OSM: Dangerous Surfing

Sterling's morning installment of "surfing on items that are dangerous to surf on". 

Notice the train wreck in the background, which is my desk. Its usually off limits but I am tired enough today to resort to desperate measures. 

I mistakenly thought that letting her play in it would keep her occupied. It did… for about 10 minutes. Which is 30 minutes less than it took me to clean up the mess. Score another one for Sterling :)

OSM: Nap Time Destruction

And we have found the down side of Sterling sleeping in the Big Girl bed. Nope, no crying when she wakes up. Just a little quiet mayhem. 

I knew something was up this morning so I grabbed the camera before I went in to get her. 

Drawers pulled out of the furniture, clothes all over the place. Jammies and sleep sack stripped, luckily the diaper was still on!

Natural Disaster

We just had a 5.9 earth quake in DC, which is pretty significant. In talking with friends on FaceBook (since all cell service has been knocked out) it is amazing how many different our initial assumptions were to what was happening: gas explosion, tree falling on a home, unbalanced washing machine, and living so close to DC, bomb.

I think I was most struck at how as a mom I felt so incredibly powerless to protect my baby. It took a while to even register that it was an earthquake, but as soon as I did, I had absolutely no idea what to do.

It made me realized how horrible it would be to be a parent through a natural disaster. I have experienced first-hand a tornado, hurricanes, blizzards, extreme ice storms, a mud slide, drought and intense floods but this was my first natural disaster as a parent. And as scary as any show of nature's power can be, it is especially scary when you realize that you are responsible for another tiny soul, and are completely powerless to protect them.

I have never been so terrified in my life.


So evidently my girl has developed a bit of a cult following with all of her crazy antics. I wish I had done a better job of capturing them here over the last year or so, rather than in FaceBook posts, but let's just say she is acrobatic, ornery and fearless, which has become in my opinion, the dangerous trio.

I have a friend who loves sharing Sterling's exploits with others, and has proposed developing a "League of Extraordinarily Twisted Gentlepeople and Others" or LETGO. This is essentially a group of people who share S's love of the ornery, and want to keep up to date on what she is currently into.

Is it odd that my kid is going to have her own cult following before her second birthday?

OSM: Baby Stripper In Training

So evidently Hip Hop scored a major victory in the Hickman household today. John's observations when playing the following music genres for Sterling:

  • Children's Songs: She claps her hands
  • Hip Hop and Old School Rap: She dances and stops her feet
  • Heavy Metal: She strips, consistently
Guess which style of music daddy has removed from the repertoire?


Friends really do make life worth living. I take that back, people who love you make life worth living. It is amazing how much of a difference a few good friends can make in your life.

Motherhood especially brings that to light, being a new mother alone can be one of the scariest, most confusing, emptiest experiences in life. But with a few good friends by your side, it completely changes the entire experience. Things that would otherwise bewilder you become bonding opportunities with your friends. No matter how crazy or off the wall your kid is, one of your friends can empathize.

I have tried motherhood both ways, both without and with friends, and I will say that it is my friends who keep me sane. Who give me reason to gather up my little monkey with all her ephemera and get her out of the house, no matter how rainy/cold/muggy/hot it is outside. Who help me see humor in the moments that would otherwise have me in tears. Who come and take the monkey out for the day when I am sick and exhausted with morning sickness. Who make me home made funnel cake and drop it by just because. Who listen to me as I try to process the monkey's newest mayhem, and help me see it for the genius that it is. Who make this whole adventure of motherhood so much fun.

So thank you my wonderful friends, your love and support are worth more than I can ever say and I am incredibly blessed to have each of you in my life.

Number 2

S is now 14.5 months old and it is amazing how parenthood has settled on us. As we prepare for our next addition to the family in 3 months, I look back over where we were at this point with S and I feel so incredibly different.

There isn't the fear this time, the whole "what if I hate parenting, I mean pregnancy sucks way more than I expected, what if we pick the wrong stroller/car seat/crib/diapers, which of our parenting decisions are going to land our kid in community college and therapy rather than the ivy league and executive leadership, what if I hate parenting, how am I going to juggle parenthood AND a business, how will our relationship survive a new baby, can I possibly survive child birth, WHAT IF I HATE PARENTING???"

The good news is that most of those concerns have been pretty much laid to rest. We both love being parents, child birth was much worse than I expected, and yet somehow I survived to prepare for it all again, J and I are stronger than ever through our connection of being parents to the Most Incredible Kid In The World (official title), I sold the business so that I could dedicate myself full time to tantrum and poop patrol, and yes, we made all the wrong choices in baby gear and yet she still survived.

