Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Life with Two {part one}

It's been a full week of being home alone with the two littles. Luke is three weeks old today.  That is just crazy to me. Life flew by at rapid speed with AG was a babe. But this time, it's going at lightning speed and I just want to press pause.  

I was really nervous about being home alone with both kids. AG had my mom at her beckon call for the first two weeks after Luke was born. She had tons of individual time and attention. I was afraid of how she would react when Nana wasn't there everyday. One week later, I'm happy to report that my child is a ROCKSTAR! Honestly, I couldn't be more proud of her. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. She's been a dream. Of course had some moments and a few tantrums but overall, such a big help and so understanding. She helps with getting me things he needs, cheers him on during tummy time, sshhh's him when he's crying and loves to hold him. She seems like such a big girl to me now, part of me is a little sad that she's no longer by baby but I love seeing her in her new role. I'll get into everything we did to help her adjust in another post. Today, I just want to talk about my first week of life with two at home. 

Luke is still eating every 2-3 hours, sometimes more frequently. That totals almost three hours a day nursing. During that time AG is usually watching TV, playing on her iPad or reading books. We have a two story house and most of her toys and all of her learning stuff is upstairs. Since I am still recovering from the c-section, I cannot go up and down tons of times a day. Plus, when we do go up to play, I usually have to carry a bunch of things for the kids which adds to my load. At first I felt guilty about all of the TV time she was getting. Then, I reminded myself that this is just a season and I needed to give myself a little grace. I did bring play-doh down for her, which she'll play with for about a half hour a day. I also encourage her to take care of her babies while I'm taking care of Luke. For now, what we have going works. 

I'm working on getting Luke on a schedule. I used Moms on Call with AG and am doing the same with him. Right now, I'm just waking him every three hours to eat unless he wants to eat sooner. There are days where he'll sleep the day away and others where he'll be up for three hours at a time. Overall, he's such a good baby. Only fusses when he wants something or is a little gassy. He sleeps 4-5 hour stretches with just one feeding session at night, which we are grateful for. So far, the kids have taken a nap at the same time each day. Luke doesn't sleep as long as AG but it's still at least a half hour of time to get a few things done. I plan on starting back to work next week so it will be interesting to see how that goes. I'm thinking I'll have a mommy's helper come for a few hours a week in the afternoon to play with AG in order for me to get some work done. 

Some of the most difficult times of the day are breakfast, lunch and dinner. Luke is already very spoiled and I'll admit I don't put him down much. He's my last baby. I will snuggle him as much as I can. All day long. He's usually awake when it's time for AG to eat and has his witching hour from 5-6. The only way I successfully get our family fed and keep him happy is wearing him in the Solly Wrap. Lifesaver. He loves it and falls asleep most of the time he's in it. I am able to have a few free hands to get food prepped and big sister fed. Another lifesaver is the BOB double stroller. I was intimidated by the size when it first arrived. After using it now for over a week, I'm so happy with our purchase. I take the kids for a walk every afternoon before dinner. It's the perfect way to get a little fresh air and pass the time before hubs gets home. The BOB is so easy to use and both kids love our walks.  

So there you have it, we've survived week number one. Life with two is chaotic, the days fly by and my heart couldn't be any more full right now. As time goes on, we will continue to adjust to our new normal and find what works best for our little family.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My FAVORITE Family Calendar on SALE!

I talk a lot about organizing here on the blog. I'm type A and cannot function if there isn't organization in my life.  I always have people ask how I get so much done and the answer always is because I make lists. I live by my lists, planner and calendar.

 A few years ago, I ordered this Erin Condren Desk Pad Calendar. I wanted something I could doodle on along with a monthly calendar I could hang on our fridge. This desk pad fit the bill. It has tons of extra pages for notes and a cute monthly calendar. I always wait to order it until it's on sale. This weekend it's 40% off using the code NOTEPADS40. The great thing is this sale also includes notepads!  These would also make fabulous Christmas gifts! Head on over to Erin Condren now and take advantage of this sale! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five on Friday

It's Friday. I couldn't be happier right now. The weather is cool, the windows are open and the baby is napping. I'm ready to make my to do list and tackle the day. But first, a trip to Starbucks is in order. 

Today I'm linking up with DarciAprilChristina, and Natasha for Five on Friday and I'm also linking up with with ErikaAndrea, and Narci for Friday Favorites!


This week was my first time home alone with two littles. I am exhausted but we survived. AG has been so sweet, well behaved and a big help with her little brother. Our days have flown by at lightning speed, there is no looking at the clock wondering how much longer until daddy gets home.  It's still crazy to think I have two kids. I may be tired but I couldn't be happier right now. 

The house. I owe you all a house update. We closed 10 days before Luke was born and moved our things in the weekend before is was born. Needless to say, things have been crazy. Thankfully, we were able to get the downstairs unpacked and set up before he arrived. And thanks to my mom and dad, we've gotten almost everything else unpacked since. Unfortunately, most everything upstairs still needs to be put away. My focus this weekend is my office so that I can slowly get back to work next week. I promise to post some pictures and room updates soon! 

