Baby Boy Bum[p] - 28 Weeks


Well, friends, I am just cruising right along over here and in the third trimester! I read a birth story the other day that another blogger posted, and this was my exact reaction: I WANT MINE RIGHT NOW. 

Dramatic much? Possibly. But I am just really excited to meet this little guy! (The actual birth part I am currently choosing to block out completely, as am I blocking out the paying-for-two-kids-in-daycare part. It works out. Right? Okay.)

Physically, pregnancy is treating me pretty well this time around. When I read the weekly pregnancy journal I kept with R, it seems like I had a lot more issues with rib pain and just overall being uncomfortable at this stage than I am with Baby Boy. Probably my biggest complaint (other than feeling, you know, big) is stomach aches after eating that I'm almost certain are caused by gas, because lying down for 20 minutes or so on my side helps a lot. It's also much harder to get up off the ground these days, and it's getting uncomfortable to hold R, especially when she's throwing a fit and flailing around.

I'm also just really tired at the end of the day. My alarm seems to come so early, and it's a struggle getting myself and R dressed for the day and getting out of the house to make it to work on time. Thankfully my employer is understanding and not too strict! I'm super jealous of pregnant moms who stay at home and can wear sweatpants all day because dressing business casual for work just isn't high on my list of priorities these days. Aren't they lucky to have me? ha.

I know maternity leave is anything but a day at Disneyland, especially if I have another delivery like R's (please no), but I won't lie: I am really looking forward to some time off work. I know the US has an terrible awful completely ridiculous maternity leave policy, so don't get me started, but I'm choosing to be thankful for any time off work to spend with my favorite kids. I already appreciate it so much more this time around because I know how quickly it goes and how hard it is to be away from them during the day.

I'm up about 20 pounds as of my weigh-in at the doctor on Monday, which isn't great but also not as terrible as I was expecting considering how much ice cream I've been consuming lately. I also got good news that I passed my glucose test, so no diabetes for me! I got the orange drink, and I do not remember it bothering me when I took it with R, but this time it made me feel extremely nauseous, and I finally understood why everyone dreads it.

My measurements look great, so at this point no ultrasound is scheduled. I got a few extra with R because she consistently weighed 2 weeks ahead and my doctor wanted to make sure I wasn't going to give birth to the Incredible Hulk, but so far so good with this baby. I can't tell you how excited I am to get to the point where I'm having an appointment every two weeks. This entire pregnancy it has been five weeks between appointments, and that's just too long.

Emotionally, Jordan and I both agree that this time around I have been much less hormonal than I was with R. And by that I mean Jordan hasn't threatened to move into his boss's attic until after the baby comes to get away from my crazy episodes, which may or may not have happened the first time. BUT, the last two weeks I have been a hot mess, to put it simply. I've just been anxious and stressed about different things, this pregnancy and a few things with R. My mom gave me comforting news that I will never stop worrying about my children, so I better just get used to it and try not to get overworked about every little thing. Wise words, my friends.

R and this baby will be sharing a room, so there's no new nursery preparations to take care of. I am just going to swap out some of the "girly" decorations and such for some boy stuff to try and balance it out. A very kind friend offered to trade boy clothes for some girl clothes of R (they just had a baby girl in January), so we have a nice big box of boy clothes, which I'm very thankful for.

I'm still attempting to make it to the gym once a week, although I've stopped running for the duration of this pregnancy. I ran until 26 weeks and then it just became too uncomfortable. I'd much rather speed walk or use the stationary bike at the gym, so that's what I'm going to do! I also fully support anyone who says that keeping up with a toddler is cardio BECAUSE IT'S TRUE.

So that's what has been happening in my gestation so far. I'm very thankful for a healthy baby and healthy pregnancy so far, and every day I get more excited to welcome Baby Bum #2 into our family.

Also, just for kicks: a bump comparison at 27 weeks. R on the left and Baby Boy on the right! I feel like I look a tad larger, no?

*You can find all the posts I've ever written about pregnancy in an easy list: here.

links + loves vol. 7


I have such a good roundup of things for this post! Hope you enjoy!

