Baby bunching

Sometimes it feels like you blink and life just zooms by in high speed. How did I even get to this point? I’m 30 years old (which I used to think was ancient). I’ve been married four years already. And now I’m a babybuncher – (mom of two kids under age two)! Life has never been busier, crazier, challenging, and more joyous than now!

Raising one child is difficult. Raising two is even harder. And I have to say raising two under two is impossible! My older daughter Annelise is now 19 months and my second daughter Katelynn is almost two months old. My daily schedule involves nursing Kate every three hours, holding Kate for her daytime naps, changing many diapers, feeding Annelise three meals a day, bathing Kate or Lisi, taking Lisi to the park or library for story-time, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, taking our dog Cole out, reading to Lisi. It’s a non-stop, never-ending, go-go-go kind of day…every day.

Annelise keeps me busy during the day – she’s an active toddler who loves to explore the world – her favorite things to do are eating, reading, watching Pororo or Pingu, taking everything out of her drawers, and basically touching anything and everything. Katelynn keeps me up at night – she has her fussy period at nighttime and I either have to nurse or pump in the middle of the night. The interrupted sleep really has been making me exhausted. Thankfully my parents have been so wonderful in helping out during the day!

It’s impossible to give all my attention to both my girls all the time – that’s been the hardest thing about babybunching. I’m certainly not superwoman so when I’m nursing Kate, sometimes Annelise is crying because she wants my attention or she’s jealous. And when I’m attending to Annelise, Katelynn is crying because she wants to be held! All I can do is do my best with the limited time and hands I have. And I realize I need to pray for God’s wisdom and his grace because it really is such an impossible situation. As difficult as it has been, mommyhood is such a joy. And being a mom of two is double the pain but also double the fun.

The best thing about being a mom is that it forces you to sacrifice your time, your energy, your sleep, your everything. Because it forces you to give and give until you have nothing left in you – it’s such a blessing to experience and a reminder of how much God loves us. He gave and gave – until he died. What an inspiration and what a challenge for us moms to follow.

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Valentine’s Day Inspired Red Velvet Cupcakes

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No fancy V-day dinner out for us tonight. It can be impossible to go out when you have a newborn and a toddler at home. But I still wanted to do something special for hubby. My husband (and I!) love all things red velvet. So I decided to make my first attempt at baking red velvet cupcakes. I followed the McCormick Holiday recipe I found on allrecipes.com. The sweet cocoa and the richness of the cream cheese frosting make this treat so delectable! I used festive baking cups which I placed into the muffin pan. I also decorated the frosting with red and white sprinkles.

Here’s the recipe for 6 servings/cupcakes:

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Ready in: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup flour

1 tbs and 1 ¾ tsp cocoa powder

¼ tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

3 tbs and ½ tsp butter, softened

1/3 cup and 1 tbs sugar

¾ egg

3 tbs and ½ tsp sour cream

1 tbs and 1 ¾ tsp milk

¼ (1 ounce) bottle Red Food Coloring

½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

¼ (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 ½ tsp butter, softened

1 ¼ tsp sour cream

½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

¼ (16 ounce) box confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food coloring, and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into baking cups or muffin pan, filling each cup 2/3 full.
  3. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Frost with vanilla cream cheese frosting.
  4. Vanilla cream cheese frosting: Beat softened cream cheese, butter, sour cream and pure vanilla extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

It’s a miracle that I managed to bake these cupcakes in between nursing, burping, diaper-changing, and putting Kate to sleep! Thankfully my mother-in-law is here and she graciously helped watch the kids while I was in the kitchen.

Katelynn’s First Moments – DIY Newborn Photo Shoot

My second daughter Katelynn was born early this year on January 8th at a hefty, healthy 9 pounds, 4 ounces! The fact that she is so healthy is truly a miracle and a blessing because I lost a total of 21 pounds due to Hyperemesis Gravidarum. If you’d like to read about my pregnancy journey, you can visit prisoner in my own body. Danny and I decided to set up our own newborn photo shoot to celebrate Kate’s precious first moments. We covered our boppy pillow with a baby blanket and used that to prop up Katelynn on her tummy for the photos. We decided to shoot her naked (so cute!) with just an adorable headband on. We covered her with another blanket so that she wasn’t too cold. We shot the photos in the morning, using natural sunlight as well as some extra lighting from our bedroom lamps. Of course we had to include our first daughter Annelise (18 months) in the photos. We encouraged her to pat and kiss her baby sister and we got some wonderful shots of sweet sisterly love in action. I love how our DIY newborn photo shoot turned out!

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What inspires me?

I am a two-time HG survivor. Social worker by profession but for now a full-time baby buncher.

What inspires me? Many things, but first and foremost, it’s Jesus.

Last year, I underwent my second HG pregnancy – it was, without a doubt, the hardest thing life has thrown at me thus far. After surviving hyperemesis twice, I am grateful to be alive and to be gaining my health back. I want to start off this year by praising God for his faithfulness as He was the one who kept me and the baby safe through a very difficult pregnancy.

My key verse for this year is John 16:33. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

There is so much darkness in this world that it can be overwhelming to even breathe at times. But Jesus tells us that we can have peace in Him! My prayer for this year is that I may find peace in Jesus despite the troubled circumstances life often hands each one of us.

Last year, I was in much physical turmoil and emotional darkness due to HG. This year, I hope to cherish life’s blessings and embrace the beauty and bliss in the little, day-to-day things. In addition to being a mommy blog, this blog will be an eclectic collection of things that inspire me daily – faith, family, food, fashion, art, and whatever else sparks my soul.

Hope to inspire you along the way,

Mimi

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