How to Get Your Child to Sleep Instantly Every Time

In lieu of my typical “3 Things Learned…” post, I’ve decided to share a few extra gold nuggets regarding sleep. Stop looking, everyone, because I have found a foolproof method for getting your child to fall asleep for naps and/or bedtime every time.

Below I have listed a few simple steps along with 34 simple troubleshooting techniques to have your little angel snoozing away in no time. It’s all so simple, I’m thinking about writing a book. Feel free to thank me by leaving a comment on this post.

How to get your child to sleep instantly every time:

Step 1: Inform your child that it is his/her naptime/bedtime.sleepblog

Step 2: Place your child in his/her crib.

Troubleshooting Techniques: If your child does not fall asleep instantly, here are some of the possible reasons to address –

1. Your child is not sleepy enough

2. Your child is too sleepy

3. Your child is bored

4. Your child is understimualted

5. Your child is over-stimulated

6. Your child is hungry

7. Your child’s diaper is too wet

8. Your child’s diaper is too dry

9. Your child would rather stay awake

10. Your child is gassy

11. Your child needs to burp

12. Your child is already asleep

13. Your child just wants to make you angry

14. Your child’s room is too bright

15. Your child’s room is too dark

16. Your child’s room does not have enough white noise

17. Your child is uncomfortable

18. Your child’s clothes are too tight

19. Your child’s clothes are too loose

20. Your child wants to be held

21. Your child wants you to leave him alone

22. Your child is screaming

23. Your child has the hiccups

24. Your child is pooping

25. Your child wants his pacifier

26. Your child hates his pacifier

27. Your child wants to be soothed

28. Your child wants to cry-it-out

29. Your child needs to be swaddled

30. Your child hates being swaddled

31. Your child just woke up

32. Your child is extraverted

33. Your child is introverted

34. Your child stopped taking naps years ago

*Disclaimer: In the event that you run through each of these problem-solving techniques and find that your child has indeed already missed his or her nap time during your attempts, start once again with number 1 and continue the cycle until you or your child fall asleep from exhaustion.

For anyone who’s ever wanted to tell all the sleep experts exactly what they can do with their advice and techniques – know you’re not alone.

Here’s to doing whatever works for you and your child – one nap at a time.

The Intersection of Independence (Bottle-feeding is Emotional)

Ten weeks of 1-2 night feedings was starting to grate on me. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been so blessed to have a kid who gets good long stretches of sleep. But waking up constantly at 2 or 3 every morning – well – we all know that two fragmented four hour sessions is just not the same as 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. (That’s my extensive Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child knowledge talking. Sometimes I’d like to tell Dr. Weissbluth what he can do with his healthy sleep habits…but I digress).bottle

Anyway, we’d been trying to get Benjamin on the bottle for several weeks now, and he was just not having it. My opinion is that it’s because my child is super smart and is not easily fooled, possessing an extremely strong sense of what’s real and what’s not. (Hey, I have to tell myself something to make me feel better…)

Well, PTL, my offspring accepted his first bottle from his dad a few days ago at 3 in the morning. I was awake when it happened, waiting apprehensively in our bedroom and trying to interpret the quietness coming from Ben’s nursery.

After several minutes, Matt came back with the joyous news – Benjamin took the bottle! Fireworks went off. Confetti dropped from the ceiling. Visions of solo outings pranced through my head, and I could hardly get back to sleep due to my excitement. That’s my boy, I thought. This kid was moving up in the world.

And then, just as suddenly, a string of strange thoughts crept into my mind.

Did he seriously just take a bottle from his dad? That easily? He didn’t even ask about me? Dad, I love you but…where’s mom? What’s next? Smiling at complete strangers? Crawling? Sprinting? Moving out? 

It’s funny how Benjamin’s small step towards independence elicited both joy and a tiny twinge of sadness. I wholeheartedly desire to see Benjamin hit all those major milestones – both developmentally and spiritually. But it definitely has a bittersweet taste, and in that moment when I got that great news, I suddenly felt like I better understood what my mom meant when she would always say, “Mary, you promised you would never grow up.”

The next day during tummy time, Benjamin lifted his head high, held it there, and looked me in the eyes. I half expected him to hop up and go running around the room. Yeah, I teared up (sappy mom moment).

Because somewhere at the intersection of joy and sadness, there is this thing called independence – and I think it’s where those purely sweet moments of life grind to a halt and park for a moment.

