New Year Changes

One of my goals for this new year is to blog more openly. I’ve always used my lack of family blog as my safe space to share anything and everything but with a growing number of close friends moving away, family members becoming more connected to the internet (looking at you, MIL!), and further personal involvement into the WordPress development community, I want a place to use to stay connected that doesn’t also have so much of my personal health history.

I’ve been writing pretty casually at KatieHomemaker for over a year. Some of you have found me there but if you want to keep in touch with what our family is up to, I’d encourage you to follow that site.

Another one of my goals is to learn to maintain my own WordPress site, self-hosted, away from wordpress.com. Very soon, after Brian shows me the basics and helps me set up hosting, I’ll be moving my KatieHomemaker site over to my own domain! I am really excited to stretch myself in this direction and become more of a part of the WordPress community that my husband and I care so much about. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Did you sit down and plan out goals for this coming year too? I’m praying it will be a year of grown, learning, and peace for all of us.


Rock n Play, How do I Love You?

Let me count the ways…

  1. You are super portable. We can tuck the baby in and push both of you from room to room like a little boat on carpeted seas. For this, we thank you.
  2. You fold flat(ish) for travel. Nothing like a familiar bed while away from home to make travel easier.
  3. I can rock you with my foot… while eating breakfast… and holding a conversation with the toddler… and making a grocery list. Amen.

Basically, the Rock ‘n Play is the bee’s knees and the honey in my tea. I am a big fan.


7 Weeks Postpartum

I can’t think of a ton of new things to say at this point so I’ll make a bulleted list.

  • Teddy is doing great: He sleeps well (eats at 10:30, sleeps until 5 or 6, eats then sleeps until around 8), eats quickly (6 and 4 minutes a side, usually), is gaining weight (11 lbs last time we checked and has the dimples and rolls to prove it), is fairly easy going, tolerates the car seat, likes being worn and snuggled. We’re trying to figure out how to take care of his super dry skin, cradle cap, and stuffy nose but those are all relatively minor issues. He’s figuring out breastfeeding without the shield (we’ve gone 3 days without it at this point) so I may be able to pack them away soon.
  • Ben loves Teddy: I’m sure part of it is the novelty of having a baby around but Ben loves to see Teddy in the morning, sit with us when I feed him, share toys, and give hugs and kisses. Ben likes to wear his baby doll in a kid-sized doll carrier (similar to this one). I’ve seen him give his baby kisses like I kiss Teddy’s head when I’m wearing our real baby. At this point, we’re not seeing a lot of jealousy or rivalry yet.
  • We love him: Duh. I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t love him as much as Ben or in my newborn fog, I’d love Ben less somehow but that definitely hasn’t happened. Our family feels so right at this point. I’m sure we’ll feel the need to add more someday but my heart is full.
  • I’m figuring out how to balance everything: Hardest part of having more than one kid, for sure! B was gone for work for two weeks starting when Teddy was 3 weeks old so I got a crash course on blending the boys’ schedules alone. I can handle wake ups overnight and getting both boys up in the morning. We don’t get going very quickly but that’s a bonus that our lifestyle provides. I don’t have the guaranteed down time during naps that I used to have and that’s a struggle. I feel bad that Teddy doesn’t get the snuggle time that Ben did as an infant but there’s little I can do about that. I try to have dedicated time for each of the boys during the day and make sure Ben knows that I’m not ignoring him when I’m feeding or changing Teddy. Ben is pretty happy with “taking turns” getting diaper changes and seems to understand that I can’t do everything when I feed Teddy but can play dishes one handed or read books.
  • The house is back under control: I’ve kept up with dishes and laundry this week (yes, we’re still cloth diapering both boys!) and have made homemade meals 4 of the 5 nights so far (last night was leftovers so it doesn’t count). Thanksgiving and Christmas parties will disrupt our new routine but I think we’ll survive.
  • It’s snowed for the last 4 days and I’m already tired of it! It’s the snowiest November on record at over 28 inches of snow! B left the house once to clear snow at the old house and I ran out to two stores and the gas station between storms on Wednesday so we’d have food and snowblower gas to last us a few weeks. Other than that, we’ve watched Frozen a bunch (Ben calls it “leck i’ go”), played hide and seek, read lots of books, colored, and stayed warm inside the house.
  • My postpartum check up was canceled this week because of the weather and because Ben was running a fever on Monday. Turns out it isn’t anything contagious, just his two year molars finally deciding to show up. I haven’t lost a ton of weight yet (still about 20 of 50 lbs) but keep reminding myself that it will come off eventually. It isn’t the weight that bothers me the most though; it’s the loose stomach skin that hangs over waistbands. That will tighten up eventually, right?
  • B started a new part time job on Monday working for a friend helping develop new processes and efficiencies for the company (consists of two recently merged companies) and coding sites for big name clients. Those are two of his favorite things so he’s pretty happy with it. It’s weird that B has set work hours for the first time in 4 months but I’m sure he’s getting more work done because of it. I get to spend more time with him in the evening too, which is great.

