Google Photos Got Me Pregnant (Twice)

If this title has you thinking to yourself, “that’s it, AI has gone too far”, I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong. But, it’s not what you think it is. At least, I hope it’s not?

Well, now that I’ve made it weird, to help get the image of a Google robot sneaking into my bedroom and speaking sweet code into my ear while my husband was away on business, let me go ahead and try to explain myself.

I have this theory. Stick with me here, okay, because it’s about to be a really confusing ride and it somehow involves the movie 101 Dalmatians. Not the animated one, the 1996 remake. Again, please stick with me.

Let me set the scene: the year was 1996 and Disney decided it was going to put a live action spin its classic animated film, 101 Dalmatians. The Disney casting room landed on Glenn Close, who I, at ripe age of 9, only associated with the made for tv movie “Sarah, Plain and Tall” to handle the role of Cruella de Vil and Jeff Daniels, who the entire world only associated with the CLASSIC movie, Dumb and Dumber, as…Roger? I guess that was his name, but, to me, he was always just a more polished version of Harry Dunne who finally got his shit together, sold his pet grooming van, but still kept a love of animals deep in his heart. Anyway. In this movie, they also (obviously) included SEVERAL (101, maybe?) LIVE Dalmatian puppies.

None of that information was really necessary, but I felt compelled to recap in case anyone was living under a rock (or God forbid, wasn’t born yet) in 1996. Back to the point – after the movie came out, there was a nationwide plea from animal rights activists asking Disney to add a disclaimer to the movie that said something along the lines of, “We at Disney KNOW these puppies seem cute, and you’re definitely going to want to buy one, but they’re actually very high maintenance dogs who love to bite ankles and rip apart your shit, so please, for the love of GOD, if you aren’t prepared for the responsibility, maybe pick up a goldfish instead”. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but I believe it was something along those lines.

Now, if you’ve ever seen a Dalmatian puppy, you know they are cute as hell. And not only are these things cute, but their classic black and white spotted *lewk* triggers some sort of nostalgic feeling deep inside that makes you just kind of…want one, so those animal rights activists weren’t wrong.

AND HERE, dear reader, is where I draw my parallel.

What 101 Dalmatians did to so many people in 1996, Google Photos did to me…once around February 2018 and again around October of 2022. Yes, those are the dates that Google Photos (indirectly) got me pregnant. *slowly lifts phone and points to the cutest, most perfect, most squooshy face of our first baby at 5 months old with a caption at the top written in a tiny font that reads, “5 years ago today“*

Yes, Google Photos (and all of social media), much like 101 Dalmatians, has a way of showing us “consumers” exactly what we need to see, when we need to see it, and I’ll be God damned if it doesn’t work on me every single time. Seriously. One minute, I’ll see a skincare ad on Instagram and the products are immediately in my cart and the next, I’ll see a cute memory of my kids as babies, smiling, cooing and doing all of the “perfect baby things” pop up on my photo sharing app and I’m instantly laughing at my husband’s jokes and asking him if we should go “on vacation” sometime soon. I’m impressionable to say the least, but the nostalgia I feel every time I see these photos of my sweet babies in earlier stages sends a signal to my brain that says “…you should like, totally have another baby” and, well, a few times I’ve gone for it.

Before I go any further, let me JUST say, there is nothing I love more in my life than my OWN little ankle biters, better known as my three children, and I prayed for each of them. In fact, I could picture them before they were here. BUT, I’m not too proud to also say that the timing of their entrance into this world is partially thanks to the technology we all carry around in our pockets every day. Would I change that? Not a chance. But, could I have used a disclaimer kind of like those animal rights activists were requesting before downloading the Google Photos app that said something along the lines of “the images we will be serving up from your past may cause baby fever and the only prescription is more cowbell to spread those legs, girl?” I mean, sure? Because baby fever hits me quick and it hits me hard, and history has proven I haven’t put up much of a fight when it enters the ring.

The truth is, nothing can prepare a person for how fast these kids grow up. Not the baby books. Not Aunt Susan saying, “it all goes so fast”. Not even experiencing it yourself from child to child. So, when those sweet memories pop up and the nostalgia hits you right square in the face, it’s hard not to want to relive it all again. That being said, the memories we see ARE always sweet, right? Of course they are! Just like those damn puppies in the movie. They only showed the sweet moments – not the ripped up sandals on the floor. And we do the same thing to ourselves. We don’t think to whip out our phones and take a picture when our kid is throwing a tantrum on the way to daycare because he is missing the sock ingredient to his favorite “socks with Crocs” ensemble. And we definitely think, “OH, I should be recording this” when you’re covered in their vomit at 2 am on Christmas Eve. But, that’s okay. I’m glad those sweet memories exist and I’m glad I picked up my phone when I got the “Your Memories Spotlight” notification in February of 2018 and October 2022. I’m glad I was lucky enough to have the sweetest little boy to have those *perfect* images of.

So, while I highly doubt Google knew it was getting women all over the world pregnant indirectly (or, hell, maybe it did, you can’t trust Big Tech), I’m sure glad it caught me in my “vulnerable” moments, because look what I have now. It may not always be picture perfect, but it’s perfect for me.

A Thank You to Our Home

I want to start out by saying, “I know”. I KNOW you’re not supposed to get attached to material things. But as much as I know that, and even sometimes preach about it to my kids like one of those moms, at this moment, I don’t care.

Tonight is one of the last nights our family will be spending our very first home. The same home my husband and I bought right after we got married and definitely didn’t spend enough time touring before we signed the papers. The home I declared was, “probably too small to be a ‘family home’” about two weeks after we moved in. The same home we recruited our families to and convinced to spend an entire weekend building a fence for just so we could provide a safe home for the dog I convinced my husband into letting us adopt. The very same home that lent the perfect amount of comfort and distance when we experienced a quiet and difficult loss together. And, the same home that proved me wrong when it welcomed us back with love and acceptance as we walked through the door scared and nervous after evolving from “couple” to “parents”, first as a family of three and again a couple years later as a family of four. 

