Thursday, May 21, 2015

Baby Brother is Here

I’d like you to meet………..

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Carson James Huie
Born April 30th at 11:36 weighing 8lbs 1oz. and 21 inches long

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He’s an absolute dream boat…….cuddly, sleepy, and all things precious. 
We’ve been dealing with some digestion issues so he’s had a few fussy days thrown in the mix but for the most part he’s such a content and happy baby!

He looks just like his dad and surprised us with a head full of thick dark brown hair. Weston was born with tons as well but Carson has even more hair than his brother did. It’s soft as velvet and we all have a hard time keeping our hands out of it. It’s a good thing he loves head rubs!

He’s just a day shy of being 3 weeks old and has changed so much since we brought him home.
He’s chunking up a bit more. Oh goodness he has the sweetest little leg rolls going on and his cheeks, I just can’t! He’s super alert and is starting to stay awake for longer stretches of time, sometimes even 4 hour stretches. He has awesome eye control and loves to gaze at you while you’re holding him and his eye……just dreamy! I’ll include an Instagram photo at the bottom of the post so you can see what I’m talking about.  He’s usually happy when he’s awake as long as he’s being held (just like his brother). He’ll let you put him down for little stretches of time, juuuuuuuuust long enough for you to make a cup of coffee but don’t you dare think about drinking it!  We’re going to have another baby wearing lover in our house which I don’t mind one bit!

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Big brother is adjusting perfectly to his new role which takes things to a whole new level of cuteness.
The 1st thing out of Weston’s mouth in the morning is “See baby brother!” The other day he was crouched down next to Carson calling him “little buddy”. We even get an “I love baby brother!” every now and then, unprompted I might add.

So far no signs of regression or jealousy. Kent and I try really hard to make sure he’s being heard and he’s getting one on one attention from both mama and dada. Over the weekend Kent stayed home with the baby so I could take Weston out on a little mama and son date. We had such a good time and honestly it was probably more beneficial for my heart than his. I miss my full days with him…..just Weston and I.

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We’ve jumped right back into the role of parents to a newborn. One of the many perks to having babies so close together. It’s not the same this time as Carson is a different baby but it’s different, in a good way.

Kent took 2 weeks off work to help us all get adjusted. On day 4 he was teasing about going back to work because things were going so smoothly at home. Compared to our 1st time around they really have been. Nights with a newborn are long. I’m tired. I spend most days in pjs. Showers and a hot cup of coffee are hard to come by but things are different…..more calm….more chill this time around.

As I mentioned above Carson has his fussy days. When it happens it’s because of his digestion issues but we’re trying a few things to work through it. We’ve had a good 3 day stretch so fingers crossed. 

I never experienced that sleepy newborn phase with Weston. Kent and I were pretty much in survival mode the 1st 6 months. To have a baby that sleeps for hours on end, is happy when he’s awake, and will let you put him down for small stretches of time is a whole new world. I actually organized a cabinet the other day. I’ve been able to stay on top of laundry and pick the house up. And the fact that I’m even typing this blog says a lot. Now I’ve been working on it off and on for almost a week but there was no way I would have been about to do any of this when Weston was a newborn. Thank goodness he was our 1st!

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Kent is back at work and things are settling into place. A new messy kind of place but hey we’ll get there. Kent’s parents are helping keep the ship afloat. They watch Weston during the week and even make dinner for us. This would be a whole different post without them. I haven’t worked up the courage to take both boys out solo just yet and I’m a little afraid of managing dinner and bedtime without Kent. Weston does great at bed time but that’s usually Carson’s witching hour so I’ve been a little reluctant to take on the challenge. Again with time………..we’ll get there!

Noticing the “We’ll get there trend”

I’m trying to not rush or push things if I don’t have to. Trying to give myself grace and just enjoy things as they are. Reminding myself to accept help and let go. I’m not perfect at doing these things but I’m trying. I’ll never get these precious weeks back, Carson so tiny. A free pass to nap and rest. Weston so excited about the newness of his little brother. I know just how fast it all goes by so I’m just taking it easy and breathing it all in.

