The Food Dilemma

I started Hooper on solids at 19 weeks. I checked with both his pediatrician and my midwife before doing so. He was so skinny and I worried constantly about his weight. Once I started him on solids, I felt less responsible for his low weight percentile. I needed to start him on solids for my own sanity.
This time around, however, Van is perfectly healthy. His weight is dropping in percentile, but I hardly expected a child that came from me to stay in the 90th percentile. I’ve always been skinny, despite the fact that I too was nearly 9 lbs at birth.
The thought of delaying solids the first time around went in one ear and out the other. I couldn’t shoulder the responsibility of feeding Hooper on my own any longer and I didn’t want to throw off my milk supply by supplementing with formula, so I turned to solids. This time around, the idea of delaying solids has been floating around in my head. Van is doing perfectly fine and it’s out of pride, honestly, that I want to continue to be his sole nutrient source.
So I did some research. I found this article on KellyMom which lists the advantages to delaying solids. I went through each one, as it pertained to us:
-Delaying solids gives baby greater protection from illness.
This is because breast milk is the best thing on earth and has a ton of antibodies. Tons of studies have been done that document lower rates of numerous infections when children are exclusively breastfed. I threw this reason out, however, because he’ll still be breastfed. Solids will be added to his diet. And he’s been exclusively breastfed for 6 months already… so…
-Delaying solids gives baby’s digestive system time to mature.
I double checked with Van’s pediatrician on this one. Solids aren’t suggested prior to 6 months because of the immature digestive system. At 6 months, however, their digestive system is mature enough to handle solids. I remember from my experience in feeding Hooper that, more than anything, they are experimenting with solids at 6 months; trying a different fruit or vegetable every three or so days. Solids hardly take over as the bulk of their diet until much later.
-Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies.
Food allergies aren’t prevalent in our family.
-Delaying solids helps to protect baby from iron-deficiency anemia.
He’ll still be predominantly breastfed, so this doesn’t bother me.
-Delaying solids helps to protect baby from future obesity.
I’m not worried about future obesity for my children.
-Delaying solids helps mom to maintain her milk supply.
Oh shit, did someone just mention “milk supply” followed by “maintain”? Now if for no other reason, this is IT. This is why I would delay solids: Because I’m a raging lunatic who is completely neurotic about maintaining my damn milk supply and the second something (aka solids) stands to jeopardize it, you better believe I’m on guard. Now the wheels are spinning. Now I’m listening. Go on KellyMom, tell me more.
-Delaying solids helps to space babies.
Breastfeeding alone does this as well. My period didn’t return until Hooper was 8 or 9 months old. And there are other ways to space babies. I’d hardly delay solids as a means of birth control.
-Delaying solids makes starting solids easier.
The reason behind this, per KellyMom, is because babies can feed themselves when they’re older. Hooper is two and I’m still assisting him, begrudgingly, with putting the spoon in his mouth (more so due to lack of desire than coordination). So yeah, I could be delaying solids for quite some time if I’m going to wait for him to be able and willing to feed himself.
Can you tell my mind is made up? The real kicker is when I talked it over with our pediatrician and said something like this, “You can delay solids. He’ll probably just wake up more because he’ll be hungry”. And with that, we came home and I fed him peas. And oatmeal. And he made it until 5:30am this morning, which is a huge improvement. So, the solids have begun.
As a side note, I plan on continuing pumping to maintain my milk supply. And then there’s the added bonus of donating what I pump. A win win for everyone. And, oh ya, Van is more than ready. That kid sees a spoon and begins to throw himself in its direction. These past few weeks of holding out have felt like I was depriving a bee of honey.

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Van @ 6 Months

Growth & Appearance: Your head has rounded out and grown and your larger right ear isn’t so noticeable anymore. I remember thinking one of Hooper’s ears was larger than the other one too and now that he has hair, I can’t tell you which one it is. Your hair is slowly growing and still appears light brown. You eyebrows and eyelashes are light and hard to notice. You have the most perfect belly button and a round face. You are 28 inches long (92nd percentile), weigh 18 lbs. 3 oz (65th percentile), and have a head circumference of 17 3/8 (60th percentile). For comparison, you are roughly the size Hooper was at 9 months.
Eating: You eat often. I’m still feeding you every two hours it seems. Sometimes even more frequent than that. It’s hard to squeeze pump sessions in with how often you’re eating. Right now, our schedule looks something like this:
5am- Pump (Some days you wake up at this time and I have to feed you instead of pumping. If that’s the case, I try to pump one hour later so I have some milk to save in the freezer for donation)
7ish am to 9ish pm- Breastfeed on demand (if you chose to nap, I pump one hour into your nap)
You are very handsy while you eat and I find myself starring at the ceiling while I feed you to avoid having your hand smack my face around. It’s endearing and annoying all at the same time. You’re also easily distracted. If all attempts fail, I feed you in your room with the door closed and the light off.
I’m considering delaying solids but intend to discuss it with your pediatrician first. More to come on this later.
I don’t personally give you a bottle, but on the days I work I hear you are a bottle sucking monger. As soon as that thing gets within a foot radius your eyes reportedly get googly and your hands jittery. You definitely like your breast milk. 
Sleeping: Once a week or so you were waking up in the middle of the night, usually around 2am, to feed. More often than not, however, you would go down around 10pm and sleep until 7ish am. That’s changed. Now you wake up during the night almost every night. You’re starting to nap (praise the f’n lord) for about an hour to two hour stretch during the day though it’s still inconsistent.
This month has been a tough one. You’re waking more often and between feeding you in the middle of the night and waking up at 5am to pump, I’ve been exhausted. We considered trying to take you out of the swaddle at night, but you woke up at 2am and fed and continued to scream afterward. We put you back in the swaddle and you fell asleep. So looks like we’ll have to keep an eye out for that infomercial that sells the adult sized sleep sacs because you’re clearly too big for your sleep sac.
The picture looks something like this: I feed you for the last time around 9pm and put you down 45 minutes later. Some nights you wake up at 2am while other nights you sleep until 5am but either way, you go back to sleep and are up for the day around 7:30am. Toward the end of this month, you’ve been consistently napping for about 2 hours from 11-1 and, on occasion, again around 5 for an hour or so. Development: You are friendly and warm. You’re in your bouncer starring at me and giggling as I write this. You have loads of energy and are constantly distracted by what’s going on around you. I just got that bad omen feeling in seeing how this translates in the classroom. You are in to touching and tasting everything around you. You’re still giggling at me, by the way. Oh you melt my heart you little booger.
You began sitting at 5 months but would tip over as soon as you reached for something to either side. It was quite the scene to find you turned part way on your side with your little bum up in the air. It doesn’t seem to upset you and more times than not you’re happy to have got whatever it was you were reaching for into your chompers despite the contortion it took to get there. Midway through your fifth month you started sitting with ease. Now I can leave you on the wood floor with some toys and not worry so much about tipping. You’re happy to sit and play with a few toys. You’re also happy to hang out in the high chair… now if only we could get your brother to keep his ass planted in his big boy chair…
You are strong. Your grip alone could kill a mouse. It’s a good thing we don’t let you play with mice.
You’re transitioning from a crack-crazed-crying-one-minute-laughing-the-next infant to an even-keeled smiley little dude. Your mood is less labile and your schedule is more predictable.
You like pulling your sock off your foot and shoving it in your mouth. More times than not you have one sock on. I find single socks strewn about the house.
You’ve taken notice of Sarah and reach out for her when she’s near. You open your mouth, instinctively, when she licks your face. It’s gross, considering she eats shit.
You’ve discovered my camera, which always seems to be in your face, and you like to grab at it with your grubby little fingers.
You have strong lungs. I’m pretty sure the neighbors know when you’re upset.
Favorites: You love, and I mean love, your mama. You bounce wildly when you’re in your Papa’s arms and I come into view. I’m not sure if you love me or the fact that I feed you. You sure like to eat, so I’m not so sure. You also love the crinkly sound of a plastic and more than anything else, you love playing with a plastic bag. I know, I know, it’s not safe. Whenever you get your grubby little hands on one, I have to do a quick switcheroo. You also love Hooper’s cars and like to fling your head back anytime your nursing on the sofa to catch a glimpse of one because, you know, your brothers cars are always strewn about on the sofa.
My favorite thing is giving you kisses in the middle of the night between feedings. I lay you on your changing table and watch as you peacefully stretch your arms up above your head and curl you chin down to your chest. I kiss you on your sweet lips, which are soft and smooth… not filled with the drool and slobber that takes over your chin and chest during the day. As soon as my lips leave yours, a smile spreads over your face but your eyes remain closed. I fall deeper in love with you each time we share this moment.

