Thursday, August 29, 2013


I've genuinely been a pretty happy/upbeat person my entire life. I've learned so much about myself from some of the friendships I've had. And since I've had children, specifically since I had Harper three years ago, I've learned that some people are just miserable people that you MUST vacate from your life.

People can lift you up. And people can bring you down. It's up to you who you want to invite into your life. And some people are just not worthy of your friendship.

15 Things Happy People Don't Do.

This article really spoke to my heart. It really did.

And I hope it does for you, too.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Back almost (exactly) six years ago, I left a hell of a job to work for the organization I currently work for. It was, by far, one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. I left the previous job as a "mutual decision" between my boss and I. Verbally, that's how it was. But on paper, I was let go. I wasn't let go because I wasn't doing my job. It was quite the opposite, actually. I was working to death for a boss who could never and would never be happy with anything I (or anyone else) did for him or the company. Just to give you a little peak into what I was dealing with: I was reprimanded for using too many sticky notes. Over the fifteen months I worked for him, I was belittled to a point that when I left, I felt I had no confidence left.

After I left, I went on 27 interviews in three weeks. Yes, 27. It was chaotic. It was wonderful. I was working with head hunters who saw my resume and had me at an interview that afternoon, literally. The company I worked for was a household name in the industry, and my previous boss was well known. In those 27 interviews, my boss' name came up quite a bit. A few times I was told that I must be an angel for lasting fifteen months with a man who, without a doubt, treated me like shit. And he did. He really, really did. It was like a real version of The Devil Wears Prada, except I was working for a man. And yes, if you didn't already know, I worked in the fashion industry.

I went on some amazing interviews in those three weeks. I interviewed for a position at Yves Saint Laurent. I was extremely intimidated when they asked me who I was working for, but was put at ease when I saw a look of shock that I'd lasted over a year. I interviewed at quite a bit of advertising agencies, public relations firms and I actually went on a few interviews for some financial firms. I interviewed for an executive assistant position to the CEO of a major high end watch retail company (and was offered the position). But my best interview was for an executive assistant position to the lead architect who designs the Marc Jacobs stores. He told me that with my confidence, he could see me really going places. And not as an assistant, but as a owner of my own company someday. (I was also offered this position.)

When you have made a career as an executive assistant, it all comes down to not only having experience in the field you're working in, but the most important thing is getting along with your boss, and he/she getting along with you. Being an assistant to someone is a very personal professional relationship. A perfect assistant for someone may not be a perfect assistant for someone else.

I turned down a few jobs making so much more money (obscenely more) than I was offered at my current job, and I look back and have no regrets (ok, so maybeeeee a little regret with the Stephan Jaklitsch position). I separated myself from the money and the glamour, and I chose a job because I knew I'd get along with my boss. The interview I had led me to believe this because as I sat there talking about my experiences and myself, I looked down at his desk and saw neon colored post-it notes on everything. I glanced at the sticky notes and saw things checked off and crossed out. I'll always wonder if "hire the perfect assistant" was on that list.

After I was offered a few positions at the same time, I sat and I thought long and hard about where I'd be happy. I knew, I REALLY knew, I'd be happy with a boss who used a lot of post-it notes.

And six years later, I realize I was right.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hypospadia Repair

It's no secret that the month of May was rather difficult in our home. Aside from the fact that our daughter broke her leg after falling off a ladder at the playground, our little man had to have surgery to repair a hypospadia. A hypo-what? Yeah, that's what I said when he was born back in November. In technical terms, our poor baby had his urethra in the wrong place. In more understandable terms, his pee hole was not on the tip of his penis.... it was on the shaft. So while I was lucky enough not get to get peed on like most mothers of newborn baby boys usually do, I had to deal with our boy being put under for two hours while he underwent a surgery to repair the imperfection.

When our baby was first born, our obstetrician told us that he couldn't perform a circumcision because our son had a hypospadia. I never knew this type of thing even existed. But it did. And our little man had it! So I did what any parent would do. I researched to find the best pediatric urologist in New York City. Listen, we live in the best city in the world. A city not only filled with the best shopping (ha!), but also filled with the best doctors! We found the doctor, made an appointment, the rest is history.

Little man had his surgery just a few days after his half birthday. It was a very long stressful day, but all worked out well. The worst part was when he was waking up from anesthesia. They warned me that he would probably cry for about a half hour straight, and nothing would soothe him. They were right. It was horrible. We were also told that he would be in visible pain for the first day, and then wake up better the next morning. They were right about that also. He was extremely clingy for about a week, but that was ok because I took off work to be with him. And honestly, I didn't mind the bit of clingyness.

It's now almost four months after the surgery and he's perfect. He's always been perfect. But now, as our pediatric urologist said.... "He has a perfect penis!" Awwww.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

20 Random Facts About Me

About five years ago, there was a Facebook frenzy on this topic. Everyone was doing it. I was included in the "everyone". I compiled a list of random facts about myself and shared it with my 400+ friends on Facebook. Now, my life has changed. I reread what I wrote almost five years ago, and while some of the facts remain the same, they don't seem as important. I've kept a few of the "original" facts from Facebook, but I've added some new ones too!

And here it is..... after the JUMP.

1. I love cats and can't imagine a home without one.

2. I love, I mean, REALLY LOVE flea markets and I believe nothing is as good as vintage.

3. Since I was a young teenager, I wanted to be an attorney so I could fight for animal rights but I didn't get accepted into a law school.

