This post will start out looking like a sleep post but I’ll get to the point. The last two nights (not coincidentally the two nights I’ve been solo getting up with her) Ella has ended up in the sidecarred twin (‘her’ bed) in our room. It’s hard to think coherently at 1 am but for some reason I felt like moving her in our room was a night weaning failure. At some point real recently (when I was a little less exhausted maybe?) I came to the realization that having her in our room wasn’t a fail if it WORKED. Because she’s been up hourly pretty much for the last almost two weeks.Presumably this is a symptom of teething (PLEASE) because she had been sleeping ok the first few nights in her room.  Anyway in standard night, by the time I get up, soothe her back to sleep, go pee and then get myself back to sleep (which takes a while), I’m only getting 3 or 3.5 hours of sleep. This really helps explain the multiple hysterical breakdowns last week.  Anyway, she has been in there because it WORKS.

And while we’re talking about what works, let me get to the point. I know people blog about this alllll the flipping time but I’m not going to zip my blabbity lip just because I’ve read it 713 times on some other “mom” blog.

RANT COMMENCE: I call myself an attached parent because I meet the definition of attached parenting (you know, according to API). Hmpf. Whatever THAT means. We EC. We do baby led weaning (solid introduction). We co-sleep. I nurse exclusively for an extended period and do child lean weaning. We won’t circumcise. We cloth diaper. I discipline gently. BLAHBLAHBLABBITYBLAH.

But goshdammit if ANY of that should define who I AM as a parent. Because how do I REALLY parent? I parent from my gut. I parent how I feel. I parent to cope. Sometimes I parent to SURVIVE. I don’t feel like I have to constantly talk about how I parent because I’ve been parenting for 17 years and I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt I AM AWESOME constantly screw up. No. REALLY.

You know what the secret of being a good, dare I say it, GREAT, mother is? Oh. No, you say? Well let me TELL you. The secret of being a really kick ass amazing mom is knowing that YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT. I have four kids with a fifth on the way. I helped my stepfather raise my sister after my dingbat mother walked out on her. And what have I learned in 19 years? Well I’ve learned that just about the time you think you have it allllll figured out one of your kids will throw you a curveball and you’ll be like this… SHIT WHAT NOW?!?!

Your sweet little toddler who says please and thank you and shares her toys and never has a tantrum, will one day be 16 and she may very well tell you TO SHUT UP. No, really. It could happen. You may want to strangle her but you’ll recognize that being a teen is hard and you’ll take her phone and then you’ll make up. Likewise, your son who as a toddler threw a tantrum at the drop of a hat and made grocery shopping impossible and made you feel like you WANTED TO DIE? He may just very well kiss you square on the mouth right in front of his group of 13 year old hooligan friends and say, “Mom, I love you. You’re AWESOME.”  It could happen. Really. It happened to me.

Believe it or not, mothering, the most basic and encompassing of all jobs EVER, has CHANGED a lot in the last 19 years. Not the act itself but ALL the stuff attached to it. And why? I’ll tell you why. Lots of reasons but mostly…THE INTERNET. When I had my first baby there were no “mom” blogs or forums or Facebook or *gasp* TWITTER. The only way you could possibly compare yourself to any other mom was to sit face to face with her. FACE. TO. FACE.  And let me tell you, it is infinitely more difficult to feel like you’re doing a better job than someone else when you SEE the 2 hours of sleep bags under their eyes. When you know their husband is having an affair. When you know they have postpartum depression. When you know they can’t pay their bills. When you know thier son is smoking dope or their teenage daughter is pregnant. You could not feel like you were a better parent than them because the filter of the internet did not exist. And you wouldn’t say the things you can say on the internet if you had to look in their eyes when you said it.

I love all the new an awesome ways we can interact with our babies. I love baby led weaning and ec’ing and I loved babywearing and co-sleeping before they were really a “thing” but what I hate is that in SO many ways we are now made to feel guilty for doing or not doing or doing but not doing well enough all of these ‘things’. I MEAN REALLY? Shit.

