What Do You Need For The Second Baby?

Recently Alex asked me what I would recommend purchasing for a second baby, and I realized I have gotten a lot of questions over the last year about the transition to two kids, but I've never written any posts about it!  So I'm starting a little mini series on the transition to two kids.  

Of course the balancing act is going to a whole other level soon with Baby #3 coming, so maybe once I figure things out after this little one makes his/her appearance I'll do a post on having three kids as well.  But for now, my tips on going from one to two.

 

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First of all - what do you need for two kids?  

It can be a little tricky to know what to purchase for the second baby when you got so much of what you needed for the first.  What do you really need more of?  What extras will you need now that you will be handling two kids instead of one?  

I think the answers vary a lot by family, lifestyle, what exactly you already have, and whether you are having the same gender as your first or not.  If you are having the opposite gender the second time around, the list is obviously going to be much longer.  But in general, you are not going to need a whole lot of extras for the second baby.  Here are a few tips for buying for Baby #2 (or #3).

 

A Few Things To Think About

1.  Go through your stuff and see what you have that is worn out.  For us, this was swaddling blankets, burp clothes, and bottles.  These items had a lot of wear by the time Wyatt was done with them, so I decided to get new ones.  And it's just nice to have some fresh things for the new baby.

2. Think about how old your first child(ren) will be when the next one comes and go from there.  Whether you need to make some of the big purchases again - ex. crib, car seat, stroller - is going to depend a lot on how far apart your kids will be.  

3. Get things that you wanted to try with your first baby but never did.  These will probably mostly be little items, but here's your chance!  For me, it was those SwaddleMe blankets.  I bought a couple to try with Gwen, and I loved them!  It was fun to try something new.  For the next baby, I want some sort of cute teething toy (like Sophie the Giraffe), or pacifier toy (like a Wubbanub).  Just because I think they are cute.  I also think a carseat blanket/cover would be nice, instead of draping a blanket over the carseat all the time (but I might just try to make one of those).  Just to give you some examples.  Give some new items a go!

 

A Few Specific Items

1.  Get a good baby carrier.  If you don't already have one, now is the time to get one.

2.  Double Stroller?  For strollers, I say if your kids are going to be close to two years apart or more, you can probably get away with not purchasing a double (unless it's in your budget and you just want one).  You can carry your youngest in a carrier and put the oldest in a regular stroller until baby gets older, and by the time you need the stroller for your new baby, your other child will probably be walking better.  A double stroller is only really necessary when it's just you alone with the kids anyway - if your husband is coming with you, using two separate strollers is easy enough (hello $15 umbrella stroller!).  However, if your kids are going to be less than 18 months apart (like with my third baby), I think a double stroller is something you might want to consider.

3.  Diapers.  Obviously.  If you are using cloth, you need to evaluate the age gap again.  I'd say if the new baby is coming right around the time you could be potty training your older child, you will probably still need more cloth diapers (sorry to burst your bubble).  You might be lucky and have your child potty trained in a weekend, or it could be a really long process.  Your child could be ready before the baby comes, or they might not.  They may be doing great with potty training and then regress because of all the changes with a new baby (I think it's generally not a good idea to mix potty-training changes with new baby changes, but everyone is different).  Bottom line: Potty training is unpredictable, so play it safe.

4.  Somewhere safe to put the new baby. If you don't have a swing, bouncy chair, pack and play, or something like that, get one so you have somewhere to put the new baby when you need to help the older child.  I think it's pretty unlikely that someone having a second baby would not have at least one these things already, but just in case.

5.  New pacifiers.  Pacifiers hold a lot of bacteria (yuck), so just get new ones.

 

That is pretty much all I can think of.  If you still have everything you had for your first baby, you are probably already set for most things.  You just need to decide if you are going to need to re-purchase any big items, depending on the age gap, and then fill in the little things that need replacing or that you wished you had with the first baby.

Anything I'm forgetting?  Do any of you have any items that you think were lifesavers for when you added another baby to your family?  Comment below, I'd love to hear!

