Wednesday, December 23, 2015

22 Weeks

This pregnancy seems to be going at rapid speed as i deal with more pressing issues. My adorable and precocious toddler Lyla has learned to walk and is now climbing, running, falling and zipping all over the place. Over the last few days she has also started teething and its a nightmare. I am pretty sure she is getting her 1-year molars and is absolutely miserable.

On the plus side, Matt and I did get away for our first weekend without the baby (and without any family obligations) since she was born.'s been even longer than that. I think the last time we got away just the two of us with no family members, no weddings, no holidays was when we went to Italy about two-ish years ago.

We went to Asheville, NC which is like a little hippy town in the mountains that is only about 4-hours away from Charleston. We ate, Matt drank, and we were merry. It was good to get away. We should do it more often but with the impending birth of our second child the opportunity seems to be slipping away from us. We don't expect another chance like that for the next two years.

Back to pregnancy news...I am getting bigger by the minute, my sciatica is also getting worse and baby boy is an active kicker. I haven't been able to get to the gym as much as I want to, nor as much as I did during my first pregnancy. I feel incredible out of shape, short of breath and exhausted. I just feel like I never gave my body enough of a break in between and that's probably the reality of it. I could only start bringing Lyla to the gym with me when she turned six months old and then I got pregnant again when she was about eight months old. I know I will get back into it when the boy is born but it just seems so far away.

Which brings me to my nerves. I am absolutely shake-in-my-boot terrified about having another baby with Lyla being so wild right now. I remember all the challenges we faced during Lyla's first year and I can't imagine how desperately helpless we are going to feel when there are two that demand my mind, body and attention. I am not excited to be breastfeeding again, which I'm sure makes me a bad mom but dear god it was so nice when Lyla started to take a bottle!

I want to do my best for both of these kids and I don't know how to do that. I am so in love with my daughter that I worry that her brother will just seem like an awful inconvenience for his first few months. These feelings will go away when I see him and get to know him, I hope. I didn't immediately fall in love with Lyla as a newborn either. I don't think I'm the biggest fan of the newborn phase. They're pretty useless. But now, even as Lyla enters into toddler-hood guns-blazing I am obsessed with her. Hopefully that happens with my second-born (everyone says it does).

I'll leave you with this bump photo:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

18 Weeks / 19 Weeks

Here I am...again. 18 weeks pregnant and just starting to document my pregnancy.

*** I am now 19 weeks because of Thanksgiving I never actually wrote this post so here I go again.

This pregnancy has not been a picnic. The first three months were spent being nauseous, tired and generally bedridden. Since about 14 weeks I have been functional, but now I am already experiencing back pain, sciatica and some serious round ligament pain. Not fun.

The great thing is I am almost half way through already and baby boy is growing right on track. We go in for our anatomy scan mid-December and I can't wait to see our little man!

18 Weeks

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Surprise!! #2 is on the way!

We're Expecting A Baby Boy

yes, that's correct, I am pregnant again and we are due with a bouncing baby boy on April 26th. I haven't written here in a long while and there is a good reason why. My first trimester with this pregnancy has been HELL. I got nauseous about five seconds after I found out I was pregnant and have felt terrible ever since. In between being nauseous, exhausted and emotional I also managed to get two colds and a viral stomach bug. I've lost 7 pounds and am pretty rough around the edges these days. For all those people who say being pregnant with a boy make you look and feel better are LIARS.

Over the past 10 weeks I have had more help with Lyla than ever with my husband, mom and mother-in-law picking up my slack. Que the mom guilt. I am not 14 weeks pregnant and am finally getting out of it. I took care of my daughter today by myself for the first time in two months...not something I am proud of but at least it seems like its over. I am ready to resume my life.

My real thoughts on this pregnancy is that it seems too soon...I feel like I just went through all this, and I did. Lyla will be 17 months old when this baby comes and although she will be well into toddlerhood she is still a baby. I am excited and terrified to have two kids under two. Everything I keep reading and hearing from moms who have walked in my shoes does nothing to quell my fears and only furthers my panic. I barely feel like I've got a handle on this whole mom thing and now I am being thrown a newborn on top of it all.

The first question people apprehensively ask is if Matt and I were "trying". The answer is yes, but we both did not expect it to happen on the first try. It took us 6 months to get pregnant with Lyla and I was still breastfeeding so we figured it would take a few months. Nope.

Matt and I are both over the moon that we are having a boy, although I truly didn't care one way or another this time around. I am so in love with our little girl that I would have been delighted to have another. But we've got our perfect little package of one boy and one girl and I am pretty certain we are done having kids after this.

I haven't taken any bump photos yet but will start to post those soon. I will also hopefully document this pregnancy well and keep this little journal going.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'm Not a Good Mom

I'm not a good mom. Let's get that out of the way. Saying that gets all the pressure off, and believe me there is a TON of pressure. If I were to be judged on the bell curve of moms and wives I would say I fall in the middle-upper range. I don't give my kid junk to eat, I keep her safe and try and keep her happy. And somehow I ALWAYS feel like I am failing.

