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.

 

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race $75 Amazon Giveaway with Mike Mizrahi

Take a ride through 1895 Chattanooga as it’s turned upside down when a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle-in bloomers-in Mike H. Mizrahi’s new book, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race! Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit to Brooklyn, she’s drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

This book receives a 2/5 from me. I liked the idea of the book, especially now with all that is going on with women’s rights. I thought it would be interesting to read about a woman’s right to do something so trivial in today’s time like riding a bike.

I liked bits and pieces of the book. Honestly, it was a bit chaotic for me. There were a lot of side stories going on that made it seem very disjointed. While they may have added a little bit, in my opinion there was not a very good flow from one story to the next. At times it was hard to follow along with which story line was the focus at the time. Because there were so many story lines to keep up with, I don’t feel that there was very much depth to the characters even though I think that is what the author was going for.

What I did find interesting were Anna’s inner thoughts. She wrestled with the unwanted responsibilities that come with being a leader. There was one chapter where she talked about how she had become a role model to younger girls and how she was scared about the weight of that role. I think any leader has these moments where we have to think about how each thing we do has meaning to those around us. And that sometimes doing the right thing for the greater good will come with some harsh comments from naysayers. Change can be hard.

It was also interesting to think that there was a time that women had to fight to ride a bike or to wear pants in public. We have come a long way, but it also made me think, what is it of our time that our kids will look back and say how ridiculous it is that we had to fight for that equality. This book mentioned several times about equal pay and hiring standards, and it makes me sad that we are still fighting that fight today. I hope that things will be better for my daughter so she doesn’t have to endure things like this.

There is a giveaway to celebrate the release of Mike’s new book. You can enter to win this $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card

Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike’s blog.

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?