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The Last Kid

The Last Kid

It’s a moment we all have to go through. A moment that is profoundly sad. The moment that you realize you’ve had your last kid. My oldest started kindergarten this week. My youngest started pre-school. My babies are growing up. I cleaned out the garage last week and found a storage bin filled with bibs, tiny shoes and onesies. They had all been worn by my first born and been passed down to his baby brother three years later. I got a lump in my throat knowing as I put them away, they would not be worn by another child of mine. My wife and I have two beautiful children. We will not be having another…and I am soooo, so cool with that.

I’m done. I’m ready to move on. Don’t get me wrong. I really loved the baby stage and there are many things I miss and will always miss about it.  I hate that I can no longer carry my 5 year old because he’s getting too big. I hate that his cute baby cries have turned into a not so cute whining sound. I hate that my two year old is starting to climb out of his crib on his own and will soon need a bigger bed. But, man, I love the fact that I’m about 6 months away from never having to change another diaper. And that everybody’s baby teeth have already painfully popped though their gums. And that when I go to sleep at night I’m not going to be woken up every two hours until dawn. Yes, I grew very melancholy when I packed away the baby clothes, but I would have grown melancholy no matter how many kids I had. There always has to be a last kid. Might as well be now.

I can tell you for a fact that as my wife is reading this blog, she’s either welling up with tears or getting really angry. See she wants to leave open the possibility of a third kid (hopefully a daughter). In her head she knows that the family dynamic is perfect now, it’s not financially feasible to add another mouth at this point, and that we both have very busy lives and can’t handle the commitment it would take to care for another infant. But in her heart she is always hoping I’ll change my mind. I knew I was going to stop at two as soon as she sent me a picture of the pregnancy test confirming that another bundle of joy was on the way. By the way she sent that pic to me on my phone just before a callback for a major national commercial. No wonder I didn’t book the job. Plus I saw that commercial ad infinitum for about two years afterward. Never really forgave her for that one. Anyway I knew we were done during the her second pregnancy. We already had a three year old boy so obviously we were hoping for a baby girl to get that nice perfect sitcom family. When we were told we were having another boy, we shrugged and said “Oh well. Saves us money on clothes and toys and anxiety during the hormonal, “mother hating” teenage insanity years” Plus not having a daughter saved me the time and money spent on researching chastity belts and convents. At the time though, my wife didn’t want to close the door on a third child. I told her, “No, of course not, dear.” Meanwhile I had closed, locked, barred, and thrown a heavy bookcase against the door. A few years after the birth of our 2nd little boy, she began to realize that our family unit was perfect. She said, “By not having a daughter, I shall stay the most beautiful woman in the house.” That’s not an exaggeration by the way. She really said that. In fact she said it while standing in front of a magic mirror and holding a poison apple. But now the queen is beginning to change her tune a little and hinting that she may want a princess after all. Now I reminded her that in 7th grade health class they told us we don’t really have a say over if we get a princess or a 3rd prince, but she said it didn’t matter. She would be okay with another little boy. I then went on to remind her that raising two boys has so far nearly killed and divorced us (in that order) and it does in fact NOT get easier with a third. In fact a friend of mine said it best. She said raising another child is like adding a full point on the earthquake Richter Scale. Each point up the scale means the earthquake is exponentially worse. Going from 1 to 2 kids is like going from a Richter Scale 5 to a 6. Minimal destruction. Going from a 2nd to a 3rd (and another boy at that), well you’re talking a 6 to a 7. Now you’re looking at pretty extensive damage and injuries. Plus you should never let your kids outnumber you. Right now my wife and I can play a man to man defense. If we have another one, we’ll have to go to the zone and any basketball coach will tell you that’s a much tougher coverage. So I hate to tell my wife (and her mother), but I have now added another padlock, a couple of couches and an angry Doberman to that closed door.

I love my two boys. They’re my best friends. My 5 year old is watching sports with me and starting to understand satire and sarcasm. I’m starting to have conversations with my 2 year old. I am eager to continue on to the next phases of raising my wonderful family.  I want to look forward and not start over.  So barring any “accidents”, I’ve had my last kid. Oops. Shouldn’t have written that last sentence. I’ll bet my wife is putting the kids to bed, opening a bottle of wine and slipping into something more comfortable right now.

Chris Loprete, aka the father of Our Milk Money, began writing his experiences as a new father upon the launch of Our Milk Money, calling his work, appropriately, The Daddys Den. Chris is no stranger to comedy composition. He wrote and performed his one-man show You’re from Philly, Charlie Brown, having successful runs at Circle X Theatre, The Lonny Chapman Repertory Theatre and The Comedy Central Workspace in Hollywood, California as well the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Chris has performed all over the country in theatrical productions, television and film. He is an alumni of The Circle X Theatre Company and The Groundlings Sunday Company. Currently, he is a writer/producer for the Comedy and Reality Promo Team at ABC Television. Chris lives in Stevenson Ranch, California with his wife Ally, founder of OurMilkMoney.com and his two beautiful sons, Braden and Henry.

The Hour of Power

The Hour of Power

We all know how important that first hour is when we wake up in the morning, and how it sets the tone for the rest of our day, but how often are we utilizing that first 60 minutes to our advantage, Here are some sure fire tips to controlling your day before it controls you:

1. Claim your space! Before you ever power up the computer, write on a paper notebook what you would like to accomplish for the day.

2. Power it up with Pages! An effective way to fully wipe the sleep from your eyes and clean out the cobwebs are to pick up a pen and write for 5 continuous minutes whatever comes to your mind. Just spill it out without thinking and simply writing. About anything and nothing. This is what I like to call a brain dump. It gets out all the feels that I don’t need to be having to push forward. If something is bothering you, and festering deep within, these pages will find the culprit and squash it.

