love

william: eight months old.

he’s walking. my eight month old is walking. that’s it. that’s the update. don’t have anything else to talk about, and don’t have the time to talk about it because i’m too busy running around after my WALKING EIGHT MONTH OLD because apparently our house is not at all babyproofed. the end.

here is what mister William was like between seven and eight months:

William still loves food. he will eat literally anything you set in front of him, and has started to refuse his purees. so our challenge is now to find solid foods that he can gum. the silver lining of him loving everything is that his typical meal can be steamed peas and carrots, ground turkey, squished beans, applesauce or pears, and every so often we can trick him into eating some rice or oat cereal. we can’t wait for him to start eating eggs and dairy so that he can participate more fully in our meals. boy will that make life about a million times easier!

you know what is really easy already? William, just as a human baby. this boy is seriously just an easygoing guy. he can stay up past his naptime or bedtime if we need him to, and while he has the occasional fussy moment when he’s cutting a tooth or is super tired or hungry, he is almost never out of sorts. people make comments all the time how freely he gives smiles to strangers, and how genuinely happy he is. and we are very thankful that this is how he is, because we needed him as our second child to be this way.

little buddy also loves very deeply. he is obsessed with his dad and sister (i think he loves me too, but he gets bored with me easily). he is in deep love with my parents dog bella, and really dogs in general. anytime he sees a dog walking toward him, he flaps his arms and starts yelling. it’s pretty great to watch. his big thing lately is looking at you and tilting his head all coyly, and making you fall in love with him as well.

so yea, i already touched on the walking thing up there. and while TECHNICALLY, he didn’t officially walk until the day after he turned eight months old, i’m counting it. so i’m too tired to really talk any more about this, because i spend a lot of time running around after two “toddlers” now. sidenote: can an eight month old be a toddler? is a toddler defined by walking, or just by being older than a year? enlighten me.

[this is what he does anytime he gets in his car seat. but dude, i don’t even drive that fast!]

little william: your personality is bursting at the seams these days, and it’s so fun to see you grow into your own little person. time is moving way too fast for me, you are losing more of your baby-ness each day and growing up before my eyes. it’s exciting to watch, but also moving faster than i can handle! i know that with your sweetness, you’ll always stay my baby boy (even though dad is your favorite). thanks for still snuggling with me when you know i need a fix.

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coffee date.

i have been missing this space more and more the longer i’ve been away from it. it’s not that i need this space for any tangible reason – i don’t make money from it, aside from the occasional product freebie – but i feel like it’s one of the only ways that i can channel and share my creative energy in a way that fits my life right now. not to mention all of you wonderful people i know because of this blog. i can’t tell you the amount of times i’m talking to someone in real life, and i reference something that my friend did, only to have to explain that i haven’t actually met said friend in person, i just know them from blogging. and yet some of my internet friends know me better than most people. we text and we comment and we share our day to day lives, and i know if i needed anything, i’d be able to ask any one of them for help. 

i’ve been feeling a little sappy about friendship and stuff lately, so in honor of friends both here and on the internet, i’m doing a long absent virtual coffee date.

if we were having coffee (or tea, you do you) i’d be drinking an americano with sugar free vanilla and a splash of cream. It’s like the caffeine kick of a latte but not as heavy. and also way cheaper. i may be drinking one right now…

i’d start out by asking about your fun summer stuff. any trips planned? do you have way too many weddings? are you able to just chill out? we have a couple cabin trips on the books, and i just got back from a girls weekend in colorado, which was nothing short of miraculous. we have a couple weddings, a record low for us. my brother-in-law is marrying the sweetest girl, i’ve known her since she was in middle school so we have lots of fun events planned for that. both kids are in the wedding (oh my gosh it’s going to be cute), Mister Man is co-best man and i am singing at the ceremony – eep! I can’t wait!