This article about having kids in daycare made me just so happy because it is filled with snark and sarcasm and it's just amazing. Just when I start to think everyone on the internet is rude and ridiculous, it's things like this that give me hope.

A month or so ago, I posted on Instagram that I make taco seasoning at home instead of buying packets at the store. I got a lot of questions about it, so in case you're interested, this is the recipe I use. It is a tad on the spicy side, but Jordan and I like it. If you wanted less spice, just use less red pepper flakes and maybe less chili powder also. I quadruple the recipe and store it in a mason jar!

One of my favorite online shops, Minted, is having their 9th anniversary promotion this week! Now through April 3, get 15% off the entire site using the code NINE. They have lovely original fine art prints, and I would love to order baby boy's birth announcement from Minted when the time comes. So, so cute.

I've mentioned before about Ibotta, but if you haven't heard, it's a grocery rebate app where you get money just for buying groceries! Last week they had a $.25 rebate for uploading any grocery receipt. Hello, that's a quarter for doing nothing. Use my referral link and get $10 after your first use!

I was convicted by this post from the author of We Are That Family blog about how your normal isn't the rest of the world's normal. She even offers some tangible ways to help.

In the comments of one of my posts about baby items, my friend Laura recommended a faucet extender. I finally got around to buying one, and so far it's been working great for helping R get closer to the water to wash her hands (with assistance from me and a step stool, of course!).

Okay, I probably only just saw this because I'm not on Facebook, but if you haven't seen the BBC dad interview, watch it right now. Then watch this parody of how a mom would react. Hilarious.

I've become rather obsessed with the gorgeous prints from the Gracelaced shop, and I was excited to learn that she has a book coming out later this year! It's available for pre-order now.

Happy Tuesday!

Playing with Chalk


I rarely do a post that is just a bunch of photos, but I just loved these so much and wanted to share. These are from last Monday evening. After work R and I played on the porch while Jordan mowed the front yard. I love how her cheeks get all red and her hair curls in the back. It's actually starting to get longer and I love it!

Camera: Canon Rebel t2i
Lens: Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8
Edited with Photoshop Elements

That's Life: March 2017


Pregnancy Life

Tomorrow I will be 27 weeks! Depending on when you count the third trimester as starting, I'm either just starting it or soon to be starting it. Either way, baby is coming! I am honestly feeling really good overall; I'm just feeling large most days. Jordan and I both agree that I've been much less hormonal this time compared to when I was pregnant with R, but this week I've been a little emotional just about different things going on right now. I'm ready for the weekend.

I think I'll try to do a full pregnancy update post next week after I get some stats and glucose results back after my doctor's appointment on Monday. For some reason I really like reading other blogger's pregnancy updates, but I think they are boring if I do them. Also to be honest, since my friend's miscarriage last month and a few other bloggers I follow sharing about their recent miscarriages, I just haven't felt like posting about my own pregnancy.

House Life

When we moved into our house, over half of the windows were just a few years old, but there were a few of the original windows that we knew would need to be replaced eventually. Long story short, I got sucked in when a window replacement guy knocked on our door, and I told them we could schedule a consultation "just to get a bid." HA.

A month later, Jordan took the day off work so he could stay home while we had a kitchen window and giant front picture window installed. It was not cheap, but thankfully we were able to pay for over half of it with our tax return. And honestly we figured that once the new baby comes we really won't have money to spend on something like this, so now is a good time since it really did need to be done. I can't get a good picture of the kitchen window, but here's how the front window turned out!

Working Mom Life

Work is going really well right now! I planned on writing a whole post about my first out-of-town work trip, but I don't know if it's going to happen. In any case, I was out of town for four days and four nights two weeks ago while Jordan and R stayed home.

I left in the wee hours on Wednesday morning and was feeling good as I strolled into the airport, and then the very first thing I saw was a young mom pushing her toddler in a stroller and I cried. Then there was a baby on my flight and I cried again (the baby didn't cry at all, by the way). Basically I was a bit of a mess, but actually it all went great and I was so busy with meetings and tired from being on my feet for 12 hours that I didn't have time to miss them too much. It was just weird to be totally independent after not being away from R for more than one night over the last almost two years.

