Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Life Lately

I realize that the blog has been rather quiet over the past couple of months, mainly because there has been so much going on that I can hardly keep up with it all, so I thought I'd provide an update to get everyone up to speed. Let's get to it, shall we?

The kids. Plural. It's still surreal to me that we have two children. In a way, it feels as though Logan has been with us forever, but on the other hand it seems like just yesterday we were bringing Taylor home from the hospital. My main goal each day is to make sure we're all clean, fed, and happy (and most most days that's all I get accomplished), but I have tried to make the most of my time away from work by indulging in these two as often as possible. I've enjoyed being able to catch up on my to-do list and spending leisurely afternoons playing with the kids, things that I just don't have time to do while working full time. For the past 11 weeks, my days have been consumed by Logan and Taylor's every want and need, so naturally I am having a hard time preparing myself for my return to work. Yes, being a stay-at-home mom is tough, but it's also incredibly gratifying and unbelievably rewarding. The days are long and the chores are never ending, but no job will ever compare to snuggling my babies in my arms. After all, this is what life is truly about.

Enough about me and my sappy hormones. The rest of the family has a lot going on as well. We are on month 374 (or so it feels like) of potty training the tot, and I swear she is thisclose to finally figuring it out. Keeping her home from daycare lately has really helped as I'm able to keep a close eye on the clock but, as those of you who have been down this road before know, some days are progressive and some days are not. Our girl is a rockstar when it comes to sleeping and eating, but potty training has proven to be her weak spot and frustration city for Jake and I. Jake commented the other day that we may be asking her if she needs to go potty on her wedding day. Long story short, she's getting there, slowly but surely. What else is new in the life of Taylor? Oh, just having a meltdown every 5 seconds because she dropped something or hurt her finger or, my favorite, "I don't know." She is diving head first into the threenager stage, and Jake and I are doing our best to keep our sense of humor about it. We offer lots of hugs and kisses for her boo-boo's (most of which don't even exist), but occasionally her crazy is just too much and we have to send her to her room to cool off. Toddlers.

And then there is Logan. Sweet, smiley, can't walk or talk, Logan. After a day of crazy in toddler town, the baby stage is completely refreshing. I don't mind changing a handful of dirty diapers or being spit up all over when I am rewarded by his happy face at every turn. This kid is an absolute gem, rarely crying (unless he is hungry, in which case watch out!) and snoozing most of the day. After a few tweaks to his nighttime routine, I think we have finally gotten Logan to sleep through the night - and just in time for me to head back to work! This boy loves to eat, sit in his bumbo, and will talk non-stop to anyone who will pay him attention. It's hard work being second fiddle to Taylor who requires every ounce of attention she can get, but Logan holds his own and never lets us forget that he is also in the room. These two are most definitely giving us a run for our money, but I wouldn't trade them (or their strong personalities) for anything!

As for the other man of the house, Jake is doing quite well. In early April, he traded in his Tundra for a newer model which he loves and adapted a much healthier lifestyle which I love. For a guy who used to eat 8 corndogs in one sitting and hadn't ran a mile since high school, he is knocking this weight loss out of the park! Not only has he completely changed his eating habits, but he exercises daily and has even taken up running. I have to brag on him because not only does he dive right into the parenting duties as soon as he steps through the door each night, but he still finds time to squeeze in a workout even if it means blasting through a HIIT routine in the basement at 10 PM. The guy has lost almost 30 pounds in 6 weeks, and I couldn't be more proud of him. His hard work and dedication have had a major influence on me as well. While I could be sitting around eating cookies and mac & cheese all day (Taylor's favorites), instead I am mindful of what I consume as well. Because if he's going to look good at the pool this summer, I want to look good, too. ;c )

So there you have it, a short (but sweet) recap of life in the Eldredge household. I'm sure a lot will change once I return to work in 12 short days, but for now I plan on savoring every last second of maternity leave with my two little loves.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

I decided to kick Mother's Day weekend off early last week by keeping Taylor home from daycare on Friday. The kids and I spent the morning snuggling in bed followed by a quick breakfast of "the best oatmeal ever" before setting out on our day of fun. The weather was perfect, so I loaded the kids up in the double stroller and headed to the park. Working full time limits my one-on-one time with the kids, so I have been making the most of my maternity leave by doing all of the fun things that we typically don't get to do throughout the week. I've learned that little things like running errands and going to the park are much more enjoyable on week days when places are less crowded and we aren't on a time crunch. Plus, a little fresh air does everyone good.

Friday evening we headed to my home town to watch my oldest niece wind the May pole in the school's 55th annual May Day program. Being in the high school gym brought back so many memories from my own childhood, and watching my niece skip alongside the other 4th graders was almost surreal. It feels like just yesterday my sister was announcing she was pregnant with her, and now here we are 10 years, 5 kids, and lots of grey hairs later. It's crazy how fast time flies when you're busy raising small children.

