Suzanne Brown of Raleigh blogs about babies, books and a whole lot of other things on Suz's Treats. Readers are along for the ride as she navigates life with twins born last May after years of fertility treatments (which she also has talked about on the blog). With two little ones and a full-time job, you could forgive Suz for complaining from time to time, but she doesn't. The cheery design of her blog reflects her upbeat, optimistic personality, making every post, well, a treat to read.
Tell us a little about yourself, and about your family.
I work in the insurance industry and my husband (Jason) is in IT. When we're not working, we enjoy relaxing at home, being at the beach and cheering for the Wolfpack at football games.
We began trying to grow our family in early 2010, and after a lengthy battle of unexplained infertility found out we were pregnant with multiples this time last year. Zach and Lucy joined and completed our family six weeks early on May 21, 2012.
You started Suz's Treats long before you became a mom. Why did you initially start blogging? And how did you pick the name?
I initially started blogging as a newlywed in early 2008. I wanted a way to keep up with the books I was reading and the recipes I was bringing home on sticky notes from my mom and grandmothers. I'm a look-on-the-bright-side person. I figured Suz's Treats worked as a name for me to describe recipes, books, vacations and weddings we attended and yet it could also easily expand to incorporate future treats (like babies)!
You were very open about your long journey with fertility treatments, both the frustrations and the excitement when it finally worked. Was it hard for you to write about that?
Blogging was my therapy through infertility. I've always been very candid on Suz's Treats and being so open about our struggle to conceive helped me to process it all. If my being so open helped someone else deal with infertility by feeling less alone, all the better.
You update Suz's Treats several times a week while caring for infant twins and working a full-time job. How do you find the time to write, let alone enough free fingers for typing?
Ha! I type one handed and sometimes with just one finger on my smart phone! I get a lot done online pumping at night after the babies are asleep and while pumping at work. I stay organized as much as possible so that when I have the time, the ideas or draft posts are there, allowing me to write and schedule multiple posts.
Many of your posts are about your children, of course, but another frequent topic is books. Why have you made that part of your blog?
I read a lot. I have since I was a small child. I was afraid that I would have to give that up when the babies came, but I have been pleased to find time to read while pumping and on my kindle while holding a sleeping newborn. I don't typically re-read books though, so review posting about each finished book is a way to remind myself what I read.
What's your favorite thing to do with the whole family in the Triangle?
We haven't ventured out with them a lot as a whole family. They were so little at first then it was so hot this summer. But now that it's fall, we're enjoying running errands and meals out together. Relish has been a favorite spot so far. We've gone for brief walks, and I can't wait to take them to local greenways and parks this spring!
What's your favorite thing around here to do when you get a few hours to yourself?
Free moments to myself have been few and far between since May 21. But the few solo trips I've made have been to Target, Panera for reading, blogging and their tomato mozzarella panini, or meeting friends out for dinner in Cameron Village.
What's the best parenting trick you've picked up?
Keep a washcloth handy when changing little boy diapers! Also, save yourself from washing breast pump parts in the middle of the night by keeping them in the fridge between pumpings.
What's the best advice someone has given you about being a mom?
Sleep when the babies are sleeping. My husband and I have always been night owls. Our pre-babies bedtime was around midnight. Now, if both babies are sleep at 8:45 p.m., we try to get to sleep by 9:00!
What's your least favorite part and most favorite part of mommyhood?
4 a.m. when they don't easily go back to sleep post-nursing is my least favorite so far. I don't mind the dream feeding, but when an overtired baby won't go back to sleep, it's tough on us all.
Their gummy five-month-old giggles and grins are my current favorite part. It's an indescribably awesome feeling when your children see you and just bust out their biggest smiles. I'm so glad I get to do daycare pick up to witness and enjoy those faces.