love

still here, still squawking, still ridiculous.

i know that this blog has turned into a baby book substitute for my poor second-born child (i’m sorry william, i promise i will get you a real baby book like your sister has), and for that i…well, i don’t know what. do i apologize? i don’t think anyone was made that i went MIA. do i feel bad? kind of, but only for myself for not making my creative outlet more of a focus during this crazy time. i guess i feel like i miss the people who i interact with on this blog, and so maybe that’s it. maybe i just say that i’ve missed you all, whoever you are that come here to read my ridiculous squawking about the important and unimportant goings-on in my head.

i really like that this is a place that i can let my weird sense of dry humor show, and where i can update my faraway friends and loved ones, and where i can showcase my love of good old-fashioned home cooking and strong cocktails. and maybe write a heartfelt essay or two along the way that resonates with a few of you. this blog is not a blog like blogs have become over the past three years. and it won’t ever be that kind of a blog. even if or when i get my editorial calendar back on track, it will never be belong in the shiny, curated part of the internet with everyone else’s stylized (although maybe a little homogenous) stuff. and i hope that might be a tiny reason why people still read my blog…because it’s just me. and if you like me for me, what more could i ask for?

i have a recipe post lined up for next week, and somewhere, way down deep inside of me, there is some inspiration that’s starting to bubble up through the sleep deprivation that is part and parcel of being a working mom of two little ones. so while the baby book posts will still be a big part of how this blog is happening, you’ll start to see more of me sprinkled throughout this space. and i hope you’ll be here for all of it.

[that got weirdly deep, and i didn’t think it would. that’s what happens when you give me a beer and let me type without thinking for a few minutes….]

well let’s give a quick update into what’s happening in my life besides the whole child-rearing gig, shall we?

  • marriage is a whole different ballgame when there are two kids involved, but even through all the adjustments and general mayhem, i’m delighted to report that Mister Man and i are still very happily married. and what’s more, we will have been very happily married for five years as of june 1. in honor of this momentous occasion, we’ve decided to take a rather large, rather fun trip to the united kingdom in the fall, and it has been so much fun planning it out together! this will be our first trip to europe together, and my first time back since just after college, and i could not be more excited to take a trip, just my love and i, all the way across the pond. more on that as it comes together!
  • speaking of different ballgames…postpartum bodies are crazy. i won’t get into details, so as not to scare anyone off from having kids, but let’s just say that after baby number two, the snap back isn’t as snappy as it was with baby number one. i was in a big rut of eating ice cream every night, and dangerously close to the “eff it all” mentality, when i luckily was given the opportunity to do some nutrition and fitness coaching with katie over at belle fitness and nutrition. holy wow you guys. firstly, she is basically superwoman. she runs her own business, solo parents THREE children a lot of the time, and still has the best attitude around. secondly, she just gets how to help people fit good nutrition and fitness into their lives where they are. i don’t even have a gym membership, so she gave me some at home workouts, and they truly work (and i feel like i can make time for them, which is saying something). between her workouts and the nutrition program she works with, i’ve lost actual inches from my body in two months. i’m visibly slimming down, and it doesn’t feel like i’ve turned my life upside down to do it. because i wouldn’t have done it if it was too complicated. what i’m trying to say is, she’s amazing. if you’re in the market for a simple way to work good nutrition and fitness into your life, PLEASE check her out.
  • i’m drinking so much coffee these days you guys. like, i’m wondering when it qualifies as a problem. i’m walking a fine line between enjoying my daily coffee(s) and being fully dependent on them. i’m starting to justify the lattes at work by saying they are part of my daily protein intake, but we all know that it’s the espresso that i’m jonesing for. does anyone have experience in breaking a caffeine addiction while being sleep deprived that doesn’t involve actually giving up all caffeine? i’m not really going to do anything about it, but just in case i find myself getting worse…
  • i don’t know if any of you noticed that i have a second instagram now…in the absence of having the energy to write actual blog posts, i’ve been really into instagram and posting little micro-blog posts there. i’m also very into instagram stories. i mostly tell ridiculous stories about things my kids do to me, and every so often i can be pretty funny if you’re into that sort of thing. ANYWAY. if you read this blog, you’re cool and you already know that i’m halfway crunchy and into cooking from scratch, and natural cleaning products, and just generally being as much like laura ingalls as i can be. but my instagram is also a place where a lot of my irl contacts follow me, and i just find that the engagement for the crunchy stuff wasn’t there. i want people who like that sort of thing to be able to choose to see it and enjoy it if they want to. plus, i started posting a lot about essential oils, and i know that can trigger a lot of people because it’s gotten a bit crazy these days (and essential oil people can be a bit nutty if we’re being honest). so it all went into a separate account. all that being said, if you like that sort of thing (natural home and essential oil and simplified living), go ahead and follow me @withloveathome. also, a lot of people have asked so i’ll say it here: i’m not a big seller of essential oils, but i am a big fan of them, so if you ever have questions, or want me to order you some with my discount, or want to order them yourself, please don’t hesitate to ask.
  • i am an AUNTIE!!! our gorgeous niece, grace, arrived on april 21, and i am so excited to be an aunt i could just scream. it’s the weirdest feeling but there is something so cool about seeing your siblings have kids! Amelia is already obsessed with “baby grace”, and she and William are only six months apart, so i cannot wait to see how their relationship grows as they get older. i love my cousins so much, they are some of my best friends to this day, and i hope for the same for my kids.

