Walter-2 Months

Weight:  Walt is around 9 and a half pounds. Finally this kid is gaining weight!

Health: We don’t really have any serious health concerns right now. We’ll see at his check up this week if we need to be more concerned about his weight and eating. He does throw up after each feeding, so I am going to ask if there is anything we can do about it. Looking back on the big kids’ updates, they were having the same problem, however, I feel like Walt is doing it so much more.

Diet: Each month feels like a major triumph with our breastfeeding journey. We are still feeding every 2-3 hours, but we backed off on the bottles in between. We occasionally will give him a one ounce bottle if he is having a fussy day. I started using a new app to track his feedings, and it says that I am feeding him on average 3.5 hours total a day. I am pumping 1-3 times a day to stock up for when I go back to work, and I have pumped just about 100 oz this month. My schedule is still pretty tight around his feeding, but the windows of time do seem to be getting bigger in length. I am no longer using the nipple shields which saves me so much time and hassle. It’s also a bonus that it’s no longer painful when he is feeding. I am in a much better place than I was last month with our breastfeeding plan, but as always my goal is to make it to the next month and re-evaluate. I head back to work here soon, so we’ll see how that affects the dynamic.

Clothes: He is still in newborn clothes, but he is starting to fill them out a little more. I did switch him to size one diapers, but really only because I had a box in the closet when we ran out of newborns and didn’t want to buy another newborn box.

Sleeping:  Sleeping is going much better, and I feel that we are getting a rhythm down. He sleeps from 11-4ish most nights and then will go back down after a nursing session until about 8. Then he has two or three naps during the day in about 2 hour spurts. We are doing some of his naps in his crib in his room instead of the pack and play in our room. I have been putting a drop of Young Living’s Gentle Baby blend on his swaddle before I put him down. I am not saying that it is the reason he is sleeping longer, but I am also saying it hasn’t hurt.

Likes:  He loves being held laying up right on my chest. He loves the baby carrier, and now his legs are out of the newborn position which has seemed to make him like it more. He seems more interested in his surroundings and all of us.

Dislikes:  He is still not a fan of being naked or anything with changing clothes or diapers.

Nicknames: Walt, Wally, Wally Bear, Butters, Sweet Bean, and Stinkerdoodle. Daphne has her own nicknames for him: Waltie baby, Cutie baby, and Baby Walter.

Milestones: He just started smiling over the last couple days. He is also doing a really good job with his neck control.

Quirks:  He farts like a grown man. They are so loud, that they have woken Tom and I up in the middle of the night. Most of the time he looks like he is terrified of something or he has this grimace like he is silently judging all of us. His eyes are just so big!

We parents are:  tired. It has been an emotional month still just trying to manage all the things and figure out our new normal. We are getting there. I am trying to take time to breath more for myself and I am taking some steps to really focus on that so I can be the best mom and wife I can. Tom has been working extra hours, so he has been tired on top of the newborn parent tired.

Big kids are:  doing good. George has had school this whole month, so that routine has been great for him. He is getting tested for some things with the school’s speech pathologist, so I am interested to see how that pans out for him. George is definitely favoring Tom more right now, which is understandable since I am always doing something with Walt. I am really going to miss taking him to and from school because that is time where it is just us. Daphne is OBSESSED with Walt. She is always coming to his rescue when he cries, and she wants to be touching him all the time. She is so sweet with him, and I think she believes it is her personal mission to be his protector and healer. It is just the best to watch. I wish I could just record her all day with him. You can see that she is having moments of middle childness, so we have been making an effort to give her some alone parent time too.

The dogs are: old and don’t seem to care too much about Walt. Crosby does love to lay on the kick and play mat though. We did find out recently that Crosby has lymphoma. It is progressive enough that we are choosing not to do treatments. He also has two torn ACLs, so we are treating him for pain on that. It came down to deciding prolonging his life time wise but have him be on tons of medication/undergo procedures but be noticeable sick or in pain, or just making him comfortable as possible with his remaining time. It was a difficult decision, but we are going with quality of life for him especially besides an occasional limp, he is still leaving the dream life for a dog. He still chases after all the things, and has loved the sunroom to bark at the birds and neighbor cats more easily. It’s just not an easy thing for us to have to think about or make decisions on. We will just love on them as long as we can!

In case you are curious, here is George at two months and Daphne at two months.

Sweet bean, I love the extra snuggles you have brought into our life.

Walter-1 Month

What a month it has been!

Weight:  Walt is around 7 and a half pounds. He is not really gaining weight but he also doesn’t seem to be losing it either.

