Mom & Baby #2: Week 9

What a week! Kyler has officially passed the 2 month mark and we are currently on our first real family vacation! So much to share. Here are all the details about us in week 9.

Amazing how much 2 boys can change in only 2 months!

Amazing how much 2 boys can change in only 2 months!

Baby

This week Kyler officially hit the 2 month mark! I cannot believe how fast my baby boy is growing!

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I took him to the pediatrician for his 2 month visit and he weighed in at 11 pounds 9 ounces, and is 23.5 inches long. That is two pounds and an inch more than Kevin was at his age. So crazy! I think he may outgrow his brother someday.

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The appointment went well and Kyler is one healthy baby boy. The pediatrician did point out that he is a little flatter on the right side of his head, due to him preferring that side when he sleeps. We just need to keep an eye on it and encourage him to not always go to that side, do tummy time and baby wear and other activities that keep his head up. He also got 3 shots and 1 oral vaccine and was not a happy boy for the rest of the day. We had lots of snuggle time.

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Speaking of sleep, it’s getting better again now that we’re totally out of his Wonder Week. He is back to a 5-6 hour long stretch before a couple smaller stretches of 2-3 hours. It feels great to get a little more sleep now! I’m hoping it continues to get more and more consistent as I prepare to go back to work next month. While he still likes to sleep during the day, I noticed he’s not taking as many little catnaps as he was. The naps he takes are getting a little longer and he’s super alert in between them. Hopefully this will start to turn into more of a predictable “schedule” like Kevin fell into on his own when he was around this age.

Attempting to take a nap with Kyler but he wanted to play instead :)

Attempting to take a nap with Kyler but he wanted to play instead :)

One new development has been Kyler’s bad gas. The pediatrician even commented on it when we were there for his appointment. I have no idea why it smells horrible all of a sudden, but I do think it has something to do with the fact that he is pooping less often. I haven’t suddenly changed anything in my diet so I am not sure why this is happening. It doesn’t really seem to bother him though – he’s still a happy boy and doesn’t cry or struggle to relieve the gas. It may just be that his digestion is changing as he gets older, but I’m going to keep an eye on it and see.

Even though he has bad gas he sure is cute!

Even though he has bad gas he sure is cute!

This week Kyler had two big firsts when it came to water – first time in a pool and first time at the beach! We went to the pool last weekend and while he wasn’t sure about the water at first (check out that face below!), he warmed up to it pretty quickly.

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Then later on in the week we headed south to Myrtle Beach, where my in-laws live. We went to the beach on our first full day there and both boys had a blast. Kyler really is such an easy-going, flexible baby. He passed right out on a blanket in our tent and just went with the flow of everything we were doing. I love it!

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Another water milestone this week was that he has really started to like taking showers, just like Kevin did. We even recreated a photo we took when Kevin was around 8/9 weeks old. Check out the similarities! Kyler just has darker hair and is a couple pounds heavier :)

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One of Kyler’s new favorite things to do is stick out his tongue. He is starting to do this all the time and it’s so cute! He’s also continuing to love his hands. He will stare at them, practice moving them in different ways, and they are constantly in his mouth… which leads to lots and lots of baby drool!

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He also has starting to bat at his toys on his playmat, which is a new skill that is supposed to emerge after the Wonder Week he just completed. It blows my mind how accurate they are!

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Body

I’m actually feeling pretty good about my body this week. Thanks to bumping up my running a bit, doing some T25 workouts with my hubby, and making an effort to eat better I feel like I’m starting to make some good progress. I am noticing a difference in photos as well as how my clothes are fitting. Yeah!

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Last weekend I ran my longest post-baby distance to date (6 miles) with a group of ladies from some local Moms Run This Town chapters. I wasn’t sure how this new distance would feel, but thanks to a new route and good company I felt great! It (almost) doesn’t feel like I had a baby recently except for my slower pace, which makes me excited for the future!