4. My favorite food is french fries. I can eat french fries with every single meal.

5. I would completely skip dinner to have a huge ice cream sundae. And I have! Many times.

6. I truly believe that every person comes into your life for a reason - whether it's good or bad. Each person you meet is your mirror and they add to you in some way.

7. I used to think that the people who get to the top do so by being mean to others. I now believe it's just the opposite. I realized that the only way you get to the top is by being kind to others because getting to "the top" only means that you're happy within yourself. No one could possibly be happy by being mean all the time.

8. I believe people should talk through their issues immediately and not keep it inside.

9. I used to curse. A lot.

10. I am not afraid of bugs, but I'm extremely afraid of cockroaches. I don't know what it is but they totally creep me out!

11. Everyday, I think to myself that I'm not even responsible enough to take care of myself, let alone two children under the age of three.

12. I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up".

13. ..... is an unlucky number!

14. Boys were really really mean to me when I was younger... they joked my hair and my freckles. I cried a lot because of this. I hated the way I looked because I was so different. Now, as an adult, I love my red hair and I can't imagine myself looking any other way.

15. I used to be on time for everything and it drove me crazy when people were late. Now, with two children, I'm happy if I get anywhere on time.

16. I hate being hot while I'm sleeping - I would rather be freezing with blankets on.

17. I remember being a child and rearranging things so that every little knick-knack had to be at a certain angle and placed just right on a shelf. I think I missed my calling in interior design.

18. I never, in a million years, thought I'd last this long in NYC.

19. Driving across the Manhattan Bridge at night, in a taxi, reminds me that we live in the best city in the world.

20. I am the absolute most indecisive person about EVERYTHING - but I was sure, without a doubt in my mind, that I wanted to be with Charlie forever.

Monday, June 10, 2013

25 Things My Children Should Know About Me

I came across this list on another blog and thought, "Hey, WHY NOT?" So I've decided I am going to do this. I think it will be a good thing for Harper and Adler to look back on. AND it will be an assignment for myself. When I was in college, I loved my writing classes because a professor would give us a topic and we'd have to just run with it. My husband and I talk about this situation a lot - how, when you are in your studies, you are forced to be creative. But then, you graduate your studies and you have to create your own assignments! So here I am. I'd love if you followed along.

Becky xxx


1. List 20 random facts about yourself.

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

3. Describe your relationship with your spouse.

4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

6. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?

7. What is your dream job, and why?

8. What are 5 passions you have?

9. Describe your most embarrassing moment.

10. Describe 5 pet peeves you have.

11. Describe a typical day in your current life.

12. What’s the hardest part of growing up?

13. Describe 5 weaknesses and 5 strengths you have.

14. Describe when you knew your spouse was the one or how you fell in love.

15. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

16. What is the one thing you wish you were great at?

17. What do you think your spouse loves most about you? And what do you love most about your spouse?

18. How did you feel the moment you became a parent?

19. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

20. Describe your relationship with your parents.

21. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

22. What’s your favorite holiday and why?

23. What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?

24. What is your favorite part of your body and why?

25. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Two weeks ago I received a text from our nanny that no mother wants to receive. I was in my office pumping when the text came in: "Harper fell at the playground. She is hurt. You need to come home."

Our nanny has been with us for over 2 1/2 years. She has seen and taken care of Harper with horrible colds, vomiting, high fevers. When Harper is sick, she has a preferred list of three people - her mommy, her daddy, her Sha-Sha.... in that order. I immediately called our nanny to learn of the damage.

These are the words I heard in 10 seconds: fell ladder cried limping not walking emergency room.

If you know our daughter, you know that she doesn't sit still. EVER. She doesn't walk. SHE RUNS.

"What do you mean, she doesn't want to walk?"

I leave my office in a panic. I don't even tell anyone I'm leaving. I hail a cab and tell the cab driver that I need to go over the Manhattan Bridge to Fort Greene, Brooklyn and politely (or not so politely) say "you better not tell me you aren't taking passengers to Brooklyn." I email my office to tell everyone that Harper is hurt and that I'm already on the way home. On my way, I call Harper's pediatrician for advice on what to do. They tell me to bring her in.

Harper is a tough girl. No, really. She would rather hang out with the 5 and 6 years old boys she sees at the playground than the little girls playing nicely. When we met in the doctor's office, she immediately told me she was hurt. I asked her to see if she could walk. She was scared, but she put weight on her right leg and crumbled to the floor in pain.

She was called back to the room at her pediatrician's office and was seen by the physician's assistant. At this point, Harper was Harper. She was joking around - laughing - smiling. Being her charming self. The PA ruled out a fracture, saying, "If it was broken, she'd be in pain. Her spirits are too high for a broken leg." We were sent home. After getting home, Harper still would not walk. She sat on the couch unable to move.

The next morning, her leg was swollen and bruised. Back to the doctor we went. The PA ruled out a fracture but said she would like to send us to the ER "just in case". The x-ray tech at the hospital also ruled out a fracture. Told me that our child was too happy to have a fractured leg. We were sent home.

It was 28 hours after the fall at the playground that I got a call from the PA. She explained that she got a call from the x-ray tech over at Long Island College Hospital and that Harper has a fractured leg and we need to go back to the ER immediately to have her leg casted.

