Recent (Mis)Adventures in Selling Things Online

4.19.2018

I’ve recently uncovered a new obsession: selling things online. It started innocently enough, when I heard about the kid’s consignment site Kidizen from Michelle. In my opinion, it's not much of a deal for normal things like Carter’s onesies and newborn sleepers, but if you search around enough, you can get some name-brand or unique boutique stuff for a great price. I’ve bought the kids a handful of items but nothing crazy, because I do have some self-control left. (If you want to download the app, use my referral code for $5 off your first purchase, and I will get a little bit too! The code is theladyokie)

It’s been fun to browse the app and see what new things have been posted, but then I thought, why not try to sell some of our stuff? We are still planning on having a third baby at some point, so I don’t want to get rid of too much, but both kids have some clothes that I’m not in love with anyway that I could try to get some money from.

Around the same time I started posting some of our clothes for sale, I ran across a buy/sell/trade Facebook group for the specific hairbow brand that I very admittedly went a little crazy on when R was first born. I didn’t go nuts with clothes or shoes, but I drove headfirst into the pool of bows and was unable to swim my way out until I realized that R wanted nothing to do with any of it and I was wasting my money to keep buying them. I’m happy to report that I’ve been hairbow clean for over two years now! ;)

I have five or six bows from this particular shop and pulled one out at random to sell that was cute but was never my favorite on R. I browsed through the FB site to see what other people were selling bows for and what I might want to price this one. Some bows were going for as low as $12, but I did see some that were on sale for $50 or $60. I even saw someone buy a bow that was priced at $150! I can only assume this person does not have a firm grasp on reality, so I didn't think too much about it at the time.

Anyway, based on the type of bow I had and what I saw others going for, I thought $18 sounded like a good offer. I briefly thought about $25 but didn’t want to get laughed at, since that seemed like a lot to me for a bow that I originally bought three years ago for $13.
I posted a photo of the bow with the price, and within seconds I had ten people leave their PayPal email address, and then more just kept on coming. I immediately realized that $25 would not have been a ridiculous offer. A reminder: we are talking about a single hairbow for a baby.

I commented on the post and said something like, “Should I have priced higher?” with a winky face, and someone replied and said, “Yes, you should have. That pattern of bow is an Amelia, and it is highly sought after."

WELL OKAY.

According to the rules of the group (and, you know, the rules of not being a shady person), I of course had to honor the $18 price for the first person who put their email address, but I was so bummed that I apparently had an in-demand bow that could have gone for much more! After paying the PayPal fees and paying to ship the bow, I ended up with $15, so I still made a small profit on my bow, but I mean seriously, what a bummer!

My only consolation is that there is no way I could have known about this high-demand bow unless I was sitting on my computer stalking the site for days on end, and who has time for that???? Clearly these moms do, and I need to know what their secret is.

But I'm over it.* 
IT'S FINE.

I still have a few bows I could try to sell, but just thinking about it gives me anxiety.

The buy/sell/trade life is not for the faint of heart.

*I'm definitely not over it.

12-Minute Memoir: Voices

4.16.2018


start - 9:52 pm

I'm fine at daycare drop-off in the mornings. I'm generally fine all day at work. The guilt hits me as I'm pulling out of my office parking lot and heading toward the daycare. You know you've been gone all day, something whispers. You've been gone a really long time. Just think about all the stuff they did without you. Doesn't that make you sad?

It feels like every car is intentionally driving slow just to get in my way. I've tried a million different routes home to find the quickest one, avoiding the construction spots and the long traffic lights. I pull into the daycare parking lot and can only partially resist the urge to sprint down the hall, resulting in an awkward half-run.

"Mommy! Mommy!" R spots me instantly and sprints in my direction, her hair pulled back in pigtails that her teachers must have done because this morning was nuts and I gave myself a pat on the back just for finding a second to run a comb through her tangles. But you didn't have time to brush her teeth. Again.

This week they are learning about the ocean. She is excited to show me the whale she painted in class that day. "It's blue! It have glitter on it!"

J nearly jumps out of the bouncy seat in excitement when I walk in. I scoop him up and carry him on one hip while holding R's hand and balancing two bags on my shoulder.

As my seatbelt clicks shut, I glance in my rearview mirror. R has already pulled off her shoes and socks, and my car instantly smells like feet. J gives me the widest dimpled grin, his eyelids already drooping in exhaustion. He doesn't nap as well as he does at home and is tired by the end of the day. He would have gotten more sleep if he were home with you.

I take a deep breath and let out a large sigh. I feel as though I've found something that has been missing all day long.

I drive home slower now, calmer, sneaking glances in my mirror to watch them, turning down the radio to hear them. Their babbles and songs fill my car and drown out the other, unwelcome voices. At least for today.

