Monthly Archives: January 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Polaroid, Old & New

Circa 1987 with rockin' hair

Newage HTC camera phone polariod - also with some pretty rockin' hair!

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GIVEAWAY ALERT: Inspired by Finn Necklace

Inspired by Finn and Everything Birth are sponsoring a giveaway here at Halfway Crunchy for an infant sized Baltic Amber Teething Neclace!

Color may be different than actual necklace sent for this giveaway

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace

Among other things, amber is a natural analgesic (pain reliever) and anti-inflammatory.  When amber is worn on the skin, the warmth of the skin releases trace amounts of healing oils on the skin.  Commonly known as “teething jewelry,” baltic amber has been a natural and traditional European remedy for teething discomfort for hundreds of years. 

“Our necklaces and bracelets are handcrafted with amber beads imported from the Baltic Region. They are made of authentic Baltic amber, the most esteemed type of amber in the world. The translucency of amber depends on the amount of air bubbles contained within a piece of amber and their distribution. Some believe the color is related to the type of tree source.

Succinic acid is the most beneficial component of the amber. I have read that the darkest colored amber generally contains less succinic acid than lighter colors. I have also read that the more cloudy or opaque amber is, the more succinic acid it contains (and usually the more cloudy amber is the nearer to the color white it becomes).

The string the amber is strung on is designed to stretch when a good amount of pressure is applied, and break if necessary. Each piece of amber is individually double knotted on the strand. The necklace fastens with a screw clasp.”

Similar to children’s games that have age recommendations when the items contain small parts, new legislation coming into effect in the US in February, 2009, mandates an age recommendation of 3 years and older for this type of jewelry. This jewelry is not intended for wear on children under 3 years old. (If you do not see this age recommendation on the website of other retailers of this type of jewelry, it does not mean that their jewelry is better suited or safer for young children – they are simply in violation of US law [Small Parts Regulations].)

Children should be supervised when wearing jewelry, and it should be removed when the child sleeps.

WIN IT! 

For your own chance to win an infant size Baltic Amber Teething Necklace made by Inspired by Finn enter in the comments below! Contest is open to the U.S. and Canada only. (My apologies international readers!)

MAIN ENTRY: Visit Inspired by Finn’s FB page and “like” their page! Let me know you’ve “liked” their page by leaving a comment below.  (PLEASE DO NOT leave a comment on Inspired by Finn’s FB page regarding this giveaway!)

Leave a valid email address in your comments (the line where it says “email address”) so I can contact you if you win. Email addresses are not made publicly visible.

BONUS ENTRIES, to increase your chance of winning (leave a separate comment for each so I can count them all):

RULES:

  • Contest open to United States and Canada street mailing addresses only.
  • Contestants may enter at Halfway Crunchy only.  Entries will be combined for the drawing of a single winner.
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so I can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let me know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, you can copy and paste the comment with a #1, #2, etc.
  • You don’t have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • I will pick the winner through Random.org after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave a valid email address as you comment so I can contact you if you win. If I cannot reach a winner or do not hear back within a couple days, I’ll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let me know: HalfwayCrunch {at} gmail {dot} com

Contest closes January 31, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Disclosure: I did not receive anything free for this giveaway or for reviewing this product I’m simply doing this giveaway for you! I personally use this product and if I didn’t like a product I would not be recommending it to you.

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Bedsharing Saved Us

This week over at Natural Parents Network, they’re talking about the “family bed.” I submitted a post on my experience with our family bed and how it saved my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter. 

Stop by and check it out plus see the other great posts on the benefits of cosleeping past infancy, bedsharing with multiple kids or the Wordless Wednesday post to see cosleeping!

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Wordless Wednesday: Let Me Straighten Up for You!

What? I thought it was garbage!

 

Photos taken by Kristy at our last play date.  Seeing our kids together and getting some much needed chat time really made me want to move closer!

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Please Excuse My Excuses

I didn’t like my job when I was an assistant (the position I was in before becoming a technical buyer – what I do now). I really thought it was the money thing… I didn’t make a lot and I was always living beyond my means. So, I had a part time job as a bartender to fill in the gaps but I was still living beyond my means even with 2 incomes.

