Monday, April 20, 2015

A mama-bear Girl-Power! rant

Happy Monday, everyone.
I want to take a moment to introduce you to my daughter.

She bears many amazing qualities, so many that I doubt I could name them all in one blog post. Among them are strength, stubbornness, independence, orneriness, the love of play, and getting into trouble. 
She loves to read. She loves cars. She loves playing ball. She loves cats. She loves laughing.
She loves all things kids love. 

You've probably already noticed that she's wearing Batman pajamas in this picture. It was taken this morning after her nap. 

Shortly before this picture was taken, a nice lady came into the office and immediately took notice of her. 
How could you not? Her big, brown eyes are hard to resist.

"He's just all over the place!"
"How old is he?"

This wasn't the first time someone had mistaken her for a boy. I often dress her in clothes from the boy's department, mainly because I crave a variety of colors and print options that the girls section just doesn't have. You get pink, purple or yellow and that's about it. Sometimes I hit the jackpot and can find a teal blue shirt, but those instances are few and far between. 
The other reason is fit. My child is no string bean by any means, but the more the days wear on, the more baby fat melts off her precious face and she looks more and more like a little girl rather than a baby. Target [my favorite retailer and shopping destination] has a bad habit of making their girls clothes much too tight and short. Right now I'm having to buy her 2T in shorts so they're not riding up her butt every time she moves. She can easily fit into boys 12 month shorts and shirts. 

"It's she, actually, and she's 17 months."
I don't often correct people in passing if they get her gender wrong because it's an easy mistake to make when they're this young, and frankly I just don't care that much. But in this case she had asked me a question about my daughter and I wasn't going to intentionally call her a "he" in my reply just to avoid awkwardness.

"But she's wearing BATMAN!" 
And your point is....?

This is where the anger sets in. I knew the nice lady meant nothing by this comment. Not everyone is as annoyingly gender-equal crazy as I am. The reason is quite simple: not everyone thinks about it. To be honest, I didn't even think about it until I was pregnant with my daughter and I saw how these types of things could affect my child. 
But that doesn't make it any less annoying.

The kindest reply I could come up with was,
"Yes, she likes superheroes too."
and left it at that.

I can think of 100 questions now that I would like to ask that lady. 
It's similar to when someone says something mean to you but you can't think of anything witty to say at the time so you just kind of stare at them stupidly and then walk away. But later you come up with like 4,000 things you could say that would have made them feel like an asshole. 
That was me in this situation.

Please take a moment to think about what this lady said.
Let's break it down.

First off, she was a stranger. Assuming the gender of a baby or toddler is a tricky business unless they're wearing a shirt that explicitly says, "I'm a girl!" or "I'm a boy!" or their parents straight up tell you. If you're not sure, don't assume. You know how that saying goes.

Secondly, and most importantly, why can't my daughter wear Batman pajamas? That's a pretty simple question when you get down to brass tacks, isn't it? Why in the world would it not be okay for her to wear these particular pajamas?

Is it the color?
Is it because Batman is a man?
Is it because Superheroes are a "boy thing" and girls shouldn't be allowed to like things that boys like?
Is it because this lady is an unnerving prat who doesn't know her ass from her elbow?

The problem here was not that the lady assumed my daughter was a boy. Boys are cool, too. It's not offensive to say she was a boy, just like it's not offensive if someone mistakes a boy to be a girl. They might feel weird for doing it, but I don't think it's a big deal. 

The problem in this situation was that this lady didn't think Batman was for girls. If she had been wearing a pink hello kitty nightdress, I'm sure there wouldn't have been any doubt in her mind that my daughter was in fact, a girl. Because girls wear pink, right? 
Unfortunately this is just how our society sees boys vs. girls.

If my daughter wants to like Superman or Spiderman, that's her choice. If she wants to like Hello Kitty and Barbie, that's her choice, too. Neither of those things make her any less of a girl. If my nephews want to haul around a baby doll in a shopping cart, that doesn't make them any less boys. They all play in the same dirt, throw the same tantrums, and poop the same, smelly poop. 

