Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mr. Life of Lacey: Part II

Figured it was about time to do one of these again. Also known as: that section of the brain that houses blog post ideas has dried up so I'll revisit stuff I've already done. I sent John these questions to answer and he sent these responses back. Some of them I just HAD to add commentary (as you know) so my comments are in parenthesis and italics.

So, Mr. Life of Lacey, my husband John.

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Q: What is a pet peeve you have about me?

A: Leaving your shoes just laying where ever you took them off so I can break my ankle later....

(True story. Well, not that I'm trying to break any ankles, but I do tend to leave shoes lying around.)


Q: What is your favorite vacation we've taken together? 

A: Daytona (with our Friends)

(This was way back in 2008. And besides the trip to Prague/Germany a few years ago, was the only friend vacation we've been on together.)

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Q: What's your favorite thing to do with Charley?

A: Play Tag or play outside in general.


Q: What is your favorite food? What is mine? 

A: Kale Salad; Smoked Chicken

(I mean, yes, I do love when John smokes a whole chicken, but I wouldn't say my favorite. That's way too healthy to be deemed "favorite". Let's go with pizza or a buffalo chicken sandwich.)


Q: What is your greatest accomplishment in life? 

A: Our children.


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(Ditto.)


Q: What is next on your home to-do list? What is the next thing I want you to do?

A: Wash the deck, replace the banister (I hate it), and stain it; Charley's wardrobe doors.

(I first sent this to John when Laney was just a few weeks old, so this answer is outdated. Charley's wardrobe doors are done so he has completed what I wanted him to do. He has yet to work on the deck but has moved on to lots of other projects since then!)


Q: Any new hobbies? 

A: Bee Keeping

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Q: Favorite TV show(s)? 

A: Walking Dead, Better Call Saul


Q: Favorite DIY thing we've done in our house? 

A: Irrigation and landscaping.

(I mean technically that isn't IN our house, but I'll let it slide. And, just to throw in my personal opinion, I think the irrigation is cool, sure, but landscaping has a long way to go.)


Q: What was your first impression of me?

A: I remembered crossing paths and thinking, “I know that girl”. You were tall, thin, dark haired, and I knew you were smart. That was my first impression of you.


Q: How accurate do you now think it was? On which counts do you think you were totally wrong and on which were you right? 

A: Pretty accurate. I’m never wrong. I don’t even have whiteout at my desk:

  desk 

Do you see any?? Point proven.


Q: If you weren’t in the profession you are, what would be your dream profession? 

A: Not sure, I wouldn’t mind being a Captain of a Naval Destroyer.


Q: If you won the lottery, what are the first five things you would buy? 

• buy me a boat
• buy me a truck to pull it
• buy me a Yeti 110
• ice
• some silver bullets Budweisers

(If you don't listen to country music, that last answer may not be as amusing to you. But I had a good laugh about it myself, especially since I think it would be pretty accurate if he did win the lottery!)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Buy All The Things

I have always dreamed of winning a shopping spree. Especially one of the timed ones where you can have everything you can grab in X amount of minutes. I've even given thought to the routes I would take in particular stores to get what I really wanted first. I think this stemmed from my love of the show Supermarket Sweep as a kid. ALWAYS GO FOR THE GIANT CHEESE WHEELS AND HUGE CHUNKS OF MEAT FIRST.


Once early on in our relationship, John and I went to an outlet mall and shopping spree-d with a credit card that we knew good and well we didn't have the money to pay off. We got sunglasses and clothing and I really don't even remember what else. It was so fun though carrying all of those bags and bringing home that much new stuff at once. It wasn't quite as much fun afterwards when we had the bill and I'm sure it took months and months to pay it all off. But, that's a typical learning experience of your early twenties, right?

Anyways, apparently "buy all the things" has been our mantra in our house the last couple of months and we've sort of been shopping spreeing again - however this time we can actually afford it. Also in our defense, we are both pretty frugal and like some good deals. Both of our wardrobes were growing pretty stale because it had been quite some time since we'd purchased clothing for ourselves. So, it was due and it was fun but we will need to reign it in a bit to stick closer to the budget in the next couple of months. Anyways. We bought things. Lots of things. And here they are.

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You guys know how obsessed I was with the website Twice? I only mentioned it and shared my referral link a hundred times. But I truly did love it and got over $500 in referral credits alone by the time the website closed down. Yep - it is gone and I am so sad. They sold out to eBay Valet and it remains to be seen if they will be as great as Twice was. But, as they closed down they discounted stuff to crazy low prices. For example, here is one of my receipts:


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Those prices are really cheap, right? And that's not even what we paid. From those prices there was another 30% knocked off. So insanely cheap & really nice stuff. So cheap that the website was obviously really bogged down with all of us fighting to grab stuff. Both John and I were just adding whatever could possibly work into our shopping cart and knowing that if it didn't work we could easily resell.

