Sellin’ My Stuff for Vacation Funds

Hey! Thanks for stopping by to look at my stuff. I have been wanting to put this on Craigslist forever. I am finally motivated because Doug and I are trying to do a trip in Aug or Sept to celebrate A DECADE OF MARRIAGE! Woah. Funds are tight but hoping this will add to the cash we have saved!

Please email me if you are interested in an item or have a question. Pick up in Oakley or Batavia, may even drop off some of the larger priced items. Will ship also, but charge you shipping rate.


This was my first Coach purse. Sits comfortably under your arm. Leather is in great shape. Too small for my needs, now but a really cute purse. IMG_4959 IMG_4961IMG_4958 IMG_4960

This was a gift, still in the box. Silver lining through the mesh is so cute! Great for Spring – Fall.
IMG_4931 IMG_4932

This was a gift from Italy. The leather is super strength. Unique divider inside. Very rarely used.IMG_4949 IMG_4942IMG_4940

Brown suede, brown leather, gold accents, with lime interior. Adorable and in excellent condition since I don’t wear brown as much as I do black.

IMG_4928 IMG_4927WINE DECANTER – $10
Never been used. Glass. From Bed, bath, & beyond. Sitcker price still on it for $24.99

Black leather, used/good condition. Size “pocket”. Just buy your inserts on Sells for $59.95 new (link here)
IMG_4963LAPTOP & IPOD SWEATER COVERS – $5 laptop (have 1), $2 ipod (have 6 left).
These were so cool back in the day! They don’t fit today’s size perfectly, but still do the job.
I have had many backpacks from LLBean and they hold up so well! If this weren’t pink I would save for my boys! Perfect condition. Regular price $39.95, link here.
These backpacks hold up so well. This one is unisex.
Great gift idea. Still in the box. Tried it out because it’s just funny. Never actually used. Sells new on Amazon for $39.95, link hereIMG_4964 IMG_4965 WONDER WOMAN T-SHIRT – $10
Large T-shirt with cape, and headband. Runs small, size says XL, but actually a L. Bought online and couldn’t return in-time. Never worn, never washed. 
Full size comforter. Navy & white bedskirt, red & white curtain, 2 Euro pillow case covers. Full size quilt, regular size sailboat pillowcase, mini whale pillow case. No sheets. A few imperfections but awesome condition. So soft and cute. Wrinkly from being in storage. They no longer make this, but here is a link to something similar. Quilts up to $199. IMG_4971 IMG_4976 FullSizeRender IMG_4977MOSES BASKET  - $35
Basket with removable shade, thin mattress, 2 new sheets still in package. Used for 2 weeks with each of my boys without the lining and hood. Basket is in good shape, but not perfect. Some pulling apart on the hood, see picture. Sells new for $69.95, link here. You can also buy new linens for it online.
IMG_4944 IMG_4947 IMG_4946 IMG_4948 IMG_4945

Seasons 1,2,3,4,5, 6 part 1, and 6 part 2. Some DVDs are brand new, some barely used. Seasons 4,5, 6 part 1 and 6 part 2 have never been opened, still in package. The others have only been watched once. Complete series sells new for $106 on amazon, link here.
IMG_4973 IMG_4975

Thanks so much!

Isaac 3.0

isaac 3 yoHow did this happen. How is he 3? I could weep thinking about how quickly the time is going. Still I love to see him grow and mature. He is learning new things everyday. Such a little sponge excited about life. I just try to keep up.

Favorite Food: Cheese. Pickles. Muffins. Reese Cups. Milk.
Favorite Sport: Swinging and riding his quad through the yard.
Best Show on TV: Curious George, Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
The Coolest Person on Earth: Mommy. Luke as a close 2nd.
My Favorite Thing about School: Climbing in adventure club and playing outside
My Favorite Thing to Learn About is: Numbers and counting. Memorizing prayers.
My Favorite Thing I Have is: Rosie & Thomas trains are still favorites. Train table with tunnels, & bridges. Lighting McQueen.
The Thing I Do Most Awesomely is: Thomas matching game on iPad.
If I could go anywhere in the world it would be: Kings Island or Coney Island (he gets them mixed up).
My Favorite Color is: Purple
The Way I Sleep is: In my big boy bed with Thomas Blanket, pillows all around and Monkey.
When I grow up I am going to be: Batman
My Current Favorite Song is: Do You Love Me. No More Monkeys.
The Book I Am Loving Right Now Is: Curious George Favorites (Red Book)
The Words That Describe Me Are: Happy. Determined. Loud. Sensitive.
When I Was Little I used to: Wear Diapers
Favorite Season of the Year: Summer to play outside and swim.
The Snack I like best is: Popcorn like Daddy.
One Food I dislike is: Pasta, Mashed Potatoes, & Most Vegetables
My Best Friend is: Luke
If I had One Wish it would be:
Best Memory is: Potty training, sleeping in a big boy bed, meeting Luke, Luke moving in the bedroom. (Big year!)

