Walking & Climbing…oh my

It’s official.  J is walking.  I’m talking across the room, anywhere and everywhere – walking.  Time for many many baby gates and even more outlet plugs and drawer locks.  Oh boy.  People warned me.  Well, they tried.  It’s funny how something so little and wobbly can move across a room so quickly.  Kinda like a horror movie.  You know, where the scary person jumps from one side of the room to the other in a split second and you jump out of your chair.  Well a newly walking infant has the same effect on parents.  It’s like a scary movie on repeat in our house now.  Man that kid can find the strangest things and get to them way faster than I can…Let the fun begin! Ha.  He is pretty adorable though, walking around like a dinosaur with his arms half stretched out front like he’s about to attack something.

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Oh, and he can climb stairs now.  How the hell he learned that….who knows.  I’ve never had him on the stairs, near the stairs…I didn’t even know he knew the concept of stairs.  Until Saturday when he approached the stairs and promptly climbed up 4 of them without blinking an eye.  It’s like second nature for kiddos to scare the bejeebers out of their parents.

And I just can’t get enough of the hugs he’s giving now 🙂  Love that he’s starting to show affection, melts your heart 🙂

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Mini/Grocery cramming

A few weeks ago my husband bought a Mini Cooper as his commuter car.  He loves it and we are trying to really take advantage of the great gas mileage compared to our SUV’s, so we drive it almost everywhere.  Although now that we’ve been used to having our larger cars, we’ve discovered the few hardships of having the Mini in comparison.

For instance, we have to load J through the rear hatch of the Mini because there just isn’t enough room to get the car seat loaded and buckled in from the front door.  Luckily the hubs has long monkey arms so he can reach over the rear seat to get J buckled.  Also, shopping of any kind is limited.  The first weekend we got the Mini we went to Home Depot for a few things…and forgot we had the Mini, so the large piece of dry erase board we bought had to run the full length of the car and the front corner poked me in the side of the head the whole way home.

Well we still haven’t fully adjusted to the size difference yet.  On Friday night we made our bi-weekly grocery run.  Costco and Wal-Mart for 2 full weeks of food and a few other items.

My menu board for the next 2 weeks has the following items: (all mostly homemade dishes)

Chicken Noodle Casserole
Chicken Pot Pie
Soy Garlic Fish
Artichokes
Mac & Cheese
Nachos
Chicken Fingers
Meatballs

Our grocery list:

Costco-

Chicken
Ground Beef
diapers & wipes x 2 (one set was a baby shower gift)
orange juice (individuals)
Milk

Wal-mart-

jelly
fudge bars
baby yogurt
mommy yogurt
frozen peas x 3
burner buns
butter
avocados
marinade
egg noodles
mix frozen veggies
cream of chicken soup 2 cans
pie crust
tortilla chips
artichokes
fresh berries
carrots
cereal

plus the following household items:

toothbrush
face lotion/wash
shampoo
dry & wet cat food
sponges

We hit Costco first to get the large items out of the way…after we got those few (large) items loaded we weren’t sure we’d get all the rest of our groceries in the car with J and the two of us…But the Mini surprised us – it really is larger than it looks! Not too bad for around $260.00

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Also had this cutie-pie moment 🙂  J’s starting to give love via hugs and “kisses”

cutie pie

 

If the stuffed dog hadn’t cost $17 he totally would have gotten it just by sheer cuteness and obvious attachment…sorry to whomever ended up with the slightly drooly pup.

Keep Calm and…

There is simply not enough time in the day.  Today was one of those days where everything seemed to suddenly catch up to me.  J’s on the move, too many deadlines, far too many dirty dishes, the house is a mess, J won’t eat dinner, feeling overwhelmed…man it’s only Thursday?  Today I felt like a headless chicken.

