Tall Mom tiny baby: August 2013

Mary & Molly's Suggestions for Labor Day Weekend Events in Rhode Island

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Events in Rhode Island

Wondering what fun & free things there are to do this Labor Day Weekend? Have no fear! Just watch the short video below for some great suggestions.

Why not check out one of Molly & my top picks:

Festival Fete (Saturday & Sunday)

East Greenwich will host the third annual East Greenwich Art Festival on August 31st and September 1st from 10am to 5pm at the new NE Tech campus located on Division Road in East Greenwich.  The art festival will feature over 150 contemporary American art and crafts artists along with strolling entertainment including Rhode Island’s Big Nazo.  The festival will feature items big and small including jewelry, ceramics, paintings, sculpture, fiber and home accessories. 

I'm most excited to check out NansCreations and get Itty Bitty some new bibs, as well as a fleece Patriots hat. I am also going to be stopping by Ya Ya Original's Inc - to pick up a blankie character.  

Providence Animal Control (Saturday)

Molly will be volunteering this Saturday! Head on over to say hi to her and the furry friends!

RI Philharmonic Pops (Sunday)

Free fantastic music, plus they will be playing some music from Jurassic Park. Need I say more.

Our First Summer BBQ As A Family

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Barbeque, beers, wiffleball and tossing around the pig skin.

Many of my college friends have gotten together for several years to enjoy one another's company at Colt State Park - a gorgeous *free* state park by the bay.
But this year, it was a little different.
Or, should I say, a tiny different.

This year, we brought a baby.

We still ate delicious food, drank summertime ales, and the guys tossed around the football. I took a walk by the water with a friend, and admired all of the other groups of people, mainly large families, who decided to picnic at the park that day.
It made me a little jealous, to see large family reunions, of forty or more. To hear the laughter and to see all of the kids running around.  For one reason or another, my family isn't like that.  We don't have annual reunions, parents don't call each other up and arrange the list of who-will-bring-what, and cousins aren't running around playing with one another.  Families like that are foreign to me, even though it is something I've longed for my entire life.

But as my friend and I were walking back up from the water, I looked at our site. It hit me that I do have a family like that. A family of friends.

Our friends get together all the time, and plan events like this each year. We coordinate what items we will be bringing with one another.  And best of all, our kids (some of the furry variety) were playing with one another.
There was laughter, kind advice shared among the new parents, lots of love, and no judgement.  The elementary aged kids put on performances, the dogs were taken on walks, and the babies enjoyed being held by an endless supply of friends.   We couldn't have asked for more gorgeous weather or better company.
A friend and I wore the same dress  - oops!
This year's annual BBQ was a little different, because I realized that my friends are my family, and I've been having the annual reunions I've craved for all along.

Do you have any traditions with you family of friends?

Hair's Worst Nightmare - A 4 Month Old Baby

Monday, August 26, 2013

My four month old tiny baby has a pincer-like grasp that would put cranky Maine lobsters to shame.

Remember those toys we played with as kids - the Chinese finger traps? They've got nothing on my kid.

But it was only after that my hair fell victim to his tiny vice-like hands that I learned to be weary of his mega grasp. Chunks of my once luscious locks ended up in his palm, and it wasn't just because of my post-partum hair loss.

Put it this way, have you ever watched a "girl fight" video on YouTube? They're pretty hilarious. And, while I don't condone the violent subject matter, I do recommend watching at least one video because it'll give you a chance to see how they viciously yank on each other's hair. This, and only this, will paint the accurate picture needed to illustrate the pain that my Itty Bitty rains upon my scalp - merely by just pulling on my braid.

But fear not guys, my tiny baby is also into equal opportunity. Even if you're a somewhat hairy man, I would advise against holding my Itty Bitty unless you are wearing a long sleeved shirt. Otherwise, you and your bare, bloody, hairless arms will be leaving my apartment shuddering in pain.

Remember that scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin, where Steve Carell gets his chest waxed? Ohhhhhhhhh, Kelly Clarkson!

