Category: Personal Life

Accommodating Our Newborn

Accommodating Our Newborn

Life accommodating a newborn is a whole new game.

Our life was no exception. Though we tried to plan and be ready as much as possible, you can never be completely ready for that bundle of joy to arrive. And even now, two months in, we’re still not ready.

Every day brings new experiences, new questions, new worries. But we’re figuring it out, together.

One of those things being trying to find a rhythm, a schedule that works for everyone. Something that will give me time in my day to do what needs to be done around the house and have a little me time, but also be able to give our son all the love and affection (and feedings) that he needs. It all boils down to compromise.

How to Accommodate a Newborn

As I sit here typing the first post I’ve written in I don’t even know how long, he’s napping here beside me. Close enough that I can tend to him if he starts to fuss, but in his own space so he can nap comfortably and in peace.

When it’s time to do laundry (which is a real chore since we have a shared laundry facility downstairs and not an in unit washer and dryer), I strap him into our Infantino baby carrier and we do it together. That way I can still get the clothes washed, but I don’t have to worry about leaving him in the apartment alone. Plus, he loves going for walks while strapped close to one of us.

If I’ve had a particularly rough day, my husband will strap him into the carrier and take care of the dishes I couldn’t get to, or bounce him in his little bouncy seat until he falls asleep.

It’s all about working together

My husband and I are a team. I take care of our son during the nighttime feedings so my husband can get plenty of rest for work. Then while he’s at work, I continue to take care of our son, while managing to do a little around the house during the day or get a grocery shop in. Once my husband is home from work, he takes over most of the care so that I can get a little break and they can have some bonding time.

It takes two people to make a baby, and it should be two people that take care of it. Find a way to split the care between each other. It’s not only going to be so important for you to get plenty of rest and much needed breaks, but it’s good for the baby, too, so that he will always be getting the best of you both.

The housework isn’t going anywhere

There were days when I would feel so upset if I couldn’t get the dishes done or the laundry washed before my husband was off work. Like I somehow failed as a stay at home mom for the day.

That’s not what’s important!

Your child is now (or should be) the most important thing needing your attention. The dishes will be there. The laundry will be there. Get to them as you can. If your baby is being super fussy for a couple days, then spend the time with him and don’t worry about the housework. It’ll be there when you have a chance to get to them.

There are no “perfect” parents

Some stay at home parents can manage to take care of multiple kids, keep the house spotless, have dinner on the table by 6 o’clock, and the kids in bed by 9 o’clock every single day of the week. And somehow they manage to do it with a smile all day.

I’m definitely not one of those parents.

There are days when the laundry basket is overflowing, the kitchen is full of only dirty dishes, and the trash is just begging to be taken out. And I’m stuck holding a screaming baby while trying not to scream myself.

And that’s perfectly okay.

Everyone parents differently. What works for one family might not work for another. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to that golden ideal of parenthood. Have goals, definitely. But as long as your baby is well cared for, that’s all that should matter.

Accommodating a newborn into your life can be tough. It’s taken a lot of trial and error before we’ve gotten to a place where I felt like I could sit down to start writing this out. But we’re finally getting into the swing of things (sort of) and I’m excited to say that I’ll be able to write more.

There’s been a lot of ideas brewing that I’ve been dying to share with you. Pregnancy stories and advice. My journey into motherhood. Cosplay. Spirituality and how I plan to share it with my son. And so much more.

Join me on my adventure as my story continues.

Where HAVE I been??

Where HAVE I been??

I honestly can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve been on here. Especially right after making posts about blogging more and being a lot more active on here. *facepalm* It’s been a very long and exhausting year and it’s kept me away for far too long. But I always seem to find my way back. So what have I been up to all this time?

My husband Thom and I finally got our own apartment at the end of April and we LOVE it here. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s our own little slice of home.

I started up a photography business for a while before I decided I was NOT a business woman. Not that kind of business anyway (there will be another post on this later).