And now we have to say goodbye.

If you can’t tell by now, I’m not emotionally (or physically, for that matter) ready to move out of this place. Okay, that’s dramatic. I am ready. It was mostly my idea to leave, and yes, the date has been on my calendar for months, but now that the time has come, I’m feeling every single emotion that exists. This house has seen me at my best. It’s seen me at my worst. And it has allowed us to fill every inch of this place with our things, our chaos and our love.

So, before we leave for good and are off to our next adventure, I want to say thank you to the home that has watched us all grow up. 

Thank you to our house, for providing the perfect view, allowing me to watch my husband transform from a trusted partner into the most wonderful father and my children from infants who needed me at every second grow into two perfectly independent little boys. 

Thank you for the judgment-free kitchen that witnessed me make and own up to mistakes in recipes, dance moves and decisions in life.

Thank you to our home for providing a floor that was somehow sturdy and soft enough to give my baby boys the confidence to take their first steps.

Thank you to our home, for the roof that kept us all safe, sheltered and at times, kept us grounded.

Thank you for the strong walls of support for times of weakness when each of us just needed someone to lean on.

Thank you to our home for not ratting us out when we decided to cancel plans and just stay in and enjoy the quiet. I appreciate that you know how hard being social can be.

Thank you to our home for never quite being perfectly tidy. Proudly showing off a tiny handprint here or a toy truck shoved into a plant there, to remind me that I have so much to be grateful for outside of an unrealistically clean house. 

Thank you to our home for magically expanding to fit all of us when our family grew, and grew….and grew.

Thank you to our home for being the perfect landing pad for each of us when we came back down to earth from our crazy worlds. Welcoming us each back with our own special routines and spots of comfort to laugh in, cry in and be together in.

And finally, thank you to our home for selflessly showing us subtle signs and letting us know it was okay to take the next step into our future together, even if it meant leaving you, our special first home, behind.

Thank you to our first home. I’ll never stop being grateful for the lessons you taught me and the growth you allowed us all to experience – never stepping in to correct us, even when you could have (and maybe should have) more than once. We’ll miss you so much.

The Thin Mints Are Just As Sweet

As I was plowing through my first box of Thin Mints of the long-awaited Girl Scout Cookie season, I couldn’t help but wonder: is it just me, or did Thin Mints taste better about 20 years ago? Then, as I thought even harder (scary, I know), I had to ask myself, “OR, has becoming a real ‘grown up’ just made me so jaded that I can’t even enjoy the taste of a crispy chocolate wafer dipped in a mint fudge coating like I used to??”

Even though it’s awfully deep for a Wednesday, I’m going with the latter, because it’s going to help me prove a point.

As I look back to when I was a kid, I remember the sun shining brighter, the summers lasting longer, the hugs feeling tighter and the lemonade tasting sweeter than it could ever taste now. Now, part of that was probably all of the real sugar I allowed myself to have back then, but still.

But, something I’ve noticed, especially lately, is that memories have a sneaky way of toying with our thoughts and our emotions. When we take an inventory of all of the experiences we’ve ever had in all of our years on earth, USUALLY the most beautiful ones float to the top. It’s how humans are wired. It’s biology. It’s what keeps us coming back for more every day and not locked inside our houses afraid to make another awkward encounter with your next door neighbor like you did last week. Memories, and the way our brains preserve the “special” ones, can be a very beautiful thing. But, (I know, the dreaded but,) they can also have a way of gaslighting us into thinking less of our current selves, which, dear reader, is bullshit.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of mental auditing about where I am versus where I “should be”. To be perfectly honest, I’m a bit of a mess. I’m overwhelmed with recent decisions I’ve made and I’m constantly questioning whether those decisions were the right ones. Newsflash to me and everyone reading this: they definitely were, I’m just a classic over-thinker. ANYWAY, as I’ve been going through my mental audit, I find myself looking back and retracing my steps to see if I’m even on the right path, or if I got lost in the woods somewhere along the way. I’ve been comparing my current self to a past version of me who was “more fun”, a “better writer”, was more “motivated” and had “bigger goals”. My apologies for all of the quotations, but I don’t usually use them unless I’m doing a Chris Farley as Bennet Brauer impression, which I happen to be doing right now.

Bennett Brauer SNL

My memories of past self, especially as I compare them to my current self, which I am pretty critical of (in a mostly healthy way), look wildly different from each other. Taking a quick glance into the rearview mirror, past me does look more fun, more fit, more alive and more driven. But, deep down I know if I actually turn this car around and pay a visit to that girl, there is much, much more than meets the eye. I WAS that girl. She was a mess (no offense past me), and I KNOW how she was feeling. I also know that I am so extremely proud of her for all of the growing up she’s done. And I KNOW she’d be proud of me for everything I’ve accomplished since I’ve left her. There are stories the picture in the rearview mirror simply can’t begin to tell.

Even in motherhood, I find my own memories gaslighting me into thinking I could be doing things better. Any time I am struck with a serious case of baby fever, or the memory of one of my sweet babies as a newborn pops into my head, all my brain will let me remember are their milk drunk smiles, their chunky thighs and the way they fit perfectly onto my chest during lazy afternoons sitting at home on maternity leave. And of course, for all of the sweet memories it allows me to remember, there are double, maybe even triple, the amount of memories it is trying to block from me. The sleepless nights, the painful boobs I did NOT see coming, and the severe anxiety that kept me from feeling like myself for months. It’s all right there, hiding in plain sight amongst those sweet memories that are displayed in beautiful gold frames sitting neatly on a freshly dusted shelf.

While I know our brains are built to protect us from those experiences, to revisit them can be such a great reminder of the hard things we are capable of overcoming and the tremendous growth we’ve experienced. Remembering it all: the good, the bad AND the ugly, prove to us that we can get through anything, and we can get through it again, especially if it’s a baby who’s on his or her way in July. Surprise!

