Bruncle Jason

September 16, 2014

I keep getting questions about how Jason is doing with the new baby here. I wanted to stop in for a minute to talk about Jason and how great he is with Claire.

When I was pregnant, I was a little nervous about how Jason and baby girl would get along. Heck, I was worried about how all of us would get along with a brand-new baby in the house. Jason is the youngest in his family, and he's never really been around little kids or babies. I even googled how to help siblings adjust to a new baby, which was pretty ridiculous, since the suggestions were things like "give them a stuffed animal so they can take care of their 'baby' while you take care of your baby." I'm pretty sure those articles aren't written for an age gap of 13 years :)

Turns out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Jason and Claire clicked immediately. In fact, baby girl loves Jason more than anyone else in the family! Seriously, Jason can get her to coo and smile like nobody else has ever been able to. (I'm not jealous, I'm not jealous, I'm not jealous...) When Jason gets home from school each day, they have a 15-minute cooing session, and it's just about the cutest thing you've ever seen.

Jason also loves taking care of the baby. He calls it leveling up when he accomplishes something new. He wants to hold Claire, play with her, feed her, rock her, put her pajamas on, and even change her diaper so he can keep leveling up. He said he unlocked a 6100 achievement the first time he changed a diaper. To me, it's a 6100 achievement when I don't have to change a diaper, so it works out well for both of us :)

Technically, Jason is her uncle. But since he lives with us, he's kind of like her brother. Hence the name Bruncle Jason. And I'm pretty sure he's the best bruncle out of alllllllll the thousands of bruncles in the world :)

Thank you so much, as always, for caring about our little family, and for showing up, reading along, and being so happy for us. It has made this whole experience so much sweeter. Truly, thank you.

How I wore it

September 15, 2014

I've been having a major case of denial that fall is coming. I think it's because I had a baby this summer, and nothing cuts your contact with the outside world more than having a baby. With a brand new baby, it's like "What's the time? Wait, what day of the week is it? Come to think of it, what month are we even in?? Oh well. Doesn't matter. I'm going to go snuggle my baby."

So even though it's been a great summer, sometimes I forget that summer has come and gone. On Saturday morning, I got into my car, realized the back windshield was a little foggy, and pressed the defrost button. THE DEFROST BUTTON, people. Doesn't a little part of you die inside when you press the defrost button for the first time of the season? You can no longer pretend it's summer when you have to defrost the car.

(Note to self: add the defrost button to the list of household objects I am weirdly passionate about.)

Anyway, to welcome in fall, I did a little fashion collaboration with some awesome bloggers and instagrammers. We were all given the same image, and we each put together our take on the outfit. Check out Meghan from King & Ford, Meredith from The Daily Mer, and Krystle from Harley & Jane to see how they wore their outfits! Thanks Meghan for putting this together for us.

The starting image:

Here's my take on it. I loved the heather grey and forest green combo, but I would have never thought of it on my own. Also, that scarf. Heart eye emojis.

I know what you're thinking: how does she keep her boots so clean?

Happy Monday!

PS - thank you thank you thank you for all the gratifying and hilarious comments on my last post. It really meant a lot to me. This blogging community is amazing.

let moms be moms

September 12, 2014

This week, someone told me I was parenting incorrectly.

I've had lots of experience with people saying unsolicited but well-meaning comments about the choices I'm making for my daughter. An offhand remark about how a pacifier made their child stop latching correctly, so I should be careful about giving my daughter a pacifier. Asking whether or not I do enough tummy time after seeing that my daughter can't hold her head up for very long yet. And LOTS of opinions about whether or not I should work outside of the home.

Usually, I don't mind these well-meaning comments. I know people are genuinely trying to help. In fact, when it's family or a close friend, I'm always seeking their advice and opinions.

But this time was different. It had already been a pretty long and hard day. I was in Costco, putting some baby formula into my cart.

"You know what they say, breast is best," I heard. I looked up to find a man standing across the aisle by the paper towels. I give him a half-smile and turned back to the formula.

"But really," he said. "When you breastfeed your baby, it gives them immunizations."

"Hmm," I said.

"Babies can't get those immunizations from formula. If you're not exclusively breast feeding your baby, he's not getting the best start."

At this point, I was mad. So I mumbled something even I couldn't understand, put the formula in the cart, and wheeled away as fast as I could. Of course, when I played it back in my head, I imagined myself throwing a can of formula at his head and shouting "Why don't you parent your own children and I'll parent mine, thankyouverymuch. Oh, and it's immunity. Breastmilk doesn't give your child immunizations, it gives them immunity. There's a difference!"

Someone needs to invent a rewind button on life, so when people think of these great comebacks hours later, they can rewind and play them out in real life ;)

Here's the thing. I'm not the first mom that's been told she's doing it wrong, and I'm sure I won't be the last. And I don't think that man woke up that morning and thought "if I see a new mom at Costco, I'll be sure to belittle her parenting choices." But still, it happens. And it bothered me for the rest of the day.

I'm a big believer that there's no one right way to raise a child. Talk to any mom with multiple children, and she'll tell you that each of her children had vastly different needs. I'm part of a few mom support groups on Facebook, where mothers can ask questions and get advice from other moms. A few weeks ago, one mom asked a question about circumcision, and I was really surprised at all the terribly negative, judgmental, and accusatory comments that stemmed from it. Why do we as human beings feel the need to judge other people so harshly? If circumcision is right for your child, do it. If it's not right for your child, don't do it. But please don't think that you have the answers for someone else's child.

My baby takes formula in bottles, because that's what's right for her and I. My baby takes a pacifier. My baby gets immunizations. My baby sleeps in her own crib. Those are all choices that are right for my baby. If your baby is the total opposite - exclusively breast fed, no pacifier, co-sleeps, that's great too!

I loved this article on stopping the mommy wars. Seriously, read it. I love the pictures.

How do you deal with unwelcome and unwanted criticism? About anything - not just being a parent. Should I have been more brave and told him that formula is a good choice for my baby? Or was it best to just walk away? I would love to hear your opinions.

In the meantime - happy weekend!

Ritzin' up a Ritz

September 10, 2014

There are not many things I consider myself an expert in, but afternoon snacking is one of them. Let's just say the kitchen and I have a standing appointment every day at 3:30pm. It's very romantic.

Today, I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite snacks: snack crackers with yummy toppings. We like Ritz crackers best. In fact, now that I think about it, I think I've blogged about Ritz crackers before (Yup, I found the post. Read it here.). No, Ritz crackers is not sponsoring this post, but it's not a bad idea. I should contact them about this - maybe they'd pay me to eat more crackers.

Here are a few of our favorite afternoon snack combinations. We like them because they're easy to make, they're made from basic ingredients we almost always have already, and they're healthy (or at least somewhere on the healthy spectrum).

First up is Ritz crackers with chive and onion cream cheese, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes. This is one of our all-time favorites. It's our go-to whenever we're supposed to bring an appetizer or finger food to a party. Grape tomatoes work well too.

Ritz crackers with peanut butter and jelly. We call this the deconstructed pb&j. Sometimes I make this for lunch, and by using crackers instead of two slices of bread, you get all the protein and nutrients without all the extra carbs.

Ritz crackers with bananas and chocolate syrup. We admit, this one tows the line between healthy and unhealthy. But it's soooo good. The cracker provides a little bit of salty to balance out the sweetness of the chocolate.

Other combinations we love:

turkey and swiss cheese
artichoke dip
cream cheese frosting and strawberries
nutella, bananas and cinnamon

What Ritz combos do you love?
Happy snacking!
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