Currently / / February

Reading with Toddlers

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

I’m taking a break from my weekly Weekend Links, so instead I’m going to use these currently posts as a recap from the previous month. Mostly for my own recollection, but I enjoy reading about the everyday, slightly mundane, moments. Maybe you do too.

In January, Nashville had a snow storm! My parent’s came to visit. Jordan and I went on several dates. We signed up for MoviePass and so far we’ve seen I, Tonya. I finished two books: Rules of Civility and Between Shades of Gray. I’m a slow reader, but I couldn’t put Between Shades of Gray down. I read it in 24 hours! Does anyone else love books with short chapters?

Jordan and I finally signed up for a Southwest Credit Card. Might as well reap all of the travel benefit! I’ve already purchase flights for Phoenix and I to visit my brother in April and I have two more flights to book for the first half of the year. Jordan and I want to find more ways to travel this year and know using points will be one way.

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Let’s Play in the Snow!

Let's Play in the Snow!

Growing up in Chicago snow days didn’t quite have the same special allure they hold in the south. Now don’t get me wrong I went sledding and made snow angels and igloos out of the mountains of snow, but there was always another snowfall to come. And life kept moving because of the use of snowplows and salt trucks.

People still act surprised when it snows in Nashville, but in the three winters we’ve lived here one or two small snowfalls have taken place. Here are photos from Nashville’s largest snowfall in 13 years. Ironically, this happened right after we moved here.

Schools are quick to close, grocery store aisles empty with urgency and adults frolic in the snow just as much as kids. The main danger in driving around isn’t so much snow accumulation, but ice and windy streets that aren’t treated. I used to make fun of the pandemonium surrounding an inch of snow, but I understand now!

Two years ago I got stuck going up a hill — I don’t want to relive that moment! I actually really hate driving in inclement weather, so I’m glad our winters are short.

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Motherhood Right Now / / Seventeen Months

Motherhood Right Now / / Seventeen Months

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

It’s been several months since I’ve written an update on Phoenix. He is seventeen months, growing quickly — too quickly — and the joy of our lives. He’s sweet and particular. When he’s ready to sleep he is R E A D Y, just like his mama. He loves BB-8 and can say several words including: book, car, baby (or BB), bye bye, mama, dada, woof (for puppy), hi, girl and nana (for banana). He still doesn’t like long car rides, but is doing better when we’re out running errands. I think supplying endless snacks helps.

His favorite song is “The Wheels on the Bus” (which keeps him happy in the car!). His two favorite books are Zingy and The Little Blue Truck. He asks, “What’s That?” all day long. Transitioning to one nap a day hasn’t been as seamless as I hoped. Around 16 months (maybe due to traveling?) he started waking up at 5 am with a dirty diaper! Thankfully, it’s settled out again and Phoenix is back to sleeping 12-13 hrs a night. I wonder if we hit the 18 month sleep regression early?

I do enjoy the flexibility of doing activities in the morning. We go to Story Time at least once a week (sometimes twice!). Jordan and I are doing our best to encourage independent play. Per what I’ve read, we keep a limited amount of toys out at a time.

Phoenix will now somewhat pay attention to a show or a movie. He usually watches a little Star Wars on Saturday mornings with Jordan. His favorite show is Peg + Cat on PBS. He caught a cold in December and shows were a great use in keeping him from running around and coughing.

Continue reading “Motherhood Right Now / / Seventeen Months”

Short Christmas 2017

BB-8 Christmas Ornament

We had a relaxing holiday weekend. This holiday season has been Jordan’s busiest. Which, as a general rule, is odd for his line of work. Thankfully, the work was able to be put on hold for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We went to church on Christmas Eve morning. They gave veggie straws to the kids which kept Phoenix occupied for quite a while. Jordan and I watched The Holiday after Phoenix went to bed.