thanks for being here and for giving me grace and for loving my silliness through it all. i love you all right back.

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william: five months old.

please read the next paragraph and laugh with me. i started writing it a month ago.

“we are getting back on track people! i really underestimated how crappy going back to work was going to be on my sleep and my energy and my life in general. but i think i’m finally out of the woods at least a little bit. in any case, i have the blogging bug back.”

hah. that was funny past erin. you thought you had things under control. but to post a monthly update, you have to take a photo… in any case, the following is what william was like between four and five months:

the thing about babies that is so great and also so terrible is that they do not keep. they just keep growing. which i love because sometimes babies are exhausting, and no amount of cute can make up for the lost sleep. but also sometimes i want to stop time and keep them just the way they are for a while longer, because the sweetest moments can be so fleeting.

[look. at. those. eyebrows. and. lashes.]

William is learning so much, so quickly, that i feel like i can’t keep up with him. every day he does some other thing he couldn’t do before, and before i know it i’ll be chasing after him in the yard with his sister. he wants to move so badly, and unlike his sister, actually tries to scoot towards the things he wants. i sense some baby proofing in our future, which we never did with Amelia, so we might be out of our league with this child. he’s the happiest baby i’ve ever had the pleasure of cuddling, so that’ll make up for any heart attacks he’s sure to give me down the line.

he rolls, and can sit up mostly unassisted, and he is already noticing us eating. like, he stares at the spoon going from the bowl to our mouths. we’ll be starting him on cereal in a few days, mostly so we can see if it helps him sleep better, sweet boy. he’s just getting too big to sleep for long stretches on milk alone. oh long stretches of sleep. i miss you.

little william: i cannot imagine life without you here now. your personality is so full of life and joy, and you delight everyone who sees you, from your dad and i, to your sister, to the checkout lady at the grocery store! thank you for being perfect little you. but maybe start to sleep through the night pretty soon, mmmkay?

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william: four months old.

oh good lord. there is nothing like going back to work and the 4-month sleep regression to knock you on your ass for a month or so, huh?

i’ll have every single one of you know that i took these photos the day after mister William turned four months old. so my intentions are so so good. my execution is so so bad. because william is already five months old. i’m planning on posting that one when he’s a year old. he’ll be five when i’m done getting around to his monthly updates…but this is my blog and i want to keep these memories here for me to look back on someday, so i’m going with the old mantra, “better late than never”.

i love that in all of the photos of William, he just exudes exactly who he is. like, this photo is William in a nutshell. smile on his face. finger in his mouth. probably waiting for his sister to come over and entertain him. he’s just a precious little ball of light, he is.

our little boy is growing up so quickly. as of four months, he was just starting to roll over, and just trying so hard to DO things. he loves watching his sister do anything, and i can tell that he is just going to worship the ground she walks on. i mean, he already does, but it’s going to be a serious love fest between the two of them. pretty soon i think that they will just entertain each other all the time and my life will just consist of kicking up my feet and eating bon-bons. PARENTING IS EASY Y’ALL.

sweet little buddy is a hard core mama’s boy. when i went back to work, he was not happy with me. and showed his displeasure by going from getting up once or twice a night to getting up three times a night like clockwork. it’s not cool. it’s adorable, but it’s not cool. i would much rather cuddle during the waking hours! but as with everything else that goes along with babies, this too shall pass. and that is what i keep saying to myself when i get so exhausted i can’t see straight…

little william: i cannot imagine life without you here now. your personality is so full of life and joy, and you delight everyone who sees you, from your dad and i, to your sister, to the checkout lady at the grocery store! thank you for being perfect little you. but maybe start to sleep through the night pretty soon, mmmkay?