Visions of a ruined Summer flashed before my eyes. No sprinklers? No swimming lessons? No dance classes? No pools? My heart was broken for her.

She was the life of the party in pediatric ER. The doctors and nurses loved her. They didn't want her to leave! She was such a trooper and didn't shed even one tear as they put the cast on her.

She was bummed for a couple of days, but quickly learned that she could still get around if she crawled and scooted. About 8 days after she got the cast, she learned that should get actually stand upright by holding on to furniture. It took her 10 days to learn that she could walk. Took her 16 days to learn that she could climb.

She got her cast off today. It was the longest 18 days of my life. She still isn't walking. She is taking is slow. But before we know it, I'm sure we will be yelling at her to slow down while she runs and jumps. We will be yelling at her to slow down while she uses her scooter down our street.

"She is determined!" her preschool director told us.
"Nothing is stopping her!" her preschool teacher told us.
"All her friends have stopped climbing at the playground and they sit with Harper and write with chalk!" her nanny told us.
"She is amazing!" everyone told us.

And she is! She really, REALLY is.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life Change

It was one year ago today that I received the most shocking news of my life. After years of thinking we could never get pregnant on our own, I found out I was almost 16 weeks pregnant with our second child. Well, actually, today was the day I found out I was pregnant after a cheapo Walgreens home pregnancy test. It wasn't until the next day when I was told how far along I was in my pregnancy when I made an emergency trip to my obstetrician. You can read more about the story HERE.

I want to be perfectly clear that Adler was WANTED. He was absolutely wanted. He was just unexpected. We were already talking about when we would start fertility treatments again and he was coming about a year earlier than we had planned. A year ago today, I went to sleep thinking that there was no way I was going to be able to take care of another child in New York City. In our two bedroom apartment. On our fourth floor walk-up.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was shocked. When I first looked at that positive line on the pee stick, I got an extremely loud ringing in my ears. That ringing had only happened one other time in my life (the moment I realized I was going to marry Charlie after only dating him for 4 months). I feel like it was yesterday that I was sitting in my bathroom on the toilet staring at the stick, thinking that I definitely didn't take the test correctly. There was really just NO way. NO WAY I was pregnant.

But I was. I definitely was.

I went through the next 24 1/2 weeks in disbelief. I was angry (and still am) that I lost my first trimester. I thought his first kicks were gas pains. I thought I was sick, and not pregnant.

We always fantasized about getting pregnant in our bed. When we were going through fertility treatments trying to get pregnant with Harper, we would joke about how we were going to know (down to the exact minute) when our child would be conceived. We were envious of couples who had no idea when they got pregnant. Now, we were one of those couples! Fascinating.

Adler is the most amazing baby. I can't say it enough. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was sick with worry about having another baby like Harper. Don't get me wrong, I LOVEEEEE my little girl. But my little girl is a handful. She was ALWAYS a handful. She was an extremely difficult newborn, infant, toddler.... and now, as bright and beautiful and wonderful as she is, she is an extremely difficult preschooler. That's her. She is going to change the world, I have no doubt in my mind. But I secretly (or not so secretly) hoped that the baby I was about to have would be easier. And he is!

Adler is a joy in my life. I just adore him. He is so easy going. And so so so happy.

I still find myself looking at him every day and just wondering how in the world he came to us. How his little soul chose us to be his parents. I may never know the answer to this, but I know that I must have done something pretty amazing in my life to deserve him.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I had a touch of mastitis last week and to say that I was in excruciating pain is the understatement of the year.

I woke up last Wednesday and fed Adler on one breast, but didn't have enough time to pump the other breast. I thought I'd make it to work and pump as soon as I walked through the door, but I didn't have time and, well, my 9am pumping session turned to 10:30am and my boobies were literally about to explode. I probably should have pumped more than I did, but in about 7 minutes, I had already pumped 6 ounces! A few hours and one other pumping session later, I had managed to pump 19 ounces in two pumping sessions and I still felt full! Problems up ahead! Or should I say below?

The next day I woke up feeling not-so-well and my breast felt as though it would feel better if someone just put an ax to it and took it completely off. I wasn't sure what to do. Should I go to the doctor or should I wait it out? I went to work and literally winced and moaned my way through the day. The other assistant I work with in my office kept asking me if I was ok. It wasn't good! On top of the pain, I felt sick. I felt feverish and achy.

I wrote my La Leche League chapter leader for advice. No reply! So I did what I thought I should do and pumped and nursed as much as possible. On Friday, I felt much better. Still very sore, but better! Over the weekend, I felt bruised, but better!

Women's bodies are an interesting thing. Since I've had children, I have this totally different sense of what a woman can do. We make babies and feed and nurture babies. We are amazing. Today, I'm back to normal... But my supply has dramatically decreased! Which would probably be bad for most breastfeeding mommies - but I'm now exactly where I need to be! I'm no longer overproducing.

