10 Shocking Things That Happen To Your Body After Birth

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It’s hardly fair. After nine months of pregnancy aches and pains, I assumed I’d feel so much better once the baby was born. But though my nausea and heartburn quickly faded, my hormones went haywire, my hair fell out and I needed maxi pads in size jumbo elephant.

Horrified? Just wait, there’s more! So much more. I’ve been to this sloppy rodeo twice now, so I’m here to tell you the freaky truth about our postpartum bodies, and some practical advice to get through it all.

1. The Grand Canyon – It only takes a few hours to dilate to 10 centimeters, so why does it take so much longer to snap back? Right after birth, my lady parts felt like they were flapping in the breeze, and things were so wide open down there, I was scared a vital organ would fall out and land in my shoe. My advice: No matter what, do not bend over naked and look in a mirror. You can’t unsee it this stuff.

2. I.P. Freely – I thought that poor bladder control was just a pregnancy thing, but all that pressure on your pelvic floor really takes its toll on your plumbing. So yeah, you’re still going to function like a leaky faucet, especially if you laugh or sneeze. My advice: Whatever you do, don’t bounce on a trampoline unless you’re wearing a Poise pad.

3. Am I Still in Labor? – I was nursing my newborn when I felt the unmistakable pain of a contraction. WTF? Was I having post traumatic flashbacks? Turns out that in order for the uterus to return to its normal size, it contracts just like when you’re in labor—and these contractions can be intensified by nursing or orgasm. My advice: Avoid orgasm, you postpartum sex monster. LOL.

4. Night Fever – A few nights after I got home from the hospital, something woke me, and for once, it wasn’t a hungry baby. Full body chills and night sweats, a product of post-pregnancy hormonal shifts, left me drenched and freezing. Or boiling hot. You never know. My advice: Go to bed in layers, and be prepared for a summer or winter look, depending.

Continue the horror at mom.me….

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16 Things Babies Do To Mess With Their Moms

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Babies are such amazing little creatures. They’re born with the instinctive ability to root, to suck and to throw their limbs forward when startled. They’re also born understanding how to royally screw with their parents. Sometimes they even seem to enjoy it. Here are just a few examples of how our babies like to mess with us:

1. Waking from a nap the moment you sit down to eat dinner.

2. Spitting up all over you that one day you showered and put on a real shirt. Bonus points for spitting up in your hair when it’s clean and unprotected by a pony tail.

3. Destroying exactly one more outfit than the number of spare outfits you packed in the diaper bag.

4. Wailing inconsolably for so long that you’re certain it’s colic or the croup or worse when all of a sudden BURRRRP and they’re smiling again.

5. Snoozing through a jackhammer, loud rock music and the door slamming, but waking up when you sneeze. You only have yourself to blame.

6. Dozing off for five minutes and believing that constitutes an afternoon nap.

7. Suddenly sleeping for six hours in a row, causing you to stay up all night to make sure they’re still breathing.

Keep reading at Lifetime Moms…

 

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How I Know ‘Tidy’ Marie Kondo Is Not A Mom (Yet)

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Clutter is a major source of stress in my family. My husband is a neat, organized minimalist, but in the past few years, he’s had his world turned upside down by three not so tidy ladies: his wife and two daughters. I’ll admit, our home could use a few (million) fewer tutus, tiaras and tap shoes.

So I picked up Marie Kondo’s popular new book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Maybe she could indeed change our lives—or least prevent a few trip-and-falls in our living room.

Well, I’ll give Kondo’s book this: it’s a great read, if you like comedy. I laughed many times, such as when she suggested storing shampoo and soap in a cabinet after every use instead of leaving them in the shower stall like a normal person. When I’m clutching a squirmy baby, while trying to corral a stubborn preschooler at bath time, I most certainly do not have a spare hand for extracting products from a cabinet.

That’s when I realized, Marie Kondo is many things—an organizing expert, best-selling author, lecturer and blogger.

But she is not a mom.

At least not yet.

