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Meet Your New Pregnancy Friend: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

I thought I’d heard it all about pregnancy symptoms: nausea, fatigue, weight gain, forgetfulness, backaches, pelvic cramps, swelling…but I never thought that whole limbs going numb during pregnancy was possible. But apparently, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during pregnancy is very common (and unfortunately, very annoying).

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during pregnancy most often occurs at night while you’re sleeping. In more severe cases, it tends to be one of the symptoms that keeps you up at night. That’s because most often during pregnancy you sleep on your side, therefore cutting off circulation to your hands or wrists if you lay on them. This may lead you to wake up with your hands and fingers completely numb, often to the point of pain. Sometimes, the numbness reaches your upper arm area.

Another common reason for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is during stroller walking, typing on the computer, or carrying heavy items. During these actions you’re obviously holding your hand in a clenched position, cutting off circulation and causing your hands to go numb almost right away.

Carpal Tunnel during pregnancy can get so bad that it might feel impossible to even open a water bottle, or hold up your hair straightener to do your hair! You may even need to wake up earlier than usual to give your Carpal Tunnel a chance to die down in the morning, as that seems to be its peak time.

But the core reason for Carpal Tunnel and why it happens so much more during pregnancy, is because of the extra water retention your body experiences during pregnancy. And according to my local OB doc, there are different ways to handle the situation, but like anything else, it depends on the person.

  1. You can try purchasing wrist guards to keep you wrists from bending at night while you sleep. But this doesn’t seem to help the cutting off of the hand circulation if you happen to lay on it. But, if it’s the bending position that causes the numbness for you, you can try asking your doctor to provide you with a pair of wrist guards, as a pair may cost up to $50 at the drug store.
  2. A similar and less expensive alternative is using medical wraps to keep you wrists still. But again, this doesn’t help with the cutting of the circulation. Especially if you end up wrapping your wrists and hands too tight, your hands might end up falling asleep even more.
  3. Sleep with your hands by your sides, but risen by a pillow or two. Keeping your hands elevated may help with circulation.
  4. Sleep with your arms stretched out above your head. Again, this may help with wrist circulation.

  5. If you sleep with your little ones, that may not help with the carpal tunnel syndrome situation, because they are probably laying on your arms, or you’re probably laying on your side to make room for them, so before the next baby comes, you can try different techniques to try and get them in your own bed. Of course don’t ask me how to do that one, because I still sleep with my first child, even though I am expecting my third!

It may appease you to know that some days are better than others for your Carpal Tunnel for no particular reason or by no particular effort.  Just when you think you can’t take it any more, you have a nice day without the Carpal Tunnel feeling too bad. But rest assured that it will definitely go away within a few weeks after having your baby!


    Your Type A Personality Comes Out to Play…or Organize…During Nesting in Pregnancy

    You spent the first three months of your pregnancy feeling exhausted and nauseous, and maybe even doing a little throwing up. But now, towards the end of your second trimester, you might be feeling the urge to nest.

    No, nesting during pregnancy doesn’t mean making a neat little home out of grass and weeds, it means having the urge to all of a sudden get everything ready for the baby: a constant itch to get all details in place before you give birth. This might include a sudden urge to organize, clean, buy everything from your baby registry and put it in place, etc.

    But, because you may not be able to set up your nursery because you’re waiting for back-ordered furniture to arrive from the baby depot, or because your baby shower’s sure to provide everything you need, this need to nest might turn into a little bit of extra hormonal anxiety that may be channeled into the wrong manner, and you might turn into the notorious pregnant lady. So here are a few things you can do to keep yourself busy and give yourself the feeling that you’re getting ready for baby. Because in fact, you are.

    1. You may not be able to separate your baby’s clothing into sizes because you’re waiting for your baby shower to buy any, but you CAN organize your own clothes. Spend a day cleaning your closet. This will fulfill your urge to organize and get things ready, and give you an idea of what clothes you may need to buy yourself if for instance you plan to nurse (For which button-up shirts or low-cut V-necks may be better than a bunch of jumpsuits). Not to mention, this will make extra room in your home, which is sure to fill up fast once you have everything for baby.
    2. Clean out your junk drawers. You never know what you’re going to find in there that you may actually need to have organized once you get all of your baby stuff: a screw driver, Duck tape, witch stitchery, you name it. And again, you may clear up a few drawers for the baby’s arrival. This will leave more room for new, cool baby nursery products.