It will be just like that, except your hair will be extracted - not by warm, soothing wax - but by tiny handfuls at a time. And, best yet (or worst...I'm not sure which) the damage is done by a baby, and not by a pretty Asian esthetician. I can just see it right now - "THIS IS NOT A GOOD LOOK FOR ME!"

So here's my helpful tip to those of you who either have a tiny baby, or are planning on visiting one in the future.


Wear long sleeved shirts

Watch out if you have a beard

If you have long hair, tie it back


No dainty necklaces. These kids will rip them off of you faster than a pickpocket in Naples.

Tie your hair back in either a ponytail or braid

or just get a fun and fiesty short haircut.




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm a total tech lover, so my iPhone needed to be pimped out during my pregnancy.

Believe it or not, there are already over 1,000 apps geared towards pregnant women. I spent hours trying some out, and have since whittled down the list to my few favorites :)

1. My Days - Period & Ovulation : iPhone & Andriod : Free
I recommend this app for any woman - whether they are trying to get pregnant or not.
It's simple, no frills, and allows you to track Aunt Flo's visits -because unless your body runs like clockwork, remembering the timing of your last period can sometimes be a guessing game. While this app allows you to track your period, it also lets you know when you are (approximiately) ovulating. Which, of course, is super useful for those random doctor visits where the nurse asks when your last "time of the month" was, but its also great if you are trying to concieve.

2. Pregnancy : Sprout : Lite : iPhone : Free
I used this app to keep track of my weight, questions for my doctor, and to see the awesome 3-D image of what my tiny baby looked like week to week.

3. My Pregnancy Today : iPhone & Android : Free
This does it all - has week by week images of what your tiny baby may look like, explains what will be happening to you and your body, and gives you fun facts each day. It also gives you a suggested checklist - to help keep you happy and sane.

I did some of the items that needed to be checked off, but certainly not all. Some were serious - like pack your hospital bag - while others were fun like taking a picture of yourself.

4. Pregnancy Tracker from WhatToExpect.com : iPhone & Android : Free
You know the book, What to Expect When Expecting? Don't buy it. Just watch the movie (which was surprisingly good btw) and then download this FREE app. It will take you through the entire book, with week by week details about you and your tiny baby.

The book can be overwhelming, whereas this app serves you up useful and timely information.

There is also a forum available through the app, where you can meet all sorts of people.

I was able to chat with other moms-to-be from Rhode Island (Providence) and also met up with mothers from around the world who were all due the same month as I.
5. wee mail : iPhone : Free
Who doesn't like a few laughs, right? Well the app wee mail gives you a special little funny (often hysterical) message each day. You'll learn about all different developments in a comedic format.
I highly recommend this app for partners and friends as well - so they know what the mom-to-be is experiencing, without all of the personal details ;) 

6. mPregnancy - for Men with Pregnant Women : iPhone : $2.99
Let's hear it for the boys - or should I say - the MEN in our lives. Getting my hubby to read a pregnancy book was difficult. I did everything I could. I even found a funny-guys-approach-to-pregnancy-book, stuck it in the bathroom with an ultrasound picture, and a note saying:

"Hi Dad, I can't read yet, and mom's already doing a lot of work. Can you please read this book too so that you know whats going on too? It's kinda big deal. Love, Itty Bitty."
After that, my loving hubby DID read the book - but had I known about this app it would have made the process a whole lot easier.

7. Nametrix : iPhone : Free

You'll probably rent a couple of baby name books, search the web for all different sorts of names, spellings, and meanings. Well this app, Nametrix, will add a little spice to the name game. While you're searching for the perfect addition to your surname, you can see what people with that name's professions have been, when the name has been popular, as well as what political party most people with that name aligned themselves with. It was a fun app to play around with on drives to the doctors office, especially when we found out that top profession for hubby's name was a "XXX dancer." Saucy!

8. Full Term - Labor Contraction Timer : iPhone : Free

Have this app, or one just like it, on your phone after you've hit the 36 week mark. Its easy to use, and helps you keep track of how long & how far apart your contractions are. As soon as those contractions kick in, you are going to want to start keeping track!
Remember to download this on your partner's phone as well, since they will most likely be the ones keeping track of the contractions. You'll be too busy pacing the floor, focusing on staying calm, and packing the last minute things in your hospital bag. Remember the 4-1-1 trick ---> go to the hospital when contractions are four minutes apart, lasting for a minute or more, and have been occurring for an hour.

