Weekend Favorites (v9)

It seems I waited until the very last hour of the weekend to publish this post… typical!

Clara came down with the flu on Thursday and Tim got sick on Sunday afternoon. Womp. The whole family is now on Tamiflu to either avoid getting it (me and Isabelle) or to get better soon (Clara and Tim). Although, Clara did bounce back within 48 hours, so I’m hoping Tim can do the same.

At 36 weeks pregnant I just cannot handle Tim being sick! Everything is just too much effort.

Quickly, quickly…

Things I’m Into:

  • I cracked up while listening to this podcast episode. I actually haven’t listened to any of their other episodes, so I can’t speak to the podcast (‘The Popcast’) in general, but this one was freakin’ hilarious.
  • “A patient person is simply someone who’s in the habit of applying patience to these moments, which is to say they refrain from trying to be already past them while they’re happening.” (here)
  • “If you begin decluttering the low-value digital distractions from your life before you’ve convincingly filled in the void they were helping you ignore, the experience will be unnecessarily unpleasant at best, and a massive failure at worse. The most successful digital minimalists, therefore, tend to start their conversion by renovating what they do with their free time–cultivating high-quality leisure before culling the worst of their digital habits.” (here) 
  • I like to read some nonfiction books in between fiction binges, and right now I’m reading a Tiger Woods biography. I find it (and him) totally fascinating so far! I’m in the very first part of the book, but I highly recommend it.

Send all thoughts / prayers for health our way!

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We’ve been making some big decisions around here!

As I briefly mentioned in my previous blog post, a lot of things have been happening around here lately! (I was just about to type that we’re about 50 days away from meeting our tiniest baby, but then I just checked and realized we’re only about 30 freakin’ days away. YIKES. So there’s that.)

Big Decisions!

In the past few weeks…

+ We bought a minivan. I’m officially a minivan person. Sigh. Tim is thrilled and I’m working on accepting that this is now my life – haha! We were having the hardest time figuring out whether we were going to get an SUV (with a third row) or a minivan, and we finally decided that we were going to buy a used minivan to last us a few years until the girls are out of carseats. Then we’ll re-evaluate. Our thinking is that if we love the minivan life, we’ll buy a new one (or more likely we’d keep the one we just bought until we need a new one, if we love it), or we’d switch to an SUV, because the girls would be at an age where they could climb into the back and buckle themselves in easily. I feel really good about our decision, but I hate driving big vehicles so we’ll see how I like it when it turns into my ‘usual’ car. We’re also keeping our small SUV and electric car, for now.

+ We hired an au pair. We’re excited that we’ll be hosting an au pair at our home starting this summer! More details on that to come… maybe.

+ We did a maternity photoshoot. We were supposed to do it back in February, but had to keep rescheduling because of the snow. My bump was definitely bumpin’ during the shoot (I would have preferred it to not be quite so big!) but I think the pictures are going to turn out great. I haven’t seen them yet! The girls were very cooperative and happy and even though it was a little bit chilly, the sun was shining and we were fine to walk around without our coats on. Wins all around! We celebrated by going out to brunch afterwards and it was such a nice day together.

+ We confirmed a c-section date. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I was having a hard time picking a c-section date for Baby #3. Normally I would have opted to have this baby at 39 weeks, but my birthday falls right around the 39 week mark. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to share my birthday or not, but we ultimately decided to wait until a few days after my birthday to have this little guy/gal. I’m sure that last week is going to feel very long, but this baby will still be born about 2 weeks earlier than his/her sisters! It feels surreal to know the actual delivery date. I keep joking with people that I’m sure somehow it will end up getting pushed back, because anytime I try to schedule something ahead of time, it doesn’t work out!

It feels good to have so many things checked off our pre-baby to-do list. I mean, granted I still have a lot I want to get done over the next few weeks, but these were the major things we wanted to get taken care of. Tim and I are never prepared ahead of time, so I’m extra impressed with ourselves. I feel like my mental load is decreasing, which is always a good thing! Now I just have to do the smaller things in life that I just want to get done and out of the way so we can take the rest of April ‘off’ and focus on just having fun and surviving as a family of five!

Wish us luck!

Were any of you around in the ‘good old days’ of blogging when there were link-ups every single day?! Like, multiple link-ups? So you really never even had to think of a subject to write about, because somewhere, someone was prompting you. Ah, memories. All that to say, I’m joining Kristen for her ‘What’s New’ link-up today!

 

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Weekend Favorites (v8)

We’ve been getting sh*t stuff done this past week! We decided on a car, hired an au pair, confirmed a c-section date… we’re moving right along in this baby preparedness plan (or lack thereof). Tim and I do not necessarily excel at planning ahead, so this progress (a whole month ahead of time!) is making me feel great!

But also, I’m 35 weeks pregnant and am feeling large and was up all of last night (I finally fell asleep  at 6am and woke up at 9:30am for church) with false labor… so there’s that! I think I kind of forced myself to forget how uncomfortable the third trimester can be and am now being rudely reminded. But still, I’m feeling mentally on top of it, so I can handle the physical discomfort. Moving on.

Things I’m Into:

  • I started the Momma Strong program this month, and it’s been perfect for me! I wish I would have signed up earlier. I still prefer to use the app Aaptiv when I go to the gym, but let’s be honest, these last few weeks of pregnancy aren’t ideal for me going to the gym and doing a whole heck of a lot. Momma Strong offers a 15 minute workout every single day for pregnant ladies, postpartum ladies, and mommas who are years out from having kids. And it’s only $5 per month.
  • Speaking of exercise, I’m bookmarking this squat workout to do when I’m feeling like doing actual workouts again. (So maybe in 3 years? 4 years? Never?)
  • I’m a huge fan of John Gottman, so when I saw that he was interviewed by Dax Shepard on his podcast, I had to listen. The conversation was so, so good and I immediately forced strongly encouraged Tim to listen to it, too.
  • “What you put in your brain influences your thoughts. And the quality of your thoughts influences the outcome of your life. That’s why I protect the gates to my brain as much as I can. You do that by not consuming junk information like the news or mindless entertainment. You also do that by not associating with toxic people. And you also nurture your brain by reminding yourself of all the things that make life better. Here are 14 of those things. When I do these things, I’m a better person.” (here) 
  • I finished this book this past week, and I highly recommend it for a good (light) fiction read. Plus, the ebook is only $2 on Amazon right now.
  • Now I’m onto this book. I’m enjoying it so far. I’ll report back when I’m done!

What are you loving right now?

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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.

Renting maternity clothes with Le Tote

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.

My thoughts on renting maternity clothes, and which service I like the best!

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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