Friday, September 30, 2016

Oh hey, Friday! | Things that Need to Happen ASAP

What a week! I feel like I say this every Friday. If you read yesterday's post, you'll have a better idea of why this week has been so crazy for us. I still haven't unpacked my clean clothes from our beach trip, and there's a pile of sand on the floor in our bedroom that was stowed away in a pair of Max's shorts (must sweep that up). I was supposed to head to Ohio on Sunday with Louisa to help my mom after her foot surgery next week, but since Louisa is sick, we're staying home and my sister will do the bulk of the post-op help with my mom. We're bummed that we can't help out, but we're also thankful to be able to rest at home. 

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed as I get back into the swing of things here at home. I have a lot of stuff to do, two kids that make getting things done difficult, and a strong desire to curl up with my book or some On Demand TV shows (I blame the gloomy/rainy weather we've had all week). So, instead of getting to work crossing things off my to-do list, I've compiled this list of Things that Need to Happen ASAP (with little/no intervention from me).

1 |  My entire family gets healthy. I feel like the kids have had runny noses and intermittent coughs for months now. I was walloped with a fever, body aches, and glandular pain while we were at the beach, which then turned into swollen splotchy tonsils. I'm better now, but Victor is still feeling a bit under the weather. Louisa is obviously working on getting better, too. I think I'm going to empty an entire can of Lysol on my house today, germs be damned!

2 |  Max goes back to putting himself to sleep peacefully. You guys. Bedtime is AWFUL these days. It all started the Wednesday night before we went to the beach. Max would freak out when I would leave his room after his bedtime stories and back rubs. A mild whimper/protest is normal for him, but I can usually give him "10 more rubs" and he'll calmly whisper "Night, Mom" after I kiss him goodnight and a few minutes after I leave, he's out. Not anymore. He quite literally hyperventilates if I leave his room before he's fallen asleep. Same thing if he wakes up in the middle of the night. He bolts off his bed and screams at the top of his lungs like he's being tortured, "Where me mom gooooo??!!! Where me dad gooooo?!?!!" Last night I went in to him at 4:30 AM and scooped him up to comfort him. His entire body was shaking and his heart was racing. I have no idea what's brought this new behavior on. Nothing especially traumatic has happened while he's been asleep in the past two weeks. The only way we've been able to get him to fall asleep initially is to rock him or rub his back until he's breathing heavily. If he wakes in the middle of the night, Victor has had to sleep in his bed with him (I can't do it because if I have to leave to feed Louisa, all hell will break loose again). We've tried all of our tricks from sleep training to no avail. We've also tried tough love and punishment. Nothing is working. Send help.

Max's "Bedtime Face"

3 |  My entire house gets cleaned. And organized. And decorated. Lately I feel like cleaning is futile. It only lasts about 3 seconds before it's destroyed or dirtied again. I love having a clean kitchen. But then I don't want to do any cooking for fear of messing it up again. We also need to do some serious organizing in our sunroom/office (our new file cabinet arrived today and needs to be assembled). A lot of the office stuff is cluttering the kitchen right now, but once the office is set up, things should be more organized. We also could stand to do a bit more decorating. I need to find art/frame photos for our upstairs hallway, and our guest rooms could use some more decor, as well. Oh, and I still haven't organized my closet. So if that could all just miraculously happen, that'd be great.

4 |  I have time to watch daytime TV. I got to watch a lot of TV while Louisa and I were in the hospital. TV that wasn't broadcast on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel. We watched The Today Show (I used to watch that every day when Max was a baby), Rachael Ray, The Price is was awesome! I couldn't watch The View because it was "rating blocked" by the pediatric ward, nor could I watch RHOC or This Is Us in the evening for the same reason, but I was digging the uninterrupted TV time. I love watching TV. It's terrible.

