Thursday, March 19, 2015

What I’m Reading: The Fringe Hours

I told you on Tuesday that I've had a little extra time in the evenings to read. Mainly because I found a couple of books that I really liked, so I made time to read before bed, by cutting down on social media time, computer time, etc. For the last week or so, I’ve been devouring The Fringe Hours in my few minutes before turning out the light, and I’ve been sneaking in time in the car when Ryan’s driving, when I’m waiting for appointments, etc.

What I'm Reading: The Fringe Hours

I heard about The Fringe Hours from a lot of the scrapbookers I follow on Instagram. It seemed like all of them had received advanced copies and were blogging or posting about it. I ordered a copy for myself (a paperback instead of an e-book, which means I was pretty sure I was going to love it and might want to keep it to re-read later on) and couldn’t wait to finish my previous book to dig in.

The Fringe Hours

What I'm Reading: The Fringe Hours

The Fringe Hours is all about sneaking in little pockets of time every day (or as often as possible) to do things we enjoy and how important that is for us moms (and women in general). At our house, Ryan does a ton and I mean a TON, but I still feel responsible for keeping everything in line, staying on top of appointments, when things need cleaned, etc. For the first few months of Ellie’s life, I was doing very little of the hobbies that I had previously enjoyed. As I’ve found time to work those back into my life, I have been so much happier and felt more like myself.

Here is where I find some of my Fringe Hours, and how I fill them:

5:00AM on weekdays – Treadmill. Yes, the treadmill is a frenemy of mine, but it feels good to get up and get my sweat on while the house is quiet and everyone is sleeping. When I was getting up at 5am to pump every day, I did some digital scrapbooking on the computer during that time.

Lunch on weekdays – During my hour lunch, I eat at my desk while I read my favorite blogs, browse Pinterest, and do a little digital scrapbooking on my work computer or my laptop that I bring from home. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I will go for a little walk around town in the sunshine and listen to music or podcasts on my phone.

Ellie’s bath time – Daddy usually does bath time if he’s home, so while Ellie’s in the tub I usually clean up the kitchen, move laundry etc., but while I’m doing those chores, I listen to podcasts or music. Those few minutes where I don’t have a baby clinging to me are nice, even if I’m doing housework.

After Ellie’s bed time – These days Ellie’s going to bed around 8:00 - 9:00, so I have an hour or two to do (mostly) as I please. A lot of times I spend it on the couch with Ryan watching one of our favorite shows or catching up on Instagram or Facebook, but sometimes I scrapbook or work on a project, or head to bed early and read.

Bed time – I almost always squeeze in 10 - 15 minutes of reading before turning out the lights, no matter how late it is. It helps my mind wind down for the day and it feels good to take that quiet time for myself.

What I'm Reading: The Fringe Hours

So, how about you? Where do you find free time for yourself? What do you fill that time with?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

5 Books in 2014

Since Ellie came along, coming on 14 months ago now, my reading has predictably come to a screeching halt. I read a couple of books during my maternity leave, mostly about how to get your damn baby to sleep at night LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING (spoiler alert: they didn’t help at all. She slept when she decided she was ready to sleep. Which, lucky for us, was SO much earlier than a lot of babies).

Then when I went back to work in May I found myself with lots of free time during my work day (at least 20 minutes at a time, 3 times a day ;) where it was easy to read a few pages in a book on my iPad when I was done scrolling Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Luckily, around the end of the year, I was done pumping and Ellie also started going to sleep a little earlier, leaving me with a little more time to read in the evenings.

Below are the few books I was able to read in 2014. On Thursday, I'll be sharing a little bit about the (awesome) book I just finished, which was my third book in 2015. You can also find it in the list in the sidebar on the right.

1. Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way

  download

2. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

download (1)

3. The Light Between Oceans

download (2)

4. How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane

download (3)

5. The Good Mother Myth

download (4)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Currently - 3/13/15

She still LOVES the baby book.

Currently...

Watching Scandal. That show is so twisty, but I just can't quit it.
Drinking water, water, and more water. And sometimes chai tea lattes. Any chance I get.
Wearing pants that are too big. I'm determined not to buy new clothes before warm weather. It's right around the corner!
Feeling so damn excited about the 70 degree day in our forecast. I feel like we're coming out of the longest winter ever.
Playing with Ellie on the floor in the evenings.
Wanting more time. Always more time.
Needing more sleep. See above.
Hoping to keep up the running I started a couple weeks ago. I tweaked something in my knee Tuesday morning so this morning's run was a brisk walk. Hopefully it clears itself up soon.
Thanking God that we hit the baby jackpot (most of the time). She is such a joy (except when she's not :).
Waiting (not so) patiently for the new laptop I ordered. Evening TV time is about to get more productive (and maybe more bloggy).

