I haven’t actually been doing monthly updates for Anniston’s first year, but this past month was a big one, so she earned it.
As I have mentioned numerous times, Anniston could not be more different from her big sister. She is a little more serious. A little more sensitive. She is happiest being held, still. She wants my attention at all times. She gets bored very easily and doesn’t enjoy playing alone. She hates to sleep and almost never naps. Those bags under her eyes in almost every picture, those are real, people. She has got to be exhausted by now. Eleven months and I can almost count the amount of naps she has taken on two hands.
As I write this post I am sitting here in shock over how fast this past year has gone. I started this so-called-blog about eight months ago, and gosh, eight months ago I was sitting at home, struggling to manage the day-to-day life with a 15 month old and a 2 month old.
Not going to lie or try to fool anyone into thinking I have everything figured out, but things are so different, yet still somewhat the same, with a now almost 2 year old and a ten month old.
I am still wrestling with a baby that hates to nap, chasing crazy Juliet all over the house, and trying to find time, even if it is just an hour, for myself, my sanity, and this blog.
What I can say is that it does get easier. Possibly because you just get used to it. Used to the constant chaos, the cries, the sibling fights that are already happening, the lack of sleep, lack of alone time.
Or maybe it is because it all becomes more worth it.
You now get two hugs, two kisses, two sisters that love each other so much that they are sad when the other is sleeping, two little girls that cry when it is not their turn to dance with their mommy around the house, two precious girls that have the absolute sweetest smiles, two hands that reach for yours every single day.
As I mentioned, Anniston is now 10 months old. She is crawling at the speed of light (seriously, she can be clear across the house and still manage to get to the refrigerator before I can open it, pour myself a glass of iced tea and close it again), she is cruising easily, and as of yesterday, she took her first two steps with out holding on to anything. She is now attached to Juliet’s side at all times, which does not always go over well with my Jules, and she is grabbing at and playing with any toy that Juliet had first.
Juliet is turning two this weekend, and I could not be more in awe of the little girl she is becoming. She is so full of love, laughter, energy (which can sometimes be confused with craziness), and light. She is obsessed with everything princess, her crowns, her shoes, and her little princess figurines that she has now named Mommy Cinderella, Juliet Rapunzel, and Anniston Sleeping Beauty. She wants to spend every minute she can outside walking, playing, and running. And she loves so hard. She gives the biggest and best hugs. She holds on so tight you just never want to let go.
And that is exactly how I feel right now. I just never want to let go of this time. The time that Anniston is ten months old and Juliet is almost 2. I know it keeps getting better, but can it really get better than this?
Okay, so I may not have it all together, but as a mom to two under two, there are a few things I have figured out. So I’ve decided to start a new series called Things You Need Thursday, to let you in on a few secrets that make my life a little easier, or sometimes just a little prettier.
The reason for starting this series? Oh, just the absolute best bath time find ever!
When Anniston was born, bath time became one of the most time-consuming and tiring activities in our house. With two baths per night, it felt like it took us almost two hours to get through all of the washing, drying, brushing, lotioning (that’s not a word), changing, screaming, crying, and all else that bath time entails. Anniston started sitting up at 5 months, and soon after that, my husband went on one of his work trips. I was left to handle bath time alone, for a week. I remembered that I had purchased a bath seat when Juliet was born that I never used but stored safely in a closet with a million other baby gadgets I just never got around to figuring out. I pulled the bath seat out and decided to give it a try. Two girls, one bath, could it be that easy?
It wasn’t just easy, it was life-changing.
The Keter Sitting Hammock is one of the best items I have ever purchased. Not only is this a total game changer for moms of two, but if your a new mom and your little one is a mover or you are sick of your infant tub, boom, the Sitting Hammock is here for you. It is so much easier to clean than scrubbing down an infant bath tub, and it takes up way less space, making it easier to store under the sink.
Anniston is so wiggly and always trying to lunge forward and crawl, so this seat is the perfect solution to allowing her to sit up while still sitting safely above the water. It gives her plenty of room to bend down and reach for toys that Juliet may have dropped, and it also lets her move a little to play with big sis. Great for her, but even better for me! I knock out bath time in a little less than thirty minutes now, and I think we are all a little happier about that.
The seat suctions to the bottom of your tub, so you don’t have to worry about your child floating away, but it does not protect your little ones from getting water poured on their heads by older siblings. Just saying.
So, do yourself a favor, and pick up one of these seats if you’re in need of a smoother, shorter bath time routine.
Side note: We have a winner! The winner of the ShopPinkBlush Giveaway for a $75 gift card is @kshark1027!
Nobody talks about 21 months. It isn’t some huge milestone, nothing big happens at this age, but for me, 21 months is everything.
