Monday, May 21, 2018

And We'll Never Be Royals.... But We Can Watch Them Get Married

You may wonder what could compel someone to get up at the crack of dawn to watch two people she's never met get married.

Very good question.

The royal wedding of Harry and Meghan was this past weekend. You may wonder why someone who just celebrated her Norwegian heritage on Syttende Mai (Norwegian's Constitution Day) would be so very interested in the English Crown's latest pomp and circumstance. Well, I am also English by blood too. On my father's side, one half is English (his father's) and the other side is Norwegian (his mother's). In fact, I can trace my heritage in England back to 1240 with the birth of Ralph de Spalding. We, in fact, had several Lords and Ladies in our family tree until the 1600s when the first of the Spaldings (later changed to Spaulding) came over to the Americas.

Ancestry aside, the royal family always kind of held a special place in my family's hearts. My aunt has always had a kind of obsession with everything British, including the royal family. My parents were huge fans of Princess Diana. Heck, my Mom even rocked the Diana hair cut around the time my sister was born. I was far too young to understand what was going on, but I know my parents were devastated when she passed away.

My sister and I got up pretty early when Kate Middleton and Prince William got married. From what we can remember, I had tea to celebrate, but that was about it.

This year, it just so happens that this wedding corresponded with a "girls weekend" with my mom, my sister and my daughter. A perfect opportunity to get geeked out about a royal wedding.




We had scones, chocolates, tea (for me), and champagne. Now, before the mom-brigade jumps down my throat, I had enough champagne to toast to the new couple, and I pumped and tested my milk before giving it to my daughter. 





My daughter celebrated by being super cute in a very pink tutu.



We had a ton of fun, despite the very early morning. The wedding was significantly different from Will and Kate's, as it was more modern, laid back (as laid back as a royal affair can be I suppose) and more filled with celebrities than heads of state. Oprah, the Beckhams, Elton John, Serena Williams...the list goes on and on.

I thought Meghan's gown was perfect for her. I was in love with the veil, which, come to find out, had embroidered flowers for each of the 53 commonwealths. 

I could go on and on about the ceremony and the carriage ride after, but you can take a look at it online. This post is more about the geeky things the women did in our family for the Royal Wedding. :) Plus, an excuse to post about my little princess :)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mothers Day

Happy Mother's Day everyone.

I usually will do a quick Facebook post about Mother's Day. Including what my Mom means to me, a shout out to all the Moms I know, etc...

This year, if I were to do that, I think my post would be far too long for anyone to read.

So, hence the blog post.

First and foremost, obviously the big difference this year s that I, myself, am a mother.



It is the most challenging, rewarding, beautiful, and messy thing I have ever experienced in my life. I am eternally grateful to Breaky for making me a mother and for joining me on this crazy journey.


A huge thank you to my husband's mother for raising such a wonderful, funny, patient caring man. He is the best father a woman could ask for, and that says a lot about how he was loved and raised growing up.


Obviously, I wouldn't be here if it were not for my own mother. More than that though, I owe her so much for being a wonderful role model. Not just as a woman, but as a mother. BabyCPK is lucky to have such a wonderful MiMi, and is lucky that I was raised by such a powerful, strong, smart, amazing young woman, because that is what I strive to be every day for my daughter.

A huge thank you as well to the wonderful mothers and mothers to be in both my family and my friends. Having a support group of women who understand what I am going through is one of the most important things I found helpful with raising this little bundle of joy (sometimes a bundle of terror, but you get the idea).

A very happy Mother's Day to all the moms, grandmothers, great grandmothers, and moms to be.



And in the meantime, don't mind me, I am just taking a well-deserved "me-time" break.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Another Day in the Life of an ESports Wife Baby Edition

This is the 4th installment about what life is like when Breaky is out of the country for an event.

Links to previous posts:
Blog Post 1
Blog Post 2
Blog Post 3

TL:DR the first two deal with some silly things, one post negative and the other positive, about what life is like at home when Breaky is gone. The third one dealt with what it was like while I was pregnant. News flash, things were harder while I was pregnant.

And then came the baby.