Most importantly, though, the person we are today is a product of every experience we’ve had, even the bad ones, which is pretty damn beautiful if you ask me.

So, even though earlier me said the Thin Mints may have tasted better 20 years ago, I think I really just allowed myself to fully enjoy them back then, and I’m going to do the same right now. I deserve it.

Yep. Just as I thought. These Thin Mints are just as sweet…Come to think of it, they might even be a little bit sweeter.


I have to tell you that lately I’ve been feeling conflicted. Torn in half. Pulled in two completely different directions. 

I don’t know how else to describe it other than using a food related metaphor, so if you’re hungry, you might want to grab a snack, because this could trigger a craving. 

Ready? Let’s go.

You know when you’re at a really fancy restaurant and you have your eye on two completely different entrees that you really, really want, so you sit there in a half panic hoping the server won’t come back because you’re not sure what to go with, but she eventually does because she’s great at her job and then you’re put on the spot to order, so you think to yourself, “to hell with it, I’m an adult, this is a special occasion, I’ll just order both!”, and then you do, and at first you’re really happy because this food is GOOD and then you start to get full and feel a little…uncomfortable, confused and sweaty? 

I’ve been feeling kind of like that.

Some might call this a mid-life crisis, and to that I say, “go to hell, I’m only 34”. Others might say it has something to do with astrology, or the new moon, or the zodiac or whatever, and if that’s the case, well, let’s just say reading my horoscope in Cosmo never prepared me for this feeling and I feel a bit cheated. 

To any parent reading this, you won’t be surprised when I say that the area I’m feeling the internal tug-of-war the most is around my “title”. Who am I, really? Well, let’s break it down. First and foremost, I’m a wife and mom. That’s pretty simple. Then, let’s go one layer deeper. I’m a wife of a working husband and I’m a working mom of two. Sometimes I wear that title, “working mom”, with pride. Sometimes, for only reasons that I can blame on society, I even wear it with a touch of cockiness. But other times, and lately, a lot of the times, I wear it with a feeling of extreme and overwhelming guilt. And THAT, my friends, is where the tug-of-war begins.

Growing up, in movies and on tv, and even in our own personal experiences, we (as in ALL of us) were introduced to two separate female characters. The first is Mom™. Mom is happy, positive, cheerful and always busy. She’s taking care of the kids, her husband, the home and dang it, she even spoils the dog! She’s always put together, even while wiping down countertops with a baby on her hip. And boy, when mom makes a joke, us in the audience give her a soft chuckle. We love mom. Some of us even want to be Mom someday.

Then there’s THE BUSINESS WOMAN™. The business woman is a badass who is respected by everyone she works with. She doesn’t take shit from anyone and makes things happen by delegating to her team and is the most organized person you’ve ever seen. She is perfectly manicured and smart, decisive and direct. THE BUSINESS WOMAN is someone many aspire to be, but few achieve. When THE BUSINESS WOMAN talks, everyone listens. All of us secretly want to be The Business Woman someday. She’s a real one. 

Two very different characters whose narratives never, ever cross. That’s what we’re used to seeing, right? 

Then one day, Millennial Mom comes on scene. Millennial Mom is a bit of a hybrid model. Half Mom, half THE BUSINESS WOMAN and most days, she’s not sure which way is up. Her programming tells her she has to be the best mom ever, while also excelling at her job and impressing every single person around her, whether she’s at home or in the boardroom. Millennial Mom can be compared to one of those hypoallergenic dogs, let’s say, a Golden Doodle. Some days she feels the urge to nurture and play like a loyal Golden Retriever and other days she just wants to look pretty and impress everyone with her intelligence, like a prize winning Poodle. And some days, having to choose which one to be makes her feel like just a downright bitch.

If I haven’t introduced myself yet, hi, I’m Millennial Mom. I’m conflicted about pretty much everything. Like a lot of women my age, I chose both entrees at the restaurant, and like I mentioned above, I’m a “working mom”. First of all, what a bullshit title. I cringe at myself any time I’ve used that with any sort of arrogance in my voice. And believe me, I have. To make myself feel better in times of extreme doubt and internal conflict, I’ve leaned into that title and worn it as some sort of armor in an attempt to temporarily elevate myself. If I ever said it to you, I’m truly sorry.

I am fully aware all moms are working moms and any title that entertains the idea of comparing parents who work inside the home vs outside the home can kindly see their way out. That being said, as a parent who works outside the home, I like to play a fun game with myself daily about whether I’m doing the right thing. Deep down, I know I am. By working, I’m helping to provide for my family, I’m letting my children experience daycare/preschool where they’re learning, growing and building social skills, and I’m in a job that allows me to truly do what I love with people I adore. But that doesn’t stop the doubt. Maybe my kids want to see me for more than an hour in the morning and a couple of hours at night. Maybe I should be teaching them the important skills they’ll take with them later in life, so they remember their mom as more than just the lady who gives good hugs, but sits on her computer a lot at night to catch up on work. Maybe? 

But maybe it’s time I drop the idea of having to pick one or the other, or even the idea of trying to be the best at both at the same time. As someone who wants to be the best at things and has a lot of my value wrapped up in my production, this is hard – but maybe it’s time to give myself some grace. Maybe I should slow down. Maybe we all should? Maybe it’s time I just lean into the version of myself I know the people around me need. The version who does my best in all areas of my life when I’m able to, and the version who won’t end up in any history books for being the best at either (even though I have the perfect picture in mind, just in case) but will be remembered as someone who worked hard and did her best to take care of her family, her friends and her team. Maybe we can make a deal with ourselves and each other that we’ll work on this. Maybe the characters we were introduced to as kids and whose narratives we were continued to be fed as we grew up will morph into someone a little more relatable and realistic. Maybe the doubt will still creep in, and maybe eventually it’ll slow down. Maybe it will, and maybe it won’t. All I know is, my arms are tired from playing tug-of-war, and ever since I mentioned that fancy restaurant earlier, I’m feeling pretty hungry, so I need to go take care of that. 

