Archive for category WAHM

These are the days

Yesterday morning, before opening his eyes, Jack was already clapping his hands and requesting his favorite (but my not-so-favorite) show.

The kid wasn’t even AWAKE yet, and he’s all about Twist, Shout, Kiki and Marina. What the hell?

In case you’re not familiar, this particular show showcases some of the hottest moves for preschoolers. It even has Jeff dancing and singing about some damn “Loco Legs.”

;)

You guessed it; our sick boy is back to normal. It took 4 visits to the dr., 2 antibiotic shots, LOTS of tears and lost sleep, but he’s back to normal. And by normal, I mean he’s dancing and singing, screaming and jumping, too!

It’s good to have this craziness back.

For about a week, I had to cancel plans and dump our regular schedule of visiting the park for a few hours each day. No social interaction for a week—not including the nurses, doctors and people in the doctor’s office—makes for a loooong week. I guess I had a refresher of what the long winter indoors will be like. Let’s hope we find ways to keep busy with our local friends when it gets all cold again.

**

Speaking of busy, last Friday was my one year anniversary of quitting my job. As I said on FB, what a year it’s been. One year ago, I never envisioned myself to be ___here___. Perhaps, I had totally different expectations, but I never visualized myself becoming totally immersed in social media and the blogosphere. It’s been an interesting transition, but a great one. I’ll have to devote a whole post to it later, but I love where I am. Love.

I love all the friends I’ve made, all the contacts I’ve met, all the events I’ve attended, all the cool experiences to speak of, but especially, getting to witness the little things with Jack each and every day.

Don’t get me wrong, some days with him obviously suck the life out of me, but the other days that are filled will kisses, hugs and snuggling, yeah, those are the days that justify all that doubt about me quitting my job and letting go of that chapter. Those days are the ones that make me forget about not being able to get those overpriced boots or declining that fun soiree that no longer fits in the budget. Those are the days where I want *maybe* 3 more Jacks.

These are the days that make me love this job so, so, much.

Tags: , , , ,

No Comments

Motherhood 2.0, or as some call it, spending way too much time online

A couple of weeks ago, after one of my really horrible days where Jack and I both melted down simultaneously, I remember spouting off to Jeff, something to the effect of, “After days like this, I don’t think I’d be able to handle another kid.”

Yeah, I REALLY said that.

I had a shitty day. And just like many people do, I said something out of haste. So, what I probably meant to say was, “After days like this, I don’t think I can handle any more kids without my support system.”

Living so far away from family, not having many local friends that have kids yet and not being super-close with many mom friends in our area, my support system is much different than what my mom’s support system was like.

In addition to mom, we grew up with my grandma caring for us on a day-to-day basis, we constantly had aunties around, not to mention, dad ruling the roost. Yeah, we were very lucky.

So, as I navigate my own adventures in motherhood, I always feel nostalgic for my own childhood. The house was always crowded with some sort of chaos; it was constantly filled with food and family life seemed like a well-oiled machine.

On any given day, I consider it a good day if both Jack and myself are out of our pjs by noon, nevermind actually find a consistent and responsible babysitter that can help me out regularly. With Jeff’s long hours and commute times, we kiss him goodbye as we’re waking up and he sometimes gets home just in time for bedtime. (It goes without saying that we appreciate his hard work that allows us to live such a wonderful life.)

It’s a long day to navigate without a co-pilot. And that’s not a complaint whatsoever. We chose this life; I cope by blogging about it :)

Ok. So maybe I don’t have the physical support system that I grew up with, or maybe my girlfriends are still hitting happy hour as I wield strollers and diaper bags. I am, however, so grateful for my online support system. If I didn’t have my blogs as therapy, my message board girls to use as a sounding board or Facebook status to update regularly or Twitter to remind me that I’m not “alone,” I’m so sure I’d have gone off the deep end by now.

I’ve seen many articles on Motherhood 2.0, but it’s this latest one that was posted on MSNBC’s site today that really hit home with me. We’ve been quarantined because of Jack’s fever and ear infections, but this article made me smile and count my blessings that I’m never alone in this.

The subhead, alone, sums up what motherhood is like:

It still takes a village to raise a child — the community has just gone from the neighborhood to the blogosphere.

