Happy 2 Months, Adelaide Quinn!

It’s only been two months, but it seems like Adelaide has always been in our family. People have asked me how I could love someone as much as Emmalyn. My answer to that is this: when you have another child, your heart just instinctively knows how to expand to make room for more love. It’s like lighting candles… the flame doesn’t burn out when you light one candle to the next, but rather ignites more flames. My heart ignites more love.

It may sound cheesy, but I am seriously obsessed with Adelaide! I just want to hug, hold, and kiss her All!Day!Long! The first three weeks were difficult because I felt like a never-ending milking-cow, but after she grew out of her cluster-feedings, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. I also felt an even bigger weight lifted off when I stopped nursing from the left side (because it was so painful!!) and just continued on the right only. Holy goodness, that was the best decision I made. I cannot tell you how great it made breast-feeding for me. I am so so s-o-o-o glad I didn’t give up! And really, THANK YOU to everyone who supported and encouraged me–whether by person, phone, or text! I couldn’t have pushed through it without all of y’all! Thank you a hundred times over!

Adelaide is such a wonderful baby. She basically only cries when she’s tired, hungry, or needs to be changed. She’s also a major cuddle-bug! Her favorite spot to be is laying on mama’s chest. (It’s my favorite place for her to be, too!) Just this past week she’s really started to smile when you talk to her. And she even had a conversation with her big sister 😉 At bed time the other night, we were reading books in Emmalyn’s bed when she started cooing. Emmalyn would imitate her back, then Adelaide would coo again. It went back and forth several times, and both Emmalyn and I got a huge kick out of it. Adorable!

Speaking of Big Sister, Emmalyn is adjusting quite well to her new role, although I must admit, she can drive me a little insane sometimes. Like me, she’s also obsessed with her little sister and won’t stop touching her. The problem is she wants to touch her while she’s sleeping. And it’s not just a little peck on the feet or a soft touch, it’s a full-on Hugging & Kissing Frenzy! I’ve tried so hard to give her softer alternatives to showing Adelaide affection, but alas, she won’t listen. (Big surprise there… she’s three!)

The experience of having a second child is so much different than the first. I’m not nervous about anything (except what Emmalyn is up to if I have to run to the bathroom real quick!). With the first, I remember being nervous about going to Target, changing blow-out diapers, feeding at the right time, giving baths, and even just putting her head through a onesie. But the second time around, I feel like a pro. Also, Adelaide has no choice but to just go! go! go! With Emmalyn I was so nervous about public germs. However, once you’ve witnessed your child licking the metal poles in line at Sea World (can I get a barf bag?!), you learn to let loose a little. Hand sanitizer is still my best friend, and I try to keep Adelaide covered in her car seat when we’re out, but I’d go stir crazy (and Emmalyn would, too!) if we didn’t venture out practically every day. Adelaide has been to museums, the library, shopping, parks, church, and friend’s houses multiple times.

She is still sleeping in her “Rock-n-play” sleeper next to our bed, and I don’t plan on moving her any time soon. I love having her sleep next to me. I love hearing her breaths, snores, and baby pterodactyl-like noises. I love that in the middle of the night I can just reach over to nurse her. Adelaide is still wearing newborn clothes and diapers. She doesn’t mind “tummy-time” and holds her head up remarkably well. At night, she even scoots herself almost all the way over onto her side. She loves listening to Emmalyn sing, dance, and play the guitar. We’ve nicknamed her “Bright Eyes” for the way she watches everyone around her. Next to her older sister’s, you can definitely see that her eyes are blue. I just wonder if they’re going to stay that way?

My two girls have taught me the importance of living in the moment and slowing down. With Emmalyn, I tried so hard to do things “by the books”. I moved her into her own room at three months, and I didn’t want her to get used to being rocked to sleep, among other things. But they’re only this little once in their lives. I can’t believe Emmalyn will be four in a few months, and I cringe when I think about Adelaide growing as fast as she already is. I wanted to rush the infant stage with Emmalyn, and now I never want Adelaide to grow out of her newborn clothes! It’s amazing how your perspective changes.

