Packing Pool Bags

A reader (Katie) asked if I had any pool bag hacks that I could share....and while I don't have anything that makes the process mind blowingly easier - I figured I would share what we are doing.

My favorite pool bag is the LL.Bean X-Large Tote with zipper. It's washable, I can throw it on the parking lot/sand/grass....it's perfect - and I love all of the pockets. 

This is a peek at what our pool bag contains - and here are the few products that I think are really handy to have on hand.

1. SwimZip rashguard: Makes getting on and off SO much easier. Especially off. 

2. Babiator goggles AND sunglasses: Not only can you replace them if they're lost or stolen, the sunglasses and goggles actually stay on! 

3. A wet bag: My mom found mine at Marshalls for me probably 2 years ago and it's a must have for putting wet bathing suits into when we are leaving. 

Image result for wet bag

4. All of the snacks: Our favorites our individual bags of anything, but right now we're really into pirates booty, veggie sticks, gold fish, and mini-ritz crackers. 

5. Frozen Water Bottle: If I'm taking a bottle with us for Drew, I will bring a frozen water bottle to keep it cool. I never seem to have the right sized ice pack, so this works well without taking tons of space.

6. Coppertone for babies: Leo and I are really sensitive to sunscreens but this one doesn't leave us with a rash.  

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7. Foldable/zipper blanket: If we are packing our bags for the beach, this blanket is a life saver. I almost could use two of them since Leo inevitably gets one covered in sand, but we use this baby a lot. I bought mind from Bed Bath and Beyond but I recently had a friend buy one off of Amazon.

8. Sand Toy bag: If we are going to the lake instead of the pool, I bought this large plastic totes from Target that I love. It holds a ton of big sand toys, and is super easy to clean. And it's $5.99 


 9. Baby Raft: Bought at target two summers ago. It worked for Leo for two summers and now Drew loves it too. Leo has now upgraded to swimming with puddle jumpers which are going well too. 


Any good hacks I'm missing?? 


Drew - Six Months Old

Weight: 13lbs 9oz (7%), 26" (51%), head is 42cm (41%)

Clothes: Still rocking mostly 3-6 months, along with size 6 months in anything Carters or Ralph Lauren which I find tends to run a little small. Size 2 diapers but we will be moving up to 3 when this box runs out.
Nicknames: Drewbie, Drew Drew, Sloopy, Princess
Sleep:  Another amazing month of night time sleep. Thank you for being so good to us in this department. You are consistently asleep from 6:30/6:45pm-6:30/6:45am. 
Schedule: I am SO much more lax with you than I was with Leo. It's honestly just impossible for us to have a strict morning schedule, and I'm just ok with that for this round.
6:30am- Feed
 8:30am- cat nap in the swing normally or if we are walking
8ish - Breakfast! We started you on Oatmeal and Sweet Potatoes and will continue to introduce more foods this upcoming month. You're loving it but dang you're a mess.
10:30am- Feed
10:30-1:00pm - play/cat naps while we are out and about
12:30/1:00pm - Feed
1:30pm-3:30pm -Nap
3:45pm- Feed/play/bath
5:00pm-5:45pm- Cat nap 30% of the time
6:45pm-Feed and bed by 7:00pm
Health:  We are SO thankful for your perfect health
Crying:  You hardly fuss. You're such a good baby.
Feeding: We are nursing still, but I'm finding that you aren't always satisfied. Sometimes I'll offer  you a bottle after we nurse and you'll suck it down...so we've introduced formula and I've started to reduce my pumping too. I wouldn't be surprised if we start to drop a nursing feeding in the next month.

We also started you on food this month. A little early, but you were ready. You are loving your oatmeal and sweet potatoes and in the coming weeks we are going to introduce more foods as well as peanut butter. 

During the day, you will take anywhere from a 4-7oz bottle and at night before bed you take normally 8/9oz.
Likes: Everything? You are our MVP. You love rolling, bouncing in your little jumper, you love baths and swimming in the pool, you LOVE Leo and Roscoe, you love chewing on toys, going for walks, and eating. You love sucking your thumb too and I think it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.

