Certified to Parent

Yesterday Justin and I spent all day in the classroom. The teacher shared a story with us about her almost eight year old daughter and trying to explain the test you take in order to receive your driver’s license. The little girl was intrigued and then wanted to know what type of test her Mom’s students have to take at the end of her class. Well, her Mom teaches prenatal parenting classes, and crazy enough, there is no test at the end.

We attended an express, all-in-one day, preparing for childbirth class. We took the class through Amma Parenting and had a great registered nurse, Meggin, as our instructor. Amma was recommended by our provider and they also contract with the hospital we plan to deliver at. After looking at their course offerings and realizing we really don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to more classes since I am still in grad school and Justin is wrapping up his thesis we decided to do the all-in-one.

The all-in-one is more high level, touches on a lot of things, but doesn’t go into great detail about everything. I found this to be just fine for what we were looking for, and Justin was happy with it as well. The first half focused on labor and delivery and the second half was about nursing and newborn care. The only thing I question now is whether or not we should look into a labor and delivery class that teaches more coping mechanisms since after watching the labor and deliver video I was like, “Hells no.” And if I am being honest, the video wasn’t even that bad and was only 12 minutes long so I probably need to buck up here pretty quick.

I thought our instructor did a great job keeping things light and exciting as I am sure most couples looked confused and terrified at different times during the class. She also did not push any opinions or objectives on us. She did share personal stories from her births when asked and what she has seen as a long time labor and delivery nurse but always stressed that there is a pattern to labor but not one is the same.

I know Justin said he is feeling a lot more confident especially now that he has some ideas of what he can do to support me through labor and learned more about new-born care. I am not so sure my confidence is any higher yet but I am more informed about what we have gotten ourselves into. Haha. Just kidding. Sort of.

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Proof that we are certified to parent!

I also thought I’d take this opportunity to briefly share some other resources we have taken advantage of throughout the pregnancy as well.

Bump Club and Beyond – Twin Cities
Justin and I have attended two paid Bump Club events together and I have attended one free one by myself. The paid ones can be expensive depending on what type of tickets you buy. For instance, the first one we attended, Gearapalooza, cost $130 total for us both to attend. Our ticket included a Beco Carrier retailing about $130 and a swag bag worth $150. I also won a Baby K’Tan which retails about $50. The second one we attended was for expectant parents that was a dinner and presentation all about sleep! Such an important topic. We paid about $160 total for us both to attend. Our tickets included a Motorola Video Monitor retailing about $200, another swag bag, and I ended up winning a Skip Hop Duo Baby Bag retailing about $60. The information was awesome as well!

The free ones are about an hour-long, held at a Target in Minnetonka and also offer great information. I went to a car seat basics one and learned more about car seat safety…which is always important since I think about 80% of people are using them incorrectly! :/ I didn’t win anything but they do offer 10% off in baby for that night so it is well worth the trip for the education and the discount.

This is almost all Bump Club swag.
This is almost all Bump Club swag.

Everything that is included in the gift bags is legit, useful stuff too. It isn’t just a bag full of samples and brochures. Totally worth it in my opinion!

Sacred Pregnancy Retreat
I also attended a Sacred Pregnancy Retreat in November hosted by Moon River Wellness. I didn’t learn about how to care for a baby or survive childbirth, but it was an awesome opportunity to connect with myself & baby, as well as other pregnant mamas. It was a day retreat with three other woman, and we did multiple activities and rituals to help us connect and understand that being pregnant can and should be a sacred journey. I really enjoyed it and left feeling a little less anxious about the process. I still think about it today now that I am in my final trimester, and when fear starts to creep in I light the candle we made and spray the essential oils we mixed and just reconnect with myself. I would highly recommend you look into this if/when you are pregnant…and it is not just for first time Moms!

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I’d love to hear if you found any resources particularly helpful during your pregnancy. Comment below!


Any guesses?

This is the week Justin and I have our 20 week ultrasound. First, are we for real halfway there? And second, I really hope the kid cooperates and shows us their goods, but of course what I am really hoping for is a child who checks out as healthy as can be! I definitely have some anxiety going in to this appointment instead of all excitement. What else is new though?

With that said, are you leaning one way? Here are some things to help make your guess a little more educated.


1. Justin thinks it is a girl. I think boy.
2. I have no idea if I am carrying high or low because the belly isn’t that big yet and frankly I don’t entirely know what that means, but I feel like I am carrying a little more out than expanding horizontally (or is that just wishful thinking?). I think that means boy.
3. My skin has not gotten worse, except right now it ain’t so good, so that could mean boy.
4. The baby’s heartbeat has always been 160+ so that means girl.
5. Per the Chinese birth calendar, it is a girl!




Baby On Board

Do you ever have those moments when driving where you look away for split second only to return your eyes to the road and realize everyone is at a dead stop in front of you? Usually you screech to a halt, say a few swear words, catch your breath, and vow to be a more present driver for the rest of your years on the road. Well, what happens if you are just a fraction of a second too late? Then you have a Thursday like I did!

Car accidents are never recommended, but they are especially frowned upon when there is a baby on board. That goes for kids in utero too. I will keep the story relatively short because let’s be honest, car accidents are no fun. Luckily in my case, all four of us involved are fine, but I am sure there were plenty of curse words sent towards the blonde chick who rear ended a guy who then rear ended another guy.

After the smashing occurred I quickly called Justin. Not knowing what exactly he was going to do, but I guess I kind of hoped he’d be like, “Omg, I happen to be behind you and can come rescue you from this horrible nightmare.” Turns out, he didn’t happen to be right there (go figure since he left two hours before I did) so I had to deal with everything head on…literally.

After apologizing to the man in front of me who I hit, and the man in front of him who he hit, I called the authorities and a nice State Trooper quickly joined us on the side of the road. Everyone asked, “What happened?” And I didn’t have an answer for them. How dumb. I can tell you for sure I was NOT looking at my phone. That was in my coat pocket so did I look at the radio, reach for a drink of water? I. Have. No. Idea.

One bright spot…one of the guys (car #1) was driven by a young 20 something who had better style than me by a long shot. While we were on the side of the road his friend past us and sent him a message, “You should get her number, she looks cute.” Thanks for helping the situation out random guy driving by!

Anyway, once I finally got to the parking ramp at work I called the doctor since I had to be sure Baby Bradshaw was fine and I didn’t dislodge them. (Anyone else have this fear while pregnant? I get nervous on bumpy roads too.) Anyway, they recommended I go to the ER. Say what?!!! After also phoning my insurance company, I kind of started freaking out and my emotions got the best of me. I made it into work, grabbed my computer and quickly retreated.

That brings us to Baby Bradshaw’s first trip to the ER and mine for that matter. They checked me in, checked the usuals like blood pressure and oxygen levels, and then checked for the heartbeat. At first she only found mine which made me a bit nervous, but luckily she quickly found a super rapid one…BABY’S!

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After that I waited to see the doctor who was a physician’s assistant about the same age as me and we have a mutual friend. Small world. She suggested we do an informal ultrasound just for fun, and I wasn’t going to turn that down! After a bit of trouble with the machine I was able to see the baby wiggling around and waving its arm. Still can’t feel the movement but just thinking about it swimming around in there is crazy. I saw the spinal cord too which actually made the baby appear to be more alien/lizard like that human, but it was a lovely looking spinal cord. No shots of genitalia so still an unknown gender. 😉

After that I ended up working from home for a few hours, brought my car to the shop to really assess the damage I had done, and then worked some more before finally napping. OY! Hope your day was better than mine, but we are all thankful me and baby are gonna be just fine! Wishing I could unwind with some wine, but I suppose a Tylenol and bed will have to do!


Trip Out West

I thought I’d spend a little more time this morning highlighting some of the other great aspects of our trip last week. In my previous post I shared our Bottle Feeding Experience at Yellowstone Bear World. It was awesome! That came early in our trip though and we spent three days in Montana afterward.

Our time spend in Idaho Falls was quick. We flew in to a fairly small airport, especially compared to MSP. The flight was just over two hours and was pretty easy. I was slightly nervous about flying, well, I am always nervous about flying, but this time around due to the fact that I still have a little nausea every now and then. It is very minor, but who wants that on an aeroplane? Not me!

Seriously, where is everyone?

Once we made it towards our hotel we decided to stop for lunch since it was about 11:30am and we were both pretty hungry. We stopped by a place called Snake Bite. They had amazing waffle fries (obviously! It is Idaho after all.) and I enjoyed shrimp tacos made with fresh corn tortillas. Yum. Justin started out vacation right with a flight of local beers. Lucky.

Snake Bite.
Snake Bite.

After lunch we strolled through a local farmers market and then went to check in at our hotel. We ended up using our points and stayed at Marriotts while on vacation so nothing too crazy to report there. We are always happy with Marriotts and know what to expect which is nice.

Before heading back for a quick nap before dinner we stopped by the Museum of Idaho. They were featuring, The Race to the End of the Earth exhibit. It was a nice exhibit and we learned about the first two groups to make it to the south pole, which has nothing to do with Idaho. 😉  We had dinner at a recommended spot, Jakers. They had a separate gluten-free menu which I was happy to see, and I had a massive baked Idaho potato and was happy as can be!

Before heading to Bear World the next morning, we stopped down to the falls that give Idaho Falls its name.

Really gloomy, but pretty falls.
First of many selfies.
Gimme all the potatoes.

Bear World is recapped here so after our eventful afternoon we drove to Bozeman. Unfortunately we did not stop for any pictures on the beautiful drive. Not even through Big Sky!!! That is our one regret, but both agreed we would be back and spend more time in Big Sky. The drive was amazing and took about 3.5 hours. We had dinner at Montana Ale Works. We shared a gluten-free spinach dip with tortilla chips, and I enjoyed some fish tacos and a pomegranate No’jioto! Our waitress also is also dating a guy from Afton, MN. I haven’t cracked open my yearbook to find him yet, but talk about a small world.

Cheers to Bozman!
Cheers to Bozman!

Waking up and seeing mountains out the window is by far one of my most blissful ways to wake. For our first full day in Montana we decided to head to Livingston. It had a nice and quaint downtime with a beautiful view. It was labor day so perhaps that is why it seemed like it was also an empty town. We did some walking around though and then enjoyed lunch at Rib and Chop House. They were donating part of the proceeds that day to the Wounded Warrior Project and we couldn’t pass that up. They also offered us 25% off since Justin is in the military. How awesome! They also had a separate gluten-free menu. Wins all around.

Downtown Livingston.
Can’t get enough bear time.
Sacajawea Park.
Paradise Valley.

Before heading back to Bozeman we drove through Paradise Valley which is on your way to an entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  It was amazing. Once we returned to Bozeman we took a nap (such a great vacation theme) and went to the Museum of the Rockies.

Museum of the Rockies.
Museum of the Rockies.

In an effort to wrap this post up before it gets way too long, I will end with our final full day in Montana. We decided to head into Gallatin National Forest and hike to the Palaside Falls. I researched it ahead of time and it was only about a half mile hike to the falls. Nice and easy for this newly pregnant lady.

Gallatin National Forest.
Palisade Falls.
We made friends with wildlife.
Top of the falls. 
Trees for miles and miles.

Hiking at that elevation while pregnant turned out to be slightly more difficult than I expected. It took me awhile to catch my breath, but it was a fairly easy pace and we brought plenty of water and snacks. Justin made a nice chipmunk friend and we really enjoyed the view. On our way back to Bozeman we stopped by a little river since we didn’t feel ready to leave the beauty of it all. While we were sitting there having a quick snack, Justin noticed some black animals coming out of the woods. His initial thought was black bears, but we were happy to see they were just friendly cows looking for a bite to eat.

Cows. Not bears. Phew.

As we left the forest and received cell service again, I messaged my parents to let them know we’d be in a tent by the river and they should start driving out with Selby. We LOVED it there. The Gallatin National Forest was about 25 minutes outside of Bozeman and offered other hiking trails as well. It was gorgeous.

For the rest of the afternoon we toodled through the shops in downtown Bozeman. The rest of the evening was spent just relaxing and taking in the last few hours of our vacation. We got a lot of reading done (I finally finished Wild and LOVED it!), took plenty of naps, enjoyed the company of each other and of course, enjoyed the beauty that is Montana. We are already talking about when we will go back and what we will do.


An Active 4th of July Weekend

Anyone else wishing today was not Sunday? I am not ready for the long weekend to be over yet! It has been a lot of fun and Justin and I have really enjoyed not having an agenda all weekend.

Of course we had a few places to be, but they didn’t feel like an obligation and they were all in the name of fun! We’ve spent a lot of time on our bikes, which is a summer favorite of ours. Friday morning we biked to Downtown White Bear Lake, about four miles from our house. Every Friday they have a Farmer’s Market, but we can rarely make it since it only goes from 8am – Noon. We picked up a few goodies, had brunch and picked up a belated Father’s Day gift for Justin’s Dad. In the process of picking up the gift, we met a local writer, Julie Kramer. Sometimes it is fun to make a point to read a local author so I am going to add her to my list!

The 4th of July is a favorite holiday of mine so after a quick nap after our biking adventure, we headed to my parent’s boat for dinner and to watch the fireworks. Stillwater always puts on a good show and rarely disappoints.

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Justin & I
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My Mom (right) & her BFF
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Captain Betty!









After a chilly night on the boat we wanted to continue to enjoy the outdoors the next day. It was warmer than the day before but pretty windy. After our morning walk with the dogs (we were dog sitting the neighbor pooch) we headed back to Downtown White Bear to check something off my 30 Before 30 list. I recently revised the list and this was a newly added item, #23 – Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding.

We went to Tally’s Dockside, and there was about an hour wait for the paddle boards (we did not call ahead so we considered this wait time lucky!) so we ordered lunch from C.G. Hooks which is the BBQ joint located at Tally’s. If you like BBQ & pulled pork (or pulled anything as they have chicken and beef as well), this place is a must. Plus you get to eat outside and watch the sailboats on White Bear Lake.

Once it was our turn we headed down the dock with one of the nice kids who run the show. Talk about the best summer job ever! He gave us some quick tips, took our picture, and sent us on our way!


We spent about an hour on the choppy lake but had the best time! We started off on our knees, as suggested, which was great way to get the feel of things and at least get ourselves out of the marina. Once we reached a slightly calmer bay, we stood up. I knew stand up paddle boards provided a great core and upper body workout, but holy. It works you from your shoulders all the way down to your toes. Literally, our feet were exhausted.

We both decided that once we have the money (stand up paddle boards are not cheap!!!) we wouldn’t mind owning two. We live near three lakes, and my parents have a boat on the St. Croix so we know they would get used. And just think of the toning that happens while you have fun in the sun!

After our adventure on water, we decided to bike around another nearby lake. The wind certainly picked up and after the paddle boarding and the bike ride, I was exhausted. But we cleaned ourselves up and went to a backyard BBQ to celebrate my cousin and his wife’s one year wedding anniversary. They didn’t have a big reception so that is why they decided to have this party a year later. It was fun to see them and to finally meet their baby girl.

I hope that your holiday weekend has been just as fun as ours. Now, here is to a semi-productive Sunday as we get ready to head into a new work week.


Easter/Birthday Weekend

I wanted to share a few highlights from the last two weeks. They went by extremely fast since there was a holiday, birthday and a five-day business trip all back-to-back.

Justin and I decided to host Easter this year so we could see family the week of my birthday (my birthday was the Thursday after Easter). It ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day so we were able to eat outside and play some yard games.


EasterWe enjoyed a mostly gluten-free Easter lunch that consisted of ham with pineapple, a poppy seed salad, potatoes and a yummy gluten-free birthday cake. I also made some fun, Pinterest inspired Jesused Eggs (you can’t call them deviled eggs on Easter, right?)



Some people thought they looked kinda gnarly, but let me tell ya, they sure tasted good. After games and plenty of food, we did a mini Easter egg hunt for little Lainey to wrap up the weekend.




…Out Like a Lion

So this happened.

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Luckily, I had Friday off so when this little storm came barreling through Thursday night I didn’t have to worry about making the long commute Friday morning! It was fantastic!

Justin worked from home and after cleaning up the driveway he surprised me with a coffee since we were completely out. What a relief, and what a lovely husband! Later that day we had a Friday lunch date, and I scored myself a library card! Ramsey Country Libraries, here I come!

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key. We snapped this family photo during our wild Friday night.



Saturday evening I had the opportunity last night to celebrate three lovely ladies and their pending bundles of joy! Unfortunately, one of the moms-to-be couldn’t make it due to work so there ended up being only two mamas but thats ok!

My sister-in-law, Georgia, was one of the lovely mamas and she is due with baby #2 at the end of the month! YAY! And Sandy, the other mama, is the wife of one of my older brother’s best friends. It was a lovely evening with a lot of laughter and it is so nice to see these boys (brother’s friends) end up with such lovely women.

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I ended up going with a bath time theme (not to be confused with Beth time, which I am sure my future nephew will get plenty of). Sandy is also having a baby boy so I ended up getting her and Georgia very similar gifts.

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How cute is that baby bath time robe!? Ugh, I can’t wait to see both babies sporting these adorable monster robes. The monster robe and bath time toys both can be found at Target. The gifts also came with wash cloths, Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, and Johnson’s Baby Lotion.

Anyone else go to a baby shower this weekend? I feel like I have officially switched from the majority being wedding showers to baby showers!