Category Archives: toddlers man

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….

 


happy third birthday, sweet boy.

Happy third birthday, my sweet little boy.

I can’t believe we’re already celebrating one more year of your beautiful life. Looking back on the last year, I truly cannot believe how much you’ve changed. You’re like, a real person now! A silly, stubborn, curious, bold, and oh so very loveable person. A person that I can have conversations with and go on adventures with. A person that makes me laugh so hard without even trying. A person that I grow more in love with every single day.

The past year has been full of adventures for our family. Big adventures…. a new sister, saying goodbye to Portland and all your friends, moving, moving again, and then again. And you’ve handled everything like a champ, just rolling with the punches. You’ve amazed me, kid. To be honest, it’s been a tough year for me with all the changes that we’ve faced. But through it all, you have been the one thing that has kept me grounded. You have been my place of comfort amidst a whole lot of chaos. You have reminded me that no matter where we are in this world, in this life, that our family is my home. And I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

This past year has also been full of dinosaurs. My god, you love dinosaurs. And animals. And going to the park. And the zoo. And mac and cheese and “special treats”. You love dancing. And playing t-ball in our backyard. You absolutely love reading stories. You love bath time. And swimming. And going for walks. You love watching shows and movies. And the popcorn that goes along with them. (You got that from me, kid. You’re welcome.) You love that you’ve learned to stand up when you pee. (I wish you loved aiming too.) And your stuffed animals. You love bubbles. You love spending time with our families. And meeting new people. (They’re so lucky.)

You completely adore your papa. You have mixed feelings about your sister, but you sure do love making her laugh. And for whatever crazy reason… you seem to love me a whole dang lot. I can’t even tell how much I love you back.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again a million times, I’m so lucky to be your mama. Happy birthday, my guy.

 

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happy second birthday, toddler guy.

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Happy second birthday, my beautiful baby guy.  I can’t even tell you how much I’ve loved year 2 of Crosby.  It’s been easily, hands-down, 100%, the best year of my life.  If I had one wish right now, it’d be to keep you at this age forever.  But today isn’t about my wishes, it’s about yours!  What are your birthday wishes, sweet boy?  If I had my guess, I’d say you’re wishing for… a “strawberry snack” (sliced strawberries), your “blanketandphi” (blanket + pacifier), a trip to the zoo, an episode (or 5) of Daniel Tiger, followed by a book reading marathon, a lengthy game of jumping up and down, and an ice cream cone.  I promise, I’ll do my best to grant as many of those wishes as possible today.

This year we’ve gotten to see so much more of your wonderful, sweet, silly personality.  I love that you call everyone your friends, I love that you say goodbye to everything: people, animals, objects, places…, I love your pure excitement when at the end of the night we talk about all the things we did that day, I love your ability to drop everything when you hear an airplane from a million miles away, I LOVE that you reach for my hand to hold, I love your sweet manners, I love your aggressive tickles… I just really freaking love you, kid.  And I absolutely adore being your mama.

I can’t wait to celebrate you today and smother you with one million kisses.  Happy second birthday, bubba!

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here we go again!

Processed with VSCO with x1 presetSurprise! I’m pregnant! Or… maybe it’s not such a surprise? I say that because at least 5 people have told me that they suspected I was pregnant… because of the fact that I hadn’t mentioned wine in my last few blog posts. ::facepalm:: That’s embarrassing. But guess what? Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I can talk about wine again. Or rather, the lack of wine in my life. Not to be confused with whine, which there is PLENTY of in my life these days. Hahahahahahaha. Ha. Haha. Ha. Hello?

Anyways, let’s get back to my uterus! I’m approximately 15 weeks prego ragu and my due date is November 4th. We’re pretty sure we aren’t going to find out the sex, just like last time. Though it seems harder this time around to not find out. I think it’s because we/I was so distracted by the newness of pregnancy the first time around, and not finding out the sex was part of the package. This time I sort of know what to expect with the pregnancy, so finding out if it’s a boy or girl is more top of mind. Ya know? I will say though, that not knowing the sex was so helpful the first time around during Crosby’s crazy birth. It gave me something positive to focus on and look forward to in the midst of pure chaos. So… that’s a good reason to not find out. Plus, I’ve always felt that waiting to find out until your babe is born is one of life’s few REAL surprises. Anyways, what do you think, should we find out this time? Or not? What did you do? What did Mila Kunis do? Because I’ll just probably do what she did.

