two babies at the beach.

We took the boys to the beach a couple weeks ago and snapped some fun pictures of Ben’s first trip to the ocean. (Charlie’s 1 millionth trip) Ben slept the whole time in my handy ring sling, and in newborn life – that’s considered a success. Charlie on the other hand, tried to throw himself into the water, eat sand and wave at everyone he saw. We’re so lucky that we can take weekend trips to the beach in just a five minute car ride!

the friday post – vol. 16

Hi friends! There has never been such a glorious Friday! I feel like the fog of the first phase of newborn life is lifting, and I’m starting to act like a functioning human again. I actually made dinner all week instead of just pulling things out of the freezer (praise Jesus for all those frozen meals that got us here). I’ve started putting Ben down sometimes, and I showered most days! I still feel overwhelmed when both boys are crying for me, Charlie was home sick yesterday, Ben still screams through most car rides and he slept terribly last night, but we are figuring things out! The days are long, but the years are short, right?

I even started running again this week. Whoa. I know. Even I’m impressed with myself. Ok ok, it’s a run/walk. But it still counts. Exercise is exercise. I’ve used the couch to 5k app before to get back into running shape and it worked really well for me. I’m using it again, starting at the very beginning and working my way to 30 minutes of running. The first week it has you run just one minute and walk a minute and a half and then you repeat the cycle to get to 30 minutes. I finished week one and am on to week two tomorrow! Mike and I will run together with the boys in their joggers once on the weekend and then I’m planning to run two nights a week after Charlie goes to bed and after handing off Ben to the sweetest husband in the world. 30 minutes alone on the road! Glorious!!

It’s still feeling an awful lot like summer out there. The air conditioning has been kicking on endlessly, our little mangos are starting to hang heavier on the tree and my flowers on the porch have ended up wilted at the end of every day. Nothing a gallon of water won’t fix though. They perk right back up.

I’ve been spending lots of time outside lately, not just on our weekend excursions and my freckles are out in full force. I usually take Ben on a walk in the morning, we take Charlie outside after we get home from pick up and runs around for an hour (mostly picking up tiny fallen green mangos and throwing them at the tree these days), and then Mike and I will take both boys on a walk around the neighborhood after dinner (usually with a cocktail in hand!).

I did have both boys home with me yesterday. Charlie was a pitiful little thing with some kind of 24 hour bug. He would play a little then lay down on the ground like the world just too much. It was a day filled with lots of pacifiers (he usually only gets them at sleep time) and Sesame Street. He woke up this morning happy as a lark though so I’m just grateful that it was brief. Fingers crossed that I pick him up healthy and happy later this afternoon from daycare. I just want to say though that having two in diapers is a lot of diapers. 😂 It’s a good thing they’re both cute.

We’re having friends over for pizza night tonight, so I’m going to do my best to get this house clean(er) between diapers, nursing and naps. Tomorrow, we’re debating between strawberry picking (my choice) or a polo match (Mike’s). Maybe we’ll get to both! Maybe we’ll get to neither! With two babies, it’s always a matter of everyone’s extremely variable moods. 😂 whatever you’re doing this weekend, I hope you kick up your feet and relax!!

xx, em

books lately.

img_5469The day to day life with a newborn at home is a funny thing. It’s filled with the great disparity of frantic activity (Eat! Shower! Dishwasher! Make dinner! Laundry! Quick!) while the baby is sleeping in the bassinet and then long periods of quiet restful time on the couch or in the rocker. During these restful times, I’ve been gobbling up e-books on my phone with Libby – If you’ve ever used Overdrive, it’s an update of that e-book interface. It’s an app much like Kindle, but used with your local public library to give access to nearly every book you want to read, depending on what your library offers. I don’t trust myself to get to the library to return books right now, so while I prefer reading hardcover, an e-book is so much easier. I can also hold my phone with one hand while holding a baby in the other. A book is harder!

Charlie goes to daycare every morning with Mike and I pick him up later in the afternoon so I’ve had some time on my hands to do some binge reading. (And watching. I just finished This Is Us on NBC and started in on The OA on Netflix yesterday) Here’s a few books I’ve torn my way through lately:

Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan…I just started this and it’s sooo good. I can’t wait to watch the movie when I finish. Highly recommend if you’re looking for an easy summer read.

How To Stop Time, by Matt Haig…This was good. It’s about a man who doesn’t age normally. He’s 400, but looks only 40ish. All about his life through different times and his search for his daughter. I kind of skipped through the introspection parts of it. There was a lot of internal dialogue that slowed it down for me.

The Flight Attendant, by Chris Bohjalian…A quick read about an American flight attendance who wakes up in Dubai next to her dead date from the night before. Russians, FBI, undercover operatives, and lots of booze are involved.

Wedding Night, by Sophie Kinsella…Another good beach read. The entire time I was reading this I kind of felt like I had read it before. I’m still not sure if I had already read it. Hehe. A good chick-flick romance.

Winter in Paradise, by Elin Hilderbrand…I have this in hardcover thanks to my mom passing it along, and it’s next on my list after I finish Crazy Rich Asians. It’s an appropriate title though, no?

