Life with Two

My baby was born just a few weeks ago, right? It sure feels like it. I don’t know where this year has gone. It’s a bit humorous to me, the last time I blogged was when I came back from maternity leave, and here we are at my baby’s first birthday. Levi turned one just last week, and even though I remember every little stage and how each one felt like an eternity, it still feels like he just joined our family.

Before we had kids, someone once told us that the hardest transition is from one kid to two. I’m only speaking from my experience here, but I would have to agree. When Ava was born, we had all the time in the world to get to know her, rest when she rested, and soak up every precious moment during those newborn days. When Levi came around, I expected the same, but I was so wrong. I had this grand idea that I would be able to binge-watch Netflix (which I didn’t have when Ava was born), and hang out with a sleepy baby snoozing in my arms all the live long day. I could just hang around and not do a whole lot.

Well let me tell you. I was so, so wrong.

I hadn’t taken into consideration the toddler we would have during those newborn days this time around. One who would need fed, cared for, taken to the potty/changed. One who would need some one-on-one time and some sort of consistency. It’s really dumb that I hadn’t realized that. Newborns are exhausting in general, but this was a new level.

There were other differences between my babies that made it a little more difficult the second time, like having a tongue-tied baby who couldn’t nurse without making me want to scream, and the fact that I kept comparing my babies. I kept expecting things with Levi to go just as they did with Ava, and that was a mistake. But I definitely think the biggest adjustment was learning how to care for a newborn, toddler, and myself (and still keep the house at a level of cleanliness I was comfortable with). And it’s not just me–Caleb felt this way too.

A few months into having two kids though, something clicked. We fell into a groove with caring for both kids. I stopped comparing experiences and babies (which helped a ton!) and life became much smoother. I don’t know what did it, but there was a significant change around month 3-4.

Now a whole year has passed since we brought Levi home, and I can’t imagine life without him! He has so much personality–still very reserved, much like his sister, but he’s opinionated and knows exactly what he wants. He’s got the cutest little eyebrows that go up when he’s being sneaky, and pair that with his smile (complete with two crooked teeth) and he’s the cutest little boy I’ve seen! He’s starting to take steps with his short little legs, but he prefers not to have an audience, and therefore we only see him at the end of his path rather than his whole journey. He’s noisy, catches on to games quickly, and knows more than he lets on.

I’m so thankful that rough transition stage didn’t last too terribly long, but I do feel like it helped me evaluate what was going on. Maybe someday I’ll share some of those memories in detail. I am so very thankful for both of our babies, and look forward to watching them grow up into their own little people.

 

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Conversations

“I like to start my notes to you as if we’re already in the middle of a conversation.” -You’ve Got Mail

I love that movie. You’ve Got Mail is one of those movies that is extremely dated in its entirety, but it’ll never get old. It always makes me feel warm and fuzzy, and makes me long for a pen pal. And books. And New York City. Although I’ve never been, so it’s more like the idea of NYC.

It makes me wish I could have the lifestyle of a writer, who spends her days in a coffee shop, or snuggled in at home in humongous socks and a large mug of coffee. While the babies are sleeping, of course. Because I wouldn’t actually change anything about my life except the being at home with my kids more and writing parts.

Another reason I love that movie is the quote above. And the daisies. And the fact that Tom Hanks has the shiniest fingernails ever. And just everything.

I feel like I am too random to follow a schedule. I love order, but I get too caught up in trying to stick to it, that I usually blow it. I have this Bible devotional app that I try to use daily, and for a while there I would occasionally get behind and try to catch up before reading “today’s” reading, and I get overwhelmed and give up. The same goes for blogging. I set a schedule, I claim I am going to stick to it, and then I panic and quit. Or I get busy and feel guilty, and then I panic and quit.

So, I am going to just start my posts like you know what’s going on in my life, as if we’re in the middle of a conversation. No pressure, just life.

Unexcused Absences

It’s been awhile.

I tried coming up with another way of beginning this post, but it’s a bit difficult to pick up where you left off pretending you never left. It’s like a friendship that is only in need of catching up because one person has blatantly neglected the other.

There are many reasons why I haven’t been as public these days, several of which I’m just not ready to share, but one of them has to do with my work schedule changing, and another has to do with feeling some sort of disconnect and need to figure out who I am and who I want to be… at least in the blogosphere.

My initial reason for wanting to blog is that I wanted to be some sort of voice. Some sort of source that people would find useful, much like the blogs that I turn to for tips, ideas, or solidarity. It’s so nice knowing I’m not alone, but in a way, I am. In the blogging world. It takes a lot to become a voice. One that’s more than just talking to a void, but one with an audience. Still, I think that’s something I would like, but it shouldn’t be the reason I write. I can’t do it for other people. I will get burnt out (which I did), and I will run out of topics because it’s no longer what comes naturally to me.

Over the past few months, I’ve looked back on my blog from when I was pregnant with Ava, and also this blog, and it’s fun being able to see what we did at certain times, and what Ava was doing and how she was growing and changing. It was nice. And now, I find myself almost 7 months pregnant with our son, and I haven’t documented the pregnancy at all. How’s that for an announcement?

I miss writing, and I think I just need to get back to the basics. I don’t care who is reading it, or about the numbers of views, or if it’s deeply reaching anyone out there. Even though I still kinda hope it does. I just can’t focus on that.

High Five For Friday!

It's Friday!

It’s finally Friday!!!

This week was wonderful and horrible all at the same time. And not really horrible… mainly, it was extremely hard to go to work this morning after a glorious day off. In fact, most people in my office had the brilliant idea to take today off from the beginning, but I didn’t have that luxury.

But now the weekend has begun, and before our movie night begins, I want to share my top five moments of the week with you!

HF4F 7/5/131. We spent last weekend camping in Southern Indiana. This was my first time camping period. That post is in the making, I promise. It’s just been a very busy week! Anyway, we had a great time, and the views were gorgeous. Oh, and it rained all weekend.

2. We left Ava with my parents while we went camping, so the reunion was so sweet. We had lots of play time when we got home (and after some naps).

3. The Fourth of July this year was amazing! We had lots of fun with friends and family over the holiday. Ava enjoyed watching the fireworks and never got scared of the booms. However, she wasn’t a fan of staying up that late.

4. We celebrated our anniversary this week as well. We went to a local restaurant just the two of us, and ate the most delicious food we’ve had in awhile. Big Hoffa’s is a pirate-themed BBQ joint, and we were way too overdressed. But hey, it was our anniversary! Let me just tell you real quick what was in The Hoffanator I ate: french fries topped with mac & cheese, pulled pork BBQ, and ranch dressing. Oh my goodness. Oh. My. Goodness. It was fantastic, and we are definitely going back.

5. One of our good friends is in Alaska doing PT clinicals for the summer. We’ve been buds with this guy since college (he actually introduced Caleb and me), and we can’t wait til he gets home.

That’s it! Now I get to have a movie and pizza night with Caleb, Ava (until bedtime), and another of our good friends, Dawson. I do believe it’ll entail one (or two) Harry Potter movies, and I’m looking forward to it.

Have a great weekend!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!
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We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo…

…how about you, you, you?

Does anyone else remember that song? I had forgotten about it from my childhood, but was reminded when my mom started singing it last weekend. Last Saturday was Ava’s first trip to the zoo. It was really cool to see her look at all the different animals, and even funnier to see her look at all the people. You know how it is, you sometimes see a larger variety of people than animals!

She seemed to have a lot of fun, and didn’t become Grumpy Butt, despite her makeshift car nap on the way there.

When we arrived, we met up with our friends, their two kids, and the dad’s little brother, and headed straight to the aquarium. Now, we’ve taken Ava places before, and are pretty acquainted with navigating the stroller, but it’s a whole different ballpark when 1) the point of being there is so your kid can see stuff (it was almost pointless bringing the stroller… she was out of it more than in), and 2) there are 1,000,001 other parents with strollers going to the same exact fish tank window. Holy cow. That’s all I can say.

Ava didn’t really care about the fish… I’m not sure she really knew what she was looking at yet, and this was the first close-up with all those kids she was eyeing earlier. I took her out of her stroller, and tried to show her the fish, then the jelly fish, then the sea horses, but basically every kid around us was more exciting than them, so we didn’t linger long. And frankly, my friend’s two-yr-old was ready to move on within a few minutes as well, so it really worked out perfectly!

We stopped a little longer at the penguin exhibit. This was probably Ava’s favorite stop. You could see the penguins at eye level, and they were active so she paid attention to them. Then they would jump into the water, swim around, and pop back out. She laughed and talked to them for a bit, and then we moved on. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a play by play, this was about as excited as she got).

We moved on, and about 90 minutes, 20 animals, and 35 ins and outs of the stroller, we called it a day. It really was a great time, but I was ready to be done because of my #2 from above…

But that’s a rant for another day. I originally wanted to include it in this post, but it became a post of its own, and I wanted to keep this one focused on the happy event of Ava’s first zoo trip, not an irritated rant about pushy parents in public places.

Take a look at our day at the zoo! 
1.) The Indy Zoo has a dog shark exhibit, where you can actually pet these sharks. Here’s where Daddy was trying. Ava and I passed this time, though I have pet them before.
2.) Ava was chillin’ in her stroller, watching the seals.
3.) This Flamingo insisted on getting a close-up picture. It honestly made me a little nervous, but he was still far away, despite how it looks in the picture.
4.) The giraffe; the zoo keeper was feeding it, which Ava seemed more interested in than the giraffe itself.
5.) This one is for Grampa, who told Ava to say “hi” to the Rhinos for him. We waved.
6.) I thought this guy was pretty cool. Ava was more interested in her cheerios.

Zoo Collage

That’s it! We had a great time.

P.S. we are ONE WEEK away from Ava’s first birthday!

Graduations and Celebrations

The other day, as I was looking over my Facebook news feed, I showed my hubs a picture of a kindergarten graduation.

“Since when do kids need a graduation ceremony to move to first grade?”

True, I don’t remember graduating from kindergarten. I don’t know when it all started, I told him.

“I don’t think it’s necessary.”

I don’t think I said much in response, but I don’t mind little graduations. I think they are cute.

But over the next day or so, I began noticing something. Ava started standing for brief periods. I’m talking 3 seconds. It was so exciting! The same day, Ava learned that if she holds a cheerio out, we will eat it out of her hand. We totally humor her and encourage this, but it’s so cute! If she sees a dog, she will “woof” at it. Totally impressive, and we show off her skills every chance we get.

And almost immediately, we try to get this all on camera or video, and share it with our family.

We are complete gushers when it comes to our daughter. The tiniest thing she does make us go through the roof with pride and joy, and we don’t hesitate to celebrate her picking up a piece of trash off the floor and attempting to put it in the trash can.

Of course kindergarten graduations are a big deal! You’ve just watched your baby grow up for 6 years! So much has been accomplished, and I’m sure it’s emotional. Just you wait, daddy-o, that day will come and you’ll be gushing once again.

Cheerio