7 Apps That Make My Life Easier

I confess, I’m something of a scatterbrain. I’m primarily an ideas person, and when it comes down to execution, I trip myself up on details all the time. Since I had PJ, I’ve been trying hard (really, really hard) to get myself trained to be better about managing my time and my environment because I don’t want him to grow up in chaos. I’m still a work in progress, (she says while sitting next to Mt. Laundry), but these are the apps that have helped me the most so far in this ongoing project that is my life!

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9 Months Already?!

My baby boy is 9 months old today! So even if he hadn’t been all impatient about his early arrival, he’d probably still be at the point where he’s spent more time out in the world than growing in my belly. What a strange feeling!

He is crawling like crazy now, which is why I’ve been far too tired to write lately, and into everything. Every. Thing. I think we’re doing pretty good, so far only one instance of: “Uhhh, where’s PJ?” “Isn’t he in there with you?” “No, I thought he was in there with you! … Crap, here he is in the office taste testing the cats’ food.”

Other than his questionable taste in protein, it’s fun to watch him figure out new things, like his babysitter’s workbench.


Even starting his own construction company! “Seriously? A picture now? I’m on the phone, can I catch you in five?”


And how much fun finger foods are…


Even when the food is actually Mommy’s…


We’re going to call that stolen cupcake practice for his first birthday. 

Happy 9 months little man!

The Mom Workout Plan


– Spot baby toes disappearing behind recliner that is blocking a tasty collection of electrical cords.

– Sprint across living room.

– Scoop up giggling, wriggling 16 lb weight.

– Dance around like a crazy person to distract wriggling 16 lb weight from thwarted suicide mission.

– Squat to deposit culprit in his favorite play spot.

– Repeat squats at least 10 times as play spot is not exactly right and needs adjusted until it’s exactly the way it was the first time.

– Tiptoe across living room back to what you were doing earlier.

– Listen carefully…

Yup, time to start over.

If A Reporter Stays Inside…Will We Still Know It’s Snowing?

You know what is even more boring than the umpteenth snow day during the bajillionth storm this year? TV coverage of the umpteenth snow day during the bajillionth storm this year. Seriously, reporters. SHUT. UP. We know it’s snowing. You know it’s snowing. It’s February in the northeast. It happens. Daytime TV is terrible, but watching reporters stand outside pointing at empty roads and bothering the few people who actually need to be outside is infinitely worse.

So what have we been doing on our snow days? I’m sad to say that my husband doesn’t share my views on the scourge of “snow as news” reporting and watches it, even texting me updates when I manage to escape the viewing area. “Oh wow, it’s really snowing hard in Allentown!” “Guess how much snow they got in Doylestown?” ::sigh::

PJ and I have kind of got into our own snow day routine:

5:00 am – He wakes me up for his first breakfast

5:30 am – Back to bed.

5:45 am – Realize I’m not going to fall back asleep.

6:00 am – Make coffee, do my yoga practice, decide what to do with the day, start on whatever work I brought home.

Sometime in the morning….PJ wakes up for his second breakfast. Then he likes to “play independently,” which is currently code for “Play nicely with my favorite toy until I think Mommy isn’t paying attention and then crawl as quickly as I can towards the radiators. Or the cats. Or their toys. Oooooh, a fuzzy!” He’s even developed a new laugh just for cat chasing. Which is quite handy, because it lets me know when I need to catch him before he gets too close to their food dish and lets the cats know when it’s time to skedaddle. Although he did manage to sneak up on and catch Roxie once today – he was quite proud of himself and she was not impressed. And then it’s time for Breakfast #3, in the high chair, where he will redecorate my kitchen with liberal splashes of oatmeal and Cheerios. Then we cuddle and read stories, and he takes a nap while I clean or finish up work. And rinse and repeat.

And somehow, in all of this time, I’m able to tell whether or not it’s still snowing by…get this…looking out the window. I know, crazy! And meanwhile that poor girl from Action News is still outside in her parka, desperately trying to think of something, anything, else to say about the weather. Even PJ has reached the point of rolling his eyes and sticking out his tongue at these overly dramatic updates.

I didn’t teach him that, honey, I swear!

