8 Things I Actually Miss About Being Pregnant

Originally featured on Scary Mommy

I can hear the gasps now! Wait, what? Who misses being pregnant? All you do is pee yourself, waddle like a duck, gain more weight than you’d like to admit, and complain to your partner nonstop! So let me clarify: I don’t miss pregnancy in a let me go and get knocked up kind of way, but more in a I only miss it now because I don’t have to go through the experience again kind of way.

Since my husband and I have officially nixed any further family expansion plans, I thought I would relish the few fond memories I do have of my last two, brutal, pregnancies.

Besides the obvious (you get a cute little baby at the end) here are some benefits to being pregnant:

1. You can let it all hang out. This by far was the best perk of being pregnant. After many dinners that included seconds and dessert, I didn’t have to worry about sucking my belly in. I could just let it flop down between my legs and no one would guess that the bump was actually the consequence of my shameful indulgences. People look at your belly in awe because you are creating a little life in there, versus whispering to their friends that you may need to lay off the burritos for awhile.


2. You have a free pass to sleep all the time. I love naps, but I always feel guilty taking them. I feel like that is time I could be spending with my family or being productive, but when I was pregnant, I slept all the time without the guilt! In fact, if anything or anyone came in between my day sleeping and me – there was hell to pay!

3. You have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. I used this card often when helping with chores, driving, avoiding social events I was too tired for, and even tying my own shoes. It was glorious!

4. You can eat guilt free. Even though I’m typically a healthy eater, I allowed myself some gelato more times than I’d like to admit. You’re eating for two, right? Even though that second person is the size of a lemon, they need just as much gelato as you do. Plus, every bite was worth it.

5. You feel the baby move first. There is something very special about being the only one to share that experience with your baby. You fall in love with your baby first. They fall in love with you first – and that’s some magical shit.

6. You can pamper yourself more often. I had prenatal massages once or twice a month just so I could move, but those two hours were heaven on earth. I also had several pedicures a month. I loved convincing my husband to rub my feet, and he fell for it every time! I just might have to fake an injury or something so I can justify putting this pampering back into my monthly rotation.

7. You have thick gorgeous hair. Your hair looks like you walked out of a salon every day! The shine, the texture, the fullness – where did it go? This last time I lost a lot of hair post-partum. I’m regretting complaining about that lustrous hair now.

8. You have a leg up on any situation. Anytime someone complained about petty shit, you could always say, “I’m creating a life! What are you doing today?” Take that, people who always think they have it so rough!

For all the women who float through pregnancy with ease and love every minute of it, I envy you and almost don’t believe you. Pregnancy was one of the most emotional, and physically draining, things I’ve ever been through, but was absolutely worth it – even if it was just for the guilt-free gelato (and the cute little baby)!


You know those days when you wake up, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you feel like there’s nothing that could happen to ruin your perfect day? Then Murphy’s Law kicks in and turns that day into a living nightmare. As parents, we should know the possibility of something going wrong multiplies when certain components are involved. These certain components, in my case, are almost always my older, low-spirited, 6 year-old son and my 10 month-old, high-spirited son.

Recently, I woke up to what seemed to be a perfect morning and rewarded myself with a cup of strong hot coffee, which can usually get me through a full day. On this day, my husband, sons and I were supposed to go to a wedding of some close family friends. I was thrilled – finally a chance to indulge in myself a bit. I was going to see a hairdresser, have a manicure and pedicure, and play dress up. This  was a pretty nice change, if you ask me, as the only dress up I have done lately is changing from one pair of sweatpants to another. My hubby was rocking a black suit and the boys were looking spectacular in their tiny suits with matching bowties. We looked like one of those families from commercials – ready to conquer the world and looking mighty fine! Later I would realize that the only thing that’s going to get conquered  – was my dignity.

