what’s up / 01

Making: this salad.  I’ve made it 3 times in the last 2 weeks… it’s so good!  My only complaint about it is that if you have children you’ll need to allow yourself 7.5 hours to make it.
Drinking: do I even have to answer this question?  Wine.  From a bottle… from a box… from a can… from an IV…
Reading: I’ve been on page 7 of this book for like, a month.  Is it good?  Don’t know, I’ll get back to you in 18 years when I’ve finally finished it and my kids have moved out so it won’t even matter how I parent anymore waa.
Wanting: like, 12 more months of summer.
Watching: the bachelorette.  I love this season so much.  I love Rachel.  I love Peter.  Ugh, that Peter.  He’s such a treat for the eyes.  Also, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but after the first episode of the season my friend and I sent each other our top ten predictions… and I accurately predicted the top 4… (in this order: 1. Peter 2. Bryan 3. Eric 4. Dean) so… tootie tootie toot toot!
Listening: so much country music.  Who am I even?
Wishing: that sweet Bill (Willa) would sleep through the night.  And not get up at 5am.  Excuse me while I shovel more coffee into my face.
Enjoying: our pool! I went back and forth between buying our pool and another shallower, more obvious kiddie pool with animals and a jungle and 37 other pieces of flair all over it.  And anyways, I’m SO glad that I went with ours because it’s so much more substantial and family friendly.  And it fits all of us.  And it has a bench. And a cup holder.  For my wine can Crosby’s water bottle.  Best buy of the summer.
Loving: when Crosby will group-hug Casey and I and say “I love you guys”.
Hoping: that we can make room in our budget for a house cleaner.  Please and thank you, amen.
Needing: to get my hair done.  My regrowth since Willa was born is almost all gray.  Not kidding.  Not fair.
Feeling: like I want my kids to have a genuinely happy life.  More than anything else in the world.
Wearing: one piece swimsuits.  No makeup.  Jorts.  Birkenstocks.  Basically anything that’s the opposite of sexy.

And some summer photos to send you on your merry way….


motivation for me.

I woke up this morning feeling more motivated than I have in literal months.  Months!  I’m not saying that I’ve been a bump on a log for the last however long (hahahahaha impossible with 2 kids) but I just haven’t felt the urge to do… more.  Than necessary.  For myself.  I’m not talking about motivation towards parenting or day-to-day life, I’m speaking to more personal…. extracurriculars?  Like writing (obviously), exercising, reading, taking time for myself etc. etc.  I just haven’t felt super motivated to do more than just get by.

Does that make sense?  Anyone else ever feel this way?  No?  Just me?  Cool, cool.  Carry on.

I took a long walk with the kiddos and dogs this morning.  (And by long, I mean it took us an hour to go around the block.  For reals, I should get a medal every time I take all four of those creatures for a walk at the same time.  A medal in the shape of a full wine glass.)  And anyways, while we were walking I thought a lot about what was floating around in my brain bag… and I think the reason I feel this renewed sense of energy, oddly enough, is that we don’t have big plans to leave our house for the next few weeks. This summer has been so nuts so far (well, let’s be honest, the past 6+ months have been nuts) that this weekend will only be the third weekend that we’ll be at home by ourselves since we moved into our house in May.   Bananatown crazypants.  We’ve been so busy making plans with this family, and that family, and friends, and more family.  And we really try to make sure things are as equal as possible with each family, which means that we are constantly making more and more plans.   Which is not a bad thing at all, but it leaves me feeling spread pretty thin at times.  And don’t get me wrong, we’ve been having so much fun and we absolutely LOVE the fact that we get to see our families and MN friends so much more now, but dude.  We went from having almost every single weekend to ourselves (in Portland) to having almost every single weekend spoken for here.  It’s been a big adjustment.

I swear I’m not trying to complain ::side-eye:: I’m more so trying to talk/write this out so I can work through the feeeeeelings.  I think I’ve just been feeling a bit tapped out lately with all travel and plans and oh!  I still have to like, parent two small humans on the daily.  When I have had a moment of free time lately, I always have some project or chore or just necessary every day thing to do.  (Do you hear tiny violins playing yet?  I sure do.)  But like I said, it’s left me with very little time (or desire) to do more for myself.  Which I think is why I’ve been feeling like an old sack lunch lately.

So. I think knowing that I have nothing to pack/plan/shower for for a good small chunk of time is allowing me to come up for air for a hot second.  (I said “hot second” to my mom the other day and she’s like… oh is that like, a sale or something? LOLZ)  In my head I’ve already scheduled workouts, made playlists, stacked up new (non-parenting) books to read, hired a sitter for date night, updated my headspace app, and made big plans to sit my yard and do NOTHING other than grill, drink wine and play in the pool with my sweet little family as much as possible.  It’s not like I couldn’t have done any of this before, regardless of any plans or visitors or trips, but I just feel so much more motivated to do these super vanilla things all of a sudden.  Probably because I now have a tiny window of space in my brain to make room for them again.

All that said, maybe this is just a fluke and in 10 minutes I’ll feel like faceplanting into mediocrity or divebombing into laziness.  But for now I’m super excited to make the most of this feeling… and make the most insignificant plans as possible for the next few weeks.  Cheers to fresh sack lunches!


friday things.