Between the time they announced their closing and the day they finally did we had 6 orders on their way. The biggest of those orders had a total of 70 items. Unfortunately, we ultimately only got 42 of those 70 things because they realized they sold some of those things too cheap and took some of the stuff back and put it back up for sale for more money. Which, was a total jerk move of them but we still had more than enough stuff coming our way. I had just recently cleaned out my closet and had a TON of empty hangers ready for some "new" stuff again. As these orders keep showing up on my doorstep day after day - those hangers are all getting full again. It makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning with a refreshed wardrobe!

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This was the large order. It did cover the entire table but we had to stack some to make a place for Charley to eat. I didn't lay them back out after she was done because laziness. 

Also, want to know what else happened to that really big order? We started out with 70 things for about $230. It was already insanely cheap and we were excited about it. But John kept saying that he didn't think the order was going to come through because of how large it was and how cheap it was. As he predicted (and I mentioned already) they did email him one day and say that they were unable to find 21 of those items and refunded us ~$70. That was a total lie because the things they "weren't able to find" were magically back up for sale and for way more money. This happened to a lot of people apparently and they voiced their unhappiness through social media.

Then, another week later he got an email that there were an additional 7 things they also couldn't find. These seemed like they legitimately did not find them as they were winding down the business and I didn't notice them go back up for sale. Those additional 7 things resulted in another refund of $24. BUT, instead of only refunding us the $24, they accidentally refunded us the entire thing again. So the additional $24 but also the $70 they'd already refunded. Meaning, of the $230 we originally spent, we had no only spent $66 on the remaining 42 items. I mean, I feel bad, but we didn't do anything wrong and now the company is closed and done. So, lucky us! We will not need to buy clothing for a really long time!
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Charley loves to help cook and it was even easier for her to help with Blue Apron and all their pre-portioned ingredients.

I don't know if this one really counts since as of now we haven't spent a dime, but I'm sharing anyways.

A friend of mine is a regular patron of Blue Apron where they send you all the ingredients needed for a couple meals each week including easy to follow recipe cards. It's very convenient and a great way to learn some different recipes. Occasionally they give her a few free meals to give out to friends or family and I was the lucky recipient of those a couple weeks ago. It was very easy to sign up and go on to pick a couple meals out of the options given for the next week.

We got our meals that week, made them and enjoyed them (well, I didn't eat one of them because we all know how picky I am but John said it was good!) and then intended to cancel before we got the next week's meal. It wasn't that they weren't tasty or easy or that they were inconvenient because all of those things they were for sure. But, for $70/week we didn't think it was worth it for our family in particular. I went to go cancel though and realized I had just missed the 6 day cancellation notification for the next week. Sucks, but, we weren't out $70 for nothing, you know? We would still get the two meals the next week so not a waste of money or anything. I went ahead and called anyways to cancel for the week after and ended up having to leave a voice mail because they were busy. The next day I realized I never heard back from them and went back on the website to see if I could find another way to cancel because those subscription places tend to hide that information and make it hard on us. I did end up finding another way to cancel through email and mentioned in my email to them that I tried to call and cancel over the phone but wasn't able to get through. I didn't complain about that or insist I made my call in time or anything. I just mentioned it and that was that.

The next day I get an email from them that my cancellation was successful. Also, they were sorry for not returning my call and it was too late to cancel that week's shipment but they were going to refund me the entire charge anyways! What!!!?? So, our 2 free meals ended up being 4 free meals because of great customer service. And you know what? After getting those last two meals we definitely inched closer to the want-to-be-regular-subscribers camp so that gesture for sure worked. We may try it again soon when the budget allows.

So, we didn't buy any of the things here but we almost did! And we may again soon!

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I also had another Stitch Fix last week! It was my third one and after the overspending we did on clothing this month I ended up pushing them to every other month between shipments. But, this one was pretty successful too!

I'm also on a Stitch Fix Facebook group for people to buy and sell pieces that they don't want to keep. I haven't participated in the buying or selling yet but I have been very well aware of the popularity of the Margaret M. Emer pants that everyone seemed to be getting in their boxes this month. I was excited to see that I was getting a pair myself this month as well.

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I don't know how but these pants hide any and all belly. They are perfect! I am pretty sure they cost more than any other pants I've ever purchased at $98 but I decided they were for sure worth it! I love them. I even love the loud pattern because it is not something I ever would have picked for myself.

That shirt was mine already (from Twice, imagine that!) but I also ended up keeping a White 41Hawthorn Popover Blouse that I'm actually wearing today! There was a necklace that I liked but not for the price and a dress that I liked but it was a smidge too short and I maybe could have sized up as well and then finally a maxi dress that was WAY too clingy and was awful. Ha. So, in the end I was happy to keep those two things and have a couple of definite no's.
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We just made a lot of updates to our guest bath, but there were three things remaining on the list to complete this room:  


  • Replace faucet.
  • Window treatment of some sort.
  • Replace counter top with something nicer with an undermounted sink. 


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Instead of moving on to another room like we tend to do (jumping around keeps things exciting!) we decided to go ahead and finish this room completely. We have picked out a piece of granite and today they came to measure it. We bought the nicer undermounted sink and new non-chrome faucet over the weekend also. And as soon as I get to a fabric store I am going to tackle that window treatment because the room needs more color! Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching!

And then, although you can't see it here I've decided in the last couple of days that I need an extra long shower curtain as well because the one we have looks as if we are expecting a flood. But then. THEN! This room will be the most complete room in the house! And we will be done buying all the things. For this room, at least. ;)
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You know what else is coming up in a couple weeks? The consignment sale that I love so much. And this is my first time selling some things too as Laney moves out of sizes and we start to pare down all of the baby stuff in our basement. So in this case I am...

SELLING ALL THE THINGS!

In order to, ahem, buy all the things in their next sizes. But still. Buying is better when you've been selling, right?
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You know what else we bought last month? An air conditioning repair! How exciting right!? On a house that is just over 2 years old! ESPECIALLY when after the repair was done John realized the only thing wrong with it was a part (which they covered under warranty - how sweet of them!) that cost a whopping SIX dollars at the home improvement store. I'm so glad they covered that part under warranty. We were so excited to give the man 235 of our hard-earned dollars for that. 

Grumble. Next time we'll know what to check first, at least. 

(I had to add in a story where our luck didn't play out as nicely as it did with the Twice and Blue Apron stories up there^ just so you all wouldn't hate me.)
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Okay before I start scanning in my grocery receipts and telling you about every banana and box of cereal I've purchased recently I'll stop this here. Is anyone still reading at this point or did you give up 500 words ago? I realize it wasn't quite as exciting as running around a grocery store and grabbing giant inflatable Snapple bottles but it's all I've got. Somebody bring back that show, stat!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Laney: 3 Months

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We are now past the three month mark which means we are officially out of the fourth trimester. The pediatrician suggested at Laney's one month appointment that the fussiness we were experiencing at that time could very well be just normal newborn fussiness and that if so we should see a reprieve around 3 months. Well, my little over achiever decided to make that happen several weeks early and she has been the easiest baby ever since. Yay Laney!

Here is what else she's been up to this month.

SLEEP


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Sleep is still really great. She now goes down around 9:15-9:30 and sleeps straight through until 6:30 when we wake her during the week. Weekends she'll either sleep a little later, or she'll decide to play a little game of revenge and wake ME at 6:30 since she's used to waking at that time. She usually goes back down for a nap very soon afterwards.

We are still swaddling for sleep at night and most naps during the day too. Charley grew tired of the swaddle way sooner than this so we never had to wean her from the swaddle. I'm starting to wonder if we will have to with Laney.

She takes two really great naps (2, 3 or even 4 hours sometimes) during the day and then a couple of little shorter ones too.

She also now goes down really easily too. No more bouncing and shushing. I can even lay her down drowsy but awake these days and she'll fall asleep on her own.

A++ in the sleep department, Laney Bug!

NURSING

I am officially back at work and have been for several weeks. With that came the pump and I was worried about how that would go since I remember the struggles to keep up with Charley's demands. However, I was told that your supply is just better with the second kid and that so far has been true for me. I'm staying about 4-5 ounces ahead of what she's taking every single day. Meaning, on Fridays when I collect all the milk from my sister's house and bring it back home I get to freeze a whole lot. A couple weeks ago was insane and I ended up freezing 44 ounces on Saturday. I don't believe I ever even had 44 ounces at one time with Charley. But I keep telling myself that the number one rule of pumping is: NEVER think you are getting ahead.

In the same department, bottle feeding at my sister's house is going good too. She took a couple of days to adjust where she protested a little bit but she seems to be fine now with the bottle over there and the boob when she's with me. We went with the glass Dr. Brown's bottles this time because we try not to use plastics with anything that will be heated. Thankfully we didn't have to play the find-the-right-bottle game because there really aren't that many brands of glass bottles and they aren't cheap either! Glad she was accepting of the ones we had already purchased/were gifted!

So on the weekdays her feeding schedule looks like this: nurse first thing when I wake her at 6:30, 3 bottles at my sister's house throughout the day containing a total of 10-14 ounces or so, nurse right when we get home at 6ish, again at 7:30, again at 8:30 and then again for just a few minutes at 9:15 or so. She usually falls asleep during those last few minutes of nursing and is out for the night.

TEMPERAMENT

It is officially official: Laney is a happy baby!

Except when she's not. Ha. Which thankfully, isn't very often anymore. But these things will make her grumpy: being in her carseat and not moving, being in the Beco and not moving, sitting on the couch and not moving (get the idea?), and being held in a position that is not to her liking. Haha. She loves to look out still, and also likes to be upright looking over your shoulder. Not a fan of the cradle position unless you have milk and are wanting to feed her!

