The Value of Mom Friends

I didn’t get the concept of ‘mom friends’ until we started trying to have a baby. I joined the “You are having a baby due in December 2014” group immediately. We all obsessed about the same stuff and it felt like a pretty safe space to talk about all the things I really wanted to talk about but my husband was uninterested in. And then we lost our first baby. And the moms who had been there before guided me through my grief. Then I joined the “You are having a baby due in March 2015” group and it was the same deal only here I found some very close friends. Women who I have actually met in person now and consider some of my closest friends. It was the same deal. They held me and walked me through the difficult moments when we lost our little girl. Several of the women in the smaller group born out of the larger group, had lost their March babies as well or babies previous to that one. Finally, I joined the “You are having a baby due in June 2015” group. Thank G-d it was the final ‘birth month’ group I had to join. These women, also, became very close friends. I thought that was what I needed. Until I found local mom friends.

Here in Denver we have an amazing program for first time parents called JBU – Jewish Baby University – through the JCC. Again, you are tossed together with other couples expecting their first baby within a three month window but now you have a few more things in common. First off, you live in the same city and second, you are all (at varying levels) Jewish. This really adds an interesting dimension.

JBU_chanukkah

JBU Chanukkah party. We put them down in birth order… notice my Nugget making trouble with one of his girlfriends.

I am so thankful for my JBU mom friends. We literally guide each other through each step. Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, recovery, rolling over, sleeping (or lack thereof), crawling, walking, first birthdays… but beyond the baby connected topics, these women have become some of my closest friends. We have girls’ nights out, I’ve asked for fashion advice, these are couples that I see staying close with for a long time.

While I value my variety of friends, in all stages in their lives, I really appreciate having other mommas who get what I am going through. Who called me up a few weeks after having Nugget and told me to get out of the house and meet them at Nordstrom’s, just for lunch, who initiated a weekly mom’s lunch during maternity leave…

I think there is a real value in mommy friends and I’m super thankful for my mommy friends, both the online ones that I can chat with all day long and my local ones who I can rely on for an awesome night out!

JBU Valentine's party... getting harder to get them to sit still... Nugs and his girl, still making trouble!

JBU Valentine’s party… getting harder to get them to sit still… Nugs and his girl, still making trouble!

Baby Gear

I get totally overwhelmed when picking out baby gear. I have, on several occasions, been researching products and looking at different ones, gotten overwhelmed and bought whatever I had seen first. There are so many options out there!

I do love my some BabyGuyNYC and Lucie’s List for recommendations (OMG I love BabyGuy boxes and he’s why we got the UppaBaby system) but it can all be SO overwhelming!

One resource that I have found that I cannot live without is Diapers.com (and Soap.com). Seriously. It’s like Amazon but it’s baby focused and I feel like I can find and compare products easier there. Then, if you spend the whatever it is… I think $39, you get free shipping. I save all my items in the cart until I hit that number and then it’s two day shipping. The super nice part is that it’s across their affiliates. So you can buy dish washer soap and baby food in the same order, with free shipping (true story… the box is in my kitchen).

Not to mention that they have awesome sales. Like this one – right now Britax convertable car seats are 25%! Check it out! Also, if you’ve never ordered with them – try the widget on the right of this page for 15% off!

What’s your secret mom shortcut? I order everything I can from Amazon Prime, Diapers.com or Soap.com, and Costco.com. Saves my behind!

Haykin Family Cider

Because we didn’t have enough going on in our lives…

If you don’t know us or haven’t spent much time with us recently you may not know that Dan (my loving and wonderful and slightly obsessive husband) has become more than slightly obsessed with making his own hard apple cider.

Yes, I assist… I did a lot of cutting, grinding and pressing before the baby came. I do less now… more wrangling the nugget while he works but I do press and remove stickers on occasion but my role has matured to consulting on yeasts, taste testing and helping to refine carbonation and flavor.

We started this adventure October 31, 2013… and this year it has really paid off. Not only is he making incredibly tasty cider for me to drink to my heart’s content… he has won some awards this year. Like big awards.

First up was the Washington State Mead and Cider Cup. He won first and second place in the Standard Cider/Perry category –

C1: Standard Cider & Perry

1st Place: Daniel Haykin with Leftovers – New World Cider
2nd Place: Daniel Haykin with Dandee Red/Kinderkrisp Blend Cider – New World Cider

AND he won Best Cider in the competition and was just shy of Overall Best of Show!

BEST CIDER: Daniel Haykin with Dandee Red/Kinderkrisp Blend Cider – New World Cider

Then he entered his ‘holy grail’ of cider competitions – what they call GLINTCAP – Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. This has both a commercial and non-commercial division. He was in the competition with major producers (think Angry Orchard and Woodchuck along with local guys Glider Cider and Stem Ciders among others). Granted, they were not in the same division but you get that this is a big competition. The non-commercial division awarded 14 Gold, 47 Silver, 83 Bronze. Daniel won, in the New World Cider – Modern area, one Gold, four Silvers, and one Bronze! Everything he entered in the competition medaled!!

