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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This past weekend I had my very first wrap party for my business. I have never even attended any sort of network marketing party, let alone had to run one, so I basically insisted that the girl who recruited me into the company come over and help me.

K, my mentor, is a former high school classmate. We weren’t friends but it’s not as if there was ever any animosity there. We just didn’t really run in the same circles. Mostly because I was awful to everyone and never really ran in any one circle for long. I remember when I first started chatting back and forth with her, there was that moment of panic where I scanned through all my memories to try to recall what horrible moments I may have had around her. Luckily, I couldn’t remember anything, but 15 years ago I was generally surly and obnoxious so I was hoping she wasn’t holding that against me.

In fact, as I work my business and contact several girls from high school, I find myself constantly bracing for a response that might call me out for horrible behavior all those years ago. Luckily, it seems we’ve all matured and moved past any awful attitudes that may have existed close to 2 decades ago.

When K came over Saturday, she and my BFF, W, were catching up since we all went to high school together. Both girls are far more in tune with our high school pipeline than I am and they were comparing notes on how people are doing. They started swapping stories about who they were in high school versus who they are now and K mentioned she had a similar reaction to me whenever she reached out to a girl from our school — always trying to recall if she had been awful to them. She then admitted that when she decided to reach out to me, she realized she really had no memory of me. That I hadn’t really registered on her radar at all.

My first reaction was to be offended. Me? ME?! But…but…didn’t the world revolve around me? Didn’t EVERYONE remember me? There were only 76 girls in our class — how could she not remember ME? I was the WORST! I was the BEST! I was ME!

And then I felt sweet relief. She wasn’t trying to be rude by saying that. And if she had no real memory of who I was in high school, then maybe other girls didn’t remember me either. Maybe other girls didn’t remember my bad attitude and harsh judgments. Maybe I am just another picture in their yearbook and not some cautionary tale they tell as they discuss high school war stories.

I’ve changed so much from who I was at 15. And for a really long time I’ve felt caught between two identities as I interact with people on facebook (and the real world, when I run into former classmates). But being reminded that the earth doesn’t currently and never did revolve around me was the wake-up call I needed to stop being held back by my past.

I may have been foolish enough to be so self-absorbed as to think that everyone’s high school experience was defined by my bad attitude, but at least I’ve been freed from that ridiculous notion.

So, obviously, my work here is done.

A few weeks ago, I was at Trader Joe’s, perusing their produce section (so much more exciting than Target’s produce section) and noticed some star fruit. I’d never had star fruit and the price seemed right, so I picked up a couple.

I was so excited to try them, I immediately served them with dinner that night, certain that the kids would love the shape AND the flavor and demand them at every meal. My husband and I tried them and were all, “omg, these are awesome! these would totally make the best cocktail ever! why aren’t we eating these every day, all the time? Why isn’t there a star fruit flavored vodka? Can we juice these and add some gin? THESE ARE BLOWING MY MIND!” 

The boys, meanwhile, were all politely expressing their interest in the unusual fruit while quietly pushing it to the sides of their plates and hoping we wouldn’t notice they had no actual interest in eating it.

Here’s what I learned from this experience:

  • star fruit seriously is unexpectedly delicious. Light, refreshing, if you can find it you need to eat it because it’s awesome. Papaya is gross. Guava is meh. Star fruit is where it’s at.
  • it’s possible my husband and I have a drinking problem when the first place our mind goes after trying a delicious fruit is, “why isn’t there a cocktail for this?!”
  • my boys clearly don’t know what’s good for them. These kids who will try — and love — virtually anything won’t try star fruit? Whatever fools, I wanted all the fruit to myself anyway.
  • I need to go to TJ’s soon and see if there are still star fruit available. Neeeeeed.

This is your very important blog post for the day. You’re welcome.

Yesterday was a preschool day for Mac but my husband went to work in our truck. Our truck that I NEEDED because I need the third seat since I not only had to transport Mac, but two babies as well.

Before he came running home from work, I decided I’d just try to fit three car seats into my Hyundai Elantra. I’d hate to waste his time and the gas if it turns out everyone can cram into the backseat of my little green goblin.

Big surprise, guys — there is no freaking way 3 car seats of any size will ever fit in that backseat.

So. Note to self: Maybe don’t get pregnant with that 3rd kid until you figure out a solution to your compact car not being able to fit 3 car seats issue.