41 lbs.  (in the 98%)
41 3/4 tall (in the 100%)
Wearing size 3T/4T clothes, 10.5 shoes, & underwear (pull-ups at night)

Baby Philosophies

baby philsopiesI write this as a mother in process. I have not learned or experienced it all. I have only experienced my 2 boys (ages: 2.75 years and 4.5 months) and a few dozen more as a nanny. There are many “right” ways to raise your babies and I respect a mom’s (and dad’s) choice to do what they feel passionate about. And, I hope they respect mine. So this list is compilation of things we’ve discovered and done in this family. It is a hodge podge of learned methods, books read, conference lectures, spiritual practices, observing families, and gut feelings.

I write this not to say my ways are best, but to remember what I believed at this stage in my life. I might look back and say “oh, you were so naive” or “yeah, you got that right.” But either way, these have been floating around in my head for months and it’s about time to set them down here. I write as I would write to myself…to the me before I had my babies. So in no particular order, here are my Baby Philosophies.

  • The first 2 weeks are the hardest. Power through. You will sleep again.
  • It’s OK to stare. That baby is perfection.
  • Receive meals, receive help.
  • Make time to shower and brush your teeth… and sleep. (And do it every day.)
  • Babies don’t understand our world. We get to teach them.
  • That man you have loved all this time just got 10 times hotter holding your baby.
  • E.A.S.Y.! Eat, Sleep, Play, & You. A great method without being hyper-scheduled.
  • Leave your baby and the house in the first month.
  • Babies can soothe themselves to sleep. (Mine did at 5 and 6 weeks) 
  • Babies can sleep through the night. (Mine did a 8 and 10 weeks)
  • Be thankful and joyful everyday.
  • Establish a start time to the day. Wake the baby at the same time and feed (7:00 a.m. for me) then note his cues and rhythms for eating and sleeping.
  • You don’t have to follow “baby-led” or “parent-led” techniques you can be a fusion of both.
  • Work towards a 12 hour night of sleep and age appropriate naps through the day.
  • Keep learning. Listen to moms. Read books and blogs.
  • Babies are communicating to us, and it is our job to be flexible to them.
  • Baby gas is painful… for both of you. Learn methods to relieve that gas. Massage, movements, diet change, etc.
  • Don’t let them rely to heavily on “props” – whatever they need to sleep, calm, etc. they will need every single time.
  • Let that baby sleep on your chest. In a rainstorm. Close your eyes and enjoy.
  • Routines promote predictability and trust. It is a gift I can kids.
  • Breastfeed as long as you can to a year.
  • Breastfeeding is hard, great, a sacrifice, a gift, work, time…. and it is only a short season.
  • It’s OK to feel sad when you lose your milk supply, but you are not a failure.
  • Bins and labels and drawer organizers will calm the toy and clothing chaos.
  • Buy gender neutral when possible: toys, blankets, cups, etc.
  • Sleep sacs are genius. Zip down blanket and hinders climbing? Uh huh.
  • Wubbanubs, also genius. Baby can find and place paci. Cut off the paci and baby still has stuffed animal.
  • Video monitors are the most genius. Worth every penny.
  • Start solids when baby can sit up on their own, around 6 months. No need to force feed early.
  • Keep a simple log for the first year.
  • Note milestones, cute phrases, and stories. Compile them for a memory book.
  • You will not regret taking pictures.
  • Make time for fun as a family.
  • Make time for yourself: the occasional haircut, massage or pedicure will energize you!
  • Kiss, hug, snuggle, wrestle, hold hands, high five. Affectionately touch your kids.
  • Treasure grandparent time. Start it young.
  • Praise them. Encourage. Tell them what they are good at.
  • A small house has it’s benefits. We all know what’s happening all the time.
  • Maintain and add healthy habits. Be active. Have a hobby.
  • Teach your kids to transition well, early on. Leave them with family and friends.
  • Choose toys that promote imagination. Limit noisy toys and screen time.
  • Take your kids to a quality church. (Make sure they screen their volunteers!)
  • Encourage your kids to play with friends, play outside, play with siblings.
  • Read all the time. Find books your kid loves. Put them all over the house.
  • Spend time in community with other families.
  • Discipline early. Use a strong serious firm voice as to not confuse them.
  • When possible tell kids what TO do rather than what NOT to do.
  • Pray, sing, and share your God from the start.
  • Teach them to be helpers. Teach them to serve God and people.
  • Teach them to play independently.
  • Don’t undermine your spouse. Even when they are too lenient or too harsh. They are learning too. Give grace.
  • Bring kids along with you on errands and chores. There is much to learn in daily life.
  • Let your kids choose sometimes. Don’t let your kids choose all the time.
  • Protect your marriage as you would protect your kids. It is a treasure. Shut the bedroom door and hold onto your covenant.
  • Hide toys in pretty baskets. 
  • Let your toddler tell you when he’s ready to potty train. Seize the day and start 3 day bootcamp.
  • Promote sleep. Keep a bedtime routine.
  • Family dinners are valuable.
  • Share your clothes. Bargain shop. But, buy new shoes.
  • Kids do not have to have everything or every thing new.
  • Listen to that voice inside and learn what God would teach your through your kids.
  • Understand God’s love for you as his child. A whole new meaning when you have kids of your own.
  • Start each morning with coffee and prayer, your kids will wake with more energy than you.

I am only 3 years in as a mom. So much more to learn. So much more to experience. I am thankful to be on this journey. My boys are gifts that bring me joy each day.


Ah, to blog. To actually sit and type. It feels good. I often blog in my head with no time to write it out. It’s therapy for me. It helps me process. It helps me remember.

