Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Moving Sequence: We're here...now what?!?

(This is the 8th post for Bailey's Moving and Storage ipad 2 Giveaway.  Click here to learn more about the contest.)

What's the first thing that you do when you move?  You've arrived at your new location--pulled into the driveway.  What now?  There is a sequence!  Behold:

The Moving Sequence

Start unloading.  It all starts with unloading.  Unloading actually goes a lot faster than packing, so wipe your brow!  The...harder parts are over.  

Keep an eye out for key items.  You'll want to set up your bedding first!  If you don't, at the end of the day when all your items have made it inside the house and have been sorted into rooms, you're not going to want to stop and set up a bed.  And if you have little ones, they'll need naps.  Their real beds will be so much better than pack-n-plays.  So set up your beds--sheets and all!

Next make sure you can locate your shower curtain, rod, and towels.  Hang those up in the bathroom.  Throw the over-night bags you packed for everyone in each respective person's closet.  Finding clothes and toiletries in the morning will be that much easier!  Find the toilet paper and throw a roll in the bathroom as well.  You're gonna need it.

Did you bring a cooler with food from your fridge?  Transfer that to the fridge now.  Depending on how much ice is left in the cooler and how hot it is outside, you might have to do this immediately.  If you've moving in the dead of winter, you can set it aside with no worries.

I then start to worry about the kitchen.  Everyone will be hungry.  It's just a matter of time!  Unpack essential kitchen equipment--aka spoons, knives, forks, cups, bowls, and plates.  Even if you just have cereal for a snack, you'll be glad that you found these ahead of time.  

Forget where you packed the dishes?  Might have to make a run to the store for some disposables!

Once those things are done, do whatever the heck you want!  I like to get the bathrooms set up, move to the kitchen, and then put clothes and bedroom things away.  In the mean time, Paul is putting the living room furniture into place and making sure we have internet/power.  I try to call ahead of our move and set up a time for internet to be hooked up.  This is a great idea because, in our last move, the dish company couldn't come out for a week, and the internet company couldn't come for 2 weeks!  Being a SAHM, I was bored out of my mind.  Call ahead!

Overnight Bag Must-Have's

(This is the 7th post for Bailey's Moving and Storage ipad 2 Giveaway.  Click here to learn more about the contest.)

You know you have to pack an overnight bag when you move, right?  If you said "no"...oh honey, you've got some reading to do!  Your bag should contain clothing and shoes that will be comfortable for your move, as well as things that you will need at your fingertips.  Read the rest of this post for the complete list!  NOTE:  this list is for an adult.  Obviously for a child the list would include more.
  1. Clothing.  I always pack something that will be comfortable to travel in (for as many days as it will take you to get to your location), something that will be comfortable to move furniture in, and an extra outfit.  You never know what could happen!  
  2. COMFY shoes.  Seriously...if you're wearing heels...
  3. An outfit for church.  We usually move on weekends and, if you're going to try to make it to church, you've got to plan for it.  That means find a dress that is a great traveler (no ironing necessary), stick it in a dry cleaning bag, and roll it up.  Read more about WHY the dry cleaning bag HERE.  Bring some flat shoes and you should be good to go!
  4. Toiletries.  The RIGHT ones.  You don't need your economy sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner for this trip.  Either find smaller versions in the travel section at Wal-Mart, or buy a few travel bottles and dispense your favorite shampoo into it.  NOTE:  anytime you're packing a liquid, pack it in a Ziploc.  Don't chance it.  You know what they say--Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, SHAME ON ME!  Also, you're not going to need a curling or straightening iron.  Bring a small hairdryer, hair pick, and hair elastics.  Messy buns, braids, and ponytails will be your best friends.  If you need makeup, go light.  A tinted moisturizer and mascara will do you fine.  If you want to go the extra step, bring concealer.  That's IT!
  5. Toiletry bag:  Now Ziplocs are fine, but sometimes finding a great toiletry bag makes all the difference.  I use the Travel Roll-up Bag by Mary Kay for every day organization, but it makes trips and moving SO nice.  It has 4 plastic pockets that Velcro on, and a hanger to hang on a curtain rod or towel bar.  Everything is in one place and NEVER gets lost.  Click HERE to go view one.  
  6. Shower Curtain and Rod:  EVERY SINGLE TIME WE MOVE....we realize there is no shower curtain or rod in the house.  We always leave our rod behind.  So, when your husband wakes up to go to work in the morning and realizes there's no way to shower, it makes things REALLY special.  I remember when we first got married.  We came back from our honeymoon and CRASHED.  Before the trip, we moved everything into out apartment, but hadn't unpacked yet.  Paul had to go to work in the morning.  We couldn't find his clothes, let alone a shower rod and curtain!  He showered anyways and got water all over the floor which I then got to clean up.  Do yourself a favor to be prepared:  buy a new curtain liner that has been packed by the company into a tiny little package.  Pack it in your overnight bag.  If your shower curtain is small enough, pack that as well.  If not, set it on top of your bag in the car.  You will thank me later!
  7. Pack a towel.  Again, ease of showering in the morning will be life-changing.  
  8. Chapstick.  You never need it until you need it.  Know what I mean?  I pack them in my Mary Kay Travel Roll up Bag, or put one in the pocket of each pair of pants I bring.  
  9. Reading Material.  I always pack something to read.  Always.  So whether you're packing your kindle, favorite paperback, or a magazine, put SOMETHING in.  
  10. Computer.  As soon as you get to your new place, you'll want to hook this up and get internet and  cable going.  It will act as a good reminder.
  11. Chargers.  I can't tell you how many times my heart has DROPPED because I thought I forgot a charger, or couldn't find it for a few days after a move.  Do yourself a favor--pack them in your overnight bag.  You'll need them.  
That it for my list of must-haves.  Do you have any that I forgot?  List them in the comments!

