ABQ Moms Blog: You’re Ready to Have a Baby…You Think

My second post for the Albuquerque Moms Blog is up! Check out my thoughts on thinking you may be ready to start thinking about having a baby and what you may want to think about doing next!

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You’re Ready to Have a Baby…You Think.

Encapsulate Me Part II: Unburied

I did it!! I cleaned out my closet and got rid of almost exactly half.

I had a lot of clothes (Read Part I: The Purge). Before the purge, the closet was spilling over with all of it. I started by adding Bailey’s to my coffee and pulling everything out…

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Clothes were everywhere. EVERYWHERE.I piled our bed with blouses, tee shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, and a ridiculous number of tights (I had fishnets from High School, which brings up 2 questions: 1. Why was I wearing fishnets in high school (I wasn’t that type) and 2. Why did I still have them?) and covered the guest bed with outerwear–coats, jackets, vests, blazers, and the odd cape and poncho. I cleared a path through the shoes and purses lining my floor to the kitchen…for refills.

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These are my flat sandals. The 2 goldie ones on the left are from my wedding. I wore the bottom pair to the ceremony. Those are the last shoes I wore as a single girl…

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Once it was all out, I counted everything. Every. Single. Thing.

Inventory (This is only an overview. The comprehensive list was a little ridiculous):

  • 57 tops
  • 8 hats, 2 beanies
  • 12 pairs of jeans
  • 2 suits from the 80’s
  • 9 pairs of pants
  • 12 cardigans
  • 7 blazers and jackets
  • 1 cape, 1 poncho
  • 6 coats (3 with fur collars, 1 leopard print, 1 younger than my grandmother, 1 full-length mink that’s never been worn)
  • A LOT of shoes: 5 pairs of cowgirl boots, 4 pairs of boots, a ton of flats, a bushel of sandals, a ridiculous number of sneakers, 4 pairs of athletic shoes (2 of which were totally worn out), 9 pairs of wedges, 1 pair of Satan’s Shoes, 1 pair of Jimmy Choos that I got because the rose gold leather matched my wedding set and then never wore because the dental floss-like ties never felt secure enough for the 4 inch stilettos.
  • Many handbags, totes, clutches, and crossbodies
  • 10 cardigans
  • 21 sweaters
  • 18 white tee shirts
  • 11 belts
  • 17 dresses plus 2 wedding dresses (1 wedding-2 wardrobe changes)
  • 16 pairs of tights and pantyhose (including 4 pairs of fishnets–1 cream, 1 nude, 1 black, 1 hot pink–don’t judge)
  • 14 pairs of leggings
  • 37 scarves

Here are the exclusionary criteria I used:

–If it is not comfortable, get rid of it (That means, you, $1200 Louboutins! Your red sole is the mark of the beast!).

–If it doesn’t fit me now, get rid of it.

–If I don’t have an immediate use for it, it’s gotta be minimized to 1 (e.g. fancy dresses, weekend bags, and fun high heels. I only need 1 dress that is appropriate for cocktails, weddings, and fancy-dress parties. The people who may judge me for wearing the same dress twice are probably too busy judging how long it’s been since my last hair wash to even notice my clothes).

–If the shoes are uncomfortable for wearing to work, they’re out.

–Same goes for anything that is past its prime or a little sad looking (I’m talking to you, jeweled jaguar sandals!).

–If I’m keeping anything because I love the idea of it, it’s finding a new home (sorry, Red Wool Cape).

–If I haven’t worn it in more than a year, regardless of its condition, it’s not finding a home in my new closet.

–If I can’t immediately assess why I’m keeping it, it has to go.

–If my support team can’t be convinced it should stay we will have to part ways.

After many hours, dozens of filled grocery bags, a bottle of wine, and pot of coffee later….

Ta-dah!

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I am so pleased! I love getting dressed knowing everything fits, everything goes, everything was selected. Also, I’ve made nearly $1000 so far by consigning stuff!

