The magical week six is here! I feel like the first six weeks with a new baby is going to be insanity but everything starts to fall into place after you hit this magic week. Our schedule is a lot more predictable and Harper is blessing us with longer stretches of sleep. She’s usually waking up around 3:30 am to eat and then back to bed until 5:30 or so. <— so sad that seems like a decent amount of sleep. Whenever I tell people that I think she’s sleeping pretty well and give the wake times they have this look of horror on their faces.
Armed with my renewed confidence in
herding cats parenting we hit the town big time this week! We made our solo maiden voyage to Costco, the grocery store and Mommy & Me class. It was shockingly successful. My one tip, strap that baby in a carrier (we love the Ergo and K’tan). I always carried Hudson in one while shopping but with two kids it is a necessity. There is no room for that hunking car seat + groceries in the cart.
Hudson seems to be embracing his big brother role. He insisted on teaching sister how to play with her baby gym.
The internet was chock full of baby wrangling goodness this week. Some great blogs/articles that I read from better writers/moms than me:
I think we’ve turned a corner here folks! With our first real week on our own we’re doing pretty well. I managed to get Hudson to his music class and mommy & me class on time with Harper tagging along. I think Hudson has finally come down from his post-grandparent insanity and we’re settling back into a routine.
In the past few weeks I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to keep everybody happy all the time. I’m here to tell you, with two kids someone is always waiting. Waiting for dinner, waiting for a bath, waiting for attention, etc, etc, waiting for ALL THE THINGS. I know that seems pretty obvious but it took me awhile to catch on (I blame the lack of sleep!). Since there is only one of me and two kids, I’ve just embraced the idea of someone is always waiting and/or crying. It makes me feel a lot less guilty taking time to feed Harper while Hudson waits his turn for a book or letting Harper cry while I finish up something with Hudson.
So there’s the tip of the week: if only one baby is crying at any given time, you are winning!
Tags: Two under two
Week 4 was a whirlwind of fun here, hence the lack of updates. Cousin Isabelle (and Aunt Brooke) came to visit for a few days. I’m not sure if they came to visit us or just to escape the polar vortex. Either way, we’re glad they stayed. Hudson used Isabelle’s visit to perfect his shouting ‘no’ and ‘mine’ at every available chance. When they weren’t stealing each others sippy cups and toys they really played well together, which gives me hope for the future!
We spent their visit here soaking in the sun, visiting the beach and just hanging out around here. It makes me wish we had family living closer to us.
Brooke and Isabelle left on Thursday and Matt’s parents arrived on Friday to meet our newest addition and spoil Hudson rotten. They were a huge help getting up with him in the morning and distracting him while I was busy feeding Harper.
They also babysat for us one night so we could sneak out for dinner sans babies. We tried out a new neighborhood bistro and it was pretty great! We even splurged on dessert. Basically, they spoiled us all and we were sad to see them go. Especially Hudson, since I have not been bringing the entertainment factor he’s been used to!
This week we also found out that Harper does have hip dysplasia and has to be in a full body harness for six weeks. We love the orthopedic doctor we’re seeing and will be seeing him every two weeks for an update on her progress. Fingers crossed that this brace fixes her right up since she looks absolutely pitiful in the brace.
Tags: Two under two
Well, here we are on Friday with our weekly check in. I don’t even have any new pictures of the kids to include. It’s a good thing I set the bar impressively low on blog updates! Onward!
This week was pretty brutal if I’m being honest. Hudson has just realized that sister is here to stay and she is taking up a whole lot of attention and time. He hasn’t been acting out at her but he’s been really whine-y and cries at the drop of a hat. I feel equal parts exasperated and sad for him since he can’t really express himself yet. He does love helping me with diapers and binky duty so I’ve been trying to channel that into making the time with Harper a positive one for him. I’ve also really been trying to have some sort of fun activity for him to do with me each day. We’ve made cookies, worked on Valentine’s and just read books together while Harper naps. I can definitely tell a difference in his mood when he gets some alone time!
Harper is growing like a weed and is giving me a little (tiny!) bit more sleep during the night. I usually get her down around 10 and she wakes up at 1:30 am and 5:00 am to eat. We also had an appointment at Children’s Hospital of LA this week for a hip ultrasound. Our pediatrician thought Harper’s hip might be a little out of line (this is something fairly common I’m told) and sent us in for a referral. We have another appointment in a couple of weeks with the specialist for the update/results.
