I looked back over the blogs from the past month, and I felt a little dishonest.  It has been a beautiful, eventful month…but it has not all been beautiful.  There are really hard parts too–about having a baby and juggling that baby with two other little ones.  During week three, my Dad and Konie took Pace and Mary Aplin to DISNEY WORLD.  Let me clarify that, my Dad went to a vet meeting in Orlando and Konie braved the parks day after day with Pace and Mary Aplin, all by herself.  Who wins woman of the year??  I am pretty sure I would not have been brave enough to do that on my own.  Konie is a super woman…and she LOVES Disney 🙂


This will most likely be the only picture that goes along with what I'm saying in the post. That's becoming kind of normal these days though 🙂

I can’t complain tooooo much with all the help I have close by, but still there have been hard parts.  The hardest parts, to me, come in the first couple weeks–you know, when your hormones are trying to re-adjust from the GI-NORMOUS swing they’ve just taken and your body is limping along behind, trying to figure out if it is or is NOT pregnant.  If you’ve had a baby the term “peri care” is sure to make your skin crawl and your stomach turn just a wee bit.  If you haven’t had a baby, then you probably don’t know what “peri care” is, and I’m happy for you to remain sheltered as long as possible.  No reason to deal with anything before due time.


Mary Aplin asked for a horse and buggy for Christmas. This is just after she walked outside and saw that Santa had brought what she (and her Daddy!) wished for.

Then there’s nursing, and it’s not all the beautiful bonding experience the La Leche League wants you to believe it is.  There’s also the constantly damp, often painful at first, milk cowesque side of the thing.  I’m all for nursing and I do happen to think it’s a bonding experience, but I’ll be glad to have my boobs back…in oh, another eleven months or so 🙂


And this is Pace driving after we explained to Dapples that the buggy wasn't JUST hers.

These are moments that all new moms share, but then there are some poignant and memorable times that each of us like to re-tell over cups of coffee or in the parking lot after preschool drop-off.  Moments that make us laugh because we’ve experienced similar disasters and can commiserate.  So, in an effort to be sure you know it’s not just googley eyes of love and clean baby powder smells over here, I thought I’d share a few of my moments from the past month:

I jumped into the tub for the MUCH needed shower, that I’d been trying to get around to for two or three days, when I thought Jay Paul had a good hour of sleep ahead of him.  I was wrong, and he started screaming somewhere around the conditioner point of my shower.  I decided to forget the leg shave (Who can shave and not slice the underside of their knee to bits with a baby screaming a few feet away?), and quickly wrapped things up.  As I toweled off, greatly thankful to at least be clean, the screaming told my mammary glands it was time to feed.  Milk started spraying from one side and dripping from the other–so much for being clean longer than 2.3 seconds.  It was at this moment that I realized that I was out of nursing pads, and I left the new pack in the car.  I grab Jay Paul, attach him to the “spraying side,” make a mental note to change his clothes but let his body/pjs start absorbing the “dripping” side and hurry, in this state, OUTSIDE to get my nursing pads.  As my naked, post-pregnant body struggled in the cold January weather to balance a nursing baby, a bag from the pharmacy, while also trying to tug open the screen door and get back inside I thought, “this is the kind of thing I don’t talk about on the blog.” 🙂


This magical nap on the porch that Jay Paul and I shared, are what I normally talk about.

Jay Paul eats all. the. time.  Which means I’ve learned to nurse while doing all sorts of things–even going to the bathroom.


Little buddy man...

More than once, I have discovered spit-up sitting in the hollow of my neck formed by my collar bone.  Ok?!  How long had it been there?  How am I so used to that smell that  I wouldn’t notice?  This is why my husband tells me he has grown used to my new scent–baby lotion and slightly sour milk.  Romantic.


Still enjoying the horse and buggy this past weekend.

