5 Factors in Adjusting to Life with Two Kids

Top Ten Tuesday is now List It Tuesday, which basically just means the list can be any length. So, here’s a list of five of the biggest factors in adjusting to our new life with two kids. You’ll notice that the first four points are difficulties in some way, and the last is a huge positive – that outweighs the first four.

    1. Where does all the time go? I get Aria up, change her diaper, and set her up with breakfast. While she’s eating I change Noah and nurse him. I clean up Aria’s breakfast and change her into her play clothes. Noah is fussing. I get him settled, and by then Aria is ready for lunch. Wait – what? Doesn’t it seem like there should be more time in there? Where does that go? By the point I have everyone fed, changed, and happy, it’s time to feed or change someone again. And I only have the two. Some of you do this (or have done this) with even more {bows down}.
    2. Finding the scheduling balance. It’s all about that disappearing time. Before Noah was born Aria and I would get out of the house each day, even for just a short time. Now it’s much more difficult, and many days doesn’t happen at all. It’s also difficult for me to find the time to accomplish my work and blogging. I pretty much have to do those things while the kids are sleeping. I try to accomplish household chores while Aria is awake. I’m suffering in the areas of time with Andy and time to sleep. I’m not concerned about the sleep – occasionally, when it becomes imperative, I am able to catch up on the lost sleep. The time with Andy? That does concern me. We have to get a handle on that part of our lives. I’m just getting back to what will be my “normal” weekly commitments for the school year, so we’re still working out the kinks. One thing I know is I have to figure out how to quit sleeping through my alarm. 😉
    3. Mommy guilt. Okay, so this one is also time-related. I often feel guilty that I can’t give Aria the attention I would have previous to Noah’s birth. Yes, I recognize that it’s good for her to hear “no” and “not right now” (and she heard those before Noah’s birth, too). I think what I find difficult is telling her no because of him. I’m probably sub-consciously worried it will cause some sort of tension between them, even though that’s probably a silly concern.
    4. Hitting. Oh, geez. Aria loves her brother, but she has taken to hitting and squealing at a high pitch as attention-getting techniques. Sometimes she does both as experiments, and sometimes she does them to draw negative attention. Since she’s not speaking well yet, it can be difficult to discern the best way to handle these issues. I can tell she understands me – she understands pretty much everything now – but the fact she can’t respond to me clearly makes it confusing.
    5. Watching the kids interact. There is nothing better than watching these kids interact with each other. Aria was fascinated by Noah from the first time she saw him. He lights up when she leans over him, and then she lights up because he lights up. I love to watch him respond to her voice, and watch her get excited to see him. She talks often about the “baby” and has just now started to say his name (“No-ee”).

Do you have any wise words for me? I’d love advice.

Plumfield Dreams: Aria & Noah


10 Things I Loved About Bloggy Conference 2013

Last weekend my sister and I attended our first blogging conference, Bloggy Conference {2013}. The experience was wonderful, and I left with new knowledge and fresh inspiration. Of course, the problem with new knowledge and fresh inspiration is you have to find the time to do something with them. And so, naturally, I came home and became overwhelmed by regular life, and am writing my weekly Top Ten Tuesday post at 12:45am on Wednesday. But hey! That whole “better late than never” cliche was invented for situations like this.

  1. Learning SEO from Dan Morris – Not only is he funny, but he knows his stuff backward and forward and is good at teaching it.
  2. Getting encouragement to hire a virtual assistant – Because I probably need one for a few things, and the aforementioned Mr. Morris makes a great case for having a VA do the backend work so the writer can concentrate on the writing.
  3. Spending time with other bloggers – Just knowing I was surrounded by other bloggers was exhilarating.
  4. Learning about strategic email marketing from FeedBlitz founder Phil Hollows – There’s really no need to expound on that, is there?
  5. Inspiration for how I want to focus the blog – My interests tend to be so varied it is difficult for me to narrow my focus to ensure I’m as helpful and interesting as I can be to you lovely readers. The entire weekend was an inspiration in that way.
  6. Connecting with local bloggers – Most of the attendees were from the tri-state area, and I met one lovely lady who lives very nearby. There are already talks of having a statewide meetup.
  7. Being challenged to set achievable short-term goals that carry me toward the ultimate destination – that’s great advice regardless of the endeavor, and far too easy to lose track of.
  8. Hangout time with my sister, and quiet bonding time with NoahJo and I don’t get to spend as much time together as we used to, so it was nice to have an entire weekend together. It was also nice to spend 48 hours with only Noah, because I haven’t had any bonding time with him sans toddler.
  9. Feeling totally comfortable with an infant in a professional environment – It was lovely to take Noah everywhere with me and have no one think or intimate there was anything strange or inappropriate about it. On the contrary, everyone loved having babies in the mix. (For the record, Noah and Aria have each gone to staff meetings with me and everyone is thrilled to see them.)
  10. Cedar Point – The conference was at Cedar Point, and just about everything about the experience was impressive. The customer service is fantastic, and the atmosphere is pure fun. I hope the conference stays there, because it would be great to take the kids as they get older.

I’m looking forward to BloggyCon14!

