An Outsider’s Guide to Exploring Portland {I Heart Jim Gaffigan}

Sometimes, you post to Jim Gaffigan’s page two days before he comes to town and think you’re funny until you hit “done” and then immediately regret it but can’t find it to take it down. Your FaceBook app is glitchy and it hates you after updating it.  But then you’re already in bed and are too lazy to get up and change it on the computer so you say Eff It and go to sleep.

Then you decide to out yourself immediately the next morning because maybe it will make it less worse (it doesn’t) and make someone feel better about themselves (they won’t).

Sorry, Jim. And also, welcome to my favorite city.

Hot Pockets Forevah,



Dear Jim,

I know you probably have one million posts to read and you give them to an unpaid, yet over-eager intern to sift through. I get it.


While you are in Portland, I have four appropriate recommendations for you. And as Portland’s ONLY family/food blogger, I think you should take my advice to heart about the best places to eat and drink while you are in my town.

1. Chain restaurants. They’re family friendly and CONSISTENTLY serve mediocre food every single time no matter where you are. Some folks might want to devour a Lardo  Pork Meatball Bahn Mi or anything The Woodsman Tavern has ever served. Skip it. Go for what you know.

2. Voodoo Donuts. Never has there been a donut place so revered. Go there. Wait in the hour long line (or delegate yourself this task, Intern) for a novelty donut that tastes like every other donut ever. Blue Star might have artisan ingredients like milk gleaned by a monk from a free-roaming cow and straight up liquor instead of mystery creme filling in their donuts. It’s no matter. A donut shaped like Texas(s) is waaaaay better.

3. Hit every Portlandia landmark. Laugh ironically as you pull out your Apple II-e and compare jokes with people in the park. Feel victorious because you are taking hipsterdom to a whole new level. Skip the lesser known places like St John’sRocky Butte and Sauvie Island because they’re super unpopular amongst tourists and way too straightforward in their greatness.

4. CBIC Trifecta – Coffee. Beer. Ice Cream. These locally crafted treats are incredibly overrated. Instead of opting for Sterling Coffee, a pint at Breakside, or fresh waffle cone packed with salted chocolate ganache ice cream with caramel ribbons from stupid Salt & Straw, there’s a strip mall in Beaverton that has a Starbucks, liquor store, and Baskin & Robbins sure to make your toes curl with delight. Plus, you have the opportunity to run into Phil Knight over there. He’s a REAL celebrity. You can totally fangirl him.

If you, or your beleaguered intern, need any more recommendations, please feel free to ask! I would just shout this to you at your show, (Because who doesn’t love a good recommendation or opinion in the middle of a standup routine? Just ask Demitri Martin.), but we missed our window to buy tickets. Which is ultimately for the best because we decided instead to prepay our two year-old son’s college tuition 18 years ahead of schedule. Inflation, bro. Go class of 2035!

May all the delightful Portland weirdness find you here,

How Jimmy Fallon Saved My Morning Milk: A Pump Story

Jimmy Fallon
Photo Credit: NBC


So, we *might* have started a bad habit around here.

Pumping and toddlers don’t really mix, so I’ve been trying out different shows to see what E will watch so I can pump in relative peace. And by peace, I mean not chasing him while trying to keep all the milk in the bottles and the pump attached while redirecting him with one hand and carrying my pump in the other.

Pro Tip: Toddlers love to be chased, especially when you are doing something that is completely inconducive to running and hopping about.  Like pumping. 

The thing is, my son doesn’t like television in general, and possesses a special loathing for children’s TV.  Dora the Explorer? Nope.  Calliou? Oh, hell no.  Sesame Street? Ask me again and I’ll cut you.

E actually turns the television off, and then violently shakes his head no while simultaneously shouting “all done”.  Apparently, when you’re 20 months old, you have strong feelings about the kind of media you are willing to consume.  And kids’ shows just don’t work for him.

So, I turned on Jimmy Fallon one morning out of sheer desperation.  To be clear, this was for my sanity, not E’s. I know. I was breaking ALL of the good parent screen rules.  But great golly, my boobs were like fully loaded water balloons and they were about to burst. Jimmy is typically pretty clean, and is a big kid himself. Plus, The Roots is his house band so I know my son would be exposed to quality music. I wasn’t particularly proud of this parenting choice, but I HAD TO PUMP.

I fired up Hulu, and from the first jazzy strains of  The Tonight Show’s “Hey hey hey HEY!” theme song, E was transfixed.  He danced while The Roots played.  He clapped with the rest of the audience when Jimmy came out on stage. He laughed at the funny jokes, and smiled during the silly games and skits Jimmy did with his guests.  He even pulled out his pink ukulele to play along with the musical guest. And as soon as it was over, he turned the TV off.

Now E wakes up, gives me a big smile and sweet cuddle, then points to the TV as soon as we come out of his room.  He wants Jimmy.  I’ve created a monster. A tiny, Jimmy Fallon-loving, The Roots-dancing creature who wants to start his day with a diapered-booty shake and belly laugh.  I can’t blame him, really.

Maybe I should feel appalled and ashamed that my toddler starts his day in front of the TV. Maybe I should feel guilty as any decent mother would because I’m breaking The Rules.  But I don’t.  I’m crazy thankful for the opportunity to pump in peace while we are both entertained and share some giggles together.  We have plenty of time for play later when the milk is made and Jimmy is over and the TV is off.  And if watching 40 minutes of TV is the worst thing that happens today, I’m okay with that.  In fact, I’M GREAT WITH THAT.

Thank you, Jimmy Fallon. You are toddler magic.

Love and Milk,
Pumping in Portland

PS~ If you want a really great belly laugh, watch this.