Buster · Celebrate · Family · Personal

Happy Birthday Buster!

As I’m writing this, it’s been almost one year to the minute exactly since Buster was born! I remember that day a year ago so well–it was fast but not too, and easy as far as births go, and the recovery was so darn quick that I still can’t believe it. And that’s sort of how things have gone since then! Fast but not too, and easy.

Our biggest little cowboy is the happiest, silliest chunk I’ve ever had the privilege to know, although I do know I’m biased. His checkup is next week, but at his sick visit a month ago he weighed in at 28 1/2 pounds, so I’m putting my best on a prime 29 for his current weight. He wears mostly 24 month clothes, but finding pants to fit around his thighs is an adventure. He loves food (except whole fruit and juice, oddly?) and eating is the best part of his day. He’s not walking or even standing unsupported yet, but we’re not fussed because this kid is just not ergonomically designed for vertical movement currently, but it will happen. But, he can speed crawl and pull himself up a cruise a little bit, and his fine motor skills are top-notch. Also hilariously, he doesn’t speak. He just smiles. He has words he can say, he just doesn’t, and that’s how he rolls. He also has the most expressive little face–he scrunches and puffs and crinkles and grins and oh, I can’t even.

He, like his brother, is a pretty great sleeper, but also like his brother gets multiple teeth at a time (he’s currently working on all four top teeth) so sleep is rougher when he’s teething and I don’t blame him. We never actually really sleep-trained him; the big kicker for us was to get him OverNites diapers and once he stopped peeing though his pajamas at night, he stopped waking up (imagine)! He goes to bed around 6:45-7, and wakes up between 6:45 and 7:45 usually. He likes to sit and squawk and play in his crib for a bit in the morning, and is the happiest darn baby when he wakes up. He still takes a morning nap from about 9:30-11:30, and an afternoon nap from 1:00-3 or 4, depending on the day.

He and Wace are best friends so far, unless Wace is taking his stuff or dragging Buster around by the feet of his pajamas. They sit and make each other howl with laughter in the car and it’s even more hilarious because they laugh exactly the same, and from the front seat it’s impossible to tell who is actually laughing! He loves to play with everything, but especially blocks, doors, bigger trucks, books, and bead mazes. His favorite foods are spaghetti, peanut butter sandwiches, smoothies and fruit pouches (but no solid fruit?), quesedillas, chicken noodle soup, turkey, cheese–anything that’s  not sweet (besides ice cream and cake), mainly, he doesn’t discriminate! Oh and no carrots. Hates those things. Again–cooked carrots. Don’t blame him.

He’s such a joy. His bad moods are always hunger- or sleep-induced, and he’s so easy going. He’s still a major snuggler, and loves to be carried around. He will let any human every carry him, and is such a good sport when Wacey wrestles him.

Buster Jacob, I can’t imagine our family without you, and I can’t wait to see what sort of adventures we get up to this year!!1 Buster in cowboy hat2 swaddled buster3 buster in stroller4 mirror selfie5 buster carseat6 dino onesie7 buster branding wrap8 flapping9 bandana91 both boys branding92 cactus blanket95 rolls911 bronc riding bub922 brother kisses94 cowboy hat9111 stroller kisses93333 with daddy933 asleep at the wheel966 happy kid9666 toy car944 brother friends9222 fat rolls selfie96 rolls97 daddy smush98 bathtub fat rolls93 hugs977 lashes9777 blue eyeesz1halloweenz2feeding bubbaz3bathtunz4shoez5thanksgivingz6 mirror slefie oso9333 bed snuggles20180112_181650(0)20180214_124621(0)IMG_20180122_161943_541IMG_20180127_140310_628IMG_20180214_220025_736JohnstonFamily2018-17JohnstonFamily2018-35JohnstonFamily2018-32

Buster · Family · Personal · Wacey

Takeaways from Life with Two

brothersWe have two boys! Two. Bert and I look at each other in disbelief sometimes that we have kids, as in plural, as in more than one child. I can officially say I’m Married with Children, although thankfully Bert’s not Al Bundy (sorry, Al), and it’s weird and great all at the same time.