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I did have an issue with my new Brooks Adrenalines though. Last week I wrote about how I discovered that the new 15 model was cut differently than previous models, so I exchanged my normal size for another half size up. It worked great at first, but then I started noticing that since they are larger my socks would fall down in the back a little bit which was giving me a little blister. Ugh. I decided to experiment with different lacing techniques based on this chart to see if it would help. I tried #2 and it worked perfectly! No slippage or blisters whatsoever since then. Yay!

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Mind

The week started off a bit rocky with some ups and downs. I was able to get together with two of my close friends who had babies within a few months of me, which was so nice. It was great to see all of the babies together and think about how 10 years ago we were about to start our sophomore year of college and move into an apartment together. Right after our get-together I had to leave Kyler for the first time to go to a meeting at work. I left him at the friend’s house that I was visiting, since she lives right down the road from the school I work at and she really wanted to be the one to watch him for me. I was only gone for two hours but it was tough. I thought about him the entire time, and it made me really nervous to go back to work in a few weeks.

Kyler "playing" with his friend Ava while I was at work

Kyler “playing” with his friend Ava while I was at work

In the days that followed I had some drama with Kevin, who has decided he is not going to wait until his birthday in September to become a “three-nager.” In the span of 2 days he got upset because I ate the leftover quinoa that he apparently wanted (LOL). Then at bedtime he had an epic meltdown because we had to take his shark nightlight away since it was just recalled for being a fire hazard. This morning he cried because a piece of his sidewalk chalk broke and I couldn’t fix it. Then we went to the library to return his Thomas movie before our trip and he threw a huge fit. Sigh… and I used to think taking care of an infant was hard!

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“Fix the chalk mama!” :(

Then we were off to the beach! Roadtripping with two kids was… interesting. We left around 5:30, and the drive takes about 6 hours from where I live. We had to make a few stops for stretching, bathroom, and nursing breaks, and Kevin decided he didn’t want to stop talking or sleep until we were almost there, but we made it!

Before we left

Before we left

Making a pit-stop

Making a pit-stop

Now that we’re actually here I’m feeling great. It’s so nice to have family time, and it’s awesome to have grandparents who want to do lots of baby holding and babysitting. My husband and I have welcomed the break with open arms! It is also really special to be down here in Myrtle Beach with our kids, because we have a lot of memories down here. The first time we came down here was about 8 months into our relationship back in 2010. Now it’s 5 years later and we’re married with two kids. Crazy! Our hands are definitely fuller now but so are our hearts.

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And that’s a wrap on week 9. Life has been so busy lately, which is why my only posts have been these updates. I have a list of posts I want to write but can’t seem to find the time to do them right now. We are actually already a few days into week 10 since I’m late writing this post, so I’ll have more vacation pictures and stories to share next week!

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Mom & Baby #2: Week 8

Kyler is now 8 weeks old, which is when I had to go back to work after having Kevin. I am SO thankful to still have another month at home with my boys. Trying for a spring baby really paid off for us. If I can’t stay at home full-time then I really believe that being a teacher is the next best thing. Here are all the details about all of us in week 8.

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Baby

It’s pretty amazing how much easier everything is this time – both because Kyler is an easier baby and because it’s my second time around. One of the biggest ways baby #2 has been easier than baby #1 is breastfeeding. Kyler is a great eater, he doesn’t have any reflux or issues with dairy like Kevin did, and is gaining weight like a champ. My supply is doing amazing and I have over 150 ounces in the freezer as of now. I’m also a lot more open and less shy about breastfeeding this time. I still wear a cover if I am in public most of the time, but I’m starting to nurse without it in certain places. I went grocery shopping with Kyler this week while Kevin was at daycare and needed to feed him, so I went to the upstairs seating area and fed him without a cover. I’m still pretty modest, but between my shirt and the nursing tank I was wearing underneath, nobody could see anything anyway. With Kevin I would always wear a cover, find the most secluded place possible or go to my car.  This felt so freeing and I was proud of myself.

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Speaking of gaining weight, this babe is getting chunky and I LOVE it. He’s also sooooo long! Check him out here next to his brother. He looks huge to me! I am not used to having a big baby. Kevin didn’t hit 12 pounds until he was over 4 months old due to his reflux and other weight gain issues. Kyler’s already creeping up there. He was 11.5 pounds when I weighed him at home the other day! I can’t wait to see his official weight and height at his 2 month appointment next week.

