Friday, October 16, 2015

Gracelyn: 10 Month Update

As Dr. Gina pointed out, I'm behind in my updates. So as a nod to accountability, here goes Gracie's 10 month update (note: Gracie was 10 months old as of Oct 1).

10 months is a good age. Gracie is mobile as she's now crawling forwards and backwards. I'm not sure if there's anything cuter than seeing a wee one wiggle her little butt as she's crawling happily towards you. It's just really precious to see someone so happy to see you - happy enough to get where they are going on their own accord!

Sleeping: Same as 9 months - two naps and to bed around 7:30 PM every night. If we push it much past 8ish, it can be dicey. Lance hates that you are a belly sleeper. Ever since you learned to roll-over, it's been belly sleeping all the way. Halo's mantra of "back is best" is clearly not being observed in our household. Your bedtime ritual is thumb in mouth and clinging onto the ribbon blanket I once upon a time sewed for Lucan. He never took to it, so it's yours! Now that you aren't at daycare your naps are sooo much better. You are never going to be a rockstar napper like your brother, but since you were once only napping a total of 45 minutes total, I'll take it. You will even go down for a nap in the pack and plays at church nursery which is awesome-sauce. Your morning awake time varies from day to day - sometimes 6 AM (yuck) and sometimes as late at 8 AM. 

Eating: Sometimes I try and give you chunkier food then you prefer. And you let me know that you aren't a fan by fake coughing and choking. You are getting marginally better at feeding yourself. Marginally. You will occasionally stuff a puff in your mouth. I tried to feed you a dried apple. You choked and sputtered all over with that one. Still nursing, but that's dialing down. If I can figure out how to get you to take a sippy cup, we'll wean around one year. You eat just about anything pureed - applesauce, pears, peaches, prunes, carrots, peas, beans, squash, sweet potatoes, yogurt, bananas, smashed avocado. I gave you sliced strawberries. You must have thought they were poison so Lu ate them. 

Wearing: 9 month clothing and some 6 month stuff still. At some point I thought that it would a super idea to buy 4000 size two diapers on sale. You could probably be sized up to size three diapers, but because we have an entire box and one sleeve left of size two diapers we'll be stuffing you into them until the end. It's a rookie mistake and I should know better. 

Playtime: there aren't many toys in the house that weren't first Lucan's. But at your age, no one really cares about what "toys" really constitute. You spend a lot of time taking some brightly painted wooden numbers that belong to a Melissa and Doug clock in and out of a christmas tin. You also like to knock down Lucan's legos, magnatiles and blocks which really irritates him. Shredding paper is fun too so we have to be careful about what's left on the floor otherwise one of Lu's treasures gets destroyed.

Teeth: two on the bottom! This was a big deal. You are a pretty good teether, so I have nothing to complain about. 

Social: So serious. You are watchful and take everything in when we are out and about. Your family is your favorite. If I have to leave you are okay with dad, but if both of us are gone you get sad for a moment or two. If I leave the room or walk by you without picking you up, you whine until I do pick you up. It makes getting supper made really challenging. 

Physical: crawling like a champ. You like to touch things and really examine them. Especially my jewelry. You are pretty quiet overall, but you do a thing we all refer to as "the Gracie Growler" where you have this guttural sound you make which is pretty funny coming out a petite thing like you. You move things from hand to hand and are able to do pincher fingers to pick something up. But still not feeding yourself. You expect someone to put the food in your mouth for you. 

Nicknames: Gracie, Gracie Beth, Gracie Lu, Gracie Girl. A gal that I met from Louisiana commented that Gracie Beth is a very southern name. I like it. I think being southern is the equivalent to being a lady :)

The serious face.

Lucan doesn't get monthly updates so he doesn't really understand why I'm not taking pictures of him. I let him get in on the action at the end. It was homecoming and superhero day, hence the outfit and mask. 

Dressed in her ISU gear for the game against Iowa. ISU lost. There's always next year. 

Dressed in brother's hand me down jammies and playing with his dump truck.

