Two Under 2 - A life update 6 months in

TwoUnderTwo Life update 6 months in-01.png

Whew! We’ve made it to 6 months as a family of four, and I think we all deserve a high five (or rather, Mommy & Daddy deserve a night of uninterrupted sleep, or maybe just a 10 minute lie-in, or wait, maybe just a hot cup of tea, I’d settle for that!). The past 6 months have been crazy, filled with nappies…and more nappies and then a few more nappies on top of that. And even though it feels like the days dragged ooooonnnnn and ooooonnnn this time has really flown past. Everyone said that it would be hard, and to be honest, I didn’t really believe them

Or rather, I didn’t really understand what hard would look like.

My first born, Everly, was (and still is) a unicorn baby…you know the ones that sleep like the book says they should (and then some!) who eat anything and everything, who play independently for hours at a time…the ones you don’t believe really exist. And so I really thought I had it all down pat when it came to having another baby. I just assumed that Everly turned out the was she did because of how we had parented. And while I think part of this is true, a whole lot of it has to do with her being a girl, being our first baby, and of course the things we have no control over, her nature and personality.

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Life since Aaron has been hard. It’s been hard for lots of reasons, not just because he has been a colicky baby, but also because of things like the small age gap between him and his sister (17 months) which means effectively I have two babies to care for. Also, with your second baby, you have far less time to sit and coo over them, and I was able to rest more when I had Everly (I spent the first 6 weeks REALLY taking it easy after her birth) and with Aaron, I was basically up and about and picking up a busy toddler after barely a week. It’s also been REALLY hard trying to co-ordinate two little schedules. I am very routine orientated, and somewhere over the past couple of months, Everly has needed to drop from two to one naps (I know, I should be thanking my lucky stars that she has made it this long on two naps) but that transition was quite tricky. Anyway, we made it and she has now settled nicely into her new one nap a day schedule, and thankfully still sleeps through the night (even through Aaron’s bad nights…long may that last!).

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I really don’t believe that my little boy is a very difficult baby, he has just been really different to Everly. A big component has been that I actually have forgotten what Everly was like in the early months. But, in saying this, Aaron is a whole lot busier than Everly was, he has already got 2 teeth (and two more are breaking through and he HAS not been a happy chappy for days on end before and after those pearly whites broke through…unlike Evs who only got her first tooth at nearly 8 months and ever since then barely makes a peep when they do) and from what I can tell from my friend’s with boy babies, he is a typical boy. He just wants to be close to his mommy, and he likes intense one on one interaction about 90% of the time. It’s not always easy for me to mentally sit down on the floor and play with him, when I feel torn between work on my computer and then the things that I love doing (photography, blogging and sharing our behind the scenes farm life on Instagram…but gosh writing that out here really does sound terrible…I’m basically saying playing with and talking to my baby is taking me away from doing the things I love doing…and that pretty much sums up parenthood haha). But I do think all of these thoughts are normal (please tell me I’m not alone!) and while the first 4 months for us were the hardest, the last 6 weeks have had way more happy & sunnier days.

Aaron is giggling and laughing, and developing his own sense of humor (typical boy style, the fist full on laugh was over ‘fart’ noises) and he LOVES being thrown up into the air. He is getting really good at sitting, and his slow-to-smile nature means that every smile you do get hits you with ALL THE FEELS.

Here is our new #TwoUnderTwo schedule, for anyone who might like to know how we (try!) to do things most days:

  • 06:30 - 7am both kiddos wake up (generally at the same time, which is chaos, but some days Evs wakes up before Aaron and then I get to spend a bit of quality time with just her while I get her changed for the day). I feed Aaron & change his nappy, and then pop some music on for him while I change Evs nappy and get her dressed.

  • 8am Everly has breakfast while Aaron sits in his bouncy chair (he gives me about 10 - 15 mins before he starts getting bored).

  • 08:30 - 10am Aaron has his nap. Everly and I go an play in the garden, read books, potter around the house.

  • 10:00 Aaron wakes up, I feed him, change his nappy and then geenrally pop him in the pram and take him and Everly for a walk.

  • 10:45 Everly has a filling snack (usually homemade yoghurt with nut butter/blueberries)

  • 11:00 - 13:00/14:00 Everly has her nap (which can be anywhere from 2 - 3 hours long).

  • 11:00 Aaron has his solids (we just started about a week ago)

  • 11:30 Aaron goes down for his nap, which can be anywhere from 1 - 2 hours long.

    From 11:30 - 13:00 is generally when I get to have my only break from both kiddos. I don’t usually get longer than 45 mins, but there have been a few days when I’ve had 2 hours to myself. It’s wonderful! But it did take 6 months to get here, as usually Aaron would wake up as I was putting Everly down, or vice versa.

  • 13:00/14:00 Everly has lunch when she wakes up from her nap, and then the three of us play together until Aaron’s next nap.

  • 15:00/16:00 Aaron will have some sort of nap at this time, some days he has a short 30 minute nap, other day an hour. Other days, my wonderful Nanny will put him on her back while she does the ironing and I’ll take Everly out into the garden to play.

  • 17:00 Everly has supper

  • 17:30 I start running the bath, getting the kids pj’s and nappies laid out (this may sound strange, but as we use cloth nappies, the night time nappy is always a bigger one that has lots of layers, and so I go and fold them/get them ready.

  • 18:00 Bath time. I bath Everly while hubby get’s Aaron undressed and baths him. Then I take Aaron to his room to change and feed him, and then pop him down for the night. Everly gets changed and has story time and what she calls ‘talk time….soooo cute’ with Daddy, and I usually get to pop my head in to say goodnight.

  • 3:00-4:00am Aaron wakes up for a feed, and then goes right back to sleep till the morning.

It’s taken us a while to get to this point, and I’m so proud of my family! We had about a month recently of Aaron waking up multiple times a night, me feeding him often, us leaving him to cry and eventually settle himself to sleep (again, this has only been doable because Everly sleeps through the noise) and just general rough nights, but with lots of perseverance and consistency, we are back to a good nighttime routine again. I have no doubt this is going to change again, and I’m okay with that, because I know we will get back to our ‘normal’ again.

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In other news, I’ve been quite busy again lately with branding shoots & website design, which always pulls me in two directions. I also am in charge of our farm’s BEE certification, and we have our audit coming up in the next 2 weeks which has been crazy stressful, and really, really, really hard to juggle with two little ones. It’s the kind of work that needs uninterrupted focus time (haha yes I hear the moms in the back laughing along with me at the though of uninterrupted focus time when you have kids) but I’m getting there, and once this audit is done, hopefully it will be a while until I need to work on it again.

So all in all, we are getting into our groove and the latest fun milestone has been giving Aaron solids and starting his weaning journey. I’ll be doing more blog posts on that soon, but if you’ve got a little one and will be starting solids with them soon, here are all my blog posts on what we did with Everly:

Some goals we have now for our little family are to go on a hike, and when the weather warms up, to go camping. Are we crazy or is it doable? Do you have any tips for doing any of the above with two little ones? I’d love to hear from you!

Hello to our new (PINK!) Chicken Coop!

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When we lived at the bottom of my in-law’s garden, there was already an established chicken run, complete with laying hens. It was wonderful having our own fresh supply of eggs (especially as Everly eats 2 eggs just about every day for breakfast…click here to read more about her ‘real food’ weaning & feeding journey) but also because Granny & Grandpa were a mere minute away for visits.

While there is a very old and rusty metal chicken house in one of the farm sheds, Farmboy has been wanting to make his own one for a good number of years now, and so our new home was just the prompting he needed t get started on the project. I will have you know, the pink colour was not my idea, but of course, I am thrilled with it! As there were two options for a primer for the wood (white or pink) the choice seemed obvious to my dear husband, and voila…the pink coop!

