Sunday, February 9, 2020

January Recap

And just like that, February is here! I know that I've seen a million memes floating around about how the month of January seemed like an entire year, but since I'm home on maternity leave I feel like I have a different concept of time right now. It seems like it was a slow month, but at the same it seems like time is flying when I look at my kiddos (plural- what!?!). Here's what we were up to this January! 


My Word of the Year

Because our baby girl decided to come ten days early, I didn't have much time to blog this month. Other than Addie's Birth Story, my only other January post was sharing my word of the year for 2020. I chose this word for a variety of reasons, and I'm already having to put my money where my mouth is in so many ways. I'm excited to see all that this year brings!




I've found that I really enjoy having a "word of the year" to tie back to: it grounds me, gives me a way to track my goals, and can encompass a variety of my resolutions or hopes. In 2018, I chose cultivate, which ended up being way more applicable than I would've ever guessed. Last year, I chose listen, which was also very very fitting- although admittedly I didn't master it and am still a work in progress. 😬 It definitely tied in a TON to all that we had going with @thebrimkc . And now, in 2020, we look ahead to a year brimming with lots of unknown possibilities and hopes. Which leads to my word for this year: one that certainly is relevant and challenging in so many ways. Click @currentlykelsie and the #linkinbio👆 to check it out. What’s your word of the year? 🎉 #livinglifefull
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Addie's One Month Recap

In case you missed it, our Addie girl joined the world on January 9th, 2020, and I can hardly believe she is already a month old! (You can read her birth story here!) She is the sweetest gift and biggest blessing, and we are settling in to our life as a family of four. Addie was 7 lbs 14 oz and was 21 inches long at birth, but she has already been growing at a steady pace, weighing in at 9 lbs 14 oz! Pretty crazy, as Eli was always on the smaller size and this little lady sure isn't wasting any time. Girl can eat!


We did put Addie in her crib on the first night home, just like we did with Eli, so that has been going fairly well. At this point, it's up for grabs as to how well she'll do each night. We had a night where she decided not to sleep from 10:30pm to 3:00 am, which was miserable. I think she was overtired, but it also put me into gear a bit as far as being a bit more consistent with swaddling, naps, and working to establish some routines as she ages a bit. Last night she went from 9:45 pm- 12:30 am, and then again from 1:30- 6:00 am, which gave me my longest stretch so far!


Addie has been to church and a few different restaurants, the doctor's office, and to visit friends and family. She seems to enjoy napping, whether it's on her lounger, in her crib, or in the car. Thankfully she is riding well in the car (and almost always falling asleep). She seems to be settling into a loose Babywise 3 hour eat, wake, sleep cycle, which Mama is happy about! She has taken bottles fine so far, which I'm hoping continues, as a fluid transition from nursing to pumped bottle-feeding to a pacifier is key for us, especially since I will have to go back to work in mid-April to finish out the school year.


We took our newborn photos a couple of weeks ago, and I'm excited to have them soon! Addie watched the Chiefs win the Superbowl, hung out with her Grandmas, met lots of family, and witnessed her first two Missouri snow storms in her short month of life. She's getting lots of good sibling time in with Big Brother Eli, who refers to her as "my baby". She's not a huge fan of the bathtub, but is warming up to it. Mommy and Daddy are looking forward to our Valentine's Date out, but we sure do love our sweet little lady!


Otherwise, this month was all about settling into life as a mama of two (more thoughts on that later). I only worked for three days before having Addie, so it's weird that I haven't worked much of my full time job at all since December 20th. That being said, I'll be back to work on April 13th to finish out the school year, but I'm certainly in no hurry for that time to be here. I'm looking forward to a great rest of maternity leave, and of this month- which started off with our Kansas City Chiefs winning the SuperBowl, so it's already off to a fabulous start! Happy February!

Currently,
Kelsie


Saturday, February 1, 2020

How to Pick the Best Flooring for Your Home

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If you're super indecisive, like me, you'll already give a lot of consideration into almost everything in life- especially home projects. There is so much to choose- paint colors (which I may have had lots of personal struggles with), wall decor, curtains and more. If you're doing a bigger home renovation project, one thing you may overlook would be flooring. Flooring makes a big difference in how a room looks and feels, which can make or break the atmosphere of the house at large. That's why it’s important to do some research around the right types of flooring for your home. Here are a few things to think about when choosing floors that you'll love! 

 Floating Timber

In industry terms, floating floors are a system of flooring that can be installed directly over an existing floor. This will lift the height of your floor, but it makes installation super easy and carefree. Don’t go prying up old floorboards or getting the jackhammer into the tiles just yet: consider slapping these down right over the surface of your current floor instead!

