It’s Friday and I’m out to dinner all by myself. Not really by choice but sort of. I did ask four separate girlfriends if they were free, but not a single one of them was.   Ugh. Getting out tonight was actually my husband’s idea. I’m pretty sure he can sense that I’m thisclose to needing to be carted off to the looney bin. Motherhood you guys. Also newborns.

Elaine is now four weeks old and Alice is much improved but not quite 100% and I feel like I haven’t had a break in at least four weeks, because I haven’t had a break in at least four weeks. Matt has requested to go to the football game on Saturday night and while I desperately want to say no absolutely not, I don’t. He’s also back to work and getting to go out to lunch with his coworkers to all of our favorite restaurants. It’s no bother because I’m at home keeping it real and eating leftovers out of Styrofoam boxes while standing over the kitchen sink and rocking the baby in her rock n’ play  with my foot.

Perhaps I’ve doled out my fair share of dirty side eye glances and sported a snarly pout far more than I’m willing to admit. Because lets just be dramatic as the situation calls for. Woe is me and life is completely unfair. (Seriously, though.)

As far as husbands and dad’s go, I really do have a good one. I don’t want you to think I’m bad mouthing Matt because I’m not. I cannot/ do not want to imagine going through any of this without him. I’m just jealous. Jealous of his breaks away (work) and his ability to go out to eat at real live restaurants. Plus he has this elusive upcoming Saturday night out, which is one of the reasons why he suggested I go out tonight. (The other reasons involving me being potentially committed as mentioned above.) I almost said forget it and stayed home because, I mean, four girlfriends. Not one can go? What a loser I am!

I’m kidding. Women of my age and women who are also mothers (most of my friends) just cannot be as spontaneous anymore. We need days upon days to make these sorts of plans. Gone are those fun, fun spontaneous college days. Why I’m even referencing college days is beyond me; I graduated ten years ago. (Although I can remember so much of that time in my life like it was yesterday.)

I hate to complain because I know, I know I’m blessed. I KNOW THIS. I feel it too, but I’m just trying to be transparent and admit that I’m having a hard time. The sleeping two to three hours at a time during the night, the constant nursing, the baby who only wants to be soothed by me, the 16 month old who hasn’t been feeling well, the feelings of being trapped from the limitations that come with having a newborn, with having a family, and then the guilt of feeling like I’m not being patient or grateful enough…

Yuck. Feels ugly.

I do love, love, love my family. Honest I do. I know that I usually keep things pretty upbeat around here and I’m sure those sorts of posts will return shortly. This is just the phase I’m in at the moment.  This too shall pass.

By the way, dinner wasn’t that good. I couldn’t even finish it. Bummer, right?  I’ll spare you the complete Debbie Downer show and not end on such a Negative Nancy note because I treated myself to dessert and a coffee (decaf, mama needs to be able to get some sleep) and it was the bomb dot com.

Also eating out on my own was kinda nice.  I can totally see myself doing it again.


Yesterday was rough. I was feeling the things that I like to think other moms to newborns universally feel: tired and maybe a little clausterphobic. Clausterphobic because you never quite have a moment all of your own. Then when you finally do have a moment all your own it goes by so quickly before you have tiny warm body on your person again because she will only stop crying once she’s in your arm.  How does she even know it’s me!?  I feel bad even thinking those things because having a newborn means all kinds of sweet and wonderful things that I know I should be focusing on and feeling grateful for. And I am. Honest, I really am so, so very grateful Yesteray though was rough, in fact our little family has had a bit of a rough time lately.

I vaguely mentioned it in my last post and to sum it up our oldest daughter has been sick for about six weeks. Six weeks is a very, very long time to have a child that isn’t well. Thankfully she’s much better now and I’m really hoping that we are nearing the moment that she is back to 100%. Throw in a c-section to recover from (and anesthesia meds that left me feeling sick to my stomach every hour for 8 hours), a brand new adorable baby, five trips to the pediatrician in five weeks, and a two night stay at children’s hospital because no one is quite sure what to make of your sick child.  Add all that up and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a few tears.

