I Can’t Seem To Resist


I have a moment, and I felt the urge to share.

My baby is almost six months old. That seems so crazy to me. Seriously, crazy. If I thought my husband could handle another one, we would already be on our way to another few years of trying and maybe a baby eventually. But, we’re not.

So, we are taking a middle road approach to feeding solids. We have been giving him purees and solid chunks of food off and on over the last month and a half when he has seemed very interested. This week, he has been consistently interested every evening at dinner. The plan is to go the baby led weaning route, which if you haven’t heard of it before really isn’t about weaning.

Baby led weaning is all about letting baby feed himself real food. It helps with hand-eye-coordination and he gets a wider variety of flavors, textures, and healthy eats. My husband wasn’t sold on this approach because he was convinced our baby would choke. I explained to him that kids don’t chew with teeth until they’re around two because they don’t have molars until then. He still wasn’t convinced, until he saw it in action.

Tonight, he had his first real table food (I know, it sounds like I’m talking about the family dog, but I don’t know how else to say it) other than a piece of fruit or veggie. He had some chicken, and he LOVED it. His big sister loved watching him enthusiastically eat it as well. Morgan, my baby, hasn’t figured out how to get the food from his tray into his mouth yet except by happy accident.

Here is a photo of him eating the other day because I can’t resist:


As for his sister, she is still so in love with her brother. He is so happy to see her every day after school, and I can see how much it means to her every time he smiles at her when he fusses at everyone else. Or when she is the only one who can get him to laugh.

Eva loves to collect trash. By trash, I mean things like cardboard boxes and junk mail and random bits of things I don’t want to find in my house. The other day, I found this on one of her boxes:


It’s reassuring. I can’t be doing too terrible of a job if I’m “the best”.

I know it sounds like things have been all rainbows and butterflies, but we have had our rough patches. She had a rough summer because she didn’t get to see her father. It’s a long story, and it’s really her story, so I won’t be sharing it. But, I almost sent her to counseling (again). We got through it, and she is powering her way through second grade like a boss.

Money is still an issue, but I’m a lot more zen about it all. My business is picking up every month, and really even if it wasn’t then that’s life. I know I’m supposed to be here with Morgan and available for Eva. Everything else will work out.

I have a nanny/sitter that comes for a few hours a week and watches (well, holds nonstop) Morgan while I get some work done. He likes her and it’s obvious she adores him and I get to keep an eye on them both and still be productive.

That sums it up for now. Here are a couple more pictures because I can’t resist.



A Ghost

I’m blogging. Truly, I am. I’m just not blogging here. I am a ghost these days, blogging for others.

I am going to be shutting this blog down. It makes me sad, but I no longer have the time to write here. All of my creative muscles are being flexed for someone else now that I am writing consistently for my business.

I feel like I am losing some friends by shutting down this blog. I can’t let this sit here taking up server space somewhere in the world, being completely neglected, though, either.

If any of you would like to continue to keep in touch with me, please leave me a comment and I will send you an email. 

If not, then this is goodbye. I wish all of you the very best!

Everyday I’m Hustling

Hello everybody!

I have been pretty silent for the last couple of months. I am working on figuring out this whole baby, work, life balance. It will get easier once 7-year-old Eva is in school again in a couple of weeks.

I have also arranged for a babysitter to come to me for a couple of hours, a couple of days a week once school is in session. I plan to use this opportunity to build my business. I can always complete my work in the evening or on the weekends, but that doesn’t leave time for much else. So, having someone come to me to watch my son while I work is going to be a big deal for me, my business, and my family.

It’s time to get back to work. I leave you with a photo of absolute adorable-ness; my son on his 4 month birthversary.

A baby with a mustache...why not?
A baby with a mustache…why not?

My Truth About Parenting A Newborn After Secondary Infertility

A baby's smile is priceless

Warning you now, this is completely free-flow of thought. Zero editing. Read at your own risk. It will not be grammatically perfect. Ha!

Conceiving my son was the work of God. He is a miracle, through and through. If you would like to know more about my struggle with secondary infertility, take a look.

