Friday 5

Oh hey!  It’s Friday!  Here are 5 quick things…

ONE }  Lance is heading to Florida this weekend to watch some spring training games with his good friends.  I’m 100% supportive of him doing fun things…but that doesn’t mean I’m not also 100% jealous that he will be kid free and living it up for 3 days.  I convinced my Mom to come down for the weekend so that she can take care of me….I mean the kids….I mean HELP ME take care of the kids 😉

TWO } If you live in KC and like good beer then you’re probably aware of the KC Tap Tour promotion currently going.

tap-tour-guidebook-for-web

You pick up a $5 “guidebook” and make your way around the KC beer scene getting it stamped and taking advantage of the drink coupons/discounts. Even though we’ve been to the majority of breweries in the guide we are on a mission to complete it by the end of May so we can get the free Charlie Hustle tee…I mean duh.  We hired our trusty local babysitter a couple weekends ago and knocked out 3 of them.  Then last weekend we took the kids along to Martin City (since they have food!) and knocked that one out.  Big fan of that place as well and I can see us going back this summer with the kids and enjoying the patio!

IMG_7689

So if you’re into beer make sure you grab a book and get touring…and invite me along because I have no idea how we’re going to get all these checked off because #kids and also #not21anymore.  Can’t hang like I used to.

(Oh and if there was any doubt I’m not getting anything for saying this…not even a free beer though that would be nice…I’m just a huge fan of local beer and supporting local things :)

THREE } I recently bit the bullet and bought a couple tops from Gray Monroe* when she had a 50% off sale stuff deal.  I was so excited to get them only to have them both be too big (I went with medium per my usual size) …womp womp.  However I decided to give it another go when she had all the tops on happy hour sale one day after seeing and wanting this top:

Collier030617_01_copy

I’ve got a thing for loose peplum tops at the moment so I gave it a shot and WIN!  I went with a small this go around and it fits great and looks cute!  Of course I haven’t worn it yet because it’s white and I have kids…soooo need to find an excuse to escape my kids and wear it. Now I’m debating getting this romper

Collier031417_13_copy

I feel like this is way out of my comfort zone…but hopefully if I keep up with the beachbody workouts and (attempting to eat well) I can rock it confidently this summer!  Of course #2 above counteracts that whole “eating well” thing… #lifeishard

*this is an affiliate link…not that I expect anything from it…full disclosure people 😉

FOUR }  I’m about a month into my new job and so far so good!  It’s always awkward being the “new person”, especially in a place where new people are not hired too often.  So everyone notices you and wants to ask a lot of questions.  It’s been nice having human interaction again…granted sometimes it’s a bit TOO much.  I’ve been enjoying getting dressed in the mornings like a real put together person…but then of course I can’t wait to get home and put my leggings back on and baggy old tee shirt 😉 Somehow I have a lot more laundry now too.

FIVE }  We’ve been upping our crock-pot and meal planning game now that I work out of the house and this is one of the recent winners. Crock Pot Salsa Verde Chicken… So Good!  You have to get the Archer Farms salsa though…pretty sure that’s the secret.

easiest-crock-pot-salsa-verde-chicken-550x367

OK THAT’S IT! HAPPY FRIDAY!!

*linking up with…

September Farm & Momfessionals

Christmas 2016

Not gonna lie…Christmas is exhausting.  It’s like a giant shit show of presents, sugar, whining, giant toys, food, and no sleep. On Christmas Eve Eve I’m all ‘YAY CHRISTMAS SO FUN!’ …then by mid-afternoon of Christmas Day I’m done. Just tired of  parenting and being off schedule and sleeping in the same room as my kids.


Nevertheless we are fortunate to finally live within driving distance of my family and for that I am grateful.  Being with family over the Holidays is usually worth the exhaustion in the end. For all the hard and frustrating times we have while traveling with the kids, the fun moments tend to make it worth it.

We had “Santa” come on Wednesday night since we planned to leave Friday and didn’t want to drag all the crap up to Nebraska. Plus this gave the kids a full day to play with their new fun stuff while they were home on Thursday (aka made my day easier).


Then on Friday morning we opened the rest of our family gifts before hitting the road. Lance got Jack this giant Thomas track jump thing (without telling me) and it currently takes up half the basement…so that’s fun. I have strong feelings about toys that can not be easily stored away. Probably why Lance “forgot” to mention it. 



