Sunday, December 15, 2013

the v word

this was always the plan...
 one girl...

one boy...

we'd always planned to have two, to replace ourselves in the world and then call it quits. there were a few moments there when finn was very small when we thought maybe it would just be one, but as time went on, our feelings changed and along came lorelei.

so here we are, a family of four. we're quickly approaching the end of the year, a year wherein "voluntary sterilization" is covered by our insurance company.

that's right, folks.
the v word...

i'm writing because i'm shocked - SHOCKED - by the reaction i've been getting to my sharing this information.
"ooh, TMI!"
"doesn't chad care that you're telling me this?"
"my husband refuses - he wants me to do it instead"

ok, people. first of all, no. chad does not care that i'm talking about this on the interweb. in fact, he doesn't care that i talk about it with anyone. neither of us can figure out what the big deal is. 
I PUSHED TWO PEOPLE OUT OF MY VAGINA, but we can't talk about an in-office appointment that takes 30 mintues and allows me to experience what it's like to be a single parent for 48 hours while my husband sits in bed, reading and watching the final battle scenes for every action movie from the last two decades (no, seriously, that's what he did).

WHAT is the big deal? are we really a society so attached to manhood that we can't talk about a simple procedure that puts men in a mild amount of discomfort (3 out of 10 at its words, according to chad) for a few days? compared to 18 months of pregnancy, not to mention two births and the battle to "get our bodies back", it seems like a small price to pay (and pay back your wife/partner!) to prevent further pregnancies.

funnily enough, we didn't get the "what if your kids die and you get divorced" talk - the only legitimate reason i could think of to pause in our decision to get done making babies. what IF? but neither of us is getting any younger and - much as we loooooooove them - babyhood is just something we'd like to put behind us. lorelei, at 5 months, is just getting super fun - those belly laughs are so addictive! 
but let's not sugar coat this - this parenting gig is HARD. really, really, really HARD. like, i've started going to therapy hard. 

we got what we wanted - who could ask for more than that?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

holy woah

OK, so I'm totally outing myself here - I said I wasn't going on Facebook for a week to get some stuff done around the house (you know, stuff I should totally be doing But then I saw this and reeeeaaaally wanted to share it (I'm a 5 by the way), so I logged in...what could ONE LITTLE SHARE do?
Well, then I realized I had a whole ton of notifications (what could it hurt to check my notifications???) and lo and behold, this popped up - time and time again on friends news feeds! Woah! Cool beans!
So then I started feeling guilty about not being here in a here you go - some cute pics of my kids. I've got a few posts started but not finished yet, so stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!

 sleeping really, this kid is an angel.

 a meeting of the minds at the candy store.
 SUCH a delightful, smiley girl.
my favorite new face.

Monday, November 11, 2013

halloween 2013

better late than never, right?
behold, the results of a year of pinterest lurking and a few late nights in the studio for mama drinking red wine and listening to good music. i could get used to this!
a terrifying finn-o-saurus
 and a dinosaur egg ;)

it was such a wild and windy night here that we only hit a few houses on our mad dash around this island trying to avoid rain drops, but finn had a great time and keeps talking about how he's going to "knock doors, TRICK OR TREAT!!!" again next year ;)
i was pleasantly surprised by the number of houses that had mom-approved offerings for this little lad - fruit gummy snacks, crackers and peanut butter, freshly baked cookies, and chocolate covered pretzels. daddy happily took care of all the hard core candy, but finn did get one lindt truffle to indulge in from go fish, our local toy/penny candy store where rachel was giving kiddos their choice of halloween goodies from her shop - quite the treat indeed.
i'm thinking the whole family might get themed up next year - but what costumes to choose? happy decisions i can spend all night contemplating.
hoping you had a scream of a time, too!  ;)

Friday, November 8, 2013

my son is a coaster thief.

Finn has some pretty weird habits.  
Fist of all, he steals things, most often coasters. Why coasters, you ask? Me, too.
He also steals other random, small things he has easy access to...
Actually, not always easy access. True story:
The other day, I brought in groceries from the car, as well as Lorelei in her car seat. I unbuckled Finn and left the door open for him so he could get out and come in by himself. I live on a dead end road and he is used to this little ritual. He even gets his door shut on the first try most of the time. 
This time, however, was different. 
Instead of exiting the car like a good little boy, Finn instead decided to close his door, climb into the front seat and push the "lock" button on the door, thus locking all the doors in the vehicle. 
Clever boy.
No big deal, I'll just go get my spare key from the basket in the mud room.
Yep, you guessed it. No key. 
I guess at this point, I should mention that, as I live on a small island and on a dead end road, I leave my keys in the car.
Yep, the car that is now locked with my son inside it. Super.
This wound up being much more of an emergency in my head than in reality, as it so happens that Finn is quite adept at understanding and following direction, so he was able to unlock the car without any trouble when I told him which button to press.
The question remains, though: where the h-e-double hockeysticks is my key (which it would cost several hundred dollars to replace, I might add).
Where, indeed?

