Right around the time I found out I was pregnant, a good chunk of my everyday wardrobe was in major need of overhauling. During law school most of my investments went to suits and “business formal” clothes, then I found myself in a job where things are decidedly casual (I wear jeans to work nine times out of ten) and quickly my “everyday” was wearing out. Then I was pregnant so everything got boxed up or pushed to the side and I had brand new clothes to wear! After Gracie was born I lived in that post-partum yoga pant/nursing tank phase, and then when I went back to work I found myself pulling things from an even older section of my closet, everyday wear from when I was more slender (thanks to nine months of throwing up on the regular), and besides, everything was in transition body-wise so it was no time to invest.
Which brings us to now. And the tragic state of affairs. Over the past two months I’ve been making myself pull the tired, the downtrodden, the fraying hems and spotty neckline (what did I spill there?) out of my closet. A few pieces at a time. Yes, Daisy, it is time to let go of the sad, stretched, off-color Gap “favorite t” that you would be mortified if anyone saw you in. When you do it slowly it feels less painful, and finally this past weekend I pulled some final plugs. That Target cardigan that doesn’t really fit anymore? Goodbye. That old tank top with the tiny tear “no one will notice” is in the rubbish bin (I’m not insulting a second hand store with things not fit for wearing out of the house).
My closet has a lot more room, and I pulled out every random hanger, moving them all to the front. Now begins the process of rebuilding. I’ve been working on that slowly- some extra room in the budget, a good Gap coupon, a younger cousin with a good eye for fashion, slowly but surely I’m adding back. This week Target has many of their tank tops on sale for $5 each, which was the kick in the pants I needed to replace some old white tank tops that had seen much better days. New riding boots are on the list (my last pair is worn through thanks to the great Winter of 2013), I have my eye on some Breton tops from Boden (not affiliate links) and I’m on the lookout for a great pair of courderoy pants. These things are all for me, and sometimes I struggle with feeling selfish (I could use this money on house stuff/Gracie/B/family fun) but I think I know that sometimes doing something for yourself is important to. Even if it is just a little shopping.
It is amazing how much better I feel in the morning when I open my closet, and rather than seeing it stuffed with things I don’t want/can’t/will not wear, it is trimmed down but has items that make me happy, that fit, that don’t make me feel the need to change five times before walking out the door. Sometimes it really is the little things, and that clean closet has inspired me to clean out a few junk drawers, a cluttered corner, a cupboard of towels put away without any thought. I pulled out shoes that need to go to the cobbler and found some that just needed to go in the rubbish bin. Lets just mark this whole thing down as a grand experiment in “yup, sometimes you gotta take care of yourself” and call it good, eh?
First up in the questions from readers…..a reader (hi KT!) asked if I could talk about traveling with Gracie and what has worked for us, as she has some travel in her future with her new baby. To that I say: sure! I know there are a lot of resources out there, but here are some things that have worked for us! (Amazon links affiliate, heads up).
Overall: organization! I make packing lists, try to do the math on diapers on wipes (I usually fail) and if we have a machine-wash item that we use daily (sleep sack, small bedtime blanket, pajamas, bibs) I make sure to pack 2 – so if a middle of the night diaper explosion (or similar situation) happens, I know I have a back up at the ready while I wash whatever was destroyed. More specifically….
Activities for entertainment
Food on the go
Sleeping on vacation
Other “big stuff” that you might need
Whew. I think that covers it. Happy travels!
I always enjoy when bloggers I read do Q&A posts- letting their readers ask questions that they answer in a follow-up post or posts. I realized it had been years since I’d done that, so I figured I would toss it out there: questions? comments? concerns? Ask away and I’ll do my best to answer. I’ll start with a question I got last week about traveling with a baby and tips I have for that, and if I get any more questions, I’ll go from there!
In other non-pressing news, I thought I’d toss together some of my favorite recipe resources (i.e. where all our good eats come from):
I also have some food blogs I love to peruse but have yet to use any of their recipes (which speaks to my organization, not their food)
And in final recipe news, I partnered up with Blendtec to try one of their blenders and create some recipes for their website. You can check out my recipes for roasted garlic spread and apple-sweet potato baby food!
Sometimes, when the headlines are dominated by bad news, it is hard to come over here and blog. It seems so trivial in the grand scheme of things- the happenings in St. Louis, Iraq, Israel and Gaza, Robin Williams, missing planes, planes being shot down….but here, let me talk about my life/dog/baby!
Yesterday I saw a lot of snide comments on social media about how *of course* everyone cares about the rich white comedian that dies but no one cares about any of the other above situations. It isn’t that easy of course. Expressing sadness of a generally well-loved figure isn’t political, alienating, anger inducing, or any of the other things that can cause hesitation before typing out on a Facebook status or Tweet. I don’t have a nagging feeling that I’m not well informed as I opine that, oh man, I’ll really miss Robin Williams and what he brought this world. At least not the way I would if I tried to discuss the world political landscape or the unrest in St. Louis. I think some of the snide commentators would be best reminded that having sadness for one event isn’t mutually exclusive of having sadness for another….but I digress.
Amidst all of the bigger world troubles, Gracie has had a fever. Nothing else, just a fever, enough to make her cranky and keep her home from school. I don’t typically mind being a working parent- it is what I know, and with some organization and the ability to laugh at myself, it works for us. But when Gracie is sick the reality of being a working parent isn’t so rose-tinted and B and I struggle with who needs to stay home, what does your week look like, how can we make this work. All of that and the poor pumpkin doesn’t feel well, so as I rock her and I flash my calendar and to-do list in my head I am overwhelmed and want nothing more than to not be a working parent. Once she is feeling better and it settles back out, I’m reminded again why I like working, why it is what is right for our family, why I’m happy to do what I do…but in those fevery, fussy moments, I wish for anything but.
I’m continually reminded that fall is on the horizon, and a tiny part of me thinks “Fall is fun! I love fall!” and then the other part of me struggles with some sort of PTSD from the winter of 2013-2014. I’m making lists of freezer meals to be made, boots that need purchasing (I wore mine into the ground last winter), winter coats that need a quick trip to the cleaner, 10 passes to indoor playgrounds that I need to buy, hats that need finding, toddler snow pants that need procuring. I’m determined to be ready for the winter, to not be sucked into the misery that was last year, but in the meantime I keep reminding myself to focus on August not pumpkins.
Gracie’s daycare is working on improving communication with parents (we get a daily report but they are going more tech-savvy so we can see photos and get a little more info in real time) and part of me is thrilled, but it also makes me a tiny bit sad- more solid reminders that she spends a great part of her time with others, not with us. I know it is good for her, I know she enjoys “school” and her teachers and her friends, and again, I know working works for me….but somehow the photos of her happily painting her day away make me a little sad, a little “oh…” a little…I don’t know. Melancholy I suppose. Defensive that I’m a good Mom, I paint with her too! It isn’t rational, and I know that, but it doesn’t stopping the nagging thoughts from creeping up every now and again, making me wonder about every life choice that led me to here and would I do anything over….even when the reality is nope, not a thing.
Whew. Pen to paper is cathartic. Or…fingers to keyboard I suppose.