One Month In

Photo credit: Kristin Gambino Photography

Three is hard, y’all.

There is no down time.  It’s constantly meeting one of their needs.  It starts first thing in the middle of the night.  Feeding Brooks, then walking Ellis to the bathroom and back to bed.  Then feeding Brooks again.  Then getting breakfast made for the kids and lunch packed.  Getting the kids dressed.  Feeding Brooks again.  Dealing with Asher’s mess or tantrum.  Breaking up fights.  Getting Ellis to school.  Preventing Asher from killing Brooks.  Feeding Brooks again.  Getting Asher a snack.  Cleaning up Asher’s snack that he didn’t eat but instead smeared all over the floor.  Preventing Asher from killing Brooks.  Feeding Brooks while watching Asher destroy the house, because I can’t do anything about it.  Locking Asher in his room so he can’t kill Brooks or destroy the house while I take a shower.  Hopefully getting the chance to dress before feeding Brooks again.  And by this point it’s only 10 in the morning.

Brooks is a pretty typical newborn.  He sleeps all day and only wakes to eat.  He still only goes 2-3 hours at night before waking to eat again.  I had one magical evening where he went 5 hours.  Of course, it was 8pm – 1am, so I didn’t get a 5 hour stretch of sleep, but I know that one day it’ll happen for me.  The hardest part with night time feedings is that he is gassy, and I have the hardest time burping him, and then he gets the hiccups once I’ve put him down.  What should be a quick 30 min night feeding turns into an hour, hour and a half before I can put him down and go back to bed myself.  And then it’s usually 1.5-2 hours before I have to get up again.  It’s a little rough.  Add to that the recent time change, my other two are getting up between 6 and 6:30, while Brooks wakes between 4 and 5 to eat.  So even when I get him back down, I am up for the day with the other two.

 

 

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Brooks’ Birth Story

Brooks Cooper is here!

He came punctually on his due date.  His grandparents got here Saturday night, and I went into labor the following morning.  I woke up around 4:30 with some uncomfortable cramping, but it wasn’t enough to alarm me.  It was the first night I had slept in my bed in at least two weeks.  I had been sleeping on the couch because it was the only way I could a few hours’ stretch of sleep without waking up with pain in my legs, hips, sides, etc.  So I just assumed the cramping was due to the bed.  Around 5:30, after not being able to get back to sleep, I decided to get up, thinking that would help the cramping go away.  But the contractions persisted.  I started to time them thinking they would die off quickly, but they were coming every 3-4 minutes and lasting about 30 seconds each time.  I thought maybe I needed to have a bm, so I went to the bathroom, and that’s when I lost my mucous plug.  At that point, I started to get excited, though very calmly.  I noticed that when I sat down, the contractions weakened, so I decided to stay busy folding a load of laundry standing up, walking around, unloading the dishwasher…

Ellis came downstairs around 6:30.  She’s normally not allowed to come out of her room until 7, but I thought if I went to the hospital that day, it would be a while before I might see her, so I let her stay up and hang out with me.  The rest of the household started stirring around 7, and I was going to make breakfast for everyone, but thought it might be smarter to take a shower and get cleaned up for the day.  As I was getting ready to head up the stairs, I told Travase, “I’m gonna go upstairs and take a shower.  By the way, you may want to do the same because I think I’m in labor.”

I waited until after I had showered and gotten dressed before I called the Ob.  While I waited for the nurse on duty to call me back, I ran around packing the last bit of things and making sure the kids were set with their grandparents.  We left the house a little after 8 and stopped at Starbucks for breakfast since I knew it could be awhile before I was able to eat again.

After getting to the hospital and getting checked, I was only 4 cm dilated.  Sitting in the car and lying in the hospital bed slowed down my contractions so the doctor ordered me to walk around the hospital for an hour and then come back to be checked.  When I came back I had only progressed to about 6 cm, but the doctor decided to go ahead and admit me.  They started my IV, and I was told as soon as I finished the bag they could order my epidural.

