"" Writer's Wanderings: January 2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rattled Surviving Your Baby's First Year Withoug Losing Your Cool!

I don't usually do Blog Tours for books but this one is special. Trish has written a book that I truly wish had been around thirty-plus (for my twins sake, I'm not telling) years ago when we started our family. Twins! You bet I was Rattled! Actually, the twins' birthday was just yesterday so this is very appropriate. Enjoy!

BLAST OUT Blog Tour for Trish Berg’s Latest Release…
Rattled Surviving Your Baby’s First Year without Losing Your Cool!

Can you change a diaper faster than a rodeo cowboy ropes a calf? Need more sleep, more laughter, and ten minutes in the bathroom – alone?

You must be a mom….Don’t let the clutter, chaos, exhaustion and Cheerio-dust get you Rattled.

With practical advice and scriptural reminders, author Trish Berg can help you not only survive the chaos and clutter of motherhood, but get back to the simple joy of being a mom.

I am excited to welcome Trish Berg, joining us today to talk about her new mom book, Rattled, Surviving Your Baby’s First Year without Losing Your Cool!

Trish is a national speaker for Hearts at Home, author of The Great American Supper Swap and Rattled. She has been published in Today’s Christian Woman, MOMSense, CBN.com, P31 WOMAN, and numerous regional and national publications.

Trish earned her MBA before leaving the workforce for motherhood, then earned her Doctorate in Diaper Changing in Ohio where she and her husband, Mike, keep busy raising their four children on their family cattle farm.

Trish, welcome. Thanks for taking time to be with us today.

Thanks for having me.

So why is it so easy for moms to get rattled during their baby’s first year?

Motherhood is simply draining and exhausting. Hands down the toughest job I have ever had.

But moms are not alone, and I want moms to know that God walks with them through these exhausting years.

What stresses moms out the most?

I think moms put a lot of pressure on themselves to do it all by themselves, and to do it all the right way. They need to simplify, let go of many details, and ask for help, from their husbands, and from neighbors and friends.

Rattled actually begins by looking at the months of pregnancy. How can moms use this time to prepare to survive baby’s first year?

Nine months is not nearly enough time to fully prepare for motherhood. I am not sure there is enough time to fully prepare.

I remember when our first child, Hannah, was born, I felt that my world had been turned upside down. Hannah did not like to sleep, and so we spent many nights walking the floor, bouncing her up and down, trying desperately to settle her down. My husband, Mike, and I took turns walking laps around the house, like the Indy 500 with a lot more bouncing.

I am not sure I could have prepared for that.

But during your pregnancy, you can prepare in other ways. Like arranging for help. Ask your mom or mother-in-law if they can spend one day with you each week during the first few months. Just knowing someone is coming in the morning to help with the baby can make the being up all night not seem so terrible.

You talk about surviving motherhood. How do you help moms do that?

In Rattled, I talk about a mom’s survival kit. If you were thrown out into the wilderness, you would need FOOD, SHELTER, FIRE and WATER to survive.

Well, moms have been thrown out into the wilderness of motherhood, and to survive, they will need:

Water from the word (2 Samuel 22:3a) –To be in God’s Word.

A fire like desire for prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) – Moms can pray their way through their day.

Nourishment body, mind and spirit (1 Corinthians 13:13) – Love on all levels nourishes us.

Shelter from life’s storms (Proverbs 17:17)-Friends to lean on, trust, and support us.

In Rattled, I spend some time talking about how moms can use that survival kit to get back to the joy of mothering.

You spent a lot of time listening to what other mothers had to say. Share with us your best advice for new moms.

I would tell moms to relax. No one does it right all the time. Let the laundry pile up. Leave the dishes in the sink, and just enjoy holding your baby today.

Don’t worry about doing “it” right, just enjoy the moments you have.

That is sound advice...

But what aboud dads? Give us a few tips into what dad is going through during the first year.

Dads are just as insecure as moms are about parenthood. Even more so in many cases.

Moms do much of the baby feeding, diaper changing, and baby care. So dads can sometimes feel left out, and incapable of caring for their own baby.

One thing moms can do is encourage dad to be involved. But in doing so, moms must let go of “their way” of doing things, and let dad discover his own way.

