Nora Speaks 2.0

Nora is hilarious right now. Seriously, she has Collin and me in stitches daily. I never want to forget some of the things she has said. This stage is just so much fun, and if I don’t write this all down I know I will forget!

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| At church one morning the lesson was teaching the kids about how Jesus lives in their heart. A teacher asked Nora, “Does Jesus live in your heart?” Nora’s reply. “No. He lives in my belly.”

|She has become obsessed with knowing what every single person’s name is. Now when I take her grocery shopping, each and every person we pass by she asks me what their name is.

|We are quickly learning that we have to watch what we say around her. Neither of us cuss, however we do use phrases we maybe don’t want our two year old to say. One day at dinner, after I dropped something and muttered, “oh crap” Nora much too enthusiastically delcares, “OH CWAP!”

|Right now in our house Nora does not call any of us by our names. We are all characters from Frozen. She NEVER breaks character once she starts and will remind us to call her Elsa when we slip up and call her Nora. Our new names are as follows:

Nora: Elsa
Tavia: Ana
Collin: Kristoff
Ivy: Olaf (who Nora calls Summer)
Rigby: Sven
Kira: Scary Snow Monster

|Speaking of our new names. The other night we ran into a couple from church we had just recently met. The wife asked Nora what her name was. Nora started to say Nora and quickly and confidently changed it to “Elsa!”

| Nora has had many new opportunities to play with other kids lately. VBS, church, play dates, and other activities. Sometimes she can get a little too aggressive with her love. She likes to hug, hold hands, kiss, and basically smother any new kid she meets. After forcefully trying to hold a little girl’s hand at VBS (and making said little girl very upset) I had a talk with her later that night. I taught her that she should always ask before doing things like that. If the person says yes then she can go ahead. But, if they say no she should just say “shucks” and leave it alone. Well that sort of backfired when I quickly learned that when Nora says shucks it sounds exactly like she’s saying “sex.” Oops. Needless to say I then taught her the word phewy.

| Collin started a new bedtime ritual where he tells Nora a Bible story before she goes to bed. So now of course we both have to do it each night. She will always cutely suggest, “Hey, lets talk about Deesus in my bed!”

 

I know there are more and I will write them as I remember them. This is going to have to become a series around here cause this girl just keeps it comin’.

 

Not Instagram Worthy

We all fib a little on social media and online, am I right?

Those outlets are meant to be a highlight reel. We try and get the perfect picture with the best lighting. We hide piles of junk, edit out blemishes, and most people only share pictures of things that look pretty good to begin with.

I am guilty of this too.

Real guilty.

I think it is so easy to compare your every day, messy, regular life to someone elses altered online life. It’s not healthy because you will never measure up. Truth is though, there isn’t a person out there who doesn’t have those piles of junk somewhere in their home.

I am all for beautiful, well-lit, cultivated pictures. I love Instagram because it makes people up their photo game. It just looks pretty, and I like pretty.

But, I wanna be real today. I have been taking pictures of my home over the past few weeks when it is in a state that is in no way Instagram worthy.

Here is a little piece of my real life. Unedited. #nofilter 😉

I’m sure you can relate.

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This is real life. And you know what? It’s beautiful too!

