A Day of Epic Mom Fails

We all have moments like these……but in most cases, we get to space them out over several days instead of experiencing all of them at one. All well…..we survived the following today:

Just keep swimming......just keep swimming.......

Just keep swimming……just keep swimming…….

5.) Little Man #1 did not nap because he took a royal dump that smelled like someone took a crap in the urinal at a bowling alley and let it sit there for 4 days. He was, understandably, grumpy, slimy, smelly, and very very tired. Nevertheless, he refused to nap for the rest of the day because his chi had already been tampered with.

4.) Little Man #1 refused to wear shoes at the mall. For no reason. At all. Umm, thanks a lot. You look like a yetti sherpa hippie dipster, and that snaggley toenail is sure to fall off now that it’s scraped the tile of every bacteria infested square foot you touched. #Nicemove #getthedialsoapready

3.) Little Man #2 took his first tumble off the bed. I had hoped to avoid a tumble off the bed for the second babe, but alas, it seems he, too, must be Christened by the hollow thump of a good fall. I heard the thud, which was followed by crying and general grumpiness. Thankfully, Hubs and I took the boxsprings out and put them in the basement months ago. Soooooo…..at least the fall was a little less dramatic/painful/horrifying than it could have been.

2.) Little Man #1 spread a bowl of couscous all over the floor at dinner. He said it “looked like boogers,” and this was apparently a valid reason to avoid helping me clean it up. When When I tried to finish my dinner after the mayhem, all I could see were little snot dots. I’m hungry, but now it’s too late to eat. I’ll likely munch a bowl of Cheerios at 4 a.m. when I rise to feed LM#2. I fear this is not the best way to lose the baby weight.

1.) We momentarily lost my son at Macys and had to call in security for a floor search. I heard them describing my son over a little itercom walkie talkie things, “blue eyes, blonde hair, answers to …..” It was horrifying. After a thankfully quick search, he was discovered in the fitting room…the one we’d been using for thirty minutes…he was waiting to try on more dresses…and he giggled when we found him because apparently he’d won some kind of excellent game that was HILARIOUS.


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About Raising Daughters

Warning: This may feel like a rant, so it can be completely disregarded if you don’t feel like reading anything potentially fueled by my passion for equal treatment of men and women. Conversely, it may NOT feel like a rant if you, too, are impassioned by the need to find greater equality for men and women.

A few weeks ago I came across a little video-picture-thing on FB about “what it feels like to raise daughters.” It was posted by a News-Media site called YourTango, which I have never heard of before and don’t really know what its viewership is like. The photograph showed an adorable little girl throwing money out of a white-framed window. See a screen shot of this image below.


So, the image could imply that girls are frivolous spenders. It could imply that little girls are merely little people who throw things they don’t understand the value of. It could imply a lot of things, I guess. I’ve heard moms and dads alike claim that little girls end up costing more money than boys over the years, as if someone is sitting around calculating the cost of their children (I’m sure there are people doing this, but I don’t see the “value” in that– I don’t see how it makes a difference to anyone living outside of, let’s say for the sake of argument, a place like China). Nonetheless, I’ve heard things like this:

“Girls buy clothes, shoes, and bags,” or “Girls spend all your money because they like expensive things,” or “You pay to send girls to college, and then they just wind up married, at home, raising the kids.”

These are actual things I’ve heard said to me at one point in time or another. Though these quotes are over-generalized statements, I’m not generalizing or paraphrasing when I quote them. I can name the people who have said such things to me at one point in time or another.

So, here I am, a SAHM, raising my children, sitting on multiple college degrees, and collecting no salary to care for my kids each and every day.  Then I see this image about raising daughters. I see a cute little girl with her cute little hat and her teeny tiny hands, tossing bills out of a perfectly framed white window. Then I start to sift through the comments on FB. The comments I read below the image were, perhaps, more interesting than the image itself. Lots of commentors griped that the image was meant to be funny and anyone who saw it as sexist or offensive needs to relax and laugh. One guy commented that he put 6 girls through college and four of them got married. What that comment is intended to suggest is subjective, but the fact that it was made is interesting.

