Just one of those days

I stayed up too late working on one of the many projects that I am convinced will solve all of the issues in my world.

I wake up to the sound of the bathtub being filled. That can’t be a good sign.

BabyDaddy walks in tells me baby is going in the tub and her whole crib is covered in $h!t and he has to go to work.

Down one adult.

Fill 2 bowls and 1 tray full of organic whole everything cereal and bananas… is this healthy enough? I survived on frosted flakes and fruity pebbles, they’ll be fine.

Friend pulls up to drop off her 12 month old, I completely forgot about that. Pull it together, you only have 3 kids, she has 4.

Little girl runs to the bus stop. I pray to the free-range-parenting-goddess that she will be ok and that the neighbors won’t call child services.

Miracle babysitter shows up to watch babies while I go “co-op”/watch 3 year olds at little boy’s preschool.

My house is a mess and will without a doubt be spotless when I return, miracle babysitter is a lifesaver. How does she do it? She must think I’m a mess of person. I wish I could pay her more. Guilt.

I kiss 1 of the 2 crying babies goodbye and rush to the door. 8:50, I got this.

No keys.

Frantically run around the house looking for keys.

Babies crying. Everyone is looking for the keys.

No Keys.

Call preschool. I’ll be late.

Miracle babysitter helps me look for keys. Babies crying. Whole bag of whole everything organic cereal being shaken wildly by my wild baby all over the floor. Poor miracle babysitter will have to clean that. I would have left it for days.

Call MamaFriends who live close. Get a ride to preschool. Get a ride home after preschool.

Cancel appointments scheduled for the afternoon.

Search the house over and over again.

Shake every shoe and boot.

Empty every drawer.

Clear out all the kids toys.

Ransack each room.

Go through the trash bins and the recycling with a spatula.

Dissect the couch.

No keys.

Car is locked. Look through every window. No Keys.

They might be in-between the seat and the door. I’ve done that before.

Call a locksmith.

$95 later, the creepy locksmith opens the car.

No Keys.

Creepy Locksmith shuts the door, car locks again.

I scare the creepy locksmith into opening door again. If I disappear, it’s the creepy locksmith.

….or the UPS dude, he’s odd.

Search the ENTIRE house again. No Keys.

Search the ENTIRE car in the 200 degree crazy humidity filed car. No Keys.

Little boy on his 2nd (5th) cartoon. Is this going to hurt him later in life? Once in a while is ok, right??? Is it really once in a while darlin? Is TV my parenting crutch? I suck.

Call creepy locksmith’s friend who can get new keys without towing. Quotes me $235, F!

BabyDaddy has to text the dude a pic of his license. Baby Daddy unreachable.

The Dude says if he doesn’t get license by 4, he can’t send someone out until tuesday. F!!!!!

Frantically calling BabyDaddy.

Convince the Dude I am not trying to steal the car, he says he’ll send someone.

Googling ways to DIY replace keys. I’m scrappy, i can do this on my own! You can order keys on amazon? huh.

No. be smart. trust a professional.

I can’t believe I’m about to spend $330 to replace my lost key.

Walk to get girl from bus stop.

Tell her my ordeal with the keys. Asks her if she’s seen them.

“Yea Mom, I hid them in my room from the baby.”


Frantically call the dude not to send someone out.

About to lose my mind.

she’s a kid. she’s a kid. she’s a kid.

Deep breathing Mama, deep breathing.It worked out. It worked out. It worked out.

Hit the reset button.

Throw the kids into the car after a long sit down about other peoples things, the importance of communication, money, etc etc.

We’re going to the pool.

Kids don’t listen when it’s time to leave.

One kid gets grounded.

I threaten no dinner for everyone. Did I really just say that? I’m a barbarian.

In the car. With the keys. Finally. Order takeout.

Drive home filled with traffic and arguments about big sister “not having a butt” and how little brother “smells like a butt” this goes on a very long time. Where do they learn this stuff?

