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Sticks and Stones…

Everyone gets teased. Its part of growing up. In fact, every one of us can probably remember getting teased at one point or another when we were younger AND having one particular teasing stick out in our mind.

I can still remember one of the first times I was teased. I was in the first grade and, like most first graders I’m sure, I still had some lingering baby fat. Additionally, my parents, who don’t really have a sense of fashion, happened to dress me that day in my sister’s clothes (not a dress, but think pink t-shirts with ponies) – which they thought was ok because shirts are unisex right? No – they are not. Needless to say, the chubby cheeked boy dressed in girl’s clothes got it pretty bad on the first day of school.

Fast forward a few decades later and I’m now a parent with a child in today’s new world of bullying and teasing. As a first time parent, I’m really not quite sure what to do. Part of me thinks, look this is part of growing up and everyone goes through it. I turned out OK and I was teased (a lot unfortunately!). My parents never got involved, nor did they really need to. But, part of me wants to protect my kids, shield them from getting teased and get involved and kick the crap out of the teasers (and potentially their parents). What’s the right thing to do? You want to protect your kids from harm but you don’t want to over-protect them to the point where they can’t handle a little teasing on their own…

Luckily my oldest daughter is not yet 3 and these problems are still a few years away, however I got my first taste this past weekend. I was changing my daughter for her swim lesson when a couple of boys (not sure how old – 6, 7?) walked by and noticed she was still wearing a diaper. They stopped what they were doing and started pointing at her and saying things like “what a baby, she’s still wearing diapers!” Then they giggled and walked away.

It doesn’t sound that bad as I write this, but the actual event felt worse. After they walked off, my daughter kind of looked at me like she didn’t understand what was going on. This got me thinking about what I would have done a year from now, when she’s older and understands she’s getting made fun of.

What to do…?


Endue and Project Peanut Butter announce new partnership

We have teamed up with Project Peanut Butter to fight childhood malnutrition! We are very excited to announce our newest partnership with our friends at Project Peanut Butter. Read more about our partnership below and check out Project Peanut Butter at

Endue and Project Peanut Butter announce new partnership — SAN FRANCISCO and ST. LOUIS, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ —.

Searching for Balance in Work and Life – One Working Mom’s Story

I spent most of my career in a male-dominated industry and never gave a second thought to being a woman in a man’s world.  I found it to be a comparative advantage.  When that changed, was when I had my first child.  Suddenly, I was asking for special accommodation in some situations, whether it was to attend a doctor’s appointment or get home to ensure the nanny was able to leave at a reasonable time.  It was rare that anyone would comment, but I felt judged.  And when someone did comment, it was always behind my back.

After about a year, I left the banking industry for a corporate role, which I thought would help alleviate some of these issues for me.  It did not.  It did give rise to different issues caused by my occasional absence or early departure.  My team rarely contacted if I had left the office, thinking I was busy (even though I was still working, technically).  So questions and concerns went unchecked.  This was mind boggling for me as I came from a prior work environment where I was always “on” and I was expected to respond to emails and phone calls at all times, which I did.  Yet others expected me to be at my desk almost all day every day and because I was not, I must not be working and it became a problem.

Now that I have two children, those challenges are magnified, and sometimes I feel they have….multiplied!

Has every working mother made sacrifices? Huge ones.  Less professional progress, fewer vacations, less personal freedom, less money…but is it worth it?  Absolutely.  I relish spending an afternoon with my 2 year old daughter and hearing her squeal with joy when I walk through the door.  I would not change it for anything in the world.

That said, I am still searching for balance in my work.  And I have discovered a few things – which seem blatantly obvious now but it did take a long time to figure this out!

The only way to really find  ‘balance” is to have control over your own time and schedule.  This is the best option for women who want to achieve professional success, and still spend time with their kids.  I feel very strongly that today’s technology and communication mediums should make this easy, but it is still an uphill battle to eliminate the need for “face time” no matter what industry.  Further, it requires a corporate culture that embodies this mantra, and while many claim to, very few do.

My challenges absolutely pale in comparison to many others and I consider myself very lucky.  But I know I will continue to search for this balance, even if it means moving mountains, overcoming biases or breaking glass ceilings.  I urge you to do the same.  It will take armies to change corporate America.  We need to make it happen- for all of the working parents in our lives.

I’d love to hear your stories – how have other moms coped with these challenges?  Please leave a comment below or send me an email!  There is so much to discuss on this topic and I think the more discussion that happens, the sooner we will see progress!