You're a good mom. You're a good mom. You're a good mom.

end - 10:04

*Comments turned off. I find that sometimes I just want to share something without the pressure of comments. However, if you do have a comment or this post resonated with you, please feel free to email me or tag me on social media! 

Related posts: Voices / To Be Understood / To the Full-Time Moms

Five on Friday

4.13.2018


T.G.I.F. 

I feel like I say this every week, but honestly. This week was so stressful. Last weekend J got sick, the worst he's been in his young life. His fever got up to 103.5 on Sunday night and I was freaking out. We ran him a bath and gave him Tylenol and thankfully it came down some, or we would have taken him to the hospital. I took him to the pediatrician on Monday, and he tested positive for the FLU.

I have decided that having a sick kid is one of the suckiest parts of being a working mom. I very nearly wrote an emotional and pity party-throwing blog post about all the reasons it's terrible and hard, but I came to my senses and realized no one cares and that's annoying. You're welcome. But it IS so hard because I had to figure out childcare for an entire week while feeling extremely guilty for leaving my sick baby with someone else while I went to work. And WHO CARES ABOUT WORK when sweet J is so sad and just wants to snuggle with his mama. Guilt Trip and No Motivation, party for two. But I am super thankful my mother-in-law was available to watch him, and I'm grateful she takes such good care of him.

Anyway. J is on the mend finally after living on Tylenol and Motrin for four days straight because it was too late for Tamiflu (which we weren't sure we wanted to give him anyway). Thank you, Jesus! It's kind of the best to see your kid smiling and playing after they've been sick. Warms my heart, and we have a whole weekend of snuggles and playtime ahead!

On to some Friday favorites! 

O N E
I am not usually someone who gets compliments on their outfits because, well, I'm just not. But I'm not exaggerating when I say that at least one person comments on this shirt any time I wear it. (I just realized while writing this that I'm wearing it in the photo above! This was not planned. I do love that shirt and wear it a lot, though. ha!) It's from one of my favorite online shops. They have new releases pretty often, and I think they have some really cute stuff  (follow them on Instagram and watch for sales!). I have this sweatshirt, which is super comfy and nursing friendly, and I want to wait for a sale and buy it in black. They just released this shirt, which is pretty fun for the pregnant mamas out there!

T W O
J is turning 10 months old next week, and he maybe might be finally getting a tooth! (Yes, on top of having the flu, I think he is cutting a tooth. RIP, sleep.) We think we see something ready to pop through on the top. 

When R was teething, I bought these off the recommendation of a blog I follow, and it was a giant fail. She either wanted nothing to do with it, or she couldn't figure out how to hold it without gagging herself (complete user error, not the product). I pulled it out for J earlier this month, and I find no end of amusement out of the fact that he loves it. He hasn't gagged himself once and he gets so excited whenever I hand it to him. Kids are funny.

T H R E E
I'm getting really excited about next weekend, which is the annual women's retreat for our church. I  have never gone before, and I wasn't sure if I was going to go this time either since I will be gone two days and a night. But I am really excited about the speakers this year--Kay Arthur, Ruth Chou Simons, and  Katherine Wolf. I am reading Katherine's book currently, and I am looking forward to hearing from her! 

I have no idea what being gone from J for this long will do to my quickly dwindling milk supply, but I guess we will see. I'm going to bring my pump, but I'm setting low expectations and wouldn't be shocked if I just totally dried right up. It's fine. I probably won't write a whole post about where I am with all of that, but long story short is I've cut down to pumping 1x a day at work, and I get about 2 ounces total. Total. Ouch. 

When this happened with R I was sobbing every day about it, but thank goodness I'm not that emotional this time. I just find it extremely annoying. If you are reading this and pumping hates you too, take comfort in knowing you aren't alone!

F O U R
If you are looking for something easy to grab for breakfast on the go, check these out. This is not at all sponsored, but if they reached out to send me free ones I would not be sad about it. My mom got me hooked on these and they are yummy! I hate everything coconut, but weirdly I find this flavor the best. I picked up an Aldi brand version a few weeks ago, but they were not as good as the name brand. I still love you, Aldi!

I obviously don't eat a package every day, but they are handy to have around in times of desperate need. Mornings can get nuts around here.

F I V E
If you don't follow my blog on Facebook, you missed this video last week. This will never stop being funny to me. You know I took a video of R in her chair every month for the first 2 years of her life (here's the 1-12 months video). I can count on 2 fingers the amount of times she fell out. Guys, J falls out almost every month! Poor little guy. But also LOL. The chair blooper video I make of him is going to be amazing. *Please don't judge us. He's fine! Really.

I hope you all have a great weekend and that everyone in your house stays happy and healthy

Recent Reads

4.10.2018


I get about 90% of my book recommendations from people online, so I hope you enjoy my book review posts and maybe get some ideas for ones to add to your shelves (or ones to avoid!). I love chatting books, so please please leave a comment if you've read any of these too and what you thought!