Here are a few Instagram photos from our 1st few weeks as a family of four!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Guest Post – Day in the Life of a Twin Mama

Hi All! I'm Danielle Moore, I blog over at Moore Party of Four! Initially it was a blog about our Infertility struggles & miscarriage, then twin pregnancy and now we have 20!!!!! month old twin girls! Besides my random blogging, I am a full-time working mama; I work as a radiographer (ahem. Xray tech), at a local private doctors office- which I love! My husband is a middle school teacher (bless him) and the Head Girls Basketball Coach at Grafton High School. For years, he was both the boys and girls middle school head track coach, but just recently stepped down this year to spend more time with his girls! Awh! The girls have made our lives better in every single way. In ways we didn't know were possible. The days can be crazy, fun, exhausting and just awesome! 

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I worked yesterday 8-8, so the girls spent the day at my parents until Andrew got off at 3:30pm and then he picked them up and took them home. They were in bed by 645 that night.  I usually work 3 days a week 12 hour shifts. My schedule is Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday 8-8. Unless I work a weekend day I get off early one day through the week. Wednesday's are my favorite! I haven't seen the girls in two days and they are extra snuggly!

1253AM-  Ella whined and cried for a minute. Binky check. 

215AM- Bria has a small night terror. I'm still unsure if it's a nightmare or night terror. Some days she's easily comforted and some days she thrashes and doesn't acknowledge I'm there- all while asleep. Tonight's she was easily comforted. 

555AM- I hear talking from both. I go in, lay them both back down and say it's still night night. Some times it works, sometimes not. Today it worked! 

640AM- Ella is awake and talking. She is always awake first. On days I work- I would have already gotten up at 530 and would be ready and almost out the door. Some days the girls wake before I have to wake them and the last 2 days we've had to wake them up to change them to leave by 645. So this is sleeping in to me. 

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My husband, Andrew, wakes up and goes to take a shower. Today, the girls wait for breakfast and color. I go in and pick out their clothes for the day, wrangle the two crazies and change their diaper and clothes! Andrew comes out and starts breakfast for them around 7. He's the cook, thank the lord. While he does that and they eat at their table, I unload and load the dishwasher.  Today they had scrambled eggs, waffles and applesauce, with water. 

Andrew leaves for work around 715 and the girls say their bye byes and blow kisses and give hugs. They finish up breakfast and we clean up the living room so I can sweep! I make sure on the days I'm off I do dishes and sweep the upstairs to keep some sort of consistent order in our house and it's been working out well. 

Around 750/8AM we venture downstairs. Where we have the ultimate playroom and our main living room. 

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Then it's crazy play until 945. 

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There's a ton of dancing and music videos. These girls have moves and love to dance! 

At 945/950 it's time to go upstairs. The girls grab their blankets (frozen of course), monkeys, and binky’s & sit down to watch frozen. I unload the dishes from earlier and let the girls wind down for their nap. I'll never understand why they can be up for 7 hours in the evening but barely make it 3-4 in the morning. 

Nap from 10-12. This is where I usually plan lunch and dinner, get myself ready, eat lunch for myself, pay bills, craft (I already crafted last night and made some shirts for a friend - I love my heat press!) Today I threw chicken and potatoes in the crockpot. I get myself ready and our bag ready for our play date today with some girls I graduated X-ray school with and their kiddos! These are the things I dreamt of when we were trying to get pregnant! I got myself ready, and started the girl’s laundry. Their bag is packed with sippy’s and snacks and I make their lunch- pears, Mini pizza and cheese.

Of course today they get up at 1130! I finish their lunch and set them down to eat. I hadn't changed yet, so every time I tried to sneak to my room- they followed. They didn't eat very well and the sandwich I made for myself didn't get eaten either. It was a nut house trying to wrangle both kids, change diapers, and get socks and shoes on and their jackets. While I was getting Ella's socks and shoes Bria opened the wipes container and had them spread all over the floor. 

1219- We are out the door and in the car. I let them both run to the car. Bria goes in first and Ella goes in last kicking. 

1225- We are at the post office. I have to mail onsies to a friend. Bria is sitting nicely on the bench and Ella is up running around. The post master tells me the last time my husband was there with them both, it was the same scenario. 

1235- Back in the car, and on our way to our friend Megan's for a play date. I get stuck behind a train. Ella pretty much screams the entire way there because she wants more snacks, even though she didn't eat her lunch. 

