May 25, 2010

My Blog Fat Greek Makeover

Later today, when you go to it will transfer you right there. Oh, and leave me a comment there and let me know whatcha think.

May 24, 2010

Why I CAN'T Jump in the Shower

I'm getting a makeover--well the blog is. I hope it will be up by tomorrow. Come by and check it out then. In the mean time, here's a funny conversation I had this morning with my 2YO:

Mommy: "Ok, you sit here and watch TV while I jump in the shower."
2YO: "Mommy, You no need to jump in the shower."
Mommy: "What?"
2YO: "You no need to jump (she hops twice) in the shower! You can walk (she models walking) into the shower."

Well, there's nothing quite like getting a lecture on safety from your well meaning 2YO. True story. I meant it when I said this is the most entertaining job ever--and tiring. That of course happened after 2 time outs for 2YO and five races after 1YO who was attempting to climb out of the high chair, crawl up the stairs, open the kitchen cabinets, jump in the potty, talk on the house phone, and grab daddy's video camera--all before my morning cup of coffee.

Keep the votes coming.

Posted by Laura

May 23, 2010

Dutch Babies for My Babies: Breakfast Recipe

This “Dutch Babies” breakfast recipe, also known as German pancakes, is one of my favorites of all times. It almost tastes like French toast. It is super yummy, extremely easy to make, and looks quite impressive when you take it out of the oven.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time:20 minutes
Enjoyment: all morning

INGREDIENTS: (Servings 4-6)
1 ¼ cup four
1 ¼ cup milk
5 eggs
¼ stick butter
powdered sugar (optional)
nutmeg (optional)
maple syrup (for dipping)

Recipe: Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Put ¼ stick of butter into large rectangular baking pan put into oven to melt while you prepare the rest. In a large bowl combine 1¼ cups flour, 1¼ cups milk, and 5 eggs. Mix either in blender, or with hand whisk for two minutes until evenly mixed. Pour mixture into pan over melted butter. Bake for 20 minutes. You will see the edges puff up and turn golden brown. Remove from oven and serve with some powdered sugar and nutmeg sprinkled on top and maple syrup. You can also serve it topped with fresh strawberries and a side of bacon.

Enjoy! And let me know what you think. Do you have a favorite breakfast recipe to share?

Thanks for your continued voting.

Posted by Laura

May 21, 2010

You Put WHAT on Your Baby Brother’s Face!

An instant.

That’s all it takes.

You mommies out there know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

That’s all it took this morning . . .

I woke up tired but became stressed when I discovered baby boy had a fever and Toddler girl royally woke up on the wrong side of her bed. It was a work day for me to head to the office—bad news: daddy would not be able to help get the kids ready or drop them off. More bad news—my hair was drenched in coconut oil that the night before I had brilliantly decided to sleep in for an extra special but now very inconvenient hair treatment. So, I showered while baby boy sipped his bottle in his crib and I continuously rubbed the steam off the shower door to keep a close eye on Toddler girl who was attempting to squeeze the entire contents of a lip-gloss tube and use it as a facial moisturizer.

Well, things can’t be that bad. Right? Right? That’s what I thought as I loaded the kids into the car. I strapped baby boy in first. He was screaming for his bottle. Then I lifted Toddler girl into the car and tell her to sit in her car seat and wait. She actually usually always listens. I’d be right back to strap her in. All I had to do was walk 10 feet from the garage to the hallway side table where I had left his bottle. But, a lot can happen in 30 seconds.

The hand sanitizer. That bottle that I had placed in the front seat JUST yesterday so I would remember to pack it in my bag—was not on the seat when I returned! It was suddenly in the back seat! And Toddler girl was climbing back into her seat, revealing she was up to something.

"What did you just do?" I asked Toddler girl, only for her to tell me she thought she would “wash” her baby brother’s face with it! "YOU DID WHAT!" It was smeared on his cheeks—and feet! He just sat there, the innocent victim, amused by the tingly cool sensation and the attention. The problem?

Just a few months ago I was forwarded an email warning that children can ingest hand sanitizer—all it takes is a few drops--and get poisoned from it. Since then I have been so extremely careful to keep it all out of their reach. (It's an interesting article to read and one to take into consideration.) Until now!

That feeling of dread weighed down in the pit of my stomach and intoxicated my mind, my heart, my body with fear. What if Baby boy got some sanitizer in his mouth? What if he’s poisoned? So I frantically investigated him head to toe—thankfully it didn’t appear so. I further interrogated Toddler girl—things were aligning. He appeared safe. But, the fact that Baby boy was already a bit lethargic with his fever only made me feel more anxiety that perhaps, no it couldn’t, but could it be that he got a drip on his mouth! My mind said he was completely fine. But my emotions ... well, if you didn't read the post about my brief hallucination of how Toddler girl's fall at the playground led to her detached arm, you should, and then imagine how much more I am freaking out in this moment.

Thankfully that was not the case. Baby boy was fine. I am EXTREMELY thankful and relieved. This was another learning experience--I have since banished the hand sanitizer from the car. And, I have resolved to NEVER leave Toddler girl in the car unstrapped---until she is 18! I wonder if they make car seats big enough for teenagers? And, by the way, I did have to leave work early and bring baby boy to the doctor—thankfully it was not a return of his ear infection, but just a virus. Though I’m hoping it’s only teething.

So overall, Thursday, gets the award for my most stressful day of the week. And that's a good thing, because it means tomorrow can only get better. Right? Right! Happy Friday Everyone : ) Hoping it’s a peaceful start to a great weekend for you all.

Do you have hand sanitizer in your car or diaper bag? If not where do you keep it? OR what do you use to fend off the germs.

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Posted by Laura

May 19, 2010

A Mommy's Work Resume

Today is my last post participating in Momalom's 5 for 10. The topic is "Yes." Have you ever considered how many job descriptions a woman takes on when she says "yes" to becoming a mother?

At work I was instructed I needed to update my resume. My resume! A lot has happened in the past three years! So I sat there at my computer screen wondering: Can I add that I have changed over 10,000 diapers? Birthed two heads more lethal than a wrecking ball? Contained more poopie eruptions than an active volcano—in the car, the middle of Target, and in (deep sigh) the bathtub! Functioned as a human tissue? Tamed more temper tantrums than a human resources manager, boxing referee, and zookeeper combined! Perhaps it is time to create a new resume of my own! One that applies to all us mommies out there. Ahem, here we go:


CONTACT: Find me anywhere you hear or see children; sometimes I wear them too.

University of Real Life, Toddlerland
BA, Birthing Another
MA, Mothering Another
PHD, Praying hard daily, how else do you survive the BA and MA?

HONORS/AWARDS Finalist in the Semi Annual “My Baby Can Scream Louder Than Yours So-Please-Help-Me Jesus contest”; The Nursing-Mother’s “So This is What it’s Like to be a Cow” Award; “I’ve Sniff Bottoms More Frequently than a Custom’s Canine” First Place; “My Baby’s Head is a Lethal Weapon and I Survived Sleeping Next to it” Honorable Mention; Qualified to join the “I Abused my Diaper Bag to the Point it Exploded” Club. I write my own awards.


Chief Household Officer (CHO), To see a full list of my daily responsibilities click HERE.

Hazmat Specialist, I consistently identify, quarantine, and properly dispose of more hazardous waste in one week than an entire hazmat team in a year.

Translator, I am fluent and proficient in translating Toddlerese.

Teacher, my curriculum widely covers everything from the basics to those deep questions in life such as: “What’s that?” “Where did it come from?” and “Why Mommy?”

Personal Chef, I not only prepare and serve three meals a day, but snack times too.

Stylist, this includes everything from hair to socks and clothing. In addition I have had to give several lessons in what NOT to wear to my 2YO including the “No, we don’t wear a bathing suit over our dress” and “No, we don’t wear our Dora-the-Explorer Costume to church.”

On-Call Nurse, I’m told my kisses aid in the healing booboos

Professional Gift Wrapper, my clients specialize in making their own unique “presents” multiple times daily. I excel at quickly, and carefully wrapping these gifts with many layers of plastic one handed, and sometimes at night with only one eye open, all while holding my breath for very long periods of time.

Potty Training Doula, I’ve coached my patients in birthing more poopies, than a pediatrics ward has babies.

Driver & Tour Guide, encouraging safety first, I personally lift each client into his/her seat and assist them getting their entire body strapped into the car all while serenading them with many popular songs, such as “Twinkle little start,” though out the drive. I even narrate and give detailed descriptions of the various locations we pass through.

Wrestler, how else do you suppose I would get my youngest opponent diapered, bathed, dressed, and fed?

Heavy Weight Lifting Champion, yes, that’s what I call someone who functions throughout the day while carrying two human beings under each arm pit, keeping in mind that after the first five minutes, everything becomes heavy.

Surgeon and Real-life “Operation Game” Champion
, who needs that game of Operation when one can extract play dough, Cheerios, penne pasta, and crayons out of a moving target’s nose—This brings the careful navigation of a surgeon’s swift steady hand to a whole new level.

Personal Shopper, in addition to helping my clients choose the best products on the market, my clients enjoy a joy ride being pushed in the top front of the shopping cart.

Professional Entertainer, I write my own music, performing original songs for all daily activities such as “This is how we wash our hands” and “This is how we get strapped in the car.”

Story Telling Specialist, I can recite “Brown Bear” and “Good Night Gorilla” by heart, backwards, forwards, and in my sleep. That’s what happens when you’re asked to tell the same story over and over and over again.

Dental Hygienist, while brushing my patients teeth, offer two flavors of tooth paste, including the fluoride free bubble gum and fruit punch, I even sing the “this is how we brush our teeth song” to my patients!

Photographer, I capture that perfect shot of my clients. Yes, I do just about anything to get them to smile, including bribery, praise, and making a complete utter fool out of myself.

Inventor, I have used the diaper wipe to do all things, everything from wiping bottoms, noses, cleaning stains of carpets, shirts, cleaning the couch, to cleaning the baseboards of the house to functioning as earplugs. Desperate moments call for creative measures.

House Cleaner, it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it.

Police Officer, I excel at giving warnings, I’m the Time-Out enforcer, and have been told my facial expressions alone instill the fear of God in the disobedient.

Personal Coach, I give more encouragement and stickers than Santa Clause presents.

Dry Cleaner, While I do wash, dry, fold, and put away all the laundry, I do NOT do the actual dry cleaning; I just drop it off. Hey, I guess I can’t be all things to all people after all. You can’t say yes all the time. Just don't tell my italian Granmother this, and we'll all be just fine ; )


Multitasking Expert, I can nurse a baby while talking on the phone, updating my facebook status, sipping sweet tea, changing the channel on the TV, and chasing after my 2YO—all at the same time.

Mr Poopie Assailant

Have anything to add to the list above? Please share.

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Posted by Laura

May 17, 2010

Crazy Marriage Advice from My Italian Grandmother

Welcome D-Listed Blog Party 2010 visitors. I have also been participating in Momalom's 5 for 10 post where every day we've been writing about the same topic and today's topic is Lust. But before I get into that, a brief introduction: I'm a dramatic Italian, eye-tearing, germ-fearing, sweat-dripping, heart-skipping, bottom-wiping, finger-swiping, crumb-picking, toy-tripping, hand-holding, laundry-folding, character-molding, head-turning, stomach churning, patience-testing, un-empty-nesting, mistake-making, rule-breaking, Mommy of two toddlers. Check out the "About me" section below to learn more.

Well, since I'm Italian, I thought you might enjoy hearing some crazy advice my Italian grandmother gave me upon getting married. One day, shortly after my honeymoon, she called me up on the phone and said out of the blue with the greatest fervency as though it was her last breath, "LISTEN TO-a ME!"

I thought to myself, Oh, God, what's happening. Is she dying? But no, the words she was about to say was going to make me want to crawl under the couch and hide.

"Listen-a! When de man, you hus'bun, wanna make-a de cha-cha-cha NEVER SAY NO!"

"What!" I ask, thinking to myself surely surely this woman, my grandmother, isn't referring to what I think she is!


"Grandma, I don't want to talk about this." Can we say, AKWARD!

Nevertheless, she continued: "Listen-a. I'm gonna tell you da story. Dis is-a true! One time, dare wassa da woman. Her Hus'bun he come-a 'ome from-a work-a, and he wanna make a de cha cha cha. But she said-a NO! She was-a busy-a cook-a! She no wanna de cha cha cha! So de man, he go-a into de bed-a-room. Den, some-a time pass-a. De woman went to call-a de husbun to eat-a dinna. But when she open de door-a, de husbun, HE WAS-A DEAD-A!"