Reportedly pregnant with her first child, Marie Kondo is about to find out how the other half lives, and I can’t help but wonder if motherhood will change her views on organizing. Here are 7 principles I think Kondo should revisit when she becomes a mom:

1. Place every item of clothing in the house on the floor

Kondo says the best way to evaluate your wardrobe is with every last item laid out on the floor. Can you imagine pulling this trick off with kids in the house? Mine would build a fort out of the T-shirts, turn the socks into puppets and wear my undies on their heads before I could possibly get through sorting the clothes.

2. Dispose of everything that does not spark joy

I love the idea of only keeping possessions that bring happiness, but that goes right out the window when you’re a parent. The miniature potty and stepstools junking up every bathroom in my house drive me crazy, but they are necessary to raising little ones. Ditto the many board games, Legos and noisy electronics. While Kondo’s book covers quite a few categories of clutter, from papers to mementos, she never once mentions toys.

Continue reading at mom.me…

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A Look Back At The Carriage Before Marriage Wedding

threesome Viv looking up

I can’t believe our first wedding anniversary is almost here.  The year flew by, possibly because we also made another tiny human during that time.  I had wanted to blog about the big day right away, but as I learned, wedding photos can take a little while.  Now that they’re here, and well worth the wait (thank you, Next Exit Photography), I’m excited to share.

viv takes photo

Everything about our wedding made me so happy.  Sure, a few things went wrong (they always do) but I wouldn’t change a thing–except maybe I’d take two minutes to actually eat dinner. I hear it was delicious.

What follows will be wedding porn of the wedding magazine variety, written for…I’m not sure whom–wedding enthusiasts?  If this is not for you, move on, and I promise the next blog post will be something funny about kids or whatever xoxo

OUR VENUE

calamigos tree

We were married at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu.  The green, wide-open grounds reminded us of summer camp–a happy childhood memory for both of us.  The ceremony took place under a tree adorned with twinkly lights and the reception was held in an open tent, perfect for a warm July evening.

calamigos tent

MY DRESS

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After combing the department stores and better known bridal shops, I found this gem at a special little boutique, L’Ezu, where they really know what they are doing. Case in point, during my second to last fitting, I was insisting that the bodice was too tight. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and was practically hyperventilating.  The designer correctly surmised that I was having a pre-wedding panic attack.  After making me sit for a while and distracting my brain, the dress suddenly fit fine.

dress in mirror with Viv

On my wedding day, I truly felt like a pretty princess going to the ball.  It’s so not fair that we only get to wear our gowns once.  I’ve gone ahead and paid a small fortune to have it preserved museum quality on the theory that one of my daughters MIGHT want to wear it some day?  Except the flaw in that plan is that I am only 5’2″ and, thanks to my tall husband Dave, my kids are destined to tower over me.  Perhaps minis will be in style.

flower girl in mirror

Btw, I found Viv’s dreamy flower girl dress online and it was made to fit her perfectly.  Unlike me, Viv does get to wear her special dress again–whenever she’s feeling fancy.

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FLOWERS

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The wonderful Marcia of McCann Florist was able to translate my vague vision (purplish, not too tight or formal) into the perfect cluster of garden roses, anemones and lisianthus.  The centerpieces also featured hydrangeas, a favorite of mine, and were surrounded by mercury glass votives for a hint of silver.

centerpiece

I didn’t want to make my bridesmaids get matching dresses, but they indulged me by selecting any purple dress in the style, length and shade of their choice.  The result was a gorgeous ombre effect and the bouquets really tied all the colors together.

bridesmaid bouquets

CAKE

We still talk about our yummy yummy cake, from Vanilla Bake Shop.

wedding cake

The white buttercream frosting hid a decadent suprise inside–dark chocolate cake oozing with dulce de leche.  I think we got more drunk on cake than cocktails.

eating cake

Our official cake taster did not steer us wrong. It was so good that we are actually looking foward to excavating the piece we saved to eat on our anniversary from the depths of our freezer.

cake topper resize

I’ve always loved those kitschy bride and groom cake toppers, and I searched far and wide to find one that would represent all three of us.  The Mudcards shop on Etsy customized our topper using photos and details of our outfits.  We will save this forever!