“My daughter would have to throw the money with both hands,” another commentor wrote.

“You need to laugh and enjoy the cute things in life,” another wrote.

“It is funny. Not sexist. Not deep and meaningful. Just part of life that always appears more expensive than we would like.”

The last comment made me laugh a little because if a person needs to defend something as “not sexist,” it is probably kind of sexist.

When I saw the image I felt immediately offended. I thought it was blatantly unnecessary. I thought that even if it was intended as a joke, it was a failed attempt. I know how to take a joke, but I can also distinguish between what is and isn’t one.  At the same time, I realize that it’s attempts at “joking” about these kinds of things (in this case, issues of gender roles and sexism) that finally gets discussion going about the issues. This little teeny tiny picture is not the end of the world, but it’s also another teeny tiny reminder about how people can’t distinguish between what is and is not offensive. And it prompts a discussion like the one I’m trying to have here….

Here’s my thought on things: the money spent on raising children, boys or girls, doesn’t have to be wasted.  I recognize that it costs money to raise a family and budgeting dollars and cents is a part of life. But if we want to talk about wasted money we should look at the caregivers who choose how they can spend money on their children instead of the children who “spend their parents money.”

Even beyond the argument about what counts as wasted spending and doesn’t, let’s get back to the sexist issue here.  The bottom line is that no one would ever have created a meme or a post or an image of a little boy throwing money out the window. That hard fact is all it takes to assess what makes this image sexist.

I believe in free speech, and I think everyone can laugh at things that are funny, but making a blanket that it feels like girls are throwing your money out the window is hurtful. What is money wasted on? For a woman such as myself, the first thing that comes to mind is my education because this is something women are fighting for in countries across the world, and it’s something we still argue over even here in the US. Aside from wanting a voice and a place in society, women want the right to an education. In the US, we have that right, but we are sometimes ostracized when we don’t utilize our education in a way that is deemed “the right way” to use it.

Whether a woman decides to raise a family or enter the work world seems completely irrelevant to me when it comes to assessing the value of education. A woman can do whatever she wants, as can a man. But it is still perceived that if a woman wants to stay home to raise her family, a college education is too much money to spend. I understand that education is expensive– but that is a problem someone needs to speak to our government about. I feel adamantly that everyone deserves the right to higher ed, and whether that means two, four, five, or eight years of education (depending on the degree(s) you want to earn), it should be available. The fact that higher education is not more affordable only goes to show that we are not placing a high enough value on access to learning.

Further, anyone who chooses to stay home to raise children benefits from higher education because raising children to be productive, thoughtful, though-provoking, compassionate critical thinkers is no easy task. It is among the most multi-layered, demanding, multi-faceted challenges in the world. There are plenty of crappy people out there. But maybe, if everyone had the opportunity to access psychology, anthropology, science, math, ethics, philosophy, poetry, etc, there would be fewer crappy people. Or at least better informed, self-aware crappy people. Because parents are the ones responsible for shaping and forming great people. And if you’re not a parent, every single interaction you have with young people is forming and affecting them in some way.  What better way is there to shape and form young people than to do it with an educated, well-formed, well-shaped mind? I wouldn’t call that a waste and I wouldn’t think of it as throwing money out the window.

Now it sounds like my post is about creating affordable higher education programming in the US more so than it is about sexism…..I digress.

I can take a joke. My main point is more so that maybe, just maybe, I was educated at one point or another just enough to take notice of the things that disturb me. I can voice truth over rubbish and try to pave the way for my own children. If I were to have a little girl, I would never want her to feel like raising her was a waste money. I wouldn’t want a little boy to feel that way either. I just want everyone to be more mindful about the fact that jokes are supposed to be funny, and offensive crap that lands on FB is not funny just because it gets reposted as “funny” a ba-jillion times.

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My Cup Runneth Over

Lately I’ve been having these completely ridiculous moments in the quiet of my home when I look around and feel utterly speechless and overcome with emotion. It’s hard to describe, but here’s me trying to do so anyway:

I’ll be rinsing a dish or putting junk away in a drawer, and I’ll see the kids doing nothing special. Little Man #1 will color or push a truck or make the noises he’s learned motorcycles make. (It sounds like his Popop snoring…) Little Man #2 will spit up or giggle or coo or cry over the latest toy LM#1 has shoved into his face. And a thick red ball of unnameable hot something will crawl up into my throat. My eyes start to water and though I don’t cry, I know I could easily enough if I let myself.  But I don’t. Because I’m scrubbing a dish or putting junk away. I finish what I’m doing, let out a short puff of air, and smile. I feel inextricably like the luckiest person in the world. I am humbled by this stupidly simple but very very very perfect moment. I strangely feel part of something larger than myself, standing in my kitchen, shaking the water and peanut butter remnants from a bowl.

This is insane, in part, because I know I’m not actually the luckiest person. I’m one of many whose hearts swell over the simple blessings in life. I am like every other mom who wonders just how her kid got peanut butter into his eyebrows, but missed the cup I’m rinsing.

But in these strange, overwhelming, emotionally charged moments what is so fascinating to me is this: being a part of something bigger than myself was always supposed to be working for a nonprofit that resuscitated a community or brought clean water to the Congo.  I studied my butt off in school so that I could someday impact humanity in a real way, feeling driven by my need to effect change.

And then I’m in my kitchen. And I want to cry because the boys are beautiful and healthy. No one has a brain tumor, no one is hurting or crying, and no one is throwing applesauce at me. I’m not doing anything seemingly constructive for the good of the planet, or for civilization at large, but somehow, I’m nearly crying over how beautiful life is.

SOOO, I blame my hormones. I tell myself that one day after we’ve finished breastfeeding, I will return to my normal, rationale way of thinking, and something as silly as rinsing a dish will go back to just being what it is: a household chore that makes the house look less messy.

In the meantime, I’ll keep feeling my heart swell. And I’ll keep thinking that being home with them is maybe slightly less lame than I thought it was when I decided to stay home. Even if it means crying– or almost crying– as often as I do now.

#livingthedream #lifeisfunny #aintitgrand

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Posted in Happiness | 2 Comments

Silly Stuff I Love About the Babes

When Baby #1 came along in 2014, I have to admit that I had pretty intense PPD. I had just finished grad school, left my job, and started life with a clean slate in front of me. It was terrifying. I worried that I might feel the same way when Baby #2 came along because hormones have a funny way of making a woman feel crummy. But welcoming Baby #2 has been a very different experience. I don’t feel completely lost or confused. When I feel overwhelmed, I get it. Babies are tough and I work to figure things out one day at a time. Things move along and life gets better as we go.

Now, loving my kids has become the simplest thing in the world. My heart explodes over the dumbest crap ever. Since we’ve officially moved through the rougher part of baby-hood (I know there will be plenty of other challenges to come, but the tough newborn phase (months 1-3) is complete), I find myself laughing over the silliest things. There’s so much to laugh about, smile over, and appreciate! I wish I noticed these things when Baby #1 was small, but I’m soaking them up this time around. Here are some examples to show you what I mean:

shar pei1.) I’m obsessed with neck rolls. Baby #2 has no neck. He’s all skin. This means milk and sweat get stuck in there, so I have to apply Lotrimin when it gets especially swampy in there and he gets a rash. It’s completely gross, and completely love that his neck looks like a shar pei puppy.

