Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mama Said, V.9

This week I am featuring two fabulous ladies, my real-life pal Anita, and an blogging gal pal, Rachael. Both of these ladies are mamas who I admire, and they are here offering up AMAZING advice. Like really awesome. In fact, I think this may be one of my favorite Mama Saids yet (don't I say that every week?).  I know you will all love this great read, so sit back and enjoy! And thanks again ladies, for participating.


Hello, my name is Anita and my family of 3 (plus 2 doggies) live in historic Downtown Phoenix, AZ. We are a pretty boring, low-key bunch who love music and hanging out with family and we also have a photoblog for our daughter, Lola Birdie ( who was born on October 27, 2009 weighing almost 10 pounds! Lola Birdie is our first (and probably last) kid and honestly, I never thought I would have kids, but along came LB. My husband was in a touring band ( for half of our relationship, and it wasn't until he quit and started a band merch/graphic design/music licensing company ( here in Phoenix, that we even thought about starting a family.

Being a mother was totally new to me! Lola Birdie was the third or fourth baby that I have ever held in my whole life. Her diaper was the first diaper I ever changed, other than my cabbage patch kids. Being around a newborn was ALL foreign to me. I knew NOTHING about kids. When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately started researching pregnancy and babies online. I joined a fun online community ( and watched WAY too many baby shows on TLC. 

Luckily, I got through my pregnancy with flying colors and Lola's birth was a super quick, natural labor. I am also proud to say I am still a breastfeeding mother, 16 months later, and I have become quite an advocate for it! 

That being said, here is a few things I have learned in my 16 months of being a mother:

1 - Breastfeeding is awesome, even if your mother thinks its super weird..... - I remember growing up, my mother, who is now one of my best friends too, always said how gross and weird she thought breastfeeding was. I was a formula fed baby. I remember thinking how I would NEVER ever do that. It's super weird...until, years and years later, my sister-in-law, Katie, was studying to be an RN at ASU College of Nursing and she would always come to me with bits of information like "Anita, if you ever plan on getting pregnant, you should start taking Folic Acid" and then she told me how important breastfeeding is and then she told me, " Anita, there are only 2 ways to lose fat cells from your body.....liposuction and breastfeeding". Wow, you mean, if I gain 100 pounds having a baby, it could all go away with breastfeeding??? After that, I started researching breastfeeding and found so so many good things about it. So I made my mind up, "I will just breastfeed for 6 months, that's what they say is the minimum a Mother should breastfeed." I remember doing it for the first time in front of my mother and her saying, "It isn't weird when it's your daughter and granddaughter doing it." What a relief!! I was so worried my mom would be weird about it. But her and my father were very supportive of it. Six months came along and I thought, "This is going so well, I can just do this for 6 more months...". On Lola's 1st birthday, I remember thinking, "Flu season is coming, I'll just keep breastfeeding until March." So, that being said, I guess we will just keep going until we think its time to stop!

2 - All kids are different, and they hit milestones at their OWN pace - I have a few friends with kids that I see on a weekly basis. One of the friends has a baby that is about 2 weeks younger than Lola. Since birth, I have been comparing her and Lola. I remember when my friends daughter rolled over before Lola and I thought, what is wrong with Lola? Why hasn't she rolled over yet? I remember when Lola started teething at 3 months old and my friends daughter wasn't, I thought that Lola was a freak and something was wrong with her. Then when it came time to crawl, my friends daughter started crawling literally a month before Lola. After months and months of comparing, I realized that all babies are different and when some are walking, others are talking and when some are sleeping through the night, others are waking up 2-3 times. I quickly learned to never compare children, they will do everything at their own pace.

3 - Take lots of pictures, and videos...I mean LOTS, even start a website or blog for friends and family to see - My husband and I try to take at least one picture of Lola everyday. I love to remember what she wore that day or what she did that day, or the new word she said or the new puzzle she learned how to put together that day. It is so great to know that I can go back to a picture we posted and remember that exact point in our lives. Plus, at least once a month I go to and look through them from start to present day. I watch videos I have saved on my computer of her first few minutes on earth. I can't get enough of it. I still can't believe that this person I have today was that person just a year ago. Kids change literally EVERY day. I love that I can go back to a video and hear Lola laugh for the first time, or stand up for the first time, or eat her first bite of food. I am so happy that we live in a time where a camera or video camera is so easily accessible. I also love that we have a website that we can post pictures of Lola on it daily that all of our friends and family can see. I hope that everyone enjoys her website as much as we do and I hope that one day Lola will appreciate it too. I know I wish that I had daily pictures of my life growing up.

I'm Rachael! Registered nurse & wife to a handsome musician.
Stepmonster to two beautiful boys, ages 10 & 8. Momma to a lil' blue-eyed boyfriend, age 1.
And the newest development...Knocked up with a set of twin girls, due in April!
Follow along at!