Doesn't look like I'll be donating breastmilk any time soon, but that's ok, right?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sleep Training

Oh, where do I begin? Sleep Training. It was when Harper was about six months old that I realized I could no longer deal with swaddling, nursing to sleep, stick pacifier in mouth, and place her in the car seat that was nestled so safely in her crib. Yes, I'm serious. Car seat IN the crib. Imagine it. We were living it. THIS was Harper's sleep plan between months 3-6. Don't judge! I didn't know what else to do! Between her extreme reflux and her sleeping issues and her lack of weight gain, I was stressed. At about six months I decided it was time to get her laying in a crib at night with no crutches to help her fall asleep. How would I do this? Do I take her out of the car seat first? Do I stop nursing her first? Do I get rid of the pacifier first? I had NO IDEA. And it was then that we decided to hire a certified sleep trainer. Yes, people, I paid someone to come to our home to help us figure out how to get our daughter to fall asleep. And, it was (without a doubt) the BEST money we ever EVER spent on our child. I actually had (key word: HAD) a friend (who didn't have children!!) whom I later found out talked shit about me to her other friends because I did this. Be ye not so stupid. You should NEVER judge a mother and they way they parent their child especially when you do not have one of your own. Now that's out of the way...... The truth is, if I could go back, I would pay the money all over again. Knowing what I know now, I would have paid her TWICE the amount we did. What we learned from the sleep trainer has now helped us to sleep train not only our first child, but our second child too! Not only has it helped us directly... it's also helped many MANY of my friends. So this is what we did. And listen carefully, because it works. I'm telling you, IT WORKS!!!

It starts with age and then a routine. Make sure your baby is at least four months old AND at least 12 pounds. Decide what time you'd like to put your baby down to sleep each night. If you are going to give your baby a bath, start your routine 45-minutes before that time. No bath? Start your routine 30-minutes before that time. Goes like this: Give bath, get dressed, nurse or bottle feed (with lights on), wake baby up if fell asleep while eating, read short book, say goodnight, give kisses, turn off the light ("say goodnight to the light"), place baby in crib, hand baby tiny lovey, shut the door. Yes, it's really that easy. Is it that easy immediately? NO. The first two nights are hell. But once you get through that third night, you will have a sleep trained baby who will sleep through the night. TRUST.

The first night is the worst. As soon as you put your baby down in the crib, he or she will cry. Like, REALLY cry.

There are 3 levels of crying:
-Level 1 crying is whining.
-Level 2 crying is crying.
-Level 3 crying is hysterics.

On the first night, you do not answer to level 1 crying. Let your baby whine. You do not answer to level 2 crying. Let your baby cry. You answer to level 3 crying ONLY IF your baby cries for 5 minutes straight. Hear me on this. If your baby stops crying momentarily (for two seconds), the time resets! Your baby must cry nonstop for 5 minutes before you go in. If and when you go in, you DO NOT pick your baby up. You go over to the crib and you rub your baby's tummy, touch his face, tell him you love him, but you DO NOT PICK HIM UP! You do not stay in the room for longer than 15 seconds. Once you leave, your baby will begin to cry again. But remember that your baby must cry nonstop for 5 minutes before you go back in. This may go on for hours. We went in to Harper three times on the first night. It took her 45 minutes to fall asleep. We went in to Adler one time on the first night. It took him 50 minutes to fall asleep. If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, you use the same steps.

On the second night, you do not answer to level 1 crying. You do not answer to level 2 crying. You answer to level 3 crying ONLY IF your baby cries for 10 minutes straight. If your baby stops crying momentarily (for two seconds), the time resets. Repeat everything you did on the first night. We went in to Harper one time on the second night. It took her 20 minutes to fall asleep. We did not need to go into Adler at all on the second night. It took him 20 minutes to fall asleep. If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, you use the same steps.

On the third night, you do not answer to level 1 crying. You do not answer to level 2 crying. You answer to level 3 crying ONLY IF your baby cries for 15 minutes straight (which isn't going to happen, TRUST!). If your baby stops crying momentarily (for two seconds), the time resets. Repeat everything you did on the first night. We did not need to go into Harper at all on the third night. It took her 7 minutes to fall asleep. We did not need to go into Adler at all on the third night. He didn't even cry when we put him down. He was asleep in less than 5 minutes, and I listened to him babble himself to sleep (yes, he's an angel). If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, you use the same steps.

In regards to waking up in the middle of the night, Harper never woke up in the middle of the night. That was never her problem. Once she's asleep, she's asleep. Adler on the other hand, woke up in the middle of the night. But on all three nights of sleep training, we never had to go into him to soothe him. He woke up for short periods of time and whined and cried a bit, but after 10 minutes or so, he put himself back to sleep.

If you follow these steps, chances are, you will have a baby who sleeps 10 hours straight after three nights of sleep training. Of course there will be bumps along the way. As a matter of fact, just two weeks after sleep training Adler, I made the mistake of putting him in bed with us when he woke up at 4:30am. The next night, he woke up at 3am. Then the next night, he basically was no longer sleep trained and we had to start the sleep training process all over again.

Stick with it and you'll have your baby sleeping soundly in his crib.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Am I Tired? Nooooo. Not me.

I'll tell you the fastest way to lose your shit. I finally realized it today.

Wake up at 1:30am to your babbling baby who you sleep trained two weeks ago to sleep through the night. Listen to that baby babble (in your room because you only live in a two bedroom apartment and your oldest child is a pain in the ass to get to sleep each night) for 2 hours before he starts to wail and cry for another two hours, finally falling asleep 30 minutes before you are supposed to wake up for work. You know, that job that you called in sick to yesterday because you only got 4 hours of sleep the night before. Only THIS morning, you realize that you only got 3 hours of sleep (and it wasn't consecutive time).

