Monday, April 27, 2015

The Rocco Report: Week 20


Greetings squeezers! It's the start of a new week, and for me, that means I'm officially at the halfway point of my pregnancy (release confetti here)! In another 20 weeks, I'll finally get to meet Rocco. It's surreal just how quickly the time has flown. Didn't I just pee on that stick a few weeks ago?! 

I'm posting this a little late only because I had doctor's appointment yesterday and I wanted to include a report of my visit. The last couple of days have been slightly stressful because I hadn't been feeling Rocco as consistently as I would have liked, so of course I started to internally freak out. My doctor said not to worry and I'm probably not paying attention to the movements as much because I'm preoccupied taking care of another kid. Plus, to not forget that that babies sleep, which honestly, I forget all the time. We listened to his heartbeat, and of course, we were hearing all these 'swish, swish' sounds coming from my belly. He's not even born, and already he's giving his mother agita! Marone! Ironically enough, he didn't stop moving all afternoon and night!

I got on the scale, expecting to see an extra few pounds, and I was surprised to learn that I didn't gain a single pound in the last month. Now, I'm not bragging here. I was actually concerned so I asked Dr. Bonilla if this was normal. She assured me it was. It means my body is leveling off and the baby is weighing and measuring exactly how he's supposed to, so it's not something I should worry about. She did suggest I eat more protein so I wouldn't lose muscle mass. I assured her I wasn't carrying that much muscle to begin with. 

This past week I also finished my registry at Buy Buy Baby and Myregistry.com and I'm happy to report that after having Maya, navigating Buy Buy Baby was cake. I'll never forget the first time Coco and I walked into Buy Buy Baby on 6th Avenue to register for Maya. We looked at each other, completely overwhelmed by the aisles and aisles of stroller toys, onesies, strollers, and we both mouthed, "WTF is all this?!" Five hours of scanning later, our heads were still spinning. But this time around, I walked around that store with bulletproof confidence and knocked it all out in less than an hour. I'm in the Buy Buy Baby big leagues now! 

As far as Rocco's registry goes, it's not extensive since a lot of the things I already had for Maya were gender neutral. I purposely did that so I could use them when I had a second (registering for gender neutral items is a great way to save money for the next one), so I focused on restocking older items like diaper genie refills, sleep sacks, and pacifiers. I also added a few boy onesies, an extra seat for my Uppababy stroller, and a new diaper bag. It's a very practical registry. In the next coming weeks, I'll be sharing a list of my registry must-haves with all you, squeezers! It's my way of paying it forward. And here's a tip. Never register for blankets. For some odd reason, people love giving you blankets as gifts. I don't really understand the blanket obsession since you really don't need any more than 2-3 blankets, especially in Miami. Your baby will overheat. 

On a fun note, I got to partake in a Mother's Day segment at the Ritz Carlton Spa for Channel 7 news (airs May 7th at 10pm). Taking care of yourself during pregnancy should involve the occasional pre-natal massage. It should be mandatory for every momma-to-be to get pampered, spoiled, and soothed during these nine months. Plus, it works wonders for back pain! I'm very big on treating myself, so this was an awesome perk that I will definitely be repeating in my third trimester. 

Before we wrap up, let's talk 'life after baby.' There seems to be this silly and annoying misconception that some parents have irresponsibly fueled, that leads new parents or even non-parents to believe that once you have a baby your life is OVER. FINITO. Hearing something like this, will frighten anyone, especially new parents. It may cause some people to not even want or have kids. Would you blame them if this is something that someone tried to constantly drill in your head? I remember when I was pregnant with Maya, and Coco and I started sharing our happy news. We had a few Debbie Downers give us the whole 'you better enjoy all that traveling now, because you can't do that when you have a baby.' Or my other favorite, 'once you have kids, your life is over.' Um, okay, you're all depressing and that's a shitty way to look at life with kids. Coco and I pride ourselves in having a healthy social life. We love to travel, we love going out to eat, we love hosting dinner parties, being with our family and friends, and exploring new things to do in our city. We loved doing these things before we had kids and guess what? We still love to do these things now with our kid. I feel sorry for anyone that truly thinks that 'life is over' the moment you bring kids into this world. Yes, it changes and it becomes a little more chaotic and you need to plan a whole lot more and have an army of babysitters at your disposal, but your life is definitely not over. And it doesn't mean you can't continue to travel or go to dinner or plan a night out with your significant other or with your friends (what I don't recommend though, is drinking way too much. Babies don't care about your hangovers). Babies aren't boulders. They're mobile. You can take them places. You can do things with them. And they may actually make adventures a little more fun. The key is to have a sense of humor. To leave your pride at the airplane door. You can't care what other people think of you or your potentially crying baby. Keep your head up. Have a glass of wine. And pack a lot of toys. 