9. Baby Connect : iPhone : Andriod : $4.99

I know, I know -- $4.99 for an app? There are free ones on the market that claim to help you with your baby, so why spend close to five dollars? I'll tell you why - its because this one is the best. You can track feedings, diapers, sleep, medical tasks, activities, moods, and much more.
But the best part is that you can sync your phones. This means if you are FINALLY taking a nap after giving birth, and your hubby changes the baby's diaper - that he can record it in his phone. Or if you need to feed your baby, and can't seem to find your phone, your hubby can start to time it.

Now why do you need to be so anal about tracking everything your baby eats or does in their diaper? Because when you are in the hospital a nurse comes in to check on you, every hour or so, and the first thing they ask you is "When was the last time the baby ate? On which breast? For how long? When was the baby's last diaper? What was in it? What color?"

Normally you'd be able to keep track of this information, but once you become a parent, all of your brain turns to mush and you can no longer comprehend time. Instead of being a hot mess, do yourself a favor and download this app. This is the app that I recommend THE MOST to my friends and family. At four months old, I still use it for the sleep function, because I am trying to find out if Itty Bitty has any schedule to his sleep habits. Trust me, the app will be used for an incredibly long time, and it will save your sanity!
10. Peapod : iPhone : Android : Free

Food shopping with a newborn sounds as fun as swimming with starving pirranahs. First you have to park, then you have to finagle how you are going to carry your baby into the store. The freezing cold air from the produce section will most likely make your tiny baby cringe and cry, and don't even get me started on the old ladies who will come up to you and try to touch and kiss your tiny baby while they are waiting in line for their 1/4 of Land O' Lakes cheese. Don't waste your precious time. Stay home, in your pajamas, and order your food to be delivered to your door. Better yet, order food that just has to be microwaved. Maybe some of your favorite treats, and a tub of cookie dough so you can make cookies for your family and friends who come over to shower you and the baby with love.
Make life easy for yourself, spend the $5 delivery fee, and smile knowing that you just went food shopping while you were in bed watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix, with your baby fast asleep on your chest. You are now an awesome multitasking parent. Congrats!
Have you ever used one of these apps?

Pics of the Week

Sunday, August 11, 2013



Top Left: @stephschweitz (reading)
Top Right: @corey3711 (pretty)
Bottom Left: @flyrish75 (happiness)
Bottom Right: @catherineedge (happiness)

Join in the fun by participating in the August Photo A Day Challenge

Share your photos on Instagram, and add the hashtag #tmtbphotoaday

I will pick 4-8 pictures to highlight and share each week as "Pics of the Week"

Do You Like Apples?: Why My Kid's Gonna Have A Boston Accent {guest post}

Thursday, August 8, 2013

*Disclaimer: The following article is Rated R and is not representative of Mary Larsen’s thoughts or values, and she is not liable for the views expressed in the following commentary. Chances are, however, that if you're reading this, regardless of your tastes, we probably have at least one thing in common - we're both parents. And you know, just as well as I, that being a parent, either new, or grizzled veteran, is tough on anyone. So, take whatever you like from this article – good, bad, or ugly – and try to enjoy.

Lately, the foremost subject upon the tongues of TMTB subscribers is one thing, and one thing only: my accent.

*Spoiler alert* I have a Boston accent.  And, it's pretty thick too.

(Fun fact: the more adult beverages I consume, the thicker my accent becomes.  By the end of the night, you literally cannot understand a damn word I'm saying.)

You see, I'm a Massachusetts kid - through and through.  Always have been, and always will be.   I'm loud, brash, opinionated, and will physically assault you over the three most important things to a Bostonian - sports, politics, and religion.  I've had that Sox hat you see pictured above since my junior year of high school, and naturally, its the only cap I've worn, or ever will wear again.  I don't make small talk, suffer from a severe inferiority complex with New York, and worship at the altar of all things Kennedy.  Truth be told, I still don't know why my wholeheartedly Rhode Island wife (who's also a much nicer person than I) ever married me.