Happy Friday friends!

I'm going to put a brick on her head.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ellie's First Birthday Party

We hosted a very small group of our closest family to celebrate our little bitty girl's birthday at the beginning of February. We held the party in our garage, but it turned out really nice and she seemed to enjoy it, so this mama was happy. Ryan spent a lot of time cleaning up the garage and I did the decorating.

Ellie's First Birthday

Ryan spray painted these letters with gold glitter (he was thrilled) and I spent entirely too long making the tassel garland. But they’re cute! I set out my two Project Life albums for 2014 which show almost Ellie’s entire first year.

Ellie's First Birthday

Ellie's First Birthday

I had the birthday video I made playing on a loop on our computer in the corner. In the middle of the table is Dr. Seuss’ Happy Birthday book with a note taped to the front to ask all of our guests to write a little note to the birthday girl.

Ellie's First Birthday

We had broccoli cheese soup and a buffet of deli meat, cheeses, a variety of bread and buns, veggie tray, and chips. Of course, we had enough food for about 40 people. :) Ryan spray painted those Ball jars with gold metallic spray paint. I cut the Happy Birthday banner on my Silhouette from gold glitter paper and just taped the streamers to the wall.

Ellie's First Birthday

I baked and iced a smash cake and cupcakes. I bought the gold glittered candle on Etsy. We also had pink M&M’s (yay, February birthday!) and Valentine’s conversation hearts in Ball jars and pink Lofthouse cookies. The gold glitter words on the table were cut on my Silhouette.

Ellie's First Birthday

Ellie's First Birthday

Ellie's First Birthday

After we ate, Ellie opened presents. Nana Cheryl and Papaw Rodney got her that cute Minnie couch. Ryan and I got her that car in the after-Christmas sales. Madison pushed her around the garage and Ellie did not want to get out. I think she liked it. :)

Ellie's First Birthday

After she opened presents, we sang Happy Birthday and gave Ellie her cake. She dove right in (literally…with her face), fed some to Daddy, to me, and to Madison, and then was done and started throwing handfuls on the floor and tried to push the cake off her tray.

Ellie's First Birthday

Ellie's First Birthday

I just cannot believe that our tiny girl is one!

Ellie's First Birthday

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dear Ellie, Happy Birthday!

I have been writing Ellie letters since she was a week old. First every week, then at 3 months, monthly letters. This is this month's letter, to my sweet girl on her first birthday today. 

Dear Ellie,

One year ago today, your Daddy drove me to the doctor through 10 inches of freshly fallen snow to find out that you were, in fact, on your way (as I had suspected). After a quick doctor’s appointment, a couple hours of walking at the mall (while your Daddy repeated, “maybe we should get back closer to the car”), a Starbucks stop (obviously), and just over two hours at the hospital, you made your grand entrance. And our lives were changed forever. Our journey to you was a long one. And on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, we started a new journey. One that I hope will be so much longer (and more joyous) than the first.

Ellie's Birth Story

Today we celebrate one year of you, and one year of us. We celebrate that first awesome nursing in the delivery room. The first smile on the changing table. The first time you clapped and squealed when Daddy came home. The first time you rolled over (only accomplished once Daddy demonstrated for you). We celebrate your first “Dada” and your first “Mama” (when my heart cracked into a million pieces). The first time you pulled to stand (while we both cheered like fools). We celebrate your first army crawl and how you “read” books. We celebrate a full year of successful breastfeeding (much to my surprise after all of the anxiety and worry that we wouldn’t make it). We celebrate you, sweet girl. We celebrate everything you brought to us, our new family of three.

Last time she didn't tolerate the play mat for anytime. Today she liked it! #ellieclaire #7weeks

First Hershey's trip. She loved it! ;)

Gosh I just want to eat her up. He's pretty cute too. :)

You’re a Mama’s girl and you’re Daddy’s world. You’re our funny, beautiful, sassy, and sweet little peanut. We love you so, so much Ellie Claire. It is such an honor to be your Mama and to have spent the last year watching you grow into this awesome tiny human.

Love Forever,

Mama

Five minutes ago she was a tiny peanut that wanted to eat all day long. #thedaysarelongbuttheyearsareshort

Mama caved to her cuteness and gave her a tiiiny piece of Halloween Oreo filling today. She was a fan.

Quickly becoming ornery as the day is long. #ellieclaire #10monthsold

My little shopping buddy did awesome today, but she's glad to be home.