A Thanksgiving Tree

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First of all, I know what you’re thinking.

This is just some lame excuse to put your Christmas tree up early isn’t it?

Why yes, yes it is. But let’s be honest, who needs an excuse anymore? My neighbors fully decked out the outside of their house for Christmas on November 1st. Like lights, wreaths, an enormous nutcracker on the front porch, the whole shebang.

I’ve been wondering where I would put my Christmas tree since before our living room even had carpet. Or walls for that matter. (If you’re new here, head on over to the home remodel to see what I’m talking about.) When the living room was more or less put together, I realized that it’s super tiny and there isn’t a whole lot of room for a big ol tree.

But the ceilings are high so I decided to get a tall and skinny one. And when I set my mind to wanting to buy something, I can’t really change focus until that something is in my living room, put together and plugged in. So here we are.

And that’s where Daniel Tiger comes in. All my fellow moms of toddlers raise your hands if Daniel’s in the house!! Daniel is in our house all the time. If you don’t watch the show, it’s a cartoon based on the characters in Mister Roger’s neighborhood and it’s full of catchy tunes that teach kids things like, “Grown-ups come back” and “Friends help each other, yes they do, it’s true” and my personal favorite, “If you have to go potty, stop and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way.”

But I digress.

On a particular episode of Daniel Tiger it was Thankful Day and the whole town (neighborhood?) gets together and hangs thank you cards on the tree to those they are thankful to. All the cute little characters draw pictures and whatnot to their parents, teachers, and mailman and that’s when the light bulb went off in my head.

Yes this is a children’s show, but that’s a good idea.

Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what we have and apart from eating a crap ton of food (which I guess means we’re thankful for how much we have..or something) and going around the dinner table to say what we’re thankful for, our family traditions don’t focus a whole lot on gratitude. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great holiday for gathering and spending time with friends and family but when are we acknowledging our gratitude?

So here I am with this undecorated Christmas tree in my living room and this Daniel Tiger thank you tree idea in my head and BAM! The Thanksgiving tree is born.

The basic idea is to take time either throughout the month of November or just on Thanksgiving day itself and write a thank you note to someone. It’s a way to show your gratitude and help someone else feel appreciated. If you do it all November long, you could just set your cards on the tree as you write them, for decoration, and then mail them out later.

I love the idea of everyone sitting down and reading our cards to each other before we indulge in a lovely meal. And hey, maybe we’ll save the cards with the Thanksgiving decorations and each year the tree will get more and more full of cards and we can always look back and remember what, or who, we were thankful for in years past.

So here’s to a new Thanksgiving tradition! What do you like to do to show you’re grateful during Thanksgiving?

{Baby Boy Update} 2 months old

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In an effort to stop saying the phrase, “I can’t believe my baby is already______months old” I’m going to jump right into this boy’s stats:

Weight: 12 lbs 8 oz 43%

Length: 25″ 98%

Head: 41.5′ 93%

His weight percentile has gone down a tad but he’s a tall little guy.

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^^Doesn’t he look huge in this pic??

I seriously love that he’s a little chunk though. I think it’s why he sleeps so well at night. And by ‘so well’ I mean he sleeps from about 10pm-6:00am which is seriously magical. If only he slept that well during the day.

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He’s such a little cuddle monkey and LOVES to be held which is fabulous until I need to go to the bathroom or shower or do any housework. The moby wrap has proven to be pretty useful but it does have it’s limitations.

At two months he’s started having lots more awake time which is full of smiles and kicking.

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When he naps during the day, the biggest trick is trying to figure out where he wants to sleep: the crib, bassinet, floor, swing, rocking chair, my bed..nobody knows. And there’s no constant factor. Its different every time. But one sure fire way to get him to sleep is a stroller ride.

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^^He super LOVES baths…maybe we should get him a boy towel haha

Remi hate hate HATES to be cold! We could be outside in 90 degree weather but if there is any amount of a breeze he wants to wrapped in a blanket.

