7 Things Your Second Baby Will Do Sooner Than Your First

My first baby didn’t roll over until she was seven months old, making her the last one in Mommy & Me to hit that milestone. (And oh, how I worried… for nothing.) So I was surprised to find my second baby rolling in both directions at just three months. Looking back, I credit benign neglect. I was so busy interacting with my high maintenance preschooler that the new baby spent a ton of time on the floor, just exploring. Is it any wonder she figured out how to roll?


It turns out second babies experience a lot of things sooner, which certainly keeps a mom on her toes. Steel yourself, because here’s what your second one will probably do early:

1. Catch a Cold – There’s not enough hand sanitizer in the world to shelter that second baby from the onslaught of kid germs. I recently caught my 4-year-old with her finger in the baby’s mouth. (“She likes it,” was her defense.) It’s awful hearing your precious infant cough and sneeze, but hopefully the virus will be mild and you’ll be one step closer to building up Baby’s immunities.

2. Watch TV – Wow, did I pat myself on the back for waiting the American Academy of Pediatrics-recommended two years before giving my first baby any screen time. Now that we’re all sharing a living room, it’s nearly impossible to shield Baby #2 from the TV. I wonder if the AAP would give a special dispensation for Doc McStuffins.

3. Eat Ice Cream – If I remember correctly, when babies start solids, it goes rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas, hot fudge sundae, yes? Try as you might to stay on track with Baby’s nutrition, it’s inevitable that hungry little monkeys are going to want to partake in the older kids’ snacks—especially anything cold and sweet.

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“Good Night Moon” for College Students

This time of year, our Facebook feeds are all flooded with back to school posts. What’s strange for me is that I had my kids so late, I’m completely out of sync with many of my peers.  While I’m still trying to get an infant to sleep through the night, I’ve got friends sending kids to middle school, high school–even college!

But I’d like to think that parents of the littlest and biggest kids can still find common ground.  That’s why I’ve rewritten this classic baby bedtime book for college students.

Sleep well, everybody.

good night moon

In the great dorm room,

There was a three foot bong.

And a bag of shrooms.

And a picture of Jim Morrison, gone too soon.

And there were three open beers for saying “cheers.”

And The Catcher in the Rye and a tapestry, tie-dyed.

And shower shoes and moldy food.

And a guitar amp and a lava lamp.

And a stranger passed out who has a tramp stamp.

And a next door neighbor screaming, “Stop playing Crosby Stills & Nash already—this isn’t summer camp!”

Good night, dorm room. Good night, moon.

Good night, Jim Morrison, gone too soon.

Good night, bong and good night, shrooms.

Good night, beers. Good night, cheers.

Good night, Rye. Good night, tie-dye.

Good night, shoes. Good night, food.

Good night, amp. Good night, lamp.

Good night, whoever that is, with the tramp stamp.

Good night, bars. Good night, stanky air.

Good night, lucky bastards everywhere.

dorm room with arrows

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All The Times I Said “No” to My 4-Year-Old Today

I used to be a “Yes” mom.

Yes, you can jump off the swing.  Yes, you can squirt shaving cream in the bath and pretend it’s snow.  Yes, you may peform opera in the supermarket.


But now I have two kids.  A little one who’s up all night and a bigger one who is a bottomless pit of need.  Factor in sleep deprivation, constant nursing, juggling two wildy different schedules and my general irritation, and it seems I have turned into a grumpy old “no” mom.

No, you can’t carry the baby.

No, you can’t stick your finger in her mouth.

No, do not use her body as a drum.

No sneezing on the baby!  For Chrissakes.  No.

No, I’m not going to unlock your car window so you can open and close it 30 times.

No, you can’t eat all of my ice cream and your ice cream too.

No, you cannot share my water while you have green snot.

No, I will not be making jelly sandwiches for all your meals.  (Thanks a lot, Bread and Jam for Francis.)

No nudity on our front steps.

No picking the neighbor’s flowers.  Fine, one.  I said one!

No, I will not paint your nails right before you eat popcorn.  That is just pointless.

No more Bubble Guppies today. Or maybe ever.

I told you no video unless you cleaned up your toys.

Hiding all your dress up clothes under a blanket does not count as cleaning up, no.

No, don’t stick your nose in my bum crack.

No, the people in Target do not need to see my underwear.

Nope, stop it, my nipple is not a toy.

No, I am not going to leave you in the car while I go into the house, as tempting at that sounds.

No, my checkbook is not for coloring.

No, Barbie can’t wear my good jewelry.

Nooooooo why is the magazine I just started reading ripped into 10,000 pieces?  Did I say you could make a collage with Vanity Fair?  No, I did not.

No matter how many times you ask me, you cannot carry the baby up the stairs.  No.

V and C honeymoon dress

Sometimes, the kid gives me no choice, but I don’t like how I sound.  And I don’t want to crush every last one of her dreams just because I’m too tired and cranky to reframe the request into a suitable alternative.