At this age, the smallest things are exciting. When Juliet sees an airplane (we live near a private airport, so we see them often, a lot of them), she screams, she dances, she waves to it, she jumps up and down. Then, as it flies away, she says, “bye airplane, mommy, more airplane.” She loves them so much that even I now get excited to see airplanes.
At this age, she calls every man she sees with a mustache Daddy Pig.
At this age, everything is beautiful. A beautiful flower. A beautiful rock. A beautiful french fry. She thinks rocks are so beautiful that when she finds one on our walks she insists on giving it a kiss and holding onto it tightly until we return home, where I let her leave it right by the front door, waiting for her.
At this age, she has checked to see if mommy, daddy, or Anniston have a tail. Dogs have tails, bunnies have tails, Suzy Sheep has a tail.
At this age, the hugs are big. I could hug this little girl all day, and I almost do, but now, she hugs me. If I am sitting on the floor playing with Anniston, she comes up behind me and wraps her arms around me. When I pick her up, she doesn’t just sit in my arms, she throws her little arms around my neck. At night, when I put her to bed, she squeezes me so tight it makes me want to go in five minutes later and let her do it again. And I have. My husband has too.
At this age, she has learned to make funny faces. She then asks to FaceTime all of her aunts to show them her funny face.
At this age, she has learned how to make her sister cry. This includes pouring water on her head in the bath, sitting on top of her in the wagon, throwing toys at her, taking toys away from her, you name it and Juliet has tried it.
At this age, she has learned how to get her sister to stop crying. Sure, she is usually the reason why she is crying to begin with, but to turn around and see her giving her sister a big hug to try and get her to stop, well, that has to make up for it, right?
At this age, she loves being tickled. Juliet is extremely ticklish, and I may take advantage of that just to hear that infectious laugh of hers, but now, she grabs my hand and makes me tickle her. We even use one of her play oven mitts and call it the tickle hand. She now brings me that mitt, waits as I squeeze my hand into it, then stands next to me, just waiting for me to tickle her.
At this age, she insists that everyone’s name ends in shark. This all stems back to a children’s music video, called “Baby Shark”, that we played for her one time on vacation to get her to stop crying. It is now her favorite song, and everything must end in shark. Mommy shark. Daddy shark. Nemo shark. Dori Shark. Juliet shark. Everyone is a shark.
At this age, they make up words. I can understand almost everything she says these days and her vocabulary is pretty big, but when you are at the mall and your 21-month-old points to a white wall and yells “Seegy!”, now that is just made up.
At this age, she has learned about the drive-thru. I may be guilty of a few too many drive-thru Starbucks runs, but when she hears me talking to the man at the window, her little hand goes straight up as she starts chanting “pop-pop, pop-pop.”
At this age, the temper is big and it is quick. If she eats all of her yogurt, tantrum, she wanted more yogurt. If I put her in the wagon, tantrum, she wanted to walk. If I let her walk, tantrum, she wanted to be held. If I let her take Sofia to bed with her, tantrum, she wanted Amber. I give her Amber, tantrum, she wanted Mommy Pig.
At this age, she wants everyone to be happy, and if you tell her you are sad, she will yell, “happy!”, followed by the biggest smile you will ever see.
My husband and I purchased our home two months after we got married. We had been living downtown and didn’t want to give up that lifestyle. Plus, it was just us, so we got a small three bedroom home close to downtown and a mile from the beach. Three bedrooms! Two more bedrooms than we needed, and way more space than we needed or were used to. Then, only four months later, I was pregnant with Juliet. Okay, so now we had a nursery and a guest room. Perfect. Then, only four months after Juliet was born, I was pregnant with Anniston. Still okay. Sure, no guest room, but a bedroom for each girl, what more could we need?
So glad you asked.
We need more space!! We need a play room. We need somewhere to hide the eight million toys that are currently under our television, well actually, if I am being honest, they are currently all over my living room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom… you get the picture.
So, when we finally decided it was time to give up the beach and our downtown lifestyle that is currently nonexistent, I could not have been more excited. The day our realtor came over to list our house was one of the most exciting days ever. Finally, we would get the space we needed!
But then there are showings. Oh, showings, such a love/hate relationship I have with you. To be exact, there are 15 reasons why the hate part of the relationship seems so much stronger.
Our house did not sell after the first showing.
They will always be scheduled at the worst possible times, on the worst possible days.
People have weird smells, and I can still smell them when I get home after a showing.
Every person that has looked at our house has worn men’s work boots. I swear. Tracks and tracks of work boots across my wood floors. Every time.
Our house did not sell after the second showing.
People have the most absurd feedback. Like they didn’t want wood floors. Okay, great, why did you even come look at our house? My kids could have been napping, thank you.
