Ep. 70: Is It Time for a Babysitter?

November 4, 2019

Listen Now:

Laura approaches mom burnout, and Shanna is shocked at her baby’s newest vocabulary word. Also, in the special segment “OMG I’m Freaking Out,” Shanna obsesses about the size of her baby’s feet, and Laura worries that her baby doesn’t show her enough affection. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is nine months and three weeks old, and Laura’s baby is eight months and four weeks old.


Show Notes:

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Episode Transcript


Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. On this week’s episode, we have our weekly check-ins. We have our special segment, OMG I’m Freaking Out, where Laura wonders, does my baby even like me? We wrap it up with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Let’s get to it.


Shanna Micko: Hi. Welcome to the show. It’s episode 70. Laura, how are you doing? How old’s your baby now?

Laura Birek: Hi. My baby is eight months and four weeks. It’s one of those weird weeks where you get an extra week in, but we’re good. I think that the major theme of this week is that the long-term fatigue I think is starting to kick in.

Shanna Micko: For you or the baby?

Laura Birek:
For me.

Shanna Micko: Girl, I feel you. Tell about it.

Laura Birek: I think it has creeped up on me that this is forever and sort of the shine has worn off a little bit. That’s not to say I’m not having fun. I’m actually having a lot of fun, because my baby boy is just getting more and more fun. I think that’s something that they really don’t tell you about babies and kids is they get more fun. They do more things and it’s just so fun to watch them learn all these new skills and every time they figure out something new cognitively. It’s just like, oh my God, you’re so cool. It’s very, very fun. However, I’ve just realized that I’ve spent eight months and four weeks nonstop, essentially taking care of another human being and I think it’s starting to approach burnout phase for me. I think I’m aware of it. So I don’t think I’m there yet, but I am just feeling like, gosh, it’s never ending. I don’t want it to end, but I do think I need a break. So I’m starting to look into getting a regular babysitter.

Shanna Micko: Good.

Laura Birek: I’ve been putting off getting a nanny or anything until the freaking garage conversion was done so that I would have an office. But I think I need to move the timeline up a little bit maybe a once a week babysitter or just something to give myself a break. Ideally, I’d get a babysitter and then I’d go to the spa all day or go knitting or watch movies. But I think what I really need to do is start accepting a few little gigs from my clients, because they are just being very patient. But you can tell they have all this work that they want me to do and I don’t really have anyone to refer them to. I’ve already referred them to everyone I know and it’s just very tempting to make some money again. But I’ve taken a few little gigs here and there. I think I talked about it recently and it’s just doing them during naps and after bedtime. It’s unsustainable. I just can’t do it.

Shanna Micko: Because you’re on always. There’s never a down moment. Even when you’re in the shower, there’s still that pressure of I should probably do this fast in case the baby wakes up or something, something, something. Obviously, I know how that feels. So I get you 100%.

Laura Birek: This whole thing of never knowing when the baby’s going to wake up from a nap is just so stressful, because you’re just like, okay, I got to get this done so fast, so fast, so fast. If I sit down on my computer and discover that something’s broken on another site I built a while back, this is what’s happened actually, I had an email from a former client that was like, “My site is totally broken,” and I wasn’t obligated to fix it. But I felt like I should. It wasn’t my fault. It was they upgraded a version of PHP and it wasn’t working anymore and I knew I could fix it. I knew how to, so I did it. But then I didn’t get anything else done during the nap and then that minute the baby starts crying. You’re just like, motherfucker. Why won’t you sleep 20 more minutes?

Shanna Micko: I know. CeCe doesn’t usually wake up crying anymore if she’s gotten a decent nap.

Laura Birek: That’s good.

Shanna Micko: So she’ll wake up kind of whining a little bit, but then stand up and entertain herself with God knows what, chewing on the crib or something. I have been known to just let her hang out in there by herself and entertain herself for a little while, while I finish up some work and stuff. Does your little guy allow you to do that? Or is he kind of just like, mommy now?

Laura Birek: He’s a mommy now.

Shanna Micko: I should have known.

Laura Birek: Sometimes he’ll wake up a little bit murmuring or whatever and be calm. But for the most part he wakes up fussy and I actually am thinking that that might have something to do with my wake windows. I was looking it up and I think I might need to move his naps a little bit earlier. I was reading that if your baby wakes up crying a lot from a nap that might mean that your wake window before the nap was too long, so they went down too tired.