I’m absolutely loving being a mommy to my two beautiful girls. It truly is the great thing I’ve ever done! It’s cliche, I know, but I can’t remember life before Adelaide. By the Grace of God, she was meant to be in our family.

And as Emmalyn would say, “Can we keep her?”

Yes. We can keep her. She’s ours forever…

loyally,

katie

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Our Newborn Photo Shoot

Adelaide at 6 days old 
+
Adelaide crying for over an hour
+
New nursing mommy who doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing
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Emmalyn with a fever
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Adelaide peeing on Hubby’s formal uniform
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One really patient photographer
=
Our Newborn Photo Shoot

It was a stressful one, folks!
I was very adamant about capturing newborn photographs because I never did them with Emmalyn and have truly regretted it, still to this day. Therefore, it was super important to me the second time around. Our sweet family photographer was patient with us for three hours, while I nursed Adelaide three different times, Blake changed in and out of his uniform twice, and Emmalyn tantrumed (yes, that should be a word) and basically refused to participate until we bribed her with chocolate (which I never do)! But desperate times called for desperate measures.
I’m sad we didn’t get pictures of the sisters snuggled together in bed with big matching hair bows, like I envisioned, but Hey! That’s life! Right? I was way too exhausted–‘yanno, with having given birth six days prior–to try and make everything “perfect.”
I am, however, super grateful for the pictures we were able to capture, and even more importantly, that the people in them are healthy and mine and perfect.
Forever.
{hey–at least Indy cooperated! hehe}
loyally,
katie
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Hang in There!

So it’s been just over two weeks now since we brought home our newest little girl. I knew things were going to be tough, and I have dreaded the sleep deprivation, but I think I underestimated just how hard things would be. Fortunately, we have a little love who is (knock-on-wood) a very easy baby. She basically only cries when she’s hungry; otherwise she is quite content sleeping or looking around. The hardest part on me is feeling like a zombie, and the breast feeding. If the B word makes you queasy or if you’re my Dad, feel free to skip this post.

With Emmalyn, I only breast fed for two weeks before basically calling it quits. I was crying to her pediatrician about how painful and exhausting it was. She told me I needed to do what was best for me so that I could be happy and my baby could be happy. Ultimately, I felt like that was to switch over to formula. We’ll never know if it was the “right” decision, but it is what it is. We moved forward.

Throughout most of my pregnancy I had basically decided I was just going to formula-feed again; after all, I had done it once before, why not do it again? However, towards the last couple of months of my pregnancy, I felt a strong sense of urgency to breast feed. I didn’t really even have to talk myself into it—I just felt like it was something my body wanted to do for my baby.

When I delivered Adelaide, the nurse was impressed by how much colostrum I was already producing (see, I told you to skip this post, Dad) and was happy with her latch. Things are already such a blur, but in the hospital, I don’t remember it being painful. Fast forward to coming home from the hospital…. OUCH!

I visited the lactation nurse back at the hospital and she attributed my pain to a poor latch, mostly due to the placement of Adelaide’s lower lip. She showed me how to do a better latch and said that if it hurt, to take her off and repeat twenty times if I needed to. I went home a practiced best I could, taking her off and back on again. I was pleasantly surprised by how calm I was about it all. Before feeding, I’d kiss my baby’s soft little cherub cheek and say, “Let’s do this!”

I thought things were going well until one morning when I was feeding Adelaide and Emmalyn was standing right next to me. I felt that the latch was completely wrong and painful so I took Adelaide off and that’s when I saw blood all over her mouth. Poor Emmalyn, witnessing the whole thing, ran to her room crying. She told my mom she was worried about her little sister. I felt awful. I knew the blood wasn’t harmful to the baby—it was just a major pain to me, but I felt so sad for my Big Girl.

I immediately texted the lactation nurse to see if she could squeeze me in. I went later that day and she recommended using a shield to let my body heal. There were many tears over that first weekend. I was extremely emotional.

Every other feeding I wanted to quit. Every other feeding I felt like I could actually make this work. Back and forth. Back and forth. There were so many cluster-feedings. I would nurse for fifteen to thirty minutes, burp, swaddle, get comfy in bed, and then wham! She was back to sucking, so I had to start the whole process over again. I can’t wait until I don’t have to wake her to feed at night anymore. One night, I didn’t have my phone by my bed so I didn’t hear my alarm go off. She slept for five glorious hours!