New World Cider — Modern

GOLD
Daniel Haykin – Redfree/Dandy Red/Ginger Gold/Akane/Kinderkrisp

SILVER
Daniel Haykin – Jonathan/Ruby Jon/Gala/Golden Supreme
Daniel Haykin – Leftovers
Daniel Haykin – Macintosh/Diva/Red Delicious
Daniel Haykin – Sweet Red Delicious/Opal/Jonagold

BRONZE
Daniel Haykin – Cripps Pink/Red Delicious/Pink Lady/Gala

That’s a pretty big deal for us, especially for our first round of competitions. We are still waiting to hear about the third competition. I will add to this post when we do.

I made a little website for our ‘cidery’ (aka our basement). Maybe one day it will be something more. Check it out here – Haykin Family Cidery

Oh and at our new house, we have planted apple trees… and they are beginning to bud. If any of you thought this was a passing hobby… think again! 🙂

2015-12-20 09.51.29-2

That Mommy Feeling

I happened to me the other day. I didn’t believe it would… or maybe I just wasn’t sure that it would… but oh boy did it happen to me.

My labor was… not traumatic but challenging. I’ve felt like “I could do that better” and thought about our next child and my next pregnancy with an eye towards “it will be better.” But it was all very theoretical. I’m not pregnant (parents, you hear that? I’m not pregnant!) but we’ve talked about another child and I’ve thought about how the situation will play out. And by situation I mean labor and recovery…

So what happened to turn theory into reality? I got to hold a three week old baby on Friday. We brought our friends dinner for Shabbat and while my cruising, pull up on anything in sight, nearly 20 pound 11 month old almost toddler attempted to destroy their very not baby proofed home, I snuggled a tiny 8 pound baby girl who slept and snuggled me the entire time. And I talked to her mom about her labor. It wasn’t that bad. It hurt and was long but it wasn’t that bad…

And it happened.

Boom.

My ovaries exploded into my brain and an actual, real conversation about number two began when we got into the car.

My labor was hard. We had nearly every complication (it seemed) in the book. We had a lot of medical interventions and looking back, while they all seemed like the best decision possible then… I would change some of my choices given the opportunity to make them again. Not only that but I know what to expect now. Having given birth once, it’s no longer a complete surprise as to how it works and what it feels like (well, I say that now… don’t hold me to that…), and so I think that will help with some of the anticipation and maybe help with my patience.

So the memory of the pain has truly melted away a short 11 months after having my little man and I would totally do it again. Isn’t that the joke? If we didn’t forget the pain we would never end up having more than one child?

And can we just talk about how my kid is going to be one very shortly?! I’m not sure if I am ready for that… but that’s for another post.

Tell me, did it happen for you? Did you forget the pain of labor? Or did you remember and anticipate the pain for you next labor?

Of Babies and Husbands

I have a husband and I have a scootchy, army crawling almost toddler. They both get into plenty of messes. Between my husband’s garden and CrossFit workout clothing, he makes Purex plenty of laundry. I’m always looking for ways to get the stink out… I gave up on stains on those a while ago. But now, with an scootchy baby and a house full of hardwood, I have a new challenge… getting nugget’s clothing looking like new.

I’m a big fan of Purex but truth be told, lately, I’m a big fan of anything I have a coupon for… which has not been Purex, of late. However, the folks at Purex recently sent me their newest stain fighting laundry detergent – Purex® plus Clorox 2 – to try.

The crib sheet took a beating.

The crib sheet took a beating.

Like new! I couldn't even find the stain!

Like new! I couldn’t even find the stain!

And wow, it’s like they just knew what was coming… shortly after I received the box, my son got a nasty virus… let’s just say it was coming out both ends and I was doing A LOT of laundry. When he has had tough stains in the past, I have had to wash his onesies twice sometimes or at least stain treat them before… not with Purex® plus Clorox 2! WOW! They came right out and it was safe for colors.

 

The poor jammies! The knees are destroyed!

The poor jammies! The knees are destroyed!

Like new!

Like new!

I was thankful because all nugs wanted to do when he was sick was snuggle and I’d rather snuggle that baby boy than do laundry any day. I’ve checked it out in the store and it’s a pretty smart value. Price is good and the quality is excellent.

What is the worst stain you have had to deal with? What’s your secret laundry weapon?

 

 

And for being an awesome, hardworking laundry do’er… Purex® sent along a coupon for a free bottle for me to share!