i’m obviously going to talk to you about my tiny little venture of love i started this spring, everything with love co. if you haven’t heard, i started an etsy shop making essential oil diffuser bracelets, keychains and baby accessories. i haven’t had a minute to update the shop or my instagram, but i’ve been selling them to friends, family and people in the community, and just loving it. if you don’t know what a diffuser bracelet is, it’s basically a bracelet that you apply a few drops of essential oil to so you can smell it and benefit from the scent throughout your day. i make leather and faux suede bracelets, and i’ve also branched out into keychains, stroller&crib charms, and pacifier clips. i wear my bracelet every day, and it’s been such a great thing to have in my “more stressful than normal” work environment. it would mean the world to me if you visited the shop or sent me a note if you’d be interested in learning more!

speaking of essential oils, i’ve been on a natural cleaning kick like whoa lately. i’ve been switching out as many cleaning products as i can with homemade versions. my glass cleaner works like a charm, as does my wood floor cleaner. i use the young living thieves cleaner for all purpose cleaning, and although i can’t get Mister Man to give up his scrubbing bubbles for cleaning the shower, i won’t be buying any commercial cleaners anytime soon. i do have a question for all of you. so i have recipes for all these natural cleaners that i use…would you want to see posts on those recipes? i know that not everyone is into the so-called “crunchy” life, but i don’t think you have to be crunchy to want safer, more natural cleaning products, so if there’s interest i’d love to share! i know lots of you love my soup recipes, so maybe you’d love my cleaning recipes too? let me know!

do you ever just sit back and wonder how life can possibly pass by so quickly, and also drag by like it’s not even moving? i’ve started to realize this more and more as our lives fill up with the activities and minutiae that come with being the mom of two growing children. Amelia is starting preschool in the fall, and i must be in denial, because 1) i have no idea when the first day of school is (literally, i have no idea), and 2) i haven’t given any thought to how our schedule will change once that starts, or what she’ll wear (she’s almost grown out of 90% of her clothes), or even entirely how to prep her for this change. basically what i’m saying is that i thought i had a million years before i had to spend time thinking about this stuff, but it turns out i have about a month to do it all. it’s a pretty good analogy for how i live my life. and it maybe explains why i never send out birthday cards…my intentions are good, my execution is so, so bad. also: HOW DO I HAVE A CHILD WHO WILL BE THREE AND GOING TO PRESCHOOL THIS CANNOT BE MY REAL LIFE.

[one day old. this is how old my baby is, and how old she shall always be in my mind.]

thanks for having coffee with me on this muggy, gloomy (at least where i am) friday. i hope you have the best friday ever, and enough coffee to keep you buzzing from the caffeine, but not so much to give you the shakes. i love you and i smooch you.

love, me.

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william: seven months old.

in the last update (you know, the one that was 6 weeks late, so really just posted for me to have a record that my child had a six month milestone…), i mentioned that William had made leaps and bounds from six to seven months, and you guys, i think i finally realized why he never sleeps.

our little homeboy has decided to pretty much learn everything with the span of four weeks. and the next four are probably not going to be much different. between six and seven months, William learned to pull to standing – on EVERYTHING. he learned to crawl. he learned how to stand up and yell in his crib before bedtime. the sheer brain and muscle power all of it takes is shocking. he’s pretty amazing, and i am in awe of him every single day. i mean, the sleep, as ALWAYS, could be better, but the exhaustion is so temporary that i am confident i will make it through this alive…most days.

here is what mister William was like between six and seven months:

William loves food. he loves it. he will eat anything (much like his sister), and in any form (very unlike his sister). she strictly loved purees until almost eight months, while he is very into gumming mushy veggies whenever he can. it’s so funny, because he has no teeth and it’s very hard for him to do, but he loves it! he is now eating rice cereal, prunes, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, apples, pears, and some puffs. he’s also had a couple tastes of watermelon and is very into it. i’ve been making new purees as i think of it, and i’ll usually steam up some frozen peas/carrots until they’re soft enough for him to munch on. i love baby feeding!