I think the family design is meant to represent many things about our spiritual life in relation to God. And I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of joy God might feel when he sees his children growing, maturing, and stepping out in faith. What must it be like to see someone who was lost in their sin, now living in freedom through Christ?

But that is really where the analogy ends. Because one day, Benjamin will leave home and, hopefully, start a family of his own. He will be independent, and his relationship with his parents will continue, but change forever.

Conversely, the dependence that a Christ-follower must have on God remains constant throughout the relationship. It brings to mind 1 Peter 2:2:

“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

When Ben’s hungry – you’d better get out of the way. That there is a kid on a mission. In the same way, the true Christ-follower’s desire for God and his Word should be insatiable. We never become “free” of our need for God. We actually find the most freedom when we admit how desperately we need him and go to him as our ultimate source of strength and hope.

One day, Benjamin won’t need me like he does now. But my hope is that, during the short time he is with us, he will learn to depend on and hope in his heavenly Father – and that he’ll learn this by knowing that he can trust in and depend on his parents.

Here’s to learning dependence – one bottle-feeding at a time.

 

 

DIY: Balloon Archway

I’ve never done a DIY post before, but as much as I go to Pinterest for DIY ideas and direction, I figured I’d take a whack at posting my most recent DIY exploit – so here it goes!

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on the blog, I previously worked for and now volunteer at Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center. I really believe in the mission of the Care Center (you can read more about that HERE), so I’ve tried to stay involved however possible since Benjamin arrived.

In April, the Center had its annual Walk for Life event, and I was asked to help make a balloon archway that:

1. Could be used again and again.

2. Wouldn’t require the use of helium (helium = high maintenance and apparently hard to come by these days due to a shortage. Weird.)

After talking to several people about what did and didn’t work for them, and also some good old fashioned trial and error, we ended up with an arch that turned out pretty awesome.

arch

Below is a brief step-by-step on how to throw one of these puppies together!

Items Needed:

  • PVC pipe: Lengths are entirely up to you. We wanted this archway to be 10 feet wide and about 8 feet high. To do this, walkpic3we purchased 5 separate 5 foot pieces of 1-inch pipe – Approx. $3.30 each.
  • 2 PVC elbow fitting pieces (1 inch) – $0.69 each.
  • 3 PVC coupling fitting pieces (1 inch) – $0.40 each.
  • Two buckets – FREE – the Care Center had some extras
  • 1 50 lb bag of Quikrete – $3.48
  • Balloons: We made a total of 34 clusters; each cluster had four balloons for a total of 136 balloons. (This was the most expensive part. We purchased each color of balloons in bulk so that we could use for future events. We used OrientalTrading.com, but you can get your balloons wherever.)
  • Ribbon to tie together clusters and to attach balloons to the arch
  • Scissors

Step 1: Saw one 5 foot pipe piece in half to make two 2.5 foot pieces. These pieces will serve as the bases.

Step 2: You’ll need a few extra hands for this part. With one person holding one 2.5 foot piece standing straight up in the center of the bucket, have another person pour in half the bag of Quikrete. Add the appropriate amount of water (amounts are listed on the bag).

*We bought the fast setting Quikrete that didn’t even require mixing – so literally all you do is add water and allow it to set and harden.*

Repeat this step with the other bucket. Now you have your two bases!

Step 3: Now you simply “build” the remainder of the archway. Place one coupling piece on top of the 2.5 foot base. Then connect the 5 foot piece. The elbow piece goes on next. The elbow pieces on either side will con
nect the remaining two 5 foot pieces. The two 5 foot pieces across the top are connected by the last coupling piece.

balloon2Step 4: The Balloons

For this size arch, we used 136 balloons (we made a few extra clusters in case there was some unintentional poppage).

Others who have made arches before suggested tying the balloon ends together to make clusters, but my fingers weren’t coordinated enough (or patient enough) for that, so I used ribbon tie two balloon ends together. I then tied two sets of balloons around each other to make one cluster of four. This also insured that the clusters wouldn’t accidentally come undone when being transported to the Care Center in trash bags.

Step 5: Attaching the balloons to the arch

I tied an extra long piece of ribbon to each cluster so that it could be easily tied onto the pipe by volunteers later. The clusters fit snuggly agaiballoonpolenst one another to hide the PVC pipe (see pic to the right).

And that’s it! We loaded all the balloons into giant trash bags so that volunteers could attach them to the arch the morning of the event. It definitely added a little pizzaz to the whole Walk!

