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 31 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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Let’s also note that my outstretched arm could not capture my entire belly.


Good lord…

This picture is courtesy of my Timehop app. This is how huge my belly was one year ago. I mean, this is horrifying to me. Look how far apart my legs are. Look at those stretch marks. Look at my belly button — it isn’t even popped — it’s flat.

I look at this and I’m shocked that I actually want to have another baby. How could I want to do this to my body again?

Anyway, thanks Timehop for reminding me why my body is still such a mess. How can one ever truly recover from this kind of stretching?

Happy hump day, everyone. Doesn’t this pic make ya wanna…?

We just discovered that friends of ours suffered a miscarriage a couple days ago. Obviously they’re heartbroken and our male friend wants to know how he can most effectively help his girlfriend through this loss. How can he acknowledge her unique pain at this loss and help memorialize the baby that could’ve been. And how can he help her move past it?

I’ve been fortunate enough to never experience the pain of miscarriage, but I know many of you out there have gone through such a loss and so I turn to you all as the experts on how to help our friends through this time.

So, what can I do for them? And what can my friend do for his girlfriend? Thanks in advance for all your advice and wisdom.


Hello. We had a baby a few months ago. Do you have any suggestions for books about keeping the marriage on track after a baby? Also, can you keep the name anonymous? My husband is very private. Thanks!!

I wish I had more for you. I wish I could list 10 books that helped but I can’t. I can…

I think this is a really important read for anyone who’s had a baby in the last 6 months or so. Jaclyn has always done such an excellent job of candidly discussing the dark side of marriage after having a baby. It’s something that I always want to discuss, but am always so unsure of how to approach the subject on my blog. Writing about my kids is one thing, but possibly violating the privacy of my husband is another. But Jaclyn is right when she says NO ONE ever talks about marriage-after-babies, yet it is so valuable to read about.

The reality is that things are hard when there’s a new baby in the house. And I don’t know if there’s any way to avoid that. Jaclyn offers several valuable tips and anecdotal advice in her post (seriously, read her whole post), but having gone through it twice, I just don’t know if there’s really any way to avoid those rough early days with a newborn. I’ve been lucky enough to have several close friends who have had babies around the same time as me and we’ve all gone through the same thing in our marriages so it lessens the fear that your relationship is headed down a bad path. With Mac, though, it was scary in those early days when I just burned with senseless rage at my husband. Because he was breathing too loud at night or disappearing to play video games at inconvenient times or never ever cleaning around the house. It was scary to feel like we were falling apart and I couldn’t laugh with one of my favorite people in the world anymore. But we didn’t fall apart. And we didn’t fall apart again when Fitz came and I was still having rage blackouts at how loud he was breathing at night. And we learned from our mistakes the second time. I spent less time thinking about how I wanted to suffocate him with a pillow and more time thinking about all the good things he did for us. And he spent more time actually doing stuff for us. Those video games? They’ve definitely taken a backseat.

We’re not perfect. He still hates that our kids don’t sleep and our house is a perpetual cluttered mess and we eat way too many pigs-in-a-blanket. I still hate that he reads his phone at the dinner table and complains when I take too long grocery shopping. But it gets better. It gets better with time and it has gotten better with each consecutive kid.

6 months seems to be the magic mark with most people I’ve talked to. There’s something intangible that happens after the 6 month mark where everything seems to get better. It’ll probably never go back to what it was (I mean, what does after the kid comes, right?), but it gets easier. It normalizes.

It sort of sucks to think that everyone has a tough marriage after having a baby (why do we do this to ourselves?!) and maybe there’s a better solution out there instead of my “grin and bear it” advice. But at least take comfort in the fact that many of us are going through the same thing and coming out the other side.


Perfect for our little monsters. 

Well, I mean, I NEED this.

I still follow the twitter account, though. And the whole reason I unsubscribed from the magazine was that I was sick of seeing all the coverage of celebrities’ post-baby bodies. Yet those same stories are still abundant on their twitter. Clearly I also need to unfollow their twitter account.

But seriously, every time I see pictures of Princess Kate or fucking Kim Kardashian, I think to myself that I can just stop eating anything of substance for a few weeks because clearly my YouTubed bar method-esque workouts and 30 Day Shred videos aren’t doing the trick. And then I remember I have no self control and I get depressed that I’ll never be a size 2 again. And then I get even more depressed that I even fall into that mindset of strategizing unhealthy ways to get to an unattainable size. And then I eat my body weight in ice cream. Yes, so cliché — I eat my feelings. It’s a vicious cycle.

So basically, Us Weekly is THE WORST.

Happy Friday, y’all.

Lately I feel like I’ve been raving about a variety of products to anyone who’ll listen, so I figured I’d share ‘em with you all as well. Some of these contain referral links, but none of these things are sponsored and all were paid for with my own hard-earned American dollars. But for the record, I love free shit and would happily take any of these items for free.

