Toddler Fact

Much like squirrels and chipmunks, toddlers can store food in their cheeks. Unlike squirrels and chipmunks they do not store this food for winter. They will most likely choke on it or spit it into your hand later. Fun.



Hey Jealousy

And if you’re around my age you now have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day…HA!

I HATE feeling jealous. I find it unbecoming for starters, it’s just a generally unpleasant way to feel, and it makes me feel down on myself and my life. It’s awful. And yet I find myself feeling jealous on a regular basis. One of my big ones is feeling envious of those moms who seem to be able to come and go as they please. They have jobs and/or nannies and/or babysitters at the ready. I have a job, but no nanny or babysitter and so I feel pulled in a million directions and constantly rushed and utterly exhausted. Not that those other moms don’t feel that way, but their lives seem so much easier than mine and then I start to feel down on my own and jealous of what they have.

But today I am feeling jealous for a specific reason, a blog I follow got freshly pressed. This blogger (who also follows me and is most likely reading this) TOTALLY deserves it. I mean really, she’s witty and honest and clever and original. What’s not to like? She, if anyone, should be freshly pressed. I like her so much I’ll give her a shout out here. Yet, when I read on her blog that this had happened, my immediate reaction was burning jealousy in the pit of my stomach. I don’t want to begrudge her her due, but damn do I want to be in her place.

It begins this spiral of thoughts: my blog will never be popular, no one really likes it, I will never be a writer, I will never fulfill my dreams, my life is at a standstill and I am worthless. See why I hate being jealous? Not only that, but then I start to dislike the person I am jealous of. And I don’t want to dislike these people. I like a lot of moms with nannies/babysitters/free time. I like this blogger. I like people with more money and bigger apartments and cooler clothes.

So I try not to feel jealous. I count my blessings and remind myself that I am lucky. That I should strive for the things I want, but not feel badly that I don’t have them yet.

How could I be jealous when this guy gives me 20 throwing-himself-at-me, arms-around-my-neck, super-duper-squeezy hugs a day?

How could I be jealous with this guy telling me he likes the girl across from him at school because she “gives super big smiles all the time and I actually love it”?

And they love each other too.

So I know I have it good, it’s just hard to remember sometimes.

Workin Mama

I refuse to let the blog suffer! As I said in my last post, I’ve been working WAY too much lately. I only have a certain amount of childcare each week and a certain amount of baby nap time. When work starts to spill over into evenings, I start to get crabby. I need some time in the day to relax. But when work starts invading the time I’m with the kids, there’s a problem. I’m ok with telling Brady to take his brother and go play in their room sometimes, although that usually results in some toy argument or another. But when I have to put on the television to get work done, I am not a happy mama.

At the moment, I feel like my apartment is a disaster, cooking is nearly impossible, everything is a rush, I’m exhausted, my kids are feeling neglected, and it just is not the overall situation that I would like to be in.

For the most part, I’m grateful to have some time devoted to work and some time devoted to staying with the kids. As a freelancer, it’s never that cut and dry, but I try my best to balance it. I’m hoping this project will be finished up soon so that I can get back to what I’m usually working on and feel more present in both my work life and my home life. The way things are now, I just feel stressed out and unhappy.

Luckily, I have a cute little helper for those times when I just have to fit it all in.

Hooray! My Sister is Coming!

I have been working far too much and sleeping far too little lately and sadly my blog has suffered. I’d like to write a post about our new cat Percy and all of the drama attached to that and I’d like to write a post about the awesome yoga class for charity I attended, and I’d maybe like to write a post about the woes of adjusting to kindergarten as well.
But for now I’m just going to write about my super awesome sister coming to visit tomorrow! She is my only sibling and my very best friend (in addition to the husband of course). I haven’t seen her since June and did I mention that she is pregnant? With MY niece? I can’t wait to see her and rub her belly and get a mani/pedi with her and just hang out! I think the rest of my family is equally excited. Brady has been counting down the days. Yay for tomorrow!



Breastfeeding Story #4 – Stephanie

Stephanie has shared her experience of bottle-feeding her first and breastfeeding her second with us. Check out Stephanie’s blog here, for her honest, funny commentary on motherhood.