One lucky person will receive a coupon for a free bottle of New Purex plus Clorox 2 detergent!
Just enter the giveaway form below. Entries will be verified. Open to US residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
Purex plus Clorox 2 – available in Original Fresh or Sunny Linen
You can find Purex on Facebook, TwitterPinterest and Instagram.
 
Enter by May 22, 2016

a Rafflecopter giveaway

purex-plus-clorox2
The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex plus Clorox 2 detergent in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are mine.

My Baby Is On The Verge Of Being A Toddler

How did this happen? I’m not entirely sure how to handle this transition…

It feels like yesterday he was this tiny 5lb 15oz nugget.

© Talia Haykin 2016

We struggled to nurse and sleep and well… function during the day. I struggled to recover and feel some sort of normal in my body. All four of us (mom, papa, nugget, and Soba) were trying to find our place and job in the family and some kind of routine for us.

© Talia Haykin 2016

 

And here we are today. With a babbler, a cruiser, an “I will get into anything you don’t want me to get into”er.

© Talia Haykin 2016

 

Happy 11 months, munch. Momma and Papa and Soba love you!

An Ode To Parsley

I know, I know… don’t yell at me! I haven’t been writing in forever. I promise that you are back on my to do list, bloggie! Life has been a bit busy with my adorable little guy and moving and etc etc…

To tide you over until I am back, here’s a little piece I wrote for Mazeltot.org –

As a child, Passover was always a big affair. Growing up as the granddaughter, niece, and daughter of rabbis, we always hosted large Seders. Generally, the first night was the Seder at shul with the congregation and the second night was what we called “family Seder.”Don’t let the term “family Seder” deceive you… they were generally composed of more than just our family. We invited people who had nowhere else to go along with many non-Jews wanting to experience a Jewish festival meal.

My father established a number of traditions for our family Seder, all of which are still in practice today. First, is always his ‘order.’ He teaches us to remember the order of the Seder with this mnemonic – Kooky Mr. M&M may come schlepping after silly boys holding noses (KUoKY MR. M&M May Kome Schlepping after Tzilly Boys Holding Noses – Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Maggid, Rachtzah, Motzie, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Beirach, Hallel, Nirtzah) and you have the order of the Seder.

Read more here – MazelTot.org

Purex Post: Dial Hand Soap (GIVEAWAY)

As you may know, I am very fortunate to be a part of a program called Purex Insiders. They often will send products for me to test and talk about along with some coupons.

In this case, I was sent two Dial products to try and blog about. One was their new Miracle Oil Hand Soap and the other was the Sugar Cane Husk Scrub.

I was a bit skeptical about the miracle oil because I wasn’t sure what kind of residue would be left behind. I am REALLY particular when it comes to my hand soap. Smell, feel, and how my hands feel afterwards are all factors for me.

I was so impressed by both of these products on all levels. Both soaps left my hands feeling clean with no residue, smelling awesome, and not dry at all.

Dial-Miracle-PromoI really enjoyed the Miracle Oil soap for it’s smell and the moisture it left behind on my hands. Not oily, but moisturized. It is infused with Marula oil and really conditioned my hands nicely. Plus, I knew that I was getting the Dial commitment to health and safety. I wish the doctor’s office would stock this instead of their harsh foams! Starting in February, you can find Dial Miracle Oil Hand Soap any where you buy Dial soaps.

Dial-Sugar-PromoThe other soap I tried was the deep cleansing Sugar Cane Husk Scrub. This is also a hand soap and has these tiny little (they call them) ‘micro scrubbers’ in the formula to help exfoliate and clean your hands. This product also impressed me with the smell and feel of the soap. I guess I shouldn’t be so skeptical about the smell of hand soaps but I am. Too many awful experiences that leave my hands dry and smelling terrible! I used to work for a local luxury soap maker here in Denver as a side job, selling their products in the retail store. One thing I loved about them was that they sold sugar scrubs instead of salt. Many people don’t realize that a sugar grain in rounded where as salt has sharp edges. You get a similar result but the salt actually scratches your skin and drys it out. Sugar is for sure the way to go when you exfoliate. I don’t know if these ‘micro scrubbers’ are actual sugar crystals but they seem to do the job and do it well. All in all I was very pleased! Again, the Dial Sugar Cane Husk Scrub is available at retailers starting in February.

So to wrap this up, I actually have a little give away! Comment below and tell me what your pet peeves are about hand soap and which is your current favorite and I will pick THREE winners to receive a coupon for a FREE DIAL HAND SOAP! Comment by April 5 to be entered!

A special thank you to the Dial brand for providing the products and the coupons. And as usual, they provided the sample in exchange for a review but all opinions expressed here are my own!

3/3/15

Today was a hectic day. Meeting after meeting. Project after project. Email after email. I cranked all day. But there was something that was never far from my mind today.

