New Mom Monday, 20

Being a parent is hard, and nobody cares.

We have been having a teething week going on two teething weeks. I'm not normally bothered by dealing with extra fussing and clinging, since it's nice for someone else to be more fussy and clingy in this relationship for a change, but the baby has been on what I've come to find out is called a “nursing strike.”

A nursing strike is when babies stops nursing abruptly, for reasons the word strike implies are deeply meaningful to them and their communities, but they still need and want milk. How they're still gonna get it is your problem.

Luckily I have a pump, which I've been using night and day to feed my husky almost-10-month-old who throws all the food I cook for her onto the floor, I guess as a protest against corporate greed or the electoral college or something else over my head. I've been setting alarms to remember when I have to, and it feels an awful lot like I have a newborn again. I also look like I have a newborn again, and so does my baby.

Clothing is always optional at my house, but now it is a relic of simpler times, and my husband asked the other day if the fact that we can't find her comb is a sign of bad parenting.

“Is the fact that we can't find her comb a sign of bad parenting?”


Nursing moms like to be self-righteous about the time they put in and sacrifices they make to feed their children, but breastfeeding is way easier than pumping or using formula. I mean, I put so little thought into feeding my baby that I don't even know how much milk she needs. I have to like, measure things in the middle of the night? This is too much.

There seems to be a direct correlation between the percentage of my day I spend crying in frustration while thinking of worst-case scenarios and how much I enjoy motherhood. I was in a bit of a funk last week when I spent all day just trying to get her to nurse, but since I stopped trying so hard we’re both a lot happier.

This seems to be a lesson I have to learn a lot.

New Mom Monday, nine

Oh friends, this is Anna. I have been on a Spring Break kid bender (meaning lots of kids, I'm not drinking kids, nor are the kids drinking, FYI) and I feel so out of the blogging loop. We are moderately recording all of our fun over on snapchat (ahhnnab is my name there), but I have been a bit MIA around here. Soon to be remedied. But please, enjoy another amazing installment of my favorite niece writing about new motherhood. She's hilarious, amazing, adorable, and as humble as I am.  Enjoy!

Being such a young, hot, young mom is a lot of fun, but it also means you might have to get your wisdom teeth pulled while you are nursing a fat, sassy baby.

My body really likes nitrous oxide, but I still had a hard time relaxing, or “getting in the mood” as my dentist calls it (no, he doesn’t, but he should), in the dentist chair. W hasn’t been sleeping well, so I was sort of looking forward to lying down for an hour, totally out of it. Ryan sat with the baby in the waiting room during the procedure, and maybe hearing her happily screaming at the office staff is what kept my brain alert despite my body getting too slow and heavy to keep my stomach sucked in. I must have passed out at the end though, because I had four teeth removed but only remember three getting pulled.

I’ve been spending the past few days sitting up in bed in my satin nightgown, hair shiny and coiffed while my husband fetches me everything I need. Just kidding, I’m not really that glamorous: my face is puffy and my kitchen is totally trashed, and I keep finding dried chocolate pudding on my upper lip. I gingerly ate my first solid food of rice and curry yesterday while the baby shriek-scolded me like a strong tiny Pai Mei (I'm obviously the slender Uma Thurman here). However, I think once the swelling goes down the extra empty space in my mouth will make my cheekbones look better than ever. So look out Instagram.


New Mom Monday, Six, Breastfeeding

I would like to take a break from all the controversial topics I’ve been posting about and share my views on breastfeeding. More specifically, breastfeeding in public, which is not as interesting or divisive a topic, but I hope you’ll keep reading.

I had never thought I would breastfeed until I got pregnant, and I thought it would be a fun little thing to try, since it’s good for babies and mothers, and I have also seen a lot of celebrities doing it.

Unfortunately for me, my little princess got her laziness and aversion to hard labor from her mother, which coupled with some anatomical issues that I won’t share out of modesty (nipple stuff), made it so hard to breastfeed at the beginning. I had to use a shield in the hospital to nurse, which is a piece of silicone you use both hands to suction onto your breast so that your baby can nurse without having to work very hard. It is almost impossible to do anything that requires both hands with a newborn, but you’re really only supposed to use it for a few days until they get stronger and figure out your weird body; we used it for over three months.

