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Oh right. I have a blog.

::tap, tap, tap::

Is this thing still on?

So things have been a little quiet around here. Let’s talk about why that is, shall we? But rather than droll on and on about how life with two kids is so busy (parents of 3+ roll their eyes at me), let me give you a glimpse into what the other night was like, for example.

Get home from work around 6:15pm. Throw my bags on the couch (laptop bag and breastpump bag) and toss the breast-milk in the fridge. Give D a big hug and sloppy kiss. He squirms away. Two-year-olds are too busy to be bothered with hugs and kisses.

Hubs and baby are upstairs, so head upstairs to say hello and love on the baby.

Discuss dinner. Chicken is already thawed in the fridge, so preheat oven and start washing squash. Hubs says he can handle it and sends me off to play with the boys.

A few minutes later, he says we need a few things from the store (milk) so after tossing the chicken in the oven and leaving the squash in the pan on the stove, he heads out for a quick store run. Says he’ll be back in 20 (which is exactly how many minutes are left on the timer for the chicken). No problem. Everyone is fine and happy.

I’m carrying the baby and see the hubs out the door. As soon as he gets in the car, I hear a “splash” on the floor downstairs. I run downstairs and see water on the floor outside the guest bathroom. Since that’s where we also keep the dog’s food/water, I assume D has gotten into it (for the 547th time). I  see the door is open to the bathroom (we try to keep it closed). I see the dog’s water dish but don’t see much water missing from it. Then I see that the toilet lid AND seat is up. Any guesses where the water on the floor came from? D’s toy balls and his shirt are wet. Grrrrreat. I can’t tell if it’s dog water or toilet water but I’m fearing the latter. And now he’s touching the iPad. Grrrr.

I put the baby in the bumbo and start the bath. D comes running (he loves baths). Strip him down, plop him in the tub, then run to get the baby who’s already crying. Oh and the squash is still on the stove, cooking, so I give it a quick stir. Run back upstairs with the baby to keep an eye on D in the bath. I check the timer for the chicken and see I’ve got six minutes left. That’s just enough time to wash D’s hair so I put the baby in his crib and wind up the mobile (it only goes for 3 minutes), wash D’s hair, then run downstairs to take out the chicken and turn off the squash while the baby is OVER IT and crying because he wants picked up NOW NOW NOW. I pick him up and we watch D play in the tub, trying to get him to say his letters and colors. Then I put the baby in the swing and get D out of the tub and into some clothes – not jammies – because he still needs to eat dinner and he’s just going to get dirty again. Baby is fussing again. He’s hungry and bored. Where is my husband? It’s been 30 minutes! (I also need to buy a ranch house next time.) D beats me back downstairs and is already playing with the iPad again (that I hadn’t had a chance to disinfect yet). I start getting the baby’s bottle ready when hubs walks through the door. He’s carrying a delicious case of pumpkin beer, so I’m happy (although I still yell at him for leaving the toilet seat up AND the door open which is why everything was a disaster to begin with). I take a beer and take the baby downstairs to feed him while hubs fixes dinner for D. Things are calm again. He takes Lysol wipes to D’s toys and the floor. I burp the baby and put him down on his playmat for a few minutes while we inhale our dinner. Then I take the baby and run his bath and put him to bed while D watches one of his shows. Once the baby is tucked in, I take D upstairs and read to him in his room for a bit. He’s been fighting us on bedtime lately and clings to me like a spider monkey when I try to put him in his crib. Bedtime is…a process. By this time it’s nearly 9pm. Hubs is washing bottles and putting away dishes. I try to help but our kitchen is small so I go down to the basement to start some laundry. Then we both grab something sweet (he takes a piece of chocolate, I make a glass of chocolate milk) and we sit on the couch and catch up on the news. A few minutes later, I start pumping and flip back and forth between the TV, work email, and social media (Facebook and Instagram) before we both head to bed around 10:30.

So there’s a typical evening in my house. Complete chaos until after the kids go to bed and then we spend at least half of our precious 90 minutes of free time cleaning up before collapsing into bed ourselves.

