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transitioning to two kids

Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.


This newborn thing is easier the second time around

A million times easier. I know what to expect. I know not to freak out about every tiny noise he makes. I know the basics of taking care of a child. I didn't freak out the first time he spit up and the dog licked it off his face. I didn't stay up all night worrying when his baby acne popped up. I haven't called the pediatrician approximately six times a day to ask them questions about the color of his poop.

Multitasking is my jam

For real. I can feed a baby, wrangle shoes and clothes onto a toddler, pack a diaper bag, load everyone into a car with less than three tantrums without completely losing it and still make it to a certain destination no more than five minutes late. Sure, I might have to start the process two hours before we are supposed to be at said destination, but that's just a minor detail. And half of the time I might even be showered and look like a normal human as well.

My toddler needs time to adjust to a new baby

I knew this would be tough and we tried to prepare him, but there is only so much a 3-year-old can grasp about that concept. He says that he "doesn't wike" his little brother, but I have seen him sneak a few kisses when he thinks we can't see him. His whining has reached a new level. His fake crying has gotten even worse. His acting skills could use some work. We try to spend as much time with him as possible so he knows that he hasn't been replaced, but it's been tough on all of us.

Exhaustion is real


Why do we seem to forget the hardest parts of having a newborn? The baby eats every three hours. My husband and I split feeding shifts, but we are both feeling the effects of new baby exhaustion and an extra cranky, super clingy toddler. I am surviving on caffeine, Netflix and the hope that this baby will be sleeping through the night before I go back to my full-time job.

The Minion movies have saved my life

Henry has watched every version of all three Minion movies multiple times over the last two weeks. Screen time for the win. And mom's sanity. Call me a bad mom but we all need a break every now and then. And I hid the trumpet he likes to play while the baby is sleeping. I also consider that a win.

C-sections are painful

I had to walk back to the operating room past tables full of medical instruments that would be used to cut me open. I swear there were 30 pairs of evil looking scissors sitting on one table. At one point, I had someone sitting on top of me pushing the baby down into the birth canal. Then they removed the baby, put all my organs back in place and sewed me back up. So, yes, I spent some time in pain, while trying to keep two children alive. I feel like I sort of held it together. We are all still alive, no one lost an appendage and I am high-fiving myself right now.

I need to let my body heal

Right now it is a hot mess. I feel like my organs are still kind of jiggling around trying to figure out where they are supposed to be. When I look in the mirror, I don't really see myself. I see a very tired version of me with bags under my eyes and about 40 extra pounds. It's hard. Really hard. I want to be me again. The version that really had everything together and still felt good about herself and her body. But, since this is the second go-round, I now know it takes time. I will get back there.

I have so much love in my heart

I know, very cliche. But I was honestly worried that I might not be able to love another child as much as I love Henry. But I was so wrong. My heart has grown. Kind of like the Grinch.

Life with a newborn and a toddler isn't easy, but it's my new normal. A new challenge. And I love it. It's going to be hard. And I know that I won't end every day with a smile. But it's so worth it.

Adjusting to life as a mama of two? Here are some of our favorite products that can help.

Bökee bottle prep accessory

B\u00f6kee

You need more hands than ever these days, mama. This simple silicone gadget suctions to the counter to help you prep bottles and sippy cups with one arm while conducting all the business with the other.

$20

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Bouncer Bliss

Give your arms a break while also giving the new siblings a safe and cozy opportunity to bond. This classic bouncer also converts to a toddler chair to get extra years of mileage.

$250

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags mama necklace

Celebrate yourself, mama. You've earned it. This delicate gold 'mama' necklace proudly displays the best title you've ever had.

$105

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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