How to Become a Mom?

Newly pregnant and trying to figure out this whole new way of life.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Step 8: Don't Get Overwhelmed...Oops

Hmmm..... I may have not been able to follow my own steps, but that's why I'm laying them out for you!

I did get overwhelmed.
I did get all-consumed by my colicky newborn son.

I didn't make time for anything or anyone besides him.
I'm just now starting to see the clouds parting on this overwhelming haze.

But, let me update you on the last 14 months of my/his life.

Born on March 13th, 2014 in Wilmington, NC. It was one of the most wonderful and exciting experiences of my life. Such a fun and powerful process! What Mom can tell me they didn't have at least one moment, either in pregnancy or during birth, where they felt super-human?

One day old and he was so aware! He looks so peaceful there. Little did we know that within a few weeks he would have serious colic and be a very unhappy camper for a while.

We all got very limited sleep and really just took what we could get, where we could get it.

 Remi hated everything for the first 3 months of his life, especially baths. And I'm sure you're noticing his gigantic testicles. Poor guy was born with a Hydrocele, making his testes the size of my fist. But it went away naturally and within a few months.

He went through a giraffe phase.

 We occasionally got him to sleep. But it was a lot less than the average newborn, about 9 total hours a day. (The average is 16!) Yikes!

He spit up, a lot.
He was diagnosed with Acid Reflux.

 He cried, a lot.

But we wouldn't trade a moment of it.

 Then we moved back up north! And instead of being in a tiny apartment in Manhattan, we opted for a 3 bedroom/2 bath in West New York, NJ. The view is spectacular.

A lot of people may say that it's "not New York", but it's actually closer to Manhattan than most of my friends in Brooklyn are. We can be in the city in 10 minutes. So, yeah, we're not in NY, but we're closer than most!

After the move, we started to settle in and get back to the things we loved about NYC. Pretty soon Thanksgiving arrived and we went to enjoy it with my father's family in CT. 

Here's Remi & my dad enjoying each other's company at dinner. This was also one of the first times that Remi got to eat real food and not just baby mush. He was about 8 months old. And of course, he loved it!

Remi got his photo taken with Santa at the Garden State Mall in Paramus, NJ. Honestly, I was a little disappointed that he didn't freak out. Those photos of kids crying in Santa's lap are priceless.

After that, we decided that it was time this little boy took his first international flight! So, we spent December and New Year's in Italy. 

This was our visit to the mural of the Last Supper in Milan and Remi slept through the whole thing.

This was our train ride from Milan to Florence.

We hired a professional photographer to take some photos while we were in Florence, but they didn't turn out quite as we had hoped.

Remi's first time opening a Christmas present. He was SO excited!! 

This was on the porch of our apartment in Florence. Remi had such a great time.

After an Italian Christmas & New Year's, we came back to NJ and I started working on my Jewelry again. It's been a long time, but it's been so nice to get back into it.

While working on my Etsy page & my Facebook page, I also started planning Remi's 1st birthday. The only thing I forgot to do for his birthday was take photos! We have a few, but I really wish I had hired a photographer, so we'd have more moments captured. There were about 30 people there, the party started at 1pm and the last guests left around 9pm. It was definitely a fun party, a little too much fun for some. ;-)

We recently celebrated Mother's day and my husband's birthday (his birthday is May 10th) on the same day, so that was very womp-womp. Neither of us really felt celebrated. I told Greg that next year, we have to celebrate them on different days. So we can each feel honored. Here's a video that Greg made for Remi's 1st birthday/Mother's Day. Get those tissues ready!

So, that about sums up the last 14 months of our lives. Now we're contemplating another move. But I'll get into that in my next post. 

Thanks for reading! And please subscribe, share, etc. if you like what you read.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Step 7: Find your peers

Good friends are hard to find, no matter who or where you are.

We all remember how easy it was to make friends in school, because it just happened. We were thrown together in a pool of our peers and told to get along, which ended up in lifelong friendships.

But as an adult it's so much harder finding people that we have things in common with. We have so many more likes and dislikes than we did when we were younger. So many more requirements for what we want in a good friend. We're pickier. Or we, or other people already have a set group of friends. This makes the process much harder.

