Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pamper Thy Self!

There are few moments in a mom’s busy schedule when she can take time out for herself. I did just that – in between jobs I took a few much-needed days off to recharge my batteries and yes, treat myself. I highly recommend taking off at least a week, if not a couple of weeks before starting your new job. I was able to take 5 days off and spend the first day pampering myself and not feeling guilty about it. Moms, there is such a thing! I started with an amazing facial –compliments of Bluemercury – and I must say that it’s by far one of the best oxygen facials I’ve ever had. My skin felt amazing for many days following the treatment. Lisa, the esthetician at Bluemercury was really informative and helped me understand the condition of my skin and how to care for it. She sent me home with a generous bag of samples, including serums and moisturizers to ensure not to neglect my skin – but not before getting made-up by an amazing make-up artist Kristy.

You don’t need to have the luxury of affording facials on a regular basis to care for your skin the way one should. After all, your skin is your most important organ in your body and your first line of defense against sickness – so ladies (and gents) make sure you exfoliate, moisturize and protect it.

Day two I treated myself to a massage at the Blue Water Spa. The spa is tucked away in the quaint town of Oyster Bay right off of W Main Street. But before a relaxing 60-minute full body Swedish message I endured a bit of pain to look purrty. I thought I was in store for a painful wax but no ladies, they have what’s called Brazilian Blue wax. Their website explains it perfectly; “it’s touted the best wax as it adheres to the hair and not the skin, so you can go over the area more than once without irritating the delicate bikini, underarm or even facial skin.” Then came the massage, and after a very relaxing hour – although I probably need do this once a week to get rid of all the knots and stress in my body – I grabbed lunch solo and headed to watch the movie Win Win at the Cinema Arts Center in Huntington, NY. Very intimate and comfortable little Cinema – I was hanging with the senior citizens of Huntington ..wootwoot!

Disclaimer: I was given the facial and make-up session for free at Bluemercury, but the opinions on my experience are honest and are my own.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A New Generation Gap

Contributing Writer: Pierangela Shaw (my inspiration, my mentor, my mother)

I think us baby boomers were cheated with a New Generation Gap.

We revolutionized, survived and came out triumphant from what we knew as the Generation Gap with our parents. This Gap we recognized as their rigidness through rules, codes and pilgrim-like submission of their will, that didn’t let them be themselves. We wanted better for everyone and the generations to come. We understood life and were openly determined to celebrate it. We surrounded ourselves with music and colors and nature, and found the happiness we were looking for. Our dress flowed with our hair in the wind, and beads marked our individuality with meaning. We understood the soul and the spirit, and drew up perfect formulas for happiness for every step in life...many today continue to lead in the right direction. Make no mistake, in our skin, we are all still flower children.

Some of the older baby boomers were able to ‘surf’ it OK to the end. Some picked up the best of their parents’ heritage, and with love, peace and freedom maintained the high standard protests in their lives and 8 hour work days; mixing both.

Some even had earth-conscientious babies that battled anything that threatened humanity; even to the point of annoyance. Possibly, mostly late bloomers bred today’s corrupt and violent; they missed the learnings and rebelled with their own distorted culture; not realizing there was nowhere better to be.

I believe new babies receive the aid of their well formed peers and ‘baby boomer grandparents’, that still have it right and continue to show the way.

Undoubtedly, we all thought the Generation Gap was a thing of the past, unquestionably defeated and gone; making the generations forever opened to our understanding.

But our children came with a New Generation Gap; technology in their pockets, bedrooms and backpacks, which we would control if we knew how. That was one element we did not have to figure out, and it caught us by surprise.

Baby boomers with adolescent babies; how are you managing? What is enough? How do you interrupt? How do you isolate? How much should you take away? How much away is it ever,when you can’t put them in a crystal box? When we didn’t want to? Is that perfect happiness we learned to teach and share - the meaning of two fingers that say ‘peace’ without a sound - dead and dying to our children?