Currently | Summer 2018

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cooking | not too much good cooking going on lately. I desperately need to go grocery shopping so a fully stocked fridge should help. I am adding this slider recipe to the menu for sure. Also have a great chicken recipe I tweaked to add to the blog soon!
indulging | two coffees a day. I know it’s a terrible habit to get into but I love coffee! I will drink either a hot vanilla latte or regular cup of coffee in the morning. Then mid-afternoon I have an iced coffee. I’m not even doing it for the caffeine, I just love me some coffee!
hoping | Ivy will continue to sleep as well as she has the last three nights! She is not the best sleeper (randomly began 3 weeks ago – too early for the 4 month sleep regression?) and finally she is showing some consistency! Now if only the nest of baby birds outside our bedroom window would pipe down at night. Anyone have a humane way to remove a bird nest full of noisy tweeters?
wearing |anything to beat this nasty Missouri heat!
loving | that so many of my favorite bloggers are blogging again! I feel like Instagram took so many bloggers away. I LOVE a good blog post (surprise) and was sad to see it going out of style. But in the last few weeks four of my favorite bloggers are writing again! Seeing other bloggers write, inspires me to write more too!
excited | that our local Wal-Mart now has grocery pickup! I will never step foot in a Wal-Mart again! Love the prices, hate the crowd.
wanting | my girls to stay their current ages forever. I cannot get over how much fun they are right now. Ivy is a ball of smiles and just so chubby and squishy! Nora is so hilarious and her little imagination is the best! Why do they have to grow up?
feeling | super inspired to get creative again. This blog is my “creative outlet” in a way. I love to come up with post ideas, take pictures, and see it all come together. I hope this sticks cause I really do love this space!

Easy Kids Pink Smoothie | Small Batch

Nora loves smoothies and often asks for them in the mornings. I also love them, but I like to make mine with coffee and lots of protein powder. Those two things aren’t the best for a two year old.

It was a pain to make two smoothies and I felt like I was wasting ingredients trying to make one for her. I ended up with way too much. Or I was trying to adapt my smoothie to first give her some before I added the coffee but then the recipe was off and it was too think or too runny. (First world problems and I right?)

So I created the perfect recipe for a small smoothie just for Nora! Takes very few ingredients and hardly any time at all. I scored major bonus points because it turned out perfectly pink, her favorite color! It made exactly enough to fill her smoothie cup!

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|What You Need|

1/2 banana

4 small strawberries or 2 large

1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder (for flavor and frothiness) *optional

1/3 cup milk

4 ice cubes

 

|What You Do|

Cut up fruit, dump all the rest of your ingredients into your blender and mix! Simple as that!

 

Nora Kate approved!

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Ivy Corinne | Three Months

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Three Months

Weight | 12 lbs 2 oz

Length |

Hair | Still our little blondie! Her hair has grown a little on the top so it lays down a bit more. Still wild, but toning down just a bit.

Eyes |  Right now they are blue like all babies but I am doubting they will stay that way with 2 brown eyed parents. Nora has big ol’ brown eyes too, but I can’t remember when they changed.

Clothes | She now fits in all her 0-3 month clothes! Even a few 3-6 month outfits fit her well. She is much bigger than Nora was at this age.

Diapers | Size 1 with some room to grow!

Sleeping |This has been a roller coaster! She was moving along great and was giving me 6-7 hour stretches at night, but then she had a terrible week of being up every 2 hours.

Thankfully that is over and the last three nights she has slept 9:00 – 4:30, ate and then back down for 2-3 more hours!

Eating |Everything is still going great! She is such a great eater! She typically eats every three hours, but she has been doing a few four hour stretches here and there too. Most days it is every three with a two hour stretch at 7:00 & 9:00 and a two hour stretch at 6:00 & 8:00. I prefer she do those closer feeds to “tank up” before her longest nap of the day and bedtime.

Likes |Still loves the bath, I think she would stay happily in the tub all day if we let her. She likes any attention she can get, she smiles so easily at anyone. Loves to sit up in her froggy chair.

Dislikes |No changes here. She doesn’t like sitting in her car seat if the car isn’t moving and she doesn’t like to sit in a poopy diaper for too long. Other than that she’s pretty happy all the time.

Milestones/Other | Ivy roles over for the first time! She’s been close for a while but never made it all the way over. One day I set her down and about 10 seconds later she flawlessly rolled from her tummy to her back! She hasn’t done it since, but now I know she can!

Look How You’ve Grown!

2 Months to 3 Months

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Photo Every Hour | Two Kids

Time for another Photo Every Hour post! I love taking the pictures for these and looking back at them! Hope you enjoy a glimpse into a regular day with me and my gals!

For more Photo Every Hour posts, click the links below!