This whole thing is so much harder than I could imagine. I began reaching out to other women, some old friends, some new, some nearby, others far from home. They all released stories to me about their pain and frustrations, complete with blood, sweat, and tears. Literally. They all said give it 2-4 weeks. HANG IN THERE! they’ve cheered. I’m so grateful for friends who want to reach out and support me.

Breast feeding has left me feeling depleted most of the time. Just entirely drained, trying to stay on top of things. Most of the time I have to force myself to eat because I don’t have an appetite even though I’m hungry. While Emmalyn has been so receptive of her little sister, there are times when she’s been super clingy to me and has thrown several big tantrums. It’s tough to watch when I have a baby literally stuck to my skin.

I’m immensely blessed to have a husband who plays a huge role in helping me feel better. He’s my biggest motivator. For that first week I think we were both scared of walking down the same scary path that plagued us three-and-a-half years ago. I hate to say I was waiting for the pin to drop, because I didn’t want to think that way, but a little part of me would wonder if today is the day things fall apart? I don’t feel that way any longer. I’m being completely proactive: back on anti-anxiety medication as a precaution, and even “checked-in” with my therapist yesterday.

It’s a total 180 from how I felt after the birth of Emmalyn. I’m not carrying around any irrational fears or anxiety. I have the normal “nervousness” of nursing in public for the first time, and preparing to take my first outing with both girls, but that’s what it is: Normal.

The best I can do is keep moving forward. Interacting and trying to keep a normalcy with Emmalyn helps a lot: giving her a bath, reading to her, talking her through her tantrums, etc. From the very beginning I’ve gotten out of the house for fresh air. For the first week I was scared I wouldn’t have the inner motivation to “just do it” by myself, but I am feeling much more confident. I have already been out of the house numerous times with Adelaide. My next feat is taking both girls to Adelaide’s 2-week well-baby checkup tomorrow. But hey—if anything goes wrong, at least we’re already at the hospital… and my husband works there!

Wish us luck! 😉

loyally,
katie
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INTRODUCING…..

SHE’S HERE!!!
INTRODUCING…
Adelaide Quinn
 
I can’t believe we’re finally a family of four!
loyally,
katie
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Bumpdate: 39 Weeks ~ Baby #2

How far along: 39 Weeks! I’ve made it longer than I did with Emmalyn. I actually didn’t think I would still be pregnant at 39 weeks, to be honest.

Total Weight Gain:
30lbs {see “cravings” below for explanation}

Labor Signs: Sporadic contractions throughout the day, but nothing time-able; been sitting pretty at 2cm for about two weeks now.

Symptoms:
Major heartburn

Movement:
Apparently Baby Girl still has a lot of room in there because she hasn’t slowed down a bit!

Sleep:
Just terrible! However, I feel fortunate that Pregnancy Insomnia has really only hit me at 39 weeks. Overall, I’ve been very, very lucky with sleep.

Cravings & Aversions: I was craving brownie batter the other day so I made a batch and probably ate at least ¾ of the (cooked) brownies (after I generously licked the bowl) myself. Oooohh they were soooo fudgey and gooey…. I don’t eat like that when I’m not pregnant, so no regrets… worth.every.pound.

Funny Moments: At my well-checkup yesterday, I closed the curtain to undress and Emmalyn said, “Are we going to put on a show?” Welp, depends on how you look at it, kid…

Not So Funny Moments: Carrying a kicking and screaming 30-lb three year-old, on top of carrying 30-lbs across my mid-section out of Story Time at the library. That’s 60 pouds of Super Fun.

Nesting: Basically doing laundry every day… just in case!

Best Moments This Week: Spending one last Mother’s Day with JUST my Big Girl. It was very bittersweet. The absolute best was when Emmalyn woke me up and (totally unprompted by anyone) said, “I want to be just like you when I grow up.” Simply the best!

What I Miss: My energy and “normal” body!