5 |  My Costco groceries miraculously show up at my door. This is probably the only thing on this list that will actually happen. I've created a cart on Instacart and I'm about to checkout. Although I'm feeling some guilt because I could go tomorrow. But I don't want to take children. And Costco is insane on the weekends. And I can't go today because I have to wait around for the HVAC guy. The dilemma!

I hope you all had a wonderful week and your weekend is even better! I will get to posting about our beach vacation early next week!

Linking up with
Karli at Sept. Farm

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Better Safe Than Sorry

I've been wanting to share about our beach week and our short weekend with my mom and sister, but life got in the way this week. I had to take Louisa to the emergency room Monday evening, and we were finally discharged on Wednesday afternoon. Thankfully, she's totally fine and it was determined that she just has an upper respiratory infection/cold, but Monday was weird and a bit scary.

The day started out normally. It was our first weekday back from vacation and after having company, so the cloud of "re-entry" was hanging over the day. Louisa woke up from her morning nap around 11:30, and she was a little congested so I gave her some nasal saline and suctioned her nose, which was very productive. However, she got pretty mad and cried some big cries, eventually coughing so hard and deep that she vomited her pre-nap feeding. After that, she was cranky ALL. DAY. LONG. She is generally the happiest baby on the planet, so this was concerning and quite stressful because nothing I did made her happy. 

When she was awake, she was irritable and crying, and the only thing that calmed her down was her swing. She napped in her swing for close to 3 hours, and when she woke up, she initially gave me a smile, but then she started fussing and "grunty" crying again. She loudly refused to nurse on my right breast, and when she was calm, she did what can only be described as "grunt breathing;" every exhale was a grunt. She wasn't gasping for air or struggling to breathe, but she wasn't breathing normally. When she was asleep, her breathing was normal, but when she was awake, it was grunty. She sounded like she was in pain. I thought maybe she pulled a muscle or bruised a rib when she coughed so forcefully earlier, but I couldn't be sure.

When Victor got home from work, I clued him in to what was going on and he was also concerned about it. Our pediatrician's on-call doctor advised us to take her to a pediatric ER if she continued to grunt-breathe, which she did, so I headed to the hospital (the same one where she was born) with Louisa around 8:30 PM. 

She wasn't quite as fussy at the hospital, but she was still breathing weird, so the doctor got to see and hear for herself what was happening. Upon initial examination, she had a temp of 100.8, her lungs sounded clear, and her ears and throat looked great. The doctor ordered a chest x-ray (which was clear) and an RSV swab (which was negative), so we waited a bit and Louisa nursed and slept to pass the time. The doctor thought maybe she was just in pain from her coughing earlier, or perhaps she aspirated when she vomited. Since they couldn't find anything wrong on the surface, the doctor said that if her vitals were good and her temperature hadn't spiked, we could just treat her symptoms with Tylenol and we'd be free to go.

However, at her next vitals check, her temp had gone up to 102, so the doctor ordered bloodwork and urine to do tests and cultures. The nurses worked off and on for what seemed like hours to draw blood from my chunky little bitty. Her chubby body made it hard to find her veins, and she was stuck in her feet, arms, and legs to try to get enough blood for a blood culture. They also did a urine culture to check for any infection there. Initial results showed a slightly elevated white cell count, indicating that her body was trying to fight something off. They attempted to give her Tylenol to bring her fever down, which she gagged on and barfed all over the bed (along with all her milk), so they gave her a suppository instead. They also gave her a 24-hour inject-able dose of an antibiotic, just in case she did have some sort of bacterial thing brewing inside of her.  

At around 12:30 AM, they moved us to a larger room that could accomodate a bed for me and a crib for Louisa. We settled in for a bit, and then the doctor told us that her blood culture specimen had hemolyzed and therefore couldn't be used, so they needed to collect more blood. The doctor herself tried to get some blood from a vein in the wrist (apparently it's a high-pressure vein and only physicians are allowed to collect blood from it), but it didn't work (blame it on the wrist-rolls). They called a nurse down from the nursery upstairs, and she was able to work her magic to get enough blood for the culture; the goal was to leave a line in in case they needed to start an IV (she was slightly dehydrated/not producing tears when she cried), but after the blood was collected, the vein went back into its hiding place.

