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Two Years Later; My Writing Anniversary

I can now say the last two years have been worth it all.  I get to share Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster with literally thousands of parents; Parents that just need a good laugh and a big hug after a long day.

For a parent whose memory has gone to mush, I really heart the Facebook Memories feature.  Most of the time I can’t believe things happened so long ago.

Seriously?! That concert was eight years ago!

It’s been that long since I’ve been to Europe?!

Wait.  What.  I used to go out on Thursday nights.

But then again, sometimes we are glad to no longer be in that season of life that we were reminded of.  The reality is that it may not have been our best season.

On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% … and that’s pretty good. – unknown

Let that sink in.

***

Reflection can be difficult, but it can also be empowering.  Anniversaries are the perfect time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going.

A few days ago this photo popped up on facebook and it reminded me it had been two years since I wrote Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster.

BM

Adorable right?!  But those days of adjusting to motherhood were tough.  Here is the post where I shared my own reflections from the last two years:

“This huge smile takes me back to a really tough time in my life. It was taken shortly after I wrote the first draft of what became the loving children’s book: Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster.

I can picture myself sitting in the car, two months postpartum, tears in my eyes. I was trying to figure out the new roller-coaster I had stepped on to. I constantly flowed back and forth between immense love (Did you see that smile?) and silly frustrations (feeling like I was failing at everything).

Reflecting on the last two years, I am so grateful that this Beautiful Monster broke me.

Our highs are insanely high.
We like to get it all out there by silly dancing in the kitchen to Eminem and the Beatles.

Our lows are embarrassingly low. I tell her to go watch Elmo so no one loses their shi….. , even though I hate when she sits there like a zombie.

All in all, we get to practice a lot of love and laughter in our house.

Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster”

I can now say the last two years have been worth it all.  I get to share Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster with literally thousands of parents; Parents that just need a good laugh and a big hug after a long day.

 

The book is a chance  to snuggle up to your Beautiful little Monster and relax knowing that you are doing this parenting thing just fine.  Your track record is 100%.

love_you_to_pieces_B_Cover_for_Kindle
Read it Here

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the Birth Book Update You’ve Been Waiting For

I now have over twenty birth stories contributed.  They may have all been natural births, but each story is very unique, as are the bad ass mamas featured. 

The Coys-59I’ve got a matter of minutes before my baby awakes from her magical slumber and turns in to a salivating little monster in search of THE MILK.

I wanted to give a quick update of where things are at with the most recent masterpiece in the making – a compilation of Natural Birth Stories, meant to inspire woman to take control of their birth care.

I now have over twenty birth stories contributed.  They may have all been natural births, but each story is very unique, as are the bad ass mamas featured.

  • A Woman that had two medicated births and wanted to finally have the birth experience she desired
  • A  woman that gave birth in one of the most progressive birth countries:  The Netherlands
  • A woman that delivered TWINS without pain meds
  • A woman that had her baby eight minutes after arriving at the hospital (my hand is up)
  • A woman whose labor lasted more than a day
  • A woman that had to fight the negativity she received from the hospital staff to persevere
  • A woman whose body was recovering from physical injury and just a year ago never would have thought her body was capable
  • A woman that had to face the feared “back labor”
  • A woman afraid of hospitals and pain.
  • A woman that has been ashamed to share her birth story because it’s not acceptable to share a positive birth story in light of all the negativity surrounding birth
  • A woman that had to cancel a work presentation to go deliver her baby

In short, a bad ass woman just like you.

So here is where I am at –

The stories are in, I have requested follow-up details from every contributor, I interviewed Staci (Doula and Owner of Labor of Love), I hired the editor this afternoon, and I am wrapping up the opening chapters this week.

The book is on track to come out this summer.  Subscribe to this blog via email to be the first to know when it launches, or follow us on Facebook @Storiesbyjkcoy.

I typically give out some free copies of my books during launch to readers on my email list.  So make sure you share this with friends that may be interested.

More news to come.

 

The Perfect Gift Idea for Baby Shower Season

No one wants to come up with a new gift idea every time an invite arrives in the mail.  So here is a simple and unique idea to CYA all season.

Hey Mama,

Did you know that the most popular birth month is September?

Maybe it’s thanks to all those winter cuddles?!