Good luck, I think maybe we can do this.

Til next time.



Tailgating Essentials

Happy Fall, everyone! 

Fall is the best time of year, because it has everything I could ever want in a season. For instance, over there you have crockpot meals! Just right there you have leaves doing their yearly “glow up”. Over here you have a nice display of cardigans, so soft you could bury your face in them. And right here, you have college football. Breathe it in, folks. It’ll leave us just as quickly as it arrived.

Notice how I didn’t say anything about pumpkin patches. It is my personal belief that pumpkin patches are a waste of perfectly good sanity. Sanity you’ll need later in life for when your kids are trying to drive you to the point of no return by playing the Blippi theme song over and over and over again. In fact, the only thing I remember about our trip to the pumpkin patch last year was the argument my husband and I had on the way to the pumpkin patch about going to the damn pumpkin patch. Not only that, none of the photos I posted at the pumpkin patch landed me a spot on the Pinterest homepage or shot me to Instagram fame like I intended. The pumpkin patch is dead to me. The cider donuts slap, though.

But, back to college football, shall we?! The Eddie home happens to be a house divided, with yours truly rooting on the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and my husband, Geoff, a dedicated fan of the Iowa State Cyclones. It may be interesting for you to learn that we both attended Iowa’s third University, the University of Northern Iowa. So, yes, we need to get our priorities in check. Thank goodness our kids look great in both team’s apparel, because that was going to be the deciding factor on whose team really reigns supreme.

Last weekend, to celebrate my 34th birthday (wow, I haven’t typed that number out, yet), Geoff and I went to Iowa City to cheer on the Hawkeyes. Most importantly, though, went to Iowa City to tailgate. Now, I haven’t really tailgated in years, but back in my prime, and I don’t want to brag, I knew how to ruin a good tailgate. I got started too early and I went too late, and that’s all we need to say about that. BUT, now that I’m a mostly mature parent, I knew I needed to come in prepared for a long day, so prepared we came.

When you really boil it all down, to have a good time tailgating, you need a couple things (besides beer and brats):

  1. A “Can Do” Attitude, because there’s about to be a lot of eating, drinking and walking, and in order to have a really good time, you’ll be required to do all three
  1. A Portable Cooler, because of point #1

Now, I know you’re used to my ramblings and not me making listacles of shit you should buy, BUT, I’m trying something a little new here so, bear with me. Or don’t! That’s up to you, pal!

Some of these things make great gifts and others are just stuff you should have on hand to make your life easier in your day to day. So, enjoy? Or, don’t!

Tailgating Essentials

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen

Before you head out for a fun day of tailgating in the sun, you first need to take care of that skin, baby! This sunscreen has seriously changed my life over the past two years. I understand that sounds dramatic, but, as I’ve gotten older I’ve developed a sensitivity to Mr. Golden Sun’s rays and the results are less than ideal. This is the ONLY product I’ve found that works to block out everything, ensuring my skin doesn’t break out after sun exposure. Even if you don’t have a sun sensitivity, you need to give this a chance. It goes on clear and doesn’t have that usual sunscreen smell. It can go on under makeup and lasts hours!

Ice Mule Backpack Cooler

I don’t want to say this cooler saved our marriage, but this cooler saved our marriage. Just kidding. Kind of. I bought this cooler for my husband for his birthday this summer and it’s been a staple to our weekends ever since. It fits everything you need, from snacks to bottles of water to, yes, multiple cans of beer, and is convenient as HECK. You carry it like a backpack, and by you, I definitely mean your partner, which leaves two open hands for giving you back massages or playing you a love song on a piano.

This big guy would make a great gift for Christmas or birthdays, because who doesn’t want to carry around their family’s snacks on their backs?! 

Silicone BPA Free Reusable Storage Bags

These little things have come in clutch more times than I can count, and work perfectly to throw into the backpack cooler I linked above! I love these things for storing snacks and packing lunches. Seal ‘em up real tight and they’re fine to hang out in a cooler or freezer! I love that they cut down on waste and are completely safe to be used again and again. Their only downfall is that they aren’t dishwasher safe, but, the best things in life aren’t, ya know?

Carhartt Crossbody/Fanny Pack

If you’re tailgating, you need to travel light. Especially if you intend on heading inside the stadium, you need to keep your personal belongings to a minimum. On a normal day, I’m very Pro-Carhartt. Maybe it’s because I want to to move to a nice acreage and raise goats from here on out, or it could just because their women’s line is >>insert fire emoji here <<. So sure, I was already a fan, but when Carhartt starting introducing bags and purses, I became a full blown groupie. This crossbody bag/fanny pack can fit your necessities, and is super cute. It should be small enough to be allowed in most stadiums, but ALWAYS check the stadium rules ahead of time so you don’t have to throw it in the purse pile outside of the gates. Been there, cried over that. Carhartt has tons of sizes and colors to choose from, but this one is the best for tailgating, IMHO! This would also make a great gift, and I’ve already bought a couple to gift at Christmas! 

(Item pictured below is actually the Sling Backpack, but I think the fanny pack would work better for tailgating)

Bombas Socks

We’ve covered the eating, we’ve covered the drinking, but we haven’t quite covered the walking. Regardless of the footwear you land on (I’ve learned it’s comfort over fashion in times like these), these socks will take care of you. Yes, they’re pricey for socks, and yes I was skeptical, too, but one lap around the tailgate in these puppies and my feet were singing like angels. They are really like little hugs for your feet! These socks are the real deal, and I’m not sure on the science, but I think they somehow figured out how to weave tiny pieces of clouds into the fabric. Wild. You won’t regret it.

