Tag Archives: baby

The Biggest Cheerio of All

The other day, Menininho would only eat cheerios. Off the floor. Some investigation in the pantry led him to the biggest “cheerio” of all.



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CHD Week: Cora’s Story

Today I want to talk about a little baby named Cora, and what she’s doing for babies all over the country who haven’t been born yet.

When Cora was born, she was perfect. She had a great Apgar, a mom and dad and extended family who adored her. By all indications, she was a perfectly healthy baby. But on Dec. 6th, 2009, Cora died while breastfeeding. She was only 5 days old. The coroner determined that Cora died from an undiagnosed congenital heart disease (CHD).

It was after this tragedy that I met Cora’s mother, Kristine, on Twitter and I’m proud to count her a friend. I’m in awe of Kristine. She has channeled her pain into creating the organization Cora’s Story. Cora’s Story lobbies for pulse oximetry tests to become standard for every child. They are a quick, inexpensive test that checks a baby’s oxygen levels, which can detect a CHD. Even if the pulse ox is not standard in your state, you can (and should) still ask for the test to be performed on your child between 24-48 hours after birth. I had never even heard of this test before talking with Kristine.

Why am I telling Cora’s story to all of you now? This week is Congenital Heart Disease Week. Did you know that CHD is the #1 killer of babies? Here are some other CHD facts you might not know:
– Between 1 in 70 and 1 in 100 babies are born with a CHD of some kind.
– This makes it the more prevalent birth defect.
– Many CHDs can NOT be detected on the 20 wk ultrasound.
– There are over 30 kinds of CHDs (also called congenital heart defects) known, though not all of them can be detected with any of the various types of equipment currently available.

So, what are some things that you can do to help?
– Tell everyone expecting mom you know to request a pulse ox test for her newborn!
– Blog about CHD Week and link up your blog post on Kristine’s website.
– Add a CHD awareness button to your blog.
– Check out Baby Dickey’s website for a list of other ideas (and a giveaway).
– Become a fan of Cora’s Story on Facebook.
– Send a free e-card from Punchbowl! For every card sent during the month of Feb., they’ll donate to the Children’s Heart Foundation.

The more awareness we raise, the more babies we can save!


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Lessons Lived, Lessons Learned

Today I’m again writing with MamaKat’s Writers’ Workshop. I picked prompt #5: List 10 things you never knew until you were a mom.

1) Blueberry stains come out. Beet stains…not so much.
2) Don’t ever take for granted the power of a hot, quiet shower. Those are rare gifts.
3) Twitter is absolutely amazing. I might have mocked it before Menininho, but the women I’ve “met” over there since his birth have been lifesavers!
4) I actually enjoy being a SAHM. I thought I’d go crazy after 6 months of being at home, but my kid is pretty fun to hang out with (most of the time!).
5) That said, I’ve learned it’s vital to me that I’m not just “Mommy.” I’m happiest when I have some time to write and put my Masters of Public Health to use & in doing that, remind myself that I’m also “Maya.”
6) You know when you’re asking yourself “Hmm…wonder if he’ll hold out long enough for me to run more errand before melting down?” If you have to ask, you know the answer is “no.”
7) If you ignore the above voice in your head, you WILL become That Mom with That Kid and Those People will hate you.
8 ) Sandra Boynton is God’s gift to parents. Reciting Moo Baa La La La will keep a child from crying during shots and buy you enough peace to get a haircut.
9) Dignity is overrated. A happy baby is much more important than what some stranger might think (say, the hairdresser cutting your hair while you repeat the words to Moo Baa La La La over and over).
10) There’s nothing sweeter than watching my husband wrestle with my son.

Moms (or dads), what things have you learned since becoming a parent?


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One Year

I can’t believe my little baby is one year old! It’s been a full year for our family and the very best part has been having our little Menininho with us. I am thankful every day for the opportunity to be a mother and I’m glad he picked us to come and grow up with.

Happy birthday, Baby. We look forward to celebrating many, many more with you.


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Ode to Babywearing

The time has come. Menininho has finally hit 20 lbs. Because of my heart and back problems, my doctors told me before I became pregnant that once my future baby hit 20 lbs I’d no longer be allowed to carry him. This doesn’t mean I can’t do the day to day lifting into the crib, putting him into the car, etc., but I should let Mark do those things when possible and I can not wear Menininho anymore. I’m already missing it, and I hope someday to be able to wear another baby. I feel very grateful that I was able to carry my son for so long!


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Today I’m writing on prompt #2 for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop: If you could have given yourself a snapshot 5 years ago of what your life is like now, what would the picture be of and how do you think you would have felt about it?

I thought about this for a while and finally chose this picture, which I took a couple of nights ago. Menininho is going to town on some beef and beans, totally grossing out my mom and Mark, and cracking me up.

Five years ago I wasn’t sure I’d ever have a biological baby. I desperately wanted to experience pregnancy (you know, some day after I was married and all that; not as a sophomore at college) and it was just too early to tell if that would be able to happen for me. I worried about it a lot, increasingly so as the years went by…right up until I was able to hold Menininho for the first time, when he was REAL.

So, it would have alleviated a lot of anxiety to be able to see this snapshot and know that things would turn out ok, that I’d have a spunky, independent little boy with a stubborn streak as long as I am tall.

Menininho’s learning so much now it blows my mind. His new thing is “reading” books. He’ll sit in the book corner we’ve constructed for him (Mark installed a small bookshelf next to the kitchen table, full of board books) and just open and close books forever. Today he came when my mother called him, and tonight he tried to crawl out the door after Mark and I when we left to see a movie. Then he cried when he realized he wasn’t coming with us. He also knows what will get him into trouble. For instance, he’ll sneak over to grab the TV remote and then try to crawl away fast as soon as he’s caught. I can’t believe how quickly my little baby is growing up, and I can’t wait to see what happens five years from now!


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The Zoo


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