Shake It Off

IMG_5194.JPG

October was warm. Ya hear that, Great Pumpkin? Don’t worry, Halloween will be average and chilly. But what a GLORIOUS mild October. Shorts! I mean, sell me on living in California. Adored the changing leaves, but if I see another leaf fall I’ll cry. Too much raking.

We found a fantastic lake and trail area 5 minutes from our house that we had no idea was even there. Wish we’d known about it sooner. We’ve been taking the boys after school and it’s incredibly relaxing. I’ve been trying to trail run before daylight savings gets the best of us. Getting out of the house as a family is mission critical to your sanity.

We’re getting ready for Halloween, which will probably be the last time the boys can’t speak up and tell me what THEY want to be. I think I chose some pretty cool costumes. I’ve come to realize that buying candy is ridiculously expensive, and it’s best to shop for that junk at Costco. Roo and I have been carving pumpkins since we were dating, one of my favorite things to do. Hardest part is figuring out the design. My brother is seriously THE best pumpkin carver. I’ll share what he whips up this year. Don’t forget the pumpkin seeds! While Nightmare Before Christmas blares in the background. SUCH a sucker for the holidays.

IMG_5164.JPG

IMG_5183.JPG

IMG_5208.JPG

IMG_5222.JPG

IMG_5219.JPG

IMG_5230.JPG

IMG_5250.JPG

IMG_5255.JPG

IMG_5257.JPG

IMG_5276.JPG

IMG_5168.JPG

IMG_5167.JPG

Don’t Call It A Comeback.

IMG_4988 (2)

My maternity leave feels somewhat like a sabbatical. A matbatical, or sabbernity. Whatever you call it, it was the most fun I’ve had on no sleep since college.

I’ve always said, you can ask a question about parenting to 10 different moms and you’ll receive 10 very different responses. That’s the norm. Every baby and every experience is different. Right now, I’m excited (and very nervous) to go back to work. For me, it’s time.

Now, let’s try not to cry.

On vacation maternity I’ve learned…

  1. Morning news is the best trash you’ll watch all day. I always had funny link to send to my friends or family by 9AM – sadly, I was the only person that found these things funny.
  2. Women are lucky. Listen, I am incredibly fortunate to have spent the past three months with Rhys. I know babies need their moms, but sometimes anyone with a bottle can make a baby happy. I consider myself fortunate for the time I’ve had nestling with him, considering many dads and some moms get little or no time off.
  3. Two kids mellows you out. Life almost felt like it slowed down. A new baby + an older sibling = opposite of relaxed, right? For me, I found that I did everything around the boys. They were my priority. That meant cuddling on the couch, taking longer walks, napping, etc. You can turn into a hurricane trying to get things done when babies are sleeping, but I honestly tried to follow their lead and do activities they wanted to do, instead of lugging them around on my errands. I had to consciously try to stop feeling anxious and guilty when I wasn’t working or doing something to/for the house or family.
  4. Coffee is my weakness. OK, this won’t come as a surprise if you know me, but I treated myself a few times a week was a good ol’ mocha or seasonal latte. I think I would be 10 pounds lighter if I could kick this habit.
  5. The devil is behind every online purchase. A top reason I need to go back to work, somebody has to to pay my online shopping bill. Nothing like ordering a whole bunch of stuff you just know you’ll look great in, with no place to actually wear it.

When it comes to being a stay-at-home or working mom there isn’t a right answer or best case scenario. Here’s the deal, I am surrounded by moms of all types. I have mom friends that run their own businesses, are employed part-time, and those that are stay-at-home. These women are all happy in their own respect and I feel that each of them are meant to be doing exactly what they are doing. Even my brother is able to keep my niece (4 months) while he works from home. I’m ever amazed at his awesomeness.

IMG_5123

You don’t have to justify your decision. I think I’m quick to rattle off reasons why I feel the need to go back to work, when it’s simply my decision and nobody’s business on how I arrived at that conclusion.

Regardless of what a mom or dad chooses they will always be a full-time parent. Even at work you’re constantly checking in on your kids to see if they’re sick, what they’ve eaten, or if they’ve slept.

I was with Ryder for 8 months before we put him in school. God bless UK maternity laws. I realized after trying to freelance and keep Rye at home that I craved adult interaction and wanted to continue following my ambition. Ryder needed to socialize, make friends, and learn. Every time he shows me something new, sings a song, or signs to me, I melt. We are fortunate to have found such a good school. It also makes me love every minute I spend with him even more. Time is precious.

Three months, eight months, or a year…it will always be hard to hand over the reigns to someone else. You’ll know what’s right for you. I’m blessed to have a job that I adore. If I’m going to be away from my babes it better be for something I love.

Newsflash, I’m not the only mother to go back to work. I have such admiration for working parents, a whole new level of profound respect.

Rhys is just toddler clay but I keep telling him he’s about to get a whole bevvy of personal assistants that will show him loads of cool things.

[insert ugly cry]

And then you have to take all your nerves, your tears, and your smiles, and put them at the top of your prayer pile.

IMG_5017

 

Posted in RAM

Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch

IMG_4972 (2)
Minnesota is on fire right now. Indian summer. We were in the high 60s and low 70s. Glorious,even the locals have commented that they’ve never seen the fall trees this bright with color. It’s like someone took a highlighter to all the trees.

We took the boys to the great pumpkin patch. There really is no better fun that hanging out with the family on the weekend. We moo’d at the cows, ran everywhere, crawled everywhere, and played in the hay.

It’s going to be such a week for me. Looking at all the pics we took absolutely melts me.

