Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Show & Tell: Shopping

Two Monday's in a row for a link-up?! Well, okay then! *Okay, so I didn't quite make it to finish my post for the link on Monday so I'm doing it today!*

I used to be such a shopper. Loved it. Went a lot. I made my money and I would spend it. Not to the point of danger but I liked nice things, cute clothes and taking care of myself. Then I got older, married, bought a house and had a baby. Let's just say my shopping habits have calmed down. Quite a bit. Anyhow, I though it would be fun to chime in on the shop talk anyway.

1. Tell us your favorite stores to shop at.
My all-time favorite clothing store to shop at is Nordstrom. I love how nice their stuff is, the return policy and how organized everything always is. I can't stand shopping in a mess. I definitely don't shop at Nordstrom as much as I used to but if I do have some spare money or want to update with a couple items you can most likely find me there because I like to buy classic pieces that will last. I also enjoy going to Target. I'm sure this is a popular one but they usually have some in-style stuff for cheaper and I do think their items have gotten a little better quality. I also like a lot of their home items if I am looking for those kind of items.

2. What are you "signature pieces" to wear.. your go-to outfits?
I definitely wear jeans a lot. I actually just got a new pair of jeans that I would call everyday jeans. I have been lacking a pair of these for awhile so I was so happy to see when one of my favorite brands {Lucky} were at ... yes... wait for it...Costco! I am absolutely in love with them--perfect fit, perfect wash, just great! So, anyway, jeans and a sweater, jeans and a flannel or jeans and a cute zip-up are all at the top of my list for go-to fall/winter outfits!

3. Show us your style through pictures {of you or pinterest finds}.

Source: polyvore.com via Allyce on Pinterest
This kind of makes me laugh because there is a definitely pattern with all of these looks. I chose everyday looks and I like to think I branch out a little if I am dressing up or for different events. However, my everyday is pretty casual right now!

4. Show us your favorite celebrity style icons.
5. If you had to spend money on clothes or home items, which would you choose?
For where I am at in life, I would definitely say home. We have a few remodeling-type projects we are looking forward to so it would be nice to have a little extra to spend on those!

6. Show us your favorite accessories.
Rachel Milk Glass Stud Earrings

Carole Rhinestone Flower Stud EarringsCarole Double Triangle Earrings

Link to all

If I wore no other accessory other than earrings, I would be a happy girl. They complete me. Except, with an almost 11 month old my ears have been naked lately for fear she will rip my ear off. Sad.

7. Tell us in one sentence your philosophy behind shopping. {What makes you buy an item
How much will I use this?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Choosing the Good & Positive

Sometimes I find myself slipping into Negative Town without even knowing it and then I am so far in that it is hard to recover and I start convincing myself that everything is hard, or going to be hard or being mean to those closet to me, i.e. my husband. So ridiculous right?! Afterwards I am so embarrassed and know I am better than that.

For some reason though, sometimes it becomes easier to be negative or to look at things pessimistically. Does that even make sense? Isn't that silly? It should always be easier to be happy and choose the positive, should it not?

I have been super inspired by this lady's posts lately about bettering herself and being better at her most important roles: wife and mom. I think we can all stand to improve in these areas on the daily, myself most definitely included. It is easy to be selfish and feel sorry for myself sometimes about how little sleep I am getting, how I am tired from breast feeding, how my days can be long, how Ben is working long hours and we barely get to say two sentences before falling into bed exhausted.

But you know what?

I am also pretty damn lucky and have a lot to be thankful for. I should be choosing the positive way more often than not. I don't want to be a martyr and I don't want to feel sorry for myself. Or my husband to feel like he should feel sorry for me by the passive aggressive quips I like to immaturely throw into conversation from time to time. Grow up, Allyce, seriously.

So, as a start, I sent off a positive text to my husband this morning. He didn't get home until 10:30 from work last night after being in at 7am, driving home in construction, dealing with an annoying dog, I got up twice in the night nurse the baby and after laying her back down and crawled back under the covers myself hoping for just maybe 40 more minutes of shut eye and feeling slightly bitter as to how the last 12 hours had gone, I looked over at my phone sitting there and sent him a text thanking him for his hard work and telling him I loved him. He responded positively and I know he appreciated it.

Yes, it would have been easy to not send it, to stew this morning about how annoying our dog is, how tired I am, how we haven't had dinner as a family since Sunday night but as I have started learning from Shannon, who does that really help? It isn't Ben's fault he had to work late or that E woke up a couple of times or that our dog is annoying. I know that if he had the power, he would wave his hand in a second to make it all better. And that's why he deserved my appreciation this morning instead of a few negative comments to start the day like I have been known to do.