2.) Baby #1’s hair is in a constant state of bed head. He gets peanut butter, watermelon juice, and oatmeal in there all the time. I should cut his hair. I should help him to look less unkempt. But it makes me laugh, and he doesn’t know the difference. It’s super and I’m in love with it, so it’s staying messy forever. #trending
3.) Baby #2 loves to grab my face. Sure, I can never get his nails short enough to avoid scratch marks, but the grabbing at my cheeks, my nose, my chin, etc feels like little angel kisses I’ve been waiting my whole life for. It’s kinda stupid, but it’s the best. Ever.

4.) Feet in the mouth. This will be a gross thing once he can walk, but for now, every time Baby #2 reaches his feet up into his mouth he looks like the Buddha, striking the happy baby pose, and it’s awesome. #iloveanandabalasana #yogisrule #namaste

5.) Baby #1 loves to be naked. It’s the way God made him. And even though it drives me nuts to have to dress him more than once (because when I turn my back, he’s naked again) it’s pretty incredible that he loves his bare form so much. He’s so proud of his nakedness that he runs around saying “naked, naked” and it’s kind of not as adorable as it is admirable. I promise to get back to a state in which I love my own naked form. For now, I’ll sit back and appreciate how much he loves his.

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About This American Life

This_american_lifeMy latest vice is getting an hour at the gym, spinning or crushin’ it on the elliptical machine while I listen to This American LifeIt’s a podcast you can download easily from the website, or from the podcast app on your smart phone. I heard the show on my public radio station when I was driving one day and later checked it out online.

Last week when I tuned in, the show was talking about the birds and the bees. It focused on how to talk to kids about life, death, and racism. It was fascinating and almost distracted me from my workout, which is a real win!

A real highlight for me was learning about The Sharing Placea grief support center for children in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s a place where families can go when they need to find the words and feelings behind their grief because life has become kind of unbearable. The most common reason for this, at The Sharing Place, is when children lose a parent due to suicide.

Now, I’ve never lost someone super close to me outside of grandparents and an uncle. But those individuals lived long, wonderful lives. For that reason, dealing with the grief felt very manageable. So, I don’t have any experience or perspective on this sort of thing. The podcast explaining things I don’t really understand had me completely transfixed because in The Sharing Place children learn to articulate what happened in their lives and how they feel about it.

“My dad had a disease in his brain called depression. He decided to make his body stop working by shooting himself with a gun,” a seven-year-old said.

So, this is morbid. I know. But it was so powerful. These little kids learned slowly and painfully exactly what had happened in their lives. Then they learned how to explain their feelings between talking, sharing, reflecting, and even shouting or kicking and screaming in a space called “the volcano room.”

All I could think about was how incredible it is to give young  children the tools to recognize their feelings, to put words to them, and to say them out loud. It sounded so healthy, so healing, and so necessary.

It makes perfect sense that a place like this would exist for grief-filled children. But why can’t places like this exist for all kinds of kids with all kinds of concerns? Are there places where kids can be completely themselves, without judgement, and voice their thoughts in a safe way?

“I feel so sad and mad about what happened,” a nine-year-old girl said. “It hurts deep inside my body and I wish I could get it out.”

This podcast made me think about kids suffering from depression. It made me think about kids whose parents are working through a confusing, convoluted divorce. Or kids who don’t fit in and can’t understand why, but feel confused or sad or lost about it.

When I was in school, this was what theater camp was for. Kids went to act out their feelings and became drama nerds with the other weirdos. It was freeing and wonderful. But not everyone wants to memorize lines and pretend to be someone else when she’s hurting or confused. What if there was a Sharing Place for everyone? Would we have healthier relationships? Would we view ourselves differently after experiencing traumatic life events? Would we love each other and ourselves a little more deeply? I kind of think so…

I’ll definitely keep tuning into This American Life. It’s pretty interesting and I’m sure there’s more great reporting to come.  If you listen to the show or have other great ones to suggest, let me know! I’ll be on the elliptical, searching for something else.


