Moms And Babies - Kara With 2


This week for Moms and Babies I'm featuring one of my oldest blog friends (as in, I've known her for a long time), Kara from Just 1 Step!  Kara is always such an encouragement to me, and I am excited to feature her again! If you'll remember, Kara actually did the very first Moms and Babies feature for me, but since then she's had another baby and I thought it would be interesting to hear how things have changed with adding another member to her family.  I loved reading about her experience as a new mom of two, and I'm sure you will as well!

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm 29 years old, mother to two sons, and wife to my awesome husband Dave who I've been married to for almost 4 1/2 years.  We live in the Triangle area of North Carolina.  I'm a follower of Jesus (as is my husband) and we are doing our best to raise our children to love the Lord.  Right now I'm on maternity leave, planning to return to work as a biostatistician 4 days per week on November 19th.  Sometime in the next year (hopefully sooner than later) I plan to reduce my hours to 2 days per week so I can be home with my sons more.  (I'm sooooooo excited about this!)  You can check out my blog at www.just1step.com or you can follow me on Instagram @karasnoke.

What are your kids' names and how old are they?

We have two boys: Krewson (Krew) who is 2 1/2 years and Greyden (Grey) who is about 3 months.


Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you, and how has adding a second child to your family changed your previous routine?

To be honest, every day is completely different and I can't say that I have any schedule on any day.  I am a lot more relaxed about feeding and napping schedules with Greyden than I was with Krew, which I think is helpful given our busy lifestyle.  (We do a lot of traveling.)  With Krew I very much tried to follow the babywise schedule, but with Grey I just feed him when he seems hungry and I let him sleep when he seems tired (although if he sleeps too much during the day I will wake him up so he'll sleep that night).  Krew usually naps for a few hours in the afternoon, but that doesn't necessarily mean we have to be home during that time.  I've taught him to lay down on the floor in a sleeping bag at other people's houses, and he'll still usually take a full nap (huge blessing!).  So some days we stay home, some days we run errands, some days we visit friends, some days Grey naps all morning and not in the afternoon, sometimes both boys take long naps in the afternoon...it's all up in the air.  Given that information, adding a second child hasn't changed our previous routine much.  I'd say the biggest difference is that there is a lot more crying and a lot more work to do.  I can't take care of two kids at once in most situations, so there are many times when Greyden cries while I attend to Krew, or Krew whines and pouts while I attend to Grey.  There are now two kids to feed, two kids to bathe, two kids to dress, two kids who need stuff in the diaper bag, two kids to put down for naps, two kids to spend one-on-one time with, two kids to put in the car, two kids to take into the store... (I don't know how you moms of more than two do it!).  So it's a lot more work.  But of course so worth it. :)

What's your favorite part about being a mom?

Those moments when they lay their heads against me, snuggled in my arms, and I am filled with such incredible love and awe that God blessed me with these two souls to raise.

Have you noticed any similarities between your older child and your new baby?  Differences?

When they were first born, I thought they looked quite similar, but now they look very different from one another.  They were similar sizes at birth and both became quite high on the percentile charts rather quickly afterwards.  Krewson tapered off and is now pretty low on the height percentile, and I'm curious to see what Grey will do.  He's still pretty long as of now, but so was Krew at 3 months.  Similarities Greyden has to his bigger brother as an infant are the following:  he spits up a TON, he HATES tummy time, he gained a lot of weight and slept through the night fairly quickly, he's pretty easy-mannered, he likes the swing, and he loves mobiles.  That's all I can come up with given that he's only three months old and it's hard to remember what Krew was like at 3 months (sad but true).


How has your older child reacted to having a new little brother, and what has been your favorite moment between them so far?

At first things were rough.  Krewson was NOT happy about his new brother and took it all out on me.  He started acting like he hated me.  He didn't want to be around me, wouldn't let me hold him, hug him, or play with him, would say to me "Go away!!" and push on me, etc.  It absolutely broke my heart, and given that I was already a hormonal mess, I shed a ton of tears.  Fortunately it only lasted maybe a week, and then he came around and started treating me normally again.  He still isn't overly fond of Greyden, and typically just ignores him.  But there are occasional moments where he'll show an interest in his little brother, and I cherish those times because they are few and far between.  My favorite moment so far is one that has occurred a couple times, and it's when Grey is crying and Krew starts singing him a song.  It's so precious, and typically the song is "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  Melts my heart.


Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

For a newborn/infant: Swaddle cloths (the velcro kind), Aquafor, gas drops, Breast Friend (I like this much better than my Boppy), Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support pillow (to prevent and correct flat spots), noise maker, TONS of burp cloths if you have a spitty kid like I do, Similac Baby Journal app for those first few weeks with a newborn, nipple shield and Medela lanolin if breast feeding, breast pump, breathable bumper (although they're not recommended by the AAP), aden + anais swaddle cloths (for use as blankets), aden + anais burpy bibs.  (Sorry, I guess that was a long list. :) ) 



What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

I really love taking the kids to Dave's ultimate frisbee tournaments and cheering him on.  (As you're reading this, we will actually be at his nationals tournament in Sarasota, FL!) There was also one day when we took the two kids on a walk to the playground in the double stroller, and the dogs went along, and it was so fun just to be out and about as a family, relaxing and enjoying ourselves.  I cherish simple moments like those.


Any advice or words of wisdom to those of us who are getting ready to go from one kiddo to two?

It seems incredibly overwhelming at first, but you will get the hang of it.  Just take it slowly.  First learn to be home with both kids, then try taking them both on a walk.  Then maybe venture to a friend's house, then a restaurant, then a store.  Bit by bit, you will learn new methods and routines for handling both kids.  At first just the thought of being home alone with both of them terrified me, but then two months later I was taking them both on a 12-hour road trip by myself.  It was just a matter of learning new tricks.  (And developing some extra arm strength - there have definitely been times when I've had the baby carseat in one arm and my toddler and diaper bag in the other.  Crazy but true.)  And don't be afraid to let the baby cry and fuss a little.  If he's fed and warm and safe, he's going to be fine if you need to let him cry a little while you attend to your other child or take care of other household issues.  It's hard to listen to, but I promise that he will not suffer long-term for it, and it will let your other child know that he is still important, too.  It will also help keep you sane, because it's nearly impossible to hold an infant all day and get anything else done.  And when you've got two kids, you need to get stuff done. :)

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Thanks so much Kara, lots of good advice!  Don't forget to check out Kara's blog to read more about her sweet family!




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Mrs. Pedersen said...

Awe, they are such adorable boys! :)

katie ridings said...

aww they are so cute. you have a beautiful family!! They are all dressed up in the first picture, love it!!

Helene said...

found your blog through wifessionals mention! and had to follow! you have incredibly gorgeous children!!

Kara @ Just1Step said...

Thanks for featuring me Callie!! :)

Tina Kroeze said...

Love the advise Kara :) You are such a beautiful Mamma to those boys.

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