I feel like I am either failing at being a mom, a wife, or a housekeeper at all times. On most days I am mediocre at all three and have a bad attitude to boot. My poor freakin' saint of a husband works all day, comes home, straps the baby to his chest an proceeds to vacuum/do laundry/dishes etc. He is some sort of superhero and it makes me feel about two inches tall. Like: how come I couldn't have just done that?

Every day of my life with Lyla I begin with the grandest intentions of deep cleaning the bathrooms, or doing a full shop at Wholefoods and planning out delicious and healthy meals for the week ahead of time, or even engaging my child in homemade crafty educational games. Want to know how that usually turns out? haha not even close. I go to the gym most days because they have cheap babysitting and I love my enorphins. (Don't worry, I am also failing at having a flawless post-baby beach body because I love wine and carbs too much, so add that to another on my list of shortcomings). After the gym we play in her playroom...usually with the t.v. on (another fail) and I let her watch some shows while eating lunch. We play. We play some more. Then around 2pm she goes down for her nap in a fit of screams and protests and all my intentions of deep cleaning anything go out the window with the sight of my cozy bed and the promise of an episode of The Real Housewives on my DVR.

Inevitably she doesn't nap for as long as she should and I get her up, and nurse her and we start with the playing over again. Sometimes we will go out for an afternoon activity where I inevitably end up spending money (another fail) and then I pray for the time to pass quickly till bedtime. Then the mom guilt sets in that I want my baby to go to bed so I can have some peace. and the guilt over not accomplishing ANYTHING of value that day. and the guilt that I will need two (maybe three) glasses of wine to unwind and feel like myself again. Then I will cook dinner...every night I cook and that is by far my only and biggest contribution to the household on a daily basis.

After dinner my husband and I will crawl into bed at an unreasonably early hour and I will try and muster up the energy to enthusiastically have sex because, hey, my hubby is a dude and oh yea, did I mention he wants to get pregnant again ASAP?

I must fail at a thousand things a day, constantly leaving someone in the dust (my husband, the house, the dogs, the baby, myself) and feeling guilty about it all. I must be the least qualified housewife and mother on the planet and somehow my husband never complains and loves me anyway. He even tells me I am beautiful and sexy on a daily basis. He is a saint. and I am not a good mom, but then again...I don't think pinterest really prepared me for this reality. Somewhere in the sea of Montisorri activities for toddlers, and how to decorate a perfect playroom they forgot to mention how to juggle it all. How to keep a house clean, a baby happy and a husband satisfied all while looking and feeling great.

Some day I will figure it out and become a supermom...but not today. Because the baby is up and I've got to survive.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Buzzing Philosophical

it finally happened! a whole evening to myself!! The baby is asleep, Matt is off doing a seminar for work and I am home reveling in the silence and drinking wine by myself. So here it is...a semi-buzzed synopsis of my life as it stands.

My life is fucking incredible. Let's just get that out of the way. I live the American dream with a best friend husband who is my own personal version of Paul Rudd and a baby that could be the next Cabbage Patch spokesperson 2015. We just moved into a new house in a gold course neighborhood and pretty much all my life expectations have been met thus far. I am going to include photos of our new house here because I've been too busy to write a post about all he renovations we've done.

Okay so the house stuff is going great...those were just photos of the parts of the house that we have good before and after photos of but I will add more I promise.

Anyways...motherhood. I have literally become what I used to consider to be such a cliche. I am a suburban stay-at-home mom with a diamond on my hand, driving around in an Audi and going to the gym most days. I quietly hope it doesn't make me lame. I'm sure it does. I used to be so adventurous and now I am the picture of normalcy. Actually...I want to take that part back. Matt and I are not normal. Matt and I are the exception. Remember in that movie "He's Just Not That Into You" when Ginnifer Goodwin went all stalker crazy and told Jennifer Aniston and that annoying dark haired chick about how there are girls who are exceptions to the rules of dating. I would elaborate to make sure you're folling me but I am CERTAIN that you know exactly what I am talking about. Well..the "rule" of marriages (from what I have witnessed and learned) is this: husbands and wives have together time and they have apart time. Men typically enjoy their time away from their wives and wives like to get together and complain about their husbands. They [husbands and wives] are two separate parts of one machine that may or may not be compatible for long term. That, to me, is the "rule". The proof in the pudding, so to speak, is the statistic that we all know: 50% of marriages end in divorce. To me, this is not surprising. I have seen a LOT of couples who I would not be surprised if they didn't make it five, ten, or fifteen years from now. I am not trying to get on a high horse or anything but I am 1000% sure that Matt and I will be together forever. We are the "exception". We are the best friends that happen to have sex and raise babies together. 

Anyway...My wine buzzed ass has gotten horrendously off topic. What I wanted to talk about was motherhood. 