One morning when those hormone swings were at their worst, I greeted my husband and sister-in-law at the door holding a bowl of Life Cereal with strawberries and bawling into it.  While Jeremiah tried to figure out what in the world was wrong with me (and I had very little explanation of what was rong, but I was fairly sure that it was HIS fault, whatever it was) poor awkward Alex said she needed to go the the bathroom.  She stayed in their a long time before coming out…and the toilet never even flushed.  I’ve often wondered since what she was thinking, trapped in our bathroom, praying her sister-in-law could get it together so that she could come out again.


This is Ashley, not Alex, driving the buggy, but I'm sure I've made her uncomfortable in the past few weeks as well.

Mary Aplin, watching me nursing for the first time, stared in wonder.  Climbed on the couch to get a better look, then said, “Mommy, baby boy is EATING your BOOBY.  That’s gross!”  Thank you Mary Aplin, for putting words to exactly how I’m feeling, right now.  Gross.


I love this picture

Feeling panicked at night that the whole house is about to go to sleep and I’m going to be alone, awake, and utterly exhausted.


We gave the girls these riding outfits for Christmas. They even have little navy coats that go with them. Just living in my British fantasy world and dragging my children along with me 🙂

I am pretty stable now, if yall are starting to get worried.  I’m so thankful that I’ve never experienced true post partum depression.  I know it’s very real and very scary.  I call what I’ve had after all three babies my “deer in headlights” period.  I think normal people call it the baby blues.  It’s a big adjustment to add a new life to your family–a life that is totally dependent.  And while there are so many parts that are wonderful and beautiful, there are also parts that are hard and fugly and not pictured on the blog.


My Dad's mom, Mimi, with Jay Paul this weekend. She was happy because she'd finally gotten him warm like she wanted him. Babies never have enough clothes on to suit Mimi 😉

I’d love it if any of you feel inclined to share one of your moments in the comments.  I know I can’t be the only one!

33 Responses to “Not Pictured On the Blog”

  1. Louisa says:

    I love your honesty. (Found your blog through Darby, which I found through Erika’s blog). You look amazing in that photo, so hats off to you for managing three at once!

    Thank you for this post – I feel like so many people just go on and on about how wonderful it is to have a new baby (and it is!) but there are the hard parts that no one mentions. The recovery is tough (peri care, ugggghhhh!) and nursing for me was SO hard. It’s amazing how much it hurts – it felt like someone sticking knives into my boobs. I don’t have any one story to share – whether it was the milk spraying in the shower or leaking when you’re out in public or not being able to walk properly for a few weeks or having spit up in your hair or your baby having a poop explosion on a visitor (!!!) or getting poop all over the place when you’re going through 8 diapers in one diaper change. I cried a LOT b/c we had such a hard time with the nursing and I felt so completely and utterly overwhelmed. The lack of sleep is just brutal, too.
    Hope it gets easier for you!

    • Jill says:

      Man, right there with you on almost everything…the dripping boobs, nursing on the potty, crying all over the place. Not there with you on walking to the car naked 🙂 or having spit up in the hollow of my collar bone…Rejoice! You have a hollow in your collar bone!!!! I used to have one…not sure which baby that disappeared with. I did come out of the shower half-shaved once, and another time shaved one leg twice, and the other not at all?! Aaaah…lovely. Oh, and at least your nursing gawkers are female…perhaps this counts as “health class” for the boys?

  2. Meredith says:

    Oh Abby! We’ve all been there and continue to be there. I think we all “share the trenches” of motherhood. Just today I had a “mommy moment” that only moms understand. I kept Henry home from daycare yesterday due to a nasty cough that kept us up most of the night. I thought he was fine this morning until driving to daycare he coughed so hard he threw up. All over his jacket, shirt and pants. I had no extra clothes. So, resourceful mom that I am, I pulled into daycare and asked them for Henry’s spare set of clothes. We got him cleaned up best we could and put on the clean clothes even though they were shorts and a short sleeved t-shirt. I took him to my parents house where I proceeded to cry into my mother’s shoulder for a good minute because I was so embarrassed & tired. My poor husband has no idea what I’m feeling and is doing his best to understand! Bless your heart!

