Diaper Duty

Erin and her son Lincoln

Diaper Duty - Join Erin on the journey of a lifetime.  Along with her first born, Lincoln, (born in 2010), Erin is learning the "art of being a baby mama"




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When do you teach them to 'just say no'?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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Addiction is in my family and while I don’t obsess over it (yet), I often worry that Lincoln has this terrible disease. I feel crazy sometimes, but I’ve seen this disease ruin a life (and really mess with some other people’s), and it’s pretty much the number one thing I worry about happening to Linc. Out of all that could happen I worry most that he’ll become an addict.

How and when does this discussion about drugs and alcohol come up? I’m not going to talk to a three-year-old about it, but what about when he’s six? Seven? My family member started chewing tobacco at 10 and was in to drugs and alcohol at 14. When asked why, he says “I just felt like doing it. So I did for 26 years.” Today, he has been sober for almost two years.

I’ve never done illegal drugs, and I’m not sure how much I have to offer with a don’t-do-drugs speech except to use some examples of my family member’s life. How much of an impact will that have? Addiction is a disease. If he’s got it, how can it be stopped? From what I’ve experiences, it has nothing to do with your class, education or upbringing. It just is.

I believe I never did drugs because I never had the opportunity, I never really gave in to peer pressure of any kind, and I just had to take one look at my family member, who was deep in his addiction when I was in junior high and high school, to know I did not want that. My parents never talked to me about drugs.

When and how have you talked to your kids about drugs and alcohol?

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It's an appendix!

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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The last few weeks have been -- uhhh -- eventful. I had an appendectomy on September 14. (Reminder: I’m pregnant – 29 weeks at that time.)

Now, I'm going to go into this story only to back up my plea to all the moms out there to PLEASE listen to yourself! Moms have a reputation for putting their own issues on the back burner for the good of the family. I shake off an ache here or a sore throat there and keep pushing to get dinner ready or Lincoln to gymnastics. It's what we do. Sometimes (usually, I hope) it's OK. Sometimes, it isn't. This time for me, it wasn't the thing to do, and I knew it even if others didn't.

I had gone to the emergency room on the 10th complaining of stomach and side pain. I was sent home that day only to return the 13th because I wasn’t better. My head, my heart and my pain told me to go back.

At my first visit I was told I had the flu and probably pulled a muscle from being sick. I wasn’t that sick and pretty much begged them to keep looking for something. They said they did all they could (ultrasound, some GI stuff, etc.), and I should go home, take Tylenol and apply heat to my side. I went home and did what they told me to do. I figured I went there for help and that they are trying to help so I'll listen. I never got better.

When I came back on the 13th, I had a CT scan. This was ordered by my OB, but not the greatest thing to do on a pregnant woman. I assume that's why this usual (on only) next step for a non-pregnant person wasn't taken the first time. The CT scan showed I had appendicitis. Surgery followed the next morning where it was found out that my appendix had actually burst but contained itself (and all the "junk") in a sack. This could have been a lot worse. I was given medicine to prevent preterm labor and also some shots to develop baby girl’s lungs, brains and bowels in case she made her debut since abdominal surgery is risky when they’ve got a big baby to work around.

So, I tell you this tale because I want to make sure you listen to yourself. I sort of did but didn’t in this situation at first. For whatever reason baby and I were protected from something very serious – had I waited it out any long, I may not have been able to write this blog post for you or had some kind of different news to report to you all about baby girl. I thought I had gone to the right place where they could help a pregnant lady (I won’t tell you where, but you can probably guess), but that particular doctor was a little scared of the situation – or so I was told by my OB.

I’m on the mend. Baby girl is kicking away in there and as far as anyone can tell, she’s unharmed and waiting for late Nov. to meet us all. I hope the decisions I made these last few weeks for her were good ones. I wasn't prepared to make life or death decisions just yet for her or myself, frankly.

Did any of you have an appendectomy while pregnant? Anyone have any surgeries while pregnant?

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'Tude in the Womb

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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I never put together that how a baby is in the womb could be an indication of how the kid will be out of there. Baby #2 is very different in there than Lincoln was, and when I think back, his time in my belly was a pretty good sneak peek into the little guy he is today.