100 PM- we finally arrive at our friend Megan's. It was hysterical. They have two dogs, which my girls are obsessed with puppies. Megan has two boys and Ashley had her boy there, her daughter was in school. The girls took a few minutes to warm up, but loved every minute to it. The enjoyed snacks, Legos, playing with cars, getting kisses from the puppies and lots of pictures. It was so nice to meet up with them, I have totally missed them more than words and I'm glad I can finally bring my own kids to play dates! 

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At 230 - We left. Stopped at sheets because the girls were cranky and momma was thirsty! 

300- We are home inside and coloring. Waiting for dadda. The girls wouldn't stop talking about the puppies. I change diapers, and eat a few bites of chicken since I missed lunch. 

330- Daddy arrived home and the girls start tackling him. They love being thrown around and kissed a ton so this is one of my favorite parts of the day.  We play mommy and the girls swaddle their babies and burp them. I say how great of big sisters they would be. & I get sad again, that they probably won't ever be big sisters for multiple reasons. Sigh. 

430- We run to the grocery store to get a few things we needed, soap, the girls were out of most breakfast foods, bananas and tin foil. 

515- We are back home and Andrew starts boiling water for our corn on the cob. Ella has a meltdown or two. I change Bria's diaper, she has pooped again. Ella is throwing herself on the ground- The usual.

545- Dinner is finally ready (well the crockpot was done, just waiting on our veggies) and the girls pick at their dinner. It's so frustrating that they are barely eating the things we make  and it's things we know they love. Corn, mashed potatoes, etc. We even gave them a yahoo each to entice them to sit down and eat and nothing. Ella throws a giant fit, sits in the bad chair. She eventually agrees to eat dinner and says I love you. 

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She again refuses to eat, Bria is just running around the house and I haven't even attempted to sit down and eat. I finally make my plate, while the girls calmed down and have been stealing bites from daddy. 

They both come over to me, Bria starts eating my baked potato and Ella asks for a bite of my corn on the cob. Apparently, she only licked it and I kind of love pepper. Whoops! She is scratching her tongue and I make her take lots of drinks of her chocolate milk. She finally steals my corn on the cob, Bria has devoured my entire potato and all I have left to eat is my chicken. 

615- The girls get ‘nakie’ and this is when the fun starts. They haven't been listening well in public or when we are outside, etc when I tell them to stop. I thought a game where we played stop/go would be fun with M&Ms as rewards. It turned into a giant track meet, Ella just did it for fun and Bria just did it to eat the M&Ms. I *think* they got it at the end? I don't know. 

640- Bria has a gigantic poop. We just decided to start bath a few minutes early. Bria runs to the bathroom, Ella follows behind with corn in hand. She is walking around saying yummy while I get her pajamas out.

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She says she's done, Daddy has run the bath water and both girls get in. We have a pretty good system for bathing. Andrew bathes the girls and entertains them. I get pajamas, diapers, milk, towels, and clean up what mess I can while they play. They played until 655. I change Ella and dress her and she starts drinking her milk, but is mad I won't give her any snack before bed. Andrew finishes dressing Bria and they both Lay down on our laps and watch Mickey Mouse. 

Bria declares she is "all done" and they both hop up, give each other hugs and kisses. Adorable!! And give us kisses too! There's lots of I love you's. Ella gets both binky’s and hands Bria hers. We carry the girls in the bedroom and lay them down with their monkey and Blankie. Sound machine on, humidifier on, room darkening blinds closed. Done. 

It's 710pm. I hear one giggle and then nothing else. We clean up from dinner and crash on the couch for a few minutes. Andrew falls asleep with the cat. I go down and start another load of the girl’s laundry and clean the downstairs from this morning. I put away some clothing items I bought the girls the other day for $1 in the next few sizes up in the laundry room. I’m super cheap so I already have 2 full garbage bags of 3T, 1 full of 4T, and a small 5T bag.

After that I come upstairs, clean up a bit again. It’s around 830pm and I sit down to log on to Facebook and order some things from a Co-Op I am a part of. It’s the last day to order and deciding on what color moccs to get was hard ;).

930PM –  I have to work tomorrow so I need to go to bed early and that is where I head. We take the monitor in and crash in bed. I search facebook, my favorite blogs, Instagram, etc. Andrew does the same. We have survived another day! ☺

Connect with Danielle……
Blog: Moore Party of Four

Monday, May 18, 2015

Guest Post – 2 Under 2

Hi there, I’m Lilly! I am a born and raised Texan, Texas Tech Red Raider (Guns UP!), IT professional, firefighter wife, and mama to 2 littles. Evelyn Kate aka EK, Ev, or wild girl is 2 (almost 3) *Born 5/17/2012 and James Augustus aka Jamesy, bubba, or sweet boy is 1 *Born 12/31/2013 – My NYE baby!

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I love following Kendra on IG and reading her blog, and thought this opportunity to write a guest blog post would be fun! I’ve always wanted to document my “story” of becoming a mama of two under two, and this was the perfect reason to write it out!

Also, I wanted to share my story because I think it’s important to see variations of normal. My journey and challenges are different than everyone else’s, and I want others to see how we made our own normal. I love reading stories of parenthood and how different families navigate the unique challenges they face. Our challenges and struggles are what made our family, and overcoming those trials have made our family stronger.

So here is my story into motherhood of two under two:

Let’s go back…. The last five years of my life have been a little crazy, here is the short version on my story:  I fell in love, started grad school, got married, bought a house, had a beautiful baby girl, finished grad school, had a handsome baby boy, and lived happily ever after*!  *Still in progress

Life leading up to when my daughter was born was busy, some might even say hectic! We bought a house when I was 8 months pregnant, my husband was finishing up fire school (like EK was born the day after he finished), and I was working full time + working on my MBA.  But after EK was born, we settled into life with a baby fairly quickly! My husband starting working as a firefighter, I continued grad school, and eventually went back to work. And Evelyn’s first year was great! Yes, there were many sleepless nights. Yes, some days were just plain HARD. But we survived, and had figured out how to navigate our lives with a baby. But not to belittle the first year of parenthood.. surviving the first year should be overlooked, it is TOUGH!

The week leading up to EK’s first birthday, I didn’t feel quite right. I chalked it up to being busy planning a birthday party and excited about seeing all of our friends and family. I had a brief moment when I thought- “What if I’m….” and laughed it off. But in the back of my mind, I knew I was pregnant. I waited until after her birthday was over to confirm my thoughts, and it was POSITIVE. I was going to have a BABY and a 19 month old, and was terrified (insert scared face emoji)!  We knew we wanted more kids but we were just coming off the high of surviving a year with ONE baby, and the thought of a second was a little scary! And as luck would have it that WONDERFUL baby girl of ours, turned into strong willed, stubborn toddler (still applies)!

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Secretly a family of 4, but I think someone had her suspicions! (Photo cred: IG @debbafaith)

My second pregnancy was hard. I didn’t lose all the weight from the first, plus I was carrying a toddler around. My body just hurt a majority of the time! My back was killing me until the day I gave birth. I was too stubborn to go to a chiropractor, and regretted it immensely. I was finishing up my last semester of grad school, and thankfully walked across the stage with my MBA 5 months pregnant (with my 15 month old snoozing in the stands). I may have blocked out parts of this time in my life, because it was tough! I even survived a 3.5 hour road trip at 38 weeks pregnant to make it to my sister-in-laws wedding, because I just couldn’t miss EK being flower girl! Which she ended up being the cutest flower girl, ever (well worth scaring everyone and my doctor)!!  

On the eve of 2014 sweet baby James was born. He was perfect and sweet from day one! However, he was not a sleeper and was a spit-up master. He was the complete opposite baby than his sister, and I had to “re-figure out” how to take care of a newborn. NOT TO MENTION still take care of a very busy toddler. A few weeks before James was born our beloved babysitter gave us the devastating news that she was moving, on December 31st (ha)! So we were in the process of transitioning EK to new childcare, after being passed around throughout the holidays. She was completely out of her routine and had a really hard time adjusting. Unhappy toddler, unhappy life….

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This is motherhood of two under two

While my husband had a few shifts off, he eventually went back to his 24 hours shifts leaving me alone with TWO for 24 hours at a time.  It was just plain hard, to put it bluntly. There were many sleepless nights, long days, and times of doubt. But survived! Mainly because you can’t give a baby and a toddler back to the hospital, so we were stuck with them. (I’M KIDDING!) We had tons of help and support from our wonderful family, all who live 3+ hours away and willing drove over to help us at the drop of a hat. And as time went on, we figured it all out again. Baby James started sleeping more, EK got into a new routine, and life got easier. We found new childcare for both littles, and I went back to work and we figured out our new normal again.

