Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cliche New a Year Weight Loss Resolution

I am doing the cliche New Years thing. Not because there is anything magical about the changing calendar but because the holidays are over and things are settling down and I will be better able to focus on my goals. 

I haven't been going crazy eating everything in the house but I've not been counting anything and won't until New Year's Day. 

I have been throwing away leftover goodies, everything sweet left after our Christmas party the 28th was thrown away. The gingerbread train my daughter made is gone. Goodie plates 1&2 are gone (mostly eaten partly trashed) and #3 is getting tossed tomorrow. Leftover Halloween candy was pitched. Tomorrow I purge the snack baskets of anything I can't portion into 100cal baggies. 

Santa didn't put any candy in any stockings (except 1 smallish piece of locally made gourmet fudge). 

We ate the last freezer party pizza and lays chips today. 

In the fridge are some large bags of salad, and in the freezer some chicken and turkey and fish and lots of frozen veg to get us by until the first big shopping trip after the 3rd when we get foodstamps. 

I've been wearing my "wearable" aka activity tracker bracelet so I got used to wearing it. I've only slightly been trying to get more steps in so far, but I have bean wearing Penny on my back a lot more lately (due to necessity) so that's good. 

(More on the tracker later) 

My husband and in-laws are on board too! All are gearing up and committed to cutting carbs and shrinking portion sizes. If an easy meal says it'll feed 4, us 4Adults+1 kid+1baby can share it if we add a bunch of veggies and salad and lean protein. (I say this because I do have a couple frozen family style dinners in the freezer still and we usually make 2 and eat most of both. I just cannot afford to throw any food (other than sugary cookies & candy) away so we will portion what we have and avoid buying junky foods going forward. 

One we have is a chicken Alfredo pasta bake, add in a bunch of chopped cooked chicken and broccoli (and not add cheese like usual) and we can stretch the carbs thinner and lower each persons calorie intake by A LOT while increasing protein and fiber.

Sometimes we eat with my in-laws but usually we don't. If a meal element says it serves 4 we will serve 2 portions to a freezer bowl and into the freezer for another meal and limit ourselves to what's left. 

My other resolution is to do better at cleaning house. The added activity will definitely help. I get roughly 200 steps for each trip to reboot laundry and slightly more than that taking trash out. 

Playing outside with Ellie is another goal of mine, I can walk laps while she plays independently. 

Bring on the new year! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I haven't been flying lately, barely fluttering, if that. It has put a strain on my marriage and caused an irritability from me and disconnect with my kids too.

But I'm dusting off my wings. I got so disgustingly far behind in cleaning my kitchen we had the most fruit flies that we've ever had, ever. They were even in the cracker and bread baskets (although I noticed that after cleaning most more obvious food sources, perhaps they were just scrounging.)
I procrastinated doing costumes (although they turned out awesome!), and getting ready for the party.
We ended up postponing the Halloween party a day due to terrible weather and the power flickering. (Many local friends were without power, luckily we never lost ours completely) So I got an extra morning to do stuff for it, made it less stressful. And Ellie had a fever the night before the actual party so it was nice that we already had most of the set- up done before deciding to postpone.
The party was still a great success, lots of lots of kids and families had great fun.

The daily goal going forward:
Finish cleaning up after the party (it was in the shop so not our regular living space), catch up on laundry (must wash Halloween costume clothes by Friday!), wash dishes daily, keep the floor swept (TMI but there was a sequin, from Ellie's crafts stuff, in Penny's poop the other day, clearly she found it on the floor, and ate it.) and spend 15-30 minutes decluttering and cleaning the craft room/office until it is tidy enough to actually work in. (It is still a wreck from moving rooms and then making costumes).

To end on a high note:
I did get a lot picked up in the craft room/ office when I was in training at work Monday (as much as I could tethered to the phone headset listening to the training conference call).
I took back some merchandise returns finally so our trip to walmart for tooth brushes, dish brush, rain poncho, deli food for dinner and soda stream syrup only cost like $3 (also thanks to Savings Catcher gift card).
I'm almost caught up on dishes (washed a mountain of them and actually put them away today!)
I put away a basket of laundry and picked up laundry today.
Made a hot breakfast for the family last couple days.
The fruit flies are nearly gone! Thanks to not buying any fresh fruit, acv+ dawn traps, funnel-on-cup traps and a few fly strips and commercial fruit fly traps. (and cleaning/washing dishes)

Tomorrow we go to the Pumpkin Patch (didn't get to go earlier in the month.) Made hubby cancel his regular Wednesday night plans so he can be home with the kids because I swapped my shift at work to get the first few hours of my shift off, and I'm working late instead. Hoping it doesn't rain too bad- prepared if it does.
We plan to carve pumpkins Thursday night.

I realize I have found myself in this place many times, struggling or recently struggling and I have committed so many times to do better at everything, it is a constant focus to improve, and needed because I always slip slide backwards.
I'm not giving up though.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Unschooling style grocery trip

Some kids go to school for like 6 hours a day. Some kids do schoolwork at home. Some kids are unschooled.
Unschooling is basically just the philosophy that children can prosper simply by learning through life, parents provide opportunities for children to learn through daily life and interests and play. Life and interests are a natural motivator to learn and children (all people actually) learn best when the motivation comes from within and is focused on an interest the person has.
I try to always see and utilize the natural learning experiences life provides. (Try! I'm working on doing it more).
Today at the grocery store Ellie (3.5) helped read the signs, helped write codes on the bulk bin tags and I explained how we know how much something costs. (Social knowledge, math).
Ellie learned letter recognition when we checked the bulk item tags against the bins, (I write curly 2s, the sign has flat bottomed 2s). (Literacy)
We weighed the package of mushrooms to see how the scale pointed to 8oz which is half way to the pound mark, then read the package where it said 8oz (math and science ) (I realize these are advanced topics for her to master.)
She counted the peaches as we bagged them up. (Math)
Ellie told me what letters were on the fruit signs so we could find the peaches, (literacy) and used texture to tell the difference between nectarines and peaches. (Fine motor development)
She used small motor control writing on the tags and large motor control hanging on the cart, lifting groceries and and scooping from the bins. (Physical development). Learned impulse control sitting in the cart after loading groceries on the bin. (Physical development)
We read the granola bar names and she found which one had a C for cashews. (Moons as she calls them, cashews not Cs). (Literacy)
Looking at cereal bars, she "read" the boxes by looking at the fruit pictures on the box (early literacy, representation) to find the one she wanted.
We read ingredients to find some juice that wasn't mostly sugar. We talked about healthy drinks and treat drinks. (Health and physical development)
We talked about how the deli closes at night because less people want pizza and smoothies late at night. (Social knowledge).
She moved out of other people's way and we said excuse me, and waited our turn to talk to the cashier. (Social development).