So that’s it! That’s the list! I actually quite enjoyed that, and I hope you did, too!

My next blog will probably be BAU (business as usual) and cover all kinds of things from true crime to nipple talk, so get ready!

Til next time, xoxoxo!


Friday Shorty | Learning

Isn’t it funny the subjects we become experts on once we become parents? For instance, I’m currently an expert in the heavy equipment industry. Show me a piece of equipment, I can rattle off the name, the year it was made, what attachments it has and the EPA category it’s in. Little boys have a way of making sure you know this kind of important information, and if you get it twisted, be prepared for an earful, because that’s rookie behavior and we don’t win championships with a team full of rookies who mix up excavators with tractors. Damn, girl!

Aside from excavators and front loaders, I also fancy myself a fruit snack connoisseur. In my opinion, there are three big things you should consider when picking out the perfect fruit snack:

  1. Quantity in the Package
  2. Density of the Fruit Snack
  3. Shape of the Fruit Snack

The fruit snack I’ve found that checks all of these boxes (plus some), has to be Mott’s. Those little shits are good. If you’ve never been taken to Flavor Town by a Mott’s fruit snack, you’re missing out. It’s basically a Gusher™ without the questionable goop on the inside. And if you’ve never had a Gusher, well, sweetie, I simply can’t help you. You’re a lost cause.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “is she really writing a blog about fruit snacks?” and the answer is yes, I am. But, you’re one the reading it, so who’s the real dork here? Kidding. We’re both great. We’re thriving. Look at us! 

The point is, I’ve found myself shocked with the amount of learning that’s happened during this phase of my life. The phase, generally, being “Early Parenthood”. Early parenthood? Is that a thing? Whatever, it makes sense in my head. What I mean is, when I was pregnant, I learned new things every single day. For example, I learned the my nipples could grow to the size of frisbees and that getting your cervix checked felt like a medieval torture technique. When my kids were newborns, I learned the difference between their hungry cry and their “I’ve just ruined the third outfit you put on me with a massive blowout” cry. I also learned that pajamas with zippers are the only way to go and that the longest my youngest could ride in a carseat without summoning demons with his screams was approximately 24 minutes and 13.5 seconds. Now with two boys 3 and under, I learn something new every day. A lot about them and maybe even more about myself (like how my patience on the 3rd week of my cycle is dangerously low, but chocolate helps me cope).

But, the whole point of learning is to share your new knowledge, right? I’m pretty sure that’s the point. Hence the recommendations on the fruit snacks. I don’t do that for my health. No, really, I don’t. What I forgot to mention is those delicious little cuties are 80 calories per shot (I dump them into my mouth all at once like a shot) and unfortunately the scale reflects that.

As you may have noticed, I’m a big sharer of information. A lot of times, I’m a big sharer of too much information. Just ask my mom. Also, just ask my Twitter followers, and my husband, and my coworkers and that guy at Trader Joes last Wednesday. I’m sorry to all of you. But, I can’t help it. I hear something I think is interesting or “helpful”, and I share it. It’s called “advice”, look it up. Just kidding. But really, I think I do it because it’s how I prefer to learn. Hearing firsthand accounts from other people is pretty much how I know all of the things I know. From facts about UFOs to the best baby bottles, it’s wild, but true. I think it’s a millennial thing.

I remember when I was pregnant and my husband was reading a parenting book. I was so annoyed with him. Why would he read a book? Why couldn’t he just ask his cousin or mom or aunts about what it feels like when your mucus plug falls out or which nipple balm to use for breastfeeding? It seemed pretty easy to me. I get it now. That is how he prefers to learn. He’s fact based. He’s data driven. He’s….he’s smarter than me. Don’t tell him I said that.

I’m really thankful for all the learning I’ve been able to do over the past few years. Which really has nothing to do with me and everything to do with someone like you. I’m really thankful for all of the teaching people have done for me over the past few years. All of the people who have shared their experiences and their knowledge, especially about parenthood. All of it, and I mean all of it, has helped me so much on this ~*journey*~. From my best friend and I comparing pregnancies and the emotions that came with them, to my mom telling me how she felt the first time she looked at her first baby (no brag, but that was me!), to the stranger on the internet telling me which sleep sack helped her fussy baby sleep longer hours through the night. I took all of that information and advice and stored it away until I needed it. And sure enough, I have needed ALL of it at some point in time. I’m sure there’s some still shoved into the deepest parts of my brain (right next to my locker combo from 8th grade) that I haven’t needed yet, but will soon, and I’m so glad it’s there.

So, thank you, fellow oversharers. I’m so glad you told me about what kinds of pads to use after giving birth or how often to take the stool softeners. You might not know it, but you really saved my ass.

What was the best parenthood advice you’ve ever gotten? Share it below!

Friday Shorty

Hey everyone!

If you’re reading this, you survived the week. Good job, I’m proud of you. If you’re reading this in the morning, I hope your coffee is the *perfect* temperature for sipping. If it’s the evening, I hope your glass of white wine is so chilled that your glass is starting to sweat. And if you’re reading this at that awkward time in the afternoon where you’re not sure if you should go get a coffee or just start drinking wine, honey, I think you already know the answer. Go with Rosé, be basic. We love it.

I’m keeping today’s story short. Very short. A “shawty”, if you will. Full disclosure, I went looking for the rapper who coined the term “shawty” and stumbled upon this random ass article written by a high schooler for the Burlington County Times! While the source of such an article was a bit startling, I love the dedication to research and I feel more connected to the youth than ever before, which is important to me. Enjoy! (After you read this post, of course!)

Back to the story. You know, the one that was supposed to be short, and then I got distracted by the word…”short”? Yeesh. I pulled this story from my Twitter account. My Twitter account, right or wrong, is my online diary. I use it too often and share too much, but it’s therapeutic, so please, stop your judging. And because I use Twitter too often, I thought it would be fun to share some of those thoughts here, much like I do on my Instagram account. Why not share the madness a little bit further into the internet? My kids will be so proud when they find this in 20 years.

