I can’t believe my baby boy turned four a couple weeks ago!! It’s been a while since I’ve done a kiddo update on here so I wanted to share a Luca update today. You girls also had SO many good kid questions that came in from Instagram so today I’m tackling those as well! I tried to get to as many as possible and cover the areas that came up over and over (like sleep, eating, schedules, etc) so let’s dive right in shall we?!
It’s B A N A N A N A S that Luca is already four!! If I had to pick one word to describe him at this stage it’s CRAYZAY 😉 Having a girl first, it truly is like night and day with having a boy ( i’m sure you’ve that heard before…it’s true!) but what is also true is that they freakin’ melt your heart. Luca has SO much personality and at least half of the day I feel like my husband and I are just shaking our heads like WTH?! at half the stuff he says and does 😉 I mentioned it before but Ava just felt so much more grown up to me at four where with Luca I swear he just feels like my baby still. We never really had a terrible two’s with him (or the “threenager” stage that was in full force with Ava). He’s a pretty good little boy but just wild and crazy. You girls had a lot of great questions on instagram the other day so I’m going to tackle those now for you….
How did you decide on their names? What other names did you like?
Luca was always our top boy’s name. When we found out we were having a girl with Ava we had nothing lined up. We literally got a name book (#FirstTimeParents) 😉 and five names in my husband said “I like Ava” and said me too because it reminded me of Ava Gardner and it was a done deal. After we picked the name, we then realized it was one of the most popular names in 2012.
As for other names I LOVE boy names for girls and husband hates them! I loved Charlie, Ryan and Jodi all for girl’s names.
How often do you use a sitter?
Once a week! A couple years ago the hubby and I started making a mandatory weekly date night and I can’t recommend it enough! Life has never been crazier and it’s so easy to let yourself and significant other take a backseat. Schedule it in ladies!
At what age did you start reading to them?
Gosh we’ve always read to our kids since they were literally babies. Ava would sit and actually listen…Luca still to this day is all over the place most nights ha!
Do you bring a nanny on vacations? We never travel with kids because we have zero chill.
No… We brought someone with us on one trip and it was actually really nice but just SO expensive. Other times we’ve traveled to certain places that had flexible kid clubs ages and that was amazing (but most won’t take them till they’re 5). Looking back we’ve spent a lot of money on vacations that really didn’t feel like vacations butttt there were still good memories made. So now we are just holding out till Luca is 5 because I feel like that is the golden age where things start to get easier travel wise. (thoughts… moms with older ones?! Would love to hear what you think)
Where do you shop for most of your kids clothes?
H&M and Target are definitely my top two places (especially for Luca AKA the destroyer of clothes 😉 Nordstrom for more one of kind pieces and Bloomingdales for special occasion pieces. For shoes I love Zappos. I have a Kids Spring Clothes post coming up soon too for you girls if you’re interested.
Are your kids picky eaters?
Ava is an awesome eater! She’s my girl who will always eat raw veggies and finish her dinner (with the exception of protein which usually seems to be a bit of a struggle with her lately). Luca on the other hand is ALWAYS a challenge. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bent on my rules ….just so that he eats something.
What are your tips for getting them to eat healthy stuff (veggies, fruits, healthy proteins)?
So it just takes a bit of thoughtful planning. I know that if my kids snack they’re picker with meals I put out for them. I try to skip the late afternoon snack and just go straight into an early dinner. If they’re really hungry I know Luca will eat “some” fruit or veggies (which I put on the table first before their dinners come out) and then whatever dinner they’re having that night. I’ve also started making some homemade smoothies and sneaking in more veggies but it’s taken some fine tuning to finally make one just right so they’ll drink it all.
What are some fave healthy kid-friendly meals and snacks?
I was actually just thinking I should share a full post on this because I have several regulars I buy for them. Maybe I’ll do it on my stories so I can go more into detail! There’s a lot!
What do you pack in their lunches?
