REAL TALK REAL MOMS :: GOING FROM ONE CHILD TO MORE

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I always love hearing when people felt like they were ‘ready’ to have another kid. The funny part is you are never even ready for the first one, and by the time you feel like you just got the hang of this parenting thing, it seems a little backwards to then decide to just throw it in the garbage.

Everyone with multiple kids has obviously endured their own version of the transition and it’s repeatedly stated to you that going from one kid to two is the hardest transition, more so than going from zero to one and definitely more than going from two to three. But, then again, going from two to three sounds like my breaking point, so it’s really a crapshoot. I’m also told that once you have three it’s basically a state of whatever at that point and you can just keep going from there with little to no change in your routine. True or false? I’m not testing the theory.

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It’s different for everyone, but Parker has just turned three when SS was born. That age gap may have saved us a bit from some of the other hardships of navigating two children. Parker was old enough to communicate more with us, had a grasp on independent play and had seen her friends with baby brothers or sisters. On some level, she got what it was all about… in her three-year-old way.

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Here are a few tidbits I remember experiencing and wanted to share:

  • If your second child is the same gender, as mine are, it was hard for me to not just assume SS was going to do everything exactly like Parker did. I kept assuming I had birthed another Parker… which was kind of weird now that I typed that out. But the point is, every baby is different. What worked the first time, may not always work the second. Be flexible and let them be their own tiny tornado.

  • If it’s an option, be sure to potty train your older child before the next ones arrives. No one can handle more than one human who needs a diaper… and that will be including you for a bit after you give birth, lest you forget so easily from the first experience.

  • Damn it feels good to know what you’re doing the second time around. After Parker was born, I’m pretty sure Eric and I looked at each other multiple times a day and thought ‘WHAT HAVE WE DONE?’... but with the second all of the stages are more known, you’re more confident in your mom-abilities and things like diaper explosions and a five octave screaming range doesn’t even phase you. Embrace being way more chill this time around. You’re not just a mom, you’re a cool mom.

  • Even if it’s just for a few hours a day, if you can, have someone come over and take your older child to the playground or a coffee date or something outside of the home. Through my maternity leave with SS, I still had our nanny come her normal hours so I could 1) just have a second set of hands and 2) have her continue to take Parker out and about to art classes, etc while I was recovering from my C-section and 3) I could nap when the baby was napping, I could take time to heal and even pump and who knows… sneak in a shower… but most importantly 4) find time to savor and bond with SS as if she was my first. It was truly a lifesaver and I’m forever grateful we were able to have that set up.

  • At this point, you’re already going to playgrounds and playdates and art classes and probably have friends with kids. So all of that doesn’t change that much. You’ve found your parenting social life and now it just has another baby included.

  • Give yourself a learning curve. You didn’t figure out how to keep one child alive overnight, so it will take months (yes, you read that right, months) to get the hang of this two kid lifestyle. Go easy on yourself, take deep breaths, drink some wine, drink some wine while nursing. As we know all to well after already having gone through the newborn phase one, everything is just that… a phase. You know everyone will go back to sleeping through the night, they will stop having tantrums, they will play independently again.

  • If you follow the rules of birth order, your first will be the rules follower that generally is more mild mannered and follow instructions. The second is your drunk uncle who lives to entertain. I should know, I’m a second child.

  • It’s okay to know your own threshold. I have friends with four or even five kids and it’s easy to compare. But after having a second child, I quickly realized my threshold for craziness and utter chaos was pretty low. Knowing that probably means I won’t be a mom with five kids. But, guess what... I’m so excited and proud of my mama friends who do have a high threshold for utter mayhem. They teach me SO much and I have endless respect for them.

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After SS’s first birthday, I was able to finally look back and see what all we accomplished in that first year with two kids. Now, when we see them eating together, playing together and helping each other... Eric and I high five and then melt into a pool of emotions. Parker dotes on Sidney Sloane and SS just wants to be exactly like her older sister. I feel like I’ve peaked in my parenting at this point, it can only go downhill from here ;)

I’m so excited we’ve started up this series again. Motherhood, parenthood and families can all take different paths and look so unique to each person. Every woman in this series bring their personal perspective and experiences to the conversation, and for that, I am always grateful to be a part of this group. There is no right or wrong way to do family and I think it’s so important to see all of the different perspectives and experiences shared!

Be sure to check out and follow along with the other amazing mamas who are sharing their stories as part of this series. Also be sure to check out our previous topics: TravelFeedingSleepRelationshipsSelf CareWorkingCo-ParentingComparison TrapDiaper Bag Essentials and Play. Links below! #realmomseries

Rebecca: A Daily Something |   Kelly : Studio DIY  |   Jen : The Effortless Chic

   Erin: Apartment 34  |   Ashley: Sugar and Cloth  |  Megan: The Fresh Exchange

Lexy : The Proper Blog  |  Natalie: Natalie Borton  |  Cyd: The Sweetest Occasion

Catherine: The Life Styled | Chandra: Oh Lovely Day | Chelsea : Lovely Indeed

STYLISH RECYCLED SHOES FOR BACK TO SCHOOL WITH ROTHY'S

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We are currently rounding out the summer and getting ready for Parker to start school in two weeks. TWO WEEKS. Yes, it’s so early and I’m still not ready. But she’ll be jumping into Kindergarten this fall and we can start taking bets on how severe my ugly crying will get when I drop her off on the first day. As a barometer… I cried during her pre-k school tour. Just a tour.