Shanna Micko: Interesting.

Laura Birek: I’m going to try that.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: Oh, boy. The good news is he is napping really well these days. That means I can guarantee most of the time he sleeps like an hour and 10 at least and sometimes it’s up to two hours. Those two are naps I feel like I’m queen of the world.

Shanna Micko: I know. It’s amazing what you can get done. It’s funny now that we’re both so busy and out of the maternity leave phase, sometimes I find myself just longing for the maternity leave, even though that was so challenging in its own way. I wasn’t working, but I was taking care of a newborn and dealing with all the breastfeeding issues I had and all that stuff. But still when she did nap, it was like I could watch a TV show or just relax during the day and there’s just never that moment for me anymore.

Laura Birek: That’s what I’m feeling. When I’ve taken those gigs, which is now, I have to get some help in order to keep doing that. But yeah, there’s just no downtime in your day: zero downtime, which is a really bad feeling and I know that it’s such a tossup, because I know moms who go to work and they hate having to miss so much time with their baby and it’s just like, yeah, but you can get a coffee break. What’s a coffee break like? I don’t know.

Shanna Micko: I have to say, the days that I bring CeCe to the backup care for the day and go into the office, I feel like a fairy woman. Even though I’m saddled to my little cubicle desk and kind of dark office and just doing work, it’s almost just like, oh my gosh, someone else is attending to her needs and I’m an adult and I can go to lunch and go to the kitchen and get a snack and do what I want to do. It’s good to have that free time.

Laura Birek: There’s also that ticking clock, right? So when you’re taking care of a baby, it’s like an hourglass getting turned over. Every time you feed them, it’s like, okay, now we’re just waiting till it’s time for them. You know what I mean? There’s always this countdown in the back of your head.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: It’s a big mental load. So anyway, the point is that I am ready to I think get a little bit of help. It also gives me anxiety though, because I’m like, what’s it like? I’ve had babysitters here and there, but a regular one, that’s weird that someone else is going to be responsible for taking care of my baby and I think it’s just because I’ve been so in the bubble of taking care of him. I need to relinquish a little control there.

Shanna Micko: I know. It’s hard. Something I heard when I put Elle into daycare eventually that made me feel a little bit better is to think of it like you’re extending their family or extending their knowledge of adults they can trust and that love them and there’s just more people in their life that love them and care for them and that they can trust. I liked looking at it that way. That made me feel good. I wasn’t abandoning her, but teaching her that you can trust and love other people than mommy and daddy and life is safe and good and people love you.

Laura Birek: That’s a nice way to reframe it. I’ll have to give that a try. But anyway, but I still have to find someone, so I don’t think it’s going to happen right away. But I’m starting it. That’s the big news this week. The only other sort of big news this week is that my baby in the middle of Mommy & Me class crawled over to the wall, put his palms on the flat wall and pulled himself up to a stand.

Shanna Micko: Ooh.

Laura Birek: Up till now, it’s always been like he’s had to hold on to something like a ledge or something. But palm’s flat, pulled himself up. So I’m like, oh, shit.

Shanna Micko: He’s stronger.

Laura Birek: Keeps happening right here. He likes to show off in Mommy & Me class.

Shanna Micko: That’s so cute.

Laura Birek: So that’s exciting. Anyway, so that was my week. How old is your baby and what’s been going on with you guys?

Shanna Micko: CeCe’s nine months, three weeks. You are right. The babies are getting more and more fun and nine months for us has just been a blast. I know I kind of think this every month. I’m like, six month is the best month, seven months. But I really feel that now. I really feel like nine months is awesome. She’s been happy in a good mood, achieving some big firsts that are really exciting that I talked about last week. So I’m having a lot of fun with her and she’s added a couple words to her vocabulary this week.

Laura Birek: Oh, yeah.

Shanna Micko: I say that with a grain of salt, because I think a lot of it is mimicking, but still that’s not something she was doing before and she says it in the right context kind of. So we’re excited about that. She now says bye-bye. She said bye-bye to the checker at Carter’s. You know that kid’s clothing store?

Laura Birek: Yeah, I know Carter’s.

Shanna Micko: That’s one of the amazing boutiques in the strip mall near my house.

Laura Birek: Again, I’m super jealous. Although I just discovered in the Glendale Galleria, they just opened a brand new Carter’s that’s only baby clothes, like baby and toddler, because I think they have kids clothes. I remember they were like, “This is the only one in the area that’s just baby or whatever.”

