My little "big" guy turned 5 a few weeks ago, so I figured it's never too late to share his birthday letter with you! Dear Max, Five years ago today, you were letting us know that you were ready to come into the world.  You were scrunched up tight in my belly, folded over like you had just jumped off of the Olympic high dive.  You were bottom-down, head up, and very stuck.  We couldn't quite figure out how you managed to get yourself in that position at the very end of your 39 weeks inside, but knowing you now, it all makes sense.  You are full of energy, curiosity, and endless movement.  Of course you got stuck. But you didn't want to wait for the c-section we had

The Last First Year

There is a moment in motherhood when you realize that you have been holding your breath. As if forgetting to breathe will somehow slow the passage of time, in all the right places. It is the deep inhale as your baby settles in to sleep, buffered and bolstered by the crook of your arm, the sticky sweat at the back of his neck wetting your forearm as you move to stand up.  In the seconds before you transfer him to his crib, you notice for the hundredth time how his cheeks flush when he's sleeping.  The way that his pouty rosebud lips purse and relax in a sucking rhythm, even when he's done nursing.  The way that his little hands clench as he dreams.  You offer up silent prayers for a

Drum Circle Mamas

I grew up next to the ocean, but I rarely went in. The water was always too much of something.  Too cold, too salty, too unforgiving.  The currents were strong, and I wasn't a great swimmer.  The speckled blue waves were murky as they churned toward shore, and I was afraid of what swam beneath. The ocean didn't belong to me, but the beach did. The beach at sunset was my favorite place to be.  As teenagers, we would sit in tight clusters together, the jagged edges of the cliffs scratching at the back of our legs.  We would traipse in flip-flops, over the powdery sand below, cocooned in hooded sweatshirts, watching fireworks explode over the horizon.  My best friend and I would drive

7 Truths About Breastfeeding

On May 15th, my sweet baby Ben will turn one year old. We did it. We survived his first year. But you know what else happened that was totally unexpected and hard-won and butt-kicking and prayed for and holy and amazing and beautiful? I became a breastfeeding mom. I have breastfed Ben every single day for the past year.  We are about to have our one year "Nurse-aversary".  ME.  The formula-feeding mom.  ME.  The one who thought that I would never need a nursing bra, and would never leak enough milk to have a reason for breast pads.  ME.  The one who used to be afraid to nurse in public.  The one who once cursed her body, felt shame in her body, was angry at her body.  I

BlogHer ’14

Sometimes when I think about the Internet, it reminds me a little of where the Munchkins live in the Wizard of Oz.  It's magical.  It's a techno-color version of real life, a place to escape and try to make sense of what hurts you and scares you.  Sometimes I feel like Dorothy, standing wide-eyed, mouth open, not sure if I should reach out to these strange new people, or run like hell back to what is safe and known.  The Internet can be welcoming and terrifying and embracing and uplifting and ego-shattering and full of hope.  I might not be wearing my ruby red slippers (though I'd kill for a sparkly pair), but I don't need them.  After 5 years of writing this

I Am A Kind Mama

I have something very important to tell you, so I need you to listen up. Are you ready for it? Celebrities are not experts on anything other than being a celebrity. They're not. They're not doctors.  They aren't psychologists.  They aren't researchers, or social workers, or childcare providers.  They aren't chefs (though they have them).  They aren't home organization gurus (though they employ them).  And they definitely aren't pediatricians (though they take their kids to them). So why are we taking advice from them? Now don't get me wrong.  I would love for Alicia Silverstone to tell me the secret to an amazing audition.  Or what it was like acting in one of the biggest

Bitchy Starbucks Lady

My dear friend, the Bitchy Starbucks Lady, is sharing her special charm on MSN today.  I thought I'd invite her over for a late-night cup of coffee, so that you'd have the pleasure of meeting her :)   *************************************************************************** I didn't know that you were behind me until suddenly you were next to me. Your perfectly blown-out brown bobbed hair brushed my shoulder as your hand landed on Ben's stroller. "He's so sweet!" you cooed at him, and I put my phone down to look up and thank you.  Your eyes were kind and inviting, and Bennie immediately looked up to meet them.  He grinned.  You talked to him in the sing-song baby voice that all