Oh The Places You’ll Go!

Family Photo
Family Photo! (minus one big goofy dog!)

 

Hazel turned one!  We made it.  A whole year!  We’re still together, after a whole year!  We are different people than we once were, all because of this little cutie!

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She actually kept a very clean face by diving into her smash cake with a fork rather than fingers, I just couldn’t let her off that easy though! I smeared the frosting on her face… :)

 

It’s been the best ride I never knew I would want to take!  We are so proud of Hazel whose personality is starting to shine through more and more clearly everyday.  I want to do a recap and celebrate making it together as a family for a whole year!

For Hazel, this year I’ve been surprised by…

  1. How much I adore you, every little thing you do is amazing.
  2. How fast you learn! (I’ve got to stop swearing!)
  3. How thoughtful and careful you are to take care of yourself.
  4. How stinking hard it can be to be a ‘happy family’.  Sleep deprivation, tested nerves, displacement from what used to be my life, that is hard stuff to take on all at once!
  5. How talented your dad is at what he does, and that he can be such a great multi-tasker!

This year I’ve been inspired…

  1. By your inquisitiveness about the entire world.
  2. By your grin, that elusive grin.
  3. By your gusto and fearlessness, how many babies will walk up to a 150# dog, grab him by the cheek and make him lay down so she can crawl all over him!
  4. To make the world a better place for you to grow up in, to actively help in your future so you can thrive!
  5. To challenge you, you’re going to be a handful to keep challenged, you’re so smart.

This year I am proud…

  1. Of how much you’ve learned in such a short time.
  2. That you’re MY daughter, I feel like I got the best one! :)
  3. That you have my bald head and just a couple little blond curls.
  4. On that note, you don’t have a weird shaped head, if you ever want to shave it you can know that, it would probably look alright :)
  5. That you don’t take any crap from other kids, just yesterday we were at the park, you were playing with a ball we had just got you, a 6 year old walked up and took it from you then ran off to play with the other kids.  You followed him, reached up, grabbed the ball and walked back over to me.  You didn’t get upset or anything, didn’t cry or scream,  just didn’t accept that crap and took t right back!  I was so proud!

I am so excited to…

  1. See what colors you like best
  2. See what kind of music you’ll be into, so far you’re a death metal fan, I am hoping that changes! :)
  3. See if you’ll be into dinosaurs, or fairies or fire trucks or ponies!
  4. See if you’ll be a little introvert like your parents or if you’ll want to always be around people, I am thinking introvert already but that could all change :).
  5. Watch you learn and explore the world!

I love you because…

  1. You’re silly.
  2. You’re opinionated.
  3. You chatter yourself to sleep every night and can’t fall asleep without talking yourself into it, literally.
  4. You’re special.
  5. You’re my daughter.

Here are some pictures from your first birthday party.  We started the day with some blueberry pancakes, had a nice long nap but someone was still grumpy for her party… skittles helped.  We went with a Dr. Seuss theme because, well he’s awesome.  It also allowed me to not have to be perfect at my lesser used cake decorating skills, out of square looks intentional in Seuss-land :).  I got her a copy of ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go’ because its such a great book.  We had the whole family sign it and plan to have it every year so that she can have an ongoing birthday record of words of encouragement, proud moments and what have you from her family and loved ones!

I hope you feel as blessed and grateful as I do right now!  :)

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Cell Phone Free

I just passed my one year mark of not having a cell phone… basically.  AND I’m not rushing out to get one now!  :)  You can read all the thoughts that went into the decision here.  This post is the results though!

