Dieting, Family Time, Josh, Then Comes Baby, Willow

…And Then the Weekend Brought Bliss.

So, last weekend was supposed to be our time to reconnect and do pretty much nothing as a family. Just hang. As you know, our anti-plans were eclipsed by every plague imaginable. Once we were all back together in our home Saturday morning, it was all about bonding time. I’ll get back to regularly scheduled content including What Willow Wore (featuring a new mom-shop I’m obsessed with!), late-summer wedding suggestions, and a few awesome product reviews (Kiehl’s sunscreen, at-home workout gear, and more)… but for today, here’s a catchup session for those who care about the behind-the-scenes:

Loving our reunited dinner at the local spot. My fun cutout tee is from the LOFT sale. I made Willow's bow, which you can purchase in my Etsy shop.

Loving our reunited dinner at the local spot. My fun cutout tee is from the LOFT sale. I made Willow’s bow, which you can purchase in my Etsy shop.

Wills has been napping like a champ recently (I type this with full knowledge that once it’s written, it will cease to be true). Saturday I got my nails redone as they’d chipped out East, and even sprung for a pedicure because I was in serious need. When I was working full-time and we didn’t have a child, this was a bi-weekly thing. Now it’s a big treat and I savored every moment. It was only after I’d been in the pedicure chair about ten minutes when I realized I should’ve brought a book. But I took the time to relax and catch up on Pinterest (hey, you want the truth, right?) and then switched up my nail colors to a shimmery robin’s egg blue on the toes and a lovely pinkish-lavender with loads of sparkle on the gel manicure. My sister-in-law (Pookie) is four weeks from her due date and I guess it’s safe to say I am on serious Baby Watch for this surprise-gender addition to the family!

I was up with Willow a LOT last week, so Josh took her for a long walk Saturday morning after the morning feeding so I could get some rest. Apparently, she needed it, too.

I was up with Willow a LOT last week, so Josh took her for a long walk Saturday morning after the morning feeding so I could get some rest. Apparently, she needed it, too.

After my nails, we did laundry and cleaned, then took a long walk to a local bespoke gelato place a new friend had told me about. This place is amazing — the cones are naturally gluten-free (they don’t advertise this fact), and the flavors are truly special. Josh had “purple sticky rice” and I indulged in a scoop of Jack Daniels-infused vanilla (yes, I had recently nursed the baby).

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Gerson gals loving their gelato. Mama hadn't had a cone in over 15 years!

Gerson gals loving their gelato. Mama hadn’t had a cone in over 15 years!

We let Willow have a tiny taste of Josh’s and she went absolutely nuts for it. Needless to say, she was a bit sugared up, but a rare treat is fun so we felt no guilt about it. These gelato flavors are all-natural and made with milk from local grass-fed cows. Of course, there’s a little sugar in it but we all lived.

More from the LOFT sale -- this maxi dress is my new favorite. I just love the vibrant colors and bold floral. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to nurse in, so I can only wear it in two-hour stretches, this summer at least.

More from the LOFT sale — this maxi dress is my new favorite. I just love the vibrant colors and bold floral. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to nurse in, so I can only wear it in two-hour stretches, this summer at least.

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On Saturday night, we had a long-anticipated dinner with our dear friends, “Mini” and her husband. We went to a fun local pan-Asian restaurant with a great vibe (and changing tables, even in the men’s room!). The food was excellent and so was the wine. Willow fell asleep in my arms but woke up for some late-night partying. We have a babysitter for date nights, but sometimes it’s nice to bring our girl. We want her to be comfortable in busy places with lots of people around. I attribute her social attitude not only to her inherent personality but also the fact that we’ve been (carefully) bringing her out since she was under two weeks old.

Willow now waves and it's the cutest thing ever. Here we are in our floral LBDs at Talde Saturday night. Hers is by Mila Chic Boutique and mine is an old Betsey Johnson.

Willow now waves and it’s the cutest thing ever. Here we are in our floral LBDs at Talde Saturday night. Hers is by Mila Chic Boutique and mine is an old Betsey Johnson.

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Sunday we all slept in (thank you, Willow!) and then headed out on a 3-mile walk to the farthest Starbucks in Jersey City. We then went home and piled into the car to try out a new diner. We ordered healthfully as Josh and I are in the midst of a weight loss challenge. In the afternoon we drove around looking at notable Jersey mansions (Lil Kim’s was my fave), then ended up at Mitsuwa Japanese market to pick up grilling meat for the week and a late lunch. Willow went mad for the smoked salmon and we all enjoyed staring at the NYC skyline for a little before heading home to relax, grill, and snuggle.

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Totally stalked out the Jersey housewives, too. Teresa’s house is ridiculous but way too far out in the sticks for our taste.

Repping another of Mommy's bows at breakfast.

Repping another of Mommy’s bows at breakfast.

Josh and I weighed in this morning (we decided Tuesdays are better than Mondays, because of any extra weekend food allowances) and we are both down five pounds in two and a half weeks. It felt amazing to get back to Pilates last night and I am just looking to the future with a healthy mindset. Speaking of which, I’ve received some interesting correspondence circling my recent Huffington Post story about why I wear a bikini with my imperfect mom-bod. I would like to address the haters with the below…

Oh, and our little girl is standing using the assistance of only one hand. It's just a matter of time. Freezing this moment.

Oh, and our little girl is standing using the assistance of only one hand. It’s just a matter of time. Freezing this moment.

Every woman is entitled to her story, her identity, and her self-perception. I wish mine hadn’t been built based upon the opinions of others but it was and now all I can do is rebuild and fix the damage. To some a size four and a small bust equals the “perfect” bikini body. To me, I am stuck in skin I didn’t ever see myself being in and I am doing the physical and mental work to become happy with my body for the first time ever. I don’t apologize for my story and I certainly don’t need you to feel sorry for my daughter. She is one very lucky little girl and if I’m doing my job right, will not define herself based on her appearance. But if she ever needs someone to talk to about dark feelings, I’m her girl. Thanks!