Maya's been traveling since she was two months old. She's gone with us on a 10-day trip to Sicily and survived jet lags and connecting flights. She's been to more museums and dinner parties than most kids (and adults) I know. When she was four days old, we were already having tacos in the outdoor patio of our neighborhood taqueria. My life wasn't going to stop because I had a kid. I was going to cherish and enjoy the change. The point is, babies are born into your world, not the other way around. Your life doesn't have to be over unless you want it to be. Yes, it will require a ton more work and effort, but it's doable. Take advantage of it when they're infants. They're so easy to transport and you can take them anywhere! The stroller or that Baby Bjorn will be your best friend. And the biggest plus of all, imagine all the memories and experiences you get to give them in return- showing them the world, meeting different people, enjoying experiences and wonder through their eyes. Kids will remember these things as they grow, and they'll remember that one sliver of memory- whether its building a sand castle at your favorite beach, eating gelato at a piazza, watching the electric parade at Disney, riding a train for the first time- creating and cultivating these lifelong memories are priceless. 

I'm taking my bump to my sister-in-law's bachelorette party this weekend and I'm so excited for some family time and virgin pina coladas by the pool! I'll be back next week with another update and hopefully some eerie looking 3D pics of Rocco's anatomy sonogram part deux! 

Bumpin' love, 

Rocco's mom. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Miami Style Map: Bringing the Desert to Tropical Miami



Hello Squeezers! So excited to share my latest outfit post with you all. This look is one of my favorite looks to date. 

This is probably one of the most unexpected landscapes you'll find in usually lush and green Miami. It was happenstance when Lizzie from Ra-Haus (www.ra-haus.com) and I stumbled upon this desert-like backdrop in the middle of Coral Gables. It was like someone just dropped this set right in our path because they knew that it would be perfection when photographing this vibrant purple, marigold, and brick colored dress from H&M. 



My fashionable BFF since 2000, Javy, bought me this dress for my birthday on a recent work trip to Milan. The dress is not a maternity dress, but the cut and style of the dress makes it a perfect addition to my wardrobe for the next six months and beyond. It's a cool mix of 60's mod-meets- 70's eclectic. I love the richness of the color combination, especially the purple. This purple tone is more suited for spring and summer because it's bright and it pops against the other deeper shades. 

I don't think I have to tell you the best part about this dress- POCKETS! Sweet Jesus, I love pockets! Practical, comfortable, and chic. Who said pockets are limited to just shorts and pants?! It's a small menswear nod in even the most feminine of pieces. Ladies love pockets! 



I paired this look with my nude Steve Madden sandals from T.J Maxx. They are slowly becoming my go-to heel for spring and summer because you can pair them with just about any outfit. They are classic and a neutral staple every fashionista should have in her closet. 

Another perk about this dress is how easily you can take dress it up or dress it down. If you've noticed in previous posts, outfit versatility is huge for me. My day to day consists of wearing lots of boots and loafers do it's important for me to be able to have options when I purchase an item. A rule of thumb when shopping is to ask yourself, "How can I style this top/dress/skirt?" If I can think of more than three ways to wear it, then it's a winner. If it's something that's going to sit in my closet after one wear, I don't consider that a smart buy. 

A dress like this has endless styling opportunities, particularly when I can wear it while I'm pregnant and after I give birth! 


I'm seriously obsessed with my blunt bang weave I scored at the beauty supply store last year. I gave them a trim myself to make them a little more blunt and a tad bit shorter. Having a zero commitment bang option like this only reassures my decision to not commit to permanently getting them in this Miami weather. They would be a sweaty and frizzy faux-pas and I would regret every second of it. These on the other hand, are a dream. As soon as the day is done and they've done their work, I simply clip them off and put them in their box until my mood calls for them! Add a top knot to your look, and you've got yourself a great undo in five seconds flat! 

On Me:

Dress- H&M
Sunnies- Nolita Boutique
Shoes- Steve Madden via T.J Maxx
Clip-on Bangs- GBS Store 

In Style, 

Kat

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Rocco Report: Week 19


Hello Squeezers! We are 19 weeks and counting and almost at the halfway point. The belly keeps growing and I'm starting to waddle just the teensiest bit! Getting up from bed with this extra weight is becoming quite the task, and why I think my three year old can successfully pull me up when I ask her, is beyond me. It does make her feel like she has Superwoman strength and I don't have the heart to tell her I'm still doing all the work. Besides, hearing her grunt like she's moving a pile of bricks is pretty funny. 

