Ep. 260 – Facing Harsh Realities While Raising Kids
June 26, 2023
Laura and Shanna answer listener questions in the special segment “Checkin’ the Inbox,” covering the topics of gun violence, kids’ hair care, geriatric motherhood and more. Also, Shanna reports on the first step of her four-year-old’s IEP assessment, and Laura talks about how attending a friend’s murder trial has affected her parenting life. Finally, they share their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s kids are 4 and 7 years old, and Laura’s kids are 4 years old and 2 years old.
Want to get in touch? Send us an email, sign up for our monthly newsletter and follow us on social! Instagram, Facebook or TikTok. Also, join our Facebook Community Group for support and camaraderie on your parenting journey.
Big Fat Positive: A Pregnancy and Parenting Journey podcast is hosted by Laura Birek and Shanna Micko and produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.
- "The Ghost Ship That Didn't Carry Us" by Sugar (aka Cheryl Strayed). Laura suggests this wonderful article for anyone feeling on the fence about having a baby.
- "Episode 76 - Weaning: History, Psychology and Practical Tips" This podcast episode from Heather and Maureen from the Milk Minute podcast offers excellent advice about weaning.
This episode's sponsors:
Big Fat Positive: A Pregnancy and Parenting Journey is sponsored by BetterHelp. Join over 1 million people taking charge of their mental health. BetterHelp connects people with licensed, professional therapists in a safe online environment. BFP listeners get 10% off their first month.
With SewSafe™ magnetic closures, Simply Magnetic Me makes changes practically effortless. Plus, their supremely soft fabrics are cozy and sustainable! Get 20% off your order with promo code BFP.
Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week we have our weekly check ins. We have our special segment Checkin’ the Inbox, where things get a little bit heavy but really sappy. And we close with our BFPs and BFNs for the week. Let’s get started. Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode 260. Hello, Shanna.
I’m here, you’re here, our listeners are here. What do you think we should talk about?
Probably what’s going on in our parenting lives.
Oh, is that what we do?
That or the season finale of succession. I mean, either way.
Oh, I have so many thoughts about that. But probably we should hold back and just talk about us. I was always Team Shiv, just for the record. Yes. Okay, what’s been going on with you this week?
So a few episodes back, I talked about starting the process of getting an IEP assessment for Cece, remember?
I do remember.
So that comes in a couple of parts. First, I filled out a ton of questionnaires about her behavior and my concerns, et cetera. Second part happened this week, and it was a health assessment, so that’s just more of a physical exam. They scheduled us for her health assessment at a local elementary school, and I was like, okay. And they’re like, she’ll meet with the nurse, et cetera. And I’m like, all right, I have no idea what to expect here. So Cece and I go down to this school nearby, and I’m like, what is going on? And I realize it’s a whole set up. Like, they schedule a lot of people for this. That day we walk in and there’s like a table set up. We check in and I see a lot of other kids there with their parents, and they took her height and her weight, and then they moved us on into a little room to check her hearing. And she put on little headphones and did her little hearing test, and she passed. And then we moved on into the cafeteria of the school, where I guess a bunch of different school nurses were set up in different stations. And one school nurse came up to us and did a little eye exam on her, which she passed too. And then we went and talked to the nurse. I filled out another questionnaire about Cece’s health and what her birth was like, et cetera. And she asked a bunch of questions about Cece while Cece sat there and tried to talk to her about Bluey.
Or God knows what.
And the nurse, I guess, deemed her healthy after talking to me for a little while, and we went on our merry way and that was all it was.
So it was just a real basic.
Physical sounds like, yes, very basic. They didn’t even touch her, examine her body or anything like that. So it was very easy, very quick. And that’s the first part of the process that is done.
Well, I’m glad that’s done also. I’m glad they didn’t have to poke and prod her, because if I know anything about Cece, I know that she’s not a big fan of medical procedures being done to her.
Indeed, I think this was her favorite doctor’s appointment ever in her whole life.
Yeah, easy peasy.
And at first I was thinking, like, why do they do this? But it occurred to me as you were talking, that they probably do it because a lot of maybe learning issues or behavioral issues are, like, maybe stemming from unfound hearing or sight or physical problems. Right?
Yes. And some of the IEP specifications or, like, the 13 categories that a child can fall into to qualify for IEP are straight up physical. Like, they are like, hearing impairment, vision impairment. So I think that’s an opportunity to screen the children for those issues as well.
That makes sense. Individualized Education Plan, right?
Yes, of course.
You would need an Individualized Education Plan if you are hard of hearing or deaf and go to a school with teachers speaking with their voices. Right? Yeah. Okay. That makes a lot of sense. All right, so do you have the third and final part scheduled?
We do. It’s coming up in a few weeks, and that is the part where we go to another elementary school and meet with a panel of a psychologist, a speech therapist, and an occupational therapist that’s coming up.
Cool. All right, well, I’m sure you’ll tell us all about that when it happens.
I will. So that’s pretty much the big news for us this week. Wanted to update you on that process and let you know what the first step is like. What about you, Laura? I want to hear what’s going on with your family.
Okay, so I have a check in this week.
I got to give a little disclaimer. All right. There is going to be talk about gun violence and death. So if that’s something that you don’t want to hear about not about my family, just so everyone knows. No, but we’re talking about gun violence and death, and if that’s triggering for you or you just don’t want to listen, I totally get it. Skip ahead. So this check in is actually going to be more about the last three weeks of my life. The stuff I couldn’t really talk about on the show while it was going on because things were in progress and up in the air. But I wanted to talk about it because I feel like this does relate to parenting and sort of my mindset and what’s been going on in my life. So I wanted to catch people up. So longtime listeners of the show may recall that when I was, I want to say, eleven weeks pregnant with Auggie, one of my very good friends was murdered. I think I talked about it in episode maybe four of the show.
