I figured with the beginning of a new year would be a fun time to do a little Q&A session. These questions were asked by people on Instagram and Facebook.
What’s your skincare routine?
Because I have eyelash extensions, which I love, I try not to get my face wet that much. I obviously have to get it wet in the shower, but to remove my make up and cleanse my face in the morning, I use these cleansing wipes. I’m really lazy about my skincare routine in the morning, so a lot of the time I cleanse my face, clean my lashes, and go. But at night I do a whole routine.
Here’s my nightly routine in order:
You can find all of the products listed above in my Amazon shop.
Thankfully, once I hit the second trimester of pregnancy, I don’t get many breakouts. But when I do, I use tea tree oil and/or this pimple cream. To remove pimples, I use a comedone extractor kit. When I’m trying to get a pimple to heal, I use triple antibacterial ointment on it. And this may sound weird, but when I was nursing Owen, I found breastmilk to be a great pimple zapper/healer.
Does baby #2 have a name yet?
Yeah, he has a name but we’re keeping it a secret until he’s born. It’s driving some people (*ahem* my mom) nuts, but we’re holding our ground. We want something to be a surprise. And I don’t really want to hear anyone’s opinion/see anyone’s facial expressions.
How did you decide Owen’s name? Will you do something similar for Baby #2?
I’ve liked the name Owen since I was in college so it was always my #1 boy name. I’ve liked Baby #2’s name for a few years. And I think it goes well with Owen. Thankfully, Brad was on board with Owen and the same goes with Baby #2’s name.
Are you done after this baby?
With the sciatica pain I’m currently experiencing? The answer, at this time, would be no. But I don’t want to officially close that door yet because things can change.
Will you share the new nursery?
Yeah, whenever I get it done. I’m not in a huge rush this time around because Owen didn’t even sleep in his nursery until he was a year old, so I don’t have a sense of urgency this time around knowing that the same will probably be likely for this baby. He’ll most likely room in with us for at least 4-6 months.
Any potty training tips?
We’re in the beginning stages of potty training so I don’t really have many tips. We haven’t pushed it really hard because we want Owen to be ready. Boys tend to potty train after age 3/3.5, and first-born boys are typically the hardest to potty train because they don’t have a sibling to emulate. So far he’s done really well considering how relaxed we’ve been. If he wakes up dry in the morning and/or after naps, we ask if he’d like to sit on the potty and most of the time he says yes and goes. He’s even been going potty at school, which is a relief. And the other night he asked to use the potty when we were eating at a restaurant– a first. I ask him throughout the day if he needs to go. We don’t have a reward system in place. I’m trying to get him excited about underwear so I let him pick some out online. That’s pretty much it.
Will you do a hair tutorial?
I’ve been saying I’d do one for years, and I’ve clearly failed miserably on that promise. And I’m sorry for that. It’s mostly because I can’t really photograph myself doing my hair, so I need to either teach Brad how to take the photos or hire someone to take photos of me doing my hair. I know I’m going to need photos because if I don’t, I’m sure I’ll get 500 questions if I just try to write it out.
Is there anything you wish you had done different when building the house design wise?
I touched on a lot of this in my Building A House Series: Designing the House post. But there are little things I wish we would’ve changed/added.
I’ll just go ahead and list them:
• outlet behind our entryway table– I didn’t realize we didn’t have one there until we moved in
• outlet inside the cleaning closet off of the kitchen so I could charge my cordless vacuum out of sight
• light switch for our master bathroom by the entrance from our master closet
• 4 recessed lights in the bonus room/loft
Do you wish you would’ve waited to close on your house?
That requires a lengthy response, but I’ll keep it short. We thought about walking away a week or so before closing, and this was before MANY of the problems came to fruition. I had come home from walking through the house (a careless sub-contractor left our front door unlocked so I just walked right in because our former project manager had locked us out of the house), and it appeared that they hadn’t fixed most of the stuff we put post-in notes on. But we were essentially trapped. People were buying our previous house, and we had to be out of the house so they could take ownership. And their lease was up on their apartment so they had to move into our house. Where would we go on such short notice? We don’t have family in the area we could’ve moved in with. Plus, what would we do with all of our stuff? So before closing our former project manager drew up a “We Owe List” stating everything, at the time, that needed and would be fixed and everyone signed it. Before closing, we paid for an independent inspection of the house and that inspector said the house was well built, it just had some cosmetic issues that needed to be addressed. So in short, we couldn’t postpone closing– we were stuck.
