Well….this has been quite a year…

I hope you are all doing well.  What an unbelievable time to be alive.

It’s certainly scary and uncertain times, but I have faith it’s going to be okay.  We are at least all in this together.

I don’t want to focus too much on what’s going on in the world here, we have plenty of news stations to take care of that for us.  While we will remain vigilant and practice social distancing, my family and I trying to take advantage of this time.  We are focusing on each other and valuing this unexpected time we have together, we are decluttering and reducing our waste, and we hope that when things return to somewhat normal we’ll have a better appreciation for each other and the world around us.

The original purpose of this blog was to discuss food and share vegan recipes and products and I will continue that since I need a distraction from everything that’s going on.  Thankfully we are still able access grocery stores and purchase fresh produce.  We have a decent supply of canned goods and other non perishable goods (and maybe a box of wine) in our basement.  I’ve been trying to be more resourceful and creative with my cooking.  Now that I’m not packing lunch for work, I’m trying to only make what we will eat for dinner, and utilizing my freezer so I can access frozen veggies, bread, etc. for later.  I’ve honestly just been eating dinner these last few days and having some veggies or a piece of toast here and there throughout the day.

This is truly an incredible (and not in a good way) time in history that I’ll be talking to my (hopeful, no pressure boys) grandchildren about.  I’ll be back with some recipes later…

Christmas Recap

I cannot believe how quickly the holiday season flew by this year!  Thankfully we were able to fit in a lot of Christmas cheer in a short period of time (and with a minimal amount of meltdowns to boot!).

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Breakfast with a view at Indian Head Resort.

We kicked off the season by heading up to Indian Head Resort.  This is the third year we have stayed there while picking out our Christmas tree.  If you want to time travel to the 1970’s I totally recommend this place.  If you want to stay somewhere luxurious, I think you should look elsewhere.  Personally, we really like staying at Indian Head.  Our trip is always some sort of adventure….but the kids love it and they have both an indoor and heated outdoor pool.  As a parent you can’t beat that.  They do offer Christmas packages, which includes the price of a tree, wreath, and your meals.  We opted out of this package this year and just booked the hotel room.  Honestly, the food is pretty subpar there and the service is pretty horrendous.  We heard some nightmare stories from other guests who ate there on Friday night.  After a minor series of disasters we ended up getting Subway.  We do however, enjoy the breakfast buffet mostly because it’s pretty difficult to screw up a buffet and this year especially because we were given a free breakfast because our room was not ready until 7 pm.  With three kids that curveball was an adventure but we pulled through.

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Ride up to NH. Isn’t it beautiful?

Our favorite part of the trip, besides spending copious amounts of time together, is venturing out to get our tree.  We headed to The Rocks in Bethlehem, NH. What a beautiful spot!  And you actually get to cut down your own tree.  This year it was exceptionally cold but we were able to pick out the perfect tree and load it up on top of our car.  If you ever find yourself up in this area during Christmas time I highly recommend this place for a beautiful Christmas tree.

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View at The Rocks.
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All three boys and the tree made it home.

Dylan and I hosted our annual Deck the Halls Christmas party the following weekend.  We usually like to host this the Saturday after Thanksgiving but with the shorter season this year we decided to get our tree earlier and switch weekends.   I always love the opportunity to make food and hang out with friends.  We were lucky a lot of people were able to take time out of their busy schedules to hang out and have some food and margaritas/sangria with us.  Plus it’s an excuse to dress Sophie and Daisy up in their Christmas best.

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Daisy is feeling pretty….

Along the way we were able to see lots of family, friends and of course Santa.  The kids (well not so much Baby C) enjoyed opening their gifts and we were able to spend the day with both my family and Dylan’s.

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Baby’s first Christmas.
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Soy Bean was slightly overwhelmed.

I’m kicking off my second week of vacation with one sick child and one healthy child (50/50 isn’t bad right?) and looking forward to creating a delicious vegan spread for New Years Eve although I am doubtful we will be awake for midnight.  Baby C has been a super wonderful and amazingly easy baby.  The last two nights he slept about 10 hours straight which outdoes his older brother.  He’s so sweet and loves to smile and we cannot be happier that he is part of our family.  It’s amazing to think just last year he was making me queasy and keeping me from toasting with champagne at midnight.

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Baby C feeling cute.

Baby #2

Let’s just say baby #2 is a game changer, especially when you have a toddler at home.  While it’s been challenging I’m finding having a newborn the second time around so much easier than the first time!  I don’t know if it’s because Baby C is super chill or if I’m some sort of magical parenting expert or maybe a combination of both.  However, you throw in the toddler factor and all Hell breaks loose.  I’m mean what’s up with these two year olds?  Learn how to regulate your emotions already, my goodness.

Since I have a few moments with Baby C content in his newborn lounger (which his older brother never liked) I thought I would make a top 5 list of differences with my second baby since I love making lists so much.

