What’s in a name?

Naming a child is THE hardest task ever!

Matt and I did not consult any baby books or gather up a research panel to weigh the pros and cons of certain names. We knew we wanted to keep a family name. So we started the process of piecing together the puzzles of family names.

We knew we wanted a first and middle name and wanted something that paid homage to both sides of our family.

So how did we end up with MATHIAS THOMAS?

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Mathias – is my mom’s maiden name. Also my grandmothers last name. These two women are responsible for shaping me and mean the absolute world to me. It was Matt’ s idea to name the baby after my grandmother and mom.

Thomas – after Matt’s dad. It’s also Matt’s middle name. A nod to the passing the name down.

So there ya have it… Mathias Thomas. He’s going to go by… Thom or Thomas or Thoms.

How did you name your baby?

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Holiday Fashions with The Childrens Place

Lily and I found the cutest clothes this season at The Childrens Place. Lily’s going through a glitter phase these days… this of course makes me sooo giddy…since Glitter is what makes everything better! didn’t ya know!

So off we went to The Childrens Place to get some fun holiday dresses and gear to put us in the mood for the season.

Check out this super cute pink dress! Perfect for a princess party or a fancy holiday affair.

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Lily also loved this faux fur purple vest. Tres Chic!

The Childrens PlaceWe also picked up a few goodies for baby Thomas…check out these little itty bitty vests and dress up clothes.

This classic sears sucker jacket is adorbs! Just like the one Matt has!

The Childrens PlaceOr how about this onesie… with a tie.

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The Children’s PLace has very affordable fashionable clothing for all the littles in your life. and right now they have a HUGE sale going on… so get thee to The Children’s Place for Christmas and New Years outfits for your babes.

* I was not paid for this post. I was however invited to a media shopping spree at The Childrens Place where I picked up these and many more goodies. All opinions of course are my own*

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SCHMANK-YA!!!!

Just wanted to say a big ole GIANT… honest to goodness… from the top of my heart cuz it’s bigger than the bottom of my heart… for realzies… THANK YOU… all of YOU for the massive outpouring of kind words and tips and suggestions and just plain ole support regarding my post yesterday.

Breast feeding is a tough thing to talk about sometimes… it’s personal and especially telling the world that your child is on formula… in today’s judging society.. is not easy.

I wanted to put my story out these because I wanted to connect with women who have gone through something similar and I also think it’s OK that I am going through this and formula is OK. and I should not beat myself up over not being able to produce milk.

I have numerous emails and Facebook messages sent to me from YOU… dear reader… saying… “it happened to me”, “ditto”, “hang in there”, “we formula fed our kids too”. I’m really grateful and fortunate to have such a strong online community of mamabears! and JaimeG – Thanks for the late night ” you will be OK” texts.

And I THANK YOU for this. Knowing that what I am going through is in NO WAY uncommon makes my mind settle down and I am in a much better and stronger place because of this.

I wish more people would talk about their struggles with breastfeeding. I have read so much material on what to do when preparing for baby and would always skim over the breast-feeding parts because:

  1.  There was never an emphasis made on the commonality of the struggles of breast-feeding.
  2.  It could NEVER happen to me.. right!

Breastfeeding… as natural as it should be… is incredibly unnatural… as I am finding out.

My update: Went to the doctor yesterday. He said I do not have Mastitis but what I am going through is fairly common. He said with rest and hot showers and “keep doing what I’m doing” I should be as good as new by friday. Today I feel a million times better! He also said that his 4 kids are formula fed because his wife had a similar issue and 2 of his kids are twins. When I told him about Thoms clamping down on my nipple with his gums, he said it’s probably because the baby is frustrated with the low milk production. “take a break for a few days, let the nipple heal, keep pumping, skin to skin and try again“.

So again… THANK YOU… YOU… for checking in on me and giving me such valuable advice. I am trying all of your tips… everyone… even the… hang upside down by you toes until something starts to drip out ..ha!

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Breastfeeding – my struggle

The one thing that should come natural to every mom on the planet is not happening for me.

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Every female mammal ( who gives birth)  on this planet has one primary duty for their newborn… to provide nourishment and food for their babies. This… natural instinct… has proven to be a major challenge for me and I am emotionally and physically stressed because of it.

When we brought Thoms home from the hospital  10 days ago, I thought all was going great. I breast-fed him in the hospital and the lactation consultant gave me the go, the nurses were satisfied all was good.