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Have any specific questions for me about having more than one (or more than two) kiddos?  Leave them in the comments and I will tell you what I think!

16 Weeks (Baby #3)

This is a week and half late (whoops), but here is my 16 week update!

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I'm feeling great!  My back hurts me every now and then, but not bad at all.  I feel like I'm definitely starting to show more, so that's exciting!  I actually look pregnant now (except for maybe when I first wake up in the morning).  

We heard the baby's heartbeat at my doctor's appointment last week, and it was 150 bpm!  
The most exciting thing has been that I've started to feel the baby move!  On October 21st, right after I turned 14 weeks, I felt a little pop in my stomach, but it wasn't like a normal stomach-gurgle because I felt a little pressure opposite at the same time.  So I know it was the baby!   I've been feeling movement here and there ever since.  Its not terribly strong yet, but it's there!  I love it!

I have broken out one pair of maternity pants - some new polka dot ones!  But it's mostly just because they are cute, not because I have to wear them yet.  I'm still fitting mostly into my regular clothes.  I can't decide if this baby is higher or lower than Gwen - it depends on the day.  But he/she is high enough to still allow me to make a lot of my regular clothes work.

This past week I've been busy making plans for our gender reveal party!  I talked my doctor into letting me come in earlier than normal, so I get to come in at 20 weeks instead of 22 weeks (yes, our doc makes us wait forever).  I'm excited!  We find out on December 3rd, and the party is set for December 7th.  Expect lots of gender reveal related posts after Thanksgiving!

I feel like nesting has finally kicked in this week.  you know for all my planning, I couldn't make myself really motivated to do anything until this past week - and now all of a sudden everything has to be done now.  I think it's because I'm feeling the pressure for the party.  The goal for this week is to set up Wyatt's new room (yes, still working on it), deep clean the bathrooms, and organize the house, and maybe paint a wall if I get a chance.  You know, little stuff.

Baby is 4 1/2 inches long this week, which is a little wider than the width of the average hand, measured across the knuckles.  He/she has toenails, and the heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood per day (wow!).  And obviously he or she has been practicing their kicking too!  Loving it.

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Charlie The Horse

I look up to my grandma in a lot of ways, big and small.  She is a wonderful, godly woman, and I'm so blessed that she is in my life!  

One of the little things about her that has always impressed me is that she can come up with a rhyme about almost anything.  And when I say she comes up with rhymes, I mean she makes them up on the spot!  

I always remember her making up little songs to sing about each of us grandkids when we would go spend the night with her growing up, or she would come up with rhymes about the things that we were doing together.  Now she does it for my kids!  It is so fun, and I could never figure out how she always came up with such great rhymes without even planning it out beforehand!

When I mentioned to a few people that Wyatt asks me for random bedtime songs (ie. "tree song", "car song", "train song", "bird song"), it was suggested to me that I should just make a song up when he asked for a song about this-or-that.  I brushed it off and said there is no way I could come up with a decent song on the spot.

For some reason though, last night when Wyatt asked for a "horse song", I decided to give it a go.  This is the song I sang to him (with Derek laughing hard in the background with each line I sang)!


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There you go my friends!  A Callie Nicole original.  Please do not republish or redistribute in any way without express permission from the author.

In all seriousness though, I shocked myself!  I came up with a song that not only rhymed but made sense!  And right on the spot!  Excuse me while I pat myself on the back.  Maybe some of my grandma's rhyming ability rubbed off on me after all.

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This post is part of a new Friday series I'm starting, in which I'm going to try to bring a little more of my "real life" back to the blog. Real life stories, real life happenings, real life struggles, real life lessons. Because these are the things my kids will want to read someday, and these are the things I will want to remember.

New Blog Design and My Resources

In case you missed it yesterday, I did end up changing my blog design!  With this lovely rollover header/navbar.  Cool, huh?

