Stitch Fix – My First Experience

I’m plain Jane. I hate clothes shopping! I hate clothes shopping because I have no sense of style, plus clothes normally do not fit right on me…well because I’m only 4’11”. It’s always a challenge. Nothing worse than finding a pair jeans or pants only to have pay someone $30 to get them hemmed. Same with dresses, sleeves or straps on shirts. It’s frustrating and now take into account after 4 kiddos, I have quite the mom belly to hide, it can be less than joyous to shop for clothes. Even before kids, I’ve just never been much of a fashionista. The latest trends never seemed to look right on me. Nothing like wasting hours shopping to come home empty handed and discouraged.

I think Michael was tired of hearing me complain :) So for my birthday, he signed me up for Stitch Fix (Clothing and accessories hand-selected by a personal stylist, delivered to your door. I know, sounds too good to be true!). He heard me mention it a few times, so he finally took the initiative and signed me up because I wouldn’t do it myself! I kept making excuses about losing more weight first and that I wouldn’t like whatever they sent me anyways, so why bother, or whatever they sent wouldn’t look right on me anyways.

On my birthday, he signed me up, despite my pleas not to, because as a guy he rationally reasoned, “What’s the worse that could happen? You’re out the $20 styling fee. Or you might actually like something they send you.” I do like how guys are so rational about things, whereas women can be so emotional and indecisive.

About a month later my Fix arrived! I wasn’t really excited about it as I was pretty sure it would be a major fail. I recall filling out the style profile and thinking they’re not going to find anything for me! No where did I seem to get across that my want-to-be style is un-frumpy and stay-at-home-mom-esque. I’d love to dress like Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper or Kate Middleton. Just put together, timeless and modest. But I was pleasantly surprised. My fix included a note from my stylist, Nick, and style cards for more outfit ideas on the items they sent me.

My first Stitch Fix!

My first Stitch Fix!

Upon initial glance…red pants! Okay, they’re not like bright red, more a soft red, almost coral color. I wanted a great pair of jeans, but my stylist noted they didn’t have any in my size…bummer! But the more I looked at them, I kind of liked them; I just wasn’t sure I could pull off wearing them.

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I loved all the tops they sent. They were flowy and cute, in different patterns and colors that I probably wouldn’t have picked out shopping on my own. The two on the right were my favorites! I love cardigans and this was a great departure to the classic gray I always seem to go for. I also loved the first top pictured, but it is actually too big, especially in the straps. I think if I, I mean if my mom, takes them in though it will work. The blue top was my least favorite, I just didn’t think it was very flattering on me.

Overall, I’m glad Michael made me try this out. The pieces weren’t necessarily timeless, but they did take me out of my comfort zone and let me have fun with some color without being over-the-top crazy. Plus, 3 out of the 5 pieces were super kid friendly, meaning they could handle four baby boys climbing all over me during the day :)

I thought the price point was reasonable as well. Don’t get me wrong, I love clearance and deals, but I also realize you get what you pay for and many times I come home to find something I bought doesn’t withstand the wear my clothes go through. For all 5 pieces it totaled to $157, that was with a 25% discount for keeping all 5 items and the $20 stylist credit (you get to keep the stylist fee if you keep one or more of the items). That’s about $31 per piece. Not too bad, especially since that included pants and cardigan. Plus, it saves me from the time and trouble of shopping store-to-store and finding nothing anyways.

So what did I keep? The pants, cardigan and paisley top! Those all totaled $130, so I didn’t get the 25% discount, but still saved a bit. As much as I loved the first top, with the cute red and pink pattern; overall I thought it was too big everywhere, especially in the straps and even with the straps fixed it would still show bra straps and that would drive me crazy. I wanted to love the blue top, but the back was razor back style, so again bra issue and I just didn’t find it all that flattering. I knew I would never wear it.

