Saturday, December 29, 2012


As we approach the start of another new year, I always wonder - what can I do different, how can I improve myself and my life.  2012 not only brought the arrival of my son, but it brought a sense of peace to my life.  My pregnancy filled me with a true sense of my soul and body being in harmony --- a desire to be a mother, to have a child --- was fulfilled and I felt truly *happy* and present. 

I hope to continue 2013 in that same spirit.  I hope to be patient with my boy, with my husband, with my family and all of those around me and most importantly with myself.  Strive not for perfection, but for happiness.  Measure myself by my own standards and take pleasure in the tiny moments, for they will pass all too quickly. 

Success is peace and contentment with yourself.   Pride, satisfaction, purpose. I hope that 2013 continues to lead me on this path of true unity with the life of my dreams ~*    Happy New Year, everyone.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Esther Mathieu

I knew I wanted to take newborn photos of Baby Joseph.  I searched for a photographer with an aesthetic that matched what I wanted to achieve --- airy, dreamy, simple --- and found it with Esther!  She was such a pleasure to work with and her results were just gorgeous.  

We are so glad that we made the decision to have the pictures taken.  It really captured the magical and fleeting time of my baby's first weeks in the world.  Thank you, Esther!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Weeks

My little guy --- you're already 3 weeks old!  And what a baby you are.... you are a bigger joy than your dad and I could have ever imagined.  Such a good boy, a great sleeper, a perfect eater... you have made these 3 weeks so wonderful.  Dad loves to put you on his chest in the morning for some extra sleep, you both look so comfortable.  And my days with you are so sweet --- we read books but for now it seems you like music more than reading.  We sing songs and dance and you are such a happy boy.  ...then you sleep.  You sleep a lot :)   We have a joke already, daddy and I say "the more bolla, the better".  Bolla is Portuguese for ball and the more we hold you tight and curl you up....the happier you seem.  You love to be cuddled!!   

Everyday is so peaceful with you in the house.  It is just our dream come true.  Sometimes my eyes fill with tears just thinking that we brought you into this world and you are, and always will be, our son.  It's an amazing journey and we are just trying to soak up every single moment.  Our hearts are so very full of love.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Gift

On Thursday, November 22, 2012 --- Thanksgiving morning --- we received the most amazing, spectacular, perfect and wonderful gift, the birth of our son, Joseph.

Words cannot express the way I feel these days.  Overwhelmed with love, joy, gratitude....  I feel at peace.  I feel as though a part of my heart has been filled.  Our boy is more amazing than anything we could have dreamed he'd be.  I feel his little soul connected to ours.  Our family has become such a wonderful unit; it is all that I ever need.

Posting will be a little slow over the next few months.  I will write when I have things to say or to share and when I'd rather focus my energy elsewhere that is what I'll do.   But I hope to still visit this space with some frequency.  It's been a really positive outlet for me - throughout the pregnancy and hopefully throughout our parenting journey. 

Joseph: Birth to 2 weeks.
 My boy, you are the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.   I never imagined it could be like this... You are a dream come true in every sense.  You are the most calm baby.  You haven't cried since you've been home from the hospital!  I like to think it's because you know we are here for you and will never let you down.  You seem so content.   Mama didn't have an easy time with your delivery but I'd do it all over again in a blink of an eye to bring you into this world.  We like to think that part of your mellow demeanor is because you know your Mama needs some help right now while she recovers.  You make the sweetest sounds and have great eye contact (and beautiful eyes, I think they look like dad's...)  I wake so easily everyday --- just eager to spend another day with the boy I love so much.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gratitude - Melody Beattie

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  --- Melody Beattie

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, my friends!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Final Nursery Reveal

Our nursery was one of the most special projects we've done as a couple.  While my belly grew in the early months, my husband embarked on this very intense Do-It-Yourself project.  We had a spare bedroom in our home that was so seemingly beyond repair, we had barely furnished it.  It was simply used as a storage space --- the carpet was old, stained, and musty smelling.  The woodwork trim was hideous 1970's wood.  The walls had seen too many tenants and were literally dirty.  I didn't know what could be done to salvage the awkward room but knew we had to try. 
This was the room prior to our move in.
Carpetand subfloor gets ripped out.

New Subflooring laid to level the ground.
My husband began ripping out the carpet. Then the subfloor --- layers and layers of it. Our house dates back to the 1880's which is New England code for, very uneven floors. We knew to properly lay the new hardwood everything would have to be ripped to the studs and re-leveled.

Painting the room Benjamin Moore's - Marilyn's Dress
Once most of the construction done, we started the furnishing. The room doesn't have a closet and I've had a white wardrobe forever.  While it's not cutting edge in terms of style, it is one of the most functional things I've ever owned and I knew we had to incorporate it into the room.  From there, our decision to stick with white furniture and the rest of the room was born....