#1 Less Anxiety

Brought to you by Lexapro, well yes but also as a second time mother I’ve done this before and have a healthy and most of the time happy two year old.  My second round of motherhood comes with a confidence I didn’t know I had when I had Soy Bean.  I’ve been pretty open about my struggles with postpartum depression, anxiety and OCD here and this was certainly a factor during my last pregnancy.  I advocated for myself and was open about how I was feeling plus I was at a different practice and received much better mental health care this time around.  With my second I know what I’m doing and that feeling is empowering.

#2 Recovery

I want to dive into this further in a separate post but the recovery after the birth of my second was so much easier than the first.  In my case I opted for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian).  I pushed for a VBAC my entire pregnancy and again I’ll dive deeper into this in another post but the recovery from the deliveries were like night and day.  Anyone who ever says having a C section is the easy way out could not be more incorrect!  I felt like a million bucks after having this baby.  I feel so fortunate to have both birth experiences.

#3 The Stuff!

Bables come with a lot of accessories and stuff.  Carseats, strollers, adaptors, breast pumps, blankets, and so on.  The list is really endless.  However, with a second you know what you need and don’t need and most likely you already have what you need.  Most of the items I had to buy for Baby C were just because.  He is using the same crib, carseat, bath, etc.  I bought him some cute clothes and of course had to spring for a double stroller (thank you Facebook Marketplace) but besides what I WANTED to get him we already had everything we needed.

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#4 It all Changes…

When I brought Soy Bean home from the hospital I thought I would never sleep again.  I thought I would never have another date night with my husband and I would spend the rest of my life changing diapers. It might seem that way when you bring your first baby home but trust me it all changes.  Time goes so fast and before you know it they are walking and talking.  With Baby C I am trying to soak everything up.  He’s not going to be so little forever.  He’s not going to fit perfectly on my chest for snuggles and sleep next to me in his bassinet forever.  I find that’s the toughest part about being a parent.  We lose some of ourselves when we give our lives to others but if we do our job right they don’t need us so much anymore.  Dylan and I have had one glorious date night dinner since we brought Baby C home and we always remind ourselves that all of this is only temporary and that we need to enjoy it.

#5 Love

My heart was already full with Soy Bean.  I loved Baby C from the moment I found he existed.  When you have an additional child never worry about how you are going to possibly love them because it’s there.

I’m Back…

We’ve been a tad busy since I last checked in.  I had been meaning to write several entries over the course of the last year but they will remain in my pending posts file.

Well first of all, if you don’t follow me on social media, we had another baby!  We had a baby boy in August and he is an absolute dream.  I’m excited to write about being a new mom again and tackling life with a baby and toddler.  It’s certainly been different this time around, but having a two year old I tell ya…

On the food front as you can imagine we’ve been aiming for easy meals, which of course doesn’t always mean the healthiest food but I’m trying to make better choices every day.

Being a mom is tough.  I’ve taken FMLA time which has been wonderful but at the same time super challenging.  Being home with kids is tough!  I’m lucky enough to have A TON of help from my mom but even with an extra set of hands and another adult to talk to each day is exhausting in its own way.  Baby C is soooo easy too, but even with a chill baby it’s still a lot of work (and laundry).  Well our dinner is ready (yes I know we’re eating too late) but I’m looking forward to checking in again soon!

Summer Check In

Is everyone staying cool out there?  This is the hottest summer I can remember!  I just got  back from a brief stroll around the neighborhood with Soy Bean and I’m exhausted.

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Found this on one of our walks…

I can’t believe it’s already August!  I feel as though the summer has flown by yet we’ve been out of school forever.  I’m torn because there are parts about going back to work that I am looking forward to, but I love the casual routine of summer and my time with the boy.

Soy Bean and I have walked a ton this summer, well I’m the one doing the walking he’s in the stroller…We’ve enjoyed trekking around our neighborhood as well as the waterfront in Plymouth.

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Beautiful morning in Plymouth.

Yesterday we celebrated my hubby’s 39th birthday.  Last birthday in his thirties…I’m going to have to plan something substantial for next year…

Manly gift...

We still have about three and a half weeks left until I go back to work.  It’s weird to starting thinking about school again.  This is my third year at my school and I already know what my goals are for this year.  Organization!  I’m already a fairly organized person, but now that I’ve been at this job for awhile I want to strive to be as efficient as possible.  As a special education teacher, I balance a lot of paper work, and it will make my job so much easier to have a structured system in place.

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He’s getting so big!

Besides plenty of walking around Plymouth we really have no big plans for the remainder of this summer.  I haven’t told my husband yet, but I want to plan a little couples weekend for the fall.  We’ll see if he reads this…

3 Years…

I just wanted to write a quick post.  A few days ago the hubby and I celebrated 3 years of marriage.  I can’t believe how much has changed over the last few years.  We had a baby, bought a house, adopted a dog…the list goes on.

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Marriage is certainly not easy because life is not easy.  When you’re married, everything that happens to your spouse happens to you.  That goes for the good and bad.

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We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to experience lots of happy events together so far and are looking forward to many more.

Love you honey buns.