I am now 8.5 months into motherhood. Lyla is scooting/crawling around, has two teeth and claps, reaches out for me, and is a very opinionated little lady. More than I want to talk about the marvels of my obviously extraordinary first born I wanted to take a moment and talk about motherhood. I have written about it before on here but it has been a while. If you can't tell I am not the flower child of motherhood. Yes, I still breastfeed my infant but I will not homeschool or let her be on the boob till she's 5. Breastfeeding has actually been my least favorite part of having a baby. God help the second kid...they're definitely not being breastfed as long. If I am being honest...I fucking hate breastfeeding!......It feels good to say that. Lyla not only grazes on my tit all freakin day long but she has started this weird habit where she tweaks and pulls on my other nipple while she is feeding. She literally sucks on one nipple and grabs the other with her clawlike infant paws and tweaks my already mangled nipples like they're playdough. It's bullshit is what it is.

The reality is that it doesn't matter what she does honestly doesn't matter if she grows up to be a serial killer, I will still love her. She tweaks my nipples and goes through these awful sleep regressions and requires 99% of my attention all the time and has made my boobs soft and saggy and you know what!? I would murder for that girl. If she called and told me she accidentally killed someone, I would dispose of the body no questions asked. This is how I know I am a mom. 

You do what you have to do and somehow its worth it.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Go Time!!

Baby girl is 8 months old this week and life is starting to go at light speed! She has cut her first tooth, is starting to crawl and is definitely going through a growth spurt. Sleep has nearly ceased with Lyla now waking every 2 hours at night and needing the boob to get back to sleep. It is reminding Matt and I how difficult life was when she was a newborn.

We came home yesterday from a family vacation at Emerald Isle, NC. A family tradition on Matt's mothers' side that has happened every two years for over twenty years now. Lyla was the first baby cousin and it was great that she got to meet everyone. It was hard for Matt and I though, we had to miss dinners and didn't spend much time at the beach with everyone. That, along with getting no sleep and sharing a condo with Matt's family made everything just a little less comfortable than we would have hoped. We have a few upcoming events out of town and we are now a little more apprehensive about heading out of town so easily. Lyla hated the car, and screamed almost the whole way (6 hours), AND she wouldn't let us sleep in the same room with her so we bunked on the couch. I must say our little angel is pretty opinionated.

CONTINUED...(two days later)

Now that we're home Lyla is trying so hard to crawl all over the place and stand up on everything. She is thankfully back to sleeping through the night and is even taking longer naps during the day, which is really messing with my schedule lol. Usually I can't get much done because she naps for an hour or less and now she's crushing 2 hour naps and leaving me wondering what to do with my time. A problem I am very happy to have.

So that's just a little update on our day to day life here. I am hoping some of these long naps will let me write a post that isn't just a hurried update on life. I've actually been thinking a lot about my life lately and how incredibly lucky I am to have this extraordinary life with Matt and our daughter. Sometimes I think that the other shoe has to drop soon because we are so blissfully happy that it can't stay this way. Don't get me wrong, it is hard being a parent and being a stay-at-home mom is definitely different than I imagined but, it works for our family and I love having this time to bond with Lyla. I am completely obsessed with her little face.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Half a Year Gone

My baby girl is almost 7 months old now, and we have survived half a year with a new baby. I can't believe we are here already! 

The best thing about parenthood I've heard so far is "the hours are long but the years are short" and nothing has ever been truer and we aren't even one year down yet. It's hard to believe but Matt and I are already starting to look to the future and planning number 2 (god help me).

So, what have I learned in six months? well...I've learned that I am better at this than I originally thought. I've learned that it took me time to fall in love with my child, but now I couldn't imagine loving anyone more than I love her. I have learned to trust my instincts; to make a decision and stick to it. I have learned that consistency is key...with everything. I have learned that I am a terrible scheduler, and that may be my biggest pitfall as a parent. I can now breastfeed in public without any hesitation and have even accidentally left my boob out!!! Can you imagine EVER not knowing your titty is hanging out?! It's outrageous. 

My advice to the upcoming new moms of the world:

It's going to be rough as hell....but it gets easier

Make your man change as many diapers as humanly will help you hate him and his male genitalia less.

Ask for help

Sleep train that baby as soon as you can

Get on a schedule

Leave the house once a day

Your role to the baby is far more involved than your's just biology. They need and want you more, and sometimes that's frustrating and sometimes it is sweet...just enjoy it and settle into your new role as mom

My idea of a good time now is good food that I haven't cooked (that's a big one for me)

You may lose all the weight quickly, but getting those muscles back in shape will take a little while. Your core just went through HELL

Settle in to the chaos.

Resist the urge to play russian roulette with having another that Lyla sleeps through the night we've had some "what the hell" moments and just keep telling yourself NEWBORN, NEWBORN, NEWBORN....or NO WINE if the first mantra doesn't work

It will be difficult keeping up with non-mommy friends....they just wont understand your life and will probably pity you, and your unshowered, yoga pant-wearing exhausted self....but they'll be here eventually and then you get to be the wise older more experienced mother who wears makeup and goes to the gym regularly. So let them go to concerts and rage till the wee hours...because mommyhood is waiting for us all and when they get here, they'll know the struggle is real.

