Category Archives: Take a Moment

Juggling My New Schedule

Tomorrow is my third full week of school and so far, Becca and I seemed to have adjusted to our new schedule pretty well.  To be honest, I have been so busy I haven’t really had a chance to really take too many moments to reflect.  Instead, it feels as if I have been moving from one activity to another which makes each day long but makes the weeks fly past.  Tuesday night is my Meet-the-Teacher night so I am hopeful that I will feel a little better once I have finally met all of the parents.  Maybe things will settle into a routine once I pass that particular hurdle, hopefully without tripping 🙂

Hanging in there,

Mary Kate



Filed under Take a Moment

Becca’s 2nd Birthday Party

I can’t believe that my baby is two years old!!!! The last two weeks has been a whirlwind of prepping for Becca’s partying, prepping for my new classroom, having Becca’s party, cleaning up from Becca’ s party, prepping some more for my new classroom and starting school.

I had been dreading Becca’s birthday party because last year’s party was a bit of a disaster. There was a mix-up on the invitations so people showed up at 2 p.m. when I expected it to start at 3 p.m. I definitely was not prepared!!! To add to the situation, we hosted the party outside on the hottest day of the year. I ended up with heat exhaustion and spent an hour or so inside trying to cool down. Omar spent two hours running around looking for his friend who was supposed to run the grill at the barbecue. He spent another hour or so buying ice and then another one trying to set up the music. So it was very chaotic to say the least.

So when her birthday approached this year, I resolved that this year’s party would not be as chaotic. For one thing, we did less cooking on the actual day (hot dogs and hamburgers). Most of the other food was cooked a few days before (lasagna, chicken, a few varieties of pasta salad, potato salad, refried beans, tinga, etc.). This way when guests were arriving, we didn’t have to worry about preparing anything. Instead, it was just a matter of heating a few things up and taking things outside. This way I could enjoy the party more.

It ended up being a great party!!! The weather was fantastic and it felt so nice to see everyone. I loved watching Becca interacting with her cousins. There were a couple of times that she was doubled over with laughter. Seeing that made all of our hard work worth it.

When we planned Becca’s birthday party on her actual birthday, I thought it would be cool but ended up being disappointed. In the morning, I found that we were so overwhelmed with the party preparations that Becca ended up watching a lot of TV to pass the time. During the party, Becca was busy playing with her cousins while Omar and I were busy entertaining everyone and dealing with the food. So we didn’t get to spend a lot of quality time together.

Last year, the party was on a Saturday and Becca’s actual birthday was the following Thursday. This meant that we enjoyed Becca’s birthday with friends and family members but we had a more low-key day as well. It just felt extra special. So next year, we will definitely be scheduling Becca’s birthday party BEFORE her actual birthday. I am already looking forward to it!

By the way, did you know that the 3rd birthday is an important birthday in the Mexican culture? So according to Omar we will be having a real blow-out next year. Maybe I should start planning it now…
Feliz compleaños, Becca!

Mary Kate

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Filed under developmental milestones, Take a Moment, Toddler

Falling Down the Stairs

Twice this past week, Becca had falls that resulted in her being examined by a doctor. Each time, I was within 10 feet of her and couldn’t do anything but watch her fall. It’s funny because at the beginning of last week, I was worried that I was being a little too overprotective of Becca. By the end of the week, I was wondering if I could have her permanently encased in bubble wrap.  The good news is that she doesn’t seem to have any lasting damage.

On Wednesday afternoon, Becca was chasing Keema (our cat) around the house and had followed him up to the second floor. When I realized that she was up there, I immediately went to the bottom of the stairs to call her back down. I even went as far as to go up the stairs after her but fell short of scooping her up and bringing her back down (which I now regret). Instead, I focused on enticing Keema back downstairs because I knew that Becca would follow.

As Becca was following Keema, she slipped and tumbled down the rest of the way (about 8 to 10 stairs). Fortunately, she started crying right away and didn’t show any signs of injury. In fact, she calmed down pretty quickly and was interested in playing. A little while later, I noticed that she seemed to be favoring her right leg and avoided putting any weight on it. I called her pediatrician’s office and the nurse suggested I bring her in.

When we got to the pediatrician’s office, Becca continued to favor her leg but also insisted on playing with the toys in the waiting room. When the Doctor called us in, she examined Becca and found that everything was “intact” and there wasn’t any noticeable breakage. She then had Becca walk around the office a little and agreed that Becca was indeed favoring her right leg. The Doctor examined her legs one more time and determined, once again, that her bones seemed fine. However, she suggested that I give Becca Motrin for the pain and if she continued limping in the morning then I should take her in for an x-ray. The doctor felt that Becca probably had some swelling and soreness from the fall but that she would be fine.

Fortunately, Becca slept well that night and didn’t seem to be in any pain. By the next morning, Becca was back to her normal self and didn’t require the x-ray. I was grateful that Becca wasn’t going to suffer any lasting effects and used it as a reminder to be more vigilant with her on the stairs.  I was also grateful that I wasn’t issued a mother license because I definitely wouldn’t have received a fine this week.

Mary Kate

P.S.  I will describe the next incident in another post.  This one has gotten quite long.


Filed under Take a Moment, Toddler, Walk of Shame


Since I’ve been so tired there has been a lot that has happened in the last few months that I have neglected to blog about. So I’m going to try to catch up a little. One big thing that happened is that I weaned John Patrick.

Since every baby and every mom are different, Mary Kate thought it would be a good idea to share my experience in case it helps anyone else out there in the blogosphere. Great idea!

A little background: Since John Patrick was a preemie, he was introduced to the bottle before the breast. It took him two months to get the hang of breastfeeding – remember that? So I did a lot of pumping at first. But once he finally clicked with breastfeeding, it was all downhill – for awhile.

Introducing formula: At three months I decided to slowly introduce formula. I knew that I would be going back to work in another four weeks and I wanted him to get used to eating formula with me, in case he had any kind of bad reaction to it. I knew that he would probably have to take some formula at his nursery. He clicked with it really easily. It almost seemed as if he didn’t even notice a difference. (I decided not to take that personally.)

Going back to work: Now I should preface this by saying that going back to work was EXTREMELY difficult for me. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to leave him (although that was a part of it). But it was mostly because my boss decided to punish me for a couple of months for having a baby and my work environment was unbearably stressful. This was the point in the last 8 months that I almost had a nervous breakdown. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, in any part of my life. It was really horrible.

Through all this stress my milk supply consistently decreased everyday. No matter what I did (pumped more, drank special teas, breastfed more at home) it didn’t matter. First I went down to 50% breast milk and 50% formula at his nursery. Then it went down to only one bottle a day. I felt guilty because at this point John Patrick was only 5 months old. I had it in my mind that I would definitely breastfeed for a full 6 months.

Then I finally realized that the stress of breastfeeding was also making me crazy. I was literally trying to be EVERYTHING to EVERYBODY (nurturer / nourisher to my son, the model employee for my boss, organizer / household manager for my husband). I finally just snapped. And I realized that I just couldn’t do it all.

Just letting go: Once I decided that it was ok for John Patrick to take formula and that I had done the best I could (I did last 5 months with a preemie who originally had no intention of ever breastfeeding), things just happened naturally. My body produced less and less everyday. John Patrick became less and less interested in breastfeeding. Till finally the only nursing I was doing was before bedtime. I don’t even remember the last time I nursed him but at some point he stopped wanting to be nursed then too. And my body stopped producing about the same time.

For me, I didn’t have hormonal issues or engorgement. My issues were more psychological. But as I soon as I stopped putting so much pressure on myself, it just happened naturally. And he’s a big chunky healthy boy so I’m over feeling “guilty”.

