Essays For Motherhood: A Parenting Guide For The Millennial Mom

February 4, 2016

Essays

Chapter One

I Can No Longer See My Vagina (And Other Concerns): A Pregnancy Story

Chapter Two

Dressing Your Bumps: A Buyer’s Guide To Clothing A Large Mammal With Dignity

Chapter Three

I’d Like To Be Naked, Wearing A Wide Brimmed Hat, Listening To Sufjan, And Immersed In Water: Finding A Birth Plan That Doesn’t Sound Like The Plot To A Psychological Thriller

Chapter Four

Tucks Pads, Ice Packs, And Hemorrhoidal Spray: A Postpartum Love Story

Chapter Five

 Breastfeeding vs Bottle-feeding: How To Figure Out What’s Best And Then Stop Talking About It

Chapter Six

Dr. Seuss’s Bedtime Tales: What To Keep And What To Misplace At A Goodwill Drop-Off

Chapter Seven

The Baby Is Always Watching: The Art Of Covert Intercourse (A Handbook)

Chapter Eight

My Kid Is An Asshat: When Babies Become Toddlers And Ruin Your Day

Chapter Nine

Mumps, Shingles, Rubella, And 47 Other Things Your Child Doesn’t Have But You Google Anyways

Chapter Ten

That’s Great Honey! (And Other Phrases To Acknowledge Your Child While Staring Aimlessly At The Wall)

Chapter Eleven

Nobody’s Sleeping, Not Even The Dog: A Comprehensive Guide To Napping While Standing Up

Chapter Twelve

I Was Told This Would Take Two Days : When Potty Training Isn’t “A Breeze” (A Survivor’s Guide)

Chapter Thirteen

Pinterest Lied To Me: 17 Children’s Crafts That Require Zero Skills, Rallying, Or Clean Up

  Chapter Fourteen

Mommy, Where Is Your Penis? : Troubleshooting Your Way Out Of Uncomfortable Conversations With Four Easy Words (Go Ask Your Dad)

Chapter Fifteen

Public School Vs. Private School: An Exhaustive List Of Why It Doesn’t Matter Either Way

Chapter Sixteen

From Wall-E to Inside Out: 11 Pixar Movies To Avoid On Your Period

Chapter Seventeen

Lost In Costco And All I Need Is Cinnamon: A Detailed Map

Chapter Eighteen

I’m Sorry Your Child Feels That Way: The Ultimate Guide To Navigating “The Other Mom”

Chapter Nineteen

 27 Ways To Disable An iPhone: The Teenage Years

Chapter Twenty

My Child Wants To Take A Year Off Before College To Smoke Weed (A Self Help Directory)

Epilogue

They’ll Probably Be Fine After Therapy: A Realistic Ethos

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10 Perfect Galentine’s Day Gifts To Celebrate Our Favorite Women

January 29, 2016

Galentine’s Day is only a few short weeks away, which means that if you’re running on Leslie Knope time–you’re already behind.

What’s Galentine’s Day you ask?

gday

Every year on February 13th, Leslie fans gather together with their girlfriends to celebrate friendship and eat all of the things. Even if you don’t watch Parks & Rec, it’s a great holiday to adopt because 1) 100x better than Valentine’s day and 2) snacks.

A list of ten wonderful gifts to celebrate the women in our lives who make us better. There is no greater thing than women helping women.

Galentine’s Day Gift Guide

1. Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed.
A collection of quotes from bestselling author Cheryl Strayed, drawn from the wide range of her writings. The book captures her wisdom, humor, and insight and is presented in a lovely gift-sized package that’s as fun to give as it is to receive. Open to any page and at the very least—be amused. As Cheryl so bluntly puts it in the introduction, “Read it like a motherfucker.” I read it in a day, and will continue to reread to find the gems that spoke to me the most. Themes include body image, friendship, inner strength, and love.

