Day 797: Parenthood

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 797: Parenthood

A recent photo of my baby boy.

Wow, I’ve been really bad about posting in my blog. It’s been way over a year. For those who used to read my blog religiously (not many), I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.

I thought it might be a good idea to set a goal for my writing. I’m going to try updating my blog at least twice a month. That might be difficult considering the amount of time that has passed, but that is my goal. I hope I can do it!

The topic I decided to touch on this week is parenthood. Who wants an update? Well, if you don’t, you’re getting one anyway!

My son, Baby N, is 19 months old. Time has flown by as I’ve watched him grow! I’ve been completely lucky having him as a son for so many reasons. He started sleeping through the night at three months old (a lot of people were jealous about this). He laughs and smiles most of the time. He loves reading books. He likes cuddling. He loves playing outdoors. He’s (mostly) good in social situations. He’s kind of picky with food, but eats what we give him about 80% of the time. And he loves his mommy and daddy.

It hasn’t been an easy journey so far, though. We struggled occasionally getting him to drink a bottle. Sometimes he just wasn’t that interested. He went through phases where he didn’t want to nap (sometimes he still doesn’t). We had a very hard time transitioning him to a sippy cup. For some reason that REALLY stressed me out, and looking back I feel stupid. The transition from pureed food to solid food was a struggle. He was a little behind on crawling and walking. Sometimes he throws tantrums. But every kid does.

Now, as a 19 month old, he’s trying to say so many words. He’s walking. He’s drinking out of a straw cup. He’s interested in so much and wants to play. He smiles and giggles. He eats regular food. He’s my (most of the time) happy little boy. And I love him with all my heart.

Along the way, I’ve learned about baby shaming. That hasn’t been fun. He had a horrible rash near his ear when he was really little, and so many people used to ask me, “What’s wrong with his face?” I always wanted to respond with, “Nothing, what’s wrong with your ugly face?” But I never did. I was nice about it. I was putting cream on the rash, everyone. I wasn’t telling him to scratch it! I’ve had people stare at me in restaurants and Walgreens while he was crying like I did something wrong. Fun.

People need to realize that I’m doing my best, and most parents are. Kids and babies will cry and throw tantrums. Baby N once cried because I wouldn’t let him chew on our coffee table. I’d say most parents would tell their kids not to do that. I doubt my parenting skills all the time, and I feel like I’m just winging it as I go along. But Baby N seems to be doing just fine so far. And that makes me very happy. I definitely have a long journey ahead, though!

Those are my thoughts on parenthood so far. Thanks for reading!

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Day 796: Turning 30

Rachel, Day by Day

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Me throughout the years.

All this time I thought I was going to dread turning 30, but I’m not worried about it at the moment. I mean, so many things happened in my 20s and I thought it would be difficult to close that chapter in my life… graduated college, first real job, first legal alcoholic drink, first car, first apartment on my own, first real relationship, first time I fell in love (or thought it was at the time), first time I actually fell in love, first house, first smartphone, first (and only) marriage, first kid, and so on. A lot can happen in 10 years.

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Me throughout the years.

It’s really strange looking back. There are certain parts of my 20s I won’t miss. The bad dates and relationships in my early 20s, a horrible relationship that hurt me badly and I thought had scarred me for life, losing loved ones, being apart from my husband for a little while, struggling through every-day stresses and drama of being a young adult, and so on. The first week living on my own, I was almost robbed in the middle of the night and now I’m kind of afraid to leave windows open. I went through my 20s without my dad and somehow made it through. I lost a lot of close family members in this decade (Grandma, Uncle Pat, Aunt Carol, Grandpa) and I miss them every day.

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Me throughout the years.

While there were some bad times, I’m getting somewhat sentimental remembering the good times. I was able to live with some amazing friends during college and I’m glad I live closer to them today! It’s crazy thinking how we used to stay out until 3 a.m. many nights; I don’t think I could do that now! We had some awesome and silly times together. I met some great friends at my first real job, and sadly we are all scattered in different places now. I stayed in touch with some high school friends, which has been great. I went on a lot of awesome trips with my mom, Ray, and other family members, and had many fun nights with them in general. I met the love of my life during college and later married him. I got some great in-laws out of this, too! Our child recently came into this world and it’s been wonderful getting to know him and having him in my life. I went on some great trips with friends and family, including Mexico, Michigan, Las Vegas, a road trip to California, Cedar Point, a cruise, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Paris, Miami Beach, Punta Cana, Ireland, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and so on! I swam with dolphins, met the Stanley Cup, found a Corner Bakery not on a corner, went to numerous Cubs games, met Jonathan Toews numerous times, saw friends and family members get married, went parasailing, climbed up the steps of Notre Dame Cathedral, saw the Grand Canyon, got engaged, got married, had a child, and much more.

