Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bear Ryan: Platinum Air Miles Member (Almost)

Bear is now 3 months old and has become quite the jetsetter. I'm kind of jealous of his life. He earned his "wings" at 2 months when we flew on his first trip to Lake Tahoe, CA, to visit my family for the holidays and this past week we returned from an amazing weekend in St. John, USVI, on the annual trip through my company. Bear isn't even 100 days old and he's logged quite some air miles. I hope he remembers all this...oh wait, he won't! 

Let me just say - traveling with a newborn baby is many things. It's exciting, nerve-wracking, sweaty and also really fun. And traveling without my husband to Lake Tahoe was a whole other experience that I can't describe. Having a husband/partner to travel with you is the key to the happy baby travel experience. Traveling alone...not so much.
Caneel Bay, USVI
But I am really happy we made these trips. Both were awesome trips and allowed Bear to be in new climates (hot and humid in USVI and cold/snowy/dry in Lake Tahoe). His ears never popped on the plane, which was my biggest worry and he slept through the whole ride. I now want to take him everywhere while he's this young. Wanna go to Tahiti, Bear?!  Yes - I think so. Traveling with a toddler will be WAY harder. 

Things to remember when traveling with a small baby:

    So glad THEY got to nap.....
  • Always feed your baby on takeoff and descents to prevent the dreaded ear pain. Or make sure they're sucking on something.
  • Book a seat for baby if you can. I held him the whole way to/from Lake Tahoe and it wasn't so easy. I cannot imagine if he was any bigger.
  • Disposable changing pads are GREAT.
  • Bring some bottles just in case it's too strange to breastfeed where you're sitting (i.e., a huge weird man sitting next to you...)
  • Pack as light as humanly possible. Repeat: Pack as light as possible. ONE carry on bag folks. This bag I now swear by. I got this after learning the hard way. (I totally took my Boppy on our very first flight. Not cool.)
  • Let the security folks know that you're bringing on milk. They will then swipe your hands for some explosives test. 
  • You will have to break down the stroller/car seat to go through security. Ask for help if your by yourself. Make sure everything is out of the stroller. Breaking it down and putting into the gate check bag, with a baby on your chest is HARD. Insert husband or partner into this part...or ask for help.
  • Get a gate check bag so your car seat doesn't get beaten up with the bag guys.
  • Window seat if you want privacy nursing. Aisle seat if you think you'll need to get up a lot. 
  • You must let the airline know you're traveling with a lap baby. They have to note it on your reservation.
  • An infinity scarf doubles as a GREAT nursing cover.
  • Take a few changes of clothes for baby AND an extra shirt for you.
  • 1 diaper for each hour of travel
  • Dress comfy! I was sweating because I was so nervous the first time...keep that in mind.
  • The changing tables that pull down in the airplane bathroom are actually kind of big and decent.
  • Ask the flight attendants for some "wings." Throw it in the baby book....
So get out there and don't be scared to travel with the baby. It's pretty exciting and not too bad. 

Safe travels! 
lake tahoe, ca!



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

14...15...


2014 was obviously a life-changing year for us. To put it simply: We added another human to the mix. Major!

I always love looking back when all is said and done to see what I've accomplished (and didn't accomplish). What an incredible year it was. 2014 was the year of little Bear Ryan. "We" got pregnant and had him all in the same year...and it was truly the most wonderful and exhausting experience of my life. This will surely go down as one of the greatest years of my life and I am truly grateful. 

In 2014:

We got pregnant.
My mom and I spent a long weekend in Puerto Rico on my company trip.
We spent Valentine's in San Francisco (and a quick stop in Napa Valley).
We skied in Lake Tahoe.
We finally moved to a new apartment after 10 years in a 4th floor walkup.
I was given the most dreamy, lovely baby shower by my best friends.
We had a baby.
We made a trip to Cincinnati for Josh's brother's graduation.
We traveled to The Exumas Islands.
Josh ran a bunch of races, including the Brooklyn Half Marathon (Manhattan Half is in early 2015.)
The company I work for was honored at The Tech Awards in Silicon Valley
We had Josh's family in NYC for Thanksgiving and cooked a big ole' Turkey.
And I spent the most wonderful 3 weeks in Lake Tahoe for the holidays with my family (photo above).