Example: I EC. Well that is to say I EC by my own standards. We put Ella on the potty when she wakes (but not always) and if she needs to poop (most of the time). Otherwise she wears a (cloth, because I love the environment and I’m BETTER than all of you who don’t. Uh NOT.) DIAPER. I’d EC fulltime if I HAD time. But you know what I have 4 kids. I’m in my car two hours a day. Sometimes more. I’m at jazz festivals and football games and the store. Daily. Sometimes Ella just has to pee in her diaper. She just does. And she’s GOING TO BE FINE. The hardcore EC people would have you to think that I’m not doing well enough. Well they are welcome to come here, be 5 months pregnant, herd my chickens, feed my three dogs and two cats and fish, water the garden, do my laundry, mop my floors, help with homework and take care of my kids while I’m ALONE half the week because my husband works out of town. While they’re at it, they can rub my feet. Oh and kiss my snowy white backside.

I REFUSE to feel like I’m not doing enough. I am doing my BEST. The same thing goes for BLW. I don’t feed Ella purees but if I did, SO WHAT. She’s not going to be permanently damaged. I know this because I gave my first three kids homemade purees, with a SPOON, and they are FINE. And same goes with babywearing. I wore Ella constantly for 5 months. At five months of age she weighed more than 20 pounds. I STILL wore her because it was easier, even though it killed my back. Now I’m pregnant, she weighs 25 pounds. I have a HUGE belly. Am I going to drag her around the mall on my back just because I don’t want to look like I’m not an ATTACHED PARENT. OH.MY.GAWD. I have a STROLLER. And I USE IT.

I was talking with my friend Staci last week (and Staci has one 16 year old child, no babies anymore) and she made this astute observation. She said something like this (totally not quoting) … the thing I see the most with this whole AP attitude isn’t that more people necessarily DO those things for their kids but that there is the competition between moms *to* do those things. How right is that? What kills me is that someone OUTSIDE our community can so easily see what’s happening inside our community. As mothers we are doing the most difficult work, wouldn’t it make sense that we should be lifting each other up? And yet we belittle, berate, judge? Even in ‘friendly’ conversation there is the tone my kid is obviously better than yours or I am clearly better than you. It’s disguised sometimes as ‘information’ and ‘sharing’ but often it’s most  blatantly just mean.

I worked in a busy hospital labor and delivery unit for several years. I left because ultimately policy conflicted too much with my personal beliefs (too much intervention, too little education) but while I was there I noticed one overwhelming thing. Motherhood is universal. Be she white, black, Asian; poor, rich, middle class; intelligent, functionally illiterate; educated in every aspect of birth, not even aware where the baby comes from; the feeling is the same. ALL mothers love their babies (Ok there are some exceptions to this rule but you get what I’m saying). The one universal thing is LOVE. And I believe that while some mothers don’t mother how I mother (and sometimes that hurts my heart) I believe that they are probably usually TRYING. Probably. Usually.

Can we just accept, even if may not be true, that most mothers (at least the ones in our social circles) are TRYING? That they are mostly doing their best?That they love their children and want a good life for them? That maybe their idea of what makes you a good mother isn’t the same as your idea? Can we then take that one step further and use this amazing thing social media to uplift and encourage, to hug and support, to be THERE without being judgmental? Can we accept that even if they don’t parent at all like we do or if they parent like we do but not the same WAY we do that it doesn’t mean their kids are ruined. It just means they are different.


Can we? Ok great.

Because one of the other things I’ve learned in 19 years? Competitive mothering doesn’t end up doing anything positive for the kids involved. Nope. All it does is divide us when we need desperately to be united. We need each other now more than ever because this mothering thing? It’s HARD dude. Hard.


attached parenting , attachment parenting , mothering , OVERACHIEVERITIS , parenting

We interrupt this weeks regularly scheduled pregnancy update to bring you this fun story. A tale of exhaustion and woe. I share this with you to hopefully present an experience you can either relate to or at the very least give me sympathy for.

Thanks in advance.

We are in the beginning stages of the nightmare process of nightweaning. Before I detail this awesome experience for you let me tell you WHY we are in said process…

Last week on Friday I went about my normal routine of putting Ella down for morning nap. Diaper. Nurse. Bed. Only this time she only nursed for about one minute. Hm. NOW, I’d been aware because of lack of gulpy noises and the constant drinking of water that my milk had at the very least reduced significantly. That day I decided to pump after laying her down to see just how much.