Another reason these floors are a great choice is that they look beautiful. They tend to retain heat rather than lose it, which is friendly for your feet, making them great for winter or those places that get a little chilly.

Timbers are relatively easy to keep clean, requiring little more than the occasional sweep and light mopping, but they’ll show dust if you choose a range that has dark tones. If you damage your floor, it's relatively easy to replace the damaged units by prying them up and swapping them for new ones – keep a few handy just in case. 

Tiles

If you enjoy a cool, hard surface underfoot or you live in a fairly hot climate, tiles are a great option for you! They expel heat really quickly, meaning your floor will remain nice and cool to the touch at most times of the year. On the flipside, you may want to steer clear of these bad boys if you live in a chilly climate: they’ll really make your toes curl if you have to get up in the dead of night in the middle of winter to use the bathroom!

Another reason that tiles are a strong fan favorite is that they’re easy to maintain and are highly durable. A quick vacuum and mop and your tiles will shine like new. Just make sure you opt for a more neutral color on the grey-white spectrum with low-key patterns or veins, because flat dark colors generally show up more dust and aren’t all that pleasing to the eye.

Finally, tiles are reasonably priced and won’t lead to a budget blowout should you choose to invest in them. One last piece of advice: it’s better to install tiles in homes where the walls are soft and insulated because tiles and hard walls together may create an echo chamber that will annoy the heck out of you!

Vinyl Planks or Rolls

Vinyl planks are a softer surface than tiles, meaning they’ll be kinder on your feet and back. Due to this feature, they're also warmer than tiles, but not as warm as floorboards. Their cool surface makes them highly suitable for a variety of climates. Thanks to modern flooring technologies, vinyl planks are now available in a huge range of colors, designs, and types, including waterproof planks.

Waterproof planks are amazing because they mean you can extend the floor from living spaces into laundries and kitchens (although I'd advise against venturing into the bathroom!) creating a look of uniformity throughout most of your home.

If vinyl planks are too expensive for you, or you’re operating on a budget, you can always opt for vinyl on a roll. This is the more cost-effective option, and you can install it yourself with a little hard work and a competent DIY approach, meaning you’ll also save money on installation costs. And who doesn't love that? 

Vinyl planks look fantastic in the right indoor environment, but vinyl on a roll is a little uninspiring. It isn’t the most visually pleasing option on the market, so you may want to save it for projects where you’re limited by a budget, like fitting out a rental property. Otherwise, think about relegating it to playrooms and basements where kids can play on it to their heart's’ content.


Carpet

There is nothing better than sinking your feet into a nice, lush carpet on a cold winter’s night. And honestly, our house could probably use an overall on carpet when we can budget for it. Carpet's main attraction is that it's the softest and most comfortable surface to have under your feet, and it’ll keep your toesies nice and toasty throughout the year.

However, you should keep in mind that carpets are notorious for harbouring microscopic bugs and nasties that can cause allergens, they’re vulnerable to stains and marks, and it’s much harder to clean them should you happen to spill something on them or if you have a messy pet or child.

Carpets come in a range of qualities and designs, which can drive up prices depending on the type that you’re after. This means you’ll want to ask yourself if it’s worth investing in upmarket carpets such as Godfrey Hirst, Quest Carpets, Victoria Carpets, and more.

Finally…

At the end of the day, you’ll probably want to pick a combination of floors to suit the variety of rooms in your home. This is because the flooring that suits one space, such as the bedroom, may not necessarily suit another, such as the bathroom. We love tile in the bathroom and carpet in our bedrooms.

As you hunt down the right floors for your home renovation project, keep in mind your budget, the style that you’re after, as well as useability and durability: you don’t want to pick a floor that is impractical and clashes with the overall design of the rest of your home. Good luck in finding the right floors for your renos!

Currently,
Kelsie



Friday, January 24, 2020

Addie's Birth Story

In case you haven't heard, Baby K is here and SHE is named Addie Jo Kleinmeyer. We were thrilled to welcome Addie at 6:56 am on Thursday, January 9th. Both of our babies were ten days early and born on Thursdays, so apparently that's when my body likes to go into labor. Addie is the sweetest little girl and a precious gift, and we were honestly so shocked and delighted that she was a girl! (We didn't find out gender ahead of time.) I loved recording Eli's Birth Story, so here's the story of how our Addie girl came into the world!


On Wednesday, January 8th, I felt a few contractions here and there at school. Since I'd already done this whole thing once, I knew they weren't close enough together to be worried about, but I also knew they were actually contractions and not just Braxton Hicks. I had a doctor's appointment the next day, so I figured I could get checked there. (I hadn't been checked at all at this point, so I didn't know if I was dilated or effaced at all- but I did feel a lot more pressure.) Ironically enough, I remember thinking to myself as I left school that day that I may not be back for a long time. Maybe it was because I was mentally thinking that Eli was born ten days early, so if this baby came at the same time it would be the next day! 