While this trip took a little longer than normal for what we were getting, it was also more peaceful because I was really paying attention to Ellie and remembering that she is only 3 and I kept appropriate expectations for her. She wasn't bored and she felt proud of contributing. Her ideas were heard since she had some say as to what we bought (she begged for broccoli and carrots, mom win!)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Another decent day

So every other Thursday I volunteer a warm line phone shift for the nursing mothers counsel. I've been doing it for months and finally got an actual call from someone needing actual support. (Ive only ever had business related or telemarketing calls before). I hope I was able to help.

So I started my day actually getting up and dressed and glancing at the calendar and remembered to set up the NMC call forwarding. Took my meds and put away a load of laundry. Then got a bottle ready in the fridge and sat down to pump. Ellie wakes, and, accustomed to having "morning milky" in bed, snuggles on the couch for some. After a few minutes I got a NMC call and hid in my office to talk. Ended up talking for a decent amount of time then had some after call work to do. By this time it was nearly 10:45 and Ellie had fallen back to sleep on the couch. I swept the living room floor so Penny could crawl around and not try to eat anything dangerous. I nursed Penny a bit and poured Mikey some cereal (I offered eggs) and went to work. Forgot to eat breakfast myself.

On my break from work I nursed Penny, pumped and made myself oatmeal to eat when I got back to work (we have a team meeting directly after my break on Thursdays so I am able to eat).

On my lunch break I guided Ellie making lunch, (score for unschooling math, science, using scissors and involving Ellie- even if all we ate was breakfast "corn dogs" aka sausage wrapped in pancake on a stick). Then nursed penny nearly back to sleep before returning to work.

After work, My MIL had brought home (we live on the same property and often eat together in the shared home theater) sandwiches for dinner and we watched football. (They did, I relaxed some, ate, then rebooted laundry and cleaned my kitchen a bit while grandma held baby). I set Ellie up with a craft activity- real dried leaf collage with markers and glue on recycled cardboard (score for that) while I worked .

When MIL left, Penny played on the floor a bit then went in the Boba on my back to finish up the dishes. I set Ellie up with a movie in our bedroom which she wasn't interested in. Penny fell asleep on my back so I kept working picking up the house (it's still a wreck though) since I knew she wouldn't transfer well. I got a load of towels folded onto the changing table in the bathroom (didn't wanna bend down to put them away) a mountain of dishes washed, kitchen swept, shoes picked up and recycling sorted.
I cleaned for nearly all of Wall-E.

Once Penny woke I took a break then put the towels away and picked up a basket of laundry in the bathroom then read to Ellie while Penny played.

When we came to bed Ellie declared that she wanted popcorn with Wall-E. (which was long over) I told her tomorrow we could but she was upset so I suggested she write a reminder.
(Score for turning a potential tantrum-ish into literacy activity.)
So she wrote a note with help spelling, but she did sound out quite a few letters and wrote them all herself. "Ellie wants to play games and eat popcorn".

Pics: the floor before I got it clean, the baby I kept happy and fed and my literary genius.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The mom I wanna be

I want to wake up, get dressed and get my morning routine done.
Then I want to eat breakfast with my daughters and talk to them.
Then I want to go outside and just let Ellie play. Perhaps get some exercise in.
After outside play time I will get ellie a snack and prepare for work. Get a bottle ready, fill my water cup, make a healthy snack and pump milk /nurse the baby.
I want to focus on work for my entire shift, and focus on the kids my breaks.
After work I will connect with the kids and make dinner.
After dinner, set Ellie up with an activity and clean the kitchen, wear Penny if needed. An hour before bed we will play a game and/ or read.
Once kids are both asleep. I can blog, Facebook, craft, or do an organization project.
Go to bed at a decent hour.

Let's do this!

A decent day.

So I woke up tired, but motivated. Got up and dressed. I started a load of laundry. Then I made split pea soup. I had cleaned out the freezer yesterday and found a meaty ham bone and several containers of homemade turkey stock (yes from Thanksgiving). So I started the crock pot.
Then took Ellie outside to play in puddles. A new goal to make sure she plays outside every day!
Came inside and gave Ellie (and her leaf collection) a bath. Then pumped milk and nursed Penny to sleep before work.
After work (which was a good day) I finished the soup, made corn bread muffins (actually Ellie did most the work! Another goal to involve her more with housework and cooking) and switched the laundry.
We enjoyed dinner with my in- laws and I did NOT go get Dairy Queen as I wanted. (Other goal to not spend $!)

When we got home from eating / hanging out at the in- laws I washed up a mountain of dishes. Partially with Penny on the counter and most the time with her on my back.

I also resisted the urge to turn the tv on for Ellie while I worked, instead taught her the awesomeness of lining up dominos and knocking them over.

Then I made dessert for Mikey. I had found (who knows how old- I think from Halloween year before last) cake crumbles in the freezer (I forget what happened but I am guessing the cake was too crumbly to use?). It still tasted ok so I mixed the crumbles with cream cheese and smashed it into the bottom of a Tupperware and covered with instant pudding for a pie of sorts. It was ok, but I wouldn't make it again.

While I could have done more around the house , today is a day I can be proud of.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Quit the lazy! Or Why do I get motivated to make changes in my life late at night when Im in bed?

I'm laying in bed thinking of how little I did today. (reading blogs about other people who are also not so great at the housekeeping job bestowed upon them) The house is in shambles and I even considered getting the baby walker (we use it when Penny is hanging out downstairs for short periods of time because it is no where near safe for her to crawl around) for her so I could get some cleaning done (gasp! I am really not a fan of them!). Instead I just held her or watched her while she played on the floor and had to keep stopping her from eating random garbage and small items. Not a good use of my time.
I'm getting up right now at 12:27am to clean the bathroom. (Since the kids are sleeping I can't clean in the main room of the loft- kitchen , living room, and bedroom).

I'll be back when bathroom is good or a kid wakes.


Ok I'm back, got the counter sparkling and the toilet as clean as it'll get tonight.

Then hubby got home and needed to mess it up, so I decided to risk working in the kitchen quietly with just the over-sink light.

I decided to start on the end of the counter and work in, I got quite a bit picked up and put away.
There is still a mountain of dishes. Because dishes are noisy.

In my defense I wasn't completely lazy today, I did get my freezer and small pantry shelves moved over to the new room earlier today. (these are before pictures)

I also put away a half basket of laundry and picked up 2 more baskets and worked (for pay!) 6 hours, kept my kids alive (here is proof:)

and gave Penny a sink bath and changed 4 poopy diapers (plus pee ones too of course) and mopped a pee accident and pumped 3 times to get 6 ounces. Oh and I vacuumed the open area in the living room (thanks to broken glass jar this morning). And I tidy'd my desk while working. So not too shabby of a day!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Movie Moving and office organization

Our current project is to move our movie library down stairs and move our office/craft/pantry stuff into the space that was the movie library and game room.