I think it was four.
Yeah. And I tried not to talk much about it because it was a bummer. First of all, there’s no real fun way to spin it because it was really traumatic and awful and also to protect my friend’s privacy and his family’s privacy, I didn’t really want to talk too much about it, so I didn’t talk about it much. So a couple weeks ago, completely out of the blue, almost five years after my friend was killed, his widow, who is also a very close friend of mine, I’ve known both of them since elementary and middle school, respectively. I actually knew them both separately before they got together as a couple.
So I’ve been close with both of them for a very long time. She messaged me and said, the trial is about to start. And it was very unexpected, but because it happened in La. She now lives in Northern California, but my friend was killed in Malibu. So it was, I guess, about to start in downtown La. And she said, I’m going to be flying in as much as I can, and the more people I can have in the courtroom, the better. So if anyone is able and willing to come, I would really appreciate it. So I saw this, and of course, I had no hesitation on my part. I was like, all right, where do I show up and when? I don’t have a full time job, I don’t have anywhere I have to report. My kids are in preschool. Tell me where to go. I will be there. I live 15 minutes away from downtown La, the Clara Short Ridge Criminal Center, where it’s getting charged. I will be there. And as a result, I ended up going into the courtroom for this trial most days over the last two and a half weeks.
Yeah, and it was intense.
Okay, so they caught his alleged killer. Did you know that? Is that something you were aware of?
Yes. So obviously I haven’t been updating people on the podcast about it because this is not a true crime podcast. It turns out I know a lot of our listeners probably listen to true crime podcasts, and some of them may have listened to the true crime podcast that was made about this particular case. Yeah. And I’m not trying to obscure who it is. I’m not trying to keep it a secret, guys. I just don’t want it to be, like, in the transcript. So it’s Googleable with his name. But if you want to know if you want to Google, just search Malibu Scientist killed, you’ll find it. He was a dad. He was killed while camping in Malibu with his two daughters who were aged two and four at the time. That is plenty of info for you guys to figure out who it is. And that’s pretty much all the details I’ll give about that. But yes, he was caught, so this guy was caught months later breaking into businesses in the same area as where my friend was killed. And in the surveillance videos they saw, he had a rifle in his backpack, like, in every single one of the break ins. So they suspected this might be the same guy. And I learned so much during the trials. I never knew how tedious they were, but watching all these witnesses and the detectives talking about how they found this guy super interesting. So they followed his boot prints across the hills to find where he had built himself, like, I think Campman, a little campsite. And so they arrested him in, I think it was October. My friend was killed in June 2018, and they arrested him in October. Wow.
So you knew he was apprehended, but it took a long time to get the trial to come to fruition. You got a notice a couple of weeks out that the trial was about to begin…
Notice two days before the trial was about to begin, my friend.
So all of a sudden, everything in your life was put on hold so you could go and support your friend. By the way, you’re an amazing friend and person. I have no doubt, like, you would be there for me in a situation like that and for your friend. So you are a wonderful person and friend, and that’s a very hard thing to do.
Thank you. I mean, I really hope I never have to do this ever again in my entire life, but I was really happy that I was able to be there for my friend as much as I could because it felt important. Yeah.
So aside from it just taking a lot of your time during the week, like, you didn’t have a lot of time for a lot of other stuff, how else did going to this trial affect you, like, emotionally, mentally, your parenting, stuff like that?
Yeah. So from a practical standpoint, there were some things that just, like, I couldn’t do. Like so the court usually would go from like, 9:30 to twelve, and then it would go from 1:30 to four. And Auggie needs to be picked up at school at 3:30. So Corey actually came with me to most of the morning sessions, which was really nice of him.
And then he would leave. Right. So he could do like, the kids pickup and all that stuff. And a lot of times the court would end at four, but we were all like, emotional wrecks, especially my friend, his wife. It was not an easy thing, as you can imagine. There’s a lot of evidence from the crime scene that they had to present so the jury could see, which involved a lot of graphic photos. A lot of details came out during the trial that none of us knew, including my friend, about what a close call it was basically that her kids didn’t get killed, too. And actually, the guy was accused of attempted murder of them as well. Wow. Because it turns out he shot five shots towards the tent they were sleeping in, and two entered the tent. So that was part of the charges. He was actually charged with, like, a million things. He was charged with I think it was, like 16 altogether. It was, like, one murder, obviously, of my friend, a bunch of attempted murders because he was, like, shooting at cars, driving by on the street, and then a bunch of robberies. So, yeah, we should say, for people.
Who don’t know, this was completely random. This guy did not know. Your friend had no ulterior motive for your friend specifically. Right. He was just, I don’t know, just randomly shooting.
Right? Yeah, that’s what came out. I mean, he was just looking for random targets, as far as we can tell. We don’t know for sure what his motives were because he not only refused to testify, but he also refused to be at the trial. So he wasn’t there, which I was very relieved about because I didn’t want to see him. Like, he freaks me out. But, yeah, we don’t know. We can only guess. But we do know that there’s no connection. It was all random. He was also shooting at cars that were driving by completely randomly. It was just a guy with a gun who wanted to hurt people but to go back. So there was all the practical stuff. Like, I couldn’t do pickups, and then, yeah, afterwards we’d be wrecked, so we’d want to go and decompress, like get a drink at the hotel my friend was staying at and talk and talk over what we saw. And there were just a lot of nights I was getting home at, like, 630 or seven, which I probably sounds like a normal time for a lot of working parents, but my kids are freaking used to me being home all the time. And it was definitely causing, I think, a lot of anxiety in my boys and stress. I’m sure they were picking up on the fact that Mommy and Daddy, too, because he was there, too, were stressed out. They were picking up that Mommy wasn’t home when she usually is home. They weren’t getting as much mommy cuddle time, and there was just a lot of clinginess. I’m seeing a lot of jealousy on Auggie’s part. Like, if I was nursing Sebastian, he’d be, like, climbing in my lap to join us. There was just a ton of clinginess. But I will say that another thing that came out of it is that it really obviously this crime hit really close to home because this was my good friend. But the thing that’s just, like, so weird to me is that his daughters were two and four at the time, and my children are two and four right now, and the visceral. Identifying with that really, I mean, really was hard. First of all, like, super stressful. Like, anytime they were talking about how the girls reacted was just gutting. And I could not stop thinking about my boys. Right. All I could think about were, like, how would Sebastian deal with this? How would Auggie deal with this? But I think the upside of it, if there is an upside, is that it really just gave me a huge amount of perspective about what was important. And I found myself letting go of a lot of little things and not really giving a shit about stuff that used to bother me, and I’m sure it’ll go away, and I’ll go right back to giving a shit about little things. But during the trial, I think I embrace this complete earth mama hippie. Everything is connected. The only thing that’s important is hugging my boys and being close to them and oh, Sebastian’s waking up ten times a night. Just sleep with him, just be close with him as long as you can. All this stuff that I don’t necessarily think is sustainable, but I was just, like, full on hold my family close. Nothing else is important. Just all of us being together. So it’s good to have perspective like that.
And I have to say that the one other thing that I noticed, which I feel kind of weird about too, is that all these sort of staying out and having dinner with my friends because multiple friends showed up for the trial. My friend whose husband died has a ton of support, lots of family, so she was really supported during this trial. And so we would all kind of want to go out afterwards and talk about what we saw and just support her and just be close to her because we didn’t really want to send her to her hotel room alone right. After all that stuff.
Those evenings, I ended up going out to dinner with adults more than I’ve gone out to dinner with adults in so long. And it was strangely nice. In a way. I found myself sort of realizing how much I miss my sort of autonomy in that stuff and how much I miss just feeling like I wasn’t feeling guilt about being out because it was important. It’s more important to be supporting my friend at this time. And Corey’s got bedtime. Right. It’s fine. And I like, I miss those guilt free outings. So in a weird way, that’s another revelation I sort of had with that, is that I think I need to reconnect with my friends and find ways to spend time with more adults that is completely and utterly independent from childcare and talking about kids and talking about parenting.
Well, maybe you can bring that back into your life now that you’ve had a taste. Yes.
Although that’s so funny because it’s like the polar opposite from keep my family close. Never let them go, but also go out to drinks a lot.
Well, once they’re asleep, you wouldn’t be snuggling them anyway. From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Correct?
Yeah, just from midnight, when Sebastian wakes up.
Okay, so I assume at this point the trial is over because you said you can talk about it now. What was the outcome of the trial? Was he found guilty?
Yes, he was found guilty of second degree murder, which, whatever, there’s all kinds of legal reasons why, but he was found guilty of murder. He was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder, two of them being for the girls being in the tent, and then one of them for being a guy driving a Tesla down the road who got shot, his car got shot, and five of the robberies. There were additional charges that I guess the jury just couldn’t see enough evidence of. And I’m sure some true crime podcast out there is going to be breaking this down, but he got acquitted on those additional attempted murder charges because there just wasn’t enough evidence there.
The important thing is that he’s convicted now, and the sentencing guidelines mean that he’s going to spend the rest of his life in jail, which normally I have mixed feelings about, like, oh, the criminal justice system is very complicated and yada, yada, yada. But I’ve never encountered a person like this before who just is truly hurting random people for no apparent reason. And I just don’t think it’s safe for him to be out in public. So, honestly, I was happy with the verdict only because I just did not want this person to be able to hurt someone else ever again.
It’s not about vengeance and it’s not about getting my friend back because that’ll never happen. But at least the world is safe from this guy. At least. My friend was very relieved by the verdict. That’s pretty much all she cared about, too. She just wanted this guy to stay in jail so everyone could be safe. That’s that.
Wow, what an ordeal.
Yeah, so, yeah, I’ve been recovering now. This week has just been like, the trial ended on Tuesday, and I’ve just been, like, in a daze trying to catch up with life. And it’s just been so weird because, for example, closing statements were on my birthday.
Oh my God.
And people kept texting me. I couldn’t see them because this was, like, on the high profile crimes floor, and they take your phone away. So I would come out during the recess and look at my phone and everyone’s like, happy birthday. I hope you’re having the most amazing day. And I’m like, I wouldn’t characterize it that way, but again, I just could not give a shit about my birthday. Everyone’s like, the people who knew were like, oh, I’m sorry that you had to do this on your birthday. I’m like, I don’t care. It’s 41. Who gives a shit about 41? And also, like, this is more important. I’ll get a birthday next year. Yeah. That’s what’s been going on with me. I feel like maybe people hopefully not, because I feel like I’ve maybe faked it really well, but over the last few weeks of check ins, I feel like I’ve been sort of like, let’s try my best to not talk about the major thing that’s going on in my life. So I’m glad to be able to talk about it a little bit and let people know what’s going on and that hopefully it’s done now. It’s done.
Yes. That’s what it sounds like.
Well, thank you for sharing. I know that was probably not easy to do, but I think I appreciate it, and I’m sure our listeners appreciate it, too.
Thank you. Yeah. Okay, let’s move on.
Let’s do it. We’re back, and this week’s special segment is Checkin’ the Inbox, where we answer listener questions. And we got a lot of good ones this time. Laura, we’re going to start off with the question from Amy. It’s somewhat related to what we just talked about in your check in, so I thought we could start with this one first.
Amy says, do you have any advice on navigating, anxiety, sending your kids to school? With the ongoing gun violence in schools, I’m terrified to send my four-year-old to preschool in September for the first time. I’m also a former teacher of six years and had anxiety just from lockdown drills. I want to home school, but I don’t want to live in fear and take the school opportunity from my kids. Laura, do you have any thoughts on this, having lived through a situation that dealt with gun violence?
Yeah. Yes. Okay, Amy, I feel you. I have anxiety. Like, every once in a while, I’ll be dropping Sebastian off at his daycare, and they’ll have the front door propped open to air it out or something. And the first thing I think of is, uh-oh, that makes it easier for a shooter to come in, because that’s where we’re at, right? Like, that’s where we’re at. And I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. And yeah, I mean, I was a senior in high school when Columbine happened, and I watched the whole thing unfold on one of those wheelie cart TVs that they used to wheel into your classrooms in my high school class. Like, watching all these other high school students jump out the windows to escape. Right. So this has been my whole adult life. This has been something I’ve been thinking about. We try to stay pretty apolitical on this podcast, and I’m not going to get too into it, but I’m not a fan of guns. I’ve talked about that before. My friend getting killed obviously helped reinforce my not a fan status of guns. That said, the other thing that it did do is it actually alleviated my fears about schools, specifically because it just reminded me that, unfortunately, right now in the US. Nowhere is safe. Right. Like, school shootings are terrifying and awful, and I hate them, and I think we should be doing everything we can to prevent them. But guns are everywhere. If you’re worried about your kid going to school because they might get shot, the bad news is that you should be worried about them going to the movie theaters, and you should have worries about them going to the shopping mall, and you should have worries about them going camping in Malibu. Right. Like, literally anywhere, you’re a potential victim of gun violence. And while that is not a fun thing to think about, maybe it can help you at least decentralize the school shooting aspect of it, because I don’t know the statistics offhand. But I do know that your chances of being involved or your kids chances of being involved in school shooting are really small compared to a lot of the other risks that are out there. So I don’t know if you’re a logical style person, maybe looking at it that way could help. I don’t know. I know this is super Debbie Downer, but honestly, that has helped me because it’s just like, well, unless we do something about the root cause of the issue, it doesn’t matter where you are. It could still be a problem. Sorry, I don’t know. Shanna, are you freaked out about this, or is your anxiety under control?
Luckily, this is not an area I have a lot of anxiety about. I really don’t know if my kids have done lockdown drills. I think that that would really make me sad to know that they do. I’m sure they do. Just probably haven’t talked about it because it’s just, like, a routine part of their life.
But I just value school so much, and I know I would be a terrible homeschooling teacher, so I think that sending them to school is the right choice for us, even though that is a scary thing that could potentially happen.
Amy used to be a teacher, so I guess she’d probably be good at homeschooling, right? When I read, like, I want to home school, I want to home school, but I don’t want to take the school experience away from my kids, I’m like, no, that’s not why I want those kids out of my house. I already lived through the pandemic, like, get them out of the house. That’s why I want to send my kids to school. But, yeah, Amy, sorry we don’t have a great answer for you, but I will say action is the antidote to anxiety. That’s something I learned on the happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast. That’s been really helpful for me. So if you feel like you think there’s some political change that might help you feel better about school shootings, try to engage in whatever that is so find a cause you believe in. Find something that you think will help personally and maybe donate your time or money or both to that and see if that might help your fears, because at least you’re doing something, right. You’re not just sending your kids into a void, right? Yeah. Okay, can we move on from talking about guns? Can we promise that we won’t talk about guns or death for the rest of this episode?
Okay. All right, Shanna. I want to move on to, like, a happy question. Okay, so here is a happier question. It’s from Lakshmi. Lakshmi asks, what’s your favorite thing about each of your kids and each other? Compliment time.
That’s fun. Food for thought. Let’s see. All right, I’ll start with Elle. She’s my first born. I think one of my favorite things about her is her sunny personality. She’s always been easy going, easy to smile, easy to laugh, just kind of just a fun, laid back, easygoing person, and I love that about her. What about you, Laura? Why don’t you talk about your firstborn what’s your favorite thing about Auggie?
Auggie? First of all, I hate to say, like, favorite thing because I don’t want them to listen and think, like, this is the only thing that I value about them. So I love how you say one of my favorite things, because there’s so much I love about him, and if this changes, I don’t want him to think that, no, I don’t like him anymore. Kids are always changing. Right? But I will say right now, one of the things that just delights me to no end about Auggie is his imagination and his creativity. I mean, this kid is just always living in, like, a fantasy world in the best way. He’s just always imagining that he’s a character in a show or just in a different world. And he’s so dedicated to a child. He is so into it. But it’s not just that. He’s not just, like, mimicking what he sees on TV shows. He’s coming up with all these stories and all these motivations, and then on top of it, he’s, like, composing original songs to go with it. He’ll just wake up singing a new song and stuff. I love it, and every day I just want to hear what’s going on in his little brain. It just delights me to no end.
I love it. So creative.
So creative. And what about you? Let’s move on to the youngest.
Okay. Cece. One of my favorite things about Cece is how loving and cuddly and affectionate she is. She’s just, like, always been able to sit next to her, give her little back tickles and scratches and hugs, and she comes up and gives me hugs and kisses, and we snuggle at bedtime. And I love that. I get so much, like, physical love and affection from her, and I think that’s just an amazing quality about her. All right. What about Sebastian?
So this is something that I find it so hard to explain, but the kid is a comedian, and he’s been this way since he was a baby, and it’s so hard to explain, I can’t even remember specific examples. But he’s been, like, pulling pranks and jokes on us since he was tiny, tiny, tiny. It’s hard to explain for a baby. So all I know is that when you’re there, you see it. You’re like, oh, he made that face as a joke, right? He has punchlines, pre-verbal punchlines. And now he’s verbal. So, like, one example of something he’s doing now, his newest joke, it’s like a running gag, is we’ll be nursing, and he’ll just unlatch, and he’ll look at me and he’ll go, Boo, boo, butt. And then he smiles and laughs. He knows it’s a joke, and I’ll laugh, and he does it to get me to laugh. And then another thing he’ll do is he’ll hold out food for me to eat, and I’ll go, I don’t want it. No, thank you. And then he’ll go, Daddy want it. And he’ll be looking at me and smiling, and I’ll be like, no, Daddy doesn’t want it. Gemma want it. And if my mom said no, Grandma doesn’t want him to be like, Cal want it. Cal is my cat. He’s doing a joke, right? He’s doing a bit, and I just think it’s so funny. He’s hilarious.
Okay, Shanna. So what do you like about me?
That wasn’t awkward at all. I love how smooth you are with transitions.
I could use some compliments so much.
Okay. I think one of my favorite things about you is that you are so thoughtful, reliable, and caring as a friend, I know you’ll always be there for me, like, if I ever need you. And I’ve been through some hard times, and you are the friend that’s there that shows up, gives the support and checks in and stuff like that, and that’s just awesome. I love that.
That’s nice to hear. I try. That’s, like, my thing. I try.
Well, you succeed.
I’m glad to hear it’s. Coming through. Okay.
All right, your turn.
Yours is similar, I have to say, and this is probably why we’re such good friends. But when I was thinking about it, I thought, obviously there’s so much I love about you, Shanna, which is why we’re besties, and we talk to each other all the time. But one thing that is really remarkable about you is that I have never once in our entire super long friendship now felt any judgment coming from you. I’ve always been able to come to you with complaints or gripes or just shit that’s going on with my life. I’ve always been able to talk about myself too much, probably. And you are always so generous with your time and your listening, and also no ounce of judgment, only support. Like, you’ve always just been 100% supportive of me, which I really appreciate.
That’s so nice to hear. Thank you. I totally don’t judge you, and I totally support you.
That’s so nice. Okay, so moving on, I actually think we should continue this love fest because we got a really fun question from a listener named Maria that was for the kids. Maria wants us to ask the kids, what do you love about your mommy?
I wonder what they will say.
So, Shanna, you had the good idea to not ask them directly, right?
Yeah. I want to see what they say about me behind my back.
Okay. So we’re going to send our husbands in to record them answering what they love about their mommy, and we’re going to play it now. And this is the first time we’ve listened to it.
Okay, so Corey just sent me some audio files, so I’m going to play them and see what they sound like. Shall we?
What do you love about Mommy?
Mama boo boo.
What do you love about Mama?
Mama boo boo drinkies.
What else do you love about Mama.
Because she’s so warm and cozy?
Mama. What do you love about Mama, sweetie?
Cozy. Yeah? Well, they both seemed a little tongue tied. I don’t know.
I think Auggie went right for the boo boo. Boo boo.
I mean, talk about regression. This kid the other day told me that something was a non Newtonian fluid, but when asked a direct question, he goes, mama, boo boo.
A little microphone shy, I guess.
I’m just surprised he didn’t break into the Transformers theme song, to be honest.
Yeah, that was his opportunity to shine. Okay. Well, he did also say you were warm and cozy.
That’s really sweet. That is sweet. That is kind of what I would love for them, if they remember nothing else, to feel that warm and cozy feeling. So that’s sweet. I do feel like he was influencing Sebastian in his answer. Like Sebastian didn’t. Feel free to talk, if you will. Yeah. Okay. Did Steve send something over for you?
Yeah. Here, I’ll send it to you. You can play it.
Okay. Okay. Cece. That’s your pseudonym on the podcast. Okay, you already know the question. Go ahead with your answer.
I like Mama because she looks after us and she makes sure that we are safe.
I like Mama because she’s really nice and she cooks for us, and she looks after us so we don’t get hurt.
That’s so sweet.
That is so sweet. Your kids had real answers.
Although I don’t know the level of cooking I do for them. Barely passes muster. Like, throw a hot dog on a plate, call it a day. But, hey, I’m keeping them alive and they appreciate it.
So it’s good, I think, to kids. As long as you apply heat to a food item, it’s considered cooking. I think so, too.
Oh, that was really cute and fun.
Thanks for that question, Maria. Okay, should we move on to the next question?
All right, our next question is from Ashley. Ashley says, have you all started using actual shampoo and conditioner on your kid’s hair?
Okay, actually, I feel like this is a question I asked you, like, a couple of weeks ago by text, because Auggie’s hair is getting all tangled and he’s getting this nest in the back all the time. So I was like, do you use conditioner? Because I’m still using the baby, like, shampoo. The Puracy one. We got it as, like, a sample when they sponsored us ages ago, and I’ve continued to use it. This is not an ad. I just really like it. But I was like, I think I need to move on to conditioner. Like, do you use conditioner? And what did you tell me? I said, yeah.
We could not survive in this house without conditioner. I started using regular shampoo and conditioner on the girls when they were really young because Elle has very thick hair, long, of course. And it started getting pretty long when she was about two. So I think that’s when I started using I just used Dove shampoo and conditioner.
Is it a kids version?
No, it’s adults. I need that heavy duty stuff.
Oh, and it doesn’t, like, sting her eyes.
I just tell her to close her eyes and look up at the ceiling, and occasionally she gets a tiny bit in her eyes, but it’s really never been a huge problem. Okay. And my kids don’t have a big fear of that. If you have a kid who’s really worried about their eyes and maybe water in general, that’s not such a great idea. But I just love it. The Dove conditioner is so good. It makes their hair so smooth, and it smells really good. And I think Steve was definitely a little skeptical when I was like, we just need to switch because it’s just not working. The kids stuff just I don’t know, it’s too coarse or it just doesn’t get it soft enough, especially for long, thick hair. So I recommend Dove, a shampoo and conditioner if your kids aren’t too afraid of getting stingy eyes.
Your kids do have beautiful, silky, just luxurious hair, so people should take note.
I’m jealous of their hair.
Me too. Okay, so maybe I should order some of that Dove stuff because I feel like Auggie could have enviable hair. Like, his hair itself is, like, thick and could be shiny, but it’s not right now. Okay. So I’m going to order that stuff. Should we take a break so I can go order that before I forget? Because I got mom brain and I will absolutely forget, I think so.
And we have a few more questions to answer after the break.
Sounds good. Okay, we are back and we have a few more questions to answer in this check in the inbox segment. This one comes from Brittany. Brittany asks, what’s your best advice for geriatric mamas on the fence with being one and done?
Ooh, good question. Well, there’s a couple of considerations. One is just your age in general. Like, do you want to have another child at a point in your life where you’re a little bit older? Right. The other question is, will you be able to be fertile enough to have another baby at that point? So those would probably be the things I would be thinking about. And I did think about because I was 39 when I started trying to conceive Cece, and I went down the IVF road. And as far as the age thing, I would say, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s much of a consideration, at least for me personally. I just really wanted to expand my family, and I wasn’t too worried about being an older mom. So I feel like I can do most things that a younger mom could do, with the exception of maybe, like, run a mile with them and keep up.
I don’t know.
I don’t have maybe the energy I did when I was younger, but I think that’s all okay. I say go for it.
Yeah. You know what’s actually really funny is that my friend who I talked about a lot in the opening segment, she’s actually an MFM. She’s, like, a high-risk OB. I was just, like, peppering her with questions about pregnancy and stuff, just partially to distract her, but partially because obviously I’m always interested. And she told me that she actually delivered a 54-year-old mother.
A couple of weeks ago. Yeah. And she was saying, honestly, a very healthy woman in her 50s can be a better pregnancy than, like, a not as healthy woman in her 20s or 30s. She’s like, it’s not as big of a deal as people make it out to be. I do believe that mother used a donor egg or a frozen egg. I’m just not sure. But, yeah, she was telling me about all these we joke about geriatric pregnancy, like, 35 and up, but she deals with some people who have really waited a long time. So yeah, that’s just to say that not all is impossible.
Yeah, well, I remember when I went to my first OB, when my very first pregnancy, and I told him that I was, like, 36 at the time or something, he’s like, oh, you’re a geriatric pregnancy. And I was like, oh, man. And he was like, oh, don’t worry about it. Like, the average age of women in my clinic is 50. And I was like, Wait, what? And I think he’s told maybe you and a couple of our other friends that because we all saw the same doctor at that time, so it’s not uncommon, at least in Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, for sure. Yeah. He was extremely unconcerned about my age when I had my first at 36, and my second fat 38. So extremely unconcerned. Okay, but you had some more things you wanted to talk about, not just the age portion.
Yes, well, the question of fertility could be an issue, too, right, for a geriatric parent. So if that’s a concern, I would say go see your OBGYN, see what they can tell you about your egg supply. If you need to go and see a specialist, you can. That kind of stuff. Fertility help and IVF and IUIs are all just becoming, I think, more common nowadays and helping people achieve pregnancy at a later age, if that’s what you want for your life. And there’s no shame in that. And obviously I say go for it because I did when I was 39. So I don’t know, it sounds like all of my advice is leaning towards go for it. That’s something you want to do if you want to expand your family and you have any inkling for another child, I say go for it.
Yeah, it sounds like okay, so Shanna’s taking kind of the practical standpoint, which is like the TLDR is like being a quote, unquote geriatric mother isn’t excluding the possibility or forcing you to be a one and done. Right. There’s no reason why being over the age of 35 means you absolutely should just stop. Right? Right. And that turns it into more of a philosophical question. Right. Like, you need to look at your life and make a big decision. And it’s tough because I think that Shanna, you’ve talked about this a lot on the show because you have those embryos waiting for you. It’s like this idea of knowing that you’re done can be really elusive for a lot of people. And some people, they know right away. Like my friend Carrie, before she got pregnant, she was like, I’m having one kid. She’s like, I’m terrified if I have twins because I only want one kid. I never want more than one kid. There’s nothing’s going to change my mind. And everyone was like, oh, when you have your baby, you’re going to change your mind? No, her kid is four and a half now, and she’s still, like, firmly in the one and done, and I think a lot of people envy that certainty. Right. So the advice I always give people, which I think I’ve given to people on this podcast before, but I have to repeat it because I know that it’s helped so many people, is to go read the Dear Sugar. Advice column that was written by Cheryl Strayed titled The Ghost Ship That Didn’t Carry Us. And we will try to post it in our show notes so that you can find it easily. I have reread that essay dozens of times. Anytime I need to make a big life decision, I go back to that essay and reread it to refresh my memory. It’s what our friend Jen sent to me when I was trying to figure out whether I should have my first kid. I reread it when I was trying to figure out if we should get pregnant a second time. I believe it to be like the most compassionate and comprehensive emotional advice on this topic that I’ve ever read. So I recommend going and reading that. The sort of grand view summary of it is that sometimes decisions are made for us and we don’t have a choice and sometimes we make decisions, but every choice that’s either made for us or made in our lives splits our path in two. And the other direction that we could have gone but we didn’t go on is the ghost ship that didn’t carry us, that we can only wave to from the shore, but we can’t know what is happening on its decks. We can imagine, oh, they’re probably having like my type party on that ghost ship, but we don’t know, right? We’re not there, we don’t know. And it talks about honoring that and honoring that decisions cause this problem, right? And you can never know what’s the right way or what’s the wrong way. It’s great. It’s great. And it also tells you to make a list. It’s like very practical advice. So I say go read that essay, it’s wonderful and maybe that’ll help.
