Category Archives: Mom Stuff

reality check

beach baby

beach baby

My mother in law always says that the Mr. and I “roll easily” and its one of the compliments I am most proud of, especially as a new mom.  We love to explore uncharted territory on a whim and don’t let much get in the way of our spontaneous style.   Last weekend, we were fortunate to book a last minute getaway to Florida to visit  Mami Claudette in sunny Boca Raton.  We couldn’t wait to get out of the polar vortex here in NY and save our daughter from her indoors-only routine.

We pushed our sleeping princess’ stroller up to the first security check where the guard demanded to see the baby.   I pulled the sun shade up and jokingly referred to her as my phantom baby with real eyelashes.  The young TSA agent took a quick look at her and admitted, “You’d be surprised by what I see at this airport. People have brought fake babies filled with drugs through here, and sometimes women go through carrying a bundle of blankets with no baby inside.”

Queens, NY means business!

We approached the metal detector and I was instructed to wake up the baby and carry her through. Are you f’ing kidding me, I thought.  She woke up with a mild scowl and looked around in the harsh glare of the florescent lighting, getting a little excited to be in the center of all the action.

“Let him do all the work” the metal detector operator barked as he ushered us girls through while the Mr. struggled to place our over-sized stroller(so over it), car seat and assorted metal odds and ends onto the belt. Our boisterous little lady ruined our plans of getting a drink but we passed our time at the gate uneventfully and joined a few other families during pre-boarding when the fun began.

A middle aged lady approached our aisle, “Looks like I’m sitting with your family on this flight,” she said with a smirk.  I gave her a fake smile and tried to get comfortable with  25 lbs of pudge in my lap on Spirit’s tiny airplane seats. My poor baby was overtired and restless.  The constant loudspeaker announcements and bright light were quite disruptive and it was almost midnight. (Note to travel industry: ambient lighting) The crew promised to dim the cabin after “service” — which is what they call making you pay for a $3 coke on an airplane these days.  Our row mate yapped loudly about her Kindle reading list with her pal across the aisle and I wanted to slap her.  Finally after some unbearable screaming, the baby passed out on my chest. I tried to stay as still as possible which isn’t easy for a woman like me sans tailbone in a hard, unyielding airplane seat.

We finally landed at 1 am in a torrential rain storm and picked up our soaking wet car seat from the gate. I gently placed my sleeping baby inside feeling like a horrible mother and we maneuvered our tired selves to baggage claim.  Joe whose father works at my grandma’s building picked us up in his four door that reeked so badly of of stale cigarette smoke, I thought I would choke. My husband climbed into the front seat and proceeded to chat football to keep him from dozing off in the downpour. The car shook and I felt the water slushing on the highway beneath my feet while I held onto my precious cargo. “I’m doing all I can to keep the car moving straight in this lane” said our burnt out driver.

Thirty minutes later, we finally arrived and the baby woke up for what was the 4th time that evening, wailing. We hastily unpacked her travel crib and tried to place her inside.  She screamed, choked and for the first time ever, vomited milk all over us, the carpet and her pajamas. Mami Claudette, (my grandma) woke up, super disoriented  and excited to see us and insisted that all the baby needed was some warm water.  Our princess was really having a hard time settling down. My grandma was trying all her wonderful grandmotherly tricks but nothing  was working because it was 2:30am and the baby was distraught! Finally, the Mr. pulled out his stern, i-mean- business voice and asked my grandma to get back to bed.

The little miss sipped some of that warm water and crawled into bed next to me.  She was in quite the chatty mood and I started to feel like I was at a bad sleepover party with a friend who wouldn’t stop whispering about her crush. She chatted away and crawled over me, precipitously close to the narrow edge of the bed. After many of my sleepy attempts to wrangle her in, shush, sing, pacify and spoon her, she fell asleep.

We all woke up at 8am in a sunny, humid room. We had made it to our final destination safe and sound. Rolling easily sure is a lot more difficult as a mom, but I like to remind myself that a little schedule mishap is not the end of the world. The baby got lots of fresh ocean air and napped soundly in her crib all weekend with Mami C keeping a close eye while me and the Mr. lounged in the warm sand.

Mom Blog Roundup

Happy Fall! Its about time I reappear from the annals of new motherhood. What a long, strange and magical trip it has been so far!  One of the first things you learn as a new parent is that you are not in it alone. There are a tremendous number of witty, smart and stylish mamas who have taken to social media to share their experiences and talents.  Many are “mommy bloggers” who illustrate brief narratives about their day to day adventures with their children with beautiful photography. Others provide an emotional peek into the compelling challenges that accompany parenthood, infertility, and heavens forbid, sick children. Another growing category are  ‘momtrepreneurs,’ successful business owners slinging hip, homemade baby gear from their home studios and Etsy pages.

