complaining that my skin was dry to the point of hurting, I also got a nice lesson in overall skincare from one of the national trainers who happened to be on-hand. God forgive me, I forget his name, but he was an amazingly sweet and informative man!

I asked for an evening look and I liked the result a lot--and especially how easy the product was to apply. I could definitely see that the powder was sitting not as nicely on the super-dry parts of my face, though, so I took the sales associates' advice and bought a skincare trio along with my bareMinerals Get Started Kit.

The Skinny on the Skincare

My skin has been super dry this winter. I don't know if its the pregnancy hormones, the forced-air heat or a combination of the two, but even putting something as gentle as Cetaphil on my face burned my cheeks. The bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer, however, doesn't burn me at all and, over the past few weeks, I have noticed a huge reduction in the dryness of my face after using it twice day most days. Really, my skin looks and feels great.

Naturally Luminous Moisturizing Trio (Combination Skin): Facial Cleanser + Moisturizer + Eye Cream - 3pcs
$49 in most stores or online
I've also been using the Renew & Hydrate Eye Cream and the Naturally Luminous Purifying Facial Cleanser most mornings and nights. The eye cream feels very luxurious when I put in on and hydrates nicely--and you only need a teensy weensy amount, so it should last a long time. You only need one pump of the facial cleanser too and all your makeup washes away with ease--impressive! But I have found that if I don't put on the moisturizer right after I cleanse my face feels tight. The tight feeling reminds me to moisturize, which is good, but it is not very comfortable or welcome when I'm being lazy!

I bought these three products together in a bundle called the Naturally Luminous Mouisturizing Trio for Combination Skin for $49.00. Since the products should last a while and are giving me nice results when I'm not even the most vigilant user, I feel the price was quite reasonable, as well as comparable to what I would pay for three similar products in a drugstore.

Overall, this skincare regimen amateur is pleased with the bareMinerals skincare brand, so I'm definitely going to stick with it in the future. It really doesn't take more than two minutes a day to use these products each morning and night, and skipping a night once in a while when I'm falling asleep on my feet doesn't really hurt at all. Easy, effective and forgiving--perfect for this soon-to-be mommy-of-two!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Doctor Review: Ramapo Valley OB/GYN (Pomona, NY)

Shame on me! Did I never post a review of Ramapo Valley OB/GYN? You may know by now how fickle (er... picky) I am when choosing doctors, so I'm astounded I haven't chronicled my Rockland OB search for you the way I did when I was in Queens!

Well--surprise surprise--I did have my reservations about Ramapo Valley OB/GYN when I first started seeing them back in August. I had my 8-week prenatal appointment with the practice's only male doctor, Dr. Amnon Fein, and he rubbed me the wrong way (Figuratively. Eewwww.) He made some off-putting small talk about my age and loudly reprimanded Andrew for touching the door handle (I'm not a fan of strangers shouting at my son for stupid reasons.) He also didn't ask me my medical history at that appointment and later barked angrily at me when I called the emergency line during a weekend with bad stomach pain, which, busy doctor or not, made me think less of him.

Needless to say, I made sure that all of my appointments after the first were made with the other doctors at the practice, Dr. Michele Batista, Dr. Suzanne Flapan, and Dr. Carrie Panoff--and am I glad for that! I've seen each one of these women for appointments since August and they are really just superb. They are sweet and thorough and have not made any discouraging comments about my steadily-creeping-up weight (hurrah!) I was actually really touched when, at my last appointment, Dr. Flapan genuinely smiled when she located my little one's heartbeat with the doppler monitor--you can just tell she really enjoys her job. (Check out their linked names above for their bios on the practice's website.)

Also awesome: They deliver at Good Samaritan hospital, which is my preference. The office staff is nice and I've waited 10-15 minutes for all but maybe two of my appointments. An ultrasound tech comes right to the office so you can combine ultrasound and standard appointments. And there is also a Quest diagnostics located just across the parking lot for any test you need done.

The negatives: Sometimes there is very little parking to be found (its a hopping little medical plaza!) and I find their office hours impossible to remember. Also, they made me do some take-home blood kit where I had to prick own my finger--not cool! With my first pregnancy, I had this test done by a technician at Quest but Ramapo OB/GYN insisted on the take-home. Maybe its standard to do a take-home test now, but my fingers were not happy with my hack job!

So, overall I'm pleased for now with Ramapo OB/GYN and PRAYING that Dr. Batista, Flapan or Panoff will be on-call to deliver the baby this Spring! Here's the practice info if you're interested in giving them a go yourself. Good luck ladies!

