26 April, 2016

Maggie: Twenty Four Months

Weight: 27-28lbs (75%)
Length: 36.5 in (97%)
Eats: 3 full meals with us, a snack or two if she's hungry,  and 8-12 ounces of cows milk (nap and either dinner or bed).  She has a sippy of water throughout the day
Diapers:  All our favorite OS cloth diapers.  Size 5 in disposables (more for the extra absorbency and rise than for fit)
Clothes:  We skipped 2ts and went straight to 3ts. She's so tall that she has to wear little shorts under her dresses.
Shoes: 6.5
Sleep: 8pm bedtime, wake up around 7 or 8, one nap around 1:00 (a little earlier if we don't have carpool)
Teeth: Everything she should have by 2!

All The Things:

Maggie couldn't be any more talkative. She's such an extrovert, and I believe she favors her Grandma in her love of a good party and hanging out with family and friends. If we're home for too long Maggie asks to go see friends, go pick up Evie from school, or go to the playground. She loves to be out and about.

Maggie is quite the chatterbox. She'll talk to no one or anyone, just like her Daddy.  She can speak in complete sentences, and sometimes put a few sentences together but when she does this she's often so excited that you can only understand a few words at a time. She's very animated in her storytelling, using hand gestures, facial expressions, and voice inflection to get her point across. 

While she has an excellent vocabulary, I'd say up in the 75-100 or more range, her speech isn't super clear.  Often I am the only one that understands what she's saying, though this is getting better every day.

Maggie is thriving in gymnastics and asks almost every day if we can go to "My 'nastics" and "see my friends".  She can almost walk on the balance beam by herself, crawl through a tunnel, jump on a trampoline, do a summersault with minimal help, and makes up little obstacle courses for herself.

She's also SO READY to go to school. She cries most mornings because she wants to go with Evie.

She can sing a few songs almost by herself, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", "Head, shoulders, knees and toes",  "Hail Mary", "God Our Father", and "Itsy Bitsy Spider"

She can count to at least ten.  She does not know her ABCs.  She knows her color words but rarely matches them to the correct color.

We've hit the "I survive on air and french fries" stage. This worries us a bit because she doesn't have any baby fat to survive on.  We often have to bribe her to eat more protein.

Girl can eat some chocolate. Starting around 9am until after dinner it is a battle wills between Maggie and me over "chocolate raisin" and "emonays" (M&Ms).

She's not as interested in fine motor activities or sitting still like Evie was. She loves to PLAY, jump, run around, or ride bikes. She can spend hours playing house, Little People or dollies. She's very nurturing. She does love to sit an look at books. If we can't find her, she's often up in her rocking chair looking at books.

We had to re-sleep train her around 18 months. She'd been sick and growing and was not sleeping through the night or napping well. We used the Mom's on Call 15 months to 4 years book and within a week or so she was back on track. She's now an AMAZING napper and sleeper.

She had her first real hair cut at the salon. I'd trimmed the ends a few times, but I took her in for a bang trim and to have the back evened up. She's got a bunch of crazy cowlicks like her Daddy that are growing in so the hairdresser didn't want to mess with it too much until it thickens up.

Maggie is such a joyful kid. She wants everyone to be happy and to "feel bedder". She remembers to ask the next day, too!  I absolutely adore our one-on-one time

12 April, 2016

On SAHM Routines

When I first transitioned to being a stay-at-home-mom I feared that I would waste the days away, and while some days this is true, I have found that having a decent routine helps keep peace and order in the house but also increases my productivity.

It has taken me a decade or two to admit that I actually need and thrive on routine.  My free spirit didn't want to seem "trapped" or "tied down" - however, sometime at the end of college I learned that a little self discipline goes a long way.  When I graduated I was balancing 3 part-time jobs, and later added graduate school into that mix. It wasn't that each day had the same routine, per say, but that each day of the week did and that was enough.

Now that I am home with the girls, we have preschool, I teach an online theology class, workout, and juggle dance/gymnastics/PSR, and a small photography business. It seems like a lot but finding the day-to-day routine and the weekly routine has made everything possible.

So what does our day look like?  Well to start with, I have to thank Fr. Dennis, a fellow free-spirit for encouraging finding routine for the sake of my mental health and also my prayer life.  He actually just did a podcast on this which inspired this post.


