Hi. I'm 34 years old and married to my best friend. We have two (mostly!) sweet boys, Gray, and Parker. We really, really love them. This blog has been the escape for my feelings, questions, excitement, fears and the joy I felt in my ten months as a pregnant lady (twice).

Now I'm a mom of two....who knows what's next.

Cause it can’t always be good. And for the record, this sobfest was due to not wanting to wash his hands. Promise we’re not mean parents. (via @Notabli)

# Comments | Posted at 9:42pm

Mastitis recently reared its ugly, ugly head and my sweet friend (and nurse) kindly emailed me with tips for how to prevent and deal with mastitis.

If you want to fight the big M naturally, quickly, and to stay away from antibiotics, read on.

Thank heavens for friends!

The first 2 times I treated it the conventional way (antibiotics) and it made my life miserable (although it did clear up the infection quickly). (Baby) B was SO fussy and had terrible diarrhea while I was on them, and of course I got thrush following the course since all the good bacteria were dead.

Ugh.

So the 3rd time I decided to try going medication-free and was able to beat it. I have a friend who wasn’t so lucky and ended up having to have abscesses drained multiple times because the infection got so bad, so I was freaked.

I found that heat packs really helped (do you know this trick? soak a disposable diaper with water and microwave it for ~45 seconds or so and it makes the BEST heat pack! stays warm for a long time and you can reheat it over and over; and it conforms really well to your boob) as well as gently massaging the painful/hard area and nursing from that boob like crazy.

The thing my lactation consultant told me about that I had never heard of and think really helped was taking this supplement called lecithin. It’s totally natural. I’m not sure how it works, but I do feel like it really helped clear things up quickly and I took it for a few weeks after to make sure it didn’t recur. Just seemed to accelerate getting better the same way the antibiotics had, without all the nasty side effects.

# Comments | Posted at 1:00pm

It’s been more than three weeks since my last post. Trust me, it’s not because I gave up on writing or have been vacationing abroad.

It’s because Parker’s birthday hit me like a ton of bricks - I couldn’t get over the fact that my baby was turning one, and it was surprisingly tough.

When Gray neared that landmark first birthday I remember being so excited for everything that lay ahead, thrilled to see what would come next and feeling like it would go slowly, eager to be there every step of the way to see the world unfold for Gray.

This time around, life is moving so fast and I’m barely keeping up! It feels like we just had this tiny newborn in our arms, and suddenly he’s wrestling, walking, laughing and finding his words, all while we’re attempting to figure out our curious, strong-willed, funny almost-four-year-old.

Parker turned one, and it hit me…hard. 

We headed out of town for his birthday, and I intermittently cried the whole drive. Not because I felt depressed or unhappy - I’m the luckiest, happiest lady out there - but because I couldn’t believe he was turning one. Though I don’t feel like I’ve ‘missed out’ on Parker’s life, it’s so different the second time around because you aren’t spending every minute and all your attention focused on that one sweet child.

My plan was to post Parker’s birth story on his birthday (and truthfully that had been my back-up plan, assuming I’d get it written within the FIRST six months of his life). But setting aside the time to be able to put myself back into those two days, emotionally and physically, has been impossible. And nothing else felt tremendous enough to write in place of that story.

On Parker’s birthday, our friend stopped by and asked me how I was doing.

I teared up and made a self-deprecating joke about being sad and Jackson thinking I was crazy.

'You're not,' she said. 'Your child's birthday is more than that. It's your birthing day too, and you have to honor that.'

So true. I don’t need presents in honor of the nearly 24 hours of labor it took to bring this sweet boy into the world. But I now understand how much a birthday is about baby and mom - looking backwards as well as ahead. Especially this time around.

So here I’ve been, in this emotional and writing stalemate, not wanting to write anything until I could set aside time to write Parker’s birth story, but never having the time to do that.

I will get his story written, hopefully sooner rather than later. Not because anyone out there is begging to read it, but because I want to put pen to paper (so to speak) before the craziness of our life take bits and pieces of my memory away.

In the meantime, I had a birthday, spring finally arrived in Vermont, Gray got a ridiculous haircut that makes him look like an extra from The Brady Bunch, we’ve been cooking, reading, scooting, sliding and playing outside, and doing a lot of this…sitting on the kitchen floor, talking about who knows what, all tucked in to each other.

I didn’t know Jackson was taking these pictures, and when he showed them to me I teared up. Not because they’re perfect photos or catch my early-morning style so nicely.

But because rarely do you get to see yourself, as a mom, immersed in a moment with your kids not knowing the camera was on you. To see the three of us talking, laughing, cuddling…I love it.

Life is crazy, but we’re also doing a whole lot of just being.

I’m back to writing when I can find a minute here or there, and will write Parker’s story as soon as I can. Like Gray’s birth, it was an incredible day in my life, not only to experience what really is the miracle of life, but to experience it as a new mom (cause every time is new), meeting her baby, and falling head over heels in love. 

Over, and over, and over again.

# Comments | Posted at 1:00pm

And the birthday celebrations begin!

A post about Parker. Shared from Notabli.

# Comments | Posted at 9:56am

And the birthday celebrations begin!A post about Parker. Shared from Notabli.

Parker turns ONE this weekend.

ONE!!??

How is that possible? I feel like I was just lying on the couch with Jackson, after weeks of contractions, feeling what turned out to be the real ones.

It’s hard to believe how fast this wonderfully wild year has gone, and while Gray’s first birthday was an exciting celebration, this time around I feel a bit more emotional.

Because Parker is, most likely, our last little babe, it feels like my baby is suddenly not a baby anymore. And though I’m so excited for every day that lies ahead, I can’t help but be a bit wistful looking backwards.

I love this little guy so much, and these months have truly flown by. Now he feeds himself (kind of, as evidenced by this Jackson photo from Notabli), is taking steps, wrestling with his brother, finding his words (‘Guuuuuooooohhh, Hiiiiiiiuuuhhh, Mama, Dad…’) and laughing at everything.

Happy almost birthday, sweet little ‘Bubba’. We feel so lucky that you’re in our lives.

# Comments | Posted at 1:00pm

Parker turns ONE this weekend.
ONE!!??
How is that possible? I feel like I was just lying on the couch with Jackson, after weeks of contractions, feeling what turned out to be the real ones.
It’s hard to believe how fast this wonderfully wild year has gone, and while Gray’s first birthday was an exciting celebration, this time around I feel a bit more emotional.
Because Parker is, most likely, our last little babe, it feels like my baby is suddenly not a baby anymore. And though I’m so excited for every day that lies ahead, I can’t help but be a bit wistful looking backwards.
I love this little guy so much, and these months have truly flown by. Now he feeds himself (kind of, as evidenced by this Jackson photo from Notabli), is taking steps, wrestling with his brother, finding his words (‘Guuuuuooooohhh, Hiiiiiiiuuuhhh, Mama, Dad…’) and laughing at everything.
Happy almost birthday, sweet little ‘Bubba’. We feel so lucky that you’re in our lives.

If you have a toddler, had a toddler, or are entering into toddlerhood, these will (unfortunately) ring very true.

A few of my favorites below…

25 Things You Should Know About Life With a Toddler

IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST NIGHT AT FIGHT CLUB

With toddlers: pick your goddamn battles. I don’t mean literally — like, with sticks and Paintball or something? I mean every day spent with one of these tiny humans is filled with the infinite possibility of any number of battles. Battles over which toys will go in the tub, over where he will or will not put a sippy-cup, over whether or not he will hold still long enough to have one sock placed upon his karate-kicking foot. If you get into the mud and scrap over everything, you will drown in that mud. Because here’s the thing: once you start the battle? You have to win that shit. Have to, have to, have to. Losing one battle means losing the war. If they detect that they can win? They will always fight to win. You’re trying to outlast a guerilla force. You’re trying to outwit a tiny, diaper-clad version of the Joker. So: when you have picked a battle, that is always the hill you need to die on, whether it’s about what dinner she will or will not eat or if he should or should not try to stick his head up the dog’s butt.

How to Put a Toddler to Bed in 100 Easy Steps.

1. Announce that it’s time to go to bed.
2. Wait for your toddler to stop crying.
3. Explain that bedtime is not a punishment.
4. Explain that bedtime is not a new concept.
5. Explain that, yes, bedtime will happen every night.
6. Console your toddler.
7. Announce that it’s still bedtime…

99 Reasons Your Toddler Might Get Out of Bed

11. Can’t remember middle name. 
12. Needs to know how come volcanoes errupt. 
13. Foot hurts. 
14. Back itches. 
15. Wants to know what you’re watching on TV. 
16. Wants to know why you’re allowed to watch TV at night and they aren’t.
17. Is wondering if they can watch a little TV with you. 
18. Wants to know why you look mad. 
22. Is wondering if this is a good time for you to teach her how to whistle. 
23. Wants to know why the kitchen smells like personal pan pizzas.
24. Needs to know why your breath smells like Oreos.

