Lots of people have asked for my guacamole recipe, so here it goes.

2 avocadoes
1-2 chopped Roma tomato
1/4 chopped white onion
handful of chopped cilantro
1/2 lime squeezed for the juice
optional: chopped jalepeno

Use a fork to stir all ingredients together. 

Yep, that's it. So good. So fresh. Always popular!



When you sneeze, someone says, "Bless you" or "gesundheit." But when you hiccup, what should someone say? My baby has hiccups all the time. She even had them frequently in the womb. When she starts that cute little baby hic, I feel compelled to say something. But what should it be? Usually I just ask the question, "Do you have hiccups, baby girl?" I'm sure if she was old enough she'd call me out on my dumb question, but it's all I can come up with for now. Any suggestions?

Solutions for hiccups that I've heard:
1. Hold your breath--now that's just cruel to try and get a baby to do.
2. Drink water--I've tried nursing her and that works.
3. Put a tiny bit of sugar on the tip of her tongue--I'm probably being overprotective here, but the idea of getting my 3 month old addicted to sugar this early. . .I just can't do it.

And "some" say that hiccups don't bother babies, they hurt the parents more. Not true. Andie gets really frustrated when her hiccups don't go away soon enough. 



Best advice I've ever received as a writer is simply this, "If you don't write everyday, you're not a writer." When I had Baby Andie, I put my "writer" title down and focused 100% on being a mom. Now that she's a little older and I can get up a little earlier, I'm back to writing everyday. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to say that I am a writer.


Diaper Rash

Much of what I've read and heard has encouraged that the more air my baby's booty is exposed to, the less likely she'll develop diaper rash. With an infant, this is a tricky task. One article I read suggested allowing baby to go diaper-less after a BM, so there wouldn't be anything big to clean up. I tried this yesterday. Cleaned up the BM, plopped baby girl down on a multi-purpose pad, and admired her cute booty waggling in the air. Later, went to nurse her while keeping her semi-swaddled in the pad. Baby girl had a bad case of gas, and as the nursing session went on, I was appalled at the lingering smell. It wasn't until all was done that I looked down to see that not only was baby girl passing gas, but she had managed to pee multiple times adding to the pool of poo that had run down her leg and was welling up at her feet. So much for that theory!


The Revealers by Dough Wilhelm

The Revealers has a simple plot (middle school outcasts try to find their place in a stereotypical school run by cruel popular kids), yet I found myself longing to keep going back to the book and reluctantly putting it down when I had to do something else. As a high school English teacher, I try to communicate that effective conflict keeps the reader asking, "What happens next?" And while this plot seems to lean toward the side of predictability, I could not shake the need to know how it all turned out.

The three main characters are all typical outcasts. Catalina is a minority. Doug is awkward. Elliot is a geek. The three are drawn to one another and find that they have a common goal, to no longer be the object of ridicule. Their solution is to broadcast their stories over the school's LAN. Soon they find that they're not the only ones with stories, and each edition of "The Revealer"that the send out empowers other students to share their stories while simultaneously deflating bullies' motivation to be cool by terrorizing others. Of course, with any situation where the kids take over and leave the adults out, there's an inherent edginess that keeps the conflict alive.

The book will quickly be dated because of the plot's reliance on a "new technology" where the students can communicate with each other via the local network. In an effort to keep the story realistic, the author has also included some explicit language and references to adult material. But for now, Wilhelm has provided readers with a controversial solution that empowers kids to not allow themselves to be the target of bullies' jeers and taunts.

I'm not a bad momma

Tummy time. I had never heard the term before I had a baby. Ironically, I never even read about it during my pregnancy--and I read a lot, especially during those mysterious 2 AM I'm-wide-awake-for-no-apparent-reason bouts. But during those last moments in the hospital, before I was about to give up 24 hour room service and expert baby caregivers, my mom asked the question, "How much tummy time should she have each day?" I rolled my eyes, What is she talking about? I bet that's a term she used when she had us 30 years ago. But then I cringed when I heard the nurse say, "I'm glad you reminded me. Five minutes at a time, 3 times a day." One point for mom, zero for rookie.

So, I came home and started baby Andie on tummy time. At first, I loved it and so did she. We spent most of tummy time with her curled up on my chest, and we would both quietly fall asleep into momma-oblivion. I loved those moments! Then, she got older (all of a couple of weeks) and sleeping on my chest was no longer her first love. tear. Tummy time became a daily ritual, something to be checked off the list of things to do for the day. And as I began routinely laying her down on a blanket, tummy-side down, she started crying, and crying, and screaming, and crying.

"What did I do wrong?! How come my child doesn't like her tummy time?" 

We went to get professional pictures done with Andie's cousin. The photographer asked us to put both babies tummy-side down. I warned him that Andie doesn't enjoy that, but we tried anyway. I was right. There's a picture of the cousin happy and enjoying the bright lights, and there's my baby girl, faced scrunched, looking like her head weighs a bazillion pounds, and screaming. Cute picture, but I'd never by the admission of my errors as a parent.

Why do all the photographers display babies who love tummy time, arms flexed tight, head held high and smiles on their faces? Why doesn't my baby look like that? Each baby ad screamed in my face, "You're doing it all wrong. This is how a baby should act during tummy time!"

Finally I asked a friend if her one year old ever struggled. Angels sang hallelujah; her baby hated tummy time too! Then she listed off all of her other friends whose babies hated it. Ah ha! I am not alone! 

The next time I laid cute little Andie down, I patiently waited through the cries and even did some demonstrations for her of what to do. And, within the next couple of tries, Andie started lifting her head fully up. Victory! I cheered. I clapped. I danced around the baby and got my husband to join me. I'm not a bad momma!


One Hungry Monster

Andie-approved! My baby girl is nine weeks old, and she loves this book. She has sat through it twice now without crying. She looks at the pictures, and she talks back to me while I'm reading. I think it's the rhyme that she loves. Go figure, since I usually can't stand things that rhyme. But if my daughter likes it, then kudos to the author!

Soupy Saturdays with the Pain & the Great One

Sibling rivalry will never end, but Judy Blume has found a way to peek into the endearing moments that go unsaid between brothers and sisters. The Pain is the first grade brother, nicknamed by his sister for obvious reasons. The Great One is his third grade sister, also nicknamed for obvious reasons such as she wants to be a princess when she grows up, well, until her friend Emily asks her, then she's not sure. Throughout this illustrated novel, the Pain and the Great One fight and despise one another, but although they'll never admit it, they are encouraged by each other too. The point of view in this novel switches back and forth from the Pain to the Great One which keeps the reader on his toes and always surprised when one of the child's real names is used. While the narrative may be a bit advanced for a first and third grader, the actions and reasoning follows right along with reality. This would be a fun book to read aloud to your children, but I think most kids would rather read it quietly. 

Caution: If you are having your parents read this aloud to you, they may be tempted to say adult-ish things like, "See, honey, the Pain really does love his older sister, don't you think you should too?"  So if you want to keep the fact that you really do love your brother and sister, then I suggest reading this one quietly to yourself.

Lost and Found

This book was recommended to me by a dear friend. In the book a boy finds an unlikely friend--a penguin--but, like so many of us, he doesn't realize how valuable his friend is until he's gone. Their friendship is tried by "waves as big as mountains," yet the penguin proves himself to be a great listener and enduring friend. The boy believes he's doing a favor to the penguin taking him to where he belongs, but he learns that the true place he belongs is by his side. A simple and whimsical story with equally as poignant illustrations, this is a great addition to a child's library.

Lifestyle Choices

When I was pregnant, I was, quite frankly, disturbed with the growing list of things I couldn't do as a prego. For example, I was supposed to avoid nail salons, dying my hair, painting my nails, extra hot showers, soft white cheese, deli meat with nitrates, strong smelling cleaners, caffeine and so much more. Don't get me wrong, I completely agree with the differences in physical labor that every woman must adjust to accommodate her growing belly. But these items are things that either I ingest in my body whether consciously or naturally. Doesn't it stand to reason that if I shouldn't be putting these things in my body regardless of whether or not a baby is growing inside of me? I think so.

My goal is to live my life so that when I'm pregnant again, I will not have to severely alter my lifestyle to accommodate my growing baby. 

I must admit, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule that I plan on incorporating into my life as soon as breastfeeding will allow.

Exception #1: Sushi. I will eat sushi, loaded with raw fish, as soon as possible!

Exception #2: To be honest, I can't think of anything else, but I will be sure to fill this in when I do.