I'm starting to feel Rocco move inside my belly! No hard kicks as of yet, but there's definitely flutters and some gurgling going on all up in there, especially when I'm laying down. I figure another week or so before I start feeling the jab of little legs and arms. It's the creepiest and the most amazing feeling all at the same time. Maya loves to put her hands in my belly and tell me that she feels Rocco moving. The other day I was talking to Rocco and she says, "Mami, he can't talk," and I said to her, "No, he can't but he can hear me! So now every morning, she grabs my belly and says really loud, "Good Morning Baby Rocco! I love you!" It's the cutest thing but he's probably deaf by now. 

Maya seems to be responding really well to the idea of a little brother. I call her my tiny publicist because she has taken it upon herself to tell everyone at school- her teachers and her friend posse- that she is going to be a big sister and that her brother's name is baby ˜Rocco and he lives inside mommy's belly. She also likes to tell me every morning as she sits on the potty that my belly is getting bigger and that Rocco is the size of a dinosaur. She has three little babies whose names have been changed to 'Rocco Buccio', and she changes their diapers (evident by the streaks of Desitin all over their bottoms), reads to them, and puts them to sleep which is then followed by her kicking me out of the room ('Mami, you have to be quiet. The baby is sleeping'). I've read and heard that many kids aren't very receptive with the thought of a new baby coming into the picture, so I am really encouraging this loving and accepting behavior that she's experiencing. Maybe it's the age difference and she has a better understanding, or maybe things will change when Rocco makes his appearance and she realized that he's more than just a dinosaur in mommy's belly, but for now, she seems very excited and eager to kick off her new role as 'big sister.' 

There are a few things that we are trying to do to slowly prepare her for the arrival of her baby brother. Of course, I'm sure not everything will be smooth sailing and there will be learning lessons for all of us as our family dynamic changes, but if there's anything we can do to create a special connection, then it doesn't hurt to try! Maya's pediatrician suggested we keep things as normal as possible. If there are any changes we have to make (reorganizing a room, shifting toys, buying new gadgets, etc), to do these things early in the pregnancy so she doesn't feel that her world is getting turned upside down because of this new baby that's coming. It can cause sibling resentment or make a child feel slighted. 

Coco and I have also been showing Maya all her photos, keepsakes, and milestones documented in her baby book and trying to relive them with her, all while simultaneously making the connection to them and to the new baby. When we show her a sonogram photo we tell her, "Do you know who this is? It was you when you were in mama's belly. You remember the photo of Baby Rocco mami showed you? You had the same picture too!" And we did sort of the same with her first photos at the hospital, photos of her getting swaddled, taking a bath, eating solids, and celebrating her first birthday. We've also told her how she's going to be our super helper when it comes to feeding the baby, and getting diapers and wipes for mommy. We will give her little tasks that will allow her to feel involved. Whenever we are around babies or see babies, I tell her how she used to be that little once upon a time and how baby Rocco will also be that little when he's born and how we have to be gentle when we touch him or hold him. She actually asked to hold a friend's baby the other day (with assistance of course) and she was so proud of herself. After 30 seconds she was done, which is pretty normal for a three year old, but I call that baby steps! I've been reading a new book to her which talks about all the cool things big sisters can do with their baby brother (i.e climb trees, play soccer, play dress-up, help each other get ready, swim together, etc), and she seems to like it. One tip I've read about in other parenting books and blogs is to bring a gift for the older sibling to the hospital and when they meet the new addition, present the gift as if it were from their new baby sibling. It's a helpful ice breaker because they'll be just as nervous and overwhelmed with what to expect. 

Experienced mommies of multiples- I would love to hear some of your tips and tricks for helping your little ones with the arrival of a new addition! Post on my Instagram or Facebook. Let's keep helping each other out. 

See you all next week as I squash some of that "your life is over after baby" talk! 

Bumpin' Love,

Rocco's Mom 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Rocco Report: Week 18




Good morning, good afternoon, and good night, squeezers! Can I tell you how utterly grateful and appreciative I am for all your love and support?! I love reading all your comments, messages, and emails and it makes me so happy to know that you can all relate, even if in a small way, to the weekly Rocco reports!

I'm posting this a little late only because I wanted to include details from yesterday's Anatomy Sonogram. When women hit the 18-20 week mark, you go in for what's called an anatomic ultrasound. The ultrasound will be used to determine fetal anomalies, the baby's size, weight and to measure growth ensuring the fetus is developing according to plan. (see http://www.babymed.com/pregnancy-tests/anatomy-ultrasound-pregnancy).

Everything from the brain to the abdomen is measured and checked to make sure the fetus is growing as it should. The sex of the baby is also determined, but if you're impatient like me, you already went somewhere else to find out (thanks http://apeekinthepod4d.com/index.html)! We double confirmed it was still a boy (let's play where's the penis!) and watched him for a few minutes while he tossed and turned inside his shoebox-sized closed quarters. Because he seemed to be playing a game of peek-a-boo with his face, we have to come back in three weeks to get a better frontal view of his eyes, nose, and lips. All in all, Rocco measured perfectly and everything is looking fantastic. He currently weighs 8oz, the same amount as a small can of Hunt's tomato sauce. 

