FRIDAY Q&A: PLANS FOR MATERNITY AND PATERNITY LEAVE, OUTSOURCING VS. DIY-ING HOUSE PROJECTS, FAVORITES FROM OUR WEDDING REGISTRY, AND MORE

Hello and happy Friday! I’m extremely excited for this weekend because the new windows in Teddy’s new room were finally installed this week which means we can finally get painting and assemble furniture, move in his clothes, and give him a few weeks to get settled in his new space before his little brother arrives! I was hoping he’d have more than ~4.5 weeks to adjust to his new digs before my due date but I’m just relieved we’re finally out of the holding pattern and able to get the ball rolling on making it feel like home for him. Hopefully I’ll have some decorating updates to share sometime next week but until then, I’ll be covered in paint and happy as can be to give those walls and trim a new lease on life! I hope you all have a great one. xx

design-darling-friday-qa-500x500-500x500

1. What were your rose and thorn of the past year?

My rose is a tie between having Will work from home and having an easier second pregnancy than I did with Teddy. My thorn is not seeing Grandy for such a long stretch — very excited to rectify that as soon as we’re all vaccinated! You can read more reflections on the past year in this post.

2. How are you feeling as you get closer to your due date?

Tired! Pregnancy is a whole new ballgame with a toddler running around but I’m also really grateful that fatigue has been my most persistent pregnancy symptom this time around. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how I want this birth experience to feel different from my first, talking about it with my therapist and the doctors at my new practice, and just trying to get myself in the best possible headspace before gearing up to do it all again! We’re literally counting down the days until we get to meet this little one and introduce him to Teddy and I know however he gets here will be worth every second. 

3. Do you have plans for maternity/paternity leave?

The short answer on maternity leave is I wish I did but I don’t. I have several more sponsored projects I’m planning to wrap up in the next couple weeks so I can give myself a few weeks off on that front, but in terms of regular daily blog content I can never seem to work super far in advance such that I have weeks and weeks of posts ready to go. I’m hoping to photograph at least one or two rooms in our house before the baby comes that I can schedule “room reveal” type posts for in the couple weeks after I’ve given birth and I know I’ll want to write this baby’s birth story while it’s still fresh in my mind, but other than that I’ll just do the best I can and give myself grace if new posts are a little sparse around here for a few weeks. It’s definitely something I wrestled with after Teddy was born — when you’re self-employed, you’re not making money when you’re not working, but I also feel like I have a better appreciation of how fleeting the newborn phase is and want to let myself soak that in as much as possible. Will was able to take three weeks off for paternity leave when Teddy was born and I’m hoping he can take a similar amount of time for baby #2 and maybe squeeze in a couple hours of work from his home office every day. I do feel like we have much better support systems in place this time around between having a part-time nanny for Teddy and my parents living with us, but the plan is really just to take it day by day and adjust as best we can.

4. Where does your red hair come from? Does Will have any red in his fam? I’m a redhead too!

Redheads unite! My sister and I get our red hair from my dad, who was a redhead growing up. Both my brothers have brown hair as do Will and Teddy so the jury’s out on whether we’ll have any redheaded kiddos!

5. Have you looked into double strollers? Currently shopping for one!

We’re planning to get the additional Rumble Seat and necessary adapters for our Uppababy Vista stroller  — I should definitely bump that to the top of my to do list! If you’re a parent of two little ones and have the same set-up, I’d love to hear which seat configuration your toddler prefers so I can figure out whether we need the upper adapters, lower adapters, or both. By the way, if you’re working on a baby registry, this post has detailed write-ups on which baby items we used and loved the most, the baby items I would swap out or skip entirely, which items we purchased over time after Teddy was born, and what items we’re purchasing duplicates of for baby #2!

6. How do you decide when to hire vs. when to DIY when it comes to house projects?

I know what I’m capable of and outsource the rest! My dad taught me all his tips and tricks for painting when I was young — I remember helping paint stripes on our kitchen walls and put a new coat on our counter stools when I was maybe 12 or 13? — so I much prefer to tackle a painting project myself vs. paying for a professional, especially if it’s just one or two rooms at a time. And I genuinely enjoy making decorating decisions (and constantly seeking my mom’s opinion on that front!) so that’s not something I’m ever likely to outsource. My dad is pretty handy with things like building shelves and hanging artwork or window treatments and my mom is great at hanging wallpaper — one of many ways we benefit from having them live with us! But everything else we’ve done — staining floors, moving walls, putting in new windows, drawing up renovation plans, installing electrical and plumbing — was a job best left to the professionals and I’m happy to have a little black book so to speak of people we’ve loved working with.