Once we arrived, the church was already set up and looked like something out of a fairytale. Flowers poured over the aisles, candles lit the room to the perfect glow, and the decor looked like it was dripping with diamonds. Everything was so beautiful and romantic, so I already had anxiety that my boys would do something to destroy it. We quickly grabbed as seat as the churched was packed with quests and the ceremony was about to start.

PicMonkey Collage

As one would guess, weddings aren’t the most entertaining of events when it comes to a 6 year-old, so he decided it is the perfect moment for a nap and became a wet noodle draped over us. And naturally, since he wanted to nap my other son wanted to stir up some trouble. Although he is only 10 months old, he is an expert crawler. As the ceremony continued, it was becoming more and more difficult to contain my little guy. He was desperate to hit the ground….crawling. I figured I’d put him down just for a second, because how far can he really get in this crowed church? But, it quickly became apparent that he wanted to be the first to congratulate the newlyweds so he rushed across the church floor, scooting his little body towards them. In seconds – he was at the alter. Just as I turned beet red and was prepared to profusely apologize for my baby taking the limelight at their wedding, the crowd  burst into laughter. Thank goodness the rest of the people found it to be amusing and not a big issue. Me, on the other hand, I wanted to go hide in the bathroom.

Fortunately, the rest of the wedding reception went smoothly without anymore incidents. I guess the phrase ‘boys will be boys’ is still an acceptable excuse.

The Catch-22 of Kindergarten

Here I am. Here we are. Your first day of kindergarten is tomorrow. I spent all summer telling myself I couldn’t wait for this day so you would have more to do, and I would have an easier schedule to fit chores, work, and even some play in. As much as I’d like to celebrate and relish in all the free time I’ll now have since my little baby, wait, I mean my big boy, is headed to kindergarten – I’m more so feeling empty inside with a tinge of guilt.

Did I spend as much time as I wanted to with him?

Did I savor all the precious moments?

Will I regret wishing some of the days away?

Where did the time go?

Maybe I’m not ready to send him off into the world – just yet. 

It seems not too long ago, I was looking into his eyes for the first time and stroking his baby soft skin making a promise that I’d always take care of him, and love him unconditionally. I was wearing him on my body and singing him lullabies as he stared up at me in awe. I was laughing uncontrollably at his baby-giggles, and helping him up each time he fell when learning to walk. It feels like just yesterday I cheered him on when he made his first pee-pee in the potty, and every night we cuddled as we read Goodnight Moon together. Now, here I am setting his clothes out, packing his lunch, and preparing him for our first day of kindergarten. Has it really been five years? How did this happen, already?


He attended pre-K last year, so why is this year so difficult for me? Why is this incredible milestone hitting me like a ton of bricks? Maybe because kindergarten is not a choice, it’s mandatory. Maybe it’s the realization I have to share him now, and my influence will soon be one of many. Or, maybe my heart is hurting because I can recall, from my own childhood, that kindergarten is really when your memories start to include more friends, teachers and coaches, when up until now – I was the center of his universe.

baby s

On one hand, I want to be excited for my son. I want him tackle obstacles on his own. I want him to learn from others what I’m unable to teach him. I want him to be independent and have life experiences that don’t always include me – I really do. But on the other hand, I want him to need me forever. I want to keep him in this perpetual state of innocence. I want that look of pride to remain on his face when he hands me a picture he made me – just a little bit longer. I’m not ready to share him. I’m not ready to let him go. I don’t I think I’ll ever be.

We spend our entire childhoods in what seems like an eternity, only to grow older and now find ourselves frantically searching for the brakes. As mothers, we try to savor every beautiful moment of parenting, but too often we get lost in the daily grind. Inevitably, time slips through our fingertips. So tonight on the eve of kindergarten, I will watch my baby sleep just one last time, for tomorrow he will awaken as a big boy. I’ll hold onto this moment for as long as I can and take solace in knowing we made it to this point together. I’ll stare at his perfect little face, hold his chubby little fingers, and remain lying next to him until time forces me against my will – to let go.


Embracing The “Suck” of Motherhood

Sometimes you just have to let go.