Whatever the reason, all those expectant mothers will be in their third trimester come summer time.  It feels appropriate to coin those months Baby Shower Season!

It may not be science, but babies seem to be contagious among friends.  If you have one baby shower to attend this summer, you’ll likely have more.

No one wants to come up with a new gift idea every time an invite arrives in the mail.  So here is a simple and unique idea to CYA all season.

First, order a few of these books so you have a stack on hand.

JK Coy Books Baby Season

Then, give this set of fun books so the new mom and her baby can enjoy them together.

Need a little something more?  Pair it will body butter, slippers, bubble bath, a bottle of wine, or dark chocolate.  All the other mamas in the house will be jealous!

Here is my other favorite baby shower gift to pair with these books.  It is incredible.

If the expectant mom is miles away, keep it simple by mailing them right from Amazon.  She will get them in two days, and you won’t have to hit the post office.  I seriously dread going to the post office.

That was simple.  Happy to help.

XOXO

– J.K. Coy

JK Coy Books baby shower season
Get Your Own Copies Here

 

My Mom is Crazy (About Me)

I hope no one confuses my moments of frustration with my true feelings about my children and motherhood

My baby will be twelve weeks old tomorrow.

Some days are better than others.  Realistically some minutes are better than others.

Parenthood is a roller coaster ride.  I found that out the hard way when my first little love was born.

One minute I find myself ogling at every little thing my baby does, talking baby talk with the best of them, and the next minute I am incredibly frustrated because my kids are screaming while I brush my teeth for the first time that day (at 2pm – hello coffee breath).  I swear, I often feel like I am the emotional little monster in the house.

But I hope no one confuses my moments of frustration with my true feelings about my children and motherhood, and the joy I get from those precious moments of total sweetness in between the chaos.  My babies absolutely know I’m crazy;  they also know I am absolutely crazy about them.

Have you been on that roller coaster today?

If so, below is one recent example you’ll relate to, compliments of social media.

Don’t forget to follow both so you don’t miss the fun: Facebook (@StoriesbyJKCoy) and Instagram (@FinishtheBook):

Part 1part 2part 3

“Then all of a sudden you stop.  You look in my eyes and grin from ear to ear.

And it’s my turn to tear up.

I freakn’ love you to pieces, Beautiful Monster.”  – Love You to Pieces, Beautiful Monster

I know as a parent you get it.

Get Your Own Copy Here
Get Your Own Copy Here

Parents Talking Dirty

There comes a time in every parent’s life where bowel movements are as common a conversation topic as discussing the weather. 

After almost ten years of marriage and two young kids, think you can guess the hottest topic is in our household?

If you guessed POOP, you are correct!   And if you are disgusted that I would even type that word, you clearly do not have a young child.

Honestly, I don’t know when the turning point came.  The point where I lost all modesty on the subject.

Was it…

  • When the midwife was wiping my *ss during the birth of our beautiful daughter?
  • During the newborn stage when we were sleep deprived and changing 10+ diapers a day?
  • When our first daughter went through a phase where she would reach into her diaper and smear poop on her sheets?
  • When we potty trained our twenty month old and lost all dignity by referring to ourselves as “Poop Coaches” and offering “Poop Treats?”  FYI Candy canes and popsicles are our aresinel of choice.
  • The first time we sent a text message that included a picture of our child’s “achievement”?  I’m embarrassed to add that these texts have gone to family and friends at times.
  • At a recent dinner party where we conspired with friends to hide Miralax in our children’s sippy cups?

There have been so many defining poop moments, I really can’t say.

baby poop monster kids book
“In the middle of the night you woke me, to let me know you pooped your pants.  I love you to pieces, Beautiful Monster.”  Get your own copy of this honest children’s book!

But the point is, there comes a time in every parent’s life where bowel movements are as common a conversation topic as discussing the weather.

And unfortunately the talk isn’t limited to the four walls of our house anymore.  It’s at daycare, work parties, over a nice glass of wine…not to mention living forever on this blog.

And even for me, someone that lost all discretion awhile ago, a new low was recently achieved.  Yesterday an acquaintance at church casually asked how I was doing.

Without thinking I responded, “Pretty good, but my daughter just had an explosive diaper on my lap.”