I wonder, if anything else, perhaps baby #2 might get short changed in the process. After all, up until now his sister is still the primary focus of all our attention. We haven't even started on his room yet, but I can guarantee you that we are looking at a $200 Ikea crib this go around rather than the gorgeous, high-end Restoration Hardware canopy crib that his sister has single handedly destroyed. I haven't so much as cracked a single development book this entire pregnancy, although I regularly resolve to. And I don't have hours to spend lovingly touching my tummy while he kicks, I am doing my best just to keep his sister from crushing his head in while he is still in utero. I am sure she will do enough damage once he gets here :)


My amazing hubby took Sterling out for a puppet show and lunch this morning. I am totally at a loss with what to do with myself! I am so accustomed to having someone to be responsible for, that it feels crazy to have a whole open day ahead of me :)

OSM: So THIS Is What Nasty Looks Like...

For months now my BRAND NEW Lexus has had a nasty "rotten milk" funk. Today I took apart the back seat looking for the culprit. Think I finally found it, wedged so far under one of the front seats that I couldn't barely touch it from the back.

What is this? For those unfamiliar, this is a plastic baby bottle that has evidently imploded from some kind of heinous scientific reaction caused by moldy milk and heat.

And to clarify, Sterling hasn't taken a bottle in nearly 4 months. Yep, it's that nasty...

Mayhem In Motion

In the Hickman house, this is how we use rolling toys to get up on things we don't belong on.

Look closely at what it is that has so enticed her to get her up on the table.

Know what that is? Yep, it's a dirty diaper...

OSM: The Greatest Gift Of All: Silence

One of Sterling's birthday gifts arrived today. Before I could take it out of the box though, she discovered how much fun the box itself could be. This box gave a solid hour of baby entertaining, worth every penny!

This Is What "Naughty" Looks Like

So today Sterling discovered that if she pulled over a basket, and piled a bucket on top of it, she could climb on top of the table. Could TOTALLY use a bucket of wine right now :)

Oh, and just noticed that one of the flash cards turned over is "bucket". How appropriate!

A Silent Baby Is A Dangerous Baby

Made the mistake of leaving Sterling alone for 5 minutes while I went to put a load of laundry in this morning. Big mistake. I noticed that she was being surprisingly quiet while I was downstairs. Evidently she learned how to take the lid off her milk and was having an AWESOME time playing :)

The good news is that based upon her expression, she CLEARLY feels highly remorseful. Riiiiiight...

Stair Sanity Stealer

After about a million different configurations, we have finally found a baby gate/box/etc. combo that has managed to keep Sterling off of the stairs for a WHOLE WEEK! 

It's not pretty, but it works. She has started climbing the outside of the stairs now, so I need to get creative. One hurdle at a time though :-)


No Such Thing As "No"

That thing in her mouth? A ceramic coaster I had placed in the center of the coffee table to keep it out of little hands. Problem solved! To fix the situation, she pulled the toy basket over and climbed up on it.

Operation Destruction

Having a baby has destroyed my body. There, I have said it.

No, I don't mean destroyed my body in the bad-skin-stretch-marks-stomach-pooch-cellulite-C-section-scar-cellulite-dark-circles-pee-when-I-laugh/sneeze/jump/sit, although those are all there too.

No, when I say destroyed my body, I mean that I have literally been sick for 6 months in a row with an escalating series of illnesses. Now, you could say "huh, maybe that's a crazy coincidence", and you may be right with a normal person, but not me. Until I got pregnant, I was that crazy healthy friend who NEVER got sick. No lie, until the baby, my doctor hated me because the only time she saw me was when I broke my foot. I literally went years without so much as a sneeze.

And then I had a baby, and suddenly I have become my doctor's wet dream. It all started with a series of escalating sinus infections that piggy backed off of each other, escalating with each occurrence. Each round of antibiotics wrecked my system a little further until I forgot what exactly "normal" was like. Then the appendicitis scare which after 3 days in the hospital, turned out to be a particularly nasty abdominal infection in my lymph nodes. Major round of antibiotics later, I was sent home, just in time to catch the stomach flu from hell a week later. It lasted 24 hours for the baby, 12 hours for my husband, and 7 days for me, including virulent explosions from pretty much every orifice imaginable. Then the cold that took the baby down for 3 days, and a week and a half later I am STILL fighting.

Long story short, I have pretty much forgotten what healthy feels like at this point. And I have thoroughly lost confidence in Western medicine. It doesn't feel like any of the care I have received has ever made me feel better, and I am starting to think that wellness is as much a state of mind as a state of being.

So, I am getting healthy. I am taking the time to take naps when my baby does (one of those great tips from other parents which sounds great, but is nearly impossible to actually do), I am eating healthier, I am increasing my exercise, and most importantly, I am getting to a healthy mindset.

Let's see if the mind is stronger than the pregnancy :)

World's Youngest Food Critic

Sterling has a new response to anything that she doesn't enjoy. I would be offended by her commentary on my cooking (or more accurately, baby food jar opening) if it wasn't so freakin cute :)