It went a little like this:  7:30 arrive at work.  Run here, do this.  Run there, do that.  Oh wait, go back and finish the first thing since you got distracted trying to keep J from eating that spider over there.  Wait, what was I just doing?  Oh, right.  Run back over there.  Stop to feed some crackers to J.  Try and spend a solid 5-10 minutes on this project while he is content with his crackers.  Keep J from pushing the power button on the computer.  Give J a wooden spoon and move him to the other part of the office.  Work for another 3 minutes before he makes his way across the office back to the computer.  Give J a quick snuggle and put him in the pack-n-play.  He likes to look out the window there…good I’ll have maybe 10 minutes to get this done.  One thing down.  It’s now 9 am.  Only took me 1 1/2 hours to accomplish one thing (that should have taken 20 minutes) and half accomplish about 1000.  Nap time! Nurse J and put down in crib.  Close office door and try to type silently so as not to wake J.  9:30 J wakes up.  Managed to get 1 more thing accomplished.  Snack time, give J a snack and then put him with some toys hoping for another 20 minutes to get to a stopping point.  Spend the next 30 minutes working/moving J from under your chair to over with his toys repeatedly. Lunch time, attempt to feed J yogurt (which he refuses to eat) while also trying to remember if you’ve had anything to eat today.  Run errands hoping that J will sleep in the car.  He doesn’t.  Go stop at Wendy’s and then visit Gramma at work for a bit.  Go to the post office.  J sleeps in car on the way back to work (yay).  Spend the next 2 hours at the office trying to accomplish the most possible with the same silly baby distracting you with snuggles all the while.  Finally head home.  J sleeps in car.  Arrive home to far too many dishes in the sink and no food in the fridge.  Throw in a frozen pizza while giving your hubby the silent treatment over said dishes.  Attempt to get J to eat something for dinner.  Manage to distract him enough to get a full yogurt in him.  Attempt to eat said pizza with sleepy and fussy baby.  Bed time for J.  Takes mama and daddy 20 minutes each to finally get J down.  Aaaannnnnddd 8pm.  With a mere hour before I fall asleep myself.

I think the following apply quite nicely to my day:

Mid-morning =

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Late afternoon =

 

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J’s bedtime =

 

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9:00pm =

 

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Budget this, budget that…

First comes “adulthood”.  Time to be out on your own, work, pay your own bills, learn the way of the world.  AKA: work to pay rent, eat out more than you cook in (unless it’s ramen or frozen pizza), beg groceries off your parents (or eat at work), spend whatever money you do have leftover on booze or clothes or other worthless items, and sleep less than you have any other time in your life purely by choice (since now you are responsible for yourself and staying out until 2 am when you have to work at 7 is no biggie all of a sudden.) Ahhh adulthood, this is the life!

Then comes the REAL adulthood.  You’ve been out on your own for a while now.  Mom and Dad aren’t paying your car insurance or your health insurance anymore.  You spend money on gas and food and rent almost equally.  You still spend money on total crap but you are more aware of where your money is going and you’re starting to put some aside for those rainy days.  A few hundred in your savings account seems like a really great accomplishment. You have pets, you have credit cards, you have debt but not too much…yet.  Hmmm this “adult” thing isn’t as easy as it looks…

Then you get married.  Joint Adults.  Combine financials, belongings, goals, savings, dreams, debt x 2 now… Start to buy things for the future.  House = debt.  Car = debt.  New furniture, sure! = debt.  Those paychecks are getting a little more stretched now with all these great things that come with being an Adult, but hey – we’re building our future here!

And then the magical moment of offspring.  After all, this is what we were aiming towards all along, right?!  We’ve got insurance, we’ve got the house, the cars, the “stuff” to fill in the gaps.  We are ready!

Errr….wait…medical bills still almost 8k?  ^@%#$@%…Can we win the lotto?  No? Ok, now time to BUDGET!

