Category Archives: Parenthood

Some Things

Another scene from the Lacuna Artist Lofts, Chicago, IL.

I did not write a hashtag #blessed or hashtag #thankful post for Thanksgiving so we will forever be left to wonder, did the holiday even happen?

What I can tell you.

On Tuesday morning, Critter woke up and told me that he wanted to wear underwear so I pulled out a pull-up and we started potty training. I always said we’d start when he could ask since he is a very highly verbal kid. He did so here we are. The experience is so far going about how I thought it would. Because we aren’t doing that method where your kid pees around your house for three days, I have none of the fear and none of the horror stories.

Marcus had his surgery on Wednesday. He is recovering reasonably well which is to say that he has been recuperating and I have been full-time mom-ing.

I watched Netflix’s The Princess Switch on Thanksgiving and after posting it to my Instagram stories, I discovered A LOT OF MY FRIENDS have already watched it (some of them more than once!!!). If you are NOT one of those friends, consider this your notice that you should probably give it a watch. The entire plot is preposterous and the movie is impossible to turn off.

Last but not least, my most obnoxious Cyber Monday purchase? Four large bags of bath salts from Target dot com that were 15% off. I’m living a wild life.



Parenthood: A November Update

I haven’t written one of these in a while. Every day I see the kids do things that I hope I’ll remember in 30 years because they are so funny or interesting or bizarre but at the same time part of parenthood is that everything becomes a bit of a happy haze.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how, if he has not made it already, soon Critter will have his first true “memory.” The kind that he will look back on in 25 years as that flimsy little scrap of childhood that is the first time color came out of the void.

Meanwhile, he is deeply invested in the belief that when he wears sunglasses he is invisible. I cannot bring myself to shatter this illusion, so for now it is a Very Dramatic Playalong. When they’re on We Can’t See Him.

Glitter meanwhile has dedicated herself to a life of walking everywhere and has a deep interest in her shoes. She always wants to be wearing them or carrying them around. She can tell if she is wearing her pajamas and thus not shoes and this is disappointing to her. But she also realizes she cannot wear her shoes with footie jams on so hats off to her for being a smarty pants.

If we are having a pajama morning, she will locate her shirt and drape it over her neck like a cloak and to her this is the same as fully getting dressed. She is very proud of this accomplishment.

Critter seems to see Glitter as an actual human being now that she is upright and walking everywhere. He still gets frustrated with her (and oh God now she really can get into everything) but it seems to be different/better than when she was just crawling.

Generally I am not concerned by gendered toys but the other day I noticed Glitter (age: 14 mos) in the last two months has received several toys that involve dressing a doll. Critter (age: 2.5 years) has received zero. Isn’t getting dressed something that everyone needs to learn? Also I had literally no idea this was a thing until these toys finally arrived in our life?

Now that we are here in this new place: a big toddler and very small toddler, things finally feel easier. I am sure this feeling of relief will disappear no later than the end of January when Glitter will be down to one nap a day if she is not already there. But every milestone (sleeping through the night, weaning, turning one) makes life with two simpler.


Our sweetest girl, my teensy pea, the bumblebee (according to Auntie Lisa) is 1!

She is wild. As you can see from the snap above, though she refuses to walk (she has taken two steps for us a few times!) she plays hard enough to tear holes in her socks. Wants to climb on and up everything. Does climb on and up everything she can.

Is a full-on carnivore.

Loves to cuddle.

Tolerates me putting a ponytail into her hair but then pulls it out as soon as is practicable.

Waited until two weeks ago to start teething but one finally popped through and then two nights ago the second fang emerged!

According to Critter, she is a “big grirl.”

Happy birthday, little one.

Having my body back.

(Preface: This is a post about breastfeeding so if that is not your speed feel free to step out and rejoin the group next time I post).

I weaned Glitter three weeks ago when I got back from my girls’ trip and I stopped pumping two weeks ago.

Long story short, I had a feeling that the trip would be a logical break for us, and when I got back she took a bottle from me for the first time ever without batting an eyelash and downed the whole thing so I knew it was the right time.

Things that are true:

  • I did not get mastitis while weaning this time thank you GOD.
  • This is the longest that I have not been pregnant or nursing since April 2015.  Wrap your head around that.  When I finally stopped pumping after weaning Critter, I found out I was pregnant like two or three days later.  Which was of course, great, but that gives you an idea of how much time I have ever had to feel truly myself.  Answer: Zero time.

I am truly so thankful that nursing a baby has been effortless for me.  My children have been good eaters, I have not had supply issues.  With the exception of three rounds of mastitis (my favorite was probably the episode a week after Glitter was born, mostly because I was in sheer disbelief that it could be happening again SO SOON), I have not had problems.

My supply while I was feeding Glitter far outpaced her demand, and so over the course of nine months, I was able to donate 850.95 ounces (6.64 gallons) of breast milk to six babies to support them and their mamas in their feeding plans.  This is something I was so proud and honored to be able to do.

And now, here we are. I have always believed that fed is best, Glitter loves the formula we’re giving her (from ALDI) and I am for the first time sustaining me only.

The hormones cycling out of my body are just a hoot and have provided me with the following blessings: full body aches, headaches, bloating, cramping, nausea, exhaustion.

