recharging as a mom

This past year has been really busy for me and my husband in many different ways. We now have two children and our baby is turning into a very active toddler. The preschooler/toddler combination along with my husband’s sometimes 12 hour days, has left my head spinning in so many different directions it’s hard to keep the endurance at times. As a SAHM for now three years, I have been through busy times before. After a while I do seem to land on my feet and grow a bit stronger from all life throws my way, but still, how do you recharge amidst the waves?

This time of year is really busy for my husband so recently I’ve been alone full-time with my daughters. Though we both realize we are in a storm of busy-ness at the moment, it doesn’t make the days any shorter or less exhausting for both of us. The past few weeks I’ve found my energy reserves really low and generally am just feeling worn out. Instead of focusing on what is not great at present, I am trying to recharge the best I can and hang in there until we get to calmer waters.

1. trying to workout more...naptimes and jogging with the girls in the double jogger. As it begins to cool down I am getting back to jogging in the mornings and pilates videos to keep my energy up.

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Bunk bed hack!

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I recently undertook a project that I thought was worth sharing. It wasn’t that hard, gives my girls great joy, and is highly functional. Mrs. Bee has even blogged about some of the hacks that gave me inspiration.

We bought the Ikea Kura bed, with the idea of using it as a bunk bed. Jack Jack could have a Montessori style floor bed on the ground as she transitioned to a big girl bed, and Little Jack has earned her “bed in the sky” by moving from our room to her own bed.  One of my biggest worries in using this bed was safety. I was especially concerned about little kids using the ladder. Luckily, we saw a number of hackers using an alternate solution that we loved. They were using the Ikea Trofast storage system as stairs. This felt much safer to me and the kids love it!

The instructions to do this hack are really very simple.

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Animal Kingdom Day Three & Five

We decided long before we left that Animal Kingdom would probably be Drake’s favorite park, and thus decided to allocate two days for it so we could take everything in and not feel rushed. Animal Kingdom is my favorite park as well and I love that I get to share my love of animals with my son.

The Tree of Life and the mob of people in the park that day

This was my list for Drake at Animal Kingdom:

Kilimanjaro Safaris - The number one thing at Disney that I wanted to take Drake on above all else was the Kilimanjaro Safari. I figured that Drake would love this one as it would bring him up close to so many of his favorite animals like elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, zebras, hippos, ostriches, giraffes, etc.  On arrival we immediately went to Fast pass this ride and got so lucky in getting a slot within 10 minutes of our arrival. We hurried our way over and then talked up all the animals to Drake. I honestly don’t know who was more excited when we got on board the ride — Drake or all the adults anticipating his excitement.  I personally love this ride as well and could ride it all day. It was certainly a highlight of the trip for everyone.

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Bring on the pink!

After a miscarriage and trying for a year, we are now 14 weeks pregnant with a baby girl! We are so excited and I feel so lucky.

My NT scan was on Liam’s first day of preschool and sadly, my husband couldn’t make it. The only appointment they had was in the afternoon, so I had to take Liam with me because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to pick him up in time, and I didn’t want him to be at school that late on his first day. I was nervous about him coming with me, but he was such a good boy and he loved seeing the baby and especially listening to her heartbeat.Even though it is still considered early to determine the sex of the baby, the ultrasound tech said she was 100% positive it is a girl. She could clearly see between the legs and she said if there was a penis, she would have seen it.

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DIY Ruffle Lamp Shade

I never knew I’d care so much about a silly lampshade. I mean, it’s a lampshade, for crying out loud! But there I was, staring at a normal shade to sit on top of an old Eiffel Tower lamp I’ve had for ages, and I knew “normal” just wasn’t going to cut it. So I took to Pinterest to see how I could spruce an old shade up a bit.

And then I saw it: my inspiration for the lampshade.

The blogger answered questions about the project in the comments, but didn’t really give any directions in the post, so I had to wing it. Luckily, it was super easy and didn’t have any sewing involved. I took pictures along the way just in case you want to make something similar. Oh, and you can definitely make this during nap time; I think it took me around 30 minutes once I had everything together!

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2 year / 4.5 year update

So much has happened since my last update (6 months ago! Or, now that this post is getting written super late, almost 8 months ago!). We bought a house, packed up and moved (to the town next door!), summer started and the kids were in daycare only part time (3 mornings a week) and home with their aunt part time. I went through a huge project at work and life is only just starting to settle down now. But here we are, with a 2 year old and a 4.5 year old. Life is just as hectic as ever, but so much fun, too!

L I L  M I S S  W A G O N
2 Year Stats
Height: 35 in (78%)
Weight: 30 lbs (91%)
Head Circumference: 19.75 in (98%)

It’s quite clear that LMW is staying on her growth curves and is still quite a big girl for her age. With her being so big for her age and Wagon Jr. being so small, people often assume they’re twins. She’s definitely growing out of her clothes that are 18-24 month and fitting nicely into 2T items.

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Building an Emotional IQ

What, exactly, do you say to your child when she hangs over the back of the sofa, tears streaming down her red face, fists clenched, trying desperately to understand why her friend no longer wants to be her friend? Meanwhile, said friend calls over, “I have better friends than you. They’re nicer. I gave you two chances. Now I’m not your friend anymore.” Ellie turns to me with a look of painful desperation. “See? See? She hates me!” And off she goes. Who knows where. That’s just what Ellie does when her feelings are so strong she just can’t seem to share space with anyone else.

My heart was shattering into a million pieces. Meanwhile, my head was in a million places at once. “I hate Susie. We should never have invited her over in the first place. If only Ellie would learn to apologize without looking like a warrior ready to ambush. Her ‘I’m sorry; let’s be friends again’ picture might have gone over better if she hadn’t hurled it at Susie’s head… Children are mean. Good thing we’re homeschooling– no more kids for us. We will just be our own, lonely, sane unit.”

I was feeling so much. Angry. Worried. Disappointed. Sad. Frustrated. I know Ellie was, too, but she was having a hard time approaching Susie in a way that would mend the disagreement. I had tried to gently coach her through an apology. “Why be nice?” she asked me, incredulous. “Susie’s not being nice. She said she hated me. And she does. So now I just want her to go home.” Ellie was smart enough to direct many of these statements towards me, but, like most seven-year-olds, wasn’t quite emotionally intelligent enough to realize that her words, even when not directed at her friend, were hurting her just the same.

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