:: casually sidesteps the awkward fact that she hasn’t blogged in 3 months… ::

1. Both of my kids are currently napping at the same time!  This doesn’t happen very often but when it does, I freak out about all the “free time” I have and then spend an inappropriate amount of time debating what I should do with said “free time”, which ends up being just a big fat waste of the “free time”!  I could take a nap too, but the few times I’ve tried that during the elusive double kid nap, I barely fall asleep before I’m woken up by human foghorns and then I just end up feeling like a piece of old sushi for the rest of the day. (<— what.)  I also kind of want to just watch TV or read a book or something… but I’m not currently into any shows (any recos?) and the book I’m reading is about parenting so that’s super boring.  (ha.)  I usually just end up doing chores… laundry, emptying the dishwasher, washing wine glasses, etc. etc.  But that stuff sucks, so today I’m letting the dishes sit in the sink so I can go back to my roots and do some good old-fashioned blogging on the interwebs.  Excuse me while I dust off my Mario Teaches Typing skills.

2.  annnnnnnd Crosby just woke up, so I’ll see ya again in 5 months!

**I’m back.  It’s 3 weeks later.  ::facepalm::

So let’s just try to get through this quickly, shall we?  (That’s what she said.) ((Sorry, I’m a little rusty.)) (((That’s what she said.))) ((((Ugh.))))

3. We FINALLY found and moved into our new house last month.  It’s a sweet bungalow in South Minneapolis, and we are absolutely, 100% loving it.  Eh…. make that 99%….. I just found some weird bugs in Willa’s room and I’m a little squicked out.

4. We took a family vacation to San Diego with my mom, stepdad, brothers + their fams a few weeks ago and it was super fun… we truly had a blast.  However.  A “vacation” with two small children…. can we actually call that a vacation?  It’s kind of like everyday life, in a different setting, doing much more exciting errands.  Actually, this old Huff Post article sums up my feelings prettttty perfectly.  No but seriously, we had a great time.  And if I had my shit together better I would have written a whole post about it with lots of photos… instead you’ll just have to use your imagination to picture us building Crosby a potty (AKA large hole) in the sand so we wouldn’t have to leave the beach to find a bathroom.

5. I wrote an article for a website a few years ago when we first moved to Portland about how hard it is to make friends as an adult.  And many years later, I feel like I’m reliving that yet again.  Don’t get me wrong, some of our very best friends in the whole world live within an hour or two of us right now, which is baller.  (<—- stop.)  But not many of them live super close by.  Like, bop on over for a quick playdate or a glass of wine close by.  So I’m still very much feeling the growing pains of moving to a “new” city.  I really haven’t made any new friends since we got back here and I’m kinda just like… howwwww do I do this?  Is there a dating site for making friends??  If so, ugh, no thanks… that actually sounds awful.  I’ll just have a drink by mahself.

6. Speaking of, I miss Portland daily.  That place has a large chunk of my heart.  And my stomach, actually. If someone could send me a pound of Stumptown, a salmon flight from Bamboo, a khati roll from Bollywood, some salted caramel ice cream from Salt & Straw, a Loukanika salami from Olympic Provisions, a bottle case of wine from Stoller, chicken wings from Pok Pok, an Arbor Lodge breakfast sandwich from The Big Egg, a poke bowl from Zupans, and all of my Portland friends, that’d be great!  (I promise I won’t eat my friends, though.)

7.  I really really love my dogs.  But I really REALLY enjoyed having a 3-month break from them.  I REALLY REALLY appreciate my in-laws for babysitting them for 3 months while we looked for a house.  I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to purchase some lint roller refills.

**Was interrupted by kiddos again.  It’s 4 days later, BTW.

8. Remember in Dumb & Dumber when Jim Carrey asks that guy if he wants to hear the most annoying sound in the world?  Well, my sweet Willa has perfected that sound.  Like, to a T.  She usually whips it out during the witching hour when all hell is already breaking loose.  It’s suuuuuper precious.

9. Speaking of my sweet Bill (unfortunate nickname that she’s stuck with, sorry gurl!), she is almost 8 MONTHS OLD.  Please excuse me while I sob into her newborn pj’s.  And my little Crosboy is going to be 3 in August.  How.  Why.  Etcetera.  Seriously though, I feel like time has flown by since we moved here.  Yet, somehow I haven’t aged a day.  :: she says as she tucks her boobs into her jeans and plucks a gray hair out of her eyebrow. ::

10. The other day Crosby pooped in the potty and wiped himself… with his hand.  And then wiped his hand on the wall.  I’m just going to leave you with that little visual.

Have a great day!


terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Ever have one of those days that makes you want to punch a baby bird?  Ever have like, 3 or 4 of those days in a row?  If you’re shaking your head ‘no’, you might want to move along. Nothing for you to see here!… you lucky b.  If you’re nodding your head ‘yes’, then by all means, pull up a chair.  Let’s commiserate together.  Solidarity, sister.  Or brother! (But seriously, do any dudes even read this blog? Besides my dads and Casey?)

We’ve had a rough few days weeks is what it is.  Nothing is really terribly wrong, which makes me feel awful for even attempting to complain.  Nevertheless, here I am.  About to go all pity party up in here.

