theodore's second birthday

theodore's second birthday

Theodore Scott

You are two years old! In some ways it feels like you've been two for so long. You're big in stature, big in personality, and now a big brother! I wrote in your first birthday post that you light up every room you enter. That holds true today! There is something about your curly blond hair and your goofy grin that attracts attention wherever we go. At the grocery store, Target, TJ Maxx, the beach, or the library, people stop us just to tell us how cute you are. You've got that je ne sais quoi!

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theodore's first year

Teddy's first week of life

The week before Teddy's first birthday

Theodore Scott 

you are one today!

My second baby. We spent so much time praying for you. Waiting for you. And as cliche as it sounds, we can't remember what life was like before you. From the moment you

bulldozed your way into this world

, all 8 lb 10 oz of you, you filled our hearts with joy. We were no less excited to watch you learn to roll over, sit up, eat food, crawl, talk, and pull yourself up than were with your big sister. You light up every room you enter!

Your first year was full of ups and downs. You did not want to be set down for your first 6 months, and our backs and arms suffered for it. (You weren't exactly a small baby). You nursed like a champ for 3 months, but we struggled to get you enough milk by the time you were 6 months, resulting in several trips to the nutritionist. (Perhaps a sign of how you can never get enough food?) After adding formula and solids, you were back to your fat happy self. And Slowly but surely, you grew into the most laid back baby. Once you could sit up by yourself and see what was going on around you, you because content to watch your big sister and play by yourself. When you started crawling, you became so excited to explore. You're all smiles all the time, unless your food is gone. Then your shrieks of indignation reach the ends of the earth. And that's the thing, Teddy Bear. You never cry! You're either happy as can be, or you're screaming at the top of your lungs. No in between.

You adore your big sister, and the feeling is mostly mutual. Except when you play with any toy ever. Even if it's yours, she insists she was playing with it. You already tease her by pulling her hair or getting in between her and her tv show. And don't even get me started on your love for doggies! Your eyes get wide, and you whisper over and over "doggie. doggie. doggie." each time you see one. And you can spot them from a mile away! You love tickles from Daddy and snuggles with Mommy. If anyone wants to hold you, you give them a fair shot! No stranger danger for you! As long as you can't see me, you're happy to hang out with whomever will have you.

At 1, your language is already exploding, and I can't wait to continue to watch your personality develop. I can't imagine a different fourth member of our family. God designed you just for us! We're so grateful we get to be your parents.

Happy First Birthday, Teddy Bear!

Theodore Scott

you are:

laid back





a foodie


you're awesome because you:

never stop eating

scream when the food is gone

say "mama, dada, Pippa, uh-oh!, ball!, doggie, 

Maggie, Gan-Gan, all done, night-night, hi, hola"

climb all over Pablo

whisper "doggie" in reverence whenever you see one

are obsessed with playing ball

seriously never stop playing ball

sleep from 7 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.

roar like a lion, and make elephant and monkey noises

steal my chocolate shakes

give open mouth kisses

laugh at people's jokes

have a grin that lights up a room - and you use it often!

always have your tongue sticking out

love swimming

adore your big sister and already try to bug her

favorite foods:

banana, cheese, Cheerios, and toast


Teddy, Tedward, Teddy Bear, Theodorable

state of the family // November 2015


Philippa Florence is 2 years, 5 months. What? Almost 2 and a half? What happened to my pint-sized baby girl?

She's gone and developed her own personality, preferences, and sense of humor. She loves "girly" things like headbands, bows, Sophia the First, princesses, Minnie Mouse, and Mommy's makeup. BUT she also loves Curious George, blocks, books, letter magnets, volleyball, Little People, and the Packers, so I feel like her interests are well-rounded. 

1. Pippa's eye patch and pirate ship chart // 2. matching headbands

3. The FL humidity is doing a number on Pippa's curls // 4. Ice cream on the beach

1. kid loves playing with her blocks // 2. Aunt Annie's biggest fan!

3. Kitty backpack, Curious George, Sophia the First lunchbox - ready for school! // 4. Loves playing with Mommy's makeup.

+ Every time she sees me doing my hair she says, "Oh! You doing hair? I'll get the makeup."

+ She loves finding coins on the sidewalk or in the car. "Money!" But my heart burst right out of chest when I heard her say, "Money is for thank you Jesus." (We will occasionally give her a dollar bill to put in the offering plate at church).

+ When she comes home from school she announces to her stuffed animals, "Hi animals! I'm back!"

+ Each day when I get her from school, she shouts in utter shock and sheer joy, "You came BACK! Mommy always comes back."