For example. When Hannah was a baby, every time Mike would change her diaper, I would criticize the way he changed it. I tried to teach him how to put his fingers under the leg elastic and make sure it wasn’t bunched up, preventing a future leak.

But every time I criticized him, he stepped back and became less involved. And you know what? Even when I did the diapers the “right way” they still sometimes leaked.

So I had to learn to let Mike change her diaper his own way. I let him put her to bed his way, bathe her his way, and be the dad God wanted him to be.

That can be difficult for moms who can tend to be slight control freaks when it comes to baby care.

But let me just encourage you that the help you will get from dad if you can let go of those details will bless you in more ways than you can imagine!

In Rattled you’re very open about the loss of your own pregnancy in 2002. How has that loss changed your outlook on motherhood?

I in the 2nd trimester of my fourth pregnancy when I went in for a regular check up. I was not having any problems at all, and went in alone.

My OB/GYN performed an ultrasound just to check for twins, and suddenly my world turned upside down when he could not find a heart beat.

I was completely devastated. Mike and I had two weeks of further testing before we had assurance that our baby had died. And through it all, I prayed for a miracle, my miracle, that my baby would be alive again.

But in the end, God’s miracle was not that my baby survived. God’s miracle was the reassurance that He used me as a vessel to bring a tiny soul to Heaven.

A year later, I lost another child to miscarriage.

Today, I have a greater sense of love and appreciation for my four children here on earth whom I hug with my arms, and a closer tie to Heaven where my two babies are waiting for me, whom I can only hug with my heart for now.

Today you’re the mom of 4 happy and healthy children. What do you see as the greatest blessing about being a mom?

I would say learning patience, but my husband would laugh out loud at that…since I am probably one of the most impatient people there is.

So I guess I would have to say enjoying the journey. I live Psalm 118:24 every day of my life.

“This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Life is messy. Things break. Kids get sick. But moms need to remember to enjoy the journey no matter where the journey leads.

Today at the Berg house, our washing machine is broken. Our mini van needs new tires. We are hanging onto Mike’s 1986 Jeep on a wing and a prayer, hoping it makes it another year or so.

There is mud on my kitchen floor, crumbs on my carpet, and I can honestly say that I love my life. Just as it is.

Now, I certainly have moments where I get stressed and discouraged, and can even lose my temper (just ask my kids), but I am also learning to enjoy each moment of every day as a gift from God.

And thorough it all, my simple hope and prayer is that I can be the mom that God wants me to be.

Where can readers learn more about you, Rattled, your other books, and your ministry to moms?

My website at www.TrishBerg.com offers tons of FREE resources, links and downloads for moms, as well as mor information on my books and ministry.

Moms can also purchase their own copy of Rattled by clicking here.

And I will be speaking at all 3 Hearts at Home Conferences in 2008, I would LOVE for you to join me there. The National conference is in March in Illinois, and in the fall there is a conference in Michigan and Minnesots. You cna get more information and register at http://www.hearts-at-home.org/

Thanks, Trish, for joining us today. What a joy to meet you and learn more about your new mom book Rattled.

Thanks for having me. Blessings to you.

You can catch up with Trish all week long on her BLAST OUT BLOG TOUR by going to the following sites. There will be FREE book prizes, and great moms to connect with at each blog.





























The Contract is Complete!

The last signee, Cathy Messecar, has put her "John Hancock" on the dotted line and the contract along with our completed manuscript is on its way to Leafwood Publishers. We should be seeing some ideas for the cover of A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts soon. This truly is exciting. Almost like having a new baby!

If you'd like to know more about Cathy, check out her excellent blog that compliments her book, Stained Glass Pickup. You will be blessed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Contract Signing Continued

The pony express made it to Texas and our fifth Word Quilter has signed the contract for A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, sealed it, and mailed it on to our other Texan!