We came home and I breast-fed for three-day before things started to take a turn for the worse. Around day 4 my nipples started to hurt… like a pain I have never experienced. While feeding the pain would wrap around my back and travel down my leg. My brain would pulse during the feeding from the pain.

Everytime it was time to feed , my entire body would just tense up in anticipation of what was to come… the pain. At times I would have tears in my eyes while nursing because the pain was so unbearable.

I took warm … hot showers to soothe the pain, ice packs, nipple cream and nursing pads to help soothe the pain. It didn’t work.

Then I started having these hot and cold shaky sweats… while hot my whole body would sweat, even my face and I was just incredibly uncomfortable, but when the cold sweats came on it was worse. My body just shakes and rattles and the bones in my back would just hurt and no matter what I did… short of standing in a hot shower… I could not get myself to warm up… and I would stil sweat!

All this accompanied with a low-grade fever.

This started last monday. Along with these shaky sweats came… breastfeeding issue.

I started to realize on Wednesday that Thoms was not getting a full feeding when he nursed. I would nurse him for 2 hours at a time and 30 minutes later he was still hungry. Now remember the intense numbing pain I told you about… this was going on all day because Thoms was nursing all day.

I called my doctor on Wednesday who said he didn’t think I had an infection and I should rest and get some sleep. As for the nursing, he recommended formula. Something I absolutely did not want to resort to. He said nurse for 15 minutes and if you feel he’s not getting anything.. then go to formula. but always nurse first. So that’s what I have been doing. for about 4 days now.

On Thursday I realized that I was not producing anything. NOTHING at all. apparently this happens to 2% of women… and I am one of them. The baby was hungry and crying… I was crying because I could not provide food for my baby and had to resort to formula. I mean NOTHING was being produced by me.

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This is heartbreaking. Here I am surrounded by all the luxuries of life, all the comforts I need or could ever want but yet my body is not making the ONE thing that should be the most essential and natural to do.

Breastfeeding is important to a baby’s development. The whole 9 months I was pregnant I followed every thing I read about nutrients in your body and what your baby gets from it and how baby parts develop. Breastfeeding has proven to be incredibly beneficial for brain development among many other things. I mean BRAIN DEVELOPMENT!

I know some women opt out of breastfeeding due to work commitments or other reasons, and I am not here to say what’s right and wrong in anyway…I have been fortunate enough to take a brief hiatus from work so I can solely focus on the baby and Lily and being home and I REALLY want to experience this part of motherhood and to provide these nutrients for my child. Absolutely heartbroken over this and just can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Or if I am doing anything wrong.

I have spoken to lactation consultants who have said … this is much more common than you think. Give it time and you will produce. I also think I have a breast  infection called MASTITS. I have been drinking Mother’s Milk tea, warm towels, skin to skin…all of it.

Since everything was hurting…I started pumping to see if anything was in there to pump out. After over an hour’s worth of 7 mins pump, 1 min massage… I finally got about 10 drops… 10 drops!

UGH. Devastating. Tomorrow I head to my doctor and hopefully he can help shed some light.

Meanwhile I have found such support in my online community and my friends and sis in law all who have contacted me to send me resources and kind words and even to say … “it happened to me”. 

What I’m going through is much more common than I thought. And although I find strength in this amazing generous community that surrounds me, I can’t help but feel powerless and “less than” when my body is not making food for my baby. This is an incredibly helpless feeling that just overcomes my emotions… which are pretty fragile these days anyway.

When I did give Thoms the formula…sad tear… his eyes glazed over and he drank that stuff down like it was baby CRACK! He loves it. and now it makes me fear that when and if I do get my milk back in production… will he like it as much?

I’m seeing my doctor, a lactation consultant, joining a La Leche League, taking warm showers, resting, pumping, massaging, drinking Mothers Milk, eating well…all of it! If you have any other magic potions you want to tell me about please let me know.

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Wordless Wednesday

Just sayin…

St. Bernard

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Happy One Week Birthday Little MOTO!

It’s been a week since we brought little Thom into this land.

The week has been magical to say the very least. It’s magic having a baby… It’s magic bringing the baby home and it’s MAGICAL how the family becomes whole with this one addition. Like we all had been waiting for him and didn’t even know it… same when we had Lily pie… Matt and I didn’t know we needed her in our lives as much as we did. She made us amazing people, kinder people and slowed our lives down… and now we have another little one who will add the same kind of ‘ so much” to our lives.