TRY to make yourself look presentable (after you hit the two month mark). You will feel much better about your life. 

There are many many more things I have learned, but my beautiful baby girl is up from her nap and mommy duty calls.

Back to Reality

We are FINALLY in the new house!!

Dear god, moving has been the worst and most stressful process, especially with a 6-month-old baby. The great thing is we are in our new home and it is beautiful. We did a lot of work to this house to make it ours and it feels like home now. I've got some serious before and after pictures

This whole month has been pretty interesting with the baby. Once we got settled Lyla has finally begun sleeping through the night after some sleep training. The only thing is, she still screams every time I put her in the crib for a nap. The girl just HATES being left alone. But I can't complain because we are getting full nights of sleep for the first time since she was born.

Matt is working a ton so it's just me, the baby and the dogs at home most days. I'll try and write some more. I just realized that it's been 3 months since I've posted!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

We Are NOT In This Together

Before Lyla arrived my husband and I did everything together. I mean everything...I don't think we took separate showers until I was too pregnant to fit in the shower with him. Since the baby, things have changed. We are leading separate lives. Mine is consumed with all things baby, and his is filled with everything else.

The last two weeks has been particularly difficult because Lyla has reached the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. Basically, your normal sleep routine with your little one is completely disrupted and they are back up several times a night. In our case, Lyla has also been fighting sleep with all she's got. This has led to exhaustion, exacerbation and a lot of frustration between Matt and I.

It has come to my attention very abruptly that WE ARE NOT IN THIS TOGETHER.

What I mean by this is that I, as the mother, am entirely responsible (or at least 90%) responsible for the well-being of our child. Some of you may say "well, duh!" but for me this has come as a surprise. I thought  assumed we would share parenting duties equally. Boy, was I wrong. I am now a stay at home mom and the baby is my job. I am not saying that Matt isn't helpful, in fact he is more help than about 90% of the fathers I have seen in action. He changes every diaper he can, he works from home when he can so he can be here with us, and he has a genuine gift with the baby. However, he is also a man and in being so he was born with certain disadvantages as a co-parent. He cannot feed the baby...ever. We are exclusively breastfeeding and so every two hours or so I am called upon to unleash the milk machine and feed our baby. More than just feeding duties, he, as a man, simply is not equipped with the natural instincts needed to comfort our fussy infant.

Men generally don't know what they're doing. I mean, as new parents we all don't know what we're doing but as a mother I am born with the necessary instincts to know what my baby needs. I can tell when she is hungry, tired, wet, bored, or in need of some cuddles. To my husband...they all sound the same, and the crying is unbearable. He constantly asks if I should feed my tits are the magical baby mute button. It's, just rock her dude!

Playing the separate roles of mommy and daddy have put a strain on our relationship. I am secure enough in our bond to say that we have never hated each other more. Yes, hate is a strong word, but we're a pretty dramatic duo. We tell each other to fuck off and generally we both get over it. But, I will say that I get very frustrated when he doesn't know what to do or how to help and he gets frustrated when I am hitting my limit with the baby and can no longer speak in nice calm tones.

I am so so SO thankful that Matt and I are such a strong couple because having a baby does everything it can to break you up. If Matt and I didn't have such strong communication I don't know how we would do it.

UPDATE:: Since beginning this post things have gotten WAAAY better. We are starting to sleep train Lyla and we have discussed and coped with our exhaustion and frustration and we are in a much better place. This whole baby thing is a roller-coaster and it is constantly changing so we are changing an adapting along with it. Matt and I are best friends and can make it through anything smiling because we can talk it out, call each other assholes and laugh about it all five minutes later. Thank GOD for my husband!


Postpartum Sex

This is a very personal topic, but it should be talked about. After all, sex is what got me in the predicament in the first place.

A good relationship cannot be sustained without intimacy. A lot of couples lessen the amount of sex they are having as D-day (delivery day) approaches due to several factors. A lot of women All women are uncomfortable towards the end, lugging an enormous bump around all day. There is also a good chance that the woman doesn't feel particularly sexy, after all if you aren't going for a monthly waxing the chances of your vagina being in perfect condition are slim to none. Not to mention the idea of sucking a dick for HIS pleasure or getting rammed from behind for HIS pleasure while you stew in discomfort is not particularly appealing. Even Matt and I, who had a very healthy sex life took a dip in the nookie department around 8 months in.

I vowed that I would not be the woman who denied my man sex ever. I said that when the baby came I would be right back to feeling great and wanting to get laid. with most things regarding this baby I was completely wrong. I was extremely unprepared for how taxing the physical recovery was going to be, how scared I would be for the first time postpartum, and how unpleasurable the entire experience would be.

You vagina has literally just gone through what feels like a grenade going off on the inside. There's trauma and stitches and the entire twat area is like a fucking war zone. Thankfully the good doctors insist upon no sex for 6 weeks, but you better believe at six week to the day my man was ready to get back to business.

