Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the mother’s out there.  I’m lucky enough to have my mother in town this year.  Petra’s birthday and Mother’s Day are just days apart so that’s just how the cookie crumbled!  We’ll probably be going out to brunch but the weather isn’t being very nice this year which is a bummer.  Anyways, I wanted to thank my mom and all the mother’s out there for all that you do.  It wasn’t until I became a mother myself that I realized it’s a job that comes with many sacrifices but is also incredibly fulfilling to create a little human being and send them out into the world.  I can only hope that I can continue to be a strong woman and be a role model to my little lady and I hope to continue to surround myself with strong women so I am never without inspiration.

Xo,

Karen

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Weekly Findings


1. Vans Toddler Mono Canvas Old Skool V:  I’m just a tiny bit obsessed with the color “Millenial Pink” which is the most ridiculous name so maybe I’ll just call it baby pink?  Speaking of baby, I just ordered these for Petra.  I’m obsessed.  I’m literally about to order a pair for myself.  Have to take advantage of her being too little to complain about matching Mommy and Me outfits! (Which is what my wishlist is mostly made of.)

2. Invisible Shield Sunscreen coming soon!: The cat’s out of the bag, guys!  Glossier has made their very own sunscreen and it’s going to be launching SOON.  I, for one, am super excited to try it considering these guys are all about skincare and bare-faced beauty.  I even heard the sunscreen is a serum consistency made to sink right into your skin so no more white streaks!  Don’t forget that I’m a rep for the brand so if you’re looking to grab some before it inevitably sells out, bookmark my rep page.  (You also get 20% off your first order!)

3. The best beauty tips from Mom: If you’re going to get makeup advice from anyone, get it from the moms.  They’re the ones that are going to know the short cuts and tips and tricks on how to look presentable with little time on your hands or with a little one tugging at the arms.  Personally, my favorite time of the day is putting on makeup in front of my mirror while Petra sits next to me, happily playing with my little makeup tubes.

4. Wow in the World:  Podcasts are pretty big right now and everyone has their own preference.  I personally love interviews and short stories while my friend, Tatiana, loves murder mysteries.  Now NPR is releasing a podcast made just for kids that covers topics like science and technology.  Petra is too young for it at the moment (it’s geared for kids ages 5-12) but I’m pretty excited to have a listen because why not?  It’s like Bill Nye the Science Guy for your ears.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Karen

Happy birthday, sweet baby girl


Dear Petra,

You are one year old today. One whole year. You have truly been the one to teach me that so much can happen in a year. I’ve watched you go from a tiny little bundle of joy to a crazy little one year old. You have so much life in you, it’s sometimes scary but I know I’m lucky. I know I got something pretty amazing when I had you. It has been a year of growing for both of us. You learned to eat, sometimes with your hands, play with toys, wave hi and bye, nod your head yes and no, take a big girl bath, play with toys, grow teeth, chew with those teeth, roll over, sit up on your own, stand and balance on your own, play nicely with the dog, up until last week when you took your first EXCITING steps. And I learned how to have patience.  I’ll be honest when I say that it wasn’t easy.  This has truly been the hardest year of my life but you have also made it the happiest.  You were worth every second of crying and trying to figure you out.  You were worth every sacrifice I could have made.  You were worth the sleepless nights and long days.  You taught me how to be an adult and you forced me to grow up.  And even now, as you become more interactive every day and learn so much more, you’re reminding that life is still fun and it’s not worth being serious all the time.


We’re both still figuring it out.  Like how I’m trying to figure out how to teach you to not bite me without raising my voice and you’re still getting a hang of the walking thing but that’s what has me so excited right now.  That this is only year one and we have so much ahead of us and there’s so much we need to do together!  But I’m going to need time to slow down because I haven’t stopped crying thinking about how fast time is going now and I need you to be my little girl forever.  And I’m going to need you to need me and even when you don’t, maybe you can pretend to or something.  Because this is who you’re always going to be to me, and even someday when you’re 28, I’ll look at you and still remember the moment you were born and I held you in my arms and I thought about the person you would someday grow up to be.  And I looked at your confused little newborn face and I felt like my heart was going to explode with all the love I had for such a new little human being.