I'm not saying it's going to happen over night but I want to start making the effort especially since this won't be the only couple of weeks that we have some late work nights for Ben. Yes it is only a couple months out of the year and I know some have it way worse and in the big picture it is not that bad. At the time it always seems horrible and hard but this too shall pass and we will be in a better spot because of it all. So it's time I suck it up and start acting like a grown up!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quiet Moments are the Best

I have definitely talked about how E is not the best napper. Lately I have been really good about trying to nurse her and then lay her in her crib. She used to not have any part of that at all so it became hard for me to want to try and I would just let her lay, sleeping and nursing.

Today she started to get tired so we quieted down our playing and headed into her room for me to nurse her and lay her down. Which, again, sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. She was sleeping, I tried to lay her down and she wasn't having it. Tried to soothe her while she was laying down, she quieted a little and then started crying again. It was the kind of cry that I just knew she wasn't going to sleep so I picked her up and tried a new method a friend told Ben about and Ben relayed to me. Just holding her tight and not letting her squirm as best we can while she is trying to fight sleep. It worked yesterday so I wanted to try again! Well, that wasn't working either so I flipped her around and she laid her head right down on my shoulder and fell asleep.

I sat down in the chair and when I knew she was really asleep I almost got up to lay her in the crib but I thought twice about it. I thought, okay, I have been pretty good about laying her in her crib lately and she is doing way better than she used to. I also thought, when does she ever sleep on my chest anymore?!

So right then and there, I got comfortable and she stayed asleep for an hour right on my chest.

I didn't have my phone by my side, there was no TV in the background (which isn't normally the case anyway), and no distractions. Just me and my girl, quiet, in the dark, snuggling.

It is so easy to get caught up in what I need to get done during the rare occasion that she does lay in her crib and nap for any length of time but I am so glad I took that second thought today and cherished it. I know that no matter what I will look back at this time and know it went by in the blink of an eye so I know that when I have that feeling of just needing the closeness, I just need to soak it right up.

Maybe that's what she was trying to tell me, anyway, by not wanting to be in her crib for that nap. Just needed some extra Mama snuggles.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Show & Tell: When I Was 17

I have been reading these link-ups for a few weeks now and always want to join in but, shock of all shocks, I never get around to it. So today, I am starting this post in the morning in hopes of finishing by the end of the day. How's that for a goal?!

From Mrs. to Mama hosts this link-up every Monday and I think it's just a fun way to get to know little random facts about people.

1. When you were 17, tell us what kind of car you drove, where you worked, and what you were usually up to on the weekends.
When I was 17 my parents surprised me on by birthday with my dream car. A white Volkswagen Jetta. I loved that car and just the other day, actually, I was reminiscing about how I loved it! I worked at a coffee shop in the little downtown part of our smallish town. It was a pretty easy job and friends would always stop in to visit. On the weekends you could find my group of friends and I at whatever game was going on at our school, or away games too, then usually some family time and my soccer games.

2. Show us a picture of you when you were 17 {roughly}.
Me on the left! ;)
3. When you were 17, tell us what you wanted to be when you "grew up."
This sounds silly, and I guess keeping with the theme of a few of these that I have read, I wanted to be a mom. However, I also wanted to be a teacher. Then for whatever reason when I got to college, I strayed away from my teaching dream even though I was at the best teaching college in the state and went with a business degree. Half my dream came true and I am a mom!

4. When you were 17, tell us the kind of boys that you dated. Did you have a type? Do you have a relationship you remember well? Tell us about it.
I guess my "type" would have been athletic, nice guys at that time. Well, I guess that still is. ;) I did have a specific long term relationship in high school, he was a year older. We had a lot of mutual friends, enjoyed spending time with each other's families and then once I got to college we started to go our separate ways since he was at a school about three hours away from mine. We had a lot of good times and I definitely look back fondly on that relationship. 

5. When you were 17, tell us where you pictured your life 10 years from then. Did it turn out the way you expected it to?