Hell, in that first sentence, you could easily transpose my last name and number of kids to ring true, too!

Jennifer Morais was a stay-at-home mother of three who was struggling financially but couldn’t afford the cost of child care if she went to work.

What it comes down to is, motherhood/parenthood is best tackled together. Whereas in generations past, large groups of relatives helped care for the kidlets, today, we have online support systems that bind so many of us together.

I love the advice and guidance I’ve received from friends online (and sometimes, friends of friends,) many of whom I can’t visit easily, but I sure as hell can get a chuckle from when their pre-schooler celebrates poop sizes. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

A special congrats to one of my mom blog friends, Kim of Mominthecity, who was mentioned in this article. She is a truly influential individual who has been so gracious to extend invitations and contacts, much like many of my other blogging friends have done, such as Carol of NYCityMama. I hope to do the same as often as possible.

In addition to the many wonderful friends I’ve made through blogging, I’m just as thankful for the girlfriends I’ve made online on my message boards and the close friends I can keep up with thanks to Facebook. I know many of you read my blogs and comment gratuitously (which really, really helps.) And trust me, I love reading about your kids on your Facebook status, too.

For all of you who care to interact whether it’s online or in person, I’m so thankful for you—more than you know!

Tags: , , , ,

No Comments

Weathering through the working woes

From beginning to end, this week marked one of the most tumultuous, yet fulfilling weeks I’ve ever had.

Our guy turned 2 on Sunday.  We traveled way more than we could physically handle for the sake of others.  We welcomed another month of crazy, busy activities and events.  I attended a lovely event, but my experience was clouded by Jack’s awful, AWFUL  separation anxiety issues.  I checked out some of the hottest, coolest toys EVER and connected with so many interesting people (more on this to come and lots more info. can be read on NKT!) But best of all, my guys got to bond one on one for a change.

By the middle of the week, I was so blinded by exhaustion and frustration. After the event where Jack bawled uncontrollably for practically 2 hours in a swanky restaurant that I’d been dying to try and finally had the chance, much thanks to the luncheon I was invited to, I felt so defeated.  Instead of mingling with people, all of whom were just as passionate or interested in this brand of products, my job as a mom came first.

Jack, for some reason, can’t shake this separation anxiety spell.  He cries his little eyes out, his nose runs, his little round face gets all red and he hyperventilates…until I come back.  I know it’s a temporary phase, but it certainly doesn’t make the present any less painful.

chaos
As a family who tries to juggle life without any family nearby, surviving on one predictable salary while I build the foundation for another, when I’m invited to a media or blogger event, I have no choice but to be selective.  It’s always an honor to be invited to events, though we can’t always swallow the expense of babysitters, plus the cabs and trains.  (Let’s put it this way, most nannies and babysitters make just as much as I did when I was still working as an editor; hence one of the reasons why I went freelance.)  So this particular event, because it was a brand that our family loves, was one event that I couldn’t wait to attend.  The fact that they offered childcare was an added perk.  Awesome right?

Yeah, not so much when your kid insists on being attached to your leg, for fear of being abandoned.

Is this separation anxiety my fault for choosing to work from home?  Are we to blame for visiting Va. more often than our bodies and emotions can handle (and saying goodbye way too enough, thus disrupting his normal routines?)

I choose to believe that it’s just another phase that we’ll weather through…

Whatever the reason might be, Jack’s crying and outbursts made another little boy cry, too.  Frickin’ fabulous, I thought.  Jack’s just barely on the cusp of understanding cause and effect, but he most certainly did not grasp why mommy wanted to leave him in a strange room filled with little kids with 2 unfamiliar adults.

Jack cried loud enough for a room full of executives, members of the press and bloggers, like me to hear.  I can’t say I was embarrassed—he’s my kid for crying out loud.  I will say that I was annoyed at the people who rolled their eyes or mouthed snarky comments about the crying kid.  MY kid.  It was then that I second-guessed myself for even attending, what I thought was, an event celebrating one of the best companies that embrace greener lifestyles and raising organic kids.

It was almost surreal that my mostly organically and green-grown child was like a misfit because he couldn’t stand being away from me.

At one point, understandably, I was asked to go tend to him because he was So LOUD.  Perhaps, they couldn’t hear the taping of speeches or hear the slideshow in the midst of his terror-filled cries?

And so, I spent most of my afternoon in the childcare room feeling isolated, bitter and left out.

As a friend later told me, I was being harder on myself and more critical of the situation than others were.  eh…maybe.  But from the glares that I felt that I was getting, it definitely felt much different.

My kid was crying a lot.  I should have left altogether.  Problem was, the base of our stroller was on the OTHER side of the room, like the side I couldn’t access because there was a podium and audience separating us.  So, I spent most of the event in the childcare room, missing a majority of what I trekked there for in the first place.

Lesson learned.

My feelings, experiences and thoughts in NO WAY reflect the company or publicists.  I’m quite appreciative for the aforementioned, but honestly, hurt by a few of my peers who made me feel uncomfortable for being a mother that day.  My friends who kept me company that afternoon?  Yeah, they rocked…especially when I couldn’t get our giant stroller in and out of yet another logistically impossible and stroller-unfriendly establishment.

In the end, I’m just another mom trying to make it work.  I got the information we needed, enjoyed bites of a lovely lunch and made it home unscathed.  This wasn’t the first stroller-schlepping and tear-filled outing.  My guess is that it won’t be the last.  It’s all in a day’s work of this blogging/writing/reporting mama.

Next time, I’ll rethink my choices. (Do I decline the childcare and get my own sitter?  Do I figure out a way to break this separation anxiety spell?) But today, even after all the tears and stroller-schleeping,  I’m glad I know how to handle (or NOT to handle) the next chaotic situation.  Seriously, the thought of multiple children in this city-living, event-attending realm gives me night tremors.  But that’s a whole different post.

Tags: , , , ,

1 Comment

Happy birthday to me

It’s shortly after midnight on July 14, and it’s my 33rd birthday.  Happy, sad, elated, conflicted—I’m really not sure how I feel about being in my *gulp* mid-30s.  Actually, to be completely honest, other than feeling like a Mack truck has run me over a 1,000 times by the time 5:00 p.m. hits every day, I don’t feel a day over 23.

Ok, that’s a lie.  I just don’t feel that old.

Well, besides all this gray hair!

I’m not sure that we’ll celebrate this year, like with a cake or whatever.  Other than that sweet Facebook birthday reminder, I’ll be surprised my friends will even remember it’s my birthday anyway.  I’ve been so far off the radar, what with the nose wiping and website creating—who could blame them for not remembering!?

Just like I’ve concurred with a few other friends that are moms, birthdays just seem like any other day anyway.  I’ll still have to do those damn dishes, cook dinner, change diapers and chase a toddler all day, which isn’t all so bad.  It’s the grind.

The celebrations aren’t necessary anymore, really.  No more Friday night What the Buck at our local watering hole.  No evites to lure friends to town for all-night parties.  I have my guys, our family, our health, and as a plus, the websites and writing opportunities are flourishing, and I get to do what I love every single day.

I’m so grateful for this new path in life, but the eye is still on the prize.

I’ll be heading out to Chicago next week to attend Blogher.  (For those that don’t know, it’s an annual conference for women who blog.)  It’ll be my first trip away from both Jeff AND Jack.  It’ll be like a rolling cocktail hour with lots of swag and networking.  There will be conference-y stuff, too.  But parties galore.  Two days off from this whole mom gig!!
Lucky me, I was able to secure a sponsor to defray the cost of the trip.  And as my birthday present, my very gracious parents helped out with the airfare.  Of course there’s the awesome Jeff who pushes me everday and is helping me make ______all______ of this happen.  All of it.

So that trip there?  Yeah, that’s all I could ever want right now, other than the wonderful blessings that I already have.

What more is there to celebrate?

By default, I have an instant plus one, so I can go out and treat myself to one of our favorite brunch spots.  Or maybe have a few cupcakes for breakfast.  Or maybe take the day to unplug and be “just a mom.”

Happy hour, however, would hit the spot, too :)

Nah, that’d be too much effort.

****

Edited to add:  I woke up this morning to the smell of breakfast cooking, changed and fed kid and a clean kitchen!  If you could believe it, we sat down TOGETHER for breakfast!  What a great way to start the day!

1 Comment

Balancing act

Ever have a really awesome day where everything was perfectly synced from beginning to end? The kind of days that constitute LOVEperma-grins and endless laughter?

Yeah, that was my Wednesday.

They do exist, yes. But lately, they’ve been rare.

But Wednesday? Awesome.

Everyone slept, no one puked on anyone, no broken electronics, no drama. NONE.

On Wednesday for lunch, I attended a media event for Philips that I’ll talk more about on NKT next week. It was one of those events where you go to learn more about new products, and it’s done with such precision and flair. The event was held at a gorgeous hotel, tucked away in Midtown Manhattan. The suite was the size of a home—way bigger than our tiny apartment. It was a lovely event that, again, reminds me how much I miss some aspects of my old job, but truly makes me appreciate the new opportunities even more.

Jack and Jeff have lunch at Helmer'sJeff covered for me again so that I could attend the event. He went to work super early and then came home so I could leave. While I was in the City, he ran errands and even took Jack out to lunch at Helmer’s. It was a boy’s day out—something that both of them craved since they rarely see each other during the week. He was well behaved and ate his entire lunch. Oh, and so did Jack :)

Once I returned, the boys met me at the train station and we headed home. We caught up with one another’s busy afternoons and back to “normal” we went. Jeff drove back to work, as I headed upstairs toting my work bag, while wrangling the toddler with the other arm.

Besides Jeff volunteering to dissect his workday in lieu of hiring a babysitter, Wednesday was a perfect balance for me. I got to work a few hours at home, head into the City to take care of business and Jeff had a chance to take care of stuff and spend a weekday afternoon with Jack.

But best of all, I got home just in time for him to lay his head on my lap, pat my leg and whisper, “Mamama,” before falling asleep.

That balance that I go on and on about?

It’ll find its way.  It has to.

Tags: , , ,

No Comments

Too much for whom?

It’s been quite a busy week for us, and I can hardly believe it’s already Thursday AND Memorial Day Weekend is already here. Seriously, how did that happen?

I have plenty to share, but I have so much information to sift through before I do so. As many of you already know, we spent the day at PBS/WNET Channel thirteen yesterday; what a fun and informative day! I got to hang out with more NYC and NJ mom bloggers, many of whom I’ve been reading for years. But, the best part of the day was that I got to be a part of something so near and dear to us: learning even more about an educational tv show that promotes literacy.

station identification

I used to think I was one of those parents that would outlaw “too much tv.”

Eh. Who was I kidding?

As much as I watch tv AND love to read and essentially be a geek, how could I be such a hypocrite? I’m immersed in every aspect of media because it’s the fiber of my being. Internet, magazines, tv, radio, books—all of it!

What I took away from the event was that like other moms, I’m not going to apologize anymore for allowing my kid to watch tv. Instead, I’ll continue to watch educational shows ALONG with him in moderation, in addition to cultural outings and activities, outdoor play and all that fun stuff. Life is too short to make limitations.

Media, in general, has come a long way since we were kids, there’s no doubt about that. What was pretty awesome was getting to understand the brains behind our favorite educational shows, because those same brains are other parents who grew up on shows of the 70s and 80s, just like you and me.

Parenting is tough enough without all that “research” reminding me that everything I’m doing is wrong. So, excuse me while we go watch another show before we go play outside.

Tags: , , , ,

3 Comments

Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower and my new baby

Big City MomsEarlier this week, I had the chance to attend the Biggest Baby Shower, another really awesome event hosted by Big City Moms.  You’re probably wondering, baby shower?  Why a baby shower?  Well, that’s because I have a new baby.   First things first:  nope, it’s not that kind of baby.

In between picking Cheerios out of my hair and cushioning my daredevil toddler’s head dives from the couch, I’ve been working laboriously on my new website for the past few months.  I’ve been researching trends, finding and making contacts, figuring out website layouts, understanding demographics and really, everything else to make sense of this project.  I’m clearly no where near finished, but I am, however, ready to release the Beta version to share with all of you, my friends and family that have kept up with my adventures through this blog.