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Guest Post & Giveaway

Today we have a lovely guest blogger + a $40 giveaway to her etsy store Moonbeatle (details below):
My full name is Fritha Moonbeatle Tigerlilly Quinn Strickland..but you can call me Fritha. Were my parents hippies you ask?*..
I was really excited when Ashley contacted me to do this questionnaire swap, I love Ashley’s humour, you should go check out her answers here. Before you read on here is a little about me:
I am a 27 year old mumma to Wilfryd Cadno and freelance artist living in Bristol, UK with my boyfriend Tom and our two fat cats (no seriously they are really fat).
I am a great believer that what you are happiest doing at 5 is probably what you are happiest doing your whole life (there are some exceptions, I’m not sure there is a huge amount of call for worm eaters..maybe restaurant critic?…) for me it was and always will be drawing.
Whilst at Uni I wanted to be children’s book illustrator, after leaving uni I realised it was pretty hard to be a children’s book illustrator, I was too lazy and that was the end of that. If you want to see a great Children’s book illustrator you should check out our mutual friend Sarah (she will feel embarrassed I wrote that)
Any parent will tell you the first year of becoming a parent is intense! That being so my artwork has taken a back seat whilst I have settled into this new and amazing/exhausting role but slowly I am getting back into my creative passions also.
Previous to having a kiddo my work had been featured in nationwide magazines such as The Metro and Company, I also designed Paperchase’s 2012 Valentines range (not boasting or nuffin ;))
I am a lover of wildlife and nature,I’m a life long vegetarian (not eating meat once, ever *) I have a thing for foxes, so much that my son’s middle name Cadno is that Welsh for Fox. We did consider Hemulen also as I love the Moomins..
I also love photography, writing and reading beautiful blogs like this one (creep much??)
I love the blogging community, the snapshots into people’s lives and the friendships that can be made.
I hope you enjoy my answers and thanks Ashley for featuring me! xo
1. What time did you get up this morning? Officially – 6am..its probably more like 5.30 though,my darling son has never been one to lie in…
2. How do you like your steak? Still grazing happily in the field, I’m a vegetarian 😉
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I had to really really think about this one which shows how long it has been. Then I realised I saw a film at ‘baby cinema’ about 6 months ago, the idea is it is a showing where you can take your babies but watch grown up films and not get thrown out if your baby cries. ‘God Bless America’ was showing..if you have seen that film you will know why 5 minutes in you realise its not the best film to show new mums! After a few hysterical laughs and hands over our babies eyes it was fairly enjoyable..in that I liked the clothes.
4. What is your favorite TV show? So here’s the thing, we don’t have TV *gasp* but we do watch boxsets and films via good ol’ Netflix. So whilst I don’t have a favourite ongoing series my latest favourite thing to watch is Firefly, the best sci fi/western you ever did see.
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Now this answer may just make me a dullard or it may just mean I’m 100% content but honestly? I would still live in Bristol. Bristol is such a alternative and creative city. The area we live in is multicultural and yes a little run down, but our neighbours will drop in for cake and you can get a organic vegan meal in pretty much every cafe you go to.
6. What did you have for breakfast? I gobbled down marmite toast whilst trying to stop my one year old flinging Weetabix on me.
7. What is your favorite cuisine? I am a girl of simple tastes, when I was a child we would be allowed to choose what ever we wanted to eat for our ‘birthday meal’ mine was always always ‘pasta,sauce and cheese’. A second favourite would be peanut butter noodles. I was in heaven as a student, now my boyfriend makes me eat a more varied diet..
8. What foods do you dislike? Apart from meat (although as I have never actually eaten it I guess I cant say I ‘dislike’ but ya) the only thing I cant stand is beetroot, urgh!
9. Favorite Place to Eat? I love Thai food, there is a great place near us that can make all the menu with Tofu instead of what ever meat is that dish. Which is great as usually as a veggie you are limited to about three things on a menu
10. Favorite dressing? I dont’ ever use any..is that more of an American thing or am I an oddity?