So far having a baby boy isn’t too much different than having a baby girl. A baby is just a baby.

The biggest difference is the fact that he’s baby number two. I spend most of my time oggling at Evelyn’s vocabulary and brilliance and there’s not much time left to stare at the angel that is my sleeping baby boy.

What is hypnobabies?

It’s been a little over two months since my fabulous, natural, hypnobabies, home birth. When I was preparing for a hypnobabies birth, a lot people asked me what hypnobabies is, how it works, etc. Now that I’ve used it successfully I feel like I’m qualified to talk about what it is and how it works.

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^^I made a bunch of signs to hang around my room and bathroom to encourage and remind me during labor.

What is Hypnobabies?

[My own definition] Hypnobabies is a form of pain management to use during childbirth. It uses hypnosis techniques which is essentially mind over matter: using your mind to calm yourself down and tell yourself how to feel. It’s a way for you to go inside your head to your ‘happy place’ and take a break from what’s going on in the real world. It’s also helpful to change your mind about the way childbirth should be and release any fears you may have about what will happen.

But hypnosis isn’t as weird as it sounds. It’s not “When I snap my fingers you will quack like a duck.” Hypnobabies is self hypnosis. You can’t be ‘hypnotized’ if you don’t want to be and the things you’re telling yourself are more about how pleasant childbirth will be and less about quacking (let me be clear, there is no quacking involved.) We all do self hypnosis nearly every day. It’s as simple as when you zone out and forget what you were doing. Or when you’ve been driving on the freeway and realize you missed your exit because you were just in your own little world. All versions of self hypnosis.

Hypnobabies involves a lot of visualization. Like imagining you can see your breath enter, fill, and exit your body. You could imagine that each breath is cleansing or calming or strengthening, whatever you need it to be.

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During labor, you visualize your breath pushing your baby out and it helps keep you calm during contractions.

Speaking of ‘labor’ and ‘contractions’, in hypnobabies they use different terms for those things as a way to make it sound more comfortable. Labor is ‘birthing time’, contractions are ‘pressure waves’, transition is ‘transformation’. Perception is reality. So once you believe that childbirth can be comfortable it’s more likely that it will be.

How does Hypnobabies work?

You can take a self taught home course or go to a physical class. In the class you learn all about childbirth and pregnancy and healthy things to do and all that jazz. But you also learn about self hypnosis and how to do it correctly and practice. The biggest key is that you have to practice or else you’re body won’t know what to do when you’re trying to hypnotize it.

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Having never done self hypnosis before, I opted for the physical class. I will say that the first part of the class where we learned about natural childbirth was a tad boring for me because I’d already had a natural child birth and taken a class on it and knew how it works and what to expect. But I did feel like it was important for me to be in class for the hypnosis practice.

The in class practice was a lot like guided meditation. The teacher reads a script that has you get comfortable, relax, breathe deeply and the rest of the script just talks about the comfort and excitement of childbirth.

All the scripts that we read in classes plus some others are given to us in the form of Mp3s and we’re encouraged to practice on a daily basis.

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Honestly, the daily practice was like the best part of the whole thing. I’d put Evelyn down for her nap and climb into bed and turn on one of the tracks and get relaxed into a nap. I pretty much fell asleep right away. It was such a nice sleep too.

Hypnobabies during Childbirth

So after a few months of practice, I felt pretty calm for the big event. As soon as I knew that my labor, or birthing time, was really happening I turned on a hypnobabies track and got comfortable.

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For each contraction, or pressure wave, I would close my eyes, breath deeply and focus every inch of my energy on the voice on the hypnobabies track. The words would remind me to breath deeply and relax. It would encourage me to breath my own ‘anesthesia’ to the places that I was feeling discomfort.

Between the hypnobabies and the comfort of the bathtub my pressure waves were more than manageable. The only true uncomfortable part was when I got out of the bath and walked the stairs because I forgot to bring my hypnobabies tracks with me.