I’m actually thinking of making my own arch (much smaller of course) so that I can use for birthday parties, baby showers, or
other special events. The design is versatile so that you can use it for balloons, or even hang a sheet, fabric, or curtains from it to make a backdrop for a photo booth. It’s a fun (and CHEAP) way to spice up the decorations at any event.

So that’s it and that’s all! Be on the lookout for more DIY projects in the future!

-Mary

Memory Loss, Burp Cloths, and Measuring Up: 3 Things Learned in Month 2

In keeping with my goal of writing down some thoughts on what I am learning each new month of mommyhood, here are 3 new things from month number 2 (if you missed my post from month 1, you can check that out here!):

1. Smiles induce memory loss.

More specifically, my baby’s smiles. There have been so many times that I’ve been completely benoutsideexasperated by Benjamin, and all he has to do is flash that gummy grin of his and I suddenly can’t remember why I was so frustrated. Whether it’s a blow out, incessant crying, baby insomnia, or a constant need to be held and cuddled – something about those little smiles is completely disarming, and suddenly all is forgiven. I’m thinking that God probably designed it that way for a reason.

2. Burp cloths – you cannot have too many. 

You know you’ve “arrived” into the mommy-world when you can literally find a burp cloth within arms length at pretty much any location throughout the house. I’m wondering how I ever functioned without them. Granted, I wasn’t living with a constantly drooling and/or spitting up baby before, but they’re just so darn convenient and useful I feel like I’ve been missing out all my life.

Prior to Ben getting here, I received at least 50 burp cloths at baby showers. I remember thinking – This is kind of excessive. I mean really, how many of these do I actually need…?

The answer? ALL OF THEM.

My personal favorites are the Gerber cloth diapers. They absorb right up and get the job done.

3. The state of my checklist does not determine my worth. 

I’ve found that some days I get to the end of the day and feel like I have either accomplished absolutely nothing or I have halfway done about ten different things. I wake up in the morning with this idea of what I’ll complete, and when the items on my list are not checked off at the end of the day, I end up feeling like a failure.

I hate the feeling when Matt gets home and asks, “What did you do today?” and my mind draws a complete blank. I immediately attempt to dredge up memories of the previous 9 hours. I mean, I was busy the entire day – I barely sat down – but what do I have to show for it besides a shirt with stains all over the shoulders, well-intentioned but unfinished projects, and a slightly frazzled disposition? And don’t even get me started on the frustration that comes when working friends are already asking questions like, “So…what do you do all day?” or “So, how are you liking staying home and just hanging out?”

It can be easy in those moments to get defensive or to feel the need to justify everything I do or don’t do in a day. I want to prove that I did something valuable and/or noteworthy. When you get down to it, it’s a works-based mentality: the belief that the quantity and quality of what I accomplish in a day directly correlates to my validation and worth as a person.

The funny thing is, my entire worldview revolves around the concept that my standing before God depends not on what I do, but on what Christ has already done for me. So if that’s the case, then shouldn’t this worldview affect how I approach my every day moments?

Hey, I’m a work in progress.

I know the title of this blog says “things learned,” but let’s be honest, this is one that I’ll be learning every day for the rest of my life.

My desire is that, when the end of each day comes, I would not brandish my to-do list as my personal megaphone to prove to the world that “Hey, I did something worthy of acknowledgement and validation today!” Instead, I hope to lift up my hands to my heavenly Father and sincerely and humbly say, “I gave You my best; everything I did, I did for You, and not for men.”

Because ultimately, I’m not working to earn the approval of others, or even to earn the approval of God. Everything I do should be a loving act of worship – a response to the grace shown to me by my God.

And just as a sidenote to anyone who may be second guessing a decision to be a SAHM –

Choosing to work full-time rearing, teaching, loving, and caring for your children ( and all the other unsung responsibilities included) is an incredibly valuable, noteworthy, and honorable thing – one that doesn’t need to be justified.

Don’t let anyone – including yourself – tell you any different.

Here’s to finding joy in the unfinished checklist – one gummy grin at a time.

DSC_0139

Thoughts from a New Mom: When the Poop Overfloweth

It had been an incredibly long and endless day.

So around 10 am, Ben and I decided to venture out of the house. I recoiled from the sunlight like an overrated vampire, and hauled Ben’s 10 lb self plus all his many accessories into the car. The kid was sleeping like a – well – a baby.

