TGIF! What are you up to this weekend? We took the girls swimming at the lake today, and finally visited this legendary seafood establishment to pick up fish sandwiches on our way home. SO good! (Nick and I lived right up the road from the lake when we were first married, and Eloise has been calling it our "wedding beach.") Eloise is excited to have a sleepover at Cookie and Pop’s house tomorrow, and Nick and I are excited to have a one-child breather, go swimming with friends, and get takeout!

I have been attempting to write this post all week and kept getting interrupted, so bear with my disorganized brain dump.

  1. The biggest news of our week is that I did my first big grocery shop with both girls—exciting stuff, I know. I don’t know why I’ve been such a chicken about doing this because they were complete angels. Beforehand I had texted a friend who is also a mom of two asking the best way to go about this—Amelia in the cart and Eloise walking? Both girls in one of those enormous car carts? (Whenever I talk to Nick about these things he just chuckles kindly and I know it’s because he LITERALLY is a rocket scientist and I use my brain to ponder shopping cart configurations.) I ended up with Amelia in the cart and Eloise doing a combination of walking (running) and riding on the back of the cart yelling “wheeeee!” We had a rickety old cart and I’m sure you could hear us coming from a mile away. It’s great to have that chore crossed off the list before the weekend, and now I feel like I can do anything! And I’m sure this sounds completely ridiculous to veteran moms, or those without children!

  2. Did you know there is a Pam Anderson in the food world? Not the Baywatch Pam. I’ve coincidentally made two of her recipes in the past week and they both turned out great and thought I’d share here. Her easy batter fruit cobbler has been my go-to entertaining dessert for the past few years—it’s so easy and delicious. And I made her Cassoulet-Style Italian Sausages and White Beans for dinner this week and the whole family loved it. Nothing could be more my style of cooking in this season of life—dump a bunch of things in a pot, pop it in the oven, and forget about it until it’s done! Served with a side of crusty bread made by Nick, the overachiever in the family.

  3. My mom sent me this blog post months ago and I still think about it from time to time. I love the concept that we have the freedom to say no to things that don’t mesh with our lifestyle at the moment. One of the things that has been “off the beam” for me since Amelia was born has been play dates. I hosted one when she was about a month old with way too many kids, and was shuttling back and forth between serving quiche to the moms (who am I?) and nursing my newborn, who then got her first cold (which made her little nose so congested that she couldn't breathe and would consequently projectile vomit after each feeding) and I swore off playdates for awhile. Until recently, when a friend suggested we do BYO play dates this summer (not that kind, although that would be lovely). Because the hardest part about a play date for me is the planning, shopping for extra food, serving said food—why not just have everyone bring their own food? Now, I probably wouldn’t do this for anyone but good friends, but those are the only people we’ve been hanging out with lately anyway, and it’s worked out great. It’s allowed for more impromptu get-togethers and is less pressure on the hostess, resulting in a happier mom and happier kids. Give it a try!

  4. Do you know what personality type you are? I find the Enneagram so interesting, and just started getting an Enneagram-related daily thought e-mailed to me. Today mine told me to "see if you can do the opposite of your ordinary personality pattern" so I’m not really sure what that says about my personality type. Nick heartily agreed with all the "flaws" (I like to think of them as quirks) related to my type, so apparently it's right on.

  5. I can’t believe I technically have TWO toddlers now that Amelia is one. There are so many changes during the first year, and with both girls I have really felt like it takes a full year to get into the swing of things. I wish this were more common knowledge in our culture! Why does there always seem to be so much pressure to get things back to pre-baby conditions—sleep-wise, body-wise, life-wise? The fact of the matter is, you’ve had a baby and your life will never be the same again! Things change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but everything is a phase and as soon as you figure something out, they change again. After Eloise was born I remember thinking things would settle down around the six-week mark (HAHA), and certainly by the end of the third month aka the “fourth trimester.” (And of course certain things did get easier at those points.) With both our girls, though, the dreaded “four-month sleep regression” was VERY real and VERY prolonged. And as soon as that was over, there was a small break until teething started. If there’s anything I could say to a new mom, it would be to have patience and faith, and give it a year! There’s something about that one-year mark that makes the clouds part and the angels sing…and then I went and got pregnant again when Eloise was 13 months old.

  6. Finally, some links I’ve liked this week: Happy vs. high-achieving. I'm still thinking about this article! A round-up of decluttering and minimalism articles. This sent me down a rabbit hole one day discovering that so many blogs are devoted to minimalism. I had no idea that was a thing, but I think I found my people! YES to less! Benefits of allowing your kids to feel frustration. Yes a million times! Let (make) your kids pack their own school lunches! Eloise will be attending a new preschool this year and lunch will be provided (!), but be assured that as soon as kindergarten starts, she will be packing her own lunch!

Happy weekend!

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