How I Found Out…

How I Found Out…

As many of you already know, my younger daughter, Adrienne is pregnant, expecting her first child. Our family is very excited to be welcoming another grandchild. In addition, I am overjoyed to welcome Adrienne to Parenting in the Loop. She will be writing about pregnancy and other topics as time goes on. Here is her first post!


I flew to Chicago with my husband on Christmas day. We were there to visit my family and attend a wedding of a good friend of mine from high school.

My husband, Rich, and I got a hotel room where the venue was held in the city. We went to bed late after the festivities and got into an argument… about what? I couldn’t tell you. That’s how important arguments are sometimes.

The next morning, we woke up on the earlier side. I needed to get back to the burbs for an MRI on my knee and hip for an injury and pain that hadn’t subsided for about six months. I had gotten very little sleep because I had to get up numerous times to pee in the middle of the night. I thought it was just from all of the water I consumed to avoid getting a migraine. Anyway, we drove back to the burbs and I dropped Rich off at my parents’ and headed off to the MRI with my mom.

After checking in and changing into a gown, I left my mom in the waiting room while I followed the tech. Before starting, I told the tech that I had not been on any birth control and that it would be the smallest chance ever that I would be pregnant. She insisted that I take a test and I agreed to put both of our minds at ease. So I proceeded to the nearest bathroom to pee on a stick.

I thought nothing of it as I sat back on the table and waited. I watched as the tech handled my test. She waited and then she walked away with it. That’s when I knew. I definitely had an “Oh shit” moment. That was when “I found out“.

found out pregnancy test

The tech came over to me and told me there was a faint line but that it kept getting darker and that I was pregnant. She was very careful with her words because she wasn’t sure how I was going to respond. I told her that I had just gotten married in October and was happy. She seemed relieved and immediately ushered me out of the room and back to my mom. My mom glanced up from her magazine and as soon as she saw me I knew that I didn’t even have to say anything by the look on her face.

Excited with the results of my visit and somewhat relieved that I shared the experience with the tech instead of waiting for what seems like the longest three minutes in the world, my mom and I headed home. On the way, I called my dad to tell him so that he would hear what I found out from me first. He was super happy!

When we returned home, Rich was confused as to why I was back so soon. I took him into the guest room and told him privately. You never know how a man is going to react. He was so happy that he cried.

I never thought that the easiest part of pregnancy was going to be actually getting pregnant. I was on the cusp of turning 34 in January and have been underweight my whole life. I also never imagined that my happiness would soon turn into fear and heightened anxiety…after I found out.

TGIF – Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading:

Weekend Sunrise

Weekend Sunrise

Over 50 or not these are some good tips to follow in a confusing world of health advice. Aging is taking place no matter what year you were born, a simple fact. So when I came across this simple list I thought I would share it. I recommend this list especially meditation which you can teach to your children and grandchildren. Remember they are sponges when it comes to learning.


It’s easy to feel confused by all the healthy aging advice out there. Wine is good for you. Wine is bad for you. Take calcium supplements. Don’t take calcium supplements. At times, it seems like the “experts” really don’t know what they’re talking about. I can’t solve any of these debates. But, I can give you a few simple things that you can do to stay healthy after 50.

Even when I was very young, I can remember not being able to shut down and easily relax except at the beach. The waves and sounds at the ocean always sedated me…the sun also helped.

How do you relax?

Where is your happy, restful place?


I am not one who can easily relax. Usually, I need a brick wall in front of me to make me stop (or a cliff will do fine, too). Adrenaline runs through my veins. I am continually creating and updating my to-do lists (or as I call them, my must-do lists) and the I-don’t-have-time-to-relax attitude often overtakes me.

  • News Moms Need-March of Dimes
  • burnout, caring for the caretaker, coping, delays, disabilities, mindfulness, Pregnancy, relaxation, rest, Special needs, stress, Stress awareness month, yoga

Routines have always been my fall back when things start to get overwhelming. When I was single living in NYC my puppy kept me on a routine of walking at certain times every day. We have always had dogs but the walking routine went by the wayside when we fenced in our yard. It was evident to me early in my parenting years that routine was a blessing for children and for us as parents. It helped to wind down our day with dinner, a story or quiet play before going to bed. On the nights that this did not happen, often chaos ensued.

