TGIF- Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading:

Another cold week here in Chicago with a fresh covering of snow. The weekend is warm and welcoming inside our home. We use our time to relax a little, along with catching up on some reading and napping with each other and our furry friends.


Saralyn Richard, the author of Naughty Nana, is my cherished friend, who has written a charming children’s book about her dog Nana. It is a favorite of mine and I hope it becomes a favorite of yours. Enjoy an interview with Saralyn from Dogster.


I think dogs are wonderful teachers of patience, compassion, loyalty, trust, responsibility, and love.

Unfortunately, a lot of children do not have consistency and stability in their lives. A dog is always steady, consistent, reliable, and predictable. A dog will always greet you the same way, and treat you the same way whether you are bad or good. Whether you got a good report card, are smelly or clean, whether your room is a mess, a dog is going to love you unconditionally and the same way all the time.



For me children and rainbows go together, like rain and running in puddles on a rainy day. Here is an activity from Kristina at Toddler Approved, which helps me share my love of rainbows with my grandchild . I think you will find Kristina’s blog something you cannot stay away from…it will bring out the child in you this weekend.

Easy Preschool Cutting Craft: Paper Rainbows

One of my favorite parts about St. Patrick’s Day is that it is associated with rainbows. My kids love singing songs about the colors of the rainbow all year long and there is just something that makes me happy whenever I see a rainbow!

This week my preschooler wanted something to do while her big brother (my 1st grader) did his homework. We got talking about St. Patrick’s Day and she assigned herself to make a rainbow.

This easy paper rainbow craft project is a super simple way to practice scissor skills and cutting straight and curvy lines!


Kristina is the founder of Toddler Approved. She is a mom of three (ages 6,3,1), as well as a National Board certified teacher. Kristina taught for several years and then worked part-time as a curriculum specialist, new teacher coach, and crisis intervention trainer once she became a mom. She retired in Fall 2011 and now loves being full-time mom and teacher to her kiddos. She loves chocolate, running, taking pictures, and party planning. She is also currently the creator of the Virtual Book Club for Kids.


Pregnancy has been a theme on Parenting in the Loop during the past 11 weeks. Fashion and pregnancy can be a challenge right from the beginning. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Amy Tara Koch at a luncheon. I was taken with her style and her book Bump It Up. She has some wonderful suggestions for the fashionista momma to be, spiced up with Amy’s sense of humor. Please enjoy!




1. When your jeans or trousers still fit everywhere except the belly, a SIMPLE RUBBER BAND can offer an additional breathing room. Leave jeans unfastened and loop the rubber band around the button and button hole. This sartorial trickery is easily concealed with a hip length tee shirt, some sassy, dangly scarves or a cute scarf worn as a wide Kimono belt.


Enjoy the weekend everybody!

Weekend Nap



Pregnancy at 11 Weeks

Your pregnancy at 11 weeks:



Pregnancy at 11 Weeks

Baby is size of a Fig


Baby is Growing:

Your baby is 1 1/2 inches in length. Believe it or not your baby is almost fully formed even tiny tooth buds are appearing and bones are starting to harden. There is a lot of movement that you cannot feel until a month or two when your baby is significantly larger.


via Your pregnancy: 11 weeks | BabyCenter.

How you are changing as your pregnancy moves along:

  • More energy
  • Less nausea-you may start to enjoy eating again and then gain about a pound week
  • Slow digestion which can cause constipation due to hormonal changes
  • Heartburn – hormones again cause a relaxation of the valve between your stomach and esophagus

What is safe to eat during pregnancy now that your appetite is improving? Here is a link from Baby Center.

Pregnancy can be a time of some anxiety, it is therefore good to get in touch with other moms like friends and family members. Your own mom can be a wonderful support if you have a good relationship with her. Sometimes mothers and daughters develop a better relationship during this time.

TGIF-Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading:

Weekend Dog

My Favorite Weekend Pup!

There has just been too much snow in the past few weeks but here is some reading to catch up on if you have a Sunday free moment.

You grandparents out there, this is for you, so you don’t wind up on a list. You all know what I mean. Although we are the old sages when it comes to wisdom, there are some things we should definitely leave to our grandkids’ parents. Don’t you agree?

Traveling with kids just made easier with a new contraption Lugabug. Check it out here. Anything to help is my motto!


Frequent flyer families need to check out Lugabug, which makes carting your kids through an airport as easy as rolling your luggage. Mainly because your kids roll along on your luggage.

Lugabug is a fully collapsible, portable travel chair that attaches to the front of a suitcase quickly and easily to turn any wheelie bag into a ride-on suitcase. Kids as young as two, and up to 70 pounds just sit, attach the optional seat belt, and you’re off. Although it’s probably best for parents of toddlers, considering our 40-something pound grade-schoolers are usually pretty capable of walking on their own.


Boy or Girl baby announcements during pregnancy, known as reveal parties have  really come a long way. Some of these I really like some are just too over the top! What do you think?

It seems the days of simply announcing whether your baby is a boy or girl seem to be long gone. The latest trend in baby showers that shows no signs of waning is the gender reveal party — personalized, meticulously planned, sometimes messy events with executions that can be so time-consuming, we can only imagine that these ideas are conceived by parents who know they will never, ever have this much free time available to them ever again.


Sorry for the lateness of this post I hope everyone had something that made the happy this weekend.

Pregnancy at 10 weeks

Pregnancy at 10 Weeks:

Your baby is the size of a kumquat and only weighs less than a 1/4 ounce.

Pregnancy at 10 weeks

  • The most critical part of his development is complete.
  • He is now in his fetal period and is no longer an embryo.
  • His tissues and organs will grow rapidly, he is able to move all around and is kicking all the time.
  • There are tiny fingernails growing, peach fuzz is now on his skin.
  • His kidneys, intestines, brain and liver are all beginning to function.
  • His hands are able to flex at the wrist.
  • His spinal outline is visible through his translucent skin.
  • His head measures half the length of his body.
  • Your baby is ready to double his size in a few weeks of pregnancy.

