How does a 21 lb baby take up an ENTIRE king sized bed?!

Maisie hogging most of my king sized bed

Maisie hogging most of my king sized bed

**I started this post 2 weeks ago and since then Maisie has moved permanently into my bed/bedroom upstairs

Since Maisie was born, we’ve been sleeping in the living room downstairs. Mostly because I couldn’t climb the stairs to my bedroom after my c-section (I have a huge house) and partly because I was too lazy to cart the baby up and down the stairs.

She is now 10 months old and I am finally ready to move her to my bedroom. Maisie also has a really gorgeous bedroom of her own- totally furnished and decorated- but she’s never even slept in her crib. I was too paranoid about letting her be more than arm’s reach away from me. I still am, even though I know I shouldn’t be.

Proof that the kid does, indeed, have a killer bedroom she's never even USED.

Proof that the kid does, indeed, have a killer bedroom she’s never even USED.

It even has a daybed, which has been used by guests

It even has a daybed, which has been used by guests

I have 2 pack n plays- one in my bedroom and one in the living room. I love them and would really recommend that people buy the portable cribs (and an extra mattress to go inside) instead of a huge crib, if they wanted to be both practical and frugal. I was neither of those things when I prepared for Maisie’s birth (and still am not).

(2 weeks later)
I started this post 2 weeks ago and promptly forgot about it… and figured I’d better finish it up now while I have a spare minute.

Maisie and her daddy

Maisie and her daddy

Maisie is now 100% into sleeping in my bed- so much so that she insists we go “Up Ni NIGHT” at naptimes, at nighttime, you name it. I am having a difficult time getting her to nap downstairs anymore.

She rarely uses either pack n play now. It’s just easier to put her next to me in bed. I find that co-sleeping makes for a more ‘painless’ bedtime. She feels more secure and loves to snuggle into one of us when she sleeps.

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#sleepingbaby #sleep #sweetbaby #goodnight

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The first week I had to teach her to sleep with me… and to let her learn why she should not flop too close to the edge of the bed. She learned that the hard way, with me holding her ankle as she dove over the side. Scared her AND me. Now she is very careful to keep to the middle… and still hogs my bed.


Part 4 of the Dumpster Diaries: In the back room, where all my embarrassing hoarding issues are exposed to the light of day

About 4 days left- and I've only completed 1/3 of my projects!!!

About 4 days left- and I’ve only completed 1/3 of my projects!!!

I have less than 4 days left of dumpster rental and this endeavor is going at a much slower pace than I anticipated. I am SO frustrated.

Between my health issues (bad back, etc) and my clingy baby and having R away at work til Wednesday, this feels like I am trying to dig out of an avalanche with a teaspoon.

Add to that 2 days worth of personality clashes in my house while we re-adjust to my oldest living back home for the first time in 6 yrs- and a baby who is NOT used to a disrupted schedule and/or people yelling and arguing- and a teenaged boy who’s used to being the ‘oldest’ now and was suddenly catapulted a step down in seniority this week– AND a mother (me) who is on the first day of her menses… well, let’s just say I lost my shit this morning.

Our workloads from having another male in the house have been really tiresome. Getting these men to help out is driving me mad. I feel like I’ve spent 5x the normal amount of time this week washing more dishes or cooking. Something’s got to give.

I won’t go into other details, but let’s just say that disputes and arguments are a huge time waster. Stress begets more stress and it is EXHAUSTING. Thank goodness (knock wood) that’s over with… at least it BETTER be.

Maisie has also been a handful. We need at least one person watching her, while 2 people (minimum) work on whatever section of the house we’re working on.

made 2 loaves of regular zucchini bread

made 2 loaves of regular zucchini bread

My parents dropped off zucchini from my aunt’s garden, so I made 2 loaves of regular zucchini bread and 2 loaves of chocolate pecan zucchini bread.

chocolate pecan zucchini bread

chocolate pecan zucchini bread

Now for my personal shame.

I don’t want to post this, but out of straight up total disclosure before/after-ness, I will.

Most of this can be thrown away and will be

Most of this can be thrown away and will be

My back room is a MESS. Not only does it house old clothes I never wear and cannot fit into, it has my regular wardrobe and whatever catch-all that won’t fit anywhere else- and it’s a hoarder style freaking DISGUSTING JUMBLE.