So we weren't even sure if it was physically possible to move the movie book cases down (they were moved around a little during the remodel 4years ago but not down the stairs).
But we had to try.
We enlisted the help of 3 friends, 2 guys and a gal.
Mikey boxed up 2 book cases to start, labeling each box with the shelf # and A or B. As soon as the guys got bookcase A downstairs the gal friend unpacked boxes 1a-12a and the guys worked on moving bookcase B. As soon as she had the A boxes emptied I started boxing up the next A bookcase and she worked on unpacking B boxes, the guys moved the bookcases as soon as they were empty and carried the full boxes down and empty boxes up and helped pack/ unpack as they had time. We continued on this way until all 7 bookcases were moved down and most movies put away.

These pictures are already-started and after. The true before-pics would show stacks of games on top the book cases and the shelves would be full and the play table was covered in toys.
The play table has been emptied and legs taken off to get it out of the way.

Most of the random stuff on the tables has been put-away.

I also organized the attic better to make room for stuff (attic- bound stuff tends to pile up in this room and I'm storing some of the stuff that was in the office since I really don't need it constantly.)

So far I moved my misc dresser, my home- management desk/bookshelf and the small blue dresser over.

Life Lately

So it feels like every week is just so crazy. It really isn't most the time, I'm just either catching up after crazy or preparing for crazy on the days it isn't crazy.

Hubby and I have decided to rearrange to make Ellie (3 years 7 months) a bedroom (she's been in a sidecar crib attached to our family bed since she was almost 2 and was in bed with us before that).
We don't plan on kicking her out the minute her new bed is assembled but I wanted to start transitioning her as she's ready.
(It can't really be child-led sleeping-relocation if she doesn't have a choice other than her sidecar.)

So that is our current crazy, moving everything out of the game/movie library/play room to make that room am office and then moving Ellie's toys, dresser and new bed into the current office.

So perhaps I'll blog this process.

The point if this post is, crap I don't know, I want to be realistic and say I'm just not managing my time well or that I'm lazy and I wanna be a complainer and say that we went from being sick to a busy weekend to my period to seasonal allergies (I refuse to believe I'm sick again, even though my antihistamines haven't been working.) really though, I wish I had my shit together. My house is a wreck, luckily we bought somewhat convenience foods or I don't know if we'd even be eating lately. I'm just tired of a messy crazy house and tired of having too much I need/want/should do and not enough energy/ time/patience to do it all.

So as an effort to not be such a grumpy gills, I will end this with a list of good stuff.

I decluttered most of both of our clothes closets the other day. I got all (except Ellie's) clothes folded and put away neatly, purged a few items. I packed away Ellie's too small shoes and penny's too small clothes.
I did an art activity with Ellie, and she even played outside today.
I'm ruthlessly purging my office/craft stuff as I bring things into the new room.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Family Halloween Costumes.

I know it's cheesy, but it's also so fun to coordinate our costumes each year.
Here is a look back:

First Halloween married
Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf dressed as Granny.
I made the wolf head (and legs you can't see in the pic), the hood and apron.

Ellie (Yoda)'s first Halloween. Daddy is a big Star Wars fan.
Myself as Princess Leia and Hubby as Hans Solo. (We had friends go as Some other characters also).
I made my costume out of an angel costume and turtleneck with a belt I made.
We were classic toys. Raggedy Ann, a sock monkey and a teddy bear (I will have to find a picture with hubby in it soon) My sister was a Lego girl mini-fig.
I did not make any of our costumes this year. 

Wreck-It Ralph (the movie), Vanellope Von Shweetz and Fix-It Felix. (My sister was also a character, Taffyta Muttonfudge (A mean girl bully to Vanellope).
I altered my hoodie, my skirt, "made" pants with 2 different designed legs, and made a bunch of candy clips for my hair (Vanillope is a "glitch" in a candy/sugar themed video game in the movie.)
I made Felix's hat and shirt patches.

This year we will be Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

I just wonder how long I'll be able to convince Ellie, and eventually Penny, to go along with my ideas. (Although Ellie thinks Jake was her idea).

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hard Water Stains Gone, Thanks Friend.

Someone on the ABFOL fb group posted her before/after of the years old orange hard water stains in her shower gone thanks to Bar Keeper's Friend.
I had a can because it was recommended for dishes. I didn't get great results with dishes but am quite pleased with it for hard water stains!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Secret is in the positioning.

I am a big fan of The Secret, not for it's spiritual universe given gifts, but for the change in mentality of thoughts.
Assuming the best, believing that what you need will come to you, being grateful not only for what you have but for what you will receive. All of these practices of The Secret work well because it shifts the focus and positioning to the positive side. Your life will instantly improve, even if actual facts about the situation do not change at all.
At the very least, it cannot hurt.

What reminded me of this positioning shift was reading about The Pomodoro technique for time management. One of the key points that I pulled from the forward in the free sample of the book I got on kindle was that the timer is your ally, not your enemy or your competition.

I LOVE the idea that I am working WITH the time I am given and I can be grateful for that time to get things done.
This will completely shift my thought process regarding task management.
I realize that I like getting things done, even if I don't always like actually doing them. I recognize and appreciate the difference it makes in my life when things get done. Time is a partner, a friend, an ally to help me get things done. How great a feeling that time can be my friend, my partner in crime rather than my nemesis.
I can feel myself thanking time for being provided to me and feeling very positive about it.

So far the pomodoro technique is just a theory for my purposes but if I can keep the positive positioning in mind I bet I can use this mentality not only for time management but in food choices and physical activity.
Now, I am going to say thank you and good night to my bed and imagine my bed as my assistant and utilize her capacity.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Date Night and Grateful for my Husband

Woke up with bad back pain and stiffness, in addition to my period yesterday morning.
Hubby encouraged me to not "go" to work. (I work from home so "going" = sitting at my desk for 6 hours.)
He didn't exactly wait on me hand and foot but we all had a lazy day in bed most of the day watching HIMYM.

We had a date night planned and even though I had the "sick enough to stay home from school/work = too sick to play after school/work rule" solidly implanted in my brain from my hooky playing high school days, (thanks mom!) I decided I could take another dose of a different OTC pain med, a hot shower, and move around enough to loosen my back and we could still go out.
So we went to red lobster, picked up some DVDs then to Baskin Robbins. It was really nice. I had never left Penny before for fun (only for work, which I see her ever 2 hours, or a very quick errand) but she's 7 months and in good hands with grandma. I knew my milk supply could handle missing a feed or 2, I just pumped before and after and all is well.

