Happy Easter!

April 18, 2014

I seriously love when Isabel visits to take pictures of Liv. She travels with her studio and sets up right in your apartment and captures your heart on camera (ie, your little one). The one difficulty, as any of you parents know, is baby couldn't care less who's coming to visit. Take Liv on this gorgeous day for example. She would not nap, and when Isabel came, would not smile! My giggly girl would barely crack a grin! But it's ok. Because what we caught on camera was something just as awesome - Liv discovering something. What you have here, folks, is Liv discovering an easter egg. First she grabs it in disbelief, marvels at the wonder that she actually has in her hands, and then - the final and most definitive mode of discovery - she must taste it. Everything goes straight into the mouth with this one! 

I hope you all have wonderful Easter holidays if you celebrate and found some joy in Liv's 6 month pictures!

Spring Mom Uniform

April 16, 2014

I seriously lived in this outfit the last two weeks. The comfiest jeans that practically feel like sweats, an easy tank for nursing, a soft denim shirt, nude sandals, and big shades. Mom or not this look is too easy not to repeat over and over again. 

And thank you so much for all the post suggestions in the last post! Professional/business chic outfits will definitely be making a comeback very soon - I head back to clinical/hospital rotations in June so no more jeans to work for this girl! Would love to hear any more suggestions in the comments section!

Weekend: The Big 1-5

April 14, 2014

Happy Monday all! Just wanted to share a few pics from the wonderful weekend we had back home celebrating my little sister's 15th birthday. It's a big deal in hispanic culture, we threw a huge QuinceaƱera complete with the big white ball gown, damas and chambelanes, limo, etc. etc. etc.! Crazy that my own QuinceaƱera was now over a decade ago and all the cousins I used to babysit for are now finishing high school and in college. Liv had a blast seeing all of our family and partied the night away, even slept in her little white dress! Sunday we had a lazy day and a big brunch before hopping back on the road. I hope you all had great weekends!! Also - make sure to leave any ideas you have for posts in the comments section! Would love to hear! 

Babywearing: Carrier Comparison

April 11, 2014

I've professed my love for babywearing over and over on this blog (and you've seen it on my Instagram) - and boy am I reminded of how great it really is when I have to push my huge stroller through the busy streets of Cambridge and its little shops (let's just say I gave up and set up camp at Panera that day instead lol). 

With babywearing I can carry Liv with me everywhere I go and not feel limited to places with wheelchair access or wide aisles or double doors, and I have my hands free to sip an iced coffee or just rub her back and roam together as I so frequently do. But this post isn't to convince you all to become babywearers - it's for the many of you who are already convinced and just looking for the right carrier. I've used different carriers during Liv's first 6 and a half months of life, so I figured I'd review the pros and cons of each with you here and hope that it can help in your decision of which type of carrier is right for you and your little one! 

The carriers I've used are the Solly Baby Wrap, the Ergo Baby Carrier, and the Sakura Bloom Sling (the single layer linen). I'll compare them by the features I think are most important in a baby carrier, but as always ask any questions you have in the comments below!

A big part of comfort depends on the size of the baby you're carrying. I'd say for long periods of time (ie walking for hours and hours), the Ergo has proven to be the most comfortable regardless of how big Liv was. The straps are nice and cushinoned and there's lots of support for your lower back - somehow the weight of the baby is really evenly distributed so you don't feel it in any particular area at the end of the day. The Solly Baby was pretty comfortable for good chunks of time when Liv was smaller, but around the 4 month point it wasn't as comfortable (mind you Liv was in the 70+ percentiles for everything so she's a bit on the larger side). The Sakura Bloom isn't the best for very long periods of time. Because most of the weight is focused on one side or the other, you can start to "feel it" after a few hours (but I got through traveling and day trips with Liv at 6 months without much of a problem, we're not talking back pain or anything, just not as comfy as the Ergo). Although please do note, I have the single layer "pure" style, and the double layer is supposed to provide more support. 

The Sakura Bloom wins here. I love the hip carry (and so does Liv right now), but you can do tummy-to-tummy, cradle, facing out (kangaroo), on your back, etc! Lots of different positions to try. The Ergo also has the option for back carrying (and supposedly hip carry, but I tried and all the straps get a little confusing), and the Solly Baby is pretty much just facing you. 

I bought all 3 of these with the idea that N could wear Liv too, which he absolutely loves. So all 3 are adjustable and fit the both of us. I'd say the Sakura Bloom is the easiest to adjust, especially with baby on - just pull the fabric on one side or the other - it's perfect in its simplicity. The Ergo has a few more places to pull but it can also be adjusted easily, although sometimes I have to ask N for help if I've already got Liv in it (most of the straps are behind me). The Solly Baby can't be adjusted with the baby on, and if you need to adjust it you need to take her out and re-wrap the whole thing. Better to get it right the first time (I always just tied it tightly to me as the fabric stretches a little with baby's weight anyway).

Ability to Nurse on the Go
The Ergo and Sakura Bloom are wonderful for nursing on the go. This is probably my favorite feature of babywearing. Liv will just tuck her little head in and can nurse as I walk down the street (we actually do this) - and with the Ergo I can cover her head with the hood while with the Sakura Bloom I can just pull up the sling a little bit or cover her with the fabric tail of the sling. I never figured out how to nurse with the Solly Baby, which could be more of a failure on my part, but it just never worked out. The inability to adjust it with the baby on definitely could contribute too. 

