48 hours later

After receiving a few comments I owe an update on the nursing situation. I am very happy to report that the APNO (all purpose nipple ointment) has been working miracles. Since receiving it on Wednesday evening I was instructed to put the ointment on after each feeding. For Mo’s first feeding after I had used the ointment I could already feel a difference. Now 48 plus hours later my nipples and the feedings are so, so much better! Nursing is no longer a pain filled ordeal and more importantly I no longer cringe at the thought of breastfeeding or hate it.

We also learned that Mo has something called thrush which is a somewhat common yeast infection that babies and madres pass from saliva in the babies mouth to the nipples, this has been adding to my pain in breastfeeding. After a visit to his pediatrician yesterday she gave us an antibiotic and we are on the mend with this issue as well.

All in all there are 3 medications that I am having to use multiple times a day to treat the breast infection and thrush. I have multiple alarms on my phone as reminders- can’t wait til we are back to normal!

I had been dealing with this pain for the past three weeks at least. I would complain to family and friends about my discomfort and was consoled but reassured each time that the pain would go away, that it was just something I was going to get used to and that each woman dealt with it as she was breastfeeding. I am so happy that I was able to determine that these were not normal symptoms. Everyone must have thought I was such a wimp!The fever, night sweats, extremely raw & chapped nipples and thrush marks in Mo’s mouth were all very clear warning signs. But like I said, I was continually reassured that it would get better and I was at my limit with the feedings.

Fast forward 48 short hours…


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This photo is from this morning after a visit to the lactation consultant, the sun was shining on this late January day and I was happy to be out and about with Mo. We were checking in with lactation to get some more guidance after the set backs we have had the past few weeks. I am happy to report that I learned some tips and tricks so that he is draining all of my ducts but most of all a confidence boost in the work we are currently doing together.

What a difference a few days make! Enjoy the weekend!

xx Ly

5 weeks a madre

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Yesterday marked five weeks as a madre. I had been looking forward to going out for drinks last night with my girls, including Emi who has been in town the past week to meet Mo and spend some quality time with us. It has been great- she left this morning back to Brooklyn and we miss her already!!!

My plans were derailed as I began running a fever and got the sads while pumping with so much pain, after a quick consultation I learned that this was all likely due to a breast infection. The sore and raw nipples as well as the clogged ducts have all been adding to my discomfort and frustration with breastfeeding and the breast infection can be to blame for this. I have a new slew of treatments from my doc and am hopeful that things start to improve. Fortunately my girls understood and met up at our house to console, comfort and support me, with wine in hand! It was just what I needed. I still had (and have) the sore breasts but my spirits have definitely been lifted by them. THX Emi, Luella & Ash!!!

In other less graphic news Mike and I are getting more comfortable each and every day with our new companion. Initially I felt like he was not even really my baby- he had just arrive and yes I had been carrying him but I did not have a supernatural or spiritual connection to him that you hear some mothers profess. I felt a duty to care and comfort him but nothing magical. As I am watching him grow and change I am feeling more responsible and proud of him and myself. He is spending more time awake these days and makes the most handsome and cute expressions.

Like I said Mike is getting more and more confident taking care of this guy and my favorite thing is seeing these two guys together.

We are finally growing out of newborn size clothes getting closer and closer to 10 lbs (whoop! whoop!) My excitement to get new outfits into rotation is kind of embarrassing.

Mo’s favorite song these days is Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, it is on the spotify list that I play for him and you can tell the dude likes to jam.

thanks for reading!

xx Ly

Addiction

I think I am an addict. Well, addict might be too strong a word. You see, I get these emails, on the daily, from The Gap. Always promoting some kind of sale- usually at 40% off which is always a great deal, especially when used on already reduced items. So in short, I find myself on gap.com way too often. It might just be the fun of having someone new to shop for. Someone who doesn’t yet have an opinion about how they dress or accessorize. But I know the screamin’ deals that hit my inbox each morning are also to blame. I have been shopping up a storm for my little guy starting in December before he even arrived and since then there has been a steady stream of packages arriving at our doorstep. I have even stocked up on some winter necessities for when Mo is bigger next year since the prices were so great!


baby boy favorites from the GAP


I singled out the above favorites that I bought most recently all either on sale or original price but with an additional 40% off.

GRAPHIC TEE: It is very sweet and simple and only cost me $7.77

CLOUD SWEATSHIRT: I have been eyeing this one since before Mo was born. I love a classic crew sweatshirt, they are so perfect for boys and men. Plus I think the cloud design makes it so, so sweet! It came in at $16.17

DINO PJS: These I bought in size 6-12 months. They are so perfect for a little boy and I love the simple gray and black colors. With discount these came in at $16.17.

