Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I'm so vain, I probably think this blog is about me...

Raise your hand if you remember the Sunshine Award!! We're throwing it back to old school blogging today with a questionnaire from the lovely Callie at Through Clouded Glass. I never thought I'd see this award resurface - thanks, Callie!

1. What is a favorite childhood memory?
At least once every summer, my parents and sister and I would drive 6 hours from where we lived in Washington to spend a week or two in Bend, Oregon at my grandparents' house. They had an irrigation ditch that ran through their backyard, and more often than not, there would be a duck family living in the area, complete with little ducklings. My sister and I would spend hot days swimming in the ditch, digging up handfuls of mud and smearing it all over ourselves and declaring we were at a spa getting "mud mask treatments." My grandparents also had old bicycles and wooden stilts, and we would spend hours riding bikes around their cul-de-sac or practicing our stilt walking. One time, we were sword fighting with some sticks we found, and my sister accidentally hit me in the arm hard enough to give me a small cut. To this day, I have a small scar on my arm from that cut. I don't know how, since it barely even bled and certainly didn't need stitches, but nevertheless, it's a reminder of fun times in my childhood.

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
This is a tough question, because I haven't been a lot of places in the world. At the moment, if someone offered me the chance to move anywhere, I would move back to Washington. If Washington was not an option and I had to choose somewhere more exotic, I guess I would choose Iceland (mostly because besides there, I've only been to Canada and Mexico). Barring my opposition to their political views, it's a gorgeous country with a really neat culture. The only thing not my favorite is that they don't get hot summers.

3. What was the last book you read?
I'm in the middle of two books at the moment - Spaceman by Mike Massimino, and How to Be a Perfect Christian by the Babylon Bee.

4. When you have spare time, what do you do with it (besides blogging, of course)?
I usually either bake something, macrame something, or play with Imogen. I never have baby-free time other than when she's napping, so all of these things are things I can do while keeping an eye on her.

5. With whom is your longest friendship?
I'm actually still friends with a girl named Katie that I met in 5th grade. She and my sister took harp lessons from the same teacher, so that's how we met. We aren't super close these days, though she was one of my best friends in junior high and high school, but we still keep in touch and stay mostly up to date on each other's lives.

6. Favorite summer beverage?
For sure iced coffee. Give me a giant glass with a packet of Stevia, a tablespoon of heavy whipping cream, the strongest cold brew you have, and a ton of ice and I'll be happy. Sometimes I'll throw in a splash of vanilla extract if I'm feeling extra.

7. If you had the opportunity to attend your own funeral, what would you hope to hear people say about you?
I hope people would say I was a good and Godly mother, wife and friend.

8. All you ladies are married - how did you meet your spouse?
I went to college in Oklahoma with a girl from Alaska, who was married to a guy originally from Oklahoma, and the two of them happened to be best friends with Isaiah (who still lived in Sitka). After college, I was living back in Washington, and my friend - who had moved back to Sitka -decided to play matchmaker. She kept trying to get me to send Isaiah a message on Myspace (LOL) and I distinctly remember telling her that if she could get him to send me a message first, then I would send him a friend request. He actually did, on March 20th, 2009. We spent many days messaging each other, which turned into Skyping and phone calls, which turned into me moving to Alaska in May of 2009. On March 20th, 2010, exactly a year after our first internet chat, we were married.

9. Finish the sentence: "In high school I could have been voted most likely to..."
Immediately forget all about high school the minute I walked off the stage at graduation. (Fun fact: I hated high school with a fiery, burning passion.)

This is how 17 year old Angi felt about high school.

10. Tell us something we don't already know and wouldn't think to ask you.
I was a waitress for 3 1/2 years during junior high and high school, and 4 1/2 years right before, during, and after college. For those keeping track, that's a grand total of 8 years of waitressing. In junior high/high school, I worked at an upper class retirement center, in their main dining room. In college, I was a server at Chili's in Oklahoma. Right after moving back to Washington after school, I worked at a restaurant called Claim Jumper (it was the worst waitressing job I've ever had and I quit after a month). To this day, despite being 12 years removed from working in restaurants, I still have a hard time not being super judgmental of restaurants, servers, and food that doesn't live up to basic standards. I've about lost my mind several times in this one particular restaurant in Sitka that doesn't bring silverware when they bring our water, because I'm so sick to death of getting my food and having to ask for a dang fork to eat it with. I'm obsessed with any show featuring Gordon Ramsay screaming at some poor restaurant owner who doesn't think it's a big deal to put raw chicken on a shelf above cooked chicken in a refrigerator, and I think Isaiah's about sick of hearing me say "If I owned this place..."

I nominate ALL OF YOU.

Monday, July 9, 2018

These Are My Confessions #4

Hello from Packwood, Washington! Imogen is napping, and Isaiah and I are sitting on the back deck of the cabin we're renting, typing away on our respective computers while listening to the rush of the creek a mere 20 feet away.  It's approximately 75 degrees out at 10:00am, not a cloud in the sky, and I'm drinking an iced coffee and wearing short sleeves. And not freezing to death. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Anywho, I didn't really want to write out another Life Lately post yet because I feel like I just did one, but I didn't really have any other topics to write about that would take an entire blog post, so confessions it is.

+ I feel like I live in the stone ages when I don't have cell phone reception. I know this is totally a first world problem, but we do live in a first world country, and you would think we would at least have roaming out here. Nope. This area only uses Verizon and US Cellular, and apparently AT&T contracts with neither of those. So, unless we're on the (very spotty) WiFi at this cabin, our phones are basically bricks. I was able to download offline Google maps so we can at least find our way to the hikes we're going to do, but other than that...SOL. It's a bit frustrating, and even my computer has been dropping the WiFi about every 3-4 minutes. We'll see if I can even publish this today...

+ I love my daughter. I love her to pieces. I wouldn't go back to pre-Imogen life if you offered me all the treasure in the world. But sometimes - SOMETIMES - I get a little frustrated that we're still dealing with a two-nap schedule, and even though she's generally a really flexible and easygoing baby (toddler?), there are things we can't really do that we could do before that I really want to do. Did that sentence make sense? For instance, there are a lot of hikes in the area that are like 8-10 miles long. Pre-baby, we would have gotten up early, left in the morning, hiked all day long and not cared how long a 10 mile hike would take us. Post-baby, we have to long will this hike take us? Can we squeeze it in between two naps? Will she nap in the car or the backpack (probably not)? Will she be okay if she just skips her afternoon nap and goes to bed early (probably, but we can't do that very often or she gets overtired)? It's just a lot to think about and even though she is TOTALLY WORTH IT, sometimes I do kind of miss the carefree schedule we used to have when we went on vacations. Even once she's on one nap, it's still going to be a little complicated, because her nap will be smack in the middle of the afternoon and she CAN'T miss that nap if we're out and about doing stuff, since it will be her only nap.

+ Imogen's first birthday party turned out so well, despite the fact that we were supposed to have 15 people and ended up with seven. All the food and decorations turned out perfectly and she looked so cute in her little birthday dress...I posted a few photos on Instagram, but is it terrible that I have zero desire to write an entire blog post about her birthday party?

+ I still hate Disqus. The end.

That's really all I've got...I'm on vacation, we just spotted a coyote making his way down the riverbank, it's nearing 80 degrees now, and I'm going to go put on some shorts.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

I have thoughts #7

+ Imogen's first birthday is in four days. FOUR DAYS. She has the best personality, and I can't wait to see what that personality looks like as she gets even bigger (not that I'm wishing time along or anything!). She's sweet and silly and loves to make us laugh. She will grunt and squeal at strangers until they have no choice but to look in her direction so she can give them a big toothy grin and wave at them. She will try a few bites of almost any food we give her, but isn't a very big eater and makes me a little worried about what will happen when we start swapping out formula for milk soon. She has been a decent sleeper for the last couple of months, but in the last few weeks, her sleep has gone to absolute crap and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to fix it. Despite only getting about 9 hours of sleep at night and 2 hours of naps during the day, she's still the happiest baby and is rarely cranky.

She has 8 teeth and reddish blonde hair (just like Isaiah's mom and my grandma) and we joke that the reason she's obsessed with blueberries is because she needs to eat a lot of them in order to keep her eyes the color that they are. She isn't walking on her own yet, but she's getting braver by the day and is finally willing to use her walker to go back and forth in the kitchen without sitting down after only a couple of steps because it makes her too nervous. She loves to climb the stairs (praise God for baby gates) and chase the cat and she can even point out the kitties and doggies and ducks in her picture book.

Sometimes, I can't believe it's been a year since she was born. Most of the time, I REALLY can't believe it's been a year since I spent 27 hours in labor.

+ With Blogger/Google being stupid and not fixing the comment issue so many people are having, it seems many people are turning to Disqus to solve the problem instead. Confession: I hate Disqus with the fire of a thousand suns, and I can't bring myself to comment on blogs that use it. I hate having to sign in, I hate that it doesn't work half the time and/or I can't remember my log in, and to be honest, I really don't like my comment being replied to right there in someone's comment section. Reminds me too much of Facebook and it feels a lot less personal.  I've had some really good discussions about various topics with people via email, spurred by something they said in the blog, and I feel like that relationship aspect of blogging is basically shoved aside when all you get is a quick response right below your original comment.

+ Isaiah bought me a new laptop for my birthday a few weeks ago! I've been using my Macbook (that he also bought me for one of our first married Christmases) for something like 7 years, and while it's held up fairly well considering, it was just getting slower and slower and not functioning like I wanted it to, even after taking it to the computer doctor in town and having it cleaned and updated and more memory installed. Not to mention, I've been wanting to go back to a Windows computer for a while now. I like my iPhone and iPad just fine, but I spent all day every day on a Windows PC at my job the last 15-ish years, and a lot of Mac functions just don't work the same way that Windows functions do, and the way I'm used to. I was tired of not having an actual "delete" button, I got tired of the function/control/option/command buttons all doing weird things I wasn't used to, and I find it a lot easier to organize folders on a Windows OS as well. So...hi, Hewlett-Packard, nice to meet you.

Also, hey Apple, how about a print screen button? Who even remembers shift + command + 4 every time they need a screenshot? (I had to Google it AGAIN just to add that line to this post.)

+ My mom is flying up day after tomorrow for Imogen's birthday, will spend a few days here afterward, and then we're all headed back to Washington together for a little vacation. Imogen and Isaiah and I are headed to Mt. Rainier where we've rented an Airbnb cabin on the Cowlitz River, and the plan is to 1. relax, 2. hike, 3. relax, 4. hike, and 5. relax. I could not be more excited about this plan. I've been obsessively searching Instagram hashtags like "packwoodwa" and "mtrainiernationalpark" in preparation for this trip.

+ I feel like July is the new IT month for us. July of 2016, we went to Iceland. July 2017, we had a baby. July 2018, I finally get to do some hiking at Mt. Rainier - which you'd think I would have done having grown up in Washington, but I haven't. I'm starting to like July a little bit.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Life Lately #18

Reading: Nothing. It's terrible. I started Spaceman WEEKS ago and haven't even touched it since the first chapter. It's not that it wasn't interesting - it actually grabbed me right away - I just never think to read during Imogen's naps, there are so many other things I'd rather be doing these days. At this rate I'm never going to meet my reading goal for 2018. Although we are going on vacation in a few weeks, and maybe I'll get some reading in then.

Watching: America's Got Talent on Hulu. Does anyone else watch this show? Isaiah and I have a theory that they let some of the awful people be on just so they can have someone to kick off every now and then. We're also suspicious that they're planted because some of these people are just so. bad. Last night there was a (very cute, I will admit) elderly couple from Cuba who were "dancers." I was expecting some amazing ballroom dancing routine. Nope. All they did was bump and grind (badly) to "Talk Dirty to Me." It wasn't gross, but it was...awkward?? AND THEY GOT THREE YES VOTES. You can watch it here if you want to see their "dance routine." I do think Mel B was a little too offended. I'm not really a fan of hers. 