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? Never learnt, I live in a City and can walk to just about anywhere in 45minutes in any direction (its a small City and I walk fast)
12. What are your favorite clothes? I wear dresses as a staple, I do own one pair of jeans but they just don’t suit my shape, so dresses :)
13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Cuba without a doubt (I was jealous to read Ashley has been!)
14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? Half full…of despair 😉
15. Where would you want to retire? …this city (I know I know) but in a house we built ourselves
16. Favorite time of day? 11am, its not too early. You can already have had a great morning or if you haven’t its early enough to turn things around and still have a great day
17. Where were you born? In a one bedroom top floor flat, in a bohemian area of this City i call home
18. What is your favorite sport to watch? ack none, I didn’t even watch the Olympics..I did used to be part of a Synchronised swim team though so maybe I would watch that
20. Are you a morning person or a night person? I don’t like mornings when they look like 5am (is that really the morning or is it the night?) but I am basically a granny in 27 year olds body and I cant ever seem to stay awake past 10.30pm.
21. Pets? Two fat cats, Pedigree British Shorthairs that we got from a rescue centre. They came to use so well tamed they wouldn’t even sit on the sofa, we broke their training so they would snuggle up in bed with us..now one of them pisses in the corner of the living room from time to time *sigh*
22. Any new and exciting news that you’d like to share? I’m trying to get back to my art work so hopefully this year will hold lots of new and exciting things for my shop!
23. What did you want to be when you were little? An artist (I think basically what you are happiest doing at 5 is what you will be happiest doing the rest of your life)
24. What is your best childhood memory? This question has been the hardest so far, mainly because I don’t have a great memory (I blame a reckless youth). I remember being a child and my dad grabbing my hand at the top of a hill and hurtling down, our legs going so fast I could never stop myself but knowing it was ok because my dad was holding my hand, the sound of my mum shrieking ‘careful!’ in the background and then reaching the bottom in super quick time out of breath and laughing.
25. Are you a cat or dog person? See question #21 …also a dog once chased me right up a tree once..true story
26. Are you married? Nope..maybe one day, maybe not
27. Always wear your seat belt? Who doesn’t?! Actually once when I was 15 I was in a head on collision when my friends mum was driving me home, after we had stopped and realised we were both alive I said “wow that was lucky, I almost didn’t put my seat belt on” I will never forget the look she gave me!
28. Been in a car accident? See above..I’ve also been in a bus crash and a coach crash where I had to crawl out the sun roof Jack Bauer style..always wear your seat belt guys.
29. Any pet peeves? People letting their dogs poo on the pavement, wee on the toilet seat, dishes left on the side and not straight in the dishwasher, people emailing me asking me to product test their vacuum cleaner (read on)
30. Favorite pizza topping? Spinach, Artichokes, Feta.
31. Favorite Flower? A Tigerlily (dur)
32. How many times did you fail your driver’s test? Never taken, maybe one day..maybe not
33. From whom did you get your last email? From a company asking if I would like to product test their vacuum cleaner….clearly they picked the wrong person.
34. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Fever London, Anthropologie, Numph and Ruby Belle
35. Do anything spontaneous lately? I have a baby..sometimes we spontaneously decide to go to IKEA for lunch but thats as far as it goes at the minute..
36. Like your job? Mostly, depends if he’s had his naps
37. Broccoli? …?
38. What was your favorite vacation? We went to Corfu as a family (with Tom, my parents, siblings, and my brother’s wife) my mum isn’t well so this was a big effort to spend some quality time together, I (have two brothers and two sisters). Pre baby so we drank Retsina, sunbathed and ate..it was great although I got eaten alive by mosquitoes..I still have the scars.
39. Last person you went out to dinner with? …I tried so hard to remember this! It was with Tom 7 months ago I think..I think we need a date night again!
40. What are you listening to right now? My son listening to Barefoot Books.
41. What is your favorite color? Blue..No! Yell.. (Is thrown over the edge of the pit and eaten by the killer rabbit)
42. Have you ever been robbed? Of sleep yes for well over a year now.
43. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Blue..No! Yell.. (Is thrown over the edge of the pit and eaten by the killer rabbit)
44. Do you drink? There not called Champagne Thursdays for nothing (or officially, playgroup)
45. Red bull or coffee? Tea but I do drink Coffee now and again..never Red Bull, ack
What do you know?, we’re both robbed of sleep and both dream of Cuba. I suggested we meet up one day in Cuba, who’s in? Anyway, on to the goods…
Fritha’s etsy shop is full of fantastic goodies. Here are some of my favorites:
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5
You can enter to win a $40 store credit to Fritha’s etsy shop Moonbeatle by any of the five following ways (please leave a separate comment for each entry):
1. Follow Tigerlilly Quinn on Google Friend Connect
2. Visit Moonbeatle and leaving me a comment as to what item (s) you would chose if you were to win.
3. Follow Tigerlilly Quinn on facebook and leave a comment on this post.
4. Follow Tigerlilly Quinn on Twitter and leave a comment on this post.
5. Follow The Stork & The beanstalk on facebook and leave a comment on this post.
That’s five ways to enter and five separate ways to win. Best of luck and many thanks to Fritha for being so effin’ rad.
This giveaway is open worldwide. I will announce the winner in two weeks. Please make sure your email address is valid, as the winner will be contacted via email. Good luck!

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Meet Your Parents

Photos by the wonderful Viera Photographics
Dear Hooper & Van,
Your Papa and I almost died once. Okay, I’m being dramatic. But we did almost burn our home down and if it had burned down, we could have died.
It was the night of our wedding. And though we may tell you the story in the years to come, I’m sure we’ll leave out this small detail: We were drunk. Really drunk. And hungry. Really hungry.
If you don’t take any other lesson away from this story, take this advice: Eat at your wedding. We did not. And, because of this, we almost paid with our home.
You see, we were too busy at our wedding to eat. We drank, we talked with all our guests, we danced. But we never ate. So when we got home, we threw some chicken nuggets in the oven. Some time later, we were awoken by the smoke alarm. The house was filled with smoke and inside the oven were the crispiest nuggets you ever did see. I guess there’s more than one lesson… In addition to remembering to eat at your wedding, you should also not fall asleep while cooking, not cook while drinking, and not eat nuggets for dinner. Write those down in your life notebooks, would ya?
Oh ya, and install a fire alarm. They’re sure to wake your drunk ass up.
I love you,
Mama
Side note: Check back tomorrow for a special giveaway from etsy shop Moonbeatle!

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From Scandinavia, With Love.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6
I came across this pop-up shop that is open as long as inventory lasts… so, get it while it’s hot. I love the simplicity in scandinavian design. And those nesting characters? Get out. That mustache man is too much. I mean even the baby has a mustache. Watch your step out there today, my melted heart is on the ground.