Nevertheless, while I truly love living with my gorgeous wife in my adopted city of Providence, Rhode Island, ultimately, it'll always be the Dirty Water that will run through this guy's veins.  But, you know what the best part is?  That same Dirty Water (much to my wife's Rhody chagrin) coarses throughout my son's body like The Charles ripping through the Back Bay.

I'm proud as hell of my roots, and I'll be damned if my son doesn't grow up to be just as proud of how he, too, is Boston Strong.  How better to bear this pride than to ensure he has a Boston accent just like his old man (whilst living in Providence no less).  

Ok, I know there are probably some of you out there who are saying to yourself, "why would you do that to your son?  Why would you perpetuate that annoying accent?"  You know what I have to say to you people?

Go screw.

My son will need this accent as he grows.  Here's why:

First off, our accent is not annoying (well, sometimes it can be obnoxious).

Secondly, (and the reason for this post) the accent is inherently an irrevocable part of our (Boston) culture.

If one hears that distinct accent, there is no mistaking the place from which that other person hails.  A wise, little green Jedi Master once described The Force by saying, "[l]ife creates it, makes it grow. It's energy surrounds us and binds us."  Call me nerdy, call me lame, call me whatever you want, but I firmly believe the same can be said of the Boston accent.

We created the accent.  We feed it.  It surrounds us each day, and it marks us as a unified mini-nation unto ourselves.  It is the verbal manifestation of the collective "us."  Nearly all of us have substituted the letter R with an AH at one point in our lives.  It's turned into a badge of honor for many.  But for some reason, some of you people deny you've ever had, or have, an accent.  From what I can tell, you think it makes you sound smarter, or classier than the rest of us common folk.  Good grief, get over yourselves, and stop spewing your self righteous whiny bullshit about how, "we don't talk like that!" during a viewing of Good Will Hunting or The Departed.  Yes. We. Do.

But the accent is more than just pronouncing words funny, or attempting the phrase, "pahk the cah in the hahvid yahd" (a saying I truly hate btw).  It's a state of being. Concerning our beloved accent, Ben Affleck - you know it's bad when you have to quote Ben Affleck to prove a point, but I'll do here because it suits my argument - Affleck once explained in an issue of Vanity Fair that, "[t]he Boston accent is more of an attitude than an accent. Underneath everything you say has to be the attitude of: 'You’re an asshole, I know better than you, fuck you.'"  The truth is that good ol' Bennifer couldn't be any more correct in his assessment.

This is my favorite scene from Good Will Hunting.  
It perfectly represents all that is Boston and all that is implied in the Boston accent.

Translation: the accent is the attitude, and the attitude is the accent. We are a generally good, albeit sometimes rude, people.  We're confident, humble, stubborn, no-fluff, tough, smart, blue collar, and our priorities, in large part, are grounded in fundamentally wholesome tenants such as family, hard work, and Dunkin' Donuts.  But, we don't take shit either.   For Christ's sake, as a bunch of rag-tag farmers, we started an all-out revolution against the world's foremost superpower, and won by the way, all because we didn't feel like paying taxes anymore.  And, best yet, in response to those dink Marathon bombers, we willingly shut down our ENTIRE city for days just to capture them.  Suffice it to say, when one hears the accent, even though they may not like how it sounds, they at least know what they're getting into.  You're getting everything highlighted above, and a lot more. 

In the end, the attitude and the accent are one in the same - like Tony Stark and Iron Man.  They cannot be separated, or divorced from each other.  The accent is the embodiment of it's people -- a tangible representation of the traits by which a Bostonian is constituted. Of course, whether you agree with this assertion is totally up to you.   Frankly, if you don't, well, I just don't give a shit. 

Nevertheless, Itty Bitty will grow up in a city that is not Boston, and despite my better judgement, I've learned to be ok with that idea.  And, while he may never be a Mass. resident like his dad growing up, he will certainly follow, and carry out it's culture.  He'll need to.  He'll be different.  He'll be an outcast.  As such, he'll need to be tough, opinionated, no nonsense, family oriented, and fiercely loving.  