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In the process of blog designing this time, I discovered a resource that I overlooked before - free photoshop brushes, patterns, and shapes!  So for all of you who like to play with Photoshop Elements or do your own blog design, I thought I'd share where I got some of the tools for my current blog design, as well as some websites I've found with fun free resources.

One of the issues with getting "free" things on the internet (like photoshop stuff or fonts), is that it may only be free for personal use.  If you advertise on your blog at all (which I do), you have to use items that are free for commercial use.  It makes it more challenging to find what you are looking for, but not impossible!  

Freebies

As of this writing, the following resources are free for commercial use!  But read the license before you download to make sure, in case something changes.

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Free (for commercial use) Photoshop animal shapes - I used this set of free animal shapes for the deer, bird, and moose in my rollover header images (I just used some of the shapes I already had for the other rollover shapes).  It only comes as a jpg, but you can use the magic selector tool to select the shape, drag it into your new image, and then use the paint bucket tool to change it to whatever color you want!

Free (for commercial use) deer brushes - I downloaded these too and didn't end up using them this time around, but they are nice and free for commercial use!  You can use brushes as shapes as well - just create a new layer (SHIFT-CTRL-N), put the brush on the new layer, and then you can use the paint bucket tool to change it's color, make it a gradient shape, and resize it using the free transform tool (CTRL-T).

Free (for commercial use) tree brushes - I was thinking about using these for the trees in the main part of my header, but I ended up making my own tree brush instead.  But once again, more free brushes!  Yay!

Free (for commercial use) snowflake brushes - I'm thinking about using these to spiff things up around here for Christmas, if I have time.

Free overlays and free "paint" brushes - I used one of the overlays in this set to create a pattern in Photoshop Elements to use behind the trees in my header (see this tutorial on re-coloring overlays). Then I used some of her other brushes to create another pattern, which I added behind the first pattern for more interest. I love this site because she has so many great Photoshop freebies!  The ones that are free for commercial use are marked with a "CU".  I also got the little arrow brushes that I used in the above image from here.

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And those are all the resources I used!

I found several more sites with photoshop resources that are free for commercial use in the midst of my search, which I might share at a later date.  Or if you just can't wait, you can check out my bloggy Pinterest board, in which I pin all things blog, and you can find them there!

For installing shapes check out this tutorial, for installing brushes look here, for installing patterns see this.



(Click on image for more posts in this series.)

Some Q&A (About Me)


It's been a weird blogging week.  Mostly because I've been fiddling with different ideas for my blog design, as well as working on helping one of my blogging friends with her design.  In the end, I couldn't come up with anything for me that I like better than my current design, so I'm just going to stick with it!

Edit: I take it back.  I did change my header.  I finally figured out how to get it the way I want it.  Check it out!  It has rollovers.  Spiffy, huh? 

Anyway, on to more interesting things - my friend Jessica at Memoirs Of A Mommy tagged me for the Sunshine award!  Jessica writes about all kinds of things on her blog - life in general, her business, tips, and her journey to become a mom.  She is a "real life" friend of mine as well, and is so sweet.  Go say hi!

The Sunshine Award comes with a list of questions, so here we go.

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1. If you had one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hmm.  Do I get to dress it up differently?  Probably not, huh?  I'm going to say lasagna.  It would probably take me a long time to get tired of lasagna.

2. What is your greatest fear?  

My greatest fear would be my kids not coming to know the Lord.  I can do everything I can to teach them and train them in the way they should go, but in the end I can't really control it, and that's scary.  So I just pray a lot and try to leave the rest in the Lord's hands.  On a lighter note, I also used to be terrified of geese.  A friend's big white goose chased me and my sister around their yard, and I saw the damage those beaks can do!  I wasn't bit myself, but it scared me to death, and for a long time I was pretty skittish around geese. I'm happy to report that I am now over it.

3. Favorite Bible verse/quote.

My favorite Bible verse is 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.  It's a great reminder to me every time I read it to focus on things that will last.  