The room is finished!

West Elm Glider

The rug from Layla Grace
Skyline Bedding from Dwell Studio

Pali Crib and Dwell bedding
Dwell Skyline Changing pad on top of Pali Dresser.  Art is from Homegoods, I wanted to keep the space from being overwhelmingly "baby" 

His bookcase from CB2. I wanted a place to add some color and interest to the room and also display a few special things.
The plate and saucer was mine as a baby, and the smurf mug from when I was a kid. The hat was my husband's as a boy.
We met in London and the small figurines are from Barcelona, one of our favorite cities.


Monday, November 19, 2012

The final hours

I feel you dropping lower and lower.  My belly tightens up every 30 minutes or so, but there is no pain (yet).  I know you are just doing your thing, getting ready.   We are so happy that you're so close.  Your dad and I feel calm.  We watch movies, we hang out, we talk about how much we dreamed of this day.  Your grandmothers are both on the edge of their seats with excitement ...and your grandfathers too, they're just slightly less dramatic! :)    This is it, my son.  It's nearly showtime.  We just can't wait to hold you and see you and meet the beautiful soul being entrusted to us. 

Me, 39 weeks.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Birth Affirmations

Well, we made it to Friday.  We continue to wait....with some moderate ankle swelling, a very slow waddle/walk and my mind keenly aware of all of the other physical changes happening with my body as we prepare for this baby's arrival into the world. 

Hopeful that maybe this weekend could be the time he decides he wants to come out and meet his family, here are some birth affirmations via birth buddy.   However, the child birth prep class I took at my hospital was the best birth affirmation.  It was instructed by a fabulous labor and delivery nurse and really helped prepare us for what to expect when the time comes.  I highly recommend it to first time moms and dads. 

The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is you.
~ Unknown

Just as a woman’s heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth.
~ Virginia Di Orio

Only with trust, faith, and support can the woman allow the birth experience to enlighten and empower her.
~ Claudia Lowe

300,000 women will be giving birth with you today.
Relax and breathe and do nothing else.
Labor is hard work and you can do it.

Through pain find strength
Through birth find healing
It is never easy to keep reaching for dreams
Strength and courage can sometimes be lonely friends –
But those who reach, walk in stardust.
~ Flavia

A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without retense and arrives at her destination, prepared to be herself and only herself.
~ Maya Angelou

Rain, after all is only rain; it is not bad weather. So also, pain is only pain; unless we resist it, then it becomes torment.
~ the I Ching

We’ve all been waiting for you.
For you.
Your arrival has been marked, has been recorded
on earth,
in the universe,
in the galaxies,
in all of space,
in all of time.
You come with a birthright, written in love and sung
through all Creation in words which promise
that no matter where you’re at,
you’re home
that no matter who you’re with,
you’re welcome
that no matter who you are,
you’re loved.
~ Rita Ramsey

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Parenting Advice via Into the Gloss

There seem to be infinite blogs, articles, books, theories - telling you which way to parent and what is "best" for your kid. I read a lot of it, why not, but I also take it very lightly.  As unique as we are as individuals, unique as we will be as parents.   But there's always something to learn along the way.

I can't even remember when I came across this excerpt on Simple Lovely.  But how wonderful!  It has stuck with me and if I could carry one piece of parenting advice with me as I start this journey, this might be it.  Without further ado:
Stila Founder, Jeanine Lobell via Into the Gloss: "When I was eighteen, my dad was visiting me in New York and he said to me, ‘Honey, see that guy over there, with the hot dog stand? There’s nobody standing there, telling him to spread the mustard this way, or that’s how much relish to use. You need to get your own hot dog stand.’ I think that I’m lucky that my dad knew that I just couldn’t function like that—that I was never going to be able to work in a traditional job. I’m lucky though, because most parents would be like, ‘What the hell, you can’t even keep a job?’ So I would say that I’m very lucky that he just knew who I was, and didn’t have a problem with it."   
 ...But I especially love that last line, as that's the really the magic bullet, don't you think? This ability to really know your children's characters -- their habits and passions and interests and then helping them become the best possible version of themselves (rather than trying to mold them into exactly who *you* want them to be) is just huge. – via Simple Lovely

(Stila founder, Jeanine Lobell -- image)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Iphone 5

The dog days are over --- at last, I've moved from Blackberry to Iphone!!  Hello, 2012!  I'm hopeful that this will help me taking pics of the Little Guy and also adding my own creative spin to this little site.  There's clearly a learning curve transitioning over to Apple, but it's about time I get in the pool. 

On that note, my first image.  Officially doctored up in Instagram.  Look out :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Dirty Dozen

Admittedly, it's hard to focus this week.   So I'm going to stick with some basics and things I'd like to have noted.   We all have heard of the "dirty dozen", the produce recognized by the FDA as having the highest pesticide count.   It is especially important for young ones to limit their exposure to these harmful chemicals.  As always, we'll do the best we can. 