I'm not going to lie...the first time was a failure. It hurt, I was as dry as the Sahara desert and I was convinced we were going to royally fuck up my insides. I pulled the plug on the whole endeavour about five thrusts in. With anything there was a definite learning curve. So try, try again we did.
We are now 4 months postpartum and sex has just started to be enjoyable again. Matt has been extremely patient with me, but I find that my sex drive just isn't where it used to be.

I don't know if it is the lack of sleep, the raging hormones or the fact that sex now needs to be quick (which equals less foreplay) and quiet (which is no fun for anyone), but sex after baby just isn't the same. I guess the reason I am sharing all this information is that this whole experience changes every part of your life. There is no going back to what things were before, there is only defining the new normal. We now have to take advantage of the time we do have to make an effort to be intimate. Me, as the woman, had to get through the first several uncomfortable bordering on painful first times having sex after baby in order to regain a vital part of our marriage.

I do believe it is vital to make sex a priority post baby....i have also never been more terrified of getting pregnant lol.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Nursing Friendly No-Cook Energy Bites Recipe

One of the best things I have made recently are these energy bites or protein bites. They are packed with all the good stuff you need to stay active with your little one and produce a lot of milk. They are great snacks and are really nice to have around when you're starving but the baby wont let you put them down. As with most things I don't use a precise recipe, but here is the basics of how to make them. You can also customize them however you like by adding or subtracting different things.

3/4 Cup toasted almonds
3/4 Cup  uncooked instant oatmeal
1 bag pitted dates
1/2 Cup raisins (can use dried cranberries, blueberries, pomegranate etc.)
2 Tbsp vanilla protein powder (can add more or less per your preference)
1/4 Cup flax seed
1/4 Cup Maca powder (not necessary but we have it in house so I add it)
Peanut Butter
Organic Honey

Add the peanut butter and honey until the mixture is sticky enough to roll into balls. Place balls onto a sheet tray an put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then transfer to ziplock bags in batches of 12 and store in the freezer. When you want them just store them in the fridge so they keep their firmness. They will last almost forever since they're raw.

Lyla's First Trip!! 3 Months Old

It has taken me a long time to write this post. Lately, Lyla requires more attention than ever, leaving me exhausted and mentally drained during her nap times when I usually write.

Feb. 13th-17th our family made its first trip as a trio!

We went down to Naples, Florida to visit Matt's parents. We were excited and anxious, it was the first time we have taken Lyla on such a long car ride and we weren't sure how she would handle it. Thankfully we had nothing to worry about. She was a champ! We left at the ass crack of dawn...actually, it wasn't even dawn, it was 1:30am. We had planned to wait until Lyla's middle of the night feed, usually around 3am. That night however, she decided to get up and be wide awake at 1:30am so we decided to just go with it. We fed her, packed up her pack n' play and got on the road by 2am.

The drive was pretty uneventful. We had to stop a couple of times to feed and change her but mostly she slept. When we arrived the weather was great; a little cooler than expected (in fact it was record lows for Florida) but it was warmer than home so we didn't mind. We had planned to spend most of the trip by the pool, but that wasn't going to work anymore, so we improvised with one trip downtown each day. We went out to two great lunches, both times I was worried about Lyla waking up and being fussy but she surprised and impressed us all by sleeping soundly for both outings.

Our last day was the best weather-wise. It was 75 and sunny and we took full advantage by getting Lyla into the pool for her first time ever! It was so cute and exciting to see her face as we played in the kiddie pool at my in-law's community pool complex. She loved it! It was just the sort of adorable family activity I had been anticipating and dreaming of while I was pregnant.

Lyla with Grandma Mary

Lyla turned 3 months during our trip on Valentines Day! Getting so big already

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mommy Body Rant

I have to take a minute and vent this morning. I know I have it a lot better than most women who just had a baby but I don't care...I'm going to vent anyway.

Let me start off by saying I love my body for what it can do. Being able to carry and provide food for a child is amazing...blah blah blah. All of that "my body is a miracle" stuff just isn't getting me through today.

Today I got jeans no less! And looking in the mirror at my growing mass of cellulite on my now soft and pliable ass has me down in the dumps. My pants are strapping in all the excess fleshy rolls my bouncing baby girl put on to my body. Actually...if we are being technical, it wasn't the pregnancy it all! I was working out until seven-and-a-half month pregnant and I was feeling great! It was the time off of the gym that's gotten me lamenting my new soft form.

I am not a gym junkie by any means, however, my time away from the gym has left me weak and flabby and I am totally down on myself. I can't get to the gym at all anymore because my husband is so busy with work that he can't watch her at all during the day, and my gym wont take her in daycare until six months old.

I know, I know, I could work out at home. But have you EVER tried to work out in a house with three dogs and a baby? I've never been a fan of working out at home anyway and now it seems even more impossible. The weather is freezing so I can't go for walks with the baby and all my negative energy is just accumulating in a wave of self-loathing and frustration.

