Just Let Me Know

Hey Ember, fun fact, I am currently a young adult. You are almost 2 years old. I like to think that because of our not extremely significant age gap that I can keep up with what the cool kids are doing, but of course I’m sure all parents think that.

So last night was one of my best friend’s 21st birthdays. I definitely monitored some alcohol intake and made sure everyone got home safely. His parents knew what was up, my parents knew what was up. Everyone was aware of proper alcohol consumption intake safety guidelines. It was a fun yet responsible evening.

I’m not sure what kind of things you’ll be into when you’re a teenager, but I think I have general knowledge of all the bases. And what I don’t know, I’ll just friggin look up.

I know firsthand that the last thing a lot of teenagers want to do is talk to their parents about what’s going on in their lives. I know that you’re gonna be doing some things you think or know that I don’t want you to do.

But I’m telling you right now, nothing you could do would ever make me reject you. You could never piss me off so bad that I’d do anything drastic. You’ll never be kicked out of the house, you’ll never get cut off, me and your dad will always be there for you.

But please please please, just tell me what you’re doing.

If you’re only 14 and you’re trying to drink, tell me. If you think about smoking, tell me. If you get your hands on weed, tell me. If you want to start having sex, tell me. Just let me know. If you’re about to get a tattoo or piercing, let me know. You don’t even have to go into detail about anything, just let me know. I swear to you, ask anyone and they can tell you how laid back I am about a lot of things.

Nothing makes me more paranoid than thinking you’re doing (potentially dangerous) things behind my back. I don’t care how uncomfortable a talk we might be in for. Of course I’ll probably lecture you a little bit, but that’s because I’m your mother.

In my time, I’ve disappointed my parents a lot. Regrettably. Unintentionally. But I did. I kept a lot of secrets, and I’ve realized that not talking to them probably made things a lot worse. It’s already too late for a lot of things, but I’m starting to talk to them more and it’s helped.

Growing up I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of things. Me and your uncle and our cousins, there were just a lot of things our parents just barred us from for various reasons. So we would always say to each other, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” just to get through our teen years.

I don’t want you to ask me for forgiveness for anything. I want you to tell me about it beforehand so that you won’t have to. I swear, no matter what it is you may do or want to do, I’ll understand. We’ll talk about it. I’ll help when I can. And I swear to you now that if you tell me things beforehand, I won’t get mad. I might take a moment or two to calm down and think about it, but I’ll do my absolute best not to raise my voice at you.

I respect your autonomy, and I’ll talk to you reasonably.

You know, my parents were actually the last people to find out that I was pregnant with you. Because I was scared. I thought the only people I could talk to were the ones my own age. I knew my parents would yell (and they certainly did) and just thinking about that prevented me from saying anything to them until the very last minute. They were the last to hear a number of things actually, because I would have rather sprung things on them than have them yell at me beforehand.

I can’t even imagine that. It definitely breaks my heart thinking about how I’ve broken theirs on several occasions, but there’s nothing I can do about the past. I can only speak up moving forward.

A lot of people my age keep secrets. I don’t know how old you are, I don’t know if you’re 10 or 15 or 20 when you read this, but even if you’re only 4 I know you’ve still got a secret from me. You’re not even 2 yet and you lie to me about when you poop because you don’t want me to change your diaper.

I don’t care if you took an extra cookie from the cookie jar, spilled water on my laptop, or got pregnant. Just for Christ’s sake, tell me about it.

No matter what it is, I’ll be there for you. I’ll listen to you. Give me as much detail as you want, or as much detail is necessary for us to talk about it.

Even if you come to me and say you want to vote Republican, I’ll talk to you with a level voice. I swear it. Joking aside, I need to know what’s going on in your life so that I know you’re okay. So that I know that if there’s a potential for danger, I know about it and I’ll do something about it. Don’t get me wrong, just because I want to talk about it and hear you out doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. But I know that I can’t stop you from doing certain things, so I’d rather know about it than have you keep me in the dark.