Happy, happy 2015 everyone... it's truly amazing what can happen in a years time and how much your life can change. Who knows what's in store in the next 365 days! I think I will go by this for 2015.
My fave photos from 2014:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

10 Things I Swear By For The New Mom

The Ergo carrier...essential (for pretending to run marathons).
Now that I've made it through 9 weeks as a new mother (wooo!), I've realized that there are some essentials you should highly consider splurging on if you don't have. If I were to do a baby registry over again, these would be at the top of my list. Of course it's different for everyone, but this is what I couldn't have lived without these first 2 months. 
  1. The Ergo with infant insert (or any good quality baby carrier) - I started using this with the infant insert pretty early on when I was home alone during maternity leave. I love how supportive the Ergo is on the back and I found it super easy to use. And Bear loves taking naps in it. Totally essential for me. Now I do know that people love the K'Tan, the Bjorn and some others...so whatever works for you. Just make sure you have something. I also have the Solly Baby Wrap which I love. (Tip: The Ergo Infant Insert placed on your lap is pretty awesome for plane trips!) 
    This Ergo Infant Insert doubles as a cocoon! Who knew?!
  2. My Breast Friend nursing pillow, the Boppy AND the Boppy Lounger. - Ok, so this is a lot of pillow action here, but I used all three A LOT. I originally chose The Boppy as my breastfeeding pillow of choice, but when my lactation consultant recommended the My Breast Friend, it changed everything. It literally taught me to breastfeed and I used it religiously. I have since gone back to the Boppy now that we're on a roll and the Boppy Lounger I use all day every day when I need to put him down. (He sometimes sleeps on the Lounger too...) I highly recommend them all! 
    The Boppy Lounger...the best! Bear's onesie...even better!
  3. Boudreaux's Butt Paste Diaper Cream or the Honest Healing Balm - Y'all this stuff is MAGIC with a capital M. 
  4. Sleepers. Sleepers. And more sleepers. When you have a baby shower, you receive all these super cute baby clothes (which is the best!), but what you REALLY need are sleepers. Like this. And this. Get a bunch of newborn (NB) size and 0-3 months. You will use them A LOT. Bear sometimes goes through 3-4 outfits a day, so they really don't need to be cute at this age. And I prefer ones with zippers so you don't have to unsnap a million little snaps in the middle of the night. 
  5. Water wipes - (i.e., "the worlds purest baby wipe") - We now use any kind of wipe, but for the first few weeks, we used these and they helped so much to prevent diaper rash on that newborn skin. Highly recommend.
  6. Aden & Anais swaddle blankets and one really nice, soft cuddly blanket. Must have.
  7. Pacifiers - I always hated the look and idea of pacifiers, but on Day 2 we decided they were pretty much genius. And apparently they're good for them to learn to use. These "soothies" worked really well for Bear. I still hate saying "Paci" though...don't ask me why.
    Not quite a swaddle here, but these Aden & Anais blankets are the best.
  8. MammaBaby App - I still use this every day to track feedings, sleeping time, etc. There are tons of apps out there like this, but this seemed to work for me.
  9. myBaby Sound Spa Portable - We use this religiously and I swear the noise works. I love the "brook" sound too.
  10. Wine. 




I'd love to know, what are your MUST HAVES for a newborn?



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bear Hearts NYC

Let me just say – Bear Ryan has A LOT of awesome NYC gear. I mean...this blog is called "Manhattan Emily." He does love this city (I think?). When we're out strollin', he sleeps through the loudest sirens, taxi horns, garbage trucks and more. It's impressive really. I guess he got used to that quick in-utero! 

Sometimes I really can't believe we had a child in NYC. Wherever this little Bear ends up, he will always have that...and that's pretty nifty. And so is the $17,300 bill I just got today for his hospital birth (thank you dear Lord for health insurance). Even still, it is worth every little penny. Happy 8 Weeks, Bear! You're coming along quite perfectly (but I might be a little biased). 

