Thursday, June 28, 2012

Packing and Preparation

I am compulsive. Obsessive compulsive. Not in the everyone claims they are kind of way, but in the I take medication for it kind of way. I get it from my momma :)

Tomorrow we are leaving to go spend 10 days in Pensacola/Navarre. This is quite possibly my favorite week of the year EVERY year. My family has gone every summer of my life (with the exception of two summers). 25 of those 26 summers have been spent at Pensacola Beach (the other was a trip to Savannah/Tybee Island).

We are traveling and vacationing and that means I have a lot to pack. I mean, I'm packing for a 4-year-old, a 3-month-old, my husband (yes, I do most of his packing), and myself.

I always see all these blogs with tips and tricks for packing and most of them are well...stupid. These people are flipping idiots really. Some of the tips are things like making drawings of all the places you'll stop. That might be fine for some family that will spend 4 hours in a car and it will feel like they have spent a week in the car. That's cool and all, but uh, every year we drive 7-10 hours multiple times a year to visit our families. I'm not letting Ansleigh draw pictures of all the places we'll stop because we don't stop. We pee, eat, and get gas all on the same visit. We are hard-core.

ANYWAY, people seem to be interested in my organizational skills and my craziness so I thought I'd post about it.

Packing for the girls:
  • Their clothes have been packed for approximately 3 weeks now. Seriously. 
  • They have matching outfits for EVERY day. 
  • They have bows to go with those matching outfits. 
  • They have swimsuits for EVERY day, most of them matching.
  • They have bows to go with those swimsuits. 
  • They have pajamas.
  • Ansleigh has underwear, Addi has her blankets, diapers, etc. 
The way I packed for them is that I got out all the clothes I knew I wanted to take with us and took them to Addisyn's room where I could spread out in the floor. I got several gallon-sized ziplock bags (a whole box to be precise). I got the outfits that I wanted them to wear the first day out. I found bows to match. Got out the shoes Ansleigh would wear with that outfit and a pair of underwear. Outfit, shoes, underwear, bow, hair tie/headband all went into a ziplock bag (one per child) and labeled for the first day. I did the same thing for all of the other days. If a bow I needed for one outfit was already packed with another outfit, I made a note on the ziplock bag of which bow it was and what bag it was already in. When I finished with all the outfits (one per day), I put them in their bags, but not just in any order. I packed them with the last day we will be there on the bottom and then the day before that on top. That way, all the clothes are packed in the bag in the order they will wear them with the first day's clothes on top.

Next, I did the same thing for swimsuits. I found their matching (or coordinating) swimsuits and put them into baggies with the bows that go with them. Each one is labeled for each day. Those bags got packed into the duffle bags the same way--last day on bottom, first day on top. My husband wanted to know why they needed bows to go with their swimsuits. While my first reaction was to say, "DUH. Why wouldn't they need bows?" I realized, this probably wouldn't sufficiently answer his question. My girls are bow girls. They do not leave the house without one. Period. They aren't leaving a condo without one either. I don't care if the ribbon gets wet; it will dry. They will look gorgeous and southern at all times. He smiled, nodded, and accepted the crazy that he chose to marry. :)

Then, pajamas. Here is the thing about being obsessive compulsive: you aren't that way about everything, just some things. I don't care about their pajamas. I don't care what day they wear them; I don't care which ones they have packed; I don't even care if they wear the same pair twice. I let Ansleigh pick out which p.j.'s she wanted to take (the only thing I could let her choose because I can't handle letting her pick the other stuff) and then I grabbed enough sleepers for Addisyn. Those all got put into the duffle bags.

I should mention that the inside of the duffle bags are packed in stacks. The far right stack is their pajamas (both bags). The middle stack is swimsuits. The left stack is their matching outfits. I should also mention their bags are monogrammed because pretty much everything we own is.

I packed a few extra outfits for Ansleigh that are more what I would consider play clothes, just in case she needed them. I packed an extra outfit for Addi for each day because well, babies spit up and their diapers explode so...extra clothes are needed. I *might* have gone a little far with packing an extra outfit for her for EVERY day. Sue me. 

