Category Archives: Family

Fundraising for Brain Tumor Research

No, friends, I have not been hacked.  However, as we are still adjusting to Glitter’s arrival into our family this will lack the narrative flair I am usually given to but please read on. 

Very long story short: my friend M (since this is getting blasted across the internet, I’m trying to give him some privacy) discovered he had a brain tumor in 2013. I remember visiting him that weekend in the hospital and as I wheeled him up and dowm some of the halls, to the cafeteria and back, I remember thinking This Shit Makes Absolutely No Sense, We Are 26 Years Old. 

His cancer went into remission. 

In January of this year they discovered tumor regrowth during a scan.  Four months before his wedding day.  Currently he is undergoing chemotherapy. 

I have known M for more than half of my life. He is one of the best people I know, he is one of my oldest friends.  So if somehow, at 30 we now need to walk for brain tumor research and awareness, I am there. If we need to fundraise for that (and I will be honest, I made a vow a long time ago as a runner to not fundraise on my own, but to give generously to my many friends who do), I will ask you all to give. 

The page is HERE. (I’ll be honest, I didn’t jazz it up because the whole story is here).

Some items: when the walk happens, I will not even be three weeks post-partum. Physically I cannot walk a 5k right now. If I can walk a mile with Glitter that will be great. With that in mind, since I have a newborn, all walking is weather dependent. However, our whole family is registered as are my parents. At a minimum some combination of us will be walking. 

Anyway, if you have it in you to give $5 or even $10, I know we’ll all appreciate it. 

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She is here!


At 8:51 PM on Monday night, Glitter arrived. We have a daughter and she is  8 pounds 9 ounces and 22 inches long.

Our world is forever changed again. 

The (Longest) Weekend

So.  My last day of work before Glitter arrives was last Wednesday.  That is because Rosh Hashanah started that evening and ended on Friday.  I was obviously hoping to have a baby by now, but I don’t and realistically where we are at right now she is coming this week.  What would have been an ordinarily long four-day weekend is now part of a longer lead-up into my maternity leave.

By Friday, we felt like it was Sunday and now that it is actual Sunday night, I am sort of in disbelief that tomorrow is actually Monday.

Like the last two weekends, we didn’t make any formal plans for this one because we didn’t know what our life was going to look like.  Unlike the other two weekends, we knew that this one would be the last as a family of three.  So we did our favorite weekend things.  Sprinkled throughout with one toddler who had his first daycare cold (which happened two weeks later than we thought it would!) and was on some sort of hunger strike that resulted in one trip to urgent care five minutes before closing.  This is real life!


On Saturday morning, we went to Bellecour’s bakery to pick up some treats and then walked down to Wayzata Beach where Critter played on the playground, spied on the people walking their dogs, and ran back and forth over the marina bridge.

And, on Sunday morning, we took him to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market, where I got flowers, Marcus got his Tollefson breakfast brat, and Critter and I split an order of egg rolls (his fave).


Baube took Critter for a good chunk of the day on Sunday, so we got to go on a lunch date and nap.

We formally introduced Critter to TV and his delight in the Netflix show Spirit (it’s about a horse) was so beyond what I could have imagined, that my only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner.  He spent half of the episode cuddling, wide-eyed and in awe of the fact that horses were galloping in our family room and the other half loudly neighing at the TV.  I know that this is a phase that will pass, but it was too cute for words, really.

It was A Nice Weekend.

Picking Family.

So, last weekend we were generally quarantined because Critter had hand, foot and mouth.  This weekend we’re generally quarantined again because I have hand, foot, and mouth.  Even if it wasn’t highly contagious, between growing Glitter and my non-existent immune system fending off this virus, I have no energy to be a wildly “fun” mom anyway.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, this is what I had to say about the matter.

I will also say that you should find yourself a mother-in-law who will basically let your child live at her house for a week.

Last Monday, with Marcus on a business trip, she offered to let Critter spend the night (and most of the following Tuesday) with her so that I could sleep in and also do some variety of self-care.  Honestly, it was the first day of self-PTO that I have had since Critter was born since all of my other “PTO” has either been to travel for weekends away, deal with mastitis, or go to doctor’s appointments by myself.

I ate breakfast on the deck off our our master suite for the first time.


It was nice.

I got a much needed pre-baby haircut.  I got a pedicure.  I bought myself a shirt I had been eyeing in a shop for a while.  I treated myself to a sprinkle macaron and lunch.  I napped.  It was a beautiful, beautiful time in my life.

And then, when we determined that I had hand, foot, and mouth, yesterday she offered to let Critter spend the afternoon/night/morning AGAIN.  Which was a huge blessing because my body is falling apart and also, Marcus went away for the annual family fishing trip.  He has one more round of travel scheduled before Glitter arrives, so let’s all just pray that everyone is healthy for that, okay?

I am bad at asking for help.  I am thankful that I receive it despite this.  I will also say that even though I am not overly thrilled to be sick right now, I am glad that all of this happened before Glitter’s arrival, when I actually do have the time to recuperate.  I am tired now, but I know I will be More Tired soon.

Starting Month 3

It is May and we are at the beginning of month three of living on the multi-generational compound.

Everyone is still married.

We have seen 21 houses now (22 if you count the open house Critter and I went to without Marcus), have seriously considered putting offers in on two, and here we are.

Still living in my parents’ basement!