Looking Forward To: My mommy coming tomorrow! & Lil Sis’ appearance! However, it would be quite great if she could stay tucked away until after Emmalyn’s dance recital this Saturday. Then, she can grace us with her presence anytime! =)

loyally,

katie
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To-Do Before Baby

You know your Due Date is quickly approaching when:
a. You have done more loads of laundry than you can count
b. You cannot sleep 
c. You keep checking the front door for packages from Amazon
d. You feel like your next sneeze will send the baby through your birth canal
e. All of the above

If you picked “e” then you are correct, my friend. There’s a laundry list (no pun intended) of things I’d like to accomplish before the baby comes. Notice how I said: “I’d like to…” because really, nothing HAS to get done before the baby arrives. As long as my boobs don’t disappear anytime soon and the hospital sends me home with diapers (for both baby & me), I’m all set. Even the car seat doesn’t technically need to be installed–we can do that one there.

However, it would be icing on the cake if I could accomplish at least some things on my many on-going lists. With my first baby, everything was done weeks and weeks–if not three months–in advance (i.e., hospital bag packed). With more or less than 25 days ’til D-Day {eek!!}, I’m proud of what I’ve checked off thus far:

Wash newborn clothes
Hospital bag packed (ehem... does it count if I have at least written the list?)
Emmalyn’s bag packed (in case we have to send her off somewhere real fast)
Buy baby book
Wash breast pump (find it first…)
Buy new nursing bras
Install car seat (it’s washed and sitting in baby’s room. Good enough.)
Hang up wall art in baby’s room 


Order Big Sister gift from Mommy & Daddy
Get gifts “To & From” sisters (someone suggested the baby *get* Emmalyn a gift, and Emmalyn get the baby a gift. I thought this was a super cute idea)
Stock up on Tucks & pads
Emmalyn’s totally necessary outfit for meeting her new baby sister in the hospital
Deep clean the house
Mani/Pedi
Going Home Outfit, complete with ridiculously cute big bows

You would think I would be stressed with all the “To-Do’s” but I’m not. Not this time around! I know the importance of Letting Things Go. Sometimes you just need to take care of Y-O-U and I refuse to compromise my sanity and health for the sake of a clean house or fancy newborn outfits. For the most part, I’ve been having fun checking things off the list bit-by-bit, especially ordering things off Etsy and Amazon, and decorating Baby Girl’s room. I realize that if I can’t check off something from the list, it’s not the end of the world. That’s what husbands are for…


loyally,

katie

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Bumpdate: 36 Weeks ~ Baby #2

How far along: 36 weeks… 4 weeks left… 1 week ’til full-term 🙂
Symptoms: Oh how I despise you heartburn, indigestion, & acid reflux… especially in the middle of the night! Also, itchy legs, hip/groin/back pain, tiredness
Total weight gain: 24 pounds… less than what I gained with Emmalyn, so far. I have her to thank, too, because she doesn’t let me sit still.
Gender: girl!
Movement: Somtimes her kicks and punches are so sudden and intense that they can be painful
Sleep: I’ve been applying lavender essential oil to my face and have been meditating before bed and it has helped a lot! It also helps that Emmalyn is finally letting Blake put her to bed, so I can sneak in a little extra downtime like reading watching Dancing with the Stars before I call it a night.
Cravings & Aversions: I’ve had such a sweet tooth for chocolate
What I Miss: Not having to pee every thirty minutes (or less)!
Looking Forward To: Finding out what this new little one will look like!

loyally,

katie

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Bumpdate: 32 Weeks ~ Baby #2

 {Emmalyn playing around with the baby bump at the maternity store–haha! She didn’t want to part with it either.}

How far along: 32 weeks. 8 more to go, yo!

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, sciatic nerve pain (which I didn’t get with the first pregnancy), heart burn, indigestion, acid reflux, headaches, shortness of breath. Oh the price you pay for a precious little life. Totally annoying, but totally worth it!

Maternity Clothes: Yup. Just bought a new dress for our family pictures next weekend.

Gender: girl!

Movement: Tons. Over the last few weeks, the baby has started getting the hiccups. She loves to do her biggest and best Olympic gymnastics moves while I’m trying to go to sleep.

Sleep: See above. Sleep is alright. I wake up about every couple of hours, but can go back to sleep fairly easily.