I always wanted to breast feed. I figured it would be easy because it’s natural. Like, that’s why women have breasts–to sustain life! And I was really excited about the prospect of being a part of something some intensely emotional like that. But an emergency C-section + a horrific stay in the hospital + and someone weighing my son, Brady, incorrectly which resulted in him being taken from me for THIRTEEN hours = my chances were slim. I was in so much pain after the surgery, and the nurses really weren’t equipped to handle me! They thought they would just hand me a bottle and my baby and I would be quiet. Nope. I wanted to nurse!! Because Brady was away from me for so long, we didn’t get much practice in the hospital, but when the time came, we tried everything to help him latch; even this drip line that I’m sure has a more formal name, but the nurse was so exasperated by the time she hooked it up to me that it broke. The breast milk that I had expressed spilled all over the floor and I lost my cool. I no longer wanted the nurses’ help–I DIDN’T NEED THEM! (Aren’t hormones awesome?!) Only, I did. But by the time I realized it, I was at home and it was 2 weeks later. I had given up on nursing Brady and instead pumped morning, noon, and night to give him breast milk in a bottle. That lasted about 4 months and then I got clogged milk ducts. OUCH. I gave up pumping shortly thereafter and we switched to formula. Not my proudest Mommy Moment, but life goes on.
My daughter, Ella, was born 22 months later and I was adamant that not only would I have a vaginal birth, but I would breast feed immediately after she was born. I’m a bit aggressive when I want something (that’s a good thing, right?!), so I hired a doula to help my husband and me during the labor and birthing process. Everything was absolutely perfect. I was a successful VBAC momma, AND my girl latched right away. There was never an issue or a challenge when it came to nursing my daughter. It was heavenly. I felt so accomplished when the nurses would compliment the “excellent latch,” even though I had zero to do with it. I had no problem whipping out a boob wherever I was, either. I took my nursing cover and if the child was hungry, she ate. I got a few “ewww” looks from some people, but I could not have cared less. What I was doing (feeding my baby) was MUCH more important than what they were doing (passing judgement on a new mother–jerks!). I nursed in restaurants, in church, at the park–anywhere! I think it’s super important for moms to realize that nursing isn’t something to shy away or feel the need to hide. I’m not advocating stripping down by the sliding board to nurse your baby, but you get the point!
In all honesty, I loved nursing my daughter 99% of the time. However, I truly feel like she did not bond with anyone else (even her DAD!) because she was so dependent upon me…and my boob! She vehemently refused to take a bottle of expressed milk, so I was literally the only one who could feed her. And, of course, nursing became a source of comfort for her, too. So, when she was hungry, she wanted me. When she was sad, she wanted me. When she was tired, she wanted me. This also meant that I couldn’t be away from her for more than 3 hours at a time. It got a little overwhelming and right around 5 months, I thought about throwing in the towel and just insisting she drink formula from a bottle. But I persevered and Ella nursed until she was just about a year old. My opinionated little gal was the one to make the decision that our nursing relationship was over; I could tell she was less interested in eating and more interested in gnawing on something to make her budding gums feel better. That only worked well for one of us.
If I have another baby, I would still like to nurse. BUT I plan on introducing the bottle right away, too. This way, my baby can still have the breast milk, but will have the opportunity to bond with dad, grandma, etc., too. I felt like my husband and so many other family members missed out on the first part of Ella’s life because she was quite the project. In contrast, my bottle-fed Brady was on everyone’s lap, happily lapping up the formula. Of course, I don’t have scientific proof that Ella’s demeanor was a direct result of nursing, nor that Brady’s steady smile was because he took a bottle. I’m sure many nursing moms have pleasant babies who allow everyone to hold them and will even take a bottle sometimes. I didn’t! But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try my hand at nursing another baby; I absolutely would. It’s healthy, has a trillion benefits, and I truly enjoyed it.

First Day Jitters

My stomach was turning, my palms were sweaty, and my heart was beating out of my chest…and all I had to do was drop him off. Brady started kindergarten on Thursday. He is no longer my little baby and instead is a full-fledged school kid.

My guy, all ready for school!

The week or so leading up to this day were filled with anxiety for me. At first I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why. I mean, I was nervous for him to have to be away all day and nervous about how he would like school and the other kids and his teacher. It’s a huge change in his life. But I realized that it is also a huge change in my life. For almost 5 years, I’ve spent the majority of my time with Brady. He had some time in school and camp and I spent some time working, but for the most part, we’ve been together.

On his way.

The weeks ahead will be an adjustment for both us. After the first day, which was a half day, he told me that “kindergarten was great!” But later that night when we were laying in his bed he told me that he was “not too comfortable with this all-day thing.” Friday changed his mind on the all-day thing, but he did tell me that “school is a little boring.” I’m really hoping that will change since it’s like he plucked one of my biggest fears about him being in school right from my head and told me it was true.

School kid!

I’m at once excited and nervous for him to be starting this new phase of life. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with just one kid all day. I’m hoping school is interesting and challenging for Brady, and that he makes friends and isn’t bullied and does well. And yes, I’m getting ahead of myself a bit, but I can’t help it. My baby is out of my hands for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week doing things I know very little about. It’s slightly nerve-wracking.

Ready to learn…maybe…

Breastfeeding Story #3 – Me (A little late)

So I didn’t make August. Oopsie. If you didn’t make it either, but still wanted to share, please, please do. You can post in the comments, email me at momseyeviewnyc at gmail dot com, message me on Facebook, or whatever. I’d love to hear from you and share your story.