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Me throughout the years.

Even with the bad times, I know I’ll be able to look back on my 20s and smile. They are definitely a time for learning and growing. I don’t regret the bad relationships and I don’t feel stupid about them anymore. In fact, I came out of them a stronger and more confident person (I could still work on the confidence part just a little bit). I used to be so naïve in my early 20s, and feel like I’m out of that phase now. But, I’m still the silly, weird, caring, worrisome, funny, loving, sensitive girl from birth. Just a little bit older. So this decade made me part of who I am today.

What do I look forward to in my 30s? Definitely watching my son grow and taking him to new places. Spending time with family and friends. Spending time with my wonderful and amazing husband. Going to Cuba (which would be absolutely amazing). And watching the Cubs win the World Series. The Blackhawks could win another Stanley Cup, too.

Day 774: Cut

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 25

Day 774: Cut

A tiny cut on my finger.

I’m glad I didn’t get a major cut on my finger, but here’s an extremely tiny one for you. I noticed it on my drive to work this morning and I have no clue where it came from. Can you even see it? It’s on my middle finger. I probably ran my hand into something. This happens to my hands a lot… I get random cuts and scrapes and I don’t know how they got there. I wonder if most of them are paper cuts. Eek. I should brag about my fingernails, though. This is the longest they’ve been in about 2 years! I’m not biting them for a change. Maybe I’m growing up a bit!

Who watches Amazing Race? I didn’t know until last night, but the season premiere is on tonight! And then the show will continue to be on Fridays. I’m excited! I guess this seasons will have a dating twist… we’ll see how that goes.

I’m going to visit my grandpa tonight! It’s always a great time seeing him. 🙂

Enjoy your Wednesday evening.

Day 773: Half

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 24

Day 773: Half

Half of my sandwich.

This is yet another odd photo day… half of a turkey and cheese sandwich. How do you take an exciting photo of half of something? This sandwich tasted good, so that’s a plus. I wish I could think of something amazing; sorry, folks. It’s too cold to take photos outside, too! Ugh. Anyway, I brought this sandwich for lunch today and ate some pretzels with it. Fun times.

I’m going to trivia with my brother tonight! I really stink at trivia, but it’s still fun. At least I’m learning things. And the Blackhawks are on tonight, so that’s even better! I hope they kick butt.

I talked to a man today who lives near Boston; he was telling me he hasn’t stopped shoveling snow for weeks. I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like to live there right now. I feel so bad for them! We really have no right to complain about this winter in Illinois… winters have been a lot worse in the past. It’s almost March, which is a good thing! I love spring.

Have a good evening!

Day 770: Funny

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 21

Day 770: Funny

A store called Nerds on Call.

Today’s photo had to be of something funny. I happened to see this store while driving around town with Scott and it made me chuckle a bit. So, I thought, why not include it in my blog? Maybe you don’t agree, but I thought the name was funny! I assumed they help you with computer- and electronics-related problems, and I was right! Their website is www.callrnerds.com and they specialize in computer repair services. Good for them! It’s probably a good business to get into since many of us have electronics problems occasionally. It’s a silly name, but memorable!

It’s been a nice Saturday! I like being able to relax in the morning. We ran some errands during the day, ate lunch at Panera, and who knows what’s next! It’s a nicer day out, which essentially means it’s not -8 degrees.

I can’t believe February is almost over. So, who has liked the February Challenge? I might end up doing this every other month; it would take too much effort to do this every month the whole year.

Have a good evening!

Day 768: Feet

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 19

Day 768: Feet

Hopefully they aren’t smelly.

