Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Have's and Have Not's--The Mama Version.

You know what?  I've been doing a lot of thinking about myself, my habits, and my spending.
When this gets dangerous.  And slightly annoying ha.  So watch out.

So...I'm buying into the lie.

I'm buying into the lie that I have to have THE best.  That I deserve THE best.  That if I don't have THE best then other people will look at us and think, "Oh...that's too bad."

I don't know where this came from.  I mean I used to be totally cheap.  Spending more then $20 on anything outside of mandatory bills and a grocery trip used to make me cringe.

And now here I am researching umbrella strollers (spending an embarrassing amount of time on it).  I'm looking at $250 umbrella strollers!  WHAT?!? That's ridiculous.  I mean I want it to last through a couple of kids and it needs to have some unique features to make it compatible with our San Francisco life but when did spending $250 on a stroller (a backup stroller I might add) become non-cringeworthy?

I mean.  If we made double what we made...maybe we could do that...maybe.

But we don't.

We pay our bills.  We have a student loan.  We have just enough to have a little extra and put a tiny TINY amount into savings.

So, what am I doing?  What are WE doing?

I know I'm not alone.

I've had my eye on a double stroller (NOT pregnant, just admiring for the possible future) that is get this...$600.  When looking at the stroller I tried not to think about.  You know, deny the fact that it literally costs HALF of what we paid for our little pick-up truck.  But when I see it typed out $600 it makes me kinda sick.  I have a few friends up here who have that stroller.  And I think it's fine because I know that they HAVE the money to spend...and still give plenty to others.

But we don't.

Spending money on the supposed BEST right now is a huge sacrifice for us.  It means that we give less...or maybe not at all.  I would imagine there is some mother out the U.S. or abroad who is lugging her child around and would gladly take one of those cheap $20 umbrella strollers.

I think when it boils down to it...I think about what kind of message it's sending to my son.

He doesn't know what's going on right now but he will soon.  How awesome would it be if one day when given the choice he chooses the cheaper item...that is really just as functional, because he sees the wisdom in spending within his means.  How MUCH more awesome would it be if one day, given the financial opportunity, he chooses the cheaper, functional item so that he can give the extra money he saved to someone in need.

This is very unlikely to happen unless I begin modeling it myself.

So there you go.  I don't think I really felt this pull and pressure until I had to start buying baby products.  I guess I typed all this out as sort of a public proclamation of my desire to spend within my means, to sacrifice my "I'm the mom with the BEST products for my kids" image.  Because's a dumb image.  There, I said it.  It's dumb because it's not real.  Or sustainable.  Or what I really want to be known for.  I also maybe want to speak to anyone who is feeling the same pressures and temptations and let them know...that I feel you, you're not alone...and we don't have to buy into it.  Our kids are loved by how much time we spend with them, the tickles, the hugs, the kisses...not because he has the best stroller, shoes, outfit, swaddle blankets on the block.

**I am well aware of the fact that the more expensive stuff is often touted as the "safest" stuff.  Toys made in Denmark vs. China and etc.  That makes me sad.  ALL toys should be equally safe and equally non-toxic.  There shouldn't BE this divide.  Every mother should have the opportunity to buy a toy or product and KNOW FOR A FACT that it is safe and non-toxic.  No mother should have to sacrifice safety because she can't afford the alternative.  Or maybe...just maybe...those plastic toys aren't ALL that bad.  I think that there is definitely a bit of fear tactic used sometimes by other, higher end companies.  But THAT is a whole different post. ha.  :)**

Friday, February 21, 2014

This week...

Happy Friday friends.  I remember when Friday used to be all, "Heck yeah it's Friday, it's the weekend whoot whoot."  Now, I'm all, "Oh snap, it's Friday?  I thought it was Wednesday."  Yeah.  The days justsortaruntogethersometimes.  :)

  • Life.  *Sigh*  Life is just kinda meh sometimes.  I mean sometimes its so incredibly awesome and sometimes I just want to sit down in the corner with a jar of Nutella and Nilla wafers and block everyone and everything out. 
  • This week was filled with a bit of the first bullet.  It was also filled with beautiful moments.  Moments of cuddles, love, and slobbery baby kisses.  Moments where I look at our little boy and think, "How blessed we are."  So incredibly and totally blessed.
  • God has been working on my heart a lot lately.  I feel like we are being stretched in a lot of ways as of late and it's dang darn hard.  The fruit is so sweet in the end but in the moment I kinda just get O-ver.It.
  • My boy has decided that he is cool with not eating baby food.  Yeah, right after I did a post that sung the praises of my little baby food station.  I will still use it for to-go stuff.  And when he's older and I'm willing to let him eat as much fruit as he wants.  (We are giving him fruit but not a ton...trying to build a good foundation of non-sweet foods first).  Anyways, Jack decided that he wants to eat what we eat.  90% of our food is made from scratch or organic so what the hey.  So far he had whole wheat pasta with sauce, broccoli, pizza, broccoli pesto quinoa.  Man that kid is an eater.  I read somewhere that they might not eat much more than a tablespoon of table food at this age...HA!  Anyways, it's actually really nice not having to give him his own food but just chop up what we eat.  Oh, and I've been giving it to him with the spices and all.  No issues so far (I pull his portion before we salt it though).  Gone are the days though when I ate something and he was clueless.  If I pull food out now...there he is...begging like a little puppy dog.  :)
  • My Mom's Group is going through the book Seven Sacred Pauses.  It's definitely not a book that I would read normally but I've been able to pull some things from it for sure.  One of the "pauses" she describes happens in the middle of the night and she calls it the "Night Watch".  Jack is still eating once in the middle of the night.  Instead of being slightly irritated that I'm awake and counting the hours until his next wake up I've been trying to take the "Night Watch" by praying for those who are hurting and awake with worries.  Night can be a hard time for many people...heck sometimes even for me.  It's changed my outlook on nursing at night.  For now.  Ha.  I will tell you though...I will NOT be taking part on the dawn one any time soon.  No Thank You. ;)
  • So Jason is looking for a new job.  His current job is fine but it isn't a long term position.  It's not designed to be a job that you keep forever.  No benefits and etc.  We would really love to find a new position this fall.  If you think of us would you mind praying.  I feel like it will be a complete and total work of God to get a new position.  College teaching positions are very competitive.  Jason is an awesome, hard working teacher.  I mean...seriously.  I feel like an employer would know that once they meet him...but that's the hard part.  Getting them to see your application as worth while in the midst of many others.  We are trusting the Lord for sure on this.  But yeah...just a little prayer request I guess.  :)
Welp, happy weekend friends!

Monday, February 17, 2014

3 Reason I'm Saying Adios to Pinterest


Such a fun site.  I mean, I really could spend hours on there if I wanted to.  Hours of inspiration, tips, DIY's.  Love it.  And at the same time...I don't love it.

I think it's time for Pinterest and I to say farewell.  It's been real.  We've had many good times together.  But I'm kickin' ya to the curb Pinterest.  And here's why.  I have three reasons to be exact.  :)

Reason Numero Uno
Okay, so there was once a time where I considered myself relatively creative.  I enjoyed thinking of new designs and ideas.  Seriously, since Pinterest came out I don't think I've had even a slightly original idea of my own.  There's no need.  I can just go on Pinterest.  I feel like I'm sorely disappointed most of the time too.  I mean, Pinterest makes it look perfect...and then you try to imitate it and most of the time it just isn't the same.  So, yeah.  I'm on a mission to bring back the creativity!

Reason Numero Dos
I feel like Pinterest is making me just plain discontent.  That probably has more to do with my own issues then any issues of Pinterest.  Playing off that whole thing that I said above about Pinterest making everything look perfect yeah.  When it boils down to isn't all that Pinterest worthy.  I mean, who wants to "pin" pictures of spit-up, diaper blowouts, your kid screaming bloody murder in the middle of the store...or on a more positive note, sweet morning cuddles with crazy bedhead and stanky breath.  Nobody.  But THAT is real life.  Not the perfect child doing some gloriously stimulating activity in the perfect outfit...with a mom who is in the perfect a house that is perfectly decorated.  You can find that "pin" under "Baby Outfit" "Mom Fashion" "Beautiful Living Room" and "How to Have the Smartest Child Alive".  Kidding.  Kinda.  Seriously though.  I think I'm just tired of looking at all this PERFECTION.  It's just a lot of pressure.  And while some people are good at using it for a little creative inspiration occasionally...I just get tired.  Tired of feeling like there's always something more that I could be doing...and doing better...and looking better while doing it.  Don't get me wrong, I need to do things better and not feel complacent...but I don't want places like Pinterest being the ones that are telling me.  Capisce?