Five minutes of pumping and what was the result? FOUR. DROPS. Four. Well I sat there in my floor and had a real good cry. Then I went and talked to Matt and then to my twitter mom friends. Then I cried again. And laid on my bed and cried some more. I’m not going to try to delve into the emotions that surround this for me right now because I think it’s still a little too new for me to be objective (read: logical) but let me just say, this is devastating for ME. She seems fine. Of course she’s FINE. I am not fine. More on this another time.

Anyway it was at that point that I concluded that her very poor sleep habits at night (after the hand foot mouth fiasco) were probably due in large part to the fact that she’s looking repeatedly for milk that just isn’t there. Also though I plan to let her continue to comfort nurse until my milk returns (which  should be sometime in trimester three) I would like to add, THIS DOES NOT FEEL GOOD. It’s in fact rather painful.  I have no plans to stop because ultimately I feel really strongly about nursing Ella until she’s at least two but all night long is just too much right now. My average night of sleep look(ed) like this. Baby to bed around 8. Me to bed around 11. Baby up at 11:30. Nursed back to sleep. Baby back up at 2 or 3 and then tossing and turing and tossing until she wakes up for the day at 4:45-5. SO 3 solid hours of sleep for me plus another 2-2.5 of interrupted sleep. And by interrupted I mean kicked, bit, pinched. So yeah, not pleasant.


Anyway, that brings us to where we are now. We started the night weaning process on Sunday night. And here’s how it went.

Sunday: Kind of a mother effing nightmare.


No seriously. The PLAN was to loosely follow Dr. Jay Gordon’s ‘plan’, which you can read about here. Our modifications would be these. For the first FIVE nights I would go in and comfort and nurse if she desired (DUH) but leave her in her room (five nights because of dad being gone and me being without backup). On Friday through Sunday or Monday dad would take over patting and rocking but no nursing. Then back to me while he’s gone and back to him when he gets home again. We would temporarily suspend co-sleeping until the process was complete because let’s face it, if she’s one foot from me all night she’s GOING to be looking for my boob.

SO this is how Sunday looked:

DAY ONE: Ella nursed to sleep with no real issue and was in bed by 8:15. She slept solidly until about 10:30 and then woke. I nursed her briefly and laid her back down. She slept FIFTEEN MINUTES. Repeat. She slept until 2. Then from 2-3:30 I was in her room EVERY. TEN MINUTES. Every time I went in I picked her up, nursed her til she dozed, then laid her back down. And then I sat on the chair and waited. Then I’d creep back to my bed where I would snuggle up next to my peacefully sleeping husband and then BAM. Crying. Again. Oh how I wish we had a spare bed. At 3:30 she finally went to sleep after water and diaper and me crying. Then at 4:15 after peeing twice and  me crying some more I fell asleep. Then at 4:30 my 11 year old came creeping up the stairs after a nightmare. So I slept from 4:45 until 5:45. Don’t add up how much sleep I got. It was not enough.

I had HIGH hopes for night two. HIGH. First I decided that maybe the 2:-3:30 fiasco was because of teeth so I’d give her ibuprofen again at that time. Also it wasn’t THAT bad. She wasn’t screaming bloody murder or anything so I felt like we were moving in a good direction.


DAY TWO (Monday): I nursed her to sleep about 8. She was fussy off and on the breast so I ended up laying her down and patting her to sleep. YES PATTING. I was encouraged. I mean she went to sleep without a nipple in her mouth. It wasn’t AWESOME but she went to sleep. YAY. Then right on cue, when I was getting into my bed, she woke up. 10:40 ish I think. I went in and nursed her and that didn’t really seem to work so back to the patting. WOW. Two pats to sleep. This really IS going to be good.

Yeah. No.