Did you think the house was complete at closing, and then realized all the issues?
We knew some things needed to be addressed at closing. But the shower wasn’t falling apart at that point because no one had used it. (The unsupported tile around the drain needed time to wear down with use and show the underlying problem.) They were supposed to remove and replace the front porch before we moved in, but the sub-contractor went rogue and capped it instead, and then everything seemed to snowball after that until we demanded a new sub-contractor. (You can read more about that here.) We didn’t notice the drywall issues until we moved in because the problems only light up during a certain time of day. The dip in the floor wasn’t noticeable until the house settled a little, and we were living here for a few months. We didn’t notice the different sheen of stains on the newels and balusters until after we moved in. The knocking guest bathroom pipe wasn’t noticeable until recently.
A handful of our neighbors are experiencing moisture in their attics, now that it’s winter and the temps have been severely cold. Some cases are pretty crazy– water dripping down into rooms through ceiling fan rough-ins. And some people have had a tough time getting the builder to follow through/show up. Brad still needs to go up into our attic and check to make sure we don’t have the same issue. I think he’s putting it off because he’s suffering from some sort of house PTSD. I would do it, but that would require lugging our 7 foot ladder up the stairs and shimmying my pregnant butt up into the attic.
There’s just a lot of stuff you’re not going to notice until you’ve lived in a house for a while and experience the 4 seasons.
Given all you’ve gone through, would you build again?
As of right now? No. Brad jokes that I can build my next house with my second husband.
The whole thing sucks because we purposely built new so we wouldn’t have to buy a pre-existing house and live through renovations to make it “ours”. But here we are in our brand new house living through renovations. We love the neighborhood, our lot, and our floor plan, but damn, this has been the most stressful thing we’ve gone through.
Other than using a different builder, how can others avoid the problems you’ve had with your house?
I really don’t know the answer to that because we did everything “right”. Our realtor had clients build with our builder and use our former project manager and had great experiences, so she recommended building with them. I have a friend who built the first house in our neighborhood, and they didn’t have issues. I guess my biggest suggestion is if you’re considering building in a neighborhood, walk door to door and ask your potential neighbors if they’ve had issues. Make sure to visit those with the newest houses, because it seems that the newer houses in our neighborhood have the most issues. I know that sounds weird, but if you’re serious, it’s the only way you’ll find out. Maybe bring goodie bags of cookies to give them as a thank you gift for their time.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My days aren’t very typical right now that I’m so pregnant, dealing with sciatica pain, and our weather has been bad (super cold/ice/snow). Our days also haven’t been typical for the past 2+ months because I’ve had to be here while the sub-contractors work on our master shower. Owen is in preschool a couple days a week. So on those days we get up, get ready, and head to school. I typically schedule my doctor appointments for when he’s in school, or I’ll come home and work on stuff. Sometimes I’ll treat myself to running errands without him. Owen still naps, or at least lays quietly in his bed, for a couple hours in the afternoon. I used to work on stuff during his naptime, and sometimes I do, but lately I’ve been so tired from the pregnancy and sciatica that I nap too. (No shame in my game.) On days Owen doesn’t have school, we’ll run errands in the morning, have play dates with his friends, go somewhere like the children’s museum, or just hang out and play here at home. When Brad gets home from work, we make dinner, play with Owen, Owen gets to watch a little TV, bath time, and then he goes to bed. Then Brad and I will either watch TV together (we just finished binging Stranger Things and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), or I’ll work on stuff in my office while he goes to the basement to play guitar. We live super exciting lives.
What does your cleaning routine/schedule look like?
I actually broke down and hired a cleaning person to come every other week. I could barely keep up with our last house, which was 1600 sq. ft., let alone a 3600 sq. ft. house. And I can say it’s money well-spent. We have our standard cleaning routine of doing the dishes, wiping down the kitchen counters, taking out the trash and recycling, etc. And I vacuum and clean the floors as needed between cleanings. This is especially true in the kitchen– I usually break out our cordless vacuum multiple times a week to do a quick sweep of the kitchen and dining areas. But I don’t miss cleaning toilets, sinks, tubs, and baseboards. If we were on a tighter budget, I’d definitely pay for at least one cleaning a month.
How did you originally get into blogging?
You can read all about that here.