I haven’t slept much these last few days… but who needs sleep!

This week has been…

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MAGIC! I told ya.

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Obsessed with…

I have been up to my fashionable armpits in Must-Have lists and Gift Lists and Stocking Stuffer Lists for the various outlets I write for.

Needless to say I have been testing out and looking through hundreds of beauty, fashion and accessory products.

One thing that I am obsessing over right now… that is not in the $500 and above price range ( because if you are buying me something in that range there is A LOT that I can suggest ) … are these enamel monogrammed bracelets from C Wonder.

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So fun! Love them and clocking in at a comfortable $48 a piece. You can gift them as bestie gifts or buy one for yourself. Happy holidays indeed!

* I was not paid for this. Just like it*

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…and One More Makes Four

Last Friday my doctor said, ” there is no action going on, we need to induce labor in a few days.”

So that’s how it started.

I actually liked knowing when I was going to give birth. The idea of “THIS IS IT” we’re in labor! was making me really nervous.

At 5PM on Monday, December 3rd I checked into Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY

My brother picked up Lily so she could hang with him overnight.

All day I felt like I was about to go into the ring to win an ALL AROUND HEAVY WEIGHT BOXING TITLE. I mean I was going into the ring solo and coming out with a person. The morning started with me waking up in a jolt… no contractions nothing… we were 40 weeks 6 days.

I sent an email to my peeps and asked them to please think of Me, Matt and Lily today as we were ” going in” !

My friend Sarah called me first thing in the AM and gave me the full rundown of what happens when you get induced.

She talked me through every single aspect of it and… it didn’t seem that bad.. but still… there was a lot of talk about people inserting things in your lady bits and hemorrhoids and numbing creams and things of that nature. But my girl prepped me for what was ahead.

Lenore called and gave me a pep talk. She is one of those calming types.. no matter the situation you can count on Lenore to calm you down in a rational way.

Brooke called to say… I was induced too… it’s totally cool and you are in control.

Others called to say… go get em tiger!

All day I received many calls from friends who shared their birthing stories with me and said things like.. don’t worry… it’s not that bad. If it were women wouldn’t be doing this for all these years. – This single phrase seems to be the party line for all things birthing and breastfeeding and lady bits hurting. 

I was getting prepped by my posse of strong women all day. Inspiration and support and love …just mad love was coming in from everywhere. This meant the WORLD to me!

When we pulled up to the hospital, I felt prepared… for everything… and NOTHING!

birthing story

We checked into a private room. It was large and spacious and very comfortable and had fake flowers.. that I focused on during the pushing.

The nurse came in and welcomed me and said they were expecting me and how very exciting! (she sees people like me several times a day and yet in that moment managed to make me feel like I was the most important pregnant lady ever to walk through the maternity unit.)

The nurse left for a bit and Matt and I stared  at each other with a … “you ready to rumble” look. When she came back in, she put some needles in my arm that hurt but was NORMAL… and then the doctor came in and put this tampon looking thing in my lady bits chatted about random things for a little and left. All this took about 45 seconds.

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That was part one. I was sooo stressed … for this 45 second procedure. Now we wait. I was given Cervidil to relax my cervix. At 10:30 pm the doctor came back in and reprimanded me for working on my computer. And said I should probably take a sleeping pill because “tomorrow is going to be a long day and I need my rest”.

So at 11pm, I took an Ambien… an hour later I was still wide awake and anxious so I was given another.

I woke up in the middle of the night with SHOOTING SHARP pains all though my abdomen. he nurses expected this because they kept coming in to check on me. Sometime around 3 or 4am.. I was given morphine to calm the pain.

Just think… these were labor pains right… if I had to drive to the hospital with these intense pains.. I would have seriously done some damage to Matt… he dodged a bullet on this one.

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The morphine seemed to help. I woke up at around 8am to my doctor talking to me. What he said… I have no idea. My cervix had not dilated. The epidural was given sometime during the day and so was the pitocin…they checked again around noon and still nothing… and then when they checked me around 3pm. BAM. dilated and ready to go.

And we were ready.. just like that. My brother, Matt’s sis and Lily were asked to leave the room… It was GO time!

I was freaking out inside. This is what 9 months have been all about. Here I was 41 weeks and this was about to happen. How amazing! How awesome! How surreal! and How very SCARY!

