Category Archives: stay-at-home mom

greetings from my couch.

You guys.  Crosby is currently at preschool (day 3 and I we’re all still emotionally intact!) and Willa is taking a nap and it’s 10:30 in the morning and I’m just… sitting on my couch… drinking coffee… and taking bites out of a giant chunk of Beemster cheese. (Don’t you dare judge me until you’ve tried it.) But like, what world is this that I’m living in right now?  Up until this week, mornings are usually pure chaos and full of activity.  It’s typically when we’d have some kind of outing or adventure or errand.  It’s usually go go gadget.  But I’m realizing now that Crosby is in school 4 days a week, 2.5 hours a day, and Willa still takes a morning nap, which means I have like, free time?  Excuse me while I wrap my head around this.

It’s glorious.

Every day after preschool (so 2 days so far. lolz.) I ask Crosby what he did at school. And according to him so far, he has seen his teacher, blew bubbles and drank water.  So.  Chances are, he’s going to be president one day.  (I didn’t say president of what.)  But honestly, it has been so adorable to see how much fun he’s been having.  The end of his “day” is always playground time, which is where I pick him up.  And both days he’s come running into my arms, sweaty and excited.  Then he quickly turns around and runs back to the playground but whatever.  His teacher has informed me that he’s very sweet and well-behaved and that makes me feel like I just won the lottery.  Also the director of the preschool told me she saw Crosby going down the slide on the first day and he just kept shouting, “this is so much fun!”  Ugh.  So proud of my boy.

Moving on!  So many of you gave me great recipe ideas after my last blog post, thank you!  I love any interaction with readers because sometimes it seems like I’m just talking to myself over here.  (You wish.)  Anyways, you’ll be happy to hear that last night I made a delicious homemade feast.  That consisted of a bag of Trader Joes vegetable fried rice, lovingly ripped open and heartwarmingly heated on the stove.  (No for serious guys, the stove made my chest warm.)  I plated the rice alongside an artisanal cheese stick and a few raspberries that were harvested locally.  In Mexico.

Ok ok, so I haven’t exactly been Julia Child this week but in my defense, Casey worked all day yesterday and then went straight to golf so I was single mom-ing all day about by dinner time I was just like, nope.  But stay tuned because next week!  I’m all in for making some new recipes.  If I make any winners, I’ll share them.  With my kids.

Speaking of which, it’s time to go pick up my firstborn from school!  I wonder what kind of adventures he’ll share with me today.  Maybe he found a stick.  Or maybe he saw a bird.  Time will tell….

 


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.


second time around.

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Lately I’ve been doing a lot of comparing of this pregnancy to my first one.  Probably because now that I’m in the homestretch of this one, I’m realizing how much… less… I’ve done and thought about this time around.

During my first pregnancy, I felt like I was treated (and acted) like a fragile vessel on a magical baby-growing journey.  Pampering, downtime and rest were encouraged.  Everything was new and exciting and a little bit scary, and I had nothing but time to dwell on every little thing that happened.  This time around, I feel like I peed on a stick and then had 3 minutes to celebrate before I had to figure out what to make my toddler for dinner. (Mamas of 2+ kiddos, I salute you.)  It’s not that it’s not as exciting, it truly is, I just haven’t actually had the time to spend focusing on the magical journey that I’m on because I’ve been, you know, busy taking care of my first magical journey.  The good news the second time around is that I have experience on my side, so there’s been way less “IS THIS NORMAL” googling and way more acceptance of what the eff is happening to my body.

So anyways, here are a few examples of the differences I’ve noticed between the two magical journeys I’ve had the immense pleasure of being on…

First pregnancy:  (at 14 weeks along) Look at my teeny tiny baby bump! I must now parade myself belly-first through public places… hoping someone will notice my baby growing skills.
Second pregnancy:  (at 2 weeks along) Holy crap I’m showing already!?! Or is this just residual baby weight from the first time around?  Probably a combo of both.

First pregnancy: Take cute bumpdate photos biweekly.
Second pregnancy: Take 3 total bumpdate photos, which coincide with the only 3 days during my pregnancy where both my hair and makeup are done at the same time.