I want him to be all these things not just because they're all good qualities (which would normally be good enough in and of themselves), but because that's his heritage. Whether he knows it or not, his blood urges him to live by these humble qualities.  It is vital for him to carry those lessons with him for the rest of his life.  In light of this, the accent (being the expression of his innate culture),  is the first of many important steps in his journey.    

So, the next time you find yourself in Providence, and while over a pint of Sam Adams Boston Lager, you get into a shouting match with some random kid (who, of course, is wearing a beat up Red Sox hat and a Bobby Orr jersey) about how Tom Brady is unquestionably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, or, how he himself could easily fix everything that's wrong with this country politically, you'll know it's my son.  You'll know it's him because he'll be big, loud, brash, and you'll barely be able to understand the words that are coming out of his mouth. And even though your "conversation" may come to blows, he'll turn around and hug you once it's over.  He'll do this because while he may live in RI, deep down, he's a Bostonian.  He'll do it because his dad taught him how to be a man, and his first lesson was very specific - be the only kid on the east side of Providence with an accent that not-so-subtly says, "you’re an asshole, I know better than you, fuck you."

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My Battle With Breastfeeding

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Today marks the last day in World Breastfeeding Week. The theme this year is about supporting mothers on their journey of breastfeeding their babies. I have decided to tell a little of my breastfeeding story, and how support from others helped me become a more confident mother.

If I was born 100 years ago, I would have been a wet nurse.

A wet nurse is a woman who breastfeeds another person's child. They were (and sometimes still are) employed when a mother is unable to nurse a baby herself. Sometimes mothers physically weren't able to produce enough milk on their own, and before baby formula was created, another woman's milk would sustain and feed the child.

When my tiny baby was born, thank the baby gods, we had great success breastfeeding. He immediately took to it, and thanks to the amazing support I had from my doula and nurses, I felt incredibly confident feeding my child.

Then, a few days later when I came home, my milk came in, and I realized I had a problem.
Many mother's bodies make the proper amount of milk for their babies. Some have difficulty, and only produce a small amount. My problem was different. My tiny baby only needed a tiny size of milk, but my body got the order messed up, and was serving it up - supersized.

Some people would pump and store excess milk, thinking they hit the milk jackpot! I, however, knew something was off, and decided to not pump - for fear that it would continue to make my body think that I needed the supersized amount of milk.

Because I wasn't pumping, and was exclusively breastfeeding, being the only person who could feed my Itty Bitty was extraordinarily challenging. I could never leave him, because we didn't have a milk supply from which he could feed if he became hungry. I felt like I was failing at feeding my tiny baby, and also felt like a prisoner in my own house. I became incredibly cranky, was jealous of mothers who chose to formula feed, and was sick and tired of hearing people say "they wished they had my problem."

Trust me, no one would want my problem.

I had what is called Hyperlactation.   My breasts, and myself in general were incredibly uncomfortable.  Even worse, so was my Itty Bitty. Instead of having an all you can eat buffet of an endless supply of milk, my child was often gagging and choking on his meal. He would pull off from my breast, crying, and milk would be spraying him on his face. Crazy, right? It was like my body was a  high powered milk Supersoaker 3000. In addition to this wretched routine at feedings (every two or three hours) he was also extremely colicky, gassy, and had green frothy poops.

Hyperlaction sucks (no pun intended.) My breasts always felt full, I leaked a great deal throughout the day, and went through a couple hundred nursing pads. Going out in public was extremely difficult for me, so I often asked friends to meet me at home. I was worried that I would be leaking through my breast pads before I returned home, or that I would try to feed Itty Bitty while I was out and he would start screaming which would cause my milk might to sail straight across the room into someone else's lap.

So, I did what any other mother dealing with breastfeeding problems would do.

I cried.

A lot.