Went to an indoor water park and got lots of time to snuggle Teddy while B and Ben swam



Ben and I went on a date to the mall and rode the carousel and ate chicken nuggets and french fries



Big brother is starting to squish little brother pretty early on



So much love on this couch!



Baby smiles!



Squirrel pose




Me and Ben wearing our babies



One Month

Happy One Month, Theodore John!

We’re a little in shock that it has only been a month since Teddy was born. He fills out our family so well it’s like he has always been here.

I feel like I’ve healed pretty well. I’ve only lost about 20 of the 50 (I know!) pounds that I gained with Teddy, which is a bit frustrating to me, but I’ll make it there eventually. I can wear the jeans I bought just before Ben was a month old and have started pulling out my regular clothes again. Most of the weight is stored in my lower half so pants will be a struggle for a while but getting out my old shirts is like seeing old friends after a long absence! I’ve stopped bleeding already (it took 6 full weeks with Ben) and don’t feel the stitches anymore.

I don’t take Teddy back to the pediatrician until he is two months old but I know that he is growing! He is out of newborn disposables and is starting to outgrow his newborn clothes. Many of the 0-3 month outfits are too big yet so we’re mixing and matching until he grows a bit more. We made the move to cloth diapers during the day last week so we aren’t flying through disposables anymore. He seems to be tolerating the change pretty well with no significant rashes to speak of. We weighed Teddy before his bath on Saturday and he clocked in at 9.6 lbs and has the chin rolls and dimples in his knees to prove it. I’m proud of how much he has grown!

We’ve fallen into a good rhythm with breastfeeding. He eats every 3-4 hours during the day and then a 4-5 hour stretch before our first night wake up and then 3 more hours. That’s typically a bed time feeding between 10 and 11, one feeding from 3-4, and a wake up feeding between 7 and 8. His schedule is a lot more fluid than Ben’s internal clock so stupid Daylight Saving Time has thrown us off a little. Ben is now ready to get up before Teddy eats but we’ll eventually get back to Teddy naturally wanting to wake and eat about 30 minutes before Ben is ready.

I think I am FINALLY past the mastitis and clogged duct problems that pestered me the entire time B was in San Francisco and I was solo parenting. I finished my antibiotics yesterday and started taking lecithin (food extract that acts like an emulsifier, sticking to fat in my milk to keep it from sticking together) and haven’t had any super painful clogs since I wrote my last desperate blog post. Astonishingly, Teddy started latching without a nipple shield after I wrote that post too so thank you for those prayers! It was wonderfully encouraging to have something start going right after 7+ days of frustration. We regularly go without the shield and only use it for the one to two night feedings, depending on how tired Teddy is. He has a lot more trouble latching when he is half asleep and when it has been 5 hours since he ate and I’m more engorged than normal. He can be quite stubborn about latching anyway and has spent up to 5 minutes sniffing and licking my nipple instead of latching but we haven’t given up yet. I was a little worried that the mastitis and duct issues caused a dip in supply but since Teddy’s diapers are always soaked and he poops all the flippin time, he is still getting enough to eat.

B is currently back in San Francisco for a second conference in less than two weeks. I dropped him off at the airport yesterday morning and he gets back Wednesday evening so this one is much shorter than the last one. He commented on how much bigger Teddy was when he got home last Thursday. That’s what you get for going away for a week when your son is only 3 weeks old! I feel much more confident about solo parenting for this second stretch even though all three of us have caught colds. I’ve figured out some coping mechanisms and experience coordinating both boys schedules. We’ve watched more tv than I’d like during the last week but I’ll be able to wean us off that once we get more settled. We watch youtube music videos and have dance parties (great for using up toddler energy!), Baby Einstein, and, of course, Toy Story. I’ve gotten really good at playing dishes with Ben with only one hand and figuring out how to shower each day. Baby wearing is more of a necessity this time around and I am so glad I bought the baby k’tan to use instead of the Moby wrap!

