Newborn Survival Kit

If you were stranded on a desolate island with a newborn baby, what 5 things would you want?  Granted, my first instinct would be 1) a nanny, 2) a boat, 3) a great mattress, 4) ear plugs, and 5) a sleeping pill.  I’d send the nanny and the baby in the boat to find civilization, and then take the most wonderful amazing nap I’ve had in a LONG time.

But, this is reality.  What kind of desolate island has a nanny?

So, here are a few items in my Newborn Survival Kit.

1) White Noise Machine.  Apparently the womb is about as loud as a vacuum cleaner.  Don’t ask me, I don’t remember.  But it seems that baby’s like loud steady noise.  My kids spent their early months in the master bath because of the fact there was a loud exhaust fan, but then I got a white noise machine and suddenly I found freedom.  Now I can take white noise with me where ever I go.  Grandma’s house? Check.  Napping at the babysitters? Check.

2) Baby Carriers.  My daughter liked to be held.  A LOT. Twenty-three hours a day might be an understatement.  But, of course, there were things that I needed to get done, and as skilled as I was at doing things one-handed, it really was difficult to be productive.  Then I found slings, wraps, and carriers, and suddenly I could carry her snuggled up against me, and still have two hands to do things.  And, even better, my husband couldn’t use the excuse, “I have to study!” to get out of toting her around.  Aww! Who doesn’t want an adorable study buddy?


3) Nursing/Feeding Pillows.  Because, honestly, I fell asleep a lot during those middle of the night feedings and this probably saved my kids from falling to the floor. (WARNING: I do not condone falling asleep while feeding an infant during the middle of the night. With my next kid I promise to try harder.)

4) Swaddling Blankets. I’ve heard a lot of moms tell me that their babies really dislike being swaddled, but I’ve yet to meet an infant in real life who didn’t like the security of being unable to move their arms.  They can’t control them.  I can’t imagine I’d enjoy being smacked in the face by my own hands.  They may fight the swaddle at first, but trust me, they all give in!

5) Suckies, Loveys, and Mobiles.  Basically anything that will give your baby a sign that it is sleep time.  My daughter never took a pacifier.  I thought it was great because we wouldn’t have to break her of the habit. Oh, boy! I wish she had.  It would have really helped her sleep.  She also never had a lovey.  She never had anything to cuddle in the middle of the night.  She also didn’t ever have any music or mobile to signal it was bed time.  In my experience, babies need signs that it is time to go to bed (that’s why a bedtime routine is always stressed in infant sleep books.)  Pop my son’s binkie in his mouth, hand him his blue stuffed elephant, and turn on the music mobile, and you can tell that he knows it is time to sleep.  Of course it took some training, but now he has resigned himself to his fate.

So, there you have it.  Those are my top 5 survival tools.  What are yours?


What Must He Think of Me?

My husband came home from work the other day, and saw this: Sleeping Audrey 2What do you think was the first thing he said?  Did he comment that she must have been really tired?  Maybe ask as to how long she had been sleeping, or perhaps if she might be a bit under the weather since she was taking a late afternoon nap.

But, no.  No, those are not the first things that came to his mind.

The first thing out of his mouth was, “What did you do to her?”

Really?  REALLY? What does he think, that I added Ambien to her afternoon milk sippy so I could eat the Oreos by myself?  That I knocked her unconscious so I could take a bubble bath?

I told him he should probably check her pulse, and he laughed.  But I think he actually might have when I left the room.

Thanks for thinking the best of me, honey.  Love ya!


Running Out

We had to leave the house today.  It doesn’t happen that often because it’s always such an ordeal.  And as always there were baths to be taken, noses to be de-gunked, outfits to be chosen, spit-up to be removed and bird’s nest hair to be tamed.  And of course I had to get the children ready as well.

You see, Brutus had his one-year-old check up today and it has hit me that my “just had a baby” excuse for carrying around extra weight has been stretched about as far as I can stretch it.  So, I had to find an outfit that camouflaged the muffin top and mommy pooch and made it look as though I’d been running marathons since he was born in order to get in shape.  It was a vain attempt.

I finally decided to aim for bag-lady chic.

Now, I’m looking for a new excuse.  I never had this problem after my daughter was born.  No, not because I actually lost those last 15 pounds, but because I got pregnant again, and that is basically the quintessential defense for not losing weight.  Unfortunately I’m not ready to go that far again to excuse away the baby weight.

