When to Have a Second Baby

I have literally Google’d this several times over the last few months, hoping that one website would tell me what to do. Cupcake will turn 1 in March, and I’m starting to feel ready to add another sweetie to our world. Since Cupcake is such an awesome baby, I definitely want to make sure we’re doing the right thing for all three of us! Unfortunately, everywhere I clicked said essentially the same thing, the right timing is whatever is right for you and your partner.

That’s not helpful! Can’t someone just tell me what to do?!?

From the oldest of my siblings to the youngest is a 17 year span. My younger sister and I are only 19 months apart. Having lived these two extremes, I know how close siblings are depends more on their character than on anything else. Thankfully all of us are close despite our age gap. However, when I was younger, it was easier to relate to my younger sister because she was going through what I was at the same time. Based on that and the experiences in my DH’s family, we always wanted our children to be relatively close in age.

It hit me the other day that if I want our kids to be 2-3 years apart, we are quickly closing in on the time to start ttc! The idea of bringing another baby into our family is exciting and nerve-wracking all at once! We have talked about it and feel like we’re definitely getting ready to continue growing our family. But, there are still a million questions we have!

How will this next cutie be like and unlike Cupcake? How will his or her personality fit in with our family? What unique traits with this little one have? Having recently emerged from the horrors of having a stomach bug with a baby, am I ready for morning sickness again?

Despite all the difficulties of adding another child, we know that we are getting close to ready. There is no one specific reason why, we just both acknowledged we felt it. Perhaps it’s that Cupcake is now older and gaining more independence. Maybe it’s because she’s sleeping better. I’m not sure I can pinpoint one reason; it just feels right.

So I know that I’ve arrived at the same conclusion of everyone else- the timing is right when the timing is right. So simple and so hard all at the same time!

Calling all parents of 2+ children. How far apart are your kiddos spaced? I would love to hear about your experiences!

Momming at Home

Technically, I guess one would say that I am a stay at home mom. This term is usually given to a mom whose career revolves around the raising of her children and caring for her home. I do all of these things, but I always had a problem with the “stay at home” part of it. I feel like Cupcake and I were always out and about from the day we came home from the hospital.

And then winter hit. And I have become a stay at home mom. All of my momming is seeming to occur in the walls of my home. I have to admit that this part of the year always makes me stir-crazy. I actually do not mind winter, per-say. I just dislike being stuck in. And days like today definitely require a lot of in.

Cupcake took an awesome nap this morning, and so I started the shoveling.

IMG_3705 Glamorous, huh?

By the time she was awake, the driveway was completely covered again. It looked like I hadn’t been out there for the last 45 minutes clearing all that snow away. Sheesh.

Cupcake can’t really play in the snow for real, so I gave up any hope of a clean driveway and resigned myself to another at home day.

We played with her favorite toys and she even sat still long enough to let me put her hair in pigtails!

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But then I looked at the clock and it was only noon! Hours and hours until Daddy came home. I made myself a second cup of coffee and rearranged the kitchen table to another wall. Then I swept the floor. I tell ya, I sweep at least once a day, but now that Cupcake is learning to feed herself real food… Once a day is not enough! I realized the floor could really use a washing, but had no good ideas of how to do that without Cupcake being around.

So I decided if she was going to be with me, then she was going to help me! I pulled out her tub and attached the booster to make a water table on the kitchen floor.

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(Note, I surrounded the tub with towels and took off her pjs to make the floor not slippery- but I took these blog-appropriate photos first! Please put safety first if you ever try this!!)

Although I went through about 10 towels that I kept changing so she could play safely and we were both soaked to the bone after, it was a blast!

What do you do to keep your little ones busy when you’re stuck inside for what seems like days and days? I need more suggestions!

Cookies for Cupcake!

Now that Cupcake is 10 months old, it is just oh-so-offensive to her if we give her “baby food”. If what she’s eating on her tray doesn’t look like what Mama and Dada have, baby girl definitely expresses her displeasure.

“Mamamamamama,” she says most urgently, as if I had committed the gravest of crimes. She gives me that look that says I’m a big girl. Share with me! And I melt because I was the pickiest eater in the world and I’ve managed to overcome that and help teach my daughter to be brave with her food.

I ate my first kale chip just a few months ago. I was scared. It was green. I had no idea how yummy they could be! But, “Mamamama,” echoed in my kitchen yesterday and Cupcake happily munched away on my homemade kale chips.

But, this isn’t a post about kale chips. It’s about cookies. I really love to bake eat cookies. And so when I heard the familiar “Mamamama”, I realized that Cupcake deserved a cookie, too.

I set off to create a baby-friendly cookie that was 1. Dairy-free (Cupcake has a sensitivity I’m hoping she outgrows soon!) 2. Yummy and 3. Healthy

I searched a few websites and couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. Cupcake can’t have bananas, so a ton of recipes were knocked out. I had a few leftover egg-yolks from my Mexican Meatloaf I made, so I decided to start with that as my base since most babies can have egg yolk. Cupcake also adores oatmeal and applesauce, so I played with that idea and started experimenting. The result?

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Happy baby! I started with small cookies, thinking they’d be more friendly. I quickly realized that this did not pass her “I’m a big girl” test, so I made the next batch normal size. She loved them!

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So, with Cupcake’s permission…

Applesauce-Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients
2 Egg Yolks
1/2 c quick-cooking oats
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 t baking powder
Pinch salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix all ingredients in food processor
3. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet approx. 8 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown

I thought these were kinda yummy, but you could definitely use naturally sweetened applesauce (or a bit of sugar) if you feel it’s necessary. Since making these the first time, I’ve replaced the applesauce with other fruit and veggie purées, and they’ve always turned out great!

As a side note, Cupcake hates the sound of the food processor. Look at these faces! Poor girl!

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Anyone else’s kids have cute things they are scared of? Share!

Baby-Friendly Painting!

I absolutely love living in New England, but oh my have we gotten hit hard with snow. First there was Blizzard Juno, which dumped about a foot on our little home. Exactly one week later, a storm brought us another foot!

IMG_3545Cupcake has no clue what to make of the snow! She started walking over a month ago (at 8.5 months!!!!!) and yet that little girl just sits in the snow like she has no clue what to do!

It’s super cute and makes me laugh that she’s so paralyzed by it! She loves watching the snow fall and has spent many hours sitting on our couch just looking at it. I wonder what her little 10-month old self thinks about all of it!

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Although staring out the window for hours on end is super fun, I was getting ancy and needed a diversion! So I thought that painting seemed like the perfect snowy day activity.

Until I realized I had two problems:
1. We didn’t have any paint
2. It was a blizzard- so I couldn’t exactly go buy any

I was also supremely concerned because Cupcake puts everything in her mouth. Non-toxic paint just means it won’t harm her. It doesn’t mean it’s any good for her, though! So I decided to make my own paint.

Yep.

I used to be an elementary school teacher and I remembered teaching a unit on different Native American tribes and how they used to dye their fabrics using plants and items they could find in their natural surroundings.

I did happen to have some blueberries and leftover cooked carrots in the fridge and I thought I’d give it a try!

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I stuck the carrots in the food processor with a small bit of water to make a purée, not unlike what I was feeding her a few months ago. I took a very small handful of blueberries, smushed them up (very technical, I know), and voila! I had paint! Or should I say, “paint.” At it’s heart it was still smooshy blueberries and carrot purée, but Cupcake thought it was the best!

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The best part was, she could sample her paint and I didn’t have to worry!

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I will definitely be experimenting with other fruits and veggies since we are already forecasted for two more storms in the next week! Which foods stain your kids’ clothes the most? (Those are totally the ones I want to use!)