Time

Well it appears that I’ve written a total of four posts in 2016.  Perhaps I should consider transitioning this blog to a free sight 🙂  Although I believe it only costs $15 a month so maybe I could spring for the bill another year.  Ha!

I’m still here.  Between work and trying to be present for my family I feel like extra time is a rare commodity.  I hate to say “I don’t have enough time” because, well, I somewhat believe that we need to make time for the things that are important to us.  Family and paying the bills are pretty important.

I have so many things I’d like to share: vacations, trips we’ve been on, books I’ve read, thoughts on work, thoughts on being a working mom, my new side gig, our tiny bathroom remodel that has been on hold for almost two months because extra time is a rare commodity, our decision to move (eventually, not now but the decision has been made), my decision to transition into bullet journaling, parenting styles, watching my girls’ relationship blossom right before my eyes.  You know STUFF.

What have you been up to?  Does anyone even blog anymore?  Does anyone even read blogs anymore?  Are blogs internet dinosaurs – I feel as though they are.  I’m pretty active on Instagram if you want to follow me there @melissaoklahoma

 

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So Long! Nope, I’m still here.

When I got the email that my blog domain was up for renewal I seriously considered not renewing.  For obvious reasons -hello,  it’s been two months since my last post.  My life is definitely smack dab in the middle of a busy season between work, marriage, and two kids under 2.5.  Then there’s the whole back and forth of what do I write about?

I suppose I have come to that place where openly sharing tons of photos and stories of my kids online doesn’t feel right anymore.  It’s a weird thing to say because it’s really a personal decision that I can’t quite articulate.  I so enjoy other peoples blogs and Instagram feeds that publicly share their kids’ lives so one would think that I would feel comfortable doing the same.  I can’t explain it…but I do know that ever since I decided to make a separate and private Instagram account that only family and a few friends can access photos of my little ladies, that nagging voice in the back of my head has quieted down.  I’m sure I’ll post some photos and stories of them here and there since they’re obviously a huge part of my life, but for now, keeping the amount down to a minimum gives me peace of mind.

Finally, I thought the cost to renew this blog domain was going to be closer to $100 and saying goodbye seemed like a sensible decision.  However, when I logged in and realized it was actually around a fourth of that I decided I’d stick it out at least for another year.  Maybe I’ll become inspired…

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Around Here

Most/all of my free time outside of my family and work is spent on trying to improve my health. Which means I’m either working out, preparing something healthy to eat, reading about fitness and or healthy meals, or trying to plan my next workout or my next meal. I want to point out that as a working mother to two, I don’t have a lot of extra time. I’m not trying to downplay my efforts either because I’ve definitely been trying to eat better and workout consistently.   I just don’t want it come across as though I’m spending hours upon hours every day working out and eating well.  (That’d be awesome – ha!  But I don’t have that luxury 😉  Living a healthier lifestyle is definitely a balance and something that’s currently really important to me.  I’m hoping that I will continue to make my health a priority!  Slowly but surely I can see that my hard work is making a difference. I still have a ways to go to reach my personal goals, but I’m trying to remember to be patient and kind to myself.

We celebrated Elaine’s first birthday with our immediate families a couple weeks ago and it was such a fun day.

I’ve always been a little unsure of how much is too much to share in regards to my kiddos online, in social media, and even here on my blog.  I’m not a huge Facebooker but I do love Instagram (I currently have three accounts!  Ridiculous, I know.)  I love having my main account open and not private, but I don’t like not knowing who’s looking at photos of my kiddos.  I was posting a lot of pictures of my girls on my Instagram account and it was starting to make me feel uneasy.  These feelings have been occurring off and on for quite some time so I decided it was time to make a change.  The solution that I’m loving was to create a private account that only family and few select friends that are interested can access.  This private account is all about Alice and Elaine.  It totally satisfies my Momma desire to share photo after photo of them on Instagram while easing my worries about sharing too much with the general public.  I’ll probably still share some photos of my kiddos on my main account, because they are obviously a HUGE part of my life, but the frequency will be drastically reduced.  The new set up is working out well.