Crosby has been sick on and off for over two weeks.  At first it was an aggressive flu that had him sounding like an injured sea lion.  It was a not-so-fun few days that kept us cooped up with tissues and thermometers and LOTS of screen time.  But it came and went, though he has a lingering cough and we ALL caught his sniffles.  And now, he seems to have caught some kind of stomach bug.  The results of which were all over his sheets/comforter/pajamas yesterday morning.  I’ll give you a hint: it was barf.  It was awful and disgusting.  I spent all yesterday morning dragging both my infant and sick toddler up and down 5 flights of stairs to wash and dry every single item of clothing or bedding that was affected by the tragedy.  OH! Did I forget to mention? Our new airbnb rental doesn’t have a washer or dryer in it!  So we get to do our laundry in the basement of the building now! Yayyyyyy!  Oh, did I also mention that we had to move into this place during the peak of Crosby’s flu?  Yayyyyy! (That move is another ridiculous story for another day.)  Anyways, he seemed better during the day yesterday so I’d hoped it was maybe just a fluke or a 24-hour-thing, but this morning I went into his room to find another mess… this time from his, eh, other end.  If you catch my drift.  (I’ll pause while you dry heave a little bit, as I most certainly did this morning.) So, the kids and I just spent another morning traveling up and down the stairs to wash and dry every single item of clothing or bedding that was again, a casualty of the stomach bug.

Throughout all of this, Crosby has honestly been a trooper.  He’s never acted super sick or complained much about it.  HOWEVER, I think the combination of sickness + being quarantined + life changes has finally caught up with him and he is acting out and having meltdown after meltdown.  It’s simultaneously heartbreaking and incredibly frustrating at the same time. I know a lot of it is our “fault” for moving him around so much, taking him completely out of his normal routine, taking away almost all of the comforts of his home, and expecting him to just roll with it.  It’s a lot for a little kid to deal with.  Hell, it’s a lot for a grown-ass adult to deal with!  Last week was the first time he mentioned wanting to go back to his old house, which crushed my heart.  And If I’m being honest, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for all of those changes to really catch up with him.  I mean, he also just got a new sibling 5 months ago!

Speaking of my sweet Willa.  She seems to be making it her mission in life to get us kicked out of this apartment by way of screaming bloody murder.  Non.stop.  She’s been sleeping terribly lately (only taking 20 minute naps and then waking up every 1-2 hours at night) which is obviously playing a big part in her current screech owl status.  I don’t think anything is seriously wrong other than just being an infant.  But she will not stop crying.  Again, simultaneously heartbreaking and incredibly frustrating.

So back to today.  It’s been a hot box of hysterics.  I feel like my kiddos have been crying all morning long and I can’t seem to make anyone chill the f*ck out, including myself.  I actually screamed into a pillow at one point, which I don’t think I’ve ever seriously done in my life.  ALL of us cried.  I may or may not have locked myself in the bathroom for 45 seconds while both of my kids screamed at the top of their lungs.  I considered having a beer for lunch.  I’m not hardcore enough for that, though.  And finally, both kids are finally asleep… and what I should be doing is washing bottles, or washing my hair for the love of split ends, or lysol-ing my entire apartment.  But instead I’m sitting here in my pj’s (it’s 2:30pm), drinking ice-cold coffee and eating puffins out of the box.  And the biggest thing that I’m feeling right now… is guilt.  I feel SO guilty for not being more calm and not having more patience for the situation.  I feel guilty for getting frustrated at my sweet kids, who (for the most part) are not trying to make my hair turn gray.  I feel guilty for complaining so much, considering how lucky my family and I are.  I feel guilty for eating all of Crosby’s Puffins.

In addition to the above, there have been a lot of everyday annoyances and just plain bad luck situations that have taken their toll on all of us these past few weeks.  I know this is just a weird phase that’ll pass.  But today, mom-ing feels tough.

Anyways, the only real reason I’m writing all of this is because, well, for one thing, I needed to vent.  And also, because I know that it’s easy to assume that nobody else goes through (literal) shit day/s like this.  But we all do.  (Wait… right?!?!?!)  And I just want you to know that if you ever need someone to drink cold coffee and talk about your shit day with, I’m here.

I’m going to go fold my whites now, peace.


kids lately… + family photos!

Oh hi, it’s me.  Just casually sharing Willa’s newborn pictures from almost 4 months ago.  Oops.  I’d like to blame the busyness of moving but I’d also like to give the appropriate amount of credit to: lazy.

Anyways. I’ve been considering this blog more and more lately like a diary of sorts.  One that I’d like to be able to look back on when I’m old and gray (next week) and that I’d like my little kiddos to be able to read someday.  So I thought I’d start a series in which I give little updates on said kiddos, so that we can have some documented memories of their little personalities.

So let’s just jump right in with the lady of the hour…

My sweet Willa will be 4 months old tomorrow.  On the one hand I’m floored that she’s already that old.  On the other hand I think of the day she was born and it feels like it was approximately 17 years ago (though my mom bod would disagree).  It feels like she’s been here for SO long, yet she’s still so new and tiny.  I don’t know how to explain this feeling other than it’s heartbreaking, but in a good way?  I’ve said this before, but she is the very sweetest soul I’ve ever known.  Again, something I can’t really explain but I feel it every time I look at her.  She’s completely wonderful.