Reason Numero Tres
I think in general I need to pull back the reigns on my social media consumption.  There is just SO much out there.  New Instagram pics, new Facebook statuses, new blog posts, new pins, new tweets.  The list goes on.  I've come to realize after having a baby that spare time is an incredibly valuable thing.  It is to be cherished and used very wisely.  It boils down to the fact that Pinterest really has no relational value for me.  I don't foster any sort of relationship with anyone on Pinterest.  I feel like my blog, and Facebook at least keeps me connected to family and friends.

So there you go.  Why I'm ditching the world of "pins".  I'm sure I'll regret this once Jack's first birthday rolls around.  Or hey...Maybe I'll actually have an idea of my own.  Now there's a novel idea.  :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jacko--8 months

Awe.  Our baby boy is 8 months old.  He is certainly not the same little baby anymore.  He's at this stage where almost every day brings some new skill that I didn't know he had.  Staying home with him looks a lot different too.  I went back to work mid December full time and stopped last week.  When I went to work he knew how to sit up...but would still fall over occasinally.  A different baby for sure.  Anyways, since I haven't been home with him I don't have quite as many pictures.  If you follow me on Instagram (evangelistaluv) then you've probably seen many of these.  Oh well.
So, let's get on to the updates.

-I have no idea how heavy he is but he has definitely filled out.  He's got some chunky thighs and a little belly.  It's getting to the point where I think I need to really and truly be purposeful about the meals I feed him and how often.  Up until last week there would be days where he would only get milk.  He needs more though.  He is such an eater and he don't want no baby food.  He was okay with it at first but he's interested in more so...we give it to him (and he's figured out how to eat without gagging...yay).

-The boy crawls everywhere.  He likes to stand though even more.  Any possible object that he can use to stand...he uses...including an empty wire trash can that was by Jason's desk.  I'm sure you can imagine how well THAT went.  We are gaining lots of new bruises...mostly on his face.  We have a near shiner forming because he hit his face on the chair.  Ugh.  I pretty much spend most of my time making sure he doesn't crack his head on our tile.  I've seriously considered buying him a mini football helmet and letting him go to town.  Anyways, just today he started WALKING along while holding the couch.  Hold me.

-People used to say, "Oh, enjoy this time where they can't move around on their own."  I definitely have to disagree on this one.  Jack really wouldn't just lie there.  No way.  You had to hold him upright so he could see everything.  I rarely had a moment to do much of anything the first 5 months of his life.  Seriously, the kid is SO much happier now that he has his mobility.  I actually have MORE time to get things done now that he can play and move on his own.

-Jack is now an official Sunday school attendee....last Sunday was his first time.  Crazy right?  We went 8 months keeping him in the service with us.  He really had no problem until the last few weeks.  Too mobile.  Anyways, he made it through the whole service...up until the last 10 minutes.  It took him that long to figure out that we weren't around haha.  I peeked in on him and he was happy playing and watching the other kids.  He also managed to snag some graham crackers as was evidenced by his shirt...and graham cracker breath.  Totally didn't realize he would be eating that (I mean he's 8 months old!).  I tried to not be weird about it.  I'm not going to be the mom who forces her kid to eat a non-sugary organic snack while all the other kids are grubbing on their yummy graham crackers...I won't do it...I won't.  I think if I keep chanting that to myself maybe it will come true...? Ha!

-That whole object permanence is definitely there.  He remembers things which is so fun to see.  Today after a long day of being out and about I walked up to the front door and he started doing his "bouncy arm flappy I'm excited" thing.  I said, "Jacko!  Are you happy to be home?"  Oh yeah!  I put him on the rug with his toys in the living room and you'd think I took the kid to Disneyland!  It's funny to think that Jack will have that comfortable feeling of "home" that I had as a child.  Your house, your room, your mom and was just home.  And it was so very nice.

-Sleep.  Sleep has been...pretty good up until this last week.  We had a huge span of time without teething/growing to disrupt our sleep.  We were down to 1 wake up a night and then within the last few days it's been 2-3.  Boo.  Please say it's a growth spurt.  He's been eating a ton and then goes right back to sleep so I'm going to go with that for now.

Anyways, 8 months with our little man!  It's been so sweet and so fun!  What a gift children are.  They are challenging at times for sure, haha, but so wonderful and so rewarding.  We literally thank the Lord every day for this little guy!  <3

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

5 Things

Since I'm in a writing lull and am coveting a bunch of things (that usually happens when we are on a tight budget) I thought that I'd share with you 5 things that I've been wanting.  So as to not seem totally ungrateful and materialistic I thought I might share with you 5 things that I already HAVE and count as a blessing. :)

I know. 

My opinion is kinda like gold.

You can thank me in the comment section.

I'll wait.

Hold on to your seats my lil' homies.  Here we go!

5 Things I am Usin' and Lovin'
1) Watch out!  "I'm so Holy" alert coming your way.  :)  Kidding.  So, I'm loving my ESV app on my phone.  Seriously, I didn't think I'd use it that much but I've read a bit of Scripture every day for the last 26 days.  Turns out I'm sorta addicted to my phone and if I don't pick it up and hold it in my hands I start twitching and screaming, "What is going ON in the world that I'm missing?!?!  Someone might be painting their nails a new color or having sushi for lunch aaaaaaaaahhhh!"  Anyways, holding the phone and reading Scripture actually helps to sooth this tendency.  A little...
2)I received an Infantino Food Station with DISPOSABLE pouches.  I'm sorry but I love that I can just throw them away.  Why would I want to clean those crazy things?  No gracias.  So I make Jack's food all organic like and then puree it with my IMMERSION blender (which I also received for Christmas and should be on this more hurking out my Cuisinart for small jobs) and then bust out my pouches, freeze them, and done!  I pull them out and he enjoys his yumminess.  And then I THROW the pouch away.  Yeah.  Did I mention I like that feature?
3) My Herschel Backpack.  So, a while back I came to this realization that having a tote style diaper bag is totally inconvenient when you are lugging a baby on public transportation through San Francisco.  It slips off your shoulder and you can't keep it on unless you're cool with invading the person next to you and their space (you can sit and keep a backpack on).  So I decided that a backpack would be a good idea.  Little did I know how trendy and up and coming I was.  HA!  I decided that if we were going to spend more money it would be on something that could be used beyond we could use it ourselves later on.  I was in Nordstroms and came across the Herschel line.  Totally my style and I had a credit there I needed to use.  SCORE.  I picked this one in grey.  :) (Seriously I had never heard of the company and since I bought mine I've seen them more and more...and apparently it was THE bag to buy for Christmas...whatev.)  Really though, they have TONS and they are super cute.  I picked a neutral one so we could both use it...and I love grey.  I don't know how someone can love grey...I mean it's barely a color...but I love it.  :)

4) Minnetonka Front Strap Mocs (we have the brown but that baby in the pic is rocking the red ones).  So I think I've talked about these before.  I ordered them way back and they were waaaay too big for Jack.  They fit now though and they are too cute!  He gets compliments all the time.  I would love a pair of Freshly Picked Mocs but seriously...can't justify the price.  Maybe for his birthday?   Maybe.  A BIG maybe.  :)

5) So I think I'm starting to sorta hone in on the clothes that are worth buying for the little guy and the ones that aren't.  Although those little button ups are adorable...I rarely put him in them.  He also only needs 1 or 2 pairs of jeans for church and when I want to impress people with my cute baby haha.  If we are home/just running errands I usually put him in a long sleeve onesie and comfy pants.  If we go out...he wears his zip-up hoodie.  We love these type of pants like the ones below from Gap...super cheap when they are on sale and this baby H&M hoodie is our serious go-to.  He has worn it a TON.

5 Things I Want
(AKA 5 Things I Have in my Amazon cart and will probably one day POSSIBLY buy ;)

1)UppaBaby G-Lite Umbrella Stroller
It's taken some research but I think we are going to go for this one.  It's more expensive but I've heard great things.  It's about 9 lbs, has rubber wheels, a carry strap, and stands up on it's own while folded.  I think it will hold up under our crazy streets here and being lugged on public trans.

2) I would LOVE these alphabet cards for Jack's room from FrenchPressMornings.  So very cute and it matches the "loose" theme I have going on.

3) Another Etsy find.  I love this wall hanging from littlelow.  So sweet and pretty.  I'm also a huge fan of this little calendar.  Darling!

4) I think I would like to try this sippy cup out.  Love the stainless steel and the sippy valve thing looks really interesting and a good transition from breastfeeding/bottle.  AND there is no plastic to break in case a certain someone chucks it.  :)

5) Osprey Poco Backpack Baby Carrier
Yeah, this is another thing we will get probably for sure.  We've done a lot of research on baby backpack carriers.  Osprey is a little new to this but I have their backpacking backpack and love it.  It has amazing reviews and there are so many things about the bag that I love.  We may or may not be planning a backpacking trip this summer with our then one year old.  ;)  We're crazy...I know. 

And there you go.  Hopefully I made you really covetous. ;)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Writing Lull

I have been in a serious blogging lull lately.

I'm having a lot of trouble thinking about what to say.  I remember before I had a baby I'd think, "Oh, this is blog-worthy material"  Not my mind is just...blank.  Babies do that to you apparently.

I just want to keep doing bullet posts but that's just lame.  And I really need to include some pictures.


Can I just say that I am slowly picking away at the deep cleaning in my house.  It's been, oh, 7 1/2 months since that's happened (except for the bathroom, it's the one place that must be deep cleaned occasionally).  Jack's room/office is done, I did our room I need to conquer the living area/kitchen.  That's all that's left...oh and our entry way.  Yeah.  We need to find an organizing solution for that.  Our BOB stroller and bikes take up a lot of space.  It just looks like chaos.  Whatever.  I don't have to look at it all day like I do my house so it's easy to put off.  :)

So, Jason and I have this "battle" dare I say going on.  I want to hang things all over our walls and he doesn't want me to because it's a rental and he's afraid the landlord won't be happy about that.  I think they don't care and expect you to hang things on your walls but our compromise are these Command Strip wall Velcro type things.  So cool!  So, I am finishing up my gallery wall behind the couch and hanging things in Jack's room and Jason can't complain bwahaha.  :)

We are starting to introduce real solids to Jack...outside of pureed stuff.  I gave him some tiny pieces of wheat cereal and he just gags on it...coughs and coughs and then cries.  haha.  I'm sorry, I know it's not funny but everything I've read talks like they will suck on it and mull it around in their mouths for a while letting it dissolve.  Nope.  Jack swallows it immediately.  Nice.  We tried 3x's thinking he'd get the hang of it eventually and yeah...he didn't.  I'm sure one day he will figure it out.  He can gnaw on a banana no prob.  Maybe I'll steam some veggies so they are extra soft, chop them up and see how he does with that.  :)  How did you introduce solids?  Did your kid gag like crazy?

I've been trying to go without makeup more.  I don't know why.  I think I just feel like I've been battling vanity lately.  I mean there is absolutely nothing wrong with makeup.  It was getting to a point where I just felt like...not myself? if I didn't wear it.  Like I felt gross.  So, once a week or so I get myself ready, put on an outfit I like, do my hair...and skip the makeup.  It took some getting used to but I'm kinda okay with it now.  Doing my hair and wearing real clothes helps I think.  Usually if I skipped makeup I was unshowered and grungy.  So yeah.  And when I DO wear makeup now I basically feel like a super model.  ;)  Except for the height part.

And there you go.  Some thoughts on a Monday.  And it wasn't a bullet post because there were NO bullets.  Ok, it was a bullet post...basically.  Shut yo mouth.  ;)