Big Brother Adjustments

Caden is six weeks old. For me, the time has flown despite the light at the end of the sleepless tunnel feeling like it’s constantly moving further away from us. And lately, I find myself wishing I could crawl inside Rylan’s head and experience the upheaval through his eyes.

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While we’re primarily just tired as the parents, Rylan is a ball of gigantic emotions, reaching every edge of the newly appointed big brother spectrum. Let’s first focus on the positive. Rylan is excelling in his preschool class at daycare and the teachers shared last week that they have noticed little to no regression in his behavior. In fact, he is having great days overall and has turned into a very dependable helper. We were told that he is the first to help remind others of the classroom rules and takes the rules to heart for himself. In the classroom he is curious, goofy and endlessly imaginative. He thrives when being challenged and his little friends enjoy following his lead. All of these recent updates from his teacher made my heart swell with immense pride.

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Holiday Gift Ideas: Powder & Jade Boulder, Colo. Etsy Shop

Disclaimer: I was generously given one custom necklace in exchange for a review. However, the opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. 

I love Etsy. I love shopping local. So, I get super excited when I can shop local on Etsy and support passionate and talented small business owners in my own backyard!

Just a few weeks after Caden was born I received a sweet email from Katie of the Powder & Jade jewelry shop on Etsy (based just up the road in Boulder, Colo.). Powder & Jade was created in 2013 by a husband and wife team who first started making jewelry in college as a hobby. Katie generously offered to send me a piece of my choice in order to let my readers know more about their unique and very affordable items just in time for holiday shopping.

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Caden: One Month

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Caden has been peacefully napping for about 35 minutes as I sit down to write this. Which means, I have anywhere from zero to 10 minutes until he thinks his nap is over and is screaming his head off. Fun times. Therefore, in the spirit of the fastest four weeks of our lives, below is a quickly typed list of Caden’s one month favorites.

LOVES…

  • To be held by anyone and everyone
  • Being worn in the Solly wrap (…which I borrowed from a coworker because I rarely, if ever, wore Rylan. I absolutely adore this wrap and wish I knew about it last time)
  • Eating every 2 – 2.5 hours
  • Milk. From mom, a bottle…he doesn’t care where it comes from as long as it’s ready for him upon waking from his pathetically short naps
  • Kisses from Rylan
  • Rock n’ Play sleeper
  • Peeing on anyone and everything when we don’t move fast enough during diaper changes
  • Stroller walks

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Making His Mark: Caden’s Early Days

Through the years we’ll get to watch Rylan and Caden come into their own, and it will always be interesting to observe their inherent differences and similarities. We’re closing in on four weeks as a family of four and let me say, they couldn’t be more different…both in their features (check out the side by side! Ry is on the left) and in their early personalities.

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As I sat down to write this post (yesterday…could never get enough time to finish it) my eyes are swollen and bleary. I can count on one hand the good days/nights of sleep since coming home from the hospital. With Rylan it was polar opposite. I could count the bad days on one hand as he loved sleep but fought me on eating.

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Welcoming Caden: A Birth Story

Apologies for the long post but I wanted to get all of the story written down before the details start to fade…

I am a type-A planner. Therefore, having a scheduled induction date once again for baby #2 was right up my alley. On the night of Oct. 30 we’d check into the hospital and welcome our little on the next day…a Halloween baby. All was set.

Oh wait. The moment you think things are “all set” as a parent, reality hits and you’re thrust into chaos. Enter Caden Earl Anderson.

Since finding out ‘Pint’ was on the way, I have remained uncharacteristically laid back and somewhat unprepared for the arrival of number two. I never packed a bag and certainly didn’t pre-install the car seat like we did for Rylan. We dug baby essentials out of the attic a week or two ago and my plans to fill the freezer with healthy meals was essentially laughable. I had to be reminded to make many of my doctor’s appointments and forgot how to access the labor & delivery floor of the hospital after-hours (which comes into play later).

Let’s rewind to the morning of Saturday, Oct. 22, when I was officially 38 weeks along. I had just returned the afternoon before from my company overnight in Vail and had confidently declared “see you Monday” to all of my coworkers. I casually mentioned to Mike on Friday night that maybe I should get a bag together but took no action. We woke up bright and early on Saturday and headed to the zoo for Boo at the Zoo with Rylan and his best friend Naomi. We walked around the zoo for hours with Naomi and her dad and I felt great. I took a few opportunities to sit down toward the end but had no inkling of the evening to come.

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Hormones and “That Song”

Thirty-something week hormones + playing super old music on your iTunes is a recipe for some major emotions and tears. Good tears, but cue the solo “ugly cry” nonetheless.