Isn’t that little boy so adorable! His stance, face and hair are all too much!

xx Ly

Monthly photos w/ frenchie

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One month down and five weeks tomorrow. On Friday, January 23, 2015 or a little baby Mo reached his one-month mark. In this day and age it is quite common for parents, moms especially, to post and share a monthly update of their baby on Instagram.

Some families choose to show their baby with monthly stickers on a onesie or even screenprinted onesies with each month on them. Others choose to show their baby sitting in the same chair on the same blanket or with the same stuffed animal to demonstrate and show the babies growth and development in comparison to the object.

Since I purchased the Kara Burke Frenchie dog pillow a couple weeks back (included in my favorite items for newborn post here) I decided to have that be the prop that I use for these monthly photos with Mo. Blog followers can look forward to these photos and I will include outfit details on each as well. Not that you all care a whole lot about it, but since you opted in and have chosen to read through my rants and raves about motherhood I think it’s only appropriate. I am however adding a few more fave photos, in no particular order, from the first month.


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In other dog pillow news I am waiting for the right time/ reason to get a dog pillow made of our dog Baron to add to Mo’s small but growing animal collection.

On to the outfit details. Mo is wearing striped one piece and booties from Little Hip Squeaks. A gift from our friends in San Francisco. Lucky for us, sad for you it looks like these cute items are sold out!

xx Ly

MATERNITY style crush #8

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I am finally back with a maternity style crush post. Today’s post features photographer, blogger and Instagrammer Huoy. She resides in Seattle with her husband and she is expecting a baby (gender to be determined at birth) on February 15. She is currently at 37 weeks and I have been admiring her style (personal style, maternity style, shower style, nursery style, LIFE style) over the past few months via Instagram. We’ve made a cute little virtual friendship ever since. The above photo is an outfit I love. She is wearing and Anthro cardigan and Hatch Collection dress- I wish I had that one!!!

I sent Huoy a little interview over email and she’s sharing some of her maternity style advice and favorites with us today.

  1. Who do you consider your celebrity fashion muses? I love Rachel Bilson and Kate Middleton’s sophisticated and chic style.
  2. What shops or brands did you frequent/ were your favorite pre pregnancy? I’m totally a loyal brand shopper! My closet is primarily filled with Anthropologie, Madewell, J.Crew and Zara.
  3. Whats your personal uniform pre pregnancy? Before pregnancy, my outfits first started out with picking a great pair of heels, and then planning an outfit around that. It usually included a blazer, a pretty blouse and a pair of dark skinny jeans.
  4. Whats your personal maternity uniform? Sans the high heels, my maternity uniform is pretty much the same, though instead of skinny jeans, I’m wearing maternity skinny jeans. I’ve also added in cozy oversized cardigans to make it through the winter months.

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    Jacket- J.Crew | Top- Hatch | Jeans- Old Navy
  5. What is the biggest challenge you find in styling the bump? Since the second half of my pregnancy was during the winter, the biggest style challenge I’ve had is switching up my look from day to day while still being warm enough for the weather. My daily staple are maternity skinny jeans and I just mix up the top with different blazers and sweaters to add in more variety. 
  6. What has been your favorite maternity purchase? I bought a pair of maternity skinny jeans from Old Navy early on and I’m still wearing them today! It was a great $20 investment. 
  7. Have you had any maternity splurges? Yes! I bought a few pieces from Hatch and I absolutely love them. They are stylish pieces that fit my bump, but that I can still wear after the baby arrives without looking like obvious maternity wear. 
  8. What style advice would you give to other expecting ladies? Invest in some affordable basics early on – jeans, tees and tanks. Then, mix in some fun pieces from your usual stores that can accommodate your growing bump. You would be surprised how many pieces in your favorite shops are flowy and roomy enough for you as you grow. My current favorite pieces are from Anthropolgie and  Madewell. 
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Dress- Anthropologie
Thanks so much for sharing Huoy! I definitely agree with you on Anthro and Madewell having items that conveniently can cover the bump. And I am completely envious of your Hatch items. I only allowed myself to splurge on one thing from Hatch. You look so great in all the photos and I love seeing your posts on Instagram! Good luck these last few weeks and continue to treat yourself while your baby is still on the inside.
xx ly

breasts & penises

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Warning: This post contains topics that are quite controversial to new parents. Please respect our families decisions.

About a week ago I put together a post about how well we were handling things as a family of three.

