Monday, October 31, 2016

All Sorrows' Eve



We are back from trunk-or-treating, and I am getting ready to hunker down with a PSL and some Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Guilt-free cause wrangling a baby toddler into a costume and then trying to photograph said toddler ain't NO JOKE.  

The Lord has told me, on multiple occasions, that users of the internet are now my new "people." Community, if you will. So with that being said, here are my late-night-after-trick-or-treating- thoughts. OH JOY! ;)  


First of all...I am loving LOVING all these sweet, adorable pumpkin-themed pregnancy announcements. April/March 2017. Spring babies. Please. Keep them coming. I'm also super "jelly" over how gorgeous and sweet and scrumptious you all are.


Mamas- you are doing good work. Just hold on. I hope you don't throw up ALL your candy. Maybe only the red starbursts...cause they're gross. I pray you keep the Reese's. ;)  


Secondly. So so so many of you have posted about how difficult this time of year is for you.


Infertility. Divorce. Lost loved ones.  


You will go to bed tonight, and you will look online at costumes on clearance for babies you fear you'll never have.  I know because I've been there.


You make a secret stash of your "missing person's" favorite candy and then stop yourself, remembering they aren't here to eat it.


Maybe you're single. Again.  


Maybe this year, your kids are too old to trick or treat, and that's hit you surprisingly hard. You're grateful (as everyone so graciously reminds you YOU "SHOULD BE")

...but you're sad. 

You're lonely.


I hate to sound pretentious...like..."Oh...guys...aren't I just sooooo compassionate."


BUT...motherhood and our 2 year stint with infertility has made me more vulnerable and aware of people's pain than I could have ever imagined. In that way, I'm grateful for the trial. It has helped me see the world outside myself.


Grief hits us in weird places. When we were trying to conceive...I remember one particular Easter being very, very hard. Even harder than Mother's Day...which I know sounds weird. I couldn't stand all the bunny pictures...chubby baby hands in lace trimmed gloves. Wide brimmed hats. I wanted to punch absolutely everyone. I prayed for God to break Facebook forever.


With all that being said....my broken, lost and lonely friends. I see you, and I hear you and I just love you so much. I will go to bed praying hard for you all tonight. Many of you, I do not know by name, but aren't you glad The Lord does? Tomorrow, Halloween will be over. We will start a new month, and you will brush your teeth and drink your coffee (in that order...or no?) and you will go boldly down that path laid out for you.  


Friend. You made it.





Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lunch Break Links

     Anyone else browse the internet on their lunch break?  Ella usually eats before I do.  She's usually pretty patient in her high chair and content to just hang out for a bit ((read: and rub food in her hair...haha))) Also...she is the easiest, most patient, sweetest baby toddler ever.  Have I mentioned that? 

ANYWAY...I usually use my own "lunch break" to watch a bit of a Netflix show or just mindlessly browse the internet.  I thought it might be fun to share a few sites I've been loving lately.  If you're looking for a way to entertain yourself on your lunch break, you've come to the right place. 

     Meg Fee wrote a great post about organizing her closet.  It makes me want to throw 99% of what I own in the garbage -ha.



      Little Coffee Fox is a super cute organizational blog I discovered via Pinterest.  So far, my favorite post is this one about preserving memories in your bullet journal.  I haven't even started a bullet journal...but it sounds equally overwhelming and fun.  I can totally see myself diving into post after post on Pinterest and Youtube at like...2 o'clock in the morning. Ha.



     This is a really cool article about kids growing up in New York City.  It has a little bit of a "Day in the life" format.  As somewhat of a suburban/ "country" girl,  I'm fascinated by how people spend their day-to-day lives in larger cities.

     This blog post about making crystalized stars.  I've already been thinking about what we can put on our Christmas tree that won't either be a "choke-able" or break easily.  I think these would be super cute, easy and fun!



WEDNESDAY, OVER AND OUT! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

7 Tips for Surviving your baby's Vaccinations


I know this can be a controversial subject. Before we begin, I just wanted to let you know  this is a post for people who believe in the importance of vaccinations.  In our family, we vaccinate. Period.  Please do not  use this as a platform to try to sway readers to think otherwise.  If vaccinations aren't your thing...feel free to quietly move on.  
K. Thanks. Love you. Bye. 

***********

     New mamas, unite!  Some of the best blogging advice I've ever received came from Kate at The Small Things blog when I heard her speak at the Influence Conference. Her blog became wildly popular via Pinterest when she felt she was simply teaching people how to properly curl their hair.   Never assume that people know the basics.   I know a doctor's appointment may seem pretty cut and dry, but here's a list of things I wish I would have known before I braved Ella's first few appointments.



1. Dress your baby in something comfortable and easy to remove / put back on.  She's going to get poked in her adorable, chubby little thighs.  Recently, I put Ella in stretchy pants and a long sleeved t-shirt.  I seriously considered a zip-up sleeper.  Your baby is probably going to be undressed for most of the appointment, anyway.  No one cares as long as s/he is clean and adorable (the cuteness is just a given, right?).  