i’m not going to talk about this much more, but let me just put this on the record here: William will be walking by eight and half months. that’s my prediction. my daughter was a crazy early walker at nine and half months, but i’m betting that he will have her beat. he seriously thinks he can walk already, so we’ve had a lot of faceplants happening around here. he loves getting walked around while hanging on to our fingers, and is pretty proficient at it, and while he likes crawling, you can tell that being upright is his jam. i’m not sure what it is about Mister Man and i that makes our children like this, but there has to be something to the combination of our genes where the children we make are kind of freakish with their motor skills. too bad they’ll all be too short to do any kind of athletic sport professionally…

i didn’t think it was possible, but somehow my happy baby boy is getting even more smiley by the day. he is very quick with a grin to anybody who smiles at him, and will reach his arms out to almost anyone and be totally fine in their arms. he likes to know that dad and i are nearby, and has very strong preferences about his favorite people (dad, amelia, the grandparents and his uncle mark), but is seriously so social and joyful! he’s starting to show more emotions with that too, like when Amelia cries or is upset, he will have sympathy tears quite often, and he also gets mad if you aren’t quick enough with getting the food from the bowl to his mouth. we lucked out in the mood department with this kid, let me tell you. he’s a lover, not a crier.

little william: your personality is bursting at the seams these days, and it’s so fun to see you grow into your own little person. time is moving way too fast for me, you are losing more of your baby-ness each day and growing up before my eyes. it’s exciting to watch, but also moving faster than i can handle! i know that with your sweetness, you’ll always stay my baby boy (even though dad is your favorite). thanks for still snuggling with me when you know i need a fix.

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william: six months old.

oh boy you guys. i am pretty dang tired (in my head, i always say “pretty dang” in Amelia’s voice…she says it with a cowboy voice and it’s the best!). six months brought a lot of great stuff to our lives, but sleep was not one of them. oooohhhhh no it was not one of them. if I had to sum it up, six months gaveth all the gross motor skills, and tooketh all the sleep.

let’s get to it, shall we? (keep in mind, William is now seven months old, and has made a lot of leaps and bounds, which i will talk about in his seven month update, which will hopefully be up over the weekend. at this point, the time to upload the pictures is what’s killing me with these updates, but it’s important for me to have these, so on i will march!)

here is what mister William was like between five and six months:

i don’t know what it is about my children, but they have this innate need to be on the go ALL THE TIME. if they are not constantly moving, they are not happy. this is the main way that Amelia and William are so much alike. the moving. it’s insane!

if my baby boy is not sleeping or eating (quickly), he is moving, or whining about wanting to move more. between five and six months he learned to sit by himself and push to sitting. and now that he’s learned that, all he wants to do is be able to crawl or stand up on things. as of six months, he’s close to the crawling, and i’m guessing the standing won’t be far behind. and this is all exciting! but when my kids are learning new skills, they don’t sleep well. and since he’s learning all the skills, there is not much sleep happening at night. i’ve been telling myself that it’s temporary, but that gets harder day by day.

one of my favorite parts of having a growing baby is the part where they start to eat solids. William is SO FUN to feed! he gets so jacked up to get the spoon to his mouth. so far he’s eaten rice cereal, homemade applesauce, prunes, and pureed sweet potatoes (yes, we feed our babies rice cereal. we also feed them homemade fruit and veggie purees. i sometimes let them suck on pickles. eventually we will let them eat things that contain sugar. if you have a problem with any of these things, you can email me at mindyabusiness@calmdown.com). we will be starting carrots, avocados, peas, and pears soon. we’re taking it slow because Amelia has had some gut issues in the past, so by the time we get to a few more foods he’ll almost be ready for cheerios and puffs!

[parents. of. the. year.]

little william: even though you keep me awake at night, you are worth it. and those smiles pretty much make up for anything you’ll ever do. watching you and your sister together is one of the great joys of my life, and i will never get tired of how you look at her. thank you for being so perfectly matched to our family.

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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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