Thankful Thursday

Happy Friday Eve ❤️ I actually don’t like calling it that because I think it slights Thursday, but oh well.

I’m linking up with Rebecca Jo today with a gratitude list.

Family that’s always available and willing to watch Moo. We’ve had some weird, inconsistent weeks lately so M has spent quality time with family. I don’t take their flexibility, patience, or proximity for granted.

My Freelance Job. On a whim I applied and was hired for a freelance position with a local news website that is specifically aimed at moms. I write informative campaigns, not opinion pieces. It’s nice to flex my writing muscles and put my spin on every day topics and news.

Bristol the Pistol. Bristol turned 2 last month and started (her second attempt at) obedience school this month. She’s a Husky-handful through and through, but she’s a good girl. And she is incredible with M. Moo is testing limits and in an aggressive-love phase, but Bristol is a champ.

The B to my D. Both of my best friends are marrying the loves of their lives this year 😊 My best friend Aubrey is tying the knot in SEVEN MONTHS and just asked me to be a part of the wedding party. She and her fiancee have a combined wedding party- only people they both know and love. I am so damn honored to be one of these people. I’ve known Aubrey since we were 10 and seeing her with Megan makes my heart so happy. Once she’s hitched, Aub, Kayla, and I will officially have all been in each other’s weddings 🖤

New Book Club. I love my blog friends and I LOVE being in a book club with my blog friends. In the time of corona I will take any safe get-together I can find, but it’s 100xs better when it’s with my internet friends.

What are you feeling grateful for?

2021 Check In

I think it might be mutually beneficial to have these monthly or bi-monthly check ins… Changing the calendar didn’t solve the world’s problems (and we knew it wouldn’t), but this year already feels a little more tedious than I expected. I don’t think it’s an entire dumpster fire, but I think the ashes and trash are still smoldering…. so all is not great. Ya know?

Personally, I’m in this weird place where I feel like I’m doing way too much… but that I’m also not doing enough. The other day I requested an application for a court-appointed child caseworker volunteer position. When I was telling K about it he said, “You can do whatever you want, but why do you feel like there’s a hole that needs to be filled with this giant commitment? You already take on so much. Do you need to do this, too?”

I deleted the email with the application.

I am a busy person… When I’m at home I force myself to stay on my feet and clean, organize, pick up, declutter, rearrange, etc. until I’m completely exhausted. I never feel DONE, though. It drives K nuts. And once I sit down on the couch, I pick up my laptop, Kindle, or Switch to entertain myself while watching television.

So right now I’m struggling with knowing that what I’m doing is enough. I mean, on one hand I know that it is… but on the other hand I get a wild hair that says I need to do more.

I’m trying to carry the same grace and forgiveness I had for myself in 2020 into 2021… but it’s a struggle. I think a new year just reminds us how long this insanity has been going on. Sigh. But we’re going to get through it.

Tell me what’s weighing on your mind or heart this month. How has 2021 been shaping up for you? Any major accomplishments we can celebrate? Any areas you’re looking to change your mindset toward? Let’s check in with each other.

Amazoning

Like so many, I’ve been trying to shop small and shop local, but sometimes I need it fast and cheap… and there’s Amazon for that.

Before I share all these unaffiliated Amazon links, let me share a few small businesses on Etsy that I’ve been loving lately:

And now for some Amazon purchases…

Kirkland Signature Shampoo & Conditioner | ELEVEN Australia Sea Salt Texture Spray
When I was last at Aubrey’s house I used her shampoo, conditioner, and sea salt spray. And I loved the smell and feel of them… so I came back home and order some.

Dreambaby Pouch Pal | Simple Modern Reusable Food Pouches
Moo gets the majority of her fruit nutrition from pouches. She doesn’t like fruit but she’ll eat these… but only if I’m holding it. She will squeeze it out if I give it to her. To prevent that I got the Pouch Pal and to lessen waste with the throwaway pouches I got some reusable one. We’re still adjusting to both of these items.

Baby Girl WILD ONE Outfit
M’s First (Zoom) Birthday Party outfit. It fit so nicely, the pants are super soft and silky, and I feel like I can match the pieces with other tops and bottoms.

The Home Edit Workbook
Sometimes I make very spontaneous purchases. *face palm* Hopefully I love this, but it’s a pre-order so time will tell. Lol

These were a few Christmas gifts for others:

Cathedral | Burrito Blanket | The Great Gatsby | Cat Sweatshirt
My brother asked for Cathedral and then beat me in two games on Christmas morning. K’s uncle got Moo a burrito swaddle when she was a baby so she returned the favor at Christmas and got him an adult burrito blanket. My sister loves The Great Gatsby so I got her this graphic novel. She also loves her kitties.

I made a few other purchases but they’re not-yet-gifted gifts… so I’m keeping them under wraps.

What have you recently bought from Amazon? (Or, better yet, Etsy?)

