File This Under: Mom Life!

Hello, friends. Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

Weekends in our house are often a gift as Nathan often works traffic control for the City of Seattle/police department, whether mandatory overtime or contracted overtime. Often, we just don’t know until the end of the week whether it will be a family weekend with him home or a weekend where I am alone with the girls. And the latter is so, so challenging for me because by the end of the week, I’m really out of breath! Can you relate? And the spring and summer are particularly difficult because Seattle has so many more sporting events, activities, and construction projects that require officers like my husband to be available for work.

I know most stay-at-home parents out there know how hard it is to be with kids alone five days a week. And when that time is extended to six or seven days a week (which makes almost two weeks straight by the next weekend)–wow! This was one of those weekends! My poor husband worked Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning after a week of regular work and some overtime. Whew. Here’s to hoping the coming weekend is more relaxed for him (and me, too!).

Manson, Washington | Lake Chelan
Manson, Washington | Lake Chelan

Mother’s day weekend we drove back to our favorite getaway–Lake Chelan–to stay in the caseta at our friend’s cabin in the rolling hills of Manson, Washington. It was a last minute trip, so we packed up and drove out there Friday night so that our Saturday could be well-spent relaxing and having some fun. But let me tell you–it ended up being one of the most challenging and disappointing weekends a mother could have. And I think, in the end, it really made me hit my bottom. There was a lot of cranky toddler action filled with tantrums and refusals to sleep. Lots of crying. A two-month-old who cried when she wasn’t asleep. A frustrated husband and daddy. And a depleted mama. It was really a messy weekend. Which is hard to believe when you have this view from your porch:

Manson, Washington | Lake Chelan
Manson, Washington | Lake Chelan
evening walks
Evening Walks

I have been really struggling lately with the two girls. I am so grateful and feel so blessed that the first two months with baby Flora were smooth and maneuverable. For the most part, I think Maxine thought that the baby was just visiting and so it was “tolerable” for her to  have Flora around. But reality seems to have set in that the baby isn’t leaving, and that, mixed with her recent promotion into a twin-sized bed, has made life a lot more challenging! Until last week, she chose to sleep on the floor (where we set up blankets for her), which was no big thing. But the tantrums and general unfavorable behavior is really hard for me. I have been praying a lot for grace and wisdom for how to handle this “terrible twos” time. Maxine has always been spirited, busy, and generally bored with toys, so I find challenge in keeping her entertained and engaged during the day, and with learning activities. She loves art, the outdoors, and watching her favorite Disney princesses on TV or in movies (which isn’t how I want her to spend time).

And Flora is a good baby, but quite fussy and demanding. She’s a bit colicky as well, which by the end of the day gets extremely taxing for me. That being said, she’s also a very happy baby and loves to coo and talk with me. Her smile really melts my heart.

Seattle finally received its due of sunshine and warm weather, and we have been enjoying a plethora of outdoor activities. Praise! Haha. Seriously, though, it is my saving grace when needing to keep my 2.5 year-old engaged, happy, and tired out for her bedtime.

Seattle, Washington | Madrona Playground
Seattle, Washington | Madrona Playground

Enjoy your Monday, friends! And check out hikes we’ve enjoyed, our Hiking Passport for recommendations on baby levels for hikes, or follow us on Instagram to see more of our outside adventures!

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Life Lately

We are five days out from the new baby’s birth. Everyone is packed and ready for their destinations – Maxine to my sister’s house; Nathan and I to the hospital for a few days. A nursery is set up in our master suite bedroom. We have prepared Maxine as much as I think we can prepare her, but she shows quite a bit of ambivalence towards “new baby sister” and her arrival. That confuses me quite a bit, but I’m rolling with it for right now. We need to finish up a little bit of grocery shopping in the next week, but otherwise, I don’t feel like we could be more prepared to bring home a new baby.

In what feels like the worst timing ever, Maxine has started to not nap every day; that turns into her being overly tired by her 8 PM bedtime, which then often turns into her not falling asleep until 10 PM. It is extremely frustrating, so we have decided to take away the small amount of sugar she does get as well as all TV and screen time (also generally limited). It’s caused both Nathan and I a good deal of stress, though he handles it much better than I do.

We were able to get out on a date night last Friday to take a class on how to make a living wall frame filled with succulents. The class itself was informative and fun, and we made a beautiful display that will hang on our dining room wall. But, it was pretty expensive at $106 for 10 small succulent plants and plugs in a 5×5 (or so) reclaimed-wood planter frame. We have been wanting to propagate and grow from seed our succulents and bonsai plants, so this was a great activity for us to do together, especially as a “last date night” we will have in a while.

Take a look…

Living Wall Frame Project

When we had Maxine, we had moved into our house only a few months earlier. We had a room for her, but we weren’t really settled into the house. I didn’t like the flowery, pink and white themes that baby girl nurseries often or stereotypically get. I had a few items leftover from my foster parenting days, and, in general, I wasn’t very choosey or intentional about decor, despite being over the moon about having a girl. I was working full-time, and I was exhausted, more so than even with this pregnancy. So putting too much work into baby deco wasn’t high on my list.

This time around, however, we know that this is the last baby – and a girl, and so I did not want to let any option or convenience pass me by if I could get away with it. Interestingly, we chose to NOT have a separate nursery for baby #2. Instead, we set up space for her in our master suite bedroom and plan to move her into Maxine’s (large) bedroom when she’s six months old and sleeping through the night (whichever comes last). We’re doing that for a couple of reasons. One, we want to save our guest room for guests – and storage. Two, we want the girls to be close friends, to share and learn together, and enjoy their childhood. And maybe when they’re a little older, we can put them into separate spaces.

I love our master bedroom for its abundance of natural light, massive space, and coziness. It’s the only room upstairs (aside from the bath), and it makes for the warmest place to care for a family and a newborn in those first few days and weeks.

Mondays always seem to arrive super quickly when you’re heading into the weekend (amIright?!), and I hope that this Monday is no exception. We are eager and excited to meet this final family member!

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Birthday 39

I turned 39 yesterday. I remember getting ready to turn 30, and my older/wiser friends told me that the 30s is really where it’s at. You know more. You do more. The sex is better. Seriously. They were like, You will love the 30s!

Turning 30 for me was a baptism of sorts. My 20s had been really difficult and challenging. There was a lot of bad dating. Bad jobs. Bad friends. Family drama. Some death (not related to the aforementioned issues). Interestingly–and thankfully, there was no heavy drinking or drugs, but lots of counseling. It took me almost the entire decade to get my shit together in general. So, by my 30th birthday, I was freshly graduated from college and hunting for that forever job, and that seemed like the perfect time to start new. My long-term relationship was ending, and while being unemployed and single at 30 sounds like a rough way to begin a new decade, I decided that it was going to be a new start. I really, really needed a new start.

It was a very optimistic time for me. I had a lot of hope that things would quickly look up and that I would start making better decisions for my life.

30th Birthday
On my 30th birthday with friends and family. L-R: Shawn, Munyaka, Scott, Me, Kari, and Nicole

And that’s how I entered my 30s. I found a job. And then an even better job not long after. I bought a new car. I moved into an amazing view apartment on the hill of a hip, busy neighborhood of Seattle, close to work and lived there for five years. I dated. I had so many fun adventures and enjoyed time with my friends. I really loved my life. And it only got better when I met my husband, got married, and had Maxine.

For me, one of the best parts of hitting these big milestones in the 30s is that I’ve had my fun. I’ve grown up. I know more. I have more life experiences. And those are things I take into marriage and being a mother. Besides that, I am WAY too tired to go drink with friends, or stay up late doing anything.

Sarah Morrow

Now that I am officially in my last year of the 30s, I feel qualified to say that, yes – it’s true: The 30s are so fun. I will walk away from this decade feeling refreshed and blessed. I am ready to see what the 40s have waiting for me next year!

 

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