Monday, July 21, 2014


My firstborn. Pooped. 

Carrying, delivering, and then raising a child is changes a broad. Take one look at my mug and bod and you'd see the transformative effects of the perfect storm that is motherhood.

Source: Pinterest

Two pregnancies have left me with a belly button resembling a doggy asshole, nipples the size of tea cup saucers, and hair like that of Helena Bonham Carter (unintentionally so). I fart uncontrollably and complain constantly. I look tired because I am tired. How lovely it would be to go on vacay and escape (if only temporarily) my current state of exhaustion. But with two nuggets under our wings - Olive the toddler and Quinn the newborn - an overseas trip couldn't possibly be enjoyable. But a trip stateside, say, to peaceful, tranquil Maine? That I could do...

Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Roughly two years ago, le huz and I ventured to coastal Maine with Olive. We had such a magical time we decided to make it a family tradition to spend a week of every summer vacationing in the idyllic state. Remember THISTHIS, and THIS? Picturesque scenery, friendly folks (I "heart" senior citizens), delightful New England cuisine (lobster rolls and whoopie pie)...

The Cabot Cove Cottages in Kennebunkport continues to be our lodging of choice. They're freestanding (so our kiddos shouldn't be putting a damper on folks attempting to pull off a romantic weekend), beautifully decorated (each cottage sports a unique look), and situated right by the water (killer sunset view). Moreover, the "resort" is situated within walking distance to Dock Square where one can access the most amazing homemade blueberry ice-cream at Aunt Marie's, old-fashioned toy and candy shops, and one our personal must-eats, The Clam Shack...


It'll be Quinn's first time on a plane (she'll be a little under three months of age when we go); here's hoping she's as good a traveler as her jet-setting sister, Olive. And if she's not, hopefully a mouthful of boob will do the trick.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Best Friends

June 15th. Olive's last evening as an only child.

Up until Quinn's delivery date, Olive clearly understood that a baby was residing in Big Mama's tummy. When asked where the baby was, she'd point at my belly. When asked what the baby's name was, she'd confidently answer, "Quim." My munchkin showered her unborn sister (whom I promised her would be the greatest of buddies) with kisses daily, and seeing Olive exhibit so much care for sibling she had yet to meet melted my frosty heart.

June 17th. Sisters meet and greet for the first time.

My first visitor the day after my C-section was Olive. Well, sort of. She arrived at the hospital accompanied by her designated drivers and chaperones, my huz, mom and nanny, Jassell.) Here she is, in the arms of her Jassell. Olive was initially uncertain about Quinn... as if to think THAT was in your tummy? My thoughts exactly, Olive... But then I offered to take selfies of us entertaining Quinn. Clearly, Olive enjoys a good selfie. Here's the nut offering her sister an Easter egg.

Hi Quinn. Unfortunately for you, we are related.

I thought everything was under control (feelings-wise on Olive's end), until I was told by Josh that Olive had been telling him back at home, "Lost my best friend. Lost Mama." Once I checked out of the hospital, I tried to be as attentive towards her as possible, but it was difficult, seeing that I had a hard time getting out of bed due to the surgery wound, was avoiding stairs during my first week back (Olive's room is on a different floor from mine), and was pretty much a slave to Quinn's feeding schedule. Newborn was practically attached to my boobs.

NOT a strange digital compilation. This is an actual photo of the two in our breakfast nook. 
Olive took one look at Quinn (who's donning a Woombie) and pointed out, "Very Hungry Caterpillar!"
Kid is right on the money.

Though it was difficult for her to accept all the changes happening around her, Olive put on a happy face for us that first week. She really did try.

It ain't easy sharing the love and affection of one's parents.

But the huz and I made sure we snuck in quality time with our two and a half year-old.

During my first weekend back, I had the following conversation with Olive. One that involved nose pinching and speaking through our pinched noses. She likes the nasal tone.

