It hasn’t been terribly long since my last update, but life is so action-packed lately that I feel like there is a ton to write about!

Both kids are working on new teeth. Lewis is getting the second of four 2-year molars. He sometimes mentions that his mouth hurts, but other than that, you’d never know it was happening if you didn’t peek in his mouth. Ellen is still working on her first one. That little white-cap has been there for ages and hasn’t seemed to change. It is like it worked its way up to that point (on Halloween, remember?!) and then just stopped. I keep imagining that it is getting pokier and it is about to break through, but it keeps not happening. So I must be wrong!

Lewis’ pink eye cleared up with the eyedrops and no one else in the family got it. Ellen does have her first cold, which I’m sure is a gift from her big brother (or a friend at school). She’s been a tough chick about it, though! She’s been sleeping as well as (or better than) normal despite the snot. I have been sucking it out with the fancy snot-sucker device, which she hates but definitely benefits from. (Side note – Lewis thinks it is HILARIOUS and says, “Mommy! You ate her boogers!”) We haven’t seen any signs of a fever or anything more serious, so we’re just riding this out.

Ellen’s daytime sleep has finally fallen into a 3-nap-per-day pattern – at least when she is at school. It took her much longer than it took her brother, but we’re there! I cut out her after-school/evening nap last week after she started a new bad habit of waking up at 10 or 10:30 every night. I took that early wake-up as a sign that something needed to change, and thankfully it did the trick right away! As long as her afternoon nap ends after 4pm sometime, we’re good to go until her 7pm (ish) bedtime.

The new schedule dilemma is my pumping routine. I have two problems with my current routine. 1) I am getting out more milk than Ellen consumes in a day and my freezer is running out of space. And 2) The way Ellen’s bottles are working out at school, she eats right before I pick her up and that means only one of my boobs gets a real-life feeding before bedtime. With her sleeping longer stretches at night again, that means the other boob goes 10-12 hours without getting any action, and that can be pretty rough. So I am trying to figure out a new pump-at-work schedule that works a little better so I don’t keep jamming my freezer full of milk, don’t have to pump at home in the evening, and also don’t end up with an exploding boob. I’m sure there is a solution, but I haven’t found it yet!

My favorite new routine is my workout routine. I decided that, with the holidays working against my waistline, I should actually put in some effort to burn extra calories outside of just breastfeeding. So I gave myself a goal: Work out every single day for 30 days – no skipping!

I have workout DVD with 20-25 minute workouts that I really enjoy. So I am just doing one of those workouts every day from December 1st through December 30th. I nailed days 1-4, and my body is already loving it. I’m sore, which hurts but feels amazing, I think I can already see my tummy deflating, and it has given me a mental boost because I feel really proud of myself.

I don’t plan to keep up a daily workout routine forever, but I figured I could do anything for 30 days. Especially if it just takes 20 (ish) minutes. So far, I’ve been able to squeeze the workouts in during a work-at-home lunch break, while Kyle played with the kids, while I was home alone with the kids, and after the kids’ bedtimes. If the workouts were longer, I’d never be able to make it happen. But this particular DVD is designed to kick your butt in a short spurt, and it is great!

The only other big news is that Christmas is coming and I am definitely in the Christmas spirit. It feels somehow more special than ever this year, now that we have two kids and Lewis is old enough to get it. I just want them to experience the magic like I remember it when I was a kid. For that reason, we’re going to see Santa with the cousins this coming weekend, we’re going to bake cookies with my mom, Lewis helped decorate the tree, and we’ve got a yummy advent calendar (from my Granny) that Lewis gets excited for every morning.

In the interest of mommy and daddy being able to enjoy the holidays too, we have kept the decorations and pressure to a minimum. We just have the tree, our stockings, and one decorative Santa. Kyle and I aren’t getting each other gifts, and we’re just generally approaching the holiday oriented towards the kids having fun instead of stuff and effort. It feels awesome, and even more festive this way!

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