Health: No real big health concerns as of right now. His mouth is completely healed from the tongue tie procedure. Breastfeeding is still a work in progress. I am monitoring his weight now to see if we dip down again, but other than that it seems like we are doing good! We seem to have another “happy spitter” on our hands though. Both of the big kids were spitting up at this age too, so I feel like we are ok here. I also watched a video the other day that was a good reminder that even though it seems like they are spitting up their whole feeding, in reality it is only a teaspoon or so.

Diet: We made it a full month of only breastfeeding. We are still feeding every 2-3 hours, and he gets a couple 1 oz bottles between those feedings as well. I am pumping 3 times a days to meet those needs and still stock some up for when I go back to work. Essentially I am either feeding him or pumping every 1-2 hours. My goal is to make it to the next month and then reevaluate. If we are still on this schedule in a month, I may introduce formula. I really don’t have time to do much else besides focus on feeding him and trying to maintain some supply for him. At the current rate we are going, I am not sure this schedule will be sustainable for my health. It is utterly exhausting and draining in so many ways. I am struggling with this a little bit since I made it a full year with Daphne. I know it is not rational but my brain is saying you have made it a year before, and I am feeling this extreme guilt for even thinking about formula this early. Like some how I am failing Walt for not making this breastfeeding journey work for us, which is basically why I never leave this chair to make it happen right now. But as I said I do know from my experience with George that this is not sustainable for much longer, so we will continue to take a little bit at a time and reevaluate. I also fully believe in “fed is best” and really have no issue with formula; it’s just a debate I am internally struggling with because I have made it work before, and hormones are weird.

Clothes: He is still in premie and newborn clothes, and he is in newborn diapers.

Sleeping:  He is awake a little more now. He sleeps the best between 7am-noon. He is fussier in the afternoon an early evening. Night time has been hit or miss with what schedule he wants to be on. There seems to be no middle ground. Either is he cluster/comfort feeding all night or he stays asleep for 5-6 hours at a time. There have also been a couple nights that I have had to hold him while we sleep in a chair because even feeding him won’t console him.

Likes:  He still loves being held and getting pats on the butt. He is starting to notice his big siblings and look for them. He loves to ride in the car. I started using the baby carrier over the last week, and he doesn’t like getting in it, but then he falls asleep as soon as he is settled in against my chest.

Dislikes:  He has found his voice over the last couple months, however Tom and I agree that he is still our quietest baby yet. He does not like getting his clothes or diaper changed. He generally hates the hours between 3-7 if you aren’t holding him. As much as we have tried, he does not seem to like a pacy. Once he is in the car, he loves it, but getting in the car seat initially is a different story.

Nicknames: Walt, Wally, Wally Bear, Dooders. Daphne has her own nicknames for him: Waltie baby, Cutie baby, and Baby Walter.

Quirks:  With him starting to be awake more, I am sure more of these will start to arise.

We parents are:  ready for some sense of a routine. With bringing a new baby home, virtual school, and the holidays, this month has been a whirlwind. Exhausted doesn’t even seem to be the appropriate word. Feeding him has been really consuming, and I have had a few meltdowns myself with the exhaustion. I feel like I never leave our bedroom between all the feedings and pumpings. I know this will end, and I just have to keep reminding myself that but it is hard when you are bound to a chair day in and day out. I am feeling like I am completely healed from the birth, so that has been nice to not feel like I am broken all over. I also am able to wear all my normal clothes again, but let’s be real I still live in leggings most days. I would love to start working out again, and my hope is to start walking on the treadmill here soon. But I need to get a better handle on this feeding stuff. It seems that there is never any time between the feedings to do things for myself because there is something else that always needs my attention with the limited breaks. I also feel like I am touched out, which is hard when you have too big kids who need affection as well. It’s just a lot right now to be able to give to all the people who need it. Tom is back at work with 12 hour shifts, so I know it is a lot on him as well to come home needing a break but also juggling giving attention to all of us. Fortunately, the sun room is done, so he can take some down time on his days off.

Big kids are:  doing as good as can be expected with all of us being home all the time. I think virtual school about broke us all. It has been a really hard month for George to become a big brother again and lose some of his attention from us, and then to be forced to do kindergarten virtually for the weeks before the holiday break. It just wasn’t ideal for his personality for this all to happen at once. But we are trying! George is also fascinated by me feeding Walt. He wants to know how breastfeeding works and all the mechanics behind pumping. So many questions! Daphne is now obsessed with Walt. She is always checking to see if he is awake or if he needs something. She is quick to try to console him and sings the sweetest songs to him. She loves to read to him and try to find toys that he can use. They both love him so much, and I can wait to see their relationship continue to grow.

The dogs are: now 10 years old! We totally missed their birthday this month…..whoops.

In case you are curious, here is George at two weeks and Daphne at one week.

Walter-Two Weeks

Thank you for everyone has reached out and shared in the excitement of our newest little nugget. It has been a whirlwind couple weeks since he got here.

Because I know that babies don’t keep, I still want to attempt to document everything about these stages.

Weight:  Walt is hovering around 7 lbs. We have been having issues with losing weight. He was 7 lbs 8 oz when he was born but at our appointments last week he dropped below 7 lbs. We have had so many doctor’s appointments to try to monitor this. He is just so skinny!

Health: We were having some severe issues breastfeeding. He was only using his gums to eat, and after just a couple days I was bleeding through every feeding. So through several lactation appointments and some referrals to a specialist, we found that Walt had a really bad tongue tie. It was so severe he basically could not use his tongue. So he was using his jaws and gums to gnaw the milk out. The doctor we saw said that if we had not found it now, he would have had issues with eating and speech later on. A procedure to fix this later on would have meant we would have had to drive to either St. Louis or Kansas City to have a more serious procedure and do physical therapy. But since we found it so quickly, last week we did a procedure to laser that tie. Since his tongue was basically useless before, this week we have been trying to retrain him how to eat. We are hoping that this is helping with the weight issue. Today we did get the green light that everything is healing nicely and we are seeing enough progress that we don’t need to come back to the specialist again.

Diet: He is only on breastmilk. I have to use a nipple shield, which is really not ideal for the long run, but it is helping him learn how to do it correctly. I am hoping we can stop using it soon. We are on a strict feeding schedule of every 2-3 hours nursing and then following up with a 1 oz bottle of pumped milk. So I am really just feeding him or pumping all day.

Clothes: Even though he is our biggest baby, he is still so tiny. He cannot wear any newborn sleepers or pants without swimming in them. We have few premie things that he fits perfectly.

Sleeping:  Honestly, he is doing a really good job sleeping. For the most part, when he is not eating he is sleeping. Sometimes it is hard to keep him awake enough to eat with the schedule we have from the doctor too. We did have issues with him at first with sleeping flat on his back. He was spitting up a lot, and he would just cry when we put him down flat. After talking with the specialist, he said a lot of this was because of the tongue tie. Walt would just take in a lot of extra air with how he was eating. We have seen this improve a lot since we had the procedure done, and we have been working on transitioning from sleeping with an incline to flat.

Likes:  He likes when I sing “You are my Sunshine” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” He loves getting pats on the butt. Both seem to soothe him pretty quickly.

Dislikes:  Walt is the chillest baby. Even his cries aren’t that loud. He really only shows disdain when I am a little slow to get him set up to eat or when I am putting lotion on him.

Nicknames: Walt, Wally, Wally Bear, Brother, and Daphne only calls him Baby Walter.

Quirks:  It’s hard to say right now. Eat, sleep, poop…

We parents are:  Tom went back to work a couple days ago. He has been working his behind off to get our sunroom done and keep the big kids occupied. We just moved plants into the sunroom, and it is all very exciting to watch this project wrap up. I have been a little overwhelmed to be honest with the feeding stuff. I know it has only been two weeks, so I am trying to give myself grace with our transition. However, it is hard to not be exhausted and feel like you can’t just be yourself when you are constantly focused on the feeding. I am also trying not to feel guilty that he is not gaining weight since he is getting all his sustenance from me. Whether it is making sure I am not letting too much time go by without a feeding or a bottle to keeping myself hydrated, and then add in trying to give the big kids some attention, it’s just been a lot. We have also not had many days where we haven’t had an appointment, so I am ready for a few days in a row without any plans to rest fully. Physically outside of the exhaustion, I am feeling decent. My body is healing up nicely, but I also want to be sure to be easy on myself that the pre-baby body doesn’t exist and nor should it. I will say the more that I think about his birth too, it was the closure experience I needed. It was like he was sent to us to help me heal from our previous pregnancies and birth experiences. My heart needed him, and it has been beautiful to have him join our family.

Big kids are:  doing so much better than expected. I hope to write a post soon about how the bigs are reacting to Wally coming home. It’s been precious. They are super supportive and protective right now and tell everyone that he is their baby and we will keep him here. Daphne has been calling him our “treasure.” George cried the first several days because he was overcome with joy and love for him. We’ll see how the next month goes because George is home doing virtual school for the next two weeks and then is off school until the new year. He may feel differently with all the time I spend feeding little man instead of playing with George. But all in all, I could not have asked for a better reaction from our first two babies. As far as who Walt looks more like, it is hard to say. When he was first born, I thought he looked like both pretty equally. Now as the days go by, I see more similarities to George.

