. . . for Lauren and Lauren: April 2016

April 28, 2016

Thank you youtube

tunic: c/o shein

You know those ridiculous youtube videos that somehow manage to capture a two year old's attention for 20 minutes, even though you can't get them to listen to you for one?  Sometimes I regret downloading the youtube kids app because I feel like it just may be turning Addilyn's brain into mush, one candy apparatus tutorial at a time.  But then other times I sing it's sweet praises when she watches it for twenty minutes while I hold a sleeping baby, or take a shower or do a workout video. I'm going to lean more towards singing it's praises these days.  

Except for the time when we went to my parent's church for an Easter egg hunt and they had a little story time beforehand and used these Resurrection eggs to tell the story of why we celebrate Easter. Two eggs in and Addi looks at me and louding says, "Mama, it's just like youtube!" 

Yep.  Just like youtube.  Mom win.  

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April 27, 2016

When your toddler runs the show and you don't care

The other day my sister and were talking about the woes of toddler bedtime and we both came to the conclusion that sometimes our toddlers run the show and we don't even care as long as they go to bed.  There was one night when the requests were out of control, but I just kept doing them without even thinking.  Just beyond willing to do what it took to get her to sleep without long tantrums. 

Can I have water?  

No, not in this cup.  In my purple sippy cup.

But I wanted ice. 

Can I have a blanket? 

I wanted the pink one.  No the white one.  

I don't want this pillow.  

Can I have a sip of your water in the living room.  

Can I have another song?  

Just one more.  

I felt like a freaking circus animal and I realized after maybe the tenth request, but I honestly didn't even care as long as the eleventh one was the last.  Okay the twelve.  Maybe the thirteenth will be the magic number. 

At your service Addi.  Just please go to bed. 

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April 26, 2016

National Infertilty week

(before one of our transfers)

This week is National Infertility week and I almost didn't write a post, but infertility has been such a big part of my story that I couldn't pass up reflecting on and thinking about it. 

For the most part our infertility seems very far removed from our day to day life.  It's crazy to me because for so long it was such a huge part of my daily life.  A struggle to not let that define who I was, and a battle to not let it consume my thoughts by even the minute.  The desire to have a baby is so strong and when it is unknown if that will ever happen I think it's impossible to not let it take up so many thoughts.  Especially with countless doctor appointments, daily shots, medication and all kinds of side effects.  

I'm grateful I it feels so far in the past, but I also don't ever want to lose what I learned through that season. I am confident that our infertility was one of the best things that happened to our marriage.  We had to rely on each other, grow in our faith together, and come to the reality that we'd be okay if it was just us two.  Dealing with infertility made me a better friend, more compassionate and now more grateful for our two miracles.  

When I started blogging I had no intentions of sharing our struggles to get pregnant and can't say how thankful I am that I did.  It was the biggest blessing to find others that were in our place too.  Girls that became close friends, that I could email personal details like the best place to give yourself a shot, details of your husband's sperm count and what days we were having our transfers. Even knowing to the hour when I was going to find out if I was pregnant or not.  Things that felt like personal secrets became not secrets and it was comforting and freeing.  I know everyone has different ways of handling their struggles, but for me having people who understood, listened, prayed, and shared their struggles back was such a blessing.  I feel lucky to have had that, as I know many do not.

Fertility treatments and decisions are messy and hard and painful and what's right for someone isn't going to be right for others.  There's times I think about things like how I got pregnant with Addilyn in October, but she was "conceived" in June.  It's weird, feels scientific to me and a little uncomfortable.  And for a long time I think I felt almost bitter we couldn't get pregnant the normal way.  But I am so thankful for IVF and medicine and our doctor and know that God's plan was for Addilyn to be given to us through this "non conventional" way.  

I have started telling Addilyn about how badly we wanted a baby before we had her and how God gave us to her.  The other day we were talking about babies and she said "You prayed for me because you wanted me so bad!"  It made me cry.  I can't wait till she can understand even more of what a miracle she is to us.  

Infertility has been the hardest thing I've gone through, but I am so thankful it is part of my story and part of Addilyn's.  I pray that there is never a doubt in her mind that she was wanted, prayed for and fought for.  

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April 25, 2016

When you're too tired . . . .

I'm acquiring a good list of things I've done as a result of being too tired.  For example mailing a thank you card with no address: 

Apparently not reading the pacifier color on Amazon.  So sorry Isaac.  I'm too tired to return them. 

To stop Addilyn from blowing bubbles whenever she drinks milk. 

To make her wait until these rain boots fits her.  My desire to battle toddler clothing choices is very very little these days. 

To do my hair in another other than a messy bun. 

I know I'm not alone.  Tell me something you're doing because you're too tired. 

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April 24, 2016

the good and the bad

Last week Chris was out of town.  I was anxious about being alone for the week, as it would be the first time with both kids.  He only travels once every three months or so, which isn't bad, but I'm not a fan of it at all.  I don't like sleeping in a house alone, and seriously miss him from the hours of 6 till bedtime.  But overall we did great!  More good than bad, but here's some of both from the week . . . . . 
The bad:

We've been having a serious fruit fly issue the last few weeks, and despite all the tricks to catch them, even though we killed a ton, they just kept coming.  Long story short, right before Addilyn's bedtime I found the source of them buried in our pantry amongst a who knows how old bag of potatoes.  So old it didn't even resemble potatoes.  But more flies than I could count kept coming out and I just about had a panic attack.  I texted an SOS text to my sister and she said my brother in law was coming over.  I threw a bunch of things frantically on our deck and he came and cleaned it up, and cleaned the floor of our pantry.  It was ridiculously nice of him to come help me.  

Tuesday I lost count very early on in the day at the times Addilyn cried.  So many fits and so many tears.  At one point I was nursing Isaac and she kept kicking me.  Mostly playfully next to me, but kicking nonetheless.  I told her if she didn't stop she'd get a timeout and she looked at me and then spit on the floor.  

I've barely made progress on getting our birth announcements out.  Addressing envelopes takes two hands and I rarely have that during the day.  

Isaac did not sleep the best, and Addi was awake a few times which meant very little sleep for me. 

I wore nothing but yoga pants the entire week. 

The good:

We made it out of our house a lot.  We went on a few walks, to a park, a friends' houses, Barnes and Noble, and the weather was great most of the time.  It makes such a difference to get out of the house, especially when we're outside.  

I am so lucky to have family so close.  My sister in law took Addilyn to McDonald's one night, my mom and mother in law both came over.  I can't imagine if I didn't have them all so close by.  

I did three workout videos this week.  I am very ready to get back in shape and know it'll be a slow process but excited to start. 

I only have one load of laundry that isn't done and put away. 

I showered three out of the four days.  Major win.  

This may belong in the bad category but I did quite a lot of online shopping this week.  I think that's my defense mechanism when Chris goes out of town.  I ordered canvases with Isaac's newborn pictures, some summer clothes for Addilyn, and may have bought myself a Mother's day present too. 

I have lots and lots of respect for single moms and moms who's husbands travel often. It is exhausting and lonely and I am so thankful for Chris.  It really did go fine and I'm proud of us for managing the week pretty well, but I was so thankful to have him home! 

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April 21, 2016

Isaac's newborn pictures . . . .

I keep forgetting that I haven't shared our newborn pictures on my blog!  I can't explain how much I love them.  I remember debating about spending the money on pictures when Addilyn was born and how thankful I was after that we did.  They are certainly an investment, but I am so glad we used the same photographer, as they are just as wonderful this time, if not more because we have updated pictures of our new family of four.  I've already ordered some new canvases and can't wait to get them up.  Our photographer is so talented and did such an amazing job. Looking through these pictures even now makes me tear up, as it's a reminder of how incredibly blessed with our with two perfect, healthy and beautiful kids.  Now to share probably too many of them, but it was too hard to choose! 

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April 20, 2016

Freedom in this stage

We all know that comparison is a slippery slope.  Especially when it comes to motherhood.  I've struggled through phases of comparing Addilyn's sleep, temperament, habits, or how I discipline. I've constantly reminded myself that God picked me to be Addilyn's mom and my job is to do the best I can, and that may look different for someone else.  

There is something I am loving about the newborn stage.  Isaac's needs are so simple.  Eat, sleep, cuddle.  That's about it and I'm meeting them.  He's no all star sleeper, most nights doing one three hour stretch and then who knows what, but it's a whole lot of awake time for me lately.  But you know what? I have no control over that.  There's no decision making of if I should let him cry or if I'm feeding him enough or not enough.  He cries and I feed him or rock him or do whatever makes him happy.  There's so spoiling him or holding him too much.  

As Addilyn got older, the more I questioned how I was handling things with her.  I'd read or listen to how other babies were sleeping and question if I was doing the "right" thing for her.  As she gets older it's easy for me to start questioning if I'm disciplining her the "right" way, if I'm choosing my battles wisely and if certain issues like our current bedtime struggles are a result of something I am or am not doing. 

So I'm taking advantage of the freedom that is in this stage.  And as exhausting as it is, enjoying that there isn't much questioning in this stage and feeling confident I am doing it just right! 

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April 18, 2016

Isaac's nursery

I was so excited to decorate Addilyn's room when I was pregnant with her and thought planning a little girl's room was the best ever, but I think I had more fun decorating Isaac's room.  His room had been my craft room/guest room.  We still wanted to keep the bed in there, but moved everything else to the basement (which could now afford to be reorganized as its a play room, office and craft and storage space - help!).  I know the antler/rustic theme is super popular but that didn't stop me! I started collecting things for his room as soon as we found out he was a boy and love how it turned out!

Our close friends made us this wooden end table and it's my favorite thing in his room.  They had just moved into a new house and had lots of trees and I asked if they could save a thin stump for me when they were cutting them down. I honestly thought he'd give me a slice of tree trunk and I was going to cure it and glue it onto a cheap ikea end table.  But then he gave me this!  It is so beautiful and is perfect.  Such a special and appreciated gift!

chair: amazon
curtains: kohls
bins on wall: hobby lobby
roam pillow: made by me
ram head: target clearance
ottoman: old from target
ladder: garage sale a few years ago

I found this frame at Hobby Lobby and wrote this quote out I saw online.  The ladder I had in our garage for the last few years.  I got it at a garage sale for a dollar and am so glad I saved it!  We had a few friends make us blankets and I love them.  I'm a huge fan of handmade things, especially when they are so cute and match his room so well!

We made this headboard a few months ago.  It was super easy and cheap.  I shared how we did it here!  A long time ago I turned my grandpa's old suitcase into a little end table (tutorial here). It definitely doesn't match the theme but I'm way to sentimental since it was my grandpa's to not keep it in there.  I searched forever online for a comforter that was grey and orange, and this one was exactly what I was looking for.  It's reversible and perfect for this room! 

shelf & frame: hobby lobby
fox: amazon
hedgehog: boutique 
name blocks: Blocks Paper Paint (I LOVE these and am using them for Isaac's monthly update pics!)

crib: amazon
quilt, sheets, pillow: made by me
rug: fabric from Joanne Fabrics
wall decals: hobby lobby

I made Isaac's mobile and I love it.  I saw a few similar ones on etsy but they were all over $50.  I cut out animals from felt and sewed them together.  Spray painted a branch white and made a few yarn balls and used pom pom balls to add to it.  

The blue cart next to the dresser is from Ikea.  It has shoes (so many!), burp clothes, blankets, bibs and towels on it.  I love it! Eventually I'll probably switch it out for toys when he gets older. 

I found this dresser on a garage sale site for $10 and it was bright green, purple and pink.  I painted it and found the knobs at Hobby Lobby.  I collected things from all over for his gallery wall.  One thing is from an antique shop while we were on a family vacation, another from a little boutique store on a girls' weekend and two others gifts from friends.  I love that there is a story behind so many of them. I made the changing pad cover, and ironically haven't even used it once.  Maybe once he starts sleeping in his room I'll use it!

Making things for my kids' nurseries has been one of my favorite things.  I've spent so much time praying for them and dreaming of what life would be like once they were here, while I worked on things for their rooms.  I couldn't be happier with how Isaac's room turned out! 

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