As far as how I feel physically, I have no complaints. I did wake up with slight nausea this am, but thankfully it flew the coop. I am still wearing my regular clothes with the exception of maternity jean shorts, since my regular shorts were starting to look a little too trailer park for my taste. What I wear during pregnancy and my style during pregnancy, are two topics I've been constantly speaking about on my blog and on a recent segment for Telemundo's Access Total. Your style doesn't have to take a back seat while you're pregnant. On the contrary, it's a beautiful time to show off that bump and wear a lot more body-con pieces without worrying about spanx or sucking in your stomach to the point of suffocation. Let it hang out with absolute delight and pride! It's the greatest miracle of life. You also don't have to break the bank and buy a whole new closet of maternity clothes. Your closet is your friend! Yes, there will be some things you won't be wearing for the next nine months (bye bye crop tops), but it all comes down to fit and fabric and chances are, you may already own pieces that have stretch in them or may be loose fitting. Some of my skirts have now become high-waisted to better accommodate my growing bump! And as far as tees go, buy one size bigger for a more comfortable fit! Apply the same rule to bathing suits. Stay away from constricting fabrics that don't have any stretch to them. These are not your friends. But you know what is your friend? Leggings! These puppies are life savers and comfortably chic! You can dress them up with a pair of heels, or dress them down with flats or a cute pair of metallic sandals. I lived in leggings while I was pregnant with Maya! I paired mine with boots and sweaters and they were a dream! As your belly grows, I definitely do advise in investing in a pair of pregnancy jeans, and yes, skinny jeans for us hot mommas are available in different washes! Some of the pieces I invested in were a maternity polka dot blouse, two dresses, two skinny jeans, which unfortunately won't see the light of day in this heat but they were great for NYC winters, and two maternity bras because my VS ones just couldn't hold the jugs.! 

This week, I want to talk about my new found respect for stay-at-home moms (SAHM). Whether you personally work or stay home, or your own mom worked or stayed home, it's a parenting topic that can sometimes divide even the best of us. My mother worked not only because she needed to work, but because she liked it as well, and she would tell me. and I respected that. Of course there were times when I wished we could hang out together at home instead of at her office, but I admired the fact that she worked hard to give me a better life. Many women work because they have to in order to provide for their families, and some of these women work because they genuinely like what they do and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I applaud these women for continuing to do something that they feel so passionate about, and you know what? It doesn't make them any less of a parent. Then there are the mothers that choose to put their careers aside because they want to be with their kids full-time. And you know what? There isn't anything wrong with that either. But that's something I learned after I became a parent. Before kids, I was that girl- the girl that thought that the mom who stayed home with her kids did nothing all day and had the life of leisure. I always thought to myself or said to friends who shared the same mentality, "But what do they DO all day?" Like if they were in some sort of mommy cult. I thought how brainless and boring and quite frankly, easy, to stay at home all day taking care of a baby or a rambunctious toddler and give up your career to do that. 

Then something happened. I became a mom and my mentality and acceptance of SAHMs changed. I consider myself a career woman. I feel blessed because I get to wake up every morning and do what I've always wanted to do. I've had a career in entertainment television since I was 20 years old, and I love it. I live, breathe, and eat TV production. It's in my blood and every assignment gets me excited. When I was pregnant with Maya, I knew that I wanted to keep working after she was born. I had submitted my maternity plan- four months off and then back to the grind of trying to find that mystical balance of motherhood and red carpets. But a few months later, I was laid off. I was devastated. I loved what I did and so much of my personal identity was tied to my career and I think many women can relate to that. I was not ready to say goodbye to my career. I knew it wasn't the end of the world, but it definitely threw my plans for a loop. Little did I know, that getting laid off while I was seven months pregnant, turned out to be the greatest gift I could have received. 