Over the last few weeks I’ve rushed into a new season. It’s not just life with two babies, but life with two babies while working. And to add to it husband has been working overtime on a regular basis. It is starting to catch up with me. The to do list is on hold. Dishes sit overnight. Laundry piles up. The garage door is broken, the lamp post is horizontal, and the kitchen light needs rewired. I sleep less. I sleep hard.

Most mornings as I hit the first traffic light, I notice a heavy exhale…. “here comes another day”.

I find that when I am empty I pray more. Not long, thought-out prayers, but simple and real conversations. I question. I see my weakness. I don’t have the answers and I don’t have the strength. I have to rely as I am too spent to manufacture a solution.

So, I have been hearing God speak to me often in these last few weeks. It makes conquering the days possible.

My first day back to work in our staff meeting I was being challenged to share what God is speaking to me. (I work at a church, so this is normal in a staff meeting.)  Without missing a beat I wrote down about 5 things I heard. Wow. That was fast and easy. I think He was trying to show me how little I have to do to hear. Just be really open to His spirit. He is waiting to speak.

I felt challenged to live daily. (This is so opposite of the way I work. I am a project manager. A planner. I love lists.) To live day to day, one day at a time is just backward. In fact, it feels “wrong”. Where I often wish I was a flexible and spontaneous as some mom friends, I value routine and efficiency. In that moment (those 5 minutes in staff meeting), I was reminded of this verse…
052442852aaa6d7df7ae6f369c8faf74It’s 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, a verse that I have know for 20+ years. It ends with… “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Sidenote: If you ever wonder God’s will in your life this is a great place to start.

For the first time this verse felt very “in the moment”. Rejoice ALWAYS. Pray at ALL times. In EVERYTHING give thanks. Now. Today. This second. In the midst of my craziness. I can have joy, talk to God, and be thankful in all this.

I mean seriously? If I stop for one second and think about my kids I realize how much I have to be thankful for. Two of them, even. It resets me. I feel powerful to face the day. Happiness is fleeting but a true joy is deep down. I have the gift of salvation. I have solid family. I have health. I have wealth (in comparison to most of the world). I have. I have. I have. The more I give thanks the more I repent of my attitude. I praise God and I receive his goodness. It’s fuel for my weariness.

A few weeks later I was feeling it in the morning. Feeling tired: physically spent, mentally pulled. Breathing hard again I drove to work. I said out loud in exhaustion “its a new day”. The verse about God’s mercies being new every morning popped in my head. So, at the stoplight I googled it to read the whole verse.


As I read that I felt loved and understood. God gets me. The word CONSUMED in the verse was exactly what I was feeling.  Even when I could not express how I felt, God showed me that he knew… like everything and everyone was consuming me. I felt his love, his unfailing compassion and faithfulness all in this act. It felt like he wrote that verse for me alone. Like a love letter from someone who knows your soul and speaks your language.

While the specifics of my day (and the days that have followed) have not dissipated I can say that I have felt stronger. Daily. I am known. I am loved. And though I often feel consumed by the fullness of my days, I will choose to rejoice, be thankful and stay in conversation with my God.


Isaac 2.75

isaac 2.75 with textMy boy. My tall, smart, fun boy! His newest shoes we bought in spring are already getting small. This kid is as tall or taller than his 3 year old friends. He is super strong too.

He continues to surprise me. He is such a fun little person and certainly has his own mind. He is challenging, sensitive, loud, and authentic. He loves his friends, family, and life. This kid doesn’t slow down much. He  bounces from toy to toy, but then will sit and read with me for a half. What a joy he is.

What has surprised me most about him in these last few months is how well he adjusted to his little brother coming into the world. He simply acts like he has always been. He likes him around. He likes Luke to watch him and so desires to communicate and play with him. Some day.

isaac 2.75 collage 1LIKES:
Sandwiches cut into shapes
Running ahead and waiting between the door
Hiding from us – me at the kitchen table, dad under moms dress.
Flirting, hugging and occasionally kissing girls
Ice cream at dairy whip
Picnics at the park
Kings Island with his friends. He rides all the rides he is tall enough to.
Playing outside.
Swinging and spinning, but getting too big for the baby swing.
Riding his quad through the yard. Down and around the tree.
Singing – loving 123s CD
Roaring: at his friends, at Luke. Says he is a lion or spiderman.
Dancing. downtown Cincinnati
Entertrainment junction
His light up Pumas the mailman brought him.
Puzzles, coloring with marker, stickers, bubbles, cars, blocks, TRAINS.

isaac 2.75 collage 2

Easter egg hunt in our yard
Milkshakes at UDF
Beginning time outs in his room

MILK! donuts, grapes, yogurt, popcicles, cheetos, choc chip mini muffins, cheese and pepperoni, orange juice.

isaac 2.75 collage 3WITH HIS BROTHER:
Calls him “Yuke”
Has a baby yuke song
Says “I want to hold him on my tummy” and pulls up his shirt.
Putting toys in his mouth and trying to play with him.
Sings for him.
Luke is starting to get more used to him.