Me: "Who's mama's best friend?"
Me: "No, it's Olive."
Olive: *two hands palming her chest* "OLIVE?!" *ear to ear grin*

NOTE: Olive pronounces her own name as "August"

Baby girl, Quinn may be my breast friend, but you will always be my best friend.

Olive's been in good spirits ever since the issue of best friends was discussed. (It also helps that two and a half weeks later, I'm also mobile and able to walk her to her bedroom and play with her.) I'm proud to share that she sings "Happy Bird-Day" to Quinn daily (Olive is an incredible older sister), and is quick to tell me she loves me everyday. I'm the luckiest Mama in the world...

Thursday, July 03, 2014


My girl crush.

Given the choice of befriending a public figure, dead or alive, I will always choose Tina Fey. The "ordinary working mom who scarfs down Kit Kats in her sweatpants"* is anything but ordinary; Little does she know that I look to her for a daily dosage of life advice. Her knowledge knows no bounds, and her views are always colorful and refreshing.

"Without nipples, boobs would be pointless."

Having recently given birth to Quinn, my mind has pretty much been consumed with everything boob-related. And yes, the charming T-Fey covers the topic of boobs impeccably well.** She was once quoted as having said in an interview: 

The advice I always try to give for a mom is… 
Whatever you do breastfeeding-wise – great
Great. Whatever

Supportive without passing judgment. 
Ahh, the world needs more mamas, more women, like Tina.

Those who follow this blog know that my experience with teat-feeding Olive was a complete and utter nightmare. I gave it my all, but it takes two to tango. Baby girl was born with an insatiable appetite, but her appetite was inconveniently paired with an inability to latch. I spent much of my first month and a half postpartum floating about the house with engorged, melons-for-tits (technical term: engorgement) topped off with clogged ducts and ravaged nipples. My lactation consultant told me breastfeeding would get easier by the second week. It did not. Soaring anxiety led to the declaration that my tits were off limits to Olive. Week two onwards, I'd pump. And so, we rented a hospital-grade breast pump resembling a WWII torture-device. See here:

"The Bomb"

 I was hooked up to this contraption every hour and forty-five minutes in order to maintain milk supply. I obediently consumed pig feet soup, chicken feet soups and Fenugreek pills to stimulate milk flow. All effort aside, I still struggled to produce a single bottle for Olive. Supplemental meals of formula became a necessity; and as I prepped her bottles of water and powder, I'd cry out of guilt. "Breast is best," the hospital teat-Nazis had told me, and there I was, trying my best, yet unable to provide the best for my first born. I breastfed Olive for two months and spent another half month weaning her. When the boob feeding came to an end, I felt incredibly relieved. Olive too was happy for a diet of formula meant her tummy would always be full, that I could hold her close to my chest again, and ooh, longer lashes?! (Olive's old nanny was convinced longer, fuller lashes were a positive side-effect of formula-feeding.) Who knew formula feeding had so many perks? 

Formula-fed Olive.

Breast friend, Quinn

Fast forward to the day Quinn was born. I'm at the hospital, and the nurses are asking, "Do you plan to breastfeed?" I've just been sliced open (second c-section), am drugged and hormonal. "Breast is best" echoes through my mind. Dammit. Rhymes are so effective. I answer, "Yes," and the discomfort begins. I am determined to be a better performing cow this time around, and though I grimace at the start of each feeding, Quinn and I as a team have survived the first two weeks of breastfeeding. Sure, she claws at my raw nipples and veiny breast with her newborn talons, and sure, her gums are harboring some freaky baby teeth, but seeing her goofy, drunken, face of satisfaction after each grub-fest is priceless.

So there you have it. There's more than one way to skin a cat. Both formula and breast milk have worked just fine for my girls, so mamas, choose what works best for you. To those who disagree with your decisions: Whatever.

* Tina as described in an interview for O Magazine.
** Read Bossypants. The title of her chapter on breastfeeding: There's a Drunk Midget in my House


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