But let’s be honest, she’s a baby… so she definitely has her moments.  Overall, I would describe her temperament as “average”.  Ha.  She’s not a particularly difficult baby but I wouldn’t exactly call her an easy baby either.  She’s a pretty happy girl overall… but she can get upset fairly quickly, especially during the witching hour.  She’s the QUEEN of witching hour.  (It’s no coincidence that the witching hour and happy hour coincide, am I right? )

She’s a mama’s girl, which I not-so-secretly love.  If someone else is holding her and she sees me, she starts wiggling and whining for me.  She absolutely loves to be held and does her best napping when I’m wearing her in the wrap.  She has the squeakiest, most high-pitched shout/cry/whine… it’s actually so adorable.  We call her Squirrel because of it, which Crosby pronounces “circle”.

She has a love/hate relationship with most things… eating, baths, pacifiers, swaddling.  We can’t ever seem to really figure out what her thing is.  Or isn’t.  One thing is for sure, she loves to get her diaper changed.  So I guess that’s her thing.  Atta babe.

Every morning when she wakes up she gives us the biggest, widest smiles that make me want to gnaw her face off.  She has these beautiful long fingers and delicate little wrists… I find myself staring at them, wondering what kinds of things she’ll do with them, maybe she’ll be a piano player, or a guitarist… or maybe a pickpocket.  Dream big little one!

Her little personality is showing itself every single day and I can’t get enough.  I’m so so so proud to be her mama.

And then there’s my first-born.  My sweet little Crosby guy.  Oh, but if you call him a “guy”, he’ll shout at you “I’m not a GUY I’M CWOBBY!”  He’ll be 2 1/2 in a week.  And he’s good at it.  I like to describe 2 as the best and the worst age yet. And before you judge me… let me explain.  It is the absolute best because he’s talking so much and saying the silliest things.  He loves going on adventures and get’s so excited to just experience life.  He’s so giving of his love and affection.  He’s kinda the best.  BUT, being 2 comes with great responsibility… to act like a psycho.  His tantrums are epic.  He often can’t be reasoned with whatsoever.   And I often liken our interactions to negotiating with a terrorist.  However, there is very little that can’t be fixed with a “special treat” though (cookie, candy, fun snacks).

As everyone in the world probably knows by now, he is completely obsessed with dinosaurs.  Casey and I have had to learn so much about dinosaurs in order to be able to answer Crosby’s questions about them. I sometimes daydream about being on Jeopardy and winning with my knowledge of which dinosaur is a micropachycephalosaurus.  It’s more likely that Crosby would win though, his memory is so ridiculously good these days.

As much as he loves dinosaurs, he loves animals probably just as much.  He has a whole collection of small dinos and animals that follow him everywhere.  He has this thing where he has to have his animals or dinos “watch him” go to the bathroom.  (So sorry for your impending embarrassment, kiddo.)  Which means that we have to line all of them up on the bathroom counter to watch him pee.  It’s bizarre and kind of annoyingly time-consuming, but it’s one of the things that I will adore about him forever.

Other things he loves… books, play dough, larabars, bath time (with his animals and dinos), making houses (for his animals and dinos), watching shows (daniel tiger and dinosaur train on his favs), having picnics, playing his guitar, singing songs, and going on adventures.  He also loves to help me lately.  With laundry, cooking, taking care of his sister… And don’t get me wrong, his “help” often adds more time to the process.  But I love that he’s so interested.

A few of my favorite Crosby sayings these days….

“sound great, mama?”
“good morning! how’d you sleep?”
“thank you for listening to me”
“you have an idea??”
“fun day!”
“pssst… hey!… pssst”
“love you so much, mama”

He’s the funniest, sweetest, most curious, strong-willed child.  Every night after we put him to bed, and I’m usually exhausted from his antics, I think about him and miss him.  And then I want to go and wake him up.  (I don’t, I’m not crazy).  I absolutely, completely, 100% adore him.

And on that note, here are the rest of some kinda old photos of my favorite humans on the planet.  Take a peek, if you’d like!



Sweet sidenote.  There is a wishing tree right down the street from our house in Portland.  When Crosby was born I wrote a wish on it that I’d be able to stay home with him (which I didn’t think would be possible) and it came true.  That wish is still in the tree.  So during this photoshoot I wrote a wish for Willa too (that she’d learn to breastfeed, which she hasn’t… which means I’m the queen of the breast pump). But anyways, I love this wishing tree.  I wish I could have cut it down and taken it to Minnesota with us.  Maybe that should have been my wish?

 


planes, trains, and minivans.

Greetings from the land of chapped cheeks!  (Face cheeks, that is, you dirty minds…) Actually, I can’t really complain about the weather because it’s almost 40 degrees here today which is like, balmy.  We’re thinking of going swimming later.

We’re already in month 2 of our new life in Minnesota and things are slowly settling down after the craze of the move.  It was nuts there for a while, making sure that all of our things and cars and PETS made it here. And then making sure we were situated in temporary housing, getting Casey ready to start his job, locating the nearest Total Wine, etc. etc.  Anyways, I think at this point we’re as “settled” as we can possibly be in our current situation… that is, until we move into an airbnb next month. Sigh.  What a fun adventure!! ::she says with a forced smile::

Stepping back a bit though… I want to make sure some things are documented here, so I’m going to share the story of our move/flight from Portland to Minnesota.   Because it’s ridiculous.

