February Faves in the form of a Friday Five

I see all around the place people doing the things they couldn’t have lived without. Since February was a no-spend month for me, I was able to really look at what we had and what I couldn’t get through the month without. The one exception: I did fulfill my monthly order with Young Living, and one of those things is on my fave list.

So here goes my February Faves in the form of a Friday Five.

  • Makita Cordless Vacuum. This is a lifesaver. It stores easily in our small pantry, is light weight and ultra powerful. If you’re looking for a cordless vac for quick pickups, look no further than this.
  • Young Living* USB oil diffuser with lavender and spearmint. You guys, this mixture is the perfect combination of calming and energizing (I know- how can that happen at the same time? It gives me energy but not the all over the place type). And the little diffuser is awesome. It’s around $22 at the member rate and the oils vary on which ones you get. There are a few settings to either have constant, every 30 sec or every 60 sec bursts. I do the later and I don’t feel like I want for more. I’ve also diffused a blend designed for mental focus, but I prefer the lavender/spearmint blend so much that I just put those in my monthly order to keep at the office at all times.IMG_1841
  • My new BuJo. I mean, where else can I go a day, skip a couple, go some more and not feel like I wasted paper? In this guy. It doesn’t matter how much or how little I do it, I feel like it’s the best solution and I’m not wasteful. I have a great gratitude log in there, monthly spreads, memory pages, monthly trackers – the list goes on and on. IMG_18422
  • Lego Hobbit for PS4. I’m way behind on the console gaming thing. S and I played Diablo III while I was pregnant with E, but when we beat it, I wasn’t too interested in anything else. Until I picked up the game on a whim. I still have a long way to go, but it’s nice because it’s more of a puzzle game vs. a everything can kill you game. It’s made for kids anyway, right? T even loves watching me play it, and I know she’ll be able to play it soon if I let her.
  • Peanut butter and sandwich thins. When I was pregnant with E and had gestational diabetes, my nutritionist suggested natural peanut butter on sandwich thins. The natural peanut butter has no added sugar and the sandwich thins are one serving of carbs. I felt fuller longer and didn’t get the nasty sugar crash that I get with most other quick breakfasts. I jumped back on that breakfast bit this month and I feel better through lunchtime. Then, let’s be honest here, it generally goes to crap because I CANNOT kick that sweet tooth. Oh well – maybe I need to make that my April thing? One serving of sweets a day?

February was a great month for us overall. We had lots of fun with friends and as our little family. Our baby girl continues to sleep through the night (THANK YOU MOM!) and I feel like I’m getting more and more adjusted to being a mother of two. I still am struggling with the daily cleaning routine, mostly because when the girls are in bed I just want to relax and not clean, but one of these days I’ll get there.

 

*in effort of full disclosure, following that link will take you directly to the signup page to grab a YL starter kit. I do not, however, get a kickback from linking the vacuum.

Bullet journaling – who knew it was a thing?

I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of Pinterest suggesting a bunch of things to me. I joined it to see what my friends were doing, and others who I decided to follow. But yesterday was the first time I found something completely random and suggested to me that I said to myself, “huh”, as I clicked – bullet journaling. The pin was from musicalpoem, and I was immediately hooked. I spent far too long going through her links, and then the links on those links, and quickly found what I hope to be the answer to my planning (and memory keeping) woes.

 

Basically: it’s a bunch of lists. Lots and lots of lists. And you can do them however you want to. I was inspired by a bunch of different people as I kept searching. I started immediately, finding a little notebook I have in my office taking up space (and that will easily fit in my purse amongst all of the other items I keep in there). Daily tracking logs, daily to do lists, food journaling – all in one place, as I want it to be laid out, not how someone has set it up for me.

 

I started out with my index (a table of contents that links me to the different collections, trackers, or logs that I decide to include), followed by pages for goals for 2016, a place to dump ideas for Jan-Mar, books I want to read, home projects I want to complete. Then I get into the now – a monthly spread that lays out appointments, events, and birthdays. My tracker that includes everything I want to do in the month daily. A place to put memories. A gratitude log (because, what’s more uplifting that that?). Then my daily log, that so far looks like this:

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Did I mention that I can change the layout as I go? As you can see, I already dropped out the hours log at the top of each day, because, well – I don’t plan my days that way (maybe if I stayed at home/worked from home I would need it to better keep my days in check).

 

I have it on my desk, open, unlike the planners that I’ve tried to use and failed (filofaxes, Erin Condren, Passion Planners – all have failed so far).

 

 

Have you ever bullet journaled? What’s been your experience? What advice do you have for this just starting out gal??

 

 

Can I get a mulligan?

This week – Big. Fat. Fail.

Let me sum it up for you.