The saddest crib there ever was. She thought it was pretty cool, though.

Louisa nursed, then she made sure to let me know she was feeling better by cooing, smiling, and laughing, then fell asleep. The grunt-breathing was a thing of the past, thank goodness! I was finally able to doze off around 4 AM. At 6 AM, they were back in checking her vitals again. Her temp had gone down and her other vitals were great, but they were going to keep us there at least until Wednesday as a precuation to allow for her cultures to develop and keep an eye on her lungs. They were also going to give her another 24-hour dose of the antibiotic later that night. 

The cutest little bunny I ever did see!

Victor came by around mid-morning on Tuesday to relieve me for an hour or two, and I actually went to the grocery store since we still hadn't restocked our fridge since returning from vacation; it was the first time I went grocery shopping without a child in tow in forever! I got to go home for a bit to see Max (Victor's mom stayed with him at our house on Tuesday and did all our laundry for us) and grab a few more comfort items for myself and Louisa before heading back to the hospital. When I returned, they moved us into one of their inpatient rooms (with it's own bathroom/shower!), and throughout the day they came in periodically to check her vitals. She was back to her old self on Tuesday, happy as can be, eating regularly, smiling and playing.

We took several naps, and Victor brought dinner and we watched Dancing with the Stars together before he went home to get Max in bed. I passed out at 10:30 Tuesday night, waking at 12:30 when a nurse came in to give Louisa her antibiotic injection. Louisa and I slept until around 8 AM Wednesday morning (of course we woke up for some feedings here and there).

Visiting with Daddy

On Wednesday morning, the nurse came in to check Louisa's vitals and told me that the plan was to let her go home as long as she didn't have a fever and her other vitals were good. She was still fever-free, so the doctor came in a little later to let me know that all of Louisa's cultures were negative, so it was determined that she just had a viral upper respiratory infection and that she didn't need more antibiotics. We were discharged around 2 PM, and we were so happy to get out of there (even though the doctors and nurses were amazing).

Enjoying a snuggle nap while we waited for our discharge paperwork.

Peace out, hospital!

I have to say, I don't quite enjoy the ER. We had to take Max when he was 6 months old for frequent vomiting and dehydration, and that time was quite a bit more traumatic than this time was with Louisa, but it's still scary to have to spend time in the emergency room with your bitty baby. I'm so very thankful that she's okay. Our whole family has been sick over the past couple of weeks, so she probably caught whatever bug we all have had. She's not completely healthy yet (she was running a fever of 100.4 this morning...after no fever for the past day and a half!), but I took her for her follow-up appointment with her pediatrician today and he said she's just got a viral cold and that we should sit in the shower steam with her a bit to help her clear her mucous.

Please pray that my girl gets better soon! I feel so helpless!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Oh hey, Friday! | Things I'd Rather Not Do

Well hello, Friday! We meet again. And not a moment too soon. It's been quite a week. Monday felt like 3 days rolled into one after I took both kids to Target and decided to push Louisa in her stroller and let Max walk through the store with me. There was a meltdown about not getting to try on the shark costume; a stern talking-to with an Avengers stuffed action figure who was flying too fast through the store, thus making Max walk too far ahead of Mommy (Max thought it was cool that he wasn't the one getting the scolding); several utterances of "Mom, me nyee dis!" (I need this); and a sweet little dance party to "Can't Stop the Feelin'" (see it on Instagram here).  Then he didn't nap and was a bear for the rest of the afternoon/evening, taking a break to pass out in his chair watching The Little Mermaid for 30 minutes. The Monday-est Monday I've had in a while, people. It was brutal.

He looks so sweet and innocent here.

