So the family of four adventure begins…We are all settled in and absolutely love the new addition to our family, Owen Patrick. Ella Rose simply adores Owen and is such a great big sister. One of her favorite and sweetest new sayings is, “I love Owen soooooo much.” It makes my heart melt. Now that Owen is five months, he and Ella Rose are really interacting. She can get Owen to laugh and as soon as she walks in the room, his face lights up with pure excitement and joy. He completely admires his big sister and loves being with her (most of the time ;)). She can make him laugh and squeal for minutes upon end. I just love watching their bond grow. I also have to say, I really enjoy the age spread of the children, being two years apart. We would certainly love to continue that trend in the future if we are able to.
While I love almost every moment of motherhood, I can’t deny that having two kids at these ages can be crazy at times. Some friends think we’re crazy when we say we want four kids, but I think we are just used to the chaos with both of us coming from larger families, and want nothing less. I’d love to share some of our hilarious moments of chaos, so that you mamas and papas know you are NOT alone. Fast forward a couple of months after Owen’s birth (Incident 1)…it was a weekday and I was on my own with the two kiddos, as Brendan was back at work. We were at a make up session for our music class. We walked in late, as usual (I swear I cannot get ANYWHERE on time with these two little monkeys), and didn’t know anyone since it wasn’t our usual group. We also happened to forget our book to read with the class, and Ella Rose was not happy about this. She had a melt down and I could not calm her down. Simultaneous to Ella Rose’ meltdown, Owen spit up all over me, a common occurrence, and THEN had a huge blow out all over himself, his clothes, and all over me. It was quite the scene. I looked at our teacher, she looked at me, knowingly, and we quickly escaped while one baby was melting the other squirming, anxiously trying to escape his mess.
Now on to Incident 2 (this time joke was on mommy)…We went to our family friend Dee’s house to swim at her community pool (again during the week, so just the three of us). Auntie Dee is actually our realtor/adopted Grandma for the kiddos. We have formed quite a bond with her and are so happy to have someone like her here since we do not have family close by. When we got to her pool, Ella Rose first enjoyed the kiddie pool. Then she wanted to practice her swimming in the big pool. So, I grabbed Owen and Ella Rose, pulled off my shorts to go swimming, and walked all the way around the pool. When we got to the big pool, I gave Owen to Dee so she could hold him, and noticed she was looking at me strangely. I then slowly looked down, let go of Ella Rosie’s hand, and noticed that I was wearing my Beige granny panties OVER my swimsuit! Whaaaaaaat! (Just kidding, they were just beige high waisted Victoria secret, post c-section panties, but still…) Dee and I both died laughing, and could NOT stop laughing. How did I forget to pull these down with my shorts, and why was I wearing them at all with my swimsuit?! Oh wait, I am too busy making sure my babies don’t dive into the pool that I completely wasn’t thinking about myself!…a common occurrence these days. Luckily, there was only one other dad at the community pool with his kids, and I’m just praying he didn’t see this happen. So needless to say, there have been many moments of panic and chaos juggling these two. With these two incidents in mind, along with may other undocumented incidents, I still wouldn’t change a thing and I’m so glad we can laugh and smile about these silly moments. This IS motherhood. It’s challenging, emotionally and physically draining, and some days I want to go on a long vacation by MYSELF. But, it’s the richest feeling in the world, and I love these babies of ours so incredibly much, and why not….let’s bring on a couple more! 😉
Onto the milestones…Owen is now 5 months old. He started rolling both ways this past week and loves looking all around when he’s playing on his back or tummy. He particularly enjoys standing/jumping in his saucer and putting anything and everything in his mouth. The teething process is definitely in full swing these days as well. As for sleeping, Owen takes a morning nap about an hour or two after waking up and an afternoon nap around the same time as Ella Rose. For bedtime, we try to put him down around 6pm and if we are lucky, he will sleep a 10-12 hour stretch. We love using the “Baby Merlins Magic sleep suit,” and have used since he rolled out of his swaddle around three months old. He really loves being snug while sleeping. Owen is such a great and happy baby. Even with a 100 degree temperature,when he was sick for the first time, he was constantly smiling…I swear it’s that dark chocolate I ate while I was pregnant ;-). Some of his favorite things are bath time (he will coo and suck on his hands the entire time), being tickled, laughing and playing with his big sis, and mommy and daddy time. Owen and Ella Rosie love taking a bath together, and bathing them together was one of the first tasks I knew I had to learn alone since Brendan went back to work. We use the bath sponge for Owen, where he lays and plays, and Ella Rose will play with her toys on the other side of the tubby. Owen also loves his Baby Einstein saucer. Ever since he learned to stand in the saucer, all he wants to do is move around and stand! He is so much more physical and active than Ella Rose was at this age. It is amazing to see the differences between a little girl and little boy. Most recently, we introduced a few solids to him since he has a tendency to spit up a lot and he loves them! We have tried pears, baby rice cereal, sweet potatoes, apples, and he loves everything. Owen is all smiles all of the time, and is such a joy to have in our lives. He is also a chick magnet and loves pretty girls, it is so funny!