Another case-in-point:

Finn loves to play behind the rack that holds all of my pots/pans/dry goods. Why? WHY? WHYYYY?
I guess I can kind of "get" this one - it's a space only he can fit into and it requires climbing, which is ever so fun and entertaining. But he gets stuck or "hurt" almost ever day - you'd think that would be a deterrent, but no. 

It seems Miss Lorelei is taking on her brothers strange self-harm habits and is currently sticking her fingers so far down her throat that she's gagging and choking herself.

I swear, if these kids outlive their toddler years, they definitely have some guardian angels on their sides.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I feel like this photo of Finn does well to illustrate how fast time is now going by - ZOOM. The first few months, heck YEAR of Finn's life certainly took its time, but now that he's 2, and with Lorelei such an easy baby, follows day follows day and sometimes I just want to hit a pause button.
PAUSE, baby girl! PAUSE! I just want to snuggle these little faces, but I also can't wait to see who they become.
There are days (like today) when I go from 8am to 7pm without snuggling them - it's crunch time around here, trying to get everything that can get done done before the snow starts flying (as it's already started to do in areas in Maine). I know it's not going to happen every day or every week. I just need to remember to make the most of the time I DO have with them now, because I'll never have these moments again.
Everything I do, I do for them...but a lot of the time, everything I do takes me away from them for longer than I'd like. It's a tricky balance, but balance it is.

Monday, October 28, 2013

the "g" word

guilt, guilt, guilt.

i guess a lot of parenting is about uncertainty and guilt. will i ever really believe that i'm doing the best job i can? won't i always be second guessing myself?

i feel like the biggest challenge i've had in parenting - in LIFE, really - is living in the moment. my brain is always calling me somewhere else - other (better?) options, other's something i'd like to avoid passing on to my kids, so i try really, really hard to BE THERE for them. i don't always think i succeed, but at least i try.

and so it's been for the last few weeks that i've been making a concerted effort to live in the moment, trying to put down my camera and experience the day to day, trying to take quiet moments and soak it in. oh, who am i kidding? the only quiet moments are when finn is asleep.

ah, those precious nap know, the ones where they tell you to sleep while they sleep? yeah, i never got the hang of that with's a good thing, i guess, because these two almost never sleep at the same time. lorelei sleeps until he goes down, then wakes up and is a chortling, gorgeous, smily girl for a couple of hours, until she drifts away, and he wakes up. it's tough sometimes, thinking of all the things i used to get done during finn's nap  time (like making dinner, baking, sewing, knitting, BLOGGING ;) but MAN, it's so nice to get to spend that one-on-one time with her, soaking her up - can you believe she's THREE MONTHS OLD? i swear, at this point with finn, we were just surviving....getting through each day. but with her, the time is literally flying. lorelei is SUCH an easy baby. last night, she didn't wake up to eat until about 4:30, and even then, she just sort of gurgled happily in her crib until i came to get her, as opposed to the straight out screaming finn did multiple times a night at her age.

i try really hard not to call lorelei a "good" baby and finn a "bad" baby - i'm super grateful for each of them just the way they are...and their babyhoods tell me so much about who they'll be when they "grow up". not that i even want to  THINK about them ever, ever growing up. we live in never-neverland, right?

i've already resigned myself to the fact that lorelei is going to be horrified by how much more i wrote about finn when he was wee. it's not that i don't have anything to say about her - i think about possible blog posts all the time, but by the time i have a chance to get it down on the screen, it's gone. my memory (almost wrote "momery" there - fitting, no?) is a total sieve. i hope, though, that she knows how much i love her - that she remembers these moments when i'm trying to be present, to spend time, to get to know her a little bit more every day...and hopefully the number of words will be eclipsed by the moments of attention and time.

or maybe she'll need therapy for her mommy issues and none if it will ever matter. i guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

where we are.

Can we just talk about poop for a minute?

Yes, I realize that's not the way to start a conversation after an 8 week hiatus, but it's what's on my mind right now.

It's 5am and I'm googling "infant constipation", my 8 week old grunting noisily in the background, having not had a significant bowel movement since Saturday. I'm pretty sure she's going to explode. Welcome to my world.

I look back at how much time and energy I had to write about my experiences with Finn, at how religiously I updated his baby book, how dang many pictures and videos I have of him, and I get concerned about Lorelei seeing all of this as she grows up as a sign that we love Finn more. I can certainly see how that might be the case and how a second child could be sad about it. This whole sibling thing is new to me, having grown up primarily as an only child with a single mom and I just want to make sure they're treated equitably. I guess the number of photos I've taken or the completion of a baby book doesn't necessarily indicate the level of love we have for a chile, though, huh? I would like to write a bit more about her, though, because I know that these days are short and that I will look back on them and wonder whether they were a dream.

