15 Things I’ve Learned During My First Year With 2 Kids

My last baby will be turning a whole year-old next month and with that, I would like to reflect on a couple of things.

My boys are 18months apart; so when I found out that I was pregnant with #2 when #1 was just shy of a year old….well, I was kind of scared.

Not scared….more like frightened.

It’s been a bumpy road, my friends; and having “Irish twins” as they call it is certainly not for the faint of heart. However, when it’s all said and done, this past year has been a whirlwind of emotions(happy and sad), filled with joy and laughs. I’ve learned a lot about myself (especially that I’m stronger than I believe) and I’ve been able to function on a lot less sleep than I ever thought possible.

So I wanted to write down some things that I’ve come to learn during this first year of having 2 children.

In case any of of you lovely people are brave enough to venture into it.

 

  1. Going from 1 to 2 kids is a hard adjustment. I heard it before I even got pregnant and I’ll sit here and tell you now: it’s not a lie…adjusting from 1 to 2 kids is really rough. I went through a real emotional period right towards the end of my pregnancy where I felt sad about my oldest not being the only one anymore. It eventually passed but those first couple of weeks adjusting to two little kiddos was hard!
  2. One of them will always need something. In the throws of having a newborn and a toddler, there is a 100% chance that one of them will ALWAYS need something; a midnight feeding, a diaper change, a snack, another feeding, a consoling hug because they are frustrated…SOMETHING.
  3. Poop. Poop every-where. Twice the diaper-duty and twice the amount of poopy diapers. Thankfully, one is potty-trained but it was a real shit show in the beginning. (no pun-intended)
  4. They will never be happy at the same time. My boys are like yin & yang; when one has a good day and is happy, the other has to balance it all out by being pissed off at the world.
  5. They will keep passing colds to one another for pretty much the whole winter. It’s almost a fact that when child catches a cold, it will be spread to the other one. And it will just keep happening until it’s eventually spring-time. Runny noses. Forever.
  6. Hand-me downs are the BEST thing since sliced bread. The best thing about having 2 boys is the fact that my youngest gets to wear all of his big brother’s clothes. ($$$ saved) Let’s face it though; even if I had a girl she would be rocking baseball onesies and dinosaur pants.
  7. Leaving the house to go ANYWHERE will take twice as long. Forever late.
  8. The house will NEVER be clean. When you clean up one child’s mess, there will most likely be a mess from the other child. Embrace it. You have 2 kids now so people sort of get that your house will be a crap show.
  9. They will never sleep at the same time. It will take MONTHS before both of them get their naps in sync and even then, one of them is always bound to wake up earlier than the other.
  10. You will never be caught up on laundry. For some reason, adding an extra kid to the mix means 20x the amount of dirty laundry. You will never get it all done. Laundry. Forever.
  11. You’ll find yourself a lot more “chill” the second time around. Oh, you fell down? Get up, you’re okay. You bumped your head? You’re fine. Food fell on the floor? Just eat it. Way way wayyyy more laid-back with the second baby.
  12.  You’ll find yourself taking less baby pictures of your newborn. I’m so guilty of this….but I just didn’t take *as many* baby pics of my 2nd as I did with my 1st. (Now I know why my parents have more pictures of my older sister than of me). When your juggling two kiddos, life is chaotic! Granted, I still have a lot of him but looking back at his first year, I really wish I took more.
  13. Those car grocery shopping carts at the store are life. And when there’s one available, you know it’s going to be a good day.
  14. The first year (the 2nd time around) it will literally fly by. So enjoy it! Embrace the crazy. It won’t last long.
  15. I’ve learned that my hands are full….but my heart is fuller. There will always be enough love, enough kisses and enough hugs for my 2 boys.

<3

Before & After: What Having Kids Did To Me

I recently came across an old picture of me from a few years back. Let me tell you…the world always has a way of humbling you.

I was in my early 20’s and about 50 pounds lighter. This was BEFORE I had my babies. I was skinner, well-rested & actually had the time to care about my appearance.  I mean, I actually had the time to selfie. Obviously, time & babies will change a person. I’ve lost a lot of sleep in the course of 2.5 years.

My before picture was taken in spring 2014. Since then, I’ve moved four times (two times internationally), had two healthy baby boys, and gained around 45-50 pounds.

I’ve seen something a little while back about parents posting their before & after photos detailing how parenthood has changed them.  So, I decided to take an after picture of myself; for sheer amusement and torture, and did a side by side comparison.

 

 

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2014 & 2018.

You guys. Time really sucks.

 

Granted, on my before, I was getting ready to go out and had my makeup and hair all nice…you know, because I didn’t have children to run after. And on my after, I was only on my first cup of coffee and my eyebrows haven’t been touched in like 5 months. Anyway, you can clearly see the difference that only 4 years have done. 4 years. 2 kids. And battling postpartum depression. This is what it looks like. #nofilter

Perhaps someday I will get back to my before picture…back to my before weight. That would be amazing. In reality, it will probably take years….so for now, I’ll enjoy my babies while they’re still babies. This is real life, you guys. No nannies, personal trainer or someone to do my makeup. It’s all me. Au-naturel. I better learn to embrace it because I still have many years of toddlering to get through.

 

 

To the mom….

To the thirty-something year-old women that is childless and has suffered three miscarriages and always gets asked?: “when are you having babies?”

To the mother of four with another on the way that constantly gets those looks and questions of: “did you really want all of those kids?”

To the mom that only has one child and constantly gets hounded with the question: “when are you going to give him/her a sibling?”

To the mom with the awful postpartum depression that desperately wants another baby but can’t imagine going through that again.

To the mom that has all girls and gets asked: “when are you trying for that boy?!”

To the mom that has all boys and gets asked: “when are you trying for that girl?!”

To the mom that ate healthy and smart during her pregnancy.

To the mom that drank coffee and gave into her McDonald’s cravings.

To the mom that chooses to birth in her home with no drugs and a doula. 

To the mom that chooses to birth in a hospital with doctors and nurses around and gets that epidural. 

To the mom that has a well-thought out birth plan and three names picked out for each gender.

To the mom that just wings it and has no idea what she’s naming her baby.

To the mom that breastfeeds and nurses her baby out in public with no cover.

To the mom that formula feeds her baby.

To the mom that uses a pacifier to soothe and is in no hurry to wean after age 1.

To the mom that’s in no hurry to wean her baby off the breast after age 1.

To the the mom that lets her baby cry it out.

To the mom that co-sleeps.

To the mom that pushes her baby in a stroller.

To the mom that wears her baby in a carrier.

To the mom that feeds her baby Gerber baby food.

To the mom that baby-led weans.

To the mom that prepares healthy, organic and gluten-free meals for her kids.

To the mom that feeds her kid chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and the occasional Happy Meal.

To the mom that puts Huggies and Pampers on her baby.

To the mom that puts cloth diapers on her baby.

To the mom that keeps her home spotless.

To the mom that lets her kids eat off the floor.

To the mom that buys brand new clothes.

To the mom that relies on Goodwill and second-hand stores.

To the mom that reads to her kids and doesn’t allow any screen time.

To the mom that turns on the TV to Dinosaur Train to get a few minutes of peace and quiet.

To the mom that documents every milestone in the baby book.

To the mom that has no time to write it down but swears that she will get to it someday.

To the mom that rear-faces her kid’s car seat until age four years old.

To the mom that rear-faces until her kid is two.

To the mom that plans the most well thought out birthday parties with a special theme and spectacular cake.

To the mom that has a small celebration with a store bought cake around the kitchen table.

To the mom that stays at home with her babies and is there for every moment and milestone.

To the mom that works outside the home to provide for her babies.

To the mom that gifts her kids books, blocks and dolls.

To the mom that gifts her toddler an iPad.

To the mom that enforces a solid bedtime of 7PM.

To the mom that wings it on bedtime.

To the mom that chooses not to spank as a form of discipline.

To the mom that does choose to spank as a form of discipline.

To the mom that has a million pictures of her kids hung up on the walls of her home.

To the mom that still doesn’t have pictures of her second born even developed.

To the mom that decides to give her son only gender-specific toys.

To the mom that doesn’t care if her son plays with dolls.

To the mom that watches her kid tentatively at the park.

To the mom buried in her phone at the park because she desperately needed some “me” time.

To the mom that home-schools.

To the mom that puts her kid in a public school.

To the mom that makes crafts, bakes home made cookies and attends every PTA meeting.

To the mom that barely remembers to fill out a school permission slip and can’t sew to save her life.

To the mom that has never-ending patience and kindness.

To the mom that loses her shit way too easily then feels incredibly guilty.

To the mom that censors her kid’s music and TV shows.

To the mom that sings Eminem songs right along with her kid.

To the mom that holds everything together when she feels like falling apart.

 

 

This is for all the moms out there that do their best every single day.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation. 

We’re all doing what we can to get by. Please stop being hard on yourself.

You’re pretty badass.

<3

 

 

 

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS! {and the boys mini-shoot}

It’s that time of year again!

This year, we get to celebrate as a family of 6 {of course we count our fur-daughters}. Last year, baby Bernie was in my belly and I was daydreaming of what life was going to be like with two small kiddos.

