30 October 2006

Boy or Girl?

Is the little “peanut” that’s growing in my belly destined for hues of blue or sassy shades of pink? This, my friends, is the question.

And, if things go according to plan, Chris and I won’t have to wait the normal 20-plus weeks to hear the answer! A new company in Dallas, IntelliGender, is working to create an at-home gender detection kit that can be taken during the first trimester and tomorrow I’m going to be a guinea pig — a very excited guinea pig.

I’m the worst when it comes to waiting, so in anticipation of the big news, I’ve been consulting the Chinese calendar, evaluating my cravings and sleep patterns, as well as peanut’s heartbeat to see if I can come up with a “best guess” as to whether the name Madison or Cooper will soon adorn a nursery wall.

Here are my stats:
  • Sleep: constantly exhausted, always prefer to sleep curled up on my right side
  • Cravings: potatoes, potatoes, potatoes, oh and dill pickles (I know, how cliché)
  • Chinese Calendar: predicts a boy
  • Heartbeat: as of two weeks ago peanut’s heartbeat was 156

What do you think baby will be? E-mail me your thoughts at senior.editor@dallaschild.com.

much love~

Tiny Dancers

As I mentioned September, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is on its way to North Texas. But, before the curtain rises Nov 10, the ensemble had to find two young, local dancers to play the part of Clara in The Nutcracker segment of the show.

Julia Nicholson, 10, of Coppell (pictured left) and Brittney Dito, 12, of Lewisville (right) dazzled judges Oct 1 with their grace and precision and won the coveted roles.

Both girls take lessons from the Ballet Academy of Texas and are already seasoned performers. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the famed Rockettes, opens at the Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie Nov 10 and runs through Dec 3 for a total of 40 shows! For more information and tickets, visit the Dallas Summer Musicals website.


To all our "fans"...

Thank you to all who came to see us Saturday at NorthPark Center for our NewArrivals BabyFair and Cover Search! We all had such a great time meeting you and your little bundles of joy. There were so many cute babies, that our Art Director, Laura, and I will definitely have a difficult decision ahead of us when it comes time to pick which one will grace the cover of our Spring/Summer 2007 issue of babyDallas.

Thanks again for such a great Saturday!


26 October 2006

The Clock's Ticking...

Remember to vote for DallasChild and FortWorthChild’s Best for Families awards that will be announced in the Decmber issues of the magazines! Votes will be compiled on November 1, so that means Halloween is your last day to make your vote count!

Vote now! Go to www.dallaschild.com for DallasChild, or www.fortworthchild.com for FortWorthChild.

A Cautionary Halloween Tale....

Our friends at the Fort Worth Public Health Department are wonderful with advice about the West Nile virus, flu vaccines, and the occasional E.coli outbreak info, but yesterday they released a list of tips for Halloween safety, and I thought I’d pass them along. These tips are what you’ll likely be seeing on the news in the coming days, but, as always, better safe than sorry!

Things to remember for your trick-or-treaters:

Wear fitted costumes and shoes (to avoid falls)
Only carry flexible costume props (no hard plastic swords, etc)
Make sure masks fit well (for visibility purposes)
Use reflective material (so ghosts remain visible after dark)
Use the buddy system (and/or a chaperone)
Cross the street safely
Check treats for evidence of tampering
Always carry a flashlight in the group

Just a few good things to keep in mind for trick-or-treaters of all ages.

Have fun out there!


25 October 2006

If You Snooze...

Visit us this Saturday at NorthPark Center in front of Macy’s for our babyDallas Baby Fair and Cover Search. We’re looking for precious babies to don the cover of our Spring/Summer 2007 issue, and we want to see you and your newborn – 12 mo. old baby there! This year, we’ve changed things up, so come see what it’s all about. Also, we have our New Arrivals Baby Fair, sponsored by Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, going on for those expecting and new families to enjoy and grab some information along the way. We’ll be there from 10a – 4p, so come see us!


