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The Hack Mom

What do you do with a passed-down crib mobile that’s too heavy to mount on to a Pack N Play to replace a Pack N Play mobile that no longer winds up? You hack them together, of course. See it pre-hack here:

" Women need to feel that they have been consulted, respected and given the information they need to make free choices in the best interest of themselves and their child. This allows them to begin motherhood feeling strong, capable and mentally healthy… "

I did not expect that reaction

I was so proud of myself. I had stumbled on the “Curious George” movie, voiced by Will Ferrell and Drew Barrymore, earlier today and recorded it, thinking my boys would love it — they love watching Curious George on my PBS app. And I gestured smugly toward Michael, who was riveted by the movie when he got back from daycare, with a “I told you so” look on my face for my husband.

At the movie’s climax — right where the Man in the Yellow Hat (named Ted in this movie) is letting George be taken away to be shipped back to Africa — I was dealing with Chris, who had a fever, and telling Mike to take his fingers out of his mouth.

And Mike burst into tears.

I was floored. I knew instantly what the problem was — he was so into the movie, and became distraught at the thought of George being put in a cage and taken away from his dad. Wow. Obviously, I was not paying attention at how Michael was growing by leaps and bounds and understanding more and more around him — of what he watched.

He spent the rest of the movie in my arms — in fact, I had Chris in one arm, in my lap, and Mike in the other arm, keeping his arms down.

I feel bad that both of them felt so bad, but at the same, it was so nice to have my big boys in my arms, without them struggling to extricate themselves.

Check out this list of differences between Mother’s Day before kids and after kids, only on!

I wish he would sleep like this at 3 a.m. #hackmom

Elliott is a little fusspot today. So much for all the stuff I was planning to do! #hackmom

Baby Elliott and his daddy have a conversation. #hackmom

I Want to Live My Best Life


I want to start living my best life. Oprah talks about Living Your Best Life and look at her! She’s doing it! Is there anyone on the planet living a better life than Oprah? Nope. Except, maybe, Beyoncé. (It’s a tossup when it comes to whether Oprah or Beyoncé is living a better life. Beyoncé is a much better dancer, but Oprah has Gayle.) 

If I’m going to Live My Best Life, I need to do something about my car. It’s a minivan. And it’s dirty. Really dirty. I need to clean it immediately.

Cleaning my minivan was not my highest priority until this morning when my son drew on the dusty passenger door with his finger. And, technically, he didn’t draw, he wrote. My son took his finger and wrote the word “poop” on my car.

I do want to point out that he spelled the word “poop” correctly. I want to find a silver lining because Living Your Best Life is about finding silver linings when possible. And my son’s spelling was perfect! Hooray for that small but important detail! But, no matter how it’s spelled, “poop” is an unacceptable word for someone who is Living Her Best Life to have on her car.

If my son had written “breathe” or “meditate” I might just leave it. But he didn’t. He can’t even spell “meditate” or “breathe” because each has a silent “e.” That’s a shame. This whole mess could have been avoided had the words “meditate” and “breathe” been easier to spell. Or had my six-year-old son been a better speller. Dammit!

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Living Your Best Life obviously involves having 3 kids.

Unexpected heart bursting

So, being on bed rest, I have been couch/bed-ridden while my husband takes my boys to birthday parties, church and other weekend activities. This morning, the boys are headed to another birthday party, Mikey’s “sister” Fia, who he’s known since they were babies in daycare — it’s a party he has been looking forward to since last weekend.

And then Mike found out I wouldn’t be coming with them to the party.

Oh, he was not pleased. First, he argued for about a half an hour with his dad about how he wanted him to stay home and for me to go to the party instead. Then he declared he didn’t want to go anymore and that he wanted to stay home with me.

He was whining, and normally it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me, but Oh. My. God. My sweet boy just wanted me to go to an important (to him) birthday party. How can you fault him for that?

So I started talking to him, so he wouldn’t have a full-on meltdown when it came time to leave. First, I told him that I needed to stay home and rest and sleep. So my wily boy changed his tune and started saying he was sleepy too.

I changed tactics and said that he had to go so he could sing happy birthday to Fia, because I couldn’t do it. I think I started to see his resolve waver, so then I laid it on thicker. I told him Fia’s mom promised me cake, so he had to get me some because I couldn’t get it. He had no argument for this. (Man, I’ve never had to be so manipulative before!)

After eating breakfast, it was time to change into regular clothes. He said again he didn’t want to go, so I told him he had to change out of his pajamas like me and his daddy. Another little battle won.

Then it came time to get their jackets on. Chris was no problem, but Mike was arguing again, so I urged him again to get me cake and that they would be coming right back to get me. (In a way, it’s true, since right after the party they have to pick me up to go to the hospital for a non-stress test.)

Being on bed rest has been no picnic and trying to hold off the doctors, who have been trying to admit me until the baby is delivered since last Friday, has been no small feat either. But Mike’s visible relief when he sees me in the morning and today’s “argument” makes me feel some vindication in being adamant about staying home. It’s not just good for me, but also good for my family, and I think some doctors will never understand that.


I know a lot of people hate the toddler stage, which is basically anytime between when a baby starts walking (and thus, is toddling) and preschool age, about 4 years old. It’s my favorite stage though, and while I deeply regret that my youngest is nearly out of his toddlerhood, in a way, I’m kind of looking forward to having another little boy to enjoy when he hits toddlerhood.

Yes, that’s in spite of the other concerns — like the costs of having a third kid (and the concerns that going from two to three is so much harder than one to two), of not having enough time to devote to my older kids, the inability to finally take a vacation, etc.

I’m on bed rest per doctor’s orders, so I haven’t been able to do most of the things that I normally would do for my two boys — take them to daycare, brush their teeth and get them dressed in the mornings, give them baths. But one thing I continue to do, that I absolutely love and am loathe to give up, is checking on them after they’ve finally gone to sleep. One is about to go into preschool, and the other is still very much a toddler, so sometimes it takes a long time, and a few swipes on the behind, for them to actually sleep.

But when they’ve finally gone to sleep? Oh my goodness. They’re cherubic. I could watch them sleep all night.

My 4-year-old has taken on that big kid sheen, with long limbs and knobby knees and elbows. He astounds me with his vocabulary, and cracks me up with what he picks up from us — he likes to exclaim, “aw nuts!” which I’m pretty sure he got from me. And, he’s been so willing to help me out as I’ve been increasingly limited in my movements, from bending over to pick things up off the floor to being completely barred from doing most activities.

My 2.5-year-old, my goodness, still looks like a baby in his face and sometimes I just want to squeeze him. He is just so cute, even as his fleshy limbs are stretching out into lean legs and arms. He still has his cheeks, and I don’t want them to go away. So when I go in to check on them — and they now have taken to sleeping in the same bed — I see him asleep, and all I want to do is stay there, stroke his hair and watch his sleeping baby face.

Sure, he has his Terrible Two tantrums — in fact, he woke me up Sunday morning screaming bloody murder over a shirt his dad put on him. But toddlerhood is truly underrated. Most women like to hold babies when they’re still helpless and unable to walk, and eschew them as they get more independent. But toddlerhood is so awesome because they’ve still got that sheen and look of babyhood, with the wonder and excitement of being a toddler discovering the world around him.