Monday, September 28, 2015

Miami Style Map: White After Labor day and Celebrating 'Citiversaries'

Squeezers! Are you happy to see me?! 

I'm back with my first fashion post after baby! And we're still talking maternity style, though this dress is perfect whether you're pregnant or not! When Miami based, Venezuelan- American designer, Lisu Vega (a fellow momma-to-be as well), reached out in hopes of collaborating, I was excited ( Her designs are unique, contemporary, and what I like to call, 'achievable avant-garde.' When she delivered this white shift dress to my apartment, I was in love. I'm a big fan of shift dresses and this one was stunning- from the textured fabric to the peek-a-boo details on the sleeves. It was literally a blank canvas and open to so much styling potential! 

This dress was a departure from my usual urban-bohemian wardrobe and I'm always up for a style challenge and for tapping into new looks that still speak to me, especially when it comes to white. My go-to color has always been black, so to get to add some white in my closet is a sweet perk! Plus, I don't follow that 'no white after labor day' rule. Hello, I live in Miami! Even if I didn't, though, white is a color for all seasons. In New York, I used to take my white maxi dresses and lace dresses from season to season with the help of tights, booties, and leather jackets. There is no need for them to be stored away until that first summer breeze. White injects freshness and vibrancy to a look, no matter the weather du jour! 

This Lisu Vega dress was simply glorious to wear while pregnant! It took 'maternity chic' to a whole new level. Besides winning some extra points in the comfort department, I love that it's effortless and it stands out. I kept everything else- from the hair to the accessories- simple, because I wanted the the dress to be the focal point. In addition, photographing the dress in the iconic aqua and white New Yorker Hotel in MiMo ( with Chris from the Ra-Haus team (, really made it pop in this real-life postcard setting. I love how the modern aqua hues of the building blend so ceremoniously with the outfit. That's the thing with MiMo's architecture and pastel-hues- you don't mean them to be storytelling elements in your fashion story, but they definitely become part of the conversation! 

I styled my hair in a sleek low ponytail and added a vivid shade of bright coral on my lips to compliment the dress. The rose-gold platform wedges only emphasized the prominent 'streamlined contemporary' style of the look, and the coral envelope clutch was a bonus pop of color. How fantastic is this clear plastic snake-like statement necklace from H&M?! It's definitely an out-of-the-box piece! 

It's appropriate that the backdrop of our shoot is at the Hotel New Yorker, since I want to chat a little about openly celebrating my two-year Miami 'citiversary.' I hesitated to make mention of my two years back in the MIA, because it didn't compare to the level of excitement and pride I used to experience when I would post about my NY 'citiversaries' for almost 13 years. September 3rd quietly marked the second anniversary of being back in Miami, a move that came with lots of resistance and tears on my end (I thought marrying a born and bred NYer would keep me happily grounded in the city). Instead of shying away from acknowledging these two life-enhancing years, I've decided to be proud of them (maybe not with the same level of excitement), because two years in the Magic City have been defined by a momentous amount of growth and resilience as an individual, wife, and mother. It has come with a new set of wonderful opportunities and life goals (for myself and my family). It has made our family unit stronger and happier and most importantly, it has allowed us to cultivate new and old friendships alike. We never expected to come across such a unifying support system in Miami, and our hearts have been full of gratitude for those special people who welcomed us with open arms. 

I'm a big believer in the 'everything happens for a reason' philosophy- and our 'refueling pit stop' in Miami, as we like to call it, has slowly been revealing itself. Rediscovering and reconnecting with my hometown, and getting to share so many childhood memories with Maya, Rocco, and Coco, without losing our core happiness has been cathartic and refreshing. We've learned to love the city in a whole new way, through a different set of eyes, maturity, and appreciation. Will New York ever leave my mind and my heart? Never. Will we ever move back? Possibly. That city is a big part of who I was and who I became.  As my best friend (also a Miami transplant living in the city) says, 'I was born and raised in Miami, but I was made in NY.'  

But Miami, despite its highs and lows and absurdly hot weather, has been good to us; a life's refresher that was more needed than wanted. New York will always be my home and my family's home too; but, so will Miami. We've taken advantage of what she has to offer and we've found a new kind of happiness and ease that has allowed us to enjoy each other in another capacity. For me, it has been further proof that no matter the unexpected, I will work hard to find the beauty and the positive and use it to push myself to another level of success and perseverance. And for that, I thank you and love you, Miami. 