Bear is 8 weeks old today (and over 12 lbs!) and I honestly can't even talk about. It's all so bittersweet. Being at home with him every day these last 8 weeks has been the best time of my life. I never want it to end. And every day...I contemplate that there will be an end to this time. I feel so grateful for 12 weeks of sheer awesomeness/exhaustion. I'm not sure how people manage with less maternity leave. 3 months, I think, will just scratch the surface. I still haven't figured out how to shower during the day and get out of my pj's. Hopefully I can figure that out in the next 4 weeks before I return to work. Until then, I will continue soaking up every ounce of this little guy.


More non-baby-related blogs to come...someday. I hope. 



Monday, December 1, 2014

hi december

Well, it's December and I am so overwhelmed by the fact that little Bear Ryan is 6 weeks old and that the holidays are upon us. Time seems to be going way too fast and we're really trying to soak up each maternity leave day here (note the lack of blogs). We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here in NYC with family. I cooked a lovely 12-pounder turkey and we bought a bunch of pre-made sides/pies. It was perfect. And it snowed! We will be in Tahoe for the holidays with my family and I can't wait (to ski!). This holiday season is all about family and nothing makes me happier.
our first family selfie...we will be trying this one again! haha!

So...

enjoy every single moment this holiday season, because soon it will be over. Put down the phone and talk to those around you...well, that's my goal at least. 

happy december! 

(I also wish you lots of good Cyber Monday deals. I somehow saved $96 today on Shutterfly. Not bad.)


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

21 Favorite Moments During the 1st Month of Motherhood

A baby sleeping is about the sweetest thing ever, right? And can we all agree that Bear is a back sleeper?! 
It does seem like yesterday that I was riding the bus to the hospital on October 16th, drinking my usual coffee (I should have known when I got it from Au Bon "PAIN" that day) and not sure if my water had broke (and it definitely had...). Seven hours later, we had a son and my world completely changed. The first 4 weeks have flown by and I am so grateful to have made it through it. It's been an incredible, overwhelming month...and one I hope I'll never forget.

