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Fall Fashion: Toddler Edition

Some love for my toddler. Here are five of my favorite looks for a toddler for fall.

I definitely think that I’ll be adding those Minnetonka’s to Dylan’s wardrobe. Too adorable not to, don’t you agree? Thus far we have some darling brown leggings and plenty of tops so I think these are a logical addition.

We also have some adorable denim and I am planning to get her a little chambray top. Again, these are the perfect pop of color. 

I’m on the hunt for new brands for toddler duds. Nothing super high end, just unique. 

Any suggestions?

TODDLER FALL FASHION

Can’t Get Enough: STRIPES

It’s been what, a little over a year and a half we decided on? And yes, stripes are still among my favorite things. I just simply can’t get enough. In the Mama world function often wins out over fashion, but a striped tee, espadrille or anything else for that matter is easy to wear yet still reads chic. And that, my friends, makes for a trend (can we really call this a trend still?) that I can get and STAY on board with. P.S. The silk shirt I’ve shared, that is a dream. It’s not realistic in my everyday life to wear silk shirts. Love them, really do, but if I’m telling the truth, sometimes things get dirty with a toddler :-)
Can't Get Enough: STRIPES
xx,
M

Everyday Chic: Baby Favorites

In the early stages of our baby days there were a few things we felt like we just couldn’t live without. Of course, we have learned that no two babies are the same, but these were the top five things that really made life manageable for us.

1. The Nap Nanny - Dylan has had some serious acid reflux. At the beginning she was spitting up a ton and didn’t really know what to do with it and so we had to keep an extra eye on her. Lying on her back didn’t really work so well, especially after eating (which, when nursing is practically all times). Enter, The Nap Nanny. This infant chair is basically designed to keep baby on her back & on an angle. Good for digestion and acid reflux. It basically saved our life. She simply would NOT sleep flat on her back at first. So this would allow us to put her down (still the same SIDS rules apply - on the back - swaddled - no extra loose blankets). And, it should be noted that we later used it for naps when lying in the crib just didn’t work. Now that she is a full on toddler we have given it some alternate uses - like a baby gate (she has since figured out how to flip it over but this did work for about 2 months :-), a reading seat, a peek-a-boo shield and Dylan’s favorite - flipped over for the ultimate indoor Daddy slide. Photo Credit Nap Nanny 2009.

2. Kiddopotamus Swaddleme - Despite Dylan’s small size when she came home (only 4bls), she was a mighty little gal! She could wrangle her way out of a blanket swaddle pretty quick. So the Kiddopotamus was perfect. The velcro keeps it on nice and snug and she loves that wrapped up feeling. In fact, she dug it so long we had mild concerns that we would need to find a college roommate who would agree to swaddle her each eve. But, alas, all good things do come to an end…..on her terms :-)

3. Cloud B Sleep Sheep - We had received the Sleep Sheep as a gift at the shower & a travel version (perfect for travel or the stroller) as a gift once Dylan arrived. Truth be told, the animal could have been an anteater for all I really care (though the lambs did match our loose nursery theme), what we really love is the sound machine inside. In fact, we can’t really put the lamb anywhere other than attached to the crib so we removed the sound machine and carry it with us EVERYWHERE. Dylan would not sleep without the ocean (no, not the stream or the whale, only the ocean) for such a long, long time. Now she sleeps to this ambient music, and honestly, I wish I did too.

