Posts from November 2015

A To-Do List for Soon to be Parents

November 30, 2015


When we first brought Maisie home from the hospital, I would collapse into bed around 8 p.m. every night and think “We made it another day.  I’m alive.  The baby is alive.  We made it.”  It was pure survival mode.  I was just trying to ride out the storm one day at a time until I got the hang of taking care of her.  Things will surely get easier, I would tell myself, it won’t be this hard forever.

I am disturbed to report that almost 7 months later I am writing this post from my bed at 9:17 pm on a Friday night after a long day alone with the baby, prompted by the exact inner monologue described above.  In fact, I’ve decided that this feeling is probably going to stick around indefinitely and parenthood (at least while your kids are young) is kind of like a perpetual state of survival.

While I don’t have these thoughts every single night the way I did in the beginning…it’s not because things have gotten easier.  I think I’ve just gotten more accustomed to it.  To putting the needs of someone else before my own 24 hours a day.  To letting my to-do list pile up (along with my anxiety) because there just isn’t time for any of it.  To being so exhausted that I can barely see straight or formulate a sentence.

And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  What a testament to the continued survival of the human race, no?

So now that I have this added perspective (and I can kind of still remember my old life) I have decided to compile a different kind of to-do list for parents to be:

  1. If you’re hungry, eat something.  If you’re tired (you’re not), take a load off.  Put those feet up and crank the Netflix.  If you have to pee, go right ahead.
  3. Sleep in.  Whenever you get the chance, just sleep until you wake up on your own.
  4. Ladies – take as many long showers as you can.  Trust me on this one.
  5. Start a chore or a project and soak in the fact that you will finish this task uninterrupted and at whatever pace you see fit.
  6. Hang out with your friends every chance you get.  If they don’t have kids, you will most likely never see them again after your baby is born.
  7. Just pick up your keys/wallet/phone and leave the house.  Whenever you want.  For whatever reason you want.  Just walk.out.the.door without a second thought of something you might have forgotten to pack.
  8. Buy something for yourself that you don’t need.  Something you just really want.  The more pointless the better.
  9. Blow dry your hair and wear nice clothes if you feel like it – there is a pretty low chance you will get thrown up on.
  10. Spend an entire day doing whatever it is you feel like doing.  Laying on the couch, going for a long bike ride or a long drive, meeting a friend for lunch.  Whatever YOU want to do, do it!

There it is.  If I could rewind the clock 1 year I would smack the copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” out of my own hands and do every single one of these things at every available opportunity.  In fact, this list should probably be the official Preface of that stupid book.

Housekeeping note – Despite how it may sometimes seem, I am not the most self-important person to ever be alive.  I know there are real people with real problems all over the world.  Keeping it light and writing about my little life here is something I enjoy, so I do.  That’s all 🙂


Pics (and video) Post | #justbeingmaisie

November 28, 2015


Despite what people may assume, I don’t take as many shots of Maisie as I would like with my big clunky professional camera.  I have to make a concerted effort to do it every month or so.  This morning I was able to (finally) figure out to the video function as well as grab a few photos of Maisie #justbeingmaisie.

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Pics Post | A Special Gift

November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving is over and it’s officially Christmas time so buckle up for a bunch of Holiday-related posts from here on out…

Joe and I decided to only ask Santa Claus for a small handful of presents for Maisie this year, since she is still so little.  I worked together with the elves recently on a special gift that I’m really excited about.  She has been wayyyy into reading books lately so here’s what we came up with:

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I can’t wait to snuggle my girl on Christmas night and read this one 🙂

***Edited to add:  I had a bunch of people asking – these books are available via Pint Size Productions.


November 23, 2015

Yesterday I left Maisie with my parents for a few hours so I could attend a rehearsal dinner for my bestie’s wedding.  When I returned to pick her up, my sister and her 3 kids had stopped by for dinner.  As I was walking up to the front door, I could hear the dull roar.  I pulled it open and CHAOSSSSSSSSS!

I found my girl, covered from head to toe in her dinner, staring in wild amazement as her big cousins ran circles around Nana and Papa.  My sister was wiping an unknown substance from the newly painted kitchen walls.  I decided this was as good a time as any for a mega selfie:

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My favorite thing about these pictures is how incomplete they are.  Of my parent’s 5 kids, only two of us have procreated.  Can’t wait to see how many people are trying to squeeze in this shot in a year or two from now 🙂

All Things Christmas

November 17, 2015


Something I’ll never forget:  A few hours after Joe and I got engaged, I was rambling on and on about potential details for our wedding and he was sitting next to me in contemplative silence (as we tend to do) when all of a sudden he interrupted me mid-sentence and said “Let’s have the best Christmases.”  I knew he meant with our future children someday.  Anndddd my heart just about exploded.