Keep it together.

Get to restaurant. Nowhere to park. Baby is naked in her car seat. kids in wet bathing suits.

Park car in front of many parked cars. Run in to grab food in skimpy bathing suit cover. Car running. AC On. I’m officially failing parenthood today…while looking like a trashy heifer.

I don’t get arrested for leaving kids in the running car and the kids didn’t take the car, so that’s a positive.

Finally home to my crazy mess of a house.

Inhale food.

Throw kids in quickest bath ever.

Grounded one goes to room/bed.

Little one is tucked in. I need to read more books at night. Maybe if I don’t they’ll think it’s a luxury? I need help at night. No, i just need to keep it together longer. come on, you can do it.

Decide to rock baby to sleep, that makes everything better. You can see her little face forming into the non-baby face. It is like I’ve never seen her before. I need to savor these moments more. She is so amazing and these moments are so fleeting. I lay her down peacefully, I’m about to shut the door…

The phone rings.

Baby is crying.

Grounded Kid is whining.

Little boy is calling for me.

and then there was you

It’s 10 o’clock the night before your 6th birthday. It’s taking every ounce of self restraint not to walk upstairs and cuddle you like a baby and tell you everything. Your story, our story, is epic. And someday, when you’re older, I will tell you everything. But not now, not tonight.

Every year, for the past 5 year, in the days before your Birthday I think about those crazy 9 months and how that one day, the day you came, changed my life.

I look back now and think about how unready I was, how unprepared… how I should have been more scared. And there were many (many) moments, when I was. But there was something about you from the very first time we thought about you. We knew that we already loved and wanted you.

anna prego
Pregnancy is not kind to me. With you I had preclampsia, gained 90 (yes, NINETY) pounds, had swollen hands and feet for 80% of the pregnancy, and was throwing up DAILY. It was brutal.

I keep looking at the clock, reliving the hours before your birth. 10:30pm at the hospital getting checked in to our room for induction. I had pre-clampsia when I was pregnant with you and that day I had gone to my 37week appointment, Daddy was there. The Doctor came in and told me that the protein count in my urine had tripled and that we should plan on checking into the hospital that day. It was a big shock! I was rushing around trying to get everything ready when I noticed Daddy sitting at his computer. “Cris, we don’t have time for this, we have to get everything packed!” He looked at me with fear in his eyes and said, “I have to order a filling cabinet, we have nothing to put her birth certificate in!” Everyone deals with fear differently 🙂

After a dramatic pregnancy, labor and delivery- you were here.

eliza infant


My first. My baby. My girl.

When you were born, my world, my entire being was transformed. I could never have imagined that it was ever possible to love someone so much.

eliza baby nyc

The first year of your life, we roamed the city. We would explore every inch of Manhattan. We would meander around Central Park for hours. I made my first group of “Mommy Friends” and experienced another level of friendship that was (is!) so essential and meaningful. Although we are no longer in NY, those NY Mamas will ALWAYS hold a place in my heart and are still some of my dearest friends.

We had a lotta fun little girl and I knew early on that you were special.

eliza mama beach

Eliza, you are amazing.

Being your Mama is an honor.

You are strong, clever, beautiful, and kind.

Eliza 2 1:2 Eliza 2

eliza riverelizaphoto-21eliza the engineer

I am so proud of who you are and who I see you becoming.

I will do my best to be there for you, to listen, to love, to let you explore, to encourage, to cherish the wild, to challenge when needed, and to help you stay true to who you really are.

Happy 6th Birthday my love.

eliza boat

We love you to infinity and beyond!

Eliza at wedding

So, she just had a baby…now what?


When the author of this post (ahem, me) wrote this first draft she was hormonal, sleep deprived, un-showered.


proceed with caution.

and please don’t be offended.