The trip up to Fremont was pretty uneventful (minus the dude with a gun on I29 causing it to shut down for a while delaying our leave time a bit) but confirmed the need for a van.  I can’t stand having to constantly turn around and pick up crap, give Allison her paci, get food for Jack, etc…drives me bonkers!!  I need SPACE!  and sliding doors!  and cup holders!

We went to my Dad’s house for lunch on Christmas Eve, and then spent the rest of the time at my Mom’s house with her 20 trees. Christmas decorations have never been lacking in her house.




The kids were overtired crank-fests by 5pm so we skipped church and Christmas light viewing and let them open gifts before the adults (we do Christmas Eve gift opening) so we could get them to bed before the meltdowns began.

Then we opened our gifts, drank wine, and played a million rounds of Catch Phrase.

We had a delicious dinner at my Aunt and Uncles house in Omaha on Christmas Day and played the game of logos…or something…I don’t know I spent most of the game time trying to get Allison to nap. The few minutes I played I was terrible…brands are apparently not my thing.


At least Allison rocked her buffalo check headband from the Splendid Bow Shop!

We had planned to stay one final night at my Mom’s before heading back, but after spending two hours trying to get the kids to sleep we surrendered and threw them and all the crap in the Rav and headed back to KC. They slept the entire way (thank god) and we got to listen to the Chiefs win…so not a total waste!

All in all it was a great Christmas. Holidays with kids are fun but also a ton of work…you don’t get to relax really…it’s nonstop parenting.  The holiday hangover hasn’t been too bad now that we are back to work/daycare and on schedule.  Of course we have a 4-day weekend coming up for New Years so wish me luck!

Or send wine.

Jack at 4yrs

I feel like this blog has been very Allison heavy as of late…that little girl showed up and stole my heart what can I say.  However big brother is turning 4 tomorrow and he deserves a little love too!

528d007b-c4bf-4d9f-90de-451278af7f82

This last year has been defined by adding little Allison to our family, but it was also a year of huge growth and development for this kid.  When I think about how much he has changed over the past year my mind is blown away.  3 to 4 is definitely a big year and I feel like the ultimate transition from toddler to little kid.  Here are some random things I don’t want to forget about this past year and my number one man.

  • Jack can identify all the NFL football and MLB baseball teams….and will even remember who played who randomly.  He has also learned a bunch of NASCAR drivers and is obsessed with the little NASCAR cars you can buy (not cheap!) and pretends to race them around.  He even does pit stops.  I don’t know where this kid gets it.  We don’t even watch NASCAR (we tape races now so he can) so I’m always surprised when he talks about a driver I’ve never heard of and proceeds to tell me about their car.
  • He can write his name. This is amazing to me considering last year at this time all he could do was scribble and had no clue how to properly hold a pencil/pen/marker.  Now this kid is tracing letters and always asking how things are spelled so he can practice writing them…he loves writing his name and his daycare friends’ names.
  • He is oddly interested in the weather.  I don’t know where he gets that (maybe b/c both his parents are meteorologists?!)…but he loves watching the weather report and naming off the different temps and letting us know that on Sunday it will be sunny.  When it storms he asks to see the “radio” on our phones….aka the radar.  For some reason he thinks it is going to snow next Tuesday…clearly his forecasting skills aren’t nailed down yet.
  • He uses the words poop/toot/fart way more than I’d like.  When we say prayers and sing songs at night he likes to exchange words with toot and poop…so I mean at least he is creative right?  He gets mad if I say “A-men” instead of “A-toot”.  I assume God gets it.
  • Speaking of said  “bathroom” words…it took us MONTHS to get this kid to go #2 in the potty. #1 was relatively quick and painless.  I should do an entire post dedicated to our potty training woes…but imagine all the possible things that can go wrong…and they did.  When we thought we were getting there…he would flip the table and then hold things for almost a week.  We had some VERY miserable weekends.  When you are buying economy size Miralax….you know shit has (or in this case hasn’t…ha) hit the fan.  Then…after a rough trip to North Dakota…he got it.  I think I maybe cried a little.  So it took about 9 months from start to finish.  God please let sister get it faster…PLEASE!!!
  • Sports are his jam and he loves to play catch with the football, and hit the baseball in the backyard.  He prefers it when his Dad pitches…he told me the other day  he shouldn’t play baseball with me because I’m not very good.  Thanks kid.