Some of my favorite (or memorable) moments from the last month...
  1. When Josh gave me these two little silver bear rings before I went into labor. I wear them every day and they mean so much (and how he finds such great gifts always is beyond me). People ask us a lot "why the name Bear?" and here's what I usually say: As crazy as we probably are to choose this as the official name on the birth certificate, we just really like it. That's really it. For years it had been "Jack," but then we somehow kept coming back to Bear. We thought it sounded "cool" and strong, even though it's usually a nickname. And so it just stuck. We also thought Bear Grylls was a neat, adventurous guy (although we didn't choose it b/c of him). And Bear Bryant...just a coincidence. We ultimately figured that anyone named Bear will probably be a cool guy and definitely stand out. So that's really it. And then we found out that Alicia Silverstone and Kate Winslet just named their sons Bear too, so I didn't feel as crazy. And now, I can't imagine it any other way. 
    bear rings
  2. Minutes after giving birth my doctor literally said the following to me: "If you don't keep still, I will sew you up crooked." Not my "favorite" moment, but one I'll certainly remember. I love NYC doctors...
  3. When I had my first ham/swiss sandwich in over 9 months in the hospital. Best. sandwich. ever. Same goes with having my first unpasteurized fresh orange juice after getting home from hospital. Heaven. In the end, I cheated on a lot of the pregnancy food rules, but I never ate deli meats/hot dogs or drank unpasteurized juices. 
  4. I'm not gonna lie, the day that your "milk comes in" is pretty exciting. They say it "comes in" around Day 4 or 5 and man does it come in! Hello there! (TMI, but the woman's body is an amazingly cool thing.)
  5. When he took breast milk from a spoon in the hospital. Spoon feeding at 2 days old...
  6. Watching him sleep. Probably the best thing ever. See photo above. 
  7. When he smiles in his sleep. (Babies don't truly smile at you for awhile, but they do smile in their sleep and by accident quite a bit.) 
  8. The first time I washed my hair after getting home from the hospital...priceless. 
  9. When he was weighed at his 3-week appointment and was finally back to his birth weight (and as of today, 9 lbs 9 oz)! Very exciting stuff, folks. (Babies usually lose weight after birth and then it takes a week or two...or three to gain it back.) It was really stressful for me that he wasn't gaining it back quick enough, but then he did and all is ok. Pediatricians, I think, need to chill just a bit sometimes. 
  10. The first "mustard seed" diaper. Yes...this was exciting. Poop colors those first couple weeks are an interesting thing. I'm talking a Pantone spectrum of colors here. 
  11. Having my mother here to help for the first two weeks. Forever grateful. There were a couple late, late nights when she was there to take Bear for a few hours and I do believe she was the "baby whisperer" that first week...instantly able to calm him down.  
  12. When he squeaks, grunts, sounds like a goat or makes some other odd noise. Babies make CRAZY noises and they're pretty awesome. Sometime they freak us out, but apparently they're normal.
  13. Seeing my husband hold him...never, ever gets old. 
  14. Reading his first book to him - Black & White Animals (If you want to see the simplest book ever, then get this one...). I'm not so sure he even noticed the book, but it was the thought that counted.
  15. Putting him in a cute outfit. And then having him pee in it 5 minutes later. 
  16. His first bath. This little guy LOVES the bath and that makes me so happy. He never flinched for one second when water was poured over him. I think he is basically ready for the ice bucket challenge now. Or scuba diving. 
  17. When he stares for hours at the black and white picture frames on our living room wall. It's so true what they say about babies loving black/white. I can verify.
  18. Our first walk to Central Park. A perfect fall day. (I always had this little dream, probably since college, that someday I would have kids and I would stroll them in Central Park. Most of my life has NOT gone as planned, but this did and that was cool.) 
  19. When I decided to turn off all notifications on my phone (at least for the first few months here). Life-changer.
  20. The incredible generosity of the people around us who have showered us with kind messages and love during this first month. Especially the 9 nights of SeamlessWeb dinners that were delivered to us by my amazing colleagues at work. So grateful. It's so nice to have support during this time, because it's really tough many days and knowing people care really does make a difference.
  21. As weird as it is, I think some of my favorite moments have been at 4am when I wake up (half asleep) to feed him and the apartment is quiet and dark and it's just me and him. There's something so special (and extremely exhausting) about that time. It doesn't always feel quite so special when you can barely pull yourself out of bed, but when I look back I know I will treasure those early morning feedings. Someday I will want them back I know.
Love this gift by www.craft-e-family.com




Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I mean, come on...

I had to share some of these super sweet photos of Bear by Erin Foster Photography. We will keep him. (Too bad he pooped in this beautiful blanket...sorry, Erin!).

Thank you, Erin, for taking time to come over and take these. We will cherish these forever...and possibly use as blackmail in 21 years!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

10 Things To Read/Bookmark/Save Forever When Entering Motherhood

Over the last 9+ months or so, I have come across so many good articles/essays related to being a new mom or just parenthood in general. So many that I now have a comprehensive "reading list" on my iPhone that I have been referencing A LOT in the last week. Mostly for re-assurance that this first month is indeed tough and that I am not crazy...just really, really tired. 


I wanted to share some of these with all of you because many are quite beautiful (whether you're a parent or not) and have helped me through this crazy time. A time that encompasses about every emotion in the book – extreme love and happiness, anxiety, sadness, exhaustion, happiness again, etc...the list goes on and on. 

Hope you'll find some of these as interesting as I did. 



  1. a letter to my pre-mom self (from coffee + crumbs blog) - Probably my favorite "new mom" essay.
  2. when love feels heavy (coffee + crumbs)
  3. 10 True Things About The First Year Of Parenthood (especially #9)
  4. To My Sons: 20 Lessons for a Meaningful Life (That I Wish I Knew When I Was Your Age)
  5. The Hardest Two Months of My Life (A Cup of Jo)
  6. 5 Things I Know Now About Being A New Mom
  7. The Deep End of Love
  8. brave, brave, brave (coffee + crumbs)
  9. What Nobody Tells You About The First 3 Months of Motherhood
  10. To Wives: Before You Were Mommy
I can't believe little B is 17 days old today. It boggles my mind how fast time is flying. I am trying to remind myself that the blog can wait and that I will never get these amazing "first month" moments back. 