The very next day I had a little bit of a reality check. We took Mo in for his Weight Watchers weigh in, as I like to call it. Since he’s a little guy we wanted to make sure that he was gaining as much as he should be in these first important weeks. The doctor told us he should definitely be gaining at a quicker rate and put us on a strict schedule that included supplementing his feedings with formula. At first this was hard for me to hear. Most breast-feeding moms don’t want to hear that they need to introduce formula. But I looked at the bright side. Feeding him formula from a bottle meant that I would know exactly how much he was eating and how often. But also that Mike could feed him and it wouldn’t be such a physical toll on me each time he needed to eat. The doctor told us to do this for five days and then come back in for another weigh in. So we got started and fed the boy every three hours. Five minutes of breast-feeding on each breast followed by two ounces of formula.

The day after that Mo was scheduled for his circumcision. In short everything went fine. He took it like a champ and honestly the worst part (for me) has just been the extra step of applying Vaseline on his penis during diaper changes. But the concern and unknowns that I had around the circumcision and the worry I had about caring for him post procedure was probably the worst part. Just wondering if his cries related to that, or his hunger, sleepiness or what have you.

The mama trauma of the circumcision coupled with the weight issues: feeding schedule, pumping and formula. All of this together was a lot for me to pack into the end of the week. It left me exhausted and emotional. Tears were shed and nerves were tested. I was overly concerned and worried about the ‘damage’ we were doing to our little guy.

So what did we do? We spent all day Saturday as a family of three on the couch and in bed snuggling, sleeping and watching movies. It was the perfect cure.

I’m happy to report that at his weigh in and check up yesterday he had gained 13 ounces and his little penis is healing just fine. Now we just have to keep up with his new schedule- he adapted quite quickly to waking every three hours and his appetite has definitely grown. I am still struggling with some sensitive and sore nipples but am told the more we get used to feeding the better it will get.

Thanks for letting me keep it real!
xx Ly

few of my favorite things

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After three weeks and a couple days as a Madre I have already found just a few items that are making life with a newborn that much easier for me. Without further ado these are a few of my favorite things.

1) HANNA SOCKS: If you haven’t heard already, Hanna socks are the absolute best. In either fun prints or solid colors they are super cozy and soft. But more importantly they stay on your babies feet. I don’t know if their design is patented but it darn well should be. The socks feature an extra elastic cinch right at the ankle so they don’t fall off of the babies feet between outfit swaps or diaper changes. Don’t waste your time with any other socks for your infant, especially if they’re born in the colder months.

2) SOLLYBABY WRAP: I was so excited to use this as soon as we got home from the hospital. I tried it on with Mo within 30 minutes of walking in the door. I love how cozy he is in it. And how happy we both are to be hanging out together and that I get to be hands-free. I have both the gray stripe and the navy shibori print. I use it when walking around the house, doing emails, writing blog posts or out on walks with him bundled up below my jacket. I let him fall asleep in it or sometimes he is just wide-eyed looking at everything around us. It is probably my favorite baby purchase.

3) AMERICAN APPAREL CLUTCH: I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the right diaper bag for our family. The one I wanted was far more than I wanted to spend. And with our baby arriving 11 days early I didn’t really have the time to properly find a replacement. So instead I have been using a large, about 8.5 x 11 inches big, clutch from American Apparel. I keep wipes a change of clothes and diapers in the clutch and throw it in whatever handbag I’m using at the time or sometimes even just carry it as a clutch when out for a quick trip. So far, so good. It’s working great and I like how easy and practical it is.

4) BIBDANAS: These seem to be a recent phenomenon and pretty trendy for hip little babies. We were gifted quite a few at our various showers. As I understand it they are intended to be used once little babies begin to drool like crazy. But I’ve been using them as our little guy has begun to burp and spit up and also because they provide kind of a nice little cuddle to his tiny neck and exposed chest in his onesies. Their operating more like little scarves or handkerchiefs than bibs. Plus how could I say no it’s a little boy fashion accessories.

5) FRENCHIE DOG PILLOW: We got this at a local baby shop this week. I love it & hope Mo grows fond of it too. Currently the little doggie resides in the corner of Mo’s crib and I have noticed him making eye contact with the cute little face. Apparently babies love looking at faces, even puppy faces! After a little research I learned that the designer Kara Burke does custom pillows of your own pet! One of those might be in our future!

Any other infant favorites from you guys?

xx Ly

Three weeks a Madre

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Today Mario is three weeks old. Which obviously means that Mike and I have been parents truly, round-the-clock, taking care of him outside the womb for three weeks. So many people have said that the days of a newborn seem very long but at the same time very short. I don’t really have this feeling. Maybe it feels like it’s been a month which it already almost has. But it all seems quite manageable really. There have only been a couple moments where my hormones have taken over and I cried for no good reason or got frustrated with Mike for a small issue. Fortunately for our relationship he is understanding and I’m beginning to learn how to be apologetic (haha).