That afternoon, I drove out to meet Aaron on our property at The Brim for a tour, with a mild contraction along the way. I remember joking with him that I was doing my best to just keep this baby in. After the tour, I picked up Eli and told my mom that I had been having some contractions here and there. She told me that she didn't have any plans all weekend, which ended up being a good thing!


I went home and worked on dinner, but felt myself having to stop here or there to breathe through contractions. Again, they weren't super consistent, about 25 minutes apart or so, so I didn't worry. But I did have a feeling that maybe this was actually "it". Aaron told me to go sit down because I was doing too much, but even while I sat on the couch I would randomly have contractions. Eli saw me breathing and was worried about me, but we just told him that our baby was getting ready to come!

Aaron and I climbed into Eli's big boy bed to put him to bed together that night, and though neither of us said it, there was an unspoken confidence that this would be our last night as a family of three. We soaked up the sweet time reading through Pete the Cat, and I handed off the book for Daddy to read a couple of times as I worked through some contractions. I attempted to "sleep" at about 9:40 pm, but woke up around 11:10 with random contractions- apparently I love going into labor in the middle of the night! I glanced at my watch here and there, and when Aaron heard me rolling over to my hands and knees and breathing through contractions at around 12:15 am, he asked if I was timing.

He got up and turned on the lights and started timing. I now know that I had back labor, which I didn't realize at the time, because when a contraction would end it seemed like it never actually ended. There was always this dull constant pain that I felt which made it seem like my contractions were constant. (I definitely don't recommend back labor- it is more common when babies are in a weird position, and Addie was head down but of sideways which was triggering the pain).

Aaron timed until about 1:15, and then told me he was going to call his brother to come to our house and be with Eli, who was sleeping. I was a little worried that this wasn't going to be "for real", and we would be bugging everyone for no reason, but a few more contractions in and I was pretty confident this baby was coming. Aaron also called my mom, who had been a huge help during Eli's 17 hrs of labor, and she headed our way to follow us to the hospital. I labored at home a little longer, and we pulled up the hospital about 2:00 am.


They got me up to labor and delivery and I was at about a 4, which I was honestly a little disappointed in. But I also knew that labor went quicker the second time around, and I was grateful I made it in time for a possible epidural. Since I was only at 38 weeks and 3 days, I had to "progress" in labor or they wouldn't be able to admit me, and they also couldn't induce me since I wasn't 39 weeks yet. I had a little PTSD from Eli's labor experience (going to the hospital, making no progress, going home, laboring until an 8, and coming back), so I was worried I would have to go home again, but thankfully I made progress and made it to a 7 very quickly.

Then it was time for the epidural. It took a few tries (and breathing through a few contractions) to make it work, but thankfully both Aaron and the nurse advocated for me (she said she shouldn't still be hearing me contract), so we had the anesthesiologist come back and she put something through that made me go numb a little more quickly and thoroughly. The back labor still wasn't completely gone, but I definitely didn't feel my contractions anymore, which was a relief and huge blessing. They moved me around a few times, broke my water when I was at a 9, and waited for me to reach a 10. I was able to rest a little, but it was all going so much more quickly than it did with Eli that I honestly couldn't believe I was as far along as I was.

Of course, coming in at 2:00 am and being close to a ten just after 6:00 am meant that my normal doctor who delivered Eli wasn't there. They had to call in the doctor who was on call for me, but it was time to push just before 7:00 am. I only pushed for 18 minutes (which would have been even shorter if they weren't waiting for the doctor to be in the room), and then little miss Addie was here at 6:56 am!

Aaron and I had both secretly wanted a girl, but we just wouldn't say it. Because of that, along with the fact that I had PUPPS (which is 70/30 odds in favor of having a boy), I was completely convinced that we were going to have a boy. We had to come up with a new boy name, since Eli was our no-brainer boy name the first time around, so we had worked extra hard to have a boy option that we figured we would be using. I completely understand why people find out if they're having a boy or girl beforehand, and think everyone needs to do what's right for them, but wow is it fun to find out in the delivery room! With Addie being born at 6:56, and shift change happening at 7:00, there were a whole host of people in the room who were cheering and crying right alongside us as Aaron called out, "It's a Girl!" We have a video of that moment and I'll cherish it forever.



