Learning new things

I love learning. Take college for example. Imagine the horror when I realized I’d have to pick only one major. Anxiety! I could have picked any subject,  I enjoyed them all so much.  Just because my formal schooling is done obviously doesn’t mean I’m done learning. There are just too many things I’m interested in! This week I’ve spent my free time at work doing some research. Because I’d like some new info for my brain. Here’s what’s been rattling around:

1. Photography stuff

I realize that I can’t take a “good” picture to save my life. I look at some blogs created by great photographers and I just feel so defeated. I want to take beautiful pics of my kid too, darnit! We’ve got 126389275483 pictures of Sophie, and about 4 of them are good. Putting together her photobook this past Christmas was a wake up call- because I realized I had a year’s worth of pictures and they were all bogus. The photobook ended up being a piece of work only a great-grandparent could love.

So, I spent tons of time on this site the other day. I learned a lot. About lighting, the rule of thirds, and photographing children. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the information on the site, not to mention I have a loooong ways to go in terms of application of this knowledge. Not to mention that if I were to take this very seriously, I’d probably need a new camera and to take a good old-fashioned photography class. Anyhow, it’s a step in the right direction. A baby step, but it’s a beginning.

2. Coupon stuff

Kevin and I have been looking for ways to save on our grocery bills. Who isn’t? It seems like every month he says, “I just cannot believe we’ve spent this much on food in the past 30 days!” We don’t eat out often, most of our meals we make at home. Cheap, regular, go-to meals like tacos, pasta, soup & grilled sandwiches. It’s not like we’re making filet mignon every night, yet our grocery bills are always so much. Food isn’t getting any cheaper, but I know that there is a way I can start getting better deals. And now that we have our own house with a huge pantry and basement for storage space, we have room to really stock up on items while they are on sale. There is SO much info out there on couponing that it’s literally made my head swim, which is why I’ve never really tried it until now. But, this time I’m really going to start. Even saving just a little bit will help us out a lot, and that saved money can be put toward paying off debt or saving up for a new car.

3. Carseat stuff

I promise you my dorky-momness is about to shine through. For some reason, this has become a huge interest of mine. First, I’m SO happy that the AAP just put out new recommendations last week that toddlers should rear-face until 2.

For us personally, we’ve decided to rear-face Sophie for as long as possible. Her seat can rear-face to 40lbs. or about 40 inches (a carseat is outgrown by height in the rear-facing position when the top of the head comes within 1″ of the top of the shell-for more info on this click here ). I’m am confident that she will reach the height limit long before she reaches the weight limit, and that’s probably not going to happen until at least a year from now. Hopefully, she remains a happy passenger until then 🙂

But won’t her legs be crunched? I’m sure they will be by then, but it doesn’t really matter. Kids are bendy-just look at them, how they watch tv, how they can fold themselves into balls. They’re very flexible. What looks uncomfortable to the adult eye is not uncomfortable for kids. Also, I care more about keeping her head & neck supported in the event of a crash than I do about the comfort of her legs. Broken legs can be fixed, broken necks cannot. That’s all I have to say about that. This is the choice we’ve made for Sophie, and we feel good about it.

Since I’m always looking toward the next thing I’ve been researching Sophie’s next seat…that she’ll need in a few years. Like I said…dorky-momness right here. I like the Graco Nautilus & the Britax Frontier. Both are forward facing only and convert to a highback, then a backless booster seat. If anyone has experience with these seats, I’d like to hear it.

4. Self discipline stuff

I’m learning more about myself in this area. I need goals in order to stick with something.

At the beginning of 2011 I started a “read through the Bible in a year” program on a phone app. I’ve stuck with it almost every day since, and on the days I’ve missed, I’ve gone back and made up the reading. I like that it counts the days. I’m a numbers girl.

I signed up for another Half. It’s on June 5th. So now I must train for it by running most days. If the weather would just get nicer, this would be a joy rather than a chore.

And of course blogging. Changing my look has really helped motivate me to write consistently. But comments would motivate me too…. 😀