Saturday, July 31, 2010

I am a new demographic I guess for surveys, product tests etc.


Lately, I have noticed a slight change in the email, surveys and product tests that I have been receiving. Not that I am complaining, I love being an informed, opinionated consumer, who is lucky enough to put her two cents in. But, I cannot help but notice the change since I updated my profiles, and changed my info. I am a new Demographic. A mom. A 30 something mom. Mommy. Momsville. Ma. Mama.

I used to receive mostly makeup and skin products, with some cool diet foods mixed in. Now I started receiving baby products, middle a
American emails, and I just finished a survey for a breast pump company! (yikes)!

I love that a big, reliable baby company is sending me one of their new products to test for the month of August (and I get to keep it!), but I would love it if some hot lingerie, shoe or jean company would contact me too! I still want to look sexy for D, and for myself!! I haven't changed the woman inside,just because my tummy was stretched a bit. I will have to see if this continues. And if it does, I am officially starting a movement. The haute MAMA movement. Moms Are More Amazing.

So hmph.

Watch, I go check my email and have a survey for


ONE Hot Mama

Winner of Birdy Boots baby shoes!!

We have a winner!! And I used to help me choose so it was 100% fair:


Winner is #3: Andres and Caroline. I will be contacting you via email within the hour!! Congrats, and please let me know which shoes you choose!!

Thanks everyone for entering. After baby Ana arrives (tomorrow??, Monday??)..I will be hosting more contests!!

Stay well and Happy Weekend!!

XO from the big, giant pregnant lady.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A letter to my daughter as I contemplate the world she will soon discover....

My dear sweet daughter Anastasia:

You are not even here yet, but already I love you more than is humanly possible. I have carried you around in my body for the past 9/10 months and shared with you my joy, pain and some great eats, as you grew and grew into the baby that I am so lucky and blessed to meet in just a few short days, or even hours. I have complained about how you hurt my back, made my boobs grow indecently, and slowed down my daily activities, but all of these complaints pale in comparison to the joy that I feel when I am aware of your little squirming body pressing on my tummy. Feeling your toes stretch against me at night as I lay in bed reading aloud to you.

I waited for you dear sweet daughter. I made sure I was ready. I took years to run around and have silly fun, traveling and experiencing life as a single independent woman and then I met your daddy. I made sure he was a good man. The kind that will love you with more love than I can even describe. He is kind, patient and provides well. He is well-educated, loves my zaniness and crazy fashion obsessed silliness and most of all , he loves us. If something should ever happen to me, he is a good man, and will provide for you everything a child should ever need.

Now, we are ready for you.

We have a nice safe home, have made your room as pretty and comfortable as it can be and spoiled you with feminine pretty things so you will be fussed over and adored. We are ready financially, emotionally and physically to provide the care and love that two stable, older parents can give.

The world is not perfect, my love.

Mommy didn't want to bring you into a world with hate crimes, injustice, and war. But, there is too much good and too much hope not to bring you in at all.

And, hopefully by the time you are old enough to realize what is going on, the world will be better and better. All we can do is teach you how to be strong, independent and well-read. To go outside and appreciate nature. To visit farms and find out where food and animals come from. To visit musuems and theatres, travel to far off lands and discover the array of cultures out there. Mommy promises to let you eat anything you want to try (even Bacon), as long as you have an open mind. I will try not to teach you any prejudice or bias, that women can be anything they want to be (even President someday) and to support you in your pursuit of your hopes and dreams. If you want to be an artist or actor, I promise to find the best teachers and drag you around to all of the lessons like my mommy did. If you are more drawn to science or math, your daddy will help you discover the planets, and figure out which bugs are which and the difference between a cricket and a grasshopper.

I will teach you to read, enjoy all different genres of music, and teach you how to speak the basics in French, Italian and Spanish. We will shop together, share ice cream cones and cookies when we are having a bonding day, and I will help you pick out the perfect pink for your toes!!

I have no idea if you will be a redhead, a brunette or have strawberry blond hair like I did when I was little. But I promise you I will think you are the most beautiful little girl in the entire universe no matter your eye color, hair color or tone of skin. Because you were created by me and your Daddy and when I look at your face, I will see us. I will see our love. And you are my love.