The days leading up to our move were majorly chaotic.   It went something like this….
On Saturday we had a going away party at our house, but it ended up snowing a bunch the night of the party which meant that only about half of our pals actually made it.  It was still super fun (and super sad) but we wished we could have seen all our buddies.  Big thanks to our dear friends who braved the icy roads!!  We love you miss you waaaaa!
On Sunday we packed our suitcases that would basically need to sustain us for the next few months.  Super casual.
On Monday our packers came.  They lovingly wrapped our knickknacks with bubble paper (name that movie!) and had everything we own packed in less than 4 hours.  Amaze.  We moved into a hotel that night.
On Tuesday the movers came and moved all of our crap from our house into the biggest moving truck I’ve ever seen.  Our cars were also picked up by the car movers so we had to pick up a rental car for our last day in Portland.

Cut to late Tuesday night, and it snowed.  Again.  A lot.  Disclaimer: Portland gets a pitiful amount of snow maybe once a year that causes the city to basically shut down because nobody knows how to deal.  There is also no infrastructure in place to take care of all the snow so all the roads become skating rinks.  (High-five for using the word “infrastructure” before noon.  Heyo!)  So basically productive life comes to a stand-still until the snow melts.  It’s super fun if you’re in the market for a cozy couple of days hunkered down at home.  Not so much if you’re attempting to move across the country.

So when we woke up on Wednesday morning, AKA the morning of our flight, and saw the ridiculous amount of snow on the ground we thought for sure our flight would be cancelled.  And/or we thought there’d be no way we’d make it to the airport in our front-wheel drive minivan rental.   Either way, we figured we were screwed because we had SO many plans in motion that all depended on us flying to Minnesota that day.  So to reschedule would have been an absolute nightmare on elm street.  We waited a bit for a flight cancellation alert that never came, so then had to make the ulcer-inducing decision of whether or not to attempt the 30 min drive to the airport to make the flight.  We decided to go for it… so we loaded up our minivan to capacity and hit the road.  Roads that were absolute SHIT.  It was by far the scariest snow/ice drive I’ve ever endured and I grew up in Minnesota!  It was bad.  Casey was a serious driving champ, especially considering that I was white-knuckling the door and shouting things like “gah!” and “eep!” and “I need wine!” every 3 seconds.  Oh, I forgot to mention that we had to make a detour on the way to the airport to pick up our dogs at doggy daycare!  They had been there the last few days while we were staying in a hotel.  (Seriously, my head is spinning remembering all this.)  The dogs were scheduled to be on our same flight and would have to ride in crates in the cargo area of the plane.  So we made the deathly drive to doggy daycare in one piece, got the pups and set off again towards the airport.  20 more minutes of sweat and swearing later, we made it to the airport cargo area where we needed to drop the dogs off.  Casey brought the pups in and then was kindly informed that the dogs could not actually fly that day.  BECAUSE (grumble grumble) there is a rule that in order for animals to fly in the cargo area of the plane, the temperature in your arrival city has to be at least 10 degrees.  And the forecasted temp for Minneapolis at our time of arrival was 9 degrees.  ONE DEGREE difference.  I seriously cried.  After lots of attempts to get Delta to bend the rules for us (they didn’t), we had to bring the most depressed dogs all the way back to doggy daycare.  Via the shitty shitty roads.

By the way, shoutout to our rental minivan because that sucker was bomb.  Everyone on the radio was saying “DO NOT attempt to drive anywhere unless you have snow tires, chains and a 4-wheel drive vehicle!!”  And we’re like, oh we have a front-wheel drive minivan with probably stripped tires and ice skates on, will that work?  Cool, let’s do it!  And she kicked ass.

So by the time we got back to the airport, it was maybe 9am?  And I felt like I was ready for bed.  Alas, we still had to drop off our rental van and get all of our crap into the airport.  I wish so so badly that I would have taken a photo of our luggage cart… it was packed higher than Casey’s head, plus we both had car seats strapped to our backs and carry ons over our shoulders.  And two kids. NBD.  The luggage cart only tipped over and flung all of our stuff into a snow puddle one time!  Success!

Checking in and going through security actually went fairly smoothly, except for the gallon-sized baggy of loose change in one of our carry-ons (seriously the heaviest, stupidest thing to pack in a suitcase but for some reason it didn’t get packed with the rest of our shipped stuff and we couldn’t just leave it behind… it’s probably like a whole $17 dollars worth of change!!! #priorities) that caused some hoopla and a 10-minute bag search.  During that bag search Crosby started what turned out to be an hour-long tantrum.  It.was.rough.  One of the TSA ladies kept looking at me and saying (about Crosby) “Oh she’s so sad!”, “She’s really sad.”, “Why is she so sad?”.  Listen lady, SHE is a HE.  And he’s not sad, he’s TWO.

After we got through security, we decided to sit down for a casual mid-morning cocktail.  But, as I mentioned before, Crosby was still in the throes of a lengthy tantrum.  So our well deserved happy hour turned into sweaty scramble to keep our toddler from losing his shit.  I’ll spare you all the details but I will give you the ending: two half full drinks left behind and a toddler with wet pants.

One fresh pair of pants later, and we were on the plane!  The flight was actually pretty uneventful.  Both kiddos did really well.  And I don’t even feel bad for saying that, because have you read any of this story?  The only low point was flying over Mt Hood, which broke my Portland loving heart into a bajillion little pieces.