My husband is wonderful. He's got a bad back with pain most of the time so he understands my pain.

I cannot miss another day of work this week so I need to get up and loosen my back, take some pain meds and feel good enough to sit up in a chair for a few hours.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Big Latch On

I was so excited to participate in The Big Latch On for the 4th time this year. 
Ellie was about 6 months our first year. We were one of 5687 latches in the US alone.
When she was about 18 months she was too distracted to actually nurse at the event, but 8862 other moms latched on globally!
At about 2 and a half, she was again not willing to cooperate. 37 moms at our location and 14536 globally latched on though.
The pictures above were from later those days.
This year though she was excited for the "contest" and nursed along with Penny for more than the full minute along with the 89 other moms at our location (some of which were also tandem nursing, but only moms
count, not babies).
This year 13,798 children breastfeeding during the one-minute count
14,173 breastfeeding women attended
23,906 people attended registered Global Big Latch On locations to support breastfeeding.
After, she said "I think I won the contest!"
When mommies nurse their kids, everyone wins!
What a great experience!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tub Declutter

I was pretty tired of this hot mess:  

So I bought one of these a few months back:

Better Living Products Clear Choice Dispenser IV Four Chamber Shower Dispenser, White
And had found one of these at a yard sale for $4 last summer:

This will declutter bath toys from the floor in the bathroom where the old basket was.

But the perfectionist procrastinator I am, I put off installing it until I could get all the iron off the walls.
Which will likely never happen. So I decided I just had to clean the one wall for now, install, and perhaps the decluttered tub will inspire me to clean the tub walls.


The hooks, razor holders and soap dish are all are command brand.
The little frog is a sub spout cover for when my kid takes baths. The lower razor holder has bath crayons in it. I still need another command soap dish, but I bought the last one in the store.

I put away the cast cover (which was from like 9 months ago) and purged some shampoos and soaps we didn't like to be used to clean the toilet later.

You can see my shower curtain is pretty badly stained. I simply buy a new one whenever I feel like it, rather than struggle to get it clean.

Side by side:

This does not show how there was a bunch of toys on the floor!
I am really happy with how this turned out. Even though the rest of the walls are still stained. I scrub at the walls a little bit each time I shower, and hubby has been squeegeeing the tub walls more now that the tub is less cluttered.

I later got another soap dish and it is above the crayon cup on the far right side of the after picture now.
I may buy another dispenser for bubble bath and kid shampoo, since those are the only bottles left.

In these pictures
Command Soap Dish 
Command Razor Cup
Frog Pod
Command Hooks 
Clear Command Hook (although this fell once, but I just stuck it back up and it has held, I wouldn't recommend the clear ones for showers, it is just what I had. )
Shampoo Dispenser 
Spout Cover 
Similar Squeegee
Goat Milk Soap  (for the babies)
Shower Curtain

(these are not affiliate links, but I do work for Amazon so might as well encourage you to shop there, right?
actually, before checking out go to Smile.amazon and find Nursing  Mother's Counsel of Oregon, or your favorite charity so a portion of your purchases will go to them!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Grateful for: Toys R Us

So my pump died, (or so I thought) it just wouldn't turn on. I tested it plugged into a few outlets and no go.
I tried the battery pack, nope.
I called the insurance to see what they'd pay or how to get a pump. They'll reimburse up to $250 or I can order through an in-network provider. I call a provider and they can send me one of 4 different decent pumps, in 7-10 days. Not fast enough. So I run down to toys r us and put a new one on my empty TRU credit card. At the checkout she says "this takes 8 batteries do you want to add those?" and I think "weird my dead one only takes 4." But I say "no thank you". I get it home, still thinking about the batteries because I really thought that it was a power issue since the pump didn't slowly die or make any odd noises or anything. Sure enough my (not actually) dead pump's battery pack does actually take 8 batteries. The battery pack has 2 (4 each) battery compartments. Tried it again and it worked!
So thank you and your "suggest batteries on electronics orders at checkout" sales policy for saving me $230 (well the hassle with my insurance to get it reimbursed). The new pump was $260 and the power adapter replacement was only $30.

So now I will do a little more research and find out which pump I would like the insurance to send me whenever I need it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bedsharing on Vacation

It is especially helpful to bedshare on vacation when it can be harder for littles to fall asleep and the desperately need it.
This is one way to keep a little from rolling off the bed since hotel beds aren't usually against walls. I put the backs of the chairs against her side of the bed, added suit cases and garbage cans to stuff between the chairs and the wall to keep the chairs from shifting. Added a blanket, pillow pet and book from home helps for sure.

On our latest trip, there weren't any chairs so I moved both night stands on to one side and pulled one down from the head if the bed a bit just in case.

These solutions work great for an older bedsharer, not for a newborn who can slip between slim gaps.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

3 Stars

So I'm laying in bed feeling really sad, disappointed, ashamed, let down and mad.
Details aren't necessary so I'll just say someone (2 someone's actually) close to me and my daughters let Ellie down today. In a big way.

I posted a vague Facebook status about being upset. (Which I rarely post anything negative, I was/am REALLY upset.) Someone commented "smile". I don't know if it was a suggestion, or an offering, or what but I was reminded that I can actively change my feelings about things.

It's not often that I even feel a reason to do this but I have this tattoo of 3 stars on my ankle. The symbolism is to think of 3 good things about a day or a situation or a person or whatever when you're feeling upset about something.

This act of trying to think of positives, or lights in the dark improves my mood about something.

So my 3 stars today:

Had a meeting with my manager at work and he was raving about me and asked me to help coach a coworker of mine, so I'll be doing some work with her next week, which I'm excited about. Also I ended the week having met one main goal and having improved significantly on another main goal.

I got to see my mom and dad and my mom was proud of me for my recent milk donation, and we got to talk a bit about that. My mom is very supportive of my breastfeeding and milksharing and nip.

I got new plants to plant in my deck rail planter boxes. The planter boxes have brought me disappointment in myself whenever I think of them. Hubby bought them for me year before last and bought enough flowers to fill them with plants and they died because I never transplanted them to new soil and neglected them. (Party because they weren't right for the sun level and not hearty) Hubby has given me a (playfully teasing) hard time about them for 2 years and I have given myself an even harder time about them. I want to be a good home keeper and have a nice deck. Well today I spent too much money but got enough little plants to fill up my planters and look forward to a nice pretty plant lined deck.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Office day.

I decided the rest of the house could be ignored for a day if I was going to ever get into my office. I have tried 25 or so mins at a time and I just can't get into a groove or see any results when I try that so I took a day to work in the office whenever I wasn't taking care of the girls.

