Nov 20, 2017

My Christmas Wish List

I never do these and normally I'm all, "Mlegh, if I want it I'll just buy it" but this year is a little different.  I've successfully exercised some level of frugality (which my bank account is happy about) and I sometimes literally have "purchase ___" on my to do list for weeks because I'm tired and it takes that long for to do list items to feel like a priority.

One of my last comments on another blog was about how I was getting small, 5-minute things done every time I was in a room.  So we had all this alcohol stashed in our kitchen cabinets that Ryan and I are not going to drink (I don't know how long it's been for Ryan but I am 1 year, 11 months alcohol-free!!!).  I'd been meaning to move it into the basement for a few weeks and I was proud because I'd finally done the first "5-minute" portion of the task: taking the alcohol down from the high shelf.

Hey, man, it requires a step stool!  This was WORK!  And then I figured the next 5 minute task would be moving it into the storage area in the basement.  I'd do that whenever I next had occasion to go down there.

It seemed perfectly logical to me and then I took a (mental) step back and realized how sad that sounded.  4 6-packs of beer, and it's a multiple day project?

So yeah, these days even small tasks sometimes feel like monumental ones.  Partially because I'm usually tired and partially because I'm almost always multi-tasking housework with baby-watching and guys!  He's crawling and pulling himself up and our house is really not baby-proofed.  It's exhausting.  So a lot of times the effort to purchase things for myself doesn't seem worth it.

Which is all a roundabout way to say, I actually have a wish list!

My Christmas Wish List


The Morning Sidekick Journal

I love planners and journals and all that awesomeness.  I told myself I wouldn't buy any more planners because I'm never going to not be digital for my to do list and my calendar BUT this one is about habits and habit building, which is perfect for a paper format.  I actually do think I'll buy this for myself at some point, but I'm going to wait until I get through my 52 Lists journal that I'm currently using each night.  Both to prove that I've successfully built the habit and to avoid duplicates that don't get used.

Running Shoes

Specifically, I want to go get fitted for fancy running shoes at the Delaware Running Company.  My current shoes have holes just everywhere and at first I was saying I didn't deserve new sneakers until I was running regularly and then I was too frugal/lazy to buy new ones.  You can't just buy them online, guys!  You have to physically go to a store and try shoes on!  Effort!!!  But the company-specific dream is left over from when I was training for the half marathon a couple years ago because a coworker suggested it and I never went.  I want to give fancy shoes a try!

17 Hats

I JUST locked myself in for a year of Freshbooks, so I'm stuck with one accounting software for a while.  (Honestly, this is probably a good thing since end-of-year taxes are hard when you have no idea how much money you made most of the year because you kept switching systems!)  But this is the latest shiny new piece of software that promises to do it all and make my life easier.  And I do wish I could try it out and not waste the money I spent on Freshbooks for the annual plan.

Bathroom Decor

This was the last home decoration project that we didn't fit in before baby was born.  I have a vision of this Moroccan themed wallpaper, but it's daunting because I've never done wallpaper before and what if I mess up and Ryan thinks it doesn't go with our current style and so on.  So what I really want is gift cards to purchase the paper AND someone to help me put it up.  I'll also need a way to hang a piece of wall art I bought at the Ren Faire this year.

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

I was all set to buy this but the paperback copy that I saw was $40 and that's a bit pricy for me.  Especially since 1,200 pages is going to require a few late nights.  I'll wait until the official paperback release.  But I have a coworker who's reading it now and I'll confess I'm a bit jealous.  Also a good options, any books from my Goodreads TBR.

Home Organizer

On a similar note, I would love to have a pro go through my home and figure out the most optimal way to arrange things!  This is the sort of thing I normally enjoy doing myself but right now sounds exhausting.  A less expensive but equally satisfying gift would be the offer to help me do it.  Someone to trade off baby watching with pulling all the shit out of my closets would be great so I wouldn't have to constantly multi-task!