  • FableticsJaclyn turned me on to this athletic wear company several months ago and I’ve been running a very mild scam for a few months (signing up with different emails in order to receive the new customer discount — what?! Hustlers gotta hustle!) but the reality is that I love their clothes so much that if they somehow shut down my ability to sign up with different emails, I’d still buy their clothes. I just got their Lima Capri and I’m 100% certain they’re the only thing I’ll wear once the weather gets a little warmer. I recently started a new workout plan and have been wearing all my Fabletics goods and not only have the cute clothes motivated me to drag my lazy ass out of bed in the morning, but they’ve been so comfortable and functional as well. You get 50% off your first outfit in the first 24 hours you sign up to become a VIP member (an outfit will usually run you $25-$35) and after that, entire outfits are anywhere from $50-$75 for comfortable, cute, and high quality clothing. (the link above is a referral link please and thank you)
  • Honest Company Healing Balm — My friend A was nice enough to loan me some of her healing balm and this stuff was such a game changer, I added it to my monthly subscription. On two different babies, we’ve seen rashy areas clear up almost immediately after using this stuff. Prior to using the healing balm, I tried a whole host of diaper rash/yeast infection remedies and nothing seemed to make a permanent difference. But the healing balm totally did the trick. That shit is magic. (the link above is a referral link please and thank you)
  • SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter & Argan Oil Baby Eczema Therapy — OMG, y’all, this is the best smelling baby product I have ever smelled in my entire smelling existence. Fitz seems to have super sensitive skin that’s prone to eczema (not entirely surprising since I also suffer from eczema on my scalp), so we recently made the switch to SheaMoisture products, including this bar soap. The drawback is that the soap isn’t no-tears so bath time can be a bit of a shit show if we’re not careful, but the smell seriously overcomes any obstacles the soap presents for us. And then I slather this lotion all over him and I just want to inhale him for the rest of the night. It’s made a huge difference in his skin so in addition to smelling INCREDIBLE (seriously, have I stressed enough how good this stuff smells?), it’s also an effective moisturizer. It’s pricier than the standard Johnson&Johnson stuff, but Target has puts it on sale all the time and I regularly receive Target coupons for it. Go. Buy. Inhale. Enjoy.
  • Google Chromecast — Recently, I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket and rather than buy something practical like pajamas for the boys or a humidifier or something, I decided to buy us a Chromecast. Several months ago we considered cancelling our satellite and streaming all of our TV needs so we looked into AppleTV or Roku, but ultimately DirectTV gave us such a good deal, we decided to stick with it for another year. But I still wanted to dip my toes into the streaming waters. So for $35, the Chromecast seemed like a no-brainer. I bought it a couple weeks ago and, after some technical glitches thanks to our janky-ass TV, fired that sucker up and fed my TV addiction. It’s super awesome. Does it have as many features as AppleTV or Roku? No, but for $35, it totally meets all my needs and I’m very satisfied with what it provides right now. I can stream Netflix, HBOGo, Hulu, and YouTube and I can also upload movies on my iPad to the RealPlayer Cloud and cast movies from there. If you want to ease into the streaming waters, I highly recommend the Chromecast.
  • Trader Joe’s Coconut Chips — Holy shit, you guys, these are seriously the greatest item of food I’ve put in my mouth in recent memory. Don’t buy these from my linked amazon source. Get them at TJ’s since they’re only $2/bag. I basically buy them in bulk. It says each bag has 2 servings, but I don’t know how it’s possible to keep from inhaling the entire bag in one sitting. It takes every ounce of willpower I have to keep from tearing open the bag while I’m still in the store. So. Good.
  • Minnetonka Moccasins — I received these shoes for Christmas and loved them, but they’re not particularly practical for Minnesota winters. The weather is finally starting to warm up, though (I type as seeing snow in the forecast for today), so I’ve finally been able to bust these out and wear them constantly. Now, I suppose take this recommendation with a grain of salt since 98% of my shoes come from the Target clearance aisle (I can’t be trusted with nice footwear), but these shoes are easily the most comfortable thing to ever grace my foot. And I say this as someone who shamelessly has owned a variety of Uggs. These moccasins even trump those. If you don’t have a pair already, get thee some Minnetonka Moccasins. I can’t wait to rock that shit every day in the fall.

So that’s it for now. Trust me and go buy all this stuff and spend all your money that should ultimately be spent on more practical things on these frivolous addictions.

What other stuff should I know about and become addicted to?

I have a friend who is going through an ugly divorce right now. She has a 1.5-year-old daughter and as a way to get back at my friend, her soon-to-be ex-husband won’t let her vaccinate their daughter. I discovered this only after several outings with this friend and her daughter and I was horrified.

That’s right — I can’t even contain my HORROR over a child not being vaccinated. I have a baby of my own who is susceptible to diseases because of his age and I have another even younger baby in my home daily who is susceptible to even more diseases. When I think about taking these children out into the world where unvaccinated children roam, I’m actually scared. And unfortunately, we won’t be spending any more time with my friend’s daughter until she is up-to-date on her vaccinations A social outing isn’t worth risking Fitz’s health.

VACCINATE YOUR KIDS. I don’t care if you choose a delayed schedule or whatever, but get the damn shots. Your specific hangups or skewed views are not more important than the health of the world at large. Get over yourself. Vaccinate your kids.



Follow up: I found this thanks to the ‘kickstarter’ suggestions. but i don’t like the colors. hope they expand. 

This is a great idea. I don’t even remember what I used to wear as a little girl. Probably skirts with bike shorts underneath them. And then I went straight to Umbros I would imagine. I’ve clearly always hated waistbands that weren’t elastic.

Girl’s shorts today are SHORT. Like, how do they do anything in them? There is no fabric to protect their legs from hot swings and slides or to allow them leeway to climb trees and jungle gyms. They’re short and they’re tight and I have trouble breathing just thinking about having to play in shorts like those.

Anyway, this company appears to be doing a good thing. I’D like a pair of these shorts! Worth it to take a look at their video and consider donating.

(via juneofthemoon)

At the end of last summer I bought Mac 5 pairs of 4T pajamas to be worn this summer. Since he’ll turn 4. And his clothing size should presumably match his age. Today I wanted him to wear two-piece jammies (instead of the cozy footies he prefers) and so I busted out one of the long sleeve/long pants combo jammies that I bought last summer.

They’re too small. Like, noticeably too small. The legs are too short, the shirt is too short, but everything is also too wide. They’re a mess.

So apparently I need to get some 5T jammies for this summer. Uuuugggghhhhh.