I have reached the point of summer break where I feel like I have a lot to do, but nothing to do all at the same time. That is probably because most of the things I have to do are projects. Projects that will take awhile. I'm now reverting back to my school-self who likes to procrastinate things.
It's even worse when you have limited time to work on these things (like when baby is napping). So, I keep debating which project I want to bust out first and then I end up thinking about this while checking Facebook or watching just one (but mostly two or three) episodes of some addicting show on Netflix. Or Office reruns.
We went to Portland this past weekend. Nick had two gigs in the Portland area, so we decided to visit family and make a mini-trip out of it.
Well, we went to Deschutes Brew Pub for lunch one day. It was AWESOME. I have never had a burger that was as good as theirs. Plus, the place is pretty dang hipster. Go there for lunch some day. It rocks.
Japan is coming. Actually, I'm coming to Japan, but same thing. I leave in less than a week. LESS THAN A WEEK! I can't even begin to tell you how nervous, excited, and anxious I am about it.
I grew up, went to college, and currently live in a small town. Now, imagine taking that person and putting them in Tokyo. The largest city in the world. Yes it is, I Googled it.
Can you see why I'm a little bit nervous? The first two days I'll be on my own (meeting up with my friend who's getting married, though), but my mom will join me later. I'm so glad that she's coming with. I would probably die from sensory overload if I went alone. That and long and boring plane ride.
Why are Nick and Ellie not going? Financially it's just not the best thing for us. We're living at my grandparent's and putting all of our money into paying off debt.Plus, it wouldn't seem right to all go on an extravagant trip while living at someone else's house and paying off debt. Anyways, we worked it out to where I can go. I debated taking Ellie along, but I'm only going for 6 days and taking Ellie by myself while I'm in the wedding just didn't seem like the best thing to do. Plus, there's a 17 hour time difference. Do you know how hard it would be for her to adjust to the jet lag and time difference? I'd be up all night and all day.
It's going to be incredibly hard to leave her. I wouldn't do it if I didn't think that Nick was going to have an awesome support group alongside him. Living in a commune (grandparents + aunt and uncle) has it's serious perks. My biggest fear about leaving her is that she won't sleep well at night for Nick and/or she'll have a hard time getting back to breastfeeding when I get back. Not that it's not okay for her to wean herself, I just want it to happen closer to her birthday.
Speaking of my daughter's birthday, I need to think about it. What a weird thing to have to think about.
I mean, what kind of cake do I make? I want a good one with good ingredients, not Safeway's icing drenched sheet cake. Who do I invite? Do I even want to ask for presents? If I don't will we get a million things we don't want?!
I love what they do for the environment. I love how much money they save us. I love how seriously cute they look on my daughter. I love how comfortable they are. Well, I assume they are. I haven't actually tried them, but I know I'd rather have cloth on my bottom as opposed to whatever disposables are made of. Wouldn't you?
They have been an adventure. A fun one, though!
I hope that you all consider cloth diapering at some point in your own parenting adventure. Just send me an e-mail and I'll bombard you with a million online articles and resources. I think I spent months researching.
Tips and Tricks:
Buy a variety to start out with. I had a friend only buy one brand and she ended up giving up on them because, just one reason why, they leaked with her son.
I started out with about 6-8 different brands/types of diapers. It was nice to be able to figure out what kind we liked (AIO, pockets, prefolds, snaps, velcros, etc) and what kind fit our daughter the best.
You see, some babies fit better in different diapers because of their weight, height, rolls, etc. that's why I personally believe that it's important to start out with a few different ones. Not that I'm saying my friend was wrong in doing so, but she may have been able to find a brand that worked for her.
This is just part of our stash, not including the prefolds, and they're all different.
Don't be afraid to buy second hand! Almost all of mine are second hand and they are working just as well as the new ones I bought. As long as you check the elasticity of them and the overall quality, you'll be fine! Just strip them and/or wash them thoroughly before you use them. And, obviously, if it looks gross, don't buy it.
Dry your diapers outside. It gets rid of all stains (no joke), kills a lot of ammonia built up, and saves you money on running the dryer. Plus, hanging clothes up on the line is pretty dang relaxing. It's zen-like.
Save money! It may seem crazy expensive when you first buy diapers, but if you think about how many disposables you will have to buy, it's WAY less expensive in the long run. Don't be afraid to save more money, though. For example, don't buy a fancy diaper pail. Just use a 5 gal. bucket with a wet bag liner. That's what we use and it's great! Plus, they're a lot easier to clean when the time comes. Hose anyone?
