boys trip to LA

As I write this it is Monday June 29th at 10:37pm. I just wrapped six of six straight days of a shoot for work. I arrived down in LA last Monday evening for work. First thing Tuesday morning I started with wardrobe and casting. Well to be fair, first thing was a 7am Soulcycle with my friend Kam.

father son vacation
mike & mo

Being on production can be taxing and most often requires long stretches of time away from home.

Because of this we decided to have Mike and Mo fly down Wednesday through Monday so we could spend some time together and so that night time feedings and nursing would be easier for everyone… Who likes waking up before your alarm to pump? Nursing your own baby is a much better experience.

Call times have been typically 6:30 am and we have wrapped no earlier than 8pm each day with at least a 30 minute car ride back to the hotel from set. So that leads little time to hang with my guys especially since I am pretty beat from days on location in the heat and sun once I return to the hotel.

Enough with the details of production life. The point is I was anticipating a bit more time to spend with Mike and Mo, I optimistically packed a swimsuit but have not even walked by the pool.

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texted photo updates of their adventures

Additionally, from Mike’s perspective I don’t think he was planning on spending the entire day with Mo on his own. Production schedules typically change and adjust allowing some downtime during the day or unexpected opportunities to return to leave set, which ours didn’t. But the good part is both Mike & Mo have doing really really good without me. I was anticipating texts for help or even panic. But I truly have received none. The closest thing was a very calm/normal phone call from the PDX airport asking me to remind him how to fold down the travel stroller. Instead of panic though I have been on the receiving end of a lot of cute photos of my guys lounging in the room, dipping in the pool, drinking americanos and visiting pool parties with friends.

daddy daycare making la madre blog
lunch out followed by a pool party in the palisades had me only a little jealous

I am so relieved and happy to know that their time together was beneficial for all of us. Most of all I am really impressed with Mike’s stamina and ability, yes I know that sounds bad, to spend all day with Mo. Take care of every feeding, diaper change, entertainment, nap, fuss etc. Scattered throughout the post are some photos via text that Mike sent me throughout the days of their activities. It was so nice to come home to them at the end of each day. Such a relief on my breasts too. I was pumping on set but Mo does a better job at getting the milk out than the pump does.

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americanos & naps

My guys left mid day Monday afternoon back to Portland as Mike had some meetings to attend to back home. Now I am sitting in the king size bed of my hotel room with traces of their visit, the rollaway crib, a diaper, some of their leftover dirty clothes and empty baby bottles. I have the room to myself and the night to myself along with the TV remote and a glass of rosé.

I remember being on production last September, a 10 day stretch when I started the blog. I looked forward and imagined nights like this. Away from my husband and child. Alone in a comfortable room the night before heading back home to them in the morning. I remember thinking that I would try to really appreciate and take advantage of these little pockets of ‘me time’ that are allowed and come my way. And here I am, doing exactly that.

xx ly


real talk: Breastmilk

breastpumping modern mom

Being away from Mo the past few days I have spent a lot more time than usual with my pump. Yesterday while I was consolidating milk between bottles I had to break through the fat at the top of the bottle, for those of you unfamiliar with breastmilk, the fat rises to the top. I used my finger to break through & naturally licked my finger after the fact. The substance was thick and creamy and tasted exactly like whipped cream. So good!

That is all.

xx Ly

six months a madre

Guys, this feels like our biggest milestone yet. Mo hit six months today. I am in LA for work and have not seen the guy since yesterday morning.

Mike is taking him to his check up today and I am looking forward to the report back.

Six months feels about right. It hasn’t exactly flown by but at the same time is amazing we are here and have hit half a year as a family.

I was at dinner last week with two girlfriends and they were asking me what the biggest surprise has been so far. I answered honestly telling them that the baby is a lot more fun than I expected. I anticipated it being a lot of work, which it is, but it’s not as nagging and obsessive as I anticipated it to be. I had an easy pregnancy but was quite anxious about the arrival, feeling that I was not ready mentally to become a mom. I was in denial throughout the whole journey and expected for those feelings to linger for at least the first year.

But to my surprise after about month two we got into a groove, all three of us. We have a lot of help when it comes to childcare and helping hands & the cherry on top is that we have a non fuss little guy.

