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Weather Anchor Mama

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nursing Diaries (Part Two)

"Nursing Around the Clock"

After giving birth some moms may opt to have their newborns spend some time in the nursery, while they catch up on sleep.  But, I wanted my baby with me 24/7.  It wasn't because I didn't trust the hospital staff.  I wanted that time to nurse and bond with my baby.  It was something I planned to do early on, so I was prepared to miss out on sleep.  Some people thought I was crazy, but I didn't care.  I was committed and ready for the long haul.  The first two nights in the hospital I don't think my hubby and I got any rest.  My baby girl kept us pretty busy.  She loved nursing from the moment her lips came in contact with my boob.  Breast-fed babies usually nurse every two hours, but it seemed like Princess nursed throughout the entire day.  At one point it was like every five to ten minutes.  I had already informed my doctor and the nursing staff that I intended on exclusively nursing, so formula was not an option.  At one point, I was offered to pump.  But, I thought by introducing the bottle this early could possibly create nipple confusion.  With the exception of the normal check ups, Princess stayed with us the whole time in the hospital.  But, we eventually reached a point where we both needed to get some shuteye.  I asked one of the nurses take her to the nursery for a couple hours.  It was a smart move on our part because once we got home; sleep time for us was a rare occasion.  Let me rephrase that, I barely got any sleep.

When you decide to nurse, you are the only one that can feed your baby.  It seemed like Princess wanted the boob around the clock.  It's now a blur to me, but my hubby says that I was like a machine.  We chose not to have too many people around the first few weeks because she was so new.  Plus, we both wanted to spend as much time as possible bonding with her.  As I mentioned before, my work schedule could be pretty grueling.  I knew that in a matter of months, most of my baby's time would be spent at daycare.  So, I sucked it up and did what I had to do.  But, my saving grace was my hubby.  Everyone has a breaking point, and I am no different.  Not only did she always want to nuzzle up to my breast, my baby girl would only nap while in motion.  She didn't like the swing or the vibrating bouncers, which meant that I had to walk around the entire house to get her to fall asleep.  Most of the time I was a walking zombie, so my hubby took over touring duties.  I don't know what I would do, if I were alone.  I give all you single parents a lot of credit.

After a few weeks, we introduced her to the bottle (which I will chat more about in Part three).  It was a much-needed break for me.  I'd pump and my hubby would feed her, while I caught up on some z’s.  I'm not talking a full night's rest, but more like a couple of hours here and there.  However, it was still a nice break.

My daughter will be one this week and she still loves the boobies.  She's already eating table foods, but she enjoys nursing before bed and before she heads of to daycare.  She hasn't been sleeping through the night for the past few months because of teething issues.  So, she finds comfort being breast fed overnight too.  My doc says that at her age she shouldn't be nursing through the night, but it helps her sleep.  I choose to bask in these nursing days because it will eventually come to an end.  There will come a time when she won't want to nestle up to my boob anymore.  

A lot has changed since we bought Princess home almost one year ago.  I've gone from getting about a couple hours to about five hours of sleep during the night.  Even though I'm still missing out on my beauty rest, I wouldn't have it any other way.  My baby is happy and healthy.  I thank God for that each day.

Weather Anchor Mama

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene Takes Me Away From Princess!

I've been tracking Hurricane Irene for some time now.  So, I wasn't surprised when I was asked to report to work this weekend.  Irene continues to move up the east coast and is expected to make landfall in New York early Sunday morning as a category 1 hurricane.  The good news is that once Irene hits land, she will likely lose some steam.  But the not so good news is that she's expected to pound us with heavy rain and gusty winds.  When all is said and done, there could be storm surge, some serious flooding, and power outages.  There have been mandatory evacuations in flood prone areas which is not too far from where we live.  My hubby insists that we'll be ok, but I can't help it.  I am a wreck!  We took the necessary precautions including buying enough food and water.  Even though we're prepared for this, I still feel uneasy.  The worse thing is being away from Princess.  I do miss my hubby, but there's something about being away from your child.  I feel like a part of me is gone.  This is the worse part of my job.  I love what I do.  But in times like this, I'm torn.  I took this video as I was leaving earlier today.

I won't be returning home until Monday:(  Breaks my heart.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Princess's 1st Birthday Celebration

 The weather will be taking a turn for the worse as Hurrican Irene moves up the east coast, I am so happy that my hubby and I scheduled Princess's birthday celebration last week.  Had it been a week later, we would be in serious trouble.  The weather was perfect last Saturday.  Although it was a bit breezy, there was plenty of sunshine.  Outside conditions held up just fine, but the day turned out to pretty interesting.