The “pushing part of labor” I was in and out of sleep… the ambien and morphine and epidural were all working together to keep me nice and dazed.

My legs felt like.. well nothing, I couldn’t feel my legs, and in between pushes… I would just fall asleep. I do remember that there were about 6 – 7 people in the room all staring down at my bits and that whole… covered above the waist thing… is for the movies. You are just sort of sprawled out on the birthing bed. Just FYI.

I did ask for a blanket for my chest because I was shaking so much from the drugs and being cold.

Matt stayed with me and massage my forehead and face. There was no screaming or yelling, the doctor, nurses and I  talked about crazy reality shows in between pushes and cat naps… lots of joking around…very bizarre. I have strange memories of weird conversations we were having. My security blanket when nervous is to be funny. So who knows what crazy non-funny things I was saying!

At one point my doctor brought out a vacuum gadget and said he might have to use the vacuum to get the baby out. I really did not want this and remember saying a quick prayer that in the next few pushes the baby comes out. PLEASE.

2 hours after the pushing started at 5:33pm, I heard Matt say… look look open your eyes and I actually watched our baby being born into this world. So amazing and beautiful and I have no words. No words at all.

birthing story

Mathias Thomas was born with a cord around his neck and had to be taken to the warmer to get fluid out of his nose and throat. I did get skin on skin contact with him right after for a very short time but he was taken to the NICU for about 30 minutes.

My doctor was still working on me… and I caught him at the very moment he pulled out the placenta… ok this stuff is HUGE and nasty and how was there room for this AND the babe in the belly?

My family came to the room as soon as they were allowed and stayed through the rest of the evening with me. Lily was now a big sister. My family- sister, brother, two sister in laws – were around me and it was an amazing feeling.

The birthing process was amazing, not scary at all and most of what I was expecting never happened. It was the calmest and nothing like the movies.

The days following were rough… we checked out of the hospital on Thursday. I am STILL in such pain and have to take my meds every 4-6 hours just to keep from going batty over the pain. I do have stitches in my lady bits and things burn and hurt all over my pelvic area. All normal.

The nurses at NWH are the absolute best ever. The whole process was so smooth and honestly perfect. I feel so blessed and fortunate to have experienced quite possibly the most intense experience of my life in such a nurturing environment.

My friends and family came to visit me in the hospital and it was such an outpouring of love that my little heart was full and is still overflowing from their care and love.

Mathias Thomas is beautiful. Lily is absolutely beautiful with him.

And I am blessed to have an amazing family to grow old with.

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Hello MOTO!

He’s here….

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Mathias Thomas! AKA-  Thom, Thomas, Thoms…Lily is calling him Booger.

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I’ll write about the whole bizarre thing called the “birthing process” later but for now a quick intro to the newest little addition to our gang!

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Weighing in at a cool 6.48 pounds, Thom was born at 5:33pm December 4th.

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Lily is over the moon, although she has cried and gone through her “I am not the only one anymore” emotions…she is now totally OWNING her Bis Sister status.

photo (19)Thanks for going along with me these past 9 months… now for more adventures!

 

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Advent Calendar – DIY

I know it’s 3 days late but better late than never.

I love to make Lily’s advent calendar every year and instead of the classic – fill each day with chocolate calendar, I put little special treats we can do together in each of the days. The calendars are super easy to make and cost practically nothing!

So here goes… you still have time to get one of these up.

Gather your supplies:

  • Paper pouches – $2.99 for 25 at the craft store
  • String to hang the advent calendar.
  • Stamps and Ink pad or a sharpie and marker and to number your pouches.
  • Little clothes hanger clips – $1.99 for 50 at craft store
  • Colored paper to write your little messages
  • Imagination

Got your goods?

Step one – Print a number 1 – 25 on each of the paper pouches.

DIY advent calendar

Step two– Fill each pouch with a special message like :

  • Movie Night in mom and dad’s bed, hot chocolate with extra marshmallows, 4 books before bedtime, extra long bubble bath, Breakfast for dinner , I also throw in a couple small gifts under the tree. All of Lily’s favorite things. 

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Step three– Hang up your DIY advent calendar in a prominent place.

DIY advent calendar

Step four – sit back and enjoy your awesomeness every morning as your kid goes crazy happy over the surprise things in the advent calendar.

Merry Christmas everyone! Happy Season!

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