Weekly Findings

This picture best describes the mood I’ve been in lately: lazy, waiting for fall and wanting to curl up in bed with Lukasz and the baby for some quality time together. Lukasz celebrated a birthday this week and we spent the day driving away from the city.  We ended up in Woodstock, NY after missing the exit for New Paltz, haha.  I’ll be posting pictures of the day soon.  Other than that, we have been consistently busy which makes the time we’re able to spend together more precious to me. It’s hard not to feel nostalgic even for last week when time flies by so quickly and Petra is growing extremely fast. Thank goodness today is Friday.  I’m already looking forward to tonight, when Lukasz and I will share a bottle of hard cider we picked up along the road at an orchard on our trip upstate. It’s the little things!

1. Brad and Angelina are getting a divorce: And while I don’t find this news particularly interesting, this article by Vulture made me laugh. I don’t know if it was supposed to be funny but whatever.

2. Trying to conceive after Mirena: Full transparency, I’m in the market for a form of contraception and I’m really cautious about any contraception involving hormones.  I found this readers experience particularly interesting.

3. 25 Recipes to jump into fall: I’ve been sitting on this article since Monday.  I want to make everything! Can fall just get here already? PUMPKIN EVERYTHING ‚úäūüŹĽ

4. Nice as Fuck Tshirt: has been on my wishlist. I love this vintage feel of it.  I also believe that they might be sold in collaboration with Jenny Lewis’s bands album.  Gotta check it out.

5. No, I’m from New York: this article from the New Yorker has me cracking up! “Already ripe avocados? Get out of here with that nonsense, Ralphs. I‚Äôm from New York, where, in lieu of avocados, grocery stores put out six hundred petrified dragon eggs and shoppers must squeeze every last one of them before buying the softest but still rock-hard option, and then bring it home and watch it go from unripe to completely rotten without ever once being edible.” This definitely isn’t LA! 

*image source

Happy Birthday Lukasz!

To my the best dad and partner in crime in the whole world, happy birthday! You are my moon and my stars.  Petra and I are so lucky to have you in our lives and we’re looking forward to all of our years together.  I hope that year 27 is one for the books ‚̧ԳŹ 

Starting solids



Even when I was pregnant, the day that my daughter would start solid foods was something I was super excited about.  I was excited because we live in such a huge city with so many different cuisines and flavors and tastes and I couldn’t wait to introduce it all to my little one.

I remember when my little brother was a tiny baby, I woke up one morning to my mother starting my brother on cereal.  I walked up to him, his tiny mouth a total mess and he gave me the biggest smile.  I still think about it and it melts my heart.  It’s still so strange to me that the tables have turned and now I’m the one with my precious little baby and she’s embarking on a new journey of her development. But I wanted to do a few things different…

First off, I didn’t want my daughter to start cereals or rice right away.  I know that it’s a great baby food that keeps babies feeling full but I don’t really feel that they offer much in terms of nutrition.  I also think that foods like fruits and cereal are easy.  When I was thinking of foods to start Petra on, I headed straight for the veggies. I’ve always been such a big vegetable lover.  My mother can attest that I refused to eat meat but I could down a salad with lemon juice squeezed on it like it was nobody’s business.  Even during my pregnancy, I craved cucumbers drowned in lemon juice with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and cumin.  Lukasz, on the other hand, was raised on heartier meals including plenty of meats (hey Kielbasa) and root veggies like potatoes.    So who’s to say what Petra will like more!  This is what’s so fun about introducing kids to new foods!

For Petra’s first food, I pureed sweet potato using a Baby Bullet my parents sent us, which I absolutely loved.  I boiled one sweet potato and blended it with a little bit of water and it made like a million servings! (Ok, more like 6)  The Baby Bullet came with a storage system as well which is absolutely adorable and convenient.  I can freeze foods for later and I can also refrigerate them in cute little containers that have a date dial so I can always make sure the food I made is fresh.

So Petra’s first taste of the sweet potato was not so great.  To be honest, I feel like the reason was mostly due to her learning how to swallow something thicker than breast milk.  A majority of the potato ended up on her bib and halfway through our feeding session, she thought it would be adorable if she could just blow raspberries while her mouth was full (she was right, it was really cute, dammit.)  And I have to admit, having never tried to teach a baby to eat before, it was a little discouraging… I don’t know if I expected her to love it right away.

