Hi-Ho, Oh-No, It’s Back to Work I Go!

IMG_6736Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone. Apologies it’s been so long since I’ve last posted. All is well here. Crazy and busy and waking up at 6:45 AM every single day and go-go-go til bedtime without fail, kind of crazy. Ellie is in a glorious phase of smiling, screaming, saying “hahhhh” which we figured out meant “hi” every time she sees someone knew. She’s saying “bahhhh” when someone leaves too. She’s 8.5 months old. Sleeping through the night (except the last 2 nights as she’s teething). No crawling yet, just pushing herself backwards into inconvenient corners, then muttering to us until we come rescue her. She loves all things music and thinks clapping is the greatest thing in the world. Her cheeks are so squeezable and I find myself watching everything she does in amazement. Being her mom is awesome. And exhausting. Exhauwesome?

Over the last few months, I’ve been taking time to do my freelance writing at Thought Catalog: http://thoughtcatalog.com/Stacey-Becker which has been great. I signed an e-book deal with them for a short story memoir which should come out next spring. Stay tuned!  I also had a few interviews for lawyer jobs that fell into my lap through former colleagues and friends. Long story short, I recently made a decision to go back to a full time role as a lawyer. The income is important for Ellie. And because I had the benefit of taking these last 8+ months to really find a company/role that would be a good fit for me, I am going back to a place that will be supportive of my #1 job – being Ellie’s mom. This company is giving me a flexible work arrangement without even knowing me. Already, that makes me like them and want to do good work for them. They get it. I won’t say it’s going to be easy, but knowing that I can have that flexibility sure helps.

It took me a really long time to decide to quit my last job after having Ellie. I was terrified of not being able to find something else. Of running out of our savings. Being on the other side of that decision – I can honestly say that not going back to work was the best decision I ever made. I cherished every single day I had with Ellie. Even the really hard ones, and there were plenty of those. I went from being completely blown away and terrified by this tiny little helpless thing, to beyond smitten with every single detail that she is. I can’t really start to think about how much I will miss her or I may not make it to work this coming Monday. I’ll miss that darling little face, the way she grabs fistfuls of my hair and plays with it, how she snuggles her nose into my neck when she’s tired. How when she wakes up from her morning nap and sees me, she gives me the hugest grin and immediately starts clapping, applauding that she finally feels well rested, perhaps. If I start to think too long about how she lunges forward for the spoon of sweet potatoes that I give her for lunch, how her arms stretch out as wide as they can and shake when she’s excited, it’ll break me. I will miss these things like crazy when I’m at work. Each second of them. They are what I live for.

I will also do the following:

I will go back to work because I have to for now. It’s the best thing for our family.

I will show Ellie that we can be tough when we need to be and that women are strong and powerful.

I will not permanently decide anything in terms of my long term working or stay at home mom plans. I will take it week by week, day by day or even hour by hour if I have to.

I will not label myself as working mom instead of stay-at-home mom as every mom is a working mom. Labels pigeonhole people and I refuse to be categorized as one thing or another for too long. I will not be afraid to make changes to my lifestyle and mom-style if I am not happy.

I will work hard to achieve a great balance between the baby and my work. It may not be possible at times and I will forgive myself if things don’t go as planned.

I will miss Wally (the dog) too and need to find time to give him some extra loving.

I will make time for date night for me and The Husband because he’s gorgeous, I love him and I still laugh every time we’re out together.

I will not forget about The Bachelor, though my posts about the Farmer may not be as timely or long as they used to be.

I will always be Ellie’s mommy. Nobody can replace that. I tell her every day that I made every single part of her, with a little help from The Husband.

I will not cry all day on my first day of work. Repeat. If I cry, it will not be in front of Ellie. I will try not to cry in front of The Husband too often as he doesn’t full grasp the concept of maternal hormones and might commit me if this continues.

Ok, deep breath. I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes. In the meantime, here are some pictures of my latest project:
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Fall With a Fury – The Latest & Greatest

Ellie turned 6 months!

Ellie turned 6 months!