I also tried to keep my "do it now" hat on.
Awhile back I had to move a small dresser out of the living room to make room for penny's swing. It got tucked in basically the middle of the office and piled with stuff. The drawers were mostly empty but it just say there.
I started with the goal to put in on the wall where I had a stack of ( ironically) organization baskets and bins.
This is what I did in the room today:
Found our traeger cover (purchased last October), wiped the traeger off and put the cover on.
Found a paper for an item hubby wanted me to order, found it online and got it all ready to order for hubby to enter credit card numbers (he's got the card we will use).
Moved some wood we had cut to use as bed lifts to under the bed (didn't lift the bed, just put them there)
Put away a laundry basket full of misc craft stuff.
Found my college grad hat/tassel and put it in a clear ornament a la Pinterest and put the ornament in a box to take to attic.
Moved a chair out of the room.
Moved the empty dresser into its new place, hung a canvas organizing thing on the wall, hung my gift wrap rolls basket, hung a random photo I found of hubby and I.
Finally filled up a new ribbon storage idea I had- poked the spools onto a paper towel holder, and managed to stuff all loose ribbon in my previously overflowing ribbon box.
Moved a few boxes of stuff out to put in the attic.
Nearly cleared off a large overflowing table/ desk.
Purged some shoe boxes I was saving forever.
Found my power drill and plugged it in to charge for a project I paused a week ago because I couldn't find my drill. (now to find the bit)
Stacked and sorted a bunch of craft supplies.
Filled one of the empty drawers.
I am sure I did more but I'm not thinking of it all.
I didn't take pictures like I should have but I just wanted to work. I think I have some old pics of some of the craziness though. I'll see and add them with some afters.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Grateful for sharing.

A few months back, on Eats on Feets's Facebook page I read a post from an adoptive mom in my town looking for milk for her adopted baby who was not yet born.
I have been pumping most every day since Penny was 6 weeks old. A few nights a week while I'm working, Penny needs a bottle. I pump 2-4 times more than she drinks, and we have never needed to use anything from the freezer.
The new baby was born a few weeks ago and her Daddy picked up milk from us the other day. It was a great feeling to be able to share our liquid gold with his daughter.
I hope to be able to continue donating milk to this family.
I am very grateful for the modern day milksharing opportunity, for my pump, and for my body for producing enough to exclusively bm feed Penny, to nurse Ellie a few times a day and to pump for their adopted milksister.

Baby Led Solids

Penny is 4 months old now and very very interested in eating. But, we will wait. We learned about readiness signs and virgin gut with Ellie and waited until 5.5 months. I've learned more and plan to delay solids until at least 6 months, possibly longer before starting BLW with Penny. While she is very interested, mimics us and reaches for food we are eating, she is not yet sitting unassisted and not consistently able to bring items to her mouth, it is still far too early.

BLW stands for Baby led weaning (the concept was made popular in the UK where "weaning" means "starting food" where here in the USA we use "weaning" to mean "off of something". Some people use the term "baby led solids". This is not to be confused with Child Led a Weaning which is a term used for allowing a child to wean off of nursing at their own pace at their own time.

Baby Led Solids is the solids feeding philosophy that believes that a child doesn't need solids until she is capable of feeding herself foods rather than spoon feeding. This means for most families that they wait to offer solids until baby is at least 6 months old.
Some BLW families give baby just whatever the family is eating, others are more selective about what is offered to baby. Some follow the "new food every few days to watch for reactions" rule. Others only watch for and/or delay certain allergens.
For us we gave fruit or veg or meat from our meals. We delayed grains until near the 12 month mark and very minimal until after 2 years old. Ellie had some trouble with dairy in my diet when she was exclusively breastfeeding so we waited to try cow dairy until about 18 months.

The menu will vary from family to family and is customizable. Many families skip cereals.
The biggest difference with BLW is that the food is placed in front of baby and baby brings it to her mouth rather than it being spoon fed. Foods aren't mashed or pureed. Foods are soft cooked (if needed), cut int steak-fries size or very soft foods into pea sized. Baby is in control of how fast/slow how much or how little they eat and when they're finished. Normally spoon-eaten foods (apple sauce yogurt etc) are either licked off of baby's fingers or baby can dip/lick the spoon or are offered with preloaded spoons set on the high hair tray.
Some babies will eat a lot others will not. The key is the child leads the process. Most parents agree than solids are just for fun, practice and exploration until about 1 year old and not to worry about quantity as long as baby is primarily breast or formula fed as that supplies all of their nutrients.

If you're more curious about BLW there's a book, Facebook page and blogs you can read.

This is my opinion of BLW compared to spoon feeding purees.

I think, babyled teaches them, allows them to listen to their bodies much more than if theyre spoon fed, Right from the beginning. They won't be eating too much, which can set them up for healthy eating habits for life. Also, babies fed cereal might get a taste for simple carbs and not for a variety of foods. Baby led introduces babies to a wide variety of foods, which can encourage a love for a range of nutrients in healthy foods and prevent picky eaters. IN my opinion it's not just the "to chew or not to chew?" question. It's the beginning of their relationship with food. The exploration and play encourages physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially positive development. Pinching peas, grasping slippery peaches, using two hands for watermelon wedges, chewing on warm steak, losing grip on green beans, smearing refried beans all around. These things are awesome for development and there isn't a spoon-fed equivalent to the exploration and play.

Also, the BLS baby learns how to handle food in her mouth while the gag reflex is stronger. A spoon fed baby doesn't learn how to chew before they swallow until after the gag reflex moves back and relaxes, increasing the likeliness of choking.

At meal times, the BLS baby is actively participating in the family connection, as is the parent who is able to eat, talk and enjoy his/her meal with the family. Often spoonfed babies are fed separately and not learning the social aspect of meals and emotional experience of family meal times from the get-go.

We were very happy with the process and result of doing BLW with Ellie and look forward to starting with Penny, but not until we are certain she is ready.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

LLL leadership

One of the 2 LLL leaders in Salem reached out to the Facebook group looking for moms interested in becoming leaders. I had thought of that a year and a half ago and didn't do anything other than buy and read a The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and go to a few meetings.
Yesterday I met with the leader and a few other m&ms who were interested in the role and I'm very excited to start the process!
My plan is to replace my current Facebook and phone game addiction with reading TWAOB more and other recommended readings.
I'm really excited!

Friday, May 9, 2014


I am making 2 big changes currently.
I am cutting back on my phone addiction and watching what I eat.

I expect this to have a positive effect on my mood, my parenting, and my home.

I am finding it a rewarding challenge.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

1169 or grateful -#5

That is how many days I have been breastfeeding.
105 tandeming.

