Trains, Planes and ~ or maybe, just trains

Life is settling in with two children. Those who have made the transition from 1 child to 2 know the tiredness, pain, frustration and moments of glee and hilarity Chris and I are going through. Jamisen remains 95% loving and curious and 5% mischievous when it comes to his little sister.

Like, is he helping in this photo? It certainly would appear but …

Lily remains a textbook baby (thank goodness, since Jamisen was definitely NOT) and is able to come to work with me every day. I get about 4 hours of work done in an 8 hour day but I’m just happy to have her with me. On days I need to concentrate, the entire team pitches in to keep her calm. She is quite the little office mascot and is comfortable with the smells and sounds of the Bramble Berry offices. Lily is a full 6 weeks old now and is sleeping 4 hours at a time most nights. I feel like a new woman, capable of coherent speech and patience (a miracle!) if I get a stretch of 4 hours of sleep per night. I’m still tired (!!!) but it’s manageable now.

We had a fun (busy, exhausting) weekend with Grandma and Grandpa here. It is always a blessing, and such a relief to have extra hands to help wrangle the children and give Chris and I a moment to ourselves every so often. It’s nice to get quiet time to remind each other that we do indeed, like each other and catch up on the news of the week.

With their help, we ventured out onto a good old-fashioned train ride – emphasis on the OLD. The trains that we took were over 100 years old and never would pass safety inspection today. Thankfully, they never traveled over 5 miles per hour, making a very short trip last and last and last. Jamisen’s first handcart ride was a success (though the same can’t be said for the next group that took it. Their handcart jumped the tracks, leaving us all very thankful that Jamisen wasn’t on that particular handcart ride. Thankfully no one was hurt).

His sister was less excited about the train trip and did not delight and amaze our cabin. She screamed and screamed for 85% of the ride.  I tried to walk her around each train car to give equal opportunity screaming to each train car. Sometimes, she just likes to remind us she is indeed, a baby. =)

Jamisen is obsessed (OBSESSED) with trains. This trip was epic for him and he was awake over 2 hours past his naptime, running on pure happy adrenalin. I see many more train trips in our future this summer.

We had lots of play time this weekend, including three different parks. It was wonderful to have Grandma and Grandpa there to help with both kids. Jamisen is developing an amazing relationship with them, especially Grandma who comes to spend entire weeks with us. Both Chris and I feel thankful, blessed and exceedingly grateful to have such a strong support network.

Jamisen and I even got some one-on-one time this weekend and I really enjoyed it. I’ve missed my little guy while Lily has integrated into our lives (since I’m often comforting or feeding her while Jamisen plays with Daddy). It was a relief to just focus on him and laugh and laugh. The weekend went far too quickly but, there’s always next weekend!

Like it? Share it!

Become an email subscriber

Enter your email address below and you will receive all our new posts directly in your email inbox.


  1. Amy says

    I have been following Soap Queen on YouTube for a little while now and just got into your blog! I had no idea you were a mother! It amazes me what you are capable of now with two small children. My oldest is 7, I have a 19 month old and another on the way (big age gap) and was a little nervous when I decided to venture into soap making and then becoming pregnant (again). You have added so much more inspiration into my life as a mother/soapmaker!

  2. KeMira says

    That first pic of Lilly is too adorable! Look at those little baby feet! Makes me miss the days when mine were babies…
    You are truly to an inspiration to us businesswomen who juggle family, business and all of the other responsibilities of life. I also love how you make sure to spend time with your husband. Sometimes with all the baby stuff going on we forget we have a partner to share the load….
    Keep these wonderful pictures and stories coming and God Bless!

    • Anne-Marie says

      The feet are ADORABLE! and her little ankles? Seriously, so delicate and bird like. I could just stare at her for hours and make silly faces at her. =)

      And the only way I can juggle is by having a very strong support network – the BB team, my parents, a really awesome group of (paid) childcare helpers, fantastic 2 day a week preschool for Jamisen – it really takes a village and I could never do it alone (nor would I want to; life is so much sweeter with many hands making light work!) =)

      Thanks for reading and for your support. I love knowing there’s a great community for me to draw upon when I have questions or just need a pick me up.