Why are we deciding for our kids what it is or isn't okay for them to like? Why are we setting these limits to their play and their wardrobe? Why are we concerned whether or not that they're dressed "girly" or like a "boy"?
Who gives a shit?

Let them play!
Let them be their own person.
Let them decide what they like or don't like.
Let them be kids.

A sample of awesome Addi's wardrobe:

I hope you don't find this opinion annoying or offensive, as I know the whole feminism thing has gotten trendy as of late, but this is a discussion that needs to happen. 
This affects my children just as much as it does yours, boy or girl, young or old.

It's time to change the way we think.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

8 ways being pregnant the 2nd time is different than the 1st

As I slyly mentioned in my last post, I am once again knocked up. Due in early September in case you wanted to add it to your calendar. 

You probably gathered from my plethora of bitchy/satirical pregnancy posts with my first that I'm not a fan of pregnancy. I despise it, in fact. Luckily it all pays off in a matter of 9 months, but the wait to get there is really quite horrible. 

Now luckily not everyone agrees with me. Some people LOVE pregnancy. That's probably because they don't get the vomiting, migraine, swelling symptoms. 
And for that I say to them [in the rudest way possible]: "I hate you, please either shut up or pretend pregnancy sucks when you're around me." 

Luckily the second trimester has hit for me so I'm anticipating that "57 minutes of glory" to come along any minute. During those precious seconds in time, I will not feel like complete garbage and will make it a point to write a positive pregnancy post.

Having been pregnant once before, I've noticed a lot of differences the second time around. Like many things, there are pros and there are cons. Mostly cons. But I still get a baby at the end of the deal so I do feel pretty good about it.  

8 Ways Being Pregnant the 2nd Time is Different Than the 1st

1. That whole "other kid" thing.

The first and most obvious difference for your second pregnancy is that you have another kid running around somewhere. Hopefully you have tabs on them. If not, you might want to check that situation out. 
In my case, I currently have a 16 month old to deal with on top of growing a human. This takes the exhaustion symptom to a whole new level. I also bring said toddler to work with me every day, so on top of working full time, I'm chasing around a now incredibly-mobile wild child. 

2. Working out? No.

With Addi, I continued my workout regimen strictly until I got too uncomfortable to do so [around the 3rd trimester]. I was running, I got up at 6 am to do yoga, I even did weights. 
You wanna know what my workout routine consists of now? Having a toddler. I run after her. I stretch when I'm picking up her tornado of toys every 5 minutes and I carry all 24 pounds of her around with me when I'm too impatient to let her lolly-gag [walk]. 
As for those "no excuses" moms who claim that they always make time to work out, good for them. But I'm not one of them. I get home from work between 4-5, make dinner, clean up the house, chase my kid around, try to stop her from throwing fits, do the laundry, prepare food/drinks/clothes for the next day at work, help with jammies [dad gives her a bath] and we put her to bed. I go to bed around 9 and then I get up and do it all over again. I hardly have time to eat dinner, let alone sit and watch TV. Or work out. 
I wish I had time, I wish I had the energy, and I wish I had the motivation. But keeping the house in line is higher up on my list of priorities at this point [nesting] so the cardio can wait. 

3. Less freaking out.
As a first time preggo, it's in your genes to be terrified every time something weird happens to your body. Anything and everything will make you fear the worst. It's biological. 
Now that I've been around the block once, I feel much more confident when something weird happens. Unless you have unusual bleeding or recurring pains, you're probably fine. I kept my OB on speed dial with Addi, this time around I couldn't tell you their number if I tried. It's a calming feeling.

4. Symptoms are different with each kid.
I'd heard this before, but it never really resonated until it actually happened to me. On top of the additional fatigue, I also vomited my entire first trimester, whereas with Addi I only had nausea. And I've had migraines. It's been peachy.

I didn't do the progesterone shots this time around but I am taking a supplemental pill. This, I believe, seems to be causing the migraines. The vomiting is nearly gone, so that's comforting. Still holding out for those 57 minutes of 2nd trimester bliss. 

