easter sunday.

We had friends in town staying with us for Easter weekend, so last weekend was extra fun. They have a little guy just two months older than Charlie and it was so funny to see them rampaging the house together. Charlie did a great job playing, but by Sunday he was very sensitive about sharing his toys. It’s tough to be 18 months old with a new baby brother and a million toys that suddenly aren’t just yours to play with.

We went to church Sunday while our sweet friends got Easter lunch ready at our house and when we got home the boys did a little Easter egg hunt in the backyard. Charlie was into it until he realized that the eggs were filled with fruit loops. Then he just wanted to pick each one up and eat everything in it and then look for the next one. Needless to say, he did not gather the most eggs.

Mike’s mom gets all of the grandkids Easter outfits every year (9 outfits!) This year was a win. Charlie looked so dapper in his little bow tie and Ben looked like quite the baby gentleman in his romper. God must have been looking down on us because it was by far the best mass we’ve been to with both boys.

Who else loves Easter? Spiral ham, spring veggies, flowers, bunnies! I feel like it’s the official beginning of spring which makes it truly a time of renewal and fresh starts.

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

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.

meet ben.

The past two weeks have passed in an absolute blur with this new little one at home. Each day has been full of newborn and extra toddler snuggles. Benjamin Lewis arrived on March 1st weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces (though he’s already up to 10). His birth story is beautiful and I want to get it all down in writing before the details start drifting away from me (they already are!), but today I’m just checking in with the news that’s he’s here, he’s here!

Charlie is handling things pretty well with just some minor jealousy that mainly involves handing out sweet hugs like candy and trying out every item of Ben’s baby gear.

Ben is more alert and sweeter by the day. We love him despite his evening witching hour and his habit of waking up the moment we set him down. Today is the beginning of what I’m considering phase four of maternity leave (phase one: waiting. Phase two: arrival of Ben with my parents here. Phase three: Mike’s paternity leave. Phase four: just me and Ben) We’re sending Charlie in to daycare until summer break, so I can get to know and love on this little mush. I’m not quite ready to have a 15 month old and a two week old all to myself just yet. We’ll get there though. I’m holding the little man as I type this. He’s snoring away, one arm flung above his head and I’m thinking about joining him in a little mid afternoon nap before the big one gets home and demands dinner.

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!

pumpkin carving at home.

img_8755This past weekend was just the absolute best. Last year at pumpkin carving time I had a big postpartum belly with a newborn slumbering in his bassinet, but this year our one-year-old was fully awake and involved in our weekend festivities. The weather was giving us it’s very best Florida fall (60’s in the morning/evening and 80’s during the day), and we took full advantage by spending every minute we could outside. Saturday we went to the beach for the most beautiful day with a boy who is obsessed with the waves and sand. I finished up Charlie’s halloween costume with Hocus Pocus and hot chocolate after bedtime, including lots of help from Mike.

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Sunday though! Mike put Charlie’s new birthday wagon together, and we took him for some spins around the yard. Ah! He loved it. His smiles as we took very slow turns around the backyard were so good. After an afternoon siesta, we finally carved our pumpkins. They mold so fast in the heat down here and Sunday was the absolute last day we could carve with other things happening this week. After some adult knifework, Charlie got into it and dug his hands into the pumpkin goop. It was a MESS. Thank goodness for having a backyard. Mike and I ended the weekend with roasted pumpkin seeds, an honorary lighting of the pumpkins, and Ernest Scared Stupid (Mike’s favorite Halloween movie).

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It was just the kind of weekend I want to bottle up and keep on the shelf to look back at anytime I want a little burst of love for our family and for this season of life!

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What did you do this weekend? Something wonderful I hope!

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.

we’re home!

Finally! After what ended up being nearly the entire month of June, we’re back at home for the rest of the summer and it feels good. We started June with a weeklong trip home to the Midwest to see friends and family. Then, Mike surprised me with a 30th birthday trip to Niagara Falls. We just got home on Saturday from a week at the beach with the Metroka family. All such a good trips. I can’t wait to put together pictures and stories from our travels and to get back into a little bit more of a routine. So many good things to share!

a Wednesday wonder: to tidy or not to tidy?

Charlie’s napping right now, so I just did my quick five minute sweep of the house to straighten things up. He’s become quite the little destroyer, pulling plastics off shelves and toys out of baskets as fast as I put them back. Which has had me thinking: Should I just leave everything until after bedtime when I do another sweep of the house, setting things back to rights? Or do I keep cleaning up a little bit throughout the day to keep my own sanity and to bring him the never ending joy of emptying his baskets?

We have so far limited Charlie’s toys to one basket of wood blocks, one of other toys, and one of books. Call us crazy, but ideally we’ll not ever have much more than this – just transitioning toys out and in as he gets older and as other babies come along. I could see us getting one larger basket to hold the miscellaneous toys, and having multiple others tucked away under his bed to pull out when he wants to play with them. But right now, he’s the definition of a free range baby, finding more interest in non-toys throughout the house in the form of plastic lids, rubber spatulas and the occasional shoe. Of course, he also has a shelf of books on the bookshelf, but he hasn’t found that yet 😂.

So it’s not much, but in a small house, things get messy fast. I love a tidy home (who doesn’t), but my little destroyer loves the thrill of getting everything out. So, what do you think, reader? Tidy throughout the day, or leave it all to the end?

This reminds me of this article I read the other day on Food52 about the apparently controversial practice of cleaning the kitchen as you go, or leaving it all to the end! What are you? I’m a clean as I go! Which maybe answers this whole Wednesday wondering. 😂 It must just be in my nature.