Life with Two Kids

Now seven weeks into life with two kids, I often get asked how things are going.  “It’s hard,” I reply honestly. “Two kids is no joke!”

We are in it.

Having two kids is the hardest honor I’ve been blessed with. Somehow two feels like triple the work and I feel like I should need less help than I do. But I need help, and it’s chaotic and sometimes in the middle of the night while rocking an inconsolable, crying baby I’ll swear I can’t do it. But then the sun comes out and Maisley crawls into bed with the three of us and all is somehow alright.

I shower at strange times like two in the afternoon and “morning” is an abstract concept. One handed diaper changes and bouncing while eating have become the norm. Chasing Maisley (also the name of my next novel) with a Coura bear wrapped on my chest while our dog escapes to harass the neighbors is my new workout routine. There are significantly more highs and lows and we often experience an entire day of emotions before 10 am.

Maisley and Ryan have been spending more time together.  Our relationship is changing and my attention is now split, but I keep reminding myself that the gift of a sister outweighs my absence at a few pool days and night-time routines.

It’s hard, but it’s the good kind of hard. The kind of hard that makes the good moments feel great.

Ryan and I are working as a team, more in sync than ever before. Rather than a zone defense against Maisley, we are now man to man. We zip around like two carefully trained soccer players, anticipating the other person’s next move (got the World Cup on my mind if you couldn’t tell). “I got the big one”, he’ll say.  “I got the little one,” I’ll say.  We each always have a job, ain’t nobody sitting on the sidelines.

We went to the park the other day and Ryan walked ahead of me with Maisley’s hand in his and a purple bubble wand peaking out of the back pocket of his Chinos. I told him he’s arrived as a dad. The other dad at the park chimed in, “I was thinking the same thing.”

Coura and I are as close as we could possibly be right now (aside from having her inside of me). She’s attached to me most hours of the day, but I sense that she’s enjoying it and needs me in a unique way. We both know it’s not forever, and I love getting to know her more and more everyday.

When Coura cries, Maisley comforts her saying, “It’s ok Coura Joan!” and sings her a special song: “Coura, Coura, Coura, Coura, I love you. I love you. You’re my little sister, you’re my little sister, I love you. I love you.” (Maisley also sometimes whacks Coura for no reason, but we’re focusing on the great moments in this half of the blog, right?).

We are in it. So if you need us, this is where we’ll be for a while (and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else).

Just as we are now

:: MaisleyNienhuis@gmail.com ::

She won’t need it for a while, considering she’s only five months old, but I wanted her to have an email address just in case {and a clean one without any numbers or silly characters}.

Although, around the year 2030, will email even be a thing? Or will she just simply write her note into thin air and it will transfer by virtual reality to the intended recipient’s air space {ya heard it here first}.

Or maybe we will go retro and snail mail will be cool again.

Anyways, my sister wrote Maisley a really sweet email. It was about how she wishes Maiz could hang out with us as we are now. By “us” she means the four of us sisters, parents, our husbands and friends.

I so wish she could see us now too.

The way we still act like kids. The way we laugh so hard around the kitchen table that snorting is always inevitable. The way we go all-out for parties and showers for our friends. The way we constantly reminisce about funny stories from our childhood and the thrill of a new person in our circle to share them with. The way we are carefree and enjoy nothing more than a flight of beers at a brewery and a wood fired pizza. The way we are mostly weird with a sprinkle of cool.The way us and all of our friends are hilariously trying to navigate this parenting thing with no manual.

The way we dance like crazy in front her, jumping up and down, making the most ridiculous faces, all for a little giggle. The way we take her everywhere we go as our adventure buddy. The way we smile at her, sing to her and tell her we love her. The way we snuggle her close and kiss her cheeks until she can’t stand it anymore.

The way we are now, in our 20’s and early 30’s. The hidden years that children assume never existed for their parents. After all, your parents to you are only mom and dad. They never dated other people, never had drunken nights out and definitely never made bad decisions.

When she becomes old enough to realize how cool we are and want us as friends, things will be different than they are now. Not bad, just different. Maybe even better.

I still wish she could see us now.

I guess I will casually drop this note into her inbox.

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8 Ways to Embrace the Single Lady Life

I love that my family shares my passion for writing. I think we all learn from each other and each have our own stories to tell. Here is another humorous blog post from my littlest sister Michelle Lynn Loftus.

  1. Enjoy every day and do what YOU want. You have no one else’s agenda to abide by. While I am looking forward to the day that I can have someone else’s agenda intertwined with mine, now is the time to cherish whatever each day brings and to ‘do you’.
  2. Make people feel bad around Christmas. Before you judge me, I only mean make your mom feel bad, and by bad, I mean, milk out an extra gift if you can. Think about it, if you logically explain that you are saving her money by not having a boyfriend to buy a gift for (unlike your three sisters) she might come to the natural conclusion that you deserve a little somethin’ somethin’ extra. Double whammy.
  3. Be bold. Put yourself out there, chat with random people, do some eye flirting, have fun with all the fish in the sea. You spend a lot of time swimming around, so you might as well have fun while you’re at it.
  4. Don’t wear makeup if you don’t want to. While you may think you should always be prepared to meet The One, he’s gotta see you without that extra layer at some point, so enjoy the natural-ness. Disclaimer: I’ll probably wear makeup as infrequently when I do have a boyfriend, as when I don’t.
  5. Hangout with your friends, be the “yes” girl to new experiences, go travel, have slumber parties and go to happy hours that last all night. I am very excited for when I do get to spend the night next to my person, but in the mean time, share those nights with other people you love.
  6. Go on blind dates. If nothing else, you’ll leave with a great story to share.
  7. Enjoy your AM routine. Whether that’s waking up and working out, sleeping in, sitting on the pot for 10 minutes or calling your mom. Do your thang girl because you only have yourself to please.
  8. Be the best 3rd wheel, 5th wheel, 7th wheel that you possibly can! Seriously, I’ve been all of these (maybe even a 9th wheel) and now is the best time to focus on and enjoy the people who are actually, physically present in your life.

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