Luca is only in school for a few hours a day so we don’t have to pack a lunch for him yet. I got this lunch box for Ava a few years ago (similar for $40 HERE) and it’s worth every penny! She doesn’t like sandwiches and I think she was throwing a lot of her lunch away ;( so I’ve started having her help pick out what she wanted for lunch. She does more mini snacks (which I’m cool with) and try to make sure there are a few food groups covered and somewhat healthy. I can share more snaps of these too if you girls are interested.
How old were your kids when they stopped taking naps? How did you know when to drop naps?
They both stopped napping probably around 2.5. With Ava we tried to hold on to it for forever but eventually getting her to nap was just so much work. She used to go down easily in her room. Then it got to the point where we had to start driving her to nap (#ohYEStheParentIneverSaidI’dBe) which would honestly take longer then she would even nap for so we knew it was time to end it. When Luca came, Ava’s nap was done and honestly when Luca hit 2.5 we were ready for his nap to be done, too. Once we realized he could hang all day (without being a complete disaster come 4pm) and do a early bedtime, we stopped encouraging a nap. With two kids it’s so much harder juggling the younger one’s nap as well as the activities of the older kids’ too.
Is your bedtime schedule strict?
I wouldn’t say strict but I would say pretty consistent. We’ve always kind of had our kids on a schedule because it just seemed to be what works best for our family but by 7 pm the hubby and I are so ready to start the bedtime routine (can I get an AMEN?! lol).
Do they ever come into your bed at night? If so, how do you handle that?
Omggggg I feel like I’ve aged ten years this past year. Ava was always a solid sleeper. I’m talking since she was six months old she would sleep 7 to 7. I can count on one hand the times I’ve had to go in her room after bedtime. Luca on the other hand has never been the best sleeper. He’s been okay up until last year where I feel like now he comes in our room multiple times. We had a two-week stretch where we buckled down and would literally walk him back to him room and put him back to bed…only for him to come back in three more times! I thought okay…stick with it and he’ll get it. Well two weeks of that and he wasn’t getting it and NO ONE was getting good sleep. I literally can not sleep when the kids are in bed with us. So once he comes in our room I will just get up and go in his bed lol!
We tried treats and toys for the nights he actually stays in his room and that seemed to work a bit. Sometimes he will go two weeks and sleep in his own bed (and it’s crazy how you feel so different after an uninterrupted night of sleep) and sometimes he still comes in. So let’s just say we don’t have it all figured out over here either. I guess like potty training, when he is ready he will do it. Any tips here… I’m all ears!
Did you sleep train them? Am I an awful mom for doing so??
Omg no you’re not an awful mom. We started sleep training Ava around 4 months and while it was the hardest 10 days it was SO worth it. Talk to your pediatrician about options and they also figure out what works for your family. We didn’t really do it for Luca because he was a thumb sucker and put himself to bed easily the first year.
Discipline & Struggles
How do you deal with public meltdowns? Timeout when?
I’m definitely the discipliner in our home. Honestly we haven’t really had a ton of tantrums in public. I can usually see them coming and try to avoid if we can. I also have to say I have much respect for a mom who is firm with their kids when they are acting out in a store or restaurant. I am also a firm believer in time outs and my kids have had their fair share of those in our home too.
Advice for potty training struggles?
I definitely think you can only do so much and the kids will catch on when they’re ready. I remember feeling so defeated and frustrated when we signed Luca up for school the first time and then had to pull him out because he kept having little accidents. I felt like we did everything we were supposed to and that he was ready but I guess he just wasn’t. Looking back now I know so many moms go through this stage so don’t beat yourself up. If you’re just starting the process find what works for your kids. My kids were all about gummy bears and praise 😉
Schedules & Balance
What’s your schedule like with them? Morning and night routine for them?
I think this deserves a full post too as it’s pretty lengthy so stay tuned for that and if you have other specific questions in this area, leave them below so I can add them in!
What does your after school to bedtime routine look like?
same as above…will tackle in a full Kids Schedule post next week for you
How do you balance work life, mom life and having a clean house?
Ugh it is a STRUGGLE. I work from home (which is a blessing I’m so thankful for) but if you work from home with two little ones you know it can also be a struggle. I attempt to get most of my work done while the kids are at school but my job is also very different than an 9-5 as I feel like you’re always posting, responding, editing etc. I’ve really tried to make a solid effort that dinner time to bedtime I’m phone free. After the kids are in bed I love to hop back online and prep posts for the next day, respond to emails and review contracts but then my husband deserves that time, too. So some days I crush it and surprisingly balance it all and other days one area is great and the rest all suffer. I’ve been doing this for 9 years now (full time for about 5 years) and have just realized there will always be a struggle with the juggle. You have to prioritize and just do what you can. As for a clean house… I personally pay for our cleaning lady. It was one of the best things I could have done bc it has free’d up hours I can spend now on work and being with the kids.
How did Ava do when Luca was first born? Any tips on bringing home baby #2?
Omg why does this feel like 8 million years ago!! So Ava was actually super sweet and excited (…at first 😉 and then I remember the first 3-5 months being quite an adjustment. After 5 months I think everyone kind of settled into the new routine of things. I will say just remember even if it’s hard, try to schedule that one-on-one time with your first born. Especially when you have a newborn who needs all the attention, sneaking in those one one dates with your first born is priceless to them. We still do a lot of that to this day and it’s something I highly recommend.
and lastly …How was the transition from 1 to 2 kids? What did you find the most challenging and the easiest?
So for me I think it was must easier in the sense that I was a HOT MESS after having Ava. I’ve mentioned it before but it was not all rainbow and butterflies when I had my first. She was amazing but just the 360-lifestyle change for us (and I had bad baby blues) it just wasn’t the Instagram perfect experience I was used to seeing. Having two was much easier because you’re already in your mommyhood roll, you’re not second guessing everything and you kind of know what to expect. The biggest challenges is probably just the juggling of two schedules and balancing the time spent with each but it all pans out.
Okay I hope this answered some of your questions! I forgot how much I enjoy these Q+A’s for you girls. If you have more questions feel free to leave them below and i’ll try to answer them today too! xo
Love love love your Q&A series!! I have an almost 6 year old boy and can’t wait to see your post on schedules and healthy kid snacks and meals. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into how you handle the little ones and life every day.
thanks love! So glad you girls are into these posts too xoox
Love the mommyhood posts! Thank you for being so candit! Can you advice on how you stopped Luca thumb sucking? It’s a struggle we are in now with our toddler!
You know with Luca he actually stopped on his own! My friends have mentioned some liquid you put on their thumbs that tastes awful but it worked. Sorry not sure what it is called.
This was so helpful, Andee! I am expecting #2 in July and I am soooo nervous for the transition! This post helped a ton.
awwww congrats babe! Dont stress! I actually feel like it a much smoother tranistion but the juggle is still real. Just do what you can when you can xoxo
Thanks for that really interesting post! May I ask when do you sneak in that daily household and cleaning tasks and tiding up ect? I have also a hard time with toys all over the living-room…
Hi babe I mentioned I pay for my cleaning lady above but yes the house quickly becomes a mess shortly after she is gone. We try to keep all the toys inthe garage or upstairs playroom so that at least the main area “looks” somewhat organized. In our old house we had decorative large baskets in our living room filled with tons of toys when the kids were more in the toddler stages.
We were just at Aulani, the Disney resort in Hawaii, and their kids club starts at age 3! Everyone had a great trip, I highly recommend it with kids!
omg that is SO good to know! We’ve been wanting to got here I think this Summer!
Love this post Andee! Thanks for putting it together. Mamahood is just one big adventure, huh?
it really is!! So glad you girls loved this post too xo
You are so helpful, Andee! Major LOL at the ‘struggle of the juggle’ – it’s so true. Know that from the outside it looks like you’re doing an amazing job. Your little family is so happy!