Listening to: The new Snow Patrol album!! Also Isaiah's heavy breathing because he's working out in the kitchen. Yes, the kitchen. That's how small our house is.

Eating: Next to no carbs. I've done pretty well, but the other night I was craving ice cream like my life depended on it. Thankfully it was 10pm when the craving hit and mama ain't going to the store at 10:00 at night, no thanks.

Loving: My new lavender hair! No picture, sorry. I'll think about posting one on Instagram soon. Get this, though. Nobody in town sells purple shampoo for blonde/silver (or lavender) hair. There's only one store I haven't checked, but it's a really small grocery store so I seriously doubt they have it. Even our drug store didn't have any. So, I had to do a quick Ulta order and hopefully my hair doesn't turn brassy before next week when my shampoo is supposed to get here.

Annoyed with: Movie and television plots that force female heroes just so they can say they had a female hero. I'm fine with strong female characters, obviously...but I don't appreciate my gender as a whole being used as a pawn for some social justice cause that doesn't even exist.

Creating: Multiple DIY projects for Imogen's birthday party. We don't have the luxury of a Target/Walmart/party store/Joann/Michaels or anything of the sort here, so I'm having to order literally everything online. And it's cheaper just to make certain things myself than have to buy them. So, like, a three tiered cupcake stand...gonna hit the thrift store, find a trio of mismatched yet coordinating china plates and (hopefully) some pretty candlesticks, grab some epoxy, and make my own darn cupcake stand.

Laughing at: The show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It's really stupid (and nothing will ever measure up to The Office as far as I'm concerned) and it took me a while to get into it, but the last few episodes we've watched have actually been pretty funny. We're still on season 1, so hopefully it continues to get better.

Disappointed with: The latest season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The first couple seasons were so funny. I don't know if I even laughed once watching this most current season. It's just gotten really weird and like they've kind of run out of jokes, they make a lot of references to people and things that I don't understand, the characters have just gotten really weird...meh. Probably won't even bother with the show anymore, to be honest.

Feeling: A little scattered lately. There's just a lot going on with life and family right now and my brain doesn't feel like it's functioning at 100%!

Hoping: That it works out for my mom to still fly up for Imogen's first birthday, because she hasn't even seen her since Christmas. The aforementioned "life and family" stuff involves my dad (for those who don't know, he has Alzheimer's) and there are a few things that need to fall into place quickly, both for his sake and so my mom can take a break from the stress and come up to visit us for a little bit. 

Anticipating: Opening my new Etsy shop next week! Keep an eye on Instagram, I'll post about it there when the time comes. Hint: It has nothing to do with crocheting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

I Have Thoughts #6

First, if there are a lot of typos in this post, I apologize in advance. I am tired. Isaiah gets up for work at 5:45am, and there's no going back to sleep for me after that. Also, we've finally finished night weaning Imogen and as a thank you she's been waking up regularly between 6-6:30 instead of 7:30 like she used to. Her bedtime is still the same so I don't know what gives. It's probably not the weaning thing (because let's be real, she's almost 11 months old, she doesn't need a bottle at 5am); I'm thinking it's more a developmental phase combined with teething. She has been working on four - yes, count them, FOUR - teeth this last week or two, and it's been off and on hellacious for all of us. Three of them have finally broken the surface, thank the Lord above, so we only have one left and please, Jesus, make it come quickly.

She's also been fighting her afternoon nap like it's her hill to die on, and while she usually does eventually fall asleep, it's kind of stressful for me to sit there and listen to her jabber away and play with the zipper on her sleep sack for 45 minutes to an hour. And yes, I've tried putting her down a little bit earlier and a little bit later for the nap, and neither has made a difference. I know she's not ready for one nap yet, and I've read that there's a nap-fighting stage between 10-11 months, so I'm just trying to weather the storm over here.

Anyway, like I said, I'm tired, and I've been letting Imogen watch far more Little Baby Bum on Netflix than I'd like to admit. At least it's educational???

In other news, I'm starting to plan Imogen's first birthday party (who am I kidding, I started thinking about this months ago). The more I think about it, the more I want to cancel it, and we haven't even invited anyone yet. My mom's flying up for her birthday, which will be awesome, but I really just want to have some family time and not have to think about food and decorations and who we're going to invite and blah blah blah. Let's be honest, people don't have 1st birthday parties for the baby, anyway. It's just for the photos and the baby book. And Facebook, if that's your thing.

In reality, there's no way I could get away with NOT having a birthday party for her, not with in-laws who live here and a grandma flying up for the occasion and friends who have parties every chance they get. I would be the scourge of the family. A plague on both my houses. So, I'm researching inexpensive party decorations and trying to decide exactly how much DIYing I'm willing to do.

The other problem is location. It's not like we're inviting an army, but we'll probably have at least 15 people (ughhhhhhhhhhhh) and our house is flat out too small. There's a small building in town that would have been absolutely perfect and they normally rent it out by the day, but it's unavailable in June and July. Of course. Our only other options are to beg someone to let us have it at their house (nahhhh) or to have it at a covered campground or something outside, and I literally do not remember the last time it didn't rain on the 4th of July. Rainforests, man, always raining.

I'm probably putting way more thought into this than I need to be, and I seriously wish we could just invite her aunts and uncle and grandparents and be done with it (even though that would still be 5 too many people) but I already feel like I'm putting my foot down by saying no, we are not inviting half the police department. Like I told Isaiah, the people you invite to your daughter's first birthday party are people YOU want to spend time with, because the baby couldn't care less. She doesn't have "friends" yet.

Enough about the birthday party.

Did you hear that Ireland just made abortions legal? I shed literal tears when I read the news. I happened to have Imogen sitting on my lap playing with her blocks at that very moment, and the thought of someone murdering her before she was even born had me weeping and hugging her. Screw anyone who thinks unborn babies are not alive. To me, she's been alive since the second I saw that second pink line on my pregnancy test and nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise. The fact that people were sobbing with joy and celebrating in the streets makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. They're literally celebrating infanticide. Crying tears of happiness because they're now legally able to murder babies whenever they want. If that doesn't disgust you too, there's the door.

On a lighter, less depressing note, has anyone here ever tried the keto diet? Normally I'm not a huge fan of fad diets - I figured out what works for me in terms of eating habits a while back and as long as I stuck to that, I was able to maintain my weight pretty easily. Post-baby, though? Nope. What worked before has most definitely not been working. I used to eat semi-low carb and that worked fine, but the same ratio of carbs to fat/protein has not been working anymore. I was talking to my sister-in-law a week or two ago, and she and her husband have been following the keto diet since last September and she's lost almost 40 pounds. And she doesn't work out. Like, not even a little bit.

Now, I'm not really a fan of NEVER working out, because I like to be fit in order to be able to go hiking on tougher trails and not feel like I'm dead before I've started. But I was intrigued, and since my previous eating habits were doing nothing for me and I have nothing to lose (ha ha) I thought I might give it a shot.

Let's just say I've lost 6 pounds in about two weeks. I know a lot of that is probably water weight, but that's fine - at least something is happening, whereas previously the scale wasn't budging no matter what I did. I still have about 20 pounds I want to lose, but my jeans are getting looser and the scale is going down, so I think I might stick with this for a while. It's simpler than I thought, too, even though when I'm tired I crave sugar and that's not an option with this way of eating. It seems counterintuitive to eat a lot of fat in order to lose fat, but I can't really argue with the science behind it. I don't want to talk forever about this because I know it's super annoying when people blab on and on about their diets and weight loss and whatever, but if you're curious about it, let me know and we can chat about it.

Also, the first person that says "Tee hee, I can't relate because I never had to change a thing after I had my baby and I was back in my size 4 skinny jeans only six weeks after having him/her! But good for you for figuring out what works for you! Tee hee!" gets a loaf of bread thrown at their head. I can't eat it right now anyway.