When God Made Light by Matthew Paul Turner // 5 stars (children's book!)
This is the last book I'm going to get from Blogging for Books because they are shutting down! I'm so sad about this. I've loved it so much over the years. Anyway, I chose this as my last book because I thought R might enjoy a new book to read! This is the second book written by this author, and I think it's really great, especially if you are looking for a book with children of color as the main characters. R has enjoyed reading it, and I love the message about God making light and God's light being inside each one of us. The illustrations are very colorful, and there's lots to look at. Definitely check out this book and the author's first book When God Made You. (affiliate links)

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke // 5 stars
This book takes a look at social media and smart phone use from a biblical and Gospel-centered approach. It was so good. A lot of what I loved about this book is everything I did not love about Growing Up Social (see below). The author does not take a straight anti-technology approach. So many books on this topic seem to just suggest that we avoid technology when at all possible, but the author of this book offers specific questions to ask yourself about your use of your phone and suggests reasons why we need to carefully consider and be aware of our use. There was so much to highlight and quote from this one. I've copied out three of my favorites for you just from the last few chapters.

“The bigger challenge for us in this digital age is not the mental pollution of information overload, but the nutritional deficiency of the content that has been engineered, like modern snacks, to trigger our appetite. Online information is increasingly hyper-palatable, akin to alluring junk food. Breaking news, tabloid gossip, viral memes, and the latest controversies in sports, polities, and entertainment all draw us to our phones as if they were deep-fried Twinkies held out on sticks at the state fair. Digital delicacies are eye-grabbing and appealing, but they lack nutrition.” p.146-147

"Am I entitled to spend hours every month simply browsing odd curiosities? I get the distinct sense in the Scripture the answer is no. I am not my own. I am owned by the Lord. I have been bought with a price, which means I must glorify Christ with my thumbs, my ears, my eyes, and my time... I do not have 'time to kill'--I have time to redeem." P.180

“If I consider my phone only as a tool to ‘instantly express’ my life, then my phone use is vain. I must ask: Am I lazy and careless with souls, ignorant of the power of words, images, and links on others? Or am I using my digital chitchat as a way to build into someone (or some online community) with a larger relational goal of edification? These questions determine whether my texts, tweets, and images are thoughtless fragments or purposeful strategies to point others to find their joy, meaning, and purpose in God.” P.184-185

For fans of: being convicted, love/hate relationships with your phone
Should you read it? YES IMMEDIATELY GO NOW

Beartown by Fredrik Backman // 4 stars
The book opens by telling you that one night in a small town, a teenager went into the forest and put a gun to another teenager's head and pulled the trigger. Then it backs all the way up and tells how they got there and who they are. The setting is a small town in the forest where hockey is king. I sometimes had a hard time believing that adults would really act like the adults in this book do (maybe I'm just too optimistic about people), but I read a review where someone compared Beartown to the town in Friday Night Lights except with hockey not football, and that gave the setting more context for me.

The story is a slow build toward the climax, but once that hits the second half went quickly. I applaud the author's ability to keep up with so many characters in a way that wasn't confusing for a reader. I became really invested in the outcome of this story, and the topic felt timely in relation to current events. I would recommend this book with the caveat that it is based on an event that might be a trigger for some people. There is also language.

For fans of: Friday Night Lights, teenage drama, hockey, small-town sports, powerful moments, characters you want to root for
Should you read it? Yes!

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein // 3.75 stars
In October 1943, a British spy plane crash lands in Nazi territory. The passenger is taken into custody and tortured for codes and information about the war effort. I had a semi-hard time getting into this book, but the second half is very good and moves quickly if you can get there. The first half wasn't bad, it just felt a little slow. But I loved the story and characters (two female leads!), and although at first I wasn't a fan of the writing style, it's unique and turns out to be extremely clever. I also appreciate the author's research and attention to historical details, which she outlines in her author note at the end.

For fans of: WWII, girl power, spies, best friends forever
Should you read it? Yes

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell / 3.5 stars
I listened to this on audio book. I rarely listen to books on CD, but the readers did such a great job, and this was a good one to listen to on my commute to and from work. It is the story of Eleanor and Park (duh), two teenagers who meet on the bus one day on the way to school. At first they don't like each other, but--shocker!--they eventually fall in love. There is some language, so I didn't read it before or after I'd picked up the kids from daycare. I think had I read this this one in physical form, I would have found it much more cheesy and teenage-angsty than it felt listening to it read. This would definitely not be a book I would actually recommend to a young adult reader. Lots of language, as I said, and some sexual stuff (although nothing graphic). I loved the slow build of the character's relationships and just how sweet they were with each other. I've seen mixed reviews about the ending, but I personally was fine with it.

For fans of: teenage love, cheesiness, rooting for misfits
Should you read it? I recommend the audio!

