Category Archives: minnesnowta

summer plans and other tuesday things.

IMG_1302First of all I wanted to say thank you to everyone who entered the Zutano giveaway!  We have a winner (congrats Hillary B!) but don’t ever forget that you’re ALL winners in my book.

Sadly I have nothing to give away in this blog post.  Except my gift of words.

Wait, is anyone still here?  I promise, it’ll get better-ish!

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So!  Here we are in June!  And it’s already scorching hot in Portland.  Like, you step outside to water the plants and you come back in with full-fledged swack and swoobs type of hot.  (Which is code for sweaty back and sweaty boobs, for the record.)  I took Crosby and the pups for a walk to the park yesterday and we all came back feeling a little bit like steamed broccoli.  In the best possible, start of the summer way.  Steamed broccoli in early June is waaaay better than steamed broccoli in August, if you know what I mean.  And anyways, you know how when you wear shorts and there’s a breeze and you can instantly feel the spots on your legs that you missed shaving?  No?  Just me?

Still wondering where this blog post is headed, aren’t you?  Yah, me too.

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So here’s something exciting!  This is the first week of Casey’s 8 week summer vacation.  Well, technically it’s not summer vacation, it’s his “bonding leave”.  Here’s what: when Crosby was born, Casey’s work didn’t offer paid leave for new parents (Can you believe?! Come on already, America!) so he had to use his vacation time to hang out with his brandnewborn.  Ridiculous.  Anyways, a few months ago he found out that his company changed their policy (hoorah!) and now give both new mothers and fathers 8 weeks of paid bonding leave when they have a baby.  Luckily for us, the new policy is retroactive through last June so Casey still gets the opportunity to take those 8 weeks, as long as it’s before Crosby’s first birthday.  So he scheduled it at this time in order to get most of the summer off.   And since I don’t go to a 9-5 job (I do some freelance writing work from home) this basically means we’ve got an old school summer vacation on our hands!

I totally understand if you want to hate me for a little bit.

But get over it already!  Please?

So anyways.  We’re pumped.  It definitely would have been nice to have this policy in place when Crosby was born so that Casey could have been around more.  But I gotta say that this timing is kind of amazing too.   Because now Casey gets to be home when Crosby is happy and interactive and less like a screaming Gumby.  And we’re less stressed than we were as new parents.  Not to mention it’s given me the time to lose all my baby weight!

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First order of business on our summer bucket list is fixing our backyard.  We’re doing some pretty big renovations ourselves, which basically means we have our own parking space at Home Depot.  Side story: I overheard two guys talking there the other day and one of them pronounced it “dee-pott”.  Basically like it’s spelled.  I fairly intensely stared at him in an attempt to find out if he was joking or not.  My theory is: he was not.

We’ve been working on the yard for a few weeks now and we’re making decent progress, but we’re really trying to get the bulk of it completed before the weekend because on Sunday we leave for a road trip!   Yes!  We’re taking a family road trip to MN!  It’s supposed to take 24 hours to get there!  Did I mention we have a 9-month old?  He’s coming too!  And the dogs!  Yes, dogs!  Plural!  There are two of them!  They’re also coming on the road trip!  Also!  What were we thinking!

Ok, ok.  I really am excited about the road trip but also a little nervous because that’s a lot of time in the car for me Crosby.   Our plan is to haul ass on the way there, then we’ll spend about a week and a half with the fam and catching up with pals, and then we’ll take our time on the way back to Portland.  Maybe.  Who knows.  Did I mention it’s a 24 hour drive?  Feel free to send us your thoughts and prayers.  And corn nuts.

IMG_4866I’m curious, does anyone have any tips or tricks for taking a long drive with a baby?

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for taking a long drive with two beagles?

Does anyone have any Valium?

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Welp.  That’s all I’ve got.  Thanks for hanging out.

Happy Tuesday, ya goofs!


it’s been a while, let’s catch up.

IMG_4386First things first.  I have something really exciting to share.  Well, it’s exciting to me and probably no one else.  Except Casey.  And Crosby.  Although I don’t think Crosby quite understands the significance of “exciting” things.  Other than bath time.  But I’m sure he still appreciates the importance of this situation, in his own baby brain kind of way.  Maybe.

… What were we even talking about?

Ahh yes, big news!  We’ve found a solution to Crosby’s pee leakage problem that I talked about in my last blog post.  Yay!!!…… (See I warned you.)  We tried all of the suggestions you lovely people sent (thank you!) and after much trial and error we found that putting Crosby in a diaper that’s one size larger than normal at night does the trick.  He usually wears a size 2 during the day (yes, he’s just a little guy) so at night we put him in a size 3 Pamper’s Baby Dry and… no leaks.  It’s a washing machine miracle!   Apparently there are many reasons why a baby can leak at night, but in Crosby’s case it’s a quantity issue.  Putting a bigger diaper on him obviously means there is more, uh, storage space for all that little potty.  Aaaaand sometimes big potty.