Ella Rose is now two and a half and is quite the talker…in fact, it is rare to have a silent moment at any point in the day with her around. She has the greatest memory, loves making Owen laugh, and has a mind of her own. I love when she holds my face and tells me, “mommy I love you sooooo much.” It’s the sweetest! She is such a sweet, empathetic child. She is really into her swimming lessons and gymnastics now. She used to cry going into her swimming lessons, however, now she walks in and says, “I’m so brave mommy,” gives me a huge hug and kiss (used to be a snotty, tear filled squeeze) and walks right in to her coach. It is also so funny because she will pretend to be her coach in the bath tub with her mermaid, and hugs her mimi and tells her “good job, I’m so proud of you” just like her coach does, it is really cute. With it being fall now, we have started back into our activities. She is really into her gymnastics lessons as well. I think it’s in the blood ;-). She has learned to walk across the high beam all by herself, loves doing somersaults, and jumping into the pit! We are also continuing our favorite music class and Owen is really starting to interact and love it as well, which is fun to see!
While she is a ball of energy, she can be very sassy at times. She is so excited to go to school next fall. We have picked a preschool and already talk about it, so she will be readily prepared. I explained how I’m going to take her to school and drop her off while she plays and learns. At first she got nervous, but now she acts all proud and says, “mommy take me to school, come back and pick me up.” We really do cherish every moment together. And I now know, that she will be so excited for her first day of school next year, since she is already talking about it constantly! 😉 Our biggest accomplishment recently with Ella Rose is potty training her. She is filling up a princess sticker chart every time she goes, and once it is filled up she gets these Princess Magic clips that she is obsessed with! We are really proud of her doing so well. I’m so glad we waited until she was super ready.
We have had a great summer and we are sad that it is coming to an end. But I have to say, fall is one of our favorite seasons. We had a few trips already and they went great. We also went to our favorite mountain town, Breck, for a weekend.
For the first big trip, we went back to Chicago to see my side of the family and had so much fun with the cousins. Owen got to meet his cousins for the first time, we went to the beach, and also swam in Grancy’s pool. I then flew alone with both kids (yes, alone- crazy!) to Oklahoma for Brendan’s family reunion. I only had to switch gates at O’hare three times (one of the largest airports EVER), lost my phone on the plane, and then when we got off the plane in the 150 degree (because it’s the end of July in Oklahoma!) heated ramp, they didn’t have my stroller, gah! Luckily, they found my phone in the seat, and our stroller eventually arrived. Just another moment of chaos to share 😉 .But, this reunion is such a fun event where all of Brendan’s mom’s siblings (all 12 of the living siblings!) gather every other year. This year was especially fun as all of Brendan’s four siblings were there, and Owen got to meet the rest of his cousins (he has 9 first cousins already)! It was fun being with everyone on the Krueger side, since we usually only see them once a year at Christmas. We also went to our first wedding as a family of four together, and Ella Rose danced the night away. She pulled out moves we had never seen before, while Owen snoozed all night with his amazing infant soundproof headphones. We had so much fun together. We also took a trip to Charleston, SC and Brendan’s parents came with us. We had a great visit with them, despite the hurricane that never came. What do you do when everything is closed because of a hurricane and you are stuck in a hotel with two kids alone- go get a family mani/pedi! Haha! Yes, it was quite the outing. Ella Rose got her toesies painted for the first time and absolutely loved it. She loved her toes painted so much, that on the way home on the airplane, Brendan moved her foot for something and she yelled at him, “you messed up my toes, I just got them painted!” We about died! Such a little diva;-). Might be the last time I can take her to do that if she says things like this;-). I do have to say, traveling is much harder with two now! However, we do love traveling with our new Britax B-ready stroller. I love it. It’s skinny, sleek, and rides smoothly.
My parents just came to visit here twice and we had such a fun time with them. We went to an old school amusement park, pumpkin patch, celebrated Grancy’s birthday, and went up to Estes Park. Finally, we have another trip coming up as our first family vacation with just the four of us. We are usually visiting family, so we are very excited for our first family vaca to a resort in AZ. We can’t wait to soak up the sun and swim in all of the fancy pools! Ella Rose will have a blast.
Like I said, we do love fall and we are very excited for the holidays. Notre Dame football has begun, and Brendan is pumped like usual (although the season is not off to a great start). He is already brainwashing the kids;-). The kids are going to be a mermaid and pirate for Halloween together this year. Ella Rosie even says she wants to be a mermaid when she grows up :-). She is also so thrilled for Christmas this year. She already said that she wants a scooter, bike, bitty baby, and magic clips from Santa. We are so excited to celebrate at our home this year and do some new family traditions. We will also visit families shortly after because we love celebrating the holidays with them. Ella Rose’ excitement for Christmas is very contagious; Brendan and I are very anxious to begin the festivities with her and celebrate our first Christmas at our home.
These are some of our favorite summer outfits. It is now fun shopping for our little boy! Click on the links above to see where they are from if you’re interested in purchasing them.