Lately I’ve been thinking about the beginning, about when I met your dad and we made plans for our life together and we talked about having a baby.  It’s funny to think back in those moments now because I feel like you were always there waiting for us and waiting to be a part of our life.  There was nothing before.  First your father and I had each other and then we had you and then we had everything.  Happy birthday, my beautiful little girl. I love you, I love you, I love you. 

Xo,

Karen

Glossier

It’s not surprise that I’ve always been a fan of Glossier. They make things super simple and easy when it comes to skin care and makeup which is such a necessity when you’re a mom. To me, less has always been more.  Skin first, makeup second!

I usually start my mornings by using Milky Jelly Cleanser.  It makes my skin feel so smooth and hydrated and clean even if I went to bed with a face full of makeup. Then I use Priming Moisturizer which leaves my skin feeling babysoft. I like to think of this winter as the winter I discovered moisturizer and how essential it is to keeping your skin healthy.  My make up is super simple with some Nars Blush in Orgasm, Burts Bees BB Cream (whatever has spf in it) and making sure my brows are brushed up and out.

Glossier recently reached out to me to become a rep for their products and I’m so excited to be joining their community.  Feel free to check out my page and shop around! You get 20% off your first order and free shipping on anything over $30.  If you have any questions, let me know. As a rep, I’m more than happy to answer anything and give recommendations. This is such an awesome next step and I’m so excited to be a part of the growing beauty community at Glossier! Happy shopping!

Xo,

Karen

Birthday Planning

Petras birthday is a little over a month away and I’m really trying to finalize some plans that I want to get together for her first birthday! It’s sort of tricky because on the one hand, Petra won’t remember this so it seems like it’ll be mostly a party for the adults. On the other hand, you only turn ONE year old once so we’re pretty excited (and, like, a little sad) at how fast our baby girl is growing up. 

I’m really teetering between just having pizza and drinks at the park next to some swings or maybe like doing a really nice dinner someplace fun and kid friendly.  I’ve even considered brunch because it’s my favorite meal and when it comes to kid foods, there’s nothing more kid friendly than breakfast foods. Plus it’s in the afternoon so we’ll be done by the evening. But I don’t know! It’s all up in the air right now. 

One thing I do have my heart set on, though, is getting her a cake from Milk Bar. Their birthday cake is amazing. Lukasz got me one for my birthday a few years back and I’ve been dreaming of having an excuse to get another one for a while. Because I guess I can’t eat a whole one by myself…  oh well! Any other birthday ideas?

Xo,

Karen

Running


So… I’ve decided to run a half marathon. This decision actually happened at the beginning of February when my coworkers were up for a good fitness challenge. On a whim, I signed up hoping this decision would force me into actually working out and eating healthy.  It didn’t and now I’m about a month away from this race and it’s crunch time.

I’m not actually worried because I’ve always been something of a runner.  I ran before I moved to New York. I ran after I moved because I had nothing to do and no one to hang out with. And before Petra was born, I had been signed up to do a charity run for cancer until I found out I was pregnant. But it’s been longer than a year since I put a good effort into this hobby of mine and my schedule has been so crazy that I didn’t even feel like I had time for to run. 

Well, I just joined a gym and this gym has childcare so my excuses (weather and having a baby) have been whittled down to zero and I’m on my first week of actually running consistently and it feels really great.  It’s something I’ve definitely missed.  Running made me feel really good about myself and I had forgotten that feeling until now.

With about a month to go, I’m really focused on running and breathing for a long period of time.  Since I haven’t had much working out for over a year, I’m not too concerned with time or trying to set some kind of PR… I just want to do a half marathon because I know I can do this. I’m gonna be posting more about this on my instagram account if you want to see. Im pretty nervous… but so excited!

On growing up

I feel like I’ve been wanting to write a post about this for a while but it has taken me time to really form my thoughts on this subject.  I recently watched an episode of Girls where Hannah has to deal with the decision about having a baby or not and she happens to meet a version of herself on a stoop.  This version of Hannah is an actress and has two babies and she gives Hannah some unexpected advice “Kids are super easy.  It’s being an adult that’s hard”.  While I hate to be that person that comes to some sort of realization while watching a dumb show, this dumb quote really resonated with me.  Being an adult is hard.

