July 23, 2015

A Day in the Life

I love "day in the life" posts- I haven't done one since A was two years old! Here's a glimpse of what life is like with two...

A Day in the Life
July 21st, 2015
Miss A is 3, J is 19 weeks

I hear J stirring on the monitor. Yay, not too bad- I was up with him an hour before to nurse and prayed that he would go back to sleep. He did, so I'm rolling out of bed happy. I rush to his room, which is right across from Miss A's, to grab him before he wakes her. I love having some quiet time with just him in the mornings before his sassy big sister wakes up. We cuddle in the rocker for a few minutes before heading downstairs. 

I let light into the house, opening all the curtains and head to the kitchen. It's decent- most was cleaned up the night before, with a tower of pots and pans in the dish rack. I grab some OJ, eggs, and bread out of the fridge. J is fidgeting so I set him down on his play mat in the family room and go back to the kitchen to start some coffee. 

Miss A is up. She jumps out of bed and hides behind her bedroom door to play. She does this almost every morning, it is the cutest thing. I'll open up the door and find her with her dolls or books crammed into the corner. I let her play for a few minutes before grabbing J and heading upstairs to bring her down. 

We've been having a bit of a...poop problem in the mornings. If I don't get her right away, she will poop in her pull up and act like nothing happened. It.is.so.frustrating and I don't know how to get it to stop! This morning I got to her just in time. She wants to get out of her pajamas right away and picks out her pink butterfly dress. We head downstairs. I make pancakes while J hangs out on his play mat and Miss A begs for me to "play songs". She's currently obsessed with several songs- Fight Song by Rachel Platten, Bad Blood by Taylor Swift, and I Want You To Know by Selena Gomez. She LOVES music and can happily listen to her favorites all the live long day.

After breakfast it's play time and TV time. I nurse J, he falls asleep in my arms and I take him upstairs to his room. His naps can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Rarely does he make it past an hour, they're usually 30 minutes. :( Back downstairs I start a load of laundry, clean up the kitchen from breakfast, and sit on the couch to relax for a few minutes. I read blogs, check my email, and Facebook.

J is up. We go upstairs to get him and go to my room so I can change and get ready for the day. On our agenda is a dentist appointment for Miss A. She's excited because she remembers the bag of goodies she got last time- a new toothbrush, a dinosaur water toy, and stickers. Once I'm ready (in between picking up J to soothe him and checking on A in her room), it's back down to pack snacks and drinks to go. 

At the dentist. Miss A is doing well until she's asked to sit back in the chair. She is scared, poor girl, but does well considering. At the end of the appointment she demands a new toothbrush- a pink Cinderella one to be exact! They only have Jake and the Neverland Pirates, which she begrudgingly accepts. ;)

We're back home. J is asleep and I risk taking him out and putting him in his crib. He stirs some but goes back to sleep. Success! It's time to make lunch. A requests a PB&J and I make myself a huge salami sandwich. We eat together and play some after before J wakes.

We head to the mall to meet up with a friend and her son. She is one of the few friends I have that also has a toddler that doesn't nap! Usually after lunch it's quiet time or TV time. I'm grateful to get out of the house instead to do something fun. The kids run around the play area, J observes from his car seat until he starts fussing to get out. My friend and I chat, then we walk around some, check out a toy store, and the book store until it's time to go home and nurse J.

Back home! We all play on the floor for awhile. A is crazy about her clip clop castle and playing store with the cash register we got her for her birthday. She asks for a snack so I give her some grapes and a cheese stick. J is hanging out in his jumperoo until he falls asleep and I take him out to nap in his room.

It's time to start dinner. I'm happy J is still napping, usually I'm trying to soothe him as I run around the kitchen. A doesn't want to watch a show, she wants to listen to music instead, so I put on the toddler station on Pandora. Dinner tonight is Cheater Korean Beef, a favorite in our house. It's quick and easy, just what I need, because any second now J is about to wake from his nap. Daddy won't be home till later, after the kiddos are in bed, starving. I speed through dinner prep just as J starts to stir on the monitor. By the time we're ready to sit down and eat he's wailing so I have to go get him.

I put together A's plate, help her eat, before I try to eat myself while holding J. Ugh. Life of a Mom. Once we're done eating I clean up the kitchen some but don't get very far with two cranky kiddos. A wants her bath so we go upstairs. I hate, hate doing baths and bedtime alone. It is the hardest part of the day! I usually want to pull my hair out... J is in his rock n play at first, then I have to hold him while A plays in the tub for a few.

It's time to get out of the bath and into pajamas. A runs around naked, giggling, diving into bed. This is typical for most nights. She thinks it's hilarious, of course, as I try to pull on her pajamas and pull up. Meanwhile J is fussing in the rock n play, which he is really getting too big for. I'm not sure where to put him- he's not content in his crib or on the floor at this hour. Oh well, I'll have to make do. Once A has finally calmed down we can pick out some books to read and I can curl up on the floor with both of them.

Right now her favorite books are The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too! (she knows this book by heart and can recite it to you), Hooray for Fish, and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? Once we read books, it's lights out,

It's early, but when I'm alone, I have to get A into bed at this time to start getting J ready for bed. He's acting tired already so I change him and put him in his pajamas. I turn on his sound machine and nightlight. We snuggle up in the rocker, then I nurse him, trying to keep him slightly awake before putting him down for the night.

