8 Months in (Crawling, Potty training, & a big girl bed)

I have been dying to write this post for awhile now, as I find these quirky little kid update posts thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve been temporarily without a laptop for a little while now, but I have one now, and let’s not get too distracted, shall we?

Last time I actually wrote an update dedicated to the two kiddies, it was back in October at the 5 month mark. Here we are at 8 months in, and with all these new changes I feel like we have now switched gears and are moving at a faster pace – figuratively and literally. To be honest, these past two weeks have been pretty rough coupled with Ross working long days and late nights. I am constantly humbled over and over again by my own flaws and struggles as a mother, but praise God, I am not in this alone. 

Crawling

Crawling truly changes everything doesn’t it? Before crawling you don’t need to worry too much about baby getting into anything because he’s pretty stationary…that is until baby learns how to roll across the room…but even then baby can’t quite move in a straight line, just a diagonal one. 😉 

Rainer first began to sit up unassisted around Christmas time at 7 months old, about three weeks ago. Little by little he gained strength and around New Years he began to scoot. Last week he progressed by the day and now I can. not. keep. up. He hasn’t yet transitioned from army crawling to “normal” crawling, but GOSH is he fast. I turn around for a second and he’s in the other room trying to put a dirty boot in his mouth or he’s ripped off the plastic screen on the fridge. Just a few hours ago I left the kids in LĂșthien’s room to play while I put maybe two dishes away and then I heard Lu laughing and moving things around in the bathroom. And there they were both giggling in the middle of the bathroom, while big sister thankfully moved her potty and step stool out of his reach (go sis!).

Throughout these past couple weeks Rainer’s personality is truly beginning to shine. While LĂșthien had more of a careful curiosity at this age, Rainer wants to explore everything and anything. The most intriguing objects to him are computer chargers, outlets, the plastic screen on the fridge, and our shoes. His sister is finally now being forced to learn what sharing truly is and how to best protect her precious tower of mega blocks. 

Growth


What’s hilarious is that they are starting to look the same size now because they are kind of almost the same weight…my petite little Lu is 24 lbs while her hefty baby brother is now 20lbs (according to my bathroom scale, who knows how accurate that is). At first I was alarmed at the difference, and felt quite worried for LĂșthien’s growth, but she’s been on the lower percentile for a little while and it’s not like she’s skinny. She’s petite, but she definitely has pudge all over.

Little buddy had his first taste of solids around 6 months with avocado, but I didn’t start regularly giving him solids until the end of December in the middle of 7 months. My milk supply tanks a couple times a month now, and he works up a pretty big appetite. His favorites include sweet potatoes, apples, pears, bananas, and he’s even fairly partial to peas and broccoli.

LĂșthien’s vocabulary and way of talking still continues to amaze me. But hey, she’s my oldest and she’s 2 and 1/2, this is my first time! She totally understands way more than we think she does. Just a few days ago we picked up lunch from Chick fil a, and she was playing with the little game cards that came in her kids meal. She brought one to me to read, and I read it aloud, “If you could do one nice thing for a friend, what would it be?” Though I didn’t expect her to answer, she responded “Pray for Miss Megan?” with her hands folded and a big smile. Miss Megan is her ‘sometimes’ babysitter, like a twice a year babysitter when the grandparents are busy. It was so precious.

Potty Training

We did it. We started it, and the worst is over! I planned on starting potty training soon after the holidays, and we held our breath and jumped into the adventure that potty training is about two weeks ago. LĂșthien had been ready for a few months now, but I didn’t want to bother potty training with Thanksgiving and then Christmas looming in the background so I pushed it to January. We did a version of potty training boot camp, so we quit the diaper in the day cold turkey. The first day was predictably filled with many accidents, but she was already starting to rush to the potty when she felt the need to go. By the third day, she pretty much hard it, especially with dad to coach her along. Every now and then we still have an accident while she’s playing and distracted, but she has been accident free the past few days and we are going back on outings again with not much worry!