12 Most Contaminated
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
12 Least Contaminated
  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya
(source: The Environmental Working Group)


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Final Days

The Last Days of Pregnancy - by Jana Studelska, midwife.  Via

She’s curled up on the couch, waiting, a ball of baby and emotions. A scrambled pile of books on pregnancy, labor, baby names, breastfeeding…not one more word can be absorbed. The birth supplies are loaded in a laundry basket, ready for action. The freezer is filled with meals, the car seat installed, the camera charged. It’s time to hurry up and wait. Not a comfortable place to be, but wholly necessary.

The last days of pregnancy— sometimes stretching to agonizing weeks—are a distinct place, time, event, stage. It is a time of in between. Neither here nor there. Your old self and your new self, balanced on the edge of a pregnancy. One foot in your old world, one foot in a new world.

Shouldn’t there be a word for this state of being, describing the time and place where mothers linger, waiting to be called forward?

Germans have a word, zwischen, which means between. I’ve co-opted that word for my own obstetrical uses. When I sense the discomfort and tension of late pregnancy in my clients, I suggest that they are now in The Time of Zwischen. The time of in between, where the opening begins. Giving it a name gives it dimension, an experience closer to wonder than endurance.

I tell these beautiful, round, swollen, weepy women to go with it and be okay there. Feel it, think it, don’t push it away. Write it down, sing really loudly when no one else is home, go commune with nature, or crawl into your own mama’s lap so she can rub your head until you feel better. I tell their men to let go of their worry; this is an early sign of labor. I encourage them to sequester themselves if they need space, to go out if they need distraction, to enjoy the last hours of this life-as-they-now-know-it. I try to give them permission to follow the instinctual gravitational pulls that are at work within them, just as real and necessary as labor.

The discomforts of late pregnancy are easy to Google: painful pelvis, squished bladder, swollen ankles, leaky nipples, weight unevenly distributed in a girth that makes scratching an itch at ankle level a feat of flexibility.  “You might find yourself teary and exhausted,” says one website, “but your baby is coming soon!” Cheer up, sweetie, you’re having a baby. More messaging that what is going on is incidental and insignificant.

What we don’t have is reverence or relevance—or even a working understanding of the vulnerability and openness a woman experiences at this time. Our language and culture fails us. This surely explains why many women find this time so complicated and tricky. But whether we recognize it or not, these last days of pregnancy are a distinct biologic and psychological event, essential to the birth of a mother.

We don’t scientifically understand the complex hormones at play that loosen both her hips and her awareness.  In fact, this uncomfortable time of aching is an early form of labor in which a woman begins opening her cervix and her soul. Someday, maybe we will be able to quantify this hormonal advance—the prolactin, oxytocin, cortisol, relaxin. But for now, it is still shrouded in mystery, and we know only how to measure thinning and dilation.

“You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you, Peter Pan. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”        -Tinkerbell

I believe that this is more than biological. It is spiritual. To give birth, whether at home in a birth tub with candles and family or in a surgical suite with machines and a neonatal team, a woman must go to the place between this world and the next, to that thin membrane between here and there. To the place where life comes from, to the mystery, in order to reach over to bring forth the child that is hers. The heroic tales of Odysseus are with us, each ordinary day. This round woman is not going into battle, but she is going to the edge of her being where every resource she has will be called on to assist in this journey.

We need time and space to prepare for that journey. And somewhere, deep inside us, at a primal level, our cells and hormones and mind and soul know this, and begin the work with or without our awareness.

I call out Zwischen in prenatals as a way of offering comfort and, also, as a way of offering protection. I see how simple it is to exploit and abuse this time. A scheduled induction is seductive, promising a sense of control. Fearful and confused family can trigger a crisis of confidence. We are not a culture that waits for anything, nor are we believers in normal birth; waiting for a baby can feel like insanity. Giving this a name points her toward listening and developing her own intuition. That, in turn, is a powerful training ground for motherhood.

Today, I am waiting for a lovely new mother named Allison to call me, to announce that her Zwischen is ended and labor has begun. I am in my own in between place, waiting. My opportunity to grow and open is a lovely gift she gives me, in choosing me to attend her birth.

Friday, November 9, 2012


“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”  - Marianne Williamson


Thursday, November 8, 2012


Today, your 2 week notice went out.  As your dad likes to've got two weeks to come out on your own otherwise you're being evicted.  Your free ride is up and it's time to start paying some rent.  We accept it in the form of hugs, kisses and sweet smelling cuddles!

2 more weeks until your arrival day, my boy, and we are just so eager to meet you.   I still feel good.  I've been blessed with a relatively easy second and third trimester.  Carrying you isn't that difficult and I've actually kind of got used to this belly and condition.  Your room is done, your clothes are washed and our bags for the hospital are packed.