I’ve already scheduled my next Fix…I need some cute, modest shorts that will look great on my 4’11” self…hope Nick can pull through for me again!!! Michael might be regretting his decision to have me try this out after all :)

So if you’re in a fashion slump, like me, or would just like the convenience of clothes sent to your door, personally picked out for you, I encourage you to give it a go. Worse case, you’re out $20! And if you decide to try it out, I’d totally appreciate you using the link below, as I’ll receive a $25 credit, which would make Michael so very happy :)

Isaac at 11 Months

Sanctifying! Yep, that’s how I’d sum you up, Isaac. You’re 11 months old! And I still remember how long the first 3-4 months dragged on; mainly because we kept telling ourselves once you hit that 4 month mark you’d be sleeping through the night, or at least through most of the night. Well you’re still not sleeping through the night; and it’s not just waking up once during the night, it’s usually a few times. I think you’re God’s way of sanctifying your parents…I’m okay with a little Purgatory here on Earth and your cuteness does make up for it :)

Amazingly, I still can’t believe this is our last month before you hit the big O-N-E!!! Seriously, your first birthday can’t be happening next month already. You’re just my baby, but you and your brothers will always be my babies. It just honestly doesn’t feel possible! This time last year, I was huge and uncomfortable and anxiously awaiting your arrival.

We still have no baby gates up (#4thbabyprobs). And the baby brother barrier we set up (as shown below)…well you’ve learned to just barge through those…sigh!

The Baby Brother Barrier

The Baby Brother Barrier

So yes, I spend too much of my time running after you so you don’t tumble down stairs, and oh how you love stairs. You love climbing up them and you love leaning over the edge of them. Yes, you love adventure!

You really enjoy being out and about, checking everything out from your stroller or shopping cart. Your brothers still think you’re the greatest, except maybe when you barge over to their Risk game and army men set ups. :/

Brotherly love

Brotherly love

You love to clap…and stand…and push whatever you can around while “walking”…and you can never get enough bath time.

Look at those leg rolls…love them :) Awesome standing skills!

You enjoyed your first time at the pool, especially floating around in your little boat.

Isaac's first time at the pool. Hanging out with Aunt Kim.

Isaac’s first time at the pool. Hanging out with Aunt Kim.

And you even got your first haircut. You did so well! You were super calm during the whole thing.

Isaac's first haircut

Isaac’s first haircut

Except for the non-sleeping part, you’re the sweetest little babe and I wouldn’t trade you in for a baby that supposedly slept like a baby. Not really sure where that saying came about, as I have yet to truly experience that with my boys, but I love you lots anyways. You’ve only made your mama practice lots love and patience when it’s not always the easiest.

Milestones:

  • Clapping
  • Standing on your own
  • Top 2 front teeth finally came in
  • Says, “dada”!
  • Wearing size 18 months clothes…oh my! You’ll be bigger than your older brothers in no time! They best watch out!

Likes:

  • Yelling
  • Climbing up stairs, you can’t get enough!
  • Getting into EVERYTHING!
  • Eating EVERYTHING!
  • Laughing at all your brothers’ antics
  • French fries
  • Chewing on your own toes
Happy 11 Months, Isaac!

Happy 11 Months, Isaac! We love you!

Genuis Playroom Labels

I thought I’d share an easy idea for labels in the playroom, or anywhere really…closets, pantries, etc.

In the boys’ playroom we have these plastic bins. I love them! They’re a good size, durable and look nice. I wanted an easy way to change out the labels since the contents of the bins change as their interests change.

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It’s super easy and I like having the labels in place so the boys know where what toys go. Don’t get me wrong, picking up the toys can still be a battle at times, but it does help and reinforces that every toy has a specific home.

Playroom Label Supplies

Playroom Label Supplies

The Supplies:

  1. Horizontal ID Badge Holder – I ordered mine from Amazon in a pack of 25. It’s nice to have them on hand. I learned that reinforcing the loop part with clear packing tape keeps destructive boys from ripping them off :/
  2. Zip Ties – I found a whole package of small, thin ones at the Dollar Tree for a $1. They work perfect for this application. I just loop it through the badge holder onto the bin…done!
  3. Labels – I made mine in Photoshop. I just found images of the toys doing a Google search. You can easily make labels in Word as well.