Pregnancy sucks. Period. I don’t care who you are. It’s this crazy roller coaster ride of emotions and experiences that vary from terrifying to intensely emotional and awe-inspiring. It is physically and emotionally exhausting. It is terrifying. It is all about managing expectations and a bunch of other not fun stuff combined with extreme physical discomfort and this need to feel extremely secure in circumstance and and relationship and…well, I needed my whole house to be clean, RIGHT. THIS. SECOND. from 32 weeks on. Did I mention it is terrifying? Especially after infertility because you already don’t trust your body.

So, the first time around, pregnancy sucked so bad that my blood pressure was worrisome high by 38 weeks, and induce-me-now high by 39 weeks. Second time around–my blood pressure was great so long as the nurse didn’t take it while I was having a contraction. Don’t get me started on the sacrifices I made once I found out I had gestational diabetes. Food and I didn’t get along.

First time around, my postpartum c-section recovery was grueling and ridiculous and FULL. OF. TEARS. Second time around, I was shopping at Costco six days postpartum. I think the several days of labor the second time around made a difference, but still…

Caring for that newborn that won’t sleep the first time around had me beyond frazzled. I was crying for my mommy in no time (I also didn’t get any support from her father, but that is a different post). Second time around, I got this. Yes, I might have been holding him and crying simultaneously from exhaustion, but don’t take him from my arms. I can do it. I take joy in the tears and the exhaustion. Because I never thought he would exist.

Sure, there were some intense tears on the never-ending sleepless nights–like every time he latched because it was so incredibly painful–but it was different this time. I knew there would eventually be an end to the sleepless nights, which would unfortunately signal the end of babyhood for my little miracle (we still get up twice a night, minimum, so we’re good). I am taking them in stride. I will sleep eventually. Or, on the weekends. When I make my husband get up with him. I am so thankful that I’m okay with giving my baby formula sometimes. Or else I would never get any sleep. Ha!

The first time around, I was desperate for sleep because I was working 60+ hours a week to pay the bills and still falling short. I thought the sleepless nights would never end. I wished her babyhood away. This time around, well, we aren’t exactly paying all of the bills, but we are paying the ones that keep us housed and fed. Forget the rest for now. I may never get this opportunity to love my little one like this ever again.

Babies only let you hold them for so many months before they are too independent for such sentimentality. Unless there is a boo-boo. Then all bets are off. I digress.

The first time around, I lamented the fact that her father and grandfather trained her to only fall asleep while being held because this made bed time such an awful and long process. There were so many tears shed. I worked 3-11 and then came home to try to put her to bed almost every night. Sometimes it was 1 am before she would sleep.

This time, I’m here. I’m home. I would hold him to put him to sleep, but I don’t have to because we have developed healthy habits. He falls asleep in his crib.

The biggest truth for me:

It isn’t always sunshine and butterflies taking care of my little miracle. Sometimes, I just really, really need him to quit crying and take a nap. I need a minute to be an adult. But, I would still let everything else burn to sit and console him while he cries. I didn’t feel that way the first time around. I needed her to be a toddler, ASAP.

I took Eva (the seven year old) to Six Flags the other day. This meant leaving my little miracle in the care of my mother for about 8 hours.

I cried.

Don’t misunderstand me–I loved every moment I got to spend one-on-one with my daughter. But eight hours away from my little guy was the longest I have ever spent away from him. It was hard.

Now, I’m going to go off on a little tangent. You’ve been warned.

I have the greatest, most supportive pediatrician ever. She encouraged, not blatantly but in small ways, me to be mom. She wanted to know what my gut said. She wanted to know my intuition. She wanted me to hear it. I hope every mama gets there. I hope every mama gets to know what her gut and heart might be saying at any given moment about her little one. It makes such a huge difference. Some places, like at my pediatrician’s office, I don’t have to be the pushy-advocate to receive great care. But, pretty much everywhere else, I have to be that pushy advocate to make sure my babies get what they need. If my pediatrician hadn’t encouraged me to follow my gut early on, I don’t know that I would have developed the confidence to be that advocate.

The bottom line to all of this rambling way past my bedtime…

I love my babies. One may be seven and one may be approaching 16 weeks, but I still love them equally. I am caring for them in much different ways, though.


I’m not wishing away all the babyhood. I’m not wishing for a day that he will sleep, and quit vomiting, and eat solid food, and…you get the picture. I’m savoring every moment.