Perfect, I thought to myself diabolically. I should have a good hour to get some errands done and to walk aimlessly in my mental fog.

Target was my location of choice. After unloading and assembling Ben’s chariot and gathering all his items, I rolled through the automatic doors, feeling pretty snazzy. Heck, I thought, I might even get me a soda and meander through the not-maternity section of clothing.

I leaned down to pull back the stroller cover only to be met with –

Two wide-open eyes staring back at me. Did I imagine it, or was there a smirk on Ben’s face?

Going to enjoy some down time, eh? It’s cute how naive you are, it really is, the smirk seemed to say.

I smiled nervously at Ben.

“Hey Dude,” I heard myself say. “Just going for a walk, let’s go back to sleep, Buddy.”

I immediately got rolling, praying silently that the motion would send Ben right back into sweet oblivion.

Ben continued to stare at me, unblinking.

And then slowly, oh so slowly, his angelic little face began to wrinkle. And then it began to redden.

And then other people in Target started to turn and look, because Ben decided now was the time to exercise his lungs to their fullest capacity.

The kid quickly became inconsolable, and I assumed he must be hungry. Of course, every newborn wants their food yesterday, so I tried to think about how I could feed the guy and still stay out.

Does Target have a nursing room? Yeah right. How about the bathroom? Pass. I’ll just go into my car… That gas light has been on for at least 15 miles – crap.

I quickly decided to just go home, since we were only a few minutes away. Every woman I passed on the way out made comments such as, “Aww, listen to that sweet little cry, how precious!”

Absolutely adorable, I thought, and quickly rushed towards the automatic doors.

I loaded Ben into the car and wrestled his stroller into the trunk, grumbling to myself about how I’d spent about 30 minutes just getting to the store and only about 30 seconds inside it. Ben continued to holler, and I mindlessly spoke soothing words to him, doing my best to mask the fact that I was super irritated.

We got home and I fed Ben, who still seemed kind of cranky. While burping him, I noticed how much he seemed to be concentrating. And then, a stinky smell.

“Someone pooped his diaper!” I said in a sing-song voice. Ben glanced up at me, his eyes full of knowing.

It suddenly dawned on me that my hand – the one on his back – felt very….moist. I looked down at his brown onesie and – wait – this onesie wasn’t brown before…

Ben’s entire back was oozing with a nice brown/yellow substance. He looked at me, pride in his eyes, and I looked at him, wonder in mine.

I’ll save you all the details – but just to give you an idea of the sheer volume of substance in his diaper, I had to eventually cut his onesie off of him. I might have been disgusted if I wasn’t also so awestruck.

(Fun fact – the necks of onesies are actually made so that you can slip them over your baby’s shoulders and down off his body without going over his head and smothering his face with poop from major blowouts. Unfortunately, Google told me this too late. Oh well, it’s funnier the way it happened – it’ll be a good story to share at Ben’s wedding or something).

Anyway, about 10 wipes, 1 soaked burp cloth, 1 destroyed changing pad, 1 shredded onesie, and 1 bath later, Ben was finally clean, dry, and relaxing contentedly in his bouncer. Ben went through the whole ordeal lying on his back happily, looking at me periodically with an amused grin on his face.

I thought back to the moments at Target and to my irritation. My annoyance was now quickly dissolving as I looked at the smiling, chubby kiddo cooing next to me. Ben had no idea about my frustration – if he did he was obviously very forgiving.

I suddenly felt very humbled by the fact that this tiny human life depended so much on me – to keep him fed, to make sure he’s dry and clean, to comfort him when he’s overwhelmed, and to make him feel secure and loved.boba

At the end of the day, a blown trip to Target doesn’t amount to a whole lot. In fact, if I had to choose between shopping at Target or being rewarded with a huge smile from my son after cleaning a blowout, well…I’d choose Ben every time.

God has blessed me with this unique season of life; my prayer for myself – and all new mothers – is that I would not allow frustration and irritation to creep in and steal the joy from this temporary time.

I once wrote about how marriage has revealed in me a selfishness and self-love that I didn’t know existed. Well, being a brand new mom has revealed a whole new level of each of those.

Praise God that he can and does do good things in the midst of our weaknesses. I pray that I and others would not miss the gift of where we are today because we are so focused on what we could be doing, where we could be, and why we’re not there.

Here’s to dying to self, one poop-filled diaper at a time.

