My Life Parenting

Two Under Two

August is 10 weeks old now, and Eleanor turns two at the end of next week, so my time of having two kids under two is nearly at an end.

I know that even having just one child isn’t easy. Except now? Looking back? Totally easy! And if Brandon and I decide to add more children to our family, I’m sure I would look back at this time and say the same thing.

Before August arrived, Brandon and I were nervous, simply because we didn’t know what to expect. Would Eleanor be jealous? How many sleepless nights would we have to endure? Our family had a nice rhythm to our days, and bringing in a new baby was going to change the tempo.

I had assumed that the first six weeks would be hard. Really hard. I remember that early time as a period of adjustment with Eleanor when she was a baby, especially in regards to nursing. So I told myself that things might be difficult at first, but they will be better after the first six weeks have passed. And I’d say that turned out to be just about right.

Eleanor did have a period of adjustment again with the arrival of August. She went from only child to big sister overnight, and she was too young to even understand that it was coming. Overall she was fine, sweet with August from the beginning, but we could tell that she was quick to lose her temper and get frustrated. She also wanted to be carried much more than usual, because she saw the new baby being carried everywhere. After a few weeks though, her pleasant demeanor returned. Well, mostly. She is nearly two! I try to give her as much individual attention as I can, and we still do the same activities together with August that we used to do before. Babies love dancing with mama in the kitchen just as much as toddlers.

I had a hard time nursing again (it’s still painful for me occasionally), but it got better. August was up every couple of hours for the first few weeks, but he has been sleeping for 7-8 hour stretches at night for several weeks now. I’m good at getting babies to sleep through the night.

And you guys! August naps during the day! I had no idea babies could be so easy. Eleanor was a content baby, but she never napped for longer than 20 minutes at a time when she was little. In fact, keeping Eleanor’s afternoon nap consistent has been the hardest daily challenge.

Also difficult: getting out of the house! Especially if I’m trying to do so in a timely manner. It’s easy to take one kid with you when you want to go somewhere. Change a diaper, nurse, and head out. Now I have to coordinate. And while Eleanor used to nap when she was a baby and we were out, August does not. Yes, he naps during the day (hooray!), but he likes to do so in his crib thankyouverymuch. He’s not a fan of napping on the go, and so he cries. That’s new to me. I don’t want to be the lady in the store with a screaming baby! Thankfully, he’s usually happy if he’s being held.

Life feels a little more hectic this time around, but I’m also trying to do more this time. When Eleanor was born, I was only posting on Making it Lovely a few times a week. Now I post twice daily (once on the main section, and once in the Filing Cabinet), plus I just started a new daily gig for Babble’s Family Style blog. And not only do I have a baby, I have a baby and a toddler. My shop (Pink Loves Brown) was closed for six months during my first maternity leave. I don’t intend to go for as long this time, but here I am nearly three months in and I’m not sure yet when I’ll reopen.

Caring for a baby is much easier this time around. It’s balancing that care along with everything else that has been tricky. But I’m finding that my balance is improving day by day.

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  • Desiree Fawn
    April 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    They are such sweeties! ALMOST makes me want no. 2 right away, but I think we’ll be waiting til G is 4 or 5.

  • Katie
    April 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I agree, caring for a baby the second time around is much easier! My baby is almost 11 weeks, my toddler will be 2 in July. The toddler is definitely the harder child to care for I’ve found.

  • Dawn
    April 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    My daughter was 19 months when my son was born. She was NOT an easy baby by any stretch of the imagination. And like you there was some adjustment after my son was born. I got my kids on a schedule that intersected from the start. I couldn’t believe how easy it was…especially since my son was such an easy baby, unlike my daughter. However, I will tell you, there is a silver lining in having two under two…they will be very close. My daughter and son get along VERY well. They are almost like twins in that they know what the other is thinking without saying anything. It’s sometimes tough for me because I’m thinking they are mad at one another when in reality…it’s something I’ve done…lol. If I could do it again, I would have them just the same time apart. It is perfect and watching them grow has been a true blessing.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      That’s sweet. I’m hoping they’re close like that! My sister is six years younger than me. It’s not a big deal now, but when you’re a kid, that’s a huge age difference.

  • Gwendolyn
    April 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    They are beautiful! I have two boys, but they are 16 years apart :)

  • Jaimie
    April 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    If you keep posting such cute pictures, you’re gonna make me want to start having babies too!

  • Funnelcloud Rachel
    April 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Oh, they’re both such beautiful babes! August has changed so much since you last posted pictures and Eleanor looks exactly like you in that first pic! Sweet!

  • em
    April 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Your post gives me some hope! My son is 3 weeks old now and he and my daughter are exactly two years apart (birthday are a day apart) and things have been…rough! But I’m hoping in another month it will be better! I’m so glad to know that thing are going well for you!

