<Originally posted on Mommy Nearest Blog on 6/27/13>
Breastfeeding is natural, so why doesn’t it come naturally for so many moms (myself included)? I powered through several weeks of pain, awkwardness, and frustration before baby and I finally got the hang of it. Luckily for moms who want to breastfeed but aren’t finding it as easy as they’d hoped, NYC is chock full of lactation support! Whether you’re dealing with a difficult latch, low supply, or downright cluelessness, you can get help from private IBCLC’s (international board certified lactation consultant), postpartum doulas, and local support groups aplenty (links below).
So let’s assume the challenge of figuring out the whole breastfeeding thing is behind you. Congratulations! But there is a new challenge looming ahead. You will at some point want to leave the privacy and comfort of your own home for a period of more than a couple of hours. Maybe not in the first few weeks when you can barely manage a weekly shower, but trust me, there will come a day when just have to get out. So you fill up baby’s diaper bag to the brim with everything you could possibly need, throw on your maternity jeans (yes, you’re still wearing those!), and out you go.
All is well until you realize baby needs to eat. But you’re out, in the city, in public! What to do!? Welcome to the new-mom city-dweller’s dilemma. You probably don’t have a car to run out to, like most suburban moms. Perhaps you pumped ahead of time and brought the milk in a bottle. Sounds good, right? Guess what… you’re still going to have to do something about those engorged monstrosities you’re lugging around in that brand new nursing bra! Nothing a little hand expression in the bathroom won’t take care of. Have fun with that!
Or maybe you’ve given up on the pump and have decided to just put baby to breast wherever and whenever baby is hungry. To this I say “Good for you!” But, you still have a decision to make: to cover up or not to cover up. I am a modest gal, and cannot even begin to imagine just whipping it out in the middle of a restaurant (this is just a personal preference; I have no problem with other moms doing it!). And they have such fun and stylish options out there – from the Udder Cover to the Hooter Hider - to help you maintain a bit of privacy and also minimize distractions for your baby. Some moms just throw a burp cloth or small blanket over themselves, and others forgo the cover altogether. To each her own!
It took a few practice runs of feeding my little one in public before it felt natural to me. It was frustrating constantly seeking out a private room to nurse in, and sometimes meant missing out on half of the dinner with my friends while baby and I were sitting in the corner of the ladies’ bathroom! If you’re like I was and are seeking out a private spot, Mommy Nearest has got you covered – just search the “nursing-friendly” category and the closest places with a nursing lounge or private space like that will pop up on the map for you! Most of the baby and maternity shops have something available for nursing or pumping moms, some restaurants have a comfy couch or chairs in the women’s bathroom, and don’t be afraid to ask in any clothing shop if you can use one of their dressing rooms for privacy (if they say no, give ‘em the stink eye and leave a reply on this blog)!
Thankfully, I’ve graduated from the need for private space and I pride myself on the cornucopia of locations where I have fed my little one. On a plane, on a train, on a bench outside of Macy’s in Herald Square… I asked some of my mommy friends where their most interesting nursing or pumping locations were and got some pretty great answers: in a Penn Station bathroom (broken lock on the stall, no less!), on the shoulder of the BQE and LIE, at a Dead concert at Madison Square Garden, in Katzs Deli (no, she didn’t get what Meg Ryan ordered), and the best (or worst) was STANDING on the F train!
Find a lactation consultant
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Find a breastfeeding support group
As I've mentioned before, our apartment doesn't have air conditioning. It's not so bad, even in this heat wave, but no matter the temperature we have to escape every once in a while. Especially when Kenzo is cranky and not napping. Distraction is key and the best kind of distraction for him is a different environment! If it's nice outside we'll take a walk, come home, go to the grocery store, come home, go to the park, come home, etc etc. Anything to break up the day. But it's too hot for those lovely adventures so I thought I'd give the library a shot. We go there every Monday and Wednesday for their free Babies & Books classes, and recently we've been popping in to get those board baby books as we only have about 10 at home and I was soooooooooooo tired of reading them over and over again! Now we go about twice a week and get about 10 each time. Not sure Kenzo cares about it but I'm all excited to read the different stories!! Some are so fun and cute, others are a joke - like really, how did this get published? I could have come up with something more interesting! haha!