When we landed in Minneapolis, Casey went to get our rental vehicle and I was sitting down feeding Willa while we waited… and I looked over juuuuust in time to see Crosby pick up a french fry off the ground and eat it.  He immediately spit it out and said “that’s not good, mama”.  No, no it’s not.

We checked into another hotel for the evening and the next day we made it to corporate housing where we’ve been living the downtown life for the last month.  It’s been great, but I am so so ready to find a place of our own and get all of our stuff out of storage.  I miss my shoes.

Oh, and our dogs!  They got here, eventually.  They ended up having to stay at doggy daycare in Portland for 4 more nights until it warmed up enough for them to fly into Minneapolis.  A good friend of ours picked them up from daycare and brought them to the airport for us and they arrived here safe and sound and smelly.  They are now living the luxurious life with Casey’s parents for a few months until we find a house.

Anyways!  That’s the tale of our entry into the Motherland.

Moral of the story: there is no “good way” to move a husband, wife, toddler, infant, 2 beagles + all their earthly possessions to Minnesota in January.  Ever.  Just wait until spring, for the love of gawd.


we’re moving!

Big news, guys.  We’re moving!  Back to the motherland, Minnesota.  My super smart hubs got himself a sweet job offer at Target HQ and to make a very long story short, he accepted it.  WE accepted it.  And so, we move.  Back to the land of hotdish, parkas, lakes, mayonnaise-based salads, and talking about the weather.  Back to where both Casey and I grew up, where we first started dating (in 9th grade), then broke up (10th grade), got back together (junior year of college) and fell in love.  Back to where we got married and back to where we made the decision to leave Minnesota in the first place and have some adventures.  Since then we’ve lived in Tucson, Chicago, Tucson again and Portland.  And now, it’s time to go home.

This decision wasn’t made lightly.  In fact it was THE most bittersweet decision we’ve ever had to make.  We are so in love with Portland and the life that we’ve made here but at the end of the day… we miss our families.  And now that we have two little ones it’s become even harder to be away from them.  Both Casey and I grew up close to our families and extended families, and we want the same thing for our kiddos.  We can’t wait to see our parents/siblings/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins more than 1-2 times a year.  We can’t wait to celebrate holidays and birthdays and all that happy crap with our fams.  BUT.  We (me especially) are pretty devastated to leave this wonderful place that we’ve called home for the last 5 years.  We have done and seen and grown so much here… I’m absolutely heartbroken to say goodbye to this city and the family of friends we’ve made here.

Adulting is so hard sometimes.  Hold me!

We leave in one week.  (We’ve been slow to share our news with the larger population.)  All of our stuff is being packed/moved/stored for us (double fist pump!), so we basically just need to pack a few things and get on an airplane.  And by “a few things”, I mean: 2 dogs + dog crates, 3 large suitcases, 3 large carry-ons, 2 car seats, a stroller, a pack and play, a diaper bag… and a partridge in a pear tree.  We’re going to look like a hot mess rolling up to the airport!  We’ll be staying in temporary housing in downtown Minneapolis until we find a new house.  We’ll also be putting our Portland house on the market as soon as we leave here.  Any takers?  She’s a real gem!

I’m nervous to leave here for so many reasons.  We’ve made such amazing friends, I have such a crazy wonderful support group of mom/kiddo buddies, and we’re just really happy and comfortable here.  It’s hard to imagine leaving all that behind for a city where I honestly don’t know many people anymore.  I also only know Minneapolis as a carefree 24-year-old, so I have no idea where the good neighborhoods are to buy a home and raise a family.  We’re basically starting over from scratch.  So, if anyone has any tips or suggestions on neighborhoods/schools/pediatricians/gynos/wine stores please let me know!

All that said, we are truly excited for this new adventure.  And we’re ECSTATIC to be closer to our families.  A 1700 mile separation from them is about to become a thing of the past, and I’m pretty happy about that.

Watch out frozen nose hairs, we’re coming for ya!


christmas 2016.

Happiest holidays, loves!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Ours was so so lovely… we opted to spend the holidays here instead of flying to Minnesota, because newborn.  We definitely missed spending time with all the fams but there was also something very sweet about having time with just our little family.  It was just… cozy.  The whole holiday weekend felt like a giant hug.  The fact that I was in pj’s 85% of the time + WINE probably contributed to that feeling as well.

We spent most of the weekend hanging out at home, watching Christmas movie after Christmas movie, playing games, cuddling up on the couch, and eating all the things.  Lobster mac and cheese is always our Christmas Eve dinner of choice and this year did not disappoint.  And hey, if I could gift you one thing this year, it would be the wisdom of this mac and cheese recipe.  Merry Christmas, from me to you!  (I should probably also throw in a pair of stretch pants, because you’re gonna look 5 months pregnant after you eat it. I speak from experience.)

Crosby was such a sweetpea with Christmas this year.   He sorta/kinda knows what’s up and got pretty into the festivities.  Though I think his basic knowledge of the entire holiday season can be summed up with the word “presents”.   The kid has gotten so many gifts, he thinks it’s just common practice now.   His favorite thing to say lately is, “mama! I have an idea! ….. presents!”  So sweet.  So hysterical.  So terrifying.

And our sweet Willa was a trooper through it all.  She’s such a wonderful little baby lady.  My heart bursts just thinking about her.  (So do my boobs. Heyo!)  I cannot wait until she is able to partake in all the holiday festivities, but in the meantime I am loving her chill-ness (chill-ability?).