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A Perfect Sunday

One of the trickiest things about juggling two little ones, for me, is managing a schedule. Because the babes nap at different times and eat all day long (Baby #2 is holding strong at every 2-3 hours now that his reflux meds are working) it can be tough to get everyone loaded into a car and find enough time to really enjoy something.

The best way to enjoy a sunny Sunday is to:

(1) have a plan. I need to know where I’m going and what time I need to leave the house. This is excessively annoying sometimes, but without the impetus to get up and get going, we’ll never get anywhere fast enough to ensure time for fun. Does that sound ridiculous? It is, I can assure you. But it works for us.

(2) alter expectations that the entire day will be spent in any one place. This simply cannot be if the kids are going to get naps. A great day is really two half days. And let’s face it, naps are crucial if we want to make it to bedtime without a meltdown. I can handle a meltdown, but I don’t particularly want to. I prefer tuna melts to toddler melts.

(3) pack lunches, snacks, and changes of clothes the night before.

(4) have a second plan in place in case of rain. Because sometimes sunny Sunday becomes shitty Sunday.

ChesLenPRES-11This weekend we really lucked out. The weather was perfect, we woke up after a mostly restful evening, and everyone was ready to roll by 10 a.m. This gave us 3 whole hours before naps and cranky time. The bitty baby naps in the car and falls asleep in his car seat, so we can get him out so long as there is a quiet spot to nurse him at points throughout the morning.

image1 (5) The perfect spot today was The ChesLen Preserve, out in Coatesville, PA. This gorgeous property sits on the Brandywine Creek and provides trails and shade where we could all splash and play, fish, and picnic. There are always lots of dogs playing in the creek, canoes and kayaks rolling by, and bicyclists traveling on the roads above the creek. It’s nature at its finest.

IMG_6776It’s incredible when everything works out just right and everyone feels happy and pleased with themselves. Little Man #1 caught a fish with Daddy’s rod, and searched out a crayfish with his bucket and net.  He threw rocks into the creek and floated on his belly.

image2 (3)Little Man #2 nursed well in the shade and fell asleep going and coming to our spot by the water’s edge. He loved facing outward in his Baby Bjorn Carrier, and watched while Daddy fished with a pole right in front of him.

A beautiful, safe, tranquil spot like this is why I moved to Pennsylvania. I love nature, I love water, and I love family time. It was a perfect day, and it made me smile to think how lucky we were to have it. I’m so thankful. A little planning on the front end goes a long way…

What are you thankful for lately?

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Posted in Fun Stuff to Do, Happiness | Leave a comment

The Truth About Marriage

Marriage changes over time. This is no surprise, but, after adding Baby #2 to the mix, there is less time for fun as a couple, but, surprisingly, what constitutes as “fun” or a “date” has changed, too.

Here are a few new truths about marriage from my perspective. Add in your own thoughts, as always! I love to hear your take on these things.

1.) Baking sweets or pastries of any kind is an invitation for sex. My muffin top wants your sweet cinna-buns. It’s that simple. Read between the lines and let’s preheat the oven. And get the Cool-Whip out of the freezer.

2.) A shared frosty in the parking lot of Wendy’s is a date, even if it only lasts for twenty minutes after both kids fall asleep in the car.

3.) If you help to clean the house without being asked (ie-vaccuum, spray the counters, fold laundry the way like it folded, clean the pots without soaking them first (soaking is total bull, and you know it…) ) it will earn you brownie points, but it does not constitute as a gift for birthday, Mother’s Day, or otherwise. Housework is not my job; it’s our job. So you can’t “gift” it to me. But, in the way of brownie points, it will earn you baked goods.