My eyes were closed so I didn't know until he said it, but I honestly was so surprised and thrilled. We just kept saying we couldn't believe we had a sweet little girl, Addie Jo, and that she was here in less than 7 hours of labor. Eli was a 4:08 pm birth, so this time it was crazy to have it all done and over with before breakfast time (and I joked that I didn't even have to miss a meal)!

Once again, we had incredible nurses, like Lola (pictured here), Jen, Meg, Mackenzie, Erika, and several others who loved on me, Aaron, and Addie so well. Gosh, what a blessing nurses are to care for you so kindly at your worst and most vulnerable, just acting like it's no big deal when they deal with some pretty gross and hard stuff.


Once we moved up to the mom and baby floor, we got to hang out a little bit and then Eli finally got to come meet his baby sister (which, for the record, he totally called with unwavering confidence the entire pregnancy). He was a little worried about the hospital (where he kept telling everyone that he didn't have a boo boo), and he didn't like the looks of my IV. But he warmed up a bit when he got to sit on the bed with Mama and we told him that Addie was his baby sister and she was finally here.



Our family made their way through throughout the day, and we loved getting to surprise them when they came in by introducing them to our baby girl- what a sweet surprise for us all. We ended up having typical Missouri weather, with Addie born on a 65 degree day, and then freezing rain moving in the next day, and 3.5 inches of snow the next day, so that meant fewer visitors getting out in the nasty weather. We had to stay a little later because of it, but it was sweet to have the extra time just Aaron, Addie, and I in the hospital together (with the help of the nurses and the nursery) before heading home to our new reality as a family of four.



All in all, I am so grateful for another incredible birth experience, where I was able to make it a good chunk of the way on my own without medication, go into spontaneous labor ten days early (again), get an epidural for relief, and see my baby on my chest just seconds after she was born. That moment is inexpressibly wonderful.

Welcome to world, sweet Addie! You are prized and precious. We love you so much, no matter what, and we always will.

Currently,
Kelsie



For more pregnancy and motherhood posts, click here
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Monday, January 6, 2020

My Word for 2020

Ever since 2018, I've been choosing a "word of the year". Although I'm not always into doing what is trendy, I've found that I really enjoy having a word to tie back to: it grounds me, gives me a way to track my goals, and can encompass a variety of my resolutions or hopes. In 2018, I chose cultivate, which ended up being way more applicable than I would've ever guessed. Last year, I chose listen, which was also very very fitting- although admittedly I didn't master it and am still a work in progress. It definitely tied in a TON to all that we had going with The Brim. And now, in 2020, we look ahead to a year brimming with lots of unknown possibilities and hopes. Which leads to my word for this year: trust.


In the noun form, trust is defined as a "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something." As a verb, it is to "believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of".

Trust. Believe. Have faith. Have confidence.

This is something I could stand to do in a lot of areas in 2020. I've found myself to be a lot more of a worrier than I thought. I'm the type of person who can read an email and instantly go to the worst case scenario, already freaking out about how to handle it before it even escalates to the problem that I'm imagining in my mind. I often dream up situations that may not even come to fruition, and yet I worry about and try to plan for them. I question myself, question my successes, question my dreams. I wholeheartedly fear failure, and I worry about the unknown, though I have zero control over it.

It's a type of mild, self-diagnosed anxiety, honestly. So this year, I'm going to strive to choose trust over worry. To trust that I am doing the right things at the right time (after I've thought them through and made a decision). To trust that things will work out. To trust myself and my gut as a parent. Trust that things will look up at some point, even when they are hard or dark in the moment.


To trust in the Lord, and in his plans for our family. To trust that they are to help me and not to harm me, to give me a future and a hope if only I am willing to follow.

To trust my husband, and that he always has the best intentions at heart, even when it doesn't feel that way in an emotional moment.

To trust that I will bring this new little life into the world and that our family will make it through the newborn fog with a toddler.

To trust that stepping out in faith will be worth it.

I'm often a safe person, taking the seemingly secure and risk-free option that seems to make the most sense. And yet, I've been called to take more risks lately. To consider leaping and trusting that a safety net will appear. To step outside of my comfort zone when something wonderful could be waiting on the horizon.



"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."
Jeremiah 17:7-8

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." 
Psalm 56:3

We've got lots of big dreams and big goals on the horizon, and 2020 will prove to be a year of leaping and trusting. I am hoping and praying that I will do just what these verses say. That I will continue to trust even if the timeline changes or it seems like a long road lies ahead. That I will remain rooted and planted in a firm foundation, that I will not fear when the heat or drought comes, that I will not be anxious, that I will continue to bear fruit even in the less fruitful seasons. I look forward to 2020 with eager anticipation, striving to choose to trust rather than worry or fear this year, and in the years to come. 

Happy New Year to you all! 

Currently,
Kelsie