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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pack your hospital bag in 2 minutes (from a 2nd time mom)

Baby girl Farrah came 9 days early and within a half hour of arriving at the hospital. And because I'm the procrastinator that I am, I didn't have my hospital bag ready--at all!

Sure I would've loved to have been more prepared or been one of those moms who had their hospital bag packed months in advance, but it's just not me. I did purchase the "recovery" stuff a week before, but my toddler got into it and when it was actually time to use it, half of it had gone missing =/

I had been feeling contractions all day, but they were a little sporadic and if I was walking they were terrible, but if I laid down I hardly felt them at all so I really wasn't sure what to think. Luckily I went into the hospital just to make sure because little Farrah was ready! I went from being dilated a 5 when I checked in, to a 10 within a half hour and delivered her after just 3 pushes! Can you imagine if I had ignored my instincts and not gone to the hospital??

So today I bring you: How to pack your hospital bag in 2 minutes! (because sometimes that's all the time you have)

how to pack your hospital bag in 2 minutes from a second time mom (bare essentials that you need in your bag!)

Here's what you absolutely need for the hospital, including some things I forgot in my hurried packing frenzy, but wished I hadn't.

  • bag for dirty clothes
  • Comfy sweats & tank top for road home
  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Newborn mittens (didn't bring these =/)
  • Binky
  • Mombo nursing pillow
  • Cell phone charger
  • Flip flops
  • Shower essentials
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste (I forgot this!! I felt so gross the next day!)
  • Make up (I remembered this, but didn't use it)
  • Make up removing wipes
  • Chapstick (this is a MUST! My lips got so dry at the hospital, it was awful)
  • Underwear
  • Bra 
  • Hair ties & Bobby pins
  • Insurance card & IDs (forgot this, didn't need it at our hospital)
  • Carseat w/newborn insert
  • Prenatals if breastfeeding
  • Colace
  • Breast pads
  • Nipple cream
(Tip: Always call hospital to see what they provide. Ours provides diapers, wipes, formula if necessary, newborn clothes, blankets, booger grabber, pads, mesh underwear, tucks witch-hazel pads, ice packs, & dermoplast spray)

Anyway, these in my opinion are the bare necessities. They had a room at our hospital with crackers, drinks & other miscellaneous snacks that were great for us & especially our toddler along with the other items I mentioned above, so please call your hospital ahead of time to find out what they provide so you are not packing unnecessary items. 

Good luck!!

brother sister love

Farrah Love

Farrah Love

Farrah Love

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life Update

The month of May is almost over & I have only written ONE blog post! ONE! I realize I am majorly slacking, but I have a good reason: life.

Life gets crazy sometimes. I love writing my blog and it is a priority for me, but my family is definitely higher up on the list. 7 weeks ago my husband ruptured his Achilles playing flag football and had to have surgery a week later (5 days before baby was born). He still has a boot on his foot and can't put any weight on it for one more week. 

And then our little baby girl decided to be born 9 days early (5 days after Scott's surgery)! She joined our family on April 13th at 7:33pm. She weighed in at exactly 8 pounds and was 20 inches long! Labor was so quick I couldn't believe it.

We also have had some family in town to meet her so our schedule has been hectic. On top of it all, I am recovering from an extremely annoying bout of mastitis. So I  haven't had much time to write, but I am hoping to change that now that our lives are slowly returning to normal.

Farrah will be 6 weeks old tomorrow, so maybe we'll just call it maternity leave and pretend I didn't go so long without posting ;)

Anyway, check back for some new posts every week, they will be here!  I'm also on instagram & twitter so be sure to follow me there as well @lexxi_lu

Friday, April 1, 2016

Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom

I've been a stay-at-home-mom for a little while now. I quit my job to stay with David full time when he was about 5 months old. It was a tough decision, but truthfully it was made for me. We needed to switch daycares and everything close had a waiting list for infants. So I quit my job and stayed with my baby boy.

confessions of a stay at home mom
(today- April 1, 2016)

confessions of a stay at home mom
(back when he was my baby =( July 2014)

I love every minute of our time together. I am truly grateful that I was "forced" to stay home with him. And now, with new baby about to arrive any day the thought of going back to work seems out of the question. Can you imagine the cost of two babies in daycare?! Insane! It just wouldn't be worth it for us financially.

confessions of a stay at home mom
(February 2016)

I know there are parents out there who would trade anything to be in my shoes. Believe me I know how fortunate I am to be able to stay with my babies and I don't want to seem ungrateful at all, but I must be honest-- about 95% of the time I love being a SAHM, but there is still a small part of me that misses working.

There is a small part of me that must confess that sometimes:

  • I don't feel as successful, fulfilled, or accomplished. 
  • I feel like others think I must not be very bright, otherwise I'd have a career.
  • I don't feel respected.
  • I feel frumpy.
  • I feel like no one understands me or why the house isn't always spotless.
  • I feel judged on everything from how I'm dressed to how my son is dressed or how clean my house is.
  • I feel like like people think I'm lazy for not working.
  • I feel like people think I'm on a never ending vacation.
  • I feel selfish for wanting a break.
  • I feel like a boring person.
  • I feel like the only thing interesting I can converse about is what my son did that day.
  • I feel like when people look at me, all they see is a mom.
  • I hate not being able to contribute financially.
  • I feel selfish when buying things for myself.
  • I miss having financial freedom.
  • I hate having to ask for money for the grocery store. 
  • I miss feeling independent.
  • I miss having utilities in my name.
  • I don't feel important.
  • I feel like my opinion doesn't hold as much weight.
  • I don't feel like I am living up to my full potential.
  • I feel like it doesn't matter that I went to college.
  • I feel unqualified for any career. (Job offers used to pour in, but now, I've been out of work for far too long.)
  • I feel like I've let myself go.
  • I am so sick of doing laundry, washing dishes, and cleaning up spills.

All of this is just me. No one does or says anything to make me feel this way. And truthfully, I feel happy a majority of the time. But sometimes, being a stay-at-home-mom gets to me.. I really hope I am not the only one who feels this way..

confessions of a stay at home mom

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bucket List for Married Couples

I'm a big fan of bucket lists, especially for summertime. It's the only way I can really ensure I make the most out of my time. Otherwise the entire summer could pass by and I all I did was sit on the couch.

For this reason, I decided to make a marriage bucket list as well. There are lots of things my husband and I talk about doing, but never get around to. But, having a list where we can physically check off items helps us!

Check out our list & make your own! It makes for a fun date night to dream up all sorts of adventures you want to have together!

ultimate marriage bucket list! tons of fun date ideas & things to do as a married couple!

  1. Couples Massage
  2. Go Skinny Dipping... in the ocean
  3. Kiss in the rain (done!)
  4. Kiss under water (tried & failed--I always laugh!)
  5. Watch the sunrise
  6. Role Play as strangers meeting for the first time
  7. Eat a romantic dinner on the roof of a building
  8. Take a cooking class together
  9. Wear matching Mr & Mrs Tshirts on a date
  10. Go Kayaking
  11. Visit the hot pots (natural hot springs)
  12. Spend the night in an over water bungalow
  13. Camp on the beach
  14. Take a carriage ride
  15. Go salsa dancing
  16. Do a sexy photo shoot
  17. Take a spontaneous road trip/getaway (check! when we were dating we were long distance for a couple months & couldn't stand it one day, so I drove my car from Utah & he rode his motorcycle from Texas & we met in this little ghost town in the middle [Tucumcari] & had the best 2 nights!)
  18. Have sex... everywhere (we have a separate bucket list for this!)
  19. Have a day of pictures. Take one picture every hour doing something different. (we don't take enough couples pictures)
  20. Make a video of how we met/our love story
  21. Cook dinner over a campfire
  22. Go on a honeymoon (unfortunately, eloping didn't really allow us time to plan one of these)
  23. Train & run a 5k (or race of some kind) together
  24. Do volunteer work together
  25. Read a book together
  26. Have a picnic (check!)
  27. Don't leave the bedroom all day (check [multiple times]! w/the exception of answering the door for the pizza man)
  28. Lead the other on a surprise date & blindfold them
  29. Join a co-ed sports team
  30. Make holiday cards
  31. Go shopping & pick out each other's date night outfit with no input from spouse
  32. Make cute babies together (check!)

I would love to put together a Couples Pictures Bucket List. Mainly because like I've said before, we hardly have ANY couples pictures. It's a bucket list I'd personally love to have completely checked off by summer. Would you be interested in reading something like that? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Keeping a clean house...with a TODDLER!

Honestly. David is 20 months old. This means I have had almost two years to figure out how to keep my house clean with this little munchkin, and somehow I've only just barely started to master it. The bummer is that just when I feel like I've figured this whole thing out life is going to throw another twist my way with a new baby in just a few weeks. Hopefully I've got this thing down enough, that we don't revert back to cluttered messy houses!

Anyway, without further ado, here are my best tips for keeping a clean house with a toddler:

best tips for keeping a house clean with a toddler, quickest & easiest way to clean!

  • Don't stress the little messes. Toddlers are messy. Period. Let your toddler get messy. Let the house get messy. I speed clean twice a day. Once before my husband comes home & once after David goes to bed. If I pulled out a wet wipe/paper towel every time David made a mess it'd take up my whole day & drive me crazy. Obviously if there's some crazy spill, address it immediately, but little messes can wait.
  • Teach your toddler to clean up after themselves. If David has trash I tell him to throw it away & he does. He loves it. He's at that helping stage. He even insists on throwing his dirty diaper away for me. If he spills his water, I hand him a paper towel to wipe it up himself & he actually thanks me for doing it! He wipes up his mess & then throws it away. Less work for me! (He is still 1, so sometimes he doesn't do the best wipe-up job, but he is learning & getting better every day & spilling less & less).
  • Have a toy bin. I have a bin for David's toys. I just throw them all in there. I don't organize it because my toddler doesn't care if his toys are organized. He's just going to dump them all over the ground when he wakes up the next day anyway. 
  • Establish cleaning priorities. I take care of any trash first (which is usually minimal) then I do the dishes & take care of any clutter before my husband comes home. Dirty dishes & cluttered kitchen counter tops make the whole house seem dirty. Usually while I do the dishes, David gets into everything else. But that's life. I don't even think about it. As long as he's doing his thing and letting me get those dishes done it's fine. Then I just toss all the toys he took out in his toy bin & call it good. 
  • Give your husband a job. Why should I be the only one who cleans? Scott vacuums our house everyday when he gets off work. It's his job. He knows it & it's one less thing for me to do. It's become a routine. David actually expects it & goes to get the vacuum for dad right after he comes home. Make sure his job is clearly defined; vaguely asking for "help" never gets me much.
  • When you do laundry, fold it immediately. Laundry seems to be never ending in our house. I don't mind throwing clothes in the wash, but for some reason putting them away is just the worst for me. I just have to remind myself to muscle through it & get it done otherwise it could literally sit in the dryer for up to a week before I do anything with it.
A lot of people suggest cleaning as you go. And I agree with this to a point. If I'm making a meal, I will put away the ingredients as I use them. If my son & I are working on a specific activity I will quickly put the supplies away when we are finished. But I can't do it with everything. It just doesn't work for us. Most likely, if I put something away when David is done with it, he will immediately want it again. It's frustrating. So like I mentioned in the first bullet point, I just leave it all out & speed clean right before my husband comes home from work & then again before bedtime. It takes seconds to throw toys in a bin & put them away.

If you are really pressed for time, you can also create a mail bin or a clutter basket to throw miscellaneous items in when you don't have time to put them in their proper spots. Just make sure you get to it by the end of the night otherwise it will just pile up =)

Good luck & happy cleaning!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Chicken Taco Boats

Lately we've been working on phasing out starchy & grain-based carbs from our dinners. It's surprising how little we miss them.

For dinner the other night we made chicken tacos. Honestly, I love corn tortillas, but they weren't even needed. And I didn't feel like I was being "healthy" if you know what I mean. It was the perfect little indulgent pick me up that didn't ruin our "diet."

Low carb chicken tacos-iifym life, diet food

I actually used a new recipe I found on Pinterest from Repeat Crafter Me for Crock Pot Ranch Chicken. It's super easy, made in the crockpot & literally uses only 4 ingredients.

Check out their site that I linked for the super easy recipe.

After I had the chicken prepped, I just washed some hearts of Romaine lettuce, & doubled each lettuce leaf up for extra support. Then you just add your toppings. On ours I did homemade pinto beans, quesadilla cheese, shredded chicken, sour cream, & diced tomatoes.

After which, you just pick it up & eat it like you would a normal taco. Super simple!! We might try this for our normal ground beef taco recipes too!

Low carb chicken tacos-iifym life, diet food

Low carb chicken tacos-iifym life, diet food

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Things to clean before baby gets here

We are just weeks away from welcoming our baby girl. I can't believe it. This pregnancy really just FLEW by! I've got all sorts of mixed emotions right now and not feeling ready is one of those!

There just seems to be so much to do and so little time. Well. In all reality, there's probably plenty of time, but at this stage in the pregnancy game, all I want to do is nap, but I know I am going to want to rest a ton once baby is here too so I just need to step it up now & get things done--starting with deep cleaning!
list of things to clean before baby arrives

Here's a list of things to clean before baby gets here!

1. Bathrooms. Toilets, Showers, Floors, get those bathrooms cleaned & organized.

2. Laundry. I feel like I am ALWAYS doing laundry, it's the worst! But it's even worse to fall behind, especially once the new baby is here. So do your best to stay on top of it, and throw in any bed sheets, comforters, pillow cases, etc while you're at it!

3. Declutter. Anything you don't need, throw away. Things are about to get so much more crowded once baby's here so might as well clear out as much as possible now.

4. Carpet Stains. We have major carpet stains thanks to our toddler. I've been putting off cleaning them since it almost seems pointless because I know he will keep making them. But I know the in-laws will be bombarding us with "surprise" visits shortly & I really don't need to hear any comments. The day we came home from the hospital with David, my MIL looked at the ground and said "do you own a vacuum?" The carpets weren't even messy! Maybe she didn't mean it as rude as it sounded,  but there are a lot of hormones pumping through your body right after baby so it's definitely the last thing you need.

5. Wash couches. Again. Another thing I put off. Every time I clean them, there are stains the next day. Regardless of how heavily I enforce the "no food in the living room" rule. Usually, couch stains aren't my toddlers fault though lol (thanks Scott! jk)

6. Kitchen. Yes. The kitchen. I clean our kitchen on a daily basis, so it's really not that bad. But. I do feel like it was custom built for a giant sometimes. So I took the time this past weekend to reorganize the cabinets so they are easier for me to access. Also, a great time to stay on top of fridge organization, since hopefully someone else will be cooking meals for the first weeks after baby (i.e. your husband).

7. Walls. Most likely, not a big deal, unless you have a toddler who likes to color on them. But even if you don't, it is a smart idea to sanitize any door knobs & light fixtures (things you touch on a daily basis) so that it's as germ free as possible before baby arrives. 

There you have it! This is what my pre-baby cleaning checklist looks like! Hopefully it helps you as well! The best scenario would be to have all of this done a couple weeks before baby & just touch it up the week of as things get messy again.