Farmboy didn’t work from any plans when we put it together, working from an idea on Pinterest, and his own clever farmboy mind, he whipped together a very snazzy A-frame house, complete with double story roosting space inside, and a hinged door on the side to collect eggs from. The chickens are locked up at night (to keep them safe and sound) and during the day are let out to wonder around their enclosure. We do let them out into the garden too, but they are such social creatures that they are ALWAYS making themselves at home on our verandah, and leaving ‘evidence’ behind that is just impossible to clean.

Here are some photos of the behind the scenes set up, as well as some photo of Everly collecting the first egg (it was promptly dropped, much to our horror) but luckily that evening there were another 5 eggs waiting for us.

We put all of our garden refuse/mulch into their pen, as they love pecking around in it. We also make sure the have straw for roosting and laying their eggs. Oh and don’t forget about Edgar, the man about town. He’s our friendy garden rooster, who lives in the garden, eating insects and other little bits and pieces…he sleeps in the trees! And everyone morning comes along with us to check on his ladies and make sure they are all happy. Funny little thing.

Enjoy

x

Early misty farm mornings || Life on a dairy farm

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After a particularly bad night (or rather a week of a lot less sleep than usual) I'm going through my photos and reminding myself of all the things I have to be thankful for. And at the top of the list, living in such a beautiful place...even when the whether is grey and cold.

Here are a few photographs from an early morning adventure to feed the calves with Dad. Most mornings, after Evy wakes up and I feed and change her, we walk down to the dairy office to see what Dad is up to. On this particular morning we caught him just in time to hop in the bakkie and go with to feed the calves. What a fun adveture for little Everly.

Everly had so much excitement, she promptly passed out halfway through. I'm treasuring these rare moments of her falling asleep in my arms. She used to easily fall asleep with me holding her, no matter where we were. But now that she's bigger and more alert as to what's going on, it rarely happens anymore.

I'm not sure where the last 6 months have gone to, it's sort of passed in a blur and yet in those hard moments, time has dragged on. It really is true when they say 'The nights are long but the years are so very short' and so I'm going to keep reminding myself to pick up my camera and keep capturing the every day moments so I can look back on them and remember.

Life with a Baby - Week 15

Life with a baby week 15 less sleep but more smiles by CityGirlSearching

Oh goodness me...it feels like someone has swopped my sleeping newborn cherub for a wide awake and ready for action infant, literally overnight! 

It was just the other day that I was thinking that the 3 month stage is just the best...and then just as I was getting used to all the giggles and smiles, along comes more changes which have left me feeling a bit frazzled. Before I go on with this post, I do want to give myself a big pat on the back for keeping a little human alive for the past 3 and a half months. I have completely surprised myself, mostly because I was absolutely terrified about becoming a mom (see posts below for more on my pregnancy journey): 

I loved being pregnant so much that there were times when I wished I could stay like that forever!And the idea of what was to come really scared me. Mostly, I was scared of being 100% responsible for something so small, who depended on me for every.single.thing, and then the worries of what exactly I would do with her all day. Those first few weeks went by in such a blur, I needn't have worried. Mommy instincts do indeed kick in, and before you know it, they are no longer a newborn.


I have been wanting to share a post on life with a Newborn for ages, but, life with a newborn doesn’t allow for much of anything other than keeping said newborn alive! I have a handwritten draft of that post which I will hopefully share with you all soon. I’m going to include lots of the baby things/paraphernalia we loved and that made our lives easier, and the items we felt were a bit of a waste of money...stay tuned for that soon!


According to the plethora of baby books I own, here are a few possible explanations, as well as a few others I have thought up :

  • The dreaded 4 Month sleep regression (eeek!)

  • A growth spurt

  • Teething (she has been drooling A LOT! but no sign of any pearly whites just yet)

  • A Wonder Weeks developmental leap

  • Travel or disturbance of environment/routine (we flew to Joburg a couple of weeks ago? Also we have been visiting lots of family and friends so this could be an added element?)