On a recent 30+ minute drive back to the office from a client meeting I decided to listen to the first Dixie Chicks album. Their songs played on constant repeat in my car junior and senior year of high school. They sang about heartache, of which I knew nothing about, as well as great love…something I really had no clue about at the time either.

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A Surprise Sprinkle for Little Pint

Little Pint ~

Happy (expected) birthday month to you! Because of my scheduled 39 week induction on Oct. 30 we are watching the calendar closely for your anticipated Halloween arrival. If you do indeed follow “the schedule,” your birthday month will always be marked by gorgeous fall colors, pumpkin spice everything, candy corn, pumpkin patches and hay rides, cozy fall clothes, tricks and treats. What a wonderful birthday month for a little one that is already loved so much.

Speaking of how much you are loved, this weekend I was completely and utterly blindsided by family and friends at a surprise sprinkle celebration for you. I thought I was going to a pre-baby girls brunch with a few close friends. I raced to the restaurant, hair still damp, after watching Ry play soccer. Sunni, Paige and Kimbra had already arrived and were sitting at a small table while our table was being cleaned…or so I thought.

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Real Answers to 34 Week Questions

Alas, I’ve entered the final weeks of pregnancy. And I seem to have forgotten one detail about this stage since my pregnancy with Rylan. EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION.

Looking down at 34 weeks

Looking down at 34 weeks

I must have blocked from my mind all of the weird things people say to you at this stage. I get it. It looks like I swallowed a basketball, I am waddling and sometimes groaning, and you have questions. Let’s have some fun with the real answers rather than the ones I politely provide.

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How Are We Almost There?

Nearly two months ago I apologized to Pint in a blog post. And now, here we are. The “summer of Ry” has come and gone.

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I am 32 weeks with seven to go until my scheduled Halloween induction. We have taken perhaps a handful of bump pictures and are skipping the professional maternity ones this time around to save money. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll even remember this pregnancy compared to the way I savored every moment of Ry’s.

Warp speed.

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Pint, I’m Already Sorry

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Dearest “Pint…”

You’ve lived in my tummy for nearly 24 weeks. You are endlessly active and I believe you have learned how to roll, kick and punch simultaneously.

You are already quite different from your big brother.

You like to make me dizzy when I stand up too fast. You made me nauseous for the first 12 weeks, though luckily never fully sick, and still give me waves of it even today. You didn’t like a lot of foods, especially anything along the lines of ramen or Thai. There is still one specific dish that I used to love that makes me turn green just thinking about it. You haven’t let me sleep through the night more than once a week since we found out there was going to be a “Pint” in our lives. Do you sit on my bladder at night?

Despite all of these differences from my 39 weeks with Rylan, I am the one who should be apologizing. Already you are so clearly the second child. Of course we already adore and talk about you constantly. You do even have a secret Pinterest board where I sometimes aimlessly save ideas for redoing the room you two will share. Ha. HA HA.

By now Rylan had probably close to a dozen blog posts dedicated to him. I blogged for weeks in secret about the little “Sprout” in my belly, documenting the earliest of weeks. We took pictures every few weeks of my barely-there belly. We framed ultrasound pictures and shared every BabyCenter weekly email update with family. We signed up for baby classes and attended showers graciously thrown by family and friends. We sat at night, just Mike and me, and watched my belly wiggle and jump. I spent hours picking out every detail for the nursery.

I want to be completely honest with you sweet Pint. Your ultrasound pictures are laying on the desk downstairs. I have little to no plans to make any changes to the room unless you happen to be a girl, in which case I have a few little touches in mind. Maybe. We were so lucky to receive an incredible amount of stuff for Rylan that I am honestly a little relieved not to be the center of attention again at more baby showers. I am debating a CPR refresher class but may watch a few YouTube videos instead. I’ll be lucky if I blog a handful more times before your arrival.

But there is an up side to all of this. I am relaxed and confident that you are going to adjust just fine. Your big brother loves to talk about you, kiss my belly and throw toys in your empty crib so that you have plenty to play with when you get here. Your grandparents, aunts and uncles are anxiously counting the weeks until you join us, as we all believe you will be the last sweet baby for both sides of our family. Oh you will be so very spoiled little one. I want to hold you more, and for longer, rather than obsess about every sleep training rule. I cannot wait to sit alone with you for hours while I am on leave and Rylan is at daycare enjoying his “big boy” routine, knowing that all of your firsts will probably be our lasts as parents. I am going to be more selfish in your infancy. I just know I will. I think your dad will be too.

Pint, unless you have other plans we’ll meet you in about 15 weeks. Your home will be ready and waiting, in whatever state, full of love. Until then, grow strong. I simply cannot wait to hold you, get to know you and even more precious, introduce you to your incredible big brother.

We love you Pint.

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