PLAY TIME

LOVES the play mat. Really truly loves it. She likes to be laid down and left alone to play. She will kick and grab the toys and talk talk talk.

And if there isn't a play mat available, she is happy to just lay on the floor. I remember John's aunt telling us that as a baby John didn't like to be held much and would just want to be left in his crib to play. I can see some of that in Laney, and I remember saying the same about Charley too. Another independent girl - oh boy!

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MILESTONES

We've hit smiles and laughter, but she's not yet rolling over or holding her head up. We don't really do tummy time except when she's laying on our chests so really not worried about it. Charley was the same - hadn't done either at 3 months but had started picking her head up by 4 months and was rolling by 5 months. So far they seem similar with the milestones.

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And then other random Laney things:

  • Still seeing some similarities between Charley and Laney, but I still don't think they look exactly alike. 

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  • Laney has now started to like the ugly pacifier again. She really likes it in the car and it cuts down on the carseat crying too. I'm sort of torn with it - she obviously didn't need it and doesn't need it the majority of the time, so I don't want to invite a habit I'll only have to eventually break. But, she does like it and eliminates crying in the car so why wouldn't I use it, you know? Maybe it can be a car only thing?
  • According to the home scale, she's 13 pounds! I think the home scale wasn't terribly accurate before her last appointment though so we'll revisit that next month when she officially gets weighed at the doctor. 
  • We've yet to buy diapers thanks to the generous people at John's work, and so far we've been able to size up right when we run out of a size. Ran out of size 1 last week and size 2 fits so 2's it is! We have a lot of size 2 though so hope she stays in this size for a bit!
  • Mainly wearing 3-6 month stuff right now, but still wearing a few 0-3 things too. Despite her and Charley being opposite seasons (September and April) she's able to wear some of the stuff Charley were in her first spring/summer since she's been about 1 size bigger than Charley was at the same ages. Yay!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

2 Year Houseiversary

We've now been in our house for two years (and two months, ahem) and I figured it was time for an update! I'm sure many of the "plans" we had last year have either not been done or have gone in a completely different direction, but that's what is fun about this. So, here is our house in 2015.

Outside

frontyard

backyard

I didn't do myself any favors by doing this update 2 months late. Those other pictures were taken in May when grass is still fresh and green. This year's pictures were taken in July and the type of grass we have goes dormant when it's the peak of the summer heat. But I assure you it looked just as beautiful earlier in the spring!


Done:

  • Added shrubbery we scored for free on Craigslist. It needs a trim, but I am so happy with how well they have done since transplanted. We did lose two of them but that's really not bad at all!
  • Planted grass.
  • Installed irrigation system in the front and then the back.
  • Added a few flower beds around the house. 
  • Built the deck.
  • Purchased and installed the retractable awning over the deck.
  • Created a garden.
  • Added a stepping stone sidewalk.
  • Moved Charley's play area to the bottom of the yard next to the garden.
  • Added two swings underneath the deck.
  • Removed a couple of pine trees at the bottom of the back yard so John's garden would get more sunlight.
  • Removed the fake rock and built the well house.
To do:
  • Finish Charley's playground. We have a second slide and platform we want to add.
  • Build a lower deck.
  • Clean up the woods/natural area by the road.
  • Build an arbor around the garage doors.
  • We've found a new home for the trash and recycling cans, but they need something built around them so they aren't such eyesores.
  • Add some more flower/shrubbery beds around the entire house.
  • Furnish the rest of the deck.
  • Pressure wash the deck and stain it.
  • On the front porch repaint all four rocking chairs.
  • Finally decide on a paint color for the front door.
  • And maybe one day, replace the whole front door/sidelights with something more attractive. 
Office

office

Not a lot of change in here from last year. Restyled the bookcases and that's about it really.

Done: 
  • Painted the walls.
  • Bought a light fixture to replace the boob light.
  • Added Charley's desk.
  • Started the travel collage.
To do:
  • Get rid of the travel collage. I don't like it any longer.
  • Make and hang scrabble tiles in its place.
  • Find nicer office chairs.
  • Crown molding
Dining Room

Dining Room

This rooms "done" and "to dos" from 2014 have completely gone out the window. The ONLY things that moved from to do to done were deciding on paint colors and window treatments. Everything else has been removed from the list as I went in a totally different direction.