5. Appointments seem to come a lot quicker.
With your first, every doctor's appointment is SUPER exciting. But they also felt like a million weeks apart. I remember counting down the days until the next one! It was so fun to ask my doctor questions and get to see the little squirt on a sonogram. 

Now? I can hardly remember when my last appointment was. I just know that I have to go again next week and we find out the gender and I'm all, whoa...where did the time go, dude? 
This is also enjoyable for me because I hated waiting for my next appointment. Being this busy makes it feel like they're only a week apart! Talk about convenient. 

6. People seem to forget you're pregnant.
I don't know if it's because the first was SO glorified but I feel like this baby isn't getting as much attention as our first. It could also be because I just started showing and people seemingly forgot I was even pregnant [this included myself some moments].
It's kind of a bummer but it's also nice not having people ask you how you're feeling every 10 minutes. 

7. You show a lot sooner. 
I'm going a different route with my pregnancy updates this time around [meaning I won't be doing a weekly, just because you've heard it all before] but trust me when I say that I'm showing a lot more than I did the first time around.

This is likely because I was only not pregnant for a year and 3 months before I got knocked up again, therefore my lady innards didn't get a chance to shrink back to their normal size. [You're welcome for that detailed bit of information]

8. People stop asking how many kids you're going to have.
Apparently it's not enough to just have one child anymore because from the minute I got pregnant the questions started rolling in regarding when we were going to have a second. At that point, I was all, "hey, yo, I just got pregnant, give it some time" but it didn't stop when she was born. It felt like the minute she came out people were asking when we were going to have a second. 
Now that we're having our second, people don't really ask. And if they do, I quickly say, "we're done at two." and that's it. No more questions. We're done. It's a freaking miracle. Because there are no negative Nancy's out there telling you that you can't have an only child. Two seems sufficient to most people. Halle-freakin'-lujiah. 

It's the same principle, pregnancy, but it's much different if you've done it before. I know I've said it before, but I really am trying to get better about writing in my blog more frequently. I do have a lot going on these days so I have a lot to write about! I'll keep you abreast of the pregnancy situation, whether you want to hear it or not. 

Peace out, homies. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bathroom Makeover

Hey Ya'll! It's been a crazy past few months. The holidays flew by, Spring is nearly here, and I found out I am pregnant with number 2! Exciting times are in store for our household. 

Because of the influx in hormones and human-growing going on in my body, the nesting has started. It's in full force, people.

Last week was my 27th birthday [yikes] and I asked my husband to be my slave for a weekend instead of a gift. Also, there was no whining allowed [can't say he came through with that promise]. 

So while he took care of a few things I wanted done in Nugget's room [nursery reveal to come when it's actually done], I was busy redecorating the upstairs bathroom. 

I had two goals when planning this revamp:
1) Get rid of the infuriating tan color
2) Make it kid friendly while still appealing to adult guests

Since it is our main guest bathroom upstairs, I wanted to make it appealing to both kids and adults. Which is more tricky than I had imagined.

First off, I started by finding a new shower curtain. I loved the current one [a subway map of London's underground], but it's see-through. Meaning anyone who walks in can see everything in the tub. It's like having glass cabinet doors in the kitchen. No thank you. 

Looking at Target online I found a lot of great options, but one in particular caught my eye:
I thought it was the perfect mashup of adult & kid! 
And then I saw the price.
$89 bucks?? 
Even with my 5% RedCard discount I couldn't justify spending that amount of money. 
So, me being me, I thought, "eh, I can DIY that." 
More on that later. 

After finding the shower curtain I wanted, I had to decide on colors. 
Going for modern, I decided on light grey and coral red. I found some beautiful combinations of dark grey and red but this bathroom is quite cozy [small], so I wanted something a little lighter. 

