Archives for February 2017


What it’s Really Like with Two under Two

Two Under Two

The Big Announcement

17 months and 13 days.  That’s how far apart Vivian and Henry are, exactly.  I still remember finding out we were expecting baby #2. Henry was about to be ten months old and the Fourth of July was around the corner.  The Fourth of July seems to really stick in my head, we were out on a boat with family and I didn’t want people to be suspicious when I turned down homemade sangria.  We weren’t ready to share our secret until after our first appointment.

pregnant 4th of july

Fourth of July 2015. I was about 5-6 weeks pregnant.


At the time, Henry seemed like our “big boy.”  We didn’t see him as little baby anymore, he was standing on his own and on the verge on walking, in our mind he was our little toddler. We were excited about baby #2 and once we got past our rocky first couple appointments we shared our big news!

Here’s where you can find Henry’s announcement shirt.

Pregnancy Announcement

What we didn’t realize is that everyone else still saw Henry as a baby.  So now we were “those people” with a baby, having another baby. Most people thought we were crazy.  I can’t even tell you how many times I heard, “But, Henry won’t be two when the baby is born.”  “Was this a planned thing?”  First of all, if someone announces they are pregnant you have two choices:

1. Say “Congratulations” and be excited for them.

2. Keep your pie hole shut and say nothing at all.

End of story. Unless, you are the father of that baby or the one who is going to be caring for the baby those are your options.

Being Pregnant & Having a One Year Old


I think this is for most people having a second baby, but your pregnancy will fly by.  Seriously, it felt like one morning I woke up and was 37 weeks pregnant and our little peanut was going to arrive at any moment. But, with the realization that she would be here any day I started getting feelings of “Holy Shit, this is real. I’m going to have two babies soon.”

During this pregnancy I got a lot of stares, looking back now, I get it.  People are curious, they are trying to do the math in their head, “How pregnant is she? and how old is her baby she is carrying?”  I should have just worn a T-shirt that had it all, “Yes, this was planned.  I’m seven months pregnant.  My baby is 15 months old.”  It would have answered a lot of questions I’m sure.





She’s Here

It all became real when she arrived, life was about to get crazy.  Vivian graced us all with her fast arrival on February, 10th (a week before we expected her to arrive.)  We were so excited for Henry to meet his little sister.  I must admit, at some points my “mom guilt” took over and I felt bad that we were cutting Henry’s “only child” time short.  He was very interested in meeting her, but it only lasted a few minutes before he decided playing with trucks in the lobby and running around getting attention from the nurses was more entertaining.

Henry meeting Vivian


We went home as soon as the hospital would let us.  I missed Henry, it was the longest I had been away from him.  My heart was SO full and I was on cloud nine.  Our first week home was much “easier” then I had anticipated with my husband taking a few days off and people visiting Vivian reality hadn’t set in yet (I just didn’t know it yet.)

Vivian was born on a Thursday and I believe Derek went back to work on the following Tuesday or Wednesday.   Thats when the panic set in, I was worried.  How was I going to survive the day by myself.  Slowly, I got the hang of hit and we had a schedule down.  But, getting out of the house was a whole different story.  It was hard.  Henry still needed to be carried in any parking lot and carrying a car seat at the same time was difficult.  Again, this brings stares and people trying to do the math.  A full year later and I’m still getting “those” mathematician stares.

Henry and Vivian Napping

I remember the first doctors appointment I had for Vivian, She was two weeks old and Derek had an important meeting he had to go to.  I was on my own and again, I was panicked.  It wasn’t a walk in the park, Henry didn’t listen in the lobby (he wanted to run around) and I had a crying, hungry newborn that wanted to nurse and I wanted to cry too.

Fight or Flight


A few times (okay, maybe more) I felt pity for myself.   I felt like I needed more help, I didn’t always want to be stuck at home,  I wanted a few minutes to myself, and even more sleep.  PAUSE.  I want to be clear, when my husband was home he was helpful and when my mom and sister were free they were willing to give me a hand too.  BUT, Monday through Friday 6am-5:30pm felt long when I was alone with the babies.

It didn’t take more then a couple weeks of feeling like it was impossible to get out of the house before I figured it all out.  I figured out how to juggle it all on my own.  If you’re reading this and you are pregnant with your second baby, know you will figure it out too, its like some magic power “us moms” have!   The exhaustion may never go away, but it will be filled in with lots of hugs, snuggles, kisses, and millions of happy moments.  Below are moments where I started to get it “down” I started to feel like I could really handle this two-under-two thing.


Looking Back


Both kiddos were sick a few weeks ago and we went in to see their pediatrician.  She reminded me that this is the busiest I will ever be.  Even though it may never seem feasible… in a few years I will look back and wonder how I did it.  When I think about it, as a mom with two kids 17 months apart, you just do everything that needs to be done and you don’t think about it until someone brings it up.  Getting in and out of the car and car seats, diaper changes, lots of crying, feedings, lack of sleep, messy house, learning to multitask.  I don’t think anything of nursing Vivian while making Henry lunch and trying to find cartoons he wants to watch until I think about how silly I look trying to do it all at once.  You just do it.

A year later and I’m still surviving, I have even had a few brief moments of baby fever.  Don’t panic, it will be a couple more years until another Budde baby joins our gang.  But, I want you to know I would do it all over in an instant, happily.


Other Posts You May Like:

Henry and Vivian20 Baby Products Every Parent is Thankful For

DIY Cake Smash Photos (When You’re NOT a Photographer!)

Bath Time with Noodle & Boo


DIY Cake Smash Photos (When you’re not a Photographer)

Vivian Cake Smash

You Don’t Have to be a Professional

As most of you know, Vivian just turned one and I wanted fun pictures to look back on.  It’s a hot trend right now to do “cake smash” pictures, so I decided to try out my own (I am not claiming these are professional quality.)  I did them with Henry too, but  his birthday is in the summer and it was ideal to do them outside!  With Vivian’s birthday in the middle of winter I had to get clever to do them indoors.  My biggest concern was my background, and secondly attractive lighting.  I don’t have a studio or even an area set up for photography, so I made my own with things I had around the house (and so can you!)

**This post is not a knock against professional photographers.  They are talented people and I admire their work and love getting professional portraits taken too!  This is just showcasing another option when your budget is tight or you’re in a pinch for time.**


photographer cake smash supplies

Here’s what I used from start to end:

White Bed Sheets– The bigger the better – I used a king, but a queen would work well too!

Tape– I used clear packing tape to hold up my sheet you will see below.

Rug or Blanket– A rug is preferred, pull it up to the sheet to give a seamless look, if you’re in a pinch a blanket could work.

Cake– I was lazy and bought mine, but you can easily bake one!

Props– I used a cake stand I made from a glass cup and plate from the thrift store, $3 banner from the Target dollar spot,  a few flowers for on top of the cake from Trader Joes!  All my props cost me under $15.  (Candy hearts were for bribery!)

Camera– Yes, I have a “nice” camera, but your iPhone will take nice pictures too!  If you’re not blowing them up too big and you have good lighting, your phone can take incredible photos, especially close-ups.


photographer cake smash set up

I like to tape my sheet to closet doors, but it is key to have your light coming in from behind you.  Tape the sheet to a wall or closet door that is opposite the wall with a window, this will give your pictures the best lighting.  Try to get the sheet as tight and wrinkle-free as possible and then pull your rug or blanket to where the sheet meets the floor.


Taking Pictures

Don’t be afraid to try a little bit of everything.  Different angles and poses and just keep clicking, my favorite shots are the candid ones.  Sometimes the ones you least expect to turn out are the best captures.  Since you’re not paying a photographer for their time, take advantage, change outfits and props as you please!


Henry was feeling extremely left-out so he took it upon himself to bring up a spoon from the kitchen to have some cake!

Henry and Vivian Cake Smash


I use Lightroom editor, it is an expensive purchase if you’re not using it a lot.  There are a lot of free editors out there that are adequate.  My favorite free PC editor is Fotor and on my phone VSCO.

Also, when editing multiple photos from the same shoot I highly recommend creating your own preset or using one from your app to give all the photos a similar look!


Other Posts You May Like:

Henry and Vivian18 Stylish Diaper Bags

10 Minutes (or less) Beauty Routine

20 Baby Items Every Parent is Thankful for



Vivian Turns One

 Time Flies…

I think I’ve heard a million and one times in some form or another that time flies.  “Enjoy it now, they grow up fast.” “Don’t blink, they will be in college!” “It goes even faster with your second baby!”  Now, I’m that person.  One year old, how did that happen?  It feels like just a few weeks ago we were in the hospital meeting Vivian, however, it also feels like she has been a part of our life forever.  On the flip side, I survived a year of two under two (patting myself on the back.)  Here are a few pictures of her as a fresh newborn…

baby feetNewborn Vivianvivian newbornNewborn Vivian Newborn Vivian

Newborn Photos by Meg Cooper

Little Miss Personality…

Vivian is so different from Henry and it’s been fun to see both their personalities come to life.  She is a little lover, she loves to cuddle and give kisses.  She isn’t afraid to get messy and prefers to use her hands when she eats (we are still working on manners. Vivian loves to “talk” and is just now standing on her own.  She is stubborn and refuses a bottle, but loves to nurse (especially in the middle of the night.)  She is our tiny little peanut weighing just over 16 pounds and standing 27 inches tall.  But, she is healthy and that’s all we really care about.

The Big One

This past weekend we celebrated her birthday with lots of cake, ice cream, treats, and good company.  Keep scrolling to see the evolution of her cake eating…

Good Memories

So much has happened over the past year and here are just a few of my favorite moments we captured of Vivian!



Milkmaid Fishtail Braids Video Tutorial

Hump Day, Hair Day

If you’ve followed me on Instagram for a while you know I’m a huge fan of the milkmaid braid style.  It looks like a fancy   and intricate hairstyle, when it’s really any easy look that keeps your hair pulled back and out of the way! Win/win.  To change it up from the traditional braid I wanted to share the style with fishtail braids.  I’ve also added Chloe and Isabel hair accessories to my braid, they are so fun!  If you want to know how I get my milkmaid fishtail braided style check out my tutorial below.

If you want to try my exact hair style you will need the following:

Small Hair Ties 

A Few Bobby Pins

Small Deco Pavé Pin Set

Curling Iron

Hair Spray (optional)

For More hair tutorials or to see the latest when they are released, subscribe here.  Thank you!


Weekly Roundup- Teething Baby, Tired Mom

Cool Digs, Neat Finds

I’ve been really missing summer and warm weather the past few weeks.  Most of all, the lack of in-season fruits that come with the summer.  So, I was pretty excited when Aldi had strawberries and blueberries that were delicious and inexpensive.  If you don’t shop at Aldi yet you need to give it a try!  Their produce is hands down the best I’ve come across when taking price and quality into consideration ($1.50 for a carton of strawberries!)  Vivian is teething and a semi frozen strawberry is a great soother!  Also, here are five ways we use our fruit other then just it eating plain:

  1. In Jello (and a little whipped cream for an easy dessert)
  2. Smoothies (I “hide” spinach in Henry’s too!)
  3. In pancakes
  4. On top of a little (or a lot) of ice cream
  5. Homemade Parfaits

Here is the link for my Nike ‘Thea’ sneakers I’ve been getting questions about!  They are under $100 (originally $140.)  They are so comfortable and honestly perfect for almost any casual outfit!  Bonus points, they are ideal for chasing a toddler around. #stylingmom

We also went and strolled around downtown Saint Paul and visited the winter carnival this weekend.  If your in Minnesota, its a fun, free activity that is family friendly.

Teething Baby vs Everyone

It’s no secret that I’m a coffee lover.  But, this past week I feel like I could have bathed in coffee and still not had enough caffeine to get me through the day.  At the end of everyday I found myself exhausted and wishing there were more hours in the day to get things done.  Anyone else?  Laundry, cleaning up, blogging, family time, cooking dinner, working out, catching up on emails and maybe even sneaking in a shower.

On top of feeling like my list was growing and I wasn’t accomplishing anything, Vivian suddenly has six teeth coming in all at once!  Yes, you read that right, four on the top and two on the bottom, all working their way through at once.  A teething baby is no joke, I feel so bad for her too. She is less interested in sleep and more interested in nursing all night long.  As a result I’m in full zombie mode, which brings me to… Need. More. Coffee.

Also, I still cannot wrap my brain around her being one this week!!!

Vivian wearing Rags to Raches - Teething Baby

…And Then

This is how my weekly roundup started.  Then I read the news that an Instagram friend’s son passed away.  He was right in-between the ages of Vivian and Henry and had the biggest brown eyes.  I suddenly felt horrible for raging about sleepless nights and teething baby, these “problems” were now trivial.  I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child.

My heart aches for this mama, her love for her children oozes through her Instagram feed.   She is honest, kind, and makes every mother feel like they are the best mom in the world.  Some people just see Instagram as a social media app, but to me it’s much more.  I’ve “met” so many amazing people and connected with so many great moms.  This mothers honesty in her journey made me feel like I had known her for decades.  Instagram is a community and I ask that you pray and send positive and uplifting thoughts to this mom and her family during this tragic time.

Molly Nursing Vivian





Bath Time with Noodle & Boo

I hope I’m not the only one who looks forward to bath time.  Mainly because it (normally) means that bedtime is around the corner and I may get a few minutes to myself, maybe a glass of wine too.  But, it also means I get to sneak in those fresh smelling baby snuggles before they hit the hay (and of course once they’re sound asleep I miss them again.)

I’m so excited to partner up with Noodle & Boo and give you a chance to win a bundle of my favorite Noodle & Boo products!  I’ll be giving away three bundles and you can find out the details of entering at the end of this post!

After a messy lunch, a craft or if we just need a little quiet, I turn to bath time.  It works like a charm. It’s soothing warmth, gentle sounds, and relaxing smell of Noodle & Boo bath products are everything!  They (almost) always leaving their bath more relaxed.  This dry winter weather has also taken a toll on our babes skin, so right after the bath I lather them in Super Soft Lotion and hit the extra dry patches with Ultimate Ointment. Henry has very sensitive skin and gets flare up’s of eczema during these winter months. We rely on Ultimate Ointment to keep his skin healthy.  And who doesn’t love a little massage after bath time?  Here are a few tips to massaging your little one.

These pictures perfectly depict their relationship.  Henry isn’t always a gentle lover, but Vivian loves any attention her brother will give her even if he is being rough.  I can’t wait till she is a little bigger and can get him back when he is being not so nice.




Each bundle will include:

16oz Extra Gentle Shampoo

8oz Leave-In Conditioning Hair Polish

5oz Ultimate Ointment

You must be 16 years or older to enter and reside in the United States.



Please email me (within 24hrs) at to claim your bath bundle! Please include your name and address! Thank you and congrats!

Tara Maple
Meghan Jean Cleveland
Jessica Cooper Federico


  1. “Like” Raising Buddies Blog & Noodle & Boo on Facebook (If you already “like” my page skip to step 2 to enter.)
  2. For an extra entry tag a friend in the comments of the Facebook post.  Each friend tagged is an extra entry.
  3. Giveaway Ends Sunday (2/5/17) at 11:59pm CST
  4. Winners will be announced on Monday on here and Facebook



Come Style With Me

My favorite part about trying new hairstyles is how different you can look.  Sleek, wavy, curly, braids, twists, middle part, bangs.  Honestly, you can look totally different from one day to the next just by changing your hairstyle. Isn’t that why we all love a good hair day?

A huge thank you to LumaBella for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own.

And to thank you loyal reader, LumaBella is offering all my readers 25% off  the Cool Mist Straightener with the code: Molly25

When I was in Junior high and High School I was constantly straightening my hair.  Unfortunately, I was using a straightener that didn’t have any type of protection and I was destroying my hair.  Now, I don’t have to worry about the damage! With my new routine and my LumaBella Cool Mist Straightener I know my hair is in good hands (or tools? *insert laugh here*)

I’m sure at this point you’re thinking, “How does a straightener hydrate and protect hair?” This is why I love my LumaBella Cool Mist Straightener… It’s straightening process is two steps. It starts with a cool mist infusion that hydrates, protects and preps your hair for the heat.  The second step is the salon quality heat, and it gives your hair that beautiful sleek look (and it lasts!)

Now, to the styling part.  Here is my very first hair tutorial (on YouTube)… EEK!  It was nerve-racking, so please be kind! That said, I would love some feedback! I hope you enjoy it!

Also, if you would like to support me in making more tutorials, please subscribe here! Thank you!