Done: 
  • Found an even better table and chairs that require no refinishing and included a matching china cabinet. Therefore, the table and chairs and china cabinet that we had have all been sold.
  • Painted the walls. 
  • Hung navy curtains from Ikea, of course.
  • Styled the china cabinet. 
  • Hung decor on the walls.
  • Made the teapot artwork and spray painted the frames.
  • Replaced the light fixture, again.
To do:
  • Crown molding.
  • Find a rug for the room.
  • Maybe recover the chair cushions.
Kitchen

kitchen

kitchen2


Essentially, these lists from 2014 are exactly the same in 2015. Not a whole lot of change going on in here yet. Those pictures are leaning against the wall as I'm not 100% sure about them yet. The plate collage that was on this wall was removed when we added the pocket door to our bedroom here and that wall got larger so the plate collage no longer looked right.

Done: 
  • Painted the walls yellow.
  • Added shelving to the pantry.
  • Replaced and moved the light fixture over the table.
  • Added plate collage.
To Do:
  • Repaint the walls a blueish gray.
  • New counter tops.
  • Back splash of some sort.
  • Possible cabinet refinishing.
  • Get some bar stools already.
  • Replace the builder's basic sink/faucet.
  • Decorate.
  • Maybe build an enclosure for the fridge - it sticks out a bit since it's not a counter depth fridge.
  • Wallpaper or paint the pantry walls.
  • Replace the spaceship looking light fixture with recessed lighting, and add pendant lights over bar.
  • Crown molding
Living Room

living room

As you know, I DID find a perfect accent chair for in front of the window, which was the only item on the to do list last year. However, it is temporarily living in my bedroom instead since Laney's swing is in that corner at the moment.

Done:
  • Faux fireplace installed and decorated.
  • Shelving system designed, built and decorated.
  • Furniture, curtains and rugs purchased.
  • Made a floor lamp - which we are no longer using. It is in the basement until we find a new home for it.
  • Found an accent chair or something for the corner by the window.
  • Hung a gallery wall. (Not pictured, but here.)
To Do:
  • The walls are all getting repainted.
  • Hang a couple of wall sconces I found to replace the lamp lighting.
  • Crown molding.
Charley's Room

charley's room

The biggest change in here was adding the wardrobe and moving the dresser to Laney's room. One day I'll show you that refinishing job. We also repainted the headboard to mach.

Done: 
  • Painted, decorated, and hung curtains.
  • Found a big girl bed and purchased mattress.
  • Added shelving in the closet and purchased bins and baskets for organization.
  • Purchased some will-work-for-now bedding.
  • Replaced the boob light with her nursery's light fixture from the last house.
  • Added blinds.
  • Refinished the headboard.
  • Added and refinished a wardrobe as her dresser works great as a changing table so it got moved to Laney's room.

To Do: 
  • Find bedding that coordinates a little more.
  • Add a vanity to the side of her wardrobe.
  • Crown molding.
Spare Bedroom is now Laney's room!

laneysroom

Done: 
  • Added shelving in the closet.
  • Added blinds.
  • Got rid of, used or stored the decor that used to clutter up this room.
  • Found a purpose for the room - Miss Laney!
  • Painted.
  • Added curtains.
  • Decorated.
To Do: 
  • Crown molding.
Charley & Laney's Bathroom/Guest Bathroom

guest bath

Done:
  • Tiled the floor.
  • Painted.
  • Added new shower curtain rod and shower curtain.
  • Framed out the mirror.
  • Replaced the builder's basic towel bar and toilet paper holder.
  • Added shelving in the closet.
  • Replaced the light fixture.
  • Decorated.
  • And after seeing this picture, I swapped out the white laundry basket from Laney's room with the natural colored one that was in here. 
To Do:
  • Replace faucet.
  • Window treatment of some sort. (Am thinking cornice of some sort with a pretty fabric covering it. The room needs more color!)
  • Replace counter top with something nicer with an undermounted sink.
Master Bedroom

master

Done:
  • Put shelving in the closet.
  • Added blinds to windows.
  • Hung curtains.
  • Attached mantel to the wall.
  • Replaced french doors with pocket door.
  • Replaced the dresser hardware.
  • Added accent chair to the corner.

To Do:
  • Paint. 
  • Refinish our nightstands or get/make new ones.
  • Paint the dresser and mirrors (which are still in primer) something other than white.
  • Replace the door to the bathroom with a pocket door.
  • Crown molding.
  • Maybe replace carpet with the hardwood floors we have elsewhere in the house. And then we'd need a rug, of course. 
Master Bathroom

master bath
Obviously these two angles are from opposite ends of the room, but either way you can tell nothing has been done.

Done:
  • Hung the full length mirror.
To Do:
  • Replace the linoleum with tile.
  • Switch the placement of the toilet and the shower. We have a shower stall and a whole room for the toilet. It really should be the other way around and I hate I never thought of that until the house was built and we were living in it.
  • Paint.
  • Decorate.
  • Update the giant builder's basic mirror by framing it in or replacing it. 
  • Replace faucets and Hollywood light fixtures.
  • Replace towel bars.
  • And in the meantime in case we never switch the placement of the toilet and shower, add some chunky shelving over the toilet and decorate the tiny room.
Laundry Room

laundry

I realized just as I was typing this up that I never took a picture of the laundry room, so you get it as it is right this minute. A mess, but, that's real life right?

