2 Months & 2.5 Years & 2 Years ago

Two Months:

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And this is how I feel about that:

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Two and a half YEARS:

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and the above is REALLY how I feel about THAT!  My beautiful boys, have been living the lives of sickies this past week.  There has been sooooooooooooo many coughs, so much snot, so much tea, honey and sleepless nights, but everyone is finally on the mend.  Each day Evan acts like a almost 4 year old, not 2.5 in fact no one really trusts me when I say he is 2, even my husband.

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I’m constantly defending the fact that YES he is going to throw tantrums, he is two…

My littlest muffin is also super-sized and super cute. He has a cough and runny nose (thank you so much for the invention of Nosefrida…. Or we’d really be in trouble) – which Evan never had as a baby it hasn’t been fun but he is still in good spirits and stinkin cute to boot:

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He is super super strong, very very heavy and a fantastic eater and sleeper.  I hope he sticks to that for when I return to work.

Michael has the most amazing little smile, he just coos at you – I miss so many pictures (even though I take 10000) because I’m just awestruck by his beauty.  Then Evan, the most perfect big brother, so gentle and wonderful.  My heart couldn’t be more full, really it Couldn’t.

More Twos we are celebrating?  Two years in our home (yep we closed on our house TWO years ago) and TWO years at my not-so-new job!  We are soaking in the TWOs. I’m looking forward to mending this weekend where we start the SECOND year of Hector’s 30s :D

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Monday Thoughts 1.12

Emotional.

That’s the word of the day.  I’m totally conflicted.  Anxiety creeping in.  I expected this.  I knew that my 12 weeks of maternity leave would fly. I knew that it would be beyond bittersweet to return to work.  Sweet, because I do it so I can provide for my family and build my life beyond motherhood – it is what I need to do, for me. Bitter, for obvious reasons.  I LOVE being with my boys.  I truly do.  I love nursing my sweet baby boy, even though clogged ducts that make me fall ill (that’s what happened this weekend *sad face*).  I love living each moment with Evan, he is SO full of life.  He is smart, funny and just down right amazing.

Emotional.

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Michael is thriving.  He is 13lbs 9oz (70% tile) and 24.5 inches long (90+% tile), he is so strong and beautiful.  I stare at him cry, on the rare occasion he does, just to be in awe of him. He does this lip quiver thing that I never want him to stop doing and I want to badly to capture in on video but have been unsuccessful.  He is a cuddler like his brother, he likes to be wrapped tight and close. He doesn’t spend much time in his rock n play or his swing – he is in my arms or in the Moby.  I just can’t get enough of him.

So many people told me there was no way I’d get so lucky with a sweet easy baby again.  That my second would be a terror.  Well they were all wrong, he is just as mellow and sweet as Evan was.  He is an excellent nurser and pretty good sleeper.  If I didn’t hate pregnancy so much I’d think about another.  Really, he is that sweet.  I love being a mother, and am sad I am not one who cannot enjoy pregnancy.  I really am sad about that.

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Evan is also a mini monster. We weigh him and track his height in 2 months, I expect him to be pretty much off the charts.  He has had a major growth spurt, he is in 4T clothes and talks like a 4 year old. He can hold conversations and puts things together so much so it blows everyone away. People look at me crazy when I say he is almost two and half he has matured so much in the past two months it is really unreal – even early pictures of him and Michael show how he went from a toddler to a kid.  It makes me sad and proud.  Sad, because my newborn skipped so quickly to a baby and my toddler so quickly from a toddler to a child but proud because they are my boys, they are happy, healthy and beautiful.

Evan has adjusted to having Michael around so wonderfully I cannot believe it. It is something that no one around me can believe either.  As much as Hector’s personality makes me absolutely crazy sometimes, my children exhibit that true mellowness that has to be in their genes, in their makeup – so I’m learning to love Hector’s mellowness, it gave my kids a great disposition.