# Comments | Posted at 1:00pm

As we reach the precipice of Gray’s waning days as a three-year old and his ability to fit into his ‘big-kid carseat’, we’re shopping around for the next big thing.

The booster seat.

We’ve heard great things about these two (and have really liked Britax ourselves):

Britax Frontier 90

Britax Parkway


Any suggestions for what’s worked for you and your family? Any Booster seats you’d highly recommend or steer away from? Advice is welcome, and I’ll report back here for anyone who’s also looking.

Thanks!

# Comments | Posted at 1:00pm

What an honest portrayal of one woman’s path into motherhood.
First steps!!!

A post about Parker. Shared from Notabli.

# Comments | Posted at 5:44pm

We recently had our p/t conference with Gray’s wonderful preschool teacher. (At our school, these conferences actually start with the babies, and it’s a great way to chat with your kids’ teachers and ask all the questions you want to ask but can’t in the madness of drop-off/pick-up.)

This was our first preschool conference, though, and given the curriculum and prep for kindergarten readiness it felt more serious. 

I was so impressed with Gray’s teacher’s approach to his classroom and goals for Gray. His philosophy and approach to the time with he spends with these little wildlings is to create the foundation for a solid start to kindergarten. That means academic (writing, reading, adding and subtracting), but more importantly to him is the social abilities and confidence with peers, in the classroom, and their ability to handle all sorts of situations.

I couldn’t agree more. 

Gray ‘reads’ stacks of books every day and comes from a family that values education and knowledge. But it’s the emotional intelligence to understand how his actions affect those around him that are so important to learn. I’m glad that with his ABCs, shapes and numbers is also coming this dedication to his emotional self.

And maybe that’ll help the inexplicably slow nighttime drama as well?

Jackson and I discovered something glorious this weekend.

The Day Date.

Now, mind you, drinks and dancing might be tough to come by, but having time together just the two of you for part of a Saturday is really wonderful.

With both a dishwasher and oven in sad disrepair, we were in need of a few hours to do some appliance shopping without chasing Gray around the store or having to hold a squirming little babe. My Mom graciously offered to give up her Saturday afternoon so that we could steal away to do our hands-on research, so after a quick transition we were off.

We stopped for coffee and then hit the ground running. And here’s the thing…it was so much fun. 

You forget how great it is just to be in the car together without any chatter from the backseat. Uninterrupted time to talk, jump out of the car (with nary one carseat buckle to detach) and jump back in, in broad daylight…it was wonderful.

I often think that time together has to mean a date night. And while I love going out to dinner, a party, a movie, or just out for a drink with Jackson, there’s usually more timely pressure (back before 11p!) and costs (dinner AND babysitting) at night.

So while we discussed dishwashers we daydreamed of a time when we might steal away for a real Day Date. Breakfast out, and skiing/hiking/biking/yoga/anything together, during the day when we’re not exhausted and paying an arm and a leg to be out together.

The Day Date. I can’t recommend it enough.

# Comments | Posted at 1:00pm

I noticed something the other day when I looked in the mirror.

A few more smile/laughing lines around my mouth (which to me means a life well lived and laughed so far), and absolutely zero makeup.

Now, mind you, I’ve never been a big primper. Never spent hours in the bathroom doing my hair and make-up before I left the house.

But there was a time when I’d be sure to have some mascara on my blond little lashes, or some blush if I was feeling especially tired or pale (helllooo, Vermont winters).

But these days I literally don’t have time to do anything other than brush my teeth, and shampoo my hair IF I’m lucky!

So here’s the question…is this simply because I have zero minutes to myself, or because I’m growing up and feeling more comfortable in my skin? 

Probably both, which is both refreshing and a bit sad. Sorry, Jackson.

Trying. So. Hard.

A post about Parker. Shared from Notabli.

# Comments | Posted at 7:06am

My Dad sent me an idea for future Christmas presents that we’re going to try to stick to:

One they want
One they need
One they’ll read

Love it.

# Comments | Posted at 1:00pm