We bought our first car together, and it’s my absolute dream car!

On the fall equinox, we finally held our handfasting. It was the most magical moment in my life.

And the biggest news of all, and the thing that has probably pushed me the most to want to reconnect here; I’m pregnant! I’m only 12 weeks along, but it’s been a rough couple months. I’ll be sharing my experiences on that as well.

So as you can see, a lot has happened this year! My goal to finish up the year is to get this blog back into shape and start investing myself in it a bit more. I have some ideas that I’m cooking up and some posts that are in the works to finish up the year and get a good start on 2017. Thank you to all of my wonderful followers who are still here with me. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.

Point Defiance Zoolights

Point Defiance Zoolights

On Christmas eve eve, Thom and I decided to visit the Point Defiance Zoolights in Tacoma. It’s an attraction I like to go to every year, and as part of the first holidays we got to spend together, it’s somewhere I wanted to take Thom. Not being a fan of zoos, it wasn’t something he was really interested in doing, but he could tell how much I wanted to see them with him and reluctantly came along. After which, he was glad for.

It was a little bit on the rainy side, as is the norm for Washington, but we had plenty of dry breaks where I could bring my camera out of hiding and take some shots. The lights all around were an amazing sight to see, with all the colors and the different shapes, many of them even moving. It’s always nice to see what’s changed from year to year. They’re always moving things around and adding new displays, so it’s never the same.

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These jellyfish were so fun to watch! All the tiny jellies swimming around. They seemed to love having that candy cane in there. It was always swarmed with tons of the little guys. Floating around and bumping into it. The one thing I really wanted to see that night was the scuba diving Santa! But yet again, I missed him. The Point Defiance Zoolights have been doing the scuba Santa for a few years now, but I have never once gotten to see him in action. It seems we were too late in the evening and he’d already done his show. One of these years I’ll see him, but not this year.

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Overall, I love going to the Zoolights here in Tacoma. And after seeing what it’s all about, Thom loved it too. It will definitely continue to be on the list of must see visits during the holidays, and even more so when we have little pups of our own to bring with us. If you haven’t seen the Zoolights and you’re in the area, they are still running this week until January 3rd so go check them out! For more info, here’s their website.There’s minor hills around the place, but overall very kid and stroller friendly. So bring the family out to see some of the animals and enjoy all of the lights!

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Veterinary Nostalgia

Veterinary Nostalgia

The number of paws that I’ve held over the past three years is more than I could have ever counted. The pets and the families I’ve helped, the things I’ve learned, the friends I made. All unforgettable. Veterinary medicine is a field that I’ve wanted to be in since I was a little girl. It took me almost two years to find a place that was willing to hire me without having any veterinary experience. After being hired with this clinic, I found out that I wasn’t the first choice, but that person had quit after one day of working, so I got the job. I thought it was fate. I was finally being given the chance to work with animals and learn about veterinary medicine.

It wasn’t easy, and some days I just didn’t think I could do it anymore. But the journey I’ve been on for the past three years was worth it. Never before had I stayed at one job for so long. After 6 months or so, I would always get bored and go looking for another job that would be better suited to me. After 6 months working at the clinic, I asked for a performance review and mentioned that I loved it there. And I did.

I was allowed to have my colored hair and tattoos.
I was allowed to have my colored hair and tattoos.
I helped deliver a litter of puppies while listening to a Seahawks game on the radio.
I helped deliver a litter of puppies while listening to a Seahawks game on the radio.
The things I've helped the doctors remove from pets never ceased to surprise me.
The things I’ve helped the doctors remove from pets never ceased to surprise me.
Some days were a bit boring, but we all found ways to entertain ourselves once the cleaning was done.
Some days were a bit boring, but we all found ways to entertain ourselves once the cleaning was done.
Sometimes, we saw more than just our usual cat or dog patients.
Sometimes, we saw more than just our usual cat or dog patients.
I even said goodbye to my beloved ferret there, holding him till the very last second.
I even said goodbye to my beloved ferret there, holding him till the very last second.

