Why Raising Toddlers {close in age} Is Really, Really Exhausting AF

Hi. *yawns*. O, I’m sorry. I’m just rubbing my tired eyeballs as I try to chug my second cup of coffee before icicles form on top of my “World’s Best Mom” mug. I’m also trying to prevent one child from grabbing a knife from the kitchen counter while screaming at the other one to not jump off the sofa.

Contrary to what that mug says, I’ve been feeling less than anyone’s ‘best mom’ these days. Perhaps I’m too hard on myself but lately, I feel like my kids are getting the short end of the stick. They’re both going through some rough ‘phases’ right now and it’s hell. Why? Because raising toddlers is really, really exhausting.

No, I’m not just really tired, I’m exhausted. I’m emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted.

The moment when I peed on that stick and those two faint lines appeared, I knew how hard it was going to be having kids just 18 months apart. It was like all of the worse things flashed before my eyes: double dirty-diapers, double melt-downs, double teething, double the fights, double the chaos.

In the beginning– it was hard. Now? It’s harder. You may think that I have my hands full and you are absolutely correct. 

Motherhood was golden when my second son was just an infant– he slept 95% of the time and wasn’t mobile. Sure, I had to factor in the multiple feedings per day and my first son going through the whole ‘big brother transition’, but looking back, THAT was the easy part. Phew. I was so naive back then.

I now have a 2.5 and 1 year old and I’m drowning. I’m not being dramatic, by any means, because I really, really am drowning– let’s just say that the {proverbial shit hit the fan} once my youngest turned 1. Game. Over.

If you’re curious as to why, I listed some of the reasons below. (And if you have two kids really close in age, then you feel me on this sista.)

 


 

They are beginning to fight with each-other.

I thought that I had a few more years before I would be refereeing my boys–my oldest will put my other son in a  headlock and pin him down. I’m breaking up fights more than I get to sit down.  O, and it’s not only physical they fight over ANYTHING… who has the better toy, who has the better sippy cup (they’re BOTH BLUE), who has the better food (YOU BOTH HAVE STRAWBERRIES). I feel like my day is 98% telling them to leave each other alone.

One of them is ALWAYS grumpy AF.

The only time my boys are content at the exact same time is when they’re eating or sleeping.

One of them is ALWAYS awake.

 THEY NEVER SLEEP AT THE SAME TIME. It would NEVER, EVER happen if both of them napped at the exact, same sweet time. Never. That would mean, falling asleep and waking up at the exact, same sweet time. And night-time is a gamble since our oldest sleeps IN our bed and frequently tosses and turns.

There’s always a phase.

One of them is ALWAYS going through some sort of ‘phase’ that makes life hard AF– because, like I said earlier, one of them is always grumpy.

Going out of the house feels like a freaking marathon.

If I could stay in my house 24/7 (without the risk of my boys or MYSELF going completely insane) I would. The whole process of going out is soooo daunting that if I’m planning on being out with my two boys, it better be worth it.

Grocery shopping is Hell.

If I had a to describe what Hell would be like, it would be grocery shopping with two toddlers. I can’t say much more about it except… I loathe it with every fiber in me.

They feed off of each-other.

Ugh. Yes. Whenever one of them has an uber melt-down moment, it’s a guarantee that the other one will! My youngest is notorious for being a ‘sympathy crier’ so if my oldest is in time-out and crying, my youngest immediately reacts. The worse is probably when we’re in the car and THEY BOTH start going off.

 

So there are a few {of the many} reasons why raising toddlers is exhausting! Can you relate? Don’t forget mama, we’re in this crazy and hectic mom-life together. x.

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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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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.

 

 

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On The Days When I Need A Break

On the days when I need a break…give me a hug. Tell me I’m doing the best that I can.


On the days when I need a break from being a mommy…hand me a glass of wine and run me a bubble bath.


On the days when our son is being so bold and I want to rip my hair out….remind me that he won’t stay this little forever.


On the days when the house is a mess and the sink is full of dishes….remind me that some people don’t have that luxury.


On the days when I fight with my husband and get annoyed at him….remind me how bickering is completely healthy in a marriage.


On the days when I feel ugly…remind me that beauty  is way more than skin deep.