Done:
  • Added cabinets, shelf and drying rack over the washer and dryer.
To Do:
  • Get one of those fancy fold-up ironing boards or figure out some other solution for where to put our ironing board.
  • Build or buy a counter top over washer and dryer.
  • Paint. Something fun in here. Stripes or something. Maybe wainscoting.
  • Replace linoleum floor with tile.
Basement

basement1

basement2

Haven't done a ton down here except accumulate more stuff!

Done:
  • Added flooring in the gym.
  • Started framing out a couple areas, which is why the first half of the basement pictures split into two pictures this year - the storage area and the gym.
  • Built a huge storage area and started organizing all of the stuff. 
To Do:
  • Walls, floors, lights, etc.
  • Add a bathroom to the roughed-in plumbing.
  • HVAC and all that jazz.
  • Build a bar.
  • Organize my craft stuff and create a craft area.
  • Figure out what to do with the rest of the space.
  • On the stairs coming out of the basement, add (removable) wallpaper to the stair risers.
  • Stain the treads and paint the handrail.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Quick Takes

Hi! Whatcha been up to? Here's a few things that have been up with me.
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This is my second full week back at work and really it is going well. Laney has adjusted to being with my sister very well and is sleeping and eating like a champ for her! Makes it much easier on me when I know she's happy there. Pumping is going good too ever since that little awkward mishap on my first day back. Last weekend I froze 44 ounces from just that week's surplus plus all of Friday's milk. (I use frozen milk on Mondays so all of Friday's milk gets frozen.) That's INSANE to me. I never even had 44 ounces total with Charley. But number one rule of pumping: NEVER think you are getting ahead because as soon as you do, they will hit some crazy growth spurt and you'll struggle to keep up.

You know what else I love about going to work? Getting dressed and doing my hair and make-up. Man. I feel so much better about myself when I'm forced to do those things.

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Charley started swim lessons this week. Crazy story how that came to be. So, we knew she needed lessons but it is really tough to find any openings that work with our schedule. Most of the evening classes start at 5:45 - 6:00 and those not only fill up really quickly but making it to those would still be tough to do. And the Saturday classes are ALWAYS full too. I never could figure out what day I needed to log on to see the class schedule for the next month before they filled up.

Anyways, finally I decided this was something she needed and we would just try and make a 5:45 class work. I usually get to Charley and Laney at 5:25-5:30 and the pool closest to my sister's house is another 15 minutes from her house. So, I'd have to for sure leave work a little early to give me enough time to account for traffic, and then account for shuffling Charley, Laney and myself into the Y, then getting Charley changed and in the pool. It was going to be rough for sure. But I put her on the wait list for the class anyways.

On July 1st, I got an email that a spot has opened up and Charley could take the 5:45 class if we wanted. I gave myself the weekend to think it over.

Then, randomly at a July 4th party at a neighbor's house, the hostess told us about their new neighbors across the street. The lady that moved in had been a Y swim instructor for 10+ years and was offering lessons at her house in their pool. She didn't have a huge clientele yet so for very little money since she was still building her business, we could get private lessons at a house on our street. Insane, right? So, obviously we opted to try that first and let her spot at the Y go. She's had two lessons so far and it is just her and the instructor in the pool. How awesome is that?

And although it has only been two lessons Charley has done really well! She was apprehensive at first, but she responds really well to this instructor. And at times it is hard to know who is instructing who. "Okay, I will do this two more times and that's it, ok?" Ohh Charley.

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We also signed Charley up for dance this fall. We really don't want to do competition dance and all that, but it really isn't up to us is it? We will see how she likes it and go from there!

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We are on a major decorating kick lately spurred by a great paint sale at Lowe's. I keep meaning to take pictures of each room to update the Houseiversary post but I need the whole house to be clean to do that and we just can't quite get there. Last weekend we had 7 out of 9 rooms clean but just never got to those last two. I'll try again this weekend.


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I got my second Stitch Fix (that's a referral link) a few weeks ago and ended up keeping 2 of the 5 items. A third item was so close to staying also, but ultimately the budget I set for myself won and I sent it back. I kept these two things - jeans and the top. Those jeans are so so awesome. I wasn't sure about them at first but some friends talked me into them and I'm so glad they did. The brand is Liverpool and they were $78 and worth every penny.

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I am overdue on 5 different appointments - eye doctor, dentist, yearly physical, gynecologist, and haircut. Sure, I could have scheduled them all during those 10 weeks I was off of work but that would have been too easy. I will have you know that I did manage to schedule 2 of them this week. The first of which is Friday and is definitely the most important - a haircut.