On our way to Minnesota I had a layover in Chicago, so OF COURSE I got some deep dish! Airport deep dish so about a third as thick, but still. Yummy.
Jordan told me that R wandered from room to room in our house pointing and saying, "Mama? Mama?" which is both highly adorable and also really sad. But we all survived and I kind of felt like a hard core working mama. A good friend of mine is a working mom who travels regularly, and she was so sweet sending me encouraging texts throughout the week. I love my friends!

It helped ease the homesickness that one of my other best friends lives in the city I was visiting, and we hung out after I was finished for the evening three nights in a row. On Saturday my flight wasn't until 8:30 that night, so we went to the Mall of America and walked the entire length of the mall on every floor, totaling nearly 10,000 steps.

Mostly I really am feeling okay about being a working mom. I still have hard days, and I always, always miss R, but overall I'm in a much better place than I was last year and the beginning of this year. Not being on social media for the past month has helped a lot with that too, I think.

Budget Life

I don't mean to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but I'm just really proud of Jordan and I that we had room in our budget to make a rather spur-of-the-moment purchase on new windows. While we do not have thousands of dollars just lying around, we do have a savings account and emergency fund, and we were confident enough in our budgeting that we knew we could write a check to pay the bill in full and then pay ourselves back within just a few months (the tax return was excellent timing as well). 

I've mentioned this before on the blog, but budgeting can be a giant pain in the butt. However, I think it's worth it to have freedom from debt and knowledge of where your money is going every month.

R Life

Excuse me while I repeat myself every time I talk about R, but you guys, I freaking love that little girl so much. Our evenings and weekends together are my absolute favorite, and literally every single night, Jordan has to remind me that it's bedtime and R should go to sleep. I just never want to stop hanging out with her, and I try to push her bedtime back as late as I can. Is that weird? I hear so many moms talk about how they get excited for bedtime, and I just haven't experienced that.

And yes, she's a toddler and has meltdowns and can be difficult to deal with when she's being stubborn, but even then I just can't get enough of her. Here are a few shots I took during her 19-month photo. R, say cheese! I'm still keeping up with my monthly chair video montage, which is too adorable for words. I'm going to keep going until 24 months and then call it quits!

So that's life right now! 

What is happening in your budget life and work life these days?
Have you ever been to the Mall of America?

Much Ado About Nothing


I think my social media fast is sneaking its way into my blogging, because my motivation to sit down and write is becoming less and less as the weeks pass. Don’t get me wrong: the ideas are flowing, but I just find myself wondering what the point is and feeling like everything I post about is lame. I do other things than blog during R’s weekend nap, and when evening rolls around I watch something on Netflix with Jordan and then go to bed early to read.

MTV needs to start a new show about me, is basically what I’m saying. Although I’m not sure viewers could handle this kind of suspenseful programming.

I’m starting a new Bible study through Philippians with some girls from church this week, and our weekends are starting to fill up as we count down the days until Baby Boy makes his arrival. I’m honestly not even nervous about adding a fourth to our family of three. I’m just so darn excited to meet him! My next appointment is next week, where I’ll take my glucose test and enter into the glories of the third trimester, where I wonder with each passing day just how big my stomach can stretch before it pops right open.

In the meantime, I filmed a vlog. I used to do them occasionally, but it’s been a while and I thought it might be fun to mix it up while I try to recover some will to write anything down. Hope you enjoy!

If you can’t see it below, click here to watch on YouTube.

A few notes:
1. The lighting is terrible. This is why I will never be a famous vlogger. Where do all these people get such bright light in their houses? They probably are home in the middle of the day to do vlogs not at 7 at night.

2. The box to my right (your left) is R's convertible carseat box that she uses to color inside. I should have moved it before filming so we don't look like we just have random boxes lying around. Which... actually, nevermind. We do have random boxes lying around.

3. I did not ask Jordan to video bomb me for comedic effect. He did that purely out of the goodness of his heart. He also doesn't know I didn't edit that part out, so.... joke's on him. Ha!

Bye-Bye, Paci


Things kicking my butt this week: 
1. Daylight savings time
2. Recovering from my exhausting work trip last week
3. Going cold turkey on the pacifier

See also: being (nearly) 26 weeks pregnant

In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the smartest decision to drop the paci this week, but it’s happening, and at this point there is no going back. 