So for whatever time we decide to stay in this tropical paradise (enjoying its beautiful beaches and vibrant neighborhoods) before jetting off to our next adventure, we are excited and hopeful of what life in Miami has in store for the Buccios!  

On Me: 

Dress- Lisu Vega
Necklace- H&M
Shoes- Steve Madden
Clutch- Love Shopping Miami
Sunnies- Forever 21 

In Style, 


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Rocco Report: My Birth Story

Remember when I said I couldn't possibly love another baby as much as I love Maya? Well, I've never been so happy to be wrong. 

My heart just massively exploded and is oozing love, pride, and all that 'head over heels' cliche stuff that baby dreams are made of. I met my boy and I have fallen truly, madly, deeply, in love with him. More so than I imagined. And yes, I love him just as much as I loved Maya the minute I laid eyes on her. Only, it's an indescribable kind of 'different.' A good different, but nonetheless different. 

On September 9th at 2:53pm, Rocco Sebastian Buccio came into the world and into our lives - all 7.7lbs of him. And when they placed him on my chest and I felt his tiny body against mine, I let out tears of joy, of happiness, of culminating anticipation for this little being that I had nurtured and cooked inside me for the last nine months. He was finally here. 

My heart became whole again. 

Squad goals. The Buccio labor and delivery team. #olympicgold 

Dr. Bonilla- the Beyonce of OBs. 

And here's how it all went down. 

It didn't really hit me that I was having a baby until the night before my induction. Maybe it was a delayed reaction, but I was washing my face and looked in the mirror and thought, "I'm having a baby tomorrow. Holy Sh#$t." My stomach dropped. I was tremendously excited but also anxious, terrified, and nervous. It doesn't matter if you've done this once or twice before. There are still jitters; still 'what ifs' to combat; and nerves to be calmed.

I was going to have another baby. A new life as a mom of two awaited me- awaited us. 

Induction was scheduled for 6am, so the first order of business was dropping off Maya at my friend, Krizia's, who would be taking her to school. It was important for us to keep Maya's schedule and routine as normal as possible. Believe it or not, dropping her off was actually pretty difficult. For three and a half years, it's been us three. She's been center stage in our lives and our attention has solely been on her. I kept thinking how this was the end of one chapter and a brand new one was just hours away. I'd be lying if I told you that I didn't cry- I did. My number one girl was about to get a new sibling. As an only child, the idea of giving Maya a brother or a sister was something I always wanted for her. I see the special bond Coco and his three sisters share and it's such a beautiful relationship and I only hope Maya and Rocco get to experience that same connection. The way I see it, they need a partner in crime- someone to confide in, someone to annoy, and someone that they can 'complain about mom and dad' to without having to explain themselves. But that particular morning as she hugged and kissed me and told me she loved me, I was a little heartbroken- nostalgic is a better word. We were bringing in another member into our wolf pack. We would no longer be Buccio party of three and I hope that she would be okay with that. 

My amazing delivery wouldn't have been possible without my labor and delivery squad. Eat your heart out, Taylor Swift, because my #squad is better than yours! Choosing who I wanted by my side was such a personal choice. When I had Maya, I only wanted Coco with me. I didn't want to share that once in a lifetime moment with anyone else. She was our first foray into parenthood and I wanted that experience to be exclusively ours. For me, it was also an emotional choice. If my mother were alive, there would be no question that she would have been in that room holding my hand and soothing me during those brutal contractions. If I couldn't have her there with me, then I did not want anyone from my family in that room either. As close as I was to my grandmother, there was no one that could stand in and take my mother's place during Maya's birth. I was slightly more open to having an additional wingman in the room with us during Rocco's birth; but, it couldn't be someone from my family. I was firm on my 'mom' rule. We had invited Gina, (Coco's sister and Rocco's godmother), to be in the labor room with us. Unfortunately, her teaching schedule made it difficult for her to come down for the birth. Besides his sister, the only other person I wanted in that room was my best friend, Vivi. She's my other person-she's more than my friend- she's my family. As friends, we balance each other out well and I knew that her humor and her nurturing demeanor was the kind of energy I wanted in that room. Plus, with Coco on a knee scooter, she would be so helpful and hands-on. Coco and I were so happy she was able to be there for us during such a special time in our life. I There is so much more I can to say in regards to Coco, my #1 supporter. I can't stress enough how much I needed him during this process. Even with a ruptured Achilles and a knee scooter, he made the hugest effort to be present in every aspect of the birth. Without his encouraging words and love, I wouldn't have powered through so easily. It's what makes him not only a wonderful person, but a loving husband and an incredible father and it's the reason, why after having another child with him, I get to fall in love with him all over again. 