Anyhoo, we had a great holiday weekend and  I’m so bummed that it’s over.  We already took our tree down this morning.  We typically keep our tree up until after New Years but this year it had to go early because it was deader than crap.  But, she was a good tree.  She brought us lots of warm fuzzies this season.  And now she’s just sitting on the curb…. withering away alongside my bank account and soul.

Well that got dark.

And on that cheery note!  Here is a little video I made of our Christmas weekend.  Take a peek, if you’d like!

Happy Christmas, sweet friends.


willa’s birth story.

img_2723This post is so overdue, it’s ridiculous.  Our sweet baby Willa is more than 6 weeks old already!  Insert all of the parenting clichés about time flying by here.  But seriously, I can’t even believe it.  I also can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write out her birth story… but here we are!  Finally.

The best way to start this is probably to explain what our “plan” was for baby girl’s arrival.  I use the word “plan” very loosely because based on my first pregnancy, I was aware that things would likely not go exactly the way we wanted them to.  With Crosby, I was induced due to high blood pressure at 38 weeks and then after laboring for a full day, I had an emergency c-section after his heart rate dropped to scary lows, which we found out later was bc his cord was wrapped around his shoulder (ahh, memories…).  This time around, I was hoping for basically the exact opposite labor experience.  Ideally, I wanted to go into labor on my own and deliver via a vbac (vag birth after cesarean).  I wanted to avoid a c-section if possible because of the long and intense recovery it demands, and I also just really wanted to have the experience of delivering my baby this time.  But knowing the likelihood + all the risks of a having vbac, I tried to mentally prepare myself for the high probability of having another c-section.

Cut to my 37-week doctor appointment, when after a relatively healthy pregnancy, my blood pressure was suddenly high.  The nurse took a few readings during that appointment but each time it was high, higher than it should be at that point in pregnancy… so my doctor asked that I monitor it closely at home for a few days and then come back in later that week to check in with her again.  My readings continued to be on the high side throughout the week and again at my next appointment, at which point my doctor said that the baby was better off out than in so I would need to be induced.  Again.  This was the exact same situation that happened with Crosby.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled with this turn of events since I had hoped to go into labor on my own this time… I also didn’t know if it would be possible to have a vbac anymore since many doctors avoid inducing labor when a woman is trying for a vbac.  Casey had come along to my appointment with me so we talked everything over with my doctor, and thankfully she thought that I was still in a good position to at least give an induction/vbac a try before resorting to a c-section again.  So with that in mind, we scheduled my induction for the following week. And then we went home.

You know what’s weird? Scheduling your child’s birth and then attempting to resume normal life for the next few days.  Like, how am I supposed to prepare dinner when I’m having a baby in 3 days?!  It was so hard to focus on anything else.  Crosby kept us in check though.  Having a squirrely toddler to entertain and take care of is about as good of a distraction as you could have in that situation.  And I will say, in some ways it was nice to have a few days to prepare.  My mom and Casey’s parents were able to fly in over the weekend.  They planned to stay at our house and watch Crosby and our dogs while Casey and I were in the hospital.

On Tuesday, October 18th at 7am, Casey and I checked into the hospital.  An hour later I gave birth.  JK, I wish.  What actually happened was kind of a rollercoaster of calamities, but (spoiler alert!) it ended well…

Over the course of my first two hours in the hospital, three different nurses attempted 4 separate IV spots in my arms before one succeeded.  And let me tell you, the bruises I got from the failed attempts were horrifying.  My arms looked like a banana that’s been stuck at the bottom of your backpack for a few days.  Childbirth war wounds!  Once the IV was in, they administered pitocin to get the baby show on the road.  It was after 10am at this point and I was only dilated to 1.5cm so we knew it was going to be a long day.  So I ordered myself some peanut butter toast and Casey watched the Price is Right and we attempted to relax.  (Ha.)

Contractions started slowly but consistently.  At around noon-ish, my doctor came in to manually break my water… which didn’t work the first time because I wasn’t dilated enough.  She left and came back a bit later to try again, still no water breakage.  She left and came back a third time, and thank god it worked (apparently my pregnant body lives by the motto, third time’s a charm)  because I was about to pack it up and head home.  Have you ever had someone try to manually break your water?  Ouchie.  Is all I have to say about that.

At this point it was early afternoon.  I had been advised to not eat anything after breakfast in case I needed to have a c-section, so I watched Casey eat two enormous chicken salad sandwiches that my mom had made and packed for us… and then I bitched at him after I realized he ate all of it.  I mean, the least he could have done was save something for me to eat after I’d GIVEN BIRTH TO OUR CHILD.  Am I right?!  Ugh.  But, I’m over it I swear.  No really, it’s fine.  I’m FINE.

My contractions increased in intensity over the next few hours and by 3pm I threw in the towel and asked for an epidural.  The anesthesiologist hit a nerve when he was putting the baseball bat needle into my back.  Which will go down as one of the weirdest and most unnerving (hey!) feelings I’ll ever experience in my life.  But I was willing to overlook it to feel the sweet loving touch of the epidural.  But…the epidural itself didn’t actually work quite as well as I had remembered from the last time.  Throughout the rest of labor, I kept feeling numb on one side but not the other, and I also was feeling intense contractions in my left buttcheek.  Which really creeped my mom out.  And probably a few of you.  And probably Willa, when she reads this someday.  Sorry everyone!