If there is one thing the Internet is undecided about, it’s when to drop the paci. Seriously, Google it yourself and see. I read the first two pages of articles and saw recommendations for anywhere from 4 months to 4 years. What I need is for someone to just tell me what to do already, but apparently there really is no all-in-one child-rearing book and you actually can just do whatever you want. 

I’m not mature enough to have to make these kinds of decisions.

The one consensus, it seems, is that it’s easier to drop the paci sooner rather than later, when they are older and more stubborn about it. So why are we dropping the paci now at nineteen months? Well, I’ll tell you. 

We have four pacifiers, and at some point a few months ago we straight up lost one, so we had three. I realize we should have probably had more than four to begin with, but just go with it. 

On the Sunday after I came back from my work trip, Jordan informed me that R had chewed through one. She likes to hold it in the side of her mouth sometimes, and I guess she bit a little too hard and the end came off (halfway off, anyway, but still). I found the third paci under her crib, but right before I gave it to her, I looked at it, and it had some kind of mold/snot/liquid inside of it. Totally gross. Don’t judge us. So we tossed that one, obviously, and then there was just one left. 

Except we couldn’t find it. 

We searched in all the pockets of everywhere, the car, her backpack, my purse… gone. At that point the only option was to either drive to the store and buy more or just tell R that the paci went bye-bye and have that be the end of it. I thought of some better reasons why now would be a good time to drop the paci anyway, but the real reason is that we were just too lazy to drive to the store and buy more. 

Poor R didn’t get any warning, no countdown, just paci go bye-bye. 

She hasn’t used it since Saturday night, and dare I say it? We might be making progress. 

Sunday afternoon she refused to lie down for her nap, and I ended up rocking her for two hours. Sunday night she screamed bloody murder for a solid half hour while Jordan and I took turns going in to pat her and tell her the paci was gone but she was a big girl and could sleep without it. I felt horrible, especially since I’d just been gone from her for four days and now I was back to torture her by taking her paci away. 

Sunday night she woke up twice in the middle of the night, both times for over an hour and both times standing up in her crib screaming, only stopping if one of us held her. On Monday I took her to daycare and told them we didn’t have any pacis and to try and get her to nap without one and… good luck? They said she did take a nap eventually, but it was short and she only went to sleep after they swaddled her and rocked her. 

Monday night as we prepared R for bedtime, Jordan and I gave each other pep talks to stay strong and went over our plan for the inevitable middle-of-the-night wakeup. She screamed for her paci three times at 1:00, 3:30, and 5:00, and we took turns going in there to reassure her that she was okay. 

Yesterday it took her an hour to fall asleep at daycare (bless them), but miracle of miracles, at bedtime she only cried for about five minutes before falling asleep and, most shocking of all, she didn’t wake up once in the night! I really don’t want to be too optimistic, but I feel the worst of it might be over. (Unless pacifier regression is a thing? Don’t tell me about it, if it is.)

She knows that the paci always sits on top of her dresser, and so every night and every morning, we wave bye-bye to the paci together, and she says, “Bye-bye, buba.” I think she’s getting the idea that the paci is really gone!

As with everything about raising a child, Jordan and I have absolutely no idea what we are doing, and everyone will have different opinions about this, none of which are wrong. But I do feel confident in our decision to go cold turkey on the paci. She seems to be moving in the right direction, and hopefully her naps and bedtimes will improve until she’s mostly back to her normal sleeping habits where we can put her down and she will fall asleep on her own. I guess we will see! 

But I will be happy to have gotten rid of the paci before Baby Boy arrives in June. I feel like if she were still using one and saw the baby using one, it would be much harder. 

I just think maybe next time we won’t drop the paci on the same weekend I come back from a work trip on Saturday at 11:00pm and the same weekend as Spring Forward. This might, however, be a good time to start drinking coffee. 

Because this week is kicking. my. butt.

What is my life right now.

Friday Introductions


*This photo was taken over the summer, FYI. I don't just all of the sudden not look pregnant anymore.

Friday Introductions is a popular hashtag on Instagram where people introduce themselves to all their new followers and find other people to follow. Seeing as how my follower count stays steady in a straight line, I have never felt the need to re-introduce myself to people who already know me. But I probably (hopefully? maybe?) have a few new followers/lurkers on The Lady Okie Blog, so I thought I’d do a Friday introduction on here and share a few things about me that you might not know!

-I am 30.5 years old, and I’ve been married to Jordan for almost 6 years (this May!). I am originally from a Chicago suburb, but I’ve lived in Oklahoma since the fall of 2008. I moved here after college for a job and knew absolutely no one. I said I’d maybe stay here a year, but then I made friends and met Jordan and the rest, as they say, is history.

-I am a professional editor, and my friends are scared to text and email me because they think I’m judging their grammar. Which I’m not. Usually.

-I have never dyed my hair. I like my natural color and natural highlights and have never felt the need or desire to mess with changing colors.

-I look best when I wear purples, greens, and blues. These colors bring out my eyes and fit my skin tone. I do not look good wearing oranges, yellows, pinks, and reds. This is a scientific fact, and as such I don’t have any of these colors in my closet and you will rarely slash never see me wearing them.

-I don’t drink coffee. Like, ever. I have never liked it, and I don’t feel the need to make it an acquired taste by dumping in a ton of cream and sugar and then backing off over time until I’m drinking it black. My parents (I love you, Mom and Dad!) are ZOMBIES without their morning coffee. I ask you: why should I make myself incapable of functioning properly without coffee if I have lived 30 years and seem to be doing okay for myself?

-I went skydiving in 2010 with my friend Hannah, and it is my one claim to adventure fame. I really don’t do a lot of stuff that counts as adventurous, but since skydiving is not your average activity, I like having something to tell people I’ve done that not everyone has.

-I learned to play the violin in the fourth grade, and I still play twice a week for our church band.

-I am 5’7¾”, which means I’m a quarter-inch taller than Jordan, who is 5’7½.” He loves it when I remind him that I’m taller.*

*He doesn’t love it.

-The fact that I didn’t get an epidural while giving birth to R has nothing to do with the fact that I’m hard core about natural childbirth (I’m not) and everything to do with the fact that I said no initially when I was being admitted to the hospital and then totally forgot to ask about it later. I'm not exactly sure what happened with that, honestly.

-I have run 10 half marathons and 2 full marathons and a handful of other races of various lengths. I love running and hope to continue it for a good long while, and I would like to train for another full marathon at some point in the future.

So those are just a few things about me… Tell me something about you!

How tall are you? Have you ever been skydiving?

12-Minute Memoir: Blogging & Social Media


*This is part of a post series where I set my timer for 12 minutes and write about a specific word or phrase. See all the posts here.

Focus on the people who are here, not the people who aren’t.

My mom has said this countless times about parties and events where you invite a lot of people and then only a handful show up. Or maybe a lot of people did show up, but there were one or two “key” people who didn’t.

It’s easy to focus on who isn’t there and forget about all the people who are. I feel like blogging and social media is kind of like that too sometimes. I’ve been blogging and active on social media long enough that after a while I have started to see the same people around, commenting on my blog and other blogs and sharing posts written by other bloggers. The internet is large and yet smaller than you’d think sometimes. Not everyone comments on every blog post or every Instagram post, and comments in general seem to have gone down over the past year or so. It takes time to type a comment, especially something that is more than “Great post!” and especially if you are reading on your phone, which so many people are these days (including me a lot of the time!).

It can be really, really easy to focus on who isn’t commenting or who isn’t reading or “liking” instead of focusing on who is. I know for me, sometimes I see a comment on another blog and think, “Well clearly X is reading and commenting on blogs, so why has she stopped commenting on mine?” Or I see one blogger share another blogger’s post in a weekly link roundup and think, “She sure likes that blogger, but I write about the same types of things. Why doesn’t she like my posts?” Then the spiral begins into wondering what you’re doing wrong, why other people don’t like you or what you possibly might have written to make them upset and unfollow. Are you not funny enough? Are your pictures not pretty enough? Are your posts not interesting enough?

It sounds silly and meaningless, and I guess it is, but still the struggle is real, my friends.