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My Mama told me as I took this picture not to share it anywhere. I'm going to be a disobedient daughter instead and share it with the world because I think she's beautiful and I love how much she loves my babies! The feeling is definitely mutual with Charley who asks to see her every single day andddddd we're still working on Laney.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Only Me

Last year I shared a few little stories about things that seem to only happen to me. If there is an awkward situation, please, sign me up. I am very experienced in awkward happenings. Another one of these 'only me' stories happened on my first day back to work. When telling these stories I ALWAYS have to start out with....

"I SWEAR THIS STUFF ONLY HAPPENS TO ME."

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So. My first day back at work. I wasn't back full time yet as I was using those last couple of weeks to ease us both back into the swing of things, but it was (supposed) to be my first full day away from Laney. We only made it until 2:00, however. Here's why...

As you know I'm breastfeeding Laney so pumping is now a part of my daily routine. It's very time consuming but I'm cheap, as you also know, and the cost of formula is a big reason why I continue to breastfeed despite the annoyance of the pump. Anyways, prior to having Laney I talked with a few coworkers that I know had recently had babies about where one may pump after having a baby, and every single one of them told me that they weren't able to breastfeed for one reason or another and didn't know if anyone in the company had EVER pumped after having a baby. Basically, there was no dedicated space for this. One coworker suggested using this lesser used bathroom/locker room (um no) and another suggested using an office that belongs to the OWNER of the company as he rarely comes to the office anymore as his son runs the business now. Not only would that be super awkward when he does come to the office, but most of his office walls are glass, so, again, no can do. After getting nowhere with them, I went to HR to ask for their help in figuring out a space that would work.

The lady in HR is single and didn't know much about breastfeeding or pumping either, so her first suggestion was also that locker room. To appease her we went to check it out but luckily there wasn't a place where I can set the pump down that was close enough to a power outlet so it truly wouldn't work. Whew. The ONLY other place that seemed to work was this one random office that was recently vacated that just had the one long glass window in the door - kind of like a classroom door. It could easily be covered with contact paper and there were no immediate plans for the office so it was perfect. She assured me that by the time I got back from leave that the room would be ready for my use. Perfect.

However, in the weeks after choosing that location and before Laney arrived, a new part time coworker needed a place to sit as all cubes were full and made herself home in this office I was soon going to need. No biggie, I thought, because surely they'll find another home for her in the next couple of months.

As you can guess, they did not find another home for her. I called in the day before I was to return and asked HR if that space was vacated which she of course told me it wasn't, but that she'd take care of it that day. Her and my boss then kicked the lady out of the office, covered the window with contact paper and let me know it was ready for me. Perfect.

I came into work that day and decided I'd do 3 pumping sessions per day. Laney ate at 6:30 that morning so 10, 1, and 4 seemed like good spaced out times. My first session at 10:00 went great. I pumped plenty of milk and felt comfortable in the office and of course locked the doorknob. It is one of those doorknobs that you can lock from the inside, but there is no need to unlock it each time because the knob still turns from the inside. Since I was the only one using the room I decided I'd just leave the door open when not in use so I wouldn't have to worry about locking the door each time.

Well someone else didn't think that was a great idea. It isn't really clear WHO, but someone decided that door should be closed and shut the door. The door was now locked and my pump was locked in there. No biggie, right? I'll just find the maintenance guy and I'm sure he has a master key. Guess what? He didn't. He suggested HR may have a key. Guess what again? They also didn't. No one had a key to this office and now my pump is locked away and it is getting really close to time to pump again.

For the next hour there were people trying credit cards, pry bars, and any other possible thing to get into this office for me. I am growing uncomfortable with not only the need to pump, but also with the fact that the previously discreet reason for my use of this office was now pretty public. I mean, not really a big deal, but when there are 6 men trying to break in a locked door they obviously sort of needed to know they were rescuing a breast pump and that was why the need to get in was so strong. Ha. But, nobody was able to break into this office by the time I HAD to leave. My only other source of relief at that point was Laney so I left at 2:00 to go get her. There were still a few hours left in the work day so I figured they would get it taken care of that evening for me before I returned the next morning.


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Laney on her first (half) day with my sister. She had a good day!

As you can imagine, they didn't get it taken care of. I really just think most people there didn't understand the urgency of pumping. So, when I got to work at 8:00 the next morning, I made it known that I would only be able to stay until 10:00 unless we were able to get into the office. Finally, a locksmith was called and they had to pay extra to expedite his services. Not my fault! I a) didn't shut the door in the first place and b) left with plenty of time the prior day to have called a locksmith then.

When the locksmith pulled into the parking lot, there were cheers all around but none louder than me! Hooray!

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$250 later, all was back to normal. I inadvertently normalized breastfeeding in my office without even trying. Ha. Also, they made sure to give me the spare key to the new lock. My boobs, and Laney, thank you.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Laney: 2 Months

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Another month older for my little thing! 2 whole months!

