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Currently I'm...

Feeling guilty... for not posting enough on this blog of mine. Summer time has got us BUSY! I'm working on some projects for Bennett's birthday party this weekend. Between that, taking care of my very active 2 boys, trying to keep up with house work, working and general life there just hasn't been enough time to keep up! Hopefully, I will be better about posting later in the summer. But for now it may be a bit scarce around here.

Also feeling a bit sad... about my baby turing one in a week. Like looking at all his baby photos and videos on my phone every night and getting teary eyed. How did this past year go so quickly?

Excited about... our upcoming family trip to the Outer Banks in July. We are going with Bill's family and the boys cousins so it should be a fun time! I've started my list for what we need to bring and what I need to get for the boys before we go including a puddle jumper for Camden and one of these awesome water proof beach blankets. Also thinking about getting a better sun hat for Bennett and stocking up on this sunblock for the boys.

Watching... Southern Charm and RHONY. Literally, those are the only shows I watch! I'm not even watching the Bachelorette this season. I don't know what is going on? I'm usually so tired at the end of the day I can barely make it through one show and then I'm ready for bed!

Reading... Nothing. Again, I wish I had more time in the day to read again! I've had this book on my wish list for a while... Maybe I'll bring it to the beach! Oh wait... I'll still have a toddler and a one year old with me sooooo... we'll see...

Eating... clean-ish... I'm not going all out Whole30 again (well, I only lasted 14 days last time, so it was really just Whole14 for me), but I have been trying to cut way back on dairy, gluten and sugar. So far so good. It's only been a few days so we'll see! Just trying to shed a few lbs before our trip.

Wearing... These shorts and these tee shirts like it's my job! They have definitely been my 'mom-iform' this summer!

Wishing for... this ruffle hem tee and these leopard slides... Can they be mine now?

Loving... My days at home with the boys. Even though they can be exhausting (understatement of the year), I just love being able to be home with them during this fun stage even for just a few days a week. They are both growing at such a rapid pace I'm trying to savor this time!

what have you been up to?

Advice for 2nd Time Moms

The title of this post may make it seem like I am an expert in the subject of being a second time mom. The truth is, I'm still learning! However, I've got just about a year of being a second time mom under my belt and I feel as though I have learned a lot. 

I have 3 friends that are about to have their 2nd babies and one that is about to have her 3rd! It just seems to be that phase of life we are all in right now. While at a play date with one of said friends recently, she looked up at me and asked 'do you have any advice for this second time mom?'

The question kind of stumped me. To be honest, it's not like giving advice to a first time mom where you want to unload allll the gory details of your first experience of having a baby and what it was like that first year. They get it. They've been there. And the fact that they came back for more means they have the confidence in themselves that they can do it again.

The truth is, there is no good advice because everyones' experience is different. It may depend on the first child's age, where you live and the climate, if you have help readily available, how much time you have off of work, how you heal from the labor and birth... the list goes on. But, there are a few things you can do to help prepare your first born and yourself before baby #2 arrives.

To help prepare older sibling:

#1. Tell your first child that they are going to have a baby sister/brother.  They are smarter than we give them credit. Camden was 19 months when Bennett was born which means his age range when I was pregnant was 10 months - 19 months. This was a tough age to communicate what was going on. I would let him touch my belly and tell him that his baby brother was in there and that he would meet him soon. Every now and then Camden would point to my belly and say 'baby' which was adorable. Of course, I may never know if he actually got the concept, but repetition and reassurance helped him understand why mommy's belly was growing!

#2. Expose your first born to babies and how they act. This was one thing I didn't really do enough with Camden. By the time we moved to Illinois, about 6 months before Bennett was born, Camden was in daycare 3-4 days a week. So, he had plenty of exposure to other children his age, but minimal contact with babies younger than him. I didn't have any close friends at the time with babies and the family that would visit us had older cousins. I definitely wish I would have brought him around babies to experience how they cry, breastfeed/eat, sleep a lot, etc. He was expecting for Bennett to get up and play with him from the womb! 