The dogs are: doing just fine. Honestly, I don’t think they are even phased at this point that we brought another kid home. They have sniffed him a little, but they mostly ignore him.

In case you are curious, here is George at two weeks and Daphne at one week.

Walt, you are the final piece to our family puzzle. And we love you so very much!

Daphne-6 Months

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Weight:  She is 14 lbs. We don’t go in for her check up until after Thanksgiving, so we’ll see what our doctor has to say about her weight. I am a little worried that she isn’t growing, although not for a lack of trying from all parties.

Health: She has been a happy and perfectly healthy baby this month!

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Diet: We made it to 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding! After my experience with George, I never thought I would make it this long. She has been on a nursing strike this past week, but I was determined to make it work for 6 months. I really need to write about it because it has been a completely different experience this time. I nurse her once in the morning and once in the evening. She has three bottles during the day to coordinate with the three times I am pumping at work. Since she is a really good sleeper, I do pump one more time before I go to bed. This helps because she is eating 5oz bottles during the day, and I am only pumping 3 oz at a time. So this extra pump plus our stash in the freezer is making up the difference. On the weekends, I exclusively breastfeed her, and I still will pump at least once a day if not twice. In the past two weeks, we did start introducing solid food with her. We have done avocados, carrots, bananas, bread and sweet potatoes. She seems indifferent about the process most of the time. However, she is very grabby whenever she sees your food, plate, or cup in your hands.

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Clothes: She is still in 3 month clothes. She is in a size 2 diaper (which we found a brand that she doesn’t blow through). She is wearing a size 1 shoe.

Sleeping: This girl is a sleeping champ. She loves her rest. She takes two naps a day. Her bedtime is 8pm. On the weekdays, she will sleep until I wake her up at 6:30am. On the weekends, she doesn’t wake up until around 7:30/8 am. Bless you child. We do have to have her in the magic sleepsuit otherwise she is all over the place. She does not nap in your arms at all. It’s a miracle that she snoozes at all when I have her in the baby wrap carrier. She does cry a little bit at night when we put her down, but she is usually asleep within minutes.

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Likes:  She started using a pacy again this month. I think this is mostly because she uses it as a teether, but it has been helpful. She does not use it to sleep. She likes Tom’s voice. She loves me the most to hold her. She loves to chew on cloth; her favorite teether is a cloth giraffe. She adores Crosby. She is still obsessed with football.

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Dislikes:  She still hates a dirty diaper. She hates to be still. She is always rolling around, and I am pretty sure she may be crawling soon.

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Milestones: She has her first two bottom teeth. We saw a little extra fussiness right before they broke through, but the teething wasn’t too bad this first go at it. She had her first road trip this month with a trip to Iowa, and we are currently coming back from a trip from Texas. She also had her first Halloween, and she went as Amelia Earhart. She has figured out how to manipulate things with her hands, and she sits up super well.

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Nicknames: Sister Friend, Daphie, Daph. Most of the time it is still Sister. 

Quirks:  When she is nursing she likes to scratch, whether it is me or the cloth on the chair we are sitting in. She is extremely aware of her surroundings. She is super smiley, but it is not predictable so it can be hard to catch on camera.

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We parents are:  doing alright. It has been a busy month with Tom on evening shift, and with our trips. I am constantly feeling like I am behind at work, but hopefully things will slow down with the breaks coming up. We have also had some serious student issue this semester that I have been in the thick of which can be difficult on my work time but also mentally to deal with. I have pretty much neglected working out, and I am really feeling it. Hopefully after this week of traveling, I can get back into it.

George is:  seriously the best. He is so sweet to Daphie. He wants to hold her all the time, but he loves to fall back with her while doing so. He also loves to pick out books for her to read, and he wants to play with her except she can’t play with his cars. 

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The dogs are: good. Crosby is kind of a nut right now with his barking. Daph is starting to notice them more and more though and reaches out to them. And of course they are already circling around her for scraps of food or extra spit up.

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These past 6 months have gone so fast, but at the same time I feel like I have known her my whole life.

This next month will be big I have a feeling, so I can’t wait to see how she reacts to life.

Here is George at six months.

Daphne-5 Months

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Weight:  She is at 13 lbs. She is not really gaining weight. At her 4 month check up, our pediatrician said that she went from the 37th percentile at 2 months to now being in the 5th percentile for weight. She is good on all her other measurements, it’s just her weight. We had to go back in for a recheck, and she gained enough weight that we don’t have to go back until her normal 6 months, but not enough that she is still concerned and basically said we need to feed her more.

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Health: She had her first cold this past month. Everyone in the house got it so that was fun.

Diet: She is doing a really good job eating even if the scale says she isn’t gaining weight. She is eating 4-5 oz three times a day while I am at work. I nurse her once in the morning and once before she goes to bed. She will sometimes eat a 2 oz bottle around our dinner time, but it honestly depends on the day. Oh she is still on just breastmilk. I don’t know how much longer that will be, I have been getting in my freezer stash to meet her demands. I am still pumping once before I go to bed too, but I am just not making enough to meet what she eats while I am away. I do not react to fenugreek which is the main ingredient in most lactation supplements. I was spending a lot on lactation cookies, but it wasn’t really doing anything for me either. I have tried all kinds of things-oats, gatorade, flaxseed in my smoothies, drinking gallons of water, and more. So if there are any other tricks people have without having to bend over backwards to make my supply higher, I am all ears. We did give her some rice cereal, but she didn’t seem super fond of it, so it hasn’t been consistent.

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Clothes: She is sitting just fine in 3 month clothes. She can still fit into some 0-3, and we haven’t even gotten out 3-6 month stuff out yet. She is wearing size 2 diapers and size 1 shoe.

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Sleeping:  We are so blessed. She is still sleeping through the night (8pm-6:30/7am). She takes two naps during the day. Girl needs her beauty rest. We did start using the Magic Sleep Suit, and I have to say I am a fan. Especially since she is a huge fan of being on her tummy, this suit is giving me the piece of mind that she won’t suffocate.  She was sleeping through the night before we used this suit, but I think this is helping her feel swaddled without being swaddled since she loved that so much.

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Likes:  She has a stuffed octopus that she loves! She love chewing on cloth. Either her bib or her hands are in her mouth at all times. She thinks it is super funny when I do squats while holding her. She is all about tummy time. She likes to eat, so I am not sure how she isn’t gaining weight. She is so happy when you wake her up. I get the biggest smiles out of her in the morning! She love music and football. She is one of those babies who can be screaming and if you put on football she calms down immediately. It’s great. She also loves Tom’s voice. he can get some pretty great smiles out of her. Daddy’s girl in the making.

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Dislikes:  She does not like a dirty diaper, or diaper changes in general. She hates being on her back. She rolls over within seconds of putting her on her back. She also doesn’t like being held like she is laying down either.

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Milestones: She is rolling all the way around. She is a pro at getting from her back to her belly. It’s funny though that she typically only goes to her left, which is what we originally were having issues with her torticollus. She can sit up on her own. She can’t get to the seated position on her own, but once there she is good. She is a lot more engaged in things. She loves to watch and take things in. She has started noticing the dogs more and more lately too.

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Nicknames: Sister Friend, Girlfriend, Sweet Cheeks, DC, Daphie, and Daph. Most of the time it is still Sister. My mom calls her Princess Buttercup. 

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Quirks:  This girl has so many blowouts. We have tried 3 different brands, and there isn’t one that she hasn’t made a huge mess out of. Pampers is the absolute worst for her, which is funny because it was our favorite with George. I have had to throw a few clothes away because I just don’t have the energy to try to save them from her blowouts. She also has a sixth sense when I am in the building. When we are out and about she cannot stand to be with anyone else but me.

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We parents are:  doing ok. I will be honest this month has taken a toll on us for reasons I cannot share here. It has been emotionally draining but we are coming out stronger for it. Sorry to be vague, but some things are meant to be private. We have gotten a lot of family time this month though so that has been nice. We are mostly done with the house construction, so that is huge! We have a few minor things still to do, but we aren’t living with tools out every where anymore which is awesome.

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George is:  a great big brother. We have family story time before we go to bed, and George loves to pick out the books to read with Sister. He also asks for her to play with him in the morning. He is now staying home full time with my mom, and he is doing so good with that. He still misses his friends, but he is liking all the activities my mom has for him and he has been getting more time with Tom which he loves. He is super helpful with Daphne too. He gets burp cloths and diapers for me when I ask, and he always wants to help her if she is crying. 

The dogs are: living the dream. They are hardly downstairs in their dog space because generally someone is always home now. So they really have nothing to complain about.

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We love you Daphie Girl. Your smile is warming hearts all over!