I'm freeeeeee! Both kiddos are asleep. I can enjoy some wine, clean up the kitchen, and watch part of Devious Maids before the hubby gets home. When he gets in around 9:00pm, we watch some of Game of Thrones as I try not to fall asleep.

J wakes for a feeding, goes right back down and I head to sleep.

So there you have it! It was a good day, with both kiddos fairly happy. That's all you can ask for right?

July 22, 2015

J's 4 Month Update & Favorites

I realize I'm terrible with keeping up with baby updates on the blog. Despite my lack of effort on here, I can say that I've kept up with monthly photos, taken them on the right day, and have kept up with his baby calendar. It was earlier this week when I took J to his wellness visit that I realized I haven't written anything about J in months.

He is now 4 months and three weeks, a delightful, happy, sweet baby boy. I'm head over heels for him, absolutely smitten. He has stolen Mama's heart and I see no chance in getting it back.

Where to begin? With sleep. Always with sleep. A week before turning four months, J hit the notorious four month sleep regression, as known as the four month wakeful. I remember when Miss A hit the same sleep regression, and oh man, it was HARD. J was a great sleeper beforehand, I knew he was going to hit it too! Luckily, in comparison to his sister, the regression was a breeze. He did have a few rough nights of waking up every hour after 2:00am, but they were quick. What was really hard was having him wake up 30 minutes after being put down for the night. I would nurse him, then he'd go right back to sleep, only to wake up an hour or so later. It was frustrating and I wasn't sure what to do. Three weeks of this and it wasn't getting any better. I was worried he would develop a nurse to sleep association like his sister. So, after our family left, we decided to try and let him go back to sleep on his own once he woke up after 30 minutes. We took turns going in and patting him, talking to him, and after three nights he stopped waking up! I was so relived. Now he wakes up at midnight or around 4:00am for a feeding. It is wonderful, I can only hope this continues for awhile, until another regression hits!

Besides sleep, J is meeting all his four month milestones. He has great head control, he can grasp toys now, he can imitate sounds, he smiles all the time, and laughs when we tickle him. He absolutely LOVES to look at his big sister. It is the sweetest thing. If he hears her voice he turns his head to look at her and will watch her from across the room. He's always smiling at her. We pick him in the jumperoo for the first time last week and he is so happy in there! He can be in there for almost a half hour, bouncing around.

At his 4 month appointment this week he had three shots and one oral. He took them like a champ, was super fussy in the afternoon, but felt better after a dose of Tylenol. He slept great that night, thank goodness! He is still a peanut, three inches shy of his sister at this age. But he is now on the curve for weight, yay! That does not surprise me at all as he loves to nurse and he nurses well. He's wearing 3-6 clothes and some 6 month onesies. Before I had a boy, I thought boy clothes were kind of...underwhelming? I can honestly say I was wrong and there are plenty of adorable outfits for boys. Mint green onesies, giraffes, little red cars. Gah. I love it all!

As for favorites, J is loving his rainforest jumperoo and piano play gym. He still spits up often, these are my favorite burp cloths. This changing pad is super soft and cozy, I have two because I love them so much. I adore all of carter's onesies, they are true to size and fit J the best. 

Read J's one month & two month baby updates. 

July 20, 2015

Miss A Turns Three!

Last Wednesday our beautiful little girl turned three years old. I tucked her in the night before her birthday, one last time as a two year old, and couldn't help but get choked up. She has grown leaps and bounds in the last year- from being a tiny toddler to this fun, happy, sweet, energetic girl, who can talk your ear off, sing all her favorite songs by heart, and eat tubs and tubs of blueberries. I can't believe she's three, THREE. Seriously, it's so true what they say- time flies when you have kids.

We had her birthday party the weekend before her birthday and both set of grandparents were able to attend, as well as the majority of her friends! It was a blast, her Cinderella party, which she talked about nonstop for weeks before, was just as she wanted it to be. A princess dress, Cinderella balloons, a pink cake, and a bouncy house. I don't think she could have asked for anything more!

Miss A was SO in love with her dress. I bought it months ago when I knew she'd love to have a Cinderella party (the movie was on repeat for many, many weeks). I didn't show it to her until the day of her party and the look on her face was priceless. She wore it all day long, and I was thankful that it survived her bouncing marathon in the bounce house!

I had to keep things simple this year, seeing as I have even less time on my hands now. Most of her her birthday supplies were purchased from Birthday Direct, the cake was made by a friend, and I made the mason jars myself, inspired by a Pinterest pin. We served pizza, fruit salad, and pretzels. After the cake, we had a pinata, which was an absolute blast. Most of the kids had never seen a pinata before and watching them try to hit it with a bat was hilarious. We were all very entertained, I bet the kids could have gone at that for an hour without getting tired!

On her birthday we spent the day doing all of her favorite things. Opening presents, playing with toys, blowing up balloons, going to the pool, and having a chocolate chip cookie cake. All her gifts were a hit this year- especially her clip clop castle, kinetic sand, and little cosmetics set.


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.