June 8, 2015

The Last Two Weeks

Time seems to always get away from me and this blog. I'll say, oh, I just posted recently! No biggie. When in reality it's been two weeks. Oops. There is so little time to myself these days that I'd rather read or write instead of opening up my laptop to unwind at night.

My husband has been working A LOT. I feel like we've barely seen him the past two weeks. However, as you're reading this, we are on the road, making our way down to Florida to visit family for a week! Finally, some time off. We've got a wedding to attend, the beach to see, and hopefully one or two date nights thrown in there. We are so excited for this trip and can't wait for everyone to meet J.

I'm a tad nervous about being away from J for a few hours while we are gone at the wedding. All last week I tried my hardest to get J to take a bottle. He hates bottles. He did take a bottle during his first month of life, but once family left and hubby went back to crazy work hours, there really was no need for me to pump, wash bottles, etc. So I stopped. Man, am I regretting it now. I've tried six different bottles and he only latched to one for a few seconds. I'm hoping it's because I was the one giving him the bottle that he was refusing...and that grandma's will have more luck!

Anywho. On to more fun things. With Daddy gone so much we've had to get up and out of the house to entertain ourselves. We've had lots of play dates. We've gone to the splash pad. To birthday parties. I've had to do lots of online shopping to prepare for our trip. I bought this dress for the wedding we're going to. I've searched high and low for shoes but have not found any that I like, or that I can wear without falling over. Mama has forgotten how to wear high heels! I also needed a new one piece suit and after stressing about it for weeks I finally found this one and I LOVE it.

As for the kiddos, they are doing so well, we've been having a lot of fun. I accomplished giving them both a bath, at the same time, with J is his whale tub and Miss A in the big tub. Oye, that was interesting, having to keep A from dumping cups of water over J's head. Don't think I'll be trying that again any time soon. ;) We went to the pool once during Daddy's only day off. J turned three months last week!

May 20, 2015

A Letter to the SAHM...With Two.

Hey there Mama,

I know how you feel. I know you're tired. Stretched to thin. Hungry. Wondering if your husband will be coming home on time. I know it's not easy, and sometimes it feels like you're never going to get a break. Yeah. I get you. But I have some words to share.

Before J was born, I had the same anxieties as any other mom about to welcome another child into the world. I wondered how I was going to care for them both, get them both feed, bathed, etc. I worried about being able to give enough attention to each of them and how I was going to make sure my first still felt just as loved and cherished. I also thought about the everyday errands like grocery shopping, Target runs, etc. And play dates. How was I going to do it all?

Two months in and I can say that I have conquered all of these fears. Well. Kind of. I still struggle with dividing my attention, but I guess that's just the way it is when you have more than one child. I've taken them both grocery shopping and survived. We do have to make two trips usually, but that's okay. We've gone to Target, many, many times (if only just to get out of the house), and have been on several play dates. Some days are great and J will nap the entire time we're out. Other days he'll wake up mid way through and I'll have to hurry or take him out of his car seat if we're at a play date. I've given them both a bath, one after the other. Bedtime is still tricky, I'm alone many nights when my husband is working and it continues to be my least favorite time of the day. But it's gotten easier. Hopefully it will continue to as J gets older.

Honestly, it's all about perspective. As I talk to other moms with two, or three, that seems to be key. You will not get everything you want done in one day. There will be good days, and there will be bad days. Accepting mess, chaos, and mediocre dinners will get you far. I keep telling myself it's all a season, it will change so fast so soon that these days will become great memories that I will look back on sweetly. I won't dwell on the fact that my kitchen was always a mess, clutter was in every room, and my hair was never done. I'll remember laying on the floor with my children, shaking a rattle, reading a Clifford book, pushing them both in a stroller for a morning stroll. I'll remember how loving Miss A was with her brother, how she'd tell us to pick him up if he was crying, or wanting to push him in the swing. Sweet, sweet memories.  

