Thursday, January 28, 2016

day in the life

So it's been...awhile...(*ahem* like 1.5 years) since I've done a riveting Day in the Life post. Mainly because these posts are A LOT OF WORK. And I'm essentially lazy, when it comes down to it. But I'm finally getting around to doing it, because let's face it: my life is fascinating. HA.

So in case you want to pre-game, my previous DITL posts are from January 2013 and September 2014. Sorry, 2015. You missed out. 

I'm going to keep it really real and just keep using the ugly graphic I created in 2013. Ha. I'd been at my new job for like three weeks and therefore had been using Illustrator for about...three weeks...and this is what my graphic design looked like back then. A treat, for sure.

January 27, 2015
I am 33, Matt is 32, Millie is 17 months

6:23 a.m.- My alarm goes off. In the interest of full disclosure, this 'day' actually already has some undocumented moments that took place in the middle of the night. I didn't look at a clock, so I don't know when or how long it lasted, but Millie was evidently unsatisfied with life for a Matt and I were both up with her for like 10 or 53 minutes...hard to say, what with middle-of-the-night-grogginess. At any rate, she eventually went back to sleep, but 6:23 hits me hard. I hit snooze, as per usual. 

6:26 a.m.- Sike. My little darling thinks it's a great time for her to wake up. Sometimes she wakes up around this time, sometimes she manages to snooze until we wake her up closer to 7:10. Today is apparently an early day for her! I get her from her crib and bring her back to our bed to cuddle with Mommy and Daddy for a few minutes before we crawl to the bathroom to get ready.

On her "early days," Millie gets to drink her milk and play in the pack-n-play in our bedroom right outside our bathroom door while we get ready. This usually works out pretty well and today was no exception.

(P.S. Her bed head is not normally this impressive. Ha. She didn't get a bath last night (Tuesday nights are hectic because we have small group and get home late), so this is the remnant of yesterday's ponytail.)

Since I shower at night, it doesn't take me too long to get ready. I curled my hair today, which happens approximately 10% of the time...but I figured I'd bust out of my normal bun/ponytail/braid tradition since I knew I'd be taking lots of pictures today. While waiting for my eyeshadow primer to set, I run to the laundry room to continue the diaper washing process I started before bed last night. Around 7:00, Millie starts frantically waving her hands in the air and bouncing around, which means she wants to dance. There's nothing like Kidz Bop blaring at 7:00 a.m. to get your day going, right?? I finish getting ready, accessorize, and make the bed before heading to the kitchen to get Millie breakfast. Matt has already dressed, walked Lola, and made coffee while I got dressed. 

7:12 a.m.- Breakfast and coffee.

We eat (peanut butter toast and blueberries for me and Matt, cereal/banana/blueberries for Millie), drink SUPER DELICIOUS COFFEE (see how happy I am?), and take my morning medicine. I'm trying to get over strep and am on day 3 of antibiotics, but I still feel like crap, so it's easy to remember to take them. Ha. 

7:27 a.m.- Matt heads out the door to work. Millie and I finish up breakfast, clean our dishes (well, I clean our dishes...and as you note, I mostly eat on a paper towel, so this doesn't take long.), and I start the final rinse on the diapers. Then we head to Millie's room to change her diaper and get her dressed.

Getting Millie ready goes surprisingly fast this morning and we're basically ready (including having her teeth brushed!!!! Miracle of miracles!!) by 7:40 a.m. I packed her bag for school last night (diapers and extra clothes), so we have some time to play. Usually she wants to play in her room with...ya know, toys. But today she only wants to play in the laundry room with the shoes Matt and I left on the floor. Because clearly. But I let her play while I attempt (and fail) to get a full-length picture of myself in the mirror. The outfit pic is a no-go, but Millie comes in and is happy to pose in the mirror with me, so it's kind of a win. Then she helps me unload the clothes from the dryer so that we can put the diapers in. She's pretty proud of herself and especially loves closing (slamming) the dryer door when we've loaded it up with the dipes.

8:07 a.m.- We're ready to hit the road. While Millie played, I threw a few things in my bag for Matt and me to eat for lunch. We load up the car and Millie escapes to the driveway (normal, haha) where I snag a picture in the daylight. I strap her in, give her her beloved paci and blankie, and cue up my podcast (Gilmore Guys episode 603) for the commute to Millie's school. 

