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Archive for August, 2011

We met Hatz, a precocious little 2 year old, last week at Borelli Playground in Ridgefield, New Jersey. Her mom, Tomoko (pregnant with her 2nd child due in December), and I both belong to NJMM (North Jersey Moms Meetup Group) and this was the first time we were attending the same meetup. Several of us were hanging out on blankets when the time came for Elliott to have his diaper changed. Hatz, who has been taking her new role of soon-to-be big sister very seriously, made her way toward us, zeroed in on the clean diaper I was holding in my hand and said with great confidence “I’ll do it”. After checking with Tomoko that this was ok with her, I handed over the supplies and let Hatz change my son’s diaper…

She took her time, assessed her work and voila! If you ask me, Hatz is going to be a great big sister!

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Since the day I found out she was on her way, my little sister has meant the world to me. We’re 12 years apart, so you can only imagine how excited I was to hear that I was going to have a little sibling, I fully understood what that meant. And on November 22, 1995, when my father called me from the hospital to announce that my sister (sex still unknown at the time) was born, I could hear the beeping of the monitors in the background and I began to cry.

She came 2 months early, so small and purple. I remember looking at a polaroid of her before visiting her in the NICU and wondering if it was ok that I didn’t think she was terribly cute. Luckily, when I first saw Isabelle, she was beautiful – flesh-colored and tiny. She was hooked-up to many different monitors, her little head shaved in various spots. I will never forget the smell of the iodine hand-soap we used to scrub-in just to be able to visit her.

On December 26, I went to my father’s to spend Christmas day with my brother, Paul, my dad and Isabelle’s mom, Gina. I went up to Isabelle’s room to take a look – Gina had recently finished the decorating. I looked into the crib and said out loud “Aw, how cute, you placed a doll where Isabelle will lay”…I had no idea that she had been discharged from the hospital in time for Christmas…I probably cried then, too.

Isabelle is my favorite Christmas gift of all time and though life has taken us to different countries, different places in our lives, she really has been the most important person in my life since day one. The one person who showed me what unconditional love was. I promised her this past weekend when she came to visit along with my dad, that I will make it a priority to check in with her and not take our relationship for granted.

A sister like her, I’ll always take care of…

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While Staying In A Hotel

Let me start with a little background information…

Allergies run in my family. In my case, I have anaphylaxis to peanuts and a plethora of other allergies to food with reactions ranging from mild to more severe. Because my husband also has allergies (and we both have asthma), we decided to bring Elliott to see our Allergist Dr Steven Simonte before starting him on solids, which happened at 6 months, on the dot.

We discovered that Elliott is allergic to Nuts, Peanuts, Eggs and Dairy, and was given an Epipen Jr kit, just in case. I had already eliminated the Nuts and Eggs from my diet (I still nurse my little guy) and had seen a remarkable difference in Eli’s skin – he no longer had red, raised patches of skin and he rediscovered his love for bath-time now that he wasn’t compelled to tear at his delicate skin to relieve the itch.

Now that we are introducing new foods to Eli at the rate of 1 every 4-5 days, it is very important for us that we know exactly what it is that we are giving him. I have been making my own Baby Food when we’re at home since day one and couldn’t do it without the Wholesome Baby Food website. I must visit that site every single day! Never having been great in the kitchen, I love the idea of learning how to cook one ingredient at a time and then trying new combinations. We do tag along with Jon on some of his business trips and for those occasions, we buy Earth’s Best Organic jars of food. So far, we have only had one allergic reaction: Bananas…it’s a shame, too, because they are so darn convenient to prepare!

Elliott’s favorite foods to date are: Sweet Potato & Chicken, Applesauce with Cinnamon, Avocado & Pears. He didn’t really care for the texture of the Steel Cut Oats but I think it’s because I didn’t grind it into a fine enough powder, so we’ll try it again, soon.

I’m hopeful that Eli will outgrow some of his allergies as most children often do. Until then, we will keep a close eye on his skin and belly issues with each new food introduction.

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It was back in May that I registered for the Sandy Puc’ Creative Edge Kids Tour – a cross-country photography tour discussing the many aspects of photographing babies and children. I remember thinking that August was sooo far away (it’s just like Summer to speed itself up when you aren’t paying attention)…Well, last night, the time had arrived to attend her seminar being held in Newark, New Jersey.

Listening to Sandy Puc’ speak for an entire evening about the lessons she’s learned while photographing babies and children for the past 20 years was well worth the investment of time and money. Not only did she provide us all with incredibly helpful tips about social media and marketing strategies, she also did a live shoot of 2 small children: a 14 month old and a 2 1/2 year old. Having the opportunity to see Sandy shoot gave me a glimpse at how she consistently captures compelling images – a little bribery never hurts…

Photographing little ones isn’t meant to always be easy but with the right set of tools and a positive attitude, anything is possible! I am so excited to use some of the advice she gave in my own work…

Thanks Sandy~

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