How perverse is our adolescent becoming through violent-video-games already accepted as normal, all-hour cell phone calls to strangers, chatting/surfing incessantly through the web with no filter for evil..deafness through cables in their ears, headaches of day long lit monitors, thumb and wrist deformities, infections as they try different color contacts for their eyes(those eyes we preached showed the beauty of our souls), and indelible markings of emotional states of mind in ink and metal.

I still battle this new age threat with my virtual spears, but in understanding, try to cross successfully this tight can make it easier... and we trust....because we swore to trust life.... that our children will be better parents by closing this New Generation Gap, through their know-how and experience, with their own children.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Things I Can Check Off My Bucket List....

When I was younger, I loved keeping diaries, journals and scrapbooks, but the older I get the lazier I become in recording these memories. I'm trying to be better at recording every time Lucas does something new - because God knows I'll soon forget and will eventually be mad at myself for not having kept a log.

For a change, I thought it would be fun to reminisce about some of the crazy things I've lived and experienced, because I'm sure that one day I'll want to look back and say to myself, what can I check of my bucket-list...

1) Visited 27 countries in 7 years - 168 to go
2) Had a joy ride in the NY/NJ national soccer team's ambulance around Manhattan at night
3) Won $1000 cash in a random crazy legs contest dancing alone, a day before leaving for Sweden with barely $100 in my pocket
4) Was filmed dancing for a Department of Health anti-smoking commercial - never found out if it aired!
5) I lived in Sweden, France and NY all in one year
6) I can say cheers in 8 languages and say Happy New Year, give me a dollar in Chinese
7) NBA player for the NJ Nets asked me out
8) I danced with Prince, shared a toast with Ashton Kutcher and sat next to Latin music legend Celia Cruz on a connection flight to Uruguay a few weeks before she passed
9) My son sat on Bill Murray's lap
10) Invited on a boat ride in the middle of the night to the Statue Of Liberty, got stranded when the host underestimated the low tide - ripped the propeller right off
11) My first car accident was with a correctional facility bus packed with inmates on their way to Rikers
12) Cheese, sleep and sunlight are essential to my well being
13) I promoted a Swedish band in NYC for an entire summer - I know nothing about music
14) I paraded down 5th Avenue, dressed in traditional garb, proudly holding the Uruguayan flag on "El Dia de la Hispanidad"
15) Me and 14 other girls promoted JLO's clothing line in a limo on the streets of Manhattan during the Puerto Rican Day Parade - I'm not Puerto Rican
16) I've sat on male model Tyson Beckford's motorcycle
17) I've been featured in a Ford Models talent book - freak chance
18) My nickname is chulys and family hasn't called me by my first name in over 31 years
19) My mother is named after Mussolini's mistress' daughter - yup our family knew her
20) The coolest summer job I've ever had was helping to organize a concert for Colombian Independence day at Madison Square Garden, standing on stage in front of thousands of people and having access to Juanes before he made it big - I'm not Colombian
21) I have an obsession with teanie beanie babies and reality shows - even though they're not real
22) I once founded a film company with a girlfriend and named it after one of my favorite authors’ books, Anita Diamant - business went nowhere, that’s Hollywood, but we still had to pay taxes…you can argue that is was “a thank you for doing business in CA” tax!?
23) I hugged Demi Moore and still think Ghost was the best chick flick ever made, after Dirty Dancing (RIP Patrick Swayze)
24) I once sold a picture to a tabloid magazine, which ended up paying for my trip from LA to NY
25) I have had each foot in two rivers at once
26) Eric Estrada (from Chips) asked me what I thought of his haircut one random afternoon standing at a cross light on Wilshire Blvd
27) When I was a baby, I would sleep with my eyes open and crawled on my rear end…turns out my son inherited these strange ways, however not any of my facial features
28) I was flown to Marbella, Spain for an interview with an investment company...was offered a free apartment on the Mediterranean, a Porsche and a substantial salary for someone right out of college…was made to room with my competitor…unbelievably we both declined & we’ve been amazing friends ever since
29) Had cocktails with Dr. Michael Nobel, a great grand nephew of Alfred Nobel, and 2 years later, fate had it that I would shake hands with the Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation
30) A night out for a friend’s bachelorette party made front page in the Chicago Tribune Entertainment section
31) Was forced to take a trip alone, which was meant for me and my ex European boyfriend, and ended up meeting my husband instead…serendipity