Everyone experiences something different when weaning (if you decided to breastfeed). I guess my only advice is don’t be your own worst enemy. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen.

Good Luck!



Filed under Baby, Breastfeeding, Daycare, Mom Issue, Take a Moment, Work

Lost in the Wilderness

Omar, Becca and I just spent the last week or so in Maine. We spent some time visiting relatives (my aunt and uncle, my parents, my brother and my sister and their families), attending my high school reunion and hanging out in a cabin in the woods. We arrived home today and have begun the slow process of unpacking the car.

Before we left for our trip, I had grand visions of pre-writing blog posts and timing them to post on the appropriate days, having really cool guest bloggers or at least posting an announcement that I would be gone for awhile. Instead, I became so overwhelmed with preparing for the trip that none of that happened. When it was getting down to the wire,I had to start cutting out some of my to-do list and figured that it was more important for me to pack for the trip and figure out what to do with the cats than pre-write blog posts. Besides, I assumed I would have some time to at least create one or two short posts throughout the week. I always have such optimistic plans!

It ends up that anytime I had internet access I didn’t have a second to spare to get on the internet or the wireless connection was so secure that it was impossible to gain access or my mom had misplaced her password. When we arrived at the cabin in the woods and had some time on my hands, I discovered that I could barely get a cell phone signal and didn’t have a prayer of getting an internet connection. Boy, was that a culture shock!! Once I got over my disbelief that I would have very little contact with the outside world, I ended up embracing life in the wilderness and spent the week canoing, fishing, and whale watching.

Next time I plan on taking a weeks hiatus, I promise I will have a better plan. Really, I will!

In any case, it feels great to be back!

Mary Kate

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Filed under Take a Moment

S-L-O-W-L-Y Weaning

When I look back on my first few hours of breastfeeding, it is hard to believe that I have been breastfeeding for 22 months and counting. I remember in the early days I was taken it one day at a time and before I knew it, I had been breastfeeding for 3 weeks, then 3 months, then 6 months. All of a sudden I was approaching a year and found myself beginning to think about weaning.

The thought of weaning felt really overwhelming. I had grown accustomed to my “secret weapon” of nursing. Becca having trouble sleeping? Whip out a boob! Not sure that Becca had enough to eat tonight? Whip out the boob? Becca fell and skinned her knee? Whip out the boob? Becca just feeling cranky and annoyed? Whip out the boob!

I hadn’t realized how much I had grown to rely on nursing until I began to think about not having it anymore. How the heck was I going to deal with all of the situations above without nursing? It was the ultimate panacea and I didn’t have any reliable back-ups.

Since Becca’s 1st birthday, we have been s-l-o-w-l-y working on weaning. A month after her birthday, she went 24 hours without nursing. I thought for sure that it was just a matter of days before Becca would be finished nursing. I felt conflicted at the thought but also excited about truly getting my body back. Instead, it was as if Becca had her own freak-out about losing her panacea and increased her nursing significantly.

For the past 10 months, Becca has continued to decrease and increase her nursing. During this time, she has gone as long as 72 hours without nursing. Just when I am getting ready to pack in my nursing bras, Becca will begin to nurse again. Apparently, she is as conflicted as I am.

Mary Kate


Filed under Breastfeeding, Take a Moment, Toddler

It has arrived…… the first tooth!

Since John Patrick started solids almost a month ago, I’ve been so focused on his eating that it was his daycare teacher who first noticed that he had cut a tooth. To make a long story short, here are all the symptoms I thought were caused by “carrots” but were indeed symptoms of teething: (don’t ask me why I thought it was carrots)

  • diarrhea
  • lots and lots and lots of pooping
  • fussiness
  • getting up multiple times in the night
  • diaper rash

Reason #56 why daycare has been a positive for my family. They actually know what they are doing!



Filed under Baby, Daycare, developmental milestones, Take a Moment, Teething