Now – don’t get me wrong, not everything is sunshine and daisies all the time.  Some days are tough, but most days are wonderfully balanced, except I find it hard to be away.  Even though making time for me is important. Yoga helps me keep that anxiety in check, my kids and yoga teach me to be present.  That is something I try to work on each day.  Being present, not giving myself a heart attack about 6 months, 2 years, 10 years from now.  Yes, my babies will grow – and yes, it breaks my heart they will not be babies forever – but they are babies now and I need to soak that all up.  My body will get there, my heart will get there, as long as I’m moving forward and taking it all in (and taking A BILLION pictures) in the meantime.

Like I said, I’m emotional. Emotional thinking this could be my last baby, my last time to enjoy so much time at home with my boys.  Emotional with gratitude. Emotional over so many things. I have to remind myself to keep breathing too because my boys are breathtaking. Simply breathtaking.

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Merry Days

Happy Christmas Eve from the Villas!  Our house is deck’d

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gifts wrapped:

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and all is merry and:

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Mr. MAV is 7 weeks old!

Evan has been an angel lately, he is just the best big brother and I cannot even believe how well he has adjusted to the new family vibes (Day 4 and Day 48) – Day 4 photo cred S.D. Wyatt Photography (she is AMAZING):

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This year has been probably the most difficult year of my life and I’ve been very honest about it, but this time of year is magical not only due to my sweet boy being so excited about Santa, but because the end of this year has brought many MANY BLESSINGS.

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Like this T-Shirt says:

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This year has taught be to be present and thankful for the things I DO have in my life and the new angel we have gained (miss you grandma – so much), the things money can’t buy – important relationships. <3 We have some serious angels in our lives, both new and old who have stood by us, offered us gifts unimaginable and I’m beyond beyond grateful for them – they know who they are ;-).

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My mom has been hard at work baking while I snuggle and wrangle (well she does that too, you can tell she has multiple kids experience):IMG_3749 IMG_3759 IMG_9367 IMG_9368

IT will be a yum-fest tonight and tomorrow!

The hubs has been working hard, but we are excited to have him home tonight and tomorrow – for all my hardworking friends in retail – God Bless you – this time of year is tough on you all I’m sure – Evan doesn’t like when daddy isn’t around:

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I’m looking forward to the new year but I’m also soaking up every second of holiday bliss at the end of this 2014 like being able to run again OUTSIDE & and looking forward to a FREE 75 minute hot yoga class tomorrow (Thanks CPY!):

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Using this mug:

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Making my kids wear things they will hate me for in 15 years (maybe not… it is so cute):

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And hanging with the best shiny new gift this year:

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I’ve been blessed beyond words – MERRY CHRISTMAS, LOVE THE VILLAS (Photo Cred S.D. Wyatt Photography – Like her on FB!):

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hehe

MAV – 1 Month

Dear Mr. Michael Alexander:

You are a whole month [and a halfish] old already. You are such a beautiful, peaceful, content little baby.  I stare at you all day. Something I think about everyday?  How absolutely stunning you are.  You just are such a cute little guy.  You are becoming more and more alert from your newbie days.  You still sleep a lot and I’m guilty of holding you a lot.   I must confess I don’t hold you as much as I did Evan but that is for a couple reasons.  Reason 1 – Evan is here and he needs my love and attention too and 2 – you aren’t as picky as he was (or as I make him out to be, but it could have all been my fault, wanting him in my arms constantly).  You really do like to be on the boppy lounger or in your rock and play or swing.  You are just very relaxed except for between 10:30-12 and sometimes later.  Suddenly you are very picky, so picky, you don’t know what you want.  This is the time before your longest sleep stretch (about 5-6 hours then you squirm and make noises and before you cry I nurse you and you go back to sleep for another 3-4 hours) is a little challenging.  You want to nurse, then you don’t, you want the pacifier, then you don’t, you want to be held, then you don’t ;-) you just like to hear yourself scream at this time of the night but you do this little lip quiver thing that just melts my heart (yet I try to get it on video because I never want to forget it) right now as I type this I’m rocking you in the rock and play with my foot and waiting for the scream as you gently get worked up and I know I will end up finishing this up some other time… likely tomorrow.    See, now your are laying on the pillow next to me and you are pretty comfortable for the moment. So I’ll continue.  [5 minutes later, you are in my lap…]