Speaking of which, what is your stance on using the word “potty” versus “bathroom” when talking to your little ones?  Some people have such a strong opinion one way or the other.  Like “potty” is too juvenile but “bathroom” isn’t easy enough to say.  After a great deal of thought and introspection, I’ve found that I just don’t care.

I realize that anyone still reading this post who doesn’t have kids is likely pouring gasoline on themselves at this point.  So let’s move on from the potty talk and save ourselves that burnt hair smell, shall we?

I feel like we have so much to catch up on since my last blog post.  I didn’t realize it had been almost a whole month since I last wrote.  But a lot has been going on, so I’m thinking maybe it’s best if I do a little photo recap of the last few weeks.  Sound good?

I hope you understand that that was a rhetorical question.

IMG_4218The weather in Oregon over the past month has been bitchin’.

Does anyone say bitchin’ anymore?….  Is it working?….  I didn’t think so.

Well anyways, we’ve been taking advantage of the weather with frequent trips to the coast.  I’d go every day if I could.  If anyone wants to go tomorrow, hit me up.

Does anyone say hit me up anymore?…. Is it working?…. I thought so.

march_1IMG_4158 IMG_4204Don’t worry, we put a hat on Crosbaby’s head shortly after these pictures were taken.  We fully realize that the 7 hairs on his head do not suffice as sun protection.  Little baldy.  
IMG_4214march_4IMG_4246On this day we wore matching stripes.  Crosby’s idea.  It was also his idea to have this picture taken so he could take it with him to college and tell everyone how he and his mama used to sing “Let’s. Wear. Stripes! Let’s wear stripes! Let’s wear matchy, matching stripes!” to the tune of Beauty and the Beast’s “Be Our Guest”.  

march_3Our friend Tony came from San Francisco to stay with us for a weekend.  Watching him hold Crosby was mayyybe the highlight of February.  He’s a total baby rookie but gets an A for effort.  And a B for beer.

IMG_4286And on this day we realized that we all (unintentionally, promise.) wore black.  So, we commemorated that day with a vewwwy sherioush pikcheew.

IMG_4359My mom came to visit us for a few days.  This beauty just turned 50, but clearly doesn’t look a day over 25.  It’s only slightly weird when she’s holding Crosby and people think he’s her baby.  What makes it less weird is when I then snatch him out of her hands and scream HE’S MINE!!!

IMG_9866We made a quick, unexpected trip to MN last week. Casey’s beloved Grams passed away and so the three of us made a trip to the snow to be with his family and pay our respects.  Casey had a really special relationship with his Grams; she was the heart and soul of his entire family.  Needless to say, she will be greatly missed.

IMG_9840Baby eyelashes!!! I just want to gather them up and sprinkle them on my cereal.  (<— Quite possibly the weirdest thing I’ve ever written.  Because I can’t even remember the last time I had cereal.)

IMG_9890IMG_9901My soul sista Lindsey came to Portland.  She’s the sassiest ladypants I know and I love her dearly.  Fun fact.  One time Lindsey and I took a road trip from MN to California and it took us until 200 miles outside of LA to determine that the terrible thing I had been smelling the whole trip was actually a pair of new leather shoes in the backseat, and definitely NOT my armpits.  So.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe get a lot of questions about the mark on his upper lip.  It’s a birthmark.  Not a scratch, or lipstick, or the result of chewing on a marker.  Which are all guesses we’ve heard.

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This is Crosby and I at his SIX month check up.  Pre-shots, obvi.  But six months!  I don’t even and can’t even.  The fact that he’s half a year old makes me want to simultaneously cry and laugh.  Which actually is something that Crosby does once in a while. We have this theory that he got so used to crying in his early months that now he thinks that’s what he should be doing anytime his mouth is open.  It’s like a knee-jerk reflex.  He’ll yawn and start crying.  Or smile really big and start whimpering.  Or he’ll laugh and then get a confused look on his face and start weeping.  He’s actually happy, but the fact that his mouth is open throws him off.  It’s pretty cute actually.

He’s also been sitting up a bit, pushing up onto all fours, eating his feets, and chatting like crazy lately.  We’ve started giving him solids, which both he and Gus are really enjoying.  He thinks bananas are awesome and tomatoes can suck it.  He also likes when we put applesauce or mashed food onto a spoon and let him feed himself.  The spoon lands in his mouth maybe 1 out of 4 times.  The other three land on his forehead, down his bib, and on the window sill, respectively.

