Childbirth, Mom Humor, Pregnancy, Reviews and Giveaways

I’m So Pregnant: An illustrated look at the ups and downs (and everything in between) of pregnancy – Review

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While pregnancy is magical, transformative, and full of comfy maternity jeans, it can also be weird,  exhausting, and full of barfy moments  – we need to maintain a healthy sense of humor to make it through.

The book I’m So Pregnant, by Norwegian illustrator and animator Line Severinsen, splashes you in the face with the awkwardness of pregnancy while making you think “OK fine, I guess my play dough feet, occasional incontinence, and hormonal surges are kind of funny.”

Composed of a collection of illustrations that take you through the messy roller coaster of the three trimesters, I’m So Pregnant provides quick and effective visuals reminding you that you’re not alone (and that pooping during birth is super normal.)

So, as you’re skimming through your pregnancy and childbirth tomes (like Feng Shui Mommy! Yay!), keep this gem of humor close by to help you lighten up and feel OK (even excited!) about mucous coming out of your body – yes, it’s a thing.

Clicky here to get your copy. 

Career, Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Mom Humor, Parenting, Pregnancy

Moms Who Inspire: Bailey Gaddis

Featured on Expectful! Whoop whoop!

After one read of Bailey Gaddis’s About Me page on her site, Your Serene Life, I knew I wanted to interview her for Moms Who Inspire because she’s insanely inspiring and  hilarious.

During our conversation, I mentioned to Bailey that I find it hysterical that she admits in her bio that she can’t stop bragging about attending an event hosted by Michelle Obama at the White House. She laughed and went on to tell me that she was at an event that morning and bragged about it to the strangers next to her. “It’s just such a cool thing to have experienced, why not brag about it?” she said laughing.

This is Bailey Gaddis. funny, honest and high on life.

Bailey is the Author of Feng Shui Mommy (coming out May 2017), a Childbirth Preparation Educator, Hypnotherapist, Birth Doula, travel addict and writer on all of the above. Bailey decided that she wanted to help women during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum after the birth of her first child. Using Hypno-anesthesia as a method for her labor, she was able to have a pain-free natural childbirth. This empowered her to want to help other women experience their own bliss during their motherhood journeys.

When speaking to Bailey, I asked her what the first few days were like after she gave birth. I ask this often to other moms as a way to bond over stories of sleepless nights and crying babies, but Bailey’s answer was one that opened my eyes to a different experience than my own.

She replied as if reliving the experience as she spoke, “Blissful.”

This isn’t the typical answer I receive and it’s not even close to how I describe the first few days of my motherhood path, but when she said it, my body filled with love. It was really beautiful to see a different perspective on what’s usually a difficult time.

I learned so much from Bailey in our brief conversation, and I’m so happy to share more below.

Read more on Expectful!

Guilt & Forgiveness, Mom Humor, Parenting, Uncategorized

7 Things You Can’t Help but Think on Your First Mother’s Day

*Raw insight into my first Mother’s Day!

IMG_2919When I woke up on my first Mother’s Day, I forgot I was one of the women being celebrated. I prepared breakfast for my own mom and mother-in-law, and I made them both a “We love you!” video, all while spending an hour trying to convince my baby to leave on the clip-on tie we’d bought for the occasion. And then my partner asked me if I wanted to take a break. “Isn’t this supposed to be a day to celebrate you too?”

When I took my break before the “real” mothers arrived for brunch, I sat on a swing chair on our porch and cried. It was the first time I’d had a quiet moment since giving birth 11 months prior, a moment to think about how I felt about being a mother, to consider what “being a mother” even meant. Here are seven thoughts that went through my head.

Read more on Cosmopolitan! 

Childbirth, Mind-Body-Spirit, Mom Humor, Parenting, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Playing Music For My Son In the Womb Made Us Closer

IMG_2634Music allowed me to hear the voice of my unborn baby.

During my pregnancy, I set the intention that my baby would offer me insights and answers via movement when we listened to music. I believed it was his opportunity to show me a glimpse into his soul.