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay // 3.25 stars
I had no idea when I started reading this that the "Love and Logic" phrase is a style of parenting. They have classes and DVDs and workshops... it feels like the Babywise movement a little bit. I'm really not interested in trying to "do" the love and logic method, but this book did have a lot of good advice. And then there was some... odd advice. Not bad, just odd. 

I didn't find the book's made-up scenarios entirely useful since my oldest is only 2. Many of the book's practical tips in the second half felt like something I'd need to come back to in 5-10 years. Also sometimes I didn't feel like what they were suggesting was realistic of how a child that age would actually act. Like, just one example is a section about asking your toddler (they specifically said a 2-year-old) to go to their room. "A statement--I want you to go to your room, and I want you to go now--spoken firmly and with index finger pointing toward the room will usually get results." um... no. That would not get results in our house. (Not all of the examples felt that far fetched, however.) 

My main takeaway was what they had to say about offering choices and speaking positively rather than getting upset and stating that the child do something we can't enforce. These are things we are already trying to do, so it was helpful to see more suggestions of how to do that in the home. This book is worth a "skim," specifically the first half. But this wasn't one where I felt like I was highlighting every page, and I didn't always agree with what the authors were suggesting.

For fans of: parenting advice, sometimes unrealistic scenarios relating to toddlers
Should you read it? Yes, it's worth a skim at least

Good As Gone by Amy Gentry / 3.25 stars
I literally read this in two days. It moved quickly and was for sure a page-turner. This would be a perfect book for the beach or a plane flight or something. A thirteen-year-old girl is kidnapped from her home. Eight years later, she randomly appears at her front door. Her family is thrilled, but her mother starts to have doubts that she is who she says she is. There is some sexual content and language, just be aware. As a mom, reading about a child who was kidnapped and what she went through was pretty unsettling to read. It's well written, but I have mixed feelings on the plot itself, specifically as it moves toward the conclusion. There's a whole thing about religion in there that I felt was odd, but I don't want to say more without spoiling anything. You wouldn't be wasting your time to read it (again, maybe at the beach!), but this will not stand out in my mind as a true suspenseful thriller.

For fans of: kidnapping, Elizabeth Smart, mom love
Should you read it? Yes, on a plane or at the beach

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane // 2.5 stars
The title says it all, so I won't write a summary of the book here. This book was fine. I couldn't specifically relate to most of it because my oldest child is only 2.5 years old, but I think something like this is a good refresher to solidify my own feelings about screen time with my kids. It did not tell me anything I didn't already know, so if you're looking for a book that is offering new advice or research, this isn't it. The authors say they aren't negative about screen time (TV, phones, iPads, etc.), but aside from a few token statements here and there lauding some of the benefits, they seem to basically be saying that you should avoid all screen time as much as possible. Which is okay, but I guess I don't know if that is completely realistic. A book with practical advice/tips for how to include technology in our lives while also continuing to making in-person relationships is something I'd be interested to read. (See 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You above!)

For fans of: obvious parenting tips, throwing away your TV, in-person conversation
Should you read it? You can skip this one.

Dealing with Toddler Behavior

4.05.2018


Today I have a fun and unique blog post for you toddler mamas! I've teamed up with a few blog friends who are have toddlers R's age, and we are all writing on the topic of toddler discipline. We are keeping it pretty vague in terms of specific behaviors of our kids, but we thought it would be fun and interesting to share what has been working for us and see what other people are doing. Maybe we can get some new ideas for how to handle some of the more challenging toddler moments. Links to the other posts are at the bottom!

Before I start, a few necessary disclaimers:

1. I realize R is only 2.5 (turning 3 in August), and she is our first child. I know that as she gets older and our family dynamics change and we continue to grow as parents, our style of discipline and what is working or not working will have to adjust. This post is not in any way implying that we have all the answers or that what we do is the best way to handle every child. Only you know what is best for your specific child and how you feel comfortable parenting. We are not very far along in this parenting journey and know there is a lot ahead of us!

2. This post is not suggesting that other ways of discipline are wrong. It is also not trying to provide tips for how to get your toddler to behave or suggest that what we do works 100% of the time. Let's be clear: toddlers are crazy and often they make no sense. Again, we just thought it would be fun to share some things that work for us and if nothing else, fist bump in solidarity that we are all doing the best we can with these adorable minions.

Okay! Now that I have that out of the way, let's get to it. R is an absolutely adorable, sweet little girl (or big girl, as she likes to say), but she does have her moments. She is very strong willed, very opinionated, and very stubborn. She has Jordan and I (both firstborns of four) to thank for all of that! Although I don't think being strong willed is necessarily a bad thing, and what we want to do is try to funnel and guide that into good things like standing up for what she believes in and being a strong woman of God. 

Here are a few things we've found to work well for her, at least at this stage, realizing that as she grows we will have to constantly adjust and grow as parents with her!

