the three of us.

we are still adjusting to our new life in new york. for the most part, i think we are adjusting well. there are moments in the day with the littles where it’s complete chaos, but i think (or at least hope) that is to be expected with two children under the age of two. and we had those moments back in dc as well. so i don’t think i can blame them on our move exactly…
josh’s hours at the office are a bit more crazy than his hours in dc. he is traveling a bit more as well. so lately, it’s been just me and the little ones living life around here. and while i try to put on my “i’ve got this face” while i go about my life and motherly duties, i just want to state here and now, i’m exhausted. this is hard. and i’m exhausted (did i already say that part?) also, i tip my hat to all of you who parent alone or “solo-parent” far more than i do. i realize there are many people who don’t have others to help them or who work even longer hours or have even longer business trips or work back to back shifts…and goodness gracious – you are incredible!

my saving grace the last few weeks has been buckling both those sweet babes into their stroller and just getting out and walking. everywhere. all day. in-between naps, time at the playground, life in the apartment and all the errands that somehow never seem to go away… we just walk. and it feels good.
if the past few weeks in new york have taught me anything (besides the importance of investing in comfortable walking shoes), it’s how much i appreciate my husband. when he isn’t working long hours, he’s helping me here in the home. and i know he is just as exhausted as i am, which is why i appreciate it all the more.
when josh arrived home last night from a 2 day business trip, eleanor ran over and hugged and kissed him before we could even exchange hellos. my heart wanted to burst. and then she kissed him again! apparently she thinks it’s more fun around here when it’s the four of us, rather than three. i agree, sweet child. i agree. but we’ll keep on surviving our days and nights as just ‘us three’ when papa is away. and i’m confident we’ll survive them. and they’ll get easier?
  1. Sarah

    Aw this speaks to my heart. As you wrote this my husband is in Boston on a business trip right now and I'm home with my babes who are both under two. Yes it is VERY hard. It's amazing how hard and exhausting it can be, but yet we still tickle, cuddle, and just love them to pieces.

    – Sarah

  2. Marie

    Aaaww adorable photos! group hugs with kids are always the best :)

    Its never easy looking after kids.. It can be very tiring & stressful. But its all worth it when you see them being happy & healthy :)

  3. Adjustments are always hard. I have no doubt you will all do fine with your new life in NYC!

    I love your always positive attitude!


  4. HayleyR

    It's nice that the time apart just makes you appreciate your little family all the more. I am in awe of handling two littlies by yourself as I know how exhausting it can be with just one newborn. Xx

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  6. Natali

    Good luck with the little ones, it's not easy to be alone with them and not have "an extra hands" to help you out, but you'll manage, you're already doing well by describing how you're spending your days :)

  7. i love this post naomi because it is hard. you're in a really tough stage in a really tough city. it will get better every day. you're an amazing mother.

  8. Apt. #34

    I struggle when my husband travels and all he leaves me with are two dogs (our practice kids!) I will certainly be taking advice from you in the future. Cheers on your move!

  9. Gaby

    It sounds like you are doing awesome. And like you marriage is flourishing, always a nice feeling x

  10. Rachael

    I'm quite an independent lady& love time alone with Ben but I think that's because I know I've always had friend's& family close by. You seem to be doing a wonderful job this two (gorgeous) small ones& I'm sure you're creating an amazing bond.Rx

  11. Caty

    I love this post. You are so wonderful at speaking honestly yet beautifully. I'm not a mother yet, but I have many friends and family members who are and I admire you women SO much! I cannot wait to join "forces" with you guys when I have my own little munchkins.

  12. Just started reading your blog and already I look forward to each post you make. What fun it is to read! What cute kids you have!

