Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving in the country



We spent our Thanksgiving with one of my closest friends in Austin, her husband, and their toddler daughter who just happens to be HP's best friend. Sadly, they are moving to Portland at the end of the year.

Their family is temporarily living on 400 acres of property southwest of town. I hadn't made it out there since they moved a couple of months ago (biking isn't exactly an option) and was excited to see and explore the place we had heard so much about.

We loved getting out of the city and spending time with friends in nature. Living in the center of Austin allows us to be car-free, but I forget how nice it is to get away from it all and just be in a place less crowded, less hectic, and not covered in asphalt.

The ranch is a toddlers' paradise. The two of them had the best time climbing the mulch pile, going down the cardboard/mulch slide--on riding toys!, throwing rocks and sticks in the creek, and generally exploring the outdoors. They were both worn out by the time we left--the sign of a successful day outdoors.

Baby E was unimpressed with the festivities and spent the day asleep in the carrier.

Perfect weather, delicious food, good friends, and a beautiful setting. A lovely Thanksgiving, all around.

Now, on to Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Surviving


It feels like surviving is all we've managed to do this last week. I know I said we were doing great and the adjustment was easier than expected. And it's true--we are doing just fine. Most of the time.

Then the evening arrives with all of its crying and chaos, at which point I want to find an empty bed and pair of earplugs so I can curl up under a comforter and sleep all my troubles away. Sadly, that is not an option. So instead Neil and I attempt to soothe a crying infant and meet the needs of a tired toddler.

The other night we were sitting on the bed, staring at the wall in utter exhaustion after both of our children were asleep (victory!). Then we had the following conversation:
S: What are you thinking about?
N: How hard this is.
S: Yep.
Then we went to sleep.

And that, my friends, pretty much describes my life right now.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Back on the bike


Yesterday was my second bicycle trip since a week before giving birth. And it was amazing. The weather was perfect. Eighty degrees, a nice breeze, leaves changing colors. In a word, bliss.

In fact, prior the stress of bedtime with two small children, the whole day was lovely. In the morning, HP, Baby E, and I walked to the farmers' market and enjoyed the scene for an hour while chatting with friends that we happened to see there. Then, everyone napped (including me!). That is no small feat, friends.

Then before the younger set woke up I hopped on my bike to see a friend's art on the East Austin Studio Tour. The ride was exactly what I needed. Out on the bike, fresh air, exercising, not being responsible for anyone or anything.

There's a lot to be thankful for these days, not the least of which are bike rides through the neighborhood. I won't be biking as much as usual until Baby E can be on the bike, so while it may seem like a small thing, it is big in my world.

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Monday, November 17, 2014

One month in

We are more than a month into parenting two children. So far, so good. Great, in fact. The transition has been easier than I anticipated, probably because I anticipated complete chaos, so reality feels like smooth sailing in comparison.

Don't misunderstand--we're tired, our toddler still only naps a couple of times a week (with evening meltdowns a regular occurrence on the days he forgoes the afternoon rest), the house is never picked up, and we've had more than one night where dinner consisted of scrambled eggs and carrot sticks.

But we're doing alright.

We have had such great support from our community of family and friends. Neil took three full weeks off, and is now back at work two days a week plus a half day telecommuting. He doesn't have to be back full time until just before Christmas (!). My mom came for a week and fixed all of our meals and took HP on morning adventures so he could get out of the house and we could rest. Neil's mom came for a weekend and helped with HP, the house, and E so we could sneak in frequent naps. So many friends brought delicious meals those first weeks, which was nothing short of amazing.

E is a very relaxed little gal. She only nurses when hungry (rather than for comfort like HP), sleeps for 3-4 hours stretches at night (she even did 5 hours last night!), and rarely cries. She doesn't care for getting her diaper changed or getting dressed, but otherwise goes with the flow. HP is adjusting well and is a sweet big brother.

Documenting my thoughts here has not been a priority as we find our new normal, but I hope to be back in the swing of things soon. So much to say! But so hard to sit down and write when I could be napping...