Coffee Date: April

4.02.2018


I am baking some muffins to freeze for the kids and have exactly 18 minutes to pop on here for a quick coffee date. That is not at all enough time for me to finish a blog post (editor problems), but I figured I'd try!

If we were meeting for coffee, I'd ask you how your Easter weekend went and then confess that I didn't put together Easter baskets for the kids. I'd tell you that I don't even feel bad about it except when I see so many people posting online about all the stuff they bought. Then I feel just a twinge of guilt, but mostly I'm okay with it. They get a basket from grandma, and we did an egg hunt (set up by grandma lol!). I'm not against the Easter bunny or anything, but I don't remember doing baskets as a kid and it's just not anywhere on my radar.

Two Texas Weekends

3.27.2018

*affiliate links are used in this post

I don't know if any of you longtime blog readers have caught on to this, but I really don't like writing posts that are a collection of things. Blame it on my editor brain that I just can't seem to turn off, but I prefer each post to be About Something. It is for this reason that I find weekend recap posts to be for the most part very dull. Sorry if that offends anyone, but I'm just being honest. The other reason I don't like random posts is because I never know what to title them! And any good editor will tell you that titles are half the battle of getting anyone to actually read something (the first half of the battle being, of course, actual good writing).

Stitch Fix #2

3.21.2018

I got my second Stitch Fix box last week and wanted to share with you what came in it! You can see my first SF blog post here.

I signed up for quarterly fixes, and I was excited when I got an email saying my box was on the way. After being curious about Stitch Fix for a long time, I now admit I can totally see why people love it. It is really quite fun to get a box in the mail full of clothes to try on at home. It comes with a personalized note from your stylist and a prepaid envelope, so sending back the clothes is super easy. Get a box for free and waive the first styling fee by signing up using my referral link. I'll get some money too, so thanks in advance, friends!

If you will recall, even though I only kept one item from my first SF box, I was very happy with the clothes they sent, which all felt like my style. This time I requested tops and some colored pants, and once again my box had some great things! I was also happy to see that the prices for the items was not as high as last time. The most expensive thing were the jeans at $58 (my last box had a pair of jeans that were $98! No.). 

Baby's First Snacks with Gerber!

3.19.2018


So far I am 2 for 2 with babies who love to eat! Starting food with J has been honestly a lot of fun, and it's hilarious to see how animated he gets when we put him in his chair and he knows food is coming. At nine months old, we give him mostly regular table food now, and he eats modified versions of what we eat, although he does still love purees! Jordan and I have both commented that it felt like I made R so many more purees than I made for J, and it's hard to remember exactly, but I do think we started J on regular food earlier. In any case, J loves loves food of all kind. (Except berries, which I've mentioned before he's had reactions to even in baked form!)

Currently March

3.14.2018



wearingthese sneakers that Rachel blogged about (see: above). They are, in fact, as comfortable as she claimed and a rather amazing dupe of these Steve Madden sneakers. I sized up half a size and they fit perfectly, FYI. Also, ignore the fact that I am in H&M pretending that anything in there will a) fit me and b) not look ridiculous on me. 

Dear H&M,
Crop tops* = death
Love, 
Amanda

p.s. *Also, animal prints. No.

Recent Reads

3.11.2018


The Parables of Jesus by John MacArthur // 5 stars
We read through this book in our couple's class at church and did the workbook that goes with it over the course of 10 weeks. John MacArthur is such a great Bible teacher, and I loved reading about the parables of Jesus. Some of them had always kind of confused me, and this helped clear that up! Each chapter takes one parable and explains it in depth.

Should you read it? Yes
For fans of: Jesus, the Bible, understanding things Jesus said that previously confused you

Confession Session vol. 10

3.08.2018


You know how sometimes you're totally chill and just whatever about things, and sometimes you get ragey about stuff you know is ridiculous but you can't help yourself? That is me right now. Perfect time for a confession post where I can release my angst while also offending half of you.

Fun Weekends + Our First Family Fun Run!

3.05.2018


We have had two fantastic weekends the last two weeks! It's been full of family time and playtime with the kids. Plus, this past weekend it was so nice outside and I got in a 7-mile run on Saturday! That's the longest I've run in over a year and a half, and it felt really good (I also felt like I might die, but I suppose that's to be expected). I started off feeling like I was running through sand, and my Garmin told me my first two miles were 10:42 and 10:38, so that sounds about right. But every single mile was faster, and I ran my last mile in 8:20! My half marathon in at the end of April, and I'm hoping to get up to at least one 10-mile run before then.

A Beautiful Inheritance

2.28.2018



I’m attempting to read through the Bible in 2018 using the She Reads Truth app, which provides the chapters for that day and also tells me how much I’ve read so far (15.6%, if you’re interested). Every fourth or fifth day, the daily reading takes me to the Psalms. In Psalm 16, there is a really beautiful section that I have unofficially taken as my verse for this year, kind of like how some people choose a word or phrase for the year.