I guess instead of an excuse, I should look for a solution.

Oh, alright.  I’ll brainstorm for answers, just let me finish eating this last Twix from my daughter’s Halloween stash.



To My Daughter

You lie asleep.
Eyes closed with lacy lashes pressed to pale skin.
Blond curls matted in the sweat of sleep.
Lips parted, fingers curled, nose upturned.


You once snuck in under cover of dark,
But now slip into bed shamelessly,
Pulling blankets to your pillow.
Your pillow in my bed.
It's permanent home.

I should take you back.
But your feet pressed gently into my knee,
Your head inches from mine smelling of sweet sweat
Your dreamily breathed “I Love You”
Keep you in place.
On your pillow.

In our bed.


If The Twos are Terrible, What Are the Threes?

I thought I was headed for a much needed break as my daughter is rounding out the last few months of her "terrible twos."

And then, she took a turn for the worse. Time-out mean nothing. The little girl who would sob for two minutes then give hugs and kisses and apologies, is gone. She has been replaced by a defiant teenager-like nightmare who cares nothing if she has to stay on the kitchen rug for 15 minutes. She refuses to apologize, she refuses to discuss her behavior, and she has the most infuriating way of cocking her little head to the side as if to say that she is so completely bored with me. We've resorted to losing toy privileges which is working for now, knock on wood. But someone please tell me what happened!

Why wasn't I prepared for this by a cute title like "Terrible Twos." Why wasn't there a pamphlet at the pediatricians? Why doesn't the government send out postcards warning of this domestic security threat? Is it something parents don't want to talk about, can't talk about, because they are sure to quake in fear and start crying? It's like "The Age Who Must Not Be Named." Parents are afraid to mention if for fear that it might give it more power.

Well, the misinformation stops here! No longer will parents be caught of guard by this unnamed behemoth. I shall call it . . . I'm sorry. I can't. My trembling knees are causing my laptop to shake and I can't see the keyboard through the tears.

Is there any hope?


Great Expectations

unexpected First Photo

I've been doing a bit of soul searching lately. It was bound to happen. You see my son turns one in a couple of days so it's the perfectly cliché time to think about the past year. . .

. . . And giving birth. I suppose I was one of those silly girls who dreamt about getting married and becoming a mother from the moment I first laid eyes on an unsuspecting dolly. I was taught that becoming a mother was one of the greatest things I could do with my life. I know to many that seems rather old fashioned or even a anti-feminist, but I believe with all my heart I am meant to be a mother.

I just didn't realize that a lot of motherhood wouldn't live up to my great expectations. You see, I figured I'd become a mother with a lot of contractions, a lot of pushing, and probably a few too many primitive screams, but none of that would matter because I would be staring into the beautiful blue eyes of my tiny baby. I never really expected to become a mother without feeling an ounce of physical pain (I know, don't hate me! Trust me, it's not as blissful as it seems.) You see, I had a C-Section. Little did we know, when I went into the hospital on a jittery, euphoric high after my water broke, that my daughter was surprisingly breech. I never thought for a moment that my excitement of becoming a mother would be so overshadowed by tears and fear as I was all too abruptly whisked into the OR.

And it's bothered me for a while that my great moment of becoming a mother became so lost in my fear and anxiety of having surgery. It's really bothered me. My husband would probably say that I just can't get over it.

Now, thinking back on my son's less than euphoric birth (I attempted a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean , but he just wasn't having it, so I had C-Section number 2), I realized that it's not their method of coming into the world that bothers me, it's the rather unimportant emphasis I put on my great moment of becoming a mother. I forgot to look past that singular hospital stay toward those events in their lives that would truly define me as a mother.

I hate to say it, but many women can give birth to babies without becoming a mother. A mother is something far more than a woman who is able to push a child into the world. A mother spends nights walking the floors with her baby, or days wiping applesauce from the walls, or entire weeks feeding her 2 year old as if she were a puppy. A mother is far more than that one moment I placed too much emphasis on.

I get now that my little girl dreams of dressing a baby in frilly clothes and pushing her around in a lace covered pram didn't quite capture the true spirit of motherhood. I didn't realize that being a mother might involve an endlessly messy house, grocery store tantrums, and far more hot dogs than I ever wanted to see.

But on the other hand, I never could have realized the overwhelming joy I could feel staring into the faces of two earthly angels.

So, moms, lets get past some of our unimportant expectations and enjoy what truly defines us. I know I need to, for me and for my kids.


