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?

marlo update | almost three


"this is one thing they forget to mention in most child-rearing books,
that at times you will just lose your mind. period."
-anne lamott, plan b: further thoughts on faith 
oh, little one. errr... rather, not so little one.

in two months, you will be three.



every time i think this thought, my heart sighs a little. i totally understand what people were talking about- the days are long, the years are short , yada yada blah.

and i hate them for being right.

but on the flip side, i love, love, love who you are becoming.

you're spunky and fiesty, ballsy, and brave. you're sweet and empathetic, kind, and caring. you're funny as hell and i never know what is going to come out of your mouth next. you have a penchant for getting anything and everything you want from your dad- something he will surely regret later in life. but you're his girl and i get it; i have a hard time saying no to you, too.

a few things about you at almost three:

you want to wear your hair in what you refer to as an "elsa braid" every single day. it's very cute.

you change your outfit no less than six times a day. 

you are very aware of your emotions and voice them openly. i'm frustrated. i'm sad. i'm nervous. i'm angry. and i am so excited are all emotions you experience daily. most at least twice.

you ask us to "cuddle you" when you're tired and it melts us every. damn. time. 

you know how to crack an egg without getting any shell in the bowl. makes me proud.

you're obsessed with boobs and ask everyone- including strangers in the elevator- if they have them. it can get a little awkward. 

everyone who meets you tells you how beautiful you are (which i wholeheartedly agree with, obviously). yet you seem not to pay any attention to the compliment one way or another. i truly hope that is always the case. i want you to be confident sure, but i don't want you caring too much about your looks.

you won't walk into a room by yourself. "come mama, come." 

the other day when i was losing my patience and temper (ummm, i'm sorry about that), you asked me, "do you need a minute to relax and calm down? maybe take a few deep breaths, mama." apparently our methods are rubbing off on you after all.

you call me honey. it's my favorite thing ever.

at night when i'm telling you good night and that i love you, you tell me, "i love you more, mama." not possible, mo. not even remotely close to possible.

i love you to the moon, babe. forever and ever and ever. 

round two | oof + 32 weeks


for my birthday, joe took me to brunch at sweet chick in the city. i ate my weight in fried chicken and followed it with a nutella and cream cheese sticky bun. afterwards, we went to MoMA and laughed our way through the museum like a couple of immature teenagers. i think in a past life i used to be an art person. but now? i just notice all of the boobs and tend to wonder how some things even qualify as art.

mind you, i think that every scribble my toddler makes is genius. so, take my opinion with a grain of salt.

anyway. the two pieces that stuck out to me were these:
the top installation (or is it a sculpture?) reminded me of a pig snout, which, i found appropriate and quite applicable because i snort and grunt a lot at this point in pregnancy and, well, there's the obvious: i eat a lot. it could actually very well be intended to look like an electrical socket but, since art is subjective (so they say), i'm going with pig snout. tomato, tomahhhto.

the bottom painting is much more literal. it perfectly sums up how i feel at thirty-two weeks pregnant. oof. most days i feel like i've been hit by a freight train i see coming from a mile away yet i can't avoid it. my hips ache and shoot pain down my legs, my lower back feels broken or that it needs to be broken to relieve the pressure, my boobs are just obscene, i have insane heartburn in the evenings if i eat anything larger than the size of a fucking crumb or anything more acidic than milk, and i'm convinced that edie is trying to claw and head-butt her way out of my womb. i can't even talk about the belching and other exiting of bodily gas. putting on shoes which require tying of laces has quickly become comical and nearly impossible.

(ps. birkenstocks are in my near future.)

and sleep? just fuhgettaboutit. as a result of the insomnia and sudden bouts of narcolepsy throughout the day, i cry a lot. cute puppy? tears. i'm hungry? sob. marlo throws a tantrum? cry again. realize how insane you're becoming? cue the waterworks. i've succumbed to being a one-woman hormonal, sleep-deprived circus with a very quick fuse and i can only hope that it gets better but i've accepted that it probably won't for the foreseeable future.

but on the bright side, mo is becoming increasingly ecstatic about becoming a big sister. almost every day we have a conversation about when edie will be here. (just so you know, "i have no idea" rates as generally unacceptable as an answer for a toddler. i can't even get into the conversation about WHY i have no idea when she'll be here. that was mind numbing.) however, with her increasing excitement surrounding edie, she's become equally protective of me and weary of edie's intentions.

just last night, edie gave me a swift kick to the ribs which immediately doubled me over in pain and resulted in a few deep breaths and grunts. mo marched right over and thumped my stomach to seemingly grab edie's attention all while shaking her finger and scolding, "don't hurt my mama, baby edie cooper! dasss not nice! you better not hurt me when you's born!" siblings, man...

