Diaper bag for two

Diaper bag for two

With the eminent arrival of Little Mister looming just a few days away- I am trying to get everything figured out. With Little Miss Mae still being little, I still require a diaper bag for outings with her, but I really didn’t want to carry two (I mean, can you blame me? I’m already carrying two babies, I don’t need two bags too!), so I scoured Pinterest and came up with my own version of the ideas I saw.

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I bought these little lingerie laundry bags at the dollar tree and I have to tell you I am obsessed with them. They come 3 to a pack for only $1 and I have used them to organize everything, from my crochet water balloons to his little socks and hats in his drawers so they don’t get lost. For this I used one for every function- one for diaper changes which have both size diapers, rash cream, wipes, etc all in one bag-so on your trip to the bathroom you just have to grab it! IMG_0145Then each of them have their own meal bag- Miss Mae’s is a little fuller, with punches, and bowls, and travel silverware, but I did include  one for little Mister with my manual breast pumps (which his bag is currently in my hospital bag instead of the diaper bag) a bib and some burp clothes- this will grow and adapt with him.

Then I have a bag with a change of clothes – one for Miss Mae and two for Little Mister, as well as socks and blankets. IMG_0148Finally I have a first aid/ care kit- it has bandaids, neosporin, baby Tylenol, sun screen, hand sanitizer, etc. all the stuff you might need on hand! IMG_0149I also have a final bag with mommy stuff (hygiene, nursing stuff, etc) I don’t have pictured. These bags stand/ stack perfectly in my bag to keep it well organized. I even printed labels for each bag off my computer to ease finding the right bag.

My Push Playlist! – Playlist for labor

I was listening to the radio on my way into work yesterday and they mentioned a study that showed listening to music while in the hospital helps relieve pain and anxiety .  I just got a new iPhone 7 with 256 mb so I might as well fill it with music, right? So here is my Push Playlist for labor and delivery– we are scheduled to be induced to have Little Mister Monday morning! Here’s what I have- do you have any suggestions to add? Continue reading “My Push Playlist! – Playlist for labor”

HelloFresh- A Mom Review

My husband and I are both avid cooks. We love to do it, and are always creating recipes of our own (I think we rarely actually follow a recipe- it’s always kind of a suggestion), plus it is a common hobby, so a great way to get a couple minutes to spend together in our busy lives. But when my husband had an hour commute to and from work daily, and we had 5 kids to feed- cooking an elaborate meal wasn’t always feasible. By the time we would get home at night, the kids would need to do homework and eat dinner, shower and bed. So when a friend started posting her amazing looking HelloFresh meals- we decided to try it (our first order we used her buddy code and got 3 meals free!).

The first one was a bit rocky though. I was almost discouraged. I didn’t have time to customize my order prior to it coming, and we got stuck with a shrimp meal- did I mention I’m deathly allergic to shrimp? Beyond that, each box is supposed to come with three proteins, and then a box that has all the “additional ingredients”- we got two of the same boxes- for the shrimp and grits- rendering only one meal edible. However, when I called HelloFresh customer support they were AMAZING. They immediately credited a meal to my account, and that money came off my next order!

We kept ordering for several weeks, and once I discovered the app was much easier to customize, things went much more smoothly. You can easily switch up your meals or skip a week whenever you want. The meals come in a very heavy-duty cardboard box (which we saved as moving boxes) with a nice thermal liner, and large ice packs! We saved all of these for future use, however HelloFresh says the inside of the ice packs are water soluble and environmentally safe to cut a corner once they are defrosted and pour down the sink. Everything else can be recycled.

Pros:

  • Delivered to your door! No more stopping at the grocery store a hundred times for ingredients while the kids hang off the cart complaining they want cookies for dinner.
  • It took a lot of the “what do you want for dinner” argument out of the week. It was more “we have these 3 meals at home- which sounds best?”
  • Portion control! We were in the midst of going to the gym and trying to get into shape, so having these already portioned out meals really helped with portion control.
  • Cost effective!- though $60 a week might sound expensive- that boils down to $9.99 a person (we got the classic 2 person meal– which was enough for us on days the older girls were at their dads, as the 2 person fed us, Bug, and the baby perfectly fine)- that is way less than the cost of even eating out! We typically spend $20- $40 on just one dinner if we eat out, and hello fresh is a much healthier option.
  • It helped us try new things.- my husband and I both have a pretty decent pallet and are willing to try things, however you don’t always want to buy a lot of something to try it at home (especially a seasoning or something that may take several different ingredients that you need to buy way more than you need for one use). For instance- we tried the Dukkah crusted cod– not something that was our favorite, but we were glad we tried it, having never heard of Dukkah before.
  • You can customize your delivery day to what works best for you- since my custody agreement had me with all the kids Monday, Tuesday- we had our delivery Wednesdays when it was just the 4 of us- this worked our better as we often could get them all eaten before the next delivery.

 

Cons:

  • For our personal pallet, we found it to be a bit under seasoned. We added salt, pepper, and garlic to pretty much every meal they sent.
  • It auto renews weekly- so if you want to skip a week, make sure you cancel it!
  • Due to the auto renew, if you don’t pick your meals (I forgot from time to time) you get stuck with their first 3 options- in my case, it was sometimes inedible if it contained shell fish.
  • You cannot customize your preferences due to allergies- I could select NO SEAFOOD but then I wouldn’t get any fish at all- when we signed up in the middle of lent, I didn’t necessarily not want fish. There are other options, such as vegetarian, gluten free, etc- and you see the list of ingredients when choosing your meal, so as long as you remember to change them, you can customize to your needs.
  • If you got busy and didn’t eat a week- it kinda just hung out in the fridge. We had this problem in the middle of our house search, when we were spending late nights with our realtor- we had several items that ended up thrown away and it kind of hurt.

 

We just recently cancelled our subscription (literally this weekend)- but not because we were dissatisfied with the service, but rather, with the older girls moving in full time next week, it just no longer fit our lifestyle.

In conclusion- I would definitely refer a friend (I have given out my coupon code to several), but with the suggestion you download the app for better customization. Its best for busy couples who need something simple, or those who are learning to cook, and needs something already put together for them.

Oh! One more pro I forgot to mention! I LOVED all the cute, little bottles the oils and vinegars came in as they were individual sized! I kept them all (but I’m kind of a hoarder like that), and even added some of the little boxes (after they were empty) or tiny egg cartons to the girls’ play kitchen.

My Morning Inner Monologue

Every morning I set 2-3 alarms (come on, I know I’m not alone). The first is to arouse me from my deep sleep, and prepare me to wake up. The second is the one I should get up on (but I usually don’t) and the last one is if you don’t get up now you’re going to be late for work.

So today I had this inner monologue, and I wanted to share because I wonder how many others go through this. It went a little like this:

Last alarm: *****beep beep beep beep****

I will just hit snooze, it snoozes for 8 minutes but I won’t lay here the whole 8 minutes, I’ll only lay here 5, I will just hit snooze in case I do fall back to sleep.

But I really should get up- I still need to shower.

30 minutes is plenty of time to get the kids and I out the door, we all have our stuff laid out, I’ll just lay here my 5 minutes.

But I really should get up.

*****5 minutes later*****

I’ll just go to the snooze.

Its only 3 minutes more- it’s not like that 3 minutes is really going to change much.

I deserve those 3 minutes damn it. I’m laying here.

*****beep beep beep beep****

Crap I really gotta get up, I’m gonna be late and I still need to shower.

 

 

Tell me I’m not the only one. I mean- I deserve 3 minutes?!? What exactly is that 3 minutes really worth?! Tired me is sometimes irrational. *sips my iced coffee because I’m still half asleep*

 

The sad thing is this is most mornings. And this isn’t the only weird monologue that goes through my head during the day. Recently it’s been a lot of “come one water, if you would just break we would be all done with this misery” and “well there’s only 3 Oreos left in the package- you can’t very well leave only 3 Oreos” (There are also a lot of negative monologues about the house, if you didn’t read yesterday’s blog, check it out now to see why!)

 

Can anyone relate? Comment and share your inner monologue stories! I’d love to hear them! (PS I pulled into work 7 minutes early- so the 3 minutes definitely didn’t hurt anything.)

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do in a Doctors’ Office

I work for a local doctor, as the front desk receptionist. I assist with different billing aspects, answer the phones, schedule patients, and check them in and out. Here are a few observations from my time here.

  1. Answer your cellphone in the crowded room on speaker phone
    1. No one wants to hear your conversation
    2. you have to yell over those in the waiting room, or those scheduling appointments making it uncomfortable for everyone around you
    3. Especially if you have to say “I don’t even know who this is” before answering.
  2. Act as if the waiting room is your living room
    1. This includes taking your shoes off to relax
    2. Leaving a mess behind- our office offers complimentary coffee and home baked cookies. It is unreal how many times we have had to clean up napkins just left on the tables, crumbs from the floor, and pouring a full cup of coffee in the trash can-someone else has to clean that up behind you.
    3. reorganizing the furniture- just why?
  3. Bring your ill-behaved children to a long visit
    1. ok- I understand that you may not be able to find a sitter every time you go to the doctors (helloooooo mom of 5 here), but really, if your appointment is an hour and a half, and your spouse/mom/friend/neighbors’ cousin has to sit in the waiting room with the child- at least make sure they are well behaved.
    2. This includes everything in #2
    3. kicking and screaming and carrying on is very disruptive to those that work here, and other patients.
    4. Walking back-and-forth in front of the automatic door 100 times letting the hot air in (or out depending on the time of year) is rude, annoying, and distracting.
  4. Take as much as you can of the “complimentary” items
    1. The afore mentioned free cookies and coffee- that’s pretty much one per patient- that doesn’t mean all 4 of the kids you brought with you should have one and then one to go.
    2. Putting the Keurig pods in your purse (or sugar packets, creamer cups, etc) to use at home is not “thrifty”- its rude and pretty much stealing.
  5. Hovering
    1. When we are communicating with other patients, it is rude to hover near and eavesdrop- we are trying to protect their privacy just as much as yours.
    2. When we are working it is very distracting and nerve racking.
    3. Do you want someone else hanging around while we talk about your results?!

This disaster I call buying a house

I just have to share with you my journey through this-mostly because I want one of you to please comment and tell me that you had such a miserable experience as well, so I don’t feel like the universe is stacked against me and everything happens to me.

Several months ago, back in February, when we found out Little Mister would be joining us, we decided it was past time to upgrade to a larger house. When my husband and I got together, he already owned the current house we live in- it was perfect for what he needed at the time, but the moment I moved in with 3 kids, it immediately became too small. We now have 5 children with another on the way. Our house is 2 bedrooms and a bonus bedroom in the attic- which you have to walk through the master bedroom to get to. Not to mention, the second bedroom is barely big enough for an office/ guest room. At one point, before Ms. Mae joined us, we had all 4 girls in the one room in bunk beds, and the room barely fit one set of bunk beds and a dresser. The attic was a play room, and we had the master bedroom. Our current set up is Ms. Mae, Hubs, and I share the attic (which means stairs between my 9 month pregnant body and the bathroom every night), and all 4 older girls share the master. They have two sets of bunk beds, an entertainment center, and their toys are stored in the closet. The second bedroom has been converted to one big walk in closet / dressing room for all 7 of us- it is working, but definitely not comfortable. Everything is crowded and cluttered, and with another babe on the way- it just wasn’t going to work.

So back to this spring- after we found out Little Mister was one the way, we started going through the process of finding a lender and prequalifying so we knew where we stand- and that’s when the fun begins! After finding a lender, the house hunting began. I started off excited and optimistic and having fun! Every house you can imagine what you would do with it, where everything would go, whose room it would be, what furniture you would need!

So we found the perfect house- I mean perfect. This house was not only under budget, it was beautiful and old, and had all the classic tile and hardwood and wood accents of a house built over 100 years ago *swoon*. Plus, it had 8 bedrooms- that’s right, there was enough room for the kids each to have their own, a play room, a study room, everything. There was even a sunroom where I could put book shelves and my chair and yarn for reading and crocheting. Mama was in 7th heaven. We immediately put an offer in- and after waiting over a week, they turned it down. No bargaining, no negotiation, nothing- they turned down our loan type. They would not accept anything but a conventional (which meant we’d have to come up with an additional $15,000 for a down payment) or cash offer. As you can imagine I was devastated.

We looked online for a while but were very discouraged. The size house we need for a family of 8 just wasn’t in our price range. Then, by some miracle, our realtor found the perfect house- it wasn’t listed online yet because the seller was in the middle of switching agencies. This house seemed to fall into our laps, and be the “sign” that we needed. We even had our preapproval raised so could put an offer in on this house. 5 bedrooms, with an in-law suite we would convert into a master bedroom (and again a sitting room for my reading and crocheting!) Yard large enough for the kids to play in, separate laundry on the top floor so they could do their own! Oh- did I mention the hot tub?!

Another offer nightmare. We offered what our realtor suggested was fair, and after a week (we gave them 48 hours to respond) of both their agent and them ignoring our inquiries they just said no. After mulling it over a couple weeks, Hubs and I said this was the house we really liked, and offered more. Same thing- no communication for over their deadline to answer and again said no (no counteroffer or negotiation- just no). We decided to offer one more time- with the contingencies of cleaning the carpet and installing a few hand rails (the hand rails would be required by our lender- we previously were going to just install them ourselves), and not only did they take forever to answer- they were straight RUDE. Stating they weren’t running a charity here. Seriously?! I was so upset we just walked and gave them the finger.

But at this point it was June. And I am starting to doubt we will be able to make it into a house before Little Mister made his debut- after which I will be taking an unpaid maternity leave- difficult time to get a lender to approve a loan- when you have no income. Did I mention we have no where to put him if he came before?!

So I am getting hormonal and emotional- when we agree to look at 3 more houses- I told Hubs if we didn’t find it we were going to have to just stop because we wouldn’t have time to close before LM came. One of the houses only had a single picture online but we liked the neighborhood so we agreed to see it. And the heavens opened and angels sang. We saw the outside and the living areas and I said – oh man I hope it has enough bedrooms- but then there were only 3. I said “I don’t care, I like it enough to sleep on the deck.” Then we opened the basement and I swear I heard “ahhhhhhhh” (in my angel voice)- full finished basement with its own bathroom and garage access- perfect for a master bedroom! This was it!! We finally found something! Now just to rush and get an offer in before this baby comes.

The seller took a week and a half to respond- I guess he works for the railroad and the wife was then out of town for a week. But everything worked out and we had an accepted offer! Our prayers have been answered! Now we just need to get the bank stuff done and hope that Little Mister doesn’t come early because our proposed closing date is less than 2 weeks before his due date.

We thought that all the nightmare part was over and it was just a waiting game- NOPE. One problem after another with the lender. Problems with paperwork- ok fixed that. Then my VA certificate of eligibility came back that I’m not eligible- so now I’m fighting trying to figure that out. Meanwhile, our loan officer called yesterday and said the appraisal was done, but they need an entire wall of the basement to be re-sheet rocked with fire retardant sheetrock (to resist fire for 2 hours!), as well as both garage stall ceilings need to be done- as well as other minor repairs (hand rails, safety installed on automatic garage doors)- and to top it all off- we’re currently not eligible because Hubs is (falsely) coming up of the federal loan default list. Will it ever end?? Am I not meant to get into a house?? Our closing date is next week, and Little Mister is due the 16th– someone please rescue me?!?!

The Pregnancy Metamorphosis- Becoming a Butterfly

So I don’t know if it is the pregnancy hormones, or just being a mom, or all the negative stuff I have seen lately, but I was thinking about this on the drive to work today.

Today is Thing 1 and Thing 2’s birthday- they turn 9. So bittersweet- their last year in single digits! This mama is getting old.

I was thinking about how much they changed my life with the surprise of having them- my ex -husband and I stream lined our marriage (young, dumb, and deploying)- we went from single to married in less than 3 months- and less than 3 weeks after our first wedding anniversary we became a family of four. So much changed then. I went from a girl (I was only 18 when we got married and I became pregnant just months later) to a mother in a matter of a year (though back then I am sure I would’ve told you I was plenty the adult- and I was, but not the adult I am now, ten years later).

That’s when I started to think about it- pregnancy is like a cocoon- a metamorphosis, where the caterpillar becomes a butterfly- only, when they baby emerges you are suddenly a mother. The twins were that metamorphosis for me, and I bloomed into someone I never knew I could be.

I am now the mother of 5, with a 6th on the way! I never thought I would be that person, but I look at each one of my children and I know that each one of them changed me a bit in their own way, and I would never be the same person without them.

So happy 9th birthday to my beautiful twins! Next year is a big one!

All those other mamas out there- what are your thoughts?