I know there’s a million other things about this kid I want to bottle up and never forget…but then this would never end.  He can push my buttons more than anyone and constantly tests my patience…but then out of nowhere he can be the sweetest kid.

He is a handful no doubt and I think for me this past year has been a lesson in patience.  Trying to stay calm and not overreact to every little thing.  It’s tough.  This age has not been easy.  So many more arguments and straight up defiance.  I’m often left feeling like I failed and I have no idea what I’m doing in this whole parenting gig.

Then there are times when he is so sweet to his sister and will get her a toy to play with, or push her around in her cozy coup and my heart just melts.  I know she adores him…but I’m never quite sure how he feels about her.  I can see the beginnings of a strong relationship there…and I look forward to seeing how it blossoms as they continue to grow.

So Happy Birthday to my Jack-y Jack…my little stubborn readheaded ball of energy.  You are loved more than you will ever know!

 

Allison at 1 Year

img_6734

My little girl is one.  It happened so fast….before we know it she’ll be a walking running, talking, sassy 3yr old.  As much I want to put into words all the thoughts and emotions I have about this…given the current status of her baby book there’s a good chance that won’t happen until she’s 2.  So for now…5 quick things that I don’t want to forget about Allison right now!

allison_78

ONE:  I’m calling her having her first official “word” and it is “uh-oh”.  She mostly says it when she drops her paci and or sippy cup.  It’s the cutest thing in the world.  I’m not even sure when or where she picked it up but she seems to understand what it means…as far as her beloved paci is concerned.  She also points and mutters “keeeee” when she sees one of our cats.  I’m not sure what she loves more…her paci or the cats.  Or her new pink cozy coup…

img_6769

Dad wins best birthday gift this year.

TWO:  She is now taking a hand full of steps by herself.  She can go from sitting on the floor to standing/crouching/bending over and taking a few steps all without holding onto something.  She has not been too into push toys which is completely different than her older brother.  That kid pushed ANYTHING and everything around the house for months before and after he learned how to walk…oh wait he still does.  Sometimes she doesn’t seem to care and will just crawl where she wants to go.  Other times she is determined as ever and will get this cute grin on her face as she tries to take some independent steps.  I just love this initial walking stage…when they are just toddling about and look like mini drunks.  Pre-hitting their head on everything and falling all over.

allison_910

THREE:  Girl loves the wagon.  If we’re outside and she catches the tiniest glimpse of that sucker in the garage all bets are off.  She could happily sit and get pulled around in that thing all day long.

img_6829

When we go for walks she will just sit back and put her arms out and hold onto each side like she’s just taking it all in….enjoying the ride.  I just roll my eyes and then die from cuteness.

img_6553

FOUR:  She finally has teeth!  Compared to her teething maniac brother who had a full set by 18mo…she is way behind.  Or just on normal teething time.  She has her two front bottom teeth and 3 1/2 top teeth (last I checked).  I also believe those suckers are the current reason for her sleep issues.

She still wakes up 1-3 times at night and fusses…most of the time she puts herself right back to sleep once she locates her paci.  However lately she has just been sitting up and crying until one of us goes down, retrieves her paci off the floor, and then lays her back down in the crib.  It’s usually quick and painless so I’m not too torn up about it…except when she does it multiple times from the hours of 4-6am.  She loves to wake up and party whine by 5:30 and it is THE WORST.  UGH.  Sleep is for the weak right?!  I’m just holding out hope that one day she will sleep through the night and both her and her brother will stay in bed till 6:30am.  Oh the dreams I dream…

allison_one

FIVE:  I’m staring to notice little “girly” things about her.  It is so crazy to watch how she is different from her brother.  My mom got her a little baby doll for her birthday and she was instantly taken by it.  She loves to point at the baby’s eyes and hold it in her arms.  It has to sit with her in the cozy coup at all times.

She also loves to try and put headbands in her hair.  I stopped putting them on her for a long time because she would just rip them out…but now she will reach for them and try to put them on.  Then when I do she will smile and touch it lightly with her fingers.  It’s so funny to me!

img_6857

Overall she is a pretty sweet little girl.  She puts up with her obnoxious older brother constantly taking toys from her (although she is starting to fight back) and will sometimes lay her little head on your shoulder if she feels like cuddling.