Now for me. I am two people and almost exactly 36 months into my breastfeeding story. I nursed Brady for 23 months and 4 days. I wrote his story way back when he weaned and you can read it here. Declan will be 13 months old a week from today and I nursed him to sleep about an hour ago.

When I was pregnant with Declan, I did have a bit of anxiety about breastfeeding. Brady never had any problems, so would this baby be the one who wouldn’t latch, or wouldn’t grow, would my plugged ducts come back and how would I deal with two children while I was in that pain? I had a bunch of dreams about a baby who refused the breast, and one dream where I was nursing a goat and then a tiger in the passenger seat of a car. But despite my worries, Declan was a good eater like his brother. He latched on without a problem. My plugged ducts have not come back, but I did get mastitis this time around, which royally sucked ass.

At first, Declan was a fairly good sleeper and so I have lovely memories of lying in bed at night nursing a hungry little baby, listening to his soft sucking and stroking his soft baby hair, just able to make out his tiny baby profile in the dim light. Later, Declan was a TERRIBLE sleeper and so I have awful memories of a baby who would not let go of my boob and just let me sleep.

At this stage, Declan nurses more than Brady did at his age. But he can’t have raw milk products for at least another 5 months, so that may last a bit. I’m going to try introducing soy milk and see what happens with that. I’m torn because in one way, I’d like my freedom. I’d like to be able to be away from him a bit longer. Maybe send him up to the in-laws’ for the day with his brother and have some time with my husband. But then, he is most likely my last baby and in one way I don’t want our nursing relationship to end. At 13 months, I don’t think it’s a worry I have quite yet. To me, he is still a baby, and nursing him is totally normal.

Breastfeeding my kids has been one of the most special, spiritual, humanizing, humbling, amazing experiences of my life. I’ll take the pain that came with it, the stares in public, the loss of freedom, the long nights, and gladly do it all again. I know it’s not for everyone. I’m a firm believer that you have to do what is right to keep your family going. I think I was lucky to grow up in a family where breastfeeding was normal, to grow up to be a mother who never had a second thought about nursing her babies, to never have that “I’ll try” feeling. But I know that that is not what happened to everyone. I didn’t have to go back to work, so I never had to worry about pumping multiple times per day. For me it was the right thing.

I just want every mother who feels that it could be the right thing for her to have the same chance. I don’t want anyone to be kicked out of church or a department store or a restaurant for feeding their child. I don’t want people to tell me how gross or immodest my feeding my baby is. I don’t want to hear how if my baby has teeth or can talk it’s time to get him off the boob. I certainly don’t want to know if you think I get some sexual kick out of nursing. I just want moms who nurse to be able to leave the house, with their babies, and not worry about the what-ifs. What if the baby is hungry? What if somebody says something? What if he moves the nursing cover and people see my nipple and they freak out? What if I’m that person that other people write about on the internet? I know this is a lofty goal, but I’m going to do my part.

Two gorgeous people brought to you in part by my boobs.

Breastfeeding Story #2, Erin

Thank you, Erin for sharing with us. I think she says things perfectly here.

I had my first child when I was 22 and was really poor. My husband had just finished graduate school (literally, just finished, like three weeks after Olivia was born)! Yikes! I ended up breastfeeding out of necessity. I knew it was beneficial, but really I did it because it was free.

It turned out to be really tough. I thought it would be easier, it’s always touted as so convenient, but I remember feeling really trapped. Not only that, but it hurt and I felt like she ate All THE TIME. But, then something magical happened around week three. It was like we both figured it out. I got better, she got better and there was no looking back. I nursed her until she weaned a little before her first birthday.

Baby #2 was born three years later and he was super easy. Breastfeeding was great, everything everyone promised, convenient, painless, and he thrived. I felt like super Mom. I finally got the breastfeeding thing down.

Then Baby #3 came along. He wasn’t anything like his brother or sister (they never are). He was collicky, which I hadn’t prepared for. He cried all the time and breastfeeding didn’t seem to soothe him. It was a struggle. That and two other little ones under foot getting into everything. I definitely had to persevere, but I did. I lost a lot of matchbox cars down the toilet, due to a certain toddler, but in the end I’m glad I breastfed and even though, I would have never believed it at the time, he actually outgrew the collick and we all survived.