Since I’m up every few hours during the night. Which- side bar here- has really made me re-visit our stance on no TV in the bedroom as I could have easily watched all of the past seasons of Scandal already. I have been to the ends of the Internet trying to stay awake for 45 minute nursing sessions. I am completely up to date on all of my friends happenings on Facebook, have liked all of the Instagram pics, have pinned all the things and watched all of the cat videos. I found a hilarious book, Dad is Fat that has been keeping me company for the past few nights. Jim Gaffigan is a dad of 5 kids and his musings are hilarious. I definitely recommend it, midnight feedings or not!
Any veteran moms/dads want to throw out any advice on keeping the toddler happy? Or share any cute cat videos? Here’s to next week, it can only go up from here!
Another week under our belt and feeling a little more confident juggling two kids. Although yesterday I got served up a big old slice of humble pie. It was my first day solo parenting. I was feeling pretty smug about our day. I managed a shower, wrangling both kids to Hudson’s music class, I made dinner and even cookies with Hudson for an afternoon activity. Everyone was alive and happy when Matt arrived home = miracle in my book. During dinner Hudson was particularly whine-y and was picking at his food. We figured he was getting a little annoyed since I was feeding Harper instead of eating dinner with him. Matt took him upstairs to play and get some alone time. Five minutes later – cue the shouts from the bedroom: “he just threw up!”. He seems to have such a sensitive stomach. He’s had a few incidents like this in last few months. No fever, he just throws up and then boom, back to normal. So we spent the rest of our evening on puke patrol instead of congratulating ourselves with a well done first day.
Get out of the house! This was huge for me when Hudson was little and still rings true. All dire situations seem a bit more manageable after a little fresh air. I’ve taken them both to the park in our sweet ride and scheduled Hudson’s mommy and me classes and playdates to keep us busy and out of the house in the mornings. Bonus: everyone has a better nap!
Breastfeeding is easier…and harder. I feel so much more confident feeding Harper since I already had over 13 months of experience under my belt (err, bra?). It’s just been frustrating since I know how to breastfeed but she still learning. I had forgotten that newborn feedings can take up to an hour and apparently both of my babies are lazy eaters in the beginning. I have to strip her down and keep her awake to get in a full feeding. I’m trying to remember my own advice, the first six weeks are the hardest and then you’re smooth sailing!
Mom Hack: Maybe I’m the last one to this stupid-easy trick but I just added a changing station downstairs (by changing station, I mean a little box of wipes, diapers and changing pad shoved next to the couch). It’s been life changing. No running up the stairs with one baby while the other is left to their own devices. Hudson feels super important tossing Harper’s diapers in the trash and the subsequent squirt of antibacterial gel.
This week I’m really trying to get our schedules worked out so everyone is a happy camper. I’m pretty sure that means me getting up earlier (boo!) but I think we’re on the right track!
Howdy from the two under two trenches! We are home with our newest bundle and settling into our (new!) routine.
The first question our friends and family ask (after they ask if Harper is a good sleeper- uh, sort of?) is how big brother Hudson is adjusting. Another baby mama blogger has two little ladies under two and does a weekly recap and I just couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon. So here we go…
Take it slow with introducing baby to big brother. Hudson came to visit us in the hospital. He was proud as a peacock wearing his big brother shirt and loving all the attention from the nurses. He sort of freaked when he got to our room to say hello. I think he was overwhelmed with the hospital bed and equipment and the crying baby. He started crying when Harper started crying. Which was equal parts adorable and terrifying, thinking of the days ahead with double the tears. So pace yourselves! There is plenty of time for these two to become besties.
Get help! Seriously. Every book, blog post and veteran mom will tell you, you’re going to need help. Hudson hasn’t really been acting out or mean to Harper but her nursing sessions take up to 40 minutes and that is a LONG time for a toddler to entertain himself. My Mom flew out a few days after we got home from the hospital and has been a lifesaver. She took him to all of his classes, out on walks and generally kept him entertained while I fed the baby (all.day.long).
Just go with the flow. We waffled back and forth on getting a second crib or a bassinet or just a pack and play to deal with the sleeping situation. We settled on a little cradle and were all prepared to have Harper sleep there from night one. Girlfriend had other ideas. For whatever reason, she hates the cradle so we stuck her in the Rock and Play and she’s been sleeping like a champ (she gives us 3.5-4 hour stretches of sleep at night). Our motto is, “I’m sure it will be fine”.
Our first week with two kiddies has been pretty great, if not exhausting! Since I started this little post-a-thon a little late you get two posts today, get excited!
Posted by Brittney | Filed under Baby Ahrens
Harper Elizabeth Ahrens made her debut on January 14th at 9:30pm, one day after her due date. She weighed in at a trim 8 pounds, 9 ounces (a full pound less than her brother!) and is 19.25 inches long. We’re totally in love with her and have been settling in as a family of four.