I know everyone says this…but it’s true….we are so lucky to have her in our lives.  She brings so much joy and happiness to our little familiy (except at 5am of course) and I feel lucky to be her Mom.  Until she hits puberty anyways.

fall-16-oh-hey-friday_zpsuhaf3up1

*linking up with these ladies!

 

Friday Hodgepodge

Five hodgepodge-ish things this Friday…

ONE:   Today marks the beginning of the Avey Month-O-Birthdays…starting with my main man Lance turning 35 today!

fullsizerender-1

Next up is Allison (see more on that below), then Jack, and then me at the end of October.  It’s not like we planned it this way (exactly)…it’s just how nature intended.  Clearly God wants me to earn any sort of birthday fun I have by first stressing out over everyone else’s birthdays.  Think of how cool it will be when we can take joint bday trips…I mean that will happen right?  Without the kids also insisting on gifts?!  right…????  Or I’ll just take MYSELF on a trip after surviving birthday-maggedon…

TWO:    Allison turns ONE ON MONDAY.  WHAT?!  HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!  Not to sound all cliche but seriously this year went by really fast.  I still call her my “sweet baby” and I might be calling her my baby till she’s 35…who knows.  We had her one year pictures taken on Monday and Becca already gave me a little sneak peek (below) and I’m dying!  Allison was so much better than her brother that we actually got some pics of JUST HER!   I feel like she deserves her own post detailing all the ONE-year things…so maybe I’ll get around to that next week after my hormones calm the f down…

14468242_667233083436516_6747320401515542753_o

THREE:  Speaking of hormones…I got my period this week for the first time since pre-Allison.  I felt like a 13yr old girl again scrambling around looking for tampons (who are we kidding I was scared of tampons till I was like 17)…only to remember DUH I was pregnant when we moved so obviously I didn’t have any.  As I was texting my friend about it (obviously) it reminded me how much I miss our girls nights where we would discuss such lovely things…basically like this video (LOVE these moms…they’re from Nebraska too so woot woot!)

“I get pre-pre-menstrual, then pre-menstrual, then I’m menstrual, then I’m post menstrual…then I get real horny for 2 days…whaaaattt”  <—– yep thats me.

 

FOUR:  Along with all the birthdays we’re having a lot of visitors this month starting with my little sister and her boyfriend this weekend.  While I love having visitors and extra helping hands…I also know that my kids wake up ass early (making staying up late extra painful) and Jack is always a little nuts unbearable on little sleep and more than normal attention.  So I really hope I make it through this month without any family members disowning me and/or the neighbors calling CPS on me.  Yay!

FIVE:  Now that Allison is basically one and I’m done with the breastfeeding biz…I feel like it’s time to get serious about working out again.  I’ve been running here and there…some weeks I do well and others not so well due to lack of sleep from a teething baby.  Thanks to KCMB I got to try both yoga and barre for the first time this past month.  I realize I’m super late to the yoga train but it’s true…I had never taken an actual yoga class up until this point.

img_6706

I really enjoyed both…barre is definitely more up my ally with the resistance/muscle training.  Unfortunately the studio is like a 30min drive for me so I can’t justify the cost/time it would be to do it consistently enough.  Brittany is also tempting me with her challenge groups through beachbody…which I’m also a huge fan of after doing Insanity and T25…so we’ll see 😉  This month is all about survival so it will probably be another month before I get too serious!

*BONUS*:  Um I just have to say that football season is starting out AWESOME this year…both the Huskers and Vikings are undefeated so far…what?!  Oh and the Utes!  I definitely didn’t see that coming…nor do I know how long it will last so better revel in it now while we can!

fall-16-oh-hey-friday_zpsuhaf3up1

 

Friday Hodgepodge

I feel like random lists on Fridays is all I got in me these days.

IMG_6473

1) Lance and Jack are currently headed up to North Dakota for a wedding…which means it’s just me and the girl this weekend.

IMG_6469

Which also means I get to do WHATEVER I WANT after she goes to bed because ONE KID!!  I mean there might be movie watching, knitting, reading….so many possibilities!  Too bad she has been waking up at 4:30am refusing to go back to sleep lately… so sleeping in till 6 is out of the question.  (seriously…when 6am is “sleeping in” what life is this?!)

