45. Wish List

 
Photo by   Giftpundits.com   from   Pexels
 

Hi friends, welcome to another Friday! We made it!

It’s November, which means Thanksgiving and then Christmas will be here before we know it. This year we have a late Thanksgiving, which means Christmas will come a few weeks later. BTW, I only know this because I work in retail so we’re making lots of plans to maximize the holiday shopping season, LOL.

But this also means that I’m thinking about my own holiday shopping, both for my personal wish list and for my loved ones. Josephine is a “big girl” now so she has some awareness of Santa and presents, so we want to make it special for her. Last year we got her some great big gifts and I’m racking my brain on ideas for this year. So far on my list is a instant camera because she loves to take pictures, and maybe a bike? Is 3 too early for a bike? What else do 3 year girls like? She’ll definitely get some clothes and things as well but I want her to get some fun gifts that she can enjoy all year round.

When it comes to my Christmas list, I employ a running universal Amazon list that I share with friends and family, full of ideas of the things that I’d like. It really helps William, who’s always at a loss on what to get me. And because the list is so big, I’m still surprised because I never know what he’s going to get me for my birthday/Christmas/etc. I realized this week that I haven’t added things in a while, so I should probably spruce up my list before I give it to him, LOL.

Besides my husband and daughter, I’ll also buy for my mom, sister and MIL but they are pretty easy to delight with thoughtful gifts.

What’s on your holiday wish list, either to give as a gift, or that you’re hoping to get?

While you noodle on that, it’s time for this week’s links.

Things I Read This Week:

After the murder of Michael Brown, activists called for greater use of police body cameras, but they aren’t working the way people expected

We’ve got better plus size fashion, but do we also need more plus size mannequins?

Nigeria submitted their first Oscars entry and got denied…because it’s in English. WHAT???

Well this is sweet - the woman who was fired after flipping the bird to Tr*mp’s motorcade just won election to her county’s board of supervisors

Remember the Starbucks manager that was fired after she called the police on two Black men? She’s suing to get her job back for an interesting reason

Hey Mayor Pete, homophobia is NOT the reason why you don’t have much support from Black voters

And speaking of presidential nominees, Ayanna Pressley is backing Elizabeth Warren

The biggest barrier for US women who want to breastfeed? Pumping and the lack of accommodations

You can rent Harry Potter’s childhood home on Airbnb!

A Black doctor from Congo discovered Ebola way back in the 1970s but never got credit - until now

Prison education funding was killed thanks to Biden’s 1994 crime bill - this is how it’s impacted inmates

Kamala Harris has released a plan to help align the school day with parental work hours - I HIGHLY encourage you to read the details before you form an opinion

When I saw this viral day care list on Twitter, I immediately said “yup, I can relate”. We need to do something about the cost of childcare in America.

I saw the post about the bride who stole $30k in donations all over social media….turns out it was all a marketing stunt

The New Yorker went to Morton, MS to see how the town was impacted after the ICE raids

Eddie Murphy is back (and I’m here for it)

The Washington Post visited a village settled in Mexico 170 years ago by escaped slaves

Other Stuff:

Last week I mentioned that I really needed to start work on #BabyTau’s room - I’m happy to report that I’ve made progress! I currently have 5 bags for Goodwill sitting in the house, and will probably gather a couple more before I drop them all off. Sidebar - what is it about having more space that makes you just accumulate more stuff? I was amazed at the amount of stuff that I’ve been holding onto that we haven’t even used since we moved in.

I recently discovered Buy/Sell/Trade groups for Rothy’s on Facebook! I need to post a couple pair and I’m hoping to score a couple pairs of flats in fun colors/designs. If you’re a Rothy’s lover, what are your favorite styles/colors?

Anybody else a Feedly user? I realized this week that they are now showing “sponsored” posts in your feed, which is annoying. Apparently the only way to turn it off is to pay $7/mo for the Pro version :-( Google Reader would have never done this to me!

This weekend is going to be full of sports for me - the undefeated Golden Gophers play Penn State in football on Saturday, which is a huge game for us; then on Sunday, Liverpool FC (my team) faces off against Man City (William’s team).. I’m really hoping both my teams can pull out a win!