During my maternity leave, I spent many hours singlehandedly stalking blogger moms on social media while I fed my daughter with the other. While a part of me fantasizes about joining the ranks of mommy bloggers, I can’t get comfortable with the idea of plastering pictures of  my child or should I say “little” on the internet, and have yet to even post a photo of my daughter to Facebook (Instagram though, is fair game?!).  I wonder how successful blogger moms feel when readers recognize their children on the street and already know so much about them! How do their husbands feel about the intimate details of a marriage discussed in a public forum?  While creating a digital trust fund for your child seems like an extreme measure against over-sharing,  it takes a brave and, very ambitious mom to be so open and vulnerable with her family in order to grow readership and ultimately run a blog that can turn a profit.

All these questions aside, there is very strong community of mom bloggers and an audience so large that multinational corporations have begun to take a notice. In addition to generating revenue through advertisements, many mom bloggers are approached by huge brands (think: Tide, Home Depot) who sponsor quaint posts featuring their products in the context of authentic family life. Of course, this close knit community attracts the sponsorship of small, homemade brands and you can see fabulous friendships between women and creative partnerships being born on the regular.   In this endless debate of opting in, opting out, leaning in, wondering if women can have it all, or just being ok with “the medium chill” many of these bloggers who seem to effortlessly combine their careers and family life are a source of fascination to me.

To celebrate the return of Dumbodomestic,  I’m calling out just a few of my favorite mom blogs from around the web.  Check out their blogs and be sure to follow them on Instagram too!

Hippy Crunchy Moms:

The Road is Home – Nirrimi, a young and renowned Australian fashion photographer and herbivore will charm you with her spirited and dream like portrayals of her family and travels.

Dancey Pants Disco
Artist Michelle lives on an island with her sweet son Odin. The frequent appearance of galoshes, baby chickens and babywearing makes this the perfect read for a cozy fall Sunday.

Theres been some talk about Mormon housewife blogs because these ladies bring it!

Rockstar Diaries – The original IT girl of Morman bloggers (this intro wouldn’t be complete without her) Naomi Davis aka Taza is a Juliard trained dancer with a megawatt smile who explores New York with her ‘”littles,” Eleanor and Samson.  With her colorful style and a joie de vivre that is ever present, she makes navigating the city’s sidewalks with a double stroller look so easy!

HeyNatalieJean – With her recently revamped brand, Natalie Holbrook, the artist formally known as NattheFat has become the Steven Alan to Taza’s Anthropology.  Readers are devoted to little Huck’s impish smile and Natalie’s matter of fact and cheerful account of life in NYC.  This duo makes live in the big city seem positively whimsical.

One mom led to another on Instagram and I realized I’ve been following a pack of new girls in town! I’ve been admiring their honest perspective and penchant for sarcasm.

Lillies and Leon
Sweet and retro cool mami Nicole is gorgeous and her son Lucas has fly style!  With her new series besosdemiami she connects the Latina mom community.   Nicole’s photos have a light and airy feel to them and her joyous and appreciative take on life is refreshing.

StrollerNaps – Working mom Julie Garces’  style is very punk meets Brooklyn glamour. Musings on her sweet son Rio, bloody mary fueled weekend romps through iconic Brooklyn and succinct thoughts on the culture of motherhood portrayed through photos and interesting type make this blog a great read.

The C-Word – North Carolina transplant Christine and her daughter Marlo are a stylish, smart and free thinking duo with amazing pouty lips that are typically adorned in red (mom only).  Christine is a fabulous writer with a genuine voice and an eye for fashion, food and design.  I think she is moving to my zip code and I can’t wait to see whats in store for her family.

Don’t miss these moms who run some of the greatest conversations on the web!

Cup of Jo
Joanna is a powerhouse in women’s blogging.  Her website which includes content on style, design, food and, humor has a global readership made up of women in many different stages of life.   While raising her sons,  toddler Toby and new baby Anton,  this former magazine editor bridges well- styled photography with sweet and approachable content.  Joanna’s work  highlighting Motherhood around the World and Working Moms demonstrates that there is some real journalistic talent behind her pretty smile.

Motherlode – one of the most honest and informative looks into parenting today, the New York Times Magazine parenting blog features different contributors who foster critical discussions about gender, infertility, education, (scary) challenges confronting parents of children of all ages and family life.

And finally, some of my favorite design blogs written by moms:

Eye Swoon – Athena calderone, is a beautiful wife to jetsetting DJ Victor and mom to a skater, Jovi who lives in perhaps the most gorgeous apartment in my neighborhood. I have watched her blog blossom into a solid destination for beautiful photography, cooking and fashion – I would expect nothing less of such a talented interior designer and creative soul.

Little Green Notebook
Jenny is the queen of DIY with an incredible eye for textiles and a knowledge of design history. Her 3 blond girls will hopefully inherit her can do spirit and ability to execute on phenomenal home improvement  projects from the sprucing up the laundry room to laying wood floors by hand(insanity!!). With a recent move from brownstone Brooklyn to her hometown of Phoenix where she is the proud owner of a new house, a whole new chapter is unfolding, don’t miss out!

[I’ve had a really hard time finishing this post. Every time I go to hit the publish button, I’m reminded of another blog I’ve come to adore. Consider this an intro to the genre.  Please share your favorites in the comments! To be continued…)