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Big Fat Uruguayan Family

I think one of the best things I’ve inherited from my parents is a big family, second to my Uruguayan culture. With my father’s 9 sisters and 3 brothers, it’s no surprise that we are a total of 35 first cousins, not counting the 2 cousins on my mom’s side, which brings us to a grand total of 37. The family keeps on growing with 9 children amongst the cousins, and 3 more on the way.

While I’m forever grateful that my parents decided to move to the States in search of a better life back in the 80s, I can’t help but get sad and wonder “what if?”, when I think about the distance that separates us from the rest of our family. I knew, from the moment we got on that plane that birthdays and holidays would never be the same...

When good economic times were on our side, our family would go back to Uruguay for the Holidays. There’s nothing like having a warm Christmas, with parties on the beach and sun bathing throughout our vacation. Not to mention the envy in our friend’s faces when we’d show up to school after our long winter break with a nice tan.

Despite the long distance, I’ll forever be grateful that our Uruguayan culture & traditions were upheld at home. Not only would Spanish be spoken at home, but waking up to the smell of “mate” throughout my childhood and starting off my mornings with a cafĂ© con leche would bring about nostalgia, coupled with the longing to visit whenever possible. Traditional folklore music and our occasional asado always brought large group of friends to our home. The juicy steaks a la parrilla were always a staple at our parties…hotdogs and hamburgers never sounded so dull…

In January of 2003, on one of my trips back to Uruguay, I met my husband. I realize that the phenomenon of choosing someone who either looks like, acts like, or thinks like one of your parents is so true. I found that my husband has some of my dad’s traits, and soon realized this phenomenon couldn’t be more spot on. While there are subtle similarities, the most obvious are the Uruguayan traits…the “mate”, the desire to eat a good Uruguayan asado from time to time, the Spanish spoken at home, the traditional music in the background..the abundance of soccer games on my TV screen…and so on.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will continue to keep these traditions alive at home for my son, so that he knows where he comes from and appreciates his culture and big family. February 2010 will be his first discovery, as we take him on his first trip to our first home.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New York Office Mom 24/7

Every mom dreads D-day…the day she returns to work and has to leave her little baby in the hands of a stranger (which means anyone other than mom). Most likely it’s the first day that mom has been apart from her baby for more than 2-3 hours…at least that’s how it was for me. I would long for a couple of hours to myself when I was on maternity leave – just a few hours – to run errands, do my nails, even make a quick stop at a nearby shopping center. Alone time was hard to come by, so when anyone offered to take care of the little guy for an hour or two, I accepted without hesitation. Little did I know that once I returned to work and had to be separated from him for almost 8 hours/day, I would wish I could get back those hours I willingly gave away.

As I began to countdown the days, hours, minutes to D-day, everyone would try and console me and tell me that it would get easier over time. I believed them…I mean, women experience this all the time – especially the working women of today compared to the women many moons ago – but what I didn’t realize was how hard those first days would be.

I remember that first day, it was a Friday - thank God for that! It was so hard not to look at the time. As soon as I got home, I ran to him and started balling. Of course he greeted me with the biggest smile and had no idea what was going on, and that mommy had left him for so many hours..but I couldn’t control myself. I wouldn’t let him go and held him so tight, that I had to check if he was still breathing at one point.