A lot of parents say they want to be their kid’s parent and friend. And I really do. But let’s talk to each other and set the limits.

Just talk to me. Trust me, and I’ll trust you.


No Sick Days

I had a HORRIBLE fever for the longest time. It started about 11 days ago, and it was the worst I’ve felt since I had mono like 4 years ago. High fever that didn’t break for almost 7 days, a migraine that absolutely would not go away, muscle aches that left me bed-ridden, and a cough that made me feel like my ribs were going to crack.


I kept a medical mask on like literally 24/7.

Shortness of breath. High fever. You name it, I had it. I was so sure it was the flu, but no, just pneumonia.

As a kid, I know I would have loved being that dreadfully ill if it meant not going to school. But of course, adults have it much harder.

I was not only freaking out about all the school work I would be missing out on, but it was stressful just thinking of how I would take care of Ember when I could barely take care of myself. I could barely carry my water bottle without my arm wanting to fall off, so how could I carry a 30 pound squirmy baby?

Thankfully I had the help of my family and of course my baby daddy, but it wasn’t enough. And by that, I mean a mother’s work is never satisfied.

Wearing the surgical mask 24/7 made me realize how much time I spend with her. I couldn’t give her kisses, couldn’t blow on her belly to make her laugh. I couldn’t eat the pretend food she made me, or share my food with her. I couldn’t bite her toes or let her feed me her leftovers, and I’d wear it in my sleep in case she might try to wake me up with good-morning-kisses.

Even though the mere act of standing up made me want to pass out, I kept finding myself automatically getting up and peeking into the other room just to see how Ember was doing. All I wanted to do was sleep, but when she wasn’t near me I felt anxious. I really had to go almost an entire week spending virtually no time with her out of fear of her getting sick too, and I really missed her even though most of the time she was just downstairs.

The thing is that it’s one thing to have help watching your kid. Everyone needs a sitter from time to time. But, just not all the time. I barely got to see Ember all week and it made me so depressed. It just wasn’t noticeable because I was dying of lung infection.

Going on Day 11 and I just finished my round of antibiotics. My cough is virtually gone and I haven’t had a fever in 4 days. I’m hoping I’ll be back at full strength by the end of the week, so I can say goodbye to the mask and play with my sweet baby again.

How I Named My Ember

YOU ARE 1 NOW!!! (Plus a few weeks).


You in your birthday suit! Get it? Because it was your birthday. And you’re naked. Hilarious.

Sorry I haven’t written anything in about 2 months, but between you and school and etc I’ve been incredibly busy. I know I say this a lot, but I really will try to write more here. Even if it’s just once a month.

I like to think of this blog as my way of talking to you, Ember, in like 10-15 years down the road. To let you know how things were.

Right now you are 1 year and 2 weeks old. You can:

  • Walk
  • Play peekaboo proficiently
  • Sing (your favorite songs are Johny Johny, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, and Elmo’s World)
  • Dance (mostly just shimmying)
  • Eat regular foods (you like eggs and french fries, but mostly cookies)
  • Give kisses (mostly just biting my face)
  • and sort of talk! (you mostly just say “clap” and then do it, but you can also say “hi” and “buh bye” and a few other select words. You can quack, but that’s not really a word.)

You have curly brown hair like your dad. You’re paler than me but darker than him. You’ve got his square face. You have my small nose but it looks like it’s getting pointy like his. You have his eyebrows but my eyes. Smile is kind of up for grabs, but I say it looks like mine. You look so much like both of us that no one can tell who you take after more (kind of like North West tbh).

You are so smart and lovely and happy and I’m so proud of you everyday!

Anyways, what I wanted to talk about today is your namesake. A lot of people (pretty much everyone) has asked about how I chose your name, Ember Nadine. I keep giving short sort-of explanations because there was A LOT that went into it, so here’s the full story.