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” 
-Psalm 16:5-6

Favorite Baby/Toddler Items for 2 years and Under

2.26.2018


It's been a while since I shared some favorite baby/toddler items, and since J arrived, there are some things we used the second time that we've continued to love from when we used them with R! I've rounded up a list of our favorite products for 2 years and under.

Best of the Olympics (for people who didn't watch them)

2.24.2018

It has come to my attention that not everyone is obsessed with the Olympics like I am. If that's you, I don't understand it, and I can only assume you're dead inside.

The closing ceremonies are Sunday, and honestly I think I'll just burn my TV after this because there's no point in life anymore. For all of you heathens who have been missing out, I thought I would compile a list of great Olympic moments from the past week. There are obviously a ton more, but here are a few favorites of mine:

United States Wins First EVER (as in, ever in history) Gold Medal in Cross-Country Skiing
Watch this footage of the final sprint to the finish between Switzerland, the USA, and Norway and TELL ME YOU DON'T GET GOOSEBUMPS. I was literally jumping up and down and screaming at the TV.

Germany & Canada Tie for Gold in the 2-man Bobsled
All the other sleds have gone except Canada. The Germans stand in first place and Freak. Out. when the Canadian sled comes through the finish in a tie. Seeing how excited both teams were for each other is everything I love about the Olympics. Watch it here.

Shaun White (USA) Wins Gold in Snowboarding
He got a gold medal in this event in 2006 and 2010. He didn't medal in 2014 and came back to the Olympics after a serious snowboarding accident. He was behind after 2 runs and had one chance to be perfect for gold. Watch it here.

Photo Finish in the Men's 15km Mass Start
You guys, these cross-country skiing races gave me life this Olympics. So much excitement! The skier from France (the one on the right in this photo) got silver at the last Olympics after a photo finish and ended up with another photo finish this time! Watch it here.

United States Brother/Sister Ice Dancers Win Bronze
I really wasn't a huge fan of ice dancing, but actually it was kind of neat to watch. I got into it. And these two are siblings! They have a YouTube channel and are just super cute, I think. Can you imagine doing this with your sibling? They skated in the 2014 Olympics but didn't medal, and this time they got bronze!

Ester Ledecka from the Czech Republic Wins Gold in Two Different Sports
She first shocked everyone when she won gold in Alpine skiing. She was so shocked herself, in fact, that she stared at the screen blankly for a few seconds and told the reporter afterward that she thought there had been a mistake. Then later in the week she took gold in snowboarding! Watch her reaction to winning gold in skiing here.

Did you watch the Olympics? What was your favorite moment? What's your favorite sport to watch?

I'm a Different Mom than I Thought I'd Be

2.21.2018


Before you're a parent, you make a list in your head of all the things you will do and be. And then you become a parent, and a strange thing happens. Some of the things you thought you'd do and be are totally true, but then there are other things you totally thought you'd care about that you just don't and other things you totally did not think you would care about that you discover you actually really do care about kind of a lot. I also feel like some of this has changed just after having my second child. I used to get so annoyed with all the talk about "first-time parents" being this or that way, but a lot of it was true for me! I do feel like I've loosened up a lot with the second kid.

I realize I'm only 2.5 years into parenting, with many years ahead of me filled with changes to my subconscious parenting list, but I have already experienced a few things that surprised me. (And of course it should be obvious, but the following are my personal opinions for my own motherhood and are not a reflection or comment on anything anyone else is doing.)

Cloth Diapering
I had every intention of doing cloth diapers. I even went to a (free) class at a local shop about it. I love a lot of things about it, and it honestly didn't freak me out to think of dealing with the dirty diapers. But once R came, we were so overwhelmed with having a newborn that figuring out cloth diapers just didn't feel like something I could handle, plus I think they recommend a baby be 10lbs or so before starting cloth diapers anyway. But then R started daycare, and I just couldn't handle the thought of dealing with cloth diapers along with all the other stuff I have to prepare for us to leave the house every day. And so cloth diapering fell to the bottom of the list and then just totally off it.

Sickness
Jordan and I have both been shocked to discover that he is the one who freaks out and I am generally the calm one when one of the kids comes down with an illness. He's asking a million questions or demanding we head straight to the doctor, and I take a calmer approach. Now, I have my moments, of course, and that's not to say I don't get worried, but it's so strange that Jordan gets more worked up than I do! I expected it to be the other way around.

Germs
Speaking of sickness, I am certain this is a result of having R in daycare, but I am just totally not freaked out about germs. After you've seen your kid crawling around on the floor under the snack table eating the crumbs other kids have dropped, you just have to, as the song says, let it gooooo. We do wash hands and practice general hygiene, but there's only so much you can do, and thankfully I've been (mostly) able to just not think too hard about all the gross stuff the kids have touched and licked.