During that time, I couldn’t leave the house unless I thawed a bottle and packed my pump to use in the car, since I wasn’t very comfortable with whipping out my boob and trying to secure the shield and balancing a squirming baby on my lap anywhere but my living room. As you can imagine, the day Winifred stopped needing it to nurse, I felt like a free woman, and I wanted to go out into the world with nothing but a few diapers and a dream, a dream to breastfeed anywhere and everywhere I happened to be when my little fatty got a hankering to eat.

As a mother, every single thing that I do or don’t do makes at least one person so angry they could spit, and I have a feeling where and when I breastfeed may not be any different. All a mother can do is what makes her baby and her most comfortable, and what makes Winifred and me comfortable is not worrying too much about using nursing covers, because we don’t like waiting for our food. We also don’t love warm, confined spaces. However, while I no longer feel any embarrassment at the thought of strangers seeing whichever of my body parts they please, I do try to be very conscious that most people absolutely do not please. A nice loose-fitting top is easy to lift up and drop down in a pinch, and a dressing room makes a quiet, private place to let it all hang out.

Any sort of success in a dressing room is a nice change of pace for me.

I try to be respectful of others, and luckily, most people are respectful in return. The closest thing I’ve gotten to a dirty look was an older Asian woman who sternly turned the other way when I sat down in the mother’s lounge at Nordstrom and asked if it would be alright to nurse there. She missed out if you ask me!

I don’t think that breastfeeding is something shameful or to be hidden, but I’m not under any delusions that flashing strangers is going to change the world, or make anyone who hates the idea of women using their goods to feed their babies suddenly okay with it. I’m not willing to add any more layers to my sweaty body, but I’m probably not going to nurse over a plate of chili fries like a soft, pasty Maggie Gyllenhaal. Unless I’m nursing when someone finally buys me a plate of chili fries--that’s an opportunity I would never pass up.

What about you, dear reader? How did you figure out what you were comfortable revealing to the masses, and how long did it take you to get the courage to do it? Or do you think the idea of worrying about it at all is silly? Or do you think nursing moms should stay at home until their kids are in college? So many questions!

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, Five

Who has two dimply thumbs and turned six months old this week?

This girl!

That's right, half a year, baby!

To celebrate, I performed an ancient ritual that one only learns about when one becomes a mother, and I won't ruin the surprise but it involves of eating half a vegan pizza with non-vegan pepperoni under the half-moon while half-dressed and half-awake in front of a TV series you're halfway through, and no it can't be Friends, and then you pick up your crying half-swaddled baby and get yourself to bed for a full night’s rest (though that last part is traditionally handled by the husband).

I thought about making a half-cake, ‘cause I'm just one of those fun moms who does ca-RAZY stuff like that! But I didn't okay, and to tell you the truth I’m not very keen on all the judging going on here.

This is my favorite age so far, when they're big enough to play by themselves while you finally get around to wiping the toothpaste off your husband’s bathroom mirror, but not big enough to crawl or walk or tell you that you need to put on pants already. If you would have told me five-and-a-half months ago how much fun she would be, I would have told you that's not helpful. You want to be helpful? Hold the baby for like fifteen minutes without telling me she's hungry again so I can wash my hair. That's helpful. My husband and I are very happy.

One of the best things about being a mom is watching your kids become their own little people, especially when they are turning out to be funnier, smarter, kinder versions of yourself, plus a few quirks of their own for good measure. The other morning she started covering her face with the bed sheet, then when my husband or I say, “Where’s Winifred? Have you seen Winifred?” she pulls the sheet off and jerks her head around to stare into your soul, then without looking away, slowly creeps the sheet back over her face. Calling it peek-a-boo implies there is a joyfulness to this “game,” but it is more of a serious exercise than anything else -- I think she may be trying to overcome her greatest fear of her face being trapped under a blanket, but her infantile parents keep disrupting her efforts. You would think playing with a giggling baby is more enjoyable, but actually playing with an annoyed baby giving major side-eye is the highlight of my day.

As a mother, I’ve learned to love someone more for what they are than what I expected them to be. I'm just so much better than the person I was before I started this motherhood gig… you know career might be a better word for it? Well maybe calling describes it better. It's definitely a calling. Having this baby and this calling has made me a much, much better person, a person free from all the negativity and unhappiness that comes from disappointment in others.

I just hope my husband doesn't expect the same treatment.

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, 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