Big Girl Bed

LĂșthien’s transition from a crib to a big girl bed has technically been lengthened by about 9 months, which was all completely unplanned. Last April, I removed her crib mattress from the crib and set up her sleeping area on the floor after she got her legs stuck in the crib slots. She slept on her mattress on the floor for a few months until a month or so after Rainer was born when I finally got around to removing the front wall of the crib. By the time she finally started sleeping in the toddler bed, she was already used to sleeping on her mattress without rolling off so the transition went smoothly. Her big Christmas gift from both sets of grandparents was her big girl bed and mattress. Her mattress arrived in time for Christmas, but FedEx actually lost the bed frame package and the second one (free) arrived last week. Naturally LĂșthien slept on the new twin mattress on the floor, so by the time her bed frame was set up and ready, she slept on it just fine without falling off. 

Though we never planned on a gradual transition that this one, I’m really happy with how it turned out. Before Rainer was born, our pediatrician talked about how toddlers thrive on their routines and familiar environment – hence why they usually don’t take change well – so I’ve really tried to take that to heart with LĂșthien. She has been so adaptable anyway though, so that makes things much easier. 

Anyway, you get the general idea…we’re all still growing over here for sure. Babies don’t keep! In the midst of the struggles and hardships of everyday life, thankfully the joys shed light on it all. 

Peace,

Dot 

Party of Four, 5 months in

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a baby update, and I’m due for another one. LĂșthien’s been a little overshadowed by her brother on the blog though, so this counts for all of us, really.

Here we are 5 days in…

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And here were are about 4.5 months in…

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It has been such a natural fit, being a family of four. There are so many sweet, sweet memories of just the three of us, but Rainer just adds more depth, love, and joy to our lives. I still cannot get over just how much in love I am with this little guy.

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highlights

1. Sleep Training

One of the biggest game changers in our day to day life has been successfully sleep training Rainer, which was something new to me. When I add up all time it used to take me (by the end, around 4 months) to get him to go down for a nap and how long I would wear him, I have about an extra two hours to my day. Not only do I have extra time to get things done around the house, but there is a much ordered sense to our day now, which has helped me tremendously. Rainer sleeps much better now, more soundly, and longer. My friend, Ali, was instrumental in helping me feel confident and comfortable beginning sleep training.

2.  LĂșthien turned 2

LĂșthien turned two last month, and we had a long drawn out birthday celebration for her with multiple birthday parties. One little party was with her Mimi and Pawpaw, one tiny party with me and her because Daddy had to work all day on her actual birthday (we celebrated with cookies), one tiny party with the four of us (and leftover cake), and then one big party with friends. Whew! It sounds like a lot but the 2nd and 3rd were really just us sitting around the table singing “Happy Birthday” and eating sugar together. She can almost sing “Happy Birthday” by herself. Both sets of grandparents got her a playground and a picnic table for the backyard, because she previously didn’t have anywhere to hang out except for the backdoor stoop.

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She had two butterfly birthday cakes, one from each set of grandparents. She likes butterflies JUST a little bit.

And her big birthday celebration involved another butterfly, some sunflowers, and pumpkins.

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We kept the party pretty simple, and for some reason the weekend we host her birthday parties is always the weekend everyone is out of town (timing, I guess?), but it was still such a sweet afternoon.

 

3. Brother/Sister bonding

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These two have increasingly become cuter and cuter together. Rainer may have initially been a “surprise baby” but as the months pass by, I realize more how they really needed each other and I am so grateful. LĂșthien is very much like me: introverted, sensitive, shy. Having a brother around as a companion, even if he’s only 5 months old, has been so beneficial for her. And the feeling is certainly mutual. Rainer takes such delight in his sister. He often has one out of two expressions on his face, either a look of fascination or joy. When his sister is around, the joy runs over. My heart melts when they giggle at each other. Rainer’s giggle is ADORABLE. It’s a loud, happy squeal.

developments

Rainer is a pro at rolling onto his tummy now. He started tummy to back, but now he really just prefers to roll back to tummy. He has yet to do multiple rolls though, that’s only happened maybe once. He also prefers to be on his tummy when you put him down, he will never last long on his back. A few days ago, she slept right on top of his hand leaving the most hilarious marks on his face.

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We’re still using our bouncer every now and then, but I think we only have a few weeks left with it. I moved Lu out of it once she tried leaning out and forward, and while he hasn’t tried that yet, he’s just getting so big! They are both in the same diaper now. Lu was in 4’s for a while, but she still fits well in 3’s. In fact, she almost fits better in 3’s, so I have them both in 3’s. It’s pretty hilarious. Rainer has huge thighs, so they are a perfect fit.

He is more and more social. He can spot me far away across the room. He will not take a bottle, but I’m hoping to work towards that before we have a night wedding in NOLA in November. He has become more deft with his hands and holds toys well. I feel like we are finally getting into a comfortable groove with nursing. He’s no longer overly particular about how/when to nurse, now he’s just trying to keep up with everything around him when he nurses. If sister or daddy are nearby and talking, chances are he’ll come up over and over again to watch them. What’s nice though – thanks to nap training too – is that he is becoming much more predictable with nursing times. Before then, it was almost always a guessing game with him.

As far as LĂșthien goes, I’ll just say that she is a talker when she’s just home with Ross and I. She talks (I believe) quite impressively and clearly for her age, routinely speaking in sentences. One of the sweetest things to watch develop in her is her imagination too. Last week she was making “avocado salad” in the kitchen. She loves to put her baby dolls down for a nap and pretend to read to herself.

Growth

At his 4 month check up, Rainer was 16.6lbs but by now he must be pushing 17lbs. He’s over 25in tall. Overall he’s in the 75th percentile across the board, his sister on the other hand is in the 15th percentile (except her head is 95th!). I’m pretty grateful for that since now their size difference isn’t so huge.

As far as clothes go he is still wearing some 6mo onsies, but because of a lack of things to wear, I’ve moved him into some bigger hand-me-downs and new gifted clothes, and they are starting to fit him well. He’s wearing 6-12mo and 9mo regularly now. For pants, I can barely get 3-6mo over his insanely huge thighs, hahaha!

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sleep

Again, I posted about sleep earlier. For naps, he usually takes three 3o-45min naps during the day: morning, afternoon, and late afternoon. He goes down at 7pm at night, will generally wake up twice to nurse around 12am and 4pm, and then wakes up for the day around 7am.

LĂșthien hasn’t changed much at all. She still takes a 1.5-2 hour nap and goes down for the night by 7:30pm.


Aside from the joys and the details, there are always old and new struggles in my boat. I wouldn’t change a thing though, honestly. These kids are forming me too.

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Peace.

From Co-Sleeping to Sleep Training | my story

*disclaimer: Because I am really not qualified to give any type of advice, I avoided not going into details. I’m just here to share my story!

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Two weeks ago if you would have told me that I was going to sleep train Rainer, I would have laughed. We never did sleep training with LĂșthien, and though I wouldn’t have called myself “anti-sleep training,” I did not believe that it was a good or beneficial thing for a baby to undergo. I had glanced at articles seen on facebook every now and then, reading about the risks of sleep training. My attachment parenting book that I used to refer to as a first time mom, put “cry it out” in a very bad light. And honestly, I probably judged parents who sleep trained a little bit, “How dare they let their baby cry!” However, in my head sleep training looked a lot like leaving your baby to cry for hours at a time until they passed out (which it does for some). I had also heard that there were different methods to sleep training, but I just dismissed them as silly and over-controlling. Little did I know that there were good reasons for parents to sleep train and sleep training can actually be incredibly beneficial!  I do not believe that sleep training is for everyone, but now on the other side of things, I can attest that sleep training is not as terrible or scary or cold as I thought.

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Early days with my first born

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When you are a first time parent, in many respects you have no idea what you’re doing. You learn as you go. With our firstborn, we really benefited from many aspects of attachment parenting and I do not regret anything in that regard. We co-slept from 1 month-5 months. In the beginning I had never planned to co-sleep, but it ended up being the best thing for us at the time. Once she had hit 4 month sleep regression, she began to wake up more frequently at night; and as much as I loved co-sleeping, I missed the alone time with my husband.

Once we transitioned her to her crib, she immediately began sleeping better at night, waking up only twice versus 4-5 times. It was as if all she needed was her own space. Our nighttime routine was just as long, if not longer, but I treasure those moments with her in the dark, rocking her to sleep in the rocking chair. Like many 5-7 month olds, she was not a very good napper (which often drove me crazy), but she eventually grew out of it. All in all, now she is pretty good natural sleeper.

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The first 4-5 months with Rainer looked about the same. We began co-sleeping at night pretty much from the beginning. I also wore him in the sling or the ergo for many of his naps, just as I did Luthien. And just like her, he hit the 4 month sleep regression and started to wake up more frequently at night. During the day, when I would try to rock him to sleep he actively tried to fight sleep – and boy did he fight it.

What eventually pushed me to consider sleep training was NAPS. When Lu was an only child, it was not such a big deal for me to spend 30 minutes trying to put her down for a nap that would only last 30 minutes. Yes, it was pretty frustrating at times, but fast-forward to two kids, repeating the same routine is not as realistic when there is a 2 year old with needs too. Though I tried to wear Rainer for as many naps as possible, I also have a legitimate neck/spinal problem that is aggravated by too much babywearing.

Last week I was eventually pushed to the limit and feeling pretty burnt out, so I reached out to my friend who has three children. Her youngest is the same age as Rainer, who they just started sleep training. I knew that they had had what seemed to be a positive experience with sleep training in the past. After doing some more research on sleep training – the benefits, what it looked like, personal success stories, I knew that I wanted to start but I was pretty anxious.

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My first experience with letting Rainer “cry it out” was almost accidental. I didn’t plan to start when I did, but things were so chaotic trying to get both kids ready for bed that night, that I just needed to leave him awake in his crib. (My husband is not always home during bedtime on weekdays, so I’m often solo). So…just like that, we started sleep training. I went in every few minutes to comfort him (but not pick him up) and I wouldn’t stay longer than a minute. He fell asleep just within 25 minutes. It was not easy, and it was pretty nerve wracking that first time, but Luthien kept me distracted for half of that. Because I wasn’t completely prepared though, and Rainer’s bed was still in our room, we co-slept that night beginning at midnight when he woke up to nurse and I brought him in bed. I usually don’t check the time in the middle of the night, but out of curiosity I did…he woke up every hour and a half that night. 

During that first night, I was able to have a great conversation with my friend, Ali, who basically coached me through what they do with their children. It was so reassuring hearing from someone who has come out on the other side three times. Now it has been four days since we first began sleep training and Rainer went to bed just within minutes of me putting him down drowsy but awake. The progress of the past few nights have looked like this (note, I differentiate between fuss and cry)

Day 1

Fussed/Cried 25 minutes

Coslept beginning at 12am, he woke up every 1.5 hours

Woke up around 6:30am

Day 2

Fussed 25 minutes

Up at 1am and 5am to nurse

Woke up around 7am

Day 3

Fussed 15 minutes

Up at 12am and 4am to nurse

Woke up around 6:30am

Day 4

Fussed 25 minutes

Up at 1am, 3am (I probably could have let him go back to sleep on his own), 5am

Day 5 

Fussed on/off for 7 minutes

Up at 10:30pm, made a little bit of noise, fell back asleep

Up at 12am and 4am to nurse

Up at 6am, made a little noise, fell back asleep

Woke up around 8:20am

Day 6

Barely made a sound

Up at 11pm, made a noise, back to sleep

Up at 12am to nurse

Up at 4am to nurse

Up at 6:20, he probably could have slept longer but he had a blow out (haha!)