So far, I’ve felt pretty ok. I’ve managed to avoid morning sickness again but I’ve been so incredibly tired. Seriously, the fatigue this time around has been absurd. Intensified by the fact that my job is to chase a squirrelly toddler around all day. On more than one occasion I’ve been out doing something with Crosby and I’ve been so tired that I had to literally tell myself to put one foot in front of the other. It’s nuts. I’m finally in the second trimester though so my energy levels should skyrocket any second now. Right? RIGHT!?! In general though, this pregnancy has felt pretty similar to the last one. Which makes me feel like it might be another little boy. Except that I’ve been MUCH more emotional this time around. Which makes me think it might be a girl. Or a Nicholas Sparks novel.

So far it seems like Crosby is thrilled to have a new baby in the family. Once we found out I was pregnant, we got him a babydoll to play with and he immediately poked it in the eyes. See!? Thrilled! We’re trying to explain to him that he’s going to be a big brother and that mama has a baby in her tummy, but he’s only 20 months old so he’s not really catching on. Or maybe he’s just not very bright… ;) No but really, if anyone has any advice or books (for him or me) to read about bringing a new kiddo home, please let me know! I’m so unprepared. Also, the idea of Crosby not being my “baby” anymore makes me want to shove him up my shirt for the day.

Yikes. I feel like this post was so scattered. Mom brain + pregnancy brain = my brain looks like an episode of Hoarders.

PS Thanks so much for all the well wishes on our newest addition! We’re honestly so very thrilled.

PPS A few more photos from my Mother’s Day…

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Cheers to breeding! xo


bachelor ben and two other things.

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I TOTALLY called Ben’s final pick on the Bachelor.  In fact, I predicted the final 3 women from basically week 2 of the season.  But enough about myyyyy accomplishments, how about that finale?!  I think we can all agree that Ben is hands-down the most likeable Bachelor ever.  Right?  I mean, I’ve only seen maybe 5 seasons out of 20 of the Bachelor/ette, but I think it’s a safe assumption.  Because seriously, only Ben could tell 2 women that he loves them, completely blindside and break up with one of them, and still come out looking like the sweetest human on earth.  That Lauren B is a lucky B.

However.  In case you missed it, Lauren announced on Jimmy Kimmel last night that Ben is a loud mouth-breather.  Which is sort of endearing I guess.  Ben has a flaw!  But it’s also sort of like when someone puts ketchup (gross) on my cheeseburger.  I still really love it and want to eat it, but it’s kind of lost it’s appeal for the moment.

And then!  Did you hear how ABC first chose Caila as the next Bachelorette and then dumped her at the last minute for Jojo!?  Poor Caila.  The girl just keeps getting shat on.  But I can’t say I’m upset with that decision.  I’ve been #teamjojoforbachelorette since I predicted the final 3 on week 2.  TOOT TOOT!

And so anyways, my life is not nearly as exciting as the lives of people on TV, but let’s pretend for a moment shall we?

Two things have become overwhelming apparent to me lately.

One!  Swimsuit season is right around the corner.  Swimsuits have been on the backburner of my life for the last couple of years. Two summers ago I was pregnant, so I just flaunted my belly and reveled in the ability to not have to suck in.  And last summer I’m pretty sure I wore a swimsuit less than 5 times, and only in the presence of my family.  I think this summer might be a little different since I have a completely mobile child and he loves the water.  Yet I still haven’t tamed the wobbly bits of my post-baby bod.  (Ummm.)  So I guess what I’m saying is, how do I get in shape in less than 2 months?  And/or is a full body wetsuit appropriate attire to wear to the splash pad with my child? I’m scared. Hold me.

And two.  I need to watch my mouth in front of Crosby.  Not just because of the swears, but also because of NO.  It is the kid’s favorite word these days.  Everything is no.  Yes is no.  No is definitely no.  Food is no.  Help is no.  And he says it with such authority, it’s scary.  Scary… and also a little funny.  But we’re trying not to laugh because we know that it only encourages him saying it.  But that is proving to be incredibly difficult, because how can I not laugh when I ask my 1 1/2 year-old if he had sweet dreams after his nap and he looks me square in the eyes and says… no.  Anyways, I catch myself saying no far too often, so I’m well aware that I’m partially to blame for this fiasco.  I’m working on it.  I’m scared.  Hold me.

That’s all.  Happy Tuesday! xo


one and a half.

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It’s 8:15am and Crosby is already taking his first nap of the day.  Because 5am wakeup.  Whoever said that him getting up before 6am was a “phase” owes me a 10-month supply of Stumptown.  It doesn’t happen EVERY morning anymore, but it still happens more than humanly necessary.  The only positive from this (sleepy) situation is that I get so much accomplished before the rest of the world is still in their REM cycle.  So far this morning I’ve served my kid and I breakfast, done a load of laundry, read 4 books, danced around the dining room to children’s music, talked to my dad, engaged in a lengthy text convo with my pal, scheduled a dental appointment, solved world hunger and (drumroll please) gotten dressed!  ::fistpumps::

I likely won’t do anything else productive for the rest of the day though, so.