But I continued to feed her one serving day after day and by the third day, she was loving the sweet potato and a majority of it ended up in her tummy this time around.  I made pureed apples and pureed avocados this morning. It’s also important to remember to try one veggie at a time, in case they’re allergic to any of them!

A couple of books I’m currently checking out on this subject are Around The World in 80 Purees which is a book about worldly baby food to start at 6 months and 201 Organic Baby Purees, the title says it all. I highly recommend both.

Xo,

Karen

Brooklyn Review: Cafe Mogador


I’ve been meaning to do this new thing on my blog where I review restaurants and more activities and areas based on how kid-friendly they are.  For the time being, it hasn’t been difficult getting out and about with Petra in tow.  She’s only three so it’s not like she can throw food (thank god) and she doesn’t need high chairs or anything but it’s still a little intimidating dining out with an infant.  We’re also not big on crowds and, with Petra having an early bedtime, we tend to stick to lunch hours, usually.  It’s on a rare occasion that we’ll head out for dinner.  So my criteria isn’t like crazy but we’re preparing ourselves.  For example, I’m starting to realize that there’s never any bathrooms with a changing table in them. So disappointing!


While Cafe Mogador is no exception in the bathroom area, I must admit that it is a cute restaurant to take your kids too.  The space is open and airy which is really unheard of in New York.  The open space allowed us to park the stroller right next to our table so it was perfect.  While they also lack a kids menu, they do have easy things for kids to eat like hummus and pita chips which I’m going to categorize as healthy. (Hummus is everything). For big kids and adults, they serve brunch here until 4 so that means you can enjoy their many egg dishes with a side of mimosa.  They also delicious sandwiches for lunchtime as an option.  And if eating indoors seems blah, they have an AMAZING patio in the back.  The natural light is perfection and great for photo ops of your food and your littles. The cafe does tend to get packed on the weekends for brunch and if you walk by, you can always see people waiting outside for a table.  We happened to go on a Monday for lunch and we actually had the place to ourselves for the most part.  

I’m really intrigued with how our neighborhood is changing.  Of course, while some people have a problem with that, I personally believe it’s getting more kid-friendly.  There isn’t a morning where I walk to work and don’t spot a stroller on my way. Because of this, I’m really excited to go out and explore more with my little family and it makes me excited for the future where Petra will be able to indulge in the thing I also get excited for: Food! Here’s to hoping she’s not a picky eater!

Xo,

Karen 

(Photo above from Yelp! The photo of me and Petra was taken by Lukasz ūüíē)

3 Months Post-Partum


Where does the time go, you guys? I feel like it was just yesterday I sat down, full of emotion, to write the birth story of my little girl. How can it be that she is already 3 months old? Let’s update on both, my recovery an my daughters growth. 

Me: Three months has passed and I’m still constantly in wonder of everything my body has recovered from.  I’m not back to my pre-pregnancy size but I don’t really care either.  My main concern is that Petra is healthy and fed through my breastmilk for as long as I can produce. I have gone on a couple of runs that have made me feel good but for the most part, after returning to work, I use my free time to soak in all the love from my little family.  I sometimes get hip pain sporadically but I know that will go away.  It’s hard when I feel some kind of pain to know if it’s because my body is returning to normal or if it’s just regular old post-partum pain but I’m feeling good.  I’ve definitely been trying to eat at healthy as possible since I’m still currently breastfeeding but they weren’t kidding about the cravings.  I definitely want all the carbs right now.  I don’t worry too much about it. I know my jeans will fit eventually.  Or not, I don’t know.  My hips definitely seem wider than before I got pregnant so I might have to go up a size now. 

Petra: Petra’s development has literally blown me away.  It’s amazing how much babies learn in 3 months.  Petra’s eyes have developed and she looks right at mom and dad when we talk to her.  She smiles when we make silly faces and she talks all kinds of babble and sometimes that babble turns into tiny screams, which, call me crazy, but I find adorable.  Even her screams are high pitched, she sounds like a little lady, which is weird to say but so true! She also is currently dominating tummy time as made evident by the photo above.  Hopefully that means her little back muscles are super strong and she’ll be rolling over in no time. She’s drinking breastmilk only.  We’ve definitely tried to supplement some formula to kind of make it easy in case I’m not able to pump a lot but she hasn’t really found a formula she likes so I guess I’m just working harder to pump more for her. Lukasz is staying home with her until September and the cute pictures he sends me while I’m at work absolutely make my heart melt.  No one can make her smile like her daddy!