Moving? Pack your overnight bag!

(This is the 6th post for Bailey's Moving and Storage ipad 2 Giveaway.  Click here to learn more about the contest.) 

I don't know about you guys, but when I move, I always have a SUPER hard time packing my overnight bag.  Even when we moved down the street (literally, you could see our old apartment from our new one), I knew I would need an overnight bag mostly for ease of locating a work outfit for the next morning, makeup, and books/homework.  So...here are my helpful (hopefully) tips on packing an overnight bag for your big move!

Pack an extra outfit JUST. IN. CASE.  You might be moving down the street or across the country.  Doesn't matter.  Always pack an extra outfit.  You never know when your baby will decide to get sick on your nice clean shirt, or when you'll spill pop all over your pants in the car.  When Paul and I moved in with his Grandma and Grandpa, we thought it would be for the weekend.  We were supposed to be signing papers on our house and then moving into it.  Yeah, that didn't happen.  We ended up staying there for over 1 month!  I was glad that I had the foresight to back a few extra items of clothing so that I didn't have to go rummaging through boxes of clothes till about a week later.  

This tip comes from Kim of the blog All Things Simple.  I love this--she picks out a complete outfit for her little girl (top, skirt, socks, undies, hair accessories) and packs it into a plastic Ziploc bag.  She does this for each day that she will be travelling and then packs the little baggies into one suitcase.  GENIUS, right?

Amazing idea, right?  And each time you wear an outfit, you can put it back in the bag  so everything stays tidy in your suitcase!
This tip comes from a Flight Attendant featured on the blog The Everyday Minimalist.  For adults, stuffing a whole outfit into a plastic Ziploc (especially the tiny quart-sized pictured above) might not be that practical.  She suggests rolling your clothing (instead of folding it).  Pack sturdy, thick items on the bottom (like Jeans), thin/small clothing goes on top (things like tee shirts and undergarments).  Pack your socks in your shoes, and your shoes around the outsides of your bag.  Any toiletries go on top.  

These are the flight attendant's belongings FOLDED into her bag.  