I mean, come on...


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

birth


the little man has arrived!

bear randolph ryan
thursday, 10.16.14 
at new york presbyterian weill-cornell hospital in nyc
6:40pm
8lbs, 11 oz and 21 inches
all are happy, healthy & exhausted
we are are officially smitten!

(No, he's not named after Bear Bryant or Bear Grylls...it's just a name we always thought sounded very cool. Think adventurous, brave, the outdoors, masculine...)

more photos:


just a tad exhausted, but extremely happy. labor is definitely laborious.
I may have been high off that epidural, but we definitely walked home from the hospital 22 blocks. :)

the adventure begins!



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

15 Things I Would Now Tell A Newly Pregnant Woman

bustin' out all over!
Days away from our due date and it's quite overwhelming and surreal to think that our little life (after 11 years of just Emily + Josh) will never be just the two of us ever again. Well, someday it might, but not really. Overnight, everything is different and you have a new, much bigger life. That's a pretty wild thought. I get asked often -- "Are you ready?" and my response is always the same -- "Who is ever 100% ready for something like this?" 

I am pretty sure that every emotion a woman can have is running through my head these last few days, but I feel surprisingly calm, excited and in disbelief that this is really going down soon. 9 months ago I was drinking tons of wine at a birthday party and now I am here. 

One of the last awkward belly selfies
I will ever do.
The last 9 months have shown me a whole new world that I could have never imagined -- "crazy pregnant lady world" (as I am calling it today). It's hard to try to describe what this has felt like. I thought for a few years that I could imagine, but carrying a little human being is truly indescribable. It's a CRAZY, exhausting and magical experience and one that I am so grateful for every day. But with that also brings quite a few realizations that I wanted to get down on digital paper. 

