Postpartum Help! Better Beginnings offers support!

July 13, 2018

  Welcome, Hallie! Tell us about you! You own and operate Better Beginnings, offering postpartum doula care service. Many women today are told they birth and then are supposed to pop back to normal. What does Better Beginnings provide during those tender early days, weeks, and months of recovery? We provide physical, emotional, and informational support to mothers and families as they welcome new babies into their lives. For first-time parents, this can include newborn care education catered to their questions, and practicing newborn care techniques like swaddling or soothing with their own equipment and their real baby, instead of a doll during a class. For more experienced parents, we may focus on sibling adjustment and how big brother or sister is doing with the transition of adding baby into the mix. For all parents, we emphasize rest and recovery from childbirth, and offer lactation support if they’re breastfeeding, or bottle-feeding tips if they’re not. We also check in with moms and dads about their emotional wellbeing, and tend to household tasks such as laundry, dishes, and meal prep. Honestly, we’ve been told by many of our clients that because of our support, they felt they were truly able to enjoy their postpartum time and their newborn more than they otherwise would have. We’ve also heard it’s an investment in the marriage. 😉 You’re right, Nell. Those early days and weeks and months are tender, and unique. They deserve nonjudgmental support that’s specialized for that time in a family’s life.…

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Doing Things in the Right Order After Years of Not

June 17, 2018

photo credit I’m finding a new rhythm to my house life, mom life, wife life. I’m finally doing things consciously in the right order. It was 8:32pm. The three youngest are all asleep and as I crept past their rooms, checking on their night lights and blanket situations, I felt it. That siren call of my sewing machine. DO NOT GO DOWNSTAIRS. COME UP! My husband slipped out the back door with our oldest for some night baseball hits at the local park. They waved and I doused them in bug spray on their way out. I had not answered my sewing machine’s call. I had trekked down the stairs, pausing to pick up ten thousand items of dirty clothing, two CDs whose scratches had deepened, and shutting off light switches here and everywhere. I was determined to take the ten minutes of wiping counters and arranging dishes in the dishwasher before heading back up up to the machine and my luscious fabrics. It took twelve minutes, but the peace of mind I experienced with each soggy granola bowl rinsed and stacked was worth it. You see, I’ve spent years indulging my blogging, sewing, writing, texting, scrolling, calling, and venting. All before doing what needs to be done. I supposed the Sisyphean task of having small kids #forever meant for me if I stopped to do a dish, I would have to scrub the kitchen floor and I would NEVER GET A MOMENT FOR ME. Instead I carved habit after habit, year after…

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9 Lessons in 9 Years of Marriage

May 30, 2018

1) It’s mostly messy I walk down the stairs and note that I should vacuum with the little hand vacuum to get the lint off the innards of the step, note that the music parlor carpet is littered in glitter (shocking given my no-glitter stance), and the wince at the state of the kitchen counters. Yeah, our home could be more meticulously cleaned, but marriage is messy. Beyond the house, the kids’ endless laundry, the to-do lists, we as people are conflicted, sleep-deprived, and one of us is hormonal. Everyday is a choice to forbear and be kind anyway. 2) We aren’t how we were and that’s okay I’m still who I was because I think that rarely changes on the profound level of our personhood. But I’m not how I was. I’m lumpier and wrinklier, more patient and more accepting of the daily grind. He’s better practiced at handling my lines of prosecutorial inquiry about any subject we disagree on. Hopefully we’re better, more mellowed, more melded into each other. 3) Learning what makes him happy has served me better than trying to guess I know what he cares about for gifts. I know what he cares about around the house. I know which conversations bore him and which ones he loves to opine on. I know how to arrange our lives and schedule for the optimal outcome. After years of guessing or just simply doing what I liked, I know actually pay attention to him and his happiness. It’s another daily practice.…

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Spring in Our New House

May 8, 2018

Creeeeaky fingers back to blogging here! I loved this post by Anna and this one by Blythe about just doing it again. I have nothing clever to say, that’s for sure, but wanted to catch up on spring in our new house. My whole life I wanted a wrap-around porch. And now I have one! Complete with this incredible swing that the kids like to try to bang against the house. #precious Our window are these 1960 crank windows with built-in screens that screetch up and down. I’m nervous the kids will fall out of them but my husband reassures me they are metal and sturdy. I do very cautiously open them and am amazed it’s FINALLY NOT SNOWING and smells like flowers and fresh cut grass out there! Baking is our new thing as I pay back our incredible carpooling neighbor with baked goods a few days a week. I’ve got earnest helpers and my fav recipe book. I’m in love with the brioche recipe in my fav bread book and ate so much of it I think I legit look four months pregnant. BUT I LOVE BREAD so I’m okay with that. The former owners left a really cool swing play-yard thing but the middle needed this swing for the youngest to really get into the spirit. Our oldest girl finally figured out how to pump on a swing and watching her go flying (slightly too high for my taste) makes me tear up a little. She’s a…

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Still in the Winter Here

April 11, 2018

HELLO. Wow, where did this blogger disappear to? The trickiest thing has been to get time at my computer, at my desk, uninterrupted by early-evening-waking-baby, sewing projects, or trying to stay on top of my housework (woeful again and again on that front). But here I am. Hi. What’s new with you? I’m finding we are still in the thick of winter here. Yes, friends in the southern region who are planting their gardens, we see you on instastories. We Minnesotans are bracing for another snowfall this weekend and although today was 45 degrees, who knows what the low will be tonight. I just don’t want to check. Our rhythm feels like winter, still, too. We don’t go to the park but wistfully drive past it while the kids clamor to get out but I insist 20 degrees is just too cold for the baby, even when she’s bundled. I do open the back door to shoo the oldest three out in the fenced yard with their regalia on, down to the neckgator. I wish I could say that I’ve got that spring time energy, but I’m still wrapping up in wool sweaters and dreading to shower and deal with wet hair. #wimp Our oldest has grown through two layers of hems in his school pants, and our second is suddenly fitting 6T pants in length, just not waist. The third born is still in size 2 things but sometimes will pull a 3T sweater over his almost four year…

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There’s more than one way to attend Mass with kids

February 18, 2018

These topics distress me enough to write two blog posts in one week! People! Why do we argue about how to attend church with our kids? *shakes head mouth ajar* In case you’re new to this controversy, it’s yet another way good people waste time on the internet: getting huffy about how others attend church with their kids. For reference, my kids are 7, 5, 3, and 14 months. The 7 year old always goes, but it depends with the others. We can all agree to this: attending Mass is a profound privilege and the most important part of our week! We aspire to be reverent, to worship, and to not detract from other’s experiences of the same. We struggle to agree on children’s place in all this: they should be in the cry room; they should be in the front row; they shouldn’t come until they’re old enough to behave like adults; they should come and behave as they’re able to and we should welcome them despite their struggles. Our family has done it all: parents splitting up to go to Mass alone; me solo with all four kids; older kids with us; toddler at home; front row; back row; middle row; books and coloring; nothing; bribes of donuts; threats of trouble, etc. My experiences has taught me that nothing is more humbling than expecting and demanding that my small children behave a certain way in public. Especially in a public place that should be quiet and reverent. What…

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