At a Stand Still

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I feel as though all of my blog posts recently have been about my writer's block, a non-personal post, or how hard it is to be a single mom. I'm not moving in the direction that I want this blog to go. I started FromBean2Baby to document my life as a first time mom, the growth of my daughter, and my life together with her and her dad. Our little family.

It's no secret that we're not a family anymore. We'll always have a bit of a family, because together, we made Clara. I'll never stop loving him, but our lives are definitely moving in opposite directions.

This post wasn't supposed to be about him either. moving on.

Clara is thriving. She's learning and soaking everything in like a little, adorable sponge. She picks up something new each day. I feel like I say this all of the time, but she's soooo close to walking! I know, you're thinking, "how old is this kid!?". Well to answer you, she's 14 months and no, she's not walking. I feel like the only reason I notice is because complete strangers ask if THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH HER because she's not walking at 14 months. I didn't walk until almost 14 months. She's got some time. Back off, strange people.

Clara is completely "normal". Whatever your definition of that may be. In fact, she may be a bit advanced, but I'm biased. I'm her mother, so therefore she's the most brilliant child ever. She now has thirteen teeth. Thirteen! She eats everything in sight. Even salad! There hasn't been a thing that she's disliked so far.

Clara says Mom, Dad, Grandma, what's this?, I did it, and drink. She crawls, stands, and gets back down. She watches me and other kids to figure out how to do things. She has a strong will power, and is getting some major girly attitude.

She loves to brush her hair, put on necklaces, play with VHS tapes (which she will stack and climb on), and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She can open and close door, cabinets, and drawers.

I'll try to update more as life takes on more interesting courses. 

For the time being, here's so pictures from life recently taken via iPhone. 

1. Trying to catch a sleeping pic 2. Happy riser 3. Commute to work
4. Work 5. Happy eater 6. Messy face
7. Freckles are coming in 8. Cuddling with Dad 9. Beautiful views at Dad's house
10. Views at 7 am 11. Beautiful to  wake up to 12. Sleepy HOT baby
13. Peek-a-boo!

Friday: Things I've Found this Week

Friday, May 18, 2012

1. Parents Recreate Beastie Boys "Sabotage" Video- Awesome!

2. I'm Jealous of My Baby: A Mother's Day Confession- One woman is jealous that all of the attention she used to get from her husband is now directed to the baby. Have you experienced baby jealousy?

3. Obese 9-Year-Old Boy Sheds 50 lbs, Returns Home- A 200-lb 9-year-old? That's not okay...

4. 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters- Now I wanna buy Clara some chucks... Dad, thank you for taking me camping, teaching me how to build a campfire, and letting me sit on your lap and drive the truck.

5. Moms Define Their Own Perfect- I want us to choose, too.

6. 5 Easy Tips to Make Mealtime Memorable- With all this running around we do these days, it's difficult to make time for family meals.

7. The Cost of Raising a Child- $254,760!!???

8. Majority of Working Moms Feel Guilty About Home Cleanliness- I know I do! I can't go to bed at night without everything clean and in it's place. Have I mentioned that I'm a bit OCD?

9. Potty Training and Well-Meaning Moms- I'm  not looking forward to potty training Clara.

10.  Supermom!- For all those times she came to your rescue, she's proof that superheros DO exist! She may not wear a fancy cape or have her own movie, but here are some of her other superpower abilities...

25 by 25

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Well, I've been 24 for a month now. I think it's time that I share my 25 by 25 list. I've drawn inspiration from several blogs, and compiled a list of 25 things that I would like to complete by the time I turn 25. Enjoy :)

1. Run 3 5k races and a 10k race. This has been a goal of mine for some time now. I ran a 5k in college, and I loved it! It was the first time in my life that running was enjoyable, and not boring and difficult. Then I got stress fractures in my shins. Then I got pregnant. Then I got lazy. Time to rejoin the running world.

2. Make time to read 25 books. I would love to make this number more like 100 books, but I'm being realistic. The Hunger Games trilogy are the only books I've read since last summer. I used to read several books a week, and I miss it. With being a single mum, working, and social functions, I'll be happy with 25.

3. Get back in shape. I don't even remember what I looked like before Clara. It'sVis like my memory blocked it out to protect my self-esteem. I'm back into the jeans I wore in high school, but I didn't look that great back then.  So I want 24/25 to be the age where I've never looked better. May it last through my 20s, 30s, and 40s as well. :)

4. Give up pop for at least a month. This one is gonna be difficult. I  have a small addiction to diet coke. It's bad. I get withdrawal headaches after 24 hours. Damn aspartame. Ideally, I would like to get my liquid consumption down to water, milk, and occasionally alcohol.