Shanna Micko: Interesting.

Laura Birek: I went in the other day, they had been open for two days and they were chock full of baby clothes. It was very satisfying.

Shanna Micko: It’s a wonderland of cuteness. It’s so fun and it’s hilarious to me because they’re always like, “60% off today,” and they tout these major sales, but it’s every day. So when you walk a strip mall every day, you know that they’re advertising this every single time.

Laura Birek: You see what they’re up to.

Shanna Micko: I know what they’re up to. I’m letting you guys in on the Carter secret. Okay. They always have a sale. So anyway, I bought some undies for Elle and as we were leaving the checker was really nice and she’s like, “Bye-bye.” I said, “CeCe, say bye-bye.” She thought about it for a second. I did not think she was going to say a word. I just do that to make other people feel better that my baby’s silent when they talk to her and then all of a sudden she goes, goes, “Bye-bye.” The checker looked at each other and we were like, what? I looked at her and I was like, what? Oh my God, and texted everybody. Anyway, so she says bye-bye. She started saying da-da.

Laura Birek: Aww.

Shanna Micko: She says backpack.

Laura Birek: What? Backpack? Does she enunciate backpack?

Shanna Micko: No, she’s not a true genius.

Laura Birek: Excuse me, mother, will you please pass me the backpack?

Shanna Micko: On the weekends we watch TV with Elle cartoons and she’s been watching Dora the Explorer and one of the little jingles in that show Dora has a magical backpack or whatever. It’s like, “Backpack. Backpack. What’s in the backpack? Backpack.” 

CeCe’s around when we watch tv. She doesn’t sit and watch it. She’ll play and whatever. So this is like a big thing, “Backpack. Backpack.” That song came on and all of a sudden she starts going, “Backpack. Backpack. Backpack.”

Laura Birek: Oh my God.

Shanna Micko: She did that several times. So I was like, okay. I guess that’s your fourth word backpack. Sweet. It’s fun to see what little things they hook onto and what comes out of their mouth.

Laura Birek: That’s really funny. See, watching TV teaches you things: backpack.

Shanna Micko: Exactly. Then the other fun thing this week is that the fertility clinic that I went to, to help conceive CeCe has every year this picnic. They call it the Miracle of Life Picnic and it’s for all of the kids and babies that have been born with their help. So I guess like IUI, IVF or anything. They have a picnic, so all the families of all of the little fertility babies get together. It was in Burbank, Pickwick Park, which was a really pretty cute area and they served food and had bounce houses for the older kids and face painting and it was such a sweet event. My heart was expanding, crying, just so much emotion seeing all these little babies that were born because of the same help that CeCe got and it was really beautiful. We took a big group picture, all of the little kids and babies and it was awesome and fun and felt like a little special community.

Laura Birek: That’s really cool. I bet that was really fun for the doctors and nurses and stuff too to see all the babies that were born because of their help.

Shanna Micko: Unfortunately, CeCe fell asleep right when our doctor was taking photos with families. Right after the big photo op, they’re like, “Go take a picture with your doctor.” She was just out of it at that point. It was such a long day. But yeah, it was a very special event. The first five years after you’ve graduated from the clinic I guess you could say, you get invited to this thing. So I’m looking forward to going to that for the next few years.

Laura Birek: That’s such a great thing. I love it.

Shanna Micko: Very beautiful and just made me appreciate my sweet little baby even more.

Laura Birek: I have a question. I just recently learned about the pineapple and IVF thing. Do you know about this?

Shanna Micko: No.

Laura Birek: Okay. Maybe it’s not true, but I saw on the internet that apparently pineapples are like a symbol of IVF. You hadn’t heard of this on your baby boards or anything?

Shanna Micko: I’ve never seen or heard of this.

Laura Birek: Anyway, so apparently it’s a thing and lots of women will wear pineapple like earrings or stuff with pineapples on it when they go to get their treatments and whatnot. There was someone I saw recently with a baby in a pineapple outfit and I was like, does that mean something? Is that a sign? But anyway, I was wondering if you had seen a bunch of pineapples there, but I guess you wouldn’t.

Shanna Micko: No pineapple. Hamburgers and French fries abounding.

Laura Birek: No Hawaiian pizza.

Shanna Micko: Interesting. No, I’ll have to look that up. I can’t even fathom what the association is between IVF and pineapples.

