Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas and New Years Recap

This season always goes by too quickly! This is one of my favorite holiday seasons. I've learned it's even more fun when you have kids.

We spent Christmas with my family in my hometown. The kids swam, played with every toy grandma owns, met our new baby cousin, and laughed like crazy. I caught up with several friends from high school and I can't deny it but I laughed a lot, too.

My 10 year high school reunion will be the summer of 2016... So, in about 6 months. That blows my mind! Yikes. I'm getting old.

Anyways, we made it back home and have spent the week lounging and enjoying having the hubby home. He took 2 whole weeks off of work and it's been amazing!

We spent New Year's Eve at home as a family. Since there is no way our littles will make it to midnight, we celebrated in the middle of the afternoon. We had cake, sparkling grape juice, fireworks, silly string, noise makers, and confetti. It was fun. It was loud. We made so many memories my husband and I will treasure always.
After putting the kids to bed, we popped the champagne and dug into more cake.
We are relaxing today and have friends coming to stay with us tonight. We hope you enjoyed ringing in the new year and are relaxing today as you contemplate your resolutions.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sleep Smiles

As I'm enjoying a piece of dessert, I was able to catch a very beautiful moment. I even got it on camera. How perfect is a sleeping baby giving the biggest smile?

So sweet. I apologize to him now for always having him in or with pink items. Sorry, Riley. Your big sister loves sharing with you though and you truly do know how to rock a frozen themed blanket!

I love the holidays as it reminds me of what's really important in life. In the midst of how crazy the holidays get, I find myself taking extra long moments to just slow down, breathe in my kids, and soak up the beautiful life God has gifted me.

I hope your holidays are shaping up as well as ours are. If not, be sure to take a note from my daughter and grab yourself a treat. That will be sure to cheer you up.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Our 5 Month Old

Riley, my love, you are one of the best things to have ever come into my life. Hands down. I love how in one moment you can be so serious and in the next you are so silly. 
I can't believe I still haven't figured out how to slow time down. You are growing fast. Too fast. Please, give me time to enjoy you at each age. 
At 5 months, you roll over, babble talk like crazy, sleep well at night, recognize your family, and you hold yourself up very well. You will be sitting with no assistance very soon. Your sister and I love to watch every move you make and are 2 of your biggest cheerleaders.
Your family loves you more than words could ever describe. Thank you for choosing us to be your family!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Meeting Santa

It only took us 2 1/2 years to take our daughter to meet Santa. Sad, I know. We don't really have an excuse for why we haven't made it before, but it was definitely worth the wait. Payton was so excited and talked all week about this day.

We anticipated a full blown meltdown when we tried to hand her over to the guy in the red suit. She shocked us all when she shed no tears! Riley questioned the Claus briefly before locking his hands in his beard. He had no issues after that.

This really is the best time of the year. We love all the festivities, lights, laughter, and love that comes with this season. We hope you are enjoying this time as much as we are.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

I'm Still Here

I have taken a break from blogging while I get my health back on track (I have been battling pneumonia for a few months) and to enjoy the holidays with my family. I plan to get back to regular posts as the holiday season wraps up. 

Until then, I will be resting with my babies and sledding my life away as much as possible.

Happy Holidays!

Baby 1 to Baby 2

I don't think children should be compared to each other as we are raising them, but we should instead embrace the positive uniqueness that each individual child brings to the world. That being said, it can still be interesting to compare how each of our babies are similar and dissimilar to each other. It seems natural for my husband and me to make comments about how much our second child is like our first and comparatively how they differ. Here are a few things we have found when I think about Payton and Riley as babies:


*Happiness: both babies are generally very happy

*Love Baths: coincidentally, they put you both to sleep. I happen to have no problem with that.

*Dark Features: You both had dark hair and dark eyes at birth. Now, Payton has hazel eyes and blonde hair. Only time will tell with Riley what he will end up with. I'm hoping the dark features stay!

*Cuddly: With Payton, I didn't think a child could want more constant affection than Payton does. Cue Riley. Both kids loved to be held 24/7, rocked to sleep, holding hands, and holding our constant attention.

*Tummy Time: Both babies have had a huge dislike for tummy time

*Eating: Both babies were breastfed and, despite a learning curve with each, there haven't been any major issues for either child. Payton struggled initially with a good latch, but we were able to correct that relatively quickly. I, on the other hand, have battled mastitis at some point both times.


*Sleep: Payton struggled with sleeping, both at night and with naps. She is a rockstar sleeper now, but those newborn/infant nights were hard! Riley has been a great sleeper overall. At 4 months, he typically only gets up 1 time.

*Ticklish: Payton was not very ticklish but Riley is. He loves to be tickled by his chin, sides of his belt, and the bottoms of his feet.

*Watching TV: Payton had really no interest in the TV. Riley learned to roll over and spin himself around in his exersaucer so he had prime positioning to see the TV. So, despite how turned away I keep him from the TV, he finds a way to watch!

*Size: Payton was our petite baby and almost always fell below the 20th percentile at check-ups. Riley is not so tiny and at (almost) 5 months is weighing in close to 17 pounds and ranks closer to the 65th percentile.