My friends continued to ask me about what else was unexpected and I went back to a similar conversation I had on a run with a friend from work. It was just a few days back from my maternity leave and she was asking me a similar question, what does it feel like to be a madre? I was kind of surprised with my answer as it came out of my mouth. I was not expecting that having a kid would make me feel different about myself. I feel more confident and more myself which is a bizarre feeling. I feel rooted as an individual and proud of my role as Mo’s Madre.

Maybe it has to do with the feeling of growing into the adult I was always going to be. With out a doubt, having a kid makes you grow up. The heavy responsibility of a new life, nurturing a soul into a kind and good citizen is a lot to sign up for. But still there are many ways in which we are not grown up. Quite often I am thrown off when looking at how we can have so much adult responsibility: a kid, a mortgage, pay taxes etc. but in reality are two disorganized people slapping it all together each and every day.

In conclusion at six months with a baby I am completely shocked at the positive affects it has had on not only our relationship but those around us as well. A new respect for our parents, our peers and ourselves. I don’t think our experience is unique but for us it has been unexpected and for that I am grateful.

xx Ly

25 weeks a madre

Mo in his US National Team kit
Mo in his US National Team kit

We are at 25 weeks today & six months next week! I have obviously been a bit quiet here on the blog. Due in large part to my workload. I knew the day would come when I would lose track of the blog and have it on the back burner but I am back today and would really like to, in the least, continue with these xx weeks a madre posts every so often.

A few quick hits from the life of this madre below.

We had a really busy week last week which included the launch of a TV commercial that my husband and his business partner had been working on since right before Mo’s birth. So it was a big day last Monday when it aired on national TV. You can read more about it here.

On a much sadder note we lost our dog. Within the blitz and excitement around Mike’s commercial we realized Baron had snuck out the back gate. It was a hard three days of our dog being MIA and we definitely felt the guilt of being new parents and the lack of attention our dog has been getting since Mo arrived. The good news is we found him up at a beautiful house near my parents house and near the park we run in a lot. So phew! But still it was really tough to have him gone and thinking we might never be reunited. I will continue to preach that ‘craigslist saves’!!!

I have a few big trips coming up for work which are making me anxious about nursing. We are still deciding if Mike and Mo will join me down in LA while I am there for about a little over a week and if they don’t then trying to determine my options with pumping and overnighting the milk. Does anyone have experience with this? Please share your notes or tips!

In baby news Mo is more fun than ever. I know I keep saying this and sound like a dumb broken record but it does just keep getting better. He is recognizing things a lot these days getting very anxious & needy when he sees a bottle or flapping his arms excitedly when he sees our car come to pick him up from my mom’s.

Mike was out of town over the weekend for work so Mo and I spent a good amount of time outside with friends but spent some downtime catching up on Broad City via Hulu. Are you a fan??? It is what I imagine my own scripted tv show with my best friends would look like just with less references to weed.

Saturday night we had a really good sleep session. Going to bed around 11:30 and then Mo woke up around eight. I fed him and put him back in his rock & play and the boy conked out til 11am, heaven sent. We are still doing pretty good, when compared to other parents I talk to, with the sleep thing.

Kind of a messy update but plans for some meatier posts coming up soon.

xx Ly

Brooklyn Approved Summer Shoes

Today we have a guest post from my bff in Brooklyn. Having a best friend on the other side of the country is a lot easier with things like email, texting, facetime and gchat. More often than not I can expect a link to some new footwear that has either arrived via fedex in Brooklyn or Emi has had open in a browser window for a few days. Today Emi is sharing her real life reviews of said shoes. These are items that I have only seen thanks to technology and that Emi has given the real life test to. Whether it is on a commute or laps around Brooklyn. Hope you find some new favorite footwear and it would be just too cute if you too shared the link with your bff/personal fashion adviser.

emily s chapman shoes
Emi in the shoes that sparked this post

Shoes are a big deal in New York.  And I’m not talking Carrie Bradshaw Louboutin-coveting, fainting at the sight of a shoecloset kind of big deal.  I’m talking the decision you make in the morning that could haunt the rest of your day and make you leave your friends early kind of big deal.