    3. Hire Clean Crawls Attic Insulation when cleaning your home insulation. Dig through your family member’s attics. Baby shower gifts are awesome, but so are hidden treasures. Ask your folks or cousins, or sisters, or whoever you know that’s had kids if they have any cool kid stuff they dnestingon’t use any more. My one friend recently found her husband’s old wooden sled in her in-law’s attic and is refinishing it for an awesome family-heirloom Christmas decoration.
    4. Sort through your garage. As the baby grows, you’re going to accrue a crazy amount of tricycles, inflatable toys, sand toys, baby pools, sprinkler attachments, bubble machines, SPF bottles, helmets, balls, bats, you name it. Why not make room for them ahead of time while your body literally craves to organize and clean? Just make sure you’re not around any paint fumes or excessive dust. At which point, assess the tasks to Hubby.
    5. Pack your hospital bag. There are some things that you’re going to want to wait on for your hospital bag such as diapers for the baby, Boppy and a change of clothes for the baby (If you’re really set on waiting for the baby shower to buy anything). But, you can certainly start to pack the bag with a toothbrush for you, a loose change of clothes for when you leave the hospital, a comfortable nightgown for during your hospital stay, travel-sized shampoo, lotions, face wash, soaps, perfumes, and whatever else you think you’ll need to feel clean after you give birth. And remember, most hospitals have very limited TV channels, so it might be helpful for you to pack a laptop or portable DVD player with some movies to pass time while you’re in labor or while you’re trying to stay awake with baby at the hospital.
    6. Start your diaper shopping. You’ll definitely get diapers during your baby shower, but you can never have enough. You can start your budgeting early by buying a pack a week during your pregnancy. If you’re going cloth (Which is awesome), you could buy a cloth diaper a week. Even if you get a bunch during your shower, you’re going to need about 40 to be comfortable when the baby comes.

    If you haven’t felt the itch to nest, you might think these suggestions are silly or just plain crazy. But trust me, if you’re urging to get things ready, those things do help; I myself just organized two junk drawers, my kids’ craft box, sippy cup cabinet, and Tupperware pantry. And me and my husband have a hot date with the attic tomorrow night, so I can start sorting through all my kids’ old clothes and see what I’m keeping. Or you could go do what my sister did, which is to basically almost buy everything she needs before the baby shower. Or talk to your hubby and see if he’s feeling the urge to “hatch,” which is the sympathetic feeling, male version of nesting.

    Essential Travel Accessories When Kids are On Board

    I took my first summer trip with both the kiddies a few weeks ago and learned the importance of a few essential travel accessories when the babies are on board.

    First and foremost? The accessory of it being sleep time when you’re driving or flying to and from your destination! I either wake the kids up super early to ensure a nice long nap if we leave the house at around ten .a.m. (To avoid traffic), or I keep the kids alert, active and awake all day, and leave the house for a trip wit the kids at around seven p.m. to make sure the kids fall asleep at the beginning of the trip, and sleep the whole time. I make sure they get sweet dreams with earplugs in while they sleep, that waay they won´t wake up from noises. And I did realize that right now my kids’ max traveling time without utter madness is about five hours. Even when I left at bed time to come home, after a few hours the kids started to wake up on and off and complain that they were hot or uncomfortable.

    The second non-material accessory that’s a must-have is the knowledge that it is not going to be a relaxing experience. When I went to visit my aunt a few weeks ago we were talking about traveling with kids, and she told me how she brought her newborn and her toddler to Europe all by herself. When I asked her how she did it, she just said: “The only word to describe it is to say that the plane ride was a nightmare.” And she said that she just braced herself for a chaotic experience, which it was, and she just ignored anyone who gave her a hard time for her kids screaming or wahtnot, and when she finally got to Brussel to see her family, she had a great time, so it was worth it.