4. The City Mini Stroller. This is the best stroller out there, and believe me when I say, we did our research on this one. We were living in NYC at the time so we had a lot of factors to consider. First, big wheels that can handle terrain - city streets, greenways, trails, bumpy, snowy sidewalks -we’ve easily managed them all. Next, we love the front wheel, swivels easily to make stroller navigation super simple. Third, the underneath storage is large and can handle a handbag, shopping tote, baby needs, etc. Plus, there is a pocket on the back side that can hold important goodies, like sunscreen, snacks, diapers, etc. Fourth, there is a car seat adaptor that we used for when Dylan was super small, made it so we didn’t need a snap & go for those early months. Fifth, it reclines! Yes, baby falls asleep in the car just as you arrive to your destination, no worries, gently put her in the reclined seat and she sleeps like a baby! Sixth, The hood is HUGE, Dylan has blue eyes and they are somewhat sensitive to the sun light, if it’s too bright the hood provides plenty of relief. Plus, it has little windows that you can un-velcro so you can see what is going on in there! And, I saved the best for last…..the one handed collapse. It’s a dream. So easy, that I could easily hold baby and collapse and I’m no super woman! So, there you have it, BEST STROLLER EVER. And though I’d say it’s clear by the fact that there currently are no ads on my site, I’m not being compensated to say that :-)

5. Baby Bjorn - I loved carrying Dylan and this was the perfect method until she was nearly 10 or 11 months old. She was a small baby so the Ergo just didn’t’ fit us well. I know a lot of folks who love that one, but this carrier fit she and I much better!! She loved to be carried. She could see everything, could face in if sleepy or out if awake and always seemed to crave that closeness and of course, what Mama doesn’t love that feeling!!

Baby Bjorn

Hope you Mama’s find this helpful. Also, any tips out there? Love to hear all about it in the comments!!

XX,

M


Birth Story

I thought it would be fun to share my birth story, because, well, it’s quite the story! And there really are no pictures to share, because, well, read on, you’ll see!!

On the morning of December 8th, I felt funny. There really isn’t another way to describe it.  And, since up until this point I had never felt anything other than exactly as I thought I should, I decided to call my doc and let them know how I was feeling. Though they felt it was probably nothing they agreed to see me at 2pm that afternoon. When I got to the doctor’s office they did an ultrasound. Baby girl was looking good. She was about 4lbs, in a good position and generally everything looked great. My amniotic fluid levels, also good. The ultrasound technician comforted me, everything was normal, looked good and she was sure I’d be sent on my merry way. Phew, huge sigh of relief.

I then went in to actually talk with the doc. For safety sake, she decided to do an exam and a test to ensure that my water didn’t break. Apparently this is a simple test. The swab turns color x for broken water and color y for not broken water. My swab turned color z. Strange. And so, perplexed, they decided to put me on a monitor to see if I was having contractions. 30 minutes later we found there were no contractions. Good sign!! Since the test results were inconclusive and strange (every doc in the joint was in on the action), they were torn of what to do. Do they just check me in to the hospital and monitor me? Do they send me home and give me some advice of when to call back? In the meantime, they decided to do the test one more time to see if they could get a better result. As I stood up to prepare for the exam, my water broke. As in rush of water, straight up movie style.

I was in shock, scared and by myself. What did this mean? I was only 32 weeks along. How could this be? The docs (who were so great) made me feel at ease. They explained that I would be hospitalized. They would give antibiotics to ensure that me & baby did not get an infection. They would give steroids to help the baby’s lungs develop more quickly. And basically, the would “keep me pregnant” for the next 2 weeks. They indicated that since I wasn’t having contractions it was very unlikely that I would go into labor, however, since we were at 32 weeks (not earlier) and the baby looked to be a good weight, if it did happen, they wouldn’t stop it. They explained that at 32 weeks the baby would likely be in good shape and that I shouldn’t be worried about that part of things. And that most likely they would be able to get me up to 34 weeks. They essentially indicated that the my biggest concern should be getting my hands on my own toothbrush, hospital ones are quite rough they said. 

So, I relaxed a bit (relatively speaking) and called my husband. My husband was out on Long Island at work. He was planning to stop at home and get me some essentials (pjs, toothpaste, slippers, lip gloss, a book, etc.) and meet me at the hospital in a few hours. It was 4:30 when I left the doctor’s office. 

