Latelys & Whatnot


R is my little pal these days, and I have a lot of fun hanging out with her. That either says something odd about my current IQ levels or it means my child is advanced well behind her years. Let's go with the latter for now. This little girl, you guys, is my absolute favorite. I'm sorry this blog has become a dump for all things baby, but I am smitten, and so I'm actually not sorry at all.

Blogging has been sparse this month, which I announced on my Facebook page at the beginning of December. It's been nice to spend less time on the computer in the evenings, and to be honest, I haven't really thought about blogging that much at all.

I have been thinking about other things, though, and so this post is a brain dump, if you will. Some currentlys and latelys and whatnot.

Ugh. I have such mixed feelings about going back go the office full time. One day I'm all, "Yes! I can totally go back to work in the office. Office work isn't so bad. There are a lot of great things about it. Daycare will be good for her." The next day I'm sobbing and all, "Nope. No way. I'm quitting my job and selling my valuables and my car and I'm getting a bike with a bell  and a basket and a seat in the back and I'm going to ride it places and save money and stay at home with my baby!"

I've read a few blog posts lately about people who quit their job to stay at home, and they make me feel ALL THE MOM GUILT about going back to work. The rational side of me actually does think daycare will be good for her. She will learn to play with others, and she will not become attached to me in an unhealthy way, and she will do great. The irrational side of me wants to quit my job yesterday. Adulting is hard sometimes.

BUT. I have absolutely had the most wonderful time these past three months staying at home with R and don't want to discount that. What a blessing!
^^^ So many cute outfits. So little time before she outgrows them.

This is our Christmas tree! My grandpa gave me this when I moved to Oklahoma seven years ago, and I've put it up every year since. It's an antique from 1971, and we know that because there are newspapers in the box from 1971, so it's at least that old, if not older. Next year we hope to get a regular-sized tree (I'm voting for real, Jordan for fake, so we'll see), but for now this is the best we could do. Charlie Brown would be so proud, no?

Speaking of Christmas, I think I got a few questions on my "ask anything" about whether or not Jordan and I will do Santa with R. The answer is yes, I think we are planning on it. Both of us grew up with Santa, and I don't think it's bad or anything. We will definitely teach her about Jesus and his birth and read from the Bible about the first Christmas, but I think she'll get gifts from Santa too. Although neither of us are too big on the whole "picture with Santa" idea. We aren't going to do that with her this year. I need to ask my mom if we did that as kids because I don't remember it.
Jordan cut me off from spending any more money on R for the month of December, and I lasted until yesterday, when I caved and bought more hair bows. I'm actually pretty proud of myself for waiting so long, so don't judge me. I had absolutely no idea what a rabbit hole these baby clothing shops are. You can buy an outfit from Target and see it on every other baby OR you can spend twice as much on a cuter outfit from a small business. Apparently once I had a baby, my frugal tendencies died with my free time.
Speaking of free time, I've now run twice with our jogging stroller! Before now I've only taken R on walks, but she can hold her head up and is strapped in tight, and we decided it would be fine as long as I didn't get crazy and try to go off-roading. You know, on all of the mountains we have in Oklahoma. Both times I've run two miles, and it went great! The first time, I was surprised by how much of a workout my arms got. Jordan mentioned maybe trying to run holding with one arm and swinging the other like normal, and so I tried that the second time, and it was much better. I averaged around 11-min/mile pace both times, which isn't going to win me any awards, but I'm happy with it. I figured I should take advantage of this crazy warm December weather, plus I have that half marathon coming up in April.