Real Mom Qualifications

Yes, you become a mom when you have a baby. But I'm not so sure that automatically qualifies you as a real mom. I've known all to many who never really have much success past that point in raising well-adjusted children.

However, as I was standing in the Target parking lot starring at my 9 month old son, I came to realize that I was a real mom. Why? You ask. Because I didn't turn and run.

It all started innocently enough. BOTH kids slept during the hour ride to the store and once we finished up at Target, we were going to enjoy a beautiful, sunny day at the pool. Pulling into the store parking lot, my daughter made an interesting statement.

"Mom, it's all over his hands," she said.

"What is?" I asked.

"Dirty hands, dirty hands!" She shrieked.

Okay, so I wasn't going to get too much information out of the 2 year old, and then it hit me. No, not an idea or clue as to the mysterious dirty hands. But a smell. A smell that all moms know. The messy diaper.

Being a mathematical genius I put 2 and 2 together, and then screamed. I knew exactly what was all over his hands.

I dashed to his door and sure enough he and his car seat were covered in baby poop. I tried to wipe as much away as I could with the last few diaper wipes in the diaper bag (I never remember to refill it!) and ended up wrapping him in a pool towel and dashing into the store.

I cleaned him up, apologized to the lady giving me the stink-eye, and tossed out the towel. Wasteful? Sure, but I couldn't fathom carrying that thing around with me (Just don't tell my husband.) And then it was time to clean the car seat. I busied the kids with a box of tissues that they immediately began to dismantle and I started to clean. Why is it that certain baby items have more nooks and crannies than could possibly be needed? My high chair, something that by nature is going to get covered in food, has bits and bobbles, and holes, and hooks that all attract food. Yuck!

Apparently an infant carrier is no different. And did you know that a substance spilled into an infant seat easily meanders its way down through the strap slots and all over the base? That was not a pleasant surprise.

I panicked. I called my mom, who wasn't close enough to bring help. I called my husband who works 10 minutes away, but he was in a meeting. My sister (who works with my husband-- but that's a whole other story. Suffice it to say, my dad works there too.) was also in a meeting but said she could be there in an hour.

I moaned, I tried not to cry, I wiped at the poop with the one single solitary sanitizing wipe I found stashed somewhere, and realized that I was a real mom. It was just something that real moms have to do. My mom has done it, you've probably done it. Cleaning out poop is just part of the job. And in the end, the poop got cleaned up, we had a great day at the pool, and everyone now gets a great laugh at my expense, and moms get to breathe a sigh of relief that this time, it wasn't them.



As a new parent, many of us are worried about germs. Having had two winter babies, I've spent my fair share of time cooped up indoors to avoid going out with a newborn. And we've all heard the progression of binky cleaning from first child to last--starting with heat sanitizing with the first tot, to a brief swipe on the jeans for baby three.

With my first baby, however, I quickly came to realize that kids are resilient. I mean REALLY resilient. You see, my daughter is a licker. Yep, a licker. She has a propensity for sticking her tongue on anything that seems interesting. I'm not sure what she first started licking. Toys, I'm sure. And probably her crib. Eventually I'd find her licking the dining room window or leaving drippy tongue marks on the hardwood in the living room. Of course, I worried at first about the cleanliness off it all. I knew for a fact how long it had been since my floors had been mopped, and I don't think I'd washed the windows since we'd moved in. I started trying to keep things clean enough for licking--but then we'd have to leave the house to run errands, or go on vacation, and there was no way I could wipe every surface within her reach.


To date, she's licked a laundry list of horrible scary, germy things. She's licked the soles of her father's shoes, she's licked bowling balls at the bowling alley, and she's gotten her tongue on the handrails of the Berlin subway. And yet, she doesn't get sick. She must have the immune system of the bionic man.

Now I'm left wondering which came first, the immune system, or the propensity for licking things. Was she born with a strong defense against germs, or has her (almost constant) closeness with the germier things in life boosted her immunity? I'm beginning to think its the later. My son isn't a licker like his sister, but like all babies everything ends up in his mouth and the germs never seem to bother him. I still try (try being the operative word) to keep the floors clean, and the carpets vacuumed, but I've given up worrying about keeping things antiseptic (assuming I ever actually did worry about that--I'm not exactly a neat freak.) Now when I take a quick nap instead of mopping the floors, I just tell myself its all in the name of strengthening my son's defenses against germs and I can sleep with a smile knowing that I go to great lengths for my kids.