I put my soaking wet pants (the thought actually crossed my mind to swing by someplace in SoHo and pick up fresh pants, thank goodness I didn’t do that!) back on and headed out to grab a cab. Off to the hospital. I still don’t think I was able to process all that was going on. I calmly called my Mother & Mother In Law and gave them the scoop. Letting them know not to worry and that I would call with more details once I was all checked in at the hospital. In the 15 minute ride to the hospital I started to have some cramping, which they had warned me might happen.

I got all checked in by 5:00PM. The rooms designated for “keeping you pregnant” were all full. So I got put into a strange room, it didn’t even have a bathroom? This also perplexed me, they kept telling me that this would be my room for the next two weeks. I was rather stuck on the fact that for the next two weeks I’d need to go in and out of my room where the public could see me to use another bathroom. I met my nurse & a resident. They started the antibiotics & something else that was going to eliminate the cramps & slow the labor process. I began to have some serious pain and explained this to the nurse & resident. They kept telling me that it was normal & I could have this “mild cramping” for a while but hopefully the medication would help that. I was not yet hooked up to any monitors. As the pain kept getting stronger and stronger & the resident kept telling me that they were not contractions (since I was just monitored at the doctor’s office & didn’t have any then), I began to get a little hysterical. If I could barely handle these “mild cramps” these past 15 minutes how would I ever handle them for the next 2 weeks? And if what I was feeling were only “mild cramps” how in the world would I ever deliver this baby?

The pain intensified & I soon became convinced I needed to go to the bathroom. Which of course, they couldn’t let me do. I was begging & crying and finally asked to hurry my doctor in to see me. When my doctor arrived they finally hooked me up to the monitors. She was in awe. She had just seen me an hour prior - what had happened in that short time. After a few crazy waves of pain & answering some questions she did an exam. It was 5:45 and I was 9cm. It was go time!! No time to think or consider anything at all.

They wheeled me into a regular labor and delivery room and the pushing began immediately. Since they had already been aware of my arrival and my situation, I had a room full of doctors, nurses & residents. It was such an amazing, supportive and helpful team of women in that room. I kept hoping my husband would magically appear (though, he of course, had no idea that THIS might actually happen so quickly since our last conversation assured him I would need magazines and possibly bon bons for my extended hospital stay). Because my husband was not there, the women in the room were even more helpful. Literally, the head doc from the NICU popped in, realized my situation and that my husband hadn’t made it and helped hold my legs so the pushing was easier. I was in total awe of how great the staff at NYU was. 

And so I pushed, for what is apparently a very short time, but to me felt like forever. Since everything happened so quickly, they were updating me on the situation between pushes. With statements like, “Everything is probably fine, but your baby is early and will need immediate attention from the NICU doctors. You won’t be able to hold your baby immediately” and “Your baby might not be breathing well when she gets here but that is why there are so many people here right now”, etc.  And while prepping me, my doctor kept me informed of where the baby was in her journey, what an amazing job she was doing moving down the birth canal and just how good she was looking. So, while they were honest, they didn’t scare me. I delivered at 6:12PM. She let out a good scream (cue HUGE sigh of relief) and was bedside to be checked out. My poor sweet husband arrived at 6:15PM (I’m sure we could do a whole post on this crazy day from his perspective) to a room full of doctors, a wife who had just delivered & our BABY!! He was so sweet and supportive and I’m sure wildly confused.

She was doing so great - breathing on her own - strong heart beat - nearly 4 lbs and just generally looking well that they agreed to put her on my chest and give us a little time together as a family before she had to go to the NICU. We were so grateful for her health and that initial time together.

And so, December 8th, 2010 Dylan Elizabeth Lawley was born at 6:12PM. 3lbs 15oz of pure perfection!

Talk about a whirlwind. It was hard to process all that had happened. But she knew what was best, apparently she was safer outside than inside and we made that happen fast! She spent 3 weeks in the NICU. After the initial shock of having Dylan early we were nothing short of grateful every single day. Dylan was so healthy, never needing assistance breathing and never having many typical preemie episodes. She spent some time under the photo therapy lights for jaundus and had to take a little extra time to learn to eat (apparently suck, swallow breathe is developed in utero by week 34) and just get bigger and stronger. It was clear she was a fighter from the beginning. The birth was not hard on her at all (no distress, no elevated or erratic heart beats, nothing funky at all!!) and she could pull an IV out like no other 3 and 1/2 pound baby I’ve ever seen!! We were surrounded by little ones and their loving families who had a lot more to deal with than we did and we tried to never let that reality get far from our thoughts. 