Jordan and I don’t really have traditions set for Christmas Day. I’ve worked six of the past eight Christmases and outside of those we were with our families. The one thing I do want to carry on is eating a big brunch. My mom always made a Swedish tea ring Christmas morning. I’ve attempted to make that or cinnamon rolls many times and they never turn out! I tried a new recipe and with the help of our space heater I finally reached success!

I wouldn’t call Jordan and I minimalists, but we are mindful of our space limitations. To keep Christmas simple, but still enjoyable, we bought Phoenix three gifts: a BB-8 ornament, crayons and a teepee for his room! Jordan’s parents are en route to Nashville right now for Christmas Round Two. We’re going to elicit their help to set up Phoenix’s room.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. And now for some Phoenix spam. 😉

BB-8 Christmas Ornament

BB-8 Christmas Ornament

^ Phoenix had a meltdown after he realized he couldn’t play with the glass ornament.BB-8 Christmas Ornament

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

^ Jordan loves Phoenix’s arrowroot cookies so we bought him his own stash.

Short Christmas 2017

^ Last year my attempts were thwarted with bad yeast. I used a good recipe this time around, but the major key was turning on our space heater while the dough was rising.Short Christmas 2017

Short Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas, all!

Are We Wasting Our Time Cleaning Our Houses?

Are We Wasting Our Time Cleaning Our Houses?

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I read Laura Vanderkam’s book,  I Know How She Does Itover Thanksgiving break. I’m still processing much of what I read, but the household management portion of the book struck a chord with me. Laura collected hundreds of weekly logs from working mothers. She found the women who followed “cleaning charts and graphs” spent the most time cleaning. Essentially, the time you allocate for household management and cleaning you will fill.

I work part-time, but I do the majority of the household management. Jordan is actually a better cleaner than I am and has his areas of focus (such as plant maintenance), but I am home more and thus I do more cleaning. Lately, as Phoenix is more active and curious, I feel like all I do is clean and yet, have nothing to show for it.

Vanderkam argues spending 20 minutes straightening up toys after bedtime is potentially a waste of time. There is always something to pick-up, but you won’t get those 20 minutes back. Picking up toys three nights a week instead of four might mean the chance to visit a friend or spend an hour reading alone at a coffee shop.

I do believe in taking care of our belongings, which involves cleaning and organizing. But when does this cross the line between busy work and actual maintenance? When do “stay-at-home-moms/part-time-working moms” limit ourselves by spending all of our time cleaning instead of volunteering or finding freelance work?

Are we creating more work for ourselves? I’d love to hear your opinion on this.

Currently / / September

Currently / / September

Celebrating | Jordan and I share a birthday and it’s tomorrow! On Sunday we’re having a belated birthday party for Phoenix/we-bought-a-house party. We tend to be the kind of friends who go to other people’s houses for parties versus host our own (I think because we had a kid later than many of our friends), but I’m excited for an excuse to actually use the many serving platters I own!

Watching | The West Wing (we’re in season three) and The US Open. Football season is also here, which is very exciting. I barely remember football season last year.

Welcoming | The cooler temperatures and slower days. I know some people thrive in the heat, but I get rather exhausted by the heat of the summer. The weather change inspires me (I’ve been on a purging binge). I’m ready for daily walks with Phoenix again too.

Preparing | Our New York City trip next month is approaching quickly. October felt much further away when we purchased our plane tickets in July. I still have a few more accommodations to nail down and then we will move on to our day-to-day plans.

New York City is my ideal kind of city for vacations. I love walking everywhere, but also accessing public transportation easily. London is also like this. I know many people feel overwhelmed in large cities, but I find them comforting.

Photographing | It’s been awhile since I’ve taken any photos. 😉 Jordan is the family photographer. BUT, I’m always snapping moments with Phoenix.

Linking with Anne and Lowanda.

Weekend Links / / Solar Eclipse Moods

Weekend Links / / Solar Eclipse Moods

Whew! This was one of those weeks that felt draining for no particular reason. Now that Phoenix is in school two days a week, I am adjusting to working in the mornings again. It’s more of an adjustment than I thought it’d be. When I initially returned to work, part-time,after maternity leave, I figured I’d pick back up with my usual morning shifts.

