My Non-Resolution

Well, it’s that time of year. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just get on your Instagram feed and look at the 50,000 Flipgram recaps of everyone’s year. (If you haven’t checked out Flipgram yet, you should–it actually is pretty cool.) It’s that annual post-Christmas, full of sugary goodness and nostalgia, coupled with a stirring determination to make a fresh start thanks to this upcoming season. It’s the approaching of the New Year. 2014.

We’ve been going through the flu for the second time in our house. The first round hit us at Thanksgiving, but luckily Judah didn’t get it. And, it was staggered so Kyle and I weren’t worthless piles of skin shlepped on the couch at the same time. But not this time. This time it got all three of us, all at once, and right at Christmas. And it’s one of those lingering types. Ugh.

Anyway, all this to say, Judah woke up last night right as Kyle and I were ready to hit the sack. He obviously wasn’t feeling well, he was congested and just didn’t want to be put down. So, we had him come and lay in our bed for a bit until he was ready to return to his crib. This is what got me thinking about the last year, give or take, and all the things I did as a mom that I never thought I would. And, all the things I thought I knew FOR SURE before I actually became a mom and lived the life day to day.

1. “My child will never, never sleep in my bed.” Ha! Who would ever think that was possible? I know who–me, pre-motherhood, when I still thought that I’d wake up with this new motherly glow every morning and be greeted by the chirps of sweet birds as they draped my bathrobe around my perfectly pressed pajamas that fit over my “skinnier-than-I-used-to-be” post-baby body every morning. My bed was my place. And the crib was for the baby. End of story.

Well, Judah sleeps in our bed sometimes. And I love it. Most of the time. The rib jabs can get a bit old, lets be honest.

We were not co-sleepers when he was a baby, mostly because of my fear of crushing the small child, but now he can definitely hold his own. In fact, while I gingerly lay next to him, he thrashes all around, punches Kyle and I in the face frequently, and usually ends up leaving one or both of us sleeping on about an inch of mattress space. But how can you reject your child who just wants to be comforted by his parents when he’s not feeling well? Lesson learned pre-mom me, lesson learned.

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2. “My child will not use a pacifier past a year.” Well, he’s 18 months and going strong! He only uses it to sleep and for car rides, and I was just saying that we were going to nip this habit following Christmas, but now he has the flu, and I just don’t think I can do it. So, we’re pushing that one back to after his second birthday. We’ll see how it goes. And to pre-mom me, learned which battles to choose.

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3. “My child will be done breastfeeding by age one. I won’t do it a day later.” We made it to 13 months, and didn’t stop on my account. In fact, I still miss it. I fought hard to keep my ability to nurse Judah and was so happy that we made it that far, and that we could have kept going if he was interested. Now, to me, there is a certain time that I think a baby is a bit too old to be latching on…When your child can run up to you and coherently say, “Mom, I’d like some milk please,” it’s time to forego the boobs and tell the kid to grab a cup and the carton from the fridge. But, to pre-mom me, I learned that my baby’s natural instincts know best, and he knew when he was done, not me.

4. “My child won’t watch TV or play the iPad.” Hahahaha. Good one. Judah watches TV, and it’s totally fine. He also plays the iPad on occasion and is pretty freaking awesome at it. The kid learned to swipe, hit the home button, and choose his own apps in about five minutes. Kids today are amazing with technology. Judah doesn’t watch TV all day long or play the iPad for as long as he wants at any time. But he does get screen time. And no, I don’t think it’s melting his brain away.

He watches a show in the morning because mommy and daddy aren’t morning people and can’t function properly until they’ve had time to drink their morning coffee. He also watches a show at night as part of his bedtime routine. If any of you know my son, you know he will continue moving at top speed, running laps around the kitchen and living room until there are holes in the floor, no matter how tired he is. So, we transition to a more mellow time with a show. It works for us.

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And, sometimes when you have the flu and can’t find the energy, you watch a whole lot of Elmo in one day. And that’s okay, you do what you have to do and you’ll make up for it with extra library books in a few days. Pre-mom me, your child will be just as smart as the next kid, even if he does watch some cartoons.

5. “My child will only eat organic, locally grown foods and no sweets.” Well, that’s really nice, isn’t it? I would love to have more organics in our life and be better with what we eat as a family. But, I also realized quickly that once Judah was done with me, and ready for the world of solids, he doesn’t always want to try things other than peanut butter and jelly. And some days, getting anything down the hatch is a victory.

