Schooled by My Two-Year-Old

“Mommy, put phone DOWN!” her tiny voice chastises me.

My face falls and, sensing I’m upset, she comes over and gives me a hug and a kiss. I smile back at her, accepting her warmth of an embrace, but my heart feels heavy.

It’s only February and I’ve already broken my resolution to be more present … and I was caught in the act by my two-year-old. Continue reading “Schooled by My Two-Year-Old”

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

Children might be born as blank slates, but it doesn’t take long for those slates to fill up with personality traits.

Just shy of two years old, Maya has a personality all her own … but she’s clearly getting some outside influence as she shapes the person she will become.

Lately, Maya has become a resident drama queen (a la her mommy) and a negotiator (a la her daddy). Continue reading “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree”

All-Over-the-Place Labor Day Recap

For Labor Day, we went home to N.J. and it was WONDERFUL. I loved every minute of being home with my family — the little family I’ve created with Luis, and the one I was born into.

The three of us flew in from Michigan, my brother flew in from California with his girlfriend (whom we adore!), and my sister came in from NYC. My parents were thrilled to have “all their chickies in the nest” and, per usual, smitten by Maya and it was just an all-around awesome and relaxing time. We ate, we drank, we were merry.  I was sad to not be able to see any of my high school friends this trip but it was really all about family this time. Between full moon gazing (thanks to Dad’s new toy!) park playing, boat riding, lake splashing, Catchphrase winning, winery sipping, woods hiking … it was a blast through and through. Continue reading “All-Over-the-Place Labor Day Recap”

First Pony(tail)

Maya was bald for the longest time.

Even looking back at her 1-year photo shoot pics from January, she still had practically no hair.

Around February or so, it started to come in — thickening, but growing down into a little rat’s tail of sorts. But I didn’t want to bring her in for a haircut yet — I wanted it to grow out vs. just down first.

And I couldn’t wait to get her soft blond hair into pigtails and ponytails! Continue reading “First Pony(tail)”

She’s Growing Up … *Tear*

She’s growing up SO  fast!                                                            

In our house, Luis does drop-off and I do pick-up; it’s what has worked for us since I went back to work when Maya was three months old. And as recently as a month or two ago, the rare mom-does-daycare drop-off resulted in tears, all-out clinginess and shrill shrieks for mama. It took all I had not to cry myself when this happened. I knew a minute after I left she’d be fine, but still … tough stuff.

Yet it was always worth it because I knew at pick-up time, she’d come RACING into my arms thrilled to see me, or rush over crying and burrow herself into my shoulders — a position I’m fairly certain I could never get sick of. Continue reading “She’s Growing Up … *Tear*”

Why I’m Glad We Went the Puppy-Then-Baby Route: 12 Similarities Between Fur-Babies and Real Babies

Double trouble. Literally.

Note: I originally wrote this for Babble but it didn’t make the cut; they had too many similar pieces … so if you know of another publication looking for similar freelance pieces … let me know! In the meantime, I thought I’d share with my own readers! 🙂

I’d wanted a puppy for a long time. With my husband chiseling away at his evening MBA (which entailed driving to the other side of the state after work several times a week as well as some weekends), I was lonely.

Though we both wanted to start a family, we were in a holding pattern until he had finished his MBA. A puppy seemed like the answer to my loneliness and desire to be a mom: he/she could keep me company and give me something to satiate my maternal calling.

Rocco came into our lives in the form of an email from a coworker whose Lab had just had puppies – puppies they couldn’t possibly keep. It was love at first sight. All paws, he came bounding over to us, wagging his teensy nub of a tail and licking our hands. I scooped him in my arms and just knew he’d be our forever friend. Only eight pounds at the time, he was a little peanut who crashed in my lap on the long drive home – but you could just tell he was going to be all Lab: full of boundless energy. Continue reading “Why I’m Glad We Went the Puppy-Then-Baby Route: 12 Similarities Between Fur-Babies and Real Babies”

Clarity By Keynote

It’s pretty common knowledge here on my blog that I often question my decision to return to work. It’s not that I don’t love my job or the company for whom I work — I completely do — just that I.Miss.Maya. Plain and simple.

This week, however, I felt a little bit more sure of myself after hearing some stats at a brainstorming session I attended to address education issues in our community — and, perhaps even more important, felt even more sure about the specific childcare facility we have chosen for Maya.

Allow me to explain. Continue reading “Clarity By Keynote”

Bye-Bye Mama

Being I’m not with Maya 24/7 as I’d like to be sometimes, weekends take on a whole new level of pleasure for me. It’s time spent completely with her … undivided family time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sure, sometimes I miss the freedom and spontaneity of just going for coffee with a friend, hitting up a fitness class that I just found out about, or just randomly treating myself to a pedi without having to think “Crap, I can’t. Today Luis has XYZ, so we’d need a sitter.”

Nothing just “happens” anymore on a whim; things need to be planned out. Even weekend time requires some foresight. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love my time with her! Continue reading “Bye-Bye Mama”

Preserving the Toddler Nap

For the past nearly 18 months, we’ve been very lucky: aside from those initial tough first couple of weeks, Maya’s been a great sleeper. Which you know means #2 someday will be a terrible sleeper. And eater. And everything else!

Anyway, because she’s been on the petite side (albeit with delicious rolls galore on her arms and legs) she was in the infant carrier until 15 months – meaning she could easily sleep anywhere and stay asleep upon arrival at our destination — no shifting or carrying required.

Continue reading “Preserving the Toddler Nap”