Now, to end, I have to share my all time favorite licking story that is sure to send your stomach heaving. My daughter was about 2 and she'd been trained to keep her hand on the car while mommy was loading groceries. I was tossing bags into the trunk of the car at the grocery store and could see her adorable little pigtails bobbing up and down at the side of the car. I wondered exactly what she was doing and stood up to get a better view.

What did I see? I saw my daughter, mouth wide open, hands firmly planted on the vehicle, licking a two foot swath of slobber along the door panel. I screamed, I'm sure. This wasn't just a quick taste. It was a full on tongue wash for my car. I don't know how long it takes to lick that much of a car clean, but there's no doubt she'd been licking for a while. I ordered her to "stop licking the car," eliciting some strange looks from others, and returned to grocery loading. She seemed to oblige me, and I could see her squatting down looking at the tires. She liked tires, nothing new with that.

I finished with the groceries, slammed the trunk and moved for a closer view of her, when to my horror I saw that there was far more than looking going on. Oh no, there was licking! She had successfully licked all along the top of the black rubber tire. I'm not sure if I screamed this time, or just gagged down the bile building in the back of my throat. I'm sure I waited for her to get sick, for her brain to realize what she had just done, but she just smiled and said. "Look, tire."


Panic Room

Yesterday I took the most stressful test I think I've ever taken. Forget the ACT during high school, don't even think about the 4 hour final for my college capstone class. Those were nothing in comparison.

Yep, I took a pregnancy test.

I was that lady in the checkout lane holding the cranky 9 month old, consoling the screaming 2.5 year old who slammed her fingers in the glass case that holds the pregnancy tests, and trying to smile at the cashier who told me congratulations and casually mentioned that is was probably about time. And she wasn't joking. She was serious.

Right, because I'm completely in control of the two I have now.

But that's neither here nor there, because the test came back negative. Huge sigh of relief, right? Yes, of course. I'm not a baby person, I have a 9 month old, we're waiting longer in between this time, so of course I wanted it to be negative.

But part of me sighed for another reason. Some small, small, minuscule part of me wanted it to be positive. Really? REALLY? What about the PPD, the sleepless nights, the crying, the dirty diapers, my mind screamed. And yet, I was sure that if it had been positive, I would have been just as happy.

And then I sit here listening to my 9 month old cry in the middle of the night, and I'm trying to judge if this is an I'm-awake-and-you-better-get-here-ASAP cry, or more of a give-me-time-and-I'll-go-back-to-sleep cry. And I'm realizing that it was a good thing it was negative. Now is just not the time for us.

Kudos to those of you with kids close together. You're supermoms and I don't know how you do it.

PS. Don't you think by nine months old I should know what his cries mean? So much for mother's intuition.


Potty Training

I think I may need to change the tag line to this blog. I just might have to admit I don't know everything. I can tell you a million ways to soothe a baby, every method of sleep training since the dawn of time, the perfect schedule for introducing solids, and the ins and outs of extended carseat rearfacing--but I can't potty train. Actually I'm sure I'm capable, but I'm not so sure about the darling blondie sitting next to me. She's only 2.5 years old, so no big deal, but I don't even know where to start. I bought the big girl panties, the Elmo video, and the sticker chart. I talked it up for days. And then she tried on the training panties, drank gallons of water, and sat on the toilet every fifteen minutes.

Our training lasted about 2 hours during which times she peed through all 6 pairs of training panties. She seemed to religiously pee exactly 3.7 minutes after having attempted to pee on the toilet, and she didn't even seem to mind the wet panties. She laughed about it. Not promising.

I'm now looking for bulk distributors of training pants and perhaps an in-home potty training professional, so we can give it another go. We've still got two and a half years before kindergarten, so no rush.


Intense Sleep Deprivation

Why is it that in college I could stay up until three in the morning, wake up four hours later, and still feel rejuvenated, and yet, a mere five years later I can't even survive on seven hours of disjointed sleep and one nap a day? Somehow "children" must be the reason. It's the only thing I can think to blame.

My kids have brought me to the edge of intense sleep deprivation and they are about to push me over. In an attempt to gain the upper hand I've had to turn to some pretty tricky (and by tricky, I mean sometimes rather humiliating) methods of getting shut eye. Towards the end of my pregnancy with my son, I would find myself dozing on the couch as my daughter played nearby on the floor. She didn't like it. I suppose it might be that she thinks sleep is the enemy. Don't believe me? Come spend one night at my place during bedtime, and you'll see just how much a 2.5 year old can fight sleep. In an effort to arouse me from my lumbering slumber, she would jab her fingers into my eyelids screeching, "Eyes, mama, eyes!" It was a rather effective method of awakening that I may just have to use on her when she reaches high school.