I was so excited to become a technical buyer not because the job was awesome – the job suck ass, actually. I was just so excited because I’d be getting a 40ish% increase in salary. I could pay all my bills, have some leftover and not have to work at the bar. We were engaged, I had a new job, and we were planning a wedding…then I got pregnant. I don’t regret it [getting pregnant], I love the daylights out of my kid, but I do wish I made different decisions.

I do wish that I could go back and tell myself what is really important. I wish I could convince myself back then to do things differently to change how life is right now.

I didn’t want to buy a house. I bought it because I could and because my husband wanted it. Houses are part of the American dream, right, so of course we need a house. In retrospect, I think the house was a shitty move.

We actually lined up an apartment not very far from where our house is now for less than $400 a month because I had decided to stay home and I’d be the full time property manager. We had the application in and it was contingent upon us getting the final approval for our home loan. At this point we didn’t think we were going to end up getting the loan because it had been about a week of loads of paperwork, loads of questions, loads of uneasiness from our lender and one other lender retracting out of the deal. When we were finally approved magically my dream to take a year off was gone out the window and we bought the house. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Obviously it was house, you need a house, your husband wants a house, a house will be perfect for the family because you won’t move all time time like you did growing up, house, house house. Here I was climbing out of debt, starting to turn things around and then I have to go blow it all on a fucking house.

We could have only been paying $400 a month for a roof over our heads and the utilities but we threw it out the window over this “need” for a house. Well, the house we picked needed work – lots and lots of work. Where did I come up with the money for the work? My credit cards.

We were going to get $8,000 from Uncle Sam just for buying the house so I “had” the money to do the work. So, my nearly gone debt went back to where it was and when we got the $8,000 I paid some of it back but not all of it. Second dumbest move ever because duh Sara, things break, kitchens flood, the electric bill is $150 a month more than you budgeted for, Christmas happens and your an over spender, birthday parties, buying clothes…all these fun things happen and you just racked all your debt back up.

So, basically I’m back to where I was months before I became pregnant….wallowing in self pity, wallowing in my debt, still hating my job even though the money was supposed to make me happy and fix all my problems. If I could go back…if only I could go back.

I’d say hey Sara, figure out how to quit your job and figure out a way to take a year or two off from work. Quit making fucking excuses and just do it. You don’t need a hot shot career. You don’t need oodles of money because it’s never going to make you happy. You know what makes you happy? Your daughters giggles, her smell, her spunk.

You know what rips your heart out everyday? Leaving J everyday for the money that’s making you “happy”…

Leaving her everyday is going to be the hardest thing you do. Everyday it gets harder for you. It doesn’t get easier like everyone says it does. No, it gets harder but you get used to the pain. That’s why people say it gets easier it’s because you get used to the guilt and the pain of it. It still tears you up but you get better at hiding the pain and ignoring it. You learned that well from childhood.

You’re going to start sucking at your job. You’re going to get to the point where you give up and you purposefully don’t do things at work because “you don’t have time”. You have the time but you’re trying to sabotage your career because you’re so pissed at yourself for putting yourself in your position. You’re half scared that you’re doing this because you still have bills but your half excited because if you get fired you can be at home with your daughter where you’re happy. Even when you get talked to about your performance at work and you try to get back in the groove and fix things but you just can’t. You hate it there. You don’t like what you do, you don’t care about the money, and you just stop caring.

Just do yourself a favor and quit after your maternity leave is up. You’ll be happier knowing that you don’t depend on a job that you hate anyway and that you are raising your daughter instead of your sister-in-law.

But, since I can’t go back, since I can’t tell myself that my job isn’t the most important thing in my life like everyone (basically my husband and my mother) has always told me I guess I’m stuck.

I feel so stuck.

I need to unstick myself but figuring out how is hard and I seem to always make things worse. What would make me happy is to be a stay at home mommy but getting to that point is impossible for me…obviously my stupid excuse hasn’t changed. It’s the money. And now everyone is pressuring me to have another kid. Unfuckingreal.