VenturePop Creative Conference

It's a goal for Kelli and me to finally meet in person at some business conference or other.  VenturePop 2018 is in New Orleans, which is conveniently on the east coast and has all the conference elements I want, but NOLA is hardly an inexpensive town to stay in.  If I recall correctly from Sister2's bachelorette party, it was hundreds per night.  Sooo... let's just say the hotel will probably cost more than airfare, and possibly even more than the conference itself.

Wardrobe Level Up

I successfully "found my style" and my closet is organized with the "real clothes" hanging in sets.  So to get ready for a networking event, I just grab the particular pants, t-shirt, blazer set I want to wear that day, and the earrings that go with it and I'm good to go!  It's amazing, BUT all my shoes are falling apart.  And I'm really sad because they're all comfortable and I liked them a lot.  But I feel like I look just a wee bit shabby.  So I'd like replacements for many of the items in my closet and this time around I want higher quality pieces that won't fade with the first wash, won't pill, and generally will look nice after being worn for a few months (or years!).


Jenn signature graphic | Optimization, Actually

Nov 13, 2017

It's a Pity Party and You're Invited

Last night was rough.  In a "what were we thinking when we decided to have a child" kind of way.  I think it was worse because I thought we were over the hump - Orion had had a fever Friday and Saturday and been back to normal on Sunday, and then Sunday night he just lost his shit.

It was particularly frustrating because he was already asleep in bed.  And then I opened the door to turn his light off and it gave the teeniest, tiniest creeeeak.  Boom!  Baby awake and screaming for 3. Fucking. Hours.

Not that he went back to sleep after 3 hours, but after 3 hours I gave up and asked Ryan to take a turn.  I have limits, guys!

And he was awesome and kept him all night but that didn't stop me from sleeping through my alarm and being 1.5 hours late to work today.

I told Ryan, only half-joking, that a few more nights like that and Orion won't have any younger siblings.  Nights like that make me wonder why anyone has multiple children.  And it also makes me wonder how so many people used to manage large families.

Did they cry every day from lack of sleep?  Were they just way tougher than I am?  Is our generation inherently more selfish because we put our own personal happiness before the desire to procreate and raise more humans?

I don't know and it doesn't matter.  But I should probably stop complaining to my mom because she did this 3 times over AND she didn't have much help from her husband or parents (the latter because they were across the country, not because they didn't care).

So that's the current thing blackening my demeanor.  But if I'm really honest and take a look a little deeper I know it's not just one night of screaming baby.  My grandmother died and our trip out to visit her during the 30 days the doctor gave her was hard.  It was just sad and stressful and traveling with a baby is the worst.

And my aunt a couple months before that.  Which was so unexpected and tragic because of her relative youth.  2016 was hard for me because of marital issues, and Ryan's (perhaps related) anxiety.  I spent the better part of that year feeling like I couldn't depend on him and that I was on my own.

Having a baby is magical and wonderful and hard and you get no sleep and, if you aren't careful to do some sort of self care, end up hating life and counting down to the end of each day.  So while I'm glad we had our son, the beginning of 2017 was rife with its own challenges, and now that we're starting to settle in to having a baby and getting more comfortable with it, there's other challenges, too.

I guess what I'm saying is that I can't remember the last time life was easy.  Just for a few months at a time.  And maybe that makes me lazy or weak or selfish but I really wish I could have that back again.

I think the happiest I can remember being is leading up to my wedding.  Sure, we were "busy" with planning.  But an elopement doesn't really take THAT much planning.  And while I had the occasional client, it was just a drop in the bucket now and again as far as time consumed.  Mostly I worked my full time job, worked out, and did whatever I wanted to in my free time.

I read a lot that year.  I played video games.  I finished whole TV series in a week or two.  Guys, I played mother fucking candy crush for weeks!

I can't imagine doing that now.  When Orion was sick, Ryan and I watched 5 episodes of Stranger Things, because fever baby = cuddly, sleepy baby.  It felt as world-altering as the things going on in the show itself.  5 hours of TV?  That's ludicrous!

So I guess what this all leads up to is I'm feeling sorry for myself because I made a lot of choices that mean I don't get free time anymore.  And I also intend to travel as little as possible because babies on planes, babies in cars, and babies in public for more than an hour or two all suck.

Jenn signature graphic | Optimization, Actually