One of my favorite tools for finding friends is

Before Greg and I made our trek to Wilmington, NC, I took some time to start searching Meetup, yelp, facebook and other message boards for people in my same situation. Pregnant and in Wilmington, NC.

I was super lucky to find a group on Meetup called Rock The Bump (Which has recently been moved to facebook). This was a group of girls, about my age, all living in and around Wilmington, NC that are also first time mom's-to-be like me!

When Greg and I came down for a visit to Wilmington, before we moved, I met up with the creator of the meetup group, Caitlin. She was super nice and we seemed to have a lot in common (other than just the pregnancy).
Since we moved, I've ben able to get to know a lot of the girls in the group and am forming real, solid friendships.

So, yes, finding friends in your 30's is hard, but it's not impossible. Especially if you put in the effort.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Step 6: Survive the Holidays! (I did it!)

The holidays are stressful, wether you're pregnant or not! 

There are lots of ways to get through them and make the most of them. But if you're reading this, you've already made it through, so congrats!

My holidays were a little chaotic, but mostly relaxing and fun.

At Thanksgiving, I got to see my adorable niece and nephews.
That's Greyson with whipped cream on his head after Thanksgiving dinner. 

And here's me & my doppleganger, though, I'm definitely bigger.

After Thanksgiving, we had a nice visit from my dad and his wife, Marie.  Unfortunately, we forgot to take photos while they were here.

Then, before Christmas, my Step-sister, her daughter & my mother all wanted to take a holiday-sights visit to NYC. It was a lot of fun, despite arriving & leaving during a blizzard.

Here's Greg after we walked 10 blocks and 2 Avenues in the blizzard to get this stroller back to the place we were staying. We bought the Bugaboo Frog from a craigslist ad & one of my friends (Jenn) picked it up for us. One of the worst things about NYC is that it doesn't matter how much money you have or how pregnant you are, if there's bad weather, you won't be able to find an open cab. 

This is us at the Plaza, in front of the Christmas tree. Greg likes to touch my belly in most of the photos that we take these days.

This was after a carriage ride & a long walk, we stopped into the Plaza bar for drinks and apps. From left to right is my mom, Greg, Jordan (my niece) and me.

Before the carriage ride, we went and saw Matilda!! It was SO good and my friend Anna designed parts of the set! Definitely try to see it if you have the chance. From left to right is my Step-Sister Karen, my niece Jordan, my mom Meridith and me.

Once we got back to Wilmington from NYC we had a few holiday parties to attend. This was the Ugly sweater party. Hosted by one of my preggo friends, Jennifer (pictured far right). I made my shirt and cut a hole in it then put a snow globe app on my phone and put it in the shirt. It was a big hit! Left to right is me, Rachel (she had her baby, Sienna, about 3 months ago) and Jennifer (who just had her baby, Hadley, about 3 weeks ago).

The holidays were fun, but I'm ready for my big (little) present to get here already!!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Step 5: Don't Move...but if you have to (or really want to)...

Some people equate it with a death in the family or loosing a job.
I don't think it's as hard as one of those, but I guess it really depends on what your reason for moving is.

Our reason for moving from NYC to Wilmington, NC was to be closer to family during this huge moment in our lives. And because I didn't think I could handle the city while pregnant. (pregnant women having to stand on the subway cars is way more common than you think)

NYC is great, it's one of the best places on Earth. But nothing about it is easy and that's coming from someone who got to do whatever she wanted day-in & day-out. And it's definitely more of a single, care-free person's city.

So, if you're pregnant, and thinking about or needing to make a move, here's some tips:

1. Hire a moving company.  Yes, it can be expensive, but it's the best money you'll spend. Just make sure to do your research. We had a great experience with Big John's Moving Company.

2. Pick a place (if you have the choice) that's easier and lower-key than the place you're already living. Pregnancy is tough and exhausting. You'll be much happier if your environment is calm.

3. Find friends online in your future destination before you move. is great for this. Moving to a new place can be hard and even more so if you're lonely.

4. If you need to buy a car where you'll be living, check and find some cars that you can look at in person as soon as you get there. We did this and bought a car as soon as we got off the plane.

5. If you can, take a weekend to go back and visit the place you moved from a few months after you've moved. This will give you some perspective into your move. For us, it really made us appreciate our new environment and remind us what we moved for.
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Step 4: Be Tricky

Is it just my group of friends or is it just living in NYC?