On the other hand, what I remember from that ever-so-brief post-weaning period last time is that you don’t know how much energy your body is exerting to produce milk until you’re not doing it anymore.  That aching weariness that has followed me for over three years is gone.  I am not growing anyone or anything.

Before I got pregnant with Critter, I had never considered what, exactly it would look like for me to give my body in its entirety over to my children.  Nor did I consider how that would look or feel for any extended period of time.  On the other hand, had anyone tried to tell me, I would not have had the experience to understand what they were trying to explain.

I would do it all again in a heartbeat for these sweet littles of mine.

Exhaling (and business trip survival)

Marcus got back from a business trip this afternoon.

This is the third trip he has taken this year which is less travel than a lot of people but more travel than others.

Due to a confluence of factors (Marcus being gone, Glitter having hand foot and mouth, our other care options being just completely unavailable) I have basically been a stay at home mom this week with part-time childcare for my toddler.

What I will say is that this is the most relaxed that I have been while he has been on travel since Critter was born. This was probably aided by the fact that both of my kids sleep through the night now and I have completely weaned Glitter (separate post but yes it happened!).

I will also note that thanks to the beautiful hormones leaving my body, everything aches, I am completely exhausted, and I swing between nauseous/not hungry and Need To Eat Right Now. I am a fun person to know!!!

Since I had three days where it was just me and Glitter at home during the day, I took the opportunity to tackle more house projects that we just haven’t had time for. Organizing and sorting and storing and purging all of the kids’ clothing, cleaning out closets, re-arranging our kitchen, it was wild. I also had to laugh about how things change! When Critter was a pup this would have seemed totally unmanageable. Now that I have two? Doing all of this stuff with one crawler seems fine.

Now that we’ve done this more than a few times, I feel like we sort of have a routine for when Marcus is gone.

Some rules:

  • Plan and pre-make all meals in advance so you don’t have to cook (besides like kid breakfasts, etc.).
  • Shower at night so you can spend the morning getting organized and taking care of you before the tots wake up.
  • Stock up on coffee and your favorite beer/wine.
  • Get a bedtime helper! Especially with toddlers, the hours before bedtime can be hard when the wind is already out of your sails. It’s nice when you don’t have to do it alone.
  • Make sure that after bedtime you take some time to sit down and put your feet up.
  • With that, we’re back to the grind.
  • A Nine Month/29 Month Update

    I have not written a tot-update in several months!

    Glitter is nine months old now. She has been out as long as she was inside!

    We did night weaning last week and if anyone needs me I will be sleeping for the next three months straight to overcome…nine months of exhaustion (with a good sleeper!). I remember/don’t remember how tired I was at this point with Critter. I do know how mentally free I feel knowing this stage is over FOREVER.

    A month ago Glitter started waving and clapping. Honestly, I don’t know how this came to be – it was the most adorable surprise.

    She crawls everywhere, pulls up on everything and we are just waiting on pins and needles for the day she starts to WALK. If I had to guess, I’d bet we have one more month to go but that is still…frightening.

    She eats any food she wants to, really. She tried a quesadilla for the first time last week and thought it was just the best thing. She also let us know that she knows how to drink from a water bottle. She still does not have any teeth. Our baby is desperately ready to be a big girl.

    She naps twice a day in her crib which is great because one of those times overlaps with Critter so I get a little peace. During her morning nap, it means I get some one-on-one time with Critter where we do art or play outside or just sit and read books. I am so glad that this time is now a part of our day.

    Critter is nearly 2.5 years old. He is the chattiest, happy little guy. He LOVES to bake things (biggest hits: cornbread from a mix, brownies, pizza braid). He loves to play pretend, though he still declares “We are going to imagination!” Like it is a literal place. Favorites: holding birds, grocery store, cooking, and most recently doctor’s office.

    He has also started galloping around like a tiny pony and neighing. He then asks “are you a pony?” Other times when he wakes up in the morning, he declares himself to be a caterpillar or a monkey some other animal. Our house is a zoo.

    He loves everything about trains. Seeing them. Reading about them. Drawing them. All of it. He still naps well (IN HIS CRIB THANK YOU GOD) and is nowhere near potty training (fine by me).

    We are busy. Now that Glitter can get to all of Critter’s toys all the time, there is no peace in our home. I should probably start planning a first birthday party for our littlest lady. Every day we get closer and closer to a new, better routine. What a life it is we are living.

    The First Raspberry

    Earlier this evening, there was actually one red raspberry on this bush that looks like it will give us approximately 14 berries this year. It was so bright (and this tiny twig of a bush is so small) that I could see it from across the yard.

    When Critter got home from T-Ball, I told him we needed to go see the new raspberry to which he responded “Oh the watering can.” Watering the raspberry bushes and all of our plants really is his tiny tot chore.

    When we made our way down to the bushes we watered them and then stopped to admire the one red berry on the bush.

    I looked at Critter and asked him if he wanted to eat it or leave it for the bunny (we have a baby bunny who lives in our yard). He chose eat it and so I plucked this one small berry off and after inspection, handed it to him.

    He popped it in his mouth and gave me the biggest grin. He ate the berry from the bush he has been taking care of for the last month! He finally got to see how the thousands of raspberry he eats every year begin! Now he wants to eat the unripe ones too!

    (Me: Absolutely not.)

    Next year there will be more berries. There will be more edible plants. But this year this one berry is really pretty special.