It was 53 degrees when I woke up this morning. A sure sign that fall has arrived. Usually that’s marked by when Starbucks starts serving its Pumpkin Spiced Latte, but it just seemed too hot when that happened. All is going well these days. Here’s what’s happening since Michelle Money’s Bachelor in Paradise ended:

- Ellie turned a whopping SIX months. I have no idea how this happened. She is happy and smiley and so curious about everything. She was doing this head bopping / turning thing that freaked me out at first. I told the doctor about it and she thinks it’s Ellie just being a baby and getting excited about things. We took Ellie to a music class and this happened. Yes, she’s the one bopping her head like a lunatic and NO, I’m not doing this for her.


- We started solids. Well, first we tried to transition her from the hypoallergenic, $50/can powder formula that we have to special order online (Neocate) back to Similac. But she seems to still have issues with the cow’s milk protein, so we went back to Neocate. Little girl likes the good stuff. We tried to get insurance to cover it, but so far, haven’t been successful. We’ve now done rice cereal, oatmeal, carrots, sweet potato, squash, bananas, peas and green beans. She’s loving everything but the green veggies. The face she makes when we try to shovel it into her mouth is priceless. Kind of like this, “Are you trying to poison me???!”

- I’ve been loving my time at home with Ellie on this extended maternity leave. The days are very tiring, but having her sleep through the night is life-changing. She’s taking about 3 naps a day – anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. It’s wonderful. I’m sure it won’t last :)

- Ellie is sitting up on her own for the most part. After about 10 minutes, she’ll slump over. She’s nowhere near crawling though and I’d like to keep it this way. Less work for us. Can we staple her diaper to the floor?

As for me, I’m still writing weekly at Thought Catalog. My latest article is here: http://thoughtcatalog.com/stacey-becker/2014/09/20-things-id-tell-my-former-single-self-now-that-im-married/

You can see the rest of my articles here: http://thoughtcatalog.com/stacey-becker/

And now I need to vent a little bit about the baby class / nursery school situation going on in my neighborhood. I’m curious to hear what it’s like in different parts of the country (and world) because I know this can’t be normal. Here it goes:

The Upper East Side (where we live) offers many different types of classes for babies. Yes, babies. And they are pricey (averaging $50 or more per class). The options range from music classes (about 15 to choose from), swimming, sign language, foreign languages, story time and even gym classes where you can work on your baby’s core. There are mom support groups, mommy and me yoga classes, outdoor strollercise classes and prestigious, hard-to-get-into classes requiring that moms call from the hospital to get their baby on the wait list. I’m not kidding. The classes are “feeder” programs for the insanity of private nursery school. The process for getting into one of these schools sounds more complicated than getting into Harvard. These pre schools require essays, interviews (with a 2 year old!), recommendations from people already attending the school and lots of $$$. Average fees for private nursery school are $25,000 a year. Am I in an insane asylum? People are competing with each other to get into these programs and there aren’t even enough applications. So you can’t even apply to get rejected. I have no interest in putting our family through such a crazy process. Which means we’ll be aiming for a much lower brow school if we stay in the city or moving out to the ‘burbs. Not that it’s such a bargain in Westchester or New Jersey. Ughhh.

Anyhow, I need a sanity check as I’m starting to think it’s a bargain to find a $15,000 nursery school. HUH? Does anyone have a winning lottery ticket they can lend me?

Wally’s barking at something. Which means there may be an intruder in our apartment, so I better go check. If we survive whatever’s happening in the living room, I’m taking Ellie apple picking near my parents’ house tomorrow. L’Shana Tova (Happy New Year) to all those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). I hope it’s filled with lots of love, baby kisses and doggy licks.

More to share at a later time…

PS – Married at First Sight on the FYI channel was AMAZING and has been renewed for a second season. Watch On-Demand. Completely worth it and far better than this last season of The Bachelorette.

More photos

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Ellie turned 6 months!



Bachelor in Paradise Finale Recap – Those Crazy Kids

marcusandlacySo I was up at sunrise this morning anxious to get the DVR going so I could watch the finale. They say to never go to sleep angry, but they did NOT take into account a NYC based Bachelor blogger who had the Bachelor in Paradise finale pirated by Monday Night Football. Apologies for all the people who sent me texts and emails about the show who I shoed away. It was so stressful trying to avoid any news of what happened. But I’m glad that I basically put myself into solitary confinement (with a baby and a dog) til this morning. It was worth the wait.

When The Husband and I finally sat down on the couch to watch, we were like little kids opening up gifts on Christmas morning (ok, Jewish kids, and really it was only me that was excited, but you get my point).

Things I am confused about:

  • Who did Lacy’s make-up? Or more specifically, her eyeshadow? It was a green/yellow almost amber combo that seemed a bit ’80s Halloweenish. Speaking of ’80s, I found Michelle Money’s outfit (patterned cotton pants and turquoise top with pink bra underneath) very distracting. Then I was shopping at H&M earlier today and SAW Michelle’s pants, so I guess she was being trendy.
  • Why did we never find out the nature of Michelle Money and Graham’s relationship? I mean, the entire show was about Michelle Money’s need to get attention and feel loved, so why wouldn’t she just go for Graham? How would their relationship end civilly? Why couldn’t we have seen a follow up where AshLee Frazier sees MM bad mouthing her and gets to respond?
  • Why did these couples think that “staying together” for purposes of Chris Harrison’s ultimatum mean having to be in love and get married? Couldn’t Tasos and Christy or at least Jackie and Zack have given it a whirl? Why did they want to leave?
  • Was Graham actually interested in AshLee?  I never felt that way for a second. Was he faking it?
  • Is Michelle Money not a hired actress for making this show dramatic?
  • Why did Molly Mesnick (Jason Mesnick’s wife) look completely different? I didn’t recognize her at all. I know she went back to blonde and she had very red lips but it could have been an entirely different person and I wouldn’t have known.
  • Are we supposed to believe that Robert and Sarah were not even willing to give it a shot despite that Robert sleeps in his jeans and wouldn’t touch Sarah? I mean, he admitted that he wanted to take it slow – was she not ok with that? She wanted to have sex and feel desired? I mean they live 10 minutes from each other – couldn’t they have figured this out off camera? They really seem like they liked each other and it’s just such a shame because Sarah has always said how hard it is for her to meet people that she feels comfortable with. My mother thinks that Robert is a pretty boy like Rob Lowe, which I agree with. I remember thinking that he and Brooks would make a cute couple.
  • Desiree’s ombre hair color. She should stick to dark brunette. So much more attractive. Did Chris (her fiancé) say one word?
  • AshLee did NOT burn down the Tulum village after getting dumped. I thought she might hang herself by that ridiculous halo headband.
  • Have I mentioned how confused and angry and not over I am about the fact that ABC chose to put the finale of Bachelor in Paradise on at 1:30 AM EST for the NYC area? What the heck??? And they didn’t tell us until like 15 minutes before when Chris Harrison acknowledged that snafu on Twitter. I’m not over this yet, clearly

Things I am NOT confused about:

  • I kept saying to The Husband, “Where is Neil Lane?” when Lacy and Sexy Chest Hair were going on about their love for each other in the overnight fantasy suite. Plus once Marcus started sweating at the final rose ceremony, I knew he was definitely proposing. Cody must have seen that footage and been like – “Oh man, I should have done that.” I worry about Marcus. I mean the guy is TWENTY FIVE years old, just came off of believing he was in love with Andi only weeks earlier and fell in love and got engaged with Lacy in like three weeks. How can this work? Do they live near each other? Is he insane? Will they have really tan, green eyed babies? Probably. 
  • Michelle’s light bulb moment came when she was in the fantasy suite with Cody?? Is that a red flag or what? She figures out that she’s in love by spending the night with Pop-eye in a Tulum Mexico suite and talks about his genitalia. Well that seems stable.
  • Michelle’s daughter is the brains of her family. She’s got her work cut out for her by having to raise Michelle and Cody. Favorite line was that Michelle wants to give Cody a haircut. He needs it!
  • This show got RENEWED for a second season. It’s good stuff. I did think the twist was going to be that the couples would be offered money or to stay together. It wouldn’t make sense that anybody would leave just after having a conversation. I feel like we missed something – like more explicit instructions from Chris Harrison.

Now that the season has come to an end, I can move on to more important things. Like the fact that my baby Ellie will be SIX MONTHS TOMORROW!!! WHAT??? How did that happen?

And my gig at Thought Catalog. Here’s my latest post from today: http://thoughtcatalog.com/stacey-becker/2014/09/on-aol-and-the-email-addresses-we-give-up-as-we-grow-older/

I’ll still be blogging regularly though, so please check back! Who’s psyched for the FARMER?


