06 June 2014

How We Manage to Sleep in Every Other Day

Lorin and I have been sleeping in every other day for the past month. I don't know why in the world we didn't do this before. I guess you just learn as you go along.

Miranda wakes up for the day anywhere from 6 am-7:30 am. I was usually the one to get up and hang out with her until Lorin woke up to get ready for work.

Well, about a month ago, Lorin just started getting up with Miranda in the morning every other day so I could sleep in. I didn't tell him to do this. It was just pure Lorin awesomeness.

Let me tell you, sleeping has been AMAZING! Before this, I couldn't even remember the last time that I just got up on my own rather than waking up to a squawking child. Lorin and I are both really enjoying this setup. We always have something to look forward to every other day.

I know this arrangement isn't something everyone can do because of schedules, but I highly recommend it! If you can't switch off every other day, maybe talk to your spouse about getting up with the child(ren) on the weekends.

Sleep is a wonderful, wonderful thing!

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31 May 2014

Junior High and Becoming a Parent aren't that Different

"I don't even know who I am anymore." I said this phrase SO many times within the first year of Miranda's life.

Before Miranda was born, I felt like I had myself figured out pretty well. I defined myself by my personality, education, faith, music, hobbies, family, ect. All these things worked together to make up Sarah Baird. Then I popped out a baby.

Things changed, and they changed a lot.

Life changed so much that I wasn't sure if I even knew who I was anymore. This wasn't so much of a terrible thing as it was confusing and at times frustrating. I felt like that awkward, braced-faced, thick eyebrowed junior higher again, trying to feel pretty, make friends, and have fun.

I just wasn't sure how my old self fit in with this new, mom self.

Well, Miranda is now two years old, and I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere with this rediscovering myself thing. I'm finding that I can still be who I was before and discover even more cool things about myself because I'm a mom.

Some of these things you might be able to relate to and others are specific to me, but here are some things that helped me get my groove back:

  1. Getting a jobI really enjoy working. For some people, this isn't their thing, but for me, I like interacting, helping, and working with other people. Work is something that challenges me and gives me good goals to work toward. 
  2. Questioning and reevaluating my beliefs (not just my faith, but political beliefs as well as other beliefs)Raising Miranda has made me really question the things I believe in because I want to teach her things that are right and don't want to lead her in a wrong direction. I also want to create a strong foundation for her to build upon as she grows and chooses what she believes. I want her to grow up to be a good person. I am definitely still on a journey with this one, so I don't feel like it is the right time to go into detail on the blog about this, but I feel like good things have come out of my discoveries.
  3. Making an effort to make and hang out with friendsI think this one was one of the biggest game changers for me. Lorin and I have one car, and he uses it to go to work every day. We both decided that I would not have the car during the day to save money. I would still get out once in a while to hang out with my girlfriends, but I would mostly be at home with Miranda. Well, after a year of doing this, staying at home got lonely and sometimes depressing. Lorin noticed that I was having a hard time, so we decided that something needed to change. Well, now I get the car a couple days a week and drop Lorin off at school. Miranda and I go on lots of play dates with other moms and their kids. Friends are so, so, so important as a mom. I'm not talking about interacting with friends over social media, but face-to-face interaction. It's great for Miranda too. She loves hanging out with her baby friends. I've found that spending a little extra money for some sanity is definitely worth the cost. 
  4. Cultivating new (and old) hobbiesWhen you have a baby, you will find that some of your hobbies do not mix so well with a baby around. For example, I love dancing. Before I had Miranda, I did ballet and Latin dance. I thought dance was a lost cause after having a baby, but two years later, I've come to find that I can still dance. I just modified things a bit. I like to turn on YouTube and do some ballet with Miranda in our living room for exercise. On family nights, Lorin, Miranda and I will turn on music and Latin dance it up. Yeah, dancing is not the same, but I've come to be OK with how things are right now. Maybe in the future I'll have the opportunity to take classes again, but for now, I'm content with the progress I've made. I have also found that if I change my approach to cultivating my hobbies, I can still play guitar, do yoga, garden, and sew. The biggest thing I've learned about hobbies is that I have to be willing to modify how I do things so Miranda is entertained. Things are not always ideal (like Miranda screaming and pounding on my guitar when I want to practice), but at least I can still do the things I love and have fun with Miranda at the same time. 
I feel like I'm figuring things out more and more as Miranda gets older. For you new moms out there who feel like you are in junior high again and trying to figure life out, know that getting the hang of things just takes time and a lot of patience. I think the best way to start getting your groove back is to reach out to others and make friends. Call someone up and plan to go out and do something together (with or without babies). If you feel like you don't have friends, take your baby to the park and meet people. Sometimes making that first step to get out of the house is hard, but when you do, you will be so glad you did. 