Great advice. Our next question is from Katie. Katie says, how do I know when I can drop a nursing session, a pump before bed, et cetera? There’s no great info on weaning available.
Yes, but there is. The best info on Weaning I found is from our friends from the Milk Minute podcast. I know we talk about them a lot, but I just truly think they’re like the best resource for evidence-based information on chest feeding, breastfeeding nursing, pumping, all that stuff. One thing they talk about all the time is how doctors and lactation consultants and all these people will tell you when to start something, but they never tell you when to stop. So you have a supply issue. So they tell you to pump every 2 hours, but they never tell you when to stop, right? Or they tell you, oh, triple feed. You feed the baby, then you pump and then you feed the baby some supplemental formula but no one says for how long do you do that? So they are all on top of this. One episode I’d recommend is episode 76 which is titled Weaning History, Psychology and Practical Tips. And it’s not just about Weaning completely, but there’s also Weaning slowly or cutting pump sessions, all that stuff. They also have a lot of great info on pumping. So their pumping episodes might help you learn how to like when to drop your nighttime pump or when to just how to do it. So definitely go listen to the Milk Minute. They also have transcripts if you don’t want to listen, but episode 76 should help you a lot.
That sounds super helpful.
They are always helpful. Okay, Shanna, we have one more question.
Are you ready for this one? It’s a big one. Ready?
It’s from a different Maria. We have lots of Maria listeners, apparently. Maria asks, can you please quit your job so we can have a new podcast every day of the week?
Oh, my gosh. You know what? Actually, I think I would have run out of stuff to talk about if we did episodes every day. I would like to be talking about playing Wordle my score that day or what I ate for breakfast.
Yeah, we definitely need a week of buffered, like, build up stuff to talk about, because while we really appreciate that everyone is listening to us and we have such loyal and passionate listeners, our lives are just not that interesting. To support a daily podcast, I don’t think it would have to be like, a different thing, like we interview a different person every day or something.
I’m here to say I would love to have no other job than podcasting.
I know. Me too.
I’m here for it. That’s, like, the dream. So tell everyone you know to listen to our podcast so we can get our numbers up, and then we can make enough money that we can quit our jobs. It’s possible, listeners. All you have to do is leave us reviews and tell everyone you know. And the more listeners we get, the closer we are to quitting our other jobs.
And give us suggestions on what our second podcast should be about. Maybe we’ll start another one.
Yeah. A little supplemental podcast. I like it.
Yeah. Anyway, that was a great question, Maria, and I love that. Really, it was just a compliment to us. So thank you. Thank you, thank you. And thank you for listening to our show.
Yes. And all of the questions were really wonderful. Unfortunately, we did not get to all of them, but we did get enough that we can make another episode out of this. You guys probably knew this was coming. You’ve been listening to the show a long time. You know we like to stretch these check in the inbox questions out to two episodes, but we got so many good questions that next week’s episode is going to be a continuation of check in the inbox, where we answer more questions. So stay tuned for that.
But in the meantime, let’s move on to our BFPs and BFNs.
So we close every episode with a big fat positive or a big fat negative of the week. Shanna, what you got?
I got a BFP.
It was such a fun weekend because it was the first all-star tournament that we went to.
It was a jampacked weekend. It was down in Redondo Beach, and one of the things that made it super fun is that my mother-in-law rented an Airbnb for our family down there, so we got to make, like, a little vacation out of it. We went the night before the tournament and stayed in this house that had a huge trampoline in the backyard, which the girls loved, and a huge bathtub. They took, like, the best bubble bath of their life, and we made a weekend out of it. And the games and tournament super fun. Like, yes, it was a long time out at the field, but, you know, I have a ton of nostalgia for this kind of stuff, and my anxiety about getting everything ready and in order for the long weekend made me get my shit together and get stuff ready. So I had a cooler with tons of treats and snacks and lunch and my blanket and my beach tent and chairs. I mean, we had the whole set up, and it was fun. It was just kind of like when you park at the beach right for a while and hang out. That’s kind of what we did, fat the softball field. We just, like, parked it, watched the games, ate snacks and Cece. Even had a great time, too. So all in all, it was fun.
Okay, so just real quick, give me an overview of how many games, how long do they last? In my mind, this is just like, sun up to sundown softball.
It depends on when your games are scheduled. So we had a game at, like, 09:30 A.m. On Saturday, but our next one wasn’t until, like, I don’t know, 04:00 that day. So there was a lot of time in between. And we found, like, other parents and kids from the same league as us. They had done this before, and they were more prepared than me. They had grill, they had oh, my gosh, and hot dogs and snacks up the wazoo. And they’re like, come over, join us. We, like, joined a bunch of strangers for a barbecue. You have time to leave. Like, we left, and I bought a hat at Targeted, a sun hat. And then the next day, there was a game at, like, I don’t know, 09:00 a.m. And then if we won, we would have continued playing throughout the day, but we lost, so we were out of the tournament.