Well, here are my feet. This is not the most exciting photo in the world, but how do you make a photo of feet exciting? I could have gotten a pedicure and painted my nails awesome colors. But, that would take too long. I actually have a problem with my feet; I think they have poor circulation. They are pretty much cold all through winter, except when I’m taking a hot shower. Even when I wear heavy socks and shoes they are still very cold. This started a few years ago… I remember walking around my apartment barefoot; all of a sudden my feet got extremely cold. I looked down and they were purple. They still sometimes turn slightly purple, but then I just put more socks on. I miss walking around barefoot. Maybe I’ll be able to do that again in June. So, that’s the story of my cold feet.

New topic! I’ve been wanting to post this video for a while now related to the Chicago Cubs. It gets me pumped for the 2015 season.

Doesn’t that give you goosebumps? I’m more excited for this season than usual, but I’m still the concerned Cubs fan. I hope I can go to a few games this year!

Have a good evening!

Day 767: Magic

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 18

Day 767: Magic

He can fly!

Isn’t this photo the most magical thing you’ve ever seen? After work today, I happened to see my brother, Ray, flying above the driveway. Look at how amazing that is! Besides being cold, he looks so happy floating off the ground. I wish I could do that. This is something you don’t see everyday, so this is a beyond average blog post. It’s magic!

Brrr, it’s cold outside! On the plus side, it’s National Wine Day. So, I celebrated with a glass of wine at dinner. I am also participating in Lent, so I only had one meal today. For Lent, I am giving up goldfish crackers. I’ve been eating them a lot lately, so this is going to be a tough one. I eat them as a snack at work and then again when I get home. These next 40 days might be rough!

Stay warm!

Day 766: Vegetable

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 17

Day 766: Vegetable

Here are some petite peas for you.

Well, here’s another somewhat boring photo for you. Today’s picture had to be of a vegetable. What did I learn from this photo? I should probably buy and eat more vegetables. Here are some petite peas for you. I’m not a big fan of peas; they taste boring to me. But, I would eat them if they were on my plate. My favorite vegetable is probably a carrot. My least favorite is definitely corn. Yuck. I’m one of the few people I know who dislikes corn, but I don’t know how you all can handle that taste! Ugh.

I had lunch with Soleman today! We met up at Jason’s Deli; I like that place. Their menu is very big, full of salads, wraps, sandwiches, soups, and more. I had a half Santa Fe chicken sandwich with a cup of French Onion soup. Yum. OK, I’ll stop talking about food and vegetables now.

Now I’m going to talk about movies. Here’s a list of movies I don’t really like that other people seem to love. I provided a few explanations for you, too. I thought it would be interesting to share to all of you, even though two people will probably read this.

Eleven Movies I Don’t Like That Other People Love (Not in any Particular Order)

  1. Ghostbusters: I saw this movie when I was younger and the monsters and ghosts terrified me. So, now I really don’t like the movie.
  2. The Godfather: I’ve seen this movie only once, so I’d be willing to give it another chance. I think you need to be in the right mood to watch a mob movie, and maybe I wasn’t at the time. Plus, it was extremely hyped up for me.
  3. Pulp Fiction: Disturbing. Enough said.
  4. Lord of the Rings: Maybe it’s not fair to add this one to the list. I generally liked it, but I’d probably be fine if I didn’t see it again. Does that count?
  5. Se7en: Horribly disturbing. Enough Said.
  6. It’s a Wonderful Life: I really want to give this one another chance since I’ve only seen it once. It was just so sad most of the time, though, and the title is cheery! It confused me.
  7. Star Wars: I think my review for this is the same as Lord of the Rings, so see above.
  8. The Graduate: I hope I’m not the only one out there who thinks the plot is bothersome. He sleeps with the mother then tries to have a relationship with the daughter… what mother and daughter would be OK with that?! Ugh.
  9. Jurassic Park: I watched this again recently and thought it was corny and annoying. Who the hell would try to bring back dinosaurs now? Bad idea.
  10. Blues Brothers: I watched this again recently… I feel bad saying this since I like the actors, but I just didn’t think it was that funny. Sorry. Please don’t judge me.
  11. Winter’s Bone: Horribly horribly disturbing. Enough said.

There you go! If you’d like to have a movie discussion on any of these above, or if you’d like to discuss vegetables from the first paragraph, leave a comment!

Day 765: Create

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 16

Day 765: Create

I did some orgami tonight and they turned out well!