They are always running late. One time I decided I could drive around with the girls during the 30 minute showing window. That worked out great until the people were 45 minutes late. My girls got an amazing two hour tour of the city that day.
I am constantly cleaning. Like, a different kind of cleaning. The kind of cleaning you do when you know people are going to come in your home and judge every inch of it.
I wish I could do the showings. Tell the people to buy my house, and be done with it. Easy.
Our house did not sell after the third showing.
They have turned what used to be an exciting activity – going to Barnes and Noble and playing with the “choo choos” – into something that is no longer fun. Plus, I think every employee in there now knows us and wonders why we have nothing better to do than trash their children’s floor everyday.
I am constantly nervous that a perfectly good day is going to be ruined by a phone call saying that we have a showing in one hour.
I need them. I hate that I need them so much. I don’t even have the opportunity to say, “No. I don’t feel like letting people look at my house today.” Because what if they were the people.
It is super creepy to leave your house knowing that strangers are about to pull up and walk in. I don’t like it.
Our house did not sell after the fourth showing.
So there it is. 15 reasons why I hate showings. Now I’m going to get back to staring at my phone, hoping my realtor calls with another showing. Somebody pleeeease buy my house!
Okay. Maybe some time has gone by since I last wrote anything. A lot of time actually. But I needed a break. Funny to take a break from something that you just started, but I did. I needed time to figure things out, and the time didn’t work. So now, I have decided that I may never actually figure things out. Things like getting a six month old to nap. Ever. But I’m okay with that. Sure, there are times where I wish I had a routine, a schedule, a way to get everything done while also being the best mom I can be, but it just isn’t happening. So now, I am going to be the mom that doesn’t have it figured out but is still happy with things just as they are.
And I am going to forget the grand ideas I had of blogging about all of my tricks and life-hacks for raising two kids that are only thirteen months apart. Because I don’t seem to have any. I am instead going to just keep blogging about my life, this crazy, lucky life I have. And if I happen to stumble across the best toddler toys or baby teething products, I will share them. But in the meantime, you can continue to follow along as I stop trying to figure out this motherhood thing and just try to live, love, and grow each day with my family.
So, as I stumble through the first six months as a mom of two, I write this to you Jules.
To my Juliet. My first baby. My love. My crazy girl. My baby shark. My monkey.
I’m sorry that my full attention, which you once had, has now been cut in half.
I’m sorry that I can’t dance around with you all day, like you want me too.
I’m sorry that I sometimes cannot wait until it is your nap time. And also that I usually hope you take a long nap.
I’m sorry that your lunches or dinners sometimes involve a squeezie or the same chicken nuggets on repeat.
I’m sorry that we don’t leave the house and go take on the world as the duo we used to be.
I’m sorry that there are times that I can’t pick you up right away when you fall, or when you are sad, or when you just want to be held.
But please, know this.
You will always have my attention. I can not take my eyes off of you. I wish I could record you every second of every day, because everything you do puts a smile on my face. You have made me laugh more than I thought was possible, and just being around you makes me a happier person.
Dancing with you is my favorite thing. Playing with you, laughing with you, being silly with you. They are all my favorite things. And I will squeeze as much of that into every day as I possibly can.
When you are napping, I miss you. Sure I am tired most days, and longing for a break, a minute to myself, but the minute after I put you in your crib and close the door, I miss you. Today you took a three and a half hour nap. I should have been grateful for that time. Time with your sister, time to do laundry, time to clean, time to rest. But I kept looking at the clock, wondering when you would finally wake up. I couldn’t wait any longer. I woke you up. I missed you too much.
I try. I try my hardest to be the best mom to you as I can. I don’t always succeed. With meals, I usually fail. But I will keep trying.
You will forever be my partner in crime. I want to get out as much as you do. I make up reasons to go to Target just so I can keep you from playing in the same room with the same toys every day. But one day, I won’t be able to keep you home. One day you will be going to school, one day you will be going to friends’ houses, or going to sleep overs, or activities and sports, and I will long for a day home with you, all to myself. So, for now, I will cherish every day that I get to spend with you in our house, on our floor, with you jumping all over me.
I will always be there to hug you, to hold you, to wipe your tears, to try and make you smile or laugh, to love you. My arms are a little more full these days, but your place in them has not been taken. I need you as much as you need me, and that will not change.
I love you. I love you more each day than the day before. You are the brightest light, the happiest face, and the silliest girl, and I love everything about you. You have made me better in so many ways and I will do everything I can, every day, to repay you for that. You are the greatest gift I could ever receive and I will continue to strive to be the best mother I can be, for you.
As my mom says to me, I will say to you, and I mean it just as much as she does,