Monday – sort of snow day. We worked at home for a bit until we realized it wasn’t snowing. Went in. Picked up E, saw her eyes were a goopy mess, went to the pediatrician. On the way home, T threw up in the car. So I went into panic mode (emetophobe here). I spent the rest of the night thinking about what I could eat that wouldn’t be bad coming  back up, or downing pills (hello activated charcoal!) to avoid it. Just to find out that she probably just got car sick.

Tuesday – major snow day. All the schools were closed, including our girls’. And our office closed. So that just means a mess (see where I’m going with this…).

Wednesday – back to the grind. And my laziness.

Thursday. Hey, at least I washed the pump parts.

 

::sigh::

 

This weekend – I’m cleaning up my craft room while prepping for a Super Bowl Party. And I’m back on laundry and cleaning up for that party. I got this.

 

Cleaning challenge, 9 days in

Guys. This is hard.

 

Achievements:

  1. The girls’ bathroom and the guest bathroom were cleaned.
  2. Guest bedroom got new sheets (we just had guests)
  3. Laundry was kept up with (mostly)
  4. Pump parts and bottles were washed, and other dishes were put away (mostly)
  5. Hardwoods were kept clean (I got a vacuum for Christmas, and it’s changed the way I approach cleaning the downstairs. Cordless vacuums are lifesavers if you have hardwoods and animals/kids/plants/spouses/yourself… get the idea 😉 )

 

Still needs work:

  1. Cleaning all bathrooms instead of just 2.
  2. Always putting away the laundry once it’s out of the dryer – which is why I said mostly. E’s is hard because she goes to bed really early, and laundry usually isn’t done until after she’s in bed.
  3. Dusting and vacuuming – again goes with the E going to bed early thing – I don’t want to be running the vacuum while she’s trying to sleep.

 

How did I achieve what I did? I cleaned the bathrooms while baths were taking place. Cleaning the toilet and sinks and mirrors while T is playing is an easy way to get some things done and watch her at the same time. I also forced myself to do smaller loads of laundry throughout the week instead of cramming them all in on Saturday and Sunday (which then meant that I would be intimidated by the huge piles and pull clean clothes out of baskets). I also didn’t hope that my husband would wash the pump parts or bottles and just did them myself. It’s the one part of being a working mom that I absolutely despise (yes, even more than the working part) is the pumping and associated cleaning. But, she’s worth it.

 

How can I improve? When I get cleaning the bathrooms, just do them. All four. Ask for help – ask him to sit in the bathroom with T while I run off and clean another one (she’s not paying any attention to us in the bathroom anyway – I feel like it’s one time when I can run off for 10-15 minutes while she plays and not feel too guilty about not spending time with her). As for the laundry – S’s and my clothes are always put right away now (if I pull it from the laundry room). But the girls’ aren’t. I should separate and fold them, so I can spend 5 minutes in the mornings putting them away. And just schedule in the dusting/vacuuming of the house for the weekends when both girls are awake.

 

Like I said in my last post, it’s going to be a work in progress. I’m trying really hard not to get ahead of myself or get down on myself for not having found a solution in the first 9 days of this process. But one thing I can do – keep up what I have been doing and continually improve each week.

Clearing it all out

I’ve started to write this post many, many times. I hesitate because I have a fear of not completing this task and looking like an idiot. But, I am a full-time working momma of two. So failure is quite possible.

 

 

Our house will look great one day and is a cluttery, dusty mess two days later. I can’t seem to find a routine that works the best for our family. Because let me tell ya, life with two is tough. Not that I was successful with one and keeping a clean house. But no one really tells you how hard two is. And working makes it even tougher. I’ve tried to get into routines before, but I never made it a habit to do so. I have big plans for 2016, including reducing all the stuff that’s in our house. But I need a jumping off point.

 

So, hear me out. I’m going to start working on a cleaning routine first. Daily tasks that are doable so I’m not overwhelmed when either company comes over or the house is just out of control. I figure it’ll take me awhile to figure it all out, but I want a place to be accountable. So here it goes:

 

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Tonight’s plan: start with the daily to-dos: wipe counters, do a load of laundry and put it away (my biggest problem!), declutter, spot sweep floors, and (if time permits) bathrooms.

 

Sweet E: Almost three months

Nearly three months have come and gone since sweet E was born. Today was her first day of daycare. I started back to work on August 31. While I thought that time flew after T was born, I had no idea how time really can fly. When your second child comes along, the days are a blur because you’re not only caring for a newborn, but chasing around another kid. I’m so very lucky in that S has really taken on the load with T (although, we’ve also had someone in our house for all but 4 nights since August 25, with night number 4 tonight before another guest arrives tomorrow, which also helps keep T busy).