Use the diapers to your cuteness advantage. Disposable diapers ain't got nothin' on these cute bottoms. Am-I-right?
I want to start sharing with you some of my favorite songs. Especially the songs that really touch me emotionally.
Music is a big part of our little family and I can tell you that our daughter will be, and currently is, immersed in music. Nick plays mandolin in a band and he's always practicing with her around.
This song, Another New World by the Punch Brothers, is currently on repeat. I can't stop listening to this song. I think I listen to it at least
once a week. It gives me goosebumps. The lyrics are eerily beautiful.
It was orginally written and performed by Josh Ritter (listen here), but I love the Punch Brothers' version.
Listen. Read the lyrics. Tell me what you think.
The leading lights of the age all wondered amongst themselves what I would do next,
After all that I'd found, in my travels around the world, was there anything left?
"Gentlemen," I said, "I've studied the charts, and if what I am thinking is right,
There's another new world, at the top of the world, for the first one who breaks through the ice,"
And I looked 'round the room, in that way I once had, and I saw that they wanted belief,
So I said, "All I've got are my guts and my God," then I paused, "and the Annabel Lee."
Oh, the Annabel Lee, and I saw their eyes shine, the most beautiful ship in the sea,
My Nina, my Pinta, my Santa Maria, my beautiful Annabel Lee.
That spring we set sail, the crowds waved from the shore, and on board the crew waved their hats,
But I'd never had family, just the Annabel Lee, so I never had cause to look back.
I just set the course north, and I'd studied the charts, and towards dark I drifted toward sleep,
And I dreamed of the fine, deep harbor I'd find past the ice, for my Annabel Lee.
After that it got colder, the world got quiet. It was never quite day or quite night.
And the sea turned the color of sky turned the color of sea turned the color of ice.
Till at last all around us was vastness, one vast glassy desert of arsenic white,
And the waves that once lifted us, shifted instead into drifts against Annabel's sides.
And the crew gathered closer, at first for the warmth, but each day
would bring a new set of tracks in the snow, leading over the edge of
the world, til I was the only one left.
Then it gets cloudy,
But it seems like I laid there for days, or maybe for months
But Annabel held me, just the two of us happy, to think back on all we had done.
We talked of the other new worlds
We'd discover as she gave up her body to me,
As I chopped up her mainsail for timber,
I told her of all that we still had to see.
As the frost turned her moorings
To nine-tail and the wind lashed her sides in the cold,
I burned her to keep me alive every night in the loving embrace of her hold.
And I won't call it rescue,
That brought me back here to the old world to drink and decline,
And pretend that the search for another new world was well worth the burning of mine.
But sometimes at night, in my dreams,
Comes the singing of some unknown tropical bird,
And I smile in my sleep,
Thinking Annabel Lee's finally made it to another new world.
Yeah, sometimes at night my dreams comes the singing of some unknown tropical bird,
And I smile in my sleep, thinking Annabel Lee's finally found another new world.
Yes. Let me just say that that is one of the many perks of teaching. I get to relive my childhood excitement for holidays and vacations. School ended yesterday and I'm so excited to spend some time with my daughter, husband, and never-ending to do list.
Summer break means that I leave for Japan in less than a month. That's crazy. I'm nervous about leaving my daughter for a whole six days. Nervous about heading to a GIGANTIC foreign city (Tokyo). And nervous about the 13 hour time change. Maybe my daughter will have mercy on me when I get back, HA. Anybody have any tips or advice for traveling abroad?
We went camping memorial day weekend. Normally, this wouldn't be a huge deal, but this time it was. It was Ellie's first camping trip. OUR first camping trip as a family. Let me just say, that I was preparing for the worst, and we got pretty dang close to the best. It was so much fun.
She really enjoyed the ferry ride to the San Juan Islands.
That little girl loves to be outside. It shows every time we head out on a walk/run and every time we hang out in the grass. I can't wait until she's running around (or maybe I can...) and we can start going to the park and running around barefoot in the grass.
On that barefoot note in the grass note....
One of my biggest fears as a mom is that my daughter will get stung by a bee. Seriously. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but with hanging out outside and not knowing if she's allergic or not, I really don't want to have to deal with it quite yet. The thought just freaks me out.
Nick and I bought a hammock. I don't know why we haven't bought one sooner. It rocks. Ba-dum-chhh. Ellie really likes it, too. It has made for some incredibly relaxing afternoons. I highly encourage everyone to own one. Please do it. This has been a public service announcement.