All posts by Kerstin

Mother’s Day Fingerprint Ring Tray

Happy Mother’s Day (a few days early) to all of you amazing moms who are part of our Jelly Bean Journals community. No one knows how much you give, how deep you love, or the things that fill your brain space more than another mom. And we are in your boat, on your team, supporting you and cheering you on as loud as we can.  We hope your upcoming Mother’s Day is a time for you to pause, relax and be spoiled by the little ones in your life  who are so grateful for you but really have no idea that you are far more grateful for them. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About this Sensitive, Controversial Topic for Mom Friends

A while back, I got together with a group of friends, mostly moms, and the topic came up about disciplining other people’s children. Everyone seemed to have very different opinions on this. It makes sense that there were such a wide variety of responses; raising children is about the most personal, vulnerable thing you can do. As parents, we make what seems like hundreds of decisions a day that impact who our children are becoming. We are trying our best and doing what we believe is right. However, we all raise our kids our own way and have different standards for discipline within our home and families. What is right and what is tolerated in one home, is not in another. As Big Brother N gets older and is gradually with friends and grandparents more, this topic continues to stay on the top of my mind. Continue reading

Kerstin’s All-Time Favorite Posts

Hey all! We celebrated the third anniversary of the Jelly Bean Journals blog back in January. That’s more than 225 posts! In all of this time, I’ve never recapped my favorite posts. So, I took a look back at my favorite posts and shared little notes about why these posts made my favs list. Personally, for me, a huge part of starting this blog Continue reading

Baby’s 1st Easter Basket

I know I’m not shocking any of you when I say that we are big holiday people. Well, more accurately, I am a big holiday person. I always go overboard and have been working on scaling back to a more reasonable level. I will always have special treats and traditions for my family around the holiday, but maybe, just maybe they don’t need quite so many. Continue reading

Little Brother N’s Story: A Different Kind of Birth Part II

Read Little Brother N’s Story: A Different Kind of Birth Part I here.

After so much walking, and so little action, we decided to get comfy in our room to save up our energy for the next day. The doctor and nurses started visiting with us about inducing. We all agreed we would wait to see what the rest of the night had in store and regroup in the morning. Continue reading

Little Brother N’s Story: A Different Kind of Birth Part I

I should have known. I’m the first to admit, “Each pregnancy and child are different.” The same two people can make multiple babies, and physically and emotionally there’s no way you know they’re siblings. So, why, oh why, would I ever expect my labor and deliveries to be similar? Continue reading

My 5 Favorite “New” Baby Products

I was anxious with anticipation as I lay in the ultrasound room waiting to find out if I was having a boy or girl. It was my choice last time to wait to find out the sex of Big Brother N. This time, Seano really wanted to know. Prior to our 20-week appointment we had decided we would find out the sex of our growing baby. Little Brother N wasn’t cooperating as the ultrasound tech drove the wand over my belly and we waited and waited for what felt like hours but was probably mere seconds. Finally, she said, “Oh, I can tell what you are!” She proceeded to type, “Oh boy, I’m a boy!” on the ultrasound screen next his male parts. We were going to have another baby boy! Several things immediately went through my head: little boys love their mommas so hard, and I was going to be lucky enough to get to experience this again; a built in best friend for Big Brother N; and we would hardly need anything as I kept EVERYTHING from Big Brother N’s babyhood. So far, it seems I’m right on all three accounts. Continue reading

A Challenge: The Perfect 1-Hour Date…With Yourself

I, like Chelse, am not really a resolution person. I talked about it a little bit in this post. In hindsight, closing out and looking at progress from the last year while feeling I have a fresh, clean slate heading into a new year, does always get my brain churning. What did I accomplish? What do I still need to work on? What is most important to me? What do I need most right now? The answer: to take care of myself; because I want the best for myself and so I can offer my children and husband the nicest, fullest, most loving version of me. Continue reading

Our Family Today

Life has certainly changed since I posted He’s Here back in October. Today I thought I’d talk a bit about our last couple of months, what we’re enjoying, and where we’ve found challenges, as well as share some of our newborn photos with you.

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Overall we’re loving being a family of four. We’ve definitely hunkered down and spent most of our time at home the last few months. We tend to do this in the winter but with a newborn, I’ve noticed a bigger desire to stay in and be surrounded by my sweet boys. Seano and I have been shocked at how little we’ve spent from our Eating Out Budget. We didn’t even think it was possible!