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yeah, that’s a real louis vuitton purse


Now on DAY 2 of cleaning this back room. We have carted out about 20 garbage bags of stuff and it still has not made a DENT in the pile of shit I need to remove. Morale is at an all-time low. I’m losing my patience and just want to burn the entire thing.

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the tops of these shelves were PILED with boxes of UNNEEDED TRASH- gone now (mostly)

I’ve found tons of (real) designer purses, Christian Louboutin shoes still in their boxes and barely worn, belts and things I haven’t seen in years, you name it. Sewing and sewing machine items just shoved and overturned in the mess. I am going to throw away, wash, give away most everything in that room… mostly, I will toss them. I will start all over again, if need be. I don’t want this happening ever again. I’m done with this kind of crap.

… and I am hoping by publishing these pics, I will always be reminded of this.

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Time Life Books from the 1960s and 70s- GONE

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I can see floor

Without R here to go through HIS things, work is slow going. My back hurts- the baby requires attention and cannot be in this room with me while I go through things. The boys are unable to go through any of this (they can just cart things away to dumpster) because they have no idea what I need to be tossed or kept.

Maisie dancing with her oldest brother- she’s a dancing fool

Tomorrow is R’s day off and I hope we can actually get most of this done. We still have to do the upstairs kitchen, too.


Filipino Soups for Dinner and Getting Baby to Sleep FINALLY- a quick update, while I am exhausted and my back is having spasms

Maisie makes getting things done nearly impossible

Tried to get as much done as humanly possible today. Was down one human helper, due to his curious habit of going to a JOB…

Maisie has been a HAND FULL today. We had visitors on our porch all day from about noon til late afternoon, just out of the blue! My cousins, parents, a girlfriend and her 2 yr old twin boys from up the street… my little child is a social butterfly and LOVES to have company over.

Maisie and one of her ‘boyfriends’- he and his fraternal twin brother are ALMOST EXACTLY one year older than she is

Maisie and the twins going hog wild on my porch 🙂

Her manny called from Florida and I put him on speaker. Maisie cried and said “Baba- num NUM… EAT!” and sobbed as if she’s being starved in his absence. Eating together was their ‘thing’. He loved hour long, leisurely meals with her and they’d gab and gab. I don’t have the patience to spend an hour or more eating and sitting (mostly, because my back and tailbone cannot take sitting on hard seats for very long). The kid eats like a horse- she’s a true gourmande. I enjoy watching her eat…

I made a super late Filipino dinner, a sort of Pochero/Bulalo/Nilagang baka hybrid- which is a sort of pot au feu, or soup, very similar to a light Vietnamese Pho, minus the noodles, and chock full of fresh veggies. It’s origins are from when the Spanish owned the Philippines. One can find similar recipes for Puchero/Pochero in other Latin countries all over the world. I’d go into greater detail, but I am knackered.

The girl dropped off to sleep at 12:30 am. I am purposely keeping her up later so that I can sleep in later now that the help is gone. I am a night owl and it makes no sense to have my kid wake up at the crack of dawn when I can’t function well during the early hours. Keeping her on MY schedule makes for a happier mommy and happier baby.

Tomorrow (well, actually TODAY since it is past midnight now) is her daddy’s birthday. I woke up this morning to this and though it was ADORABLE:

woke up to this- Daddy and Maisie

she looks so much like him… and my mother


Child Development: Why Your 9-Month-Old Baby Is So Difficult All Of A Sudden – BabyShrink

Child Development: Why Your 9-Month-Old Baby Is So Difficult All Of A Sudden – BabyShrink.

This is a wonderful article and something I am going through right now with Maisie. At 10 months it just HIT, out of the blue.

Child Development: Why Your 9-Month-Old Baby Is So Difficult All Of A Sudden

I had an amazing conversation with one of the world’s foremost infant researchers last week, Dr. Joseph Campos. He’s at Berkeley, where he’s churned out tons of scientifically rigorous studies about the developmental changes in infancy. He’s come up with some transformative ideas about babies, the upshot of one being that crawling causes your baby to become your little social partner, for the first time. No longer just a passive lump in the social world, now she’s able to start to understand some of what’s going on inside your mind. She understands how important you are to her, and seeks your emotional support, presence and encouragement as she starts to scoot out into the world under her own power. She now gets reassurance from your presence and your emotions — your facial expressions and body language — not just from physically holding her.