Laura Birek: I just assumed it was because they were pokey and you have to poke yourself so many times. But it might have something to do with like fertility or something.

Shanna Micko: I feel like the poking element of IVF is the first thing I want to forget. I don’t need a pineapple to remind me of the 200 shots I took or whatever.

Laura Birek: Oh my God. So many shots.

Shanna Micko: Interesting. Well, I’ll have to look up.

Laura Birek: Next year keep an eye out for pineapples.

Shanna Micko: Okay. But yeah, so it was a really great week and all things right at this moment are going well.

Laura Birek: I like to hear that.

Shanna Micko: Yay. Should we wrap this segment up and move on to our special segment?

Laura Birek: I think we should.

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.


Laura Birek: We’re back. Our special segment this week is OMG I’m Freaking Out where we talk about the things that are stressing us out at the moment related to parenting. Shanna, what are you OMG you’re freaking out about?

Shanna Micko: This is not a very serious situation.

Laura Birek: I’m all ears.

Shanna Micko: You know how when you’re parent you just wonder and wonder and you’re like, is that normal? I don’t know. Let me ask Google. So my thing this week is my baby has very small feet.

Laura Birek: Really?

Shanna Micko: Yes, I’ve noticed this since she was a newborn. The first time I noticed it, my dad sent me my original birth certificate. So when I was born back in the caveman days, you got like a footprint on your birth certificate and so my little footprint was on there from like the day I was born. I just looked at it and I was like, that’s way bigger than my two month olds foot. What’s going on? Then I was at your house. You were like, “My baby doesn’t fit into these newborn booties that I knit anymore,” and I was like, “Well, my baby has tiny feet so maybe I could try them on.” So she was totally fit into the newborn booties.

Laura Birek: That is impressive.

Shanna Micko: So anyway, that’s the backstory where I was just like, I think my baby has little feet, but what do I know? I don’t know. Then so recently she started taking steps and so I thought I should probably get her some toddler shoes in case I want her to start walking around in public or anywhere dirtier than my house and I was at Target and I was like, “These are cute shoes for 9 to 12 months walkers.” We put it on her foot and she had probably like an inch and a half extra space at the end of her toe and it fell off of her foot. I was like, what is going on? I guess I got to try a tinier shoe and so I tried on a 3 to 6 month shoe and that one still had some extra room at the toe.

Laura Birek: Wow.

Shanna Micko: At that age, they don’t make walking shoes. They just call them crib shoes or whatever. They’re just material. They don’t have any kind of good sole. So I didn’t buy any shoes, because nothing fit her and I don’t know what to do.

Laura Birek: Oh, man. There’s one thing I heard recently that might make you feel better, which is that babies should be in as close to barefoot as much as possible. So crib shoes might actually be exactly what you want.

Shanna Micko: Interesting. Are they slippery though? I don’t want her to like slip on the floor.

Laura Birek: Yeah, you’ll want ones that have some kind of grip to them, but she needs to not be able to slip. I ended up buying I think they’re Robeez, R-O-B-E-E-Z brand and they call them crib shoes and they just have not a slick leather, not suede but a textured leather on the bottom, but it’s very thin. So nothing’s going to come through or sip through, but the idea is that it’s as close to his feet contours as possible. I guess that helps with motor development. Not like your girl needs help with motor development. She’s doing just fine.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, that is true, because that would be a worry with a baby who’s in the 80th percentile of weight and probably like the second percentile in feet is like, are they going to be able to walk? But she’s good on that front, so that’s good. 

But so anyway, so this got me Googling and so I found out some kind of interesting information that I don’t know if that made me feel better or not.

Laura Birek: Please share.

Shanna Micko: Okay. So by your baby’s first birthday, you can expect their feet to grow three times the size of when they’re born.

Laura Birek: Wow. Three times? That’s a lot.

Shanna Micko: Yes, I know. Right. By the time they are one year old, their foot will be half the size of their grown adult foot.

Laura Birek: Wait, by when?

Shanna Micko: 12 months old.

Laura Birek: Half. Seriously?

Shanna Micko: Half.

Laura Birek: Oh my God. That’s crazy.

Shanna Micko: So I’m like, well, how long are baby feet supposed to be and how does my baby compare? So I had to look all of this up and of course I found out some information that I’m going to share.

Laura Birek: Please do.

Shanna Micko: I got this helpful information from a crochet site. Specifically it’s called crochethooksyou.com.

Laura Birek: That’s funny.

Shanna Micko: So if you want to crochet some booties, okay? The average three month olds foot length is 3.5 inches. Six months is four. Nine months, 4.5. 12 months, five inches. So I guess that makes sense.

Laura Birek: Did you measure CeCe’s feet?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, I measured her foot, because she’s almost 10 months. So her foot should be four and a half to five inches. Her foot’s 3.5, the size of a three month old.

Laura Birek: Wow.

Shanna Micko: She’s got teeny tiny little nothing feet.

Laura Birek: I know.

Shanna Micko: Then I’m like, if she’s got three and a half inch feet, by the time she turns one, she’s going to have seven inch feet when she’s an adult and they’re going to be so small.

Laura Birek: She’ll be able to fit in all the little petite shoes that you can get. You know how when you go to like Nordstrom Rack or Marshalls, all the best shoes are in either the really huge sizes or the really small sizes, because they are the ones that don’t get sold?

Shanna Micko: Right.

Laura Birek: She’ll be able to get all those like designer shoes for cheap, because no one wants a size five Louis Vuitton.

Shanna Micko: Yes, looking on the bright side and so then of course I measured my own foot, which is nine inches. So I’m like okay. I guess when I was one year old, if my foot was four and a half inches that tracks.

Laura Birek: That does track. What size shoe do you wear?

Shanna Micko: Seven.

Laura Birek: Okay. Yeah, I have big feet. I wear nine and a half or 10 depending. Do you want me to go get a measuring tape and see how long my shoes are?

Shanna Micko: I do.

Laura Birek: Let me go. I have about a million tape measures around. Let’s see. One of the benefits of having a million crafts is that I have a million measuring tapes around. All right. My right foot’s a little bigger than my left.

Shanna Micko: Interesting.

Laura Birek: You measure from the heel to the big, I imagine.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, that’s what I did.

Laura Birek: 10 and a half inches.

Shanna Micko: Oh, okay.

Laura Birek: My little guy has some big meaty feet, which is the other reason he grew out of those booties early like. He’s got like bricks.

Shanna Micko: Totally. My girl has more like snowballs, because she’s got no length on them. They’re just all chub. I know. I’m curious now how many inches his feet are. Shocks, I should have asked you that before you went to bed.

Laura Birek: Oh, Shanna, but I do have my baby’s foot measurements.

Shanna Micko: I should have guessed the uber data collector friend of mine of course has this information.

Laura Birek: I haven’t been tracking it the whole time. No, but I needed to know what size to get him when I just recently bought those Robeez shoes. So I had to figure out what size to get and I looked online how to measure your baby’s feet properly and the way they said to do it is you stand them up on a piece of paper and trace around their foot. So that’s what I did.

Shanna Micko: I definitely did it wrong.

Laura Birek: This is for shoes. Her foot measurement is her foot measurement.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: You didn’t do it wrong, but when you stand on your feet it compresses them and pushes them out a little bit, I guess.

Shanna Micko: I see.

Laura Birek: I did that and so I have a picture. We can post this on Instagram if you want of his little left and right foot. Outlines.

Shanna Micko: Aww, cute.

Laura Birek: This is interesting. It says the left is nine and three quarter centimeters and the right was 11 centimeters, which is a big disparity, but what?

Shanna Micko: That’s like an inch difference.

Laura Birek: No, not quite. Probably like a half inch. Okay. Let’s see. Nine and three quarters centimeters is like 3.75 inches and then 11 centimeters is like 4.7. So it is about an inch difference. It was probably somewhere in the middle. So he is probably like four and a quarter or four and a half inches. He fits in those shoes really well and the shoes say they fit up to four and seven, eight inches. Then they fit really well on him and by the way, he’s a month younger than your baby.

Shanna Micko: Yes, he is.

Laura Birek: Mr. Meaty feet.

Shanna Micko: That’s so cute. One last thing that I learned about baby feet as I was on this journey, which is why I think it’s probably good to keep them barefoot as long as possible: newborns are not born with any bones in their feet.

Laura Birek: What?

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Wait, I’m not buying this.

Shanna Micko: You know what? This is from robeez.com talking about the stages of development of baby feet. You like Robeez. This might be trustworthy. Anyway, instead of bones, they have what is best described as a spongy cartilage that will slowly ossify into the 26 bones and 33 joints that comprise a normal adult foot.