The end goal was a sort of capsule wardrobe. A wardrobe where everything suits me, and fits me, and goes together for my life. The irony of all this is that I used to do this for other people for a living. Go ahead, laugh. Everything is easier to do for someone else, which is probably why I was so great at it. It’s easy to understand why something doesn’t work on someone else because you don’t have an attachment to their stuff. When it’s not mine, I see a pair of worn out sandals that would be embarrassing to slip on for a run into the grocery store! When it is mine I see a pair of sandals I bought with my sister and remember that summer when I wore them all the time feeling fancy because they reminded me of a Cartier jaguar necklace that was all the rage.

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These are The Shoes. The shoes that made me realize you can’t hold onto things for sentiment alone. My dad bought me these Louboutins for Christmas. They are so lovely and it meant so much to me that he understood what an iconic thing they are!

If you try to hold onto something for sentiment alone, ignoring the total lack of function (or searing pain it causes) and you’re blessed to have lots of people who love you, you will be buried in an avalanche of your own sentiment. Or shoes and outerwear if you’re me or if you were caught unawares in my guest bedroom a few Saturdays ago…

Learning to let go is one of life’s hardest lessons. Start with something easy, like the running shoes with holes in them that don’t mean anything except you’re a hoarder. Work up to bigger things like shoes your Dad bought you that showed how much he loved and “got” you, remembering that getting rid of the shoes doesn’t take away what they meant. Then one day you can progress to the really important stuff like letting go of people who are toxic or harmful, or experiences that you need to release in order to recover from them.

Cleaning out your closet is a good start to learning how to clean out your life. And we all need to clean that mess up every once in a while.

 

Encapsulate Me Part I: The Purge

It's time to

One thing I struggle with is being a borderline hoarder. It’s not serious…yet. I don’t stockpile perishables or keep my fingernail clippings or anything, but it’s something I keep tabs on. I could go there more easily than I’d care to admit.

Several enabling factors I have to deal with:

1. I am blessed to have resources; if I see something and want it, even just for the moment it takes to put it in my Target cart and check out, I can get it.

2. I have two sets of extremely generous and giving parents. I swear we didn’t buy clothes for J for the first few years of our marriage because he got a new wardrobe every Christmas.

3. I’m a bargain hunter and if I find a good bargain, I feel compelled, nay obliged, to get it.

4. I am just crafty enough to think I’m a crafter and will use the craft supplies I find on sale (see 1 and 3).

5. I like beautiful things, even if they no longer have a function (broken mugs and books with pleasing covers are the best/worst).

Number 1 and 3 are better. I’ve been working on these for the last few years, the same time I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart. Still. The itch lingers, especially if I’m tired or feeling a frump. 2 is a big one. Our parents are just nice, and they have great taste. It’s hard. 5 is my downfall and the area that needs the most improvement–the open door whereby the demon of hoarding might slip in.

BUT. I don’t want to be a hoarder. I deeply value organization and simplicity, probably more so because I am not naturally organized or simple. When I go to either of my sisters’ houses/rooms, I just want to sit and marvel at the lack of stuff and the glowing, heart-warming coordination of things. My “little” (by 4 inches) sister has the most gorgeous wardrobe and I don’t mean her clothes are so stunning (though they are. She has great style), I mean her actual wardrobe knocks my socks off.

She has just enough of everything to actually wear things regularly, and they all coordinate, and everything works for her without a game of outfit twister (I can only wear these pants with that one top and my hair down and those bangles–it’s not a joke). She has a normal sized closet and everything fits in there with space between the hangers and room for her jewelry to be displayed. Opening her closet is like opening a mini-boutique.

 

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What a dream!!! I love white! I love nude! I love this closet! Look at all the space between those hangers!

My closet is big (not huge, but walk-in) and the clothes are crammed. Shoes spill out of holders and it’s ridiculous. And stressful. I can’t tell you how many things have only been worn once or twice and I don’t really love them but I can’t bring myself to get rid of them for any number of reasons (“It was expensive,” “She bought it for me on a special trip,” “J really liked that on me,” “It’s such-and-such brand,” etc.). They’re all excuses. They’re all shackles. It burdens my conscience and stresses me out to see the disarray and I can see it when I lie in bed!! How bad feng shui is that?!

