Category Archives: Parenthood

So Big!

How is this week going?

Well, we are moving ourselves out of our house this weekend and I am still just not really thinking about it so that is where we are at I think.

But the sickness has passed! So that’s not nothing!  And none of the molars have fully broken through yet so we are surviving!

We accidentally put Critter’s little leather shoes through the wash. With the diapers. On hot.  I wish I could explain how this happened but the story would be winding and boring. We’re still waiting to see if there is a comeback there or if it’s RIP shoes. 

I bought Critter ladypants. Hear me out. He is a super big guy (it is known) and apparently when you get to boys 3T pants you can only buy structured carpenter jeans and whatnot. My baby is 13 months old and is a crawler. So I jetter over to the little girls section and grabbed a couple of pairs of leggings and PRESTO!  A baby wearing clothes that looks like a baby. 

Critter finally learned how to stack one block on top of another. 

Baube taught Critter how to do “so big.”  It is super cute but also super hilarious. He now does the hand gesture for any “How _____ is Critter?” question. He is very proud of this. 

At Nana’s house he used a toy to climb up on a piece of furniture. ūüė≥

So, that’s where we’re at for today. 


It’s getting a little ridiculous.

On the 10th day of Critter’s first round of antibiotics ever, his fever returned. ¬†And, after another trip to the doctor’s office (on advice of the nurse line) it was revealed the ear infection was going strong in addition to a possible vaccine reaction and also (OMG WILL IT EVER END) very apparent teething.

As the good doctor said, he’s got a lot going on.

We are now going to observe the end of the traditional completely healthy first year by going on a 20 day antibiotics bender.

When I told my family that this was the ear infection without end, my darling brother was quick to respond with the following instruction:¬†Make sure to post on facebook at least twice today, here, just copy and paste this: “UGHHH, another fever on the last day of antibiotics, really?¬† Any other moms out there with advice for how to bring the fever down??”¬†

This is only hysterical because if you know me, 100% the time my fever battle plan is to give Tylenol/Ibuprofen and call the nurse line if it seems hinky.  100% of the time this is what I tell other people to do when they leave similar status updates on Facebook.  None of this should be surprising.

Someday we’ll all be healthy again.

Big Boy Alert!

I am pretty sure that Critter just made it through another one of those growth spurt/leap-things because the Crankypotomus has gone away and we have a very charming toddler in our house.  He gives hugs (or his version of them, anyway) and is starting to cuddle a bit and it is really quite lovely to be around.

  • Critter took three steps today!
  • Critter and I tried out tots yoga at Blooma for the first time two weeks ago.¬† I would say even though it is for 9 mos – 4 yrs, we probably won’t be back again until he can walk somewhat competently, just because there wasn’t much he could do as a crawler/sitter.¬† It was more of a song and playtime than actual yoga but still…in a few months, it will be better.
  • I keep forgetting to write this down, but it needs to be captured for eternity: the kid loves spinning wheels.¬† If it has wheels, my tiny engineer is getting on their level and spinning them to see if they are good wheels or bad wheels and constantly re-arranging the object to determine if there is a better way to get them spinning. ¬†This can go on for 15 minutes if there are a variety of wheels to choose from.
  • He had his first public/real temper tantrum at our Tuesday playdate a few weeks ago.¬† It occurred because I would NOT let him touch the glass on the gas fireplace that was running and it involved back arching, foot kicking, diving at the ground and many, many tears.¬† What a time to be a one year old, right?
  • We survived cloth diapering for a year!¬† At this point, any additional diapering we do saves us money and if we just stop entirely, we break even.
  • Critter’s 12 month appointment was last Thursday. ¬†He is 26 lbs 4.5 oz (97%!), 2’8″ (98%!). ¬†So, still our adult baby! ¬†Less interesting but his head is 19.29″ (98%!). ¬†His 12 month molars are also coming in on top. ¬†It’s a hoot.
  • In the last week we introduced him to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and let me tell you He Is A Big Fan. ¬†He’s also getting much better at eating three meals a day, and I am oddly proud of this. ¬†Probably because I felt like it took him a little bit to “get” food and now he is a tot-expert!

Critter is 1!

What a year it has been. 

Happy birthday to the nicest boy. Our favorite only son. My best creation. 

Also, have you ever eaten a piece of cake that was so good you just had to roar about it?

51 Weeks

You guys!  In one week, we will have a one year old baby.  It is amazing!  I am telling you!  Also, I have all of these new hidden talents now.  Like stacking things on my head!

