Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My open PR letter

Dear PR companies and potential sponsors,

This blog isn’t about the money. I like to think it is a safe place for me to unwind the tangle that is my thoughts, and I also like to think it is a safe place for other people to come and feel validated or reassured. My approximately 4.5 readers a day, 0% of whom arrive from search engines, seem to feel the same way. That’s why they love me. (And they do. They do love me.) This blog serves a purpose that is much bigger than money.

I do, however, also like money.

You know what else I like? Stuff. And I bet my 4.5 readers like stuff too.
So, here’s my proposal. If any of you would be interested in giving me money, or sending me stuff to share with my readers, I’m listening. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to change anything I’m doing here. I’m going to continue to tell the truth, spread as much love and kindness as possible, and do as much good work as I can. You may then compensate me for doing so.

In summary: I keep doing what I want and helping people. You send money and stuff. 4.5 readers cheer.

Thank you for your consideration.


P.S. As you can see from this letter, I am a marketing genius. Just saying.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My love is enough

In case I haven't mentioned it? This mom gig is hard. This tiny person who I held in my arms the moment she was born is a complete and total mystery to me. I don't know what she wants to eat, when she wants to sleep, how she wants to play. She cries and I don't know what's wrong.

Calculus I can do. Nap schedules blow my mind.

Some days I get so frustrated and disappointed that I scream. Or I sit down with my head on the couch and cry.

And on those days, do you know what Baby Girl does? Crawls into my lap. Hugs me. Noms on my face. And giggles.

And do you know why?

Because I am a good mom. I am a really good mom.

I don't need to buy the best toys or serve the most perfect homemade organic baby food to be a good mom. I don't need to spend every second of my day playing with the baby and coming up with brilliant and creative ways to stimulate her. I don't need to have a plan or even know what I'm doing really. I just need to love my little girl.

I don't like the word just there.

I love my little girl. And my love is the most powerful force in the universe. And that's why even when I falter or flail, even when I feel defeated, Baby Girl is still happy and healthy and beautiful and so crazy about me that neither of us can stand it.

My love is enough. My love is more than enough.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Life's Lessons: Scary things

Life With Baby Donut

  1. Hurricanes? Are scary.

  2. But I've been through several, so I have great advice.

  3. Make sure you have lots of water in the house. And your flashlight batteries charged. And cookies. So many cookies.

  4. And if you have to evacuate, do it. Think of it as a slumber party.

  5. And then, wherever you are, breathe. It will be okay. Even though it's scary. I know.

  6. Speaking of breathing, I need to do that more.

  7. And face my fears. Which, umm, you may have heard about.

  8. Because really? In the end, that's how you beat them.

  9. When you list everything you're afraid of, suddenly it becomes clear which things don't matter.

  10. And which things really do.

  11. I want to do work that matters.

  12. And surround myself with people who feel the same way.

  13. And stop worrying about the people who don't.

  14. So thank you all, again, for your kind comments the other day. You all make my list.

  15. And that? Makes life less scary.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm afraid

Just in case you were starting to think that everything was bright and beautiful in mommyland around here, I want to tell you. I’m having a bad day. I know it’s just a bad day, I know it’s just a bad mood, but in this moment it feels like everything is crashing down. It feels like my progress isn’t real. It feels like I’m all alone. And I’m afraid.

I’m afraid that people don’t like me as much as I like them.
I’m afraid that I’ll make a fool of myself.
I’m afraid that I’m a bad mother.
I’m afraid that I’m a bad wife.
I’m afraid that I’m a bad friend.
I’m afraid that I’m a bad writer.
I’m afraid that I’ll look like I’m trying too hard.
I’m afraid that the things that I do won’t matter.
I’m afraid that I’m wrong to think they *could* matter.
I’m afraid that if I’m honest, people will not like me.
I’m afraid that if I’m not honest, they’ll see right through me.
I’m afraid that this will never get better.
I’m afraid that all that’s left to be wrong is me.
I’m afraid that I complain too much.
I’m afraid that I lie to myself.
I’m afraid that I care too much about being liked.
I’m afraid that means I’m not a “person of substance.”
I’m afraid I will never fit in.
I’m afraid that I shouldn’t want to fit in.
I’m afraid this will sound like I’m fishing for compliments or desperately seeking approval.
I’m afraid that I am.
I’m afraid that I won’t get it.
I’m afraid that the wrong things matter to me.
I’m afraid that it’s my fault.