Sometimes you have to change your expectations and attitude.

Sometimes you have to embrace the suck.

Welcome to motherhood. Where the rules are often made up, life changes on a dime, and the particulars no longer matter.

Like that one time I spent 4 months getting up every 45 minutes to nurse because that’s what my baby now wanted and became so sleep deprived – I was literally walking into walls.

Or that one period when my baby’s first three teeth came came in all at once. (What a nightmare!) Tylenol, teething tablets, and frozen bananas didn’t even come close to calming him and there’s nothing worse than watching your child wail in pain – and you can’t do anything about it.

photo credit: mommasaid.net

photo credit: mommasaid.net

Each and every period of difficulty seems to be never ending. Sometimes I cry buckets of tears, I yell at myself and my baby in intervals, and even yell at God. Why was this happening? Why couldn’t He just give me a break? Is this really too much to ask?

And then the answer came: “Just let it go. It doesn’t matter, anyway. Just let it go.”

“Screw You! I’m so tired, I can’t do this, I can’t just let it go! How am I supposed to just ‘let go’ of not sleeping? I won’t accept it, I will make this kid sleep!”

“If you say so. Then when you’re ready, let go.”

Weeks and months went by of battling what couldn’t be battled, attempting to force something to my will. This was mine and my husband’s son, I should have known better. All in vain, all futile.

One night after another hour long put down/cry/pick-up/rock/put down/repeat cycle, I simply said to him “Ok, I’ll stay with you, you sleep with me tonight. Let me know when you’re ready.”  That’s when the magic happened. I finally embraced the suck, I accepted that I was not in control, and I started to let go of the anger, the frusteration, the helplessness. And things started to turn around, not all at once, but they started.

Our kids are their own person. We’ve become so used to them being our babies while in our womb, we forget they have their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas of how they need to do things. They’re not little adults, they will have plenty of time to get used to doing what other people want and demand of them, so let them be a kid now. As adults we are used to feeling like we have to be in control all the time, and for a tiny little being to render us so completely out of our element, can really stretch a person – and bring up all kinds of emotions. Some of these emotions are negative and may even originate from our own childhoods. Trying not to yell at them the way you were yelled at. Trying to make sure they feel respected, while reminding them YOU are the one in charge. It’s exhausting, draining, and frusterating.

Then, right when you are about to lose it, you somehow manage to realize –  it just doesn’t matter.  Can our little ones irritate us to the point of checking ourselves in for a psych evaluation? Perhaps. Will it always be like this? No, and when it changes – it’s pure magic.

So you shed some tears, that’s normal. Sometimes you’re shaking in anger, or exhausted in defeat. All normal.

Next time you’re feeling this way, open your eyes wider to see that perfect smile and those beautiful little eyes looking at you with pure unconditional love.

Then you can embrace the suck.

And you let it go.

And it is beautiful.​

Book Review: Wake-Up Call

Since becoming a professional writer three years ago I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many talented people in the profession. Not only have they supported me and given me invaluable advice, but they’ve trusted me to review their work.

A few months ago, Amy Avanzino  sent me an advanced copy of her book, Wake-Up Call, and asked for my feedback on the book.

First, I love to read so I was thrilled to accept her offer – and second, I love a great story! As a 20-something who was on the fast track in corporate America and thought I had my whole life planned out, this story really spoke to me. I laughed through every page, I never wanted to put it down. It was hilarious! I even shed a few tears, which makes for a complete story.

Wake Up

Wake-Up Call is a tale of a woman, Sarah Winslow, who wakes up with a terrible hangover…and a kid in her boyfriend’s bed. She makes the horrifying discovery that, due to a head injury, it’s not a hangover. She’s got memory loss. Overnight, five years have disappeared, and she’s no longer the hard-living, fast-track, ad executive party girl she thinks she is. Now, she’s the unemployed, pudgy, married, stay-at-home-mom of three kids under five, including twins.

