New Mom Monday, Three



If you don’t have kids you are probably tired (get it? haha) of hearing us parents talk about sleep. While I don’t want to fall into the parent trap of constantly rambling on about things that no one else cares about, I’m here to talk about it just a little bit more.

Recently, my darling Winifred has been sleeping for stretches of three or even four hours at a time at night, and I want to thank the Academy and anyone else listening for this wonderful turn of events. She is even at the point where I can usually put her in her crib, walk away, and she just goes to sleep. I’m starting to wonder if she has switched places with a twin I don’t know about.

It’s true, my extremely gifted child has figured out the most highest of baby talents, and yet, I keep messing it upjust my luck!

This past week alone, I have completely ruined three sacred sleep sessions:

Tuesday, 1:47 PM

I killed a cockroach, NO BIG DEAL. I’m not afraid of cockroachesI like to let them hang out a while after I’ve smashed them with one of my husband’s shoes (certainly not one of mine!) before I pick them upI AM NOT AFRAID OF COCKROACHES. I bent over to scrape it up with a credit card offer envelope roughly five hours later after I laid the baby down, and as soon as the corner touched its mangled body, it flipped over and ran across the room with the few legs it had left. I chased it around with a broom, trying to hit it with the bristles and letting out a short, high scream every time I missed, like a group of girls who are the victims of a rival bunk’s hijinx at summer camp. No naps were had that day.

Tuesday, 7:30 PM

Sometimes I like to leave the house without my baby, and the universe usually likes to punish me for this. I left her with my husband one evening, who took her on a “little ride” to “get a drink” before “putting her to bed.” Well his car must have had a mind of its own, because an hour later I came home to an empty house! An hour after that, they walked in the door from shopping the Dillard’s sale, at the mall, and she was wide awake, staring at me with her lovely, scary (1980’s) Elizabeth Taylor eyes. This one wasn’t really my fault, except of course it was, because I’m the mom.

Thursday, 7:34 PM

Every night I make sure to lay the baby down the opposite way from the night before, so that her head doesn’t become misshapen and then she can’t move to Manhattan and become a carefree socialite, as is her destiny. The other night, I reached down to pat my restless baby’s foot in an attempt to comfort her and recoiled in horror as my hand touched her warm, wet mouth. I accidentally freaked out and shrieked, then had to spend the next 20 minutes rocking and convincing her she was still beautiful and could go back to sleep.

While I’m still pretty clumsy at figuring this whole sleep thing out, I’ve got to say that having a baby that finally sleeps on her own is, to use a term I have been over-using lately as a new mom, life-changing. I have walked her around in her baby wrap during naps; I have gone to bed at 8pm so that she would go to bed at 8pm; I have read the sleep books; I have read the message boards saying not to listen to the sleep books; I have wrung my hands in pathetic conversations with my not-listening husband about our baby’s sleep; I have lost sleep thinking about her not sleeping; and while I’d like to think that all that time and energy has paid off, the reality is that she decided she was ready to do something so she started doing it.

I hope that’s just a baby thing!

Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing

New Mom Monday, Two

This week we finally took our Christmas tree down, an end-of-January tradition in our lazy, always-in-denial-that-the-holidays-are-over home.

It makes me sad every year, mostly because the end of the holidays means the end of winter, the start of spring, and eventually the hot, hot heat of an Arizona summer, but this year it also felt like the end of a very unexpectedly hard chapter in our family’s life.

I took down our animal ornaments and remembered when I took each one out of its box, which feels like it was both forever ago and just the other day, showing them to Winifred while trying to distract her from the annoyance of having two tiny teeth that would not just pop through already.

“This is a zebra! He is like a horse but with fun stripes! We are having fun!”

I talked to her like she understood everything I said, the way you have to when you are all alone with an infant all day and need to distract yourself from the loneliness and panic of having no idea what you are doing.

“Look at this beautiful giraffe. Mama doesn’t know what noise she makes, but she likes to eat and eat and eat, just like us!”

That tree has been up for more than half her life, and she probably doesn’t remember a time when it wasn’t there in the corner of our living room. She learned to play by herself underneath its branches while I sat on the couch and cried about almost everything, and together we stayed up late learning to breastfeed in its dim light.

I packed the last of the ornaments away while she sat in her swing, throwing her teething ring onto the floor and chewing on her fat fingers--no matter what toys I lovingly shove in her face, her hands seem to be the only things worth her time. It was only last Christmas I found out I was finally pregnant, and now she is getting so tall that her feet are almost spilling out of her swing like a bored, powerful king.

Babies are a lot of work (you heard it here first, people!), but the hard parts are what make us love them, and what make the good parts so much freaking fun.

Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing

New Mom Monday, Intro

Hi there! My name is Libbie, and this is my daughter Winifred.

As you can tell by the bags under my eyes and the fact that my baby is wearing pajamas at a sushi restaurant, I am a young, hot, young first-time mom, and have been for eleven years... or five months, depending on whom you ask. I finally understand the theory of relativity and can watch Interstellar without having a breakdown.

Just to recap the past few months: the first few weeks were hard but wonderful, breastfeeding and colic sucked, I felt sad and lame, then we hit a rhythm where I was finally feeling better and Winifred was finally getting over feeling abandoned and totally freaking out any time I wasn’t holding her, but then she realized how dumb sleep is and I realized I was going to kill myself with anxiety if I didn’t start to “go with the flow.”

This past week, something completely magical happened. Every time she woke up at night or during the day, I was used to her screaming, “What… what… WHAT… WHAT?!” Then one day she was just like, “Oh dear, I seem to be awake now, how funny! I’ll just lie here and talk to myself for a bit.” My sweet baby went from a cranky, teething mess who spasmed between periods of unpredictable hyperactivity and unreliable sleepiness, to a delightful smiling cherub whose soft cankles sweet old women can’t help but stop and squeeze betwixt their fingers while she tells them all about her day in excited babbly squeals.

No matter how many times we go through these little growth spurts/phases/periods of hell, I keep forgetting this, so I want to have it on record for me and anyone else who needs it to remember: the baby you have this week will be gone the next. It is both comforting and sad. On the one hand, how exciting to watch them grow and play, and what a relief it is to see them learn to cope with everything they can’t do yet, and keep practicing so many new skills in such a short period of time; on the other, once they stop needing you to hold them while they fall asleep, will they ever need you for that again?

I personally have a tendency to get caught up in the stress of whatever difficult thing we are dealing with at the time, and I always feel like it will last forever. When she was first born and before we had her tongue-tie fixed, she would take an hour or two to nurse, so sometimes I would literally be nursing all day and all night. This is too much! I would think, When are we going to get to the part where it doesn’t hurt and I can do other things? How many years am I going to have to spend all day on my couch watching Project Runway re-runs? Now, she gets annoyed if she has nothing to look at but my weird boobs for longer than three minutes, and while she is so much fun and I even have time to brush my ever-thinning hair, I miss that period in our relationship when she was so content just quietly lying there on me for hours (and also, I miss Tim Gunn; what a delightful man).

It almost makes me want to have another baby so I can do it all again with the knowledge that it will end. Almost.

Every Monday, I’ll be chronicling the first year of my baby’s life. It will be short and sweet, I promise, and hopefully not make you want to break into my house, try on my clothes, raid my fridge, make a sandwich, make one for me too please, add avocado, yes I know it’s extra, steal my laptop, and run over it with your car so I can never post again.

Please don’t judge me too much, okay? I mean, a little is fine, but try to at least be nice about it. It’s what we mothers deserve.


Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing