Our (Third) Babymoon!

OK, I’m calling our last trip a babymoon, but really it was our last trip as a family of four, because we took the kids with us, too. Nothing says relaxation like a trip with two preschoolers, let me tell ya. (If you search this blog for ‘babymoon’ you’ll find a bunch of posts from our first babymoon, in which we did a five city trek around Europe. How times have changed…)

To be honest, I was originally hoping to do a lot more traveling this winter. I wanted to visit Palm Springs or Arizona or Hawaii… basically I was planning on being in the sunshine. But alas, this pregnancy has been so physically and mentally exhausting that I just couldn’t pull it together to even plan a trip, much less summon the energy to go on it.

Suddenly, it seemed like a much better idea to explore an area closer to home. I decided to go somewhere that would require minimal effort to plan and travel to, and that’s how we ended booking a cabin at the Alderbrook Resort, which we had heard great things about.

Our trip was short, just Wednesday-Saturday, and it was perfect.

Our third babymoon - we went to the Alderbrook Resort! Our third babymoon - we went to the Alderbrook Resort!

The area near the Hood Canal on the Olympic Peninsula is so pretty, and the short drive over there was more scenic than I was expecting. We could have also taken the ferry (which would have been even more fun!) but we just didn’t want to deal with the timing/scheduling of that. I’m telling you, we were going for minimal stress. We arrived at the resort at around 5pm on Wednesday, and I was at ease right away. We checked out the cabin and we walked down the pier to throw shells in the water. We ate a delicious dinner at the one restaurant on the property, and then we allowed the girls to push bedtime waaaaaay back (they had each taken a long car nap) to swim in the indoor pool.

Our third babymoon - we went to the Alderbrook Resort!

The rest of the days were much of the same. We took mornings nice and easy with no agenda in mind. We drove around to some local shops in search of groceries. We played in the indoor pool for hours. (Tim played with the girls. I read and observed them playing. We were all happy.) We took walks by the water so we could throw clam shells back into the canal. We warmed up by the fireplace in our cabin. We ate delicious dinners. We played Yahtzee and other games in the lobby of the hotel, where they made games and sketch pads available for the guests.

Our third babymoon - we went to the Alderbrook Resort! Our third babymoon - we went to the Alderbrook Resort!

It was such an easy trip.

Normally we stay in Airbnb houses when we travel so that we avoid higher resort prices and small hotel rooms, but in this case, we loved staying at a resort that allowed us to enjoy the property with minimal planning. It was one of the few trips that we’ve taken with the girls that I came back from feeling relaxed, and not feeling like I needed a post-vacation vacation!

I only wish that the weather had been a little bit warmer, but that’s the story of our lives here in the Seattle area lately! It was a cold February and we are all over it. And it snowed while we were there and while it was pretty, I am over that as well!

Our third babymoon - we went to the Alderbrook Resort! Our third babymoon - we went to the Alderbrook Resort!

I’m really glad we took a trip so we could get a change of scenery and have quality time with our girls. We intentionally emphasized how extra-special everything was, and I think they loved the entire experience. Actually, I know they were super happy because the meltdowns were at a minimum! And Tim and I had a really good time with each other too, which can be hit-or-miss on a trip with little ones, because sometimes we’re too distracted to feel like we’re spending quality time with each other.

Suffice it to say, I think a ‘babymoon’ is always a good idea!

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This time around I’m renting maternity clothes (and am loving it)!

One of the things I’m doing differently this pregnancy, compared to my other two, is renting maternity clothes.

Let me back up. During my first pregnancy, I mainly wore non-maternity clothes, with a very few exceptions. This worked because we lived in Chicago and I was due with my first little one in July, so the last few months I was able to wear long skirts and maxi dresses with maternity tank tops. My bump didn’t really ‘pop’ until the third trimester, so I was able to wear non-maternity clothes for a really long time.

In my second pregnancy (which I thought would be my last one – whoops), I was in Seattle, and I had about two pairs of maternity jeans and five shirts from my first pregnancy, and would basically just rotate outfits. It was not very fun or flattering, but I didn’t want to invest in clothes that I wasn’t going to wear again. I did, use Stitch Fix to get some nicer maternity items that I wore all of the time, but I think those were the only things I purchased new.

Now that I’m pregnant for a third time, I have decided that I need want cuter maternity clothes. I actually have a lot of maternity items because a few friends gifted me bags and bags of them. (This is the perk of already having such a great mom community – free stuff! There’s always someone getting rid of something kid-related!) So anyways, I have a lot of maternity clothes but they’re mainly practical, basic pieces. However, I decided to try renting a box of maternity clothes from Le Tote, and am so glad I did! I rented a box in January and loved it so much that I ordered another box in February. I love the clothes I got (again) so I’ll be ordering my last box in March, which I’ll return right after the baby is born.

