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Aug 21 2012

Worst Case Toddler Scenarios

By at 12:53 pm
baby on the move

My baby's on the move.

My first boss in Washington was like an honorary big brother. In between directing our little staff about housing policy matters, he offered life lessons. “When you have a kid,” he assured me, “you’ll be ready to hurl yourself in front of a moving car just to make sure it doesn’t hit them.” I guffawed. Throw myself in front of a moving car? That sounded dangerous (and crazy).

And yet, he was right. He had the benefit of already being a parent and knowing about danger and fear from the other side. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 16 2012

18 Tips for Taking Care of Babies

By at 6:09 am

My little girl is days away from becoming a big sister. It’s amazing how quickly I’ve forgotten–blocked out?–certain things, like how all those effing pieces of the Dr. Brown’s bottles go together. But there are a few lessons I’ve retained from my experience with Ellie the Infant that I hope to apply to her brother. Here goes:

1. Enjoy the small stuff rather than sweat it.

2. Put the baby down. He’ll be fine while you take a pee/e-mail/shower break. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 14 2012

How Do You Discipline a Toddler?

By at 12:00 pm

baby climbing the stairsIf you’re looking for a way to spin your wheels, get frustrated, and not actually accomplish much of anything, I recommend that you try disciplining a toddler.

Before you get all riled up with mental pictures of my little girl in a stockade under a burning hot sun, let’s interject a quick dose of reality. The toddler in question, aka Baby G, is only 13 months old. She barely speaks English. She has a generally cheerful disposition. Her understanding of cause and effect is weak at best.

Baby G is not being BAD, per se. She’s not plagiarizing other people’s blogposts and passing them off as her own, for example, or embezzling hard-earned funds from charities. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 7 2012

I Didn’t Fall in Love With My Baby Right Away

By at 2:53 pm

baby hand in mom's palmThree days after my water broke, 20 hours after entering the hospital, an hour after reaching full dilation, and approximately 45 seconds after the doctor threatened to give me an episiotomy if I didn’t get my baby out THIS PUSH, there she was: pink, shiny, crying, and beautiful.

And a stranger.

Among all the “you’ll seeeeees” that pregnant women hear, the positive predictions can be just as powerful and just as wrong. Everyone talks about that moment when they first lay eyes on their babies, when they felt this huge rush of love, when they knew they would give their life for this child in an instant, when their life hits this pinnacle of pinnacles. My moment wasn’t exactly like that, and it was fine (and normal) too. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 6 2012

I’m Terrified of Breastfeeding Again

By at 11:56 am

baby breastfeedingAs we near the end of World Breastfeeding Week, Kveller blogger Tamara Reese shares her thoughts, hopes, and fears about nursing for the second time around:

This is not a post about breast being best or better or a judgment upon mothers who can, can’t, will or won’t nurse their babies. Readers and people who know me, know that I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding both from a personal and public health perspective. But I know what it feels like to be scrutinized for your parenting decisions and above all else I believe that each family has to do what works best for their unique child. I have participated in dozens of La Leche League meetings and often after hearing a mother’s story for a number of reasons thought to myself, “maybe breastfeeding isn’t what’s best for her and her baby.” I’ve supported friends who have nursed for three days and three years, and I believe that giving even one drop of breastmilk makes you a breastfeeding mother. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 14 2012

Girl Gone Wild

By at 10:20 am

outlet on purple wallHoly sh!t.

I’ve thought this, or its equivalent, approximately 980 times a day in the past few weeks. Why? Because my baby is on the move.

I’m not talking about the one comfortably ensconced in my uterus. Thankfully, she seems to be doing well in there. Occasionally, I feel her burp or hiccup or whatever the heck she does all the time. Since this is my fourth kid, we’re well past those idyllic days I remember with the first fetus–you know, where you lovingly put your hand over your belly and feel the movements, where you have your husband bend over and talk to and sing to the little tadpole. Yeah, that ship has sailed. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 12 2012

All I Can Do is Kvetch

By at 10:17 am

kvetch tote bagThe opposite of kvelling is kvetching–and it’s something, if I can say so myself, that I’m quite good at. Every non-Jewish boyfriend I ever had learned the meaning of this Yiddish word that onomatopoetically conjures up its very essence: kkkvehhhtch. To complain persistently; whine.

I’ve kvetched about heat in August and cold in December, my mother, my father, and all my ex-boyfriends. I could (and have) conjured up a kvetch in Central Park, on a fresh April Day, while eating ice cream in the arms of my beloved (teenagers, you know. So freaking loud). Read the rest of this entry →

May 24 2012

Week 25: Freaking Out About Day Care Before My Baby is Born

By at 1:54 pm
day care blocks

What am I going to do?

This week has been one of harsh realities. Yes, we’re super-excited about welcoming our bundle of joy (Carolyn? Caitlin? Charlotte?–seriously the name keeps changing everyday!), but each day that passes gives us new things to think about. Things that we probably should have anticipated before, but just kind of thought it would all work out. I sound like I’m on 16 and Pregnant instead of 33 and Employed! This week’s worry: Infant Daycare.

After meeting with the Human Resources lady at the school district office, I came to the firm conclusion that I really cannot take more than 12 weeks off (with the last four weeks being completely unpaid). This means I may have to go back to work on a Thursday (fun!) and will have to deal with the concept of having a 3-month-old baby and a full-time job. Read the rest of this entry →

May 8 2012

The Grunt Work of Motherhood

By at 10:36 am

broomsIn my speechwriting days, whenever I was on deadline and stuck for inspiration, I’d turn on the radio and look through famous quotations. Given their way with words, the three men I always turned to first were Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King, Jr. I never had a favorite quotation, but in recent months, I’ve found myself frequently mulling this King comment:

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” Read the rest of this entry →

May 3 2012

Help! My Baby’s On a Hunger Strike

By at 3:03 pm

picky eater babyYou all know that I’m a third time mom, completely enamored with Baby G.

Except for one thing.

For the past week or so, this kid’s entire eating ethos has totally changed. It’s no longer the blissful, “Here comes the train!” bird-feeding like endeavor it was a week ago. Now, every meal is a war. She turns her head away from incoming spoons with horror. The ground is strewn with the hopeless carcasses of Cheerios, small noodles, what have you–fruitless attempts at finger food. Out of nowhere, she looks down on baby food jars–even sweet potatoes, once the sure-fire end-all and be-all meal of champions–with something closely resembling disgust. It’s a little foreshadowing of the look I’m going to get in 12 years, when she yells, “I HATE YOU! You RUINED MY LIFE!” and slams the door in my face.

Ahem. Back to our present day eating dilemma. Read the rest of this entry →

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