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Sleep was both good and bad this week. The good part was that we got our longest stretch to date – 6 hours! I think he would have slept longer but I woke him up to feed him because I thought my boobs were going to actually explode. It’s only happened once so far, but we put the sound machine in our room and I think that has really helped him sleep more soundly. During the day he can really sleep anywhere, and lately he’s been falling asleep without his pacifier or any help from us in places like his bouncy chair, swing, or the newborn lounger. I’m happy that he’s able to put himself to sleep sometimes and I hope that means we’ll have an easier time with sleep in the future!

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However, we’re still working through Kyler’s second wonder week, so his sleep hasn’t been ALL good lately. He’s been a little more fussy than usual and wanting to be held a lot. Just look at that face. Breaks my heart.

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Kyler is finally starting to like getting a bath. He smiled through the whole thing the other night, which was nice. We had been rushing through them because he was so unhappy. He better like the water… he was born in it after all! :)

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We’ve noticed that Kyler is starting to react to toys and external stimuli more. He stares at the toys above him in his swing and activity mat, and kicks his legs and swings his arms around like he wants to touch them but can’t yet. He also has been loving Sophie the giraffe, and gives us big smiles when we squeeze her and she squeaks at him.

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Here are some more of my favorite photos from this week.

Our super tall boy!

Our super tall boy!

The stages of waking up with Kyler

The stages of waking up with Kyler

Big brother checking little brother's heartbeat

Big brother checking little brother’s heartbeat

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Smiles :)

Body

Let’s get real for a minute. Most days I feel pretty good about my body and the progress I’ve made since giving birth 8 weeks ago. It hasn’t been so easy lately though. We are getting ready to go on vacation to the beach so I have been going through my clothes and bathing suits from last summer to start packing. I’m 10-13 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight (depending on the day), and not much fits except a few dresses and looser fitting shirts. I have two pairs of shorts and one pair of jeans that fit, two of which are maternity. My hips are still too wide for most of my regular jeans. My bathing suits are not flattering at all due to being larger on top and the bottom right now, and of course I still have some baby belly leftover. Trying to pack for a beach vacation was a little discouraging, to say the least. I started feeling frumpy and uncomfortable in my skin.

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I put packing on hold for a couple days and today I was scrolling through the pictures on my phone. I came across my last belly photo from the day I gave birth, which you can see below. On the right is today at 8 weeks postpartum. Seeing these photos next to each other gave me a reality check. I need to remember that less than 2 months ago I looked like this, and that my body has carried and given birth to two little humans. That is amazing! Not only that, but my body is able to run, lift, breastfeed my baby, take care of my family and more. My body has been good to me and it deserves to be treated with love and respect in return. So I decided that I will pack my clothes, maybe pick up a few new things that make me feel more comfortable, and rock them proudly on vacation… including that bikini!

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In other body news, I decided to change my hair! I have been wanting to go back to my natural color for a while to make it easier to maintain, but was scared because it’s a lot darker than what I’m used to. I finally took the plunge this past week and also cut off all of my nasty dead ends, and I LOVE it! It’s definitely helping me feel a lot less frumpy and more fabulous :)

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All is going well in the fitness world. I’ve been running like usual, but this week I started running on a few consecutive days rather than every other day like before. I felt like my body was ready for it and it has responded well so far. I had a good 5 mile run over the weekend despite the fact that it was midday and HOT! Kevin and I have also started doing T25 workouts together. It’s been fun to work out again at the same time since we usually take turns these days. He really wants to get back in shape so I am happy to jump in with him on his workouts when I feel up for it!

