Monday, June 27, 2016

Random life updates, because what else?

I'm basically dying right now because Eric had to work at the bar last night. I tried so hard to stay up so we could watch Game of Thrones when he got home but it didn't happen. Now he's at work again for summer school training so I HAVEN'T WATCHED. I deleted all social media from my phone and I'm not even watching the Today show for fear of spoilers. I'm in a black hole, hiding from the world until we watch after bedtime tonight.

This face tho. 
So while I'm avoiding the world, here's some life updates.

Dalton finally bonded with this bear. He had never had any special item/lovie (sp?) before like many kids do, so I figured it just wasn't for him. Then he randomly became obsessed with this bear in the hospital gift shop when he came to meet Royce and Eric bought it for him. Now, it's his thing.

And I let my toddler help cook dinner. With vodka sauce. Because I'm a great mom. 
The other morning he shared it with his little brother and my heart exploded. He is actually the sweetest kid ever, and I'm not at all biased. 

I saw my doctor and got cleared for exercise! With the obvious caveats of taking it slow and stopping if anything hurt. I was so excited and got on the treadmill that evening. As soon as I started running, my incision area started hurting. Womp womp. I stopped and did an incline walk instead, because I'm not screwing with healing from surgery.

Eric suggested I come to his gym with him and do some weight training rather than impact exercise.

We made it a family affair (minus Dalton, sorry). 
I went two days last week and lifted all sorts of heavy stuff. Friday, I tried running again - no pain! Sunday I did a total of a mile of running (with walk/run intervals, not continuously). I'm definitely in the worst shape I've ever been in my adult life, and really starting from scratch since I was relatively inactive during my second pregnancy. I'm not complaining though, I don't regret a single pregnant nap and being fat and lazy now is well worth it to produce these guys.

Best picture I could get of their matching outfits.

I'm excited to work on getting my endurance "back" (in quotes because I have no plans to get back to ultra marathons or anything at this stage of my life).

We went out for Ethiopian Friday night. Gotta take advantage of the time when Royce is easy to bring places because he'll just sleep. Ethiopian is our favorite food, and it was wonderful to be able to eat it while not pregnant (aka not feeling full after two bites because baby).

Not a great picture but he was loving life. 
We went to IKEA Saturday because that's what suburban families do.

He stopped holding my hand to put his in his pocket. I DIE.
I struck up a conversation with a woman pregnant with her second boy, and she asked me in a terrified voice "is it hard with two?". Similar to the manner in which I asked everyone I knew this question just a few months ago. I've only just struck the surface, but I told her as far as the transition went, it wasn't a cakewalk but it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined. Of course, I'm probably not qualified to answer since I've had way more help than most people having Eric home, but, hey, life ain't fair. Still, I think it's safe to say that in many ways it was harder and more exhausting being pregnant with a toddler vs. a toddler and a newborn. A toddler and a mobile baby: now that scares me. 

Eric has been working a few days a week at various professional developments, and he worked at the bar all weekend, which meant I was once again solo for the toughest part of the day: bedtime. Except not really, because Saturday, I had my dad visiting for most of it, and he was a huge help and played with Dalton pretty much the whole time.

And held Royce, naturally. 
Sunday, I was truly on  my own, as all my friends with one or fewer kids were busy so I couldn't trick them into hanging out with me and chasing my toddler for me. Rude. Somehow, I pushed through and managed to care for my own children by myself.

2 more hours until we can watch and counting. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Today, I woke up in a pool of milk, and my first thought was...BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS. SO EXCITED. (Now that it's over...omg my heart is still pounding. I can barely even function. Unbelievable.) After that,I remembered it was my birthday. Like that wasn't a gift enough (THANK YOU HBO), I then pumped what I think is an all time record high amount (spoiler: the bottles were still not filled). Happy birthday to me!

I feel like there's a lot of pressure (from myself) to think of something extra special to do on my birthday to make sure it's somehow different from every other day. I was trying to think of something to do, but then I realized that all I really wanted was to spend time with my family. And that made me realize that I'm pretty lucky to get to do that "special" activity every single day.

Like most people, I was really apprehensive about leaving my 20s and hitting the big 3-0. My 20s were so much fun, but my 30s have truly been phenomenal so far. When I turned 30, I desperately wanted to have a baby and we were really hoping it would happen soon. I was 26 weeks pregnant on my 31st birthday and couldn't have been more thrilled about it.

31, still in the awkward pregnant or fat? stage.
Last year was the first birthday I celebrated as a mother, and it was wonderful.