SURELY, I thought to myself, this isn't really happening. This advice surely isn't coming from my grandmother.

"What are you talking about!" I tell her. "This is so random. Please, I don't want to talk about this Grandma!"

But she insisted, "Look-a, NEVER SAY NO! Dis is de cross-a we must-a carry as de woman."

"Are you telling me that if I ever tell my husband no, he's going to die?"

"What-a you? Some-a kind-a CRAZY!?!?!?!?! Yes-a! Dis is de true story!"

Well, there you have it ladies. Advice from my Italian grandmother: "Never say NO" to your husband's requests for "dance" lessons. I did ask her what would happen if the husband says no to his wife. Apparently the wife will not die. Don't get angry at me, now. I'm just the messenger.

And, before you get too offended, just remember, she's doing her Italian grandmotherly duty of trying to get the world to produce more babies because more babies equals more mouths to feed which means more food to cook which means:


Have you had family members give you crazy advice? Do share : )

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Posted by Laura

May 16, 2010

Mommy Hallucinations: The Detached Arm

Yes, I sometimes suffer from Mommy hallucinations. You know, the ones that strike at the playground when you're trying to assess how injured your child is. This one happened yesterday:

There I was sitting in the shade with another mommy friend exchanging our birthing battle-wound stories as our daughters played, when suddenly Toddler girl exhorted a shriek that that sent pins and needles radiating throughout my entire body. She slipped off a two-foot high playground step and fell straight onto her arm. She stood up and time froze.

Her eyes were bulging. Mouth gaping. Lungs expanding. She ran towards me and I toward her in what seemed slow motion. Then, I noticed her arm! Her Arm! Her left arm was just hanging there! Oh GOD! It’s dangling! I’m running faster and further towards her. But it was like a dream where you’re running and sprinting but making no progress.

With every step I’m analyzing the angle of her arm. The way she was extending it forward and parallel to the ground as she ran, but the elbow was sticking upward. It was contorted! Twisted! Dislocated! No, worse, broken!

More steps. Her eyes! Oh, how she must be in the most excruciating pain! How could this have happened! How could I have let this happen! What do I do now? Should I call 911? Which hospital should I drive her to?

“Mamma! Mamma!” She yelps. Closer now. Closer. The arm, it is completely clear to me now! It’s barely even attached to her body! It’s hanging by a thread about to completely detach itself and burry itself under the playground wood chips. Just as I’m seeing this, we make contact.

“Show Mommy your booboo!” I ask gently pulling her toward me ready to lift the detached arm off the floor and put it back on her body when she says, “NO, NOT THAT ARM, Mamma, THIS one.”

Say whaaaaaaaaat!

Well, after brushing the dirt off her elbow, RIGHT ELBOW, I should clarify, and double and triple checking that left arm that was suddenly, surely, and utterly completely fine, and offering the famous Mommy kiss, I realized I still needed to call the ambulance. It would surely take the paramedics to come bring me some oxygen after such a scare!

So mommies out there, have you ever had this happen to you? You see an injury and think it so tragic only to find out it’s nothing? To be honest, I’m still completely stressed out just thinking about the incident, even though she was completely fine! The thought of it was just that completely stressful. To think there was a time I thought a birthing battle wound gave me bragging rights. Little did I know of the events yet to come!

Please vote for me by clicking to the right of this post. We’re number #2 in humor. Thanks!

Posted by Laura

May 13, 2010

Trapped in the Mommy Zone: Confessions of a Working Mom

It was an interesting day at the office: my diaper bag (laptop carrier) exploded. The copy machine malfunctioned. I found myself attempting to speak in code to my husband by spelling in front of adults who can spell! That’s of course after finding myself speaking to clients in not so cute toddlerease. Woops.

Sometimes it’s hard shifting gears from the home to office. Sometimes even though I’m away from my kids my mind is trapped in the Mommy zone! Let’s go through the list of embarrassing moments that I’m sure many working moms have experienced at one point or another.

You Know You’re Trapped in the Mommy Zone When . . .

1.) Your diaper bag also functions as a laptop carrier, briefcase, lunch box, makeup bag, and finally, after jamming in every last necessity, the lip-gloss, the hand sanitizer, the wipes, a change of clothes for baby boy, the animal crackers, it explodes in the car! Of course there is no time to run in the house and get a new bag, so what do you do? You carry this massive “briefcase” all day long as though it were a clutch on steroids.

2.) You nearly get pulled over while on the way to work because there was barely enough time to get dressed let alone drink coffee and you are now just plain delirious. You wonder if there is such a thing as a DWC? Driving without Caffeine.

3.) After dropping off the kids and driving to work, you’re is still listening to that horrendous CD of nursery rhymes that toddler requests to hear on repeat, until you realize: I can have quiet now. Why am I still listening to this!

4.) At the office your once sophisticated vocabulary now takes on an unprofessional and completely inappropriate cutesy baby talk. At random points throughout the day, you unintentionally begin talking to your co-workers/employees as though they were your dear 2YO at home, saying things like: “Excuse me while I go do peepee in the potty!” or “Oopsie-daisey! The copy machine is jammed again!” Or “The client canceled; how stinkey-winkey!” Of course your mouth drops in horror as these words are coming out of your mouth. But it is too late. You sound like an idiot.

5.) You felt so good about that nice blouse (especially since it took you all morning to find one that fit), until mid day, after several meetings, a well-meaning client tells you a bird has crapped on your shirt. You run to the “potty” to check it out only to discover it was no bird but your own baby who secretly vurped a clumpy loogie down your shoulder! After composing your embarrassed self, you return to your meeting, pretending not to be utterly humiliated and attempt cursing those “darn birds!”—but it’s not even that cool, because you’re still in the mommy zone and even though you say it in a dramatic angry tone, the words that come out of your mouth are more like: “Those silly-billy-gumdrop birds!”

But at the end of the day, driving back to pick up the kids and head home, you realize whether you’re staying at home or out at the office, every job has its moments. Some are embarrassing. Exhausting. Happy. Horrible. Hilarious. And some are just plain wonderful. Like when finally, you go to the door to pick up your kids and there are the two biggest smiles you’ve ever seen saying, “Mamma! Mamma! I missed you!” Yup, every job has its moments.

What are your Mommy Zone moments?

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Posted by Laura

May 12, 2010

Diaper Deliverance and the Potty Training that Followed

Happiness is after . . .