I digress. Where I was going with this is that I took Kenzo to the lil' kids area of the library today to just hang out for the first time. They have a special room that is semi-sound proofed with a door that shuts. I brought a big blanket for him to sit on since the carpet in there is pretty cruddy (they don't have a shoes off policy, boo!!). I brought 5 squeezy blocks and a couple of other toys. There were a couple of other families in there reading and I sat him down and started stacking his blocks for him and letting him knock them over.
There was a little boy walking around the room shoving crackers in his mouth, making a terrible mess on himself and the floor all over the room. Cue disapproving mom face. *SMH* I think he was with his nanny, but I didn't call her that, remembering all the responses I got from yesterday's post saying people thought they were a nanny to their baby simply because their skin tones didn't quite match. But not only was this woman a completely different complexion but if she was related she was his grandmother if anything. But anyway, she was totally ignoring him. Poor guy. He starts inching his way closer and closer to the fun action going on between me and Kenzo and our blocks. Sure enough he is finally brazen enough to join us and start STEALING MY BABY'S BLOCKS, with his crumb covered hands no less. I had been listening out for any sort of sniffle or cough the second he started making his way toward us, so I'm pretty sure we're in the clear there. But crumbs on the blocks Kenzo sucks on. He hasn't had solids yet, who knows what kinda allergies he has yet. CUE ANXIOUS MOM FREAKING OUT. lol
Anyway, I just pushed my worries to the back of my mind and fostered a sharing playful environment between the two of them. Showing them they could stack and knock over the blocks together, and even enjoying the advanced level of play this 2.5 year old had (for example asking him what animal was on each block and what sound it made). The whole time his nanny or grandma or whoever was in the corner of the room not even attempting to join or monitor. That's probably the part I have the most problem with.
Until today, Kenzo really hadn't socialized directly with anyone outside of his itty bitty baby cohort, and I liked it that way. I'm a bit uncomfortable with him playing with older kids, because of germs and especially if I'm the only one around to mediate - I can't keep Kenzo from scratching the other kid AND keep the other kid from throwing a toy at Kenzo's head, ya know? Oh, the joy I have to look forward to when Kenzo has a baby brother or sister (in a few years folks, don't get any ideas here!!). On the other hand, playing with older kids is probably good for his development, not to mention it's downright entertaining for him to just observe them and their crazy antics.
What do you think? Do you keep your little ones playing with others their own age? Do they prefer playing with older or younger kids?
My husband is Japanese and I'm your standard run of the mill white American. As soon as we got pregnant, everyone was all "You are gonna have the cutest baby EVER!!!" which was fun to hear (a million times!) but how do you respond to that? "Thanks"? "I hope so"?
We were riddled with a mixture of curiosity and anxiety over what our lil' munchkin would look like. Would he get my husband's teeny tiny eyes and my huge nose? Would he look albino with my pasty complexion and my husband's Asian features? Other than the obvious fears of the child being born with a major physical or mental disability, my biggest 100% superficial and selfish worry was that our baby would look 100% Asian and people would think he was adopted.
Well, I definitely think he looks mixed, a perfect mix if you ask me, but my previous fear came to fruition a couple of days ago for the first time. I was with Kenzo at the local bagel shop and a lady (she was Asian, not sure from where) is looking between him and me quizzically, then says to me out of the blue and all matter of factly "He looks Asian". So many creative and fun ways I could have responded. But she caught me completely off guard!! I replied, "Ah, haha, yes, well his father is Japanese". OK, not so unusual... I've had several strangers ask me if his daddy was Asian - mostly people who have a child or grandchild who is half white half Asian - I guess there is a certain happa / haafu / half / mixed / whatever you wanna call it "look". But the kicker is how she responded... "Oh, I thought you adopted him from China". Agh. There it is. Why this offended me so much I do not know. I see nothing wrong with adopting, and nothing wrong with Chinese people, and nothing wrong with adopting a child from China... but the fact is I did NOT adopt a child from China, nor does my child have anything to do with China. He is half JAPANESE and half ME and didn't yo mama teach you if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all??? Telling someone their child looks adopted is not especially nice. Grrrr...
On a lighter note, have you ever taken the All Looks Same exam? They show you various Asian faces and you guess if they're Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. You will fail. I promise! It's crazy when you don't have fashion or accent to take into account... even Asians fail this exam!
