Category Archives: Motherhood

Baby / Lark / Motherhood

Motherhood Update: Lark at 8 months

October 21, 2017

Lark hit 8 months on the 16th, but we were traveling in Copenhagen at the time so this update is a little late. Here’s a picture of her tearing into some pizza during our trip.

Sleeping: Lark is now sleeping through the night for 12 hour stretches pretty consistently. I would say she slept through the night about 75-80% of last month, which is so amazing. Prim didn’t sleep through the night like this until she was 11 months, so I’m super pumped about this development. I’m sure we will have random nights where travel or teething get in the way, but just the fact that she’s managing to sleep this long so much earlier than Prim did is a freaking godsend.

Eating: Lark is now diving into eating solids with gusto. She was pretty lukewarm about the whole experience when we started, but she’s now eating about as much as Prim did at this age (ahem, which was A LOT). She still prefers to feed herself, but will allow me to spoonfeed her occasionally, especially if it’s yogurt (both she and Prim from the beginning have been head-over-heels for plain yogurt).

Lifesavers: We recently purchased a new baby carrier, which so far has been awesome. We have had the Beco Gemini for awhile now, but one of the snaps keeps popping, which was driving me CRAZY. We have also randomly been toting Prim around in the carrier when we’re on vacation and she’s ready to pass out and take a nap, and the Gemini’s narrower seat isn’t ideal for carrying a 28lb toddler. I happened to connect with a woman here in Amsterdam who was selling some carriers for wholesale (she had started a babywearing website that she was shutting down) so we were able to purchase the organic version of the Beco Soleil for a steal. So far the carrier has been awesome — it’s not as bulky as the Gemini and has a much wider seat; plus I’m totally into the detachable pocket, which makes accessing necessities like my wallet and keys way easier while babywearing.

Latest trick: Lark is fulling creeping her way around the floor now and can control where she goes. This is especially fun since her favorite things at the moment are the antique fireplace, DVD player, printer, and Prim’s potty.

Sweetest things: Lark is now waving, which is so so sweet. KC has been traveling a lot for work lately, and when we facetime him she gets so excited to see his face and will start waving and babbling (which, KC is convinced she’s saying “Dada,” but it’s completely wishful thinking on his part.)

Favorite thing about this age: Lark has reached the separation anxiety/stranger danger phase, and while I don’t love either of those milestones, it’s really sweet to see how attached she is to her “people” and will calm down immediately when one of us picks her up.

Baby / Motherhood / Toddler

Our Daily Routine

October 5, 2017

I’m always interested in how people structure their days — especially other mamas. These little ones seem to really thrive on a predictable schedule. I suppose because they lack so little control over their own lives, it’s nice to have a sense of how things are going to go each day.

We obviously can’t stick to this schedule every single day, but I make an effort to make this their reality at least 80-90% of the time. Oddly enough, I think it’s this consistency that makes both Prim and Lark much more adaptable when we’re traveling and unable to stick to their normal routine. I also keep this structure somewhat flexible to account for the random days when the girls don’t sleep well or nap on the go, but the below is the general framework we follow on normal days.

Prim has been on a schedule for a long time, but I read a lot about routines after Lark was born because I was struggling with managing the schedules of an almost-2-year old and a newborn. I was a little frustrated with a lot of what I read because it seemed like most of the schedules were aimed at people who had a baby OR a toddler — not both. Given that many people have more than one child, I wanted to see schedules that accounted for more than one child in the same household. The only schedule I found that took multiple kids into consideration was the Moms on Call book series, which was really helpful in setting up our routine.

Now that Lark is older and the girls are sharing a room, their schedules are much more enmeshed and seamless, but it was not without some trial and error during the first months. Our schedule seems to be continually evolving to account for consolidating naps and nursing sessions as Lark gets older, which I think is normal. Now that Lark is down to two naps a day though, this will likely be our schedule for awhile, as she likely won’t go down to one nap until she’s at least a year old.

7:30am We get girls out of their room and bring them into our bed for a bit of cozy time and so Lark can nurse.

The girls often wake up around 7am, but after having a rough transition period when they first started sharing a room where Prim would wake up for the day at 5am (um, NO THANKS) I bought her a clock that lights up when it’s time to get up. She now knows that when the “light turns green it’s time to wake up” and will start calling for us after it goes on.