I am grateful every day for the easy time I have had of breastfeeding.
I am grateful for my support system, my education, my lifestyle that is conducive to breastfeeding, my employer (I know I mentioned that last time), and my community.
I am grateful for my husband (part of my support system but deserves double mention) for his AP like-mindedness, his dedication to family, his awareness of what is important and his selflessness.

We may not be on day 1169 without such support.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Grateful for #4

My employer.
I was given 8 weeks maternity leave at 100% pay of 40 hours a week. Even though I had only been working 30 hours a week the 6 weeks prior to birth. And had been working 20 hours the 6 months before that.
Coming back to work I requested an exception to my schedule so I had time to nurse or pump. (Working from home means I nurse on breaks for the most part.) The law requires they provide time, but it doesn't have to be paid. I was given an extra paid 10 minutes on my regular paid 15 minute break for the next 6 months (at least).
Amazon treats it's employees quite well.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Grateful for #3

Today I find myself grateful for my home. I have the best of multiple worlds. A smallish loft apartment for everyday living, a large shop for hosting parties, country air, close to the city, my own space but a great support system living near my in-laws.

Of course there are things is change if I could, but I am quite grateful for what I have.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

So you say you're uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public.

I understand why you are uncomfortable, society has been sexualizing breasts since before you were born. You, and many others have the sexual function of breasts in the forefront of your minds(thank you media) rather than their primary function, which is to nourish babies. The problem with that mentality, and with expressing your thoughts to suppress a woman's right to nurse her child, and that child's right to eat, is that it continues the de-normalization of breastfeeding.

Many people nowadays rarely, if ever, see women nourishing their babies with their body. Those people become parents or grandparents or aunts or child care providers and have a disconnect with (God's or) nature's design and choose to feed formula, which is proven to raise health risks. The increase in health problems as well as the enormous environmental impact of formula use affects everyone. That disconnect with nature's design can also lead women to not trusting their bodies' natural capabilities and intuition when it comes to health diagnosis, childbirth, taking control of health issues etc. It has been proven that the more a woman sees breastfeeding and hears positivity surrounding breastfeeding, the higher chance she has at breastfeeding her children and the longer that they will be able to nurse.
The health of children, the environment, economy, and society will be greatly improved when the majority of mothers breastfeed.

So try this. Instead of expressing discomfort with a mom nursing(covered or not) (verbally or with body language or after the fact gossiping), smile, nod, imagine your own babies, nieces, nephews, imagine love and support and realize that breasts were made to feed babies and mammals were designed (by God or evolution whichever you believe) to consume their own mother's milk. And parenting can be hard enough without criticism.

So you say "I couldn't nurse"?

I don't say this to be mean, or to make you feel guilty, or because I think I'm better than you. I'm not calling anyone a liar or a bad mom. It's not my intention to hurt feelings or to accuse anyone of wrong doing. But, how you talk about your lack of ability to breastfeed can make a difference to others.

It is VERY possible that you could have breastfed, had you received ample support and education. I DO NOT blame any mom for not breastfeeding, regardless on how much they did, or didn't try. I blame the many years of formula use. A seed was planted when formula was invented, a mixture of pharmaceutical company marketing, new mothers having to work more, and misinformed doctors, got moms and dads and aunts etc thinking that formula was better. Years of moms giving bottles (whose children "turned out fine") and those moms becoming grandmothers and not knowing how to able to best help their new mom offspring is to blame. (I could also talk of society's over-sexualization of breasts here too but I'll skip that) All those bottles (and "fine" outcomes) has de-normalized breastfeeding. It isn't seen as the normal, go-to, common way to feed a baby.
Science now has since proven that formula is inferior. Protective, defensive moms refuse to accept that they gave their child an inferior food, they're moms, they instinctively want whats best-and hate to think they made a "mistake" or that they could have done "better". So they either convince themselves they *couldn't* breastfeed, that formula was better in their situation, or they feel guilty.
No one should feel guilty besides formula manufacturers. They push their product at the health expense of babies and moms all over the world. They give free samples to new moms - knowing that once a mom starts using formula, it is very slippery slope toward exclusive formula use as it is hard to have enough milk supply and she will have to soon pay for formula. So I don't ever blame moms for not breastfeeding.
Moms who didn't breastfeed or stopped before long need to know though, that they shouldn't feel guilty. What I see is many many defensive silently guilt stricken moms perpetuating the myth that its common to not make enough/any milk. This only hurts babies.
Medically, it's very rare for a mom to not be able to make enough milk. I'm not calling you a liar if you believe you couldn't. I want you to know though that it was most likely not true. Instead of saying "I didn't make milk" or. "My baby wouldn't latch say "I didn't have enough information or support to breastfeed." maybe you didn't try, maybe you did, maybe the baby wouldn't latch and nurses or pediatricians or your partner or own mom pushed formula, maybe you had medical birth interventions which altered your hormones/body and baby's body and hormones maybe you never knew anyone who breastfed or for some other reason had skewed feelings about breasts and breastfeeding.

Medically though, if you had help getting baby latched and had information on how breasts work and how to succeed at breastfeeding, you most likely wouldn't have needed formula. Its not your fault. Please though, future moms see and hear what you say, if they hear "I didn't make milk" they will think it's common to not get milk and might think they won't make milk and not try. If they hear "I didn't get enough support or learn enough about breastfeeding" they'll seek support and knowledge and with that, they'll most likely breastfeed. Know better do better, at the time, when your new baby was born, you did what you knew, it's ok to learn better and do better next time, and in the meantime, help other moms learn better.

It takes a village, if accepting that possibly, you could have breastfed under better circumstances, you help another mom breastfeed, isn't that great? It's not a competition, don't inadvertently perpetuate myths that may lead others to make a mistake you made. If your kid fell out of a certain brand high chair, you wouldn't recommend or defend the highchair, you'd share the knowledge and hopefully help another mom. Same thing.

A few things: You don't know if you made milk or not if your baby never latched on or if you gave formula right away. Your breasts are supply and demand. If baby doesn't latch, you body thinks the baby died (it doesn't know about formula) and it will stop the hormonal process of making milk. If the baby gets formula, it will learn how to drink from a bottle and may not know how to latch onto a breast.
Not leaking or swelling during pregnancy doesn't mean you can't feed. Neither does small breasts or large breasts pierced nipples, or breast surgery(although it may mean more challenges) or adoption (yes even women who've never been pregnant can lactate, although this is much more effort, stress and often not enough for exclusive breastfeeding). Newborn tummies are as big as a cherry, colostrum is plenty until the first milk transitions to mature milk. Breastfeeding is natural, but doesn't always come naturally, it takes some learning to know how to hold baby, what a good latch looks like, and how much a baby nurses. If it doesn't come easy, it doesn't mean you can't breastfeed.

