Oct 21, 2016

It's October Already?!

I have spent the past 6 weeks thinking that I'm going to return to this blog any day now. Just a few more things to check off the to-do list and then I'll have time to sit down and write a post... and clearly a few becomes a few more and a few more until suddenly 6 weeks have gone by.

What have we been up to?

We went on our annual family vacation to Cape Cod. It was our last year being able to go in September, Oliver starts kindergarten next year. I swear it was more beautiful there than ever - we had warm weather, lots of beach time, sunshine and relaxation. It's one of my most favorite places in the whole world.

When we got back, Oliver had his tonsils out. It's been 3 years in the making and a difficult decision, but in the end it was medically necessary. He was home for 10 days, but it's amazing how fast they bounce back. He's doing great now, I really hope it makes a difference in his health this year and going forward.

We're still trying to get our sea legs as a family of four. Every time I think we have a handle on things, there's something new. The kids, the dog, the house, one of us. Colds, bronchitis, sleep regressions, chronic canine esophageal regurgitation to name a few. I'm starting to think that things might never actually calm down. Maybe this is why so many bloggers quit blogging when they have two kids - life is suddenly so much harder, crazier, complicated.

I'm not complaining, I'm just sharing why I've been so absent. It's crazy, but it's good. Honestly I'm trying to just enjoy the ride because I know this time is precious and fleeting. Life with two kids might be twice as hard, but it's also twice as fun and rewarding. While some days feel impossible and I honestly don't know how we can go on this way... at the same time we're the happiest we've ever been.

Our social life is ridiculously kid-centric (when everyone is healthy) - play dates, birthday parties, trips to the playground, family stuff... but it's still good. We've squeezed some of our favorite fall activities like pumpkin picking and apple picking. We decorated for Halloween. Oliver's enthusiasm for the holiday increases every year and it's contagious. I think this is going to be our best one yet.

So I have every intention of starting up again here and blogging, for real this time. My goal is once a week. Whatever we're up to. It won't be a lot of house content for a while, but it will be something

Aug 30, 2016

Hello From The Other Side (Sort Of)

Where did the Summer go? One minute I had a baby with 12 weeks of maternity leave ahead of me, the next minute I went back to work and it's the end of the Summer and I have NO idea where the time went.


We've done very few blog-worthy things; we're still adjusting to this new life. Our house is almost always messy. The lawn seems to always need mowing. I feel like we always need to go to the grocery store again. There are so many weeds in the yard I could spend an entire weekend pulling them. The lawn mower broke and had to be repaired. The kids have had a lot of doctor visits for various things. Oliver needed glasses. The living room couch has a permanent silly putty stain. The vacuum is dying. One of my favorite glasses broke. I have a stack of summer reading I've barely touched.

But! Things have been good! We have a baby that likes to sleep through the night and is full of smiles. Oliver LOVES being a big brother and has handle the transition better than I could have hoped. Oliver turned four, had a big birthday party with his friends and learned to ride a bike (with training wheels). I made a 6 layer rainbow cake. Oliver and I pick the garden together in the evenings. We've gone to the pool as much as our schedule allowed. Oliver took swim lessons. I made a bunch of homemade baby food (for the future) with seasonal produce - peaches, plums, blueberries, cherries, zucchini and squash. Oliver and I made blackberry ice cream with blackberries from the garden and homemade marinara with the tomatoes. There's been fresh salsa and gazpacho and refrigerator pickles. I've become a master at clothing organization for babies as they grow. I'm obsessed with the Prisma app. We've spent quality time with family and friends. I take weekly photos of Matthew and bi-monthly photos of Oliver to continue to document their growth and life.

Having two kids is complicated. Having an infant on top of a preschooler is even more complicated. We are happy, we are good, but we are also boring right now. I'm hoping to start sharing more soon as things calm down and we adjust to our new life.

Jul 13, 2016

Oliver's Room: An Illustrated Map

I finally found the perfect artwork for Oliver's big boy room - a illustrated map decal I found on Amazon. It's adorable, colorful, inexpensive and a great size. I love the illustrations! It's educational! It looks so cute on his wall!