Get dressed and you're out the door (20 minutes late because that's the new norm!) and you realize that you have to move the car. The car that's parked on a New York City street. A street that is going to start filming a movie today and your car will be towed if you don't move it! Thinking it won't take too long, you keep positive until an HOUR AND 15 MINUTES LATER, you still haven't found a parking spot.

Arrive to work a full hour late. (I really wish I was kidding!) You know, that job that you called in sick to yesterday? Yeah, you show up an hour late today.

Drudge through the day only to have your (amazing) boss tell you that you aren't looking yourself and that you need to go home and sleep.

Realize you forgot to buy your fabulous husband a birthday card (it's his birthday today), so you make a beeline to the closest shop near home to pick up a fancy card. You pick out the card and the cashier says, "That will be $5.39, please.", and you open your wallet to realize that you have a five dollar bill, a dime and a penny. The cashier actually gives you money from the "extra change" in the shot glass sitting right next to the cash register. (What I really needed was a shot of vodka in that glass!)

Get home and have the nanny tell you that your wild 2 1/2 year old did not take a nap today. You know, that one kid who is literally jumping off the windowsills in your apartment and screaming "TAH DAH!!!"? Yeah, that's the one. And your infant only took a 20 minute afternoon nap.

Put on Sesame Street because it's the ONLY THING that will keep you sane at this point. Isn't it amazing how Sesame Street will keep you sane? Start nursing your infant to take a nap and you're so tired that you nod off too - only to be woken up by your screaming preschooler up in your face telling you to "WAKE UP MOMMY!!! OPEN. YOUR. EYES!!!"

Have your infant cry cry cry for a half hour straight because you can't hold him while you make your preschooler a cheese omelet for dinner, microwave her string beans (yes, I microwaved her vegetables!), or while you slice her tiny green grapes into quarters just because "that's the way I like it, mommy!".

Text your best friend for affirmation that your preschooler's age is the most difficult age, and "no, you should not smack her."

ALL this while it's (literally!) 80 degrees in your apartment when it was (exaggeration) 20 degrees in your apartment three nights ago and none of your dresses or short sleeve tops fit because your boobs are so big from all the excess milk you are producing.

Whew. What a day.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Liquid Gold and the Supreme Court

Today, the Supreme Court will hear on same-sex marriages, and my breastmilk supply is at it's peak! That's right, people. The two go together today, and may actually go together EACH day from now on.

Back a little over two years ago, I was intent on exclusively breastfeeding our first child. All was well (or so I thought) until we went to our daughter's two month wellness and weight check appointment and realized that even though I felt like she had been nursing nonstop, she only gained 3 ounces in a month. To those of you who do not understand this: a newborn should be gaining 1/2 an ounce to an ounce A DAY! I was devastated. I cried in the pediatrician's office. How could this be? I had been feeding her nonstop!!

I was miserable and totally stressed out. Our daughter was off the charts small and I was forced to supplement with formula, which at the time, I said didn't bother me, but it actually really did. I mean, how can you get away from the whole "Breast is Best" philosophy when it's being shoved down your throat during your pregnancy, in the hospital, and once you get your baby home? It's true. Scientific research shows that breastmilk IS BETTER than formula. It's natural and nothing can be better than that. I drudged on and tried to feed her as much breastmilk as I possibly could. It just wasn't enough! The hormones I was on to help repair my poor broken vagina (you can read about that HERE) was taking its toll on my breastmilk supply. I hired a lactation consultant, ate a whole lot of oatmeal, took fenugreek capsules, drank a hell of a lot of water. It wasn't helping. And the stress of it all was making matters worse.

Did I give up? Oh, no I did not. I pumped at work until she was 9 months old and I thought that ANYTHING was better than NOTHING. So she got half breastmilk and half formula. And I just told myself that it didn't matter HOW she gained weight. The important thing was that she was gaining weight and that she was thriving.

Now we are here with a second child and the situation is a much much different one. I literally have so much extra milk that half of it is currently being stored in our neighbor's freezer because our small New York City apartment refrigerator isn't big enough to store it all! The amount of milk I'm producing could, quite possibly, feed another child. So that is what I'm doing.

Last week, on our Brooklyn neighborhood message boards, a male gay couple was looking for donated breast milk for their newly adopted baby. Without hesitation, I emailed the man and told him that I would give him about 150 ounces now, and that I would need to evaluate, but I could probably give him much more in the future. I explained that since I work part time, my infant takes about 10 ounces of milk while I'm away at work, but that I'm pumping approximately 15-18 ounces WHILE I'm at work. So I'm replenishing my freezer stash AND I'm adding 5-8 ounces more each day. So why not give it to a couple who, by nature, is unable to provide breastmilk to a child who needs it?

Breastmilk or formula? Opposite or same-sex marriages? Everyone has a right to have their own family so who are we to decide who can get married and who can not? I guess we'll have to see what the Supreme Court decides today. But I've decided that I'm adding an extra pumping session tonight before I go to sleep. Because that, my friends, is the RIGHT thing to do.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Before we had Adler, we heard so many people say that two children is like having five. My response was always, "Great! We have ONE that already feels like five. How is the second one going to REALLY feel?" If I can say truthfully, the adjustment at home hasn't been too bad. We were expecting the worst at the very beginning, and the worst, well, the worst never really happened.

