Ask Casey No. 12

I get lots of design questions from you guys, but I actually get questions about a lot of other things happening in my life, like marriage, blogging, motherhood, fashion…really every single category! So, I tackle your inquiries in my “Ask Casey” blog post series answering your questions every month or so.

Ask Casey No. 12

Ask Casey No. 3

Here are a few past posts if you want to catch up…

The google form at the bottom of the post has helped me keep everything organized so I can slowly make my way through your inquiries.  So, if you have another question today, be sure to submit it down below.

Sign LanguageRory using sign language

How did you teach Rory sign language? I’m trying to teach my 8-month-old and he just laughs at me.

Rory really only knows a few signs (“milk”, “more”, “all done”, and “friends” are her favorite), but they have been helpful as she communicates with us. I learned a few from a book we received with our Lovevery Baby toy subscription kit and then we also participate in a twice-weekly class through Big City Readers. It’s a language/sign language development class and it’s just a twenty minute virtual class with songs and books, that you can rewatch for thirty days. Rory LOVES it and I love it too. It is especially great on days when it’s raining and we need something to do! Whenever I take out my computer, she automatically thinks we’re doing the class and starts signing “friends”, because we do a song at the beginning of class called “Hello, Friends”.

I’ve picked up a few more signs from the class and I try to incorporate them into our everyday routine. Miss Beth, the founder of BCR, always says it’s about clear and consistent signs, so I just try to do them as I say the words throughout the day. Big City Readers is located here in Chicago, but because their classes are currently virtual, I believe anyone around the world can sign up!

Two Under TwoWhat am I worried about with two under two?

What are you wondering about parenting two littles?

Oh goodness, everything! I’ve had conversations with all of my friends who have multiple kids and my main questions always focus on the logistics. How do you do bathtime? How does bedtime work? Do you play man to man, as in Finn takes a kid and I take a kid? I try to think through our regular everyday routine and it’s hard for me to envision how it will work! And, I also worry about bonding with the baby since he won’t have my full undivided attention, like Rory had when she was a newborn. Then, I also worry about Rory… How will she handle the transition?

I know we will figure it all out and it will all work itself out over time, but those are the things that creep into my head when I envision our life as a family of four.

Re-Using Baby StuffRory sleeping in her dockatot

What will you re-use with baby boy and what will you buy new?

That’s another question that has been top of mind for me lately! For the nursery, we’ll be getting a new crib and glider, plus some other essentials that are must-haves in Rory’s nursery, like a sound machine, diaper pail, and baby monitor. We’ve saved all of the clothes we love from Rory’s early days and we’ll go through them and see which ones might work for baby boy. Luckily, we won’t need a new car seat, stroller  – ours converts to a two-seater – baby bjorn, dockatot, and other pricey items that we had to get the first time around. For the most part, we’ll be pretty set with a handful of new clothes, diapers, and a completed nursery! But mamas of two littles, do you have any insight for me? What am I forgetting?

Splurge-Worthy FavoritesVacuuming our seagrass rug

What’s the best splurge-worthy home item you’ve purchased?

Hmmmm, I really had to walk around our house and think about this one. I feel like I talk about my love for our Dyson vacuum too much around here, but it’s definitely on the list. It isn’t cheap, but it gets used daily and works so well. I also adore our Barefoot Dreams blankets because they’re so soft. Oh, and our couch is another good one. We upgraded to a performance fabric and every stain comes out easily  – I’m talking orange juice, wine, blood, chocolate, etc.  When in doubt, upgrade to the nicer fabric that lasts! You can read all about choosing the exact fabric and couch in this blog post.

When it comes to pricey items that are not home-related, I would have to say skincare is where I splurge the most. I’m not one to buy expensive clothes, shoes, or purses, but I will invest in high-quality skincare. I so look forward to using my retinol again when I’m not pregnant because it makes such a dramatic difference. I also really love this moisturizer and this eyelash serum, which are both splurge items.

ND Dancer

Casey on the Notre Dame Pom Squad - Ask Casey No. 12Notre Dame dancer kick lineAsk Casey No. 12- what was it like being a Notre Dame Dancer?

What was it like being a Notre Dame dancer?

It was the best part of my college experience and it introduced me to an incredible group of women who are still my friends to this day. Not to mention, it was so much fun. We had two to three hour practices, five days per week, which was a lot on top of school, but it kept me in shape and was the ultimate way to de-stress. Dancing at pep rallies and basketball games was so much fun and it was an experience I’ll never forget. I’m so grateful for my dancing time at ND.

Planning Projects & Blog PostsUsing a paint roller to paint the room

How do you plan your projects and posts with a busy family?

Now that Rory is here, a lot more planning goes into our schedule. I try to get big projects on the calendar well in advance so I can line up childcare. And there’s no way I could work full-time if it wasn’t for my mom. She watches Rory three days per week and it’s such a big help for me to do this job. I still work 40-50 hours per week, I’m just fitting it into a different schedule with different hours. But in the end, it’s my job and a it is a big source of income for our family, so I find ways to get it done!

Outdated ContentAsk Casey No. 12

Do you ever have old blog posts from a few years ago that you think are outdated?

Hell yes. I look at some of those blog posts from eight years ago and cringe. The photography is terrible, the posts are short and not always super useful, and the links are expired. As a website, you don’t want poor content weighing your site down, so over the years I’ve either deleted posts, redirected them to new posts, or updated them completely. I look at content so differently now. Most of my blog posts are over 1,500 words with dozens of photos and I try to make them a helpful resource that answer any questions someone might have. In the beginning, I just kinda shared stuff without much of a plan in place. So yes, I definitely have old blog posts that I’m constantly updating to make better!

Submit Your Questions

Have a question you want to be answered? Use the google form below and I’ll answer it in the next Ask Casey post.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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