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60 Years

These photos are from a few weeks back, when we were in Arizona to celebrate Willy’s grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. I had intentions of writing a post about what 60 years of love must be like before I realized that me writing on the subject would be like a caterpillar telling you what it must be like to be a butterfly.
What I can tell you, from the relatively short time Willy and I have been married, is that marriage is work in the same sense that children are work. Anyone who tells you they don’t have to work at their marriage and says raising their children was a breeze is lying. Or maybe they refuse to use the word “work” to describe what in actuality is an ongoing metamorphosis powered by love.
No matter how you chose to talk about it, marriage does not come without sacrifice and does not survive without communication. I shared some things I had learned in this post, but here are some other tidbits on marriage. These aren’t, by the way, meant to be my advice to you… Rather, these are things that little voice in my head whispers to myself. I know nothing about your relationship, only what works for us…
-Don’t forget about one another. When you have children, it’s easy to focus all your attention on them. I think most woman would agree that even buying things for yourself takes a backseat to buying things for your children instead. It’s easy to forget about your own needs, let alone the needs of your spouse. Children are great; They certainly are your most beautiful art project. But in the midst of loving them, you must remember to nurture the love for which their existence is founded upon. I remember observing relationships of my friends parents when I was growing up. There were those that seemed to get along but didn’t seem to be “in love”, so-to-say. Then were those that fought all the time, regardless of your presence. And then there were those that still touched each other, still gazed lovingly at one another across the room, and still chose to spend time with one another. It’s important, for me, for my children to see our love and feel like they are a part of it.
–Stay strong but not stubborn.
-Vent. It’s easy to keep things inside but it’s not so easy to keep them inside when they begin to compile ontop of one another. Sometimes something Willy is doing doesn’t bother me the first time, but by the fifth time I’m about ready to tear my hair out (oh lord, another hair reference? Really Ashley? Let it go, your hair will grow back…). I’m fortunate in the sense that Willy welcomes my vent sessions and, by the end of the ranting and raving, I think we both feel better. Venting is necessary to move forward. Almost always after we put it out on the table, it’s considered dealt with. I love that about our relationship.
-Life is like a Chinese finger trap; When it gets too tight, you have to relax.  Keep it light. Life is hard. Work is hard. Caring for children is hard. So when you can, find humor in the everyday. I promise, it’s there.
Who knows, maybe in 57 more years I’ll be recapping the highs and the lows of marriage over a 60 year time span. Sixty years. I’ll let that sink in.
Have you let that marinate? So here’s to love and life and togetherness. Feel free to share what fuels your love and/or marriage.
Update: My blog is in 6th place over on Top Baby Blog! Thanks to all of  you who keep voting :) Prit-tee cool, prit-tee cool. 

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Round Two.

Things I’ve said a lot of this week: “Sarah, stop licking Hooper’s butt” and “Hooper, stop touching your dong”. Here’s the recap:
Day #1
We started the day by collecting his diapers and throwing them into the trash. Hoop enjoyed this. Then we spent the morning watching cartoons while he sat on his potty. I fed him breakfast, on his potty. At some point, probably after an hour of sitting there, he stood up and pointed to the potty. Inside, there was urine. We celebrated. We high-fived. He got a piece of candy. We called Papa at work. Then he played. I reminded him of the potty and told him if he wanted more candy, he had to make piss in the potty. Then the fly by happened.
What’s the fly by, you ask? He literally flew by the potty, stuck his butt in it’s direction, and shot (and I mean shot as in like a bullet from a gun) a large size piece of shit out of his butt. The log struck the side of the toilet and streaked it’s way down to the floor. I told him to step away as I could tell he wanted to sit on the potty. He ran off in excitement and pissed in the corner. He may have pissed in the potty had I not shooed him away.
Nonetheless, there were hits and there were misses. It was day one. There was cheers and candy and there was paper towels and vinegar. All in all, a success. A start. 
Day #2
I had intended to sacrifice three full days to only potty training. But, alas, life happens and staying home for three days straight doesn’t always work out. I had a commitment to keep, so on went the diaper so my mom could take Hoop to his little class and I could go fulfill my obligation. After his morning nap, potty training reconvened. He sat on the potty long enough to eventually pee in it and we jumped for excitement once again. I gave him a piece of candy and on he went to play with his cars.
I reminded him of the potty often and used candy as encouragement. At one point he went over on his own and sat on the toilet, stood up a minute later and yelled, “yeah guys!”. I looked in the pot and there was nothing there. As he scampered away, however, I noticed some shit stuck between his cheeks. Then he straddled his bike and got shit on his bike. Then he poked the shit on his bike seat with his finger. So… not exactly a slam dunk, but definite progress. The realization that I will eventually have to teach him to wipe his butt dawned on me and the idea of keeping him in diapers fo’ life started to become more dreamy than ever.
Then he peed on the sofa. And later, again, on the floor. And that was day two.
Day #3
We spent the morning watching cartoons while sitting on the potty. I’m getting cartooned out, by the way. I hate relying on that thing, but it has been a good facilitator for potty training. I also googled “How to potty train” for the first time and can’t say I learned anything I didn’t instinctively already know. Anyway, I fed him breakfast while he sat on the potty. He got up a few times to play and would sporadically come back to the potty to sit down on his own. At one point, you could hear piss shooting into the pot and we both looked at each other with wild excitement. There wasn’t a whole lot of pee and I came to the conclusion that the excitement of it all must have stopped him mid-stride. We celebrated. He immediately said, “Can-dee, can-dee”. He’s part human, part Pavlov’s dog. Even more than the candy, I learned, he likes helping me clean up; dumping the piss into the toilet, spraying the potty with vinegar (101 uses for vinegar, right?), and flushing the toilet. I also gave him a sticker (thanks @lishyloo) and not but 5 minutes later he sat down and peed again, presumably finishing his job prior. Either that or he’s getting too smart and has learned to segment his piss to get more treats. Two year olds sure have a way of pulling the fast ones on us, don’t they? In any case, we celebrated again and cleaned up again.
Day #4 and onward
I’ll spare you the day by day shenanigans because while some seem to say “it took 3 days and that was that”, I can tell that won’t be the case for us. For starters, he naps a lot. I’m talking like he still takes a FOUR hour nap during the day and sometimes another two hour nap in the evening. I know, I know, he sleeps a lot. And, no, he does not have chronic fatigue syndrome. I laughed when someone had suggested that. I digress, but the naps make it difficult to potty train if I’m constantly slapping a diaper on for him to sleep in. Sometimes he only pisses one time before he’s ready to sleep again. So I only get so many opportunities in a day to potty train. And I’m not comfortable, yet, to leave the house without a diaper on. Wow, I just re-read that sentence and now it sounds like I’m the incontinent one. Let me re-phrase that: I’m not comfortable, yet, to leave the house without a diaper on Hooper. Whew, I feel better now that I made that correction. So, I don’t know. That’s where we’re at. I suppose I’ll keep going with the naked thing for the time that we’re home and awake and then, when he has a better grasp on that concept, I’ll start swapping out the diaper with the undies. What do ya’ll think? Is that a good plan? I will say, however, that by day 5 he was 4 for 4 and has not had an accident since. So, perhaps we are getting somewhere. Now we just need to work on clothing him once again and encouraging him to communicate that he’s gotta go… Round three will be coming your way.
You can read about round one here.