Saturday held another busy day as we headed south to celebrate my cousin Elle's graduation from high school. We made the most of the afternoon, introducing Logan to his cousins and catching up with family we hadn't seen since Christmas. Reality quickly set in that our sweet little curly haired girl is all grown up and ready to head out into the real world proving that life really is moving at warped speed.

When the party came to an end, we said our goodbyes and made a not so quick stop at Bass Pro in hopes that the little ones would run off the remainder of their sugar high and sleep on the long drive home. Although I spent most of my time changing diapers, feeding Logan, and chasing after Taylor, it was great to spend some extra time with the three women that mean the most to me.  I am continuously thankful for my sister, mother, and grandmother and all of the wisdom they have bestowed upon me over the years. They never cease to amaze me with their strength, courage, and selfless acts of love.

We no sooner got in the truck and Taylor's world came crashing down, making our drive home seem like the longest 2 1/2 hours ever. Not exactly how I envisioned spending Mother's Day weekend, but I guess that's what we get for testing our luck with an overly hungry/tired toddler. It just goes to show that, regardless of the day, motherhood is a full time job. Your almost potty trained toddler will always pee in her car seat at the most inopportune time, and your baby who has slept through the night for 2 weeks straight will wake up at 5 AM on your one day to sleep in. Being a mom requires a lot of deep breaths and prayers for patience, but I think we can all agree that this sweet face makes it worthwhile.

It's no secret that motherhood is tough. Quite frankly, it's the hardest job in the world. But even through the sleepless nights and endless tantrums, nothing compares to the amount of love and joy that children bring. For years I wondered how my mom put up with the hell I put her through during my teenage years. Then I became a mother and I realized that no matter how hard it gets, the good will always outweigh the bad. The goodnight kisses and I love you's are payment enough for the daily sacrifices we make to ensure our children's happiness. Because at the end of the day, they are what matter most, and I hope I never forget that.

Wishing a very happy (and belated) Mother's Day to each of you lucky enough to be called Mom. It truly is the greatest gift!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Logan 2 Month Update

Here we go with Logan's 2 month round up!

This month has been all about those first forms of communication: baby sighs and coos! Or as I like to call them, the sweetest sounds in the entire world. Logan loves watching our faces, mimicking our expressions, and giving the biggest smiles whenever we say his name or "I love you." And, of course, he follows big sister (and her loud voice) whenever she is in the room. Tay is definitely in that I'm two and need all of your attention all of the time phase, so Jake and I make sure to give Logan plenty of one-on-one time after Taylor goes to bed. And he eats. it. up.

As far as eating goes, Logan typically downs 6-8 ounces every 4-6 hours, so it was no surprise when he weighed in at 12 lbs 11 oz  and measured 23 1/2" at his 2 month check up. This boy is growing faster than we can keep up! His 0-3 month clothes are stretched to the max, so he'll likely be moving into 3-6 month pieces within the next couple of weeks. As for his sleeping habits, he still cat naps throughout the day but averages 6-8 hours most nights. Taylor began sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old (just as I was returning to work), so I'm hoping that little Logan follows suit before long. Thankfully, I have 4 weeks of maternity leave left, so there's no major sense of urgency this go round.

As I mentioned in Logan's last monthly update, we decided to pull the trigger this past weekend and move Logan to his crib. As a result, we're all getting more (and better) sleep. We figured the transition would be pretty seamless but chose to do it over the weekend, just in case. He fussed for a few minutes and took a while to actually fall asleep but once he did he was out, and we haven't had any issues since. We usually put him down around 11:00 for the night with him waking between 5:30-6:30 the next morning. I feed him and then he's usually back down between 8:00-9:00 for another few hours. This schedule is by no means concrete, but it seems to be pretty constant over the last week or so.

Another first this month was Logan joining Taylor for bath time! Some of my fondest memories (and favorite pictures) are of my sister and I in the bath tub together, laughing and playing until we were wrinkled from head to toe, so these images hold a special place in my heart. Having both of them in the tub at once is a lot easier (and more cost effective) than bathing them individually. Plus, Taylor loves it. She's been good about "no splashing" and loves to help wash him. She's even offered to share her bath crayons with him, which is basically her way of saying he's welcome.

Thanks to the gorgeous weather we've been having, Logan and I have been spending a lot of time outside this month! On weekdays, I usually strap Logan in his car seat (which snaps into our jogging stroller) for a casual stroll around the neighborhood, but in the evenings and on the weekends when Taylor tags along we either break out the double stroller (we have this one and LOVE it) or I carry Logan in my Solly wrap. You guys, this wrap is a total game changer! I was so hesitant to buy it based on the price tag, but I am so glad that I did. Logan falls asleep as soon as I put him in it leaving my hands free to tend to Taylor, something I greatly appreciate now that we've stepped up our potty training game. Plus, what could possibly be better than a sleeping baby snuggled against you? Nothing.

And just for fun, I want to incorporate a side-by-side comparison of Taylor and Logan into these updates going forward. I love looking back on baby photos of Jake and I and finding similarities and differences between us and our children, so why not do it between our kids as well? Below are photos of both Taylor and Logan at 2 months. Is it just me or could these two definitely pass for twins?