A chinful of drool due to teething. 

It's not often she falls asleep on one of us, so we take the snuggles when we can get them.

Molly's babe, Hannah. Isn't she a cutie?

This is Lance's cousin Sarah. I think that Gracie was confused by the woman who looked sort of like her mom, but was clearly not her MOM. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Budget Changes & a Miss Money Bags Cash Wallet Review

Realistically, a budget is a flexible, ever-changing beast. Much like a toddler :) Now that I'm working from home and not in your typical 8-5 job, our budget has evolved too.

If I'm being honest, when I was working outside the home, I had a tendency to "treat" myself to a breakfast sandwich (because it was $1.65 for a bacon, egg and cheese on a biscuit) or to a cup of soup during lunch because I deserved it. Having an in-house cafeteria at work was kind of my kryptonite.

Now that I'm home, our budget has shifted. We no longer have the daycare expense (hello - second mortgage) but I don't have my weekly income either. My in-house cafeteria is MY KITCHEN. Meaning if I want something, I'm the one buying the food and cooking it. Trust me, breakfast sandwiches are less alluring when you have to make them yourself.

Because I don't have regular workplace chatter about upcoming trips or weekend plans, I'm hearing less about the cool things other people are doing. Honestly, that's a pro and con to being a home. I miss the slightly inane workplace aisle chatter. I'm less connected to all the cool things going on outside of my inner circle. I'm missing out on things but much of the time I don't even know it.

And because I'm subsisting on a steady stream of tee shirts and target shorts, my fashion IQ has also decreased. I've tried to implement a fall capsule wardrobe but I really am not digging it. Said fall capsule wardrobe is squashing my inner creative shopping fun. That's a post for another day. But online shopping is always tempting as well as building up my graphic tee collection. Because I can legitimately wear cute graphic tees everyday and no one thinks it's inappropriate for a work from home mom.

But our household food consumption is up overall because I've become consciously aware of the fact that if I don't buy fruit and vegetables, Lucan won't be eating any. Yesterday I also bought him animal crackers because he "really, really needed them." Yet once we got home, the box went unopened in our overflowing pantry.

K-cup budget is up too. I need coffee. And creamer. I could tell you I miss work coffee but that's a big fat lie.

Weirdly, hand soap expense is up too. What is it about preschoolers and their incessant need for at least 3 pumps of soap? And like I've previously mentioned I've become a paper product nazi. Lu is only allowed one napkin per day, maybe two if we're having soup. I make him put his tissue in his pocket if I feel like there's room for more snot in it.

We eat a chick-fil-a a lot more. Mostly because they have a play area and I have lots of coupons. But overall I eat out less per week because eating out means that I'm taking Lucan out to eat too #nothankyou

And there's less Target wandering too because between dropping Lu off for preschool and trying eke out a morning nap, there's just no time for that.

Our healthcare expenses have evolved too now that Lance is carrying all of us on his plan. Yikes, insurance is not cheap. We're also trying to plan for taxes better too since I'm considered an independent contractor and don't have taxes being pulled out ahead of time. Lance is happy that the Traverse has gotten to stay parked in our garage too as he's been driving the LHS back and forth to work. That car never dies.

This month has been an expense doozie: we had to pay to have our furnace/air conditioner serviced (because overly hot Kara is a crabby Kara and as I've reminded Lance "happy wife, happy life") and now we need to replace a car tire (not my fault, first time ever!) Last month I convinced Lance to spring for an expensive tri-membership (Blank Park Zoo, Science Center, Living History Farms) so that was an expense too. Life is just full of expenses.

We are still doing a cash budget because it's good accountability. I'm loving the handmade, colorful cash envelope wallet from Becky at Miss Money Bags.

Love the bright happy colors which makes parting with my money so much easier (lie).

Miss MoneyBags 1

The large wooden button is really nice too. It's kind of a statement piece. 

And while it might be hard to see from my photos, the fabrics have gold threads interspersed through them. Super pretty.

