Mom & Baby #2: Week 6

It’s been 6 weeks (+ 2 days) since we became a family of four! How is that possible? We had a really nice week together and even conquered our first road trip! Here are the details about week 6 and how we are all doing.

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Baby

Kyler is such an easygoing, flexible, happy baby. He is SUCH a joy. I don’t know how we got so lucky. Just look at this face!

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Kyler’s nighttime sleep isn’t consistent yet, which is to be expected since he’s still only 6 weeks old. Some nights we get a good stretch of 4 – 5 hours and other nights we get 2.5 – 3.5 hours. The sleep deprivation is starting to catch up to me. I’m finding myself needing to nap more, like my body is craving sleep after 6 weeks of not getting enough. However, we did have a big accomplishment this week – Kyler started taking some naps in his crib! I really wanted to start doing this earlier than we did with Kevin, since he was pretty much not in his crib ever for the first 6 months. Once we started putting him in there for naps and nighttime sleep he was NOT having it. Lesson learned! This time we want to get Kyler used to his crib earlier. It will be a while until he’s in there for nighttime sleep since he’s still eating frequently, it’s convenient, and honestly, I really like having him close to me at night. But we’ve been trying one nap a day in there right now and he’s doing great, even though it makes me a little sad :(

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Another first this week was starting to give Kyler a bottle. I wasn’t in a big rush to introduce the bottle since I’m not going back to work until August and didn’t want it to affect our breastfeeding relationship. I felt like we were ready to do this now at 6 weeks since all is going well, and it would be nice to have a little more freedom. For example, I want to be able to meet my friend to run in the morning sometimes and if he’s not awake yet, I want to be able to pump and leave a bottle for him to have if he wakes up. He did amazingly well at taking the bottle from the first day that we tried it, even with me sitting right next to him. Kevin was the same way. I guess my kids aren’t picky about where the milk comes from as long as they get it! Since we’re just introducing it our routine is to give him 1 ounce in the bottle, then I feed him and pump afterwards. I wanted to pump after because he isn’t eating quite as much as he used to at that feeding, since he has an ounce in the bottle beforehand, and I don’t want his daily bottle to affect my supply. So far so good! It’s also been really nice for my husband and Kevin to finally be able to help feed Kyler. They both really enjoy it and it’s adorable to watch.

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Speaking of nursing, it is going really well! Kyler eats between 8 and 10 times a day. He eats every 2-3 hours during the day with some longer stretches at night. Occasionally he’ll cluster feed and wants to eat more frequently than every 2 hours. I just follow his lead and watch for his signals. My supply seems to be doing great, which is such a change from last time. My right side still produces more like it did with Kevin, which sometimes leads to an attractive lopsided look, but oh well. I know Kyler is getting plenty of milk because he is growing like a weed! I weighed him the other day by weighing myself, and then weighing myself again while holding him and he was over 10 pounds! I know it’s not the most accurate way to do it, but still! At 6 weeks Kevin was only 8 1/2 pounds, so this is different for us. Another awesome accomplishment for me this week was that I officially have 100 ounces of frozen milk in the freezer. Can I get a WOOO HOOOO for that!? I never was able to have that much frozen with Kevin, let alone in the first 6 weeks of his life. It makes me feel good :)

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I love the post-nursing snuggles so much!

Kyler has started to put himself into his own little routine. When I had Kevin I read a lot of baby sleep books because he was not a good sleeper at all. The only way I could really get him to sleep was by nursing him, which was nice in a way but also really draining, and it caused him to rely on me so much in order to fall asleep and stay asleep. I worked really hard to get him on the E-A-S-Y routine from The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, which stands for eat-activity-sleep-“you time” (while baby sleeps). Kyler was pretty much born already doing this routine. He doesn’t generally nurse to sleep. Instead, he eats and then is wide awake for about 30 – 45 minutes, then he will fall asleep. When he wakes up he’s ready to eat again. It’s pretty awesome, however he also likes to do this in the middle of the night, so we’re working on that!

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Sweet boy is still working on liking bath time, but he loves when it’s over!

Lately he has been looking at us and at things around him a lot more. He is also starting to do some tracking with his eyes. It’s so exciting! I like to put him on his play mat because he will stare intently at the toys that are hanging above him and smile at them :)

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Kyler still loves being worn, and I love it too because it’s super easy to take him on all of our adventures! This week we went back to the library, to the park, on a walk as a family and out to get ice cream – all with him peacefully asleep in the Ergo. I’m learning that it’s key to have both hands free for toddler chasing!

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Body

I felt pretty good this week. We are still trying to focus on eating well and keeping healthy foods on hand. My body is craving calories lately and I’ve been extra hungry, even though I feel like I eat a ton. I had my bloodwork done for my hypothyroidism this week for the first time since I was about 36 weeks pregnant, so it will interesting to see how my levels come back. It feels like my metabolism is on overdrive, but I’m not losing any weight (still holding steady at about 10 pounds above pre-pregnancy weight of 130) so I must be eating enough to fuel my running and breastfeeding if I am coming out even. The last thing I want is my supply to be affected, so I’m fine with that.

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I had a great running week! Not only did I run a new post-baby #2 distance over the weekend  (4 miles!) but I also finally got to run with my neighborhood running buddy Laura again! The stars aligned and I was even able to meet up with her in the morning before my husband went to work. Oh how I missed our 5:30 AM runs!  It was so nice to have company that I didn’t even notice we were running up the giant hills in our neighborhood.  We also realized that this was our first time running together without either of us being pregnant. When I met her last year she was pregnant and then I was a few months later. Now we have an (almost) 6 month old and a 6 week old! No wonder we felt so good! Can’t wait for more runs with my neighborhood running buddy.