Ben has impressed me with his flexibility, maturity (at times), his helpfulness, and his love of his “baby broller Teddy.” I’ve learned that if we talk about what to expect from him during a situation, everything goes much smoother. For example, when we get home from the store, I tell Ben that I’m going to take Teddy out of the car and put him in the house and then I’ll come back for him. He knows I haven’t left for good and he gets attention too. We have started working some of the basic love and logic parenting methods into our daily routines with some positive results. We regularly “take turns” changing diapers and we give him the option to go first or second. He can choose between different shirts every day and chooses from several options for lunch or snacks. We’re working building up his self-confidence by giving him the chance to choose his own path from a carefully constructed set of options. All choice is a good choice because we only give good options but it works! We still spend our fair share of time in the time out chair because he “didn’t use good listening” but I’ve seen impressive improvement in the last month.

Ben is very helpful with Teddy too, in spite of liking to steal Teddy’s boppy and burp cloth all the time. He likes to give hugs and kisses, is very concerned if he thinks Teddy isn’t going to go somewhere with us, shares toys (Teddy doesn’t care but its adorable just the same), and is tolerant of the time Teddy spends with me nursing.

I’d be remiss if I don’t mention that it has been a year since we lost Baby 2. Time changes the feeling of emptiness that comes with losing a baby but it doesn’t go away, even after the birth of a child since then. We love and miss you, Baby Girl!


4 day old baby snuggles!


Our first walk with the double stroller (Joovy Caboose Ultralight)




Ben got a haircut and didn’t act like it was the end of the world!


The many faces of TJ


Our first outing without B


Ben asked for a photo with his chicken nuggets to send to Daddy


We had one amazingly warm (78) day to play in the leaves before it got cold and rainy


Ben is a huge fan of leaf piles


Teddy’s face is priceless


Baby’s first WP shirt!


Dressed like Daddy


Ben refused to nap on Halloween and kept putting his monster socks on his hands like puppets


The cutest Woody ever


Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!


Selfies while building towers


Ben was sharing toys with Teddy (Woody hat, Mr. Potato Head, Daddy’s glove, and Ben’s burp cloth)


This boy is full of energy and joy!



One Week

Happy one week birthday, Teddy Bear!

It’s hard to believe that it has already and only been one week since Teddy was born. Time both slowed down and sped up for the last 7 days. We haven’t done a whole lot other that work on some sort of routine that works for our boys but doesn’t affect B’s work hours too much. We haven’t been too successful yet but B hasn’t told me he’s worried yet so I’ll let it be for now.

B is a wonderful dad but I knew that already. He changes diapers (all of Ben’s since Monday since I’m on lift restrictions and can’t put him on the changing table plus many of Teddy’s), gets up with Ben in the morning, snuggles fussy newborns, encourages me when I’m feeling frustrated, and continues to work to financially support our family. I don’t know how I would do this without him!

Ben is adjusting as well as we could have hoped. He loves to give Teddy kisses and hugs and is more excited to see his “billy broller” in the morning than he is to see me. He is aggressively loving, as most toddlers are, so we don’t trust him alone with Teddy yet but it warms my heart to see them together. We try not to have Teddy in our laps all the time so there is space for Ben too. He has been acting out a bit this past week and intentionally disobeying us. Time out is pretty common! We can’t tell if he is acting out because of Teddy or because he still feels crappy from the cold or allergies that we’ve been fighting for a month. We haven’t had our mother’s helper over for the last week but I think she’ll be back next week to help us get back into a good daily rhythm.

Every once in a while, I forget that I recently gave birth but then I try to lift my leg up to put on a sock and have almost no muscle control in my lower body. I bought a Belly Bandit because I could remember how soft and vulnerable my stomach felt after delivering Ben and thought that an abdominal support band might help. I was right! I’m planning on writing more about this and other products that I’ve been loving this time around soon.