You're truly a delight and just love life.
Dislikes: You don't love your carseat. 
Milestones:  Besides eating you're getting really close to being a steady sitter. You sit for short periods at a time but I wouldn't call you sturdy quite yet. You make movements like you want to crawl which is kind of scaring me.
Places You’ve Gone: We took a roadtrip with your Mimi and Grandpa to Iowa for an overnight to visit with your cousins and my college girlfriends which was really fun.

Postpartum: I've seen a lower number this month, but still about 8/9 pounds to do. I'm playing tennis 4 times a week which has been SO much fun. I have a babysitter in the mornings and then I try to bike to our drill which has been so good for me mentally and physically. 

Leo: You think he is just the bees knees and he is really starting to enjoy showing off for you. He loves to make sure you are watching him when he is eating his apples, doing a swimming lesson, or walking down the stairs. The only issue we are running into is that you like to grab his long, blonde curls, and he is not a fan of that! 

I honestly do not know how these months are flying by at such a wickedly fast pace, but I love every single second I get to spend with you Drew and you truly bring so much joy to our family.


A quick update

::: And I only used that title, because I felt like it probably doesn't do well to have two "life lately" posts back to back, but that's all I can really produce right now.

::: Joel was out of town for a week last week and you guys....it almost killed me. How do people do it? I was literally exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed, crazed, behind, and just plain DONE. 

::: While he was gone, I drove to Iowa with my in-laws to visit with the kids cousins and celebrate my girlfriend Lauren's wedding shower. We packed a ton in to a 24 hour visit - but it was so nice to see everyone and introduce Drew to some of my favorite people. 



::: It led us into Father's Day though, and it was a great reminder at how helpful Joel is as a dad, husband, and partner. I truly could not do it without him.

::: And gosh am I thankful for my dad - and my father-in-law. They both are such remarkable examples of good men, good fathers, and even better grandfathers, and we are SO lucky to have them in our lives. 

::: I'm happy to report Leo's swim lessons have been getting a TON better. We have been consistent at two times a week and not only is he getting much more comfortable in the water and with the instructor - I'm actually seeing some decent improvements! 

::: We've had lots of friends visiting - or moving (!!!) - back to Chicago, and this past week we drove into Elmhurst to hang with my darling friend Anne and her sweet sisters and their boys. 

::: My parents pool opened this past week, so we've basically been in pools every single day for the last three weeks. Joel said the other day about how I basically am packing and unpacking pool bags twice a day....and it's the damn truth. It's worth it, but there's a lot of steps and a lot of items for a simple hour trip to the dang pool.  


::: I did a little rearranging in our house. Our kitchen table was getting WAY to snug, and now that Drew is sitting at the table and eating with us, it just wasn't working out. We moved our dining room table into our main room, and stuck our small kitchen table in the dining room.

We will get a new dining room table in the coming months, but for now, it is SO nice to have a little more space to work with.  

And as much as I wanted to stage my house for these pictures, I literally have 6 more minutes and then have to pack swimming bags, so - this is what it really looks like right now.

::: Summer time in Crystal Lake is honestly the reason we moved here. There is so much to do, I can hardly keep up. Last week we made it to the "music on the lake" which they do every Tuesday night. We packed a cooler, met some friends (it got weirdly very cold) and had the best night. 


::: I got to spend the night in Chicago a few weeks back with my cousin Amanda to celebrate her 30th. She and I are only 4 weeks apart and the absolute best of friends, so I was happy that I got to have a little time with just her. 

::: Somehow our 5 year wedding anniversary is amongst us - and sadly, we really don't have too much planned. We are heading back to Iowa this weekend for another one of my friends weddings, so maybe our car ride without two crying kids will feel like a date? 


Life Lately

::: is clearly a little crazy, and I just literally cannot find the 30 minutes to upload thoughtful blog posts. But, so is life, and since I want to have some posts to look back on and remember this summer...you're probably going to get a lot of my streaming thoughts for the next few months.