My sweet friend Jillian who owns Bella Carta Boutique sent me this return address stamp in celebration of our new house. How sweet is she?!? Anyhow, I'm obsessed. I am a huge fan of hand written cards and notes. I'm even more obsessed with personalized stationary and wash tape, which I use to decorate the outside of my cards. This stamp is the perfect finishing touch before sending off my cards.  Make sure to visit her shop and check out everything she offers! 

One of the {many} things on our list to do this weekend is visit a pumpkin patch. One thing I do miss about Texas is the big pumpkin patches. Most of what is around us is the side of the road patches or small ones at local churches. I'm not sure where we are going to go this weekend. My only goal is to get a picture with the kids together and a pumpkin for each member of our family. 

Last weekend, hubs took AG to one of the patches for some one on one time. We've each been trying to have alone time with her daily. Hubs gets to do the fun outings right now, I get to do the fun arts and crafts. 

Old Navy has been my go to for shopping this fall. I'm pretty sure 80% of AG's fall wardrobe is from there. With the sales they have every week along with the coupons I get from using their card, the prices can't be beat. My recent purchases included these flannel pieces. I ordered a M in the shirt for me, which is perfect over dark skinny jeans. This pink and black flannel shirt for AG looks adorable with black leg gins and her boots.  Now, lets hope this cooler weather stays for a bit! 

Incase you missed it….

Thursday, October 16, 2014

{One Year and Beyond} Busy Toddler Activities

Keeping a toddler entertained for a longer period of time (i.e. over 5 minutes) can be quite a challenge. I am always searching Pinterest for tried and true ideas for my mini. One of the reasons I started Mommy School was to have planned activities daily for AG. Activities that were fun, allowing her to explore and provided learning opportunity as well.  As she's gotten older she's become better with playing independently and spending more time on activities I plan for her. Below, you'll find some of our favorite things that keep us busy and sane around here daily. 

In preparation for Luke's birth, I made a bunch of Busy Bags with a friend of mine. She is expecting her second soon and we both wanted educational activities for the kids to keep them busy while we were tending to the new additions. We split all of the materials for the bags and spent an afternoon putting them together while our littles played. I can't tell you how many times I've used these busy bags. I've taken them out to dinner, to the Dr's office, used them while nursing and also for longer car rides. I definitely recommend these for toddlers. Worth the time and little amount of money it takes to make them. You can see all the bags we made here along with all of the details. 

This is a recent addition to our house. I made it while we were living with my parents. I didn't have all of AG's Mommy School things there and wanted something I could use to teach her and something she could also play independently with. This board was simple to make. I just bought foam board and covered it with a large piece of felt (hot glued to the back.) That is it. Right now, it's sitting in AG's playroom. Eventually it will hang on the wall. What I love the most about the board is how versatile it is. I've made about 5 sets of felt pieces for AG to play with (shapes, fish, numbers, cupcake making and pumpkin faces.) I keep all the pieces in separate bags and give her one to play with at a time. Right now, the pumpkin is currently her favorite. 

Play-Doh Fun
Play-Doh is something AG has started to enjoy more recently. Before, she would play with it for a few minutes and then lose interest after a few minutes. Lately, she'll ask for it and play for a good 20 minutes. It often ends up mixed together with pieces all over the floor. But, that is all part of exploring and learning at home. You can see the post I wrote about learning at home with play-doh here. 

I've been doing sensory bins with AG for about 9 months now. They take about 10 minutes to put together, which I usually do following a particular theme. I change up the bins every other week, which is usually when AG is getting tired of the current bin. She'll typically spend about 10-15 minutes at a time exploring in the bins. I make sure to stay next to her while she's playing with them since they sometimes have smaller pieces in them. Nonetheless, a fun activity for toddlers and also a great learning experience.  

Follow Leah's board Mommy School  on Pinterest.

 What are you favorite toddler busy bags or activities?  Check out the other mama's blogs for their ideas.  And be sure to link up with us below if you also have a post on this topic. 

In the difficulty of motherhood, it's so important to find other mamas to relate to.  Toddlers can be a handful and leave you wondering what to do next.  This series is here to help you navigate through toddlerhood while being able to relate to other mamas going through the same thing.  We may not always know what we are doing but we give it our best shot anyway.  Come back each week to check out our new topic and read along with the other hosts of our One Year and Beyond series!
Oct 2:     Toddler Diaper Bag Essentials 
Oct 9:     Learning to love your post-pregnancy body
Oct 16:   Busy Toddler Activities
Oct 23:   Keeping in Shape While Caring for a Toddler
Oct 30:   Sick Day Tips
Nov 6:    How to Not Lose Your Patience with your Toddler
Nov 13:  Favorite Toddler Outings