Long Island Mom

What I've learned about being a mom.

Hurricane Sandy

2 small children and a voluntary evacuation order for our part of Long Island. What’s a mom to do? Irene came and went without incident for our house, although this storm seems much more intense. Bloomberg canceled city schools for Monday, which he would do anything to avoid. That makes me nervous.

My husband is of the mindset that the media is blowing this out of proportion, like they do everything else. I would like to agree with him but I just can’t shake the feeling that we’re going to be that family sitting on the roof of our house that is completely under water. Dramatic, much?

For now our plan is this : eat, drink booze, and watch the Giants game. I’ll let you know how this works out for us.

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Women voting

I’m not going to get political, but this pissed me off.

http://m.jezebel.com/5954617/cnn-thinks-crazy-ladies-cant-help-voting-with-their-vaginas-instead-of-their-brains

Eff off, CNN.

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Grown up tuna salad

I’m always looking for an easy lunch I can throw together in just a few minutes that’s healthy but will fill me up until dinner. (Not a whole lot of time for snacking these days.) I love tuna salad, which brings me back to my childhood. My mom used to make awesome tuna melts with tuna salad on an English muffin topped with melted cheddar cheese. We would eat them while watching General Hospital, and my mom would do my hair just like Hayley, played by the adorable Kelly Ripa when she was just a teenager.

Today I made a healthier version of tuna salad, with no mayo. I made it ‘Italian style’ and put it on top of toasted sourdough bread and it was so yummy I thought I’d share it with you. I used Italian tuna packed in olive oil, but if you can’t find it, you can substitute tuna packed in water. Just make sure to drain off the water and add a tbs of olive oil.

Italian Tuna Salad

1 can chunk light tuna in olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbs finely chopped celery
2 tsp finely chopped red onion
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Mix all ingredients! (Do not drain off the oil from the tuna)

Hope you enjoy.

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2 going on 16

Being away from my daughter for the 5 days I was in the hospital having my son gave me a new perspective on her. Up until then, I rarely called her by her name, Sofia. I always say, “Good morning baby!” or “Come here, baby”. She is almost 2, and not really a baby anymore, especially in this house with a newborn.

The day I came home from the hospital, Sofia ran up and hugged me tightly, which brought me to tears. The longest amount of time I had been away from her to that point was for a friend’s wedding when she stayed at my mother in law’s for the night and most of the following day. Due to complications, my hospital stay was much longer than the 24 hours I had hoped for and I missed her desperately. I couldn’t wait to get home to squeeze her.

Changing the preemie diapers of my 5 pound son in the NICU set me up for quite a shock when I got home to Sofia. All of a sudden she didn’t look like my baby. She looked like a kid, which, it turns out, is what she is. Her face seemed so much older, her hair longer, her demeanor more mature. I’m sure those 5 days did not change her so drastically, but it seemed that way to me.

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Afraid of the Doctor

I have the nicest pediatrician in the world. His name is Dr. Blinderman and he works in Hewlett, NY here on Long Island. He is happy, sweet, patient and kind, the kind of doctor any kid would be lucky to have. And my daughter is a beast to him.

It all started well. As a baby, Sofia would smile and giggle and practically flirt with Dr. B. She genuinely liked him and would cry for a few seconds after the shot at the end of the appointment but would forget all about it by the next one. At about 12 months she started to ‘get it’. This nice man was going to stick a needle in her at the end of the appointment and she decided she no longer liked him. From then on, doctor appointments have been pure hell for everyone involved.

It begins like this – Sofia happily runs into the waiting room, happy to play with toys while I sign in at the front desk. All is well as we walk down the hallway to the examining room, until we get into the door. Then the fear hits her, and it hits her hard. She very dramatically covers her eyes and starts to cry ‘Ok! Ok!’ This little gem is due to the fact that anytime she cries, I scoop her up and tell her she’s ok. It used to be pretty funny, now it’s just sad to see her so afraid.

Now the nurse walks in and asks questions about how things are going with her and what we’re in the office for. Although she doesn’t calm down, she’s not in full hysterics yet. When jolly old Dr. B walks in, the meltdown commences. Full tears, snot and screaming. She tries to practically climb up my torso as if the exit is over my back, and I’m forced to hold her and keep her from vaulting over me while I calmly talk to her sweet doctor.

As he looks in her ears, her mouth, her eyes, and listens to her heart, she screams as if someone is running her over with a car. My only response to her is to pet her hair and tell her it’s ok, which clearly, to her, it’s not. I have read every article online and have asked everyone I know what I’m supposed to do about this, including her doctor, and the consensus is that it’s a phase she’ll grow out of. WHEN?

The articles online suggest reading her stories about the doctor. Done. No help.

Buy her a doctor kit to play with. Done. No help.

Talk to her about what will happen at the doctor. Done. No help.

Bring her to the doctor for a visit with the baby where she is not the focus. More screaming.

This has been going on for almost a year now, and although her appointments are not as frequent as they were for the first year of her life, they are frequent enough for this to be a big problem for us. What is a mom to do?

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Supporting moms

I love to support other moms whenever possible. We tend to be so judgmental of each other when we really should be helping each other out. Motherhood is tough, and I can only speak for myself here, but I know I’m hard enough on myself, I don’t need anyone’s help. We’re all doing the best we can, and I hope by opening up my life and my constant mistakes to everyone, that you all feel like you’re not alone.

So, on a very positive note, Jessica Lentz is making a name for herself in the hair styling world here in New York. She is a single mom and does fantastic hair in her home in Bayshore, Long Island. She’s up on all of the latest hair trends, including some incredibly cool ombré stuff that I’m dying to get the courage to do. Please take a minute to check out her Facebook page : www.facebook.com/hairbyjessicalentz.

Because she is not affiliated with a salon, she can keep her prices low. She also does wedding parties. If you’re in Long Island check her out!

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Wimping out

Ok so I wimped out. I talked really tough about putting the baby in his nursery and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I could give you a ton of reasons why it’s not time yet but the truth is I’m not ready for him to be on his own in that big crib.

My daughter was 4 weeks old when she went in her crib and I had no problems with it. Now, admittedly things have been much different for baby David than they were for Sofia and I’m emotionally still a little raw from the 2 stints in the NICU that he had to undergo, but is that really why I can’t move him into his room? He’s so noisy and we would all sleep much better, but I just can’t do it.

Is it a boy vs. girl thing? I know in my family my mom (and she admits this) has always been much tougher on me and my sister than she has on my brother. She says how different her relationship is with him than with her 2 girls simply because he’s a boy. My mother in law also admits she trusted her daughter to take care of herself much more than her son. Am I coddling my son more than my daughter already? Is this true for anyone else?

Are we setting our girls up to be independent and take care of themselves because we believe they need to run a household? Are we coddling our boys because we expect their wives to take care of them one day?

Just a thought…

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Co-sleeping

Baby David is a noisy little guy. He makes sounds both awake and asleep that I have only heard out of old men. Grunts, gurgles and sometimes growls come out of this tiny little baby and anyone who has seen it has to laugh. Go ahead and laugh people, because you don’t have to sleep next to it.

Sofia slept happily in her bassinet and made only occasional whimpers in her sleep. I checked on her obsessively and didn’t sleep for the first 4 weeks of her life until I decided everyone would sleep better if she moved into her nursery. She easily made the transition and we all began sleeping easily. Not all the way through the night, but that’s another story.