Let me tell you a bit about my girl, Lorelei.
She's a little dream. She's just got this fantastic, chill disposition and can sleep through anything (actually seems to sleep better when her brother is screaming inches from her face and I'm running the vacuum). She's beginning to smile now, and quite obviously adores the men in her life, giving them these enormous, toothless grins, and saving the little milk drunk smirks for me. Her big eyes are taking it all in, and she's generally quietly observing (well, to be honest, she hasn't got much choice with her extrovert brother around), but can certainly make herself heard and her needs known when she wants to.
Her eyelashes are coming in - every day, they seem to grow another inch, and I'm nearly convinced that she and Finn are going to have matching fans. I wonder and wonder whether her eyes will stay blue. She's such a little mystery to me, this dark haired, olive complexioned beauty who is somehow mine.
She seems kind. And happy. And patient. Other things I can teach her, but these things are harder, and I'm glad they seem a part of her nature.
Everyone is surprised by how strong my girl is. I hope her physical strength is an indication of her emotional fortitude ans her strength of character.
She is a surprise, a gift, a blessing, and a miracle. I love her so.

And Finn? Well, Finn is just blowing my mind every day. He's talking up a storm, really communicating now (and imitating, and repeating - oh dear...need to censor ourselves sometimes!) We're just starting to see the beginnings of imaginative play - you know, when they start talking to themselves, making up stories? Oh man, it kills me. We were at the beach with the dog yesterday, and he was just having such a great time in his little world, picking up rocks and throwing them, narrating in this running babble the whole time.

The "terrible" parts of his "two" come and go, but are eclipsed by his obviously loving nature and sweet demeanor. These few weeks have been an adjustment for us all, but he's taken it all in stride, handling this new babe like a champ. Luckily, she's easy to love.

And me? Well, I'm tired. I've been giving massages since L was a few weeks old, but I started waitressing again last week and have been helping Chad on a roof a bit this week. It's all good, but taking its toll, and it's hard to get to sleep early - always something to be done, you know?  I've got a great, supportive partner - once we all get back in the swing of things, it'll just be a matter of staying balanced. Oh, and I signed up for a half marathon in April. Because I'm insane.

Family photo session on Saturday and apple picking with some of our favorite people on Sunday - working, playing, loving, living - and on and on we spin on this little blue planet.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


finn has this absolutely adorable way of saying "more" - he adds an "ah" just before "more" and it sounds just like amore.

so I get to spend my days with a beautiful little boy who says "love" all day long.


and speaking of love, this kiddo could not be cuter with his new little sister ("MY baby") - showering her with kisses and insisting to hold her whenever he gets a chance.

in other words, there's LOTS of love around here these days.
not a lot of sleep, but lots of love, thanks to this little pipsqueak...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

thank you, but...

to those of you who seem very concerned about the fact that i'm "out and about" over the past week:

my labor was extremely short and lorelei's delivery very fast. i have a two-year old and a husband, who is the breadwinner of the family, who only had one week to spend with us before going back to work. i felt and continue to feel fine and it is not in my nature to sit back and be waited on. i wanted my husband to spend as much time as possible with his two children without also having to worry about me. i am very grateful for your concern, but am completely capable of running a few errands in town without exerting myself too much. i am delighted to be able to share my newborn with the town i am so fond of and was excited to get her to know as many people as possible, just as we did with her big brother. please understand that i do appreciate your worries, but i am just fine. promise. so when you see me downstreet, please just say hi and feel free to fawn over my beautiful daughter and my gorgeous, crazy son. i can't get enough of that :)


Friday, July 19, 2013

sunsets and fireflies and hoot owls, oh my!

so sunday started just as any other day...
except it didn't.

i guess it all started on saturday night, when i was consumed by a need to clean the house. like, CLEAN clean the house. like maybe i should clean in between the rungs of the spindles on the kitchen table chairs kind of clean. chad definitely noticed, especially when, after i said i didn't want ice cream, he returned with his mint chocolate chip and i was STILL cleaning. i guess that was the first clue that something was afoot.

in the morning, i popped the baked oatmeal i had made the previous evening (like i said, i was CONSUMED the night before), and after eating, my sister and her partner came by for a visit with finn. i felt SO WEIRD, but couldn't quite place it, denying the fact that i could be in early labor. i was less than entertaining during that visit, though, and am pretty sure my sister's partner thinks i'm a total bore now (sorry, cat - really, i was just having a baby!!).

throughout the day, i was definitely having contractions, and started timing them around 8 minutes apart. but i was still totally sure that they were braxton hicks contractions. like TOTALLY sure. once finn went down for his nap, i tried calling the midwife on call, but found out that there WAS no midwife on call, and instead a DOCTOR was.

OK, so i've been working with this team of midwives for the past nine months and some dude doctor i don't know is going to be delivering my baby? no, i don't think so. i'm so obviously NOT in labor.

in the meantime, i receive a call from my step-mom, who informs me that my cousin, who is a week late, is in labor in wiscasset - yay!! obviously i can't be in labor - this is her moment to shine! i tell my step-mom about my contractions, and she's a bit more sure that i'm in labor than i am and suggests i find out when the doctor goes off call...i do as she suggests and am told that he's on until the following day.

le sigh.

so finally, i break down and ask him to call. i tell him my contractions are 5-6 minutes apart, about 20-30 seconds each, but that, as i'm on an island, i'm trying to "make a call" about whether i should head off on the last boat or stay put. in the meantime, my doula arrives and we chat. she doesn't think my labor will really get started until after finn goes down for the night and the sun sets.

she is a smart cookie.

so i forgo the last boat, and continue with my evening plans of a quarry swim and dinner with my dad and step-mom. the contractions continue, but are pretty mild and i'm convinced that this is going to take a while, if indeed i AM in labor. the swim is lovely and dinner is delicious, but by the time we're done eating, i've made the call that it's time to make the trek across the bay.

the race is on. putting operation: birth into action.

first, call and make sure the captain is ready to ferry us to the mainland...not only is he ready, but he's secured a totally sweet speed boat that makes the normally 1 & 1/4 hour ride a mere 20 minutes.
second, call hope, our doula, who arrives with her bag packed moments later.
third, call the woman who is going to watch finn overnight. she's difficult to track down, so my step-mom comes over until she arrives a couple of hours later.

it's just after 8 at this point, and it's time for finn's bedtime. i go up, read him stories and sing him songs like any other night, in the midst of contractions, now coming about every 4 minutes apart, but still pretty mild, all things considered.

at 8:45, we're pulling in to park at the wharf where the boat stands ready and waiting. moments later, we're speeding across the bay, into the setting sun. it is the most beautifully calm night, and the balmy air whips past us as we head for the mainland. i'm able to enjoy almost every moment of this ride as there's only time for about 5 or 6 contractions along the way.

by the time we get to rockland, the sun is almost set and it's just after 9. little do we know, we'll be meeting our daughter in just over two hours...

once we're on the mainland, we make the executive decision to postpone our arrival at the hospital and i'll labor as long as i can at hope's mom's house, which turns out to be just 10 minutes from the hospital, a gorgeous octagonal cabin in the woods with no running water. we walk through a field of fireflies and can hear owls hooting in nearby trees. it is a truly magical place. i wish i could stay here, but know there are two days of room service waiting for me at the hospital if i can get there ;)

about an hour later, we're ready to transition to the hospital. things are getting pretty intense, and i'm pretty sure i'm fully dialated as i'm feeling an urge to push already, but for some reason want to slow down the process. i spent so much of the day pretending that i wasn't in labor that i want to take a minute to wrap my mind around the idea. lorelei has other plans.

we arrive at pen bay at about 10:45. we have to stop twice along the way to the maternity ward for a couple of contractions to pass, and we land in the delivery room. i'm disappointed that the room with the birthing tub is already occupied, but to be honest, there was no time to fill it up. my initial hunch about being fully dialated is confirmed, but for some reason, no one mentions pushing. i'm lying down now, which is not helping things, but i just suddenly got scared. it was a "this is it" moment - i realized that as soon as i got up into my laboring position (which for me happens to be on all fours), our lives were going to change drastically. it wasn't the pain i was afraid of, but of the unknown - how this was going to affect our family, which is pretty awesome as it is - and why mess with perfection? once i was able to verbalize my fear, i think it helped me get over my stage fright and "assume the position" as it were.

i don't want to say what followed was easy - there is no way to describe it as that, but as soon as i let go of my fear, i feel like my focus really shifted - i was still having intense contractions, but they didn't hurt as much because now i was in control, i was doing something about them - namely pushing my baby out! it was an incredibly liberating feeling to let go and take charge all at the same time.

after all the concern about the doctor delivering my baby (and really, i think it was pretty clear who was doing the delivering), he showed up with enough time to put on gloves and catch miss lorelei as she entered the world 35 minutes after our arrival at the hospital.

july 14th was literally the most magical day of my life and i can't imagine it having been any different... lorelei joined us in exactly the right way at exactly the right time. we were absolutely blessed by everyone we encountered that night and in the days to follow (one particular nurse at the hospital made our stay an absolute dream - thanks, alicia!). as bittersweet as it was to finally leave the hospital, we were SO missing our little boy and couldn't wait to unite our family for the first time.

finn, as i'm sure many of you are wondering, is the most spectacular big brother. he is so gentle and sweet with her and i just know they're going to be the best of friends. it literally brings tears to my eyes to see them together - they're both such dreams.

as for miss l, she's the most mellow, chill baby i've ever met. she eats, she sleeps, and she makes us all ga-ga for her during the short hours she's awake and shining those big beautiful eyes on everything she can see (which, admittedly, is not much quite yet).

so there we are. the arrival of miss lorelei angeline. there may be more to come in the next few days. i feel like i have a lot to say. blame it on the hormones.

oh! and lorelei's cousin, harper eden, arrived just a few hours later in the early hours of monday morning. so many blessings.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Miss L.

She's here.

Miss Lorelei Angeline Crossman-King arrived on a most magical night and in a most timely fashion on Sunday, July 14 at 11:20pm. She weighed 8 pounds and was 20 inches long.