And so we wait.  Eager and excited, the anticipation is really building.  You're almost here. I feel it, in my body and in my soul.  You are so very loved already.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The people have spoken...

On this morning after election day, I wanted to take a break from the usual programming to say that today I am proud of our people's choices.  I am proud that the overwhelming voice of America still believes in personal freedom - whether that be associated with gay rights, women's health, immigration or a host of other social issues.  I'm glad that when a senator makes ridiculously ignorant comments about rape, he is not re-elected.  I'm glad to see representatives from the Tea Party, known for outlandish social views, lose their seats.   I'm glad to see such a rise in minority voters showing up at the polls and reshaping some of the electoral college maps.

The people have spoken and I, for one, like what they said. 

And here's the text of the President's acceptance speech.  It literally brought tears to my eyes. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Please vote. Vote for the people around the world that aren't given the privilege of democracy.   Vote for the people of the past who fought hard to guarantee this right for all of us.  Vote for the people of the future who will be effected by the leaders we put into place today.  It is not a basic human right; it is a freedom that we are so fortunate to have. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

GAP reusable bags

We have a Gap Outlet right down the street which is turning into a great resource for basics for the little guy.   I was in there yesterday and by the register they had GAP branded reusable bags.   Since I feel like I hardly leave the house empty handed anymore and trying to reduce my carbon footprint one small piece at a time, I just picked one up.  It is completely unadvertised but using their reusable bag saves you 10% everytime you make a purchase there!    Sweet!  The salesgirl said they don't advertise it at all.... but what a good little perk.   Now you know, too.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Worn out

In an effort to keep this space honest, today I am tired, worn down, and a little frustrated.  Completely aware that this feeling will pass, I just need to hang on tightly, breathe deeply and wait it out.   The rise and fall of the tide, the passing of the days, the changing of the seasons...  it is all fleeting and there is amazing peace in knowing that no feeling is forever.    

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hello November!

Wow, November is here.  This is our month.   It seemed so far away when I started my 40 week countdown back in March and now it's arrived.   Only 3 more weeks of waiting.  It's hard to wrap my head around it. 

I'm HARDLY the pregnancy expert, but a few things that I learned along the way in case they're of any use to anyone:

> First and foremost, get started on shopping, registering, nursery decor and anything else you can think of EARLY.  You may feel silly in the baby stores with only a little bump, but trust me, you'll be so glad you did.   Inevitably, your weekends will fill up in the last months and having the bulk of the "errands" done has been a lifesaver.  From weeks 20-30, I felt so energized and elated.  Somewhere around week 34, I really slowed down.  Every pregnancy is different and you just don't know what's around the corner for you so the more you can do while you're feeling good, the better.   If I make no other recommendation but this one, it will be enough.

> When your clothes initially stop fitting and you're feeling bummed out, go to Destination Maternity.  In my opinion, they have the best selection and a wide range of prices/styles.  I invested in a pair of designer maternity jeans that I have worn from 3 months thru 9 months, and couldn't have spent that $200 in a better way.   Aside from that, I really did not splurge too much.  A lot of basic tees and tanks from Old Navy and Target and put them with non-maternity cardigans.  I bought a few funky accessories so even if I was in the same black tank, I could make it look like a slightly different outfit (and you can still use them post-partum). Someone told me not to go crazy with maternity clothes, so I kept it very basic and am glad I did.  I'd rather save the resources for a few nice things once I'm out of maternity wear!

> One day at a time.  Some days, particularly early and late in the game, you just don't feel well.  Knowing that every single day is different has been important to my sanity.   Thinking, "how will I deal with 8 months of this..." can make you crazy (!) --- especially since the very next day you might wake up feeling nothing like the day before.  In my experience, everyday was different.  I listened to my body, rested when I needed to and went a million miles per hour when I felt I could.  

> Keep perspective.  Has the pregnancy been entirely glamorous or easy or comfortable --- nope.  But I've tried to be really present and enjoy it.  I know that it is temporary and the majority of my life will not be in this condition.  On the days that I've felt a little sorry for myself or wanting that glass of wine or afternoon coffee, I've tried to just remember the miracle of what is happening and how fortunate me and my son are for being given this opportunity to grow together.

37 weeks down.... 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Women's History

An important history lesson as we approach Election Day, via my college roommate, HL. 

Women were not granted the right to vote until 1920.  That is a mere 90 years ago.  The women who led the movement suffered incredible abuse and hardship as they pushed for a right they so believed in.   They were beaten and jailed, forced to eat food infested with worms, but eventually were granted the priveldge to vote.  Don't let their suffering be in vein.   Regardless of your political affiliations, respect the women who came before us and fought tirelessly to give us a fundamental right that many of us take for granted today.
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

The rain, the busy day at work, the errands are just not a good enough explanation....