When I started this post, I was gonna tell you all about how I think babies are frustrating and a lot of work and blah blah. Instead, you see what happened.

Yes, there are days when I hold him, bouncing on the exercise ball with tears in my eyes and down my face because I can’t make him happy…but I wouldn’t trade a moment of that for anything else in the world.

Working From Home: Tips For Working With A Newborn


Many days, this chain of events happens in my house:

I say a prayer thanking God for the chance to work from home. About 30 seconds later, I dream of babysitters and working surrounded by adults.

I have learned, the hard way, many things that may help others working from home with a newborn. Here’s the lowdown:

First of all, everything I am about to say is based on my time working from home while Eva was still in school or spending time with grandma. Once summer break began, things changed significantly. Anyone interested in knowing how we do it with a seven year old and a newborn, let me know in the comments.

The most important thing to remember is what I am about to say, so listen up.

Pretty much everything is a craps shoot until your baby is about six weeks old. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Now that we got that bit of disappointing news out of the way, let me explain and let’s cover some basics. Our pediatrician cited a study as she informed me that newborns on average cry for 50 percent of their awake time every day. EVERY. DAY. Babies do sleep on average 12-20 hours a day at least. But that leaves 6-2 hours of crying. For the first 4-8 weeks, realistically expect to manage to work about an hour a day. I know this sounds extreme, but this is a great time to A.) recover if you had the baby, and B.) SLEEP! Sleep as often as possible. There is an adjustment period; adjust in increments. It will help everyone if you cut yourself some slack, sleep as much as possible, and try to be Super Woman only 50 percent of the time. The rest of time, settle for a Princess Leia level of bad ass-ed-ness, or something like that. Try not to kiss your brother, though, because that’s just weird and wrong.

A newborn’s fussiness reaches its peak around six weeks old. For us, it was like someone flipped a switch at the six week mark and I suddenly had a much happier baby.

For my son, the morning is his happiest, most content time of the day.  As soon as we wake up he eats, I eat, and then I shower. By shower, I mean a super fast 7 minute shower. I sit him in his bouncy seat by a mirror that’s on the bathroom door right inside the bathroom so I can look at him and talk to him randomly to keep us both happy. By the time we are done with these tasks and he has been changed, it’s time for a nap.