To be honest, it's been hard to find motivation to go running, which I'm sad about. I feel like before I got pregnant I was in a really good place fitness-wise, and now I'm struggling to find a new groove. But I know that takes time. I have been doing a DVD workout every once in a while. It's a Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown series, and it is hard. Oh my gosh. Major props to you yoga people, because I am dying by the end. It's been great to stretch more and work on toning and strength!
R has slept with a blanket over her legs since she was a newborn. We figured it wasn't like she could move at all, and up until now it hasn't been an issue. But clearly you can see why she's no longer allowed to sleep with a blanket. She is coordinated enough to grab things and pull them over her face; she's not so much coordinated enough to grab them and pull them off. The first time I saw her do this, I told Jordan no more blankets unless she's being closely supervised. But am I a bad parent that I thought it was kind of funny to look over and see her grunting and waving her arms with that thing over her face? Don't answer that.
I bought a bag of fresh cranberries at the store a month or so ago thinking I would eat them raw like you would a raspberry or an apple or something. Yeah, that was a stupid idea. Have you ever eaten a fresh cranberry? Don't. It's so tart! Rookie mistake. The cranberries sat in my fridge waiting to go bad until I stumbled across a recipe for cranberry muffins that I'd printed out long ago and stuck in my recipe binder. They were delicious! It was my first time ever cooking with cranberries, and let me tell you: I am a fan. Get the recipe here

After that, I still had over half a bag of cranberries, so I made this apple cranberry pie. YUM. Jordan was all, "I don't like apples or cranberries," and even he liked it! Definitely making both of those again. 

So... that's what I've been up to lately. Lots of baking (and eating), lots of baby snuggles and picture taking. Lots of diaper changes. A few runs. With the time I haven't spent blogging, I have finished one book and almost finished another! I reread Little Women and am currently rereading A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. Both books I've read so many times I've lost track, but they have been really fun to reread! It seems like people are either against rereading books or they have books they read over and over. Me? I'm a rereader for sure. I reread the Anne of Green Gables series a few summers ago, and it was the best. It's like visiting old friends!

Okay! R is crying, so I guess I'm off. Until next time!

Do you reread books or are you one and done?
Have you ever cooked with cranberries? What is your favorite thing to make?
How do you feel about baby pictures with Santa?
Tracy said...

Go to North Pole City and look at their trees. Each fake tree we've gotten there has lasted 10 years. Pricey to start with but averaged over that long it was worth it.

Awesome Amy said...

Get a fake (tolerable) one on clearance this year, and then decide what to do when Christmas decorating comes up again- way bette than spending $180 on a fake because you need one.. (We have a 7.5' pre pit for $30- I am currently in Scrooge mode- but the husband put it up last weekend for me, now if I can get him to take it down on the 1st like I want...)

Maria said...

Even if you get a new tree next year, you must always put this one up! So cool that it has a history.

No words of wisdom about going back to work other than I know you'll both do juuuust fine because I'll be praying for ya!

Laura said...

She's precious, Amanda! Just pray and pray about work, and God will show you what to do. It's different for everyone.

I do re-read some books (classics and such), but usually, I'm one and done. Ready to move off to the next adventure.

We love cranberries. We have a cranberry apple casserole we make for holidays and special occasions, and it's fab!

Eh, I deplore Santa. We like the original St. Nick and read the baby that story, and we don't mind storybooks about Santa, but we don't teach that the modern day version of St. Nick is real and going to bring gifts. We keep the focus on Jesus. Isaac and I both grew up with Santa and were devastated to learn our parents lied to us and led us on, and now we also really regret that the focus growing up was more on gifts from Santa than Jesus, even though we both come from amazing Christian families. The little guy got his pic with Santa last year because my mom wanted one (she paid). This year, she took him, but he cried, so she didn't have a photo taken. He loved all the decor, but not Santa. If babies are happy, I see no harm in a pic. It's no different than Mickey Mouse. But if baby is scared, I think it's awful!

Ali said...

It's ok to laugh at your kid. Kids are funny!

I've only ever made cranberry sauce with real cranberries, but I have made a few dishes with dried - one was a pork dish. I didn't love it. I think baking with them is the way to go!

Tiffani P said...

