I am thankful for…

…the end of solo parenting for the forseeable future.  Back to back long weekends was brutal.  Blog post forthcoming about survival.

…My family. Lifesavers, all of them.

…Netflix.  Having some at-home nights to myself gave me the chance to watch Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru and The First Monday in May.  If you ever watched The September Issue, then The First Monday in May is 100% up your alley.

I am dying for…

…A break.  After Marcus’ first weekend out of town, I got a plugged duct (I swear to God this is the last we will speak of that) and then the night before he left for his conference, I had some sort of terrible migraine/food poisoning episode that absolutely ruined the evening and left me feeling…completely worn out.

…Pizza. Like in a Need It To Fill A Pizza-Shaped Hole In My Soul. I also need a frosted cookie from Lunds. I am not really a comfort-eater so I just want to eat them for the sheer joy of it. That is all.

I am looking forward to..

…getting my hair cut.  A few weeks ago, I noticed that the ends were getting that frizzy, dried-out feel that signals it’s time for a chop.  Since my hair does not grow particularly fast (even with the aid of prenatal vitamins) that frizziness rather than any sort of length is how I gauge when it needs a refresh.  I’ve got my appointment scheduled and I am so excited for a little spa-cation.  Now to use the massage and pedicure gift cards that I have been hoarding.

…Some consistent weather!  We’re in that weird part of Minnesota fall where you could start the morning wearing a jacket and end it wearing a tank top some days. I’m lazy. I don’t want to wear more than one outfit in a day and frankly I do not have the time to change!  I’d rather just be cozy now.  Rip the bandaid off and all of that.

…Family time.  Marcus is home tonight, my brother comes home for the Ryder Cup this weekend.  I am glad that we will get to be all-together.  Maybe this is a little simple, but since Billy is in Texas it is always just the nicest to spend time together when he is in town.  I got a great brother.

Friday Food Round-Up!

Well.  Now you can see what I made while Marcus was out of town last weekend!
I’ve also got a new recipe for you, Auntie Kim’s Mexican Lasagna.  We’ve only made it twice now but it is so incredibly easy to make and it is phenomenally delicious.  I hope you’ll love it as much as we do!

Friday – Breakfast Spaghetti Pie from Farmhouse Rules

I actually made this on Thursday night so I have no idea why I didn’t throw this in last week’s round-up?  Probably because I made it with the intention of eating it Friday – Monday while Marcus was out of town.  I made it the night before he left so I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking once I was on my own.

Friday – Roasted Cauliflower, Feta and Orzo Salad from Cravings

This seemed like a sneaky, yet easy way to get my veggies in over the weekend.  Plus this salad makes…a ton of food so it is great to serve to a crowd or to feast on by yourself for a few days.

Sunday – Sweet Potato Oven Fries with Chili and Cheese

It is definitely sweet potato season, friends.  These filled my bucket.

Monday – Auntie Kim’s Mexican Lasagna

A few slices for meals for Marcus while I was out with girlfriends, a few slices for lunch leftovers, and a few slices for the freezer.

Wednesday – Stuffed Cabbage without the Roll from Farmhouse Rules

Seriously you guys.  Every single recipe I make from this cookbook is such a winner.  Some involve a bit of prep but I honestly think this one was probably 15 minutes of active prep/cooking.  It makes a TON of food and it is such a great vehicle for veggies.

Thursday –Mom’s Green Chili Enchiladas with Cilantro-Lime Rice and Black Beans

I feel like we make enchiladas fairly regularly (or at least we did before Critter), but The Blog says otherwise.  We’re going to have to remedy this.



It has apparently been several weeks since I have shared a Critter/Parenthood update. How y’all have survived without this riveting stuff, I do not know. 

  • We have finally started the baby-proofing process.  I started putting outlet covers everywhere on our main floor.  Marcus fitted the baby gate to our staircase.  I cleaned up the laundry room so that chemicals are off the floor, and everything else is getting re-homed in closets, the garage, etc. Next stop: cabinet locks!
  • The second fang has arrived.  It is right next to first fang, bottom center.
  • Critter has finally rolled from back to front!  At last!
  • I’ve assembled the pack n’ play so that it has a permanent residence in our living room as a baby corral.  If anyone has better baby corral suggestions, I am all ears.  Once we can move some of his more space-consumptive toys out (jumper, playmat, bouncer) a portable/more easily collapsible pen will be a much better option. 
  • Only 4.5 months left of nursing/pumping. Max. 
  • I survived a long weekend of solo parenting last weekend!  We have one more this fall and after that I’ll write a blog post about how we did it. 
  • Critter had his first spontaneous fever last weekend for 36 hours and it was just tragic. And exhausting for both of us. 
  • I got a plugged duct on Tuesday!  I was (1) reminded why I swore to God I would wean if I got mastitis again and (2) really the only thing that separates these two afflictions is the presence of a fever. It will now either resolve itself or escalate. God willing, it resolves.
  • ECFE starts tomorrow. Katie and I are ready to get the boys out of the house and playing with other pups and to hustle up more mama friends!

What I’ve Been Reading

I will confess that I have not been in a huge reading “mood” lately.

I think the J.K. Rowling books through Pottermore are the first eBooks I have EVER purchased as they were only available digitally. I want to say they were $3 each and I loved every one more than The Cursed Child. Recommend if you are a Harry Potter fan. 

I do have some interesting things coming up on my holds list at the library so I’m looking forward to literally checking those out. 

The Mommy Group by Elizabeth Isadora Gold


Hogwarts: An Incomplete & Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling


Short Stories from Hogwarts: Of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling


Short Stories from Hogwarts: Of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling


Friday Food Round-Up!