You do have to wait sometimes if someone is reading the book that you’d like, so I have a little digital pile of books sitting on my holds list. Here’s a few I’m waiting on impatiently:

My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite…I keep hearing such good things!

Circe, by Madeline Miller…On the shortlist for the National Book Award. The app says I have 5 weeks to wait on this one! Ack!

P.S. I Still Love You, by Jenny Han…The sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. A cute teen romance book. The first was so fun and left on a cliffhanger.

How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen, by Joanna Faber…I ordered this one on Amazon because CHARLIE. Ha! He’s SO much fun right now, but the tantrums are beginning. The excerpt on Amazon made me laugh because it describes him to a T – “What do you do with a little kid who…won’t brush her teeth…screams in his car seat…pinches the baby…refuses to eat vegetables…throws books in the library…runs rampant in the supermarket? Organized according to common challenges and conflicts, this book is an essential emergency first-aid manual of communication strategies.” I think it’s going to help us immensely.

A first trip to the splash pad.

While everyone up north is reveling in the beauty that is SPRING after a long and cold winter, this weekend in Florida felt like summer. I think it’s here to stay. I’m not mad about it. Yet. Talk to me again in July and I may be singing a different tune.

Winter is just the best season here, but summer has its perks too. Ice cold beer on the patio. Popsicles. Trips to the beach every weekend. Evening walks to the water. Packing away every pair of jeans until September (I can’t even bear to look at pants in the summer).

And best of all, I have the whole summer off with my two boys to look forward to.

Now that Charlie is running around like a banshee and knowing his love of all things water related, we thought it was high time for a visit to the splash pad. Nearly all the local parks around us have one, so when he woke up from his nap on Sunday we threw on his swimmies, packed the kids in the car and drove five minutes up the road.

He was by far the youngest but also the most delighted person there. Mike wore his trunks to help the little man stay safe with all the big kids running around. He fell once, flat on his face, and had a big red mark on his eyebrow to prove it. He cried for a minute, got a snuggle hug from Mike and then wiggled out of his arms to go back to the water.

Ben and I were snug with the baby k’tan in the shade of a palm tree while the boys ran circles.

I have a feeling we’ll end up here lots of weekends this summer. We love our trips to the beach, but coming home without sand was pretty nice too.

the friday post – vol. 15

It’s December! Finally, or already? I can’t decide. Either way I’ve been looking forward to this month for weeks and I’m so happy it’s finally here. Days of decorating, hot chocolate, cookies, and cheery music are here! We opened the first of our advent calendar boxes this morning and are headed downtown tonight for dinner and the Christmas tree lighting!

I was not ready to go back to school this week after our weeklong thanksgiving break. Charlie is going through a traumatic transition to the toddler room at daycare so nights have been touchy and mornings reluctant. He’ll get used to it all in good time, but the extra tears have been pulling at my heartstrings.

Our house is feeling awfully cramped lately with Charlie’s toys everywhere and only more to come. I feel like my nesting is kicking in hard this weekend. I’ve already cleaned the bathroom and have plans to rearrange bookshelves to accommodate some toy baskets. It’s been driving me batty to have everything out! Updates to come.

I made Chex mix last weekend which always makes it feel like the holiday season to me. My mom always had a tin of Chex around for holiday munching and I’m loving the salty snack at home and taking in a baggie for school. We have tons of Chex leftover so I’m making mike’s holiday favorite next – puppy chow.

And the weather has been perfect lately. Charlie only wants to be outside after school and has figured out how to open the door. Good thing we keep it locked!

What are you up to this weekend? Something nice I hope. Make some sweet memories this weekend friends!

diy advent calendar

img_9877I want so badly this year to really appreciate and make the most of every moment of this holiday season. It just goes by in the blink of an eye, and I feel like if you don’t try to enjoy it, then it seems to be over before it even began. Charlie is becoming a very curious (too curious sometimes!) and aware little person and it’s been so fun to see him watching the lights go up around the neighborhood, in stores, and in our house. To say he is interested in these little boxes that popped up on the kitchen windowsill overnight is an understatement.

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I can’t take credit for the design. I browsed Pinterest (of course) for ideas and found so many! I toyed with an calendar of envelopes on the wall, jars on the windowsill, but settled on a modified version of this cute one from Oh Happy Day that uses small boxes with trees hot glued to the top. I adjusted for what I found at Michaels (small boxes, a set of 21 holiday trees for $10, and bought some pinecones and bells to fill the last 4).

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I’ve been wanting to do an advent calendar to celebrate the season for the last few years, but while I could have done it, it seemed silly to make one for just Mike and I. I also still don’t feel like Charlie needs gifts of toys or chocolate every day like most traditional advent calendars, so ours is one of easy festive activities like drinking hot chocolate, watching a christmas movie, or taking a walk around the neighborhood to ogle lights. Some are activities for Charlie, and others just Mike and I, so it’s a nice little combination of holiday activities.

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A few are pre-planned weekend activities like getting our christmas tree, going downtown to our town’s christmas tree lighting, and taking Charlie to sit on Santa’s lap. I can’t wait for December to begin so Charlie can open up the first box! I love how it turned out, and am planning to make this an annual tradition that our kids will look forward to.

 

 

the friday post – vol. 14

It was an eventful week at our house. Charlie’s birthday, a dinner out for Mike’s work last night, the Halloween dance at school for me another night, and Charlie’s one year check up complete with shots. Phew.

I’m also starting to feel very pregnant this week at 25 weeks. We go in on Monday morning for our anatomy ultrasound, so we’ll find out if this baby is a boy or a girl! I remember feeling like Christmas was coming early when we had our ultrasound with Charlie, and I’m starting to feel that tingle of anticipation that I had last year.

I can’t believe it’s Halloween next week!! We still haven’t gotten Charlie a Halloween costume, but he’s been wearing his little pumpkin outfit nonstop. Such a crowd-pleaser when we go out and about. This weekend we must get him something, or else he may have to be the paper bag prince.

In our entertainment news, I’ve been obsessed with listening to this podcast called Homecoming. It’s a fiction podcast, so it’s kind of a combination of feeling like you’re listening to an audio book and a tv show. So good. I’m saving the last episode for my drive home today after school.

Plans this weekend include the beach, laundry, a clean house and long walks around the neighborhood to check out everyone’s Halloween decorations.

handmade halloween cards.

We sent out these little handmade Halloween cards over the weekend. Aren’t they sweet?

I saw a tutorial on Pinterest a couple weeks ago and immediately put them on my crafting list. I love browsing Pinterest for ideas, and it always gives me a little burst of festivity around this time of year. Right now my feed is a a cornucopia of holiday crafts, decor, cozy foods, and baby things.

These cards were a fun little way to kick off the holiday season. I’ve tucked a couple away to remember Charlie’s tiny hand at one year old and sent the rest off in the mail to all of our nearest and dearest.

Click here for instructions for how to make some handprint cards of your own!

In other crafting news – I made this pumpkin yarn garland for the mantle a couple weeks ago, and started knitting a bright red, festive hat for a very special gift come Christmas.

the friday post – vol. 13

Whoa it feels like eons since the last one of these things, am I right? This week was a little wonky with our little bug going home from school sick on Tuesday and staying home to fight the virus for a couple days. Feverish babies are no fun, but it was nice to get some extra sweet snuggles, lounge around in jammies and to take in lots of disney movies on the couch. Today is a teacher professional development day, so it’s been an easy week school-wise. We’re in the thick of the school year now, and time is just moving along with no holidays in sight until Thanksgiving.

Charlie’s been doing some funny new things lately – pointing at everything, saying “dada” “mama” & “baba”, grabbing his hair with his yucky food fingers during meals, and running around everywhere on his own two feet. He’s obsessed with the backyard – especially butterflies and bougainvillea blooms, and turns ONE on Tuesday!

It sounds like we’re heading to a work thing for Mike on Saturday, but other than that, we’ve got not a thing going on. We’re planning to get Charlie (and us) a family membership to the Zoo for his birthday next week, so I’m thinking we might make a little early birthday trip there this weekend. Charlie’s at just the right age to start looking at all the animals.

Mike was in Denver for a bachelor party last weekend – solo mommy all weekend eek! But we survived! I’m just looking forward to being two parent strong this weekend, getting Charlie’s few birthday presents wrapped, and whipping him up a Halloween costume.

What are you looking forward to this weekend? Something wonderful, I hope!

xx, em

baby in a tin, a note on being resourceful.

Who needs a baby pool anyway? This first weekend of summer break was too, too good. I’m feeling all sorts of happiness about it. The first weekend is important, you know? It sets the stage for the whole summer. And it’s going to be a good one – I can feel it in my bones. How could it not be, with this kid?The heat and humidity swooped in with a vengeance this weekend, so I pulled the little tin beer cooler out of our outdoor side table, gave it a good wipe, filled it to the brim with the hose, moved it to a shady spot (all talk of not hanging out under the mango tree aside 😂) and tucked Charlie in it to splash away to his heart’s content. When I pulled him out thirty minutes later, happy & tired, I wrapped him and his wrinkly toes in a big striped beach towel. He took a solid two hour afternoon nap after that. Such goodness! Just love this little man so much. So, moral of the story? You don’t need to buy a thing to have summer fun. Running water? Something, anything to hold it in? You’re good! Or really pull out all the stops and hook up your hose to a sprinkler – or even just a sprayer head. No need to go out and buy anything. Although you certainly can if you so fancy! Find summer fun around you wherever you are! I’m finding that Charlie doesn’t care (nor I!) one bit if something is new, old or found. He loves his new shaker toy as much as the little Tupperware I filled with rice. And clearly he loves the tin as much as a baby pool 😊. But let’s be honest – I’m reeeeelly excited to put him in a real pool when we’re home in Indiana next week!! The tin was such a sweet solution for a hot, humid Florida day, but nothing beats the real thing. Just a note to remind (mostly myself) that money need not be spent for summer fun! ☺️