Things My Parents Did Right

While there was certainly a time I could never imagine thanking my parents for anything, that time is fortunately long gone. Certainly becoming a mother has had something to do with that, as has the very gradual development of my frontal cortex. And now I can appreciate many of the brilliant and selfless things they did for me.

However, in an age when children playing kick the can until the streetlights turn on is a nostalgic vision from the past, I can truly appreciate that aspects of my childhood were charmed…

How to Be Yourself (Even When You Don’t Know Who You Are)

It’s one of the most cliche cliches out there: Just be yourself. I remember being told this once and thinking, “What does that even mean?” and “Yeah, but who exactly is this self that I am supposed to be?” Whether you are in the stage of identity-development of trying to decide on a persona to play or of slowly shedding the many personas/identities/egos you’ve accumulated, not knowing who you are is pretty normal. Furthermore, most of us (myself absolutely included) are so used to playing predefined roles in the majority of interactions that authenticity is hard to even wrap our heads around. Like what would that even look like? If you hate someone, do you have to tell them? Does it mean you shout, “please, leave the sick bastard!” in the middle of a movie theater in response to the heroine’s obviously terrible choice of a romantic partner? Because that’s how you feel? Well, responding authentically “as ourselves” is something that is fluid and cannot be easily defined. Obviously. But obviously, by the fact that I am writing this post, I…

Under Construction and Life Lately

So I am not doing one of my typical, longer article-style posts this week. Here’s why: my site is a bit of a mess. Have you noticed? So rather than pontificating to you all about something-or-other this week, I am going to choose a new WordPress theme and attempt to get it up and running on my site. What this means is my site will hopefully be more attractive and easy-to navigate in the near future. On that note, any tech-savvy individuals or fellow bloggers have recommendations for WordPress blog themes? In the meantime, here are some updates on life lately at Home in Wonderland: I will hit 35 weeks on Wednesday, but who’s counting? At (almost) 35 weeks, (like how I round up the weeks?) the old first-trimester fatigue is back in full-force. I have a significant list of things I am hoping to get done before the little one makes her appearance. I was fortunate to have help organizing the girls’ room from my mom and sister this week. And J did a maternity photo shoot. Here’s a peek: We had a delightful Thanksgiving…

Multiple Perspectives on Warrior Girl’s Birth – Which is the Better Story?

Warrior Girl is 2 years and 3 months old now, and as I prepare for her sister’s upcoming birth, (did I mention we’re having a GIRL?!?) memories of Warrior Girl’s birth are fresh on my mind. It was one of the most incredible days of my life, because it was the day I met my daughter and the day I became a mother.  But in addition to that, part of what was incredible was the actual process of giving birth. Reader beware: the story below contains talk of cervix, dilation, etc. Oh, and one F-bomb. Because birth is messy, people. Turn back now if you don’t want the details. *** My water broke at 11:30 pm on August 4th. It was the full-on gush that happens frequently in movies and much less frequently in real life. I was suddenly confronted with many of my fears about giving birth and remember vividly thinking What have I gotten myself into? I laid in bed that night analyzing every cramp and twinge, waiting for labor to start. Was that a contraction? What the hell does a contraction even feel like? I got a…

Decaffeinated Beverage Choices for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Moms

Image credit Alper Cugun found here. Caffeine is pretty much my favorite indulgence. And while it’s awesome for many stages of life, it is less awesome during pregnancy and breastfeeding, mainly because it is easy to overdo it and overdoing it=potential issues for baby. There have been many times in the past that I tried to reduce my caffeine intake, but my efforts were always short lived or superficial. For example, I would cut out coffee but then end up drinking 32 ounces of iced black tea every day instead. One time I tried to cut caffeine out cold turkey… that didn’t last long as I soon got a wicked splitting headache that pretty much rendered me no longer functional. Before getting pregnant with Warrior Girl, I drank 20 ounces of coffee every morning and usually had black or green tea every afternoon. Sometimes I would have “second coffee” as well instead of afternoon tea. While many women do continue to drink coffee throughout pregnancy, I felt that my intake was way too much and I really wanted to cut down or quit before getting pregnant. I was fortunate in that I…