2. This perfect Galentine’s Day shirt.
Comfy, affordable, and hilarious.

3. A bouquet of friendship flowers.
Beautiful, sustainable, and unique. Great for friends who live far away.

4. A tote, necklace, or key chain from this sweet shop.
Ten votes for the YES tote.

5. Matching robes for a fun at home spa night.

6. A three month subscription to Birchbox.
The gift that keeps on giving.

7. A one month subscription to Hulu Plus to binge watch The Mindy Project.

8. Free printable!
Danielle always makes the best printables. And their free!

9. This mini faux sheepskin rug because everyone is doing it and she probably wants to, too.
Perfect for photoshoots, a chair drape, or small floor space.

10. A love letter or email including a funny meme, an inside joke or two, and some heartfelt words of appreciation because uteruses before duderuses for life.

***

Kids 1-3: A Side By Side Comparison That Is Likely Interesting To No One

January 28, 2016

3

Have you ever sat with a group of parents, stuck in the middle of a 45 minute discussion about infant pooping patterns and wondered: HOW DID I GET HERE? HOW DO I GET OUT? This post is kind of like that conversation!

Truly I’ll discuss sleep training and sippy cups any day, but my favorite parenting conversations revolve around family dynamics; personality differences, birth order, how we are shaped by our childhoods. I also love how much our ideas about pregnancy and motherhood shift with time and/or more children. For example, if you have a child who sleeps through the night at a few weeks old, you might have a different perspective on sleep than someone who hasn’t slept through the night in two years. Time is an even stronger factor. I love talking to mothers of teenagers and adults. There is often so much grace and balance behind their stories, a comfort to those of us still in the toddler trenches.

I have no profound conclusion to share from these conversations. All I have is some raw data, a side-by-side comparison of three kids from the same uterus that is likely interesting to no one else but me. Even Austin will see this post in his inbox and hit delete. Feel free to do the same. Just glad I finally have it written down in one spot.

xo

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PREGNANCY

FIRST SIGN OF PREGNANCY
Baby #1: positive pregnancy test
Baby #2: positive pregnancy test
Baby #3: round ligament pain, food aversion, sore chest

FATHERLY RESPONSE 
Baby #1: what
Baby #2: yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Baby #3: so excited, do you want to watch tv

MORNING SICKNESS
Baby #1: medium, sick until 10 weeks
Baby #2: worse, sick until 12 weeks
Baby #3: worst, throwing up regularly until 19 weeks

#1 CRAVED FOOD 
Baby #1: mexicana
Baby #2: icy fountain coke
Baby #3: greek salad

WEIRDEST PHYSICAL AILMENT
Baby #1: eyelashes fell out
Baby #2: plantar fasciitis
Baby #3: toe and fingernail infection (kill me)

PREGNANCY ROSE
Baby #1: ability to sleep in
Baby #2: cold weather in third trimester
Baby #3: last pregnancy nostalgia

PREGNANCY THORN
Baby #1: pelvic pain
Baby #2: round ligament pain
Baby #3: tbd

GENDER PREFERENCE BEFORE ANATOMY SCAN
Baby #1: girl (super cool boy instead)
Baby #2: boy (super cool girl instead)
Baby #3: don’t care (don’t know)

DELIVERY DAY
Baby #1: due date
Baby #2: due date (I know)
Baby #3: tbd (whenever babe)

TOTAL HOURS OF LABOR
Baby #1: 24 hours
Baby #2: 17 hours
Baby #3: less than a day would be nice

BIRTH PLAN
Baby #1: natural birth please!!
Baby #2: whatever happens happens?
Baby #3: still deciding

BIRTH REALITY
Baby #1: epidural at hour 17 and 2 centimeters dilated, thank baby jesus
Baby #2: epidural at hospital door
Baby #3: healthy baby=grateful heart

POSTPARTUM CRAMPING
Baby #1: what’s that
Baby #2: hysterical sobbing, percocet
Baby #3: tbd

