Category: Baby

What’s In My Bag?

The number of times I get asked daily what I carry in Mike’s diaper bag is astounding. Just kidding. No one asks. But I’m a huge US Weekly fan (judge not lest ye be judged folks) and have always enjoyed their ‘What’s In My Bag‘ series. I thought it would be fun to give you some insight into what I carry in Mike’s diaper bag. I promise, there is not one product in there that will break the bank.

What's In My Bag?

If you know me at all, I am not a huge fan of ‘baby’ stuff, like diaper bags that look like diaper bags. My Aunt hooked me up at my shower with The Cindy Tote from Thirty One. I love it because it is soft sided and I can use it again (you know – like when I don’t need a diaper bag. That time’s coming right?).

I also have a Thirty One wristlet that I think is discontinued. But it’s the right idea! A bigger wallet I can just grab out of the bag and put into a purse when I am baby free.

You always have to have a blanket/burp cloth/swaddle/rag. Always. I am a huge fan of the aden + anais line. The are huge swaddles, so perfect to cover a carseat, wrap a baby or wipe up a dribble. Plus they are pretty and Kate Middleton loves them.

My Baby K’Tan goes everywhere with me. Mike is getting heavy and lugging his car seat into the grocery store is just a pain in the neck. Plus I am never sure where a meltdown will occur, and the wrap keeps him calm. Where have I worn my baby? Walmart, Harris Teeter, home, office, winery (uh, huh), street festivals … it goes on and on.

Enfamil checks/coupons never leave my bag or purse. I have found Mike’s formula on deep discount at a few places and paired the store discount with a check and pay like $2 for a thing of formula. Score.

Thankfully Mike is still at the age where a crumpled napkin provides half an hour of entertainment. But I still like to carry a Wubba Nubba and a little toy. Even a book is good. Each page is 10 minutes of excitement!

There you have it! What’s your non-traditional must have for your diaper bag?

There’s a Bad Moon on the Right

Before I launch into my latest musings, I apologize for the long absence. It’s not like I am busy or anything! The DC metro area is in the middle of a killer heatwave and I am spending my time sweating in a dark room (keep the curtains closed!) eating take out (it’s too hot to turn on the stove!) with a fussy baby (no excuse for this one).

The other day I was rocking with my fussy baby and trying to conjure up a nursery rhyme or lullaby – and I couldn’t think of even one. Wait. I am lying. I know one verse of All the Pretty Little Horses. Since I am scared to death of horses, that song is a no go. Why don’t I know any of these songs? I had (and still do have) a cool mom. She was a younger mom and while other moms played kid friendly songs, I was rocking out to Madonna and Michael Jackson. I wouldn’t know a nursery rhyme if Mother Goose asked me herself.

Mikey does like the sound of my singing (he is the only one, which I totes understand), so I tried to sing a couple songs I knew and I couldn’t get through the first verse of any of my favorites – I couldn’t remember the lyrics! I blame my Catholic upbringing for this one. Like any good Catholic, I can recite the whole Mass in my sleep, as long as someone is reciting it with me. Left to my own devices I am lost. I can sing any Jay Z song – as long as I am singing with the radio.  Plus, Jay Z might not be appropriate for Mike in a few months. I can imagine his first word being ‘hustling’ and having to explain that one to our friends.

I am forever grateful for Pandora’s Rockabye Baby station – hit songs (why should I suffer?) set to classical music. I set it, sit and rock and sing along to the parts I do know. Which is funny when a Jammy Jam comes on like Summertime by Will Smith.

Some of Mike’s favorites? Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Three Birds by Bob Marley, Always Midnight by Pat Monahan and Mine by Taylor Swift. He’s got eclectic musical tastes already!

What do you sing your little one?

Every New Beginning Comes from Some Other Beginning’s End

I’m not going to lie – motherhood is kinda hard. I mean, rewarding, but hard. And it doesn’t help my hormones are freaking the eff out, and my body hates me since it expelled a small human. Don’t worry, I am doing well – but the first week was the hardest. Lots of tears over breastfeeding and tears over stupid stuff. Stuff like:

  • Mike is devastatingly adorable, so much so I can’t stand it.
  • Mike will eventually leave me and go to college, and I am not sure I can bare the thought of that.
  • Mike will probably get married and his wife will hate me and I will never see him again.

Totally logical and rational right? So much so, I ugly cried in my OB’s office when she asked how I was doing (I think she was referring to pain, not emotions, but whatev). I didn’t take the Zoloft prescription right away, but had them call it in when I got home.