Blog bombarding.

(I just made that term up)

Cleaning off my phone tonight I found some old (like a year or 2 or 3 old) rambly notes on various topics. Decided to blog them. Because they're not doing any good sitting around on my phone.

you have been warned

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Grateful for... Entry #2

(Totally had to add the "entry" in the title because it sounded like I was grateful for poop without it.)

I am often quite thankful for our fertility and easy pregnancies.

I have several close friends who have struggled with infertility and pregnancy loss and it breaks my heart for them.

When I recall my TTC adventures I think of those who have much more difficult stories to tell.

Before Ellie, we were "not trying not preventing" although I did want to get pregnant and didn't want to waste any opportunities.
[I always feared I'd have fertility issues, partly because it seems they always happen to those who would be the best parents. And partly because I wasn't always the most responsible sexually active woman of childbearing age and never had any oopses.]
I did imagine getting pregnant and thought about it often and visualized it (had recently read The Secret).
I had dreamt I was pregnant and took a test that morning I woke up and was thrilled.

When Ellie was almost 2 we took out the Mirena and wanted to wait a few months to get the hormones out if my system. We "tried" (as in intentionally made the sperm go inside) for 2 cycles then thought to get my thyroid checked. The numbers were crazy so we adjusted my dosage and checked it a month later. The numbers were good and I was ovulating a few days later.
We had considered not trying that cycle since it would put the next baby's birthday a couple weeks from Ellie's but waiting another month would still be the same issue and I still had that infertility worry, even after an easy time with E, so we just *enjoyed* our vacation.

I was thrilled when I noticed my reduced appetite (basically my only symptom with Ellie) a few weeks later.
A few weeks after that I took a test a and had a BFP.

We had a very easy time of getting pregnant.

I am grateful for that.

I also have very easy pregnancies, despite the gestational diabetes with Penny. I also had quite short uneventful natural vaginal births.
I am thankful for that.
We also have had very easy times breastfeeding. I know moms who have really struggled and I am thankful for the easy time we have had.

So I contemplated not writing this. I do not want to make anyone who struggled with infertility, pregnancy complications or breastfeeding struggles feel bad.
But I have this theory about stubbed toes.

Grateful for...

I was just laying in bed contemplating writing a post about what I am thankful for. I have a long list but I wasn't sure what I would write about.

Then, out of nearly nowhere, I hear Ellie, laying in the sidecar crib next to me, throwing up. Record breaking (I'm sure) amounts of throw up. Thanks to my mama ninja skills. And having extra large burp clothes handy (usually for leaky breasts or baby spitup) I caught all but the first amount.
She barely stirred (had stirred about 3 minutes earlier but not uncommon for her) and barely reacted to the throwing up and fell right back to sleep after.

Had I not been right there I'm sure it would have been a much bigger, more traumatizing (for her and I) mess as I'm sure she would have gotten it in hair and all over face and more than the one unfortunate stuffed toy. (She has quite a menagerie of animals normally.)

I must also say, I am grateful for a helpful hubby who rinsed out the clothes and fetched me warm rags, new sheets etc. And I'm grateful that Penny slept through it all and that I don't have an overly strong gag reflex.

Not sure what caused it, we all ate the same thing at dinner, she had an applesauce cup and we all had some popcorn before bed. I just hope Mikey's parents and grandma don't get sick too, being elderly and all.

I won't likely sleep well tonight, but I am happy to at least I can not-sleep well in my own bed with my sick kiddo in her, now extra padded bed, in arms reach, rather than worrying from another room or having to overly pad our bed to bring her in our bed for the night. Or sleep on the floor of her room.

Also bonus tip, if your long- haired child goes to bed sick, put the hair up in a high loose pony tail, this should (I hope) keep any more puke out of the hair.

My view from here:

Making room.

I am starting to feel like we really have too much stuff. I thought about what we acquired recently and am thinking of what can move out to make room.

I recently bought 3 new bottles (2 as back up I'm trying to wash Penny's one bottle after work each day.) I packed away 5 of Ellie's sippy cups. That freed up space in the cupboard bin for not only the extra bottles but also the extra milk storage bags. (Bought a 4x25=100 pack and that box doesn't fit in the drawer with the ziplocks, the 25packs do so 3 packs are in the box still.)

I also moved infrequently used kitchen gadgets out of that drawer to make room for the pump parts/pump bottles.

My next big focus is the office. I have a wonderful dresser I have previously devoted to gift wrap and generic gifts and extra goodie bag fillers.
Up in the attic the other day I found a box with some gift stuff in it and realized that I wrap gifts so infrequently that I could totally go into the attic for that task. And thought of using plastic totes like I used to for gift wrap stuff.
Looking in the office I see a short dresser that is half toys half Ellie's socks tights and panties. There's a drawer in penny's dresser that had attic stuff in it, so I re-arranged a few drawers and can move that little dresser up to the attic for gift wrap. I will keep one drawer of a few generic gift bags and tissue for last minute wrapping down in the office but this will free up so much space in my office!
Or I might keep the little dresser in the office for storage. I will decide.

I will also be relocating some glassware and books to the attic too.
There's just too much stuff in my office!

I know some FlySisters are probably thinking I should purge stuff to make room. I know I know. Tell hubby that.

I will be back with updates.

For now here is a little before pic to keep me accountable:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A good day as a Lactivist.

(A lactivist is an activist who focuses their attention and energy on supporting breastfeeding and normalizing human milk as the standard milk for human babies)

We met family (young looking mom with 2 boys- 3 and 2 yrs old) at McDonald's today. Ellie became fast friends with the older boy and the mom, younger boy, Penny and I sat on the chairs in the play place while the 3 year olds played. I nursed Penny openly like I always do. Other mom smiled when I joked with Penny about her hands not having milk in them. Other mom's 2 year old wanted milky too and, a bit shyly Other mom let him nurse a moment. My heart soared.

I wasn't sure if my nursing helped her feel comfortable nursing her (gasp!) 2 year old uncovered in public, or if she chose to nurse her 2 year old to encourage me to nurse full term.
Either way it was a win-win for normalizing breastfeeding.
Wanting to reassure Other mom that I thought nursing a 2 year old was just fine (or GREAT rather), I mentioned that Ellie (gesturing to the play structure) still nurses a few times a day. Other mom says "really?" And I wasn't sure if she was surprised, impressed, appalled, or what. I mention that it was especially helpful when baby was born. Then she talked about tandem nursing her (then 3) 6 year old daughter when her 3 year old son was born.

I wanted to hug her when it was time to go.