Favorite quote?  Sheesh, I have so many.  But the one that immediately springs to mind is "We are all worms.  But I do believe I am a glow worm." -Winston Churchill

(8x10 Printable - Left click, then right click image and save to your computer.)


4. What do you want to be when you grow up?  

A microbiologist.  Or a wedding dress consultant if I didn't have the pressure of actually selling anything.

5. If you were an elephant, what color would you want to be? (I would want to be a pink elephant with green polka dots.)

I'm going to say pink and white striped, with the option to change to aqua, red, and white stripes when I get wet.

6. You are an Olympian....what sport are you competing in?

Synchronizing diving!  I think that is the coolest thing . . .

7. If you have 5 minutes of free time at home, what do you find yourself doing?

This week?  Fiddling with my blog design.  On a normal basis?  Usually reading blogs or reading a book.

8. Top item on your bucket list.

See my kids come to Jesus.  After that, it's "Go To Italy".

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9. What one feature sets you apart from everyone else?  

Physically?  Probably my hair and my height.  Ever since my hair decided to frizz up in middle school I've been a hair non-conformist, in a conformist type of way.  No crazy colors, but I just don't know that many people who keep their hair short.  I tried the long hair thing last year and it just wasn't for me, so it's back to my short 'do now.  The other thing is my height.  I'm only 5'8", but you'd be surprised how many people you are taller than at that height.  Especially when you wear heels (which I do).  But I don't know, maybe you guys should tell me?

10. Are you a crier, screamer or in-betweener? Describe how you most commonly express your emotions.  

Negative emotions: I'm ashamed to say probably both, depending on the situation and what exactly is upsetting me.  Positive emotions: Probably both, depending on the situation and what happy thing has happened.  So I guess that makes me an in-betweener!  But most of the time I'm neither crying nor screaming, which I think is probably a good thing.


And it is super-late, everyone is in bed except me, so I'm not going to list recipients here.  But here is a list of questions, and I'll tag a few people on Twitter!  If you don't follow me you should!  There's my little self-promotion plug for the day.

Feel free to snag these questions and answer them on your blog or in the comments, even if I don't tweet you later!

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1. When were your "awkward" years (come on, we all had them).  What made you feel awkward?

2. Favorite memory?

3. If you had an hour, all to yourself, what would you do, where would you go, who would you see, what would you eat?  (An hour may not seem like a long time to some of you, but when you have preschoolers, it is!)

4. Favorite book/magazine?

5. What has been the defining moment of your life so far?

Letting Go Is Hard To Do

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(These grasses are gone now, but they were really pretty while they were here last summer.)


I'm tempted to break out in a verse of "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", but I haven't had a friendship "break up" since elementary school.  Friendships don't usually end that way.  In my experience, it's always been more of a slow fade.

I used to be the type to try to stop this as soon as I saw it start.  I hate the thought of losing friends, drifting away from people, and I never wanted the fault to fall on me.  If I saw it fading, I'd make sure I did everything I could to let the person know I still wanted to be friends.  Sometimes the friendship died anyway, but it was never on my conscience.  I never wanted to look back and wonder if I should have tried harder.

In recent years I've changed my mind about this a little bit though.  Certainly there are a lot of friendships that are worth saving, or sometimes friendships just fade during certain life seasons only to come back later.  But over the years I've started to learn that there are some friendships that I'm better off letting go.  

This is really hard for me to do.  It goes against my nature.  I try really hard to be a good friend, and just letting someone go doesn't seem like it fits in with good friendship skills, but I've realized more and more that not everyone is like me.  Some people don't care about being a good friend.  Some people don't know how to be a good friend.  Maybe they are busy with their own lives, maybe they never had good friendship skills modeled for them.  Either way I've realized I can't be the only one who cares.

Recently I was struggling with this, wondering why certain friendships of mine over the years have ended or gone stale.  I would go over everything that happened toward the end, trying to figure out if I said something or did something that might have offended the person.  Wondering if I should have handled this or that better.  Wondering if it was me who had dropped the ball.