Fun, exciting, anxious, stressful are just some of the words I can drum up to describe it.  As I mentioned, Princess turned one last week.  We decided to celebrate by having a princess themed get together on Saturday.  I've planned a wedding and small gatherings, but I have never planned a 1st birthday bash.  

I spent the last two months or so planning the event, so I thought it would be an easy breezy day.  Boy, was I wrong.  My hubby and I hadn't even begun to set anything up!  We had to cancel Princess's afternoon swim class for the day and haul ass.  I called in Aunt Tiff (aka Princess's Godmama) to help out.  She came over to  assist with cleaning all the chairs, decorating, getting the favors ready, hanging the banner, and picking up the balloons.  We were racing against the clock!  The party was set to begin at 3 PM and it was already noon!  We managed to get everything done, but our trip to Party City was interesting to say the least.  We picked out yellow, pink, and white latex balloons.  I also added a cute Princess first birthday mylar balloon as well.
Making the purchase wasn't the problem.  But, getting it all in the car was a whole other story. 

One balloon got away and another one popped.  We were scrambling trying not to lose anymore, when a lady and her young daughter saw us and rushed over to help us.  In fact, she offered hold some balloons in her car and follow us home.  Normally I wouldn't do this, but we were desperate.  My gut said "roll with it." We were able to replace those lost balloons and our new travel buddies, Michelle and Alexis, followed us home.  We often hear about the negative things people do in the world, but we rarely hear about the positive things.  It's refreshing when good people do good things.  I just had to snap this quick pic of us.

Everything came together in the end.  My sis came over with all the food she and my mom prepared (thanks again mom and sis!).  The fam came over and everyone had a great time.  I was caught up in having a perfect birthday celebration for my little Princess, but the most important thing was my baby's happiness and having the people we love share in this special occasion.  

As you can see Princess had a blast hangin' with her cousin Sean and Auntie Sophia.

There are so many great pics!  I can't post them all, but I do plan on putting a video together.  I'll be sure to post a preview.  Thanks to all my family and close friends who came out to share in my baby's first birthday celebration.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Princess!!!

I can't believe it's been a year!  My baby girl turned one at exactly 9:11 PM Wednesday.  I am so happy and I feel so blessed to have her in my life.  I know that I may vent about her teething and sleeping issues.  But in all honesty, I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything else in the world.  I remember when I went into labor.  It seems like yesterday.  I woke up around 4 AM to use the bathroom.  On my way there I yelled, "Uh-oh, Uh-oh!!! Honey!!!  MY WATER BROKE."  My hubby is usually a slow mover, but he came flying out of the bed to see what was going on.  He wasted no time in cleaning up, while I jumped in the shower.  I guess reality didn't quite set in because I called my mom, my mother in law, my boss of course, and I even texted some family members and a bunch of friends.  My hubby knocked a little sense in me and told me that we had to go to the hospital.  We grabbed the hospital bags and bounced.  By the time we got to the hospital, I still didn't feel a thing.  My mom met us there and stayed with with us the entire time.  The nurse brought us into the pre-labor room and the doctor later came in to check if I was dilated.  It turned out I was only about one centimeter along.  I knew in that moment that we'd be in for a long day.

Hours later I still felt nothing.  No pain at all!  I thought to myself, "I may have the easiest labor in history!"  The nurse gave me cervidil (something that's inserted in your va-jay-jay to soften the cervix and cause contractions).  It didn't work.  I still felt nothing.  Then they gave me pitocin,  an IV medication which can also induce labor.  Well, that didn't work either!  By this time I was moved to the labor and delivery room.  Not only was I not having contractions, I also wasn't dilating.  They increased the dosage, and that did it.  Then the pain came with a vengeance!  Even though I was started to feel intense contractions, I still wasn't further dilated .  I was told that in order to fully dilate, I had to relax through the pain.  But, how can anyone relax through excruciating pain??

I wanted to hold out on the epidural.  But at the rate I was going, the doc would have no choice but to do a c-section.  I would be at a higher risk of infection, if the baby didn't arrive within 24 hours of my water being broken.  I was prone to infection and they didn't want to risk something bad happening to my baby.  So, I gave in and got the epi.  I know that people may have their negative opinions on epidurals, but it was a life saver.  It had been hours and I was so exhausted.  I had worked through my entire pregnancy and as luck would have it, I went into labor just a few hours after coming home from work.  I was already missing out on sleep as a result of the pregnancy, add on a full time work schedule, and a couple of hours driving each get my drift.  Getting some rest was like heaven.

Within a half hour of getting the epi, I went from being 5 centimeters dilated to a full blown 10 centimeters.  Then the doc said those magic words, "We're ready to push!"  It only took another 20-30 minutes and my little Princess came right out.  I couldn't believe it!

What a difference a year makes.  My baby girl is now one and I remember the day she came into the world like it was yesterday.  I see how much she's grown and I couldn't be more proud.  I remember when we first brought her home.  She never wanted to be put down.  We had to keep moving in order to keep her comfy.  She also loved being rocked to sleep with music playing.  To this day, she still likes being put to bed with MTV hits or VH-1 Soul on in the background.  She's not crazy about cartoons, but she loves watching music videos!

As far as celebrating the big day, my hubby and I took off from work.  We wanted to spend the entire day with her, but we had to prepare for her weekend birthday soiree.  We did have some family time in the AM, and later in the evening.  She spent a few hours at daycare, and her teacher made this cool birthday hat and took this pic.  Princess clearly had a great day.

I couldn't resist taking a few snapshots myself.

I'll be posting a recap of her bday shindig, complete with pics.  Please be sure to check in again.

To my Princess...
I remember when you opened your eyes for the first time.  The sun was a bit too bright, but you were so curious and wanted to see the world.
I remember our first family stroll.  You were three weeks old and a bit fussy.  But, now you love the outdoors.  Daddy's been taking you for walks everyday, as long as the weather holds up.
I remember your first shot.  You cried a little the first time, and I wanted to take the pain away.  But, you've gotten much better at it.  You haven't cry for all the others, not even when you got your ears pierced.
I remember your first day at daycare.  I felt sad being away from you for the first time.
I remember when you started holding the bottle on your own.  You were only 4 months and held it so well.
I remember when you began sitting up on your own.  You had just turned 5 months!
I remember when you started eating solids.  You were about 5 months old.  I don't think you were quite ready, so I ended up waiting a few more weeks before we tried again.  Now you eat like a champ!
I remember when you took your first crawl.  I had the camera ready to go for weeks because I wanted to get it on tape.  I missed it, but I'm so glad that your daddy was there to capture it.
I remember when you were baptized.  You didn't cry at all during the ceremony.
I remember when you stood up for the first time.  I wasn't there, but I heard all about it.  Soon you'll be walking on your own.  

I love you more than you know and I would do anything for you.  I enjoy each moment spent with you.  I cherish these memories and I can't wait to spend many more birthdays with my little Princess.  There will be many more memories.  The best is yet to come!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Things People Say

I'm sure you've heard that "kids say the darndest things."  But after a recent experience, I think the same can be said about grown folks.  When a child says whatever comes to mind, it's usually deemed as being precocious or cute.  I'm sure you've also heard the saying, "if you don't have something nice to say, keep it to yourself."  I wish everyone would adhere to that expression.  Princess and I went to the post office, and a woman standing in front of us took one look at my baby girl and said the weirdest things.  She blurted out in front of everyone, "you're baby is yellow!  He needs to go to the doctor!  Did you take him to the doctor?!  He looks sick!"  I was shocked beyond belief!  I wanted to tell her off!  I wanted to say mind your own business, my baby GIRL is fine!  Instead I politely smiled and ignored her.  I pretended she didn't say anything.  I didn't want to give her the satisfaction.  Besides, I didn't think she was worthy of an answer.

Now that I'm a mom, I want to set a good example for my Princess.  I know that people will be unkind.  I know that there are some who will impose there beliefs in how I should raise my child, and I don't feel it's right.  Don't get me wrong.  If my child is in distress, I hope that someone would step in to help.  I don't, however, feel it's appropriated to tell a parent your child is sick.  Clearly Princess is fine.  She is a healthy soon to be one year old.  See for yourself.  I took this pic on our way home.  It's an unretouched photo.  Does she look sick to you?

Maybe this woman was trying to help in some way.  But, her approach was just all wrong.  I've had friends who've told me about complete strangers who say the most weirdest, hurtful things.  So, I know I'm not alone.  I guess the most important thing is to handle it the right way.  I could have caused a scene like she did, but I chose the classy way instead.  I wouldn't want Princess to see me fly off the handle.  I rather her be proud of how I handled the situation.  I tell her I love her and that she is beautiful everyday.  As she gets older, I'll tell her that people will say hurtful things, but it's important to not let it get to you.

Weather Anchor Mama


Friday, August 12, 2011

Change is On the Way!

Just like every other morning, I woke up moments before my little Princess.  I really think she's aware of the exact second I open my eyes.  It's the same thing when I get home.  She knows when I walk through the door.  Then she's wired up and ready to play, and I'm exhausted and ready to hit the sack.  So, I've decided to make a change.  Princess has got so much built up energy, and I want her to be free to let loose.    You've seen the pics like this where she's ransacking the place. 

I know I kid around about her helping mommy tidy up.  But, she makes a complete mess while moving through the house like the speed of light.  It's hard for me to keep up!  I've made a decision to send her to daycare a little earlier, that way she gets to play and I get to sleep.  At first I felt a bit guilty about losing time with her during the day.  But, what kind of mom would I be if I can barely keep my eyes open?!  I've realized that sometimes you have to change things up a bit.  Besides, she'll be one next week.  I think she can handle a bit more independence.   A happy baby, makes a happy mommy!

Weather Anchor Mama


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

YMM of the Week!

I am featured in Young Moms in Motion this week! It's a cool site that highlights positive moms doing positive things. Thanks YMM! Please check out the feature, when you have a sec.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nursing Diaries (Part One)

"The First Time My Daughter Latched On"

Before having my little Princess, I knew I wanted to breastfeed.  Why?  For the obvious reason of course, to get my pre-baby body back! Duh!  But seriously, breast milk is the healthiest for any baby and it's the most cost effective too.  But, I was a bit worried about being able to keep up because I am a career mom who's always on the go.  I kid you not, I'm always pressed for time.  Whether you're a stay a home mom or a career mom like myself, nursing and pumping can get overwhelming.  By writing this blog, I hope to encourage others to be persistent.  There have been times when I got frustrated, but I never considered throwing in the towel and switching to formula.  I have so much I want to share regarding my breast feeding experience.  I've decided to write about my journey as a nursing mom in a series called, "Pumping With Weather Anchor Mama."  Let me start from the beginning.

I had just given birth to my little Princess.  It was the most excruciating pain I had ever felt.  But once the nurse placed my baby girl in my arms, I fell in love.  I informed the staff that I planned to begin nursing right away.  Latching on was probably the most difficult.  But after the lactation consultant came in to give me a few tips, we were good to go.  At least I thought we were.  If you think giving birth is painful, nursing was more than unbearable!  Ok, I may be exagerating a bit.  But, you get the point.  Just imagine someone pinching you extremely hard.  That pain that you feel throughout your whole body is like the pain I felt while nursing for the first time.  My nipples became so sore and so chafed, nothing could alleviate the pain.  Over the next couple of weeks, I tried all those creams and ol' school remedies to no avail.  Complaining about it didn't help either.  My hubby just looked at me like I was crazy.  It took patience and prayer to get me through those first few weeks.  It eventually got to a point where the first few seconds of agony turned to bliss, thanks in part to some research I had done.  After surfing the web for breast feeding stories,  I read about pumpease.  Once I began using it, I was hooked.

Even though I loved nursing my daughter (and still do), I also felt that pumpease helped to heal my already sore boobies.  Pumping allowed my nipples to take a much needed break.  Plus, the pediatrition had advised me to begin introducing the bottle.  So that when I return to work, there won't be any problems for my Princess to adjust.  It was like killing two birds with one stone.  Now almost one year later, I am still nursing and expressing milk too!  In fact, most of my pumping is done at work.  My job as a weather anchor can get pretty hectic at times.  I made sure made that my freezer was fully stocked with breast milk (which I still have on hand to this day), before heading back to work.

I wanted to be prepared in the case of breaking weather coverage that interrupted our daily routine.  For those of you who don't live in New York, last winter was a nightmare!  I'm talkin' record breaking snowfall across the area. With almost 62 inches of total snowfall in Central Park, this last winter ranks as the 3rd snowiest season EVER!

When I got the call to report to work on my day off (the day after Christmas), I knew I would have to spend the night away from my baby girl.  Luckily, my hubby didn't have to work and I had some reserve milk in the freezer.  Whenever there is severe weather coverage, I usually report live every 15 minutes throughout my shift.  I remember working this particular snow storm in December, we dubbed it the "Holiday Blizzard."  I had to go live so often that I didn't have time to pump.  By the end of the night I felt like my chest was gonna explode!  My bra size probably quadrupled over the course of about 10 hours.  To make matters worse, the storm was so bad that I couldn't drive home.  My bosses put me in a hotel for the night.  I wasn't exactly a happy camper.  Not only was it the first night without my baby, I was also in so much pain.  Have you ever held your pee so long, you felt like you were gonna burst?  Well, that's how I felt that night.  Once I was tucked away in my hotel room, it was such a relieve to get it out.  I think I filled up four 5 oz bottles easily.  In retrospect, I don't know how I was able to hold it for so long!  When I think about it, I'm probably one of the lucky ones.  This was an extreme situation.  I usually have no problems pumping at work.  But, not everyone has that luxury.  I spoke with a former co-worker who has a son about the same age as my daughter.  She actually pumps in the live truck, while covering her story!  No comfy office to go to, and no comfy reclining chair to sit in.  But, she did say that the guys she works with were totally understanding and gave her privacy.   I on the other hand, usually work in studio.  Plus, I've been to be able to retreat to a secluded area for my pumping sessions.

It's been almost 12 months and I am still nursing and pumping away.  But, it wasn't always easy.  Nursing around the clock was something that became exhausting.  I don't know how I've been able keep my eyes open most of the time.  In part two of "Pumping With Weather Anchor Mama"  I'll share how I got through those sleepless nights.

Weather Anchor Mama

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fighting Addiction

In Jamaica we call it soother (pronounced soo-da). But in the U.S, I've heard it referred to as a binky, bo-bo, boo-boo, nukie, bah-bah, paci. There are so many ways to say pacifier.  Despite these cute names, I've never been a fan.  It's like crack, babies become addicted to them.  It's just another thing to eventually wean them off of, which could be pretty tedious.  In fact, I made a decision early on to avoid it all together. 

But as Princess got older, teething took over.  Those of you who have been through the teething process with your little ones know exactly what I'm talkin' about.  My Princess would drool so much and her gums would become so irritated.  She was cranky 90 percent of the time.  The only way for her to get relief was to put everything in her mouth.  I figured teething toys would put her at ease.  But, it was a temporary fix and she grew tired of them.  Her teacher at daycare as well as some family friends insisted that a pacifier would do the trick.  I was extremely resistent, but later gave in at almost eight months.  I convinced myself that she wouldn't get hooked.  Boy was I wrong.

The pacifier was a saving grace for her teacher because nap time was no longer a major issue.  My hubby loved it too.  He's been able to put her to bed at night with no problems.  The pacifier didn't just sooth her, it soothed us too.  It also helps when we go out for family dinners.

We went out to get a bite to eat the other day.  The pacifier calmed her down while we waited to be served.  But, at some point during dinner it went missing.  My hubby and I didn't realize it until we got home.  Luckily she had another one, so she was able to fall asleep just fine later that night.  Fast forward to the following day.  Like every morning, she ate breakfast and we played around a bit.  When it came time for her to nap, the other pacifier disappeared and she wasn't havin' it.  I tried everything!  Just look at her!

She fussed and cried for what seemed like an eternity, refusing to go to sleep.  Instead of her early afternoon nap, she wanted to file some papers away for her mama.  Hey, who needs a house keeper, when you have a little helper?!  My little Princess did a fantastic job!  She was so excited!

She then decided to organize daddy's contact lenses.

She worked up an appetite from all that hard work.  But, it also wore her out.  So much so that she fell asleep after snack time.

My Princess didn't even need her paci!  But just when I thought I had a light bulb moment, look what I found hiding in my Madela pumping bag.

Now it's back to square one.  I hope to wean her off pretty soon, she getting so big.  I would love to know your thoughts on pacifiers.  Do you love or hate 'em?  Is your child addicted?  Please share!  I'm all eyes!

Weather Anchor Mama

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Monday, August 1, 2011

A Weekend Well Spent

I'm back into the throes of the weekday grind, and I can't stop thinking about the weekend.  We enjoyed some much needed family time.  The weather was so perfect, we couldn't let it go to waste.  Since our little Princess loves the outdoors, we deceided to take a trip to the south shore overlooking the Atlantic.  While we were there, we enjoyed the smooth sounds of a cover band.

It's different from the hip hop and R&B artists that I listen to, but they didn't disappoint.  Our little Princess got her groove on, and also tried to take over filming!  Fun times!

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