  3. Kristin F. says:

    This is probably way too much information, but in the spirit of camaraderie… the thing I remember freaking out about the most was going to the bathroom. How come nobody tells you just how difficult that will be? I was home alone with baby #1 when I decided to go. I left her in the Moses basket and our 90 lb dog asleep on the couch next to her. Fast forward 15 minutes or so and the baby is screaming, the dog is barking and I can’t exactly leave the room just yet. I had to call my mom AT WORK to come rescue us all from certain death and she opened the bathroom door in tears… of laughter.

    It did get better, though. Later that same month I had the pleasure of scaring a few Jehovah’s Witnesses who kept interrupting our nap time. There is nothing like trying to convert a half-naked, nursing mother who answers the door. That was our last visit from them :).

    I love your blog, the pretty days and scary ones alike!

  4. Donna Campfield says:

    I found your blog through Darby some time ago and love reading your stories. Funny how we feel like we know someone just by reading their blogs.

    I just wanted to say that I had two children very close together and then had a little tag along daughter several years later. Life was hectic with three kids and I wished days away at times and now 18 years later, I would love to have some of those days and times back with my babies. They tell me things about places or what they wore or what they did and I honestly don’t remember the details because it was a blur. Hang in there and just take one day at a time or even an hour at a time if needed. Lean on family and friends to help out when you are having a “bad” day. Pray and love every phase! Congratulations on your addition.

  5. Megan A says:

    WOW…I absolutely love your blog…and even more so your honesty! I don’t have any children quite yet that I can share stories about, but I assure you the day I do I’ll be so comforted to know that I’m not alone in that battle. You have such a gift for writing…I just love when you have a new post! Makes my day!!

  6. Nancy says:

    Love how you keep it real in this post.
    The horse & buggy are just beautiful…so are the girls & little boy!!!
    The first few months pretty much rocked my world.
    I think you are such a great writer!!

  7. ashley says:

    VYour comment about “peri care” cracked me up! Your right though…no need to scare anyone 😉

    I had a similar experience while trying to take a shower …standing there naked with milk going everywhere trying to get baby calmed down and to make things interesting the door bell rang. So on goes a robe, baby still attached, peri “issues” going to you know where in a hand basket, milk leaking everywhere …i open the door to some man wanting to know who did our tin roof. I just looked at him with a blank stare. He promptly. Apologized and just walked away. Welcome to motherhood is what i thought as i shut the door

  8. Christen says:

    I remember the first week that the twins were FINALLY home I looked at Raleigh and announced that I needed to go get a pedicure. I felt so guilty because all I had wanted was to have them home and then I leave for some me time. Thankfully, he understood!

  9. Meredith G. says:

    Thanks for posting this! I laughed out loud about the “eating your boobie” comment! Hilarious! I nursed both of my girls for 13 months and it is so rewarding, but SO hard especially in the beginning. When my second daughter was 3 weeks old, I had my annual eye exam (which had been scheduled for a year and the appointments are hard to get so I decided to go ahead and go to it). Right before the doctor came in, the baby started screaming to be fed so I decided to nurse her quickly in the eye exam room. Right about the time I got her situated, the doctor walks in. When I stopped nursing the baby, she started WAILING. Luckily, the doctor was a very nice lady that had 2 small kids of her own. She said, “Don’t worry about it. If you need to nurse her while I do the exam, that’s okay!” So…I nursed the baby while getting my eyes examined! I remembered thinking “I have hit a new low!” Thanks for your blog! I love reading it! Meredith

  10. shannon says:

    Thanks for sharing and being real. It is just a reminder that reality of what I am about to face in about 8 weeks. this will be our 2nd and I am already wondering how the transition will be. Thanks for being transparent.

  11. Natalie says:

    Hahahaha we are so on the exact same page. Check out my latest post. Thankfully my anxious-at-night feeling has lessened some, my milk has semi regulated, and Bennett is used to Jacob “sucking my boobie.”(Emory is NOT) People keep saying its going to get easier so I’ll keep trudging onwards toward that point! But I sure do love this zoo i live in 🙂

  12. Debbie says:

    I’m so glad to see your family is doing well! I have kept up with your blog since you left Birmingham. I can totally relate to this post – when nursing my newborn our then 3 year old came to investigate. After explaining that there was “special baby milk” in there and that was how new babies drink, he pondered that for a second and asked if the other breast had chocolate milk in it!! I told him sorry, only baby milk in both sides, chocolate milk was in the kitchen.