I’m already thinking about my One Little Word for next year which makes me realize that I need to focus more on my current One Little Word for 2015.  We still have a good chunk of time to go.  Plus it’s a good one: gratitude.  I’m thinking about making a weekly list of things I’m grateful for.  Big things, little things – it all matters.  I have a lot to be grateful for and can’t help but think it’d be a good idea to give all those things special acknowledgement.

Around here, I’m also re-thinking the Mama/Daughter photo project I’ve been doing this year: M+AK+E.  I l-o-v-e the concept, but it takes a lot of time and effort for me to complete.  I can’t get it together on this one and I’m always late in completing each months’ spread.  (August’s will be late for sure.)  I do have every intention to finish the year out with this project, but next year I’m going to simplify for sure.

What have you been up to lately?  Fill me in 🙂

 

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Right Now

+ As of today I have been working out consistently for three weeks. THREE WEEKS. I can hardly believe it! Besides high school, I don’t think there has ever been a time that I’ve worked out consistently (as in more than once or twice a week) for three entire weeks straight. I definitely feel an increase in energy and notice an improvement in my overall level of fitness. Unfortunately I’m not visually seeing a huge improvement (hello muffin top I’m glaring at you) but I’m trying to not get discouraged and stick with it.

+ I ordered Elaine’s birthday party invitation. My baby is going to be one next month. ONE. This year just flew by, yet had moments where time seemed to drag on and on. Time is crazy thing.

+ Alice’s vocabulary seems to increase by the minute. She’s speaking in sentences and coming home with brand new words and phrases all the time.

+ Motherhood in general. Being a mom to sisters is so much fun. I love watching their little personalities unfold as well as their relationship with each other. They’re constantly hugging on one another and it’s pretty much the sweetest and the cutest. I’ve been trying to be diligent by writing down little things I want to remember about this time in our (their) lives.

+ Dreaming about our next vacation. Matt has put his foot down that our next vacation will be at the beach. No running around taking in all the sites. We’re going to sit and relax and be still. Sounds pretty awesome. Hopefully it happens soon!

+ Yesterday I gave a presentation at work in front of about 25 people and I survived! I was pretty nervous but I think it went decently. I didn’t blow minds or anything (that’s largely in part to the subject matter of the presentation) but I’m glad that I came through without tripping over every single word or staring down at my notes the entire time. Public speaking can be so nerve wracking and I haven’t done it for years. Hooray for getting out of my comfort zone and living to tell the (small) tale.

+ Looking forward to an all girls weekend later this month. Plans include catching up, sitting by the pool with drinks that sport little umbrellas, shopping, and eating good food. I’m so excited.

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Our Typical Weekday

I seem to be on the 4-5 month track for writing these “typical weekday” type posts. Although the basic outline of our weekdays have remained the same, the change in so many of the details amazes me. When I looked back on my last weekday recap, I immediately felt a huge sense of relief. Everyone is definitely getting a lot more rest these days and a full night of sleep makes allllllll the difference in the world!

Here’s what a typical weekday looks like for us right now: Alice age 2, Elaine  9 months, and Matt and Melissa married 4 years and 3 months

610 am: I wake up 10 minutes before my alarm. This is what happens when babies consistently sleep through the night!!! (!!!). I debate snoozing for another 10 or getting up. I decide to get up.

Quiet as a mouse, I head into the bathroom with the monitor after letting Penny Lane outside. Everyone is still asleep. Today is one of Matt’s work from home days so he and Alice will sleep in till 8am before he drops her off at daycare and returns home for a morning at his desk.

620 am: Still trying to be as quiet as possible, I exit the bathroom with makeup and brushed hair. I get dressed in semi darkness so as not to disturb Matt too much. Although Elaine has been sleeping through the night (CAN WE SAY, HOORAY!!!) she wakes very easily in the mornings and I would really like for her to remain asleep till 7am.