Leslie Wilson has a busy life with kids, hubby, and a demanding speaking schedule. Yes, she took pictures of signing the contract but we're still waiting to receive them. If you'd like a glimpse of Leslie's pretty face, you'll need to go to her website for now. Besides, she loves it when you visit!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee

Last night I finished this remarkable book by Charles Shields. I was drawn to it when I learned that Harper Lee, or rather Nelle Harper Lee, never published another novel. To Kill a Mockingbird was her first and only published book. As a writer my curiosity was aroused. Why would anyone who wrote such a compelling work, received a Pulitzer, and sold movie rights never get published again?

Ms. Lee is an enigma. Through the years, she has granted few interviews, been very selective in her personal appearances and thoroughly guarded her private life as much as possible. There was much talk about a second novel but from the information gathered by Shields from friends and those who had any contact with her through the years, it appears she worked on one or two ideas and for whatever reason, fear of failure or failure to follow through, she never passed another manuscript on to her publisher.

Much is said about her relationship to Truman Capote. They were childhood friends and Lee, according to Shields, had a lot to do with Capote's writing of In Cold Blood.

Mockingbird is a good read and very interesting. It left me to ponder though: what would I do if my first published novel took the path of such success? I might be afraid to write another too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

California Contract Signing

Our contract for A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts made it to California. Finally! I was worried that I'd accidentally sent it by pony express and the horse ate it. Our CA girl, Terra Hangen, signed it and now it is on its way to Texas to Leslie Wilson. We are having so much fun with all of this.

Terra is a new blogger. She's a wonderful writer and does a lot of stories about gardening and nature. We both write columns for Positively Feminine.org. Check out her blog, In the Beginning.

Monday, January 14, 2008

In My Lifetime--Automobiles

I can hear the giggles now. No, I did not arrive during the horse and buggy stage and no, I wasn't around for Ford's launch of the Model T. I do remember my grandfather having an old truck that he had to crank with a bar inserted in a hole in the front of the grill in order to start it.

My memories consist mostly of design changes. Mom and Dad fluctuated between Chevys and Chryslers and they each had their own stage of "wing" designs for the rear fenders. One particular model that Dad bought for Mom had huge fenders in the back. I'm pretty sure it was a Chrysler. It was similar to the one at the right but I remember hers being light blue.

Before we were married, Bob owned a Corvair convertible much like the one in the picture. We traded it in on a Ford before moving to Maryland and planning the start of our family.

The one car I truly loved was the Mustang. I had always been a fan of the Thunderbird, which was a popular sports car in the late 60s. The later versions of it were not nearly as appealing. When the Mustang came out it replaced the Thunderbird for "sportiness. " Again over the years, the "sporty" was made a bit more family friendly and I got my opportunity to purchase a used one--an early 1980s model. I enjoyed that car and cried when we had to sell it and replace it with a van so that our five kids would fit comfortably in one vehicle.

Probably the most fun we had with a car though was the Thunderbird that talked. The kids loved it! "The door is ajar," the female voice would complain. When Bob was done with it, he passed it on to our teenage drivers and they drove it until it began falling apart. The voice never faltered even when Bob and our son, Ron, took the dashboard out to try to repair something. They never did get to the part and had to reassemble everything to take the car--and all the leftover parts in a jar to the garage for a professional to work on it.

Now we not only have cars that talk but cars that can tell us how to get there, change our music stations, keep track of all sorts of data, show movies, and generally distract us from our primary purpose--safe driving from one point to another.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Contract Signing!

It's the story of six lovely ladies who were living in six cities far apart.

All of them with aspirations and lots and lots of heart.

Til the one day when these ladies got together,

Though the internet was not as good as lunch,

They began to form a friendship and pool ideas,

Now they're a contracted writers bunch!!

Known as the Word Quilters, Trish Berg, Brenda Nixon, Terra Hangen, Leslie Wilson and myself under the leadership of Cathy Messecar will be publishing a book called "A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts" with Leafwood Publishers in October of 2008. The three Ohio WQs signed the contract at a coffee house in Loudenville this morning.

The six of us met online through a writers forum and formed a group to encourage each other in our careers. Along the way, we found an idea for a collabrative book and have been working on it for a year now. I feel privileged to be the only member who has met all five of the others face-to-face. Three of us are from Ohio, one from California and two from Texas.

It was great fun this morning and we look forward to this great adventure together. (Left to right bottom picture: Brenda, Me, Trish)

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