No squad is complete without the superhero crew of OBs, doctors, and nurses (what do nurses do again, Joy Behar?!), specifically my OB, Dr. Bonilla, who rocked my delivery. She was/is a superstar!  She's so cool, calm, collected and when it was time to bring Rocco into the world, she came in and got that baby out in one fell swoop! Paula, my labor and delivery nurse, was an angel dressed in scrubs. Any nurse that can still love me after cutting the circulation from her hands (I'm almost positive that my vagina almost swallowed her hand too, Little Shop of Horrors style, while she was checking for dilation), is dynamite in my book. The laughs were continuous throughout the delivery- from enemas to placentas - there was no shortage of jokes, conversation, or poop. Yes, poop. It happens. 

Holding Rocco for the first time.

Meeting the new man in our life. 

This is what awe looks like. 

Yes, pregnancy is beautiful (maybe not for everyone) and the moment that baby is snuggled in your arms, time stands still. There's nothing like it. That sweet, sweet feeling should be bottled up in a jar and sold because it's the most euphoric high you'll ever be on. It's nothing but pure magic, rainbows, and butterflies- but then when you slowly come down back to reality (and that epidural wears off), you remember all the gory and not-so-pleasant parts of labor and delivery. Yep, I'm talking about that poop again. 

I've been very fortunate to have had two great deliveries. Both were different; but, for the most part, they were smooth and relatively easy. With Maya, I was scheduled to be induced because I was late, but I ended up going into labor on my own the night before. With Rocco, I scheduled an induction with my doctor. His due date was 9/13/15 and because I didn't want to risk having him on September 11th, we opted for a scheduled induction on the 9th. I didn't know what to expect. I was told at every sonogram appointment that Rocco would be huge, so I was terrified for my vagina and my hemorrhoids. I knew what natural contractions felt like, but I didn't know how contractions brought upon by pitocin would feel like. I had already been having contractions a few days before my induction, but they were only 4-5 minutes apart and then they would fizzle out. When I got to the hospital at 6am, I was having some contractions and I found out I was about three centimeters dilated. Whoa! 

I'll tell you what the most painful part of my labor experience was- the IV. First off, if you've ever gotten an IV on your hand, it's actually one of the most sensitive areas to get pricked. And they avoid giving you an IV on your arm, since it can interfere with the pushing. Well, after seven excruciating attempts at finding a vein, I requested a time out. Apparently, I have extremely thin veins- superficial ones- which means, each time they went into the vein, at some point, the blood stopped flowing. They even brought in the 'Beyonce of veins,' who has a solid record of always finding a live one. And not even this vein whisperer could find it. Instead, she was blocked by my severely thick skin. I knew I had a thick skin, figuratively, but apparently I have thick skin, literally, as well. My dinosaur-like tough skin, wouldn't allow the needle to penetrate all the way through. I was squirming in pain and had to take a break. My blood pressure had gone up, I developed a fever, and Rocco's heartbeat had slowed down all due to the stress from 'IV-gate.' I begged for an arm IV. Eventually, they had no other choice but to use my arm. I've never been so happy to see so much blood pouring out. 

Once the IV was in, it was time for the enema. No pooping for this girl! With Maya, I never made it in time for one, so naturally, I pooped during my delivery. It doesn't matter how many times the nurses and doctors tell you how normal it is, you still feel kind of gross. I made sure that with Rocco's delivery, I wouldn't miss out on that poop suppressor.  Thankfully I didn't and oh boy, that thing was AMAZING! I'd been flushed. Unfortunately, I still pooped. So much for saving face. 

