taking stock | fall 15


eating | red meat. carnivore til i dieeeee.
drinking | so much water. also, it's red wine time, folks.
practicing | manual mode on my dslr. i've gotten lazy with it.    
mastering | baking. i suck at it.
learning | to not embrace stress, worry, or the glorification of busy.
trying | chinese medicine and acupuncture. absolutely loving the results.
playing | lots of make believe with mo. it's a fun (and exhausting) stage.
finishing | all three seasons of elementary. i'm embarrassed at how hooked i am.  
reading | this when it comes out because why not add myself to the list of sterotypical french-wannabees?
remembering | that mo's mood is typically indicative of my own. kid soaks up energy like it's her job.
wearing | articles of clothing which prompt mo to ask me, "mama, is that daddy's?" 
cooking | stews, soups, and sauces. 
working | on a book proposal. 
traveling | to charleston on our first vacation as a family of four in october. god speed.
wanting | this coat for fall.  

my favorite picture of edie ever.... or so far


with good reason.

am i right?

or am i just plain right?

and, yes, she really does sleep like that with her hand on her face. and it's the most deliciously adorably thing i've ever seen. and can we talk about the squish factor of her face? good god i could just eat her up. she's my little butter bean.

marlo being marlo


"mama. since i a big girl, i done taking naps now, yeah?! i have an idea! i'll just have quiet time with the iPad, okay? yeah. okay." 

"when will baby edie do something?" 

"why can't i be nakey outside again mama?" (as she's actively taking her skirt off on the playground)

"daddy doesn't have a jay jay, mama. why not? what does he have?" um...

"play the hoe-zsherrr song mama. where they go to church. what is church?" (that's hozier.)

upon leaving for the playground with her sitter, she turns around and says "have a good day, mama. okay byeeeeeee."

"you can't be elsa mama. you don't have the right hairs."

"is daddy in florida this week? oh, he's not? what about... calwaforna?"

"mommy you are so beautiful. but you really, REALLY need lipstick." uh, thanks, mo.

"you going peeps or poops? you need to hurry."

"am i stwessing you out mom? or am i driving you crazy?" 

we've been talking a lot about dreams lately and when i asked her what she thinks baby edie dreams of, without missing a beat, she says, "your boobs."

my new reality


for the record, i don't typically wear red lipstick while nursing. or mascara. or even have clean hair regularly. i don't typically look put together at all on a daily basis because, quite frankly, i'm not. i can wear the shit out of some lululemon leggings though. and i swore i'd never be that mom... 

but it is my current reality. 
speaking of my reality, it looks a little something like this:

i'm up a lot at night with our babe. she sleeps with us and every grunt/moan/hiccup/fart wakes me up. not to mention, she nurses throughout the night, too. and sometimes, like a freak, i just enjoy staring at her because she's awfully cute. 

i have dark circles under my eyes (see previous paragraph) that i don't even attempt to cover up because i'm actually proud of them; i've earned those mother fuckers, ya know?! i have bangs to cover up the skin discoloration i developed on my forehead while pregnant. because, in case you didn't know, your skin can darken in odd places while pregnant. like your upper lip, too. that's right, i have a permanent mustache. pregnancy: the gift that keeps on giving. 

my boobs, while huge and awesome, at this point are just a nuisance. i have a muffin top for the first time in my life and am a solid ten pounds heavier than i'd like to be. is it easy being not so easy on my own eyes? no. it's not. i avoid the mirror when i get naked. and i struggle with it because, guess what, i'm human. but i try to remind myself that it took nine months to pack on and it'll take some time to take off. i'm trying to give myself some grace in the form of new pants. not to mention, i'm a hell of a lot more interesting than just the number on the scale. 
also, pregnancy brain doesn't stop when you give birth. it's a real thing afterwards, too. i've missed deadlines (and have basically given up on writing anything for the foreseeable future) because i just can't formulate sentences that make any damn sense. in fact, i've had to re-read this entire post six times to make sure the neurons in my brain are connecting and i'm writing real actual words of the english language. my brain is basically mush. the only few things it can actively process are if my kids have pooped today, if we've all eaten, if we have or if we should bathe, and how to build a princess castle with oddly shaped pink wooden blocks. 

why it has somehow managed to retain all of the lyrics to frozen is just fucked up if you ask me. 
i overthink everything and constantly worry if i'm doing everything wrong with these two beautiful little girls. that's not me being hard on myself; that's simply me figuring out this mom-of-two thing one day at a time and making a lot of errors along the way. i've raised my voice, lost my patience, and been a real asshole. i'm proud of neither. but i've also listened to my instincts and gotten a lot right as a result and i'm damn proud of that. 

i'm constantly reminding myself that parenthood, while a shit ton of hard work, is supposed to be fun. their umpteen messes are supposed to be. kids aren't meant to pristine and wear white without spilling things on it. it's like eating fried chicken with a fork and knife. some things in life are just meant to be messy. i find myself encouraging more of the weird, less of the rules. because kids should be kids and we could all learn a thing or two about their inability to give a shit about what anyone else thinks of them. please, ask marlo how much she cares what i think and she'll tell you "none."

