Bringing Up Baby

Documenting the baby makin' experience. From Trying to Conceive, to Bringing Up Babies, I share all the laughs and all the horror.

I'm Jess, I'm 32 years old, I live in Minneapolis with The Husband, Jack (the girl dog with a boy name), and our little dudes, Cormac (Mac) and Fitzgerald (Fitz). They're case you were wondering.

If you're interested, my primary blog is Scattered Jigsaw Thoughts.

Feel free to Ask Me Anything

Or you can just email me: sutherslat {at} gmail {dot} com


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I was born 20 minutes away from where I currently live. I grew up 15 minutes away from my current home. I went to college 10 minutes away from where I currently live. Except for a brief stint living in Chicago, I have spent my entire life in the Twin Cities. My parents live 45 minutes away from me, just across the Wisconsin border and my brothers are both within a 30-minute drive of me. Even within my large extended family, very few people live outside the metro area. And several of my in-laws we rely on for support are no further than a 20-minute drive from us.

All this is to say that we have a HUGE “village”. We rely heavily on the support of our family. We get together on weekends so that they can see the kids and we can get a break. We rely on them to drop off and pick up Mac from preschool. They are our regular FREE babysitters. They feed us and entertain us and support us and love us and I can’t imagine being a parent without all of them nearby. I can’t even comprehend what I would be like if I didn’t have them around. We are soooo lucky.

But then I read posts like this and even though the pompous and self-righteous tone of her post is irritating, I still find myself envious. Oh how fun it would be to live life as a free-spirited world traveler. How marvelous to entrench yourself in one culture after another without the trappings of a materialistic life. How marvelous to have friends all over the world and a proficiency in a multitude of languages. And it’s then that I feel almost trapped by my village.

I’ve always been close with my family. While I may have a strong desire to see the world as a resident of many different places, it has always been merely a dream because the reality is that I’ve never been brave or independent enough to just pick up and go. And so I longingly read blogs like Sabine’s or Jessica’s or Crystal’s or even my own cousins, many of whom have flung themselves around the world. I live vicariously through their experiences and try to imagine myself in their shoes.

I’m so, so grateful for my village. I know that I’m a better parent and person because of them. I know many people would give anything for the support that we have. But I will perhaps always regret not being a citizen of the world and not raising my children that way as well.

I’ve got a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in my freezer (something with coffee and chocolate flavored toffee amazingness) and all I want to do is deep dive into that ice cream and it seems really unfair that I’ve been up SO LONG but it STILL isn’t naptime for the kids and basically, 1:00pm is never going to get here.

In case anyone is wondering, I’ve been up since 3:30am because my shit sleeper of a youngest son has been waking up every 20 mins since then.

Yes, I will be burning everything down today.

I literally laughed out loud at this.

You don’t have to have a reason to hope. Just go ahead, live with hope, and benefit from the perspective it gives you.

Hope exists beyond reason. Hope is something you hold and nurture within yourself, and does not have to be supported or diminished by what’s happening in the world outside you.

Hold on to hope, and let it give you the positive energy to move forward. See the world as it really is, and let your hope show you how you can make a positive difference.

There is always hope, for you can always choose it. Choose hope not to escape from your troubles, but to successfully pull you through those troubles.

Imagine a world, and imagine a life, driven by hope and by love, rather than by fear. Imagine, and then let what you imagine become real in the moment where you are.

There is so much good that you can do, and in your heart you know it. Live with hope for the best, and act to make it so.

-Ralph Marston (via)

I’ve been working rull hard on keeping a positive outlook, y’all. I’ve tried to live in a place of hope and regularly envision on the life I want. I’ve tried to live as if I’ve already achieved my goals. I’ve tried to be nicer and more patient and just generally full of more grace.

But a lot of the time, it’s hard to live like this. And I wish it wasn’t. Why must I be so cynical? Why is my default setting negativity? Why am I constantly working to correct my bad attitude instead of just naturally having a good one?

I’ll keep working at it. I think it’s important and it’s the type of person I want to be. But it’s hard. And I wish it wasn’t.

That’s all. This has been a post.




The goal is to enable women who want to continue focusing on their careers without sacrificing their chance to have children later on.

WTF. This is NOT the answer.

I can see both sides of the argument.  To those who are in “disgust” over this have never had to do IVF or other infertility treatments that put them into debt.  Some women are unfortunately in a situation where freezing eggs might be their only chance to have biological children yet these women do not have the financial means to even have these procedures done. 

I am 100% in favor of companies supporting IVF and other fertility procedures and covering them under their health insurance policies. That is not what this is. This is companies paying for women to delay having children so they can give their “best” years to their career without losing traction. This isn’t offering a choice; it’s another attempt to control women’s bodies and choices.

There are many things these companies could (and should) do to actually support working parents and help retain women in tech: offering generous and equal paid parental leave for men and women, encouraging all parents to take their entire leave, lobbying for national paid parental leave laws, offering true flex time support for all employees (not just mothers), and supporting and enforcing equal pay policies for a start.


I needed to see this today. A reminder to get my butt in gear and make the most of my downtime. Naptime is going to be my bitch today.

I needed to see this today. A reminder to get my butt in gear and make the most of my downtime. Naptime is going to be my bitch today.


It’s as if Cam wrote this.

Cam AND Fitz. And let’s be honest — my preschooler doesn’t even sleep through the night regularly, so Mac clearly penned this too.

I lot of people seem to wonder why I decided to get involved with It Works and with network marketing (aka MLM aka Pyramid Schemes (ugh)) in general. It’s funny, because I find there’s very few other careers where someone would look at you dumbfounded and ask you why you chose that, but I’m happy to explain my reasoning.

I got involved with It Works because I KNEW there was an alternative out there to the 9-5 grind. I KNEW there was a way to make money for myself and grow professionally and personally without having to answer to a boss or deal with office politics bullshit (lordy, office politics nearly killed me in my last office job. I do not have the disposition for that nonsense). I KNEW there was a way to be able to stay home with the kids while making enough money to have more freedom in our lives. I knew, in my gut, there had to be a better way. And when I was approached with the opportunity, I went for it. I absolutely trusted my guy and dove right in.

I have longed for independent wealth. Spent years joking about it. Well guess how I can achieve that? Yup, network marketing with It Works. I want to stop stressing out about the new clothes my kids need every new season. I want to stop having anxiety attacks about how we’re going to afford Christmas gifts for everyone. I want to stop missing out on the fun trips our friends and family invite us on. I want to have the time and money to show my kids the world. I want to be able to freely donate my time and money to the causes and people that matter to me.

It Works will give me all of that. Yes, it’s early, but I’ve seen the success people have achieved and I know I can do it too. We’re all given the same information. We’re all given the same product. And I am full to the brim with determination.

I am done being a slave to my bills. I am done living under the black cloud of debt. I am done worrying about how I’m going to provide my kids with the opportunities they deserve. I found a better way and I WILL succeed.

THAT is my why. What’s yours?


#Repost from @designcrush #365quotes