Bachelorette Rachel Week 4

My Monday night last week was so empty! Here are my thoughts after the hiatus.

  • I mean I get Eric being mad, but I also think that he is being a little dramatic about how he is confronting the other men.
  • Lee is definitely an instigator! He just seems to be a little slimy.
  • Oh no Dean…don’t get pulled into the Lee drama.
  • Bryan is charming.
  • Chris Harrison- “I can facilitate anything.” He really has a fun job where he doesn’t really do much but does everything at the same time.
  • When Rachel walks out to hand out roses, they all look like they have their tails between their legs.
  • Tickle monster stays???
  • Diggy is out and Lee is in? Is this part of the producer magic? Just why? And she is putting him on blast on social media, so there has got to be something coming.
  • Yes South Carolina!
  • I predict, Kenny and Lee will be on a 2 on one.
  • Riding in a blimp would be pretty cool. They were super cute up there.
  • Why are they all clapping for Jack getting the 1:1? Then Lee’s comments about the one one one. Why would he say that?
  • I miss the south and their trees!
  • Why is 25 too young to get married? Tom and I met at 22, and got married at 26.
  • Whew, I am glad the age didn’t get in her way. I am glad Dean opened up.
  • It would be so awkward to dance in front everyone like they did at that concert. I felt a little weird dancing at our wedding with all those eyes on you.
  • Look at all those phones recording them dancing. Nothing is sacred any more.
  • Nothing says trouble like a group of men vying for one girl all stuck on a boat.
  • A push-up contest? Josiah seems to be really full of himself. I am liking him a little less after this date.
  • BHAHAHAHA. They all look terrified to do the spelling bee. This seems like a horrible dream.
  • I love that they picked out three young ladies to “judge” the spelling bee. #girlpower
  • Eric went way off with facade. That was awful! That was the worst one.
  • Ok Josiah, just because you could spell a couple words doesn’t mean that you are the smartest one. And this conversation with the trophy is weird.
  • Peter seems to be hesitant about moving to Texas, and she seems more open to moving to Wisconsin.
  • Iggy do you have a good relationship with anyone? You and Lee both like to stir the pot.
  • WHAT? Iggy you are making stuff up, unless they are not showing parts of Rachel’s words. She did not ask specifically about tension with Josiah.
  • Eric handled that well talking about the energy of the room shifting. Amen.
  • Oh my goodness. These men are horrible gossipers. Lee is gross and an instigator.
  • Lee, why are you surprised that Kenny is confronting you with your ridiculousness?

My favorites:  Will, Peter, and Dean.

Daphne-1 Month

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Weight:  She is 9 lbs. She is gaining weight much faster than her brother.

Health: We had some issues with her digestion these past couple weeks. She has had some projectile vomit. So much that I am not sure how she was gaining weight. She also was constipated and wasn’t pooping for a couple days. She has some serious gas, and she looks like she is in pain when she is trying to pass it. I am not convinced that she is allergic to something I am eating. I don’t have the same diet every day, and her symptoms are not consistent with similar food items. We took her to our chiropractor before calling our pediatrician to see if an adjustment would help clear her out. I wasn’t sure if there was anything our ped could give her since she was so little, so I figured we would try this non-med way first. I am not even joking when I say it was less than 5 seconds after she was adjusted that she let out a huge poop. She also gave us some stretches that we can do with her to keep her immune system up, so I was thankful that we went this route.

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Diet: She is exclusively breastfed. She does really well, but she does like to comfort feed in the afternoon/evening time. So that makes it really hard because she will just cry until I give her the boob. She is a little better these past couple days after getting her poop clear, but it’s still every hour or two hours during the day. She will eat for 15-30 minutes each time, so you can imagine how my day goes when she wants to comfort feed.

Clothes: She is in newborn clothes and diapers. She can’t fit into any of her shoes right now.

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Sleeping:  I really cannot complain about our days of comfort feeding because she is an awesome newborn sleeper at night. She will sleep anywhere between 4-7 hours over night. I know, I know, we are super lucky. During the day she won’t nap for more than 45 minutes at a time, unless I have her in the wrap carrier. I do wonder if she just sleeps better flat because she is in the pack and play in our room at night and the rock and play during the day which is at an incline.

Likes:  Feeding. The wrap carrier. Riding in the car.

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Dislikes:  She does not like pacifiers. We tried to get this to work so I wasn’t feeding her constantly, but to no avail she has not taken to it. She hates the hours between 5-10pm. Dinner to bedtime is a struggle in our house right now.

Nicknames: Sister Friend, Girlfriend, Sweet Cheeks, DC, Daphie, Daph, and Daphne June. 

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Quirks:  She looks at you with only one eye open. She has started squeaking/humming in her sleep. It is super cute.

We parents are:  doing pretty good. I have my check-up this week, so I hope I get the go ahead to exercise fully again. I am getting antsy. I have been walking a lot with Daphne, but I want to start adding some weight workouts to build my strength up again. Working out really helps me feel more like myself. I am back in my pre-pregnancy pants, but I still have some stuff I would like to lose around the middle to feel more comfortable. Tom went back to work this week. I know he was so ready to get back at it, but it has been really nice to have him home this past month. I have successfully taken the two of them out solo to and from our sitter, but I have yet to try a place where we all have to get out of the car as a threesome where it wasn’t someone else’s house. I was going to attempt church today on my own with them, but it was down-pouring and that shook my confidence. Baby steps. Our house is just about done. We just have a few minor things left from the contractor, but we are fully living in the new wing. I want to do tours of the rooms here on the blog as soon we get all the decor up on the walls. It has been a huge stress relief to get settled into the new part of the house.

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George is:  doing amazing. I have been so proud of him this past month. He has had minimal issues with our newest addition. We have had to work on being gentle and not so crazy around her. He just has so much energy sometimes and has a hard time containing it when he is near her. 

The dogs are: doing ok. They are actually the two that have had the hardest adjustment this past month. Between the house changes, having strangers in our house daily, and Daphne coming home, it has been a lot for the dogs. We have had some behavior issues, but it is getting better with lots of outside time. Our vet also found a cancerous tumor on Crosby’s hip this week, so he will be having surgery here soon.

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Here is George at one month.

We love you so much girlie! We can’t wait to see the person you become, but for now I will enjoy all these newborn struggles.

Year 6

Today marks SIX years married for Tom and I, and about this time 10 years ago we went on our first date.

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10 years ago, a summer romance turned into a lifetime for us.

I really don’t even know where to begin writing this post on our 6th year of marriage. It seems like last summer was a lifetime ago, and so much has happened since our last anniversary.

Towards the end of the summer, we were able to pay off all our remaining debt and our finances really stabilized because of the incoming cash flow.

We started talking about the next steps for our family. We knew we wanted to have another child, and now it seemed like a good time to start. We felt ready financially, and we also felt like George was at a good age where we could manage two.

However first, we wanted to look at our living situation. We had some serious conversations on what we wanted out of a house. We really loved our property, but knew in the long run we would outgrow it. We decided to just go for it and add on to the house before we had another kid. Unbeknownst to us, we were already cooking baby 2 when we started drawing up the plans with our contractor.

In August, we celebrated George’s 2nd birthday. I loved how all of this came together to honor the little man. A week later, we gave him his first big boy haircut and lost those curls.

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We started another school year, which had me teaching in a classroom again. It was definitely the type of teaching that I enjoy, and I am so grateful to have that experience with the freshmen class.

George saw a train in real life for the first time, and we experienced Silver Dollar City a couple times that fall.

We traveled to Iowa a couple times to see old students and friends tie the knot.

We had a great fall season with many things happening:

  • George was George Brett for Halloween and went trick or treating for real.
  • I went to my Alma mater for Homecoming for the first time in a long time and marched on the field with George. #bandgeekforlife
  • I  ran a 10k with my sister-in-law.
  • We went to pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and did all the fally things.
  • George also got to experience his first Chiefs game.

But all of this pales in comparison to the news that we were expecting baby 2.

The year became about preparing everything for her arrival:  our hearts and minds, our house, our finances, and George. We needed to prepare for the ultimate expansion of our family.

Thanks be to God, I received a promotion not long after the news of the baby. If anything, this year really solidified that God blessed me with the most amazing work life. I love the job that I get to do, and the people I get to work with.

In January, we found out that we were having a girl. I realized I never shared the video of how we told Tom’s family we were expecting a little lady.

We also started potty training George in January. I am so happy this went over well, but it was a trying time in our house that first month. If Tom and I can overcome potty training, I feel like we can overcome a lot more!

In February, I went to my first work conference since having George. It was the first time I was away from him for more than 24 hours in his entire life. These are the moments that make me grateful to have a partner like Tom. He took off that entire week to be with George and made it a special bonding time for the two of them. He made it so I could go focus on my professional self more, which is something I have not done in years.

This spring I also went on a ladies only trip with my favorite women. Again another time that Tom knew I needed to foster my relationships outside of our marriage.

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April brought us our baby shower, and then we settled in for the last few weeks of enjoying time as a family of three.

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May was a big month for us. Our house was getting near the end of the renovation. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia again and trying to get everything settled at work for my leave.

Then on May 18th, Daphne Christine made her way into the world swiftly.

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I had a traumatic experience the day she was born. I thank God every day that I look into my family’s faces that I came through that fully back to normal. By His grace alone was that possible.

Daphne has been with us for a month now, and we are adjusting to life as a family of four quite nicely I believe.

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This year has been so full of changes, but also was an opportunity for us to be still. Tom and I have had to have hard discussions about our future whether that be our investments or how we decide to parent. (Parenting a toddler brings out the best and worst in people.)

This year we really tried to make sure that each other’s needs were being met so we could be the best for each other and our children. It is still a work in progress some days, but marriage will always ebb and flow.

We have really come into our own as a couple this year. Our jobs are good; our family is good; and we love our newish house.

I was talking with a friend recently about how it seems like this is the time that we are no longer working towards something. We aren’t in school; we aren’t waiting for something to end like the Army; and we have the family and jobs we hoped and prayed for. We have everything we ever wanted and dreamed of right now. This is the time that we are supposed to just enjoy the fruits of our labor and to be normal and settled.

I can’t wait to see what this next year brings.

Especially with these two leading the way.

George's first time holding Sister. #daphneandgeorge #siblings

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I am so thankful for the years we have had together. While every day is not a piece of cake, I am glad that I am in the search of that cake with you.

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I love you more than yesterday. Let’s settle in to enjoy year seven.

If you want to read more about the past 10 years for Tom and I, you can go here to see several posts about our relationship.

The Kind of Dad

Tom went back to work today after four weeks at home with our baby girl.

(Also how was this four weeks ago?)

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My first day completely alone with the kids makes me really grateful for the partner I have in life. It has been really nice to both be home for this past month, and I am so thankful he had the opportunity and support to take that much time off. Many fathers do not, so I count this past month as a blessing (in more ways than one).

And as another Father’s Day approaches, I am so happy to watch Tom as a dad.

Going on his daily ride to the mailbox… #tractorsallday #countryboyinthemaking #georgeplays

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He is the kind of dad who drives the lawn mower to the mailbox just so his son can pick up the mail.

He is the kind of dad who makes wood replicas of his power tools so George can feel involved when they are in the shop.

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He is the kind of dad who spends hours outside playing in the dirt and doing special projects with George.

He is the kind of dad who builds forts and make believe caves.

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He is the kind of dad who drives to the back of our house so George can wave to Daddy from his window when he is on the night shift.

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He is the kind of dad who puts on a red headlamp in the middle of the night to check on the kids…like every hour.

He is the kind of dad who teaches George things all kinds of things and doesn’t stray away from a subject just because he is two years old. Hence why George knows how to build a fire…

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Most people know Tom as the tough guy, and very few people get to see the gentle side of him. Our kids get that side every day, and I love that I get to witness these moments with them.

Moneyshot. #parentingreallife #neveractuallyclean

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He is definitely a fun dad, and has more patience than I do most days. He reminds me to not be so structured and enjoy every day moments with our kids. I have had many proud moments as Tom’s wife, but seeing him as a dad is probably one of my favorites.

And to think he didn’t want kids when we first met, and now he has two.

 

Big Brother Adjustment

Since we found out we were pregnant, we have been thinking about how to prepare George for his big brother status.

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Our plan was to fully potty train and move him to a big boy room months before Daphne was born. We wanted to have him play with baby dolls and have all of her baby stuff in place well before so he could get used to the idea.

We talked about Sister every day and read books about being a big brother. Because of the house renovation and her early arrival the only thing that did happen outside of talking about her was his potty training. We had the best intentions, but our situation got in the way. But I will say, potty training is a HUGE accomplishment, so I will take that as a win.

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We had no room to move him to, and we weren’t going to set up a big boy room twice in two different spaces. We also didn’t bring most of her stuff out of the basement until a couple weeks before because we didn’t want the construction dust to get all over it and for it to be in the way since we were already limited on space with our closet storage being taken away for the time being. We also never got around to getting a baby doll, so there’s that.

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Our sitter was amazing and picked up in some areas where we lacked. He did play with baby dolls there. And fortunately for us, she also took on two infants this winter. So he had the opportunity to be around two small baby girls. Our sitter did a great job having George “help,” and he took his job of being a baby guard very seriously. It takes a village…

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Anyway, we really just hoped for the best when we made the actual adjustment.

When we brought Sister home, he mostly ignored her. He would give her kisses when we asked, but he really didn’t seem to notice her. Those first couple days, the mornings were a little rough as far as the need for our attention. We could not leave the room without sheer panic from George. He had to see us at all times. He was very clingy when we first woke up, but as the day wore on he became Mr. Independent again.

We have taken him to the sitter’s most days to have some consistency, but also so we can actually get stuff done around the house since we are still finishing up the renovation project. It is also nice to just focus on Daphne during the day. I think this has really helped George though because the sitter is normal for him. He is getting the same attention he always does. Plus it’s nice for him to be around other kids his age.

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A couple days after we got home from the hospital, we transitioned him to his big boy room. He had been playing in it for a few weeks so he knew it was his room. We honestly didn’t talk about the big boy bed very much. We just kind of threw him in that first night, and we haven’t looked back. He made one comment about his crib being in sister’s room. After explaining it was now Sister’s, he has never said anything about it again. He does take the books off the bookshelf saying that they are his, so there is still some room to grow. Looking back, it is kind of like his new room was a big present for him after Daphne was born, so it has kind of worked for us in this regards.

He has been doing great in the big bed. He absolutely loves it. We have really lucked out with such a  good sleeper. Once we put him in the bed, he doesn’t get up until we come and get him in the morning. Seriously lucky parents. He does bang on the wall in the morning to let us know that he is awake, but he will stay in his bed. We have yet to experience the creepy toddler eyes hovering over you in your own bed. He is so good! Nap time is the same way as well. It has been such a smooth transition for us. Apparently avoiding it until the last moment worked for us.

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Now three weeks later after bringing Daphne home and changing rooms, he pays a little more attention to Sister. He points out when she is crying. He tries to rock her when she cries and pats her belly and sings to her. Our only real issue is that he tries to rock her a little too hard and tickle a little too forcefully. For the most part though, he is very gentle with her. He is very interested in breastfeeding, but he also understands that he will have to wait for most things if I am feeding her. (He has taken my nursing pads a couple times and put them on his own chest.) The only time that breastfeeding is an issue is when he has to go potty. We have had just a couple accidents though, which I can’t really blame him too much. He has been more upset about them than I was. We have had a few more tantrums, however it is hard to know if it is because of Daphne or just the fact that he is an almost 3 year old. However, since Daphne was born, he has had no timeouts at the sitter’s and very minimal with us. I also think that he has had another language explosion since she was born. I think this has helped us with diffusing the tantrums a little more rapidly because we are able to talk through them more effectively. It was like he knew we needed to understand him more. His speech has really amplified these past few weeks.

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I will say that Tom and I have tried our best to do two things with George.

One we have kept him on the same schedule. He still has the same morning and bed time routine. We are still taking him to the sitter during the week around the same times. We still expect the same things out of him, and give him roles throughout the day. He knows there is a pattern to his day. I think this is so important that we made this a priority so he had that consistency. Especially as a toddler, having him think that not much had changed made all of our lives easier. While it may be different than what most articles out there say, I think it was impactful that we didn’t make a big deal out of the change of a sister and a new room. It made it seem like everything was normal that we just carried on as before.

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Second, we have been very intentional about doing things with George by himself. I play puzzles and read books with him, but I make sure that Sister is not in the same room so he knows that I am focused on him. Tom has taken him to hardware stores and spent time digging in our yard with little plastic dump trucks. He also took him George fishing for the first time! This has been so important in an effort to make it clear to George that Daphne is not taking his place.

I think that those two things are the reason that we have had minimal issues. Now, I have no idea if this is how other people should prepare for a baby number two. It has just worked for us. I really don’t recommend doing a renovation at the same time, so obviously our circumstances are different than most. I do propose that you try to make time for the big sibling and keep as much of a routine as possible. I think a lot will depend on your lifestyle and how old the big siblings are. George is two and a half, so what we did with him may not be helpful for a 5 year old sibling.

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All in all, we have been very fortunate that George is such a good kid (mom brag). We have been wondering if the other shoe will drop though, so we take every good day as a blessing!

I can’t wait to see how these two grow and bond as the months and years go by. I am sure we will hit roadblocks in the future, but for now I will enjoy this easy transition for our big brother.

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Tom echoed my sentiments of losing our only by saying that George becoming a big brother has only made us love him even more.