Let's talk CONTRACTIONS! Because I was already three centimeters dilated, they started me on a small dosage of pitocin to kick start the contractions. They were relatively mild with minimal pain, and I was handling them like a champ. I kept saying, "this is a breeze! I can totally do this! This doesn't even hurt!" Oh Kathy, you're such a fool. Nurse Paula cranked up the Pitocin to four drops instead of two, and that's when sh#$t got real. 
Those contractions grew more intense, more piercing, and more agonizing. Where was my epidural?! They told me that as soon as the contractions got unbearable, I could request the epidural. I simultaneously crushed Vivi and nurse Paula's hands during each contraction and I just kept thinking of Maya to keep myself distracted. My brain kept saying, 'NEED EPIDURAL NOW.' And just like that, the anesthesiologist and his team (one of which went to elementary school with Vivi), magically appeared! My dream team had come to save me with their magic drugs. The epidural has to be administered between contractions and you have to sit absolutely still because one false move, and you're dunzo. Nurse Paula talked me through the contractions and after 10-15 minutes, I started feeling the tingle in my legs. It's working! Oh, I also learned I had a narrow and thin spine- more things I learned about my body that day.  

Once the epidural set in, it was a waiting game. Having the right people in your labor and delivery room makes all the difference. The ambiance was laidback, relaxed, and really really funny (joking really helps pass the time). I made sure my playlist was set in the background. Having my music during labor is a must for me! In between telling stories and trying to feel something in my legs (seriously, it's like I was missing the bottom half of my body), I was feeling constant jolts of excitement (and nerves) knowing that in a short time, I would finally get to meet Rocco! The moment would be here shortly and I could hardly wait. 

Welcome to the world Rocco Sebastian Buccio

Daddy's boy

I started shivering uncontrollably even though I had several blankets and I let nurse Paula and Dr. Bonilla know. Sometimes shivering means birth is imminent. Dr. Bonilla checked me and I was 10 centimeters dilated and ready to push. Wow, that was quick! Okay, breathe. This WAS happening. As in, BABY IS COMING NOW. Everyone got into position and we started with a practice push and in my first try, Rocco's tiny head popped out. Dr. Bonilla and nurse Paula told me that I needed to push really hard using my abdominal muscles since the epidural had me completely numb from the waist down.  I took the term 'labor' to new heights. We collectively felt my vagina deserved her own hashtag (#amazingvagina) for her awesomeness. Coco and Vivi held my left leg while nurse Paula covered the right, and they transformed into the best cheerleading squad a girl could ask for (sans pom poms).  Coco is all about getting up close and personal during the birthing process. He wants to be in on all the action (he's got a bad case of FOMO), and was giving me a play by play on what was going in my vaj chambers. He thinks the whole process is just absolutely beautiful and I love him for that. Not many men can do what we does, which makes him that much more amazing.  I'm not sure I would be able to watch all that happening. I didn't really want the front row action. At Coco and Vivi's insistence, I reached down and touched Rocco's head as I was pushing, and that was enough for me. There's only so much bloody slime I can handle. 

After 14 minutes of vigorous pushing and cheers, I felt that little man come out of me and it was the most powerful, out-of-body sensation ever. Rocco was born to Coldplay's 'Fix You,' one of our favorite songs. He literally took my breath away and I cried. I cried because I never thought my love for another human could double in size. I cried because my world got exponentially bigger and better thanks to the new man in my life. I was done in. I would spend the rest of my life loving, worrying, and fiercely protecting another cub. And in that moment when he laid on my chest and I looked at his face, all that pain, all my worries, and all my anxieties, melted away. Our son was here. I was enveloped between the two main men in my life and my heart was happy. We had our little boy, and watching Coco become mush as he held Rocco in his arms, kissing him and staring at him, was beautiful to watch. 

My heart had officially burst with unconditional love. I would never be the same again. 

My heart belongs to Mom. Hat courtesy of Infanteenie Beenie.

Love at first sight

When I delivered Maya, Dr. Wu had to cut me so I wouldn't tear through my hemorrhoids. And since I pushed for two hours with Maya, I had a good sized episiotomy and terrible hemorrhoids to show for it, which made for a not-so-fun recovery. Thankfully, since I pushed for such a short time with Rocco (yay me), my tear wasn't as large (I tore the same scar) and my hemorrhoids were on their best behavior (Hallelujah, sweet Jesus). The epidural would help mask the pain for the next couple of hours. 

Our adventurous afternoon didn't end there. Maya would soon be coming to meet her little brother and we couldn't wait to see her reaction. We had her sibling gifts on hand and we made sure there was nobody in our room except for Coco and I. She walked into our room and made a beeline for Rocco. She climbed on the hospital bed and asked to hold him right away. She kept telling me how cute and how soft he was and she asked nurse Paula if her friend, her best friend, Sofia, could come in and meet him. When Sofia came in, Maya motioned for her to come close and said, "Sofia, come meet my brother. Come here. Come touch him. He's not a monster (did she think I gave birth to a werewolf?)" She was beaming with pride. Then she looked at me and said, "Okay mommy, let's go home." As I watched their interaction, I couldn't help but think how wonderfully full and blessed I felt at that very moment. These two small beings were part of me; part of us and we made them. We have the privilege of getting to love them, to mold and shape them, and to teach them about kindness, love, and compassion for the rest of our lives. 