So from that time until 2:45 I was in her room. I laid on the floor (this is not recommended). Sat in the chair. Patted. Rocked. Every time she fell asleep (for the first hour anyway) I’d tiptoe out and as soon as I’d put my butt on my bed. BAM. Awake. EVERY. Single. Time. So I mostly just sat there. I was absolutely puzzled. She had ibuprofen on board so not teeth probably. And she didn’t even really want to nurse so not that. I won’t lie. I was not doing so hot. Exhausted. Frustrated, Determined to let my husband sleep so that at least ONE of us could be refreshed. A couple of times she sat up SCREAMING. Like terror or pain. Frankly at 1 am running on my 3 hours of sleep from the day before I didn’t know what to think. Finally at 2:45 after trying to get comfortable on her floor (BAD IDEA) I took her into our room and told Matt I flat out couldn’t do it. Period.  She only wanted to be near me so fine. She can be near me. I laid her on our sidecarred twin bed and patted her bottom. She sat up fussing a few times. And then nuzzled her head into my armpit. And I felt like SHIT. I mean all she wanted was to be BY me and here i’d been fighting her to sleep in her room alone for FOUR hours. Then she bolted up screaming again. And pooped. And just like that I knew that she had a belly ache. Finally at 3:10 she crashed. And there she slept until 5:45. When she pooped again. And then again at 6:10. At 6:20 and at 6:45. Hm. I think I know what was bothering her.

So today.. I’ve had (Yeah I’ll go ahead and add it up for you) TWO and a HALF hours of sleep. She didn’t do much better I don’t think. I am HOPING beyond all hope that tonight goes better. Frankly it can’t be worse than last night so that’s some kind of strange comfort. What last night did tell me was that she IS able to fall asleep without nursing and that patting her BACK to sleep works. So provided the planets align and she’s not teething or pooping or having a nightmare of some kind I suspect (read: PRAY TO THE TINY BABY JESUS) that we will be getting some sleep very soon.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s exciting update.

Until then. I sign off.

In delirium,


attached parenting , attachment parenting , night weaning , parenting

Recently (ok, today) the 11 year old got an award at school for something. I wish I could tell you what the award was actually FOR but to be perfectly honest I’m not really sure. And the reason I’m not sure is it seems like kids get awards for just about anything these days. Like if you showed up and didn’t punch anyone in the face… CONGRATS you get an award for Citizenship. You sir, are a good Citizen. Because you went to school and when some kid made a joke about yo mama you didn’t kick him in the man business. Well done.

Don’t get me wrong…. I’m a big fan of positive reinforcement. I firmly believe in Shamu Parenting. Serious. But COME ON. Must kids DO nothing to get awarded for just existing? Have we reached the point of such desperation that we now award people for just showing up? I made the honor roll EVERY FLIPPIN QUARTER When I Was A Kid. Most of the time with a 4.0. AND furthermore I never punched anyone in the face (ok once I punched Vernon Avila because he told the entire school I wasn’t a virgin after he kissed me inside a tractor tire. Which was NOT TRUE. Cause I was 8. Turns out he didn’t even know what a virgin was. And I only threatened to hit him with a rock. So… bygones.) Anyway I didn’t cut school. I came almost every day (like it or not, cause I had to be bleeding from my eyes to miss school). I even managed to get good grades while my mom was getting married and divorced and married and divorced and not even home… and you get the idea. And no one ever gave me any kind of award for any of that. My award was… wait for it… an EDUCATION.

While I don’t begrudge the kids their ‘Citizenship’ and ‘Merit’ I’m really just kind of jealous that those kind of awards don’t exist for adults.

For example:

Did you get out of bed this morning? Was it DESPITE having been up all night with a teething baby or someone with a fever or someone throwing up on you?

BAM. You get the ‘I Didn’t Want To But I Did Anyway’ award. Cause I’m THAT good.

Did your toddler poop on the floor? For the third time today? Or did your 12 year old spill yet ANOTHER glass of juice on the couch because he was watching tv instead of looking at his glass? Did your 15 year old take your blush? AGAIN? And through all of this did you manage to not scream? Or maybe you screamed, but it was just a little bit?

Oh SNAP. For you, the ‘I Can Get Through a Day Without Strangling Anyone or Running For The Hills Screaming’ award.

Did you look in the fridge and concoct something for dinner out of some tortillas and a couple of wrinkly apples and some half molded cheese? Because you wanted to get to the store but you just couldn’t on account of the fact that you couldn’t bring yourself to get out of your pj pants? Because of the aforementioned vomit/teeth/fever?

Well ALRIGHTY. For you, the ‘I Make Food Magically Appear’ award.

OK lets say it was a REALLY bad day and ALL you managed to do was keep the cranky baby fed and changed and you never got a shower or got to brush your hair or teeth but that’s ok cause the baby didn’t die?