Now with two kids who aren't really into sleeping, I have to get a little shut eye whenever possible, and I found just the way to do it. During my son's morning nap, my daughter and I play "Baby." It was her idea. Really. I was just laying on the couch completely immersed in playing toys with her (I promise) and she must have decided I looked cold and needed a blanket, not to mention a stuffed dog to hold and a pacifier to suck on. And then she told me to close my eyes and go to sleep, so I obeyed and closed my eyes. I guess she figured that made her the mom and she pulled out a dish towel and began wiping the floor. (Though I can't imagine how she knows how to do that. I haven't seen a mop being used in my house for months.) She checked on me every few minutes, sometimes offering a sippy cup or patting my head, and I obliged her wonderful imagination by relaxing. It was the least I could do.

We've now played "Baby" many times, occasionally by her choosing, and my husband no longer looks concerned when he comes home to find me contentedly sucking on a binkie. He's just realized how desperate I am. And I'm just hoping that she'll become a bit more efficient with cleaning the floors.

So there you go. Today's lesson is that there is no shame in finding ways to relax. Whether it be taking a quick refreshing snooze while you nurse your newborn, or by convincing yourself that the only way your toddler will nap is if you are forced to lay down with her. Hey, I won't even judge if you tell the kids you "need to go to the potty" and take a catnap in the bathtub. You need it.

Disclaimer -- Always make sure the kids are safe: playing in their crib, glued to the TV, off loaded to the neighbors, dining on a extra large bowl of sugar, whatever it takes.


Bad Habits

As the name implies bad habits are . . . well, bad. You're supposed to try to get rid of them and replace them with positive, happy things. I chewed my nails all through college in order to survive test taking. The habit has now been replaced by nail polish in a billion colors that make my stubby fingernails look so nice I don't dare take a bite (not to mention the fact I'm no longer taking tests.) But, lets face it. Finger nail biting may have been integral to my college success. Without the stress relief of chewing my nails to the quick, I probably would have failed every test.

Gasp! Did she really just say that there's a place for bad habits? You'd better believe it. While pregnant with my first, I read every book I could find on parenting. And you know what all those books talked about? Not getting your baby hooked on bad habits. Sounds logical.

Each book on sleep habits told me to look for sleepy cues and the minute I saw them I was to soothe her, put her down, and let her learn to fall asleep on her own. I could live with that. Unfortunately, the model of baby I purchased didn't come with that feature. And like all things needing to be returned, I couldn't find the receipt, so I was stuck. The only course of action my sleep-deprived, labor hazed mind could think of was to rock her to sleep. Doesn't sound too harmful does it? Aren't babies meant to be rocked? They fit so perfectly in your arms. And so I rocked her to sleep over and over again.

And she slept. And yes it turned into a bad habit. My sweet baby couldn't put herself to sleep. In fact, she required quite the gymnastic routine in order to fall asleep. There was marching, and shushing, and jiggling, and repeating. I can't say that I really enjoyed it. But what was I to do? I, after all, was the one who created the bad habit. It was only fair that I bear the brunt of the burden. Now I'm guessing you think you know the moral of the story, right?

Don't give your kids bad habits!

Alas you'd be wrong. The moral is that there actually just might be a time and place for bad habits as long as you can face the consequences. I really can't think of what else I could have done--babies need sleep! And so do tired, new moms. Trust me, I've thought this over a lot. A LOT. Did I mention eight months ago I just had my second baby. And, you guessed it, this one didn't come with the sleep feature either. You'd think I'd have learned to stop throwing out the receipts.

So what I decided twice as a mom with a new baby, was that rocking to sleep was a bad habit, but one that I could live with. And eventually when it became unbearable, I could find a solution at that time. That time being a place in the future where I was actually getting sleep and had found my way out of the postpartum hormone cloud. At that time I would be rested, some what adjusted to motherhood, and my babies would be older and more able to learn to sleep on their own.

In the end, my daughter sleeps just as well as any other sensitive, hyper, delightfully hilarious toddler, and I hardly remember those long sleepless nights of rocking her to sleep. You forget. Trust me. My son is proof of that. He and I are still working on getting out of our bad habit of rocking to sleep, but we've got time, and there's no rush. This time I'm painfully trying to enjoy my nights of rocking him to sleep.

