The School Supply Scavenger Hunt

school supplies

My son is heading to second grade this week. My daughter will be starting preschool after Labor Day. This means lots of things. We have to find first day of school outfits, discuss teachers and deal with anxiety. But, there’s another, more substantial project. I like to call it the school supply scavenger hunt. (more…)

I Want an Imaginary Friend

imaginary friend

My daughter recently acquired a new friend. She is imaginary and her name is Blueberry. They play lots of games and often put on musical productions for my amusement. Blueberry is very compliant and seems to go along with all of my daughter’s ideas. Based on her experiences with Blueberry, I have decided that I want an imaginary friend. (more…)

A Birth Doula’s Role in a Stressful Birth Situation

bizarre doula story

This post is by an anonymous writer who works as a doula. She has changed names and details for privacy reasons.

It started as a typical hospital labor. Expectant Sandra was sent to the hospital for an induction. The relaxed, silent atmosphere was broken only by heavy breathing through contractions. There was not a whole lot that I needed to do besides offer her water every few contractions, replace the cold face cloth when it became heated on Sandra’s face and apply lip balm when she licked her lips too much. (more…)

Inducing Labor Naturally

inducing labor

“This,” said my husband, “this is what desperation looks like.” He was talking about me at 40 weeks pregnant. We were at a Mexican restaurant. There’s an old wives tale that spicy food will induce labor. I demanded Mexican food. We asked for the spicy salsa but I decided it wasn’t spicy enough. So, we asked the waitress if she had anything spicier. (more…)

Average Cost of Baby’s First Year by City

cost-of-babys-first-yearThe cost of living has a big impact on what it will cost to raise a child. In the first year alone there are the baby startup costs and many of those depend on where you live. The fine folks at Redfin.com break it down in pie chart and list form. If you’ve never used Redfin it is seriously the greatest real estate search site in existence. If it covers your area give it a try.

Items like housing are obviously location dependent, but childcare and healthcare can also vary based on geography. (more…)

Realistic Wedding Vows

wedding vows

Oh, wedding vows. They are so charming. They’re all full and love and hope, like the beginning of a marriage should be. However, all us married folk know that marriage gets complicated and it’s not all love and roses all the time. We get older and less attractive (at least I did). You can still be in love, but wedding receptions don’t go on forever. Life gets real. I propose an alternate set of wedding vows that reflect the real world: (more…)

My First Baby Was a Canine and I Regret Nothing

reilly

About two months after my husband and I got hitched, we got a yellow lab that we named Reilly. We married just as I turned 30 and we knew that we wanted a decent sized family and we had to get moving. Reilly was our ‘trial child.’ We chose that name after a character in one of our favorite books, A Confederacy of Dunces, Ignatius J. Reilly. Ignatius was a man that essentially didn’t grow up and remained dependent on his mother and eventually another character in the book. A perfect name for a dog as a dog will be depending on his people parents for life. But as much as he depended on us, he gave us so much too. It wasn’t until his arrival did my husband and I truly feel like a family. What an amazing gift he gave us.

Yesterday in Slate, a rather disillusioned mother discussed how she regretted getting a dog before kids. She was apparently surprised that her dog would continue to need love and care after she had her children.  Peruse the comments in this article and you will see a lot of hate toward this woman. (more…)

Pot Calls Kettle Black: When The Pot is Your Parent Criticizing Your Parenting

imageMy Dad was visiting us this week to spend time with my sons – one is almost-5 years old and the other is 2 years old. After a few days, my Dad sat me down to have a talk about how out of control dinner time had become. Let me step back and set up the scenario. Both boys are rowdy. They are loud, full of energy and opinionated. When it comes to food, they can be picky. After too many meals juggling different options, I have since laid down the law and everyone eats the same meal. If it is something completely new, the boys just have to try one bite. Sometimes even getting them to take one bite is a battle. Sometimes it is even a battle when I know they like the food! This was the scene that played out in front of my Dad. (more…)

Homemade Popsicle Recipes

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There’s no better way to cool down on hot day than with a Popsicle. Sure it’s easy just to go to the grocery and buy a box of popsicles for the kiddies. But why not give them something homemade with chunks of real fruit and sprinkles of love. Here are some of my favorite Popsicle recipes. (more…)

Appreciating Your Partner Before and After Children

partners

Love relationships inevitably change over time. When you’re with a partner for a long time, you begin to appreciate different things about them There are, of course, the things that get on your nerves, but I’m not going to focus on that today. Instead, I want to talk about what you appreciated about your main squeeze before you had children and what you appreciate about them after the little ones showed up. (more…)