Then a couple weeks ago a dear friend wrote me a note, out of the blue, just thanking me for always being there for her, for loving her through the tough spots and not judging her (which is ironic, because I've thought the same thing about her actions toward me over the years).   It made me want to cry, because she couldn't even have known how much I needed to hear those words right then.  

Shortly after I randomly turned the radio to a Christian station, and a speaker was talking about letting go of toxic friendships.  The timing was interesting, and I somehow knew the Lord was trying to tell me something.

As I listened my eyes opened up, and I realized what kind of friends I really want.  I want friends like the one I have who wrote me that note.  I want friends who make me feel loved and accepted even with all my flaws.  Friends who I know will be there for me through the tough times, friends who will forgive me when I make stupid mistakes, friends who will overlook the little things.  Friends who not only love when I call or write to them, but who reciprocate and reach out to me too.  You may not have talked to them for months, but you can get together again and feel like nothing has changed.  

Those are the friends who stay.  Those are the friends who are worth keeping.  I have several friends like that - and what a blessing they are in my life!  To have multiple women in my life that are these kind of friends to me - how can I ask for anything more than that?  I am blessed.

On the other hand, friends that always make me wonder if I did something wrong, friends who don't call me back, friends who always seem to have an agenda, friends who are too busy (or just don't care enough) to make the effort to keep in touch - those friendships are exhausting.  They aren't edifying, they suck the energy right out of me.  They don't make me focus on God, they don't make me focus on things that are really important.  If anything the constant effort and drama that they require distracts me from my walk with the Lord and from the good relationships in my life. I think this second type of friendship qualifies as toxic, and these are not the kind of friendships I want.  They are the kind that need letting go.

The Lord showed me that sometimes it can be the right thing to do.  When I accepted that, it turned out that letting go wasn't as hard as I thought.

Minivan Mom

Introducing our new car!

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Yes, it's a minivan!

When we found out we were expecting a third (actually even before that), we realized that my little Ford Escape could not fit three car seats in the back seat.  We probably should have thought that through before we bought it last year.  Originally I thought that Wyatt might be in a booster seat before we had a third baby, and we might be able to make it work - but since he'll only be 38 months old when the new baby comes he won't meet the age or height requirements for a booster.  

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So we looked at a few different options, and in the end we decided a minivan was the way to go.  We were looking for something that could seat seven, and not only are minivans much cheaper than any other car with the ability to carry that many passengers, they get better gas mileage too.  Plus there is lots of room to carry around a potty chair, since lots of potty training is in our future.

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Minivans have a reputation for being one of the dorkiest cars you can have.  That used to bother me - I used to say I never wanted a minivan.  

I changed my mind though.  Whenever I tell anyone that I have a minivan, they go on and on about how they used to have one and they loved it.  And you know what, I rather like it too.  It's so roomy, it feels luxurious, we have a ton of space for the mounds of stuff we have to bring with us everywhere, and there is the potty training thing.  Derek put in a nice radio and bluetooth for me, we have a DVD player for the kids, and it only had 79,000 miles (less miles than any car I have ever owned) when we bought it, at less than blue book value.  I kind of love it.

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I figure if I, a twenty-something, fairly-fashionable girl, can happily drive her minivan, anybody should be able to drive one without feeling weird.  Cars are not a fashion statement.

Are cars a reflection of who we are?  In a way.  But do you know who I am?  I am a mom.  I don't feel like I've lost my identity in motherhood, but being a mother is a huge part of who I am.  If someone asks me about myself, one of the first things out of my mouth is about my kids.  I love motherhood, and I happily accept it as part of my identity.  I am so thankful for the blessing of bearing that title.
So if driving a minivan says "mom"?  Then that fits me perfectly, and I'm proud of it.

And you see these three?

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They are so worth a minivan.

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This post is part of a new Friday series I'm starting, in which I'm going to try to bring a little more of my "real life" back to the blog. Real life stories, real life happenings, real life struggles, real life lessons. Because these are the things my kids will want to read someday, and these are the things I will want to remember.
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