Every time I went out to eat or to any kind of party or get together, my friends constantly pushed drinks on me. 

Having to keep my pregnancy a secret was super hard when living in a very alcoholic atmosphere.
(Now, I'm living in Wilmington & open about my pregnancy.)

Depending on your view or your doctor's view of alcohol during pregnancy, this may or may not come in handy. My doctor said that she doesn't tolerate ANY alcohol consumption. Which seems a little harsh to me. I mean, are a few sips of wine going to cause that many problems? Well, I guess we can't be sure. Better safe, than sorry.

Here's a few tricks we've used

At Paries:

- These are easy, just take a red cup & fill it with ice, soda water and a splash of cranberry or any mixers you like. Most of my friends know my usual drinks, so they didn't suspect anything at my birthday party. 
- Doing shots - You can either pretend you already did too many before whoever suggested it makes you one. Or, you can have your partner or friend who's in on the secret make you a (water) shot and give vodka or another clear alcohol to everyone else.

- Cocktail parties - This is pretty easy, just carry a glass of wine or champagne around with you. Constantly mingle. You can either stop in the bathroom to dump a little out or let your partner take some gulps. 

- Weddings - This is a little hard, but if there's an open bar, just have your partner go up and order both your drinks at the same time. A cranberry & soda with lime for you. The champagne toast is a hard one to avoid, so I didn't. You don't have to drink the whole glass though. I took a few sips. If you really don't want to digest any alcohol, you can probably just use your "drink". Pretend you're a champagne snob & if it isn't Veuve or better, you can't drink it. LOL

When someone offers to grab you another drink:

- This one is hard & I still haven't mastered it. I just tell them that I'm fine and my husband is getting me one. But I feel so bad because they always look a little insulted that I won't let them grab me a drink. Maybe, let them get you a drink if they're persistent and then casually go to the rest room and pour it out?

Going out to eat:

(If you don't live in NYC, you can probably get away with ordering a soda.)

- If you live in NYC, you really can't eat any meal & not order an alcoholic beverage without it being suspicious. In my opinion, this is bullshit, but NYC thrives on alcohol. 

(If you're comfortable drinking a tiny bit of wine or beer while pregnant, try this tip.)
- Order a glass of wine or a beer (the lowest alcohol content). Take extremely small sips (but make them look bigger) only right after your most suspicious friend takes a sip and look at them when you do. Have your husband or partner take giant gulps of your beverage when everyone else isn't looking.

- If you think you can play it cool enough, (without bursting into tears like I did) then just order a soda or juice. I'm insanely bad at lying.

- Boozy Brunch - Ugh, we have a friend who has been pestering us for weeks now about going to boozy brunch. Boozy brunch is a very NYC thing. People get up on a Sunday (sometimes Saturdays too) around noon, go to brunch and have all-you-can-drink booze while they eat. Usually there's a 2 hour limit. I have yet to do one as a pregnant woman, we keep blowing our friend off. I really want to go out to brunch, (because it's my favorite meal) but this particular friend would not let it rest if I did not partake in the booziness. 

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Step 3: Study?

I'm super excited about being pregnant. 

I thought that I would be more scared than excited, but since we heard our baby's heartbeat I've been dying to nest & reading all kinds of baby books.

So, baby books....

 What's your favorite?

I got "What to Expect When You're Expecting" & it's pretty basic and cheesy. My mom sent me one called, "I'm Pregnant". It's a little more thorough than What to Expect, but it's still kinda cheesy. 

My husband, however, got sent a super funny & extremely practical book called, "Be Prepared". 

What's that about?!

Why do the men get the fun/funny stuff & we have to have all the serious "get ready for pain" books?

 Do you have a favorite funny pregnancy book aimed at women? 
If so, I'd love some recommendations!
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Step 2: Stay Pregnant

Pregnancy is weird! 

Here's a list of all the random symptoms I've been experiencing.

