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I’m a goal-oriented kind of girl. I like to have an idea of what I want to do. Now, knowing that I’m due with my first child in June, you’re probably wondering: isn’t that work enough? The answer is no. There are never enough projects. There is never too much to be striving for. On the other hand, that mindset does lead to the problem that I start a billion projects and finish three. It is an awful habit that I am really trying to break but, alas, I like starting projects and working towards goals too much.
So, here are my projects and goals for this spring/summer time and hopefully this blog will keep me on track.
A Redhead Married a Geek Blog. This is a project. I’ve started a couple of blogs and they usually fail after like 5 posts in 5 days. I just get too lazy to write, which is sad because I love it once I start! I’ve already made it longer than I ever have before which is a full month. I told myself after one month I could start hosting instead of having it as aredheadmarriedageek.wordpress.com but, I have yet to make the switch. I need to look into it more so, maybe by April I’ll have made a decision on how I want to go about hosting my own website.
20 Books in 12 Months. I’m already behind on this because I started in late February instead of in January. I actually think I’ll be able to keep this one because I am a big reader, I just normally read unpublished books that I can get on my phone so, for some reason I don’t count those. I want to read classics and books that stretch my brain. I’m currently 150ish pages into “The Explorers Guild” by Jon Baird and Kevin Costner. It’s 763 pages. I probably should’ve started with something shorter but, it is really interesting so far. I’m going to read a couple of books concurrently as well. I love to read in shower (I’ll lay down like I’m taking a bath and hold my phone on the outside of the curtain. It is the best is warm forever unlike baths). But, I can’t hold a massive 700+ page book in one hand so, I’ve downloaded some free books on my Kindle app and I’ll read those.
Refresh my French. Beat Duolingo. My first language is English, my second French, and my third Russian. I am fluent in none of them… just kidding. I am fluent in English and I could get on well enough in Russian and I used to be able to get on well enough in French but, when I learned Russian, French took a back seat. Now, when I try to speak French sometimes the Russian words will come out instead. (I think my brain goes into foreign language mode and just chooses whichever word comes to mind first). So, I’d like to refresh my French and speak it to Little C. (I think French will be a little more useful than Russian). I’m using the app Duolingo to help. I don’t know if you can actually beat Duolingo or if it just keeps getting progressively harder, so we’ll see about that part of the goal.
Participate in my community more. I wrote a post earlier about all the cool things that my community does, that I had no idea about! It got me really excited. So, I want to be more involved in my community by doing the activities they host. We already go to the farmer’s market whenever it opens but, there are so many cool things to do! Monday we are going to a Tesla Coil Class at the Library. I am so stoked.
Baby Curriculum. This is a huge one that I think I am absolutely going to adore but, really has to wait until I have Little C to try my ideas with. It’s still just a vague brain child of an idea so, you’ll have to wait and see what it entails.
Be Healthy. This is a broad goal that I’ve already started working on in this post and this meal plan. I want to be a good weight for my height and body type but, more importantly, I want to be getting all the nutrients and exercise I need. I’ve been doing pretty good at working out 10-20 minutes a day or walking at least 30 minutes but, that is still a goal I have to maintain as well as healthy eating.
Craft! This is always a goal for me. It goes back to my ‘start a billion projects and finish 5’ problem. Right now, I have a yellow baby blanket I started 2 years ago sitting in my crochet basket (along with the beige baby blanket for Little C that I actually will finish) and the start of a sewn rocket ship stuffed toy that I started 2 weeks ago. Those aren’t including the sewing projects I bought fabric and patterns for and never started or the junk I’ve collect because ‘this could work to make so and so.’ Just today I bought primer to paint our bookshelf (something I’ve wanted to do for almost a year). I’m going to paint our bookshelf starting tomorrow. It is my weekend project and it is going to be awesome. One of my goals is to finish more crafts, especially crafts for Little C. (Which I’ve already started by making a carrier for him which is pictured above).
Not have a black thumb. My final goal is another goal that I try and fail at every year: the garden. I have a black thumb. It is the truth. I think my problem has been that I try to shoot above my ability because I grew up watching my wonderfully green thumbed mother in her beautiful vegetable garden and her flowery landscaping. (Her goal is to one day have a garden as beautiful as temple square, my goal is to not have things die). This year we are going to try for strawberries, spinach, basil and cilantro.
Bonus Goal (because it isn’t for the spring/summer): Lose all my baby weight by Christmas. I’m hoping I’ll do it faster but, my goal is to be 140 pounds by Christmas. I am 6 months preggo right now and 161. (I was actually 145 before I got pregnant, so, I’ve only gained 16ish pounds but, my goal is 140).