POSTPARTUM RECOVERY TIME
Baby #1: one year (third degree tear)
Baby #2: six weeks (praise)
Baby #3: tbd

BEBE

NEWBORN TEMPERAMENT
Baby #1: Charlie Sheen of babies (colic)
Baby #2: Mother Theresa of babies (angelic)
Baby #3: tbd

BABY’S SLEEP PREFERENCE 
Baby #1: insisted co-sleeping
Baby #2: insisted independance
Baby #3: (last baby so please cuddle with me until you’re 15)

BABY’S SLEEP MILESTONES
Baby #1: slept through the night at 14 months
Baby #2: slept through the night at 2 weeks
Baby #3: tbd

CRAWLED
Baby #1: a week before 7 months
Baby #2: a week before 7 months
Baby #3: (the later the better)

WALKED
Baby #1: 10 months
Baby #2: 9 months
Baby #3: (the later the better)

PACIFIER
Baby #1: self weaned at five months
Baby #2: addict at two years and counting
Baby #3: (no preference, pros and cons)

BABY’S STANCE ON BABY WEARING
Baby #1: yup
Baby #2: lol, nope
Baby #3: (please?)

BREASTFEEDING
Baby #1: weaned at 20 months
Baby #2: self-weaned at 6 months
Baby #3: (last baby so you will do this until you’re 7)

PERSONALITY PROS
Baby #1: easy attachment because often attached
Baby #2: easy to care for because often content
Baby #3: tbd

BIG KIDS

POTTY TRAINING
Baby #1: a year of struggle
Baby #2: take your time, kid
Baby #3: let’s work on being born first

NAPS
Baby #1: stopped at three
Baby #2: you will nap until you’re 5
Baby #3: (see above)

PRESCHOOL
Baby #1: first day at 3 years old, emotional armageddon
Baby #2: first day at 18 months old, best day of her life
Baby #3: tbd

HARDEST YEAR OF PARENTING TO DATE
Baby #1: the year of the threenager
Baby #2: expecting the same
Baby #3: have you ever met a three-year-old you liked

TEMPERAMENT 
Baby #1: tentative, sweet, sensitive
Baby #2: wild, happy, confident
Baby #3: tbd

CHILD’S INTEREST IN BABIES
Baby #1: 10/10
Baby #2: 2/10
Baby #3: n/a (the oven is closed, we can get a dog)

CONTRIBUTED PARENTAL GRIEF  
Baby #1: 100%
Baby #2: 100%
Baby #3: not looking good

CONTRIBUTED HAPPINESS 
Baby #1: 100%
Baby #2: 100%
Baby #3: so far, so great

***

10 Fun Weekend Links

January 8, 2016

1. The One Trick All Women Need (made me laugh)

2. My January Playlist (via Spotify)

3. When Are You Really An Adult?

“I can’t figure out if I’m supposed to start a non-profit, get another degree, develop a wildly profitable entrepreneurial venture, or somehow travel the world and make it look effortless online. Mostly it just looks like taking a job that won’t ever pay off my student debt in a field that is not the one that I studied. Then, if I hold myself to the traditional ideal of what it means to be an adult, I’m also not nailing it. I am unmarried, and not settled into a long term, financially stable career. Recognizing that I’m holding myself to an unrealistic standard considering the economic climate and the fact that dating as a Millennial is exhausting, it’s unfair to judge myself, but I confess I fall into the trap of comparison often enough. Sometimes because I simply desire those things for myself, and sometimes because Instagram. My ducks are not in a row, they are wandering.”

4. Valentine’s Day Gift Idea #1

5. Why Does This Never Get Old?

6. Because February Is National Rom Com Month (made that up)

7. Be The Nerd (high five Mark)

8. This Book And Post (tears)

9. Valentine’s Day Gift Idea #2

10. I’m Just Going To Go Ahead And Believe This (CHANDLER & MONICA)

***

Happy Friday!

