Four Months In: Life With Two Under Two

livvyland-life-two-under-two-austin-texas-motherhood-lifestyle-fashion-bloggerIMG_4819Four months ago we welcomed our second baby boy! Mid-pandemic, mid-lockdown, mid-two parents trying to work from home and take care of kiddos – we dove right into life with two under two. Ezra joined the fam and Jude became a big brother at 18 months old. I’ll be the first to admit that life with two babies (because an 18 month old really is still a baby!) under two years old is not for the faint at heart. But it is filled with heart exploding love and worth every second. Even the seconds crying in the car from overwhelm and exhaustion (they happened a lot with one, they’re absolutely still happening with two). Even the seconds peeing with the door open as your toddler vroom-vrooms his toy cars under your legs and your newborn rests in the lounger two feet away. The reality of taking care of two babies is not a Doen ad where you’re effortlessly put together in a beautiful billowy dress smiling in a field while your children dressed in head to toe linen jumpsuits frolic in the sunset. The reality of two under two is a combination of exhaustion and joy in the same pair of leggings you’ve worn for days and an oversized sweatshirt with a fresh sprtiz of dry shampoo in your hair. All jokes (er, that is the reality…!) aside, it’s also completely wonderful, fulfilling and an abundance of love that brings tears streaming down your face (like, I full on ugly cry often because I have never felt such a precious, pure love like this) and a chapter in life we will look back on and cherish.

Through the sleepless nights and early mornings, we snuggle our babies tight, laugh as Jude does the cutest dance moves to BTS “Dynamite” for the 1000th time, squeeze Ezra’s mushy thighs, inhale both of their absolutely delicious scents and smile so big with pride that these two miracles are ours and we get to enjoy them every single day. There is nothing like the happiness children bring into your life and we do not take a moment for granted.

I asked my Instagram followers to submit questions they have for me regarding life with two under and two and below you’ll find my answers. If you have a question I didn’t get to, please feel free to leave a comment. 🙂 Thanks so much for watching the madness that is our life unfold…! Sending big hugs to all the parents out there doing their best. Also – keep in mind that every family unit operates differently, what works for us may not work for others and that’s the beauty of parenting…it’s personal!

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Happy Mama Lactation Cookies

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A big thank you to Happy Family Organics for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

I think every nursing journey has its ups and downs. I am thankful to be able to breastfeed, but it comes with its own set of challenges, both mental and physical. With Jude, I ended up getting Thrush nine months in and had to stop nursing cold turkey. With Ezra, we’re six weeks in and already down to one boob (he’s like Jude, he prefers a side and sticks to it, ha). With a toddler to care for and a newborn, I am trying my absolute best to make sure I eat three healthy meals a day that provide quality nutrition to me and Ezra – but it’s definitely hard to keep up being this busy! Since I’m on the move 90% of my day (did I mention we have a toddler?), reaching for quick snacks like the Happy Organics Happy Mama Lactation Cookies between meals is a nice way to add an extra nutrient boost to help support breastfeeding throughout the day!

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Ezra’s Birth Story

Two weeks ago, our world changed – we have second son and Jude has a brother! Isn’t it crazy how you walk into the hospital as one person (Olivia: very miserably pregnant, missing my other little guy already, nervous that my contractions are three minutes apart and we haven’t checked in, feeling pretty certain we forgot our bag of toiletries…spoiler: we did, anxious and mentally preparing for labor) and you walk out as another person (Olivia: mother of two, heart expanded to infinity, running on adrenaline and Tylenol, dying to pick up Jude from my moms house, feeling strong and tired and happy – oh so happy! Our lives are forever changed).

On August 26th, my due date, I’d given up hope that mr Ezra was going to make his appearance. As soon as I hit 38 weeks I felt so sure he’d come early. Then we hit 39 weeks and then 40 weeks and I succumbed to the thought that I would be eternally pregnant. I was a miserable bowling ball, moving slow and barely sleeping…bouts of tears here and there as the discomfort heightened each day (ohh pregnancy, so glamorous, right?).

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4 Unexpected Things I learned During My First Year As A Mom

How would I describe my first year as a mother? Transformative. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I have changed more in one year than in my 29 years before. No book, TV show, blog post or anything in between could have prepared me for what this first year has taught me. A piece of my heart now lives outside of my body. My capacity to love has deepened to a level I didn’t know existed…and that makes me feel both completely exposed and vulnerable, and yet confident and fearless. This new love is fragile because it’s so pure, and yet it has provided a new sense of purpose that feels solid and sound. It’s as if I’d been floating before but now I’m grounded, running full force ahead, living for someone and something other than myself. In one year, my mind, soul and body have transformed into another self that existed within me…that self being, “mom.” Learning who you are as a mother is a completely new side that doesn’t exist until you become one. It’s something to be felt, learned and grown into…with lots of unexpected hills and valleys along the way.

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This Prenatal Vitamin is a Game Changer

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For basically four years of my life, I will have been pregnant or nursing…counting this pregnancy and upcoming postpartum life, too. That is a lot of time nourishing a baby – whether inside or outside of my body! I remember when I found out I was pregnant with baby number two and I was in the full swing of nursing Jude (he was nine months old at the time – we ended up switching to formula when he was 10.5 months). Suddenly, my body needed to sustain keeping two babies thriving…while also keeping myself healthy! 

I say it time and time again, women truly are real life superheroes…just look at what our bodies can do! But while eating my greens and keeping up with my water intake is great (and sleeping well…and getting daily exercise…the list goes on and on), right now it’s essential for me to take a prenatal vitamin with key nutrients for both baby and me.

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No Baby Unhugged

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-costco-huggies-diapers-2 livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-costco-huggies-diapers-4Since becoming a mom, there is nothing more important to me than spending quality time with my baby. I juggle being a full time mama and a full time blogger – so I will take every free moment I get to soak up cuddles, hugs and kisses with my sweet boy. With so much going on in my brain at all times (“don’t forget to email that brand back!” or “we’re almost out of diaper wipes” or “oops, I forgot to pump before his next meal!”), checking things off my to-do list so that I can be totally present with Jude is top priority these days.

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Our Favorite 3 & 4 Month Baby Essentials

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-austin-texas-motherhood-blogger-three-four-month-baby-essentialsOkay so I am clearly delayed in getting this post up! BUT lots of this stuff is still fantastic, even with Jude turning five months tomorrow (omg WHERE has the time gone?!). But for those of you with lil babes around this age, I hope you find these things super helpful! As of right now, the only thing on this list we’re currently no longer using is the #1, the Ollie Swaddle (now that Jude can roll over, our swaddling days are done!). Everything else is still high up on Jude’s list of favorites. Let’s get to it!

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Motherhood: 4 Month Update

My how time flies! Our little guy is already four months old! Actually…as I write this, he’s 4.5 months old now (ah!). We’ve been busy bees over here with Jude. He’s rolling over, discovered his hands (and he would tell you they’re delicious), has graduated from the Solly wrap and we’re not onto our Ergo carrier (…and my back is thanking me for this haha), and he’s got a new sleep routine! As for me, motherhood has gotten significantly better than since I last wrote about it (in this post) – the baby blues are long gone (though I still have my cry-from-stress moments at times…Jude continues to hate the car…!), I’m more confident in living by my “mother’s intuition” and have been embracing that voice in my head and feeling in my gut, and overall just feel like I’m “out of the fog” so-to-speak as our new normal has set in and is here to stay – and it’s been so much fun!

Last week I asked my Instagram readers what questions they’d like for me to answer about motherhood, postpartum, and our journey with Jude over the last 4-months…so here we go!

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Nursing Friendly Tops & Dresses

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about putting together an outfit when you know you’ll be nursing your baby, it’s this: BUTTONS! They’re my secret weapon when it comes to shopping for nursing-friendly tops and dresses that make you feel GOOD. (…Because as my fellow mamas know, wearing workout gear on repeat can often be the norm…even when there’s no workout on the agenda!). Grab your favorite pair of high rise denim, some boyfriend shorts (comfort is key!) or even your maternity jeans – whatever bottoms you feel comfortable wearing, and pair with any of these cute tops. Whip out some classic sneakers or summer sandals for the dresses! Sharing more of my nursing secrets below…

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SHOP MY NURSING FRIENDLY FAVORITES

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My Postpartum Workout Routine

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Ohh ya know, pregnancy just casually did a number on my body for nine months…and nine weeks postpartum, I am finally in a solid fitness routine to get my body back in shape! I realize I may never look like I used to pre-baby, but I am certainly ready to feel strong and build my endurance back up again. I put on 40lbs while pregnant with Jude and I’ve still got about 10lbs to shed to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (…and to fit into my old wardrobe haha! …Let’s be honest, that’s a major motivator right there…!). Our postpartum bodies are pretty fragile, so I’ve slowly been getting into my fitness rhythm – here’s what I’m doing (…and what I’m wearing, too!)…

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LEGGINGS / SPORTS BRA / CROP TOP

SHOP MORE TRAINING MUST-HAVES

A big thank you to Lululemon for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.