At this point, I should mention that even though I had delivered two babies previously, they were both fairly easy deliveries.  My water broke first with each of them, and I had epidurals administered before the contractions ever got too painful.  That was not the case this time around.  I had been laboring since 4:30 in the morning.  The pain and intensity getting more and more severe as the morning went on.  Now my contractions started to pick up just before they decided to give me Pitocin, so my contractions went into overdrive.  On top of that, I was having back labor which hurts even more than regular contractions, and I still didn’t have an epidural.

By the time it was ordered and the anesthesiologist got there to administer it, I was about a 7 on the pain scale.  Having to move and getting a needle stuck into your spine while you’re having contractions 1 minute apart is not a fun experience.  Worse than that?  It didn’t work.  Well, it was working somewhat on the right side but not at all on the left.  If it was possible, the pain was even worse.  The nurse said to give it 5-10 minutes, but I had already given it more than 10 minutes and the pain was unbearable.  There were more nurses in the room at that point, not sure why.  I had no idea what was happening other than the pain of my contractions.  (Oh, thinking back, my water bag popped during a contraction, and it made me scream.  I think that’s what sent all the staff into the room.)  They were trying to reposition me thinking that that would help the .  I had to beg them not to touch me and to call the anesthesiologist back.  Finally, my nurse did, and after contracting through another epidural insertion, I started to feel some relief.  I remember realizing I was sweaty and thinking about all the movies and shows where the women looked like a sweaty mess.  This labor was turning out more and more like the stereotypical labor you see on TV.

Once the epidural took effect, Trav and I were both able to relax a little again.  I think I looked at Facebook, posted a Snapchat, sent some text messages, booked my newborn photographer…  But it wasn’t for long.  Brooks was ready to arrive.  They checked me and could already see him crowning, so it was push time.  We weren’t allowed to video tape the birth, so I had Trav take pictures.  They didn’t offer a mirror, so I told Trav to watch.  He had no desire to, but I said I couldn’t see, so he had to look for me.  He instead used the phone as a mirror so I could watch while he looked away.  It took 3 or 4 pushes, and he was out.  He came quietly into the world at 3:29 weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long.

Read about Asher’s birth here.

Read about Ellis’s birth here and here.

 

Asher’s 1st Birthday

Man, mom fail!  I’ve just not had the desire to blog in the longest time, but I feel guilty not having these updates for Asher when he’s older.  It’s been a couple of months since Asher’s birthday, but I will do my best to recount his special day(s).

Trav’s parents were in town, so on Asher’s birthday we enjoyed some dinner and ice cream cake.

That Saturday we had a super hero-themed birthday party with a Kilwin’s ice cream catering cart and a bounce house.  I decided to do his party up big more for Ellis than Asher.  Her birthday is in the summer when it’s hot and everyone’s on vacation, so I thought she would love celebrating her brother’s birthday with some of her friends.

Super girls!

 

Cutest Hulk I’ve ever seen!

 

1st ice cream!

 

Here to save the day!

 

Happy and entertained kids

 

Can’t go wrong with freshly made waffle cones!

 

The set up

 

1st birthday went off with a bang!

 

He needed no help enjoying his cupcake

 

Princess super heroes

 

The company was late picking up the bounce house, so Ellis and Asher got some extra night-time bouncing fun in.

 

His face says it all

 

We opened presents the next morning

 

All in all a successful birthday

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10 Months

Getting into trouble already!

Our little climber. Don’t worry – baby gates installed at the top and bottom of the stairs.

Enjoying some chips and queso on this Mexican night.

My sweet boy turned 10 months on the 21st.  Here is a little update on what he’s been up to lately.

