Ask Casey No. 14

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. 14

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.

Wearing Braces

Casey as a child

Did you have braces when you were younger?

Somehow, I actually got through middle school and high school without wearing braces! My teeth were naturally pretty straight, so I was lucky! But I did have two big front teeth, flanked by two tiny baby teeth that never grew into “adult” teeth. I had to have caps placed over them to make them look a bit more proportionate with the rest of my mouth. I then had those replaced in my early twenties. They were noticeable after teeth whitening became a thing, because those caps were looking kinda yellow! I’ve been lucky to not have many dental issues throughout my life.

Public or Private School

Rory visiting the Chicago Children's Museum during July 2021

Public or private school for your kids?

Both Finn and I went to public schools and had a great experience. We would love the same for our kids! If we stay in our current home when they’re school-aged, they’ll attend the local public schools because they’re really good schools. The elementary school is within walking distance, so that would be a fun little commute with the kiddos.

Bottle Weaning

Rory having a bottle for her 11 month old schedule

How did weaning from the bottle go with Rory?

It always makes me laugh when I think back on these big transitions with Rory. When I’m in them…it’s all-consuming! I’m googling like a madwoman, asking friends for advice, and obsessed with whatever the “issue” might be. But then once that phase is over, I completely forget what even happened. That was definitely the case when it came time to get rid of the bottle. I had to really think back on what we did when I read this question.

When Rory was 11-months-old, we started cutting back on her four bottles of formula a day. I think I went week by week, cutting one out – starting with the middle of the day bottles – and then the last to go was the bedtime bottle. During that time, I also introduced whole milk at meals to get Rory used to the taste. At first she was a bit confused, but now she is obsessed with milk. By the time she turned one, I just stopped the bedtime bottle, cold turkey, and we never looked back. I was so nervous about the entire experience, but it was totally fine!

Finding Time for DIY

Finding time for DIY projects in Ask Casey No. 14

I love home improvement and DIY projects but find it challenging to find time to do them now that I have a one-year-old (and work full time outside of the home) — Any suggestions on how to get things like that done?

I know that feeling all too well. Now that Rory is here, and we have another baby coming, it’s sooooo much harder to get things done. Finn and I used to power through projects over the weekend, like it was nothing. Now, those same projects take two or three times as long.

If you have a project, big or small, that you want to get done, the best thing you can do is schedule it and keep realistic expectations of the time it will take. I write things down in my calendar and share them with Finn ahead of time so we’re on the same page. I then buy supplies, do research, and do any prep in the days leading up to that scheduled project. On the weekends, we get right to work over Rory’s 2-3 hour nap time. If we have a larger project that might take all day, we set up childcare ahead of time.

Finn working to install the string lights between our house and garage

For example, we recently installed string lights in our backyard. We had all of the supplies ready to go, discussed the gameplan the night before, while Rory was asleep, and got started the moment she closed her eyes during her Saturday nap. Going in with a plan is the only way to get things done. And make sure you set realistic expectations for yourself. Even just tackling something small will give you the motivation to try another project the next week.

Also, I must add that this is my job! It probably looks like we get a lot done because it’s my job to renovate and share what we’re doing in our home. So don’t use me as a reference point. Do what’s right for you and your family and sneak in projects because they make you happy and make your home a better place to be!

Pregnancy Woes

Rory and Casey during pregnancy - Ask Casey No. 14

How are you feeling? Is the baby still breech?

I’m not gonna sugarcoat it…this pregnancy has been really tough on me. For the past two months or so, I’ve been dealing with severe pelvic pain that was giving me a bit of a limp. Eek! I sought the help of a pelvic floor physical therapist and it has helped tremendously. (I go to West Town Physical Therapy and see Erin S. who specializes in women’s health.) It’s crazy how much better I feel just from these small exercises she gives me. I think pelvic floor therapy should be a part of every pregnant woman’s journey and I plan to continue postpartum, to get everything strong again!

I’ve also been dealing with extremely low iron for most of my pregnancy that hasn’t increased with diet or supplementation. So, I’m actually having blood transfusions every 3-5 days leading up to my delivery. I know, I know…blood transfusions?! When my doctor first told me, I started crying because it just seemed so severe and so scary. Fortunately, I’ve found a great hematologist and the transfusions should be the best way to get my iron stores where they need to be for delivery. I’m just taking it one week at a time.

As for the baby being breech…yep, he is still head up! I’ve been doing just about everything I can to get him to flip. I bought this Spinning Babies course and do the exercises daily, I started seeing a chiropractor, and I’ve been taking baths with an ice pack on my stomach to try to urge him away from the cold and into the heat. My doctor said he looks pretty cozy in there, so she isn’t confident he will turn on his own. We’ll see…I’m holding out hope!

And I must add that I don’t think having a C-section is a bad thing at all! I just want to do everything I can to avoid major surgery and a tough recovery with a toddler running around. If I have to go the C-section route, that is completely fine, and I trust my doctors. In the end, I just want a healthy mom and baby.

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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