First of all, a big HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY to my little man!! I can't believe just 6 months ago I was enduring the biggest most horrendous pain of my life and gifted with the biggest joy of my life!! What a mixed bag of emotions the birthing day is!! I'd like to take a moment to reflect on some of the ups and downs of the last 6 months...
Downs: Lack of sleep, lack of free time (I miss my bazillion TV shows I was addicted to!), lack of alone time with hubby, extreme frustration during the witching hour (evening time when Kenzo's at his crankiest), lack of money (we haven't really dipped into our savings but I do our financials at the end of each month and I miss seeing it actually go UP - missing the dual income).
Ups: Seeing Kenzo's constant development both physically and emotionally, his laughs and giggles and smiles, all my awesome new mama friends, juggling baby and Miny Moe and this blog and Mommy Nearest is a struggle but really fulfilling, feeling more a part of society (we go to the weekly library classes, strangers say hello on the street, I'm active in the local community through FB's Bay Ridge Parents, Bay Ridge Baby Mamas, and Bay Ridge Swappies).
Best of Times:
* Witnessing Kenzo roll over for the first time - I screamed SO LOUD!!!
* Tickle time - depending on his mood he's really ticklish on his tummy, armpits, and inner thighs. His laughter is contagious and we both go nuts for a good 10 minutes!
* Introducing Kenzo to family and friends for the first time, I feel like such a proud mommy!
* Finally making the decision to quit my job and not go back after maternity leave - best decision ever and such a relief once it was finally made!
Worst of Times:
* Diaper blowouts and poo explosions - all over his back, on my hands, on the wall... ick!!!
* Screaming the ENTIRE drive back from NJ after hubby's basketball game. Eventually mama was crying too!
* Trip to the ER at 4 days postpartum (for bilirubin check) - what a nightmare and so scary!
* Physically for me, the whole 1st 2 weeks postpartum, yuck yuck ouch ouch no fun at all!!
These first 6 months with Kenzo have flown by, I can't even believe it!! Sometimes I wish it'd slow down - he's growing so fast and I feel like if I blink he's going to be graduating high school and leaving us >_< But at the same time, it's so amazing watching him grow and change and learn new things! I guess we just have to savor each moment, take tons of photos and videos, and have another baby when this baby is no longer a baby! haha!!
So how about you?? What have been your ups and downs as a new mom?
My little man is turning 6 months old on June 25, and how am I celebrating? A giveaway for mamas and babies, of course!!!
When I was pregnant, I researched about what diaper brand was best for newborn babies and got a lot of conflicting answers! Some people loved Pampers and had trouble with Huggies, or vice versa! I didn't find much info on the cheaper brands, perhaps people were scared to try those on their newborns? So, we went with Huggies on our baby registry, and boy oh boy was that a mistake! They didn't fit my baby's legs, and there were diaper leaks galore. Poop-tastic! Ugh!! We went back to Pampers, which is what he was given at the hospital, and they worked well. Next up we tried Luvs, cuz they were cheaper. They did alright for him. Finally we tried Target and that's what we're with now cuz they're super cheap, very absorbent, fit him great, and are cute!
Talking to my mommy friends it seems we were not alone in this game of diaper eeny meeny miny moe - most families go through several brands before finding the best one for their baby. So why not make this search quicker and cheaper?? Miny Moe Diaper Samplers include 6 brands of diapers in one pack!! You can get the regular sampler, with 5 diapers of each brand, or the mini sampler with just one diaper from each brand. Both of these are sold in size 1 or Newborn, or you can get a combo pack with both sizes. You also get a score card to rate each brand in several categories such as fit/leakage, softness/irritation, design/cutness, etc! So, when you finish the pack and tally up your score cards, you know exactly which diaper brand is best for your baby!
Whether you are an expecting mom, have a newborn at home, or have a friend's baby shower coming up, I invite you to enter to this awesome giveaway (US residents only)!