Welcome to my little pity party full of excuses and bullshit.

Tomorrow night I have a meeting with a financial advisor so I can figure all my crap out.  I totally want to a do-over, though.  Or, to hit the lottery – the true American dream.  Too bad I don’t play.

If only I could figure out what is holding me back from being authentic and true.  Maybe I can sift through things and really make some changes for the better instead of little things that don’t mean much to me like where my husband puts his hats at the end of the day.  How do you focus your energy and be true to what you really want in life, parenting, work, etc.?  How do you plan and stay on course?  It seems like I am my worst enemy as they say.

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Ch ch ch ch Changes….

Did you see that I made some goals this year for myself?  Wellllll, I’ve done the whole one step forward, two steps back dealio -kinda. 

On the finance front I’m really making some headway!  I’ve setup my ING

J in the new year standing tall

account (and scored 50 big ones!), I’ve automated everything that I possibly can plus now I have a separate account for our groceries, my gas and my spending money.  I don’t even look at my other account that pays all our bills (ok, I peek) or touch the pot so I can’t overspend out of it!  I had this terrible habit of seeing all these dollars and being all ohhhh but I have so many so I can spend $3 here, $6 there….NO MORE!

Then I went on a cleaning escapade this past week.  I organized and cleaned J’s room and closet.  I cleaned up all the Christmas decorations (except the lights on the house – A’s job for sure) and I’ve gone through the toys to scale down after the toy explosion.  Not bad for a couple weeks into the New Year, I must say.

Plus I’ve been writing more, I have an open house Saturday night with Diaper Parties, I’ve crochet 3 hats, and I’ve been spending more time with family members.  Overall I’m heading in the right direction here…

BUT, my soda habit is really spiraling out of control.  I have this thing for Coke and it started during my pregnancy.  I had one craving and one craving only: Coca Cola Classic.  It’s my downfall and I thought not buying it would help me and then the vending machines started to taunt me.  BAD.  We all have our dirty little habits, right?  Or is that just me!?

I see it this way, if I keep making excuses for why I fail giving something up then I’m just not ready to give it up.  It’s like smoking or drinking, right? 

So, how are you doing on your goals for yourself this year?

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Self-Confidence Was Born With My Daughter

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning from children

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared the many lessons their children have taught them. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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It took having a baby to realize that my self-esteem issue was fabricated and instilled within me rather than something I was born with.  My daughter would cry out with such urgency the first few nights she was out of my uterus because she knew that if she cried it would be answered.  My daughter taught me how to become a confident mother because I let her.  I let her by listening, watching, and just being without judgment, without bias, without experience.

Sleeping J

I didn’t read a lot on caring for a newborn besides the basics of how to bathe them, how to diaper them, and how to feed them.  I believed that we all have natural instincts and we can learn how to parent the way our child needs if we are open to it.

After a few days of disarray I started to understand the grimaces, winces and squeaks that my daughter used as cues for when she was getting hungry.  I learned the grunt that meant she was uncomfortable or needed a new diaper.  I started to understand that my daughter had enough confidence in herself to tell me what she needed and when I got it “right” my confidence in myself built by leaps and bounds.

J sleeping on mama

So often I hear mothers talking about being manipulated by their infants and that they don’t want to “give in” to the cry or a “bad behavior”.  But, when you give in to your child’s needs, when you give in to what you feel is right rather than what you’ve been told is right that’s how you build your parenting confidence.  There is never a right or wrong way to do things when it comes to parenting because it’s ever evolving over time and the growth of your child(ren).

My daughter taught me to be a confident woman because that’s what she needed.  I became the perfect mother for my daughter because she still loved me even if I didn’t get it “right” the first time (or two).  She taught me about who I am instead of who I thought I was.  I am comfort, I am nourishment, I am shelter, I am home, I am peace, above all – I am mama.  And no one can replace me or my confidence in my new role.  I thank my daughter for the changes she caused within me to become who I am today, her perfectly imperfect mama.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon January 11 with all the carnival links.)

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