Fortunately, I was blessed with having the choice of leaving the little guy with a trusted family friend, who had raised two beautiful girls, lives close to home, speaks Spanish (very important for us) & has the gentlest of souls...Not every mom is as lucky as me though, and I cannot imagine what that must be like. It’s hard enough leaving him with family or a close friend, but having to leave your little one at a nursery or with a new sitter must be so difficult. You do what you have to do right…?...but it’s NOT easy, no matter what anyone tells you. What was REALLY important for me when returning to work, was peace of mind – it was the only possible way I’d be able to function without picking up the phone every hour or biting my nails until there was no more nail to chew.

It’s been about a month or so since I returned to work, and yes, it has gotten easier, but I still find myself feeling really guilty (that will never go away) & racing to get home to Lucas, bumping people on the street, subway and the bus. Note to all my fellow commuters out there, you don’t want to mess with a mom anxious to get home to her babies, especially during rush hour on NYC’s wonderful and well organized (sarcasm) MTA system… I’m just saying, there is no way that your reason for rushing is more important than mine. Don’t say I never warned you!

So now I get home and am greeted with the biggest of smiles and the happiest of baby noises…I can’t imagine coming home to anything better than this, even if my job begins all over again from 6-10 when yours ends after a 9-5 workday. It’s all worth it – regardless of whether I’m never able to watch TV in real time (thank you DVR for coming into existence), have a spontaneous night out with friends or catch up on much needed sleep.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What a new mom cannot live without!

The perfect opportunity to get your hands on those must have items for baby on the way is through your baby shower registry. When you're a new mom it's hard to guess which items you'll actually end up using, so I'm going to list a few of them that have saved me a number of times and have definitely come in handy:

1) Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing - My Little Lamb (when nothing calms your little one down, strap him in, it works wonders).

2) SwaddleMe's - I underestimated how useful these would's are used to being nestled in a mother's womb for around 40 weeks, so it's no surprise that when you put the little one in this cozy fleece bag, he's going to sleep more comfortably and in turn so will you.

3) Soothies (pacifier) - if you can get the hospital soothies they give to newborns, try to get some extras! Every baby loves this particular pacifier for some reason and prefers it over the rest. If your hospital doesn't give you any, Babies R Us and other retailers sell it, just look for the "Soothie" brand.

4) Infant Video Monitoring System - it's worth every penny for the piece of mind this product gives you, especially when it's time to move your little one to his crib and your bound to have many sleepless nights due to worry and anxiety.

5) Fisher-Price Rainforest Waterfall Peek-a-Boo Soother - there are many of these soothing products out there that play music and have colorful lights, but I loved this particular one.

6) I was really not impressed with the Evenflo Nestino Odyssey Travel System Stroller that my husband and I picked out. I'd recommend going with one of the jogging strollers even if you don't plan to jog,since the maneuverability makes it all worthwhile.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Adjusting to fatherhood...

…and I thought I was busy back then with work and the fatigue brought about by the pregnancy! I was sure I’d have some free time to write a post a week, or every two weeks when the little man arrived. Gosh, being a mom is a FULL time job, and although we hear it all the time, one has to experience it to really understand the job of being a mom. SAHMs and WAHMs, kudos for keeping it together, sane and being successful at the 24/7 hour job we call motherhood!

I wanted to dedicate this post to all the dads (los padres) out there. I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time, and now that Lucas is watching Formula One with daddy, I have a few minutes to myself.

It’s hard at first to really understand how difficult it must be for the dads when a new little human being arrives. We have had about 40 weeks or so to bond with our babies in the womb, read up on the must dos/don’ts, clip helpful lists and converse with friends and family who gave us a ton of advice. Once the little person arrives, we are instantly in love, attached...most often our maternal instincts kick in and we know exactly what to do, even if we’ve never done it before.

