May 29, 2012

all those letters

At the end of 9th grade, two of my best friends moved away.  I was close enough to one of them that I wrote her a letter almost every day of 10th grade.  She became my journal, and occasionally, she wrote me back.  And now she has a beautiful song and a beautiful video.  Enjoy.

May 27, 2012

my new favorite app

I am not a photographer, but the Camera+ app makes me think I could be. And my love for my iPhone continues to grow...

May 25, 2012

on returning to work

Going back to work after I had Cara was devastatingly difficult.  I am aware that I sound a little melodramatic, but my life was different back then.  I was clinging to my "pre-mommy" life, still coaching cheerleading and trying to do everything I did before I had a baby.

And, yeah, that doesn't work.

Fortunately, circumstances have changed.  The second baby isn't quite the shock to the system that the first baby was (at least for me), and I have summer break to look forward to after only 11 work days.  In fact, I only have three days left.  WooHoo!  I think there are a few other reasons why being a working mom has felt a little easier this go around (and who doesn't love a list??):

1.  I love my job.  A little time off makes the heart grow fonder, or something like that.  I missed my coworkers and my kids, but I also missed the sense of accomplishment that comes with working.  Staying at home with the babies is fun, don't get me wrong, but teaching is also a big part of who I am.

2.  I have my creative outlet.  I have spent quite a few evenings sewing, which, as I've said before, is like therapy for me.  I haven't been working on anything even remotely complicated, but the cute factor is still pretty high, if you ask me.

Almost three is an adorable age.

because clearly, one top is never enough...

3.  Breastfeeding and pumping have not been as stressful this time.  With Cara, I was constantly worried about my supply.  I stretched myself really thin, and I eventually gave up pumping and breastfeeding to add some extra time to my day.  I just couldn't juggle everything.  This time, I'm not nearly so busy.  However, my schedule at work means that I can only manage to pump once, and after my first week, I was a little worried.  Fortunately, I have a dear friend who is a lactation consultant, and she didn't mind handing out some free advice via email.  (Thanks, Courtney!)  I started pumping in the morning about an hour before Colin wakes up and before I go to bed, and all my supply worries vanished.  

4.  Dry shampoo.  Who needs showers?  Okay, seriously, I still take some showers, but I don't have to wash my hair and fix it every day.  And there are so many other things I would rather do than spend an hour taking a shower and getting ready.  Like sleep.  Or watch Dancing with the Stars.

5.  PJ and I are trying really hard to work together.  I think this is the most important reason why going back to work has been easier.  It wasn't that we weren't trying when Cara was born, but we didn't know what on earth was going on.  I was a crazy person, and I didn't know what to do to make things easier.  This time, we have doubled the number of children, but we also know a little better how to handle them.  Experience and a date night or two have made all the difference for us.  

And in case you need a good dose of baby cuteness, here you go:

May 17, 2012

it's been a little while...

So, it's been a little while since my last update, and I have a good reason: I went back to work this week.  Not that working is a particularly bad thing.  I love my coworkers, and I found that I even missed my students.  They are funny and quirky, and now that I am no longer 13 months pregnant, my sense of humor is back.  As it turns out, they like me better than they liked their sub.

These babies are ridiculous; they are killing me with cute.  Cara is the best big sister ever.  In fact, she wants to invite her friends from school over so that she can show them her baby brother.  I swear, I did not put those words in her mouth, but I sure do want to remember that she said them.

Colin is 8 and 1/2 weeks old now and bursting with personality.  His smiles melt my heart, especially when he flashes me a few when I get home from school.  He's curious and engaged, looking around and taking in the world, even though the world still overwhelms him sometimes.  That's okay.  I will snuggle him up away from the world any time.

It's been perfect play-in-the-yard weather, and boy, do we love our yard.  Cara is in heaven with her princess pool and her new swing set.  

I realized that we are now the parents of "kids," not just "babies."  

And there was the beach last weekend.  I think I should get to spend every Mother's Day at the beach.

That water was cold, but she still got in.  And her sweet daddy did too.