Fraternal Order of Hungry Babies, Local 524

Dear Madam,

Here at the Fraternal Order of Hungry Babies, Local 524, we take our duty to represent the interests of our members very seriously. As the Main Operations Manager (“Mom”) of the establishment located at xxxxxxxxxxxxx xx, we are writing to you today in order to inform you that an anonymous source…


…ahem, anonymous source


Has filed an open access complaint with us that requires your immediate attention. Our client alleges that certain discoveries brought to light by his recent acquisition of object permanence cognitive skills have alerted him to a series of grave injustices perpetrated against him, and by extension, the FOHB, over the past eight months. Specifically, he has realized that the two primary distribution centers responsible for saving his life from starvation on a regular basis, do not disappear between meals and are, in fact, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Denying access to them at any time, regardless of how recently they may have been in use, is a grievous injury against our client’s person and we present the following resolutions for your immediate implementation:

RESOLVED. The barbaric practice of “sleeping through the night” is hereby banned. Mom shall be available to feed our client regularly, regardless of the alleged status of the “clock.” We reject this linear notion of feeding time, and request a more wibbly wobbly approach to timely wimely hunger management.

RESOLVED. We will allow the continued presence of other foods, particularly those delicious carrots, with the understanding that you are not fooling anyone anymore by storing them in “cabinets” and “freezers.” We are onto you, and we are watching.

RESOLVED. While the Director of Activities & Diapers (“Dad”), has displayed an admirable tendency to assume that our client is hungry at all times, Mom has been known to try to deflect these indicators of imminent starvation with tactics such as providing toys or reading stories instead of immediately producing food for our client. While we remain big fans of Perfect Piggies, and can sympathize with our client’s excitement at being able to ride his very own motorcycle

(note: add “motorcycle riding” to next committee meeting agenda), we must request that you immediately desist use of these tactics and solely respond to any type of noise our client makes with food, glorious food.

We thank you for your assistance in this matter. Our client’s complaint will remain on file, any further infractions on your part will be managed by a jury of our client’s peers – may God have mercy on your soul.

Yours respectfully,

Fraternal Order of Hungry Babies, Local 524

Members of Review Committee: Michael, Sammy, Rosabella, Landon, Lily, and our anonymous plaintiff. Who would really like a snack when you’re finished reading this.


7 Months A Mom, Finally A Parent

I hope if you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’ve figured out how much I enjoy being a mom. Even when I wake up to screaming, it’s easy to get out of bed when I know I’ll see that goofy toothless grin as soon as the door opens. But ever since the NICU, I’ve had this niggling feeling that I might be a mom but I’m not really a parent because I missed out on a lot of those early rites of passage. I had nurses and doctors to let me sleep, and coach me on what his different signals meant, and show me exactly how to do the things that most new parents have to figure out on their own, at 2 am, on half an hour’s worth of sleep.

I’m over that now.

This past week has been awful, seeing my poor baby so sick. I would have traded places with him in a heartbeat, but that’s the one thing a mom can’t do. His official diagnosis is bronchiolitis brought on by RSV, and according to what the doctors’ said about the timeline of this, we should be past the worst of it, finally.

In getting through this last week, I’ve neglected my house, my job, my husband, and cancelled commitments I made to friends and family. I’ve stayed up late and woke up early just to listen to PJ breathe. I’ve held him down while he screamed bloody murder, and cleaned out his airways, and stood by and listened while the hospital staff did the same with a big loud machine that I’m sure scared him half to death. And when it was over I picked him up and kissed away his tears, and rocked him and nursed him until his little heart stopped racing. I don’t even want to think about how many surfaces in my house are sticky from the frozen fruits and juice I’ve been trying to coax him with to get a little more liquid into him. And the usual earworms I get from the radio have all been replaced with songs from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog!

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog!

And somewhere in all of this, on one of the many, many calls to doctors and pharmacies, it’s stopped feeling weird to say “I’m calling about my son.” I’ve always had this urge to giggle when I’ve had to say that, like, “Really? I have a son? Nah, I have a PJ.” But I guess I really do have a son, and I guess I really am not just his mommy, but his mother.