I sent that sentence out like it was a  casual text update.  After the words left my mouth, I was instantly remorseful.  I crossed the line.  I dumped my poop talk on someone that was not in the same life stage.  That is how normal poop conversations have become.  I can no longer see the social line until I’ve crossed it.

Forgive me for having limited social graces these days, but parenting young kids has a way of making you feel like a human Kleenex.  I had a shower yesterday morning, but two hours later it felt like it had been a week.  In just a few hours I had been spit up on multiple times, wiped boogers with my sleeve, cleaned out our toddler potty five times, changed a few diapers and a blowout onsie, cleaned up all the dog poop in the yard, and had my two year old’s naked butt sitting on me while I tried to get a home workout in.  None of which was out of the norm.  It was all a typical Sunday.

parenthood is messy

 

I don’t know if there is a point to all this, other than I felt like sharing what was on my mind.  And these days, my mind has gone to mush.  Brown, stinky mush.

Gross.

*********************

Anyone else in that marital stage where you talk as much potty talk as we do?!

I Started a New Job the Day My Baby was Born

For twenty eight hours a week, I became the leading lady at the new topless bar in town.  I had no choice.  The baby had to eat.   

The day my daughter was born, I started a new job.  For twenty eight hours a week, I became the leading lady at the new topless bar in town.  I had no choice.  The baby had to eat.

shutterstock breastfeeding mama
@shutterstock

It is true.  Some people picture maternity leave as one long vacation.  But women everywhere are actually busy doing some of the most demanding and thankless jobs during this time – sustaining human life.  In my case that meant nursing, but I assume the hours are similar for moms using formula.  There is plenty of work to fill the hours we used to use at our real jobs.

While being the leading lady at the topless bar is not less significant than a fancy job that you need a degree for;  you’re not going to get paid the same.  People (*husband*) may refer to you as the “Boob Lady.”  Your shifts will be mandated every three hours by a loud, tiny boss. You’ll suddenly have to become a logistical genius to go on a mommy vacation (Target) for more than an hour at a time.

I am not complaining.  I am just speaking in facts.  Those first couple months a baby eats around eight times a day, for thirty minutes per session (prepping, feeding, clean-up).  Each week the math works out to about twenty eight hours (during the newborn stage), with no days off.

shutterstock breastfeeding mama 2
@Shutterstock

In my experience, everything got a little easier with the second child.  Overall, I had a better routine down.  But, it still took at least thirty minutes to execute.   Every three hours I would change baby, nurse and burp baby, freeze the let down milk I had collected and clean the collection cup (read how I’ve managed to build a serious freezer stash with ZERO pumping), then rock baby back to sleep or let her play on the mat.

Now that it is my second time working at the topless bar in two years, I understand that the role is temporary.  My job description will change over time.   “Boob Lady” doesn’t have to be my lifelong identity.  However, it is a significant part of who I am right now.

And for those that have ever wondered what a new mom does with all her free time during maternity leave, come visit her at work.  On the couch, where you tip her in foot massages and quality dark chocolate.  **Shirts are always optional.**

Like what you’ve found on the blog?  I’m always sharing life updates and humor on Facebook and Insta.  Join the family!  You can also buy my latest children’s books here.

JK Coy Books
Get Your Own Copy Here

Geoffrey the Giraffe’s Extinction Notice: Spring 2018

It feels like they refused to grow up, getting by on nothing more than nostalgia.  Eventually memories weren’t paying the bills, and the store is now coming to a close.

I was instantly transported back to 1988, as I walked through the sliding doors with my daughter’s hand in mine.

I don’t want to grow up, I’m a TOYS “R” US kid

Very little had changed in this mega toy store.  I’m certain over fifty percent of the toys that overloaded the shelves were the same toys I enjoyed during my childhood.

Fisher Price xylophones, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Lite Brites, Easy-Bake ovens, Power Wheels, the game Hungry Hungry Hippo, and Guess Who?  All there for the taking.

geoffrey the giraffe 2018 toys r us through the years
Image adapted from original, original source unknown

It was a fantastic trip down memory lane for my husband and I, both products of the eighties.  But not so fantastic for a dying retailer that never evolved.

They got a million toys at TOY “R” US that I can play with.

They may have gotten the million toy part correct.  The store felt chaotic and overloaded with all the toys haphazardly jammed inside.

They got the best for so much less, it’ll really flip your lid.

Except no one has actually associated them with having low prices in quite some time.  And in an Amazon world, it’s probably not the best idea to try to compete using copious amounts of in-store inventory.  The liability is too large.

They already had a lot of square footage in their stores.  They could have converted a portion of that to encourage experiences…

  • an entire magical Island of Sodor set-up for kids to indulge their Thomas the Train day dreams
  • a stage to encourage play with dress-up clothes, musical instruments, and story time
  • miniature houses with back yards to ignite the imagination using outdoor basket ball hoops, scooters, baby dolls, and play kitchens
  • a humongous Lego table featuring the best child-made creation of the day
  • or even a race track around the store for those Power Wheels that the kids still love today

Honestly, I’m excited just thinking about the possibilities!

Some will contend that kids are busy playing with iPads and computers and aren’t interested in the same kinds of toys.  But every family I know, still has a house full of bikes, train, and video games.  The toy market isn’t dead.

From bikes to train to video games, it’s the biggest toy store there is!

JK Coy
Get the latest books from J.K. Coy, Click Here

It’s just that the retail strategy has evolved and grown up since the eighties.  TOYS “R” US should have revised their in-store experience long ago.  It feels like they refused to grow up, getting by on nothing more than nostalgia.  Eventually memories weren’t paying the bills, and the store is now coming to a close.

I don’t wanna grow up, because maybe if I did, I couldn’t be a TOYS “R” US kid!

Sadly, as of Spring 2018, no one gets to be a TOY “R” US kid.

Game over.

 

 

The Missing Toys that Torture Me

How do Moms find anything? 

We search the places that someone has promised us they’ve checked.

To the missing ‘W,’

Your run is finally over.

The madness you managed to create in our house was monumental.  For months my daughter’s alphabet toy had been incomplete.  How was she supposed to finish learning her ABC’s when the W was missing?

 

No wagon, no walrus, no watermelon.

Whelp!

I searched for you, lost sleep over you, and considered offering a reward to anyone that could find you.  Many times I silently resolved to give up on you.  But then I always caved, because a good Mom doesn’t give up.

I admit, I got way too excited each time I thought of somewhere new to look.  Surely today would be the day I found you!

But it never was.  You are indeed talented at the game of hide and seek.

This morning I thought I caught a glimpse of you under the toy chest.  I moved it, already planning a victory dance in my head.  Instead, it was the wooden bunny from a puzzle.  I hadn’t even noticed that she was missing yet, since I was still fixated on the W.

So I thought about it for way too long.  At that point I was obsessed with finding you.  I pictured you in hiding with the lost red crayon and plastic egg that also keep me up at night.

I thought.  And I thought…clearly wasting too much time on the matter.

But then the clouds parted as the the following thought came to mind…

How do Moms find anything?

JK Coy Books
Check Out these Children’s Books by Author J.K. Coy Here

We search the places that someone has promised us they’ve checked.

No socks in the drawer, just check the drawer.

No toilet paper left in the cupboard, just check the cupboard.

No milk left in the fridge, just check the fridge.

It’s a fantastic starting place for every Mom detective.

So I held my breath, and I lowered my stomach to the floor, flash light in hand.  Low and behold, there you were, waiting quietly in the darkness beneath the couch.  The same couch I was guarenteed had been checked.

Well played W, well played.

Once I find the red crayon and plastic egg, you’re all in timeout.

Natural Birthing By Modern Women; Share Your Story

There is an accepted dialogue around birth in this country.  Birth is scary, painful, unnatural, should unfold in a perfect pattern, and demands intervention.

It is time to share another story. Your Story.

This very minute, eight babies are being born in the U.S. – CDC

That’s almost 11,000 babies per day – yet when is the last time you heard anyone talking about natural childbirth in a positive context?

Mention a natural birth and people look at you like you must have suffered some horrible tragedy, or be some sort of a closet hippie.  But I know that is not your story.  You are an educated, modern woman.

photo cred:  The Art of Unscripted

There is an accepted dialogue around birth in this country.  Birth is scary, painful, unnatural, should unfold in a perfect pattern, and it demands intervention.