Laura Birek: What in the world? So it’s sort of like the kneecap. Babies start with a cartilage instead of an actual bone.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, it did make me think of that.

Laura Birek: Fascinating.

Shanna Micko: Their bones develop as they grow. So maybe it is good to not have tight firm soles and tight leather around their feet as they’re learning to walk, because things are still kind of like developing and stuff. I don’t know. I’m no foot expert. I’m just a mom who’s like, what’s going on?

Laura Birek: You’re working on it. You’re fast on your way to being a baby foot expert.

Shanna Micko: That’ll be my next career. Oh my gosh, so that’s what I’ve been freaking out about, even though I’m not really. It’s totally fine if she has small feet. It’s just more like, oh my God, I’m curious about what the hell’s going on.

Laura Birek: It’s noticeable.

Shanna Micko: Yes, exactly. So what about you? What have you been freaking out about lately?

Laura Birek: All right. You’re going to laugh, because it’s so irrational. But I’ve been freaking out about does my baby even like me?

Shanna Micko: Whoa. The baby who’s like, get me up from my nap right now. Mama, boob. What made you think of this?

Laura Birek: When you put it that way…

Shanna Micko: That’s all the evidence I’ve received recently, but maybe there’s something else going on I don’t know about.

Laura Birek: The thing that made me think this was he’s cruising now and pulling up to stand and this leads to a good number of head bonks. When I think about babies and small children, when they get hurt they want to come to mommy and bury their head in your chest and cry. He’ll fall and bonk and then he’ll look at me and cry and I’ll go scoop him up and try to comfort him and he will physically push me away. He puts his palms on my chest and pushes me away and he’s still crying. He’s like no, don’t touch me. He’s really not into that level of comfort. He doesn’t want to be comforted in that way. So I’m like, oh my God, does he even like me? He needs me for boob. Of course, I mentioned this to Corey and he was like, “You’ve lost your mind,” because obviously Corey gets up in the morning with him and then I’ll come into the room an hour after he’s woken up and of course, he gets real excited and is really happy to see me and he’ll jump up and down, but even then, I’ll go in and give him a hug and he kind of will push me away and want to go start playing. I feel like you’ve talked about how CeCe spoons with you and all that. He’s not a cuddler in that way. Now when he is done nursing, he immediately unlatches, pushes off and wants to cruise around and I’m just like, where’s my cuddly guy?

Shanna Micko: There’s so much world to explore for little babies. She does come over and do that and she’ll come over and bury her head in us and give little hugs and stuff. But that’s like 3% of the time. So much of the time she is just like, I want to do my thing and crawl and explore. Elle was even less cuddly than that. I remember definitely freaking out around this time. I think I even wrote in my mom’s group, “My baby is not cuddly. She does not seem to like me.” Everyone’s like, “They come around,” and mine became cuddly later and so I get the insecurity with this 100%.

Laura Birek: I just want him to be a cuddler. He probably can smell the desperation on me.

Shanna Micko: He’s like, that’s repellent, mom.

Laura Birek: You’re thirsty.

Shanna Micko: Can’t be too thirsty for your kid’s cuddles though.

Laura Birek: I guess the other thing that made me think of it is he’s really good with strangers and I keep hearing about how babies around this age start getting stranger danger and only want you. We went to a freaking TV set with like a hundred people running around and I hand him over to a stranger who’s playing his mom and he’s just like, cool. I like this lady too.

Shanna Micko: No, he didn’t come running to her when he got a boo-boo. Did he?

Laura Birek: He did try to take her shirt off.

Shanna Micko: So you’re interchangeable basically. He’s like boobs are boobs. Women are women. Whatever.

Laura Birek: This is why I’m freaking out.

Shanna Micko: Dang.

Laura Birek: I don’t know. I love that he’s independent and I know he needs me, but I just hope he knows I’m special.

Shanna Micko: He totally knows you’re special. You’re his mama, number one.

Laura Birek: I hope so. Anyway, I think maybe it has something to do with the fact that I don’t go to work and he has me all the time, so there’s no reason for him to cling to me, because he is like, she’s always there.

Shanna Micko: I will say like the first time that CeCe ever literally clung to me is when I went to drop her off at her backup daycare right when she kind of started her stranger anxiety and all. She just like looked at that teacher she’d never had before and just buried her head in my chest and clung to me. I was like, poor baby. Then also I was like, aww, my baby needs me.

Laura Birek: I know.