(On average) 8 diapers a day x 365 days a year

= 2,920 diapers per year! (243 per month)

After 2 years 11 months

8,517 diapers later

Let’s say that out loud:

Eight Thousand, Five Hundred, Seventeen diaper changes!

That’s a whole lot-a poo!

Mommy wakes up to find

Toddler girl did poopie on the potty


Buh bye! Mr. Poopie. Buh bye!

Yes, she really is potty trained. The next problem: getting the courage to take her out without a pull up and face (gasp!) the public restroom! And of course, getting Baby boy to soon follow.

Oh, and before you go check out these two cloth diapering mommies: Diana @hormonal imbalances and Cindy @ Aguilar Family Adventures. To think of all the diapers and money these two eco friendly mommies are saving! What an inspiration.

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Posted by Laura

May 11, 2010

When Mommy NEEDS to Burn the Stir Fry

Click here for the post on courage.

Yesterday evening right as I was sautéing some vegetable stir-fry for dinner, Toddler girl comes up to me from across the room and says, “Mamma, I yuv you! I yuv you cause you’re my best friend.”

Isn’t it amazing the way one self-initiated sweet word from your child has the power to freeze time while melting your heart. One sweet word that touches Mommy’s love button that she didn’t even know was there cause its tucked somewhere deep in her heart; and, when she hears those simple words of gratitude she’s feels her heart fill up with so much joy it’s bursting up out of her chest with a fiery passion until she’s melting into the kitchen floor—well at least that’s what I do cause, yes, I am melodramommy here.

Well, in a moment like that, you forget you’re stressed, or that you woke up thinking there was a tarantula crawling across your face. You forget all the exhaustion it took to get to that moment. In that instant, you’re not even thinking about the vegetables that need to be stirred, the chicken that needs to be flipped, the diaper that needs to be changed, the high chair that needs to be wiped, or the hands that need to be washed—again! You’re thinking: Oh how I’ve waited for this moment! How I waited 9 months, plus a year of nursing (per child), plus years of poop explosions, messes, five bouts of the stomach flu, petrifying visits to urgent care, temper tantrums to the 10th degree, Oh how I’ve waited for THIS moment. You think that every time those sweet words kiss your face because every time it’s just as sweet as the first time.

So mommies out there, especially the newer ones, when your going through those crazy days like the ones listed above, just know you have moments like these to look forward to. Believe it or not, as exhausting, overwhelming, relentless and fatiguing that some days caring for children can be, hearing your little one initiate on their own big, “I love you, Mommy” while wrapping their little arms around your waist, makes you forget how much effort it took to get there—at least for a few minutes.

So, when your sweet moment arrives, one that always feels like it’s the sweetest moment of your life, SOAK it all up. Drink it. Marinate in that moment of love. The vegetable stir-fry can wait even if it does turn a little black in the process.

What moments most melt your heart?

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Posted by Laura

May 10, 2010

On How to Make Mommy Pee

Dear Toddler girl,

Hi there, it’s your friend Mr. Peepee. Yes, it is very dark outside—but it’s morning time and you can get up now. Oh, come on, I really am your friend. Ok, sorry I got you in trouble for following you across the living room carpet last week—hey, Mommy needs to learn these messes are no big deal especially when over at a friend’s house! Hey, that wasn’t half as bad as when your brother invited me to fly across his bedroom onto the dresser mirror last month! Really. Trust me. Anyway, I have a fun activity for you this morning. Yes, this is something Mommy is going to absolutely scream her head off with excitement this morning . . . Wanna help?

Okay, it’s quite simple. Just go and grab that shiny blue container of dental floss. Yes, the one right there on Mommy’s bathroom counter. Shhhhhh. Be quiet. Not time to wake her just yet. Got it? Okay, now go unravel just a little bit and go dangle that white thread above and across Mommy’s face! Just lightly. Yes, I know she’s sleeping right now, but that’s the point! Oh good, I see you’ve quietly climbed onto her bed to do this. Trust me, she’s going to LOVE the way this feels.

Yes! Yes! You have the hang of it now. What? Oh, why is Mommy scrunching up her face? That’s because she really is enjoying this! Yes, look at the way she is slapping her cheeks with enthusiasm! Okay, now when Mommy screams as though she is being attacked—that is when you are going to ask her to floss your teeth. No, Mommy’s not screaming because she thinks a tarantula is shriveling its way across her skin. Trust me she’s slapping her face because she’s so proud of you for wanting to keep your teeth clean. And the screaming as though she’s dying? That’s because I’m about to make a surprise visit to her in her sleep!

Your pal,

Mr. Peepee

P.S.—If you thought that made her pee, just wait till she finds out she’s officially off the waiting list at the 2010 NYC Blogher conference. She and I are going to be best buds!

Yes, it's official. I'm going to blogher! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! I can't wait to meet so many awesome women! And, learn and share with you the experience. Let me know if you're going. And if not, what you want me to tell you about it.

Want to support my blog? Becoming a follower and vote for me to the top right of this post! We’re #2 in humor.

Posted by Laura

May 9, 2010

What Mom Taught Me: Courage Redefined

On Mother’s Day I can’t help but think about what a huge influence my mom has had on the person I have become today. It wasn’t just the things she said growing up, but the way she constantly taught me through her example. Through her actions she has taught me that it doesn’t take being the loudest person in the room to have a strong influence; nor is influence limited to one’s career. My mom has taught me influence comes from the way you live your life, the way you love people, and the way you serve others.

Knowing what a huge influence my mom has had on me, gives me new hope for the impact I can make on my children. So, I thought I’d write a poem about what my mom's life example has taught me:

I used to think this was courage:

OR if I could do a great heroic act, rescuing my children from harm, would that make me courageous?

My mom has taught me something else. So what is courage?

“Courage Redefined”

Courage is a powerful choice
Only sometimes expressed through voice.

It doesn’t come outwardly from strength or size.
Courage comes from the depths inside.

Courage is choosing to love
In the face of rejection.

Choosing to serve
Without recognition.

Choosing to be generous
Without expecting gratitude.

Choosing to influence
Even by your attitude.

Choosing to forgive
When you can’t understand.

Choosing to do right
When it’s not a demand.

Refusing to quit
After failure and loss.

Asking for help
When carrying your cross.

Courage is giving of yourself
Without all the guarantees.

And that is what my mom has taught me.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you courageous mommies out there!