For today’s photo, I had to create something or take a picture of something I already created. I used to be fascinated by orgami after learning about it in middle school. So, I thought I’d bring it back for this post! Maybe I should explain what’s in the photo. On the left, you have a dog with floppy ears. In the middle bottom is a heart. In the upper right is a butterfly. Can you tell? I hope so! The dog was pretty easy to make, so I had more fun with the heart and butterfly. They were more challenging. I’m proud of myself right now! Maybe I’ll go try making other things.

So, who watched the SNL 40 show last night? I thought it was pretty awesome. There are only two things I really didn’t like… Kanye West’s performance and the little jokes about Brian Williams. But, I loved Celebrity Jeopardy with Will Ferrell; the awesome celebrity appearances by Melissa McCarthy, Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, Tom Hanks, etc.; Weekend Update; the Q&A by Jerry Seinfeld; seeing the SNL alumni including Steve Martin, Martin Short, Chevy Chase, etc.; seeing auditions; and more! It was a night full of laughter.

This cold Monday is almost over! Brrr.

Day 761: Out + About

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 12

Day 761: Out + About

The theater!!

Today’s photo involved being out and about. As you can guess, I went to the movie theater tonight! I’ve always loved this theater since it’s in my hometown. And I love the fact that they kept this marquee with the awesome lights all these years. I like it when theaters look somewhat old-fashioned. It makes me want to dress up and go to the theater!

Alright folks, it’s time for reviews of books and a movie. You might judge me extremely after this post, but I’m willing to risk it. Tonight at the movie theater, I saw Fifty Shades of Grey. First, I’ll give you my review of the books.

Fifty Shades Books Synopsis (DEFINITE SPOILERS): The first book is about a girl in her young 20s named Anastasia Steele; she steps in for her roommate, Kate, to interview a wealthy business man for the school newspaper… Christian Grey. He is powerful, rich, and dominant while Anastasia is young, naïve, and innocent. They realize they can’t resist each other, so they begin a relationship of sorts, sexually and emotionally, while he wants to be her dominant and she his submissive. Their relationship grows into something more, which is new for both of them. They find themselves having fun together while learning about each other. At the end, his controlling tendencies become too much for her, so she leaves.

I’ll make the synopsis for the next two books a lot shorter. For the second book, Fifty Shades Darker, Christian and Anastasia get back together and try having a regular relationship, while doing a lot of… adult things. Issues come up with an ex-sub and Ana’s boss; they both try to hurt them. Christian’s friend, Mrs. Robinson, causes trouble for them, too. In the end, they realize they love each other and get engaged. In Fifty Shades Freed, Ana and Christian go on a long honeymoon in Europe. They seem happy for the most part, and Ana ends up pregnant later. Christian gets angry and gets drunk with Mrs. Robinson, which causes issues. Ana’s former boss kidnaps Christian’s sister and tries to basically kidnap and kill Ana. Crazy stuff happens, but in the end, Ana and Christian are happily married with a child and another on the way.

My Review on the Books: So, ready for my opinion? I overall like the books. Christian is a lost, tortured, dreamy, caring, crazy guy and I was mesmerized by him. Sometimes I liked how he acted manly while other times I wanted to punch him. There’s definitely a lot of detail in the more adult scenes, but being an adult myself, I could handle them. I mainly liked seeing how both Christian and Ana change throughout the books and grow to love each other. I liked seeing their chemistry and how it evolved. He wanted to fully control her at the beginning, but that’s impossible to do if the relationship evolves. I think you have to be open-minded on sex and relationships while reading these books (or seeing the movie). I learned more about the… more adult parts… which I guess is OK. The third book annoyed me a bit, mainly because Ana was whiny and Christian’s personality changed A LOT, but I like how the story wrapped up. Overall, I think the books are a curiously, fantasy-driven, fun read.

Fifty Shades Movie (POSSIBLE TINY SPOILERS):  I thought the movie went along with the book really well. If you haven’t read the books, I’m not sure if you’ll really like the movie, especially the ending. Jamie Dornan did an amazing job playing Christian Grey. I pictured him being like that! There were some little funny parts and Dakota Johnson did a great job, too. If you liked the books, I recommend seeing the movie!

Well, it’s late. Time for me to sleep. And I hope you aren’t judging me after this post. Goodnight!