This week I put the crockpot to work and guys I just love it so much because it is so easy.  Even when I forget to buy all of the ingredients for both of the meals I am actioning in it (fail).  I also significantly increased our stock of freezer meals this week.  We inherited a designated freezer from family members several months before Critter was born and it has been a life saver.  It is great for stashing our bulk meat buys, breastmilk (I split our freezer stash between both of our freezers), and all of the aforementioned freezer meals.  I feel like we have become domestic survivalists in some ways but if it’s what makes life easier, then I am all about it.

Saturday/Sunday – Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

Of course when I was eating this for lunch on Sunday I forgot to photo it and now it is all…frozen. 

I originally found this recipe because I was going to action a meal for someone who didn’t really love soup, but liked broccoli-cheese arrangements.  When I found this one by the Pioneer Woman, I LOVED how easy it looked and thought it would be foolish if I didn’t double the recipe and make a batch for our freezer.  So I did all of the prep on Saturday and made one batch then.  On Sunday I made the second batch.

Sunday – Trader Joe’s Spicy Italian Chicken Sausages, Oven Fries, Coleslaw 

Marcus: We’re going to eat this on china?

Me: We haven’t used it yet this week so it’s time to wheel it out!

More excitingly, we made Jeanne’s coleslaw for the first time in a long time and you guys it is SO good.  Like, so much better than store-bought dressing.  It doesn’t take long to mix it up, but we finally have that little bit of time to be able to do it and I am so glad.

Monday – Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup, Salad

It’s still in the 70’s here, but I am 100% all-in with the crockpot soup situation if you cannot tell.  It makes my life easier, and it has given us so much more time at night because we’re not racing about the kitchen prepping things.

Tuesday – Lawn Chicken Salad from Farmhouse Rules

I think that we can all agree that this has become SUCH a staple salad, especially when I am having my sister-in-law over for dinner.  I am not sure if I love it because it isn’t a beast to assemble or if it’s because I wouldn’t think to combine this specific arrangement of ingredients but it is just as good every time.

Wednesday – Breakfast Tacos

This x3. 

I think we have become next-level breakfast taco people.  Critter was down by 6:45 and we were eating these by 7:05.  Marcus was astonished.  Though to give credit where credit is due, he was busy slicing avocado and cracking eggs and grating cheese while I was browning breakfast sausage and heating beans and toasting corn tortillas.


I am thankful for…

…the orange spots on my yoga pants that turned out to be pureed pumpkin and NOT poops!  But seriously omg the horror of it all. 

…coffee. So much hazelnut coffee. 

…morning walks with Critter. Even on the days he hates everything else he delights in those. 

…a baby who wants to nap on me. I know the day is coming where it will be gone forever. 

…playdates with Katie and Baby G.  We needed to see friends today!

I am looking forward to…

…the end of Mercury Retrograde. Only one more week!

…Girls’ night!  I’m bringing the wine because that is my bandwidth right now. 

…Watching that new Center Stage movie-thing that was on Lifetime?  Bravo?  It doesn’t matter, it’s on my DVR and ready for the weekend. 

I’m dying for…

…more sleep. Because we’re still living through the regression/teething/God knows what and it is ROUGH. 

…cooler temps.  Or hotter ones!  We’re in that weird transitional fall-state where it is possible to wear pants and a sweater in the AM and shorts and a tank in the PM. I would prefer to wear one outfit only. 

…Sleeptacocation.  Only five more weeks. Not that I’m counting. 

Reverb | September | Back to School

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Back to School: Back when you were in grade school, what were your favorite and least favorite subjects and why?  Did you become what you dreamed you would be when you grew up?  Or did your interests completely change?

Fall has not always been my favorite season.  As in, it’s still not my favorite season.  In Minnesota it means that Winter is Coming and that means feet of snow and arctic temperatures.  Fall is nothing to look forward to.  But when I was a pup, I LOVED back to school season.  In fact, it’s safe to say that I still love it.  Critter is going to start ECFE next week and even though it is literally a school district-sanctioned playgroup that you pay $$$ for, I am all Rah-rah-rah!  School is coming!

Did I mention school is coming?

When I was little, I was nothing, if not inconsistent in my career ambitions.  While I had one friend that answered “veterinarian” from 4th grade through senior year (she ended up becoming a physical therapist?) the same could not be said for me.

There was a brief point in high school where I was running around telling anyone who would listen that I was going to be an Oncologist.  Based on the fact that I was phenomenally bad at chemistry and all math it’s safe to say that this was some sort of reaction to the fact that there was that one five month period between 8th and 9th grade where we went to like eight funerals.  I had spent too much time as a first-hand hospice witness.

More realistically, I spent a decent part of my younger years wishing for nothing more than the chance to be a horseback rider.  Where the earning potential was, I am still not entirely sure.  But I was committed.  I loved horses. I had an imaginary horse named Carmello.  I had been on some trail rides. I had read well over 100 books (Saddle Club!  Pony Pals!  Thoroughbred!) about horses.  I was gonna be great at it.

I can also say with a completely clear conscience that when I was in 5th grade, I decided I wanted to become the PTA president.  While I think we all already know that this was probably the only thing that could be a step back from “horseback rider” in the income department, I can also say that this is the only dream that has stuck with me to this day.

I guess with all of that in mind, you could say I have not become what I dreamed of when I was growing up, if for no other reason than the fact that Critter is only 7 months old and my shot at PTA domination has yet to present itself.  But as he gets older, that dream realized will come closer.  Whether I achieve this great honor or cast my sights on something better is something we will know only then.