We’re about five weeks in, and because I know you all are waiting to hear how it’s been going (no? Oh) I’m going to share with you some nuggets of wisdom that I have learned:

If your room and your toddler’s room share a wall, get two sound machines. That way you will avoid the fun merry-go-round that was our Friday night involving one kid waking up, settling back down, and then the other kid waking up and then waking the other up , and then both waking up again because they’re so restless and making too much noise, and then you waking up (read: not waking up because you we already awake) and deciding that hell, Starbucks is only 17 minutes away so everyone get in the car but wait one second while I Amazon Prime this new sound machine.

Diapers. I don’t mind changing diapers, but it gets comical when you have a contest about who changed the most poopy ones in one day, or when you have both boys laying down to get diaper changes at the same time and the smell is overpowering and hilarious.

Wacey looks enormous.

Buster looks squishy and floppy.

Being exhausted and having a screaming toddler is a new kind of hell, but one that I’ve thankfully not visited much since apparently we can function much better on much less sleep than we used to. I guess that’s good?

“Gentle touch please” only goes so far, and then your toddler on purpose steps on his brother’s face.

Buy the big diaper bag.

Get prepared for your always-adorable, usually-the-center-of-attention toddler to really up his game at the grocery store since everyone immediately wants to coo over the baby. Be prepared to have conflicting feelings about this. Is it adorable, or mostly adorable with a side of slightly weird? Also be ready for that toddler to turn into a demon sometimes. Can you blame him though?

That same toddler will be amazingly tender and sweet to his brother, giving him kisses and begging to hold him, staring at his face and holding his little hands, and then do a complete 180 wherein you’d better move fast, lady, or your kid’s about to put an Crayola-colored, frustration-induced Uruk-hai handprint on his little brother’s face. Or step on it, as mentioned above. That’s only happened once, as I now know the warning signs.

Going out with only one kid is like a vacation. Going out with just the baby means you might forget he’s there. Not literally, though. Just figuratively? Going out with two kids requires planning and snacks, and not being in a hurry, but I highly recommend it.

Fed is best, fed is best, fed is best. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, and if you’re the person doing the telling, stop it before I slap you upside the head.

When you go visit a friend and you’re early, driving around with sleeping baby in the backseat listening to podcasts (S-Town did NOT disappoint, someone please tell me they’ve finished it because I want to know their opinion re: mercury poisoning) is glorious. Add a smoothie onto that and man oh man, you’re living large.

Wearing the same sweatpants every day for a week is somehow more acceptable when you have two kids. I’m okay with this, because I have been. Week=three months, ps.

You’ll get a lot of questions about who looks more like who, and if you think the babies look alike. I think all newborns look like potatoes, but Buster looks like a potato that could be Wacey’s brother, so the answer to all those questions is yes.

Pumping becomes a whole new adventure once you get a car adapter, and your toddler yells “PUMP!” every two seconds while it’s on. I have to make sure I’m off the ranch before I get ‘er started, though, because I would rather be the Weird Anonymous Lady Pumping While Driving than Weird Anonymous Lady Pumping—Wait, That’s Cassidy, What’s Going on There?, while praying the blanket staying intact over the general frontal region of myself. I have no problem talking about pumping/nursing/breastfeeding/etc., and no shame, but you have to admit that a Human Milking Machine is a little weird, much less a mobile one.

It’s easier the second time around. I know it might not be the same way for everyone, but for me, it’s been vastly, extremely, outlandishly, scarily easier this time around. So much so that I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. My recovery was much faster, and I somehow avoided becoming a completely psychotic hormonal mess. I don’t mean to say it’s been easy, though. Just easier. I know a little  more what to expect, what to do, what’s normal. Buster only woke up once last night, though, and gosh that was a fluke but it was a glorious fluke that made me long for real sleep soon.

On that note, if you have a fitbit, don’t look at the sleep tracking part.

While we’re on sleep: you forget HOW LOUD NEWBORNS ARE AT NIGHT. THEY TURN INTO GREMLINS. Between the snarfing, heavy breathing, gagging, snorting, wiggling and the geriatric goat noise that is apparently the trademark of my Johnston Boys, it’s amazing those little babes get any sleep at all.

Your heart will get very, very full. Even when you’re exhausted and begging the baby to sleep, your heart will be so full. You may not know it, at that moment, but it is.

When both kids are crying, you and your husband will look at each other and try not to laugh at the zoo that is now your life.

You need Jesus. Lean in.

Your house that you kept reasonably clean with one baby will now resemble a barnyard that had a visit with a tornado that just went though a toy store. Go with it. Your kid’s eating off that dirty floor? You see that, I see immunities. 

Good books are clutch for late-night feeding/pumping/nursing/holding baby sessions, points for being able to immediately download them on devices with dimmable screens. I’ve legit read 20+ books this month, let me know if you need recommendations. I got you.

Buying an outfit that makes you feel like a million dollars in your in-between body stage is worth it. Do it. Especially if you have a social engagement or any event that you’re nervous to attend! Here’s mine.

It’s harder with two to slow down and enjoy your babies, especially on their own. But try, it’s so worth it. Also, get those two babies in your bed in the morning, because there’s nothing sweeter than brother snuggles. Until the hangry sets in and it’s breakfast all around, but for five minutes it’s so great.

We keep finding ourselves looking at Wacey’s pictures when he’s Buster’s age and just a little older, feeling nostalgic and excited for what’s next all at once.

Mostly, life with two means get ready for all the feels.

 

Buster · Family · On The Ranch · Wacey

First Branding of the Season

Saturday morning I loaded up the boys for the maiden voyage of the double stroller and we moseyed on down to the barn to brand our first set of calves! It was Wacey’s first year to get to “help” (in past years he’s been strapped to me in a carrier or in his stroller) and he had an absolute ball.  In between M&M breaks, he helped me take down numbers on his own notepad, and helped his daddy wrestle calves.

Buster spent the morning snoozing in my Solly wrap, which has occurred so often with Wace and now Buster that it’s a ranch joke that my kids could sleep through Armageddon. I don’t know if it’s the wrap, or genetics, or a combination of both, but the ability of both my boys to nap through the din of branding with cows and calves bawling, everyone talking and carrying on, horses snorting is absolutely uncanny. I love it, though. They get to snooze, I get to work, and we’re all happy!

Branding season is one of my favorite times. The first (and last, haha) ones are always kind of festive, and Saturday was no exception. We had the whole crew there, plus some neighbors, and a delicious brisket lunch in the barn. It was warm, but not hot, and not windy, so it was a lovely morning and a great start to the spring season.

I can already tell that ranch life with two boys is going to be so fun. Messy, sticky, hilarious fun. It’s also going to keep me on my toes–Wacey has no fear when it comes to calves and horses, so the minute he’s allowed to be horseback by himself we are in for some wild west adventures, let me tell you.

PS–doesn’t that little cowboy hat just kill you?! He’s starting to insist upon wearing it almost all the time, including with pajamas.

maiden voyage of the BOBwrestling calves 2mmswrestling calvessolly

Happy Monday! I’ve got a mountain of work (and laundry) to get done this week, which I’ll be doing in between wrangling babes, sweeping the floor that is now apparently applying for the position of Wacey’s Second Sandbox, and pumping. #momlife.

Speaking of #momlife, get thee to the nearest place wherest thou gets thine audiobooks (that was weird, remind me no more Olde English), and get Jim Gaffigan’s Dad Is Fat. SO GOOD.