The next couple of hours were slow, contractions would intensify and then subside.  It’s worth noting at this point that from the time I got to the hospital that morning to sometime around 5pm that evening, I had only dilated to a 4.  AKA not even halfway there.  At this rate, I thought my baby would probably still be born on her Nov 4 due date.

One of the most stressful parts of this experience was that throughout the course of the day and into the evening, my BP was still high.  I think I was given 5 different BP medications throughout the day to try to stabilize it, the result of which made me look and feel like a total junkie.  I couldn’t stop shaking, my eyes were incredibly bloodshot, I was so so cold, and honestly just super miserable.  Finally, later in the evening, one of the medications started to work and my BP lowered to normal.  At which point, baby girl’s heart rate started to drop during contractions.  AGAIN, this was also the exact same situation we’d been in with Crosby’s birth, which ultimately resulted in a c-section. So of course now I was extremely worried about the baby + extremely frustrated that we’d made it this far and I was probably going to have to have another c-section again.  But my nurses and doctor knew what my “plan” was and they kept fighting for me.  I did some position changes, they put an internal monitor on baby’s head and reduced my pitocin and thankfully, her heart rate didn’t stay too low for too long.  It would dip during contractions but come right back up in between, which was a good sign.  So, we kept on.  (We found out after she was born that her heart rate was dropping because her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.  My babies like to do somersaults in the womb, apparently.)

The rest of the night is a haze of uncomfortableness, BP medications, and contractions, but somewhere along the way I started to dilate quickly.  And then somehow, I honestly don’t know how, it was midnight and the nurse gave me the best news of my life… it was time to push!  I was so so thrilled.  I kept thinking throughout the whole day as we hit obstacle after obstacle that I was going to end up having a c-section again, so to get to this point was the best feeling ever.  I pushed for about an hour and 45 minutes… and that hour and 45 minutes was honestly one of the most amazing things I’ll ever experience.  It was bizarre because pushing was the part of labor I was looking forward to the least, but it ended up being the extreme high point of the whole experience.  Casey was a champion husband and cheerleader and was equally as amazed with the whole experience as I was.  Seeing our daughter come into the world made all of the chaos and stress of the day disappear.

Willa Rae Thompson was born at 1:55am on Wednesday, October 19th.  She came into the world weighing 6lbs 12oz and was 19.5″ long, with the same head of brown hair that Crosby was born with and the longest arms and fingers, just like her mama.  She has the most beautiful eyes and the sweetest soul I could ever imagine.  I cannot stop kissing her.

Once again, this was not the birth story I imagined.  It was a stressful birth and the recovery was not ideal.  (Shoutout to icicle diapers though, those things are the freaking best!)  But none of it really matters, because in the end I got to hold my healthy baby girl in my arms.  And the next day we got to introduce her to her brother.  He’s pretty smitten with her too… but maybe more smitten with the dinosaurs she got him as a gift.

It’s been over a month and I’m still just as obsessed with sweet Willa as I was the moment she was born.  I cannot even imagine a time when she wasn’t in our world.  Though I faintly remember a time when I slept more than 2 hours at a time…

We love you so much baby girl, and are so very thankful that you are ours.  Thank you for coming to hang out with us, we think you’re going to like it here :)


bumpdate: 36 weeks.

shawnnathompson_36weeksWeeks: 36 weeks
Baby is the size of:  a cabbage patch kid!  (I had a cabbage patch kid when I was little and her name was Carbell.  …Crosby and Carbell… that has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?)
Weight gain: I’m officially bigger now than I was at the end of my pregnancy with Crosby.  And I officially couldn’t care less.  I’m sure that will change immediately after baby girl is born and I’m expected to shed this weight in an orderly fashion.
Cravings: Nothing really sounds that good lately.  Probably because my stomach is so smushed that I basically feel like I’ve just finished a Thanksgiving meal at all times, even if I’m actually hungry.
Sleep: Pregnancy insomnia is in full force which SUCKS.  I really wish I could stock up on some sleep now before the baby gets here, but unfortunately I’m already sleeping as if I already have a newborn.  It doesn’t help that Crosby has been getting up before 6am lately as well.  Pass the coffee, please.  And then some unisom.   And then a rice krispie bar, while you’re at it.
Movement: Have you been watching Stranger Things on Netflix?  You know when that thing tries to come through the walls?  That’s what it feels like baby girl is doing.  She is pushing SO hard on the front of my stomach, it feels like she is about to break through.  Which isn’t how it works, sweet girl.  So maybe give your big fat mommy a break?  Thanks love you.
Symptoms: All of the end of pregnancy symptoms are in full effect… puffiness, sore back, loss of breath, peeing every 7 minutes, leg cramps, insomnia, an online shopping problem.  (Let’s just all pretend that last one is legit, for the sake of my relationship with my husband.)
Missing:  The ability to put my shoes on without needing to ask my 2 year old for help.
Happenings: We’re in the final-ish days, people!  Since I had a c-section with Crosby, I’ll be scheduling another one with baby girl as a backup plan, if necessary.  So after my next dr appointment we will have a definite date that we know she will be here by. (AKA a definite date that I will be able to have some wine.) So exciting and scary and fun and holycrapimhavinganotherbabysososososoon!