I should feel lucky and grateful that I've lost the baby weight and made it through stretch-mark free...but I just fucking don't right now. Right now I feel out of shape, fat, and depressed about the upcoming bikini season. I love my girlfriends down here in Charleston but they are all fucking bikini models! and no, I am not being dramatic...they actually model bikinis. In public. For money. That is how hot and tall and skinny and blonde these girls are. I am usually an extremely confidant woman in regards to how I look, but post-baby, sans-gym and no turn around in sight is not a good combination. Not to mention all the new aches and pains fro carrying around a 13lb baby all the time.

I'm just mad. I want to get back to the gym to rectify my muffin top and feel good in my body again and that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Fuck me.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

To Name or Not to Name...That Was The Question

My husband was raised methodist, I on the otherhand was raised Jewish. We had a non-religious civil marriage ceremony and actually agree on all points of faith. The Jesus thing doesn't even come up. There are the occasional awkward moments when his mother says grace before a meal or my parents have us over for Shabbat dinner but other than that, in our own home, religion is never an issue.

We do a mennorah and a christmas tree and I have embraced the yule tide season with all the childhood glee barred from me as a Jewish kid on Christmas. However, we now have a three month old daughter and believe it or not, we have to make the decision now as to how she will be raised. Wehad long ago agreed to raise her Jewish. I should say "raise her Jewish" with quotation marks because my wonderful hubby didn't really have a clue as to what that meant or entailed...he just knew it was what I wanted. My parents have been suggesting a naming ceremony, which is a Jewish rite of passage where a baby girl is brought up in front of her new congregation and given a hebrew name, it is a ceremonial welcoming into the Jewish faith, much like a baptism would be for a Christian baby.

Our circumstances with our families is rocky to say the least. My parents straight up refuse to commingle with Matt's father and step-mother (there's a lot of bad history between them). So they wanted to do Lyla's naming at their temple with just my family and maybe invite Matt's other two parents. This unfortunately gave Matt and I so much anxiety that we originally decided to not do the ceremony at all.

Now, however, we both have realized that that is not an acceptable response to an awkward situation. So we are going ahead with the naming ceremony and the "raising her jewish" thing. My brilliant husband was actually the one who came up with the solution to the interfaith family issue as well as the naming ceremony. We are going to attend and become members of the Reform Jewish temple here in Charleston, not the conservative temple my parents belong to.

Reform Judaism is not how I was raised, I was raised more conservative, however, taking a step down to what I will call "Judaism-light" is just perfect for our little interfaith baby. As Matt put it, it doesn't make sense to raise our daughter how I was raised because she is completely different. She will be growing up in the South, for one, and with 90% of her family being non-Jewish. We plan to join the temple as a family and Matt will attend services with us but he will have no pressure to convert. I personally have no interest in Matt ever converting, or us raising our daughter without all the beautiful traditions of his side of the family. I think Lyla will benefit from an open and accepting upbringing that incorporates both of her parents religious backgrounds, while still "choosing a side" if you will.

This issue has caused a lot of anxiety for my husband and I and now we are on the same page and excited about joining a religious community as a whole family.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What To Skip When Registering

almost 3 months in to having a new baby and we have gotten pretty used to all the new stuff we have accumulated. There is baby stuff everywhere! As new parents we registered for all the usual suspects, we got the diaper geenie and the baby carrier, the pack n' play and a crib. We styled a perfect nursery months ahead of my due date and prepared everything for the arrival of our precious bundle well in advance.

Now, three months in we are a bit more seasoned and realize that we don't use as much stuff as we originally thought. Yes, it is nice to have developmental toys for the entire first year ready to go but your newborn will barely be able to see your face for the first six weeks, let alone enjoy a playmat.

So here are the items we skipped, and the items we should have skipped:

A Wipe Warmer - totally unnecessary. Your baby will most likely already be squirming and/or crying when you unzip their onesie so a warm butt wipe isn't going to change anything and in all honesty it's just another thing to complicate a process you will be doing 10-15 times a day.

A Highchair - You will eventually need one of these but if you get one at your registry you will just have to find somewhere to store the large box for six months before you need it. Also, a lot of parents will use the Bumbo seat (a registry favorite) instead of a highchair for a while.

Cute Newborn Clothes - I would say a good half of babies grow out of newborn clothes almost instantly, as they only fit babies up to 8lbs. My niece in fact was born too big for newborn clothes, so don't waste your money, instead make sure you have plain white onesies and footed pajamas WITH ZIPPERS. I cannot stress the eureka moment I had the first time I changed Lyla while she was wearing a zippered pajama, trust me, the snaps are god awful and you will thank me that you listened and picked up garments with zippers. Also, one pieces are essential for the newborn...pants are a pain in the butt for diaper changes and I only put Lyla in actual outfits when we are leaving the house...and sometimes not even then.

Newborn Shoes - I am sure someone at your baby shower will be seduced by the adorable baby booties and purchase your little one a pair of newborn shoes. Total waste of money. First of all, they will barely stay on their squirmy hyper-bendable feet. Secondly, newborns can't walk, duh!. If someone wants to get your little one shoes, the smallest size that should be considered is 6-12 months.