The winner will receive:
* 1 Miny Moe Newborn Diaper Sampler (30 diapers included - 5 diapers from each of the following 6 brands: Pampers Swaddlers, Huggies Little Snugglers, Luvs, Earth's Best, Target Up & Up, Wal-Mart Parent's Choice; newborn size is good for babies approximately 4-10 pounds)
* 1 Miny Moe Disposable Nursing Pad Sampler (3 pairs - 1 pair from each of the following 3 brands: Lansinoh, Johnson's, Nuk)
Enter by filling in the rafflecopter box below and leaving a comment on this blog post. Earn additional entries as listed in the rafflecopter box below (like us on FB, follow us on Twitter, etc). A winner will be chosen at random through Rafflecopter and notified by e-mail on Monday, July 1. If I haven't received a response within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected and notified.
Best of luck to you all!!
Hi there! Michelle here from Baby Bump Bundle, a company that curates bundles of pregnancy products for expecting moms by trimester, gift boxes for babies, and even bundles for nursing moms. It was so interesting hearing about how Miny Moe came about from Heather, which you can also see on the Baby Bump Bundle blog. I wanted to share a little bit about us too!
Baby Bump Bundle was created when Mairead was pregnant in the spring of 2012. One of her friends put together the first Bundle without even realizing it! It was filled with ice cream, pickles, stretch mark cream and other assorted goodies for the pregnant woman. It was such a thoughtful gesture and it occurred to Mairead that all pregnant women would love to receive a little something for themselves. She shared her feelings with her colleague at the time Michelle (me!), a freelance writer and a former gift concierge, who loved the idea, and together they made Baby Bump Bundle a reality.
Since mom-to-be is going through such an exciting yet emotional and challenging time of her life during pregnancy, Baby Bump Bundle came into being with a mission of creating Bundles for pregnant women, with both fun and functional items. As I mentioned, we have a Bundle for each trimester (available by subscription or just single Bundles), a BabyBundle for when the baby arrives, and for nursing mothers, a BreastfeedingBundle. We were recently reviewed on The Magnolia Pair and offered her readers a 10% off, limited time, discount code, and we would be happy to offer it to you guys too! MAGPAIR13 is all you need to pop in to take advantage of anywhere from 5 to 18 dollars off. Nice to meet you all and thanks Heather for having me!
You can find Baby Bump Bundle on:
My son is almost 6 months and has cut his first two teeth in the past week. We have had some unpleasant moments, yes, and he's not been the dream napper and sleeper that he has been for the past few months, but he doesn't seem to be in terrible pain or anything like that (yet?), nothing that a book and a song won't cure! Here's the product of his teething thus far:
I used to let him gnaw on my fingers and hands, I actually enjoyed it! Such a sweet (and slimy) way to bond with him! But now that those teeth are in, MAN are they sharp!! No more using mommy as a chew toy, though bless him, he tries!! So, onwards and upwards - time to try out some new teethers!
First we have the tried and true favorite of ALL babies... Sofie the Giraffe. Sure she's cute, but it's the squeaker that makes her a real teething treat! I remember the first time Kenzo was able to make her squeak all by himself, he must have been only three or four months old. He was in the stroller with Sofie with the sun shade up. Hubby and I were behind the stroller (so we couldn't see Kenzo) and we were all waiting for the subway. All of a sudden we hear a faint squeak and give eachother the most bewildered amazed look - was that our baby??? He made the toy squeak!!! Cue gushing proud parents! haha! Now Kenzo can actually hold her and manipulate her decently, stuffing a leg in his mouth, chewing her butt and making her squeak, or as in the photo below, try to bite off an ear. Poor Sophie has gone through the ringer with this kid!
Next up we have the Natural Eco Teether, which I got for free in my Media Gift Bag at the Brooklyn Baby Expo (thank you, by the way!!!). It's made from a plant-based bio-resin and is free from BPA, Phthalates, PVC and latex, which sounds good for baby and the environment - yay!! It's cute, too, a little dinosaur, and super easy for Kenzo to hold and get into his mouth.
The first time I gave him the dino, he seemed to like it and was going to town on it. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere this happened:
I didn't see anything out of the ordinary happen - he didn't bonk himself in the head or get frustrated trying to get it into his mouth. I wonder if maybe the "spikes" on the dino's tail pulled on his lip? Who knows. He recovered and next time I gave him the dino he had no problems, phew!
Finally we have the Garanimals Fruit Shaped Teethers. I was excited because they're BPA free and they're filled with gel and you put them in the fridge so they're nice and cool on his inflamed gums. I though, perfect, since the freezer teethers might be a bit too cold. Kenzo LOVES these, especially the strawberry one which has little bumps on it and fits perfectly in there to massage the front teeth gum areas! They are a big hit, but unfortunately they don't hold the chill for very long. All of about 5 minutes. Hmph. So, if you're looking for something to numb up the gums with cold, this is not the teether for you. I'd go for one of the types designed for the freezer (this packaging specifically says NOT freezer, only fridge, though it's misleading on Wal-Mart's website by saying it's an "ice teether"), or DIY by freezing a wet washcloth.
So, those are the teethers we've tried so far! Does your baby love one you'd like to recommend? I'm all ears!!
I had a vague idea of what I wanted to get for my hubby's first Father's Day. I wanted something cheap (we're on a single income here folks!). And I wanted to do something with stamping Kenzo's hands or feet. I quickly ruled out hands, thinking how impossible that would be!! Went to Michael's while home in North Carolina and found a big non-toxic black ink pad, a frame with a nice big mat, some letter stickers, and BOOM the plan was set! Getting Kenzo's feet stamped onto that mat was not exactly easy, despite having both my mother and father helping me!! We completely destroyed the front of the mat with smeared blobs that barely resembled feet! Whoops! Luckily the back of the mat was white and the prints came out pretty good on there! Little tip - get baby's feet good and moist in the pad, but do lots of test runs. We found that stamping first on a newspaper would leave the second stamp less blobby and quite nice - showing all the little creases and what not.
Got back to Brooklyn and a week before Father's Day thought my fellow baby mamas might be frantically trying to come up with gift ideas. I told them what I'd done and that they were welcome to use my ink pad at the library the next day. They were allllll over that! That ink pad saw more action than [insert joke about someone who gets a lot of action].
So, without further ado, here are a few of our final products:
I'm a self-proclaimed sun lover. I love being tan, since I was quite young. I have fond memories of sun-bathing on our deck with my mom and sister when I was all of about 10 years old. Now, of course, I realize the damage sun causes to our skin, the increased risk of skin cancer, etc. My crows feet are deepening daily, yet I still can't manage to flip the switch on my brain. For myself that is. For my little one who is almost 6 months old, it's a completely different story!
The doctors tell you not to use sunscreen until your baby is at least 6 months old. So you wonder, why? Is it because they are so loaded with toxic chemicals that it's just not safe for an itty bitty baby. Super! Sure, you can do your research on the EWG's Skin Deep cosmetics database and find yourself the safest of the safest sunblocks. We did that and have 2 tubes of unopened Badger's sitting in our hall closet. But so far I've been able to avoide having to use it on my lil' one.
For now I'm resorting to 1) keeping him in the shade and 2) covering up any sun-exposed parts.
When he's in the stroller, the shade on our Britax B-Agile is really big and covers all but his legs, depending on the angle of the sun. To tackle the leg exposure, I carry around a pair of UPF BabyCool BabyLegs to throw on him should his legs end up in the sun. They're nice and long so I can pull them down to cover up his little tootsies too ^_^
When I wear my little one in his Mei Tai carrier, he's quite a bit more exposed and he's probably pretty hilarious looking to bystanders the way I've got him covered up head to toe! We're talking hat on the head, BabyLegs on the legs and feet, and Sunny Sleevez on the arms and hands.
What are Sunny Sleevez you ask? They're 50+ UPF sleeves that cover from the base of the fingers (or over the fingers in the case of a baby) to upper arm. The great thing is that you can easily pull them off when you're in the shade or go inside, and slap them back on before little one is in the sun again. You can also wet them for a nice cooling effect. I was worried that their smallest size would be too big for my 5 month old, but there's a little button you can hook at the top to make them snugger, and they fit him just fine! We bought ours through The Eczema Company, but it looks like they're out of stock for the rest of the 2013 summer season (check back with them for next year though!) If you need them for this summer, check out www.sunnysleevez.com (they also have them in adult sizes).
I feel pretty good about covering him up as I've heard a vast majority of sun damage is done in the first year of life, but I do worry a bit about Vitamin D deficiency. Our pediatrician had him on Tri-Vi-Sol supplement during the winter, but I've stopped that now. I guess they can always do a blood test if they're worried about it...
So, what do you do about protecting your little ones from the sun? Have a sun block to recommend or one that your child hates? UPF Clothing? Cute little beach parasol? Do tell!!
I'm so excited to start posting birth stories I've received from mamas from around the world who were lovely enough to share some of their most personal moments with us! I had a wonderful (but looooooooooong and painful) natural unmedicated vaginal birth (you can read my shortened birth story here, longer one here) and love to hear the good the bad and ugly of all the different births out there!
Just a warning about the birth stories in this series - some will be wonderful and inspirational, others will be all of your birthing fears wrapped up into one horrific account... If you are currently pregnant, you should consider whether or not reading these stories will benefit you. For me, I liked to know all of the possibilities - you know, prepare for the worst, hope for the best! Others find it makes them have irrational worries and anxiety. If the latter is you, I will put a little warning on the "negative" stories and you should consider bookmarking these and come back after your little one has arrived safe and sound ^_^
Without further ado, let's kick off the series!
Here is our first birth story guest post from Aussie mom of 2, Gaye in Gifu, Japan.
**Forewarning - this could be an anxiety triggering story for currently pregnant women. Consider bookmarking for after your delivery!
Well, when I was pregnant with Emily I was told by the doc, that I was "big" yeah well, surprise, surprise. I am not anorexic-size like most women in Japan! I must admit that I am big. And a lot heavier that people think I am, thanks to muscle...
Anyways, getting to when I was in labour with Emily, I was taken to the General Hospital, where i was due to give birth. I was in labour for 36 hours, and in Japan they dont believe in any pain killers! I was having contractions less than 2 mins apart, and after being induced twice, there was still no luck. I had remembered that my SIL (my brother's wife) had a still birth when she had been in labour for 36 hours. Unfortunately for her the blood clotted in the umbilical chord, and the baby didnt make it... I could not see myself going through that, so I demanded my doc give me a C-section. He wanted me to have a natural birth, and I asked if I did, how much longer would it take... "Oh, 2 more days or so!" WITH NO PAIN KILLERS??? NO FKUCING WAY!!!!" Anyways, we finally all decided it was better to have C-Section. So, they took me into surgery and got me prepped with an Epidural. Actually 3 of them!! It was so strong, that I couldnt even get a big enough breath to say that I couldnt breathe!
Emily was born with no probs what so ever!!
Then it came to number 2!
When I found out I was pregnant with number 2, I also got in biiig trouble from the doc and was given a very serious warning about my blood pressure, which was over 210 at the time! This pregnancy became a very high risk and I was on medication and had to visit my doc on a weekly basis. Usually when you see a doc when finding out that you are expecting, they usually say "Congratulations!" etc. I was told "If you don't consider terminating this pregnancy, it could cost you and your and baby's lives."
I guess I can say thank you to my extremely stubborn husband for not wanting to give up the pregnancy, and wanting to fight for us. One night I had been feeling really sick from an ongoing headache I had for a few days, and I asked hubby to take me to the hospital. (I had grown up having migraines, but this was different to usual.) We went to the hospital where they checked me out, checked my BP, and told me that they have to send me to another hospital to give birth straight away, if not we could both lose our lives in a matter of hours. It turned out that my BP rose to 250/160!! (I eventually found out that high BP was in my DNA, and that was the cause of it!)
I was rushed to another hospital via ambulance, that deals with high risk pregnancies and also has an NICU.
They prepped me for an emergency C-section and I was given about 7 or so epidurals? None of them worked, and I could feel about everything!! They didn't use the old time scalpel, they used a laser scalpel, and I could feel it all!! It burnt like hell!!!! Apparently, the doc who stitched me up when Emily was born did a crappy job, and the scar tissue was really bad, and it took them over 45 mins to get Natalie out!! That 45 mins I was going through the agony of the laser scalpel. Man, that is hotter than getting a tattoo!!!
During this time, my hubby was snapping away, taking pics on my mobile phone! I had no idea he was doing that until I saw the "detailed" pics on my phone lol.
So my tiny little girl was born at 30 weeks, weighing 1127g (2.5 lbs) and 35cm (13.8 in) long. She has 2 tiny holes in her heart, and was in the NICU from Sep-Dec. At almost "9" months, she is still as tiny as ever, at 60.5cm (23.8 in) and just over 5kg (11 lb). But I am so very proud of her and what she has overcome!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)