Super Cute, and Super Challenging

wow- this kid from this article kinda looks like my Maisie

The flip side of this is that it also causes clinginess, fussiness, and sleep problems — some of the major complaints of parents at this stage.Turns out, crawling out into the wide world is fascinating — and terrifying. Your little adventurer gets it now — that as much as she wants to venture out on her own, she desperately needs you, and is panicked that she’ll lose you somewhere along the way. As Dr. Campos said to me, the baby’s drive for independence is equally matched by her fear of it.

So to you fellow parents of 9 to 12-month-old babies out there: I know it can be a challenging, difficult stage. Your little bug seems content to scramble around the house one minute, then wails in panic the next. What used to be stable sleep habits are now in a shambles. Feeding –and nursing — has become an unpredictable struggle — and separations are exceptionally difficult. And forget diaper changes! What a wrestling match! Immmobility is the enemy to her now — being restrained in any way is bound to be a fight. High chairs, strollers and car seats are demon baby torture devices. They keep her from exploring her brave new world.

What to do? Re-think your daily tasks with this knowledge in mind. Everything will take a little longer, as your baby goes through this unpredictable (but temporary) stage.Some days she may need you constantly. But don’t worry — when you’ve finally reached the end of your rope with your little Clingon, she’ll start to feel “refueled”, and venture out again — allowing you to catch up on that laundry and email. And make sure you get some help with nighttime wakenings — you’ll need extra rest too, since you’re up again with a fussy baby — but don’t forget to reinforce the sleep routines that have worked well in the past. She’ll eventually remember what her job is, at night — and now that her memory is better, she can hold on to her internal image of you a bit longer, giving her some comfort, despite being away from you to sleep. Feel some reassurance knowing that the earlier — and stronger — your baby shows separation anxiety, the sooner it resolves. Lots of parental support and understanding help her get through this challenging — but remarkable — stage.

Dr. Campos was generous and encouraging in my BabyShrink book-writing project, and I had a blast geeking out with him, picking his brain about the amazing new developmental capacities in normal 9-month-old babies. What a great experience! Now, please excuse me — I’ve got a 9-month-old baby clinging to my leg.


Dr. Heather
The BabyShrink

Mom of Four, Parenting Expert


Tips, Ideas, ANY ADVICE NEEDED! My once-placid baby has turned into a screaming, crying diva this week!

this was once such a rare occurrence that I snapped this photo just to prove that she cried sometimes

this was once such a rare occurrence that I snapped these photos just to prove that she cried sometimes

I am losing my effing MIND.

Once upon a time, I had a baby who rarely cried. She smiled and coo’d and was almost ALWAYS agreeable. She napped twice a day and slept (mostly) through the night. She laughed and amused herself. She was SUPER social, loved being around lots of people. It was so unusual for her to cry that I even snapped a picture of her doing so once, just to show people. She was the PERFECT baby.

That was until last week when she turned 10 months old. She is STILL super social, but now she CRIES AND BEGS FOR ME TO PICK HER UP CONSTANTLY. Her shriek is so high pitched, it could break windows.

To add more fuel to the fire, I’ve been told by my doctor that I cannot pick her up for six weeks because my back is out- I haven’t complied. I just pop a pill and grin through the pain.

I’ve done EVERYTHING that the new-fangled attachment parenting books tell you to do (and mostly the opposite of how her brothers were raised 2 decades ago).

-she never ‘cried it out’
-I sleep within arm’s reach of her, her pack n play is next to my bed.
-when I attempted the ‘baby led weaning’ stuff, she decided to wean herself to curries and pizza
-she fell asleep every time with a simple “Frere Jacques” lullabye and some classical music in the background

All of this worked (and worked well) until this last week when she MORPHED into a demanding, crying, fit-throwing, entourage-needing diva.

It started with a BANG.

I am never called by my full name (Jessica). Never. It’s ALWAYS “Jess” or “Mom” or what-have-you.

Somehow I ticked Maisie off last week and did not come to her fast enough and was rewarded with her SCREAMING “JESSSSS-IIII-CAAAA!!!” clearly and OVER AND OVER.

I was shocked.

FIRST of all, how in the HELL does this child even know my first name?!

Secondly, where did she learn to throw a fit like that?????!

the struggle is real

the struggle is real

Suddenly, every time someone would leave the room, she’d SCREAM LIKE IT WAS A PERSONAL AFFRONT TO HER.

If folks walked by our house, with their strollers and dogs- perfect strangers, mind you- she’d lose her SHIT. “How DARE they not stop by the house?!”

she calls out to strangers who walk by our house and tries to make friends

she calls out to strangers who walk by our house and tries to make friends- this time it worked.

Yes, I KNOW this must be the ‘separation anxiety’ stage, but DAMN.

The struggle is real.

I want to preface this by saying I am NOT the most patient person I know. I wish I was. I am much better than I was with my older boys, this is certain. Older age has some benefits.

If my parents are here, sitting on my front porch, she will insist that they sing to her while she dazzles them with her superior dancing skills- this kid is a dancing fool and she can’t even WALK. Unless Papa walks away to get coffee or pee, she’s perfectly happy and all smiles.

If I tell her I will dress her up and ‘go to Aunt —‘s house’, she stops long enough to get a pretty dress on, to fuss in the mirror, and ask for lipstick, too (I am NOT KIDDING. SHE’S 10 MONTHS OLD AND DOING THIS!).

My cousin Morgan, who is a SAINT, came over yesterday (and stayed til 3 am) and helped out by singing/playing guitar/helping me get her to bed- and by making me drink some wine to calm my frazzled nerves. Maisie was dancing and singing and enjoying herself, as usual.

Honestly, I CANNOT throw a cocktail party or a hootenanny every time this kid is bored. It’s just not a do-able thing.

Morgan has three sons, who are roughly around the age of my youngest boy. They are wonderful, well-adjusted, loving children.

Morgan: “You know, letting her cry a little bit and soothe herself won’t kill her…”

She proceeded to instruct me on leaving for 5 minutes, then coming back, and repeating, yadda.

My rational mind can agree and comprehend this, but my irrational mommy bits say:

“OMG, you horrible mother, pick her up and FIX THIS!”

At the same time, my brain is ALSO screaming:


I guess you could say I had forgotten about this part of child-rearing.

When I did as Morgan instructed- Maisie miraculously fell asleep within FIVE MINUTES.

I think a few things are going on here, besides the separation anxiety part:

– She’s teething. Baby Motrin, little teething tablets, a teething necklace- I’m doing all of it.
– She IS a little spoiled.
– She’s bored (I think this is a huge part)

As my dad said, when he first witnessed her meltdowns (and I’m paraphrasing here):

Papa:  “I was wondering when this was going to happen.  It was inevitable.”

To ANY parents/grandparents/people who are reading this:

HOW DO *YOU* (or DID you) handle this type of thing/separation anxiety phase?

I’ve received great advice on distractions, toys, and other things I could give her in lieu of carrying her around from a few friends. I am in serious need of input. Any advice would be INCREDIBLY APPRECIATED.


Found some terrific articles online that I will be trying out ASAP.
If any readers out there are in the same boat as me, they’ve given me a glimmer of (sane) hope!

On the “screaming phase”

“Why your 9 month old is so difficult all of a sudden”



Miss Maisie Update: Today the separation anxiety was OFF THE CHARTS. How Do You Handle Separation Anxiety?

Maisie was 10 months old this week and the separation anxiety phase has been in full swing for a while now. I am never more than a few feet away from her at any given time. We have been practicing attachment parenting with this girly. She’s not a great fan of carriers. She NEEDS TO BE IN A ROOM FULL OF people. This girl LIVES to entertain.

If anyone tries to leave the room or go home or pee, she melts DOWN.

Today she was in rare form, poor baby.

Exhibit ONE, when my dad attempted to leave the porch to refill his coffee cup:

Papa returns, but she is still ticked off that he left… I think my dad is onto something when he says she doesn’t want to lose any of her entourage:

The world finally ends when her father leaves for work:

I am open to ANY suggestions regarding how to survive this stage.

How do/did YOU handle this separation anxiety phase?

I don’t recall it being this difficult with her brothers.

If you have any advice or war stories to share, feel free to leave a comment.