3. Voice your Value! Give yourself a pep talk each and every morning to dominate your domain.  Keep it simple and easy to remember. “Today I will create magic!”

4. Create a ritual! One that is YOURS and belongs to you. Some people find that having their morning cup of Joe on the porch with a newspaper is a wonderful morning ritual. Others do Yoga. I put on make-up. Yep, don’t laugh. It’s MY time with MYSELF looking in the mirror and being artistic with my face. In fact, I put on make-up every day — even during the pandemic. It helped me stay grounded when the world felt so displaced.

As stay-at-home parents and business owners its very easy to get sidetracked with everyone else’s needs, or the unexpected chaos of the world. But as the CEO of your home and business, you do have SOME control over the direction you want to move in. As women, we are built to grow things. Creation of anything is nourishing and fuels us.

Morning rituals are a perfect way of starting the day holding your ground and keep jurisdiction over anything unexpected that may come your way.

How to Flex Your Hustle Muscle

How to Flex Your Hustle Muscle

As parents and entrepreneurs we are dedicated to our family first and our business second. Once we have set aside time that belongs to our business, we often spend a great deal of time demystifying marketing and sales.

No matter how often we hear speakers and advertisers tell us that there is a “secret to success” no such secret actually exists, at least none that can be taught once you hand over your credit card. So I will tell it to you for free. The secret to success is


We know that this is true because we see successful people all around us, doing exactly what we are capable of doing ourselves. If you look closely you will see that success leaves a trail that can be followed by anyone. Therefore, there isn’t just one little secret that will turn your business into an overnight success.

If only good intentions were enough to bring us more sales, more income and more
opportunities, we’d all be rolling in it. ACTION is the only way to produce results. No matter what you are facing right now, I urge you to ask yourself, “What action can I take -right now- by me that will set something productive in motion?”

Sometimes it’s just going for a walk, journaling or meditating to get into the right headspace.

Or it could be crafting a new email, Posting something contemplative on social media (don’t get sucked in to scrolling!!) or updating your business plan. Whatever it is… keep moving. Hustle and flow, baby.

Get More Bang for Your Buck with a Brilliant Business Blueprint

Get More Bang for Your Buck with a Brilliant Business Blueprint

In this economy, everyone needs to have a job.

And yet, unemployment is on the rise due to COVID and other unexpected circumstances. When crisis hits, women ALWAYS bear the brunt of it.

Given a choice between losing her income or his…many families chose to give up mom’s salary because chances are she is only earning 80 cents to his dollar. Sigh.

Taking care of your kids and your household is worth a million bucks, and if it were up to us, we’d make sure you get paid for all the work you do. Finding gratitude for the little things and loving up your kiddos can definitely help you cope, but having a good attitude can only go so far.  You have bills to pay, little people to feed and…well, a life to live.

It takes money to live here.

Coming into this human experience comes at a price… and no matter how unfair it seems, you have to pay to exist. So if finding a job is more difficult than you ever imagined it would be, building a business might be a good option for you.

It takes time to build a business, and nowadays, sticking it out is half the battle. But enough is enough. You are working hard and you deserve to be paid.

Pulling double duty does not entitle anyone to a salary, but creating a smart and strategic business plan will give you a greater chance of prosperity. This blue print will give you the tools to leverage your strategy and bring it to fruition.

Simply pick up a pen and create a map of the journey you would like to go on with your business. The very nature of business is that it is a collective activity. Choose to walk down a well thought out business path and you will find that you will stay much more engaged with your purpose and your mission. Intend yourself to be inspired toward actions that will bring you abundance and you will achieve the freedom that you and your family deserve to have.

Want some more inspiration? Ellen Rohr, a business makeover expert and Our Milk Money extraordinaire has a free ebook download: The Weekend Business Plan which will have you ready to launch your business by Monday.

But We Don’t Always Like ‘Em

But We Don’t Always Like ‘Em

Okay, we can all agree that we love our kids, they’re the best thing that ever happened to us, they light up our lives blah blah blah. But to quote a friend’s response to a particular angry Facebook post of mine about my five year old, “We alway love ’em, but we don’t always have to like ’em” That made me feel so much better. So I’m here to let you all know. It’s okay. Everybody wants to kill their kids at one time or another. Those that say “How can you say that?!” don’t have kids. Those that have kids and say “Not me. My little angels are always good as gold” are either lying, in denial, or are suffering empty nest syndrome because their kids have moved away.

Our parents are loving this by the way. Montezuma could only wish he had this kind of revenge. I remembered telling my father how ungrateful my kid was after all of the gifts, trips to  Disneyland, the zoo and so forth. With a sarcastic and unsympathetic tone he said, “Tell you what. I’ll send him the piles of thank you letters I got from you when you were his age. That’ll show him.” Touché and point taken.
I think we have it tougher than our parents did though. Seriously. With so much more media available to our kids like the Internet, video games, Smart phones, etc., there seems to be more of a sense of entitlement. Which brings more of an attitude. And at a much younger age too. I keep saying to my kindergardener, “I’m gonna have to put up with you when you’re a teenager, I shouldn’t have to put up with that mouth now!” To which he stares blankly at me and then asks if he can play with my iPad. So I know they’re too young to get it and on my end I’m probably making HUGE gaffes in discipline and parenting which may be partly responsible for his behavior, but it’s nice to know that parents for generations have gone through the same thing. It’s just taboo to talk about it for fear of being labeled a parent who doesn’t love their child with every fiber of their being. Yes, we do…as soon as they wipe that damn smirk off their face!

Author’s note- I never apologize for my blogs, but this one seems more grumpy than usual. I sound like angry old man Loprete who lives in the run down house next door. So I’ll write something happy next month. Now if you’ll excuse me, there are some damn kids playing in my yard!