Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday | July 28, 2016

Happy Thursday everyone! I'm joining a new link-up today for Thoughts for Thursday! Here's what I'm thinking about:

||  I ordered this dress from New York & Company last week during their 80% off sale, and my oh my, what a steal! It's normally $89.95 and I got it for $17.99 (it's back up to $44.97). I bought it thinking I had a 50/50 chance of it looking decent on me. Thankfully, it arrived yesterday and I L.O.V.E. it! The color is vibrant and will be great for end of summer (once it's not 90 degrees everyday) and through fall and winter. I can't wait to wear it!


||  I really want to read Liane Moriarty's new book, Truly Madly Guilty, but the reviews weren't great. I've read most of her other books (Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret being my favorites), and I'd like to give this one a try, too. Reese Witherspoon praised it on Instagram the other day, so perhaps it's not that bad??? Has anyone read it yet?

||  The image below had me LOLing. Any parent with young kids can relate. Naptime is sacred in our house, and we will be late to--or even miss--events so Max can get a good nap (we of course let the hosts know ahead of time that we'll be late or absent). A well-rested child is a happy child. Max is living proof.

||  Yesterday, I bought Chrissy Teigen's cookbook, Cravings, and simply flipping through it  and skimming the goods has already reaffirmed my love for that woman. She is so funny and REAL! As for the book, it's amazing. So many delicious(ly indulgent) meals that I can't wait to try! The photos are beautifully hilarious, as well. Even if you don't want to buy it, you should at least flip through it while you're browsing at Target or Barnes & Noble. You won't be sorry.

||  I bought two rolls of this contact paper yesterday to line my shelves in my closet. It's not totally necessary to line them, and I'll probably regret my decision to do this about two shelves in, but I think it'll add some funky fun to my closet. We've got some high rain chances over the next several days, so perhaps I'll finally tackle my closet once and for all.

||  Now that it's nearly August, I've decided that I want to find some lightweight "summer bedding" for our bedroom. I love the bedding we currently have, but the comforter has remained on the bench at the foot of our bed for months and we just use sheets and a lightweight (ugly) blanket when we sleep. I want something lightweight and pretty for the summer months. My first inclination is to go for a quilt, but the hubs doesn't like quilts so I've been looking at chenille bedspreads. I've always loved the look of these...does that make me an old lady?

||  This photo also had me LOLing. It takes a patient man to be an Instagram Husband.


||  My final thought for this Thursday post is...I miss my sissy. We took her to Sakura for dinner last night, then Victor helped her load her car while I put Max to bed. She left early this morning and is more than halfway to our mom's house right now. Max was calling for her this morning, and Kenny, our dog, is extra mopey today without his dog-cousin Mya here to goof off with. It's a somber day here at Casa Little Blue Sailboat, and I think that feeling will continue for several days to come until we get used to what life was like without Auntie Ha here. We may never get used to it, though.

Thoughts for Thursday

Linking up with 
Natalie at East Coast Chic
Annie at Home of Malones

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Currently | July 27, 2016

I hope you're all having a great week! Here's what I'm doing currently...

Thinking | About using Medela bottles for Louisa. I used Playtex Drop-Ins for Max because he was a gassy baby, but Louisa took her first Medela bottle really well last weekend (with no gassy tummy), so I think she'll be ok using those. I have a Medela pump and six 5 oz. bottles, so I'd just need to order a few more nipples (I only have one at the moment); if I used the Playtex bottles, I'd need to continually order the drop-in liners for as long as she took bottles. Either way, I need to purchase something, but I think going with the Medela bottles will be more eco-friendly.

Pondering | How I can get myself and the kids on a satisfying schedule. It's proving to be quite difficult, but perhaps with a little more effort on my part, we can make it happen. Unfortunately, I think this means I'll need to sacrifice even more sleep. Just thinking about it makes me tired.

Needing | To finish Louisa's birth story. I only started writing it a couple of days ago and I'm already forgetting some details! Once it's written, I'll share it with you all. It was quite different from Max's birth story!

Listening | My default Pandora station lately has been Justin Timberlake, and I'm enjoying all the dance-friendly tunes. We've also been watching a lot of Bubble Guppies and I frequently have their songs stuck in my head.

Sipping | My daily bevs include home-brewed coffee, lots of water, and the occasional Sprite (a couple times per week, at most).

Dreaming | About having all of my non-maternity clothes organized in my closet again. And if I don't get my booty in gear and take care of it, it'll continue to be a figment of my dreams/imagination.

Swooning | Over baby Louisa smiles. She is so generous with those sweet smirks these days (especially when getting her diaper changed, being disrobed, or when getting ready to nurse), and I just can't get enough!

Giggling | At Snapchat. I'm proud of myself for holding out for so long before joining, but now that I'm on it, it's pretty fun. I totally understand why people are so selfie-crazy lately...the filters are too good! Add me if you're on Snapchat! My username is rachiepalm.

Going | To Ohio in a couple of weeks! While I'm not looking forward to the inevitable sleep issues we'll encounter being out of our own house and routine, I'm very excited to visit with family and friends in my hometown.

Reading | I'm in the middle of Who Do You Love? by Jennifer Weiner. I've read most of her books, and this one is proving to be just as enjoyable as the rest. I'm also planning to revisit The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight for help with determining and establishing a good sleep schedule for Louisa. I'm looking forward to longer stretches of sleep (fingers crossed)!

Celebrating | The fact that I cleaned out and reorganized our kitchen pantry yesterday! It took a couple of hours from start to finish, with some interruptions throughout (that's life with kids), but I'm so glad it's done! I've been wanting to do that for weeks!

Dreading | My sister moving out. Her travel nursing assignment is ending this week, and she's heading back to Indiana for her next assignment. We've loved having her here with us. Max has so much fun with his "Auntie Ha," and she's such a great help to us. Plus, it's been fun living under the same roof for the first time in nearly 10 years. I shared this article on my personal Facebook page this week ("like" the Little Blue Sailboat page here); it describes my sister perfectly. We're so lucky she's in our lives, and even luckier that she was living with us for the past 3 months!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Oh hey, Friday! | Odds and Ends

I somehow made it to the morning. Both of my kids decided mama didn't need no stinkin' sleep last night. Louisa just wanted to be nursed more frequently than the last two nights (I wouldn't mind a return to her 6-hour stretches). Max, on the other hand, woke about 5-7 times in a two hour period, crying and then not falling asleep well (hence more wake-ups). Not sure what his deal was as he's slept through the night most nights this week, but Victor must have had the magic touch because after he went in there, Max didn't wake again.

Now I'm sitting here enjoying my once-daily pumping session and getting this post out to you for my first Oh hey, Friday! in a while! Lucky you! I don't have much of a theme for today's post. It's just a random "odds and ends" post.

1 |  Have you heard of the term "re-entry" in reference to life with kids? It's the period of time after being away from home when you get back into the swing of things and return to your routines and some form of normalcy. After being at the beach last week, I can tell you that this session of "re-entry" has been a doozy. I went crazy and wanted to do all the vacation laundry last Saturday and Sunday (I think I did 6 loads of laundry in a day and a half; we had to bring our own linens). However, my bag of clothes I didn't wear at the beach is still sitting in my room, waiting to be put away (and likely full of wrinkles and sand). We're working on getting Max's nap/sleep schedule back on track. And I'm trying to re-learn how to plan ahead for meals. But hey, at least we're home! I'm such a homebody; everything about vacations makes me anxious!

2 |  I'm getting my hair cut--AND colored--in a couple of weeks and I am SO EXCITED! I haven't gotten a hair cut since the Carrie Underwood chop earlier this spring, and I'm so ready for a change. I think I'll keep the same general style of haircut, though, with plans to grow it out. I'm really looking forward to getting my hair professionally colored, though. I'm so bored with my hair color, plus the grays are getting more numerous. I need to look on Pinterest for some color ideas. I'm going to stick with something in the brown family, though, Nothing too dramatic!

3 |  I'm getting super excited for a trip to Ohio in a couple of weeks with the kids. I have a fun "Cousins Day" planned with guessed it...cousins, and I anticipate it to be equal parts fun and awkward. Fun because my cousins are hilarious and know how to have a good time. Awkward because I'm the oldest/only one married/only one with kids so I'm in a different season of life than they are (my sister is the next oldest at 27, then the rest are college/high school age; I used to babysit them all). I also have plans with two of my college roommates/bridesmaids and their families while we're there. It'll be the first time the 3 of us (and their hubbies, who also went to college with us and are great friends) will be together with our kids (5 of them among us!). My heart is bursting with anticipation!!!

4 |  After a month and a half of back-and-forth nonsense with our health insurance company, we finally have Louisa added to our plan! I won't even get into the nitty gritty of it all, but long story short, their communication practices are terrible and ineffective, we got different information from each person we talked to, and we were at risk of not having her covered since we were creeping up on the 60-day cut-off point. I would love to suggest ways for them to streamline the process (get all of your member service people on the same page regarding which form to use to add a dependent to your insurance; put on the form that you have 60 days to get your crap together; mention on the form which other documentation is needed so the applicant can send it in with the form; call/send correspondence when something is missing or still needed, etc.), but I doubt it'll do any good. Let me also mention that while we were waiting for the insurance company to get their stuff together, we kept getting bills from the pediatrician's office and frequent phone calls asking for her insurance info. For a gal who doesn't like not being in control, that whole experience did a number on my patience.

5 |  I'd like to leave you with this photo of Max and his tios (aunt and uncle). They were practicing cutting their wedding cake, and Max was all too eager for them to get it over with.

And now zoomed in for a more dramatic effect:

Happy Friday, y'all!

Linking up with
Karli at Sept. Farm

Monday, July 18, 2016

A week at the beach | July 2016

Last week, my little family headed to Ocean City, MD to live that beach life for a week. It was baby Louisa's first trip to the beach, and Max was an old pro (check out our trips to the beach from last year: Ocean City, Portugal Part 1, Portugal Part 2, Michigan; also see our Florida vacation from earlier this year). My mom and sister were able to come out for the first weekend, and then Victor's parents came for two nights mid-week. We had lovely weather for the first part of the visit, but the hot temps and humidity rolled in on Thursday and it became pretty unpleasant, mainly because we had an 8-week-old with us. Overall, it was a wonderful week of sun, surf, sand, pool, fish tacos, wonky naps, v e r y early wake-ups (between 5 and 6 AM most days when Max usually sleeps till between 7 and 8!), and great family memories. Here are some photos from our week at the beach!
Views from our rental condo. We could see the ocean AND the bay! 

Napping on the beach = Louisa's favorite activity on vacation 

Max became a bubble-blowing pro!

I've been to the boardwalk dozens of times and this was the first time I saw this sign!

The message in this sand sculpture is so needed right now given the events of the past month or so.

Both kids were crying here. One was hungry, the other was cranky. We went to the pool before my mom and sister left since Max refused to nap. As the three of us were talking and I was holding Max in his swimmy vest, we all commented about how quiet he was being and we looked and saw that he had fallen asleep! Getting a bone-tired, already-sleeping kid out of wet swimming clothes was quite the challenge, but we managed to get him on the floor in one of the bedrooms to nap. He woke up quite angry!

 Victor and Max flying a kite. Louisa is lying under that umbrella.

 Lou and I did a lot of umbrella-sittin'. Also, fedoras are my new fave for sun protection. My scalp/part gets burned pretty easily so a hat is necessary!

Mean-muggin' on the way to the grocery store. He made that face the entire ride!

 Max refused to lie down for nap in the bedroom, so many naps were brought to us by Finding Nemo (or rides in the car).

Max loved the heated pool at our condo and turned into a little fish!

 Max didn't want his picture taken here. This was the least angry of the many shots I took.

Despite my mother-in-law's efforts to keep him awake on the drive to the boardwalk, Max still fell asleep in the car and slept through lunch and most of our walk.

 I joined Snapchat while we were there (I know I swore I wouldn't, but I have some serious FOMO!) Find me! My username is rachiepalm.  Max and I were having fun with the filters.

 We took Max to the pool at 6 PM on one of the hottest days we were there; the "feels like" temperature was still 99 degrees that late in the day! Luckily we had Louisa's stroller fan to keep her comfortable.

 Love Max's smile here!

 Driving sissy around in the arcade. A glimpse of our life in about14 years!

Such a lovely trip!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A penny for my thoughts?

My brain is a big jumble of random thoughts. I tend to have a running to-do list/grocery list/Amazon list up there, too, but I can never remember what's on it when I need to. Typically, these thoughts keep me from falling asleep at night because I have a hard time turning them off, but now that I have a newborn waking me at all hours of the night again, I'm able to fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow. I was the same way when Max was a bitty, but once I was getting uninterrupted sleep again, my thoughts would occasionally keep me from dozing off.

Here is a sample of the many thoughts floating around in my sleep-deprived head today:

* I wish I could be one of those carefree people that asks for a free water cup at Chipotle and then fills it with soda, but my conscience gets the best of me every time. I've always been a rule follower, so I will likely always pay the $1.89 for my Sprite.

* Jim Gaffigan is T O O  F U N N Y. Have you seen his "Dad brand" commercials for Chrysler? It's his real family in the commercials with him, too--his wife and 5 kids. I think he's hilarious. I saw him perform live back when I was pregnant with Max; my sister and I took our mom for her birthday. My mom laughed so hard and loud she got weird looks from the people around us.

* I think I would like to be a postal worker in my next life. All the sorting and organizing would be thrilling for me! I wouldn't want to carry heavy packages though, or deal with dogs barking at me all the time (like my dog). In the small town I grew up in, the postal workers walked all over town delivering mail; it sounds lovely to be able to walk around to get your exercise after doing a bunch of sorting/organizing to get your deliveries ready.

* I need to find washcloths for the kids that don't reek of mildew after they air dry. I have these thin Circo brand ones from Target, and I can only get one use out of them before I need to wash them because they get so stinky after air drying. I wring them out completely and lay them out/drape them over the faucet and they still stink; if I re-wet one to wipe Max's face in the morning, his face stinks. The smell is getting so bad that it's not even washing out any more. What gives?! I'm about to toss them all!

* I need to mop my floors. I don't want to admit how long it's been since they've seen the business end of my O Cedar Spin Mop.

* I feel like I'm cheating on watermelon with cherries this summer. They're just so delicious! And less messy. Let's face it, watermelon is very high maintenance. But it's also so delicious.

* I need to clip my fingernails.

*I should have reorganized my closet when I was awake at 7 this morning and the baby went back to sleep. But I also went back to sleep. So that makes about 15 days in a row that I intended to go through my closet but didn't get to it.

* Louisa is long overdue for a bath. I should do it during the day today instead of trying to wait until after dinner, because if I wait until after dinner, she's not getting a bath for another day.

* I need to look into swim lessons for Max. I should've started him last year, but better late than never!

* I need to watch part 2 of the Southern Charm reunion.

* I should end this post so I can go change sheets on beds.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

4th of July Weekend 2016

The Fourth of July was one of my most favorite holidays growing up. My sister and I would typically spend the holiday with our dad in central Michigan (I don't really have memories of how we celebrated prior to my parents' divorce). We would go to his friend's house, which was on a beautiful lake, and we'd go on boat rides/water tubing, swim in the lake, play with sparklers, and enjoy a homemade fireworks display on their lawn. I always looked forward to the celebration.

Those particular friends of my dad's still do it up big for the Fourth; their son (who is my sister's age) and his friends don Uncle Sam outfits, form a human pyramid on water skis and ride around the lake!

We are inexplicably grateful for our freedom and for those who fight for it everyday. That reason behind the holiday is the most important; the way we celebrate is irrelevant as long as we give thanks for the freedom to celebrate anything and everything however we choose. This year's 4th of July weekend was jam packed but also low-key in terms of celebrating Independence Day.

On Saturday, Louisa and I headed down to wine country in Virginia to celebrate her future Tia/my future sister-in-law's bachelorette party at a couple of wineries. We had a lovely time, and I think it was the perfect celebration for Amanda.

On Saturday night, Victor went to the Washington Nationals game (they were playing the Reds and the Reds WON!) with some friends, so it was just me and the kiddos for the evening. Max had been asking for "go-chee" all week (that's "guacamole and chips" in Max-speak), so we went to Chipotle to get our fix. 

He ate that whole container of guacamole himself.

Then we went to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream (Mama was craving mint-chocolate-chip in a sugar cone). Max had his first experience eating from a cone, and he was a pro!

Max played in the fountains for a bit before we headed home. And by played, I mean he only went near them when the water wasn't coming out of the one closest to him. He ran away once the water shot out. And if you're wondering where Louisa was, she was asleep in the stroller the whole time. It was nice to do something fun with Max and not have to worry about doing laundry or washing dishes or getting something else done around the house while the baby slept.

On Sunday, we went to Victor's parents' house for a wedding shower for Victor's brother, Miguel, and his fiancee Amanda (the bachelorette from Saturday). Max loved playing with his cousins (the squirt guns were a hit!). Louisa loved being passed around by all the ladies at the party. 

On Monday, the 4th, it was cool, gloomy, and eventually rainy. We went to our friends' house for a cookout but the rain really put a damper on the day's plans. I manged to get photos of the kids in their festive outfits, but they're not the best!

I haven't seen Max in jeans in months. For some reason he looked a foot taller in them.

We headed home around 3 for a family nap; Max fell asleep in the car on the 7 minute drive home, but once he was in bed he wasn't interested in sleeping anymore (we missed the nap window!), so we piled on the couch to watch Charlotte's Web; it was the version my mom recorded from TV when I was a kid so it was pretty nostalgic for me.

We went to Victor's parents' house to eat some party leftovers for dinner and were home by 9. We heard the fireworks but didn't see any as we were concentrating on getting kiddos to bed. Maybe we'll see the fireworks next year.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend celebrating this great nation we have the privilege of calling "home."