Our housing requirements continue to be as follows: yard that is at least .3 acres, separate dining room that is big enough for our four leaf formal dining table (or opens up into the living room so we can extend it at the holidays), space to put the treadmill. Not a split-level.

This seems like it should not be very hard, but apparently with all of this open floor plan stuff, literally no one has a dining room anymore. I will be honest, this along with people who argue against china and formal silverware hurt my soul.

From a financial perspective, by not living in our townhouse/paying utilities/cable/whatnot we are currently saving $1,700 per month so that’s a pretty great perk too.   Every month that we live here helps increase the purchase price (and down payment) of our future home OR it provides the financing for my upcoming unpaid maternity leave OR it is money to save for the new (used) car I’ll likely need in the next two years because my CRV is 11 years old.

So, all good things.

Two weekends ago, mom and dad headed Up North and Marcus, Critter, and I had the house all to ourselves. It was…really quiet. Because apparently my parents watch more television than we do (which is none during the day) and just having two less people around will do that for you. We had some friends over for dinner the first weekend (Billy: we are allowed to have friends over without parents home now?) and when they went Up North again this weekend and I hosted a baby shower here along with another girlfriend.

So, we are sort of doing some normal things?

We’ve also been doing our best to keep up with date night. I’d say that we are going out at least every other week if you average it out. That said, when I looked at the calendar last Sunday, I realized we had not planned any dates for the upcoming weeks so I wrote those down promptly.  We need to continue to take advantage of built-in babysitters as much as possible while we still can.

Marcus honestly finds the most bizarre part of this entire experience to be the fact that we eat dinner with one or both of my parents probably four nights per week.  Mostly just because we’re used to eating just the two of us.

Meanwhile, Billy has set-up an anonymous complaint hotline and I will confess I have made two false accusations: (1) That someone had consumed my BBQ Kettle Chips without my knowledge and (2) That Mom took all of the Belle Vie (ALDI label La Croix) to the cabin, leaving me with…no Belle Vie.  No one is perfect.

Anyway, here we are.

An Easter Weekend Update.

As I am writing this, I am sitting with my feet up because I spent the last two days (mostly) on my feet and more importantly, I survived two days without napping in the afternoon when Critter was napping.  For those not in the loop, I’ve pretty consistently napped in the afternoon when Critter naps since he started napping for more than 20 minutes at a time.  ANYWAY, I was strong!  I stayed up!  With the help of cold brew iced coffee, Amen.

Between Passover and Easter we have Had Some Holiday Time.  Also holidays are so much more fun with a toddler than a screaming newborn, I am just going to say.  Everything about this week was a million times nicer/easier/more relaxed than last year. 

Most importantly, Billy came home.  And because I am incapable of photographing anything anymore, I made him take a selfie with me after Easter was over because, you know, memories.


On Saturday, we went and painted pallets because I promised cousin Sharon last summer that we would do this.


My sign will be going up north to the cabin.

We colored eggs, and after a family vote, agreed that Mom did not need to unearth the Easter baskets that are buried somewhere in the basement, ostensibly in the same area as the missing Christmas ornaments.


Our baskets were instead a modern art piece.

The weekend was delightful, it was warm enough that I could wheel out a maxi dress.  I’m at that weird point in my pregnancy where I’m not quite big enough for maternity clothes yet (except for jeans, I have been wearing those since the six week mark, my God).  I’m also at a point where I outright hate everything I own because I haven’t had a real wardrobe refresh since I finished buying maternity clothes at the end of 2015.  SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL SAY, JANUARY 2018 TO PURCHASE SOME ACTUAL ADULT CLOTHES AND FIGURE OUT WHAT IS EVEN COOL TO BE WEARING ANYMORE.

But, back to the maxi dress thing.  I am beyond ready for the weather to be consistently toasty enough that I can just…wear them.  I don’t find them to be terribly glamorous, but I do find them to be less frumpy and slightly more put together looking than say, yoga pants AKA Our True Uniform.

Life on the Multigenerational Compound

Well.  Here we are.  20 days later, still living together as one.

We closed on our house last Friday so now, there’s really no going back.  A few weeks ago we saw four houses in one weekend and three of them had strong odors.  Last weekend, there were really no new houses to see.  So that’s where we’re at with that.  As I’ve said before, someday, we are moving.

The full cable package has been enjoyable.  Now that we’re not packing and cleaning constantly, we’re watching…more TV.  And you know, cleaning up all of the address change stuff (OMG never ending and we’re going to have to change it AGAIN when we move).  On Sunday night, we watched Independence Day: Resurgence.  If you’re an Independence Day-lover, 11/10 would recommend it.

Mom and I got the plague.  She still has it, it’s finally leaving me.  And then, just as I announced that my nausea was leaving, it came back with a vengeance and I spent the weekend wanting to hurl and a decent bit of it curled up in bed.

Like, honest to God this pregnancy is so different than the last that I was Googling the symptoms for appendicitis.  I wish I were kidding but I really was not.

So that was pretty fun.  On Sunday, Dad bought me some ginger candies and they are repulsive, but I can’t say they’re making the nausea worse so I will keep eating them.

On the bright side, spring is here for good.  I’m so glad that we can start taking daily walks now until October.  As I was explaining to Critter just today, because we are Minnesotans, now that the nice weather has arrived we have to be outside all the time now.

Anyway, our life is not that glamorous right now, but it is still good.