Judah is great about eating fruits, he loves milk and yogurt, and does fairly well to eat when it’s time for meals. But veggies are not his strong point. He will devour peas and loves edamame. So, he eats those a lot. Yes, I try to get him to eat different things and even meat, but that doesn’t always work, and sometimes he has peach yogurt for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a side of applesauce. And yes, he has eaten McDonald’s, he has had chicken noodle soup from a can, and you betchya he’s gotten mac n’ cheese from a box. Pre-mom me has learned. Some days, as long as he gets something to eat, it’s a win.

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All these little realities got me thinking. You can say one thing, but life often turns out another way. So, you roll with the punches. You fight only the battles worth fighting, and let some of the others work themselves out naturally.

To 2014: here’s for some more unexpected twists and some wild turns. Here’s to waiting, learning, and finding out what is to come. Here’s to living life one day at a time. And here’s to not making any resolutions.

Cheers, and Happy New Year everyone!

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What She’s Wearing, Reading, and Listening to:: Bethany

Well, after I asked Jaime to give me her list, I figured I should give mine.

During our packing process, I did a closet cleanse. It was a little frightening for me to realize I was thinking, “oh, I can still wear this” about a number of items, then remember back to when I bought it, realize it was purchased my Sophomore year of college, and reflect on exactly how long ago that was. Yikes! Into the giveaway pile it goes.

Though it’s fun to go through your closet and see things that are attached to memories or phases of life, it also feels really great to get rid of them. It’s also saddening to come to grips with your consumeristic self when you realize you still have a closet full of clothes and yet you also managed to fill four garbage bags of unnecessary items. It’s a pretty good reality check. So, though I love shopping and buying things, I made a personal goal to cut down and be a little smarter on what it is I purchase.

I’ve always been drawn to classic and basic when it comes to clothes. I don’t have much color in my closet, and I’m okay with that. I’m also really drawn to flowy, oversized, and comfortable. And since jumping on the mom train, practical.

For this post, I did not photograph anything that I currently have, I just found some similar products online, thanks to Google and the ever-popular Pinterest. I think you’ll get the drift, and the photos are probably much better than what I would have come up with.

So let’s get to it.

What I’m Wearing

This winter (and every other winter, I might add) my must-haves include:

1. Dark jeans. I wear jeans every day, no matter the occasion. Jeans can be fancy, grungy, and practical. And the great thing about jeans is that you can usually use the same pair for each category! I have two of these pair of jeans in my closet, my current favorite being the black pair. I also have them in dark blue and a similar pair in grey. I love them and wear them with everything. And, bonus…these suckers are $10 at H&M. Yep, $10. You can find them here.hmprod

2. Flannel. And not just because I live close to Portland. Flannel is a great layering piece. It’s easy to throw a flannel on over a t-shirt, or under a sweater, depending on the look you’re going for. I currently have 3 flannel shirts that I rotate and love, each for different reasons. Also, flannels are about the only item of clothing that include color in my wardrobe. I love this gem that I found on Pinterest, but you can get similar products here, here, or here.

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3. Oversized Sweaters. There is nothing like a comfy, warm, oversized sweater. Pullovers or cardigans, I don’t care. They can be worn over a pair of leggings for days around the house, or dressed up when paired with a dress, skirt, or my favorite–jeans and boots.  I would love to own this one here, but sadly, and not so sadly, I don’t have a few hundred bucks to drop on a sweater. You can find similar (and much cheaper) ones here, here, and here.

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3. Sweatshirts and t-shirts. Not your typical hoodie style sweatshirt or that free t-shirt you got from that one thing in college. Although who doesn’t love a good broken in hoodie, and you know I didn’t part with my most comfortable free college t-shirts. But, those stay indoors for me.  I’m talking about sweatshirts and t-shirts that you won’t feel totally gross in when you run into that really popular, always together girl you went to high school with when you’re out running errands with your screaming child. You can be comfy and still look okay, it is possible. Try throwing on one of these bad boys with a pair of skinny jeans and some flats and tell me if you don’t look put together yet just as comfortable as you would be in your oversized hoodie. Currently, I have two sweatshirts similar to this one in my closet from Forever21, and I have this beauty  on my Christmas list from H&M. You can find it here or similar ones here and here.