As she slowly pieces together the mystery of how her dreams and aspirations could have disintegrated so completely in five short years, she finds herself utterly failing to manage this life she can’t imagine choosing. When Sarah meets the man of her dreams, she realizes she’s got to make a choice: Does she follow her bliss and “do-over” her life? Or does the Sarah she’s forgotten hold the answers to how she got here…and how she can stay?

Wake-Up Call is available on Amazon on September 1. If you’re looking for a new read, this is your go-to.



About the Author:


Amy Avanzino received a Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a Master’s from the University of Washington.  She is a former advertising executive, who has spent the last several years writing, while doing extensive hands-on research for her WAKE-UP series.  She’s a contributing writer of Hap Scotch, a play performed at the 2008 Frigid Festival in New York, which won two Audience Choice Awards.

Amy currently lives in the stands above the football fields, basketball courts, and baseball diamonds around Folsom, California, with her husband and four children.

Ten Things MIL’s Do To Piss Us Off

Excited to bring you my first collaboration piece with the very talented and hilarious, Sara Sadik! We pulled together universal complaints about MIL’s and wanted to share them with you. Enjoy!

Mother-in-law’s, whether you have a great one or not, we can all agree that once grandchildren come along – the dynamic quickly changes. MIL’s somehow emerge as expert parenting know-it-alls and you become the clueless, incompetent mother. There’s an unspoken rule with moms that is somehow lost in the MIL – DIL translation and that is – when someone insults our parenting skills or our kids – we lose our sh*t. Period. No one is more defensive than a mom, and mother-in-law’s should know this. In fact, they tell us about their wicked MIL’s, yet turnaround and pull the same shenanigans on us.

I have to admit, I personally lucked out in the MIL department. My MIL tends to make suggestions verses just ramming her unsolicited advice down my throat, and she knows when I’ve hit my I can’t take this shit anymore limit, at which point she’ll offer me a cocktail as a truce – so I really can’t complain. We actually get along great, probably because we’re both a little crazy. The first time I met her she showed me a picture of herself giving birth to my now husband, and then commented on what big cajones he had as a baby. She was proud of her boy. True story. I died. Love her.

Most everyone else Sara and I know though, would move thousands of miles away just to escape their MIL’s if they could.

Clearly our mother-in-law’s raised great kids or we wouldn’t have fallen in love with their precious boys. Some of their actions prove their hearts are in the right place, and even some of their advice maybe valuable, but most of the BS – we could live without.

We are, however, convinced all MIL’s do and say things just to piss us off, and here’s ten examples Sara and I came up with to prove it:

  • They buy the loudest, most obnoxious, battery-sucking toys they can find that take weeks to put all the million pieces together, only to have our kids play with them for a few days – and then move on. We don’t want that shit, nor do we have space for it!


  • They do the complete opposite of what we ask them to do. If we ask them not to give our kids too much sugar, they take them out for the largest ice cream brownie fudge sundae known to man right before dinner. Awesome, thanks jerks.
  • They tell our kids they can’t do something because “Mommy said no” to make us look like the assholes.
  • They finish every sentence with, “Well I raised three kids and they turned out fine.” We know that, and we are trying to do the same with our own kids.
  • They comment on your appearance. Non-stop. And never in a flattering way. “Yes, perhaps I should get a nose job but…hey, maybe I’ll get a discount when you go in for your liposuction procedure?”
  • They are always shouting. On the phone, in the car, over Skype. We effing hear you! This is cute the first time – not the 50th. Stop yelling.
  • They question everything you do with your child. “Why daycare?” Or “Why not daycare?” Or they tell you what your child likes. I know what they like, I’m with them everyday! I’m not an absent mother.
  • They buy the most horrendous outfits and expect you to dress your child in them. My advice?  Put them in the hideous puke-colored dress and snap a few pictures each with a different scenery so it looks like you actually let your child be seen in it.


