You are Two

I can’t believe that you are two.

And you are such the second kid. I’m sorry this post got written at 9pm the night before your birthday. And I’m sorry we took you to Kid Snips at 7pm on a Tuesday, and the “C Squad” botched your birthday haircut.

But boy oh boy, little boy, I couldn’t love you more. You are the snuggliest, open mouth kiss giving, tackle anything that moves, dive off the staircase and hope someone catches you, truck and train lovin’, brand of 100% little boy. ALL boy.

Before I knew you, I was terrified of you. What was I going to do with a little boy who would come in and ruffle up my perfect vision of a world full of dresses and dolls, shopping and nail polish. But little boy, I secretly love how wild you are. I love how you are rough and tumble but also so so freakin sweet that my heart swells so much I get tears in my eyes.

I love being told what a good friend you are. That you will play with anyone who has a truck 😉 That you will help me unpack and put away groceries. That you will clean up without me nagging you. That you don’t scream in the grocery store, you just quietly hand me things from the cart.

I love how you sing to yourself, and get so embarrassed when we call you out on it.

You, my sweet Bubba, make me so proud. I can’t believe how lucky we got.

As we enter the terrible twos, I hope you will always keep your kind heart, your father’s sense of humor, and I hope that you asking for “more” kisses is something that never fades away.

I love you wild man. You have my heart.

XO,

Mom

You can read Ryan’s birth story here, and some truths about motherhood and having two kids here.

Easy health and fitness changes to make now…and keep all year

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We all have high hopes for a new year, and if you’re like me, mounds of things that you want to change. I have found though, that positive changes only happen, and continue to happen, if they are small and gradually happen over time.

Below I have outlined FIVE easy health and fitness changes that you can start today, and maintain all year:

  1. Set a date and time to exercise at least 3 days/week. Don’t just say, “I’ll workout on Monday.” Figure out your exact when and where. On Tuesday, I will run for 30 minutes outside. I will do this ____ while my kids are ____. Pack/lay out your gym clothes the night before. Have your pre workout snack ready to go. Pack a water bottle. Do not set unrealistic expectations for yourself. If you NEVER wake up before 6am, do not schedule a 5am workout. Be realistic with yourself. My best time is right after work before I pick the kids up from daycare. I change at work, and eat a small snack in the car on the way there. NO excuses.
  2. Make one small health change, and stick with it. Bring your lunch each day instead of buying, add in daily vitamins, eat an apple instead of chips, switch to Stevia instead of Splenda, start buying natural deodorant. Pick something and do it! Feeling brave? Make a small change each week.
  3. Follow the 80/20 rule. You will not be able to maintain a diet if you deprive yourself of everything that you love. Everything in moderation. I try to eat relatively healthy on weekdays, and then let myself indulge on the weekends. I love a good burger, fries, ice cream, and wine. During the week, I eat two eggs every morning, a banana for a snack, turkey with hummus and carrots for lunch, and nuts or an apple for a snack EVERY day. Dinner is some sort of meat and veggie. Boring, I know but it is what works for me. The best way to maintain this is to plan out your meals, have the food in the house, and pack your lunch with healthy food.
  4. Invest in a good pair of workout shoes. Trust me on this one. Some of my favorites are here, here, and here.
  5. Cauliflower. I’m a lover of all things starchy and covered in butter. So to keep myself from eating all the pasta and potatoes, I buy a lot of cauliflower. Roast it, boil it, turn it into rice – it’s delicious any way. Add a little butter and salt and pepper, and you’ll almost forget you are not eating a baked potato. Almost 😉

What changes have you made in the new year? I’d love to hear!

 

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10 Ways to Make Mom Life Easier

For almost four years, I have been a mom. More than that really, since my whole life and priorities shifted as soon as Chloe started cooking in my belly. I would like to think that by now, I’d have it all figured out. But I don’t. And I am by no means an expert.

BUT here are some things that I do that I THINK have made my life a tiny bit easier.