Question: Did you have to get your groove back after becoming a mom? How did you do it?

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16 February 2014

Mormon Missionaries Aren't Humans

I will never forget the first time I made a phone call as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It involved a man screaming at me at the top of his lungs and telling me I was wasting my time out on a Mormon mission among other offensive things. Yeah...I cried after I hung up the phone. 

Afterward, I wondered why he felt it was OK to treat me like that. I could understand why he might disagree with what we were teaching as missionaries, but why did he feel like it was OK to treat me like trash? 

As you can imagine, experiences like this came often on my mission. Some people made fun of us, others opened their doors to list off the reasons why my mission companion and I were terrible people. I even had someone pull a knife on me once when I tried giving him a card with our church Website on it (which is a great story to tell now, but I about wet my pants when it happened). 

Some of these experiences made me laugh, others made me roll my eyes, some just made me cry.

Some days, I didn't feel like a real human being anymore. People talked to me like they could say whatever mean thing they wanted just because they disagreed with me or didn't understand what I believed.   

I don't want you to get the wrong idea about me sharing these negative aspects to a LDS mission. I loved serving as a missionary for that year and a half. I was able to meet and help so many amazing people. The wonderful people and memories from my mission  far outweigh the hard parts, and I have never regretted serving. However, although many people were kind, I was amazed at how many people treated us terribly over a difference in opinion.  

I think that sometimes we can get so caught up on the things we disagree with that we forget to show love, tolerance, and compassion for others no matter what our personal beliefs are.

There have been so many times in my life where I have been guilty of saying hurtful things to someone's face or behind their back just because I disagreed with them. Many times, I didn't even care to see things from their point of view. 

Serving an LDS mission has helped me be more willing to hear others out and try to see things from their point of view (However, I do avoid listening to telemarketer spiels). Although there are lots of topics where I disagree with others, I try and take an interest in what others believe because I would hope that they would give my beliefs and points of view a listening ear as well. 

09 January 2014

I'm Still Here!

My poor, neglected blog. I am always in the mood to write a great post, but life has been so fun and busy. We just got back from a three-week visit with Lorin's family in Utah for Christmas and had a great time. Now, it is back to real life. I thought I would share some pictures of the fun times we had over the holidays.

As you can tell, sledding was a big hit with Miranda:

We played lots of fun games:

Grandma gave Miranda her first haircut: 

Aunt Erika showed Miranda her horse:

Miranda got some sweet gold pants for Christmas from her aunt:

Mom and Dad Baird are playing air hockey here, but what you can't see is the awesome laser tag arena where we spent many an hour.

We celebrated the new year in giant bounce houses!

 Miranda had her nails painted for the first time:

Well, those are some holiday highlights for you. I hope all of you had a great Christmas too!

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15 November 2013

When God Leads You Down the Wrong Road

After about a year of teaching as adjunct faculty at BYU-Idaho, I started entertaining the thought of going to grad school. Since Lorin was already planning on furthering his degree, I knew my decision to join him would be a financial strain and would also affect the childhood of the bean growing inside my stomach at the time. Despite the different obstacles, I still wanted to go. I felt like grad school was something that I needed and wanted to do.

Everyone has their own way of making big life decisions. For me, I take things to God and ask him to guide me in the right direction.

After a lot of thought and prayer, I felt great about going to grad school. Not only did I want to go, but I felt God was leading me in this direction for a reason.

Well, one child, one miserable semester and $8,000 later, I found that grad school was most definitely NOT the right thing for me to do.

God had lead me down the wrong road.

I didn't understand. Why the heck would a loving God do that?

Maybe this can explain:

From going down the wrong road that semester, I was able to know for sure that I am on the right road now. I stay at home with Miranda and am able to work from home as well. This road works so much better for my family and I.

The thing is, if I would have skipped school and gone straight down the road I am on now, I would have always been wondering what life would have been like had I chosen differently. I wouldn't have appreciated what I have now as much.

So, I'm not mad a God for leading me down the wrong road. In fact, I'm glad He did.

Have you ever felt really good about a decision, but found out it was actually the wrong one? What is your experience? Did you find something else that worked better for you?
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07 November 2013

Why My Husband Took Away My Facebook Password

Social media can be a blessing and a curse.

A couple of months ago, if you would have taken a look at my internet history, you would have seen that I checked up on my Facebook at least 10 times a day. You know, I just wanted to see what was going on. I wanted to talk with friends—socialize.

I don't know what it is about Facebook, or why I felt a need to check it so frequently, but it was beginning to be a problem and a waste of timemaybe even bordering on addiction. Things kind of felt like this:

I hated that pulling feeling that made me want to take out my laptop to check if a friend answered my message or to see what so and so said about the picture I posted.

I reasoned with myself, saying Facebook was pretty much the only way to keep in contact with old friends, or the only way to get social interaction during the week (since I'm a stay-at-home mom).

The odd thing was that I didn't feel any closer to friends or family by going on Facebook a million times during the day. In the end, I just wasted time scrolling down my Facebook feed and felt disappointed when I saw that nothing had changed since I last checked my Facebook 30 minutes before.

So, that is when I told Lorin to change my password and keep it from me.

This has been a GREAT change. I still go on Facebook and keep up with friends, but I have Lorin type in the password. I am amazed at how much my Facebook time has decreased since holding myself accountable for the time I spend online. I find that if I don't have a good reason to go on Facebook, I just don't go on. I find other things to do. When I want to socialize, I find myself interacting with people in person or by telephone more often.  

For the record, I think Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends; however, Facebook can never replace having a fun ladies night at a friend's house or hearing the voice of a brother, sister, or parent over the phone.

What are your thoughts about Facebook? Have you ever had to limit your Facebook time?
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16 October 2013

Remembering Who I am Doing This For

5:00 rolled around today, and I was lying on the couch, exhausted with a Ziploc bag full of Rice Krispie treats in hand. There were children's books, toys, and baby socks all over the living room floor. Our dining room table was covered with more books and dirty dishes from this morning's breakfast that I never got around to putting away. The kitchen was...well, you get the idea. Then, there was Miranda who was running circles around the house, making the occasional trip over to the couch to poke me in the eyes or beg for more Rice Krispie treats.

I often find that the state of my home often reflects how I feel.

I just kept thinking, one more hour until Lorin gets home. One more hour until Lorin can help me clean up the house, get the baby ready for bed, and make dinner.

And then after lying down on the couch and shoving one more Rice Krispie treat in my mouth, I decided to suck it up and get everything done because I don't know a single person that enjoys coming home to a hot mess right after school or work.

Now the house is nice and clean, we had a good dinner, and the babe is bathed and in bed. I feel a lot better.

Days like this happen all the time. Some days, I feel like I can't pick up one more dirty sock or sweep up one more of Miranda's messes. But then I try to remember how much Lorin appreciates coming home to a clean house or having something to eat when he gets home. When I think about who I am doing all of this for, the task doesn't seem so hard anymore.
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