BabyCPK is the best thing that has ever happened to us, don't get me wrong. But people are not exaggerating when they say that babies are hard work. Just imagine a mini-dictator telling you exactly what you can and cannot do. Just without actual words, but screams and grunts. Need to go potty? Not if the little one needs to be fed RIGHT NOW. Want to go to the grocery store? HA. You'd better hope Amazon has it, because your phone is the closest thing you'll get to the store in the next 12 hours. Oh, and stock up on body spray, because you are very lucky if you get the minutes you need to shower.

While all that seems daunting, if you have a partner, it is manageable. One can do the dishes while the other rocks the baby. The other can shower while the other changes her.

So when Breaky said he was going to be gone for TWO WEEKS, not going to lie, kinda didn't want him to go. We are lucky in that we have an amazing Nanny who is watching BabyCPK while I'm at work. But when I get home, man, I really miss Breaky.

Here are the biggest struggles I have faced thus far

  • Getting BabyCPK to nap long enough for me to take a quick shower






  • When you do get the baby to nap or to bed, you realize how loud ordinary items can be. Shower curtain opening? Like a bomb landing next door. Turning on the sink? Like a rock concert. Dog barking? Nah, she sleeps through that... go figure




  • Speaking of dogs, poor DogCPK has gotten very little exercise this past week. Really hard to do juggle a stroller AND a dog who loves to pull and bark at other dogs. Luckily we have amazing friends who are going to bring DogCPK on a doggy outing with their dog. 





  • In one of my other posts about this, I had mentioned that strange noises were louder and more scary when I was alone. Now that I am responsible for a little life? Terrifying. Let me tell you, having the broom fall in the broom closet sounds like someone is breaking down the door.





  • One pretty cool thing is that I propped up my phone while Breaky was casting to help with BabyCPK's tummy time. Figuring it would give her something to look at and hear her Daddy's voice. 

Tummy time! I didn't get a picture of her listening to Breaky. 

  • It would be nice to be able to make a full meal again, and not whip together what ever I can while carrying a baby that refuses to be put down. Pro tip? Burritos are easy to eat one-handed, just make sure you do not drip any on your baby. 




All of us that are home are missing Breaky something fierce. We are insanely proud of him as he is casting the Epicenter XL Major in Russia. I also realize how hard it must be for him to be away, especially since the little one just turned 2 months old this past weekend. 

We love you Breaky! Continue to be awesome at the event, travel safely and come back to us soon. <3 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Geek Parents


There have been several nights in which the phrase "OH NO! You troll baby...." can be heard emanating from the nursery in the CPK household. Usually this means BabyCPK went #1 or #2 either during that sweet spot where the old diaper is off and the new one is on its way, or into a brand new diaper after she is completely changed. 

To be honest, we knew she was a troll from the beginning. She deliberately , or so it seemed to me, closed her legs during the ultrasound and the tech could not determine the gender. We had to schedule another and came back for that to be completed. What she didn't know is we had to pay for that second ultrasound, so that came outta your college fund kiddo (jk, jk)

She thinks that is SO hilarious.

Now, 10 years ago, calling your baby a troll would have gotten some pretty dirty looks and some concerned bystanders. Now? It means something completely different thanks to new language that was created thanks to the internet and gaming industry 

Calling our baby a troll is not the only indication that our household may be a little more geeky than average. 

Because of Breaky's casting and streaming schedule and my going back to work, we had to become creative. For those times where he is not casting or traveling for events, he actually has been streaming with BabyCPK in what we have been calling his "Dad Shirt"



Officially called the "Lalabu Dad Shirt" it has probably been one of the best gifts I have ever gotten Breaky for Valentine's Day. 


Tune in to BreakyCPK's stream at twitch.tv/breakycpk while he rocks being a Gamer Dad. 


Next would be the nursery. And yes, in the right hand corner is a Portal Cube. The same one we used at our wedding






Her name, with Wonder Woman print (thank you Hodge Podge)

A few prints I got from Etsy! 
Tetris Print: Wall Love Designs
Yoda Print: Fox Grove Designs



And yes, Breaky has started teaching me Magic: The Gathering. Because this little peanut refuses to not be held, she was involved too.

BabyCPK saying "Starting attack phase!"