  • Since returning from Joburg, we have moved her out of her bassinet and into her cot...her baby nest has also become far too small and now she is just in the cot as is, perhaps she's missing the snugness of the baby nest?

  • And the most probable one...she's just being a regular baby, growing and changing with no real explanation as to why she does what she does!

15 week sleep regression life with a 15 week old baby citygirlsearching blog

Up until now...

Evy has been a wonderful sleeper from day one. I had mentally prepared myself for literally NO sleep for the first year of her life, and so the fact that she would sleep 3-4 hours at a time during the day, and 5-6 hours at night in between feeds (Evy is Exclusively Breast Fed Or EBF) in the first few months was a wonderful surprise. I can't really say that it's one particular thing we do that makes her sleep like she does (or rather...DID!), I think a large part of it has to do with luck and her being a really content baby. But I'll share the routine we follow, because I'm pretty sure it does at least play a part.

I know it doesn't really need to be said, but I want to say it here...all babies are different, and some babies, not matter how much 'sleep training/crying it out/routine fixing' you do, just want to be close to mommy and are never settled until they are on their mommy. I am a general busy body, and wanted to try my best to have Everly fit in with our lives (this is only really possible up until a point) instead of us fitting in with her. I also want to say that a lot of my friends have babies who have had terrible reflux and so their journey's have been very different to ours. If you think your baby has reflux and you've been having a really really hard time, I'd love to share these two blog posts by my friend Sophie (an extraordinary mommy I'm so lucky to call my friend)...click here.

We try to be quite flexible in our routines, but our bedtime schedule goes a little something like this:

  • 6pm bath time (depending on her afternoon nap I’ll either feed her one side right before bath time or when she wakes up from her last nap which can be anywhere between 4 & 6pm). Then once out the bath it’s a quick massage, a nice big clean nappy (we are using cloth nappies...click here to read more about our cloth nappy journey so far) and pyjamas. She generally screams blue murder if we take too long to get her clothes on after her bath, and I guess I would too if I was left to get cold on a changing mat after a lovely hot bath.

  • +- 6:30pm feed the other side and burp her

  • +-7pm sleep time

In the last few weeks she was sleeping right through until about 3 or 4am when she would wake and I would go in and feed her (and change her nappy if she needed) and then pop her straight back down again where she would sleep until around 6 or 7am.

We have been pretty strict about Everly’s sleeping right from the very beginning. I had been told to put her to sleep in a way that I could realistically do at 1 in the morning, and so a dummy works best for us. I knew there was no way I wanted to be up rocking a baby to sleep every time they woke up and so we were pretty firm with putting her down and letting her settle herself to sleep. 

Here's how put Everly to sleep at night:

After her bath & last feed & burp, we pop her straight down in her cot while she is awake but drowsy, put her dummy in and walk out the room. Depending on whether she’s sleeping on her side or back, we’ll give her a few bum pats (gosh I will someone had told me before having a baby how life changing bum pats would be! Pretty much never fails to calm her down when she gets niggly). This is the only time of the day that I feed before her sleep.

And during the day:

I try to follow a 'wake-eat-change-play-sleep' routine during the day so that she doesn't associate sleeping with feeding, as feeding before sleeping makes life really hard as baby ends up refusing to go to sleep without a feed. This has become so much harder to do lately as she is awake so much more. From about month 1 to month 3, she would sleep about 3 hours at a time during the day, which meant every time she woke up it would be time for a feed (I have fed on demand and she would generally go around 3 hours in between feeds during the day). We do the same sleep routine during the day as at night. Except this time she gets put down after play time, and it can take a little longer depending on how tired she is/how much of a good mom I've been and actually played with her vs. popping her on her play mat to play by herself.

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And now...