5. Spend a day in Chicago. I would really love to go back to NYC, but money is tight, and it's not gonna happen. So what's the next best thing? Chicago, of course! I haven't been since I was 18, and it's definitely time to go again.

6. Get my wisdom teeth out. Strange goal to have, I know. But I don't have dental insurance. So this is gonna be expensive. They have just started to push through, and the last time I was at the dentist, my wisdom teeth hadn't even formed, if that gives you any idea how long it's been.

7. Add another tattoo. I already have 3 tattoos, but my last one I got was in the summer of '09. My life has changed drastically since then, and I want to commemorate those changes.

8. Run 1000 miles. This goes along with both my race goal, and my get-back-in-shape goal. I remember my high school boyfriend having this as his summer goal, and he doubled it! I just want to do 1000 in a year. I know people busier than me run way more than this, but I'm being realistic with my abilities, commitments, and general tendency towards laziness.

9. Finish two circuits of P90X. I've been doing P90X for about 6 months now. But I haven't stuck with it. I skip over workouts that I don't like or that I don't have equipment for. I want to complete every workout, on the day that they're supposed to be done. No skipping. No making excuses. Six months of P90X.

10. Set up my Etsy shop. I've had so many requests about my Etsy shop these last few months. I've wanted to set it up, but I'm the queen of procrastination. I wanted to complete a better selection of inventory. I wanted professional pictures taken of my products. And I wanted to make sure I was ready. Find better techniques, better materials, and a wider client base with some sponsors. This is the year. Get excited.

11. Get my own place. Living with my mom has been great these last 9 months, but I'm ready to be on my own again. I'm so grateful for her love and support. Taking Clara and I in when we had no where else to go. (Actually, I could have lived with my sister or my dad). I feel so lucky to have a supportive family. There are single mothers in my situation that have nowhere to turn. They're living in a shelter, on the street, or had to give up their children. I'm so grateful and blessed with what I have. However. It's time for me to be a grown up. I want Clara to think of me as a strong, independent woman, who doesn't need a man or anyone else to rely on. (Not that there's anything wrong with that). I want to provide for my daughter. I don't want her to ever question that her needs are taken care of.    

12. Re-do my wardrobe. Hello! Did you not hear that I'm wearing the jeans I fit into in HIGH SCHOOL!? My closet needs some serious help. I think I have some awesome fashion sense. Or rather I would. Many of the clothes I'd like to wear don't look so good on a woman with my... physical disrepair. I dress conservatively. Clara's dad has joked that I have an 80-year-old woman living inside me with all of the floral prints and cardigans I wear.

Spot. On.

More accurately, I'd say that I dress like a 40-year-old. Which is not ok. I am 24, not 40. The other day, I wore a floral button down, gray cardigan, and clogs to work. CLOGS. I need help. Anyone wanna nominate me for What Not to Wear?

13. Take a class. Dance, bikram yoga, tennis, kickboxing, pottery, painting, horseback riding. I don't care. With life currently following a very monotonous routine, my hunger for learning new things has increased and been extinguished at the same time.

14. Go on a road trip with Clara. That terrifies me. Now that I think about it, is it even possible? Me, and a one-year-old. On a road trip? It can't be done. But I wanna do it. I want to take her someplace she's never been (which is easy, and yes, I know that she won't remember it). But I want that memory with her. I want to show her the pictures when she's older and tell her about all the fun we had, and how we sang silly songs in the car, and made funny faces with each other, and tried new things.

15. Spend 24 hours without my iPhone. But how will I know the local news stories? And check into Viggle? And foursquare? And take pictures without instagram? And read my email? And I won't be able to play words with friends and catch up on the TV I missed last night on Hulu. Yep. That's why it needs to be done.

16. Purge my life to Goodwill. I hate useless junk. I've never been the sentimental type over material things. And I'm OCD about clutter. My mom, however, saves toothbrushes. And programs from high school plays I was in. And some knick knacks that haven't been dusted for at least 5 years and some are really creepy. Is there anything wrong with it? No. But it annoys me immensely.
I purposely bought a gender neutral travel system when I was pregnant so I could use it for multiple children. However, by the time baby #2 comes around (hopefully) the car seat won't be legal and I'll have to buy a new one anyway. Sure, I kept about half of Clara's baby clothes from her first year. The ones that she was in all the time and I'm sentimental about. But she has more stuffed animals than she could ever possibly play with. And I know they're just going to keep coming. When we move, it's goodwill time.