8:31 a.m.- We get to school, get her signed in, and walk down to her classroom. She happily greets everyone she sees with a wave and a smile, and I love that pretty much every adult in her school knows her by name. When we get to her classroom, her teacher squeals as Millie reaches out for her to hold her and calls her her "little caterpillar Eskimo"-- caterpillar because of her two "antennae," (pigtails) and Eskimo because of the (adorable) winter coat/hat/hood that she wears outside on cold days. She does look like a little Eskimo. And now that I've written that three times, I'm starting to wonder if it's acceptable to say Eskimo anymore. I may or may not Google this issue before I publish this, but if I don't, feel free to let me know if I've offended anyone. At any rate, it's a term of endearment from Millie's teacher, because she looks adorable when she's all bundled up (which thankfully isn't today- it was a balmy 50 degrees or so, so no jackets were necessary for the short walk from the car to the classroom). Millie heads straight to the table to sit down for breakfast and is happy as a clam as I put away her diapers and kiss her bye-bye.

8:47 a.m.- It's a quick drive from daycare to work, so I roll in with a few minutes to spare before I need to get started. Since we have an indoor walking track, I head there to walk before I settle into my chair for the day. I like to have 2,000 steps done before I start work and I'm already pretty close today. I make these photo collages while I walk, and by 9:00 I already have 2,300 steps!

9:00 a.m.- Get my Pandora station (Harry Potter soundtrack) going, start checking emails, and chat with my coworkers in the break room as we get our coffee.

9:15 a.m.-12:20 p.m.- Work. Nothing particularly newsworthy here, except for the fourteen-ish cups of coffee I consume.

12:20 p.m.- Matt arrives, which means it's time for lunch!

Today we dine on leftover Zuppa Toscana (a regular on the wintertime meal rotation), blueberries, and some impulse-purchase granola bars I bought while waiting for my prescription to get filled on Monday. They're Girl Scout I have this idea that if I get Samoa granola bars, it'll mean I won't feel compelled to actually buy (and consume) Samoas. This 'healthy alternative' idea is totally not going to work, but whatever. It's still a good lunch dessert! After we eat, we head to the track. It's nice enough to walk outside, but I still feel bad, so I'm feeling too lazy to walk all the way outside. I try to have at least 6,000 steps done by the time my lunch break is done each day, and today I succeed at that. Step goal 2 of 3: met. After Matt heads back, I spend a few minutes uploading these collages and jotting down all of the fascinating details about my day.

1:20 p.m.- Back to work.

5:00 p.m.- Done with work! Head to my car and drive to daycare with quite the sense of urgency- I am anxious to squeeze my Millsie Lou! Sometimes Matt picks her up, sometimes I do, and sometimes we both do (because we're both too anxious to see her that no one is willing to wait another half hour to get home). Today it's just me- Matt is heading home to get started cooking dinner.

5:15 p.m.- Arrive at school and get lots of hugs and squeals from my girl. She had a good day at school and is actually still wearing the clothes I sent her in this morning- no small miracle. Her daily report informs me that she napped for about an hour and a half, which is on the low end of normal. I'd assumed that since she was up during the night and woke up early, she'd be extra tired. She seems extra tired right now, though, so it's no great surprise that she falls asleep approximately three seconds after I strap her into her carseat.

5:42 p.m.- We arrive home. Millie is asleep when we get home, which happens about 90% of the time. The tricky part is getting her to stay asleep as I try to transfer her to the crib. That happens about maybe 50% of the time. Today isn't one of those days, though. She wakes up as we get into her room and she starts frantically signing "food! food!", so I take her to the kitchen for a snack. Matt is already working on dinner, so he supervises snack time while I change clothes.

5:56 p.m.- She's finished her snack and is yawning and rubbing her eyes, so I decide to take another stab at getting a little nap out of her. This time it works, so while she naps and Matt cooks, I fold the clean laundry from the morning, then work on stuffing the clean diapers.

6:23 p.m.- Annnnd she's back up! Not a very noteworthy nap, but it's fine. It'll give her enough energy to stay happy til bedtime, and dinner is ready.

