Tuesday, June 30, 2015

mom first

I'm just going to say it. Working from home is a bitch. I try to keep swear words of the internet but it is what it is. I have been Googling, emailing, texting, venting to friends, and everything in-between to try and figure out what it is I'm missing. Surly there is some tool out there to make juggling housework and  baby wrangling and working and bathing a little less like a chaotic roller coaster and a little more like the dream that "working from home part time" sounds like.

Here's what I've learned.

First of all, there is no tool. Surprise, surprise.

Secondly, you have to prioritize. For me, I can't focus on a darn thing unless my house is pretty clean, so I know I have to make time to keep things as organized as possible, or I won't be able to focus on anything for more than 10 seconds. So that has to come first for me. And on that note, I have to make sure bottles are clean, toys are available in each room, and N is taken care of, or again, I won't be able to focus on anything else, like I don't know, work. It seems I'm a wife and mom first, and an employee second, and it took me some time to realize that that was going to have to be ok.

Third. Nap time does NOT equal work time. Working during nap time sounds all well and good in theory, but the reality is, my kid is not a consistent napper. I am much better off working in the early mornings when she's still asleep, or when she's bright eyed and entertains herself all morning playing with toys and crawling around the living room.

Fourth. There should be a support group for this. Luckily I have a couple of friends in the real world and the blog world going through the same thing, so there is at least people to commiserate with.

I wouldn't change this opportunity for the world. In so many ways, I really do have it all, and I'm not blind to that. It's just a lot harder than imagined. I realize I'm working by choice, so I did this to myself, but I feel like I'd be insane not to do it for as long as possible in order to save money, pay for extras, and hello, shop.

Here's to figuring out the perfect balance!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Norah Paige 10 Months

The monthly baby update is back. We've skipped the past few months because I just couldn't keep up with another thing, but I'm ready to be back at it. Month 10 was just way too exciting not to write about.

Weight: It's been a month since we were at the doctor, but I'm guessing about 19 pounds.

Height: Again, a month since the doc, but I know you were about the 80th percentile. Welcome to the tall club.

Nicknames: Pea, and any variation of or word that starts with P(ea). Nor, Destructo.

Eating: You still have 4 bottles of formula a day, but we're working on eliminating the middle two and turning those into cups of milk. By working on, I mean we've done it a few times with little success. All in good time. You eat 2-3 meals a day with a few snack times peppered in. Some days you love food, some day's you're indifferent, but it's clear you enjoy feeding yourself.

Sleeping: We are down to two naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You sleep from roughly 7:30pm until 7:00am, sometimes through the night, sometimes waking up a time or two.

Diapers: Size 3 Target brand or Pampers

Clothing: 9-12 month or 6-12 month clothing and pajamas. Still sneaking in to some 9 month tops and dresses but I think that's short lived.

Social: You are a complete ham and love when people make a fuss over you. You also love other babies and kids. You do NOT love when certain people try to hold you, but sometimes you go straight to strangers. It's hit or miss. You still love your momma the most and cling to me, but you're pretty content with Dad of course, and our close family members too. You are becoming more outgoing and show a real affinity to some of the babies we see every week at the library.

Likes: Eating "grown up" food, the dogs, climbing/pulling up on anything you can get your hands on, stand up toys, Little People toys, and when we make silly faces at you.

Dislikes: Riding in the car for long periods of time, sitting still.

Firsts: On June 23 you took your first steps! You walked a few times that night and have done it a few times sense then too. I know it will be no time before you're running around the house. First "real" meals. By real I mean sharing what the family has for dinner, as opposed to me having to prepare a baby friendly meal for you.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

this and that

As suspected, I took basically no more pictures of our vacation. Oops. We finished out the trip with shopping, an evening with Will's boss' family at their nearby lake house, and some long walks. It was the perfect relaxing 4 days away.

The day we drove home was my 27th birthday. EEK. I cannot believe I'm basically 30. I also can't believe I am still multiple years away from being 30 and I already have a family to take care of. Life is funny like that eh?

The following day was Father's Day, so it was a busy weekend. We spent the morning playing with Norah, and left her with my Mom the second half of the day to do some solo shopping, followed by dinner and drinks. I felt bad leaving her on Father's Day (sort of) but we really wanted to take advantage of my Mom being home and get in some alone time. And sneak in some celebration of my birthday. We had appetizers and drinks at Seasons 52 and The Capital Grille, then stopped by the bar we met at on the way home for beers. I paid for said celebration the next day, but it was a blast and the perfect way to end Will's week of vacation.

Norah kicked off being home with taking her first steps. She did it 2 or 3 times in a row, in sets of 3-4 steps each time. So unbelievable. She also had her first taste of spaghetti this week and demolished it. It's crazy how quickly she is changing. Normally at our weekly library story time she sits around and plays with a select one or two babies. This week she was in the center of everything, climbing on chairs, trying to clobber other babies, all kinds of energetic, interactive behavior. I also had to give a few toys back to some babies because she could not stop snatching. She is becoming quite the little diva! We are signed back up for swim lessons as of tonight to channel some of that energy.