Then I went to see lactation consultant Kathy Moren at Healthy Babies, Happy Moms, in East Greenwich, RI. I followed her advice:
  • I often sat in a reclined position, or laid sideways and fed in bed. This way, I did not have gravity pouring even more milk.
  • After my baby would latch, he would soon push his head away due to my forceful letdown. As soon as this would happen, I would take a towel to my breast, and would wait to finish feeding my tiny baby until I was no longer having this forceful let down.
  • I did not pump, but would instead "catch" the excess milk from the other breast while I nursed. I used a product called Milk Savers. In some feedings, I would catch 1-3 oz, which we would later put into a bottle. We would try to bottle feed my Itty Bitty with this milk, to try to introduce a bottle into his routine.
  • I block fed for a few days - four hours on one side, four on another. This was uncomfortable, and I had to make sure that I didn't get any clogged ducts, but it worked. After that, I would feed from only one breast, and the next time on the other. By not feeding from each side every two hours, my body quickly learned that I needed less milk.
After 10 weeks of having an oversupply, my body and my baby finally found a rhythm. I now actually enjoy feeding my tiny baby, and no longer worry that I am drowning him or causing him gas pain with my milk.

It was hard, but I am glad that we worked on it together. He was patient with me, and I learned to be patient with myself.

Breastfeeding Support: Nursing Bras

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

If you're a new mom, you're most likely trying to cut out unnessary costs. Let's face it - you just spent a ton of money on maternity clothing, nursery furniture, and every baby item under the sun.

When it comes to dishing out the dollars, you're probably a bit frugal when it comes to spending money when it comes to you. But one thing is for certain - if you are going to be breastfeeding - you are going to need SEVERAL bras.

But have no fear - because you no longer need to spend a ton of money.

If you plan on nursing your newborn, you will need a couple of bras BEFORE your tiny baby arrives, and for that - I recommend turning to Target.

Get yourself this bra - Gilligan & O'Malley® Women's Comfort Nursing Bra

It's around $15, super comfortable, and holds your girls up pretty well. Order a couple of these bras, stick one in your hospital bag (if you're pregnant) and thank me later. I like these bras because they are cotton, super soft, no underwire - yet still somewhat supportive. These are the nursing bras that I wear to bed as well. If you order online, here's a guide to their sizes: S - 34B, 34C, M - 36B, 36C, 38B, L - 38C, 38D, 34D, XL - 38D, 40C, XXL/2XL - 38DD, 40D.

Okay, so you have your sleep bra, and now you need a couple more to even out your collection.

Nursing bras are like Pokemon, you gotta catch 'em all.

And just like those cute little creatures, nursing bras can be colorful and fun too!

I personally like the Gilligan & O'Malley® Women's Favorite Nursing Bra.

Reason number one - they have a bra in my favorite color, teal.
Reason number two - they have some in fun prints!

These bras are a bit more supportive than the comfort bra, and have underwire. If you're well endowed, you'll notice that they aren't incredibly supportive - the girls still move around a bit. However, if you're nursing, you don't want to be wearing a tight and constrictive bra anyway - it may hinder your milk supply.

Just don't plan on doing jumping jacks in these bras, if you catch my drift.

You will want to go out and get at least one incredibly good fitting nursing bra. Go to a real bra store, get fit by a wonderful lady who works there, and prepare yourself to spend at least $50.00. I recommend buying these expensive bras AFTER your tiny baby has arrived, and your milk has already come in. That way, your girls will be settling themselves into place, and you can be properly fitted.

After that, you're collection is complete!


Day 215: shark bait , hoo ha ha

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pics of the Week

Sunday, August 4, 2013

There were so many fantastic pics to chose from, that I had to pick 8 {Pics of the Week}
Top Left: @jilldewes (blackandwhite)
Top Right: @stephschweitz (dailyroutine)
Bottom Left: @flyrish75 (dailyroutine)
Bottom Right: @rhodylife (blackandwhite)
Top Left: @girasol729 (blackandwhite)
Top Right: @pandamanda89 (dailyroutine)
Bottom Left: @martinkadeluxe (blackandwhite)
Bottom Right: @teamninja (blackandwhite)
I have had so much fun looking at all of the #tmtbphotoaday instagram pics!

Join in the fun by participating in the August Photo A Day Challenge

Share your photos on Instagram, and add the hashtag #tmtbphotoaday

I will pick 4-8 pictures to highlight and share each week as "Pics of the Week"