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During pushing, I had Chris turn on the pushing track. I only kind of heard it in the background but I think it really helped Chris to remember how to prompt and comfort me during pushing. In the end that was even more helpful because I appreciated my comfort from my husband.

Hypnobabies: Final thoughts

I would absolutely recommend hypnobabies to anyone who is planning a natural childbirth. The class is great for learning what childbirth actually is and the hypnosis/meditation is key for keeping discomfort during childbirth under control.

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Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask. I’m no expert but I’d be happy to share more about my experiences.

Celebrating Evelyn’s Birthday

So you guys might not remember this..but I just had a baby. Shocker I know. But I haven’t really felt like I had the energy to make a big birthday celebration happen for Evelyn this year, not like last year for sure.

So this year was just kind of chill and as a 2 year old, Evelyn still loved it. It was a two part birthday.

Part one was the Museum of Natural Curiosity on Tuesday. Evelyn was insistent on inviting her friend Zaydree (or dree dree as Evelyn says). They both had a blast! Evelyn was a little overwhelmed by all the people at first but when she warmed up to it she had so much fun!

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Her actual birthday was pretty chaotic. I had all these grand plans of how I would make the day special for Evelyn but then Remi decided to be the snottiest, whiniest baby ever and wouldn’t let me put him down. It was causing me an excessive amount of stress and disappointment and Evelyn didn’t know what having a birthday meant and was happy to sit and play while I glared at my crying baby (Don’t worry, we’ve since made up).

My knight in shining armor (Chris..duh) came and took Remi to work with him for the rest of the day and gave me a chance to give Evelyn some one on one time. We had a ton of fun at the splash pad, then picked up her cake and her dad and brother and headed back home for a little family celebrating.

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She loved each one of her presents and wanted to play with them as she opened them. I think next year one present will suffice. But her favorite thing was those silly little characters on top of the cake. She takes them everywhere! But she also loves her bike from Grammy and PeePaw too. She just needs to grow a couple inches so she can ride it.

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^^Everyone had to wear a party hat. Even Pooh!

All in all the day turned out well in the end. And I don’t have to plan another party until Remi’s 1st next June. Whew.

Evelyn is 2 years old!

I’ve noticed that time only goes fast  when you look back and realize how much has passed. I could have one day that lasts FOR-EV-ER and then look back and see how fast my kids have grown and realize that time has just flown by. How does that even make sense?

My little princess is two years old today! Two!!

It’s funny because I’ve been kind of thinking of her as two years old for 3 or 4 months now. The things she does already just seem so 2ish. In case you are wondering, she is an absolute genius. Although, admittedly, I may be a bit biased.

Sass:

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^^All ready for church!

This girl has a little attitude. But can you be surprised? Look at her mother. If she asks for something, say some chocolate (which btw is the cutest word to hear her say), and I say no she replies, rather loudly, “Want chocolate RIGHT NOW!”

“Right now” is one of her favorite phrases.

When she doesn’t want to do something or go somewhere, she just lays face down on the floor, hands by her side and grunts when you address her.

She already has a hang of the terrible two tantrums. I’ve been known to clap loudly when I want her to stop doing something. So when she wants something and I’ve said no or taken it away from her she’ll clap her hands and yell, “NO. MINE!” Yep she’s two alright.

TV:

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^^Oh look..it’s Dora on TV

Evelyn might watch a tad too much television but you know what? She has learned a lot of imagination skills from those shows.

The other day she put on this little light up ring and shouted, “SUPER EVIE!” Sometimes she puts her bibs on Pooh backwards and yells, “SUPER POOH!!”

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When we buckle up in the car she says, “seatbelts, so we can be safe.” Courtesy of Dora.

She also wants to go to a “Big big WATERFALL.” (I wish I could type the intonation..it’s hilarious.) and take a “Big boat.”–Dora again.

She sings the theme songs to Dora, the Backyardigans and Winnie the Pooh. We also watch the Piglet movie on a regular basis. Too much. So much.