But speaking of little Crosboy, he is officially 1 1/2 years old today!  Non-parents reading this are like, WTF who cares.  And I’m all like, I knowwww but half birthday’s mean something when your kid is this little.  I don’t know why?  It’s just a rule or something.  Probably because every month is so significant, developmentally, when they’re this young?  Or maybe it’s because we’re all just so obsessed with our tiny little monkeys, we’ll take any excuse to talk about them/celebrate them/make ourselves feel bad about how quickly they’re growing.

So what does one do on their child’s 1 1/2th birthday?  Well, for starters I sang half of the happy birthday song to him before I laid him down for his nap.  I also gave him a one-armed hug.  I went in for a high-five but stopped halfway.  I only changed half of his diaper.  (I’ll just let you think about that for a moment….)

Am I doing this right?

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Realistically, I know that a half birthday isn’t cause for a huge celebration.  But that’s not going to stop me from giving Crosby 100 extra kisses and “i love you’s” today.   It’s also not going to stop me from taking 50 extra photos and saying “hello” to him a dozen more times in hopes that his sweet little voice will say “HEYYOW!” back to me.  It’s not going to stop me from looking the other way when he feeds the dogs his banana, because it makes him laugh so hard.  It’s not going to stop me from letting him take out and put on every single pair of shoes in my closet, even though he always trips in the heels AND it’ll take me forever to put them all away.  It’s not going to stop me from tickling/kissing all his chins as much as possible because I know he won’t let me do that shiz forever.  It’s also not going to stop me from writing this sappy blog post about my baby guy who is becoming more like a… boy guy… every single day.

And so anyways, the point of all this is to say happy half birthday, sweet baby guy.  I think you’ve earned yourself half of a cookie today.  shawnnathompson_halfbirthday3Maybe even two.

 


february shmebruary.

I don’t know about you guys but I’m going to hold Punxsutawney Phil accountable as hell for his early spring prediction.  I’ve had juuuuuust about all I can handle from this winter.  It’s been a doozy for sure.  Between illnesses and random doctor visits and dental calamities, I think our family alone is keeping the entire healthcare industry afloat.  I’m serious.  At this point, I think we’re owed some branded can koozies or keychains or something.  Or you know, a clean bill of health or whatever.

Okay, enough complaining.  Complaining is for the weak.  Which I am not.  I mean, just the other day I carried 6 bags of groceries + a toddler from my car to my house without dropping a single thing/person!  That’s skillz, my friends.

OMG this gives me an idea… you know what would be so amazing?  Parenting Olympics!  Right?!  Off the top of my head, I’m thinking… a barefoot Lego obstacle course… a child weightlifting challenge… a timed event to see who can find their missing car keys the fastest… and an automatic win to the parent who has the most clever distract-your-kid-while-you-try-to-shower technique.

So, basically these Olympics are just a typical day at my house.


You know what, guys?  Crosby is almost 1 1/2 years old.  Which is so crazy.  Mostly because I thought he was 1 1/2 a while ago, until Casey corrected me.  Whoops.  I swear, when Cros was a baby I knew exactly how many months/weeks/days old he was.  Nowadays I’m like, eh he’s between 1 and 2ish?  If people guess how old he is, I usually just say yes no matter what and then congratulate them on their age-guessing abilities.  It makes them feel good and I get to avoid having to do math in my head = a win-win.

Anyways, (almost) 1 1/2 is the best!  Crosby is so much freaking fun, I tell him everyday that he’s my best friend and I DON’T EVEN CARE if you think that sounds ridiculous.  He’s seriously the coolest.  But with great coolness, comes even greater holy-shit-stop-freaking-the-fuck-out-ness.  And what I mean by that, is that homeboy has straight up mastered the art of the temper tantrum.  I know, I know, it’s only going to get crazier from here… so for now I’m just testing the waters of how to respond and deal when he’s in the throes of a meltdown.  So far, for us, ignoring it makes it worse, every time.  Pacifier works, most of the time.  Talking him through it helps, every once in a while.  Distractions work, sometimes.  And wine helps, every time.  Ba-dum-tshh!

One of Casey’s go-to tantrum techniques is to start singing.  I’ve mentioned this on the blog before but Casey is a chronic song maker-upper.  You never know when he’s going to just bust out with a ridiculous tune that consists of mostly made up words.  It’s pretty wonderful… for the most part.  I mean, in theory, singing is definitely a clever distraction technique. But realistically, it rarely stops Crosby from crying.  And what’s worse, Casey gets so caught up in his song that he doesn’t even notice.  So what actually happens is that I end up with a screaming toddler on the floor, a husband mindlessly belting out a song about hooshkadoos, then the dogs throw in a few barks for good measure, and my brain explodes all over the rug.