Maternity leave with Adler couldn't have been better. We have an amazing nanny who we (and Harper) love, and she's been with us since Harper was three months old. She continued to take care of Harper while I was on maternity leave, and I was able to really stay home and bond with our newborn. From the very beginning, even in the hospital, Adler slept through the night. He was so big (reminder: 10 1/2 pounds at birth!!!) that the nurses didn't bother me with middle-of-the-night feedings. I mean, when your newborn (at birth) is the already the size of an average 3 month old, there is really no push to have him gain weight. HA! When we got home from the hospital, there were definitely middle of the night feedings, but it didn't last more than a couple of weeks. He was seriously sleeping 6-8 hours straight from the get-go.

My husband and I practice somewhat of an attachment parenting style. Aside from riding in the car, using the bathroom or making ourselves food, our children were both held constantly as newborns. We literally held them from the time they would wake up in the morning until it was time for us to go to sleep at night. It may not work for most couples, and I know people think we are crazy, but it worked (and continues to work for us). We believe that this style of parenting allows the baby to feel so secure during the day that they sleep through the night.

As my return to work loomed overhead, I knew there was a chance that Adler would not adjust well. He was a much much different newborn than Harper ever was and I just knew he would have a hard time not being cuddled all day long. Our nanny can not (and will not) hold him all day, and I don't expect her to. For some reason, when I went back to work after Harper, she still continued to sleep through the night, but I knew Adler was going to be a different story. I was right. Adler started waking up in the middle of the night the week before I went back to work (as we started to introduce a bottle). It was like he knew.

So here we are at the 4 month mark, and our infant is waking up in the middle of the night - consistently every night. He's not hungry. How can he be when he's 3 1/2 months old and weighs about 16 1/2 pounds!? He's not even waking up crying. He's just waking up with sounds of uneasiness and restlessness. He's waking up because he's lacking that security he was receiving every day for over three months. And we're honestly not sure what to do! We didn't have this issue with Harper.

So while I always SWORE I'd never bring MY baby to bed with us, I lied. When he wakes up at 3am, he comes to bed with us. And I honestly do not care. I was such a stickler about nighttime sleeping with Harper. We did not allow her to sleep in our bed with us and as she got older, I regretted not allowing her to! Adler is just so warm and cuddly and sweet. Look, he won't be sleeping in our bed when he's in high school. So I'm enjoying it now and I'll deal with the next adjustment when the time comes.

Thursday, March 07, 2013


My husband camped out on Tuesday night in low-30 degree weather, not to buy some Justin Timberlake concert tickets, but to register our 2 1/2 year old daughter in to a preschool program beginning in the fall. At 12:45am, he put on three layers of clothing with a heavy winter coat, and packed up our iPad full of television shows, a huge fleece blanket and a Pilates mat (listen, sitting on concrete after an hour is rough) and was on his way.

The school system in New York City is crazy. I'm pretty sure that the majority of young preschool aged children in our neighborhood don't even go to preschool. And it's not because of money, although, that's a problem too. But it's because there are not enough preschools for the amount of children.

Back when Harper was a little over a year old, I started researching preschools in our neighborhood and only came up with a few that were even worth applying to. Yes, I was researching preschools TWO FULL YEARS before she was even able to go. We actually applied for a 2's program on a whim and didn't even get in. During the application process, I had to fill out a "mission statement" like I had done 15 years earlier to apply to college. It was like college all over again. The same anxious feeling I had while I awaited an acceptance letter or a rejection. As I wrote this ridiculous mission statement, I thought to myself, "She is the PERFECT candidate to get in to this preschool!!" The question they wanted me to answer was something along the lines of "How would your child benefit from being involved in such a diverse neighborhood educational environment such as 'so and so' Preschool?". EASY QUESTION!! I wrote about how my father actually GREW UP in the neighborhood we live in (yes, he totally did), and the benefits of having our child learn in an environment in which her Poppy grew up would be amazing! Well, obviously... our answer wasn't good enough. Because a few months later, I got an email (yes, a fucking email... the assholes couldn't even put a 44 cent stamp on an envelope to mail the rejection letter after I paid a $50 application fee) saying our 2 year old didn't get in. They had never even laid eyes on her. So how are they making their decisions? All we put on the application was our address and what we each did for a living. Which, I work in a counsel's office for a well known private university in the city and my husband is a designer and photographer for an advertising agency. Why didn't she get in? When I called to ask this question, they had no answer to give me. They gave me some bullshit response about how the timing was off. Yeah, WHAT?

I know people in Brooklyn that are applying to preschools that cost $33,000 a year. I'm really, REALLY, not kidding. $33,000 for a 3 year old to go to preschool. What's even crazier is that these schools are EXTREMELY competitive. You would think anyone who could afford $33,000 a year to put their child in a preschool would just get in automatically, right? NOPE! Most children don't even get in!!

