Catching Up

>> Monday, November 6, 2017

What’s happening, friends? I realize it’s been a while since I updated you guys on what’s going on in our lives. So, today’s post will be pretty informal and a way of catching up.  I’m hoping to get back into a more regular blogging rhythm again (2-3 times a week) now that cross country season is nearly over. Anyway, here are some questions I’ve received over the last month and some other general updates.

Life’s been a blur (much like this photo), but things are good.

// Finances

By far, the most requested info revolves around our budget and paying off debt plan. I wish I had better progress to report. Unfortunately, between a new water heater and 4-digit furnace repair, we haven’t had a lot of room to move around funds and aggressively go after our bills. We are keeping up with all our normal payments and will contribute more when we can.

It does feel good to have steady paychecks coming in again. Stephen decided to get his salary distributed over the course of the whole year this year versus the 10-months we had done previously. This will hopefully help as we budget so the summer doesn’t shock us so much.

I am still chugging away with freelance work, but I haven’t returned to pre-Eloise levels. I write between 8-10 articles a month right now. I’m hoping to get back to doing 12. When Ada was in preschool and I was home alone a few hours a day, I was doing more like 24 a month and blogging. The main issue is time. I’ve always relied on early mornings and naps to work -- but with two kids, that time isn’t often there like it used to be.

I think WAHM stuff is material for another post!

// Eloise

Our littlest member of the family is nearly 17 months old! Crazy. She runs all over the house, climbs everything in her path, and is putting short sentences together. Her favorite is “I did this”. She likes Curious George and Daniel Tiger, but doesn’t sit still to watch TV more than two minutes, much to my dismay (Ada was a little zombie).

In the last month, we’ve started regularly going to several toddler activities, including a weekly toddler rock concert, library group, discovery center (I have some photos/videos on my Instagram stories today), and I’d like to start going to a mommy + me gymnastics class when she turns 18 months old.

Our biggest struggle has continued to be food. I plan to write more about this. But to other mamas out there -- it’s not your fault if your kids don’t eat. Ada was a relatively good eater. I’ve taken the same approach of variety and such with Eloise, and she simply doesn’t eat. I’m going to be checking with her doctor about getting her levels checked again for iron deficiency (they were fine at the 1-year appointment, but it’s worth a look). She’s still a petite little thing, but she is fine with all her milestones and seems healthy and happy otherwise.

// Ada

Sweet Ada will turn six next week. Please make it stop. I am continually grateful that we were able to delay kindergarden through our district and start her this year. Last year’s early K was such an amazing opportunity for her to be in school at a slower pace. She’s doing extremely well with academics and friends and loves school.

Ada’s still in gymnastics and this year we also signed her up for a choir that meets once a week. Being a mom of a school-aged kid is certainly different. It can be overwhelming at times and there are always new issues we confront or curiosities Ada has. It’s hard to get into in brief. But I think we’re doing a great job so far.

We’re having a birthday party for Ada this coming weekend. It’s cat-themed, much like her first birthday. She has so many friends and always wants to be hanging out. Completely different from my personality! I love seeing the person she’s turning into outside of me and our home. It’s a special time, that’s for sure. Ada’s also an amazing big sister and really watches out for Eloise. I’ve enjoyed watching their relationship develop as Eloise has transformed from motionless blob to active toddler.

// TTC

I mentioned on Instagram that we tried for number three last month. It didn’t work out, and we’re not sure when we’ll try again or if we will. Basically, last month would have been good timing, so we went for it. But then due dates get into XC season for several months, which is something I’d like to avoid (but I don’t take fertility for granted, so who knows). Trying brought back a lot of emotions and thoughts that I hadn’t expected. While this was just the first month (and -- please don’t think I’m freaking out about not getting pregnant right away. I TOTALLY didn’t expect to!), I felt the weight of our previous infertility issues and multiple losses.

I don’t know how much more I’ll share about this journey, but I just wanted to put it out there. I wish TTC wasn’t this huge thing. That I could approach it without such thought or simply not think about it. I was at a children’s museum this morning and a group of friends all seemed to be pregnant with their third child and each had two kids that were very close in age as well. I heard them all talking about having their kids a year apart, 15 months apart, two years apart. It wasn’t their fault at all, but I felt isolated hearing them all chat about the relative ease of having kids back-to-back.

It also made me feel like maybe we aren’t ready to take the plunge. Their kids were running all over the place in different directions . . . and it looked e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g -- LOL. I mean, there’s a reason we waited until Ada was 2.5 to start trying for a second. There are definite advantages of Ada being in school and being home with Eloise alone most of the time. Interestingly enough, I get mistaken for a first-time mom a lot of the time.

// Life

Anyway, life is good. There’s probably a ton I’ve left out. I am trying to take more photos with my DSLR lately. I used to do photography for friends and friends of friends, but I doubt I’d do it again. Still, my skills have atrophied quite a bit, so I’d love to be a good self-taught family photo-taker.

On that note:

Thanks for reading!

I am hoping to get two more posts up this week. One is our winter bucket list and the other is my holiday gift ideas for kids. I have some creative ideas for small budgets this year. Our furnace repairs really dug into any money we had for gifts. Ah, life just costs money at every turn. We are still blessed with so many other things, though. Perspective is key.

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