SLEEP


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Let's start with the part she's excelling in. Sleep. Well, sleep at night. She is sleeping through the night and I couldn't be more thankful. I nurse her one last time around 10 and she wakes up every morning around 6:30, so about 8.5 hours on average. Which is PERFECT for when I go back to work very shortly. Of course, I hope that the 10:00 becomes 9:00 or so but I am not messing with a good thing right now. She started consistently sleeping through the night right when Charley did too, at 6 weeks or so. Yay sleep!

Naps though. Naps are a bit tougher with Laney. She seems like she's just content to fuss to sleep for every single nap during the day. So that requires lots of bouncing and shushing and when all else fails, I have to just put her in the Beco until she's out. And she needs to be OUT out too, not just out, or else her eyes will pop open the second her head hits the bouncer/crib/boppy/bed. So, naps are a bit more tough and I do wonder if they'd be as easy as night time if she was swaddled for those also, but I hesitate to do that since I want her to know the distinction of nighttime sleep versus daytime sleep. Who knows. All I know is that IF there has to be some sleep issues, I'd much rather fight to get her to sleep during the day than at night so I'll take what I've got!

PLAY


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Yay play! Laney is really starting to enjoy her play mats! She will happily lay on them for a good 10-15 minutes, and even longer if someone is down there with her.

NURSING

Nursing is still going awesome. However, I start back to work really soon so that is when things are really put to the test when the pump becomes part of the routine. Ughhhhhhh that darn pump. I have right at 100 ounces in the freezer, but I really could have had so much more if I wasn't a lazy pumper. If I woke up in the middle of the night to pump, I could easily have doubled that since Laney's been sleeping through the night, but woulda coulda shoulda. It is what it is, and I'm just going to go as long as I can go.

In fact, on one particularly fussy day where Laney nursed every hour the entire day and I was completely spent by bedtime, I mixed up 2 ounces of formula because I needed a break. And of course, she wouldn't take it because she's still finicky about bottles in the first place, and that was NOT the same flavor apparently. So, I'm no where near as much of a stickler about nursing as I was with Charley. I'm just glad things are going well and have been going well thus far.

TEMPERAMENT

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Whew. I really think we turned a corner in this department since the 1 month update. Laney is no where near as fussy as she was that first month, and even the first week or two of month two. Her fusses really seem to stem from a couple of explainable and identifiable reasons now and there isn't quite as much "I don't know". She still fusses, don't get me wrong, but it is a lot easier to manage when you know WHY she's fussing.

So, her fussing tends to be 1 of these things: she's tired or she wants Mama. She almost always (except at night) fusses to sleep. So every nap begins with bouncing and shushing a fussy baby. Not the worst thing in the world because it isn't CRYing, just fussing, you know? But at night time she usually just nurses to sleep and I lay her down, likely because she's swaddled and understands that one better. She does cry some (most) times when other people hold her right now. I think this one will be solved once she's at my sister's for a bit and she gets more comfortable with getting nourishment from someone else, and just getting held by someone else. But man - WORLD of a difference from last month wondering if it was tummy troubles from something I was eating or if she was in pain from something else or colic or silent reflux or what! Glad that didn't last very long, but of course it felt long while going through it.




Other random things about Laney at two months old:

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- The girl likes to be extra warm. She falls asleep really easily when we are outside, especially if I'm carrying her and her face is against my chest where we both sweat so much that we stick together. THAT is her favorite thing. Bleh. She constantly gets a heat rash on whichever cheek she rests against me because of it.

- She still loves to be carried in the Beco Gemini and I've really started using that a lot when going out shopping. I used to think it was too much of a hassle to put it on for a quicker run into a grocery store, but if it saves me from having her wake up in her carseat and start screaming, it is really worth it. Plus, I can pick her up sleeping out of her carseat, put her in the Beco, do all shopping, and put her back in her carseat still sleeping. Pretty awesome.

- She's up to 10 pounds and 14 ounces and 22.5" from 7 pounds 9 ounces and 19" at birth. She's wearing all 0-3 month clothing, which Charley didn't fit into until 3 months old! Wearing size 1 diapers too.

- She is pretty smiley lately (except apparently not for my mom, who nervously asked me as she handed a fussy baby back to me yesterday if she EVER smiled? Ha!) and I don't think giggles are that far off. She can kick those legs a mile a minute and does so quite a bit on her changing table, just like Charley used to do. But, again, just like Charley, she has no interest in picking her head up yet. She has great control when I'm holding her upright, but definitely not picking her head and upper body up off of the floor yet.

- Comparison time. EVERYone says how much Laney looks just like baby Charley, but I have such a hard time seeing it sometimes. In size comparison, Laney is just a half inch longer and 7 ounces bigger than Charley was at the same age, even though they started out 1 pounds 7 ounces different. That definitely surprised me at Laney's two month doctor's appointment.

And in the looks department...


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Laney

Ok so maybe they do resemble each other a bit.