  1. Pick out clothes the night before. For as long as I can remember, I have laid out my clothes for the next day the night before even if I have no where to be. Picking out my daughters clothes the night before has saved us so much time and arguing in the morning. My son is easy because he will wear whatever I put on him but I still pick his clothes out before I put him to bed. Then I am not searching for anything in the morning. Sometimes, I’ll even lay out my husbands clothes for him. 🙂
  2. Have a strict morning schedule. My husband needs to be at work early. He works for a freight brokerage company and things get started at the crack of dawn. So I am solo most mornings with the kids. Keeping a strict morning schedule ensures that we are out of the house by 7:15.
    • I wake around 5:50 am (5:00 if I am working out), shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and pack up the car.
    • At 6:45, I wake my daughter. She gets dressed, we brush her teeth, comb hair, and go potty. I make her a quick breakfast, and she eats while I get Ryan up.
    • At 7:00, I wake up Ryan, get him dressed, and give him something he can eat in the car – apple, banana, or yogurt pouch.
    • At 7:15 it’s shoes and coats.
    • At 7:20, we are in the car on the way to daycare.
  3. Ask your family for help. We all need our sanity. Enlisting family to help out on occasion can give you so much relief. Most likely, they will be happy to spend time with your children. They also probably won’t charge you anything to watch them. We are lucky enough to live 5 minutes from my parents, and the kid’s daycare is three blocks from my parent’s house. While I still always feel guilty, my mom will help out and pick the kids up from daycare some days so I can work out, see friends, etc. She’ll also drop by and bring dinner if I’m solo parenting, or if she found something at Costco that I “must have”. Funny how you need your mom more the older you get. (Love you, Mom!)
  4. Daycare vs. Nanny. We went back and forth – Daycare or Nanny? Daycare or Nanny? In the end, we chose Daycare for many reasons. My main reason was safety. I like knowing that if, God forbid, something horrible happened like someone chokes or gets injured, there is an entire team of people who would know what to do. But I also love that daycare is always open. I can send the kids to school even if I have a day off work. Maybe I won’t send them the entire time (well maybe I do) but enough that I can workout, run errands, be in the house all by MYSELF. It’s a nice perk. Have you ever tried to get stuff done while a babysitter is there? It does not work!
  5. Find an 18 year old to babysit. It took a while for me to feel comfortable with someone besides family watching my children. One night, I gave in and decided to try the 18 year old who lives across the street. It was a game changer! She is so willing and eager to babysit. The amount of date nights we have had recently has increased by 200%.
  6. Have a laundry schedule. This sounds so silly but trust me, it helps. Whites get washed on Friday, kids clothes and towels get washed on Saturday, darks and sheets get washed on Sunday. In the summer, I may throw in an additional load of the kids stuff during the week because they go through so much but we can usually get by with just once a week.
  7. Make lunches the night before. For some reason, having to make a lunch for work/school is my most dreaded task. I would love a job where I could actually leave and go out to eat. But alas, sadly, I do not. Packing lunches the night before saves me precious time in the morning.
  8. Exercise. Find time to do this! It does not have to be everyday. Even just a few times each week will help you to feel less stressed, and ready to tackle those mommy duties.
  9. Plan your meals for the week. I know, annoying. I don’t make anything fancy though. I’ll pick up things like chicken, ground beef, flank steak, and fresh pasta, and then worry about what exactly I’m making later. I always make sure to have taco seasoning around and Roa’s Marinara. I’ll also just pick up tons of fruits and veggies that we can mix and match with each meal, and some type of starch. We love the Seeds of Change rice, and I’ll always stock up on that. I keep it simple. It’s impossible to cook anything with kids running around anyway.
  10. Hire a cleaning lady. If you have the means, this is the best money I spend all year. If I’m putting myself on a budget, I will gladly forgo a new pair of jeans to keep the cleaning lady coming. Ours comes every other week, and deep cleans our home with organic products. Yes, I still need to wipe counters and vacuum occasionally but she does all the deep cleaning that I do not have time for. She does a better job cleaning than I could ever do!

What do you do to make mom life a little easier? I’d love to hear!

 

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