31 August 2015

Rambling Life Update Post

When I started this blog 5 years ago, I promised I'd never start a post with "It's been a while." So hello. I am here. Sometimes. Let's get on with it.

:: This little one turned 4 months old half a month ago. She finally got to see the doc last week, and she is 14lbs, 11oz. She has rolled belly to back once (maybe twice), but now consistently rolls back to belly and basically hangs out like this during all waking hours:

Then she cries when she gets tired of it because she can't remember how to roll out of it. Sigh.

:: B has re-started school, and Cora has re-started daycare/preschool. She was wayyy more excited than this picture shows. (And I was trying to hold Audrey, who was spitting up as I was taking this pic with my other hand. Always an adventure.)

Cora is now in the Pioneers class. She has now asked both me and B what classes we are in. B is in the "Engineers" and I'm in the "Brokers." Whatever works, right?

:: Since Cora's daycare is for 18mo+, that means we had to figure out what to do with Audrey. Someone I met through online Catholic blogging circles stepped up. She's a homeschooling mom of 4, her husband is an attorney (and helped us write up a Childcare Agreement), she's crunchy enough to be willing to use cloth diapers for us, and her sister is a Sister.

Maybe you figured it out? Audrey is now in the care of Amelia at One Catholic Mama for 4 days a week! I think she likes it.


:: Our church directory pic came in. No apologies for this being a picture of a picture.

Yes, Audrey slept through the whole thing.


:: I got my hair cut super short and everyone likes it but me. We got headshots done at work last week, and I wish I'd just left it long. Sigh. But new LinkedIn pic will be coming anyway because my current one has been photo-shopped (by me) to death.

Okay but really.
This was a GOOD hair day. It's gone downhill since.

:: I made an ad for a charity event/auction's program. I'm pretty impressed with myself. My company has contracted most of our big ads out with an agency, but occasionally these little dinky things come along and usually have a quick turnaround time (I had one day's notice on this). It's exciting to me, though!
(I swear it had a top line in the high res version.)

:: Frugal win: I downloaded the McDonald's app and I'm getting a free sandwich. See for yourself.

I'll leave you with a another cute kid pic.

18 July 2015

Thoughts On a 3-Year Gap

Right before I had Audrey, my mother-in-law kept telling me that Cora would look so old to me after the baby arrived. "She'll look like she's ten!" she kept repeating.

Well . . . that didn't happen. Three year-old Cora still looked like a three-year-old to me. (Both B and I thought she felt incredibly HEAVY after lifting an 8 pound baby for a few days, however.)
Meeting for the first time. Obviously Audrey is LOVING it.
I thought about why my MIL's prediction didn't pan out for us and realized that her first 3 kids were all 2 years apart or slightly less.

Yep, she has the stair-step. Most of my friends have the 2-year stair-step. The one I didn't think I wanted but then envied when it took us longer than we thought it would to conceive another child. After observing Cora and other friends' children, I came to the conclusion that somewhere between 2.25 years and 2.75, our little ones transform from "baby" to "kid." So Cora was already transformed and didn't need a new baby to push her that way.

While I think any age gap between siblings has its blessings and challenges, I think the 3-year one has had some definite benefits for us.
  1. Only one kid in diapers. Less dollars on disposables, less laundry loads of cloth diapers.
  2. The big kid can dress herself. This is just really nice.
  3. She can fetch me things from other rooms and follow multi-step directions
  4. Cora can play unsupervised around baby. I'll admit this took a little work since in the early days she wanted to push Audrey in the swing or get up in her face, but now I can easily step out of the room and take a shower or clean something.
  5. We're not having dinnertime picky-eating battles or bedtime battles any more. Last summer was rife with these, and now we have different battles, but the overall routine of the day seems to go pretty smoothly (although my husband may disagree a bit since he's been the one home with them while I'm at work!)
  6. On a personal level, it was good for me to not be nursing or pregnant for a stretch. I was able to focus on my physical fitness (and mental health) and knock out some goals (like running a 5K in 26 minutes!)
  7. And the best benefit so far: Cora will clean up spit-up!! Audrey has a pretty classic case of infant reflux, so sometimes she just spits up while sitting in her swing or whatever. Cora is very caring and will holler, "She spit up!" so I tell her to get a rag (which we keep everywhere now!) and clean her up. And she does!! Commence lots of lavish praise for my big helper.
I'll obviously take whatever gaps God gives me when it comes to children (I have miscarried before and know the pain that comes from planning one thing and reality being completely different), and I don't think there is a right or wrong number of years, but so far, I am liking this 3-year gap.



I unintentionally wrote a list of 7, so we'll call it 7 Quick Takes for this week! Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum

06 July 2015

2015 Resolutions: Mid-Year Check-In

I made me some resolutions (slash to-do list) way, way back 6 months ago. Let's see how they're panning out.


1. Have baby, name the baby!
Done, and done! I had said in January that naming was harder than birthing, but I got a stubborn one who had to be induced at nearly 2 weeks late. Named in about an hour after birth, little Audrey Francine has been a pretty awesome baby so far.


2. Still be pumping at work a year from today.
As much as I was dreading pumping, I'm doing great! And I don't dread it. I got my routine down and my supply is doing beautifully. I can pump out her full 4oz. feeding in less than 15 minutes usually (and in my first morning session, it's more like 6oz.) It's too early to say, but I think I'll make it the year.

3. Decorate Cora's room.
Done! The only thing missing is the curtains that I haven't made yet. B has contributed, too. Her room runs really hot in the summer and he bought these tinting decal sticker thingies for the window that have really helped!


4. Read 12 books.
Well, I thought I wasn't on track because my book club read the same book for 6 months (which did not help light any fires under my bum), but actually I've finished exactly 6!

My book list so far, and I'm currently reading another two:

1. Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs
2. The Beginner's Photography Guide by Chris Gatcum
3. Marriage: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures by Amber Dusick
4. Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
5. Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
6. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

And yeah, 2 of those (numbers 3 and 5) are sorta what I call "throwaway books" that I read in like a day. Totally counting them.

5. Run ONE race.
I have gone running once so far since giving birth (one mile, and it was S L O W), so I'm sorta on track! I think my goal is to run the River City Rat Race in October.

6. Host 4 dinners at our house.
We've had one. And does Cora's birthday party count? Or hosting Book Club? (Things to ponder.) My sister and her family and my parents are coming in town this week and we're having a baptism party, so I think I'll count that somehow as another.

7. Learn how to use my fancy camera.
I read the photography book, sorta figured it out but still haven't invested the time or energy to do everything on manual. But I do know my other settings pretty well and have gotten decent shots.
Taken a few months back while Cora ate a snack and I messed around with manual settings.

8. Get that blasted passport already.
Still need a push on this. Maybe we just need to plan a trip to Canada so I get it done.

----------------

Basement Update:
And this was on last year's list, but it keeps evolving, so I thought I'd share. I had the goal to clean/fix up the basement back in 2014.

Before everything, here was what we were working with:





Yikes.

Mid-year check-in (a year ago from now) it looked like this:




Nice, right? Except then life happened.

End of the year, it looked like this:




And now, thanks to my wonderful husband, it looks like this!

I had no idea we had beanbag chairs until I took this picture. Where did they come from?
Yep, B's homework table is still there. And the beach chairs stay . . . We'll get a couch eventually.

So those are my goal updates. I think I have a good chance of hitting them all within the next 6 months. How are you doing with your goals?