What do you want out of a relationship?

What is a relationship?
A state of connectedness between people that promotes personal growth and development that is nurtured by mutual trust, understanding, and love.

How many relationships have you had?
That depends on what kind of relationship you are referring to. Do you mean like a romantic committed relationship or a relationship between close friends? I guess that doesn't really matter but it might be easier to count the number of committed relationships a person has had than the number of good friends they've had. I suppose I could try.
3+ committed romantic relationships.
37+ true friendship type relationships that I can remember throughout my life.

How many of those relationships could have been better?
Most of them.

What does a person want out of a relationship?
I'm sure each person wants different things but here is a partial list:
  • feel confident

  • feel loved

  • have passion

  • be cared for

  • be respected

  • be thought about

  • comfortable enough to publicly display emotion

  • humor

  • laughter

  • spiritualy and a sense of community

  • shared dreams

Relationships aren't easy but I've learned that living authentically is the best way to go about improving your social wellness.

Be well.

Deliver My Roses

What do you do when someone asks you to deliver some roses?

Rare Hero says deliver the roses. This happened to me Thursday night as I was walking around the mall with my brother. This girl comes up to us holding a bouquet of roses. She enthusiastically asks us for a favor. "Sure, I've got ten minutes," I say.

She goes on to explain how I must deliver the roses she is holding to another person working in the mall. I agree.

After I'm briefed about the who and the where I venture off to find this young woman named Gaby. I find her and cleverly deliver the roses. I offer no explanation since I didn't really know anything.


Right After Delivery

Although you'll want to see your newborn baby right away, the doctor needs to do a few things first. As soon as your baby is born, medical staff remove mucus from baby's nose and mouth. Newborns often cry for a few seconds after they're born. The doctor holds the baby and clamps the umbilical cord then cuts the cord.

Then baby will probably be put on your chest or in your arms so you can be close. If you're too tired to hold baby, baby will be placed on a warm table nearby.

The doctor or nurse will dry baby with warm, soft towels. The doctor will look for healthy breathing and good color and listen to baby's heartbeat.

Checking your baby

One minute after birth, baby will be given a special Apgar test. The score tells if baby's breathing, skin color, pulse, and muscle tone are okay. It helps the doctors know if they should watch baby more closely for a while. After five minutes, the doctor gives baby a second Apgar test.

Matching ID bands or bracelets go on your wrist and baby's wrist or ankle. They show your name, your patient number, baby's sex, and the date and time of birth. Many hospitals also take baby's fingerprints and footprints.

Next your baby will be weighed and measured. Then the doctor will give baby another quick exam. In the first hour or two after birth, newborns have drops or cream put in their eyes to protect them from infection. Babies also get a vitamin K shot to prevent bleeding, along with a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B.

Time with your newborn

You and your partner will probably be able to hug and cuddle your baby right after birth. If breastfeeding, mothers should nurse their babies right away. The first milk you have is called colostrum and is very good for baby.

While you're busy with baby, the doctor will stitch the cut if you had and epistiomy. An epistiomy is a small cut that is sometimes made in the opening of the birth canal when the baby is coming out.

After the delivery room

During the next 6 to 12 hours, the nurses will continue to watch your baby closely. They'll write down the times when baby first urinates and has a bowel movement. They will also press on your belly to feel your uterus. This might hurt, but they want to make sure your uterus is getting back to normal.

In most hospitals, baby stays in the same room with the mother. Some hospitals keep baby in the nursery with all the other newborns. Sometimes baby stays with the mother during the day and sleeps in the nursery at night. If you'd like your baby to sleep in your room, tell the nurse. If parents want their baby boy to be circumcised this can be done in the hospital before going home.

Many hospitals offer classes that teach you how to take care of your new baby. Ask about these classes. They are important, because soon you will begin life together as a new family. You'll want to know how to take good care of your baby.


Eat Breakfast Like a Champ

Here are some recipe suggestions for you and your family, especially your kids.

Fruity oatmeal
    Good news, moms! Instant oatmeal counts as a whole grain! It is high in cancer fight antioxidants and also lowers the risk of heart disease. Make this in a jiffy:
  • Mix 1/4 cup one minute oats or one packet instant oatmeal with bananas, raisins, or coconut flakes. Let your preschooler choose fruits so she feels like she has control over her breakfast.

Protein Rich Burritos
    Lots of fiber combined with lots of protein is filling an can provide energy for hours. "When my son started preschool, he was hungry before lunch, so I pumped up the protein," says on San Francisco mom. Try making a burrito with a whole-wheat tortilla with at least 5 grams in fiber, low fat cheese, and a sausage link. If meat or pork are not things you like to eat, try a soy or turkey sausage link.

Yogurt Dippers
    "Kids who love carrots and dip might like to dip apples or strawberries into yogurt," says Rose Dunnington, author of Big Snacks, Little Meals. Cut fruit into small chunks and have your child dip them into some plain yogurt. Serve with a side of protein, like an egg or slices of (turkey) bacon.

Ants on a log
    Spread almond, cashew butter, or peanute butter on a banana sliced in half lengthwise, and top with raisins or dried cranberries. Serve with a 4-ounce yogurt.

Rainbow pancakes
    "Since both my kids go wild for pancakes, I've started blending fruits and vegetables into the batter to make different colors," says one Berkely mom. Try carrots, mangoes, or berries. Follow pancake instructions, substituting pureed fruit or veggies for water and milk. Mix one tablespoon water with batter until you reach the desired consistency. If using carrots, peel and slice about 2/3 cup, then steam or boil for about 20 minutes. Serve with some sausage.

Jazzed up pizza
    There are endless spin offs of traditional pizza (I like to put marinara or tomato sauce on a sliced english muffin, topping it with low fat cheese, olive oil, and oregano, toasting it in an oven and enjoying).
    Spread two tablespoons fruit jam or nut butter on a small whole-wheat pita (leaving a crust at the edges), and top with sliced bananas or strawberries. Or use a base of half a whole grain English muffin, and add cream cheese and almond slices. Another idea: top a pancake with scrambled eggs and slices of chicken sausage.

Framed Eggs
    "My husband uses cookie cutters to cut shapes in bread and then fills the holes with egg," sasy a New York City mom. "He calls it, hen in the woods, a gingerbread man, or dinosaur. My son loves it." This takes only a few minutes to make. Cut a shape from a slice of toasted wheat bread. Coat a nonstick ovenproof pan with oil spray and bring to medium high heat. Place the toast in the skillet, fill the hole with a beaten egg, and reduce the heat to low. Place the skillet under the broiler for about three minutes, until the egg is completely set.


Four Ways to Make Breakfast Fun

  • Hold it. Kids love foods they can grip, such as cut fruit and nuts. If you're serving up something bigger, like toast or pancakes, cut it into strips.

  • Guess it "My son loves closing his eyes and guessing what kind of fruit I put in his mouth or what flavor the yogurt is," says one Arizona mom.

  • Color it Vividly colored fruits and vegetables add nutrition in a snap and are attractive to young kids. In addition to the usual berries, try mangoes, papaya, or kiwi - the choices are endless so use your imagination!

  • Move it On a busy morning, put a smoothie or a drinkable yogurt in a sippy cup and take it with you

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    Safe at Home & Work

    Being safe at work and home during pregnancy is important
    Tell your doctor what kind of work you do and talk about when you should stop working. Many women stay on the job until their baby is born. You may have to make a few changes at work. Here are some things to think about:


    When you sit for a long time, your muscles get stiff. Your back may hurt. The veins in your legs may swell. Move your head, feet, and shoulders once in a while if you sit a lot. Each hour, take a short walk, or stand up and shake your arms and legs.


    Standing in place for too long can make your legs and back hurt. If you have to stand much, wear shoes with low heels. Also wear support panty hose. Try to put one foot up on a box or stool from time to time. Take breaks often.


    If you lift heavy loads at work, ask your doctor if it's still safe. If lifting makes you feel dizzy or sick to your stomach, stop doing it. When you pick something up, don't bend over from the waist. Bend your knees and squat down. Keep your back straight. As your belly gets bigger, your balance changes. Be careful not to fall.


    Some illnesses can harm your baby. If you work in a doctor's office or at a hospital, try not to get close to other people who are sick. Wash your hands often. One infection, toxoplasmosis, can be spread by changing cat litter. Try to get someone else to do it, or wear rubber gloves.


    Avoid x-rays. If you have an accident, be sure to tell the doctor that you're pregnant before the x-ray is performed. You may have to wear a special apron. Let your dentist know about your pregnancy. The dentist may be able to put off taking x-rays until your baby is born.


    You shouldn't work with lead when you're pregnant. It can harm your baby's brain. To be sure you're safe, find out if you work with any products that contain lead. And try to avoid renovating a home or stripping old furniture, which can increase the risk of lead exposure.


    Chemicals can be dangerous for your baby while you're pregnant. You should make sure to stay away from

    • spot removers, cleaning fluid, and some cleaning products

    • turpentine and paint thinner

    • insect sprays

    • strong glues

    • paints, particularly oil based or latex


    Pregnancy: Your Changing Body

    Your pregnancy has three parts and each one lasts about three months. The parts are called trimesters. During each trimester you'll notice many changes in your body. Some changes aren't very comfortable, and some days you may not feel well.

    But pregnancy is a very exciting time. You'll see your belly get bigger and feel your baby move inside you. So when you're not feeling too well, think about your goal-having a healthy baby.

    Here's what will happen during each trimester:

    The First Trimester Months 1,2,3

    At the very beginning of your pregnancy, you'll be more tired and may feel sore. Your uterus, or womb, will get bigger as the baby grows inside it. Your uterus will push against your bladder. This means you'll have to urinate more often.

    You may feel sick to your stomach sometimes. Usually this happens in the morning, thus morning sickness. But it can happen at any time of day. If you feel sick when you wake up, eat crackers or dry toast before you get out of bed. Then get up slowly.