Now, I could go on and on and on about the struggles of being a parent and then go on and on more about the joys of being a parent. Like the double edged sword of constant baby snuggles (which are the best after being at work for 8+ hours) but only because she doesn't like being put down. Or how many goddamn diapers we have gone through, or the untold perils of breastfeeding. But, this is not a Mommy Blog. Not that I have any qualms with Mommy Blogs, heck, several have been a huge help throughout this whole thing. But the world has it's fair share of Mommy Blogs. 



Bonus smiling baby picture

Friday, March 9, 2018

Letter to my Daughter

I wrote this letter on International Women's Day, during a rare respite between my daughter's feedings and changings.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dearest Daughter,

Today is International Women's Day and you are 8 days old.

When I look at you, I am full of worry, and wonder, and optimism about how you will grow up and how the world will treat you. Right now, you are zonked out cold in your sleeper, right next to me and your father, who is also napping. You may be dreaming, and I hope that continues. I dream daily that the world will be just a little bit better by the time you try to make those dreams a reality.



Sometimes I fear the world you were born in to. Politics, terror, racism, gender inequality, there are so many things that keep me up at night. Things that when I was growing up, shaped my life perhaps in a different direction. Don't get me wrong, I love where I ended up. My parents did an amazing job raising me, I married the love of my life, have a decent job, a wonderful education and now I have you.

However, my hope is you will have more opportunities than I ever did to make your life exactly how you want it to be.


I am encouraged by the movements I've been seeing today and despite the grim reality that sometimes we live in, it is the good people that you see fighting for what they believe in that we need to look to. I hope that your father and I have it in us to raise you to be one of those people.

You are surrounded by so many female friends and family who are fantastic role models to help you achieve what ever goals and dreams you set for yourself. While I have unreasonable expectations as to what wonderous mountains you will move, ultimately, what goals and dreams you decide to chase are yours and yours alone.


What I can hope for and try to teach you, is to be good to people. And I do not mean just making sure you smile at the lady at the Starbucks counter. I mean, open, bleeding heart caring for people you do not know and a resounding love and open affection for those that you do know.

As your great Aunt would say (and still does) "Nice Matters"

Right now, the world is not nice. This includes the world your father has a career in. My unrealistic expectation is that by the time you are grown up, those kinds of people that make things toxic, especially for women, will be long gone and you can choose what kind of career and goals and wishes you want.



What I am trying to say in all my ramblings is that, even if the world is just as toxic as it is now, my hope is that you will grow up to be a caring, selfless, strong, independent, strong-willed woman like the women in your family that came before you.


Love you forever,

Your Mother

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Player 3 has Entered the Game


BabyCPK entered this world at about 11:22 am on February 28th. 7 pounds 6 ounces, 20.25 inches long

Short and ungory birth details

We had arrived at the hospital at about 8am on the 27th for an induction, spent 28 hours in the labor and delivery room, and about 18 hours of active labor. I ended up trying for an epidural, which helped with contractions, but was placed too high, so I felt all of the delivery, which I didn't know I wasn't supposed to.


 
BabyCPK rocking her first onesie. She gets cranky when changed, so this is the best we could do 

Breaky was and is an absolutely amazing partner and husband. More than I could have ever even dreamed of. Supportive for every contraction, cutting the cord, taking care of the baby in the recovery room once she was here so I could get some sleep.


He is already a fantastic father! <3 

This baby girl takes after her father, in the way that she has the vocal cords to let everyone know she is awake a HYPED. Or, you know, hungry and cranky. All the same thing right? 


New gaming shirt? Will BabyCPK make a stream appearance or two? Who's hyped? 

Hello world! It's ME. 

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes, the flowers, the presents, the food, the visits, the help. We love you all and appreciate every single one of you. If we forgot to say something directly to you, it is probably because we are blissfully sleep deprived.



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I Have Created a WoW monster


 So we are in the "Final Countdown" so to speak with our pregnancy. Literally any day now. I've been eating dates, bouncing on the yoga ball, walking all over Costco, baking (yes, I have successfully been baking, and for some weird old-wives-tale reason it is supposed to help the baby come?), eating spicy foods  and virtually everything else that is supposed to help labor come naturally.

