What to Expect When You Expect Your Baby’s Toenails to Grow, But They Don’t

*Toe-tally not Po's piggies

*Toe-tally not Po’s piggies

Posey is 17 months and 9 days old. Today, on this magical day, she hit quite the milestone– and Beef and I are mighty proud.

Did she walk? No.

Did she say “Mama?” No.

Did she scoop the poop out of the cat box? I wish.

On this magical day, my daughter grew her toenails long enough for me to be able to cut them for the very first time!!! But don’t get too excited– only 6 of them were ready for trimming. Is this normal? According to Whattoexpect.com, I need to “keep in mind that toenails grow more slowly and therefore require less maintenance.” Did they mean over 500 days?

For more of their advice on how to cut your baby’s nails, click on over to here. And no, I did not save the clippings.

My Baby Sleeps Through the Night, but I Can’t: Part 2

Once upon a time, I complained about this issue.

When warm milk won’t cut it, and you’re scared Ambien will make you sleep-drive– let me introduce you to your new best friend (and it’s so helpful when you fly a red-eye, too).

Have you ever taken NyQuil just to help you sleep? I’ve done it. And I guess a lot of other people have, too, because they smarted up and released this:

Dear ZzzQuil,

I love you. Thank you for doing what you say you’ll do without making me sleep-email, sleep-blog, sleep-eat, or sleep-murder. I sleep a lot more soundly not worrying about any of those things happening.

Love, Me


Frozen Embryos Better than Fresh?

A friend passed along this news today. I buy it, and so does my little Posey Popsicle!

Frozen Embryos Superior to Fresh Ones for IVF

After years of being conditioned by Gordon Ramsay’s profanity-laden rants that fresh is always better than frozen, it comes as a bit of a shock that a reality TV chef’s wisdom about food doesn’t hold true when it comes to assisted reproductive technology. Anyway, according to a new study regarding IVF treatments, frozen embryos are more likely to result in healthier pregnancies and healthier babies, than fresh embryos.

The research—conducted at Aberdeen University and published in the Fertility Sterility journal—evaluated 37,000 implantation pregnancies and found that when frozen embryos were used there was a “30 per cent lower risk of bleeding during pregnancy, 30 to 40 per cent less chance of the baby being born underweight, 20 per cent smaller risk of it being born preterm and 20 per cent less likelihood of it dying shortly after birth,” compared to pregnancies resulting from fresh embryos.

Researchers had a few theories as to why frozen embryos garner better results, the first having to do with the toll that the fertility treatment takes on a woman’s body. When fresh embryos are implanted shortly after harvesting the eggs, a woman’s lining may not have fully recovered from the invasive procedure. And the drugs used to stimulate egg production could still be circulating in her body, which could be harmful to the pregnancy.

Additionally, only the healthiest embryos survive the freezing and thawing process. A hardier embryo could result in a hardier infant.

3 Places that Make My Life Easier These Days

Previously, I’ve complained that I would be fired if I did my job the way other people did theirs. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to sing the praises of a few Chicago businesses who just could not be getting it any more right for me lately. Here goes:

1. Kingsbury Street Cafe

Across the street from the Lincoln Park Whole Foods and adjacent to VIP’s (Chicago’s Finest Adult Entertainment) (going to skip the hyperlinks on both of those), there lies one of the finest dining experiences in the city. Rose Duong and her top-notch staff serve breakfast, lunch and dinner that’s not only out of this world, but also vegan-friendly, if you’re into that sort of thing. I brunched with my brother-in-law recently, and he ordered pancakes “for the table.” Apparently, that’s a thing (it applies to fajitas, too), and you’ll be glad it is when you order Rose’s lemon pancakes FTT. It’s also a great place to take kids ‘n babies. There’s a fantastic kids’ menu, a parking lot, and the tables are far enough apart that you don’t have to worry about your baby getting sneezed on– or your baby sneezing on someone else.