Now, to baby #4. My now two-and-a-half month old. I planned to breastfeed just like the other three. I knew it might not be everything I pictured, but I felt sure I could do it. I mean, I had already nursed 3 other kids! However, things didn’t go as planned…

When He was born he latched right away. He nursed every two hours and I assumed everything was going perfectly, but at his one week check-up he had lost weight! I couldn’t believe it. I had to come back to the Pediatrician the next few days to weigh him and he just kept losing. We decided to log every thing and check back in four days to give him some time to rebound and let me rest. Unfortunately, by the time I got back in to the Pediatrician he had continued to drop and was having diarreah, which in a newborn is bad. My Doctor told me it was time to supplement. As soon as he had a bottle things began to rebound. He was like a new baby. I decided to try to pump and just keep giving him formula until we could get things on track. I didn’t get much milk and he continued to thrive on bottles. It was a really tough call, especially since I had never had a problem before, but we decided to switch to formula.

The worst part, was that I knew that if I could just stay in bed and nurse around the clock and hire a lactation consultant I probably could have turned things around and made it work. I felt like a total failure and the drop in hormones, sleep deprivation, and in laws visiting all contributed to me getting myself in a really rough place. Once I finally made the switch and was able to get some sleep and see he was growing and thriving, I really started to come around. It wasn’t perfect, and it certainly was something I never planned, but it has given me a great empathy.

I realize now that it’s not always easy to breastfeed. I still feel sad that I’m not breastfeeding my baby. When I’m out with bottles sometimes I feel judged, like I don’t love my baby as much because I didn’t make it work. But, when I see how happy he has and how well the whole family is doing I know I made the best decision I could at the time. So while, my breastfeeding story might not be exactly what you are looking for I hope it encourages someone else, because we are all just doing the best we can in this Motherhood thing. It’s not easy and sometimes things don’t go the way we intend, but we all love our children and we need to support eachother.

Happy Birthday Declan!

One year ago today I had a nightmare that I was in labor and had to fly to London to give birth. When I woke at 4am I discovered that the contractions from my dream were in fact real, but since I had been having contractions for the past 11 weeks I told myself to go back to sleep and I did. Throughout the day the contractions got stronger and more painful and around 4pm I noticed that that they were fairly regular so I timed them. They were 5 minutes apart. So I called my doctor, called my sister-in-law to watch Brady, and called the husband to get his ass home.
I showered quickly, grabbed my bag, and off to the hospital we went. They got me in around 8:00 and at 8:30 checked me. I was 1cm! I nearly threw up from frustration. I thought I would never make it if these were 1cm contractions. The resident went to call the OB on call and while she was gone I had a massive contraction and my water broke. The husband ran to tell her and instead of going to walk, I got to go into a room.
Fifteen minutes later, my contractions were much, much more painful. My amazing and wonderful nurse had me sit in the rocking chair because I was having back labor and it really helped. I was in so much pain that the resident came in to check me. I was 5cm, yes! So back to the rocking chair I went. About 20 minutes after that I had to push and when I say ‘had to’ I mean ‘HAD TO”.
The resident ran back in pulling on her gown and booties telling me not to push until she checked me. As she tried to check, I couldn’t help but push. Once she said I was fully dilated it was go time! About 10 minutes later, at 9:48pm,Declan was born. One of the most amazing moments of my life. I realized I had just had a baby with no medication whatsoever and felt like I had won a marathon. I had asked for an epidural in there somewhere, but Declan had other plans. They handed him to me and the husband and I just stared at him for awhile.
There was a moment the next morning, around 7am, when I sat in my hospital bed looking out at Manhattan with the sun shining and nursing my new little boy, when the world felt perfect. The joy that Declan has added to our lives is amazing. I never imagined I would enjoy him so much. He is calm and smiley. He is mischievous and sneaky. He is a terrible sleeper (most of the time). But I can’t imagine my life without him.

It’s hard to believe in one short year, he’s gone from this

to this

And with his new haircut he looks so grownup. Sometimes I miss my teeny baby, but I also love the little boy he’s becoming. I love you, Smoosh. You’re the best.

Breastfeeding Story #1, Jenn

Jenn was nice enough to share her story with us…

My blogging career ended after two kids and a full time job took away my time, but here’s a post that describes my nursing relationship with my oldest.
After making it 19m with Hudson, I naturally knew that I would nurse Hadley for as long as I could. She weaned at 21m. After working out the kinks of nursing with baby #1, I felt like a pro and knew I could do it with baby #2. Despite that, I had rough periods. The difference was that I was never tempted to give up.
I have to say that never once did anyone’s opinion of my nursing get to me. Not people looking at me in public places, not my grandmother telling me that I “need to stop” once Hudson was old enough to ask for it….nothing. I would just urge nursing moms to find the support they need to figure out the mechanics of it (all new moms should have a great lactation consultant). After that, the only thing that matters is you, your husband/partner, and the baby. The three of you decide what is best for your family – no one else.
As I prepare for baby #3, I’m thrilled to start this journey all over again. In addition, I’m excited to share the joy of nursing with my son and daughter now that they are old enough to see how it all works. Maybe that will help us normalize this completely natural process for the next generation.