AMEN sister. You get the ‘SHUT YO MOUTH HATERZ I kept the Baby ALIVE’ award. Well done. Mission accomplished.

I had a 10 and half pound baby. In MY KITCHEN.

I’m giving myself the ‘HOLY SHIT You Had a 10 and Half Pound HUMAN BEING in YOUR KITCHEN’ award. I deserve it. Totally. If that was all I did ALL YEAR, it really should suffice.

My husband? He worked 16 hours a day almost every day this week (and actually every day of the last 3 weeks). The majority of it away from his family, eating food he concocted in a microwave with two day old french fries and sitting in an office until 10 pm, usually alone, and he didn’t get any kind of award. (Though he did get his paycheck which is LIKE an award but somehow seems inadequate in the face of a zillion hour workweek.) What he got was hearing his crying wife say she was going to pull her hair out. Oh AND to sleep in an uncomfortable bed.

I’m giving him the ‘I Have No Idea What You Did But WOW You Did It’ award. You’re awesome honey. You survived.

And me? Well I kept the kids alive while he was gone. Despite getting very little sleep (see: teething up all night award), having a few moments of tears (ok maybe a few more than a few) and eating cereal for dinner. Twice. There should be points for all that too. Even though nothing earthshattering happened. I didn’t get the toilets scrubbed but I did mop twice because of Mange-y Dog hair. Oh AND I made the bed. THREE TIMES. Award for me.

I think you get what I’m saying. There are days when I get up and I have really good intentions. Like I MEAN to make a dress or headband. OR I WANT to bake something really yummy. Or some days I just aim to get my sheets changed. Some days I want to go shopping. Some days I want to write a blog post or call an old friend (you Holly).

Some days none of those things happen.

Some days I just keep the kids alive.

And some days, that’s enough.

Points for participation people.
For the love of motherhood,


children , mother , mothering , OVERACHIEVERITIS , parenting , whine

No crap.

*I walked around all day with my nursing bra hanging open. Unaware. That is how much time my bra spends open.

* I shaved my legs (it was newsworthy). I did not cut myself (also newsworthy).

* My 12 year old son is texting a girl. A female. He claims she’s not his girlfriend but I saw him text her a rose. Suspect. Highly suspect.

* I caught him doing push-ups. Oh. Dear. God.

* My 11 year old son got completely ready for school without any prompting. And also without pants on (inspiring my future book… Don’t Forget Your Pants).

* My 15 year old daughter started drivers training. Sigh.

* I hope bald is coming back because the baby pulled out half the hair on the right side of my head.

* One of our stupid dogs attacked the other stupid dog and I almost broke my arm trying to separate them. I am not a fan of our dogs right now. Or any dogs for that matter. Or the cat. In fact, the only animals I’m feeling any good about are the fish, and one of them died. Crap.

* I had to pee (at least once a day) but the baby was in the wrap so I peed while babywearing. In fact I also swept, cooked and dusted babywearing. I would have showered babywearing if my sling was waterproof (and yes they do make those).

* I made Henry the Hoot Owl. But I had to do it with a baby on my lap which means I stabbed myself with knitting needles no less than 7 times.

* I went almost an entire day without water. I had coffee and iced tea. That’s all. And they weren’t even caffeinated. I didn’t realize it until 9:15 pm. By then I had a headache. (I hope the Man isn’t reading this or I’m busted)

* I made rice krispie treats.

* I ate rice krispie treats for breakfast.

* I ate rice krispie treats for dinner.

* I probably ate rice krispie treats for lunch but I’m not admitting it.

* One night I served the 15 year old (who had to leave for an activity before dinner was done) a plate of mexican rice, a rice krispie treat and a banana. It looked as bad as it sounds.

* I started to write a tutorial for the owl I mentioned above. I got the first two lines written. So far, that’s it. It goes like this: Step One: Get some yarn. Step two: Get some size 3 knitting needles. (More on this later)

* The 11 year old told us he was learning about dictators that are “mean and crazy” also that he would like to be a dictator, but a “nice one” because he doesn’t want to be shot or hung. Awesome. It’s good to have dreams.

* I fell into the big curbside trash can. Like inside of it. I don’t really want to talk about it.

* Did I mention the rice krispie treats?