Despite it all, I must say I’m pretty proud of my little family. We’ve held it together.   I’m not saying our brows haven’t been furrowed in worry, or that we haven’t been anxious about the unknown, or that there haven’t been tears of exhaustion and frustration. No I’m not saying those terrible things haven’t been there, because we’re only human and of course those things have most certainly happened. But there’s also been love, support, and a marriage that pulled together and worked as a team. I cannot express the gratitude I have to be able to call Matt my husband and the father of my children. Words cannot describe…

Also, I’m grateful for family that has jumped in to help without second thoughts and I’m grateful to God for continuing to provide the things we’ve needed throughout all of this.

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So yesterday I felt the pressure of all those things and I cracked. I ugly cried and I thought terrible things and then I felt terrible for thinking the terrible things.  Then Matt avoided me because he was afraid. Once the worst of my storm passed he held me and sent me to bed.

This morning it’s better. I got dressed and left the house and drove my car. I put on a different pair of shoes besides my birkenstocks, and man oh man, I’m grateful for fresh new days.

p.s. As I type this I’ve put my birkenstocks back on. They’re just way to comfortable. Also both my babies are waking up from their naps at the same time! (It’s still all good). Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?


Today I survived the day being home with both babies all on my own.  Well that’s not exactly true, because my husband came home for lunch and my mother in law came to help at 330 until Matt got home at 530, but you know, close enough.

When Matt headed out the door this morning I literally said “don’t leave!!!”  because I was scared.  What would I do when they both started crying, when they both wanted to be held?  Would it be a crisis?!  For sure.  And it happened.  They both cried and wanted to be held at the same time, but it wasn’t exactly a crisis and we all survived. Alice was actually in a really, really great mood and I think God gave me a break by allowing me to have an “easy” first day with both kiddos on my own.  I know these days won’t always be like today, but I’ll take it.  Granted I am tired, but it was fine.  More than that, it was good.

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In other news, life has been c-r-a-z-y for us since before Elaine was born.  Not to be overly vague, but someday perhaps I’ll share.  It’s just right at this moment I’d rather climb in bed.

Also Kathleen interviewed me for a working mama series she’s doing on her blog and I’ve been meaning to mention it but obviously haven’t been blogging lately.  It was a fun interview to participate in and if you’d like to read it you can do so here.


Well it’s time for another book round up.  I read these during the end of my third trimester and had to renew them a couple times because I didn’t exactly have the time or energy to speed through them.  Here are a few of my thoughts:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  I just loved this book!  As the title suggests, the story primarily takes places in a circus that is open only at night.  The doors don’t open until the sun sets and then stays opens into the wee hours of the night.  The intrigue of the circus, is that it is not just any old circus.  Oh no! This is a circus filled with the most impressive magic there ever was.  The tale draws you in with its creativity, magic, competition, mystery, and romance.  The main characters, Marco and Celia are magical people trained from a young age to compete in a mysterious competition.  They unexpectantly fall in love and threaten the fate of so many things within their worlds.  This book is good.  I highly recommend.

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick.  Not what I expected at all. This is a classic don’t judge a book by it’s cover kind of novel. The writing immediately drew me in and I finished it fairly quickly, withing three days at the most. The story takes place in a tiny midcentury town in Virginia where nothing really happens, until a handsome and kind stranger shows up one day with a set of butcher knives and suitcase full of money. It’s a story of forbidden passion, heartache, and tragedy. Interesting to say the least. I thought about the characters long after I read the last word.

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak.  This is a quirky collection of short stories.  I did like it…although at times I felt like I wasn’t “smart” enough to get why it was funny.  Initially I tried to read the book straight through and since it’s a collection of short stories I think it is meant to be enjoyed in smaller bites.  Once I started reading just one or two stories at a time I enjoyed it a lot more.  If you like witty off beat humor I recommend this one for you.

What are you reading?  I probably won’t be picking up a new book any time soon, considering I have a one week old newborn under my care, but when I do!  I’d love your suggestions.

Also thank you, thank you, thank you for your congratulations, well wishes, and general sweet comments and messages on the birth of our second daughter.  Life is different once again and we are all well and staying afloat.  More thoughts later.