Luke .25 (the first 3 months)

My baby is 3 months and changing so fast. I have kept track some of his milestones and moments to share with weekly pictures! I did this project for Isaac too (minus the notes). I never want to forget these treasured moments. Did I say it is going too fast?! Oh we love him so!

luke_week 1 logo[ Week 1 ]
Weighed 7 lbs 15 oz at birth, Lost 7 oz in first week
Day 4 – first smile while asleep during “milk comma”1 Jaundice test – billirubin 10.2 – OK!
Sleeping swaddled
Days and nights confused, but sleeping.
His brother loves him. Though he did try to steal his blanket at first sight.
Projectile poop!

luke_week 2 logo[ Week 2 ]
Pedi appt on day 10. Weighs 7 lbs. 14.6 oz.. almost back up to birth weight.
Dr. Broderick says he has big ear canals and is strong
Makes a mess on scale (again) for the nurse.
Crying and grumpy in carseat!
Belly button fell off
First bath in kitchen sink – Isaac thought this funny! Luke did not.

luke_week 3 logo[ Week 3 ]
Propane low, first sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa’s
Mom is re-reading books: Baby Whisperer!
Seeming hungry every 2 hours – I am confusing hunger/sleepy cries
First coos and sounds on-purpose!
Playmat and tummy time
Offered him the paci and he loved it! (uh-oh) Really helps him relax when tired.
Move up to Size 1 diapers
Sleeping 2-3.5 hours at a time
Holding on during nursing like he is helping.

luke_week 4 logo[ Week 4 ]
Slept through dentist with mom
I locked the boys in the car!
Laying in crib semi-awake to fall asleep
Newborn and family pictures taken
First family outing: buy Dad’s phone, skyline & car wash
Tried tummy sleeping in crib unswaddled – then went back.
First 5 hours sleep & 6 hours between feeds!
Visited mommy’s work. Slept most of the time.

luke_week 5 logo[ Week 5 ]
1 month Pedi Appt: 10 lbs (70%), length 22 in (80%), and head 37 in (35%)
Started using swaddlers at night instead of blankets – stronger!
Fell asleep on his own when I had to lay him down crying. (good sign)
Started Vitamen D drops
First small smiles!
First trip to park – Lunken playfield

luke_week 6 logo[ Week 6 ]
First day of spring. Still snowing
Thinking he is overtired and that is why he is crying.
Try putting him down earlier: first yawn or grump. (1-1.5 after feed)
Attended first party – wedding shower.
Following you with his eyes as you move.
Stayed home with Daddy and Isaac first time without mom!
Sleeping 3-5.5 hour stretches as night, up to 6.5 hours between feeds

luke_week 7 logo[ Week 7 ]
Holding head up well
looked at himself in the the phone camera
Smiled after he sneezed
Loves his paci
Letting him soothe to sleep with swaddle and paci
Rocking and bouncing and patting seems too much stimulation when overtired
Congestion and runny nose
Watching for 3 phases of sleep (squirmy, stare, heavy eyes)
Started wake up routine: 7:30 nurse to start his day

luke_week 8 logo[ Week 8 ]
Trying to not put paci in after he spits it out, self-soothe
Mom starts teaching dance again – Daddy with both boys
Facetime mom with both boys!
2 month appt – lots of shots!
Slept 8 hours!
Cut nails for the first time
Family outing for mom’s birthday dinner
Easier to sleep- mom noticing cues!
First sickness (virus) – threw up about 7 times. Poor baby.

luke_week 9 logo[ Week 9 ]
Really enjoying mornings – happy, smiley boy!
Watching and smiling at Isaac as he talks
Last daily segment he takes a short nap in chair, carrier, or held
Up to 5.75 hrs sleep/7.5 between night feeds
2 month Pedi appt: 11.6 lbs (58%), 23.5 in long (80%) – lost a few oz since sick :(
First babysitter – Aunt Katie

luke_week 10 logo[ Week 10 ]
Move up to Size 2 diapers
Really bad gassy day – decreasing my milk intake to see if that affects him
Taking 4 oz in bottles
Breaking out of swaddle at some points
First Easter – did well being passed around. Fell asleep on mom
Slept 7.5 hours / 8.5 between feeds
3.5 – 4 hour between some day feeds
Finding his thumb, mad when he cannot

luke_week 11 logo[ Week 11 ]
Super engaging – smiles and coos in response to your words.
Likes to watch Isaac
…also cries at his screams and sudden movements
Sleeping 9.5 hours! Woo hoo
Blowing bubbles.
Watches TV.
Schedule going well, napping pretty regularly now.
Long nap about 2:15-4:30 daily. Shorts naps other section of day.
Catnap around dinner time in chair, reminds us of dinners with Baby Isaac.
Asleep at 8:00 – 8:30 p.m. bedtime.
Really chubbing up. Loving his rolls.
Tucking himself under my chin

luke_week 12 logo[ Week 12 ]
1st day with Grandma
Slept 11 hours at night!
Turned 180* in crib, broke out of new larger swaddles.
Blowout at target AND lost a paci. Screaming!
Isaac held him 15 minutes while watching Curious George
Gave himself a hickie on his arm.

luke_week 13 logo[ Week 13 ]
Back to work. Transition went well!
Grown out of 3 month clothes, especially sleepers. He’s long!
1st time downtown. Swing dancing with mom at Fountain Square.
Napping so well, having to wake him to eat.
Not needing paci as much, rarely putting back in at sleep.
Smiled at mommy when she came to wake him.
Arms out of swaddle a lot, but not hindering sleep.
Up to 5.5 oz. in bottles


Quick Tip: Simple Socks

So this post is a no-brainer but it sure does make me happy. And because I am so happy… I thought I would share my happiness. Socks. They disappear, they lose their best friends. It’s a tough life for a sock. With quickly growing babies, socks don’t last as long as my grey and blue nautical pair from high school. Yep, still in my drawer. Still cozy in boots. (Not still in style.)