As for outings, the best piece of advice I can give is to have a well stocked diaper bag. That is ready to go at all times! I can't tell you how many times I feel the walls closing in and I grab our diaper bag, get us all in the car, and drive. Maybe we'll stop for coffee or to look at the lake in the neighborhood. We may go to the park to kill some time. Or we just drive..listening to music, singing together as J falls asleep. It helps to have that bag there, ready for you. Diapers, extra set of clothes, snacks for the toddler, water, tissues, wipes, and whatever you might need for yourself (wallet, chapstick, phone). Grab it and go!

I've also realized how important it STILL is to make time for yourself and to have mom friends. Without these two things, I would not survive. I'm lucky to have met a great group of moms shortly after moving here. They are amazing and so supportive. Weekly play dates are good for everyone!
Before I had kids, I loved having time to myself. Now that time to myself is in short supply, it's even more necessary. I crave it. Miss A doesn't nap anymore, so that precious quiet time is over. Lately I've been experimenting with other forms of quiet time. I tried keeping her in her room to play but that didn't last for very long. Now I'm trying the blanket method. I lay out her Frozen blanket in the family room, give her some toys, books, and a snack. I tell her it's time for quiet time, put on a timer (I'm aiming for 40 minutes a day) and leave the room. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't work I accept it, no sense in dwelling on it and we'll go outside or get out of the house. "Me" time will come later, usually after they're both in bed. Whatever didn't get done that day will get done tomorrow. You won't find me picking up the house or doing any cleaning after they're both in bed. That's my time!

So, hang in there Mama, you are doing an amazing job. You are so, so lucky to have your beautiful children and they will one day tell you how happy they are that you stayed home with them when they were little. It's all a season. A short, short season. Find the joy while you can.

May 18, 2015

To Do List

It's a Monday morning I'm not ready for. The next two weeks are going to be brutal. I'll be single parenting it up because my husband will be working nights. In an effort to make these next two weeks fly by super, super quick, I'm filling my plate with lots of to-dos.

1. Find a one piece swimsuit that I actually like. We're going to Miami. And we're going to the beachhhh. And the pool! So, a swimsuit is absolutely necessary. I bought a one piece after Miss A was born that is sadly too tight at the moment...damn those last few pounds that need to go! I like this one, but today I'm going to Target to see if I like any there. My days of trying things on in store are gone, at least for now, when I have to take both kids with me. Not gonna happen. So I'll buy them, try them on at home, and probably return them all. Fun times. 

2. Find a dress for my cousin's wedding. Yeah. That still hasn't happened yet. For the same reason I mentioned above...ahem, tummy rolls. I'm not feeling very comfortable in any dress I find. I want something long and flowy that isn't over a $100. Too much to ask?

3. Finish decorating the kiddos rooms. I'm on the hunt for a full length mirror for Miss A's room. I'm setting up a dress up corner for her and I just know she'd LOVE to look at herself. Little did I know a full length mirror is hard to find for a little girls room. It needs to be simple, be able to be nailed to the wall, and cost less than $50. I don't know why this is impossible to find. For J's room I have two art prints to frame and shelves to find. If I had all the time in the world (and no budget constraints) this would have been done months ago! 

4. Order a canvas print. I knew from the moment we got our proofs from J's newborn session which photo we were going to enlarge. I'm going to be purchasing a Groupon from Easy Canvas Prints, love their quality! 

5. Buy sunscreen. It's hot here, the pool is open, and I cleaned our water table yesterday for those long afternoons we're going to have. I also need to buy everything I need to make strawberry ice cream!  

6. Plan Miss A's third birthday party! The venue and date have been booked. The theme has been picked. I'm keeping it low key this year and doubt I'll be making anything myself, but I still hope to make it festive and fun.  

7. Make a hair appointment, dentist appointment,  and dermatologist appointment. Gah. When will I find time for this? We all know which one I will schedule way before the others...priorities.  