Cravings & Aversions:
Craving just a bite or two of mint chocolate chip ice cream–but the white ice cream kind, not the green kind. I’m very particular about it 🙂

Not So Funny Moments: Handling three year-old tantrums when you’re also permanently carrying a bowling ball across your midsection, 24/7. Let’s just say there’s been a lot of tears lately. On both ends… Three year-olds and pregnancy hormones make for a great combination, my friends.

Nesting: My parents were in town last week so we got the crib together, and the furniture in Baby’s room rearranged. My mom and I washed all of Emmalyn’s old baby clothes and sorted them by size. It was fun looking through all the little clothes again. Oh! & her rug arrived–I’m in love!

Best Moments This Week
: The Hubs no longer working nights! yayyyyy

What I Miss: Walking for long periods of time without feeling like I need to rest and sit down.

Looking Forward To:
Figuring out Baby Girl’s middle name. We are stumped. Again. Emmalyn doesn’t understand the concept of having a middle name (even though she knows her own) because every time we talk about it in front of her, she yells, “NOOO!” & then tells us, “It’s JUST {insert Lil Sis’ name here}.”

loyally,
katie
Have you heard?
Loyal, Loving, & Learning is now on Facebook!
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Bumpdate: 30 Weeks ~ Baby #2

How far along: 30 weeks (yesterday)… The 10-week countdown has begun! Yay!

Symptoms: heartburn, indigestion, itchy skin, major hip/groin pain, tired

Total weight gain: 17lbs.

Gender: Bows before bros

Movement:
I can literally feel the shape of her head poking into my ribs. It’s crazy… & I love it!

Sleep:
Besides having to get up to pee every other hour, not too bad.

Cravings & Aversions:
I was totally craving Twizzlers, but by the time I got home from the store, I didn’t want them anymore.

Funny Moments: I asked Emmalyn what she was going to teach her little sister and she said, “I’m going to teach {Lil Sis} how to do rolls and the Slinky.”

Not So Funny Moments: Trying to tame a three year-old throwing a tantrum (say that 5 times fast!) at the park when I didn’t have a pocket for my phone and we rode her tricycle there. It was physically exhausting.

Nesting: I cleared out more toys from the playroom/new baby’s room, and rearranged the guest bed. I put up her monogram initial on the wall, too!

Best Moments This Week: Whenever Emmalyn talked about being a big sister.

What I Miss:
Being able to get up off the floor without a crane.

Looking Forward To:
My parents coming in town this weekend to help out with All!Things!Baby! Hoping to get the crib set up and Emmalyn’s old baby clothes out from the attic and washed.

loyally,
katie
** For some reason my computer doesn’t want to upload a picture right now, so if you’re curious about the “bump” find me on Instagram: @katievanbrunt
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Bumpdate: 26 Weeks ~ Baby #2

How far along: 26 weeks

Symptoms: Heartburn & indigestion, hip pain 


Maternity Clothes: Yup. 

Total Weight Gain: 14 lbs… yeeps!

Gender: girl, & pretty sure we’re set on a name 😉


Sleep: I get up to pee about a zillion times, but other than that, sleep is good.


Cravings & Aversions: sweet & salty things


Funny Moments: Emmalyn pretending to tickle the baby


Nesting: Just the other day, I got all new bedding/pillows for the full-sized bed in the baby’s room.
I found a navy and white table cloth with a rope pattern all over it that I’m going to turn into the curtains. I picked up the matching table runner, too, to lay on top of the dresser to protect the wood. They were all a steal from both Marshall’s and Stein Mart. I also found the most perfect decorative (but totally practical) baskets–in coral and navy. With anchors! I thought for sure I would have a difficult time finding coral-colored items, and would have to change part of our color scheme to pink (which I really didn’t want to do because I’ve been there, done that), but Stein Mart blew me out of the water with the amount of coral-colored nautical items they carried. Success! 

Best Moments This Week: Emmalyn calling her (“old”) playroom the new baby’s room, and even *giving* some of her stuffed animals to her “little sister”. It’s so sweet that she already wants to share. Let’s just hope it stays that way…


What I Miss: My energy. 


Looking Forward To: Matching sister outfits!


loyally,
katie

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