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.

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.

 

Second Time Around

Much like this pregnancy, bringing Daphne home has been a much different experience than bringing George home.

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I think the biggest difference was all the unknown the first time around:

  • unknown job situation
  • unknown of how to handle a newborn
  • unknown of how long we would be in KY/TN

I remember being so anxious about our future and trying to keep this little person alive. It was hard to really enjoy those newborn stages.

I think we knew that having a newborn was going to be hard, but I don’t think we were at all prepared for the effects of being in the NICU, difficulties of breastfeeding, and general tiredness.

Tom also barely got any time off with George, especially since 2/3 of his time he did get from the Army we were still at the hospital with the NICU. This time he is off for 4 weeks right now, and will be taking another week or two when I head back to work in August. Having both of us here has been so nice.

This time we went in expecting the awful nights and set our expectations really low. I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of sleep we are working with.

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Breastfeeding has been tons better this time around. I attribute this mostly to the fact that we were combating a 10 day stay in the NICU with George where he learned how to feed with bottles and syringes. Daphne’s first time eating was through breastfeeding, so I think it has just been much more natural. Granted it has only been twoish weeks, so I know we still have many more milestones to get through. I just hope it continues to go well. All I know is that I have not been breaking down crying in her room in the middle of the night like I did with George, so that is a plus.

Another big difference is that we are not as paranoid. I remember not wanting to leave the house with George. Our trips were very minimal with him in the car, and I just couldn’t deal with the logistics of breastfeeding. This time around, we have been out every other day as a family of four. I have a much better nursing cover that makes things much easier and gives me the modesty I want to be out while feeding her. Plus as I said, she is taking to it a lot better than George. I also think we realize that it is much easier to take a new baby out for errands and eating out than it is to take a toddler.

I also don’t feel like I have to have my eyes on her 24/7. With George, I would not take a shower without Tom being home because I was afraid he would die while I was getting clean. With Daphne, I am in other rooms all the time whether it is to finish cleaning or organizing the new bedrooms or playing with her big brother. I feel fine leaving her to nap in her rock and play without watching her breathe every second. We thank the NICU for making us even more paranoid as first tie parents. This time we are a little more confident that we won’t kill the kid if we look away for a second.

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It sounds like it has been all roses with Miss DC in comparison to Mr. Man. I will admit in a lot of ways it has been a lot easier. We are in a better place in life mentally, emotionally, and fiscally. That has a tremendous affect on how you approach being a parent.

However, having a toddler does make things more interesting. I can’t just sit around and hold Daphne all day which is pretty much what I did with George for the first couple months. My attention has to be split between two kids (and a husband and two dogs), which can be a little tricky. We have tried to keep George on as much of his normal schedule as possible. That can be hard when Daphne decides to eat right now and then George decides as soon as she is latched that is when he has to go potty. And he needs an audience to actually go…So making adjustments and forcing a toddler to change is never a piece of cake.

It has also been something trying to navigate the end of our renovation project with a newborn. Granted we moved when George was 2 months old, but having strangers in your house while you are newly home from the hospital and breastfeeding has been a little stressful this go around. Let alone I am still on a weight restriction so I can’t really help move anything into the new rooms.

There are good and bad moments with every transition I guess. However, I am trying to be positive this time around and try to enjoy these newborn moments as much as I can. Also this is a rare opportunity that I get to be home with my family over the summer months, so we are going to make the most of it. Our family is complete, and really what could be better than that?

Daphne-One Week

Thank you for your kind words in response to our birth story. While it was traumatic in some ways, it also brought us our beautiful baby girl. We are so excited to watch her grow, and of course I am going to document the journey here.

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Weight:  She is 6 lbs. She was 6 lbs 10 oz when she was born and 18 and 3/4 inches long. She weighs more than George at this point, but he was longer than her.

Health: She is perfectly healthy!

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Diet: She is eating just breastmilk. She latches like a champ, but she doesn’t nurse for very long. She usually does only 5-10 minutes each feeding. She ends up falling asleep. If anyone has advice on how to keep her awake to eat more I am all ears. We are nursing every 2-3 hours. I am pumping at least once a day because of engorgement though. It never hurts to start the stock up for when I go back to work.

Clothes: She is still very tiny. She can fit into premie onsies, but full premie sleepers are too short for her. She is still a couple weeks away from completely filling out newborn clothes. I am not upset about that because it means we get to wear clothes a little longer. Although she has so many clothes that she may only wear things once anyway. She is in newborn diapers.

Sleeping:  She pretty much sleeps all day. I feel like we are getting a little more sleep than we did with George. I remember crying in sleep deprivation a lot more with him. We do our last feeding before I get into bed around 11, and then she will wake up around 2:30/3, and then not again until 6ish. That’s when George wakes up as well, so that begins our day. I will take it!

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Likes:  It’s hard to say what she likes right now. I guess boobs?

Dislikes:  She is pretty chill. The only time she cries is right after we have given her a bottle. She screams in protest until I let her nurse. She will have just eaten 2 oz with a bottle but will throw a fit until I feed her naturally. Other than that, she doesn’t cry too much yet.

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

Quirks:  It’s hard to say right now. She doesn’t really cry; she just makes squeaks right now when she gets hungry. Girl has the longest toes I have ever seen.

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We parents are:  Not doing too bad considering we haven’t had a full night sleep in awhile. Tom is a really light sleeper so anytime Daphne makes a noise he is up checking on her. And I never sleep more than 2 hours at a time with feeding her. So it can be a little rough, but we are making do. It is nice this time because Tom actually has off for the next month with me. Our house should be done here in the next week or two. We were able to move into the bedrooms this weekend, and we are just waiting on the bathrooms and some things on the outside to be completely finished. It is nice that we have this time at home to take our time moving things and decorating the way we want instead of feeling rushed on a weekend. We are absolutely in love with how things have turned out! So besides the sleep, we don’t have any real big complaints!

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George is:  doing so much better than expected. I am going to write a post soon about his reaction to Sister and all the changes since coming home. He calls her Baby and Sister. He is very curious about breastfeeding and mommy’s milk. He thinks that I have booboos that Sister is kissing better.

The dogs are: doing just fine. I think they love the fact that we are all home all the time right now. They are pretty clingy and want our attention a lot. Grace tried to get in the pack and play with Daphne the first couple nights we were home. She likes to lick her head too. Crosby could care less about Daphne, but he seems to have grown closer to George. He is now sleeping in his bed with him.

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And I am totally going to be that parent and compare her to her big brother. Here is George at two weeks old.