Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Tag Archive: lists

Things that make me feel put together

I’ve mentioned this before but I have been struggling hardcore lately. I know it’s the depression talking and I’m fighting it off the best I can but some days it gets the best of me and I can’t muster the energy to do anything beyond the necessities of life. And sometimes it’s hard to even do that. But I keep trying and plugging away the best I can. 

It’s on those days that I think about the things I can do to make me feel like I have my life together. I don’t believe in fake it till you make it but I guess this all falls under that. I suppose this list can work even when I’m feeling like my best self because who doesn’t want to feel like they have it all together? 

  • Dinner in the crock pot
  • Wearing a matching bra and underwear
  • Bills paid, grocery shopping done, full tank of gas, and no looming laundry mountain
  • All the DVRd shows watched
  • All the podcasts current
  • All the open tabs read and closed
  • Seeing the living room and kitchen completely clean with no stray items anywhere and everything in its place
  • Fresh manicure and pedicure, either DIY or paying someone else to do it. Polish colors don’t need to match
  • Going a day without running an errand because everyone has everything they need
  • The cat spending the whole day in the house without begging to go outside (this is more of a personal victory than feeling put together but it still counts)
  • Crossing off all the items on ye old to-do list
  • Getting everything I need at one store (unless that store is Walmart, which is the bane of my existence. I hate that fucking place. I sometimes purposefully drive to four different stores simply to avoid our local Walmart)
  • Wearing lip gloss even when I know no one else will see me

For the record, these don’t all have to be accomplished on the same day. If even one of them is done, I feel like I’m put together. 

What makes you feel like you have it all together?

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More things I wonder

I haven’t done a things I wonder post in quite awhile and although I had planned to write a post today correcting yet another asshole on the internet who is completely and utterly wrong, I decided to save that for another day and wonder out loud instead.

Because I do what I want.

  • I haven’t been to the library in like 6 weeks. Are the librarians sad? Happy? Have they noticed?
  • Why can’t the prices of drinks at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts match the increments of the gift cards they sell? Who the fuck enjoys having 82 cards with like 9 cents on each one?
  • Why does my flexible spending company not believe that places with words like “orthodontics” and “vision academy” are medical providers? 
  • Can daylight savings time go away?
  • Am I the only one creeped out by Pinocchio?
  • Why does NetGalley take so damn long to tell you if you were approved for a book? PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW AND KNOW IMMEDIATELY.
  • Is there a way to care less about March Madness? Because if there is, I’d like to know it. I’m curious to find out just how far my indifference can go.
  • Do people actively avoid me like I avoid them? I mean, I’m sure the answer yes but I still would like to know. Maybe I don’t. Mark me as undecided on this one and forget I asked.
  • Can one own too many pairs of black yoga pants?
  • Why does my microwave heat things to boiling inedible hot or not at all? (Perhaps it’s time for a new one but I hate shopping for appliances. Are there personal shoppers for these things?)
  • I know I wrote two of these so why can’t I find the second?

How about you guys? What are some things you wonder?

Ten simple rules for new moms

I know quite a few of you guys are getting ready to have babies or you’ve recently had babies and you’re probably sick of hearing other people tell you how to parent. But rest assured, this is not that kind of advice. This is advice you can use. Real advice. From a somewhat seasoned mom and one who, by most societal standards, did absolutely everything wrong and has a kid who turned out just fine. Seriously, she’s fine. She  probably won’t even need therapy when she’s older. So I figure that’s good. 

And I figure it also qualifies me to tell you guys some things. 

Jana’s Rules for New Moms (Or, Jana’s Suggestions For New Moms Because It’s Your Kid and You Do What You Want)