Big Brother Hudson is coming around and starting to show more interest in his sister. He loves pushing her baby swing and helping bring blankets and binkies to her.
Follow along on my Instagram stream for an unreasonable amount of baby pictures.
I feel like we’ve just finally got our place back whipped back into shape from the whirlwind that was Christmas. It feels good to have a little more room in our living room (although, I miss the tree lit up at night). Hudson was a lucky, lucky boy this year and was spoiled with SO MANY presents from friends and family. See proof of this here.
Growing up both of our parents made sure we always wrote and said thank you for anything we were given. Of course this is something we wanted to pass down to our kids (although it’s turned me in to a bit of paper product hoarder!). I searched Pinterest and Etsy for kids thank you notes and didn’t find anything I loved. I really wanted Hudson to be involved in the thank you note writing.
Since he’s yet to master his writing skills, I dictated his thanks and he added pizzazz to the front of the cards with the help of some new crayons. The project was definitely over his head in terms of understanding saying thank you but I really wanted to start a tradition and practice of it.
The artiste adding just enough flair that says, “I really really love my new mega blocks!”
I think kids even a little older than Hudson (maybe 2 or 3?) would really grasp the concept of the project. Anyway, I thought I’d make my template available for anyone who could use simple thank you notes for their kids.
Download it here!
Now that I’ve rounded week 39 of this pregnancy I thought it was time to pack up our hospital bag. This time I’ve been more relaxed (sensing a theme with the second baby?) and haven’t even really thought about what I’ll be taking. Last time, we WAY over packed. We practically brought the whole nursery to the hospital. I was joking with my girlfriend the other day that I would probably be ok with just tossing a clean pair of undies in my purse on the way out the door. Here’s what I whittled our packing list down to this time.
I packed so many outfits and what not the first time it was ridiculous. All you need is a comfy pair of PJs and nursing tank tops. Honestly, when you’re first getting the hang of nursing the hospital gowns are the easiest to manage. I’m also including some leggings and a cardigan for the ride home. Flip flops were a must for pacing the halls + shower stall. I also threw in some comfy (cheap!) socks (I threw them away afterward).
Don’t forget your makeup + dry shampoo. A shower after having a baby is amazing, drying your hair in a tiny hospital bathroom isn’t. Embrace the dry shampoo ladies! Sounds vain but there will be plenty of pictures!
ipad/iphone/camera + chargers! You’ll be taking tons of pics of your new bundle of joy. We also face-timed with all of our out-of-town family so it was essential to have all of our gadgets. I also thought it was nice to have internet access since it got a little boring just sitting in the room without any visitors.
Dad doesn’t need a lot but a comfy pair of pants for sleeping after baby arrives is nice! We’re also packing this Hudson shirt for the ride home to pay homage to our first born (we know we’re cheesy). Matt was super sore from walking and giving me a 10 hour back massage so I’m throwing in some Tylenol this time. Snacks are also a nice addition since the hospital really only takes care of mom.
You really don’t need to pack anything for baby, the hospital gives you everything from binkies to diapers. We’re taking a couple of cute going home outfits (a gal needs options!), a hat and hair accessories and some cute swaddle blankets for pictures.
Was there anything that made your stay or that you forgot and were cursing yourself for? I forgot a hair tie last time (who does that?!) and had to use an actual rubber band from the nurses station. Yeow!
I’m sure you have all seen the cute DIY toddler tents making the internet rounds. When I first saw them, I knew we had to make one for Hudson. He loves forts and crawling under things so I thought he would love it. Matt and I both contemplated just buying a premade version but they were going for $70 on Etsy all the way up to $200 at the Land of Nod. So DIY it was!
I used these three (1/2/3) tutorials as my main guides. Those tutorials cover the how-to pretty well. I’m not sure my building prowess could really give an additional insight on how to make one. We made our tent a little shallower to allow for smaller apartment quarters. That meant I had to hem the sheet, so keep that in mind!
I did sand, stain and seal the bejesus out of the frame before adding on my $5 Walmart sheet. I thought about using my handy freezer paper stencil trick to make the arrows but in the end decided to just wing it. I used the same gold paint from our DIY Advent Calendar.
I think it came out really cute and couldn’t wait to see Hudson’s face on Christmas morning! See below for his super impressed face (and our super classy TV fireplace).
One thing we added that I really love are these LED fairy lights. I think it’s going to be the perfect place for hiding or book reading.
So that’s what Santa’s dropped off at our place this year! I know it is so cliché but man I love the holidays even more now that we have kids. It is SO fun!