But breastfeeding is just another normal part of parenting, like insisting on eating the cheeseburger before playing, or buckling up in the car seat, or saving the happy meal toy for the waiting room at the next errand. So I just said "it was nice to meet you" and smiled happily.

Pumping Sucks

Actually it's not too bad, I just love the pun.

I have gotten into a routine to pump Lefty-loosie while Penny nurses on Righty-tighty (their nicknames reflect how easily the pump can get milk out.) a few time a day. I'm consistently able to freeze 2-4 ounces a day, which will be shared with an adopting family soon!
(Interested in donating or finding milk for your little one? Search Facebook for "Human Milk for Human Babies (then add your state)" .

Penny takes the bottle just fine, which is nice for grandma and daddy. So far, no I'll affects of returning to work.

I was always proud to exclaim how Ellie never needed bottles, that we weren't separated for feeds until she was old enough to use a sippy cup. And that I proudly nursed in public. I couldn't really relate to breastmilk bottle feeding families before (except my inability to pump very much with Ellie). I look at the bright side of giving Penny expressed milk. I can be an example of balancing work and breastfeeding. I can relate to more families.

Amazon is great by the way, I get an extra 10 minutes paid so that I can nurse directly and/or pump milk added to my regular break, which has worked pretty well as long as I don't get stuck on extra long contacts. If she seems hungry not long before break or end of shift grandma or daddy try to keep her happy so she can wait for me. On days she takes more expressed milk, I pump while nursing on break or right after work.

Tonight, I knocked over a fresh pumped bottle and of course it popped apart and spilled several ounces out. While I didn't cry about it, I did have a few choice words. (Beware of mixing Avent bottle with Medela pump.)

Funny thing, Ellie woke randomly to ask to nurse, which she nearly never does, so I paused the blog post for a few minutes. After she was done, and I started typing that last paragraph, I started leaking from Lefty.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Going to bed feeling a little crummy.
Felt good about making it to story time which entailed getting up an hour+ before we usually do, nursing and pumping milk, feeding E, getting her and I dressed, packing a snack, remembering change for the meter and arrived only a couple minutes late.
I have had a goal to engage more with Ellie so I focused on enjoying a few books with her and let her take plenty of time in the playroom after.
Didn't actually check out books because my sister met us and she needed to feed the meter so we did that then had a picnic snack. By the time that was done E didn't want to go look for books (which bugged me, I want her to obsess over books!)
Anyway I am proud of the positives today but I'm going to bed feeling crummy because of some negatives and I just can't shake them.
I don't tend to let negative things affect me- unless they're about me. Which they are.
I've been struggling with metrics at work the last few weeks since maternity leave and will likely be written up. I'm not too worried, I have confidence that I can pull it around , it just weighs on me.
Hubby and I argued today and I found out either I'm not doing as good as I thought I was at keeping up with the house lately or he's not noticing it. I probably should talk to him more about this but I'm just drained and want to bottle up my feelings, it's easier than fighting.

In effort to redeem myself I did work on dishes and music pick ups before bed and got up after nursing P to sleep and take care of our lizard, put away 2.5 loads of laundry, tidy the bathroom, sort dirty laundry, do an s&s.

The actions taken did help the situation. Slightly. Writing an honest unedited blog post is another goal of mine that I can think of to take the crummies away.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Flying lately.

I have been really flying lately. Keeping up on dishes, the bathroom and picking up the house regularly. It feels great! I've done a few small decluttering jobs also.
The mantra that has been working has been : "just do it. You like when it's done and it's easier to maintain than recover."
A few nights I've not felt like doing anything after long days, I've done something anyway. I haven't been to bed with more than my one dish tub of dishes dirty, have pupa'd and swept and changed laundry before bed. I've been putting away the clean dishes each morning and washing more than once a day.

Participating in the flying groups on fb really helps because as every-day as housework is, and it really doesn't warrant praise, it's nice to have a group of ladies who understand that housework is a challenge for me and I feel good and feel good when I do it. I think non-flyers would think "who would care that you cleared your counter? Why is that post-worthy? Don't millions of moms do that everyday without recognition?"
I don't feel I need recognition, it's the common goals, the common struggles, and the understanding that feels good. I also hope to inspire others, as I've felt inspired.

It also helps me get over my #fakebook tendencies.

What I really like is the lack of judgement and feeling like a normal, not bad person. Lots of wives, moms, homemakers, have to make a conscious effort to keep house and I'm not less of a person because I struggle. I don't have to put up a mask of perfection in the flying groups.

Rear facing to the max

This is Ellie, 37 months, rear facing. Insisted that her baby be buckled up also.

If you're wondering why she's rear facing 2 years longer than the minimum law requirement, and 1 year longer than the aap minimum recommendation, it's because the NHTSA recommends rear facing as long as the child is within size limits of the seat, ideally until 4.
She's in a Britax Boulevard70 and is almost at the height limit, soon she will move to a Chicco Nextfit, which has a higher height limit so she can rear face to the max. I'm estimating til 4.

This blog post should not be your only source of car seat information. I'm not an expert (although I'd love to be) and this post is not all inclusive.

Check out Car Seats For The Littles or The Car Seat Lady for much more inclusive articles.

(That's 2 month old Penny in the Chicco Nextfit next to her btw)

Quit with all the acquiring already.

I struggle with this.

It's only a dollar. It can go in the shop. We don't have one like it. It can add to the collection of similar ones. It's got good educational value. I just purged so much I have room.

I really don't have much sentimental attachment to things, so I'm ok tossing/donating things. But we have plenty of storage space so I really don't have to.

Went to the swap meet and decided not to look for things to buy. Look at things, with some cash in my pocket just in case, yes, but not look for things to acquire like I have before. It is ok to leave a store with one item or none. It's ok.

Not very far along the way in the swap meet I see a "free for kids" box of random toys and suggest Ellie look inside. The only one she's interested in was baby-ish and took batteries so I talked her out of it. She wasn't interested in any other.

But! Behold! A $1 pile! With a trike in it!

She's learning the peddling but finds it easier to just walk it with her feet instead.

Then I show her the storage under the seat and find some unidentifiable food item aka a block of mold. Ugk!

Got to our swap meet space to find that grandpa had found a $1 sit and use your feet "bike" and a $1 metal trike (with broken seat).

That taught me a lesson in swap meet shopping.

We have too much stuff.

Perfectionist procrastinator.

I haven't been blogging because I tell myself to do a perfect job, make sure it's edited and includes pictures and blah blah blah. The result: little to no blogging.

So I'm going to challenge myself to blog, imperfectly, more often.

So here come the unedited likely rambly jambly blog posts about whatever pops into my head. I'll consider keeping things on topic.

You've been warned.