I’ve made some pretty amazing memories while working at the clinic. There are definitely some clients and pets that I am going to miss dearly. It would always make the day a lot better when one of these clients would come in and we could chat for a little bit, or getting to see one of your favorite pets come in for a routine check up or just stopping by for a weight check and some treats. Sometimes, working in a veterinary clinic is exactly what people think. A lot of fun playing with puppies and kittens and their older equivalents. But not always.

What makes people who work in a veterinary clinic amazing is how they can handle working behind the scenes. The things that most people don’t think about when they think of working in a clinic. The patients that come in and just release all of their bodily everything all over the place and we need to clean up. The ones who come in because they’re so sick or “gross” that the owners can barely look at or touch them. The cases that come in for emergency help and don’t make it. The families coming in with tears in their eyes because it’s that time for their pet.

We are the support. Being able to handle the unfortunate side of veterinary medicine is a skill not everyone has. It’s a special kind of love and devotion to be able to handle the ups and downs, and be able to help and support the clients as much as the pets. And I have been so thankful to be able to be one of those people.

Files

Halls

I’ve spent a lot of time in these halls and handling these files. Feels like forever. Leaving it all behind to start a new job is such an odd feeling. I’m not even sure it’s fully hit me yet. But I’m sure I’ll be back in those halls from time to time, picking up shifts when needed. As much as I needed this change in scenery, I know I’ll miss this place more than I can admit.

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World Animal Day

World Animal Day


Today is World Animal Day!!

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Today all around the world, people are celebrating animals big and small. In parts across the globe there are events by and for people who love and care for those who share this planet and call it home just like us. From marches in protest of the poaching of elephants and rhinos for ivory to free veterinary services, to parades and celebrations! To see what’s going on world wide, take a look here.

I absolutely love animals. Far more than I love humans! Whether it’s just a common ground squirrel or pigeon, or a rare wolf or bear in the woods. I love them all. I cherish their existence and equality daily. I’m against animal testing and always try to avoid products that were tested on animals. I won’t buy real fur for anything, especially when faux fur is just as good without harming a life. Forget about ivory. I do eat meat, however, I do go for the free range chickens and eggs, antibiotic free and grass fed beef, locally caught fish, etc. I even work in a veterinary clinic so I can help household animals as much as I can.

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Animal life is so simple. Very “circle of life”. Everything has its place, an order to things that is ingrained in their very genetics. The food chain. Hunting and gathering, whether you’re a predator or prey animal. Living peacefully, sharing the same space without assault unless it’s necessary for food or survival. It’s incredible.

Look at the relationship between deer, wolves, and ravens. The deer forages for grasses and leaves. Wolves will hunt them in a pack, and usually only pick off the sick or weak of the deer instead of being greedy and going for the more satisfying bull. When the wolves are finished, they leave the remains for the ravens and coyotes to scavenge. The circle of life and how everything is connected will never cease to amaze me.

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Wildlife photography is by far my favorite. My favorite art, my favorite hobby. I could look at pictures of wildlife all day, and spend hours trying to get my own photos. Walking quietly through the woods in the hopes of capturing a deer before it notices I’m there. Being respectful not to approach too closely to any wildlife or make startling or frightening noises just to get them to move or do something. I take photos in their own realities, not altered, not changed. I come into a surprise encounter with wildlife and let things happen as they should. Naturally. It’s in my bones.

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How will you celebrate the creatures we share our home on this planet with?

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Down by the Pond

Down by the Pond

Nikon D5200 w/55-200mm lens
Nikon D5200 w/55-200mm lens

I don’t think we take enough time to really marvel the beauty that is ducks. They’re beautiful, fun to watch, and live in such close flocks. They lead a simple life. They watch out for each other. I love them. I honestly take far more pictures of ducks than I ever care to admit, because they just catch my attention all the time. I don’t just see them as a regular part of my normal day but as something beautiful to behold.