 

In the three months since she’s been born, she’s grown so much. She’s put on at least 4 pounds, grown probably 3 inches (she’s starting to be too long for her 3 month footed sleepers – T was almost 6 months when that happened!!). She’s still sleeping in our room, and lately, has been sleeping in our bed once she wakes up for her night feed. That’s usually at 3 am, unless it was the night before she started back to school, in which case she was up at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 5:15 and 6:15 to eat. Yikes. Thank goodness I breastfeed. She smiles a lot, cries a lot. LOVES her big sister. She watches everything she does – which means we’re going to be in for it with this kiddo!

 

I also think she’s going to be a thumb sucker. And, even on her first day of daycare, her teacher thinks so too. She blows bubbles and loves to look at the world. And I miss those chubby cheeks more than I ever thought I could when I’m away from her.

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Baby M Number 2: Meet our sweet girl

About 6 hours after I made my last post, I ended up going into labor. Crazy, right?

 

I’ll say it wasn’t without help, as at my appointment that morning, I ended up having a membrane sweep.  With the upcoming lab work and induction scheduled for the 20th, I decided I’d give a sweep a go to see if it would do anything.  I went through the rest of that Monday feeling nothing, until we went to our friends’ house for dinner and no 5 minutes after I sat down did my contractions start.

 

I toughed it out there for a good 2.5 hours, because I wasn’t quite sure if it was the real deal or not.  When I couldn’t talk through them anymore, I told S it was time to go home because I just wasn’t able to be around people anymore.  We got home and the contractions got closer together – starting around 7:30 pm they started getting closer together.  After an hour of going through the 5-1-1 rule, I texted my OB and she called me back to give me my options (I can’t explain how amazing she is – she didn’t have to answer me, especially since it was her day off, but she took the time to take care of me :)).  We called our friends who came over to be with T overnight and S and I headed to the hospital.

 

Once I got there, they checked me, and I hadn’t progressed at all.  I was feeling pretty defeated because I was in agony with no progression.  After giving me a few different options, I opted to receive some morphine to see if I could relax (at this point it was nearing 10 pm, I had worked all day, labored for nearly 5 hours with no progression, and they were talking about sending me home.  Being only 38 weeks, they couldn’t give me an epidural until I was 5 cm+).  Yes, I asked about the affects on her, and I was told she would be sleepy.  As I relaxed between contractions, as the morphine took no edge off the contractions themselves, I still felt her moving at her normal frequency so I thought that she wasn’t affected.

 

After awhile, I felt the familiar feeling of needing to push, but knew that I hadn’t progressed enough to actually be ready to push (this was a feeling I remembered far too well from T’s birth). The nurse came in and checked me, and I had progressed enough to be allowed an epidural with her gestational age.  Around midnight I got the first epidural, and after that didn’t fully take, I was able to get a little something different and I was able to start to fall asleep.  That was probably around 1 am.

 

It wasn’t much longer when the nurse and my OB came in the room to tell me it was time to push her out, that she was showing signs of distress.  In my half awake state I had noticed a change in her heart rate but thought maybe it was just her moving away from the sensor and the machine was actually picking up my heartrate.  In any case, it was around 1:30 am when I started pushing, and within 4 contractions, our sweet girl was born.

 

But the fun didn’t stop there.  Due to the morphine, she thought that breathing was an option and not a necessity. When they laid her on my chest I knew something was wrong, so they whisked her away, did a few things (none of which were invasive) and just as quickly as things became a scary situation, they were fine again. But that didn’t stop me from about losing my mind in those few minutes.  Since then, she passed every test and has continued to breathe beautifully.  Her pediatrician told us that it was 100% the morphine and she would have no long term affects.  Other than the second Apgar, the others were perfect.

 

And now that I’ve dumped all of that – here’s our sweet baby girl.  Thanks to my good friend Christina for these newborn photos.

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Evelyn Jean – born July 14, 2015

6 lbs 11 oz.  21 inches long.

Baby M Number 2: 38 weeks

38 weeks – another new week to put under my belt!  The past week did not come without it’s surprises though – but more to come.

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Top: Gap maternity; Skirt: Lularoe; Necklace: Premier Designs

How far along? 38 weeks

Baby size: A spaghetti squash, and about 19-20 inches in length and nearly 7 lbs

Weight gain: With the slew of appointments I ended up having, I gained 2 lbs, lost two lbs, gained a few more.  Whatever – total weight gain as of today (according to the nurse) is 12 lbs.  Thanks, GD.

Workouts: I went to pre-natal yoga last week and that was really nice.  If I’m still cranking on Wednesday, I might go again.

Maternity Clothes: Definitely.

Stretch Marks: None

Sleep: I really can’t complain about my sleeping, especially now that we have our new SleepNumber mattress.  Yes, amazing.

Gender: Baby girl

Movement: All the time

Labor signs: So the answer to last week’s question of progression is: YES! I’m sitting at 3 cm, 80% and -1 station.  Yay! On Thursday of last week, my kidneys started hurting so we ran some tests.  Most are within normal range for people with my kidney disease, but one is elevated that isn’t normal, so we’re retesting on Wednesday.  If that comes back the same/decreased, I’ll keep on!