So today, I just want to encourage you while I encourage myself to focus on the people who come, not the people who don’t. Because the truth is, you probably are most definitely overthinking the whole thing anyway. Yes, maybe you did make someone mad, but if you’re a nice person (which I assume you are), you probably didn’t mean to, and you can’t control how other people react. Or maybe you do post about your baby (or your wedding or your clothes or your insert topic here) too much for someone, but that’s what YOU want to post about and what makes you happy.

This is your space, after all. 

Your Instagram, your blog, your Facebook. And it’s not going to look like anyone else’s, just like theirs isn’t going to look like yours because no one will ever see the world from your eyes. And you won't from theirs.

So the next time you find yourself starting to focus on the people who aren’t there, turn instead to the people who are. You might just realize there are more than you think.

Blowing Bubbles & Folding Five Loads of Laundry


When I picked R up at daycare a few weeks ago, the teacher was blowing bubbles and all the kids were being crazy, as kids do when there are bubbles around. I spotted R immediately. She was holding a plastic bucket and running in circles trying to catch the bubbles in her bucket while shouting, "BUBBA!" It might have definitely been one of the single cutest things I've ever seen her do, and that's saying a lot.

Speaking of cute things, lately she has really been good at daycare dropoff. Usually she throws a fit and chases me out the door sobbing, which of course is sad and terrible. But this past week she's run right over to her teacher, plopped down in her lap, and then given me a huge smile and a wave. One day she blew me kisses through the window, and I didn't even do it first. I was simultaneously extremely excited because hello, she loves me and she is adorable, and also I felt extremely offended because she doesn't even care that I'm leaving. Rude.

A few weeks ago Jordan was about to do the dishes, but I told him that the dishwasher was already full of clean dishes. He took my word for it, and in typical fashion we both let the sink pile up and didn't bother to unload the dishwasher. I never understand why we do this, because I have timed myself and can unload the dishwasher in under 4 minutes, so really you would think we would just get it over with. But anyway. It was getting a bit out of control, so Jordan offered to unload the dishwasher and do all the dirty dishes while I finished up making dinner. He opened the dishwasher only to discover that it was basically empty except for a few plates. It totally had not been full, nor was it clean. My credibility has been completely shot.

Remember how I told you that I do household chores in shifts? Well over the weekend that resulted in me folding five loads of laundry. FIVE. And then when I was finally done, I opened the dryer and it was completely full of clean laundry. So I closed it and pretended I hadn't seen it. Naturally. We don't even have that many clothes compared to a lot of people! I am so confused about where they all came from.

Jordan and I both decided to give up social media until Easter. We don't really officially give up things for Lent usually, but I decided that I wanted to this year, and so we both deleted our social media apps and haven't been on since last week. I have to say, it's been really nice. I am rather ashamed to admit that I find myself getting out my phone to browse the socials before realizing that there aren't any to browse. But it's gotten better even in just the last few days. It's a little scary how easy it is to get attached to something as simple as checking a social media app that we really don't need to check.

Tomorrow I am leaving in the early hours before R is awake to head to a work conference. I won't be back until late Saturday night after she is asleep, and this is most definitely the longest I have ever been away from her. I am battling a (very irrational) fear that while I'm gone she will totally forget who I am. I realize this is ridiculous, but I still keep picturing her saying, "Mama? Mama" on Wednesday and then it petering out until by Saturday she has just completely forgotten that Mama even existed. Jordan doesn't have an iPhone so we can't FaceTime, but we hopefully figured out how to do a Google Hangout via our phones, so maybe she won't forget about me entirely. I am also hoping this trip doesn't ruin our streak of amazing daycare dropoffs.

I do have two more posts scheduled for this week, so check back! In the meantime, I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday.

Oh, and thank you for your sweet and encouraging words on yesterday's post. I really have been trying to improve on my attitude about working, and I am thankful to be seeing some progress. I appreciate all the support about the things I've shared over the past year on the topic of being a working mom. I know that isn't something everyone can relate to, so I appreciate you reading.

