Tag Archives: Journey to a Year (0-3 months)

Baby Z: 3 & 4 Months Old

I’ve been doing such a terrible job lately of recording milestones! I swore to myself that I would not be one of those mom’s who did everything for their first child, and then, their second had nothing. No surprise, but I’m eating my words once again. Isn’t that so typical of parenthood though? 

I was doing so well about taking photos of Baby Z each month for his birthday, until month 3. Although I captured a photo for his 3 month birthday, I never posted it. Why? Kept running out of time until it just became outdated news, and then, there was the fact that the pictures didn’t turn out as I’d hoped.

My loving toddler decided he needed to be in the photo too, and the crushing love was a little too much for the baby.

3Months

But, I think this month’s photo definitely made up for the last one, AND I’m actually posting about it within a week of his birthday. I think that’s an accomplishment!

4Months

4 Month Stats:

almost 16 lbs. (62th %)

25.25 inches (59th %)

17.2″ head (96th %)

New Talents:

clasps hands together frequently, lots and lots of drool (which I assume means there will be teeth soon!), sleeping is irregular (typically down by 9pm & up twice a night), loves to laugh and smile when we make funny faces, makes a cute velocirapter noise when he laughs, loves bath time; especially with Brother, nursing like crazy right now (which I’m hoping is due to a growth spurt or teething) 

Of course, all of this remind me that I’ve also become the parent I said I’d never be. It’s hard to not constantly compare #1 to #2. From their sleeping habits to their doctor’s appointments, they’re so completely different in every way.

I have a lot of people telling me the opposite. We’ve had several comments that Baby Z looks a lot like the Little Man, but I have to disagree. Baby Z is a spiting image of my side of the family, and M takes after Tim’s side of the family. They definitely both have my eyes, but I don’t see Hurst when I look at him. (Sorry Hursts!)

4Months2

Here’s my Little Man at 4 months.

What do you think; similar or different? 

Homeowner’s Association Easter Egg Hunt

When we moved into our neighborhood almost 7 years ago, we had no idea it was as sought after as it is. We chose it because we loved the idea of an older neighborhood close to our jobs and in a great school district for our future kids. 

It wasn’t until we began to get involved with the families around us that we realized how difficult it is to find a decent home in our neighborhood without stalking people or being willing to pay out the nose to just get into a home. 

Why? 

For reasons like this. . .
Our neighborhood is tucked quietly back in a Far North Dallas subdivision that has an awesome elementary school (practically) on every corner, and because of the amount of young families and children living here, the neighborhood associations do an amazing job of making everyone feel like they belong here. 

Last weekend, our HOA paired up with the HOA across the street and put on their annual Easter Egg Hunt.

We chose to not go last year because the Little Man still didn’t quite understand what the egg hunt was all about, but now that he’s a little older we decided to make the trek up to the school and participate. 
Although we had a mini egg hunt at Baby Boot Camp last year, this would be his first “real” one in my opinion. He hunted down the eggs himself and put them in his basket without me having to reaffirm every few minutes what we were trying to do. 

And of course, now that he’s a little older, he discovered there was a bonus for finding eggs. . .  

(I would like to know who thought mints were a good idea for ages 0-2?)
Candy!

And even though it was a really, really, really chilly day, even Baby Z had a lot of fun enjoying the sunshine and laughter from other kids!   


I just love that our neighborhood puts on events like this, and I can’t wait to participate in more now that the boys are getting a little older! 

What are some of your neighborhood’s events that you love? 

A Day of Birthdays: Baby Z’s 2 Month

From one birthday celebration to another, today we celebrated my 2 year old and my 2 month old! 

Time sure is flying by fast!

And I have to be honest, as I wiped away a few tears hugging my Little Man good night tonight, I couldn’t help but look at Baby Z and think ahead to where he’ll be in 2 years.  

Taking life one day at a time somehow makes it slip away faster. 

We’re not quite into a routine in life yet, but we’re getting there.

Baby Z’s fussiness hasn’t gone completely away, but it’s definitely better. 
We’re down to about twice a day that the fussiness is at its worst. Otherwise he’s starting to be a pretty happy baby! 

We’ll go in next week for his 2 month check up, his first round of shots, and to find out if the thrush has gone away. I’m optimistic, but realistic that it’s something we’re probably still battling. 

Milestones & Memories to Remember: 
  • Neck muscles are getting stronger, and he’s able to keep it held upright for long periods before flopping over.
  • Starting to notice the world around him. Ceiling fans, mirrors, and lights. 
  • Smiles! When in a good mood, he’s smiling and cooing. 
  • Feeding still every 2.5 – 3 hours, and 3-4 hours at night; although he had his first 6.5 hour stretch this week! 
  • He’s loving baths and being near mommy! 