I’ve spent the last several months trying to go through and purge myself and my space of the stuff that isn’t working for me, either functionally or feng shui-nally and it’s been mostly successful. I got rid of all most of my “I could do something with that” craft supplies and scraps, useless or unknown kitchen utensils and gadgets, books I won’t read again, ugly stuff that I’m holding onto for some forgotten sentimental reason.

My closet is the final holdout and the ramparts are tall and scary! It needs to happen. It’s time. In the near-ish future we will either be moving–and I don’t want to bring anything not essential to life or joy with us–or staying where we are and needing to reorganize our space to accommodate another tiny resident and I’ll need all the emotional and physical simplicity I can get.

I am determined to tackle this. Here is my strategy:

–Take everything out of the closet. And I mean EVERYTHING!

–Put things back on color-coded hangers.

–I am going to give myself a maximum clothing capacity of half of the things I currently have (even typing that makes me feel a bit queasy). I don’t know how many half is–that’s part of what scares me. It’s probably going to get pretty cut-throat. I’ll probably need wine and an emotional support team (you know who you are).

Simplifying is hard but the stress of complication is harder. I no longer want to be someone who lives in the idea of something. I want to own my life–who I am, what I do, what I want–but so often I find myself living for the idea of a life I think sounds nice or would look good. I want to be the kind of lady who dresses so chic every day and does her hair and wears heels, but I’m not. I dress everyday and my hair is…there but “done” would probably be an overstatement, “clean” is usually an overstatement. I wear Converse several times a week because I’d rather be comfortable than chic. At least they’re iconic sneakers, right?!

Sure Christian Louboutins are stunning shoes but have you ever worn them? They hurt like hell. I mean actual hell. Like, maybe I’ve died and I’m sinking slowly through limbo and into the first circle of the inferno. It starts at your toes and works its way up to your knees, engulfing you in crippling pain as the evening progresses. The next day you think you just imagined it except your knees are sore and your feet are still slightly deformed. And then you see pictures from the night and you have to convince your date that you’re not grimacing at their awful cologne, your grimacing from pain.

The devil doesn’t wear Prada, she wears Christian Louboutin.

What I like more than wearing the stunning shoes is being mauled by a Tasmanian Devil is the idea of being a lady who wears them. Like if I wear these iconic shoes, I’ll be closer to my idealized self. But really I won’t. Really, they lead me further from my best self because I find the temptation to curse is stronger when I’m in pain.

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The end goal is a sort of capsule wardrobe–I know. It’s totally overused these days. Thanks, Obama!–but bigger. More like a small-to-medium-sized-compartment wardrobe. Part II will follow and we’ll see how I did!

 

 

 

 

ABQ City Moms Blogger

I was invited to join Albuquerque City Moms Blog a few weeks back and I couldn’t be more thrilled to contribute! Hopefully mine will be a different perspective and fresh slant for the blog and all the aspiring moms in the Albuquerque area (and the country). You’ll occasionally see me link to the blog and I highly recommend checking it out. Don’t live in ABQ? There are sister sites from the City Moms Blog network in lots of cities–maybe even yours! The advice and experiences transcend place and are applicable to anyone on the mother road.

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Check out my first post here: http://albuquerque.citymomsblog.com/mom/aspiring-mom-planning-albuquerque/

 

Journal: I-U-Don’t anymore!

June 9th, 2016

Yesterday I got my IUD out. Other than showing up at the wrong location, it went great! For those of you who are nervous about the procedure, you need not be. This was my second Mirena IUD and the removal is about half as uncomfortable and much quicker than the insertion. I didn’t take anything beforehand and I haven’t had any side-effects. We’re good to go!

Word to the wise: Don’t Google “Mirena Crash.” It’ll freak you out and my doctor said not to expect any side effects other than a little cramping and of course menstruation.  She said I could start anytime in the next 4-8 weeks. 4-8 weeks! What?! I thought I’d be pregnant by then!! I guess we shall see.