This is everything ROLLED and packed the way I've described.  See how much better everything fits?!?
Finally I thought I'd end with a tip from the all-powerful Martha Stewart.  It seems like she has good advice for EVERYTHING, plus if you've heard some great tip, chances are that it originated from her.  Anyways, I don't have a link for this one.  I was watching the Martha Stewart show one day and she was talking about how she packs.  To prevent wrinkles, she uses the rolling method (as the flight attendant uses) but first packed her clothing into a bag that you get from the cleaners.  You know those plastic-y, cellophane garment bags?  Those!  You get them for free when you pick up your clean clothes.  Put a dress in it, then roll it up.  Keeps everything wrinkle free for some weird reason!  This would be especially nice if you were moving over a weekend (as most do) and were planning on attending church on Sunday.  

Yup.  These bags.  And they always come with the iconic "We Heart Our Customers" hanger.  Too bad Andy Warhol isn't alive...I'm sure it would have been made into pop art by now.
Stay tuned for my list of must-have's for your overnight bag--it's essential in the moving process.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Our Week

Every other day I've been going on a rather strenuous walk with my friend Kristin from church.  She has a little boy just over 2 named Kaden and he just LOVES Hayden!  The whole time on our walk, he says, "Baaaby?  Baaaby?  Where Baaaby?  Where Baby Hayden?"  It is SO cute!  He has to be able to see Hayden on our walk or he thinks that Hayden has taken off and doesn't want to play anymore.  

I love walking with Kristin--she found this great walking path that takes you past 2 parks and has lots of green grass to run around on.  Oh and there are hills.  Aaaaand I'm out of shape, lol.  After one week, I can tell that I'm getting better at the hills, but they are not my favorite.  Oh well...it's good for me, right?

I'm sad that I didn't actually get any pictures of Kaden and Hayden playing together, but I did get a few of Hayden at the park:

These pictures might seem kind of far away.  I had to zoom in all the way to get these.  Hayden is becoming independent and is now ok with venturing off quite far from mommy at the park.  He used to only be able to be about 5 feet away from me before returning to "check in" with me.  He's getting so brave!

Look how far away my baby is!  So proud.  

He spotted me taking pictures of him...didn't really care too much!  PS...I know his shorts are HUGE!  They are 18 month. I just couldn't buy my almost 17 month old 12 month shorts.  Couldn't do it!  He does have a few 12 month shorts, but they were in the wash.  

I also couldn't find his sandals, so he went sock-less and looked like a skater!  Ha ha.

Binkie?  Check.  Good to go.

Hayden's favorite thing to do at the park is to sit on the play structures and look for pea gravel that needs to go back to the pea gravel area on the ground.  He's very fond of re-arranging and organizing.  

Oh!  I think I found a piece of gravel out of place!

The Mother load of out-of-place pea gravel.  Hayden is in heaven.
This week has been a warm one (I think it started off around 95 and is currently hovering around the low 80's).  We go to the park and take our walks around 7:30am to escape the blunt of the heat.  I still get a little tan on my arms, even at that hour.  ANYWAYS...in the afternoon, I let Hayden play on our porch area.  Our kitchen/dining room opens up to it with a HUGE glass sliding door.  I can sit at the table and blog or surf while Hayden plays.  Recently we got out his old exer-saucer and walker.  He LOVES them.  So funny to see him play with his old baby toys.
Ok, so we need to get out the shop vac and vacuum all the little pieces of debris that blow in to the porch.  Don't judge me.  Anyway, it was a hot day so I filled Hayden's miniature Radio Flyer Wagon (which I scored from Goodwill for $5) with water.  I handed him a loofah ball and a cup from Ikea and let him at it!  The water kept him busy for quite a while.  He really liked just splashing and I liked not having to worry about watching every little move he made.  There's also a little drain in the bottom of the flooring so I didn't even  need to clean up a mess afterward!  Score.

See his cute little Adidas Soccer Slides?  I am in love with them.  They have a Velcro top and then  the back has a piece of elastic so that they don't slip off.  The best part was that I got them (again, at Goodwill) for $1!  They barely look like they were ever worn.
This week has also been HUGE for Hayden's communication skills.  He's just been blossoming beautifully and I am amazed every day by what he learns.  I took a few videos to show you his latest acquisitions.

So, Hayden's new favorite word to sign is "more" because it gets him more food.  When you don't give him more food right away after he signs it, he apparently gets cranky.

So after giving him "more", i got him to touch his nose.  Progress!  I tried for "all done"...usually he says it as he signs it.  Hayden just didn't want to cooperate today.