Xo.

Karen

ÔĽŅRockefeller State Park

About a week ago, Lukasz and I decided to leave city life behind and get outside, if only for one day. ¬†As I have previously mentioned, we had a 5 day camping trip planned but it fell through when we found out that there was going to be rain and thunder in the area. ¬†While, usually, that seems like the recipe for a fun adventure at a lake, I wasn’t about to take that chance with my two month old precious cargo in tow.

A lot of people don’t realize this about New York City but, we actually live really close to a lot of fun day trips that lets you explore the great outdoors. ¬†Even Lake George is just a few hours away. ¬†On this particular day, we chose to head to Rockefeller State Park in New Jersey. ¬†It wasn’t crazy mountains or anything, but it was nice to get out of the city and get a little fresh air. ¬†It was nice to see cute squirrels and chipmunks as opposed to the usual subway rats. ¬†One thing I can definitely do without is the summer bugs and ticks but it’s all a compromise, I suppose.

Another unexpected encounter was the rain! ¬†We had barely started our walk around the lake when a thunderstorm hit. ¬†The trees definitely made it less wet as were standing under their canopy but it was coming down fast. We all actually loved it, including Petra who sat in her stroller looking in a amazement at the water falling from the sky. ¬†Its really fun to experience moments like that with my little family. ¬†Sometimes things aren’t perfect and you just have to make do. ¬†The rain did make the park incredibly humid so we hung around a little after the rain stopped before we called it a day and drove back. ¬†It’s a good thing we did too because we stopped on the side of the road on our way back so Petra could eat and it started pouring even more than when we were at the park. ¬†It was fun to sit in the car and watch the rain fall, like we were in our own little bubble.

We got a tree hugger on our hands.
Although slightly wet, it was a really lovely day.

xo,

Karen

Weekly Findings

This week, like all weeks now, has flown by. ¬†Its so funny how time goes by so quickly when you have a baby that doesn’t leave your sight. ¬†I’m literally trying to tie up loose ends as my maternity leave comes to an end and as you can guess, I am riddled with all the anxiety. ¬†But nevertheless, I am trying to remain positive and am definitely feeling thankful that the weekend is here! Here are some things that made me smile this past week.

Theresa May’s Hubby Steals the Show: ¬†With Theresa May being named Britain’s new Prime Minister and the second woman who has ever held this title, I was absolutely giddy when the focus fell on her husband and his style as he started his life as Britain’s “first man”.

Jennifer Aniston’s Post: ¬†Jennifer Aniston’s editorial on how the media scrutinizes ¬†women was everything. ¬†She’s so honest and direct and I loved it because the media has been hounding this girl down for years always speculating if she’s pregnant. ¬†WHO CARES. And she made some serious points¬†women not always needing to be married or have children. ¬†Let’s decide those things for ourselves.

Snoop Dog and The Game Lead Peaceful Protest: With all the news lately, it just seems like this world is falling apart. ¬†It scares me to my core to think about the kind of world Petra is going to be living in and it saddens me so much to hear about the struggles that so many people are facing. ¬†That’s why this article and video of a peaceful protest totally made my week. ¬†I won’t elaborate on anything else, just read and listen.

The Evolution of Maternity Style: ¬†This article randomly popped up on my Facebook news feed and it was dated a few weeks back so I’m a little late to the party but this is fascinating. ¬†I have always wondered how people dressed if they were pregnant back in the day. ¬†Like really far back in the day. ¬†So crazy to see what has changed.

Beach House, the band: ¬†This isn’t exactly news but gosh, I just love this band. I’ve been really into them lately. ¬†Victoria Legrand’s voice just kiiiiiills me, its so beautiful. ¬†I also received a record player for my birthday so I’ve been busting out my old Beach House records to have a listen. ¬†Here’s a playlist on Apple Music¬†of the best Beach House songs.