10 things I can’t wait to do with my kids

10 Things I Can't Wait to do with My Kids

  1. Live music. In case you don’t know me at all, I love music. My kids attended their first concerts in the womb, and even got to be on stage with me for some. Noah attended his first concert before he was two weeks old, and Aria’s been to a couple now (all of these were The Phil). I can’t wait to share even more with them. More of The Phil, including The Nutcracker (okay, that may not include Noah), and many other fantastic musicians. In an ideal world, they’ll get to experience Nickel Creek with me some day.
  2. Baking and cooking. Oh, I can’t wait to do this. Right now Aria likes to watch, but she is just a little too young still to “help”. We love to cook, and Andy likes to bake bread occasionally and cookies during the holidays, so I know this is an activity our kids will get their fill of.
  3. Reading all kinds of books together. When I was young my siblings and I each were responsible to clean up after one of the meals every day. While we cleaned, our mom would read to us (or, when we got older and thought we were clever, we would talk her into letting us read while she cleaned). I loved those times, and those are treasured memories for me. I would love to do that with my children. Regardless, we’ll be doing a lot of reading. Right now I read Aria’s Bible to the kids every morning, and many, many board and picture books throughout the days. I often read my own books aloud to them, as well.
  4. Organized sports. I sort of hope at least one of our kids shows an interest in playing a sport while they’re young. (Remind me of this when I’m whining about the time it consumes, okay? Remind me I was looking forward to it, and then help me think through whether it actually makes sense for us.)
  5. Music lessons. Yep, I’m really looking forward to the prospect of the kiddos learning instruments. Definitely piano, and then another instrument if they show interest in something else specific. I may even take lessons with them. My piano skills are rusty. (While you’re reminding me of things, could you nudge me on this one when I’m sick of bugging them to practice and then actually hearing them do so?)
  6. Sharing favorites of the media sort – movies, music, books, TV. I LOVE stories in all forms. I have all sorts of favorites, from little-kid-appropriate to not-even-close. I look forward to walking through all those stages with my kids. Though I’m already bracing myself for the inevitable comments about how outdated my favorite movies and TV shows look.
  7. Decorating for Christmas. Eek! ‘Nough said.
  8. Going to the library. Oh, boy. The library is a block from our house. I grew up going to the same library, choosing stacks of books as a little kid, and even bigger stacks once I was responsible for them (as opposed to my mom). I hope big, bright eyes at the prospect of checking out books is hereditary.
  9. Studying scripture. Because what could be better than watching my children learn and grow, and getting to share that entire experience with them?
  10. Serving others. Each other, neighbors, the elderly, the poor, the hurting, anyone we can think of. I have specific memories of serving all these groups of people with my own mom during my formative years. How cool is that? I say we pass it down through the generations, make it a family legacy.

What things are you looking forward to doing with your kids? If you’re already in, or past, that phase, what are your favorite activities with your kids?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things I Look Forward to Doing with My Kids

I’m linking up to Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings


10 Things I Appreciate About My Husband

Angie over at Many Little Blessings hosts a Top Ten Tuesday link-up every week. I’m going to try to start participating, because I think it’s a fun idea. I’m a planner by nature. I like lists. I make lists of lists I need to make (it’s a sickness). So, this idea of writing posts in list format is quite appealing to me.

Today was one of those days when I had no time to sit down and write. It was my first official day back to work, both kids were clingy, and I was partnerless until 9pm. But the reason I was partnerless until 9pm? My husband came home from work and went right back out the door to do our bi-weekly grocery shopping. Friends, he does this regularly. Do I have a keeper or what? As it happens, I already planned to write my first top ten post on the topic of my hubby, so here goes…and it is currently 11:40pm, so hopefully I can get this posted before midnight!

10 things I appreciate about my husband, in no particular order:

  1. He does chores without a word. We split the regular household chores, and have been married long enough that we each know our areas of responsibility. Like most of us, he has some household chores he absolutely hates (like cleaning the litterboxes for the cats I’ve taken in, the ones he wouldn’t have if it weren’t for me). And he does those chores without a word of complaint or reminding.
  2. He keeps the books. He keeps track of every cent we spend, in detail. He also pays all the bills (except the ones that require a check, and even those he often reminds me of). Not only does he do all this, but he also keeps spreadsheets so I can see at a glance where we are with each major bill (mortgage, student loans) and our monthly budget.
  3. He does the grocery shopping. We used to do this together, but after Aria was born it became difficult. She ate every two hours, and if we went together she had to nurse before we could head home. So he started going on his own, and he’s kept it up now for 20 months. And you know what? He’s SO much better at it than I am.
  4. He supports me in all my endeavors. He’s never discouraged me from doing anything I was passionate about, even if it was inconvenient to him. I won’t go so far as to say he doesn’t grumble when the time comes for him to be inconvenienced, but I don’t begrudge him a little grousing when he’s so patently fabulous.
  5. He is a fantastic father. Oh my, I love to watch him love his kids. Aria adores him, and I know Noah will, as well. He’s involved with them. He’s patient and gentle, but he draws clear lines regarding acceptable behavior.
  6. He’s funny. One of the first things I appreciated about Andy was the way he made me laugh. His sense of humor is sort of snarky, which plays well with me. 🙂 He’s very quiet until he’s comfortable with people or in a given situation, so the fact he’s funny can catch you off guard. I love it.
  7. He’s solid as a rock. I’m passionate and can be sort of flighty, and he’s the opposite. I dive into things, and he contemplates things. Occasionally we drive each other nuts, but I love this side of him. And, I recognize how valuable it is to have a partner who is steady, dependable.
  8. He is reasonable. Oh my, does this make all the difference in a relationship. I bounce everything off him, because he thinks things through and is rational in his approach. Occasionally we bicker, but in our 12 year relationship we’ve hardly ever fought, not because we’re afraid to, but because we don’t need to.
  9. He always wants to do what’s best. Once he has been convinced that a given course is the best, he will follow it. He does it quietly, without fanfare. He does it even if it’s hard.
  10. He is my partner in everything. We work side-by-side in life. He’s not afraid to lead, and he’s not afraid to follow. Honestly, I can’t imagine a better partner for me. God handpicked the perfect spouse for me (not a perfect man, but then I am also far from perfect).

And on top of all that? He loves to cook!

I’m linking up to Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings!