Two Under Two…Three Under Two Coming Soon

I went to Costco the other day and a mother of two school age children stopped me.

“Are they twins?”

No, they’re 15 months apart.

“Ew! Did you do that on purpose?”

Thank heavens for the elderly lady walking past.

“Excuse me? Did you know before all your crazy hormones, women walked around like she is and looked at mothers like you as though they were the crazy ones? To get your age gap we had to give up sex! Who wants that?”

She didn’t even wait for a reply. The other mother and I stood awkwardly watching her go on her grocery shopping way.

I think she was harsh. Just a little. Child spacing is important for marriages, relationships, and sanity. I completely understand why parents wait.

There is some research saying that children (and pregnancies) close together cause health problems for mom and baby, though this research is limited and very uncontrolled. As far as my family goes, I’ve had two unmedicated, uncomplicated, vaginal deliveries. My children are large at first, their growth halts between 7-12 months, and they pick right back up where they left off. We have no chronic issues for either, praise the Lord!

I don’t exactly appreciate how this mother responded to me, although she did apologize for her outburst.

Sebastian and I did plan to have our first two close together. We didn’t want to remove diapers from our lives for fear we would never go back. Our first child, salem, was also an incredible baby.

What life with two under two looks like for us is very different than it does for others.

We don’t have simultaneous daycare costs, as I’m privileged to stay home.

Diapering was already a huge part of our lives, and in this family’s situation, just a little more laundry.

Breastfeeding went smoothly, and weaning salem was as easy as him declining the breast when my milk changed from pregnancy.

Yes, we have to buy more car seats, but this is because we extend rear face our children! Besides cribs, no other baby gear purchases have been necessary!

I live with baby wearing. My toddler cooperates with carts, but, except for Costco, they only have room for one rider. I usually wrap my daughter in our kokadi! Daddy wears the toddler on occasion!

Nap time? I’m incredibly blessed with two BEAUTIFUL sleepers. It’s ok to hate me for that, but nothing I did made them that way. My children love naps, and I hope it stays that way.

Bed time is a little trickier. My husband works 12-14 hours on the average day as a United States Navy submariner. He very rarely makes it home for bed time. And he’s been deployed for a few months now, so I’m basically a professional at bed time! It’s not impossible to do it alone, for those reading this and freaking out because you’re about to be in my shoes!

We eat dinner together. I bathe both kids together. Removing them from the tub makes me a little damp, but water never hurt anyone! I allow the toddler TV time and a glass of milk, to which he stays put snuggled in his towel as he watches his baby Einstein. I rock the baby until she’s very relaxed and then put her in her crib. She puts herself to sleep while I’m reading to the toddler and rocking him until he’s relaxed.

On rare occasions one refuses bed time. But, the good news is, one always goes to bed!

The best part about this age gap is the playing. Salem and Maebel are best friends. I’m not exaggerating. We have our sibling fights, don’t get me wrong. But they’re short lived. They play all day together, they share toys because they don’t know differently, the older teaches the younger a lot and very quickly, and they spend a lot of time snuggling.

We had no idea that our kids would be close friends as well as close in age, although that is what we hoped for. We aren’t naive enough to think it will aways be this way, but we are certainly enjoying them now.

My advice to any mother reading this, expecting her second at a similar or closer age gap, is to ask for help. I’m so incredibly blessed by my family (and many kind strangers) to have help daily. People are usually happy to help, and it gives them a chance to smile at your beautiful babies and enjoy them, too! Sometimes people are rude, but they exist whether you have 1, 7, or no children!

In reality, my husband decided child bearing , “is like ripping off a band aid. Let’s just get the baby stuff over with! I don’t wanna be changing diapers for 10-12 years when it could have been 8!”

Now, in reality, we tried and succeeded to have our second closely follow our first, but I can’t pretend that our third was intentional. We had hoped to space 2 and 3 a little more to today’s “normal age gap” and closely follow 3 with 4, but it’s not always up to us!

In the wise words of my incredible mother of
9 (with almost 40 years of marriage to the father of those 9), “God’s timing is rarely convenient, and always perfect.”

Stay tuned to find out what 3, two and under is like!

What are some pros and cons you’ve found with your children’s age gaps?

Progress and Growth

I am not one for resolutions. How many people say that to start?

I’m always breaking them. When I became a teenager I stopped making them.

However, 2014 was hard and it left a pretty sour taste in my mouth. I’m determined to make this year better in many ways.

I’ve decided 2015 is the year of progress and growth. There are quite a few ways that those words can apply.

Before we dive in, I should mention that I have these plans laid out before us, but God determines our steps. Lord willing, these things will happen, but how, when, and with what means are completely out of my control.

Sebastian and I bought a house before he deployed in August. We closed after he left. My dad helped me move, settle, and now we have begun the remodel stage. Sebastian is still deployed.

Why did we buy a home we need to remodel?

Our single-wall Hawaii home was built in 1963. There are a lot of really great things that come with that. We don’t belong to an association, our lot is huge compared to new lots on Oahu, and our house is full of vintage Hawaiian spirit.

Some not so great things? It’s dated and too small for us.

Two weeks before we closed, I was ten days late. “You’re stressed about the house.” I told myself. Maebel was not even old enough. No way. We aren’t ready for three kids. We can’t have three kids. We just bought a house with only three bedrooms.

Two pink lines and a lot of tears later, our home is going to grow with our family in 2015.

Our list of renovations include:
Built in day-bed in the family room
Updated built in book case in the family room
Sanded and Refinished original oak floors in the main living area
Painted walls and ceilings in the main area
New cabinet fronts and countertops in the kitchen
1.5 bath converted to jack and Jill bathroom – complete remodel
Bedroom floors sanded and refinished
Bedroom walls painted
Additional master bed and bath added on to rear of home

Before you think my dad is slave labor, Sebastian is good and ready to be the muscle and sweat. Dad is the supervisor.

Sebastian and I plan to run a grass-fed, hormone and anti-biotic free beef farm when our days with the navy are through. He is not shy about hard work, and he is excited to learn all sorts of new tricks this year.

Did I mention that our family is growing this year? Late March or early April, we will have a new baby to embrace in our ever-changing, and very busy life.

With Sebastian’s honey-do list, there are many ways I can grow as a wife and mother this year. Being a stay-at-home mom, I am the accountant, nurse, cook, maid, and seamstress. I prefer some of those positions over others.

Last year, I grew as a nurse, maid, and seamstress. We switched our health and medicine over to essential oils, and we have yet to go back.

I’ve noticed that pain killers, when we do need them, work faster and better than they had prior to our cleanse. Same goes with fever reducers for our children and I have yet to reach for pepto bismol or any other digestion aid since I have used doTERRA’s digestzen!

I have also switched our family’s cleaning and hygiene products to natural, chemical/synthetic free options. This switch took a little more dedication to pre-making and a little more effort when it comes to finding recipes that work, but we did it! And Lysol, pledge, swifter, and Clorox are collecting dust in my hall closet.

I also improved my sewing skills last year. I made over 1500 diapers in 2014!

With those areas of Stay-at-home-mom life under control, the time has come for me to look at the cook and accountant parts of my job description.

The kitchen is an intimidating place. And unfortunately, my lack of organization in the heart of our home (it’s literally in the center! Ha!) costs us more money than it should! However, Sebastian and I are firm believers in health, and diet should be the final sacrifice for expense.

We are not a restaurant, fast-food family. Our budget cannot be snipped that way, as we don’t partake in that meal style. If your family does, I would highly recommend really examining those foods and their ingredients. Take your first step into health with cutting these out!

I do enjoy dr. Pepper. Which prompted a talking to from a dear friend here in Hawaii. I know all of the health, cost, and disgusting other reasons why soda shouldn’t be in my life. I’m addicted to it. I know all that and I continue to drink it anyway, but in 2015, I’m saying goodbye to dr. P and all other processed food. My best friend is dancing in Illinois as she reads that.

My goal for 2015 is to have all food in my kitchen be five ingredients or fewer, all my meat and dairy to be hormone and antibiotic free, and most of my veggies and fruits to be local and/or organic.

That sounds pretty scary to the accountant side of my job, which is why I also plan to do freezer meals and meal planning along side our food shift.

So, 2015! Lord willing: Our home will grow, our family will grow, and our diets will progress to a healthier and longer life!

What about you? What are your New Years resolutions? Health? Exercise? Diet? Budgeting? Spiritual growth? Travel?

Tell me about your adventures you hope to have this year!