Bibs - You may think this is odd, but your baby wont need a bib for months! and when they do, bibs are so cheap and so available that you can pick up a few whenever you find you need them. I have a 3 month old baby and almost 50 different bibs. All still in their packaging and all still unnecessary. You wont really need a bib until your baby starts teething or eating solids, whichever comes first.

A Nursing Cover - If you decide to breastfeed you will eventually need to feed your baby in public. If you need a cover to feel comfortable, a simple muslin swaddle will work just as well if not better than the designated nursing covers. I have yet to see a nursing cover that works well, lets you see your baby, and moms enjoy using. Until one is invented, just skip it altogether.

A Bassinet - Don't get me wrong here, you will need a place for your precious bundle to sleep. However, what has worked for my family is using a pack and play in our bedroom. We chose a Graco model that includes a changing station so we have everything we need to care for Lyla throughout the night without having to go far. A bassinet is adorable, but your baby will outgrow it within six months (if not way sooner) and you will want them in their crib in their own room before then. Then you are left with a completely useless furniture item that you will not want to discard for sentimental reasons. The pack and play is a much better option because it is portable, and grows with your child for several years of good use.

I am sure there are countless other baby knicknacks that you will find while registering that you will ultimately not need. Every baby likes and dislikes different things and every new parent will have to figure out what works for their child. That being said, I am pretty confidant that you can go ahead and skip these few items when registering. You can always purchase them later if you choose to. 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The New Normal (Sleeping through the night)

I haven't wanted to put this in writing out of fear but here it baby is almost sleeping through the night!!!!

Que the happy dance!!

She now goes to bed around 7pm, wakes up ONCE at 3am to eat and then sleeps until 7am. For those of you who sleep all night every night, either with some sort of miracle baby or because you have yet to have one, you have no idea how huge this is. Since Lyla was born we have been waking up 3 times a night!!! Now, out of no where and with no sleep scheduling from us she is pleasantly sleeping through the night.

HOWEVER....and this is a big however...she makes the hours of 4pm-7/8pm an absolute fucking nightmare. She screams, and when I say she screams she wails like a banshee for no reason for three straight hours. She doesn't want to be in her swing or put down. She does want to be held and rocked and walked around the house, but even that doesn't keep her quiet for long. She also does an incredible fake out. When you think she has finally taken that binky into her mouth and fallen into a peaceful slumber, she will arise from that docile state a red-faced demon-child and scream tear-filled howls at the top of her lungs.

It is hard to say which scenario is worse...a happy quiet baby who naps easily throughout the day but wakes up three times a night, or a baby that gives you a full night of sleep but makes you want to hang yourself every evening.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fashion Essentials for the Nursing Mom

A lot of things changed when I had Lyla; my whole world was turned upside down by this tiny little person. One thing I didn't expect would change so much was my style. Getting ready to leave the house is more difficult now than when I was styling a whale-sized baby bump. There is a whole world of fashioin out there designed specifically for nursing moms. These choices however are always extreme basics, and much like maternity wear, are EXPENSIVE. The reality is that you only need a few things specifically geared towards the breastfeeding mom and everything else you can piece together from your existing wardrobe. Some of these items I had before baby, and some I have bought since she has arrived (p.s. online shopping and chocolate are my new vices...both I hide from my husband). So here is the real deal on what you need to be a stylish nursing mama.
1. Good nursing bras - I scoured the internet for the best bra for the price...I am definitely a bargain hunter and had a huge problem with spending $60 on a pretty ugly bra just for breastfeeding. I also became aware that you MUST wear a bra to bed so comfy sleep bras are necessities too. This sounds crappy and it comfortable sheets haven't felt a bare titty in months because I leak like crazy at night. So the best daytime bras for under clothes are the Bravado Body Silk Seamless nursing bras...however these run on the expensive side so I only bought one. I then found the iLoveSIA brand of wireless nursing bras on for half the price and I actually like them BETTER than the Bravado one. You can find them Here. For sleeping I prefer the oh so cheap La Leche League brand for $17. I have three pairs and love them, they fit like comfy sports bras and are really easy to use. You can buy them here

2. Nursing pads - If like me you have an abundant milk supply, first of all congratulations! You will read all about other women's struggles with milk supply and you will thank your lucky stars you don't have that issue. What you do have, however, are leaky boobs and milk stained clothes. I suggest you invest in a set of washable nursing pads. The disposable ones are a pain to position in your clothing and you will end up going through a ton of them. I use the Bamboobies nursing pads and love them. I actually wish I had even more than I do because you end up going through them quickly. You can buy those here .