Shanna Micko: Very codependent moment. I loved it. Maybe once you hire a babysitter, hire some really weird person that really just rubs him the wrong way so that when you come back, he’s like, thank God.

Laura Birek: Let’s just mildly traumatize him so that he needs me more.

Shanna Micko: That’ll make you feel better.

Laura Birek: That’s a healthy relationship with your child: mommy issues. That’s not going to end up as some kind of like true crime podcast later down the road.

Shanna Micko: No.

Laura Birek: Then she hired this woman to watch me who just sat me in a cardboard box all day. But boy was I happy to see mommy.

Shanna Micko: Oh my goodness.

Laura Birek: Anyway, thank you for reassuring me that my baby does like me even if he shows it in a weird way.

Shanna Micko: Yes, I believe it 100%.

Laura Birek: Okay.

Shanna Micko: But I also get where you’re coming from.

Laura Birek: Thank you, friend.

Shanna Micko: You’re welcome.

Laura Birek: Should we take a break and come back with our BFPs and BFNs?

Shanna Micko: Absolutely.


Shanna Micko: We are back and we’re going to wrap it up with our weekly BFPs and BFNs. Laura, what do you got for us this week?

Laura Birek: I have a BFP.

Shanna Micko: Woo-hoo.

Laura Birek: My BFP is, I don’t know if I’m pronouncing this right, Ditalini Pasta. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Shanna Micko: No clue.

Laura Birek: It’s a pasta shape, Ditalini, D-I-T-A-L-I-N-I. 

They’re just like little, I want to say quarter inch tubes, smooth.

Shanna Micko: I can picture that. That’s what that’s called?

Laura Birek: The box I have is called Ditalini. On Wikipedia it explains it as small thimbles. I guess that’s what it translates to. Also referred to as tubettini, which kind of sounds like little tubes of pasta. But the reason it’s my BFP is because it is the perfect pasta size and shape for new finger foods.

Shanna Micko: Yes, I’ve been cutting like spiral pastas up for her and stringy pasta and stuff, so this is perfect. I wouldn’t have to cut anything.

Laura Birek: Exactly. I was cutting up like penne and it’s a pain in the butt. Who wants to cut pasta?

Shanna Micko: It’s precut pasta.

Laura Birek: So you just cook it up and then it’s ready to go. He loves it. He can also kind of stick his little fingers in it, which I don’t think he’s doing it on purpose. I don’t know if you ever did this with olives when you were a kid. But he was doing it kind of accidentally and he thought that was fun.

Shanna Micko: That’s so cute. What do you put on pasta for him? What does he like?

Laura Birek: He’s had pesto. He likes pesto. He likes Bolognese. The kid likes everything. He’s kind of easygoing in that respect. What do you put on pasta?

Shanna Micko: I’ll do Bolognese from a jar. I don’t make this shit, but there’s a good one at Trader Joe’s that we like, or any red sauce. Sometimes I’ll do butter and a little Parmesan cheese. Pasta’s a big hit in this family.

Laura Birek: He really likes the pasta and as he should. Pasta is delicious. I like pasta.

Shanna Micko: Ravioli, so yummy.

Laura Birek: Now I just want to eat pasta.

Shanna Micko: I know. Me too.

Laura Birek: But anyway, I don’t buy something that small. It’s sort of I think used for soups more.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, I could see it in soups or in some kind of like pasta salad or something.

Laura Birek: Sure.

Shanna Micko: Can you just get it at a regular grocery store?

Laura Birek: I did. I think it was Barilla brand or whatever. It just the normal Vaughn brand of pasta on the shelf in a box, not in a bag.

Shanna Micko: Right.

Laura Birek: They might make them in bags. Who knows? But yeah, keep an eye out for it.

Shanna Micko: Okay. For sure.

Laura Birek: Anyway, that was my BFP. What do you have for us?

Shanna Micko: So I’m feeling a little conflicted about my BFP this week. I have a BFP by the way and it is pouches. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Laura Birek: You’re not talking about the pouch below our C-section scars? Not that pouch?

Shanna Micko: No, I am talking about the puree filled, environment destroying little squish things that you can buy at the store and give your baby.

Laura Birek: Yes.