Getting to bring a child into this world, not once but twice, is truly a blessing, one I don't take for granted. I thank God everyday for the gift of motherhood. All the exhaustion, the sleepless nights, the laughs, the tears, the struggles, the 'not knowing,' the endless hugs and kisses that take your breath away, are all worth it- every single one of them, because that's what life is all about. 

And then there were four. 

Hello Rocco! All nuzzled in his Nuroo swaddle.

That's all she wrote my squeezers! Thank you for being a part of my story and for sharing your time with me. I hope you enjoyed my play-by-play of Rocco's big day- the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Stay tuned for next week's post where I'll be talking about my adventures (and misadventures) of my first two weeks back home with two kids and a knee scooter!

Bumpin' Love,

Rocco's Mom

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Rocco Report: 39 Weeks

My dear Squeezers- our time together on this pregnancy roller coaster will soon be coming to an end and it has been such a wonderful experience sharing it with all of you! I hope you've all enjoyed reading my momma-to-be adventures. I hope some of my entries made you laugh. I'm sure some made you cry. But more importantly, I hope that they were helpful in some way. It makes me so happy when I hear that something I wrote really resonated with you and you were able to relate. That is the whole point in sharing my journey with you; to be able to pay it forward and help other moms find some solace and comfort! 

It's been a couple of days of heavy contractions and I wanted to make sure I got this entry out before things got a little crazy! I've been having so many feelings about Rocco's birth and I wanted to share those with you. We've had three and a half years as a family of three, and in a few short days, we will be 'Buccio party of four.' We are so proud of the little family we have created; and we could never have imagined how much this tiny human has changed our lives for the better. We were thrown into this parenting abyss blind, learning as we went, laughing, crying, growing, only to wake up each day better people, better spouses, and better parents. Some days as new parents were easier than others, some left us scratching our heads, some left us with that euphoric 'I can't stop' smiling feeling, but everyday has been a gift and we thank God that we get to grow and learn together as a family unit. 

You can say that Maya was our first official parenting instructor. She was our first foray into Parenting 101. She was the most instrumental (and forgiving) teacher and she has better prepared us for the arrival of Baby Rocco. So thank you, Maya, for all the learning experiences- the baby charades before you could talk, the poop explosions in the middle of a city sidewalk that left us laughing and scurrying, and for our all those special and unforgettable 'firsts' that took our breath away.  

 I hope we passed your 'parenting crash course' with flying colors! 

Buccio party of three. (Suna Photography)

It's been really hitting me these past couple of days that there'll soon be another baby coming into our house! Another kid in our domain. Sh#$%t is about to get real. The co-sleeper is all set up. The glider is ready for night feedings, and the Momaroo is waiting for some baby action. I got formula stacked in the kitchen, a pimped out tummy time mat waiting in the wings, and my Tucks and Preparation H cream at arm's reach. My nails are done, my hair is blown out, and I got all the labor text chains ready to go. Coco's been working on his mobility and he's like Tony Hawk on that knee scooter, popping wheelies around the apartment and setting up any last minute gear for Rocco. Even Maya has been hosting her own one-woman infant classes - feeding and burping her Disney princess dolls in preparation for her big sister duties. If you haven't figured it out already, we're ready for you, Rocco! 

Many years ago before becoming a mom, I had this crazy feeling, which is a bit hard to describe, that felt like I had connected with the idea of Rocco in my dreams; that he was meant to exist. Like I said, it's difficult to put into words; but, each time I heard that song from Savage Garden, specifically the lyrics, "I knew I loved you before I met you, I think I dreamed you into life. I knew I loved you before I me you, I have bean waiting all my life," it perfectly puts into words what I was feeling in those moments. And it's surreal to think that he will finally be here, in our arms, in our hearts, and in our home. I can't wait to meet him.

