Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Warm Fuzzies

Do you ever have those moments you just want to savor?

I had one at about 3am this morning.

I was rocking my baby after she had her feeding and was resting my cheek against her soft hair--or she was resting her head against my cheek. either way, we were resting on each other--my eyes were closed, I breathed deeply and thanked God for this beautiful blessing.

I am always thankful for her but in this moment, I prayed that she stay this sweet, healthy, and happy for as long as I have anything to do with it.

I held her a couple extra moments longer, set her back down, crawled back in bed and curled up next to my husband.

It was a beautiful and peaceful 3am wake-up where I got to savor my many blessings.

Happy Weekending, friends.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Reality of It

I was talking to my close friend yesterday who has two sons. She has always thought she was going to have a third child but now she says she is on the fence. There were reasons that she told me and then unfortunately, I brought up the one that none of us likes to admit is kind of a legitimate reason to stop expanding the family.


It is a family's choice how children will be raised. Going to daycare. At home with mom. At home with a baby-sitter. At home with some other family member. There are obviously  multiple ways to choose how your family brings in money and who spends the days with the kids.

For many families, the choice is for the wife to stay home and the husband to go to work. For my friend and I, this is what our families have chosen. However, it makes things a little tight around the spending area. Not saying that two-income families have things easy by any means but this is the subject that we got on. With the way our economy is these days, it is hard to fathom having a big family and being able to live on one income.

It then brings me to the question of: Why do we want a lot of kids or a bigger family?

I grew up with one sibling and Ben grew up with two. I think I always liked the idea of maybe having another sibling or two. I don't know why I just did. So growing up, I thought I would have four kids. I think Ben always liked that idea too. After having our first child, we have realized many challenges with a baby that I think we didn't expect but all that aside, the reality of one income and the cost of raising children has reared it's ugly head.

This realization makes me sad. I don't think a reason for not having as many children as you like should be money. I do think there are ways to make it work but it takes sacrifice somewhere. If we want Ben to be in a position of many long work hours I think we know ways and where he can fit in to make a hefty salary to support us. However, we want a dad that is present for our family and not one that we see every once and awhile. We have always been very clear about that.

My friend and I were just commiserating on the fact that we don't want money to be a reason to stop having babies, but in reality, I think that is a reason. It is sad and scary how much life costs these days. But it is what it is and we all get by somehow. We are so fortunate for what we do have and thankful to be stay at home moms with husbands willing to support us and our family choices. Whether she has one more and whether I have one, two or three more, is obviously up in the air and will work itself out but it doesn't hurt to look into the future a bit and try to see what lies ahead.

But, hey, anytime this economic downturn wants to upturn would be just dandy!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Peep, Peep

We brought home our new family members on April 14th. I call them family members because everything we read says they will end up like pets. I sure hope so, they are pretty funny.

We have been talking about getting some laying hens since last year. In fact, Ben went so far as to build a chicken coop last year. Then we found out I was pregnant, Ben had about a month and a half of straight travelling for work so we decided it may not be the best time for me to have to be caring for chicks by myself. I am a little disappointed now knowing what we know that we didn't just get 'em last year. We could have been enjoying eggs for months now!

I think we kept getting a little nervous because everything we read acts like they are really high maintenance in the beginning but so far so good. They are living in the garage in a big storage tub with a heat lamp. They seem pretty happy. We are really amazed at how fast they are growing and how quickly their feathers are coming in.

I have to admit I have been a little hands off thus far. I have held them a couple of times. Changed the water. However, I hadn't dealt much with the poop until last night.

Ben was holding E so I was on farm duty. As a family we walked around and watered the garden, that Ben planted this weekend,  and then headed out to check on the chicks. Well, even though I had given them fresh water in the morning, they had managed to fill the water again with shavings and there was quite a bit of poop in their food. Again. So it was up to me. I had to scoop the poop. Ben was making fun of me because I wasn't too into touching it. I was more into scooping with the garden shovel, which he informed me is way more wasteful of the food and takes wys too long. "You're gonna have to get a lot more used to poop than that, honey," he let me know.

Hey, Ben, you got the animal poo, I got the human poo. Aka, our daughter's. Wait, a sec, don't get me wrong, I love when you help with poopy dipes. Oy, guess I'll be helping with the chicken poo too.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday

Our world has basically been turned upside down. This baby stuff is hard. Our morning routine, our nightly routine, heck, the midday routine--it's all different. Different, good, yes, but still different.