Support Your Fellow Parent


No mother is the same. No father is the same. Most importantly no baby is the same. Everyone has their own way of parenting and it is important to remind ourselves that respecting each individual parenting style is key to the success of raising a child. Brenna from captures this concept beautifully in the poem below.

The Best We Know How

I’m writing this not to tell you how to parent.
I won’t ask you to let your kids free-range
or suggest you co-sleep.
I don’t care whether you nurse
or use formula
or barley water
or goat milk.
It’s okay if you stay home with your kids
if you send them to daycare sixty hours a week
if they were unplanned
or if you struggled with infertility for years.
It doesn’t matter whether you had them at 15
or if you are 47.
Maybe they don’t have a dad
maybe they have two.

You may have had a few drinks when you were pregnant
or sushi.
Maybe you’re in the shape of your life
or maybe your post-baby body is soft, dimpled and scarred.
I don’t need you to toughen up your kids
to stop protecting them
to let them play with toy guns
or to dress your girls as princesses
and astronauts.
It’s not my job to tell you that the name you’ve chosen is weird
or when to baptize.
I don’t need you to put down your phone
throw away your television
or vaccinate.
I don’t dictate how you grieve for the one you lost.
It’s up to you how you manage the six you have.
You don’t have to buy organic groceries
or join the PTA.
You might not love them all equally.
You’ve screwed up.
So have I.

We all do it right, and we all do it wrong, and I really believe that we all do it the best we know how.

Baby Talk Rocks

How much time do you spend talking to your newborn?  If your answer is not too often then you better start now, because babies love to talk in their own baby style.  Communicating verbally and non-verbally builds a strong bond and connection between a parent and child.  Pay attention to babies’ facial expressions and babbling sound; smile back and reply back to their silly talks instead of ignoring and interrupting their communication.  Sometimes this process can feel frustrating, but it will help your baby grow their interpersonal skills in the future.

The most important thing is to always have a back to back conversation with your newborn.  If the baby makes silly sounds/talks “la-la”, “bm-bm”, just repeat those words.  Apart from that, while doing your chores or cleaning a car, you can talk to your baby about anything.  You can tell them how to fix a closet, how to clean a car, or even sing an awesome song to them.  I know it may sound bizarre but trust me babies’ loves hearing you talk; they observe and learn through communication and visual factors.

Talking to your baby early on will pay dividends in the future!

Yikes, I have 2 kids! – Day 30

There are moments in every person’s life that are universally scary. The first time you have to get in front of the class to make a presentation, the first time you go up to a girl/boy you like and ask her/him out, the first time you tell that special someone “I love you” – AND for you parents out there, the first time your spouse leaves you alone with both kids. Yikes.

When my wife asked me to take care of the kids one Saturday so she could meet friends for lunch, I literally panicked. I mean, up to this point, we always had even numbers on our kids. One of us could entertain our toddler, while the other could feed/change/hold the infant. But what happens when the kids outnumber the parent? Gulp.

You have to say “yes” right? I mean, if you decline this request out of sheer fear, you will never, EVER be able to get another guys night out, Saturday golf outing, or Sunday NFL-a-thon. Seriously, forget it. Turning this simple lunch request down would forever put me in negative points.

So of course I said yes. Here’s how the day went –

11:00AM – Mom walks out the door. Camden (2.5 years) and Gerrit (1 month) now both stare at me… expectantly…

11:10AM – I put Gerrit on the floor on a blanket. Let him stretch out for a bit. He starts to fall asleep. Whew, I start to think this might not be too bad. Camden and I sit down at her kiddie table and start coloring.

11:40AM – Gerrit wakes up and starts crying… with a vengeance. I think he’s hungry so I get out the bottle and start feeding it to him. Camden continues to color. So far, so good.

11:45AM – Camden wants me to color with her and begins to make sure I know that. Gerrit pauses from his feeding to load his diapers for me. I leave the room to change Gerrit, leaving Camden in the room alone, armed with crayons.

12:05AM – I change Gerrit 3x over the course of 20 minutes. How is that possible you ask? The first time I put him down, he wasn’t quite done yet and decides to shart all over the wipes (while I’m still holding them) and new diaper. I wipe my hands with his wipes and I start wiping him down again. In all of the excitement, I forget to cover his manhood. Gerrit makes sure I won’t make that mistake again by peeing on my face, hands (when I finally got over the shock and tried to block the stream), all over himself and the changing table. Some weird part of me can’t help but feel some pride at his incredible aiming prowess (guy thing).

12:10PM – Lunchtime! Camden is telling me in her outside voice how hungry she is. I walk into the living room, where her kiddie table is, and it looks like a monsoon has come through. I pick her up and take her to the changing table to change her. Only when I get there I forget the mess I left behind so I change her on the living room floor. I put her down and then I notice the green crayon on the couch and wall. On our light-cream colored couch and off-white wall! Crap.

12:15PM – I wash Camden’s hands and get her in her high chair. I start making her PB&J sandwich. Gerrit, who I left on the floor in the middle of monsoon territory, starts crying again because he’s still hungry. Toaster is taking forever.

12:20PM – Camden lunch made and now I pick Gerrit up to give him a bottle.

12:40PM – Gerrit finishes eating. I must not have put the diaper on tight because his clothes are wet. I haven’t cleaned up the mess on the changing table yet so I change him on the floor. I let Camden play with a toy while she eats (a big no-no in my household) and she knocks over her milk. Camden tries to be helpful and clean her high chair tray with a towel but it just makes things worse.

12:45PM – Mom comes home from lunch to find a naked Gerrit on the floor of a toy and crayon covered living room crying his head off, a couch and wall with streaks of green crayon, a kitchen with milk everywhere and finally a wet changing table that had about 5 dirty diapers laying on top or around it. And of course me in the middle of all of the chaos.

She hasn’t left me alone with the kids again after that…

Yikes, I have 2 kids! How did that happen? – Day 0


Ok, OBVIOUSLY I know how it happened. What I mean is, how did it get to this point? I finally got the hang of dealing with 1, and now I’m about to have 2 of them…

For all of the Facebook users out there, did you take a look at your own “Look Back” videos? Mine went something like this – the first half was “selfies” (before “selfies” became a word/verb), party pictures, and then girlfriend/fiance/wedding photos. The second half was all photos of my first child, my daughter Camden. Tons of them. I feel bad for anyone paying attention to my news feed. Its crazy how a kid can take over your entire world…

After our second, Gerrit, was born about a month ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Our daughter was super easy in the beginning, but I’ve always heard boys were more difficult younger, girls more difficult older. Not sure if that’s true or not, but so far he’s been pretty mellow.

Also, how would Camden react to having another baby in the house? She’s used to getting all of the attention now, but how will she be once Gerrit comes home? I have a very good friend who told me that when he and his wife were expecting their second, their first child was in complete denial of the new baby. When asked if she was excited to be a big sister, the first child would say, “mommy’s not pregnant, she’s just getting fat.” I’ve heard other stories about how older siblings would ask their parents if they can bring the baby back to the hospital.

I’ve also secretly wondered how my wife and I would manage having a second child in the house. When you have one, you can focus your full attention on that one child. When there’s two, your attention is going to naturally be shared. How do you make sure the second gets all of the attention they deserve like the first one? I think its only natural that as a first time parent, you break out all the stops for your child, but when you have the second, there’s a little bit of the “been there, done that” feeling. But, that can also be a good thing – you don’t over react to the little things. I think the trick is to just make sure you continue to go above and beyond for the second one.

Sigh… someone really needs to sit down and write an operating manual. I’ve already learned one really important thing with boys – you need to cover them up when you’re changing them. It’s only been a month and my wife and I have already been hosed 7 times. The most recent was so bad we had to change our sheets and comforter.

My Child is Chewing their Clothing!

Don’t worry, it is relatively common for your child to chew on their clothing, you aren’t alone!  Chewing can happen for a variety of reasons and there are some simple steps that you can take to help address it.

This is one of the reasons though that here at endue we make sure that our organic baby clothing is always dyed with low impact, safe dyes.  We don’t want anything bad getting into your child’s mouth!

Check out Dr. Rene’s article on the issue for some helpful tips!



Babies Don’t Manipulate-They Communicate

Great article highlighting just how much babies pick up on and how much sticks with them as they grow!  So next time your little one is having a fit, just remember there is probably something really bothering them, and taking the time in an understanding manner (as hard as it can some times be!) to figure out what that is going on with your little one will pay off in the long run!

Post Baby Body – the NEW you

Post Baby Body – the NEW you - endue

Post Baby Body – the NEW you

This website is a worthwhile look for all new moms. The site functions as an important reminder that there is an amazing community of women out there supporting one another in an aspect of motherhood that is rarely discussed openly, honestly and without judgement – OUR BODIES