17. Finish Clara's scrapbook. Yeah, I don't know that it's ever going to happen. I have a better chance at running a marathon in the next year than I do finishing that scrap book. But I know that I need to. I want her to know how much I loved her first year of life, what a good and sweet baby she was and is, and how much she taught me.

18. Buy a camera. I can be very creative behind the lens. I just need a better camera. When I was growing up, my dad took the most beautiful photos of our family, and I want Clara to have that.

19. Do more to help make gay marriage legal. Most who know me personally know that I am very pro gay marriage. I believe in it. I don't understand why it's not happening already. If you have a different opinion, I don't want to hear it. I repeat: I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT! If you're pro, please leave your encouraging comments! Do you need to evolve as a person? Look at this. Seriously. Do it. After all, it's our right as Americans to pursue happiness.

20. Go to the beach more often. I lived in Holland, Michigan for 5 years. I was 10 minutes from Lake Michigan. I went maybe 20 times in those 5 years. Which is totally unacceptable. Even now, I'm only an hour from the lake. What is wrong with me? They're called the Great Lakes for a reason. Growing up here, I've taken the fresh water for granted. The thought of living some place like Arizona, baffles me. No huge lake close to where you live? That has to suck! (No offense to people who live in Arizona).

21. Be more confident. This goes along with being in a physical state of disrepair. I avoid my reflection like the plague. I don't look strangers in the eye. If I guy hits on me, I'm convinced that he's just being nice and making conversation, or trying to get me to buy something. I don't even wear short-sleeved t-shirts, much less tank tops. And unless I make a serious transformation, you'd never see me in a bathing suit. Nope. I can be the life of the party. Until a pretty girl shows up. The I shut up and keep my head down because she obviously deserves the attention much more than I do. THIS HAS TO CHANGE. I have so much to offer someone. I'm funny. I'm a good person. I'm caring. Clara can't grow up with a mother and role-model who despises herself.

22. Buy a new car. It doesn't have to be new-new. Just something that has been made since I learned to drive, 8 years ago. My current car is a '99 buick century. It's missing the right front hubcap and has a huge dent in the back door. Leo has been good to me though. It's gotten me to PA and back in a summer. I fixed my first starter and learned how to change my oil with Leo. He was my car since I was 17 and has over 300,000 miles on it. And I'm pretty sure the sub frame will rust out before the engine dies. With Leo, I've never been in an accident, never gotten a flat tire, and have always been able to handle bad weather. (knock on wood). But it's time for a new car. Preferably a manual. 

23. Give blood 25 times, and register as a bone marrow donor. Medical donation is something I believe in. I'm an organ donor, and I want to donate my body to science after I'm gone. (I need to find out if I can do both, but I don't see why not.) I've tried to donate blood 31 times, and I've only been successful twice since I have severe anemia. If you're interested in registering as a blood marrow donor, go here.

24. Make a serious dent in my student loans. It's ridiculous. Interest rates are doubling July 1st. I know I won't be able to pay my loans off completely, but I would like to at least eliminate 1 or 2. My goal is to be out of debt in 4 years. We'll see how that goes.

25. Get a real job. This needs to happen as soon as possible. I need a grown up job with a salary and benefits. Especially if I want to make pretty much anything on this list happen. If this job could come tomorrow, it would be frickin fantastic. Please send your good thoughts my way and hopefully the universe is receptive. 

Thanks for reading my list! Have any positive comments or questions for me? Please leave them below! And I encourage you to share your own lists! If you want, I'll even feature your list on FromBean2Baby.

Life recently via iPhone

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I hope that you had a wonderful Mother's Day! 
And an extra hug to those Mamas like me who are doing it alone.

1. Always happy after eating 2. Vegan baby lunch 3. Twister between sisters and niece and nephew
4. Cousins on cars 5. Sitting like a big girl 6. Playing with a pinwheel
7. Cousins on a quad 8. Messy eater 9. Cruisin' 
10. Sister giggle fest 11. Why not?

Also, I saw this commercial for the first time today. I cried hard.

Happy Mother's day!

Friday: Things I've Found This Week

Thursday, May 10, 2012

1.The Cheating Dads of Brooklyn- Brooklyn's most desirable community is home to more cheating spouses than any other neighborhood in New York City.

