Tuesday, January 23, 2018

etta at 14 months

Major third child problems - I hardly ever have posts dedicated to just Etta. At 14 months old, Etta is wearing primarily 18-24M clothing. She is easily our pickiest eater for her age - she is very sure of what she wants to eat and if we do not figure it out she expresses her disdain by throwing whatever it is we present her with on the floor. Etta has her 8 front teeth (4 top/bottom) and her molars have cut through the gums. She is a walking machine and often sprints to where she wants to be. Etta loves Elden and Edith and is right there trying to do what they're doing. We have introduced some dairy cooked in food (if you missed it, she has FPIES to dairy) but she was very cranky and experienced GI issues those days so we mostly avoid it. Etta does not have a large vocabulary - her primary words are uh oh, Pip, Mama, and Dada - but she shakes her head no if she doesn't want something and has a clear understanding of things you ask her (can you bring me that, can you give this to Dad, etc.) so we are not concerned at this point. She loves twirly skirts and accessories arguably more than Edith so that should be a lot of fun as she gets older. Etta is probably our most cautious child for her age and often clings to me when we are in new places or around new people or the vacuum is running. She has been a fantastic sleeper at night and is down to one nap per day. Much like her siblings, she is happiest when she is naked and/or in the bath--my favorite thing is when she is playing in the evening and I ask her if she wants to take a bath, she will drop whatever she is engaged in and run to the steps. This child of ours is definitely stubborn and opinionated, but she is constantly cracking us up.

Monday, January 22, 2018

master bathroom design project

It's official! We signed with our contractor to help us remodel our master bath. This is going to be done on a very tight budget, and as such, we will be DIYing a decent portion of it.

So far our plans are as follows:
-contractor will rip out existing shower / pan, replace valves in the wall, install new shower / pan, door, and faucet
-contractor will relocate light fixture to wall and patch ceiling
-contractor will install new bathroom fan that has a built-in light
-we will rip out existing tile floor and ultimately lay luxury vinyl planks
-we will replace the vanity with a new one
-we will tear down the wallpaper and paint
-we will uninstall and reinstall the toilet (which we are reusing)
-we will install shiplap on the vanity wall if the budget allows it

Right now our contractor is looking to see if we can get the shower surround we wanted to buy to fit (it is 2" deeper than what he recommends so he has a call out to the manufacturer to get some specs). If we can't go that route we will likely choose one of the following surrounds:

Originally I was leaning towards the gray subway tile but the more I look at the carrara the more I prefer it. I'm hoping it's not even a decision I have to make because we really liked the original stall we chose (plus it is a lot cheaper than these options!) but I'm finally getting excited about this remodel!

Friday, January 19, 2018

punch to the gut

I recently saw a little snippet of this article on Bloglovin, and being the math nerd that I am, my curiosity got the best of me so I clicked over.

When I got to this image, I felt like I got punched in the stomach:
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It's no secret that working mom guilt is real for me. Between the kids begging me not to go to work on a weekly basis and what society tells me I should be doing, sometimes it's exceptionally challenging to drown out my thoughts of insufficiency.

What started as feeling like I'm being a selfish asshole for being the working parent was quickly replaced with rage.
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It is mother-frigging 2018. The mom-shaming is as real as ever and I am sick of it. What is good for one is not always good for another. I'm a better mom when I am home for my kids because I work and get a break from them during the day. There's some serious dad-level shade going on in this too... the majority perpetuated by men (at least based on that 57% statistic). They do realize that they are saying a child cannot thrive as well under the care of their father as their mother, no? Or is that not even an option that crosses their tightly closed minds because obviously a woman belongs in the home, seen but not heard.

I am absolutely jumping to conclusions. I know nothing of their sample sizes or which statistical tests were run. But based on personal experiences both Jon and I have had when others find out he's the primary caregiver and I am the working parent, I know for a fact these statistics aren't egregious. 

Enough. I can be a loving and involved mother and have a career. My husband can be a nurturing stay-at-home dad and still be contributing equally to our household. I can be dedicated to both my job and my family, and in spite of my family always taking priority, it does not mean I am a less valuable employee--because I get my shit done, and done well. 

five on friday

Today I am in full-blown bathroom remodel mode and have been scouring the world wide web for inspo images.
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{1} I love this vanity with barn door! It got mixed reviews but it's also on sale and for the price I'm willing to take a risk on it. I think Jon is on board too so we just need to head to the store to buy it.

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{2} If we do go with that vanity, I think this faucet is a perfect companion.

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{3} I am also totally here for this shower faucet (we'd get rid of the tub faucet).

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{4} In terms of layout, this is pretty similar to our bathroom, except ours is even shallower than this one and not as wide. Storage is my biggest concern - I am thinking of doing a recessed medicine cabinet like this and then a shelf over the toilet like this (that we could hang the hand towel on).