First pregnancy:  Terrified of labor, but I cannot wait to take my baby home to bask in postpartum bliss!!
Second pregnancy:  Labor shmabor. How am I going to handle postpartum hormones AND 2 small humans?!

First pregnancy: I can’t wait to breastfeed my new baby. What a bonding experience!
Second pregnancy: Nightly pep-talks to psych myself up for breastfeeding/pumping/latching/acid reflux/ouchie nipples.

First pregnancy:  ::reads all the baby books:: I’ve got this ALL figured out. I know exactly what kind of mother I want to be. I know exactly how I’m going to care for, raise and discipline my child.  It can’t be that hard.
Second pregnancy:  ::buys a case of wine:: Let’s just like, try to survive, shall we?

First pregnancy: Research every baby product for hours. Register for every baby product under the sun.
Second pregnancy:  ::buys a case of baby wipes::  K, I’m ready.

First pregnancy: The baby is 13 weeks, 5 days, 6 hours and 47 minutes and is the size of a papaya! The lungs are forming, nerve cells are multiplying, and synapses are forming in the brain.
Second pregnancy: I think I’m in the second trimester? I know I’m due in the fall. Wait, maybe the winter? Definitely this year.

First pregnancy: No caffeine. No soft cheese. No deli meat. etc. etc. etc.
Second pregnancy: “Make it a venti, please.”

First pregnancy: Take a 7-week birth class, prepare a detailed birth plan, curate a birth playlist.
Second pregnancy: Birth plan = try not to crap myself, have baby.

First pregnancy: Shop regularly for cute maternity clothes.
Second pregnancy:  ::adjusts sweatpants::

First pregnancy: Fill out baby book every week, keep an organized file folder of every sonogram and Dr visit report.
Second pregnancy: Accidentally use sonogram as coffee coaster.

First pregnancy: Babymoon! 3 baby showers! Pregnancy photoshoot!
Second pregnancy: High-five myself whenever I get to pee in peace.

***

Anyway, all that said… I have absolutely loved both pregnancies equally, but I do think that this time I’m much more excited about the after. That’s when the real fun starts, am I right?  Shout out to both of my babies who made this post possible.

PS pumping can suck it.

 


tales of toddlerhood.

In the early days of parenthood, our house was a big ol’ mess of diapers and bottles and breast pump paraphernalia. Sleep deprivation and survival mode made it somewhat impossible to keep a tidy home.  But then there was a bit of a turning point when Crosby was about 7-8 months when there wasn’t such a mess anymore. We had a fairly established routine, Crosby was eating/sleeping on a schedule, he wasn’t mobile yet, I felt like I had time to clean up and keep my house fairly organized.  Ahh…memories…

But these days, now that Crosby is walking, our house looks like an episode of Hoarders.  It’s insane how much of a mess one tiny person can make.  And it’s not just that he makes a mess, but he likes to move things around.  Take things from one room and relocate them to another.  Just because.  The other day there were 4 legos in my left boot and a tupperware lid in the right.  Just this morning I noticed that there was a bag of dog treats in the bathtub.  My shampoo bottle is currently under the dining room table.  We found our TV remote in a box in the recycling bin. There are tampons literally everywhere, because that’s what keeps Crosby occupied when I’m getting ready in the bathroom, playing with tampons.  And then he carries them around with him and hides them in fun little spots for us to find when we have company over.  (He’s gonna LOVE this blog post when he’s older.)  I’m constantly asking him, “where is your other shoe?” for who knows what reason, it’s not like I expect him to respond.  But for the love of hummus, stop putting your shoes in the hamper, kid!  He’s always under my supervision, so how does he get away with these shenanigans?!

There’s a certain amount of control one has to give up when they have a toddler on their hands.  I mean, I could spend literal hours following Crosby around, picking up items that he’s deposited in unsuspecting spots.  But where’s the fun in that?  I mean, who doesn’t enjoy finding their watch in the record player?  Who doesn’t love to look for their keys for 45 minutes before leaving for a doctor’s appointment?  (Though this could totally be my fault, one time pre-Crosby I lost my keys and after HOURS of searching, I found them in the silverware drawer.  Like mother like son?)  But honestly, I’ve found that it’s much easier to let go and worry about the messes (and finding my cell phone) later.