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Hooper @ 26 Months

Growth & Appearance: You got your third ever hair cut this month. You look like a young man. Your Papa misses your long hair. I, however, don’t miss brushing out the dread lock that forms in the back from bed head. We’ll probably let it grow out again until it’s too annoying to manage and then we’ll cut it again. Your hair seems to be coming in a little darker and I’m curious if this will stay or if it will turn blond again during the summer. Either way, it’s still blond on top.
Eating: I worry less about your eating these days. People keep telling me kids don’t die of starvation and I’m starting to believe them. You will eat what you will eat and that’s that. Even with this new found peace there are annoying evenings where the table is still a battlefield. I think your Papa has a harder time letting go of the control than I do. I fear turning eating into a battle for independence and this has fueled my “let it be” campaign. Go eat shit, for all I care. I kid. I give you healthy choices and if you don’t eat what I make, better luck with the next meal. I’m trying my best to keep to this notion, anyhow.
We’ve started allowing you to eat in the big boy chair so that we can put your brother in the high chair. Not that Van eats anything, but it’s nice to have him at the table with us anyway. You can drink from a cup but tend to knock it over at some point during your meal by accident so more times than not we give you a sippy cup or bottle to make life easier on us. You like to eat with a fork. Scratch that. You like the idea of eating with a fork, which by the way you call a “bee-me”. Instead of using it, you usually hold it in one hand while you feed yourself with the other. Either way, as soon as we sit down for a meal you demand your “bee-me” (fork).
You’re going through a phase where you think it’s entertaining to spit your foot out. We were at a restaurant when you unloaded a mouthfull of food to the side of your highchair. It was so random that your Papa and I made the mistake of laughing. As you went to do it again, we realized instantly we made a big mistake. You’ve done it a few times since but each time has landed you in the corner. The battle at the table continues. I suppose it’s our first lesson as parents that we can’t laugh at ridiculous behavior. Please know we aren’t bumps on a log. We do find things funny, only we giggle about it all later. 
Sleeping: I had another mom ask me if you had “chronic fatigue syndrome” after I told her how much you sleep. You are hardly the low energy kinda kid that label makes you out to be. You do, however, sleep a lot. You go down for the night around 9:30pm and sleep until 8:30 or 9 am. Then you nap from 11ish to 2ish and again from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. That’s a total of about 16 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. The other eight hours of the day are spent trying to feed you. Needless to say, with your nap schedule and eating nightmare, it’s difficult to plan any extended outing.
We’ve finally added a blanket to your bed. Breaking news, right? We hesitated for a long time, worried you’d get stuck under the blanket or some other ridiculous catastrophe would occur. We’ve gotten over our stupid fears and, as a result, you’re warmer at night. You’re welcome. You refer to your trusty blanket as your “da-dee” and the blanket on your bed as your “big da-dee”. You now require both of them to sleep at night.
Talking: You pronounce “soccor” as “f&*#er”, so needless to say, your Papa makes you repeat it over and over. You also pronounce “sock” as “f#&k” so your Papa has you repeat this over and over too. It’s how we entertain ourselves on Friday nights these days. Don’t judge. You also like to add “uh” on the end of lots of different words. For example, you told your arms up toward me and say “hold-uh” when you want me to hold you or “boo-kah” when you want me to read you a book.
You’re either very polite or you think the word for “help” is “help please” because whenever you want help with anything you say, “hell-peez”. It’s very endearing and I like to fool myself into thinking I am raising a very polite little man. In reality, I’m pretty sure you think it’s one word that, when said, leads to getting something  you want.
You have begun answering some questions. When we asked you a question before, you used to simply repeat the most emphasized word in the question. Now, the wheels spin and out pops an appropriate answer. It’s the beginning of the voice of your imagination and I can’t wait to get to know it better.
You have a lisp when you say your S’s. It’s cute now but it won’t be cute later. Speech therapy may be in your future. 
Development: You still appear to be left footed. When you romp around in circles, you lead with your left food. And when you mount a bike you lift your right leg over, bearing your weight on your left leg. You still write predominantly with your left hand but feed yourself with your right.
A new molar came in. Not sure how that little rascal snuck in under our radar but it may explain the prior runny nose and two day span where it seemed like you didn’t want to eat anything. Then again, those fussy eating days happen more times than not. There was also that day where you slept until I woke you up at 1pm. If every tooth comes with that kinda mama time, I hope you get teeth all the way down your throat. That’s a weird image. Okay, I digress. 
Favorites: You’re more into reading books than ever before and like reading them again and again. You’re still a big fan of your cars, which are always lined up across the sofa making sitting on the thing virtually impossible. Sarah has taken to napping on our bed now that the sofa is preoccupied. You also got a balance bike as a hand-me-down from a friend and like to walk the thing all around the house, letting everyone know about your “new bike”. The Cat in the Hat is your new favorite cartoon, compliments of potty training. That damn TV always seems to be a tool for something; if it’s not eating, it’s potty training. One day we’ll leave it off for good. Hopefully soon.