While the journey is exciting in every way, this little person has a way of sucking the life out of you – so often we get moody, exhausted, name it. And who usually is the first to get the brunt of this whole new version of bitchy? Dad… Why don’t you wake up in the middle of the night? Why don’t you grow breasts and produce milk? Why don’t you figure out why baby is crying? You expect me to keep this house clean and watch after baby?...the bitchiness goes on and on.

Ladies, my advice to you is have PATIENCE with him! This is a whole new experience they’re going through; they’re afraid and unsure; feel a sense of abandonment since all your attention is on this new little person; feel a bit helpless since most new dads have never changed a diaper let alone held a newborn in their arms before; feel an enormous responsibility to work and create stability in the home now more than ever. We are so engulfed in our world of diapers that we often forget how challenging and difficult it is for the dad as well.

Now that the little man is over 2 months old, I learned a few things along the way that I now keep in mind before getting frustrated, which have also helped me avoid many arguments.

1) In the beginning there is very little he can do, so instead of resenting him or making him feel useless, I let him help me take care of other duties (cook, clean, ask for a foot massage, take care of the dog, etc.). These responsibilities will make him feel useful. Oh, and it was important to thank him for it as well.

2) It’s tough to run errands with a newborn, so when my husband came home from work, I would give him about an hour or two ALONE with baby to learn the ropes and take that little free time for yourself. This gave him a chance to get alone time with Lucas and helped him to figure things out when you’re not around. There is no better time for them to bond and for me to have some free time.

3) If he comes to you every time the baby cries and asks you “What’s wrong with him?”, be patient and give him a simple checklist. I learned this after a few frustrating sighs (1) is his diaper dirty? (2) is he hungry? (3) does he have a burp or gas? (4) is he sleepy? …and I repeated the same list as often as I needed to. He would ask it every time the baby cried for the first month or two, but eventually he worked out the process of elimination without asking me.

4) Don’t expect them to be emotionally attached to baby yet. It will take them some time – remember we have a 40 week advantage.

5) Lastly, and most importantly, if you ask him to help and be with baby while you’re tending to other things at home – don’t come back and check on him every second. Trust him to be able to handle it on his own, and let him make mistakes too. Believe me, I’ve seen what a habit it becomes if you are constantly looking over his shoulder. It also makes you more paranoid when you leave him alone

“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.”

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Got Breast Milk!

Lucas is now just over a month old, and while the first weeks have been really tough, it’s true that it does get easier as the weeks go on. My little guy is sleeping 4 hours straight, and last night slept for 5 hours without making a peep.

The one thing I kept hearing when I was pregnant and now as a new mom is that you will not get much sleep, but that you soon learn to adapt and function regardless. What they don’t tell you is how difficult breastfeeding is, how much time it consumes and how hard it is to avoid feeling guilty when you’re not producing enough …at least that’s how it is for me.

At the hospital, I was in so much pain after the delivery that I had the nurse’s supplement with formula at night, this way I could get my rest and recuperate faster and be able to devote all my time and energy to my newborn. Lucas would often fall asleep while breastfeeding, and there was no way to wake him up or know exactly how much milk he was getting. He definitely wasn’t getting enough, since he was up every hour or so crying for some more. It was then that I realized I wasn’t producing enough milk for his enormous appetite, so it was inevitable that I would have to continue to supplement with formula to ensure he was getting enough to eat. He had difficulty latching on and I couldn’t breastfeed without a nipple shield, which made the process even trickier since he doesn’t stay still while he’s eating. That’s when I realized that I had to pump as often as possible throughout the day (yup, that includes in remote places such as public I did last weekend waiting for the Fire Island ferry and I had nowhere else to PUMP…your boobs feel like they’re about to explode and you’ve got no time to wait/waste) to ensure he was getting as much of my milk as possible and that I would continue producing as much as my little engine could.