You Don’t Have to Be Miserable to Make a Different Choice

Do you ever find yourself wishing for misfortune to befall you so that you will be forced to do what you want to do but feel that you can’t do for one reason or another? Please tell me I’m not the only one. For example, do you ever… -Wish you would lose your job and be unable to find another one, so that you would be forced to pursue your dream of becoming a famous actor/writer/comedian/entrepreneur? -Wish you would find out your partner was cheating on you so you’d have an excuse to leave them? -Wish you would survive a terrible car accident and require months of rehab so you would be forced to drop out of school/quit your job/spend more time with family/focus on what is most important to you? -Wish you would find out your house/apartment has black mold/was a meth house so you would be forced to move? We want life to force us to make the decisions we want to make, to force us to take the action we want to take. I realized I was doing this when I found…

How I Go 90% With Cloth Diapering

Cloth diapering is not easier than using disposables. It is, in fact, more work. Just let that sink in for a moment. Or, if you’re already a cloth-diapering parent you’re like, “obviously, bro.” So, why would anyone choose to cloth diaper? There are two main reasons: 1.) It is so. much. cheaper.  2.) Save the planet! Side benefits include: they are usually more gentle on baby bums, babies/toddlers will understand that peeing=wetness which helps immensely with potty training (so I’ve heard, haven’t crossed that bridge yet), and of course, that priceless smugness that only comes from making unpleasant sacrifices for the good of the planet. Cloth diapering is really not a big deal for our family, and is just part of our routine. Here’s is what we do and how: We have 18 cloth diapers and 3 wet bags for Warrior Girl. (You really only need 12-14). 11 of the diapers are All-In-One cloth diapers similar to these, and 7 are Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers. Here is a great article clarifying the differences in the various types of cloth diapers. Every other…

Affirmations for People with a Savior Complex

Our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world shape our behaviors on the daily. And that is why I love affirmations–choosing intentionally what I want to believe. Whenever I realize I want/need to change my mind about something, I write affirmations to say to myself to help restructure my ways of thinking. It’s pretty much non-invasive brain surgery. Of course, many times affirmations are not enough to rewire a lifetime of experience and thinking, but they are a useful tool nonetheless. I realized something rather unfortunate recently: I have a bit of a savior complex. AKA, some hidden belief that others need me in order to function. This is probably pretty common for people in helping professions. This is also known as needing to be needed, codependency, and hero syndrome. It’s essentially just a bit too much of a good thing. It’s when wanting to help others is tinged by a belief that we are smarter/more competent/more capable or worse than others, and we seek to feel important, needed, and loved through helping and serving. It becomes about us. And it can quickly turn toxic in relationships. A…

The Good News About Infant Attachment

The topic of infant attachment comes up a lot in sleep training, feeding and parenting style in general. Attachment is important, of course. The bonds we form in infancy and childhood impact the “relationship blueprint” we carry for the rest of our lives (although even a damaged relationship blueprint can be repaired with intervention). But sometimes it can be really stressful for moms. All the information leads many moms to experience guilt if they are not able to live up to ideals they think they must meet. Luckily, forming secure attachments with our children is far less complicated than a quick and confusing Google search would lead you to believe. …. This post was published as a guest post on Mother.ly. Click here for the full article! Did you get confused/worried about forming a secure attachment with your child? Share your journey in the comments below…

My Best Advice for Dealing with “Askholes”

Askholes: they invoke fury in the tender-hearted, and rancor in the benevolent. Fortunately, I have a solution/advice for dealing with askholes once and for all: Stop giving people advice. They probably don’t really want it. (Admittedly, there are exceptions to this. Like when your friend calls and says, “How do I assemble this Ikea bookshelf?” or asks you to advise them on the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Then, they probably really do want you to tell them what to do.) But when they ask what they should do about their career change/their cheating partner/their child’s addiction/their depression/breastfeeding/sleep training/etc, they probably do not want advice. (Or in some cases, they really do want your advice, but after they’ve heard ideas from a number of sources, they want to make their own decision like the free-will toting humans they are.) Yes, yes, I know… they specifically asked us for our wisdom, our insight, our brilliant step-by-step instructions. Or at least implied that they would otherwise benefit from said wisdom. However, the issue here is people often don’t ask for…