thirty-two weeks, kiddo. fifty-six or so more days until i meet this little being. then again, it could also be something like twenty-one or twenty-eight or thirty-five more days because, hey, why not keep it interesting to compete with how much physical fun i'm having.


two brooklyn babes and a bump take the florida beach


oh, florida... 

man, were you good to me. and you were especially good to my girl. 

i can't even begin to really describe how badly this trip was needed- and not just for the sunshine, either, although that definitely didn't hurt matters. (a little glow looks good on everyone, right?) 

we needed this trip because marlo and i were starting to feel off and, as the days have passed, we've felt less and less like a team and spent most of our time battling each other over the simplest everyday tasks. it's utterly exhausting and i'd be lying through my teeth if i said that it hasn't left me in an embarrassing amount of tears as of late. 

i know a lot of the struggle is bound to happen because she's an impressively strong-willed little girl who has a mind of her own, who insists on doing everything on her own terms and won't take anyones' word for anything- particularly mine. but what bothered me was that the battling was all we were doing. it felt stifling and i worried that neither of us were actually enjoying each other at all. 

and, quite simply, that just isn't okay with me. 

and, so, we escaped. 

we flew south like the birds to spend a few days with our friends, emily and lily, in their sweet little house with the ridiculous amount of natural light and an ample supply of princess dresses and strong coffee. we had only two items on the agenda: 1) get back to feeling like a team and, 2) have fun.

and that's exactly what we did. 
ps. i'm horrible about taking photos on vacation. some people constantly have a camera strapped to their hands but i'm the opposite. i simply forget. and also, my kid is completely anti-cameras lately. she sees one and she runs so i respect it and, you know, try to only capture moments when she is blissfully unaware that i'm doing so. sneaky, sneaky. it also helps to have friends who enjoy playing your personal paparazzi because they get it. 

and, of course, thank you, emily and lily, for hosting us. we miss you girls already. 

in my closet | seasonal shopping


ever since i became a mom, i've tried to subscribe to the idea of seasonal shopping. i do this for a few reasons: 

1) i tend to buy more thoughtfully when i plan out my purchases in advance at the beginning of the season. 2) i'm forced to take a seasonal inventory of things that i already have, things that need alterations or a deep cleaning (like shoes, sweaters, jackets, etc.) and things that need to be donated.  3) it's much easier to budget. mind you, i will still buy a random shirt or accessory here or there but this conscious consumerism helps me to be more mindful of my purchases. and lastly) i rarely regret purchases if they're planned. impulse shopping always ends badly. this season's plan of attack involves a whole lot of comfort, easy access to my boobs, and materials that hold up well to wear and tear. 

also, i care so very little these days about being sartorially fancy. i truly don't have time to fuss about what i wear. i used to love fussing and obsessing over my wardrobe. in fact, i did it for a living. i still like to look good and put my best face forward but i just don't have the time to try new trends or live adventurously through the latest fashion. plus, i find it all kind of frivolous when i'm spending so much money a month on diapers and mo being in school. priorities. le sigh. luckily, though, i'm happily a jeans-and-t-shirt-kind-of-girl so shopping has become no-nonsense and to the point. i think any mom can appreciate that. 

amiright? or amiright? 

sandals i just purchased these to wear in florida next week since my tan leather sandals were ruined last year and they are extremely comfortable. i will be wearing them with everything. EVERYTHING, i tell you.

overalls i used to despise the resurgence of overalls that happened last year but they've come to actually grow on me. i won't cross over to the dark side completely and start wearing birkenstocks and patchouli or anything but i'll be nursing a newborn all spring, summer, and well into the fall so i'm going for it all in the name of easy access to my boobs. long live the 90's!

striped tee because the only point of stripes is their ability to distract the eye from the countless breastmilk stains that will be loitering around on my shirt and the like.

ribbed nude tank because it's cotton, easily washable, and leaking breastmilk will blend in nicely. will probably have in black, charcoal, and grey, too. because if it works, why mess with it?

fannypack so, don't even start with me about the fannypack. my biggest anxiety about having two kids is how to be hands free for mo while still holding a newborn and running errands around the city. enter: the fannypack. so. sue. me.

leather back pack again, i need to be handsfree and i refuse to have an actual baby bag. yuck. i've also been looking for a black leather backpack for ages that doesn't come off as butch. this is the solution.

distressed black skinnies because i wear a lot of black and none of my old jeans will fit for a while. justification at its' finest.

crop tee easy access for edie cooper to the girls. grey is the only one i pictured here but i'll most likely own this shirt in every color.

original aviators because classic is always the best route. also, joe got me these for christmas with my rx lenses in them. let me tell you, it'll be nice to be able to see while outside for a change.

what's missing? lipstick. why it's missing? because i'll be to busy smothering a baby in umpteen kisses and i'm sure she wouldn't appreciate her teeny noggin being covered in red smooches. maternal sacrifices, you guys.

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