The word Budget always seemed to (younger) me like something that was only necessary when you were really irresponsible with your spending.  When you had plenty of money to cover your bills but you chose to spend money on things that weren’t necessary instead of paying for the necessities.  Well, that’s still true, BUT budgeting takes on a whole new meaning when you become a PARENT.  Now budgeting is a godsend.  Probably the only way that families manage to stay afloat with all of the unexpected bills (new fridge, new car, medical) on top of the already necessary bills of everyday life as an Adult.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be such a “bad” word though.  There are different levels of budgeting depending on how your family spends money and how comfortable you are with your bills vs. income.  Now that I’m a parent, I doubt there are many families out there who are so comfortable with their spending that they don’t budget at all.  Maybe not a lot, but being aware of your spending is still budgeting to some degree.  Over the last 10 months our family has had to increase our budgeting quite a bit.  We are much more cautious and conscientious about how we spend our money and what we spend our money on.  Not that we have it down yet, we are constantly adjusting until we find what works best for our family.  And we still aren’t as careful as we probably could be. There are still months when we are living paycheck to paycheck.  My hope and goal is to get to a point where we aren’t doing that anymore.  Even if it does take us a few more months (or years) to get to that point…  As adults and parents we have the responsibility and privileged to do whatever it takes for our family, even if it means learning to budget.

Working Mama’s

There are few mothers I know who are blessed with the opportunity (and the desire) to be a stay-at-home mom.  For some of us mama’s we need an outlet for ourselves, and work provides that for us among the other obvious monetary reasons.  For other mama’s their dream is to be a mother and a wife, and those two things provide plenty of work and rewards on their own.  I find myself somewhere in the middle.  I love being a mama, and given the opportunity, I would make the most out of being a stay-at-home mom.  However our family, like many, is faced with the necessity of two incomes…so alas I continue to work.

That being said, my situation is different.  I have the very rare opportunity to bring J with me to work every day.  Yup, I work for my Dad.  And when J came along, our agreement was that I would continue to work full time if J could come with me.  Not that I had to beg or anything, this also means that my parents get to see their little one almost every day.  Win-win.  In a way I get the best of both worlds.  I get to be with J every day, all day, and I get to earn a living.  But there are always drawbacks…

For one, even though J is with me every day, I really don’t get to spend a lot of quality time with him. I do have a job to do every day.  And even though he’s in the same room as me, and I get to give him snuggles all day long, he does not have my undivided attention unless he’s nursing for naptime.  Then I have to try and squeeze as much productivity into his 30 minute naps as possible without waking him up with my typing or paper rustling.

On the pro side, I do get to see him every day all day long.  And he gets to see his gramma and grampa almost that often too.  I do love that part.  He doesn’t constantly get sick from all the germies in daycare, and I’m not shelling out 1/2 (or more) of my paycheck every month to a daycare.

Then again, in daycare he would get a lot more social interaction with other kiddo’s on a regular and daily basis.  He’d get to play in a setting built for him, and he’d probably get a lot more focused attention…

But isn’t it saying a lot that I get to be with him 24/7?  Is that enough? Or too much? Or not enough? Or is he missing out?

Ahh, this must be the same battle that other mama’s have on a daily basis as well.  What is really best for my kiddo?  If I stay home, they get me but maybe not a lot of anyone else….but if I work then they don’t get enough of me and too much time in someone else’s care.

One of the many never ending battles that us mama’s face in the lifelong debate over what is best for our children and how to make the best out of whatever situation we are in as a family.  Be it finances, needs, desires…it’s a matter of balancing what is best for the family and what is best for our kids.  I’d like to think that no matter how “perfect” someone else’s situation seems, or how envious us mama’s get of other mama’s, that we are all having the same struggles.  Somehow I find comfort in the fact that I’m probably not the only one wondering if I’m doing the right thing, or doing things right.

 

He does have a pretty good setup in my office though…his “office” space is bigger than mine!

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Pretty sure he’s got more toys at work then at home!

 

 

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Empty shelves and cardboard boxes are the best toys ever!

 

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Water bottle baby gate?