  • They are fixated on your weight. Both, pre-baby and post-baby. The obsession with your weight is only because, “she loves you,” or so your brainwashed husband likes to tell you. And then the fixation starts to include the baby. “She needs to eat more, she’s too skinny.” “What are you feeding her?” Ugh.
  • They spoil your kids rotten, break all the rules, and then send them back to you to deal with the consequences – while evil-laughing inside. Payback is a bitch, they say. We deserve it, they say.

There are few things that quickly bond women together – talk of work, marriage, the weather, and what brand of jeans makes your ass look best. But absolutely nothing bonds two women together like bitching about their MIL’s – then deciding whose is worse.

Let’s all make a promise now that we won’t be like this and if we do, we give our future daughter-in-law’s the permission to punch us in the face.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Parenthood Injuries

Any mommy with a little one big enough to roll over has dealt with childhood injuries (if you haven’t, then start spilling those secrets you’ve been keeping). If your children are anything like mine, then even a minor injury, think scrape or bump with no physical symptoms, can provide a freak out typically reserved for the loss of a limb. As your parenting expertise grows you’re able to judge your child’s cry to injury ratio.  Then you’ll find yourself following a blood curdling scream from across the playground with a confident, haphazard rendition of, “Shake it off, Shake it off!”

But what do we do when we, the all knowing grown ups, get an owie? And I don’t mean the “stub your toe and mutter choice words under your breath” variety of owie. I’m speaking of the type of injury that involves blood gushing and a trip to the ER. How are we suppose to react when we get back home and our kids baulk at the sight of us, because Mommy is wearing a cast to protect her broken nose while her eyes continue to darken?

I was faced with this situation recently. I had an accident on Fourth of July that did not, I repeat did NOT, involve a firework, but rather running on slick, wet surfaces and meeting the sidewalk up close and personal. The shock of an injury like that doesn’t allow a mommy to keep a reassuring smile on her face while hurriedly being whisked to the doctor. In fact, an injury like that doesn’t allow for a smile at all. Instead it was met with tears and blood and ice and other grown ups rushing around frantically (I assume, because I was a bit more focused on my broken face than what the other adults were actually doing). Luckily, my kiddos didn’t actually witness me plummeting towards the ground, but they did know things were serious. Even when kids aren’t given a straight forward explanation, they know when things are bad. They can smell our stress and fear.


I ended up needing surgery to correct my broken nose and upper jaw. My black and blue, swollen face was covered in a cast and I spoke with a lisp following the procedure. All I wanted in my post- anesthesia trance was the comfort of snuggling my littles, because sometimes mommies need feel-better snuggles too. We decided against the kids visiting right aways as we didn’t want them to be scared seeing me wrapped up like a mummy. When they finally did visit, the response wasn’t as welcoming as I had hoped.

If you’re ever in this situation, try not to take offense to their reactions as it’s a very natural response for them to either be scared, or be disgusted by the very sight of you. Instead, try some of these tips to ease you and your family’s experience:

  • Don’t crumble to pieces. It probably isn’t the best idea to start crying hysterically while grabbing for them asking why they no longer love you. To them you look like a scary villain straight out of a horror flick. They are trying to manage their emotions, too. It can only make things worse if you pressure them into being near you and your busted, scary face.
  • Reassure. While you weren’t able to give the reassuring smile directly following your trauma, now is the perfect time. Try not to lie to them by saying you aren’t hurting. Children know better (remember they can smell your fear and stress). Instead, give them a bit of truth (appropriate for their age, of course). An example could be “Mommy sure does have a big owie, but I’ll be playing again in no time!” 
  • Get them involved. My littles LOVE to help. My youngest wants to be a doctor so she pulled out all her play things and I allowed her to give me a check up. Obviously, her assessment was given on a part of my body far far away from my actual injury. She gave me a shot, a princess band-aid, and told me I would be okay! My oldest, who is more perceptive, was legitimately allowed to help. He brought me extra pillows, ice packs and even brought me water so I could take my medicine. Both situations allowed the kids to not only see me, but gave them a purpose in helping their mommy get well. Win-win.
  • Let them watch cartoons. For a couple days after surgery, I just wanted sleep. The mix of pain meds, stress, and my body trying to heal made me a zombie. So, with other fully-functioning adults in the area, I allowed them up in the bed, with a milkshake to match mine (because after facial and dental surgery what else is there to eat), and we binged watched cartoons. They were able to be close to me (and me to them), get a little treat, (which makes everything better), and I was able to take a nap surrounded by my children’s love and giggles.


