As of late, Mother Nature has been teasing us with scattered days of spring-like temperatures and sunshine, just to follow them up with gloomy skies, cooler air and lots of wind. We've definitely acquired spring fever in the Ritchie house and have been doing our best to make the most of the sunshine while it lasts.
We've had snacks in the driveway...
Explored the backyard...
Broke in our new double stroller...
Shot hoops in preparation for March Madness 2031
Snacked a little bit more...
And even made our first trip to a nearby park...
This is our very first spring with a toddler, and it will undoubtedly be filled with lots of adventures. Warmer weather is just around the corner, but until then we'll be dreaming of green grass, cool drinks on the back porch, fetch with the pups, and little boys who smell like the outdoors. I think that the rest of the family will agree with me when I say "Bring on the sunshine, Mother Nature!"
As a general rule, my husband Matt is scheduled to work every 3rd weekend. He sneaks out in the middle of the night, making his 45 minute commute to Lincoln for a 3AM start time. Yuck. He works his little tail off all morning, and since he's technically on call all day long, he doesn't head back our way until mid afternoon. If he's lucky, he can squeeze in a little nap before dinner and an early bedtime before he has to do it all over again. All that I have to say is BOOOO to working weekends (and also a big thank you to Matt for working so hard for our family.)
Work weekends have given me a whole new level of respect for single mothers...especially now that we've added a newborn into the picture. It doesn't help that my sleep is still pretty interrupted with Max, that the boys like to nap on opposite schedules, and that the weather has been less than stellar on most occasions. It should come as no surprise that I'm always looking for ways to fill our days and keep us all entertained.
Enter Saturday morning "nonut" dates.
What better way to start our weekend, get us out of the house, and kill a little time than with deliciously sweet pastries? I know one little boy that won't argue with our new tradition!
While it was a perfect outing for a Saturday morning, I did learned a few valuable lessons on this inaugural date.
#1 Never ask a toddler if they want donuts for breakfast. They will think that there are donuts waiting for them in the kitchen. Then when you tell them they need to put their shoes on, they will inevitably melt down. No matter how many times you tell them that you have to go in the car to get said donuts, the meltdown will continue. In H's case, there were tears and lots of pointing to the kitchen crying "NONUTS! NONUTS!" Lesson learned.
#2 PJs are totally acceptable attire for a Saturday morning "nonut" date. As a matter of fact, if you wear anything other than your jammies, people might look at you funny and think that you are way too much of an overachiever. It's Saturday morning, after all.
#3 A carton of milk from a donut shop is way overpriced. Note to self: Bring sippy cup.
#4 There is some sort of donut wall of fame going on in the picture above. I need to ask for some details...and I need to get me and my boys on that wall! Coolest. Mom. Ever.
Here's to a future full of "Nonuts" with my boys!
**Max came on our date also...but Harrison told me that he's too little for "nonuts."
Harrison transitioned into the role of "big brother" much better than I think Matt or I could have ever hoped for or imagined. Yes, there have been a few one-sided screaming matches as he tries to eclipse the cries of his baby brother, but for the most part, his jealousy seems to be quite minimal. Instead, we have seen a very caring and protective side of H emerge. He started smothering (sometime literal smothering!) Max in kisses from the first day we brought him home, greets him every morning with a "Hi Max!", and giggles whenever Max sneezes. He's also a skilled burping assistant, comes to the rescue when Max is upset and is known to fight off the kids at school who swarm his brother's carrier at the end of the day. And while I'm sure that we'll have our fair share of of brotherly disagreements (!) along the way, I know in my heart they are going to be the best of friends.
H is big on giving his brother kisses these days. He leans in, makes a "Mmmmaaa" kissing sound, and then looks at us and says "I nice!"
In January 2009, Matt somehow managed to convince me that it was a wise idea to get another dog. We already had one pup at home, who despite her ornery beagle temperament, was reasonably well behaved. **I'm guessing that most of you who know Maybe chuckled at the comment "reasonably well behaved.** I vividly remember the night that Matt brought Stella home. Maybe and I met them out in our snow covered driveway (as so many bringing home dog #2 articles had told us to do!) and just like that...our world was changed. We got them both inside and the reality of the situation became very clear. Stella was a cute little fluff ball. A fluff ball that Miss Maybe wasn't a fan of. There was barking, beagle baying, a frightened pup peeing on the floor. Chaos. I distinctly remember that moment where Matt and I looked at each other, both with a fretful "what the hell did we just do" look in our eyes.
Almost five years later, Matt and I exchanged that same "oh crap" glance just moments after we came home from the hospital with baby #2. I was still extremely limited from my c-section 2 days earlier, Harrison had some version of the plague that turned him into a raging mess, we were all sleep deprived. At one point I may have asked Matt to take me back to the hospital. It was a far cry from the picture perfect welcome home that I had imagined. I knew it would get better...but in that moment, I was terrified.
Six weeks later, I'm pleased to report that we have fallen into a pretty decent routine. With the exception of a few sleepless nights here and there, we seem to have found our groove - it happened much quicker than I had imagined once the "sickies" finally cleared our of our house. And while there are still (and probably always will be) those moments where we feel like we're in over out heads, we've learned to sit back, take a deep breath, and to count our blessings.
This picture pretty much sums it up. I mean, really, look at our faces! Harrison totally reached over and smacked Max when we sat down to take a picture.
On a more embarrassing note - any of my Harlan friends might notice the sweat pants I'm wearing in these pictures. They are from my old track days. Yes. Track. As in HIGH SCHOOL track. I'm 32 years old and I still own a pair of sweats that I got when I was in high school. I'm not ashamed. They're the best (hence the reason I never returned them....sorry HCHS.) Anyone else still hanging on to theirs?
Sweet, sweet baby Max, Happy 1 month baby boy! I thought that the months passed quickly with your big sister and brother...but WHOA, this first month with you seemed to come and go at lightening speed. The first few weeks were admittedly a little "messy" as we struggled to find balance with a new baby and a sick (bigger) baby, but I think that we maybe, kinda, sorta have things figured out now that everyone is healthy. And while life definitely feels a little more hectic than it used to, you have been the perfect addition to our little family. I can't imagine our world without you!
Home Sweet Home: Of all three of our children, you are the only one that has spent your first month in our HOME. Big sister Charlotte spent her first month in the hospital, and big brother Harrison was welcomed "home" to a rental that we had only moved into 3 days prior. It felt so good to carry you through those doors knowing that some day you'll look back at this place with so many (hopefully fond) memories. Weighing In: At your 2 week appointment you still hadn't made it back to your birth weight. You tipped the scales at 7lb 10oz. Needless to say, we're getting plenty of use out of your newborn wardrobe! Brrrrr: Your first month in this world has been a cold freezing one, and while it's been nice to have an excuse to cuddle in front of the fire place all day long, your mama is starting to get a little stir crazy. I'm constantly daydreaming of the day when we can head outside and "air out" after a long winter. Clean as a Whistle: As I mentioned in a previous post, you are all about bath time! You love to have a nice warm wash cloth draped over your belly and water poured over your little head. ZzzzZzzz: Other than a few times when you seemed to have your days and nights mixed up, you have proven to be a pretty decent sleeper (~3-4 hour stretches at night + good naps). You prefer to sleep on your belly during the day when mom can watch you like a hawk, and are snugly swaddled in your bassinet at night. Our sleeping arrangements are a little goofy at this point...your big brother is in his crib in your future nursery, and you are in a bassinet in his big boy room...but we'll get things straightened out eventually!
3 AM: Party time
3 AM: You guessed it...Party time
Party all night. Sleep all day. Thank goodness that was short lived!
Time to Eat: I have 2 words for you. POKEY EATER. Don't get me wrong, you love to eat, it's just that you take your sweet time doing it. Maybe we were just spoiled with your big brother who was all business when it came to a bottle. With you we can count on a good 45 minutes to polish off a 3 ounce bottle. Finding Your Voice: When you're happy, you're happy....but when you're mad....hold on to your hats! For such a little guy you have an insane set of pipes. And while we're on the subject of noises, you are a squawker just like your sister was. Her's was pretty much all of the time, but your's is mostly when you are eating. Our pediatrician blames it on you still working on your suck-swallow coordination and a little bit of laryngomalacia. Brotherly Love: My favorite part of this month has been watching a sweet relationship develop between you and your big brother Harrison. You are too little to realize it just yet, but holy moly, does he love you. He loves you SO much that we have to keep a constant eye on his so that you don't get smothered! Other happenings this month? You watched slept thru your first super bowl, met lots of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, peed into your own ear, connected your fingers with your mouth, discovered your lust for a pacifier and are quite impatient.
Our world is so much sweeter with you in it, Sweet Max.
When you are baby #3, you end up getting your 1 month picture taken in your big brother's chair. Mom got sneaky and Photoshopped your name onto it, though...that's got to count for something, right?! Oh, and thanks for spitting up on yourself right before I snapped the picture. That was awesome.