Category Archives: Parenthood

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.


In No Particular Order

Apparently I just have a lot of different little things that I feel like I need to share, so here they are.

  • We discovered that there was a bird nest in the insulation covering our exposed foundation.  When they went to start removing the insulation, we discovered there were baby birds in the nest!  So that project has been tabled until fall (I do not want any bad baby bird karma) and THANK GOD the mama bird did not abandon the nest.
  • I finally completed all of my recertification credits for my SPHR and submitted that application.  So, now I have to wait the four weeks while they review it (snooze) and then hopefully that should be all-wrapped up.  Spending free hours listening to webinars was not my favorite part of the whole summer, but the nice part is that the hours also counted for my SHRM-SCP recertification so it was sort of like a buy-one-get-one type deal.  Now, I just need to figure out how to translate some of my other recertification credits  from the SPHR to the SHRM-SCP.  Lean in!
  • The deck off our our master suite is finally completed and on the first night of its functionality, I was able to watch a squirrel build a leaf nest in the maple tree so already, it is a fascinating and worthwhile adult treehouse.
  • A former co-worker was seeking to unload a bunch of Iris bulbs so I requested some and now they are planted in the one bed of dirt we have outside of our entire house. Re-landscaping will be a whole different project for another year.  To summarize: our house is surrounded by rock that is somewhere between gravel and proper landscaping rock.  The sum total of plants is one day lily and one peony bush (win!).  There are some bushes around the house but every single one is a different kind.  At least now I can say I’ve tried to plant some flowers and Do Better.  Last weekend we also obtained a trowel, watering can, and pruning/clippers thing.
  • I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.  I discovered this because my hands were falling asleep at night while I was sleeping (how uncool, right?) so the remedy is apparently to wear wrist braces while I sleep.  I just cannot even begin to discuss the level of indignity.  BUT. I slept so, so well last night and I know I was waking up every hour and a half or so before because my hands were falling asleep while I slept. So I will take it. 
  • Critter woke up on Sunday and decided to become a full-blown toddler so that has just been a really energizing time for all of us as we try to negotiate Not Touchdown Spiking All Of Our Toys In Inappropriate Places amongst probably any other toddler behavior you can think of.

So that’s how life is over here, lately.

Mom Life (and a nearly 18 month old update)

Y’all, I just want you to know that you have not truly LIVED until you are sitting in the dermatologist’s office, feeding your child raisins one-by-one during what should be naptime as the dermatologist chops a lump off of your ear for further inspection.

But you get through it because You’re A Mom Now.

Anyway, I haven’t written an update about Critter in a while nor have I written an update about this pregnancy and since we’re moving tomorrow, if I don’t do it now, you probably won’t get one until Glitter is here (I sort of kid, but seriously).

This is the pregnancy of weird skin spots, though the dermatologist wasn’t overly concerned about it and thought it was probably a pyogenic granuloma.

Otherwise, I don’t have gestational diabetes.  My weight gain is only tracking a few pounds ahead of pregnancy #1.  Everything hurts, my sleep is trash and in approximately eight weeks Glitter will be here.  HEY.

Since I am not a gestational diabetic I have been keeping up my rigorous diet of sweets.

Critter is the world’s cutest, most rambunctious toddler.

He knows how to make all animal sounds.  He just learned how to climb up on things and it is horrifying.  He still wants to be carried everywhere.  He blows kisses to everyone.  He can eat a half pound of cherries in one sitting and there is no one I would rather pit cherries for.  At his 18 month appointment, he weighed in at 31 pounds and 3 feet tall.  So I have a preschooler who will be transitioning into 4T clothing very shortly.  If I could keep him this age forever, I would because it is precious, but the amount of energy it takes to sustain this lifestyle is simply exhausting so I am enjoying it for what it is.

Items of Interest

I don’t have the time or energy to organize my thoughts so here we are. 

Marcus took this really good snap of me when we were at the cabin over Memorial Day weekend.

Goddess, I know. 

Last weekend I went to prenatal yoga for the first time in MONTHS. It nearly broke me, friends. I felt like every time we did an inversion all of the blood in my body was in my head, and while all of the stretching and  breathing felt good it did something terrible to my already hinky left glute (THANKS GLITTER). I could barely walk by the end of class. ANYWAY, I am going to give it another shot next week and then I think we’ll have a better idea of whether prenatal yoga is right for me. 

Unrelated: we have finally reached the TUMS Time part of pregnancy. #blessed

Greatest revelation of the weekend: ALDI now sells cold brew.  I have been keeping an eye out for this in the store for probably…six months?  At last, we are victorious!  It is $7.49 for a 32 oz jug and there is no price difference between french roast and regular (ahem Trader Joe’s).  I bought one of each so that I can try them and then decide which I prefer.  

As much as I really do love Trader Joe’s, if I could eliminate my trips for essentials there (cold brew, creamy salted peanut butter, 12 grain bread) so that we were only headed over for the odd case of two buck chuck and house liquor, I would not be mad.  It’s a 15 minute drive one way, so I just have other ways that I would rather spend my time.

Thanks to a hot tip from my mama group, I also scooped up a Step 2 brand water table (again, at ALDI) for $30.  Critter is delighted with it and we haven’t even put the water in.

Meanwhile we are continuing Critter’s transition to one nap (sob) and he continues to delight us as his proficiency in a variety of animal sounds (snake, owl, lion, butterfly, elephant) expands. He now barks when he sees dogs on walks and it is so cute that it hurts.  He says “blub” when he eats Goldfish. We are so excited to meet Glitter but also it is bittersweet that these 13 weeks are the last that it will ever just be Mama and Critter.  My tiny sidekick is getting an even tinier sidekick!