Here are the before pictures of the old bathroom:

After picking up the paint at Lowe's and heading back home, I took a second look at the space and realized I wanted to do something fun on the wall above the tub [it's the first wall you see when you step inside the door]. I decided to paint that wall the red, but I also wanted to do a cool design. I searched Pinterest and quickly found a geometric look that's popular these days. 

The guy at Lowe's recommended painting all walls grey first because painting walls red is a real bitch. The grey would act as a primer [brilliant tip, Lowe's man. Worked like a charm]. 

After painting and edging all of the walls [only took one coat...hooray!], I started on the design.
My only tip for a project like this: 
Get a GOOD painter's tape.
Better yet, get GREAT painter's tape. 

Don't go cheap, people. It's like buying cheap toilet paper; it just won't work out.

Personally, I'm an avid believer in the Frog Tape [seen also in my Playroom Decor post]. 

I first edged the two side walls, then started with one long piece of tape down the middle of the wall [goes from middle to bottom left]. From there you can just lead pieces of tape wherever you want them to go. You can make your shapes as big or little as you want. It's quite refreshing!
I used an edging brush to paint the entire wall first [I think it helped to get the edges clearer in the long run] and then rolled two layers. 
I also did a couple of large shapes on two of the larger walls to add some more red. I made the mistake of listening to the helpful Lowe's man when he suggested I get an entire gallon. "It's only 5 dollars more!" he says. Turns out I could have done the entire thing with a quart, but oh well. 
C'est la vie.

I did two coats on these using only the edging brush. 
I took the tape off of these while the paint was still drying [as suggested by many articles] and only had a few spots to touch up with the grey. 

The results were flawless!! The red turned out perfect [and not too red. that would have been tragic].

Now onto the shower curtain. 
Let's recap the awesomeness:
Let's also recap the price:

I'm not living on Bono's budget, friends. 90 bucks for a shower curtain was just not going to happen.
Instead, I went ahead and bought a plain white fabric curtain from Target at the [much, much] cool[er] price of $15. I also bought some black acrylic paint from Walmart for $2. The brushes I already had on hand.
Total investment: $17 bucks.

I covered our dining room table [which luckily happens to be black] with wax paper and laid the freshly washed/dried curtain as straight as I could. I also taped it on either side to the table so it was tight and wouldn't bunch. 

I started off on a bad note [pun intended] by making the "we" a hair too small. Problem solved by adding a music note on the other side. 
I didn't take many pictures because I was also cooking dinner for a crowd of people at the same time, so I was rushing to get this done. You know, so my guests could marvel at all the hard work I put into decorating a bathroom.

Here's the finished product:
I edged each of the letters for a cleaner look. The splatters were messy but fun. I put some black paint in a container with a little bit of water and then just...well, splattered it.
All over.
Including the floors and a bit on the walls. [It wiped off easily, thank God]

Okay, so it's not perfect, but it's close enough and I didn't have to spend 90 bucks to get it!

As I said in my Facebook post, I'm really happy with how this turned out.
I think it's fun and contemporary; all good things!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Downtown Denver

We made our annual trip to Colorado last week for a long weekend getaway. We spent a majority of our time in Winter Park but stopped by Denver on our first day so Michelle and I could visit a wedding boutique in downtown.

I had only seen the downtown area at night so visiting during the day was a total "blow my mind" type of thing. It's like Lawrence on crack.

There are beautiful murals on the sides of most buildings, interesting art, fascinating people...I wish we could have stayed longer simply so I could have gotten more photos.

I couldn't believe the number of really cool lofts and apartment buildings!

I have a lot of pictures of the beautiful bridal shop we visited as well. I'll update you with those on a later date!
Right now I should be cleaning so I better go. Happy Saturday, all!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Project 365

Alright, so I've decided to start a new project. I'm the type of person who gets really excited about something and continues it for a month or two and then fizzles out, but I'm going to give this a good shot.

Since we have recently fulfilled my husband's longstanding desire to become a business owner and my hobbies have since taken a backseat, I've decided to take this year to refocus on one of my favorite things: Photography.

