Big news! Tomorrow, I’ll be at my first day of work! The pastors at our church had been praying about filling an administrative assistant/financial organizer position for a little while. They reached out to me and asked if I would be interested. I’m going to be a part-time working mom! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that I was looking for work when Adeline was maybe 5 or 6 months old.
(look how small!)
At that time, I had an opportunity, but it just didn’t fit well with our nursing schedule, and I just don’t think I was ready to take on anything except caring for Adeline and our home. But now, we’ve definitely got a rhythm going with how our days flow, and Adeline is becoming a lot more flexible in terms of napping and nursing. I’ll only be working 3 days a week, for 3-4 hours each morning.
The best part is, I can bring Adeline to work (she can hang out in the nursery at church) if I need to! I’m hoping that I can have her stay with friends who are SAHM’s rather than hiring a nanny. I’d love her to have lots of interaction with other kids, but I’ll definitely do a post on what our “childcare” situation looks like once we get something consistent!
I’ll be honest, a little part of me is scared about leaving Adeline. I’ve been with her for EVERY.DAY.OF.HER.LIFE. Every single day. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to see almost every new skill and hear all of her new words when they pop up. My family definitely takes priority (and our pastors definitely understand that). I’m really really excited to feel a bit more productive, and part of me is definitely longing for a little bit more structure to our weeks.
We’re definitely fortunate that I don’t have to work to help support our family, but this opportunity was definitely too great to pass up. I think the part-time nature of the position will lend itself well to our weekly schedule. Although I’ll be missing out on some of our story-times and morning play-dates, we’ll definitely have time in the afternoon to do whatever we want! And, I’m weirdly excited for having a need to be better prepared for the week ahead. For example, on Friday, I cooked up a BUNCH of buckwheat pancakes (from cookieandkate.com) so that I could have a stash in the freezer if we’re running late.
I already try to have plenty of leftovers hanging around for lunches, but I think doing a bit more prep of food for the week ahead will be a beneficial task. I’m also contemplating going to the gym on some mornings because my end-of-day workouts have been less than stellar. One step at a time though!
Anyways, I’m excited to have some “me” time away from the house and I’m excited to use my brain in a different way than I have for the last 16+ months. Please be praying about our childcare situation for Adeline (I would totally bring her to work every day, but I probably wouldn’t get much accomplished).
If you have ever been a working mom, what is your best advice?
Just popping in to say hello! I successfully “broke” my blog this week after switching hosts, and I’m still in the process of cleaning things up. But, I just wanted to say HELLO and be on the lookout for a new and improved Cooper Family Blog next week (fingers crossed!)
I remember thinking sixteen months is so OLD when I asked people how old their toddlers were! I have found myself looking back at newborn pictures and videos of Adeline a lot. I am continually amazed that the helpless little newborn has transformed into this active little toddler.
If I had to pick a few words to describe Adeline, they would be: friendly, curious, silly and messy (in the kindest way possible). I actually asked Daniel which words he would use to describe Adeline, and he said content, curious and silly. We’re both LOVING this age. She’s old enough to do a lot of things on her own, and she can follow simple directions. She’s starting to speak more too, which is pretty cool! I think she’s going to be a pretty big daddy’s girl, they just seem to “get” each other, and I love hearing them laugh together as they hang out!
Strangers typically get a wave and a shy grin in the grocery, and Adeline gives us the most goofy, toothy grins at home (see the picture below). Adeline makes a beeline for any baby that we see while we’re out and about. She smiles at the cashier as we check out at Kroger (unless we’re doing our shopping too close to naptime). I love how social she is (although, I’m sure we’ll have to work on personal space boundaries for a while!)
Adeline loves to touch and feel the world around her. She’ll stop on walks at the store or around the neighborhood to look at specks on the ground. She likes to feel the material on clothing as we browse Target (because we just needed to get out of the house). She likes finding new objects to put in her block sorting toy (like mommy’s tiny earrings or loose change). I love that she tries new foods without hesitation.
Adeline has a word for “silly”, it actually sounds a lot like she’s saying “silly”. She loves to be tickled, and she giggles as she tries to get Silas (the dog) to chase her around the house. She thinks it’s HILARIOUS to sit on me while I’m doing a workout. I guess I should be thanking her, doing push-ups with 20 extra pounds is no joke! She’s a little goofball right now, and it’s just great. Can you tell that we think she’s pretty special? She’s sleeping really well right now too, so it’s hard to complain!
Finally, I have a messy daughter. She doesn’t mind having avocado smeared from head to toe, and she typically sports an untamed hairdo. She has berry stains on many shirts, and the knees on some of her pants are discolored from the tumbles she has taken while playing on the playground. And, while I would love to have the cleanliness of bath time last a couple of days, I love that she thoroughly explores her world.