7. What’s your favorite Connecticut restaurant?

Rowayton Seafood is up there for sure! We’ve never had a bad meal there and the setting is just picture perfect.

8. Engagement photo outfit ideas for the city?

So fun! Our engagement photos were on the casual side and I think it’s most important that you wear something that makes you feel your best. I would plan to shoot a couple different outfits, maybe one on the dressier side like this or this and then something more casual like this, this, this, or this.

9. What should I put on my wedding registry?

Whatever you will use and love most often! It’s so hard to answer without knowing how often you cook and entertain, whether you and your partner already live together and have made certain purchases on your own, etc. For us, the gifts we use/see/enjoy most often are our wedding china (which we eat on every night), our highball and old fashioned drinking glasses (again in the daily rotation), a knife set, everyday serving pieces like this and this, and these monogrammed bath towels. 

10. Giraffe Manor — I just booked our honeymoon and we are stopping there! Outfit ideas?

Such a highlight of our honeymoon! You can see our itinerary and everything I packed for our trip in this post, but I loved this easy shirtdress and bootie combo and got a lot of wear out of these splurge-worthy leather pants throughout our honeymoon (not sure what time of year you’re going so definitely check the forecast!). A few dress ideas I love hereherehere, here, and here. I would also definitely bring a hat — this one was my go-to as it offers great sun protection but doesn’t scream “beachy” the way most of my other hats do. Have the best time!

6 thoughts on “FRIDAY Q&A: PLANS FOR MATERNITY AND PATERNITY LEAVE, OUTSOURCING VS. DIY-ING HOUSE PROJECTS, FAVORITES FROM OUR WEDDING REGISTRY, AND MORE

Leave a Reply to Mackenzie Horan Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I’ve got a 42lb 3 year old and a 7 week old and ALL the pieces for the Vista. I’ve found the best configuration to be baby in the bassinet on bottom facing me and then my toddler facing me in the big seat. Once baby gets a bit more head control I’ll swap to the rumble seat for him. I’ve put his carseat in the bottom but we have a keyfit and the car seat adaptor and it is really really hard to see into. Also, it definitely gets stupid heavy with both kids in there. Bumps become obstacles you have to pop a wheelie to get over. My toddler still loves riding so she won’t even touch the piggy back attachment; she did get on it once as a two year old and it was hard at that height for her to have a good place to hold onto. For a car seat or bassinet up too and a toddler in the rumble seat, I think it would actually work well minus the difficulty of all the weight being in the front for navigating bumps.

    I’m at a bit of a loss on if we get anything else. I love the citi mini double and a ton of my friends have it, but it doesn’t work with car seats from what I recall. I want to find something that baby can nap in while his sister still rides. I’m kind of debating a veer wagon, as it does a lot more and has higher weight limits and isn’t just a stroller. I think most manufacturers expect kids her age to not want to ride anymore…

  2. I definitely don’t think the Uppa baby vista is great for two kids of different ages. We have it, and used it wonderfully for our one, and then just fine for two (my son and my niece) when they both fit in the toddler/rumble seats. However the configuration options that include the rumble and a bassinet or car seat are just not ideal. Let us know if you find a way that feels good for you, I have our second on the way and am not feeling hopeful!

  3. Re: double stroller…last year at this time when I had a newborn and a 2yo, I just wore the baby and continued using the single stroller for walks. Then we got a used baby jogger city mini double when the baby was about 6 months old. I had read/heard that the front/back doubles are really hard to maneuver so we went with a side by side. The city mini is one of the only doubles narrow enough to fit through a standard doorway! And the fold is so easy…although tbh ours just sits in the garage between walks. And I’m lucky when my now 3yo is willing to ride! Otherwise we usually walk at a snail’s pace…sigh. Everything’s a phase, right??

    And please take as much time off as you can, and know that we will all be here waiting when you’re ready to come back!!

  4. They get you with the uppa baby vista and no matter what you need both the upper and lower adapters, otherwise the seats/car seat are squished. Also, the rumble seat only fits on the bottom, so if you want toddler on bottom and infant on top (either in car seat or bassinet), you must buy the rumble seat, otherwise the infant will have to be in bottom position. It’s also heavy and not as easy to maneuver with both kids on board (granted my toddler weighed 35 lbs at 2 when baby was born). The rumble seat weight capacity is 35lbs, so if you have a larger big kid and don’t want to push the limits, the big kid goes up top. We ended up getting a BOB Duallie for long walks and adventures since it maneuvers so much better and has a 100lb weight capacity. Food for thought!