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I finally was able to meet with my doctor this week and discuss my thyroid bloodwork results. Over the last 3 months my TSH level went from a 2.9 to .89. My doctor likes to keep me between 0.30-3.00, so this is still within normal limits, however it’s more on the hyper side (overactive) than the hypo side (underactive). I had a feeling this might be the case because of how hungry I have been, even with breastfeeding and running. I have come to learn my body well and know when my levels are changing. Since I don’t have any negative side effects to this level besides increased hunger, he wanted to keep my dosage the same. He didn’t want to decrease it because he said that being on the higher end of the range (having a more underactive thyroid) can lead to milk supply issues, which I definitely don’t want since things are going so well right now. He did a few other thyroid related tests and all came back fine as well, so I’m just going to keep an eye on my symptoms and get my blood retested in a few months to see when my meds might need to be adjusted to a lower dose again.

When the baby wakes up crying before your workout is over!

When the baby wakes up crying before your workout is over!

Below is a comparison between week 1, week 4, and week 8. I see some change since last month but not a ton. Bumping up my running mileage and mixing it up with some T25 should help next month I think.

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Mind

Mama was under quite a bit of stress this week. Kevin needed to have surgery to repair a hydrocele/hernia where fluid was going back and forth from his abdomen to his testicle. It was originally scheduled for August, but then they had a cancellation so we went ahead and did it this week since it was causing him some discomfort. We talked to him a lot about it beforehand and he was fine, but I was so nervous – mostly because he had to go under anesthesia and because surgery always comes with some risks.

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So cute in his hospital gown

My hubby took off work and we all drove down to Richmond early on Wednesday morning. Kevin was prepped for surgery and we spoke to the doctor and the anesthesiologist. When it was time my husband walked him back to the OR doors, and then they took him back from there. I wasn’t sure how he would do without us there with him, but apparently he was fine. They put the mask on him and he was asleep within a minute or two. The surgery took about an hour and all went well. They had to make an incision near his hipbone and also in his scrotum to close and tack down everything, and then stitched him back up. When he was done they kept him in recovery until he came out of anesthesia. They warned us that kids fight it HARD when they come out of it, but it still broke my heart to hear him coughing, crying, and screaming behind the curtain. Eventually they brought him back to us and I was able to hold him and comfort him as he continued to come out of it. That was by far the worst part. He was confused and his voice was raspy (from the breathing tube). He wasn’t allowed to walk for 8 hours because they put a caudal block that numbed him from the waist down. It was rough, but his medical team was amazing and I was really happy when it was all said and done. Recovery was a little challenging, since he was in some pain and on meds, and he needed to take it easy which isn’t easy to explain to a 2 year old. But I think the whole thing was harder on me than it was on him. I cried more than he did, that’s for sure! He’s a tough little guy!

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Overall though, I’m still surprised by how happy I feel every day. I did not feel this way after Kevin was born. I was overwhelmed, stressed, and cried almost every day at least once. I definitely had some baby blues for a while. This time I just feel happy and thankful for how good life is, and how lucky I am to have my family.

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We had some good quality family time this week too. Some lazy, relaxing days at home and some fun days out with friends and family. I like that balance :)

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Whew! That’s a wrap on week 8. It was definitely a busy one! My plan is to continue with these weekly updates while I am home for the summer until Kyler is 12 weeks old, then I’ll switch over to monthly updates. Week 9, here we come!

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Mom & Baby #2: Week 7

Kyler is so excited to be 7 weeks old! With every day that passes he is acting less like a newborn, and it’s just a reminder that time passes SO quickly. This week was a busy one, but I’m trying very hard to make the most of our days no matter what. Here are all the details about week 7!

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Baby

I don’t actually have too much to update on Kyler this week. He continues to be a laid-back smiley little guy and I love him so much! The smiles we’ve been getting are so big and so genuine, it is so unbelievably sweet and makes me melt!

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This week Kyler nursed a TON. He averages 8-10 nursing sessions a day, and he was on the high end of that range almost every day. My supply is feeling it too, I have been getting fuller more quickly and pumping more as well. I’m not complaining. Lots of milk makes baby happy and mama happy too!

Milk drunk and happy

Milk drunk and happy

Toward the end of this week we entered into Kyler’s second wonder week, which means that along with lots of nursing there has been a lot of sleeping. He has started sleeping in some longer stretches again once a night (4-5 hours) but other than that his sleep has been mostly catnaps since he wants to eat so often. He’s also wanting to be held constantly. I still put him in his crib to nap once a day, but I’ve also been letting him sleep on me too. I’m not going to lie, I really do love it and plan to enjoy it to the fullest while it lasts. He likes to put his little hand in my shirt while he sleeps and it’s so sweet!

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He is looking so big to me lately! I’m really excited to see what his weight and height is at his two month appointment, which is coming up on July 22nd. I can tell he’s grown a ton though, especially when he’s all stretched out on his activity mat!

He is really starting to become infatuated with his older brother. Kevin gets some of the biggest smiles from Kyler, and he’s always looking at him to see what he’s doing. Kevin loves this and is always trying to entertain him.

"He's cold, he needs a blanket mama"

“He’s cold, he needs a blanket mama”

Reading a book to his brother

Reading a book to his brother

Since I don’t have more to say about him, here are some more cute photos from this week :)

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I told you he smiles a lot! :)

Body

The biggest news this week in terms of my body is that I ran my first postpartum race! On the 4th of July I ran the Heritage 5 Miler and really surprised myself with how I did and great I felt. This race made me so excited for my future race plans and what I might be able to accomplish once I really get back into training. I still plan to take the rest of 2015 to run easy and for fun, to rebuild my base and strengthen my body, but I’m going for some big things in 2016!!!

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I’m still very hungry this week. I have had to eat a snack before bed and still wake up starving when Kyler eats around 3-4 a.m. I’ve increased my calories some and that has helped. Most meals this week have been eaten while holding a baby who is either nursing or sleeping, so that’s been an interesting challenge!

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Here’s the body at week 7. I notice a very slight change in my belly area this week compared to last, but my weight is still the same, hovering around 140 (10 pounds above pre-pregnancy weight). Like I said before, I really don’t care to lose all of my weight right away. I’d rather hold onto some of it and have a great milk supply, rather than risk anything by eating less than what my body needs or working out too hard. That is much more important to me right now.

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Mind

Week 8 started off great with our 4th of July celebration and relaxing with my boys. On Saturday we went to the race and post-race festival in downtown Fredericksburg, then later that evening we went to our friend’s house for food and fireworks. They live right down the street and have kids that are about the same age as Kevin and Kyler, so it worked out perfectly. On Sunday we took it easy and hung out at home. I love days like that!

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Then the week started, and it was a busy one! I had a bunch of appointments almost every day that forced us out of the house, so it was pretty much the opposite of relaxing. I had to go to the dermatologist on Monday, my birth center on Tuesday for my 6 week postpartum appointment, the chiropractor on Wednesday… whew! I was also supposed to have an appointment with my primary care physician on Friday to go over my thyroid bloodwork panel, but we didn’t quite make it there (more on that later!). Kevin went to daycare on Tuesday and Wednesday which helped, but I was tired once the end of the week rolled around!

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Kyler visiting with Kelly, the midwife that delivered him!

Along with our crazy week we were also potty training! Wow, potty training is exhausting. Kevin was doing okay with it before Kyler was born but then had a regression and we didn’t want to push it for a little while. He just started showing interest again and is VERY enthusiastic about it, so we had lots and lots of back and forth to the potty. Whew! He did a great job though and has been pretty well behaved lately, except that he apparently has learned how to lock himself in his room and thinks it’s hilarious. That was an interesting day :)

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Finally, our week ended in a little bit of a stressful way. On Friday morning I was on my way to my doctor’s appointment with both kids, driving on the highway when Kevin coughed and asked me for some water. He took one sip and then started projectile vomiting everywhere. I had to pull over on the side of the highway because it was all over the place and he was scared. I turned around (missed my doctor’s appointment obviously), went home to get him in the bath, cleaned the car and car seat, while also taking care of/feeding/holding my wonder-weeking newborn. All while also being in the middle of potty training too! Bodily fluids everywhere! Haha! It was so terrible that I couldn’t help but laugh at the whole situation, once I knew that my little one was okay and on the mend. I still don’t know what was wrong with Kevin. He had a slight fever all day afterwards and slept for a while, but didn’t throw up again. He didn’t have a fever anymore this morning so that’s good!

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Cuddles with my boys!

It’s hard to believe that we’re entering week 8, and at this time with Kevin I was already going back to work. I’m so thankful that’s not the case this time. I still have a whole extra month at home with my boys and I plan to make the most of it!

Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Heritage 5 Miler

A year ago on the 4th of July I was in Myrtle Beach running a 5K. I got a new PR of 21:55 (7:04 pace) AND beat my husband which was a huge goal of mine. I was hoping that this year on the 4th of July I would be running another race, either pregnant or with a new little one in our family, since we were trying to get pregnant at the time. We found out we were expecting two months later, and this year on the 4th of July I ran the Heritage 5 Miler in Fredericksburg at 6 weeks postpartum.

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Somehow we all got up and made our way down to Fredericksburg by 7:15 a.m., which was pretty much a miracle. I am so thankful for my amazing husband, who was willing to stay with our two boys while I ran. One in the stroller, one in the carrier…  he is a super-daddy for sure!

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I picked up my race packet, made a quick bathroom stop, and lined up with time to spare. Usually I feel nervous before races, but I went into this one with no watch and no expectations (not even a secret goal like usual, haha!). I really just wanted to have fun and enjoy my return to racing without any pressure.

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Right on time at 7:45 the gun went off and we were running!

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The first few minutes felt amazing! I was so happy to be racing again, especially in downtown Fredericksburg, which is one of my favorite places to run. However, after the initial adrenaline wore off I noticed some pain in my left foot near my heel. It made me really nervous, and I wondered if maybe I shouldn’t be running this race.

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But after about 10 minutes my foot stopping hurting and I was feeling normal again… so weird! I got back into my rhythm and enjoyed the scenery around me. I had no idea what pace I was running and I didn’t care.  I wasn’t jogging leisurely but I wasn’t pushing it either, so I was surprised when I passed the first mile marker and a race volunteer who was shouting out times said we were at 9:05. I decided to go with it since I felt good. I knew I could always slow down later or stop to walk if I ended up needing to.

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The course for this race was very familiar to me since I run here all the time. It took us from downtown Fredericksburg onto the Heritage Trail by the Rappahannock River, and then onto the Canal Path. It’s very scenic and I love it! The last time I ran this route I was 34 weeks pregnant and feeling slow and heavy. On this day I was feeling strong and so happy!

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We exited the Canal Path to head back toward downtown with about a mile left. When I passed the volunteer standing by mile 4 they shouted out that we were around the 37 minute mark, so I figured my pace must have been about 9:15. I couldn’t believe it, especially considering it was pretty warm and humid.

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I turned the corner to run the final stretch and I saw my boys on the side of the road cheering. It was so great to see the THREE of them for the first time during a race. It felt really special.

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Kevin has become a race spectator professional and loves to give the runners high fives as they pass. It was so adorable when he realized that I was coming. He gave me a big smile and said, “Mama!!” My heart melted :)

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The finish line was just ahead right after I passed them, and it was slightly downhill. Gotta love that! I was so happy to see the clock as I crossed. I did so much better than I thought I would.

  • Finish Time – 46:20 (9:15 average pace)

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After getting some water and a snack I reunited with my boys. Apparently Kyler missed me while I was gone and demanded to be taken out of the Ergo, so my husband was pushing the stroller while holding the baby at the same time. He’s such a trooper!

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We made our way back to the car so I could change into a dry shirt and feed Kyler, then we walked downtown to enjoy the 4th of July festival they had going on. They had a parade, a craft show with lots of tents and vendors, food, children’s activities like a moon bounce (which Kevin loved!), and music. It was a  lot of fun!

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Eventually we all headed home for naps and showers, to rest and prepare for more Independence Day activities with friends later that evening. It was a busy, wonderful day!

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Such a fashionable race shirt!

This was my first 5 mile race ever and I’m so happy with how I did. It feels great to be back out there and racing again. Plus I had a pretty cute cheering squad :) I have a lot of work ahead of me to get back to where I was a year ago, but I know that I’m strong and I’m very excited to see what I can do in the future! Happy 4th of July (a few days late!).

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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 :)

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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! :)

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