Alright, your turn. What’s your typical evening routine?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Months

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Sam’s 4 Month Update

Never mind that we’re less than 2 weeks from his 5th month birthday.

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Weight/Length:  Nearly 16lbs and 25.5 inches long at his 4 month checkup. He’s grown almost 3 lbs this month!

Sleep: No complaints. Goes down around 8:30 and gets up around 7:30, give or take about 30 minutes on each end. Like his brother though, he’s a bit of a light sleeper and easily wakes himself and cries for a minute until I can get to his room and give him his paci.

Naps aren’t on any sort of strict schedule but he’s typically awake for about 2-3 hours at a time before taking an hour nap. Then repeat about 4 times a day.

Feeding: All bottles. Our nursing journey ended the week I went back to work and I can’t really say I miss it. I pump about 4 times a day and when he’s out of breastmilk, he gets formula. Right now, that’s around 1 or 2 bottles of formula a day and the rest is breastmilk. And unlike last time around, I’m completely okay with this. I don’t feel like a failure and clearly, you can see my child gets PLENTY to eat.

Firsts This Month: First time rolling over from tummy to back. Then, right after he turned 4 months, he went from back to tummy. We’re also hearing his first giggles. He’s incredibly ticklish, especially around his neck, thighs and tummy.

For the 4th of July, we took Sam on his first roadtrip to Kentucky to visit my parents. So now he’s been to 3 different states.

But Sam would probably say his favorite first this month was riding in the new double stroller. We bought a Baby Trend Double Jogger but won’t take it jogging ever until Sam is at least 6 months since he’s still a bit small for it.

Developments:  In addition to the rolling, he’s tolerating his playmat for longer stretches of time. And he can see us from across the room now, as evidenced by the constant smiles whenever he sees us. This kid smiles A LOT. I love it.

Likes: Just about everything. Unless he’s super tired, hungry, or distracted, it’s pretty easy to get this kid to smile. (He was tired in the picture above, hence, no smile.)

Dislikes:  He really doesn’t like to be left alone or where he can’t see people. Who does, really? But if we set him down somewhere, he needs to be able to see us or else he starts yelling for us.

What I’m Thankful For: Oh lots of things. Having a large assortment of baby boy clothes so I don’t have to buy new ones now that he’s outgrowing all his 3 month clothes. Online ordering and delivery of diapers and wipes. A firstborn son who is so sweet to his little brother. Babies who (mostly) sleep through the night. A husband that is more hands-on than even I am, and does more for our family than most. And baby giggles. Nothing beats baby giggles.

What I’m Looking Forward To:  Nothing, really. Unlike with my first, when everything was about the next milestone, I find myself wanting time to just stop, or at least slow down. I’m not looking forward to solid foods, or teething, or sitting up, or crawling, or walking, or ANYTHING. I love having a little lump of love to hold and cuddle and play with. No longer a newborn, but not big enough yet to do anything else but smile and coo. It may just be my favorite age.

How Mommy’s Doing: Now that my c-section is a distant, fading memory, I feel really good. I started a low-carb diet that lasted about a week and a half before I fell completely off the wagon. In that week and a half, I lost 5lbs though, and am within about 3 lbs of my pre-Sam weight. Still have about 15 to go before I’m pre-D weight, so I really need to get back on track. Pumping is still annoying, but I can tolerate it four times a day. And if work ever slows down, I won’t be so tired all the time. But I don’t see that happening for at least the next month. In general, things are busy and I’m tired, but everything is great. We’re living in the moment, because when you have two littles, you don’t really have much choice.

The hubs and I took the boys on Sam’s first overnight, multi-state roadtrip trip this weekend to visit my parents. He did great for about 4 hours of the drive. (It’s a 5.5 hour drive, without stops. So…yeah.)

But when the baby WASN’T crying, we discussed one of our favorite topics: Moving someplace warmer.

St. Louis is great, but for almost six months each year, the weather is terrible and we’re cooped up indoors. So every winter, we say “this is our last winter here!” because we’re just so fed up with it. We’re also beach lovers and would love to be within a couple of hours drive to the beach someday.

We also talk about being close to an airport for traveling purposes, affordable housing, low crime rates, good job market, fewer allergens (we all have terrible seasonal allergies). We start looking at various Internet articles that say things like “Best Places to Raise a Family” or “Top 10 Happiest Cities”. Finally, I just stopped and said, “None of this matters. The question we should be asking ourselves is where do we want our kids to grow up?”

So I’m curious, freaders, where do YOU want your kids to grow up? Is it where you are right now? Is it where you grew up? Is it on a farm? Is it in a big city? Is it on the beach? Is it in another country? On an island? In the suburbs? WHERE??

Three Months

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Weight/Length:  Just about 13lbs, according to my home scale.

Sleep: We finally have a baby who sleeps through the night!  The night before I went back to work, we gave him his first bottle of formula since he was 2 weeks old and I guess it filled his little belly because he slept from about 9pm until 7am. Now, he’s consistently sleeping from 9 or 10pm until 7 or 8am. On Father’s Day, both boys actually slept until after 9:30 am!! Crazy.

Now that said, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still wake up. I’d say about 4-5 times a night, he wakes up crying and I have to either give him his paci or re-swaddle him and give him his paci. It only takes a second and I can usually go right back to sleep, but it’s still exhausting.

Feeding: I really can’t complain here. Up until I went back to work, I only pumped first thing in the morning and right before bed. Occasionally I’d pump once during the day, but that was more to help build up supply. The rest of the time, we were nursing and things were going well. Then, the week before I went back to work, I felt like my supply dropped. I don’t know if it was stress with so much family in town (my parents at my house for a week, Ryan’s dad, sister, aunt, niece and nephew for a few days) or if I wasn’t drinking enough water or what, but even though I was nursing, the baby was constantly hungry and within just a few days, what little stash I had built up was completely wiped out and we had to give him his first bottle of formula the night before I went back to work. On the plus side, he slept through the night as a result.

Now that I’ve been back to work for about 2 weeks, he doesn’t want to nurse. I can’t say I blame him as eating from bottles is certainly easier, but I’m a little sad that it’s no longer working. So I still pump first thing in the morning and right before bed, and also 2-3 times during the day. It’s probably not enough, but I’ve made peace with the fact that we may have to give him a bottle of formula every night. I’m happy, he’s happy, and that’s all that maters.

Firsts This Month: First trip to the zoo and Grant’s Farm. First time meeting his aunt and some of his cousins. Attended his first birthday party (his brother’s).

Developments:  His head is still a bit wobbly, but he’s interacting with us more each day, smiling and cooing. He’s growing like a weed and really seems to be chunking up. He also lost a lot of hair this last month, which I noticed when I looked closely at his crib sheets and saw all these tiny baby hairs. To compensate for the hair loss on his head, his eyelashes have probably tripled in length.

Likes: Remember when I said he hated diaper changes? Well that all changed this month and now he LOVES them and smiles when we change his diaper. Silly boy. He also still loves to be held and also tickled.

Dislikes:  Um, not being held? And also, hiccups. Still. And tummy time (though that’s already starting to change)

What I’m Thankful For: Sleeping through the night! Even with a few wakeups for paci retrieval, I’m so thankful.

What I’m Looking Forward To:  Still waiting on those big belly baby laughs. We’ve come close recently but oh man I can’t wait to hear his little laugh.

How Mommy’s Doing: I’m just tired. Trying to juggle work and household chores (dishes, bottle/pump part washing, meal fixing, laundry, baths, picking up toys and dirty clothes, the list goes on..) is exhausting and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s why blogging has taken a FAR back seat. It’s certainly not for lack of goings on, but rather lack of time to slow down and write about it. I hate that.

2 – 8 – 12 – 32

2: My firstborn son will be TWO in just two days. He’s so much fun right now but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my little baby. He’s still very much a baby in many ways, but those baby-like things are quickly disappearing. For example, one day he was a paci-obsessed baby and the next day, when it broke, that was it. No more paci. And suddenly I’M the one saying we should get him a new one, because I already miss what he looked like with it in his mouth.