Maybe it’s because I’m entering the 3rd week of my cycle and I tend to get annoyingly philosophical during that time, or maybe it’s because I’m getting older and maturity has snuck up on me and taken up residence in the part of my brain that was saving useless knowledge, like the lyrics to all of the songs on the Savage Garden CD or the combination to my locker in 8th grade. Regardless of the reason, I’ve been thinking about the things that really matter lately. The things we can touch and feel and hug. The people and the places and the experiences that matter. The other stuff? It’s just that. Distracting, shiny…STUFF.

The other day while out for a jog. Okay, walk. I was walking. I came to a realization…

(Story pulled from my Twitter account (@koshiz):

There’s an older man that lives on my walking route and I always see him outside with his pup. I have always just assumed he was living alone because he’s the only one I ever see. Now, I don’t know about you, but that makes me sad. I hold a special place in my heart for older people. They’ve done some stuff and they’ve seen some stuff and they deserve only happiness! Anyway, the other evening while I was out for my walk, I noticed the older man was setting stuff out for a garage sale. My heart sank. I used the information I was given and I decided he was finally selling all of his wife’s stuff and making room for all of his collections of war stuff and bowling trophies, as men of any age do when their wives pass away.

I thought about him all night. I felt so bad for him, I mean, he was certainly lonely living in that house with his Goldendoodle that barks too much, right? So, the next day, I braced myself as I was getting ready to turn the corner to his house. My heart couldn’t stand the thought of seeing him sit there in an old lawn chair selling all of his wife’s Avon perfumes and floral blouses. So, you can imagine how shocked I was when I saw his FULLY ALIVE wife sitting next to him! Sitting there in a God damn floral blouse! I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy. Literally so happy I actually cried.

I had become so invested in this man’s story (which I completely made up based on little fact and shows I’ve seen on NBC, cough THIS IS US, cough) that I cried. For all I know, those two people were newlyweds selling all of her loser ex-husband’s shit to help pay for a honeymoon to Hawaii!

Anyway. The moral of the story is: don’t assume, it can cause you grief you don’t need in your life. And grief, especially unnecessary grief, isn’t any fun at all.

The other moral, and this may be even more important than the first: It’s totally fine to stay inside in the air conditioning and let your husband do all of the outside chores. In fact, you might just make someone’s day when you decide to waddle your old ass outside again.

The end.

So, that’s the post. Pretty short, right? No? Sorry. Twitter makes us keep it short. It’s like they don’t even CARE that we are long winded and get caught up in the details. Pretty rude, yet effective. I’m an assumer, so I’m going to take my own advice. If for no other reason, I think in the long run, it’ll help with the wrinkles, and at this point, I’ll try anything.

I hope you have a great weekend. If you catch yourself assuming, knock it off. You’re too cool for that shit.

Cringetown, USA

Do you ever cringe when you think about something you’ve said or done? I do it all the time. On the conservative side, I’d say probably 10-15 times a day. My brain really just serves as a catalog of awkward encounters or embarrassing displays I’ve put on over the years, with the occasional movie quote sprinkled here and there. Conveniently for me, this means I have plenty of material to reflect on anytime I’m just trying to have a nice, quiet moment to myself. Thanks, brain.

If you’re thinking, “oh, it can’t be that bad!”, let me introduce you to a few highlights my memory enjoys torturing me with constantly:

This One Time At Bible Camp: 
It was the summer before 5th grade and my parents sent me off to Bible Camp. I straight up did not have a good time and obsessively called home every single day, using 1-800-Collect like some sort of inmate who swore by their innocence, and BEGGED to be picked up. I faked wasp stings, I invented illnesses, I was awful to my camp counselor. I was cringey as hell. AND I didn’t get picked up early? Mom.

Kissing Cousins:
Long story short, a hug went wrong at a family member’s graduation party and I accidentally brushed lips with a much older, unnamed second cousin. I didn’t even have any alcohol in my system to soften the blow. Cringe level 100%

No specific incident, just, the whole time in general. Every interaction. In fact, to this day, I can’t even look a person who I attended college with in the eye without giving a general apology for my behavior first. I was a real…handful. The whole college experience, one big cringe. 

So, now that you feel better about yourself. Let’s move on.

In life, we have so many versions of ourselves. Heck, in one short phase of life we can have multiple versions of ourselves. That’s what it’s all about, right? Changing and evolving as life throws different challenges and banana peels your way. We have to do what we have to do. Sometimes that means looking back and not loving some of the versions of ourselves we once were. Again, I have plenty of examples, but I’ve given you enough for today. I need you to remember me as the angelic, pure, hilarious, beautiful version that I am today…*coughs*…right? JUST KIDDING. Stop!

I have found, however, that I’ve landed on a version of myself that I can truly get down with. I’m sure there are a lot of factors that go into this version of me, but I know without a doubt, the biggest ingredient to the recipe, is the big M. 

MASKS…they hide all of the…wait no, that’s not right.

MOTHERHOOD. That’s it, there we go! Motherhood. I’m a mom and I love being a mom. I love that I’ve been forced to do the hard stuff. I love that I have people who need me. I love that I’ve found a version of myself that I can look back on and not have any moments I actually cringe about. Now, do not misinterpret that for me saying motherhood is easy and beautiful and perfect OR that motherhood is the only job that requires these skills. I am absolutely and would never (are you kidding me?) say that. I had to endure chapped nipples, wear an actual diaper and lose half of my hair to earn this title, but, I am saying I would never look back, even on the hardest days, and cringe. This shit right here? It’s hard. Any decision, action, word or thought I’ve had as a parent represents growth in one way or another, and growth should never be cringed at. Remember that, please, for yourself and when you catch a glimpse of a fellow parent during a moment of weakness.