6:28 p.m.- Dinner! Millie starts getting frantic as soon as I put her in her highchair- she doesn't like that there's like a 20 second delay as Matt and I get our drinks, bring our food over, etc. When it's time to say (sing) our blessing, we ask Millie if she wants to hold hands or fold hands (she usually feels strongly about one or the other). She's not game for either, tonight. She yells "NO NO NO NO NO!!" while Matt and I say the prayer by ourselves and try not to laugh slash try not to let her get struck by a bolt of lightning. Matt made Pad Thai tonight and it's delicious. Millie agrees- once it's FINALLY eating time, there's pretty much no noise coming from her as she inhales her bowl of food! She even picked up and ate the leaves of cilantro, which I think is pretty impressive. She's a good eater, our Millsie!

6:47 p.m.- Done eating. I work on the dishes while Matt and Millie go play in her room. Apparently Millie wasn't totally satisfied with Matt's dinner offering, so she went to her own kitchen to whip up a second course. When I finish the dishes, I join them and she plates my food. Apparently she thinks I need to go back on Whole 30, since she gave me a depressing meal of steak, chicken, and fish. Waaaah. 

7:20 p.m.- I head to the bathroom to start getting ready for Millie's bath. Matt and I alternate nights taking a bath with her, and tonight it's my turn. 

Bath time is always one of Millie's favorite parts of the day, and apparently my Bath Game was on point tonight. She babbled and giggled and scream-laughed the entire time.

7:45 p.m.- Millie decides bath time is over and screams "DAAAADAAAAAA" and "MAAAAAAA" ("Matt" hahaha...she notices that that's what I holler when I want his attention!!) (even though Matt is sitting there in the bathroom with us, approximately 18 inches away) to let her daddy know she's ready to get out. Matt takes her to get a diaper, jammies, and her milk. I dry off and finish stuffing the diapers and put them away. While they finish up her milk, I get her school bag ready and pick out her clothes for tomorrow (tough job, but someone's gotta do it).

After she finishes her milk, we play with Lola and some magazines in the living room for a few minutes.

8:10 p.m.- Head to her room and start her breathing treatment. Since she's healthy and not wheezing today, we only have to do one steroid treatment tonight, which is fantastic. I hold her (and her blankies and her baby) and Matt reads stories, since I've lost my voice (strep, remember?). 

8:22 p.m.- She falls asleep and Matt is kind enough to finish reading the story just to me, haha. Then he cleans up her room while I hold her and the breathing treatment finishes. She doesn't wake up when I pull the mask off, so we decide to forgo teeth brushing (once a day is a great accomplishment anyway, in my book) and just put her straight to bed. She never wakes up, so it's the simplest bedtime ever tonight.

8:30 p.m.- Park myself on the couch to write this post. Before settling in, I consider trying to finish off my 10,000 steps goal for the day. I'm at 8,559 steps...I know that I could reach my goal by walking in loops around the house. I do it often. But it's boring and I'm exhausted and sick and really need to work on this post, so I decide to pass. Which is what I've decided to do most nights this month, let's be honest. My house is really small. Walking in 'laps' for 2,000 steps is incredibly obnoxious. Plus: sick card. Play it when you've got it, right?

9:10 p.m.- Finish up this post. Making the collages from my phone throughout the day REALLY helped this be much quicker and less obnoxious. And the time stamp on the pictures really helped, too. Maybe I'll do one of these things more often! Hahahaha.

Instead of actually tracking what thrilling events take place between now and when I go to sleep...I'm just going to guess at how it'll go so that I can finish writing this and call it a night.

9:30 p.m.-ish- Go eat a piece of banana bread for dessert. I'll read a chapter or two of the book I started the other day. Swallow a delicious teaspoon of my codeine cough syrup, in hopes I don't spend the entire night coughing.

10:00 p.m.-ish- Take a shower.

10:20 p.m.-ish- Go to bed. Pray Millie doesn't want to party in the middle of the night. Try not to hack up a lung coughing. Sleep.

Friday, January 22, 2016

january: sickness and books.

We've had a few dreary, cold, sickness-filled weeks over here...resulting in not many exciting stories or pictures to share. 