::: I tried Froze for the first time after multiple friends have said it's basically life changing....and I'm not a fan. Way too sweet.

::: We had a busy weekend doing tons of house updates. We added some plants, a new screen door (that cost a small fortune, almost caused us to kill each other, AND came shipped without paint). However, the patio Gods must've been throwing us a solid, because our neighbor and friend had 6 pretty chairs that they put out on their driveway....which I very quickly scooped up. 

::: I have to take some pictures of the deck - we stained it and added this new couch (Leo and I were watching the clouds), and it's really coming together. 

::: My girlfriend Sara got these little shirts for the kids at my baby sprinkle and I've been dying to have both of the kids in them. 


::: We typically spend Sunday nights at my parents house for Sunday dinner and now that they're right at the water, we've been going over right after nap to let the kids watch the boats and play in the sand. It's so relaxing and calm, I literally told Joel that we needed to just sit and soak in the moment because it was so idyllic

::: I finally bought Drew's "easter present".....worst mom ever award?? I had wanted to get her her own monogrammed tote bag, but then just never got around to it so she never really got an Easter present. Whoops! But, Lands End had a great memorial day sale (50% off), so I finally scooped up her bag for $20 bucks!  Better late than never. 

Image result for lands end pink tote

::: Speaking of Drew....she started kind of-ish sitting this weekend and is showing SO much interest in wanting more than just milk, so we tried a little Oatmeal this week (she is 5.5 months) and it went great!  

::: Another bomb chopped salad - shrimp burrito bowls.

::: Leo started swim lessons last week. The first session he scream cried for the entire thirty minutes.  His last lesson was SO much better. He was a happy camper for the first 20, but then the back floats sort of sent him over the edge. Regardless, I was really happy to see some improvement and I hope when we start them twice a week, he'll get even more comfortable in the water.  

::: This week I started playing tennis in the mornings from 9-10. It's a fast paced drill and it is SO much fun. I think it's made more fun that I have a babysitter at the house now from 8:30-10:30, but it is such a treat. I've been riding my bike, and just having the absolute best time. One morning a week the sitter is going to stay until noon so that I can run some additional errands, but it's a pretty lovely set up! 


Reading, Watching, Listening, and Cooking

Reading: Woohoo! I finally read my first book post-baby! 

Image result for beach club elin

I typically enjoy Elin Hilderbrand - and this book was no different. Easy, sweet, and a fast beach read. A perfect summer book. A few of my neighbors are putting together an easy Book Club for the summer and our first book is Mindy Kaling's "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" which I've been wanting to read for a while.

Image result for Mindy Kaling everyone hanging 

Watching: My sister has been telling me to watch Schitt's Creek for a year now, and I finally got a chance to on my flights from Chicago to Los Angeles. The episodes are hilarious, fast, and you can easily binge 5 or 6 if you get a few minutes to yourself.

Image result for Schitts Creek

And if you watch, did you know that Twyla (the server) is Eugene Levy's daughter (and, thereby Daniel's/David's sister?!)

Listening: I've really enjoyed the last few episodes on Coffee + Crumbs. I like hearing how other women and families do (date nights, meal planning, summer vacations, etc.). 
Image result for Coffee and Crumbs podcast 

Also, now that the Bachelor is back on, I'm listening to all of the bachelor podcasts too. The Ben and Ashley I podcast and You're Favorite Thing are my favorites.  
Image result for WElls and brandi podcast 

Cooking: As you've seen in the last couple of weeks, I'm trying to cook a lot of salads around these parts. The weekends keep destroying my diet, and the scale is just not budging for me. I still have ten pounds to go to get to pre-baby weight, and I'm ready to get there already. 

With that being said, this weeks salad have included: an Italian Chopped salad, a BLT (and I added chicken) salad, and a Greek Turkey Burger salad - ALL thanks to Natalie at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers. 


Would love to hear if you have anything I need to add to my RWLC list! 
Hope you have the best weekend