And right now? It doesn't matter if any of this is true, if any of it is real. It feels real. It feels true. And I'm struggling.

And? It might be okay that I'm struggling.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I am enough because I see the good

I honestly thought this would be harder than it was, but I've had a really good week.

1. Yesterday morning I played an epic game of peek-a-boo with the baby. Even though I was tired. Even though I wanted to do other things. She laughed and laughed and laughed. So I did too.

2. I got two facebook messages from former students yesterday. The first a message to tell me that "Even though I hated Brave New World when we studied it, it's now my favorite book. I thought you'd be proud." He's 21 now. I am proud.

The second, one of my last students tagged me in a picture of the ridiculous collage they made of my white board when they found out I was leaving 2 years ago. I thanked her for posting it, and 5 students liked my comment within ten minutes.

3. I got the most amazing comment from Susan on my Rainy Day Letter. She told me that by writing, I am helping other people find Peace and Purpose. There is nothing in the world I'd rather do.

With that kind of week, how could I not feel good about myself? And yet that's not true. I could. I choose to see the beauty and the wonder in all of these small things, just like I choose to see the good in everyone else around me. Does that mean I don't realize that people are mean and ugly sometimes? Of course not. It's just what I choose to see, and I can choose to recognize that good in myself too.

A month ago? I don't think I could have. I thought I was invisible, I thought I was gone. But I'm not. I'm still the woman I always was. I'm her and so much more.

I've always said that I wanted nothing more than to change the world, to make people's lives better, to make things a little more beautiful for me having been there. And now I know I can.

Because I already am. Because I have been all along.

Monday, August 22, 2011

For a Rainy Day

A few months ago, I read a post called The Opportunities in Setbacks by the lovely Yael from PPD to Joy. At the time, I was floundering. I was struggling. I didn't see when or how I would be able to write a rainy day letter because all the days seemed rainy.

But last week I wrote one. And Yael was so kind as to publish my letter. So, if you'd be so kind as to click over and join me there, I'd appreciate it.

Also? If you aren't reading Yael's blog and following her on Twitter? You are missing out. Whether you have ever had PPD or not, you will find so much joy and wisdom in her words. She regularly banishes shame and guilt with such a beautiful and elegant mix of the silly and the profound. My absolute favorite post is her This I believe.

She also hosts monthly PPD support phone chat called the PPD SpeakEasy. It is free, confidential, and loving. This chat happens on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 8:30pm Eastern. For more info and dates click here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Life's Lessons: Things I can't control

Life With Baby Donut

It's time for more life lessons. I know my life lessons are usually witty, but this week I'm feeling quieter, and hopefully a little wise.

  1. When I am at work, and Baby is with daddy, I am not in control.
  2. And that's okay.
  3. The two of them can work things out. Really. And I need to let them.
  4. I also can't control the traffic, or the fact that last night it took me an hour and a half to go 10 miles.
  5. Sometimes I get angry when I can't control things. And that's okay. Because, duh.
  6. Even when I'm angry, I need to be kind.
  7. Because kindness? Is everything.
  8. I think I am starting to see what it is that I want to do, what it is that matters to me. And I don't know if I can do it. But since I've started to see it, I've been happier and calmer.
  9. This blog does me a world of good. Not because of pageviews, not because of money (which really, I never meant to be the point), not because of awards, but because of me. And mostly because of you.
  10. You guys? Are awesome. Thank you for listening to me whine, for your DMs and emails, for cheering me on all the time.
  11. All I can control, really, is what I do here. What happens to it after, is out of my hands.
  12. And you know? That's okay too.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


In my mind, the story goes like this: I came home from the hospital and happily cuddled my burrito baby for the first six weeks. I was in my own little cocoon with her, and nothing from the outside could bother us. It was a precious, wonderful time. I wasn't sleeping, but I was happy. It wasn't until later that I had problems.

But, apparently, that's not how it happened.

My husband said to me the other day, "Don't you remember waking me up in the middle of the night in tears? That you said if you stayed up by yourself with the baby anymore you were afraid you'd hurt her?"

Umm, now I do.

(And in retrospect? That's probably not normal.)

I think (I think!) the days were okay. She slept most of the time. I cuddled her. I held her all day long, and only put her down for an occasional nap. I slept from 7 AM (when my husband left for work) until 10 AM every day. I pulled meals out of my freezer for dinner, I ate cheese and crackers over the babies head. It was quiet and peaceful and the snuggles, oh the snuggles.

In fact, at 6 weeks, I even had a PPD screening. The grad student on the phone told me it sounded like I was doing pretty okay, and asked if that sounded right. I said it did. (Because, well, maybe it wasn't great, but it was the first 6 weeks, right? It was supposed to be hard. It was supposed to get easier.)

But the nights, oh the nights. The nights were brutal. Baby Girl was awake from 10 PM until 5 AM most nights. I'd pace my bedroom floor with her, not daring to take her downstairs and watch some TV or turn on a light because if I did, it might never get better right? I was supposed to keep night time dark and quiet and boring. I follow rules.

And the crying. Oh did she cry. The only thing that made her stop crying was when I nursed her. So I nursed her ever half hour. For 7 hours. Yes, that's true. No, I'm not exaggerating.

Her growth? And my milk supply? Were awesome.

My frame of mind? Not so much.

Okay, and maybe the days weren't always so great either. I suddenly remember now a skype conversation where baby and I could only be onscreen for 10 seconds at a time because I was pacing the entire house the rest of the time. I remember evenings when I walked around in circles in my living room while "watching" TV (there are episodes of House that I watch now and realize I didn't hear *any* of the dialogue). I searched the Internet for ways to get her to stop crying, to sleep at night and be awake during the day. I did everything everyone told me. I felt like a failure when it didn't work.

Umm, okay, so why don't I remember it this way?

Momnesia is powerful, people. Very powerful.

I think it's a defense mechanism. Our minds need to protect themselves, to protect us. It's what allows us to continue to function. It's what allows us to eventually have more children. Which I'm relatively sure is a good thing. Right?

But my concern is that Momnesia can become an offensive weapon instead of a defensive one. When we are reminiscing, when we are trying to be helpful. How many people told me, how many places did I read, "Oh, enjoy this stage. It doesn't last"?

And if you're a new mom, I want to say that to you. I want you to enjoy it. It doesn't last. It is precious, as is every single stage.

But I also remember thinking, "Who could enjoy this?"

I remember thinking I was broken, that I was a terrible mother because I was simply not enjoying it. Because it was so freaking hard for me.

And maybe, maybe I was a little broken. Maybe there is a better. Maybe I was too depressed to enjoy something I should have enjoyed.

But maybe not. I didn't miss it. Every bit of her newborn-ness is still a part of me, a part of our relationship. And the bits I keep in my conscious mind are the good bits: the snuggles, the first giggle, the nights I broke the rules and snuck downstairs to play instead of pace.

And so, if you are a new mom, this is what I want to say to you. Love on your baby, love on yourself. Believe that this stage is something that is temporary. You're not doing anything wrong, I promise.

And if you're thinking you wish you could enjoy it? Don't worry. You will.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Before I was a mom

It has been brought to my attention that a good 29.5 years of my life occurred prior to the birth of my daughter. (I know. It came as a surprise to me too. Hasn’t she always been here?) So, I thought it might be fun to share with you some vignettes from that other, foggy part of my distant past so that you can get to know that part of me too. I don’t know how regular a series it will be, but whenever I think of them I’ll share. I’m beginning in roughly reverse chronological order, mostly because that’s all I can remember.

I started a long term sub job when I was already 10 weeks pregnant. By the end of my 3rd week of teaching, one of the senior girls asked her teacher-mom if I was pregnant.

“Why would you say that?” asked the mom, genuinely confused because I certainly wasn’t showing.

“Because she’s wearing those elastic pants, and her boobs are huge.”

Oh. Well then.

My last year teaching full time, I told my freshmen that my two biggest pet peeves are when people use “literally” and “ironically” incorrectly. For the rest of the year, every single thing I said to them was “literally ironic.” Well done, freshmen. Well done.

I advised the Honor Society. My seniors were sitting around one day talking about torturing their calculus teacher.

“Guys,” I said, “that’s just not okay. You need to learn how to behave like adults. I mean, there are people I don’t like, but I act professional about it.”

“Wait,” they said, “there are people you don’t like??”

When my husband was writing his dissertation, I proofread it practically constantly. I read the dense engineering text probably 100 times. As such, in his acknowledgements, he thanked me for my careful proofreading.