There's been a lot of time spent sitting around in our jammies. One of my favorite things to do is watch Millie as she plays by herself. She jabbers and points and laughs as she reads or plays and it is basically the cutest thing ever. Most of the time she ends up making a huge mess, so on this day...I took a picture right as she was getting started. Ha.

Millie decided to pull all of the shelves out of her kitchen (an endless source of entertainment these days) and take a look under the sink. Maybe she has a future as a plumber? I missed the perfect plumber picture where she was laying on back, looking up under the sink...ugh. It was amazing. Darn my slow reflexes.

She's been hard at work perfecting the important life skill of eating cereal and milk like a Big Girl.

She's doing a good job. Except for when she decides to dump the whole bowl in her lap. Or on the floor. Then it's not so great.

(When I texted my mom these pics, she was like "wow, no bib!! Amazing!!"...hahaha, no. What's amazing is how often I still forget to put a bib on her. Or think 'eh, this won't be too messy'...and I'm pretty much always wrong.)

This is the face I got when I spent five minutes hyping up talking to Nanny and Pop Pop (my parents) on FaceTime...and then they didn't answer and I had to say "my bad, never mind. No FaceTime."

She made this face as she pathetically moaned "Poppppp Popppp!!! Popppp Popppp!!!" It was heartbreaking. I think my parents learned their lesson, though, and they will never again neglect to answer a FaceTime call.

And I know you can barely focus on the sad face in the above pictures because OH MY GOSH THOSE PIGTAILS!!!! It's a common situation. Her hair game is ON POINT (on fleek? Is that what the kids call it these days?) lately. And she knows it. As soon as I put her clothes on, she starts patting her head-- girlfriend isn't fully dressed without a ponytail (or two)!

Ignore her expression- I was trying to get her to look at the phone (and smile, ideally, but yeah right) and asked her where her ponytail was as a distraction. She proved that she knows!

Lots of lazy sick days has resulted in lots of reading for me! My 2016 goal is to read (and keep track of, haha...that's the harder part for me!) 40 books. So far I've completed four (point five), so I'm off to a good start! Several folks on Instagram requested that I do more "book reports" or updates or recommendations or whatever on my blog, so I'll try to include those periodically! Of the four books I've read this year...I recommend all of them. And I'm terrible at doing summaries, so I won't even really try. Ha. I'll (affiliate, FYI!) link them to Amazon and you can read much better summaries there! 

1. The Boston Girl (Anita Diamant): A+ 
    This was a historical fiction book club pick and I LOVED it! We all described the book as just refreshing. The writing, the story, the was just a joy to read. It was great to discuss, too, so a good pick for a book club!

2. After You (Jojo Moyes): B+
    This is the much-anticipated sequel to Me Before You, which my book club read last year (and I loved). I really enjoyed this one too. I didn't really know how she would pick up the story, but I thought she did a good job. I must admit, though- I finished this like two weeks ago and already I can barely remember what it was about. Ha. Not sure what that means, but I do remember liking it!

3. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant): A++
    I picked this one up as soon as I finished The Boston Girl, just because I enjoyed TBG so much! This one is historical fiction, but of a MUCH earlier time period- it's a fictional retelling of the story of Jacob (you know, Jacob of "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" Biblical fame) and his wives and children. It's from the perspective of his daughter Dinah, whose story is told in only a few short (and terrible) verses in Genesis. I honestly never would have thought this book would interest me, but because I loved TBG so much, I wanted to give it a try. And this book BLEW MY MIND. We are actually discussing it at Book Club tomorrow night and I can't WAIT. I'm serious. This book isn't new or anything, but if you haven't read it. I couldn't put it down and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. For that reason, I have to give it an A plus PLUS. Because it needs that extra plus.

4. Ready Player One (Ernest Cline): A+
     Oooookay. Here's the thing. NOTHING about the summary/description of this book appealed (appeals) to me. Gamers (as in video gamers). Sci fi. 80s pop culture. Nope, nope, nope. So I can only say that the reason I even picked up this book is because of the cover art and the fact that a few other bloggers/Instagrammers I know (and typically trust, book-wise) recommended it...despite ALSO proclaiming to not like any of the premises of the book. I actually thought this would be one of those books that just sat on my shelf until it was overdue and then I'd return it, never having actually opened it. But NOPE. I broke into it and COULD. NOT. PUT. IT. DOWN. It is indeed chock full of video games (endless video games), sci fi, and 80s pop culture. And yet it's one of the most compelling stories I've read in a long time. I can't explain it, I can just recommend it. 