Now that Maisie is here I can confidently say that I haven’t been this excited for Christmas since the 2nd grade.  Before you start rolling your eyes, I’m aware that she will only be 7 months old and a) won’t remember it and b) won’t have any idea what’s going on.  But I can’t help it.

I’m just so excited for Christmas to feel magical again.

As the weeks fly by, I’ve been thinking about the Christmases of my childhood.  I remember sneaking cookie dough off the beaters on Christmas Eve.  I remember looking at the sky after midnight mass hoping I would see Santa’s sled.  And (best of all) I remember waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning to stare in disbelief at the massive pile of presents, 1/5 of which had my name on them.

I can’t wait for Joe and I to pick and choose traditions to carry forward with our own little family and it all starts this year.

Stay tuned for probably too many Christmas-related posts in the next few weeks.

I can’t be a cool Mom because I love her too much

November 12, 2015



Sigh.  Feeling like the Mommiest Mom on the planet these last few days after a health scare with Maisie (she’s fine for now though – knock wood!).  My prior plans to be a super chill and laid-back Mom are starting to look more and more pathetic.  On a positive note, I’ve decided to embrace it.  I’ve already started practicing making my voice really annoying and saying “PUT A COAT ON IT’S COLD OUT THERE!!!”

Probably the thing I most underestimated about being a parent is how insanely terrifying it can be.  I just love Maisie so much.  Too much.  And it makes me feel more vulnerable than I ever have in my life because as much as I wish it to be true, I can’t protect her from everything.  Horrible illnesses and freak accidents happen every single day to good people all over the world.  This gig is straight up petrifying and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it except hug her a little tighter and say some extra prayers at night.  Methinks by the time we get to dating and drivers licenses I will be heavily medicated in a padded room somewhere.

Maisie – Although it may seem impossible to believe, I was like you once.  I was young and free and careless too.  And I was convinced that my Mom didn’t understand me either.  I went after the wrong boys.  I got horrible tattoos.  I rebelled.  And it all led me to you.  To right here and now.  To losing sleep because I love you too much.  So when it seems like I’m the worst, like I don’t understand ANYTHING and I’m unfair, it’s probably all rooted in that one same simple and undeniable fact – I love you too much. 

Fudging the Milestones

November 10, 2015


Why even crawl at all?  Our crazy girl is ready to RUN! (Photo courtesy of Tricia LaPonte Photography)

Confession time:  As Maisie rapidly approaches some big baby milestones I’m starting to get wayyyyyy anxious (as I tend to do) about the very real possibility that they will happen while I’m at work.

The other day her daycare summary sheet had a note that said “She’s thinking about crawling!” and it made my heart sing with pride.  I was also blindsided by an unexpected emotion…jealousy.  Being a working Mom can be so stinking complicated.  Maisie’s main minder on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays is like her surrogate Grandmother.  Judy lovesssss our girl and the feeling is mutual.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I love the level of intimacy our daycare provides.  I also really love working.  If the money fairy came to our house tomorrow and gave us millions of dollars – I honestly believe I would still work.

Things have been going so well with daycare, work and the balancing act as a whole…but there are always at least a few notes in that darn “cons” column, are there not?  Right now, the biggest, boldest item on that list is that in the next few months Maisie will crawl, walk and talk and Mommy or Daddy might not be there to see it.

I read an article once that was chock-full of advice for working Moms and one thing that really resonated was to give instructions to your daycare or nanny NOT to share any milestones that happen while you are at work.  I decided to swallow my pride, save myself from a sobbing session in the bathroom at the office and try this strategy out.

So when Maisie does decide to crawl, we will never know for sure if it’s truly for the first time.  I doubt that the uncertainty will make it any less exciting, but I guess I’ll find out sooner rather than later!

Pics Post | Staying in the Picture

November 8, 2015

Remember this article from a few years back?  I have never forgotten it.  Even though I absolutely detest seeing myself in pictures, it is so important to me (especially since I’m usually the one behind the camera) that we make it a point to have some family photos taken at least once a year.

