Monday, September 16, 2013

Some Solutions

I just went back and found some posts where I was sharing how I was trying to figure out some stuff as a new mom. (Well... some of the issues don't have that much to do with being a mom -- just my life -- like the closets in our rented duplex.)

And since I have figured some of it out for myself, I thought I would share.
I apologize in advance, this post is just gonna be kinda a jumble of stuff.

The first solution I wanna share was my struggle to "Understanding The Toddler Mind."
Nearly a year ago, I shared with you how I just don't understand small children.
For some reason I get babies. Maybe because its pretty much eating, sleeping and cleaning.
But once they can show me a mind of their own, I'm lost.
I have never spent time around kids, unless you count when they were my peers, loooong before becoming a mom. My life just kinda lined up in a way that I never was around people much younger than me. And I never baby sat or anything. I also didn't take any classes on kids (unless you count that one in high school where they basically tried to scare teenagers away from getting pregnant by showing labor movies, giving you a fake baby doll that cries all night, and telling you how expensive kids are.)
So I've been lost. REALLY lost since Jasmine turned two.

I tried looking for some books, but I didn't come across what I was looking for until now.

(So, I totally missed out understand two year olds! :) We have moved on to being confused by three year olds now.)

I just grabbed this book of the library shelf this past week and I am LOVING it!
Its called: "Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy" by Louise Bates Ames. (I found the inclusion of the word "Enemy" a turn off, but I get the usage of it, and I'm glad I still grabbed the book despite my idealism.)
I don't know if anyone else would like it. But its seriously EXACTLY what I was hoping to find. Just a book that explains what a person of that age is like: what they are capable of, what they find difficult, what a stereotypical persona of that age looks like, what they enjoy, what they dislike, basics of their day and how they see the world.
Its like the author read my mind on what I needed to know.
Now the book is a little older. It came out in 1985. So I read a couple reviews on amazon of some of her books where people were thinking it didn't apply now. But, I can say for me its a total hit. The author acknowledges that every kid is an individual and they each go through things in their own way -- but the generalizations she makes really do fit what me and Jasmine are going through. And I find it really reassuring because I never could tell before I read this if she was doing something strange, or something that needs correction, or if its just an age appropriate thing she will out grow. And as long as I know its just an age thing I don't feel compelled to worry about it any more. And I can take deep breathes and just say, "It will get better."

I'll be going back and reading the one year old and two year old books for Ruby's sake. And I'll definitely be reading the four year old book and likely the rest too. (They go up to nine years old, and then there is a book covering 10 -14 years old.) The one I'm reading is really helping me out, so I'm definitely looking forward to the others.

Ok moving on to clothes:
Around Thanksgiving last year I whined about having no nice jeans and not being able to find underwear that fit, are cute, comfy and not wedgie machines.

Well that weekend (Black Friday last year) I went out and bought some jeans on sale. They were a bit more than I usually like to spend on jeans. But I'm glad I went for them, because they were the right ones for me.
I wanted something cute but comfy. Originally I was shooting for real jeggins (like no button leggings ) -- because I was just gonna "give in." I tried some on they looked... just marginally ok, but felt cozy. I ALMOST bought them, but I'm really glad I held off, because they would have ended up in the goodwill pile after about another month and motherhood started to ease up a bit. But with a bit more shopping, the jeans that I found are seriously actually MORE comfortable than those elastic top jeggins. AND they zip! And have real but pockets! Not to mention they look normal -- like real pants  -- because they are real pants!
I am a short, hour glass figure, with full thighs and butt. So if you are shaped something like that and want cute but cozy and very mom-friendly skinny jeans you might wanna try these on.
Calvin Klein powerstretch dark wash jeggins. (I'm not sure their photo sells it much.)
They are too long for me, but they look cute cuffed. And with skinny jeans you can easily turn them under to look hemmed for heals or something.
I've had them for almost a year now. They have stayed the same size -- none of that grows as you wear them business. And they are stretchy, so they have been able to accommodate my shape shifting as I unpregnanfied. And I'm not sure, but I kinda think they might be the kind of pants I could wear a while into a pregnancy.
They've held up in the wash well (I've always washed them on their own or with another pair of jeans. Turned inside out. And I hang them to dry), with just some fading in the fronts of the legs, and a bit more on the knees, which I think just looks just fine when you think of all those pants asking you pay to look like that. 

Underwear. The best I've found form what I've tried have been from Target -- the xhilaration brand, polyester hipsters, with the lace trim top. (For some reason I found the cotton versions to be CONSTANT wedgie machines. I don't know why.) (Also on a wedgie note -- I NEVER buy underwear with a seam up the butt -- thats just like saying "wedgie please.")
I found these to be cute, flattering (no scary things happening in pinching momma-ness) and comfy.
(But I'm sure the link above will quit working when they switch color styles, which they do often.)

I tried a bunch of brands on, and I think its because I'm short and curvy, but it seemed like I kept getting wrong fits. One part tight, one part lose = no parts looking or feeling good.
So these are the clear winners for me. Maybe you too? I have no idea.
These have also held up well.
I wash them with all my stuff in the washing machine, but I always do my best to fish them out and hang them to dry. (The heat from the dyer can ruin elastic.)
(I really cherish my underwear anymore. I didn't really have money to buy underwear that fit while I was losing weight after my first pregnancy -- underwear that fit are a luxury to me now! lol.)

Also my mom-bag.
I know at some point I talked about needing a new one to fit enough for two kids.
After I had Jasmine the hospital gave me this diaper bag.

I resisted using it at first - because it looked so small. And I thought I would find something more purse like. But I finally gave it a try (after I literally hit someone, who was just innocently eating their breakfast, in the head with one of my wear-on-the-shoulder-more-purse-like mom-bags as I tried to squeeze through a tight fitting restaurant setting with a baby car seat in my hands!) and I found out I loved that little back pack. I said -- no more shoulder bags -- too hard for me. The back pack was where it was at. And after a while I've started to believe (after telling myself many times over, true or untrue) that its kinda a cool look.

Anyway. Despite it holding a lot and it working great as both a diaper bag for me as well as a purse at the same time. It didn't hold enough for a baby and a toddler and me.

I found the perfect solution! Same sort of bag but bigger. A sport sling bag.
I found one in Goodwill. It was a cheerleader bag I think. But its PERFECT.
Bigger and sturdier. But it actually doesn't look bigger when I wear it. So I don't look like I'm wearing a full on back pack.
I just saw another Adidas one in another goodwill this week. Check your thrift store.

And one other random thing I feel the need to resolve on the blog:
When we first moved in here I couldn't figure out how to store our suitcases. Or really how to make our closets work. (I got used to having a double rod at our old house.)
I figured out our suitcases would fit on the shelf in our closet!
And I started using diaper boxes as compartments for shoes, hats and folded tee shirts.
(The big green tub on the left is my donate bin. I stick it in there if I don't think I'll use it. If I dig it out, its saved. If not, good bye!)

If I had more time and I cared, I would cover the boxes cutely. But I don't care. This works. (Some of them are sort of covered from a project at our old house.)

So those are some things have have been working for me.
Just thought I'd pass it along!

Maybe I'll share a bit more of how I've been doing life as a mom of two soon.
(If I get the time -- ha! That should be a hint at how that post will read! ;) )


  1. This post was great! I thought for sure I was the only mom who totally didn't get toddlers. I have that book on request at the library now! And finding jeans and underwear that fit after having a baby is so difficult!

    1. :) Thanks! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one, as well! (On all fronts!) I hope you find the book as useful as I did!

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