I’m looking for 3 people to join my team THIS WEEK. Want to make money from home? Want to have unlimited earning potential? Want to change your life? Message me today and find out how. 

I’m looking for 3 people to join my team THIS WEEK. Want to make money from home? Want to have unlimited earning potential? Want to change your life? Message me today and find out how. 




Parineeti Chopra responds to a male reporter who claims to know nothing about periods (menstrual cycle). [X]


I started my period when I was 10 years old. But we didn’t tell my grandma for three years because she subscribed to the “old traditions”, where a woman on her period could not enter the house, not even to bathe. Where she had to sit outside in front of the house (where the whole village could be witness to her shame and isolation) for the entire duration.

My friend started her period unexpectedly while we were at our local temple (in America) for dance class. Asking around if any of the parents had pads (all of them apologized and acted like adults about it), I thought surely the front office has a first aid kit. Don’t they have pads? When we asked, not only did they not have any, when one of the women gave one from her purse, the head secretary told us “There are men who need to use the first-aid kit, ya? So we don’t keep period things there.” Not even ibuprofen (which has so many more uses than period pain).

There are girls in India and Nepal (and other places, but I just read an in-depth piece about the situations in Nepal) who have to go to the “period hut” when their period comes and not leave until its over. They can’t wash and dry their cloth pads in the daylight, so they do it at night when the pads won’t dry properly before their next use, making them vulnerable to infection.

It is incredibly important, especially in India, to break the taboo surrounding periods. Break the secrecy around an event that happens to almost every woman, every month for literally half of her lifetime. Break the hiding, break the cover-up, break the SHAME.

Just break EVERYTHING. So little girls can go to school every day of every month without feeling ashamed. So women can work every day of every month to provide for their families without being glared at. So single fathers can confidently take care of their daughters’ health. So that women can talk about how terrible their period is or isn’t and give each other advice on how to deal with it without looking around to make sure men aren’t listening.
So that Whisper doesn’t have to be called Whisper, it can be called SHOUT. It can be called PROUD. So that we don’t NEED to fucking WHISPER about our bodies and our health.

Periods: they’re here, they’re painful, annoying, and something I am forced to deal with and I’ll be damned if I tiptoe around anyone who thinks it’s gross and doesn’t want to hear about it, get used to it

Seriously, childbirth totally changed my perspective on periods. After giving birth to Mac, my vagina was a damn crime scene. I had blood clots literally dropping out of me when I showered. It was disgusting and humbling and pretty much impossible to hide. When you disappear to the bathroom for 15 minutes, your husband KNOWS it’s because you’re cleaning and swabbing and dealing with massive amounts of blood. The evidence is EVERYWHERE because there’s too much evidence to  hide or destroy.

So when I eventually started getting my period again, I was over. it. Over the embarrassment. Over pretending I didn’t regularly bleed. Before giving birth I’d discreetly run off to the bathroom with a tampon stashed secretly on me somewhere and everything would be neatly wrapped in toilet paper so that no one had to bear the thought that I dared have my period in their presence.

Now? Screw that. I bleed. Get used it. I’ve certainly had to.

…Mac will sleep in our bed. He’s been wanting to snuggle in the middle of the night more and more frequently. It breaks my heart to tell him no (I’m so weak when it comes to this stuff) so since my husband wasn’t here last night, I told Mac he could snuggle with me.

I joined the Parent Advisory Council at Mac’s preschool (omg, THAT is another post I need to write about) and we got home about an hour past the kids’ bedtime. I had work I needed to get done and I kept trying to get Mac to stay in bed, but wasn’t having any luck. I even let him go to bed in my bed, but again — the kid wouldn’t stay put. So I told him I’d come lay in bed with him and do my work in here. I brushed me teeth, washed my face, etc. and came to bed to find him asleep (of course). I thought this meant I’d get some peace and quiet to get some work done but I was wrong.

The minute I settled in with my pillows just so and my computer on my lap, suddenly Mac starts coming in for the snuggle. First just a head touching my arm. Then his arm flung across me. Then one of his legs wrapped around my leg. And then the slow roll towards me until he had finally settled himself directly on top of me.

And it was in that moment that I remembered — “THIIIIIS! This is why we try not to let him in our bed! It’s all coming back to me now! The kid will rob you of as many snuggles as I can. He is a full contact sleeper and there is no way to multitask with him around.

