Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful chaos. That's what this is. Motherhood. Fatherhood. Parenting. Messy and exhausting it's not Supposed to be orderly. It's not supposed to make sense. We establish routines for normalcy So the children know what to expect But in the end And we all follow the routines like a religion. Bath, books, bed, breakfast, drop off, work, pick up, dinner. Bath, books, bed and so on until Years feel like minutes and Memories of their tiny voices fade. Our current reality always replaces what was. Daily monotony is broken by Giggles unleashed after  a tickle spider attack, Insightful conversations in the car, and other Tiny moments that aren't marked by holidays on the calendar. These special moments are the ones you treasure the most because of their unexpectedness. It's being silly in public because it makes your kids laugh. It's working through exhaustion because there's no other choice. It's messy, tiring, but it's life. We are rewarded with sleepy morning cuddles and bedtime stories that only last for a limited time only, folks. "Get yours now!" while the gettin's good. Today was crazy and tomorrow will be...
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Virtual Midwife—Who is she and can she help you?

Virtual Midwife—Who is she and can she help you?

I sat down with Karen Wilmot, the Virtual Midwife, and asked her some questions about the 6-week course she is offering to mothers around the world.Karen is a midwife who has been helping mothers give birth in foreign countries for the past 20 years. She understands the core of the fear and anxiety that mothers experience while they are knocked up abroad and they are the same themes that come up again and again in the Knocked Up Abroad stories.We're talking about language barriers, unfamiliar healthcare systems, local birthing practices that clash with personal preference, lack of a supportive family/friend network, and the multitude of factors that impact mothers giving birth abroad.The CourseKaren has gathered her 20 years of experience and packed them into a 6-week course that she is offering at a huge discount for a limited time only.The cost is currently $279 which includes all course material and monthly group calls for the duration of their pregnancy—and beyond if they choose...
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You’re My Favorite

You’re My Favorite

You crawled into bed with me this morning after the sun rose. My arms wrapped around you and I breathed in your hair. You smell of the shampoo you didn't wash out of your hair last night when you giggled in the shower with your brother.Your little body nestled against mine and I felt your bones relax. Your soft cheek brushed my chin, and I thought, "Ahh, you're my favorite."I would never say those words aloud, of course, because parents aren't allowed to have favorites.But, at that moment, in that space, my heart was full of you.My attention was 100% focused on you and only you as if we were the only two people in existence. I allowed myself to think that you were my favorite because, for that moment, you were. Later today, you and your brother played at the playground while your Daddy and I sat on a rocky cliff overlooking the Baltic Sea.Worn down over time by rain...
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Celebrating the Tired, the Hopeful, and the Dedicated Midwives

Celebrating the Tired, the Hopeful, and the Dedicated Midwives

 "Midwives? What is this, the 1400s? Do I have a feudal master to whom I pay monthly tithes in grain?"To say the least, my husband was unenlightened when it came to childbirth practices. He has since come a long way in a short time, but we were young(er) and stupid(er) back then, and he had never heard of a midwife delivering babies—doctors did that, duh.Optimistically pregnant for the first time, I chose my midwifery practice based on the advice of my friend who was also a midwife. We met in grad school and bonded over cheap beer and stupid men (those bonds last a lifetime, really)."This midwifery practice delivers at Northside. You'll be in good hands there," she reassured me. I knew she wouldn't lead me astray. She had my best interests at heart and knew these women personally.And so, I registered with Atlanta, Georgia's Northside Hospital—or Atlanta's well-known "Baby Factory" that delivers over 18,000 babies each year. If anything...
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You might be a mom if…

You might be a mom if…

Leave a comment on Facebook with the crazy things you've started doing now that you're definitely a mom. Transcript of the video You might be a mom if you've redefined what crazy means after you've since checked off all of the boxes from the list you created before you had kids. You might be a mom if you instantly become suspicious that your children are secretly strangling each other in their room because it is too quiet in your house and there's no such thing as a quiet house anymore. You might be a mom if you've ever used baby wipes instead of makeup removing wipes because hello! They do the same thing, and one is way cheaper than the other. You might be a mom if you haven't thought twice about sticking your hand into a clogged sink to pull out random bits of food because your hands have already seen way worse than anything in a kitchen sink. You might be a mom if...
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Unmedicated and Unplanned Birth Story on Motherbirth’s Podcast