I’m not going to get super specific about how I came to be pregnant and whether it was planned or not but, I will say that Lukasz and I were two semi-adults when everything happened.  And even the most prepared person will be caught off guard when that pregnancy test comes up positive.  Up until that point, my free time was spent lounging around, wasting money on crap and alcohol and probably watching TV during my free time.  Free time… remember that?  It’s really funny how having to raise a baby really, sort of, throws you into just being an adult and making adult decisions… or “Adulting” as the kids are calling it these days.  Now I have to think about how I spend money a little bit more and having a baby girl really affects every decision I make, right down to my eating habits.  How can I expect my daughter to eat healthy when I’m eating burgers all the time?  Lukasz and I have been thinking lately about how to advance in our careers and making a five year plan about what property to buy in the future, something with an extra bedroom in case we have another baby and a yard for our dog.

While it all seems pretty understandable, it’s just all so new to me. Also!  Kids are not easy.  But I’m going to really blame Petra on this one.  I’ve met other 10 month old babies and Petra has a crazy amount of energy that it’s hard to keep up with her sometimes.  But ok, all of that aside, I remember when Lukasz and I were thinking about getting a dog and we really wanted to wait for the right time because a dog was a “big responsibility” and we had to walk it twice a day and feed it.  In hindsight, I laugh at us back then and how silly we were.  Now if someone tells me “I can’t get a dog, I just don’t have the time for it.”  I roll my eyes and shake my head and juts walk away before this rage boils up inside of me and manifests itself in word vomit.  A dog is a piece of cake and babies are hard.  BUT they’re worth it.  My daughter is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life and even if I’m exhausted every single day, I go to sleep grateful and happy to be her mother.  And I’d do it all again a million times over.

xo,

Karen

Seven Months

Yesterday, our baby girl turned seven months! 

Petra has been army crawling up a storm around the apartment.  Not only is she crawling but she’s comfortably sitting up on her own and on some occasions, we’ll find that she’s pulled herself up to standing position on the crib, near her toys, by our shoes, etc.  It’s hard to leave this little adventurous lady alone!  

Petra hasn’t cut any teeth yet but that hasn’t stopped her from exploring all kinds of food.  After her last doctor’s visit at 6 months, we got the ok to feed her a little bit of everything with the exception of honey, of course.  I’ve been pureeing some simple goodies for her such as sweet potato and peas and we also do a little bit of baby led weaning by plopping down some apples and bananas and letting her explore texture and taste on her own with close supervision. 

While Petra doesn’t have any teeth just yet, she’s definitely been teething, sticking anything and everything in her mouth.  She’ll even bite down hard on my fingers to get some relief.  We’ve found that making tiny posicles using the Nuby popsicle molds has really helped.  These are perfect for little hands to grip and I think Petra finds the cooling taste soothing for sore gums. I’ve only used them a few times but my go-to recipe has been blending strawberries with some frozen breastmilk.  We’ve also been trying to have teething toys around at all times, such as her Sophie Le Giraffe.  I can see why the toy is so popular now! Sometimes all it takes is to be sitting in her stroller, chewing her giraffe and she’s happy as a clam.

Petra loves being outdoors.  I knew it would be hard to get out during the winter so we got her a Bugaboo High Performance Footmuff which seems to really do the trick in keeping her warm.  During these cold months, it has been a struggle to get her clothed and bundled up and ready to go outside but once we’re in the stroller, she’s happy to be in the fresh air walking her trusty sidekick, Pierrot.  They’ve definitely become closer friends these last few months.  She’s constantly crawling to him and he’s constantly licking her hands, which I’m not ok with (hello germs) so I’m also pulling them apart. But there are times when all she wants to do is pet him and, he’s not really into the hair pulling thing (because what dog is?) but he lets her and I love him for his patience.

She’s definitely into routine and around 8:30 every night, after a bath and sometimes a book, she drinks her bottle and goes to bed.  And even on the nights where she might not be ready just yet, she spends five minutes in her crib and slowly puts herself to sleep. She’s such a good baby girl.  I don’t know how we got so lucky with our little Petra.

It’s been pretty amazing to watch these milestones go by! Petra is definitely at such a fun age right now.  I think back often to the month after she was born and how hard things used to be and constantly remembering that it will get easier and it definitely has gotten so much easier.  What a journey so far! It really truly is only the beginning.  I love this sweet girl so much.  I feel really so so lucky to be her mama. 

Xo,

Karen

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

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