Eventually, I started feeling better and my little ones came around more often. My doctor-to-be toddler gave me follow ups, and my oldest got tired of his duties I gave him (“Jeeze mom how many pillows do you really need?!”). Despite still wearing a cast and getting strange looks out in public, life is getting back to normal.

My advice when you go through a traumatic experience in front of your children is to allow them to approach you in their own time. Don’t push them or yourself, that only worsens the situation. And lastly, don’t do a face plant on the concrete if you can help it. Obviously.


I traveled to NYC recently for the annual BlogHer convention. This is one of my favorite conventions to attend, and this year’s line-up delivered even more than expected. BlogHer recently merged with SheKnows Media, which has a motto of “women inspiring women”, to form one powerhouse unit. I recommend anyone in media, marketing, writing, tech, blogging, editing, non-profit, sponsorship, freelance and promotion to attend if your budget and schedule allows. It’s worth it.


It’s difficult to describe how one feels when surrounded by thousands of women who share the same vision as you. Everyone there was on a mission to not only better themselves, but to help others. At times, it was hard to control my emotions. I felt tears muster up in the corner of my eyes on more than one occasion. The tears were in response to feelings of pride, empowerment, and in some cases, sadness. Many stories were shared, an abundance of advice was given, and partnerships and friendships were made. With each session, I left feeling inspired to do more, to always try and lead by example, and prove that women really can do what ever they set out to do.


Among the most influential speakers at BlogHer for me was Soledad O’Brien, the American broadcast journalist and philanthropist. Her few minutes on stage really touched me and inspired me to put a future goal in place. She told the story of her organization, The Starfish Media Group, which provides mentors and resources along with scholarship funds, to help young deserving people earn an education. The stories of the young ladies she’s helped really resonated with me.

I’m one of the lucky ones who did get a college education, and it was also in a time when college was expensive – but not yet out of reach. Like so many others, my parents were not financially able to cover tuition costs. I, however, was determined to get my degree. I started taking classes part-time in the Fall of 1996 and I didn’t graduate until May 2004. But, I graduated – better late than never. The only reason I was able to graduate was because I held several jobs and took out loans to cover any remaining costs. The money my parents could spare a month, was often the only way I ate or made my rent payments. It was a struggle, but my situation was cake in comparison to millions of others. As I sat there and listened to Soledad’s quest to help young women, I made my own goal to one day start a scholarship fund and award the gift of education to struggling youths who deserve a chance. Now I just need to make the money to do it. I will make it happen.

Christy Turlington also graced us with her presence. She enlightened us on the alarming statistics of  the maternal mortality rate, which is on the rise in the U.S. In a country that has the ability to prevent these deaths, this pulled at my heartstrings. If you’d like to learn more or help women get prenatal care and know their options for maternal health, please visit Every Mother Counts and share this information with others. Merck for Mothers has also launched a program dedicated to ending maternal mortality. This a 10-year, $500 million initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. Awareness is key, so spread the word.

These were just a few of the many pivotal moments I experienced during the convention, but the real magic happened in-between key-notes when I connected with hundreds of other women like me – the dreamers. We talked about life as mothers, career aspirations, how we can balance it all, but most importantly – how we could help each other. I made friendships I know will last a lifetime.