  • You have your bottom two teeth, as evidenced by the chew marks all over the inside of your crib.
  • You will not sit still for a diaper change.  It either takes two adults, or most of the time I just do it while you’re standing up playing.  I’ve tried the one leg over you on the floor trick, but you’re a squirmy guy, and then it just looks like I’m wrestling with a baby – and losing.
  • You wave hi/bye and raise your hands above your head to say “so big!”
  • You love to climb the stairs to get to the playroom.
  • You love to eat toilet paper.
  • You love baths but probably don’t get enough of them.
  • You’re starting to dance to music.
  • Because I never posted a 9 month update:  At your 9 month well check you were 29 1/4 inches tall (81st %), 19 lbs 8.5 oz (52nd %), and 18 inch head circumference (69th %).
  • You still nurse, but we’re slowly weaning.  I don’t pump.  You take formula.  Those baby food pouches are the best.  I wish I had given them to Ellis when she was little, but I thought back then that I was a bad mom if I didn’t make her baby food.  I think Asher gets a more well-rounded diet with all the varieties of food he tries.  My only issue is that a lot of them are composed primarily of apple or pear or another sweet fruit with only a small amount of another ingredient added.  I probably should still be serving you home made baby food, but those pouches are just so convenient!  You’re not a big fan of finger foods yet.  Ellis loved shredded cheese, but you don’t care for it.  You’ll eat crackers and sometimes bread.  Every once in a while you’ll eat deli turkey, but you prefer a liquid diet.  I would try to serve you what we eat, but we don’t eat healthy.  You would be getting far too much sodium!
  • You’re not on a schedule, shame on me.  You wake up anywhere between 5 and 6.  I nurse you and try to get you to go back to sleep.  It’s 50/50.  Sometimes you stay up, play for a bit, and then are fussy after 45 min, so then I put you back to bed.  Other times, you’ll give in and sleep until about 7:30.  Usually though, you’re up until about 7:00/7:30, and then Ellis wakes up as soon as you go down.  So I literally have no quiet time in my day.  You take a nap in the morning depending on when you woke up, usually 1.5 to 2 hours after.  Your naps are about 1.5 hours long.  You take an afternoon nap the same way.  Usually you are up as soon as I get Ellis down for her nap, and then you might take a third cat nap after she wakes up.  Seriously, you guys need to get on the same page!  Your bedtime is 7pm.  Sometimes we keep you up later if we’re out, but at 7, you want to be in your bed, so we try not to mess with that.
  • You are generally a happy baby as long as you’re fed, well-rested, and not teething.
  • You love Ellis and her toys, but she doesn’t like you playing with her things when she’s using them. She has shown you some “sisterly love” in the form of pushing, shoving, grabbing toys from you, etc.  Yesterday I witnessed her stopping herself from hitting you when you knocked over her tower. She’s working on controlling her emotions and being patient (and tolerant) of you.  She doesn’t like sharing me with you very much.  If you start crying, she’ll run to me and ask that I hold her.  You two are obsessed with me, but at least you’ll let other people hold you.  Ellis would cry if anyone held her (except Papa Bob, she was cool with him).

8 Months

8 Months Old

(Written October 20th)  Tomorrow you turn 8 months old.  You could say I’m on top of this update, but I’ll be real with you.  I can’t find my phone, and the tv is broken.  Seriously, my iPhone 6 plus is the size of a brick, and I can’t find it anywhere in this house.  And your daddy is at HHGregg as we speak replacing the TV we bought a mere 3 months ago.  So I’m eating potato chips, drinking wine, and bored with Facebook and YouTube.  I could go upstairs and watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians (I started watching that this week after being fed up with the election-heavy news coverage), but your sister is still awake, and also I have to finish this bottle, I mean glass of wine.

Asher, everybody loves you.  You have the best smile, the best giggle.  To the world, you are the happiest baby, and really you are.  You have whiny days, but don’t we all?  You just recently learned to sit yourself up on your own, and so when you wake up from sleeping you often sit up and don’t know what you should do after (here’s a hint:  lay down and go back to sleep).  You are fully crawling now and move at an alarming speed when there’s something you want or places you want to go.  With all of this mobility comes new experiences and new environments.  You were once confined to the middle of the living room, and now you find your way to the patio door, Mommy and Daddy’s bathroom, your sister’s toys that she is huddling under her legs to keep from you…

We’ve lowered the mattress in your crib, and it looks like this weekend we are going to be installing some baby gates to the stairs.  More baby-proofing is necessary.  I’m in the process of moving all of Ellis’s tiny toys (choking hazards) to her bedroom.  And we’re back to needing to vacuum every day to try and avoid you putting random dirt and hair in your mouth.