16 months!

Apparently I haven’t dedicated a post just to Critter for a while.  But he is 16 months old now.  And continues to be the most loveable human in existence. 

  • He “whistles.”  About a week ago, I was whistling to Critter and he wanted to whistle back so he pursed his lips just like mine and started hooting and it was really the cutest thing.
  • He runs everywhere now.
  • He is becoming deeply proficient at animal sounds and it is adorable.
  • I think he is on the cusp of dropping down to one nap. This week will be the decision-maker. 
  • We finished ECFE two weeks ago.  It was such a good year and so fun to watch Critter grow from the start of the school year until the end.  He is still a shy guy, but watching him come out of his shell around his little friends and his teachers was great.  I’m looking forward to class next year!
  • Last week, I pulled out a baby doll while I was reading to Critter and he was completely disgusted by it.  At first he was appalled that I was calling something other than him “baby” and then each time I picked it up and he was nearby, he touchdown spiked it to the ground.  So, I think having a baby sister is going to go over well!
  • When he wants to go somewhere he brings me MY shoes.  When we’re getting ready to go somewhere, he brings me MY shoes.  He will not even consider bringing Marcus his shoes until I have both of my shoes in-hand.  If I am already wearing shoes, if he feels that I should be wearing a different pair, he brings me those.
  • Starting this fall, he will go to daycare (they call themselves a “school” but he’s a toddler so let’s be real about this) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and a half-day on Friday.  Honestly, I feel totally fine about this.
  • Over mother’s day weekend, we bought an Osprey hiking backpack.  Critter was getting too heavy for Marcus to carry him in the Becco and he really does like being carried when we walk.  Even though we do absolutely no outdoors things (and had to repeatedly swear this to the REI staff when we were testing the backpack out in the store), it is great for our evening walks around the neighborhood, and I am sure will also be a hit at the zoo/state fair/other really busy public gatherings.  So far, when it isn’t being used for its true purpose, he really loves to read books in it which is hysterical.
  • Now that he is getting bigger (and ECFE is over for the year), I have been trying to plan some new outings for us. Last week we visited the Eastman Nature Center and this week we went to the very cool play area at the Brooklyn Park Library.  If you are in the NW metro area and have tots 11/10 recommend. 
  • I forgot to mention this/haven’t written a post about Critter in months, but we stopped cloth diapering around 14.5 months?  Basically he was peeing through all of them. Even with doublers. Even with two doublers at night. Also he was outgrowing the size two diapers because as we all know he is tall and heavy and so there wasn’t another size to do because at that point usually you are supposed to arrive at the promised land of potty traininf except HE IS 16 MONTHS OLD. Anyway, he wears the ALDI brand diapers during the day, the Huggies night diapers at night and it’s fine. 

Mother’s Day is Happening

It has come to my attention in the past few years that apparently Mother’s Day is not the rosy holiday of my youth.

Newly minted moms are either underwhelmed by their gifts/celebration or exhausted because they are driving their tiny, non-napping children all over town to celebrate with others.

Some are mourning the loss of their mothers.

Others are mourning the loss of children, both those they held and those they never got to hold.

This is all super-valid stuff, but Sunday is still coming for us and it’s a Hallmark holiday so there is no escape.

I will say the following.

(1) My first mother’s day was actually not that awesome and something I nearly forgot about until I was trying to remember what we did last year.  For those wondering, we drove to brunch 30 minutes across town where I got to breastfeed in public for the first time (was not really super psyched about that) and because the drive and brunch were so long, it killed my non-sleeping baby’s nap schedule.  This is to say nothing of a very tired me.  My husband left halfway through brunch to go to a friend’s grandmother’s funeral.


So this year is a do-over.

(2) I have been encouraging all of my girlfriends to launch a pre-emptive strike on mother’s day and either (a) make plans they want and just do them (b) plan an alternative mother’s day for themselves where they can actually enjoy stuff.

Like, for example, Lis and I are going out for brunch on the 13th.  In peace.  Where?  We don’t know.  But it’s gonna be great.

If you are reading this and thinking hey, that is me (mom or not!) please save yourself and make a plan.

(3) Coffee and Crumbs has a great podcast episode on Mother’s Day.  It is here.

(4) I hosted a baby shower last weekend and after writing this in the new mama’s card, I had to commemorate it for myself because it is just the truth:

I don’t really know what to tell you about motherhood – it’s an adventure, none of us know what we’re doing, there is a lot of crying, the smart mamas drink a lot of coffee and wear a lot of concealer, the days are long but the years are short, somehow all of our moms survived this, you are the best and right mama for your daughter.  Knowing what I know now, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

This is the life. 

14 Month Update

I guess it has been a while since we talked about my #1 best bud. He has finally adjusted to living at Nana and Esteemed Grandfather’s house and is no longer terrified that every time I go to the bathroom he is being abandoned so, that is great!

  • About three weeks ago Critter decided he could walk for real so now he just tots around everywhere except for when crawling is faster. 
  • He got his first pair of big boy shoes!  At $42 a pop this is highway robbery.  Also he is a size 6!  
  • He started saying “boo!”  He also says, ish, mama, da, and very very sparingly nana.  The whole ish-thing is hysterical. 
  • Yesterday he tried to feed Nana and me puffs. Sharing is caring. 
  • The molars are finally (FINALLY!) coming all the way in.  I’d day that we’re…70% complete?  It only took two months to get to this point. 
  • The little guy is finally fully into the 3T clothes – jams, shirts, tops, socks, all of it.