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.