A Little Bit About MAV – 7 Months

Two plus years ago I found the time to not only take pictures of Evan but blog about him EVERY single month what he was up to, what we were up to how my fitness stuff has changed, house updates ETC.   When I became prego with MAV they all said “you will have less and less pictures of your second baby, it’s just how it goes” – this is totally off base for me because I have almost 9K pictures on my phone alone (Apple LOVES me… Such a loyal spendy customer) and I have an amazing DSLR case that is exploding with full SD cards.  But I really haven’t carved out the super important time to write about his milestones, his amazingness.  But life happens. You get busy, you “prioritize.”  I just so happen to be guilty of mis-prioritizing from time to time.

However – Drum roll please…….

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Mr. MAV is SEVEN MONTHS OLD!  I thought time passed quickly with Evan’s babyhood but it has passed much much more quickly this time around.  I simply cannot imagine life without MAV.  It has been the best seven months.  Here are a few things he is up to:

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Being perfect.  Yeah yea, I know we all say this but he is the most laid back sweet calm easy baby I’ve ever seen.  I said this a lot about Evan, because he was a great baby too but Michael is just – always happy.  Until he is hungry or tired.  There is no guessing with him.  His favorite things to do are laugh, smile and scream.  His least favorite thing to do is eating solids (and you’d never guess by looking or holding him, dude is SOLID).  We’ve been working hardcore on solids and he just isn’t having them.  He will gag until he throws up sometimes (most times?).  He’s just into mom’s milk. ha. MAV is lightening fast.  For instance, we tried peas the other day (our most successful feat yet!) I turned around for not even a second and he decided he’d rather play with the bright green stuff:

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And so fun with food continues.  One thing we all point out is MAV’s adorable right side dimple.  My happy dude shows it off quite often:

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Michael is super strong, master roller, and beefy.  Solid guy, he is almost twenty lbs and has two front bottom teeth that started poking through right before his seventh month of life.  He has handled teething SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVAN did.  So that’s been great.  We aren’t crawling yet, backward scooting.. but no crawling:

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He’s mastering cat-cow. I see it happening soonish but I’m in zero rush to have two mobile dudes.  Michael LOVES the bouncer in small doses and is really starting to just enjoy sitting an taking toys out of baskets, his hand-eye coordination is incredible and he’s starting to use his fingers to pick things instead of full double hand grab.  Everything naturally goes straight to his mouth.. he chews on everything.  He isn’t amazing at naps because EVERYTHING wakes him up but at night – he is almost always AMAZING.  We have a few nights where he wants to party at 2am but mostly he really sleeps from ~8 to 6.

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To summarize:  He’s just freaking fantastic.  Solid and amazing.  Really I couldn’t ask for a more laid back happy loving guy.  Happy SEVEN MONTHS!!!

How’s Evan?  Also great and ALMOST 3!  Dude. How is this possible?  He absolutely loves his brother “baby Michael.” We do have some jealousy moments but he really does well overall with lil Mike.

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GO BLACKHAWKS!

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

Saturday Morning Madness

Yesterday was a glorious day spent with people I love.

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We stopped by Auntie Joanna and had a great time destroying her house.  But adult talk with my dearest friend was so nice.  We have a lot in common and she doesn’t flinch when I pull out food for Michael – I love that. hahaha. (the little things).  We had a super lazy night at home.  Hector made macaroni and I enjoyed a glass of red.  Glorious red. It was like angels were singing.

Then bedtime happened.

Something crazy happened last night.  It was like a series of extraordinary events in our household.  Our house has been quiet peaceful at night.  The baby does his fussy hour before his long stretch typically around 9 but by 10 everyone is pretty much asleep for a good 6 or more hours, with Evan asleep until 8-9 the next morning.  I’ve really counted my blessings in this department because I know sleep can be non-exhistent in “newborn” households.

Last night Michael seemed more fussy than usual so I went into his nursery and we rocked for a long time, he was super sleepy and so I put him down and he wavered in and out of sleepiness.  I could hear Evan up too… past his bedtime. This should have been the sign of impending sleep doom.