Bachelor in Paradise Finale DELAYED til 1:30 AM in Northeast

Talk me off the ledge. Talk me off the ledge. Talk me off the…. I jumped. I am beyond angry. I’ve tweeted my frustrations out on ABC, Chris Harrison, the producers and anyone else that will listen the Twitterverse. How on EARTH did something like this happen? The finale is scheduled for 8 PM (2 hours) Eastern Standard Time. I was looking forward to it all week. Planned my entire day with the baby to getting to this exact moment when I could watch. Then I find out that it’s Monday Night Football and sorry, for us New Yorkers and NJ and CT and I think Detroit and maybe some other Northeast cities – they are NOT airing the finale until 1:30 AM. Ok, so we’re supposed to sit around and stay up like chumps til then and not get bombarded with emails and Facebook posts and tweets from our non NY / NJ / CT friends who are giving us all the dirt? I can’t even. STOP! As Andi would say.

I’ve looked into live streaming, on Demand and other sites that might have the live finale – no luck. I will have to wait until 1:30 AM. No, I’m not staying up. I’m protesting. I want a huge apology from ABC and the show – it’s one thing to schedule it at 1:30 AM, it’s another thing not to tell us til the last minute. It’s not just any other episode – it’s the FINALE. Can they send me a babysitter so I can watch and blog? They owe that to me, don’t they??

Ok, breathe. Count backwards. 5, 4, 3, 2…I’m still PISSED.



Bachelor in Paradise: Jesse the Jack-Ass, Brooks and Tasos Arrive

lovebirdsThis week, on Michelle Money’s Bachelor in Paradise…nothing too interesting happened except for the following:

(1) We finally learn that there will be an ending to the season. We still don’t know how or why or in what way – only that next week is the finale and EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE. I was starting to think that we could stay in Tulum for years and just watch couples make out and steal each other’s dates as there seemed absolutely no point to the show. I doubt my opinion will change much after the finale next week.

(2) I forgot how effeminate Brooks was from Desiree’s season and now I can’t picture him ending up with a woman. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. When he broke out the nail polish for Jackie, this sealed the deal. Seems like a very nice guy and I hope he finds the right man.

(3) The editing on this show needs improvement. Christy was wearing the same outfit in her side interviews when she spoke about how special Jesse Kovacs was. Then 30 seconds later she talks about what a “douche bag” he is and goes off on him. Which is the same outfit she was wearing for the gang up on Jesse farewell. Did they tell her to say nice things about him at first so she could bash him later? They should have at least made her change clothes. There was also confusing editing with Sarah’s decision to stay with Robert. They made it sound like she was going to “break up with him” – I’m pretty sure she said that she was going to do that before she got his letter to meet her on the beach. This doesn’t make any sense to me and seemed very set up by the producers. Sarah has searched for so long for someone to make her feel special and that’s a quality guy. Robert fulfills everything and more – why would she throw that away for a chance to be with Brooks? Was Michelle pissed that she was stuck with Cody and didn’t have a chance to start a relationship with a man from her home state (Brooks is from Utah too). They also made it seem like Michelle couldn’t take another second with Cody – then all of a sudden she’s having nighttime, fireside beach chats with him and deciding to just go with it. Is she actually interested in dating the blonde incredible hulk? He’s known her for a couple of days and is saying he’s in love. WHAT??! She is definitely acting – there’s no way she’s interested long term. If he can still be into her after witnessing those white feather drop earrings, she best reconsider her feelings for him.

(4) Best line of the night – Graham’s description of AshLee’s reaction to him not getting a date card, “She’s going to cut someone.” So he acknowledges that she’s insane, but chooses to stay with her. Sad man.

(5) I like Tasos and Christy, even if they are a default couple resulting from Jesse being a scumbag. The sad thing is that Jesse has zero remorse for how he treated these women and for referring to Tasos as “Tacos.” Zack-Jack(ie) are an interesting pair. Ok, not really.

(6) I was thinking about being an 80s go-go dancer for Halloween and am wondering if I can borrow Lacy’s pink tie dye outfit and some of her blush. Is that stuff in style? Maybe it is and I have no clue. I also feel a serious need for the side French braid and head bands in general after watching this show.

That’s all I got.