That was the message I had received from society, and I accepted it.  Anything less than a doctor, an epidural, and laboring on my back was venturing in to hippie territory.  Until I got pregnant myself. 

The more I learned, the more I felt conflicted.  Everything I thought I knew about birth seemed questionable.  It no longer felt like these accepted interventions were in the best interest of the woman.  It felt like natural child birth should actually be the starting point for the birth discussion, instead of the option viewed as what crazy, uneducated, poverty-stricken, or careless women chose to do.

I’ve had two unmediated, hospital births in the last two years.

Birth Story One

Birth Story Two

Natural birth doesn’t have to be scary or crunchy.

It’s unfortunate that Ina May’s Childbirth book is still one of the only resources being passed around on natural birth.  I love it too, but a book about natural birth on a hippy commune in rural Tennessee isn’t going to resonate with most women.

We need to extend positive birth stories to all women, even those that do not think they want a natural birth.  They should know it is a realistic option.  It is the most noninvasive form of childbirth possible, and allows women to avoid many negative or unnecessary interventions.  It can be very empowering.  Most often it is a healthy and safe option for the mama and her baby.  And, it’s not some reckless, crazy act reserved for those that love self torture.

Today the U.S. cesarean rate is 31.9%.  How has our society convinced women to casually agree to major surgery, without strongly considering that their body is equipped for birth? Medical intervention is an amazing option when needed, but it should not be the norm that women are routinely encouraged toward.

Sharing my experiences will never be enough.  There is power in numbers.

For most women, having their eyes opened to alternative birth options, and believing that they are capable of achieving them, are different.  All of the self-education in the world likely won’t convince a woman that natural birth may be for her.

It’s the stories of women that have achieved a natural birth, and are just like them, that will make them think maybe, just maybe, it’s possible for them too.

All we can do is plant seeds of belief in other women.  If we show them that we have been there and we believe they can do it too, it can make all the difference in their world.

Women need to read many empowering stories to begin to change the birth monologues that society has ingrained in their minds.  By sharing a collaboration of natural birth experiences, we can show women that not all childbirth is the crazy shit show that we been taught to fear.

If you have a passion for sharing this message and have always wanted to see your story published in a best-selling book, this is your chance.

Are you ready to change the message around childbirth?

It’s time to share another story.  Your Story.

The program kicks off in the next thirty days.  Message me for detailsJust put the words:  Natural Birth  – Your Name – Your Email in the message and I’ll get back to you within 24hrs.

You will receive story coaching from an Amazon best-selling author, deadlines to keep you committed, professional editing services, your birth story featured in a book, and marketing materials to share the amazing news that you are now a published author!

I know you have objections, but your story is too important.  Let’s do this together!

**FYI, I am currently closed to submissions at this time.  Please follow the blog for updates on the release of the current book, and when I will be accepting new clients/stories**

Lady Logic: Wasted Money or Amazing Deal?

So there I was, saving money for my family, and then the Lady Logic creeps in.

You know the rationale you use to validate your crazy?

Well, that’s your Lady Logic.

Let me use myself as an example.

Today I left the house to run errands.

I had showered, and left the house by noon with a newborn.  Just for that,  I was pretty proud of myself.

Gold star!

Eventually I stopped by Old Navy to make returns. We had some extra outfits that we didn’t end up using for family photos this past weekend.  So there I was getting $29.00 in returns done, saving money for my family.

Gold star!

And then the Lady Logic creeps in.

On the way home I stop by a children’s resale boutique, just for a peek.

The kids don’t really need anything…but then again, maybe they do?

And apparently they did.

Browse all the cute kids Toms Here.  One of each please!

There were the mint condition kids Toms,  because I’ll regret passing up a deal like that…

A long sleeve baby sleeper, because it’s been colder than normal here in SoCal…

The black and white Nicole Miller outfit, because everything looks cute on a toddler…

And the toddler Roxy lounge wear, because…

Just because.

My Mom is the Worst Book Cover
My Mom is the Worst available on Amazon Here

The final damage came to $32.00.  And you know what? I left feeling pretty happy.  I made those $29.00 in returns earlier, so it’s like I only spent $3.00 and got all these adorable “essentials.”

Gold star!

And that my friend, is Lady Logic.

***

Wasted money, or an awesome deal?  You decide.