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It’s been 6 months since my last confession. Er, I mean post. On the first day of a New Year when many people get inspiration to go after that thing that they’ve been wanting to do or neglecting, I found the oomph to write.

I can. I will. I am. 

So here’s the skinny on my absence. Within the same 2 week period in June last year, we sold our house and recording studio, moved into a rental house half the size and I left one job and started another. My new job, doing product marketing management for a pre-IPO software company, a level of marketing I’ve never done before, made for a very intense first 3 month “ramp up.”  Doing this level of work for any company would make for a challenging first 3 months. I naively said, “Yes” to leading the marketing for a new product launch and putting together everything required for US and UK sales training, and doing the actual training 8 weeks after I started.

Hello Crazy Stress.

To get anywhere close to success required that I work way more than I ever imagined doing as a mother of young children. The first three months on the job, I’d guess I averaged 80 hours a week. After the product launch in October, I averaged 60 hours a week up until this past week that I’ve thankfully had off with my family.

I feel like I’m losing (or lost?) my identity as an Attachment Parenting, Hippie-ish, Vegan Wanna-Be Mom. I haven’t known how the heck to write about it and have been too exhausted to try. Any spare time I’ve had outside of working, I’ve wanted to spend with my girls and husband or sleep – and not write a blog post lamenting about missing my girls.

I’ve gone from wearing long gypsy skirts and flip-flops to belted dresses and high heals. I’ve gone from snuggling with my girls until they fall asleep to hugging them both goodnight after stories and leaving my Littlest to cry for me with her Daddy while I go back to work. Though I still maintain a decent level of compassionate “Say What You See” communication to mediate conflicts, there’s been several occasions where my lack of self-care and feelings of overwhelm resulted in fully flipping a lid.  Flash temper. Yelling. Threatening “you can’t have this if you do that.” Asking “why are you being so mean?” and any number of other reptilian brain reactions that don’t translate into any form of Zen Mama whatsoever. And ultimately seeing a reflection of myself in my children that is really hard to see.

I’ve gone from passionately pursuing a plant-based, low-sugar diet for my family to cracking on it all. Not because I’ve changed my belief on how rotten dairy and sugar is for our health. Emotional comfort, addiction and “easy” trumped short and long-term health. Not in excess. But enough to have me not want to claim being “mostly vegan.”

I find myself typing and deleting and typing and deleting. I could circle around how hard it is to work so much with small children (and then I’m reminded of single mothers who work 2 jobs and I promptly stomp on this thought). I could ruminate about how guilty I feel and how I so want to feel more connected every day.  I’ve done plenty of this with my husband and in my head. But really – what good does that do?  The truth is — the recession fully kicked our asses and we’re very grateful that this job opportunity crossed my path and that together we can provide for our family in the way we want and save for long-term security.

Where I struggle to find peace is the identity loss of a persona that I created for myself publicly here on Attachment Mama. I’m generally a person uncomfortable with ambiguity. This has left the Universe laughing at me often and inspires me to embrace Mystery and Change and an expanded view of what’s best for our family.

What could Attachment Parenting mean for our family now?

(To be continued.)

Wishing every mother the best for themselves and their families in 2012.  Happy New Year!


Posted in AP and Working Moms | 2 Comments

A Mother’s Prayer, by Tina Fey

For all Mamas — and especially those of us raising girls — enjoy.  Wishing everyone the happiest Mother’s Day!

A Mother’s Prayer for Its Child By Tina Fey

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


-Tina Fey

Thanks to my dear friend Libby for passing this along to me this weekend. Tina Fey – you are the best.




Posted in Mama Self Expression | No Comments

Life’s Little Metaphors

Have you ever felt like your life was being written and illustrated for you as you lived it?  And as you walked through your day the images around you strangely reflected your inner reality?

Over the last month, Attachment Mama has been hacked 3 times. Each evening I had some free time for personal writing and logged on, I would discover a new hack and had to spend the time to go through every single post and remove all the hackitude, change my passwords, blah-ditty-blah. Not sure who all saw it — but the last hack went beyond just inserting annoying text into all my posts and actually replaced my entire site with one page that had a scary Gothy face and the message “You’ve been hacked!”

What a weird, wired world this is where people that don’t even know you feel inspired to *$%^ with your innocent Mommy site.

Looking at this creepy face on my site and trying to breathe through it, find the humor in it (never got there) or discover the bigger message for me at hand — (has my focus on my children and how best to mother them been hacked by my 50 hour-week job?) — I went down memory lane to a chapter in my life with uglier metaphors that I can now laugh about.

It may be hard to imagine the currently health-focused me relishing a cigarette, but there was a time in my life when I found them extraordinarily enjoyable and didn’t give a hoot about long term consequences.  In fact, I loved them so much that I referred to them as my “smokey treats.”

Ahhhhhh. Blessed addiction.

The last time I smoked was the winter and spring before I moved from Boulder to Austin eight years ago. In a matter of a few months I had transitioned from well paid international PR manager at a high tech firm, marathon runner and singer for a 10-piece R&B band with charming boyfriend to unemployed (tech crash lay-offs), single (fully dumped), living alone (housemate moved to Denver) and soon-to-be band-less.

Did I turn to longer runs or yoga to work through it all? No.

Did I pound green juice to lift my spirits and strengthen my health?  Not so much.

Nah. I decided instead to pick up an old nasty habit that I had quit six years prior.

It was December, with plenty of snow on the ground. I would bundle up, go out on my back porch with my dog, and attempt to exhale life’s problems with an American Spirit while she took a dump in the yard. And then we’d both sit and stare at each other and the smoke fading into the sky while I rubbed her ears with my free hand.

