Motherhood operating systems in progress.

This area does not yet contain any content.
Find Us On...
Subscribe to MommyBeta
Latest Tweets
Join My Parenting Book Club!


Raising Awareness of Postpartum Depression 

On Saturday, June 20th I'll be joining Postpartum Progress' Climb Out of the Darkness in a hike to raise awareness of postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, psychosis and more. I will be hiking one of my favorite bay area hikes. 

Mothers across the globe will join together to climb mountains and hike trails to represent their symbolic rise out of the darkness of maternal mental illness and into the light of hope and recovery. I'm proud that I will be one of those climbers! 

Nearly five years ago I struggled with PPD after the birth of my first child Reese. Although it was a long time ago I remember that time in my life like it was yesterday. It was dark, scary and sad. Opposite of what I imagined feeling after bringing home my baby. Fortunately it was a brief period in my life but I will always honor it and continue to share my story with anyone who will listen because the more people who know about this stuff, the more other moms and families will have support. 

I am still so thankful everyday for the love and support from my husband, family and friends. 

Some things to keep in mind: 
  • One in every seven women gets a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder like PPD 
  • Prenatal mood and anxiety disorders can show up any time during pregnancy or in the first 12 months after birth.
  • Only 15% of women with postpartum depression ever receive professional treatment. This means about 850,000 women each year are not getting the help they need
Please take a moment to visit the Post Progress website to learn more. If you'd like to support the cause and or join in helping me fundraise, please visit my fundraising page.  


Thank you! 

Fundraising Websites - Crowdrise


Fresh Baby Bites: Just Like You Made It (or Maybe Better)

Cutest. Baby food. Ever.

I’m all for homemade baby food. I loved roasting apples for homemade applesauce and figuring out home many things I could add butternut squash puree to. However, it would have been nice not to have to make ALL of their food. At that time (2010 and 2012), if you wanted fresh baby food, you had to make it yourself. All of it.

It’s now 2015 and the on-demand economy has taken hold. If we can have hot meals delivered nightly by one of a plethora of startups, why not also have fresh, organic baby food delivered to supplement what you make at home?

Enter Fresh Baby Bites. They contacted me last spring about trying some of their offerings out on my little ones and I took them up on it. First off, their packaging was ADORABLE. I’m a sucker for nice (and not wasteful) packaging and they really exceeded my expectations. And the best part was that the food tasted as good as it looked.

We received black bean brownies, two types of tamales, beef and carrot empanadas, mini-meatballs, homemade yogurt with cinnamon applesauce, apple carrot muffins, and carrot puree. It even came with a reusable little pouch for the puree. (Tangent: Back in 2010 I wanted to invent a reusable pouch like this. Looks like someone did it and I hope they are making millions from it.)

All of the food was a hit, but the black bean brownies were the all-around favorite. I think Z could have eaten the entire box in a sitting. And the best thing was that they were sweetened with dates--genius!

Fresh Baby Bites can be ordered through Good Eggs, a grocery delivery service that focuses on local food sources. I have to admit, that If I was still feeding “baby food” full-time, the prices would have to make this service a supplement to making my own baby food at home. The quality and flavors are really good, so I can see getting a few of these items a week as the perfect way to keep meals interesting for baby (and mommy!).

I know it's blurry, but these brownies made Z beam.  

FULL DISCLOSURE: I received the food samples from Fresh Baby Bites for free.



Love Letter to Our Co-Op Preschool


Last week, I said good-bye to a place that has meant so much to me as a parent. After four years at Little Hands (what I affectionately call a pre-preschool), we had our last class and closed the child-proof gate on a very important part of our lives.

After hearing raves from moms at our playgroup, Nic and I started our first class at Little Hands when he was 18 months old. I thought it would be a good way to get us out of the house and for me to meet some new mom friends. Little did I know that this place, and the AMAZING teachers, would be my parenting inspiration through toddlerhood and probably for the rest of my life.

I often tell people that I don’t know what I would have done without the parent education that is a major part of the Little Hands program. When we started there, I had relatively little need for discipline, but as Nic approached two, and then three, that changed big time. At Little Hands, I was able to watch the teachers, emulate their examples and ask them for advice. They helped me sort through the internet sea of discipline philosophies to find something that seemed kind, fair and effective (Positive Discipline!).