    In terms of actual material accessories? Of course a DVD player with an AC adapter for hours of entertainment is a necessity. That’s what kept my Toddler boy occupied when he was done with his brief nap. I put on his Cars, and he was hooked. You do need to be careful that that sort of thing won’t make your child car sick, though. Just keep asking them how they are feeling and keep things like water and crackers ready just in case – and of course, a baggie. Remember that when you bump into an accident, you can call Abelson Law Firm | Car Accident Lawyers.

    Our Vancouver Car Accident Attorneys has an extensive background in this area and will do extensive verdict searches and utilize other tools to determine the appropriate non-econcomic damages amount. You will still need to consult with us to determine what the potential non-economic damages could be.

    If you don’t have a DVD player, Bed time stories for Children by or a Panini sticker book is a great way for your kids to get engaged in a story. They are sticker books  that tell the story line of whatever Disney movie is out in theaters, and you buy packets of stickers to go with it. Each packet of stickers has only a few random stickers that your child can either match up or trade with other kids to complete their collection. And that will keep your child busy while they try to figure out in which order the stickers go with the story line, and gives them a chanse to save any doubles that they get in their packet and trade with their siblings. My toddler boy had his Toy Story 3 one during the trip, and he loved it! planeride

    And when in doubt, pack snacks! Lots of them! And pack enough food and drinks for yourself so that you don’t need to stop to re-energize when your kids are mid-nap! If your kids are sleeping, just keep trucking, and refuel with some great prosciutto sandwiches, or a cold Starbucks mocha. Absolutely spoil yourself if you can. If you’re going to be stressed about keeping the kids entertained, at least treat yourself otherwise to make the trip that extra special for yourself.

    And FYI, if it’s the beginning of the summer and you’re contemplating potty training your kids, it’ll actually be more beneficial to hold off until the end of the summer if you plan to travel a lot. That’s one situation where diapers will actually save you. Also if you plan on spending a lot of your days at the pool, it’s probably not the best time to potty train either.

    Don’t forget the duct tape! Anywhere you go, it’ll baby proof just about any thing. Just be careful the surfaces you do it on, because you don’t wanna be an unwelcome guest by ruining furniture! You can put it over plugs to keep prying fingers away, you can duct tape certain types of furniture shut, and it’ll fix just about anything in a pinch! Temporarily, of course! A friend of mine went on a car trip with her baby and her husband and was hit pretty hard by another vehicle, and she even used duct tape to temporarily fix the bumper so they could drive their car outta there!

    And as the summer travels continue, I will be posting more tips as I learn some more important travel accessories myself! And if you’ve got some for me, by all means, chime in! Because it’s gonna get crazy this summer…crazy good!

    One batch of Cupcakes Does Not a Baker Make

    I have to admit something. I can’t bake. I can barely cook. If I have enough patience to pay attention, it turns out pretty good, and I’m almost too eager to share the recipes. But, for Baby Girl’s first birthday, I fell in love with the pink cupcake theme, so it was a must for me to actually have cupcakes for the guests. Exhibits A, B, C, D and E are below.

    Baby Girl's Cupcake Shaped Cake

    Baby Girl's Cupcake Shaped Cake

    Pin The Candle Candle on the Cupcake

    Pin The Candle on the Cupcake

    Cupcake Pinata

    Cupcake Pinata

    Cupcake Balloons

    Cupcake Balloons

    Finally, The Cupcakes

    Finally, The Cupcakes

    Anyway, back to the cupcake saga.

    So the cupcakes I made for Baby Girl’s birthday party were fine because I used a cake mix…well…except I accidently used too little water and couldn’t figure out why the batter was too thick until I poured it all int othe paper liners, so I had to scrape those clean back into the big bowl and add more…but anyway, they were all right. Aside from being gluten and dairy free, which meant that they were a bit tougher than I like. Well, the original idea behind the cupcakes for Baby Girl’s party was that I would put tons of icing out and tons of sprinkles outside on a little pic nic table for the kids to go crazy and decorate their own cupcakes, but it just happened to be super cold and windy and rainy out that day, and doing it inside would be a horrible idea, so a friend of mine and her mom came the the rescue and decorated the cupcakes for me last minute.