Posted by Laura

May 7, 2010

Mr. Poopie Strikes Again! Guest Post

So in honor of the upcoming Mother's Day weekend, I have united with another mommy friend of mine, Kate from Mommy Monologues, who will be guest posting here today to talk about something on the hands hearts of mothers around the globe. Flowers? No. Books? Nope. Today's topic is much more detrimental. It's one that every mother has had to face. Today's topic is POOP! Let's face it, in the land called mommyville, there's a whole lot of it!

So without further ado, meet Mommy Monologuing Kate, fellow Mr. Poopie assailant!

One of the first things I ever read of Laura's was one of her letters to Mr. Poopie. It literally had me laughing out loud--it was a post that only mothers (and fathers) could completely relate to. Although I am not potty training like the Melodramommy Household is, there have been many times that I have been in the middle of something & I’ve smelled something terrible & I just dread opening up that diaper! Well, since Laura has so graciously given me the opportunity to write for her blog today, I thought I would share my own Dear Mr. Poopie letter.

Dear Mr. Poopie,

I appreciate the fact that you are a signal of health for my little boy. I would probably hate you more right now if you were Mr. Constipation. But what I don't appreciate is the stunt you pulled on me today.

Baby Boy was playing gleefully with his Tonka trunks & the dog's chew bone (yuck!) And then I smelled your foul presence & was immediately distracted from my most important blogging house cleaning. Since I hate the thought of my precious child sitting in poopie squalor I immediately started to get rid of you as fast as I could.

As I got the diaper tabs undone I immediately knew that there was going to be trouble--call it motherly instincts. Okay, maybe any non-mommy could have known that there was going to be an issue the minute Baby started twisting, turning, & kicking furiously trying to get free. I thought that I had it under control….Until….

You started calling out like a beacon to Baby's heel, which answered your call with a swift kick into the diaper! Flinging you, Mr. Poopie, 50 feet in every direction with a huge lump of nastiness landing right on Baby's face! At which point, Mr. Poopie, you had me, Mommy, shrieking from disgust. Which scared the crap out of Baby (no pun intended) who in turn started screaming & then he slapped his hands to his face in sheer terror! Yes, Mr. Poopie I know you enjoyed this part--he raked you all over his face, up his nostrils, in his ears, on his chest, his legs, & then on me!

Each & every time I thought I had a handle on you, the more I found you in different crevices, between fingers & toes, & even in hair on his head! Oh my Mr. Poopie, you are a clever one you are. I know you were having a hysterical fit of laughter the more I screamed & fought to get you wiped. I know you were having a blast the more I grabbed at wipes desperately trying to get you off of my hands & off of Baby. You may have won that time, Mr. Poopie, but I will win in the end! It’s called “Potty Trained.” You might win some small (and big) battles during the training process, as Laura, your other nemesis as informed me, but eventually I will win the biggest battle of all! And I will teach Baby to flush you with gusto!

Mr. Poopie: 1 Mommy: 0

Until tomorrow Mr. Poopie,

Mommy—you best beware!

Thanks again Kate for a hilarious post! Go check her out at and share the love: leave a comment and vote!

And Mommies, as you start this Mother's Day weekend, with a wipe in one hand and your cell phone ready to dial 911 in the other, be encouraged to know you're not alone in this battle against notorious Mr. Poopie. Stand tall, be persistent, and keep the faith, because we've been entrusted with the greatest task of all--potty training this next generation!

Posted by Laura

May 5, 2010

Womb for Rent? Baby Wants His Bachelor Pad!

Distorted sleeping arrangements while on a family vacation led me to a teeny tiny bed where I attempted to snuggle up to a wild baby boy who was dreaming of fighting a war and mommy was trapped in the battle! Thus came my guest post yesterday at Mommy Monologues on the hazards of sleeping with baby. But there is one more baby sleep fantasy yet to be exposed. And this is a big one. I didn’t realize it until the last night of our vacation . . .

All through a sleepless night baby boy was hacking a cough all over me. So I turned my back to him in efforts to inhale a clean breath of phlegm-free air. What does he do? He gets into fetal position and digs his feet into my back. I try sliding over a bit to give my myself more room, but he’s inching closer and closer, pressing his pointy toes deeper and deeper into my spine until I’m almost falling off the edge of the bed. I think to myself, “Child, you can’t climb back in my uterus that way!” and that is when the revelation struck me: baby is attempting what is perhaps the greatest baby sleep fantasy of all—crawling back into that perfect warm place of his beginnings. Surely and steadily, baby's plotting to find a way to make mommy’s womb once again open for rent!

Think about it! Why is it that once baby is born he’s suddenly slurping spit up on Mommy’s new blouse, shrieking at pitches that just might pop an ear drum, exploding poop across a room at forces that just might dent the walls! It’s time to face the facts, ladies! Baby don’t like the cold, stark, new housing arrangements, and he’s trying to make mommy miserable enough to reverse that 9-month-eviction policy. He’s got plans of his own.

Consider this: For 9 months, baby had the perfect bachelor pad! There was no need to put forth so much effort to move when you're floating in weightlessness. Oh the ambiance was just perfect: no harsh noises, no blinding lights, the perfect warm temperature comparable to that of laying in the sun at the beach, but even better! No need for sunscreen. No need for scratchy clothes. Nothing to disturb his sleep. To top it off, it was a place that never needing cleaning or cooking or where he had to eat that yucky baby jar food, or worse, encounter random big-headed people with bad breath who invade his personal space and say things like, “My what chubby cheeks you have!” or “My, aren’t you gassy!” and “Oh look at that little cone head!” Baby had 9 months of freedom! There were no rules, no interruptions, no invasion of privacy, no cold wipes, and there definitely wasn’t that unending list of a mommy’s most frequently used word--NO! He goes from complete independence to being told when to eat, sleep, what to wear, and where to poop! Surely life was better BEFORE that catastrophic day when an earthquake sent him sliding and gliding out of his home! (And don’t we all wish it was as easy as that sounds!)