6:45 - alarm goes off, aim to read Blessed is She daily readings & devotional email, check emails and social media. Delete the junk and mark anything urgent to be replied to later
7:15 - My turn in the shower, get dressed, etc
8:00 - if the girls aren't up yet, wake them up. Evie should be dressed, potty and teeth brushed before she goes down stairs.  Eric typically has breakfast & coffee started if not ready.
8:15 - Eric is out the door if he hasn't left already, girls get a TV show if they're ready for the day and breakfast has been eaten.
9:00 - hunt for shoes, make school snacks, load the car
9:15 - depart for pre-school
9:30 - pre-school drop off for Evie
9:45 - Maggie and I run errands, visit the chiropractor/midwife/pediatrician/other appointments, come home clean the house, take her to gymnastics (Thursdays), start laundry, prepare something for the crockpot, have one-on-one time with Maggie, etc
12:15 - load up for preschool pick up
12:30 - pick up Evie
12:45 - lunch for everyone (sometimes out), followed by a nap for Maggie and a movie for Evie
1:30 - I settle in for work time (school, photography, sewing, blogging, etc) and/or one-on-one time with Evie (baking, crafts, make play-doh, etc).  Tuesdays this is pushed back due to Evie's ballet
3:30 - if Maggie is still napping I take a nap, read or watch a TV show
4:00 - run any last errands we might need to for the day (read: oh crap we had snack duty tomorrow), on Mondays we leave for PSR
5:00 - Maggie is woken up if she's not already up, girls play in the playroom or on the back patio
5:15 - I get dinner started, often listening to a Podcast
6:00/6:30 - Eric is home just in time for family dinner
7:00 - I leave for Pure Barre/evening meetings/quiet time at Target/reading at a coffee shop.  Eric bathes girls and gets them to bed by 8pm.  Now that it's light later sometimes we go to the park, on a walk, or ride bikes.

8:30 - we finish up any chores, clean the kitchen
9:00 - Eric and I sit down for a game, TV show, talk about our days, or finish up any hobbies/projects
10/10:30 - Head to bed



8am family snuggle time
9ish I leave for Pure Barre/photoshoot/Cloth Diaper class, etc or Eric leaves for his cycling club ride
Family Lunch
Eric usually does yard work and I do random stuff.  Maggie naps and Evie plays.
Many weekends we then go to a birthday party, out to dinner, or to visit grandparents


Snuggle time
Mass (some weekends)
Eric leaves for adult swim at the pool or I go workout
Whoever is home takes a nap
I sit and plan the week, review with Eric, meal plan
Mass (if we didn't go in the morning)
Out to dinner
Home for bedtime
Eric goes to the grocery store for the week

There you have it. Our super exciting weekly routine. Seriously though, our best weeks follow this pattern.  When the girls start to get grumpy or defiant, or if Eric and I find ourselves short with each other, is usually because we've had too much break from the routine and it's time to pull it back in, even if it means saying NO to things...good things!  For example, this weekend we had a 1st birthday party. But the girls were absolutely exhausted to the point where Maggie cried for a solid 3 hours. We pulled the plug on the party and put everyone down for a nap. I knew if we didn't set that boundary there'd be hell to pay for the rest of the week.  I hated to say NO to the party, but I also have to know my limits and the kids' limits.

The other important thing Eric and I have come to realize is that we often have to tweak the routine, change our chore lists, and re-evaluate our expectations anytime we have a major life event (Eric training for a half Ironman), pregnancy, big illness (a week of the flu!), a newborn, new job, or new school year.

What's your day like?

16 March, 2016

Bump Update: 21 Weeks

How far along? 21 weeks and 2 days

How big is baby?  

Total weight gain? I had held steady at 10-12 lbs and then this weekend, BOOM, 15 lbs. I'm guessing the cheesecake, waffles, M&Ms, and gummy bears are not helping. Shocked Face Emoji.

Maternity clothes? I *FINALLY* found a bathing suit that will work for this spring and summer. I had to order it from Australia, but it is a cup-sized, underwire nursing and maternity suit. Three cheers for the Australians! 

I also bought some Beyond Yoga maternity workout capris.  I know it seems weird to buy maternity work out leggings, but as I've said before, I carry my babies so low that I just can't wear any regular pants.

Stretch marks? Nothing new

Belly button? Nothing too weird, yet....

Exercise The last two weeks I've been getting my butt back into gear with walking and Pure Barre. My hips and back thank me.