The preschool we really had our heart set on had a "first come, first served" policy and they didn't begin taking applications until the day after Labor Day for the following year. I knew this an entire year in advance. They specifically stated on their website that they wouldn't even take calls regarding the following year until the day after Labor Day. So in 2011, I marked on my calendar that I needed to apply to this specific preschool the day after Labor Day in 2012. At 9am on Tuesday, September 4th, I was calling and getting information on how to apply. My application and fee was in by noon. And then we waited. We got a call that we had a spot! Next step was to go to an open house to see if the preschool was a right fit for us. We went and loved the director. Next step was to take our daughter to an "open play" where they swear they aren't evaluated, but rather observed to see if they are a good fit for the type of program the preschool provides. Then, our daughter was IN! The step after that was to decide if you wanted the morning program or the afternoon program. Since our daughter takes naps from 1:30pm-3:00pm each day, we knew the morning program would be best. And since most 3 year olds take naps at the same time, EVERYONE wants the morning program. They have 40 children who are "IN" for the academic year - 20 students are in 3 classes in the morning. The other 20 students are in 3 classes in the afternoon. So what this school does is they have a morning where registration takes place and it's "first come, first served". So yes, registration began at 7am. My husband was out there at 1am to register our daughter for preschool. And what's even more shocking is that he was number 15 in line!

When my husband got home in the morning, the first thing I said to lighten the mood was, "I'm sure everyone was soooo jealous that you had a pilates mat! I mean, we were thinking! You were totally prepared!" He busted out laughing and said...."Are you kidding? PEOPLE. HAD. FUCKING. TENTS!" He then explained that other people had full body sleeping bags where the only thing exposed was their face. And I seriously thought my pilates mat was good thinking. Who was I kidding?

But she's in! She's in to start preschool in the fall. She's in the morning program. We. Are. In.

And my husband spend the entire day sleeping yesterday. Beats losing sleep in a few months when she isn't in a program at all.

Right? RIGHT?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Best Baby Products to Give and Get

Back three years ago, I was pregnant with my first child. I remember walking into the Union Square Babies 'R Us in New York City feeling so full of anxiety that I literally had to do breathing exercises. I was a soon-to-be parent, and I was a New Yorker! I needed the stuff that was easy to use. I needed the stuff that was convenient. I didn't need a million baby things because we didn't have the room for it all! There I was, struck with panic. So many little gadgets and trinkets. I didn't know what diapers were best, and what type of diaper rash cream to ask for. Would I register for a bouncy seat or a swing? And the clothing! Oh man, the clothing! And the different bottles and blankets and binkies! Whew! It's enough to drive a hormonal pregnant woman (and her husband) mad!

So here we are three years later. We have Harper who is now almost 2 1/2 years old, and we have Adler who is about 12 weeks. The amount of clothing we received for each child before, and shortly after, they were born was just short of ridiculous. Of course, we are grateful for all the generosity, but I have to say that the majority of clothing we received was never worn (and probably never will be worn) because people don't really understand the whole seasonal/sizing thing. And some babies just never wear newborn clothing because they are born at 10 1/2 pounds (like our son was!). Adler will be wearing 12 month clothing in the spring/summer so why do we have 5 sets of fleece sleepers in 12 month size? That's what I'm talking about!

Here I am to tell you THE BEST baby products on the market. Any couple would be super happy to get the items listed below. It's only too bad that we mostly bought these ourselves!

Enjoy our list!

Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets.
Back when I was pregnant with Harper, I saw women around Brooklyn with these really cool blankets. They were light. They were airy. They were expensive! "What are these things?" I thought to myself. Who the hell spends $50 on four swaddling blankets?!? Well, listen to me, people. They are perfect for swaddling real tight. They are breathable so I use them as a stroller seat cover when I want the babes to take a nap. THEY ARE THE BEST BLANKETS. Trust me. Spend the money.

Skip Hop Pronto Diaper Changer.
We couldn't live without this thing. New York City is not a kid friendly place. Restaurants and stores do not have diaper changing stations in their bathrooms. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to put my baby on a dirty bathroom floor to change a diaper. Even if there is a diaper changing station, I don't even want to think of the germs on that thing! This gadget unfolds so you can lay your baby down for a diaper change. It also has three different compartments for diapers and creams. It comes with a wipe container. Wah-lah. Easy changing!

Zutano Cozie Baby Booties.
Socks do not stay on newborn baby feet! They just don't. These baby booties do! They look like cute little shoes and they are "cozie" and warm!

Gerber Prefold Birdseye Cloth Diapers.
Don't use them as diapers! Use them as burp cloths! And, I promise you, these are THE BEST burp cloths. Our first child had extreme reflux and these really came in handy.

Aiden + Anais Burpy Bibs.
It's a burp cloth! No, it's a bib! Oh, hell... it's both! I started using these with my second child. They are super long so you can save the front AND the back of your shirt from any spit-up. It has a little neck/shoulder cut out. And it doubles as a bib! Amazing.

Vulli Gnon.
Forget Sophie! Sophie the Giraffe is so 3 years ago! This rubber teether toy is the one to get. The Gnon was created by the same company who made Sophie so it's the same natural rubber. It's super cute! And babies love it.

Baby Einstein Takealong Tunes.
We called this little toy "the boombox". It is the best. Even though our youngest is still a little too young to enjoy it, this thing was my savior with our oldest. It distracted our child during her meltdowns (which was a lot!). If I'm giving a small baby shower gift, THIS is the toy I give. It plays fun music. It lights up. It grabs an infant's attention. AND it's inexpensive!

