Well, it’s been almost 3 months since my last blog post, and to say life has changed a little since then would be an understatement!nOn the 19th November 2016, we welcomed our 2nd child into the world. Meet Noah James Archer! After an initial few weeks of tantrums and tears from our firstborn, Isabella, we are now settled into life as a family of 4.nAnd we are loving it! I’ve found that being a mum a second time around has been a whole lot easier. Noah is a completely different baby to Isabella and I’m definitely a lot more relaxed this time around. (No more googling questions about cluster feeding or baby sleep routines at 3am in the morning!)nI don’t feel the need to pick Noah up in response to every little sound he makes like I did with Isabella, and the sleep deprivation is not as much of a shock this time – maybe because Isabella only started to sleep right through in the last 2 months or so; I guess I was already used to interrupted nights! Anyway, there were some things we did differently this time around that I wanted to share with you today, so that if you are planning on having a baby in the future, life might be just that little bit easier! #1: Prepare your meals in advance. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that in my household we do a weekly “shop n chop,” where we shop for and prepare our meals for the entire week (or at least the following 4 days or so). I expected that life with a 2 year old and a newborn would be pretty hectic (and I was right!), so I wanted to make sure I had the best food choices available, without the hassle of having to shop and cook regularly.nSo, in the lead up to Noah’s birth, we bought a chest freezer and got busy in the kitchen! In the end, we had about 6 weeks of meals (minus the fresh salads we would make) in the freezer ready to go, and it made such a difference to those first few weeks at home. #2: If you can exercise, do it! I’ve been incredibly lucky in my first two pregnancies that I haven’t had any morning sickness, so I was able to continue to workout.nI did weight training right up until 35 weeks with Isabella, but with Noah’s pregnancy, I did both weights AND cardio (albeit modified to suit whatever stage I was at) right up until the 40th week of my pregnancy. And I’m so glad that I did! My midwife cleared me to exercise virtually straight after Noah’s birth, and I’ve been really happy with my fitness levels, considering the stress that pregnancy and birth can put on your body. Exercise is also that little something you can do for yourself, at a time where everything is all about the baby.nI realise that not everyone is lucky enough to have sickness-free pregnancies like me, but if you are able to exercise, at any stage of your pregnancy, then do it! Always get clearance from the team looking after you, and even if it’s just getting outside for a walk, you’ll feel so much better for it. #3: “This too shall pass…” If you’re a mum, you will have heard this expression. I’ve mumbled this to myself many times over the past 13 weeks.nOne example I can give you is this… Luke and I run a small business, and so there wasn’t much opportunity to have time off after having Noah. Yet, I noticed I was beating myself up for not being able to get my normal tasks done, when I wanted to do them. Uh, hello? Of course you’re going to be behind with work right now! I had to continually remind myself that “this too shall pass.” Noah will only be little for such a short time, and Isabella is only going to be home with me full time for the remainder of this year (she’s off to kindy next year). One day soon I’ll be looking back on this time and wishing for it to come back, I know I will. So I’ve learnt that I just need to relax, enjoy the moment and understand that though time may be limited right now, pretty soon I’ll be missing it dreadfully! All in all, my second experience of motherhood has been a much smoother transition, and I’m so excited for what the next few months and years will bring! It’s great to be back online blogging! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week xx