Around 8 weeks old, I started rocking him until he was almost asleep and then I would put him in his crib (I suggest using whatever you want him/her to sleep in at night so he/she associates this specific thing with sleep). It was hit and miss for about a week, with him screaming at me when I would set him down. But, once we established this routine, I could start laying him down when he was ready for a nap without rocking him for more than about 2 minutes. You’ll know when you have the best chance of getting him/her to cooperate with this plan of action by two things:
1. His/her body will be very relaxed, still, and eyes will be drifting.
2. You will be able to move around without triggering any movement or increased alertness in baby.
The reason getting your baby to nap independently is important: the less time you spend getting him/her to nap, the more time you have to use both hands to work.
A formula fed baby of average weight will go about 3-4 hours between eating. Breast fed babies go about 2-3 hours. So, once a baby is fed, they usually stay awake for about an hour. That leaves about 1-2 hours before it is time to feed that breast fed baby again, and 2-3 hours before that formula fed baby needs fed again. For babies two months and younger, expect them to only stay awake for an hour straight, max. Then it is nighty night time again.
If you have a baby who is dependent on the binky to sleep, expect that baby to only take cat naps. Plan on baby sleeping for 20 minutes at a time. Baby sleep cycles only last 20-30 minutes. Some babies wake up at the end of each cycle, while others will stay asleep and begin a new cycle. If a sleep cycle is interrupted, expect a very fussy baby who will need help falling back to sleep.
Early evening is a baby’s fussiest time. I don’t know why, it is like Sundowners for infants. For the first 6 weeks, this will be your worst time of day. I know for my son, I could count on him crying and fussing from 5 pm until I put him in his bath at 8 pm. Then I would get a reprieve for about 15-20 minutes before it continues, pausing only during feedings. From about 5-7, plan on not working during this time and take turns cooking if there are two of you.
After the six week mark, my son became more predictable and less fussy in the evening. My little guy now likes to take a nap at 7. I can practically set a clock by it. He gets unreasonably fussy and won’t stop no matter what I do until I cave and rock him to sleep. He will sleep about 45 min.
After his late nap, I give him a bath every single night. I only use soap on him every other day or so to prevent his skin from drying out too much. I am a firm believer in baths. It is so incredibly soothing for babies. We begin this once the cord stump was gone. I know people think it is a bad idea to bathe your baby every day, but really 10 minutes in some warm water is not going to hurt him. At worst, I have to slather some lotion on him (all newborns I have ever met need lots of lotion but it gets better once all the dry skin has sloughed off). After his bath, I use this time to set him in his bouncer or swing next to me and get about 20-30 minutes of work done. I couldn’t do this without a bath. He is so incredibly relaxed.
Once your baby hits about 6 weeks, patterns should start to emerge. You will notice times that he needs to nap longer, eat more frequently, stay awake longer. If you are having trouble figuring out his natural routines, download a baby tracking app. Similac and Gerber both have apps. You can time naps and enter every feeding. After a week, a pattern should emerge that will help you plan your days.
Now that we covered the basics, here are some practical tips:
Prioritize your work. Pick two things every day that MUST get done.
Put your work into two separate lists. One list consists of work that requires two hands. The other list is all work you can do one handed, with a baby that might possibly be screaming in the other arm. Save the one handed tasks for awake times. Use nap times for the two handed tasks.
Plan to work in 20-30 minute increments during nap times. If he/she sleeps longer, then you can keep at it.
Invest in an exercise ball (like the 65cm size) to use in place of a desk chair. My son is very cooperative with one handed work if I am sitting on the ball bouncing slightly. Also, holding him tight against me, belly to chest/belly with a binky in his mouth, his body swaddled, and me bouncing on the ball is sometimes the only way he goes to sleep if we are having an especially bad day (usually a day involving gas bubbles…he has the gas bubbles, not me, ha). He has pretty much given up the binky completely these days, though.
Plan to only get about 3 hours total a day that you can use both hands simultaneously for the first 3-4 months.
Check out the Ingenuity automatic bouncer seat (best part is it was only $40.00 at Target). It is the only bouncer that actually bounces…the rest just vibrate and make noise. Swings are amazing. These handy tools keep him entertained while he is awake as long as I can talk to him and smile at him every couple of minutes.
Don’t forget to try just setting the baby on his/her back in the floor next to you while you work. Sometimes babies just need space and a little freedom to move. It is usually the last thing parents try out of complete frustration only to discover that the baby quits fussy and starts looking around instead.
Talking to him constantly when he is awake and a little fussy usually keeps all-out crying at bay. Work out loud.
For the baby 0-8 weeks, a baby wrap or carrier may be your best bet at keeping the little one happy for about 30 minutes. This could be a great option if you need to make a phone call and keep the baby from screaming. My son really likes his carrier as long as I am moving…a lot. Like outside taking a walk, or in the grocery story shopping type of moving. So, I downloaded an app for my phone to automatically record phone calls. This has eliminated my need to take notes. I schedule my phone calls for times that either I will have someone else on hand who can take a crying baby or when I can strap on the baby carrier and take a walk. Luckily, I live on a relatively quiet street, and I’m in shape enough not to huff and puff while walking and talking.
Word of warning: I find it impossible to focus on the task at hand when my child is screaming in the other room, completely safe and cared for by anyone that isn’t me. I know intellectually that Dad or grandma or my friend is doing everything I would be doing and he is just upset, but I still can’t make my mind shut the sound out. I have quit fighting it and just go get him usually. So, even if you get help a day or two a week or in the evening, be flexible and do what comes natural. It will work out much better for all of you in the end.
If you know another work from home parent with a newborn, band together. Take shifts. Usually both babies won’t be fussy at exactly the same time. Take shifts. At the very least, cooperative working, or working in the same space with your babies, with someone else in the same situation will provide some encouragement and adult conversation for you.
Never underestimate the power of getting some intelligent conversation. Or caffeine. Caffeine is pretty amazing, too.
That’s all I’ve got! Good luck to you working moms!

We Did The Math

Well, I had an entire post planned. I was going to outline the drop in steel prices and oil prices from last year to this year. I was going to show you how interrelated the two appear. I was going to show how it has personally impacted me and my family.