Little Brother N is a happy, mellow baby. He smiles so easily, is patient, and has started cooing. His expressions while he coos tell me he knows exactly what he is trying to say to me. In addition to his own personality, I’m guessing this has to do with me being more relaxed as a parent and not having the turmoil we experienced with Big Brother N just weeks after he was born. Everyone thinks he looks so much like Big Brother N as a baby and I have to say, their personalities are quite similar, too. It’s like God gave two of the exact same babies except this one doesn’t really puke! I’m looking forward to seeing how they remain similar and what qualities will differ.

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Just like Big Brother N, Little Brother N was slow to gain weight after birth. He’s been doing great the last seven weeks making big jumps and trying to catch up. He’s still low on the percentile charts but because of the good gains and the amount he’s eating, we aren’t concerned and neither are our doctors. We caught on early because of our experience with Big Brother N and knew the right steps to start making positive gains.

The four-year age gap, although not completely intentional, has been amazing. We have found a helper in Big Brother N and his ability to independently play has been a life saver at times when one or both of us were caught up with the baby. As much as we’ve enjoyed the advantages of the gap, we forgot many things that come with a newborn. Oh my gosh, newborns don’t sleep 10 hours! I mean…I knew this. But, I forgot what it FEELS like. Big Brother N was sleeping through the night fairly regularly by 8 weeks. At 12 weeks, we are getting 5-6 hour stretches with Little Brother N. To us, this seems rough. I was reminded at the pediatricians office talking to another new mom whose baby sleeps in 45 minute stretches, that we are actually quite lucky.

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The biggest change I’ve noticed with two children, including a newborn, is the personal time we have has been minimized, or at times eliminated. We always enjoyed free time during nap time or were able to step away when the other was spending time with Big Brother N. Simply having two kids as well as nursing every two hours and having kids on two different napping schedules has definitely cut into this time. I’m confident we’ll get this under control with time but Seano and I have both said it’s been the biggest adjustment for us.

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With that said, I adore having a baby again. I’ll take the complete dependence of a newborn to get to experience this sweet and precious time again. I have enjoyed and loved all of Big Brother N’s phases. They have each brought joys and challenges that added so much to our life. And I know the same will be true for Little Brother N. But, looking into the eyes of the new baby we created and getting to know him, bond with him, dream for him, and fall deeper in love with him is something I will always especially treasure.

I feel like Seano and I are doing so much better taking care of our relationship this time. We know it is the center of our family and we are trusting each is doing his/her best, being better teammates to each other and giving each other more grace. Because we’ve continued to make each other a priority, we’ve also been sure to get in a handful of date nights which we’ve utterly enjoyed!

I’m heading back to work full-time after the New Year. I’ve been popping in here and there to work on and manage certain projects. Other than these visits, I’ve been off since the day Little Brother N was born in September. As such, I’m a bag of mixed emotions. I’m excited to head back and use my brain in another way I love and feel like I’m contributing to projects and people outside of our home, again. But, when I look at my little bug I second guess if I’m ready. He looks so little and I’m dreading what I will miss. I know as he gets older I will value his social and educational interactions at daycare and preschool so much. But, today, I want it all; I want to work and I want to stay home with my babe.

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Big Brother N has done amazing settling into his new role as a big brother. He seems to fall into two camps, “I love him so much and can’t keep my hands off him” or “I just don’t really care about him right now.” Impressively, he seems unscathed in having to share his mom (should I take offense to this?) and dad. The only challenges we’ve had to navigate are his loving can get a little rough and when he gets hurt, the meltdowns are quite a bit bigger. I expect the meltdowns are because there is extra attention and time from mom and dad that comes with getting hurt.

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So, that pretty much sums up our life today. Mostly, I’m feeling so blessed and confident that 2017 is going to be a great year! Happy New Year! Have fun and stay safe!

Photo Credit to Corrie L Photography

If you liked this post, I think you’ll also love these shares from Jelly Bean Journals:

He’s Here

Family Maternity Photos

We Have a Secret…

It’s A Girl! Welcome Baby B!

Celebrate & Bare that Baby Bump!

The New Birth Plan is My Birth Plan

N’s Birth Story – Part I

The Start of a Movement: Baby A’s Birth Story Part I

N’s Picture Project

We Are Having A Baby: Pregnancy Announcement…And Then There Were 4

Hold Your Tongue – Literally!