Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kenny's 100th Day Celebration

In typical new mom fashion, I'm posting something like three months after the fact, because my blog is no longer my baby...  forgive me!  But I wanted to share about Kenny's 100th Day Celebration from back in May.

In Korea, a "baek-il" celebrates a baby turning 100 days old.  Before more modern times, infant mortality was pretty high, so people often didn't show off their new baby until it was a few months old.  That indicated it had a better chance of survival, having made it to the 100-day milestone.

Now, it's an opportunity for families to show off their baby and have a party!  In Korea, many people now throw huge parties  for the baek-il as well as the "dol", or 1st birthday party.  We do plan to throw Kenny a Korean-American style dol next year!



Since Kenny came early, my original plan to visit Indiana with him during my maternity leave wasn't possible.  That meant most of my extended family hadn't met him yet.  So we planned on having some "open house" hours at my parents' house for people to come visit.  Well, once Gigi (my Mom's grandmother name) figured out she could show off her first grandchild, suddenly this was a bigger deal!



One of the traditions at a baek-il is to offer ricecakes to 100 people, to bring longevity to the baby and good luck.  Since Kenny is 1/4 Korean, we thought that maybe something like cookies would be fun!  We handed out cookies at the party, and the leftovers came with me to work.  We gave away well over 100 cookies, all individually wrapped and decorated by Mom and me.




The day of the party, tons of family and friends came to visit, including Mom's coworkers.  It was nice to show off Kenny, who behaved pretty well!  He wasn't (and isn't) at the "stranger danger" age, so he was content to be passed around.

I was really happy that my Mom could share this Korean tradition with Kenny.  I feel like she sometimes held back with us when it came to her culture, so my sister and I grew up very much all-American, English-speaking kids.  Now that I'm older, I want to embrace more of my heritage; I embrace my father's side through the DAR and genealogy, and I'm finding ways to incorporate Korean culture and language into my life where I can.



P.S.  Kenny's 100th Day weekend was also my first Mother's Day weekend!  Kenny did a potholder project at daycare (let's be real... his teachers used his feet as a stamp!) for me, and Dan gifted me a digital photo frame for my desk at work, so I could rotate photos of Kenny all day while I work.  I look at it every day!





Thursday, June 7, 2018

Review: Rothy's Flats

I purchased my own pair of Rothy's and decided to review them here on my blog.  Click here for a coupon for $20 on your first pair, and I'll get $20 credit towards new shoes!



If you're like me, you've been getting hit left and right with targeted ads for pricey flats like Tieks and Rothy's that people are raving about!  I didn't bite on the Tieks, mainly because I go through cheap flats like crazy, because my feet sweat a lot (#truth) and they get smelly.  I don't usually splurge on shoes as a result; I buy $20 Target or Payless shoes and then toss them after a season.

But then I started to notice friends and coworkers wearing Rothy's flats, and I was intrigued.  They raved about how comfortable they were, but the kicker that got me was they were supposedly machine-washable.  That in itself felt like a game-changer for me.  The catch?  The price range is $125-$165, depending on if you go ballet flat, pointed flat, or loafer.

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Unboxing my Rothy's Flats


The only shoes I've ever paid over $100 for were combat boots or running/hiking shoes, something with a ton of function and not a lot of style!  So I was definitely intimidated by the price tag... but after days of waffling about it, I finally took the plunge and ordered their signature ballet flat in the Taupe Heather color, a good neutral to match the most possible outfits!  I also ordered an extra pair of insoles, because of my stinky/sweaty feet thing.

Rothy's Rubber Sole


When my shoes arrived, I got a little bit nervous; they looked narrow!  But once I put them on, I was impressed.  I felt like my feet were in house slippers.  They were as soft and comfortable as TOMS, but way cuter and with a non-slipping rubber sole.  I ordered a 6.5, which is my normal size in flats. Some people have been saying to size up for the pointed toe versions, but I haven't tried those yet.

Extra Insoles and Care Instructions


One complaint I saw in a Buzzfeed review of Rothy's was that you can see some stretch where your toes are.  I find this to be minimally noticeable.  The seamless feature of the shoes makes them so soft and comfortable from the get-go!  I even went on a 1.5-mile walk during the work day in these shoes with NO BLISTERS.  These are basically the only shoe I want to wear this summer that isn't a sandal!  That said, if you require arch support and struggle with the lack thereof in normal flats, you're not getting much more out of these.  You can probably slip your orthotics into them, but these are definitely for folks who wear flats all the time without issues.

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After about a week of 90-degree temps and sweating in my shoes, I decided to wash them.  I took the insoles out and tossed all four pieces into my washing machine on cold, delicate cycle.  I used our everyday detergent because it's what we use even for the baby's laundry: All Free & Clear.  Then I air dried the shoes.  Rothy's flats looked brand-new and kept their shape even after washing!  I found that they mostly dried overnight, too.  The bad smell from my sweat left them easily.  In the future, I may sprinkle in a little scent boost, just to give a little fresh smell to them, since my detergent lacks perfume.  They didn't smell anymore after washing, but I think adding a little scent will keep them smelling fresher for longer.

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Rothy's after washing

When it came to comfort and machine washing, I LOVE my Rothy's!  The sustainability aspect (they're made of recycled materials) is a great bonus.  The only thing I don't like is the price.  I really wish these were $99 instead of $125-$165, because I WANT MORE.

I've already got my sights set on their pointed marigold flats, black loafers, and a red or leopard pair of flats.  I would love to have a half dozen pairs of these to replace all of my cheapo flats.  (Which, in my mind, would cost around the same ONE pair of Jimmy Choos, but it's still hard to justify in my head.)  So I think I may buy one more pair this year, then ask EVERYONE to give me Rothy's giftcards for Christmas.  I don't think I've ever had a pair of flats I've liked so much!

If you're thinking about purchasing Rothy's after reading this review, I'd love for you to get a $20 discount through referral, so I can also get a $20 credit towards my new favorite shoe.  For once, I bought something from an internet ad that was legitimately perfect for me!



Update 7/2/18, The Point Shoe & The Loafer:  I next purchased a pair of Rothy's Point shoes in Marigold, a mustard yellow color.  I ordered a 7 (my Flat round toes are a 6.5) based on some advice from the "Rothy's Addicts" Facebook group. They felt a little too snug on my outer toes, so I exchanged them for a 7.5.  The 7.5 was perfect!  Sometimes they feel a little loose, but they don't slide off my feet.  I've also seen in the group that some of the newer colors are fitting more snug.

After trying two colors of loafers, I figured out that 7.5 works best for me, which also happens to be my Point size.  So to me, both the Point and the Loafer run smaller.

Ugh, that is my one gripe about Rothy's...  the quality control by style and color in terms of fit/size seems inconsistent. 




I purchased my own pair of Rothy's and decided to review them here on my blog.  Click here for a coupon for $20 on your first pair, and I'll get $20 credit towards new shoes!



Monday, June 4, 2018

2018 TSDAR State Conference (& Navigating DAR with a Baby)

This site is not an official NSDAR Web site, and the content contained herein does not necessarily represent the position of the NSDAR. The President General is the official spokesperson on issues that have not been addressed as policy of NSDAR.

In April, the Tennessee Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) had their annual State Conference, and once again I served as a page!  I served again as a personal page to our State Regent, the head of Tennessee's DAR.  (If your only reference for the DAR is Gilmore Girls, I have some links to past posts at the bottom of this one in case you're curious!)

I went into more detail about what my conference was like last year, including duties and public speaking, etc.  This year was similar, so check out last year's post for more details on that.  The main difference for me this year?  I was a brand-new mother!