Guess what? Life got super happier and easier. And everyday, if I don’t take my Zoloft by 5:00, tears flow. I am sure this will get better, but for now, I am thankful for drugs. I am also thankful for my family who talked me off the proverbial ledge a few times. Here’s an email my mom sent me that made SO much sense in my 6th day of being a Mommy:

I don’t know if you were having a flashback while we were just on the phone but I sure was. Kindergarten, middle school, college … I always had to have a come-to-Jesus talk with you about your unrealistic expectations. With school it always had to do with the fact that you were suppose to be learning, not showing what you know and as a result, having a meltdown about not knowing it.  You’d always cry and say, “But I don’t know this!” And I’d say, “Right! It’s called SCHOOL, and it’s where you LEARN and then you know it at the END, not the BEGINNING!”  

Mommyhood is much the same. It’s the beginning, not the end!  When Mikey is finished being a baby, you’ll know all about babies. Then you can cry over the fact that you don’t know anything about toddlers.
So it’s all okay and you are right on track.  I guess now isn’t the time to mention that this whole dynamic is why every mom deserves baby #2. 
I love you!  xoxo
So here’s to every new beginning!

Dear Husband

Dear S –

It’s almost been a month since Mikey was born (!!!) and everyone warned me that I would see you in a different way when you are not only my husband, but my baby daddy. I knew this would be true, but I didn’t know the magnitude of new love I would have for you.  It kinda reminds me of the country song that goes, ‘and I thought I loved you then‘.

You were so worried about knowing how to change diapers, make bottles and figuring out how  to relax when you hold him – but when I was being rolled out of the OR and saw you holding our son I thought, ‘holy sh*t, he’s a natural!’ – and you are. While I was highly medicated in the hospital, you handled all the doctors, nurses and questions with ease. Not to mention handling Mikey like you had known him for years.

I wonder if other fathers get up in the middle of the night regardless of whose turn it is to feed, change diapers without being prompted or whisk the baby into the nursery for some calm rocking. I hope so, because it makes not only a difference to mama, but to baby as well. I am so thankful that you always keep the bottles cleaned and the house picked up.

And as I sit here writing this post, you are on the couch with our 3 week old, holding up a mirror to him and talking. How did Mikey and I get so lucky? And to think … I thought I loved you then.

My Son Hates Breasts

Phew! I’m still a Mom! I keep waiting for Mike’s REAL Mom to come pick him up. But alas, that’s me and he is still here in all his snugly glory.  We had a huge win the other day at his 2 week appointment – he SURPASSED his birth weight an in less than a week we chunked him up from 7lbs 4 oz to 8lbs 12 oz. How did we do that? Not breastfeeding.

Here’s the thing. When companies claim things about their products that are not true, they get sued. I wish there was someone I could sue for marketing breastfeeding as this:

Beautiful right? Happy baby, happy mama? I am sure it is like this for a lot of mamas and babies (I do question her spit up and stain free white robe though). It was kinda like this for me in the hospital; minus a good latch, add incredibly sore nipples. Mike even tried to latch on my face while they were sewing me up! But hey, breastfeeding is natural right? We’ll work it out. In fact, at the hospital we learned how to supplement formula and Mike was in HEAVEN. Suddenly he didn’t have to work too hard for food. Which ironically, I don’t like to do either. I can’t be bothered with chicken bones or breaking open my own crabs.

Flash forward to our first night home. Here is what my breastfeeding experience looked like:

Back arching, mouth open, hands flaying, legs kicking … and mama crying. Every. Single. Time. The next day we went to our pediatrician to meet with the lactation consultant and Mike was still not gaining weight. But we worked on a scheduled plan, made an appointment for the next day with a different consultant and went home to try again. And by try, I mean cry for half an hour and give a bottle. Every. Single. Time.

The next day, we were back at the lactation consultant’s office and she noticed I had … wait for it … small nipples. Insert a flash of hope! The answer to my prayers! A quick fix! I got a nipple shield and Mike seemed moderately interested. Until we got home. 3 days and nights of screaming and crying to be followed by formula.

3 days later, we were BACK at the doctor’s office for a weight check and to see the lactation consultant. This time, I cried. She was so nice and caring about the situation. She made great points like breastfeeding has to be right for both mama and baby and clearly it wasn’t working for us. She also mentioned that it is to the point where Mike is so frustrated he freaks out at the sight of my breasts.  My breasts scare my son.

And Mike still wasn’t to his birth weight, so breastfeeding REALLY wasn’t working for him.  When Plan A doesn’t work, go to Plan B. When Plan B is a wash, go to Plan C.  Plan C for us was to be a formula family and supplement with a little pumped breast milk, which I call his multi-vitamin.

And guess what? No more tears. No more dreading feeding time. S. is able to take part in a stress free feeding experience. Sure there are a lot more bottles to wash and formula to buy (which is insanely expensive).

The strange thing is I am not sure why breastfeeding was so important to me. I always said if it works great, if not, that’s fine too. It’s about the baby being fed, not about me. But when it came down to it, it was heartbreaking that things weren’t working. A few days have gone by and a little Zoloft eased the blow (more on that later) and we are happy with the situation and snagging all the free formula samples we can.

