Wondering On Wednesdays

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We are planning a weekend away to our family cabin. This cabin is not glamorous and we actually call it a hunting cabin. There is no running water or electricity, which is not convienient or comfortable when you have a 5 year old & almost 9 month old. When my husband I went pre-kids it was doable but it’s just a headache to go. However, lots of memories have been made and I’d like to keep that tradition going, so we still go.

Packing and preparing for weekend get a ways is right up there on my list of least favorite to-do’s. When we go to the cabin especially, I feel like I have to pack my entire house. I always start by making 5 lists to try and organize the overwhelming amount of stuff I have to remember to pack and check things off as they are packed. These lists are usually stuff I need to bring for each of my daughters, a list of things I need to bring for myself, a list of groceries I need to buy, and a list of food/drinks/snacks that needs to be packed. I let my husband worry about himself and the dog (when the dog goes with).

The whole process is daunting from start to finish and it never fails my husband and I butt heads the morning we are loading the car. Don’t get me started on the aftermath of laundry and unpacking and putting away all that needs to be taken care of when we get home. My house ends up looking like it was turned upside down and sideways. I always clean before we leave because I don’t want to come home to a mess, but end up having to clean up after anyways when we get home too. It never fails.

Typically, I am left feeling pretty exhausted even before we leave to get to our destination and usually in a crabby no good mood. I will admit, at this point I am not enjoyable to be around. Just once I would like to not have to stress about something that should be fun and just once be left feeling rejuvinated once we get back home. Instead, I always feel 10x more tired, annoyed, and burnt out Is that so much to ask to want to feel the opposite for a change? Is this even possible? Am I alone in this? It honestly makes me never want to go anywhere that requires packing. We are crazy and doing back to back weekend trips away too coming up…I think I may just go insane.

What’s more, is that I have always been an over packer. I’d rather be over prepared then under prepared. Who’s with me? My packing never fails to annoy my husband who doesn’t resist telling me how I should pack and what I need to leave behind. This bugs the shit out of me. I think it bothers me because men truly only think about today where I am a woman and we think about all the different scenerios and want to be prepared. How the hell do I become a logical packer or a more organized packer? I’ve always wondered if I could easily change my ways if I was just taught the proper way to pack. Is there a proper way to pack? How do you pack? Am I doing it all wrong? Is there an easier, more organized way to pack for someone who has to pack and go away a lot?

It’s Wondering On Wednesdays folks and all I really am pondering is packing today. I need to do it. I have to do it, but I really don’t want to do it. It’s almost to the point where I get anxiety over the thought of having to do it. HELP ME!

Aimless 20 Talk Tuesday

  1.  Today is Tuesday, not Wednesday.  I started yesterday off with that “day ahead” feeling so this morning feels like Wednedsay, not Tuesday.  This makes my entire being and schedule feel thrown off.
  2. Why do I always talk myself out of doing things I really want to do (typically regretting it later?).  I wish I didn’t always let fear take the wheel and steer.  I envy those of you who are natural born risk takers.
  3. As of Thursday I will have a 9 month old.  Time is just whizzing by and even moreso the second time around.  I feel like I try to relish in every single moment and yet because time seems to be going in fast forward I feel like I’m not taking time to be still in these precious moments and enjoy to their fullest.  K has 3 teeth that have poked through, is walking along furniture and is even being daring and letting go standing on her own for about 10 seconds.  Yesterday, I was sitting behind her while she was doing this and she pivited and took one step to me before falling…I presume we will have a walker in the blink of an eye.
  4. DIY project #2 is underway in my garage.  This time I am refurbishing my daughters headboard/footboard.  Sanding and priming is finished, next comes the paint.  I am just using the leftover paint from the end table project I did, so it will be the same concept.  I’m so excited to see the end result.  Pictures to come in the near future!  However you can see a sneak peek on my instagram account @nichole_whitney.
  5. The countdown to kindergarten is on for my daughter.  22 days and I officially have a Kindergartener.  That kinda makes me feel old and sad and proud all at the same time!  Her school supplies are all bought (I took the easy road and bought right off of target.com) and then we just went clothes and shoes shopping on Sunday.  It was a lot of fun taking her shopping and it was the first time she got to try on clothes in a fitting room.  She was in awe over the 3-way mirrors and couldn’t stop looking at herself.  Everytime she’d try on an outfit she’d admire how beautiful she looked.  I absolutely loved every second of it.
  6. Do you have any fetishes?  One of mine is a new plannar.  I just ordered myself a new one from TFPUBLISHING.com for the 2018 calendar year and I am so excited about it.  There is just something about an empty planner to organize the next new year and have your own place to keep notes, write to-do’s and other random tid-bits that brings me the embarrising amount of joy.
  7. I typically wake up for the day at 5:30 a.m.  This morning my youngest was bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:58 a.m.  I cherish my morning time alone.  This morning it consisted of me getting into the shower and drying off in quiet.  I usually get a bit further then I did this morning in my alone time, but a certain little girl had other plans for me.
  8. My neighbor invited me to go on a bike ride with her on Sunday.  Gladly, I took her up on her offer because I needed some time away and relish in the company of others lately, especially if it is 1:1 time with another adult.  However, I think she was trying to kill me because she took me on a 13 mile bike ride.  Guys, I just took down my bike the other day to go on a leisurly bike ride with my daughter, after hanging my bike up for almost the last 2 years.  My ass is killing me because my bike seat is horrible, even though my bike is fairly new.  I had some minor leg cramping Sunday night but I attribute this to not drinking enough water before our little adventure.  Otherwise, I was impressed with myself that I was able to keep up with a die hard like her after not riding for a long time!  I love getting exercise and motivation to get moving from others is so beneficial for me.
  9. For those of you with memberships to Costco, tell me what you buy there that you absolutely love.  Do you feel like you really save money by shopping there?  We are going on a 2 year membership there. Previously, we had a Sams Club membership but we switched over when they finally built a Costco in our area.  A couple things about Costco though is that I feel like they rob me because I go in with a list that I plan on sticking too and in a matter of seconds I’m throwing things in my cart that I just can’t live without and then I’m eating it for years to come because of course it’s in bulk!  Haha.  Secondly, my husband likes to shop there and I think it is starting to be up there with the Man’s Mall (aka Fleet Farm) and my husband rarely would go with me to Sam’s-he hated it there.  However, tell him you’re going to Costco and he’s got his shoes on and the kids loaded in the car before I even have my list ready to go!
  10. A few ladies that I used to work with have asked me twice now to grab dinner with them to catch up.  The last time, we were headed out of town and I couldn’t make it and same scenario this time around that they asked.  I feel like a douche bag friend. I truly want to visit with them, and am not even making up an excuse.  Life gets so busy and as sad as it is relationships get neglected.  I am going to try to offer up other free dates and times on my calendar and see if anyone is open. That’s the best I can do until life slows down a bit for me (haha!).
  11.  I feel so helpless for my teething baby right now.  Her gums are swollen and I am pretty sure she’s got a bunch of teeth trying to come in all at once.  I just gave her some tylenol and some frozen toys to chew on, but she prefers chewing on her thumbs instead.  She’s been comfort nursing too and just wanting to snuggle with me and her special blanky.  She’s just miserable.
  12. To break things down on my overwhelming to-do list, I picked out things of urgency for me to accomplish today so maybe be the end of the day I won’t feel like it was a complete waste and like I did not accomplish anything (like yesterday, although I did get some to-do’s done, I just couldn’t get in a groove).  My list is 9 numbers long…I am hoping to tackle all 9.
  13. My stomach is growling.  Perhaps I should have a mid morning snack.  I’ve been having this thing happen to me lately where all of a sudden I get sweaty, the shakes, sometimes feel weak and like I’m going to pass out…but then eat (typically things high in sugar do the trick) and I start to feel better.  Usually this is followed by a headache and just feeling sluggish the rest of the day.  My dad recently found out he is hyperglycemic & I wonder if I could be as well.
  14. My fitbit (fitbit charge) band is breaking.  I wear this practically every day, all day so it gets a lot of use.  I’ve been contemplating upgrading.  If you have one of these and use it frequently which one do you reccommend?  The other half of me is telling me to be frugal and just see if I can buy a replacement band.  On another note, I haven’t been in a challenge lately and I’m always up for the motivation to get moving so if you want the same kind of motivation, feel free to hit me up for a challenge and/or add me as a friend.
  15. When I was trying to get pregnant and also going through IVF I would drink a lot of smoothies.  After pregnancy, I just stopped.  I was thinking since Fall is approaching and I don’t consume as many fresh fruits as I do in the summer it would be nice to get on board again with drinking smoothies again.  Please share with me your favorite smoothie recepies…and go!
  16. In other things I need to do before school starts is sit down and figure out our new daily schedule.  Seems like when our routine changes all hell breaks loose, especially in the mood of our oldest daughter.  I hope and pray that the daily morning tantrums before school don’t persist this year. What a nightmare!
  17. Baby feet are the the only feet worth kissing and smelling and I do this on the daily while they are still small and cute.  Seriously, it’s the little things! Haha.
  18. Recenly my husband and I have been staying awake an hour after the girls go to bed to watch our new favorite Netflix show, Shameless.  It’s not a show for children’s eyes that’s for sure, full of disfuction, swearing, raunchiness, etc.  However, we are hooked.  Previous to this we had watched The Ranch, which we loved too.  What Netflix shows are your currently hooked on?
  19. If I could have any home re-do right now it would be a kitchen remodel & a bigger master closet.  My kitchen is the most disfunctional room on the planet.  I hate it.  My closet, well I just have too many clothes for the amount of space.  My husbands solution is to get rid of my clothes, but since that’s not going to happen I think my option is the best solution.  However, I truly think we’ve just outgrown our house.  It makes me want to crawl out of my skin.  I wish I knew someone that was super good at organizing and would come help me better make use of the space we have.  I’ve always been organized in a disorganized sort of fashion if that makes any sense.
  20. My dog is looking at me with her puppy dog eyes and pawing at the screen door. That’s my cue that it’s time to play chuck it with her for ten minutes so she can get some of that pent up energy out.  That, and it usually helps her to take a poop.  She’s a strange dog!

Motivational Mondays For Mombies

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This morning I chose to wear white shorts with a grey and white striped tank top.  I guess you could say I was feeling fearless because seriously, what stay at home mama in their right mind wears white? Maybe I really was trying to feel fearless, but in the back of my mind when I put on this outfit I was truly thinking, “Don’t do it, don’t do it Nichole.  You know this is not an outfit for a day with the kids.”

Truth be told,  I really should have just listened to that little voice in my head.  It was trying to tell me what I already knew… that if my children first didn’t stain up my clothing, something else was bound to quickly do the job.  My children were not to blame for my stained white shorts and tank top this morning, however.  Instead, my constant multi-tasking, frazzled, careless self was to blame and I spilled my cup of coffee directly on my lap.  It was one of those moments where I am glad my coffee wasn’t scalding hot, rather it was on the verge of being cold and needing to be reheated.

My first reaction to spilling my coffee was a curse word, quickly followed by grabbing the nearest towel to soak up the coffee mess and then undressing and finding my way to the laundry room to soak this stain (a side note, shout spray, era and a little bit of oxi clean make for an amazing stain remover.).   As I was reflecting about this mishap, I was thinking about how it seems like I do every little thing from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed in this type of state.  Every moment is rushed.  I rarely do one task at a time, instead, I am in this zone where I am doing a million things at once never really finishing any task.  This leaves me with a giant to-do list and a very overwhelmed feeling when I go to bed and then again when I wake up the next morning.  Can any of you relate to this feeling?  Life is constantly on fast forward, and rarely do I take the time simply to pause.

If you are like me, and rarely take the time to pause, I challenge you today to do just that. Pause.  Take a breather and stop doing it all and stop doing it all at once.  Choose a task to focus on and complete that one task before moving on to another task.  If you made yourself a cup of coffee, sit down and drink your coffee and actually enjoy it while it’s warm.  There are so many beneficial reasons to pause in your day:  it allows you to breathe & take a break, it allows you to have a moment of silence to refocus,  it helps you stay on track of your goals and makes you feel less overwhelmed, and allows you to reflect on accomplishments.

Easily, I could have cried about spilling my coffee this morning, instead it was a great reminder to me that I need to pause.  Things do oftentimes happen for a reason!

Heard you spilled coffee on yourself... GOOD! - Heard you spilled coffee on yourself... GOOD!  Misc

 

Fabulous or Fit Friday

On Fit

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A picture of my daughter and I. She likes to workout alongside me sometimes & I’m all for a strong mama raising a strong daughter!

If you want to stay feeling fabulous & fit, but you are a busy mama on the go and your life revolves around taking care of everyone but yourself, I highly reccommend checking out Bikini Body Mommy and IdealFit for fast, fun, challenging workouts that you can do right in the privacy of your own home. I found the step-by-step videos on youtube and I’m sure if you google these you can also find other ways in which to follow them. I follow both on Facebook as well.

My favorite part about these two programs is that they are quick but challenging (trust me there are certain workouts you’ll be feeling for days) and really there is no excuse to not do them (although I can say I have missed days before out of pure laziness. I am human after all). My second favorite part about these workouts is that they are free and do not cost you a dime to do them. Thirdly, my favorite reason I love these workouts is because they don’t take a lot of equipment to do them, mainly just hand weights, a chair and sometimes a yoga mat if you need one. Truly, they set you up to succeed. The only way you will fail is by NOT doing them!

A friend reccommended Bikini Body Mommy 6.0 to me and I am grateful she introduced me to this prgram. The challenge I did happened to be a 90 day challenge. I fell in love with the program immediately. The instructor is a mom, just like I am, and she was super encouraging, inspiring, and made me feel right at home. You can check out the website for Bikini Body Mommy here: https://www.bikinibodymommy.com/ or just youtube Bikini Body Mommy to view workouts (Trainer Briana).

With the other program, Ideal Fit, this is one I just happened to stumble upon on Facebook myself. It happened to just pop up as an ad and I was intrigued and clicked on it to find out more information. Boy am I glad I did! This lead me to clicking on a link that took me to the first challenge workout of the the 15 Day Fit Body Challenge. I did the first day of the Challenge on the evening on the day I clicked on the link and have been obsessed with this challenge ever since. Leg day was by far the hardest for me and I was pretty sore for days (it honestly felt good because I knew I was targeting muscles I hadn’t in a while). Here is the link for IdealFit (click on Challenges to view their workouts): https://www.idealfit.com/home.dept or youtube IdealFit to view workouts (trainer Lindsay)

What are you waiting for? It is never too late to become the best version of yourself! Pick a program and get moving. The hardest part is starting! You can do it! I promise you will never in your life regret a workout! Happy Friday Y’all!

Three Facts & Truth Thursdays

This is my first time writing in this category of my weekly series. It will be interesting to see how it pans out when I choose to write about random facts from week to week. The truth portion of this is simply my opinion or how I feel about the three Facts I give. I want to do a brief get to know the writer (that’d be me), so I will start this off by telling you three very simple random facts about myself. It would be awesome to interact with all of you and for me to get to know some of you better as well. So, if you stumble across this, please flatter me & participate in my comments section & feel free to leave me three facts about yourself. I can’t wait get to know you all more.

Fact:

My name is Nichole, spelled with an “h”.

Truth:

This way of spelling my name has caused me problems my whole life. The obvious way to spell my name is Nicole. I know that most people will gravitate towards this spelling almost 100% of the time. Yet, it still irritates me when people spell my name wrong: A) Some people I have known my entire life still spell my name wrong, including family and close friends, really?!?. B) My name can be on a document, laid out right in front of someone to copy correctly and without paying attention to detail or just by assumption, they still spell it wrong, annoying right? and C) Whenever I am on the phone and someone asks me my name, I automatically say, “My name is Nichole, spelled N-I-C-H-O-L-E because I assume that person will just spell it wrong. It simply sames me a lot of grief.

N-I-C-H-O-L-E (me) pictured with my fur-pal Haddie (Not to be confused as Hattie).

Fact:

I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life. I currently live on the East side, but previously have lived on the West side.

Truth:

I will probably live in Wisconsin the rest of my life & I’m honestly okay with that. Change is hard for me, my family and friends are here and I enjoy my comfort zone. I might be bias, but I love Wisconsin. Of course, I don’t have much to compare it too and as much as I complain about the Wisconsin Winters and also complain that the Summers here are too short, there truly is so much beauty to be seen and experienced here. I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I am a hop, skip, and jump away from the home of The Green Bay Packers, which also happens to be the best football team in the NFL (debatable by many of you I’m sure, but not debatable by this Wisconsin girl). The big cities are fun to visit in Wisconsin, but I am a small town girl by heart and there is something so special about the small towns here, particularly the one I grew up in, Amery, WI and one in which I frequently visit still to this day. If you have never been to Wisconsin, you should put it on your bucket list and experience some of the awesome things this state is known for.

Fact:

I am an introvert.

Truth:

I’ve always admired you extroverts out there simply because I’ve always wondered how my life experiences would be different had I been an outgoing, life of the party type of person. However, lets be real. I am neither of those two things. I am one who consistently needs to recharge my battery, especially when life gets stressful and/or overwhelming and do so by having “me time” doing things either by myself or with my close group of friends. I tend to get anxiety and over stimulated in larger crowds or big groups of people. I prefer quality over quantity so as expected I don’t have a ton of friends but I do have a group of close friends and this is more important to me. I also always find a way to stay busy and am such a home-body.

 

Restore & Adore

We received two end tables from my husband’s Grandma, who no longer needed them. Honestly, at first glance, I did not want these pieces of furniture. They were old, not my style and we already had two old mismatched end tables in our living room. In my mind, if we were taking in more furniture I would want an up-grade as I didnt want another down grade or have more to add to our already jam packed storage area in our basement or have more ‘stuff’ to find a new home for. Well, my husband insisted we take the end tables.

For months, these end tables collected dust in our storage room, as predicted. It wasnt until K began pulling herself up to a stand position on our in use end tables that we realized that one was not very sturdy, and easily tiped over as soon as K pulled on it or used it to guide herself to a stand position. My husband’s light bulb went on immediately and said he was bringing up his Grandma’s end tables and we were using them instead.

To my dismay, the tables were brought up. I really didn’t want these end tables in our living room, but I also knew we couldnt keep the other ones as they were no longer safe. That’s when I started thinking about all the re-do pieces of furniture I had been seeing on Pinterest and I got a whole other vision for these tables in my head.

After much research on DIY furniture restores, I convinced myself that I could turn these old, ugly pieces into ones that had a little bit of artistic charm instead and make them into two beautiful pieces that even I would admire & enjoy. Even more, I thought it would be neat if I could pull this little DIY project off so we had a heirloom from my husbands grandma that we could someday pass down to our girls if they wanted.

Diving into the refurbishing world is exactly what I did. I must say the process wasnt as hard as I thought, although it was tedious at times. I found it to be very theraputic and I enjoyed having some “me time” doing it. I admit I binged listened to many of my favorite podcasts while working on this process, which made it more enjoyable.

The most enjoyable part for me was watching the transformation of this piece unfold. Taking something that I thought at the beginning was ugly and turning it into something beautiful was an eye opener and made me think of the old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

These are the before pictures

These are the after pictures.

Menards was my best friend during this project as it was the closest store near my home that sold all the products I needed to make this project complete. The final color used after priming (I just used a 1-2-3 primer we already had in our garage) was by Dutch Boy, called, Antiquated Lace. To finish the table off, I applied a thin layer of Minwax Finishing Paste.

I had so much fun doing this project, I already have another project set up in the garage. My daughters headboard is getting a face-lift next. Guys, I may have just discovered my newest hobby and I am really excited about it. I am new at it, so if you have any experience in this I am all ears for any tips, tricks or advice! My advice for all of you is don’t overlook ugly and/or old pieces of furniture as they may end up being the perfect pieces that you transform into unique and very treasured items. If you dont keep them yourselves, it could be fun to even flip them and sell them for a profit!

If you are interested, I will leave you with these easy and step by step instructions to make your own stunning transformations. This how to will guide you on how to get the chalky finish distressed look like I chose to use. Instructions are brought to you by Dutch Boy.

http://www.dutchboy.com/inspiration/projects/chalky-finish/

Aimless 20 Talk Tuesday

1. I am doing a 15 day workout challenge via Ideal Fit. Sunday was a mix of legs and cardio. You guys, I am so sore! If I sit for too long it is really hard to get up. This morning was rough rolling out of bed. It hurts so good.

2. K and I are going almost 9 months strong in our nursing journey. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I feel so lucky I have had a great milk supply and one amazing nursling.

3. My husband turns 34 years young on Saturday. Cripes, the years have flown by. We have been married for 7 years but have been together for a total off 11 years. Wowza!

4. My 5 year old has been saying, “gooder” instead of “better”. For example, “This piece of cake is gooder then the other cake”. Myself and others have corrected her in the past, however, I think I am going to stop correcting her and hold on to the last bits of innocence she has left and enjoy how cute it sounds instead. She won’t be saying “gooder” for the rest of her life so may as well eat it up now while I can.

5. I am so fortunate that my sisters and I live so close to one another. As sisters, you have your ups and downs but they are also my constants. I am grateful for my lifelong friends!

6. Speaking of friends, I want to give a shoutout to my friend J who, amongst her busy life, never fails to call me on the phone to say hi and see how things are going. She’s pretty much the only friend that I have that we actually talk over the phone. Its nice and so appreciated. I wish we didnt live 5 hours away though.

7. I’ve got another DIY refurbish project set up in the garage. Im so excited to make time to tackle it. Which reminds me, I still need to post a blog about my last DIY.

8. I absolutely love seeing others openly share their infertility struggles and have those hard conversations to break out of the comfort zone that surrounds the topic. I learn more and more myself, especially when I engage in conversation with others about infertility. I have much love and respect for these very brave people who are helping to be the voice and help to make changes. It is simply wonderful.

9. I am so behind on the girl’s journals, photobooks and scrapbooks. I need start working on them again as I have more pictures to order, which I am also behind on.

10. There is a hummingbird on my feeder, which is one of my favorite birds. I am going to miss watching them when they fly to warmer weather come Fall.

11. Speaking of Fall, its almost time to transition clothing again. This is such a chore. This year, Im going to need a few things myself. What are your favorite Fall staple clothing items and where are your favorite stores to shop?

12. I love my dog, but she is really testing my patience today. She does this thing where she acts out, I scold her and then she sits right next to me and looks up at me with her big brown puppy dog eyes and I get sucked in. I cant help kiss her wet nose, scratch her head and tell her I lover her and Im sorry for scolding her. …I do this thing where I always say sorry. It needs to stop!

13. I havent played nearly enough tennis this year summer.

14. …the air is chilly this morning, but the coffee is warm. Simply the best!

15. I typically take my daughters to the library every Tuesday to pick out new books, play and go to story time. I’m going to opt not to go today simply because I dont feel like going. Does that put me in the selfish category and/or bad mom category?

16. I signed my oldest daughter up for Sunday School last night. I dont know if my husband was totally on board with this idea, or not but I feel it is important. As much as I thought I disliked going growing up, it truly was a constant in my life, gave me a great group of support and gave me a great foundation for life. I would also like to start attending services more and getting involved with the church. I miss it and it always was a positive for me.

17. I put a notice out there for date night sitters for our girls and so far have had two people inquire. I really hope we can find someone. My husband and I need to date again.

18. I witnessed K standing without support yesterday for about 10 seconds, seems unreal!!!!

19. E was invited to her first ever birthday party where parents are not needed to stay and help assist. She is pretty excited about this.

20. Yesterday, I made a pan of Zucchini noodle lasagna and a double batch of Zucchini muffins. The zucchini came from our garden and I shared some muffins with our neighbors. I love being able to share home made goodies with others! Betcha you wish you were our neighbors. 😉

A random silly picture of myself and my mini me! Happy Tuesday!