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It would come as no surprise that I enjoy getting dressed and find a creative spirit in it. I also love letting Parker do that as well and encourage her to live on the edge a little and have her own style. Her new school also has uniform guidelines, which means, she’ll be rocking the collared shirt and solid color pant #ootd.

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There’s obviously great benefits to uniforms and I’ll be the first to say it sure makes it easier to get kids dressed in the morning, but the downfall is that we have to be creative and find other ways to let Parker have a little flare! I’ve always let her pick buttons to have on her backpack and fun hair clips and bows to wear in her hair. The main thing she always loves to pick out are her shoes, since those are free rein in the uniform department. But there’s still rules - they have to be close toed, comfortable and able to withstand the daily wear and tear of a 5 year old. It’s not easy to fit all of that criteria into a single shoe. Last year, she chose silver glitter shoes… obviously… and proceeded to wear them so religiously that we had to purchase a second pair! This year, she’s discovered the wonder of Rothy’s and I think she’s found her shoe match.

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Since I jumped on the Rothy’s bandwagon a while back, I wear them with everything from travel outfits to weekend errands. I was thrilled when they released their kids line recently since I know firsthand how ridiculously comfortable these shoes really are. They’re classic and chic in a way that allows them to be an almost effortless addition to any outfit. Oh, did I mention they’re washable! That was the moment I knew these were the perfect school shoe for Parker. Washable shoes for kids… it’s good to be alive in 2018!  

All this to say, I’ve been trying to sneak in as many dates with Parker as I can before she starts school and her days are packed with other things! Even if it’s just to grab coffee and walk around a new neighborhood… her little brain is comprehending so many new things that she’s probably my favorite person to have a long conversation with these days!

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*This post is in partnership with Rothy's, a brand we love and support for their mission to create stylish shoes from sustainable and recycled materials. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my little space of the internet. All of the products mentioned are available at Rothys.com and @rothys*

CREATING NEUTRAL HOLIDAY DECOR

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Here we are, it’s nearly Christmas again and I’m continually stunned at how fast the months are going by. While I love the holiday season and everything it encompasses, I’m not really known for my knock out Christmas decorations. I guess it’s one of those odd things, considering I have zero chill when it comes to decorating for smaller occasions like the girls birthdays or even just a simple Halloween gathering. I can’t contain myself in those situations. I’m always festive! I’ve convinced myself that maybe it’s the overwhelming amounts of bright colors that cause me to be easily scared off or possibly just the overwhelming amount of options these days to choose from or maybe now with kids, I just feel like everything will get broken and pulled off the tree. So, I did a quick search trying to source some neutral holiday inspiration, and came to find, there weren’t a ton of options. This is where I decided to partner with Pier 1 Imports again and share some tips on creating an affordable neutral holiday palette, whether you’re doing everything last minute or just want some ideas for a simpler set up this year or also have tiny humans ready to destroy everything at a moment’s notice.

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It’s no secret that I’m pretty minimal and tend to steer clear of bold colors or patterns in my clothing choices, and that is also reflective in my home decor. To begin, I chose silver, white and wood as my main ‘colors’ and used them as the common denominators when choosing decorations. [I’ll take the time now to mention that you should start a drinking game (with hot cider, of course *wink, wink*) and take a swig for every time I use the word ‘decoration’ or ‘decor’ or ‘holiday’ in this post!] I found silver ornaments that were a mix of glittery, matte and shiny and started with those. Check! I let Parker pick out one ornament that she loved, and she choose the little grey sweater, which was insanely cute. Then I added in some natural touches to the tree with these pinecone additions, that are in fact napkin rings, but don’t let them fool you… they can also be hung on the tree like ornaments. The ornaments are plastic and the pinecones are very sturdy, so the kids can help hang them and nothing will be broken. The final touch on the tree… bells. Why? So I can keep track of any tiny hands trying to sneak up on the tree or attempting to peek at presents. Genius, I know.

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Probably my favorite neutral option for the holidays is birch. Anything birch. I was able to find these super chic birch pillars, that could honestly also be flipped over and used as vases for flowers. They also have birch wrapping paper, that helps keep everything uniform and not a mess of wrapping designs under the tree. Newspaper is also a great neutral option for wrapping if you have some laying around! To create the tree skirt, I used two of these super soft and lush blankets and just wrapped them around the bottom area. Pretty cozy if you ask me!

I spoke in my harvest post about the importance of letting your mantle take center stage during the holiday season and December is her finest hour. I snagged this extra long garland from our local tree stand and spruced it up with a couple of these white pinecone picks. They’d also be great to put in the tree with the ornaments. All of the products are classic in a way that they can be used year after year and even incorporated into a larger, more colorful, theme if you choose to go that route.

In closing, even if you’re a contestant on ‘The Great American Light Fight’, I would hope even this lends you some inspiration and always remember that holiday cheer can come in a small dose and still make a big impact! Happy Holidays, friends!

Other products featured: Cake stand / candle / twinkle lights / metallic basket / pillar candles / white mugs

*This post is in partnership with Pier 1, a brand we use around our home. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my little space of the internet. All of the products mentioned are available at your local Pier 1 Imports store location or www.pier1.com*