Best of all it's functional and so much more practical then using ACTUAL paper envelopes. That just begs for me to lose them. It would be really hard to lose this handy cash wallet. Becky thought of everything here - there's slots for credit cards/business cards/ IDs as well as a zippered pouch for change. It's a one-stop cash wallet shop!

Sturdy and colorful. Each "envelope" has a spot to label which category you are spending out of. I highly suggest that if you are looking for a different way to store your hard-earned cash, you check out Becky's Miss Money Bags etsy store. So great! You can also connect with Becky on Instagram too!

I received my cash envelope in exchange for my review. Opinions are all my own. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Gracelyn: 9 Month Update

A cuter baby never lived - said every mom. I know I felt the same way about Lucan, but I really do believe that my kids are exceptionally cute. Of course, I'm exceptionally biased. I know that if I only comment about how adorable Gracie is, I'll give her some sort of feminist complex about a woman's value only being in her appearance, but for now I'm going to go with it. My baby is adorable. 

Sleeping: Two naps and to bed around 7:30 PM every night. Naps can be a little sketchy, especially the morning nap because I try not to let our lives be dictated around nap schedules. Because we have a set "routine" on preschool mornings (Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri), I have to make sure that you sweet sister are up by 7:40ish to nurse and be out the door no later than 7:58 AM. As a result, most mornings you are ready for a nap by 9:30ish. This translates to a couple of errands in the morning before a quick nap, another nursing session and then back in the car to pick up Lu from preschool. Afternoon nap tends to be a bit longer, which is great because it ensures me some time to get a few things done while I pray for the golden unicorn - "two kids napping at the same time."

Eating: I'm still getting you up around 10:30PM to nurse once more even though month after month I say that I'm going to stop. Each grandma asks about that too. I know. But it's hard to feel like I should drop a nursing session when you are such a tiny peanut still!
We nurse around 5 times a day. Solid food is your friend. At 8 months we implemented a schedule of prunes every other day and it has greatly improved your digestive system. We typically feed you 6 ounces of food at lunch and anywhere between 6-8 ounces for supper again. I've done a mix of store bought food and homemade baby food, really whatever I have time for.
You aren't interested in feeding yourself. Period. I'm sure that some would say you are "lazy" but I'm just going to accept it and be fine. You'll feed yourself at some point. There is no baby-led weaning in this house.

Wearing: 9 month clothing and some 6 month stuff still. Baby girl has short legs so they don't seem to be outgrowing pants all the fast.

Milestones: No 9 month shots! Wohoo! But you do babble and you are starting to pivot, roll and do what we affectionately call the "butt wiggle." The butt wiggle entails you getting up on all fours and trying to unsuccessfully crawl. People ask me if you are starting to walk and I very promptly tell them NO! You are barely crawling. You also scoot - but only backwards. If that counts, then yes, you are crawling. When I change your diaper, you delight in being diaperless. You throw your legs into the air and kick, kick, kick. Lucan spazs out when you roll around on your changing pad and he thinks you are going to fall off. Thumb sucking seems to be dissipating a bit. I like to think it's because I'm there for you and as a result, you don't have to self-soothe as much because you aren't at daycare. This could be wishful thinking, but I'm going with it. You very much love your tag blanket I made for Lu - it's your lovie.

Social: Some mom anxiety. I've started dropping you off at the nursery for Bible Study and surprisingly, you do very well. You spend a lot of time looking at the other babies and being very watchful and observant. I just think that might be your personality. You are quite ticklish so if someone does fish nibbles on your back or anywhere really, you giggle madly. Baby giggles are simply the best. They really are.

Physical: Your peach-fuzz hair is growing longer. Not really thicker, I'm being truthful with myself, but definitely longer. I can really tell this around your ears after I've taken one of your headbands off. It's all flat and wonky.
No teeth.

Height: 2 ft, 2.25 inches (6th% percentile)
Weight: 16 lb, 1 oz. (14th% percentile)
Head: 44 cm (51st% percentile)

Fascinated by her Bannor Toys Tree Rattle. 

Standard solemn expression.

Little smiles :)