2. ((If your child is not yet walking)) Take your car seat. For her 6 month appointment, I contemplated just bringing Ella in without her carseat because she had such good head control. She's sitting up on her own now, so it's cute and fun to just carry her along.  She looks so proud of herself.  However, she fell asleep on the way, so I ended up bringing her into the office still asleep in her seat.  I'm really glad I brought the seat with us.  I needed the extra hands for my wallet, insurance card, etc.  The car seat also made a good "catch all" for her pacifier, clothes, and other personal items...which leads me to my next tip.  

3. Begin gathering your things as the appointment progresses - don't wait to pack up until after your baby has had her shots  The first time Ella had her shots, I made the mistake of waiting to pack up until the very end. Poor Ella was half naked and SCREAMING while I gathered alllll our belongings (paperwork, shot records, toys).  It was a mess.  You don't want to pack up while someone is in the room with you because that might seem rude, but as they float in and out (as nurses and doctors usually do), use that as an opportunity to begin gathering small things like your phone, keys, jacket and paperwork. This will save you valuable time in the end.  

4. Promise yourself a treat. This one needs no explanation.  I always get Starbucks on the way home.  Mama needs a coffee drink!   

5. Find emotional support- Tim and my mom usually get several texts and phone calls before, during, and after her appointments (haha).  Read: SOMEONE SAVE ME WHY IS THIS HAPPENING WHAT HAVE I DONE TO OUR BABY!?!?!?! You get the gist.  

6. Wear an over-sized cardigan (for newborns / weather permitting) and bring a blanket for older babies.  Ella was a fall baby.  For her first few appointments, I would wear a huge cardigan and wrap her up in it (while still wearing it).  This is one of my top suggestions for new moms- even at home.  Ella loved to be wrapped up like that.  Now I'm having flashbacks of my teeny, floppy baby.  

7. Bring a comfort object (it will help you more than your baby...haha).  For one appointment,  I brought this little, white rabbit along, and I think it helped us both.  It was nice to plunk her down in her little seat while she was hiccuping and crying and trying to be so brave with her little arm around her friend.  Heartbreakingly cute.  (For the record, I totally comforted her first, obviously, but she was still sad when I put her down.  I don't know about anyone else, but I just wanted to get her out of there into the comfort and movement of the car)! We are trying to start weaning her off her pacifier during the day.  I didn't even think to bring one to her last (traumatic) 12 month appointment (2 shots and a blood draw).  In that moment, I would have paid $500 for a Binky.  No joke.  Bring the nuk. Grab the bunny. 

Hugs to you. You are doing good work, mamas.  Good-bye, Good Luck, and get Starbucks. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

September Goal Update

Last month, I posted a list of goals for September.  Here's a little update!  Oh, Happy Day! 

1. Re-organize our finances- This one is still a work in progress, but I did manage to nail down exactly what we owe on two of our smallest loans and make my own "payment plan."  I should have them both paid off within six months so...yay...? I even made a little bar graph and everything. Ha.  It's the little things...I'm giving myself an A on this one.



2. Weed, mulch and plant mums- Again, a work in progress (Tim is in the process of building me some flower boxes), but for the most part, we're finished.  If you want to get technical about it, I didn't finish this until October, but...we do currently have mums and mulch IN THE YARD.  It counts.  A+ cause weeding is hard.



3. Finish Make Things Happen + 1 More book- I'm giving myself a C+  I definitely could have worked... HOWEVER, I read a book about health and wellness (might share the title later, it was a life-changing book for sure, and I feel like the title alone doesn't do it justice).  Reading it involved a lot of new recipes, meal planning and time on Pinterest (of course), so I felt like that cut into my reading time, a bit.

3a. Finish my Powersheets- Did.not.happen.  Next month...?

4. Buy New Bras- I'm giving myself a "free pass" on this one.  In hindsight, it was sort of silly to make this my goal for this particular month.  Up until the end of September I was still breastfeeding Ella.  I've also met a few weight loss goals since mid-September so, my body is bound to change over time.  I'm going to try to see how things pan out before I go shopping.  This may not be something I commit to until November or December.  I'd hate to change sizes right after I make my purchases.  You just never know.

5. Ella/ Mommy fun time- This one went really well.  During the month of September, I wanted to be intentional about getting out of the house with Ella...especially now that she's getting older and interacting more with the world around her.  With the help of my new MOPS group, we made a trip to Totter's Otterville which is basically a giant indoor play land for kids.  It was lots of fun.  We also went to the park twice. I recently started taking her little, pink "walk-about" for walks down our long driveway now that the weather has gotten super mild (read: gorgeous) instead of miserably hot.  It's one of my favorite things to do with her.  




6. Write our will- Ugh. No.  This is one of those things where I have no clue where to start, so I just keep putting it off.  Advice is welcome.

     For October, I'm going to "cheat" and just carry over my unfinished goals to this month.  That brings me back to my teaching days...whenever we'd have an unexpected snow delay, fire drill or assembly, I'd just have to draw BIG ARROWS all over my lesson plans for the week.  October is one of my favorite months so...you'll hear no complaints from me!  

Love and don't drink from the water table,