Those 3 weeks felt like an eternity. Having to leave her each night was so hard. We would wait until she was calm and sleeping. We could never leave if she was crying or upset. We would sometimes stay late into the night because the nights were quieter in the NICU with many fewer visitors. This was a time we could help to bathe her, feed her and just relax with her on our chest. We went to the hospital to be with her every day and some days that was a challenge, like through the blizzard (phew, talk about some long cold walks!)!! But it was all worth it to see her adorable little face each morning.

And so, on December 29th she came home to Brooklyn. And she has been growing stronger and bigger each day. She has done an amazing job. She is now 21 months, right on target and as strong willed as we saw in her entry to this world. We couldn’t love her more. This was her first night at home. 


I’m Back……

I’ve thought about getting back on the blog a lot since the last real post in December 2010. And now, I’m finally going to do it!

Our Family

And though those who followed were rather few (a shout out to my Mom, MIL and super secret blogging buddy Ms. Ensalada), I thought a de-briefing would be in order. So, my first post will be a little about what has happened over the past year and a half since there has been a lot of change.

First, the best most scary day of my life, December 8, 2010. I delivered a beautiful baby girl, Dylan at 32 weeks. To say it was a surprise would be the understatement of the year. But she was an almost four pound preemie with very little catching up to do, the most precious face, sweet demeanor and a lot of shitzpa.

DEL

We endured the craziest blizzard I had ever seen hit NYC. Our street in Brooklyn was covered in several feet of snow during Dylan’s NICU stay making our daily trips into NYU cold and treacherous to say the least . 

BK Snow Storm 2010

Dylan and I made new friends at a New Mom Group at Park Slope’s Bend and Bloom Yoga Studio. Being that she was such a tiny little one, the weather was hellacious and RSV is a real threat to premature wee ones, we didn’t get out much, this was pretty much a lifesaver for me. We were beyond grateful to find this open loving group. If you are a new Mommy in Park Slope or the neighboring area, I seriously can’t say enough great words about Ellen Chuse and the groups she leads. 

Those early months were really hard. My husband had returned to work in Long Island (with an at least hour & a half commute on both ends), the weather was cold and Dylan was tiny, and thus eating nearly every hour. My parents made countless trips to Brooklyn to sleep on the floor in our little apartment to help me and to dote on Miss D. They carted Dylan and I to Dr.’s appointments, held her when she cried and let me shower (big doings in the early days). My MIL was a life saver too. She came during Dylan’s NICU stay only too cook us a few warm meals, snuggle for an hour or two with Dyl and do all of our laundry. We were beyond blessed to have such loving family travel to be with us so frequently.

In June, we packed up our 400 square foot apartment in Brooklyn and headed south to Nashville, TN. I honestly thought we would last much longer in the city than we did but the walls were literally closing in on us. And truthfully, the harsh winter certainly didn’t help our cause. It was a really hard decision but the right one for us at the time. Bittersweet.

BK APT

At the time of our move I hadn’t been working and after a few months of time staying at home I decided to try and get back into the work force. I wasn’t convinced a full time position was going to do the trick and since I loved the work I was doing with The Perfect Closet (organizing homes and personal shopping) I thought a job at a brand new to town big name retailer would be a great fit. The hours were opposite my husband, which we thought would be perfect, giving us both plenty of QT with the little one, minimizing child care cost and allowing some time to each of us for the passions in our lives. Boy were we wrong on this one, from every single account. We learned quite a few things, like working opposite schedules means never seeing one another. And that commission based sales is NOT the same as personal shopping with a new client who reached out to you. That when baby doesn’t sleep well, no one is getting any time to do anything other than find a way to help baby sleep. Ah, well, we nipped it in the bud pretty quick as a new opportunity presented itself.

