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Guest Post: Happiness Is A Gnawed Nipple

Carrie Loewenthal Massey is a writer based in New York City. When she’s not writing, she’s cooking, running, trying to control her spending here, or, most likely, building magnificent cup towers with her baby boy.

Happiness Is a Gnawed Nipple
The Perils of Ice-Cream Free Breastfeeding

I’m walking the five blocks home from the Gymboree Play and Music location where my 8-month-old son, Josh, takes classes. I have him in the baby carrier, his pom-pom hat brushing my chin.  I’m ravenous.

What to eat?  I’m on a restricted diet because I’m still nursing Josh and his lower intestines can’t quite process dairy or soy yet.  It’s a common intolerance, as the pediatrician has stressed, not an allergy, and he will likely grow out of it around age one.  But I haven’t had a chocolate milkshake since I was pregnant, and I hadn’t intended to give them up postpartum.

I walk past the three, yes, three, pizza places on the next two blocks.  I see fresh pies emerging from the oven as I pass the last shop. The 20 pounds of baby strapped to me dissipate as I make a hard left toward the door, ready to devour a whole cheese pie, baked ziti, even the “B” health grade sign the New York Sanitation department has displayed in the window.  Alas, nearly everything has soy in it, so the sign probably isn’t safe.

On the couch back home, I’m malnourished and cranky.  Mr. No Dairy No Soy is latched to my breast, drinking away.  I debate ordering a rare steak à la carte from the Argentine place up the street, when little blue eyes takes a break, smiles at me so wide I see all five of his adorable teeth, nuzzles me, then chomps down so hard on my left nipple that he breaks skin.

I scream.  He giggles. (continues…)

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A Private Pregnancy

I’m going through a very exciting time in my life, which kinda makes it all the more strange why I haven’t been blogging much lately. I found out in January that I’m expecting child #2 in October. Yes, I’m halfway through my 2nd pregnancy and I have yet to shout it through the blogosphere.

When I first found out, I couldn’t wait to share the news. But then something changed. I wanted to keep it private, which is probably very unusual for a blogger. Especially a “mommy blogger.” We tend to share everything. Overshare, actually. But this pregnancy made me want to embrace privacy and anonymity. Perhaps it was just the mama-bear instinct that often kicks in as soon as we read the positive pregnancy test.  Who knows. But what I do know is that I wasn’t ready to share the news until now.

When I started sharing the news with family and friends, I was somewhat surprised about some of the responses we received. I think some of the personal questions people asked me prompted me to keep this pregnancy more private than I originally intended, both off and online. It also motivated me to write a list of things you ought not to say to an expectant mother and couple. I understand that pregnancy often brings out curiosity in others, but it’s pretty obvious that some people don’t understand that their questions are rather personal and that many people would like the answers to remain private.  Here are a few rather personal questions that people have asked me so far:

1) Was it planned? (continues…)

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Our New Addition

It’s been a busy week and a half at the House of AYMB – our family adopted an 8 week old Portuguese Water Dog!

As I wrote in a post back in June, we’ve been wanting a dog for a long time but needed to find the right breed for our family. We found him.

Our new dog is named Noah and the Dude and I fell in love with him right away. He is cute, cuddly, sweet, intelligent, and has a great temperament. He also doesn’t shed, which is a huge bonus. However, as fun and playful and sweet Noah is, it’s been a big adjustment for all of us.  Noah is every inch a puppy – he likes to chew, jump up on people, isn’t totally housebroken, wakes up in the middle of the night, and doesn’t understand commands. We’re watching a lot of the “Dog Whisperer” these days.

Bringing a puppy home is challenging. People told me that it would be difficult but, just like parenthood, you don’t fully understand the demands until you actually live it. Like parenthood, puppyhood has tested me in every way. But what I’ve quickly learned is that, just like parenthood, it’s an awesome way to live and worth every challenge.

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Getting Back to Blogging

BloggyBootCampLike many bloggers, I have my ups and downs when it comes to keeping up my blog. When I’m inspired to write about something, I love having this platform to share what’s on my mind or information that I think might be useful to my readers. But then there are days, or even weeks, when life, or simply a lack of inspiration, keeps me from my little space on the Internet. This past month or so has been one of those times for me. So, just when I needed a boost of energy to get back to blogging, the SITS Bloggy Boot Camp came to town. Or, rather, it came to San Diego which is a fairly short drive away from me.

Bloggy Boot Camp is a blogging conference put on by the wonderful women behind the SITS (The Secret to Success is Support) website. If you’re a blogger, you probably already heard about SITS and their conferences.  And if you’re not a blogger, you might be confused/bewildered/intrigued/amused as to why blogging conferences even exist. I felt that way, too, until I actually attended one.

What I hoped to get out of the conference was to find inspiration to keep doing what I’m doing. To learn more about the business of blogging and what I’m doing right and, more importantly, what I’m doing wrong. To meet up with bloggers I’ve met before, to connect with other bloggers that I’ve had an online connection with for a while, and to meet many more that I’ve never met, either online or off. Not only did the SITS conference help meet all those expectations, but they exceeded them. I laughed. I cried. I felt more inspired than I ever have to keep up my blog and make it a whole lot better. If you’re a blogger, I urge you to seek out a future conference. The women behind SITS (the lovely Tiffany, Francesca, & Kat) travel all over to put on these events, so there’s a good chance one will be near you soon. Also, although SITS is intended for women bloggers and for us to give each other the support that we all need, men are welcome, too. I definitely saw a few dude bloggers in the room, so don’t be shy if you’re a guy who wants to check it out!

Bloggy Boot Camp

Why, yes, that's me on the right. I look so focused, don't I? Not my best angle...but at least my make-up looks good. (image via SITS)

I plan on making a few changes to AYMB in the near future, including a new design and new features. I have a few ideas that will reflect my professional and personal strengths, including an advice column about relationships, parenting, and everything in between. As a reader of AYMB, let me know what you think and if you have any ideas or suggestions.  The primary purpose of this blog is to share information, ideas, and thoughts on a wide range of issues. Sure, this blog is a platform for my interests and thoughts, but it’s not just for me. It’s also for you.  Your opinions and feedback are always appreciated, so please don’t hesitate to contact me or leave a comment! You can always reach me at or via twitter @aintyomamasblog.

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March Madness for Charity – Make a Bet for Good!

grantmadnesssquareDo you usually play March Madness? How about playing a March Madness pool for good!?!

The One Percent Foundation has just announced it’s 2nd annual Grant Madness! The Grant Madness pool works like any other March Madness pool, except that bracket winners donate the winning money to the non-profit of their choice.  For only a $10 donation, you could win $500, $1,000, or even $2,000 to donate to your favorite non-profit organization!

The deadline to enter the Grant Madness pool is 8:30 am PST on Thursday, March 17th, so make sure to join now. To join the pool, please click HERE!

Want to know more about the One Percent Foundation? I have been an active member of OPF since it was founded in 2007. OPF is a non-profit philanthropic organization committed to engaging young adults in philanthropy. The Foundation is a giving circle – a partnership of young adults who pool their funds into substantial grants for excellent non-profit organizations. Partners of OPF nominate and vote on worthy organizations to receive the grants. It’s a democratization of charitable giving! OPF is an an organization that I strongly believe in and support. To learn more, please visit their website, follow on twitter, or fan on Facebook.

Good luck! And, go UCLA!


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