*                     *                    *

Pregnancy for me is every synonym of terrible. 10 months of bloated, nauseous, uncomfortable, exhausted, grossness, wherein I inevitably gain about 60-90lbs. Oh yea, a real sight.

But then, on or around the 6th (or 100th) time that you are convinced that you could not get any bigger or uncomfortable…. There’s a baby. Poof! Snap of a finger! Baby!

(Hardly, but we’ll save THAT experience(s) for another time)


Whether it is by pushing, c-section, or adoption- Having a baby is an unparalleled experience. 6 Million years of procreating has led us to an experience of utter devotion and awe of babies. I am deeply blessed to have three beautiful, healthy babies. Everyday I am thankful for their health and existence.

This post was first written in a dark place in the mama lowlands….about 6 weeks in, when the adrenaline has receded. I felt exhausted, fat, and isolated from friends and the general population of people who didn’t have a newborn gnawing on their poor poor nipp….OK OK OK, happy place, happy place, I’m not there anymore.

No, for realz. This post is intended to give ‘the new Mamas’ a voice. To share with you, a very summarized version of what it’s like in those first few weeks and, hopefully, how you can best be there for that new mama in your orb.

God speed.

It is overwhelming having a newborn.

In those first few days/weeks the most important thing for Mama to do is to recover from childbirth, which is not a comfortable experience. Mama can hardly walk, is crampy (worst with each pregnancy!) bloody, exhausted, hormonal, and feels like a deflated balloon. She stands in the mirror and wonders if she will ever have a belly button again…

Mama and baby are enamored and mystified with each other. All they want to do is bond and get to know each other in a calm, safe, and quiet environment.

They are trying to figure out breastfeeding, which is emotionally and physically draining and more often than not, pretty tricky. The BEST way for Mama and Baby to figure out the labyrinth of breastfeeding is to have skin to skin contact all day. No joke. No shirts, nakey baby… all. day.

Mama and Baby are both going through a lot and rest is so important.

These things are hard to do even with the simplest of basic human needs like eating and  going to the bathroom. Of course if there are other dependents to think about, it is even more complicated. The onset of visitors makes these things near impossible.

I get it, everyone wants to meet the baby, it’s exciting and new, and it’s pretty freaking awesome seeing such a new little human. But take it from me, Mama needs some time.

But how, Anna?! HOW do I help my dear Wife, BabyMama, Daughter, Sister, Friend get through this and know I love her and I’m here for her!

Fear not friend, read on.

Your FRIEND just had a baby

Drop off food: Keep it simple.

Meals that won’t require her to do much/anything and put them in containers that she can throw away or keep. Whole Meals- pesto pasta with vegetables, enchiladas, soup with yummy bread. If she has other kids, make sure you consider the picky eaters…i.e. simple is best. I had a friend who brought me pesto orzo loaded with veggies and feta and then a ziplock bag full of noodles and butter for my older babes (GENIUS)

If meals aren’t possible (or needed) treats like banana bread, oatmeal cookies, muffins, bagels, and good beer are great options.

I love the idea of a Taco Box
Be a friend: Mommy-mush-brain is real and she may not be her usual sharp and witty self, cut her some slack and catch her up on the preschool gossip while handing her some trashy magazines and a 6-pack of good beer.

Take care of her other dependents: If she has other kids, take them to the park, offer a play date at your house, or give them a ride(s) to/from school. If no other kids, but a first-child-dog, you guessed it, take that damn dog for a walk.

Your DAUGHTER/DAUGHTER IN LAW just had a baby

(all of the previous, and…)

Help HER: If you are there, help HER. As much as you want to be there just for the baby (don’t deny it…)  Mama is the one who needs you. And what does she need you to do?