*Traveling: Although traveling is hard for both of you, Riley seems to have a higher tolerance for road trips than Payton did as an infant.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Infant Toys and Toddlers

It's been so fun to watch my toddler react to infant items she once used. She definitely doesn't remember using them (but she will try to tell you she does), but she is surely set on using them now. As I flashed through my pictures this morning (because it's quiet and I miss my babies), I found a running theme in many pictures from this week. My daughter loves my son's toys:

As we are entering into a phase where my daughter doesn't always want to share, I use these periods of time as teachable moments. Her brother shares with her, so she should share something with him. So far it works and is evidenced in all the pink gear our baby boy is surrounded by.
I continue to embrace watching their relationship grow and am so blessed to call them my own. They are bonded for life, for better or worse.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Apple Harvest

We completed another season of harvesting our apples trees. Well, almost completed. I still have about half a bucket of apples to process. That will be done this week (hopefully).

This was our second fall at our house and we absolutely love having apple trees, harvesting the apples, and having homemade apple goodies all year long. This home has taught us so much in such a short time.

My love for apple harvesting has grown as I observe what we are teaching our daughter and the increased family bond that is formed as we all work together. She is learning about where our food comes from, the work put into preserving food, and how this hard work pays off for our family. One day, our son will learn as well. 

As the aroma of fresh apple cider fills our home, I find my heart filled with love for our little homestead. Who knew 3 small apple trees could bring so much love?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Our Daily Schedule

It's been a long while since I have done a day in my life post so time for the update! I have to say, I'm not overly satisfied with one aspect of our current routine. I never would have guessed my beautiful, tiny toddler could become so demanding, throw so many tantrums, and believe she could not live without the television being on. That's right. Dora the explorer has caused many issues in our house.

For a period of almost 2 months, I was very sick (pneumonia) and was doing what I could just to survive the day. Unfortunately, I did turn to TV for entertainment for our family. Now that I am healthy, I am ready for the TV to be off and return to our normal, with the TV on minimally. That has become a huge undertaking that I don't necessarily have the energy for quite yet. I'm slowly weaning though!

So, despite knowing how much TV we watch, here is what a typical week day looks like:

6:10am: My hubby's alarms start going off. I mentally prepare that I will be getting up soon with Riley, our 5 month old.

6:30am: I'm up for the day with Riley. I change, feed, and rock him. I pray he takes this time to sleep (while he can) before our toddler is up. He says, "not a chance, mom."

7:30am: Payton is up and refusing to get dressed, for now. I start a load of laundry, feed the dogs, and feed our 2 outdoor cats.
I get breakfast going and Riley falls asleep while we eat.

8:15am: With Riley still sleeping and Payton fed, I convince Payton to get dressed for the day. She currently believes tutus are the best clothing items ever (and on a toddler, I can't help but agree). She makes sure to rock her tutu and spends the rest of the day twirling sporadically.
I spend some time cuddling with her while she watches Dora. Sigh. At least I am getting some 1:1 time with her and get to hold her. She also requires her dolls to sit with us.

9am: Both kids are awake. Payton plays while I change and feed Riley. We all play cars together.

10am: I workout. Before the obsession with TV, Payton worked out with me. We would do Zumba, just dance to music, and/or workout DVDs. She now has less interest in this so I now use the elliptical while Payton plays in the room. Riley hangs out next to me during this time. 

After taking the fastest shower known to man, I start making lunch.

11:15am: We eat lunch. Riley typically falls asleep again.
When I am done eating I start kitchen chores while I wait for Payton to finish. I empty and reload the dishwasher, plan supper for the evening, and start making homemade applesauce in the crockpot. I also make a quick dash to move laundry from the washer to the dryer.

12-1pm: I try to find something to really wear our kids out before Payton has quiet time (since she doesn't nap). I prefer getting outside but weather makes this impossible. Today, we play-doh.

Bonus points for no TV being used! :)

1pm: Quiet time. Payton spends an hour in her room, on her bed, reading and playing with her babies. Sometimes, she sleeps, but usually she plays until her hour is up. Riley sleeps during this time as well. I have a list of things I should do, but I typically rest.

While I relax, I find a picture from 5 years ago (thanks Facebook time hop) and ponder how much has changed since that picture:
Oh, if only I could tell my past self what was to come! My 2 dogs babies are still my first babies but now there are 2 kids and 2 outside cats in the mix. There has also been 1 move (in the same town) and both sides of the family have expanded!

2-3pm: We all play together as a family after I finish another round of changing and feeding Riley. When the mixed berry applesauce is done, we pair this with some string cheese and call it our snack.

The rest of the day is a blur really, it flies by so fast.

3:30pm: Daddy comes home. I never know who's more excited, the kids or me?

Payton and I head to town to deliver some homemade gifts to those close to us in town. I went with a homemade popcorn mix this year.

4:45pm: Like clockwork, I start supper while Monte supervises the kids. Today, we actually switched roles and the hubby cooks homemade pizza. I made the dough previously (and pulled it from the freezer the night before) but he does the rest. Payton loves to help with this meal.

5:30pm: We eat.

6:45pm: We start bath/bedtime routine.

7:30pm: Payton goes to bed. I lay with her and we talk until she falls asleep (typically within 20 mins). Then, I rock Riley and put him to bed.

Both kids are typically asleep for the night by 8:30pm. I enjoy my husband, the quiet, and some tv shows that are not cartoons. By 9pm, I miss both my kids terribly and contemplate waking one of them. Deciding against this, I make my way to bed. Sometimes I get to sleep until 4-5am or until 11pm, depends on the night and when the next kids wakes!

This is our typical week! We are home most of the week except for 1 morning each week when we head to our local library for story time. We also have a sitter that comes 1-2 afternoons per week to watch the kids while I work. I also take Payton to run errands with me after the hubby comes home 1-2 nights per week.

This may not be the right life for everyone, but it's a perfect fit for me! 

Popular Posts