Sunday, August 19, 2012

Easy peasy

I'm sure I've written about this before, but the transition from 1 to 2 kiddos was not an easy one for me. I think there were several things that contributed to the difficulty...the fact that Elliott was only 16 months old and in a very difficult, fight-me-on-everything stage...the fact that she was only 16 months so I essentially had two babies (with one thinking she was a big girl)...the fact that it was winter in South Bend, that although mild last year, made it really difficult to get out of the house...but the biggie was I thought it was going to be easy.  Expectations can be brutal.  Don't ask me why I had this expectation, but I guess I just thought because they were so close in age it would be easier. I write this I realize how silly that sounds.  Let's blame it on a pregnancy brain.

Anyway, I realized a couple days ago that all the sudden, we've entered an easier season.  I really hate to even say something like this because I know that tomorrow it can change, but I am so thankful that life has felt a little more normal recently.  I think many things have probably contributed to the fact that it easier, most obviously the fact that I just get more used to life with two kids and what that requires.  But another huge plus has been the fact that Elliott has become more and more independent.  She insists on walking out to the car by herself and climbing into her carseat (if only she could buckle herself in, right?), she climbs in and out of her high chair, she actually climbs into the crib on her own, climbs up and down the stairs independently, can eat food not cut in tiny pieces, can communicate *somewhat* what she wants.  All these things definitely have freed up my hands to do other things, especially caring for another baby.

It also helps that Mason *might* be the easiest baby ever and is totally content to play with the toys on the floor.  Seriously.  He is so easy!  Plus he doesn't have to eat every 3 hours which gives us way more time in between feedings to actually get things accomplished.  Oh, did I mention they actually nap at the same time in the afternoon?  Amazing.  So nice to have more than 10 minutes to myself (even though the length can vary tremendously).

Now that things are easier, maybe we should start thinking about a third? :) Not sure I feel that confident yet.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Time away

Kev and I decided to plan a little get-away sans children.  Deep breath.  For those of you without children (and maybe some with children), it sounds like such an easy/good concept in theory, but when it comes to actually leaving your children, it can be tough.  I'm always amazed I can have such opposite feelings...I want time away from my kids, but then I hate to leave them.  It seriously drives me a little crazy (along with many other things about raising kids).  However, we decided to take the plunge, and I'm so thankful we did.  

I'm definitely a quality time girl, so it's amazing what some one-on-one, focused, distraction-free time can do for my "love bank."  We decided to plan a fairly close first-time get-away, so we just went to Chicago.  Only an hour and a half away.  A short enough distance to get home quickly if we needed to.  Thankfully that was not the case because they were in good hands (thanks Billy and Kate).  The thing I love about traveling with Kev is we like to do the same things.  Seriously.  We both like a schedule, but not too rigid of a schedule.  We like museums, but we want to spend time seeing the things we really like.  We like seeing fun shops, but not necessarily going in them.  We want to eat good food.  We want to explore.  We want to try new things and see new places.  And that's just what we did.

We spent a couple of hours at the Art Institute (not too little, not too much), had some awesome sushi, explored the Lincoln Park neighborhood, spent time chatting in a coffee shop, explored Evanston and Northwestern, ate some amazing pizza, drank wine and ate dessert on the beach.  It was perfection.

On Sunday, we decided to go kayaking down the Chicago River.  Definitely worth it!  The view was awesome and it was good exercise.  Every time I kayak (which don't kid yourself, is not often), I think 1. I should buy a kayak, and 2. I look like a natural (which I'm sure is not the case, but a girl can dream, right?).  We didn't get hit by any large boats going down the river which was a positive, and our only injury was an ugly blister on my part.  Success.

After a little more time in the city, we decided to make a quick trip to Ikea.  It has been on our "to do" list for a long, but let's face's hard to justify a trip to Chicago to go to Ikea.  That store seriously stresses me out, but I'm also intrigued by it.  We bought a little table for the kids among a couple other things, then raced back to pick up our kiddos. 

The closer we got to South Bend, the more I was missing the kids.  The funny thing about kids is they don't even act like you were gone.  You're expecting them to run into your arms (E) or give you an extra big smile (M)...but they don't.  They *maybe acknowledge you, then keep playing.  Sigh.  Such is the life of a mom.

Even with our anti-climatic reunion, I was glad to be home.  It's amazing how 36 hours away can make me love my husband more and make me even more thankful for our two little blessings.  We should go away more often. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

More party pics...

Party pics...brings back memories of good ol' college days.  However, these pictures are so much more meaningful to me.  As I promised, more pictures from Elliott's birthday.
Present time.
Party in the ball pit.
2 cupcakes with 2 candles.
Who wouldn't want to lick icing off the cupcake?
 Miss Brette with the little man.
Their faces kill me.  Love it!
Sweet little guy.
Such a precious picture!
Who would have thought her princess tent would be such a big hit?
Sweet Olivia.
So thankful for these ladies!

Little man.
 Cheese.  Could they get any cuter?
Love our little fam!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let's picnic!

Our baby girl is 2...2 years old!!  Where did the past year go?  My good friend Kate and I decided to throw a joint birthday party for our girls since their birthdays are only 3 weeks apart and they are such good friends.

Not to brag, but everything went amazingly well (in my opinion).  Usually I have an image in my mind of how I want things to look, and it doesn't quite meet my expectations, but that was not the case here.  The food and decorations came together and the weather was perfect.  Who wouldn't want to picnic in 76 degrees (sorry Oklahoma friends!)?  The best part was that everyone had a fun time (hopefully), especially the birthday girls.  Here are a few pics of the decorations.

Enjoying her cupcake.
Opening presents.

My sweet friend Amy was my party consultant and we relied so much on her creative genius (that and Pinterest).  More pictures to come!!!