I think my life is absolutely the way I expected it to be. I expected to be married, have one or two children and either be working or being a stay at home mom. I am staying home now but who knows what the future holds whether it be me continuing to stay at home, going back to school or starting a small business for our family. It's funny because sometimes I deem myself as "so predictable" which is why I'm not surprised my life turned out as it expected but I don't think that is a negative thing either. It's just who I am. I am not one to up and move at a moment's notice or flit around the world travelling from country to country. I am pretty happy where the past ten years have brought me. I don't think I am that different from when I was 17 either. I still have so many of the same core values. Yes, I have definitely matured and things I thought were so important at 17 aren't so much now (i.e. clothes, being in style, hanging out with friends all the time, having the right friends, etc.) and I feel I am a little wiser to the world now than at 17, even though I felt like such an adult and that I knew so much at the time but for the most part, I am still a simple girl who likes simple things that make me happy!

Thanks for the fun link-up Becky! Head on over and join the fun!

10 Months

Oh, Sweet Eleanor,

Halfway into your eleventh month and here I am posting your letter. I am just keeping with my system though of being a little behind. Mostly because I am always trying to keep up with you!

This month has just been a joy. Just like all the rest. Even though you are not always the best sleeper and you are pretty stubborn like your parents, watching you continue to learn, change and develop your personality is just so amazing. That's basically the word that always comes to mind: amazing.

This month you are crawling around at the speed of light, pulling up on everything and cruising along furniture, walls and cupboards. Oh, the cupboards, they keep you so amused! You have taken little half steps but then fall into whoever you are aiming for. You think it's pretty funny. You clap, dance, give kisses and babble up a storm. We have noticed many different sounds this month also, with your tongue, you make a little hissing sound, you have ba, ma, da, nya all down and you string them all together. I'm pretty sure you have looked right at me and said mama a few times now and although Dad was hesitant to accept you saying dada I jumped right on my name and know you know who I am!

You are getting into some 12 month clothes and definitely 12 month pants and even some 18 month. Again, mostly because of your diapers. You had your well visit at 9 1/2 months and you were 28 inches long and 18.5 pounds. Still petite but again mostly average in everything and still steadily growing. I don't know how you couldn't be growing because you still love to eat, feeding yourself and nursing. You basically have three food meals a day and then nurse in between putting you at eating something about every two to two and half hours.

Your sleep, again, is a little hit and miss. You have good stretches of going down between 730-8 pm and sleeping until 4-5am, nursing and going back down but then we hit a rough patch with what we thought was another little cold but then the next week you had a tooth pop through and another close behind. So, we wondered if it really was a cold or just the weirdness that we have heard can come with teething. That's right, your first tooth at 10 months 2 days. For the most part, you have been great. During the day you are happy as a clam, it was just a couple of nights that we thought the teeth were bugging you and we did end up giving you some Tylenol. It's hard to tell if it helps or not but I hope it took a little of the edge off. As far as naps we are still mostly all over the board. It seems like we can usually count on a morning nap although we can't always count on how to get you down for that whether it be rocking, nursing, walking, etc. The afternoon nap is the tough one. It is clear that you need it because you do become whiny and clingy, you just fight it like a mad woman! Sometimes I just give up, get dinner a little early and try to get your bedtime routine going so that it distracts you from being whiny. Bedtime still goes smoothly so that's nice.

You still love to be outside, we visited the pumpkin patch, which you loved. You love playing with other babies and you are back to enjoying car rides. You like going to the store with me and riding in the Ergo although we have put you in the cart a couple times and I think that may start winning out because you love that and act like such a big girl! We got to go for quite a few afternoon walks this past month because we had such beautiful weather and you enjoyed your stroller. Sometimes I would do that if you weren't showing signs of going down for a nap and you would just sit back and relax in the stroller.

Eleanor, I just want to soak up everyday as much as I can because I just can't believe how time is flying by. Your personality just cracks me up everyday and you are such a joy to be around. Yes, there are tough days and I do lose my patience at times but know that it is always me that I am being impatient with. I am working at just knowing you are just a little person who goes through the same things I do. Bad days, bad moods, tummy aches, head aches, etc. You are such a wonderful light in our lives and your dad and I could not be more proud to be your parents.

Love you so much, baby girl.


I am still taking monthly photos, just haven't gotten around to taking this one on the big camera yet. ;) Gave up on the weeklies at about 6 months but I want 12 pictures of her once we hit one year!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Update, Memory Record, Random

I am trying to write this, drink some water, relax and decide on the theme for E's first birthday all at the same time. I know, not that crazy but still, always multitasking if she is in her crib for a nap! Can I also just pause for a minute and re-iterate that I just typed first birthday?! Can't believe that's on the radar!

I am trying not to make the decision on her party decor a huge deal, but I still want to decide on something cute. Ben just reminded me of the "bedding debacle of '11" in which I stressed and went back and forth and thought long and hard over her bedding for her crib and how I laughed the other day and said, "I think I should sell her bedding, we don't even use it." We obviously don't use the big puffy "comforter," we have back up sheets so we aren't always using the crib sheet that came with, the bumper is off because we have a breathable one in there right now, the skirt is barely visible under her crib and just the other day we took the valance down and replaced with longer, blackout curtains. You know, because her window had been draped, hillbilly-style, with a blanket to create darkness. Oy.

Anyway. Back to the randomness that is our life. Over the past couple months we have had a little bit of goings on. Nothing of huge significance but worth noting on our part. We, well mostly I, am thoroughly annoyed of our dog. Which I feel really bad about because I love her and it's mostly not her fault that she is annoying it just is the way it is. She sheds like a...well, something that sheds a lot. And with the shedding comes the dander and when she scratches, shakes, walks or breathes, she is shedding. And it's disgusting. I can't really believe I have let my baby cohabit in the same dwelling as her for this long. And crawl around in it. Sick. So, last weekend we began taking our house back. We, as embarrassed as Ben is to say this, bought a shock collar, and are training her to be an outside dog. Why do you have to train your dog to be outside? you might ask. Well, our dog is afraid of something in our backyard and we don't know what. We thought it was the chickens and then quickly learned that is not the case because she jumps the chicken fence and plays merrily with the chickens. That's a whole 'nother story. So, we have to shock her, gently, when she is jumping at, scratching at or whining at the back door. Work in progress. We also got rid of the gross area rug we bought right before Eleanor was born because I really wanted a new, clean rug for the baby except that the dog hair wove itself into the stupid, braided design that I so carelessly bought because it was onsale and I was 9+ months pregnant and just wanted something. My awesome Dyson that I got for Christmas also began promptly ripping it up as soon as I started using it. Cool. Insert new, beautiful rug we got last weekend that has not begun to come apart and which I am trying my best to keep the dog off when she comes in to sleep at night.

We finished up the season pretty well with our garden with plentiful amounts of tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash. My rosebush also bloomed that we waited like, forever, 3 months to plant. It was beautiful.

I made a trip to my beloved college town, Bellingham, the other day in search of a solution for our night time diapering situation and came back with pre-fold cloth diapers of which I cannot figure out how to get around my baby. Hopefully more practice will help.

Here I am again during a nap time with a minute to blog and I cannot remember what I always want to sit down and type.

I am still in the middle of trying to decide to cut my hair off or go long. About 8 months ago I cut it just above my shoulders and then it grew pretty quickly and is in a fairly awkward stage of length and bushiness so I am back to trying to decide if I just want to grow it long or cut it to my chin, inverted bob-style. And some color, maybe I need some color. I see pictures of both my long and short styles and I like both. So, here I stand, undecided. As usual.

We went to the pumpkin patch last weekend with some friends. It was fun because it was the same patch Ben and I went to last year while I was still pregnant and we talked about how the following year we would have a lil' baby. And we did! She loved being outside, of course, and holding herself up on the pumpkins. There were two other babies so they all had fun exploring and being out in the beautiful weather!

I have been trying to decide what type of milk product we will be offering E once she turns one year. I was on a little kick of goat's milk for awhile and trying to convince Ben we need to get a goat. Probably not going to happen at this time. However, goat's milk is slightly more appealing to me than cow's milk, not that I don't drink cow's milk because I do, but supposedly goat's is just a little more easily digestible, less likely to be allergenic and a few other things. But do you know that goat's milk is flipping expensive?! So yes, we will see. Also, Ben thinks that since I can't stand the chickens right now, there is probably a good chance I will get annoyed of a goat too. Kind of like the dog. Also, we do live in the city-limits so we may not necessarily be wanting to create such a farm-like atmosphere on our little, quarter of an acre property. We may need to sell our house someday and don't necessarily want to look like such hillbillies with goats, chickens and whatever else we may dream up. Those might be dreams for the future.

Last week, one of my college roommates was passing by our city and she stopped in to meet E. She lives in San Diego and I hadn't seen her in over 2 years so it was great to see her and have her meet E. She just turned 30 and it was kind of a shocker that meant we had met 9 years ago in the dorms. Wow. Time flies.

So, those are some of the things going on in our life. On top of that, gearing up for the holidays, E's first birthday, traveling to Texas for Christmas and just trying to enjoy each say in itself and not getting ahead of ourselves. I am trying to soak up this last little bit of E's first year still in constant amazement that some days seem so long yet I look back and can't believe December is so quickly approaching!

And, sorry for the randomness but this is how my brain works these days! ;)