12 Weeks Post Partum

If I was returning to work, yesterday would have been my first day (technically at 11 weeks and change but you get the drill). In my head, I can’t even imagine going to work right now. My life is still upside down and there are new adjustments every day. Halley doesn’t nap anymore during the day so I’m on with her all the time. Our living quarters are a mess and I’m lucky that I can get dinner on the table every night. That’s my accomplishment. Let’s change maternity leave, let’s give moms a chance to spend precious moments with their children and learn to deal with motherhood on their own terms. It is the most rewarding experience of my life and I’d have to think it’s the same for others.

Do I miss going to work? Hmm. To be honest with you, doing my job was 1000x easier than being home with my daughter every day. Sitting at my desk, making phone calls, writing thank yous, etc. No problem. Would I like to work? Perhaps if it was very flexible, from home or part time and local. But going back to a full time job right now just doesn’t even begin to make sense in my mind. More power to those who can and/or want to. I’m not cut out for that stuff. I could barely leave my baby for a few hours to go to wedding (and I was leaving her with my sister).

How did you feel about going back at 12 weeks? Did you?

Thoughts, Questions, Comments …  Leave below.

What Am I Doing Here? Am I Doing the “RIGHT” Thing?

For as long as I have been alive – yes 25 years now, don’t rub it in 😦 I saw so many different career paths for myself ballerina, actress, veterinarian, dolphin trainer, animal sanctuary owner, lawyer, dentist, teacher, psychiatrist/psychologist, doctor, surgeon, accountant, consultant, yogi, translator, wedding planner, environmental org. worker – you name it and at some point it was at minimum a consideration. I have never known 100% what I wanted to accomplish in this lifetime or what my legacy would be, I just have always known that it is important that I am on the track to success.

The one thing that I always knew from day one or (the day one of my memory) is that I wanted to be a mom. At some point a young mom, but up until I was BLESSED and SURPRISED with my pregnancy – just being a mom in the future was enough for me. Now, I have a month until I meet the love of my life and I am constantly asking myself what I need to do to be the best mom that I can be to her?

Do I work? Do I stay home? Will we have enough if I stay home? What kind of job can I do while being with her? What can I do that is meaningful? Most of my time is spent thinking about these questions and researching what other people are doing in my situation. But what works for some does not necessarily work for all.

I can’t explain exactly how most of the last 7 years of my life passed by but they did and a lot of them passed without a definite feel on where I am going. I changed my major four times – psychology, biology, education and then history finally and managed to graduate in 3 years. Where does a history major get you? I don’t know. I ended up working for a string of non-profits and sort of created a little niche for myself. I have no desire however to get further education in the field that I am working in and have never been sure that this is what I want to do. I work hard because I want to be successful and because I morally feel that if you are getting paid to do something you should put in hard work and effort to get it done. My work ethic and natural abilities have allowed me to shine in my current work place and have even pushed me up the promotion ladder.

Now I am faced with a serious challenge about what to do for my family. Do I stay home? I have student loans and credit cards and life expenses that I was not planning on having when I started a family. I also feel somewhat responsible to contribute financially to my household. Additionally, I want to be able to buy a house and eventually have more children. What about healthcare? If we get married, I lose my dad’s healthcare which is phenomenal. My healthcare at my job is great but if I’m working it goes poof!

It was my birthday on Saturday and B was asking me what I wanted for my birthday. I told him that I want answers. I want to stay home and I want to work but I know the value of a work life balance and I want to be able to work on my terms – not any one else’s so this is where I have gotten myself:

  1. I need a job that I can manage by myself, something that is flexible and can work on a mom schedule. I need to create/provide a service that others will find valuable.
  2. Health and healthcare are very important to me. If we are not healthy, we are not doing our children a service. I want to be in the best shape for my baby and I want her to benefit from the foods I eat. I realize that this wasn’t as much of a concern to me as it should be and I know that my pregnancy would have been even more smooth sailing if I had been doing yoga and eating organic more.
  3. I like to help people/animals (as you can see through my running list of potential jobs).
  4. I want my blog and social media efforts to be part of my future job.

Here is what I have come to the conclusion of doing. For the next few months I am going to do a lot of research and put a lot of effort into making my health and the health of my family a serious priority. Going all organic and removing toxins (as much as I can – we live in NYC), as well as encouraging fitness and yoga in our lives. If I can commit and can see a difference and obviously, I will be blogging along the way. I am going to save and start a plan to become a Nutritionist/Dietitian. A job that I can blog with, I can manage on my own by scheduling my own appointments, a job where I can help other people and a job that helps me focus on my priority of living healthy for my family.

