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Our First Baby

20 Jun

Meet Venus. She’s a mixed breed rescue dog, half Jack Russel and half lazy. I suppose we should be happy that she doesn’t have the typical tendencies of most Jack Russell┬álike excessive energy, digging, “yappiness,” etc. She’s 5 years old and has gotten ultra lazy in her old age. I know most dogs sleep a lot but she sleeps intensely for about 20 hours a day. I don’t get it. What exactly is she so exhausted from? We suspect she may have a secret job, which would be great because she really should be earning her keep around here!

The only thing that trumps her laziness is her extreme jealousy of Myles. You would think that after almost 2 years, she would be over it and recognize that he’s not going anywhere. She’s never barked, snapped or tried to bite him. In fact, she endures quite a bit of his abuse simply because she likes the attention. He’s always been fascinated with her but lately I’ve caught him yelling at her. He thinks she’s trying play with his toys. We’re working on sharing.

She’s also my running partner. Now I use the term “running partner” quite loosely. Venus will trot one lap around the park (stopping to poop twice) and is completely exhausted. Some days it’s the perfect excuse to cut my runs short but other days it can be really frustrating. So along with getting myself back into shape, we’re building up her stamina as well. Time to get back to her Jack Russell roots.

She used to be the center of it all…

Save or Splurge: boat shoes

10 Jun

I love fashion but at my core, I’m really a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. More often than not, my weekend style consists of skinny jeans and a tee. But I love to style up my basic look with fun accessories and shoes! Chasing a 22 month old means my shoes need to be practical but also cute!

Boat shoes have become super popular (at least here in So Cal) and I’ve had my eye on a pair by Sperry in a pretty rose gold hue. I’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger because although they’re cute, to me they epitomize “mom shoes” (which would only enhance the cheesiness of my “mom backpack” full of animal crackers, juice boxes, first aid kit, etc.But this is the reality of having a toddler =). But the shoes are also $90. With our wedding quickly approaching, I have to be more money conscientious than ever.

Enter this alternative…

Image The Merona Makaila Women Casual Flat for $24.99 at Target

This is a nice, affordable alternative to the Sperry Women’s Authentic Original Metallic Boat Shoe

Image

The budget-friendly Target version was a great find! They are comfortable and go with just about everything. Plus, you can’t beat the price! I’m pleased with the decision here to SAVE!

Cleaning House

8 Jun

Literally. Well, I’m not actually cleaning but I’m paying for it. We broke down and hired cleaning ladies. As a pregnancy gift, my fiance hired a cleaning couple (husband/wife team – they were awesome). I was exhausted and had zero energy to clean and admittedly, he had no desire to pick up the slack so his proactive approach was to hire someone. We continued to use them sporadically until Myles was about 4 months old then I decided it was more important to save the money.

Saving money was (extremely) important as new baby expenses piled up but truth be told, I had several other “issues” with hiring someone to clean. I’ve always wondered, “is it just me?” My fiance always gave a resounding “YES” to that question. But here were/are my concerns:

1) I’ve always had issues with people in my personal space. I’ve never liked having others in my bedroom, even as a child and teenager. In college, after one semester of sharing a dorm room, I begged my parents for a single. I’ve dismissed some of this as “only child syndrome” but these feelings are very real. So the thought of a stranger making up a my bed literally makes my skin crawl.

2) The cost. If Suze Orman ever reviewed our finances, this would be one of the first things she would eliminate. Does it really make sense to pay someone to do something we are totally capable of doing ourselves?

3) The guilt. This is the big one. There is part of me that feels like a failure or less than because I can’t manage to keep my house clean on my own. People with more kids, larger homes and even more demanding jobs do it – why can’t I? My mother and grandmothers did it – why can’t I? My soon to be mother and sister-in-law do it – why can’t I? I feel like if I were just more efficient with my time or more organized, etc., etc. then I could keep our home clean without any help. Is this crazy?

But fast forward a year and between and active toddler, our jobs, planning a wedding and some effort to have a social lives, the house was a mess. All the time. For several months I noticed two women leaving our neighbors place every other week. About a month ago, I saw them again and ran outside with our dog to “conveniently bump in to them.” After a quick convo, they came over the next day.

The reality is – it’s awesome! These women come in and get after it, cleaning every nook and cranny. In just 3 hours this place is sparkling and there is nothing like the feeling of a clean house. Again, a tremendous burden is lifted of my shoulders and it’s so liberating to wake up on the weekends without my “cleaning ticker” running. It has meant more quality time with my family. It’s also supposed to “free up” time for other projects like organizing my home office, cleaning out closets and converting the nursery into a toddler room. More on all of these things later.

So for now I’ll get over it. The guilt is a small price to pay for a clean house!