August 2014 | Being Jane

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Nordstrom Giveaway!

I am so excited to be teaming up with 17 other beautiful bloggers to celebrate labor day weekend, giveaway style! One of you lovely readers will be winning a $200 Nordstrom gift card just in time to stock your closet with some amazing fall clothes and accessories!

So, go ahead, enter to your hearts desire. And remember, if you complete every entry, you will get 10 extra entry points and the more points you get the more likely you are to win! To enter use the rafflecopter below. This giveaway runs until Tuesday, September 9th at midnight! Good luck and don't forget to stop by the lovely co-hosts blogs and show them some love!

Win $200 Nordstrom

Meet your host

Megan//All That GlittersYour cohosts

Olive & Ivy // Living In Color Style // Noelle Kramer // Wild One Forever

Nordstrom Giveaway Group 2

Hearts of Gold // Fashion, Bling, and Girly Things // My Thirty Spot // Life in ATX

Nordstrom Giveaway Group 3

Simply Clarke // Team Wiking // Shambray // Busy Being Jennifer

Nordstrom Giveaway Grouping 4Polka Dots & Sailor Stripes // Simply Stine // Amber Nicole // Bibs & Baubles // Being Jane

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five Things You Haven't Learned About Me Yet



It's possible there are things I haven't divulged to you yet in my 18 months of blogging. I figured I would address some not-so-well-known things about me in hopes that you would be able to see more of what makes me who I am today!

1. I grew up in a Christian home, accepted The Lord as my savior personally when I was 4 (and I knew exactly why I was praying that prayer), and I chose to be baptized at 11. I was completely immersed in my faith at 16 years old thanks to an amazing worship pastor who shepherded me through some tough years. Honestly, by 18 I was struggling to keep up the facade with the life I was leading outside of church, and the life I tried to keep up in church. Today I am happy to say that my faith is once again a large part of my days and my involvement in church mirrors my life at home. It's truly wonderful to feel centered in that regard!

2. My dad passed away from esophageal cancer three weeks after I turned fifteen years old. It was sudden and although the doctors gave him six months to a year to live after his diagnosis, he went after a month. His passing caused a major negative turn in my life and the way that I dealt with my grief over my best friend passing away was not a good one. I shoved my emotions down and I didn't cry for 8 years.

3. I was dropped on my head as an infant and I am convinced that is why I am normal today ;) ...... Or am I? Ha!

4. As a child and throughout my younger adolescent years I likes to play detective. It didn't matter where I was or what was going on, there was always a covert mission going on. Maybe it was how to snag the grapes from the refrigerator without anyone discovering me. Often I would take my tape recorder and record my missions through the grocery store. I remember one time I was taking down the license plate of a VW bus in the 99 Cent Store parking lot and I continued to search for mysterious characters inside the store because I was sure the perpetrator was around. This explains my obsession with Nancy Drew, Mandie's books, and the Boxcar Children!

5. Due to my teenage spiral of negative choices, I lost my virginity when I was 18. This was NOT my plan for my future and shortly after I was devastated and ruining my promise to God to save myself for marriage. I had worn the ring "true love waits" all through high school, I read the books, I had sayings written on my bulletin board and in my Bible... And I distinctly remember throwing my ring across the street when all this went down. I was so broken and ashamed with myself. I am blessed with an amazing husband who makes me feel valued and beautiful, and even though my younger experiences with sex were not positive, my husband has reignited my self-worth. From the moment we met he was such a different man than the kind I had chosen in high school and later. Through his words and actions, commitment to me, and support, he has renewed how I look at myself and I feel appreciated. 

A lot of this goes to show you that things don't always go how you think they will. People die, diseases and illnesses can take your loved ones. You might break your own promises to yourself. Your detective ways may never leave your heart :)

At least with me, there has been a HUGE, BRIGHT light farther down my tunnel of life and I am so blessed and pleased with my marriage and two children. I thank God continuously for holding me through dark times and protecting me. And I'm glad He has helped me keep my zest for life and creativity alive!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How To Peel A Grape in 10 Seconds!

Okay moms (and dads)... how many times do you wish your little one could have those tasty grapes sitting in your fridge, but you're worried about them choking and not being able to mash up the peel effectively?

Having an older child in my home, I struggle with being unable to share certain snacks between the two girls, and I stumbled across a way to solve the grape issue the other day. It only takes 5-10 seconds!


Have fun feeding your little sweetie those tasty grapes! This walkthrough isn't a guarantee that grapes are safe for your baby or toddler, it is just a way that worked for mine. ALWAYS take caution and practice safety when feeding your baby, and know their limitations and abilities trump any advice or suggestions others make.

Enjoy!


Monday, August 18, 2014

I Breastfeed Without A Cover



I'm at the park with Audrey and there isn't a soul around. It's a gorgeous day, there is a breeze, and you wouldn't know it was August in Arizona. Fall is definitely coming early this year, thank The Lord.

Because there is no one here, I am nursing Audrey on a park bench, without a cover. As I sit here I am thinking, "this is how it should be". Breastfeeding is natural. It is how God designed our bodies to nourish our babies. Yes, there are many who cannot or do not breastfeed, and this is not intended to make those women (if that is you) feel badly about themselves. This is just a breastfeeding mama who wishes the concept wasn't so "offensive" to so many.

Do you know how hard it is to keep a 9 month old baby covered? It is a WAR! Since Audrey was born she has pulled covers off. She has batted them away. She has exposed me to the world many, many times. Even when I don't use a cover I don't just let it all hang out. I do want to keep my dignity, and no, I don't want strangers seeing my goods. I always wear a tank top under whatever shirt I am wearing that day, and I lift the top shirt up enough for Audrey to eat without exposing myself to the world.

I AM tired of feeling stressed when she needs to eat in public. We can't only go out when she's full, that's not practical. 

Truthfully, people don't HAVE to look when a mother breastfeeds her child. Yes, it can be hard to look away if someone isn't being discreet, but for many of us we try to be respectful about our choice to nurse cover-less.

Emma often says to me "Audrey's looking at me!! Tell her not to look at me!!"

And I tell her: "Well, if you can see her looking at you, you're looking at her too".


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Teething and Couch Beds!


Audrey has been getting her top teeth, slowly, and that has made for some sleepless nights this week! Her and I made a bed on the living room floor a couple of nights, and then I fashioned a fun bed out of our couch! Last night I was SURE we were over the hump because her naps had been solid and her mood was wonderful. So we went to bed together in the real bed. Ahhhh... It felt like a cloud compared to the couch! 


From 9:30pm to 3:30am it was a constant stream of cluster-feeding. She nursed non stop! At 3:30 her cries were so bad that I knew she was going to wake up Emma, so I resorted to pacing the living room. Nothing could quiet her and she kept arching her back, so I broke out the infant ibuprofen. Within 10 minutes Audrey was passed out cold. I laid her on the couch and passed out myself. We didn't wake up until 7:15am when Daniel and Emma let me know that the girl I babysit was about to arrive. Oops! I haven't slept that late in a long time.
 
This morning went smoothly, and it was a blessing that Emma had preschool today, because that meant my tired state had an easier day ahead of me. Because of my babysitting, daddy had drop-off duty and Audrey happened to nap most of the time and I was able to watch White Collar while the whole house slept. 
 

After school Emma was treated to a lunch date with a handsome man she calls "daddy" (her Barbie friends got to come along too). They went to Souplantation (also known as Sweet Tomatoes here. Weird I know.) and she came home smiling and full of excitement because he rented her her own Redbox movie: Rio 2! She, adorably, pronounces it "Wee-o".


I'm looking forward to early bedtimes tonight, and a fresh start tomorrow!

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Lies We Tell Ourselves



I had an emotionally disturbing thought cross my mind as I bounced, shushed, and sang to Audrey tonight amidst her horrible teething pain.

She and I aren't as close as Emma and I were at this age. She doesn't find comfort in me.

Tears poured down my face as I sang, and I muffled my sobs in her little jammies.

I know that is not true. But sometimes my struggle to soothe and calm her to sleep, or to pacify her painful cries, gets to me. She is honestly a very easy baby, compared to the trials we had with Emma's inability to self-soothe at all and her constant separation anxiety from birth on... still, regardless of her simplicity, I cannot soothe her the way I did Emma. As long as Emma had me it didn't matter what I did. I could sing a ballad version of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" or just shush her gently as I swayed, and she was just completely reassured by being in my arms.

I know that Audrey adores me as her mommy, and I know that I meet her needs in ways that I don't understand yet. I do need to accept that she really isn't a snuggler. And that her crying and fussing is her way of working herself down to sleep, and that I'm not a bad mom. 

There are plenty of other lies we women tell ourselves, and some hit harder than others. Some hurt less, some completely shift our way of operating. 

If I don't wear makeup my husband won't be attracted to me anymore.

I can't have a body like "so-and-so" because I eat too many sweets. I bet she never has treats.

My thighs look fat in these yoga pants.

I need bangs.

I need to dye my hair.

My car isn't as shiny and new as hers, I'm going to leave last so she doesn't judge me for it and think I'm poor.

I'm the only one with debt.