Play:

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Like I mentioned, she loves to act out her tv shows. There’s this one cabinet in the kitchen and she always leans her head in and yells, “Bye Pooh. Bye Piglet. Bye Christopher Robin.” And so on until she’s been through all the characters. No idea what game she’s playing but I wonder what she sees in her little imagination filled head.

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^^the world is a playground. Literally

She frequently calls her Winnie the Pooh, “silly old bear.”

She loves to put her Backyardigan toys in her cardboard rocket ship and fly them around the house.

She also really enjoys putting all her toys to bed. She uses little wash cloths as blankets and tucks them in all over the house.

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I think her favorite toy is still her doll house. All her toys take turns playing in it. I overheard her the other day saying, “I have to ask you a question. How about…” And just repeated it over and over.

She also really loves putting Easter egg shell halves on her toy’s heads as party hats which is why I think she was so insistent on party hats for her birthday.

Being a big sister:

Evelyn pretty much wants nothing to do with her little brother. She acknowledges his existence now so that’s progress and she sometimes says, “Remi so cute!”

Whenever Chris or I are holding him she demands to be held. Often suggesting that we put Remi in his swing or bed or just put him down. Even if she is completely content doing something else, she wants to be held if Remi is being held and by the parent who is holding him.

His crying really stresses her out. So when he cries and I’m trying to console him, she wants to be held and when I can’t hold her she starts crying. And then the house is very loud. And then I start crying too because babies are hard.

Bath time:

Like a week ago Evelyn decided that baths are torture. She won’t even sit down. She screams so loud and straightens her whole body. It’s hard on both of us. I’ve started just giving her showers instead. She still screams but they go faster.

Food:

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Evelyn hardly eats. So when she says she wants something I give it to her before she has a chance to change her mind.

Some of her favorites are Mac and cheese, peanut butter toast or sandwich, pancakes, cheese on any form, peaches, bananas, graham crackers and yogurt raisins.

Sleep:

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^^Remi likes to sleep in our bed too I guess

Evelyn still takes one nap in the afternoon for about 2 ish hours. She usually sleeps through the night but just recently has started getting up a couple of times. I’m not sure if it’s bad dreams or what.

In the morning she comes into our room and says, “Hi momma! Want breakfast.” And sometimes when she’s confused she says, “want lunch” but frequently she just climbs in bed with us and watches YouTube until Chris and I feel like waking up.

She’s still sleeping with her dummy (pacifier) but she doesn’t get it when she’s awake. And she can’t go to bed without her ‘bee’ (blanket).

Talking:

Evelyn repeats EVERYTHING! And remembers EVERYTHING! Simple phrases that I say like, “that’s fine” or “sure” she copies all over the place and it cracks me up that she remembers it.

Sometimes when she asks me if she can do something and I ignore her she just answers for me, “that’s fine” and then goes ahead and does it. And I love it when uses ‘just.’ What are you doing Evelyn? “Just playing.” Let’s put your blanket away. “Blanket just come too.”

She likes to put H in front of her A words..H-again, or H-a boat, H-a toy, etc. And she mixes up you and me. She’ll say “help me” if she wants to help you do something or “Hold you” if she wants you to pick her up. It makes sense when you think about it. When she says that I’ll say, “You want to help me?” or “You want me to hold you?”

Chris taught her to say, “Best Mama Ever!” and she does it randomly without prompting and it makes me feel like a million bucks! She also says “I love you” and “I missed you so much” without being prompted. It’s weird to think that she has her own thoughts and ideas. AH! She was an infant like yesterday!

She’s got such nice manners and always says, “thanks, please, bless you and sorry”. Okay, maybe not always but frequently. She’ll close cabinets or drawers for me and she says, “thanks for closing.”

The funniest thing she does, and I have no idea where she got it cause she’s never seen this movie, is “Dun dun DUN!!” Just like this:

Little smarty pants:

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The highest I’ve heard Evelyn count is to 15 unprompted.  She can recognize numbers 1-9.