Let’s face it Mommies, can you blame baby? The problem lies in the fact that Mommy's womb is just plain AWESOME! Mommy’s womb was the ultimate jungle gym that he could climb the walls by simply rotating in circles without ever falling. Mommy’s womb was the ferris wheel at the fair that would go round and round but—no tickets needed. Mommy’s womb was the spa, a whirlpool of soothing warm water without a time limit or needing to leave a tip! Mommy’s womb was an unending adventure, where he could swing on that umbilical cord, playing Tarzan, King Kong, and Spiderman all in the same day! Mommy’s womb even came equipped with its own surround sound system and proved to not only be a comfy home but a really awesome ride--no need to pay for fuel--that's Mommy's job. Finally, the best part of Mommy’s womb was that it meant being constantly closest to Mommy; cause after all, he might be the smallest love bug, but he's surely is your greatest fan.

So, Mommies, baby wants the bachelor pad back and yes, it’s the greatest hindrance to our sleep but its also one of the greatest compliments in life! Had we not done such a great job growing a human being in our bellies for 9 months, packing on those extra pounds of loving, enduring stretch marks, nausea, fatigue, swelling, aches, a complete body transformation, and of course all those well-meaning-but-rude remarks about how cute you look when you waddle, baby might not want to go back to the place of his roots. And so, be forewarned before you try snuggling with baby: he’s gonna try to move back in and will do a number on your stats in sleep deprivation. Well, there’s only one way to fight this ultimate baby fantasy: just give it some more time--oh, it's that painful word--PATIENCE! Soon enough, baby's gonna realize it’s even better being in your arms, sitting on your lap, feeling your kisses, and staring into your warm eyes. When that day comes you just might get your sleep! But (sigh) you know what comes next. The desire for independence isn't going away. Before you know it he’ll be (gasp!) going off to college seeking a place of his own! On that day, Mommy just might wonder if he can earn his degree while still swinging from that umbilical cord--rent free!

Comments anyone?

Thanks for your continued voting for me in the top mommy blogs by clicking right of this post. We’re #2 in humor.

Posted by Laura

Baby Sleep Fantasies Exposed: The Dangers of Sleeping with Baby

Today I'm really excited to share that I will be guest posting for a great mommy blogging friend of mine, Kate @ mommy monologues. Kate, like me, is relatively new to the blogging world and has already built herself quite a following. Can you blame us? She's hillarious, encouraging, entertaining, and honest! Not to mention proof that you CAN make real mommy friends in the bloggy world, even when you fear stalkers.

So please, go there and comment! Share the love. My post is about exposing the dangers of sleeping with baby. And no, I'm not talking about the dangers to baby! Sleeping with baby can be a real Hazard to MOMMY! That's something the doctor failed to warn me about. That's something that I learned new dangers while forced to share a bed with the toddlers while on vacation at the beach last week. I really have some battle wounds to show for myself now! Click here to find out my TOP FIVE LIST!

Thanks again Kate for the opportunity to share such an important warning on your blog!

Posted by Laura

May 4, 2010

URGENT CARE-LESS: When the Doctor Wants to Wash Her Hands of Mommy

It was our last day of vacation when we rushed baby boy back to the Urgent Care doctor because he developed a rash while on antibiotics for his ear infection. I expected it NOT to be a big deal. YES, rashes and antibiotics can mean an allergic reaction to the medicine, which can be serious. The thing is, he developed the rash after being in the sun and it went away within 15 minutes of appearing—long enough for us to have noticed it, called the doc, and driven down the road to the Urgent care for what turned into a roller coaster ride of the unexpected.

By the time the doctor walked into the room, the rash was completely gone. Phew! It must have been the sun after-all. Well, the Urgent care Doctor had other thoughts:

The doctor walks in the room pressing her clipboard to her chest with crossed arms. She glares at me, with those same squinting, beady eyes that whipped me the day before when she arrogantly accused me of causing my son’s ear infection because I had stopped breastfeeding him at 10 months. Without even looking at our baby to see that the rash we called about was now gone, she declares in the most unsympathetic voice, “Your baby has a febrile illness and you need to take him to the ER!”

Febrile illness! What the heck is that! It sounded like some spinal disease that was life threatening. My heart contracted to the point of bursting in my chest.

“What is a febrile illness?” I manage to ask, taking a deep gasp of thick stale office air.

“A febrile illness is a fever!” She explains, rolling her eyes as though I am the most ignorant person on the planet.

“What!” I think. Why are you trying to throw a fancy medical term at me? Just say fever. Okay, I can breathe again. It is only a fever!

“SO, because your child has a febrile illness, you need to take him to the ER NOW” and she spins around ready to leave the room, her hair nearly slapping me in the face.

“Wait. I am confused. I was here yesterday, you diagnosed baby with an ear infection. He had a fever yesterday. We are here today because he had a rash, which went away 15 minutes after appearing. His fever is better today. So, why are you telling me to go to the ER?”

“You need the ER because of the febrile illness! He will need chest x-rays, blood cultures, urine screening. I cannot offer that here in urgent care.”

Then in her annoyance, she asks me, “Why don’t you want to take your sick child to the ER, Mommy!”

Why don’t I want to take my child to the ER! Surely this woman knows NOTHING about me. She hasn’t read this or this and she surely doesn’t know about my horror story of the night I had to spend in the ER last year when I had an emergency appendectomy—I’ll have to share more on that in a future post. Let’s just say they put me next to diarrhea man, with only a shower curtain separating our “rooms,” and yes, I had my infant with me because I was nursing him and had no stored breast milk, and yes, after the nurse goes in between both of our “rooms” they decide to quarantine him! AFTER coming into my room where I have a newborn infant with me. And NO there was NOT even a full wall of curtain separating us. I heard every groan he made, yes, you could smell everything, and all I could think was please let this virus NOT be airborne! Okay, breathe again. Let me compose myself here to continue …

So I reply to her politely but firmly: “I’m just not understanding what has changed since yesterday. You diagnosed him with an ear infection, which is why he had a fever. He’s on an antibiotic that was working fine. We only brought him in here because of the rash, but the rash went away, so it looks like it’s not a rash from the antibiotic because it left so suddenly. Also, unless it is absolutely necessary I like to avoid the ER because I don’t want to expose my child to more germs.”

“It is MY LEGAL, Professional, medical opinion, that you go to the ER,” she fires!

“But can you help me understand? I like to look at this as a point of learning because I also have a 2YO at home. So, they have fevers occasionally, as all children do. What warrants this situation, this fever, that I should take him to the ER?”

Well, that was the end of her explaining. Every other question that I asked was answered with the following broken record recording:

“It is MY LEGAL, Professional, medical opinion, that you go to the ER.”
“It is MY LEGAL, Professional, medical opinion, that you go to the ER.”
“It is MY LEGAL, Professional, medical opinion, that you go to the ER.”