I cannot wait to meet you (but please hurry up..your mommy is a mush, and I need to stop crying now).

Until your birthday my love,
I will wait...

Love Mommy...

A letter to my husband and daddy -to-be as I contemplate becoming a mother....

Dear Duncan:

It is time. We have had nine months to prepare ourselves for this day, and now it is here. Take a deep breath and relax. Everything is going to be fine. I have kept myself in good health, eaten well and Anastasia's room/stuff is ready. We have everything we need for her to come home. We have read all the books, followed the sage advice of our mother's and bought Ana all the creature comforts that a little baby girl could want for.

Here are a few things to remember when I call you or turn to you and say, "My darling, sweet husband IT IS TIME!!". First, do NOT panic. Labor will take more than a few hours, so we can take our time putting the bags in the car, neatening up the house and any last minute adjustments, (including my silly notion of baking muffins for the nurses, midwife and doctor). The birthing center is only a half an hour away, and more than likely I will go into labor in the off hours and not during rush hour. We know all the alternate routes, so if Ana decides to show up on the 31rst (during Chelsea Clinton's much publicized wedding ), we will get to the birthing center on time.

I have my birthing plan all printed out, so you will not have to explain anything to anyone about my desires and wishes for a natural birth with a tub labor and possible water birth. I have some fun things packed in my suitcase, like snacks and lavender oil,washcloths, magazines,cds, a rolling pin for my back and yummy smelling Kiehls lotions. When we get to the birthing center and get comfy in our room, I have a list of activities that you can refer to, to calm us down, keep me relaxed and comfortable and keep you busy.

First things first, you need to help me keep track of the contractions. It may help to write them down and call the birthing center, ob/gyn, or midwife, when they seem to be regular, and coming 5 minutes apart. They will let us know when to leave the house.

Then, you need to remind me to stay calm and take deep breaths. Everything will be easier if I am in a meditative state.

Once at the birthing center, things will be easier to keep track of.

Things for You to remember while I am laboring:

1. Please do not forget to call all of our parents to let them know that we are safely at the Neugarten and that you will call them when I am closer to giving birth to let them know when they can come visit.

2. To help me relax, you can apply counterpressure to my lower back with your hands, the rolling pin, and your knuckles. You can use the rolling pin under my tailbone for relief.

Also, you can take the washcloths that I packed and using hot or cold water apply it to my lower back. I packed a heating pad and that might work well.

3. Rinse a washcloth with cool water and put a dab of lavender oil from my suitcase before applying to my neck, and forehead. This will be soothing.

4. Make sure my ipad/ipod or cd player is playing one of my mixed cds with my favorite songs, including Ana's song. This might make us a bit more emotional, but will be soothing.

5. Make sure I am drinking lots of liquids: water, fruit juice, tea so I do not get dehydrated, and also make sure that I use the bathroom regularly.

6. Keep me distracted. Tell jokes, read me a funny story, take a walk with me, or watch some funny television while we wait.

7. Give me encouragement. Tell me I am getting closer to meeting our dear sweet lil Ana, and it will be worth it! I need support, and even if I am not complaining, tell me I am doing a great job!

8. Make sure you eat something. I need you to keep your energy and spirits up. Do not forget to pack snacks or drinks that you would like (and I dont mean Vodka, lol).

Active Labor

Once I am in active labor, the tone may change a bit. I will be feeling more pain, maybe moaning, rolling my back from side to side, squatting, in the tub or taking a shower. There are a few things I would like you to help me with once active labor sets in:

1. Quiet the room. Please keep the door closed, the lights as dim as they can be, put my softer music cds on and let everyone know I am listening to my Calm Birth cd to meditate and might not want to chat.

2. Help me through the contractions. If I am on a fetal monitor, you can ask the midwife or nurse how to read it. Or you can rub my abdomen offer encouragement as each contraction peaks and wanes. You can breathe with me, and massage my abdomen or lower back.

3. Please do not take what I say personally if I am cranky, or seem irritated. You are a great labor coach, and I may need some silence or comforting with my thoughts more than usual.

Transition time!!

This is it! Anastasia is almost here. We are going to meet her soon. But, this is the hardest part, so do not forget:

1. This is the hardest part for me so I will really need your encouragement. We will both be very tired, maybe even sleep deprived, and I will probably look and sound worn out. Keep talking to me, holding my hand, rubbing my head, and breathe with me. Just keep eye contact and let me know that you love me.

2. Get the cameras ready. This will be the time you want to record on video our little Ana coming into the world.

3. Keep me hydrated with ice or water. I may have dry mouth or lips at this point. I have packed some Burt's Bees for my lips as well.

Pushing and Delivery!!!! we go. I hope you are ready to be a Daddy, because she is here!!

1. Help guide my pushing and breathing...with the advice of Dr Bloch, or one of the midwives, you can help by supporting my back..holding my hand if I am in the tub.

2 . Stay close by. Do not think you are in the way no matter how many people are around me. I need you and want you as close as possible.

3. If you see the baby's head crowning, let me know...Tell me the progress of the baby , especially if noone else is.

4. And finally enjoy cutting the cord. I want you to do is a special moment and you should have the pleasure.

Phew, I am tired just typing this all up. But I think we may want it with us. Just as an easy, neurotic Zoe type guide.

Now we can celebrate her with kisses, hold her little toes in our hand, kiss her downy hair and smell her perfect baby skin. I am so proud of you and happy that you are the daddy to our daughter. You are going to be a great Dad!! I love you and cannot wait to share the joy of watching a little person grow and develop into a girl, and then a woman!!

I love you babe,



Monday, July 19, 2010

Many thanks for some fab wins, and Week 38!!

Hello readers-

  My first etsy contest got off without a hitch, but I am having trouble drawing entries, so please share and share alike!!

   On Sunday, I hit 38 weeks pregnant, I am officially at full term and little baby Ana could safely come at any time. I am spending my  free time finishing  projects for her room, and yesterday had a maternity photo shoot with Duncan and a fabulous photographer and friend, Michael Abrams of NY.

If you are looking for maternity photos, boudoir photos (those are the sexy ones!!)or headshots, he is really easy to work with and  can come up with a reasonable package. Check out his cool site for examples of his work.

   I have been lax in posting thank yous to the sponsors of the contests that I have recieved prizes from, so here are a couple more: THANKS!!!

    First , I received a box of yummy goodies from Bellybar, including drinks, bars and delicious citrus chews which I will be taking with me to the hospital to chew on during my labor. And, yes, I am allowed to eat during labor!! My birthing center even stocks fruit, yogurt and coffee for patients and birthing partners!! Thanks to Vanessa and her wonderful blog, and of course the kind ladies at Bellybar for letting me try these yummy, healthy for new mom products!! Vanessa's new blog: The Crafty Nest.

From Nerdlike  a cool blog, I won my choice of Crane humidifiers! I chose the Hello Kitty, which is adorable and pink (of course) for Anastasia's room. I had it on my baby registry anyway, so it was a very fortuitous win!!! Thanks Nerdlike and Crane!!!

Today I washed all the toile crib bedding and curtains, and cut the ribbons to hang the painted letters. Ana's room is on its way!! Photos to follow soon. Stay cool and make sure you enter my contest!!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Birdy Boots of Etsy!!! My first fabulous etsy contest and it is for adorable Baby shoes!!


I am so excited to present to you: Birdy Boots!! An adorable Etsy shop that is awarding one of my lucky readers with baby shoes in any of the available colors/patterns/size and gender on her fab Etsy shop!! In a world full of machine made shoes, and big box stores, isn't it refreshing to find artisans and crafters who are creative and take the time to make beautiful and high quality items?? Birdy Boots is more than boots...check out her shop to find: cute tees, wooden toys, and so much more!!


A little bit of info about Birdy Boots:

Birdy Boots has easy-wear clothing, shoes, toys and accessories for your little one. Made from new designer fabrics as well as upcycled fabulous fabric finds! The shop is located in Central Iowa, and they are proud members of the:  Midwest Treasury Team:.