Pick 1 or ALL of the following- Clean, cook, wash the dishes, take out the trash (there will be lots of trash), tidy up, wash and fold the laundry, go grocery shopping, help with thank you notes, help with the other dependents, and…


Moral Support: Mama is going to be moody and emotional. She is going to keep face for the outside world, but with you, her Mama, she will probably cry, a lot. Its a tricky mix of exhaustion and hormones. Try and recognize when she needs to just let it out and when she may need a little ‘break from baby’. Biology is amazing. As exhausted and overwhelmed as she is, she will not want to separate from baby, if only for 20 minutes! GENTLY offer up “It looks like baby is out for a bit, why don’t you take a shower and rest while I finish folding the laundry.”

Your WIFE/BABYMAMA/PARTNER just had a baby

(all of the previous, and…)

Be her Gladiator: Everyone is going to want to come and see the new baby. We have now learned that endless visitors are not the best thing for mama and baby. Be the gatekeeper! You be the one to tell friends, family, and neighbors when (and when NOT) to come by. When family is mad that they can’t come within an hour of getting home from the hospital, you deal with it…be her flippin gladiator.

Fake it till ya make it:  Even if you can’t understand what she has/is going through; even if you love baby but can’t quite bond with it just yet (totally normal in those first few weeks!) Just love both of them. Show her you love her, show her you love baby. Rub her back, listen to her, tell her you love her more than you ever have before. Be in awe of the process.

Show her: 2 words.

Push Prize.

No, no, no, don’t roll your eyes. Give her something.

It doesn’t have to be diamonds, or expensive.

Give her something that shows how much you value her experience. A letter or photo-book with memories from her pregnancy and new baby, jewelry, a book of poems, a piece of art, a journal. Give her something that she will be able to have always, to remember this wild and beautiful time.


And Mamas, I promise, it gets easier….and then harder, and then easier again 🙂 Have faith in 6 million years of evolution. It works. Trust your intuitions and if you need help, ASK. Hell, even if you are a stubborn, I can do anything type a gal, ask for help.

As wonderful and hard as it is- feel, remember, be present and enjoy the ride of this fleeting time.

Max-a-maccah-moosey-man is FOUR

The morning of April 27th, 2011 I was waddling around a high-school track.

waddle waddle waddle waddle

down on all fours

Breath…..jusssstttttttt flipping breath

waddle waddle waddle waddle

down on all fours

Breath…..jusssstttttttt flipping breath

waddle waddle waddle waddle

down on all fours

Breath…..jusssstttttttt flipping breath

“Cristo, must be time… really we should go, I bet it’s time to go.”


We’d been at this for about an hour. Contractions had begun around midnight, we went to the midwife around 8am, and to my shocked ears… I was still in early labor.

We went to the track to walk.

waddle waddle waddle waddle

down on all fours

Breath…..jusssstttttttt flipping breath

“Cristo, must be time… really we should go, I bet it’s time to go.”

We took the dog back home, because my wonderful, practical, babydaddy thought we should give the dog a walk while watching the pregnant lady barrel herself around the HS track in pain, you know, before things got really going.

Drove the 30 minutes to the Hospital/Midwife and walked in ready to meet our boy.

“Sorry, not yet. Come back in a couple hours.”






Babydaddy mentioned that it was a weekday and he just happened to have to renew his license, we also had some time to spare… Off to the DMV we went.

I spend what felt like hours contracting in the car. Legs up, arms up, curled in one big ball of  angry pregnant woman. We drove, we walked, I think we ate something.

Finally, they had mercy on me and admitted me.

A few hours later, with the help of my wonderful midwife and some stellar nurses, I gave birth (while squatting) to a big beautiful baby boy.


…and Eliza became a big sister.
eliza maz

Max was the happiest, cutest chunk of baby boy I could have ever dreamed of.

max babymax 1max 1st579191_404437542914702_2033373641_nmax hair

He continues to amaze us with his intelligence, resourcefulness, endearing love, and goofiness.

stud max max beachsuper maxmax skimax big boy2 maxmax brother

I can’t wait to watch you grow, Max-a-maccah-moosey-man.

I love you to the moon and beyond!

sleep max