  • Kathy
    April 21, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Okay, maybe we’ll stick with one! ;) Your two kids are adorable though!

  • Danielle
    April 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I think your honesty is said well. Yes they are a blessing, but it can be rough at times. You are balancing work and family well :-)

  • casey
    April 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    goodness! i can only imagine! we are wanting to have another one, but i am so nervous about having a second with my first not 2 yet… i want him to at least be 2! or a bit older. i know it will get easier. my sister has 2, exactly 2 years apart, and she was just like you… stressed, overwhelmed, not sure! but she said it has gotten a lot better. her youngest is 6 months now. hang in there! thanks for sharing!

  • carolyn
    April 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    you are doing an awesome job. i only have (well OVER 2 at this point) and i still struggle.

  • sarah
    April 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    thank you so much for writing this post, it’s really nice to hear about some of the day-to-day stuff that goes along with a toddler and new baby. i have one baby (almost toddler since he’s over 1 now), and my husband and i are on the verge of trying for a second. i’m really nervous about the exact same things that it sounds like you and your husband were anxious about, and hearing about your experience definitely helps to alleviate that a bit. congrats on your (many) wins and your adorable kids, and good luck on the balance part!

  • Jennifer M.
    April 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    My sister and I are 21 months apart and had an adjustment period as well. My Mom always tells the story around one of our birthdays of how I reacted to my sister when she was brought home. I guess no one really thought to explain where my sister “came from”, because after about a week I told my Mom she could take her back to the store. We didn’t always get along, but we grew to be very close as teenagers, and even still in adulthood. Hope your two little ones do, too.

  • Kelly
    April 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Congratulations! August is an absolutely beautiful child. Love those eyes!

  • Rebecca
    April 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    August is adorable! (And Eleanor is too!) I’m just a little over 8 weeks pregnant, so babies have been on my mind quite a bit lately! My mom told me recently that someone once told her, “One is like none, and two is like ten.” She didn’t understand that until she’d had two children and realized how hard it was to keep up with two! Sounds like you’re doing a good job staying sane with it. :)

  • The Distressed Mother
    April 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    My what beautiful babies you make!

    Thank you for sharing with us. I found the second baby so much easier. I was already a stay at home mum too, so didn’t have that whole adjustment to deal with.

    The biggest challenge for me was remembering that my 2 year old was only 2. He seemed so much bigger compared to his baby sister, that I would forget and expect too much of him.

    TDM xx

  • michelle
    April 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    their faces in the 1st photo kill me!!!! me=dead

  • Dana @ House*Tweaking
    April 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I, too, wonder how I ever thought one child was hard. It takes me so long to get ready just to get out the door with two kids. I have to start planning hours in advance and siking myself up for it! Or I just stay home. But that gets boring sometimes.

    Congrats on making your way with two kiddos…I don’t think there is a tried and true way to do it. You just do it.

    Btw, I think Eleanor looks like her Daddy and August looks like his Mommy. Both are too cute!

  • Heather
    April 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    So how do you manage a shower this time around? My friends tell me the big adjustment is for number two. After that, three is no sweat. hmmmm???

    • Making it Lovely
      April 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      August is happy in a bouncy seat long enough for me to get a shower. If we’re the first two up in the morning (as we often are), then he just hangs out in the bathroom while I get ready. If we’re up a little later, Brandon has to shower first for work, so then I’m on my own with both kids. Usually Eleanor is happy to hang out at the outside edge of the tub and play with her bath toys while I shower (and August is in his seat). She gets a little wet, but it’s just water on her pajamas, so no big deal.

  • Ash
    April 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you for such an honest account of having two under two. My son will be just one week shy of turning two when our second baby arrives and I have been looking for something like this to read to prepare me for the mayhem ahead!! It’s daunting and scary and exciting all at once but I wonder is there ever an easy gap? BTW your kids are BEAUTIFUL – really cute kids. Thanks for the post.

  • amy
    April 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    its been fun following your posts. i had baby #2 just about two weeks ahead of you and and my older one is about a month older than eleanor. Always comforting to hear from mamas going through the same joys and struggles in life. Things are getting easier as baby #2 is settling in — (not so fussy anymore) — and i am gaining confidence as a mother of 2. sometimes you just have to be ok with one of the kiddos crying… after all, they do outnumber us now.
    best of luck! thanks for posting pics of your experiences with kidos and all things house.

  • Didi
    April 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Nicole you seem to have everything down to “a science”. Impressive. Both of your children are gorgeous. August looks like such a bright and content baby and Eleanor looks like the doting mature little lady/big sis! I love all of your posts, including content about your adventures in Motherhood!