Birdy Boots sent me the most adorable homemade pink and green shoes for Anastasia, check out the fab photos of how cute they are. I just love them, and cannot wait to put them on her little toes...will definitely take photos after she arrives, any day now!! For now, enjoy the photos without her baby feet...and ENTER to win your own pair of Birdy Shoes for yourself!!


Entry Rules:
First entry must be followed for all other entries to count!!! 1x entry each activity you do below ,(please comment each entry separately)

1. Go to Birdy Boots on Etsy:  Birdy Boots  and comment below to let me know which pair of shoes you would choose if you are the winner!! Heart her to put her in your etsy list!!!

2.  Like Birdy Boots on Facebook:  Birdy Boots on Facebook

3.  Subscribe to my blog via email (on right hand side). Must confirm through feedburner email.
4. Follow my blog via google connect. (also on right hand side)
5.  Follow me through networked blogs on facebook.
6. Follow me on twitter:  Zoe Hunter on twitter and retweet. Leave me the address of your tweet (click on timestamp and will take  you actual tweet)

So that is 6 (six ) entries that you could possibly have...sounds fab to me!!!!

Contest will end on Friday July 30rd at 11:59 pm. (I am extending this contest, as I would like to get to about 50 entries)I will be using the randomizer to pick a winner by random.  If I go into labor before then (cross fingers not). Winner will be chosen, when I get back from the hospital.

Enter today for the cutest homemade shoes..I LOOOOVE THEM!!

Have a great week, I will be back with Baby Ana updates soon!!

Stay cool,

** Full disclosure: I have not been paid in any way, shape or form to write this review and contest. These shoes were sent to me and I looove them all on my own!! **

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Thanks to some fabulous sponsors!!! May you all have a winning week!!

I am late in thanking a bunch of sponsors, but better late than never (especially when you are 9 months pregnant, and just moved an entire household into a new house). Now that I am settled in, and know where most things are, I have bunches of thank yous. I will have to add photos later, as my photoloader is still packed somewhere!!

First, A while ago I won a fabulous MacLaren Stroller from Big City Moms on Facebook. Well, it finally arrived and it is lovely. It is also the first item for Anastasia that is NOT pink,it is racing green, so it stands out amongst her pile of baby things right now. Check it out here: Maclaren Triumph The fabulous sponsors also sent a matching bag, which will be a perfect diaper bag for Duncan: Grand Tour Messenger Bag.

Little baby Ana now has 3 strollers so she should be all set for her jetsetting around NY, and wherever we travel with her. This stroller is so nice to travel with because it is lightweight and zippy!! I love that they threw in the bag as well, nice touch!! Thanks Maclaren, and thanks Big City Moms for holding the contest!!

I also recently received 2 different cds from Baby Blanket Music, the John Mayer and Simon and Garfunkel cds. They are both so much fun, and I cannot wait to play them for Ana. The first I won from The Fashionable Bambino, a cool baby blog that I read, and the second was from Sweet Dreams contest from Natural Mat, Kushies and Baby Blanket Music on facebook!! Thanks Fashionable Bambino and Natural Mat, Kushies and most of all Baby Blanket Music.

We have some company coming this afternoon, and I have an OB/GYN appointment, so I will be back later to post more thank yous!!

Stay cool in 99 degrees,

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th (a bit late) and soooooo many thank yous....

Hey all-
The weekend went by in a flash, and now that we are more settled in the new house, I have some time to relax, breathe and enjoy the new pool! Yay!

I have another doctor's appointment tomorrow to make sure everything is going well with little Ana, and see how far along she is. I hope that she comes on time, but if she is a little early, I will take that too!

I have ordered more things for her room including curtains, a cute lampshade, and some painted letters for her wall. Her room is about 50% planned and ready to go. Mom came over today to start the mural for the wall. It looks fab already, and she is just on the sketch!

I have about a zillion thank yous to shout out on here..and tomorrow I will make the list, check it twice and go through them so I do not forget everyone...for the wonderful gifties and prizes....PLUS!!!! I have my first contest coming,and it is a fabulous etsy artisan!! I cannot wait...

Stay cool, drink lots of water and follow along as I enter my last month of pregnancy :)