Music also supported me in understanding and expressing (via my own movement) all the emotions I couldn’t actually verbalize to my baby (or to myself, sometimes). Each note sparked a new idea, question, or simple moment of appreciation for the being developing in my womb.

I would play reggae music as he moved back and forth across my mid-section. Some days I would try out 90’s hip-hop (I swear he would tap his foot to the rhythm). Classical music (the ultimate baby music cliché) just put him to sleep, no complaints.

His favorite music ended up being anything that made me dance. If I was shaking my bloated pregnancy booty it was (and still is) a good day for him; he’s down to shake along with me.

Oh, and we also listened to audio books. I had to drive a painful amount of time for work (four hours, three times a week). He slept through those audio books: Miranda’s dilemma about whether her Latin lover was actually murdering middle-aged art dealers in downtown Los Angeles really didn’t interest him.

Read more on Redbook!

Mom Humor, Parenting, Uncategorized

Rules of the Playroom, According to a Toddler

IMG_5282Dear Parent,

As much as you like to think you make the rules, you’re just fooling yourself — at least when it comes to the playroom.

When I come to town, it’s “game over” organized bins, clean walls, and fully dressed dolls. A new sheriff has arrived and I have a fresh set of laws.

  1. Thou shall not look at, or talk to, me whilst I am smashing my tiny truck into my line up of LEGO® DUPLO® bricks. I don’t care how cute I am — I will demand a snack, a snuggle, or a viewing of my favorite animated characters if you break my play flow, yo.

Read more at Babble!

Mom Humor, Uncategorized

25 Things I Tell My Toddler That I Should Be Telling Myself

I made it to OZ! (At least digitally.)

Originally published on Babble

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I’m quick with the requests (demands) for my toddler, but not so quick to follow my own seemingly wise words. What if those words were translated by my “good angel” into advice that helped me curb a few of my less-than-stellar habits?

I’m giving that good angel (who is more likely an opinionated fairy) a moment to shine and respond to all the chitchat I’m consistently doling out to my son.

 

1. Only one cup of juice.
Only one cup of wine.

2. Sugar and fried foods will make you tired.
Sugar and fried foods will make you tired, cranky, puffy, lazy, and hungry.

Read more at Mamamia!

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Mom Humor, Uncategorized

7 Things Giving Birth Taught Me About Having Sex With My Hubby

IMG_5627New moms: This one’s for you.

I could feel the texture of his tongue moving against mine. The urges were primal, urgent, and lovely. And then I woke up, flustered and seeking.

I was six months pregnant and the dreams dipped in juicy sex were coming on strong. The intimacy and release of sex secretly filled my mind more than the upcoming birth of my child. I wondered what the sweet lady at the grocery store, who always asked how I was feeling, would’ve said if I told her I had an electric sexual energy coursing through me; that I craved the moment my partner would return home, and I could close the blinds.

My journal entries were salacious. My girlfriends assured me that this bloom of sexuality would wilt as soon as I became a mother. As soon as my breasts were used for nourishment versus arousal. As soon as my vagina was opened to full capacity. As soon as sleep became the subject of my fantasies.

They were wrong. Here’s what giving birth taught me about sex.

Read more on YourTango!

Mom Humor, Uncategorized

25 Thing I Tell My Toddler (That I Should Be Telling Myself)

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I’m not sure if this photo relates- but I wanted to post it.

I’m quick with the requests (demands) for my toddler, but not so quick to follow my own seemingly wise words. What if those words were translated by my “good angel” into advice that helped me curb a few of my less-than-stellar habits?

I’m giving that good angel (who is more likely an opinionated fairy) a moment to shine and respond to all the chitchat I’m consistently doling out to my son.

1. Only one cup of juice.

Only one cup of wine.

2. Sugar and fried foods will make you tired.

Sugar and fried foods will make you tired, cranky, puffy, lazy, and hungry.

3. Clean up before you move to another activity.

Close your 15 browser windows before you open a new one to browse Amazon.

Read more on Babble!