Have an awesome weekend!

44. Time to Nest

 
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Hello weekend! So nice to see you again!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! Is it just me, or did it feel like October went on forever? It’s finally November and we’re one step closer to Christmas and the end of the year.

I’m also a few weeks closer to meeting #BabyTau which means I really need to get into gear, getting our house ready for her arrival. Except it feels like I’ve still got plenty of time, since I’m not due until late February. But with the holidays and whatnot I know time will fly by, so I’m trying to muster up the energy and motivation to really do what needs to be done. We saved everything from #BabyPi which means we don’t need to buy much this time around (yay!) but there’s still plenty to do in our house. When we bought our home last year, we were so excited to find a home with three bedrooms on the same level, knowing that the third bedroom would eventually be the nursery. But in the meantime, it’s been a catch-all junk room, and now I have to clean it out. I’ve had it on my weekend agenda for weeks and every weekend, I manage to do everything BUT start clearing it out. I think I keep hoping that my nesting instinct will kick in and give me the motivation, LOL. Well it’s still missing but the work has to get done, so I’m going to start small this weekend.

On the plus side, William helped me get the baby things out of storage and take inventory so that work is done. And I’ve got totes full of baby clothes that need to be washed and readied as well. So basically I’ve got plenty to do! But don’t worry, I’ll make sure to throw in some relaxation time this weekend too.

And now, time for links!


Things I Read This Week:

The Atlantic highlights just what makes the r/relationships subreddit so special

Did yall hear about the drama with the King of Thailand and his former consort?

How homeopathy went from fringe to your local grocery store

Also from The Atlantic - The Greatest White Privilege Is Life Itself

Women make up the bulk of Instacart’s “shoppers” and they fed up with being underpaid

Are you a knock on the bathroom door person or a jiggle the handle person?.

What would you do if you heard your manager and a coworker having loud sex in next office?

Why is an online school offering a law degree that doesn’t allow graduates to practice law?

Anybody else really pissed off at this Katie Hill revenge porn & resignation situation?

Yes, being Black and outdoorsy is a thing!

Two recent releases that highlight a whitewashed idea of love

Those feminist baby board books are really cute…but who are they really for?

Before there was Uber and Lyft, there were jitney cabs

RIP Deadspin - you got me through many long days at work and terrible football seasons

I’m really amused that this guy needed r/AmITheAsshole to help him understand that he’s both an asshole and a creep

Zora Magazine is doing a deep dive into what it means to be Black in the Midwest (despite what the mainstream media says, we’re here!)


Other Stuff:

Thank you to everyone who gave me great suggestions on additional places to shop for Josephine!

Shadow and Act shared this trailer for a new Black romcom and PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY RIGHT NOW I REALLY WANT TO SEE THIS FILM

 
 

Also someone published this snippet of Megan Thee Stallion’s Tiny Desk appearance and I cannot WAIT for the full video to drop.

Have a great weekend!


43. Community Is Necessary

 
Photo by   nappy   from   Pexels

Photo by nappy from Pexels

 

Welcome to Friday everyone! We made it to the weekend!

As I’ve grown older and started my own family, I’ve really learned the importance of having a community of people to support you. A community is more than just friendship - it’s a common bond, an affection for each other that’s closer to family, and a desire to help and support each other through the joy and the sadness. As an (old) Millennial, I’ve been lucky to find community both in people who live in close proximity to me, and via online connections that now have spanned over a decade.

Yet I’ve noticed a troubling trend - we seem to be losing our connections to community, especially our local communities. I don’t mean where you live, I mean those people nearby that can come by with a birthday cake or a lasagna. Over the past few months, I’ve heard numerous stories about planned celebrations that have gone woefully unintended, despite the best intentions of the host. Everything from birthday parties (for both children and adults) to baby showers are now blown off instead of seen as a worthwhile celebration, and it makes me so sad. I’ve even experienced this when William and I tried to host a few events at our new home - we ended up with sparse attendance and way too much food. I used to think it was just me (“nobody likes me!”) but now I realize this is happening to tons of folks. It’s not me, it’s a thing that we’re all doing.

Listen yall, we gotta do better. We HAVE to be there for our communities if we want (and need) our communities to be there for us!

I know we all get busy. I know we get tired - I’m the poster child for TIRED right now. We all have times where we just want to sit on the couch and watch Netflix and eat chips. But when we blow off something we’ve previously committed to, or don’t commit so that we can spend all our free time vegging out, what does that do to the communities we’ve built? Frankly, it destroys them, because hosts no longer want to make the effort (and spend the money) if people are not going to show up. If we can’t show up for each other in the big things, how can we foster community with each other, and have people to lean on?

I’ll admit, I’ve had my own moments of not showing up to a few things, but I recognize how terrible that is and I’ve vowed to myself to do better. And I’m truly trying. As folks ask me/my family to attend things, whether it’s a lunch or a sorority event or a casual get together at their home, I’m making an honest effort to be there. Sometimes my child has to come along. Sometimes I have to arrive late or leave early. But I’m making the effort to be there because it’s important.

I hope that you can commit to being there for your community as well. And now, time for this week’s links.

What I Read This Week:

Modcloth was sold yet again and things are not boding well for the company

First Serena Williams won the Australian Open while pregnant - Now Skylar Diggins has upped the level by playing the entire WNBA season while pregnant

If you have any interest in old Hollywood, You Must Remember This should be on your podcast list - and this season they are tackling the history of an infamous Disney film

Here’s a great resource about how to talk to your kids about race at any age

Mel Magazine asks what we should make of Dan Savage’s legacy

If you’re plus size, good luck finding a Halloween costume!

And speaking of plus size ladies, Wardrobe Oxygen recently polled her readers to find the best plus size bras and intimates

I REALLY love this - The lies we tell ourselves about the virtues of food

While researchers are looking into things like CTE in sports, they are ignoring the top cause of traumatic brain injuries - intimate partner violence

I really like (and agree with) this analysis of Marvel movies and the directors who hate them

I love love love this comic that explains why “Latinx” might not be a great choice

Glad to see Lizzo did the right thing!

Apparently Amazon’s Modern Love isn’t for Black women, or women of color at all

The Atlantic says It Isn’t About Your Love Language; It’s About Your Partner’s

This is your reminder that making baby steps are still progress!

Everyone says you need to turn on (and use) two-factor authentication, but what happens if you lose your phone?

Yet another algorithm that claims to be race-blind but actually favors white patients over Black patents

I REALLY like this - WBUR profiles 4 Boston area families & illustrates how Medicare For All would impact them

Other Stuff:

I finally got around to sharing the #BabyTau announcement on Facebook and IG! After our anatomy scan it felt like “ok this is really happening so let’s just tell everyone now”. Thank you to everyone who has wished our family well as we anxiously await our newest member!

And speaking of kids, Miss Josephine has hit a growth spurt - all the pants I bought for her just a month ago are now too short! Because she’s tall and skinny I tend to buy pants for her at Target (Cat & Jack line) and Old Navy. Where else can I shop for a tall skinny toddler?

Any weekend plans? I’m hoping to get Josephine to a Halloween event, and to finally make some progress on #BabyTau’s room!

Enjoy your weekend and happy (early) Halloween!

42. Adulting Is Hard

 
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Welcome to the weekend folks!

Over the past year, I’ve done the most adulting of my life. It started when we bought our first house - on one hand, it wasn’t as hard as I expected, but it was very scary and tons more work than I estimated. I knew that home ownership meant a lot of work, but I was woefully unprepared for that really entailed. Over the course of this year, we’ve had to replace our furnace and water heater, we may need to replace the water softener and our microwave just crapped out. Joy. My house still isn’t fully decorated and now I’m busy turning our extra bedroom into the new nursery. I suppose these are all #firstworldproblems but still, I was unprepared for this part of adult life.

But the adulting doesn’t stop there. A few months ago William and I finally did the responsible thing and got life insurance to protect our family. We both have coverage through our jobs but it was important to us to have our own additional coverage as well. William’s coverage was approved relatively quickly, but I had to jump through so many hoops and answer a ton of questions about my medical history, most of them related to the fact that I’ve had a child via C-section. My advice? Get life insurance before you have babies!