I wasn't completely without a job. I was still able to freelance a couple of times during the week, but the bulk of my time was spent taking care of Maya. I didn't have any help, with the exception of some top grade babysitters I used when I did have to work, so it was my girl and I, all day and everyday and my day never stopped and it was a continuous cycle- eat, sleep, change diapers, music class, bath time, go for a walk...repeat...eat, sleep, change diapers, tummy time...repeat.." you get the gist of it. And the great advantage of having a baby in Manhattan is that you are not so confined to the inside of your home or a car. The city is your playground (hello sidewalk cafes, Central Park, and East River Ferry) so we were always out and about with ease and that was refreshing for me. But by the time I looked at the clock, it was 9pm. Where did my day go? Nap when the baby naps? Pfft! Another illusion. While Maya slept, I knew I had three hours to do what I needed to do- writing, cleaning, laundry, answer emails, watch 20 minutes of TV, maybe even brush my teeth. I was rocking my time management game. And as she got older and more mobile and vocal, our days got a little busier with runs to the park, more feedings, more play times, story times,  and more baby charades, because God knows you spend most of the time trying to guess what your crying baby needs (are you hungry? are you tired? do you want to play? do you want to read? do you want to climb a mountain? oh I know, you wanna watch Downton Abbey marathons with momma! ) and jokingly pretending and hoping to yourself that you're going to get some answer from a nine month old! That glass of wine couldn't come sooner! 

But I wouldn't change it for the world! It really is the most exhausting but the most rewarding job on the planet. I was able to be there when you she took her first steps in our living room, and officially walked in the play area of her music class. I was there when she said her first words, sat up for the first time, rolled over for the first time, and all those special firsts that not every parent has the luxury to witness. I was there. And for that, I'm thankful. I call it another divine intervention from my mother upstairs. These were moments that I would have probably missed or seen on a video, if it weren't for the fact that I had lost my job. I learned that a SAHM's job is never done. When your 'boss' is an infant or toddler-sized human, you work all day, plus overtime, with no breaks, no vacation, and no sick days (hangovers and the flu?! what's that?). They're the cutest baby dictators you'll ever see. You will watch Sesame Street 10x a day, you will sing Twinkle Twinkle 30x a day, you will be a pro at making animal sounds, and have a PHD in peek-a-boo. But you'll also get to snuggle against that baby fresh skin all day whenever you want, get teary-eyed each time your baby laughs at something silly you do, and your heart will melt when she throws her little arms around your neck and says 'mama.'  It'll make you forget all those dishes in the sink and that laundry that keeps piling up because somehow, you will get it done. Moms are the real superheroes! 

I can't wait to do it all over again with baby number two, but one thing hasn't changed- my itch to return back to work. I want to be a mom and I want to be a career woman and I'm sure I'll struggle to find that work/family balance but I know that getting back to my career will make me an even better mother to Maya and Rocco. I want to set an example for my kids and show them that when you love to do something dearly, you follow your heart and you do it and you don't have to give it up completely. Every mother has a different truth and this is mine. But one thing will be different- my respect and admiration for those mothers that choose to stay home. For all the times I thought, "What do you DO all day?" I AM SORRY. I now know you do more than you should and you do it happily and sleepily. Mothers have the hardest and most demanding job- more demanding than any CEO on Wall Street or Silicon Valley. That's cake compared to staying home with a child 24/7. But amidst this fact, let's remember that the most important thing is not to judge one another. Let's be kind. Whether you are a SAHM or a WM (working mom), it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, do we love our kids? And if the answer is yes, then we are all trying to do the best we can and that's admirable. 

So the next time you even think to utter those six ignorant words to a SAHM, hold your tongue or suffer the wrath and a punch to the face! Instead, smile, even if you don't get it. Because you may not know it now, but that may be you one day! 

That's a wrap for week 18! See you next week for some more parenting and pregnancy 411. Is there something you want to hear about? Let me know and we'll talk about it! 

Bumpin' love, 

Rocco's Mom. 


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Miami Style Map: Crop Tops and Parking Lots


It's the trend that refuses to die- crop tops. They have a love/hate relationship with the fashion world, garnering either 'modern glam' praise or 'teenage nightmare' disdain. Is there a happy medium for crop tops? Is there an age limit? Are they just as appropriate for cocktail hours as they are for brunch? I think the answer lies in how you wear them and how 'cropped' are these itty bitty tops.

When you're young, beautiful, and have zero cares in the fashion world, you have the ability to experiment with style and take some age-appropriate fashion risks. Hence, the flurry of crop tops being sported by teenage girls everywhere. I'm sure we've all seen many of those barely there tees splashed with bands most of these kids have never heard or a selection of phrases like 'coffee first' or 'I woke up like this,' paired with tiny lace shorts or low-waisted jeans. That's cool when you're 17 or 18 years old, but when you're in your 30's, it's time to reinvent the look and make it work for you! You have to figure what is the best way to wear a crop top without desperately looking like a school girl.

 First, think of how you would pair your crop top. If you want midriff action, pair underneath a boyfriend blazer and some skinny jeans. If you're channeling a more ladylike look, wear it with a pretty midi-skirt. Opt for something with volume. Not only is it feminine, but it also adds a unique illusion of proportions to the eye. For the body-con brave, a matching set is more your speed. I love to see a form-fitting sets in an eye-catching print, a bright solid, and even a stark white. It's modern, sexy, and still very much luxe.