3. Basic nursing tank tops - These are essentials and the only piece of actual nursing attire I bought. You can layer them with cardigans, blazers or jackets and that will become a go-to fashion statement. What I figured out through trial and error is that you do not wear a bra with them. This feels weird at first because most of us ladies never leave the house with the girls so exposed, but these tanks come with a built in shelf-bra and when you add in your nursing pads you have full nipple coverage. You can also wear these under regular sweaters and shirts and then to nurse you can just lift up your shirt and open the nursing tank to expose your breast...this (as you will soon find out) is referred to as the "two shirt method". The best tanks for the job are from Target and they come in a variety of colors and even a henley style.

4. The button down - I've never been an oxford wearing gal, I was never preppy enough for that, but now I find myself cursing my lack of button down shirts. The few I do have are incredibly convenient for nursing and since it is winter here, are also right on style. I have since ordered a few button ups from Old Navy to increase my nursing friendly wardrobe. The button down is extremely versatile, and when worn with a nursing bra is the perfect nursing combo. They can also be layered quite easily which makes them a nursing essential.

5. The cardigan/kimono - Yes, I know it sounds like we are entering the world of extreme mom fashion but trust me when I tell you that you can still be fashionable while swearing a cardigan. The cardigan is going to become your new best friend. You can add one over your nursing tanks or your button down shirt and have a complete outfit. Being not so preppy, I enjoy the kimono style of sweater that has a little casual drape, but the classic cardigan looks stylish too. They can also help hide any milk stains that peak through your tanks (trust me it will happen).

6. Hats - Okay, so not an essential but you will definitely be grabbing for a hat once your baby arrives and you have minimal get-ready time. Your hair will definitely go from a 40-minute process to a wash and go look almost immediately. You will perfect the ponytail and the top knot but sometimes you want to look like you put in effort without actually wasting any time with hair tools....enter, the hat. I am a huge fan of hats and rock one with my outfits whenever possible. They work great at making people think you are a fashionista when in reality you haven't washed your hair and it is crusty with milk spit up. The summer is the perfect time to rock a straw fedora (my fave) or a wide-brimmed look. As it is winter right now I have been partial to the felt fedora, the knit beanie, and the floppy 70's style hat.

7. The wrap dress - Once in a blue moon you are going to want to dress up and that will cause you major anxiety when you realize anything dressy you own has a zippered back (a no-no for nursing). The wrap dress is the perfect solution. It is oh-so-chic and classic and provides the worlds fastest boob access for your little one. They come in thousands of colors and styles and you can usually find them cheap at places like Old Navy and Target.

Dressing your body while you're nursing takes some getting used to. It still takes me way longer to get dressed then it ever used to, but with these staples in your closet it will be much easier. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My typical Day With a 11-week-old

My baby turns 11 weeks old tomorrow. For those who don't have children or are not pregnant, once you do/are the world forever is counted in weeks.

I realize I haven't posted in a while and that is entirely because of said 11-week-old infant. Every day is a little different and we haven't quite gotten on a schedule with her yet. I have also found out that some babies are strictly regimented by their parents from birth while others, like mine, have a basic order of operations for the day that has no concrete timing.

My usual day starts at 7am with her first feed, followed by 30 minutes of awake time before she is down again for a nap. During that awake time I try to drink a cup of coffee to rid myself of the drowsy after-effects of getting little sleep the night before.There also may or may not be a massive poopy diaper at this time, but my husband handles that. He also makes breakfast which is fantastic...after all, I am providing breakfast for our baby.

After her early morning feed I try and compose an idea of what the day ahead will hold. I find out what my hard-working husband has in store for the day and add up the total number of hours I will be home alone with Lyla. I figure most of that will be feeding, changing and napping...but I also try and fit in some tummy time (which she and I both hate doing) and some time to play. Playing at this age just really means talking to her and dangling toys in front of her face. During her naps I try to get some house-work done and watch some t.v.

The real struggle comes once 4pm hits. It's called the witching hour because your sweet predictable baby turns into Satan and is hell-bent on destroying your will to live. Lyla hasn't had a bad witching hour for almost two weeks...until last night. Beginning at 4pm she cried until 9pm. She didn't cry non-stop but she cried consistantly and nothing I did could make her stop. I rocked her, I walked with her, I put her in her swing which only made her cry harder. The few moments I got her to fall asleep she would instantly wake up if her binkie fell and start screaming bloody murder. Of course at 9pm when my husband walked through the door she was finally asleep, on me, and looked like an angel. I could've hung myself right then and there.

The whole day ends with me trying to create a bed time routine of feed, swaddle, and down in her basinet with white noise. This has worked so far and she seems to understand it is night time. How long she sleeps and how many times she wakes up at night is still kind of a crap chute. Typically, however, she eats between 9-11pm and wakes up around 2am, and 6am...this varies by two hours on either direction, some nights are better than others.

And then I wake up and do it all over again. One day I will put on jeans and makeup and have full days of activities with a happy baby that sleeps through the night. But today is not that day my friends. Today...and all the days that have come before it are about survival. Today is the day to be in my pajamas until 2pm when I change into spandex to "get dressed". Today is the day to have my tits on tap and available at a moments notice. Today is the day to be covered in breastmilk and get nothing accomplished except writing a blog post.