Thoughts from a New Mom: 3 Things Learned in Month 1

One of my goals for this year was to write at least one blog each month. February came and went and, well, I’ve already failed regarding that particular goal. But I’d like to think that I get a “pass” on February, since I got kind of busy having a baby and all. ben1

Anyway, here it is, at the end of March, and I find myself sitting here typing with an almost 5-week old asleep on my chest. The last weeks have been a whirlwind; sometimes the last month just seems like one long, sleep-deprived day. Showers have become quite precious to me. And who needs to fix their hair when you can just wear a hat pretty much every day? And who wants to watch March Madness when I can go to sleep at 8:30? (For only about 2.5 hours, of course).

When our new son, Benjamin Elliot, hit 1 month, I looked back and saw a few things that stuck out to me that seemed really important. Hopefully each day, month, and year of his life, I’ll learn a bit more. But here are three things that, I hope, might be helpful to any soon-to-be moms out there:

1. Rest. No really. 

Everyone says it, but – good grief – it’s so hard to do. If you’re a list-maker and a doer, you will probably find it hard to slow down, even though you know you should. But seriously, no matter how you give birth – whether naturally, with an epidural, a c-section, out in the woods – your body needs to recover. Evidently giving birth is the equivalent of a 50 mile walk (I’d probably say “sprint” actually). So it’s definitely ok to put your feet up – I mean, you walked 50 miles straight for crying out loud. Don’t feel guilty for taking naps, and don’t feel like you have to get a hundred things done. Which leads me to #2:

2. Enjoy your baby. 

This seems like a given, but it’s easy to get distracted by other things. Like laundry, where you’ll get your next meal, who’s visiting when, and what color poop you should be seeing today. I also found myself stressing out about whether Matt and I were doing everything right. Am I feeding him often enough? Am I feeding him the right way? Should he already be in his crib? Which soothing method should I be using for this? Why do I keep getting sprayed in the face during diaper changes?ben2

It’s easy to get stressed out by these things, and I found myself worrying a lot those first few weeks – and doing  a ridiculous amount of Googling to find out things like whether or not Ben’s poop was the right shade of green for the day.

Do yourself a favor: find friends and family who can help with meals, laundry, and cleaning, and take time to just sit and enjoy baby. Stare at him, play with him, take pictures of him – just enjoy him. Don’t spend more time looking at Google search results than you do at your offspring. Google and laundry and food will always be there – but your baby is only a newborn for a short time. I can’t believe how much our little guy has already changed – and he’s only been here 1 month!

3. Write things down. 

Grab a notepad or journal or something and jot down the little moments that you want to remember. First smile. First projectile. First blowout. You don’t have to write a book, maybe just a sentence or a few key words. This past month is already kind of hazy to me, what with all the sleepless nights – so I know I’ll need those little notes to remember sweet moments. My sister and her husband actually wrote down funny things they said after becoming parents that they never would have said before. (For example: “Be right back, I’m going to go take a picture of this poop.”) This is a great way to store memories, and may also be a funny encouragement to read through on the rough days.DSC_0124

I hope each month to share things I learn about being a new mom. Of course, everyone’s experience is different, so I hope it’s not perceived as unsolicited advice – good grief, I’m only one month into this, so what do I know. But hopefully it’ll be an encouragement to someone.

I’d love to hear from other moms – what did you learn in those first days? What helped you adjust the most, or what do you wish that you’d known or done differently? Feel free to comment and share – maybe together we can all help each other learn about this weird thing called mommy-hood.

Here’s to keeping new humans alive, one day at a time.

Wow, I Can’t Believe You Said That: 4 Things You Should Never Say to a Preggo

I am thoroughly convinced that I will always be pregnant. I will always and forever carry around a basketball-sized lump under my shirt. I will never again know what my feet look like while standing up. It will forever take an act of congress for me to roll over in bed at night. I will always have a tiny little foot weaseling its way in between my ribs. I will never again know the goodness of feta cheese, and I will never see my wonderful old skinny jeans again.tgivingpic

Ok, so maybe all of that is an exaggeration. In fact, it’s entirely possible that in a matter of 3 or 4 weeks, I will cease to be pregnant and begin being a full-time mom (!!??). I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, which both terrifies and excites me.

But even though I am so close to the end, the feelings of endlessness still remain. All you preggos out there know what I’m talking about – in fact, you could probably add a thousand more things to my list. But let me add just one more thing that feels like it will never, ever end: the never-ending comments of friends and complete strangers alike.