I hope that she is always mesmerized by the ripples in a sidewalk puddle. I hope that she doesn’t mind having dirt under her fingernails this summer after helping me in the garden. Words are starting to come, new sounds are being added all of the sudden! I mean, a week or two ago, he still had a few “basic” sounds like de-de, dada, mama, Siii (Silas), yah and maybe a few others. I feel like we’re at the very edge of a language EXPLOSION! I’m picking up some Signing Time DVD’s from the library today, I’m excited to watch them (probably on my own) to learn some new signs to help us transition into this world of communicating a little bit better!
We’re still nursing a lot, 4-6x per day. We are TOTALLY night-weaned!!! I’d eventually like to just nurse in the morning and at night, but I feel like that’s still a long way off. I’ll just keep going with the flow! I don’t necessarily HATE comfort nursing, but it is kind of annoying to be chased around by a little “milk monster” all morning. Any tips? I feel like the nursing sessions that are more “for comfort” are going to be more difficult to end- but maybe as the weather warms and we’re busier being outside and such, she’ll just be too distracted to nurse?
Here’s a quick video from our walk the other day!
Have a WONDERFUL week! Thanks for being a part of Adeline’s toddlerhood
Mamas- see the nursing question in the last full paragraph!
**The comments are now open on my last two posts: my first StitchFix recap and Adeline’s 15 month recap (with an update on how night-weaning is going)! I don’t know why they were closed in the first place, but they’re open now!**
Hello friends! I thought a random list of happenings around the Cooper house was in order for this chilly Tuesday! Enjoy!
1. I’m so over the cold weather. The days when the temperature is above 20 feel SO NICE! I’m also ready for the snow to be GONE so that I don’t have to keep mopping up salty spots on our floors. I blame the cold weather on the fact that I just watched ALL FIVE SEASONS of Friday Night Lights in a shamefully short period of time.
2. My sweet friend Brittany at Delights and Delectables just became a MOTHER!!! Yay Adoption!
3. I’ve been loving coffee creamers lately. Mmmm. I’m trying to stick with Natural Bliss creamers (no funky ingredients) but I do like the Italian Sweet Cream creamer from CoffeeMate. I keep finding creamers at a great discount at the grocery, so that’s why they’ve been sneaking into my shopping cart! After we finish the creamers in the fridge, I’m going back to using milk or soymilk- I get plenty of sugar from chocolate, no need for extra sweets in my morning cup of joe!
(You’re welcome for the super awesome WebCam selfie that I took while writing this post)
4. Our home is on the market (we rent a unit in a 2-family building). It’s been really stressful trying to keep the house tidy for showings and such. There was an offer on the house last week, but it fell through after the inspection. There’s another offer now, and my fingers are CROSSED that our current landlord accepts the offer so that we can be finished with these showings! We *should* be able to stay where we are, but you never know! Toddlers really really like to un-do any type of cleaning/organizing that you attempt.
5. I’ve been in a workout rut. I blame the cold weather and dark nights. Also, Adeline’s toddler antics have been keeping me much busier in general! I’m STOKED because I won a giveaway from Lindsay at Running with Tongs for a new workout plan- Michelle Bridges’ Twelve Week Body Transformation, here I come! I’m not really looking to *transform* my body, but I definitely would like a kick in the pants to get back to working out more regularly! I’ll definitely do a recap of the program with “progress pics” as well! Maybe Michelle will even let me host my own giveaway? I’m kind of excited because everyone who signs up goes through the program at the same time! I love that there’s a community aspect built in!
6. My dear friend Ashley recapped the birth of her second daughter, Nora. She is AMAZING. Get some tissues, I totally cried.
7. Our church, Missio Dei, is awesome. Each week, we leave feeling challenged. One of my favorite aspects of our church is that the teaching is directly from scripture. We are also reminded of the gospel at EVERY gathering. God created the world -> sin entered the world (and we were separated from God) -> Jesus Christ was born -> Jesus died on the cross to cover ALL of our sins -> Three days later, Jesus rose to conquer sin and death and give the gift of salvation to all who believe in Him alone for eternal life. AMEN! I am so so glad that we get to hear the gospel message each week- this is what our family believes!
8. So many friends are expecting babies, my heart is about to explode! And I have so many friends who are on their journey to conceive as well! I love seeing how God moves to grow families
9. I love my husband! He rocks! He works so hard for us, and he and Adeline are the best of friends. We had a “date night” in the other night, and it was so nice to just snuggle on the couch. He’s definitely on the top of my list for #MCM (man-crush Monday)
10. My heart is also sad because my aunt Helen passed away last week. We were unable to attend the funeral due to the copious amounts of snow that showed up on Saturday. She will be dearly missed by us all. My mom has 8 sisters and 7 brothers- to say that Helen will be missed by many people is an understatement. (Helen is in the middle, my beautiful mother is on the right!)