What are your routines?


I’ve laughed at many a parent who said no to something fun because of nap time or a preference for an evening at home. But while I won’t turn down the fantastic, I have started to turn down the kind of fun that I know will turn a pleasant, routine afternoon into the family equivalent of a manic episode. It’s for their sakes and for mine; some days I know I won’t have the energy to wind down out of the sky a child flying high as a kite post-play date without it ending in tears.

The weekend has always signified a time to relax and renew for the coming week. Over the years it has morphed and become more and more busy. Even now as a grandparent, I find the Saturday and Sunday sometimes more hectic than weekdays of work or school activities.

We are poised for a bit of a deluge here in Chicago today…it could make for a hectic or quiet weekend. Let’s see…

Pregnancy at 20 weeks

Pregnancy at 20 Weeks

Yes! You are halfway through your pregnancy this week…and…

  • You have gained about 10 pounds.
  • You can feel the top of your uterus at the level of your belly button.
  • Be careful to get enough nourishment which includes foods with iron.
  • Iron helps your body keep up with your increased blood volume.
  • Foods with iron…red meat, dark meat poultry, legumes, soy based foods, spinach, prune juice, raisins and iron fortified cereals.
  • Time to start looking for childbirth classes-ask your friends or take recommendations from your practitioner.

What about your baby…he is growing, growing and …

Pregnancy at 20 Weeks

Baby at 20 Weeks


  • He is approximately the size of a banana.
  • He is 10 1/2 ounces in weight.
  • He is 6 1/2 from head to butt or 10 inches head to toe.
  • He is swallowing and also producing meconium ( a black, gooey product of digestion).
  • Meconium will be his first stool, some babies pass meconium in utero or during delivery.

“I found it so much easier to sleep on my side when I hugged a pillow and wrapped my legs around it. In fact, two years after the birth of my child, it’s still my favorite way to fall asleep.”
– Clara

Your pregnancy: 20 weeks | BabyCenter.


“Oh But For a Good Night’s Sleep”

You might start snoring for the first time which is due to more estrogen and the swelling of the mucous membranes in your nose.

  • Remedy  suggestion for snoring: Sleep on your side and elevate your head slightly.

Heartburn and indigestion may become an annoyance and make it uncomfortable to lie down.

  • Remedy: Avoid foods that bother you, eat two to three hours before going to bed and sleep slightly elevated with some extra pillows.

Leg cramps can literally be a pain which comes out of no where when you are sleeping.

  • Remedy suggestion: get out of bed and stand up or walk around a bit.

Just plain uncomfortable in bed these days…no comfortable position?

  • Remedy suggestion: Use some extra pillows between your legs or supporting your belly while sleeping on your side…you might even try a maternity contour pillow.

Feeling hot and sweaty during the night is not uncommon due to a shift in your metabolism, hormones and weight. Waking up soaking wet is one of my most vivid memories of pregnancy. My husband slept with a blanket and I slept with a fan blowing on me.

  • Remedy for hot and sweaty nights: Your bedroom should be cool and wearing sleepwear that is natural and made with breathable fiber, cotton is great but synthetics are not.

My friend and well-known blogger, Jessica Shyba at Momma’s Gone City, writes about some great, comfy sleepwear and other great things from one of her mom favorites Belabumbum. Jessica has four kids and a lot of great posts about family and fashion among other topics. Right now, if you click over to Mommas Gone City you will get a savings code for Belabumbum until Mother’s Day!

Pregnancy is a very special time that I am happy to be sharing with my younger daughter. She will be writing a post here next week…


TGIF- Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading…

Spring Weekend

Ahhh…the weekend is finally here and spring is not only in the air it is evident in the beautiful flowering trees and the blooming tulips and daffodils here in Chicagoland. Sunday we will have some April Showers, so it will be a great day to catch up on some reading…come join me.

This piece written by a mom really made me think about just how versatile and useful
“Siri” can be. Of course, there is no substitute for a relationship with a real life friend but for a child with autism, I think you can appreciate the value of having Siri as a BFF.


Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF. Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms — an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them. After a while I heard this:


Sibling fighting can drive a parent to distraction and although there is good reason not to intervene most of the time, there is also good reason according to today’s literature to stop some sibling battles so they do not escalate into bullying.

Toddler Approved discusses this age-old problem and also does a review of a new upcoming book that I would love to read by Dr. Laura Markham, “Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings“. This book is available for pre-order and will be out in May.

Based on this information, my favorite tip to stop sibling fighting is to regulate myself as a parent! I need to be less reactive and more peaceful!


“The truth is we can’t make another human being do what we want. We can only help them want to.”


Sometimes a long weekend is a time for travel and there is nothing I can say about traveling with kids except that it can be difficult and even more so if a child has food allergies.

Many parents deal with this on an every day basis and coping with an allergic child on a plane where people are not so understanding can be a challenge, especially when your patience and coping skills are being tried to their limits. I love the “Scratch or Sniff” website and this piece is an example of why it is one of my favorite weekend reads.

This week, I suppose it might be helpful to share with you some of the steps I take to make flying with Z a safe experience for him. If you haven’t flown with your food-allergic child yet, hold on tight to these recommendations and know you’ll be okay!

Book with the right airline. If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, take a moment to review this comprehensive chart from Allergic Living magazine, which shares an in-depth report on the policies 11 major airlines have for working with food allergies. Follow the guidelines of your airline’s policy to get the most accommodation for your flight.


Okay then…have a nice weekend and stop to enjoy and smell the roses or whatever else it is that you are doing.

Spring has Sprung!

Your pregnancy at 19 weeks

Pregnancy at 19 Weeks

Pregnancy at 19 Weeks

Baby at Nineteen Weeks Gestation


Pregnancy at nineteen weeks and how your baby’s growing

  • Sensory development continues, your baby’s brain is specializing.
  • Taste, smell, hearing, vision and touch are developing.
  • It is time to talk and read to your baby and play your favorite music as well.
  • Baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and is about 6 inches long from head to rump.
  • Vernix caseosa is appearing on his skin to protect him from the amniotic fluid
  • Hair is also growing now.

Your life is changing too:

You may notice that you will be growing faster in the next weeks to come. This may produce some achiness brought on by your round ligaments which support your uterus and its increasing weight and size. If you have pain that continues when you are resting or if it becomes severe consult with your practitioner.

Skin changes:

  • Palms of hands may become red from extra estrogen
  • Darkened skin patches (chloasma) may appear on your upper lip, cheeks and forehead (mask of pregnancy). This is caused by increased pigment in your skin which is temporary.
  • Protect yourself from the sun, which will increase the pigment changes, use sunscreen as well.

“I wasn’t sure if I could feel my baby moving, so a friend suggested I lie down for a while. After a few minutes, I started feeling a butterfly sensation in my lower abdomen. It was amazing!

– Linda B.

via Your pregnancy: 19 weeks | BabyCenter.


I can’t believe that we will be welcoming a new grandchild in the next 20 weeks or so. A new little one to love and cherish in our family. Those little feet and hands and those baby sounds and smells are just so precious. Waiting for a new baby…


Pregnancy at 18 weeks

Pregnancy at 18 Weeks



You may find that you are more hungry now during pregnancy…choose foods that are nutritious to snack on so that you are not gaining too much weight from sugary or salty favorites.

Larger clothes may be more comfortable as your waistline changes. In addition your cardiovascular system is changing dramatically to accommodate your growing fetus. Your blood pressure may be lower so try not to get up to fast from lying or sitting down as you might feel dizzy.