  • angi
    April 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have an almost 11-month-old and every single day I think there is no way possible I could manage another and especially go through nursing again.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      Nursing is rough. I wish I had an easier time of it because I’m glad to do it for my babies, but it is difficult (especially in the early weeks) for me.

  • Diana Smith
    April 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I loved reading this blog post because I have a 9 month old and am expecting in dec so I am reallllly scared about the whole worries of having 2 kids! Just so much more time and energy spent. This answered a lot of questions and I know every baby is different, but it gave me a better idea of what to expect!

  • Donna
    April 21, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! We have an 11mos old and have been trying to get pregnant again for the last 4 months. The thought “How the heck are we going to do this?!” always creeps in, but you just DO right? Thank you for always being “real”, sharing your mishaps, mistakes, redoes, and admitting that motherhood is hard…Keep up the good work!

  • heather
    April 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    My newly two-year-old wore that same shirt today! She loves the cats!

    And yep, learning to juggle more than one is tough, but it will all come together for you soon. I promise!

  • Nicole
    April 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    What a cutie! Thanks for this post about balance…something I am a little nervous about when we have our next babe. I’ve already told myself I need to remember the first weeks are hard and it WILL get easier!

  • Katie
    April 21, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Nicole – he is SO cute!!!

  • Nat@ dear little house
    April 21, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Congratulations on doing such a great job balancing everything!

  • Renata
    April 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I am so glad you shared this! We have a 20m old baby boy and a girl on the way, she is due next week. This was so encouraging to read… I think we have no idea about how much life will change, but we are so excited!

  • amanda
    April 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Both kids are adorable. August looks like such a BOY! Love his expressions!

  • Megan {Honey We're Home}
    April 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you for your insight. My only son is 13 months and we want another in the near future. I try to appreciate how easy we have it now, now! Your kids are seriously adorable!

  • Andrea @
    April 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    The adjustment with having two was very difficult! I found that life got quite a bit easier after the first three months. You’re almost there!

  • Virginia
    April 22, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Oh my goodness, he gets cuter with every post. Your babies are angels

  • Nina
    April 22, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I loved reading this post too! I felt exactly the same way when I went from one to two! In January I went from two to three and although I am very sleep deprived it has been a relatively smooth transition. Our family feels complete and I am so blessed. Enjoy your two it goes by so fast!

  • Erika
    April 22, 2011 at 7:29 am

    So honest. Glad to hear you are learning to balance. I was hoping we would be on baby number two at this point…my Little Guy is 19 months, but alas, the hubs is on another page right now. Soon, hopefully, soon….

    On another note, not sure if you are a natural red head or not, but I am of the fair hair and complexion variety and kept being told during delivery and nursing that pain management would be more difficult for me. I finally had to ask why and was told something about being fair and having more sensitivity. ?? Needless to say, nursing was extremely painful at first, but I was determined to keep it up and things got a LOT better. You know, you have done it before.
    Also, my Little Guy did not really like to nap when out either, but I found that if I wore him he would stay happy longer than when I tried putting him in his car seat on the shopping cart. It’s worth a try if you haven’t done so already.

    Congrats on making it through the first hurdle and on your lovely family!

    • Making it Lovely
      April 24, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      I’m a brunette, but I have heard that about fair hair/complexioned people.

      And yes, August is much happier if I wear him in the baby carrier than place him in the car seat. Eleanor was the same way!

  • Crystal
    April 22, 2011 at 8:22 am

    They’re both so adorable!

  • Jen J.
    April 22, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Looks like you are doing an awesome job! And August is getting so handsome :) Thanks for the encouragement- we are adding #2 in Sept. and I am quite nervous!

  • Ali
    April 22, 2011 at 9:24 am

    You did such a great job explaining the transition from one child to two children honestly (I have 3 kids)! :)

    You are doing a great job as a Mommy, working woman, you have also been juggling the remodel of your basement! I’m impressed with you!

    You should give yourself a round of applause! :)

    ~ Ali

  • Jessicah
    April 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I’m impressed at how much you manage with 2 under 2! My Eleanor is 1 today (hooray!) and I work 30 hours a week, and I’m exhausted just between those…I can’t imagine having 2 and working.

    Also, I went back and read your “how I got Eleanor to sleep through the night” post, and was impressed all over again. :)

  • Connie
    April 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing such a honest and real recap of what it is like to have 2 under 2…..both the joys and challenges. Continue to enjoy every magical moment.

  • Jen @ Rambling Renovators
    April 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Those photos are adorable. I love how tender Eleanor seems to be with August.

    I admire those mothers who can juggle two under two plus a career. You’re doing that so well!