2) A couple weeks ago I got mastitas.  It was awful.  I had it when Jack was about 3 weeks old so thankfully I knew the signs…but shit…it came on fast.  I went from feeling some pain in my right boob in the morning to shaking uncontrollably and crying from pain a few hours later.  I booked it to the closest urgent care and got drugs.  They hooked me up with the good shit and I spent the next couple days laying in bed with a heating pad on my boobs.  At least the olympics were on so I had something to watch while i floated in and out of consciousness.  It took about 48 hours before I felt normal-ish again…which worked out well for wine tasting with my sisters in my hometown that weekend.

IMG_6403

3)   I won something!! You guys….If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed this very flattering picture I took of myself holding this map with beercaps.

IMG_6467

Well it was for a contest…and I won!  Which means I get ANOTHER map and a sweet set of coasters.  I actually got this map (from Beer Cap Maps) as an anniversary gift “for Lance”…but really it was for “us” to fill with beers we have enjoyed together.  I picked Kansas because we live here now, but I have my eyes set on this giant USA one as my free one.

usa_beercap_map

Which means I’ll have to start organizing my beer drinking by state…and likely have to take some beertrips in the future to really fill it out.  If you also want to have an excuse to drink beer you should get your own map.

4) I’ve given up on trying to make our house look decent until Allison is stair trained…because I had no choice but to install this monstrosity last weekend:

IMG_6422

Because ain’t nobody got time to guard a baby from going up/down stairs all day.  I’m basically a pro at installing baby gates…this is numero 3 for me and I don’t even need directions anymore.  Thinking of starting a side gig.

5)  FOOTBALL STARTS NEXT WEEK OMG GO BIG RED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Summer so far

Every year it happens.  The count down till summer starts early in the dark, cold days of February.  Spring brings a mix of both chilly and pleasant days and the anticipation builds.  Then finally summer officially arrives…only it happens so fast and furious that by the time you finally declare its’ presence it is already half way over.  It’s only a matter of time before the white raven arrives and winter is officially here.

Here’s a little glimpse at what we’ve been up to so far this summer…

Image

One of the main reasons for moving closer to home is that we now have the ability to make quick weekend trips up to Nebraska to see and spend time with my family.  So back in May we headed up to celebrate my cousin’s high school graduation which involved a live band and Zipline kegs.  We spent Saturday morning at the Farmer’s market in Lincoln and met my BFF and her daughter at the Husker baseball game that afternoon.

(pics: 1| my siblings at the graduation party, 2| a flight of beers from Moran’s liquor store tap room (why don’t all liquor stores have this?!  My new favorite thing!) 3| Husker baseball game selfie 4| Jack in front of Haymarket park)

Image (1)

My Mom and Aunt visited us over Memorial weekend and we used it as an excuse to explore some places in KC we haven’t gotten to yet.  It was a train filled weekend with a trip to the train garden at the Overland Park Arboretum on Saturday and then Union Station on Sunday.  Jack was a big fan of both!  On Saturday night my Mom, Aunt, and I did a little wine tasting drinking at Stone Pillar Vineyard.   I asked the girl helping us about their Friday night live music events and she assured me it was family friendly and casual…and then gave me 2 free passes so we can check it out before the summer is over!

Image (2)

Jack started TBall a couple weeks ago and oh man…I wasn’t sure what to expect but given his recent obsession with the Royals and all things baseball I figured he would like it.  And so far he does.  It’s pretty much the best thing ever watching 3-4 year olds “play” any sort of sport.  So much whining and crying and kids doing random things….I love it.  Such a train wreck.  Quality entertainment right there.

(pics: 1| Jack at Tball 2| Doing “funny faces” on Snapchat (@stephavey)  3| Allison sitting in the cart like a big girl for the first time! 4| Jack at the Royal’s game on Father’s Day)

Image (3)

Of course I’ve had my share of drinks this summer…to make up for the lack of last summer 😉  I even made it to Zipline a couple weekends ago with my sisters…even though they don’t drink beer I’m glad they indulged my obsession with local craft beers and came along.

As much as we’ve already done this summer it still feels like we have so much more to do! We’re heading up to North Dakota this coming weekend for a week with Lance’s family. We’ll be celebrating the 4th up there and then the following weekend heading to his family reunion on the farm.  Lance has a ton of cousins and lots of new littles that we haven’t met yet…so it should be a fun time!  (I’ll be sure to share lots of pics on Instagram and  perhaps Snapchat if I’m feeling crazy…so add me if you’re into that sort of thing)

This will also be our first flight as a family of four and Allison’s first flight altogether!  I’m a tad nervous to say the least.  We flew a bunch with Jack when we lived in Salt Lake and every time I was a nervous wreck and packed the entire house in my carry on.  I forget what it’s like to fly with an 8mo old…but her favorite things right now are trying to crawl and eating paper…so ya know…should be great.  Here’s hoping I don’t have a nervous breakdown somewhere over South Dakota…and that Delta has the booze cart fully stocked.