Evan FINALLY fell asleep around 11.  Way way way past his bedtime.  There were lots of tears and “Momma I want helicopters, momma I want choo choo trains, momma i want my iPad and so on and so on…”, with Evan if you don’t get him down in time he is a nightmare but this rarely happens.  It is SO weird because nap time was so simple yesterday.  But yeah, Evan asleep at 11. I laid down totally done for the day but insomnia crept in I could hear the sound of the dog scratching his neck downstairs, the heat kicking in, normal creaks of the house, my snoring baby, my SNORING husband, it was like a migraine without the headache everything was SO LOUD.  Baby gets up about 1, I nurse, rock and swaddle – he goes back down at 3 EVAN gets up.  This never happens.  He runs to me and I hold him, then guess who else wants momma?  There was not enough Jen last night to go around.  Hector is trying to hand me the crying hungry baby while Evan is freaking out “no momma, daddy hold the baby, you hold me.” He really didn’t care baby was crying, which is strange.  I figured he’d fall back to sleep within minutes.  No dice.  I had two crying babies for like an HOUR or greater last night I refused to look at the clock to remind me how long the madness was lasting and somehow Hector ended up in Evan’s room.  I woke up with a child on each side of me and me in the middle of my bed… It felt like the night never ended.  It was complete chaos. Like a frat party.

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But the morning arrived. We survived and I will be surviving off of caffeine, caffeine, energizing yoga postures, and more caffeine… Seriously. But it’s part of being a parent.  I’m lucky most days, this is like everyday norm for some moms POWER TO YOU. lol

What else is on the Saturday agenda?  Lights!  There are some incredible displays in the Chicagoland area so I’m wrapping my loves up with Auntie Colie and the grandparents and we are going to enjoy the magical 45 degree weather.  We are taking two cars and probably two strollers. We are like an army these days and we have only grown by one tiny being.  I have a yoga class at 12 and Christmas cards to get out the door.  OH and wrapping!  Any luck not having your two year old open everyones gifts under the tree?  I haven’t wrapped anything because telling him no just means he will sneak downstairs and do it anyway and put his hands up like “I didn’t do it.” hahaha.

Happy Saturday!  I’ll be back this weekend with an update on my ONE MONTH OLD:

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<3

Time Bandit & Brain Dump II

Yes.  Time, GRRRR!  You are insane, the way you steal minutes away from me.  My littlest love will be 4 whole weeks young tomorrow. And one MONTH old by the end of the week.  I have to plan my “one month” photo shoot, with my little guy- let’s see how successful I am with putting that together haha.  I also want to figure out some cute Christmasy photos because I’d like to ATTEMPT to get out Christmas cards this year.  But each day flies by and everything just seems – well – harder than it is.

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Yesterday my day was filled with cleaning, meditating, hanging with my littles and a wonderful 2.5 hour nap time where I slept about 30 minutes but was able to read for a solid 1.5 hours. I love reading. I tend to start books, not finish, or finish a good book and then be done with reading way longer that I’m ok with.  Nursing, cuddling and late nights helps me with reading time – also now that Evan knows what cartoons are – I read during cartoon time :) (yep, my kid watches cartoons, no I’m not the devil, it happens).  I’m reading Vanished because my best posted she finished it on Goodreads, because we are so alike, I thought grabbing that one – no thinking required lol.  I soak up lots of minutes staring that these faces, but some mental reading exercises are very welcome:

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I’m feeling much better these days.  I know that very soon I’ll be taking some time away to get in my workouts (where I actually say – here hector – I’m going out with Oso for 45 minutes, or using my yoga groupon I bought 6 months ago) & I welcome this because I miss my workout highs and need some alone time.  However, I get a very high amount of anxiety when leaving the boys.  Especially Michael, as he is exclusively breast fed and I’m not building my freezer stash as quickly as I’d like.  He has had one day where he has had a bottle for a feeding, just to introduce it to him.  I’m not the biggest fan because 1) I prefer nursing over pumping and 2) because I will go back to work and pump for him, he will have LOTS of bottle sessions then, so I sorta relish in the time to nurse him now whereas when I go back to work he will be mostly bottle fed.

I’m spending a lot of time behind my camera these days. Michael is fun to photograph because he is usually quiet still, but Evan is still a little difficult. haha :) I think I’m going to take a photography class with my sister in the Spring.  That or an excel class because I’d like to hone those skills. Again, time bandit will tell me what I can and cannot do these next few months. I’m feeling very optimistic these days.  Nursing happy hormones?  Who knows, but I love it.

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Don’t mind the mess.  It’s real life in the am when we are scrambling, I’ll make my bed soon – I have clean sheets to put on ;-) and a blog to write lol.  Right now Michael is comfy in the Moby as I work on my posture and rock him side to side (great core time!)

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– Shoulders up and back. –

He is super cute he has his hand in his face, just like when he came into this world.  This week we are putting up the tree and finishing up Christmas decorating.  We are also going to the city Friday to do some homeowner exemption stuff and check out some lights… get some fresh air.  Evan is running around right now saying “I’m dancing right now momma, I’m dancing.”  I need to get him outside today.  I’ll probably bundle everyone up and take a walk around the block. Venturing out is quiet the ordeal when it is cold out. Gah. ha  Or when you are one person with two children and a dog (Oso would HATE ME if he didn’t go out too) – the thought of this adventure is making me slightly tired and scared hahaha.

Yesterday THIS happened:

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It was nice to watch the twinkling of the fire in our fireplace.  I even helped myself to a cup of hot chocolate :-)

Oh!  Thanksgiving.  It was a success.  If I can get all my pictures in the same place I’ll happily update and do my “Thankful List” which I’ve done the past two years.  I’ve already started it but – it is sitting unfinished. :)

Ok, well I have mom duties to attend to. Happy Tuesday!

Holiday Prep

Hello friends.

Yesterday was a very lazy day here at the Villas. I was NOT feeling well.  I think I really over-did it this weekend and on Monday so yesterday I was barely able to lift a finger.  We had a lot of bedsharing cuddles.  Way too much TV and easy eats. Reminded me I really need to go shopping but I’m hoping to make it through today without a trip.  Yesterday I read that american families and restaurants throw out on average 40% of the groceries they buy.  THAT’S NUTS – you may as well through money out the window.  I know we are guilty of throwing away a lot of food, so to combat that I try to – meal plan, and buy little amounts, often. Still there is always some waste. Anyhow, to help our crazy grocery budget, I really plan on being more conscience of the amount of food I buy – it is so terribly wasteful to throw all that away. *sad trombone*

Anywho – Today I’m feeling a bit better and am hoping today is a better day as far as being productive.  I’ve spent a good amount of time on Pinterest making lists of things to do with Evan, and planning for Thanksgiving.  Last year was awesome.  My table was beautiful, food was great and my grandma was here:

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I’m so sad Gma won’t be here this year, but Michael will be and our family has lots and lots to celebrate this year.  So I plan on doing just as much this year – with Evan’s help and Michael wrapped close to my chest in the Moby.  Last year I literally made my own butter and fresh whipped cream for pies.  I’m telling you – all out we went. It was glorious.

This year’s menu is not finalized but I think it will go a little something like this:

Apps:

  • Assorted cheeses & garlic roasted mushrooms
  • Fresh seasonal fruit

Dinner:

  • Turkey (I would love to try a fried turkey, but we are going old-school roasted, Hector-Style)
  • Roasted pork shoulder (Another Hector dish)
  • Roasted Veggies (Last year’s were awesome)
  • Pomegranate-cranberry sauce (omg… to die for)
  • Sweet Potatoes (May ask mom to make her usual)
  • Steamed green beans
  • Asparagus and a hollandaise sauce (family tradition)
  • Pierogis (from Gene’s deli)
  • Fresh seasonal salad (I’m thinking cranberry walnut?)

Desert:

  • Pumpkin Pie!
  • Apple Pie (Hector would never let us not have this)
  • Spice cake (another Mom request, maybe ;-) )
  • Turkey Cupcakes (mom and Evan creations!)

You’d think I was cooking for an army but I’m cooking for maybe 8 people lol.  The sides might get mixed up a bit again, I’ve pinned a few recipes I might try so instead but at least we are thinking a head this year.  I’ll have to grab some fresh flowers but I really can’t wait to pull out grandma’s old china and silver-ware again.  Also!  Looks like we did pull out some Christmas stuff for last year so I think I’ll have Hector pull some out tomorrow and we can have hot-coco and decorate, slowly.

Evan is excited about Christmas, I am shocked there aren’t too many Christmasy movies on TV for him to watch.  I’m going to have to dust of The Santa Clause, my all time favorite, I cannot wait to share it with him!  Something else we are looking to do this year?  A few “Night before Christmas” boxes!  I read this article and was so excited to try it with Evan and Michael!  I plan on making it a holiday tradition – what a great way to get some of the Christmas jitters out and I think it is awesome to snuggle and watch a movie with the boys likely in matching pajamas! I will be soaking up these holidays like crazy because next year when I’m back at work – it will be mayhem to fit everything in – so I’m enjoying the time of year with my two sweet love bugs:

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I’m sure this will be the first of many “what we are doing for the holidays” posts. Any traditions you have for thanksgiving?  Do you host?  I’m excited!

 

 

Recovery.

Good morning.  It’s funny how my mornings simultaneously start earlier and later than usual.  I get a morning wake up call from my favorite little nugget consistently around 3:30 am, and change, nurse and snuggle till about 4:00 – back to sleep until about 7 – then up and at it as soon as possible thereafter.  Which is a really late start for me, I’m used to waking up around 5:00-5:30 but these days I also go to bed much later around11:30 opposed to like 10 the latest.  Sleep is important, and rest is important when you are recovering even though I feel pretty good, when I over do something, I know it.  We are head-over-heels in love with this little dude:

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He is just a little angel.  Very much like Evan.  It’s funny, and I know time can change things.  But everyone told me “good luck with number two, he will be crazy, unlike Evan.”  I got this from all angles, but in my head I just kept positive.  If I had a fussy baby, so be it.  But once again I have a mellow one, just like daddy Hector.  That doesn’t mean my days aren’t crazy though.  Between him and Evan, I’m busy.  I started this post over two days ago, it could take me all day to write – may never even get published.  Two days ago when I started this post I – put the baby who started it with me nursing on the boppy into the rock and play went to touch his sweet sleeping face just to find him spitting up at that exact second.  So naturally I dropped whatever I was doing and fixed that.  Then my super sweet two year old woke up… He is now happily playing with legos in his room.  Then I got side tracked and meant to hop back on here several times, but just never happened.

Like I said, we are recovering.  We are finding our new groove, days are flying by and due to the weather I haven’t left the house too much.  My babies have lots of warm fuzzy things but I can’t find any of my winter stuff, naturally.  Side note, it is weird looking at the two carseats in the back seat.

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Physically I feel pretty good.  Everyday I daydream about yoga postures, the treadmill, lifting, and putting on a dvd.  Each day though I sit down and things still hurt so I say – better hold off.  It’s HARD but I just snuggle the little one or the big one and get lost in a book or recording on the DVR. I never get through a whole show, I think I’ve watched shows about 5 times and still not absorbed what happened.  Everyone around me will agree – I am a baby hoarder.  Sorry I’m not sorry, I cooked him, Evan got lots of snuggles, so this one will too (yesterday I WORE JEANS!! They fit!  A bit snug, but ah that’s ok by me for now – today is round two if I can find the dark ones I want to wear or lulu wunder unders it is).

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Today we have a bunch of things to accomplish.  Groceries, Thanksgiving planning, and cuddling.  Thanksgiving this year should be great, we have so much to be thankful for.  I think my house might be decked out in Christmas gear by then.  The snow and cold has me fast forwarding the season from browns and oranges to reds and greens.

I was chatting with Hector yesterday.  We were listening to an awesome Pandora station and I was dancing with the baby because Evan was with Grandma Debbie (he is getting so spoiled over there!) and I felt so full, happy, content.  It was a wonderful feeling – it’s been a very long time since I felt like that.  Confident, happy, content – unbelievably grateful.  I was MEANT to be a mom.  I know what I’m doing, especially this time around.  With Evan, I felt great but with this one, I know I can juggle both Evan and baby.  I’m sure there will be hard days, but right now – I know this is EXACTLY where we should be.  I’m so filled by that thought.  I’m so happy.  I don’t care if I get the stink eye from someone who thinks they know what is best for my baby or family – because I DO know what is best for them.  Judgey mom wars, really won’t bother me at all – in fact I’ll stray away from that talk – I’m surrounded by supportive moms and family, and friends – that’s all I need.  These boys:

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Like I said.  Recovery.  Mentally, physically, emotionally.  Each day is getting a bit better – this year will end on a high note.

Love – the Villas

 

Complete.

We are home, safe, warm and hearts full – because look who has arrived:

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Michael Alexander Villa (#MAV) has hopped his way into our hearts.  Melted my soul and has taken my breath away just about every second I look at him.  Evan is an outstanding, loving, caring, kind, excited big brother and we are just quiet blissful and thankful right now.

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Labor was great, and I can’t wait to share the [short] birth story with everyone *hopefully* later today – while it is still fresh in my brain. But I’m feeling quiet good – a bit sore and VERY VERY CRAMPY – geez!  They warned me cramping would be worse the 2nd time (and even worse with each consecutive pregnancy) but WOWZA!  Just when I think I feel good I still get hit with a fresh set of the cramps and man do they curl my toes!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it 100x more, the support around us has been tremendous.  My friends have been just the best, and my family too – checking in, sending love and just being so amazing.  Life is good.  I’m sharing some snuggles and need to grab something to eat (nursing really makes me HUNGRY) haha – so I’m off to do that and hopefully can pop back on with some details on the little dude.

For now – sending love and light to everyone.  God bless, chat soon.

Love,

Mommy and Michael (cuddled so perfectly on my chest)

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