 

I’ll be honest, the first three months were HARD.  I had just had a new baby, I traveled across the country with the family and needed to coordinate things, that is much more difficult with no phone and takes a lot more planning.  If I am being really honest though neither of those is why it was so hard.  I couldn’t get on Facebook whenever the whim struck me.  I couldn’t check the stats on my website instantly.  I couldn’t text a friend whenever I had that tiny moment of loneliness.   I couldn’t upload pictures of my dog to social media.  I didn’t exchange 400+ texts a day with James over all the little things that probably didn’t need to be texted about anyway… There was a lot of time in the day left to fill…

Then I got into it.  It was/is NICE to not be 100% accessible ALL. THE. TIME.  I had stopped my full time job to take care of Hazel but all of those questions about where is this file or that one weren’t instantly put on my plate.  I could actually focus on what I was meaning to focus on, Hazel!  99% of those issues could be figured out anyway, it’s amazing how many problems actually do resolve themselves if given the opportunity to.  IF there was something I really needed to weigh in on I made a point to check my email twice a day (in reality is is a lot more than that), there was nothing that couldn’t wait 12 hours…

There are emergencies though, yes, you can’t plan for them and I did not want to be without a way to call an ambulance should I need that, I was a brand new mom for crying out loud!  I purchased a $5.00 tracfone and one years service.  I have used that phone two times, neither were for emergencies.   Still it is nice to have (I admit, I did lose that phone for about 4 of those months before it turned back up…).

my phone
this is my emergency phone, there are no fun games on it…

 

Does it frustrate my family that I am not accessible via phone?  Yes.  Would they like me more accessible? Yes.  Was it that way when I paid for a phone too?  Yes.  I have never been a big phone person and was constantly poked fun at for rather texting than calling (that’s true).  It’s how I am.  It’s still how I am but I save the cost of a smart phone and about a hundred bucks a month on the service!

Here is how you can still stay in touch and skip the phone.  All of them rely on the internet so they may not work for everyone, being urban there is rarely a moment I don’t have access to some wifi:

  • Obviously email is an option.  I like this because I am not ‘on call’.  I usually do respond ASAP but I can respond at my own pace, super nice with a baby (and no loud notifications to disrupt naptime!)
  • Also obviously, there is Facebook.  This one makes me feel a little more ‘on call’ since it tells you when messages have been read yet I can’t always reply instantly… I just rectify this by turning off my notifications so that I can check them when I have time to and not feel rushed into a reply.
  • Google Voice is a great option.  You can still text and even talk though an any computer or tablet.  You can text from Google voice just fine but when it comes to calls you need an additional app to sent the call through.  Talkatone worked great for me.  This essentially gave me a landline whenever I was home or within range of any wifi (almost always) and pretty much cut out texting while driving, not a bad thing in my book!

Even though I COULD call and text it was still pretty spotty at best, it’s just me.  If you’d like to go phoneless I highly recommend it and hopefully these options can ease the transition and make it easier.  After the three month time period I have to admit I really started loving not having a phone.

Cons:

  • I worry about an emergency and needing a phone (I am almost always around someone who has a phone and/or wifi.  For those other times I have 55 bucks invested into a tracfone and that service which eliminates this concern.)
  • It bugs my family that they can’t just pick up the phone and talk to me (it was the same when I had a phone to be honest)
  • I don’t have quick access to photos, which DOES stink with a new kiddo… I still have to get a old school grab and go camera! Ha!
  • No Candy Crusher and Pet Rescue!
  • You do get weird looks when you tell people you have no phone number, some just ask you to ‘put one down anyway’… others assume I’m really poor… I don’t think the tiny house helps that perception, I assure you though, I’m not ‘poor’! :)

Pros:

  • I am not ‘on-call’ and can fill the time and spend my energy being more productive (do I always, no, but I can!)
  • I don’t text and drive.
  • I save $100+ a month.
  • I don’t spin my wheels focusing on social media and stats simply because I can. ALL. THE. TIME.
  • I have become much more organized and intentional about my online presence and have been much more successful because of it.

A year ago I wondered if I would be counting down the days to the 24th so I could run out and get a new smart phone.  The answer is nope!  The pros still out weigh the cons!  I think I will remain phoneless a bit longer!   :)