Installation was easy overall and I was able to put it up by myself while the baby napped. Each piece peels off the wall easily and re-sticks well, so everything can be tweaked and repositioned until it looks right. If you order it off amazon, the key is like 1"x1" so you'll want to have a device handy where you can pull up the preview picture to see how it all goes together. The only tricky part is that the sticky side really sticks to itself (but it's totally removable from the wall), I found it tough to pull apart stuck together pieces. Eurasia was the hardest part because it's so large, it rolled and stuck to itself in several places and was a pain to get apart, so I would recommend a second person to help with that part. The decals are translucent, so this really only works on white or light walls. Also the clouds are white on white, so you really have to check the roll to make sure you pulled all the decals off before throwing it away.

Oliver loves it. He's also really into PBS Kid's Wild Kratts, so he's had a lot of fun seeing where different animals live on the map around the world. We compare the big flat map to the globe all the time for perspective too. It's fun and educational for the preschool set.

Jul 5, 2016


... the newest occupant in the little yellow house:

Born May 11, 2016
8 lbs 7oz, 20.5 inches

Nothing could have prepared us for the joy and chaos of having two kids. Oliver has adjusted beautifully to being a big brother and has nothing but love for the new baby. We've been incredibly lucky.

Will hopefully have a few new posts going up soon... But for now back to baby land. 

May 9, 2016

The Garden is Planted!

The garden is planted! Mike (and Oliver!) did most of the work. I was there in a more in a supervisor capacity and did a little bit of planting but no heavy lifting. At 38 weeks it felt like a huge accomplishment to bend over and plant a few pumpkin seeds with Oliver. We broke the process up into several days - one day to turn and mix the dirt in the beds, another day to pick up new hoses (we lost one soaker hose and our big hose last summer) and set them up, a trip to the nursery for basil and marigolds, a couple of days to plant the seeds and plants. We've had a lot of wet weather so we had to squeeze things in when we could - it took a while, but I'm glad it's done!

As I mentioned back in my Garden Planning post, this year we're doing a simplified version of the garden - just a few favorites to tide us over. Being hugely pregnant at planting time and then juggling a newborn all summer, we are giving ourselves a break.

Herbs and Carrots Bed
The oregano and thyme were transferred from last year's herb bed to this year's. I'm amazed that they are able to come back year after year despite some harsh winters! This year our winter was so mild - I don't think the thyme has ever been so big! We also planted basil in this bed and a couple rows of carrots for fun. Originally I had thought we might do lettuce and onions, but I ran out of energy after planting the onions. Next year we'll circle back to lettuce, beans, peas and chard as well.

Tomato Bed
The tomatoes we started from seed back in March were planted with marigolds (for protection). The plants have been hardening off for almost two weeks outside (slowly building up resistance to wind, sunshine and outdoor temperatures). This year we're only doing eight, and half of them are prolific and easy cherry and yellow pear tomatoes. The others are easy to grow early girl, beefsteak, bushsteak and roma plum. Next year we'll go back to 12 and include some of my favorite heirlooms again.

Vine Bed
We planted cucumbers to go up the trellis because cucumbers from the garden are my second most favorite thing after tomatoes and I couldn't go a summer without them. We're skipping melons, squash and zucchini this year because they tend to be more high maintenance and instead are experimenting with mini pumpkins just for fun. (We heard they are fairly easy to grow, even by accident with minimal interference, so we thought it would be worth a try and fun for a preschooler!)

Flower Bed
Mostly zinnias (using zinnia seed tape which makes planting a cinch!) and just a few dahlias went into the flower bed this year. Zinnias really do provide the best return on investment once they get going - you get gorgeous flowers all summer until frost and they are so easy to grow!

Mike also planted the rest of our dahlia bulbs in the garden beds of our backyard so I wouldn't have to bend or worry about the bulbs dying from skipping a planting season. Plus he knows how much I love dahlias and will enjoy looking at them all summer as they bloom.

Apr 25, 2016

Upcoming Maternity Break

So far this year I have been pretty good at sticking to my resolution of posting twice a week (with the exception of being sick a couple weeks ago). Some posts have been easier/more interesting than others, but I’m happy that overall I’ve stuck with it even when things have been crazier than usual.

