September 25, 2011

My Ideas to Travel & Work Abroad with My Family

My life long dream has been to travel and live abroad. I have always wanted a job that allows me to work and afford living in other countries. Specifically, I'd love to live anywhere in Western Europe but I could settle for... basically anywhere else that's relatively safe. Taiwan? Japan? China? Somewhere in South America or how about Russia. I'd even go to CANADA... And because I'm getting desperate I would even like to work somewhere else in the United States. California would be awesome! But since that's unrealistic because of the cost of living, I'd consider Colorado, Wyoming, Florida, Vermont, Tennessee, New York, Texas. You should be able to tell that I really don't care where I go. I love exploring new places and meeting people with different points of view on life. Yes, I could do that all in Michigan. I love Michigan by the way. But there are not any super tall mountains here. I've hiked all over the Porcupine Mountains and while I loved it, I want to go higher. There are beautiful Great Lakes that I have explored many times, but I want to see new waters. There's not any BIG cities here, and I've already been to the important ones anyways. I just want to go somewhere, just because. I have had an inner drive for "GOING SOMEWHERE" my entire life. Maybe it has something to do with my mom moving me around all my childhood? I don't know. [I've gone to 8 different schools before college. Then 3 more adding on college experience.]

My ideas on how to travel and work abroad consist of the following career paths.
  • Teaching English... finding work contracts through the schools directly, hiring a nanny or bilingual daycare center (big cities only), or enrolling Miss A into local schools when she's of age. Many schools will give you a living stipend, and/or include the cost of tuition for a child's school if you teach English there. Both Bill & I could teach English.
  • Foreign Service Officer... This is my dream career. I am taking the Foreign Service Officer Test October 6, 2011 but it's really hard for me to find hope & optimism that will help convince myself that I MIGHT be able to pass it. This would cover everything my family & I need to work as a world representative of the United States. It would be easy traveling because we'd be cared for. The job would be much more demanding, but it'd like that and it'd be worth it. 
  • Master's School Abroad... I'd have to get into a program that gives me a decent scholarship and work placement. This way I could have direct connections to work abroad once I finish my Master's Program. 
Am I being selfish? My fiancé has always known my passion for traveling. When we first started dating on December 21, 2004, I was already saving money and enrolled into a Study Abroad program through AFS to complete my junior year of high school in Belgium. We have been dating for about 6.5 years [with some breaks] but I have told him over and over the kind of lifestyle I wanted to live. And he still proposed to me! SOOOO... IDK. I tell him my ideas of what we can do all the time. It's mainly me doing all of the work too and he has stopped listening to me. I don't know what to do besides feel lost. I'm looking for a local job now in some kind of social work setting. Maybe if I build up a skill and complete a Master's program first, THEN I can work abroad in that field...

My mom moved to Texas with me when I was 3 years old for less than a year. I remember living there briefly but I am happy to have lived there. I am happy to have moved all over Michigan. I wish she moved me to other states or countries when I was little. I would LOVE to have learned different languages and cultures so young. I don't know how much I would have loved it when I was little but I wouldn't know anything else so it'd be fine. I don't think there is anything wrong with traveling often for work with children. I think it's a privilege.

I'm just a little depressed is all. I don't want to be stuck, just because it's easier... I am a highly motivated person who likes to do things above and beyond. I don't know why. I don't know how to stop myself from thinking/feeling this way. It'd be easier if I could just be content staying here, close to home for the rest of my life. I don't know if that's possible though.

September 24, 2011

Pretty in Blue

Mini Photoshoot!

[~10 weeks old~]


Sleepy Mommy (& Daddy!) Pictures

Here's a small collection of my baby-bliss-glamor shots taken mainly during the first month of Miss A's life. I was completely and entirely sleep deprived during this period. Notice the large bags underneath my puffy eyes! :D I breastfed her every 2-4 hours around the clock. That means that she interrupted my REM cycle every night... did I even get a REM cycle? Ha.. Regardless after the first month, Miss A started sleeping 5-6 hours at one time. And now at 10 weeks, she is getting good 8 hour blocks of sleep in at least 4-5 times per week. It's an amazing accomplishment on her part!

September 19, 2011

Blairex Boudreaux's Butt Paste

This is a great product to cure diaper rash fast! Someone at my baby shower gave me a tube of Blairex Boudreaux's Butt Paste and told me it was Miracle Cream! She told me she uses Butt Paste not only for diaper rash, but for baby acne or breakouts anywhere on the skin.