The best part about this label system is that once it’s in place, you can just switch out the labels as needed. Before I was making labels, then laminating them and placing them on the bin. Creating one or two new labels and then laminating them and cutting them out was too time-consuming. This new system works much better and is super easy!

playroom_labels_upclose

Playroom Labels

 

Isaac is 10 Months Old

10 months, Isaac! In just two short months you’ll be 1! It’s really going by way too fast and I’d rather just keep you my little baby forever.

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Funny this motherhood gig…it’s exhausting and so time-consuming to nurse in those first early months and now that you’re almost 1, I cherish every nursing session as I know our time is numbered and I’ll miss these quiet, one-on-one moments together. You always grasp for my finger and your little chubby hand holds on tight. I love it!

You’ve been a handful this month, that’s for sure. Cruising along furniture, walking as you push chairs or anything with wheels. And there’s those sleepless nights. I think you’re teething, but it’s been ongoing for weeks now. I’m predicting some massive front teeth are coming soon. 

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You’re quite the mama’s boy these days, but I’ll take it :) No need to grow out of that too fast! You get super excited when I enter the room or you hear my voice. If you’re sitting you’ll just move your legs back and forth super fast and when I pick you up you’ll wrap your little arms tightly around my neck.

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Michael captured this photo of me and Isaac. So glad he did, it’s a favorite.

You’re still getting into everything. Now it’s every drawer, cabinet and the dishwasher. Oh, how you love the dishwasher. As soon as you hear me open it, you crawl over super fast. Pretty much everything around you is a choking hazard. You take the biggest toy or random object and shove it in your mouth. Yes, you’re keeping it exciting around here!

The brothers love making you laugh, you laugh so hard you topple over most times!

You still love being out and about; you’re usually a quiet observer and will end up falling asleep in your stroller. You’d rather nap in your carseat or stroller over your pen any day.

Milestones:

  • Waving
  • Drinking from a straw
  • Cruising

Likes:

  • Having Noah carry you around
  • Pushing toy cars around on the floor
  • Eating watermelon 

Dislikes:

  • Taking naps
  • When mama leaves

Happy 10 months, Isaac!

Happy 10 months, Isaac!

I’m going to cherish and enjoy every moment of these last 2 months before you turn the big O-N-E! Let the party planning commence!

Happy Divine Mercy

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Jesus, I trust in you!

Jesus, I trust in you!

We weren’t able to get an Easter family photo due to Isaac being sick, but we managed one on Divine Mercy!

Jesus said to St. Faustina, “I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy…”

“Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy.”

St. Faustina, pray for us!

Isaac is 9 Months Old

Isaac you’re 9 months old today!  Crazy to think it’s been 9 months; officially the same number of months that you were in my womb. You’ve definitely added a new dimension of busy to our lives. You’re literally into EVERYTHING! Babbling up a storm, crawling and grabbing onto anything to stand. You love to stand, so I’m sure you’ll be walking in no time. I kind of miss when you would just sit there with toys all around you and not go anywhere. That was kind of peaceful :) Oh and you LOVE to eat…ANYTHING!

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You’re still waking up 1-2 times a night. Usually around midnight or 1 and then again about 5…sigh! But I’ll take that over every 2-3 hours. Overall, you’re still our happy papoose; most smiley and chewing on something :) Even with a miserable cold, which I think you’re almost over…finally!

Isaac at his first hockey game. He enjoyed the lights, sounds and excitement!

Isaac at his first hockey game. He enjoyed the lights, sounds and excitement!

isaac_9mth_collage2

Milestones:

  • Weight: 19 lbs, 7 oz
  • Height: 27¾
  • Crawling like a pro
  • Pulling yourself up to stand
  • Loving table foods still – YoBaby yogurt, spaghetti, grapefruit

Likes:

  • Any and all paper
  • Music and dancing
  • Being out and about
  • Strolling in the stroller
  • Playing cheetah cub with your brothers – a wild game where your brothers pretend you’re their little cheetah cub and they go to great lengths to protect you from the predator aka big, bad daddy!
  • Loving up on your daddy
  • Favorite book is Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop
  • Favorite toy…a water bottle! You love chewing on them!
  • Mirrors
  • Being under tables, chairs, whatever you can find

Dislikes:

  • Baby food
  • Taking naps
  • When mama leaves
Happy 9 Months, Isaac!

