The Three Gifts of Christmas

three gifts of christmas

Last night the kids and I cozied up together on the couch to watch what is possibly one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, the old cartoon version of Dr. Seuss’s iconic tale: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. (I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but it’s snowing, and my kids have been home sick all week- I think that makes it okay.) We sat close together, watching in delight as the Whos down in Whoville, the tall and the small, celebrated Christmas without any presents at all. I felt the familiar tug of my heart strings as the narrator recited my favorite part of the story:

Continue reading

10 Ways to Help Your Sick Baby Feel Better

sick baby - SmartMom

You know your baby better than anyone. You know what she’s like when she’s happy, you know what she’s like when she’s sad, and you’ll be the first to know if she’s feeling under the weather.

Continue reading

Pumping in Secret: One Working Mom’s Embarrassing Story

SmartMom: pumping in secret

Photo by Sydney Everett

Being a working mom comes with a variety of challenges. One of the most difficult is figuring out how to keep your baby fed and happy while you’re at work. My first baby was supplemented with formula, but when my second baby came along, I decided I would try to pump at work. But I ended up pumping in secret.

Being an elementary school teacher, there were not many opportunities for me to slip away from my students to pump.  For weeks I suffered through embarrassing leaks and uncomfortable engorgement. My husband told me I just needed to talk to my principal about the situation, tell him I’m breastfeeding and that I need time to pump. To which I always replied, “No way! I can’t say the word breast in front of my principal! I’ll figure it out on my own!” Continue reading

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! How to Keep Your Baby Warm This Winter

How to keep your baby warm this winter - SmartMom

Baby, it’s cold outside! The frigid temperatures have begun across the country, with negatives in many northern places in the past few days and tons of snow! The frigid air is more than just an inconvenience, it’s dangerous – especially for a small baby.

Here are a few simple things you can do to keep your baby warm this winter. Continue reading

Jamie’s Birth Story

jamie's birth story

Whenever I talk to people about labor and birth photography (or birth stories, as they are more commonly called) I get one of two reactions. Either people love the idea, or they are completely mortified by it.  In my experience, I have found that those who are repulsed by the idea of a birth story are those who haven’t actually seen one.  So today, I’d like to share mine with you.

Bringing a baby into this world is HARD, and I’m not just talking about labor and delivery. I’m talking about the 9 months of eating nothing but dry cereal and vanilla ice cream because it’s all that sounds good to you, and then throwing it up 20 minutes later. I’m talking about the extra pounds and inches which, I’m sorry to say, get harder and harder to work off after each pregnancy. I’m talking about the aching bones, the creaking hips, the sleepless nights, and the I’m-so-tired-I-can’t-remember-my-last-name moments that every pregnant woman battles at one point or another. Continue reading

Mother Knows Best

Mother Knows Best - SmartMom

Photo by T&T blog

From the moment the stick turned pink, every well-meaning person within a 100 mile radius was itching to tell me everything there is to know about parenting.

At first, I really appreciated the information. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that much of the guidance I received was contradictory. I still remember sitting at my baby shower when someone suggested that all the veteran moms in the room give me some “professional advice”. Almost immediately people started tossing tidbits of maternal knowledge at me like a group of children throwing breadcrumbs at a pigeon- a pigeon that didn’t even realize she was hungry! I desperately ran from one crumb to the next, my head flipping back and forth as the conversation bounced across the room. Continue reading