I didn't think things could get better, but I NEVER would have predicted that I'd be ringing in 33 years with not one, but two absolutely beautiful, amazing children, and of course, a wonderful husband and father.
Started the morning with iced coffee on the porch and some baby stink eye.
Ignore my face, thought we were taking a selfie
These boys are my world.

I also got to enjoy some time with my girls this weekend. Saturday, I went to my friend Rachael's baby shower. I just love celebrating mothers to be - they have no idea how glorious and fun their life is about to become!

The only picture I got was Royce in his fancy suit, but trust me the expectant mother was gorgeous.
As soon as I pulled up outside my house, my friends were arriving for my birthday girl's night! Eric made us watermelon sangria and pizza on the grill (and cleaned up, score), and my BFF Casi made blueberry goat cheese pie. Sounds weird, tasted great.

On my actual birthday, we hung out at home in the morning then brought the boys to the playground. After that, Eric took Dalton grocery shopping for dinner ingredients then home for a nap while Royce and I met Casi at a coffee shop downtown to finally try the famous nitro iced coffee.
It did not disappoint. 
I considered leaving Royce at home and having a totally kids free outing, but I really didn't want to. I've kind of left him before, also for coffee, shocking, but that was just one time to run to the local Starbucks which is like a mile and a half from our house. Logistically, we had a bottle ready and everything, but the thought of being away from Royce for several hours just made me feel anxious and unsettled and like I wouldn't enjoy myself as much because I would just be too eager to return to him. Not because I was concerned about him or anything, but because he was a part of me for 9 months and I've kept him in close proximity to me in the 6 weeks since his birth and I'm not ready to change that yet. I'll have to spend plenty of time away from him in his life, no need to rush it. Especially on my birthday.

When I got home, Dalton was just waking up and Royce actually stayed asleep in his car seat once in the house (a rarity), so I got to enjoy some one on one time with this cool dude.

We played with his water table, took some walks, and just engaged in general shenanigans while Eric grilled us up a delicious birthday/Father's Day dinner.

Burger, sweet potato, corn on the cob, and leftover sangria, enjoyed on our patio. 

I meant to make a cake, but the weekend was too busy with having fun, so I just ate some Wegmans bulk bin chocolate after Dalton went to bed. Good enough. 

What was your best birthday? Mine was probably 23, the year of the Ms. New Booty (long story). 27 was also good, when my sister and I convinced everyone we were twins.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

#twoundertwo - one month in

My writing abilities aren't my finest currently. Here's a list of random things on my mind.

  • I finally got Dalton to sit still long enough to try a Snapchat filter. I've been trying for so long. He wasn't impressed, but I loved it.


  • I forgot the utter hell that is a newborn crying while in the car. Horrific. Obviously driving is no picnic with a crying child of any age, but at least with a toddler, you have options. Snacks, songs, toys, the possibility that they will just get over whatever is wrong and stop, etc. In my experience, newborns only want to be fed, to be picked up, or may calm down if you give them the pacifier they spit out for the 457th time in 20 seconds. None of the above is an option while driving, unless you have really long arms (for the final choice), which I do not. Poor little Royce gets himself so worked up that he will be soaked in sweat by the time I'm able to stop and get him (and not because he's hot, it only happens when he's mad and the van has second row air vents anyway). 

  • I am weirdly dying to work out again, and I can't wait until my doctor's appointment to get cleared (except I can, because time is flying by way too fast and Royce is getting big more quickly than I would like). Of course, when I think of exercise, I'm picturing my former, in shape self, and the reality will most likely be quite different than that. Still, I look longingly at my treadmill whenever I'm in the basement. 
He's already a month old. Time, SLOW DOWN.
  • Speaking of time slowing down, Game of Thrones only has 3 more episodes in this season. WHY. Can we talk about how completely amazing this season has been? 
  • Nitro coffee. It's the new big thing in iced coffee and now I'm obsessed with trying it. I'm meeting my friend next week for our birthdays at a BBQ place that has it? So random. 
  • Some big important firsts around here (side note: typing that made my inner monologue go "and his big important wheels got stuck" that book). 
    • I managed dinner and bedtime solo, and everyone  (even me!) got to sleep in a timely fashion with no major catastrophes.
    • I took the boys on not one, but two solo outings. On Friday to the playground (it counts?) and on Sunday, to the big ass farmer's market (for my Rochester friends, our version of the public market).
    Again, survival all around!
    Don't let his face fool you. He loved it (especially since there were food samples and I bought him a smoothie).

    I know most moms do all those things well before the four week mark and don't make a big deal over it, but I still think it's exciting and worth noting. It sounds like I'm getting major wife points, taking both kids on a Friday night and Sunday morning, but it was just so Eric could supervise a school dance and then mow the lawn.
  • We went to Sesame Place! It's a Sesame Street themed amusement park outside of Philly. We got groupons for admission months ago, since we could take advantage of going before school was out. Dalton doesn't watch Sesame Street, or any TV, all due to our superior parenting #noscreentimebefore2. Ha, kidding, we've totally tried but he's such a busy kid he has NO interest in TV whatsoever, but in real life I'm still going to chalk it up to my amazing mom skills. Even without knowing any of the characters, he still had a great time. They have a whole toddler water park, toddler rides, and a huge character parade. It was awesome. Dalton not only didn't nap all day (we knew he wouldn't, this kid does NOT nap on the go, much like his mom), he stayed awake on the two hour drive home after a hot, napless day at the amusement park, happily chattering away to me in the car. What toddler does that?
You would think this would tire him out?

  • That awkward moment when a friend asks what you are headed to Target for and the answer is "I heard they have these great bath paints in the dollar section and this dish soap that actually removes breast milk film from bottles" and then you hear yourself and are like...what is my life. They actually had neither of these items, and I still spent $75. FYI, though, Amazon had the soap and it does work! Someday I'll learn to affiliate link things and make bank, but today is not that day.
  • We started Royce on bottles. I was weirdly emotional about this and didn't want to do it. It meant I had to start pumping and head down that annoying road of watching my freezer stash and counting oz and cleaning parts. I hate it. It turns something I love (breastfeeding) into something confusing and stressful. But I have to return to work later this summer, so it had to be done. Luckily, so far he's taken them with no problems, and I'm so relieved and thankful for that. 
Big brother, always helping.
  • Between the bottles and a decrease in the cluster feeding, I've had some really solid one on one time with Dalton the past few days. 
    Go ahead and ignore the bags under my eyes.
Usually it's at home, reading a book/playing in a room/taking a walk just the two of us. Yesterday, we even went out to Trader Joes. It was really nice to be able to focus all my attention just on him, but at the same time, it felt odd not to have Royce with me.                                                            
He even joins me when I blog. 
Much like when Dalton was a baby, I really miss Royce whenever I'm away from him (and I've only actually left the house without him twice for brief trips) and just feel unsettled, like something is off.
I want this, all the time.
 It's crazy how when a child joins your family, you truly can't believe there was ever a time without them. 
How did I even live without these faces?
  • I miss my pregnant belly. I never really felt that way last time, but this time, I find myself staring at pregnant women and missing the feeling of little legs kicking inside me. It's strange because having the baby on the outside is so, so much better, and there's so much I do not miss about being pregnant. Every time I pick up something off the floor I get excited about how it doesn't feel horrible. And I can EAT and not feel like I'm going to vomit after two bites. It's glorious. And also sad. #hormones #allthefeelings
  • Father's Day falls on my birthday this who gets to play the "it's my day" card? Let's vote. Although I did spend Mother's Day in the hospital after getting my abdomen sliced open...just saying. 
  • This time with my boys is absolutely heaven on earth. I know I've said it before but I can't even get over it. This morning, like most mornings, I woke up when I heard Royce fussing. I grabbed him, kissed him and cuddled him for a minute, then unswaddled him and went downstairs. Poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to nurse him while Dalton fed me cheerios and gave both of us kisses and entertained me with his silliness. When he was done, Dalton helped me make banana bread in our pajamas while Royce snoozed in his bouncer. Does life even get better than that?! Plus, we went to Olive Garden for endless soup, salad, and breadsticks for lunch in the middle of the workday on Monday #winning.
  • These two are actually the best. Fact.
What's your perfect morning? Mine used to involve running, but now it's toddlers and babies, hands down (but only my own).

Thursday, June 2, 2016

#twoundertwo - an update

This picture pretty much sums it up. 

I've really wanted to post, but, see above. I started this post in a rare moment when both boys were napping. In baby beds, aka on their own. Then it took me all week to keep adding things until it was sort of complete, once again most likely making my writing sub par. Even with both of us here, things can quickly take a turn towards chaos. The other night, Dalton ran into the bathroom, dropped his baby monitor into Royce's bath, then peed everywhere. RIP monitor. Good thing we have a small house. 

And good thing they're cute. ;)

Here's a little update on how we are all doing.


Physically, I can't believe how quickly I felt like I recovered. The first week was rough, and painful. It was hard emotionally not being able to do anything at all with Dalton, other than maybe reading him a book if he sat beside me. Eric even brought Dalton to the bathroom with him because I was nervous about not being able to pick him up when he began his usual death wish activities. I actually didn't really do anything at all, other than feeding Royce, and showering. I think that was the right choice, because during the second week, I suddenly felt like nothing had ever happened. Certainly not major abdominal surgery. Now we are 3.5 weeks out, and I'm feeling shockingly great. I'm still taking it fairly easy,  but I can go for walks, play with Dalton, and basically just behave as a normal human again. 

Emotionally, I feel fine right now, but realize that could change at any moment. I didn't get hit with the major hormone crash until more like 6 weeks last time, so it's no surprise that I'm doing well right now. Really, I feel overwhelmingly lucky that Royce is doing so well and Dalton is adjusting. Having this time to be home with my boys feels like an amazing gift, and I'm loving every second of baby cuddles and toddler shenanigans. We've had to really force ourselves to send Dalton to daycare at least a little bit each week (so come August there isn't hell to pay). There's just so many fun activities for kids during the work day, and when else are we going to get all this time to spend together as a family?

I've gotten a lot of comments on how brave I am, going out so soon after having a baby. I'm pretty sure I don't deserve them, especially since I haven't gone anywhere by myself with both kids yet. Yes, I've brought a tiny baby over to a friend's house, but it's not exactly like I'm a solider on the front lines. However, I did go to Storytime at the library the day before Royce was born, and then all four of us went the following week, when he was six days old. So that was pretty fun, since everyone was shocked that I was pregnant the week before and already bringing a new baby! Royce will clearly be a genius, since he's been attending Storytime since birth (and also in the womb). But again, I'm ridiculously lucky to have Eric home with me. I doubt I'd be doing all sorts of stuff if I didn't have that. 


Baby model

Dalton's reaction is so different than I would have predicted, in such a wonderful way. He never really showed any interest in babies. I expected he would be upset with anything that affected him, such as me not being able to play with him when he wanted me to. Honestly, I wasn't even sure he would notice Royce, and if he did, I wasn't sure he would realize he was a human. But Dalton loves his brother. He's obsessed with him!

He suddenly seems so big!

Every morning, when Eric gets him up, he immediately runs upstairs to see us (but really, Royce). He constantly wants to hold his hand and kiss him, and most recently, hold him. He's unbelievably gentle with him, in a way that he is not with anyone else.

All the pictures of them together. I love it so much.

Dalton has paid close attention to how we care for Royce and is always trying to help. When Royce first arrived home, it was still very cold out, so we often kept a blanket on him. Now, Dalton is constantly grabbing his blanket and running over to cover Royce. He helps me burp him, and goes insane with excitement when we say it's time to change Royce's diaper. He RACES into Royce's room and demands to sit on the changing table. His job is to put the dirty diaper away for us. Once or twice, he's even come over and squeezed my boob while Royce is nursing?! Royce hasn't had a bottle yet, but I know Dalton will be thrilled to help when it's time for that. He already found an empty bottle and tried to feed Royce, and he loves practicing the bottle with a big brother book he has. In fact, Royce has already started cow's milk, when his big brother decided to share with him. I'm pretty sure I blotted it all out of his mouth with a burp cloth. Probably.

The inmates sometimes run the asylum. 


Sleepy smile!

At his last pediatrician appointment, Royce had already gained almost a pound over his birth weight! So I'd say he's doing great. He's eating and sleeping in intervals around the clock, as newborns tend to do. He's sweet and cuddly and adorable and has that amazing newborn smell and I want to snuggle him and watch him sleep all day. He seems to be adjusting pretty well to life on the outside. I had no idea how sturdy newborns were until I saw one living with a toddler.

Survival of the fittest

We started him on a pacifier and cloth diapers this week. He seems cool with both. Other than that, not much to report. No disrespect to Royce, it's just that he's too little to do much of anything yet. Now that I have a tiny bit more parenting experience under my belt though, I can't wait to see his little personality start to emerge. It's still kind of blowing my mind how much I love him already.


He's good. 

I was going to say more, but I'm really tired and already been working for a week on this post, and I figured he's the family member people are least interested in. No offense. 

Royce's stomach is super tiny so he's mainly eating nonstop, which means the divide and conquer strategy has Royce being my little buddy 24/7 and Eric has Dalton. We're doing pretty well with switching when we can though, so we each get some one on one time with the other kid. After a week of being out of commission, I appreciate my time playing with Dalton even more. 

Overall, two under two is crazy and awesome.