i'm living and breathing by the advice that babies don't keep. i'm holding edie as much as i can, as much as i need, as much as i want. i'm letting her nap on me and in my arms as much i can. i'm not imposing a schedule. i'm refusing to worry about any of the things i once did because i want to savor, not obsess. 
and finally, my reality is full of a whole lot of love. 

love for myself and for what i'm doing on a daily basis as a mom. 

love for my kids because they have given me a purpose far bigger than any other job ever could. 

love for my husband because without him, i wouldn't have these girls and i surely wouldn't feel so supported.  

and love for my fellow mamas. because, as different as we're all doing things, i choose to believe that we're in the trenches of motherhood together.  

all photos by my friend belle. 

one month in


my sweet edie bee,

four weeks ago i went into labor and had one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

while in labor and especially during particularly intense contractions, i would hold your dads' hand and i would repeat over and over to myself that it was just me and you. me and you. me and you. i repeated it to myself every couple of minutes to remind myself why i was going through that pain when i didn't have to, when i could very easily and quickly get relief. i kept trying to remind myself why i wanted to have a specific kind of birth.

that reason is that i wanted to be able to savor this time with you.

unfortunately, after your sisters' birth, i was miserable and heartbroken. i felt sick and weak and i was devastated that the time i should be soaking up with her and loving her was spent feeling like i was, quite simply, trying to survive. i was ill and ill-equipped to handle it. that period of time wasn't savored; rather, it was a black hole i got sucked into and it took a very long time for me to come out of it.

so, with your birth, i was determined to have an experience worth writing home about and i was ready to do everything i possibly could to have a different outcome. i wanted to know what all of the fuss was about, what that post-birth high felt like.

i wanted to not only have a healthy baby, but i needed to be a healthy mama.

and i got both.

i can't thank you enough for these last four weeks, edie bee. you have completed our family in such a beautiful way and, i kid you not, i feel like the luckiest woman alive. we love you to the moon but so very much further...


ps. i promise you that your sister will stop pinching you sooner rather than later. 

five things | two weeks in


i have so much to write out. i want to remember so much and i fear- given the current mushy consistency of my brain- that i'll forget it all unless i document it here. but i have no time, so, here is the short and not so sweet version.
my girls.
1. well, for starters, edie is here. she weighed in at seven pounds and five ounces. she looked just like her sister upon initial inspection but is now veering away from total clone status. she's all kinds of sweet and squishy and fattening up like a champ. and dare i tell you that she's a great sleeper. (i can hear the collective fuck you's from moms everywhere.)

2. nothing. fits. so i just bought a pair of overalls and feel like i can now claim official sell-out status as a brooklyn mom. overalls? check. striped tee? check. wear baby in a sling? birkenstocks? check. check. obscenely expensive stroller? check. (p.s. i'm starting to hate myself.) bangs? coming soon.

3. can i have thirty minutes where no one is touching me? i love my babies but oh my god i love even more not being touched. some things will never change, i suppose.

4. things that are at the top of my list right now? that blissful hour and a half a day when all three of the fadel ladies are sleeping. friends who not only feed you and your family after you've had a baby but also take your toddler off of your hands for a few hours, bathe them, and then bring them home five minutes before bedtime. a little sister who tolerates her sister with more patience than i do. sunglasses because the dark circles are so real. leggings. dry shampoo. all the lattes. my boobs because they are doing work, y'all. edie's cheeks. the sound of pride in marlo's voice as she tells every stranger she comes across about her baby sister.

5. i'm working on writing down my birth experience- because, oh man, what an unbelievable experience that was- but i need more than one hand to type it all out with and an hour or two to sob as i write it. at the moment i have neither so stay tuned for that... i will go ahead and say that my body finally cooperated with me and the experience as a whole healed so many open wounds from marlo's birth. it was an unmedicated birth though i didn't have a natural birth to be a hero. all mothers are heroes. i did it to prove to myself that my body was still mine and in my control. and you know something? as a result of trusting my body and its' capability, i've never, ever been more proud of my body. women are fucking miracles.

round two | 33 weeks + a surprise shower


if i had any shame, i might be embarrassed to share this photo with you. but the truth is that this is the reality of pregnancy for me: licking the feta cheese and creamed spinach that oozes down the side of my perfectly cooked, mid-rare burger before i can make it to sit down at a table and use utensils like the well-mannered lady i am not. the fact that someone got it on film is classic me.

anyway, i showed up to karolina's house for what i thought was just a short pitstop before we trekked it to brunch somewhere in the east village. but, no. those bitches got me good! it was a surprise shower for me and my little edie bun with my nearest and dearest in attendance. the theme? pregnant as fuck. my girlfriends seriously get me.

and, without getting all hormonal and emo on you, i just have to say that it was so, so good.

it felt good to feel special. it felt good to feel honored. and it felt really good to know that edie is also loved by many.

not that i had any doubt, but to be surrounded by encouraging, like-minded, unique, and strong women who support me unconditionally and who have been there for me over the past two years made it all the more obvious to me and my family that we've got one hell of a tribe.

and that is the epitome of good.

that is the damn dream.

so, ladies (and rio, the only boy invited), thank you for making me and my littlest one feel so special. thank you for making me laugh and for loving me for exactly who i am, hormonal or not. and a special thank you to karolina for opening up your home to us and for making such delicious food.

ps that cake! it was so damn good. i want another entire cake to myself when she's born if that's okay?! okay?

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