Mom Humor, Pregnancy, Self Love, Uncategorized

9 Things Your Vagina is Urgently Trying to Tell You Post-Baby

IMG_4679For the love of God woman, use a donut cushion!

Your vagina assumes a new personality after having a baby. It sheds its past insecurities and fears; it’s capable of learning. If your vagina can push out a baby, it can do anything.

The new personality of your vagina has some sage postpartum words for you, helping to integrate your new badass self with your new badass vagina. I’ll go ahead and assume the voice of your vagina, so let’s pretend she has a British accent.

1. I damn well deserve to be called by my proper name now.

Once your vagina has gone through the big girl task of birthing a baby, it deserves to be called by its proper name. No more “down there,” “va-jay-jay,” “pink lady,” or “my petunia.” It’s vagina, and Queen Vagina to the men.

Read more on Your Tango!

Mom Humor, Uncategorized

I’m an End-of-the-Year Overachiever

IMG_4922I get more done between November and December than I do in the other 10 months of the year. There’s something about the prospect of looking over the productivity of the past year, come December 31st, to light a fire under my yoga-pants-wearing, reality-TV-watching arse.

And the whole “time flies” cliché doesn’t sting as much when I can look back on a year (two months) full of accomplishments, new memories, and a heftier bank account (wait, that rarely happens for me — let’s change that to “an expanded heart.”)

Most people are so “on it” they’re jumping on it come January, what with all the New Year’s Resolution hoopla. But I’m so wiped out by the time the New Year rolls around that I pretty much write January off to detoxing from butter, chocolate, and all forms of potatoes. I need to fill my achievement coffer before January 1st.

Read more on Huff Post!

Mom Humor

Directions to Motherhood

The journey to motherhood is flush with quicksand, stool softeners, thorns in the sciatic nerve, secret all-you-can-eat-buffets, justified temper-tantrums, loose gravel, flash in the pan “Must Have!” child-soothing gizmos and ill-timed gas.

This road is worth traveling. When we first become parents, we pick up a chubby ball of yummy-smelling deliciousness, but somehow, many of us get lost along the way.

We need directions, and not to prevent stumbles, potholes and occasional avalanches of ice cream; we need them to remind us the bizarre paths we wander down are well-trodden and flanked with supportive been-there, tripped-over-that mommas.

Read more on Huffington Post!

Mom Humor

31 Strange Addictions Only Moms Understand

I’ve developed a proclivity for habits my (naïve) pre-baby self would have deemed nonsensical. I’ve tried many forms of therapy — self-hypnosis, journaling, and chocolate (hoping to replace one habit with another), but nothing seems to kick my motherly addiction to the following …

1. Talking about baby’s bodily fluids, to everyone, even the nice teenage grocery store clerk who asks me how my day has been.

Read More at Scary Mommy!

Mom Humor

The 10 Commandments of Your First Mom-Friend Date

Forget romantic dates with actual real life men. Now that you’re a mom, you’re facing something even more terrifying: mom dates. A first-time mom date can be even more fraught with anxiety than a romantic date. Although hanky-panky is off the table, the potential for mom shaming, guilt, and the hopes that you just may be meeting the love of your mommy-friend life abounds.

Read more at Babble!

Mom Humor

I Envision Other Mothers….

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I envision other mothers prepping three course (food pyramid approved) meals for their children, three times a day…

While I make scrambled eggs in the microwave… three times a day.

I envision other mothers spending a leisurely thirty minutes talking their tot through a gentle diaper change…

While I beg my child not to smear poop on my face as I haphazardly diaper him as we’re rushing out the door to the Mommy and Me (fill in the blank) class we’re inevitably late for.

I envision other mothers having the television removed from the home the instant they learn an impressionable new little human is growing within them….

While I frantically try to figure out how to get to the Netflix Kids app so I can have two uninterrupted minutes to scrub the microwave eggs out of the carpet, and my hair.

I envision other mothers mystically stretching time and completing all laundry, bathing, clothing, feeding, watering (of themselves and their children,) cleaning their shelter, and laughing (it’s most certainly a basic need,) ALL. IN. ONE. DAY.

