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 💕)

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

Rockefeller 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.🙂

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.

“When my baby came out of me, I went into mourning. I mourned my selfishness, my old life, my cute body—but 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.” -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.  Łukasz 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

#MomLife

Let’s start this post by talking about sleeping habits, both mine and my daughters. Petra has gone to bed everyday for the past week at 9pm.  She has slept until about 3am, when she wakes to eat for about 20 minutes. She then goes back to sleep until she wakes up on her own, happy as a clam, in her own crib at around 7am.  I don’t know how we managed this but it has been amazing for me, to be able to get some decent sleep for the first time in 2 months.  I say “decent”, it could be better but I have no one to blame but myself.  I should sleep when the baby falls asleep and still, I am up until about midnight reading.  I never learn. Can you even believe I just spent a whole paragraph talking about sleep and sleep schedules?  This is it, guys.  This is the #momlife.

I’m fascinated by all things “baby”.  How she distracts herself, what is it that triggers her adorable smile, how many wet diapers she has in one day.  It’s all part of it, part of the glamorous life of being a new mom and having this little eleven pound nugget consume your thoughts and actions. Even after she’s fallen asleep, I can’t help but wonder what I could have done differently with our day and I really miss her when she sleeps.  It’s kind of a bummer because I know this time is so short and sweet and soon she’ll be at daycare and I’ll be working again and I’ll wish I was at home instead.

She’s such a good baby though.  How did we get so lucky?  She doesn’t cry BUT she has these little outburst to get your attention. Her voice is adorably squeaky and sometimes the only way to get her to take a nap when she’s fussy is to hold her tiny face against mine as we pace our apartment.

Petra is seven weeks old today.  Seven whole weeks! Where does the time go?  Can it really be true that she’s going to be 8 weeks old in just a matter of days?    The more time passes, the more cognizant she becomes and during playtime, my mind wanders and I think about what she’s going to be like in another whole month.  It’s so bittersweet to be so excited and yet so sad to think that time is fleeting.  Can I just hold her and she can stay this size forever?

xo,

Karen

 

First Father’s Day

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Of course I am one day late to this post because I am always late to everything but yesterday was Father’s Day.  I am so filled with love when I think about this being the first of many Father’s Day for Lukasz and our little family.  It was an interesting day, seeing as how our daughter is only about 6 weeks old but still capable of flashing us that adorable smile (especially when she’s about to poop.  Poops are hilarious).  So maybe “eventful” isn’t the word I can use to describe this particular Sunday.  Let’s also mix in the fact that Lukasz also had work all day.  It did give me a chance to think and really let certain things sink in, like the fact that we’re now parents.  Sometimes I watch Petra sleeping and think about how we have a daughter now.  It’s a scary thought but I take comfort in knowing that I have a solid partner by my side.  Lukasz, in the last 6 weeks, (and longer if you count the dog parent he was before) has been an amazing and caring father, always wanting to be involved in everything Petra does.  I am so excited when I think about the future and what’s to come and thankful for the person he is, always teaching me to be patient and to not worry about the small things, to constantly be looking at the bigger picture. Plus, he’s a babe😉

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And a happy Father’s Day to my own dad who I had a chance to talk to briefly yesterday and gave him a chance to see his granddaughter through FaceTime. The man who taught me how to rollerblade and ride a bike and everything in between, thank you for everything. I love you so much.

How lucky I am to have these two great men in my life.  How lucky Petra is to have the same.  I hope everyone had an amazing Father’s Day.

xo

Karen.

Weekly Findings


Ah yes, the end of the week! After I posted my last blog post, I feel like the day sort of went downhill.  Petra decided not to nap for the rest of the day, I had some package problems, and lastly, I got sick.  I’m not a doctor, obviously, but after a quick internet search, I think I might have Mastitis. I really need to drop the habit of googling symptoms and actually go to the doctor but I’m ok for now. I’ve also been debating taking Petra on the subway so we can take a walk around Manhattan and maybe go to Central Park so I think those might be my weekend plans.  In the meantime, he’s some fun internet reads:

1. Winnie: I’ve actually quit Facebook this week and have been spending more time reading articles on Twitter.  From TechCrunch, I came across this new app called Winnie.  Aimed at parents that like to spend time exploring with little ones, the app shows you kid friendly attractions nearby like parks and kid-friendly restaurants.  It even offers details like whether the restaurant is stroller friendly or can accommodate high chairs.  I love it!

2. Social Media Etiquette for the Newly Engaged: Obviously when Łukasz and I got engaged, one of the things I did was follow a few wedding blogs on social media to gather inspiration.  Style Me Pretty posted this article about social media etiquette do’s and don’ts.  I’ve always been a big fan of etiquette, I’ve even read Emily Post books for fun but in this day and age, it’s definitely a little confusing how etiquette plays into our social media lives. This list is definitely perfect. 

3. #EverestNoFilter: This, THIS is probably one of my favorite things that happened this week. Two climbers decided to snap chat their way to the top of Everest.  What a feat!  If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be on top of the world, definitely give this a watch.  I’ve literally watched this like 3 times so far. 

4. Can Tylenol Help Heal a Broken Heart?: The latest essay of Modern Love just really intrigued me but, really, they all do.  If you haven’t checked out the New York Times column, you definitely should.  They also started a podcast at the end of last year where a celebrity reads a modern love essay followed by a 15 minute discussion with the author.  It’s so good and they’re all so heartfelt.

5. Northside Festival: If you guys are in the North Williamsburg area, check out the Northside Festival happening this weekend.  It officially started last night but the festivities are ongoing.  Last year, they even closed down Bedford Ave.

Xo,

Karen

*Picture source: Tumblr