I ordered my 2 and half year old some sneakers and sport socks. His big feet are getting bigger and, well, so are the socks and shoes. (I could stop right here and weep over the fact that my first baby is definitely a little boy now, but there isn’ t much of nap time left.) As I was putting the new large socks away, I pulled the ones he’s outgrown. And as I thought about this simple solution I started a few years back, it felt like a Project Momma Quick Tip.

socks1Kid socks look similar and it’s definitely hard to tell their size just looking at them. In fact I accidentally put baby socks on my toddler a few days back. (Proof right here.) There is no way I will remember what size socks are when I pull them out of storage. So, when I buy new socks, I simply keep the packaging or labels and shove it in the drawer under the socks. Then when it is time to pull them to store away – until the next baby has grown too big too fast – I already the packaging with them. I fell upon this idea accidentally because I kept the sock tags from Isaac’s baby socks; they were the only ones I’d found that would actually stay on those active baby feet. I save the label because did not want to forget that brand (Okie Dokie from JCPenney if your are wondering).

socks2So, now that it’s time to rotate the old socks, I grab that label, the socks and a ziplock bag to store them. 
And there you have it. Easily understood socks. I keep the outgrown socks and shoes in a separate bin from clothes. One reason is that I pass around clothes with my friends but socks and shoes I hang on to. Another reason to keep them separate? They may not be true to size. Hey Oshkosh, size 2-4 did not last pass 2 and a half for my big boy. Just sayin’. Every kid grows differently so I don’t want to have to search through my 2s, 3s, and 4s clothes, to find my 2-4 socks that fit Isaac when he was 1 and 2. Yeah, read that sentence again if you have to.  socks 4I have also started keeping some other tags and packaging for items like swaddles, sleep sacs, underwear, etc. It really takes no extra time upfront but saves a little confusion on the other end. Why not give myself little organized treasures? I deserve them.

Anyone else have a quick tip when it comes to your kids’ clothing?
quick tip  socks logo

My New Sammy – “The BCT”

So, I was craving some bacon the other day and thought I will make a BLT. Unfortunately when I looked we were out of the “L”. Oh man, that made me REALLY want that BLT. So I decided to do a little substitute. Cucumber has a similar watery simple crunch like lettuce… BCT Sammy 1The ingredients of my BCT are medium toasted toast, crunchy bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers and mayo. I lightly salt the tomatoes to help bring out the flavor since they are not quite as wonderful this time of year. BCT Sammy 3

I load it up and wall-ah!  It was so delicious! (Or “de-wish-sus” as my son would say.) I like the cucumber even better than the lettuce. It makes the sandwich more moist. Yummmm! Just typing up this quick blog makes me want to go make another. I usually choose a nice wheat bread for my BLTs, so I am going to make that little switch next time around. And, I am sure that this would be a great vegetarian meal with with some Morning Star veggie bacon strips as a substitute. Try one! It will not disappoint.
BCT Sammy logo

My Recovery Spot

I like to always be prepared. At least as much as I can. So at 37 weeks with my first pregnancy I tried to prep for my upcoming C-section. I bought extra large pads and mens boxers – ya know, to help the healing. But that was the extent of what I knew to do. The surgery itself was not a bad as I thought and all my docs said I was healing well. At the hospital I had help and direction and of course the amazing lift bed that almost stands you up on its own. Coming home was the harder part for me. Driving in the car was very painful; I felt every bump! Isaac had jaundice so we had 1-2 dr. appointments a day for the first 5 days home. This was exhausting and again, painful with all the extra movement in and out of the car, up and down through the buildings, and nursing in the car. But it was the laying down and sitting up in bed that opened my incision (and some minor malpractice by that no longer licensed OB – thats a whole other story). Yep another trip to the doc to close it up. All this combined with the first time mom learning curve, challenge of nursing, and sleep depravation made for a pretty hard first week.

So the 2nd time around I was more prepared – mentally and tangibly – for what life might be like that first week. You better believe I had a heart to heart with my doctor. I was determined for him to do the surgery. Since the first time around I ended up sleeping in Doug’s lay-z-boy, I planned for that from start.  I made a little Recovery Spot:

recovery spot 3

Every family has their own plan after baby. For us, this meant mom nursing and getting up with baby at night. Dad needs sleep because of his job. No need to be on top of high buildings, using dangerous tools, and putting the lives of others at stake without a good night’s sleep. Since I was up nursing anyway this made sense to us. First time around I learned it was hard to stand from the chair with baby or even reach down to pick him up from a chair or swing. So we fashioned a sleep space next to the chair that I could reach while in the chair. (Note that I wouldn’t leave Luke there during the day while big brother was awake. This was his nighttime-everyone-else-is-asleep-mom-is-right-next-to-me-spot.) We moved in the sturdy piece of furniture that usually sits in our master bedroom under the window.

