Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Whatever-It-Is Day!

Image courtesy NaNoWriMo.org
Funnily enough, there are some days where I have no stinkin' idea what day it is, what time zone I'm in or even what planet I am currently on. Oh, motherhood, you tricky thing you. Today I scared a friend into thinking that tomorrow is Friday, a major deadline for him... just kidding Wil!

Any who. While many of you will be celebrating this day as Halloween (or All Hallow's Eve), I am (quitely) celebrating this day as NaNoWriMo Eve! NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a great yearly event celebrated in November that dedicates an entire month to, you guessed it, writing a novel. The goal is 50,000 words, which may sound daunting to you but in reality, I sat down one night (I think the ONLY time I dedicated to the year I participated) and in an hour or so, penned about 2,500 words. But if you are a follower of my blog, you know that I have quite a few hurdles to overcome if I want to be successful in this year's NaNoWriMo!

First hurdle: lack of sleep due to my maternal circumstances. It is quite understood in the NaNo communities, you will probably lack for sleep through the month of November as you work to meet the 50k word goal. I lack sleep anyway so during the day I am more or less a zombie because we're still working on getting Big D to sleep through the night. I've weaned him off nursing during the sleeping hours because at almost a year old and getting three square meals a day with nursing in between, there is no reason for him to need to snack at midnight. He needs to learn to sleep from dusk to dawn like the rest of humanity loves to do, with that said, he still wakes up crying at least once around 1 am, which on most nights he has learned to just collapse into a heap on me (we co-sleep) or if he can't calm himself down, Gary will give him some water we have on the ready. After crying for an hour, water is a welcome gift and that usually does the trick, but we are still so tired from being woken up at all and THEN having to deal with a crying child. We're getting there though, nobody ever said sleep training... or ANY training... is easy.

Second hurdle: job hunting. Oh, vicious, illusive job hunting. Almost every moment I spend alone while Daniel naps or sleeps, I spend on my computer combing the internet for jobs to apply to. The search itself is so time consuming that by the time I find something, Daniel is awake already. It's really quite frustrating and with everything that's going on in my home financially, I'm not entirely sure I can let it slide for another month. Such is life.

Third hurdle: and perhaps the easiest to set on the back burner but still gives me inner grief - blogging. As my blog title suggests, yes, I am a bedtime blogger and naptime, too. When little man is out for x amount of hours, I take full advantage of it somehow. Along with my household responsibilities, I attend to my blogging ones because a blog won't keep itself (obviously!). I love blurb writing, like when I recap what happened during the week when I didn't have much of worth to write about or my Mama Moments posts when I talk about Daniel's little moments that send my mama heart soaring. But on a new blog such as mine with a very small group of followers composed mostly of people I already know, that kind of blogging doesn't always do the trick. But I guess I just came back from an unofficial month-long hiatus anyway so what is one more for good measure?

I'm sure there are a thousand and one more reasons for me not to dive right in, or even knee-deep, in NaNo2012, but there is only one reason TO do it and I have it - desire. I want to. I REALLY want to. I want to be a writer and Gary constantly tells me I have to practice to be any good at it. Of course! I get plenty of practice on my blog but it's just me rambling 99.99% of the time; I have no idea if I'm actually any good at it as a craft, an art. And that last little bit really doesn't matter, if someone has the desire to do anything, they should do it. I had an intense desire to learn to snowboard for YEARS, from childhood, but just tried it about 5 years ago and wouldn't you know that I took to it like a fish in water once I actually tried it? Yeah. Kind of like that.

I just have to try.
Halloween 2010, the first and only year I've participated so far.
Will you be participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In love with fall!

Last days of summer.
Despite the above-average heat during the beginning of fall, we're still taking advantage of all the fun festivities this season has to offer. Actually, I take that back... in the beginning of the month, it was beautiful. Beautiful, idyllic fall conditions: crisp, cool air with a hint of moisture coming from the clouds up above. We took advantage of the sweater weather by taking Daniel to his first pumpkin patch!

It turned back into summer time temperatures early the next week though, and has been warm pretty much ever since. While I accept that Southern California will never have the turning-of-leaves, brisk fall air-type autumn weather that I dream of experiencing sometime in my life, the heat has been nice compared to the extreme weather conditions that other parts of the country will be experiencing. Can't complain!
In our favorite fall pieces, plaid!
Since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year and since I have no idea what kind of activity there will be during that time for families, Gary will more than likely be at work function after leaving the office, etc., we donned Daniel in his very first Halloween costume and went to a family friendly Halloween festival hosted by a community center of a nearby town yesterday. Very cute and served its purpose; our little social butterfly got to play outside with other kids in costume!