I quickly learned that life with two littles is like running a marathon (not that I’ve run one, but I assume it’s like one)! It starts out a little tough, then you get in a groove. Then you hit a hill and slow down, and struggle to find that groove again, but then sprint down the hill and find a good pace etc, etc… BUT when you cross the finish line (1st birthday of #2) you look back and say, ehhh that was hard but I’d do it again!

I could write a book on the challenges we’ve faced throughout this journey, and I could also write one on all the happy moments that have filled my heart with more love that I ever thought possible. But I thought I would leave you all with my lessons learned throughout this journey.

I am far from an expert, but this is my personal “what I would do differently” list:

  1. Not keeping a consistent routine for baby #1 before/after baby #2

In my case this was hard. James was born a week after Christmas, so EK being out of her routine was kinda unavoidable. Plus, she had to start at a new daycare a few weeks following. But I should have tried a lot harder to keep her daily routine consistent. When a toddler doesn’t know what’s happening when, and then mom is holding a new baby.. wahhhhhh! Disaster alert!

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Pic Caption: I promise, she really does love him! She just wasn’t thrilled about him at first…

  1. Stop constantly comparing babies

I promise I tried not to compare my first baby with the second, but it’s HARD. EK loved to sleep, and loved being swaddled, and nursed a certain way… But that was all out the window. Baby James had a nasty case of acid reflux and was the spit up master, and I found myself frustrated because his sister NEVER spit up like this. So I had to constantly remind myself that they are not the same! So just because you think you’re a baby pro after surviving the first one, you’ll quickly be reminded that you still have plenty to learn!

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Pic: But I mean.. they looked so much alike! Sorry about the pink tub bubba! (EK top, James bottom)

  1. Put my fear of leaving the house aside

You know how it’s a daunting task to leave the house with a baby – diaper bag, car seat, bottles, snakes, toys, etc. Well double that with two. I just was too scared/tried to get out a majority of the time. But I wish I would have pushed that fear aside and gotten out a little more. Even though it was a lot of work, it was always worth it once we were out.

Side note: A week vacationing at the beach with a 2 year old and 8 month old is debatable on if it’s worth it. I may know from experience. ;)

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(Photo cred: IG @debbafaith)

  1. Not try to control it all/do it all

My attempt at supermom status failed! After trying to cook, clean, feed, diaper 2 babies, etc. I quickly realized that something had to give. I wish I would have “Let it Go” (like Elsa kept telling me) and just enjoyed the early days more. As long as there was two happy healthy babies in the house, it shouldn’t matter if it’s clean or dirty. And as long as a majority of the food served contains fruits and vegetables, a little pizza or mac and cheese never hurt anyone!

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(Photo cred: JRenePhotography)

  1. Try to take all advice as positive advice

One of the hardest parts of motherhood is the criticism and judgment that is passed to us, not to mention the endless suggestions that everyone wants to give out. Unsolicited advice and suggestions can get overwhelming, and start to feel like criticism before we even realize it. I was too hard on myself the second time around, and started taking any and all advice as judgment. When I probably should have tried a little harder to have listened to it with a positive undertone, whether it was or not. And just brush the haters off! Grandma’s suggestion on swaddling really is heartfelt, she means well (even if it is slightly outdated). Smile and nod!

Side note: I am so guilty of trying give out suggestions to others, but NEVER mean it negatively or judgmentally. I just like to share my lessons learned if I think it will help someone. But I have to remind myself now that I once was the one struggling with unsolicited advice, and to make sure it’s warranted!

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The best sibling days are spent in pajamas (pant-less), in a messy house, sharing a pink chair

I’m not a writer or a blogger, my daytime job is on a software design team, but my full time job is being a mom. I am nowhere near perfect, but I try to admit my faults and continue to improve. My husband is my rock and without his support I would never be able to live my dream of building a career and a family (see, variations of normal). I’ve decided that parenting doesn’t get easier with age, it actually gets harder and scarier, BUT somehow so much more rewarding, fun, and heartwarming. My kids have grown into two pretty amazing toddlers and life with them continues to get more exciting. I never thought I would be a mama of two littles 19 months apart with a full time career, but I honestly can’t imagine my life any other way.

Verdict is still out on if there will ever be a baby #3! I’m totally down for another challenge, husband isn’t on board yet… ☺