Sleep  With the exception of a little Daylight Saving struggle, I've been sleeping pretty well.  I find if I have too much sugar or gluten before bed I have a hard time sleeping.

 Finally starting to feel regular movement. Usually hangs out near my left hip, which is where Maggie liked too. This morning I felt him up near my belly button though.  Eric still can't feel his kicks from the outside. A few more weeks and I'm sure I'll take to take this all back! haha

Food cravings  I wouldn't say I have cravings, per say, I'm just really drawn to chocolate these days...My protein+fruit smoothies usually have a handful of chocolate chips in them
Food aversions  I wouldn't say I have any aversions, I would just say I don't want much other than tacos & nachos.

What I miss My joints staying in place.  If I carry Maggie for more than 5-10 minutes a day, my right hip pops out of place and hurts like hell until I can get to the chiropractor. Just not worth it.

What I am looking forward to
Having a little Sprinkle for baby boy!  Also, I am really excited to share his name with everyone. It seems like it's been a secret foreveerrrrrrr.  And I am terrible with secrets.

Milestones  A lot of "Your belly has popped" or "You're really rounding out" comments.  Belly is starting to get in the way of reaching the bottom of the washing machine.  oh darn. ;)

Say What?  I had someone assume I was due in April or May this afternoon.  Same person referred to the pregnancy as "my condition".     I have to say, not working in an office with a bunch of forthright curmudgeons has left me with far less humorous stories. 

Sweet moments  The girls are starting to kiss my belly goodnight, "g'night baby brudder"

Make room for baby:  We went to buybuybaby for a shower gift for a friend and found a cute little "coming home" outfit for brother.  Before y'all start commenting on it being "Auburn Colors" the first thing Eric said was, "I really wish this was Auburn colors. But it's still really cute".

Oh, and THIS:
 I've reached the s tage of crazy growing finger nails and arm hair. Does anyone else have this? Or something equally as weird?   

Bump Watch:  Maggie 21 Weeks |   Evie 20 Weeks

04 March, 2016

We're a Van Fam!

I still can't believe the words I just typed at the post title, "We're a Van Fam!"  Seriously. We own a van. Paid in full. It's ours.

We tried to make the CR-V work. We even bought Diono carseats in preparation.  However, there were two distinct moments that made us realize we needed something bigger.

First, we realized the girls could hold hand sitting on the two outside seats.  What they heck were they going to do to poor baby brother when he sat in the middle rear facing towards them?

Then Eric mentioned the Disney trip and subsequent road trips. He asked where we were going to put all the car trip toys since they usually go in the middle seat.


But we couldn't really afford anything bigger.  We did keep an eye on the used car market trying to figure out if maybe we get a full sized SUV.  After we saw the price of the SUVs we wanted and the price of the minivans, the van made the most sense long term.  We have no idea if we're done having children so the sliding doors, the walk through middle seat, and the storage space PLUS third row seemed the most practical for about the same amount of money.

Money was still an issue.

And then Eric started processing our taxes.  We ended up with a larger than expected return.  We contemplated taking a vacation to San Diego and Maui, but the timing just wasn't working out.  Then we remembered the van.

Oh the van.

It was a done deal. We did some more online shopping, made some phone calls and then headed over to The Street With All The Car Dealers.  You know, every town has one.

While we were waiting for them to appraise the CR-V, we took the girls to the back lot to climb through the Odysseys and Siennas.  Without even test driving yet, the Odyssey was a perfect fit for us.  Unfortunately all 5 of the ones in our price range had SOLD that morning (what?! already!).  But they took us out for a test drive in a different model and we were sold. They called around to another lot and had the one we wanted sent over for us.

Eric went over to another dealer to see what their trade in value would be and test drive what they had on their used lots, but this proved to be the best deal.

The next day we were waiting at the lot for our new-to-us van to pull in from the lot transfer.  Took the old-gal for a spin, climbed through it a few times and went in to sign on the dotted line!

 The girls absolutely love it. Evie tells everyone we meet, including you know people who don't care like the Publix cashier, that "we got a MINI-VAN. IT HAS A BACK ROW"
 Having driving base model cars my whole life, the little upgrades of leather seats, XM radio, Bluetooth and a sunroof are just amazing!  And OH the extra room.

As much as I hate the stigma of the mad-mom-in-a-minivan, I absolutely adore driving it. I'm actually looking forward to our vacations this summer.  No one is going to kick or hit and we have plenty of room for their toys :)