Sorry this was so long. Questions? Comments? Feedback?

Baby Moon: Brattleboro, VT

This past weekend, B and I traveled to Brattleboro, VT for a dual purpose trip:

  1. to get some R & R
  2. to see my sister and her BF.

We stayed here: Colonial Motel & Spa

Review:

Cute hotel with friendly staff and a nice pool

Posted Jun 18, 2015

Pros: Convenience – it was located close to where my sister lives. Pool/sauna/steam room – great amenities. Parking was no problem.
Cons: The A/C unit could be replaced.
Location: It is easiest to travel by car: Farmer’s market in Brattleboro Swimming at the ponds Visit the town of Brattleboro or surrounding towns (NH/VT)
We checked into the hotel and had a very pleasant experience with the front desk receptionist. Our hotel room was adequately sized for what we needed. The A/C could use a boost but other than that the room was fine. Small refrigerator was included. They are pretty strict about pool rules but mostly during the day when locals stop by to swim in their Salt Water Lap Pool. We went to the pool around 8 pm and there was only one lane remaining and we were free to do what we wanted. The sauna and steam rooms were a nice touch. Everything was pretty clean. I was able to sleep comfortably on the beds at 34 wks pregnant so that has to count for something.

I am never one to stay in super fancy hotels (unless someone else is footing the bill 😉 because I never plan on spending too much time in a hotel room. EVEN while I am 34 weeks pregnant! As long as I have a working shower and a clean bed/room, I am good to go.

We ate out here:

Brattleboro Farmer’s Market – We ate at Yalla Vermont – pitas with hummus, tahini, boiled egg, etc. So delicious and I got a dirty chai from another shop that was equally delicious.

&

3 Stones Restaurant– The food was amazing. The Horchata agua fresca left something to be desired but other than that the food was so good. I recommend the empanadas – they are not your typical Caribbean style empanadas, these are Mexican so they are made with maize and a variety of fillings.

We got a couples massage (maternity massage for me) at Jasmine Day Spa. They were very accommodating and friendly. The massages were priced moderately and overall, it was a relaxing experience.

Brattleboro Food Co-op

Brattleboro Food Co-op

Spring Water near Marlboro College, VT

Spring Water near Marlboro College, VT

Waterfall near Brattleboro, VT

Waterfall near Brattleboro, VT

How Do Pregnant Ladies Do This?

I am 34 weeks pregnant today and I am exhausted.

My plans have been to work up until the last possible day so I can maximize my time with my new bundle of joy. But I AM SO EXHAUSTED! Like getting through the day everyday is so much that I can barely do anything at home. Cook/clean/etc. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else feels the same or if anyone has any tricks of the trade to make the next 6 weeks go by in the most productive way possible.

So in case you’re wondering where my posts have gone and fell off the Earth, I blame pregnancy. I started about 5 posts and was never able to finish them. I will be trying to post more regularly in the future. Let’s hope I can get some energy back.

things that make me happy: natural living (or attempts at it)

Throughout my “adult” life (post – 20) I have made several forays into eating clean, removing chemicals from my life, trying to be more conscious of the environment that I am partially responsible for creating/destroying. Living in New York City there are several chemicals/waste products that come into contact with my body without me even realizing it – poisons from pest removal, harsh cleaning chemicals, subway germs, you name it -we have it etc.

Some of my choices have been voluntary but others were decided for me. For example, two or three years ago my deodorant started causing a rash on my armpits. After years of wearing antiperspirant, my body had started to reject it. I tried several different deodorants/soaps/etc. but much to my dismay, the rash stayed and nothing worked. So I just stopped wearing deodorant. Now I know that sounds kind of gross but I really do not sweat much and honestly no one around me has noticed a difference. I did attempt at making my own deodorant out of shea butter and essential oils which worked fine except I kept forgetting to make it. One day I will share the recipe.

But I feel great. If I sweat a lot from working out or running around too much, I just jump in the shower. But like I said – there really hasn’t been any negative impact to removing antiperspirant/regular deodorant from my life. In fact, the aluminum present in antiperspirant can block your glands and lead to Alzheimer’s, so I feel even better about giving it up.

