Being a Mom of T W O 

Being a mom of one is no easy task. But no one can prepare you for the reality of being a mom of two (especially two under 2). I started this post in hopes of writing about my positive experiences so far, but quite honestly that would be a disservice to you other moms out there. Because the truth is that right now it sucks most of the time. The first few weeks Maya slept a lot (as newborns do) and I thought I had this parent thing in the bag. But then in the last 2 weeks or so she started to be awake more. And fussy more. And wanting to be held more (aka all the time).  Paired with a 23 month old who wants attention but also needs me physically (lifting her into her high chair and crib, helping her on the stairs,  changing her diapers, cutting up her food, etc.) I find myself often feeling overwhelmed when they both need me simultaneously. As a result, I feel nervous and anxious a lot of the time…Will Maya need to nurse when I need to be getting Nesrine in for her nap? After all, a mere 15 minutes is the difference between a long, restful nap and a short, restless one.  And so forth.. Continue reading

Dealing With Toddler Frustration

As we inch closer to 2, N has definitely started acting out in full toddler form, biting me or her toys when she gets upset, throwing herself on the floor, refusals to comply, etc. The usual stuff. It’s so hard to stay calm sometimes even though I’m repeating to myself that she doesn’t understand yet, she’s only 1. What we as moms and dads need to constantly keep reminding ourselves (especially when everything spirals out of control) is that they can’t express themselves yet. Language is still developing and they can’t say exactly what they want, even though they know exactly what they want/need. I tell myself probably daily to put myself in her shoes and imagine how incredibly frustrating it must be to understand the world around you (to some extent at least) but not be able to fully engage in it. Hence the full on meltdowns for reasons often unbeknownst to me. I have been trying out some different preventative techniques in the last months so that her and I can avoid getting to the tantrum point to start with. I want to share these strategies with you mamas of 1-2 year olds out there (I’ve heard 3 and 4 year olds can be just as challenging, but that is a whole different ball game!). They have worked wonders for us, so I hope they can help you, too! 

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Second Time Around: What’s In My Hospital Bag

This week was bag packing week! I unpacked our bags from D.C. and filled up my duffle and diaper bag with all the essentials, which also made me realize that I actually have to give birth in 4-6 weeks yeeee! I am more nervous about this birth experience but also more excited. I feel more prepared since I already know in general what to expect during and after labor, but at the same time that also makes me more anxious! Especially because this time I also have a toddler who is suddenly very attached to me. Last time, I packed a lot of unnecessary items such as my bose music player and an inflatable exercise ball…both of which went untouched, and didn’t bring things like nursing pads! I had a birth playlist all picked out and a printed out birth plan. Ha!! Granted, I had a very quick labor (4 hours) so there just wasn’t the opportunity to even want music, and my birth plan was very open but all of that goes out the window the moment the baby’s heart starts to decelerate. The point: I have lived and learned, and therefore the contents of my hospital bag are quite a bit different than the first time. With that in mind, in this post I will tell you all the lovely things I am putting in my bag (for me and for baby)!  Continue reading

The Importance of Boredom

I often find myself feeling guilty when Nesrine and I are stuck at home for the day. I try to go out with her at least once every day, even if it is simply outside to play or to go to the library. We both seem to always feel better to get out for a bit. Some days that just doesn’t happen…she is home with the nanny while I take care of errands or doctor appointments, or the weather is bad for driving, or I don’t have the energy for it and we just can’t get it together to get out. You mamas out there know exactly what I mean. Mamas-to-be, you will find out soon 🙂 Continue reading

Visit Guide: How to Optimize Your Trip to the National Aviary

Yesterday Nesrine and I went to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, one of her favorite places right now. It is truly an amazing place! We have been there close to a dozen times in the last few months, and it struck me that it was one of the last big attractions that I took her to experience. Since birth she has come along with me regularly to Phipps Conservatory, to all of the wonderful museums Pittsburgh has to offer, to the Zoo, and so on. But somehow we never made it to The Aviary.  I think the reason I was hesitant was that I didn’t know what to expect at The Aviary, and being the planner that I am, I always plan ahead as much as possible (and I’m sure you mamas of young children can relate to that sentiment!).  So, here is how I plan our visit to get the most out of our time. Hopefully it will give you a better idea of what to expect, especially if you haven’t yet taken your toddler for a visit! Continue reading

Reasons to Dine Out With Your Baby/Toddler 

 

So to jump into the real content of this blog, I want to start by discussing something simple that makes life fuller and makes travel easier: dinning out in restaurants with your child. Sometimes I have to remind myself that despite the many reasons to simply eat at home everyday, there are equally as many reasons why we should put on some nice clothes and go out for a family dinner every now and then. I find the motivation to brave a dinner out especially lacking in the winter months, when the weather is cold and the daylight is short. It’s easier to make the mess at home, to have the peace of mind that the food will be eaten and that it is a healthy and wholesome balanced meal that I am serving. It is just more relaxed at home, am I right Mamas? No annoyed couple at the table next to you, no hungry toddler who gets cranky while waiting for the food that is taking too long (which is probably too salty and fatty anyway). I could go on with reasons not to.  But this is the exact rut my mind finds itself in on many weekend nights when we are deciding what to do for dinner.  If you find yourself thinking like this, here are some reasons I hope will inspire you to think differently (and stay tuned after for my tips on how to make your dining experience a positive one): Continue reading