I have the fancy camera, I have the knowledge of how to work it, and I have some experience. But I also have a lot to learn. It is my dream to one day be a stay-at-home mom with a photography business on the side. I've always had a passion for photography and capturing everyday moments.

So, as many other photographers have done before, I'm taking the next 365 days to learn from myself, people around me, and from trial and error. I have a lot of specific things I would like to learn more about and I intend to do so with tutorials, books,  and maybe even a few photography classes.

The goal with Project 365 is to take a photo a day for a year; it doesn't have to be perfect, the composition doesn't have to be exact, it can even be with your phone camera [though I'm going to try to avoid this, sometimes you don't have another choice]. I'm going to be patient with myself if I can't get a photo every single day [because sometimes life just gets in the way], but I'm going to try my hardest! I think this will be a fantastic learning experience and I will at least get some great photos for a year! I probably won't share them all because they probably all won't be noteworthy, but I'll share my favorites when I can.

For my first photo, a candid of my daughter.
Her dad's eyes, ears, lips and nose, but she might have my hair color.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season. We certainly did, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad it was over! ;)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

15 things I've learned in 365 days of being a parent

Hey there, bloggers! I'm sorry for the radio silence. It's been kind of crazy around here as of late. As some of you might know, we just opened up a new business. With that comes chaos and zero free time!
But I decided that enough is enough.
I had to write something on my blog, mainly so people didn't start to think I had moved to an island with zero internet access [my worst nightmare].

My sweet baby girl turned one on the 25th. Suddenly I was staring at a crawling, babbling toddler who had grown 8.5 inches and put on 16 pounds in the span of a year. How did time go by so fast? It seems like I was just walking into the hospital to see if my water had broken!

Nothing brings back memories like writing [or typing] them down.

Here are some of the bizarre and not so bizarre things I've learned in my first year as a parent:

1. If you think talking about poop is weird, you're clearly childless.
We've had full on conversations about my daughter's poop schedule at the dinner table. I've talked about poop with random strangers before.  Poop brings us together, people.
2. You basically turn into a ninja.
There is nothing more important than entering or exiting a room quietly when your kid's sleeping in there. I have closed so many doors without making a sound. It's actually something I'm considering adding to my resume.

3. Whenever you hear a crying baby now your heart starts racing automatically.
Even when you realize it's not your kid doing the crying, it doesn't matter. It's a parent thing.

4. Your phone storage is no longer filled with selfies or pictures of food.
It's now pictures of your kid doing the same thing over and over. Or movies that will keep them quiet during a meal out.

5. Speaking of meals out:
Once they're no longer in that beautiful "infant sleeping in their carrier through the entire meal" stage, shit really hits the fan when it comes to dining out. Especially when they start eating solids. There's a reason why parents should tip more when they bring an infant out to eat. Kids are like tiny tornadoes, except they smell worse.

6. Any rules you stated before you had kids are out the window.
I swore that I would NEVER EVER IN A MILLION FRICKIN' YEARS let my children sleep in our bed. That stupid statement was made before I had been so sleep deprived I was literally holding my eyelids open. Sometimes you let your kid sleep next to you because you actually cannot survive if you sleep any less. [sidenote: this trend only started when the 9 month sleep regression hit. I wouldn't let her sleep with us when she was little because it was dangerous and scared the crap out of me.]

7. It's not cool to judge other parents.
I know it's annoying when kids start screaming at the table next to you, but just because I have a baby that might potentially have a meltdown at some point in the evening does not mean I'm never going to go out for a meal. Sorry my daughter's crying but I'm trying everything I can to keep her from crying. You being a dick and telling your husband we're ruining your "date night" isn't helping anyone. It just makes you look like an asshole. [Yes, this did happen to us. To be fair, her husband was mortified.]

8. Never, ever wake a sleeping baby.
Remember the episode from Friends when Rachel brings Emma home from the hospital and she's peacefully sleeping in her bassinet but then Rachel wants to pick her up to hold her and Emma cries for the next 6 hours? That's 100% accurate. The 6 hours thing might be a stretch, but as a rule you should NEVER, EVER WAKE UP YOUR CHILD. Just because you read an article online that said your kid is sleeping too much if they take three naps instead of two doesn't mean it's right. Some people are stupid and make shit up. Being a writer on the internet does not make them a doctor.