  • Our ECFE class agreed that we’ll all sign up together for the same class with our littles next fall.  I am pretty jazzed about this because even though our class is small (4!) and Katie and I already knew one another, it has been so much fun to grow new friendships with Also Katie and Ingrid.  I’m glad that we all like one another enough to continue on the adventure next year!
  • In that vein, while Critter is still a shy guy, he has finally seemed to overcome his shyness in ECFE!  He is now comfortable playing with the other tots/without me/is happy to crawl back to check on me and then crawl away again.  I am pleased with this development and proud of him for trying to be brave.
  • We are working to transition Critter from formula to whole milk and once again he is not super-thrilled about this.  Hoping he decides to get on board soon.
  • Critter got his first haircut, which was just super necessary.  I was trimming his bangs here and there to keep them out of his eyes which meant that the back just kept growing longer and he was getting a Baby Mullet.  He lasted through getting his hair sprayed down and the first three snips and then he just got super ticked.  As a result, the hair cut/style looks different around each ear (lol) but now my little baby really does look like a big boy!
  • First birthday party planning.  Um, not really any of that going on TBH.  My mom ordered a Costco cake and is making a pan of macaroni and cheese.  My MIL is getting balloons because I think Critter will get a kick out of them.  I’m not ordering a smash cake, Critter will just get his own slice of cake, the same way we all did back in The Old Times.  The attendees are everyone who came to the hospital and then Baby G because Critter is turning one year old so he can invite one friend.  It will be a merry, low-key time.
  • Related/unrelated: I really need to order his birthday gifts.  And some socks that fit him.  And some shoes.  Because the closest thing he has that qualifies are some shark slippers.

Month 11 Check-In

Critter is 11 months old you guys. ¬†It is crazy to think that in the next month he’ll have his first birthday party, first haircut, 12 month checkup and maybe even start to walk! ¬†What else is new?

  • WEANING. IT IS OVER. ¬†After I got mastitis, my milk supply tanked 50%. ¬†Between pumping and the remaining freezer stash, we were able to make it to Christmas Eve at which point Critter got his first taste of formula, determined it was poison water and screamed his head off and arched his back every time we got near him with the bottle. ¬† After three days, we got better at mixing formula and breastmilk, he ended his peaceful protest and he is almost nearly on 100% formula now. ¬†He’s on the Enfamil comparison brand from ALDI and thinks it is just fine. ¬†I pumped for the last time on New Year’s Day and now it is over. ¬†I think the biggest hormonal shift for me hit straight after the mastitis resolved because my supply tanked so much so fast. ¬†I was having night sweats, a terrible headache, and was completely exhausted. ¬†Right now I feel…pleasantly normal in comparison.
  • Breastfeeding in review: I am glad I gave it a try. ¬†My plan was always to do it while it worked and to stop when it didn’t and that got Critter nearly 11 months of straight breastmilk. ¬†Between gestation and nursing, I put 25 pounds on that child and that 25 pounds was a labor of love. ¬†I cannot even begin to imagine what nursing a child looks like when you have a toddler at home and a newborn but I will not even be thinking about that until Littler Critter comes on the scene. ¬†Someday. (and not now!)
  • Formula. ¬†I’m just gonna say it you guys. ¬†It is easier. ¬†You throw some powder and water in bottle and poof it is done! ¬†Nutrition for your child! ¬†Plus, since I’m not pumping anymore, the amount of things we have to clean each day has been cut in half.
  • We took Critter to the zoo last week and even though we were only there for about 45 minutes, it was a great adventure for all of us. ¬†The lion even came straight up to the window (I feel like that never happens) so we got a great look at him and now Critter has seen all of these animals in real life!

  • We have really been milking the free and/or cheap activities that are available to us through our community. ¬†On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the sports dome has a tot playtime from like 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM. ¬†It’s like $4 for the tots unless they cannot walk in which case they are free. ¬†Critter crawls around on the field and usually swats a ball about and that’s really the extent of it. ¬†As he gets bigger, there are more toys and things to rumpus with and there are four (!) bounce house-type things that they set up for the kids to hop in. ¬†We’ve also been going to the library quite a bit too. ¬†They’ve got a free story time two times a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they also have a really superb wooden playset over in the kids area that Critter is enthralled by. ¬†It has become a great place for us to burn 30 minutes of energy or so at the end of the day.
  • If Critter could tell you what his favorite food is, he would be proud to let you know it is greek yogurt. ¬†He can eat a full, adult-sized container of it even after he is done with the other foods and he is so sad when it is done.
  • Clothes. ¬†In the last year we have purchased seven sets of them and in the next month or so I am pretty sure we’ll be moving right into the 3T pjs. ¬†If anyone ever tells you that when the tots start moving around they slow down their growth, just know they have never met my son. ¬†Related: I need to start sourcing those clothes now so that we can get some deals.