It would have been easier and much less stressful to just wake up and chill this morning but I’m so thankful that we have these images.  Massive thank you to my photogafriend Tricia for capturing our little family.

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An Interview with my Bestie, a Colic Survivor

November 5, 2015


Sidney Ann!  I want to bite those cheeks every time I see her.

Kaitlin gave birth to her daughter Sidney in July.  Almost immediately, Sidney Ann made her tough-cookie presence known.  I sat helplessly on the sidelines as Kaitlin battled her way through her maternity leave, trying everything in her power to soothe her sweet girl’s cries.  They saw specialist after specialist and got more than one vague and confusing diagnosis.

In the end, it all added up to the one thing no deliriously sleep-deprived Mother ever wants to hear:  Colic.

From what I can gather, the worst thing about colic is that they don’t know what causes it.   It’s defined as episodes of crying for more than three hours a day for more than three days a week for three weeks in an otherwise healthy child between the ages of two weeks and four months.  :shudders:

I remember the handful of times Maisie has cried and I didn’t know why or couldn’t immediately figure out how to fix it.  Every single one of those occasions left me in panicked tears myself.  I can’t imagine (like literally, CANNOT imagine) living that on a daily basis for 2-3 months.  And living it at 1 a.m., 2:30 a.m., 3:45 a.m., 5 a.m…..

Thankfully Sidney has turned a corner recently and the worst of it seems to be over.  In the continued spirit of Mothers admitting loud and proud how effing hard it can be to be Mothers, Kaitlin agreed to be interviewed.  I hope this helps even one person out there on the interwebs!

First, tell me a little bit about your daughter.

She is smart, beautiful, and sensitive… Those things I know for sure. I’m still waiting to find out the rest!

What did you know about colic before Sidney was born?

I knew that colic meant constant crying and that gas pains were a factor. I did not know the extent of how stressful and painful it is for the whole family.

What is the most challenging thing about having a baby with colic?  

Colic is feeling like somehow, someway, you are the cause.

What would you say to another new Mom who has a baby with colic?

Ask for help from someone who has experienced it. You can’t control it, the only thing you can do is hear other people’s colic experiences, and take breaks away from the crying/screaming.

Knowing what you know now, would you do anything differently if you could go back to the first day home with her?

I would have stayed in bed with the baby for the first few days and tried to get any amount of sleep.  Instead, I made the same mistake a lot of new mothers make, trying to get up, get dressed, and function. I had no idea how long it would be before I got any quality sleep.

How has having a tough-cookie baby like Sidney changed your view on Motherhood?

Having a colicky baby taught me that as a parent, you can’t control the outcome of most things the way you could before being a parent. There’s always going to be a new obstacle with your child and you can’t stop it from happening, you just have to face it.

Thanks so much for sharing Kaitlin.  I’d love to keep featuring some guest posts and/or interviews, so if you have a story to share – get in touch!


Mothers and Daughters, Daughters and Mothers

November 4, 2015


When I was driving home from work a few days ago, a memory from my childhood crept up on me out of nowhere.  Something I hadn’t thought about in years.

As a young girl, there was a little old lady living next door to us named Mrs. Small.  I don’t think she had any family nearby and she lived alone.  Every year, on Mrs. Small’s birthday, my Mom would find time between wrangling 5 kids to bake her a cake and buy her a card.  Then she would force us to go over and sing Happy Birthday.

Can you even deal?

I bring this up with a certain level of guilt because when I found out I was having a girl I’ll admit I immediately thought of my own upbringing and began compiling a laundry list in my head of things I planned to do differently with my own daughter.  Particularly in those turbulent formative years.  Without opening up a can of worms I’ll simply explain that I can sometimes be hard on my Mom.  We are close and speak almost daily but have always had what I would call a non-traditional Mother/Daughter relationship.

Now that Maisie is here, I can only imagine (although I try not to even think about it…the terror!) that trying to parent a painfully insecure teenage girl is probably not unlike handling a live grenade.  My Mom did the best she could, I know.

As far as my takeaway from my own childhood goes, the rediscovered memory of singing Happy Birthday to Mrs. Small will now live forever at the top of the list of things I hope I can even come close to replicating for my own child(ren) someday.  What an amazing lesson in compassion and empathy.  Love you Marmy!


Sigh.  I think, after 3,000 rewrites of this post and some deep thinking, the relationship between a Mother and her Daughter might be the most complicated of all.  Round and round it goes!

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