630 am- 7am: I head into the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee. The bean grinder is super noisy, but a necessary evil. Elaine squawks. I check the monitor. She doesn’t appear fully awake and I watch her pop her paci into her mouth and lay her head down while she strokes her lovey. Sweet girl. I hold my breath. She’s quiet, so I continue with my routine and make myself breakfast. These days I’ve been having scrambled eggs and cheese on toast. A breakfast sandwich. Elaine makes more noise but luckily doesn’t become upset. I’m able to finish my breakfast. I make sure my pump bag is properly stocked with enough bottles to pump twice during my work day, I fill up my water bottle and pack it into my enormous work bag.

7am: Elaine is officially up and wants everyone in the house to know it. I head into her room and scoop her up into my arms. I sniff and kiss her sweet little head. She is happy, giggly, and bouncy! I immediately settle into the glider in her room and nurse her. She acts like she hasn’t had any nourishment in days. This is a sweet time, just the two of us. While she nurses, she grabs my hair, my shirt, anything she can get a hold of. I stroke her hair and marvel as I do everyday over her golden highlights and bright blue eyes. She gets both these traits from her grandfathers. Matt, Alice, and I all have brown eyes. Alice’s hair is reddish but Matt and I both have dark hair. (Although Matt had blonde hair when he was boy and so did my dad.) Genes are a funny thing.

710-730 am: Once E is through nursing she has a diaper change and is dressed for the day. She panics, as she does everyday, when I slip her onesie over her head. I assure her that it’s just a shirt and she’ll be okay. She believes me and calms down. Fully dressed I set her on the floor of her bedroom with a few toy options. They entertain her for a few moments before she pokes her little head out of her bedroom door to see what I’m doing in the kitchen. I’m busy making myself one more cup of coffee and blending up a smoothie for my mid-morning snack. I finish packing my work bag, grab E’s bottle bag that I packed the night before as well as my pump bag. I load all three things into the car along with my coffee. I scoop Elaine up, she’s made it to the living room and is being chaperoned by Penny. I buckle her into her car seat and we’re backing out of the garage by 730 am.

730 am: Summer traffic means that 5 minutes is shaved off our commute to daycare. It takes us 10 minutes to get there today instead of the usual 15. I decide to take a break from podcasts (I’ve been listening to lots of Joy the Baker lately) and we listen to music on our drive.

753 am: I pull into the parking lot at work.  I’m early!  I scroll through social media feeds and listen to more music before heading into the office for the day.

8am – 1 pm. Work.

750ish – Matt gets up, dressed, and makes coffee. He gets Alice up and dressed. They’re out the door somewhere between 8-815. Breakfast is served at 830 am at Alice’s school. On days that Matt has to commute into the office, he and Alice get up much earlier. On commuter days, he wakes up sometime between 630-640 am. Then he and Alice are out the door between 7am and 715am. Basically an hour difference.

Alices’ daycare day consists of three hot meals and a snack. Her daycare emails us a menu every week and I’m pleased with the hot and healthy meals they serve.  She has art and music time. Indoor and outdoor playground time. Spiritual time (she’s attends a Christian daycare) that includes either scripture reading or music. Of course there is also nap time. Just recently she graduated from her one year old class to the two year old class.  Several weeks before the official move, she was spending several hours a day with her new class so that the transition wasn’t a shock in at all.  In fact she was consistently asking to play with the two year old class.  I’ve been so pleased with Alice’s “school”.

Elaine’s daycare day consists of three bottles that I send and meals that they provide and feed her. She also has a light afternoon snack. They read stories, play, listen to music, and occasionally make little art projects. Elaine takes at least two naps while at daycare, she seems to have dropped her third nap. There are around 8 babies in Elaine’s daycare, all under the age of 15 months. The caregivers are a mother-daughter team and do a great job caring for our baby girl.