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Breastfeeding

He’ll come in later.
As I’ve mentioned a million gazillion times before, I was neurotic about my milk supply from the beginning. My lunatic ways were born from my experience in feeding Hooper. I’ve also mentioned this several times, but to reiterate, Hooper’s weight steadily declined from the 80th percentile all the way down to the 10th percentile. When you’re breastfeeding, this is incredibly troubling because you have no idea how much milk your baby is getting. I considered buying a scale to weigh him before and after a feed but ultimately decided it wouldn’t change what I was doing. The milk I made was the milk I made and while our pediatrician kept a close eye on his weight, he never suggested supplementing.
So yes, I was neurotic from the beginning with Van. Early on, I planned to add additional pump sessions interspersed with our regular breastfeeding sessions in an effort to get my milk production well established and to grow a hearty supply of milk in the freezer for when I returned to work.
Before I started my pump sessions, I contacted a friend who also had a newly born babe. She has utters those of us with a questionable milk supply grow envious of. She’s told me stories of milk literally shooting out of her nipples uncontrollably. I’m talking water gun style. Not to be confused with gangam style. In any case, I knew she would have milk to spare so before I started pumping, I asked her if she’d be willing to donate at some point should I run into trouble. She agreed. (Side note: Willy thought I was such a loon and thought the idea of giving our baby a friend’s milk was ridiculously weird. I couldn’t disagree more… Your thoughts?)
I started pumping. Van was about three weeks old when I began adding in three pump sessions per day.
I was surprised by how much milk I was collecting and one by one, milk bags started infiltrating our freezer. And then they virtually took over our freezer, Little Shop of Horrors style. For a while there, you couldn’t open the door without a frozen bag of milk falling on your foot.
My goal with pumping somewhat transformed from wanting to have a large frozen supply to wanting to keep my milk supply afloat. When I accepted the reality that I had plenty in the freezer, I started to give what I pumped to Hooper. Nearly all the milk he drank in the day would come from my pump sessions.
Because I’m a utilitarian at heart (greatest good for the greatest number), I started to wonder if donating the milk would be more beneficial. I contacted my midwife who gave me information about Breast Feed LA (side note: I originally typed “breast feel LA”… um ya, glad I caught that one as I’m sure that’s an entirely different organization). I browsed the website and, to be honest, it wasn’t user friendly. I didn’t get the instant answers I wanted and I didn’t want donating to become a headache. I also knew I was in a bit of a time crunch as the milk I wanted to donate was already a couple of months old and would need to used soon before it was wasted.
And all you breastfeeding mamas out there know you do not waste breast milk. Don’t cry over spilled milk unless it’s breast milk, right?
So I turned to facebook. I posted a comment on my midwives group page and instantly got a few responses. I made contact with one woman who had an 8 month old foster son. She said finding milk has become a part time job and admitted that she’s driven up to 2 hours just to pick up donated milk. And here I was thinking I was making the ultimate sacrifice in simply breastfeeding. She ended up striking gold and found 500 ounces locally so she declined my offer and on to the next response I went.
That’s how I met Kelly.
Funny thing is that I already knew Kelly. That whole seven degree of separation shenanigans is really true. I had to scold Hooper while I was on the phone with her (wait a second, you say, scolding a toddler?? never…). She instantly picked up on the name and we giggled as we realized her older son and Hooper are in the same play class. I had seen her the day before. It still boggles my mind.
In any case, now we can officially meet Elliot. He is two months younger than Van and I now have the incredible privilege to help feed him too. And I can’t tell you how warm that makes my heart.
Have extra breast milk? Look into donating! There’s tons of mom’s out there that are literally desperate to give their baby the best of the best. It’s been an incredibly fulfilling experience thus far.
You can read my other posts on breastfeeding here, here, and here.
Side note: Thank you to all of you that have been voting on Top Baby Blog. I’m ranked #7 right now, only 20 votes behind #1 last time I looked. How cool. You can vote daily by clicking on the link below. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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Christmas Cookies + Mommy Wars

{My new favorite top because it has polka dots and is breastfeeding friendly. It’s vintage, from Threading Marigolds, and was a Christmas gift from my sister.}
My house is an absolute mess right now. I’ve called two separate cleaning companies. I’ve left three messages with one and two with the other. My third message to the first company wasn’t very nice and I’m assuming they won’t be calling me back. If they do, I’d probably tell them to fuck off anyway. So while I’m impatiently waiting for the other company to return my call, books are strewn about the floor in every room, the dishwasher is waiting to be emptied, dirty dishes are piled up in the sink, empty plates from last nights dinner are still on the table, clean laundry is getting wrinklfied in the dryer because it has yet to be taken out and folded, Hooper has pissed all over the place the past two days (dear potty training, you’re really helping the cause), Sarah woke up and barfed this morning, and oh ya, there’s those ingredients for homemade cookies waiting patiently on the counter to be baked. The dirty mess has become the norm and while it is disgusting and killing my creativity, it is actually the un-baked cookies I want to talk about.
You see, I  planned on baking them with Hooper for Christmas. I bought cookie cutters in the shape of snowflakes and stars just for this occasion. And on the counter still sits the flour, the baking soda, the vanilla extract, sprinkles, frosting, and those cookie cutters. Everyday that I enter the kitchen, I look first at the pile of dirty dishes and then I notice the unbaked cookies and, well, it makes me feel like a failure of a mom. Why can’t my house stay clean? Or, more importantly, why won’t the damn cleaning companies call me back? And why can’t I make the time to bake those fucking cookies with my son?
My sister shared an article with me recently titled, “Why You’re Never Failing as a Mother”. It’s written by Amy Morrison from the Pregnant Chicken and it’s a fantastic article. I re-read it again this morning in hopes of not feeling like a piece of shit mom.
While the article agrees that mothers have been mothers for a long time, Amy adds that parents today face a greater deal of scrutiny than ever before.
She writes, “As for the past generations that like to tell you that they raised six kids on their own and did it without a washing machine? Well, sort of. Keep in mind child rearing was viewed pretty differently not that long ago and you could stick a toddler on the front lawn with just the dog watching and nobody would bat an eye at it — I used to walk to the store in my bare feet to buy my father’s cigarettes when I was a kid. As a mother, you cooked, you cleaned, but nobody expected you to do anything much more than keep your kids fed and tidy”.
Nowadays, motherhood seems to involve much more and there’s an underlying pressure to keep up with what is perceived as the norm. This false norm includes things like breastfeeding for a year or more, wearing your baby everywhere as opposed to using a stroller, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, making homemade baby food (and make sure it’s organic), teaching your baby sign language and a foreign language, reading books on parenting (Is your baby the happiest on the block?), and maintaining a career, a happy marriage, and a spotless home. Just the other day I read that parents are doing something called “elimination communication” and teaching their SEVEN month old how to shit in the toilet. I mean seriously? No, really, seriously? I’m serious. I know, I know, it’s crazy. I want to scream at the top of my lungs, “Stop raising the bar you mommy war freaks!”.
No one has said it better than Amy herself, “Feeling like you also need to keep on top of scrapbooking, weight loss, up-cycled onesies, handprints, crock pot meals, car seat recalls, sleeping patterns, poo consistency, pro-biotic supplements, swimming lessons, electromagnetic fields in your home and television exposure is like trying to knit on a rollercoaster — it’s f*cking hard”.
I follow the lovely Naomi from Rockstar Diaries on instagram and couldn’t believe the scrutiny she received for taking a photo of her child in the infamous bumbo seat without the safety buckle, which is actually a separate piece that has been added because of one of those silly recalls. I mean here is an adorable mom taking a photo of her adorable child and her very own followers are giving her shit for not following up with a recall for a seat her child is sure to outgrow in another month?! It’s sad that many mommy bloggers now feel they have to sensor what they share for fear of being scrutinized by their own readers. It’s a recipe for a seemingly shallow blog when, in actuality, the scrutiny they’ve faced is the culprit behind many of the untold stories.
When did we all turn against each other? What’s with this mommy war business?
So the take home message is this: Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’ve always stood firm in my belief that we all do the best we can as mothers. The decisions we make are the decisions we individually feel are best or need to make in an effort to maintain our own sanity (and that’s okay too).
One of these days Hooper and I will tackle those Christmas cookies. I hear snowflake shaped cookies taste the same in spring as they do in winter so rather than beat myself up every time I walk past those ingredients on the counter, I’m going to pretend that they’re actually whispering, “Ready when you are”.
Go pat yourself on the back. We all deserve it. And have a glass of wine tonight. I’ll join you. And we can all think of one another. Are you getting the kumbaya feeling? I am.
Side note: Standings are reset over on Top Baby Blogs… So it’s time for me to beg and plead for your votes once again. The Stork placed in 7th this last quarter so now I’m setting my sights on top 5. I know, I know, I’m crazy. Vote for me and I’ll bake you a damn snowflake cookie sometime this year. No, really, thanks for all your support. I’ve watched my blog slowly inch it’s way up which means that a handful of ya’ll are voting on a consistent basis and that really makes my world a pretty happy place.

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03/52

“A portrait of my husband, once a week, every week, in 2013.”
I went on a date two nights ago with this handsome man I sometimes call my husband. You don’t want to know what I call him other times. It reminded me that I need to be okay with leaving the kids with a sitter from time to time to enjoy an evening out with the this hunk of meat. Before we even turned off our street, we turned toward one another and high-fived. Indeed, I love this man.
Side note: Standings over on Top Baby Blogs are reset. You’re two clicks away from voting. Would you be so kind? Your parents won’t mind at all if you do. If you caught The Cat in the Hat reference then you must have a toddler too.

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Bits + Pieces

Van with his lovely date, Carla. They are a week apart // Brunch at home, with family // A family diner date at Corky’s in Van Nuys. Oh how I want some pancakes right now. Num num num num // Oh ya, Hooper got a haircut. Willy likes it long. I like it shorter // Oh that little cutie? That’s just Hooper’s little friend Emerson // And Hooper’s other little friend Sienna, whom he loves lovin’ on. He goes for the peck, she however, is an open mouth kinda girl. Look out Hoop! // Hooper never took to Sophie. Van, on the other hand, likes Sophie like I like my pancakes. Num num num num // The sofa rarely looks like this. It’s usually inundated with cars. Because of ::cough cough:: that little booger above. Hoooooooooooper….
Happy Friday. Hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend.

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Round One.

So I was motivated to start potty training last week. Yes, I’m already speaking in the past tense. Hooper was ready. I, however, was not.
I remember when we first brought Sarah home. She was three months and we trained her to sleep in a crate. Every morning there would be piss and shit in her crate until we decided we would take turns getting up at 2am to let her out to pee. Eventually she caught on and after a while she was able to hold it until morning. It really wasn’t so difficult, in the end.
Fast forward to two kids later.
I opted to go the naked route, at first. I brought the potty out and sat it in the middle of the room and for the first hour it seemed all we talked about was the potty. I repetitively asked him if he wanted to use it. I encouraged him to sit down on it. I gave him a piece of candy to try to keep him on it. And then he pissed in the corner.
I cleaned it up and thought maybe it would be better to put underwear on him so he could feel what it’s like to be wet. And then he pissed while riding his toy car around.
And then I realized I was too tired from being up the night before with Van and I put a diaper on. Someone please send the bad mom award this way. I know consistency is key so I’m going to tackle it another day… when I have more energy and patience and a few consecutive days off work in a row to really give it the good ol’ fashion try. So yeah, along with the bad mom award can you also send energy, patience, and consecutive days off work?
Looking at my little boy in those undies might be the biggest motivator of all…
And… I do have some consecutive days off work this week, so  round 2 is currently in progress. Wish me luck. And share any tips. I have no idea what I’m doing…

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You Are My Wild

{Click on each photo to find out more about the photographer behind each one}
You Are My Wild is an amazing project that has just begun. The project brings 14 different photographers together, on a weekly basis, to display images they capture of their children. I can’t even tell you how ruffled my feathers would be to be part of something like this. Perhaps I’ll add it to my bucket list goals and in the meantime, I’ll gawk at these beautiful images from some amazingly talented individuals. You can check it out here on a weekly basis. I know I will.