Extra stuff I had to pack (in a different, monogrammed bag):
  • enough diapers to last 10 days
  • wipes
  • formula
  • bottles (those have not been packed yet as we are using them)
  • bottle brush
  • dish soap to wash bottles (Palmolive Free & Clear. Only Palmolive Free & Clear)
  • Sponge to wash the bottles. The purple one that I always use. I only buy the purple ones. 
  • pack n play
  • baby tub
  • bumbo
  • boppy
  • the kitchen sink (just kidding...mostly.)
I also had to pack for myself and the hubs. Our packing is fairly simple. One outfit (I always pack in outfits so I know exactly what we will wear and what goes together and I don't forget anything I need for that outfit) per day. Pajamas. Running clothes (both of us run so we both need them). Shoes and socks (for running). Swimsuits. Underwear. The basics plus my hair dryer, straightener, make up, meds, etc.

We are staying with Anthony's brother's family tomorrow night, so unless we want to take EVERYTHING in, I needed to pack stuff in different bags. The girls have a small bag to share. Their outfits (in ziplock bags), pajamas, and their toiletries are all packed in that bag. Anthony and I have a small suitcase with what we'll need for that first night/day packed. I keep a Vera Bradley (duh!) travel case packed with travel sizes of all our toiletries so that is thrown in there too. 

All our beach towels (two per person) are packed in an old diaper box. All the other things we need to take with us to the  beach/pool are packed in our beach bag. Ansleigh's sand toys are packed in a rubbermaid tub that has a handle. The whole tub will just get carried over to the beach.

I prefilled all the bottles with nursery water so they are ready to be used. As many as possible are in the diaper bag. The others are in another bag.

You know those little crib things that you put up that light up and play music? I mounted one of those to the headrest of Addisyn's seat in the car so she will have something to look at. She also got a car seat toy to grab at.

Our minivan has a third seat in the second row that you can take out. We usually have it out but since the third row will be folded down, I put the seat back into the car so I can climb back there and still be seated and buckled to feed the baby to prevent unnecessary stopping.

I took a shoe organizer and attached it to the back of the driver's seat to put all Ansleigh's crap in. Coloring book, colored pencils, crayons, markers, other coloring book, sunglasses, leap pad, random toys she NEEDS to have. You know, 4-year-old kid crap. It is all right there where she can reach it. I saw this on pinterest. I cannot take credit for the genius that this is.

Since the DVD's have to be changed up front, ALL her DVD's are in a cd case in the front so I can easily change the movie when she wants to watch something different.

One idea I did steal from a blog, was taking a craft tray (or tackle box) and filling the little compartments with various snacks. The idea is that it gives them a variety, it is all crap you have in your pantry, and once it is gone, it is gone, and no more snacks. I will say that it is a BUTT TON of food for a kid. I think it is intended for kids to share but Addi can't have people food yet so....

The car is already filled up with gas (Hubs did that last night). I cleaned out all the trash, 90% if which came from Ansleigh; shocker, I know. I also wiped down all surfaces and intend on vacuuming the car floor and rugs tonight when I have a little extra help with the kiddos.

We have chargers in the car for our iphones, his ipad, and my kindle. I have already charged up my kindle so I shouldn't have any battery issues. Ansleigh, Anthony, and I all have headphones. Mine are mostly for ignoring the "Mommy! Mommy. Mommy. Mommy!" from Ansleigh and the "WAAAAAHHHHHHH" from Addisyn (if she is just crying out of boredom).

I have a list of last-minute things to pack such as:
  • Ansleigh's sleeping toys
  • Addi's bottles
  • Our computers, phones, chargers, camera (all that stuff Anthony takes care of)
  • drinks for the ride
  • my pillow and blanket
  • my kindle
Tonight and in the morning, I will load the car. My husband is great at it, but I am better :) and too controlling and I NEED to know exactly where everything is. I already have where everything will go planned out in my head.

Also, I don't want it to seem like my loving husband is useless and doesn't help. He does, but when I get into this mode, I'm kind of like a tornado. It is best to just get out of the way. He helps me check off my lists, tries clothes on that he only wears once a year (because I want him to wear those and that is the beauty of me packing his stuff, he has to wear what I choose...hahahaha). He also takes care of the kids and packs up all things electronic. He fills the car up with gas and best of all, he drives. Even when we travel at night, after he has worked all day.

In my spare time, I made Ansleigh a necklace to wear with our outfits for beach pictures. :)

I need help, I know. Can you think of anything I might have forgotten?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ansleigh's Rapunzel Party-Better Late Than Never

I realized recently that I never updated on my blog post regarding Ansleigh's 4th Birthday--Rapunzel style.

Here you go:

 Plates, cups, utensils, and the Rapunzel braid :) (braid came from Etsy)
 Birthday girl blowing out her candles on her Rapunzel Cake (made by my mother)
 Candy Bar and Rapunzel dress name banner (banner from Etsy)
 Cupcake "tower"
 Food--I served food from the movie that would be pub food
Another view of the food table
 Pascal Party Blowers--these were a HUGE hit
 View of the porch
 Princess bounce house--best money ever spent
 Rapunzel Cake--yep, she's edible. Thanks Lolli! :)
 Birthday girl in her Rapunzel Birthday shirt--made by Lolli
I made the wreath and I purchased the door hanger from Etsy

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

You Just Never Know...

Today my oldest girl had a playdate after VBS at our beloved Chick-fil-a with some sweet church friends. While the girls were playing on the playground, we got to have some time to just talk.

The Back Story
Sarah (the friend I was eating with) was my first real friend in Melbourne. We met at a church function and then kept running into each other. She was so sweet and kept inviting me to things and checking up on me. She had her first child during the summer and when I went into early labor with Ansleigh, she was the first one to come to the hospital. She offered to bring me an iccee and stayed with Anthony and me while I worried that my parents wouldn't make it on time (they didn't but they sure tried their best!).

Ansleigh was a terrible baby. She was beautiful, but a terrible baby. She had colic and acid reflux and cried all the time. My dear, sweet husband was working second shift building a satellite that went into space so he was hardly ever here. Sarah would come over with her baby to visit with me and would do my laundry for me and offer to do any and all other chores.

Sarah was my friend when I didn't have many, or at least any that could drop by for a visit.

As Sarah and I were sitting there talking, all I could think was that I wished we spent more time together and that I love how easy she is to talk to. We were just chatting away about living away from our families, our girls, church, VPK and homeschooling, and really just jumping all over. I started noticing that Sarah kept mentioning things about how crafty I am, or how honest I am, and then she blew me away. She said that she was talking to another friend of ours the other day and asked her if she had seen me lately. When our friend said no, Sarah said she told her that I'd lost a ton of weight and how great I looked.

It's true. Not the amazing part or the great-looking part, but the weight loss part. When I got pregnant with Addisyn, I weighed 164 pounds--more than I've ever weighed in my life. That is more than I weighed when I walked into the hospital to have Ansleigh. I only gained 22 pounds with Addisyn but that 22 made me a robust 186 the day I delivered.

Since I came home from the hospital, I've been carefully portioning my food, started counting calories again, and have started training for a 5K that I'm running at Animal Kingdom in November. Monday, Addisyn was 12 weeks old and in that 12 weeks, I've lost down to 148. My Easter dress that I wore 4 weeks after she was born was a size 12 and last week, I got into a pair of adorable size 6 capri pants.

I still have about 12 pounds to go, but that's not the point. The point is, nobody has noticed. Or at least, I thought no one had noticed. I would casually mention it in conversation, secretly (or not-so-secretly) bragging and people would look at me with a "You are such a liar" look and say something like, "Oh, that's great."

Even I can't really notice a difference. I can with my clothes, but not when I see picture of myself. I still feel fat. And jiggly. And pretty much just all around gross. But someone noticed.

My sweet friend Sarah, who lifted me up in other ways today, noticed. And not only did she noticed, but she bragged on me to someone else.

I may not look like my 125 pound, not a stretch mark, always perfect hair, sister-in-law (whom I love dearly!!!!), but today I realized that even though I'm not as tiny as I once was, that does not diminish the fact that I have lost 38 pounds in 12 weeks. I'm proud of myself, but more importantly, I'm glad I have a friend that pays attention and cares enough to make sure I know she has paid attention.

You just never know who is noticing you or the effort you are putting in.

LOVE YOU SARAH!!!! Thanks for making my day!