Breaky has been doing a great job of taking care of me. Cold compress? Check! Back massage? Check! Walking with  me around Costco? Check!

When he is not helping? He is doing this Project 80 thing for World of Warcraft. Even on the laptop in the living room while we watch the 2018 Olympics. He is super dedicated to getting this completed. If I understand correctly, it basically involved leveling up a WoW character to 80. You can get more information by watching him stream! 

I responded to his tweet this morning regarding streaming his Project 80 WoW stuff:

I did have to make sure to let him know he could NOT play while we were in the hospital actually having the baby. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Customer Service the Way it Should Be



So this blog post is a little overdue.

Please forgive me, I am pregnant, and everything hurts and I feel like I'm 800 pounds but I cannot stop eating and I keep crying during Olympic commercials.


Many of you may remember the blog post I did about our experience at AMC Theater while seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi. 

Well, a representative from AMC tweeted me after I posted the blog post and a manager ended up emailing us about our experience. We were appropriately compensated and there was a full apology. Mind you, they responded like RIGHT away. Like, holy cow you must really care kind of RIGHT AWAY.

So, huge shout out to AMC Theater for caring enough to make it right, and my apologies to them and everyone for waiting so frickin long to make a blog post expressing our gratitude.

We will absolutely go back to AMC once the baby is here and she is old enough to be with a baby sitter for a night.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wonder Woman Baby Shower


A few weekends ago, we had our second baby shower. The first was back in my home town with some very lovely family and friends of the family.  The theme was "You are my Sunshine." Since many in attendance may not know I even have a blog, I did forgo doing a blog post about it, but please know I had a wonderful time surrounded by some of the best and most supportive friends and family.

The second shower was Wonder Woman themed, put on by my sister, Mom and good friend Hollicakes, who is frequently featured in the blog, as she and her husband are amazing friends.

We had games, onesie decorating, great food at Theo and Stacy's restaurant, and as always, the best desserts.

Here are some pictures of the shower:



I got a pretty sash to wear you guys! LOOK

These red velvet cupcakes were AMAZING

My lovely sister and her onesie decorating results. Gotta love Harry Potter

Not only did we get cupcakes, we got these adorable cookies too! 

It wouldn't be a geeky shower without OVERWATCH! Thanks to the amazing Vesta for the amazing hand-drawn Mercy onesie 





Huge shoutout and thanks to everyone who came, enjoyed and celebrated with us. It was one of the geekiest showers I've been to, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. :) 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Another Day in the Life of an ESports Wife Pregnant Edition

About a year and a half(ish) ago, I wrote two blog posts about how it is like when Breaky travels for work or work-related events. First blog, second blog

He is, yet again, traveling right now as we speak. Problem is, I am now nice and round with being over 7 1/2 months pregnant. Not to mention the hip pain, constant heartburn, a pulled muscle from sneezing (no joke), back aches, and the inability to actually bend all the way over.

For YEARS I lived by myself. If I needed to, I could do it again, but I love Breaky very much and he is a great husband and partner, and I would get lonely. But that doesn't mean I still don't have the capacity to be independent if I needed to be. Most of my previous blog posts were made to be funny or are little things I was sure someone else would find entertaining. Like figuring out time zones or making a "honey-do" list for when he gets home, or eating all the ice cream because only the dog is here to judge me.

Now that I am pregnant, we are running to a slew of other problems/issues I forgot about until he was gone.

  • Breaky was in charge of shoveling the snow from our driveway. Guess what's forecasted for the entire time he will be gone? Fluffy white stuff from Hades, that's what. Don't think I should be out there myself shoveling that stuff. 


  • Playing with DogCPK is probably not as entertaining for her as it would be if she got to play with anyone else who doesn't get out of breath from putting her shoes on. 


  • It is not as much fun when I have to get up out of my chair to get a snack due to cravings. To my credit though, I have not yet asked Breaky to go out in the middle of the night due to my cravings. Yet. I still got like, 7 weeks to go.


  • If I wanted to take a bath or sit in a deep chair, Breaky usually helps me get up. Otherwise I just feel like an overturned turtle