She knows all her colors names and usually remembers which color is which. Yellow and orange get mixed up sometimes.

She knows some letters and sort of sings her ABCs and can recognize a few letters. This little girl LOVES being read to. She likes me to re-read the same page over and over and then tries to remember it and recite it herself.

She also knows all her shapes and loves to do her shape ball.

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I wish I could make time slow down. My little girl is growing and learning so fast I can hardly keep up with all the new things she does before she learns something new.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram for lots of Evelyn videos and your daily fix of miss #evelyndeon. Just search @bossyjocie_

Remington’s Home Birth Story

This is a long and detailed post on my home birth experience with my son. If you don’t want all the gory details, you’re welcome to skip this one. I won’t hold it against you. 

When you’re pregnant, do yourself a favor and when they tell you your due date, go ahead and tell yourself that it’s actually two weeks after that. And tell everyone else that too. That way if your baby comes anytime before the last day of being 42 weeks, it’ll be before you were expecting it.

I was so certain he was coming early. So when my due date came and he didn’t I was beside myself. I had been having contractions that were more than braxton hicks but not quite strong enough to do anything in the days leading up to my due date so I thought that had to mean something was coming soon. But I was so very wrong.

During week 40 I continued to have those light contractions and a few nights, the contractions got strong enough that I texted my sister, midwife and photographer to make sure they were ready just in case. Each of those nights I went to bed so I would be well rested when the time came and then woke up each of those mornings disappointed that I was still pregnant.

I tried plenty of ways to induce labor. But in the end, the baby was going to come when he was ready. When I talked to midwife about natural ways to induce she said that for labor to happen, all the stars have to be aligned. I have to be ready, the baby has to be ready, my husband and daughter have to be ready and we all have to feel calm and relaxed and happy and…well, ready.

In the days leading up to his birth, I was really starting to stress out. I was worried that I wouldn’t ever go into labor and I’d have to be induced and then (although I don’t condemn anyone for being induced, it just wasn’t what I wanted) I would feel like I had failed at the labor I wanted. I knew that was the wrong way to feel and that any way to get a baby into the world is the right way for you, but I just wanted the birth I had planned for.

I started to worry that my body was broken. I started to worry that my baby wasn’t okay anymore. I started to worry about pretty much anything that I could think of to worry about. I didn’t understand why my contractions kept stopping. However, my midwife explained that I lot of people labor this way. Labor can start weeks before hand and just slowly get you ready to give birth. It’s why so many women who are giving birth at the hospital get sent home time after time. My body was taking it’s time to dilate a little every day so that by the time I was in active labor, it wouldn’t take so long. And it was working. Three days before he was born, my midwife checked me and I was dilated to a 5.

But I continued to worry. The morning before he was born I had my midwife come and listen to his heartbeat and make sure everything sounded good. It did. She told me to stop worrying and stop Googling and just wait for labor to start.

My parents were set to get into town that evening. My midwife kept saying that she thought the baby was waiting for them to get here so they could help out or whatever. Turns out, she was right.

They got here, we went to dinner at Pizza Pie Cafe, I ate a ridiculous amount of pizza (like I was still eating while everyone sat there and watched me), and all the while I was having light contractions. Then when we got home I had a contraction that I couldn’t talk through. I got a little giddy and thought that this might be it. I sort of started timing contractions but I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. Everyone was in the backyard watching Evelyn play and I came inside to labor in peace. No one really seemed to notice I was gone.

I finally called for Chris to come in because things were getting uncomfortable and I wanted help. I assume that someone put Evelyn to bed, maybe I was there, I don’t actually remember. At 9:17 pm I texted my midwife that things had really starting picking up. I had Chris fill up the tub and take over texting so I could relax. He told her shortly afterward that she better come. We kinda figured things would go quickly.