  • Kelly S.
    April 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    My two are now school-aged, but when they were little (nearly 3 years apart), I used to think that there really, really, needed to be some kind of Olympic medal event for getting us all out of the house on time, and with everything needed. Also: it’s inevitable, but at times you will indeed be that mom of the screaming baby in the store — or the one with the thrashing, tantrum-throwing 3-year-old. (I’ve always thought the 3’s were WAY more terrible than the 2’s!) But aren’t they so darn cute?!

  • jbhat
    April 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    It’s nice to hear you share how you’ve adjusted as a family of 3 to being a family of 4. It really is all about the logistics and timing and being intentional about sharing your time and love with your first-born.

    Call me crazy, because your kiddos are cute and all, but it was also very nice to see your rug in some of those shots. I adore it!!!


  • Jessica
    April 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I am the proud mother of Clara age 3 and Wyatt age 2… they are 13 months apart… I totally understand your challenge… the getting out of the house get much easier. I smiled the other evening when we went out to eat and I actually carried a small purse… YIPPY.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      A small purse? I, how I dream of the day I can do that again!

  • grace
    April 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    hi nicole, although i am not a parent, yet, to anything other than my 2 dogs, i was reading your post from when eleanor was a babe. i noticed the shower curtain in the picture of her in her bouncy chair. any idea where you got that??? i love it and have been searching for just such a shower curtain!

  • Hanna
    April 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    thanks for this! I’m another mommy of a toddler (almost 14 months) and we will start trying for #2 next month. Scary. But exciting.

  • Stephen Soos
    April 23, 2011 at 1:57 am

    I loved reading this post because I have a 9 month old . so I am reallllly scared about the whole worries of having 2 kids! Just so much more time and energy spent. This answered a lot of questions and I know every baby is different, but it gave me a better idea of what to expect!

  • Amanda
    April 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Fabulous post! Having two so young is a whole different ball of wax from just the one! I am with you all the way in this post! Sounds like you already have an amazing schedule with a 10 week old! Keep it up and remember to give lots of hugs and kisses!!!

  • Giulia
    April 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    This is a lovely post. I found it also difficult to manage two (mine are 18 months apart). With one you can go to the stores and have a coffee with friends, with a toddler that it much more difficult.
    However, I am glad we’ve gotten over the sleepless nights, baby carriers etc. in a close time period. My girl is turning four this summer and the little guy is two…it’s so much easier now and they are becoming really good friends, which gives me a couple of minutes in between for myself. We went to a movie yesterday as a family and sat through the whole thing!
    Your two are amazingly cute and I can’t believe all other things you are managing at the same time – congratulations on getting through the first two months!

  • Tara
    April 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I loved this post! You explained the transition perfectly. Mine are now 4 and 5, girls (12 months and three days apart) and believe it or not, it does get easier (at least in my experience) :) I loved having them close bc they are best friends and understand each other. We are currently trying for a third and are nervous about the transition but the girls will be old enough by that point to help and are excited about the prospect of a baby.

  • Alison
    April 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Great post — I’m not a mom yet, but I am going to tuck all of this good advice away for when the time is right.

    Also, Baby August: you have the most beautiful bedroom eyes I have ever seen!! I could stare into them all day…

  • Jane Adair
    April 25, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Wonderful to read your experience. Thank you so much for this post.

  • amanda
    April 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I had 4 kids under 2 for 10 days. My youngest son was born 10 days before my triplets turned 2. Yes I now know how crazy that is. I miss those days. They are 11 and 9 now and I wish I had my babies back. Love your blog!

  • christina
    April 26, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Oh, your kids are just so beautiful. I want to say that your daughter looks a lot like your hubby and your son looks more like you. But that might not be right at all in person.

    Take loads of videos! We were going through some of our old vids and found the cutest one of my 8 year old when he was 3 and could barely talk. I was so teary! Then, we discovered a video neither my husband or I had seen that my son, at 3, had taken while my hubby was on the phone. He toddles around the house, wriggling his toes, then looks at his trains. It was so sweet seeing life through his eyes. Take way more than you think is necessary and you will treasure every single one.


  • Amy
    April 27, 2011 at 8:31 am

    I’m glad to hear from anyone who’ll admit that nursing hurts in the beginning, even the second time around. It can be very hard, but is so worth it in the end.

  • Bella
    April 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Oh my goodness I’m so clucky after seeing these pictures! I have a little bubby boy on the way and now I really can’t wait! Thanks!


  • Dimitra
    April 28, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Great post, very touching actually!
    I only have a baby girl, she’s five months now and things are getting better. When she was younger she used to cry so so much that made me and her dad… really enjoy the sleepless nights:) Hehe! But no matter how difficult, or easy it is to bring up a child, it is a wonderful and priceless experience.