Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Ol' Shopping Dilemma

Um, if you remember ---> this post <---, you'll recall how sometimes shopping outside of the home is just not worth it.

With our upcoming vacation, I've been wanting to get a few new things. I could really use some new shoes.
I need good shoes for traveling, and unfortunately the ones I just got don't fit the bill.

oh, hey Cinque Terre, let's go for a walk.
I also wouldn't mind having just a couple of new shirts and maybe a dress. I dunno. I always get all shoppy when I have a vacation coming up. Whatever.

So here's where I'm conflicted: do I go *out* shopping? I can try everything on, see it in person, maybe get better sale prices than they have online..and hurry around to get it done in 2 hours because that's the window of opportunity my tricky daughter gives me...
OR, do I shop online while she sleeps and get more important business done during the day?
The risk I have with this option is: not realizing that I will have numb toes for 2 days after wearing the above shoes to a certain 10 year high school reunion.

My next question: how pathetic is it that my biggest conundrum in life as a parent is "to shop at the mall or shop online??"


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Charlotte's Baptism

Today Charlotte was baptized! It was a beautiful service at our church and we really felt God's presence there today.
I have always loved our baptism services at church. We have some pretty amazing pastors who just have a great way with words.
I just love how Charlotte was welcomed into such a loving community of believers who promised to offer their support and prayers for her. And on top of that, it's a huge reminder of God's grace. As hard as it is to believe, Charlotte is not perfect. She was born into a world full of sin, and God has promised her the opporunity to have a fulfilled life amidst all of the garbage in the world.
While standing in front of the congregation, I was trying to hold it together as Pastor Joy talked about the hard times that are to come - how someday she might be feeling lonely (NO! I never want her to feel lonely!) and that life has so many challenges - and throughout all of it, God is faithful to his people. God reached out to my little Charlotte and promised her Hope! Oh, it brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat.
Following her baptism (she tried to eat the bowl containing the water - no little splash of water for this baby! she's drinking it!) , our church has a tradition in which a family member brings her around and people offer their blessings and well wishes and it's absolutely amazing!! I followed Marcus as he marched her around. The first person we passed was a boy who was about 8 years old who held her feet and looked right at her and said "God bless you!" SERIOUSLY!? I somehow managed to keep it together. It always seems like I'm the only one who's super emotional about this stuff.

Overall, it was such a wonderful experience. We had our family over to our home afterwards and enjoyed the beautiful day!

I don't always put a giant flower on her head. :)
With Dad before the service

She loved making new friends

With the Grandparents

Love that smile!

Charlotte loves Kylie!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Blogoversary!

Yesterday was my one year blogoversary!!
I've been oversharing for over 365 days!
To celebrate, I am sharing photos of the last year highlighting some events of each month.

With the help of my niece and nephews, we shared the news of our sweet baby girl joining the family!
They each unwrapped a gift bag and pulled out the cards. So fun!

In September, we babymooned in Miami! It was an amazing trip, I was totally spoiled. WTF am I doing, you ask? I had a lot of discomfort due to the kiddo (who was like a pound and a half, mind you) putting pressure down under. I convinced myself this would help.

One of the few photos I have from October. About 29 weeks pregnant.

My sweet friends threw a baby shower for me in November! It was beautiful and so much fun!

I was surprised with this beauty on Christmas morning! Just living the minivan dream....

WELCOME CHARLOTTE JANE! January 4, 2011. Pretty Big Deal.

Oh Darbs. I wouldn't exactly call this a highlight of February, but I just had to feature the hound for once. :)
And yes, that's a boppy wrapped around her. She did this to herself, I had nothing to do with it.

Wine tasting in March. Our first little getaway with the kid was a success!

Ready for vacation! We traveled to Florida and Charlotte took her first airplane ride. She made lots of friends. What I really mean, is she made no friends because her diaper failed and she stunk up the plane and was crying.

In May, we went to see NKOTBSB and my face hurt from smiling so much. It was my first *fun* night in a  l o n g time!

Our first time leaving Charlotte over night! As you can see, I was very tormented by this and had a miserable time.

Enjoying the beautiful weather we had for the entire month of July. Charlotte loves spending time outside.

It sure is nice having a dog around when she starts feeding herself! She stinkin loves graham crackers.
One year ago, little girl, we found out that that's exactly what you were!