Do any of these resonate with you? Feel free to add your own to the list. Some of these are mine. Honestly, they all are. But when I'm not emotional and I'm not feeling vulnerable, these don't bother me. 

First of all, I LOVE my car. Most young married people have some debt. I change my hair a lot and that's okay. I Do need bangs because my forehead is huge, I get that. Etc, etc.

Things like this don't cross my mind about my friends. Or even strangers. But it's easy to be all over ourselves because we truly are our biggest critic.

I hope you can see past the lies you tell yourself. If you need help, I'm here. I need help too.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Preschool: The Sanity Superhero!




Emma started preschool this week! Cue the tears! Actually, I was pretty surprised I didn't cry when we dropped her off for her first day on Monday. I think with the amount of emotional troubles we have been dealing with, it was a good break for her AND I. She had had a wonderful time, and she only goes two days a week for a half day. I think this was a wonderful thing for her self-esteem, social skills, and a way to stave off the boredom she has at home!

Because of her preschool days, Audrey and I get some quality time which is SO FUN! Yesterday we went to the park, just the two of us. I just can't resist the photo dump ;)


 

She cracked up the minute she started swinging, like she had never done anything as awesome as that in her little life!


We had some peek-a-boo playtime and some serious sand-eating commenced. This girl LOVES sand. In her mouth. Ew.
 

We also got to go to breakfast with daddy, and Audrey was kind enough to nap through almost the entire meal. Let me just tell you that Daniel and I haven't gone out to breakfast without interruptions and cute, noisy little people since before having kids. We went old school and played Scrabble on our iPhones together. It was so nice to be in the quiet together, and we realized how truly rare that is for us, which made us commit to making that a regular thing for our relationship's sake.

When was the last time you had some quiet time without distractions? 



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Let Me Bring A Little Sunshine To Your Life



Have you met sweet Kaylin at Bombshell Wife Life? She nominated me for the Sunshine Award awhile ago and I am just now getting around to posting my own nominations!

Rules

Post 11 random facts about yourself
Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you
Nominate 11 bloggers to receive the award
Write your own 11 questions for them to answer
Notify them that you have nominated them


11 facts about myself

I am double-jointed in the elbows. I had my girls 2 years and 1 week apart. I have a pet peeve of hearing people chew squishy foods. I'm obsessed with all things Dancing with the Stars, especially Maks and Derek. When I was a baby I was dropped on my head on concrete, and I am convinced that is what makes me normal today (wink). My house is decorated in photographs of Audrey Hepburn, the Rat Pack, and the cast of Friends. I have a psychological aversion to McDonald's cheeseburgers. My favorite musical is Singin' in the Rain. I used to have a Livejournal that only my best friend could see. I use Voxer all day, everyday, and if you want to find me on there I would LOVE to chat with you. I don't like Sushi.



Kaylin's questions for me

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? California is the safe answer, because that is where I am from, but honestly Oregon looks really appealing!

What is your favorite meal? Pizza. Always.

Who are your favorite bloggers? Breanna at Bre Pea, Kassie at freshly {b}rewed, Nay at Coffee-n-Ink, Denise at Gratefully Inspired, and Tausha at Taush.O.

What is your most viewed blog post? My pregnancy announcement!

Do you like traditional names for kids or more "obscure"? Traditional! I grew up with a spelling that was different than most girls with my name, and it was annoying (but I prefer my spelling!) so I wanted to give my girls classic names that have meaning.

Are you allergic to anything? Not really! I am sensitive to avocados since having Audrey, and I used to be allergic to cats. But thankfully that last one went away as I grew up!

Have you ever been to Arizona? Yes, I live there!

What is your favorite season? It used to be Fall, but since we don't really have "Fall" in Arizona, Winter is my absolute favorite. I prefer being cold over being hot, and I love jeans and sweaters.

What is your favorite app? Instagram!

Are you a coffee drinker? Yep! Got some in my hand RIGHT NOW.

Would you rather stay at a resort or go on a cruise? Cruise!!! The shows and perks that come along with it are the best. I really want to go on the Celebrity cruise that the DWTS cast often perform on.


My questions for the nominees

What is something you have always wanted to do, but haven't made the time to do it?
What is your biggest social media pet peeve?
SUV or Mini-van?
What size shoe do you wear?
Do you drink coffee? If so, what is your favorite drink of choice? If not, why? (ha!)
Do you think that water tastes different depending on the brand?
Clorox or Lysol wipes?
Who is your favorite author of fiction?
What is your favorite musical?
'N Sync or Backstreet Boys?
Who is your favorite Disney princess?

Thank you for reading and if YOU would like to answer these questions too, comment below!