It will be better for you and baby to lie on you side when reclining or be at least tilted to one side. In a flat lying position your uterus can compress a major vein leading to decrease in the blood return to your heart. A pillow placed behind your or under one hip may help with positioning.

It might soon be time for a second trimester ultrasound to see how your baby is developing. They will check the placenta and umbilical cord and your baby may be sucking his thumb at this viewing.

“If you’re finding it hard to get through the afternoon at work without a little nap, find a place you can escape for 15 to 20 minutes (close your office door, use a conference room, even sit in your car). Bring a small travel alarm clock and set it for 15 minutes.”

– Laura

via Your pregnancy: 18 weeks | BabyCenter.


Baby growth:

  • Your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long
  • He weighs around 7 ounces…and is the size of a bell pepper
  • He is very busy exercising in utero and you will be feeling his movements more and more
  • Blood vessels are able to be seen through his skin at this stage of pregnancy
  • If you are having a girl the uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place, if you are having a boy, his genitals are visible although he may hide them on ultrasound
  • His ears are in place now and myelin is starting to protect his nerves

Pregnancy at 18 Weeks

Mom’s Fitness:

If you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal you can continue to exercise, making modifications for your growing belly. Moderate exercise avoiding jarring motions, sudden changes of position and lying on your back should be okay. But always check with your healthcare provider.

If you have not been exercising you might want to begin gently with short periods, a few times per week. Walking is a good place to begin, many women enjoy swimming or yoga. Remember to check with your caregiver first.

Kegel Exercises and their importance during pregnancy:

What are Kegels?

Kegels are exercises that strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor — the ones that support your urethra, bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. Kegels help prevent urine leaks during and after pregnancy and may even help you in the second stage of labor. What’s more, Kegels increase circulation to your rectal and vaginal area, so they may help keep hemorrhoids at bay and speed healing after childbirth if you receive stitches.

Here’s how to do them:

Tighten the muscles around your vagina as if trying to interrupt the flow of urine when going to the bathroom. Use a “squeeze and lift” technique, working only your pelvic floor muscles while keeping your abdominal and leg muscles relaxed. And be sure not to hold your breath.
Hold for about eight to ten seconds, then release. Do them in sets of ten, and try to work up to three or four sets a day.
via Baby Center


Your pregnancy is almost half over and baby is developing steadily. Second trimester is a great time to get things done as you should be feeling pretty good.

I am so happy to have had a little vacation with my daughter this past week. She is more relaxed during the past few weeks of pregnancy. I am lucky to enjoy this time with her.


TGIF-Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading:

Weekend Light



Spring Break has come to Chicago. As we approach this holiday weekend of Easter and Passover, family time takes over. Many of us will be enjoying food, and visits with relatives and friends as we celebrate and relax and spend some “quality time” with each other.


Parenting and boundaries…do you embarrass your kids or do you shame them on Facebook or even in your blog? As parents, we probably should learn some boundaries when it comes to “talking” to or about each other on social media.


We as parents do terrible things to our teens all the time. Our fashion humiliates them, we hold their hands in public or try to kiss them goodbye in front of friends. These are hurtful actions to our teens who are sometimes awkwardly maneuvering into adulthood while trying on different hats. Sometimes it’s slow and plodding, sometimes it’s at breakneck speed but always it is a path they are attempting to make for themselves and though we’re invited along for parts of the ride it’s appropriate for us parents to stand back a little and let them explore their worlds.

I love cooking but on any given day it can be a challenge putting dinner on the table. As a young parent, I definitely had more energy to accomplish this task, but as a grandparent it has become difficult with maintaining weight management and making healthy choices for three generations in the meal planning. I really related to this new mom, who wanted to have  home made dinners but cooking was no longer a relaxing time for her in the kitchen.


This became a habitual meditation — imagining my pre-baby dinner routine every time I sat down to feed my baby. Cooking had been my relaxation habit for years, the chop-chop-chopping of onions and the swirl of oil in a pan my fragrant, rhythmic ritual for slowing down after a hectic day. I loved it, and the memory of it calmed me when I needed to be patient with my fussy eater.

“Quantitiy vs. Quality Time” is always a parenting discussion. Do you use weekend time as quality, quantity time?


As an exhausted parent who doesn’t get enough time to work out, who hasn’t seen a grown-up movie for months, and who wishes that date night were an actual night rather than an idea, I understand why so many of us might seize on studies suggesting that we should take more time for ourselves. Perhaps we should. But we should do so without relying on misleading research. Far better that we make our parenting choices informed by the broader set of more reliable studies, which Ms. Kalil summarized for me as suggesting “that when parents spend high-quality time with their children, their children are more likely to succeed.”

Of course, you can’t have those transcendent moments unless you’re together — to some small extent, quantity begets quality. And that’s where this research should come back to reassure parents. We are spending time with our children, particularly when you look, not at one bad day, but at a week, a month, a year, an entire childhood spent together. When we are questioning ourselves, we tend to look not at the cumulative sum of our time, but at what we fear we’ve missed. We don’t need to spend every minute with our children, or every minute engaged in intense togetherness. The time we spend apart (sleeping, working, studying, building blocks, playing sports, staring into space) brings something to our interactions, too. It’s time to look at our family calendars as half full, not half empty.

Hoping that you all have a restful, enjoyable weekend!

Pregnancy at 17 weeks

Pregnancy at 17 Weeks

Pregnancy at 17 Weeks- Fetus is the Size of a Turnip

Baby is the Size of a Turnip


  • Your baby’s skeleton is changing now to bone from soft cartilage
  • the umbilical cord is stronger as well as thicker
  • he or she weighs in at about 5 ounces and is about 5 inches long
  • baby is moving all his/her joints

So many changes…

How is your life moving along at this stage of pregnancy?

  • believe it or not your center of gravity is changing because your belly is growing
  • you may be a little unsteady on your feet
  • try to avoid situations where you could fall, wear low heeled shoes
  • a fall could hurt your belly and be dangerous for you and your baby
  • your seat belt needs to be belted under your growing belly
  • your eyes may feel dry, over the counter lubricating eyedrops may help
  • contact lens wearers may have to limit their number of hours of wear.
  • you may even want to switch to your glasses while pregnant

“I made a simple chart of the basic food groups and posted it on the refrigerator. At the end of the day, I checked off what I had eaten. Then, for my bedtime snack, I tried to pick something that would fulfill whatever category was lacking — yogurt (or a bowl of ice cream!) if I needed more dairy, for example, or an orange if I needed more fruit.”

– Anna

Dream activity during pregnancy may heighten due to high emotions that may very well range from joy to apprehension on any given day. Pregnant women are known for having shorter REM sleep which is the cycle in which dreams occur but because you may wake up during a dream the memory of the dream is more vivid.


This week’s activity
Start a baby name list. Make a list of ten names you like. Have your partner do the same. Trade lists and each cross out one name on the other’s list that you dislike. Keep taking turns until you have a set of names you can both live with. Talk about why you like and dislike certain names. Many couples even create ground rules, such as no names of former girlfriends or boyfriends and no names that have ever been used for family pets.

via Your pregnancy: 17 weeks | BabyCenter.

As the weeks go by our family anxiously awaits our new little grandbaby. For me, I find myself remembering what it was like being pregnant in the 80’s when there was not all this information available about the growing fetus. Moms communicated with each other on the telephone which was in my case tethered to a very long spiral cord so I could multi-task around my kitchen and watch my 1 year old daughter.

I could not shop online or do too many comparisons when it came to baby gear but I was no slouch when it came to shopping for baby clothes in person whenever I could. I remember one of my favorite shops in Florida, where we were living at the time, was the “Purple Turtle” in Palm Beach. It was a always a treat to stop by and see their beautiful items…it was a shop where many grandparents shopped for their grandkids and now I am that grandparent.

Pregnancy generates many memories and now it is my joy to make new memories by remembering the past but enjoying the present.