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Here’s the postpartum body progress – I’m not changing very much lately so I’ll be comparing photos every other week or so rather than every week from now on. The below photo show week 1, week 3, and week 6. 

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Mind

Well, this week we survived our first road trip! We packed up and headed north to Pennsylvania for my cousin’s wedding. I wasn’t sure how it would go but it ended up going as well as it could have, I think. The weather was pretty bad on the way up with lots of rain, which made what should have been a 2 hour trip into a lot longer than that due to traffic and needing to stop to feed Kyler. Kevin got a little impatient too but we made it in one piece. We quickly checked into our hotel, changed our clothes, and got to the venue right when the wedding was about to start. Whew!

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Once we were there and settled it was a lot of fun. The boys were great during the wedding ceremony except for when Kyler cried for about 10 seconds and I put him on the boob. The reception was awesome. Kevin stole the show with his dance moves- he tried to dance with pretty much every girl that was there! I was proud of myself for being able to feed Kyler multiple times while we were there without removing myself from the fun. I just put my cover on and he ate while I continued to eat, drink and be merry :)

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It was also great to be able to see my family again and some of our family friends. I hadn’t seen my dad and sister in about a month since they came down to see us after Kyler was born. I missed them!

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How to dance at a wedding with a newborn :)

Other than our weekend away, this week I really enjoyed getting out in the summer sun! We spent some time at the park, had a picnic, went on walks, and visited daddy at work for a lunch date. Kevin’s behavior was actually pretty great this week too. He’s such a sweet boy and is starting to really embrace his big brother role. We still have some moments that test me, but they’re pretty few and far between at this point.

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We’re already a few days into week 7, and it’s been an exciting one so far because we celebrated the 4th of July and I ran my first postpartum race! The details on that will have to wait until next week’s post and my race recap though :)

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Pregnancy, Birth & Recovery: 1st vs. 2nd Baby

I have been asked pretty frequently by friends, family, coworkers, blog readers, etc. how my experience with baby #1 compared to baby #2. Obviously I’m still getting to know my newest little man, so it’s hard to know right now how he will compare to his brother. However, I did find that my experiences with both pregnancies, births, and recovery periods had some things in common, but they actually had a lot of differences.

Kevin (top) & Kyler (bottom) at 4 weeks old

Kevin (top) & Kyler (bottom) at 4 weeks old

Pregnancy

Let’s start with the similarities. I was lucky that both of my pregnancies were low-risk and any issues I had were very minor. I gained a healthy amount of weight with both (26-30 pounds) and they were born at full-term. I felt relatively good throughout both pregnancies and wasn’t overly sick or in a lot of pain with either one. I was able to be active throughout my entire pregnancy and ran up until both kids were born.

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Now for the differences – and there were quite a few of them! The most obvious difference between my first pregnancy and my second is that my second lasted 2.5 weeks longer. My son Kevin was born at 38 weeks and Kyler was born at 40 weeks and 4 days. I also showed a LOT earlier and gained weight differently. With my second son, I gained weight all over rather than just in front like my first pregnancy. Although I felt good compared to some women I know, I do think the second pregnancy was harder on my body than the first. I had more aches and pains, especially toward the end when I had a ton of Braxton Hicks contractions and lightning crotch, which I didn’t have much of the first time around. I also was a LOT more tired, which I’m sure is from also having a toddler this time around. Although my belly wasn’t much bigger this time, I did end up getting diastasis recti (ab separation), which is now slowly coming back together. I also ended up getting some varicose veins which are more common with second pregnancies. Lastly, I was anemic during this pregnancy, which I think was due to being pregnant during the cold months and not having my usual salads and green smoothies, like I did in the summer when I was pregnant with Kevin.

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I made it to 40 weeks the second time around!

The last big difference between the two pregnancies was that I was SO much more relaxed during my second one. I didn’t worry nearly as much about if everything was okay with the baby (Kyler moved a LOT more than Kevin ever did  so I knew he was just fine), or how I’d be as a mother since I already was one. I definitely had more confidence the second time around since I knew what to expect.

Birth 

Birth can be so unpredictable, so I was very curious to see how my second labor and delivery would compare to my first. Like pregnancy, both of my births had some things in common and quite a few differences. First, both of my labors started with my water leaking. I was told this happens only 10% of the time and it did for me twice. I should play the lottery! With both labors I used Bradley Method techniques to manage the pain, relying on my husband primarily for support and coaching. I LOVED water in both births (the shower for my first, bath for my second) and found that it helped my pain relief tremendously. I did not receive an epidural or anything to medically manage the pain in either birth. With both births I had tears (three small 1st degree with my first, one 2nd degree with my second).

The biggest difference between my first and second birth is where they took place. Kevin was born at the hospital (in a bed) and Kyler was born at home (in my bathtub). The second biggest difference was that Kyler’s labor was a lot faster, with less than 6 hours between my water breaking and birth, compared to 30 hours with Kevin. With Kevin, my water broke out of nowhere without many warning signs and with Kyler, my water broke after a couple weeks of random contractions and pelvic pain. With Kevin, I didn’t have a single contraction for about 12 hours after my water broke- and even when I finally did I had to do a lot to bring them on myself. With Kyler, contractions started immediately and were regular and strong. However, even though Kyler’s contractions were strong from the start, they were never as bad and as back-to-back without any break as Kevin’s were. This is because I ended up needing some Pitocin with Kevin’s birth when I stopped progressing, which makes the contractions feel so much harder. I didn’t need anything to help along with Kyler’s labor. My body did it all on it’s own, I think because I was so comfortable at home and with my birth team. It was still difficult, but the REALLY hard part (transition and pushing) only lasted about 20 minutes, compared to a couple hours in Kevin’s birth. Kyler was born in one push and Kevin was born after about 30 minutes of pushing. Whew- that was a lot of info! Did you get all of that? :)

I also felt a lot more confident during labor and delivery with baby #2, since I had been through it before and knew what to expect, was in a comfortable environment (my home) and had an extremely supportive birth team (compared to some less than encouraging hospital staff at my first birth). Finally, we decided to keep it to ourselves when we were in labor this time, rather than tell a lot of people. This allowed me to focus on what I needed to do to give birth rather than all of the people that were waiting around for updates.

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Kevin’s birth

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Kyler’s birth

Here are links to Kevin’s birth story and Kyler’s birth story for more details!

Recovery

My recoveries with baby #1 and baby #2 were very different. I think the only real similarity is that with both babies I encapsulated my placenta, which I believe helped with my energy, postpartum bleeding and my milk coming in (on day 2 both times).

Recovering with Kevin

Recovering with Kevin

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Recovering with Kyler

In a nutshell, my recovery with my first baby was a lot easier and less painful. With Kevin, I was up and moving, resuming my normal household things within a couple days. I was going on walks with the stroller before I was even a week postpartum. This time around I pretty much felt like I had been hit by a truck for the first week, and stayed in bed most of the time. My contractions after birth while nursing were extremely painful and would make me shaky, nauseous and really hot. I was exhausted. My bleeding was heavy and my boobs were more engorged than they were with Kevin. My body hurt. I couldn’t go to the bathroom. The list went on and on. My midwife said the harder recovery was probably due to having such a fast and furious birth and also the fact that I’m a few years older now. One thing that we did this time that helped with my recovery was limiting visitors to give me time to rest and recover.  With Kevin, basically everyone we knew came over in the first couple of days and I felt like I had to play hostess. This time we asked for a few days to ourselves, and then we slowly had just family come to visit. This made the first week a lot easier to handle for sure. Thankfully, after that I started feeling more like myself. It was like I just needed to get past that first week, and then I felt better and better with each day that passed. I actually felt so good that despite having a harder recovery initially, I started running again a week earlier than I did after Kevin (3 weeks postpartum with Kyler, 4 weeks postpartum with Kevin).

Aside from being physically harder at first, I have definitely been a lot better mentally and emotionally this time around than I was after Kevin’s birth. I think this is due to Kyler being an easier baby in general and me being a second time mom and knowing what to expect more. After Kevin was born I definitely had a case of the baby blues for a while. I felt overwhelmed, stressed, and cried almost every day. I don’t feel that way at all this time. I have some hard and tiring days, but overall I feel very happy and blessed.

I find it so interesting how different two experiences can be for the same woman in terms of pregnancy, birth and recovery. I feel blessed to have had two healthy pregnancies and two amazing baby boys as a result. Life is good!

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Mom & Baby #2: Week 5

We are a little past 5 weeks into life with two kids (I’m writing this post two days late!) and it feels like we are really starting to settle into a nice routine. Life is good right now and I love it! Here are the details about week 5 and how we are all doing.

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Baby

Kyler is officially over the one month mark! I knew he had gotten bigger, but I didn’t realize how much he had grown until I compared his newborn photo with his 1 month. Grow baby grow!

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We continued to go through Kyler’s first “wonder week” during week 5. I talked about this last week, but wonder weeks are the time leading up to mental “leaps” in baby’s development. During this time babies tend to be more clingy and fussy, and want to eat more and sleep less. We found these to be very accurate for Kevin, and so far they have been with Kyler as well. This week he wanted to be held constantly, ate a ton, and his sleep went back to 2-3 hour increments (sometimes less!).

Dinner with a newborn. Wants to be held as soon as we sit down to eat!

Dinner with a newborn. Wants to be held as soon as we sit down to eat!

However, once we got through the week it was obvious that Kyler did go through a leap in his development, and he was also much happier. Now we are getting big smiles in response to things that we do rather than just randomly, he is more interactive with us, he is looking at things more and tracking with his eyes. He’s still very much a sleepy newborn, but he’s definitely getting to be more alert and developing his personality!

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Another characteristic of this first leap is that babies head circumference is supposed to grow a lot. I didn’t realize how much this was true until I compared the two photos below. The one on the left was taken a little over two weeks ago, and the one on the right was taken a few days ago. Holy head growth! Isn’t that crazy?

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I’ve started doing a lot of baby-wearing this week, which Kyler loves. I’ve been using the Moby wrap the last few weeks because I really liked how he could snuggle up closely to me, but it’s getting too hot to wear it outside and it’s really difficult to get on in a hurry. This week I started using our Ergo with the newborn insert and I’m loving it. I use it when Kevin’s napping to get chores done around the house, or when he’s awake and wants me to play with him so I can keep Kyler close and happy at the same time. I also like to use it when we go shopping or on walks. It’s definitely my favorite baby carrier.