Of course, all of this is about to change. Soon. I’m 37 weeks pregnant this week, which basically means that our second little boy could arrive safely at anytime now (though hopefully he stays put for another week or two). I can't believe how fast this pregnancy has flown by.

How am I doing? Honestly? I’m exhausted. And I need to use these last few weeks to focus on myself and our family. I need to take more walks, stock up on whatever sleep I can get, rest my aching body and soak up as much Oliver time as possible while we are still a family of 3. While I don’t plan on disappearing from this blog entirely right this second, posting is going to be more sporadic and then at some point in the near future I will drop off for a blog maternity break. I promise to share a photo of our newest member of the family when I have a chance.

We are ready for his arrival. The nursery is done. His clothes are organized. I’ve washed (and will probably rewash yet again) all the linens in the room. The baby gear is all pulled out and ready to go. I even packed my hospital bag over the weekend, just in case. I’d still like to get our raised bed garden planted, take Oliver on some family outings, and go on a few more special mother-son dates just the two of us. Babies come in their own time so we’ll see what happens, but we’re ready.

Apr 21, 2016


Spring has slowly been unfolding in our yard. I love all the flowering shrubs, the bulbs and perennials that have started to come up. I'm especially pleased that I took the time to plant more daffodils and some tulips in the fall - they have come up! These photos have been from the past several weeks, it's just so lovely to watch everything come back to life.

The asparagus came up! We can't harvest it for another couple of years (it needs to get established first), but it's really cool to see!

My tulip bulbs in the backyard survived the winter and potential critters! So far they have come up pink and orange in different shades - so pretty!

The trees are also flowering. The dogwood is just getting started and the red bud tree is once again covered in bright purple blossoms - it's so pretty!

Apr 19, 2016

Baby Blanket

I finished our baby boy's baby blanket! I'm really happy with how it came out.

The blanket is large for a baby so it will work into his preschool years (I did one like this for Oliver and he still uses it in the winter).

I meant to post this last week but I came down with a wicked cold. Oliver had it first and it gave him an ear infection and bronchitis, but he bounced back really fast after that. I fared better (no antibiotics) but it made for a looooong rough week. Mike ended up catching it too. I felt much better by the weekend, but suddenly came down with laryngitis on Saturday! I still have it today. It's surprisingly hard to wrangle a 3 year old when you can't speak above a whisper and are a super slow pregnant lady that can't keep up with him.

Apr 11, 2016

The Decorated Nursery

The nursery is *mostly* ready for our new baby! We didn’t make a ton of changes in here, but I finally finished redecorating in anticipation of our second baby boy’s arrival next month. The crib is back, we replaced missing artwork and put up new mobiles. We patched and repainted some holes and scribbles on the walls. I filled in the pocket shelves and bookshelves with a few things (since some items went to Oliver’s big boy room) and rearranged the rest so that it all feels fresh.

My nesting instincts are kicking in - I have the urge to dust, vacuum and rewash everything in here on a daily basis - so right now everything is nice and clean. All of the baby clothes are washed, organized and put away. All of the cloth diapers have been rewashed, stripped and put back together in the tiniest size (we plan on cloth diapering this little guy just like Oliver once he’s big enough). Even the closet is well organized with room to spare (in truth all of our closets have recently been reorganized… Nesting! Our upstairs has never been so orderly!).

I’ll share the new baby blanket later this week too, the final touch to the room. We still have plenty to do to prepare elsewhere - all the gear in the attic (like the infant carrier and swing, etc.) needs to come down and get washed. There are bottles and containers to sterilize, gifts to organize (we feel so loved and supported!), thank you notes to write, car seats to install, hospital bags to pack. At least the mountains of pre-baby paperwork are done. I also have a strong desire to clean out the freezer and basement deep freeze (nesting!) one of these days, but I’m hoping over the next few weeks to take it easy and celebrate our little guy’s impending arrival. Before we know it, we’ll be thrown back into the chaos of having a newborn… only this time with a preschooler to take care of as well!