So it's been a good January, book-wise. The other book I started (but haven't finished...and might not, seeing as I put it down and have read two books since then...) is The Girl in the Spider's Web, which is the fourth book in the Millennium (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) series. It's been a good story, but to be honest, I get so lost in all of those Swedish names that every time I pick it up, I have to re-remember who everyone is and it takes forever and it just makes me want to pick up something else where I can remember what's going on. So I don't know if I'll finish this one or not...guess we'll see how bored I get this weekend!

Anyway. So some not-wonderful pictures and a lot of good books...that's basically been January. There's a chance we'll get some wintery weather this weekend, so you know we're all falling to pieces and beating down the doors of the grocery stores! If you're stuck in the snow- stay warm! And read a few of these books! And put pigtails on your baby's (or your dog's...or your own...) head...guaranteed mood lifter!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

currently...freezing cold Sunday ed.

So much for my "blog more regularly" New Year's resolution, right?? Just kidding. I didn't resolve to do that (or anything). It was more like a fleeting desire that keeps getting beat out its competition: reading, watching Netflix, and sleeping.

But I have approximately 15 minutes right now, so how about a round of "currently"? You know, since the last time I did it was while I was on maternity leave...hahaha. Not so very current, is it?

Listening...well at the actual current moment, nothing. But in general, I'm all into my podcasts these days, so that's what I'm usually listening to. My favorites are Gilmore Guys (duh) and Serial II (not as great as Serial I, but still intriguing). If I don't have a fresh episode of either of those, I listen to random episodes of Freakonomics Radio, Planet Money, and Stuff You Should Know. for lunch we had Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Peppers and it was ridiculously good. Like when I walked in the door from church, I almost fainted from how amazing it smelled. So you should probably go make that asap., hot chocolate, and hot tea. Not all at once, though. But it's finally cold, so I'm taking advantage of all my favorite toasty drinks! pants and a huge sweatshirt. But to my credit, I am actually going to a yoga class in a few minutes, so the pants are legit right now. A little while ago, though, we went on a walk around the neighborhood. It was FREEZING (and that's almost not an was 40 degrees!) and very windy, so Millie and I wore All the Layers. And then I realized how extremely COLORFUL we were, and it made me pretty happy.

Millie learned the sign language for "cold" last week at school. She's had a lot of opportunities to use that one today!

Feeling...pretty good. Actually, my back hurts. I hope yoga helps. But other than that, I can't complain. It's been a happy and relaxing weekend. 

Weather...haha, I think I've covered this. It's cold! But it's kind of nice to not being shorts the way we were a week or two ago.

Wanting...well, I'd never turn down a massage. I went to a new reflexology place in Athens last weekend and it was DIVINE and now I live in a constant state of wanting to go back. So anyway, when I win the Powerball and get my check for the cool $1.2 billion...that's probably how I'll spend a good chunk of it.

Needing...not much. I'll stretch this one and say that I need everyone to know how incredibly adorable it is when Millie plays her current favorite (self-taught...or friends-at-school-taught) game: put all the babies down for a nap.

She lays all of her blankets on the floor, then puts all of her dolls/stuffed animals on (or near, haha) a blanket, then she carefully rubs/pats/smacks their backs as they (I suppose) fall asleep. She will walk around and repeatedly adjusts/covers/pats the babies and IF YOUR HEART ISN'T EXPLODING RIGHT NOW THAN I AM SERIOUSLY QUESTIONING YOUR HUMANITY. You might need to check to see if you're actually a robot or something.

But seriously. She does it all the time, unprompted, and it'll bring tears to your eyes.

Thinking...about buying a new house. Not too seriously. But a little bit. We drove out to look at some contenders yesterday...what I really need to do is reread my blogs from last time we did this so that I will remember how awful it is and stay far far away from the whole thing.

Enjoying...everything in my life right now. It's just really, really good...and I can't take that for granted. So I try to always be conscious of the good things and the good days and weeks and seasons...and yeah. It's just...good. :)

And now I've got to leave for class! Sorry for all the Instagram repeat least I'm decent at keeping ONE form of social media updated, I guess? Ha. 