The Husband and I are going to battle next week over the big television in our apartment as its Monday Night Football. How on earth will Bachelor in Paradise compete with opening MNF night?? YIKES. Happy Labor Day weekend and end of summer. I’m wishing you all a slow, easy transition into autumn!


Bachelor in Paradise: Michelle Money’s Show Gets Wild; Chris the Farmer’s Our Bachelor

Yup - you, Clare, and Michelle Money, who I now want to marry after 48 hours in Tulum

Yup – you, Clare, and Michelle Money, who I now want to marry after 48 hours in Tulum

For the second time this week, I watched Michelle Money’s Bachelor in Paradise, Part 2. Only this time, I saw it with my parents and had to translate what was happening at each commercial break. They couldn’t remember who was dating who. They couldn’t hear what anyone was saying through the music. They didn’t understand the purpose of the show since it wasn’t for money (good question, they didn’t really explain that). They kept asking how long the season would go (another good question, this is also unclear) and what was going on with Jackie’s boobs. Truthfully, that last part was the most confusing. I think we all agreed that she got bad implants.

General comments and then I’m calling it a night. I have a headache from trying to decipher why Graham is still interested in AshLee and how anyone could find Jesse Kovacs attractive.

  • I’m really sad that the whole meltdown once Graham left the rose ceremony was NOT that he rejected her and she went into a tailspin resulting in an ambulance ride to some mental relief center. Seems like Graham and Lacy either ate the wrong thing or were drinking too much. 
  • Not sure why AshLee wouldn’t chase after Graham when her man is clearly not feeling well and Michelle rushes back to get him water. If she was remotely interested in the guy and not just looking pretty for the cameras, shouldn’t she have tried to help him out? She’s an ice queen. It’s really irksome that he hasn’t figured this out already.
  • I felt bad for Clare that she finally got the “he’s just not that into you” truth out of Zack, but had respect for her that she didn’t drag it out any longer. Once she got the news, she decided she was done. I don’t think she actually looked like a big fool for calling it a night early. She chose to walk away instead of trying to hold on to someone who was giving her “red flags.” Good for her, she’s growing.
  • What I didn’t understand is why Zack didn’t then go back after Christy once Clare left. He didn’t want Jesse’s sloppy seconds? He had a sudden change of heart for Jackie’s odd boobs?
  • The fact that Michelle Money has zero interest in Cody is so blatantly obvious that it makes me feel uncomfortable watching them together. As my mother said – what does a mid-30s something single mom want with a 25 year old single guy? She should be looking for an older guy – perhaps someone divorced in their 40s who’s a bit more experienced, mature and looking to settle down (but not completely overwhelm her). He’s known her for 48 hours and is ready to propose. And this after he was so sure that he was there for Clare. I get yucked out just from seeing his little puff of blonde hair, obscenely muscular body and intense piercing blue eyes. Poor guy has no idea what he’s getting involved in with Michelle.
  • Best part of the episode was watching everybody react to Marcus’s little love speech for Lacy. I cracked up the whole time and so did my parents. It was borderline ridiculous. They’ve known each other maybe a week at this point. I’m guessing they will be engaged by the finale of this show, whenever that is.
  • Lucy looked very pretty during her brief time on the show, better than Juan Pablo’s season. Christy is absolutely beautiful, but not sure she’s got the wits to see Jesse for who he is. Not exactly sure what happened with Lucy getting into bed with the two of them, but don’t really care.
  • I’m thrilled for Sarah and Robert!!! I really hope they can make it work because they seem to have a very strong friendship between them underlying whatever romance they have. Are we only going to see Sarah wearing black from now on?
  • Marquel went from having 3 women after him to zero. Things change quickly in Paradise.

My mother is showing me Carters outfits online and my father is snoring away on the couch, so it’s time to call it a night. I miss The Husband and Wally who are at home while Ellie and I decided to escape to the suburbs for the night. Off to bed here…

OH AND IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T HEARD, WE HAVE A NEW BACHELOR – IT’S CHRIS THE FARMER. Arie the Race Car Driver from Emily Maynard’s season tweeted yesterday that he wasn’t chosen. Apparently he’s pretty bitter about the whole thing. The Bachelor has its work cut out for them – how will they make 25 women vying to be a farmer’s wife in Iowa seem interesting? Will they move the show to Iowa? Will they wear overalls and plant things? Milk cows?