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Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.


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Friday, 28 October 2005

Why the Website

When I was first pregnant with Madeleine, I’ll admit it: I panicked. As a self-professed organizational freak and someone who’s spent a lifetime scrupulously researching everything before buying something or making any sort of decision, I found myself at a loss as to how to proceed. Where could I go to research how to be a good parent? Where’s the Consumer Reports to fill me in on things like: When are you supposed to use diaper crème and why? What should I look for in a diaper bag? Why are babies supposed to wear hats? And living in New York City added its own problems: What kind of stroller should I get that won’t get beaten up by all the sidewalk miles I’d put on it, yet be maneuverable enough to get through those narrow grocery stores and light enough to carry up and down subway stairs? How do you take a newborn in a cab?

So I formed my own focus group; four girlfriends who had all had children in the past couple of years, who share my attitudes on breastfeeding and thoughtful, deliberate parenting. We sat down one afternoon, and for four hours they patiently answered my eight pages of questions. (I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. Now that I’m a mom, I know what it cost some of them to stay in one place with a squirmy six-month old for four hours. Thanks, Bev.) I walked away feeling not emotionally more prepared to be a mom, perhaps, but at least feeling more prepared to tackle a baby registry. Throughout my pregnancy I read the books they suggested and continued to tap into them with panicked, 3 a.m. emails about thermometers and swaddling blankets.

Once Madeleine came, I naively thought I’d be finished with the focus group, but within days of her birth I found myself tearfully in front of the computer, begging for advice on breastfeeding and uncontrollable crying (both mine and Maddie’s!) They became a “been-there-done-that” shoulder to cry on, a continued resource as Maddie began to need new stuff, and my cheering section as I encountered people who disagreed with my parenting choices. When I finally felt like I was getting the hang of the parenting thing, along came Cora and I had a whole new steep learning curve to surmount.  I don’t know what I’d do without my girlfriends; I’m sure I’d figure it out, but I’d be less confident and feel more alone. Which started me thinking about all the women who don’t have their own mommy focus group, their own community. So I thought I’d offer you one.

I'd like you to get two things out of this website: first, I'd like you to use this site as your own personal Mommy Focus Group. I've done the road-testing and researching and polling and have taken the guesswork out of shopping for yourself and your baby. I've actually used everything I recommend here unless I explicitly say otherwise. I'm a picky consumer and (I'd like to think) I've got good taste. If you don't have time to read through my weblogs, the buttons on the side will pull up entries by category or, even faster, go to my Top 5s Page where I'll link you to my favorite picks in a variety of categories.

And second, I'd like you to know that you're a little less alone than you thought.


Who We Are

My husband Brian and I are practicing Christians who recently moved back to our native Texas after twelve years in New York City. Brian is some sort of a computer geek (seriously, don't ask me to describe what he does) and I’m a Pilates instructor though I spend most of my time at home with my girls Madeleine and  Cora. new_family.jpgMadeleine was born June 2005 while Cora came along almost exactly two years later, and as parents we believe in breastfeeding and attachment parenting in that we both wore or held our girls a good deal more than our parents’ generation did. We do not sleep in a family bed, but respect every family’s choice as to what works best for them. I’m probably on the crunchier, left-ier side of the fence down here, but that’s ok.  We’ve seen that it certainly does take a village to raise a child (or two), and our “village” is my mother who lives with us (thank heavens) and our church and neighborhood community, who encourage and support us and simply takes the girls from our hands when our arms get tired.  My girlfriends are local and scattered across the country, so we’re very grateful there’s no longer any such thing as roaming fees.