10am (and 3pm): I’m still pumping for about 20 minutes twice a day. I cut out the lunch time pumping session when Elaine was around 6.5 months for my mental health. I send her to daycare with both breast milk and formula. I nurse her when we are together. When we are apart, she takes formula for Daddy and for grandparents. I’ve adopted a no guilt policy and it’s working out well for all involved. 🙂

1pm: Lunch time. Normally I would head home for lunch and eat something we have on hand. During that hour at home, I also try to do a chore like unload the dishwasher or start a load of laundry.  However today was a treat because Matt picked me up for a lunch date. One of the perks of his work-from-home days. With two small ones, dates are pretty infrequent. So any kind of date is a treat. We go to our favorite lunch date spot for authentic Mexican food.  So good.

After lunch I had a bit of extra time before I was due back to the office so I decided to go for a quick walk.  I wear a fitbit and my short walk afforded me some extra steps. #NerdAlert

2-5 Work.

5pm: I leave to go pick up Alice. Normally I take and pick up Elaine because it makes sense for Matt to take and pick up Alice in relation to his office. But twice a week, when Matt works from home, he picks up Elaine and I pick up Alice. I like to be familiar with both of my girls’ care providers and set my eyes on where they spend so much time. I feel like this makes me sound controlling… but it’s just something that’s important to me.

510 pm: I spot Alice playing with the other kids in her class at the same time she sees me. She runs into my arms. The. Best. I chat with her teachers about her day. We grab her sweater from the morning, her daily report sheet, and the artwork she’s made.  Once she’s buckled into her car seat we make the drive home singing and chatting the whole way.

525-600pm: Pulling into our driveway, I spot Matt and Elaine rocking on the front porch awaiting our arrival. Hugs and kisses all around. Matt has picked up my favorite BBQ! I change out of my work clothes, Matt helps Alice wash her hands, and then we all settle around the dining table for dinner. Elaine is in the highchair and Alice is in a booster seat. Probably doesn’t need to be said, but dinner with a baby and a toddler is busy. In between my own bites of food I feed Elaine. Alice pretty much eats whatever we have for dinner and is mostly self sufficient. Elaine has cheerios, half a banana, and I spoon feed her a partial organic baby food pouch. Today it’s creamy chicken and veggies.

6-ish pm: We’re finishing up dinner and as a treat we’ve let Alice have a little bowl of icecream leftover from her birthday party. It’s nice outside and I suggest we go for a walk. Afternoon walks with my family is my favorite. Getting out the door takes a few minutes and meltdowns (the kids and the dog’s). Shoes are pulled on, the leash is taken out, the stroller is set up, grab a pacifier for Elaine, it’s slightly chilly so the girls are wrapped with lightweight blankets. 10-15 minutes later and we’re finally out the door.

6:15ish: We walk around our neighborhood for about 30 minutes. Matt likes to push the stroller and hold Penny’s leash. (Super Dad 😉 We listen to music through a jambox. 
Elaine’s pretty quiet with the exception of a couple times when she has dropped her pacifier. Alice sings and repeatedly says “Hi Mama! Hi Daddy” while holding her hand up to be squeezed by each of us respectively. Matt and I chat about what we like in the houses and yards we pass, making mental notes of what we’d like to do in our home and/or future home. Ultimately we’d both love to live on a cul-de-sac. Did I mention that family walks are my favorite?

650-730pm: Back home we unload the girls. I immediately roll into Elaine’s bedtime routine.  It’s a bath night. We’ve been giving the girls a bath every other night lately. The daily bath was just too harsh on their sensitive skin. While I bathe Elaine, Matt and Alice hang out in the living room. Tonight they are looking at her new set of markers and coloring pad that she got for her birthday. Post bath, I lotion and put E in her pj’s. She’s quite mobile and doesn’t make it easy because she keeps trying to roll over and crawl off the edge of her changing table. Once she’s dressed in her pj’s and sleep sack I switch off her bedroom light, shut the door, and turn on her sound machine. She yawns in anticipation, she’s got this bedtime routine down. I nurse her for the last time of the day. Once she’s full she’s looking for her paci before plopping her head down on my shoulder. Baby cuddles are the sweetest. I hold her close and we rock for a few minutes. At that moment, Alice pushes the door open and yells out “Mama!” Ooops! I forgot to close the door all the way. Matt grabs Alice, shuts the door and I rock Elaine a little longer to settle her back down. It doesn’t take long and I lay her in her crib with her lovey. We don’t hear from her till the morning.