You are wearing 6-12 mo/9-12 mo/9 mo clothes (why are kids’ sizing so difficult?!?) and size 3 diapers.  You enjoy eating puffs and love the banana, spinach, blueberry puree I made for you.  I need to start working on some new purees.  I tried offering you cut up watermelon and on another occasion cut up banana, but you’re still not excited about finger food.

siblings

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7 Months

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Second child problems… Mommy doesn’t keep up with your monthly updates and completely skips your 1/2 birthday!  To summarize, you learned how to roll from belly to back a week before you turned 6 months.  At your 6 month check up you were measured in the 94 percentile for height (28 inches), 40th percentile for weight (17 lbs), and 81st percentile for head circumference (17 1/2 inches).  Your pediatrician was slightly concerned because you were slightly less weight than your appointment the week before (for a hoarse voice).  I wasn’t concerned because I knew you hadn’t eaten for a few hours, and you and Ellis are just not chunky babies.

We had yet another pediatrician appointment a couple weeks ago and a follow up this past Friday (persistent cough diagnosed as an ear infection).  At the follow up appointment, you weighed in at 18 lbs.  For some perspective, your sister was 19 lbs at her 12 month check up.  No more ear infection for you, but you still have a lingering cough and potentially have reflux.  You’ve been taking a prescription for it, but I haven’t seen any improvement with you spitting up.

You are so close to crawling.  You can make your way across the floor, but it’s more of a scooch and flop than a crawl.  You also sit up well, but don’t lift yourself to sitting yet.  Working on your pincer grasp with Puffs.  We’ve fed you sweet potatoes (first food), carrots, peas, and beets.  You really like beets but you look like you’ve taken a blood bath after eating them.  You are still a super happy, easy-going baby.  You are only fussy if you’re hungry or tired, and those are easy fixes.  Also, you sleep through the night for the most part.  I feed you around 10:30, and then you are usually good until 6.  I love our quiet mornings together.  I have a cup of coffee and pump around 5:30.  Then I feed you and change you.  We hang out for a while, and then you’re usually back in bed by 7/7:30, the time your dad and sister get up.

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5 Months

IMG_3782I thought for this post I would do kind of a Day In the Life post.  Our activities from day to day vary greatly, but we roughly follow the same routine each day.

We’ll start at 6am when you wake up.  You quietly hang out in your bed making little grunting, moaning, cooing, and raspberry sounds.  I only wake up because you have me programmed to.  I wait about 15-20 min before coming to get you.  This morning, you started to get fussy, so I fed you and put you back to bed.  Most mornings, however, you aren’t interested in eating and just want to get your day started, so I’ll bring you downstairs, change your diaper, and let you play while I make coffee.

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You rotate between your activity mat, which is basically you playing with a hanging object for five seconds before rolling onto your belly and grunting/drooling for 5, maybe 10, minutes before you start to get upset.  Then we move you to the bouncer if you’re up for it, and you keep yourself thoroughly entertained.  The chair is used mostly if I am playing with your sister and trying to include you in whatever we’re doing.  You work on grabbing and mouthing objects before throwing them aside.

Your sister wakes up between 6:45 and 7:30.  You take a cat nap around 7:30 and 8am, and I use that time to get myself and Ellis ready for the day.

Ellis has ISR lessons every morning, so we have to be out the door early every day.  Her lesson is only 10 minutes, so we usually have something planned to do afterward.  On Monday we did story time and Chick-Fil-A.  Tuesday we drove to Nocatee on an errand.  Ellis spotted a playground, so we had to stop and play, before jumping back in the car and heading to Brooks for a practice (that was a looong morning), Wednesday we went to the dollar movies to see Curious George (you had a poop explosion, and I had to change you right there in the theater.  So fun.), Thursday we went to Target, and Friday we had to take Alex to the vet.  I’m exhausted just thinking about all of that.  You usually take a nap somewhere in the middle of all of that.

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Dinosaur story time

Once home, it’s lunch time if we’ve not eaten yet (definitely lunch time for you!), and then/or nap time.  Depending on the day and time, you might go down before or after Ellis’ nap.  You are now napping in your crib consistently because you are too big and roll-y for the couch or bed.  I’ve even had to roll up blankets on either side of you in the crib to keep you from rolling over and getting stuck on your tummy – too many sleepless nights getting up and turning you back to your back!

Problem with nap time in your crib is that you consistently wake up at least every 30 minutes, and I have to nurse you back to sleep (I know, bad habit, but only thing that works).  In those instances, you wake up really unhappy, so I have to be quick to calm you so you don’t wake up your sister.  Your best feeds are in the middle of the night, and during your long nap.  I can’t figure out how to switch that around so that you’ll eat well during your wake time and stay asleep during your sleep time.

So, your midday nap is usually from 1-3:30, waking every 30 min.  Around 3:30 or 4, you and your sister are both up, so it’s play time again.  We hardly ever leave the house at this point, unless I want need to go to the gym.  Then, I drop you off at Kidzone, and your daddy picks you up.  You take another cat nap around 5:30 and are in bed for the night around 7:30 or 8pm.

 

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4 Months

IMG_3098I’m hoping now that Ellis is out of school for the summer, we can create a more consistent routine at home.  We mostly have a routine, there just isn’t any conscious effort to follow it.  It’s organic, I say with much sarcasm.

Stats

Height: 26.5 inches (94th percentile)

You’re wearing 6 month clothes and in between size 2 and 3 diapers.  To put that into perspective, Ellis was in size 4 diapers when she was potty trained at 2.5.

Weight: 15 lb. 7 oz (49th percentile)

You have your momma’s figure – tiny arms and big bottom.  You don’t push up with your arms yet, and I blame your lack of upper body strength on my genetics.  You have pretty squeezable thighs though.

Head: 17″ circumference (89th percentile)

I couldn’t get your onesie back over your head at your doctor’s appointment.  Doh.

EAT.

Technically at 4 months we can start introducing you to solids.  I held off until Ellis was about 5.5 months, and I will probably do the same with you.  Nursing is going well, but you don’t mind taking a bottle either.  I still have to be careful about the amount of dairy I consume.

PLAY.

You can grab objects with your hands, but you also pull your socks off your hands and your paci out of your mouth.  (The socks were initially on your hands to prevent you from scratching your sweet face, but then I also put them on you at nap time so you would stop pulling your paci out of your mouth.)  All floor time is tummy time these days.  You can roll from your back to your belly, and you do just about every time I put you on the floor.  The problem is you haven’t figured out how to return to your back even though the first day you were rolling over it was from your belly to your back.  I can’t leave you on your play mat now because I did that once to take a shower, and not too long into it I heard you screaming.  You were stuck on your belly and couldn’t roll over.  You’ve rolled over in your bed a couple of times, too, usually when you’re wide awake, so I check on you often at night to make sure you’re asleep on your back.  You don’t have the strength to roll over on a soft surface like the couch or our bed, so that’s where I lay you down for your naps.  (I hear all the old ladies right now saying, “It won’t be long!”)

You love to chat and be face-to-face.  You giggle when I pretend to eat your neck.

You like to play in your jungle bouncer, a favorite of Ellis’s, too.  You’re not quite tall enough for the lowest setting, so we stick a pillow under you and you sit and play in it.  You also hang out in the Bumbo and the Fisher-Price chair, and play with toys or listen to a story with your sister.

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Playing cars with your sister.

SLEEP.

With the exception of growth spurts or developmental leaps, you only wake once to feed at night, usually around 2:30.  Then around 6 or 6:30, you’ll eat again and either hang out in your crib or sleep for another 30 minutes to an hour.  You still nap after every 1-1.5 hours of wake time.  With Ellis, I made an elaborate deal out of putting her down for a nap.  With you, I lay you in a soft, cozy, somewhat quiet spot (usually our bed in the morning while I’m getting ready and on the couch in the afternoon during Ellis’s nap), give you a paci, tuck a blanket over you, and let you do your thing.  If we’re out, you might sleep in your car seat in the car or in the Tula (baby carrier).  You take cat naps in the morning, but I think if we weren’t running around, or if you had a consistently quiet place, you’d sleep longer.