 

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And then there were four of us!  Allow me to introduce you to our brand new love, Elaine Marie.  Born at 942 in the morning on Wednesday August 13th.  7 pounds and 7 ounces, 19 inches long.  We are so happy that our healthy and beautiful girl is here.


With Baby E coming into the picture we made the family decision to move Alice out of her nursery and into our third bedroom which had been previously used as my office/craft room as well as our occasional guest room.  The third bedroom is much larger than the nursery and we (I) figured it was more “fair” for the oldest child to get the largest room.  Plus we actually think that in the not to far future the girls will eventually share this room and we’ll convert the nursery into a small office and guest room.

We decided to keep the daybed with trundle and outfitted it with a bright coral polka dotted quilt and pillows.  The glider stayed in the nursery, so this is where we now lay down with Alice just before bed.  She drinks her milk and we say our goodnights here before placing her in her crib for the night.  Eventually the daybed may become one of the girls’ Big Girl beds.  We figure the trundle will be handy for future sleepovers with friends

The floor to ceiling bookshelf was originally located in the living room.  When we knocked down the diving wall to create one larger common living area this particular bookcase sat in an awkward corner.  I’m glad we had the foresight to move it into one of the back rooms as opposed to just getting rid of it.

Originally she shelf was brown.  Matt painted it white and made sure it was secured to the wall so that it couldn’t be dangerously pulled down onto a little person.  To give it a more “built in” appearance he finished it out by adding trim along the top and sides to get rid of unsightly gaps.

I had every intention of trying to style this shelf “perfectly”.  But then real life happened and I decided that ain’t nobody got time for that.  As I was trying to gather things to display, I realized we didn’t have a ton of extras to fill up this rather large book shelf.  Then I  rationalized that with the addition of a new baby it might not be financially practical to just go out and buy things for the sole purpose of book filling shelves.  I figure that over time we’ll naturally acquire plenty of things to fill those shelves.  There’s definitely room to grow, which is nice.  Plus Alice is really into actually playing with her toys so I wanted to make sure those favorite toys were within her tiny reach, basically the bottom two shelves.

I wasn’t thrilled that the filing cabinet will have to remain in Alice’s room for now, but the truth of the matter is, we just don’t have anywhere else to put it at this time.  It serves as a perch for the vintage globe that was my dad’s when he was little.   I just love it!

The colorful bunting in this room served as the initial inspiration for Alice’s new room.  This room has always been my favorite room in the house.  Now it’s just so bright and cheerful and yet I feel like I left room for it to change and grow with my little girl.  If you have any questions about anything in Alice’s new room please feel free to ask in the comments!

 

See also:

the DIY colorful bunting I made
Baby E’s new nursery
Alice’s simple and modern nursery


When I started planning the nursery for Baby Sister (or should I just say Baby E since we have already chosen her name as you may have guessed from the huge pink E on the wall) I knew that we were going to keep the furniture set up the same as well as the polka dot accent wall and tissue poufs.  If it feels like I just decorated this nursery it’s because I did – these sisters are going to be a mere 15 months apart in case you missed that!

We decided to buy the exact same crib and a new dresser from Ikea that the girls may very well eventually share in the future.  Both of those new purchases went into Alice’s toddler room (which I’ll share soon!) and so Alice’s old crib (with a new mattress) and painted dresser/changing table stayed in the nursery as is.  In fact all the furniture in the nursery is exactly the same with the exception of a new side table that sits next to the glider that I found several months ago from Home Goods.

Previously the nursery was very minimal/modern – well that’s the look I was shooting for anyhow.  And while I still love that look I wanted to change things up for Baby E and give her a room that is all her own by adding in some new accessories.  I went ultra girly and ended up with a nursery that’s more floral and garden inspired.  I love the way it turned out.

Pretty girly, right?  If you have any questions about anything or want to know where anything is from please let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for letting me share!

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See also:

In the Nursery (A comprehensive tour of the first nursery – when it was Alice’s room)
Polka Dots, Tissue Poufs, and Chevron (How I DIY’ed the polka dot wall)
DIY Raincloud Mobile

 

If you’re interested, my Oh Baby Pinterest board is where I collected so many inspiring ideas when I was decorating both nurseries.

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