Phoenix wasn’t predictable at all, except for his 6 pm bedtime. Thus, this is, why I switched to nights. For many months I’d come home between 10:30-11 pm only to be woken up twice before morning. I do not miss those days!

Did ya’ll catch the Solar Eclipse on Monday? I was invited to a kid’s viewing event, but Phoenix was having a morning. I instead met Jordan at work and we watched together. We had cloud cover during totality, but it was still an awesome experience. Phoenix makes an appearance in this time lapse video.

It’s finally in the low 80s, so Phoenix and I are going to the Zoo this afternoon with friends and later Jordan and I have a date night.

Onto the links!

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Organizing with UncommonGoods

Organizing with House Plants and UncommonGoods

This post is sponsored by UncommonGoods.  All opinions are completely, 100% mine.

We are in a season of decluttering and organizing. Not quite Mari Kondo level (who has the time?), but when I have a spare five, ten, or fifteen minutes I clean out a drawer. Phoenix empties all of the drawers he has access too. Seeing the contents strewn about continually reminds me to edit, edit, edit.

As you might know, Jordan and I bought our first house last November.  While this won’t be our forever home, we have been selective in our furniture choices. This is why we only recently bought a chair for our living room and Phoenix doesn’t have a dresser. Oh, how I wish we would have saved our money and limited the Ikea impulse purchases of our youth! I don’t know about you, but I was always far too optimistic that a piece of furniture would fit in any apartment we’d move to.

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Currently / / July

Currently / / July

Documenting | I am in the very early stages of creating a photo book for Phoenix’s first year. We’re using Artifact Uprising. They have a lot of options and we like the quality of the end product. I’m also thinking of creating one specifically for my pregnancy.

Accomplishing | At the end of July I’ll have a one-year-old. I feel like this year is the biggest achievement of my life! The first year of parenthood is a rollercoaster. I plan on sharing my many reflections soon.

Enjoying | Simple veggie sandwiches for lunch. Introducing foods to Phoenix feels like a full-time job, so instead of over thinking what I should have for lunch I’m eating sandwiches. I slather hummus and guacamole and pile on lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. It’s really satisfying.

Reading | The Royal We. It had been on my to-read least for a while now! It’s the perfect summer read. I heard Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman own the rights and are writing a screenplay. It would make a great movie.

Does anyone know of historical fiction books that take place in the prairie? I recently listened to an NPR podcast on the Donner party and I’d like to read more from that time period. It doesn’t seem to be a very common setting compared with WWI and WWII.

Spending | More time reading, organizing, purging, cooking, and exploring with Phoenix. Phoenix is in a busy stage and I’m trying to do my best to keep up with him while also resting. I recently went through my bathroom and purged old toiletries.

Linking with Anne and Stephanie.

Weekend Links / / Hooray for the Dads!

Weekend Links | Hooray for the Dads

My parent’s came for a visit this week. Jordan and I were both saying how much we miss our families, so it was a nice treat to have my parents in town. Phoenix had a blast with them. He’s still such a baby, but glimpses of his silly and playful personality peek through especially around other people.

Besides cooking for us and baking banana bread my parent’s also helped clean, baby-sit Phoenix, and hang a few things around the house. Speaking of my dad, Harry’s sent me their Father’s Day shave kit for Jordan and it reminded me of a memory. My mom is not a morning person. She gets a second wind at 10pm at night. This isn’t ideal when you have three kids! My dad on the other hand has always been a morning person.

I vividly remember sitting on my parent’s bathroom vanity watching my dad shave…squirting a rich layer of barbital shaving cream and giving me some too. And don’t forget the aftershave! I don’t recall if this ritual occurred everyday or just on the weekends, but I know it was early early in the morning! I wonder what Phoenix will remember of us when he gets older.

Onto the links!

Continue reading “Weekend Links / / Hooray for the Dads!”