DECOR

My friend Cristina of Le Partie Sugar, who has incredible taste and style, designed our tres chic escort cards, table numbers, programs, cocktail menu and more.

table cards

She also commissioned this chalkboard sign that welcomed our guests…

chalkboard sign

…and these dyed-to-match lavender macarons as favors.

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Our photographer encouraged us to bring in some extra lighting for the tent.  Since I was shooting for “rustic elegance,” I thought briefly about lighting the whole place with chandeliers…until I saw the estimate.  So our genius wedding coordinator Erin Bagaason, of Malibu Weddings and Events, suggested we decorate just our sweetheart table with a personal chandelier.  I think I need one of these over my desk at home.

sweetheart table

I also found these cute “Just Married” signs at the MyPrimitiveBoutique on Etsy for the backs of our chairs.  Nobody could really see them but us, but I knew they’d make a great photo and in fact this is one of the shots we have hanging on our wall at home.

just married chairs

MUSIC

Music is very important to both of us, so we really customized our soundtrack, beginning with solo guitarist Jason Sulkin, who played Beatles and Elvis love songs as guests arrived and segued to “Eternal Flame” as we walked down the aisle (yes, The Bangles — raised in the 80s, baby).

walking down aisle

Ryan and Sevy of Glasz Productions DJ’d our cocktail hour and pre-dinner dancing, and Ryan was the consummate classy-not-cheesy MC (we had enough cheese going on with our musical choices).

Dave and I danced our first dance as husband and wife to Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.”  We had been secretly taking dance lessons at Arthur Murray for months, which nobody seemed to notice, so I’d hate to think what would have happened if we hadn’t taken lessons!

wedding dance pros

We had a ball out there nonetheless.  And Dave knocked the big dip out of the park.

wedding dance dip

Then, The Spazmatics–the greatest 80s cover band on the planet– rocked us out for the rest of the night.

The Spazmatics

From “Melt With You” to “Don’t Stop Believin’” and everything in between, we never stopped dancing.

wedding dance with Viv

Props also to our videographer Isabel Gonzalez who made even my video-shy husband feel so comfortable, and to Pacifc Event Lighting for the warm and pretty glow, and to Caitlin from Glue it Yourself who made the cutest bridesmaids gifts for me.

bridesmaid totes

(I stuffed the totes with chocolates, Fresh lip balms and tabloid magazines, as one does.)

And that’s how Carriage Before Marriage got married.  While I would like to just keep talking and talking about our wedding until I get really annoying (too late?), I suppose that brings us to a close.  Thanks for dancing down memory lane with me.

three on grass crop

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7 Things I Never Imagined Saying Before I Had Two Kids

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I knew my life would change forever when I brought home baby #2—I just never could have guessed the crazy things that would come out of my mouth.

1. “Don’t step on your sister!” – While I believe that my 4-year-old intends to be loving and gentle towards her baby sister, preschoolers don’t always pay attention to where they’re going. I’ve learned (the hard way) that it’s best not to put baby down on her play mat while Big Foot is stomping around.

2. “Get your nose out of her eye” – We’re also working on boundaries. My daughter loves to smush her face right up again the baby’s face, nevermind whether she can breathe. I was hoping my kids would be close, but that’s a little too close.

3. “Let me smell your hands” – It’s inevitable that my older kid will spread some nasty preschool germs to the baby, but I’m trying to stave this off as long as possible by rigorously enforcing hand washing. Of course, the only way to know for sure if she’s actually washed her hands or just saying she did? The smell test.

4. “Enough reading, let’s watch some TV!”Damn I’m tired. And my back is killing me from breastfeeding the baby while trying to keep my hands free to play with the big kid on the floor. Sometimes it seems like a much better idea to let Sophia the First do the parenting for a while.

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