My most recent decision has been getting rid of traditional shampoo and conditioner – I was inspired by a post on the Hairpin. I was pretty hesitant being that my hair is so greasy if I don’t wash it every day. I also don’t have curly hair like many I know who avoid washing their hair often. Two months into the process and I wash my hair 3 times over 2 weeks! The only products I am using are baking soda, apple cider vinegar, some essential oils and occasionally, coconut oil. My hair still looks good and it does not look greasy after not washing for a day anymore. & I am pregnant and more sweaty/hairy than usual so I can only imagine this will get even better with time.

Now if only I can get in on eating completely clean and organic – but first, I need another raise 😉

Have you tried to remove chemicals from your life? Are you living organic? Thoughts? Suggestions? Comment below.

moving on up

Hello Everyone,

I must apologize for my hiatus. Being pregnant and dealing with moving and decorating a new apartment plus a new promotion, really put this on the back burner for me. Since I recently moved, I would like to share some tips about NYC apartments, moving, and re-decorating!!

My fiance and I had to break our lease because we are having a baby and wanted to be closer to help (aka our moms!). Unfortunately this meant breaking a lease with a property management company.

When I posed a question to my facebook friends about “tips for breaking a lease with a property management company” I received many answers along the lines of “good luck”. I was not happy about the idea that this could seriously be an expensive situation, if they decided to charge us a fee. Luckily a friend brought up the point that if we live in a rent stabilized building (which we were) the building benefits from our breaking of the lease because they can charge the next person more money and take a loss on our taxes. So during the month of April, we let them keep our security deposit as last months rent and we were able to get away without paying any extra fees!!!! win win win 😀

Some advice for other pregnant ladies out there: if you are planning to move during your pregnancy. I was moving at 6 months pregnant and in retrospect it would have been better to either move or earlier or have more time on both sides – make sure you leave yourself enough time to move between the two places, even more time if you want to paint your new apartment or have to do any work on it. (We took about 4 days) We certainly did not leave enough time and it definitely made me more stressed and tired than it could have been.

As we are going to share a home with our first child, it was really important to me that our new apartment had a relaxed and home-y feeling. Part of this was deciding which colors I would like to paint the rooms of the apartment. This is also a daunting process if you are painting yourself/with friends and not with professionals.

  • take your time choosing paint colors – painting can get expensive and you do not want to plan on painting again and again
  • use neutrals or color schemes that are flexible – the best aid in this is pinterest. You can check my decor board to see what I was looking at. But it is nice to have a good idea of the look and feel you want your home to give off
  • BUY SAMPLES!!! – I cannot recommend this enough – the samples are worth whatever they cost! If you use Behr from HomeDepot – they are only about $3 each but I know especially Sherwin Williams runs a bit more expensive around $9 a sample. I was so set on getting a color from the living room but the second I saw it dried on the wall I knew that it was just NOT what I was looking for. You do not want a paint the walls of your house a color that you don’t like because it will just bother you until you repaint it & spending the money on a sample is much better than spending it on a gallon or 5 of paint!

In terms of decorating, it is so easy to just look at any catalog and decide I want this, this and this and pay for whatever ridiculous price they are asking. Since I have been living out of my mom’s house for over a year I have realized something – if you are able to do so – going to estate sales/craiglist, etc. for your furniture is so much better. I bought a beautiful bedroom set last year for the cost of $100 and making my fiance drive me in his pick up truck to get it! Also, do not buy too much stuff for your apartment in the beginning because you will find things over time that you like and before you know it you will have no room for anything anywhere.

 Any suggestions on moving? painting? or decorating? 

Saving Money $$$

As any normal couple with an unplanned pregnancy, saving money is really going to become key in order to make our lives easier. Especially because I will not be making a salary for three months at minimum. NY state does not require paid maternity leave 😦

Some things that we are working on are:

  • Joining Swagbucks. For the last few years I put this off thinking that it would spam me but now that I see it’s so highly reviewed, I finally decided to try it. In just two days I have made 230 Swagbucks! Woot! Click to join Swagbucks here.
  • Personal savings, we made an agreement to contribute a percentage of our earnings to a joint account (in addition to our individual savings). Until we find a good deal for an account, we have been keeping it at home. Any recommendations for banks with deals for opening accounts? Unfortunately, interest rates have not been high recently.
  • Increasing contribution to 401k so that less of our income is subject to taxes (aka bigger tax return next year)
  • Following blogs like Money Saving Mom for coupons and deals.

What did you do to increase your savings for a child? or a house? or any upcoming major life event? Please share below 🙂