#3. Read Big Brother/Big Sister books. Camden actually loves this Big Brother book (Big Sister version here) and it's so cute to see him say 'that's me! And that's Bennett!" when we read it together. 

#4. Get a baby doll and teach them how to help. This was one I wish I would have done with Camden. He just never seemed interested in baby dolls, so I never got one or pretended like any of his animals were babies. Just the simple act of showing them how to hold a baby or be gentle, feed, diaper, etc. Then, when baby #2 does arrive, they have their own baby to take care of and keep them busy. 

#5. Make sure other people in your family are able to do bedtime/nap routines and are aware of their daily schedules. This is obvious because you will be busy with baby #2 for a while and will need help with #1 during the day and at night. 

#6. Make sure to set aside one on one time with 1st born before and after baby #2 is born. I made sure to have a lot of mommy/Camden days before Bennett arrived. It was tough to get one on one time shortly after Bennett was born, but even just playing while the baby is napping helps. 

#7. Prepare some 'quiet' or 'busy' boxes or have new toys on hand to keep them busy while you are feeding. There are some great ideas for these on Pinterest! This was something I wish I would have done before Bennett arrived. 

#8. Get them a special shirt to wear to the hospital and maybe a gift from the baby. This will just make the older sibling feel more special when baby #2 arrives. 

How to prepare yourself:

To be completely honest, the hardest part for you will be the emotional roller coaster. Yes, you will be healing and physically exhausted from labor and delivery. Yes, you will have a newborn keeping you up all night. You will be exhausted. BUT, the worst part for me was the heartbreak of not being able to be there for my first born as much after the baby was born. There were times when I was breastfeeding or just resting and recovering and Camden would call out for me. It literally broke my heart that I was not able to go to him and comfort him right away. Luckily, we had a lot of great help with first few weeks, so I know he was spoiled with love from his dad and grandparents. However, the mom guilt hurt my heart everyday for a while. 

Just know that this is a phase and a transition for everyone in the family. There will be jealousy from your first born. Depending on the age, they may communicate/show it differently. But, this behavior is actually normal. It took a while for Camden to realize that Bennett was here to stay! 

(taken the week after Bennett was born)

Lastly, give yourself some grace. Take a deep breath and let it go (Daniel Tiger anyone?). You will get through this. And in the end, you will have given your first born the greatest gift... a sibling and a life long friend! The struggle is always worth it in the end!

Also... don't blink because in a minute they will go from this...

To this... 

Seriously, I feel like I just blinked and they grew! 

I'm so excited to see how their little friendship evolves over the next year!

Friday 5

top (only $18! Size up!) | shorts | sandals (white or gold left) | bar necklace is stella & dot

Jumping right into the 5 things that are making me happy from this week:

1. My new Day Designer arrived this week and I'm so excited to start using it! There's nothing better than a fresh, new, blank planner! I just love these planners because I can use the monthly calendar for event reminders and blog post planning and I can plan out my entire day by the hour on the daily tabs. Plus, when I saw this pretty gold dot pattern, I couldn't say no!

2. I just received this watch and these beaded stretch bracelets in the mail and I'm loving the combo together. The perfect bright colors for summer and of course I love anything with marble!

3. I just ordered and received this ceramic round brush from Amazon and I love it! The large, ceramic barrel really helps to smooth out my hair while blow drying.

4. I have my eye on this one piece suit for our upcoming family vacation to the outer banks in July! Give me all the off the shoulder, bright colored, one piece suits please! And for only $18! Say what?!

5. I'm currently planning Bennett's 1st birthday party and it's just so hard for me to think he is going to be ONE at the end of this month (cue all the cry face emojis!!). There are so many cute fishing theme party decorations on etsy! I already got him this shirt to wear. Now thinking about ordering this highchair banner and this garland... I'm having a hard time deciding what I need to purchase and what I can DIY. We are just having family over for dinner on the 24th, so there is really no need to go 'over board'... I need to 'reel' myself in... get it... see what I did there? 😉

Happy Fri-Yay!!!