Linc is a nice, calm, sweet little boy. He didn’t move much when he was baking, but I attributed that later to the fact that he had no room (remember, the boy was 10 lbs, 7 ounces and 24 inches long at birth). He doesn’t get upset easily and is pretty laid back. Hallelujah. I am blessed. He’s exactly the same now as he was during those first nine months plus.

This girl, however, is worrying me. She moves constantly. Honestly, constantly. If something rests on her (my computer, my desk, my pants) she kicks like heck. “Get it off! Get it off!” What’s she going to be like on the outside? Crazy!?!

Were your kids actions in the womb an indication of how they were as babies or were the two very different?

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Tiny Moments of Terrible -- Don’t let them determine how you feel about yourself as a parent

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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A few months ago Heather wrote about an incident in Washington DC where a woman yelled at Heather’s son for hitting a stick in her direction. Calling Heather and her husband “horrible parents,” she made her judgments about their family in five seconds.

Like any normal person, Heather took it hard at first then described this lady’s interaction with her family as her just seeing that tiny moment where they may not have been at their best. Brilliant!

When you think about it, what happens in a store, doctor’s office, school or elsewhere is just a glimpse of your life to someone else. It’s probably the only time they’ll ever seen you. Also, what you see of someone else is your glimpse into their life. One mistake, one flub or misjudgment can make us all look like horrible parents (maybe even horrible people) when really we’re just doing the best we can and struggling with that at that moment.

Because I don't care much about what people think of me (a wonderful, freeing feeling I discovered back in high school), I try to keep this in mind for when I start judging myself.

When a tiny moment of terrible is growing, it is most important to recognize where things are going wrong and fix it fast. Halting what I’m doing, taking a breath, collecting myself, or having my son do one or all of these things if he's freaking out is amazing at fixing what could be an awful situation. Also, I try to remember that moment for later when I may be in the same situation. When it comes by, I can stop the chaos before it starts. If I screw up – say, by yelling at my sweet, sweet boy – I apologize, explain myself as best I can to a three year old and try not to lose my cool again. I try to make that moment as tiny as possible (and I squish it and throw it on the ground and stomp on it…). Other times when it's not my patience being tested, like when the boy runs out into the parking lot when I, as his mother, should have his darn hand, are lessons for me to learn from and correct.

We don’t always have great days. We all do something that later we wish we hadn’t done. So, why judge yourself (or others) for a small time period where you weren’t the wonderful parent you usually are? My goal as a mother is to not have those small time periods add up and turn into something that I’m forever remembered for.


Erin Hill is a ErinHillfirst-time mom to Lincoln, who was born in January 2010. She's learning as she goes and is experiencing everything a new mom goes through while seeing the humor, irony, and enjoyment in her adventures.

Erin is a full-time technical writer, a freelancer for Patch, and co-creator and blogger at SlimSavers.com. She lives in Plum with Lincoln, her husband, Adam, their dog, Roxie, and five (yes, five) cats, Nirvana, Gary Roberts, Elvis, Talbot and Forrest. (Anyone want a cat?)

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Allergic reactions: How are you prepared?

Written by Erin Hill. Posted in Diaper Duty

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My boy got stung by a bee yesterday. I inspected it, held him, and we continued on having a good time at the park.

Then fear set in. What if he’s severely allergic to bees? Here we were at a park in the middle of nowhere as far as I’m concerned, and he could go into shock at any minute, right?

I’m lucky in that I’m only allergic to penicillin, my husband isn’t allergic to anything, and Lincoln (so far) has only been allergic to one type of antibiotic that gave him a rash.  However, that makes me COMPLETELY unprepared for something like this.

He went along his merry way without a tear, but I waited (while consulting WebMD) for him to pass out way past the time limit it would have happened if he really was severely allergic.

It made me wonder:

How did you find out about your kids’ allergies that dealt up more than a rash? How did you deal with it the first time the reaction happened? Do you carry something for possible severe allergic reactions just in case?

It would be different if we were at home. There’s a fire station less than a minute down the road that comforts me. But, I really had no idea what I was going to do if he needed immediate medical attention at this park, and, sadly, I never even thought about it until yesterday.

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