I fell in love with this grey neoprene crop top at Bloomingdales because I loved the cut and it was a more contemporary style than what I normally gravitate towards. I did pair it with a bohemian Free People lace skirt that I can wear slightly high-waisted. I'm not into showing too much midriff when I wear crop tops- just enough for a sneak peek (oh how times have changed). And if you follow my blog, you'll remember that I wore this top with a black and white midi skirt and Louboutin heels,  demonstrating how easy it is to take the crop top look from day to night.

And who knew parking garages can serve as killer backdrops! My photographer, Raquel (www.raquelzaldivarphotography.com) and I, didn't plan for this but it ended up working so well with this look. It's bohemian-meets-industrialized with a nice Miami Beach skyline. The muted color palettes was an added perk. I'm digging these parking lot location shoots!


Let's wrap up this post with some awesome accessories! One of my favorite pieces are these H&M cuffs, which I've actually resorted to wearing only one because the left cuff almost left me with permanent ear damage! But I like the one cuff look, so it unintentionally became a thing. I added a Vida Kush chain choker black fishnet stockings, and my favorite Steve Madden booties! 

Crop tops can be such a fun outfit choice for women of any age if styled with proper taste! Remember your age. Know your body and what kind of cut and fit would work best for you! Now that I'm pregnant and my belly is growing at lightning speed, those crop tops are starting to look more like bras- so off they go to the back of my closet where they'll be stored for the next 6-9 months!


On Me: 

Crop top- Bloomingdales 
Skirt- Free People
Boots- Steve Madden
Tights- T.J Maxx
Choker- Vida Kush
Ear Cuff- H&M 

In Style, 

Kat 

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Rocco Report: Week 17!


 Happy Holiday weekend, Squeezers! Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, or 'Eastover',  I hope you are enjoying it with family and friends!

Nothing tires out a toddler more than a day at the beach and now that Maya is down for the count, Rocco and I have our Belly Buds on (http://www.bellybuds.com/) and we're doing a little jammin' while I write this week's post. Belly Buds are one of my pregnancy must-haves. I started using them with Maya when I was four months pregnant (that's when a fetus' hearing starts to develop) and loved that she and I could listen to music together. I really do believe these buds are a big reason why she loves music (and actually has rhythm) as much as she does. I played everything for her- Coldplay, Gloria Estefan, Iron and Wine, Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse, Vampire Weekend, and even 305's finest, Pitbull. Watching her kicks and grooves through my belly was really an awesome bonding experience for me.

Welcome to 17 weeks! Happy to report that I'm still feeling pretty darn good. Minus exhaustion and my sciatica coming back for round two, I would say I'm about 85% human. I had a check-up this past week with my OB, Dr. Roselyn Bonilla, whom I simply adore. Not only is she a NY transplant, but she also happens to have the most incredible bedside manner. Bedside manner is HUGE for me. It was one of my top requirements when I started shopping for an OBGYN when I moved back to Miami. And because I live minutes from the beach, I wanted to deliver at Mt. Sinai (I have major anxiety about delivering my baby in a car. But that's a post for another week) and needed a good doctor affiliated with the hospital. Thanks to several recommendations from friends, and friends of friends, I landed a winner.

I showed up to my appointment with a post-it full of questions. Ladies (and daddies too)- do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to! There is no such thing as a stupid question (actually there is but ask anyway), and pregnancy and childbirth are an endless abyss of mystery and wonder, so ask away! And every woman's list will be different. Here's a preview of my queries for the week:

- Is it normal that I'm out of breath this early in the pregnancy? Being out of breath is normal, especially in the heat, which I'm not used to. Drink lots of water.

- Should I freak out that I'm tired all the time? No need to freak out. Being tired is part of pregnancy. And guess what? If you're running around after a toddler/toddlers the second time around, chances are your level of exhaustion will reach a maximum high.

- Let's talk vaginas. What's Rocco's cut-off size for vaginal delivery? You can deliver vaginally as long as he is not bigger than 8lbs 12oz. Your superwoman vagina can tolerate it (sweat drops).

- Can I really not eat turkey? No. You can't have deli meats unless you cook them first on a pan or in the oven to make sure you kill any potential bacteria.

- Should I take supplemental B6 vitamins in addition to my prenatals? B6 vitamins help with nausea and morning sickness, but if you're not experiencing either, you really don't have to take them. You can if you want to, but you're fine if you don't.

- I take hot baths all the time, so does that mean I CAN go in the jacuzzi? The answer is no. It's like 1000 degrees in a hot tub. 

- Now that I feel better, can I have sex (guess which of these was Coco's question)? Husband rejoice! Sex is back on the table. Or the bed. Whatever works for you.

