I want to remember…

home maggie whitley

When life is good it ticks by fast, so during this season of “good life” I want to pause to remember…

– the kitchen counter piled high with dishes from a delicious meal

– Maxwell talking to Siri by mostly telling her dada, mama (pronounced “muma”), Nony (Natalie) and no no nooooooo

– babies who nap through the lawn maintenance hour (so odd to hear these sounds in January considering I grew up in Michigan)

– what Max’s favorite things are: running, reading books, the occasional cookie, telling us what things are hot, pointing out who the items in our home belong to (so cute)

– good books within reach (currently loving this design book)

– the awesome relationship I have with my older brother, Matt

– the way Natalie smiles at me when I crouch down to her face and talk to her

– that I’m never too proud to own multiple journals and lip balms

– how we’re teaching Max how to count to 10 and say each letter of the alphabet

– the way Max so generously gives Natalie kisses

– that showering at night is the way to go, and the less hair products I use the better my hair is (this texturizing spray is the good stuff)

– how grateful I am to have Zack as my husband and friend.

*This post is brought to you by baby wearing. Affiliate links used throughout, meaning I will earn a small commission on any items purchased.

 

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Life with two children.

natalie maggie whitley

What would life be like with two children?, I often wondered. The first six to eight weeks after Natalie was born were hard, for sure. They were hard for different reasons and on different days. Some days I felt very victorious during the morning hours, but like a complete failure in the afternoon. I’m going to shift all of those thoughts and say it was the flux in my hormones that caused it, because let’s face it: hormones are a beast ;)

maxwell maggie whitley

But now we’re at nine weeks old. Natalie has grown into her body a bit more and sleeps 6-7 hours/night before waking to nurse (yessssssss). Maxwell is communicating with us at crazy awesome levels and as the weeks pass his vocabulary grows. My mama instinct says these two things are HUGE in helping me feel like we’ve reached a sense of normalcy ’round here.

natalie maggie whitley

And it’s almost like that’s all that matters. When everyone gets the rest they need it’s easier to move through the day with a smile on our faces. Communication has always been a huge part of my life (y’all know I love to talk), and similarly when Zack and I are having a low-communication day, everything else feels “off”. So whenever Max struggles to communicate with me, of course life instantly feels 10x more difficult; talking something out is how I process life.

The way I feel today is vastly different from how I felt just a few weeks prior. I’ve taken the pressure off myself so I can “just be me” and it’s crazy how much that has helped. I’ve loosened my grip in certain areas and tightened up in others. This month, as part of my “one little thing”, I’m focusing on moving forward. That means I’m sharing how I feel more often, taking more photos, and letting the small creative moments actually happen throughout the day (when I have time to be creative)! I’m holding back less, and it feels so good.

maxwell maggie whitley

I’m excited for the months to come when I feel EVEN MORE awesome at being a mama of two. Natalie is growing each day and will soon interact with Max. And Max, my firstborn, is sharing with us what interests him, which is so exciting. Everyone is learning something each day and it’s my goal to recognize and celebrate just that.

I mentioned to Zack the other night that I wasn’t sure what my purpose was for life “right now”. There’s a lot going on right now and it’s not as clear as it used to be in years past. Come morning, however, I had such a different perspective on my purpose and refreshingly, a different outlook on the days to come.

natalie maggie whitley

Related: having two babies makes me feel like I’ve hit the jackpot of mamahood. I’m able to tap into the lessons I learned with Maxwell and apply them to taking care of Natalie. I know what to be concerned about and what to let go. I’m more confident and less afraid, but definitely more emotional. There’s so much good to being able to experience another healthy pregnancy, VBAC delivery, and post birth at home.

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On baby wearing and creating.

natalie baby wearing maggie whitley

clay beads maggie whitley

The other day I had a small “aha” moment and it was super encouraging since I’m still in the newborn & toddler craze. Zack was home these last two weeks during the holidays and we enjoyed all our time together as a family (obviously :)). But we also enjoyed a bit of solo time, too. Usually during naptime one of us leaves for a couple hours. It’s always refreshing to step away from something so constant as parenthood and remember that YES, I do exist as a solo person. (Something I need to remind myself often since having a second baby.) I admit, it was hard to audibly say, “Go on babe! We’ll see you in a few hours,” but I knew I needed to push Zack out the door. And I’m so glad I did.

The door clicked shut, I nursed Natalie, and then I put her in a wrap. I wore her for nearly 3 hours as she snored and slept. Maxwell was asleep in the nursery, and I accomplished so much for me. It was almost like it was *I* who had stepped out during naptime, it was that refreshing. While the babies slept I rolled clay into beads and wrote in my journal. The apartment was quiet and full of encouraging energy.

Working with clay is something I’ve been wanting to do for weeks now, but (seemingly) every time I got up to do so my hands were quickly pulled elsewhere. After such a successful baby-wearing experience during naptime, I’d say it was well worth the 9 week wait :)

After Natalie was born, my mom stayed with us for two weeks, and while she was here she encouraged me in my journey as a mama of two. Towards the end of her time with us — as she was watching me get my bearings — she began to encourage me to wear Natalie. And so I did, a few times, but never while doing something for myself.

I’m pretty sure baby wearing is the fastest way to remind myself that yes, I AM a creative person and yes, I DO love the weight of a sleeping baby on my chest, but perhaps most importantly it has reminded me that, yes, I AM still myself. Something I haven’t always felt as of recent, but my goodness this is such a lovely feeling.

I had been putting too much worry in wanting to spend time creating, but without any actual effort. Well, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and you guessed it — it’s a pretty, sparkly light.

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My challenge for 2015: one new thing.

coffee maggie whitley

natalie bath maggie whitley

natalie bath maggie whitley

zack natalie maggie whitley

mail maggie whitley

maxwell maggie whitley

maxwell maggie whitley

Instead of picking one little word to focus on for the entire year I’m doing something new by focusing on one new thing each month. I’m still figuring out mamahood (aren’t we always?) and so the best way to get back into my Maggie-ness is to tackle something new each month. I love a good challenge, and this one feels especially rewarding.

So, for January I’m choosing to work on moving forward. I’ve been spending a lot of time waiting, and it feels burdening, tiring and totally unlike me. Now that I have two babies I often find myself waiting for the next thing to happen — waiting for one of them to wake up from their nap, to be hungry, to stop whining, to burp, to leave the dog alone, and so on. And even though waiting is something that feels super unnatural, it’s something I’m constantly doing. Blah.

This month I want to move forward most specifically with my blog. I want to take more photos, challenge myself to write more, share the things that interest me — essentially, put more emphasis on living and a whole lot less on making something a long, drawn-out process. I need to stop waiting and just do it!

It’s been so good to dig down deep and put our family goals on paper. And truth be told, having a new journal has been so good for me. I hope it survives the drill ;)

I’m so glad January is here. 2015 is going to be a year of fantastic challenges and growth, and I’m pumped to be moving forward.

How about you?

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