Book Review: Cartwheel + Brave Enough

January 4, 2016

Behold: my Christmas reading list. A bit lofty, but unrealistic expectations are what the holidays are all about.

One murder mystery and one book of quotes that I can’t stop talking about.

As always, all book reviews are spoiler free.

Happy reading.

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1. Cartwheel.

Cartwheel

If You’re Looking For: Crime thriller, suspense, mystery

If You Liked: Luckiest Girl Alive, The Girl On The Train, Her, Sharp Objects

My Review: Mindy Kaling recently tweeted that being obsessed with crime shows is the new green drink for girls. It made me laugh. Do you know anyone who isn’t watching Making A Murderer? I do not. Since having kids I don’t watch any scary tv shows or movies, but I do enjoy the podcast Serial and crimey suspense novels written for millennial girls. I picked up this book after reading over a list of pageturners to read in 2015. The novel is inspired by the real life story of Amanda Knox, the American accused of murdering her roommate while living abroad in Italy. Although it’s fiction, the similarities are abundant–contributing to much of the book’s negative reviews. As a whole, I enjoyed Cartwheel. It was gripping from the first few pages and I zipped through it in a few days. Basically it did what it was designed to do–hold my attention. I wouldn’t say it’s the best book I’ve read in its genre, but I didn’t mind the similarities to Knox case and I thought the writing style was great. If anything, the book is unmemorable.

Their Review: Cartwheel is so gripping, so fantastically evocative, that I could not, would not, put it down. Jennifer duBois is a writer of thrilling psychological precision. She dares to pause a moment, digging into the mess of crime and accusation, culture and personality, the known and unknown, and coming up with a sensational novel of profound depth.”—Justin Torres, New York Times bestselling author of We the Animals

Quoted: This was the elasticity and permanence of parental love; everything vile about your children was to some degree something vile about yourself, and disowning your child for their failings could only compound your own.

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2. Brave Enough.

brave enough

If You’re Looking For: Non-fiction, gifts for women, self-help, humor, philosophy

If You Liked: Tiny Beautiful Things, Wild, Rising Strong

My Review: I got this book in the mail a few days ago from a friend/soulmate who knew I’d love every page. Brave Enough is a collection of quotes from bestselling author Cheryl Strayed, drawn from the wide range of her writings. The book captures her wisdom, humor, and insight and is presented in a lovely gift-sized package that’s as fun to give as it is to receive. Open to any page and at the very least—be amused. As Cheryl so bluntly puts it in the introduction, “Read it like a motherfucker.” I read it in a day, and will continue to reread to find the gems that spoke to me the most. Themes include body image, friendship, inner strength, and love. If you haven’t read Tiny Beautiful Things, read that first. Five out of five stars. The perfect gift for a sister or friend.

Their Review: “A short, taut, Swiss Army knife [book] of quotations, one that applies to deciding whether to have a third doughnut or an extramarital affair, make a mean-spirited joke—or get up from the desk before a book review is finished. Cheryl Strayed is a tough-love truth-teller. In the introduction she writes that a good quote can provide in a sentence or two ‘a clear eyed perspective, or a swift kick in the pants.’ Hers do both. Brave Enough amount[s] to a galvanizing call to be bigger, bolder, more generous. We already know what to do, Strayed believes; we just need to heed that inner voice . . . ‘I believe in the power of words to help us reset our intentions, clarify our thoughts, and create a counternarrative to the voice of doubt in our heads—the one that says, You can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t have,’ she writes. [This book] helps you create that counternarrative. [It shouts,] ‘Yes!” —Jennifer Reese, The Washington Post 

Quoted: Stop worrying about whether you’re fat. You’re not fat. Or, rather, you’re sometimes a little bit fat, but who gives a shit? There is nothing more boring and fruitless than a woman lamenting the fact that her stomach is round. Feed yourself. Literally. The sort of people worthy of your love will love you more for this.

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