Screw that. I can’t seem to find the level of rationality needed to calmly discuss such things.

We’re on track to make $19,000 less this year than last. Nineteen GRAND! That’s a LOT of money to us.

Let me break it down a bit. Last year we made $52,000 combined. We didn’t break any records or anything, but we can definitely live on that. So, 52 – 19 = 33.

We’re on track to make $33,000 this year. A family of four. Need I say more? I’m just praying my business picks up or oil prices sky rocket.

Excuse me while I go cry over in the corner.

The Continuance of Lower Gas Prices is Crippling

In January, I outlined how lower gas prices were ruining my life. While this sounds a bit on the dramatic side, I’m only exaggerating with that title by not specifying that lower gas prices are ruining my financial life.

As I discussed before, my husband sells steel for a living. His best customers have always been the people involved in the petroleum industry. Until January of this year, that is. The writing was on the wall for the oil industry in December, 2014, but in January the writing was no longer written–it was chiseled in stone.

Brief history: The U.S. (and Canada, for that matter) had began to ramp up oil production a few years ago in an effort to become less dependent on foreign oil. It also created jobs and had pleasant side effects for people like my husband who was suddenly getting orders for materials needed for this increase. Fracking, although controversial, was also in full swing. Existing oil drilling sites had began expanding in the last couple of years as well. New businesses had opened up in the last few years as well, taking advantage of the favorable market for oil.

Fast forward to January, 2015: OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) decided to increase oil production. This translated to cheaper oil by the barrel, which had consumers in amazement as gas at the pump prices dropped to just under $2.00/gallon.

Everyone was happy with the lower prices–except for anyone dependent on the oil industry for a steady income. At least the laid-off workers didn’t have to pay as much to fill their tanks I guess.

Fast forward to last Friday, June 5th:

OPEC had their semi-annual meeting in Vienna, as per the usual. The members of OPEC looked around at the various oil markets. What did they see?

U.S. production has halted because it doesn’t pay to operate at a loss. Many companies are either already bankrupt or teetering on the edge. Many other companies have laid off everyone except someone to answer the phones. Canada looks very similar.

Russia’s economy has taken a huge hit because it can’t sell the oil it depends on for more than it cost to produce the oil.

What was OPEC’s response? To keep oil production at its current levels.

There will be no relief for any of these nations.

I suppose the upside is the effect it will have on Iran’s oil production and economy. But my melancholy over the effect it is having on our pocketbook far outweighs any happy thoughts I may have about Iran not being able to finance its nuclear program. I seriously have to get more writing gigs, like now.

There is an article on CNN that says it all pretty well. Check it out if you are interested:


2 Months Old


Nothing is quite so nice as holding a napping baby…unless you need to pee, right this second.


Nothing is quite as adorable as baby smiles…


even though capturing baby smiles on film can be like trying to catch Big Foot by surprise with a camera.


My son is now just over 2 months old. He is weighing in just under 12 pounds and is in about the 50th percentile for height and weight. He is gaining around two pounds a month and growing an inch each month as well. His little nogging is measuring in the 30th percentile.

He gives us lots of smiles, and he tries so hard to talk and mimic our mouth movements when we talk to him. He has forgotten how to roll over this week, but he managed to push himself sideways during tummy time yesterday. I think this achievement was fueled by pure rage on his part. He hates tummy time. I don’t hardly make him do it. Instead he sits in a Bumbo type of seat, stands and lays in the floor on his back a lot.

That’s him for now. Every day is a new adventure!

Sleepovers: My Worst Nightmare

Trigger Warning for sexually abused


A few days ago, I noticed a conversation on my Facebook news feed. It was among a group of mamas from a rather large Facebook group. The subject of conversation was sleepovers. A article by Dr. James Dobson was referenced in the initiating post by one mama asking the other mamas their opinions. Dr. Dobson outlined his reasons for not allowing sleepovers in his article.

I was simultaneously encouraged, frustrated and angry by the conversation that blossomed in the comments on this post. There were a few women that agreed with Dr. Dobson’s point of view that allowing your child to attend a sleepover is taking quite a risk. Child pornography gets made somehow. Molestation and rape occur somehow. Why not limit the risk of it happening to your child by adding ‘no sleepovers’ to your list next to ‘don’t talk to strangers’?