Except, technically it said “I would like to thank to thank my wife for her endless hours of proofreading.” Oops.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blogging despair

I blog because I have things in my head that I need to get out.

I blog because I like to write. It is probably the hobby that I enjoy the most.

I blog because I love making connections with other bloggers and being part of a community.

I blog because I hope that sometimes the things I say might help other people.

There is a voice in my head, though, that asks me, Is it enough?

I mean, it’s certainly enough of a reason to spend 15 minutes writing a few days a week. And whether I blog or not, I am likely to continue reading and commenting and interacting on twitter because those are things that bring me a lot of joy.

When all the cool kids were at BlogHer? I may have joked a bit on twitter about how jealous I was, but it really didn’t bother me. That wasn’t something that was for me. I don’t care about the parties, and the swag, and while I would like to meet people? Most of the people who were there seemed to me to be in a class above me. (And I know, I know, you’re going to tell me that’s not true. That I can run with the cool kids. You’re sweet. But no.)

But then I started reading people’s BlogHer recap posts. Or mostly not reading them. Because the more I read, the more resentful I started to feel.

And then I read Robin’s, and I was so happy for her. Truly. But I realized that I want to find a purpose like she did. I want to know how to do this thing that my heart is telling me to do. I want to make this something that matters.

And then I read Diana’s, and my heart broke for her. Because I understood, so deeply in my heart what she was struggling with. And if someone as amazing as Diana could feel like she wasn’t doing anything when her blog reaches so many people every day, then what the heck was I doing?

And then I found out that Robin was going to speak at Bloggy Boot Camp next year. I don’t think there’s anything I have wanted more in a long time than to hear Robin speak at Bloggy Boot Camp. And I wanted to tell her to come to the city closest to me. But then I realized that even if she did, there would be no way I could go. There’s no way I could justify it. We don’t have the money, I don’t have the time. The people in my life, including my husband would think it was silly and frivolous.

I would think it was silly and frivolous.

And I start to feel like, what’s the point? I know it’s not about the money, and I don’t want it to be about money. But at the same time, if this blog could make a little money, it would be so much easier for me to take it seriously. To take myself seriously.

Even without money, if I could feel like I had a purpose here, like I was genuinely making a difference, I’d feel better about pouring my energy into it.

But right now? What am I doing here? Am I just playing? Am I begging for attention? I am stuck in this awful loop where it doesn’t matter because I don’t make it worthwhile, and I don’t make it worthwhile because it doesn’t matter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Life's Lessons: The house guests edition

Life With Baby Donut

I will not be talking about my baby's sleep today because it's bad luck. (Take from that what you will. I sure didn't say anything.)

I *may* be talking about my own sleep a little though.

  1. When you have out of town guests coming, and you've saved all the cleaning for naptime, don't lie down with the baby "just for a minute."
  2. Staying up until midnight talking to said guests? So not as fun as it was 10 years ago.
  3. Real friends won't notice the dishes in your sink. Or if they do, they won't say anything.
  4. Coming up with ways to entertain yourself and your friends is much harder when everyone has babies.
  5. Apparently? I pack light and am an easygoing traveler. Because I don't bring every single item of baby gear with me everywhere I go.
  6. On a related note? In case I haven't said it lately? Breastfeeding is awesome. Because I totally bring those everywhere.
  7. Speaking of which, DH was home with the baby last night while I tutored. She screamed and fussed and tore his eyes out the whole time.
  8. When I got home and nursed her to calm her down, he said to me, "I don't understand why you don't just leave her on there all the time."
  9. Umm, yeah, sweetie. Thanks.
  10. I am starting to think having a baby has made me a bit of an oversharer.
  11. I can't even blame the sleeplessness for my loopiness anymore because I slept last night.
  12. I said *I* slept last night, people. That's all I said. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

That delicate balance

I love being a mom more than anything in the world. I love that I am able to stay at home and to be with my daughter all the time.

But I love teaching too. A teacher is always a teacher. Sometimes the fact that I am not teaching makes me insanely sad.

From the time, Baby Girl was about 3 months old until the beginning of the summer, I was tutoring one or two hours a week for a test prep company. I’ve been working for them forever, so I know the materials inside out. I loved working with teenagers again. I felt smart and competent. Hubby got time to bond one on one with the baby, I got out of the house, and we got some extra money to have some fun with pay off our student loans.

Win, win, win.

