Monthly Archives: March 2015

Busy Life, Happy Wife

Oh my, I’ve been so busy these past few weeks. First, I hosted a book swap at my house. Through social media I invited local readers to come over, bring books, swap them out and mingle. We had 40 people either confirmed as coming or possibly coming. In actuality we had 9 people show up. Okay, so that’s not too bad, but really? What’s the point of rsvping if you have no intention of coming, or let me know. Needless to say we had soooo many books left over, and tons of snacks. The ladies who did come were local moms and read-a-holics and we did have an enjoyable time. A few days ago I finally was able to off load the left over books on another local. All in good spirits and all for no cost (minus some food costs).

This week I’ve been busting my butt trying to get ready for a wedding show I’m attending to showcase my burlap home business.I need to make new signs, buntings and display. So much work, so much stress. It’s free for me to attend but because it’s a super trendy show, I had to go on a search for a new outfit and make sure I have an idea what I can manage to do with my super straight hair. Junior will be going to my moms for the night and Hubby is planning a guys night while I’m away.

In two weeks Junior celebrates his first birthday and his decorations are finally complete (and over running the basement). I just have to finish his gifts. We upcycled an old cozy coupe car into a batmobile and I fashioned his onesies into a blanket (as mentioned in earlier posts) but neither project is done!

Hubby has been patient with me since each night, as we sit to watch tv together for our “couples” time without Junior, I usually have a glue gun in hand or am slicing up business cards. Being busy gives me great purpose, but at the same time, so many events at the same time can be stressful. I want each one to go off without a hitch, and I’m always loaded with projects.

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The Book Swap

book swap

I have issues. I am obsessed with party planning now. I’m full swing into planning Junior’s first birthday and for some reason I thought it great to plan and host a book swap. I’ve been gathering books and organizing food, and now I’m obsessed with decorating. Today I made a pretty cool garland using ripped out pages from a book (that was on its way to the garbage anyways). I crumpled and folded the pages all different ways and used a needle and thread to pierce the pages easily. Junior watched me meticulously rip out all 178 pages of a book, fold the papers every which way and then string them together. I think it looks pretty neat. Do I need it? No. Will people care if I didn’t have a book garland? No. But do I love keeping my hands busy and making cool things. YES. AND… it didn’t cost a penny. So I’m happy, my wallet is happy and I think people at the book swap will think it’s not so shabby.

So… book swap. I’m part of a few social media sites and one of them is a free/swap site. I’ve bartered for a few items on there, most recently a new blazer that saved me $70, and a few kids toys. I’ve attended a clothing swap before and we almost had a children’s toy and clothing swap organized but with not enough attendance, we cancelled it. So now I’ve decided that since my mom keeps drowning me in used books (she thinks I can sell them online), I’ve organized to host a book swap.

For my swap I’m asking people to donate what they can, I’ll organize them into genres and then depending on how many guests we have, we will let a few people go at a time to pick out some books. It’s not a tit for tat system, where if you donate 5 books, you leave with 5 books. I really want people to be able to take what they want. I’m making a few munchies and I’m having a few members bring some food as well since the attendance is looking like it will be well over 20 people!!  I’ve still got 2 weeks to plan for that, so maybe I can squeeze in a few more book garlands! What a great way to meet new people and get some free books!

It’s Official

It’s official. I’m jobless. Well, other than being a mother, a sock picker-upper, a housecleaner, a cook, a teacher, an animal behaviorist, a taxi driver, and a wedding décor creator.  My one year of maternity leave is now officially up. No more government support (other than child benefits, which hardly cover the cost of diapers and formula). What have I learned in the past year? A lot. A LOT!!  Here are the top ten.

