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what i learned in my first year as a parent

The biggest lessons I learned in my first year as a parent

Today, Arlene turns one.

As any parent can attest, that first birthday comes with a tsunami of emotions.

Accomplishment: You made it a full year!
Bewilderment: Wait… how has it been a year?
Dread: Only 17 more of these and she’s out of the house?!
Panic: What if she fails to launch?

As I compare the photos of Arlene’s first day on earth to what she looks like today, I can’t believe just 365 days separate that skinny alien baby from my current chubby, funny munchkin. But honestly, some days I can’t tell who’s grown more– Arlene or me. With that said, here’s the biggest lessons I learned in my first year of parenthood.

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You know zero about being a parent until you are one.

Read all the books you like, listen to every podcast, have yourself a 3 Men and a Baby/3 Men and a Little Read more

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Hey Eleanor's Practical Baby registry

A Practical Baby Registry for New Parents

Overwhelmed with registering for your baby? Welcome to the club.

Before I had Arlene, I’d literally changed a diaper once. I knew nothing about babies, and all these gizmos and gadgets left my head spinning. Do I need the jogging stroller and an umbrella stroller and a snap-and-go and and and and…. waaaaaahhhhhh! What in the hell is all this stuff?

In my 10 months as a mom, I’ve learned that you just need a core set of items to start with. We live in a small-ish space and I don’t like heaps of crap, so I’ve tried to not overdo it on baby stuff.

Once your baby is here, you’ll be working with A LOT more information. That’s when you may realize that you actually DO need the $400 Mamaroo (and will be willing to pay for it if it’s the only thing that will keep your baby … Read more

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The Truth About Breastfeeding, Sleep and Babies

The Truth About Breastfeeding, Sleep and Babies

My brother and I are both new parents. Recently, we had the following exchange:

Brother: How’s sleep going?
Me: Great, actually. She’s sleeping through the night mostly.
Brother: Jump off a bridge.

I didn’t take it personally. Nearly a year after the birth of their first baby, nights were still terrible. You know, the specific kind of hell that only a newborn baby can unleash. You’d be a raging, cranky shell of a human if you never slept more than four consecutive hours for a year.

I’M GRATEFUL THAT MY BABY IS A SLEEPER.

I’m reluctant to say this, but Arlene first slept through the night (aka six hours in a row) at five weeks old. I know. I KNOW! It wasn’t every night, and we’ve had a few sleep regressions. If I were him, I’d tell me to jump of a bridge, too.

But here’s the thing: Even though … Read more

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History, good food, cool walking tours and cannoli... what's not to like about Boston? Here's how we spent a fun weekend in Beantown (with a baby in tow!).

How to Have a Fun Weekend in Boston

I NEVER USED TO SAY NO TO A COOL TRAVEL OPPORTUNITY.

But when my husband asked if I wanted to meet up with him on a work trip to Boston, I hesitated. It meant flying by myself with a 5 month old baby, and then traveling with said baby. How much would that change the dynamic of our trip? Would it be so stressful and exhausting that I’d wish we’d just stayed home?

Ultimately, I decided to go.

I figured Boston would be a great place to travel with a baby. It’s compact, walkable, plus people seem to be really family-oriented based on what I’ve seem of Bostonians in the movies. ALWAYS a good way to judge people and places, right? I mean, Mark Wahlburg is from Boston, and he’s all about “saying hi to your mother for me.”

We ended up having a great time, and are so … Read more

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The 11 Biggest Fears When Flying with a Baby

The 11 Biggest Fears When Flying with a Baby

Just the thought of flying with a baby strikes fear in the hearts of parents.

But when my husband asked if baby Arlene and I wanted to meet up with him during a Boston work trip, I said sure. I can do this! I reasoned that I would’ve gone prior to having a baby, so why let that stop me now?

However, as the trip approached, the panic set in. Here’s every fear that raced through my head prior, followed by how it played out in real life.

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Fear: Getting all the crap from the car into the airport.

I hate lugging my own suitcase. How in the hell am I supposed to carry a suitcase, stroller, carseat, diaper bag and live, tiny human through the airport?

I’d considered curb-side check-in, but lingering outside in 10 degree weather isn’t exactly baby-friendly. Fortunately, my friend Liz offered to … Read more

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