11. I’m super excited about getting back into the kitchen! Last night, I made a TON of enchiladas (just simple, black bean enchiladas). My blogging buddy, Nicole at Making Good Choices, has also been getting back into the kitchen, check out what she’s making! I’m also hoping to try out this Soft Wheat Sandwich Bread for Daniel from Heather at Fit Mama Real Food.
12. I do meal planning each week! We set a pretty rigid budget for our groceries, and I do my best to prepare us wholesome, nutritious and delicious food while respecting our finances. Turns out, my blog-friend Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life and I do our meal planning in almost the same way! Check out her Anatomy of a Weekly Meal Plan post!
Do you meal plan? Are you doing any training/workout program right now? Share a recipe you LOVE!
Yesterday, I received my first StitchFix delivery! I put StitchFix gift cetificates on my Christmas/birthday list and I decided to schedule my first delivery! StitchFix is a company with stylists who send you clothing items based on your preferences. I filled out my survey and scheduled my “fix”, and yesterday, a pretty box showed up at my front door! And here is my StitchFix Review! *Note- all StitchFix links in this post are my personal referral link- if you decide to make a purchase, I’ll get StitchFix credit!*
I found out about StitchFix from some fellow bloggers and thought it would be fun to try out since I am severely fashion-challenged. I get shopping anxiety, so this was a fun way for me to try on new styles without attempting a shopping trip with a toddler in tow.
I’ll start off by saying this- I didn’t love anything in my first box. There were a few items I liked, but not enough to purchase them. Price point was one area that influenced my decision. The jeans I’m wearing in most of the photos are $8 from Forever21, I’m used to spending as little money as possible on clothing. But, I do want to slowly introduce good, quality pieces into my wardrobe, which is why I chose to get my first StitchFix! Let’s start off with the least favorite items.
This is the Alexander Aztec Knit Drape Front Cardigan (($68).
I’ll be honest, this felt like wearing a blanket (which means it was SUPER cozy). However, there are no buttons or clasps, and I felt like the colors washed me out. It just felt too bulky, and I could never imagine myself wearing this cardigan anywhere. Looking at this picture though, maybe it wasn’t as huge and bulky as I was thinking?
Next up, these fun magenta-colored pants. These are the Collen High Rise Straight Leg jean ($68).
The material on these was awesome, stretchy yet structured. The color was fun too, but I feel like I don’t have many items in my closet that would go with these pants. They were also a little baggy in the butt and they were too long. I did like the high rise (although I didn’t snap a pic, sorry!) I think that might make them “mom jeans” since they nearly went up to my bellybutton? I would have kept these if the fit had been a tiny bit better, and if the color wasn’t quite so difficult to coordinate with.
This is a top I really liked- the Teo Solid Side-Gathered Longsleeve Top in Olive ($58). And check out Adeline, how cute is she?
This would make a great early maternity top! The front panels are super stretchy, and it would be a great top to wear for nursing mothers as well! The material felt SO LUXURIOUS! It was fantastic. I’m used to wearing cheap cotton, so this was a welcome change Since I’m not pregnant (but still nursing!), the fit in the chest was a little bit too baggy. I debated a long time about keeping this, because we’ll hopefully get pregnant again, and this would be a great piece to have. But- I think I can probably find a similar top on my own, for less $$.
Next up are my two favorite pieces in the box! This is the Mission 3/4 Sleeve V-Neck Blouse ($48)
This top made me feel a little bit fancy! I can definitely see myself grabbing this out of the closet when I want to feel a little “dressier”. The fit was great and I liked the detail at the neck. My “go-to” nicer shirts are black, so it would be fun to have a different color. I liked that the top was sheer, and I think it would pair really well with colorful accents! The main reason I’m not keeping this is because I don’t really have any of those colorful accents, and I kind of want to branch out more into the wonderful world of COLOR!
Finally, the piece that i liked the most is the Zoa Tab-Sleeve Emboridered Blouse ($48).
\I liked that this was similar to the shirt above in the sheerness and in the sleeve length. The embroidering and v-cut at the neckline are what made this top take first place. I feel fancy in this top, and I think I can make it work for multiple seasons!
I still have a few days to decide on what I’m going to keep, but I think the cream colored top is my winner! I’m also considering sending EVERYTHING back and ordering another fix… decisions, decisions! I am really thankful that I was sent a few new styles of clothing- hopefully I can be a bit bolder when I go to look for new clothes in the future! Thanks, StitchFix!
Have you ever tried StitchFix? Have you ever done a StitchFix Review?
What is your favorite piece of clothing above?
Should I keep anything (even if I’m not “in love” with it?