Yes, there are still those occasional thoughts that go through my mind, "How will I love him more than I love Maya? Is it even possible? Can my heart and affection be divided, or will it grow tenfold? How will our dynamic change? Will he steal my heart?" And I guess I'll have those answers soon enough. They seem intangible right now, but I'm excited and terrified to experience a new level of unconditional love. My heart exploded when I held Maya for the first time- like all the air was sucked out of me and yet suddenly, I was reinvigorated with new life. It was a momentous. How will number two compare? I get butterflies just thinking about it. 

And so here we wait, semi-patiently, for our world to be flipped upside down again in the most joyous and chaotic way. A new chapter will begin for the Buccio family, and we can't wait to see how this story unfolds. 

** Stay tuned next week for Rocco's birth story. If its anything like Maya's, you won't want to miss it! **

Getting ready for Rocco. 

Bumpin' Love, 

Rocco's Mom 

Friday, September 4, 2015

NYC Style Map: Forever 21 Makes an Appearance on Charles St.

I'm dreaming of Manhattan sidewalks and West Village streets! And I'm loving this Forever 21 overall dress, which I wore several times while I was in the city in July. It's so practical! 
I bought these as an alternative to my overalls. God knows I love those overalls, but as I got deeper into my pregnancy and my urge to pee was now coming every 15 minutes or so, it became a really big pain to unbuckle and buckle those overalls at lightning speed in order to avoid any accidents! Hence, this amazing overall dress- it was the most chic and fashionable solution! 

I love that I can wear them while pregnant and also after I give birth. I'm already envisioning them for fall with tights, a jewel-toned blouse, maybe even my Janessa Leone navy felt hat, and my oxford heels. Take me back to New York! This dress deserves to be photographed in fall foliage! 

Another perk about this overall dress is that I have been able to wear those 'stored away' crop tops underneath the dress because it cuts high on the side. My crop tops no longer have to cry at being shunned during the pregnancy- this denim frock has saved them from extinction! 

I paired it with a navy and white striped crop top also from Forever 21, my Marc by Marc cross body, and my super rad metallic wedge platform from Steve Madden! I love the rose gold finish on the wedges because it's funky while still maintaining that classic element. And can we talk about my braids?! It's the one braided hairstyle I learned how to do on my own and I'm so proud. I'm sure I'm going to tire out that braided look because it's just so easy to do (and that says a lot coming from me) and it's playful! 

When we lived in the city, one of our favorite things to do on the weekend (besides brunch), was take the train down to the West Village and just walk around, take pictures, pop into bars and restaurants, and explore the neighborhood. Coco grew up coming into the city and the West Village was always his favorite neighborhood to hang out in. There are so many families, so many beautiful townhouses, picturesque tree-lined streets that are very quintessential New York. It's a bustling yet quaint creative hub that feels like a tiny suburb within a city. And when it was just Coco and I and the weekend would roll around, we would jump on the train or on the bus and hang out all day in the village- eating, drinking, and finding our 'million dollar townhouse' that we would one day live in with an army of kids! That dream has definitely not died. 

And with Maya in tow, we incorporated a lot more parks, ice cream shop visits, and expanded our fantasy real-estate hunt! Is a five million dollar townhouse on Charles St so much to ask for?! Ha! 

Even when we come back home to visit, a day or two in the village is always on our 'must-do' NYC agenda! I already have a list of restaurants and parks I want to check out. And this time, we'll be doing it as a family of four!

I can't wait to explore the city with Rocco! We're going to start our city boy young! 

On Me: 

Overall dress- Forever 21
Crop top tank- Forever 21
Crossbody- Marc by Marc Jacobs
Wedges- Steve Madden 

In Style, 


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Rocco Report: 38 Weeks

You know that saying, 'We plan, God laughs?' Well, God was surely rolling on the floor laughing, and then laughing some more for good effect, this past week. Because if getting ready for a new baby in the coming week wasn't enough of a stressor/adjustment, lets throw in a ruptured Achilles tendon to the mix. 