Oh also because I’ve been such a good wife and mommy (or you know, because I was looking for an excuse, like I FELL IN A TRASH CAN) I bought myself this lovely book:

Isn’t it lurvely?

Then someone spilled syrup on it.

Of course.

So readers… what happened to you in the last week?

Hang in folks,


PS I love Jane Austen. Who doesn’t love Jane Austen? OK I mean what LADY doesn’t love Jane Austen? If you don’t love Jane Austen you should buy this book anyway because it’s so purdy.

PPS It’s been one the best weeks of my life.

babywearing , kids , parenting , things that happened this week

I’m an advocate of family time. You know, time spent as a family. However your family is defined, I for one, think it’s important you all sit together and connect. Whenever. Dinner seems a logical time. Right?


Our family has six people in it. If you don’t count the dog and cat and bird and the tortoise and the three spiders the 10 year old keeps in his room. Coincidentally our table also seats six. (This is going to be a problem if we have another baby. Someone will have to sit on the floor. I hope it’s not me.) We eat dinner together every time we are together. (Which is to say Big Kids are not with their dad). This is four nights a week. The other three nights the Hubs and Ella and myself just stare at each other trying to figure out why it’s so quiet. Oh and we have a conversation about something relevant, usually. Anyway, those four nights we sit at the table together for food and conversation. Kind of.

We had a game we used to play all the time when Big Kids were still Little Kids called Hi-Lo. Each person in the family would have the floor to discuss the high and low points of their day. Presumably uninterrupted. Presumably. We went in order of youngest to oldest. This worked. For a while. Then, somewhere along the way, this game become passe’ and the chaos that we now recognize as dinner ensued.

Now, I hate to have to admit that I can’t keep my children under control, but I can’t keep my children until control. They’re just too big to be sat on.

Typically it goes something like this:

Me: Dinner is on kids. Let’s go.
Boys: (stampede) Where? Where? We’re STARVING.
Me: Ok good. I’m glad I cooked then. Let’s eat.
15 yo: Hang on MOM I’m talking to Marissa.
Me: No. You’re not talking to Marissa. Get off the phone it’s time to eat. (while trying to move out the way of the starving boys who think they are going to die)
15 yo: Ugh. fine
Hubs: Ok everyone let’s get at the table. (He likes to play Good Cop)

Then… We all get to the table.

15 yo: (hiding phone on lap under table, text messaging, I’m just going to guess it’s Marissa)
Me: Put your phone away please.
Boys: Where are the forks? Pass the _____? Pass the _____? PASS THE _______?
Hubs: Boys, don’t yell at the table please.
Ella: (sleeping in the sling on me)
Me: OK let’s try to have a civilized conversation. 15 yo (of course I would be using her name here), how was your day?
15 yo: (completely unaware I exist, still looking at phone in lap)
Me: I’M GOING TO TAKE YOUR PHONE AWAY. Please put it down.
15 yo: GE-AWD MOM. OK.
Me: Don’t talk to me like that please.
Ella: (stirring in the sling on me)
Me to 12 yo: That’s not true. And stop yelling.
Hubs: (silently eating)
10 yo to 12 yo: STOP BEING A BABY. OH MY GOD.
Ella: (now awake and looking scared)
Me to table: Alright that’s enough. Can we PUH-LEASE just eat dinner and have a conversation without anyone yelling. Let’s play hi-lo (please God can’t we just go back to the days of playing Hi-Lo).
10 yo: OK. My high was…. when I had recess today and I was playing tether ball and…
12 yo: (cutting off 10 yo to recite line of movie/tv show or talking in one of his comedy voices)
Hubs: (laughing at 12 yo)
Me: (giving 12 yo dirty look)
15 yo: (rolling eyes) Can I look at my phone now?
Me: (head in hands) I give up.

And no one has even eaten yet. At this point I usually have some kind of mini-mental breakdown which scares the children just enough that they are willing to stop yelling and have a conversation. I’ve resorted to tears a couple of times. I’m not proud of it. Don’t you judge me.

Does this sound familiar at all? Please say yes.

Dear. God. Please. Say. Yes.

I’m going to keep sitting sitting at that table though. At 6 pm on any given night that’s where you’ll find me. Even if I have to drag them all there kicking and screaming. It’s happening.

We’re eating dinner. As a family.

dinner , family time , parenting