  13. aww your little eleanor is just so sweet <3 it must be really difficult what you are going through — adjusting + parenting! i wish you all the best and God bless your family always :-)


  14. kwistin

    this is so refreshing, and so sweet.

    i love that you can explain to us how wonderful life is, but also be very open and frank that things get hard. really hard. and that's part of it! we can't taste the sweet without the bitter, and it's the total package that helps us live life to its fullest.

    keep calm and walk on! i loved walking around when i lived in ny for my short time. there is much to be experienced. you and your family will thrive there!

    just remember what you already know: things will work out. say that to yourself every morning! …and so will i, for that matter. ;)

  15. Coryann

    I know exactly how you're feeling. My husband is gone 4 days out of every week! Which means I'm parenting my little one solo and it's TOUGH! So my hat's off to you for handling not one but, two children alone. You're an inspiration mama!

  16. Theresa

    Hugs to you! Yes, when you are parenting alone some of the time it is tough, especially since you've got two little ones. It is always such a relief when you have some help. I hope you get some much needed family time and at least a moment to relax to yourself! Take care of yourself mama!


  17. Zoë

    I love those photos, Naomi! You guys are adorable and if you're ever tired, it doesn't seem to show.

    I have one Baby, not two, but had to take care of her by myself for 3 weeks back in June and some days were hard… I remember blogging around then that becoming "Momma" was kinda like acquiring super human strength and becoming a Superhero! No matter how tired or hungry, you can keep going. When that last stretch before bedtime seems impossibly looong, they smile and then you're Super Mama and ready to keep going! (And of course after she went to bed, I puttered around on the computer and was blogging instead of cleaning or SLEEPING, oops).

    You're awesome!!

    waiting for kittenheart

  18. Kym

    of course you will survive, you're a mom. and yes- when you have two young children- sometimes even when they aren't as young- it's chaotic. I'm only the mother of one but I also nanny for 3 children so I have four kids 4yrs-7mo in my house daily. Granted, it's not 24/7 but it is for most of my waking hours and it's crazy more often than not. It's normal. It passes :) you do have such a sweet hubby- i hope that things settle down a tad (soon? maybe?) and you can have more time together.

  19. Effie

    I feel your pain but commend you for doing it with 2 kiddos in NYC! My husband has been gone with the military for the last 6 months and missed the birth of my (almost) 4 month old boy. I sometimes think of all the extravagant things I might do when his papa gets home and all I come up with is…a nap! Hang in there!

  20. i can't even begin to imagine how hard it must be taking care of two little ones! but just by looking at these (and all the other) pictures and seeing your kids' happy and smiling faces, i'd say you're doing a very good job :)
    xo, cheyenne

  21. Chelsea

    Oh, I don't know how you do it in the city!! I am a solo parent to three a lot right now too, with my husband in school, and I feel your exhaustion. I recently just got back from a trip to New York and thought to myself, I don't know how people do it here with kids! My hat goes off to you my dear. For reals.

  22. Kristina

    I only have one and think days are hard. So I applaud you. We walk everywhere too. It is great for the babes and for mama!

  23. isabel

    wish i had more time to spend with the kid and have long walks in NY :)
    but i have to go to work every day :/
    well, fortunatly i teach so i am home every holiday!

  24. I have one toddler,so somehow I can relate. Sometimes it makes me crazy in some point but after having four kids, I've learned to have a balance.I make it a point to find time for myself atleast once a week just to unwind and rejuvenate,it really helps me a lot!

    Agree with those comfortable shoes,and add on, slippers it does matter too!:)

  25. Great pictures. My wife has started travelling for work a lot more, and it's getting harder, but– you know, I do what needs to be done, I suppose.

    Maybe find a moms/parents' group in New York? My SAHD group in Baltimore was great for me here (especially because they introduced me to new places to take kids).

  26. Regina

    Well, here in Germany young mothers are always quite busy.

    They attend PEKIP-courses with their babies, yoga-classes, baby swimming courses, baby sports groups and all kind of mother-baby-groups (so called Krabbelgruppen mostly arranged by church members).

    It´s quite a nice thing because you can talk to other mothers, have exchange about problems and questions and me and my kids found lasting friendships.

    Dearest greetings from Hannover/Germany


  27. Laura

    You rock! Hang in there!

    x Laura

  28. Josie

    You always seem to cope so incredibly well with motherhood so it's good to hear you have these feelings too! Being a parent is so exhausting and not having any time to yourself definitely makes it harder but as my mum likes to say ' this too shall pass' and soon we'll forget we were ever sleep deprived!

  29. How incredibly gorgeous are these pictures, love the little panda onesie! Keep strong! x

  30. monica

    this is just so incredibly sweet!

  31. I love how honest you are about the difficulties with having kids! It is hard work! My husband works long hours as well, and we live far from family so we don't have much help. It is always nice to read about other people's lifes and how they make it work.

    Love E's sweater. Is it a Panda swetshirt from Mini Rodini?

  32. Becca

    Ugh, I'm struggling with this now with my husband being away for 3 weeks and dealing with just one little toddler. What am I going to do when our baby boy arrives in January and the husband goes away again?? We'll survive, but they aren't always the easy days.

  33. Keep your chin up Naomi. You are so strong and such a brilliant mum, it's tough now but your kids will know that you were such an amazing mum raising them.
    Do your best, it will all be worth it.

    Natalie ♥

  34. Cheltz

    Yes, it will get easier. At least I'm telling myself that right now …

  35. This is a really timely post and I truly appreciate your honesty! My husband and I just moved back to Boston from New Zealand with our 6 week old baby boy and his new role will include much more travel. I'm part excited to spend each day with Seb solo, part terrified! Like you, I plan to walk. And walk. And walk some more.

  36. Laurie

    AND you update your blog to archive those hard yet precious moments
    AND you still look always so good
    AND your children smile radient smiles
    AND your little appartment feels like a home
    etc. etc. etc. :)
    Keep on keeping on, you seem to be doing a great job and I can only hope to be struggling with as much grace as you, when I become a mother of one, and then of two. xo

  37. You're a mama warrior for sure.
    My heart goes out to you both – I'm sure this is hard on Josh too, being away from his favorite people so much. ;) This too shall pass!!

  38. What a great post! Good luck! By the way, E's pink pandas are adorable! I hope she got to see the new baby panda on the cam finally!

  39. mollyluc

    These pictures are so incredibly adorable! E's smile lights up a room! My Dad worked for J.P. Morgan when I was younger and I remember him traveling all the time, and being SO excited when he came through that door after a long business trip. All the time away for work makes being together as a family that much more special!

  40. Sarah

    You're awesome! Keep up the great work! You have such a positive outlook and for that you will go far. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me! I have a 4 month old girl :) Hubby works long hours, and lately all we've been doing is walking as well.

  41. Sarah

    I don't know if it ever gets easier, but you'll find your rhythm.

    We all do.

    *wishing you bright moments*

  42. e_e_west

    I think you're superwoman. Not to mention that you are in such a tough stage!! I honestly think the 12/13 month – almost 2y is the hardest stage – and you're adding that in with a newborn as well! AND YOU'RE IN NYC. I have a 4 year old, a 15 month old, and another on the way – and I have been so exhausted lately. However I have a house, and a car, and a husband that is home 90% of evenings. So hats off to you – I think you are doing amazingly well. You are in a hard situation and you are carrying yourself very well, I love your positivity through the rough patches – and appreciation for those around you. It's what makes this blog so great. (Please tell me you lose your patience though…that or you're a saint!)

  43. Kate

    My two children were 17 months apart and I remember those days of exhaustion so well. We are a Navy family too so a few days after my second childs birth, daddy got to leave for 8 months. The only thing I can tell you is that you are doing great, your attitude is awesome and this too shall pass. As they get older, they become each others playmate and you suddenly miss the chaos!

  44. BethAnn

    Her panda shirt is absolutely darling!

  45. Naomi! I know this feeling all to well lately with Brett's new boss working his shop to exhaustion recently. Long days, unexpected field days, feeling like you're never going to get enough sleep and just needing a breather – or at least just wanting to be together because it makes everything so much sweeter.

    You seem to be finding those ways to make it through and I love your positive attitude while acknowledging how hard it has been.

    Thinking of you guys as you continue to settle in to things!

  46. hang in there! i know what you're talking about!

  47. Keep on walkin! I admire the fact that you can be honest, but also be proactive by staying active. Also, I bet E just adores her Panda shirt! What a great find!

  48. I think I saw your hubby in CLT last week. I was going to go up and say something, but he was chatting and it looked important – small world!

  49. well, hats off to you too! my little one is 5 1/2 weeks, and my husband is gone for work 10 hours everyday. i count the hours everyday for him to return! these sweet babies are a lot of work. i can't even believe we are talking about another one right now… but we are. you're doing fantastic!

  50. Props to you, mama! My husband was unemployed for over a year, then suddenly we were moving AND he became employed. I know I should be thankful, but he's gone all the time, and when he comes home he is EXHAUSTED! I certainly don't blame him, but it's hard. We have little space (city living in Chicago-area) and we STILL have boxes in various places. I'm overwhelmed everyday. The cliche statement applies to my situation I guess. One day at a time…

  51. Jessie

    Yes, I'm there with you! My husband is gone overnight at least once a week. I can't sleep well without him! But the three of us at home are learning how to pass the time and enjoy it too. Tonight: movie at our house with another three whose dad is busy too!

  52. Amanda

    oh! my husband has been away on business this week, and it's been the longest week ever! i only have one, but i'm pregnant w/ #2, and it's so hard to deal with splashing baths, tantrums, refusal to stay in bed, throwing food, and all around toddler energy all alone. i can't imagine adding nyc and subway stairs to the mix:) good luck!!

  53. and this is why you are a rockstar :)

    i cannot imagine how you do it and how all those solo parents, or those whose partners work away/incredibly long hours do it either–i take my hat off to you all.

    our baby girl is due in november and sometimes i wonder how i will cope alone when the husband goes back to work–it kind of scares me. but hey that is part of being a mother, figuring it out as you go along.

  54. ahhhh! you are so sweet and absolutely correct. i think having two YOUNG ones has a lot to do with it, but you have much to look forward to. as the kids get older you will create little traditions (so to say) for when dad is away that makes the time fly by a little faster! well done, mama!

    xo . rae
    (mom to 4: 11, 6, 3, &1)

  55. naomi, you make me want to have a family! i love lovvee reading your adorable posts and watching your beautiful family grow!

  56. Brenny

    I can totally relate to this. And thank good was for FaceTime!!! I dont know if it gets easier. Or how you do it with two tiny babies. But I hope it gets better!!! xx

  57. Chelsea

    Beautiful pics! You have such a beautiful family!

  58. You are doing a great job!! It does get easier too! I remember the days when it was "just the 3 of us" and I was perpetually exhausted. The bond that develops during this time however is priceless. My kids are now teens and my relationship with them is so easy and so close. Crazy as it feels at this time, what you are doing is invaluable!!! Kudos to all of you!

  59. These pictures are timeless. I really cannot wait to have my own little peanuts.


  60. Shonna

    I have followed you for a while, loving re-living my own early years through you. I have felt what you're feeling, I thought this might help…

    Hugs to you sweet lady, your beautiful little ones, and your hard working man. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  61. couldn't have said it better.

    mother of 3.

  62. Oh… you are not alone, sugar. Business trips and long work hours are my hubs too. I only have one little (but, one on the way!), so I can only imagine that part! It is hard. And exhausting. Our man-of-the-house suffered a collapsed lung last week and was in the hospital for the entire week…It didn't help that the hospital wasn't exactly right down the road. It got me thinking about those military wives. Solo is not easy! But…. we got this ;-)

  63. oh the solo-mom scene with a toddler girl and infant boy used to be all too familiar at my house. walking saved me too and a looong bath/play time and eating cookies and milk whenever they both slept at the same time. xx

  64. Katie

    I can totally relate. My husband has been working insane hours and now the conferences are starting up. So it's just me and my girls (3 and 1 1/2) most of the time. I just got a sinus infection too!

    I've never been so grateful to have my husband sick in bed because at least he's here with me and I get to see him!

  65. Aww that is so cute :) Glad that E missed her dad!! It always feels great to be welcomed home!! I totally understand the "solo" parenting feeling.. when DH is on business!! Good luck! xo

  66. Lagelle

    I can totally relate to this. My husband has been in grad school for almost two years while working full time. Oh and let me add that grad school is out of state so every other weekend he flies to Chicago. There has been times where he stayed away for a week at a time (you can only imagine). The good news is that Lord willing he will graduate this Dec. Yippie!


  67. I don't have any babies yet, but I'm sure you are doing a great job. And it always gets easier just keep walking! :)

  68. Jenni

    Hi Taza, I usually don't make comments but I am a true follower of yours, sorta embarrassed to say since I am too busy to be reading blogs! Ha! You are living my dream, I have always wanted to live in NY but instead, I got to live in Hawaii for a bit. Your children remind me of mine but I now have four…and all I want to say is…it DOES get easier and then when they get older, you have a different set of challenges! Ha! But you just adjust. And enjoy the journey! :) And you are doing BEAUTIFULLY. You are a remarkable mother! :)

  69. Milla

    I don't usually comment on blogs but this post made me tear up. I have a 5 month old at home and my husband travels 75% of the time. I know how hard it is to be home alone and some days I just think about getting through the day. Somehow just taking it one day at a time makes it much easier and at the end of the week, I feel so much closer to my son, so happy I get to be home with him and lucky that I have don't ever have to leave his side like my husband does. I know it's hard every day but being away from him would be so much harder. You have a beatiful family and you are an amazing mom. Your husband is lucky to have you as well taking such great care of his babies.

  70. I can so empathize with you – I just moved to DC from Sydney, Australia with my husband, our 23-month-old daughter and our pug, Hercules. Hubby's been in Africa for the past two weeks on a work trip, and it's been HARD. We're in a new country, in a new city, and our new house is almost completely empty while we wait for our stuff to arrive from Australia. Solo parenting is exhausting and I take my hat off to anyone who does it on a regular/constant basis! But, just like you said, it makes me so appreciative of the time when my husband is here. He gets home tomorrow and we can't wait!

    Tammy x

    PS. I'm LOVING going through your old posts about life in DC!

  71. Soo what about Kingsley?…..

  72. I felt your aches while reading this post. But at least you get to be home with those babes, yah know?

    I'm so happy to hear you are enjoying NYC. I'm still in school here but it's my plan to stay and start a life here when I graduate in May.

    Good luck with everything-and just remember- you're doing better than you think ;)


  73. Q

    Love this! I'm a stay at home mom too, so I know the struggle. Hang in there <3

  74. thank you for writing this. I relate and am always looking for people to relate to, who understand, and who can help me get through.

  75. just so you know, your baby boy TOTALLY looks like a samson!

  76. allison

    ahhh! i literally just had this same conversation with a girlfriend! i feel like every day i try and put on my "i got this face" but inside i feel like a hot mess and sometimes i think all my frayed edges definitely show! my kiddos are 18 months apart and my youngest was just born in june. so while i feel like i'm still on the learning curve period of things…sweating my @ss off every day to keep up with everything is a bit overwhelming! ha! my motto is…when everyone has gone bananas…get outside!! taking the babes for a walk is a lifesaver!! keep up the great work!!

  77. You're like my dream at "work" in real life! I've always wanted to be a young mama, have a little darling girl and a handsome little boy, with of coz a superb husband, all in all in the city of New York! How blessed you and your family are! :)<3 I wish I could have a lifestyle like yours someday!


  78. by BUN

    I just adore E's little panda sweatshirt! too freaking cute…

    and hang in there lady…you're already owning the 'mom of two' title!!


  79. Krysta

    It must be very challenging at times! I can barely take care of myself and two dogs with the help of my husband, no idea how people make it work with little bambinos! I guess it is just one of those things that you just do when you have to.

    My mother was a single mom of three kids and worked full time — I cannot even begin to imagine how she did it. But she did and is to this day of of the most calm, collected, loving, kindest people that I know.

  80. Audrey

    I may have made a comment similar to this before on your blog but you are inspiring. I do not have a family yet and the one thing I always wonder about is how will I balance the craziness of myself and husbands schedules with a child. You give me hope that while you are exhausted, you are loving every moment.

  81. Ashley

    Hang in there Doll! I enjoy reading your blog and the pics of your family always make me smile. Funny how strangers can tough each other's lives without even knowing it. If I ever pass you on the streets of NYC I'll certainly say hi! Walking IS the best, you're right!

  82. Seriously, you are a rockstar. New York living plus two littles would be so overwhelming! And it's okay to not always be together, to be overwhelmed, to admit that things are hard, and to ask for help. You seem like an amazing mama! Don't sweat it, sister! Cheers from San Francisco.

  83. it'll get better.
    first, after the little one turned one.
    then when the big one is not tantruming any longer.

    what i found helpful {beside walking like you do}: singing. and it still calms us a lot round these parts.
    oh an reading books.
    and napping while they are napping.

    have a great friday!

  84. I have twins and the first year was kind of a blur, but it was beautiful! Now that they are 18 months it is getting easier.

    Good luck, my friend.

    Just remember why we are doing this whole mother thing and how much happiness they bring into our lives!

  85. oona

    Your blog inspires me! Your photos make me smile whenever I visit this blog. You have a beautiful family and you're doing a great job!

    I'm a follower of yours (from Finland), but I don't have much time to write comments because my 2-year-old son is keeping me quite busy. Just remember, you're doing great :)

  86. Daisy

    My husband just started a job where he is constantly traveling. It has been so hard to be home alone. I really can't imagine doing it with two little ones. Hoping God get's you through this season, girl.

  87. Girl, I feel you all over this. I was literally about to blog about this exact feeling of going it solo while the hubby is away on biz (mine has been in New Jersey for 7 days while I do all the parenting to 3 alone here in GA!) – but I was too tired to post anything:) I agree though, his absence makes me appreciate him all the more, and I'm counting down the hours till he gets home…Hang in there lady!!

  88. Lena

    Stay strong Naomi! I am wishing the best for you 4 and hope everything works out well!
    Many greetings from germany
    Lena ♥

  89. 2busy

    You will get through. You seems so strong. Heavenly Father will help you…and I promise, in retrospect, these days will seem fleeting.

  90. I understand you very well. I'm a mother of 3. One girl 3 years old and twins, one boy and one girl are 14 months….crazy! But very very happy.
    In few month you will see the light, have fun and spend your time with them, they grow up to fast!

  91. Corinne

    Hang in there! They are still both so little. It is hard.

  92. Walking is my saving grace too! But you know what, I am a single-working mom and as hard as it is sometimes… I think you stay-at-home moms might have it harder! You get pretty much no alone time. At least I get to go to work for 8 hours and think as an adult and interact with adults. Give yourself some more credit! You are doing so great!

  93. Bridget

    lady, being a mom ain't easy. no doubt about it. the most rewarding and coolest thing ever though, for sure. it seems as though you're doing an incredible job. i literally can't imagine up and moving to another city with two as young as eleanor and samson… obviously we don't see everything through a blog, but it sure seems as though you're keeping your head squarely on your shoulders so, kudos!!

    i'm with you — when i rally and get myself and parker out of the house whether it's for a walk, the playground, whatever… it just changes my perspective.