Posts Tagged ‘ Fia ’

A Fia Doll! Who Would Have Thunk?

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

I’m so excited to announce there is a Fia doll… 

…inspired by my one and only, Fia!!

My best friend Suzy Ultman, is a graphic designer and illustrator. Land of Nod approached her with the idea after she did a line of bedding for them.  The doll is inspired by my real-life redhead, (although Fia’s hair is becoming more light brown over time). I’m so proud of you Suz, and am honored to have a Fia doll in the world.

Here’s the whole collection:

 For all your New Yorkers, there will be a Land Of Nod pop-up toy store in Soho this holiday season, featuring the Fia doll (and the others).

Suzy also did this counting book for Land of Nod. It was just released yesterday. Woo Hoo!



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Emmett’s Mid-Week Milestone

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012


Capturing the First Smiles...

He smiled earlier this week. And this morning I got the biggest grin yet.  My little man is melting my heart.

We are both definitely coming out of the fog. It’s been 8 weeks now and that means he is getting more alert each day. As am I. I actually went on a slow jog this weekend. It felt good.

The funny thing for me about baby #2 is how I forget to do the basics. With Fia I had a chart. It detailed her poops, pees, barf and bath. Emmett is lucky if I remember to bath him. Things like tummy time just often get forgotten. Last night I had him on for about 5 minutes and he seemed really excited about trying to roll over.

Our pediatrician had a great line for me I wanted to share. It might be the only thing I believe is true from a peds mouth (I wrote about my frustration with baby docs). He said you’ll be so focused on making sure your first-born doesn’t feel left out, that you’ll give her 80%. And for the rest of her life she’ll feel jipped for not having 100%. Your second born, on the other hand, will be eternally grateful for the 20% you manage to give him.

I had to laugh at that when I realized it had been almost a week since I bathed him. And yet, he seems perfectly happy and chill about it all. Maybe it’s just his temperament but he doesn’t seem like the wild child Fia was from the moment she came out.

My brother is super mellow. He ice climbs. As a profession (technically he’s called an Alpinist). If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry. It’s insane to me. He lives in a shack in Colorado and travels to places like Patagonia and Pakistan to climb for months at a time.

I am the opposite.  I like a good adventure, but I like my beautiful home, and all the comforts that go along with it. In other words, I don’t like roughing it anymore (unless I’m going to re-climb Mt Kilimanjaro).

Yet despite our differences, we’re incredibly close.

It will be fun to see how Fia and Em shape up in this world together. Smiling, I hope!


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Naming Baby–Fia’s Story and More

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Ack. I’m in the same boat as fellow blogger Berit. We are both due in 2 weeks and trying to come up with names for our babies.We have enlisted the help of yet another Parents Blogger who specializes in names. Here is what she wrote recently for my name dilemma.

With Fia, Phil and I were in the hospital for 2+ days before we decided on a name. They urged us to decide on something before we left, because it can be a real pain to go through the courts afterwards in getting a “legal” name on the books. I felt pressured. And oh-so-exhausted from a rough labor/C-Section. I didn’t want to rush into anything as important–or permanent–as a name.

I remember my father in law calling, “Have you come up with a name yet?” “No!” we said. “Well, when?” The pressure to decide on something of this magnitude irked me. I wished we had a system more like they do in Iceland: you take the baby home and a few weeks or even a month later, you decide on a name. You have a “baby naming” party and everyone comes. By that time, you’ve really had the chance to get to know your infant a little more. And potentially rest a bit. Or at least be more rational than you those first few days.

When Phil and I went to the hospital, we were armed with a list of 200 names. He printed out the top 100 girl names for the past 10 years, and then another set of the top 100 girl names from the turn of the century. Talk about some funny ones: Bertha, Mamie, and my favorite: Freda.

As I labored–and even after Fia came–we went through the list with a highlighter, eliminating most of them. Then we made another list of our favorites and started combining potential first and middle names.

I kept coming back to Fia Lily. I had come across the name Fia on a search when I was about 5 months pregnant. It meant “fiery one” in Italian, as a derivative of Fiama. In Scandanavia, it means perky. And in Portugese, Fia means daughter.

I loved Lily, but a) knew it was too popular to be a first name. b) can’t have another “ill” name, ie: Phil, Jill, Lil. Too cute. But together, I felt like Fia Lily sounded so pretty, almost lyrical.

We also wanted something with a good nickname, and we liked “Fi” (Fee). Wee Mee Fee, we’d say during my pregnancy.

So in the end, we decided on Fia. Or Fi, for short. Fia Lily Johnston is her full name. Unfortunately we didn’t do anything with Lily. I think in order for a middle name to be effective, you have to start using it right away. Am thinking we try this strategy with Baby #2.

So what to name #2? I like Liam, Luke and Lucas…but now Baby Center has Liam as #4, Lucas as #9. Bleh. I want something short, but that also lends itself to a nickname. Unless we made the middle name the nickname. That’s one way to utilize it I guess.

I like Simon a lot. And Callum…but to a lesser extent.

His middle name will probably be MacNeil, which was Phil’s grandmother’s maiden name. And I think Simon MacNeil or Liam MacNeil (Johnston) sounds cool. The middle name could serve as the nickname, ie: Mac.

Can’t do MacNeil as a first name. MacNeil Johnston. Say it outloud. Sound like a pharmaceutical company.

Thoughts anyone?

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September 11th: The 10-Year Anniversary

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I was in the air when the first plane hit. Three minutes later I landed in Newark, oblivious to the world collapsing.  Twelve hours later I would make my way to our apartment and fall, sobbing into my husband’s arms. Oblivion replaced by sorrow.

We had just moved to New York City 3 weeks prior.  Phil was about to start his Master’s in film at Columbia.

My flight on September 11th was supposed to be at noon. I was traveling home from a Food Network appearance in Cincinnati.  For some reason at the last minute I decided to change to the 6 a.m. flight. Unbeknownst to me, karma was on my side.

As our plane descended I distinctly remember looking out the window and seeing the towers. I remember feeling so lucky—so alive–to be living in this great city and starting this new adventure.

At that point in my life, kids were not part of the plan. I had no interest.

In the days following the attacks, I mourned like the rest of the country. Shell-shocked by the hate, inspired by the love.

Years went by and September 11th became part of me, just like it did for most of us. It was always there, serving as a timeline in life. “That was before 9/11.” or “That was after 9/11….”

On December 2, 2009, Fia came into our world. The cocoon we created during our stay in the hospital was nothing short of magical, even surreal. It was a bubble of warmth, safety and love.  I felt panicked when it was time to go home. I knew nothing about taking care of a baby.

Phil and I gingerly loaded her into our rented car. I got in the back with her and we began the trek from 168th and Broadway to Brooklyn. It was snowing. Phil drove about 40 mph down the West Side highway. We were paranoid new parents.

When we passed Ground Zero I looked out the window and began to feel a heaviness like I’ve never felt before. It was deep and sad. It carried the responsibility and burden of bringing a life into this world.  It said, “This is a dangerous place full of hate. Why did you do this to something you love so much?” It said, “This is an unworthy world. You are selfish.” Had I been standing, this profound pain would have taken me to my knees. I tried to push it away and force happy thoughts. As I looked down at my tiny, sweet baby I thought, She has no idea what her world outside the womb is.  But it’s my job to teach her. And love her no matter what.

I believe it was at that moment that the real burden of parenthood began.  I carry it with honor, understanding and respect. I’m on my 21st month now and will continue to carry it as long as I’m lucky enough to walk this world. This is life and it is fleeting. It is only by the grace of god, go I.

First Moments

First Moments

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