In Search of the Foxglove House

Mike interviewed for his new job the week Owen was born, and started a couple weeks later. We knew that eventually we were going to move closer to it, just didn’t know exactly when. His commute isn’t awful at 55 minutes, but it’s not a great one. Eventually we started searching with the mentality that if we found an awesome house we’d jump on it but it wasn’t a huge deal. Lots of houses in our price range were available but nothing really called out to us.

Then there was the Foxglove house. We almost didn’t look at it because it sat on top of a large hill with a steep driveway. But oh, the house was wonderful. Big backyard, huge garage, plenty of space, and a great flow that made it feel just right. It was slightly out of our price range, but it had been on the market for a while so we though we might be able to offer lower. Mike decided to drive out there after work one day to see how the commute was and it turned out to be a not so perfect house. The commute took him through the busiest section of Raleigh and was over an hour.

Womp womp womp. So no Foxglove house for us.

The search continued into different areas that would avoid the traffic. One day Mike sent me a listing that looked really familiar. The finishes were different but, wait a second, is that? It’s the same layout as the Foxglove house!! It turns out the floor plan was built all over the place! That one was too far, another one we ended up touring another had a terrible front yard, another one was too expensive. It seemed everywhere we looked there was at least one Foxglove house around. It wasn’t the only house we were willing to take, but man was it nice. More than one house didn’t stand up to the “Foxglove House” test and we passed on it.

When we found the house we ended up buying, we had pretty much decided to stop looking for a while. But it was a great house, in a great neighborhood, and we jumped on it. No Foxglove House test was administered. A couple days later my father in law sent us an email and told us the house looked really similar to the Foxglove layout but in reverse.

Whaaaat? No it’s not the Foxglove house is it? But then we looked again. Same foyer, half bath off to the side, island in the kitchen. Yep it was the same layout, but backwards. There were a couple of differences, like an entryway closet and the layout of the laundry room is different, but it’s the same house. No wonder it feels like home to me already. The house we were searching for was there all the time, we just needed it in the right order for it to be ours. We got our Foxglove house.

We move in 10 days, and even with all of the stress of packing and carting the kids around it feels like Christmas to me. And isn’t the house just beautiful?

Skipping Rock

To Don’t

Things never to do if you want your baby to sleep:

A number 2. They’ll wake up every time. Right in the middle of everything.

Flush.

Shower.

The Dishes.

Grown-up stuff that got those babies here in the first place.

Relaxing of any kind. The minute that TV show comes on you know baby is going to be up and ready to party.

Sleep. I’ve decided that when a parent’s head hits the pillow it’s like a sonic boom to babies. Their eyes fly open immediately because they think you’re supposed to stand guard at their door or some crap.

Exercise.

Get the sewing machine out.

Eat a meal (but cooking it is fine. They’ll let you cook that whole damn meal but don’t you dare eat it!).

Plan an outing that requires a nap.

Try to get one to not cry or to go back to sleep so they don’t wake up the other one.

Start a blog post. You’ll finish it with the baby in your lap (like now).

Think about them too hard. Just forget they’re up there because some psychic connection will trigger and they’ll need you. This one is especially potent if you think about how awesome your kids are and how much you love them. Stay away from cute pictures like this:

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Or this:

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I know, i know. What cute little faces!! Well those cute little faces are going to be awake soon and pissed that mom or dad thought too hard about them and woke them up. Just don’t do it!

What you should do if you want baby to sleep:

Sit quietly and worry that they’ll wake up.

Decide not to start a project because they’ll be up soon anyway (they’ll sleep for HOURS).

Plan an outing that requires them to wake up.

This PSA brought to you by: my kids. Waking me up at the crack of dawn since 2013.

Going…

We found a house last week. It was a bit of a surprise since we were a little bit burned out and hadn’t found any that we really loved. Mike’s dad sent us a listing that had just come on the market a couple days earlier. We realized that it was amazing and if we didn’t move quickly we’d lose it. So that night Mike and my in-laws viewed it while I hung out at home with the kids, and a couple hours later an offer was in. The next day it was accepted and that was that. I was moving into a house I had never seen.

Last weekend I did actually go see it. The house is beautiful, the neighborhood is great, and I’m within ten minutes of TWO Targets. Two of them! I’m so happy! Good thing I trust my family’s judgement!

Today was the inspection and nothing crazy was found so looks like all things are a go for a closing the middle of next month.

And now the organizing and packing begins. I don’t really like to move. I find it tedious, but having a good plan in place helps keep my stress down. I don’t have the luxury of procrastinating or going with the flow on this move because two kids will suck up all of my time before I know it. So today I went and tackled an “easy” job. Clean out my drawers and closet. My aim was to check something off of my list and purge some things I know I’ll never use or wear.

Then I found a secret lair where Louie used to sleep and I forgot about. Turns out that he got fur all over some business clothes I was planning on selling and threw up on my boots. Since I didn’t wear boots for my whole pregnancy because I was too swollen I can only imagine how long that’s all been there. It’s fossilized.

Then I realized I have clothes I ordered online to send back, maternity clothes I borrowed that need to be returned, newborn diapers that Owen grew out of in like a month, and so on, and so on.

SO. Since to-do things were rapidly piling up I started making a list for the week. It’s currently on 20 things, and that’s only the bedrooms! I’m going to tackle those things when I can and make another list, then another. It’s already calmed my frazzled mind, actually. Having things written down in black and white makes me not have to remember to do them all and I can play with the kids for a few minutes and be focused on just them.

I can’t believe we’ll be moving in a little more than a month. I’m excited, nervous, and so happy to be closer to family. Let’s just hope I have hair at the end of this process.

Smoke

After a fabulous trip to the grocery store today I came home, played with the kids, fed them lunch and put them down for a nap. Both of them. Together. I thanked my lucky stars and decided to get a head start on dinner. Instead I got a head start on screwing up everyone’s nap.

First I went into the kitchen and started chopping up vegetables for a enchiladas. In the process I dropped a spoon, a cutting board, and dragged three pans out of the cupboard instead of the one pan I needed to get.

Adam, who already was showing signs that he didn’t want to go to bed, started to whimper. If he’s content but not going to sleep I leave him be, but he was crying so I went in to soothe him. I was met with “Mommy I awake!!”, and I new that this was going to be an uphill battle. I gave him a quick song, a kiss on his head, and told him to get some rest.

Then I came back downstairs and took the trash out. I’m assuming the door opening and closing woke up Owen because when I came back in he was crying. I went upstairs and nursed him to see if he would go back to sleep, but nope. Awake and angry.

Oh well, I can still get the vegetables roasting in the oven! I put Owen down to put them in, starting yet another screaming fit. Adam whimpered again on the monitor.

I picked Owen up to play with him while the food was in the oven. Nine minutes later when the timer went off I pulled the vegetables out of the oven and- oh no. Smoke billowed out everywhere. The veg was perfectly browned but I knew it was only a matter of time before:

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

At this point I was in beast mode. Upstairs to sweep away the smoke I went. Then, oh of course the smoke got to all of the alarms up here and they’re all going off at once. I go into Adam’s room (because he’s not sleeping anyway) to open the windows and turn around to see a terrified kid crying. Who can blame the poor thing. Totally tired and now there are alarms blaring in his room. He can’t stand loud noises lately so this was too much. I scooped him up and ran around opening windows assuring him that it’s just a loud noise buddy and we’re ok mommy just has to open up some windows no problem!!

Finally the alarms stopped and Adam and I had a deep conversation about what smoke is and what alarms are and where did that smoke come from mommy? The kitchen buddy. Mommy tried to get a head start on dinner and will never ever do that during nap time again. Never ever.

Adam is now coming up to me every two minutes and making me reassure him that the loud noise was only the alarms and everything is ok and the “moke” is gone. “You show me where moke is Mommy?”

So. I am not ahead on dinner. Both kids are awake. The smoke has not all cleared from my house. I need a drink.

Milestone Madness

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These two boys. I’m pretty sure one night they decided to have a contest to see who could reach more milestones faster. It seems like every time we turn around lately one of them is doing something awesome.

First up! The newbie! Weighing in at 12 pounds, 9 ounces, it’s Owen!!

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Today I witnessed a belly to back and a back to belly roll from this guy. Of course he popped right up with a look that says, “Yeah I got this.”

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He’s also trying desperately to sit up. As soon as I put him in his rocker or car seat he does everything he can to lean forward. His favorite pastime is to hold onto my fingers and do sit-ups. We go up and down while he giggles with his giant cheesy smile.

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I couldn’t get a good picture of it, but the drool machine has also started. Based on some of his crazy cranky episodes and fussiness when eating we’re fairly certain he’s started to teeth. It’s right on schedule with what Adam did. I’ll be looking for his first tooth in the next few weeks.

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This blanket was a gift from a good friend of mine and has become Owen’s new lovey. I can lay him down fussing up a storm and when I hand him the blanket he gets super excited and starts chewing on it. I’m glad he’s taken to it because it helps curb the massive amounts of the aforementioned drool constantly streaming from him.

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Adam would like you to know that he can hold his head up and has teeth too. In fact, he got two new molars this weekend. Still not digging loud noises though.

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This big boy has been willing to try new foods. He ate egg yolks and pizza this weekend. Mike and I have been trying to keep our cool about this development, but inside we’re doing a giant happy dance. This picky dude has been flat out refusing most foods for so long now that when he picked up a piece of pizza and willingly put it in his mouth I almost fainted.

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And then there’s this. Going to the bathroom like a champ. Last night he even ran to the potty shouting, “Go pee pee!!!!” No prompt needed. That’s our boy. (I never thought I’d beam with pride over something every human learns how to do. That’s parenthood for you.)

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By far the most enjoyable development Adam has had has been in his language skills. He is so inquisitive, and loves to talk and learn and (mostly) listen to what people have to teach him. There isn’t a word you say that he won’t ingest and repeat like some kind of word monster. Mike and I both love to put him to bed each night because we know there are some good conversations to be had. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say to me every day.

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I love these two. So, so much. I’m so happy I get to witness them grow.

Baby Whack-a-Mole

This morning Owen woke up earlier than normal. The two of us hung out and giggled a bit before he got tired again and needed a nap. As soon as I put Owen to bed, Adam woke up. A good friend of mine called this baby Whack-a-Mole, and she’s totally right. One kid falls asleep and the other bounces right up.

The weird thing is though, that I actually prefer my mornings to go like this. Even though I had to get out of bed over an hour earlier, today has been an absolute breeze. I’ve been able to take care of each kid’s needs individually instead of ranking who needs what and going from there. That scenario usually ends in one or both of them crying and my frazzled self parking Adam in front of a cartoon and hoping he doesn’t decide to leap onto the couch just as Owen is drifting off to sleep.

(Spoiler alert: he usually leaps onto the couch just as Owen is drifting off to sleep.)

In fact, the TV hasn’t even been on today. As I type this Owen is taking the nap he needs every day and most of the time doesn’t get, and Adam is playing happily with his train set. Even though I haven’t technically had a break since I woke up, I feel calm and collected. I can even leave Adam to his own devices for a few minutes to write this because he’s had individual attention and isn’t asking me to put baby down and get on the floor. Never mind he just asked me to choo choo with him on the floor, and I totally can and will.

Baby Whack-a-Mole for the win! Now if I could just get them to keep doing this and coordinate their afternoon naps that would be great, but I think I have a better chance of Publisher’s Clearing House showing up at my door with a unicorn and proof that Harry Potter is real. A girl can dream…

Growth Spurts And Play Dates

It hasn’t been the easiest couple of days around here. I haven’t been juggling all of my responsibilities very well. It’s been more like frantically trying to keep up with cooking, cleaning, laundry, crying baby, and hungry toddler all at once. Owen is going through some kind of growth spurt, so he wants to be attached to me at all times, even if he’s asleep.

The mornings are the most difficult. I need to eat, Owen needs to nurse, Adam needs breakfast, and if we need to get someplace forget it. The poor guy spent all morning screaming because he didn’t want to be wrapped, but we had a 10am park playdate to get to that I had to get us ready for. Every time I set him down to do anything (like put on a shirt, or get his brother food), the wailing would get louder. I came so close to just throwing in the towel and telling my friends I couldn’t make it.

I didn’t though. Adam has been the epitome of a good kid through all of this. Yesterday Owen was on his twentieth minute of crying, refusing to eat and sleep, and everything I did just seemed to add fuel to the fire. I put him down on the couch and said, “I don’t know what I can do for you anymore!” Adam stopped playing with his toys, walked over to me and with the sincerest look in his eyes said, “I’m sorry Mommy.” My heart broke and gushed at the same time. Because my word he’s an amazing boy. So today he needed to get outside and play. He deserved to get outside and play.

I’m the first person in this particular play group to take the leap into baby number two. They’re really awesome with helping me wrangle Adam and hold the baby if I have to go to the bathroom, even if the baby starts wailing the minute I hand him off. Today I was asked a couple of times how I’m doing with two kids. I could only shrug and say “It’s pretty tough.” A friend told me that she wasn’t sure anymore of having kids so close together in age. She’s totally seeing my frazzled face and a woman constantly close to tears and I get it. She’s a good friend. I’m glad she was honest and I’m glad I didn’t have to put on a happy face for them.

And it has been pretty tough. But it’s also been pretty great. Owen is sleeping fabulously most nights, and if I managed to drag my ass to bed as soon as he goes down I would actually get something resembling a full night’s sleep. The boys are also starting to acknowledge that the other exists. Adam comes over to make Owen smile by kissing his feet and making raspberries at him. He asks to hold “baby bro-ver”, and squeals with delight the entire time he’s got Owen on his lap. They’re going to be good friends, and I can’t wait to see them grow and interact together.

On the way home from the park we had to go through some city streets, which immediately woke up Owen because only 70mph down a highway will keep him asleep. He started crying, but then I turned on a radio station playing a country song called “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” by Travis Tritt.

Owen settled down and went to sleep, Adam continued eating his animal crackers as if he didn’t have a care in the world, and I took a deep breath and unclenched my white knuckles from the steering wheel. A silly song that reminds me of my baby sister being born brought me back to earth. I had to remind myself that if I can get through tough periods, I can see that it’s getting easier every day, we will settle into a groove as a family, and Owen is getting older and more independent by the day. It won’t always be this hard.

So the next time someone sees me struggling and asks how I am, I’ll shrug and say, “It’s pretty tough. And amazing. And the rewards are going to be well worth the struggles.”

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