recovery spot 5 The space was to help me function without a lot of unnecessary movement. So I have the Moses basket to set Luke down to sleep and while I stand up through the night. I kept some diapers, wipes, and a burp cloth. The monitor was there to keep an eye on both boys whenever they were their beds. Also my phone charger and a lamp. I moved this lamp here specifically because it has a 3-way bulb. Dim for those night feedings. recovery spot 1 On the other side of the chair I have the baby log, boppy and cover for nursing, remotes, and a basket of filled with supplies. I kept a pillow on the chair for extra support and at night I would bring out a big comforter to make the chair feel more like a bed. recovery spot 2 I all the small items a basket so during the day I could move it high out of Isaac’s reach. But through the night it was so convenient to have medicines, lotions, hand sanitizer, books, notebook (for all my listing), and my ipad all within reach. I usually had a large water bottle here too, it’s just not in the picture. recovery spot 4As I sat in this chair WAY to much, it was super helpful to know that I had everything that I needed. The less times I had to get up and down the better for my healing. So this little Recovery Spot was a big help!

Isaac 2.5

isaac 2.5 collage 1Isaac has definitely hit a growth spurt in these last few months. At 2 and a half he weighs 36 lbs and 4 oz. He has shot up in height too, moving into 3T pants! He is really looking like a little boy, older than 2 and half… he tells everyone he is 5. Is really into birthday parties now. So I had a little half-birthday “purple party” for him at Chick-fil-a. Purple beads, balloons and brownies.

Trains are still his favorite thing to play with. He added several to his collection at Christmas and got a train table the week after Luke was born. Rosie and Thomas are still his favorite but he doesn’t carry them everywhere with him like he used to. He will build “cities” on the floor with his blocks and cars or trains and tracks and “bidges” (bridges). He will find all the vehicles he can. Loves the street signs and has been recognizing them as we drive: railroad crossing, people crossing, and do not enter!

He likes to play “truck playdoh” (always with dad), Hide and Seek, Ring Around the Rosie, and Hokey Pokey. He loves markers and will sit and color pictures for long periods of time. Scribbles and forceful dots. Sometimes he adds stickers by the dozen. At Gama & Papa’s he like to listen to his music and run around the table while singing and stomping. He is very intense about this.  He can sing all the ABCs with a few slurrs and knows most all of the Thomas theme song. He actually knows lots of words to lots of songs and surprises us daily. He likes his musical toys, even the old baby ones that play songs and wants me to tell him the words. I have had to google some of the old nursery rhymes to teach him. He also has a Thomas book with about 8 songs and we ALL know ALL the words. He likes to make an “I”  with pretzels and recognizes his name. He counts to twelve perfectly then mixes up the teens. His favorite number is 5.

isaac 2.5 collage 2Around Christmas he loved the tree and lights as well as his manger scene. We managed to lose Mary and Joseph for most of the holiday but they turned up. He has a blast with the decor styrofoam wrapping and shredded it all over the floor and called it snow. Later that day it did snow. We had a very cold and snowy winter and he kept asking for purple snow (his favorite color). One day he came out snow boots on when he saw the snow at 7:00 a.m. and wanted to build a purple snowman.

He transitioned to his big boy bed after the holidays. He helped pick it out at Sam’s. We mostly read books on it for the first 3 weeks before he was interested in it. He’s say “No, my Kib (crib)”. Then he started napping in it. Finally the first night he said he wanted to sleep there he rolled out of bed. I had rolled up my long pillow under the sheet to keep him in but I saw him on the monitor sit up in bed then head dive right over the side. We got a bedguard right after that and had no other problems.

Isaac 2.5 collage 5Potty training has been going well and he is about 95%! Started going #2 on the potty consistently the week Luke was born (no regression!). We did/do give him suckers for going #2 which was the winning strategy (FINALLY). He still wears a diaper at night, and will move up to size 6 once we are out of the 5′s. Doug taught him to stand up and pee with him but I make him sit. He points out port-a-potties and we drive by asks to go to the bathroom when he sees UDF.

Isaac is more and more independent. Can put on his own underwear and pants if they are layed out. Is working on socks and shoes. Likes to brush his teeth himself, put on his sunglasses, and go to the bathroom alone. He will tell us to “stay here”, and we do… for a minute.

Isaac is still infatuated with Curious George. He knows all the characters and talks about them often. He loves Hundley (dog), Jumpy(squirrel), Compass (bird), and Gnocci (Cat). This has been a great distraction while I nurse, but we are looking forward to getting outside and reducing his TV intake. He wants to do things Curious George does – go camping, to the beach, fly a kite, build a sand castle. I can’t wait for him to experience this stuff in real life.

isaac 2.5 collage 3

Isaac likes group hugs, he will pull you close. He will get jealous when I hug Doug and want to get involved. He thinks it’s fun to Skype with Mama and Papa in Florida and Facetime Mom. He will tell Siri on my phone to “Show me Rosie”. He likes to go to Home Depot with Dad. Krogers, Target and Chickfila with Mom. He is still pretty picky with food but loves milkshakes, donuts, muffins, cheese, and of course his milk. He loves kids and especially older girls. Follows them and will say “Hey geh-yul”.

He cracks us up with the things he says: “oh my goodness”, “oh my goodness sakes”, “blow my nose”, “my fay-ber-ite” (favorite), “xylophone”, “beach”, and counting with misses-hippies. He asked me to “sing a song about mommy”. I said, “well how does it go?” to which he sang a tune… “song about mommy, a song about mommy”. He will also call me mommy honey or mommy dear.
isaac 2.5 collage 6 We began preparing for baby to arrive and Daddy is more involved with bath and bedtime. We really thought he would be missing his mommy time and jealous of the baby. He totally surprised us and loved his baby brother from the start. Though at first sight he tried to take his blanket because it was similar to his. He loves to hold him, give him kisses, eskimo kisses, and loves to be in his face and talk to him. He ‘s tried to pick him up a few times and is learning how to be gentle. He calls him “Yuke” since he cannot say his “L”s very well. Daily he asks him to “Play trains, baby yuke, play trains?” We wants to make sure Luke is with us at all times and included. Not one bit jealous of his new baby brother. It is so sweet.

Almost Ready for Baby – 38 weeks

So, as I write this we are 5 days away from meeting our little one! And, since he has stayed put inside, I have accomplished everything to date on the list from a few weeks back… baby prepI actually ended up adding a few things along the way too. So here are a couple of the highlights…

We decided to set the Dining Room up as a dual purpose room. My thoughts are baby will sleep in there nights until he sleeps through the night, 11-12 hours. For Isaac that was around 10 weeks old. A 2nd crib was purchased (actually it was a gift!), bed made, blackout shade installed, and some baby items brought in.

more baby prep 6 more baby prep 7

The buffet that I wanted to add doors to for ‘safe’ storage is in process; it still needs paint and handles. Doug may finish this weekend, but at least is usable to store some baby things.

Isaac has a big boy bed and has been experimenting with sleeping on it. I would say he’s 70% big boy bed, 30% crib depending on how tired he is. I am fine with letting him get comfortable. He stays in and calls me in the morning to come get him. So far so good!

more baby prep 2

Baby clothes (0-6 months) have been washed, sorted, and put away in the boys’ closet and dresser (some in the dining room cabinets too).

more baby prep 1

Our cars are prepped with car seats; grandparents also have a car seat for Isaac. This is big! I won’t feel the pressure of driving both kids all the time and we will not have to move car seats to do it. HOO-RAY! Grandparents are scheduled to help fill in for the first couple of weeks. We are blessed! Don’t know how we would do this without them!

more baby prep 10Hospital bag is packed. Baby’s gift to Isaac is wrapped. I even have some Valentine’s Day gifts for Doug and Isaac ready.

Baby log is made. Isaac notes for helpers are prepped. (Both probably deserve their own post)

more baby prep 8We even have diapers! Friends, volunteers, and family have been stocking us. Our small group even planned a MealBaby for us. Awesome.
more baby prep 9

I also did a big stock up of our pantry. Hopefully this will help in the first few weeks when I cannot drive. Doug can go grab milk, bread, and fruit, etc. I think we have enough cereal to last through summer, thank you coupons and sales.

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All the paperwork has been done. And, I even had my LAST dr. appt. That really made it feel final since I have been spending hours there each week.
more baby prep 4

While looking for batteries and a key chain I got frustrated one day off and even got organized our junk drawer. Which turned into all the kitchen drawers, then all the cabinets. Not really on the agenda, but hey?!
more baby prep 3Our last thing to do is name this baby. We are down to a short list. Doug has a firm favorite and Isaac is calling him that, too. I like the name but like a few others better, so we are waiting until the moment to make it final.

Overall I am feeling pretty good about the tangible prep. I wish I could prep Isaac like I can the house and baby stuff. I am hoping he isn’t too jolted. I also hope my healing is quick and easy so I can be a functioning mom of two! I cannot wait to hold a sleeping baby again.

The February Abyss

feb 1While February was a huge month for our family of (now) four, I cannot quite explain where it went. I know it’s only 28 days, but it felt like 12 to me! I have been writing blogs in my head while I nurse and cannot wait to get them to screen. I even have a few that I wrote pre-baby, that never made it out of drafts. So here is my brain dump of blog posts coming soon…

  • Baby Prep – DONE!
  • My baby logs
  • Basement Project – Phase 3
  • The Potty Training Chronicles
  • Isaac 2.5
  • Luke 1 month (already!?!?!)
  • My recovery spot
  • Luke’s newborn & family pics  (may even do a #tbt with Isaac’s newborn pics)
  • The Living Room (house tour)
  • My baby sleep strategy
  • My birth stories (maybe… I would like to document bits of these monumental days)

feb 2I am just beginning to navigate the world with 2 kiddos. It’s not like I don’t have experience doing this with my nanny kids. In fact I have wrangled more than 2 many times. However, nursing trumps all my strategies. I never thought I would be one of those mom’s with a blanket over a herself hiding baby in public… but here I am. The lack of sleep at night that carries into my patience for the next day was non-existent in my nanny life. Thank God my Isaac is potty trained and adores his brother. I don’t know what I would do if I had to buy and change 2 sets of diapers or deal with jealously/guilty feelings for messing up my only child’s life. It has been so much easier than I expected and as I get more and more sleep, I feel like I am gelling into this mom of two role…and really loving it. I can already picture the day when they are entertaining each other and sharing with each other, quietly, while hugging. OK, so maybe there will be a lot more wrestling and screaming, still, I cannot wait.

P.S. My favorite things about life right now: Meal Baby, maternity leave, and the promise of Spring. Bring it!

The Master Bedroom

About 6 years ago, I found this quilt set on sale at the Pottery Barn outlet. Have I mentioned that I have rarely spend money at the actual Pottery Barn store? Their quilts are quality – well made and beautiful. I love the gold and blue pairings (though the color is a bit off in the picture below). When we moved to this house, I could not wait to paint our bedroom. (Our previous rental had all classic off-white walls, hard to tell if they were dirty white or painted off-white… yuck). So I picked a simple grey-blue with some sort of ocean name… I will have to look up the name of the Sherwin Williams paint. bedroom 4Though I was most excited about painting this room, it has seen the least amount of attention. We did purchase the rug for this room a few months after moving in… another Pottery Barn outlet find. I think it was $120 after a 60% off sale. It’s perfect for us, because it shows very little dirt even after 4+ years. It’s soft, thick, well-made and could easily move around the house to other rooms as needed. bedroom 9bedroom 10 Every piece of furniture in this room was literally given to us… free. We registered for the lamps for our wedding. A few accessories have wandered in here but not thought of specifically or purchased for this room. Even the white duvet has been around since my single days!

It’s a big room and it feels empty. We actually like having a simple and uncluttered bedroom, but it still feels a little sad.

bedroom 3 Oh, we are a no TV in the bedroom family. Doug is adamant. I grew up with a TV in my room since 3rd grade, but I have since changed to agree with him. There are few things better than those late night random talks with Doug. I love them and doubt as many would happen with a TV in there. bedroom 5 Oh, we did add the black out shades on the windows. They help with all the sleeping in and napping we do. Yeah right. That was our pre-baby life. Actually we still nap when we can, so the shades are appreciated. I miss sleeping in on Saturady mornings! Another bedroom staple, but not shown is a large ceiling fan. We put that in THE day we moved in.  bedroom 7Doug has added trim to every room in the house and painted it white.  As I mentioned we painted the walls before we moved in. Ceilings were painted too. bedroom 2 bedroom 6

The master bedroom has the least amount of updates! See less love than every other room in our house. That should change. So here is a long list of things I’d love to do in this room:

  • Have curtains or fabric covered box window coverings made 
  • Purchase and hang some/lots of art and pictures.
  • Actually put pictures in the frames on the dresser.
  • Buy a more architectural mirror for over the dresser.
  • New and updated sheets.
  • New duvet cover.
  • New night tables that are more functional.
  • Coordinating framed fabric or art behind the night tables.
  • New bed and mattress. As pretty as it is we both hate having a footboard on our sleigh bed. We will likely sell it at some point. Mattress is 8+ years old.
  • Chair or love seat and lamp for reading/relaxing.

No telling when we will get to it, though.

The Basement Project – Phase 2

The basement is still under way!
end phase 1 with banner

Here is a reminder of what I did Phase 1: Create the Plan

  • Wrote down everything in the room to know what I was working with.
  • Divide all the items into groups (on paper). 
  • Map out the room to plan for where the items would end up.
  • Divided the project into bite-size chunks that I could do in a few hours, then in a few days
  • Made room to work by pushing table against wall and some empty boxes gone.

Phase 2: Sort, Purge, and Store
This was the tedious part. After I broke down the project into chunks, it was time to get chewing. ….Sort, purge, and store…. ON REPEAT! 2 hours here, there, and again. Slowly making progress. But, accomplishing what was on paper, kept me motivated.

basement phase 2It is hard to read the picture because it is written in pencil, so I have it listed below. It actually changed a lot throughout the process… But here is what my final work looked like on each of the days.

Five days (2 hours shifts):
1 – Gift wrap, bags, boxes. Craft supplies. Move Printer. Clear long wood table.
2 – Boys clothes & label. Bag clothes to give away. Kid Supplies. Summer Misc.
3 – Organize pantry. Storage needs for pantry. Purge glassware. Purge gifts.
4 – Home decor: candles, glass. Christmas presents. Baby feeding Misc. Maternity clothes.
5 – Project pile. Trash out. To give and Goodwill items packed into car. Christmas/seasonal.

Two vacation days (3-4 hours of work each day):
6 – List storage needs. List: projects. List: Items to go through in the future  (Phase 4). Drop off items giving to people and Goodwill the rest.
7 – Clear desk. Furniture and big items moved. Memories sorted.

As I went a long I labeled items (hello yellow post-it notes) and bins with sticky notes to prepare for Phase 3!  My favorite!  Here is what the basement looked like after Phase 2 or 18-20 hours of combined work. Get ready…

basement phase 2 - 2 basement phase 2 - 1 basement phase 2 - 5 basement phase 2 - 4basement ph3 7 This wall holds items that are on their way out. On the table and under are either on the “project” list, need to be gone through, or are items I would like to sell. The bins on the far left are old college books and childhood memories; they just need some more time (Phase 4 = after the baby!) Also I have a few empty containers stacked up on the far right. basement phase 2 - 3

Woo hoo! We can see the floor. We can walk through the room!  Everything that is staying has a home! Big accomplishment from the start. Next up labels and labels. Let the fun begin.