Explanation:  Hayden was just....buggin me.  He was getting into everything of mine and just wouldn't play with his things.  So I set a box of packing peanuts down on the floor for him to throw and rip as he pleased.  he was on happy little guy!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Camping with the Becksteads

A few weekends ago we went camping in the Pike National Forest.  I couldn't believe how gorgeous the area was--if you have the chance, go visit it!  Seriously beautiful.  Anyways, I just now remembered that I had pictures from our camping trip but hadn't put them up yet.  Enjoy :)

 This is where Hayden was imprisoned while we set up camp.  He was pretty good in it for a while, but he eventually through all of his toys out.  Typical.

There's my happy boy!

This is one of Hayden's favorite toys right now.  It's not mommy's favorite (it sings english and spanish and lights up), but it's pretty cute to see Hayden dance around with it.  I love it when Hayden will bring it to me to turn on.  Well, let me restate that...I don't love turning the toy on for Hayden, but I love that he will now come to me to tell me what he wants.  I just think that the communication he has been developing lately is amazing.  

That's French and Mary in the background playing on a blanket/tarp.

Here's my hubby....
 What's he trying to do?  Not sure.  It looks like he's trying to chop down a tree with his little hatchet.  Good luck there, buddy!

 When Paul was collecting/chopping wood for our fire, Hayden was his shadow.  Whatever daddy did, Hayden did (or tried to do!).  

 Hayden's jeans barely stayed on his little bum!  They have elastic inside, so I had them on the smallest setting, but still Hayden's pants would slip down.  (The jeans are size 12 month and he was between 15 and 16 months in this picture).

Bringing his stick to the fire.

Found another stick for the fire!

Aaaaaaaaand more sticks.  

 I don't know what it is, but I have the HARDEST time getting this girl to smile for a picture!  This is like the only picture that turned out.  

Hayden and him's daddy!

 Mary's favorite thing to do was to climb in the camping chairs and arch her back like this.  She would just sit there for a minute and then hop down.  It was pretty good entertainment to watch her.

 One thing I have to say about Paul is that he is a GENIUS.  We had a HUGE fire.  The fire was awesome, but because of it's size it produced a HUGE amount of heat.  Roasting the brats that the Becksteads brought for dinner was nearly impossible until Paul found this HUGE stick.  I call it, The Amazing Brat Roaster-Extender!  I was just glad that he offered to make my dinner so I didn't have to deal with it.  

 When I said that our fire was huge, I wasn't joking.  It was big.  The boys were throwing huge logs of the fire!  It was nice by the time that night came around--you could sit back from the fire 3-4 feet and still be warm!

 After dinner we put the babies to bed.  Hayden did pretty well.  He woke up a few times because Mary had woken up and was crying, but he went back to sleep almost immediately.  One thing I will remember for next time is to bring him a hat to sleep in.  His body was warm but his head would get cold, and he would wake up.  We wrapped a blanket around his head, but that wasn't the greatest solution.

 The next morning I woke up SUPER early.  Well, let me back up.  Paul slept on the air mattress and I slept on the ground.  It was probably the most comfortable ground I've ever slept on--not joking!  Other than when Hayden would wake up, I slept really well.  Paul, on the other hand, did not.  I woke up early (it MIGHT have been as late as 6am) and was ready to start the day.  Paul was...not so much.  I made a fire, changed Hayden and set him by the fire, and started breakfast.  

 I finally made Paul get up because my fire was dying and I thought I needed his help.  I've never really built a fire that lasted, so I wanted him to help me keep it alive.  Paul was too tired so he sat with Hayden.  Thanks honey.  Somehow I was able to keep the fire going and it finally was sustained.  I attribute that to girl's camp.

He refused to open his eyes for a picture.

Mary in her warm clothes.

Me and Mary.  See?  No smile :(

 This was the day that Hayden found the dirt patch.  All he wanted to do was sit in the patch or dirt and throw it.  So I let him.

When Hayden get excited about something that's he's doing, I cannot get him to look up the camera!  Little stinker!!

Well that was our trip!  It was a nice break from our usual routine and I can't wait to go back there to camp again.