 

6 Months with Allison

IMG_5159

 

I remember counting down till each monthly milestone with Jack, waiting for his personality to come out and his crankiness to subside.  I also remember when I swore off the newborn phase and fell in love with the 6month age.  Things really started to change around then for Jack…he was happier and sleeping better at night (after lots of sleep training) and for me as a Mom I slowly started to get into the groove of motherhood.

IMG_3976

Now that I’m a seasoned mother (Ha!) each milestone with Allison has been anticipated in a different way.  Since I somewhat know what to expect on the development front, my anticipation and excitement is more about how Allison’s personality will shine through and what skills she will master first.  The other notable difference this time around is how FAST the time seems to pass.  I feel like each monthly mark hits before I even get comfortable with her being the previous month’s age.  For once I find myself wishing for time to SLOW DOWN.  30yr old “New Mom Steph” would want to punch me.

Still, the 6month mark was one Lance and I both couldn’t wait to get to.  I think other parents share the same feeling.  It’s a sweet spot in the ever changing, ever challenging, first year of life.  Personalities come out, sleep stretches increase, first teeth, first solids, first laughs, sitting up and holding toys…and the holy grail of it all…they are still IMMOBILE!!  (Well unless you have a roller…neither of my kids seem to fancy rolling around outside of their crib)

allison_12

In a nutshell…Allison is just a happy baby.  Sure she has her phases but don’t we all?  She greets us everyday with smiles that melt our hearts.  The daycare ladies comment daily about how cute and sweet she is and how much they love having her there. (I’m sure they say that to all the Moms though right?!)

At 3 months Allison discovered her hands…and by 5 months she decided grabbing things was her jam.  Miss “Grabby Hands” we call her.  Nothing is safe from her grasp and she will do almost anything to reach whatever she has her eye on.  Which usually involves several nose dives into the floor.  But girl don’t care…she wants what she wants.  I can’t argue with that.

allison_34

Her sleep has had it’s up and downs.  While she tends to be a good sleeper for the most part, we had our stretches of playing “paci police” every hour throughout the night as well.  Some nights she cries a little before falling asleep…and other nights she falls asleep as I rock her a little longer than I should.  Some days she takes 30min cat naps, and some days she’ll rock a 3hr nap out of nowhere.  We haven’t done any strict sleep training…I think having been through it all has allowed me to chill the F out in the sleep department. But mostly I’m just grateful for any amount of sleep I can get.

allison_56

We are holding steady in the breastfeeding department.  Once again I’ll play the “2nd time around” card here…but with Jack I stressed about pumping and struggled to make as much as he wanted to eat.  With Allison I was much more prepared for the whole pumping during work thing and have been able to maintain her needs…it also helps that I work from home so I really have no restrictions on when/where I can pump.

However that doesn’t take away from the extreme commitment that pumping/breastfeeding requires…man.  So yes…I recently bought some formula that says it’s for the “breastfeeding Mom who chooses to introduce formula” or as I see it…FREEDOM!!!  We haven’t given it to her yet but hopefully she takes it.  I cut out one of my daily pump sessions which has been great for me…but my supply has taken a hit for sure.  I’d like to continue breastfeeding her up until her 1st birthday like I did with Jack…but I see no shame in giving her formula here and there if it allows me a few hours away from her and/or the pump.  My hormones have been going crazy lately as well thanks to the recent changes…but that’s for another blog post I suppose.

She now eats solids too.  Once again…not nearly the stress fest that I made it out to be with Jack.  I should probably get my act together and make her some homemade food but whatever…pouches from Target don’t seem to be killing her.  Thanks to daycare she actually eats it consistently too.

FullSizeRender 7

So many feelings about this sweet little girl…I had no idea how much we needed her in our lives.  Having our first child turned our world upside down… and now adding Allison has flipped it right side up.  She “completes us” in the most corny Jerry Maguire way possible.  Jack loves her and is so sweet to her…and Allison adores her big brother like no other.  He can make her laugh like no one else.  There’s a strong relationship budding…I know it will get rocky and frustrating and hard…but right now it’s just perfect.