Never mind the soar nipple syndrome – that’s a subject for another time, but when you feel you’re nipples are under a burning flame and cannot take the pain any longer, there are always a few solutions that could help...Medela nipple shield and another great invention my husband discovered, Medela soar nipple soft shells saved me.What surprised me the most is how much patience you realize you have when you become a mom, and that no matter how little sleep and time you have to yourself, it doesn’t bother you one bit. BUT when you realize you’re newborn is sleeping at least 2-3 hours straight and you’re only getting 45 minutes of sleep, something has to be wrong. This is when I started to recap what a typical night looked like for me…I’d wake up, change his diaper, warm the bottle, feed him, burp him, put him back to sleep, wash the bottles and the pump accessories, pump for 20 minutes and then store the pumped milk in the fridge before going back to sleep. This process took me about an hour to an hour and a half, and that’s if Lucas wouldn’t wake up again in the process. CRAZY…at this rate I was sure I’d go insane or give up breastfeeding before his first month. I didn’t want that, so I found a few solutions that made my life a bit easier…I put my multitasking skills to work. If you’re pumping, I definitely recommend the Medela pump wipes – they come in handy and save you a few extra washes (approximately 15 extra minutes of sleep). I’ve also mastered the bottle balancing act and can feed Lucas his bottle while pumping (approximately 20 extra minutes of sleep). If I was able to drive stick, drink a coffee and talk on the phone all at the same time, this was a piece of cake. Last but not least, no matter what they tell you NEVER wake up a sleeping baby (approximately 30-45 minutes of extra sleep). That meant that I was basically getting back over an hour of sleep, and it made quite the difference.

I would have never imagined breastfeeding to be such a time consuming, daunting and painful task, but it is what it is. I’m just grateful I produce at least some boob milk to feed my little man. I’m only hoping it gets a bit easier over time, whether I produce enough to store at least a day’s supply or my boobies start cooperating for a change.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lucas Gabriel is born!

Today is just over two weeks since little Lucas Gabriel decided to make his big brave entrance into the world. I’m finally getting a few minutes to catch my breath and update my blog with the exciting news. There is so much to tell, and I really don’t know where to start.

Today I’m finally feeling much better after 18 hours of labor and 2.5 hours of pushing. It has been a traumatic yet exciting experience – and I’m grateful I’m able to share it with you. All in all, I’d do it again in a heartbeat! It’s truly amazing and all worth the big reward in the end.

I had finally reached my 40th week (full term) and the next few days felt longer then my entire pregnancy. Everyone around me seemed anxious, including me, especially after my last doctor’s appointment, since I learned that my fluids were low and it could potentially be harmful to the baby.

On July 21st, 3 days after my due date and a day after my previous appointment, I had only dilated 1 cm and my blood pressure was really high. I was told to admit myself to the LIJ hospital in New Hyde Park that evening to be induced and help start the delivery process. By the time I reached the hospital, I had dilated on my own another 2 centimeters and also began to feel minor contractions. It seemed Lucas was ready to come out on his own either that evening or the next day. A few hours later my contractions began to get stronger and without thinking twice, I requested an epidural. Was I glad I asked for it when I did! Kudos to the brave women out there who have an all natural birth!
The epidural takes about 40 minutes or so to administer. During painful contractions you have to stay really still while they place the needle in the itty bitty epidural space of the spinal cord, so I’d recommend not waiting to ask for it when you cannot take the pain any longer. It instantly kicks in and all sensation is lost from your waist down. While it’s an instant relief, it’s a scary feeling when you realize that you have complete paralysis in the lower half of your body. A number of times it did cross my mind…”what if I stay like this forever?”