2. Transgender Father Breastfeeds Baby- 'I'm transgender and I breastfeed because it is what my baby expects and deserves.'

3. A Health Resort for Stressed Toddlers?- How can toddlers be stressed? When did finger painting become a chore?

4. Can a Formula Company Really Promote Breast-Feeding and Fight Child Obesity?- In my opinion, yes. It says on each can of formula that breastfeeding is best. Everyone knows that breastfeeding is best like everyone knows that cigarettes cause cancer. (No, I am in no way saying that cigarettes are the same as formula) Some women choose not to breastfeed, and some (like me) have their supply run out. 

5. Video: Military Dad Surprises his Daughter at School- I cried...

6. Friends for Life? Wait Till Kids Enter the Picture.- I can relate. Some of my closest friends disappeared once I had Clara. 

7. The Frenzy Over Time Magazine's New Cover- I'm weirded out and in awe all at the same time. I just know that kid is gonna be mortified as a teenager. 

8. No. I am Not Mom Enough- A response to Time Magazine's new cover.

9. Best Parenting Tweets: How Twitter Talked About Parenting This Week- Parenting Tweets. A fun way to keep track of the crazy things your kids say.

10. Where All Roads Lead: The God Fight- Interesting views of religion of a 6-year-old.

Life Recently via iPhone

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's a short week this week. Clara and I have been really busy. 
Too busy to take pictures it seems!
Look for a post later this week for a new review/giveaway!

1. Completing a puzzle in the waiting room 2. Mama/baby vegan meals 3. Teething
4. Awesome bonfire 5. Continued... 6. Climbing the stairs is a favorite
7. Playing at Daddy's house

Have a great week!

Q&A Week 2

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hi, Laura! I've heard that Sun Baby diapers don't last very long. What's your opinion? Do you think they would last through two kiddos?

I've been asked this question a few times actually. I've had Sunbaby diapers since February, and I'm not gonna lie, I've had a couple snaps pop off the diapers. For me, I don't mind. I haven't done it yet, but I know that once I email Sun Pei, she will replace those diapers or refund the money. But at like $5 a diaper, I don't mind so much. I still put them on Clara. Both of the snaps that broke were around the leg hole area, so it doesn't affect the fit enough to discontinue use. If I had a more expensive diaper, say a Fuzzibunz or a Bum Genius, you bet I would have already had it replaced.
Other than the snaps, Sunbaby diapers are of incredible quality, and I don't see why they wouldn't last through at least two children. But check back with me after Clara is potty trained and I'll let you know how they fared. :)

Do you have a question that you'd like me to answer? Email it to me, or leave it as a comment on any post.

The Privilege of Being a Mom

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

      I wake up to Clara's cries often between two and four in the morning. I think she has nightmares, the way she breaks out of sleep screaming.
      I'm startled awake and my heart begins to slow back down. I have nightmares, too. Normally, they're about Clara being harmed or taken away from me. Consciousness reminds me that all is well, and she's directly above me in her room.
      I drag myself out of bed, rub the sleep out of my eyes, and trudge up the stairs. I open the door and there she is, standing in her crib, tears streaming and gasping for breath. I greet her open, reaching arms with sleepy words and hugs. She begins to relax, sniffling every so often.
      I rock and bounce her and sing her favorite songs. She seems to fall asleep on my chest, breathing deeply and absently squirming. I lay her back down, but it never works the first time. Same routine, place her teddy in her arms for her to cuddle, wind her music box, cover her with her favorite blankie that her Grandma Vickie made. Not this time. She's awake and standing, tears beginning again before I can make it to the door.
      Her outstretched hands clasp and open in desperation to be comforted. My body and mind fight the welcome idea of sleep. Cuddling her and singing once again quiet her sobs and she relaxes against me. I lay down with her on the twin bed next to her crib that my sister sleeps on when she's home from school.
      She closes her eyes and nudges her head under my chin. She fidgets for awhile. She strokes her hair, and touches my face. She feels my eye lashes, rubs my face, and slowly quiets her movements. After a tired, final sigh, she drifts away. If I haven't fallen asleep already, I rise and lay her carefully in her crib once more, repeating her bedtime routine.
      As I sneak out of her room and return to my own, I'm grateful for the silence. But I'm also counting my blessings. I'm the only one who can save her from her scary dreams. The only one she reaches for so desperately. I love her cuddles. I don't get them much anymore. Not in her waking hours.
      The best part? She's mine forever.      

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