Long Island Mom

What I've learned about being a mom.

My New Balancing Act

Published for the Huffington post again!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/christina-arata/working-mothers_b_2595398.html

You can find my profile and both of my posts here :

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-arata/

Follow me on Facebook :

http://www.facebook.com/LongIslandMom

And Twitter :

@thelimom

Thanks as always for the support!!

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Top Five Strollers

I have a few friends who are expecting their first baby coming up and are registering or have registered for baby items at the big baby stores in the area. I remember registering at Buy Buy Baby for Sofia and being completely overwhelmed by the choices I had to make with little to no experience with all of the equipment. The stroller choices were unbelievable. A wall of any stroller that had ever been made and a knowledgable person there to answer questions. But I had no idea what I even needed to look for.

So I had this idea – tell me the stroller or travel system you chose that you loved and I’ll compile a list of the top 5 by next Friday. Let me know why you loved your stroller so much too!

I got the Peg Perego Uno Stroller and car seat. I love that the car seat snaps in and that the stroller handle goes back and forth so you can decide if baby faces you, or out. That’s also great to make sure they’re never facing the sun. All of the fabric comes off and can be machine washed as well. Very important. It was, however, very expensive. I have heard that several companies now make strollers that can face either way for much cheaper.

Thanks so much I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

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Ready to Quit

I breast fed my daughter until she was 4 months old. I would have loved to have made it longer but I was just unwilling to continue the constant pumping at work in a very unfriendly pumping environment to keep going. I also had a hard time consuming enough calories to sustain both of us. I was a sickly looking mom by the end of it.

My son is now 4 months old and because I am home with him, pumping is not an issue. I am also consuming way more than enough calories this time, and the evidence is in the muffin top peaking over my jeans. I’m sexy and I know it.

So my issue this time is my son is teething. At 4 months old. I can see the little white tooth poking through on the bottom and had to google whether it was even possible for a baby to get a tooth at 4 months old because I was in disbelief. Sofia was 8 months old when her first tooth came in. And my son was a preemie. It doesn’t make sense, yet there it is, accompanied by insane amounts of drool, biting and crankiness.

So yes, he’s biting and chewing on everything – his hands, my arm, my shoulder, his toys, his blankets, and now my boobs. It’s just as painful as it sounds. So I’m ready to throw in the towel. But…

– I hate washing bottles.
– I hate making bottles.
– I hate paying for formula.
– I hate saggy post-breast feeding boobs.
– I hate the smell of formula poops.

So, I’m still trudging along, however painfully, for the moment. I’m also sad to reach every new milestone with my son because it means the last of whatever it is he’s growing out of. The last time I snuggle him close to nurse him I’m sure I’ll have tears streaming down my face knowing I’ll never do it again. Getting choked up now just thinking about it. I guess that’s why it’s so hard to make this decision.

But really I’m just gonna miss these awesome boobs.

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Exactly.

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Stuffy noses?

Read this article on the Huffington Post and was never so glad to be rid of those gross bulb syringe snot suckers. The gist? Mold grows in those things and is now shooting up your baby’s nose. Go throw them out now. I’ll wait.

Done? Ok, now go buy this. You can stick it in your dishwasher to disinfect and it works a thousand times better than those bulb syringes anyway. My cousin Rosemarie made me buy one after baby David was born and I thought it was disgusting until I used it. There’s a spongy stopper so there is no way to suck the snot through the tube. And it works. Scoff if you must but I’m never turning back. And there are a lot of snot noses in this house.

Now somebody go contact these people and get them to pay me for this advertisement.

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4 months and growing

It’s been a rough road but here we are – my little preemie’s 4 month checkup and he’s growing on schedule. 75th percentile for height and 15th for weight, numbers I never thought I’d see for him. I’m feeling just so blessed and thankful for my healthy and happy family.

The past few months have been trying for our family. Baby David’s unexpected early arrival and subsequent NICU stays for an unexplained and prolonged problem with jaundice was the worst of it. I also struggled with feeling like an inadequate mother to our 2 year old in the face of her brother’s problems. She unfortunately had to take a back seat and it was in no way fair to her.

All of these issues put the rest of our normal family issues into perspective. Finances and arguments over division of labor in the house are so trivial when compared to the health and happiness of the kids. Through it all, mommy and daddy have never been closer. I actually welcomed the daily bickering over socks on the floor and other stupid shit when it returned, because it meant a return to normalcy.

So now, at 4 months, I can begin worrying about schedules and sleeping through the night. Normal baby issues. How blessed I am to be able to worry about that, and not anything more serious.

And Sofia is back to ruling our house and telling us what to do. I even welcome that now. For the next 5 minutes. Then she better quit it.

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Just eat, kid.

I swore I would never be ‘that mom’. About a lot of things. That was my first of many mistakes.

I love hearing women talk about all the things they will/won’t do when they have kids. I used to be you, then my daughter taught me just how wrong I could be. Kids test you in a way you would never let an adult. And as much as you may think you have it all figured out, there are no absolutes in parenting.

It starts with the birth plan. ‘I’m going all natural, after all women have been doing it for centuries without drugs, right?’ Yes. They also lived without electricity and cable tv. Does that mean I have to? I was that mom. I was going to have my daughter with no pain meds, until I hit about 4-5 cms. That went out the window quick. Then, with my son, I was determined to do it. Then he came after 30 hours of hospital monitoring and no food. Screw that, give me the drugs.

My kids were going to be perfect sleepers. I was going to let them cry it out because they need to learn to self soothe. Ok, I did do this with Sofia. At 9 months old, after my pediatrician (good ol’ Dr. B) told me she was playing me. And it hurt me to the core. I never understood why parents had a hard time with this until I did it. It’s hell to listen to your kid cry. Every bone in your body wants to save them. My son is 4 months old now and I would love to say he self soothes and is an amazing sleeper. He naps in 20 minute increments and needs to be nursed and rocked to sleep. He owns me.

I was going to be the parent that breast fed for a year, made her own baby food, and her kids would eat their veggies gladly. No catering to my kids with pizza and chicken fingers. Well, I made it 4 months with Sofia until she got formula, when pumping at work became just such a bitch. I did make my own baby food, and she was a great eater. Then, she turned 2. She lives on Cheerios and air now. Not quite sure how she keeps on going with such little food in her. And yes, I cater to her every whim in order to get a few calories in her. Chicken fingers in a sea of ketchup? Abso-friggen-lutely. Chocolate chips in your pancakes with syrup on top? Why not?

Judge not, lest you have your own children. And NEVER say never. :)

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‘Real’ moms

Elizabeth Banks got into a little trouble for some remarks she made about feeling like she is ‘really a mom’ after the birth of her second child.

Moms of single children are upset at the notion that having one child makes you less of a mom than having several. I don’t think that’s what she meant at all. She went on to say how much easier it is to cart one kid around, to travel, etc. Two kids is much more difficult.

Yes, life is drastically altered after the birth of your first child. Your life is no longer your own and it is a huge adjustment. But you can sort of prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Everyone tells you how tired you’ll be and about the poop and the terrible twos and the teething. Nobody warns you about the second kid.

I knew it would be harder, yes. I had no clue, however, what a hermit I would become. Going to the grocery store with my 2 year old and my infant was an exercise in clusterfuck. People even now, when I think I have it under control, give me the sideways pity look. That’s how bad I must look to them. At Gymboree, a place full of moms, I get comments like, ‘I don’t know how you do it!’

I don’t either, lady.

Showering is a luxury. Which is what I thought after having my first. Now, though, I have to contend with playing peekaboo outside of the shower door to entertain the 2 year old and listening to the baby monitor to make sure the baby isn’t awake. Or I could wake up at 5am to shower. It’s not looking like such a bad idea these days.

And believe me, I’m not complaining. I did this to myself on purpose and am beyond happy about it. As I sit here writing this, I’m watching my daughter color and chat with herself about princesses while I bounce the baby on my legs as he smiles at me for no other reason than because I’m his mommy. Right now I’m blissfully happy to be their mom, a privilege not everyone gets to experience.

But I know Stop n Shop is waiting for me, so part of me wants to cry.

I feel ya, Banksy.

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Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

Found this recipe on my twitter feed (follow me @thelimom) from Parenting magazine and thought I’d try it for lunch today. Easy, tasty and fast!

http://m.parenting.com/article/sesame-chicken-salad?src=twitter#bmb=1

I doubled the amount of scallions, and added Sriracha hot sauce and 1 clove of minced garlic to the sauce. Yum!

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Bubble Wrap

My daughter is 2 years old and has been sick so infrequently in her short life that I’m pretty sure this month was the first time she had more than a sniffle. She started out 2013 with a 5 day fever, congestion and cough combo that I swear was the flu, even though we all had flu shots in my house. Then yesterday hit and made me wish for a simple flu.
It all started out innocently enough. Sofia woke up at 7:30, and didn’t want breakfast. Breakfast is her favorite activity and she couldn’t even be bothered to finish her milk. When she brought baby and blankie to me at 11:15, two hours early for her nap, I began to feel a twinge of worry. By 1:00 she was awake and crying, and I made a disgusting discovery. Diarrhea everywhere.
Yeah yeah yeah she’s my kid and I’m a mom and I shouldn’t be bothered by her bodily fluids. Shenanigans. Nothing is more disgusting than cleaning up a bed and toddler full of that stuff. Or so I thought.
A call to the pediatrician was in and I was told to keep her hydrated and not worry unless she started to vomit. And there it was not even 10 minutes later. Off to the doctor we went. There is nothing my daughter hates as much as the doctor so I knew this would be an adventure. I had thoughts of bringing towels in the car but was in a rush and thought there was no way anything was left in her stomach.
Wrong again. Holding my crying toddler in the examining room, I was vomited on 3 times, rapid fire. She was crying, there was vomit everywhere and I wanted to melt into a puddle of tears. Off I went cleaning.
She’s much better today, the virus seems to have passed as quickly as it came, and yet I know that now that she’s a toddler, mingling at Gymboree with other booger-infested drooling, nose-picking germ carriers, I will always be battling some illness with her. I have to resist the urge to cover her in bubble wrap and never leave the house. I can’t do that, right? Maybe just until flu season is over?

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