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Body

Running continues to feel better and better, which makes me really happy. This week I was able to get up to 3 miles again and it felt so good! I’m still running every other day and I think that’s what I will keep doing for a little while. I’m starting to feel the itch to start strength training again too, but my gym membership is currently frozen. I need to figure out when I’m going to unfreeze it so I can go to Body Pump again!

New shirt, new shoes, new postpartum distance!

New shirt, new shoes, new postpartum distance!

I’ve noticed some effects of postpartum hormones on my body recently. First is the hair loss. I had this bad after Kevin and it’s happening again now. It really sucks, I’m losing lots of hair when I wash and brush it. I hope it doesn’t last as long as it did last time (8 months!) but we’ll see. It only gets better as the hair starts to grow back, leaving me with the super attractive lion’s mane look :) The other thing I have noticed is the keratosis pillars on my arms and legs. I’ve always had this to some degree since I was young, but it got WAY worse after Kevin for a little while. I asked my dermatologist and she said it’s hormonal, and many women have it after pregnancy. It’s really unattractive but what can you do. Darn hormones!

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On a positive note, my husband and I have been making an effort to eat cleaner and we were able to do that all week long! I really tried to keep healthy and convenient meals and snacks on hand rather than just grabbing whatever I saw to satisfy my insane breastfeeding hunger. I definitely had more energy and just felt better overall as a result. It was great motivation to continue that way, with some fun treats thrown in occasionally – everything in moderation of course!

Delicious roasted chickpea salad!

Delicious roasted chickpea salad!

Here’s the progress from week 1 to week 5.

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Mind

The best part of this week for me emotionally was celebrating Father’s Day as a family. This was my husband’s 3rd Father’s Day, and each year I’ve taken Kevin’s picture with the letters that spell out DAD. This year we had a new addition to our tradition, and he loved it! I hope to continue doing this for a long time. It will be so much fun to see how they grow over the years.

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For Father’s Day I asked my hubby what he wanted to do, and he said he just wanted to be together as a family. We haven’t really had a low-key weekend just to ourselves since Kyler was born, so it felt really nice to just take it easy. We went to brunch at his favorite restaurant, hit up his favorite brewery for a drink, and watched a few episodes of Orange is the New Black (our new obsession) once the kids were asleep. It was a perfect day!

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One thing that I have really liked is having Kevin go to daycare once a week. Like I said last week, Kyler and I don’t get much one-on-one time now that I’m home with both kids, so I really cherish the time we have on these days. Life is too short and the newborn stage passes way too quickly to not enjoy these snuggles to the fullest! Plus, it gives Kevin a chance to see his friends and stay familiar with the daycare environment over our summer break. It’s a win-win for all of us!

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I’m getting more used to going out with both kids. I’m finding it’s necessary to get Kevin out and moving in the morning to tire him out and keep him busy. This was a little challenging to do this week since it was so hot, so we’d have to go outside to play super early or stick to indoor places- even if that means just going to Target, which Kevin (and mommy) loves!

How moms try on clothes at Target!

How moms try on clothes at Target!

We had a LOT less temper tantrums and meltdowns this week. I think that’s due to keeping Kevin in his routine, giving him a lot of attention and picking my battles. There are some things that I have learned to just let go rather than make into a big deal like I would have before Kyler was born. It’s really helping me become a more relaxed mom and I love it. Overall though, Kevin is an amazing big brother and I’m so proud of him. Sometimes I can’t believe these boys are mine. I’m a lucky mama!

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It’s really hard to believe that we’re almost at the 6 week mark. That seems like a big deal for some reason!

The things I do when feeding Kyler at 3 AM. You can't deny the resemblance though! :)

The things I do when feeding Kyler at 3 AM. You can’t deny the resemblance though! :)

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

A Day in the Life with a Toddler & a Newborn

Life has changed quite a bit since my last Day in the Life post [back in January]! I’m still getting the hang of having two kids under the age of 3, especially when my husband is at work and I’m flying solo. But I wanted to capture a 24 hour snapshot into our lives while things are still new so that I have this to look back on later. Here is what happened from Tuesday, June 16th to Wednesday, June 17th, when Kevin was 2 years and 9 months old and Kyler was 3 1/2 weeks old.

5:45 a.m. Kyler wakes up. I feed him, burp him and change his diaper. I like to use the Baby Connect app to track his feedings and nighttime sleep. He is a great eater and usually will eat for a while on both sides.

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6:30 a.m.  I try to get him back to sleep for a little while longer. He usually sleeps for one last stretch of two hours or so in the morning. He looks around for a few minutes and then falls asleep, yeah! During this time my hubby wakes up and starts getting ready for work.

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6:35 a.m. I pump. I have been pumping after his morning feeding for about a week now to try to build my stash. I get about 2 ounces from each side, not bad considering how long he just ate!

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6:45 a.m. I start getting myself ready for the day (“get ready” as in throw my hair up and put on whatever clothes I can find) and drink coffee that my amazing hubby brought upstairs for me.

7:00 a.m. I go downstairs to start making breakfast. Kevin wakes up and my husband goes to get him and changes his diaper. He asks to play with his tablet (a gift from my in-laws when Kyler was born). He has quickly become obsessed with it but only gets to play on it for 30 minutes a day.

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7:15 a.m. My hubby leaves for work. I go upstairs to get Kyler who is still sleeping, and put him in the swing so he can continue to sleep. I get my breakfast (oatmeal, coffee, placenta pills… yum) and take it into the living room to eat with the boys and watch the news.