Happy 9 Months, Isaac!

Easter 2015

Happy Easter! So much to celebrate for the Lord is risen!

Holy Week started off well enough. In my effort to have more fun, I decided on an impromptu trip with the boys mini golfing. It was a perfect Spring day and I didn’t tell the boys about any of the fun about to be had because as soon as they know these things, they’re bouncing off the walls like crazy people and I just want to crawl into a hole and never come out. So Mission Fun was underway. I had free tickets to mini golf + perfect spring weather. The boys had no idea until we parked and they exclaimed in utmost excitement, “MINI GOLF!!!” We got our clubs and each boy got their favorite colored golf ball, until the second hole and Noah lost his coveted green ball over the fence. He was upset and I thought he was going to melt down because, like his mom, he’s a little OCD about these things. I told him he could have a yellow golf ball or just not play, luckily he decided on the yellow. The boys were loving it and having a great time. I was on sensory overload, as this stuff just stresses me out a bit. Luckily it wasn’t too busy, but trying to get 3 overly excited boys to play mini golf in a somewhat orderly fashion is a lot to take on and yes I had my mom and sister with me. I know, I need to relax! But honestly, they had a great time and were well behaved, so I can’t complain.

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Our cute scorekeepers!

Our cute scorekeepers!

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After our round of golf we headed back inside where they force you to walk through the arcade. So of course the boys were sucked into the sounds and flashing lights of Arcadiam. I don’t like arcades! Again, I go crazy trying to make sure I can see all the boys, I don’t want to even think about all the germs on the machines and what sickness they’re going to have to endure and thus torture me with. So in all the excitement, I let them play a few games and earn a total of 27 tickets. The excitement of getting to pick from the most random pieces of junk encased in a glass cabinet is humorous, especially when 27 tickets have to get divided by 3. They walked away with some plastic fish and lizards and LOVED it. And by then I was dealing with a headache :)

Boys taking Grandma on with a game of air hockey!

Boys taking Grandma on with a game of air hockey!

It was also my sister’s birthday so we ended the evening having dinner at our favorite Japanese steakhouse. The boys had fun seeing some big fire and catching shrimp in their mouths.

Happy Birthday, Kim!

Happy Birthday, Kim!

Mission Fun was a success and I’m hoping to have more fun excursions with them. I’m forcing myself to do more fun things with them. I want to have fun and make these memories, but it is a lot of work. It’s not easy loading up four boys into carseats and going places, but I realize to have fun it doesn’t need to be overly complicated. We’re hoping to go to our local farmer’s market more often and stop by a nearby park and eat some of the fresh fruit we just picked up. Feeding ducks. Just changing up the scenery a bit. We’ll see how this plan goes.

Wednesday arrived with Eli having a cold, probably from the arcade :/ or maybe Bible school. And then on Thursday, Noah got it and then by Friday, Levi and Isaac had it. And Saturday, the cold was in full force with all 4 of them. Joy! Bubble, I want to live in a bubble! That is all!

On Holy Thursday, Michael attended Mass alone at St. Patrick’s while I tended to the sick children. He said there was so much to take in and see, that the boys would’ve really enjoyed it…so maybe next year! On Good Friday, Michael and I went to St. Patrick’s, while my parents and sister were brave enough to take on 4 sick children…they’re awesome like that. It was a beautiful Liturgy; how they unveiled the crucifix and had all the parishioners venerate the crucifix was stunning and so reverent. Wish I had pictures.