Photo Every Hour | Saturday Fun

Photo Every House | Lazy Saturday

Photo (Almost) Every Hour

Photo Every Hour | Monday

Photo Every Hour | Morning + Afternoon

 

|Six|

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|Seven|

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|Eight|

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|Nine|

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|Ten|

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|Eleven|

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|Twelve|

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|One|

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|Two|

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|Three|

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Missed a few…

|Six|

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Not Five on Friday

This week has been rough with a capital R! Ivy has been out of sorts since Monday night. She’s been unusually fussy, always wanting to be held, and she is hardly sleeping at night. She’s been waking up 3-5 times a night and sometimes it’s taking me almost an hour to get her back down. The past two nights have been the worst, I haven’t gotten a stretch of sleep longer than two hours. Doctor chalked it up to teething, but yesterday she seemed back to her old self so I thought our night would be better. Nope, worst one yet. This time it was because she hadn’t pooped in two days and was having tummy issues. As I type this she is napping after having a big ol’ dirty diaper (thank you Windi)!

Pity party, I know.

In the middle of the night, after waking up almost every hour, I have trouble keeping a positive mind and happy attitude. Luckily, my perspective switches once I wake up, shower, and get some coffee in my system. Typically these Friday posts are five big highlights from the week, but I want to highlight any good thing or silver lining from my rough week.

As I rocked my fussy girl to sleep this morning I had tears in my eyes knowing that this phase is short. While it is hard, it goes to fast, and one day she will be a two year old who barely fits in my arms. So if I have to rock her a little longer, so be it!

Here are some of the good parts from this week… so far!

 

Animal crackers and books on the floor.

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Daddy daughter day date to the splash pad.

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Nora and I twirling like princesses in our nightgowns!

All the extra snuggles.

 

Helpers in the kitchen.

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These few-and-far-between smiles.

 

Homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Sister snuggles.

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Gettin’ goofy with some animal masks from church.

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Staying up late and talking in bed with The Hubs.

Long swing naps.

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Turning around one morning to see this hilarious sight.

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So my week wasn’t all bad, and I know things will get better. It really helps to actively find the good in a rough week… the cookies didn’t hurt either!

Prayers that Miss Ivy feels better soon, and decides she likes to sleep again! 😉

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My Favorite Newborn Products

Now that I have lived through having two newborns I feel like I can give some good recommendations on some great products! These are items we loved for both girls and will use with another baby someday (yep, we want more!).

So here are the products we have loved for our gals! I’ve linked each item on Amazon so you can order online if you want! Keep in mind prices on Amazon change quickly, so it may be more or less than the price I have listed when you follow the link.

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|1| Halo Sleep Sack |

I am terrible at swaddling with a blanket. How do those OB nurses do it? I have tried quite a few different types of swaddles and brands but by far my favorite is the Halo Sleep Sacks. I like the zipper and how it gives lots of room for their legs. I also like how it can transition with your baby when they are ready for one or both arms out. We have three so there is always one clean! Nora used it until she was rolling both ways, and I plan to do that same for Ivy. |Buy Here $28|

 

|2|Boppy|

Are there moms out there who don’t have a boppy? I literally use it every single time I nurse Ivy. It’s also great to just relieve some weight when holding your little one. I also used it to put between my legs and sleep while pregnant, so comfy! I love how you can easily remove the cover and wash it. We have three covers so there is always one clean because they endure lots of spit up and blowouts. I honestly think this is maybe my number one baby product of all time! |Buy Here $30|

 

|3|Bouncy Chair|

We never thought we would need one of these so we didn’t register for one and weren’t planning on getting one. Then I realized about a week before Nora was born that we didn’t have anything that was easy to move from room to room. I did no research and just picked the cheapest one up at Target on a whim. So glad we did because this chair is now called “the magic chair” in our home. Our girls love it! They will lay in it contently for long periods of time, and take great naps in it too! Both my girls spent a large part of their first few months in this chair. I know there are much nicer ones out there, but this basic version is pure gold in our house! |Buy Here $24|