I love my baby with all my heart. She is such a reminder of life. Good, pure, clean, innocent life.

A midst all this chaos of our new world is my husband. We are so steadfast and rock solid. It's funny when you are dating someone because you know there is always a possibility of breaking up. Then you are engaged and it feels more permanent. But still not sealed. Then you are married and it's permanent.

Then you add kids to the mix and it's REALLY permanent.

Our family is whole. We are permanent. With all the change that goes on we are together.

And for that I am so thankful.

Everyday, all day. Even if my routine has changed.

{linking to:}

Friday, April 13, 2012

4 Months

My Dear Eleanor,

I am still amazed that you have only been in my arms for four months. It sometimes feels like you have been here forever! You turned four months on April 1st and over the past month all we see is constant change with you. You grow each and every day and it is so amazing to watch.

You are becoming so aware of your surroundings whether it is objects you can see or things you can touch and explore. You notice patterns and textures that will keep your attention. You have started noticing Holly and you tend to laugh at her as she walks by. You roll from your tummy to your back and your tummy time just becomes stronger and stronger each time--you push yourself way up with your arms.

Your sleep schedule continues to be 3-5 hour stretches at night and usually a couple of 20-30 minute naps with one long 1-2 hour nap during the day. You are sleeping the nights in your pack and play at the end of our bed and you take most naps in your swing. Hoping to break that habit soon or hoping you grow out of it!

At your doctor's appointment last week, you weighed in at 14 lbs. 5 oz. and were 24 inches long. You are wearing some three month clothes still but mostly 3-6 month sizes. Clothes all fit so differently so it is hard to say one size that you are wearing. You also fit into some six month outfits.

You continue to absolutely love your bath, your play mat and we introduced you to a jumperoo which you like for a short time. You still can't quite touch the floor in the jumperoo so maybe you will like it a little more when you can actually jump! You have become quite the chatter box and have started experimenting with many different sounds. We also love to hear your laugh.

It seems that you aren't loving your car seat lately. We get in the car and you're fine for a little bit but then seem to grow increasingly unhappy until you are screaming. I hope this stops soon because it makes Mama want to stay home even more than we already do!

Our "schedule" now is usually getting up between 7am and 8am, cuddling and talking in bed. We then get your diaper changed and dressed. We come out to the living room and Mama gets her breakfast while you roll around on the floor or on your playmat. You usually nurse after about an hour or so of being awake and then tend to have a little cat nap after about two hours of being awake. We play throughout the day, you eat about every three hours during the day and have your long nap usually in the late afternoon. Dad gets home around six thirty and you are usually pretty happy while we eat dinner and do our evening routine. You usually nurse to sleep around 8pm and we have you in your pack and play around eight forty five.

We all continue to get more comfortable everyday. We are slowly getting the hang of this parenting thing and all I can do is thank you, baby girl, for being as patient as a little fourth month old can with her new parents! I cherish everyday with you and am so blessed to be your mom and get to spend my days with you. Seeing you grow and change each day amazes me so much and we can also thank your dad for working so hard for us so that you and I do get to spend our days together.

We love you, baby.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Being Present

As a new mom I think there is a lot of "pressure" to get everything right, try not to "mess up" and keep your cool at all times.

Well, at least that's what it feels like sometimes.

With social media all around us, it is so easy to compare ourselves. As a generation with a lot of college graduates, I think a lot of us come from a life of organization, being successful possibly to the point of being borderline perfectionists. We then decide it is time to procreate, ten months later we are greeted with a bundle of joy and our world is turned upside down.

It is safe to say that Hub and I did not know what to expect when we decided to have a baby but I think we were surprised in a lot of ways.

It is hard.

But also so rewarding.

Being home everyday, it is easy for me to peruse Pinterest, Facebook and blogs off and on all day. It is easy to read article after article and condemn myself for not doing things like everyone else or not always having some gourmet dinner every night or my favorite: never getting out of my pajamas and letting the Hub come home to a wife in the same clothes she has had on since the night before. But, folks, we are learning, this is reality. And the rewards from being a mom don't come from a spotless house, gourmet dinners or getting dressed everyday.