Beaux enjoyed his Christmas last year but he still didn’t “get” the whole Santa-thing {or unwrapping the presents…he was very gentle with the wrapping paper} so we are looking forward to what he will be like this year! The tree is up. Baby-gate included. Beaux helped by handing me the ornaments and saying “ooohh.” He really likes when the lights are lit and he helped Daddy put the Angel on top of the tree.

 

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Beaux helping Daddy…

It will be neat to see how he handles the presents this year and what he will think of Santa! Also, he might be into celebrating traditions a little more… I think he will be way more interested in making ornaments and his night before Christmas box. What type of traditions do you celebrate? Every year will only get better and better….having kids around this time of the year is THE BEEEEST!!

 

{look who wants to get in on the fun}

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Someone is trying to explore this weird new thing in our living room….

 

It will be Bernie’s first Christmas!

These firsts our so special to me! Even though he will have no clue to what’s going on, it’s still a fun time.

And do you see those ‘Mistletoes’ hung up by the tree? The first canvas is of Beaux’s little feet done when he was just three months old {soooo tiny!} and now Bernie has one of his own, done at seven months.

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I wanted the boys to get Christmas pictures done this year {and totally knowing that I had no energy, time, or patience to do it myself…..} I found a nice lady here to do a mini-shoot with the boys. She’s a military wife and runs her little photography business out of her home and charged a reasonable fee for the shoot, so why not. Originally, the shoot was going to be done outside, but German weather had other plans for us {that day it was rainy & muddy} so she moved the props to her kitchen. It still looked really cute!

So we got to this nice lady’s house and the boys were all dressed up in their best for these pictures. We managed to get out of the car and into her house with no mud or wetness on us, and Bernie managed to keep the spit-up at bay {at least until after the shoot was over}. Every-thing was fine. Beaux was shy like normal and Bernie was bouncing along for the ride. And then it was time to actually do the shoot and things went south.

Beaux didn’t want to leave my side, so I suggested that we start with Bernie first. Well, my usual very social and pleasant infant had a weird case of stranger danger that day {or maybe he was just tired} and wanted NO part in being there on the floor, surrounded by Christmas decor and having a stranger point a camera in his face. So my plan of having Bernie test the waters to show Beaux that everything was fine back-fired. Oh well. I gave Bernie a bottle and in the meantime, Beaux was slowly warming up to the nice lady. She was verryyyyy patient for not having children of her own and she thought of a brilliant idea: she introduced her magic sled to Beaux. She told him that he could sit on it, and it worked. His mood instantly changed and the smiles came out! She got some GREAT shots!! {see below for my favorite}

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He looks way too grown!!  

After this, it got easier! Beaux was okay now with the nice lady taking his picture, and he was even more okay with this cool sled. He even wanted Bubba to get in on the fun.

 

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My favorite <3

I’m so happy she captured this one. I’m not sure how many she was able to get of them both on the sled, but I assume it was only a few since Bubba was still a little wobbly sitting up at this time and was only on the sled for a few seconds. But she got it. And it’s my favorite one of them all. And it’s even better that they are both looking AND have smiles.

We chose this one of the boys to go on our Christmas cards this year {designed by Shutterfly}

{hey, I hear they’re holiday cards are 50% off right now. you better check that out}

We got so many compliments about out holiday card. I love choosing Shutterfly for our cards. It’s December 4th and my cards are sent out. Done and done.

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 {one more time on that cool sled!}

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Then it was time to get Bernie’s solo-shots. He was warmed up now so we went for it!

And, he was way more cooperative!

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those big eyes!!!

 

and….

 

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too darn precious!{we even managed to get a little smile here} you wouldn’t know that fifteen-minutes ago he was on that same spot crying.

 

So overall, the mini-shoot was a SUCCESS! I’m so in love with the pictures. I want every one blown up on canvas, haha! I was so worried that the boys wouldn’t cooperate but they were fine.

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Karley from Timeless Image Photograph  was AMAZING. She was so patient and warm. Plus, her reasonable prices cannot be beat. I’m even thinking about going back in the spring when she offers her other mini-shoot. So, if you are in the Ramstien area you HAVE to check out Karley’s work. Other than mini-shoots, Karley offers newborn, maternity, family portraits and engagement photos.

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Here’s the last of my boys! They are so adorable {if I do say so myself} and they are growing too darn fast!! 

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Now that the decorations are up and the cards are sent out, it’s time to finish shopping and to wrap those presents. It’s also time to watch a ton of Christmas movies and listen to way too much Christmas music! I love this time of year!

I hope the rest of your December is filled with happiness, memories and endless amounts of hot cocoa!

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Drop me a line below… what are your Christmas traditions? I’m always looking to do more with the boys around this time of year.