I’m sure it is obvious I agree with the no-sleepover rule. The only sleepovers my daughter has been allowed to attend without me (when she was in my custody, I should say) have been those with grandparents. I didn’t comment on this post, stating my position and why, because it was becoming apparent that the conversation had devolved into a post that only served to guilt mothers who didn’t agree with the majority.

Many mamas said they had to know the people really well before sending their child on a sleepover. Many others stated that they had thoroughly discussed things like molestation with their children, giving them tips on how to avoid such a thing. Many of these same moms giving tips also subscribed to the theory ‘you can’t watch your children every second of every day or they will never grow up’. Helicopter parenting was also mentioned.

I wanted to shout at all of these moms giving tips to their children on how to avoid getting molested that they don’t get it. These moms just don’t understand.

Is it important to teach a child of a certain age or maturity that such a thing exists in the world? Yes. Is it important to drill into that child that if anything, anything that makes her or him feel uncomfortable happens she should report it immediately to a parent or grandparent? Yes. Extremely. I don’t want my daughter to be victimized at all, but I especially don’t want her to be victimized and then suffer in silence because of intimidation and fear. But are my best efforts in educating her on such a topic going to be enough to prevent molestation?

No. Absolutely not.

I can give her tools so at least maybe she would know what to do next if such a horrible thing happened. But can I reasonably expect her to out-manipulate a seasoned manipulator? That’s the thing some of those mamas seemed to forget. Not only would my daughter most likely be at a size disadvantage, she is also at a mental disadvantage. Someone who has been manipulative and deceptive for more than a moment has more experience at such things than my daughter.

These people that prey on children have honed and perfected their methods, or else they would have already been caught and jailed and put on a list. They specialize in deceiving adults and manipulating children. Am I really going to say that my seven-year-old daughter should or could be able to out smart such a person?  Isn’t that placing blame squarely on every victim who wasn’t able to outsmart their assailant?

I strongly believe in self-determination and that every parent should determine what is best for his or her child independent of my (or anyone else’s) opinion. I’m not advocating every parent must parent MY way. I just wish we, as a society could find a happy medium between helicopter parenting and treating our children as if they are miniature adults.

My child is a child. She has the correct developmental age and maturity of a seven-year-old. But, she is only seven. She is my precious responsibility.

An Open Letter To My Daughter’s Teacher

Tomorrow is the last day of school before summer break begins. I can imagine that the last few weeks of school are rough. The kids are restless and eager for all of the fun, end-of-year activities and then summer. The parents are anxiously awaiting that last test, asking for that last conference to see if little Timmy or Sally will be moving on to the next grade. Your days must be spent corralling and calming children and parents alike.

I wanted to take a moment to talk to you. I wanted you to be able to read this on your time table, though, not mine. This isn’t urgent. Sally will still be headed for the next grade level even if you never read this.

I wanted to say something important, though. I wish it was profound and original. If I were more ingenious, perhaps I could contrive something to accurately convey my feelings. Instead, I’m left with an over-used, often obligatory little sentence as my medium of expression. In this scenario, it isn’t obligatory at all but rather from the heart. So here it is:

Thank you.

I have heard you speak to your student’s family members many times throughout this school year. I have often heard these words from you: “Thank you for entrusting your child to me.”

You have even said those words to me. Those words, backed up by your actions, have prompted this most heartfelt thank you. Those words reassured me that you see my daughter as the precious and vulnerable little individual she is. Those words have reassured me that you understand the potential impact your words and actions can have on my child.

So much of my daughter’s future self will be built upon the foundation that is forming right now. You have made a conscious effort to encourage her to improve the things that needed improving and then to praise her once she has succeeded. You have added some strong, sound bricks to her foundation.

Thank you for giving her praise only where she has earned it. Thank you for showing her that there is always room for improvement. Thank you for giving her goals and allowing her to experience the thrill of meeting those goals.

There are some things that just don’t mean as much coming from mom. Thank you for pointing out her strengths to her. She trusts your opinion to be honest and true; your praise holds high value for her.

Mostly, I just want to say thank you for your heart. Your heart is in everything you do as my daughter’s teacher. I couldn’t possibly ask for anything better than that. My best wishes go to you.