Bonus tip, look desperate and people will be more than happy to take a family photo for you! We ended up with some great shots from a super nice guy.

IMG_4837

IMG_4840

IMG_4865

IMG_4921 (2)

IMG_4926 (2)

IMG_4852

IMG_4936 (3)

IMG_5020 (2)

IMG_5003 (2)

IMG_4988 (2)

IMG_4867 (2)

IMG_4879 (2)

IMG_4961 (2)

IMG_4929

IMG_4965 (2)

IMG_4927

Three Months New

IMG_4855 (2)
Turn ons: Singing and reading. Strolls, runs and walks. Target. Furrowing his brow. Putting hands all in his mouth. Smiling is his favorite. He’s a very social guy that loves to smile and coo at the ladies.
Turn offs: Socks.

We’ve found our hands and feet. I swaddle him at night and wake up to Houdini, all unwrapped.Oddly enough, this kid is more of a beast than we thought Ryder was. Rhys has surpassed his big bro in every category and has been in 6 month clothes for over a week. He’s long and lean – someone send a tailor.

Can I brag? When both my MIL and FIL were in town they said they never head him cry. Hip, hip! I mean, yes I am sure he cried at some point, but he’s honestly a happy baby.

I whispered to Rhys just last night that I was going to miss smelling his head and rubbing his tiny belly and feet. They simply get too big too quick. Ryder is loads of fun at his age, but the puppy phase is something I want to slow down and embrace.

God, I’m lucky. Thank you.

IMG_4832 (2)

IMG_4818 (2)

IMG_4841 (2)

IMG_4830 (2)

IMG_4853 (2)

IMG_4796 (2)

IMG_4770

Posted in RAM

Morning Coffee

IMG_4734.JPG
The North Face got all up in some customer’s faces in Korea. This is one of the coolest stunts I’ve seen lately.
Joan Travolta, is that you on the right? We know how you love to fly!
So, CDC, you sure you got this? Someone call Morgan Freeman.
Get ya some, Michelle!
Top 10 slo-mo movie moments. Pretty upset The Sandlot didn’t make the cut…FOR EV ER!
A racy read, but grounded in making sure you’re paying attention to what you’re actually looking for.
Why I truly cherish and try to work to keep my relationships close.

Ain’t In No Hurry Today

IMG_4635

Soaking up the fall colors and all the time I can with the boys. My last week of maternity is here, which is crazy for a dozen different reasons. The weather has been spectacular and the leaves are stunning. Can’t complain about this fall. We enjoyed a weekend with Pop Pop in town and checking out Oktoberfest; beer goes well with children.

Bonfire season is upon us! Sweatshirts and shorts.

IMG_4712

IMG_4711

IMG_4713

IMG_4598

IMG_4582

IMG_4701

IMG_4710

Falloween

IMG_4281

Hard to believe that last weekend we were basking in 80 degrees. This weekend, we had our first fire. Sniffle?
I will say that I adore living in a place with four seasons. Talk to me again in March….There is something cool about October, the crisp air, pumpkins and the changing leaves.
Boys are still keeping us on our toes. It’s uncanny how they do almost everything together. From when they are hungry and sleepy, to when one wants a blanket so does the other. Fun coaxing Ryder into doing stuff by simply saying, “Ok, Rhys and I are going to do x.” See how long that lasts!
October is going to be bittersweet around here. Time to soak up all the snuggles and extra time lounging around.

IMG_4342IMG_4311

IMG_4309

IMG_4356

IMG_4341

IMG_4355

IMG_4373

IMG_4240

IMG_4199

IMG_4250

IMG_4254

Oh, Brother

IMG_3908
“A brother is a friend given by Nature.” — Jean Baptiste Legouve

Ryder reached out to Rhys all on his own, after I told Rye that he wasn’t feeling good (two month shots). Not even two and he is already being a big brother. Melt my world.

Morning Coffee

IMG_4216-1.JPG

Starting to read Gone Girl. I might be late to the party, but at least I showed up.

Hit Me Baby One More Time” is 16. That means that kids born that year are now driving. #oldasdirt

Obsessed with
Vance Joy.
This isn’t just about being a good boss, it’s about being a mentor. Article hits some great points.
if she fucks up, which even competent people do sometimes, she’ll probably notice before you do and feel bad before you even address it. address it anyway because it shows you’re watching and it’s good to acknowledge together. if you need to, you can frame any reprimand-style conversation in terms of your personal disappointment, because you both know she can do better. also she respects you and wants your respect in turn. then you can turn to her process—which she’s taken responsibility for—and together figure out a way to make it better so the problem doesn’t happen again. people crave feedback, both positive and negative. the most valuable thing is being able to pay attention enough to say, “i’ve noticed you’ve done this little thing six times.” or “i notice that every time [x] happens, you do [y]. i don’t think it’s working.” that shit is invaluable!

Social media is destroying our attention span. Do You Have Time to Read This Story?

Raising Your First vs. Your Second Child . I actually think second babes get it a bit better. Whatever you couldn’t figure out/screwed up with numero uno, you get a mulligan on baby number 2.

Faves —
Bed
First Kid: Crib that Daddy put together himself while Mommy yelled at him.
Second Kid: Mommy’s bed. Daddy now has his own room with a mattress on the floor surrounded by dirty socks.

Shoes
First Kid: Something European with an umlaut in its name.
Second Kid: Old muddy shoes with faded umlaut and missing sole insert.

Might I add —
Cries
First Kid: Pick them up at the sound of a whimper.
Second Kid: Listen for a real cry then let the poor thing rip until you can settle the first child down.