They'll still be crying when you get there. I wasn't sure how I felt about my friend's words when I was pregnant. I'm pretty supportive of attachment parenting, and this felt like letting my tiny new baby cry it out! Now I totally get it. Whether he's in a crib or someone else's arms, newborn or toddler, sometimes my baby just needs mama or daddy. It's one of the special perks of being a parent - being able to comfort our offspring. It's an honor & a responsibility to tend to those cries (or screams), but it is possible to sacrifice one's own sanity in the process. In the fifteen months following my son's birth, I've learned to pause. Sometimes, I take deep breaths before picking him up off the floor when the fussing starts. Sometimes, I finish my conversation with my husband before getting the boy up from his nap. Sometimes, I let him bang on the table with his food-covered hands and enjoy a few bites of my own before getting him what he wants. This is coming from the mama who almost went into premature labor the other night, hauling my butt up the stairs after hearing the toddler fussing in the bathtub. Turns out, his big brother was pulling him out to dry him off. It's all about baby steps! But I'm learning to stay laid-back and not sweat the small stuff. It makes me appreciate my son (and my role as a mother) so much more!

They're not going to hurt your child.
Chances are, they love your kids more than they love you. A doctor and I discussed the "in-laws phenomenon" the other day at work, after she mentioned how jealous she was that both sets of our parents are nearby. There's something about motherhood that turns us nice girls into defensive psychos. I've never had an altercation with my mother-in-law, as I tend to keep the yucky stuff in my heart (bad idea). But I have held onto things and been sensitive to her comments and opinions. There have been quite a few awkward conversations where I have to explain why I'm not giving my child Tylenol for a temperature of 99.9, or why I'm not supplementing with formula just because he's small for age. But I've learned to pick my battles. A few months back, she gave the boy a bottle of apple juice instead of the breastmilk we'd packed. Apparently, she couldn't find it in the fridge where my husband had left it. I couldn't help but laugh. It was something I'd never do, but it surely wasn't gonna kill him. She wasn't trying to spite me. She was trying to help. And since realizing that and letting go of my control, I've enjoyed my relationship with her on a whole new level.

It's not 50/50. It's 100/100.
This piece of advice came weeks after my husband and I married, which turned out to be weeks before we conceived our son. I crashed into a scary, numb phase after the wedding. We looked to a couple at church for guidance, and I will never forget the wisdom they shared. People always talk about the give-and-take of marriage, and how couples have to meet in the middle. But it's not always like that. Sometimes, it's one person giving and the other taking. Sometimes, one has to cross the line and pick the other up, and drag them back. Parenthood only magnifies this concept. There are days when I feel like I can't contribute a lick to the family. I'm worn out and discouraged, and my husband senses it and picks up the slack. Other days, he feels gross and spends most of the day in his pajamas on the couch. Changing one diaper or making the bed might be the extent of his day's efforts. And I carry him along, until the sun goes down. It's what you do when you commit to sharing a life with someone - sharing ALL of it, the good and the bad. It's 100%, both of you, every day. That way, if someone comes up short, the other has plenty to give.


  1. i'm not even a mama and i love reading these posts. :)

    and such a small world - my fiance and i's 'song' is a song by the format-ha!

  2. seriously the best one of these yet, especially the marriage advice at the end of the second one......awesome. thanks!

  3. First time I've read your Mama Said, since I don't have children, and I am in love :3 Definitely reading them from now on!
    Love and Turtledoves,

  4. - All kids are different, and they hit milestones at their OWN pace

    More parents need to realize this!!

    This is all such great advice!!

  5. These are both wonderful! I love lola birdies blog! I do the same for my son, take a picture a day, its amazing to see how fast your little one grows, one day he is in new born cloths and the next he is teething! Love the reminder about how all kids are different. Im always comparing with my girlfriends, the latest is that I am wondering why all my girlfriends babies have had their first belly laugh in the past two weeks and Judah just smiles....I am waiting for that belly laugh! I keep thinking there is something wrong.

    Rachael's input is great as well. Esp the inlaw part. Seriously I became an over protective mama bear once my son was born! Also like the they will still be crying when you get there. Its so hard not to be super sensitive to your babies cries, Judah since he is starting to teeth (way to early) feels the need to cry for like 5 mins before he goes to sleep. Nothing will sooth him, he just needs to cry and suck his fist.

    love these posts! Keep the mama said coming :-)

  6. Love the format! and this series! i wish it was around before my lilly was born!

  7. Yep this is one of my favorites :)

  8. LOVED the 'its not going to hurt your child' and 'its 100/100'

    not a mamma but sure can take it and use it later in life!!

  9. I love the last piece of marriage advice! It is something that all married couples should have to read, because new big changes can put unpredictable stresses on any marriage but its so important to face it as a team!

  10. I love this! Even if I don't have kiddies & I love the last piece of advice on marriage.

  11. Rachael has some of the best mama advice I've ever heard! (and generally, I don't listen to anyone hehe)
    Finishing what you're doing and not imediatly jumping up dropping everything when your baby cries keeps my stress levels from reaching there limit every single day!

  12. Great post and loved that you featured Rachael. She is a great mama and and inspiration to me and so many of us ladies in the Carolinas.

  13. Awesome advice, becoming a momma brings so much wisdom!

  14. Like some of the other ladies commenting, I don't have any kiddos of my own but adore your Mama Said posts! I know that when I'm a mama bear myself, I'll be thinking back to all the things I've learned and thought about while reading these posts :)

  15. LOVE all this advice. these are some gems for real!
    oh and i love, love, love the format.

  16. I really enjoyed both of these girl's advice! I just recently found out that I'm pregnant, and like Anita, I had never really planned on having kids! Her words really comforted me, as not really having experience with kids (even relatives) was something that concerned me! Thanks for this feature, I really enjoy it!

  17. This really was a great week of Mama Said. I really loved the very last bit of advice, i agree, wholeheartedly!