I knew the answer to most of these but I guess I was hoping my doctor would surprise me and say, "Of course you can eat turkey and go into the jacuzzi! You can even do both at the same time!" Wishful thinking. We listened to Rocco's heartbeat, (nice and strong), she took my vitals (great BP and weighing 120. I've gained four pounds), and checked my growing belly. Quick and painless and I was out the door. 

Now that we've finished with the diagnostics portion of the post, it's time for some Oprah realness. Last week, I very briefly mentioned how I was relieved to find out we were having a boy and how becoming a mother to a little girl, helped me grieve my mother's loss in a whole new dimension. Today I want to share a little bit about that with you. 

When I was 16 years old, I lost my mother in a tragic car accident. That day, I was forced to grow up and navigate through life without her by my side. My mother and I were extremely close- so close we would often sleep together with our legs twisted like a pretzel, spooning each other before dosing off. I can still remember what she smelled like when I would brush up against her back- a faint hint of leftover Paloma Picasso perfume that stayed on her skin even after her bath. It's one of those odd things that always stays with you. Yes she was diligent and strict, but with me, she was overtly affectionate, loving, encouraging, and protective too. She was my role model. I wanted to be like her in so many ways and then unexpectedly I was faced with the challenge of going through life and reaching milestones without her by my side. She would not be there when I graduated high school or college, she would never help me move into my first apartment in New York, or meet my husband or help me get dressed at my wedding, and she wouldn't be there during my pregnancy or in the delivery room when I would hold Maya for the first time and realize in those initial moments as a mother,  how much my own mother loved me. In all those times that I needed her, she wasn't there. And while I know she was there in spirit because I constantly felt her presence, she wasn't physically there to help me or talk me through all my motherhood anxieties, and that was painful for me. Here's the funny thing about grief. It never ends. And when you least expect it, it comes back to consume you even in your happiest moments. I thought I had worked through all the issues connected to my mother's loss in therapy, but nothing prepares you for the grief that new motherhood brings. When I found out that I was having a girl, my first reaction was to run to the restroom at the sonogram office, shut myself in a stall, and cry. I was overcome with happiness, fear, and great sadness. There was an electrifying mother/daughter connection that I instantly felt. I would finally get to have again what I once lost.

I've been reading this amazingly cathartic book, Motherless Mothers, by writer Hope Edelman (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/motherless-mothers-hope-edelman/1100553378?ean=9780641958601) and through it, I have been able to learn more about these unique fears and anxieties I'm experiencing as a new mom to a little girl. Through the experience of other motherless mothers, I've been able to relate on an emotional level to some of those behaviors that stem from losing my mom at such a crucial age. I no longer feel alone. I'm 34 right now- and for most women that's just a number, but for me it means that I've lived half my life with my mother and half of it without her. It means that I have the same fear for Maya and eventually Rocco, but more so Maya, because she's a girl and closely parallels me. Maya will only know her grandmother through stories, photos, and home videos. I'll tell her how her grandmother loved to salsa dance and failed miserably at teaching me, how we would spend our weekends at the beach- her tanning and me making sandcastles-, and how she embarrassingly fed me until I was 12 years old because I was such a horrible eater. I would tell her how she was always so impeccably dressed with the perfect shade of Barbie pink lipstick and how I would sneak into her closet and try on all her five inch heels because we were both a size 6.

Being a motherless mother means that I'm not weird when I take a million pictures of Maya and I (it's not purely narcissistic) because God forbid if something were to happen to me, she can't forget what I look like. Or if I obsess over how Coco dresses her or does her hair when I'm out of town, it's because I want to make sure that if I weren't around, she won't be that disheveled kid at school with mismatched pants and tops (and not in a cool way). It means that I'm extra tough and encouraging when she's testing her independence, because I want her to know that she can do things on her own and overcome, like I had to do when I was teenager. Helicopter parent, I'm not. You're probably reading this and thinking, "Wow, that's a horrible way to think." You're right. It is. Welcome to the mind of a motherless mother. But everyday, I work extra hard at letting go of those unlikely fears and enjoying every moment with my little girl in the now, letting her live her tiny life, promising to be there for her through triumphs and failures, to tell her how much I love her when she gets her first heartbreak, tell her how proud I am of her when she gets into the college of her choice, and constantly reassuring her and myself, that I'm not going anywhere. I plan to stick around.

Becoming a mom has made me more compassionate and forgiving towards my own mother. I now appreciate the sacrifices she made in her own life for me. I would do the same for my own kids (and they'll thank me later). I have a better understanding of those unreasonable curfews, dating rules, and academic expectations, my mother put in place for me. My kids will happily suffer through some of the same (and they'll thank me later). And while there isn't a day, a minute, or a second that goes by that I don't wish she was here with me- whether it be a phone call away to ease my worries when my Maya's fever isn't breaking, or a plane ride away to celebrate Rocco's first birthday- her death has given me life and a deep appreciation for motherhood that I never expected.

And that is why I'm relieved to be having a boy. Having a little girl as my first, reawakened that mother/daughter connection that I was terrified to lose when my own mother passed. It is why my introduction to this new found grief tied to being a motherless mother, was more profound and powerful, that it has made me more emotionally raw and more sympathetic to Maya because I see some of myself in her. Having experienced all that initial heaviness, has me over the moon-excited for Rocco to join our clan. It feels like some of that pressure is off me. It won't be as overwhelming or terrifying the second time around. Don't get me wrong- my level of obsession and infatuation with a little boy will be something transcendent. It gets me excited when I hear other moms tell me how boys love their mommas to no end and are so much more attached than girls. It's a different connection and one that I am looking forward to embracing. I have no idea what awaits me. I have zero experience in boy territory, but I expect it will be less emotionally charging and more emotionally relaxing compared to all the grief baggage that came along when I had Maya.

I always say that I lost a piece of my heart the day I lost my mom. But when Maya was born, she  made it whole again. And now with Rocco, my heart will beat twice as hard and twice as strong with unconditional love.

Squeezers, this week's post was a special one for me and I thank you for being a part of something so significantly monumental! I hope I didn't make you cry too much! I promise the next few will be more lighthearted! I'll see you all again next week where I'll be talking about my apology to SAHM (stay-at-home-moms).

Bumpin' love,

Rocco's mom. 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Has Sprung at T.J. Maxx!



Spring is in the air and so is my wardrobe! And I have T.J Maxx (http://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/index.jsp) to thank for getting me spring-ready. I've teamed up with the retail super saver store to bring you some fresh looks for the season! 

To the untrained eye (or to those not familiar with my style), neutrals and pastels aren't something I normally sport. I'm a NY black/urban boho/ tropical-print loving fashionista who only goes 'light' on a rare full moon. But what fun is fashion without stepping out of your comfort zone?! And wearing white, which I happen to love but don't usually wear, is one of those instances where I like to have fun with my look! And I'll even strap on a pair of killer heels to vamp it up!

Nothing makes me more excited than walking into a store, and seeing the season's latest trends all shiny and new on display! So on a recent trip to 'the Maxx', I fell in love with all the spring dresses in shades of pastels and floral prints hanging on the racks. My mission was simple: keep it neutral. I stayed away from the florals because that would have been an obvious choice. And then I found this ladylike ivory dress!

Big shout out to Chris Carter from Ra-haus fotografie (www.ra-haus.com) for these amazing shots!


I love the grid pattern on the dress and the peek-a-boo sheer material at the neckline. And I love how it's form fitting on top and then the skirt flares, giving it a nice punch of volume. This is the perfect dress to kick off spring, especially for an Easter/Passover/Eastover celebration! 

And if you didn't notice, there's a bit of a baby bump under that dress, which goes to show, you don't have to ditch all your regular clothes just yet during pregnancy! The right fit and cut can take you through your second trimester and maybe even early third. 

You know what else I love about spring? The reawakening you feel in the air! From the crisp weather to the change in people's mood, there's something about spring that makes you feel alive. And for those peeps who experienced one of the harshest winters in history, well, it's basically freedom and relief. Even in Miami where eternal summers exist, spring temperatures bring a nice breeze, mild heat, and cool nights. It's Miami at its finest! And in New York, one of my favorite things about spring besides sidewalk seating at all the neighborhood restaurants, is walking through Central Park and seeing the cherry blossoms in bloom. So it's only appropriate to ditch a bit of the black and celebrate this spring awakening with a dash of white and a pastel palette!

 I introduced those pastel colors in the form of accessories! I am obsessed with these Steve Madden heels I found at T.J. Maxx. I love the gladiator style of the heel and the light tan color coordinates with just about any look! It's a shoe you can rewear over and over again! 

The coral colored envelope clutch gives the white dress a pop of color and vibrancy. Same goes for the pink lips! I have an array of orange and pink hues I'm just dying to start wearing now that spring has sprung! And here's a great hair style tip to beat the heat- messy ponytails. All you need is semi-dirty hair, a little dry shampoo, hairspray and a rubberband, and voila! An easy breezy, and chic way to change up your hairstyle. 

So spruce up your spring wardrobe with a little help from T.J Maxx! And here's a secret- this look was under $100! Get into the spirit of spring and indulge in some budget-friendly shopping! 

What's your favorite thing about spring? 





On Me: 

Dress- T.J Maxx
Steve Madden heels- T.J Maxx
Envelope Clutch - Love Shopping Miami 

In Style, 

Kat