{5} Totally switching gears, but this week was the second moms hip hop dance class and we grew to twice the size. Seriously, ladies. Get on a local FB moms page, ask who would be interested in such a thing, and work with a studio to make it happen. It is super fun, great exercise and a good way to meet other moms in your community!

Linking up with KatieAprilAndreaNarci and Erika!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

elden at (not quite) 5.5

Elden will be five and a half early next month, and I never want to forget him at this stage.

He lost his first tooth. He is now in size 6/7 pants, not because his waist is big, but because he has crazy long legs.

His favorite things right now are taking photos and videos with his camera, LEGO duplos (Santa brought the kids this box for Christmas and they get played with every day), reading (if we aren't there to help him he either uses this reader or he just looks at the pictures), playing on his tablet, and drawing. He can almost always be found with a toy in his hand or pocket:
Elden is totally my hoarder, but he hoards under the guise of "collecting." He has a vast collection of everything - he once asked for my number from the BMV to add to his collection - which makes my goal to minimize our crap this year exceptionally challenging. Elden is a stickler for rules and consequences; he complies relatively painlessly when you tell him what the consequence for noncompliance will be, but that does not mean he never goes in time out or loses a privilege. He is also my most sensitive one and gets really upset if he hurts someone accidentally or sees one of us upset.
Elden really struggles at nighttime because he's scared, so he has slept in Edith's room with her and we leave the door open which seems to help. He is still a finicky eater (for instance, he refused to eat a purple carrot because it was purple, in spite of the fact that it tasted just like an orange carrot and he likes regular carrots) but he is more willing to try new foods now than he was a year ago.

He prefers footed pajamas as daywear and those are hard for us to find for a reasonable price since he is so tall (he's been in size 6/7 for the footed PJs for at least 6 months). Elden is also obsessed with Pip and asks us to put Pip in his bed with him when he first lays down. He is thriving in preschool and will switch to half-day kindergarten in the fall. He's nervous about it (me too!) but I suspect he'll end up loving it.

Elden is still trying to find his autonomy and loves to argue with us about almost every decision we make. He is incredibly stubborn, but is also so sweet when he chooses to be. He says Edith is his best friend and that Etta is the cutest baby ever, and I hope he never stops loving his sisters so fiercely.

*affiliate links used

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

apps i'm loving lately (budget and time management)

{1} Moment. This is an iPhone app that tracks your phone usage for free. It tells you how much time you spend on your phone, as well as what you are doing on your phone during that time. I have always struggled with spending too much time mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. Moment is already changing my mentality and it makes me think twice before I pick it up. If you pay for a premium membership you can also set limits for yourself.

{2} Dosh. If you are at all familiar with Ebates, Dosh is like that but great for local purchases (and easier). You literally just have to link a credit card to Dosh and if you make a purchase with it at an eligible restaurant or store you will get a percent back that you can cash out to your bank account or PayPal.

{3} Win It! This is linked to Shop Your Way rewards where you can play for free each day but win points that can be redeemed as cash at stores like KMart and Sears. I play it every day and earn about $10 biweekly that I use to order things we need (mostly things like socks and underwear, but I also snagged some Champion exercise leggings for me) for store pickup. I don't ever pay anything for these items because of the Win It app. Jon actually just texted me this morning that Elden is going to need more pants in the next size up, so that's what I'll be redeeming my rewards for next. Note that the points do expire after a few weeks and you can't check on the app (as far as I know) but you can check it on the SYW website.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

too many balls in the air

I am walking a very fine line between hella productive and dangerously overworked, and while I've been doing okay so far I feel like I have too many balls in the air and it's just a matter of time until some fall.

My current weekdays look like this:

6 am: wake up, get ready/do Swagbucks, make coffee
6:30 am: leave for work
7:05 am - 3:05 pm: work
3:40 pm: get home, help with dinner / cleaning / spend actual time with my family and run errands
7 pm: start the big kids' baths (Etta is already down for the night)
8 pm: get the big kids in bed
8:15 pm: leave for the gym
9:30 pm: get home from the gym / pack a lunch for the next day / clean / shower / Swagbucks
10:15 pm: get into bed / Swagbucks / decompress
11 pm: go to sleep

I'm freaking exhausted. The most logical place to start would be to put my phone away once I get into bed and go the eff to sleep. Except that's really the only time I have to completely zone out and calm my mind down after a long day and I don't want to give it up. Last night I did and I got a good night's sleep compared to the night prior (since I am a total graph nerd, see below).

We finally found a routine that works for us with me leaving to exercise at night / keep our house from being condemned, but I'm worried it isn't going to last. I am trying to be so many things to so many people--including myself--and I'm honestly worn out. But which things to I cut back on?