Happy Birthday, Simon

One year ago, after a quick Thanksgiving lunch at auntie’s, we checked into the hospital. Later that night, we welcomed our sweet Simon Earl into our world. 

Just like when Lyla turned one, I am blown away by how fast a year can pass. How quickly they transform from this…

Simon Earl Byrd

…to this…

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Our little “bubs” has rounded out our family in the most perfect way. His sweet disposition almost immediately put to rest all of the fears and anxiety that I had about adding another baby to the mix. 

From the get-go he showed us that the old saying “boys are wired different than girls” is SO true. I am constantly amazed at how different the two of them are from the way that they play with their toys to their physical and mental development. 

Mister Simon is an explorer. He is so curious about his world and spends lots of time everyday examining his surroundings. 

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He loves us all but Daddy is a clear favorite. 

Simon can give kisses and high fives. He also says “hot”

He scoots around and gets where he needs to be. Just before we put him to bed last night decided to stand up and play with a toy unassisted. 

He has the cheesiest, most contagious smile. 

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Simon loves to play with his sister. Until she takes a toy from him (which is almost always, we’re working on it). He fights back by pulling her hair. 

He is a champion sleeper at night. Naps are a different story. 

Our boy scoots toy trains and cars around the house making the cutest little motor noise you’ll ever hear. And he loves groovin’ to music. Doesn’t matter which kind. 

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He is a nature boy. Has loved looking at trees since our trip to Michigan this summer and still points them out on walks and hikes. 

He is also a sports guy. Give him a ball, throw the King’s game on TV and he is good to go. 

Simon is so easy going and is a great sport about being tagged along on Lyla’s playdates and such. 

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My sweet boy, 

I am so thankful that God put you in our lives. You have already brought so much happiness to the world in this short year. Being at your side while you learn and grow is an amazing gift. I love you “bubs”. Happy first birthday!

 

Life Update

Oh hey there. It’s been awhile. 

I bet you’ve been wondering what these Byrds have been up to, huh?

If you answered “yes”, then you are in for a treat. If you answered “no”, I’ll see you next time 😉

Alex had a birthday and we celebrated with cookie cake, a “birhday” banner (it came like that) and a painted elephant. Thanks to some great friends, mom and dad got to sneak away for dinner which was a nice treat. 

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We celebrated our five year wedding anniversary with a quiet dinner at home and dessert picnic on the beach. Five years, 2 kids and a million life experiences later I am still so in love with my best friend. He’s a good’un.

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My birthday was last week. I played with the kids at the beach all morning and had a nice evening out with Alex. 

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Last, but certainly not least, we announced to the world (ok, our Facebook friends) that we are expecting Baby Byrd numero three next May. AKA #thirdbyrd.

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This pregnancy has been kicking my butt – physically, mentally and emotionally – which is why things have been pretty silent around here. Slowly but surely my energy is starting to come back (yay) and I have been finding myself craving some sort of out outlet so I think I’m back (double yay)

For now at least 😉 

Five things every mother of 2 needs

I’ve always heard that the transition from 1 child to 2 is the hardest. Which I find to be great news because having two little ones is a totally different ballgame than just one, but now that I have it *mostly* under control, it’s nice to know that next time wont be such a shock.

Potentially 😉

Over the weekend, I was thinking about what has helped me with the transition from 1 to 2 and I came up with this list…

mama's needs

Joking.

Sorta. 

Really though, these are the five things that I think every mother of 2 needs to survive…

  1. Coffee. Yes, it still made the list. The first few weeks were actually ok, because newborns sleep A LOT so I was very surprised at how much downtime I had when Simon was a wee one. Now that he has decided that naps are evil (sigh) I very rarely have quiet time to myself. Sleeping when the baby sleeps isn’t really an option here so coffee is key. 
  2. A mama tribe. Before becoming a mom, and even as a mother of just one, I always sort of laughed off those posts you see all over Facebook about “finding your mama tribe”. I was good. I had the whole mothering thing under control. (ha!) Sure, friends were great but I didn’t need them. After Simon was born, I found myself reaching out to other moms at the playground, asking them to keep an eye out on Lyla while I nursed Simon (and returning the favor), swapping “is this normal?!” stories, etc. Then, a friend recommended our local MOMSClub chapter so I checked it out and decided to join. It has been so amazing for not just me, but the kids and Alex too! We really have connected with some wonderful like-minded families that we can see being friends with for a very long time. Having a group of moms around you to go to the beach/playground/farmers market with is so nice and I totally get the mama tribe thing now. 
  3. An indulgence. No, coffee doesn’t count. Find something that you love to do and commit to doing that for a little bit each day. Me? I love to read and wish that I could spend a day lost in a good book. Obviously, that isn’t my current reality so, instead, I keep my kindle on my nightstand and read one chapter before bed. Even something small like that makes a huge difference on my mental state. 
  4. Sleep. Almost impossible, I know (see number 1) but it is SO important. Thankfully, Simon has been responding pretty well to sleep training so we are finally getting longer stretches of sleep but I know how it is to have a baby that wont sleep more than 2 hours for an entire year (ahem…Lyla). You really aren’t your best self when you are overtired though so try to squeeze in a little extra shut eye when you can. Maybe have one morning during the weekend where your husband gets up with whatever baby wakes up first and you can “sleep in” until the next one stirs 😉
  5. Her babies. Cheesy, I know, but so true. As crazy as they make me feel on some days, as soon as I get out of the house without them, I miss them. I love those nuggets. So, so much. 

What would you add to the list?

5 Favorite Self-Care Items for Fall

It’s scary how easy it is to let self-care fall onto the back burner once you become a mom. My days (and let’s face it, my nights too) are filled with taking care for others. It’s a 24/7 job.  

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^^ need to take care of myself so that I can take care of them!

It may have taken me a little over two years, but I’ve realized that when I neglect to put myself first sometimes, I really don’t function at my best. That’s why I’m making a point to spend time taking care of me this fall. 

As much as I wish that this self-care involved a full day at the spa or weekly trips to the nail salon, reality doesn’t permit that. Instead, I’ve got to find ways to take care of myself at home.

I’m sharing my 5 favorite self-care items for fall that are helping me get that much-needed “me” time in hopes that it can inspire some other mamas who are in desperate need of some too.

Our Skin Cares

OUR Skin Cares Anti-Aging Serum. The sweet people over at OUR Skin Cares were gracious enough to send me a bottle of their Anti-Aging Serum recently in exchange for an honest review. I have been using it for a few weeks now and, honestly, I could not be happier with it. I’ll admit, at first I felt a little silly using an anti-aging product because, well, I’m not old 😉 BUT I had been feeling like my face had been looking old lately (i.e. looser skin, larger pores, etc.) and that was starting to bum me out. 

I started noticing a different right away, especially in the fine wrinkles around my eyes but the most noticeable difference to me is in the tone of my skin. The OUR Skin Cares Anti-Aging Serum has started to even out the sun-damaged skin on my face and neck – something that this Hawaii mama is very thankful for! 

Something else that I am thankful for is that this company has put a huge emphasis on giving back to children in need around the world. For each bottle sold, they provide 2 children with a months worth of meals through their partnership with Food for the Poor. Amazing right? I love when good products are backed by an even better cause. 

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^^ two thumbs up for a great product with a great cause

The new addition to my skin care routine is a great daily dose of self-care. Other ways that I’m investing in myself include a new bottle of nail polish (I’ve decided navy blue is my color for fall), a nice blend of “fall” essential oils running through the diffuser, wearing lemon halves on my cracked heels to help get rid of dead skin (got this idea here – the jury is still out on this one), and by listening to encouraging podcasts whenever I have a spare minute (I’ve been loving the archives of Sally Clarkson’s podcast)

How do you make taking care of yourself a priority? I would love to hear your ideas!

Fall Bucket List 2016

It honestly feels like yesterday that I posted last years’ fall bucket list. I can’t believe what a tiny peanut Lyla was. This year, Simon has taken over the “tiny peanut” role although, he’s about to turn ONE! 

Anyways, we crossed almost everything off of our list last year – we never made it to a football game, so it’s back on the list this year. 

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I’m excited to get working! Follow along on Instagram and with #fallohawiththebyrds

What’s on your fall bucket list?

Preparing For Date Night After Baby

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FormulaForHappiness #GerberTarget #CollectiveBias

We are nine months into this whole “two kids” thing and Alex and I are totally due for a date night. I think that dating your spouse is so important, especially after having kids, but it’s hard. There are a lot of moving parts to figure out. The three biggest obstacles I find are time, sitters and letting go.

TIME || As your family grows, the amount of time that you have to spend with your spouse shrinks. It takes some serious effort to carve out a few hours amid the never-ending cycle of mealtimes, chores, laundry mountains (yes, mountains – piles are a thing of the past) and bedtime routines.

LAST DATE NIGHT

^ us on our last date night before Auntie left for the mainland

SITTERS || Once you finally find the time, you have to find a sitter. While we don’t live near any immediate family, we are lucky enough to live on the same island as my auntie and uncle. They are so great, and the kids love spending time with them. My auntie has been on the mainland since late April so we have been sitter-less so far this summer and it has really made me realize how hard it is to find someone to watch your babies – you can’t leave them with just anyone!

LETTING GO || Found time and a sitter? Awesome. The rest is easy, right? WRONG. Leaving your baby for the first (OK, and the second. And maybe the third…always?!) time is hard on a mama’s heart and takes some major mental preparation. No matter how badly I need the break, or how much I am looking forward to alone time with Alex, I still have a hard time leaving our babies.

One of my biggest worries is feeding Simon. He has started on solid food (boy loves to eat) but still gets a majority of his daily calories from breastfeeding. I have a hate-hate relationship with the breast pump so I really haven’t used it this time around. No pump = no frozen supply = no breastmilk bottles for Simon.

We’ve started using Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula for those times when Simon needs to take a bottle. The formula is designed to supplement breastmilk which makes it easy on his tummy. It is made for tiny tummies (birth to 12 months). It’s made with no GMOs which also puts my mind at ease. Gerber has made this change across all of their formulas, and now  offer non-GMO products to moms with a wide variety of needs—those who want the base product, those who supplement with breast milk, those with babies who need a soy formula, those who have babies with tolerance issues, etc. We send a bottle with him when he goes to the nursery at church and he has no troubles with it.

Knowing that he is happy supplementing with a bottle from time to time is a huge relief for me and makes the idea of leaving him with a sitter a lot easier.

Once you’ve jumped the hurdles of finding time, arranging a sitter and figuring out how to let go of some of the control, all that’s left is to enjoy your date. OK, and maybe kiss your babies cheeks a few hundred times before walking out the door. Am I the only one that does this?!

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Gerber Good Start Target

Gerber sent us samples but I also stocked up at Target. You can find Gerber® Good Start® formulas in the baby section at Target. Here is a great Cartwheel offer good from 9/4- 9/17. 

When did you go on your first date after baby? What is your favorite date night activity? I’d love to hear your ideas!