Only not. Baby Girl started getting fussier in the evenings. Her separation anxiety dipped and then peaked again. DH started having to work longer hours. I started to feel overwhelmed by everything I had to do, and resenting that I “had” to work also.

The last night I tutored before the June SAT was a perfect storm. DH was late getting home from work, so we didn’t get to eat dinner together. I practically threw the baby at him and ran out the door, frazzled. I got stuck in traffic and showed up late, making me even more frazzled, only to find my student was even later. And hadn’t done his homework. And was drastically unprepared for his test because of it. Then I got home to a screamy baby, a messy kitchen, and a grouchy husband, and I declared, “ENOUGH!”

So I said no to the next two students they offered me. And then they stopped offering. And oh, man, did I miss it.

So, now, we’re coming up on the fall test season. I have two students lined up, and a weekend class once they’re done. I’m excited, and I’m also scared. I know it’s only a few hours a week, but what it’s too much? What if I get overwhelmed again? What if I can’t take it?

But I have to. Because I think if I’m not teaching at all, I’ll always be missing part of my heart.

You're all cheering for me, right?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In which I get myself some cake

I’ve always been better at taking care of other people than of myself. It isn’t the worst thing in the world. I really do enjoy taking care of other people. It makes me feel happy, and that’s the kind of self care I can get behind.

What I don’t enjoy is being a martyr.

I have a habit, a long running habit, of waiting for other people to take care of me. Of expecting them to jump in and offer to help me even if I didn’t ask. Of being disappointed when people don’t see exactly what I need, even when I’ve made every effort to hide it from them.

If you aren’t sure yet whether I’m completely ridiculous, let me share a story with you.

A few months ago, my husband and I were at a little market near our house. We were there to look at plants for our garden, but they also had the most beautiful display of baked goods.

If you don’t know this about me already? I like cake. A lot.

As we walked by it, I eyed up the cake. I slowed my walking, paused even, looking at it out of the corner of my eye. I stood there, waiting for my husband to say “Do you want anything?” or “Let me get you a treat” or “You know what you totally deserve? Cake.”

He didn’t. Of course.

So we left without cake. And I tell you that this happened a few MONTHS ago, so you realize that I still think about it. About that cake that no one got for me.
See? Ridiculous.

So, this past week I went to the Farmer’s Market for some lettuce. I went fully knowing there was a girl there who sold homemade cupcakes. And I bought myself some cake.

When my husband asked me what I got, I told him, “Oh, lettuce and melons and peaches. Oh and a cupcake.”

He got a puzzled look on his face, “Why did you get a cupcake?”

“Because I wanted one.”

“Oh. Okay.”


Monday, August 8, 2011

Life Lessons:The graduates

Life With Baby Donut

  1. Baby Girl and I are officially Baby Swim graduates. No applause necessary.
  2. I’m actually very proud of us, considering how we started. We have come a long way.
  3. We have come a long way in a lot of things actually. We’re doing pretty okay.
  4. Which isn’t to say we don’t still have bad days. We so do. Both of us. Bad.
  5. And we’re still not sleeping. I think we’re sleeping less.
  6. But, despite all that, I’m really starting to think we’re going to be okay. That I don’t suck at this mom thing. And she doesn’t suck at the baby thing.
  7. Just in time because she’s almost not a baby anymore. (Sob!)
  8. Speaking of bad days, my dentist suggested I let her chew on a frozen washcloth when her teeth hurt since she isn’t crazy about teethers. She looked at me like I was insane.
  9. Someone else suggested I give her a bowl of water to play with while I was washing dishes, so she’d think she was helping. It took her 3.2 seconds to dump it on the floor.
  10. I think I’m going to stop listening to suggestions for a while.
  11. But anyway, what was I talking about?
  12. Oh yeah, so we graduated from swim class. Baby Girl is practically drown proof.
  13. I’m getting there, too, sweetie. I’m getting there.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The big car seat

Last week, we took the infant car seats out of our cars.

Baby Girl is 10.5 months old, and even though she isn’t quite too heavy for the infant car seat, we decided it was time. We had one convertible car seat already, and DH found a very felicitous clearance on them at Target so we could get one for the other car. We went out to the driveway at 9:00, after I put the baby to bed, and installed the big car seats in both cars.

And I cried.

My husband gave me a funny look. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m going to miss the infant car seat.”

“But this one will be more comfortable. And it has better head protection. Don’t you like our baby’s head? Why don’t you want to protect her head?”