When Coco got back from New York a couple of weeks ago, I thought to myself, 'Awesome. Now he can take over and I can take it slow and do some nesting. We can get stuff organized before the baby comes and spent some quality time with Maya before she starts school.' Instead, I get a phone call from Coco telling me he injured his foot and couldn't move it. You hear that? It's the sound of deflated dreams. Fantastic. He was told at Lenox Hill that it was merely a sprain and after a week, his foot would be back to normal. Unfortunately, his foot only got worse by the time he got home. So after a visit to an orthopedic surgeon, we learn that he actually had ruptured/severed the Achilles tendon and needed surgery (I can hear God laughing as I write this). Here we were, ten days away from a baby, and we get this news. Talk about throwing a wrench into the plans. Forget slowing down- now I was forced to kick it into overdrive because there was still much to do on top of taking care of a 3 year old. Coco's surgery would basically have him immobile and on one leg for the next 4-6 weeks. He's expected to start physical therapy two weeks after surgery, and he will go from a hard cast to a soft cast as the weeks progress; but, he will still need the knee scooter to get around. Thankfully, he will be able to drive without a problem since it was his left Achilles that was affected and not his right. Oh, did I mention we're having a baby like this week? 

Once I finished internally freaking out and going through every possible scenario in my head (how much will he be able to do when Rocco is here? Who's taking Maya to school if I'm out of commission and he's out of commission? What if I go into labor and he can't drive me? etc). I took a deep breath, got it together, and went into 'problem-solve mode.' 
Remember my two week 'no visitors at home' rule? Well, that's going to have to go out the window. We're going to need reinforcement, at least for the first 2-3 weeks (or until I get tired of people being in my house), and then I'd like to figure it out on our own. 

Coco went into surgery last Thursday and on a positive note, the surgery went extremely well thanks to the amazing team at Doctor's Hospital. I was relieved! I've been playing nurse and taking care of whatever he needs, and I was fortunate enough to be able to bring in a support team this past weekend to help me take care of him and Maya while I ran some last minute errands. And as of Monday, Coco's been 'ridin dirty' on his fancy schmancy knee scooter around the apartment and he's been able to help with a few things here and there around the house (making breakfast, dressing Maya, doing bedtime, etc) so I can take a break and put my feet up. Literally. And I'm very grateful for that. 

Needless to say, it's been challenging and slightly overwhelming, and sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but laughing seems a lot easier. Despite the insurmountable hurdle, I don't like to complain because it can always be worse- so much worse- so I feel fortunate despite the frustration. So if juggling (temporarily) a one-legged limping husband and a new baby is our obstacle, then I'm perfectly fine with that. I thank God it's manageable. 

At least Maya is getting good use out of Coco's cast! And, she gets to put her Doc McStuffins skills to the test and cover daddy's 'big booboo' with Frozen band-aids. 

In this week's blog post, I'm going to be talking about parenting advice! I'm sure we all have our own 'eye-rolling' stories of parents, non-parents, books, doctors, and even strangers giving us unsolicited parenting advice. They all start with those two loaded words, "You should.." followed by some two cent nonsense you didn't ask for (or that doesn't even work for you) like, "You should think about feeding the baby every 3 hours because he seems hungry," or "You know what you should do? You should let him cry it out when he's colicky." And the list will go on and on. It's annoying and I know some people mean well, but; let's be frank. You really don't want to hear it.  That's why when I read this story on the Internet a few weeks back, I had to laugh because it was pure genius. ( The folks at baby goods company, Tommee Teepees, decided to print all that unwanted advice onto baby wipes, hence the name, 'advice wipes.' You will literally be wiping your baby's ass with all that advice you didn't ask for! it's part of their new campaign that helps parents navigate through those first-time insecurities and being confident enough to figure out this parenting thing on their own, because at the end of the day, isn't that what we're all trying to do? 

However, amidst all the noise, there may exist a gem of wisdom that you can actually put to good use on a rainy day, and maybe, just maybe, it will work for you. Or what if through your own experience, discovery, and growth as a new parent, you stumbled upon an 'aha moment' that really helped you take control of the unpredictable parenting minefield and you wanted to pay it forward (when someone asks you, of course)? Good advice exists- it's just better received when you're the one asking for it! 

I tapped into my Facebook arsenal of friends to get some feedback from moms and dads on the best advice they ever got or learned along the way as new parents. As for Coco and I, when anyone asks us for our parenting two cents- we usually share this: Let the baby adapt to you and your world, not the other way around. I learned this from my mom. She used to say this when I was growing up and my parents lived by it (do you know how many Julio Iglesias concert I had to sit and sleep through?) I adapted to their way of life and when Maya was born, we made her a part of everything we did. Our life didn't come to a complete stop. We threw her into the mix and soldiered on. That worked for us. It may not work for everyone, but for us it did. The second piece of advice I like to give new parents, which seems to be a very popular one amongst moms and dads in this blog post, is do whatever works for you. Who cares what everyone else is doing. At the end of the day, no one knows your baby, your family, and your lifestyle, better than you. What works for one parent, may not work for another and vice versa. As annoying as it can be, when someone doles out some words of supreme wisdom, just smile with all your might and nod. Discard what you don't want, and hold on only to those words that may end up being parenting gold. 