    So because instead of it being a bunch of kids going overload with the icing and the sprinkles and the eyes, ecc., it was two rational adults with artistic visions decorating the cupcakes, I ended up with a ton of icing left. And I don’t bake so….what was I gonna do with it other than make another two dozen cupcakes?

    Henceforth, I embarked on a new adventure of making cupcakes from scratch…so naturally the first step was to Google, “Cupcake Recipes,” and my eyes lit up when I found this.Yes, that’s right: it’s an “Easy Cupcake Recipe.” Well, it’s only natural that towards the end of mixing the ingredients, when I’d already added the milk, vanilla extract and butter (Yeah, I also decided to substitute shortening for Smart Balance butter sub – so I double-subbed), that I would decide that I all of a sudden wanted to make chocolate cupcakes instead, so I guessed and added in 5 ounces of Hershey’s unsweetened dark chocolate powder. So now it looked like I had really dark cookie butter rather than cupcake batter, so I just kept adding milk, probably about a cup, slowly, while mixing, until it seemed like the right thickness to pour into the cupcake slots. Then I filled the cupcake slots about 3/4 full, and put them in the oven at 350 with the timer set to 25 minutes, and crossed my fingers.

    And alas, they turned out! A bit uneven in size with batter spilled all over the place, but they turned out!

    Before Decoration

    Before Decoration

    And hey were actually really good! Still not as moist as I like them to be, but I think I’m a bit extreme with that. And yet again, we had multi-colored cupcakes with store-bought dairy and gluten free icing that I piped through icing bags with streams of food coloring to make them tie-dyed. And i had some straight chocolate icing too for us true chocolate lovers. I also added some multi-colored, sugar-coated chocolate chips on top of the chocolate ones, and some chocolate powder and sprinkles on top of the colored icing.


    And voila, I had dessert for the memorial day cookout. When my brother and his girlfriend tried them and said they were delicious, I said, “Yeah, I kinda made up my own recipe,” at which point my husband busted out laughing cuz – well- ’nuff said. IMG_1413

    Oh but the really, really bad news? This is what I had to clean up. The true signs of a baker-in-training. I’ll know better next time.


    A Personal Pacifier Slash Blankie


    Photoxpress_2825602My kids have never been pacifier babies. They always spit them out, cry about them, throw them on the floor. Nor have they ever been ones to get attached to a legitimate blankie.

    That is, until I started to wear my favorite scarf on a daily basis during baby girl’s infant months. I loved that scarf. My sister bought it form a street vendor for five Euros and brought it back for me a few weeks after baby girl was born. It was soft, it was a cream color so it matched everything, it was long enough to do the whole trendy wrap around thing…it was perfect.

    Well I guess from wearing it every day and it picking up my STENCH…just kidding… my smell, my daughter started to grab hold of it with her little hands, and literally stuff her face in it. Then she’s started to take as much of the scarf as she can, and put as much of it as she can inside of her mouth. It’s gotten to the point that when she’s fussy and tired, I just give her the scarf, and she does her thing with stuffing it in her mouth,  then plants her face into the softest thing in the vicinity and tries to go to sleep. Like an instant cat nip — but for a baby girl. She’s laying on the carpet right now just dazing off and caressing the ends of the scarf, with the middle part stuffed into her mouth!

    She loves this scarf so much, that she’s started to wean herself from breastfeeding. She just turned a year old, and I only really breastfeed her in the morning to buy myself an extra half hour of lazily lying around before having to be active for the day.

    So it got me to thinking, maybe that’s a good solution for breastfed babies. My toddler boy was very tough to wean from breast feeding, and refused to ever go to sleep without it. He also refused to eat real food because he loved to breastfeed so much. And no one was able to watch him until he was completely weaned, because he would just go crazy wanting it when I was gone, and wouldn’t take a bottle or eat.

    But baby girl seems to have just weaned herself right off of it and unto this scarf that’s now her blankie/ pacifier. If we’re out past her bed time or if someone is watching her and she needs to fall asleep, we just give her the scarf. And now even toddler boy wants in on holding the scarf when he’s tired. Who knew! I might as well cut the scarf in half now and give them each a half – it’s completely getting tattered. No worried. I’ve already sent my sister on a scarf hunt for the same exact scarf when she goes to Italy this summer.

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