And so now, I’m working a part-time job from home with an old colleague. I get the time with the baby (who is now nearly 2 years old) that I crave, I get to contribute to the bottom line of a small business, I contribute to our family and I actually like what I do. It’s a lot of the same functions that I performed in my pre-blogging/organizing stint in NY but without a lot of the expectations (and big bucks) that come with a large corporation (no late nights, minimal travel, no managing staff, etc.). I’m also going to begin the organizing and personal shopping biz again here in Nashville, as EverydayChicNY. Exciting times ahead.

So, for now, things are on track. We are enjoying Nashville. We are both enjoying our work. My husband is still pursuing music and I am now finding a time to pursue my passion of organizing, shopping and writing as well. Our work from home situation allows us to travel to see family without eating weeks of vacation. And our baby and her very best doggy pals get to run and play in a yard. But we miss New York City every day. The little things mostly, like the deli. What I wouldn’t give to have a real deli sandwich.  Dang.

So, nearly 2 years in a nutshell.

Cheers,

M


rebeccaminkoff:

Win a Rebecca Minkoff Oatmeal Linen Spark. Enter to win by Reblogging this post.
Winner will be selected at random on Monday, May 9th.
Want more chances to win? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for details.

rebeccaminkoff:

Win a Rebecca Minkoff Oatmeal Linen Spark. Enter to win by Reblogging this post.

Winner will be selected at random on Monday, May 9th.

Want more chances to win? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for details.

(via kitschy)


Check out this awesome giveaway

If you are a new Mom or Mom - To -Be, this giveaway is a MUST to check out!!

The Trendy Mommy is hosting a giveaway from an adorable Etsy shop called LittlePeepsbySuzyD. The blog is great - so fun to check out regardless and the shop is super sweet. I love the patterns on the bibs and the function of the terry cloth underside. As a new Mom to a big spitter upper, I have found that you can’t have enough bibs and burp cloths. It is the one thing I sometimes get dangerously close to running out of despite how many we have in our collection. If I am not the winner (fingers crossed) I will definitely be making a purchase from Little Peeps shop!!

Hope you all like it as much as I did!!!

XX

M

PS. I hope to be back to blogging next week. I will likely start with a lot of Mommy talk & then get back to my regular lifestyle, fashion and pretty stuff posts!



fashism:

This Steven Alan bag can be yours…
 *All  you have to do is reblog this post before midnight tonight, January 25th, 2011,  and you will be entered to win this gorgeous Françoise Bag from Steven Alan! There will be one winner chosen at random.
Why this bag?
Because we love it! We stopped by the Steven Alan offices in downtown NYC to get a sneak peak at Steven’s  Spring 2011 Collection, inspired by European summer travel with the perfect mix of stripes and textures with accents of rich color. 
We  especially loved the Françoise handbag — a classic shape in rich  textured leather with brass hardware, it features a functional outside  pocket and a suede interior. We can’t wait to pair the Françoise with  the Libby dress in pale blue pinstripe. To get a first look at the  spring collection visit www.stevenalan.com!

fashism:

This Steven Alan bag can be yours…

 *All you have to do is reblog this post before midnight tonight, January 25th, 2011, and you will be entered to win this gorgeous Françoise Bag from Steven Alan! There will be one winner chosen at random.

Why this bag?

Because we love it! We stopped by the Steven Alan offices in downtown NYC to get a sneak peak at Steven’s Spring 2011 Collection, inspired by European summer travel with the perfect mix of stripes and textures with accents of rich color.

We especially loved the Françoise handbag — a classic shape in rich textured leather with brass hardware, it features a functional outside pocket and a suede interior. We can’t wait to pair the Françoise with the Libby dress in pale blue pinstripe. To get a first look at the spring collection visit www.stevenalan.com!

(Source: fashism, via theclotheshorse)