Thank you blogosphere, for letting me share the exciting, the mundane, and the just plan weird happenings of my life. I appreciate you, my readers, for your comments and ideas and advice that's been shared. Your words of encouragement are invaluable.
Here's to another year of oversharing!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Word On Mom Guilt

I've been hearing a lot of stories lately about the guilt that is associated with motherhood.
I've had conversations about it, overheard discussions on it, and today on Hoda and Kathy Lee, they had guests on to talk about it. It's evident that this is an on-going battle that many moms deal with.

First of all, it's hard enough being a mom and making decisions that effect THE REST OF YOUR CHILD'S LIFE. We don't need your opinion on whether you think I should stay at home or go to work or if I should let her cry or pick her up or if I should breastfeed for 18 months or give her formula of if she should choose when she should start solids or if I puree every frickin thing so she can eat at 5 months or if she sleeps on her belly with a blanket or I strap her on her back or if I'm rigid with a sleep schedule or if I let her do what she wants....unless I ask you for your opinion.

I've been asked countless times (about going to work) "but isn't is so hard leaving your baby? <sad baby whiney frown face>" You know what? No. It's not. I don't know if I'm supposed to feel terrible about leaving her, but I know she's in wonderful care and gets to spend time with Grandma and her cousins. Don't get me wrong, my face sometimes tingles in anticipation of feeling her chubby cheeks smashed up against it. I can't wait to kiss her pouty lips and squish her pudgy thighs, but don't you dare make me feel like I've made some super difficult choice.

Another important point to make is that when you say things like "I know it's hard when mommy has to leave" or "some moms have to go to work" your kid gets the wrong message. Whether you stay home or go to a different job, what you're doing is work. "This is just the way it is" might be a more appropriate message.

Growing up, my mom had to work. She raised my siblings and me on her own (for a majority of the time) and I never questioned why she had to do it. It was the way it was. I don't know if she ever had any amount of guilt, per se, but for her it was just the way it was. No biggie. Now that I am an adult and have a child of my own, I see already how my actions and my response to life directly effects my baby. No need to get her stressed out about my personal guilt. Yes, I am going to deeply miss her when we go on vacation without her next month, but guilt? I don't think so. Traveling internationally across multiple timezones isn't fair to her. I suppose we could just not go, but it's also a possible once in a lifetime trip. I go trying to justify it.

Anyway, I know this might seem like it's sort of all over the place. I should have mapped this out better.
All I want to communicate is that guilt is bullcrap. Do you what you need to do to help your family thrive, and don't worry about it. If that means taking a kid free vacation (I'm talking to myself), or if it means closing the door while your baby blows off some steam at nap time, don't worry about it.

Have you sworn off mom guilt, or are you constantly feeling it creep up?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's Black and White and 6 Feel Tall?

That? is a receipt for our most recent grocery store visit.
It's nearly 6 feet long.
I should also mention that this was a combined visit between our home and our bro & sister in law.

Marcus and his brother went shopping together (this just cracks me up), and it was about 10:30 pm by the time Marcus got back home. I was already in bed sleeping, and he comes bounding into our bedroom like a big goofy 4th grader and wakes me up to show me how long the receipt is.

I yelled at him.
"Don't ever wake me up to show me a piece of paper."

But the next morning I reckon I found it quite entertaining.

Marcus loves coupons. He used to be into couponing...before there were television shows about it. We'd get groceries together, and he'd be running all over the store picking up a package of 4 t shirts (that he had a coupon for) because with the purchase of those t shirts, he'd get a free carton of eggs. And if he bought 15 boxes of cereal (using said coupons) he'd get 2 packages of batteries. I mean, obviously. He's not quite as into it these days, because there are only so many febreze candles one house needs.

we saved more than we spent!
I pixelated the swears on the receipt. Why do they do that?

Marcus also called me twice from the store SO TICKED that they didn't have some of the specific items he went to purchase. So, if any of might know who you are...can put in a word to purchasing...if that's possible....and tell them to buy more of EVERYTHING, we'd appreciate it. :)

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Project Marriage II (Sort of)

Well, July's Project Marriage challenge was Date Night.
I had it planned. I purchased tickets to go to the picnic pops, arranged for Grandma and Grandpa M. to babysit, purchased wine and other picnic supplies....only to have to be scorchingly hot and humid the day of the event. Our friends were all planning on getting together at a couples' new home, and I hadn't hung out with them in such a long time, so we opted to sell the tickets and spend the evening with friends.
I'm a firm believer in that Date Night is not Date Night when Charlotte comes along. Date Emily is different than Mom Emily, and I could definitely use some Date Emily soon. So, no, we didn't exactly participate in July's challenge, but we'll work on that soon.