  13. Jennifer says:

    Hi Abby,
    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile…I discovered it a few years ago through Darby’s! Love all of your sweet stories…When my third was born, my oldest had just turned four and my middle was 2. It was nuts for awhile…actually, it still is and they’re now 6 1/2, 9 and 11!! I have so many crazy mom moments from the years that I’m sure I could write a book. 🙂 So, please know that you’re not alone! It’s funny what all of a sudden becomes your “new normal.”

    P.S…And it is true..mommies and their boys have such a special bond. I have two boys ( 6 and 11) and a daughter and I definitely seem to baby my boys more. My daughter is a sweet, amazing and independent nine year old who I cherish and will forever adore, but those boys have me wrapped around their fingers in an entirely different way. I’m sure I’m not doing future wives any favors 🙂

  14. Claire says:

    I have always said with my first born, I’d sit in the glider rocker, nurse him in the nursery, look into his eyes and contemplate the wonders of motherhood.

    With my second, I could sit on the couch and nurse in peace with my toddler underfoot.

    By my third, I’d latch her on and be up walking around starting dinner, barking orders to my two younger babes. Poor little thing!

    Hang in there. Life with three is a balancing act for sure. But you do get the hang of it; even if you are way outnumbered now!

    Claire from TN via TX

  15. Amy Cook says:

    This was a wonderful post. I love it when people are gut level honest on their blogs because that is the reality of life and there really is beauty there. Thanks for sharing…it was encouraging and comical 🙂

  16. Amber says:

    I love these stories and I love your blog! I am from Birmingham and we have lots of mutual friends. I am not sure how I found your blog 🙂 Anyway, I have 3 little boys, 4.5, 3 and 10 weeks. Daniel (the baby) eats all the time as well 🙂 One day I had just dropped off the boys at preschool and took Daniel to express oil to get something fixed on the car. While waiting in the waiting room I discovered I didn’t have a cover or blanket or anything with me……and he needed to eat 🙂 I ended up using his baby jacket (small) to cover myself the best I could in the express oil waiting room…..thankful none of the hard working me came in to talk to me about my car! Other nursing stories include my 3 year old walking into to the den with toilet paper asking to have his fanny wiped while I am feeding the baby on the couch 🙂 I think with the third, nursing in crazy places while doing everything is just normal!
    And my 4.5 year old learning all about the baby eating from my “nipples” (awesome- so glad my little boy has this word as apart of his everyday vocabulary) and reminding me that I need to get “stuck to the pump”.
    I have laughed over and over with my husband about the timing of my showers. I will jump in when the baby has been asleep for 30 min so he should be good and asleep…etc. IT NEVER FAILS, that in the 5 minutes I am in there….the door bell rings, the children go potty and need a fanny wiped, the phone rings etc. Amazing!
    Finally, I had that night anxiety right after my second and some after Daniel as well. It is very real and very hard! I am so glad you are feeling better 🙂

  17. Taylor says:

    I think M’apples is going to be a horse whisperer 🙂 — I love all the pictures… so very sweet – Jpaul is changing so much – as are the girls – are we really old enough for you to have 3 children – wowzer! I know I am behind – I will need to have quadruplets to keep up with you and Caroline, though!!
    Much love , SIS 2

  18. Ivy says:

    The term “peri-care” made me laugh out loud and hurt at the same time. My little girl was 8.1 when she was born and it HURT!

    I totally feel ya on having anxiety about night time. I used to be so happy to see the sun come up when we were having sleep issues!

    Your sweet family is just precious:)

  19. Andi says:

    I have been rolling with laughter! Oh I feel your pain! I had major deer in headlights…you are precious!