Saturday our subdivision had it’s annual Easter egg hunt. Even though they were all snot-nosed, they had a great time hunting eggs, hitting the piñata and eating cookies.

egg_hunt_2015

egg_hunt2_2015

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Noah also lost his other front tooth. Eli had accidentally punched it out during a bout of wrestling…boys :) It was much needed, as his tooth was just dangling there for the past week.

We colored Easter eggs.

coloring_easter_eggs_2015

The boys were so excited for Easter. We’ve talked for weeks how it’s the biggest celebration in the Church. How Jesus came back from death and opened the gates of Heaven for us poor sinners. They had done a great job on their Lenten sacrifice of giving up chips and all sweets and desserts. I was surprised how well they did. They never complained or whined about it. Even during Bible school, Noah’s teacher had given out small donuts and Noah refused to eat it because of his Lenten sacrifice. I was shocked! They totally deserved a chocolate feast on Easter. So I made Chocolate Mint Puppy Chow and chocolate chip cookies, plus all the chocolate eggs and candy I knew that was coming their way.

Easter morning, Levi and Isaac were still really sick. We decided my mom would stay home them. I was disappointed, as this would be the first Easter we didn’t all go to Mass as a family. It was Isaac’s first Easter after all and he was miserable with a cold.

We decided a couple weeks ago that we’d attend the 11:30 Mass, instead of our normal 9:30 one. The one at 9:30 gets so busy and crowded that it just becomes overwhelming. 11:30 ended up being a good choice; much better to handle and we were easily able to find a parking spot. Plus, we didn’t have the mad rush of getting ready and out the door so early. So we enjoyed chocolate chip pancakes and the boys ate some large chocolate eggs. As we were getting ready, Levi got upset that he wasn’t going, so we made the decision to take him with us. Warmed my heart that he was so upset not to be able to go to Mass.

We settled into our pew taking in the gold and white fabric beautifully decorating the sanctuary and Easter lilies. I was having an internal debate with myself on whether to wear my veil as I did bring it with me and the boys oh so wanted me to put it on, but I decided not to…unfortunately. Mainly because I was worried about what others would think. Shame on me for caring what others would think. In hindsight, I know I should’ve worn it. As everywhere I looked, girls were dressed as if they were going out to the night clubs on a Saturday night versus attending Mass on the greatest day of our liturgical year!!! These women apparently didn’t care about offending others in their immodest attire or causing scandal for the men around them, yet I was too worried about wearing my veil! I could ramble on and on about this, as it still just infuriates me. It’s just unfortunate and sad and I pray that modesty becomes a part of society again. My mood was instantly sour, when I was supposed to be full of so much joy for,

Christus Surrexit, Alleluia! Vere Surrexit, Alleluia!
[Christ is risen , Alleluia! Truly risen, Alleluia!]

As they came around sprinkling the parishioners with holy water, Noah got upset as he apparently didn’t get any. My 6 year old literally started melting down in the pew. I tried telling him it was okay, we could get some after Mass…no go. I had to carry him out, dealing with a weeping child over holy water!!! I found an empty room to take him to and he just cried and cried. Finally, he settled down and we made it back just in time for Communion.

I honestly don’t know what to think of my Easter Mass experience. I still am not sure what God was trying to tell me, except that I should’ve worn my veil. Hindsight is everything.

So due to the bad behavior at church, the boys lost all their chocolate goodness. It was sad. We did enjoy a delicious Easter ham dinner with all the trimmings, however.

easter_desserts_2015

This photo pretty much sums up our Easter:

Easter Family Photo with Grandpa and Aunt Kim

Family Easter Photo with Grandpa and Aunt Kim

It’s the best we could get.

Isaac's First Easter - He loved playing with the plastic eggs. Not sure how we got so many smiley pics of him; he truly has been miserable with a cold :(

Isaac’s First Easter – He loved playing with the plastic eggs. Not sure how we got so many smiley pics of him; he truly has been miserable with a cold :(

The boys are still suffering from this cold that won’t die, especially Levi and Isaac; grateful that Michael and I have been spared so far.

Hoping everyone had a blessed Easter and continue blessings for the Easter Octave! Alleluia!