1. A weird milky taste in my mouth during the first 4 weeks.

2. Nausea (without vomiting).

3. Serious Exhaustion!

4. Super sore boobs.

5. Painful Cramps (without spotting).

6. An insatiable craving for fruit.

7. Weird sex dreams (where I actually orgasm while asleep!)

8. Maybe it's bloating (but my bump has popped fast).

9. An always stuffy nose to go to bed with.

10. Super hero sense of smell, when my nose isn't stuffy (not really a great thing in NYC during the summer).

11. Awful hunger pangs.

12. A strong desire to never leave my home.

13. Random emotional outbursts (crying when a friend asks if I'm pregnant or getting mad at something completely simple & stupid)

14. Frequent Urination

15. Mild pregnancy brain (Where you put your phone in the fridge, because you're absently thinking that it's a bottle of ketchup. Yeah, I did that.)

When will my boobs become full and perky?! They've always been big, but I want to see them bloom in pregnancy!

If you're experiencing weird pregnancy symptoms, I'd love to hear all about them!

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Step 1: Get Pregnant

On May 24th, 2013 my husband took me on an anniversary trip (7 years married!) to Paris and the French Riviera. It was extremely romantic. We enjoyed views of the Sienne, romantic dinners and even met up with some good friends for bar hopping while we were there.

  On May 26th, we flew down to Marseille, rented a car and drove to St. Tropez. While there, we stayed in a luxury resort facing the beautiful Mediterranean.

On May 28th, our actual anniversary, we made love to this view. 

Jump forward a month, June 18th, we are flying from Barcelona to Morocco. I'm supposed to get my period on this day. The entire day, I'm nauseous. Not only am I insanely sick for a day of traveling, but I have to do it next to a crazy, old Arabic woman who is yelling at me in her language the whole flight. We finally arrive in Casablanca, get in our hired car and drive for three and a half hours to Essaouira (a popular Moroccan beach town).

We spent two nights in Essaouira. It was beautiful and unusual. We explored the Medina and my period was nowhere in sight.

On June 20th, we hopped on a bus from Essaouira to Marrakesh. On the bus ride, I see a tree covered in goats. Literally, goats standing on every limb of this tree. We were passing it so fast that I didn't have a chance to snap a photo. But if you click that link, you can see exactly what it looked like.

 Once in Marrakesh, we arrived at our super swanky hotel. Seriously, this shit was crazy. It had his & hers, separate bathrooms. One with a tub & the other with a shower. Here's a link to the hotel, it's so sexy. We were in the Deluxe Junior Suite, well worth it.

After some time lounging by the pool and taking in all the complimentary refreshments, we decided to take a taxi to a french restaurant in a nearby neighborhood. 
I have a serious thing for foie gras, escargot and beef tartar. 
It's kind of insane how much I love it.

Back at the hotel, we did more of our happy-couple-love-dance. But, I was starting to get a little worried that my reliable red sister was so late. In the meantime, we awoke at 4am and went for a sunrise hot-air balloon & camel ride. 

The sunrise was stunning.

If you ever have a chance to do a hot air balloon ride, do it! It's amazing.

The pilot took our photo, don't worry, he didn't need to steer.

When we landed, the whole basket tipped over. It was pretty funny.

The camel ride was kinda lame, kind of like a pony ride around a parking lot. But the camels were sweet.

So, the next day, my hubs went out to a pharmacy and bought me a weird pregnancy test. But they say you should take it first thing in the morning, so there's a lot more of the preggers hormone in your pee. So, we had to wait another day.
This was the result.

See that faint pink line next to the dark red one? Yeah, my husband wasn't convinced either. So, we blew it off as being a weird African/French product & vowed we'd take one when we got back to NYC.

The rest of the trip was wonderful. We drank cocktails by the pool, I got an authentic Moroccan scrub & massage and we ate steak tartar. (All things that I'm pretty sure you shouldn't do when pregnant.)

We explored the Medina.

A bird flew into our hotel room.

And we got Moroccan McDonald's for our drive to the airport.

Then, after those 3 months abroad, we were home. 
Just in time for the craziness that is, Pride Weekend.


So, the day after our flight arrived I took two more pregs tests. Better safe than sorry!

And, ta da!

We're pregnant!

As I sit here writing this, I'm 8 weeks and 3 days along. The doctor says I can't announce it until I've passed the 12 week mark.

These are the longest 12 weeks of my life!

Thanks for reading & I hope you continue to join me as I document this unusual new chapter of my life.

*Update* - Just announced our pregnancy on Facebook. I'm now 12 weeks and 5 days. Here's the video Greg & I made as our way of announcing our pregnancy. I hope you like it!

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