  20. Katie says:


    I could so relate to your comment about feeling panicked at night. In those postpartum days, I always struggled as the sun went down. It is a very lonely feeling thinking you are the only one in the whole world awake at such awful times during the night. Here’s to hoping he sleeps through the night real soon!
    You have a precious family and I love “checking in” on y’all.


  21. JJ says:

    Let me first say…I love reading your blog 🙂 Secondly, I know EXACTLY how you feel…I have 2 girls (4 and 3) and just had my son, McCoy, in October. I keep telling my friend, Layne, every time I read one of your posts, it’s like you are typing exactly what I am feeling or going through–only a couple months later! (Although you say it much more elegantly than I ever could…)

    I could really relate to this post…I remember those first 3 weeks…going from 2 to 3. Shew, it was hard. I remember being so emotional and tired, which is a deadly combo. Everytime anyone would stop by to visit or bring food, they would ask how I was doing and I would be able to get out “Oh, I’m doing great…” followed immediately with uncontrollable tears. Good times. Thankfully…it gets better and you find your new “normal”. Except for our boobs, I don’t think they will ever be normal again 🙂

  22. Rhonda says:

    Hey Abby,

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile…we have some mutual friends…anyway, I started reading regularly after reading some of the posts about your mom…I lost my mom as well, though at a younger age, and I’ve decided that this time in my life is the hardest not to have her! Lucky you, with your sisters though! I’m an only child and it’s TOUGH!

    Just wanted to let you know that I have a newborn too (second child). I REALLY hate the time at night when everyone goes to bed! I empathize there. Maybe you can gain a little comfort knowing you have lots of moms with new babies that read your blog, and they are up all hours, alone, as well. It always makes me feel better to know I’m “not the only one.”

    Thanks for your blog! It’s a highlight during those long, long hours at home (new baby, who is actually 9 weeks, has RSV. Probably from my 3 year old who has a cold. Long days, but worth it).

  23. Amanda Blake says:

    Great start for me today reading your blog Abby~ after entering into 3rd trimester (nausea/loosing my breakfast today/,cervix “crushing”, and ooodles of ?’s still), this totally made me laugh out loud several times. I keep telling myself, “see, you will live!” Love the way you see the humor in all the preggie craziness..what can you do it you can’t laugh..besides cry! Ha. I boo-hooed yesterday b/c of the sharp(omg) pains “down there”, & proceeded to the Dr. for her to say “sorry,it’s just part of it”, but also because the lady who did my pedicure(that I had envisioned being the most wonderful pedi ever) didn’t do a great job.. 😉 My husband, all of 9 months listens..and just suggests I go back.. it was last week. 😉 Miss you sweet friend!

  24. Melody says:

    Abby, I have more “moments” than I can count. I was very emotional after all 4 of my children. So much so, that the first Sunday back in church, which was the next Sunday, because I could not stay in my house by myself another moment, I was crying so much everyone was asking if the baby was ok. The baby is fine, I’m just crazy :). After having Charlie, some sweet friends came by to bring us dinner. I was alone and had him all cute and clean for them to see him. Sure enough, I was nursing him when they came, so of course, while they are standing there he poopoos and then teetees. I don’t know what happened with that diaper, but it didn’t hold a lick of it and every bit starts dripping out on the floor, not to mention all over me, Thankfully, they had been there too and we have all laughed about it since. By the way, I still miss my pre-nursing boobs, which look much different after 4 children:)

  25. mary beth says:

    Oh my gosh! I am seriously in love with the riding outfits. Your “British fantasy world and dragging my children with me” comment absolutely cracked me up. I am so with you! And as for stories…too many to count with a 3,2, and 1 yr. old. I try to block them from my memory so I can salvage some dignity. I’ve been able to find the humor in it, the longer I’m a parent. 🙂

  26. Jennifer says:

    Oh I feel you. I was so panicky in the evenings, which is hard time to be panicky because that’s when all the nice visitors stop by on their way home from work. But that was when my little one slept the longest I was GLUED to the advice that I should “sleep when she does!” Does anyone ever do that??

    Peri-care … yikes!!!!!