Enjoy your weekend.

xo,

Karen

*Image source

The Birthday Post

It finally happened, my 28th birthday came and went. ¬†I don’t feel 28, I don’t feel older than, like, 21. ¬†Are there people out there that feel that way too? Just a perpetual child in a body that’s growing older? ¬†I don’t mind getting older either. ¬†They say you’re supposed to be wiser too.

I had a really good day! ¬†Originally, Lukasz and I had planned to take Petra on her first camping trip but our plans fell through when we realized it would be raining all weekend at Lake George. ¬†Breastfeeding a two-month old baby in a two-person tent because of thunder and rain? Pass. ¬†Luckily, we live in the greatest city in the world so theres always something to do. ¬†That’s actually one of the things I’m really excited to explore with Little Petra: just how much this city has to offer in terms of entertainment and food and culture and just everything. ¬†We decided to hit up the Museum of Natural History and maybe go some place for dinner after on the Upper West Side. And Tatiana and Todd had the day off, so it was basically a party.ūüôā

But here’s the thing, have you ever spent a whole day out with a 2 month old? After getting on the second train to take us uptown, Petra decided that some more milk was in order and it could not wait. ¬†So after a pit stop in Central Park for a quick lunch for our baby girl (read: Breastfeeding in the park), we were back on track headed towards the museum. ¬†Here’s a pro-tip: ¬†Never do anything in NYC on the weekends. ¬†Kidding! ¬†But not really. ¬†I kind of forget how crowded everything is on the weekends and the museum was no exception. ¬†Petra slept a little bit and we wandered the exhibits. ¬†I always forget how big that place is going in. ¬†There was so much to see and so many floors and so little time and so many people.BirthdayBirthday6

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We attempted to get this picture a few times. It was kind of hard to get one without Lukasz attempting to grab my boobs, hahaha. What a goofball‚̧

And for dinner, we hit up Jacobs Pickles. ¬†It was our first time trying it and it was AMAZING. ¬†Everything, their pickles and biscuits and fries, etc was super delicious. ¬†We even got lucky and sat outside and they accommodated the stroller next to us. ¬†I’m definitely keeping this place in mind for future dinners because it was kid-friendly and the food was great. ¬†That’s one of the things I love about the Upper West Side, how family friendly the neighborhood is.

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I look like I’m throwing Tatiana some shade here but I promise I’m not. I’m probably wondering what lipstick she’s wearing because I love her!

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Half of these pictures were courtesy of Tatiana.  I could have sworn I got more but I guess I was too busy having fun, haha. All in all, taking Petra out for a full day was a little scary to think about but everything turned out great. When we got home, we were exhausted and sleepy and happy.  It was honestly the best low-key way to spend my birthday and I loved every second with my little family and friends.  What a great way to start Year 28!

xo,

Karen

On Motherhood.

‚ÄúWhen my baby came out of me, I went into mourning. I mourned my selfishness, my old life, my cute body‚ÄĒbut I also mourned her. How perfectly safe and endless she was before I brought her into the world, maybe before she was even conceived. The hopes I had for her. The perfect life I had imagined. All of that was protected before. And now she was human. Exposed, vulnerable, and suffering.‚ÄĚ -Jemima Kirke writes in Time, October 2015

If there is one thing that no one told me about giving birth or becoming a mother, it was the complexity of emotions I would definitely feel.  This overwhelming feeling of love and need to protect this little baby that came into this world.  And more than that, the fear that I wouldn’t always be there to protect her and at some point in her lifetime, I would have to let go and watch her make her own decisions and become her own person without me standing in the way, despite my wishes for her.  It’s overwhelming to even think about.  For the most part, I try to take things one day at a time.

It’s bittersweet, stepping into this new role.  You say goodbye to your old life and your old freedom.  Some days I feel selfish for missing it. And some days I look at my daughter and realize that there are bigger things here than the ability to step out whenever I want to get a manicure.  Some days I remind myself that I’m raising my own little best friend.  Manicures and drinks can wait. 