I did a lot of "stuff" this week. If I made a list of everything I needed to do on a daily basis, I think I'd have an anxiety attack every single day. I do a lot of stuff every day, even on days when I feel like I don't do anything. However, there are lots of little things in my daily life that I avoid doing or put off doing because I just don't like doing them; I'm sure we all have our own recurring tasks that we avoid with all our might. Here's a sample of Things I'd Rather Not Do.

1 |  Make a side salad to accompany a meal. I don't mind making a big salad as a meal, but after preparing the main course for dinner, the LAST thing I want to do is make a salad as the veggie. I don't know why I hate it so much, but I gripe about it every single time. Perhaps it's because we weren't a "salad family" growing up; we always had some warm vegetable with each meal, or the veggie was incorporated into the main dish somehow. I need to be better about it, though. Perhaps preparing the salad first will take care of this problem.

2 |  Iron. Y'all, I avoid ironing like the plague. I'm not good at it, and since I'm a perfectionist, I get so irritated when I can't get all the wrinkles out. To avoid ironing, I try to grab wrinkle-prone items from the dryer almost immediately after it's finished running and hang them up or fold them e v e r so carefully. And don't even get me started on baby items that require ironing. They should be outlawed, or someone needs to make mini irons specifically for kids' clothes; the big one doesn't work on those tiny garments. I think I'm going to start steaming kids' clothes, though; I saw someone (likely her assistant) doing it for baby Luna in one of my BFF Chrissy Teigen's snaps. BRILLIANT!

3 |  Use tablecloths or placemats on my table. Even though I don't like this, I still do it because I feel like I should. Here's my beef with those things: I have to stain-treat them if people slop on them. I'd personally prefer to just wipe my table down after my dinner guests splatter spaghetti sauce and red wine all over the place instead of treat stains on table linens. Or I could just get everyone a silicone placemat like Max uses and not worry about it. I'm seriously considering the silicone mats.

4 |  Eyebrow maintenance. I don't purposely avoid this task, I just don't notice that I need to spend some quality time with my tweezers and magnifying mirror until the situation above my eyes is DIRE. Seriously, why doesn't anyone alert me to my eyebrow status?

5 |  Be trendy. It's just too much work. I'm a simpleton, so keeping up with fashion/home decor/makeup/hair trends is just too much for me. White walls are in right now, but I have been very anti-white walls ever since my apartment days, so I'm having a hard time coming around to that trend (although I do love the brightness the white walls create in a room). I also hate painting walls so you won't find me with a roller in my hand any time soon. I don't even know what's "hip" in terms of fashion or makeup. Probably stuff I can't pull off, so I don't even try. I like to be comfy, and comfy clothes aren't always fashionable. And since I wear very minimal makeup (even to fancier events), watching makeup tutorials is not in the cards for me.

What's on your list of Things You'd Rather Not Do?

Linking up with
Karli at September Farm

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

No-Cream Cream of Broccoli Soup

Victor and I have been trying to eat more vegetarian-y lately, with more plant-based protein and fiber. It's been a little tough for me to come around to since I'm used to having some sort of animal protein with each meal, but now that I've been finding and making these new recipes, I'm really starting to enjoy this new way of eating. An added bonus is that it's super healthy, and the scale is responding accordingly (bye bye pregnancy weight!).

My meal-planning routine has changed a bit as a result of these new eating habits. A lot of our old favorites have become "sometimes" meals, so I need to find lots of new recipes. I subscribe to Everyday with Rachael Ray and All Recipes magazines, and I love browsing through them to find new meals that fit our new dietary needs. I've found some great ones so far, one of which is this No-Cream Cream of Broccoli Soup from Rachael Ray.

Y'all, this is so good, I've made it twice in the past week, and I've had two bowls each time I made it (guilt-free). It's also pretty quick and easy to prepare. Best of all, it's healthy, packed with fiber and protein! The first time I made this, I used an immersion blender and blended it all up in the pot. NOT recommended...what a (literal) HOT mess!

No-Cream Cream of Broccoli Soup

What you'll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced leek, white part only (I used 1/2 cup chopped onion instead)
  • 2.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 head (1 lb.) broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest plus 1 tbsp juice
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan (or shredded cheddar)
What you'll do:
  1. In a pot, heat the oil over medium-high. Cook the leek (or onion), stirring often, until tender, 2-3 minutes (less time if using onion).
  2. Add the broth and beans. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the broccoli. Cook until tender, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (I used the cup attachment for my immersion blender and poured blended portions into a bowl; see photos). 
  5. Return soup to pot when finished. Add the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Then heat over medium-high until warm, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Divide among bowls, top with cheese and black pepper.

I'm not kidding you guys. This is so good. I'm probably going to make it every week until I get sick of it. The pureed beans make this creamy, but without the guilt.

The first time I made this, I paired it with baked salmon. This time, I made this Perfect Ten Baked Cod from All Recipes. I've never made cod before, but this was pretty good!

Let me know if you try this!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Oh hey, Friday! | Strange Things

...not to be confused with the hit Netflix series Stranger Things...which I haven't watched, B-T-dubs. I also never watched Making a Murderer. I'm such a rebel.

Anywho, I kinda have a theme for this week's Oh hey, Friday! post. Just some things I find fascinating/strange.

1 |  My right foot hurts this week. Specifically the outside edge of my right foot (that's the technical term, in case you didn't know). It hurts all the time when I walk, some times more than others, but I'm never without pain. It's not swollen and doesn't hurt to the touch, though. I didn't do anything special to injure it, either. However, I have noticed some habits I have that might be contributing to the pain, which makes me wonder if it always hurts and I'm just noticing it more this week, or if it's a new pain (I honestly don't know). When I walk, I tend to put my weight on the outside edge of my right foot, though I seem to distribute weight evenly on my left foot; I've tried putting weight on my right foot differently and it's so hard! When I stand and put more weight on one foot, it's the right foot. When I sit at the table, I cross my ankles and rest the weight of my feet on the outside edge of my right foot, with my left foot on top/off the floor. And I take my first steps with my right foot. Perhaps my habits have caused this pain? I don't know, but I might go get it checked out. Thanks for listening.

2 |  I went to visit a friend at my old school on Wednesday with Louisa, and I headed to use the teacher bathrooms before I left, which are in the copy room. As I left the bathroom to walk back to her classroom, I for realskies almost grabbed the mail out of my old teacher mailbox/cubby on my way back to the classroom before I realized I don't work here anymore so that's someone else's teacher mail. It was a total force of habit, but I haven't worked there for over 2 years!!! How weird!!!

3 |  Similar to above, at my mom's house I always expect to see my reflection in the full-length mirror in the hall bathroom when I reach the top of the stairs, but I never do because the mirror hasn't been there for YEARS! Like, probably 8-10 years it's been gone. I don't know why I can't shake that expectation; perhaps it was still there when I was living there and then they redecorated the bathroom once I moved out? I can't remember exactly when it was taken down, but in my head it should still be there.

4 |  This isn't a strange thing, it's more of a fascinating thing. And it's not a thing. It's Chrissy Teigen. I think I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: I love her. I want to be besties with her. I want to come over to her house and make an indulgent dinner with her and John Legend in their stunning kitchen (her Snapchat is full of dinner prep/dinner eating snaps). I want her to jump on my #dinnerprepdanceparty bandwagon and have an epic dance party as we prepare the aforementioned meal, all while making fun of ourselves. I feel like this is all possible because she diapers her {adorable} baby Luna in Pampers and eats Subway and watches Real Housewives and doesn't ever do a duckface pose in any of her Snaps/Insta posts. We are soul sisters. Once again, I love her. She's so relatable...except for that whole model/celebrity/married-to-John-Legend thing.

5 |  Max's brand-spankin' new harmonica disappeared Tuesday evening. It arrived from Amazon earlier that day and broke almost immediately, but Max told Victor to "fee dis" (fix this), which he did, and it was back in action until bedtime. And now we can't find it. Anywhere. He keeps asking for his "may-ha" and I keep looking for it but it has quite possibly disappeared forever. I'll keep you posted on the Harmonica Hunt. Promise. I know you're anxious.

**Update: The May-Ha has been located. It was in the "cars" drawer in the playroom. All is right in the world again.

Yes, it's pink. I couldn't choose a color on Amazon. He doesn't care.

Have a wonderful weekend, loves! Max starts soccer tomorrow (aaahh! Does this mean I need a minivan???)!

Linking up with
Karli at September Farm

Thursday, September 8, 2016

DIY Stain Remover

I am admittedly the furthest thing from a laundry goddess. I wait till the last possible second to do a load of laundry (meaning the kids are out of clean pajamas or I'm out of undies or hubby's out of socks/work shirts). I need to be better about doing a load a day instead of trying to cram all the dirty laundry in the house into the machines on the same day. 

Naturally, I am also not very good at getting stains out of clothes unless they're super easy surface stains that a quick squirt of Shout can handle.  I've never had much luck with OxiClean either (perhaps I'm not doing it right???). My mother-in-law swears by the power of baby powder to get out greasy/oily stains but I still haven't had it work for me. I've even thrown away some of Max's old onesies if I couldn't get stains out easily.

Now that Max is eating all kinds of foods and making big messes while doing so (bibs can only protect so much), I'm not willing to throw out every single shirt of his when the stains won't come out, so I went searching for a DIY stain removal remedy. I've tried a few different ones, but this one I'm sharing today has been the most effective, especially at getting out breastfed-baby poop stains.

DIY Stain Remover

What you'll need:
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • baking soda
  • Dawn dish soap (although I'm sure any would work)
  • bowl and spoon for mixing
  • soft bristle brush

What You'll Do:
  1. You will need to use one part baking soda and one part dish soap to two parts peroxide. You can adjust how much you make based on how many stains you need to treat. I generally do a tablespoon each of baking soda and Dawn with two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and I have plenty for several articles of clothing.
  2. Measure and mix your ingredients until you have a smooth liquidy paste (no better way to describe it).
  3. Spoon out the mixture onto your stains. I always treat the side where the stain occurred, so for diaper stains, I treat the inside of the garment. You can use the spoon to rub the mixture into the stains, or use a soft bristle brush to pat the mixture into the stain (don't scrub or you'll cause the fabric to pill).
  4. Let sit for at least an hour (I feel that 2 hours is best), then wash normally. Your stains should have come out! If not, they will at least be faded considerably, and another treatment should remove them completely.

A little graphic but this is life with a baby!

I rinsed off the dried on stuff before treating this dress

A few leakage spots on this onesie

As mentioned before, I have had great luck with getting baby poo stains out of clothes. Louisa had a blowout all over both of us last week, but I wasn't worried because I knew this concoction would do the trick, and it did!

Some of you may be worried about using hydrogen peroxide on non-white clothing due to its bleaching effects. I have used this on many different colors of fabric (I believe they've all been cotton so I can't attest to other fabrics) and it has not compromised the color at all. That's not to say it won't in the future, but so far I haven't had any problems.

One type of clothing it wouldn't work on was a screen-printed beach scene on one of Max's shirts, The paint-like substance on the shirt made it tough to really get at the stain on the bits of exposed fabric, so the stain didn't come out well there.

I have used this on set-in stains, even clothes that have been washed and dried many times over, and it still worked to diminish the stain, if not removed it entirely!

It's not recommended to pre-mix this and store it for future use since the hydrogen peroxide breaks down once it's exposed to light (hence the brown bottles), which makes it less effective. I've found that if I just set aside clothing items that need to be stain-treated throughout the week, I can easily mix this up, treat them, let them sit, and then wash them all at once and it works great! 

Hope this helps bring your kids' clothes back to their original glory!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Labor Day Weekend 2016

I hope you all had a lovely weekend saying farewell to summer! I'm sorry if you're one who wishes you could hold onto summer for a bit longer; I am SO ready for fall! Unfortunately for me, despite the fact that the symbolic final weekend of summer has come and gone, those hot and humid days are far from over, as is evidenced by our forecast for this week. We had such lovely weather this past weekend, which made me even more antsy for the cooler, crisper weather to stick around! Here's a photo recap of our weekend. We made up our plans as the weekend went along, and we had a wonderful time.

Friday, September 2, 2016

We had "homemade" pizza for dinner on Friday. I use the term "homemade" loosely since we buy the premade crust in the form of Flatout Artisan Thin Pizza Crust (Rosemary and Olive Oil flavor)--SO YUMMY! I've tried making homemade pizza crust before and it came out pretty awful, and I have no desire to become good at it when I can buy this stuff...highly recommend you try it! Our Friday pizza nights are kind of "clean out the fridge" nights. We use Classico traditional pizza sauce (love), then crumbled up the sun-dried tomato chickpea burgers I had made earlier in the week to put on top. We also added some spinach and leftover steamed veggies. It was quite delicious. Max had plain cheese on his, and in order to get him to eat it, we had to tell him it was "cracker pizza." Dinner with toddlers, people!

We enjoyed a gorgeous sunset on Friday, as well. Max kept running to the windows to look at the "pink sky, mom!"

Louisa tested out Max's old exersaucer before bed (which has been stored in the closet above the garage) to see how she liked it since she's holding her head up well enough now to use it. She's not yet sure what to do with all those toys, but she seemed to be intrigued by it!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Woke up to this smiley ray of sunshine! We are so blessed with such a happy baby girl!

We enjoyed some fun on the deck after breakfast. My Aunt Sue made this quilt for me before I went off to college. Still love it!

Our friends and their two boys came over for lunch and some playing on the "wee-ha" (swingset) Saturday afternoon, but I took no photos...naturally. They had fun, though!

Saturday evening, after dropping the kids off at my in-laws' house, I took Victor on a date to Whole Foods. We don't normally shop there, but I stopped by there in search of tahini on Wednesday and got so excited about the abundance of specialty and healthy foods. We're trying to eat less meat and more veggies/legumes so it was health food heaven. Admittedly, Victor was a little skeptical about a grocery store dinner date, but he ended up loving it! We had dinner from the salad/hot bars, then went back in for some dessert and a coffee for Victor. Later, we sat outside and chatted before heading back to get the kids and begin the bedtime dance. Sometime simple date nights are the best.

I wore the dress Louisa pooped on earlier in the week, and I wanted to document how nicely the stain came out, thanks to my stain-remover concoction I discovered a while back. I'll be sharing on the blog this week!

No poo-stains here! And sorry for not cleaning up for you guys. Keepin' it real over here!

 Sunday, September 4, 2016

The kids let us sleep in past 8 AM (Louisa slept through the night for the first time!), so Sunday was a slow morning, which was just what we needed. Victor and I had both wanted to get some things done around the house but instead chose to cook a warm breakfast and enjoy our coffee on the deck. It was so nice to just enjoy the morning together outside at our own natural pace.

These three have my whole heart 

Finishing off the cookies we made earlier in the week

All the heart eyes for this girl!

We headed to Victor's parents' house for a small get-together with family. At my request, Victor got some watermelon wine for the party, which I enjoyed on the deck with my new sister-in-law, the newest Mrs. P! Victor set up this shot (he wants to be a blog/Instagram husband on his own terms) and requested that we readjust Louisa because she looked funny, but we insisted that she was fine and we didn't want to wake her up. In hindsight, we should've re-positioned her; I promise she was secure and comfy!

Max played hard with his cousins, skipped his nap, and crashed in the car on the way home after dinner. Fighting him to put on PJs before we left was well worth it since we just popped him in his bed when we got home!

Victor and I both fell asleep watching a Louis CK stand-up special on Netflix and were in bed by 11 PM. The day took a toll on all of us!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Louisa slept through the night again (all the praise hands!) and we had a late start to the morning, but we did some things around the house on Monday, with Victor doing lots of work outside and me doing stuff inside. I decided I'm going to throw a harvest party at our house this fall, so I started jotting down a guest list and pinning lots of ideas on Pinterest. I can't wait to get started with the planning!

Louisa is just the best daytime sleeper and loves her bed; she's such an easy baby. Here she is snoozing during her mid-morning nap. Once I put some finishing touches on her room, I'll do a room tour on the blog!

After lunch and naps, our friend Janice and her daughter came over for a playdate and dinner. Max and little A had lots of fun playing together, especially going down the slide, dumping water on each other, and drawing with sidewalk chalk. They were so cute! I just love this photo of them!

Our Labor Day weekend was just perfect. I wouldn't do one thing differently. I hope you had an equally lovely last weekend of summer!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Oh hey, Friday! | Some things

I seriously can't believe it's September; this year is flying by so fast. I think I've mentioned at least once how I can't wait to be out of the 90-degree weather season. I quite literally melt in such heat and humidity (that's just a cute way of saying I'm always a sweaty mess). It's supposed to be in the 70s here this weekend, but then it'll be back in the 90s next week. I'll take what I can get, though!

I'm linking up again for Oh hey, Friday, and per usual, my theme for the day is...I have no theme.

1 |  This week I've been doing dinner prep every night while listening to the Justin Timberlake station on Pandora, which means I'm also doing a lot of dancing while I do my dinner prep. If you follow me on Snapchat (username: rachiepalm), you may have seen some of my #dinnerprepdanceparty snaps. I also shared a few on Instagram and Facebook, but the Snapchat filters take them to a whole different level. I encourage you to partake in your own Dinner Prep Dance Party; it's lots of fun, even if you're the only one dancing. I think I need to get a selfie stick to make my snaps more exciting, though. 

2 |  I made some chocolate chip cookies on Tuesday with Max, and he had such a great time helping (see photo below for evidence). I thought I had found the best recipe a while ago (find it here), but the fabulous mom of some former students of mine (I had her "middlest" and youngest in my kindergarten class) had her amazing recipe featured on a blog recently so I had to make some cookies her way since I can't receive them as gifts from her anymore. I tell you what, I'll never go back! These are THE BEST homemade chocolate chip cookies. I think I ate at least 6 as they came out of the oven. I'm not at liberty to disclose how many I've eaten since then...

3 |  After taking two dance classes in Ohio when I was visiting, I've decided I need to do some more actual dancing on a regular basis, so it's become my exercise regimen. I bought this exercise video at Target the other day and tried it out yesterday. I gotta be honest, I'm not a huge fan; I found it hard to follow (and I've been taking dance since I was a wee one) and it wasn't much fun. Tomorrow I'll be doing Hip Hop Abs instead. However, I can't wait until my Paula Abdul Cardio Dance DVD arrives this weekend! I had this workout on VHS in middle school and it was how I got myself in shape in 8th grade. I loved it and am so excited I found it on Amazon (used, but whatevs!). It's totally dated (check out the warm up!) but I always looked forward to doing this workout so I'm pretty stoked.

My workout DVD collection. Can't wait to add Paula to it!

4 |  My husband thinks he's got jokes. He left this for me in the sink last night after dinner.

In case you can't tell, that's a PICKLE on my SPONGE! If you know nothing more about me, you should know that I HATE pickles! I can't even try them because I can't get past the awful smell! So even though the hubs thought he was being funny, the joke was on him because I refused to touch that sponge right after it had touched a pickle, so he earned himself dish duty last night. HA!

5 |  I'll leave you with this sweetness wrapped in her super soft towel from Portugal.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend everyone! Any exciting plans? We have zero. And I'm not mad about it. We'll see where the weekend takes us!

Linking up with
Karli of September Farm