Adulting does indeed suck, but it’s not all terrible. William and I have paid off some debt which I’m very happy about, and we’ve adjusted our monthly budget to account for our higher childcare costs when #BabyTau arrives. I feel fortunate that we have the ability to pay for childcare, but I lament that it’s so expensive to have children in 2019.

This weekend i’m taking a break from adulting to spend some time with Phi, who is feeling much better now. We’ll take advantage of some nice fall weather too.

And now, here’s your links for the week.

Stuff I Read This Week:

Wardrobe Oxygen gives her recommendation for the best comfort bra for large busts

And speaking of bras, Lingerie Addict has some tips for what to do when your bra hurts

A global study highlights just how common it is for pregnant women to face abuse from their healthcare providers

When your boss won’t have a closed-door meeting with you because he’s married…

Conventions keep booking the cast of The Craft and NOT booking Rachel True, which is bullshit

Who wants to go glamping with me?

I like this guide to minimalist dressing for work, especially because it has outfit pics

How did you teach your kid their phone number? Corporette Moms has a solution that I really like

While “Mayor Pete” is running for POTUS, South Bend is electing his replacement this November.

Jessica Valenti wrote about the gendered attacks against Elizabeth Warren in the latest Dem debate

Other Stuff:

Did I tell yall about how I accidentally turned Josephine into a Steven Universe fan? Before the premiere of the Steven Universe movie, Cartoon Network ran a marathon, and she watched a lot of it with me. Turns out she loves the show, and now she asks to watch it all the time. She even wants to listen to the soundtrack in the car too! I also love Steven Universe so I’m happy to indulge her, LOL.

I’m finally back to knitting something for myself! I started the Splendor Cowl - I got the kit earlier this year during the MN Yarn Shop Hop. So far I like the pattern but it’s knit with DK weight yarn so it feels like it’s going to take FOREVER.

#BabyTau update - we had our 20 week ultrasound and baby is doing great! I’m actually feeling pretty good with the exception of my heartburn, so I’m thankful for that.

Have an awesome weekend!

41. Winter Is Coming (In Minnesota)

 
Photo by  Aaron Wilson  on  Unsplash
 

Happy Friday!

Today I woke up to temps near freezing, and a weather report that mentioned a blizzard, a winter storm warning, and 7 days of temps in the 40s. Yup, winter is coming back to Minnesota and making an early appearance. The Twin Cities will only see flurries, but it’s only a matter of time before we have our first storm of the season. Hopefully this year it can hold off until after Halloween!

It’s been quite a week for me - in the same week we learned our water heater needed to be replaced, and our toddler came down with Influenza A. I actually had her scheduled for a flu shot last week…and then she got sick the day before her appointment! Luckily I’ve already received my flu shot this season so I’m feeling good despite the level of germs in our house. This is your reminder to get yourself and family members a flu shot, especially if you’re expecting!

What I Read This Week:

Sports Illustrated was sold recently, and their new owners are turning what was once an amazing site into a content mill (and laying off half the staff)

This piece from The Atlantic sums up quite nicely how I’ve been feeling about the technical challenges on The Great British Baking Show

Halloween costume inspo from Queen Bey

Post-Great Recession, housing wealth is transferring from families to corporations at alarming rates

Glamour made a list of all the fashion brands that have introduced plus sizes in 2019

Get into these essential pop-culture podcasts

I love this oral history of Lizzo’s rise to fame, and that it came courtesy of Minneapolis - St. Paul Magazine

I read this story about a girl suspended after raising the alarm at her school about rape, and it instantly reminded me of this great episode from The Cut on Tuesdays about whisper networks

The most prolific serial killer in US history was allowed to thrive for decades because he targeted women of color

Gabrielle at Design Mom has been documenting the process of moving her family to France - out of the series, this post on how to get visas was the most informative for me.

As a mom of a young child (and with one on the way), I relate so hard to this letter from Motherly

Turns out that you can inherit two copies of the same chromosome from one parent, and it’s more common than researchers thought.

If you’ve ever spent time on The Knot and wondered how they got started, this is the podcast episode for you

Other Stuff:

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Have a fabulous weekend!