Host a Birthday Party on a Budget

Fabulous venues, gourmet cakes, photo booths - children’s parties are getting crazy these days.  As much as I wanted to throw an over the top party to commemorate one year of keeping my daughter alive (kudos, me), I didn’t want to drop lots of dollars on a event that would likely only leave my one-year-old lady overstimulated and overwhelmed. With a strict budget in mind, I threw a small, yet memorable, celebration to commemorate her transition from a fraction to a solid number.

Five Fundamental Guidelines You Can't Afford to Ignore when Winter Hiking with a Baby

The wind cut across the field, blowing loose snowflakes and crumpled leaves in its wake.  It is a postcard worthy view, and I want to stop to admire, but the chill in the breeze discourages me from lingering too long.  The current temperature is only tolerable as long as I am moving.  Although it is only a little over twenty degrees, I am exhilarated to make my way out of the confines of my home for a brisk morning walk.

Making America Great Again One Conversation at a Time

This morning my six-year-old niece and I had one thing in common: we were both crying.  In my little liberal corner of the world outside of Portland, it was hard for me to imagine that forty-five percent of Maine residents and nearly forty-eight percent of United States citizens would vote for a man who demonstrated such blatant disrespect for immigrants, women, minority groups, and members of the military.  His exclusionary rhetoric goes against everything our country stands for, and everything I believe in.

Chalupa Batgirl

There are a number of monumental first in a baby’s life, and high on my personal list is Halloween. I love this low pressure holiday with it's clever costumes, quirky parties, and of course, guilt-free treats. Unlike Christmas, I never feel like I have to empty my bank account to fully enjoy it. On Halloween, one can indulge in one or more Reese Peanutbutter Cups (something I love, but avoid in my everyday life) because to not a little would go against the sugary spirit of the ghoulish holiday.  

Farewell, Birthing Fear

Empty - That is the only word I can use to describe the period that followed my daughter’s expedited exodus from my body and the nineteen emotionally taxing days that followed when she resided a town away in the NICU at Central Maine Medical Center.  

Stretch Marks with a Story

My body was ravaged by pregnancy.    After Lennon’s birth, I avoided mirrors for awhile because looking in them made me sad.  I didn’t like the flabby, aged woman I saw looking back at me.

Shameless Bed-Sharer

Against the advice of medical professions everywhere, I bedshare with my five-month old daughter, and I love it.  

The "New" Normal

“I just want to feel like myself again,” I told my husband tearfully at night when he returned from work. After having my daughter and entering the foreign land of motherhood, I struggled to adjust to my new responsibilities, schedule, and life.

As a high school English teacher, I was used to spending my days with children. I naively thought that managing with a single, prepubescent child, who lacked the cognitive processing and oral expression skills required to disagree with me, would be challenging but easier than my primary occupation.  I could not have been more wrong.

Goodbye, Blue Devils - Hello, Motherhood!

Today Lennon smiled at me. It wasn’t a “that fart felt nice smile” - I’ve witnessed lots of those in the last two months. It was a full faced grin of love and appreciation.

It was toothless and a bit drooly, but honestly, I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life.  To say I was thrilled was the understatement of the century.

Flawed Plan; Flawless Product: A Birthing Story

When I attend conferences or workshops, the individuals are often asked to categorize how they approach a project: thinkers, planners, and doers.  “Thinkers” are innovators – they come up with new ideas; “do-ers” figure things out as they go – they almost immediately begin the task; and lastly, “planners” require a roadmap – they enjoy exploring all of the variables and outlining a clear approach before they begin the task at hand. As an individual who can appreciate the beauty of a well-crafted, neatly typed list, I am clearly a member of the last category.