 

|4|Gas Drops|

I read somewhere once that all babies are gassy. Their little digestive symptoms are the only thing not fully developed when they are born because they have never eaten anything until they arrive! So they have a lot of new things going on in their tiny bodies. Gas makes little one’s tummies really hurt and can cause some sleepless days and nights if it’s not dealt with. We use both gas drops and Gripe Water when our girls are extra gassy. It really helps them get those toots out! Gas drops paired with my special “toot routine” (ask about it, it’s amazing) makes for quite the entertainment, but also soothes their tummies! Gripe Water will also immediately take away those pesky baby hiccups. We have given these companies a lot of our money in the past two and a half years!  |Buy Gas Drops Here $7| Buy Gripe Water Here $11|

 

|5| Angel Care Bath Support|

I did not have this with Nora and so wish that I would have. Ivy absolutely loves this thing! I set her in it on the floor while I bathe Nora, and Ivy just kicks and kicks her feet in excitement. It is so nice because you just set it in the already filled tub and it lets the water in. It isn’t slippery at all and it can grow with your baby! I highly recommend this for all moms! We love it! |Buy Here $20|

 

|Things to skip|

These products we purchased or registered for and we hardly ever used them or our gals didn’t like them. In my opinion, don’t waste your money!

skip

Boppy Lounger | Wipe Warmer | Bumbo Seat

 

 

Ivy’s Pink and Blue Room

Since we didn’t find out if Ivy was a boy or a girl I did very little decorating to her room before she was born. I chose to paint the walls light blue, knowing I would add grey and green if it was a boy and pink if it was a girl.

Well pink it was!

This house is our church’s parsonage and is just a temporary living situation for us until we can find something in this town (pickins are SO VERY slim). We did very little work to this house since we know we won’t be here too long. Originally I wanted to do pretty much nothing at all to the house. I was just going to move in the bare minimun and wasn’t even going to decorate at all. I failed on that front because I love putting a house together! Plus I wanted it to feel as much like home as possible.

Is this a house I am absolutely in love with and so proud of? No. I considered not sharing this house at all, but then I realized how silly that would be. This house is the place we made the big life change of Collin becoming a pastor in. This is the home we brought Ivy home to and most likely where she will live most of her first year. So while this is not a forever home or our dream home, it is a part of our story and I want to remember it!

So, here is Ivy’s first room. It is in no way perfect, it’s not going to be featured in any decorating magazines, but it is a sweet little space for Miss Ivy Corinne and I want her to have these pictures to look at later in life!

*I have sourced a few items at the bottom of the post, if you’re interested in anything else let me know! 

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Curtains: Target
Flower Garland and Flag Pennant: Target (Dollar spot)
Changing Table: Thrift Store
Crib Sheets: Target
Wall Quilt: Made for me by my Grammy
Giraffe: Hobby Lobby

 

Look for more posts on this house soon! I want to have some pictures to remember it by, and this is my space to do that!

Adjusting to Two

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As you may know our little family just added a fourth member when Miss Ivy Corinne was born in late March.  Making the adjustment from one kiddo to two was different than I expected it to be. I can’t say it was easy, but it was easier in some ways than I thought. There are also parts that are hard that I never considered.

I know so many people right now who are expecting baby number two. I want to share my experience of adjusting to two kiddos. The good, the bad, and the ugly! Hopefully this can be helpful to someone, but also serve as a great reminder to me of how this season of life feels.

*Disclaimer* I have only been the momma to two kiddos for 2.5 months so my knowledge is rather limited. 

When I was pregnant with Ivy multiple people said something along the lines of two kids being so different than one, or how it was a tough adjustment and we better be ready. So I began getting a little nervous about how things would go.

I am going to outline the things that have stood out the most to me in this new phase of life.

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|Sleep|

I think I worried most about this because everyone knows you hardly sleep that first few months with a newborn. Ivy is a pretty good sleeper overall, but she is definitely a typical newborn. Unpredictable sleep, unexplained wakings, frustrating nights, and all the rest. She was waking up every two to three hours on the dot the first few weeks so I was getting very little sleep. She has slowly extended her sleep times during the night and now does a six to seven hour stretch (9-3ish), but I’m still getting broken up sleep.

I pictured being a walking zombie and hardly able to function daily during these months. I had trouble imagining how I was going to give Nora and Ivy what they needed on so little sleep. I’m happy to say that I am over two months in and while I am tired everyday, I am nowhere near zombie status. With coffee and God’s grace I am able to power through each day. I now have the girls on the same afternoon nap schedule so I have even gotten a few naps in!

 

|Dividing My Attention|

I didn’t think too much about this aspect because I knew I would figure this out eventually. However, I did worry about how Nora was going to react to no longer being the only kiddo in my life. I pictured her having a really rough time in the beginning, but in all honesty I think I took it harder than she did! I was so acutely aware of how much attention I was showing her. I didn’t want our days to change too much and so I was diligent to keep as much the same as possible.

I’m happy to say that Nora loves being a big sister! She is so attentive to Ivy and really loves to help with her and interact with her each day! I was worried for nothing, but I think part of the reason it went so well is because I worked hard at making the transition as easy as I could.

 

|Expectations|

This is probably been the hardest part for me so far. I never even thought about this before Ivy was here, but I am pretty bad about comparing Nora and Ivy. I find myself expecting Ivy to do things at the same rate Nora did them. This is not healthy for me or good for sweet Ivy.

For example, Nora began sleeping through the night at 11 weeks old. Well, Ivy is almost 12 weeks old and she still gets up once and sometimes twice a night to eat. I found myself getting frustrated and thinking something was wrong simply because Ivy wasn’t doing exactly what Nora did. Nora was also rolling over by this time, Ivy still stays on that tummy and cries! I often need to remind myself that every child is different. Ivy may do something earlier than Nora. She may do things later than Nora, and that’s okay. They are their own unique little individuals and I shouldn’t expect Ivy to be just like Nora.

 

|Going Places|

Wow! I knew getting ready and actually getting out of the house would be a lot of work with two kids (heck, it’s a lot of work with just one), but holy cow! I now have two kids who need a ton of stuff. Two car seats to strap, a huge double stroller to tote around, two lives I am responsible for instead of just one!

It takes a good twenty or thirty minutes to get ready and loaded up to go somewhere. I did my first solo outing alone with both girls (that wasn’t to the doctor) the other day. We went and shopped at Goodwill and drove through Chick-fil-a. It took forever to get ready to go, and the actual outing presented some issues I hadn’t considered (read hard to open a door, push a cart and support a wrapped baby at the same time). But we survived and no one cried, so I’m calling it a win!

The fact that Ivy is still so little makes going anywhere much more work, but it won’t be like that forever. Right now I don’t go out of the house alone with both of them much, and I will probably avoid it for a while longer. I prefer to have my sidekick help me out! 😉

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|Bed Time|

Bedtime has always been a little chaotic. I think that’s just the nature of the beast. There’s a whole routine to go through and we like have the girls down by a certain time if possible. With two kids now we have to divide and conquer. It can be hard to have to figure out who will do what, and more often than not I have to be the one to put Ivy down. I do sometimes feel sad that I miss out on bedtime with Nora more often now. But, I still get to do it a few times a week and since I am home with her I get to put her down for her nap everyday! I know eventually Ivy will move up to a much earlier bedtime and she will go down before Nora. We are just in a crazy phase right now and it’s an adjustment.

|Bath Time|

This is sort of a silly topic to bring up, but it is actually one of my favorite things about having two! I love giving the girls a bath together! It is just so stinkin’ cute and one of my favorite things now.

I set Ivy in her bath chair on the floor and get Nora all washed up first. Then I put Ivy in the tub and Nora plays or helps me wash Ivy. I make sure to have all their stuff laid out and ready and they lay on Ivy’s soft rug in her room and get lotion, diaper and jammies on. There is nothing cuter than a pair of freshly bathed babes!

 

Maybe you are getting ready to transition to two kiddos soon. If so, I hope this gives you some things to get excited for and to be prepared for. I know I will want to read this back someday and remember what this big life adjustment felt like. It’s been difficult in many ways, but also so so good!