1) totally yes on pictures with Santa. some years its just our kid and the big man - super cute (when they are babies and willing, or older and willing) other years its the whole family (last year when PJ was super excited to meet Santa and then when the time came had an awesome epic meltdown lol - she was happy to sit on my lap NEXT to Santa as long as he didn't talk to her :) and this year when it was just easier for all of us to be in the pic.) Its kind of a fun way to mark their age and as long as my kids don't get creeped out, then its all good.
2) Daycare: Its hard - i'm a working mom and have been all along and it is hard some days to drop your kid off (sometimes they cry, then its even harder) but Penny LOVED her daycare - both of them and i never felt like they replaced me as her mom or anything... R will love you and Jordan the most and will be thrilled to see you but will also love being around friends - and bonus - they end up changing most of the poopy diapers at daycare...hallelujah.
3) Daycare #2: we call it "school" - we've always called it school even though in both cases it was an in-home daycare and one was just babies and toddlers. This is a great approach because we basically say "everyone goes to school, so as you get older, you have to go to school for bigger kids" which helps her understand that change is coming.
4) Sleeping: SLEEP SACKS. we love sleep sacks. Aden and Anais make great light muslin ones for warmer seaseons and heavier ones for winter. Sleep sacks in general are good for 3 reasons: first, they keep your kid warm without worrying about the whole face covered thing. second, they slow down the stand up in the crib/climb out of the crib thing when they get older. and third, they are super cute (ok i ran out of things at 2). OH! third, they allow you to keep your room/home at a cooler temp but your baby is still warm. have you slept in a 75* room? its the worst. sleep sacks mean you can keep your house at 65-70 and baby is still warm enough without blanket. The end. TTYL. Your daughter is cute. Bows are the hardest to resist. Also do not get onto Zulilly or Baby Steals or you will lose all your money. SO. FAST. and also we have that baby gym. isn't it the cutest. and fake trees are more economical and better for the environment. peace out. merry christmas ;)

Andrea H. said...

First, I love the photos - so adorable!! And the tree is awesome! Ours is so tiny...but it is perfect for this year! Now, for your questions - I'm not typically a re-reader, but I have done so on occasion. Since I seem to have an endless to-read list, I've never given a lot of thought to re-reading though I probably should revisit some of my faves. I haven't ever cooked with cranberries, but it sounds intriguing. And finally, Santa pics - not a big fan. Although, I do tend to find the crying kid photos more appealing than the normal ones - maybe that makes me a horrible person though. I think the normal ones are just kinda weird because the excitement of the kid doesn't typically transfer in the photo as much as the horror/terror does. Ok, it's official...I'm terrible. On a serious note though...since you are planning to tell R about Santa then she might (in 3-4 years) have interest in going to see him to tell him what she wants...doesn't mean you would have to purchase the photo, but if you wanted to have one through the years then it *might* be worth it to start now. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

First A, thank you for creating questions that are commentable for those of us without progeny  As for books, I am such a nerd and reread The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings every few years, but that is about it. There are so many books out there that I always feel guilty when I reread books when there are so many new ones to experience.
As for baking with cranberries, I never have but I am intrigued and might have to someday 
For Santa, I think to each his own. While I was reading your post though I wondered “if you teach your child about Jesus, about Christmas being the celebration of His birth and what that means for the world, how does Santa fit in?” Honestly, I have no answer to that.
Merry Christmas!

Kaity B. said...

My blog is completely barren. I've been so absent the last month or so- not intentionally, just life! I've been thinking about the Santa stuff, too. I definitely think we're going to do Santa- it's part of what makes Christmas so magical! But I'm not putting much thought into it this year. Santa gave Charlie the last present I had to wrap this year. Haha

Also, my sister-in-law took Charlie to see Santa this morning while I was at work. I saw the pictures and nearly started bawling at my desk. The working mom guilt is real, y'all. That being said, now that he's mobile, I can't imagine spending all day with him. Just a few hours is exhausting so that's my current silver lining :)

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

hahaha at your frugal tendencies dying.
i know i'm not a mother, but don't be feeling guilty regardless of your choice. i know that probably doesn't help, but you could feel bad / guilty / judged no matter what choice you make, you know?
we have one photo of us with santa.. one. it was always so expensive! plus, you could spend that money on hair bows. you're welcome.

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

I love rereading favorites! It's like getting to visit with an old friend...always so cozy!

Katie @ Live Half Full said...

I'm right there with you on the blogging break- I'm enjoying some time off this week! :)

Jamie said...

you might want to try the Yoga with Adriene youtube videos - she has a lot of info for beginners and some of the videos are 10/15 minutes and easy to squeeze in. blogging breaks for baby time are completely acceptable, especially soaking up time before you go back to work! I also love love the vintage tree - but since we can't get real trees in Taiwan I vote for you getting a real one next year :) hope you guys have a lovely holiday!

sarah e said...

Such sweet pics! And I totally agree about the cranberries - I did the same thing. I'm making cranberry relish for a family event tomorrow which is another quality recipe for enjoying that tartness balanced with something else (though not as good as your pie, I'm sure!). Happy Christmas to your family!

Charlotte said...

I loved reading your little life recap, I've been missing you in blogland! :)
And I re-read Harry Potter every winter. I just can't help it.

Leslie Lukens Martin said...

Ohhh...the going back to the office thing. It.Is.Hard...but it does get easier (a little). I'm six weeks in, and it's still hard...but it most definitely makes the time you do get to spend with the babe even more special! And seriously...the growing out of clothes thing is KILLING ME. We've had so many "one and dones" that it's depressing.

Sara Oss said...

Holiday photos are adorable but I don't think you need a kid on Santa's lap for festiveness - I love the ones with kids dressed up and in front of trees or next to pets with Santa hats on. I'll leave a link to our favorite cranberry sauce below. I halve the sugar but we love tart things. We eat it through most of winter as a replacement for applesauce and pesto. It's great with chicken and pork but also on toast or with ham and cheese sandwiches.

Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife said...

I have been away from the blogging world for awhile and just wanted to say what a darling baby you have and those turquoise tights are just the cutest!

Allison said...

The Voice in the Wind books are some of my favorites as well! And I'm re-reading the Anne of Green Gables right now! So YES I re-read books! And we just had the Santa talk in our small group. I of course want Jesus to be the focus, but I love the magic of Santa so we want to find that balance. We did take Aiden to see Santa this year and he loved him from afar, but hated being left on a strange old man's lap. What the heck, Mom. Haha. Merry Christmas friend.

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

Pretty much all of Francine Rivers books are the best!

I'm probably terrible but I think Santa pictures with a screaming child are really funny. I never realized you had to pay to see Santa. That's lame. I don't remember that as a child but then again I didn't pay as a child either =)

I'm glad you have had a really good 3 months with, R. I think that's really special.

Also, running isn't the whole world so don't feel too bad. I think seasons of life change our priorities and we just have to be okay with it.

AND I'm cracking up that JOrdan put a ban on you buying bows. That would totally be Dave - actually I'm banned from buying my niece new shoes but I just couldn't help myself and seriously - $5 baby silks shoes from Asia? I couldn't say no!!!

The Lady Okie said...

You always have the best comments :) Love it. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!

The Lady Okie said...

That is a really good question and one we will definitely need to figure out as R gets older. I need to ask my parents and see what they did for us too! Also, YES I definitely reread the Hobbit. Such a good one.
Merry Christmas :)

The Lady Okie said...

Awesome! Thank you! I will check that out. Sounds good :)

Rach said...

I totally reread books and the Mark of the Lion trilogy is one of my favorites! Love love love that Francine Rivers! :)

Baby clothes are SO cute! Especially for little girls. I don't even have a kid yet and I still find myself buying the cutesy things for my friends' kids. ;)

meghan said...

When I lost all my blogging mojo I also lost all my reading blogs mojo. I'm now catching up on your life and feeling the need to also comment as I go. It's amazing how many similar feelings we have. I am glad that you were the same way I am now with daycare. How is it now? Do you have an update? I'm taking her next week a couple of times to help ease her into it before I go to work April 4th. I'm so nervous and know I'll cry next week when I go in. My plan is to go two days and stay the first day most of the time and maybe leave for a few minutes. The second day I'm going to let her stay a couple of hours along and try to take a nap. I'm not going to flip out if she isn't able to or has a rough time, but at least I'll be able to help her ease into it instead of just bringing her April 4th and knowing I won't get to see her again until the end of the day.

About the jogging stroller, congrats on getting back into running! Not sure if it was this post or another post that I just read, but you go back quickly. I'm looking forward to getting back into running.