This time around the baby is not a fan of his bassinet. We’ve had a hard time getting him to sleep in it and have resorted to putting him in the swing to sleep. Friends of ours bought us the Nap Nanny and instantly he began to sleep peaceful 3-4 hour stretches, giving me the first useful amounts of sleep I’ve had since he was born. I think it’s the incline that it’s on, as he has problems with spitting up. Well, more than just spitting up, it’s projectile milk out of his mouth and nose. Anyone want to babysit? :)

Baby David (will we be calling him that into his 20s or will he grow out of this nickname?) is 4 weeks old tomorrow, and I’m moving him into his crib in his nursery as well. I can’t take the snoring from my husband on one side and the grunts and growls from my son on the other. How do people sleep with their children in the room for months on end? Am I a horrible mom for ousting my kids so early?

And how to people co-sleep? For the 3 minutes we tried co-sleeping to get the baby to sleep, I was unbelievably paranoid about rolling onto him and suffocating him. And I’m an incredibly light sleeper. How does this work exactly? I picture this perfect snuggling scenario where the 3 of us drift off peacefully and I am able to breast feed him and roll over all without really waking up. Is that a glamorization of co-sleeping or is this a reality for some?

So for now ill go back to what’s working for us. Everyone in their own rooms. My husband better watch his snoring or he’s getting his own room too!

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A little pampering

You already know where I stand on mommy guilt and taking time for yourself . Time for myself has gone by the wayside lately here, as things have gotten very hectic in our house with 2 kids under the age of 2. If I have a minute to myself, I start the debate over whether to eat or get a quick nap. Sleep always wins.

In the weeks after delivery, hormones wreak havoc on every inch of a woman, inside and out. I have cried during the opening scene of Finding Nemo, my body feels like it has been taken over by milk production, and my hair and skin are a disaster. If there was ever a need for a spa day, now would be it. Sadly, it doesn’t look like that will be happening for awhile now.

Then there are the diaper changes. I have 2 in diapers, which means when I’m not feeding a kid, I’m diapering one. Hand washing has made my poor hands practically raw. Enter Miss Body Butter. These scrubs and body butters are an instant pick me up and have healed my disgusting hands. Looking forward to a long, uninterrupted shower so I can pamper myself with these awesome scrubs without playing peekaboo with my toddler through the shower door.

Check out the website : www.missbodybutter.com. There are several different scents and these would make a fabulous gift for yourself or a new mom. Everyone brings baby clothes when they come to visit, do something nice for the new mom and bring a gift for her. Trust me, she’s not thinking of herself for even a minute, so force her to.

Paulin, the creator of these products, lives in Brooklyn (which makes her instantly cooler than me) and makes them herself. No chemicals and the ingredients are listed right on the front of the package. Nothing you can’t pronounce. She’s giving away a sample set of her products through a raffle. Go to Facebook and ‘like’ this post on the Long Island Mom fan page www.facebook.com/LongIslandMom and you’ll be entered to win. I’m doing the drawing on Friday so make sure to like the post by Thursday 10/18 by midnight. Tell your friends!

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Presidential Debates and Gambling

I come from a long line of gamblers. My dad will put money on anything. He actually bet me $1,000 that I wouldn’t graduate college in 4 years because ‘nobody does anymore’ and I was so determined to win the bet (and the money) that I took summer school classes to make sure I’d graduate on time. Looking back, he’s a smart man on that one. How else do you motivate a college kid to leave such an awesome party in 4 short years?

We’re also big drinkers. My great grandpa on my mom’s side was a farmer from Missouri. He went to ‘mass’ every Sunday at 10am. Only ‘mass’ was held on his front porch, he was shirtless most of the time, and he either had a Jim Beam and 7-up in his hands, or a can of Schlitz beer with salt on the rim.

Paints a lovely picture, doesn’t it? I told you those stories to tell you this one. My dad has taken to drinking games in a big way. He loves beer pong, a friendly little game my husband taught him called ‘asshole’, and he has now decided the Presidential debates would make great drinking games. He’s not wrong, it makes them so much more interesting. Do a google search of ‘presidential debate drinking games’ and you’ll get thousands of hits. I highly suggest getting your family and friends involved. Politics are so much less depressing when you have a few drinks in you.

Here are a few links to some good ones :
VP debate

Pres Debate

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