It was a long process. Actually for the duration of my pregnancy, I had my heart set on naming you Gwendolyn, but your dad hated that name. Your dad wanted to name you either Claire or Autumn, but I wasn’t really feeling those names. I also sort of wanted to name you Hinata after one of my favorite anime characters, but pretty much everyone shut me down on that one (they’re no fun). But since it was largely my choice (since I was doing all the heavy lifting), you were almost Gwen Hina D-J.

Now, here is where the story gets longer. I have another blog, that I started back in middle school when I got very depressed, and my username was Ember. I just liked that word. It was calming to me, it was a soft light in a dark place to make me feel better. Writing on that blog helped me release feelings that needed to get out. But I really didn’t think to name you after that for a long time.

I didn’t even consider naming you Ember until by fate I saw Danny Phantom (an old cartoon) on TV. Now, don’t hate me, but there was a villain named Ember. I honestly for the life of me can’t remember if I got the username Ember for my old blog from this show, but that’s a possibility. If it helps, she has a really awesome catchy theme song.


Here she is, your name inspiration. Ember McLain. At least she’s really cool-looking though.

The most memorable lyrics of her theme song are, “Ember, so warm and tender. You will remember my name.”

And I loved that. You are amazing. You are affectionate and loving and already so empathetic. You will be remembered for amazing things.

That song was definitely a push in the right direction for naming you. Here was the final thing that made me choose your name.

There was a slam-poem called “To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter” which always makes me cry a little. It’s a man talking about how much he cherishes his daughter. Good stuff. At one point, he goes on a rant about how his daughter must always be respected and how he has raised her to be strong, and he ends the stanza with this line:

“You can’t make fire feel afraid.”

That line spoke volumes to me and sent shivers down my spine. It’s totally getting tattooed on me in the future. That was when I put the pieces together. (Remember? Ember. Fire –> Ember. #Yaaaas)

One day I was at my friend’s house, and this was when I was near the end of my second trimester with you. We were painting this little shelf for you (hopefully when you’re reading this you’ll still have it) and I said I wanted to paint your name on the side. My friend said, “Are you sure? You don’t seem very solid about her name.” And at the time it’s true I was a little shaky, but I could feel something. I painted the name “Ember Nadine” and I just knew it was right.

Oh right, about your middle name. My birth name was Maria Bianca Nadine C-D. But when I was I think just entering high school, your grandma had it legally cut down to just Bianca C-D. So I gave you my middle name that I lost, because I think that it’s a beautiful name. It means “princess”, and that’s what you are to me.

If Ember = fire and Nadine = princess, does that make you Flame Princess?


Flame Princess, another character from a cartoon (Flame Princess) I used to watch. I swear I didn’t name you after cartoons on purpose that was purely happenstance.

So Ember, that’s the full story of how I named you. If one day you choose to change your name, that’s fine by me. But I hope you love your name, because I do.

Fight or Flight

One thing I’ve learned in several different classes is that humans have this instinct known as “fight or flight”, which means that when we face a struggle we must choose to either fight it or run away.

Ember, you are just over 10 months old now and you are starting to walk! I am so proud of you! You were crawling around 7 and 8 months, and now you are up on two feet!

Okay this is a really bad quality picture of you standing up by yourself but you did it and I'm proud!

Okay this is a really bad quality picture of you standing up by yourself but you did it and I’m proud!

I guess I’m not writing in a very coherent order right now, but I’ll try to explain what fight or flight has to do with this post.

So I recently started school again after a year of a few online courses. The thing is, it’s not the classes that are bringing me down, it’s my inability to socialize.

Coming in, I had this image in my head that I could be more outgoing and I could socialize and talk to people and join clubs and make lots of new friends. I thought I could be different than who I’ve always been, but it’s hard. My social anxiety takes a huge toll on me, and I’ve almost been reduced to tears several times already, and we haven’t even started the third week of school.