Jellycat Collection Stuffed Animal.
Trust me when I tell you. These are BY FAR the best stuffed animals to give and get. I've actually thought (a few times) about buying one for myself to put on MY BED to cuddle with. HA! I gave each of my closest friends one of these animals for their children. Our oldest has a medium bunny that is her most favorite stuffed toy. She sleeps with it every single night. They are soft and snugly, and they are just too damn cute!

Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo.
If you have an infant who is four or five months old and you don't have one of these yet, grab your Babies 'R Us coupon (you know, the one you get in the mail every month) and get in your car NOW to buy one. I don't know about your infant, but MY infant (who is now a preschooler) wasn't one to entertain herself. This thing saved my life. I'm really not kidding. Once we got this toy, I was able to start cooking dinner again. Get in your car. NOW.

Munchkin Snack Catcher Snack Dispenser.
This is definitely something you will want once your child is able to pick up finger foods. It is perfect for Cheerios on the go. These things have soft tops so a little hand can reach in and grab a treat without it spilling all over the floor! I have to admit that our preschooler eats her breakfast out of these things every morning while she is sitting watching Sesame Street. This is a MUST HAVE.

Tommee Tippee Explora Sippy Cups.
So while we are talking about the prevention of spilling food, why not talk about the prevention of leaky cups. I've tried many many sippy cups and these are THE BEST. I know, I know, Tommee Tippee, what? But trust me on this one. These things DO NOT LEAK. They don't. They don't. THEY DON'T.

Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair.
And while we are on the subject of food, why not talk about what to eat the food in. This high chair is amazing. I felt guilty guilty guilty about getting this high chair (expensive!). But now, I'm so happy I did. High chairs are so clunky and ugly. Not to mention, hard to clean! This high chair has a sleek design. There are no nooks or crannies to get between to clean spaghetti sauce. It grows with your child and it looks like a big kid chair.

Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper.
We didn't have this product with our first child, but man, how I wish we did! I promised myself I'd remember this thing for when we had our second. It's amazing. It's compact and small. It's perfect for New York City apartment dwelling. It fits right beside our bed. There is a slight tilt in the seat, so the baby's head is elevated. Perfect for middle-of-the-night feedings where you just want to lay your newborn right back down and not worry about the spit up. There is a slight rocking motion which makes it easier to rock your baby back to sleep.

Boppy Nursing Pillow.
Everyone knows about the boppy! A must for any breastfeeding mother. But also a must for a bottle fed baby! A mother can't go without this thing!

PRIMO’s EuroBath.
We tried quite a few baby tubs before we found this one. I'm not gonna lie, it's big. But it's great! Give this thing as a gift and fill it up with baby supplies! This tub has a perfect tilt, and the bump at the butt is in the perfect position so your infant doesn't slide down.

Burt's Bees Baby Products.
We got so many bath products when our first child was born. Everything from plain old Johnson&Johnson to Aveno - from fancy schmancy Lavanila to Noodle and Boo. While I'd LOVEEEE to use Lavanila every single day for my newborn, it's just too ridiculous to spend that much money! Burt's Bees smells like baby and it's sensitive for skin, hair and eyes. We don't buy anything else.

Uppababy Vista Stroller.
We looked at the Bugaboo with every intention of getting it, but after a lot of research, we decided the Uppababy was a good fit for us. When a couple has a child in New York City, a stroller is by far the most important purchase. It was very important that we get a stroller that will last. With all the walking we do, we knew we needed a stroller that would hold up in crazy winters and horrible sidewalks. We loved the Uppababy, and we still love it. It's such an urban stroller, but when we brought it a little ways down south to Virginia Beach, people were stopping me asking me about it. The frame of the stroller comes with a bassinet (which we used at night for our little one to sleep in!) and a stroller seat. With an adapter, you can click a car seat into the frame also. The basket underneath is massive. And the wheels are like a dream - so smooth, and they are perfect for the Northeastern winters. What's better is the stroller upgrades to a double stroller (with purchase of something called a rumble seat) when you decide to have another baby! We've been using it 2 1/2 years and plan to be using it another 2 1/2. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers
We've tried our share of diapers. For a newborn, there is nothing else to say other than, these are the best. It's not fun, but it's a necessity. And diapers, well, diapers are EXPENSIVE!

Desitin Diaper Rash Cream.
We've also tried our share of diaper rash creams. Desitin is the best. It takes the red away almost immediately. I have to say that I can count on one hand how many diaper rashes our first child has had. And it's because we use this stuff! Stock up, you're gonna need it.

White Noise App.
New York City is loud. That is all there is to it. We live off of a main street and there are constantly sounds of alarms, buses, sirens, dogs barking, drunk people walking out of the bar across the street, etc. White noise is essential for a baby. Oh, and this app costs NOTHING! Download it now. Save yourself midnight wake ups from whatever noise there is in your neck of the woods.

Books! Books! Books!
You can never have enough of them. There is no better advice I can give than "Read to your child!". Read as much as you can. You can never read too much. Our 2 1/2 year old is an amazing talker, and I believe it's because we turned off the television for the first two years of her life and we read to her. We read so so much. It's so important. I can't say it enough.

Carter's Onesies.
And if you are just DYING to get something to clothe your child (ha!), this is what you should get. Some super basic, snug fitting, go-with-everything, ONESIES!

There we have it, ladies and gents. Have I missed anything? Please tell me about your favorite products. I'd LOVE to try them. Good luck. And happy baby. xo.