Today, our little girl, our second baby, was due. I felt such hope about that pregnancy. Surely after our first loss, G-d would help us keep this baby. All the signs were there. We found out we were pregnant on Dan’s birthday. The baby was due on 3/3, one of the alternate dates we picked for our wedding. But also, if the baby was born on 3/3, we would share a hebrew birthday 13 Adar. We would both be Purim babies. And if this baby came two weeks late (just like I did) we would share an English birthday. My in-laws, my stepmother and I all share March birthdays. See?! So many signs.

I carry you in my heartBut that little girl was not meant to come home with us. She was very ill, we found out after we lost her and it was (we learned from the doctor) better that she wasn’t born. But she and her older sibling (due 12/13/14) are never far from my mind. I wear a little heart necklace all the time now. It reminds me of the two little hearts that aren’t here with us. I know that they are in our hearts though and their little brother who, G-d willing, will join us in June will be a very special part of our family.

A loss mom said to me once, “I was so sad about my miscarriage but after I had my son, I realized that without that loss, I wouldn’t have the amazing boy I have today.”

So I was sad on 12/13/14 and 3/3/15 but I am so thank-full and joy-full that this little man is growing perfectly inside me. Baby Boy Haykin – we can’t wait to meet you! (But stay safe in there as long as you need to!!)

It’s been a while…

I have to stop feeling guilty for not writing. I get so busy with life and neglect my blogs and then I feel guilty for not writing and then the cycle continues. However, in recent days I have been sending people to my blog for a multitude of reasons and it has amplified my guilt…

So here’s an update. After our two heartbreaking miscarriages last year, I am pregnant again and this one is looking really good. Currently I am 23 weeks and 4 days pregnant with a little boy. He will be, G-d willing, making his appearance in June.

The road to this place has been really bumpy. And I have had a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head. I have chastised myself for not blogging through a lot of these thoughts at 1am when I can’t sleep… because I am often so busy during the day (and my ‘baby brain’ is so intense) that I always forget my thoughts and never get them down. It’s usually the quiet moments when my son is bouncing around inside of me like I am a human bouncy castle and the insomnia is on full blast, that I think of these things. It’s also when I remember all the work I’ve forgotten to do and the errands I forgotten to run.

I’m proud of my body for getting us here. In three short days, we will hit our next milestone… viability. Meaning if our son was born, he would have a chance of surviving. He’s kicking me as I type this… haha, maybe he’s mad at me for not being able to see 40 (or 42) weeks as the end point. I’m just too jaded to get that comfortable with assuming it will completely work out well.

This pregnancy, we only went week to week. In the first trimester, we got weekly ultrasounds and our lives built up until that moment when we saw his heartbeat. Then we nonchalantly talked about dinner and a grocery store run and forgot about it all until the next week. After we got out of the first trimester, I kept putting off telling people. I was just so afraid to lose the baby again. At 10 weeks, we had a free cell DNA test. They take my blood, separate the baby’s DNA from mine and tell us if anything is or could be wrong with him. That’s also when we found out our boy was going to be a boy. By 12 weeks, we had the results back… he was perfectly healthy as far as they could see and he was a he. It was then when we decided we could celebrate, just the two (three) of us. Finally, around 14 weeks we told friends and family with a note in our holiday cards and then a facebook post.

soba annoucement

 

I had so many creative ideas during the first two pregnancies… and I was going to take week by week bump pictures… for this pregnancy, I couldn’t even think that far in advance. I was barely making it to our Friday appointments. But as it became public and I became very obviously pregnant and there weren’t any more tests the doctor could run to make sure he would be ok… we started to believe this is our reality. I’m still not quite at the “My son will be here in June” place yet… but my big ole’ belly and his incessant kicks before bedtime make sure I can’t ignore the life inside me.

So Thursday is 24 weeks… the next milestone. Then we will get into the third trimester around the middle of the 27th week. Then I am traveling to Florida for work (with Dan in tow to carry the bags, or me, or my barf bag… flying and I don’t agree when pregnant… but it’s not stopped me), then Passover, then my little cousins’ bar/bat mitzvah (twins), then time to plant the garden, then a long distance Mazal Tov to my cousin getting married in Rhode Island because I can’t travel at 37+(!!!!!!) weeks, then my brother’s 30th (!!!!) birthday, then either my son will be here or we will be celebrating his father’s birthday and then he will be here!

When you put it all into one paragraph… it doesn’t seem that far from now… But then I look back at the YEAR I have spent pregnant (yes, off and on) and I thank G-d it’s not that far from now.

Last March, when I was starry eyed about starting this family, I would never have guessed that I would be here. Twelve whole months later, pregnant THREE times, and six months pregnant. It’s beyond belief.

Here’s us – me at 21 weeks, Dan at… well… handsome.

Denver Jewish Film Fest Opening Night