725 pm: While I’m finishing up with Elaine, Matt starts Alice’s bedtime routine. Bathtime, pj’s, and lotion. I give her a hug and a kiss before Matt puts her down for the night. It’s not unusual for her to sing and talk to her lovey and Suzette for about half an hour. During this time I make Elaine’s bottles for the next day and put them in the fridge.

8 pm: I check the baby monitor. Elaine is fast asleep. Alice is still chatting away. I open the door to her room and am greeted by her small voice “Hi Mama.” It’s like she’s expecting me.  She stretches her arms to me and requests “Rock a bye baby.” I give in, of course. I rock her back and forth and sing rock-a-bye baby. She requests it three times and each time I say “Okay, but this is the last time.” She’s satisfied and I lay her back down in her crib and tuck her in. She holds up Suzzette and her Lovey “kisses!!” I give them both kisses and have them kiss her – three times. I tell her “goodnight” and shut the door. Just before the door completely closes I see her roll onto her side with her thumb in her mouth. She’s quiet for the rest of the night.

8-9pm: Matt and I sit in the living room, chatting, watching TV, and playing on our ipads. I get in the shower around 9. I still like my evening shower because helps me wind down for the night.

945 pm: I’m tired. I kiss Matt goodnight and go into each girl’s room to check on them one last time. They’re both asleep. Elaine is still wearing a sleep sack and Alice has once again kicked her blankets off. I cover her back up before climbing into bed. On my phone I check the weather and scroll through social media. This is probably not the best habit because before I know it, 1020. I make sure my alarm is set and I turn off the lights. Matt usually makes his way to bed sometime between 11 and midnight. With both kids now sleeping through the night I find it to be … awesome!

I’ve written two other “Typical Weekday” Posts and although the basic outline of each day is fairly similar, the details are so different! I love having these logs of how our days rolled out at these different stages in our lives. If you’re curious I’ve linked them below:

Typical Weekday # 1: I was 9 months pregnant with Elaine and Alice was 14 months old

Typical Weekday #2, Alice was 19 months and Elaine was 4 months (Whew! This makes me tired to just read!)

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Categories: kiddos, life, Married Life, Matt, motherhood, yours truly Tags: , , , ,
M+AK+E in May

In 2015 I’m doing a monthly mother/daughter photo project documenting 5 favorites.  At the end of year I plan on making a photo album of all our monthly memories. See all mother daughter posts here.

 

Here’s what my little ladies and I have been into this past month:

Current favorite cup >> M – ceramic polka dot travel mug, AK – mermaid cup (tied with her miracle 360 cup), E – NUK sippy cup

Consuming >> M – green smoothies, AK – cheesticks, E – cheerios

Loving >> M – potted plants, AK- her new tricycle, E – bath time

Wearing >> M – navy polka dot dress, AK – red two piece dress, E – smocked ruffled onesie

Reading >> M – Hello Mornings Bible study, AK – Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: And Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes , E  – If I were a Hippo

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M+AK+E in April

In 2015 I want to do a monthly mother daughter photo project documenting 5 of our favorite little things. At the end of the year I plan to have this photo project printed into a keepsake book.  Here’s what we were up to in April:

Reading >> M – Beautiful Ruins, AK – Wheels on the Bus , E – Goodnight Baby

Wearing >> M – slip on sneakers (similar), AK – pink Mary Janes (similar), E – silver Mary Janes

Playing with >> M – plants and flowers, AK – baby doll, E – musical puppy

Loved >> M – unexpected extra time with Matt, AK – Easter festivities, E – eating meals in the highchair

Accomplished >> M – my 1st 5K, AK – pig tails!, E – sitting up all on her own

p.s. see all posts in the M+AK+E series here 

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Categories: kiddos, M + M, M+AK+E, Matt, motherhood, yours truly Tags: , , , ,