Big brother Finn is enchanted, and - to be honest - so is absolutely everyone she encounters. Full birth story coming very, very soon, but wanted to share our little miracle.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

dead bug!

so there's this game we play at our house. it's called dead bug.
what? you don't name your family snuggle game after expired insects?

it all started when my husband was having a rough time sleeping, dealing with sciatica and hip joint issues, so we had the futon in the living room permanently unfolded in it's "bed" position for a few weeks. finn, of course, thought this was all for him and took it upon himself to perform all sorts of outrageous gymnastics on it (which mostly consisted of him slamming himself down face-first into the cushions). over the course of a week or so, it became "the" place to be while i was cooking dinner - close enough to keep an eye on the kitchen, but fun enough to keep the kiddo happy and out from underfoot.

during this time, finn and daddy spent a lot of time snuggling and rough housing on the futon, ultimately resulting in chad sticking his legs and arms up in the air and yelling "dead bug!" thus, the name of the game was born.

over the months, the game has evolved into anything resembling snuggling, and has now migrated to the parental bed - finn wakes up in the morning, pads over to his door, opens it, comes into our room, and demands, "up! mommy, daddy dead bug". what follows is utter delight, for the most part - creating a tent with our bed coverings for him to burrow into, lots of snuggles, tickle parties, and "this little piggy" playing. often, dead bug is uneventful, but sometimes there's a particularly unpleasant head butt or bonk into the headboard. like i said, though - more often than not, it's a great opportunity to have some quality family time without leaving the comfort of our bed, which is pretty sweet. it's been busy around here, and i'll take all of that stuff i can get.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

some highlights and an update

oh my...
the number of times i've thought about coming to this space and spilling my guts...and then haven't.

some highlights of the last few months:

finn moved into his new "big boy bed", and apart from falling out twice since, he's slept better than ever...i had such a fun time re-doing his room and will give that its own post (no, really!). i was surprisingly un-emotional about the whole affair - my little boy leaving his crib, etc etc etc, and i think that's helped the transition.

finn is now using the potty on a regular basis, of his own accord. he super randomly told me he wanted to use his potty one day to poop, and i obliged, where he proceeded to do the deed, much to our delight and surprise. yet another awesome thing about having our kiddo enrolled, even part-time, at day care, where he sees his peers doing the same. we're by no means potty trained, but he at least tries every day and we don't pressure him to do anything he doesn't want to do. our plan wasn't going to be even starting to try potty training for another 6 months, so this is huge, and every diaper i don't have to wash is a gift :)

finn turned TWO last week! more on that soon...

i am now officially 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant...8 days more pregnant than i've ever been, and feeling great. no swelling, no high blood pressure, no urine tests, no 3 week early baby. in fact, this little girl is so high (read:crushing my lungs), she may not come out until after her due date of the 24th, which is just fine with me - i haven't been loving the heat, but i do want their birthdays to be spread out as much as we can AND now that i have a 2 year old, i'm in no rush to add another kiddo to the mix. we're enjoying these last few weeks as a family of 3 and are very much looking forward to meeting the person who's going to complete it, but we know it'll be hard for a while. luckily, chad gets to stay home for a week or so, then my mom comes up for a week or so, depending on when baby girl comes along, and chad's mom comes up for a week or so. hypothetically, there will be lots of support around, and i'm stocking the freezer so we can all just settle in to new babyhood with as little stress as possible.

I'll be back in this space again to share photos of the two kiddos bedrooms - hopefully within the next couple of days. But then again, I might take a nap...  ;)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

poster child

Oh my, this is evidence that I haven't been blogging! I uploaded this photo weeks ago, intending to announce that our adorable Finnster is the poster child for the Vinalhaven Land Trust's spring membership drive! His photo was sent to hundreds of folks in the hopes that his adorable backside would be irresistable and make people donate oodles of money to that worthy cause (hope it worked - I'm looking forward to the 90 acres across the street from us becoming Land Trust trails in the future!)...

Much more to come. I'm back, really I am!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

a new arrival

 No, no - she's not here yet, thank goodness.

This is an arrival of a different kind - two days ago, we welcomed my new massage studio to our property! It's a building that has moved around quite a lot on the island, and has now settled on Pumpkin Ridge for a new maifestation of its life.

It's a lovely building with a small loft and lots of windows (for which I've got to start sewing curtains to protect my clients' modesty!). There's a wood stove and a small deck and I'm just in love. Yes, the list of things needing to be done to it is lengthy, but it's here and it's mine and I couldn't be happier.

...and I'm not the only one!

 A certain someone was being a big "help on some of the equipment left behind by the movers (they picked it up this morning) - Finn's been learning how to balance, and walking back and forth on this I-beam was just so. much. fun. I do remember gaining a certain amount of certainty with a new skill and how good that feels, so I totally get this little guy thrilled to bits that he can walk back and forth without falling over.