Oh well. At least he kept me nice and cozy.

I write this post at the risk of some serious eyerolls, but I feel like it’s valuable to discuss nevertheless.

When I decided to start my new business venture, I realized I had to make some changes in my life. I realized I had to believe that I could succeed. I had to banish all my self-doubt and believe in myself like I never have before. I had to remain undeterred by any obstacles or setbacks and have complete belief that I was absolutely going to be successful and failure wasn’t an option.

Doing a complete 180 in my mindset wasn’t easy, though. I am a person who hopes for the best, but doesn’t always necessarily expect the best. How was an attitude of always worrying the other shoe would drop ever going to help me succeed? If I’m always waiting for that “I told you so” failure, would I ever truly be successful?

This is where I think I might get some flak. You guys, confession: I watched The Secret. I KNOW. I know. Like, how much time have I/we spent making fun of The Secret? But y’all, it spoke to me. I saw it at the right time and it made sense to me. Put good energy in, get good out? Yup, that’s something that has been instilled in me since childhood. I was just always terrible at adhering to it. But staying positive and expecting positive is something I have to actively work at all day. Turning my mind from stressing about bills to being confident I have money coming in is a really hard adjustment for me to make. I’ve spent my entire adult life worrying about money.How do I stop worrying and start KNOWING that my personal financial crisis is coming to an end? How do I stop worrying about the most minute things regarding my kids and instead KNOW that I’m doing a great job and they’re turning out wonderful? How do I stop worrying about being stuck in my current house forever and instead KNOW that we’re going to get the perfect home for us in a fantastic school district? I make the effort every single day to adjust my way of thinking. I am steadfast in my effort to change my thoughts into positive ones. I spend every morning going over my “vision board” (I know, I know, I KNOW) and every evening listing all the things I’m grateful for in my journal.

It’s hard. It’s an adjustment. But for me, it’s so worth it. What’s the harm in staying positive? What’s the harm in being convinced good things are coming my way? What’s the harm in believing I will live a life free from financial stress doing a job I love and spending my days with my family? What’s the harm in believing one day soon we’ll be in our dream house? I don’t see any harm. And any setbacks are met with the attitude that the good stuff is just ahead of me if I simply push through and remain positive.

I dunno, you guys. I know this isn’t for everyone, but it’s really helping me. The anger and annoyance and anxiety that I was carrying around with me wasn’t doing anyone any good. Not me, not my kids, not my husband. Putting positivity into the world feels a helluva lot better too. So maybe it’s cheesy. And maybe it’s unrealistic, but it’s the path for me. I am the only one putting limits on myself and I’m through doing that. It’s time to see myself as someone whose success and happiness is unlimited and fully within my control.


(If you want to watch The Secret and see if it’s something that appeals to you, I know you can stream it on Netflix right now.)

  • Last night, in his sleep, Mac started singing the song to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I am DYING to know what he was dreaming about.
  • He has been super into the idea of taking a Disney cruise or going to a Disney resort lately (specifically, the one in Hawaii — thanks a lot Disney commercials) and even though that sort of sounds like my own personal hell, we’ve talked about saving money to try to make the trip happen. I’m still torn on whether or not I want to make it a reality, but I’m not taking it off the table yet. It could be something fun to save up for. He and Fitz would love it. And it sure as hell beats standing in lines for rides at Disney World.
  • Not only has Fitz started telling me when he has pooped, but he now retrieves a clean diaper for me AND throws away his poopy diaper. Also, today, he brought a new diaper to me after he peed. Could we seriously be looking at potty training him soon? I’d be so psyched to be done paying for diapers.
  • Fitz is currently cutting, like, 6 different teeth. 4 of them are molars. NO ONE is sleeping around here. It’s brutal and I feel awful for him but I also really, really, really want to sleep again. Between 12:15-1:30 a.m. last night, I was up every 10 minutes comforting him back to sleep. That’s after I spent and hour letting him use me as a human pacifier. BREAK THROUGH, TEETH!
  • How do you full-time working parents get your kids to preschool? I am requiring a small army of people to help me transport Mac to and fro. This whole thing is turning out to be a bit more involved than I anticipated. And I really, really, hate that I’m not going to be able to drop him off or pick him up on Thursday. Ugh. This transition is for sure harder on me than on him. Why am I being so emotional about this stuff?! IT’S 2 DAYS PER WEEK! I need to chill.