Changing Tradition: Baby Z’s Dedication

On Sunday, we celebrated our newest edition with a baby dedication at our church. In front of our entire congregation we made a vows of commitment to Baby Z. 


We acknowledge that he is a gift and a trust from God, 
and that we are responsible to God for his Christian nurture.

We commit to pray for him and teach him the truth of Jesus Christ.
We commit to set a Godly example in prayer, in Bible reading, in church attendance, in giving, and in serving others everywhere we go.


Being prayed over by one of our elders.
I have to admit with the Little Man I didn’t give much thought to what his Baby Dedication meant. In the past, the church used to recite its commitment to us; helping us raise him in faith.


It’s a passage I’ve said a hundred times for other babies, but I haven’t felt a strong connection to the lines I was saying. Most of the babies I might see twice a year, so the “commitment” I make  to help raise a child in Christ doesn’t mean much since I’m not a part of their lives. If I ever come across that kid in the hallway, I promise I’ll do that!

As the parent, we’d just stand there as the crowd said its reassuring words, and I’d feel thankful and loved, but once we walked off stage, that was it. Our brief moment on stage was over. 


The Little Man’s Dedication – April 2011
Yesterday, I found myself having flashbacks to my wedding. It’s been almost 9 years since I recited vows in front of my family, friends, and church members. My wedding vows were extremely important and they’re words that have formed and shaped my life.

I made a commitment to my husband; to love and cherish him, in sickness and in health for as long as we both shall live. . . 

So, why wouldn’t the vows to my children be the same? 

Just as I made these vows to my church family, I make these same vows to you to help me keep my promise to not just Baby Z, but to the Little Man too.

Going forward, and as soon as “survival mode” is over, I want to do a better job of implementing God into our lives. Over the next few months, it’s important that Tim and I sit down and discuss how we want to model Christ to our children.

I think we have the church attendance thing down, but what we’re lacking is God in our every day lives.

Do we want to pray before meals? How about at bedtime?

Do we want to start reading the Bible daily or incorporating it subtly?

We give, but how do we want to show them giving? 

Most importantly, are we showing “what Jesus would do”?
(too corny?)  
Although the new style of Baby Dedication puts more responsibility on the parents, we still need the help of our church family too. After service, everyone received a copy of Baby Z’s first Rookie Card. Each card had his birth stats and our prayer for our family during his “Rookie Year.” This make me feel good because I know even if we fail spiritually, there are still others backing us up in prayer
Have you made this commitment to your children in your Faith? 
How do you make sure to honor those commitments? 

Another Hidden Neighborhood Treasure: Mimosa Park

After my field trip (and heart attack) to Davis Park last week, I decided to keep it more low key this week. 

My original plan for Monday afternoon was to head to Chick-Fil-A, have some lunch, and enjoy their safe and contained playground. But of course, when I arrived I quickly discovered that the drive through was wrapped around the building and the tables inside were packed. 

The hormones must have sucked all the rational thinking out of my brain because I’m not sure what I was thinking heading to Chick-Fil-A on a Monday at noon. 

So, Plan B. 

I hopped into the drive thru, grabbed some lunch and headed to my favorite local park; Mimosa.


Mimosa Park is tucked back into the Reservation neighborhood in Richardson near Coit & Arapaho. (There’s a very accurate and great review of Mimosa on Playground Perspectives.) 

These little hidden parks are one of the best things about living in the North Dallas/Richardson neighborhoods. Playgrounds are easy to come by which means moms have more choices on where to take your kids which makes playgrounds less crowded.

When we arrived at lunch time, we were, once again, the only ones there which was a huge plus. I evaluated my surroundings before getting out of the car. . . 

Can he run away? 
Yes, but at least I can see him taking off. 

Can he play while I hold the baby? 
Yes! The toddler play structure is his perfect size and no where for him to fall off of. 


Okay, NOW we can get out of the car. 


I’m slowly discovering that parks are one of my favorite activities with two kids. There’s no toys to be distracted by like in Target or Hobby Lobby. There’s no elevators or escalators for him to take off towards. 

And the best part about parks, we get out of the house and into the sunshine without spending a dime. 

A Morning at Davis Park

Monday was a beautiful day and, in my poor attempt, to try and get life back to normal, I decided it was the perfect time for a field trip!  

One problem. . .it was President’s Day which means everyone and their children were either off of work or out of school. When I started thinking about where to go, I knew they’d all be packed. Perot Museum, Sealife Aquarium, even local parks as I drove by looked crowded. 

I’m not sure why but this post from Dallas Moms Blog popped in my head, and I thought I’d give it a try! 

Davis Park is tucked back into the Highland Park neighborhood off of Drexel Ave; near Prather and Lakeside Parks. When we went on Monday afternoon, there was only 1 other family there and it didn’t take long before we had the whole park to ourselves. 
One of the great things about this park, is that it’s down below street level which makes it less loud and the perfect backdrop for beautiful scenery and photographs.  