For the last week or so, she's been waking up after quick 45 minute naps during the day (sometimes stretching two 45 minute naps together...what is called 'linking' in baby lingo) and it's just not nearly enough time to get anything Adult/Roxy/Non-Mommy related things done. This has been really hard for me to adjust to, and I have found myself getting more and more frustrated. But, this is just part of the mommy-hood journey, and I'm sure there will be lots more moments like these to come. But please, comment below and let me know I'm not alone!

Her new night time wakings have also been harder to adjust to. She's been waking up a few times, and I've managed to get through some of them by going in and popping her dummy back in, patting her a few times and then walking out. When that has failed (and I've been back and forth with the dummy numerous times) I have resorted to feeding her and then putting her back down to sleep. We do have it relatively easy, but still...the last couple of weeks been an adjustment.

I wanted to share this post here (and anymore 'Life with a Baby' posts I am ever actually able to write) as a way to document my journey through motherhood. If you have a baby or if you're having a baby soon, I hope you find it useful or inspiring (or perhaps you'll just have a good old chuckle at the things I find difficult now as I'm sure there are worse to come).

But most importantly, I want to share this post because each of us first time moms are walking our own paths through motherhood, and our struggles, no matter how big or small they might seem in comparison, should unite us together, rather than making us feel alone <3.

Everly Rose 3 Months (3 of 13).jpg

Now for the fun stuff...

Current fav nickname: Bobbin

Loves: Being sung to and any and all music! Likes to face forward when being carried so she can see the world. LOVES being naked so she can kick and squirm and fling her arms and body about.

Hates: Tummy time! The amount of tears we ave both shed as I have watchd her squiggle and scream on the mat has left me traumatised. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel! After a good 3.5 months of really struggling with this, it seems that she has graduated from blue murder screams to mumbling her distaste at being placed face down on the floor. It was a pretty viscous cycle for a while, the more she cried the less I forced her to do tummy time (an the more judgey eyes I'd get from my mommy friends), and therefore the harder it was when I did pluck up the courage to do it. But I am happy to say, we seem to have found a position she can tolerate, and this has made tummy time on the floor a bit easier as she is getting stronger.

Here's my absolute favourite photo of her doing tummy time (and the ONLY time she has ever actually stopped crying and actually smiled...#mommywin!). Let me know if you'd like em to write a blog post on tummy time, and how you can actually make it a fun activity rather than a horrible chore.

15 week baby sleep regression life with a baby citygirlsearching

Teething: Loads of drool, both hands always in the mouth (a few choking episodes where she's opened her hand while it's in her mouth and her fingers have gone down her throat...poor thing!). Everything goes into the mouth now, her hands, my hands, any and all toys, and her favourite thing to grab and suck on...my hair (ouch!).

Eye Colour: Grey? Dark Blue?

Hair Color: Dark Brown 

Weight: Weighing in at 6.2 kg's, Everly has officially doubled her birth weight! 

Feeding: Breastfed

Sleeping Aids: Her hands, a dummy & a little soft giraffe taglet/doodoo blankie

Current clothing sizes: 3-6 months (although she has been in this size for a good while). I'm going to blame it on the cloth nappies ;) I have still managed to squeeze her into one or two of my favourite 0-3 month outfits, but these were mostly her sweet little jackets and jerseys. The 0-3 month onesies and leggings haven't fitted her for a good many weeks! 

Currently eating/not eating: in the beginning, I found that the only thing that really seemed to upset Everly in my diet was tinned tomatoes. I pretty much carried on eating everything I had eaten during pregnancy. Something that I am pretty sure plays a big role in her afternoon grumpiness and something which I try to avoid is caffeine. The days when I do drink caffeine, I try to have it as early in the day as possible. This has seemed to lessen the 4 - 5pm bbay meltdown period  considerably!

3 month baby 15 week sleep regression life with a baby by CityGirlSearching

That's all for now friends. I'm hoping she settles back into her usual sleeping pattern, and if not, all the smiles and the talking and general cuteness will undoubtedly make up for it all.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and festive season from all of us here on the farm.