My overall takeaways and what I’d like to share with you is this:

When you surround yourself with inspirational people – you are able to drown out the noise. Noise like negativity, nay-sayers, and those who try to diminish your faith in yourself and your abilities. I know that I am someone who can make a difference – and so are you. Even if you can only help one person and that person is you, it’s a start. I am also someone who deserves success – and so are you. Lastly, I have a voice that can encourage and support other women and that’s exactly what I intend to use it for – and so should you.

In a world that perpetuates hate, we are the ones who can make a change by listening, sharing and giving. Words are powerful. Stories are powerful. Actions are powerful. When we listen – we grow. When we share – we inspire. When we give – we get. You have the power the make a difference.


“I still remember you as a little girl who overwaters plants because she doesn’t know when to stop giving.” – Trista Mateer



The night before our flight to visit relatives in Michigan – I couldn’t sleep. My baby was up all night as per usual, but more so because of teething and a growth spurt. My insomnia, however, was caused by trouble shooting and running through a mental checklist of what to do if my son has a full blown melt down in the middle of our first flight together. That’s right – me flying alone, with a baby. I was scared sh*tless. Thankfully we had a nonstop flight, which cut down the amount of time Baby B would have to turn into Oscar the Grouch. The next morning I took a deep breath, loaded up all our things, and said a prayer. Off we went.

Related post: Traveling With a Toddler: Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Luckily I made it through the flight and lived to tell about it. My son was so intrigued by everything, which held his attention. I will add that he also wanted to play with our seat mates and hug them a lot. They didn’t mind. Thank goodness. Overall it was a lot easier than I thought.

Here are some survival tips when traveling with infants that worked for me. Adjust as necessary for your little one:

Fill Them Up. Start them on a full stomach before you leave for the airport. Especially if you have a hike to get there.  By the time you get through ticketing and security, your LO is going to be hungry and antsy. Try to mitigate that and get them through until you can stop for a snack or lunch.

Bring Snacks, Sippy Cups/Bottles.  Even if you’re nursing like I am, bring them.  You can have them already full of milk, formula or juice. Security will do a quick dip (if at all) to test and make sure you aren’t bringing anything dangerous through. I highly considered eating a ton of poppy seeds to see if the drug compound would show up in my milk, just to mess with them. Maybe next time. Or not.

Have the Umbrella Stroller and Carrier Handy.  I brought both my sling and the folding stroller. Not only did I use the sling at our destination, but it made it much easier to get through ticketing and security. I had both my hands free to maneuver and take things in and out of bags for the screen. This also freed up the stroller to place bags in and give my shoulders a break. Word of advice: Do not take a carrier that has a metal ring on it like I did. You WILL have to take it off, however lame and obvious it is – or the detector will go off.

Play Around the Waiting Area.  Seriously. People were extremely understanding. And if they’re on your flight they’ll be grateful you’re trying to expend any extra energy out of your kid prior to takeoff.

Nurse on Takeoff/Landing. The whole “putting cotton in their ears” thing doesn’t work. I checked – with an actual medical professional. However, nursing has the same motion for baby as chewing gum, or yawning repeatedly does for us. Baby B, as hyper as he was, hunkered down for some cuddles and nursing as soon as we gathered speed, and woke up with just enough time to latch on as we started our descend. If you’re not nursing, bring a bottle with milk or formula, or a pacifier.

Let Them Down on The Floor.  Ok, maybe not if you’re on the aisle seat, but having a window seat meant I could let B down off my lap to explore, get a little distance from mom, and pull things out of his diaper bag.  Sure I had to stop him from crawling under the seat to the next row a couple times, but all in all it was a great way to keep him entertained. It also allowed me a few seconds to breathe and shake my arms out before the next round of him spinning in circles on my lap.

Related post: Seven Survival Tips When Traveling With Small Kids

Sit Near The Loo.  Each area on the plane has it’s advantages and disadvantages, but I made the mistake of sitting over the wing. Great for minimizing noise, but not so great when he had a blow out on our return to Texas! I had to lug the diaper bag through half the plane. Do yourself a favor and sit either up front or in back.