All things in nature are beautiful.

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End of the Year Goals

End of the Year Goals


The end of the year is fast approaching!

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It’s October already!

What a year it’s been so far. With Mabon passing and fall starting to really set in, I like to take this time to sit down and take a look at how the year so far has passed by and what I’d like to accomplish with the rest of the year. Just because we’re heading into sweater weather and most likely more rain (especially here in Washington), that doesn’t mean that there’s not still so much that can be done. Especially with all that’s about to happen.

In just over a week, my fiance will finally be living with me, here in Washington state. It’s been some time in the works, going through the visa process and so much more, but it’s finally here. We’ll be getting legally married in November. He will get to experience his first Thanksgiving here in America. And we get to spend our first Yule physically together. That’s quite a lot to happen in just a couple months!

So here’s a list of some goals that I have made up for myself to go along with everything else that’s going to be happening.

Remember to take time to stop and breathe. I have this horrible habit of going full speed till I collapse. Either with projects or with stress. And with so much going on in the next couple months, this is probably the most important goal I have for myself.

Get comfortable with Manual Mode on my camera. I love taking pictures and photography. And I’d even say that I do really well at it. But typically I’ll use the different settings on the camera to capture the pictures I want, which doesn’t always go so well. (I’ll openly admit that there have been times that I’ve cursed at my camera for not working with me.) So I’d like to teach myself how to use the manual mode and get really comfortable taking pictures that way.

Take full control of my blog. One of the biggest personal goals I have is to move my blog to a self-hosted space and to have full control of everything that I can do here. That means full customization and all sorts of new little quirks all around. I want to be able to cultivate a space that is completely personal, warm and welcoming.

Go camping! I haven’t actually gone camping in a couple years and it’s heartbreaking. I absolutely LOVE camping. With Thom being here, we’re bound to go camping a few times before it really gets too cold. And maybe even then, too!

Lose 10 lbs. What would a list of goals be without a weight loss goal? haha I’ve been fighting with my weight for some time, but lately it’s really been getting to me. And the amount of unhealthy eating I’ve been doing is just terrible. I’d like to get out of this. Really start cooking more, eating healthier, and being just all around a healthier person. And I want to do this now, before the new year, so that when the new year comes around, I’ll already have healthier habits in place to really kick the new year off right.

Go on at least two full day hikes each month. I’ve got to show Thom around the state, and there are so many places that I’ve never even been before. The Washington Trails Association website has been huge in motivating me to want to hike more. I keep looking around and seeing where other people are hiking and really wanting to get out there!

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It’s the final quarter of 2015. What are you going to do before this year is over?

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Super Moon Lunar Eclipse

Super Moon Lunar Eclipse


A super moon & a lunar eclipse!

Nikon D5200 w/ 55-200 mm lense, using the "night landscape" setting. (I tried my hand at the manual settings, but just couldn't get them to work for me)
Nikon D5200 w/ 55-200mm lens, using the “night landscape” setting. (I tried my hand at the manual settings, but just couldn’t get them to work for me)

Normally I would have posted a simple photo today, and a good one at that! However, with the wonderful event of the super moon lunar eclipse last night/this morning, I couldn’t resist.

Now, this photo isn’t so great. But it is better than I was expecting to get. My photography skills are still budding and it’s taking some time for me to really get to know my way around the manual settings. I looked up some tips on how I should go about trying to get the best photos of the moon and tried using what was suggested (F8, ISO 400, SS 1/125) but I just couldn’t get my camera to cooperate with me. However, once I switched to the “night landscape” mode, it seemed to work a bit better. I also used a little mini tripod that I have (my normal sized one broke :'( ) to try and minimize camera shake, and used my car to keep it off the ground.

Nikon D5200 w/ 55-200mm lens
Nikon D5200 w/ 55-200mm lens

All in all, I’m really happy with what turned out. Not the greatest, but definitely better than I was expecting. And the photos were really just the bonus.

My wolf soul thrives under the full moon. I was born under a full moon, and it’s been said that the moon you’re born under can have even stronger effects on you than just a normal full moon. So I feel even more connected, and when an event like this happens, I really notice.

Being outside was intense. All my senses seemed heightened, like I could take on the world. I’ve never felt so alive and energized, while also feeling calm and at peace. Energy just crackling along my skin. It was a powerful night. Watching her go through the eclipse was incredible. I honestly can not wait till 2033 when the next one is suspected to happen.

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful and magikal night.

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Recycled Treasures

Recycled Treasures


Mermaid tears. Beach glass. Sea glass.

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It’s been called by many names. What they’re all referring to is the usually small pieces of glass that washes up on the beach after spending its time in the ocean being tumbled around and worn down to recycled pieces of beauty.

Collector’s and hobbyists can be seen combing beaches at low tide looking for these glorious specimens. Heads turned down, walking slowly, occasionally bending down to pick up seemingly nothing. But what you don’t see is the treasure hiding in their hands, about to be added to the rest of their days’ collection.

Recently, I’ve discovered the allure for the search. I’d never actually seen beach glass before. Not in person. There’s countless pictures and articles about it online. But whenever I went to a beach and tried looking around (passively, I’ll admit), there was none to be seen.

The first pieces of sea glass I've ever found
The first pieces of sea glass I’ve ever found

Until a few weeks ago.

I was walking along a beach in Des Moines, not too far from my house. I was having a rough day and figured a nice little walk at a new park would do me some good. Walking along the beach gave me everything I needed and more. It brought back the calm that I was looking for, while unlocking something more. I was looking around for interesting shells and rocks, things to take photos of, and anything else of interest. That’s when I saw it. A small, shiny rock mixed with all the rest.

I say rock because that’s what I actually thought it was when I first bent down to pick it up. But as I sifted it out from the other rocks and what little sand there was on this beach, I found that it was actually a piece of glass. A worn and weathered piece of recycled treasure. I continued along the beach and came across a couple more pieces before the sun was mostly set and it was time to go home.

But my curiosity was piqued. I returned home and jumped right onto the internet to learn more about the treasure I had found. I learned that the clear and brown/orange pieces were the most common to be found, followed by shades of green. (Learn more about where the glass comes from and its rarity here) I learned that there was a beach in California named the Sea Glass beach for it was covered in these gorgeous pieces of glass.

In my searches, I also found that there were supposedly a number of beaches in Washington that boasted a claim to high amounts of glass. One of which was nearby in Seattle; Alki Beach.

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So the next morning, bright and early for low tide (which I had learned was the best time to look for the glass), I set out to visit Alki and see just how much glass it really had to offer.

It took a while to find much of anything. I started off near the mini statue of liberty on the west side of the beach and worked my way across. I sifted through the cool sands and found nothing. As I started to move into rockier terrain however, there was more to find. Lots more. It seemed like I couldn’t take a single step without finding a couple of pieces.

None of the pieces were particularly big. But that was okay. I was enjoying my time regardless just because of the sheer amount of what I was finding. And little did I know, I was building a new hobby.

Over the next couple of weeks and months, I spent many mornings here at Alki looking for more glass and searching for bigger or better pieces. More colors, different shapes. Each piece unique in its own way. I even tried other beaches, but none had the claim that Alki does.

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I haven’t yet decided what I want to do with all the glass I’ve collected. I’ve thought about making jewelry, “stained glass” creations, pictures, incorporating them in paintings, and much more. Pinterest has surely had a help in coming up with interesting ideas. For now, they sit separated by color in glass vases on my windowsill. Waiting to be added to or to be brought down and turned into something new.

Recycled art from recycled treasures.

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