Hi there, friends! It feels like forever since I last sat down for a Coffee Break post. Although it’s only been 2 months, a single day feels like a year lately, doesn’t it? Today, I am really excited to catch you on life behind-the-blog, including how our little Jack is sleeping and our latest stay-at-home survival tactics. I’m also taking on an experiment I’m really excited about and have a mini survey I’m hoping you’ll chime in on! Let’s dive in!
Catch up on past Coffee Break posts HERE!
You all might remember in my last Coffee Break post, I was lamenting that our sweet Jack (who is now 10 months old, if you can believe it!) had regressed from being an awesome newborn sleeper to waking up three times per night. After working through a series of gentler sleep-training methods with no success, we resorted to the “Cry It Out” approach. Well…if I was writing this post 2 weeks ago, I’d report that Jack had been sleeping solid through the night…7pm to 5am…without any issue for two straight months. I’d even proclaim our sleep hurdle successfully passed. Then all of sudden, about 10 days ago, he started waking up in the 3am hour…again. Lord help me. He’s got 3 teeth coming in, is on the verge of walking, and is babbling away, so my hunch is that his little brain is just firing on all cylinders. As you saw in my video home tour, Jack’s crib is just on the other side of a sliding door from our bed, so we really need it to end soon. Send all your solid sleep vibes my way!
Speaking of our sweet third baby (who I thought was supposed to be the easiest!), we also just discovered the little dude has a peanut allergy. About 5 minutes after having some peanut butter toast, the babe’s face was all red and splotchy. Although terrifying in the moment, it thankfully didn’t get worse than that (this time). We had him officially tested and are now loaded up with Benadryl and epipens, and are trying to educate ourselves on what this means for him and our family since we’ve never had to deal with anything like this before. Any advice on having a child with a peanut allergy would be much appreciated!
Experimenting With a Capsule Wardrobe
If you know me in person or have ever caught a (rare) glimpse of me on social media or in video, you know that personal style is not really my forte. My house may look great, but my wardrobe usually consists of jeans or jean shorts with plain t-shirts, and my hair is in a ponytail 100% of the time. Every so often, I will do a shopping trip to find some fun wardrobe pieces that make me feel put together. But since I really don’t know what I’m doing, I almost always end up back in my same little collection of t-shirts, shorts, and a ponytail.
I will be the first to admit that fashion isn’t overly important to me. However, fairly regularly over the last few years, I have felt this urge to make more of an effort when it comes to my appearance. I don’t want to become a fashionista (because I honestly don’t have the time or budget), but I’d like to put at least some effort into my appearance so I not only look more pulled together but feel better and more confident too. Since I rotate among the same 10ish pieces of clothing on a regular basis, the capsule wardrobe concept has really, really appealed to me (a capsule wardrobe is essentially when you have a very small collection of clothes). When I stumbled upon the Style Me Pretty Capsule wardrobe guides (as part of an Ultimate Bundle years ago!), it seemed like the perfect way for me, a fashion ignoramus, to cultivate a stylish minimalist wardrobe in a way that was not just budget-friendly, but also foolproof and intentional.
I have wanted to pull together the Stay-at-Home Mom Casual Wardrobe Builder for a long-time now. But then we were moving, and I was pregnant, and then I was postpartum and in quarantine…so the timing was never really right. With stores opening back up and my postpartum weight (sorta) where I want it, I’m finally ready to assemble a capsule wardrobe and stick to it. I just know I will love being able to look great without a lot of effort (because the outfits are already decided for me), and I have a hunch my laundry routine and closet organization will benefit even more!
So why am I brining this up? I’m wondering if you care to follow along in this journey? Again, I have ZERO intention of adding fashion posts to my blog, but if you’re interested in reading a 3-4-part blog series documenting how I’m going to pair down my current wardrobe, invest in new basics, clean out my closet, and stick to a limited amount of clothes, please chime in on the mini survey below!
Our Latest Stay-At-Home Survival Strategies
Although our communities are opening back up, my family is still mostly hunkered down at home (I’m both a Rule-Follower Rosy and Nervous Nelly when it comes to the virus!) With school now over (thank God!) and the hot weather in full force, here are some things we’re using to stay sane these days!
- Water Fun!
- We are fortunate to have a trampoline in the backyard, but the boys get pretty hot jumping. I was tempted to buy a “trampoline sprinkler” but we discovered a plain ol’ oscillating sprinkler right underneath the trampoline creates a waterpark experience they can’t get enough of! Try if if you haven’t yet!
- I know swim and water toys are hot commodities right now, but if you can get your hands on this Splash Pad, I highly recommend it. It’s perfect for Baby Jack (since you can valve how high the water goes) but the big boys can’t stay out of it either.
- Nature is Our Playground. I am still not ready to take the kids to playgrounds, but our backyard is starting to get old. Greg and I’s most preferred form of recreation is hiking (most of our vacations are spent exploring National Parks), so we have been turning to nature more and more in recent months to entertain the kiddos. Every Saturday, we pick a new local trail to explore. We pack sandwiches, fill water bottles and head out to walk, splash in streams, throw rocks, examine fallen-down trees, and more. We all come home sweaty, exhausted, and mentally rejuvenated from being with Mother Nature. I share this only because hiking and exploring might seem like a lot of work with young kids (ours are 9, 3.5, and 10 months), but we intentionally keep it as easy as possible. Here are some of our best tips:
- This baby backpack is a must for keeping Jack happy, and these backpacks for the older boys allow them to carry their own snacks, water, maps, rocks and more.
- This compact mat packs up small, is lightweight, and it perfect for setting up a picnic whenever and wherever kiddos get hungry or need a break.
- 2 mile (shaded) loops seem to be our sweet spot, but the boys are champs at going up to 4 miles if there are lots of streams and rocks to climb over and through. We use the All Trails app to find new spots to explore.
- Keep your essentials always packed up and ready to go so you can head out quickly and easily. For us, this includes a mini first aid kit, the mat, a set of diapers/wipes, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and masks.
- McDonalds milkshakes are the must-have post hike reward!
If you’d like to see other quarantine-life favorites, check out my past few Coffee Break posts HERE.
I think it’s safe to say that 2020, so far, has been nothing any of us anticipated. And honestly, I’m not sure much of anything will get back to normal as we approach the Fall and Winter. Like a ton of small businesses, I’ve had to readjust my 2020 plans to accommodate what I can realistically get done with a house full of perpetual chaos. I’m personally feeling the urge to cut back on a lot of my excess plans and instead focus on just being right here, more often and more consistently, since it’s my favorite place to put my energy (compared to social media, product creation, etc). So that I’m creating the content you will be most excited about, I’d love your responses to the following (quick) survey!
Travel Posts and Projects
We haven’t quite figured out how and where to get in a little family vacation yet. But if you have one planned or need some help doing so, be sure to check out these handy printable resources!
Have a great weekend and see you back here next week!Posted In Coffee Breaks, Virginia 2