What's been your best parenting advice? Read below to see what some moms and dads are saying! 

Tracy- It's not about establishing and enforcing rules, but rather enabling decision making. All decisions, big or small, have consequences. We just make the decisions and consequences age appropriate so he becomes the best person he can be. Oh, and consequences that involve chocolate, help! Also, there's no such thing as holding your baby too much. 

Jen- No one told me this, but I plan to tell everyone- don't let the baby sleep in your bed. Yes, they fall asleep quicker, but Olivia is two and still hasn't left! 

Angela- Don't listen to anyone's advice. Ha! But it's actually true- but more like 'follow your instincts' would be a nicer way to put it. 

Maru- The first advice I received was to sleep when the baby sleeps and it was totally true. 

Evelyn- Always stay positive so your baby gets that happy energy. Things always turn out better. 

Krizia- Make it really dark when the baby is sleeping and open everything when the baby is awake, so they can learn the difference between day and night. 

Tony- P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E

Lisa- This is a hard one for me because I don't like giving advice on the subject because it's so personal and every parent has their own way, so honestly I've never sought out advice. I just take it one day at a time and do my best to nurture this little human so that he's a loving and productive member of society. 

Karla- Don't let others tell you how to parent your baby. Every baby is different and you do what works best for you. 

Candy- Don't use the word "no" use the words "don't" or "can't." If a child acts out in public, don't stop what you're doing because of them. They need to know it's your time and not theirs. Remove them from the store or wherever they are until they calm down or let them cry it out. Who cares who's watching. 

Kelly- You do what's best or what works for you. 

Sole- Make sure you set out quality time with your child with no distractions. 

Pam- Feed them every two hours no matter what so they sleep at night. Worked like a charm for me! 

Jessica- Do whatever works for YOU. 

Aimee- We figured out that taking shifts overnight worked best for us. No sense in both of us being completely sleep deprived. 

Jennifer- Trust your instinct. You know yourself and your baby better than any book, relative, doctor, expert, etc. If someone's advice or suggestion doesn't feel right, don't feel compelled to follow it. A happy mom and happy baby are the most important things, much more important than following any rules or advice. 

Vanessa- You really only need a crib, diapers, boob/bottle, and love. Also, if Britney Spears did it twice, I can certainly do it! 

Christy- Never believe in absolutes. There are A LOT of ways to parent...always drove me nuts listening to 'you should' advice. Every baby is different. Mine were the polar opposites and responded to different things. 

Suzanne- Hear what everyone says, but listen to no one and follow your gut and heart. 

Adriana- Trust your gut. Be patient. And you really don't know until you know. 

Jenise- As the mom, you're the one who knows best even if you know nothing at all. And at the end of the day, all moms make mistakes and that's okay so don't be too hard on yourself. And a major hospital tip I have for everyone is to let the nurses teach your husband how to do everything: change diapers, swaddle, etc. Let him become the "pro." You're going to learn, but he won't necessarily, so this is the perfect time to get him involved. Making him think he knows better because he learned first is a great way to keep dad involved. And take everyone's advice but don't put it all into practice or you will drive yourself crazy! I did that. 

MeredithAs a new stay at home mommy, I found myself sleep deprived and frustrated every now and then. My mother was over one day and saw the chaos first hand and told me to always remember who's in charge of the children. Me. That can get lost in the overwhelm sometimes. When she said that it empowered me so much!

KristinIf you are guessing whether that stain on your shirt is chocolate or poop....always go with poop and get some Shout, stat!

Jess- Being a mom is the hardest job on earth and there's no right or wrong way. There's your way and it's always the right way. When things are going terrible, especially health wise, ALWAYS be grateful because there is always going to be someone in a way worse situation than you, and they're probably wishing they could be in your shoes. 

I leave you with some food for thought from my BFF and soul sister, Vivi. She shared this poem, by Lebanese-American poet and writer, Kahlil Gibran, with me and said one of the nurses at the hospital gave it to her when she gave birth and it blew her mind. It's the best parenting advice she ever received. I invite you to read it! 

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Kahlil Gibran

Bumpin' Love,

Rocco's Mom.