So, yeah. This version of myself does love being a mom. But, there was a version of myself, LONG before (and to be honest, NOT so long before) kids where I did not want to do it. I didn’t want to do it for the same reason I currently don’t want to run a marathon. I knew it would test me mentally, it would definitely push me physically, there’s a good chance I could shit my pants in the middle of it, and worst of all…I could fail.

But, here we are. Two kids and a raging case of baby fever later, and I love it. I love that it tests me mentally every day and I’ve had to think of creative ways to replace curse words in sentences, I look at a body in the mirror I don’t really recognize and KNOW it’s pushed me physically, I am extremely proud to say I haven’t shit my pants….yet and I continue to fail…and grow, daily. I am not saying it’s for everyone, but it’s definitely for me, and I’m so proud of the version I am today because of it.

So, while there still may be some people from college that I owe apologies to (requests for said apologies can be sent to, I know that unless I drink a bottle of UV Blue and have access to a Motorola Razr, I won’t have too many cringey moments in the near future, and I can thank motherhood for that.

A Story About a Dog

Dogs, man. They’re great.

I’ve always been a dog person. It’s actually one of my better qualities. Quite honestly, at the risk of sounding like one of those stupid tshirts you see on Instagram, I really do think there are two kinds of people in this world: dog people and wrong people. Don’t get mixed up with wrong people, they probably prefer How I Met Your Mother over Friends and say “dinner” instead of “supper”. Yikes. Gotta watch out for them.

Back to dogs. I have a personal theory that millennials like myself (no brag), who were assigned to read “Where the Red Fern Grows” in high school English class hold dogs at a higher regard than maybe anyone else. First of all, it’s never fun being assigned a reading lesson, but that’s life, right? But this one feels different! It’s about dogs, so it must be good. We start reading a few pages and BAM, we’re hooked. It’s a light-hearted read about a boy and his pups, this is great, wholesome, even. We can get into this, no biggie and OHMYGOD. What? Why? Those poor dogs were put through the ringer and that boy? He saw some shit to say the very least. When we finally put that book down and wiped our tears, we were left with some light trauma and a newfound respect for our own little ankle biters. We often wondered, if ever put in the situation, would our own pets risk their furry little lives for us? Probably not, but maybe. Dogs, man. They’re great!

If you’ve stuck with me this far, you may be wondering to yourself, “is she really just going to go on and on about dogs?”, and the answer is yes, yes I am. Something has been pulling at my heart lately, and that is the memory of my sweet pup, Lulu. So, I think I need to tell you about her and what she meant to me. So, this is a story about a dog.

The year was 2017…just kidding I’m not going to be that dramatic. But, really, it was 2017 and my husband, Geoff and I had finally decided after a few years of marriage, and many boozy weekends full of late nights and random plans, we were going to start a family. For so long it had just been the two of us, and our good boy, Bash. One morning, with shaking hands covered in my own urine, holding a stick made of plastic, I excitedly gave Geoff the news, we were pregnant. We were thrilled, we were going to be parents, and there was SO much to look forward to. And then as quickly as our excitement came, sadness knocked on the door and let itself in to settle deep in our bones. Fate had other plans, and our hearts were broken. It’s a helpless feeling, and I’m sure many of you reading this are familiar with it.

To distract myself, I put my energy into work and ran the occasional online “dog search” at the local shelters in the area…ya know, just to browse. During one of these harmless browsing sessions, one little white dog named Lily caught my attention. She looked familiar to me. First, because she was another Clumber Spaniel, just like Bash, and second because I had seen her a few different times in the months prior and even filled out a form to meet her, but had heard nothing. Apparently, this little dog didn’t always have the best attitude and had found herself in and out of several homes over the past months and was back at the shelter. Seeing her this time felt different for some reason, and I immediately scheduled a time to go meet her. And meet her I did. She cowered in her cage, her white fur stained from not letting anyone get close enough to give her the attention she needed. She had an unsure look in her eye and immediately growled at my husband. I was sold. She was going to be mine. After a successful meeting with Bash, Lulu got to come home to her forever home. As they handed over her leash, the people at the shelter warned me several times that she didn’t have a great attitude, didn’t love men, would occasionally growl and informed me the reason for being sent back to the shelter from ONE of the several homes was for an attempted bite. GREAT.

But, this dog and I, for whatever reason, I’ll call it fate, bonded immediately. She loved me and I loved her. I really believe we were meant to meet. Every minute she could spend close to me, she would. She couldn’t ever quite get close enough to me, it seemed. She’d nuzzle in and nestle into me, almost like she was trying to find that sad feeling that was buried deep and pull it out of me. Again with the drama, I know, but it was true. She’d get SO excited when I’d come home from work, that she’d drop her ass wherever she was and pee out of pure joy. I quickly learned that using sweet baby talk with her upon entering the house only made this worse, so I had to resort to a monotone “oh, hello”, like how two men during a business deal would greet one another.

Never in her short life had she gotten the kind of attention she received at our house. She had a playmate and companion in Bash, someone to truly love her and give her time and patience in me, and someone to growl at for absolutely no reason in my husband. I loved every side of her and was so happy to be able to give her the warm bed, the treats and the attention she (and every dog) deserved.

A few months later, we were pregnant again. This time, with our sweet boy, Hayes. I think she knew it even before I did. Instead of me trying to calm her nerves like I had been doing for months, she stepped in and helped calm mine. She distracted me and helped me focus on the good. She was becoming more gentle and more curious as my body grew. The night before we left to meet our precious boy, I sat her and Bash both in my lap and told them what good dogs they were. I thanked Lulu especially for healing something inside of me and distracting me from the hurt I had felt before I met her. She had helped me in so many ways and I felt lucky to have been given the chance to help her, too.

She was skeptical to say the least when we brought Hayes home, but warmed up quickly. She let him crawl and poke and pick when he started to get older, and bless her heart, only lost her patience with him a couple times. On walks, she’d act protective of him. I don’t know how many little kids that pup almost took out, but thankfully, my reflexes were still pretty quick at that time, and no children were harmed.

A day before Hayes’ first birthday, we found out we were pregnant again. Again, nerves entered, but I felt more confident this time. I didn’t know how we were going to raise two babies and two dogs in our home, but I knew we would figure it out. We were a big team and we were just about to add another teammate.

A week before our second baby, Cash, was born, something was different in Lulu. She was still happy, but had slowed down, and I could tell she just didn’t feel good. We took her in and our vet just wasn’t sure what was going on. Determined to find an answer, we took her to another vet, and again, nobody was really quite sure. I was days from bringing home my second baby, but all I could think about was this dog who was so important to me. We had her admitted and I’d spend my lunch hours going to see her. I held her and kissed her and told her I needed her to come home, but something in her eyes told me to prepare myself. A couple more days and still there was no improvement, and it was time to make the hardest decision my husband and I have ever had to make. The day before we said “hello” to our newest member of our family, we were going to have to say “goodbye” to another member. The timing felt lazy, like whoever had written this into the plan didn’t really think it through and I was so angry. I spent some time with her that day, and again, she nestled in so close to me. I swear I felt her tell me it was okay. The job she had come to do was over and it was okay that I let her go.

Saying goodbye to her reminded me of the sadness I felt in months prior to meeting her, but something was different this time. The sadness had a sense of peace with it. She was gone, but I still felt her, almost as if she was just on the other side of an invisible curtain. Some days, I still feel her and I’m reminded of how great she was. I may have taught her how to “sit”, “roll over” and “don’t pee on the carpet, please, please, please”, but that little shelter dog taught me patience, calmness and unconditional love. She prepared me to be a mother. And I’ll forever be grateful for that.

Dogs, man. They’re great.

Only Judy Can Judge Me

“It’s fine, I’m still cool. It’s COOL to care about your health!”, I told myself earlier today as I Googled “best colon cleansers 2021” knowing full well I am in fact, NOT cool. It’s alright, though. I have other redeeming qualities that nobody can take away from me, like how to do the Cupid Shuffle and knowing most of the lyrics to “Regulators”. It’s fine.

It’s kind of wild how fast it happens. One minute you’re in the know with all things pop culture, rattling off the names of celebrity couples, eating in the newest restaurants in town and making playlists of the top pop hits and the next minute the only couple you can name is Melissa & Doug, you’re picking macaroni out of your hair while eating your toddler’s last cold chicken nugget, and the only songs you know are the title tracks from your kids’ favorite cartoons (Puppy Dog Pals on repeat). Life comes at you fast, but that parental out-of-touch fog comes faster.

I remember how judgey I used to be about parents before I was one. The first time I saw a kid on a tablet while out to eat with his parents, I rolled my eyes and judged quietly to myself. Any time I saw or heard a child throwing a fit in Target, I felt so bad for the little nugget, as Target is a vacation destination and no place for unevolved little humans. After having kids, though, everything changed. Aside from the new set of long boobs I left the hospital with, the built in fanny pack with all of the storage, but none of the zippers, accompanied by the absolutely no sleep thing, an empathy switch was flipped and I saw everything, and I mean everything, through a new lens. After I became a parent, and I was walking through life questioning literally every decision I was making, I remembered back to that kid at the restaurant with the tablet and I remember CLEARLY, he wasn’t making a peep. Just eyeballs deep in an episode of Paw Patrol letting his parents enjoy a nice fried cheese appetizer and each other’s company. Those kids throwing fits in Target no longer receive any of my sympathy, because all it goes to their parent, who is just trying to browse the Hearth and Home by Magnolia section without their offspring losing their damn minds over not being able to take a sip of the gallon of milk that’s riding shot gun with them in the cart. Parenting, friends, ain’t no walk in the park. And even if it were, I would still tell you to bring along some type of mobile device loaded with cartoons, because sometimes walks in the park are even hard.

Even after I became a mom and dismounted from my high horse, I still sometimes felt myself acting a little too cocky. I remember vividly being out in public about a year ago (when being in public was still a thing you could do) and hearing a mom having a sweet and calm conversation with her son that went something like this: “Look what I got you, Henry! It’s a behavior chart!” And while I can’t be positive, I’m pretty sure I heard little Henry say, “Oh, wow, f*ckin gweat”, under his breath. I honestly didn’t blame him. A behavior chart. Ha! What kind of absolute deviant would need one of those to keep them under control and what kind of parent would believe it would actually work?

Me. That’s who. And while the behavior chart I’m using is actually just a calendar from the dollar section at Target with a bunch of stars a couple sad faces drawn on with crayon, it’s a behavior chart nonetheless. Toddlers, man. I guess since shock collars are frowned upon/illegal, behavior charts are the next best thing. I never saw myself as a behavior chart mom, but I’m kind of loving it. Not only is it humbling, but, being the behavior chart owner gives a sense of power, and who doesn’t love that? 10/10 would recommend becoming a behavior chart mom, because apparently Henry’s mom knew what she was talking about and those things work. I think about her often and about what a jerk I was for thinking she was nuts.

After last week’s blog, I felt relieved to get a lot of that off my chest. I felt renewed, like I had just gone to confession, except I’m not Catholic and the only experience I have with Catholic confession is what I’ve seen on the movies, and those usually end up a little spicy, so maybe it wasn’t like that at all. I heard a lot of great feedback from a lot of great people letting me know they’ve been going through it, too, which served as another great reminder to leave the judging to Judy. Or God. Judge Judy and God, they’re really the only two you can trust. Regardless, just think twice. Trade in that high horse for a more practical ride, like a Keep Your Comments to Yourself Cadillac or a You Just Wait Yukon. Okay, those are a stretch, but you get what I mean.

Well, that’s enough out of me for this evening. If anyone has a good colon cleanse they can send my way, just holla atcha girl!