Life with two children.

natalie maggie whitley

What would life be like with two children?, I often wondered. The first six to eight weeks after Natalie was born were hard, for sure. They were hard for different reasons and on different days. Some days I felt very victorious during the morning hours, but like a complete failure in the afternoon. I’m going to shift all of those thoughts and say it was the flux in my hormones that caused it, because let’s face it: hormones are a beast ;)

maxwell maggie whitley

But now we’re at nine weeks old. Natalie has grown into her body a bit more and sleeps 6-7 hours/night before waking to nurse (yessssssss). Maxwell is communicating with us at crazy awesome levels and as the weeks pass his vocabulary grows. My mama instinct says these two things are HUGE in helping me feel like we’ve reached a sense of normalcy ’round here.

natalie maggie whitley

And it’s almost like that’s all that matters. When everyone gets the rest they need it’s easier to move through the day with a smile on our faces. Communication has always been a huge part of my life (y’all know I love to talk), and similarly when Zack and I are having a low-communication day, everything else feels “off”. So whenever Max struggles to communicate with me, of course life instantly feels 10x more difficult; talking something out is how I process life.

The way I feel today is vastly different from how I felt just a few weeks prior. I’ve taken the pressure off myself so I can “just be me” and it’s crazy how much that has helped. I’ve loosened my gripĀ in certain areas and tightened up in others. This month, as part of my “one little thing”, I’m focusing on moving forward. That means I’m sharing how I feel more often, taking more photos, and letting the small creative moments actually happen throughout the day (when I have time to be creative)! I’m holding back less, and it feels so good.

maxwell maggie whitley

I’m excited for the months to come when I feel EVEN MORE awesome at being a mama of two. Natalie is growing each day and will soon interact with Max. And Max, my firstborn, is sharing with us what interests him, which is so exciting. Everyone is learning something each day and it’s my goal to recognize and celebrate just that.

I mentioned to Zack the other night that I wasn’t sure what my purpose was for life “right now”. There’s a lot going on right now and it’s not as clear as it used to be in years past. Come morning, however, I had such a different perspective on my purpose and refreshingly, a different outlook on the days to come.

natalie maggie whitley

Related: having two babies makes me feel like I’ve hit the jackpot of mamahood. I’m able to tap into the lessonsĀ I learned with Maxwell and apply them to taking care of Natalie. I know what to be concerned about and what to let go. I’m more confident and less afraid, but definitely more emotional. There’s so much good to being able to experience another healthy pregnancy, VBAC delivery, and post birth at home.

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My challenge for 2015: one new thing.

coffee maggie whitley

natalie bath maggie whitley

natalie bath maggie whitley

zack natalie maggie whitley

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maxwell maggie whitley

maxwell maggie whitley

Instead of picking one little word to focus on for the entire year I’m doing something new by focusing on one new thing each month. I’m still figuring out mamahood (aren’t we always?) and so the best way to get back into my Maggie-ness is to tackle something new each month. I love a good challenge, and this one feels especially rewarding.

So, for January I’m choosing to work on moving forward. I’ve been spending a lot of time waiting, and it feels burdening, tiring and totally unlike me. Now that I have two babies I often find myself waiting for the next thing to happen — waiting for one of them to wake up from their nap, to be hungry, to stop whining, to burp, to leave the dog alone, and so on. And even though waiting is something that feels super unnatural, it’s something I’m constantly doing. Blah.

This month I want to move forward most specifically with my blog. I want to take more photos, challenge myself to write more, share the things that interest me — essentially, put more emphasis on living and a whole lot less on making something a long, drawn-out process. I need to stop waiting and just do it!

It’s been so good to dig down deep and put our family goals on paper. And truth be told, having a new journal has been so good for me. I hope it survives the drill ;)

I’m so glad January is here. 2015 is going to be a year of fantastic challenges and growth, and I’m pumped to be moving forward.

How about you?

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Natalie Rose: our first week at home.

natalie maggie whitley

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

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zack maxwell maggie whitley

natalie flowers maggie whitley

Natalie turned one week old on Friday and I am in awe over how easy the transition has been for our family. Of course it’s been a whirlwind since we came home from the hospital, but Max is doing super well with his baby sister and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the love he has for her. I can’t put my finger on it specifically — maybe it’s the family we have visiting, how we’ve been talking about “the baby” to Maxwell since he was 11 months old, that we’ve tried our best to keep to Maxwell’s schedule, but the transition has been really beautiful.

When we came home from the hospital, Zack’s parents had decorated our apartment with pink balloons and flowers. And I love that they used a halloween bucket as a vase! It was such a sweet thing to come home to.

Natalie is such a sleepy, cuddly baby. I can’t stop kissing her head as she squishes into my neck. Having her on this side of my tummy with Max by my side feels like home. She’s had a couple of baths and is nursing so well. And maybe it’s become this is our second baby, but oddly I feel less tired. That’s totally normal, right? Haha.

Maxwell calls Natalie either “nana” or “no-ni”, aaaaaaand it’s adorable. You can feel the love he has for her — it shines from his little heart, and I’m so proud of him. I know it’s not always going to be this easy, but we’re taking it day-by-day, acknowledging all of the joys along with the difficulties. I think it’s important to do that, too — recognize both sets of emotions. Because there definitely are a lot ;)

And speaking of emotions: seeing Zack with our children has been just the most amazing thing. I knew he’d be a great daddy from the very beginning. Zack is super encouraging and helpful with all the postpartum “stuff”, I feel so spoiled.

I’ve had a fever since Saturday night and it’s totally put me in bed ever since. Whoooo, it’s time for this bug to go away! I’m ready for a fresh week with my family :) By the way, all of the cute hats and headbands and outfits for baby girls — they are way too precious and fun! We are enjoying shopping for Nat ;)


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Food for my mama soul.

beach pregnancy maxwell maggie whitley

We found ourselves at the beach on Sunday, totally planning on walking alongside it (and maybe hoping to get this baby low low low). Maxwell clearly had other plans because it didn’t take long and he was tugging at the straps on the stroller to get out. This sweet boy loves getting his feet wet, and in an instant memories of our weekly adventures to the beach over the summer flooded my heart. I grabbed his hand and together we walked down to the waters edge to play.

Zack captured this moment of me with both my babies, and when I saw it on my phone almost a day later I literally gasped. This is such a precious photo to me. I’m beginning to see mamahood as a marathon: we have to pace ourselves wisely, from the early morning hours, so we can last the entire day. It’s a hard, magnificent race.

Now that Maxwell is a toddler and he’s talking to us, sharing what he needs and pointing out all that he sees, it’s so very clear to me that love is at the forefront of his mind — all day, every day. He doesn’t ever see me as tired or repetitive or structured or weary, all feelings mamas have throughout the day. Instead, he sees me as his friend, his teacher, and his encourager. Having this moment at the beach with my babies captured is beyond precious — it’s life giving for my mama soul.

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