Monday, August 31, 2015

Laney: 4 Months

Sweet little Laney Bug is 4 months old! Here's what she's been up to this month.

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Laney is still sleeping like a champ. She falls asleep while nursing at exactly 9:30 every night it seems and we wake her on weekdays at 6:30. On weekends she sleeps later - sometimes just until 7:30 or so but sometimes! Sometimes she sleeps until 9 or 9:30. Both weekend days this past weekend she slept past 9:00. It was great timing too as we had Charley's birthday party and I had a ton to do that morning. So, I still woke at 7, but sweet Laney gave me the morning off and I was very grateful.

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She's still exclusively breastfed and probably will be for 2 more months depending on what the pediatrician says at her appointment next week. I have no reason to believe that they will suggest starting solids any earlier than 6 months since she is chunking up quite nicely with just breast milk.

She's a very slowwwwwwwww nurser though with each nursing session taking at least 20-25 minutes. Charley was VERY quick - 8-9 minutes tops - so I'm not used to being stuck under a baby on the couch for so long. Pumping takes about the same amount of time so I spend a good part of my day dedicated to feeding Laney. I'm flying through some Soda Crush levels and am completely 100% caught up on all Facebook and Instagram activity. Ha.

This month she's found her hands and feet and has been seen with either in her mouth at any time. She loves to throw her legs up in the air and when I take her out of her swaddle blanket in the morning those legs shoot straight up.

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Speaking of swaddle blanket, we no longer are swaddling arms since Laney has rolled over a few times from back to belly. We did a few nights with the Aden & Anais sleep sacks and either they were too thin (her room does get a little chilly) or she missed the tight squeeze of a swaddle so I switched to the Swaddle Me blankets Charley loved and just velcro them under her arms so she still gets covered up and she still gets the tight swaddle squeeze.

She also really found her voice within the last week or two. While she's been babbling for a while, she's really amped it up lately with LOUD and LONG conversations.

She's happiest to play on the floor and not be held (wahhhhhhh!) and still loves the bouncy chair. If she is held, she either needs to be facing outwards and held between her legs (know what I mean?) or held upright looking over your shoulder. Absolutely no cradle holding for this one unless you plan to nurse her. I sold the baby swing at a consignment sale last week (happy that one big piece of baby gear has moved out because SPACE!/sad that baby gear is moving out already) and we've set up the Jumperoo. She is happy in it, but just not quite there yet to interact with the toys and jump. I imagine that by the time the spring consignment sale is here that she will either be done with the jumperoo or pretty close to it. Hand me a tissue.


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In the milestone department, I've already mentioned rolling over and finding her feet. She's also picking her head up and not hating tummy time quite as much. My FAVORITE baby pictures are from this angle when they hold their heads up.

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Laney seems to be a part time paci user. She doesn't use it to fall asleep at night (probably because she falls asleep nursing) and just here and there otherwise. I give it to her in the car seat most often or if we are out somewhere and I'm trying to buy 15 more minutes of her time. I thought I'd be able to switch out the ugly pacifier for something cuter at this point and tried it one evening. No dice. She spit every single one we have out except that ugly paci. She likes what she likes!


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She's still in 3-6 month clothing and wearing a size 2 diaper. I'll get her weight and height and all at her appointment next week. She definitely seems chunkier than I remember Charley being. I just went back to read about Charley at 4 months and it was basically an identical update. So besides some differences in look and size, Laney is following suit in development so far. 

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(Charley on the left, Laney on the right)

We love this little baby SO much. Cannot wait to see her little personality coming out more and more in the coming months. She's the perfect piece to complete our family.

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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:

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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!