Boys and toys - I literally had to tear him away from this stuff. What a hoot he is.

More later - hopefully befores and maybe even a few afters once I learn how to putty a window - stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


So Finn is recently obsessed with the word, "two".  Perhaps you didn't know, but "two" refers to any number larger than one.
I think this all began with the arc that Finn got as a gift, which he spends many an hour playing with, identifying the pairs of animals - one, two. One, two. One, two. But now, "two" has taken on the meaning of two, three, four...basically anything more than one.
Every day, we walk down the road to visit the "buck bucks" (man, there are already a lot of quotation marks in this post and it's only three sentences long). Buck bucks are chickens, and one of the women who works at Finn's daycare owns them (name: Missy. Finn calls her Dizzy) so we feel comfortable wandering down into their back yard and visiting. Oftentimes, we stay for 15-20 minutes, just watching the chickens. We plan to get some next spring, so it's good practice for both Finn and for our dog, Nugget, to get used to having them around.
Missy has eight chickens, and oftentimes, I count them for Finn. Some are usually in the henhouse, others in their run, and still others who are outside of their fenced-in area, wandering around the yard. So we count the chickens in the different, two, three, four, five, six, seven eight. Or at least that's what I say. Finn, on the other hand, says "two, two, two, two, two, two, two, two" in the same tone of voice I use when I count.
This past weekend, we had a birthday party for a friend and got a dozen balloons. This was the first time we got to see Finn get excited about a balloon (AKA "boon"), and he was thrilled to have them tied everywhere - inside and out. "Boon out-ide" was the refrain of the day as he went in and out pointing out the balloons hanging in different places.
We do point out a lot of things that there are two of - eyes (particularly since we got smacked with a case of pink eye this weekend - there's been lots of talk of eyes), ears, arms, hands, etc. Finn's also recently discovered elbows, which he likes to make us show him by bending our arms and pointing them at him so he can gently tough them, grin, and say, "elbow!" He requires one to take the elbow out of any shirt so he can see it bare, however, which sometimes requires some level of undress to occur before he is satisfied.
And speaking of undress...Chad has two tattoos and I have three, and Finn has recently discovered them. TA-too, he demands, and we adjust our clothing accordingly to reveal our TAtoos to the little tyrant :)
This is one of those things I can't imagine myself ever getting sick of. He's just so darn cute and it's so one of those little things that I'll want to remember when he grows up and discovers three, four, and five.
Two - in just about two months, he'll be two. Hard to imagine - two years old and a big brother.  Times they are a-changin'...

Friday, April 5, 2013

tee too

This is just one of those things that if I don't write down, I may forget, and that would be terrible...

The first in what I'm sure will be come a running list:
Things Finn is doing right now that are TOTALLY awesome.

1. Tee Too
This is "thank you" in Finn language. He uses it almost to a fault, saying it when it's not exactly necessary, but still so darn cute we can't help but say, "you're welcome". Our favorite story about "tee too" is when he wakes up in the night. He normally just needs a quick adjustment to get back to sleep - either he's lost his sheep, or uncovered himself, or mysteriously ventured to the farthest reaches of his crib. He goes from fussing and not-quite-awake to comfy and snug in just a matter of moments and - without fail - says "tee too" to whomever has readjusted him. Totally makes getting out of my nice warm bed totally worth it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

some new kicks.

Oh, I do realize how ridiculous this is, but it makes me so happy that I had to share. I am a big, big fan of Chucks from "back in the day", so popping these on Finn's little feet gives me a great deal of joy. He loves them, too, which makes it all the more satisfying (it might just be that they're red, but I like to think that his fashion sense is already blossoming). They're just a smidge big for him now - perfect for summer, so we have to keep them out of sight, otherwise he'll insist (as only Finn can inisist) on wearing them.

Seeing his made me bust mine out, too - ah glad these have never gone out of style. Not that it would really matter.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Oh for goodness sakes, I just realized I haven't updated you about baby number 2 yet - silly me :)

A couple of weeks ago, my mom, my husband, Finn, and I traipsed over to find out who we'll be welcoming into our family in July, and we are very pleased to report that it looks like little MISS Crossman-King will be arriving to complete our family.

We are totally thrilled to know that a daughter is headed our way, and Finn is going to be an awesome big brother. He's already saying "baby", and pointing to my belly and has just begun giving my belly kisses, which is just about the most adorable and hilarious thing ever, especially since he insists on kissing the absolute center of my belly button.

I'm feeling great and think that I've officially "popped" in the last few weeks, so it's nice to look down and see evidence of the awesomeness to come (not to mention the bumps and blips that are becoming stronger by the day).

Since we're in the unique situation of living on an island, we have a pretty good idea of how many students will be in her class, and it looks like there will be eight girls and two boys so far. What an interesting dynamic that will be after a class with four boys and two girls! I'm hoping they'll all be best friends, rather than engaging in the cattiness that can characterize girl relationships sometimes. Being in the school these past couple of months has really opened my eyes to those characteristics, something I can choose to worry about now or just revel in ruffle bum tights (I've decided on the latter).

We've got a couple of name ideas so far, but nothing official yet. I think we're going to wait to meet the little miss before making a decision. I'm just slightly worried that one of the other expectant moms may be thinking of a similar name, but I guess we'll just wait and see!

This is just going to be amazing/terrifying/overwhelming/life-changing and I cannot wait! Well, that's not true. I'll be very happy to wait until July. I've got a few things to do until then!  :)

Monday, April 1, 2013


My goodness, what a glorious weekend.

It was the first time so far this season that we got to really spend time outside, starting with firing up the grill on Friday afternoon for some pizza with friends, continuing through the weekend to tons of yard work, an impromptu canoe ride (Finn's first!), and picnic outside on the deck. Glorious.

(unfortunately, the only apparatus I had with us is our video camera, so you'll have to take my word for it).

April has fooled us once again, though, with a rainy, cloudy, gray morning, but I'm still warm from the weekend. Come on, spring!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Finn's been teaching me to do something I haven't done in a while - play. I realize now how very long it's been since I played as an adult, but with Finn - well, it's his job, so he takes it very seriously.

The honeymoon with our new house is over, so there are very few things I can look at without wanting to change them, but this little built-in bookshelf under the stairs has been a godsend (apart from the lead paint that was on it when we moved in!). It's the perfect place to stash all a portion of Finn's an more organized fashion some days than others.

This sweet little workbench was scored by my clever husband at the swap shop, a place at the dump where people leave items they no longer want, but may still be desirable to someone else. It's the perfect place for the tools he's acquiring as a result of his Dad being a contractor.

I just love the ways Finn's belongings seem to invade every corner of our world. It was something I was actively avoiding for some time, but gave into once we moved, and I must say, I was fighting a losing battle in the first place.

A rocking eggplant? Why not?

Monday, March 4, 2013

witching hour


Sorry it's been so quiet around here lately - we're still here, but WOW, does a full-time job take ones blogging time away! 

I've been really enjoying subbing at the school again, and feel like I slipped back into it pretty easily. I think (hope) that the kids are learning, and I've almost got all their names down (K-12 - sheesh!). OI realized today that I'm about halfway through my subbing and the time has absolutely flown. There are certainly challenges and days where I feel like no matter what, I've failed (at being a teacher, a wife, a mom, an all-around human being), and some when I'd just like to give myself a pat on the back for getting it all done. Most days, it's all of the above...

But this whole "witching hour" thing.


I didn't notice it so much when I was home during the day and could get a lot of the dinner prep done while Finn was napping, but now that I pick him up from daycare, come home, walk the dog, and have a very limited amount of time to get dinner on the table, I've noticed it a whole lot more. First off, Finn is very adamant about not wanting to leave daycare, not wanting to put his jacket and shoes on, and not wanting to be picked up, instead choosing to walk out of the building and down the stairs by themselves. Then, he MOST CERTAINLY does not want to get in the car, and does that really fun back arching, screeching, freak out thing in his car seat. By the time we get home, he's calmed down and MOST CERTAINLY does not want to get out of the car. Regularly, we walk the dog when we get home, so I pop him in his stroller or let him walk until he starts tiring out. That usually works pretty well, but when we get home, there's this super tricky time. We've usually got about an hour before Daddy gets home, and that hour finds me by the window, mentally trying to convince every vehicle that drives by to be Chad so I can hand this little devil child over. The screeching, whining bundle that was once my sweet little boy is quite a handful and VERY tricky to keep entertained, especially when I'm trying to get dinner together. 

All is not completely lost, though - I know this is all a phase, and I've discovered that he's more likely to NOT freak out if he's participating in the dinner prep (AKA making a huge mess of foodstuffs while I get dinner together). I'm secretly hoping that he's getting interested in cooking because, as much as that would slow things down sometimes, it would be SO FUN. Just imagine - in a few years, he could have his very own little repetoire of meals he can make by himself. Which would, hypothetically, encourage his sibling to imitate him and they could cook together...Ah! So cute and fun.

But in the meantime, here are some fun photos of our last few weeks. Finn turned 20 weeks yesterday, and we reach the 20 week mark (halfway!) of this pregnancy tomorrow. I guess 20 is the magic number this week. Only 10 more days until we find out the sex of the baby!!!

a mischievous grin - methinks someone knows his foot does not belong on the table...

staring contest with daddy

(lest you think my son is always cute and photogenic :)

first sledding adventure!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Dear woman at the co-op,

I did not ask for, nor want, your unsolicited opinions about my childrearing. Nor did I have any interest in the guilt trip you were trying to lay on me when I admitted that I was feeling overwhelmed about having two children. I don't care that you had four children and wish you'd had more (or that your friend had had seven and wish SHE'D had more) - perhaps you hadn't noticed, but I am neither you nor your friend. I was having a tough week with a sick kid, a sinus infection, and a trip to the mainland with Finn and would have, instead, appreciated a little kindness and understanding.


Monday, February 4, 2013

love is...

lying in an uncomfortable position, exhausted and sick, with an even more exhausted and sick kiddo asleep on your chest, unable to move or even think and knowing - without a shadow of a doubt - that there is nowhere else you'd rather be.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

lots of changes, max

10 points if you guess the source of the quote in the title line.

So remember that time when I said I was going to be unemployed come the new year? Yeah, well, that wasn't exactly true.

My big plan was to work 2-3 days a week with Chad, building, and give a few massages a week as I build my business, but then this whole pregnancy thing came along and I had to figure out what to do about a means of income while I'm in my "delicate" condition.

Last time, I had a perfect situation - the French teacher at the school was pregnant with her first, due in March, and I took over for her during her maternity leave...
wait...this sounds awfully familiar.
Could it be because this time, the French teacher at the school was pregnant (until yesterday - welcome, Brady!!), and now I'm covering for her again while she's on maternity leave?  Yes, that could be it.

It's bittersweet, this transition. I've been full time at the school now for five days and have been having a grand old time teaching French to K-12 students. It's definitely a lot easier this time - I know what to expect, I know most of the students' names, and it's the same time of year that I taught last time, so all the projects, exams, and general class content is the same.

The only difference is that I've been a most-of-the-time stay at home mom for the last 18 months. I've had a a few jobs that took me out of the house for a couple of days a week, but overall they were very flexible and this is certainly the first time I've been away from Finn full-time.

I have a whole new respect for moms (and dads!) who work full-time. There is SO MUCH TO DO in the limited amount of time available. I've found myself laying out outfits the night before, getting the coffee and breakfast prepped, and boy, I've been using my crock pot. Then there's laundry, dishes, general clean up, and of course, spending as much quality time as possible with the kiddo in the midst of trying to get it all done. How, in the name of all that is holy, any single parent does this on his or her own, I have no idea (Mom, you are a super hero). It no longer surprises me that fast food and convenience meals are so pervasive in our society - there's just not enough time for everything.

I'll just get back down off my soapbox now and get back to my own experience. Overall, I think we've come up with some strategies that work - a food plan, for sure, and doing as much ahead of time as possible. I try to do the dishes right after any given meal so they don't pile up by the end of the day, and get lunches and bags packed the evening before so there's as little rushing around as possible. It's tight, but it's temporary, and for that I'm grateful. I'm grateful for the opportunity to make money doing something I like that is appropriate for my "condition", for a limited amount of time, and that I get to look forward to spending the last two months of my pregnancy hanging out with the coolest little boy I know (and hopefully giving some massages).

The best part of this teaching thing? We get to start the day playing volleyball. So. Fun. Even though I got smacked in the face with it this morning. Still so fun.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I was a bit absent during the holidays, so I wasn't able to update you on Finn's hilarious new talent that he displayed in the middle of the Christmas Eve service at school.

Aside: Yes, we are THOSE people who attend church on Christmas Eve specifically for the carols. Until I figure out a way to rectify my Roman Catholic upbringing with our non-existent spiritual activities now, that's what works for me. There is something very appealing about those carols and that fellowship, but church as an institution just doesn't work for me right now based upon political and personal views that clash with those of the church. Just sayin'.

So we're sitting in the pew in front of some totally delightful people we know who I was pretty sure weren't going to get upset if Finn was slightly distracting...which, it turns out, he was.

Throughout the course of the mass, Finn was very social. He repeatedly said "hi" to everyone within (and some without) earshot, tried valiantly to single-handedly demolish every bible and song book within reach. He walked up and down the pew we were sitting in, sneakily pilfering toys from neighboring children. He wanted to get up, down, up, down, up and down about every 3.5 seconds and removed about half of the tissues from the box sitting near us.

But, somehow, he was an angel during the music - whenever the organ was playing and we were singing, he was silent, trying to figure out what was going on, perhaps, or maybe just enjoying himself. Either way, he was delightful during "Joy to the World", "Silent Night", and all the rest.

The fun started when the priest started his sermon. By that point, we'd been at the church for over half an hour, crammed into a pew with very little to keep him interested that wasn't going to also get him in trouble. Finn was getting antsy. I'm also pretty sure he was raring for another song, because, during a pause in the sermon, Finn bursts out (very enthusiastically) with the only song he knows -


It was absolutely hilarious. The priest never missed a bit, but we were in total stitches. It will most certainly be one of my very favorite moments of Finn's childhood - one that will get told over and over. I think it says a lot that I really like about him - that he's social, he's a performer, he isn't afraid to say what he thinks...but most of all, it says that he likes to have fun, and really - what's more important than that when you're 18 months old? Not much :)

For your enjoyment, here are a few more Christmas moments for you - only a month late:

Very serious discussions with Santa

Checking out the tree on Christmas Eve

Digging into Mama's stocking

Taking a little clementine break

First ride in the totally sweet vintage wagon I scored on Ebay (*pats self on back*)

Because really, who doesn't want their very own bean bag for Christmas?