On the first week, I went to the first meeting of the Filipino club. Because hey, I’m Filipino, sounded like a good place to start. I walk in, see the room is jam-packed and nearly overflowing, and I freeze. Right in the middle of the room. I look around, desperately trying to get my legs to move. Desperately trying to think of something to say, for someone to say something to. I stand there for at least 5 minutes (though it felt like 5 hours), frozen, wanting to leave and go home and cry at my own weakness.

But, sure enough, I find my way to a table of girls and introduce myself. My heart is racing and I feel like passing out, but I do it, and I made friends with them.

The next week, I heard there would be a dance workshop over the weekend. I drag your dad and one of my other friends with me, thinking, “Oh, I love dancing this should be a fun way to make friends.”

As soon as we get there, I freeze in front of the door, and I start to panic. I sat at a table outside and hummed to myself and played on my phone, wasting time while my friends waited for me to make up my mind on whether I really wanted to go in or not. Of course I wanted to go in, but there was this nervousness and anxiety that prevented me from doing so. I probably paced around the door looking in for 20 minutes, on the verge of tears, before finally getting pushed in. As soon as I was in I thought, “Okay, not so bad…” But after we started I was gone after the first 10 minutes.

Yet another example of how anxiety was holding me back.

My last story is of this past weekend. I hear that there is another dance workshop over the weekend, but it’s with the Filipino club. I think, “Okay, I can do this, I can do this I’ll stay and I won’t leave I’ll make friends and be happy I can do this.”

The morning before leaving I think about just staying home and being a weenie, but I force myself to go, and I had a really good time! This time when I went, there was very little hesitation. The group I was with was very small which helped a lot, and I did dance and I did make a new friend and I felt really happy afterwards.

I guess what I’m trying to say about these stories is that I exposure-therapied myself? Which means I kept forcing myself to go to social gatherings, and I gradually became more okay with them.

During my gap year, I spent most of my time at home by myself. In that time I gradually forgot how to talk to people, and all the progress I made overcoming my social anxiety during my freshman year in college was pushed aside as a new wave of fear overwhelmed me.

Okay, now it’s time for a change of scenery and mood in this post.

EMBER, YOU ARE WALKING! Okay now to try and tie these stories together:

You love to be chased and tickled, you think it’s hilarious. Your Lolo keeps making scary sounds, and you laugh and you run away and it actually gets you to walk!

You somehow use your sense of flight to make you stronger. But I guess it’s not truly flight because you’re not truly scared, you’re just playing around.

I’ve spent most of my life in flight. Only since I’ve hit college have I started choosing to fight. By the way you constantly tackle me and bite me and slap me in the face, I can tell you are already a fighter (and I mean that in a nice way).

I don’t want to keep running away from people. I want to make friends and enjoy my life. I don’t want to keep holding myself back, and I would never dream of holding you back.

I hope that as time goes by we can fight together.

New Year New Me??

Apparently I haven’t written a blog post in 2 months, which is awful. I have ideas constantly running through my head, but I find myself lacking the time and/or energy to write them out.

Anyways, I’m 20 now! Yay me!

I came out to have a good time and I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now.

I came out to have a good time and I’m honestly feeling so attacked right now.

The title of my post is usually something said during New Year, but I’m applying it to my birthday. New year, and technically new me?

If I went back in time and told little weeb 14 year old me that in the future I would chop my hair off and walk around wearing green lipstick, I would not believe it. If I told myself I could give a presentation without shaking or crying, I would not believe it. If I told myself I could go shopping and talk to employees and ask questions without first pacing around the store for an hour filled with anticipation, I would not believe it.

But shit, I never would’ve believed I’d have a baby at 20, so everything else seems so…

Ember, since the moment I found out I was pregnant, you have changed me. For the better, sweet baby.

Every moment before I had you was full of horrible paranoia. I talked about my depression and anxiety, but I cannot stress enough how utterly miserable I was.