  1. Shower. No one feels good when they’re covered in filth. There’s always 5 minutes to do that, even if you can’t wash your hair. That’s why there’s ponytails and dry shampoo. And also, there’s no badge of honor for being dirty. 
  2. Sleep. My god, please sleep. I know it’s hard but a few hours here and there makes a world of difference. And if you have a difficult baby and YOU’RE tired, it makes taking care of that baby even more difficult.
  3. Eat. Food is awesome, starving yourself is not. It’s actually a terrible idea. Hangry mom + cranky baby = UGLY situation.
  4. Feed your kid. Common sense, right? But I need to add that you should feed your kid in any manner that works for you. Breast feed, formula feed, combination of the two. Whatever. DO NOT let anyone make you feel guilty for how you choose to feed your kid. Because in the long run, it doesn’t really matter how they were fed. All that matters is that they’re eating. My child was formula fed from day 1–DAY 1–and she is healthy and strong and smart. 
  5. Ask for help when you need it. It’s hard to do it alone, even if it feels like you’re the only one who can possibly take care of that baby. But it is stressful as fuck and sometimes, you need a break. Take one. Let the kid’s dad do the middle of the night feeding if he can or have a trusted friend or relative come over so you can shower and nap. Not sure if your baby needs to go to the doctor? Call the pediatrician and ask the nurse. Ask an experienced mom how to handle teething or reflux. It is okay to ask for help and no one–NO ONE–will see you as weak or stupid because you couldn’t figure it out. We’ve all been there. 
  6. Tune out the critics. No matter what you do, there will be those who will criticize your choices or act like they’re better than you for whatever inane reason parents are competing these days. But you know your kid and you know you’re doing the best you can. You already know you’re a good parent and fuck the people who say you aren’t. 
  7. Keep your non-mom friends. I know I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll keep mentioning it because it’s that important. Believe me, mom friends serve their purpose. It’s nice to have people to commiserate with about diapers and daycare and mommy guilt and all those godforsaken loud ass toys and horrible kids’ shows and all the shit and nonsense that comes with being a mom. It’s a huge part of who you are now. You can’t deny that. HOWEVER.It is so nice to have a conversation with someone that doesn’t revolve around those topics. It is so nice to have a lunch or a drink with a friend who wants to talk about everything and anything that’s not kids. Kids are awesome but they are not the sum of life. Don’t let the fact that you reproduced and a friend didn’t rip a hole in your friendship. I 100% guarantee you can still relate to each other. (And P.S., anyone who tells you that you don’t live or know what love is until you’ve had kids is a complete and utter asshole. Don’t be that person). 
  8. Stay yourself. Confession: a pet peeve of mine is being introduced as E’s mom (as in, “hi, new mom I’ve never met before. I’m E’s mother”). NO. I am Jana. Yes, I am her mother but I am Jana before that. I am my own person. Because being someone’s mom is not all you are. You do yourself a complete disservice to shut off who you were before that kid was born. Just because you’re a mom now doesn’t mean you can’t read or listen to loud, angry music or go to the gym or watch violent, inappropriate shows or wear makeup or dress up for no reason at all or have a beer at home on a Friday night or travel or do anything else you like to do. Sure, you might have to make better overall choices when you’re doing those other things but do not forget to do them. It’s okay to have goals that don’t involve your kid. It’s okay to want things you wanted before she was born. TRUST ME. If you stay yourself, you’ll be a better parent overall. Your kid cannot be your whole life. It’s not healthy.
  9. Pre-pregnancy weight. It’s a good, noble goal. But I caution you if you’re pressuring yourself to get there immediately. That’s nonsense. YOU JUST EXPELLED ANOTHER HUMAN FROM YOUR BODY. Give it time to heal. Let it do what it needs to. Take care of yourself, sure, but don’t worry if it takes a year to see those pre-baby pants (and, fun fact, even if you get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight, your pants still might not fit because, like it or not, everything changes and you might look a little different) instead of 4 months. We’ve gotten to the point where we revere and glorify the women who “bounce back” immediately and I think that’s ridiculous. 
  10. Avoid comparisons. Don’t do it. Don’t compare anything about your situation to anyone else’s. Every person, every baby, every pregnancy is different and none of them look the same. Comparing what you have to what you see on FB or IG or Pinterest or in mommy groups (which, fun fact, I completely avoided, mostly for this reason) is nonsense and most of it is a fucking lie anyway. You’re awesome, your baby is awesome, and fuck anyone who disagrees.

