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

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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.