8: The hubs and I celebrated 8 years of marriage last week. We didn’t get each other cards, but I surprised him with a new PC and he surprised me with bronze earrings (bronze being the traditional 8 year gift and the PC running Windows 8) .

12: My 12 weeks of maternity leave are just about up. I’ve loved having this time with all of my boys and I’m going to miss them something fierce during the day, but I’m excited to take on new professional challenges too. Just trying to savor these last few days. And with BOTH of our families in town this week, it won’t be restful or relaxing, but definitively a lot of fun.

32: I turned 32 yesterday. Two of my grandpa’s favorite things were horse racing and Cardinals baseball, so it’s no coincidence that I spent the afternoon at the race track and the evening at Busch Stadium. From beginning to end, it was an awesome birthday. (Photos on Instagram: @missliz27)

It started with donuts and coffee, which is always the best way to start any day. Then our family of 4 and my parents piled into our car to head to the race track. The first race I bet on, I won. (Lucky number 7.) I won two more out of the 8 races, so not too shabby. D loved watching the horses and would clap for them as they went by. Once we returned home, we only had about and hour before it was time for the hubs and I to head to the game. It was a big one too. Cards v. Yankees and Derek Jeter’s last season before retirement. I paid extra to get the all inclusive seats and it was so worth it. The Cards won 6-0, which was just awesome. After the game, we checked out the new Ballpark Village before my boobs told us it was time to go home. (The woes of breast feeding.) And the boys even took it easy on my parents while we were at the game so hopefully they’ll be willing to babysit again sometime.

So that’s what’s new with me. How about you?

Mother’s Day 2014

Is it just me or has Mother’s Day become this insane competition to see whose husband/kids can come up with the best brunch, gifts, and excursions? Even my husband admitted that Mother’s Day is  “a lot of pressure” because we’re all bombarded with advertisements that essentially guilt everyone into making sure they appreciate all the mothers in their lives, and do it better than everyone else.

On the other hand, as the recipient of all of this appreciation, I guess I shouldn’t be complaining. Despite the stress it causes him, my husband always goes above and beyond. I’ve already told the boys, jokingly of course, that they’re going to have a hard time living up to the Mother’s Days that their daddy gives to me.

This year, I woke up to the smell of bacon, coffee, and blueberry waffles.  But before I could even come downstairs, the hubs sent D into the bedroom with a card. On the inside, a little blue handprint (D’s) and a little blue footprint (Sam’s). So cute.

Downstairs on the table was a lovely display of breakfast, flowers, a framed pic of the boys, and a box full of my favorite goodies – chips, hard apple cider, cookie dough ice cream, Dove chocolates, and Food Network magazine.

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After breakfast and showers, we attempted to head to Grant’s Farm even though we both had a hunch it would be insanely crowded, much like the zoo was last year when we went. When we saw the line of cars just trying to park in the main lot, we turned around and headed to the Frisco Train Store instead. Of course, once we got there, the sign on the door said they would be closed for Mother’s Day, so we headed to the Transportation Museum. Third time’s a charm as the parking lot was pretty much empty! Score! We paid our entrance fees and bought our train tickets and $28 later we were finally on our way to an enjoyable afternoon. What is it about trains that can keep little ones occupied for hours? D had a blast! The auto exhibit was less exciting for him, but still pretty interesting to us.

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After the museum, we went to a new-to-us restaurant in the area where I had the most delicious buffalo chicken sliders. Fortunately, both boys behaved themselves, right up until we were paying the check. Sam started getting fussy and D yelled at the top of his lungs, which turned almost every head in the joint. That was our cue (and also why we don’t eat out much anymore). Of course, neither one made a peep the entire way home. Kids, man.

The rest of the evening was pretty typical. A little afternoon mimosa for me and a couch nap for the hubs. Later, we spent about an hour hanging out in the backyard. D started pointing at the sky and it took us a minute before we realized he was pointing at the moon. Little guy discovered the moon for the first time! So cute. Overall a pretty fantastic day with my little family that I’m so lucky to call mine.

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