Every minute of my life was Where am I going to school? What if I don’t like this major? Will I have to start over? Can I switch schools? How much does living in an apartment cost? What if I fail these classes? What if I can’t make any friends? What if I’m the first person to show up at that meeting and I have to stand there awkward and alone? What am I going to do after college? Will I ever defeat the patriarchy? What if I fall into crippling debt? Do I kill myself? How should I kill myself, so that it will be fast and painless and not too inconvenient to clean up? Where do I kill myself? Will tomorrow be better? Will next year be better? What am I waiting for? What do I have to look forward to?

When I say my heart was devoid of hope, I meant it.

But you. You, Ember. You’ve changed me more than I can ever say.

You’ve taken that hot mess and transformed it into When will Ember walk? What will her first words be? I hope it’s Mom, I didn’t carry her in my tummy for 9 months to let Zach have the satisfaction of getting called first. Okay, I’ll take this one semester at a time and graduate as soon as I can, and I’ll get a good job so I can buy Ember whatever she wants. Anything. I wonder if she’ll like school. I wonder what her favorite subject will be, or what her hobbies or interests will be. I will be the most loving and involved parent; I’ll look up everything she likes so I can talk to her about it. I have the rest of my life to love her.

Not only have you changed the way I think about my future, but you’ve changed the way I think about myself.

I talked about how I was picked on because of my skin. My eczema, my discoloration. People called me ugly, and I believed them. My lowest point was in high school. My skin was acting up, it was bleeding and oozing and I was in so much pain. I felt so disgusting, so horribly ugly, that during lunch that day I looked down at my food and thought, “I don’t deserve to eat. I don’t deserve this food. Eating is for beautiful people.”

I always remember that day. And I wish I could go back in time and hug myself and tell myself that I deserve so much more.

I read an article one day that really changed how I looked at myself. (I can’t seem to find it, but if I do I’ll link it here.) It was a woman talking about how women always put themselves down and criticize their bodies (because hell, everyone else is) but in doing so they’re setting the example. Their daughters will look to them, see their mothers hating on themselves, and think, “Oh, well I need to start hating my body too.”

I will not be that mother. I will not plant the seeds of insecurity in your beautiful little heart. I will fill you with nothing but confidence and self esteem, because you deserve nothing less.

Now when I look in the mirror, I think

  • Eyebrows on fleek
  • Lipstick cute af
  • Highlight / contour game strong
  • Eyeshadow perfect as always
  • Eyeliner sharp enough to kill
  • Hair on point
  • Clothes on point
  • Pretty eyes pretty nose pretty lips
  • Cute tummy cute thighs cute hips
An example of my looking 200% cute.

An example of me looking 200% cute.

What took me so, so, so many painful years to see, is that I am beautiful. With or without makeup, I walk around with my head held high like I run this shit, because I do.

I’m sitting on my bed typing this and you are sleeping in your crib next to me, and I can see in your not-yet-developed facial features that you are beautiful and you are a goddess and you are perfect, and you must never let ANYONE convince you otherwise.

There are people in this world that cannot tell the difference between confidence and cockiness, between self-love and immodesty, but their ignorance is not your problem. Love yourself shamelessly, love yourself before anyone else. Because you are so wonderful and magical and beautiful and worthy of love. You already have all the love in my heart.

Ember, you’ve given me the gift of confidence. You’ve given me the ability to love myself. Because if I was able to create something as beautiful as you, then how bad can I be?

I still have a long way to go, but seeing how far I’ve come lately, I know I can do it.

I’m not going to be a mother that can’t make a phone call. I’m not going to be a mother that can’t talk to people in public, or cry whenever I do. I’m not going to let social anxiety take over when I have so much to do.

Ember, I’m going to make you proud of me.

Stay-At-Home-Mom Syndrome

Last weekend I finally got to see some of my friends whom I had not seen in months.

Y'all are babes and I am not worthy.