Miss A had a minor case of diaper rash this past week. [Yes, using cloth diapers can cause diaper rash too unfortunately.] It was there for a few days before I realized that was what she had. As a first time mother, I have never seen what diaper rash looked like. Miss A was so fussy! So I dug out the tube of Butt Paste and rubbed some on her bum. By the next diaper change it disappeared! No joke! It was 2-3hrs later. I put more of the cream on her just as a precaution but it was completely gone and Miss A was a much happier baby girl!

  • Works fast!
  • Good value/ price
  • Helps treat & prevent diaper rash
  • Protects chafed skin due to diaper rash
  • Helps seal out wetness
  • Soothes & heals cuts and scrapes
  • For people of all ages! 
  • None. I read somewhere online not to use diaper rash creams with gDiapers because it will cause build up and ruin the cloth's absorbency. However, I haven't had any problems with this.   

2 Months of gDiaper Experience

GDIAPERS ROCK! I am a big fan thus far. Miss A is 10 weeks old yesterday and while I can't say that I've been using gDiapers the whole time, I've definitely been using them over a month and a half.  She was born 7lbs3oz so at first they were too small. Then I was visiting my grandma in the hospital for a week. So for all the babysitters, we used disposables since we received some as gifts from the baby showers.

Here is my pros/cons list for using gDiapers. [Besides the normal sustainability reasons!]

  • Very easy to use!! 
  • Very easy to launder. I'm on a two/three day schedule with 6 gPants & 24 gCloths & 12 gLiners. I wash them with an eco-friendly detergent and hot water on a regular cycle and rinse. Then I dry all but the liners and wetbags.
  • Very easy to travel with. I just use the gWetbag, however any wetbag will do to store soiled diapers. I've even used a plastic bag but that's not very sustainable to use every time!
  • No complaints with leaks. The only time they have leaked is when I forgot to change her after feeding her and she pees "A LOT" and twice or more... [My Bad!]
  • All the poop stays in the liner for the most part. If it doesn't it's because she created a "Diaper BOMB" and it all went up her back... this happens with disposables too. It's life!
  • Product is made well with one exception below.
  • I feel like my baby is trendy with her gDiapers... however I may be biased! 
  • I pulled a string on one of the gLiners and it unraveled near the orange snap. [I should NOT have pulled the string. Ha..] No complaints with any other liners though.
  • It takes my dryer two cycles to fully dry the gCloths.
  • For some reason, other people complain about me using them... why? They are just jealous and wish they could wear gDiapers! 
I can say that I am happy we actually committed to these diapers. It is worth the money, especially since we plan to use these diapers for our next baby as well. Miss A will probably outgrow the small size soon and they are in awesome condition. I wish I could afford better gender neutral colors but for now green and orange are what we have.

Her diaper is on backwards!
To my embarrassment, I have shamefully been putting Miss A's gDiapers on backwards. Obviously she is not happy and crying because her diapers are on wrong! OOPS! The embarrassing part is that I JUST NOW REALIZED IT WHILE WRITING THIS BLOG POST... Hmm... Good news is that gDiapers can be worn two ways and successfully hold in all liquids! From now on all diaper photos will look like the first two above! :D

September 9, 2011

Fussy Baby = No Pictures

We have attempted to get professional pictures taken at JCPenney twice this week. Apparently Miss A does not want to get her pictures taken. She has been super fussy lately. We were all ready to leave 15 minutes ago and decided to cancel the appointment after too much stress built up. She has been crying and fussing all day it seems. I gave her a bath and surprisingly she was okay with it. Then I started dressing her and she started up again. I knew she was getting hungry so I tried feeding her... She was too upset to nurse efficiently so I ended up pumping her a bottle. Fed her. Burped her. Changed her diaper. And she screamed.. and screamed some more. I can't believe we actually attempted putting her in her car seat... At this point I just grabbed my phone and canceled the appointment. Now she is cuddling up with daddy in the rocking chair, fast asleep.

Man. I tell ya... babies! Ohhh just gotta remind myself. She's probably going through a growth spurt! My poor baby girl. I guess we'll just try to do pictures next week.


September 6, 2011

Lots of Pretty Smiles

Well hello again! Life with a baby is definitely tiring and busying but it's so much more interesting than before! I just have to show off several pictures of her genuine smiles. She is such a smiley sweetheart now. She laughs and talks too...well coos. Her favorite word/noise is "GOO".  It's so precious! I love being a mommy!

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