I know there will be many days where I compare you to your brother, because he is my first motherhood experience but I promise I love you so much and know you are your own perfect little soul.  I’m so exceptionally grateful that you are my little boy and I look so forward to watching you grow.  You are my little grunter, you are so noisey – not in a bad way but in a “yeah I’m here” way, it is like you are already trying got talk.  Even in your sleep you talk, maybe you just have very vivid dreams, but you let us know, even when you are sleeping, you are around.  You enjoy the moby, you do not enjoy the car seat, you LOVE being swaddled, you do not cry with a wet diaper, your brother kisses you about 1000x a day so I try to keep up with him, you likely get close to 3000 kisses a day.  What can I say?  You are loved.  So very very loved.

Another thing we do a lot?  Take pictures.  LOTS and lots of pictures. My phone is quickly getting filled with beautiful pictures of you and Evan, and of you.  I’m challenging myself to take at least a picture of you everyday and we are already on day 44 (if I post this 12/19) somewhere in there I screwed up a day, double posted or didn’t post… who knows. But I know I have a picture of you that day ha. As I write this I realize that I’m more than half way through my leave… and my heart breaks a little because each day you change a little, grow a lot and make me feel whole.  I know there will be a HOLE when I leave you all day :( – my sweet baby.  I love you.

I promise to give you my all, I promise to love you even when you think I don’t – I promise I will do everything in my power to give you all the tools you need to be anything you want to be.  I will love you unconditionally – you are my baby.  You are a piece of me and I cannot imagine life without you even though you’ve only been here six weeks – my life is so full because you are in it.

All my love & then some,

Momma

I said I took a lot of pictures – here are some of your fancy one monthers:IMG_3355 IMG_3352 IMG_3349 IMG_3348 IMG_3346 IMG_3336 IMG_3307 IMG_3303 IMG_3289

Brought to You By

Good morning, friends.  This post is brought to you by hector, who so nicely is watching both boys so I can drink my coffee and write a post without juggling one or two kiddos.

We are battling some colds in the Villa-household.  By we, we mean Evan.  If Evan has something, we all feel it.  Even if we are symptom-less.  I nursed Evan for over a year and a half and that whole time he was never sick, ever since stopping it’s like the germs are finding him. *sigh* Anywho-We have been busy here, we made a family trip to see some BEAUTIFUL Christmas lights:

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We were like the stroller gang:

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It was unseasonably warm, and we took advantage.  Remember I said I wanted the Britax (or Uppababy) so we could just have one stroller, well I still haven’t bought the adapter for the carseat (fail) and my MASSIVE toddler is almost past both height and weight specs for the second seat so we skipped that too.  Luckily when we go out we typically are a group so TWO strollers go with us right now. Ha.  I love baby wearing, too (a great alternative) toddler in the stroller baby in the wrap or ergo.

We had a really great time stretching our legs with Grandma, Grandpa and Auntie Colie.  It was nice to sip hot coco and hang with our amazing family & the rest of Chicago that place was PACKED!!

I’ve been home alone a lot with the kiddos so I also have had Evan busy with at home projects like – decorating gingerbread houses (well he did the cookies they looked beautiful):

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(with my littlest one so sweetly swinging next to us) – coloring, painting, working on our felt tree (I’ll post finished product pictures later) and watching a little too much TV (Netflix is the devil ;-) ) – Projects are nice to do – they make me feel like I’m getting things done and that my toddler isn’t ridiculously bored. His favorite past-time is still dumping all his toys everywhere and not picking them up.