Occasionally I would get inspired to pick up the dog shit in the snow and would shovel it up — often together with some snow — and toss into a trash bag I kept around the corner from the porch. I liked to dump my ash trays in there too.

Well, one morning following a sunny day when most of the snow had melted off, I sat mentally revisiting all that had gone wrong with smokey treat and coffee and heard the sound of our local garbage truck. I remembered the bag of poo sitting around the corner and rushed to grab it and add it to the trash can on the curb.

And as I grabbed the top edges of said trash bag, the snow (now water), shit and ash cocktail came pouring out all over my hands.

I really can’t tell you just how heinous this was. I think I scrubbed my hands with every soap and sanitizer in the house for 20 minutes.

Now you’re going to think I’m making up this next part for the metaphorical trifecta impact — but I promise you, I am not.

Following the manic hand wash, I sat down to call my new crush who happened to also be a smoker not happy about the habit to tell him about this craziness and how I could bottle up the shit-ash mix and we could both use it to quit. It was hands down the sure-fire aroma therapy way to quit smoking for good.

And while I was sitting on my dinky plastic patio chair talking to my friend, a bird flew by and shat on my head.

100% serious.

So that was then. I felt like my life was in the shitter and the universe reflected back my thinking.

This is now. Thankfully my commitment to health and wellness has kept me from going down the smokey treat path through this stressful year of balancing an intense job with mothering two little ones. When I forget that the universe responds to specificity — specifically the energy, the intention, and the thoughts that I project out into the world — life happens to me (or so I think) and I find myself in a pin-ball machine of response, reaction and survival. Hackitude.

When I choose to consciously express gratitude for all the blessings in my life and be very specific about the life I choose to experience every day and what I will gratefully experience in the future — new metaphors, possibilities and beautiful synchronicity unfold to reflect that reality.

Breathe. Believe. Receive.

Thanks for sticking with me with the hack sabbatical.

Is anyone still there besides my Mom?











Posted in Mama Self Expression | 9 Comments

Mothers and Grocery Shopping Trends

© Royalty-Free/Corbis

What matters to Moms?

According to consumer research firms (Nielson, Keller Fay, Mom Central and Symphony):

  • 84% of us are concerned about pesticides, herbicides and growth hormones in food
  • 75% of us are influenced to buy organics if we have a coupon
  • 55% of us are willing to pay a premium price for certain organic products
  • 91% of us determine where to spend our money by other moms recommendations (that’s why so many businesses want mommy bloggers to write about them, though I’ve been approached by very few myself…what am I? wood?)
  • Households with a working mom spend $140 per week on groceries, compared
    to the national average of $121
  • When talking about feeding our families and the challenges we face, 57% of us say rising food prices and 47% of us saying staying on a budget.

Ah yes, keeping to a budget. I’m somewhat obsessed with this now. A few months after starting at Whole Foods Market, I realized that my employee discount card was a joke when I looked at  how much money I was spending on food that I hadn’t before starting the job.

It was hard to resist with the grocery store downstairs from the corporate office. But I now limit my drop-ins for lunch at the store to once/week and I’ve been solidly disciplined in keeping to a weekly grocery budget. Ours is $150/week. What is yours? I’m so curious to learn if most mamas are able to keep to the national average of $120/week.

And though I’d like to take credit for sticking to the budget — I am doing it thanks to Phyllis, our life-saving Super Nanny who puts a meal plan and grocery list together for me every week.

I’ve never been a grocery coupon person. Though I am into Groupon and Living Social.

For those of you that are into taking advantage of discounts on grocery products with coupons, I understand there are a number of web sites you can join to print those off as well. is a good place to start.

Posted in Family Budgeting | 2 Comments

Urgent Call for Breastmilk Donations

Nationwide supply is inadequate to meet demand for premature and ill infants in need

The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin, one of the largest suppliers of donor human milk to hospitals across Texas and in 14 states, is joining The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) to ask healthy lactating mothers to consider donating to a milk bank so that fragile babies will be fed this life-giving and sustaining nutrition.

HMBANA announced that the non-profit milk banks in the U.S. have reached critically low levels of screened donor human milk for fragile babies in relation to demand.

“We are grateful for the hundreds of women who have donated their time and their life-saving milk to The Mothers’ Milk Bank over the last year,” says Kim Updegrove, RN, CNM, MSN, MPH, Executive Director, The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin. “Our goal is to find 500 donor women in 2011 to meet the growing demand for this resource.”

Neonatologists who care for the tiniest and most fragile patients use donor human milk because it provides immunologic and growth factors as well as optimal nutrition. “A mothers’ own milk is the superior food for premature infants, and when a mother cannot provide, donor human milk is the next best thing – it is truly life-saving,” says Peter Untalan, MD, a neonatologist and president of the board of trustees, The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin.

The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin provides donor milk to 57 hospitals across Texas and the U.S., including Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, where mothers’ own milk and donor human milk are the standard of care for premature infants. Premature infants who are fed with human milk decrease their risks of a serious and life-threatening intestinal infection known as necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC.

Though rates of premature birth remain steady in the U.S., at one in 8 live births, the demand for donor human milk is rising because of its effectiveness.

“We have seen the rates of NEC decline from 8-10 percent to less than one percent since 2009, when we began requiring pasteurized donor breast milk when mothers’ own milk is not available for our infants,” says Nancy Hurst, PhD, RN, IBCLC, and director of Women’s Support Services at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Women who are lactating can donate milk to The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin regardless of where they live. In 2010 the milk bank received donations from women in 35 states and 62 cities in Texas. Prospective donors across the U.S. may call toll-free 1-877-813-6455. In Central Texas, prospective donors may call 512-494-0800.

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Posted in Mother's Milk Bank | No Comments


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