Im not going to lie and say there haven’t been moments of loneliness. So, I’m thankful for the quote above and for women that can explain the process and emotion of becoming a mother better than I can. It helps to know that my I’m not alone in this journey.  It helps to know that maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up for feeling that way. And it helps to know that I’m so lucky to have this experience.  I couldn’t have put my feelings into words any better.

Xo,

Karen 

Breastfeeding Essentials


My journey with breastfeeding has definitely been interesting. ¬†Ever since Petra was born, I knew she would be breastfed. ¬†There are so many advantages, medically and financially. ¬†That isn’t to judge anyone that has done formula. ¬†I know that I got lucky in having Petra immediately latch and my supply grow steady. And while I haven’t had any lactation problems so far (except one mild case of mastitis), there isn’t a day that goes by where I question whether I’m producing enough breastmilk or wonder whether Petra is getting the adequate amount of nutrition to help her grow. ¬†She’s only at 8 weeks old but it has been a tough two months full of self doubt and a lot of work, from sore nipples to crazy pumping. ¬†I don’t know about you guys but I very stupidly assumed breastfeeding would be easy. ¬†Gosh, was I wrong but I did want to share the things that made it a little bit better.

1. Nipple Shields: I didn’t even know what this was until I was home from the hospital for 5 days and my nipples began to hurt from, well, Petra breastfeeding so much. ¬†ŇĀukasz is actually the one that brought it to my attention and I was rather impressed at his knowledge of such a thing. ¬†Anyways, a shield is a thin piece of plastic that you put on your boob to create a barrier. ¬†Some hate it because it eliminates the skin-to-skin contact. ¬†Others hate it because they say it might cause nipple confusion. ¬†For me and Petra it was a lifesaver. ¬†My boob-skin (what?) got a break and after a few weeks of wear, I actually didn’t need it anymore.

2. Breast Pump: Oh the breast pump. I began using mine about a month after Petra was home from the hospital. ¬†I love mine. ¬†It was actually gifted to me by a friend who is expecting herself. ¬†Sort of a test run to see how I like it, haha. Mine is electric although I have heard that manual pumps are amazing. ¬†I have personally never tried a manual pump but I have no complaints from mine. ¬†It gets the job done and it’s quick and it has two pumps attached so you can pump simultaneously. ¬†I’ve only done that once though, it makes me nervous when at least one hand isn’t free. ¬†Sort of negates the purpose right? Oh well.

3. Bamboobies: Boob pads! For those moments when you spring a leak the moment you hear a baby cry! No, but let’s get serious for a moment. ¬†How weird is that? I will literally be about to hop in the shower when I could swear I hear Petra cry and bam, my body responds almost immediately. ¬†It has settled down a bit now that my supply is established but these breast pads have been amazing. ¬†I first got them as a sample from a baby expo and I loved them so I bought a whole box. I considered buying the reusable ones but I just can’t deal with the thought of having to wash them all the time. But I’m sure they’re great too! I’m just the laziest.

4. Water: I’ve googled a million lists on nutrition for how to maintain your breast supply and to be honest, keeping hydrated is the only thing I found consistent in those lists. ¬†I now know there isn’t a magical food that’s going to make you produce more milk although women swear by oats, and fenugreek, and lactation cookies. ¬†Maybe they work but I’m tired of eating oats. ¬†Breastfeeding has made me incredibly thirsty though, but it makes sense: you make milk, you expel milk and while water won’t magically become milk, it helps to keep hydrated. Thus, my water bottle is literally always next to me.

5. Ziploc Bags: Lastly, these babies for storing milk. ¬†I haven’t been great at increasing my milk storage in the freezer but I am trying, slowly but surely. ¬†I remember wondering what I’m going to put the milk in and bottles are expensive and bags made for breastmilk are too. So one day while perusing the usual mom forums, I saw a mom say that she uses freezer ziplock bags. ¬†Just make sure you get the ones with a zipper. ¬†They’re inexpensive and they hold milk well. Bam, bought a box the next day and now I have a freezer fullllll of breastmilk. ¬†Well not full but, like I said, slowly getting there.

This all being said, once again, I’m not an expert. ¬†I’m just a first time mom trying to figure it out as I go along and what works for me might not work for others. ¬†Maybe a shield just isn’t for you or maybe you prefer a manual pump, that’s all cool too.

Xo,

Karen