“...I like her head.”

“Okay then.” And he continued tightening the car seat.

But it’s sad. It IS sad, right? I didn’t think we were here yet. I’m not ready for her to grow up.

. . . Which is not to say that sitting in a rear facing convertible car seat is the mark of a grown up. But still.

When I had a newborn, I couldn’t wait for her to be able to smile. I couldn’t wait for her to be able to roll. I couldn’t wait for her to be able to crawl. I couldn’t wait for her to be able to talk.

(Okay, I still can’t wait for her to be able to talk. Although she might be signing now? She claps her hands when she wants more food. I’ve decided she means more. Or maybe she just likes clapping.)

But now I miss her being a bundle in my arms. I miss her letting me cuddle her 24 hours a day. I miss being able to put her down on the floor and have her stay where I left her. (Wait. . . what?)

I’m afraid that she’s not my baby anymore.

But I like her now too. She’s so much fun. I love her laugh. Her tiny teeth are absolutely adorable. She likes bread and cheese and crackers, just like mama. She can get down and dance like it’s nobody’s business.

So maybe it’s okay. Maybe we’re ready for the big carseat. Because I really do like her head.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My bloggy funk

In my head, I am a great writer.

I mean, I know I can write. We're going for honesty here, so I'm going to skip the kind-of-fishing-for-compliments-self-deprecating false humility. I know I can write. I can write well.

But I don't.

I love blogging. I love visiting blogs, connecting with other bloggers on twitter. I love being part of the mom blogging community. These days, though, I feel like I can hardly call myself a blogger. At best, I'm someone with a blog. A "precious," "cute" little blog.

And there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, I appreciate when you say those things. I appreciate that you're here at all, especially since so many of you have such wonderful, popular, and Important blogs. I mean that. I have the best blogging friends in the world, and when people like you say my blog is cute? It makes me smile.

But really I want more than that.

I want this to be What I Do. I want to BE a blogger. I want to have a blog that does something that matters. If any of that even makes any sense.

Sometimes, I think about taking a blogging class, about joining a blogging forum, to figure out what I need to do to make my blog bigger. To make it something that can matter. In my heart, though, I know what I need to do.

I need to write. And I'm not.

Why not? Because I'm tired. Because my life seems so mundane. Because the baby is climbing on the TV. Because I'd rather waste away the day on twitter.

Because I'm afraid.

What happens if I try and fail? What happens if my funny isn't funny, if my heartfelt isn't moving? Why would anyone really care what I have to say?

So how do I overcome this paralysis? How do I keep moving forward? How do I become the blogger I want to be?

This is a response to the prompt about my goals and what is stopping me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Life's Lessons: The Wedding Guests edition

Life With Baby Donut

We went to a wedding this weekend, and so we've been out of town since Thursday. (Can I claim that as the reason I haven't blogged in two weeks?) It was a pretty hectic trip but I came away with some great lessons:

  1. A seven hour car trip is the ideal cure for a nap strike. Thank God.

  2. People think you're brave and admirable when you take a 10 month old to a wedding, which is strange when it wouldn't occur to you to go anywhere without her.

  3. When brides tell you, "it's totally okay if she cries during the ceremony, I don't mind," it's best to ignore that advice.

  4. Crying rooms? Are good. Very good.

  5. My friends want to steal my baby. As soon as I got to the cocktail hour, my friend's wife said, "You need a drink. I'll hold her." And then disappeared.

  6. They always come back to me when she cries though. Or poops.

  7. Champagne? Also very good.

  8. Baby food in pouches is the most ingenious invention ever.

  9. Baby Girl is a party girl. I don't know if it was the strobe light (ooh pretty) or a particular fondness for The Black Eyed Peas, but as soon as daddy got her on the dance floor, she started laughing and singing. (Although, the words are "tonight's gonna be a good night," not "Dadadadada." Close enough, sweetie.)

  10. When you are breastfeeding, you have an excuse to grab an extra piece of wedding cake without anyone looking at you strangely.

  11. Stressing about bedtime is apparently totally irrelevant. My child can party until 10:30, then pass out without a single tear and stay asleep while I change her diaper, wash her face, put on her pajamas, and put her to bed in a hotel crib.

  12. Sleeping through the night though? Not so much.

  13. Going away and having fun is good for me, and it is good for our whole family.

  14. Coming home is pretty darn good, too.