I turned on my hypnobabies tracks and got comfortable in the water. With every contraction I closed my eyes and breathed through. I didn’t use pressure points or anything else. Between the tub and the hypnobabies guidance, the contractions didn’t seem too bad.

[Read more…]

Remington’s Baby Blessing

This photo pretty much sums up Remi’s blessing day:


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With Evelyn we waited until she was 3 months old to bless her. She didn’t even go to church for the first month or so of her life because germs and whatnot. But for Remi we decided to bless him at only 1 week old since so much of our family would be in town.

The morning was a bit stressful. It was my first time trying to get everyone out of the house on a time table. Both Remi and Evelyn needed a bath and I wanted to get a picture of our little family before we left for church because I knew that after church it we wouldn’t look nearly so put together. I didn’t realize that everyone would have a meltdown before church…maybe after church would have been better.

 

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^^This was the best shot of the morning. At least Evelyn isn’t crying and she’s actually looking at the camera!

We got to church minutes before it started. Chris took Remi and I rushed off to change Evelyn’s newly soiled diaper. I was already feeling pretty anxious and self conscious about making a public appearance so soon after giving birth (I don’t know how Princess Kate does it!) and all the rushing around to be seated in time was stressing me out.

The baby blessing is pretty early on in the meeting so we didn’t have to keep the kids happy for too long. Evelyn poured out her bag of toys and went to town on the floor in front of our pew. But when Chris went up to the stand with Remi for the blessing, she lost it. She kept yelling for daddy and crying. I did my best to keep her contained but all she wanted was daddy who was preoccupied with the new baby.

The chapel was silent as the blessing started, well silent except for my daughter. I tried my best to listen to the words and nearly missed Evelyn escaping our pew and booking it up to the stand to see her dad. I tried to have her sit down again but her shrieking was stressing me out and I couldn’t stand the thought that everyone else in the chapel was being distracted from what should have been a spiritual moment.

I yanked Evelyn outside into the sunshine where she immediately calmed down. I couldn’t hear the blessing. I was missing my son’s one and only baby blessing. I just stood there and watched Evelyn play in the grass and cried. And then I cried some more.

The stress and anxiety and overwhelming-ness of having just had a kid was just too much for me. I composed myself enough to head back inside and sat down next to Chris and Remi. He leaned over and asked if I was able to hear any of the blessing. I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face as I shook my head no.

A moment or two later someone in the pew behind us handed up a sheet of notebook paper. She had transcribed the whole blessing. My heart was so warmed as I read through the words. And naturally, I started crying again. Those birth hormones are just great I tell you.

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I skipped out on the rest of church and headed home with Remi, leaving Evelyn with Chris. I needed some quiet time to just decompress before all of our family came back to our house. It was only a couple short hours later that 13 people trickled into the house. I was able to keep myself composed for our visitors but it was a rough day. Thank goodness for the kind woman who wrote down the blessing.

 

Super ready to be done with the fourth trimester and all these crazy hormones.

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On a happier note, I was so stoked to find this little blessing outfit for him. (Okay…my mom is actually the one who found it). I had no idea what baby boys were supposed to be blessed in and all the white suits I could find were so fussy. They were made of some satin type material and had like pants, a vest, a shirt, a bow tie and a jacket. Too much suit for such a little guy.

Chris tried to convince me that we should just bless him in Evelyn’s dress. Uhm what? He’s a boy. He insisted that he was blessed in a dress. I’m sorry but my boy will not a wear a dress thank you very much.

We picked this adorable little outfit up at Dressed in White and it was just the right amount of suit and adorable for our needs. I mean, just look at that little chunk!

Life with Child(ren)

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^^Check it out.. I can totally watch two kids at once..I got this

I have had so much help since Remi was born. My parents got into town the evening he was born and my mom has been so great at keeping the house clean, meals on the table and taking care of Evelyn so I could focus on having a newborn again. So it wasn’t until she took some time away from the house to go shopping with my sister that I realized what having two kids is like. Let me spell it out for you.

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It was noon. Nap time for Evelyn. Apparently lunch time for Remi. But Remi was asleep so I used the opportunity to get Evelyn in bed. We had made a quick drive thru run to Chik-fil-a so my food sat on the table while I attempted this little game of ‘make-all-the-kids-happy.’

I changed Evelyn’s diaper and started singing her a song just in time to hear Remi start to cry. I tried to sing louder to drown out the cries but Evelyn was too distraught to pay attention to the song. So I gave her a quick kiss, closed the door and rushed out to soothe baby boy. He had worked himself into such a frenzy that I had to calm him down before he’d start eating. But once he did start nursing there was glorious silence. He fell asleep after only eating on one side and since I was hungry I decided to put him in his swing until I finished my lunch.

As soon as I sat down at the table I could hear Evelyn from her bedroom, “MOM!!! MOM!!” *Sigh.

So I headed back into her room to sing to her a little more and get her calmed down enough to go to sleep. And what do you imagine happened by the time a slid her door closed? That’s right, Remi was up and ready to nurse on the other side. All the while, my food sat on the table getting colder and colder.

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Things have gotten a little better since then. I’ve kind of figured out a system. But since I never really know when Remi is going to cry, the system isn’t fool proof by any means. The other night Remi started screaming while I was putting Evelyn to bed and I asked her if I could go feed him. She looked at me thoughtfully and said a resounding, “Yes.” and went to sleep on her own.

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^^Bathing two kids at once! Total pro. Okay, I’ll be honest…I only washed Remi. Chris washed Evelyn.

The hardest part is when I’m nursing Remi and Evelyn comes up to me with her puppy dog eyes and says, “Hold you mom?” (She gets me and you confused so that means ‘hold me’). I try to explain that I will pick her up as soon as Remi is done eating but I’m afraid that’s going to lead to lots of resentment.

It’s hard to figure out the whole discipline thing. I know she’s acting out for attention because of her brother so I don’t want to punish her. I want her to know that I love her just as much as him. But at the same time I don’t want her to think she can get away with throwing tantrums. It’s a fine line and it’s difficult to find.

I’ve also found that I feel guilty like 85% of the time. My family and even Chris do a really good job of playing with Evelyn so she’s not always watching TV. And then I have a chance to take a nap or take care of Remi or whatever I need to do. But I start feeling so guilty that I’m not giving her more attention. Yes, she’s getting plenty of play time but she’s been with me 24/7 for so long that she struggles a bit with not having that anymore.

Getting mastitis didn’t help much. On top of being tired and having to take care of a newborn, I was also in a lot of pain and wasn’t spending time with Evelyn.

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The cool thing is that Evelyn is starting to learn how to play on her own. She has this doll house and barn and she can spend probably an hour playing by herself. She’s learned from playing with us how to pretend but if you sneak into her room and watch, it’s amazing to see how her imagination works.

It’s so strange to have two little minis that I love so desperately and not knowing how to divide my time with them. And for another level of confusion I have to figure out when I get a moment to myself to remember that I am more than the caretaker of my spawn. The struggle is real my friends.

I also realized how easy it is to do things with just one kid. Like when Evelyn was a newborn it stressed me out to try and do anything when it was just the two of us. But now it seems so simple as long as someone is watching Evelyn. I mean heck, newborns just sleep all the time.

life with kids 004

^^I love LOVE my double stroller. The seats can face in any direction.

And before I had Remi I thought running any errand with Evelyn was so much work. But the other day I had to run out and get my iphone screen fixed (thank you Evelyn) and I left Remi at home and thought the whole time how nice it was to just have Evelyn. It wasn’t that long ago that she was the only one I had to worry about. It’s funny how quickly your perspective can change.

I know I’ll get the hang of this parent of two thing because…well what other choice do I have? There are other people in the world who do this right?

So for all you seasoned mothers out there…What’s your advice on transitioning from one kid to two??

Postpartum take two

Now introducing…

Remington Bret Langford

Remi announcement front

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^^Birth announcements that I will probably never print or send out. These are my super amateur attempt at newborn photos so don’t judge them too harshly.

Baby Remi was born on June 25 at 12:59 AM

9 lbs 15 oz 22 inches long

14.5 inch head

 

It turns out that I was so eager to not be pregnant that I totally forgot what postpartum life/recovery is like. Like totally forgot. Pretty sure it has to happen that way or else everyone would only have one kid.

I spent so much time dreaming of holding my sweet little boy and cuddling him and loving on him that I totally overlooked how I’d possibly not be walking so well for a while. Or that I’d be in bed for a few days. And how could I forget the discomfort of early breastfeeding or the disgust of wearing those fabulous adult diapers?? And then there’s the dreaded realizing how fat I got over the past 10 months as evidenced by the fact that I no longer have a basket ball belly to hide said weight gain. How did I forget?! How?!

I’ll admit, recovery this time around has been significantly easier than it was with Evelyn. As you may recall, she knocked my tailbone right out of place on her way into the world and I literally could not walk for 4 or 5 days. Remington’s massive head had similar results but not nearly as bad. I could walk, just not very gracefully. By some miracle, I did not tear one bit whilst pushing out my 10 lb baby boy so that was one aspect of recovery that I didn’t have to deal with this time (THANK GOODNESS!).

The only new thing this time around was trying to keep my toddler from jumping, kicking, bouncing on, or just mauling me in general. I assume she likes me a whole lot but she has a funny way of showing it.

As nice as it has been to have all my family here to play with Evelyn and meet Remi, it’s been a little hard too. For one thing, relearning how to breastfeed with a new baby isn’t as easy as you may think. Nursing discreetly is pretty much impossible and not very effective. Plus I feel a little guilty every time I need to decompress and lock myself in my room, leaving them to their own devices. I’ll rethink how we handle house guests if we ever decide to have another kid.

I know you’re all super eager to hear all the details of Remi’s home birth story, but be patient. It’s coming. In the meantime I promise to keep up with this here blog, so you don’t have to be without my witticism for too long. Pinky swear!

Today


Today, I dragged my 10 month pregnant self out into the sunshine with my 22 month old daughter and pushed her in the swing. I ignored the pains in my back and hips as I pulled myself off the picnic blanket to help her onto the trampoline and again 5 minutes later to help her down. I let the sun warm my already overheated body as I gulped down ice water and cheered for my daughter who went down the slide head first. I maneuvered my oversized self back inside to quickly retrieve ‘snuggle bear’ and again when she needed juice.

Today I awkwardly leaned my pregnant belly over the side of the bathtub and retrieved toys that had floated too far away while Evelyn played. I encouraged her to “Swim. Swim. Swim.” And didn’t protest when she wanted to splash. I did,however, discourage her from drinking the bath water.

Today I helped my almost two year old decorate her ‘rocket ship’ with Hello Kitty stickers. I sat on the floor in her bedroom, periodically changing positions to keep from getting too sore and pried her chosen sticker from the sheet. I held her hand as she climbed in and out and back in again. I spent 5 minutes trying to stand up when she wanted to go into the living room while she ran back and forth waiting for me to follow.

Today, I cradled my toddler in the rocking chair while she clutched her “bee” and her juice after she requested, “Rock you?”  I watched her eyes droop and pop back open, fighting off sleep. I snuggled my little angel on my chest, her body bent around my large pregnant belly and replied, “Hi baby,” to her sleepy, “Hi Mom.” I relished in every second that she let me hold her, remembering when I used to nurse her to sleep in this very chair. Before she let sleep overcome her, I laid her in her big girl bed and sang to her while I watched her eyes finally close and her body relax.

Today I am still pregnant at 40 weeks and 4 days, but I don’t mind. Because today I let my daughter be an only child for one more day. And today that’s exactly what we both needed.