Benadryl.  Yup, I did it. It helped. Check with your pediatrician first, of course.

Trust In Your Baby.  I kept telling myself to have faith in B to be calm on the plane and not cause a ruckus. If you think they will scream the whole way, they probably will. Usually your LO picks up their parents’ vibes, so try to remain calm.

Most importantly don’t forget to bring toys, snacks, more toys, more snacks, and lots of diapers. You’ll make it through – and so will they.

Happy Travels!

Need more tips for traveling with little people? Check out the FLYING WITH KIDS App. Clever, easy to use, and everything in one place to prepare you for flying with kids. You’re welcome.

Every milestone in a mama and baby’s life is challenging. Some are pleasant and perhaps even enjoyable as you navigate your way to the actual accomplishment. Walking and talking are some of those “fun” ones. Potty training – not so much. It’s one of the trickiest milestones I’ve experienced so far. Mostly because training is the most vile. It’s filled with fake smiles, fake congratulations and lots of cleaning products and meditation. Which each win, I scream with excitement for her – but mostly I’m elated because it is one less accident for me to clean up.

(photo credit: http://www.quickpottytrainingonline.com)

Here are 5 other things that go through my mind when attempting to potty train my daughter:

  1. Why am I doing this again? Isn’t there a nursery that will handle this smelly milestone? There should be centers that do this as a service. Drop your kids off, pick them up in two weeks perfectly potty trained. Where can I find such a place?
  2. I’m over it. They have teenage sized diapers, right?
  3. I want to kill Elmo and that damn “potty party song”. I know I will be humming it long after she’s fallen asleep tonight.
  4. Am I doing this all wrong? Should I be giving her a gift every time she pees in the right place? How costly will this be? By the looks of it, not much.
  5. Is that water on the floor? Or pee? Or water? Crap, how many more liquids am I gonna have to do a smell test for?

While I’m worried about the mess and hurrying this process up, I’m sure she has much different thoughts.

Here are 5 things I suspect that go through my daughter’s mind while I attempt to potty train her:

  1. I think I’ll pee in this corner this morning, but will save my poop for up front and center for the smell to spread around – you know, to stay fresh.
  2. What’s the big deal if I poop near the potty? Close enough, right? Oh it has to go in there? Why didn’t you say so? Or did you? I wasn’t listening.
  3. Ahhhh! No diapers? This is much better! Freedom and a nice draft! Why were you keeping me in those bulky underwear? Wait, now I know why.
  4. I feel it coming down my leg so I’ll sit on the potty now. Wait, is that not good enough?
  5. There are so many carpets and corners I have to christen with my bowel movements. How on earth will I get it all done? And why the hell does my mom keep removing my works of art and following me around with that weird looking plastic chair?

Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s a huge milestone. I assure you, you will get through it if you remember these things and implement each of them.

Related Post: Pull Your Big Boy Pants Up

Write these down, you’ll thank me later. 

  1. Just relax…they can smell your anxiousness. Fact: They are not going to stop a two year habit in an hour. It takes time.
  2. Keep showing them where mommy pees. Yes, this is totally annoying but shouldn’t we be used to them staring at us while trying to handle our own business? That’s part of mommy hood.
  3. Buy just one potty (yes despite what many of the cultish mommy bloggers say). That’s right. I’m saying use one potty in the same place. Much like a toilet, which is essentially the point, right?
  4. Try to have the same reward you present them with every time they do it in the damn potty – and not smack dab in the middle of your living room carpet, hallway or on your shoes.            Tip: Blowing bubbles really worked for us. Much better than my husband’s suggested positive reinforcement of chocolate, which only resulted in three bouts of diarrhea – a truly enjoyable thing when potty training.
  5. Take advice from everyone but most importantly listen to your child – they will let you know when they’re ready, and follow your gut. A mom’s gut knows best!

Best of luck and and remember, we all pooped on carpets once too! This too shall pass!