I Think I’m Okay (and Some Thoughts on Self-Care)


I work for a nonprofit, and most of the people we deal with on a day-to-day basis are teachers, so my office is closed for the week between Christmas and the New Year. It’s always tough coming back to work and getting into the swing of things after a break, but coming back in 2017 was especially hard. I had spent an entire week hanging out at home with R, and I loved every minute. Seriously, I did. It was awesome.

And then I had to drop her off at daycare on January 3, and I cried all day at work. At one point, one of my coworkers came up to ask me something, and I was all puffy and red-eyed, and when he asked me if I was okay, all I could choke out was, “I miss R,” like an idiot.

I have not been shy about the fact that being at work and away from R so much is hard for me. If I’m honest, I’ve actually probably beat that nail into the ground a little too much. For a while I was angry and bitter, and then it just turned into kind of a dull ache that constantly surrounded me. I thought about it a lot, and I talked about it a lot. Coming back to work in the new year felt like ripping off the scab of a wound that was finally starting to heal. Now I was bleeding all over again.

I know that not every mom feels like this. Some love working, and that has absolutely nothing to do with how much they love their kid, but they are fulfilled being at work and feel like they are a better parent because of it. I’ve always tried to be clear on this point: I do not hate working. I do not hate my job. I've hated jobs before, and this is not what that feels like. I like going to work, and I like my coworkers, and I like what I do. 

But I love being at home with R more. I love our weekends together. I love my days off that we spend with each other. I loved my week-long break in December. I wasn’t ready to go back to work. I wasn’t ready to run to my quiet office and eat breakfast in peace. I really wasn’t.

So the beginning of January was hard. I kept trying to focus on being thankful and praying for peace and contentedness, and I didn’t feel like any of it was working. God wasn’t listening.

At some point right around the middle of January, I realized that maybe continuing to focus on the fact that I have a terrible time leaving R to go to work every day was part of my problem. I was seeing things on social media that “triggered” me, I was talking about it to Jordan and my friends, and just in general I was thinking about it a lot. Maybe I was part of my own problem. 

God can do work on our hearts, but we have to be open to letting him, and I do believe that sometimes we have to take action toward something we are praying about. Not all the time, but sometimes I think we can be too passive when we are praying about something in our lives that we want to change.

There’s been a lot of talk about “self-care” this year. I see this mostly regarding the November election in terms of things you can to when you get depressed that the country is going to crap. And I’m not going to comment on whether it is or it isn’t, but the point is, I think the concept of self-care can be useful for lots of other situations too. I decided to think about what self-care meant for me when it came to being a working mom.

One thing I immediately stopped doing was talking about it so much. It’s not that I don’t think you should share when something is bothering you, but in my case it felt like work and missing R and guilt and the fact that I felt jealous of moms who stayed at home was starting to dominate all of my conversations. It was also affecting my marriage in a subtle way because when I talked to Jordan about how much I missed R and how I wished I could stay at home with her, I was also (unintentionally) making him feel bad about not being able to provide for us in that way with just his job. So I stopped bringing it up as much.

I also stopped looking at social media during the day. (And really I should do this anyway because, hello, I’m at work.) When I’m sitting at my desk feeling sad that I’m not with R, seeing five pictures in a row on Facebook or Instagram of moms snuggling their cute babies or hanging out at Target or at the park in the middle of the afternoon is the last thing I need. It puts me into a spiral that ends with me texting Jordan six crying faces and staring blankly at my keyboard. Similarly, I realized that reading blog posts written by a stay-at-home mom where she either details a day in her life or talks about what she’s been up to currently tend to always make me jealous, so I’ve intentionally stopped reading those.

I hope I don’t sound like a total jerk here; it’s not that I don’t like SAHMs or don’t want to be friends, but I was trying to make an intentional change in my attitude about working, and these were the things I thought would help the most. I also continued to pray about my attitude, focus on being thankful, and make sure to be intentional about the time I do get to spend with R.

So that was all happening around the middle of January. We are now settled into March, and as I was driving to work a week or so ago, I was thinking about life and being introspective and stuff (as one does during their commute; you mean you listen to podcasts instead?), and I realized something: I think I’m okay.

Now, of course okay is a relative term. Do I miss R? Absolutely, I do. Do I struggle with feelings of jealousy toward moms who don’t have to work? Yes. Am I hopeful that maybe one day I might be able to have more flexibility with our income to either be able to stay at home full time or even just work part time? I am.

But I feel okay. I am doing okay.

And even more than that, I feel happy and thankful and joyful about the life I am living.

It’s not glamorous. It’s not always pretty. It doesn’t involve lots of new things or new places.  By any real definition of the word, the life I live is honestly very boring. It’s hard and messy, and I’m just trying to do the best I can with what I have been given. I love my daughter, and I love the time we have together, but I also value my ability to work and do something I am passionate about, and I feel confident and thankful that R has fun and is loved during the day when I’m not with her.

It took longer than I wanted to truly be able to say that and mean it, and I’m still not all the way there. I don’t honestly know if I will ever be. And I still have hard days where I struggle with this more than other days.

But what I'm saying right now is that (finally) I really can honestly tell you that I think I’m doing okay.

Related: How to Support Working Moms

Confession Session vol 6


There is a bakery downtown OKC that I swear sells the best donuts ever. And I kind of definitely consider myself a donut connoisseur, so I know what I'm talking about here. And it's so close to my work it's just rude, and I have to talk myself out of stopping to get some donuts every. single. day. I pride myself on my willpower and then run to the chocolate bowl in our office kitchen and eat five Hershey's nuggets.

Last week I went a little crazy in the comments of a blog post talking (arguing?) about the difference between audio books and physical books. In the grand scheme of life, is this a big deal? Obviously no. But for whatever reason I feel very strongly about my opinion that audio books and physical books are not the same thing. Yes, if you listen to an audio book it "counts" as having read the book. I won't argue with that. But it is a totally different experience and not the same thing at all, and I think they should be on two separate lists. I have read books that I didn't like but thought I might have liked in audio version, and I've had people tell me that they listened to a book and didn't like it because the narrator annoyed them. Again, different. Plus, I think the act of sitting quietly to read a book is completely different from the experience of listening to an audio book, which you are most likely doing while also doing something else. Don't try to argue with me about this or I will get feisty.

Excuse me while I offend all 12 of my Instagram followers, but I have something to say about the Boomerang feature. In short, here are my thoughts: WHY????? I get nauseous just looking at them. I don't understand why this is a thing. I was talking to my sister about this a few days ago, and her thought is that it is okay as long as it's used with "the appropriate ratio of Boomerang to regular video." The appropriate ratio in my opinion being zero Boomerang to anything else. I also feel like Instagram stories is overused to not mean "let me tell you something interesting" but instead "let me show you 85 clips of my entire day all day long," which is odd to me but anyway.

I think I'm too grouchy for social media, is what I'm learning. I should not be spending this much time thinking about things like this.

Last week I was at a restaurant and I went to the bathroom and nearly got scared out of my mind when I realized that there was a TV inside the mirror (see above). This seems excessive and also confusing on multiple levels. Is this really a thing we need in our lives? How addicted are we to TV that I need one in the bathroom? And is the cost of having a TV inside the mirror reflected in the price of my fajitas? 

And also, now that I know there is something behind the mirror, I'm paranoid this is a two-way mirror situation and there is a room of people sitting and watching people wash their hands. This just raises so many questions.

I can't decide if I'm more confused about the point of this TV or the point of Boomerang.
Your thoughts?

Okay, this is the part where you either disagree or agree with me or share your own confession in the comments. Go.

See also: Confession Session vol 1. / vol 2. / vol 3. / vol 4. / vol 5.

Currently March


linking up with anne today!

Angi alerted me to the fact that The Great British Baking Show has new episodes on Netflix, so I'm all excited. That show is so great! Although so hard to watch them make delicious pies and cakes when all I can think about is chocolate cake. Look. America can invent the iPhone. I don't understand why we don't have TVs that deposit dessert out of them. It can't be that hard.

This chicken fajita pasta. It really is a one-pot dinner (plus a couple of bowls). Try it using homemade taco seasoning. Yum.

How relieved I am that after almost two weeks I finally feel like a halfway decent non-sick person. I can (mostly) breathe out of both nostrils. You don't even know.

The same rotation of clothes that fit this baby [boy] bump.