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.

 

 

80 Rules For My Sons

My boys are growing so fast and it’s no secret that one day, they will be men. I’ll be sending them off into this big & scary world and that is pretty terrifying.

I have so much to teach my sons and so much that I want them to learn. If I had to give them some rules, these would be it.

I know that I left out a lot, but here are a couple that I had no trouble writing down.

 

 

 

1. Live everyday with a full heart and open mind.

2. Remember that every choice comes with a consequence…and a reputation.

3. Always hold the door open for other people but especially a lady.

4. Open your girlfriend’s car door. Chivalry is not dead.

5. If she says that nothing is wrong…don’t believe her. Ask her. Listen.

6. You can catch more flies with honey then with vinegar.

7. Whatever you post on the internet is there forever..even if you erase it. Don’t be foolish.

8. Sit with the new kid at lunch.

9. If it’s something that doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Always trust your gut.

10. Nothing good ever happens after 1AM.

11. Video games are not your life. Get outside.

12. Hard work is the foundation to a successful life.

13. Put the toilet seat down every-time. I don’t want to fall in the toilet at 4AM.

14. Don’t drink or drive or get in the car with anyone that was drinking. If you need a ride, call me. No questions asked. I just want you safe.

15. Always shake hands with a stranger when you meet them. And look them in the eye.

16. The women you choose to marry will be my daughter-in-law and holds the foundation for our relationship. Please, choose her wisely.

17. You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself. Work on that first.

18. Your teenage years will probably be the most awkward and dreaded of your life, but I promise you, they go by fast & there’s better stuff ahead. Hang in there.

19. Play at least one sport or extra-circular activity.

20. College isn’t for everyone and I don’t want you to feel pressured to go…trade-schools are amazing and there’s nothing wrong with working with your hands.

21. Save your money. You’ll be glad you did. You don’t need that new cell-phone or TV.

22. I won’t always be around to make your meals & clean your clothes. So learn how to do those things. It will also make your future wife happy.

23. A simple smile & hello go a long way. Be kind for no reason.

24. There’s nothing that a cup of coffee or a run can’t fix.

25. If you ever have babies, just change the damn diapers. You saw what she had to go through.

26. Treat your girlfriend/wife like the Queen she is.

27. If you’re bored, find me. I’ll give you something to do.

28. Your never too old to follow your dreams. Never say never.

29. Watch football with your dad, even if you hate it. You’ll be glad that you did one day.

30. Take as many pictures as you can. One day, it will be all that’s left of someone.

31. If you love someone, tell them. Never leave them guessing.

32. If you have more than one girlfriend at a time and bring them home, you better believe that I’ll call them the wrong name on purpose. Don’t be a jerk.

33. You may fight with your brother and disagree but in the end remember, you two are all you have.

34. I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it. Your never too old for a whoopin’.

35. Please remember the important dates: anniversaries, birthdays, Mother’s Day,  Father’s Day. And a simple phone call goes a long way.

36. Don’t be cheap. Splurge a little. You can’t take it with you when you go.

37. Consent is a two-way street. Don’t be a jerk.

38. Put your phone down and take a look at the world around you.

39. Go on Sunday drives just because.

40. Little notes and compliments go a lot farther than chocolate and roses.

41. Nobody likes a cocky person. Get off your high-horse.

42. Nobody wants to be friends with the guy that talks about himself. Listen to other people, too.

43. Don’t get too high on the bottle.

44. A true friend is rare and extremely hard to find. Keep them close.

45. Brush your teeth every-day. Mouthwash and gum doesn’t count.

46. I want to hear from you, so call me. I might be missing you.

47. Never raise a hand to a women. I don’t care the circumstance.

48. Water is extremely important so drink it.

49. School doesn’t define you, but it will set the way for your future. Please try.

50. Life won’t hand you what you want. You need to work for it.

51. Money isn’t everything. Learn to enjoy the simple things in life because as you get older, that’s what you want.

52. Sitting home on a Friday night with your parents isn’t uncool.

53. Don’t do something to fit in. It’s pretty cool to stand out & say no.

54. Be nice to your teachers. They deal with you & about fifty other little turds.

55. Never let the gas tank go passed half.

56. Ketchup can go on eggs. Don’t listen to your father.

57. Whenever you get annoyed by me, remember that you used to always follow me in the bathroom.

58. Just wake up with the baby and let her sleep. She will be forever grateful.

59. Manners are still a thing- never forget them.

60. Listen to the stories of people older than you. They have a lot of wisdom & you can learn something from them.

61. That job that your killing yourself for- that company can replace you in a week. Don’t make it your life.

62. Clean out your fridge once a month. You never know what’s growing in there.

63. Reading for fun is possible. Make yourself get lost in a book. And women like smart men.

64. Bubble baths are not just for women. Learn how to relax. You’ll feel better.

65. Just let her shop and don’t roll your eyes. And carry the bags.

66. There’s nothing better than the love of a pet. Adopt, don’t shop. There’s plenty of animals that need a forever home.

67. There’s nothing better then a sense of  humor.

68. Learn to laugh at your imperfections. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

69. Stand up for what you believe in, even if no one else believes it.

70. Bring her coffee and breakfast in bed.

71. Communication is the key to a strong relationship. Talk.

72. If you see it happening, that’s just as bad as doing it. Stop it or walk away.

73. Your never too old to go on the swings at the park.

74. Have goals in life.

75. A man is as only as strong as his word.

76. Your heart will get broken and it will feel horrible. I’ll be here to pick up the pieces & to let you know: you’ll be okay.

77. Own at least one nice dress shirt, a pair of khakis & dress shoes. You never know when you’ll need them.

78. Clean up after your messes. Nobody likes a slob.

79. Your never too old to kiss your mother.

80. Spread your wings & fly…there’s a big world out there and you will do great things. But home will always be there for you. Always.

 

 

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Why Grocery Shopping is my Hell

Out of all my adult-y responsibilities, the one which I loathe the most would be grocery shopping. Ugh.

It’s kind of funny though (or ironic) because when I was a kid, I would LOVE to go to the supermarket with my mom or dad. I would hang on the back of the shopping cart, pick out the best goodies like Dunkaroos and colored fruit juices shaped like barrels, and pull out as many coupons from those red coupon machines. It was bliss. I also loved to sneak those little candies that were set out- surprise- that is actually illegal. Moving on.

Now that I’m an adult that’s nearing 30 and a mom to two toddlers, I have realized one and true thing: grocery shopping is my Hell.

There is hardly anything cute or fun about taking a trip to a supermarket with toddlers. Heck, even when I go by myself it’s a struggle! Once again, my faith in society gets lost when I realize how rude people are over a $1.99 CHIPS AHOY sale. It’s also such a daunting process of making a list, actually driving to the store, finding your groceries, checking out, loading up your car, then driving home and unloading it all AND FINALLY putting it away. I’m tired thinking about that.

My late-Grandmother {bless her heart} used to get her groceries delivered to her. She was a genius. Sadly, not every grocery store offers this AMAZING luxury {but uhm, why not? they could make A KILLING. Because I know a lot of tired and overwhelmed mamas that would devour this option.}

Ok. Ok. So getting to my point here. My recent grocery trip inspired me to compile together the reasons why I loathe doing the weekly grocery-thing.

You want to make sure to read to the end so you could score a free grocery shopping checklist that will save you mega-time in the store with your tiny humans.

 

 

The car shopping carts for kids.

Those things are like GOLD and in the rarity that there is one available (and you better pray you can get one), it’s anything but fun to push around a crowded store. But it keeps my kids sane…for the first ten minutes. Soon enough, all hell breaks loose because they’re sitting too close to each-other and a screaming/fighting battle ensues. O, and did I mention how SMALL those car carts are? Can’t plan on buying too much that day or one kid will end up walking beside you so you could fit your Charmin Ultra-Soft in.

It’s not possible to just get in and out.

I ALWAYS vow to myself to buy what’s only on my list….to go straight to what I NEED to get out of there fast. That never works because nine times out of ten, I can’t find what I’m looking for (stop changing your shit around!) or my oldest is begging for cheese at the deli and now I have to wait twenty-minutes for freaking cheese.

The never-ending begging from the tiny people.

Now that my oldest can communicate fairly well, he ALWAYS points out stuff he wants at the grocery store. He will say please..I will say no…he will say please again…and whine and I will cave. I’ve gotten tired of constantly telling him no, so we agreed on “one treat per shopping visit” and that lasts for twenty seconds…until he sees a dog toy soccer ball and wants it. Good lord.

My realization that people are oblivious is mind-numbing.

I can be a real people-person….but if you’ve seen me in a grocery store, then probably not. My anxiety is at an all-time high when I’m food shopping and my kids aren’t the only humans that set it off. PEOPLE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, you do not need to stand in the middle of the aisle. Also, Alice, can you please let me squeeze in there to grab a box of Kraft? Your five-minute meandering over which flavor of cup o’ noodles you should get is a little overboard.

STUFF ISN’T WHERE IT SHOULD BE.

So this one time, I was on a never-ending quest for sun-dried tomatoes and I looked ALL OVER supermarket land. Much to my dismay, I became impatient and frustrated, and left the store without them. The next time, I was determined to locate those freaking sun-dried tomatoes. I finally did. And they weren’t where {I} assumed they would be at. THEY SHOULD BE NEXT TO THE PASTA SAUCE!

CHECK-OUT HELL.

Most of the time, waiting in the check-out line can be just as worse as battling off my kids from the cookie aisle. There’s about 10 people behind me in line YET only ONE register is open. This is when the tiny people begin to melt-down because, bless their hearts, they don’t understand the concept of time and waiting. Self-checkout has become my BFF.

BAGGER HELL.

Ugh. Ultimate pet-peeve right here. MY CHICKEN DOES NOT GO IN WITH MY VEGGIES. This should just be baggers-101 or something but I KNOW I’m not the only person that feels strongly over this. There’s also a very fine line of putting way too many canned items into ONE plastic bag OR putting one, single box of granola bars into a bag by itself. I don’t get it. Again, self-checkout. BFF.

Arguing with the self-checkout machine.

Ok. I know. I said that the self-checkout and I were BFFs, but only up until the point when it repeatedly tells me to move my item to the bagging area. I DID!! And that’s when I find myself arguing with a self-checkout machine that I know I need a mental time-out.

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Just Eat The Damn Cookie

You guys. It’s been one HELL of a year. One crazy and chaotic-filled year with SO MUCH joy yet of course, there’s been sadness. {because we can’t have a PERFECT year where nothing goes wrong.} Life doesn’t work like that.

Either way, this year is another one to chalk up on the board as “almost complete.” I thought 2016 was nuts but for some reason, life always wants to surprise me and say “hold my beer.”

I’d be perfectly okay with a boring 2018. do you hear me?

 

So here I am. It’s December 12th and Christmas will be in a few short weeks. None of my kid’s presents are wrapped and I didn’t even start shopping for Ricky. I did, however, get a jump on baking cookies and have consumed well over my desired amount for the year. Because even when life is crappy and things aren’t panning out, there’s always a little thing called baking, or food therapy. Cookies make everything better.

I made time to bake those damn cookies and let me tell you, I enjoyed every single one. In previous years {except for last year because I was pregnant} I would limit myself and worry about every darn calorie I was shoveling in my mouth. This year, HELLO, I have no care. At. ALL. I’m not at a my weight goal yet pre-BABIES- who cares. A cookie or five, or ten, won’t kill me.

Did you hear what I said? I’m telling you to eat the damn cookie.

It’s the Holidays. And while that might be a lame reason to over-indulge, so what. Quit over-analyzing those calories and just eat it. You can burn it off tomorrow. Have balance. Life is too short to worry about how much fat you might gain from holiday eating and drinking. If it makes you happy then just do it, please. Again, you can burn it off tomorrow.

It won’t kill you.

Now I’m not saying to devour a whole two-dozen chocolate chip cookies while washing them down with a bottle of wine. Or, you can do that, who am I to say no? Anyway, just do what makes you HAPPY this Holiday season.

And eat the damn cookie.

 

And when your pants don’t fit, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for.