——-

I should note that on days 5 and 6, I began nap training. Ali explained to me that the sleep consultant they worked with years ago said that we use different parts of the brain for nap and night sleep. Because of this, that’s why it’s a little harder for babies to nap long. Nap training has been a bit harder than our night training with Rainer, but today we’re going on our second day and already it has been positive. The first time we attempted nap training, he did not go down after 40 minutes, so we quit and tried again later. That has been the worst of it though. He has progressively been getting better and better.

If you’ve actually read this through, congratulations! I honestly just wanted to share my relief and excitement and amazement at how much better he is sleeping because of sleep training. Just like his sister, it seems that he loves having his own space. And in addition to that, just by giving him a little bit of independence, I am a little saner and he’s sleeping better too. It wasn’t the incredibly brutal and cold process that I pictured. I will confess though, I was pretty sad the first night I went to sleep without him in the room. It was basically our first night “apart” EVER. That didn’t last too long though, seeing as he woke up to nurse pretty soon after that. There’s my baby! 🙂

We’re still in the process, but I am looking forward to a new week of a more ordered, happier, and well-rested home. It’s pretty incredible how much more time I have at night now, and how much more time and energy I have to put into my day. I may come back and update this a little when we are through, but for those of you who are scared to sleep train and feel like you are interested…do some research, talk with people who have had positive experiences, and maybe modify as you see fit. I am not an expert by any means, I only have my own (so far) 5 day experience. And for those of you who are not drawn to sleep training at all, that’s totally ok! Do what is best for you and your family. ❀

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today

Peace,

Dot

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3 Months with Rainer

We made it to 3 months! Hooray! Two or three weeks ago I wrote a little on our current life with both kids, and here is my monthly sentimental-mommy gushing post about this lil’ boy.

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I finish editing this post crashed on the couch after a 24 hour beach trip with the family. Both Ross and I are now *enjoying* a nice sunburn and a gross summer cold. (Who likes to be congested in the heat?? Also, in my defense, we were so busy making sure the kids didn’t get sunburnt that we did). This was our first family vacation EVER (family visits don’t count). We were on Cloud 9, aside from the usual baby and toddler outbursts. This was the first time both kids had been to the beach. Luthien was in heaven, and Rainer slept hardcore but was not a fan of salt and sand.

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Highlights

I absolutely love having a boy. I love having a girl too, but life with a boy is sweet in its own way. Rainer is such cutie. I cannot get over how much he loves to smile and talk to us. He knows how to melt his mama’s heart. Last week he just began to giggle, not just babble excitedly, but actually giggle. I take advantage of that often, he is too adorable not to try and make laugh. He definitely knows all members of his immediate family by now. When he hears and sees Luthien upon waking up from a nap, his face just lights up. When I cook dinner with both of them in the kitchen – Rainer in the bouncer, Lu at her toy kitchen – he’ll often watch her and try to talk. Every now and then she’ll cause him to spontaneously giggle. This boy also totally loves his dad. He always gives Ross the happiest little greeting of a smile when he returns from work.

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Developments

He started teething this past month. Nooooo! Luthien started teething at 3 months too. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong with her then because 3 months is an awfully early age to begin teething. I find it strange that he started at the same time, but at least I know how to handle this time around. He’s drooling quite a bit, and almost always has his hands in his mouth. It makes for an interesting time trying to give him a teether because he is still learning how to hold onto things. I gave him a ring teether last week for the first time and he was thrilled, at least he loved actually having it in his mouth. Whenever he’d accidentally drop it he would get so upset and give a funny little cry of frustration. We also tried cold washcloths, but similarly he would get super upset once it was gone. Hyland’s teething gel works the best for fussy episodes.

Similar to his sister, he went on a little bit of a nursing strike because of the teething. Fussiness has calmed down quite a bit since last week, but this guy is still pretty particular when and how he will nurse. Luthien was the same way, teething or not teething – silly kids. Sometimes he will not nurse until he’s had a little power nap. Sometimes he will only nurse if we’re laying down. Sometimes I have to stand up. It’s also always hit or miss if he’ll be happy nursing on the couch.There were a couple times last week where we had gone through a ridiculously long stretch of time between feedings. It was maddening, but whenever I’d try to get him to nurse he’d act like I was torturing him. Ohhh babies. I’m still really not too comfortable nursing him out or in public, only because it is such a hassle trying to get him to nurse at home sometimes – put a nursing cover on top of that and we’re a mess. It’s really not all that bad though, at least it’s getting a little better.

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Sleep

He still does pretty well at night. He goes down for the night beginning at 7pm. If we’re lucky he won’t wake up again until 11 or midnight. I am honestly not completely sure how often he wakes up at night, maybe 2 or 3 times. Cosleeping makes everything easier; we’re able to safely bedshare and nurse but not completely wake up. We coslept with Lu until 5 months, and we’ll probably go until then with Rainer. Usually around 6:30-7:30am we’ll start our day. In the mornings he’ll take two short naps  (maybe 20-30 minutes each) while I’m wearing him. I gave up earlier trying to get him put him down, so now I just put him in whatever babywearing device I’m up for. Around 1pm he’ll go down in bed for a longer afternoon nap, and he’ll sleep anywhere from 45min-3 hours. If he takes a longer nap, he might wake up to nurse and fall back asleep. And then he’ll take one (or two) last short nap while I’m wearing him before bed. Recently he’s begun to fight his naps, but once he gives up he’s out.

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Growth

This little guy is getting so big. He’s about over 15 pounds now. All of a sudden he started only fitting into 6 mo and 3-6 mo sized clothes. He still has squishiest fat rolls. It’s hilarious putting socks on him because his feet are so chubby, so we put 6-12mo sized socks on those cute things.I have no idea what his numbers are in length, but he seems tall?

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 We love this little guy and are delighted to have him in our lives. Thank you, Lord for the past month and for grace in the rough spots.

Life with 2 Under 2 | Lessons Learned |

 

These two.

Life with two under two has certainly been full, beautiful, exhausting, frustrating, hilarious, and sweet. Every parent hits a new season of their life with each child and with each stage of development. I say this from not only experience but from what I’ve heard and observed from friends and family members. (Also, it’s pretty obvious, right?) When LĂșthien was a baby it was our first time being parents, everything was new and unfamiliar. For myself there was a lot of uncertainty at times…Is she nursing enough? Why is she not napping for long? Why is she refusing to nurse? How long are we going to co-sleep? This time around, though I have more confidence than I did as a first time mom, there are still the natural uncertainties that come with a new baby. Yet, on top of that, it is our first time with a toddler, and it is now our first time juggling multiple children.

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dance party

Each day is an adventure. Some days I’m ready for it with a cheerful spirit, some days I’m like “can we all please sleep for another hour?” Our days are filled with sweet kisses and hugs, with crying and whining, with reading and playing, with naptime and…not naptime, with chores half-completed, and with dinner sometimes burnt (jk, I’ve been getting better at that). Some nights I fly solo for dinner and bed, yet many days Ross is home for lunch during the day. Last week I had a semi-meltdown, but Ross happened to be home AND available and willing to stay with Rainer, while Lu and I grabbed milkshakes. Our life is not unique to other families in that we have two little kids, but it’s unique to us and I would never trade it for another.

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Lu attempting to play with Rainer

Some lessons learned thus far in this two under two life…

Wear Rainer for his small naps during the day, that way I can play with Lu more easily.

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Don’t be a crazy helicopter parent about the toddler being around the baby. Allow her to give him lots of kisses…but…she might sit on him when you’re not looking in attempts to “play.”

Sometimes you need to sit in the corner of the kitchen for half a minute to eat a snack without the toddler asking “a bite, please? Snack, please?”

Read books to Lu with Rainer in my lap.

Have as much one on one time with each kid as I can.

Don’t obsess about whatever the current nursing troubles are. Rainer has huge chubby legs after all.

Give both babies lots of kisses.

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Let your husband treat you to whatever offers of cookies and red wine there are. A late night taco? Are you crazy? Ok, fine, I’ll take one. 

Keep in touch and surround yourself with other young mamas.

Eat. Drink Water. All the time. A hungry, lactating Dot is not a happy Dot.

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Go outside. Play outside.

Remember what true leisure is and take part in it.

But above all else seek God. Have real time with my spouse. Pray with LĂșthien. Snuggle with Rainer.

2nd Month with Rainer

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Two months already! Oh my goodness. Such sweetness.

Praise God for bringing us through the first two months! I feel like we have hit a huge milestone already. Back when Rainer was still two weeks old, a dear friend of mine who has two kids with the same age gap kept saying “the first two months are the hardest!” And here we are still going strong! (I have a feeling it’s about to get much more difficult though!)

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That picture was taken right around the time he started sharing his social smile with us. Maybe it was around 5 or 6 weeks? Rainer absolutely loves to smile and coo, and he delights in anyone who wants to have a little chat. His favorite person to “talk” to is his dad. He knows when Ross is around. When Ross comes home after being gone a while, Rainer’s eyes get really big and looks around in the direction of his voice.

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I love this age when he’s big enough that he doesn’t feel so fragile anymore but he’s small enough to still feel so little.

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And those fat rolls. Love. Them. I love my squishy babies!

We are home now. Lu is napping in her room, and Rainer naps in my bed while I sit next to him. He had a pretty exhausting morning of his two month check up, but so far he has been a great sport today. At two months he has packed on a good 14.5 lbs of weight, and he is 23.2 inches long!

As far as the little bumps along the way are concerned…His reflux issues gradually faded away as my supply evened out, so that has not been much of an issue at all. About a week and a half ago though he began to have a little bit of trouble nursing. Sometimes when he would seem hungry, he would have trouble latching on or he’d fuss and refuse. I kept dismissing it as a stage, but the last time I did that was with Luthien. She had a nursing strike at 3 months. After a few frustrating days of trying to get her to nurse in the most creative ways possible, it occurred to me that she had begun teething. Well…again it took me a while, but I finally realized Rainer has thrush! I think part of my worries stem from me being a little to watchful over how often he nurses now and unsure over whether or not he is actually wanting to nurse. But honestly, it has been tricky and stressful (especially when we are out) helping him calm down and latch. I’m assuming that maybe his tongue is a little sore, or he just simply does not want to nurse (even when he *might* be hungry)….His doctor did not think that it looked so bad though, and it hadn’t spread to his cheeks or anything (plus, I wasn’t having any pain). I had been giving him a powdered probiotic for a week and sanitizing his pacifiers often, but I need to be much more proactive with that. Plus, now I have nystatin and have begun giving that to him. *Anyone out there have better luck with genitian violet?*

Hopefully, things smooth out soon! Though I’ve been nursing Lu for 22 months now, I had forgotten how challenging nursing a new baby can be for the first sixth months. There are those few and far between moments where we can nurse in public without a problem, but for now I prefer to be in a quiet room where I can concentrate on helping him feed without the distractions.

Thrush is the main bump along the road with this little guy though. He sleeps beautifully at night, just as his sister did. He’ll usually nurse once right before Ross and I go to bed, and then he’ll nurse about a couple more times until we’re up for the morning. (He nurses fine at night, just not often during the day). We’re beginning to phase out of the rock n’ play. He might take one nap in there during the day now, otherwise he’s either in our bed or I’m wearing him. Now that he is a little older, he’s becoming more aware of his surroundings. He seems to crave more of an ordered day, so my current goal is trying to figure out what works best for both Rainer and Luthien.