Y’all are babes and I am not worthy.

It felt so good to talk to them again and reconnect, and I was so happy seeing them all play with Ember and watching her laugh because she loves them almost as much as I do. They say that babies are the best judges of character, so Ember is lowkey telling me that I have the greatest friends possible.

Recently, since summer is here and my friends are home for break and I’m starting to socialize more, I’ve noticed something.

I have nothing to talk about besides Ember.

Granted that’s a magnificent topic to discuss and everyone is always (seemingly) eager to hear about her, but unlike everyone else I have no crazy stories to tell or anything of particular interest to discuss. Plus, I have mom-stamina and am half-conscious at least 40% of the time.

Stay-At-Home-Mom Syndrome: (noun) When a mother stays home and spends at least 75% of her time with her child, and therefore has nothing interesting to discuss besides her child when she interacts with other people.

I can no longer criticize the stereotype of mothers that stay home all day and talk on and on when they finally see other people, because honestly, interaction with someone that talks back is rare and precious.

Sure I text people and I’ve got my family and my boyfriend, but besides that, my average week primarily consists of crying and babbling.

I find that when I go out with her, socializing is much different than it used to be. Sometimes she’ll start babbling in the middle of conversation and I’ll lose track of what I was saying. Sometimes she’ll spit up or start crying. Sometimes she’ll get restless and want to play. Sometimes she gets super grabby and I need to give her extra attention before she breaks or chokes on something. Plus I gotta tote around either a stroller or a baby backpack plus a huge diaper bag everywhere I go.

Going out alone: Phone? Check. Wallet? Check. Eyeliner? Check. Vaseline? Check. Alright good to go.

Going out with Ember: Okay gotta pack the diaper bag. How many bottles do I need? Eh, I have boobs so it’s okay if she runs out. Gotta pack extra formula. Spare clothes. What’s the temperature? Would she need pants? I’ll pack them anyways. An extra jacket never hurts either. Bibs? Got it awesome. Oh my gosh she’s crying, but I gotta leave the house soon or I’ll be late. Did I pack diapers? I’ll just throw some in anyways. Alright diapers, wipes, food, change of clothes. When was the last time she was changed? I’ll change her again now anyways. Has she pooped today? I would hate for a poop explosion to happen while we’re out Ember please don’t. Okay time to get her in her car seat and throw the diaper bag in oh shoot wait let me grab some toys to distract her while I drive. Gotta set her playlist up on the car, awesome. Ready to roll woo that was easy.

I’m beyond excited that I was accepted into a university for the Fall 2015 semester, because it means going out often again and interacting and socializing. But on the other hand, I’m going to be missing and thinking about my precious baby all day.

How can you not melt and gush over this baby? She is literally the cutest baby in the entire world and anyone that says otherwise is a filthy liar.

How can you not melt and gush over this baby? She is literally the cutest baby in the entire world and anyone that says otherwise is a filthy liar.

Bless Snapchat for coming through on those Mother’s Day filters.

I know that I’m not just being paranoid. I can feel in my words and mannerisms that I am not 100% the person that I used to be, but maybe that’s 100% okay. I think a person shouldn’t be the same when they’re a parent, and that’s okay. More thoughts on that topic in another post to come.

At the end of the day, I’ve got wonderful friends that love hanging out with me and my baby, and that’s all I could ever ask for.

10 Things To Know

Being the mother of a younger-than-1-year-old is difficult, so here are 10 things I’ve learned in my 4 and a half months of motherhood that I think everyone should know!

Getting ready for nap time. If I don't nap when she naps, I don't nap at all.

Getting ready for nap time. If I don’t nap when she naps, I don’t nap at all.

1) It’s okay to let them cry. Of course no one likes listening to a baby crying, but if you got stuff to do, it’s really not the end of the world. At first, if I was pooping and I heard her crying, I’d run to her with my butt hanging out. Now, if I’m dropping one and she cries, I think, “She’s just laying in her crib. What’s the worst that could happen in the next 5 minutes?”