2. Town & Country Pediatrics (their site is currently under construction) 

For the first six months of her life, I took Posey to a different pediatrician’s office. It was fine, but I wasn’t 100% satisfied. We recently gave T&C a try, and I feel like I wasted the first six months of my daughter’s life. First of all, they’re open 7 days a week. Second of all, this is how they operate: Posey’s had a runny nose for a week, but her breathing was kind of loud last night so I wanted someone to take a listen to her chest. I called the office at 7am. The answering service answered. They told me they could make me an appointment with the nurse practitioner as early as 7:30am. SAY HUH? Since when does a doctor’s office offer to get you in before you’ve even had a chance to pee yet? We went in at 8:30 and were out of there in mere minutes, my nerves calmed– and the rest of the day ahead of us.

3. Frog Temple Pilates & Yoga Studio

I’ve taken classes from Randi, the owner, for years. She’s an amazing teacher. If she taught German or knitting, I’d take that from her, too. The studio has great pre-natal classes if you’re expecting, and if you already plunked yours out, Marcia teaches a Body After Baby class on Sundays. But here’s a secret: they let me bring Posey with me. During the week. I set the car seat down in the corner and pray she’s still young enough not to get mad… and get my Rolling Like a Ball on. Tuesdays at 10am is the secret bring-your-baby hour. First mat class there is free.

My Baby Sleeps Through the Night, But I Can’t

Somewhere along the way, Posey started sleeping through the night– but I couldn’t. Baby asleep at 9, husband asleep by 10– but I was wide awake for hours, my internal clock still dinging for the 4am feedings I was used to. At first, I tried the occasional slug of NyQuil to get me drowsy. It sorta worked, but it felt kind of tawdry. I decided that I needed a more “adult” form of sleep therapy, so naturally I went to the next logical step:

Unisom + Reading Sookie Stackhouse novels under the covers with a flashlight

Unisom didn’t work; Sookie only helped so-so. Next try for sleep…

A Girls’ Getaway to Las Vegas

The city that never sleeps, you say? I’ll take what I can get. And what I got– for the extra $20 I slipped the front desk guy– was a quiet corner suite, perfect for a new mom’s desperate attempt to get some rest. But guess what? It seems that I was not following my own advice, and here’s where things really started to unravel. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I was “off.” At first, I thought it was just the resurgence of the icky panic attacks I used to suffer from, the result of being too attached to the baby, too nervous of a traveler, and just plain tired.

My Brain!

But it wasn’t just that… and this is something I never expected to write about on this site… But it seems relevant.

In 2002ish, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which sucked. Over the last decade, it’s just been just a blip on my radar–there, but not. I’ve been very lucky. When I got pregnant, I knew there was a chance of a relapse in the first 6 postpartum months, but I honestly didn’t think it would happen. After all, nothing much has happened in ten years. But on Friday, I started experiencing double vision in possibly the most visually overstimulating place on Earth.

I flew home Saturday, and on Monday, I checked into…

The Hospital

Maybe it wasn’t a hotel, but I did have a private room, room service, a nice view of the helicopter landing pad AND an excuse to stay in bed. And the news is all good. I’m not going to go into a ton of medical details, but I will say that my MRI showed no new “bad spots” on my brain– in fact, the inflammation is so slight right now that it’s not even reading on the scan. This setback has no bearing on the future course of my disease, and we expect it to be an isolated incident. I’m hoping to be back to my old self in the very near future. Aside from steroids, the best thing I can do for myself right now is sleep (ha). The nurses woke me up all night to check on me, so no rest there. At my doctor’s suggestion, I went home Tuesday night and tried…


OK, I was so scared. I was so tired, but so scared. Haven’t you heard those stories about people taking Ambien and sleepwalking/talking/eating/jogging/prank calling/driving? I took a half and literally booby-trapped all the exits to my home so I’d wake Beef up if I tried to escape. I put chairs in front of all the doors. I didn’t do anything crazy, but I also didn’t sleep that well, either.

Last night, I finally went to sleep on my own. I am feeling a lot better today. I also recommend exactly ZERO of the sleep tips I outlined in the above text and will instead ask you to refer to WebMD’s 10 Tips to Improve Sleep for New Moms.

I am disappointed that the only lingering reminder of my Big Deal Vacation is that I’m still finding streaks of spray tan in my ears with Q-tips. But I’m happy to be home.