Shanna Micko: I just love them so much. They’re so convenient and CeCe has learned how to just suck them down. Before if I got a pouch, I would have to squeeze it into a bowl and put it on a spoon and put it in her mouth, whatever. Now she understands the concept of sucking things from bottles, I guess. So it’s the most easy, convenient way to get fruits and veggies in her without making a huge mess too, is the thing I really love. She encloses that pouch with her little lips and two minutes later it’s gone. There’s no mess. It’s not all over her face and so I love it. Elle loved these two. They’re great for on the go. But then I’m also conflicted, because they’re bad for the environment and I’m so lazy. She’s not using utensils and learning utensil skills and I just berate myself every time I use them in a way. I kind of just want to let the guilt go on this one and just use them for a little while longer. I don’t know. Laura, what do I do?

Laura Birek: I feel you. I don’t have an answer for this. I feel like you need to give yourself permission to do what you need to do to feed your family. You have two small children. If a pouch is what needs to happen, a pouch is fine. You are fine. You’re not individually responsible for destroying the planet. The other thing I will say is there’s so much emphasis put on individual consumer behavior to fix climate change and the massive trash pile in the ocean. It’s important to recycle. It’s important to do what you can. I am a true believer in doing what you can to help. However, if every individual consumer changed their habits, it wouldn’t even compare to what would happen if large corporations actually did their part and especially big industrial concerns and the government, all this stuff. Not to get political, but that’s all to say that it’s like a smoke screen. It’s like they want you to be upset and feel guilty about using that pouch so they don’t have to worry about dumping masses of chemicals in rivers. So that’s another way for me to absolve you.

Shanna Micko: Thank you.

Laura Birek: Then I will say I have the same problem. I had some massive guilt about all the diapers and all the disposable shit, like all the wipes I was using.

Shanna Micko: I know. Same.

Laura Birek: So I decided that I couldn’t do cloth diapers. I am so in off people who can. I couldn’t do it. It just didn’t fit into my life and I felt guilty about it and so I decided that I was going to make good changes where I could to try to offset the stuff I couldn’t do. So my thing I’m sure you’ve noticed is I carry around reusable straws now everywhere and I don’t think I’m solving the climate crisis and I don’t think I’m really doing a huge amount to help waste in the world, but it’s one little concrete thing that I can do to cut down on my own waste. So I wonder if you could find something that you could do to make yourself feel better. They do make reusable pouches, but that of course you have to make the purees. Who’s got time for that?

Shanna Micko: Yeah, because that’s the reason I like pouches is that they’re convenient for a mom who works and takes care of two kids.

Laura Birek: You could try to find and they probably make ones that are more recyclable. So you could look into that or something or do something. I know you have those metal straws.

Shanna Micko: I’ve been using reusable straws for a long time, because I’m straw obsessed. I made that change a while ago. Then I recycle my kids’ clothes, I buy things at secondhand stores or used online. So maybe there’s some ways I can look at what I am doing that’s helping.

Laura Birek: I think again it’s not your responsibility to solve everything.

Shanna Micko: Ditch the pouches. I’m sorry. I love them. They’re so convenient. I haven’t done the pouches yet.

Laura Birek: I’m a little afraid. I’m going to be too reliant on them. I’m afraid that they’re going to be too easy. That’s why I haven’t done them yet.

Shanna Micko: They’re so great, especially middle of the day when at lunch say I want to give her some fruits and veggies and I either don’t have time, because I’m working or I don’t want to clean up a huge mess because I’m busy and I’m like, ooh, here’s some apple spinach puree and she loves it. She’s so excited about it.

Laura Birek: That sounds like a win to me. I’m going to say this is a BFP.

Shanna Micko: Thank you. Okay. Yay. I’ll just take it and be done with it. Feeling okay about it.

Laura Birek: Good.

Shanna Micko: Move on.

Laura Birek: All right. So should we wrap up this show?

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it. If you have anything you’ve been freaking out about lately, you know we want to hear about it. So please reach out to us. Laura, where can people reach us?

Laura Birek: We are on social media Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at BFP Podcast. We also have a Facebook community group you can join. Just search for Big Fat Positive community and click request to join. It’s a closed group, so I will just have to add you, but I will add you and you can join in our great conversations we’re having there. You can also reach out to us by emailing [email protected] or visit our website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com

Shanna Micko: If you love this show, please spread the word. Let your pregnant friends or new parent friends know about Big Fat Positive and leave us a rating or review on whatever platform you listen to the show. That is so helpful and helps us spread. Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.

Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone. We’ll see you later.

Shanna Micko: Bye.

Laura Birek: Bye.