9. Speaking of Sleep..
In the first year, just plan on not getting any sleep. I'm not kidding. Set the bar low. That way if you do get to sleep more than you had planned, it's like bonus sleep. It always irritated me when people said, "enjoy your sleep now because you won't be getting any when the baby comes!" I'm not sure whether it irritated me because I didn't want to admit I would never sleep, or because people just annoy me sometimes. But those people were right. As much as I hate to admit it, they were spot on. Had our child not suffered from reflux at the beginning the experience might have been different, but if it's not one thing it's another. People gave us tips, I read books, but at the end of the day you just do whatever you can to get through the first year.
I'm happy to report that my daughter is sleeping through the night again! That is until she gets another tooth, or goes through another leap or..she just decides she doesn't want to sleep through the night anymore.

10. Shopping for your child's wardrobe is much more fun than shopping for your own.
I have never been a fan of shopping. It's annoying, I don't like crowds,  and usually by the end of a 'trying on' session I'm sweating. But shopping for my daughter is a blast. I love finding the weirdest/cutest outfits I can for her! Anything on her is cute, so it works out.

11. You learn to weed out any unnecessary baby items.
Facial Tissues? I have a sleeve for that. I don't need a diaper genie because I have a trash can. I don't necessarily need a lot of toys because she prefers to open drawers and empty the contents. It's hard to keep it minimal when people are excited to buy your child stuff, but it could be done. Kids are pretty simple. Diapers, wipes, formula/boob, warm clothes, blankets and you're pretty much good to go.

12. Take the unsolicited advice with a grain of salt.
Because in the end you're going to do what you want anyway. Heed any advice you find useful and throw out the stuff you don't. People really love to share their experiences, so let them. It might be irritating at times, but they're just trying to help.

13. Ask for help.
My mom, sister, and mother-in-law have been my guidebook for parenting this first year. And I know they will continue to be because they're experts. I am not. It's nice to have them around to ask stupid questions and get a non-judgmental answer. It was hard for me to learn to ask for help, but I've since embraced the idea. Sometimes you need an hour to run errands and go to Target in peace, and that's okay. It doesn't make me a bad mom, it keeps me sane.

14. You don't and can't know what you're doing.
Just ride out the storm. Parenting, like many things, comes with time. You will never be perfect at it, but with time and practice, you can suck a little less. When my daughter was sleeping 30 minutes at a a time at around 6 weeks old, I thought I might actually die from exhaustion. My sister told me this: "It will get better." Which didn't really help much then, but she was totally right. It got better. We took it one sleepless day at a time. Matt and I nearly killed each other [exhaustion will do that to you] but we got through that, too. There was a lot of yelling and crying, but we pushed forward. And we now have a hilarious, allbeit stubborn and independent daughter who we could not live without.

15. Your parents were right.
This fact becomes more and more apparent the older I get. And I tell my parents this a lot in hopes that it will make up for the crap I pulled on them when I was younger. My mom used to say it all the time, and it's absolutely true; "You'll understand when you're a parent." When I was late for curfew or when I didn't wear my seat belt or when I screamed back at them in a moment of rage...I understand now why it drove them so crazy.

Nothing is more important to a parent than keeping their child safe. I have spent 100% of this past year worrying about SIDS and choking hazards and incorrect car seat placement and the list goes on. That worry will never go away [so I've heard], they will just change to different worries. Like boyfriends and bullies and safe driving. And I will tell my daughter one day, "you'll understand when you're a parent." I can see her rolling her eyes now, but she'll get it when she's older. She will understand when she holds her child for the first time what it means to be a parent. There is nothing like it in the world. Nothing compares to that feeling.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I will try to be better about updating more regularly, but I can't make any promises. ;)

Tata for now!