TV/Screen Time
We did our best to not let R get any screen time before she was two, per the recommendations by the Powers that Be who suggest these things, although she did love her Praise Baby DVDs, which was really cute. But now that she's getting older, I still really don't like to have the TV on at all, and that has honestly surprised me! I didn't think I would have an issue with it (within reason, of course), but I mostly try to have it turned off all the time. This isn't all that hard, actually, since we are gone all day at work and daycare. We rarely turn on the TV in the evenings, but even on the weekends I just feel like there are so many other things she can be doing beside watching TV. 

We've had the TV on a lot this last week because OLYMPICS, and while I do love the Olympics, I have found that I'm getting tired of the noise, tired of having the TV on, and if anything it's strengthened my feeling to keep her screen time as limited as possible. She still thinks our phones are only for making "funny faces" with the Instagram filters and looking at pictures of herself, and I like it that way. How long that will last, I don't know!

Breastfeeding
I am thankful to be able to nurse my babies with relatively little discomfort and issues (other than pumping, which is beside the point). I think nursing is great, and I'm happy to do it, but I don't love it like a lot of people talk about. I've fed both my babies with bottles, and honestly I feel just as much of a bond with them while bottle feeding as I do nursing, and with the former I don't have to mess up my outfit or have milk sprayed all over me. The first time nursing in the hospital with both R and J was honestly so special, and I do treasure that memory, but other than that, I more just like nursing because I'm lazy and cheap and don't want to wash bottles and buy formula. Also, it is freaking cool that my baby can grow because of nutrients I'm providing. But I was fine weaning R around 13 months and plan to wean J around the same!

Playtime
Before I had kids, I honestly thought playing with a baby or toddler sounded terrible. I would see videos of moms playing trains with their kid and be like boooooooring. Obviously I assumed it would be different with my own kids, but I didn't realize how fun it actually is! I seriously love building towers with R and stacking blocks for J, and we have a lot of intentional play time that isn't boring at all. Sometimes it is boring, and sometimes I do just want R to play by herself, but mostly I am shocked by how much I enjoy hanging out with a 2-year-old. Don't make comments about what that says about my maturity level ;)

Clothes
Everyone has a style for their kids, and I do have opinions about things I do and don't like, but in general I'm not all that picky about clothes for the kids, which is one thing that is not surprising since I'm not terribly picky about my own wardrobe. Most of J's closet is full of hand-me-downs from friends, and I love to shop consignment stores for anything else I need. The few things I thought I would be picky about I still was once I had kids: giant hair bows (hate it), shirts with annoying slogans/brand names on them (nope), and two-piece bathing suits for girl babies/toddlers (why).

A few other things that are not surprising for how I thought I would parent:
-We read lots of books
-We pray and talk about Jesus
-We used baby sign language before R could talk (and should really refresh so we can start some with J soon!)
-We travel with them (R went on 11 plane flights before she was 2, and we drive 3 hours to Texas regularly)

Those are just a few of the areas that stand out to me as I'm thinking about this post. I'm curious if any of you have things that surprised you (or didn't) about your parenting style once you became a mom!

This and That

2.17.2018

Well, friends,  I never thought I'd say this, but I think it might be time to give up the Lady Okie Blog. It's been a good, long run, but I just feel like---

--no, I'm kidding. ha! Sorry to scare you. You guys aren't rid of me quite yet.

In all honesty, though, I have been struggling a bit lately with thinking of post ideas and having the time to write. I've written about my thoughts on sharing about my kids online (here and here), and as R has gotten older, I've felt like taking an even more aggressive stance on what I post and share about her. Naturally, I suppose, that has transferred over to J, and as a result I don't feel like writing a ton specifically about him either. But that makes it super hard to think of post topics! Not that my kids are all I am, but they are such a huge part of my life that not writing about them feels weird, but for some reason writing about them feels... weird. So I'm trying to figure that out.

And even when I do have a topic in mind, the weeks have been flying, and my evenings are so busy! J will be 8 months old in a few days and still wakes up 2-3 times a night, so getting to bed earlyish is definitely a priority right now. A few weeks ago there were a couple of nights he only woke up once and it was glorious. R was always a pretty good sleeper, and I confess that I wasn't able to truly empathize with people who said their kids continued to wake up every night, but oh man do I get it now. It is kind of terrible. Solidarity to you, my friends.

Have you been watching the Olympics? It seriously blows my mind when people say they don't watch them. So many awesome, heartwarming stories of triumph and all the emotions. I love it even if the USA isn't in the mix. I just love all of it.

This is random, but on the note of not blogging as much about the kids, I'm not going to write up a post about potty training. (I told you this was random!) I think it's too personal a topic for R, and I also think there are a ton of potty training posts out there that all basically say the same thing. But here's some free advice: we really liked these as transition underwear. They are thicker and more absorbent in the bottom, so while they fit like underwear, if your kid has an accident, the pee (usually) collects in the underwear similar to a pull-up and doesn't just run down their leg and into the floor. A friend recommended them to me as something she used with her daughter, and they worked great for us! (I assume they have a boy set also, but I haven't looked into it.) R doesn't like to wear them anymore because they are thicker than just the cotton ones, but we loved them when she was starting out.

The recent news from Florida has been on my heart a lot lately. Jordan and I honestly don't have any desire to homeschool our kids, nor is that a possibility for right now anyway because we both need to work, but stuff like this (and just the world in general) does make me anxious thinking about sending them to school. I do think some people feel called to homeschool, and that's great. It is a personal decision, and there are pros and cons to both! But I personally had a really great experience in high school (middle school NOT SO MUCH, but I like to think I grew during those years. ha!).

Still, it is scary to think about all the craziness going on today, and I know the best thing I can do is pray for my kids and try to raise them to love themselves and love others well. Things like this just remind me how much I can't control and how much we all need Jesus. And I KNOW that sounds cliche and very much like a Sunday school answer, but it is the truest thing I can tell you. (And I would be so very happy to discuss any questions about my faith with you if you want to email me!)
On a related note, I listened to this sermon on a walk with the kids recently, and it was SO encouraging to me as we settle into this new year. I've talked before about Matt Chandler's sermons, which I listen to often on podcast during my runs. They are all so great, but this one especially was an encouragement this week. I think it will be to you also. If you don't have time to listen to the sermon (which is about 40 minutes), you can read the transcript

I do hope to not take such long breaks from the blog (is it just me, or does a week in blog world feels like forever?). If you have any topics you'd like me to write about, please do let me know! And if you have any thoughts about how to blog about the kids without blogging about the kids, let me know that too :)

I'm writing this on Saturday afternoon, and R just came out of her room after a "nap" that was so short I question whether or not she actually fell asleep at all, so I'm off for now! I've got Olympics to watch anyway. I'm going to be so sad when they are over. It's just fun to see the entire world come together.

You can follow along with The Lady Okie Blog on Facebook if you aren't already. I share new posts, fun links, revisit the archives, and post pictures and thoughts that don't always make it to the blog. But I don't post every day, so hopefully it's not super annoying and just fun.

Happy weekend!

Currently Watching the Olympics

2.08.2018


I am currently writing this while watching THE OLYMPICS. I love the Olympics so much, you guys. There is nothing quite like sitting on your couch stuffing your face with edible cookie dough while you binge watch people a decade younger than you be super in shape and awesome at sports. I cried within the first half hour watching one of the athlete profile segments. I just can't even.

Anyway. Last weekend we traveled to Texas for a gender reveal for my brother and sister-in-law's baby due in June! This will be my first time to be an aunt, and I'm just so dang happy for one of my siblings to join Jordan and I in the crazy world of kids at family gatherings. I'm also happy for them to have a baby, but let's be honest: this is really just all about me right now.

And it's a GIRL! Yay!
I told my SIL she can borrow all of R's hair bows that are basically in brand-new condition because she refused to wear them. It's been two years and I'm still not over it.

I texted one of my friends and said, "R is going to have a girl cousin!" She replied, "J is going to have a cousin too..." Good grief. J will be 8 months old next week, and I still sometimes forget all about him. I used to (secretly) judge parents when I heard about them leaving their kids at the store or at school or whatever, but now I totally get it. I hope he doesn't read that in ten years and feel bad. I love that boy to dang pieces, but it still doesn't totally compute that I have two children.
Speaking of having two children, my stomach is kind of depressing me lately. I don't have a scale, but I'm pretty sure I'm nearish if not at my pre-baby weight and my pants fit fine, so that's all great. I'm not at all saying I'm large or anything like that, but a lot of my shirts honestly make me look like I'm 5 months pregnant, hence my recent overhaul of my closest. I'm hoping I can actually find some discipline soon to lay off the cookie dough and make do some actual ab work and get my core back in shape.

I am proud of myself, though, because I've been consistent about going to the gym at least 2x a week so far this year, which is my goal. If I can get a run or workout in 3x a week, that is awesome, but 2x a week is realistic and relatively achievable for this point in my life. I ran 32 miles in January! Most of them were on the treadmill, but I did get outside for a few runs when it wasn't freezing.

I'm excited because I convinced Jordan to sign up for a family "run" later this month downtown OKC. There is a 5k portion, but we are just doing the 1-mile family fun run/walk. I realize we could walk a mile around our neighborhood for free, but I thought it would be a fun family event and something R might enjoy. I can't wait for her to get a bit older and do an actual run with me!

Okay that's about all I have. I've got more Olympics to watch, and weirdly I can't concentrate on writing when I'm watching. Go, Team USA, and happy Friday and weekend!
・ DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS