Friday, May 27, 2016

All About the Bags

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This post, as you guessed by the title, is all about the bags used to get a baby and her stuff everywhere. If that is totally uninteresting to you, don't worry, I included Rebecca photos at the bottom.

I asked everyone about what they used for diaper bags, and I looked at the options lots of places before deciding to go with a classic Longchamp tote in navy. Two of my friends have used theirs as diaper bags for a couple of years, and it is pretty much perfect in size. My new Longchamp was a Christmas gift from my in-laws and replaced my first bag that was identical. I purchased the original in 2006 on a trip to visit Rachel in Boston. Over the next nine years, that bag went literally all over the world (Paris, Belgrade, and Budapest even!), serving as my tote when I worked in DC and as a camera bag, so I knew it would hold up well and fit my style.

To keep baby essentials organized in the Longchamp, my mom made these ditty bags for my friends. They are a quick and easy sew, and I have even made a couple myself! Mom made mine out of fabric that matches Becca's quilts. It's roomy, and inside I have diapers, wipes, a burp cloth, a spare set of pjs, and this changing pad cover to use on the go for diaper changes. It washes easily! Erica tipped me off that a roll of bags just like I carry for Belle's messes on the go work great in the ditty bag too. They're pink even! There's still room in the Longchamp for my wallet, sunglasses, etc. and my nursing cover that Mom sewed using this tutorial. Rebecca is getting bigger and more interested in stuff, so I've got room in the Longchamp for a book and an elephant to chew on too! Because the bag itself is so lightweight, it's still comfortable full of everything we need. I only really feel like it gets too heavy when I add my camera.

Getting all of the parts needed for pumping to school was another challenge! I used an old Vera Bradley that I had laying around for a couple weeks till I got a feel for what would work for me before I ordered this Lands End large canvas tote. I wanted one that zipped for carrying everything in and out of school and to meetings, plus it had to be big enough for a lot of accessories, my laptop and planner, and even my lunch bag. I didn't want to lug any more bags around. It's not too heavy, and it makes me really happy with it's bright preppy stripes. My friend Leah pointed me in the direction of this lunchbox which fits bottles and a small ice pack perfectly, and bonus, is nice and tall to stand up in the tote.

After 14 weeks of life with Rebecca and 6 weeks back at work, I'm happy to report all the bags are working really well. The stripped post will also get some use this summer on various road trips we go on, and it really is so lovely.
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And as promised, Rebecca photos. Because she's too cute sitting in the bumbo like a champ.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Rhyme Bible

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When we got home from our first weekend trip to Manhattan, we spent the rest of our day relaxing and getting ready for the last week of school. At bedtime, a clean, post bath Becca settled in to read with her dad. Kip's new favorite book is The Rhyme Bible, something we learned about at a parenting class at our church. It is awesome; the rhymes make the simplified Bible stories so catchy, and we both get a kick out of how they make it all flow. It's a collection of thirty-five Bible stories told in verse.

I reached for my camera to take a couple photos because they were so sweet together. After the first couple, Kip said, oh wait, I am wearing my gross old hat! He put on his KSU one instead, but these are the ones that won in the end. Rebecca's facial expression made us laugh so hard. It's like the story went from believable to unbelievable in a matter of seconds. But hey, at least she was sort of into it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Return of the Queso Crawl

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After a break in 2015, the Queso Crawl returned on April 30. It was the third one, and we were excited about a great reason to drink Mexican beer and eat a lot of cheese. Hostess and planner extraordinaire Amy upped the competition this year with the addition of guacamole to the official ballot.

It's one of my favorite traditions, and I enjoyed looking back at year one when Rachel was visiting (and pregnant with Keaton!) and year two when Kip and I were almost engaged, and he still wore glasses. And for year three we brought a baby! I tried to pick an outfit that screamed "fiesta" for Rebecca to wear. 

A big part of the core crew of queso crawlers was back, plus new additions that are always welcome. Lauren brought quite a few of her friends, and she's always happy to see her niece too. For as much smiling and talking that Rebecca does at home, she was pretty overwhelmed while we were out and about and pretty much just vegged in our arms, looking adorable. 
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After a while, Rebecca was ready to take a nap. I pulled out the Solly and began to wrap it up so that i could wear her. I really wish that we would have been recording Lauren's roommate and his date while they watched it happen. I didn't really notice, but they were standing over to the side in disbelief that all those yards of fabric would be in use. And then they couldn't believe that a baby would fit in the wrap! I quickly turned them into believers as Rebecca not only slid in easily but also fell asleep within a couple of minutes for the remainder of the party.

We only made two of the crawl's official stops with the group at Los Tules and at La Fonda El Taquito (pictured above), before the group went on to Margarita's and El Patron without us. However, we weren't surprised with the voting results. The queso winner remains Los Tules and the newly named champion of guacamole is El Patron.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Back to Market

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It's always nice when April rolls around and the farmer's market near our house is open again! Kip works some Saturdays throughout the warmer months, so a couple of weeks ago Rebecca and I set out for her first trip to the Overland Park Farmer's Market with Aunt Lu. Mom was traveling or she would have probably been there too! Lauren snapped this photo of us at the west end of the market pretty much right in the spot last summer I told my mom that we were having a baby. She was so excited and then she bought me a delicious scone from Clock Tower Bakery - lemon ginger were my favorite during that first trimester!
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As with most of Rebecca's first adventures, she slept through the whole thing. Wearing her worked great because my hands were free to fill my bags and pay the vendors, but it will get a bit trickier (and heavier) as the summer goes on. Becca will be bigger and the produce will too - carrying a melon or sweet corn is certainly not as light as the mixed greens I picked up from Green Thumbs Up. They are so fresh that the guy practically laughed at us when we asked if they would be good six days later - they are good for a very long time! But I'm definitely already in need of another box.
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And thanks to the unseasonably warm weather this early spring, it's already strawberry season. These beautiful strawberries will set you back $7 a box when you buy the ones they bring to market, so we highly recommend the trip to Gieringers to pick the berries yourself. Even though he felt terrible, Kip went last Saturday by himself to bring us about eleven pounds, and we plan to try to squeeze in one more trip. As he always points out, in comparison to supermarket strawberries, these are red all the way through with no weird white spots. They are so naturally sweet that there's never a need to sprinkle them with sugar, and their season is always too short for me.

The market had many vendors with spring vegetables including asparagus, tons of herbs, and flowers you can enjoy. We also made stops at Penzeys and the Tasteful Olive, and I feel really set for some healthy eating. You'll find us at the market most Saturdays we're in town, and I wouldn't be surprised if Rebecca and I go some Wednesdays too. It's just so easy to get so much goodness in one spot, and we always see people we know!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Two Books of April.

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In April, I went back to work. And I started listening to the Royals sometimes as I put Rebecca to bed, so I didn't always read quite as much! Or I read some books and didn't finish them (yet).

Listening Is an Act of Love is a perfect read for anyone who looks forward to the Friday morning StoryCorps on NPR. The book does a wonderful job explaining how the interviews work (they are MUCH longer than what you hear on the radio!). The rest of the book is filled with fantastic excerpts from some memorable conversations. There are great stories about work and family, and the stories post-Katrina and about September 11th were heartbreaking to read in the middle of the night. Highly recommend and will definitely be adding their newest book to my list.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar was broken up over a couple weeks while I read two books at once. This was key, as I'm pretty sure I would have thought it was too much in one setting. Cheryl Strayed can be a bit crude and shockingly honest, and some of the people in this book have really big problems. However, because I knew that Sugar was the same author as Wild, I loved getting to learn more about her life through her answers. That was probably my favorite part.