  3. says

    I just want to say how much I admire the way you run your company and the way your family is so close-knit. Anne-marie, you are such an inspiration in every way. I enjoy reading your blog and shopping at Bramble Berry. All the best to you, your family and business! :-)

    • says

      Aw, thank you! That is such a compliment and I wish I could take credit for any of it. =) I am so lucky to have a close-knit, loving family (won the lottery with them) and Team Bramble Berry is absolutely amazing. I couldn’t find a more committed positive team there too. It really does take a village =)

  4. says

    Such a beautiful family! There is a great rail museum in Union, IL. There actually several through out Northern IL if you are ever interested in a road trip once baby Lily is a little older. She looks like she’s just growing and growing! You’ll be back to normal amounts of sleep soon!

    • says

      Once baby Lily is older, we have talked about the idea of a fun road trip! Renting an RV and just taking a month to go see the sights. I’m pretty sure that’s a rite of passage in some sort of American way, right? =)

  5. Michele says

    Such a happy time. Love to see the little ones. I can’t believe how big Jamisen is. You have a beautiful family-enjoy this time.

    • says

      Hasn’t he gotten SO big?! It’s amazing holding him (or changing his diaper) and then going to change Lily’s diaper or hold her =) But now, I really know how fast the time passes…

  6. Dawnia says

    Awe. Those photos are precious! You are doing such a great job showing your children life adventures. They are truly blessed! I may be visiting my Auntbin Seattle and would love to know where this train experience is?? My kids would love it!!
    Thank You!!

    • says

      Here you go! It’s in Sedro Wooley, which is about 90 minutes outside of Seattle. You should try it! It was really fun and you could make a total day of it in Whatcom County. There is this great little town nearby the train called “Edison/Bow” that has this awesome little tiny main street with a cheese shop, a bread shop, a cafe and an art center. That’s it … but it’s a great way to spend a few hours! =)

  7. says

    Wonderful photos,Ann-Marie! I’ve almost forggoten how it is having so little baby. It must be exhausting, I know, but at least,you have help there. It means sooooo much. Living in another country, I’m all on my own here and I surely know how it is demanding and exhausting to take care of a child/children! Grannies are the best, when they are close enough (and retired,which isn’t our case,hihi)!
    Nevertheless, you’re making me want another baby, they are the sweetest beings on the Earth!
    My best regards to all of you!

    • Anne-Marie says

      It is exhausting – I won’t lie! =) But, it’s so worth it and I know a year goes by very quickly and the baby will be sleeping through the night before I know it. =)

      My Mom just told me it would be two weeks before she is up again. I silently wept inside but kept it together. I’m thankful for any help I can get!

  8. says

    Hi Ann-Marie,
    I love the sweet photos and descriptions of your fun weekend! Those photos of Jamisen holding Lily are priceless. Thanks for sharing!

    Susan Foti

    • Anne-Marie says

      This morning, when I left for work with her, he kept kissing the top of her head. It was rather adorable. When he does that, I try very hard to praise him effusively.

      Of course, then he tried to “tickle her” with the airplane he was holding which was much less effective than his 2 year old brain may have thought it would be.

  9. Annie says

    Hi Anne-Marie!
    I love following your family photo album! What beautiful children you have! I love the picture of Jamisen “helping” out. Lol! Boys will be boys! My son and daughter are teens and are best friends, but I still remember the fateful day when my son “learned” how much fun it was to make his sister scream. I heard my daughter screaming and came running only to see my little man dancing a victory jig with a mile-wide grin and a straw hat on his head- what a picture!!!! Oh joy! Crack open the wine….Those big brothers really do love their sisters. I’m glad you are enjoying your kids. It goes by too fast. Best wishes!

    Annie (Anna Marie :-)

  10. Marci Haskell says

    Hi Ann-Marie,

    I enjoyed your blog a lot. You and your family are beautiful! And such an adorable new baby girl, Lily !!!:)