Michael is just as sweet as ever.  Nursing champ, sweet cuddling love, and only has about an hour of crazy time around 11-12am (yeah, we went from early nights to late night parties).  He is growing beautifully and gives us these AMAZING little smiles that I haven’t really caught pics/videos of because I just melt when he does them.  Today we have, as always, way too much on the plate but I’m going to sip my coffee, get dressed and get moving with my love bugs. I still owe a one month update on M.  :)

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We have a ton of Christmas shopping left to do – what a crazy time of year.  I’m just so grateful I’m spending this time with my loves. <3

Oh!  My sister and I are doing a 5k in a month.  I’m freaking out.  My lungs already hurt :) So I’m desperate need of some warm running gear and THAT is on my Christmas list.  Santa will likely bring my jewelry but I’m secretly hoping for things that make me sweaty (warm running gear and hot yoga passes :D)

Feelings & Truth

Happy 2nd day of November.  I went downstairs to brew my cup’o Joe only to realize we are out of coffee.  If I didn’t look outside and see frost on the ground I’d likely have thrown on a coat and run to Starbucks because I’ve been morning-dreaming of my cup of coffee since about 5 a.m. when I started rolling around in bed, hoping for a little more sleep.  I don’t even particularly like Starbucks Coffee, usually tastes burnt to me – but a latte sounds nice. So I threw some peanut butter onto a slice of bread (one of two BUTT slices left) and ate it.  Definitely not what I needed, but better than nothing.  I’m feeling blue because lately every time I eat something (even when I’m starving like just now) – I feel sick.

At this point, all I want to do is cry.  I’m so emotionally drained.  I’ve said it before, this has been a tough year.  Just when I think things are looking up something else just sidelines me.  I feel a massive amount of guilt about this because I do know in many ways I’m very lucky.  Lucky to have my health, lucky to have my fabulous friends and family, a healthy work enviornment etc.  But let me tell you, I’ve been down.  Probably never so down in my life.  This year has been tough, and each way I spin it, I want to see the silver lining but each time I catch a glimpse and pray to God, it is like something else very important gets stripped away.

I’m not going to spill all the gory details but our lives have absolutely been flipped upside-down this year.  I should write a book about it because sometimes I don’t know how I survived it.

I was discussing with a dear friend of mine who confided in me that she developed postpartum depression after she had her child.  Her story was heartbreaking because she so desperately wanted her baby, and prayed for that baby.  She had a great pregnancy followed by a traumatic birth experience that I can’t even imagine.  She has shown such power and grace through this, she is a amazing mother, who loves the little baby.  She makes it look easy but I know that she is struggling each day, even if it is getting better.  Why?  Because I’ve never been more depressed in my life than with this pregnancy.  Yet, I’ve hidden it better than I did with my pregnancy with Evan.  I know it has to be chemical and I know I should have talked to doctors about it, but I didn’t/don’t want medicine to fix it.  Or even to talk to anyone.  I just wanted to get through the 9 months knowing that I’d have a baby in my arms.  If this is anything like Evan postpartum, I know I’ll be ok.  Whatever happened to me after Evan, I was blissful.  I loved being a mom.  I had never felt so confident in my life.  But pregnancy, I’m not a good pregnant person and this experience has totally solidified that.

To make matters worse, things around my family have not been ideal lately.  Just when I thought something amazing was going to happen, that I’d have my husband so happy with me as we held our new baby and are able to have a few days together before he returns to work, my body has failed.  Again.  It failed with Evan, and it has failed again.  I’m STILL pregnant.  I’m still unbelievably uncomfortable, I have stretch marks and I’m absolutely feeling terrible about myself and everything around me.  The funny thing?  I’m hyper aware this is very selfish, and that I should be happy that I have a healthy family.  I understand that.  But here I am AGAIN, over due when everyone said he would come early EVEN MY DOCTORS.  My last appointment I was told I would have a baby in my arms before Halloween, he said just don’t “jinx” yourself and make another appointment since you are here.  So I did and now a day away from that appointment and no baby in sight.  My contractions have slowed, my excitement has fizzled and I’m mourning the fact that my best friend will likely not be around when I need him most.  I try to see the bright side, that I’m lucky to have a husband that I’m so fond of and who supports me the way I need him to, but he has to provide for our family – and well, timing in our lives has either always been beyond perfect (but stressful) or TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE.  This year, terrible is the word.