They come from spending all of my time with my sweet girl.

From getting to delight in every smile she has to hand out and experiencing all of her firsts. It has been me that has seen her roll over, laugh, grab her toes and continue to form her little personality. The reason I get to continue to relish in all of these rewards is because I am there for her everyday. I try not to focus too much on the things that will always be there tomorrow.

This article has been circulating on Facebook and inspired this post. I am not writing to say that working moms aren't there for their kids. I am not saying that at all. I am writing to say that it is not all the things that matter when it comes to parenting. The homemade everything, the business woman/wife/mom/PTA president/DIY extraordinaire. It is being there. Day in and day out for our kids. And babies alike.

The babies know, too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lovely Weekend

Oh my goodness. This past weekend we got a little taste of summer and boy did it taste good.

It started for me on Friday, waking up after a bit of a rough Thursday night with the baby, and having invited some girlfriends and their babies over. I was actually glad that I had planned to have friends over because it helped me snap out of the bad night and move on. We all had lunch, visited, watched the babies roll around and it was just all around a fun time.

Saturday morning we woke up to a beautiful day and hit the ground running. Eleanor had slept well the night before and we were so thankful for that. It truly is amazing how sleep the night before can make or break you. We headed to the grocery store, came home and Ben did some stuff outside and Eleanor and I played in and outside. We ended the day with an impromptu BBQ with some friends and their two little boys.

Sunday we woke up, had breakfast and talked with Ben's family on the computer. It's fun for them to see how much Eleanor is starting to change. We again, got some things done around the house, washed cars {which is always fun to do in the sun!} and then got ready for dinner at my grandma's. We, of course, had to have a little photo shoot with the babe before we went.

We had such a wonderful weekend full of sun, family and friends. I just can't wait for summer, nice weather and the endless adventure we are on with our girl. She just continues to grow and change right before our eyes and time is just flying!

**4 month E post coming this week

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dream Job

As Ben and I were chatting on Gchat the other day while he was at work, he sent me a link and said, "Dream job." I clicked the link and immediately knew what he was talking about.

I worked in the restaurant industry for almost 7 years. For the most part, I loved it. Obviously, in any job there are ups and downs but I did love all the ups. I love food. Ben loves food. I often, offhandedly, mention things about having a restaurant someday. I managed for the company I worked for, for a little while and while I did like some aspects, I realized that the lifestyle of a restaurant manager was not one that was conducive to being a stay at home mom. My current dream job. However, when we were in Portland last year, we experienced the food carts and sometimes I love that idea. Having a cart in a business district, busily distributing lunch and closing for the day after lunch. I make a pretty mean sandwich. Anyway.

I am about to connect the dots, I promise.

Ben and I often talk about moving to a bigger piece of land, having animals, having a garden and lots of room of our child(ren) to run around on. This isn't very realistic right now but we are hoping it will be someday. It is funny that Ben feels this way because he has always lived within five minutes of a grocery store and that sort of thing but I know he will love being a little more removed from the city.

Back to the website I was staring at.

Essentially a farm, with cows, goats, chickens, etc. growing an abundance of produce most of which goes into a restaurant on-site. Dream job. How amazing to live your life right on your land doing all the things you love and getting to put it into a business you love as well.

So I looked at Ben a few days later and said, "Well, what do we do to make that a reality for us?"
He let me know that we are kind of doing it. We have a garden that we add a little bit to every year. We are actually getting our chickens this year that we had thought we were getting last year. Little by little, we are leaning toward a lifestyle we dream of.

We randomly try to think of ways, most of the time we are in jest, to be able to create a business to stay home together or at least work together. The thing with starting our own business, though, is that Ben and I aren't real risk-takers so obviously starting a business requires some risk. If you know us, you are most likely smiling right now because you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

Being in our mid-twenties, we don't have set goals of what we are working toward, career-wise, except for being able to provide for our family for the lifestyle we see fit, being happy, being healthy and not having to work such long hours that we don't get to spend time together as a family. Whether that be sticking with the career Ben is currently working on, or someday, taking a little risk, branching out and trying new things.

It's always fun to dream.

If you know of a way to guarantee success as a farmer, know of a plot of land for us to obtain for cheap or have any insight into any of the above subjects--go ahead and let us know! ;)