Bummer. So then does that mean your next day was free? Yeah.
So the rest of that day, Sunday was free, and Monday it was Memorial Day weekend. So we were able to go down to the Redondo pier, go to the beach, the playground, and just enjoy our time down in Redondo.
So what you’re saying is losing has its benefits.
Yeah. I think I even said to Steve at one point, is it bad that I kind of want them to lose. So we can play in Redondo? He’s like, yes, Shanna, it’s bad. And I was like, sorry, I shouldn’t have vocalized that.
It’s teaching grit. Yeah, I have no judgment about that. I would have 100% been rooting for the other team in my head. In my head. Not out loud or anything too funny. Yeah.
So it was the first of many tournaments. We had a great time, and I am looking forward to the future ones.
All right. I mean, sounds like a fun time. Like a tailgate.
Yeah, exactly. All right, Laura, what about you? Do you have a BFP or a BFN?
Oh, I had to have a BFP that check in, and mine is completely unrelated to anything I’ve talked about so far. It is that Auggie is finally starting to do representative drawings of people.
Yeah. Okay. I think I’ve privately talked to you about this, and I think I even casually mentioned it on the podcast. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but I’ve definitely been a little concerned about the fact that Auggie just scribbles instead of doing anything organized while he’s drawing. I mean, truly just wild pen strokes, across the page situation anytime we get out the markers. And I kept waiting, and I didn’t want to. I’m trying to sort of embrace the play, learning, not trying to make him do anything he’s not ready for, not trying to make him sit down and, quote, unquote, learn something. But I see his peers, and they’re, like, starting to write letters and starting to draw things, and I’m like, what’s going on here? So imagine my surprise when I had Corey go, like, put him in the car seat. We were, like, off to go on a little adventure, and I was like, Corey, will you go buckle him in? And then I’ll come I have to go pee. So I come out to the car after he’s been sitting in his car seat for a couple of minutes with Corey sort of, like, standing next to him. And he has one of those little LCD drawing tablets. You know those things?
They’re just, like, pressure sensitive, and it’s just a little drawing tablet. And he had one of those that he was doodling with, and he held it up to me and goes, look, mama, it’s daddy. And I was so impressed, I had to take a picture. So I just sent you that picture.
Okay, let me see. That’s so cute. I love it. A little head. We’ve got some ears, some legs, some arms, a smile, some eyes. Good job, buddy.
I mean, it’s a person, right? Like, anyone could see that that was trying to be a person. And the thing about it, too, I was just, like, over the moon proud of him. I could barely contain myself. I had to take a picture. I was so happy. I was trying not to be over the top about it, but I probably was. And it made me realize before I had kids, I remember seeing my friends put their kids art up on the wall and being all impressed with it, and I was just like, Why? I was sort of like, Why would you do this? And now I’m just like, behold my child. He did this thing because it is so cool to see that leap happen. He’s gone from scribble, scribble, scribble to boom. Now he can make shapes and a rudimentary shape of a person that’s recognizable. And I’m just like, something’s happened in your brain. Like, things are connecting. And it’s such a cool experience to see that as a parent. So cool. Yeah. So I’m very stoked about that.
So did you immediately grab the LCD drawing tablet, bring it in the house, and tape it up on the wall to display it?
No, I took the picture.
You know what I have been doing? I didn’t do it with this one because I didn’t have the time at the moment. But I have been taking your hack of taking pictures of the kids art and putting it on the digital photo frame. We have.
And they’ve been loving that. Sebastian actually saw something of Auggies that came up and he was like, Auggie, Auggie, like, pointing at it. Yeah. So it’s so cute. Next time he draws something like that, I will definitely put it on the photo frame.
Awesome. Sounds good.
But anyway, that’s it for me this week, and I think it’s time to wrap up. But before we do that, I think you have a five-star review to read.
Oh, you know it. This is from Janelle from Apple podcasts in the US. The title of the review is obsessed with this pod. Five stars. This podcast is just good for the soul. So thankful to have this to look forward to Monday mornings. I’ve been listening faithfully to this podcast since I was pregnant with my son in 2020. The height of the pandemic was a difficult and isolating time to experience a first pregnancy, but Shanna and Laura made me feel seen and gave me some helpful tools to navigate pregnancy and parenting. I was able to listen to each step along their parenting journey before my son and I were there, which was very helpful. I have received some priceless tips from them that have come in handy along the way as well. This is my favorite pregnancy and parenting podcast, and I highly recommend it.
Well, thank you, Janelle. We’re obsessed with you.
Yes, we are. Thank you, Janelle. This is such a wonderful review. If you haven’t had a chance yet to leave us a five-star review, could you please do us a favor and head on over to Apple podcasts? Leave those five stars, say a few things you love about the show, and it’s really helpful for us to find new listeners and get us one step closer to quitting our day job so we can be full time podcasters and listeners. If you have any thoughts or comments on today’s episode, please reach out. We love hearing from. You, Laura. Where can everyone find us?
We are on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. At @bfppodcast. We have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com. If you want to send us an email, you can always throw a voice memo in there. We love those. Just send it to [email protected]. And finally, if you want to join the coolest group of people on the internet, I’m not lying. This is the best group on Facebook. Just search Facebook for big fat positive community. It’s a private group, so you have to request to join. And make sure you answer those two membership questions so we know you’re not a robot. Once you do that, you’ll be sent straight through to all the amazing conversations we’re having in there.
Our show is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna, Micko and Steve Yager. Thanks for listening, everyone. Bye!