  27. Since we’re sharing here, I’ll share a story completely in the catagory of “oversharing”. I took Jordan to the grocery store literally 3 days after I brought her home from the hospital. Well diapers weren’t as great as the are now. Since this was 30 years ago. As a young nursing mom I didn’t think anything about it, until she had a major explosion!!! It was so bad that I high tailed it out of there, leaving drippings all down the isle, from the frozen section to out the doe. Gotta love those breast feeding diapers!!!

  28. Angie says:

    This story made me smile and think back to baby #1’s birth…..Totally had a moment of crying, ran to the bathroom, cried for awhile, regained my composure to open the door and see me dear husband holding by beautiful son up like he was a trophy and the crying started all over again……or the time I starred at baby #1 in his bassinet (sp) thinking what do I do with him and out came the tears……9 years later and add a brother to the mixture and we are all just dandy!! : )
    Happy Tuesday!!

  29. tara says:

    Longtime reader, never commenter, came to your blog through Darby’s. Just wanted to thank you for this very real look at motherhood. Even with the crying into your cereal, and the milk-spray-car-screen-door-incident, I could not respect you more. This is the good stuff, it will be the stuff you remember and laugh and cry and blush about when your little ducks are grown. I have one child, and I feel overwhelmed (she’s ten) – how you manage to stay sane with three amazes me. I have been loving a quote from Ivan Doig, the writer, he says, “Life is wide, there’s room to take a new run at it.” I think about that often when things get me down. Thank you for sharing your stories – thank you for being real.

  30. Alex says:

    Hahaaa. I love the life cereal memory. It was an honest bonding time – I did spend some time in the bathroom though. I really liked the Christmas towels. haha. I’ve gone back so many years on your blog and re-read things. You’re so gifted. Love you.

  31. Heidi says:

    Love the girls outfits!!

    I am right there with you. I think G expected me to be in tears and was walking egg shells those first few weerks. His parents likely think I am crazy ( I did warn him I did not want company until I knew I could be stable). I am lucky if I get a shower in most days. No matter how long Bryce has been down, of whether I choose to do my hair first, last or in the middle, about the time I get shampoo in hair he starts wailing. Same with shaving cream so I have given up on getting my legs shaved. I am calling it insulation for the cold, wet, winter days we have here. Not like I am pulling out the shorts any time soon. I have also sprayed milk everywhere immediately after a shower. I also learned the hard way that upper body strength training would be a good time to haver nursing pads in. I also learned that not only does your crying baby cause your milk to let down but so will someone else’s. This little lesson was also learned in public without nursing pads. Nothing like thinking you are just a little overdressed and sweaty while wandering the mall to walk into the restroom and discover large bullseye like targets across your chest. Someone should put in a kiosk cart at the mall that sells diapers, wipes, disposable bibs, single serve formula packets and nursing pads!! Not a single store in the mall carries such things.

    We miss you guys! Jay Paul and the girls are just precious in these photos

  32. Laura Stronach says:

    Soooooooooooo glad to catch up on your blog again Abby. See now I don’t feel like the only one with their boobs hanging out there and having a mind of their own. After the mastitis, sinus infection, and colic the gi bug rolls around. God watches over us because that was the first night my little one slept thru the entire night while I spent it on the toilet. Everyone took their turn in the house over the next 2 weeks, it was a real box of chocolates. We’ve been dealing with colic now for 6 weeks, come to find out Eve has sensitivities to all things good that I love and keep me sane i.e. chocolate, all dairy – cheese and milk are what I live on, spicy foods, oh yeah and now my one a week Dr Pepper. Will it end just when things are under control mass chaos ensues. We finally went on a recent much needed outdoorsy adventure read as a simple walk on the Natchez, while Eve is crying the whole way from the peanut gallery in the backseat. Finally Thomas pipes up in his usual wit to say, “Mamma she needs the breast, she cries all the time without it!” It was all his brave parents could do not to laugh and keep a straight face. Love that Christmas ended with a horse and buggy…like I said what will happen at Easter…..a herd of liitle bunnies and ducks…..that would be AWESOME!
    keep the funnies in print

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