I’m trying to think through what I’ve learned or what has changed maybe since Mario came into our lives. The one truth that I want to record is that I feel like my admiration and love for Mike has grown. And I know that his for me has as well. I think we are both somewhat surprised at how well we feel we are adjusting to having this new person in our lives and in our bed. But also impressed with witnessing the natural ease of each other acting as his parents.

Mario so far seems to be an easy baby. He is very alert when he is awake but also a very good sleeper when he is sleeping. Nursing has gotten so much better. I think I need to do a post all about nursing soon… It’s such a hot topic.

He still only fits into his newborn clothes and fortunately at a few days old we went to Hanna Andersson and picked up a few cute items in NB size for him. We had practically zero NB items when we brought him home.

Those are my thoughts this morning on my third week as a Madre.

xx Ly

pomegranate seeds & chex mix

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I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy in terms of typical symptoms like vomiting and exhaustion. I was able to continue running and working out until the day before my delivery. I just kept getting gradually bigger and bigger. When you are pregnant you get hit with the same few questions over and over: how are you feeling, when are you due, do you know what you are having, and what have your cravings been? I would answer the questions as follows: good, January 3rd, no and not really.

I didn’t have any cravings- nothing crazy, funny or interesting to report. But now almost three weeks after delivery I can report that I finally have some cravings: pomegranate seeds & chex mix. Not together.

I made chex mix on New Years Day for a family get together. Since then I have made it five times. That is five times in 12 days. I attribute my new found love for making chex mix to a few things… For one the snack is delicious and is easy to snack on and especially easy to eat one handed while nursing or holding baby, same goes for the pomegranate seeds. I think that I also have been making it so often because I kind of see it as a mini accomplishment when I make it. It is not a difficult recipe and it actually gets made pretty quickly. Mike jokes that it is the best dish I make.

Only this weekend did I realize how much I am making and eating the chex mix. I got a little concerned but then remembered that I am supposed to be getting extra calories as I breast feed- haha.

For my chex mix I follow the recipe on the box- 3 cups of wheat chex, 3 cups of rice chex, 1 cup of pretzels, 1 cup of peanuts. I then add 1 cup of honey nut cheerios, 1 cup of goldfish and the recommended mixture of worchestershire sauce, butter, salt, onion powder and garlic powder.

Thats a mini update from me! More stuff planned for later in the week. Would love to hear any good foods you were craving, eating or preparing during your first few weeks as a new madre.

xx Ly

Late Night entertainment

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The past few months I could barely have a conversation with any friends or coworkers without mention of the podcast Serial. From what I had heard of the program it had the same cultural cache as Breaking Bad, The Wire, Game of Thrones or Mad Men in its early years. The show sort of reached its peak in popular culture in December, everyone was talking about it (and listening to it) and even SNL began to do some parodies of the program. I was anxious to begin the series myself but Mike and I decided to hold off on binging on it until we were in desperate need of entertainment: late night feedings. So, the day after Christmas, Mario was 2 days old, we began listening to Serial and joke that the catchy intro theme song of the program is like a lullaby for little Mo. Its really convenient as the program is free, all the episodes can be downloaded at once and you don’t have the glare, or the guilt, of the TV or laptop being on.

We now of course have binged and finished the program earlier this week. If you don’t know Serial by now download it- it’s very addictive and great storytelling. That’s all you need to know.

The week Mo was born my BFF Emi sent me a link to another podcast called: The Longest Shortest Time. It’s a 3am podcast featuring different interviews and stories relating to the first year of parenting. I have listened to a few and already had a few middle of the night relatable moments with the folks on the show. And have listened to different peoples perspectives and experiences with birth, feeding and parenting. Some of it comes off a bit too much for me but they have a library of episodes so I can usually find something to listen to in the middle of the night. Fortunately for Mike, I was gifted wireless headphones from one of our agency partners at work right before I left on Christmas break/ maternity leave.

Lastly, I also purchased the iBook Bringing up Bebè which I am sure most everyone has heard of. Spoiler alert: this is the first ‘parenting’ book I will have read. I am not really much of an academic when it comes to child rearing. I am much more inclined to follow my own instinct and do what comes natural. If I have a question I will reach out to my mother my mother one of the other new mothers I know.

What I like about this book is that it reads much more as a memoir, anecdotal about raising children in a foreign place and being an outsider in the French mom culture. So far I wouldn’t really call it a parenting book is definitely much more of her own personal experience.

That’s what I have to report thus far on what has kept me entertained in the middle of the night when I’m feeding this little hungry man. Happy to report I have not resorted to downloading candy crush.

xx Ly