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Tidbits of Motherhood

Yup, there I am with my baby dolls again. I can see Hooper’s little mischievous face in my own. That rascal. Think my haircut is cool? Yeah, me too (not being sarcastic at all, wink wink). Onto the tidbits…
I used to brush my teeth, slap on some chapstick, and go to bed. Now I wash my pump stuff for the morning, brush my teeth, slap on some chapstick, and turn on my baby monitors. Yes, monitors is pleural.
Woman are the superior sex. They just are. I never had such admiration for other woman until I became a mom. I used to view men as the king of the households, the warriors, the caretakers. But now I realize woman are the Kings and men are the princesses. And after giving birth, I’m pretty sure all moms are warriors. And I won’t even touch on the caretaker role, because we all know who fills those shoes. So in an attempt to remind mi amor of his manliness, I pretend to be impressed with how he can sit through the pain while being tattooed. And when he suggests that I could never handle the pain, I laugh with visions of two nine pound babies exiting my vagina with no pain medication and say, “ya, probably not”.
Just the other day I was giving the boys an afternoon bath and started to question why I was hungry. My first thought was this: it’s 4 o’clock, past lunch time… What’s wrong with me? My second thought was this: Oh my god, I forgot to make myself lunch. My thrid and final thought was this: It sure sucks we have to take time out of the day to eat. I could get a whole lot more done if I didn’t have mouths to feed, my own included.
Before I became a mom, a productive day consisted of crossing off several items on my to do list. Now, a productive day means I bathed and fed three people. That’s it. It’s been a challenge to accept at times and is probably the reason I feel so behind all the time. It’s hard to watch things marinating on a to do list for days on end.
I have cried over spilt milk only it was breast milk so cut me some slack.
I used to associate silence with wide open spaces, deep thought, and peace. Now, it’s just down right worrisome and means I have to get up off my ass to see what’s going on. Then, nine times out of ten, the previous silence involves some sort of clean up or scolding or something else that’s not fun or peaceful. The exception is nap time, then silence is the most beautiful thing in the world. Especially if I’m lazy enough to nap too.
It takes me a long time to clean the house how I see fit. I usually clean up while Hooper is asleep. Within the first hour of Hooper being awake, it appears as though I’ve done nothing. I have finally excepted the realization that I cannot do it all and, as a result, have given in and decided to hire a housekeeper.
You can view the first post in this series here. Please share tidbits you have learned through the journey of motherhood and I will compile your revelations in a separate post!

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Mama Style

I won a giveaway on Modern Kiddo from Hello Apparel. I know, check me out. So cool. Don’t know about Hello Apparel? You should. Their “hello” pullovers are my favorite and are super comfy. I got Hoop this shirt too but it’s a bit too big. I also love these leggings, this onesie, and this limited edition top. I had some trouble with the coupon code they provided me with and actually ended up changing my order each time I gave the coupon code a new try. So many cute things to chose from. A few of their items are on sale now and if you follow them on instagram (@helloapparel), you know a lot of their items sell out; so don’t wait too long if you have your eye on something.

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02/52

Getting ready for work. He always kisses me goodbye and greets me with a kiss when he returns home. The highlight of my day is when he calls to tell me he’s coming home; partly because I can’t wait to see him and partly because that means this mama will have much needed help!
As a side note, it just dawned on me that this wee little project is going to highlight how quickly these weeks fly by. My goodness does life speed up when you have children.
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Bits + Pieces, Arizona

We spent the other weekend in Arizona to celebrate Willy’s grandparents wedding anniversary (more to come on that later). It’s always stressful thinking about traveling with the kiddos. My mind gets overworked in the days leading up to the trip thinking of all the things we’ll need to bring with us and how we’ll fit it all and how we’ll carry it all. Packing for myself used to be overwhelming but remembering all the little things I need for the family makes me look like one giant cry baby before. After all was said and done, the only thing I forgot was Hooper’s tooth brush. And well, his teeth didn’t rott. It all went fairly smoothly, actually. Lesson to self: calm the F down.
Hooper was a trooper on the plane. We brought some snacks and toys in his trusty suitcase for the short one hour flight. As soon as the plane landed, Hoop held his two little pointer fingers up in the air and proclaimed, “ghin!” (aka “again”). So ya, it was good. Van breastfed twice and fell asleep.
The only thing cooler than the plane ride was riding the tractor and the only thing cooler than riding the tractor was sitting on the tractor to watch fireworks. Indeed, it was a nice trip. I’ll share some more photos next week.
Happy Friday!

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Because There Needs To Be Food On The Table

Returning to work when you have little munchkins isn’t ideal, right? I can’t see it any other way. From where I stand (cue the ever-so-popular photo of feet standing on a random sidewalk… you know what I’m talking about, right? If not, just write it off as another looney moment for me. The holidays made me crazy. You too? My goodness, this is the longest parenthesized sentence ever. Who the hell knew parenthesized was a word. I had to google that one. Forgive me)… yes, yes, yes, from where I stand, any new mom that looks forward to returning to work is crazy. I’m talkin’ not right in the head. I have yet to meet anyone, mother or father, male or female, that loves their job so much that it’s the first thing they think of when they wake up in the morning and the last thing on their mind before entering dreamland for the night. With that said, I was incredibly anxious about going back to work.
Rewind to the first time I returned to work, after Hooper was born. I took off as much time as I could. Because I don’t live in the UK, this meant I had to return when Hooper was 4 months old. This is quite good by maternity leave standards in the US and everyone here told me I should be grateful. And I was. But that didn’t stop me from breaking down into grown adult crocodile tears when the first person asked about how my baby was. I couldn’t think about him, or talk about him for that matter, without getting choked up. It felt very unnatural to be at work, away from my child that needed me and knew no one better than me.
I found comfort in the fact that my very own parents were watching him and tried hard to sell myself on the idea that it was important for them to build a relationship with him too. I know, I know. Go ahead and roll your eyes. When I put myself in any one elses shoes I think is this bitch really whining about having to leave her children with her own parents? I know a lot of parents out there have to do the day care thing and I know a lot of people are also struggling to find employment. So yeah, don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful.
I digress, as I typically do.
My realization in returning to work for the second time is this: Everything is easier the second time. Except for the postpartum hair loss. That can kiss my ass just as much this time around. And delivering an over nine pound baby vaginally can do the same.
Dammit (said like Beavis and Butthead), I digress once again.
Let me rephrase my realization: Most things are easier the second time. And returning to work is one of the things that falls into this category.
I shed no tears this time around. And it’s not because I didn’t miss Van, or Hooper, it’s because I’d been in those shoes before. That’s it, plan and simple. Chalk it up to good ol’ life experiences.
Okay, okay, one other thing made returning to work easier as well: part time (two, twelve hour shifts per week). AKA a mother’s dream. AKA the best of both worlds. AKA I work too so you need to help out with the dishes too!… Come on ladies, you know what I’m talking about it. Seriously though, working part time has helped me to enjoy my job more. I may, I said may, have even said returning to work has been a nice break. And if you don’t think working 12 hours on my feet, not eating lunch sometimes until 4 pm, and holding my pee so I can empty other peoples concentrated piss from their foley catheters is a break, well then, you’ve never been a mom. Who’s with me? I’m having one of those moments where I wish we were all sitting around at a huge table, wine glasses (or shot glasses) in hand, raising our glasses in appreciation of one another. Because being a mom is the hardest job of all. F*#k the state for not compensating me for all my rad mom skills. High fives all around.

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