And anyways, there’s really no point of this post, except maybe to suggest you keep a close eye on your belongings if you ever come to our house.

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Where does your toddler hide things?  Tell me tell me!

weekend recap. and casey is home!

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Casey got home last night from his long weekend in Minnesota and we’re all super pumped to have him back, for various reasons.  We all missed him a lot, obvi.  (<—sorry)  But I know Crosby particularly missed the made-up songs that his papa (loudly) sings to him on the changing table.  I missed taking a shower in peace and, on this particular day, having someone around who is willing to be on the “removal” end of the Nose Frida.  ::shudder::  And the dogs?  They likely missed having someone around who doesn’t bark (heh) at them nonstop to quit making so much noise during nap time.  So, anyways.  Welcome home Casebear.  We all missed you like crazy!  And will continue to miss you since you won’t be home until after a work event tonight.  Waa.

How do single parents do it?!  I only have one fairly easy kiddo and I still got worn out by taking care of literally everything for just 4 days.  I mentioned to a friend, who asked how it was going, that the first two nights Casey was gone I put Crosby to bed at 7:30, and by 7:31 I was sitting on the couch with a glass of wine.  (See!  I told you in one of my last posts… netflix and wine, people.  That’s the majority of my evenings.  Netflix and wine.)  But anyways, single parents.  I can’t imagine.  I can’t imagine my long weekend being your every single day.  Not that my weekend was especially hard, it was actually great fun.  But also?  Exhausting.  There’s no off button when you’re doing it alone.  There’s no downtime to even like, look the other direction.  You have to be on and focused at all times.  Lest you want your child to drop a book on his head resulting in a little cut right between his eyes (guilty).   It’s so much easier to have someone else to help partner you through the good, bad, the smelly and the snotty.  But also, to share in the fun stuff too!  So single, parents… you have my utmost respect.  You have my admiration.  You can also have all of my wine.

All that said, we honestly did had a really great weekend. We hit up a bunch of parks.  We found a Halloween costume for the Cros.  (It’s not the turkey hat below, though I think that’s going to be mandatory at Thanksgiving this year.) We also went on a whole bunch of walks, met up with some pals, got ice cream with some old friends that were in town, and went to a barbecue.  The weather was aces and I made lasagna.  Among other less notable food things.  I also cleaned the house, decorated for Halloween (Don’t get too excited.  I have approximately 3 decorations so it took me all of 7 minutes to “decorate”.) and made it about halfway through an actual book.  BTW, ever since I got past the annoyance of the word “tidying”, I’m actually really loving the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I like to imagine a really clean, clutter-free home filled with only things I truly love… Which would be my family, my Birkenstocks, Crosby’s baby book, and of course, Netflix and wine.

This week is supposed to be beautifully fall-ish so we’re hoping to spend a bunch of time outside.  That is, if a certain little person’s aforementioned snotty nose is kept under control.  There is nothing worse than seeing your kid wake up with a face full of crust.  Actually, I’m sure there are many things that are much worse than that.  But on this particular day, it’s the worse.  And the grodiest.

Grainy iphone photos, ahoy!

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“Oh, hey Crosby, could you please not fall out of that cupboard that you climbed into until after I take a picture of you? Thanks.”

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Assuming our N&W positions. (Netflix & wine! Are we sick of this reference yet?)

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Crosby’s stroller demeanor is so stoic and silent.  It’s really quite frightening/lovely.

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That’s it.  That’s all.

Happy Tuesday, my friends!

 


a list of places you could find us on any given day. plus, happy fall!

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Happy first day of fall!  Slash happy official opening day of all things pumpkin popping up in your Instagram feed.  Is what the day should really be called.