He’s finding his voice.  He likes to say the word “boo” over and over again really softly.  And when he’s sucking on a pacifier or a bottle, he sometimes makes this noise that sounds like he’s saying “oh yah oh yah oh yah” really fast.  Which I then mock, because I’m me.

He just recently has been giving us some nice big belly laughs, and they are everything.  Especially because of how challenging the first few months were.  Those belly laughs are like reassurance that hey, we haven’t completely messed our kid up!

Happy six months, baby guy.  We sure do love you.

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The end.  You did it!

Have a bitchin’ day.


december stuff.

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Hi friends!  Happy holidays!  Or, can I even say that anymore now that Christmas is over?  (Waa!)  Maybe I should say… Happy awkward time in between Christmas and New Year’s when you’re still sort of in vacation mode but still have to be productive at work and you’re so distracted by how extra tight your pants are after all those holiday feasts but you might as well keep on eating like a hippo until after New Year’s Eve when you will be starting your new workout/diet regime and will no doubt look fantastic in no time!  Or something like that?  Anyways, I hope your Christmas was merry and you got everything you ever hoped for etc etc.

Now can we talk about my Christmas for a second?  This is my blog, after all.  And actually, let me back up.  Let’s talk about my December, since I haven’t posted anything in over a month.  Consider that your Christmas present from me!  Wink wink.

December went by so fast I can’t even handle.  We spent the first half of the month doing Christmasy things around Portland.  Since it was Crosby’s first Christmas, (Crosmas!!  <—- I just thought of that now!  What a waste of a perfectly good hashtag.) we wanted to make sure to be as holly and jolly as possible before skipping town to head to Minnesota for two weeks.  Yes that’s right, we took a two-week vacation (?) to MN for the holidays.  It was SO much fun to be with family and to introduce the little dude to some of our favorite people who hadn’t met him yet.  Including both Casey and my siblings.  That’s by far one of the hardest parts of living far away from family… our siblings, grandparents, good friends didn’t get to meet our kid until he’s almost 4 months old.  That’s a lot of dirty diapers old.  So anyways, it was amazing to be together with everyone for the holidays.  However… in hindsight, what the hell were we thinking taking a two-week trip with a refluxy 3 1/2 month old?  Seriously.  He was a trooper through it all but we definitely had some tough moments.  Including every moment between the hours of 9pm and 9am.  Yeesh.  Thank gawd for our families who were so understanding and constantly offered help (though I didn’t always take it…).

Sidebar.  Here’s the thing with fussy babies, and mine specifically… as much as I want a break sometimes, it is really hard for me to accept help.  I’ll admit it.  I so appreciate when people are willing (and eager!) to take him off my hands for a bit when he’s crying but I rarely accept their offer.  Why?  Because it’s completely impossible for me to relax if I know he’s upset and someone else is trying to soothe him.  And I’m just sitting there, doing nothing.  You know?  I guess it’s because I feel like Casey or I should be the ones to calm him.  Or maybe that we’re the only ones who actually CAN calm him.  Even though that’s not even true.  Maybe we could do it faster, but any one of our lovely family members would be able to get him to chill out eventually.  So why can’t I take the help?  I don’t know.  Any other parents of fussy babies know the feeling?  Or am I just crazy?  Don’t answer that.

Anyways!  Back to our Crosmas trip to MN.  We flew out super early in the morning, and I was basically having an anxiety attack thinking Crosby was going to have a meltdown on the plane.  He did not.  He slept for most of the flight and only squawked a couple of times once he woke up.  Little angel.  And thankfully there were about 10 other families with babies on the plane too.  We were in good company.  I told Casey after we got off the plane that I felt like I needed to go around and high-five all the other parents because holy shit is that stressful.  And speaking of which, have you guys seen this story about the parents who handed out goodie bags to people on their flight?  What do you think?  Good idea or no?  I personally wouldn’t do it.  Babies be babies.  And really… if a baby screams in your ears for three hours are you really going to be less annoyed if you were given a box of Junior Mints from a stranger?  Probs not.  I think just common courtesy and politeness, both to and from and the parents, is the best approach when flying with a baby.  Also vodka.

Ok, tangents over.  Back to our trip.