Even Colin was a little beach baby, kicking his feet in the sand.  I couldn't ask for anything better.

May 7, 2012

finding our groove

Colin is seven weeks old today, and I'm beginning to feel like we're getting the hang of this whole "two children" thing.  The days are sort of following a predictable pattern--I can't say "routine" because things only happen in order, not on time--and I feel a lot less stressed and perhaps even productive.  In fact, I have managed to complete a new sewing project and go to the grocery store all in one day.  Amazing.

Colin has started sleeping from 7 or 7:30 pm to about 3 am, waking up to eat, and then sleeping again until 6:30 or maybe even 7 if I'm lucky (I was today!).  It's amazing how going from two night wakings to one can make me feel almost normal again.  Yes, I can manage to go back to work next week if I only have to wake up once at night.

Naps are still a little iffy, but I know that Colin needs one after about an hour or an hour and a half of being awake.  I'm feeling particularly grateful as he is now on his second over-an-hour nap today.  When he gets these longer sleeps, he's so adorably happy, laughing and smiling at his mommy when she tickles his belly and kisses his cheeks.

We've gotten into the nursing groove too.  Colin's getting faster at eating and really good at cuddling.  I treasure these nursing sessions when he snuggles in and stares at me with those gorgeous dark eyes.

Cara is a sweet, patient big sister, although she doesn't always understand how to play with her baby brother.  She will put toys on his face, not realizing that he can't move them, but she loves to lay under the play gym with him and giggle with him.  This morning, she told me that Colin's crying makes her sad, and several times, she has tried to give him a pacifier when he's been crying.  I wonder if she remembers what life was like before her baby brother.

When she's not playing at big sister, Cara is really into imaginative play.  She creates these hilarious scenarios with her My Little Ponies in the bathtub that crack me up.  They have adventures, but they also get in trouble and go to time out.

Yesterday, we managed to get everyone dressed and to church almost on time.  Colin went to the nursery for the first time, and I only got paged once.  We even dared to head to our favorite Mexican restaurant after church, the first time we've attempted to go out to eat with both children.  And nothing disastrous happened.  It was actually pretty nice to get out of the house for a bit, to do something that felt normal.

The big test is coming.  PJ is taking pictures tonight, so it will be up to me to get these children to bed.  Alone.  All by myself.  I haven't attempted this one before, and I'm trying really hard not to be nervous.  They can smell fear It's all about confidence. :-)

May 6, 2012

the paper doll dress

This is my favorite dress.  I love everything about it: the fabric, the trim, the princess seams, the contrasting lining, the finishing touches, the fact that it cost me nothing to make, the little girl wearing it...

This is the Oliver and  S tea party dress again (remember my first try?), only with a lot less difficulty this time.  All of those pesky puckering issues disappeared. (In case you are making this dress and having trouble with puckering, just stop pinning.  Only pin the bodice to the skirt at the side seams and the darts; then, ease the center panel to match the bodice with your fingers as you sew very slowly.  I promise it will work.)

A little photo heavy?  I think not.

I am so thankful for my husband who took over baby duty for a good part of the day on Saturday so that I could sew.  Sometimes I just need a break, and believe me, I know how lucky I am to have an understanding husband.  This is my outlet, my stress release.  It's crazy how recharged I feel at the end of project.  Thanks for the gift of time and a little solitude, babe!

May 5, 2012

life lately via instagram

fancy hair
six lemons + 1/2 cup simple syrup + 6ish cups water = delicious
the artist
Saturday morning
happy boy in his homemade outfit
Cara and Daddy putting together her new tricycle
making friends with Elmo and Brown Bear
finally getting around to putting Cara's paper doll dress together
rediscovering her old baby toys
recipe here

May 1, 2012

six weeks

We have been a family of four for six weeks.  As cliche as it sounds, sometimes it feels like forever (that's the sleep deprivation talking), and sometimes it feels like a minute.  The relationship blossoming between these two brings me more joy than anything else right now.  There has been no jealousy, just love that grows exponentially every day.  And snuggles.  Lots of snuggles.
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