Welp. That seems like as good a place to stop as any.

Have a happy Shmebruary Humpday, ya muggles.


how to train your dragon. i mean, your toddler.

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As a first-time mom of an 18-month-old, I find myself constantly conflicted over which way is the best way to raise my kid.  This wasn’t really an issue back in the early days of his life.  Back when we merely existed in the realm of “survival mode”, with each day passing in a blur of feed, burp, change, (attempt) sleep, swap out breast pads, repeat. As tough as those early days could be, there was very little to think about in regards to the discipline and education of my new baby. But the moment Crosby became a toddler, shit got real, real quick. Now each day brings a new challenge, a new discovery, a new phase, a new gray hair…  And with every teachable moment, I become more and more aware of the responsibility I have to, like, raise a decent human being. So, what’s the solution? What is the magical formula for raising a good kid? What is the right style, the best method, the correct approach?

There are endless theories about the best way to raise your kid… and it can all be so overwhelming. The vast amount of information out there makes me want to hurl myself into a vat of merlot. And I know I can’t be the only one feeling this way. I’ve talked at length with my mom friends about this very topic. So in order to save my fellow parents a great deal of time and energy, I’ve done all the research and come up with the very best way to parent your toddler.

Without further ado, here an easy step-by-step guide to train your toddler.

Don’t ever say “no” to your child, it will only teach them to say it back to you.
But definitely say “no” to your child whenever you need to, it builds character and teaches boundaries.

Speaking of boundaries, it’s best to establish firm rules as early as possible.
But give your child independence, they need their freedom to explore.

Establish the parent/child dynamic right away.  Your child needs to know that you’re the boss, always, otherwise they will become disobedient.
But it’s most important to be their friend, otherwise they will lie about everything for the rest of their lives.

Do point out positive traits in other children, such as sharing and using manners.
But do not ever compare your child to another child, it can cause stress for both you and your child. And it will emotionally scar them for life.

Keep your expectations of your child high, so that they learn to work hard and not to give up.
But also keep your expectations low, so that your child can actually meet them and experience the feeling of pride.
If you keep your expectations somewhere in the middle, your child will be boring. And you don’t want to have a boring child, because no one will like them. Including you.

Don’t fight with your partner in front of your little one, it can cause emotional damage and feelings of instability.
But arguing with your partner in front of your kids is good, because it demonstrates conflict resolution.
But only if you argue with a forced smile on your face.

Feed your child only organic homemade, and ideally homegrown food. No sugar or processed foods otherwise you’re setting them up for a lifetime of obesity.
But you don’t want them to crave sweets and unhealthy foods and get eating disorders later in life, so you should actually give them a good mix of food, no restrictions.*

Don’t ever force your child to eat! This can cause mealtime stress and resistance on their part. And pit stains on your part.
But you must make sure that your child is getting at least 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day. If not, they will shrivel up and die. Don’t stress. Be casual!

When you toddler starts to tantrum, get down on their level and talk them through what’s bothering them. This is how they learn to recognize feelings! If you skip this very important step, your child will never know the difference between happy and sad and it will be all your fault.
But whatever you do, do not give your child any attention when they’re throwing a tantrum. You must absolutely ignore them at all costs. This tactic is especially relevant if your child tantrums while at the supermarket. For some reason. In this case, you must always drag them out out of the store kicking and screaming. Just leave your groceries behind, along with your sanity.

Definitely teach your child to share, otherwise they will become a big fat jerk.
But don’t actually force them to share because it undermines their ability to think for themselves.

Make sure your toddler is learning a new word every day, otherwise they will become a slow learner.
But don’t force them to speak before they’re ready, it could stunt their speech.

Introduce the potty as soon as possible! Your child needs to become comfortable with it before using it.
But do not introduce the potty at all until your child shows signs of readiness or they will have bowel issues.

Get excited about potty-training! Always give praise and celebrate the successes!
But DO NOT make a big deal out of the mishaps. In fact, you shouldn’t show any response at all. Potty-training should be serious.

Rewards for good behavior are a great reinforcement for children.
But don’t ever give rewards because then your child is destined to be a spoiled brat.

Any and all screen time is bad.
But educational, time-moderated screen time can be beneficial for building your child’s social skills.
But only if you’re coviewing. And only at certain times of the day. And only if it’s been at least 2 hours since your child last ate.

Don’t overstimulate your child.
But don’t let them get bored.
Both can cause acne.

Be the perfect parent.
But not too perfect, your child needs to see you mess up sometimes.
But not too much.
But not too little either.

So there you have it. You now have all the tools you need to raise the perfect toddler.  It’s easy, right?

(*thanks for the addition, Laura! :) )