Tag Archives: toddler

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….

 


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.

 


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! :) )


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!

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!


¡Crosby’s birthday fiesta!

IMG_5323So Crosby’s first birthday has come and gone and I’m still sort of adjusting to the fact that I now have a toddler.  Did you know that a 1-year-old is considered a toddler?  I didn’t!  I could have sworn that toddlerhood didn’t happen until 2.   Ugh, what do I know?  A year into this madness and I still have no idea what I’m talking about.  But so yah, I guess I have a toddler now!  I mean, seemingly it’s just a title change but for an over-thinker like me, it is a big deal.

I know I’ve talked about this before, but it’s always crazy to me how these kinds of transitions happen overnight.  There’s no easing into it.  One day I’m the mom of a baby, and the next day I’m the mom of a toddler.  And I don’t know, it just seems… different.  Right?  Like… I picture a baby mama in her bathrobe, softly humming to her tiny bundle while she rocks him to sleep at 3am.  I picture a toddler mama chasing her popsicle-mustached kid down the sidewalk, loudly hollering at him to SLOW THE $%@! DOWN.  Calm down, I’m just being dramatic… I would never give my kid a popsicle.

Do you know what I mean though?  The difference between baby and toddler is kind of significant.  Shouldn’t there be a grace period of 3-6 weeks for moms to get used to the idea that their baby isn’t a baby anymore??  Maybe I should start a Kickstarter for that.

Ok in all honestly, I’m pretty ok with the this transition.  But what really concerns me the most… is that moms of toddlers definitely can’t get away with Day 3 hair as much as moms of babies.  So, I have some major soul-searching/shampoo buying to tend to.

Well so anyway the real point of this post is that Crosby turned 1/became a toddler and so we threw a party for him!  Or, to be more accurate, we threw a fiesta for him!!   err… sort of.  I casually flirted with the fiesta theme but didn’t go too overboard.  Hashtag I didn’t have the budget to go overboard.   Hashtag my husband loves a budget.  Hashtag finance major.  Hashtag nerd alert.  (Gross, I promise I’m done spelling out hashtag.  <— Last one, I swear.)

Anyhoo.  We threw a little fiesta at our house with about 35 of our Portland pals.  We’d planned on having the party outside but of course mama nature decided to weep on Crosby’s birthday (apparently she was having a tough time with the baby/toddler transition too) which meant we had to move the party inside and act like sardines.  Luckily there was plenty of Jarritos, cervezas, and margaritas to refresh our souls.  And listen, I know some people might find it inappropriate to serve booze at a first birthday party.  I hear you.  But!  Most of our guests were adults.  And also… this party was kind of a celebration for Casey and me, too.  The past year has been bananas and all things considered, I thiiiiink… we did pretty good job.  And doing a pretty good job at raising a baby deserves a mediocre marg.  Which is now my new Instagram bio.  (No it’s not.)

Gracias so much to our Portland friends for making this day so special for us and Crosby.  We love you, amigos!  And gracias to our families for all the cards/gifts/calls/video chats.  We love you and miss you, familia!

How ‘s about that’s enough of speaking in broken Spanish?  Although I did tell Casey in perfecto Spanish that “I like food at our Thompson house for my family”.   And he was impressed.  So.  ::hairflip::

And with that!  Here we go with the pictures, if you care to see…
IMG_5322IMG_5320IMG_5380I’ll never be one of those super pinteresting moms (heh heh) but at the end of the day, a margarita is a margarita, no matter what kind of mason jar/plastic cup it’s served out of.  Is my new Facebook bio.  (No it’s not.)


IMG_5333IMG_5330IMG_5326Trying to get four 1-year olds to sit still for a picture is like… trying to get four 1-year olds to sit still for a picture.


IMG_5372lolz. real lyfe. 

IMG_5373 IMG_5349IMG_5356Homeboy DUG IN to his cake.  I initially was going to make him a vegan/gluten free/sugar free/healthy smash cake monstrosity but after googling them for 2 minutes I threw my hands in the air and headed straight for the Betty Crocker aisle.  I mean, it’s only one day, man.

IMG_5352IMG_5357IMG_5355IMG_5358IMG_5369IMG_5362We eventually had to take the cake away from him, or he probably would have devoured the whole ding dang thing, which resulted in my favorite tears I’ve ever seen him cry.

IMG_5339My hombres.  And I’m not sure what the seriousness is that’s going on behind them…but I like to think that they’re giving one of the little kids the stink eye for taking the last sombrero hat.

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It was such a fun day, celebrating our toddler guy.  Feliz cumpleaños, Crosby.