That's all for now. Happy Thursday!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Our First Family Vacation - Lake Michigan - Part One

For the past few days we've been on vacation at Lake Michigan. Our first family vacation! I know when we get back we'll be busy spending time with the family members who are watching our house, and getting back in the swing of things, so I wanted to share the first part of our trip while there's some time.

I really wanted to go to the beach for our first official family vacation. Rosemary beach was at the top of my list, but we weren't really that eager to fly twice with a baby this summer (we have another trip planned in July), or pay for plane tickets for that matter. Muskegon, MI is just a quick (sort of quick) 6 hours in the car, so we decided it was a better choice.

So far we've relaxed, ate some great food, taken long walks, and let Norah experience her first true day at the beach. With all we've got going on, and all the stress W deals with at work, it has been just what the doctor ordered! Luckily there's been some mild weather, yet our beach day was hot enough to really enjoy the water. Left on the agenda is more eating, shopping, and trying out a brewery or two.

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking!

Friday, June 12, 2015

the best wallet

How is it Friday? Our week has been pretty great but I'm still happy to see the weekend here. We have some shopping, vacation prep (EEK!), church festivaling, and family time on the books, so it should be a good couple of days.

This week I'm stopping in to share about my favorite wristlet. This thing serves as my wallet and I don't think I'll be changing that any time soon. About a year and a half ago I decided I wanted a wallet that could fit my phone, and that would be easy to carry around. Enter the York and problem solved. It fits cash, coins, a lipstick/gloss/chapstick, cards, and my iPhone 5 with no problem, but still looks slim and not bursting at the seems.

The wrist strap is a bonus and makes it super easy to grab out of your purse when you're running into a store quickly or going to a ball game. I also sometimes attach my keys to the strap and hook it on my belt loop when I'm carrying Norah around but still need everything at hand. Love this clutch and these days I'm even thinking of a second color.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

the good stuff

This picture pretty much sums up our weekend. Grilling out. More grilling out. Pool with good friends. Family time. And the arrival of our summer visitor from Chicago, my little sister! I'm ridiculously excited to have the help and company, and just spend some qt together.

Every night I pray for different things, but certain things sneak into every prayer. Health, safety, and the ability to always provide for our family. So thankful for this life, as tough as some days can be. Now off to watch the season finale of Married at First Sight, because why wouldn't I be obsessed with that ridiculous show? Speaking of, so glad RHOC is back. I watched last night and I can already tell this season will be one for the books!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Recent Favorites + Must Haves

As always, TGIF. This Friday brings us the end of a week of a traveling dad/husband, so it will be especially sweet. I decided to post today about a few things that have been making the "baby is into every damn thing" phase of our life a little easier. And a couple of other things that I would love no matter what the stage of life. Lets get to it.

1. This "The Original Flap Happy" flap hat. My in-laws brought it back from Hawaii for N, and we haven't looked back since putting it on her little noggin. At first I thought it would look silly, but it's absolutely adorable, stays on, and gives great face and neck coverage. This baby will keep NOTHING on her head, except this hat. I think I'm going to order more! N has a flamingo style not featured online, but I've got my eyes on these prints for the future.

2. Anthropologie candles. I recently picked up two candles from Anthro, and I can't stop burning them. I feel like they're scents that would go well in any room in any season. They were 50% off in my store, making them way cheaper than the Bath and Body or Yankee variety. I highly recommend!

3. Madewell Transport Tote

I love our diaper bag (here), but it is so big sometimes it just doesn't make sense to use it. W got me this tote for an anniversary gift (per my request) and I haven't carried another bag since. I have this black version with brown handles, but I was this close to getting the frosted willow or english saddle. It's the perfect size to be pulled off as a purse, but actually hold everything for mom and baby. I love it! Mine also has a monogram which makes it that much more special. Madewell will do the monogram for you, and it still was shipped very quickly.

4. Whitney English Day Designer.

I've been super busy and super forgetful, so a planner is a must. I think just like a lot of bloggers, I can't do just an iPhone calendar for all my appointments and reminders. I need to write things down. It was hard to decide between this planner and the Emily Ley Simplified Planner (which also has an app now). I think I would have been happy with either honestly. The EL planner is a bit smaller, but that wasn't really important to me. If you want to give Whitney a try, she offers free printables that mimic the planner setup. Try those out here.

I suck at meal planning, and I love eating out because I want quality dinners that I don't have to think about. Since we've yet to win the lottery and be able to afford to eat our every meal, this leaves me struggling constantly on what to cook. When my friend Christie offered me up a week of free Blue Apron meals, I couldn't wait. We've since ordered another week and will be ordering more maybe in a few weeks.

Basically you get online, select your meals, and that's it. All the ingredients and very detailed, clear instructions show up at your house. So far I've made 4 recipes and they were all delicious. A couple of them I wasn't sure about, and they were definitely things I didn't see myself ever cooking, but we loved them! It isn't the quickest, but it sure takes the guess work out of dinner.

And that's it! Happy weekend!

Linking up today with April for Five on Friday, Momfessionals for Friday Favorites, and September Farm for Oh Hey Friday.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


This face.

Making: Plans for Peanut's first birthday party. Insert sappy "Where does the time go?" comment. But seriously. Can't believe we're about to have a TODDLER.

Drinking: Water and red wine. Pretty typical.

Reading: Nothing unfortunately, but I do have plans to read some light hearted "chic lit" while on vacation. Any good recommendations?

Wanting: A mani/pedi. I am so hard on my hands, and always run around outside barefoot, so the tootsies have seen better days too. Definitely not on the priority list with how busy we have been though.

Looking: At the Teen Mom OG reunion on my TV screen. I can't quite those girls. And at the Stitch Fix box in the kitchen. I so far have yet to fall in love with anything. And they keep sending me stuff that is NOT worth the price. I will pay for nice clothes when they're worth it, but for the love enough with the $50 t shirts!

Playing: The game where I pretend the sink full of dishes isn't there.

Wishing: That N goes back to sleeping through the night. I said it once, I'll say it again: Babies are crazy.

Enjoying: See "Drinking" above.

Missing: My Mom. Nanny, if you're reading this, N says "Move to Ohio!".

Waiting: For the weekend! I heart family time.

Wondering: If I will get any sleep tonight.

Needing: To exercise. I got winded walking up the stairs with the baby today. Bleh. Pretty sure we are going to join the Nature Center, so maybe long walks will be my summer workout.

Noticing: I am slowly getting closer to fitting in all my pre pregnancy clothes, yet my stomach is still a ball of mush.

Thinking: I cannot believe I'm taking a girls trip to Vegas at the end of the summer. Am I going to survive without my baby? Can I hang like I used to? Spoiler alert: NO. Regardless, I can't wait! What do I need to do while we're there?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

all the crazy

Things are kind of ridiculous right now. I feel like I am never in a state of just being. We're always finishing something, starting something, changing something, doing SOMETHING. Honestly though, that's the way I like it. My days are bananas, even though most of the time I don't even leave the house. What have we been up to you ask?

About a month ago, I accepted a part-time PRN job. PRN=as needed. I work from home 80% of the time, so it doesn't effect the amount of time I spend with the baby very much. What it does effect is the amount of time I spend just laying on the floor playing with N, and what I do on nap times. Every time she is good and occupied or asleep it's like an episode of supermarket sweepstakes to see how fast I can get things done. Thankfully I have been able to get a babysitter here and there, and my sister will be visiting us for a huge chunk of the summer to help out. The verdict is still out on whether or not this will be a long term situation, but for now, I am enjoying the extra cash and ability to learn new skills and put back on my human resources hat.

My Rodan+Fields business has also been rocking and rolling. Adding consultants, growing my customers, and managing those I already have also keeps me busy throughout the day. The amazing thing about this business is I do not HAVE to devote any certain amount of time to it. I of course want to devote time though, so I try to keep it high on the priority list. It is such an amazing source of pride and residual income, I don't want to let my business slack. When I do things, I like to do them well. I've been on the Top 10 list of my team for the past two months, and I hope to keep that up. The verdict is NOT out on whether or not this will be a long term "thing" for us. As long as people have skin, I hope to be selling skincare!

W's job has been pretty intense lately and he is working a crazy amount of hours. That means I have been doing all of the above without much help at home. Throw in lots of parties and summer celebrations, and three upcoming vacations, and potentially joining a new club, a dog being diagnosed with epilepsy, anniversary, birthdays, and you've about got what's been going on with me.

My days looks something like this:

diaper. bottle. dog food. make w's lunch. brush teeth. now n's teeth. dog meds. shower? breakfast. baby breakfast. walk? nap. work. phone call. meeting. organize. clean. have the dogs been out? nap's over. fill this out. drop that off. pick that up. shower?play time. god i love this baby. take a walk. do we have wine for later? i'm going to need wine later. baby won't sleep. please go to sleep. dinner? takeout? no- cook brittany, cook. did i let the dogs in? a little more work. crash.

I am bound and determined to keep this baby updated though, despite all the crazy. Until next time!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

It's been a while, and I miss the blog. I've found myself seriously blowing up Facebook, which can mean only one thing… I need to get back to this outlet before all my friends on social media delete me. HA! Except not kidding.

Nothing worse than people spewing all over Facebook all day. Anyway, I have got some things up my sleeve and hope to be back to regular posting soon. I feel like I thought I could phase out this part of my days, but I miss it and being in the know/chatting with all my "internet friends".

So long story short, be back soon! I hope.
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