Yes, you know what I’m talking about. Words that would be rendered completely inappropriate in any other social situation suddenly become acceptable if you’re saying them to a pregnant woman. No one would dare make comments about my derriere to my face – but pop a baby in my belly, and suddenly my buttocks is up for all kinds of conversation.

So, in an attempt to help all of you who are searching for the right words to say to that preggo in your life, here are 4 things that you can go ahead and put on your list of things to NEVER say:

1. “Wow, you look really tired.”
Newsflash: If a woman looks tired, she probably already knows it. And it’s probably because (get ready) she is really tired. Perhaps even exhausted. There’s something kind of draining about a little dude mooching off of you 24/7, so it’s bound to show on the face of a mother-to-be at some point. As a matter of fact, I’ve never known any woman (including myself) who has appreciated when someone pointed out that she was tired – pregnant or not.

ultrasound2. “Wow, you’re only how far along? You can’t possibly get much bigger, can you?”
I really shouldn’t have to explain this one – but personal experience tells me that I do. Every pregnancy is different, so it’s possible that one woman you meet might look differently than another women you’ve seen at the same stage of pregnancy. I guarantee you that whoever you say this to is already quite aware of her size and most likely has been or will be self-conscious about it at some point, or will even struggle with comparing herself to others. Implying that a woman is abnormally larger than her gestational age isn’t particularly helpful – so just nix comments like that.

3. “Wow, your face is getting so fat, you poor thing.”
Nope, I’m not making this one up. If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to bring a pregnant woman to tears, go ahead and say this to her. Seriously, what better way to tear a woman down and make her more self-conscious than she already is? I mean, the woman is only having her body completely taken over by a tiny, growing human being – you definitely can’t risk having her feel confident or beautiful. That would just be silly. How dare a woman gain weight in any place other than her belly – if she does, she immediately deserves your pity. So definitely make sure that you add the “poor thing” at the end – it’ll be the icing on the cake.

4. “Wow…is this because you’re pregnant?”
Another variation of this one might be, “It’s because she’s pregnant,” or, “Don’t worry, she’s just being pregnant.” There’s nothing more demeaning or frustrating than having your personal opinions, preferences, or thoughts completely disregarded all because you are pregnant. For example: If a pregnant woman is getting frustrated while she’s experiencing bad customer service, it can’t be because of the bad customer service – it has to be because she’s pregnant. Every emotion expressed is blamed on the hormones and is therefore rendered meaningless. Pregnancy isn’t a condition or sickness, so don’t treat it like one. 

My motivation for writing this is two-fold: Part of me hopes that someone will read butternutit and actually take these suggestions to heart. Pregnancy is a weird and wonderful thing – it’s constantly bouncing back and forth between feeling elated, proud, and honored to be carrying a life within you, and also coming to grips with, essentially, an entirely new body and learning how to live with and accept the new changes and decisions that lie ahead.

When your love for the life inside of you is growing as fast as your belly and you’re only just beginning to understand the sacrifices that are in the near future, it can be quite deflating when others choose to make comments to you about the superficial things.

The other motivator is to identify and be able to laugh at the ridiculous things people say to women who are “great with child.” People mean well, and you eventually just have to let these comments roll off your back. It is really quite comical to me how all mental filters seem to completely disappear when a pregnant woman is spotted. There’s something about a round belly that makes everyone feel like they are your best friend. People who, under “normal” circumstances, would never give you a second glance suddenly smile warmly at you and want to know all about your pregnancy. Honestly, I think I could be a serial killer and still have strangers bend over backwards for me because of my belly.

I’d be lying if I said that the comments of some people haven’t brought me to tears in the past 8 months. But I’d also be lying If I said that I didn’t enjoy the inquiries about how my little dude is doing or appreciate the kind, encouraging words of others.

christmasAt the end of the day, I know that most people genuinely have no ill-intentions with their words, and that there is just something about a pregnant woman that occasionally renders people senseless. The miracle of  how a new life is formed, grown, and introduced into the world is just so astonishing that we all feel compelled to commentate on it – and sometimes we do that by stating the obvious or saying slightly inconsiderate things.

So if you see a pregnant lady and just can’t keep yourself from speaking up, go ahead and bypass any comments about her size or hormones and just let her know that she looks awesome – I guarantee you’ll make her day.