The second degree tear I got because of Teddy’s face-up orientation is much less swollen and seems to be healing well. I got a spray can of Dermoplast from the hospital and it was life changing for the first few days! It numbed the whole area and made it possible to sit comfortably. I’ve gone through an astonishing number of Tucks wipes as well but using them seems to be speeding along my healing. My stomach has shrunk a bunch and it is wonderful to be able to sleep however I want and be able to reach my feet. I went into the hospital at 152 lbs and was down to 135 when I weighed myself yesterday. I took 800 mg Ibuprofen for the first 5 days for the aches and pains plus headaches that I had forgotten are common for me in the first few weeks postpartum and have dropped down to 600 mg. I don’t think my postpartum bleeding has been as heavy this time as with Ben. I have hopes that I won’t be bleeding for 6 straight weeks this time. I’d totally be ok if it was shorter!

We’ve been very spoiled by our church and have meals lined up to be delivered every few days for our first two weeks at home. We’ve gotten several meals plus snacks for us and treats for Ben. Of all the things that I need to keep doing to keep the house from imploding; I’m glad that food (dinners and leftovers for lunch) are completely taken care of.

Teddy has figured out nursing with the nipple shield, for which I am thankful. I was in such excruciating pain for the first day of nursing every 2 hours without the shield and struggled with getting him properly latched on one side due to a flat nipple. The shield provides just enough of a buffer than the initial latch still makes me wince but I’m not bleeding or cracked yet. We will work on weaning off the shield in about a month or so when he has a stronger suck and I’m sufficiently toughened up. My milk came in earlier this time on day 3 instead of 5 so our boy has been getting fed a lot. Engorgement has been worse this time and uterine contractions caused by breastfeeding were excruciating for the first few days. My mom and other mothers of more than one child have agreed that they really do worsen with each baby. Great?

Teddy has settled into being part of the family very quickly. He actually slept and ate better once we got home from the hospital than before we were discharged. His circumcision is healing very well and we’re only a few days away from not having to cover it with gauze anymore. His umbilical cord stump is drying out, smells pretty gross, and is super close to falling off. I’m expecting to find it in his onesie when I change him overnight. When his belly button heals, we’ll be switching to cloth diapers. He loves boobs, soothie pacifiers (especially his Wubbanub), snuggling, being swaddled, pooping right when it’s most inconvenient for me (usually as soon as I put a clean diaper on), and taking naps. He is hard to keep awake while nursing but the upside is that he falls asleep quickly and deeply between feedings so I get to sleep too. In spite of his tendency to be a lazy eater, he weighed 7 lb 7 oz when we discharged from the hospital and still weighed 7 lb 7 oz when I took him to the pediatrician on Monday morning so I don’t need to push him any harder.

I fell asleep on the couch while watching The Avengers with B tonight and woke up to this photo set as my phone background. This is what it feels like to have a one week old!


What is on my Nursing Table?

I have always had a crazy curiosity about the things that people thing essential enough to keep on hand during critical moments so I thought I’d share what is currently on the nightstand in Teddy’s room. I nurse at night almost exclusively in the armchair in his bedroom so I try to set up everything I’ll need within arms reach for night feedings so I won’t have to stay awake longer than necessary.


  • An already dog-eared Pottery barn catalog that came while we were at the hospital
  • Kindle: This came as a surprise baby gift from friends halfway across the country. She and I were talking about them earlier this week or last and I mentioned how useful I thought it would be for reading during night feedings. We have wonderful friends!
  • Phone: My calm and constant companion (and feeding tracking device)
  • Red tin of breast pads: I learned early on with Ben that one of our cats likes to steal breast pads and play with them so I had to find a container that he couldn’t open
  • Lamp turned on low
  • Nipple butter: This stuff is far superior to lanolin. It smells lovely, doesn’t stain clothes, and goes on smoother and less sticky.
  • Nipple shield: I was going to go without because it seemed like Teddy could handle it but the pain of learning to breastfeed again is buffeted by the shield a tiny bit so I’ll work on weaning him later
  • Quaker banana bread soft baked granola bar: Breastfeeding makes me hungry so I grabbed a bar from the hospital bag. Good choice
  • Mostly empty water bottle because I already emptied it today! 20 oz of 95 already done by 6 am!