If you're not familiar with Project Marriage - bloggy edition, check it out here:

I will tell you that I am looking forward to August's challenge..."In The Bedroom" bow chicka wow wow...wait. Not really. It's more about updating your space and make an improvement in the budoir. Let me just say, I have been wanting to redo our room since the day we redid it.

When we bought our home in 2006, it was in need of many, many repairs. It had water damage and most of the walls had been cut open to the studs to spray for mold. We had to have new floors, drywall installed, new bathrooms....almost everything. We made the unfortunate choice to pay our drywaller ahead of time. He and his buddy apparently got sick of working and left without actually finishing the project. It was a whirlwind renovation as we got engaged in May, bought the house in July, and needed to move in in November after the wedding. We did almost all of the work ourselves and were both working full time. So anyway, back to the drywallers...they didn't sand any of the master bathroom but we weren't able to tell that until after it was already painted. It looks like complete crap. My husband built a beautiful tile shower, there's gorgeous fixtures and cabinets, and terrible terrible drywall. We tried sanding it again, but it just wasn't working. So since that is attached to our bedroom, I count it as part of the project.

Here are the things I'd like to accomplish to make our space more lovely:
  • White beadboard in the bathroom to cover up shotty workmanship
  • Sell the (used when we got it) sleigh bed, dresser, chest, and nightstand
  • Make an upholstered headboard
  • Make a cover for an exisiting ottoman to coordinate with headboard
  • Big time purging of the closet. I have a LOT of clothing I need to find a new home for. I'd like to first try to get some money for it, and what doesn't sell I will donate. I am not keeping the things that I decide to sell.
  • Bring in some other used furniture that might suit our room just fine (we'll see!)
Today I already cleaned out my dresser and got rid of a lot of worn out socks and PJs and whatnots, also found a bunch of socks that never belonged to me jammed behind one of the drawers. lovely.

It seems that this should be a pretty big challenge for the month, but I really wanted to do most of this anyway, so what better time than for Project Marriage!

Oh, and let me know if you're interested in purchasing our bedroom suite! :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Big High Five For The SAHM

I took most of last week off from work. I was really looking forward to living a normal daily life with Charlotte, enjoying some beautiful weather at the family cottage, and not having to rush off to work and leave my sweet little angel baby.
O.M.GOOOOOODNESS. What an s-ton of work it ended up being.
I should at least mention that it wasn't exactly "normal daily life" since we were staying overnight in a new place most of the week.
I should also mention that Charlotte was fighting off her first cold?/allergies?/teething?/big time snotty nose.
So with that being said, I was completely exhausted and I was fighting off the guilt I had for wanting to go back to work on Monday.
When Charlotte had her 6 month drs. appointment a few weeks ago, I mentioned that she was a big time grunter. Her ped suggested that she's probably just very bored since she's not mobile yet and she's also frustrated by this. I do not necessarily want a crawler, but good gravy, this kid sounds like a wildebeest.

So basically, she makes this sound all. day. long. She does it when she's happy, she does it when she's ticked.
Once and a while she'll make her sweet little girl cooing sounds, but in general, she grunts.
Not only is she loud, but she's not as content to play alone. This makes getting anything done very difficult. She does enjoy a drive in the car, a ride in her stroller, and sitting up in the shopping cart at Target. That isn't helpful when I have 5 loads of laundry and floors to clean. Oh, and on top of that? She decided that she's not going to nap more than 45 minutes. 
I do think that SAHMs are sometimes thought to have it "easy". I mean, how busy can you actually be? Kheee heeee. But hear this, haters: it is tough ass work!
I'm not saying that any postion is more difficult than the other, because they all come with their own challenges. I've had my moments where I feel that I would be the best stay at home mom OF ALL TIME, but then? one week with my own child and I couldn't even handle it!! What is wrong with me?

Anyway, all I am really trying to get at is that you moms rock!! I hope you have someone who tells you that on a regular basis, and if you don't, pretend that Charlotte's grunts mean "You're the best!!"