It’s probably a coincidence, but doesn’t feel like it, that this week is when PJ first started stretching his arms out to let me know when he wants to be held. That was pretty heartbreaking when he was getting his treatments and I couldn’t pick him up, but the rest of the time it’s the best feeling to see him start reaching, and be rewarded with a huge smile and a big hug as soon as he’s in my arms. I wonder if he feels the difference too?

Poor Sick Munchkin

I have always heard that it’s worse having a sick kid than being sick yourself. It’s totally true. After a week where I’ve spent more time in our doctor’s office than my own, I am so ready for my baby to feel better!

But even with the coughing and wheezing and fever, he’s still been the happiest baby – full of smiles and cuddles.


I wish I could kiss it and make it all better. Poor little man!

Babies: Puppies in Disguise?

Over the past few months, my friend Danielle and I have been doing some incredibly unscientific research about the similarities between babies and puppies. We’re still racking them up, but here are our stupendously non-academic findings for your consideration.

First, if you are attempting to raise either a baby or a puppy, you should be prepared to wipe up buckets of drool. And poop. The drool stops sooner with babies, and the poop (mostly) stops sooner with a properly housetrained puppy. However, be warned that sneezes in your face will be wet, slobbery, and frequent for longer than you care to imagine. Honestly, there will not be a shortage of disgusting substances from either one for as long as you have them. And you will be left with many tiny teeth marks as souvenirs of their passage through your home.

Second, the training of both babies and puppies will involve a lot of bribery. Guiding them to proper behavior with love is a fabulous theory, but keep treats in your pockets just in case your little bundle doesn’t stick with the program. Shiny and/or noisy objects work wonders, and so does food. Did you know that they make Kong-type things for babies too? A little peanut butter in the puppy Kong or a frozen cube of applesauce in the baby version, and you’ve got yourself a little peace and quiet, Mama.


Third, they both speak alien languages but are really good at letting you know what they want. You’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly, and find yourself translating unintelligible noises to friends like this: “Oh that? He wants to go outside and play with his teddy bear under the tree by fence.” And the kisses – oh, the kisses! Wet, slobbery, entirely disgusting if anyone else tried it, but completely adorable when given by baby or puppy. Last but not least, never underestimate the therapeutic benefits of a good belly rub. Your baby or your puppy will be putty in your hands (and might just take a good, long nap!)

No wonder babies and puppies make great best friends! If we missed any glaring similarities that you can think of, let me know in the comments!

(Un) Silent Night

Things that have happened since 2:30 am in Neverland:

– PJ has been fed.
– PJ has paged me to roll him over. Twice.
– I have done the math about how much sleep I would be able to get and still get ready for work.
– I have discovered that doing math at 3 am wakes me up too much to get back to sleep at all.
– I have come downstairs to find Roxie the cat crying in front of the pantry.
– Velma the cat has been released from the pantry (sorry kitty).
– I have made both juice and coffee.
– I have eyed up (and rejected, don’t worry) the bottle of Bailey’s for my coffee.
– I have watched Roxie & Velma take turns scaring each other with wrapping paper.
– I have loaded up the car with all the paraphernalia of getting a baby to the sitter’s for the day.
– I have fantasized about having a napping nook installed under my desk like George Costanza.

And now it’s time to wake the baby back up, and even though it would be sweet revenge for anyone else, I just hate to disturb him when he finally looks so comfy and peaceful!

Tiny Little Tantrums

My six month old is already a champion tantrum thrower. He started early, this is him at three months:


Flailing arms, beating feet, etc. We see these little fits of pique when dinner doesn’t arrive fast enough, when he has to get in the car seat, and when he’s in time out.

Yup, you read that right. He’s developed a little biting problem, which Mommy especially does not appreciate at mealtime. So, when he bites he gets put down. And then he gets MAD! Kicking, screaming, throwing himself all over. I give him a second, then I’ll pick him up, calm him down, have him give me a kiss, and then (if he refrains from biting my nose), I let him eat again.

This makes feeding times last a long, long time. He’s lucky he’s so cute when he’s behaving!


And yes, I’m trying hard not to think of the teenage years!