8:00am Breakfast

9:30am Lark nurses and takes first nap (1 1/2 to 2 hours)

11:30/Noon Lunch

1pm-3pm Lark nurses and Prim and Lark nap

The girls go down for their nap together awake and are generally in their room for two hours total, but only sleep an hour and a half of that time, usually.

3/3:30pm Snack

4pm Lark nurses (some days)

I’m trying to eliminate this feeding.

5/5:30pm Dinner

I don’t prefer to eat dinner this early and I am working to move dinner back bit by bit. I started having them eat this early when I combined their bedtime routine because Lark could not be up past 7pm (she just can’t hang). I have now managed to push bedtime to 7:30pm (and usually not a moment later — Lark is very strict on this). I am dreading the upcoming time change a little bit, because I really don’t want them going to bed at 6:30pm.

6:45pm Bedtime routine starts

Girls take a bath together, pajamas on, read 1-2 stories, sing one song, nightlight + sound machine on, Lark nurses.

7:30pm Girls in bed, door closed

Baby / Lark / Motherhood

Motherhood Update: Lark at 7 months

September 16, 2017

Sleeping: I finally managed to get Prim’s nap to coincide with Lark’s second nap of that day AND managed to get them down together in the same room. They had actually been napping roughly at the same time most days, but I had Lark sleeping in the guest room because Prim takes a while to wind down for naptime, generally. (My rule for Prim right now is that she doesn’t have to sleep, but she does need to relax and be quiet.) Prim still falls asleep most days, so I actually get 1-2 hours of time by myself, which as any mom will tell you — feels like a freaking VACATION. Of course, because they’re in the same room and on the same nap schedule, the days when naptime falls apart, it’s reallllly falls apart. Motherhood sure does have a way of making sure you don’t pat yourself on the back too quickly!

The world’s largest high chair in Budapest.

Eating: Lark started solids at 6 months, and so far is a totally different eater than Prim was at this age. Prim was pretty interested in eating right off the bat and loved just about anything I gave her. Lark is proving to be a bit more discerning in her tastes and so far is not very fond of being spoonfed. She prefers to feed herself, which, while somewhat convenient, is not really super effective at this age. I started Prim on finger foods pretty early on to build her dexterity, but also spoonfed her for most meals as well. Brainstorming foods that I can turn into finger foods for Lark that are easy for a 6/7 month old to grab and eat without choking herself is a bit tricky, but we’re muddling through together. And as for her pickiness, I am approaching her meals the same way I approach Prim’s — she eats what we eat (to the extent possible) and there are no alternatives.

Lifesavers: It’s gotten pretty chilly in Amsterdam over the past couple of weeks (summer is officially over here, I’m afraid) and nights in particular get cold upstairs. The Puckababy sleep sack has been a lifesaver in this old, Dutch house (because no matter how much we crank the heat, the bedrooms seem to perpetually stay at 65 degrees or lower). We purchased this one for Prim last winter, which Lark will start using once she grows out of the newborn size. I love that it’s good for year-round use, even in the crazy climate of Amsterdam.

Latest trick: Lark has entered the phase where she’s on the move, but has very little control over where she’s going. She often ends up stuck underneath the couch and alerts us to her predicament by screaming like she’s falling into a sinkhole.

Sweetest things: Lark is readily babbling and seems to be trying to keep up with the speech of her very chatty older sister. She’s making more and more sounds these days, and I’ll often find Prim laying on a blanket with her with the two of them babbling back and forth. Prim is already trying to involve Lark into her imaginative play and Lark readily joins in to the extent she can, happily squealing and babbling. I love that these two chatterboxes are already entertaining each other.

Just having a little Lion King moment at one of the churches we visited on vacation.

Favorite thing about this age: Lark is learning how to get herself back to sleep more and more each week. Now on the random nights when Prim has trouble winding down and going to sleep and we have to re-enter the room, she will often open her eyes to peer at us dealing with her big sister and then just roll over and go back to sleep. That milestone is all the praise hands emojis, guys.

Motherhood / Primrose / Toddler

Motherhood Update: Prim at 28 months

September 10, 2017

Prim on vacation: going and going and going until she literally just passes out on KC in 3 minutes flat.

Saying: Prim is figuring out space and time words now, so there’s a lot of descriptive sentences happening — like “Prim read the Gruffalo book over there next to the shelf!” and “Prim have raisin toast and Rice Krispies for breakfast yesterday.”

Prim’s Favorite Things: My parents got Prim a Finding Dory backpack as a gift during their last visit to Amsterdam, which she loves. She packs up all her special things when we travel and brings it onto the plane. (It’s usually full of Gruffalo blocks, a wooden bracelet and necklace, and her babies.)

Reading: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry BearPierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a PrologueA Sick Day for Amos McGeeTree; and The Gruffalo.

Latest trick: Prim is fully potty trained now, including naps and nighttime. We do still put her in a diaper at night, but she really doesn’t need it (a little insurance never hurt anyone though!)

Favorite toys: Prim is very into riding her “tiger bike,” which is a wooden ride-on toy I scored on an Amsterdam resale site for a whopping 2 euros (it’s actually this one without the cushion). That thing even managed to survive a tumble down the stairs (don’t ask), so it’s pretty dang sturdy!

Sweetest things: Prim continues to be infatuated with Lark and is still so excited to be sharing a room with her. Pretty much every night when we head upstairs to begin the bedtime routine, she will excitedly tell us “Larky sleep in your room!” (your room = Prim’s room). We have also streamlined the bedtime routine so that Prim and Lark take a bath together before bed. This not only helps us time-wise, it has also taken away some of the bedtime resistance we’ve been getting from Prim. She will hop into the bathroom, yelling “Prim take a bath with Larky!” And while getting Prim to settle in bed after stories and songs used to take ages, I have learned that she will quiet down much more willingly if I tell her she needs to be quiet in bed while Lark nurses. I honestly don’t know what I did to get this amazingly sweet relationship between these girls, but man, it is one of my most favorite things about being a mama.

Favorite thing about this age: Prim’s speech is very advanced for her age, but even so, she’s clearly still struggling to keep her mouth up with the pace of her brain. She’s started babbling again, interspersing many of the words she knows with gibberish. She often launches into these diatribes when KC gets home from work or while we’re all sitting down at dinner, as though she wants to be included in all the grown up conversation and fill everybody in on how her day went.

Baby / Lark / Motherhood

Motherhood Update: Lark at 6 months

August 16, 2017

Sleeping: Lark is still sharing a room with Prim and is sleeping really well for the most part. She’s generally only up once at night, around 5 or 6am, which I’m hopeful means she’ll be sleeping through the night within the next month or two, since that feeding is so close to when she wakes up for the day at 7am. And in case you’re wondering about how the room sharing works with these girls being so young — they do generally just sleep through each other’s noises (even crazy crying!) Prim will sleep through just about anything and Lark sleeps through Prim’s antics probably 50% of the time. I’m sure that as she gets older and better at getting herself back to sleep, she will sleep through a lot more.

How we’re adjusting: We just got back from Madrid, and Lark, ever the easy-going child that she is, did wonderfully. She would nap on the go all day and then go to bed in a new environment with hardly a whimper. KC and I at multiple points during the vacation would turn to each other and be like, “Who is this baby??” because she is sooo chill, you guys, it’s nuts. 

Lifesavers: I know I’m a broken record talking about my Solly wrap on here, but seriously, it is maybe the best baby purchase ever, especially for traveling. Anytime Lark would get a little fussy I would pop her into the wrap (after feeding her, obviously) and she would just conk out or hang out quietly. It was also amazing because it was so sunny and hot in Madrid and Lark is still too little for sunscreen, so I would pull the front of the wrap down to cover her legs and throw her hat on and she would be completely covered.

Latest trick: Lark is getting really close to scooting/crawling now. I watch her on the floor on her belly as she hitches her leg up trying to wiggle closer to a toy and I know it’s just a matter of time before this girl will be all over the place!

Sweetest things: Lark is obsessed with Prim (and vice versa). It’s an all-day lovefest between these sisters, my heart can hardly take it.

Favorite thing about this age: Lark makes these hilarious screeching pterodactyl noises when she’s just happily hanging out. I love listening to her little voice, especially because Prim is so crazy that I sometimes forget that Lark is a chatty little extrovert too.