Yesterday, you had woken up and then fell back asleep.  I saw Ellis go upstairs, and I asked her what she was doing.  She said she was going to put her flashlight in her room.  I said, “Okay, but be quiet because your brother is still sleeping.”  “Okay, Mommy!”  Five minutes later I went to check on her, and she was in our bed playing with you.  I kind of love it when she gives you attention, so it was hard to be upset about it, and you didn’t seem bothered at all.

Our lives still revolve around your sister’s naps, so I aim to have us home by 1 pm.  I put her in her room and get you set up on the couch.  Some days you have trouble dozing off or staying asleep, and I get nothing done.  Other days, I can make all the noise in the world, and you sleep right through.  You and your sister usually wake from your naps at the same time, whether it be 3:30 or 4:45.  You might take one more cat nap before bedtime, which is around 8 pm.

You don’t use a swaddle, and you outgrew the Magic Merlin sleep suit (not so magical but kept you warm and cozy) in less than a month of having it.  So at night, you sleep in footie pajamas, socks on your hands (to prevent scratching and keep your hands warm), and your grandma’s blanket.

Nap time

Afternoon nap.

REPEAT.

 

 

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3 Months

Asher 3 monthsAsher, you amazing little baby, you!

You are just like all those babies everybody brags about.  You are literally why people like babies.  You are cute and sweet and easy to please.  And also just a reminder of what pure innocence looks like.  Not a lot has changed in a month, but we’ll talk about you anyway…

You are doing a great job keeping your head up, but you can still be pretty wobbly, so head support is still necessary.  In one week, you went from failing to killing it at tummy time.  I will admit, I didn’t make you do a ton of tummy time early on.  It was enough to get you to lay on your back; I wasn’t going to push it.

You still only bat toys mainly with your left hand.  I’m thinking it’s just that the left side of your brain needs to catch up with the right.

You are one of those mythical babies that can be put down “drowsy but not asleep.”  Heck, I can put you down wide awake, and you’ll put yourself to sleep.  I love you.

You are starting to wriggle from side to side and can turn yourself in a circle on your play mat.

Thank you for taking a paci.

Here’s a video of a baby being a typical baby with bonus footage of Ellis on her last day of her 2-year-old preschool class.

2 Months

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Reading back on Ellis’s 2 month update, I was really attuned to her development.  Sadly, I have less to say about Asher this go around.  He smiles.  He “talks.”  He is a huge flirt.  He is a pretty easy-going baby.  He sleeps a lot but for short stretches, unless we are out running around, and then he’ll usually sleep the whole time we’re out.  We put him to bed the same time of night as Ellis, and he’ll usually sleep until somewhere around 1am.  It usuaIMG_1763lly takes me an hour to get him fed, burped, changed, fed again, burped again, and back down.  Then, if I am lucky, he’ll sleep a 2-4 hour stretch, but then after that, around 4am, he wakes every hour.  Not sure what to do about that.  He’s usually gassy, but I’m so tired at that point that I don’t spend the requisite time bouncing, patting his back, and squishing his knee to his elbow to help relieve some of the discomfort.  So he’ll sleep and grunt and fuss and wake up in a continuous cycle until about 6:30, when he fully wakes.  Then I’ll feed him, entertain him, and try to get him to nap a little longer while I take care of feeding Ellis and get us going for the day.  He doesn’t have a regular routine because our days vary based on Ellis’s schedule.  He’s usually ready to sleep after 1-1.5 hours of wake time, and then he sleeps roughly 45 minutes depending.  Thankfully, he takes a pacifier (Ellis didn’t), and I can put him down “drowsy but awake” and he puts himself to sleep.  I used to think that was bs, but he prefers you just lay him down and leave him alone when he’s tired.

Asher’s in Size 2 diapers and 3-6 mos clothes.  He’s the same size Ellis was at 4 months.  His lower half seems to be growing faster than his top half because his head looks tiny on his body, though his head is in the 88th percentile or something like that.  He has long fingers and toes and because he still keeps them clenched most of the time, he keeps a lot of lint in there that I have to force his hands and toes open to clean out.  He hates really any physical exertion:  tummy time, pushing up on his legs, being awake too long.  He’s my kid through and through.

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Loves his big sister!

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His play mat is one of his favorite places to nap.