The Sacred Work of Motherhood

Just the other day, as I was opening up a stack of Christmas cards (which I will confess, we are the worst friends because we never send any), I tore open a card that felt like a postcard and a little deck of cards stacked on top of it.  I sort of laughed as I was pulling out the cards because the shape reminded me of the senior photos that we all used to exchange, back in high school.  They were like baseball trading cards.  But of ourselves.  Right?

This was not a trading card.  Instead I pulled out this message from my sweet friend Katie, who I have known since our summers at day camp in the Girl Scouts.  We pole vaulted together in high school (poorly!) and were sorority sisters from the same pledge class in college.  We have shared life together.

I texted her immediately.  I told her that I was so excited for her and Nathan and that I was praying for that little baby of theirs, who we do not even know yet.

I’m blogging about her and Nathan today because as much as this is a place where I write about saving money or cooking dinner or what leggings I’m wearing or The Cabin, every once in a while I get the chance to help maybe possibly do some Good.

Just as Katie wrote in her note above, most adoptions are made through word of mouth and this is one big bulletin board. ¬†When I told her I would absolutely spread the word, I asked her if she would be able to share some things about her and her husband and their lives together from their adoption profile. ¬†I told her I knew it was such a personal question to ask, but also, I don’t know who will see this or where this post might possibly end up.

As I read Katie’s words for the first time, I thought These Are Sacred. ¬†They are Sacred because they are the words of a mother and a father who are waiting, hopefully and patiently for their little one. ¬†They are the words of a mother and a father who are reaching into the unknown for the people who will change their lives forever. ¬†They are words of a mother and father to someone whose life has¬†changed forever. ¬†This Is Sacred Work. ¬†Katie says:

We both grew up in Minnesota and actually went to the University of MN though at slightly different times. We met while watching a MN Vikings game and have been together ever since. We got married in September of 2015 surrounded by many family and friends. We actually had a friend perform our ceremony and designed the whole thing ourselves. We bought a house and moved in just a month before our wedding. Our house is in NE Minneapolis, which is a GREAT part of the city. We absolutely LOVE living in Minnesota and feel that it is the best place to raise a family. The cultural activities and community involvement opportunities are unmatched to anywhere else in the country.


Nathan works at AT&T as a customer service/IT representative. He has been with the company for 10 years. Katie works as a director of therapy at a long-term care and transitional care facility. She got her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.


Things that we love to do include watching sporting events both on TV and live, traveling, spending time with friends and our pets. Our typical week days include work (of course) then home to walk our two dogs. If we don’t have any plans that night we will make dinner and perhaps watch a movie or one of our favorite shows. If there is a sporting event, we may watch that with friends. During certain times of the year we are in a weekly bowling or broomball league. We may also have dinner with Katie’s parents and brother who live in town. Nathan’s parents and sister live about an hour away. Weekends usually consist of seeing our friends and family, spending time with our pets, getting some housework done and relaxing.


And finally, Katie felt it important to share their letter to the birthmother:

Dear Birthmother:

Thank you for considering us for your adoption choice. We are Nathan and Katie and we are very excited to start a journey with someone that will last a lifetime. Though we do not know you yet and cannot know your specific circumstances, we know that you are already a very caring and brave person by making this choice. We understand that the choice you are making has not been made without a lot of thought. From what we have learned so far, adoption has changed so much over the years. We both feel it is important to have a great relationship with birth mom, if she wants one. We have struggled with infertility and want very much be able to raise a child. We believe that we will be excellent parents who will be able to give a child a very loving, active, and educational life. We would love to speak to you about what you are looking for in adoptive parents and if we can create a lifetime relationship. 

Thank you again!

Nathan and Katie

If you can share this or know who to share this with, or if maybe you are someone who wants to know more about Nathan and Katie, please contact them at ¬†I know they would love to hear from you. ¬†If you don’t know who to share this with, there are of course some people we can lift up in prayer (or positive thinking) during this season of their lives: Nathan, Katie, the birthmother, and this precious son or daughter they hope to meet someday soon. ¬†All of it is Sacred Work.