A good chunk of our time in MN was spent driving.  Which was interesting, given that Crosby hates to be in the car.  But man he was a trooper.  We drove from Minneapolis to Rosemount to Brooklyn Park to Big Lake to Alexandria to Kensington to Minneota to Ghent back to Alexandria and then back again to Ghent and then finally took our last 3 hour drive to Minneapolis to fly out. That flight back to Portland started out a little rocky.  Crosby screamed for approximately 15 minutes before we even took off.  I was gushing sweat as we both tried everything we could to calm him down in the tiny shoebox of personal space we had.  Plane seats have never seemed so small as they did during those 15 minutes.  And I’m pretty sure everyone in the 3 surrounding rows saw my boobs at one point because I was, frantically as calmly as possible, trying to feed him to get him to calm down.  LOTS of boobs flying about.  He eventually passed out, and stayed asleep the rest of the flight.  Ahh memories….

On that note.  A short photo diary of our month…

shawnnathompson_christmasstuff_4Even though we knew we’d be gone for half December, we still went and cut down a tree.  It’s probably my favorite holiday tradition that Casey and I started when we moved to Portland and I was not going to let Crosby miss out on his first tree cutting experience.  #hesleptthewholetime.

IMG_3652#untilwewokehimuptotakethispicture #hewasnotimpressed

IMG_3683We also too him to see the Zoo Lights at the Portland Zoo.  Again, slept through the majority of it.  And in case you’re curious, that’s a rain guard on his stroller.  It’s not like we keep him in a bubble for no reason or anything…. :: side-eye::

shawnnathompson_christmasstuff_3IMG_3707Again, not impressed.

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IMG_3673Then we took him to see Santa!  Everyone loves Santa!

IMG_3675Right?IMG_8891Oh. Nope.

Onto our trip to MN!
shawnnathompson_christmas_4I mean, if that isn’t the most kissable face you’ve ever seen…. Crosby looks pretty cute too. Heh. Heh.shawnnathompson_christmas_5

shawnnathompson_christmas_sixCrosby and Rudy.  Total BFFs.

shawnnathompson_christmas_3Girl cousins!

IMG_3808And boy cousins!  Also, please note the zubaz in the lower left corner of this picture.  No, that’s not me.  It’s my brother.  I’m way classier than zubaz.

shawnnathompson_christmas_1Oh wait.shawnnathompson_christmas_7Two chins are better than one. Is our family motto.

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I would have liked to post about a bajillion other photos but my wordpress/dashboard is giving me a helluva time today.  But, I’m sure there is enough self-indulgence in this post to last you until next time.  Right?

Happy New Year, ya muggles! xo


see ya, christmas!

 

Tis the season for long overdue Christmas posts!

We’ve been back from MN for about a week now and I still can’t quite comprehend that the holidays are over.  What a crock.

Every year on New Year’s Day I want to punch someone in the face because it’s just too depressing not to.  Know what I mean?  There’s so much funness all through November and December and then Jan 1st hits and it’s kaPOW!  Congratulations! You have absolutely nothing to look forward to until the 4th of July!  Ugh, it’s the pits.

But but.  We did have a really great trip to Minnesota, which I’m trying to keep in mind every time I start winding up to Hulk Hogan someone in the head.  Despite the fact that it was -25 below the night we arrived (death), the trip was jam-packed full of family, seafood, presents, Folgers, bowling, and Chevy Chase, of course.  We were lucky enough to be back for a full week and we really tried our darndest to see as many people as possible.  We had 6 Christmas get–together in 7 days.  Mission accomplished, I’d say.  Also, pass the wine.

It’s funny how after so many years of splitting Christmas with the families, we look forward to different things at each place.  Casey’s family, we always “go back” to his Grandma’s where potato sausage and lefse are in abundance and the battle to steal the scratch-offs in the gift exchange will ultimately end the night.  At my mom and stepdad’s, we know we will eat 12 times per day, but always make sure that we save room for popcorn + a movie before we pass out in a food coma on the most comfortable bed in existance.  And at my Dad and stepmom’s, we know there will be some (ahem) competitive game playing, beer and Christmas Vacation.

I now ask you to pull up a chair, grab some popcorn, lefse and beer and check out an onslaught of the Minnesnowta Chrismost.  Here we go, weeeeeee!

famfam[ ^^ these family photos ^^ show our progression throughout the week – we started classy and ended weird.  also, brother ben’s face in the bottom photo… i can’t even…. ]thomps 2thomps 7thomps 4thomps 3thomps 5photo 2 (1)[ baby jeebus granted us a 32 degree Christmas day.  hallelujah! ]gehring 1gehring 2[ mastering the art of photobombing. ]gehring 4gehring 5gehring 6IMG_5358vk 4vk 1vk 5vk 6[ brothers, getting the giggs while playing Quelf.  worst name for the best game. ]vk 8 [ in addition to my abundance of chins,
i also inherited my papa’s love of Christmas Vacation. :) ]

Mele Kalikamaka, my friends.