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Friday, January 1, 2016

so long, 2015

What is there really to say about 2015, except that it was the best year of my life? It beat 2014 because we had Millie for the ENTIRE year and not just the last five months. And I suspect that 2016 will edge out 2015 for the Best Year Ever title just because there is an extra day (see ya soon, February 29!). And then after that, I'm not sure how I'll judge Best Ever for future years. Only time will tell.

Sure, there were challenging days and hours and seasons, some sicknesses and surgeries and stress, but nothing compares to the pure joy of being a mother to my sweet girl. I will remember 2015 for all of the firsts: first trip to the beach, first food, first words, first birthday. I will remember 2015 as the first year since 2008 that I never once had to wonder whether we would ever be parents. It was magnificent.

2015 won't go down as the year I blogged a lot- check it out, my lowest number of blogs EVER (not including the year I started the blog). But that's okay. It won't go down as the year I got into fantastic shape or got rich or finally wrote a book (hahaha). But it was a year where I devoted every single day to loving my husband and my daughter and working hard at my job and serving as much as I could at my church and reading a lot of good books, and I'm proud of what I did.

Thanks for being so kickass, 2015. Can't wait to see what the next year brings.

As for how we celebrated this turning of the calendar...well, it's been pretty elaborate. Or not.

Millie and I celebrated NYE by dressing in coordinating outfits (totally her idea) to run our errands. She thought the Target dressing room was both magical and hilarious. Obviously because she wasn't the one trying on clothes and being forced to view herself at terrible angles...blarrrgh.

This is so fun, Mommy! I look cute from every direction!

What is this madness? Everywhere I look, THERE I AM!!!!!
While I spent the afternoon cooking for our NYE get-together with friends, Millie spent some time cooking in her own room.

Hmmm...maybe a little more salt.
 And then she did some...reading, let's generously call it.

I just needed to see all of my options at once so that I knew I'd pick the right book (and puzzle).
The most unexpected excitement of the past two days has been the new addition the family.

We have been adopted by a chicken, apparently. 

Hey lady, less pictures, more stale Cheerios, okay?
This gal started hanging around our house yesterday afternoon and apparently likes what she's found. Matt visited a few of our chicken-owning neighbors to try and locate her rightful owners...and DID...but then we (with the help of the owner) couldn't find/catch her (she was back in our woods, which are pretty overgrown and hard to navigate). And then the owner was like "not really worth all this trouble for one chicken, see ya." I'd asked if she had a name (NO-- I mean, seriously. Who doesn't name their chickens?) and how many chickens he had (about TWO HUNDRED. No lie!!! Or so he said, anyway) I guess that in the context of having 200 chickens, maybe one isn't such a big deal. Anyway. He didn't seem too concerned about catching it and taking it home, and we couldn't find it, anyway. But then this afternoon...there she was, sitting on our back porch again!

So we threw him some leftovers (quinoa and veggie enchiladas...isn't that the normal diet for hens?) and then some stale Cheerios for good measure, and she seemed pretty happy about the whole thing. Happy enough that she "played" with us in the backyard for most of the afternoon, anyway. And by "played" I mean that she didn't run off and didn't peck us, either. About as playful as you get with a big ol' hen, I guess.

So I don't know. Maybe we have a new member of the family. Matt's researching chicken coops and making a list of supplies to buy, so I'm leaning towards thinking that if she's still back there tomorrow (she's very free ranging, you know.), maybe we'll make her a little home. Buy her some feed. Make our little animal-loving Nuggie a very happy girl.

Besides the chicken, Millie found another great love: chocolate fondue.

I want to eat this forever and for always, Mommy.
We brought home some leftover fondue from our party last night. It was a pretty big hit at snack time. Raise your hand if you're surprised.

(Also, I feel like the CEO of Oxyclean should write me a personal thank you note. As much as I buy of that stuff...they must have had a nice Christmas.)

Anyway. The end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 were pretty fantastic. And to wrap things up...just in case you missed this on better check out Millie's attempt at smiling on command. It's pretty much the greatest thing I've ever seen.

Just ignore my obnoxious cackling. I can't help it.

Happy 2016- I hope you find yourself smiling just like Millie an awful lot this year!