Halloween & October Recap

Nov. 1!  Yesterday was filled with tricks and treats, a last minute Ninja and a trip to our favorite acupuncturist. I’m going to go to Target today and see if I can find those awesome black and orange totes so I can easily find my decorations next year – yesterday was so cold we didn’t even use our fog machine we bought on sale last year *sad face*.  Yesterday was COLD (yeah I know it is a repeat but IT felt like winter)!!  Snowy and cold. But my little Ninja was so happy to hand out candy and eat it – he was perfectly fine with staying nice and warm inside:

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His last minute Ninja costume was perfect.  We left the bowl of candy on the stairs for easy access to hand out to the trick or treaters

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Evan kept an extremely close eye on them and snuck a few chocolates.  Before we knew it we had a crazy little 2 year old on our hands – sugar and Evan is a crazy combination! He was running around so excited watching for trick or treaters, it was fun to sit and just watch.  He was so good at being the candy helper!

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We also were watching SNOW!  I mean enough snow to stick to the ground.  We ran to mom’s house because across the street her neighbors go ALL out.  This year they had a hearse that shot flames out of the tail pipes!

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So it was nice to watch that from the warm inside of my mom’s house.  So many cars drove down her street.  It is quiet popular.  The only thing that was a major let down of this Halloween was the terrible weather.  Typically, we get out and walk a lot in the surrounding neighborhoods to get cool views of all the decorated houses.  River Forest has a house we see every year with a pirate ship and stuff of that nature but :( – we didn’t this year between my over pregnantness and the weather it was simply not fun at all to be outside.  We left our Ninja with grandma Debbie while we ran to see our acupuncturist.

The last time I saw Frank, was when Evan was overdue.  Evan was different though.  My body had zero progress simply because Evan laid slightly to the side and his head never engaged my cervix.  This baby is perfectly in place, but my contractions are not productive – he is at -1 station or lower at this point and I have dilated and effaced on my own but as described in previous posts my contractions are all over the place.  Some not painful, some painful, none consistent enough to push me into actual labor.  So we made our trip.  Frank has been a friend for MANY  MANY MANY years.  My parents have been fans of his forever.  He is brilliant.  He has studied Chinese medicine for a very long time. He works with Stroger hospital and pain management for veterans on top of his own private practice and goes to China often to teach, give lectures and learn- he is really amazing. He is also so down to earth.  I asked him yesterday how he looks so good and thought he was going to say “I do yoga and eat right” – but he said “I don’t eat so great” hahaha – so all his herbal remedies and life management techniques must work ;-) – I need to take up meditation again.

Anywho, due to MAV’s unique scenario he actually used a different point then with Evan.  With Evan I had little maca sticks burning from my toes to get him to move to where he needed to be to get my body going.  With MAV he used a point 3 fingers above my ankle.   We chatted and were given homework to complete a very similar process at home this weekend. Just seeing Frank makes me feel better.  I hope someday to exude that type of wisdom and calm.  Here’s a throwback to when Hector prepped me at home with Evan:

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October has been quiet the month.  Filled with ups, downs, and waiting.  I’m ready for baby but really trying to keep calm because nothing progresses when you are stressed and frustrated.  So I’m off to take a nice hot shower, run to the store by myself (as I know Hector and Evan won’t be ready in time as they are STILL laying in bed) and finish up some laundry.  I cannot remember the last time we were this caught up on laundry.  haha