Julian Koki is Two!

Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme. Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme. Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme. Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme. Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme. Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme. Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme. Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme. Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme. Happy Birthday to our busy two year old! Pumpkin patch photos of our busy toddler here on Bainbridge Island. Pacific Northwest toddler style in the fall! Love autumn in Washington state. -Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme.

I can hardly believe I am writing these words right now; our Julian Koki is TWO! These past two years have flown by, but I also feel like I’ve known Julian my whole life. I was just rereading Julian’s birth story, and it really does feel like it was yesterday.  Parenting is a trip! I went all out on Julian’s 1st birthday, (one of my most viewed posts!) but this year, we’re going to celebrate with family and keep it low key. I wanted to take a minute to share some of the things I never want to forget about our Julian at this age. Love you bubba!

  • Our Jules has the biggest heart. When we read a book and one of the characters is sad, he presses his face to the page to offer some reassurance and love.
  • He loves to help mama bake in the kitchen, and fix things with his dada.
  • Without fail, he can always be found with two cars or two trucks; one for each hand.
  • Julian is an observer. He often sits back and will assess a situation before jumping in.
  • He loves to read all. day. long. It’s a lot to keep up with some days! He is starting to memorize a few of his favorite books, which has been so fun to see. His current favorites are Mighty Mighty Construction Site, I’m A Hungry Dinosaur and Run to the Rainbow.
  • Jules loves to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
  • He has an amazing memory when it comes to counting and saying the alphabet
  • Colors are not his strong suit. Everything is blue! It’s pretty funny actually.
  • Julian always greets his sister first thing in the morning before saying hello to anyone else. And when she’s asleep he searches for her.
  • He loves playing at Nana and Dude Pa’s and is learning to count in Japanese at his Baba and Gigi’s.
  • When he says the words “big” or “heavy” his voice lowers an octave, hehe!
  • Every night before bed we tell him who loves him, and he repeats it back, then says “You are so loved!” You are so loved Julian.

Thank you Nora Emily Photography for these priceless memories of our little guy!

xx,

Heidi

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Grateful For Our Family of Four

At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme

At home newborn photos with baby girl. Light and airy lifestyle photographs, with whole family of four. Dad, mom, brother and new baby sister! Love the way big brother Julian looks at his new baby sister in these photos! --Heidi Stephens, Bainbridge Boheme
Photos by Chelsea Macor Photography

(Robe: Plum Pretty Sugar, Julian’s PJs: Nordstrom (sold out), similar. Inez’s footie: Kickee Pants, Inez’s bows: Baby Bling Bow, Inez’s blanket: Barna & Co, Sweater: Free People)

November marks a month of gratitude. I used to be diligent about writing in my gratitude journal every morning, but with the newborn stage, it has been hard to keep up with. Instead, I like to think of one thing I am grateful for everyday. It’s nothing profound, and is often the same thing day in and day out. I am grateful for my health, my home, my favorite coffee mug that has been dropped and never seems to break. But, above all else, I am grateful for my little family of four. Well, five with Mr. Jet Pup!

You know how people always reminiscence on the good o’le days? Well, I never loved college. I didn’t like to party, I loathed dating. I truly feel like these are the good o’le days for me. Cuddling my babies, staying in jammies and baking cookies, singing, reading and playing!

This month, I am reminded to focus on all the I have. And how, amazingly, all the things I have are things I have always wanted. A marriage built on love, friendship and respect. A bright and healthy son. A thriving, beautiful baby girl. A sweet rescue pup. A warm home. Those are the things I used to dream about; and now they are here. I vow to give thanks for all that I have been blessed with, and I hope you will join me in practicing gratitude.

Happy month of thanksgiving!

xx,

Heidi

Huge thank you to Chelsea Macor Photography for shooting these priceless moments in our home. 

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Inez Marie: A Birth Story

Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge Boheme

Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge Boheme

Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeWriting Inez’s birth story has taken me weeks. Perhaps it’s because I am juggling two babies at once now! But, more than that, I have been trying to find the right words to describe it all. Our sweet girl is almost two months and it has all flown by way too quickly.

Inez Marie was born in Port Townsend on August 15th at 8:19am. She weighed a perfect 8lbs 9oz and measured 22 inches long. The same length as her brother, but 2 ½ pounds lighter! She had a gorgeous full head of hair and the most beautiful pink skin I had ever seen.Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeWe opted to have a c-section for medical reasons, as I already needed to have abdominal surgery unrelated to my pregnancy. Julian had resulted in a c-section, so the idea that I could potentially have emergency surgery with Inez, and then weeks later need another surgery was not appealing.