2) Breastfeeding is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It feels like there’s no comfortable way to hold her while she’s eating. My back and arms get stiff and ache, and a lot of times she kicks while eating so my legs get sore. Then my nipples get sore and chaffed when she eats for a long time. Breastfeeding in public is even worse, because Ember HATES eating under the cover, so I’ve recently been exercising my legal right to feed her without a cover and let everyone kindly get the fcuk over it. If my baby is hungry, she’s gonna eat. Anyone that thinks that’s wrong or indecent can kindly write their complaints out, fold up the paper, lube it up good and shove it up theirs.

3) Clothes don’t last long at all. Ember outgrows clothes like crazy. She’s 4 months old, and wearing sizes 6-12 months. She’s gigantic. You could say, “Hey, just buy a few outfits in each size since she outgrows them so fast, you don’t need that many.” NOPE. She needs to get her clothes changed sometimes up to 5 times in a day at most and 2 times at least. She throws up all over herself, spills her food, has poop and pee explosions, etc. Unless you wanna do laundry every single day, stock up on onesies.

4) Mittens are a must. Baby nails are long and sharp and hard to cut. Like everyone else, babies get itchy and scratch themselves with those long and sharp nails. Getting mittens on your baby helps prevent them from hurting themselves, plus they’re just really cute. When Ember learned how to take her mittens off (she’s such a smart cookie), I resorted to putting baby socks in their place, because they’re tighter and harder for her to pull at.

5) Put in that extra effort to get your baby to sleep. It’s tempting to put Ember down with a pacifier and hope she falls asleep on her own, but I know that’s not how it happens (unless she’s super tired to begin with). If you got stuff to do and you need your baby to sleep, it’s worth spending those extra minutes rocking them or patting them or singing that song or humming those lullabies. Rushing through the process will only lead them to wake up sooner than you’d like, so taking the time to bond with your baby and make sure they sleep well and enter a deep sleep will not only make them feel better, but they’ll sleep longer and let you do what you need to do.

6) Getting gross and sticky is unavoidable. Babies lick their hands and touch stuff with those gross sticky hands and get their food everywhere and occasionally poop so much and so fiercely that it explodes out of their diapers. The one thing I hate most is being sticky, but I’ve been starting to get over it, especially now that Ember started eating baby food. Babies are messy and get dirty, and you just gotta let them be.

7) Always remember to burp and change them! Always burp after feedings, and change diapers every 2 to 3 hours. Burping will make their tummies feel better and help prevent them from throwing and spitting up, and changing them frequently helps prevent diaper rash. Rash cream is always good to have on you at any given time.

8) Always pack more than you think you’ll need. You think packing one spare change of clothes is enough? Nope, they’ll throw up as soon as you finish buttoning it up. Think 3 diapers is enough for a quick run to the mall? Nope, they’ll take a massive poop as soon as you close that diaper. Then they’ll squirt those last nuggets out once you replace the previous one. Think 2 bottles will be enough? Nope, they’ll throw up the first one and get hungry again. I never leave the house without at least 2 spare outfits and 6 diapers. Thankfully my boobs go everywhere with me, so bottles aren’t my biggest concern.

9) Car rides are your friend. It is a truth universally accepted that a parent in want of their baby to nap is in need of a long car ride. Everyone I know that has a baby has spoken about the miracle of car rides. Just makes babies pass right out.

10) Trust yourself. When it comes to parenting, everyone’s got their own ideas and suggestions, and everyone’s gonna try to throw their beliefs onto you. Whether it’s breast or formula, backpacks or strollers, disposable diapers or cloth, store bought vs home made baby food, or any number of other things, it’s up to you. At the end of the day, you’re the parent, and you make the calls. No matter what you pick, as long as all of your decisions are made with love, your baby will turn out fine.