While I spread out our basic needs over the course of a week, with the exception of laughing, we do plenty of that.

I envision other mothers prepping a developmentally appropriate art project for kiddo/s each day of the week….

While I consider arranging our spaghetti (with a side of microwave eggs) into abstract shapes during dinner, art project enough.

I envision other mothers polishing off thoughtful and inspiring replies to all 55 of their emails, in one hour, and shutting down the computer for the rest of the day…

While I pull out my cell phone, laptop, or tablet thingy 367 times a day in an attempt to get out any response to the 16 emails I have sitting in my Inbox.

I envision other mothers leaving helpful, humorous, and heartfelt posts on their online ‘Mom Group’ of choice…

While I’m fortunate if I can shoot off an incredibly helpful, ‘Me too!’ or ‘That Sucks!’

I envision other mothers taking an adorable holiday card photo in June, pre-ordering the cards by September, and shipping them out, complete with a tastefully witty ‘Our Year in Review’ letter, by November 29th….

While I post a ‘Happy Holidays’ photo of my child on Facebook on January 3rd, hoping all the relevant relatives see it.

I envision other mothers writing the next great American novel, or blog, during their child’s three-hour naps….

While I attempt to type out ONE SENTENCE as my child simultaneously kicks my typing hand and bites my boob. (I started writing this two weeks ago.)

I envision other mothers being really cool and cutting me way too much slack for all the lazy mom-isms I’m guilty of….

While I have a good laugh with my kiddo, and remember that, hey girl, it’s all good.

Mom Humor

The 5 Toddler Styles

I was under the mistaken impression as a pre-mom, that if I had a boy I could buy ten sets of one-size-fits all overalls and generic dark colored onesies that come in a pack of ten and be done with it. But no, I have made the fascinating discovery over the past 19 months that toddlers have the capacity to be even more finicky, in regards to style, than an editor at Vogue. I blame the finicky-ness on the father; I’m perfectly content with my one size fits all mom uniform (aka yoga pants any shirt that doesn’t have buttons.) Under the tutelage of my toddler, I have ascertained the following to be five of the top toddler styles.

  1. The Nudist

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Many a toddler enjoys the liberating breeziness that accompanies the engrossing accessibility of the nudist lifestyle. If it were not so expensive to rent a steam cleaner, after the toddler poops on the rug, I would be a heartfelt proponent of this clothing option, or sans clothing option. Because my clothes are usually thoroughly toddler-soiled, mildewing in the long forgotten washer, or wrinkled on the floor, I’ve become a personal nudist enthusiast.

  1. The Fashion-ista

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There is a squad of Fedorables that frequent our neighborhood park, and I’m slightly embarrassed to admit my son frequently leads the pack. Again, I blame it on his fedora-wearing father. If you haven’t established that a Fedorable is a fedora wearing toddler that will likely end up in a hipster band later in life, that’s what it is, and my tot is a card carrying member; he’s already begun to fine tune his skills on the electric keyboard and hipster harmonica. A fedora is not a requirement of the fashion-ista toddler, but a hip “in” clothing item is a must. This tiny token of coolness may come in the form a faux fur vest, twirly skirt, designer tutu, TOMS, or intentionally ripped $80 jeans.

  1. The Minimalist

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The simpler the better for this tot; the name of their game is simplicity, functionality, and comfort. They have no patience for the scores of buttons that accompany a patterned button-up blouse and accompanying hip-kid vest, and find the rawness of the Nudist style to be supremely inconvenient when trying to prevent sand from entering their crack at the park. This child is the one I imagined when I bought stock in Osh Kosh B’Gosh, anticipating the need to buy large quantities of the previously mentioned overalls.

  1. The Costumer
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He loves it.

This tot, similar to the fashion-ista, has a flair for the dramatics and has no problem sacrificing comfort in favor of making a bold statement. This is the child who bravely dons their fully insulated astronaut costume when accompanying mom to the store on a 100 plus degree summer-day, or the ballerina who must be dressed in her finest leotard and tutu when attending the Nutcracker on a balmy minus five-degree winter night. And don’t even think of diminishing the integrity of the tutu by encouraging the application of a coat.