On the days when I’m so tired from staying up with a cranky, teething baby…remind me how some women, would give anything to be in that position. And give me coffee.


On the days when I just can’t keep up with the endless laundry…remind me how fortunate I am to have clothes and loved ones to care for.


On the days when I feel like a bad mom…remind me that my little boy is happy.


On the days when I feel like I should be doing something different…remind me that my son is healthy.


On the days when I don’t feel important or appreciated…tell me that I am.

On the days when I blame myself….remind me not to live with regrets.

On the days when I simply feel defeated…lift me up.

On the days when I cry because I’m an emotional basket-case…offer your shoulder.

On the days when I just want to talk things through…listen.

On the days when I’m too exhausted to prepare a nice, healthy dinner…be content with frozen pizza.

On the days when I give you that look when you get home from work….offer a helping hand. And pour me a glass of wine.

On the days when I hate myself for still not losing all the baby weight…tell meI’m beautiful.

On the days when my patience is running paper thin…let me have a moment to myself.

On the days when I feel like I can’t win for losing…tell me that tomorrow is another day.


On the days when I cry because my son is growing up too fast….remind me to give him one more kiss.



These days happen often. It doesn’t make us a bad person, because moments simply don’t defy us. It’s a bad day, not a bad life.

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I Hugged My Son A Little Tighter Today

I hugged my son a little tighter today.

I’m not naive about the world around me. I know that awful things happen to good people. I know that not everything can always be in my (or my husband’s) control. I know that life can be so sweet and happy one minute, and turn ugly and painful the next. I know this, because I’m seeing it all around. Unfortunately, other people’s tragedies and heartbreaks are my reasons for giving my son extra kisses and extra hugs. To snuggle with him a little longer. To make silly faces and play peek-a-boo just so I could see his toothless smile and hear his cute little giggle. To cherish every milestone, every moment; and to remember that his bad phases are not forever. I hugged my son a little tighter today for my own selfish reasons. Because he’s my baby, and growing up so fast. I’ll cuddle him for nap time. I’ll hold him when he’s upset. I’ll read that story for the fifth time. I don’t want to look back and regret not doing these things. 




I hugged my son a little tighter today in honor of all the mommas that heartbreakingly will never get the chance to again. I grieve for them- I hope they can all find some form of comfort. No parent should have to bury their child, their baby. It’s such an unfathomable concept I never want to deal with. I hugged my son a little tighter today because one day, he won’t be my 18 pound little baby anymore. In a few short years, we will send him off to kindergarten with an over-sized backpack and lunchbox in hand. And while he will be excited to be a big boy and venture off to school, I will cry and wonder where the time went to. It will be an exciting new chapter, but deep down, I can’t help but worry;  these days, public schools aren’t even a safe haven since the tragedies of Columbine and Sandy Hook. Isn’t it so sad how these places we felt comfort in going to as kids, has turned into the unknown for the next generation? There shouldn’t be a need for metal detectors and armed guards at elementary schools. As parents, we should feel comfort when our children aren’t with us and believe that they are safe. I should be able to let my son play freely outside, or walk to the bus stop alone. But, it’s a different world anymore. There are so many terrible people that hurt children, and I just don’t understand it. I look into my son’s eyes and wonder how people can hurt something so innocent. I just want to protect him forever. I want to keep him safe from harm..to keep him safe from this cruel world.

And then, there are events that can spiral out of our control. One thing I’ve learned since being a mom is accidents happen. We aren’t perfect people. We try our hardest to do what we believe is best. We can follow the rules and still get the shitty end of the stick. We may believe that our families and loved ones are invincible from tragedy-bad things can never happen to us- so when we see a terrible and unthinkable event occur, we judge. We need so much less judgement and more understanding. This world could use a lot more empathy.

I hugged my son a little tighter today. Before I became a mom, I didn’t have this other little life to worry over. Now, stories in the media shake me to the core. All I can think about is, it can happen to us. so I hug my son. It’s a scary thought knowing that this life is unpredictable-anything can happen in the blink of an eye.

So if your a momma, hug your beautiful baby(ies). Hold ’em tight. Tell them that you love them-for every single moment that passes- you will never get back.

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