Unmedicated and Unplanned Birth Story on Motherbirth’s Podcast

I had the pleasure of speaking at length with Mellisa and Laura on Motherbirth's podcast and describing my somewhat unusual birth story that other women have also experienced with Hypnobabies (aff). It is incredible to think that more and more mothers will experience pain-free/comfortable births and it would be wonderful if that could become every woman's reality. Motherbirth is a great podcast series focusing on the remarkable birth stories of women around the world so be sure to check it out. Click here to listen to the story on Motherbirth (they did a great job editing it down!) http://www.motherbirth.co/podcast/2017/6/1/episode-025-pain-free-birth And if you're interested in buying the Hypnobabies program, click below at no extra cost to you and a small percentage to me because I'm essentially a living and breathing advertisement for these folks. If I can do it, I know that you can!   Virtual Midwifery One woman who is helping expat women around the world is Karen Wilmot, The Virtual Midwife. She is offering a course that is available here:     Read...
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Growing Up the Saban Way

Growing Up the Saban Way

By Kelsi Folsom "The practice of gratitude and fortitude will never be an unfruitful one, and is, I think, one of the greatest gifts of living abroad."         Ask anyone if they have ever heard of Saba, and most likely you will hear, “No, where is that?” To which I reply, “Well, it’s a five-square mile volcanic island of fewer than 1,800 people located in the Dutch Caribbean. It's home to the shortest commercial runway in the world, one of the most difficult medical schools, and the highest geographical point in the Netherlands. Want to grab lunch?” Saba is a charming mix of cultures. Although currently a Dutch protectorate, the language spoken is primarily English (with Dutch, Saba English, and a sprinkling of Spanish). There are the “expat locals” (American, Canadian, Scandinavian, European, Filipino, and others I have yet to interact with) and the “born and raised locals” (descendants of great sea-captains, pirates, shipbuilders, fishermen, and slaves) in addition to the 500 or so...
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Taking Route: Finding Your Parenting Style In Between Cultures

Taking Route: Finding Your Parenting Style In Between Cultures

  The ladies (Denise and Alicia) at Taking Route have a great podcast up and running if you are looking for a new podcast to listen to about life abroad. When they approached me to chat about the Knocked Up Abroad series, I was super excited to share my story about how living in Sweden has had a profound influence on my approach to parenting. Denise has six (6!) children abroad (I don't know how she finds time to put together a podcast) and we connected right away. We both love allowing our kids to play unattended and our lives abroad have reduced our "nervousness" in our approaches to parenting. (We also both harbor an unnatural hatred for Pinterest, but that's another story.) Be sure to follow Taking Route on Instagram for more of their great content including Denise's awesome passport hack. Also, Alicia from Taking Route is knocked up abroad again herself—and she uses that term!—and I love it when women refer to themselves...
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Can it ever be enough?

Can it ever be enough?

  I've been there for every moment. Every smile, every laugh, every wobbly step—every everything—and yet it feels like I am still missing out on so much. How is it not enough? I look back at baby pictures taken years ago, and I see that squishy face. I can see hints of who you will become hidden around your smile wrinkles, arm folds, and fuzzy hair.     You and I were different back then. Through the long nights with multiple wake ups, the constant changing of sheets, and endless laundry, I was too mired in the hour-to-hour chaos to reflect on anything meaningful. Back then I couldn't see the sweet, crazy kid you would become. Back then your happy moments were constantly interrupted with fussy ones. Your smiles turned into cries, and I'd quickly have to intervene. It felt like we were on this emotional roller coaster together, but the ride was taking too long. I was tired, and the ride kept on going and...
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Is It Time For This Mother In France To Rentrer?

Is It Time For This Mother In France To Rentrer?

Five years ago, my husband and I packed up our Manhattan apartment and moved across the ocean to France. Our plan was to stay for two to three years and then hightail it back to the U.S. to start a family. There was no way I was going to have a baby in a foreign country! Except that I did. And we stayed. Despite my initial reticence—and bolstered by the experiences described in Bringing Up Bébé—I loved being pregnant in France. I have zero regrets, even though I only understood 60% of any doctor’s appointment throughout my pregnancy. During delivery, my husband stood by my shoulder translating, “Breathe…push…push again…okay, I’m not sure what the OB is saying but maybe push again?...Oh wait, no, don’t push! DON’T PUSH!!” Even though we had lived in France for a few years, we had difficulty making close friends. When my son was born, I realized that we couldn’t continue to operate in isolation. I needed a village....
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