Shoes are my transportation.  On a day where I’m just going to work and back with a pop out to grab lunch I clock no less than 3 miles.  And that’s not usually all I’m doing, especially this time of year, so those shoes better work for me.

Here’s where Carrie Bradshaw and I align- I too make investments in shoes.  While I will fret for 15 minutes over whether or not I need a $5 latte, I don’t hesitate to spend $$$ on a pair of shoes.  Because if chosen right that pair will last me 2-3 years and take me miles and miles and miles.

Here are five pairs I’ve found to be Brooklyn approved for summer:

summer shoes
summer shoes making la madre blog
  1. No. 6 Clogs– I have several pairs of No. 6 clogs- 3 pairs for summer, and the boots for winter.  We had an office-wide LOL last week when the UPS guy came and subsequently 3 of us were trying on our new wood-soled sandals!  One note- these babies only take me about 3 miles comfortably.
  2. Cole Haan Sandals– Each summer CH comes out with a new version of this sandal.  I’m on my third pair.  They are really well made, take no time to break in and can take me 5 miles no problem.
  3. Superga– I bought these last year and have enjoyed them for dressed down days in the office and on several vacations.  They aren’t quite as cushy as Nikes, but I do like their simplicity.
  4. Espadrilles– I got the cutest pair of lace up wild-patterned, pointy toe espadrilles on my honeymoon in Spain last year, and they are such a fun way to punch up an outfit.  Bonus points for being comfy. Similar spendier pair linked here, but they are a dime a dozen these days.
  5. Emerson Frye Slappers– Full Disclosure: I ordered these and they got WOWs from my colleagues, but they were just too small so I had to return them.  But if you aren’t a giant like me, DO it!  They are so cute and would be comfy in the right size.
thx Emi!
xx Ly

love letter to plated

salmon burgers

Part of the freak out we had when we learned we were going to be parents had to do with the fact that we didn’t quite yet feel like adults. We didn’t have the organization, planning or scheduling that typically comes with the title of being an adult. Honestly though, we still don’t.

One such area in which we were lacking major adulthood credentials is in the kitchen. We love food, we love diverse cuisines but when we do cook its usually in our comfort zones of beans & rice, meat stew or basic pastas. I do not fancy myself a cook and consider myself quite uneducated in the culinary arts. Mike can be good at cooking and enjoys it when all the tools and ingredients are at his ready. But our lack of planning and organization doesn’t allow for the foresight necessary to grocery shop or have a meal plan for the week. I promise this is going somewhere…

Last week I wrote how we had begun to try Plated. After just three weeks I am now a major advocate of the service. I am feeling things in the kitchen that I have never felt before and smelling delicious things that I have, yes smelled before, but never been responsible for. The idea of preparing a home cooked meal start to finish has always been a daunting one. And I never feel truly prepared for a recipe. Either lacking one ingredient or unsure of how to properly prepare the items before me. Plated changes all of that. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, there are a few versions out there. Simply put Plated provides all of the ingredients needed to prepare a quality meal in your own kitchen. The perfect amount of crushed red pepper, fish, meat or vegetables arrives on your doorstep once a week in a refrigerated box so you can cook up your own dinners at home.

plated love letter
flower pasta

We chose the option that sends three meals a week. Meal prep time varies between about 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on your dish and at the start of each week you select the meals you want to cook, bonus that you actually learn how to make them as you go along. Inside the box each meal is carved out into its own little cluster so as not to mix up ingredients and has a sticker for reference reminding you what the name of the ingredient is and the meal you use it for.

The best surprise of all has been that I actually look forward to preparing dinner and truly enjoy the process. We are making/eating dinners from different cuisines with unexpected ingredients, that I definitely would not be shopping for.

To prove my point about enjoying the cooking Monday night acts as a good example of this. It was a night where I was not expecting to cook. Our schedule was off, Mike’s pick up basketball league had him getting home around 10pm and I got home right before he took off for the game. So I spent 8pm-10pm doing a little work and playing with Mo. By the time Mike got home Mo was asleep and we could have easily had takeout. But I had a meal in the fridge that only required 20 minutes of prep. I took that time and found appreciated the process of putting a meal together for the two of us.

plated meal service review
elote (mexican corn)

My gushing will end there, point of the story, I am impressed with the service and impressed with my conviction to continue cooking.

xx ly