But, I will tell you this. This time I'm recording myself on video so that I don't forget. Because, believe me, I need a bit of a break!

So, there you have it. My first introduction to Freestyle Motherhood was choosing to let my kids develop bad habits regardless of what the experts say. Granted there are bad habits that really are bad. I don't let my kids run with knives, smoke cigarettes, or watch U of U football (Go BYU!), but there are some "bad" habits I'm fully embracing. At least for now. Because eventually my children will have no bad habits. They'll be perfect. Right?


Hello World!

I've joined the land of Blog. Can't say that I really ever expected that to happen, but it has. I suppose it's a rather unfortunate turn of events for all of you reading this (and by "those of you" I mean the one single, solitary person who will feel obligated to come along for the ride. Hi, mom!). I've always had schemes in the back of my head for Internet domination. I can picture the money pouring in, the adoring fans swooning at my feet, the black studded jacket and tongue piercing . . . Oh, wait, that's Plan B--Rock 'n Roll stardom. Regardless, I've always liked the Internet. Who doesn't like shopping for shoes in your underwear? And it's even better when you can do it in front of the laptop drinking a frothy Sprite, rather than in a shoe store where the evil-eyed sales lady shoots laser beams at your cellulite rumpled rear.

In fact, I like the Internet so much that I make my husband pay 6 dollars a year to hold onto my web address. No, not this one. This one's free of course. There's another one. I won't release any details because it's going to be big when it debuts. BIG, I tell ya! It's only taken me three years to design the header, so there might be a bit of a wait. To tell the truth, I think I've given up on that website. Having kids make you give up a lot--sleep, clean clothes, showering, dreams of financial success.

Which brings us to my point. You weren't sure there was one, were you? Neither was I, but suddenly I somehow turned the conversation to kids. Actually, I had a lot more to say about my "other" website. All of it witty and charming, but alas, I've gone and gotten to the point already, so I must forge past.

Where was I? Oh, yes. The point of me being here. Kids. That's pretty much the gist of it. I'm sure you can deduce the rest.

But in case you can't, I'll help! (You're just dying to see how long I can make this first post, aren't you?)

Kids make you crazy. Kids (especially young ones who really don't speak yet, and possibly teenagers who talk in TXT SPEEK) don't make for great conversationalists, and so I spend my days ga-ga-ing to an 8 month old and singing with a 2.5 year old about monkeys jumping on the bed, who really should have realized at least by the second head wound that the jumping was a bad idea.

And all of this means, that when my husband gets home, he gets an earful. I have so much to tell him! Like how long the jelly toast that was flung at the ceiling by a tantrumming tot stayed glued there, or how many "moneys" said toddler tried to feed to her living breathing brother of a piggie bank. And I won't even go into attempts at retrieving the cash. And then there's the things you find in diapers, and the crazy places you find binkies, and the blood and gore and head wounds . . . Oh wait, that's those stupid monkeys and their incessant jumping.

And so, I'm almost to the point. I promise. Really. The point is that I need somewhere else to ramble--for the sake of my marriage and my sanity. And that's where you come in (Hi, mom!). I'm going to tell you all about my crazy thoughts. Or what I like to call "Freestyle Motherhood." You were wondering what that meant.

It basically is the idea that mom's live by the seat of their pants. They figure it out day-by-day. And you pretty much do what works for you. Every mom gets to pick their poison (figuratively speaking, hopefully).

I tried to do it by the book. I really did! And then they sent me home from the hospital with a living breathing 3 day old. And things went haywire. Quickly. I can't explain how quickly! There was a suitcase she was supposed to sleep in, and crying, and no sleep whatsoever. Yep, a suitcase. It was a light bed for jaundice which didn't just eerily look like a suitcase. It was a suitcase. My poor baby spent her first few days at home in a suitcase. What a way to say "Welcome to the family!" Anyway, I decided then and there to do it my way. And here I am almost 3 years later, alive and breathing. So, in my book, it worked!

And that, my friends, is Freestyle Motherhood or Freestyle Fatherhood for all those men reading. (Hi dad! I know mom's gonna make you read too.)

So join me, as we figure out what works. And please, if you've got something figured out, let me know and I'll hand the reigns over to you for a day and you can help us all out on this roller coaster known as parenthood.

Happy reading!


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