Journal: Unprotected

June 8th, 2016

Today is THE day. Not THE day, just THE day. Today I get my IUD out. Last night was the last time I’ll drink alcohol with reckless abandon (it was just one glass) and the last time I’ll have had protected sex in at least 9 months. It’s all dangerous sex from here on in…

I’m excited. I’ve been excited for a while but this excitement feels a little different. A little nervier and anticipatory. A little more realistic. I took the time after my appointment this afternoon off from work so I could spend some time alone and drinking caffeine. I planned to go to Target or Old Navy and buy a baby outfit but now I’m thinking I’ll just run normal errands and drink caffeine.

I’m a bit scared too—hence the nerves. Once we do this we can’t go back. J and I were sitting on the couch post-dinner last night, just being together. It was quiet. The house was mostly in order. The only think I had left to do was get ready for bed and clean up the kitchen. After Baby Torres that won’t happen often, if ever. That’s a big sacrifice. I thought for a moment if I was willing to give that up—that total peace and ease. But I would regret not having a baby and I’m sure that as soon as it’s here the love we have for our family will overshadow the inconvenience. And when it doesn’t I’ll get a babysitter.

There’s also the medical nerves. I haven’t had a normal period in 7 years! What’s that going to be like?! How long will it take for me to get pregnant? What will my pregnancy be like? My mom swears she had great pregnancies—little sickness or ill side-effects but what if I veer from the familial path and hate being pregnant? And no caffeine?! Moses!!! I’ve been weaning myself off for the last 4 months but my hold-out, that remaining single cup each morning is like my sunshine—my reason for getting out of bed in the morning. Aren’t caffeine and functionality mutually inclusive?  Ask me next week.

For I am the Lord

Isaiah 41:13

The thing I’m most nervous about is mood swings. I’ve been blessed to never really deal with major PMS (but don’t ask J to be the confirming witness. He was traumatized by my late teen PMS and doesn’t count) and I really believe in not using hormones as an excuse for poor behavior but what if I turn into some sort of raging, basket-case preg-zilla? I’m really praying that I can surrender my fears and emotional lows to the Lord.

I have two verses that I have been meditating on for the last several weeks that I repeat when stress creeps in:

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me!” Psalm 13:5-6

God has been good to me. So, so, so good. His track record with me is only goodness, favor, mercy, and provision. Looking to the future is sometimes stressful. The unknown is intrinsically stressful. But we have a lifeline, a GPS, and guiding light in the Holy Spirit. I need only look at my past and all the goodness God has blessed me with to know that my future is secure. I can trust in His plan. I can trust in His guidance.

“Exit 29 in 6 months…”

Welcome! As you can likely guess from the title I will be exiting my twenties on December 2nd of this year and entering my thirties. My thirties will be very quickly intersected by several major milestones including first time home ownership AND first baby!

Good-bye

“Adult” is such a nebulous, fluid concept. I am an adult. I’ve been married for nearly 7 years, I hold down a steady job and am responsible for all my various obligations and commitments but my life has thus far been fairly self-centered. J and I have an easy life that is pretty simple and pretty privileged. We mostly do what we want, when we want. Baby Torres will throw a wrench in the ease of our lives. Babies are the ultimate inconvenience–in a good way (I’m told)–so I’ll be more tied to a schedule and home than I’ve ever been. That level of responsibility seems very adult. I think the most adult thing you can be is selfless and responsible.

Other than our jobs and Marble we don’t have any major ties to a schedule and we mostly bring Marble wherever or leave her home alone. I’m told that’s frowned upon with new babies. It’s scary to consider leaving this level of ease behind. We can’t ever go back to it after getting pregnant. We also can’t easily get back to the financial simplicity of not having a mortgage once we take one out.

30 isn’t really a big deal. It’s a milestone birthday for sure, but we don’t get any new rights, entitlements, or discounts.Turning 30 won’t have a major impact on me but the things that my thirties hold will and I’m excited for them. I’m scared too but my fear is put in perspective when I realize how good my life is and that, while I may be leaving my twenties, I’m not leaving my life. God is good and faithful. His mercies are new every morning whether that morning begins at 7 am in quiet peacefulness or at the crack of dawn with a crying baby.