So, for those of you thinking of becoming a mom or that are newly pregnant, do me a favor and jot these down (or copy + paste them somewhere) and then refer often:
  1. Your TO DO list in this 9+ months (and probably forever) will never, ever, ever end. So accept that you will be never be done "getting ready." But you will be close at times...until you realize something else you need to do/buy/install/clean. (Random Tip: Go ahead and order 50 or more baby "thank you" cards. They will come in handy.)
  2. Your hair and nails will truly never look better. You might not ever actually "glow," but you will have damn good nail beds. (And those selfies you swore you would never take of your belly, you definitely will. Your body will amaze you...take lots of photos.)
  3. For the most part, people will be nicer to you than you could ever possibly imagine and mainly in the last few months. So take it in. Soak it up. Let them open doors for you, pick things up for you and even feel bad for you. Soon, it will all be over. (I had a hard time doing this, but eventually, I willingly let people give me their seat on the subway.)
  4. You can get out of doing just about anything. Take advantage.
  5. Not having to "suck in" your stomach for nearly a year is the #1 perk of pregnancy (in my opinion). So love your belly, because apparently those days will come to an end at some point.
  6. You will experience at LEAST 20 weird symptoms during pregnancy. So get ready. Whenever I feel like my pregnancy has been pretty normal, I quickly remember the crazy things that have happened to me including nausea, gagging, low back pain, tingling fingers/toes (pretty sure I have carpal-tunnel these last few weeks which is common), "Charley horses," itching, hot flashes, bad skin, new moles, difficulty sleeping, the inability to get up more than 1 step without being out of breath, crying for no reason, new found hair (!!) and the list goes on. It's no joke y'all, but it's somehow manageable, because these things are spread out over 9 months. 
  7. No matter how many people tell you to "not Google things," you most certainly will. A lot. And this will lead you to believe that you have either killed your baby or that everything is perfect. No in-between. But you should really just find a good OB/GYN who has an online messaging/email system. Saved me about 50 phone calls.
  8. There will be days when you feel nothing, no symptoms or aches/pains at all and that...is pretty amazing. You're carrying around another human being and you feel like you did last year. How is that possible?! Cherish those good days. 
  9. Get used to people asking "how are you feeling," "when are you due?" "do you know if it's a boy/girl?" and "do you have a name?" -- because you will be asked daily. Come up with answers to these 4 questions, memorize them and have them in your bag of tricks. I lied about most of these by the way -- "No, we don't have a name yet." Of course we do! And a simple "I feel great." Do you REALLY want to know how I truly feel? Probably not.
  10. Buy maternity pants that have the super wide full waist band. That's all I'm saying about that - just trust me. And splurge on 1 pair of great maternity jeans - so worth it. (My fave here.) And then just buy a bunch of clothes 1 size up...you really don't need "maternity" clothes - especially during summer. #maxidress
  11. You will soon learn to accept the people that express their opinions about your belly size (i.e., you look "huge"), shape, due date, gender of your baby, etc. And those who ask if you're having twins. Accept and love these people. They just don't know any better. Just smile or laugh and move on. It's enough to watch your body change so drastically without your control and unfortunately a lot of people just don't get that. They mean well. 
  12. Many, many people will give you advice. It can be annoying after awhile, but learn to listen, smile and say "thank you." And most will actually offer up SOLID advice, so take what you like and pitch what you don't. It's your journey.
  13. Take a breastfeeding class (which is usually covered by your insurance). I learned more in that 3 hours that I could have imagined. Did you know that your early milk, "colostrum," has the exact same scent as your amniotic fluid, which helps attract the baby to you? AMAZING stuff, folks.
  14. My husband was right -- That shelf that I was obsessing over that needed to be installed that weekend -- can wait. The baby will not notice the shelf on or off the wall. It can be done in due time. So stop obsessing over things that probably don't matter (easier said than done).
  15. They weren't kidding when they said it would go by really fast and to take many naps and relax as much as possible. It really does fly by and every day is a gift. Every week is a new milestone to celebrate (yay - he got his lungs this week!). If there is one thing I would recommend over everything, it's to do as many fun things as possible with your partner while still spending time relaxing. We spent more weekends doing more "nothing" than we ever have...and that I'm sure I will treasure.
more soon...


Sunday, September 28, 2014

12 Things I Loved This Week

Some of my favorite things from around internet land this past week...
  1. Play this song sometime in October while drinking some apple cider and you'll thank me.
  2. Anthony Bourdain's "How To Travel" tips.
  3. My company, Gradian Health Systems, is being honored at the 2014 Tech Awards. Very exciting.
  4. Can't wait to see this new Warren Miller ski flick.
  5. Well it's about time someone brought this up. Watch the video.
  6. So, you can now text a TACO. My life will never be the same.
  7. Shoshana Bean sings Sia's Chandelier and it will blow your socks off (do yourself a favor and listen to the whole thing.)
  8. This makes me laugh!
  9. This map of Africa will blow your mind. 
  10. Comfy, long, light and only $9.95...my new favorite Fall shirt (doubles as a GREAT maternity top).
  11. The perfect Fall boot. And bag
  12. And then there is this...Happy Fall!
(I took this one year ago in Central Park and it still makes me happy.)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Every Moment A Grand Adventure

I've been very nostalgic lately, looking back at the past year or so, which has been one of my favorite years ever. I'm never sure what lies ahead (although hopefully something equally or even more awesome), so I always like to think about where I've been and be grateful for the things I've seen and done. Of course, there's always so much more to do.
A year ago (Sept 2013), we were in Iceland, on a "stopover" on the way back from Europe. It was (and probably will always be) one of the most peaceful and beautiful places I've ever been. It just has something magical about it that I will never forget. The way the light hits the land - spectacular. And yet so close to the States. It's also one of the few places where we had no cell service (we stayed in this cabin in the middle of nowhere) and I had to fully unplug...and that felt amazing. Unplugging Vacations are my new favorite kind of vacations.
Just thought I'd share this photo and this quote (above), which I love. I can't remember where I first read this quote, but it's my new favorite. Every day truly has some kind of tiny risk...and every moment can be your next great adventure!


Adventure on!