My new website is a product of many things, but most importantly, it’s driven by the things that I’m passionate about.  Many of you already “know” my story and how none of this particular career trajectory was not really planned.  In case you don’t remember, here’s a quick reminder:  as former magazine editor turned freelance writer, I sought, more than anything, a work-life balance. In October 2008, after countless interviews amidst the failing economy and troubled field of print journalism, I decided to end THAT chase and start a new one, on my own terms.

As I wrote my goodbyes to various colleagues, one simple reply changed everything. “Wishing you all the best on the Next Big Thing.” From that moment, I knew exactly what my next big thing was; it was this, the Next Kid Thing. With my professional background, coupled with my interests as a new mom, I strive for my new website, the Next Kid Thing to be a blog that follows the latest kid trends with a magazine-type flair. From babies to big kids, from books to apps, from features to reviews, the Next Kid Thing is your go-to source for all things kids and the modern-minded grownups that love them.

logo-1

Which brings me to the baby shower…as a mom with a journalistic background, I have a sincere interest in finding and understanding the unique stories that relate to the kid business.  At events like the Biggest Baby Shower, I have the unique opportunity to learn about the “Next Kid Things,”  such as the latest new stroller, toddler tables and bottle designs and more.  As I continue to build this site and meet more contacts with the help of social media, it’s my hope to include fun interviews, reveal neat finds and of course, share the good stuff.

While I continue to tweak the website, I welcome any constructive criticism, ideas, suggestions and whatever else you have to say.  In the beginning, you may see some familiar stories that I originally posted here on Babyrific. In the future, I hope to keep the two websites separate, with minimal duplication.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to round up my ideas and new posts, specifically on the great products and companies I learned about at the Biggest Baby Shower.  And finally, As with any website’s success, your comments, frequent visits and spreading the word will help in more ways that you know!

And while you’re there, check out the latest review and great giveaway.  Thanks for checking out the new site :)   Official launch date and more giveaways will be announced soon!

Tags: , , ,

1 Comment

Boogie Wipes Giveaway Winner

I’m happy to announce that #31, Lisa V. is the lucky winner for the Boogie Wipes gift basket giveaway!  Lisa, you should be getting an email from me momentarily.  A special thanks to Boogie Wipes for the fantastic basket and to everyone that entered.  For those that didn’t win, don’t forget to use the coupon code Boogie Time for online orders.

BTW, I had the chance to “test-drive” the new magic menthol Boogie Wipes while nursing my cold this week, and I’m seriously never looking back. From now on, any time I have a cold or stuffy nose, menthol Boogie Wipes is the ONLY way to go.
Boogie-Horizontal-logo-Stuffy

Stay tuned for even more giveaways and a big announcement about my soon-to-be launched website.  The giveaways for the new site are pretty big with names that we all know and love, including Giggle, BornFree and many more!

Tags: ,

No Comments

Mama Likey + Giveaway: Boogie Wipes

Talk about perfect timing: just in time for yet another snowy day, as well as my first sickness of the season and Jack’s 10th, I have a perfect product review to share.

Over the summer, before chasing a little runny nose all day was a time-consuming activity, Jeff brought home this eye-catching lime green and orange package.
“It’s called Boogie Wipes!” he told me.
As I tucked them into Jack’s toiletry cart, I was convinced they weren’t anything of interest for us. “They look like repackaged regular wipes to me.”

Boogie-Horizontal-logo-Stuffy

Fast forward to this winter. Once the cold settled in, so did Jack’s constant runny nose. At first, I went the green route and used copious amounts of cloth diapers to wipe up his nose. Once I rubbed his nose practically raw, every time he saw a cloth diaper coming his way, he’d scream and run. Then, I went the tissue route. I had even more tears, running, screaming and clean tissues made into confetti (thanks to a defiant runny-nosed toddler.)