4.) Turn-ons used to consist of sleeveless t’s and sunscreen, sweaty afternoons and a shared shower. Now, it is completely normal for turn-ons to include any or all of the following:

  • remembering to wear long sleeves so no one gets sun-burn
  • remembering the spare bottle of sunscreen and applying it on the kids before we get to the pool
  • giving your spouse as much alone time in the shower as possible
  • adherence to our family schedule, including mealtimes, nap times, bedtimes, or otherwise
  • secretly scheduling a babysitter and a night out for us
  • tossing my favorite yoga pants into the washer machine with the last load of the night so they’ll be fresh by morning
  • cleaning out any of the now disorganized, toy-filled rooms in our house
I may feel like this at the end of the day sometimes.....but my kids aren't REAL dragons....so we've got that going for us.....

I may feel like this at the end of the day sometimes…..but my kids aren’t REAL dragons….so we’ve got that going for us…..

5.) Anything you try to tell me before 10 p.m. will be forgotten, like a dream or a vision I may or may not have had and can’t tell the difference between anyway. But I love you before 10 p.m. I will do anything for you before 10 p.m. You are my favorite person in the world before 10 p.m. And, yes, you guessed it; I’m going to bed right as soon as Game of Thrones is over. That’s why I brushed my teeth before it started…

Share away! Marriage is awesome, but it certainly shifts gears a bit while the wee ones are teeny!

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Posted in Life Happenings, Men Read Here! | 1 Comment

Sub-Par Wins for the Week

For a mom with a new baby, until the babe starts sleeping a bit, everyday feels like a continuous loop of time, stretched over hell, through a murky bog, and up through piles of poopie diapers. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: it’s at these times, especially, that I try to find the silver lining and smile over the wins for the week. Here are a few seemingly lackluster wins that managed to make my week laughable, enjoyable, and manageable. Enjoy and share some of your own weekly wins!

1.) Both kids passed out before 1 p.m. It was Wednesday and I got both kids fed, semi-clean, and poopie-diaper-free. One diaper may have had a little pee in there, but Baby #1 was asleep already and I had to move on…

2.) The little purple buds on my iris plant popped! I’ve been waiting, unsure if the part of the yard where I planted would work out and BOOM! Flower power. Gorgeous purple has entered the yard. Andddddd….. I sprayed some non-toxic yucko crap that smells like piss everywhere so the deer won’t eat it. Fingers crossed, legs uncrossed (get the joke, ‘cuz it smells like I peed in the yard….)

3.) I found the bananas. My older son approached me with sticky hands on Tuesday and I had NO IDEA what he’d gotten into. The consistency of goo was indeterminable from touch or smell, and I did NOT want to taste it. Then he said it. “Banana.” I searched the floor, behind the couch, under the table, found the smoosh-fest and got it clean before ants found it. #WINNING #wherewerethebananasbeforehegottothem? #canheclimbmycabinets #Ineedtohidethefruitbetter

4.) My son was quiet. Plenty of you folks know I’ve had a hard time feeding Little Man #2. Even though the medication is really helping, he is nearly in month 4 of life and is SUPER distractable. I needed to nurse him and Little Man #1 was up my butt, trying to show me his super awesome, very vibrantly noisy and light-flashing motorcycle (thanks, Grandparents….). I knew that if LM1 pushed any of the noise-triggering buttons on the motorcycle, it would end our nursing session. It could take some time before LM2 wanted to settle in to nurse again. So I kept whispering….”Shhhh, your brother needs to eat! It’s quiet time now. Let’s sit nicely.” And son-of-a-gun, he listened. We got through nursing and everyone was happy. Lesson learned: I need to figure out an organized activity for LM1 during nursing time. It probably shouldn’t be anything messy and it probably shouldn’t be time with the iPad because that makes me sound like a crappy mother.

If only mine looked this good....

If only mine looked this good….

5.) It rained. When the weather is gorgeous, and I get caught up inside with laundry and general baby shenanigans, I feel SO guilty about missing the sunshine. So, when it rained this week, I didn’t mind. I caught up on a few things, read books to the kids, managed to make banana bread, and felt just fine about missing a jog with the stroller. So, I guess sometimes when it rains, you get banana bread…

Question: Did I use the smooshed bananas my son made his mess with for the banana bread?