What I miss: In the very home stretch – so just pushing on!

Nursery/Other prep: Done.  I made a fun little washi initial piece for her wall (and for T’s too) and put up the triangles randomly.

Belly button, in or out: Flat, with a little, itty bitty bit poking out.

Wedding rings, on or off: On

Mood: It’s been hard, but the weather last week really was a nice break.  I swear I have reverse seasonal depression – give me 90 degree days and I’m more irritable than anything, and even borderline depressed.  But give me 60’s/70’s, I’m a happy camper!

Best moment this week: Knowing that my kidneys are doing really well.  And spending what little time we have left as the three of us.

Looking forward to: I’m ready to meet her.  I’m ready to see my big girl with our little girl.  I’m ready for baby snuggles.  And candy (can I say that – haha).

Baby M number 2: 37 weeks/4th of July

FULL TERM!  Wahoo!!  I never thought those two words would be uttered from my mouth with respect to my own pregnancy.  But here I am 🙂

First, I hit full term on the 4th, which is pretty fun.  We spent Friday night watching the fireworks at our town’s celebration, and then the 4th at a coworker’s house before we headed home to catch the fireworks on tv.  I mean, two 10:30 pm nights in a row for a 3 year old is a recipe for disaster. But that’s ok – holidays are fun and should result in a major throw off of schedule, right?  I didn’t get a photo of her on the 4th in her super cute patriotic outfit, but here’s the other one from Red, White and Blue day at her school:

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And then our family photo at the fireworks.

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The fireworks were probably one of my favorite memories as a parent so far.  T sat in S’s lap and was just in awe – she’d look back and me and say how beautiful they were.  I’m glad she appreciated them so much!  And the place we went was awesome!  Now that we know what to expect, next year we’ll take picnic stuff and things for her to play with.  Luckily we met up with a friend and her daughter so they could entertain each other.

Now, on to my weekly update.

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How far along? 37 weeks

Baby size: A honey dew, and about 19-20 inches in length and nearly 6.5 lbs

Weight gain: Had a little gain this week, but not much.

Workouts: None.  Walking is even starting to get uncomfortable because she keeps bumping up against a nerve that makes my legs about go out from under me.  No bueno, little girl.

Maternity Clothes: Definitely.

Stretch Marks: None

Sleep: I really can’t complain about my sleeping.

Gender: Sweet baby girl – confirmed again today

Movement: All the time

Labor signs: Daily BH, becoming crampy.  Progression, maybe?

What I miss: At this point, there’s nothing to miss anymore.  I’m trying to enjoy my last days/weeks.

Symptoms: BH still, the leg issue, cramping.  My BP is still great, my protein rose slightly.  But no cause for concern yet.  At my 37 week appointment this morning, she was measuring behind according to my fundal height, so I had a surprise u/s to make sure she’s good.  She’s measuring just a couple of days behind, but not enough to be concerning.  Estimated weight of 6.5 lbs (obviously can be +/- a pound).  But since everything else is still great, we’re going with it.  I didn’t get checked to see if there was any progression – I didn’t want to be disappointed.  I’ll probably get checked next week.

Nursery/Other prep: I pulled out the pack and play and set it up in our room.  Also pulled out the changing pad and infant inserts for the car seat and washed the head support (that was NASTY!).   I need to get those inserts into the car seat and then that’s ready to go.   Everything else can wait (like the infant inserts for the swing/bouncy chair, and bringing the tub up from the basement, etc.).

Belly button, in or out: Flat, with a little, itty bitty bit poking out.

Wedding rings, on or off: On

Mood: Definitely more irritable – but I’m trying to be better.

Best moment this week: The 4th of July weekend, for sure.  We spent time at the pool, at the park, with friends, and watched the Women’s World Cup Soccer game.  I’m not/wasn’t a soccer player, but it was amazing to watch.  And an incredible way to end a holiday weekend that celebrates our country!

Looking forward to: When this little one decides to make her arrival.  I’m still trying to soak it all up, but the leg pain/discomfort makes it really hard.  Oh, and our new mattress.  That will be really exciting to get later this week!

A Father’s Day look back

When I had T, I was a member of an online mom’s group.  One of the things that was a hot idea was taking photos of our kid (or kiddos, if there were more) holding signs that spelled DAD.  I thought it was adorable and I had to jump on that bandwagon.  In my last post I showed this year’s photo set, the last of our sweet T only.  So of course I got sentimental and started going back through the 4 years I’ve done them.

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2012

 

DAD

2013

 

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2014

 

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2015

 

It’s such a fun way to look back on the years with her (and her soon to be sister) and see how much she grows.