Jack loves Boogie WipesAnd that’s when I remembered the Boogie Wipes I tucked away. The packaging, vibrant and colorful, intrigued Jack immediately. Because he was distracted, I was able to open and wipe his nose without a fight. The best thing was, well, besides a painless experience (for both of us), that I only had to wipe once. With the cloth diaper and tissue, I often had to wipe multiple times, increasing the chance of the little raw, red nose. The subsequent nose wipes went just as smoothly as the first time. Perhaps it was the cool packaging, fun smell or the ease of use, whatever it was, the biggest critic was sold—of course, so was I!
So, what sets Boogie Wipes apart from “regular” wipes? Quite a bit, actually.
According to the company, Boogie Wipes is:

Made with natural saline to dissolve Mucus
Hypoallergenic
Alcohol Free
Moisturize with Vitamin E, Aloe and Chamomile
Lightly Scented
Gentle Enough for All Ages
Phthalate & Paraben Free


Like many parents know, the pediatricians and drs at the hospital often suggest using saline to help clean up kids and babies’ noses. So, the saline IN these wipes is so obvious and ingenius. After a night’s sleep, tending to a baby with the morning remnants of a stuffy, runny nose has never been so painless. Seasoned moms and dads know that all of the above are helpful attributes when chasing those runny noses. After many, many wipes of regular tissues, those tiny noses get so red and raw. I found that by alternating Boogie Wipes with regular tissues, the redness was definitely diminished, if not avoided altogether. At any given time, I have a pack in our diaper bag because of the convenience and ease of use. Those green and purple packages are so easy to find in the black hole that’s become our diaper bag.

It’s easy to say, after the first package, I was completely sold. I’m not easily sold by all the products of convenience on the market for kids, but this one most certainly filled a void in the nose wiping department. The grape scent is byfar our favorite, and Santa even had the foresight to tuck a few packs in Jack’s Christmas stocking! Truth be told, with this cold, I’ve been using them too. How can I resist that fun scent?
Santa was generous this year

As I’ve started this freelance journey, understandably, I’ve become extremely interested and invested in mompreneurs. As promised, in line with launching my new website soon, I will be doing more reviews, interviews and profiles, especially with mompreneurs. Since I’ve been “studying” successful moms’ business trajectories, the Boogie Moms’ success in one worth mentioning:
They launched their product in Dec. 2007 and within a year, they shipped to 30,000 locations. Their projected revenue for their first full year in business is $2.9 Million. (!!) Even better, their story was featured on big media outlets like, The Big Idea and The Today Show. Impressive, don’t ya think?

And this is the best part of it all, I contacted the Boogie Moms to tell them how much we adored their product and to let them know that I was going to do a product review. The Boogie Moms were so generous to offer a coupon discount for all of my readers…oh yeah, and a pretty awesome giveaway.
Gift Basket

To enter the giveaway, all of you have to do is visit the Boogie Wipes site and comment what product(s) you think would be YOUR favorite.
For additional entries, sign up to receive my email updates (on the left <—) and/or follow me on Twitter. This contest will end in a week, February 4th at noon. I will pick a random winner for this awesome basket via Random.org.

Good luck!

Boogie Wipes can be found online and at these retail locations. If you order online, use the coupon Boogie Time for 20% off.

Tags: ,

42 Comments

The Year in Review

Dickens said it best with the first sentence of A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
That infamous intro pretty much sums up our 2008. With the good, came the bad, but it was definitely a big year for our family.

Our kid grew at an exponential pace; with all the milestones and daily debacles, our family grew considerably; and as a person, I felt my own growing pains too. I’ll always hold 2008 dear to my heart because of all the milestones we’ve celebrated, but I’m so ready to say see ya later. We’re all excited for the promise 2009 brings.

And with that, I thought I’d share a pictoral highlights of 2008:

Momma and babe

oooh! I just remembered something.

racing stripe

Jeff's birthday

4 months old

it's official

watch out ladies

High chair

oh hey ma

Easter

Eating solids

Family portrait

wheeee daddyyyyy

new car seat!

Mother's Day at Shea

Mother's day at Shea

Jack "meeting" Paris

Jack the artist

admiring the sprinkler

Boat #2 and 10

10 months old

Watertown this way

Chicago


look familiar?

candles

first haircut

Pumpkin head

There's nothing sweeter than a farewell cupcake

Jack and mom

Toddling

Red and Blue all the way

Busted

Our spread

Jack and Santa

in front of our tree

Lots of promise upon the horizon

Have a safe and happy New Year celebration, everyone.

Tags: , ,

No Comments

Bad Behavior has blocked 89 access attempts in the last 7 days.