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I also recommend a comfy t-shirt such as this one, also from H&M. I have it in black and love it. It’s also a great layering piece. Find it here, or find similar ones here and here.

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4. Boots. Boots, boots, boots. I LOVE boots. I really loved classic Uggs, and still do, not because they look the greatest, but because they are so stinking warm and comfy. But, I decided to step up my game a little after my closet cleanse and become a little more adult with my shoes. Also, Uggs don’t really work well for the rain around here. So, instead, I’ve added boots like these, which can be found here at DSW, to my wish list.

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I’ve also had my eye on these rain boots, get them here:1534916-p-MULTIVIEW

And I wear boots similar to these at least twice a week. I got mine from this cute little shop.

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What I’m listening to.

Currently, I’m really behind in music. It used to be something that I made a priority, and I’m hoping to get back into that. Right now, I am listening to Lorde (I know, but I really like her) and Lord Huron. I also really love Young the Giant, and William Fitzsimmons.

What I’m reading. 

Reading isn’t something that I do, but again, I’d like to get there. Currently, Kyle and I are finishing up the last book in the Harry Potter Series. We decided to re-read it out loud together, and you can see why by visiting here (and yes, it has taken us a year, we know). After that, I’d like to re-read another all-time favorite of mine, The Great Gatsby.

I’m always interested in what others are wearing, reading, and listening to, so leave a comment if you’d like!

Also…I’ve added some new tabs to my sidebar over there ———————>>>>>>>>>> If you’d be so kind as to click on the “Top Baby Blogs” and “Top Mommy Blogs” links to vote for my blog if you think others would enjoy reading it, I’d really appreciate it. And, if you want to discover other great mommy or baby blogs, they’ve got TONS of great ones. Also, I promise that will be my last mention of that for a while 😉

We Don’t Believe In Santa Claus

Yep, I said it. We don’t believe in Santa Claus. (Or the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny…)

Gasp! I know many of you are probably thinking, Why? Don’t you have a kid? Isn’t that the fun of Christmas? Fun-sucker! You are a fun-sucker! Grinch! Well, you’re entitled to your opinions, but even though we aren’t planning on teaching Judah about Santa, we still fully enjoy the holiday spirit.

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I grew up in a house that didn’t believe in Santa and I turned out just fine. And no, I never ruined any other child’s visions of reindeer or jolly red suits. In fact, I used to leave out cookies and milk the night before Christmas, the only difference was, I always knew my parents would enjoy them while putting together all of our awesome toys for ridiculously long amounts of time the night before. Seriously though, assembling children’s toys is pretty much like constructing a small village using tiny plastic pieces. I mean, it’s insane. It’s kind of a nightmare. So, I’m sure those cookies were much appreciated.

Kyle and I decided before we had Judah that we weren’t going to do the whole Santa thing. Not because we frown upon others who do, it’s just not something we want to do with our family. We don’t see the point in lying to our kids for years, only to bring disappointment when they find out that we have been lying to them for years. After some discussion, Kyle and I realized that in the long run, my Christmases as a non-Santa believer were no different than his as a Santa-believer. So because of this, we came to the conclusion that there’s no point in breaking our kid’s heart. He’ll have plenty of time for heartbreak and let down in his life, and Kyle and I are fully aware we will cause more than enough of those feelings through faulty parenting, so consciously doing it is something we struggle with.

That being said, no, I don’t think that parents who choose to embrace Santa are bad parents. Let me say that one more time. No, I don’t think that parents who choose to embrace Santa are bad parents. I actually think that when kids learn Santa isn’t real, it can be a very valuable teaching moment. However, I don’t necessarily love the fact that when kids realize Santa isn’t real, they also eventually put together the fact that their parents fibbed to them for quite some time.

I will say, some of the traditions that go along with Santa are pretty fun, and there are so many times that I do wish I could say, “Judah, listen to mommy and daddy…Santa is watching!” Oh the power Santa has on a young child this time of year…Also, I love following The Elf on the Shelf shenanigans that people do. I think it’s super cute and so creative and I actually look forward to seeing what little messes those elves get into every night via social media.

So, now that I’ve confessed that we don’t believe in Santa, how will we handle Christmas? And, most importantly, how will we make sure our child doesn’t spoil the Santa fun for others?