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william: three months old.

ready for our typically late update on little mister william? at this rate, his one year update will be pushed back to december by the time i get to it.

oh william. you are the sunshine in our lives. all three of us; your dad, your sister and me, we are obsessed with your mood, your skills, your everything. and lucky for us, you give us all the reasons to smile. i mean, look at you, how could we not be in deep, deep love with you??

 

this next photo pretty much sums up our sweet boy’s personality. happy with whatever he’s given, and infectious in his happiness:

“oooooh! an avocado! thaaaanks!”

ten points to you and gryffindor if you know what that reference is.

between months two and three, william has come into his own in terms of his personality. he has settled into his own schedule and routine, getting up twice a night, getting up around 7:30am, staying up anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours before wanting to be cuddled into a nap (oh, he is the BEST cuddler), and then repeating the process a few times until his bedtime at 8 or so.

now that he is developing into his own little person, i might be willing to say that he will be even more social than his sister. he loves to smile at anyone and everyone, although he reserves the biggest and best smiles for his dad and his sister. he is in love with Amelia, and once he can sit up, my parenting job will be so much easier, because i’ll just make sure he’s sitting somewhere where he can see his sister and I won’t have to worry about entertaining him. right now, he loves to be held looking out so he can see as much as he possibly can. he really is only unhappy if he can’t see enough of the people or things that interest him. 

i go back to work soon (even sooner now that this is late), and while i get worried that he isn’t even four months old, and there will be some rough spots because of that (vote for paid maternity leave for all), i know that he will be fine. he knows how to go with the flow and even though he’s a mama’s boy, he will learn to be okay without me.

little william: i’ve learned that i live for your smile, especially when it’s prefaced by your “what are you looking at?” face. i am loving this stage with you, but also am so impatient to see what type of person you will be as you grow. i’m so excited to see how you and your sister are together as you get bigger and more able to “keep up” with her. thank you for being so sweet and for bringing our family so much happiness.

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william: two months old.

little william buddy is going to be 10 weeks old on monday. but he turned two months old on christmas eve, and we shall celebrate his two-monthness, no matter how late it might be!

let’s get straight to it, shall we?

we have been enjoying the heck out of this amazing little boy the past few weeks. something happened around the 8-week mark, i’m not sure what it was. he seems to have grown into himself a little maybe? he is more at ease on his own, he enjoys laying on his playmat and playing with george the giraffe (also a favorite of his sister). he falls asleep a bit easier, still fights it like his life depends on not going to sleep, but the fights are a little shorter now. and best of all: he loves the sleep sack swaddle at night. praise sweet baby Jesus!

we’ve been getting into a little more of a routine since the 8-week mark too. you go to bed every night around 9pm, and usually (I SAID USUALLY I’M NOT GETTING COCKY UNIVERSE) gives me about 6-7 hours of him sleeping. so he eats around 3am, then again at about 6am, and will normally go back to sleep until about 8am. i get his sister ready when she gets up around 7:30am, and then he hangs out for about an hour before he eats. he now can do three hour stretches between eating, which feels so freeing to me as the source of his food. he is terrible at naps like his sister, unless i’m wearing him, so depending on our day, he usually gets a couple 45 minute naps, and then one really long afternoon nap because he has exhausted himself, or he’ll sleep on me for a couple two hour long naps and then another hour or so in the evening to tide him over. he’s honestly so happy that it hasn’t really bothered me that his naps are so sporadic right now…the little man is happy to just be with us when he’s awake!

i can’t believe that i’m over halfway done with my maternity leave. i go back february 13, and i’m already certain that it’s going to go by way too fast and i’m going to wake up and it’s going to be time to go to work again. and that might kill me. because this mom of two thing is way, way harder than i ever thought it would be. there are more days than not that i don’t get out of my pajamas, and many more days that i am much too crabby with Mister Man because i’m overtired. but the good days are full of so much good that it’s going to be hard to leave this sweet life of no schedules or long work days or missing my babies.

little william: thank you for being such a perfect addition to our family. you cannot begin to understand how amazing it has been to watch you grow in just these last couple months. your dad, your sister and i can’t wait to see how much more fun we get to have with you as you grow.

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