Then, at the end of our discussion, she changes her mind and says that instead of going to the ER she will call the nearest pediatrician for us to bring baby to that office instead.

Translation: I’m having second guesses on my diagnosis. So go to the ER or at least somewhere else so we can ensure nothing goes wrong and you don’t sue me. No, I don’t know what I’m talking about. But if you continue to ask more questions I will continue to use the term “febrile illness” as though it is tuberculosis or cancer and will continue to make you feel like a lazy mother who just wants to avoid the inconvenience of taking her sick baby to the ER while on her vacation.

So what happens? Everything in me is telling me that for whatever reason she has decided to freak out on me and doesn’t want to be held responsible if she made a mistake somewhere and is telling me to go elsewhere so she can wash her hands of the situation. My motherly instinct says baby is completely fine. The rash went away, just go home: his fever is even gone now, rash is gone, he’s doing well on antibiotics, so go home and enjoy the last day of your beach vacation. BUT, the mind and emotions don’t always come into alignment. In my emotions I’m in complete turmoil. I mean a doctor is telling me to go to the ER, shouldn’t I listen? Surely I don’t know better than a doctor!

So, we end up driving 30 minutes away into the next town to the nearest pediatrician office that the Urgent care doctor set up for us to meet with. What does the pediatrician say?

He says baby boy is FINE! The ear infection is a nasty one, but just keep on with the antibiotics because it is helping. NO, pediatrician says, the rash was NOT a reaction to the antibiotics because if it were it would have lasted longer. It wouldn’t have disappeared within 15 minutes, especially because the antibiotic baby is on is one that stays in one’s system for days. So if he were really having an allergic reaction it would still be going on. Well, what about the urine cultures or chest x-rays? Pediatrician says NOT necessary. Because baby is on antibiotics even if they did a urine or blood culture it would come up negative because he’s on antibiotics, so there wouldn’t be any bacteria.

So as it turns out, the best way to freak out your urgent care doctor is to bring your baby back the day after she prescribed an antibiotic to treat baby’s ear infection and tell her your baby has a rash. But, now, be forewarned, because the doctor will reciprocate the favor, freaking out Mommy by demanding that you take baby to the ER to get treated for blood tests, urine cultures, and chest x-rays. Well, that is if you have the doctor we saw.

What’s your urgent care horror story? What would you have done?

Thanks for your continued voting for me in the top mommy blogs. We’re a few votes shy of being in the top 25 overall and are the #2 humor blog. So, keep the votes coming, 1 per day.

Posted by Laura

May 3, 2010

Beach Week: How to Gain 5 Pounds in a Week!

So we spent last week on a family vacation at the beach. It's always great to get away and spend quality family time together. As I was packing I wore my pedometer: How many steps does it take to pack up a family of four? Well, with daddy's help, I ran around the house like a mad woman packing up both kids, myself, and cleaning the house. By 1:00 in the afternoon we climbed into the car. I checked the pedometer: 4 MILES! Oh it was worth it.

The weather was a bit cool, but warm enough to still enjoy playing in the sand. Yes, baby boy tried eating it.

Swam in a heated pool. Now that makes the beach in April just perfect.

Ate the most amazing food. I am completely spoiled in that my Italian mom and Greek mother-in-law are the most amazing cooks. So you can imagine the two of them cooking together, a mediterranean food heaven! Can we say YUM! So yes, if you're wondering how you can put on five pounds in one week, vacation with the most amazing chefs! It's easy. Woops!

What's a trip to the beach without frequent trips out for ice cream after dinner? Yes, this will also help with the five pounds.

Had a lot of family fun outings, like mini golf with the kids. And while driving I got pulled over!

Got a lot of rest. Though I DON'T recommend having a toddler sleep in your bed. Will be posting on that soon. But, gotta love the way babies sleep.

Saw a double rainbow in the sky! Now that made some rain well worth it! Why does that feel like a metaphor for life--taking rain (trials) to get to the rainbows (promises).

The last day of the trip turned stressful. Baby boy had an ear infection and both kids fevers and coughs. I will be posting more on the disaster at the urgent care. Both kids are doing better now, but in caring for two sick kids and returning home, I've been slow to keep up with blogging. I'll be back with more soon : )

Yet, even in spite of some sicknesses, it was still an amazing trip with lots of fun memories. In fact, when I took this picture of Daddy and little girl playing basketball, I couldn't help but think about the way I often view my life. I see so many goals to be made and many obstacles to overcome; I often feel the net is too high to reach and I'm either unprepared or lacking on my own to score; yet, I know I have God as my heavenly daddy lifting me up to reach the goals, overcome every obstacle, and enjoy the game. Vacations are helpful at putting life and what is really meaningful and important back into perspective.

Oh, and back to the five pounds I put on all week: where my normal daily pedometer count is around 14,000 steps, at the beach I barely made 6,000 steps a day! I guess life's a lot more restful for a full-time mommy when daddy is around all day long and her family is also there to help : ) Well, in the two days home where I'm back to the routine of walking my daily 5-6 miles and 14,000 steps (just in caring for the two toddlers, no not exercising on my own), I lost 2 pounds and have now 3 pounds to lose to get to pre-vacation weight. Thank goodness. Here's to healthy babies and walking!

Has anyone else ended up in urgent care while on vacation? Do share! And How do you loose weight after vacation?

Thanks for your continued voting to the top right of this post.

Posted by Laura

May 1, 2010

Confessions of a Nursaholic

So I'm on vacation at the beach when baby boy comes down with a bad ear infection. Stop the world, stop the partying! It's time for Melodramommy to enter back into the place she most dreads: (gasp!) Urgent Care. All was great and dandy in the waiting room: we sat on the furthest side of the room away from the possible germ carrying other patients, and after an HOUR wait, we were called into our own private room. Could life get any better? YES! The nurse gave us a toy truck for baby boy that he could keep. (I had to swipe it away when she wasn't looking so it could undergo proper sterilization methods back at home) and then she even gave him a cherry ice pop to suck on while waiting for the doctor. I was so impressed, with all sincerity, I was going to write a post about how AWESOME this place was, how maybe I was wrong about my take on Urgent Cares ... UNTIL the doctor walked in.