FullSizeRender 2

So yep 6months…I think you win.  You’ll always be a favorite.

Now if only we could freeze time and stay here a little longer.

From 1 to 2

Allison recently crossed the 3 month mark and along with the craziness of the holidays I returned to work and she began daycare.  I’m still trying to get over the fact that my maternity leave has ended and Allison is no longer a “newborn”.

Avey-4

It’s true what they say…the jump from one kid to two is surprisingly smooth compared to the world changing smack in the face that having a first baby is.  I spent a lot of this pregnancy worrying about how I would handle the newborn days with a very active and strong willed toddler.  I worried I would fall into an anxiety ridden pit much like I did with Jack where I felt like I was drowning most days and on the edge of losing it.  I kept waiting for it to hit…and it never did…at least not yet.

Avey-11

I’m feeling more joy this time around and really trying to revel in the little moments which wasn’t something I was able to do with Jack.  Blame gender.  Blame colic.  Blame first-time Mom anxiety.  Whatever it is…this time around things have been so different.  I’m as shocked as anyone.  Allison is so different than her brother was.  She is much more calm and relaxed and almost always greets me with a smile.  She went through her witching phase just like any other baby but calming her down was SO much easier.  Some days I would laugh at how easy it was to get her to stop crying…while other days she would rival her brother’s past and I would feel the anxiety and anger start creeping on.  (I will say the Solly Wrap was and remains a LIFESAVER…girl loves being worn…almost as much as I love wearing her)  But on the whole this girl is shaping up to be much more like her Dad than her Mom…praise Jesus.

Avey-73

I feel like I’m finally understanding what all these other bloggers were talking about when they said to “soak up the newborn cuddles” and all that wishy washy crap I threw aside when I had a cranky, screaming, non-sleeping baby.  Turns out having a baby that actually SLEEPS is a game changer.  Until recently Allison slept like a champ.  She’s older now and we’ve transitioned her into her crib so the night wake ups are not surprising.  Although waking up multiple times at night NEVER gets easier…it  helps to have gone through it all before.  I know it won’t always be like this and things change so fast it’s not worth googling for hours over.  Sticking it out and surviving is my go-to method these days.

Avey-10

I remember a friend telling me before I even got pregnant with Allison that going from one child to two was harder on her marriage.  Now instead of tag teaming one child you have to play man-on-man defense (as Lance would say).  Gone are the days of trading off duties so one parent gets a break.  They’re replaced with days of dividing and conquering playtime, tummy time, potty training, time-outs, feedings, blowouts, and everything else that comes with the mixture of a 3 month old and a 3yr old.

Avey-35

So yes I would have to agree with my friend…having two children definitely adds more stress to a marriage and you can’t waste time on tiny squabbles about who changed the last diaper or didn’t put their dish in the dishwasher.  I think we’re both learning how important it is to connect every day whether it’s an inside joke about one of the kids, or just a quick chat about our day while trying to get dinner on the table.

Avey-80.jpg

We’re still trying to navigate this two kid thing and figure out what works and what doesn’t…unsure if we’ll ever really figure it out completely.  We’ve learned that sometimes a beer and the ipad can bring a sense of calm long enough to enjoy each other before the next storm begins.  I think you learn to go with the flow a lot more with two kids…attempt to take things in stride.  You also learn to celebrate small victories and do a happy dance around the living room when both kids are magically napping on their own in their rooms on a Saturday (this happened ONCE!!).

Avey-85

So yeah…two kids isn’t so bad.  I mean if you think about it we’ve already made the mental leap of “OMG we have a child!” so now it’s just a matter of another addition to that already crazy world…two little humans to keep alive.  I also know we’re in a pretty sweet spot right now in terms of age…Allison isn’t yet mobile and Jack is just old enough to do a lot of things independently.  Granted he doesn’t actually do these things when we ask or need him to without lots of arguing and crying…threenager like whoa.  I’m doing my best to not dread what I know is coming with Allison (like teeth…TEETH…i’m sweating just thinking about it) and trying to just truly ENJOY the baby coos and silly way she kicks and bops her head about.

Avey-77

After all this will likely (god willing!) be our last baby.  At this point our family really does feel complete and I’m so lucky to call both of these little crazies mine.  Let’s just hope it stays that way.

*All photos by the wonderful Allison Corrin photography