Your Birth Story

One day, Mikey is going to ask about the day he was born and frankly, it was pretty boring compared to some other stories. But it is his story and one I am so very proud of.

Dearest Mikey –

I am sure when you ask about your birth story, you will still be achingly adorable. Here’s what happened. First of all, you were SO wanted. So much so, we had extra help and time to make sure you would arrive for us. We joked you were already an expensive baby and you weren’t even born yet!

We spent lots of time getting ready, with help from lots of people. And as your original due date got closer, and you kept getting bigger, Dr. Hashemi decided it was time to schedule a c-section, so instead of June 9th as we originally planned, you were going to come on June 5th at 9AM. No waiting for contractions, or pacing the hospital through contractions. You had a date and a time of arrival! That gave Daddy and me time to go to the movies and eat out a lot and enjoy your time together thinking about you.

The night before, we stayed home, ordered pizza and watched a pretty lame video. We made sure to get a good nights sleep since we had to be at the hospital very early and drop off Charlie to day care. Grandma was going to pick him up and later and stay with him until we got home.  When we got to the hospital, we took the very long walk through labor and delivery and had to change into hospital clothes. The nurse, Karin, came in and helped us get ready and I know I was feeling very calm. 9 months to think about this moment and it was finally here! I had an IV put in and all my vitals taken. The only concern was my crazy high blood pressure, but thankfully this wasn’t going to stop your arrival, especially since I was feeling fine.

I had to go into the operating room by myself while Daddy waited outside and they put in the numbing medicine and helped me lay down. I was really happy to have some music to listen to to take my mind off the surgery. I also thought about you!  It seemed like forever, but Dad and came in and held my hand while the doctors worked their magic. I felt some pulling and tugging and the doctor told Dad, ‘Okay, Dad, in 90 seconds have your camera ready!’  The next thing I heard was your HUGE cry. You didn’t even make us wait to know you were here. I am sure that hasn’t changed.  Daddy got a huge grin and rushed over to the table to see you and help get you all cleaned up.  The nurse held you over the curtain quickly and all I saw was a big head of hair and a red, angry face.

Once you were cleaned up and measured, which again, felt like forever, Daddy and you came to see me. The nurse put you to my face and you were so soft and squishy. I couldn’t wait to hold you, but my hand was held down by the IV. You turned your head towards me and your mouth opened and you tried to nurse my cheek! We had some pictures taken and I was being stitched up.

Everything happened very quickly after that, but we were whisked into the recovery room where I was able to hold you and you started to nurse. A few hours later we went to our hospital room where we were going to stay for awhile and where all your visitors came – Grandma and Grandpa, Bubbe and Great Aunt Phyllis, Great Aunt Cathy and Miranda. You loved being passed around and cooed over. The big discussion was who you looked like. The verdict was your face was mine, but your profile is Daddy’s. We loved having the crib between my bed and Daddy’s and watching your head and eyes follow the sounds of our voices. We had a hard time believing we created you and you were our’s!

You had a slew of amazing nurses who thought you were the cutest baby ever and loved coming in to check on us. I got very sick with a fever and blood pressure, so we stayed an extra night. You didn’t seem to mind. You did your job – sleep, eat, potty and go back to sleep. You are only 5 days old and have been home 1 full day,  but you seem perfect to us.

I hope you ask about this story often because it is quickly becoming my favorite one to tell. And hopefully by the time you can talk, my hormones will be back to normal and I won’t cry every time I think about it!

With every ounce of my love,


In 24 Hours

In (almost) 24 hours, I will be a mom. This makes me laugh, get choked up and wonder how we got here.  The best part of a c-section is it’s quick. No 18 hours of pushing, just laying there for 10 minutes while someone else does the work. On the other hand, we’ve had this schedule for a week and a half. I would probably have been happier pushing for 18 hours instead of thinking about and Googling for a week and a half.

Just like with pushing, everyone has their own stories and I’ve been obsessed with reading about what the expect, which is … something different for everyone. Am I nervous? Yes! More so than I thought. I had my gallbladder sucked out through my belly button, so how hard could this be? Then again, I am worried about the big stuff. Not feeling connected to my baby (which has nothing to do with having a c-section and everything to do with being bat sh*t crazy), failing miserably at breast feeding, leaving him at the hospital when we are discharged … I know rationally none of this is true, or even remotely true. But a week and a half is a long time to sit and think about (and Google) everything. I’m lucky to have a good support team around me who can assure me that I will bond with the baby, breastfeeding will (or will not) happen (and if not, life goes on) and someone will make sure we have the baby when we leave.

Pregnancy and becoming a parent makes you crazy. And in (almost) 24 hours, I will not be a pregnant anymore.