    Eat small meals during the day and eat often. Keep crackers handy, and try sniffing a slice of lemon. Drink lots of water. You may vomit. If you can't keep anything down for more than 24 hours, call your doctor.

    If you become constipated, exercise may help. Try eating high-fiber foods like bran cereal and raw fruits and vegetables. Drinking extra water may also help.

    You may feel dizzy when you stand up quickly. If this happens, breathe deeply. Also be careful not to move suddenly. If you feel dizzy often, tell your doctor.

    It is important to see a dentist during your pregnancy. Your gums may get red and bleed. A softer toothbrush may help. Brush your teeth and floss each day.

    If you get headaches, try taking a nap or getting fresh air. Ask your doctor before you take any medicine.

    When you're pregnant, your mood may change often. You might be very excited about having a baby and then be scared about it. You might worry that having a baby will hurt or that the baby won't be healthy. This is normal. If you are very worried about having a baby, talk to your doctor.

    You will start to gain weight even though you don't look pregnant yet. Aim to gain about four to six pounds in the first trimester. If you are hungry between meals, choose healthy low fat snacks such as fresh fruit and vegetables. These will fill you up and they're good for your body.

    Exercise can help many of pregnancy's discomforts. It's good for you and your baby. Walking or gentle dancing are two fun, easy ways to get a good workout. Start slowly, and take a break if you get tired.

    Every pregnancy is different. Your friends may tell you about things that bothered them that aren't bothering you. You may not have many of these discomforts. Enjoy this special time and the changes that are happening to your body.

    The Second Trimester Months 4, 5, 6

    The second trimester is also an exciting time. You and others will notice your growing belly. You'll begin to feel your baby moving inside you. Morning sickness usually goes away about now, and you won't feel as tired.

    Your nipples will become larger. A thick, yellow fluid called colostrum may leak from them. Colostrum feeds you baby the first few days after birth, before your milk comes in. Wear a comfortable maternity bra during this time. If your breasts hurt, you may even want to sleep in it. You can put nursing pads inside your bra to catch leaks.

    If you back starts to hurt, wear low, comfortable shoes with good arch support. Be very careful when bending. Always make sure to bend at your knees, not at your waist. Try to sleep on a firm mattress. Later in this trimester, it might be hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. You may not lie down on your stomach. You should not lie down on your back. The best position is on your side. Put an extra pillow between your legs and another under your belly.

    You might start having leg cramps. Stretching your legs before going to bed may help. And don't point your toes when stretching or exercising. If cramps wake you up at night, try long massage strokes down your leg toward your heel.

    After you eat a meal, you may get heartburn. This is an uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest. To prevent it, eat small meals instead of big ones, and drink lots of water between meals. If you still get heartburn, try sleeping with your back propped up. If necessary, ask your doctor if it's okay to take an antacid-and if so, which one. (Some could be unsafe).

    If you haven't yet seen the dentist during your pregnancy, make an appointment now. Make sure to tell the dentist you are pregnant. Ask your doctor if it is okay to have x-rays.

    The Third Trimester Months 7, 8, 9

    In the last three months, your belly will grow very large. You'll feel like you really want to give birth. The veins in your legs and vagina may swell. Try not to stand in one place too long. Sit down and put your feet up often. Exercise at least a few minutes each day to keep your blood moving. Go for walks as often as you can. You'll feel even more pressure on your bladder now, and you'll have to urinate more often. However, it is important to drink lots of fluids anyway.

    Sometimes urine might leak out when you sneeze or cough. There is an exercise you can do to help stop the leaking. It's called a Kegel exercise. Here's what to do: Squeeze the muscles around your vagina the way you would to stop the flow of urine. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax the muscles. Repeat 10 to 20 times in a row. Do this at least three times a day.

    There's also more pressure on your back now. You can help by putting a pillow behind your back when you sit down.

    Your baby is getting so big that he may be pressing against your lungs. You might begin to breathe faster when you walk or climb stairs. Try moving more slowly, and take breaks often.

    You need more sleep now - about ten hours a night. Waking up to walk to the bathroom can make it difficult to get enough sleep. Also, it will be hard to get comfortable in bed. Try sleeping in a reclining chair if you have one. If you can, take a nap during the day.

    During the last trimester, you may start to get more leg cramps - and they may hurt more than before. You may also feel cramps in your uterus. When you feel those cramps in the uterus, you may think that your labor is starting. It may not be. You may just be having Braxton Hicks contractions.

    Braxton Hicks contractions aren't the same as labor contractions. They happen only once in a while and last around 30 - 60 seconds. They go away when you move around. They help your body get ready for childbirth.

    The labor contractions that you feel when your baby is ready to be born are different. They last longer and happen closer together. They won't go away no matter what you do. You'll read more about true labor contraction on other pages in this magazine.

    Close to your delivery date, you may feel tired, uncomfortable, and even grumpy. You may have some trouble moving around because your belly is so big. Don't give up-soon you'll have a brand-new baby!