Answer: LOOK! I added chocolate chips and apple sauce to the recipe! How snazzy……

What were your weekly wins?

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Posted in Babies!, Happiness, Life Happenings | 1 Comment

When Mother Knows Best

I have heard the saying “mother knows best.” Being the disbelieving, cynical, and generally bitchy person that I am, I always assumed that only the best mothers actually know best.  Not to discredit mothers, but there are plenty of idiots in the world, some of whom I’ve met, others of whom I wish I never met. So, to say that mothers always know best seemed positively ridiculous. Having offspring doesn’t make you the knower of all things re: your child.  Or so I thought…

When all the craziness started with my second baby (refusal to eat, shrieking at the sign of bottle or breast, poor weight gain, infrequent stools, difficulty sleeping, general crabbiness) I didn’t assume I knew best. I thought I would trust the professionals. I believe in education and value the fact that other people out there went to school and earned credentials so they can call themselves “doctor,” “nurse,” “consultant,” or otherwise. I went to the doctor. I met with the lactation consultant. I called the local mother’s advocacy groups (the La Leche League, the Nurses Alliance, the Chester County Hospital lactation team) and searched for answers from anyone else who might know best. Or at least better than me.

screamingbaby“Babies cry,” they told me.

“Some babies are not big eaters,” I was told.

“He’s smiling some of the time and his cheeks are plump and chubby. Those are good signs,” someone else said.

“He’ll be fine,” another said.

Yea…..thanks. I know he’ll be fine. Like, when he’s 1 or 2……but I’m looking for solutions like, NOW.

I wasn’t satisfied. My son hated eating and refused to do it during his waking hours. I mean, my knockers aren’t all that great, but they’re also not that bad, kid!

I finally got into the routine of sleep nursing or “dream feeding” him just to get calories into his tummy. But if he was awake, he wasn’t eating and this did not strike me as normal. Because I essentially force fed him in this way, nursing him round the clock at the start and finish of every nap and sleepy period throughout the night, I was able to get his weight up from the 7th to the 10th percentile. But I was not satisfied with this.

“My son is going to give up naps as he grows,” I told the lactation nurse. “If I can’t feed him while he’s conscious and aware of his feeding, how is he going to thrive once we hit three naps a day?”

“Maybe he’ll grow out of it,” she said.

“Maybe he’s teething,” someone else said.

“He’s probably just a really distractable baby. Nurse him in a dark room.”


Next week, Baby #2 will be four months old. In these last months, he has never slept for more than 3 hours at a time (maybe once or twice?) and he never seemed fully. He never drained the breast and I felt like I was always pumping to keep the milk supply strong.

Last week I hit a breaking point. I cried to my husband that this was not normal. I called the doctor again and pleaded with a nurse that this didn’t strike me as normal and that I needed an appointment. I fought back tears while I spoke, embarrassed by my exhaustion, but trying desperately to sound like an intelligent, un-crazy, and sensible mother.

I didn’t cry until I hung up the phone.

The nurse was nice enough, but to the point. What I wanted her to say was, “Yes! That is not normal! It definitely sounds like “XYZ.” Let’s have you come in and we’ll figure it out, pronto!” Instead, she was politically correct. She didn’t make any assumptions but booked an appointment for me the following day.

In advance of the appointment, my husband and I stayed up late to read a ton of articles. We felt that we needed a plan of attack in case a suggestion wasn’t made to us. We finally agreed that acid reflux might be causing our son’s discomfort. Sure, our son wasn’t spitting up, and he hadn’t been arching his back (the tell-tale sign) but now, after 4 long months of developing muscle strength, he’d started to arch. We were certain it must be either silent reflux or a food allergy.