Eighteen hours later and a good night sleep I was dilating about 1 centimeter every couple of hours or so with the help of massive amounts of Pottosin. The Pottosin was also causing my legs and ankles to swell beyond recognition, and the swelling only goes down about a week post partum. Unfortunately, after 8 centimeters or so I wasn’t dilating further. It had been over 4 hours and there weren’t any signs of progress, and my little Lucas’ heart beat was dropping. I was also told that I had a temperature of 100.8 and there was no doubt in my doctor’s mind that we were going in for a c-section in a couple of hours. It was at that point that I learned if your temperature during labor is over 100.4, your newborn is taken automatically to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 48 hours when he/she is born. I was devastated! Not only would I not deliver Lucas naturally, but I would not be able to have him sleep in my room. I felt like a complete failure and couldn’t stop my tears! Of course in hindsight, c-sections are performed all the time and often to prevent complications, but I soon realized my case was debatable. The nurses felt I could easily deliver naturally, but they were getting a bit of resistance from my doctor. That’s when I insisted that she give me a couple of hours to dilate 2 more centimeters, and if I didn’t succeed, then of course we would proceed with the c-section. With the amazing help of no less than a football team of nurses, who only had my interests at heart and were determined to help me dilate in order to avoid surgery, and my sister and husband, I went from 8.5 centimeters to 10 in about an hour.

It was then that the nurses asked me to start pushing. The epidural had worn off completely and my contractions were unbearable. I was determined to deliver Lucas without a cesarean one way or another, no matter how difficult and painful the pushing was after 2.5 hours or so. Right when I was about to give up and felt I didn’t have the strength to push any more, my sister yelled “feel his head it's right there”, and I did. It gave me the last bit of strength & motivation I needed to push Lucas out.

Lucas was born at 6:44 PM on daddy’s birthday, weighing 8.8 lbs and 21 inches long. While I was still sad that my little man would not be able to spend the night with me, I couldn’t have been happier with my healthy baby boy. I knew that the staff at NICU would take good care of him, and I’d be able to visit him as often as I wanted while in intensive care. We were released on Friday, July 24th, and that night I gratefully welcomed my first sleepless night. The three of us were finally home.

I will forever be grateful to the amazing nurses and staff at North Shore LIJ, and to my little sister and husband (who pushed so hard with me that he woke up the next morning with a migraine). I don’t think I would have pulled through without their support and encouragement!

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Read My Lips, Clip Those Lists"

Crazy how many baby, parenting, expectant mother books and magazines I have lying around my house. I used to go straight to my bookshelf and grab hold of my next favorite novel, but now all I want to do is read baby books. There is a ton of information out there, but the one thing that I’ve been obsessing over lately are LISTS. Yes that’s right, LISTS. You can read chapter after chapter about what to expect when the little one arrives, or how best to prepare for their arrival, but nothing has proven to be more helpful than a good old fashion “To Do”, “To Buy” or “To Bring” list.

The first list I received was from my sister, as soon as I told her I was 8 weeks pregnant. She had just gone through the experience of becoming a first time mom and had a ton of things to recommend bringing with and taking from the hospital (believe me, there is a lot of great FREE stuff they give you or that you need to ask for that’s yours to keep). I found the list immensely helpful. I’ve had it in my hospital bag since, and every now and again I pull it out and read it over to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Have you ever read through a Parenting magazine front to back? It’s nothing but helpful lists, anywhere from “Food for Baby’s First Year”, to “Your Baby's Poop” (or my favorite version, poop, decoded!)
to “Infant First Aid: how to prevent and soothe bumps, cuts, burns and more” to “What you need to know as you make the leap from bottles to bananas” to “Breastfeeding tips 101” to “Getting through colic without going crazy” (easier said than done right?) and so on... I guess they realize that a mom has very little time to spare, so having a short list to reference on your fridge makes it a bit easier… They have become my go to references, especially since I’m a bit freaked out about being responsible for another human being other than myself. I guess it’s every first mother’s worry – but we all get through it eventually right?

So hear me out expectant moms and new moms, my recommendation to you is to stop wasting time only clipping coupons for baby stuff (it has become my second obsession after lists) & start clipping those lists. They will be really helpful when you’re alone at home and asking yourself why the heck is my baby’s poo black?