Mom Moment

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    I've gotten to the point where I can talk about Max's birth and not get distraught. "He had a stroke at birth," I'll say, matter-of-factly. I'll note that until we had Max, neither Dave nor I had a clue that babies could have strokes. Depending on who I'm speaking with, I might mention that Max's stroke was bilateral and affected both sides of his brain. Inevitably I will say, "He's doing so much better than doctors thought he would. He's a great kid."

    But there are times when thinking about Max's birth makes me lose it, as happened the other night. I was cleaning out a cabinet and I found a disk with old photos. There was the above snapshot of Max from the morning after he was born. There was this video:

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    Sometimes it feels like every time you turn around, there's another set of parents set on ruining their child's life just to be cool. But have heart, there's good news in crazy land! Remember the parents who decided to let the Internet name their baby girl, even setting up a website,, where folks could enter their favorite monikers?

    The couple's little girl is here! And guess what they named her!

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    When we found out that we were pregnant with my son (now 4), my husband and I became one of those “new parent” couples. We researched together, shopped together, and made every choice surrounding the arrival of our new baby together. I’m talking right on down to the discussion of which wipes would "represent" the Thompson household.

    We went with Pampers if you were wondering. If there were an Amazing Race-like show that somehow incorporated preparing for a new baby, we would have been all over that. We were a team.

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    The other day I was having one of those self-pitying IS THIS ALL THERE IS sort of days -- you know, when you feel caught in a bleak Sisyphean loop of wiping up crumbs and making meals, which create more crumbs then wiping up those crumbs? -- and the next morning I randomly took a photo of my 6-year-old when he was still in bed and I thought, Actually, this is EVERYTHING. The messes, the cyclical tasks, the grind and the glory.

    For the rest of that day, I took photos with my cellphone. One after another, nothing framed, nothing well-lit, just random images documenting my day. When I look back on them now, I see a lot of mundane, totally unexciting activities ... that add up to a comforting wave of pure joy. Look how good it all is.

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    Unless you've been living under a rock, you're aware that a little show named Game of Thrones is seriously popular. And it has serious -- no, serious -- fans. How serious are Game of Thrones fans? So serious that they're naming their children after characters on the show. Since the program's premiere, there have been 30 babies named Khaleesi, and the name Arya has doubled in popularity.

    No biggie, right? People have been naming their children after books, shows, and movies for decades (Harry Potter; Twilight; Hunger Games, anyone?). Well, see, the thing is, with GOT names, some of the monikers, like Khaleesi, are completely made up. As in, they were never names; never words; never anything before George R.R. Martin, author of the series, created them in his head.

    Anyone else think it's an eensy bit odd to give a child a completely, totally made up name?

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    Back when I was a brand new mom, or heck, even before I had kids, I was pretty judgy of other moms. I admit, it's easy to see someone loading their children up on candy or strapping them into a kid leash and say to yourself, "I'd never do that."

    Granted, there are some things that I will never, ever not judge; Coca Cola in a baby bottle will make me cringe every single time.

    But overall, I've realized that parenting context is everything, which is why I bite my tongue way more than I ever did before.

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    How many times have we heard, "Don't go on the Internet for medical advice!" The best and most surefire way to get your burning questions answered is just to go straight to a doctor. Skip the online hassle and the pesky writers who are willing to shell out advice and go right to the professionals. But what happens when the doctors, professionals, and specialists have no answer to you? Well, then you flock to the web.

    That's exactly what the parents of little 10-month-old Wyatt Scott are doing. Wyatt was born with Congenital Trismus, a medically unknown condition where he cannot open his mouth and cannot eat solid foods. He's been to multiple specialists, but no one has been able to find the reason for his lockjaw.

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    It's been almost five months since Paul Walker's untimely passing, and the battle for custody of his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, may have come to an end.

    Paul Walker had originally granted guardianship of his daughter to his mother, Cheryl Walker, and had left his entire $16 million fortune to the teen. Just last month, Paul's mother made the official move and filed for guardianship of Meadow. But she has now requested that her petition for guardianship be dismissed, and it could all be for the best.

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    My husband Tim told me our local Little League would like to name a sportsmanship award for our son Jack, who died in a freak accident in 2011 at just 12 years old. Right after I spit out my tea in surprise, I paused to think about whether this would be an appropriate way to honor our son. You see, sportsmanship did not come naturally for Jack.

    But really, I cannot think of a more fitting tribute.

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    Look, we get that breaking the ice isn't always easy to do. Forget singles at bars -- it seems even scarier when trying to "pick up" a fellow mom friend at the store! Who can be witty and charming when you're cleaning up spilled goldfish crackers from Aisle 10? Here are a few sincere “pick-up lines” that have worked for real moms -- use them the next time you see a kindred spirit at the store, park, or anywhere else.

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