Fetus at !0 Weeks of Development

Things to do this week:

  • Perhaps go do some shopping for yourself. Get some new bras and panties that feel more comfortable on your changing body.
  • Try to develop an exercise routine that is okay with your health care professional. It will prepare you for later and for labor and delivery.

This can be a wonderful time in your life if all is going well and you are feeling good. If you are not please speak with your health care practitioner. You and your developing baby are very important!

Your pregnancy: 10 weeks | BabyCenter.

Pregnancy at 9 weeks

Pregnancy at Nine Weeks

Pregnancy at 9 Weeks

How your baby’s growing:

  • Baby is almost an inch long.
  • Weight is less than a ounce.
  • Heart is fine tuning its beat with four chambers and valves forming.
  • Tiny teeth are present.
  • Tail of the embryo has disappeared.
  • Sex organs are present but cannot be distinguished.
  • Eyes are full formed with fused eyelids.
  • Earlobes, mouth and nose are present and accounted for.
  • Baby basic physiology is present and the placenta is developed to take over its critical  work.
  • Next, there will be rapid weight gain.


Quick Clicks

Baby Ultrasound

Your life is changing:

  • Your waist may be thickening slightly at this point
  • Morning sickness and other physical symptoms may be present
  • Emotions may be all over the place
  • Moods are full swing…good to know that the second trimester these quiet down somewhat.

Your pregnancy: 9 weeks | BabyCenter.

TGIF-Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading: 


Again this week, measles and vaccinations are all over the news. This article simply explains, why measles is so contagious and so easy to contract. How does it actually invade us? You might be surprised to learn about the miserable measles.

“It’s the most transmissible virus we know,” he says. Measles, it turns out, has a special way of invading that makes it really, really easy to get out of the host—and into other people.


Have you helped anyone recently, like someone you didn’t know? We all need help sometimes, especially when we are towing around some young children. As a mandated reporter, I am required by law to report a situation that puts a child in danger such as leaving a child in a car alone. Many parents do not realize that they can be arrested and their children can be put in protective custody for this type of  child endangerment. What would you do if you saw a child in a car alone? 

Although there are unfit, abusive parents out there, most of us want to succeed at this, and are doing the best that we can. But we get tired, we get frustrated, we feel isolated and a little desperate sometimes. We all do. So let’s have more empathy and try to help rather than punish parents we see in their less-than-perfect moments. Most people will thank you for it.


What is the bigger picture that parents on both sides of the vaccination issue are worried  about? I think, it is the worry about the unspeakable and unbearable loss of a child that puts parents on either side of this dilemma. Now that,”herd immunity” is in jeopardy, unvaccinated children are more at risk of becoming ill and possibly dying or having life long disabilities associated with the measles virus. Where are you in this discussion?


As the measles outbreak gathers worrisome steam in parallel to the explosion of passionate rants both pro and anti-vaccination, I find myself wondering; what is this really about? Rather than get bogged down in the myriad of issues on either side- though at the outset I will say that as a pediatrician I unequivocally recommend vaccination- I will aim to look at the bigger picture.



As the weekend approaches, we are in the middle of a deep freeze here in “Chiberia” as we like to call Chicago at this time of year. So for those of you in the snow belt stay warm and cozy and those of you who are in the sunbelt, ENJOY!


Cold is getting to me…


Bitter temperatures

Ice and snow covered everything.

Florida is looking good.

The lord and I know

I hate Florida.

Once, I moved

To the Sunshine State

From New York City.

I should have listened to my mother.

When she told me, I wasn’t going anywhere.

Pure culture shock

Oh, now I love vicarious Florida living.

Santa Cruz, Los Angeles and Florida friends,

Keep posting your pictures


I can bask in the sun of your photos.


Please Pass the Hot Chocolate!

Hot chocolate

Your pregnancy: 8 weeks

Pregnancy at 8 Weeks

How your baby’s growing:

Pregnancy at 8 Weeks Baby is Size of Kidney Bean

  • Baby has small webbed fingers and toes
  • His eyelids almost cover his eyes
  • Breathing tubes and branches of his lungs are developing
  • His tail is almost gone
  • Brain and nerve cells are forming early neural pathways
  • Genitals have not developed yet
  • Baby is now the size of a kidney bean
  • Baby is continually moving but you cannot feel it yet

How your body is changing:

  • You may need a larger bra with better support, your breast tissue is changing and hormones are causing breast growth preparing for lactation.
  • Fatigue can be dramatic along with nausea and sometimes vomiting due to a rise in progesterone. Discomfort and getting up to pee may cause you trouble sleeping adding to your fatigue. Walking may help combat fatigue, even a 10 minute walk will do.


Prenatal Tests:

  • Screening and diagnostic tests are offered during pregnancy.
  • Some are simple blood tests or ultrasounds for screening, others are more invasive.
  • All of these tests are optional.
  • Screening tests give you information about your risk for certain conditions.
  • Diagnostic tests tell you for sure whether your baby has a problem.
  • You must make the decision as to whether or not to have these tests, they are optional.

Early screening tests:

  • Nuchal fold scan is done by ultrasound along with a blood test that measures two proteins, this test will give you information as to your baby’s risk for Down Syndrome. This test is done between 8 and 11 weeks.
  • CVS- Chorionic Villi Sampling is a diagnostic test done early in pregnancy to determine a chromosomal defect that would cause Down Syndrome. It is an invasive test that carries a risk of miscarriage.

Quick Clicks

via Your pregnancy: 8 weeks | BabyCenter.