  1. The PJ-er

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The PJ-er shuns any clothing item that isn’t composed of flannel, or does not have built-in footies. This child is true to my heart, and I am still this child. I’m such a proponent of resisting the removal of my flannels, or sleepy-time-yoga-pants, that my fully dressed fashion-ista child has taken my hand and led me to my closet, encouraging I put on “real clothes.” True story. I’m certain my next child will happily sit in their drool stained pjs with me all day, politely passing on social invitations that would require we leave the house. Unfortunately for me, the public ‘PJ-er’ toddler is much more socially acceptable that the public ‘PJ-er’ mother; I’m actively working on reversing this social stigma, one ‘flannel pj shirt and slept in yoga pants’ day at a time.

What style does your toddler rock? A combo of the minimalist and PJ-er? A fashion-ista with a sprinkle of Costumer? A 24/7 nudist?

Mom Humor

Ode to The Boy

Here’s a bit of ha-ha from this amateur poet.

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Oh little boy, my love for you is off the charts.

Your smiles melt my heart, and your toots smell like farts.

You tug on that penis, like it might come apart,

And your drawings with my mascara are state of the art.

I love the special treasures that you hide in our laundry cart,

But get a weary feeling when I stick my hand in a moldy tart.

I cherish our special feedings, on the tampon aisle at the mart,

But when you bite me while you’re feeding, I always give a start, (or let out a fart.)

Although I’m unsure that mac and cheese is best served a la carte,

The kale and spinach I’ll sneak into your next meal, will surely provide a dietary restart.

You are quite michevious, but do not yet rival Bart.

Don’t tell other parents I say so, but I know you’re extra smart,

I know so, the doctor has shown me all the ‘smarty’ charts.

In your honor, I won’t end this poem till I use every word that rhymes with fart.

In regards to spreading smiles, laughs, and poop, you really do your part.

Oh my preciously radiant, tugging, and tooting prince, you’ll never lose my heart.

Dear little boy,

I love you.

Mom Humor

Dearest Child (Today was Awesome)

(The following is not a 100% true story, but based on reality, don’t tell anyone.)

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Dearest Child,

This morning, on this day of Not-The-Weekend, 2015, we will stay in our pajamas and eat whatever refined sugar treat we can find in the freezer.

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If you can find it on my tablet thingy, you can watch that episode of that animated show you’ve seen approximately 1,256 times, 15 more times.

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We will not engage in any preplanned physical activity, and say that we did.

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We will close the curtains, turn the rain sound machine on, cozy up under the covers, and pretend we can’t do anything productive because it’s raining.

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We will put two sticks of butter out to soften, in preparation of burning some baked goodness, then lose motivation and make something easy out of the crescent roll dough sitting in the fridge from Thanksgiving.

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I won’t gripe at you for yanking all my “perfectly ironed” clothing down from the closet, creating a pile, and using it as a makeshift mound of leaves; I’ll even join you.

(We were having too much fun to take a photo.) 

If one of our mommy-baby couple friends knocks on the door, stopping by for an impromptu visit, we’ll hide in the bathroom until we’re certain they’re gone, so they won’t see our chocolate stained faces, semi-stinky pajamas, and happily guilt laden faces.

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I’ll hide my phone and only pick it up if Nana calls more than three times.

Because “it’s raining outside” you can use the chalk on that spot of the carpet that was soaked in coffee, or something else, long ago, what’s a little chalk going to hurt?

If we do select to bathe today, we’ll fill the tub with ten times the amount of recommended bubble bath and will summon our impressive fleet of rubber duckies, and have rubber ducky wars. Then, we’ll put our pajamas back on, the dirty ones, if we can’t find any others.

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Above all else, we’ll lie when daddy gets home and tell him we’re only wearing our pajamas because we’ve had such a healthfully productive day we’re going to bed early. Luckily, you cannot yet intelligibly talk, so I’ll do the lying thank you.

Today was awesome, you’re pretty cool, let’s do it again sometime.

Love,

Mom