Sometimes you just want to toss the carrier in the diaper bag for if you need it later, or take baby out for some playtime and put the carrier somewhere until you need it again (like we did on our recent flight). A compact stow-away size is definitely a plus. The Solly Baby with its light jersey fabric is definitely the smallest when rolled up completely, the Sakura Bloom follows close behind, and the Ergo is definitely the bulkiest. See the picture for the comparison (I didn't roll up the Solly Baby as tight as it could go, it can be a little smaller than this). 

This part is all a matter of personal preference, but as far as "style" I always thought the Solly Baby and Sakura Bloom were just so beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Look through any of the instagram feeds of these brands and you'll see what I mean. I love them both for that. The Ergo isn't the prettiest, especially with the bulky straps (what makes it so comfy), but with a light layer on top I never found it to be an issue. 

Carrier Care 
I have yet to wash any of my carriers, but Liv has definitely thrown up on all of them. They all have been very easy to clean with a wet towel. Any mommas have experience actually throwing these in the washing machine? Would love to hear below. 

Ergo Baby - $115 on Amazon.

Sakura Bloom - $88 for linen pure (single layer), $148 for linen simple (double layer); more options like silk and two-tone available on their website.

Solly Baby - $65 on their website.

I hope this post can help some of you babywearers figure out what's best for you! At the end of the day I love all three for the simple fact that they keep Liv close, and they're all great for different occasions and different tastes! 

I'll keep you safe, you keep me wild

April 8, 2014

It's absolutely mind blowing to me to think that this time last year N and I were taking photos of my barely there baby bump... now we're taking family photos at the same very spot. Not to mention I got home from work last night and Liv started crawling! Check out the video on my instagram here. And so it begins! This custom print from Brim Papery couldn't be more perfect for the relationship I feel with Liv right now - "I'll keep you safe, you keep me wild." Seriously, never have I laughed out loud more or made ridiculous funny faces on the T or sang and danced in the park and not give a damn about what anyone thinks except for my baby girl who's growing like a wildflower before my very eyes.  

What to Major in

April 7, 2014

Hello and happy Monday everyone!! I hope you all had wonderful weekends, the weather finally started to feel a bit like spring here so we spent lots of time outdoors. For today's Med School Monday post I wanted to quickly address a question I get from a lot of my readers who are in the early years of college or the college application process: what to major in [for medical school]. So here's a little about that!

I'll say first off - I majored in Neuroscience and minored in the History of Science and Technology. I absolutely loved neuroscience and history has always been my passion, so I didn't do these for med school, I did it because I loved studying it. {Quick super nerdy fact about me? I have a tattoo of the first time the word brain was written in human history - it's hieroglyphics from the Edwin Smith surgical papyrus and dates back to around 1500 BC}. I share this because I truly think college is a time you should study what you love and what you're curious about. I was lucky enough to go to a liberal arts college so I really did explore lots before declaring my major sophomore year - taking courses in African American Women's History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Philosophy, I loved it all.

Now for medical school, there are courses that you have to take. At most colleges there's no "pre-med" major, and if there was you probably shouldn't major it in anyway. Just get through these pre-requisites (which are slightly different for each medical school, so make sure you check the website of schools you're interested in), but they are generally something like this: 2 semesters of biology, 2 semesters of physics, 2 semesters of inorganic chemistry, 2 semesters of organic chemistry, and 2 semesters of english.

These classes are all important to do well on the MCAT, which you will have to take for admission to medical school. The grades from these classes will of course also matter, but they're meant to prepare you for the test and be a foundation of what you will later learn in medical school. Did I have friends who were physics majors and did better on the physics portion of the exam because of that? Yes, but only by a couple of points if that. The same way I had friends who did better in bio because of being bio majors - the point is that these differences are minor, and I think you'll get a lot more from majoring in what you truly are interested in rather than physics just for a point or two on an exam.

Do keep in mind that GPA matters. If you love English but are horrible at writing papers and can't get good grades in those English classes, maybe English isn't the major for you. On the other hand, if you're just majoring in Bio because it comes easily to you and because it fulfills lots of the med school prereqs, you're sort of cheating yourself out of a great education. This could be your last time to study history or government or Italian - there will be plenty of time to study science in medical school.

Some examples of undergrad majors my from my classmates here at Harvard include Philosophy, Psychology, Biology, Anthropology, Engineering (of all varieties), Neuroscience, and Economics.

I hope some of you can find this helpful, and as always, leave comments about your opinions or ideas for posts or anything! And if you've sent me a comment don't worry - I got it! I'm making my way through responding to those during the little "downtime" I have haha. 

Liv's Six Months Celebration

March 27, 2014

Liv's been 6 months for 2 weeks now but I'm finally getting around to posting the pictures from the little celebration we had for her before flying off to Puerto Rico. She wasn't quite sure what to do with the cupcake (it was nearly as big as her head!), and I love that she decided to go with an upside down, eat the wrapper approach. She's amazing. I can't get over how much I love her. 

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