Ramapo Valley OB/GYN
974 Route 45, Suite 100 (first floor; door is on the left)
Pomona, NY 10970
T: 845-354-1113
Hours: Mon 9-4 Tues 1-8 Wed 10-6 Thu closed Fri 9-4

They also have a Monroe office:
Suite 17 Shoprite Plaza
Monroe, NY 10950
T: 845-782-9449
Hours: Mon 9-4 Tues 1-8 Wed 10-4 Thu closed Fri 9-4

Thursday, January 19, 2012

To Andrew at Two

Dear Andrew,

Even before you were born, your Daddy and I knew we loved you more than anything in the world, but I don't know if we could have grasped then how completely and utterly you would have stolen our hearts. Each of your belly laughs, silly dances, guitar solos, "baby genius" discoveries, and night-time snuggles reminds us how incredibly blessed we are. (We'll take the temper tantrums too--as long as you promise to give us a big bear hug when you're finished!)

Your birth two years ago and every day since is the greatest day of our lives because of you. You will always be our amazing blessing of a baby (even when you're 90). Happy 2nd Birthday to our incredible son!

Mommy & Daddy  

Check out the flame torch of a lighter!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Must Have! Boon's Grass Drying Rack

I am not a neat freak in most areas, but I have anxiety about Andrew's bottles, cups, etc. being clean enough or the just-cleaned items touching my (imaginedly filthy) plastic and metal dish drying rack. Enter Boon's Grass Drying Rack to save the day--while this ingenious product has been out for a while now, I just got one and love, love, LOVE it.

All this drying rack is is a bunch of green plastic blades of "grass" sticking up from a white plastic tray. Simple in theory, but amazing in function.

The blades are plentiful and sturdy and there's tons of space for storing a wide variety of baby paraphernalia. With nothing else on the rack, I've managed to stack and dry 12 standard-width baby bottles and cups at once with no side-hangover. I generally don't dry that many bottles at once, though, so I always have room for nipples, bottle rings, toys, etc.... even the occasional coffee cup (those blades are strong!)

Unlike traditional racks, everything fits nice and snugly onto the slightly flexible blades so that there is little danger of you knocking just-cleaned items onto the floor (almost as terrible as spilling breast milk, no?) And everything is just a little suspended above the plastic tray so that nothing is sitting in water (yuck). Plus, the entire square rack of blades slips easily in and out of the drip tray for easy cleaning.

This rack is for sale for around $14.99 at both Amazon and Babies R Us (and surely at other retailers as well.) If you're sick of dealing with other complicated, messy, or just plain annoying bottle racks, this is the answer to your prayers!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In the News: Hospital Makes Error, Aborts Two Babies

I don't often use my blog to post about "political issues" but I've just been made aware of this story from November 2011 which really makes me extremely sad:

According to an MSN NZ article, an Australian woman pregnant with twin boys chose to "terminate" one of the children at 32 weeks because he "had a congenital heart defect that would require years of operations, if he lived at all." The hospital, however, made an error during the procedure and killed the child without the heart defect. The mother then underwent an emergency c-section to "end the life of the sick child." (Note that they didn't deliver the baby to see if it would survive. They delivered him to end his life.) 

Hospital error aside, how horrible is it that the mother and hospital planned to end the life of the "sick" child at all? 32 weeks is almost full-term and it is stated that he might have lived with medical intervention! Think of all the parents who are battling for their children's lives, whether they be struck with heart problems or cancer, are born premature or have been injured--would it be acceptable for them to "terminate" their sick children? NO. Why then was it acceptable in this case in Australia? 

According to the above referenced article, the mother's friend says "She went to the hospital with two babies and now she has none... And she had the heartache of giving birth to her sick baby. She's traumatized." 

Oh, really, she's traumatized? Forgive me if my heart breaks more for the two innocent children who were killed due to her and the hospital staff's terrible judgement. Aren't most folks aware that there is a risk to the entire pregnancy when you "selectively reduce" one or more multiples? Doctors should definitely be aware of this. And, again, what right did they have in ending the child's life at 32 weeks when he very well may have lived?

Maybe I'm being too harsh. Maybe there are details that I don't have which effected the mother's decision-making process (medical details, financial details, etc.) But--screw it--I'm on the side of the babies in this one. What a different situation it would be if she had just delivered the boys. What precious time she lost with both her boys because of this tragic decision.

What are your thoughts? 

Monday, January 9, 2012

I am a Pregnant Lady and I Approve this Sandwich

When I was working at the Flatiron in Manhattan (did you know there are a bunch of book publishing companies in there?) I was obsessed with a sandwich called the Skinni available at Natural Deli on 23rd Street. A Munster cheese sandwich topped with avocados, bean sprouts and wasabi mayonnaise on seven grain bread, this was a delicious, creamy, sometimes-nose-clearing sandwich masquerading as something healthy for me.

But, alas, I am 50ish miles away from Natural Deli and baby wants a Skinni right now! So I've come up with my own version of the Skinni for mommy, baby and your delight:

The Rockland Skinni
2 Slices of Bread (white, wheat, seven grain--whatever you prefer)
2-3 Slices of Munster Cheese
1/2 Medium Avocado
Wasabi Mayo (Available in you grocery store condiment aisle. I like Dynasty Brand--expensive, but lasts a long time.)

1) Slice half an avocado into thin, vertical slices.
2) Slather one slice of bread with wasabi mayo. Be careful only to add as much as your taste buds/nasal cavities can handle.
3) On second slice of bread, layer on muenster cheese and avocado and top with second slice of bread.
4) *Optional: Grill sandwich in a pan with some butter. Melting the cheese makes the avocado less likely to slip off the sandwich and the butter adds extra flavor. You can also add some chicken to the sandwich--Boarshead's spicy buffalo chicken adds great kick.

As an added bonus--you have half an avocado left for another sandwich the next day (or that same day!) or to use as an accompaniment to chicken in the evening. If there's one thing I appreciate this pregnancy it is a delicious avocado. And chocolate. And pickles, And.... you get the point.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Free Makeovers & Skin Care Samples at Bare Escentuals Palisades Center This Friday-Sunday!

Ok, I'm ridiculously excited. I made an appointment for a free makeover this weekend at the super-pretty Bare Escentuals boutique at the Palisades Center! I've been curious about Bare Escentuals products since first seeing the Bare Minerals advertisements on TV years ago--I'm even watching a QVC Bare Escentuals program right now and literally squealing with anticipation on the inside. I'm SO ready to bust out of the new-mommy no-makeup rut I've been in and I've wanted to acquire a quality, grown-up makeup stash for a long time now (Andrew deserves a beautiful, confident mommy, no??)

Have any of you tried Bare Escentuals before? Have you gotten the hang of spelling of their name? Haha. Seriously, though, I'd love to hear about your experiences. I'm really hoping this makeup is going to be the answer to my "I have no idea what to do with my face" prayers.

Or, if you're curious about the makeup line and want to nab some free skincare samples this weekend too, you can call 845-353-1394 to make an appointment and report back here alongside me. Hope to see you in the next makeup chair!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Free Trial Kids Music Classes in Rockland this Week!

MusicClasses4Kids is offering free hour-long trial classes in Rockland this week before the start of their Winter 2012 classes on January 11th. While I'm not completely certain what the classes entail, the website explains:

"We offer morning, evening and Saturday classes consisting of 6-12 children ages 0-6 years old and their parents/caregivers. Each semester features a new musical theme with CD/Songbook, consists of ten 45 minutes long classes once each week that include songs, chants, small and large movement, dance, instrument play, games and craft activities. In addition to hands-on instrument play your children will be introduced to the instruments of the orchestra, a wide spectrum of musical styles/artists/composers from classical to funk and spend time learning about foreign languages through music of other countries."

We're heading over on the 4th to check out the class in New City and will report back to you. OR, you can join us by heading on over to their website to register for one of the many free trials offered January 4th-10th:

Wednesday - January 4th - 9:30 am
New City, NY 
Germonds Presbyterian Church
39 Germonds Road

Thursday – January 5th - 9:30 am 
Tallman, NY
Tallman Bible Church
280 Route 59

Thursday – January 5th - 7:00 pm
Pearl River, NY
Beth Am Temple
60 East Madison Avenue

Friday – January 6th - 9:30 am
Pearl River, NY
Beth Am Temple
60 East Madison Avenue

Saturday – January 7th - 9:30 am
New City, NY 
Germonds Presbyterian Church
39 Germonds Road

Tuesday - January 10th - 12:30 pm
Oakland, NJ 
Messiah Lutheran Church
228 Ramapo Valley Road 

An 11-week class (12 weeks if you count the free class) costs $209.00 plus a $15 non-refundable new family registration free. An additional class for the same child or a class for a sibling costs an extra $150.