Renting maternity clothes with Le Tote

What I love about renting maternity clothes from Le Tote:

+ It’s a better value than buying new clothes.

I do not want to pay for an entirely new wardrobe of maternity basics, and I certainly don’t want to spend over $100 on a single piece of maternity clothing. This way I can wear the maternity basics I already have and wear the ‘nicer’ clothes from Le Tote when I have a night out or just want to look a little more put-together. Plus, there’s always the option to buy an article of clothing that arrives in the tote – usually for a much discounted price.

+ I don’t need to hang on to the clothes when I’m done.

I wear the clothes for a month, and then I send them back. They don’t have to stay in my closet or in a box under my bed or in a crawl space, and I don’t need to think about whether to sell them or give them away once this baby is born. I love the idea of wearing clothes and then sending them on their way once they’ve served their purpose. Plus, like I mentioned before, I can always decide to keep them if I really love something that much.

+ The options of what to rent are more trendy than what I would normally buy for myself.

Even if I was planning on getting pregnant again, the maternity clothes that are trendy now probably wouldn’t be trendy by the time the next kiddo came along. I think renting clothes is a great way to try a new style without really investing in it. I am too cheap to be trendy when it comes to clothes, so I tend to buy a lot of classic pieces. However, when ordering my Le Tote boxes I feel like I can order pieces that I know I only want to wear a few times.

+ I can rent seasonally appropriate clothing.

This month I ordered mostly sweaters, but next month I plan to rent some ‘springy,’ floral items. If we had planned a warmer weather vacation, I could have rented a whole box of dresses and shorts, without needing to buy them especially for a trip. If I had ordered a box in December (ugh – I should have! I forgot about it until January!) I would have rented some nicer dresses or tops for holiday parties. I think the boxes are especially useful if you live somewhere with more drastic temperature changes, which the PNW doesn’t really have.

Renting maternity clothes with Le Tote

What I didn’t love about renting maternity clothes from Le Tote:

+ The price.

I think  it costs about $80 to rent 5 items for a month, which is definitely more than I’d like to spend, but since I’m only doing it for three months, I’m okay with spending the money. I still think it’s a great value, but I could also have decided to wear what I already had in my closet. Would I be as cute? No. Would it be as fun? No. But this is definitely money that I don’t need to be spending at all.

+ The limited selection.

There are some pieces I saw and couldn’t wait to order, but if I was renting totes for a longer period of time, I’d have to add more non-maternity pieces in (like cardigans or items to layer) or accessories to make it worth it. I just don’t think there are enough clothes that I personally wanted to spend money on to rent maternity boxes for more than a few months. I may, however, check out their non-maternity selection and occasionally rent ‘normal’ clothes in the future. Definitely not every single month, though.

——————–

Having done both Stitch Fix (use my referral link to get $25 off your first box) and Le Tote (use my referral link to get a free box o’ clothes) for maternity clothes, I can honestly say I liked both for different reasons. Although, I’m not sure how the comparison is because I used Stitch Fix a whole 3 years ago (Look at how short my hair was! I don’t know why I decided to chop it off, but I blame the hormones)! But anyways…

I absolutely loved Stitch Fix for finding a few basics that I wore all of the time. I loved the jeans and tank tops I received, especially. I loved the quality and I appreciated having some higher end maternity clothes. The tank tops lasted throughout my entire pregnancy, so they were worth the investment. I sold them before this pregnancy and am still kicking myself for that decision!

Renting maternity clothes with Le Tote

Le Tote is a better option for me this time around, in my opinion, because I was given so many hand-me-downs of maternity basics that I really just wanted to have a few fun things to wear when I go out. Plus, I am trying to get rid of things in my closet, not add more!

I think both services are great, but for maternity clothes, I’d recommend renting a box from Le Tote if you already have quality maternity pieces in your wardrobe.

Hmmm now this blog post turned into a Stitch Fix vs Le Tote thing, which I didn’t mean to happen – but too late now! This wasn’t a sponsored post, but please use my referral links to get a discount and so I get a little money to spend, too!

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Weekend Favorites (v7)

We returned home from our ‘babymoon’ (our last trip as a family o’ four) yesterday, and it was so good! I’m going to immediately write a blog post on our mini-getaway before I forget. The important thing is, we arrived home and I feel refreshed, instead of feeling like I need a vacation from my vacation – you know that feeling, right?

I’m ready to tackle the week ahead! I think! Famous last words. But before that…

Things I’m Into:

  • “Money has always been passed down in families, but today, across America, parents who can are helping their grown children at unprecedented levels. A recent study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave reported that 79 percent of the parents surveyed are providing financial support to their adult children, at an average $7,000 a year—making for a combined $500 billion annually.” (here)
  • “But there is also a splintering of reality that’s happening on a much more granular level, among individuals. As the tools of online identity curation proliferate and grow more sophisticated, so do the avenues for deception. Everyone’s familiar with the little lies — a touch-up on Instagram or a stolen idea on Twitter. But what about the big ones? Whom could you defraud, trick, ruin, by presenting false information, or information falsely gained? An infinite number of individual claims to truth presents itself. How can you ever know, really know, that any piece of information you see on a screen is true? Some will find this disorienting, terrifying, paralyzing. Others will feel at home in it.” (here)
  • Janie and Jack is going out of business, so now is the time to take advantage of some great deals! I might pick up some swimsuits for the girls if I can decide on a favorite (or two)…
  • I’m going to be perusing these lists and adding a bunch of books to my library holds! Nothing makes me happier than some good book recommendations.
  • “So whether my time in motherhood is valued by others, or nobody sees it but God. Whether I live to 110 and get to revel in a legacy of Godly kids and grandkids and great grandkids, or I die tomorrow and never see the fruit of parenting. Whether I get to write everything down and pour into other younger mothers, or I get only to get to do the work inside this humble home. The glory is in following God in this, giving the best of me — laying down my life—for them, in the nitty-gritty one-on-one moments of motherhood.” (here)

What are you loving right now?!

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Thoughts on the Second Trimester (the third time around)

I’m well into the third trimester of this pregnancy and I simultaneously cannot believe it because it seems so quick, but also it feels like I’ve been pregnant forever. We’re going to meet this baby in about 2 months, and I’m once again left to wonder how my belly is going to stretch even one more inch to accommodate this growing baby! Yikes.

Now seems like a good time to recap my thoughts of the second trimester (which I’m defining as weeks 14-28 of pregnancy).

But first!

If you want to read about my second trimester…

  • the first time around, go here or here!
  • the second time around, go here!

Second Trimester Thoughts (the third time around)!

My Thoughts on the Second Trimester, the Third Time Around:

+ Not being able to take Advil (or other ibuprofen) is killing me…I’m having TMJ issues and now I have a migraine and I need ibuprofen and a muscle relaxer ASAP.

+ This is my favorite child. Only 14.5 weeks of nausea (as opposed to its sisters’ 16.5 weeks…) I’ll take it!

+ I spoke too soon. The nausea lasted approximately 20+ weeks. This might now be my least favorite child.

+ The prenatal screen came back ‘positive’ for Down Syndrome (at about 15 weeks), which really just means I have a slightly increased risk compared to the rest of my age group, so in to take yet another blood test I go…

+ The Harmony blood test results came back at very low risk of any trisomy disorders, so that eased my anxiety!

+ My energy! It’s back! I am unstoppable! I forgot how capable I am when i’m not nauseous and exhausted 24/7.

+ Oh hey, big belly! It’s weird how seeing myself this way is so familiar by now! I actually love the way I look when I’m pregnant, before I get too huge, so it’s nice to see my body change and grow.

+ And baby kicks – at 16 weeks!

+ I stole this pillow from Isabelle (who was using it in her bed!) and I love it, once again! Tim thinks the amount of pillows I use is unnecessary, but I say one can never have too many – especially with a pregnant belly!

+ I am the most awkward person about (not) telling people I’m pregnant. I should probably get on that since I’m almost 17 weeks along and almost no one knows… whoops.

+ I feel like when we tell people we’re pregnant, most people are low-key alarmed for us. Like ummm guys, you can barely handle two kids! You are going to be a mess with three! (We know, we know.)

+ As soon as my nausea went away, I got a horrible cold (which I can’t take medicine for) and am so over not feeling well.

+ Now a sinus infection?! I’ve never had one of these in my life. What the heck, body?!

+ If my eyes and eardrums explode out of my head, they’re going to need to emergency land this plane in Kansas… (actual thought I had on the way between Seattle and Chicago).

+ 21 weeks and I feel fantastic! For the first time all pregnancy!

+ I’m going to join a gym! (Done and done – I joined a gym with childcare and it is one of my better life choices.)

+ I have a cute bump!

+ I’m going to wear alllll the maternity things, because my shirts are officially hanging awkwardly off my belly. Thank goodness I have friends who are done having babies and gifted me so many maternity clothes (since I gave mine away after I had Isabelle).

+ Babe is constantly moving and they had a hard time getting images at 20 weeks and finding the heartbeat at every appointment, so I think this one is a boy. I love feeling all of the kicking and rolls! (Note, I also thought both Clara and Isabelle were boys at this stage. I clearly have no maternal instinct.)

+ How is that lady (on social media) 28 weeks pregnant?! She’s way smaller than me and I’m only 25 weeks!

+ Should I do all of the things or just rest a lot? I’m torn on how to spend my time… on one hand I want to plan travel (A babymoon! But with the girls.) and tackle house projects… on the other hand I don’t want to overwhelm my future (third trimester pregnant) self, because I know I’ll probably be more tired in a few months. Decisions, decisions.

+ I’m depending on this stuff to help combat dry skin, and maybe (hopefully!) stretch marks.

+ It’s weird not having a doula this time around. Or doing hospital tours. Or going to birthing classes. Or even doing prenatal yoga…

+ Plus I haven’t read even one post from a birth board. (Advice: never, ever read posts on birth boards unless you’re having an especially stressful pregnancy and need specific support from women in the same unique situation as you!)

+ … And I haven’t even thought about what we’ll need for a new baby! Being pregnant this (third) time is kind of weird.

+ Clara (and sometimes Isabelle) loves feeling the baby move! These moments of us cuddling together are so precious to me. Clara is still firmly convinced this baby is a girl, so I’m not quite sure what her reaction will be if it’s a boy!

Basically, the second trimester was not as magical this time around. In other pregnancies I felt not-as-huge and I got my energy back much more quickly. Plus I wasn’t dealing with a sinus infection and travel and just general yuckiness. I was disappointed with just how many weeks I was nauseous this pregnancy! I thought the second trimester would be wonderful, but instead it felt like a continuation of the first trimester until suddenly I felt like I was in an early third trimester with a huge belly that made it a bit awkward to move around! Sigh. But it did go by quickly!

Now I’m almost a month into the third trimester, already! It’s almost countdown to baby time! Actually, later this week I will hopefully know the exact date of this little one’s arrival, so that will make it seem real. Like really real.

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What I learned during Seattle’s Snowmageddon

Last week I wrote a post about the ‘Snowmageddon’ we had in Seattle this month. And I complained about it, a lot.

I must admit, though…

Seattle Snowmageddon 2019 - What I learned! Seattle Snowmageddon 2019 - What I learned! Seattle Snowmageddon 2019 - What I learned!

There were some perks of being stuck at home for so long:

  • Tim worked from home most days, so we saw more of each other. Our marriage always does best when we spend more time together! (Such a crazy revelation, I know.)
  • I had a few lazy days in which I could read, blog, meal plan, do laundry… and just catch up on ‘life’ stuff while the girls played together, without  needing to be shuttled around.
  • Tim and I were able to enjoy winter conditions that reminded us of the Midwest, and to experience that with the girls was pretty fun! Plus, the snow was really beautiful as it was falling.
  • I loved seeing the girls play outside in the snow. Usually we go on a yearly ski trip so that we can all play in the snow together, but this spring we aren’t going on one (because I can’t ski when I’m this pregnant), so it was nice that the girls were still able to do some typical ‘winter’ activities.
  • With almost all social plans cancelled, me and Tim were both home at night, which made our schedules seem less rushed. We ate dinner with the girls together, played Yahtzee or watched a nightly TV show, did bedtime together… it was really nice for everyone.

Overall, I was able to look at my life and figure out what things I truly missed about my ‘normal’ schedule, and what things I was (surprisingly) happy to miss out on. This has made me more aware of what I can do to modify my schedule to achieve a more sustainable pace of life going forward.

Sometimes it’s nice to have an excuse to slow down, especially since I have a tendency towards FOMO and to absolutely fill my schedule. I’ve been getting better about that in recent years, but it’s still a work in progress.

Plus, I figured out how people get things done – they stay at home and do them! I am whatever the opposite of a homebody is, and I always wonder how so many things don’t manage to get done. But from being at home lately, I’ve learned that if I just stay indoors *, I can tackle tasks that I want to do, but never prioritize over going on a fun adventure.

* (With energy! That part is key. In the first trimester of pregnancy I was home all of the time, but I had no energy to do any of the things, and I’m feeling that way again in the third trimester, too, unfortunately.)

Sometimes we all need a little life interruption to keep us on our toes and to help us reevaluate our normal lives, right?! But I’m glad this particular one is over and life can go on as normal soon!

As I sit here listening to the rain on our roof, I’m thinking it’s the most beautiful sound. I’m over snow for now!

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