The doctor listened to us, took notes, offered some suggestions, and agreed to go with a medication to help acid reflux. I didn’t have to insist on this, but I felt like I had to throw out the option and express our need for a real solution before leaving the office. Mommy is exhausted, baby must be starving, and we need to try something.

I’m happy to report that Baby is doing much better after only 5 days. He has nursed like I’ve never seen him nurse before. He’s not sleeping yet, but I imagine once we get into a routine, he’ll start to settle into himself again. I don’t know that this is the solution– but it’s working for now. He has nursed while conscious many times now, and I feel glad that he’s more alert, laughing, moving, wiggling, and generally pleased with himself.

I knew that becoming a mother would mean becoming an advocate for my kids. I HATE that there is so much crap out there on the internet, and I don’t think reading anything makes me an expert on matters big or small. But I have to say there is something to this whole “parents have instincts” thing. In the very least, I knew something was wrong, and I knew I needed to keep searching until I figured out what we could do to help make a change. I also knew I needed a partner in crime, and trusting my husband to help me form a plan was crucial. This episode reminded me that the future will present many more things to advocate for…and gaining the courage to speak up starts now.

I love hearing about Mommy instincts since going through this…..so share away! What did you “know” and help to figure out about your kiddos? We need to encourage each other!

Super awesome article about reflux: CLICK HERE

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Easy Airbnb Elimination Round

This past week, in a super-last-minute dumb-ass idea of mine, hubs and I considered a few days away with the kiddos this summer. I’m a little behind the eight ball and have not completely convinced myself that I want to pack up the Pack-N-Plays, strollers, diapers, sound machines, etc…..but we turned to Airbnb for ideas.

I haven’t done a family vacation with two little men before, and I don’t care to spend a ton of money on a hotel room that will easily receive phone calls sporadically throughout the trip because “my kids are too loud” or “my neighbors are too loud at nap time” or “there are peanut butter and jelly hand prints on the door knobs and windows of our establishment.” Fancy hotels are for the birds until the men grow a little.

Airbnb has SOOOOOO many options; it can be hard to narrow down just what we’re looking for. If you’re like me, you need to make some easy eliminations to help find the perfect rental. Here are some easy ways to pass judgement and discriminate against Airbnb home owners if you’re a parent with small children. Enjoy!

1.) Your home photos are too artistic.  Wow, Airbnb Homeowner! You are talented with a camera, you understand composition and lighting, but my kids are messy slob-cabobs who can’t help themselves but destroy everything in their path…..like a mini-tornado. So, if you cared that much to set up a small apothecary table with a green succulent plant and trendy yellow vase shaped like a hexagon, I’m out.

2.) Your owner photo is creepy. Sure, I’m probably not going to see you whilst I stay in your abode, but if you look like a pedophile or rapist, I don’t want my kids sleeping where you live when I’m not paying to sleep in your house.

3.) Your taxidermied wall decor looks frightful. I’m proud of your last big shot, honestly. But my 2-year-old is going to scream and think the place has been taken over by the forest fairies and their gods. And they are there to eat his face off while he sleeps. Sorry, Charlie, but if Bambi’s on the wall, it’s a NO GO.

4.)  You’re calling your house a bungalow. Just say it out loud. The place is small. I know it’s a “family vacation” but I need to spend less time living on top of my kids. Separate rooms will do well for us, so your “cute” and “cozy” is actually “cumbersome” and “suffocating.” Do you have a hot tub? That would be a better selling title for your ad……just FYI.

5.) You won’t throw in use of your kayaks for the weekend without an additional fee.  I mean, really? Should I pack my own toilet paper, too? It’s just a kayak…..for the weekend. It’s a cool selling point. Don’t tell me you have kayaks that aren’t included in your listed nightly fee. That just sucks. Maybe I’ll just pack a tent and sleep the kids in your “spacious outdoor 4th bedroom.” I’ll take a helping of “No, thank you.”

What’s helping you narrow down your search? I’ve gotta hear this!

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