I think I’m probably the only person on Planet Portland that isn’t ecstatic about fall being here.  I love fall, I really do.  I love the changing colors and the flannels(!) and the pumpkin patches and I freaking adore Halloween. But. I also have a really hard time saying goodbye to summer.  I reeeeally love summer.  Even this past one, which for the most part resembled the surface of the mf-ing sun.  Good gaw, it was hot.  Even so, I loved it and didn’t want it to end.  I think more so this year because I have a kid and being able to outside most of the day is the stuff mom dreams are made of.  But whatever, we’ll have another summer next year, right?  And so.  I will embrace fall with the rest of the Basic B’s and unpack my sweaters and haul my sweet ass down to Starbucks for a PSL to officially ring in the season.  Or a Toasted Graham Latte?  Which is apparently the new drink of the season?  Oh Starbucks, you naughty little siren.

Well so anyways.  Now that it’s getting cooler and there is rain in our forecasts, I’ve been looking into indoor activities for the Cros and I to do during the days.  We like to have at least 1 extracurricular activity per day, besides errands, to get us out of the house, talkin’ to the people (hallelujah!), gettin’ some of our wiggles out.  I’m always really interested to hear about other families’ schedules and activities, so I thought I’d share what’s on our agendas these days, if you care to read/are really super bored.

I’ve talked about this over and over again, but we almost always start our day with a long walk with the pups.  This helps to wear the dogs out as much as possible for the rest of the day so that they’re only moderately annoying instead of severely annoying.  Also, the fresh air that early in the morning really kickstarts our day.  Well, that and a vat of coffee.

We’ve signed up for music class again, which starts next week.  We took an infant music class in the spring and other than the very first day when Crosby wailed the entire time, he loved it!  Fun fact: Crosby actually crawled for the first time at music class.  Onto another baby girl’s blanket.  And then plopped down on his tush and reached out and rubbed her cheek.  I have a feeling we’re in for some fun times with this baby man.

Our friend introduced us to an indoor park near our house that offers toddler open gym as well as “art parks” (TBD WTF that actually means) a couple of times a week.  So we will most definitely be heading there more often than not.

We’ve just moved up from baby to toddler storytime at the library.  Toddler storytime at a library is kind of an oxymoron, because it’s pretty much the loudest situation ever.

I typically take a barre class once a week that has a little childcare situation included, which is lovely for both of us.  Speaking of which, I took a class on Monday morning and my legs are still slowly being murdered from the inside out.  Halp.

We have a membership to the zoo so when it’s nice out we love to wander around there.  It gets a little more fun each time we go because Crosby can actually SEE the animals these days.  As opposed to the first few times I took him when he could barely see as far as his own hands.  #noob

We usually try to head to the burbs to meet Casey for lunch once a week.  And almost every time we get stuck in stupid traffic on the way back into Portland.  Traffic with a baby is why Jesus invented happy hour.  We all deserve a cocktail after surviving that shiz.

Every so often when we’re feeling lavi$h or if we can tag-along with our friends who have a guest pass, we like to go to the science museum (OMSI).  They have an amazing space for littles to play.  Just watch out for a little tyrant named Ziggy, he likes to dump sand on unsuspecting baby’s heads.

I have been wanting to try Hike it Baby, which is hikes… with your baby.  Doi!  Any fellow Portlanders done it?  Or recommend an easy hike to get us started?

On top of that, we’re still in the phase where Crosby loves to be in carts… so trips to the grocery store or Costco or Target are great fun.  I’m fully planning for this phase to pass once he starts to walk.  So… maybe a couple more days?  Gah!

So there you have it!  I realize that to anyone who isn’t a mom, a nanny, a grandma or really sensitive father figure, this all probably sounds incredibly… unsubstantial?  But!  It’s my everyday and I love it heaps.  So thanks for indulging.  And hey!  Maybe next time I’ll come up with a list of things I do at night, that will better serve the non-baby folks interests?  Orrrr…. I could just tell you right now.  Netflix and wine.  The end.

These pictures have nothing to do with fall or daily activities but what’s a blog post without pictures?  … A really… uhh.. plain-looking page with words on it?….  Is what.

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Go get yo fall!