There’s also some great walking trails, bridges, and a creek through this park that are great for nature walks with your kiddos. For me, we stuck to the playground since I had a newborn in a stroller. 

I’ve searched for and wide for a toddler park like this one, and I’m so happy I found it!

Most of the playgrounds around our neighborhood are designed for children ages 5 and older. But Davis Park has a specific playground for toddlers ages 2-5. I had no fear of him playing on this structure. Even the slide was the perfect size for him!  

The extra components on the structure ACTUALLY worked unlike most playgrounds where they’re either stuck or broken. There was a musical chart with bells, mirrors, and spinning cubes with animals. 

The negative aspects to this park is that it’s not wheelchair or stroller friendly. The closest parking is on the street above the park where you have to go down a large staircase (easily 20-25 stairs to the bottom) or an entrance ramp that’s at least a 50 degree incline. I chose the ramp, and my stroller was practically racing down the hill. I did all I could to not have it tip over.

I will also say that your field of vision is limited. I will spare you the details, but there was a scary 45 seconds where where the Little Man got out of my sight while I was attending to Baby Z. 

This park is also home to Highland Park’s swimming pool, so I can’t guarantee it’s not busier during the summer.  

I’m so excited that I found this park and can’t wait to go back! 
Do you know of any hidden parks you want to share?

Celebrating 1 Month!

Can you believe it’s been a month already since this little guy was born?

My brain is split between feeling like it was only yesterday, 
but also feeling like it’s been at least a month. 
Life still hasn’t gotten back to normal yet. 

I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle a toddler and a newborn. 
I’ve made dinner once and have spent (maybe) 10 hours cleaning total in the last month. 

But, I feel a change in the wind! 

Baby Stats: 
Weight: 10.6 pounds
Length: 21 inches

Milestones: 
  • Starting to control his neck and head by turning and looking around. 
  • Focusing on objects at a close difference. 
  • Smiles frequently in his sleep. 
  • Feeding every 2 hours, and 3-4 hours at night. We’re working on having his feedings go longer since clearly he’s not starving. 
  • The thrush is still around, but we’re working on it! 

Baby Z’s Photo Debut

Today marks 4 weeks since Baby Z’s birth, and this past weekend we were able to get a hold of his newborn photos! 

I love newborn shots because they really do capture a moment in time. These photos were taken when he was exactly 10 days old, and although that was just a few weeks ago, he already looks like a different kid! (It’s amazing what a difference a pound or two makes.) 

Two years ago, we used Plano-based photographer Rachel Cooke when the Little Man was born. (You can see his newborn session here.) 

I was a little nervous about these photos because I felt like I had a lot working against me. I had intended on getting new outfits for us prior to baby being born, and that never happened. Instead I ended up digging through my non-maternity clothes, and was lucky enough to pull 3 matching outfits together. 

Then, the only room with enough lighting to shoot in our house is the nursery; which is perfect. . . for shooting in there the first time. I was a little worried both our son’s newborn photos were going to look identical. 

And of course, the morning of, everyone was having meltdowns. . . 

But Rachel is a true professional!

My outfit choices ended up looking great with the backgrounds she chose in our home for the family shots. 

Although there are similarities in both boys photos, she did an awesome job of using completely different poses, props, and backgrounds for Baby Z’s close-ups.

And as for the meltdowns, she has the perfect touch! The Little Man turned into a model in front of the camera, and Baby Z slept the whole two hours during the session!

  

   

I’m pretty happy with how they all turned out. 
What do you think?

Settling in with a Newborn (Again!)

 Getting back into blogging is hard, 
and if I didn’t sometimes force myself to look at it as a part-time job, 
I’d probably have quit long ago. 

Coming up with content is always the easy part. 

It’s coming up with the time that can be difficult! 


So, you’ll have to forgive me if my posts are long overdue, and will appear a bit dated. For example, this post was started when Baby Z was 2 weeks old, and he’s now almost 3. But as I’m discovering more with this second child, I’m extremely thankful for the times I found for blogging with my first. 
With my first, I never knew what was around the corner. When would the fussiness end? When would the growth spurts begin? When would the cluster feedings stop! Thankfully I have this blog to turn to, and it’s helping me start to see the sunshine through the clouds. 

So if my posts appear weeks after they were supposed to or seem muffled and choppy, it’s probably because I’m running on 3 hours of sleep and caffeine, but have found a few seconds between feedings to jot down some notes. 

Which leads me to this post. . . 

Discovering the Differences
As prepared for Baby #2 as I was, I’m starting to realize 2 weeks in that I was only fooling myself. What was I thinking? Prepared for a baby? Obviously, I was insane. 


I’m noticing a lot of major differences between my two children, and I know you can never compare children, but before Baby Z’s arrival, I would have bet you $100 that my two children would be almost identical in temperament. (Which is part of what had me sailing high before Baby Z’s birth.)

This child is clingy in love with his mother, an aggressive eater fascinated with the culinary arts, and fussy very sensitive. (Trying to be positive!)

With the Little Man, he loved to be swaddled. Whenever he would get upset, all we had to do was practice the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques with him swaddled, and he would be good. 

Baby Z doesn’t like to be swaddled. He wants his hands by his face, and he wants to sleep on his side. Apparently he didn’t get the “Back is Best” memo.

We’ve also been dealing with a lot of fussiness lately thanks to Thrush; another experience I never had with the Little Man. (Thank goodness!) It’s uncomfortable for him before, during, and after he eats, and excruciatingly painful for me. It’s equal to the worst pain I ever had with breastfeeding the Little Man, only there’s no cracking or bleeding. It’s just all internal. I’m really hoping the medication he’s on will work because I’m not sure how much more fist-clenching, toe-curling and lip-biting I can handle; and did I mention that’s every 2 hours!? 

The First Two Weeks
As you can imagine with all the little setbacks and learning curves, the last few weeks at home has been interesting to say the least
Little Man taking advantage of the chaos.
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had a few meltdowns. Staying at home with two kids is a lot harder than I’d imagined. . .and I already imagined it’d be difficult! 

The Little Man is watching more TV than I’d hoped after having the baby, and we’ve barely left the house all week. 
We have made a few accomplishments like establishing a bath time routine, having newborn photos taken, made it to 3 doctor’s appointments, and made my first run to Target with both little ones by myself (which is huge people!)
First bath at home. 
 

According to my blog post from the Little Man, I’ve got the joys of a growth spurt coming up next week. I’m not expecting the next few weeks to let up on the chaos, but if I can just tackle the Thrush and 2 hour nursing stinks, I’m thinking life would be just a little sweeter. 

Welcoming Baby Z: Coming Home!

Before arriving home, Tim and I only thought we were prepared for what life would be like with a newborn. But we were so wrong! 
It’s been much, much better! 
My Recovery
With the Little Man, I had to recover from a 4th degree tear. I spent the first few nights at home sleeping in a recliner in the living room because I wasn’t able to lift my body into our bed or get out of it to be able to nurse or change his diaper. Tim suffered beside me by sleeping on the couch and helping me at all hours with what he could so I didn’t have to move. 

I’m pretty sure I took pain medication for about 2 weeks, and it was at least 4 weeks before I was feeling back to normal. 

With this birth, I was feeling like myself the day we arrived home! Although I was slightly sore, I was down to only 2 hydrocodone a day, and was doing laundry that night. I’ve been sleeping in my own bed the whole time, and have actually managed to sleep at night. 

Baby Z is now 8 days old, and while we’ve been home we’ve gone out to eat, purchased a car, and made a trip to the mall. I’m even off my pain medication with the exception of a pill that helps with the cramping. I’m still “suffering” from a small side effect no one warned me about after a C-Section; swelling. For 5 days my feet have looked like an elephant’s, which has been great entertainment for my husband. But even now, they’re starting to go back to normal.

Unlike with the first, we actually might remember a lot of this experience and it won’t be all a blur of bad memories! 

What We’re Doing Different
Adjusting to being a family of 4 hasn’t been easy. Tim and I have basically split up parenting duties. He’s taking care of the Little Man while I take care of the baby. Of course, I’m feeling some slight guilt with this arrangement because I miss hanging out with my little guy. (But now I know how my husband feels working 5 days a week and missing out on all of the things he’s doing.) We try and switch it up when we can, but Baby Z is basically eating every 2-3 hours which means he’s sort of attached to me. 

Which brings me to our other change. . . we’re trying the co-sleeping arrangement for a week or so until he gets adjusted; something we never did with our first. This child must be addicted to my smell because he knows the minute he’s away from me! He’s also had some terrible tummy issues and gas (our fault) which has made swaddling really uncomfortable for him. 

So, since his birth, he’s spent most lights laying next to me or on me while we’ve gotten some much needed sleep. Right now because of the co-sleeping he’s only waking up every 3 1/2 – 4 hours for a feeding, and then sleeps the rest of the time. 

Being a Big Brother
The Little Man has adjusted REALLY well to being a big brother. He comes running into our room each morning to give his brother a kiss and hug. He just wants to touch and look at him whenever he can. 


I was prepared for him to be resentful and stand-offish, but he’s been anything but. We were even surprised when we brought him to the baby’s first doctor’s appointment, and he got very protective when the doctor was doing his exam. He does not want anyone hurting him! 
And that’s it! 

We’re now a family of 4, and adjusting to our new life! 
Stay tuned to this blog for more adventures to come!