What are your goals for the year? Or do you prefer to sit back and take it as it comes like Mr. B does? (I think it’s less stressful this way – Mr B)
Sometimes, you read something that changes your life. It’s either because they are harsh realities or because they are the way I want to live. All of these quotes made a profound impact on the way I see the world and really gave me cause to think:
And finally, my favorite, because it is basically my life’s motto. If I can’t accomplish something it’s because I don’t want it enough.
Now, this may seem a little silly to do but, I love before and afters! I’ve never had a child though, in full disclosure, I currently work in the child care industry, I’ve nannied, and I’ve babysat (a lot). So, I do have experience with children. I’m also an extreme researcher (mostly because I am ridiculously indecisive). With that combo, I am pretty confident that I have a decent list. No guarantees though. I’ll make a Post-Baby list a couple months AFTER Little C is born too. I’m interested to see how my list changes.
So, without further ado (hey, I had to rhyme), here is my list of baby necessities for the first six months (and what we are going to buy/have bought):
Convertible Crib & Mattress: Sniglar Crib ($79, Ikea) + Vyssa Sloa Mattress ($49.99, Ikea) – Pretty obvious why we need a crib and mattress. The baby needs somewhere to sleep. We considered just getting a pack n’ play but, for the same price we can get an Ikea crib! We went to Ikea and looked at the different cribs. The crib is a little too low for Mr. B (who is 6’2″) but, he said that was fine for the price difference. It is a convertible crib from basinettish (pictured below), to crib (with the bottom lowered), to toddler bed (with the side removed). We also felt the mattress while we were there. You really want a firm mattress for safe sleep when it comes to babies. I liked how firm the Sloa was. It’s not the cheapest they have but, I think it will be safest for Little C.
Car Seat: Britax USA Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Metro ($270, Amazon) – Another necessity that is pretty obvious. Our hospital (and most hospitals in the US, I think) require you to have a properly installed car seat before you can take the baby from the hospital (not that I would want Little C in the car without a car seat anyway). We bought ours during Black Friday for $270, it was $50 off at the time. It has since dropped to $277 so, we still got it for cheaper (plus one of our rewards credit cards was doing 5% back on all Amazon purchases that month so, we got 5% back too). A car seat isn’t something I was willing to skimp on. The Britax ClickTight series has great safety ratings though it is a little heavy. We decided we didn’t want an infant car seat for a couple of reasons. Firstly, that would be an extra cost because we’d have to buy two car seats (no thanks). Secondly, I think it would be tempting to leave the baby in it for extended periods of time when we were out somewhere like church or the doctor’s office. This isn’t good for the baby. Thirdly (and probably the biggest reason), I hate infant car seats. They are always too heavy for me to carry (which they should be with all the padding and safety materials) and they hit me over and over again in the knees. I can’t stand them. I’d rather take the baby out and carry him.
Waterproof Mattress Pad (x2): Sealy Waterproof Mattress Cover, 2 pack ($22.81, Amazon) – We chose these pads because they were the cheapest with the best review. Just a warning: There were a bunch of mattress pads claiming they reduce SIDS. THIS IS NOT TRUE. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by, definition does not have a knowable cause. There are ways to statistically lower the chances of SIDS but, as the last point in the linked to article points out there is zero evidence to support any products that claim to reduce SIDS (on the flip side, if you want to buy a product despite the fact that it doesn’t reduce SIDS, go for it). Anyway, off my soapbox. We chose two mattress pads because I red this tip online somewhere, that if you layer crib sheet, mattress pad, crib sheet, and mattress pad, you won’t have to worry about a middle of the night blow out. You just take off the first layer and voila you already have a second layer! Given how frequently we’ll be doing laundry with cloth diapers, I doubt we’ll need more than two.
Crib Sheet (x2): Cosco Jersey Sheet, yellow ($6, Kid to Kid [the children’s consignment store nearby]) and American Baby Company 100% Cotton Value Jersey Knit Crib Sheet, Celery ($9.63, Amazon) – See above why we are getting 2 sheets. We already have the first sheet and the second sheet isn’t picked for any other reason than it is in our colors (green, yellow, and beige) and the reviews said they were soft. We’ll keep our eyes peeled as we shop for a better deal though.
Bouncer: We got a bouncer as a gift for Christmas. We really don’t have room in our apartment for a swing which would have been the other option.
Carrier: DIY Moby ($6, Fabric Center) – As mentioned above, I hate baby car seats but, I still need a way to carry the baby with my hands free. I decided $40 for a long strip of fabric was way too expensive, so, I made one. (Cameo from the teddy bear’s ear). Green is Mr. B’s favorite color and it just so happens to look great on me too so, that is the color we chose.
Cloth Diapers ($300-400, Amazon, Ebay, Kid to Kid). I’ll talk more about cloth diapers in another post(s) because I can go on for days about cloth diapers. But, to keep it simple here, we bought a set of 24 used newborn AIOs for $100 on ebay and have been scouting for deals for one size diapers since we found out I was pregnant. We spent $20 on one AIO but the rest have been under $12. We currently have 3 All-in-One diapers, 2 pocket diapers, 7 All-in-Twos diapers in the one size (which is usually about 10 – 35 pounds). Those total another $120 spent. Most sites recommend 18-20 diapers for one size diapers. We are waiting to see which diapers we like most before we purchase the rest of our stash.
Cloth Diaper Accessories: EcoAble Large Wet Bag (x2, $19.99 each, Amazon) and Damero Cute Travel Baby Wet and Dry Cloth Diaper Organizer Bag ($6.99, Amazon) – look how cute that pattern is!) Kirkland Flushable Wipes ($12, Costco). So, we are getting two large wet bags (which hold the diapers between changes and getting washed) for at home, that way we can switch them off while they are getting washed. The medium wet bag is for the diaper bag. We’ll use cloth wipes (made from fabric scraps I have laying about) for number ones and flushable wipes for number twos.
Clothes: We expect to get most of Little C’s clothes from the baby shower or our parents. People love buying baby clothes. We want at least 5-6 onesies/footie (depending on the time of year) in each size and two hats. We already have a bunting for when it gets colder (thanks mom!). We also want 2-3 sleepers for when he grows out of his swaddles (see below). He’ll also have 2 Sunday church outfits and a couple pairs of socks. Will he have more clothes than this? Probably. Like I said, people love buying baby clothes (including me).
Baby Wash: Johnson’s Natural Head-to-Toe Foaming Baby Wash ($7.99, Target). This is not the cheapest body wash there is but, I’m a little more comfortable with the ingredients in this one, however, if we find we need to cut back, we’ll go with the non-natural Johnson’s baby wash.
Coconut Oil ($10, Costco) – This will be used for diaper cream, as it is cloth diaper safe, and baby lotion. I’m not sure how to estimate the cost for this one because we have coconut oil as a staple in the house already. I estimate about $10 because a little goes a LONG way.
Gentle Washcloth – My dad sent us a set of like 20 organic bamboo washcloths as soon as he found out we were pregnant. I don’t think we’ll need 20 (maybe we’ll use some as wipes) but, they are really soft and will be great for washing the baby!
Health Kit: The First Years American Red Cross Baby Healthcare And Grooming Kit ($13.37, Amazon). Another self-explanatory necessity. I mostly chose this kit for the nail clippers, nasal aspirator, and medicine dispenser. We might buy those separately if we can find a good price. If we can afford to buy an ear thermometer, like this, we’ll buy one of those too.
Bottle (x2, free!) and Pacifier (x4): As you might’ve seen from my Amazon and Target gift box/bag, I got a free bottle in each. Since I will be at home and hopefully breast feeding, we won’t need that many bottles but, I (and Mr.B) still want Mr. B to have some opportunities to bond with Little C via feeding. Little C will also have to take the bottle when he’s babysat! Little C will also need Phillips Avent Soothie Pacifier ($3.84 for 2, Amazon) if he takes pacifiers. I’ll start with 2 but, with pacifiers being the size of keys, I’ll most likely loose them everywhere.
Breast Pump: Hopefully, my insurance will cover an electric breast pump but, I haven’t called yet to check. If it doesn’t I’ll get the Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump ($25.99, Amazon). A manual pump is more of a hassle than an electric pump but, I can deal with that for a quarter of the price and for the amount that I will be pumping (hopefully not very much!).
Doggie Seatbelt: Kra-mar Roadie Dog Seatbelt (Petlife), Large ($34.10, Amazon). Now, I know this won’t be a need for everyone (or even most people) but, for me it was an absolute must. Firstly, how safe is that baby car seat if Wheatley flies around the car and hits Little C (and mom and dad) multiple times in a car wreck. The answer: not. Secondly, Wheatley should be safe and I should’ve bought him a seat belt a long time ago. Thirdly, Wheatley’s favorite spot in the car is standing in the middle of the backseat so he can look out the front window. Do you know where the baby’s car seat is safest? The middle of the backseat. Wheatley is going to be trying to climb all over Little C if I let him. But, I don’t want to let him so the seatbelt will strap him onto one of the side seats.
Humidifier (by wintertime): Mistmate Ultrasonic Hum White ($27.49, Target). It gets dry in Utah. Really dry. Honestly, I don’t know why we don’t have a humidifier already because, I get headaches from the dryness. This is not necessarily a need but, I worry that if I’m uncomfortable Little C will be too, which will result in me being even more uncomfortable (baby screaming while I already have a headache? I’ll try to avoid that as much as possible).
Diaper Bag: Classic Plaid Multifunction Large Capacity Hand Bag Shoulder Bag Backpack Baby Diaper Baby Care Product (Blue) ($30.47). I searched for hours for a diaper bag that wasn’t too expensive ($100+ for a bag, heck no!), that was stylish enough for me to enjoy wearing, and that Mr. B could wear without any embarrassment. I finally came to this bag and I LOVE it. It is stylish, has three ways to wear it (including a backpack way for Mr. B), and has lots of organization pockets. Plus, it has great reviews. I honestly cannot wait to get this bag.
Bonus: Before Little C starts crawling, I’ll need to get some furniture and TV straps, any good suggestions for apartment dwellers?
“Type A individuals [are] ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics”, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.” (Wikipedia)
The only things in that paragraph that don’t describe me are: ambitious, highly status-conscious, and workaholic. Sometimes, I get disorganized but, then I’ll go on a rampage (that gracious Mr. B calls my stress cleaning week) and reorganize the apartment top to bottom.
If you’re type A you know (and if you read that description you should be able to tell) that being type A is rather stressful. And just for the record, telling me (or any type A person) to take a chill-pill or something stupid like that is more likely to make us want to tear your head off then relax.
However, I do recognize that I need to relax and reign in my Type A personalities otherwise people, including myself at some points, will probably hate me.
Here is how I deal:
I have up to 3 things I’m allowed to care about. That is, for any large activity (like a wedding or a birthday party I’m planning), I have to choose 3 things that I will make absolutely perfect and the other things I can only passively plan for. For example, at our wedding I choose three things I wanted and I didn’t have to compromise on them and I could perfect them to my choosing. These were the three things I chose: My husband will wear a seer sucker suit, I will get a sunflower bouquet, and there will be no tomatoes at my wedding. Sometimes, I choose only one or two things if they are large. When we moved to this new apartment I chose to make a chart for our kitchen. I had everything planned out for what went in each cupboard, on each shelf, on each side. I had a diagram of the entire kitchen. I also made a floor plan of where all the furniture would go. After that I forced myself to stop. I needed to be flexible on some things, so I didn’t overburden myself.
I can’t get upset unless I have directly asked someone to do something. As I typed that I realized how bratty it sounds but, its more for everyone else’s benefit than mine. It’s better explained in an example. Mr. B usually empties the dishwasher and I load. If I’m ready to load and he hasn’t emptied the dishwasher, I’m not allowed to be upset with him unless I have already asked him (and given him a day) to unload the dishwasher. To me it is obvious the dishwasher needs to be emptied every day. To my type B husband, well, he just doesn’t think that way.
I shut doors. and drawers, and cabinets, and curtains. Some days my tub needs to be cleaned and it stresses me that it isn’t but, I just don’t have the time or energy to clean it or I just want to be lazy. So, I shut the curtain. Out of sight out of mind. The other time I use this is with my husband’s stuff. I just don’t look in the electronics drawer. I just shut it. His bedside table? I put it all in the drawer and shut it. He doesn’t let me go through that stuff (probably because I’ll throw something out that he doesn’t want thrown out).
I make lists. Type A people have to feel productive but, sometimes I have those days where I feel like I accomplished nothing. So, I make lists. I make lists of what I have done that day (ex. I answered all my emails, I did the dishes, I planned the budget, etc.) Sometimes, I make a list at the beginning of the week and I’ll check things off. Sometimes, I add things to my list just so I can check them off! Usually a list makes me comprehend that even if didn’t get everything done, at least I got some things done.
I take a shower. or go to sleep. Sometimes, I just get so anxious or stress myself out so much that the only solution is to stop. Stop doing everything and find a place to relax. If I’m tired I force myself to sleep. If not I take a shower, like a half-hour to an hour long shower. The $5 it raises my water bill a month is worth it for the amount it destresses me.
This is how I deal with being type A. Being type A is a burden and a blessing (which I’ll talk about why I’m grateful for my Type A personality in another post). How do you deal with the stress of being type A?