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7:55 a.m. Kevin’s ready for his breakfast. He’s rarely hungry when he first wakes up and likes to play a little bit first. I make him some pancakes with banana on the side. While he eats I empty the dishwasher then do the dishes. Kyler is still sleeping through it all.

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8:20 a.m. Kyler woke up after almost 2 hours. I feed him while Kevin plays with  his trucks.

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8:55 a.m. I change both kids diapers and get them dressed, pack up diaper bag and get ready to leave the house for story time at the library.

9:30 a.m. Arrive at the library right on time. Kevin is so excited and runs right into where they are having story time. He loves to listen to the books that are being read, play with the instruments and dance when they sing songs. It’s so cute to watch! I have Kyler in the Moby wrap and he’s asleep once again. After story time we go pick out a few books to take home and play in the kids room.

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10:30 a.m. We manage to leave the library without any meltdowns, which is a first! Kyler is still snoozing away.

10:45 a.m. We arrive back home. I change Kyler’s diaper and then feed him while Kevin and I read his new books.

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11:30 a.m. After Kyler is fed, burped and happy it’s time to change Kevin’s diaper. Most days I feel like I’m on a diaper changing assembly line. I can’t wait until Kevin is potty trained! We go into the kitchen and I make Kevin lunch. He has a peanut butter and honey sandwich with pineapple. Kyler is hanging out in the bouncy chair loving life, and I eat two hard boiled eggs for a snack. While Kevin eats we FaceTime daddy who is at work. We try to do this everyday.

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12:15 p.m. Kyler has a massive blowout and I clean him (and the bouncy chair) up.

12:30 p.m. Naptime! We go upstairs and all 3 of us lie down in Kevin’s bed. I set the timer on my phone for 5 minutes, which has become very necessary since Kevin loves to drag everything out these days. The timer is my best friend lately! Kevin insists that his brother lies right next to him and gives him lots of kisses. It’s really sweet :) When the timer goes off he puts up a fight but eventually lets us go.

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12:40 p.m. Kevin’s asleep upstairs, Kyler’s asleep in the swing… it’s a miracle! I make myself lunch. I defrost some of the zucchini ‘crab’ cakes that a friend gave us when Kyler was born. They don’t really have any crab in them (they’re vegetarian) but they taste like it and are amazing! I also have a piece of toast with avocado spread on it. Yummy!

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1:05 p.m. All finished eating. I go to the basement to get the freezer meal we are going to eat tonight, then do some more dishes and clean up the morning’s messes. I also make a second cup of coffee (necessary!).

1:30 p.m. Kyler wakes up. I nurse him and change his diaper, and then we have some nice snuggle time. I love getting one-on-one time with him during Kevin’s nap, since I spend most of the day giving Kevin my attention.

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2:10 p.m. Kevin’s awake after an hour and a half, which is a little shorter than usual. Sometimes a shorter nap leads to a rough afternoon and evening, so we’ll see! I change his diaper and the 3 of us have some playtime.

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3:00 p.m. Kyler falls asleep, so I go upstairs with Kevin. I put Kyler’s newborn clothes away and replace them with 0-3 month size. I can’t believe he’s already outgrowing them and it makes me sad! While I do this Kevin plays (a.k.a. makes a mess in Kyler’s room).

3:45 p.m. Kevin and I head back downstairs. We both have a snack- I have a Larabar and Kevin has some goldfish.

4:00 p.m. Kyler has another big poop! Then it’s time to nurse again.

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4:40 p.m. By this time of day I start counting down the minutes until my husband comes home. Kevin’s getting a little restless and I can tell he didn’t take a full nap. I surrender and put on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I hate doing this but some days it’s just necessary. Kyler, on the other hand, is in a great mood, giving me smiles and cooing away. Once Mickey is over it’s back to trucks, puzzles, and books.

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5:30 p.m. My husband is home! Thank goodness! He takes over playing with Kevin while I go make dinner. We are having homemade pizzas on naan bread, with pineapple, vegetarian sausage, peppers and cheese. I love cheese, but I used vegan cheese on mine because cheese doesn’t always love me. While I work on dinner Kevin eats his. Many nights we eat together as a family, but sometimes the timing doesn’t work out. Our dinner wasn’t ready yet and he was hungry, so he went ahead and ate.

6:20 p.m. I nurse Kyler and then my husband and I eat our dinner.

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7:00 p.m. My husband takes Kevin upstairs for a bath and to get him ready for bed. I used to do the bedtime routine with him but we started having my husband do it, since I knew I would not always be able to once Kyler was here. Now it’s something they both look forward to each night. I’m glad they can have that special time together. I watch them cuddling in Kevin’s big boy bed on the monitor and it’s so sweet.

7:45 p.m. Kevin’s asleep, husband is back downstairs and wants to have some time with his other boy now! Kyler is sleeping so he holds him for a bit while we watch some TV and share a beer :)

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8:05 p.m. Kyler is awake and hungry! I feed him while we continue to watch our show.

9:00 p.m. We all start getting sleepy, so we head upstairs to get ready for bed. It’s been a few days since Kyler has had a bath so we go ahead and give him one. He has dry, sensitive skin so we only like to bath him about twice a week. He’s not a huge fan of baths yet but we’re getting there.

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9:45 p.m. After bath, lotion and pajamas, Kyler is ready for bed. He wants to nurse again but doesn’t stay on for too long since he had just eaten not too long before. It was mostly just for comfort which is fine with me right now. I’ll take the snuggles any day!

10:03 p.m. Baby is asleep. I pump a little bit since he didn’t eat much and I know it will be a while until he wakes up again. His first sleep stretch of the night is usually the longest and I wake up REALLY full.

10:15 p.m. Time for me to sleep!

2:54 a.m. I wake up to Kyler’s baby sounds. He doesn’t really cry very much in the middle of the night, but will wake up and start to whimper a little bit. This was a good sleep stretch for him- almost 5 hours! Not bad at all for being almost a month old! I feed him and then daddy changes his diaper. He gets the hiccups so it takes him a little while to fall back asleep.

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3:50 a.m. Kyler falls back asleep and so do we.

6:34 a.m. And he’s up again! He slept for about 2 hours and 45 minutes this time. He’s not looking too happy, but he was after I fed him :) Kevin also woke up around this time while I was feeding Kyler.

Clearly not a morning person!

Clearly not a morning person

And that was a 24 hour snapshot in our lives with two kids under the age of 3! Life is good and we are very thankful for that!

Previous “Day in the Life” posts (before Kyler):

Mom & Baby #2: Week 4

As of yesterday, Kyler is 4 weeks old already! I have to say, I think this was our best week yet. I feel like we are really starting to get the hang of life with 2 kids, for now at least! Here is how we are doing and a recap of week 4.

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Baby

Kyler’s personality is starting to come out more and more.  Along with being laid-back, he’s very expressive with the faces he makes and he is pretty vocal already. He loves to “talk” to us and sing along with us, and has been full of smiles lately. He’s also started moving his arms and legs a ton. I have a feeling he’s going to be a handful once he’s able to be mobile!

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Clearly not a morning person!

Clearly not a morning person!

Even though Kyler continues to be a relatively easy baby, we did just enter his first “Wonder Week” this week which has changed some things. Wonder weeks are specific times during your baby’s life where they are preparing to make ‘mental leaps’ in their development. Before each leap there’s a period of neediness/fussiness that lasts about a week. I learned about Wonder Weeks when I had Kevin and it was always so accurate, and so far it is with Kyler too. He hasn’t really been fussy – he still only really cries if he’s hungry, wants his diaper changed or wants to sleep and needs some help to fall asleep. But I have noticed that he wants more physical contact and has been wanting to eat a lot more, especially at night. His glorious sleep stretches of almost 5 hours have gone back to 2-2.5 hours because he is nursing more frequently. Hopefully they’ll go back to normal once he gets past this Wonder Week, because I am tired!!

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Speaking of nursing, it’s going really well. He nurses about 9-10 times a day and usually eats from both sides. My supply seems to be doing great and I’m so thankful for that. However, just like Kevin did he prefers my right side to my left. My supply also seems to be a little less on that side and it makes him frustrated. To try to even it out and bump up my supply on that side I use my hand pump on the left if he doesn’t eat for long.

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I’m not too worried about it though. I can tell he’s getting plenty of milk because this kid is growing like a weed! He just seems so much bigger to me lately. We also had to pack away the newborn clothes and take out the 0-3 size. This is crazy to me because Kevin wore newborn clothes for 3 months. Kyler was only in them for 3 1/2 weeks!

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Some people have asked me if Kyler looks like Kevin. I knew they have some of the same features, but I hadn’t really compared their baby photos yet. I put these two pictures of both boys at around 4 weeks side by side and it was interesting to see their similarities and differences. Kyler is a lot bigger than Kevin was at this age and has darker hair (and a lot more of it!), but other than that they definitely look like brothers!

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Body

I felt pretty good physically this week! Here is the body after 4 weeks. I didn’t lose anymore weight this week but I notice a slight difference in my body, so I’m fine with that. I’m currently sitting at 139 pounds, so I’m 9 pounds away from pre-pregnancy weight.

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The biggest news of the week for me physically is that I started running again! I wrote a post about my first postpartum run, but since then I have been able to run a few more times. Being able to do what I love again has made me feel back to normal and I love it! I have been working on running every other day and building back up slowly. So far I’m up to 2 miles. When I run I noticed my body feels a little creaky and awkward for the first few minutes, but then I am able to get into a better groove after that. I mostly feel that in my hips and pelvis. I can also tell that my core is weaker, and the postpartum belly jiggle isn’t very fun while running, but I know with time those things will get better. So far each run has been better than the last, so I’m really excited for what’s to come!

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I could not wait to go to the chiropractor yesterday. I was feeling pretty tight and sore in my upper back/shoulders from so much nursing, especially at night since he’s been waking up more often. I also knew I could use an adjustment in my hips. As usual he put me back together and made me feel amazing! I’m so thankful that I discovered chiropractic care a few years ago. It’s made such a positive difference in my life.

Here’s the progress from week 1 to week 4.

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Mind

I was a little worried about this week and how I would handle it emotionally, because I was going to be home with both kids Monday-Thursday. Last week I only had both kids by myself for one day. It went okay, but I wasn’t sure how it would be to have them for 4 consecutive days. It ended up going surprisingly well. I’ve already figured out some good tricks to juggling and managing both of their needs (sometimes at the same time). I obviously still have a lot to learn but it at least got me over the initial fear of taking care of a toddler and newborn on my own. We even managed to make it out of the house 3 days in a row! We went to story time at the library, to Kevin’s first dentist appointment, and to Target. All outings were successful without any meltdowns or incidents. I was very proud of myself!

Fun at the library!

Fun at the library!

Kevin's big boy dentist appointment!

Kevin’s big boy dentist appointment!

Target run with both boys :)

Target run with both boys :)

Kevin’s behavior is continuing to get better. We still have some rough moments, but overall he’s adjusting well. Sometimes I feel guilty when we’re all at home because he demands so much of my attention, which leads me to basically ignore Kyler except for feeding him. I’m not going to lie though, by the time Friday rolled around when Kevin was going to daycare I was ready. I love him to death but man, he’s definitely the difficult one compared to the newborn! It was nice to have some one-on-one time with Kyler after I couldn’t give him much attention all week. This is one of the reasons we plan to keep Kevin in daycare once a week throughout the summer, in addition to keeping him used to it and giving him a chance to see his friends.

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How I get the toddler to nap these days! All of us in the bed and then mommy & baby leave when the timer goes off.

Kevin did have some really sweet moments this week though. First, I was in the bathroom getting myself ready and I came out to see Kevin with a stack of little books reading to Kyler. It seriously melted my heart that he did that totally unprompted.

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And then when I was nursing Kyler for the 100th time on the couch, he came over to me with his Mickey, pulled up his shirt and said, “Look Mommy, I feed my baby too.” So sweet (and funny!)

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This week my two best friends from home come to visit, which was so nice! They stayed with us overnight and we had such a good time just talking and catching up, relaxing, and playing with the kids. They are the best and I’m so glad that we remain so close even though they live in a different state than I do now!

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It is crazy to me that Kyler will be a month old on Monday. Time is definitely moving way too fast and it makes me sad! I want him to stay little forever :(

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Learning to like baths a little more :)

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

My First Post-Baby Run & Comeback Plan!

I ran!!! Yay! As I mentioned in my 3 week update, my midwife cleared me to start running again slowly whenever I felt ready. I was really missing it and my body was feeling good, so yesterday I decided to go out and try to run one easy, slow mile. I got myself dressed, fed the baby and got him to sleep, and charged up my Garmin. It’s actually silly how nervous and excited I felt, but I couldn’t help it.

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It has only been a little over 3 weeks since my last run- 3 miles the day before I had Kyler- but it felt like forever! I was anxious to see how my body would feel, especially since the recovery from this birth was more difficult initially than it was with Kevin’s birth. I decided to wear my belly band under my shirt to help support my core since I still have a slight ab separation.

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Once I was all set I headed outside (it was HOT even at 8:00 a.m.!) and of course had to take a picture to commemorate the occasion :) Gotta love Kevin’s thumbs up!

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Running felt a little awkward at first, like I knew it would. Over the course of the last 9 months my body had slowly adjusted to carrying 30 extra pounds that were mostly in front, and it felt weird to be running without being pregnant. I felt it mostly in my hips/pelvis. They felt a little creaky and sore, but not painful. Surprisingly, my core and abs felt normal, but I’m not sure how it would have felt if I had done a longer run. However, it didn’t take long for me to get into a little bit of a better groove. I couldn’t stop smiling!

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Sadly my mile was over quickly and I was left wanting to do more. I decided to be smart and not push it though, since this was really just a test run. I wanted to see how my body felt during and afterwards, so I knew that sticking to one mile was a good choice.

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It’s amazing how one little run can improve my mood and make my whole day better. I was so happy the rest of the day and couldn’t help starting to think about my “comeback” plan now that I’m starting to run again. I decided that my plan is not to really have a plan. I really want to take it day by day and see how I feel, listening to my body.

All done and all smiles!

All done and all smiles!

However, I do have some guidelines that I want to follow as I get back into running. I have learned a lot of lessons the hard way after doing too much too soon after Kevin’s birth and I do NOT want to repeat that. First of all, I definitely will only be running every other day at the most right now. I want to make sure I allow my body to rest in between runs, whether that means taking one day off or two, or even three. Second, for the time being I don’t want to go out with any set number of miles in mind. I think focusing on getting in a certain mileage will get in the way of allowing me to listen to my body and pay attention to how I’m feeling. Yes, I have some races that I would like to run in late summer/fall but I don’t want to put pressure on myself at this point to follow any type of training plan. I’m just going to gradually increase distance as I feel ready and able do so. Third, I will back off if I have any sign telling me to. This was something I failed at last time around. I ignored a lot of warning signs telling me I was doing too much too soon. I refuse to make that mistake again. The last thing I need right now is a setback.

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I am so excited to be back to doing what I love!

Mom & Baby #2: Week 3

We made it to week 3! We were very busy this week now that I’m feeling good and back to my normal self for the most part. Here is how we are doing and a recap of week 3.

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Baby

I’ve said this every week so far but seriously, we have such a sweet, laid-back baby boy! He is such a joy and so easy, he makes me want at least 3 more kids! LOL, just kidding. This week we got lots of smiles and it just melts my heart!

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We had another doctor’s appointment for Kyler this week. We went to get an ultrasound to check on his kidneys and bladder, since some children who are born with hypospadias have additional issues with those organs. He was not a fan of the ultrasound at all, but we were SO thankful to receive the news that his kidneys and bladder are perfect. All we should have to do is repair the hypospadias when he’s about a year old (since that’s when it’s safer for him to go under anesthesia). We’ll be following up with a pediatric urologist about it sometime this summer.

No kidney issues for this peeing machine!

No kidney issues for this peeing machine!

His sleep is going well for only being 3 weeks old. His long nighttime stretch is now 4-5 hours (yeah!!) and then he will have shorter stretches of anywhere between 2-3 hours. During the day he mostly catnaps at this point. Sometimes he will fight the falling asleep process and needs a little help to get there, but once he’s out he is OUT. This kid sleeps hard!

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Savoring the cuddles because I know they don’t last long!

Nursing is also going really well. This kid LOVES the boob. Since he’s sleeping longer at night he eats more frequently during the day to catch up, about every 2-2.5 hours. He has a hearty appetite and almost always wants to eat from both sides. I can tell he’s growing because his newborn clothes are starting to get snug, and he can now wear size 1 diapers. I’ve also started to pump after his morning feeding to boost my supply and start building a stash. I don’t have any supply issues right now, but I’m doing everything I can to keep it that way after having such a low supply and slow weight gain with Kevin. I don’t want to have to relive that at all! So far, so good in that department.

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Milk drunk on a Friday night!

He is starting to become more interested in his surroundings, which is really fun to watch. The other day I put him in his crib with the mobile spinning and the music playing, and he just stared at it smiling for about 15 minutes. It was the cutest thing! He is also starting to look at us and follow us with his eyes. I love seeing him start to interact with the world around him.

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He’s such a rockstar at tummy time! He has great neck strength already, and when we put him on his belly he moves his little body around so much like he wants to MOVE. Not yet baby boy!

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Body

Last week I said I felt like I was at about 75% when it came to feeling normal again. This week I’d say I’m at 85%. I feel good most of the time except for being tired, which just is a fact of life when you have a newborn. I’m actually feeling so good that I’m really feeling the itch to run again. Even though I know how important it is to let my body recover from such an intense experience like childbirth, it’s weird to do something you love almost every day and then suddenly take weeks off.  I had an appointment with my midwife this week who checked me and told me that I am all healed below. She said I can resume my normal activities like running whenever I feel ready, making sure to take it slow and listen to my body of course. With my last pregnancy I started up again 4 weeks after giving birth. I think I might give it a (short and easy) go tomorrow. I know I will need to be mindful of my diastasis recti (ab separation), which has actually closed quite a bit already but is still about 1 centimeter from closing completely. She said it shouldn’t be an issue and will just take time. I plan to wear my belly band, which is like a tight sports bra for the belly, at first to help support my core. I’ll also need to be mindful of any bleeding. It’s stopped at this point but if it starts up again I will need to take a little more time off. We’ll see! Eeee! Just thinking about it makes me excited!

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Here is the body after three weeks. I gained a total of 30 pounds by the time I delivered, and after two weeks I had lost 20. This week I just lost 1 pound, which means I’m now 9 pounds away from pre-pregnancy weight of 130. Last time the last 5-8 pounds stuck around for a while when I was breastfeeding, so I’m expecting that to happen this time too, which is fine :)

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It felt good to be a little more active this week in terms of walking and getting out and about. I did notice that on the days I went for longer walks or was out with the family I was extra hungry and thirsty, so I know I need to make sure I stay on top of my food/water intake – especially when I start running again.

Here’s the progress from week 1 to week 3.

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Mind

Thankfully, this week was a lot less eventful in terms of stressful situations! I am really finding myself to be a lot more relaxed about parenthood in general, which is such a change from the first time around. I’m definitely learning to just let go and laugh during the crazy times. For example, yesterday Kyler had the biggest blowout of all time in the middle of Target. I guess that’s what I get for trying to take him out shopping for the first time (and for leaving the diaper bag in the car). Two and a half years ago a situation like that would have overwhelmed me and probably brought me to tears. Yesterday I laughed it off, finished my shopping, and cleaned him up once we got back to the car. Life goes on and I’m sure it will happen again someday!

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This is his guilty face!

Even though this was a less stressful week we were still very busy. My aunt was here until Tuesday, which was nice because she was able to help me with a few appointments that we had. Over the weekend we all went out to two local events- a festival on Saturday (with beer tastings- so happy to not be pregnant anymore!), and our favorite craft show on Sunday. It felt really good to be out and about as a family, and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be due to baby wearing and my aunt’s help. We had a lot of fun!

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I also was so happy to finally see some friends this week! We had dinner with two couples that I went to college with. One was Cynthia who is the friend who took Kevin for the night when I was in labor. She has a 5 month old daughter who is the sweetest. We had fun doing a little photo shoot of the babies together. Yesterday I saw my friend Ashley, who was due 3 days after me but ended up having her baby boy at 35 weeks. I hadn’t been able to see her yet since he was so little and wasn’t allowed to have visitors for a while, so it was so nice to finally spend time with her and her little man. That night my other friend Laura came over to visit and brought us a delicious meal. I missed my friends so much!!

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My biggest accomplishment this week was surviving my first day at home alone with both boys. I’ve been lucky to have a lot of help so far from Kevin and my aunt, plus we sent little Kevin to daycare for a few days until I felt better. I was really nervous to see how it would go but it ended up being fine. I tried to pay a lot of attention to little Kev and make sure he was busy and burning off his energy. We only had one tantrum so I’ll call that a win!

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Kevin’s behavior in general has been pretty hit or miss. Some days (and minutes) he’s a super sweet angel, and others he’s a terror. I think what has really helped with the transition is sticking to his schedule as best as we can. This helps us keep some consistency in his life amidst all the change. Making sure he gets solid playtime, nap, bedtime routine and nighttime sleep is key to having a good day. Overall he really does get better each day and I’m super proud of him.

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I really can’t believe how quickly time is passing. It makes me sad! Next week is week 4 and a few days after that Kyler will be 1 month old. Where does the time go?!

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Previous Mom & Baby posts: