Thanks and things

Yesterday was a pretty great day for this blog, statistically speaking. It was best day for follows (hi guys!), and in terms of views, it was a higher traffic day than I’ve had in the past several months.

But those follows and likes and views are more than just numbers to me. I really, truly appreciate all the virtual support I got yesterday. Every time my phone dinged with a notification, my heart soared. Not because I felt popular or successful, but because I felt liberated. I’ve carried this sense of failure, bordering on guilt, in the corner of my mind since it happened. Even when taking the high road, and remaining optimistic about your possibilities, it’s hard to vanquish all of the negative feelings.

Knowing that I have everyone behind me, family, friends, and my virtual friends, helped quiet those lingering thoughts.

I spent some time last night re-reading old posts, and this one stood out to me.

I’m not doing any fancy resolutions or goals this year. I’m keeping it pretty simple: Be healthy, be happy, write more (not just for this blog, but in general, going to try to get back into freelancing and maybe some short stories), read more, drink more tea, and enjoy my life. I think I can handle those.”

It’s like I predicted this or something.

Psychic tendencies or not, I am more sure now that this is the right place for me to be right now.

Anyway, thank you thank you thank you, for all the virtual love yesterday. You guys are the best :).

A work in progress

Today was our first full day in Westfield. As far as days go, it was pretty busy and successful. We found  a daycare for A, found living room furniture (still have to order it though), got a lot of odds and ends you need when you move into a new house, and I started unpacking. Some.

Right now everything is very much a work in progress (aren’t we all). My living room is a sea of boxes full of things needing homes, my refrigerator is pretty bare, and every room in the house is basically a mess. And while unpacking isn’t nearly as awful as packing, I do wish I could just snap my fingers and have everything in it’s place and decorated*.

Still, it’s exciting to be here. And I managed to give A a bath without her screaming. Granted I had to get in the bath with her, but at least it’s progress.

(*And if anyone wants to come decorate for me, I would appreciate it. I’m awful at that kind of thing.)

The easiest way to make labels (really)

Yesterday I posted about the teacher appreciation gifts I made/put together for A’s daycare. All of my effort (and it was minimum) was put into making the labels. But personalized labels do put a nice touch to things. And knowing how to make them quickly, easily and cheaply is an awesome skill to have in your back pocket.

First things first, I am not a super duper creative or artsy person. Really, you can ask anyone. I don’t really have an eye for design. Even with these shortcomings, I’ve found I can still make pretty cute labels, which means you can too. And all you really need is Microsoft Word.

If I can do it, you can do it!

If I can do it, you can do it!

Sure, there are better graphics programs out there, but better = more expensive. And Word is probably already on your computer, making it cheap and accessible. Plus, it’s pretty user friendly, and since you’ve probably been using it forever, there’s no learning new software. Ding ding, we have a winner!

I originally wanted to type out a tutorial, but it got too long and too confusing. Instead I will refer you to someone who already did so, and much better than I could. Just a Girl and Her Blog has an awesome guideline for it. Go there. Learn.

I have a folder of saved images I use specifically for these kind of projects. If you Google image search “chevron”, “stripes”, “polka dots”, “plaid”, etc, you have an endless supply of fills. Saving them gives you a plethora of options in one place. I mentioned yesterday that dafont.com is my favorite resource for fonts, and I wasn’t lying. Most fonts are free for personal use, and there is literally a font for anything you could ever need.

Of course, these resources can do a lot more than make labels. Anything you could possibly want to print and make pretty you can make: Stationary, gift tags, invitations, stickers, etc. I’ve already started designing A’s birthday invitations using them. And once you realize how much fun it is, you’ll want to make a label for everything.

Normalcy

It’s been a pretty awful week.

A has been cranky, work has basically been hell, and life in general has just been difficult. I’m exhausted and don’t feel well, but I can’t figure out what’s wrong. I’ve been in a funk since Noni passed away, so all of this has just been adding to my general bad mood.

And then the Boston bombings happened on Monday, too. (And then explosions in Texas yesterday. Good god. What is going on in this world?)

I haven’t written a post here about Boston, because honestly, it saddens me to my very core. I love that city. I had some of the greatest times of my life while I was there, I met amazing people, and I was able to get to know my family in a way that would not have been possible if I hadn’t lived there as an adult. If I had to pick anywhere else to live in this world, I would choose Boston.

So it’s unfathomable to me this could happen in such a great city on such a special day.

I hurt for my second home. I hurt for its amazing people. I hurt for everyone who was hurt or lost someone they love. I hurt for my friends and family still there. I hurt for myself and my daughter who will never get to know the Boston I knew.

Right now it just seems like everything sucks.

I want to get back to normal, but is there even such thing anymore? When is it acceptable to write about diapers, baby toys, and the infant feeding debate again? I don’t know, but now doesn’t feel like it.

I’m just…sad. And overwhelmed. For a lot of reasons. And that’s okay. Sometimes I forget it’s okay to feel what you feel no matter why you feel it, and I don’t need to make excuses for my emotions. So I’m just gonna be sad for a little while, and hopefully soon I’ll feel better.

I will be back to our regularly scheduled mama drama soon. Promise.

Up up and away

A and I are going on an adventure!

My youngest cousin is graduating high school in June in Massachusetts. I was born there, my dad is from there, and our family is up there. I figured it was a perfect excuse to take a little vacation.

I’m so excited for her to meet my family, especially my Noni, her Nonna (that is my grandmother, her great-grandmother if you didn’t follow). And even though she won’t remember any of it, I’m still looking forward to showing her where her mama came from.

A and I will be flying the friendly skies with my parents since John isn’t able to go. Even though we won’t be alone, I’m still a little uneasy. I may be married to a pilot but I’m definitely a nervous flyer. Having John there always calms me down, but this time I’m going to have to put on my big girl panties and deal.

I’m a planner by nature, so even though our trip is over two months away, I’m already preparing since this will be my first time flying with a baby. I’ve pinned a ton of great articles on Pinterest, so I have a good start, but I’m definitely open to any and all suggestions.

What are your baby travel must haves? What should I leave behind? What’s the best advice you’ve got for flying with a baby? I’m all ears!

Balancing act

I’ve been neglecting this poor little blog for the past week. I admit it, and I’m sorry for it. I don’t really have a great excuse, either. Nothing really happened except for, you know, life.

Last week was a little different in that A started daycare. It was a little intense for both of us. The first day was hard. When I left we were both in tears (me because I was leaving her, A probably not so much the same, probably just tired and cranky). But following days were better.

I am at peace with our child care decision. I love the center she goes to. Her “teachers” (that’s what they call them) are awesome, and they all really love the kids they care for. Of course, in a perfect world, I’d be able to stay home or afford a nanny. But life isn’t perfect, and sometimes you just have to accept things the way they are. I’ve come to be content with the fact I will always be a working mom in some regard. Maybe I won’t always have to work outside the house, but right now this is the life I have. I can either hate the circumstances, or I can be thankful for them. I have a good job that allows me to help support my family. It allows me to cover my family should anything happen. These things come at a price, though, and that’s time spent with my child. It sucks, but I’ve said before its’ the quality of time, not the quantity of time, that matters.

I guess I’ve always known life is a balancing act, but I am a little clumsy. I keep thinking as I get older things will get easier or make more sense or something, but they don’t. If anything it gets harder and more complicated. I tend to get caught up in the details of things and forget to just sit back and enjoy it every once in a while. I don’t want A to fall into that habit, so it’s important to me I remember to smell the roses, so to speak.

Anyway, the point of this stream of consciousness is to say it should be easy for me to post regularly from here out because I am sticking to my “write everyday” goal. I have several posts drafted, some even completed. So, theoretically, I should post at least every other day. I really like what I’ve got going on over here. I love writing this blog. I love the little community I’m starting to build. I want to commit to it fully. I’m hoping now that we’re in the swing of things and I seem to be on the mend from an AWFUL stomach bug I had over the weekend, I’ll be able to.

And just because I haven’t posted any pictures of our sweet Baby A recently, here she is, playing our new game: What can mommy do to make A laugh? The answer: Anything. Funny faces, funny noises, smiles, laughing, talking, whatever. I even made my “mad face” at her yesterday (that’s the face I make at John whenever he does something that annoys or irritates me), and it made her laugh. Y’all, I don’t think this kid is ever going to take me seriously.

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