20 October 2006


If you’ve read our October issue (out on stands now) then you know my amazing, incredible news, but if you haven’t had the chance to peek inside our pages yet, then here it is, I can’t keep it a secret from our blog readers any longer: I’M PREGNANT!

I went in for my sonogram this morning, to check on the cyst situation (read last entry “Mustard Seeds” for backstory) and it appears I have not one, but four little “friends.” BUT … it seems they’re shrinking (which is why I was having such incredible cramping yesterday). So scary pain = great news … YAY! Now, back to the fun stuff.

On the morning of September 18, when I was scheduled to go in for blood work to see if I had ovulated on my first cycle of Clomid, I took a pregnancy test (just to see …) and lo and behold that little stick actually gave me a positive sign! After taking those things for nearly three years I was convinced I would never see one work in my life, unless of course it was someone else’s. I called the doc’s office to see if we could add a pregnancy test to the lab work – I wanted to make VERY CERTAIN that I was, in fact, preggars before spilling the beans to my hubby.

That night, with positive results in hand, I let our little yorkie, Max, break the news to Chris. I affixed a new tag to his collar, which I had inscribed with the words “You’re Going to be a Daddy” and outfitted the little furball in a t-shirt that read “Big Bro” across the back. When Chris came in and saw Max all decked out he nearly fainted. “No way! You’re kidding! Nu uh! What? Seriously?” were his words, all the while grinning from ear to ear. It was an awesome moment we’ll never forget.

Now, over two months into pregnancy, all is going great (except for those “friends” of mine, but as long as they don’t bother peanut, then I’m not going to let them bother me). I’m exhausted all of the time and have developed strong aversions to certain foods (don’t even mention seafood to me right now!), but other than that … I’m just truckin’ along.

Just seven more months to go. =) I can’t wait to meet this little peanut of mine …

much love~

19 October 2006

Mustard Seeds

September of last year I had a cyst removed from my right ovary – it was a painful recovery as my doc opted to forgo the laser and went with the traditional incision instead. “Better chance of saving your ovary,” she’d said, which, since I’d been battling infertility, sounded like the best course of action to me. Two egg-producing o’s had to be better than one, right?

Two weeks ago I went in for a sonogram to see how everything was looking. The technician kept measuring and remeasuring one large spot and since everything on a sono looks the same to me, I assumed it was my uterus. It wasn’t. It was a cyst.

I have another “friend.”

I panicked of course (hello, thought we were done with this!) and the doctor reassured me that everything would be OK. Now, however, I’m having pain — intense, excruciating, leg-numbing pain. I called the doc. She said the cyst was probably trying to rupture, but it was nothing to worry about (apparently only patients get freaked out by words like “rupture,” lol). I’m having another sono in the morning to see what’s going on in there.

But here’s the real point of my ramblings, an e-mail I just received from my mom: “I hope you are not hurting as much now — I’ve been praying for you all night. God said all it takes is a mustard seed of faith. Well, if that is true then you may have about a billion children!!! =) You are going to be the most awesome/eclectic mommy there has ever been — stay true to yourself! Be safe in God's Amazing Grace.

How can I worry when my mom is planting so many mustard seeds on my behalf? And how can I be anxious when there are so many wonderful strangers — readers — who have been following my journey and sending me their hope, faith and encouragement?

Tonight I’m planting my own mustard seeds of faith — for my mom — for you — for all of us. May these seeds bloom and grow into the beautiful miracles they are destined to be.

much love~

16 October 2006


Last Friday, my favorite rockstar/activist, Bono, was on Oprah. He wasn’t there touting a new album, or tour, but instead introducing us Americans to his a new idea: PRODUCT(RED).

Already up and running in the UK and as of Friday, the US, companies such as Emporio Armani, Motorola, Apple, and Gap are teaming up with PRODUCT(RED) to produce “red” products (for those who don’t like the color red, not to worry, not everything is red). Why red? Red is the color associated with fighting AIDS, which is what this venture aims to do. According to Bono, it takes very little money to provide Antiretroviral (ARV) Drugs to those women and children in Africa afflicted with the disease. Bono, together with Bobby Shriver, co-founded PRODUCT(RED), in an effort to make contributing as easy as buying a t-shirt.

Why should we, living in Dallas, get involved? We have to set an example for our kids to teach them compassion, selflessness and to care for others, even if you don’t know them or aren’t affected directly by them. It doesn’t take much money, or time for that matter, just a want to help change the world just a little to make it a better place for your kids to live in.

To learn more, and see all the PRODUCT(RED) things available, check out www.joinred.com.


12 October 2006

Hey Columbus- The World Is Flat

I’ve recently had a book recommended to me by several people, through my work at DallasChild. I sensed there was a hype surrounding it, and that usually is enough to attract me. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman seems to be related to much of what I’m working on lately, so I also felt I should do my homework. So here’s an informal book review, keeping in mind that I’ve only read a chapter and a half. But, no worries, I’m hooked.

TWIF is about globalization, which Friedman says essentially comes down to the instant, reliable worldwide communication that we now depend on. By saying that the world is flat, he is saying that the global playing field has been leveled. (Not in the process of being leveled, but that this is how it is NOW.) Economically, politically and socially, we all have basically the same access to goods, services and most importantly information, thanks to the Internet, and it’s changing how companies and countries do business and politics.

How does this relate to my work? Well it affects they way our children will (should) be educated. After all, they’re future economists, politicians, and CEOs, right? The authors of The Mislabeled Child, Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide, with whom I am working for a story on gifted children, agree with Friedman. With barriers to communication down and access to information for all, it takes more than knowledge of facts to be successful. (Think: a class can all get perfect TAKS or SAT scores, but what will make each student stand out to college admissions? Future employers?)

It’s more important than ever to teach creativity and innovation instead of mere facts and rote memorization. This is a hard balance to strike when there are standardized tests involved. But rather than see it as a negative, I see it as more of a challenge to think and teach differently.

The book is an eye-opener, and it’s surprising how relevant it is—to anyone with kids and/or a career (everyone). Friedman writes about the present, but makes you look to the future. And it only took 40 pages to do it for me.


11 October 2006

Look Out...Here They Come!!!

This week we had our cover shoots for the November issues of DallasChild and FortWorthChild, and let me brag a little by saying these covers are going to be fabulous! These great snapshots submitted by their moms, caught our eyes and led us to choose them to grace our November covers. Ashton, our Dallas cover-boy performed like a pro, even though he was a little under-the-weather. You’ll see his personality (and precious attitude) radiate on the cover. Mason, our Fort Worth cover kid, was all smiles all the time, and one of the happiest (and friendliest) two-year-old boys I’ve ever encountered. His smile will light up your day, and did for all of us at the shoot. Both boys were so adorable, that Laura (our art director) and I wanted to take them home with us. Thanks to Ashton and his mom, Cheryl, and Mason and his family for being so easy and wonderful to work with! Also, a big thank you to Jennifer Weintraub, our fabulous photographer who did it again!


06 October 2006

A Date with Tootsies

Every mom deserves a little glamour in her life. That’s exactly what I got yesterday. Tootsies (a store that I admit I’ve never entered) contacted me recently saying they would like to provide clothing for any upcoming photo shoots. As luck would have it, I had a photo shoot scheduled with Sugar Photography for my editor’s note/holiday pics. So, I made an appointment to meet with Amy Bertrand, the dress consultant.

I was a tad nervous as I stepped into the famed bastion of Dallas fashion. Immediately, I spied a bar (a BAR?) and quickly ascertained that it must be for the wonderfully generous husbands who accompany their wives into this carefully edited boutique (that and it comes in handy for those trunk shows/parties they host – take the one with Nicole Miller scheduled this Thursday). The service was warm and gracious and I was quickly whisked upstairs to meet Amy, who is adorable (young and clearly NOT a mom). I’m quite sure she was looking at me thinking … let’s get some Spanx on that girl. Instead, she sends me to the fitting room with dresses one size too small (which I secretly hope I can fit into but end up needing to cop to my “real” size). Let me just say this: She is an expert. Everything she selected I absolutely loved and fit me perfectly (read: hid my flaws, accentuated what’s left of my assets). They are not styles/colors I would have chosen on my own, but that’s the point. You let the experts do the work at Tootsies (or, I’m sure any fine retailer).

I ended up with several dresses for the photo shoot (including the knockout Nicole Miller number pictured above). Tootsies also has a great selection of contemporary and casual clothes, not to mention a killer shoe department. I’m pretty sure I’m going to buy one of them (as long as my husband isn't reading this). Because, here’s the thing I’ve learned: Treat yourself to that one special dress. Wear it to every holiday party on your agenda - instead of alternating between a few different so-so frocks - and change out the accessories. There is no better feeling than reclaiming your (pre-baby) sex appeal and setting tongues a wag with whispers like “I can’t believe she looks like that and she’s had three kids.”

Thank you to Amy for reminding me of that.

Happy weekend (go Longhorns!). --shelley

04 October 2006

Yes, Lauren, There Is A Santa Claus

But, before the presents and winter wonderlands, we have Halloween, and probably my favorite holiday.

What could be more fun as a child than dressing up as a fairy princess and gorging on candy? OK, I did this last year, plus Halloween-themed cocktails. I love it all, from sheet-covered ghosts to cheesy rubber bats hanging from ceilings. I even feel a tinge of sadness when I see pumpkins massacred in the streets by carousing teenagers. That was someone’s Jack-o-lantern!

The irony is, I don’t really like to be scared. For me, I can enjoy the fall season without the horror and gore. But, for those who appreciate being terrified, there is Hangman’s House of Horrors in Fort Worth. In its 18th scary season, Hangman’s prides itself on supporting local charities. Since it’s inception, it has donated $1.3 million. How scary could that be?

This year, the House of Horrors has three sideshows, which include scary clowns (is there any other kind?) a fun house and something called “Hillbillies Revenge.” But, keeping in mind that this fear is all for good causes, including the American Cancer Society and SafeHaven of Tarrant County, it could be a frighteningly good time. As for me, I’ll be watching for Hangman’s later this month on the Discovery Channel’s Top Haunted Attractions in America. At home. With all the lights on.

Also, congrats to Tania Foster and the Dallas Is Love organization for pulling off an incredible fundraiser yesterday at Potbelly’s in Garland. I met former Dallas Cowboy Tony Hill and NBA star Ira Terrell, as well as the wonderfully warm Foster family. I hope the event was a great success, and keep up the good work!


03 October 2006

'Tis the Season...Already

Christmas is my favorite holiday by far, and one of the things that jumpstarts my festive mood most is opening up Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book for the first time. This morning, I got an upclose (and personal) look as Neiman Marcus unveiled it’s newest (and might I add one of the best) Christmas Books in its history. Walking around at the press preview, I was amazed not only at the companies who thought up these products (e.g., Pencil Skyscraper by the Art Guys), but even more amazed that Neimans located these fantastical concoctions. On the list of “fantasy” gifts to die for, are the Limited-Edition Pet Homes, GG Quad Four-Wheeler, the Backyard Water Park, and of course possibly the most coveted M6 BMW convertible, amongst many others. There’s always something for everyone in The Christmas Book, big, tall, short and small. They don’t call these the “fantasy gifts” for nothing!

Check out what made The Christmas Book this year online.

Cheers –

A Positive Sign

One of us is preggers! Check out the back page essay of the October issue to find out who ...