"So your baby is just over a year old?" She smirks at me.
"fifeteen months." I answer.
"AND, How long did you breastfeed him for?" Assuming that I breastfed him, and I did. But why the assumptions.
"Ten months." I answer, feeling ever so proud of that fact that I lasted that long, considering he got his teeth in at FOUR months.
"Well, Mommy, it's too bad you couldn't have lasted nursing him 6 more weeks. It would have provided more health benefits for him and it probably would have helped him to not get this infection."

WHAT! WHAT! Did she really just say that to me. That's when I wanted to get my NY accent on and fire at her, "EXCUSE ME! I said, EXCUSE ME. ARE YOU TAWKING TO ME!"

At the moment, I chose to compose myself and contain my offense and just get her to care for my sick baby. That was a mistake that I will post more about later. But for now, in honor of all my nursing mom friends, who have either nursed before, are nursing now, or are yet to nurse AND when you encounter people like this doctor who are completely IGNORANT of the pain you when through and have ZERO appreciation or understanding the sacrifice it takes to offer this gift to a child .... THIS POST IS FOR YOU : ) And yes, I debated for a while now if I should post this confession because it describes pretty much everything a nursing mom goes through, but after the offensive encounter in the face of such ignorance, I feel it has to be shared.


There's no doubt that nursing your baby is a wonderful and unique experience that has incredible health benefits for both baby and mommy. But let's face it, good things usually come at a cost. For all you nursing mothers out there who know exactly what I'm talking about, we can surely toast a bottle of bosom's milk to the melodramommy's journey in breastfeeding.

You attend your first nursing class and feel ever so ridiculous holding a scary Chucky-like hospital doll to your bosom in order to "practice" feeding positions.

Yet, in order to practice your nursing positions upon returning home from class, because you certainly don't own a scary Chucky hospital doll, you instead grab your 1980's Rainbow Bright doll that your well-meaning mother saved in her attic for over 25 years waiting to give it to you so you could pass it on to your child, and you practice, practice, practice.

The big day happens. Finally, baby is born. You pop baby on that booby only to discover you CAN'T remember the proper nursing position that you spent so much time practicing. And, it doesn’t even matter because you are enjoying one of the sweetest moments of your life.

In comes the requested lactation specialist who presses her cold hands on baby's face and your boob. Emphasis on cold. Her advice helps.

A day or a few days pass. Your milk comes in and you are suddenly an instant Victoria Secret Model. You welcome with enthusiasm this surgery-free enhancement--anything that will better balance and deter away from the sagging, still very prominent, NONpregnant belly. That is until you get home and realize that pretty much all of your tops are either too tight, too low, or too complicated for nursing.

Ice packs, warm presses, nursing covers, nipple shields, lalolin cream, nursing pads, nursing bra, nursing pillow, nursing pillow cover, gel pads, a breast pump, breast milk storage bags, and a nursing book. Thank God for baby showers!

Nipple shields! What type of name is that anyway! You can't figure out what to do with those and wonder if they are in fact some evolved medieval torture device.

Well, off to the stores to buy a nursing bra. Yes, you need to get re-fitted and upon doing so, you're astonished to discover how many cup sizes you've indeed blossomed. It’s like going through puberty all over again. Oh the sacrifices of a nursing mom. WAIT! There's actually a cup size for that letter of the alphabet.

Then it happens, maybe at first, maybe hours or days later, baby latches on WRONG. Your nails grip and nearly pop that boppy pillow, and you shriek so loud you startle baby. Baby cries. You both cry. With a deep breath you try to sooth baby and ask God to soothe you.

Discomfort. You establish new rules with hubby: there simply is NO sharing in babyland.

You pump your first eight ounces, shrug your shoulders, and realize, "So THIS is what it feels like to be a cow."

And then, you finally get into the swing of things. You're suddenly a nursing pro. You don't even need your nursing pillow, nursing pillow cover, the lanolin cream, or the gel pads. You can nurse with one hand. You can nurse walking around the house. You can even nurse in your sleep!

Baby is growing. Baby is happy. You're happy. You're losing weight. You definitely don't feel guilty eating that hot fudge sunday because you frequently remind yourself of the fact that nursing burns an extra 500 to 1,000 calories every day. So Super-size me! Life is good.

Baby has his first growth spurt. You think, yes, baby, you can nurse as much as you want as long as you continue to suck that fat off my thighs, my rear, my belly, etc.

Then one day, baby discovers the world around him and you. You're in the middle of nursing and a sound, be it the phone, the doorbell, daddy, the TV, OR no apparent reason at all and baby jerks off that boob to explore the world around him but forgets to detach himself! To say that is NOT a fun moment would be an understatement. You are NOT amused.

Another growth spurt. You nurse and nurse and nurse.

Then it happens. Daddy delights in spotting his son's first pearly whites, exclaiming, “isn’t this Awesome!” You respond: "NO, I am NOT excited about little "Chomper's" teeth growing in early any more than YOU would be skinny dipping in a lake full of piranhas!"

You are soon to discover your other child/children attempting to "nurse" her/their baby doll(s)---or in my case her stuffed cat! Funny, but sweet.

You become the ultimate at multi-tasking in that you finally manage to nurse baby hands free so that while nursing you simultaneously can be talking on the phone, yelling at toddler, sipping a glass of ice water with one hand, updating your facebook status with your other hand, and of course, using your big toe to reach the TV remote to change the channel.

Well, in spite of it all, that day comes when it is finally time to wean your little one, who now isn't so little anymore. You have that first sniff of a NONbreastmilk poopie and exhale thinking, WHAT THE HECK IS THAT! Then, it's the middle of the night when baby awakes hungry and your drag your bare feet on the cold floor across the house to the kitchen to heat up a bottle--they're dirty. You wash it. Your out of formula! No, not a trip to Walmart now! Perhaps, the grass is greener--or shall I say---the milk is sweeter on the other side of the teat!

And yet, when all is said and done, you find your heart forever savors that special bond created through all those tender moments; from those midnight warm soft touches, to the early morning snuggles under cotton sheets, you'll never forget that sweet smell on your little one's breath or the melodic sounds of his soft suckling. You retire the breast pump, give away your nursing cover, nursing pillow, and nursing pillow cover. And, while you're in the middle of burning all those horrid nursing bras, you realize breastfeeding wasn't just about feeding baby. It was a journey into perhaps the sweetest exchange of giving and receiving love.

Thanks for voting for me 1x per day by clicking to the right of this post.

Posted by Laura