Monday, August 25, 2014

Life With Two Kids

We are two weeks in to our life as a family of four and let me tell you, we are learning and adapting all the time! Overall it has been so much easier than I thought it would be but it has still thrown us quite a few curve balls and we have had to make adjustments and come up with new strategies for how to handle things.

The first week was so easy, Echo was ridiculously smitten with her new sister and wanted to spend all her time helping with diaper changes, fussing over Clover and patting her on the head. After week one was over and Eric went back to work things started to get a little more crazy. I think Echo began missing my undivided attention and so she started to act pretty wild at certain times of the day. She also started fighting her nap like crazy. I had a limited amount of time to try to put her down for a nap since I had to do it while Clover was asleep and so we ended up missing several naps last week. This made Echo, tired, cranky and even crazier than she would normally be. She is still napping some days but other days it's just not worth the fight. I'm afraid it won't be long before she drops them all together.

Anyway, I digress, there is just so much to talk about with a new baby in the house :-) Here are some things that I've learned since round one of baby raising, some comparisons between baby number one and baby number two, and just some observations about having two kiddos in the house.

1. Newborns are so easy! When I first had Echo I was so overwhelmed and thought it was so difficult! This time I can't believe how easy a newborn is compared to a toddler. To be fair I think part of it is just that Clover is an exceptionally easy baby. Another big part of it is that I have more experience and am less stressed about everything. Having raised one kid through the baby stage I am much more confidant and less worried about every little detail and it has made my life so much easier.

2. Naps are precious, take them when you can. I really fought taking naps when Echo was a newborn, her naps where my only "me" time and I wanted to spend that time working on my projects and getting things done. Now that i have two kids and sleep for me is much more iffy I will take a nap when I can get one and it is glorious. Unfortunately I don't often have a time when both kids are sleeping and I can sleep too but sometimes the stars align and it all works out.

3. So far Clover seems super mellow compared to Echo. I'm not sure if I'm just not remembering what Echo was like as a newborn but Clover seems like a really calm and peaceful baby to me. She even sleeps really well so far! (knock on wood). I'm hoping her peaceful nature continues as it makes a nice contrast to my wild child Echo :-)

4. Going anywhere is like launching an expedition to Mars. That's an exaggeration but not by much. It takes forever to go anywhere, we have so many things to think about and so much to pack. Do we have enough diapers in the right sizes for both girls? Changes of clothes? Snacks? Baby sling? My bag weighs about a thousand pounds.

5. The laundry is ridiculous. I have two kids wearing cloth diapers, laundry is completely overwhelming.

6. I'm more smitten than I ever thought I could be. I'm guessing all moms feel this way about their kids but I am seriously so in love with my children! To the point where I can't even watch them together without tearing up. Eric and I must say "look at her, she is so beautiful!" about 100 times a day, referring to one or the other of our daughters. We are about as proud and happy as two parents can be :-)

My free time is understandably limited lately so I might not be blogging much for a while but never fear, I will plug away at it when I get a chance. In the mean time I will just be enjoying some time with these two precious little girls of mine :-)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Photos from Clover's First Days

Warning! Very picture heavy post! Here are some photos from our first days with Clover

Clover's first picture, just after birth

Echo meeting Clover for the first time

Mimaw and her baby girls

First day at home
And here are some of my favorites from the professional pics we had done at the hospital...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Welcome Clover!

Our little baby girl finally decided to join us last Thursday night (has it already been almost a week? Wow!) and we couldn't be more excited, relieved  and happy.

Everything about this pregnancy, labor, and delivery has been so different than it was with my first. I hear it all the time but this really went to show me that every pregnancy is different and you never know what to expect. My water broke Thursday evening while I was at my parents house and they were able to drive me to the hospital straight away. I called Eric and he met us in the waiting room and I was admitted shortly after that. Even though my water had broken my contractions weren't really strong or regular yet so the doctor wanted to put me on pitocin right away to get things going. My nurse was very pro natural birth though and fought him off as long as she could. When we finally did start pitocin we did a very low dose but it definitely started to speed things up and after about only 30 minutes of painful contractions Clover was born. From the time my water broke to the time she was born the whole thing took only 5 and a half hours so while it hurt like crazy towards the end at least it was very quick!

Emotionally everything has been much easier for me this time around. I'm not sure if it's just that there is so much less of a learning curve with a second child or if my hormones are just less crazy but overall I am feeling really happy and level. My only weepy moments tend to come from watching Echo and Clover together, it's so sweet I feel like I'm going to bust!

In spite of my worries that Echo might feel displaced or jealous of the new baby she has been absolutely wonderful. She love Clover so much and gives her constant kisses and pats. She also loves to help with diaper changes and bringing blankets to Clover. All those months of practicing on her baby dolls has really paid off, Echo is all about her little sister!

So now we are all just figuring out our new rhythm as a family of four and settling in to a new routine. I honestly feel like I've never been happier, I am so in love with my little girls and looking forward to many years of fun together. I'll try to post some more pictures on here soon so stay tuned!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

July Pictures

Here is a little sampling of our photos from July. We had a great visit with my brother for the 4th and I think that pretty much all of these pictures are from that weekend! Other than that we went to the pool a lot and spent time with friends plus we celebrated mine and Eric's Birthday (but sadly I have no pictures of that). Next month I should have lots of cute new baby photos to share if this little girl ever decides to show up! ;-)

Willow relaxing

Making homemade ice cream with uncle Logan

Waiting to see the fireworks

Echo loved the fireworks this year

She fell asleep before they were over though :-)

Deciding what to order at The Porter Beer Bar

Deciding what to order at The Porter Beer Bar

Friday, August 1, 2014

Salsa Verde

It's my due date and no sign of baby Clover making an appearance any time soon so it's more blogging to keep me occupied! Of course this could all turn on a dime so I'm still holding out hope that she will be on her way shortly :-)

The biggest and best surprise of my garden this year was the tomatillo plants! I haven't ever had any luck growing tomatoes and after this year I probably won't try them again. Tomatillos on the other hand turned out to have a number of benefits. First of all they are crazy easy to grow, a must for a lazy gardener like me. Secondly they produce abundant fruit, so you actually end up with enough ready at one time to make something with them. They are also really beautiful plants, the fruits look like little paper lanterns and last but not least they taste great!

The only down side is that it can be hard to find tomatillo seeds in stores but this is an easy fix thanks to the internet. I ordered mine from and heirloom seed company on etsy and they turned out beautifully. Personally I am in love with tomatillo salsa so I used my last harvest to make this simple and delicious recipe.

1 lb fresh tomatillos
3 tbs diced onion
1 jalapeno, diced (I seeded and deveined mine to cut back on the spicy but if you want it hotter you could leave the seeds)
Juice of one lime
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
cumin and salt to taste

Peel and rinse your tomatillos (hint, peeling tomatillos is a great job for a toddler, Echo loved helping with this!) and place in a saucepan of boiling water. Simmer tomatillos until soft but not mushy, they turn a duller shade of green when they are cooked. Transfer to a bowl and combine with other ingredients. Blend with an emersion blender until smooth (or you could do this in a food processor). Enjoy! That's really all there is to it and it is so fresh and delicious tasting.

I bet this would be a great recipe for canning as well but I didn't have the energy this year. Next year I will definitely be growing tomatillos again and I may try to can a few jars then. If you are in to gardening I really recommend trying to grow these little guys, I was so pleasantly surprised by them and have been enjoying them all Summer :-)