We decided that we’re focusing on the reason we celebrate Christmas–Christ’s birth. I know, you can believe in Santa, and still bring the focus to Christ. I know, I know. I’ve seen it done with many, many other families who I very much respect. I also know I wasn’t deprived for not believing in Santa as a child. Christmas was still super exciting. Our house was beautifully lit and decorated, my sister and I were definitely spoiled on Christmas morning with awesome gifts, and we got to hang out in our pjs all day, eating candy and playing with our super cool new toys, or trying on all of our awesome new clothes. Christmas growing up was no different to me than any one of my friends who believed in Santa. The suspense was still there. That magical feeling only Christmas brings was felt.

I’m sure Judah will ask us about Santa. And, we will tell him that Santa is a story which many children believe to be real. We will also let him know that every family has different traditions, and that out of respect for those traditions, we don’t ever want to spoil what they look forward to. We will teach our son to be courteous to others, and respecting their belief in Santa is one of the ways he can show respect to his friends and family to whom this idea is very important.

I’ll admit growing up, there were a few years that I wondered if Santa was real. I wondered, yet I still knew my parents put all the presents under the tree.

I also put money under my pillow for the tooth fairy, fully aware that my parents were going to sneak in and place my monetary reward under my pillow before they went to bed.

Yes, we will celebrate many of the same traditions that go along with Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny. Who doesn’t love the joy of giving and receiving gifts at Christmas, or waking up to find money under your pillow because you lost a tooth? However, our intention is to give gifts at Christmas because we love each other and are carrying on in the tradition of the wise men giving gifts in honor of Christ’s birth. We will congratulate our son for losing his tooth and taking yet another step toward growing up. And on Easter, we’ll celebrate the resurrection of Jesus by reminding ourselves of his precious gift of forgiveness and life through obscene amounts of chocolate and huge meals with friends and family.

So, instead of Santa, we will celebrate Christ. We will celebrate generosity. We will celebrate family. We will celebrate our unique traditions. And you better believe we’ll be cozied up watching all our favorite Christmas movies and eating way too much sugar all holiday season long.

Yeah for Home Alone on the tube!!

Yeah for Home Alone on the tube!!

From Indiana to Oregeon

Well, we’ve officially been Oregonians for a week now, and so far we are loving it! This area is beautiful, it’s pretty awesome when you run down the street to Target (yes, Target is 5 minutes from our apartment…freaking out!!) and you see this when you pull into the parking lot:

So...this isn't the actual view from Target, but it's pretty similar, I just haven't take a photo of it yet.

So…this isn’t the actual view from Target, but it’s pretty similar, I just haven’t take a photo of it yet.

Our trip out was smooth. We know a lot of you were praying for us along the way, and those prayers were felt. We had no issues with weather, and Judah was amazing in the car. And I’m definitely going to brag about it because we only used the iPad twice in a week long, 32 hour journey. Also, we do not have DVD capabilities in our car. Let that speak to how great our kiddo was (at least until we arrived…).

We mapped out our trip according to play places and malls. And, luckily the weather was good enough to enjoy a park one afternoon. photo 3

Typically, we lounged at the hotel and let Judah burn off some morning energy and then took off  after lunch, just in time for his afternoon nap. Then, we’d stop somewhere for dinner, and try to burn some more steam for a few hours until bedtime, when we’d hop back in the car and drive for a longer period of time. Repeat schedule for the next 7 days. photo 1 copy photo 3 copy photo 4 photo 5

Once we reached Colorado, we stopped for a day to visit some of Kyle’s friends from his time living in Loveland. They were gracious enough to let us stay the night and stretch our legs for a while before hitting the road again. From that point on, our drive was pretty beautiful. Our favorite part, by far, was Utah. With sights like this, spending hours in the car wasn’t so bad. photo 1 copy 2 photo 2 copy 2 photo 3 copy 2

And…a week later, we ended up in Oregon! We’re still getting settled in, but luckily we didn’t have to wait terribly long for our stuff to arrive in the moving truck. Since we got rid of a lot of things, setting up our new place didn’t take very long. And, our butts will be pleased, we will have a couch this Wednesday. I’ll post a few photos from some favorite corners of our new place soon.

Thanks again for all the prayers and thoughts as we made the move. For now, we’re exploring our new hometown and getting to know all the fun things that are here for us. photo 2