Little Hands also helped me build the community that I wanted so badly. Having not grown up around here, I missed running into people while out and about. My web of connections has grown so much through all of the parent involvement at Little Hands. Nowadays, we rarely leave the house without running into someone we know.

Nic aged out of Little Hands years ago and Z will officially be too old for next fall—kids must be under 36 months by September 1. I’m excited for Z to start at the wonderful Montessori where Nic has been for the past two years, but I’ll miss seeing him in the classroom on a regular basis and watching him learn and grown among his peers. I’ll also really miss the regular child development curriculum that has been so vital to my development as a parent.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of the boys’ teachers individually. They have each made such a major contribution to their lives that I’d be remiss not to tell them one more time.

Teacher Carol: You pour your heart and soul into Little Hands. You do such an amazing job with kids in parents in class, but it’s your level of commitment to the school and everything that it stands for that constantly astounds me.

Teacher Erika: You are my parenting idol. The way you can see a conflict coming and step in to resolve it is unparalleled. You have a keen eye that can really see what is going on with kids, and your input has been invaluable to me through the years. I feel lucky to have had you in my life at my toughest parenting moments (so far!).

Teacher Lalaine: Your connection with Z has been so sweet and true and it’s really helped him cope with his separation anxiety. You have been his safe place this year and that means so much to both of us.

I feel so lucky to have found such a wonderful parenting resource so early on. I know that Little Hands has helped me lay a foundation for parenting that will serve me and my family for decades to come. Thank you Little Hands for all of the love and learning!  

Z "graduating" from Little Hands with Teacher Lalaine.



Getting in Front of the Camera

You've heard it before. As moms, we're often the ones behind the camera capturing the moment. This makes for full and varied photo albumns, but it leaves us out of most of the pictures. I know I recently did some fun photos with Eversnap, but when my very good friend Adriana Klas offered to take some familiy portraits as part of her Mother's Day mini-sessions, I couldn't refuse. And man was I right about the difference in the images from a casual photographer versus an artist like Adriana. These new photos knocked me off my feet. 


Mini-sessions like this are the perfect way to periodically capture a moment in time. They are more affordable than a full session and short enough that the kids (and dad) can tolerate them. I know that I'll look back at these photos and laugh about how the boys used to knock me over with their hugs, and I'll always wonder what Nic and Z were talking about in that last one. 



Keeping Mothers’ Clubs Relevant (and Efficient) in a Changing World


This is part 3 in my series on mothers’ clubs. Need to catch up? Part 1 and part 2.

You’d think that the ease of connecting online would be a boon for mothers’ clubs, but it’s been a blessing and a curse. Sure, clubs can communicate with vast memberships with a few taps and clicks, but valuable, in-person events can be thinly attended and real connections are sometimes hard to find.

This was a major topic at the Community Leaders Summit I attended a few months back. Leaders of local parents’ clubs talked at length about how to attract and keep members in a day when anyone can start a Facebook group. Not that there’s anything wrong with Facebook groups, it’s just that mothers’ clubs have the depth and scale to offer so much more to new parents than a lively message board.  

I was really inspired by the enthusiasm of one of the conference organizers—Amourence Lee. She cares so deeply about parents’ groups and what they mean to our community that she co-founded an organization to help them. Her company, Parent Clubs on Board, was recently acquired by and aims to give parents’ clubs tools to help them run more efficiently. For example, why should every mothers’ club on the SF Peninsula individually create a catalog of local preschools for their respective preschool fairs? They shouldn’t. That’s why Parent Clubs on Board created an online platform that local clubs can use to disseminate information about preschools in their area.

And I love that Amourence and her co-founder Leisa McNeese created Parent Clubs on Board in living rooms across the Peninsula with their toddlers running around them. It heartens me to hear stories about moms coming together and building something in an unconventional way. I know my local mothers’ club has given me opportunities like this and I hope the club thrives long enough to do the same for many future generations.

Amourence Lee Leisa McNeese