What I Read…

Every time I show up here I make excuses for why I’ve been absent, but I don’t have any excuse today. Sometimes I’m here and sometimes I’m not… I appreciate that when I show up you guys usually do, too.

Enough jibber jabber. On to the books.

Finally linking up with Steph and Jana today for Show Us Your Books! It’s my first one this year!

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore | Historical Romance | ★★/5
I know I’m in the minority, but I didn’t love this one. I thought the duke was aggressive and fickle and unpleasant. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE a grumpy suitor, but this guy had an air of superiority that took him way too long to get over. And Annabelle was super uncreative when it came to escaping or fixing her circumstances. These two dingbats killed it for me.

The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton | Historical Fiction | ★★★/5
I wasn’t head over heels for this one like I thought I’d be, but dammit I love the way Crichton writes. He effortlessly makes you root for the bad guys. (And in Jurassic Park he made me HATE the bad guys, lol.) This was a little boring and not what I was expecting. It was like a period drama you’d turn on, watch 2 or 3 episodes, and forget about for another week or so until you had some down time. (Aka, not binge-worthy.)


Book Challenge by Erin 14.0

| 5 p | Freebie: The Unhoneymooners (Christina Lauren)
| 10 p | You’ve been meaning to re-read: HP & the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
| 10 p | The first book of a series you’ve never read: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Maas)
| 15 p | Mostly green and/or pink cover art: The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals (Mahnke)
| 20 p | A male relationship word in the title: The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers (Mullen)
| 20 p | Set in a place on your bucket list: Bringing Down the Duke (Dunmore)
| 25 p | Reminds you of 2020: A Vow So Bold & Deadly (Kemmerer) – dark, I know.
| 30 p | Written by an LGBTQIA+ author: Red, White & Royal Blue (McQuiston)
| 30 p | The name of a bird in the title: The Maltese Falcon (Hammett)
| 35 p | Protagonist has a questionable profession: The Great Train Robbery (Crichton)

55 points total

What did you read this month?

Every Direction

I use Instagram for three things: keeping up with all of you (& my non-blog friends), inspiration for my Animal Crossing island (#nerdalert), and parenting information.

Let’s hone in on that last one.

Recently I started following some new (child) sleep experts and questioning every single thing I’ve done for M and her sleep habits. (Fear not- I question my parenting every hour of every day. All parents do…) It got me thinking… when it comes to parenting, advice and research is thrown at you from every direction.

Let’s think about a generic law. You show up to a store at 6:17pm and try the handle, only to find it locked. You notice that they closed at 6pm. What do the laws of the land dictate? You shrug your shoulders, turn around, and try another day. Breaking in would be wrong.

Ok… same situation, but apply the rules of parenting. Door is locked.
Well… some experts would suggest you jiggle the handle. Try tickling or stroking the keyhole to inducing unlocking.
Or you might try talking to the door about why it’s locked and whether or not it thinks that’s a good idea. If you’re more hands on, you might spank the door or shatter its glass to teach the door a lesson in defying you.
Try putting the door in time out and return 2 minutes later to see if anything has changed.
Maybe you don’t believe in locked doors. While locked doors might protect the herd, it’s not good for you and your family. You prefer open doors and plenty of sunshine.
**And there are no true consequences for any approach you take.**

That is a silly example, but it’s how it feels to read conflicting parenting advice on e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

“You can’t co-sleep with your kid, you’ll crush them.” // “You put your child in a crib at 4 weeks?? Do you WANT them to die from SIDS?!”

“French fries will poison your toddler.” // “You know they make jar baby food, right? You don’t have to puree like a hippie.”

“Don’t give your child peanut butter(/eggs/fish/etc.) until they’re a year old.” // “Give you baby peanut butter before 6 months to reduce allergic reacts.”

“Breast is best.” // “Fed is best.” // “Goat milk is best.” // “Formula is full of sugar.”

“You must adhere to a strict and early vaccine schedule.” // “Make sure you talk to your doctor about spreading out shots and eliminating unnecessary ones.”

You get it.

It’s exhausting. (Arbitrary rules exist in more than parenthood, but this is trench I’m stationed in right now.) Like… give me a tried and true manual and I will follow the rules. Don’t give me this “Some experts say…” bullshittery.

Also… is fussing the same as crying it out? Because I would argue no but please don’t call the baby sleep police on me.

So what do you do? I don’t know. This isn’t an advice article. I’m just as clueless as the rest of ya.

A while back Kristen commented that she goes by, “Eat the fish, spit out the bones.” I can get on board with that. So here’s my not-tested, nonexpert-approved parenting advice:

Learn who your kid is. It’s tough because babies are potatoes but as they grow and their personalities emerge, change some of your routines and activities to foster their growth (and energy and sleepy cues and hunger pangs).

That’s the best I’ve got. Also- watch out for sleep regression and one-year-molars; they’re a true b*tch. I’ve heard the two-year-molars are just as gnarly. Will report back.

Best of luck, guys.