8. Laundry. Yeah. That never ends does it?  

May 13, 2015

Late Night Thoughts

It seems whenever I sit down to do, oh, anything, I'm interrupted within a few minutes, sometimes seconds. I began this post early this morning and I'm just now finishing it up, in the dark, next to J while he sleeps. Because I will blog weekly, somehow, someway, even if my posts are scattered and random and don't have many pictures. Hence this mismash of what I want to share today. :)

We went for a walk this morning. More of a power walk, as fast as I can go before one starts asking to get out of the stroller, or for a snack, or for her toddler tubes on Pandora. Luckily the other sleeps peacefully. Trying to fit in exercise is almost impossible, these power walks are the best I can do.

I need a dress for a wedding next month. It's been long time since I've been dress shopping, let alone to a wedding! I'm so excited. For the wedding. Not so much shopping because how am I going to find the time to look for a dress? I prefer shopping in person than online for dresses, so online shopping isn't really going to work for me. Where should I go?  I'm feeling pretty clueless on where to start. 

Miss A insists on wearing a dress or skirt everywhere she goes. Everywhere. Trying to convince her that a dress just isn't suitable for a park is like arguing with a two year old...she may well be a lawyer one day. Girlfriend loves to argue.

The crock pot has been in almost daily use around here. I just can't cook dinner. Like seriously, am I ever going to make dinner again that doesn't involve the oven or crock pot? I've been getting recipes out of a book, The Big Book of Slow Cooking, from the blogger of A Year of Slow Cooking. I LOVE it. It's huge and there are so many great recipes. I borrowed it from the library but I may buy myself a copy one day because I love it so much. We've enjoyed orange apricot pork chops, beef fajitas, and pineapple pork tenderloin. I have no pictures because...#lifewithtwo

I made a cleaning schedule to help me keep track of when a room was cleaned last...and I can't seem to keep up with my own cleaning schedule. An entire day will go by and I'll have cleaned only the kitchen, as that is what really drives me wild, a dirty kitchen. Every night before I can go to bed the dishwasher has to be running, the counters have to be wiped down, and anything that was left out has to be put away. I absolutely hate starting off the day with a messy kitchen. I don't know how to do it all..so I guess, I won't?

And now I have to get some sleep before the first feeding. Good night, or, good morning!

May 8, 2015

Friday Favorites

This week had lots of highs and lows. Our week started off on the low end (burned banana bread, crazy kids), gradually improved by mid week, and will close out with one day off for the hubby. Saturday will be our Mother's Day- how are you celebrating this weekend?

1. Witching hour occurs every evening in our house. Which makes cooking dinner pretty impossible if my husband isn't home. So I have come to rely on my crock pot and oven to do the job for me. I shared one of our dinners on IG this week and many of you asked for the recipe. It is SO good- I forgot to start it in the morning, oops..but it still turned out great because I cooked it on high for about 3 hours. The tortellini goes in with thirty minutes left of cooking time, which is perfect, as it won't fall apart or get soggy. You can find the recipe here, from Damn Delicious! Serve with a salad (if you have time for that) and garlic bread and you're set! 

2. We spent a lot of time outside this week with our friends. A park play date, coloring with chalk and water on the driveway, and playing at a friends backyard. I'm loving it and fully embracing how easy it is to dress all of us- shorts, summer dresses, and sandals. The purchases I made at Old Navy have all been worn and I recommend them all! 

3. With a baby in the house now, we spend the majority of our afternoons at home. Mornings are for play dates and errands. So I'm trying to find fun, easy, and cheap activities to keep Miss A busy. I saw this idea on Pinterest to make ice cube paint! How fun does that sound. If you've got any more ideas like these, please send them my way!

4. I hate to wish away this month...but I can't wait for June!! We will be visiting family back home in Florida, attending my cousins wedding, celebrating my birthday, and spending lots of time together as a family. With all the crazy long hours my husband has been working, he will finally be getting a break! 

5. After two months I've finally been able to pick up a book to read. I picked one out blindly at the library, usually I put them on hold to pick up, browsing doesn't happen very often these days. Anyway, I'm really enjoying it so far! It's a memoir written by a fifteen year old girl. Fifteen! After goggling it today, I read that her book is going to become a movie. Talk about success! 

As always I'm linking up with Five on FridayOh Hey Friday, and Friday Favorites.