The strangest thing about having a c-section is that you don’t feel any pain, but you feel all of the pressure. I wish I had a better way to describe it, but it quite literally feels like someone has their hands inside your abdomen. Which is apparently exactly what I told Jeff during the birth of our Julian Koki, but I don’t remember that in the slightest! You feel the pressure of the surgery and you can see your shoulders moving as the surgeons go about their work. It is the weirdest feeling, and one that I don’t recall at all with Julian.Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeWhen Inez was delivered they brought her straight to my chest. I cried with joy at the first sound of her crying and I felt all of my fears wash away. For days leading up to Inez’s birthday I felt this strong sense of fear of the unknown. I couldn’t comprehend how I could love anyone as much as I loved Julian. I couldn’t fathom what kinds of changes our family was about to go through. As soon as I heard her cry I felt at ease. Like I was at home with her already. I’ll never forget how she just latched onto me right away and got straight to eating. She laid on my chest nursing while the surgeons finished the surgery and I felt perfectly at peace. There was an immense sense of calm that passed over me when she was born. I felt at peace and I remember taking a moment to just embrace that feeling.Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeWe decided to stay the maximum amount of time we could in the hospital. I was not eager to get home to dishes and cooking our own meals. Besides, Jefferson Healthcare has the most incredible homemade jello in the history of jello. I had a great deal of break through pain post-op to work through, so my recovery was oddly hardly the second time around. The anesthesiologist opted to not give me a long acting anesthesia due to my history of vomiting. This pain of course made me vomit anyway, which is not fun with a new incision. Inez stayed in the room with us the entire time and we could tell from those first moments and days that she would be an angel. She slept and ate, and when she fussed she was easily consoled by mama or dada. I know how lucky that makes us as parents, I truly do. I loved that she knew who we were right away. Julian was incredible with her right from the beginning, you can see his love for her in these photos and it melts my mama heart.Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeInez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge BohemeJeff and I feel so fortunate to be Inez’s parents. There’s a beautiful story behind how we named our baby girl that I hope you’ll read. Our girl completes our family in every way. Her brother Julian is smitten with her, and showers her with kisses all day. Jet Pup even stands guard by her when she sleeps. We love you beyond measure Inez Marie.

Inez Marie Stephens:

Born August 15, 2017 at 8:19am

8lbs 9oz, 22 inches

Inez Marie: A Birth Story. Birth photography for a beautiful c-section delivery in black and white and color. Gorgeous birth and newborn photo ideas for hospital delivery. -Bainbridge Boheme

 

xx,

Heidi

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Blissful Baby Bath Time in 5 Simple Steps

Take a peek at how we keep bath time fun in our home! Thank you to Collective Bias for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine alone, and I take pride in showcasing the best products for you all! #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasBath time at our house is one of my favorite activities. When I was pregnant with Inez, I was so unbelievably sick. The bath was one of the only places I felt a small reprieve from my nausea and vomiting. So, Julian and I would sometimes take one or two baths a day! I had to get creative to find ways to keep bath time exciting for my little one! When I saw these adorable, newly designed Johnson & Johnson products at our Silverdale Target, I knew bath time would get a little more exciting for Jules. Here are a few ways that we keep bath time fun in our household:Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias

You can shop these products simply by hovering over the image above!

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias1. Bath time is anytime. Mamas, you know how crazy nighttime is! You scramble to cook dinner, feed your babes, clean up, brush teeth, take a bath, read a book. The list goes on and on. One way I try to alleviate the nighttime hustle is by giving baths in the morning or the afternoon. It’s a fun way to break up the day, and to check one thing off that nighttime to-do list. Of course, this does not apply to the days when your toddler eats spaghetti with his hands for dinner.

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias2. Choose products your kiddos will love. These Johnson & Johnson products with the oh-so-adorable design packaging are exclusively available at Target. I picked up the Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Wash, Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bath, and Johnson’s Baby Lotion because I knew Jules would love these fun designs! Julian is really interested in the octopus on the Head-to-Toe Wash bottle. He thinks it’s hysterical that octopuses have 8 legs. It’s a simple way to get your kiddo to love to soap up! These would make for the cutest package for a soon to be mama too. A fun gift for mom and baby!Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasWays to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias3. The bubble song. I learned this song from baby story time at our local library when Julian was a newborn. It’s been a beloved part of our bath time routine ever since. And I’d like to think it was how Julian learned to count to 10 on his own!

“One little, two little, three little bubbles,

Four little, five little, six little bubbles,

Seven little, eight little, nine little bubbles,

Ten little bubbles go pop! pop! pop!”

(Count bubbles on fingers and clap when you say, “pop!”)

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias

4. Use the best. At Johnson & Johnson, safety is their top priority. I love that I can trust this brand on my little ones. These products are paraben free, hypoallergenic and not tested on animals.

Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBias5. Baby massage. I love capping off bath time with a baby massage! This design on this Johnson’s Baby Lotion is such a fun take on an old classic. When I’m giving Julian his massage I like to talk to him explaining “this is your left leg, here is your right arm, this is your belly!” He loves it, and I love that he’s getting soft skin and a little anatomy lesson.Ways to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasWays to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasWays to keep bath time fun with your little ones! It's as simple as this fun, newly designed Johnson & Johnson baby wash, available exclusively at Target. Oh, and the bubble song of course! #ad #GiftingForBaby #CollectiveBiasHow do you mamas keep bath time fun in your homes? Let me know in the comments!

xx,

Heidi

 

 

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Why I Can’t Let Chores Wait

Clean white kitchen with open shelves, full spring blooms! Talking keeping a clean house when you have babies and toddlers on the blog today. Outer order, inner calm! Keeping a clean home with little kids helps my sanity and postpartum anxiety. You don't have to let the chores wait!
Blooms by Leah Erickson Floral after Inez’s baby shower

One of the most popular pieces of advice for postpartum moms is to let their house go. We’ve all heard it. That you should be snuggling your baby, not doing the dishes! Well, I can’t let it go, I’ve tried and I can’t. Also, I don’t know who they think is going to come do your dishes, but okay. Recently, we did a newborn photoshoot in our home. The wonderful photographer, Chelsea Macor, blogged about our session, asking how it was possible that our home was so spotless. Afterall, we have a one month old and a not yet two year old! It made me realize that I get that question a lot. A lot, a lot. So I thought I’d explain here.

One of my favorite sayings by the happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin is “outer order, inner calm.”  This is me in a nutshell. I clean a little bit all day long as messes occur, and finish up once the babies are in bed for the night. I just can’t let things go at my house. I mean, I can on a rare occasion. Like when my husband promises me he’ll do it and asks me to quit driving him nuts with all my tidying. Poor guy can never find his water glass because I already put it in the dishwasher.

Every morning I am jolted awake by a crying baby. And if the first thing I see as I’m walking through the kitchen is smelly dishes and toy dump trucks, it makes me even more stressed. I wish it didn’t you guys, but it does. I’m not neglecting my kids to go clean baseboards, but I do like for my house to be tidy. In this chaotic state of having two kids under two years old, I need to have a little order in my life. And this is how I find it.

We don’t have a house cleaner, never have. So if you see a photo that I posted of our clean home, that’s because I cleaned it, and it made me happy. I do it because it is a priority to me to have my environment be peaceful. Having a newborn and a toddler can put any mom into a bit of an anxious state. Now, I’m not saying I need a xanax prescription just yet, but this is one of the ways that I keep my anxiety in check. (Side note, another way I keep from feeling anxious is by turning off all of my phone notifications. Yes, even text messages.)

Every mom is different of course, and this is simply what works for me. Also, my kids are still young, so perhaps I’ll be eating my words in a few years. I just wanted to give a different perspective on that age-old piece of advice. And I also wanted to clarify that my house is not spotless because I am some supermom. It’s clean because I am a neat freak who is trying to find a little slice of calm in her day with two little ones.

What about you? Can you let the chores wait?

xx,

Heidi

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How We Named Our Inez Marie

How we named our daughter, Inez Marie

I hadn’t planned on writing about how we named Inez, however, I have had so many questions on her name! I thought I would answer them here and share her naming story. First off, I want to clarify the pronunciation of her name. Which, I will say, I never thought I would have to do! It seemed obvious to both Jeff and I, but I suppose you never know until you announce. Our Inez’s name is pronounced “In-ez.” We’ve heard some pretty creative variations, but it’s simply, Inez. Just like it looks. Her name means “pure” and has Spanish origins, but that’s not why we chose it.

Years ago, when Jeff and I were dating, his father’s mother passed away. We traveled to Chehalis to attend her celebration of life. During the service, we both noticed the most beautiful name on the program book. Jeff’s Grandmother’s middle name was Inez. We both mentioned the name several times that day and on our way home. I can’t recall if we said it out loud then, or if it was just an unspoken agreement. But we knew that someday, if we were lucky enough to have a daughter, she would be named Inez.

We loved that it paid homage to Jeff’s family. We loved how unique, yet timeless the name felt. Settling on Marie as a middle name was simple, as we wanted to include a family name from my side as well. My Great Grandmother Winnifred’s middle name was Marie given to her by her Father in honor of her Mother Marie. My mom, and I both have Marie as a middle name. In fact, my dad often calls my mom Marie as her first name.

Our Julian Koki also has a family name. Named after his Japanese Grandfather, Koki. I love the idea that both of our children are watched over by family members before them.

Our Inez Marie is such a dream. I am currently working on writing her birth story, and cannot wait to show you all photos from the magical day she was born.

xx,

Heidi

Photo by Chelsea Macor Photography

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