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We love our Rainer boy and are immensely grateful for joy that he gives our family! Luthien was such a darling when she was two months, but I believe Rainer is more liberal with his coos and smiles! I’ll be honest though, he is either smiling or he has a funny little frown on his face. Haha…Cheers to two months! We love you Rainer Louis!

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Rainer, 1 Month


Though I did just write a scattered family update a few days ago, Rainer deserves his own post, especially for his first month. For fun, here’s Luthien’s first month update from 21 months ago.


Rainer, oh Rainer, we love you!

He is such a sweetie, and I am loving that we have a son! I still vividly remember that joy that sprang in my heart immediately after birth when Ross announced that he was a boy. It has been such a treasure to watch the father-daughter love between Ross and Luthien, and I am falling in love so quickly with him.


From the very first days, Ross and I were struck by how different he already seemed from Luthien. She was incredibly alert right out of the womb and seemed to be the happiest baby in the NICU. Rainer, on the other hand, was often sleepy and when he didn’t like something he made sure to express it. Aside from the little differences, it has been fascinating getting to know this new child of ours. It should not surprise us how unique he is in his own person, but I am often struck by the simple fact that this is another precious, new soul and not just “another LĂșthien.”


To address all the newborn highlights and milestones…He has done beautifully with breastfeeding so far. Though we were separated for the first couple hours after birth (he had a little fluid in his lungs), when he was brought back to me (very hungry and eager to nurse), I placed him on my chest and he did the breast crawl and latched on so well! I had no idea what the breast crawl even was until a month before his birth.  (If you place a newborn on their tummy onto your chest while you lie down, they will actually find their way to your breast on their own with their own strength and the aid of gravity. It’s pretty awesome.)

Beginning around his second week, Rainer really started to struggle with reflux coupled with my oversupply. He seemed to throw up at least once every day during his second week, sometimes twice a day (and this was vomitting not just glorified spit up). He seemed to have a good amount of dirty diapers though, and after a call to his doctor it mainly seemed like he was struggling with an overfull tummy. Since then I’ve made sure that he has smaller but more frequent feedings which helps a lot. We have also been borrowing a rock n’ play from friends which has worked wonders, especially during the day. He loves to either nap there or on me in the sling.

His big sister loves him and lately has showered him with sweet kisses and hugs, which is the cutest. Every morning when she wakes up she asks for “Ray-rer.” She often gets concerned when he cries, and sometimes she will try and put his pacifier in his mouth. I love watching them both together. Sometimes she brings her toys up to his face as if to show him, and often she tries to play pretend with him – which he obviously can’t do anything about. This week there have been a few moments where I’ve just stared at them, taking it all in, thanking God for the beauty of the moment. Having two under two is not easy, but I love that they are (and will be) so close in age and that LĂșthien already seems to delight in her new companion.


As far as growth goes, he pretty much outgrew his newborn sized Carters clothing after one week, and I phased out of newborn size diapers probably a few days after week one. Right now we’re at size one diapers and 3 month or 0-3 month clothes. Just last week I stopped using the newborn insert for our ergobaby because his legs are long enough and he is tall enough to do without.

Goodness, I feel like every time I wake up in the morning he looks bigger! His face is really starting to fill out and he’s gaining those cute fat rolls on his arms and legs. Within the past week, Rainer has begun to find his voice and coo a little. He smiles a little more often now, especially when you look at him head on. His smile melts my heart every time. I’ve been trying to enjoy any peaceful moment that  I have in order to snuggle him during LĂșthien’s nap. I know how quickly the newborn phase seems to fly by, and I want to drink all the sweetness in.

It seems that now we’ve reached this far (I’m now concluding this post at 5weeks), I feel as if we are finally hitting a stride. The newness and shock of being a mom of two is starting to wear off, and I am gradually becoming more confident in mothering this newborn and our soon-to-be two year old. We’ve received such great advice from family lately, and I know that our Lord has been providing us with the graces and resources that we need when we need them.