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On Decor8 today —

Pretty sure I’ll be needing this on my kitchen wall which is in dire need of something pink (who knew?)…..

via 8 Hour Day - Sugar In Pink

And this on my guest bathroom wall…

via 8 Hour Day

And the prints are super affordable…

for people with jobs…

which does not include me.

So, I’ll just pretend they are on my walls.

Control

I never thought of myself as much of a control freak, but the older I get and the more “stuff” that gets piled onto the plate of my life, the more I feel the need to just CONTROL CONTROL CONTROL.  My husband will tell you I’ve been like this since he met me, and my Mom will probably tell you I’ve been this way since I was born and I’m pretty sure my best friend would just tell you stories about how bossy I was when we were growing up — the point is, I never saw myself as this in control person.  As a matter of fact, I never felt like I really had a plan, and my life took a completely random track right about the time I was allowed to start exerting some sort of control over my own destiny.  I was all over the map.  But in retrospect, I guess I did end up doing everything I set out to do and I did it on my own time table and without requesting permission for most of it.  So I guess even in being an out of control teen (who dropped out of high school and went straight to college), played around with a lot of people/things she shouldn’t have, moved from parent to parent, etc. I was still somehow in control of my own life.  I didn’t make a lot of compromises, and I’m pretty sure I got/get called selfish a lot.  But it’s worked out well for me.

Wow.  I guess that sounds a little self absorbed — but now that I’m older and have a family, I’m finding that being uncompromising and controlling can help in a lot of ways and be unnervingly infuriating in others.  Apparently I’m a planner.  I like lists.  I like to know the schedule of the day.  I like to know times.  I like punctuality.  I like accomplishing the things I set out to within the time I set to accomplish them.  It sounds so nurotic and crazy and very “who the hell wants to hang out with that person?!” when I see it in writing, but in reality, I only function that way on a really basic level.  High priority things get shoved to the “freak out and control” level of my brain.  Say, this whole having another baby thing and being completely unprepared and planning the room moves and what we have to buy and promising to visit people before the baby comes and holy shit that’s only like 2 months away!  That kind of stuff?  Way up there on Jessica’s code Red control panel.  Coincidentally, things like the laundry, the dishes, the toys scattered around my house, feeding the dogs, cleaning the car, planting my flowers, etc. are nowhere on my planning/control list.  They are the every day things that I know if I put my massively annoying control trait towards I could knock out every day and probably be a hell of a lot less bitchy.  But alas, my oh-shit meter only goes so high and the little things (daily chores) seem to fall away while my higher level brain function dwells on baby, finances, job, registering cars, travel planning, why my house smells like animal urine, why is this stretch mark here already (?!), did I give Charlotte lunch yet, and the like.

Actually, this whole post was prompted by the fact that I had PLANNED on leaving for South Carolina with Charlotte and my mother tomorrow morning and with that plan a lot of other little things had been planned (like registering the new car so Abram had a way to get to work while I was gone, lots of laundry to prep, packing/unpacking from our trip to Maryland this past weekend, coordinating other family members meeting us in South Carolina to see Charlotte) and then at the 11th hour my mother calls and tells me to unpack our bags because she has bronchitis and conjunctivitis and some other -itits and she can’t go.  So, while I’m sympathetic that she’s sick and damn glad she didn’t give it to me or my daughter, I’m silently fuming that my plans have fallen through.  I’m fuming, and feeling selfish for being mad that my mother is too miserable to go on a completely leisurely trip.  I’m just plain annoyed, and then self-analyzing what kind of selfish, controlling person feels that way in this situation.  Hence this post.  The end.

Bump in the Night

image Why Me by rosiehardy via Flickr

Abram left on his business trip to Alabama yesterday and while I always know he’ll be back before I know it, this time I knew it would be different since I’m not out of the house at work (distracted) for 8 hours a day.  The first night always sucks the most.  Getting ready for bed after I lay Charlotte down kind of freaks me out a little when Abram isn’t here.  I go through locking up the house in a much more paranoid way, which is silly when I think about it since Abram isn’t bionic or anything and couldn’t do much more than I could if someone actually really broke in or something.  Of course, he could serve as the distraction for Charlotte and I to escape, but that’s morbid and I hate thinking of it like that…but yes…knowing my husband would sacrifice himself as cannon fodder for whatever crazed ax murderer that breaks in helps me sleep better at night. Sue me.

I shower faster, not liking that I can’t hear any noises out in the house, I make sure the dogs are in the bed with me, and even leave extra random lights on around the house.  Oh, and I swapped out the cheap-o alarm clock with one that has a radio so I could hear someone else alive and talking as I tried to fall asleep.  And the bathroom light stays on, door cracked, you know, so I don’t trip in the middle of the night.  Riiight.

I’m really not this much of a wuss normally.  It’s only since becoming a mom that I’ve gotten more and more cautious.  I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve laid awake, even with Abram next to me, thinking about the fastest escape route from a psycho or what I can easily reach for to use as a weapon in an emergency.  Can you tell I’ve watched too many horror movies?  Typing it out makes it seem more OCD than I realized, but I can’t help it.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes the things that inspire me seems to subsequently depress me.  In my current situation, being freshly unemployed and now a stay at home mom, which equals a much more broke mom, who has not so expensive tastes but certainly lofty ideas when it comes to her house….

arg.  That sentence lost all structure and meaning didn’t it.  What I’m trying to get across is that our income has been slashed in half and I’m still looking at all these design blogs and magazines every day and getting so inspired by all these great ideas and pretty nurseries and kitchens and yet I can’t do anything to release all that inspiration.  Even the photos I’m taking can’t be printed because I ran out of black toner about 2 months ago and can’t justify buying a new one when that $15 could go towards diapers or cat food or whatever.  So, while I’m looking at all these beautiful rooms and have all these crafty DIY ideas that are seriously on the cheap — even “on the cheap” has become expensive.

So yeah.  Inspired.  Depressed.  Like I said.

I’m supposed to be getting Charlotte transferred into her “big girl” room and prepping her current room to become the new baby’s nursery.  I peruse nursery/kids room ideas all the time over at Odeedoh and various other home/decor blogs and am in love with so many things for Charlotte’s new room.  Such as:

via Ohdeedoh

via Ohdeedoh

via Lonny Mag

via Making It Lovely

via Young House Love

And with all the pretty things I can imagine to put together, my checkbook just laughs and rolls it’s eyes at me.  But I’m determined to get these rooms close to complete.  I’ll be posting “before” pics in the next couple of days and hopefully I’ll be able to get a new baby’s room and a toddler’s room finished in the next couple of months…right?

Growing

....except in my case it's 15 cupcakes...

At almost 23 weeks pregnant I’m now thinking I’m pretty much fully effected by the typical pregnancy stereotypes.  I don’t think I was this predictable when I was pregnant with Charlotte, but for some reason this one has me all out of whack.  My doctor keeps telling me every pregnancy is different and not to compare them or you’ll drive yourself crazy, but really, comparing them led me to think very early on that this was a boy I was carrying.  I had more morning sickness, nausea mostly with little vomiting, where I had pretty much no morning sickness at all with Charlotte.  I have been so sleepy all the way up until this point and never have really gotten that 2nd trimester 2nd wind that I got last time.  I’ve fluctuated in weight dramatically and was 12 pound underweight before I quit my soul-sucking job.  As of a month ago I was still 6lbs underweight but I’m sure I’ve packed that on in record time as another symptom has reared it’s ugly head — hunger.  I’m eating food like I know I’m being shipped away to sit with Tom Hanks and Wilson on some island never to taste McDonald’s, Sonic milkshakes, Fruit Loops, pasta, or oranges again.  I had very little appetite up until tha last month or so and I’ve been a disgusting train wreck of cravings and guilt since.

I gained about 50lbs when I was pregnant with Charlotte and lost a good amount before I got pregnant again, but this time I’m fighting to stay comfortable in my skin at all.  I know I shouldn’t be as self-conscious as I am, but it’s not easy when nothing fits and you feel yourself expanding every day.  Not to mention, we found out the baby is in the 95th percentile for growth which is insane at this point!  Charlotte was a big baby at 9lbs 10oz and a vaginal birth (ouch!) — but she was completely healthy.  No gestational diabetes or anything.  She was just big.  So it looks like I’m one of those women that makes big babies and this little guy isn’t going to be an exception. 

I thought this pregnancy would be a breeze both emotionally and physically since I’d been through it before, but it’s proving to be severely draining on both fronts.  I just want a happy, healthy baby boy and I want to be unselfish all through the remainder of the pregnancy, something I’m struggling with daily.  It helps that I have Charlotte to keep me laughing and active because if I could, I’d stay in bed eating and burning skinny jeans until I popped.

Weeds

Princess of the Weeds

It amazes me every day how Charlotte (my daughter) finds wonder in everything around her.  Things I’ve taken for granted, things other people find annoying or even simply trash.  A prime example of this — my mother came over the other day and witnessed me blowing the dandilion poofs in my yard with Charlotte.  You know, the white, seedy, circular poofs that float away and look so pretty when you blow them?  Well, Charlotte loves blowing them, and doesn’t really understand that you don’t blow on all flowers when you pick them now, but it’s adorable to watch her try to “blow” yellow flowering dandilions and buttercups in the yard.  But my Mom had a mini freak out when she saw Charlotte blowing the seeds and me encouraging her.  Why?  Because “they’ll make more baby dandilions and your yard will be covered!”

GASP!  Seriously, I don’t care one bit.  And thankfully neither does my husband and he’s the one doing the yard work.  Charlotte loves to go out and pick as many flowers as she can for no other reason than she likes to rip them up.  Occasionally we get one handed to us, but mostly it’s a 17 month old little girl exploring outside and if all we had was perfectly manicured grass for her to do it in I think it would get really boring, really quickly.

I’m wondering how different our parenting style is from other parents with kids the same age.  Does it really bother some parents that their child perpetuates the growth of weeds in the yard?  What about just generally getting messy outside?  I don’t chase Charlotte around with disinfectant wipes and Lysol and she doesn’t always have to have shoes on when we go out in the yard to explore but I think she’s a clean, happy kid.  Not knowing many other parents of young children makes you really question what all you’re doing right and what could be better.  I have a clear picture in my head of how I don’t want to parent, but instituting and living that ideal isn’t always as easy as picturing the well-functioning, creative kids that are the result of said parenting style.  It doesn’t help that I watch way too much Law & Order: SVU — that show will warp anyone’s view on parenting and what lengths to go to to keep your kids safe and healthy.  Charlotte will be locked in our yard with a chastity belt and all the dandilions I can produce until I keel over at the ripe old age of 124.

Welcome

I quit my job last month.  I felt empowered for all of about two days before I realized that I am quite pregnant, raising a 17 month old and 6 animals and now officially a single income family.   Scary stuff.  There are lots of families that do this, and I took some comfort in that fact, but now a month later I’m starting to freak out a bit.  However, my nesting instinct is also kicking in and I’m feeling that insane need to rearrange every room in my house,  repurpose anything that has been sitting in a closet for a year, and cheer my husband on as he takes on his new P90 workout routine. 

If I sit and think about all the stress that could come from our current situation, I know I’ll end up in a padded cell counting cracks in the walls.  The bottom line is that we really don’t have it bad at all and in fact, we’re even fortunate that I’m able to stay home with our daughter and make sure she’s getting all the Mommy time she needs before she’s out the door in big girl school forever.  I’ve only been married for a couple of years and we’re expecting our first son to be born in August.  We have two great dogs and four cats.  We have a house and a car and even a big screen TV.  On paper we’re no Trump family, but we make do with what we have and so far love and a lot of patience has been currency enough to get us through everything that’s been thrown at us.  Overall we have a pretty nice life — and that’s where this blog comes in. 

I feel like we’re just starting something great here that should be documented, if not with the world as a whole then certainly with our family and at the the very least the cosmos.  Our budding family, our young marriage, my personal desire to make my home a functional, beautiful space that we can enjoy, my love of photography (and I am purely an amateur, but I try my best), my floundering in learning to cook something other than frozen pizza and PBJs, and everything in between. 

There you have it.  I’m Jessica.  Welcome to my Pretty Nice Life.