An Ending Followed By A Beginning

One of the most cherished experiences as a mother has been nursing my children. As holds true for many new mamas, breastfeeding didn’t come easy to me in the early stages, but it is one thing I miss the most, now that my children have outgrown it.For me, nursing was a bond I created and shared with each child. I would look forward to our time together, and sometimes it seemed as if the whole world would stop as I was completely in the moment. In an effort to overcome my great feeding hurdles, I sought help from a lactation consultant with my first two children. Gemma, my third, took to nursing more easily, and she continued until she was about 18 months old. I let her lead the entire way until she was finished. I miss it so much, and I sometimes find myself yearning for a fourth child, just to relive those precious moments.

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 Ryder 2008

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 Siella 2011

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 Gemma 2013 

My older children remember my nursing moments, sometimes referring back to the time I nursed their little sister. With each child, the process became so much more comfortable that I felt confident the baby was getting enough. I could even nurse while outside, something I didn’t do much with my first. I pumped once a day, and made sure to freeze and store all my extra milk, for those in case of emergency senarios. By the time Gemma came along, I could nurse anywhere and in front of anyone, covered up, of course. Still, those best moments were the late nights, when it was just us and I was half alseep.

It was only me they needed.

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I will be going on an incredibly emotional journey, as I am working with Medela on their newest initiative Medela Recycles. The program focuses on helping moms who have finished their breastfeeding journey help another mom start hers. Each pump they receive through the program will support the donation of new hospital-grade, multi-use breastpumps and supplies to Ronald McDonald House Charity. The goal is to provide moms with the same high-quality equipment they use at the hospital during their stay at a Ronald McDonald House.

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This Friday, I will be heading to the Ronald McDonald House in Long Island, where I will serve as a Medela Recycles ambassador and make a donation of two brand new Medela Symphony Preemie+ breastpumps on behalf of Medela.

I also plan to part ways with my pump through the Medela Recycles program. This one pump that was used for all three of my children is something that I held near and dear to me. I know I won’t be throwing it away, as the parts will be recycled and helping other mamas, but I can’t help feeling emotional about giving away that piece of my motherhood. Of course, I no longer have use for it, but my Medela Pump symbolizes my entire breastfeeding journey.

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The simple act of recycling your trusted pump through Medela Recycles provides you with both the peace of mind that your pump will be recycled properly, along with the added benefit of knowing you are supporting another mom on her new expedition during a challenging time.

Thank you Medela for sponsoring this post and letting me share my story. 

Traveling Routines & Rituals

When it comes to my children’s routine, sleep is the critical element. Days preceded by restless nights, or a late bedtime, typically yield lots of whining, with an occasional meltdown, or three. Gemma is the only one that has a set nap schedule, and Siella is down to maybe one nap a week now. For my sanity, and their own good, I try to nap them whenever possible, but with school, activities, and lots of play, it’s not always possible to get them down for their afternoon siesta. Nighttimes could be rocky if one of them wakes up in the middle of the night.  Since they are sharing a room, one kid crying or making noise can quickly result on all three awake. I can sometimes get them to go back down, but there are plenty of mornings that I find myself sipping coffee before sunrise.

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This past weekend, my family and I enjoyed a staycation at The Benjamin Hotel, located in midtown Manhattan. It was a great opportunity to spend some time in a different part of the city, soaking up the neighborhood. We headed uptown on Friday afternoon, with great anticipation for the warm weather and our swanky hotel room.

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Upon arrival at our one bedroom suite, The Benjamin had pint sized robes, bedtime books, and the little plush owls laying out on the bed, waiting for the kids. They were extremely excited to see some of our favorite tales like Good Night Central Park and Twinkle Little Star. Reading is a staple in their bedtime, and something they look forward to every night.

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We headed out to an early dinner, and we were welcomed back to the room with juice and a fruit plate for children. I had notified the staff that Ryder cannot have gluten, so they made sure to send fruit instead of cookies. As we started to get ready for bed, it was time to order from their exclusive pillow menu, offering a huge selection pillows, each catering to individual sleep position and preference. Special pillows for the children were available, but the five-foot body cushion, which was even taller than the kids, was everyone’s favorite.

We learned about The Benjamin’s complimentary Winks’ Kidzzz Club children’s program, created to educate the youngest guests on the importance of sleep. The Benjamin provides children with a child-sized pillow and bathrobe, a library of family bedtime books, and an official Winks’ Kidzzz Club Sleep Certificate awarded at check-out. This program is absolute genius, as most of the time while traveling, the kids don’t really get a proper night sleep.

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That night, we went through our usual bedtime routine, topped off with mini robes and special pillows, and new owl lovies. Low and behold, everyone slept in past 7am- a new record. Sure, we had the two big kids wonder into our room in the middle of night, but we all slept snuggly in the king size bed.

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We all woke super refreshed and ready to enjoy the unusually warm NYC weather. The day started with breakfast at The National restaurant, located in the hotel, followed by a day of exploring in Central Park.

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We acted like total tourists, soaking in our family time. The kids even went fishing in Central Park (don’t worry it was catch and release!). Along the way, an artist drew characters of them. The sketch will hang in their bedroom as a reminder of the glorious day.

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Thank you to The Benjamin Hotel for sponsoring this post, and offering my family an incredible (well rested!) weekend in NYC.

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These

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The item of clothing that my children tend to wear out the most are their pajamas. Frequent use and washing definitely takes its toll, sometimes even more than their school clothes. When trying to decide which jammies to buy next, I always tend to gravitate towards the softest pieces, and made from the highest quality of fabrics, as… Read more »

Performing Arts Made Kid Friendly

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I can remember my very first time visiting Lincoln Center, I was on a class trip in high school. From the minute I walked up the steps from Columbus Ave and was welcomed by the mystical water fountain and breathtaking architecture, I immediately felt like I had escaped New York City, and entered a magical land.… Read more »

Family Ventures Captured

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Jason and I may not know where we see ourselves living long term, but one thing that we absolutely agree on is that we want to continue to traveling as often as possible with our children. With so many destinations on our bucket lists, we welcome what the future has in store for us. Whether it’s… Read more »

Disney Magic Lives

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We just returned from our trip to California, and naturally the kids have been going on and on about Disneyland. The rides were great, but meeting the characters, especially the princesses, was the absolute highlight of our trip. After a few days back home, the kids and I ventured out to Nassau Coliseum, for a bit more pixie… Read more »

Custom Capsules Of Childhood

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The other day when someone asked the age of my middle daughter, Siella and the word three came out of my mouth, it hit me. I realized that she was such a mature girl for her age. We sometimes engage conversations than I am unprepared to get into with her, but I just go with it. While she… Read more »

Conventional Nurturing

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I can remember vividly sitting with my hairdresser almost four years ago, telling her I was starting to notice gray hairs. I was secretly hoping she would tell me that I was crazy, and that they were just light blonde strands, but no such luck. She plucked a few from my scalp, and estimated they… Read more »