Happy Halloween from Daniel Duck!
Gary's parents bought Daniel this adorable Donald Duck outfit while we were visiting them in Japan this year; at the time, it was obviously way too big for him so when we got home, I stored it away. Four months later, we were talking about what he would be for Halloween this year when that outfit came up. I pulled it out and wouldn't you know, it fits perfectly. It was meant to be! I couldn't get over how cute he looked in it and Gary was pleased because his favorite Disney character is Donald.


After Mister Duck went to bed last night, Gary and I sat down and finally carved our pumpkins from the visit to the pumpkin patch. He drew the lines on the pumpkins and while I was putting Daniel down for the night, he was busy sawing away at his (on the left). When I came out of the room, I was surprised to see Totoro's face screaming at me in the dark! I then carved mine (on the right, obviously), best pumpkin I've ever carved in my life!

Have a happy Halloween all and to all my friends who will be in the thick of Hurricane Sandy over the next few days, stay safe and dry!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up

Little Man has been talking about a storm lately, using his voice with inflection when he's discovering something (like when he sees the cats at my parents house) and lots of syllables strung together. He's super stuck on b-sounds and has been saying something that sounds like "bi-ha-bi-ha-bi" a lot. It almost sounds like he's telling us to "be happy", which is something Big Man and I need to hear right now.

Other great things about this week:

  • First real minus-baby outing for me in a LONG time happened this past Sunday evening: coffee chit chat w/ a new friend. I can't stand small talk and I have a hard time meeting people because of that, however, when you meet someone through your kids it tends to be a totally different story: immediate connection! Another thing we have in common is that we all just moved here recently. Add coffee and it's just meant to be.
  • Being a bit more thrifty doesn't have to mean "a Top Ramen every night budget" (thanks anyway, AllState). We use WIC, a great social service that really helped me stay nutritious in the early days of life with Little Man and now helps us keep him fed too. They allow me to buy tofu (score!) and things like dried beans (never used them) and quick oats (which I've learned that I suck at preparing...). I'm going out on a limb tonight and trying my hand at making Black Bean Burgers. Sidenote: if you know of any new mom who's brood (or singlehood) is being hit hard at the wallet, tell her to give WIC a try. They support new moms up to their baby's first birthday but will continue to support infants and children! I was apprehensive at first, thinking it was something like food stamps but after giving it a try (after my mom said "you pay taxes, which pays for it, so take advantage of everything!"), I'm so glad I did. I also believe they will give supplemental food/coupons to primary care givers of infants and children as well, i.e. single dads or grandparents with custody.
  • Kendra over at The Darling Blog has these great social media icons available on her blog for free, so I'll be getting those plugged into my blog ASAP! Check them out! They come in a variety of colors and have just the right amount of flair without taking away from the blog itself.
  • Fall weather! It's finally upon us, even us less autumn-weathered folk in the Southern California coastal regions! I've been using this homemade pumpkin spice syrup in my coffee every. single. morning.
  • I don't like to talk too much about finances on the internetz but in this case, it's simply a caveat to what I really want to say. We are penny-pinching HARDCORE; I'm looking for part-time work too, mostly in the off-hours when Big Man is home from work or on weekends. With that said, as I was throwing the cloth diapers into the dryer I thought to myself "Thank goodness for these, I can't imagine how much money we'd be throwing away (literally!) if we used disposable diapers!". Some of the snaps on the diapers have been on the fritz lately, though. Time to fix them!
  • I had the wonders of Greek yogurt masks shared with me recently, so I bought a small container of plain Chobani yogurt just to give it a try; what did I have to lose, if it didn't work I could just eat it! I've been using it daily since and I have to say, I love it! So far, no adverse effects!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On Where I've Been


This past month has been a huge blur of events for our little family. I swear we've been to San Diego almost every weekend for one reason or another: birthday parties, actual births, fun events and just general hanging out with my family. Then during the week, chasing after a very active early toddler who turned 11 months yesterday (at 2:45 in the afternoon to be exact), discovering that our son is very stubborn (weaning off nursing slowly, cutting out midnight nursing completely), nap training during the day, and making new friends too.