Now. I want to address postpartum depression. It is a very real, very serious, very scary thing. I’ve seen it happen to people I care about. If you feel depressed, even slightly, take it seriously. Talk to your doctor. Get help. Don’t pass it off as “the baby blues” or excuse it by saying you’re tired or hungry or stressed or something else. You know what those feel like and postpartum depression is nothing like that. It is okay to admit you’re depressed; no one who matters will shame you for it. And if they do, you don’t need them. 

So, that’s all. Pretty simple. Take care of yourself, take care of your baby how you see fit, ask for help when you need it, and do whatever is right for you, your baby, your budget, and your situation. If you do that, you’ll be just fine. 

Anything I left off the list? 

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Through the decades: A 1960s playlist with Jana and Erin

This month, Erin and I are paying tribute to the music of the 1960s. The era of JFK, MLK, Vietnam, Woodstock, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the beginning of the War on Poverty and a whole bunch of other landmark events for America. Also, music. So much music.

It was quite difficult for me (Jana) to pick a handful of songs from this decade but Erin had a slew of them which I’m sure is telling but I’m not sure what it tells other than while I’m tuned in (hahaha for my bad pun) to history, the music of the decade isn’t high on my list. But I did pull a few to compliment Erin’s and so without further rambling, here’s our picks from the beginning of the decade to the end. Chronological order FTW!  But there might be a couple of missing years. Specifically, 65. And OMG, was it difficult to pick a just few from 64. Choices are hard, y’all.the-1960s-a-playlist-by-jana-and-erin

Have a listen to all the songs below! Also, please let us know what some of your favorite 60s songs are!

Please Mr. Postman–The Marvelettes

Runaround Sue–Dion (Jana’s fun fact: This is one of my favorite songs. Maybe ever)

Crying–Roy Orbison

Twist and Shout–The Isley Brothers

Surfin’ USA–The Beach Boys (anyone else ONLY think of Teen Wolf when they hear this song? No? Just me?–Jana)

Louie Louie–The Kingsmen (why shouldn’t Animal House be fully represented here? Also the 80s movie Coupe de Ville. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?–Jana)

Baby I Need Your Lovin’–The Four Tops

Can’t Buy Me Love–The Beatles (HOLY HELL DO THE 80s MOVIES REFERENCES NEED TO STOP!!!–Jana)

Leader of the Pack–The Shangri-Las

God Only Knows–The Beach Boys

Paint it Black–The Rolling Stones

Light My Fire–The Doors

Brown Eyed Girl–Van Morrison (THE anthem for every brown eyed girl on the planet)

Think–Aretha Franklin

Born to Be Wild–Steppenwolf

Fortunate Son–Credence Clearwater Revival

I Want You Back–Jackson 5 (For a fun dance to this song, watch..well, save yourself the whole movie and just see if you can find the scene from Clerks 2)

Come Together–The Beatles

Ramble On–Led Zeppelin

 

Three things

Thanks to Steph for this post idea. And the prompts. 

3-things

 

Three things I’d never give up
My self-respect, my dogs, my love of hair bands

Three favorite vegetables
Tomatoes, peppers, carrots

Three shows I watched faithfully from beginning to end
Friday Night Lights, Prison Break, LOST (this was all pre-Netflix. I watched that shit live, week by week). Bonus: Freaks and Geeks. 18 episodes will never be enough.

Three places I want to visit inside the US
The Badlands, Myrtle Beach, Alaska

Three places I want to visit outside the US
Australia (see, Erin! It’s there!), Ireland, Greece

Three things I always have with me
My phone, lip balm, water

Three things that are always in my car
Plastic bags, hand sanitizer, empty drink bottles (yes, my car is a garbage pit)

Three most recent phone calls were to/from
My mother, my friend Athena, and my friend Brynne (messages from the school district are not counted)


Three books I read and loved in college
I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb, The Pact by Jodi Picoult (this might have been in grad school, though), Sleepers by Lorenzo Carcaterra


Three most often used makeup products
Too Faced Neutral palette, Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, Urban Decay eyeliner in either purple or navy blue but I can’t remember the names of them

Three things that make me laugh
My daughter, farts, terrible puns

Three things that make me cry
Death, onions, any story involving animals (especially those dramatic rescue stories)

How about you guys? What are three things I should know about you?