  1. Lower your expectations. Did you read one of my first blogs, where I was going to make a weekly list of items and get them all done? Hahahahaha. Sorry. I hardly have time to poop without worrying what Junior is up to, and half the days I’m still in pajamas until noon. Life is busy, stressful, and exhausting. I’m glad I didn’t give myself too much grief for not being more motivated to do things, and in the end I discovered new places and friends, but it was on a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants schedule, not something I dictated. Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of moms, full of energy, who bound out of bed, squeeze in a work out and then learn sign language with their baby all before 8am, but that’s not me.
  1. Plan Ahead. Babies cry, they don’t sleep when you want them too, and when they do finally sleep, it’s probably on top of you, trapping you with their cuteness, and of course you would be out of reach of all books, beverages and bathrooms. Get to know your little one’s schedule and have snacks, books, blankets and bottles ready. I find it crazy easy to change a diaper at 3am if Junior already has a bottle in hand, otherwise he becomes a screaming flailing monster.
  1. Ask for help. It’s okay to ask for help, you probably have everyone and their mother asking if there is anything they can do. Say yes. Do not feel guilty. Hubby has been great helping out with the morning feedings so I can get an extra hour of sleep. My mom comes once a week to help clean up all the projects I’ve half-finished throughout the week.
  1. Cherrios are a lifesaver. If I didn’t plan ahead (see #9), and Junior is screaming for breakfast when my eyes are still half shut as I wander around the kitchen, I can toss a handful of the wheat treats on his highchair table and he (and the dogs) will be content until I can wrestle up more grub. But be cautioned, you will find Cherrios everywhere like diapers and your own bra, you will step on them, and you will eat many of them.
  1. Crawling babies are fast. Be ready. Even before your baby crawls, have baby gates and drawer locks ready to go. Even while typing this blog I’ve had to stop about 8 times now to chase Junior as he heads for the stairs (he loves climbing them and now makes a b-line for them anytime he can).
  1. Save Money. There are a million ways to save, or not spend, and to make, when you are a mom. I bought second hand clothes for Junior (he doesn’t know the difference) and I made all of his baby foods when he started to eat solids (ice cube trays are great portion sizes). You’ll find friends and family will bring you hand me down toys, so just give them a wash and you are good to go. Don’t be a baby snob. Unless you have a swimming pool filled with hundred dollar bills, there is no reason Junior needed to be clothed in the latest baby fashions fresh off the rack. Oh and you bet I did lots of bartering. Trade stuff I didn’t need in the house and asked for kids books, toys or clothing in exchange. I even went to a clothing exchange where parents traded clothes. Did you know you can use regular kitchen garbage bags to refill your diaper genie? Yeah, neither did I! I’ve been spending $10 on a refill each week for the past year.
  1. Breast feeding is awesome, unless your girls don’t work, then it sucks. It was the stress, the lack of sleep, the 3 days in the hospital. I could blame it on a million things but we’ll never know why my girls just never worked and breastfeeding didn’t happen. Do I regret it. Yes. Should I? NO! I tried, I pumped, a drank dark beer, stood on my head and massaged them, but to no avail (I didn’t stand on my head, I added that one as an exaggeration as to the things you should do to get the tanks running). Junior has grown up to be a healthy baby, full of energy and smarts. Formula is great for overnight feeding and let’s Hubby get involved, plus I don’t feel like a bovine. You can plan for it to work, but be ready for it to not and do not ever let anyone guilt you over it.
  1. Socialize. Be it a facebook group, play group at an early years, or just having another mom over for a play date, socialize and get out. Having other moms to lean on and laugh with will make all the difference. You’ll soon find you’re not alone and a everyone is as tired as you are.
  1. Some moms are bullies online. Yup. I’ve had my fair share of judgmental moms tell me how to do things, and oddly its moms who don’t know me, almost complete strangers. I was lectured on an online forum for drinking Tassimo coffee (killing the environment), I was lectured for not breastfeeding, and I’ve watched other moms be berated online from everything from their kids behavior to the type of carriers they use. Don’t become THAT mom.  Get out of your box, get off the internet and live YOUR life, not everyone else’s. I’ve learned to ask friends and family before ever posting on an online forum filled with trolling stay at home moms. Mom the way you want to MOM, not how others want.
  1. Love every minute of it. You’ll have a million people tell you to enjoy it all now because they grow up so fast and they are very, very true. We’re lucky so far, Hubby and I don’t “miss” the earlier stages, instead we very eagerly look forward to the next stages of Junior’s life, but it did go fast. Poof. A year gone. We took a million pictures and learned a lot in that time, but we loved every minute of it. We loved snuggling on the couch, we loved showing him off, we loved building towering black buildings for them to be smashed down by a very giggly 9 month old. I’m even enjoying the fact that Junior is now opening drawers and pulling out everything from within. Yup, right now he has started to pull out every ziplock bag from the box… so I’ve got to go save home before he finds the tinfoil!