I wish I could change the conversation so I can be that “Yes” mom once again.  In my fantasy, it goes like this:

Mommy, can I sit here and color while you stare into space?


Can I be the doctor and you be my patient and I examine you while you lie down?


Do you love me even when I drive you crazy?

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A New Mom’s Guide To Capturing Moments

The bad news: Lifetime Moms is shutting down.  I have loved writing for that site for the past two years, and working with my fantastic editor Melissa Kagan, but such is life.  The good news: I went out with a bang, writing a final post about taking photos of my kids (my favorite pasttime). It’s sponsored by LG and I got to use their amazing camera phone.  Check out the results…

As a first time mom, I made a few mistakes. Okay, a lot of mistakes. I woke a sleeping baby. Ran out of diapers on a road trip. Might have let the baby roll off the bed. Whoops. But one thing I did right, in those early days, was to take a zillion pictures.

When you’re in the thick of new motherhood, you think you’ll remember every magical moment forever. But you don’t. One day your baby’s learning to crawl, and the next day she’s dancing in her first ballet recital. New memories rapidly replace the older ones. The only way I know how to hold onto those special moments that I don’t want to lose is by taking photographs. They’re like a time machine to my favorite parts of the past.

With the recent addition of another beautiful baby girl, our little family of three has grown to four, and there are even more special moments to capture–like the first time my 4-year-old made our newborn laugh. We were playing with a bubble maker outside. Big sister was popping bubbles and giggling, narrating the whole experience for her little sister, and the baby started cracking up. I wished my husband could be there to see her face—he misses so much good stuff when he’s at work! Luckily, I had my LG G4 phone and was able to snap some great shots.

Bubbles chloe smile crop

I can’t get enough of pictures of my girls bonding and delighting in each other—even the slightly too aggressive hugs (I call it “smother love”). My husband sometimes thinks I’m insane for taking so many pictures, but I consider myself our family’s historian, and I take my job seriously. These images spark the stories we’ll be telling for decades.

So how do I capture the moments? As a veteran mom-tographer, I do have a few tips for how to get the most out of your family photos:

1. Always be ready – When I only had one baby, I used to haul my fancy digital camera (with bulky case and charger) everywhere I went. Now that I’m juggling two little ones, I just don’t have time—or room in my diaper bag—to worry about multiple devices. Instead, I rely on my LG G4 phone, which has a top of the line camera that I can whip out at a moment’s notice. Though I try to keep it charged, mom brain doesn’t always allow for that, so I count on its long battery life to cover me. The battery is removable, so it’s also easy to just swap it out.

2. Don’t say cheese – My 4-year-old daughter is gorgeous and expressive–right up until the moment you ask her to pose for the camera. Then, she’ll grit her teeth and grimace, in a goofy imitation of a smile. It’s kind of funny, and kind of frustrating. What I’ve learned is that the best shots of my kids are candids. An unposed photo of my daughter gazing adoringly at her baby sister is often way better than the deer in headlights shot of her staring down the lens. One of the plusses of shooting most of my pictures with my phone is that it’s a low profile gadget, so I can do it without the kids really noticing—meaning, no time to pose and grimace.

Keep reading at Lifetime Moms for my photography tips… Read More »

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10 Things “Friends” Taught Us About Marriage


Congratulations to one of our favorite “Friends!”

Rachel—I mean Jennifer Aniston—has tied the knot with longtime boyfriend Justin Theroux, and Monica—I mean Courteney Cox—stood up for her as Maid of Honor. If only Joey could have officiated.

Despite the recent rash of celebrity divorce announcements, I have high hopes for Jennifer. She took her time, learned from her mistakes, and perhaps most importantly, she was on “Friends,” which taught us everything we need to know about love and marriage:

1. You have to want the same things. Despite their age difference, Monica and Richard (Tom Selleck) had incredible chemistry. But Richard didn’t want to have children with her, and Monica was smart enough to move on.

2. Sex is important. Rachel and Joey shared romantic feelings, but kissing him made her giggle uncomfortably. If the chemistry’s not there, it’s not meant to be. Monica, on the other hand, admitted that Chandler was the best sex she ever had, perhaps in part because of the memorable episode in which she taught him about women’s erogenous zones (“Seven! Seven! Seven!”)

3. Absurd ultimatums will doom a relationship. Newlyweds Ross and Emily got off to a rocky start when Ross blurted out Rachel’s name at the ceremony. Emily insisted that Ross never speak to Rachel again, but it was too high a price to pay, and their marriage soon ended.

4. You gotta have each other’s back. Phoebe donated her wedding fund to charity, then changed her mind and asked for a refund. Despite the extreme awkwardness, fiancé Mike (Paul Rudd) supported her choices and shared the shame. Princess Consuela Bananahammock and Crap Bag truly were made for each other.

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