Winter Wonderland Coffee Date

Hello & happy Tuesday before Christmas 🎄

Today seems like a good day for a coffee date. My poor little blog (and blog friends) have been neglected this year. I’m hoping to change that in 2022. Let’s grab some warm mugs (coffee or tea- I’ve been sipping on both lately), add a little oat milk (trust me!), and catch up.

If we were having coffee I’d ask what your holiday plans are. I love Christmas time. I especially love Christmas Eve. Adding M to the mix has been magical, but jumbled. Between a new baby and then COVID, we haven’t had a “normal” Christmas in a while. We’re working on a new normal for ourselves and our families.

Speaking of Christmas, this is my third one as a mom and, ever since M came along, I’ve been very stuck on all the feelings Mary likely felt. I’d never thought about her role in the Christmas story until I understood what it meant to raise a human. Delivering a child in a loud, cold, dirty barn aside- it would break my heart to know that I had to share my perfect, beautiful, fragile child with the entire world. People would hate him, just because he was alive. It’s terrifying and soul-crushing. Not to mention being an unwed mother back then and paraded through the country as such. It’s just…. whew. What a woman. It took a very strong and powerful mother to raise the world’s savior.

(And then she had to watch him die. But those are my Easter-mom-emotions. Don’t get me started there.)

If we were having coffee I would ask about your plans for 2022. We’re scheduled to get our booster soon. My bff is moving back to the state(!!). M is starting dance class in January. My other bff is having a baby(!!).Those are the big moments happening in the first quarter. I think it’s going to be a beautiful year. I’m cautiously optimistic.

If we were having coffee I’d ask where all the bloggers went. I feel like the trendy thing is now tiktok… Is that right? It went from blogs to IG to tiktok? I don’t know. I’m not about to start tok-ing and I like my little space right here. Do we think Blogland will be revived any time soon? (Maybe I’m wrong- maybe it’s alive and well and it’s just me.)

If we were having coffee I would admit that I’m finding less to be more. I’ve taken a step back from my side freelance gig. I’m trying to wake up earlier (per my husband’s insistence). I always feel the urge to cut back and cut out and cut down toward the end of the year. I crave simplicity but struggle with it, too. Does that make sense?

And now I need to get back to work. We were supposed to be on a little trip right now- a much needed pre-Christmas adventure- but sickness spoiled the fun. Fortunately, it’s not COVID. Stay safe, everyone.

What would you like to share with me on our coffee date?

-Aud

Two Years Old

M turned two on Saturday and I’m still trying to recover from the shock. Time has always been a thief, but it’s strange to see time personified in my little human. She was once a little squishy cute potato with two or three solid skills (eat, sleep, poop) and now she’s an incredible, complex, talking, opinionated, hilarious little girl. I love it.

I struggled during our newborn days. Nowadays things are tiring, but life with a toddler is amusing and fun. She’s ornery and clever and hilarious and sweet. This past year was such a rollercoaster and M has really grown into the person she will be forever. I’m so lucky to know her.

Nicknames: Moo, Toots, Toodles, Mads

Stats: Her 2 year checkup was yesterday. She is 29 lbs. 5 oz. and 35 inches tall.

Likes: Snacking, Mickey Mouse, reading in the morning and before bed, things in nature (the moon, leaves, etc.), animals- but especially dogs, visiting with the neighbors, playing at daycare, helping feed the dogs, French fries, and rides in daddy’s new car.

Dislikes: When mom is within sight but out of reach, sitting in her high chair (UGH), and being denied a cookie/French fries/any food she’s demanding.

Sleeping: We’ve had good and bad weeks. M takes a late morning/afternoon nap every day. She goes down for bed around 7:30pm and is up around 7 or 7:30am. When she’s healthy, she’s happy and cooperative at sleep time.

Eating: In true toddler fashion, some days we love carrots and some days we won’t look at them. The same is true for most foods. She’s always in the mood for noodles or a cookie, though. French fries, pouches, and yogurt are also favorites. And bread.

Development: I was reading the 18 month update where I said M says a few words. LOL. The kid talks all the time now, half the time in full sentences. She is great at verbalizing what she wants- sometimes too “great.”

Personality: I genuinely enjoy hanging out with M. She has her moments and we’re working on not hitting people, but she understands it’s not ok and she corrects her behavior pretty quickly. She is funny and so smart. She is a negotiator and a problem solver. She follows directions and makes up songs and loves to be where K and I are. Bristol is still her favorite but she’s a big fan of the office cats, too. She’s friendly and adventurous. She’s still a daredevil and loves chasing and racing and monkeying around. She’s starting to cuddle a little more and I’m not mad about it.

Travel: We’ve been very unlucky in this department. We took a family trip to Michigan and our vehicle broke down. M was a trooper, though, and we tried to make the best of it. A few weeks ago M and I were supposed to fly to Tampa… but M spiked a super high fever and we had to cancel. We did a few camping trips this summer/fall, but other than that we’ve been homebodies.

Mom’s Summary: Over the past two years there have been moments when I’ve doubted my role as a mom. I think a lot of women do when sh*t hits the fan… But I have never doubted that M was made for me and I was meant to be her mom. She is the highlight in my day. I love to celebrate her triumphs and I love to hold her during her big emotions. She’s such a gift to her dad and me. I’m so glad we get to be her mom and dad.

These past two years have been a gift. Even new thing Mads learns brings me joy. I love to see her love other people and I pray every night that she knows she is loved and adored by not only Jesus, but everyone who knows her. I look forward to all the moments- big and small- we’ll have together in the future.

I hope you had a happy birthday, my sweet girl. We love you the very mostest.

*Happy Gotcha Day to our sweet Enzo boy! 8 years with our snuggle bug ❤

-Momma

You can find our past developmental updates here:
birth / 3 months / 6 months / 9 months / 1 year / 18 months

Coffee Talk

We haven’t had a Coffee Talk since June 2020 so I’d say we’re way overdue.

This week our a/c at work stopped running so if we were having coffee I would be drinking something iced or frozen 😁

If we were having coffee… I’d ask what your plans are for the holiday weekend. I swear… the days run together now and holidays (and birthdays and anniversaries) completely sneak up on me.

This weekend I’m having a garage sale on Fri. & Sat. Kyle is playing in a cover band on Friday night. I think friends are staying over that night, too. Monday my parents are having a Memorial Day party with their friends (& us). It will be a busy weekend.

If we were having coffee… I would tell you how much I’ve missed you. I miss blogging and reading your blog. With work and parenting and my p.t. freelance job… I just don’t have the time or energy or creativity to spare. I hope this balance shifts soon. I miss this space. A lot.

If we were having coffee I’d have to vent a bit… I’m not fully comfortable ditching my mask just yet, but I don’t hold it against people who are. That said, if the business you are entering has a sign that says masks are required, then you need to WEAR YOUR MASK. /end rant

For the next SUYB link up I think I’ll have three books finished. (RIGHT?? Yay!) So obviously I’m an avid reader now. I kid, but I have been thinking about joining the Book of the Month Club. What are your thoughts on that? Is it worth it? Is there a better alternative? Is it a waste of money? If we were having coffee I would definitely pick your brain on this.

If we were having coffee you might ask how M is doing. Can you believe she’ll be 18 months next week? A year and a half. I cannot handle it. She’s been very clingy lately, but she’s also a ton of fun. She’s goofy and giggle, and climbs like a monkey, and honestly has very little fear. (GULP.) She started going to daycare about two months ago, twice a week. I think she LOVES it. She’s learning to play with others and she’s so chatty on the car ride home- then sleeps like an angel at night. A true win for everyone. (And I get a day or a half day a week ALL TO MYSELF!)

Chances are we’re now out of coffee. Lol. Before we part I’d ask if you have any travel plans? I know some people feel safe moving around and some don’t. We have a few camping trips planned and a family trip to Michigan later this summer. We’re also tossing around the idea of a visit to Tampa (to see Aub and Meg!) and a fall visit to my favorite place- Williamsburg. What about you?

And with that… I need to go price some items for the garage sale. And get more coffee. Have a relaxing weekend!

What’s New With Me

Most of my blog topic ideas come to me when I’m rocking M to sleep and I can’t jot them down.

Last week I missed SUYB day (because I haven’t finished a book yet this year) & then just said the heck with it and skipped Thursday, too. I have a freelance writing job on the side now and much of my free time and creative juices have been going to that.

I thought I might just share what’s new in my world.

Bristol is starting obedience classes next month and I am pumped. She is incredible when she wants to be & terrible when she doesn’t… It’s at 8pm on Mondays, though, so send prayers & coffee. We’re both ready to be on the couch at that hour.

We’re starting to plan a few things for 2021 and it makes me so excited. Thank Jesus we bought a camper! We’re headed to a few races this year and camping at the tracks. The tracks are having limited spectators and it’s all outside. We’ll bring our own food & drink and sleep in our own beds. It’s as safe as it can be.

We’re also (fingers crossed) planning a low key trip with my family & maybe a girls’ trip later this year. Plus both of my bffs are getting married this year. Yes, the pandemic is still a thing and I am 100% about following the guidelines- but 2021 can’t hold me down. We’ve got lives to (safely) live.

Moo has started walking. She’s also started throwing tantrums. I’m amazed at how she’s becoming more of her own little person each and every day. She’s amazing (and temperamental like her mother…). Her love for her daddy & the dogs makes me melt every freaking day.

We don’t qualify for the vaccine yet in our house but I am SO grateful that some of my friends and family have been able to get it or get on a waiting list. I’m excited for tomorrow. I’m hoping a new year and a new administration can hit reset on some of the stresses we’ve been carrying. No single person can fix or change the entire system, but I’m praying the US is moving in a better, more unified direction.

At the end of 2020 K and I jumped on the Dave Ramsey train and then jumped off (lol). I like his method but I don’t love his madness. We’re cracking down on financial goals and hopefully moving in a healthier direction with money.

Beyond all that, I can’t think of anything else to share. I started and finished Bridgerton- which was the perfect little escape. I’ve been diligently working on my island on Animal Crossing (hahaha). About 30% of our Christmas decorations still need taken down. And Enzo is still perfection except for his stank-breath (& he steals K’s seat every time he gets up, lol).

What’s something mundane but new in your world?

12 Months (!!) of Madelyn

This is the last of the designated M posts. I’m not planning to do more quarterly updates and this will round out the birthday-related topics. I’ll likely give an 18 month update mid-2021.

On Saturday we had a zoom party for my baby. It was lame, but it was safe, so I’ll take it. She also recognized people on the video so I think she enjoyed herself.

Nicknames: Maddie, Mads, Moo, Maddie Lou, Poodle, Snoots

Stats: Chunky monk is 23 lbs. and over 31.5 in. long. Clothing-wise she’s slowed down a bit and we’re still hanging out in 18 months outfits. (Thank Jesus.) She’s above the 99th percentile in height, though. WOOF.

Likes: Her dad, her dogs, and her stuffed animals. She loves music and dancing, likes to watch the dogs run around inside and out, and loves having her toes eaten. Lol

Dislikes: Shots (duh), being wiped off after a meal, Mom leaving the room, and having dog toys taken away from her. She hates being restrained, too. She also refuses to leave socks/shoes on.

Sleeping: M has always been a great sleeper. We were struggling with bedtime AND staying down for the night for a few weeks, but she’s back to normal now. I think it was the 1 year sleep regression. UGH.
We’re still doing 2 naps/day and I will hold on to them both as long as possible!

Eating: Our little poodle loves her noodles. She is a carb queen. She also loves avocados, eggs, meatballs, fish, and turkey. But pasta is the way to her heart.

Development: I don’t have time to list all the new things this girl can do. She does everything in her own time but once she’s got it, she’s got it. She stands, walks along furniture, walks with help, walks with her walker… but no independent walking yet.
M is a MONKEY. She climbs on everything- stairs, couches, toys, humans, dogs… lol. She knows how to get up and how to use tools to get up, and she knows how to go down (“feet first!” we say over and over).
She knows 4 or 5 body parts, yes and no, how to wave and clap and point and she tries to blow kisses, she signals “all done” when she’s finished a meal, she cuddles her stuffed animals, and she has mastered the colorful rings toy.
She makes a million sounds, says mama dada and da (dog), and will repeat back sounds and syllables of words you say to her. She knows who people and animals are- and can tell our dogs apart by name.

Personality: I hate COVID. Moo is so much fun to hang out with and take places. I hate that we can’t go anywhere with her. She has a happy disposition and she’s way more clever than me. She’s starting to find certain things funny and she’s starting to find some things scary. I love that we’re seeing her imagination develop. Unless she’s super tired or in pain, she’s a happy happy girl .

Travel: Sigh.
We have done some longer drives lately. We popped down to Cabela’s in Tridelphia, WV a few weeks ago and Maddie did great!
We took her to the reverse Christmas parade our town had and she loved driving through the float displays, waving at everyone.

Mom’s Summary: It was weird to see my baby turn one. I remember everything about the day she entered this world- and it doesn’t seem that long ago. M brings joy to everyone she meets and that’s especially true for me. I’m so proud of all the things she’s learned this year and I LOVE that despite all the isolation, she’s a happy friendly adventurous little girl.

M is starting to get a feisty, head strong, clever personality. I’m looking forward to shaping her into a kind little kid 🖤 I struggled a lot with the helpless newborn stage. I am much much more cut out for the communicative and temperamental toddler stage. I know that’s weird to prefer (and maybe I’ll take it back), but I love her budding personality- even the more difficult side, lol.

I now have a T O D D L E R and I am not ok. 😭

All professional photos courtesy of Jackie Beachy Photography.