2018 Pages with President General Dillon and State Regent Reynolds

When I tell people that I'm in the DAR, they often tell me they are interested but don't have time for it.  I've come to realize, even more so now with a baby, that EVERYONE is busy, and that balance doesn't exist... Prioritization exists.  You have to do what is important to you, and trim the rest.  For me, community service and fellowship through DAR are a priority, and my husband supports that.  So while it surprised some that I remain as dedicated now that I have an infant, to me it was important to continue the good work I've put my heart into, so that Kenny can see me working hard as a positive role model in our community and country!



State Conference (and Paging) with a Baby
First off, I let my Page Chairman know that I would need an assignment that would allow me to care for Kenny.  I actually managed to have the same assignment as last year, but since I had two other pages working with me, we were tagging in and out of events.  I was straight forward with my State Regent, who knew I was a new mom (she attended my baby shower just months before!) so she was incredibly understanding.  And I think that my need to sneak away to pump actually encouraged my peer pages to take a little R&R time when I tagged back in... healthy behavior for hard-working pages!  One example?  I skipped a breakfast so I could eat breakfast with Mom and baby, making sure she got a break too.  Then I headed downstairs to work and allow my fellow page some free time to shop and enjoy the conference.

Even though our conference is held a few miles from my apartment, I've been booking a hotel room for two nights there for the past couple of years, since I basically work 12+ hours a day.  This year, that was especially necessary!  My Mom came to stay on site with Kenny, and that was perfect.  I would go up to our room to pump throughout the day, see Kenny and Mom, and be just a text message away.  And every time Mom brought Kenny downstairs, the DAR ladies would come up to her and say, "Oh, is this Aubrey's baby?"  I even took Kenny downstairs when I went to vote, and the ladies took turns holding him while I was in line.

I had to get creative when it came to pumping timing... more so for my own comfort than meeting Kenny's needs!  For example, I snuck away after eating in the middle of a formal banquet, and I had my friend text me when the program was starting up.  It was much less complicated than it sounds.  But I figured out a good schedule, and my Apple Watch was AWESOME for receiving texts from both my Mom and my fellow pages without having to pull out my phone while working on the platform!

One of my paging partners, helping me tremendously!

Saying No
I didn't attend all of the meals at State Conference, both to save money and to make time to pump or see Kenny.  This year, I also missed some DAR chapter meetings due to Kenny's birth and childcare.  I said "no" to attending Continental Congress in DC and reprising my attendance at Indiana's State Conference like last year.  I'm hoping to do both next year, with lots of advance planning!

Making It Work
I hired a babysitter one evening so I could make a chapter meeting.  I took Kenny with me to a cemetery dedication.  I took a weekday off work, while Kenny was in daycare, so I could present an award at the state capitol.  All of these things are ways that I've been able to attend DAR events.  And you know what?  Every time I've chosen not to bring Kenny with me, the DAR ladies are disappointed.  If I bring him, they're cooing and playing "pass the baby" to help... or just to get their snuggles in.  I've never gotten dirty looks for bringing him anywhere, and I've been told that if I need to have him at a chapter meeting, he is welcome!  Sometimes I forget that most of the women I know in DAR have children, grandchildren, or nieces/nephews, are school teachers and librarians, lead Children of the American Revolution, or teach Sunday School. They're really supportive of me in every way, and they make it easier to manage!

I brought my pump bag with me, just in case... LOL

2018's State Conference was one to remember, with Kenny being less than 12 weeks old at the time!  But I'm learning how to navigate my role within the DAR, and manage to attend key events and participate actively, by saying no to some things and prioritizing others.


Curious about the DAR?
Read my post on why I joined, information about paginglast year's state conference,
and my trip to the 125th Continental Congress in Washington, D.C.!
Or you can just click here to see all of my DAR posts to date.

Also, because some people have asked me about diversity and the DAR, here is a link to our minority research page which provides guidance and sources for those trying to research African American, Spanish, Jewish, and Native American patriots!
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