+ At dinner: "So, Mommy. How you day at school? Great day?"

+ Whenever Justin sings or acts silly, "Justin, stop."

+ She does this new thing where she speaks crazy gibberish. I'll ask her, "Are you speaking Spanish or English?" "Spanish, Mommy!"

+ Sandwich is pronounced "shauwitz."

+ Is wearing an eye patch for an hour/day to correct a slightly lazy eye (only shows up when she's tired).

+ When she had a cold, "I'm feeling sickies. I need medicine."

+ About Teddy: "He love me! He's so cute! He's smiling. Mommy he crying! He hungry for leche."

+ To Teddy: "Hi Teddy Bear. Hi Big Boy. You give me a smile?"

+ Sometimes at night I'll lay in her big girl bed with her until she falls asleep. That's when she starts talking to me about her school day, names all her friends, and tells me what they play. The best!

+ Often pretends to leave by grabbing my backpack and heading out the door. "Bye! I go to work! See you tomorrow!"

+ "Mommy you so pretty."

+ Love to group things together - toys, magnets, food, whatever - and say, "Look! They all friends!"

+ "Just look, don't touch!"

Theodore Scott - 3 Month Update

1. A gentleman and a scholar // 2. Preppy beach look

3. Old man vacationing in Florida // 4. He's a thumb-sucker!

1. He's formal, but he's here to party. // 2. Sweet boy in his white tee

3. So happy when he wakes up in the morning! // 4. Loves kicking and stretching!

Teddy's a dreamboat. He sleeps from 7 p.m. - 7:30 a.m. with a dream feed at 10 or 11 p.m. He smiles at almost anyone who will make eye contact with him. Such a flirty little dude! He's just the most laid back, happy kid right now - and I'm praying that doesn't change!

+ Sleeps 12 hours at night

+ Eats...a lot. And subsequently spits up a lot.

+ Working so hard at rolling over. Not there yet, but getting so close!

+ Is fascinated by his big sister Pippa.

+ Loves to chat with Mommy and Daddy. Makes the "guh" sound a lot. Also some gurgling and cooing. Will give extended monologues if Pippa is quiet for long enough.

+ We play a game where I stick my tongue out at him, blow bubbles, or make a rolling r sound, and he tries to copy it.

+ Sucks his thumb! First he wouldn't take the chupie (pacifier), then he starting sucking his hand, and now he found his thumb. I didn't know what to think at first, but now I kind of like it. He self-soothes so easily.

+ Loves to observe, and just wants to be part of the action. He is content as long as he can see what is going on!

+ In my opinion, looks like a human emoji. Round face, big round eyes, those expressions...

+ Thigh rolls for days and days.

+ Now sleeps with his arms out of the swaddle.

+ I have no idea what his nap schedule is. Should I?

Justin + Emily

+ Life is busy and full, but so much fun. Work hard, play hard!

+ Justin is settling into his new teaching job, is in charge of Pippa's bedtime routine now, and cooks about half the meals. (Especially pancakes. I'm not allowed in the kitchen when he makes pancakes)

+ Emily is balancing teaching very part time, getting out of the house with 2 children, running her health business, and trying to read more than 1 paragraph of a book at a time.

+ We are loving the Florida weather as we head into fall and winter. Mid 80s for trick or treating? We'll take it!

+ Finally kicked Teddy out of our room completely. Bassinet is in the garage, changing table is in the nursery. Our room looks really big suddenly!

+ We keep talking about having a date night...soon...

Halloween 2015

Pippa got 3 opportunities to wear a costume - Library story time, Halloween party at school, and Trick or Treat. Here were her 3 costumes (thankfully all ones we had on hand):

Teddy was the cutest Charlie Brown you ever did see.

And we had absolutely no Halloween spirit and did not dress up.

We have been gifted with so much more than we deserve. I pray each day and thank God for our family, our work, our life, our health, and his grace. I also pray each day and ask for his guidance as I manage the many blessings he has entrusted me with. What a life!

Happy Autumn, Reformation, Halloween, All Saints Day, and Día de los Muertos!

transition from one child to two: the first six weeks

Yesterday marks six weeks since Teddy was born. Can I get a "what what"?!?! I want to write a little bit about the first six weeks of juggling two children. How did we survive? How did we fill our days?

Let me start this off by saying that I am not really a "schedule" person. I understand the usefulness of schedules and writing out a plan for the day, but it's not something that comes naturally to me. When it was just Pippa, I had a vague idea of what her schedule was, but was always super flexible. There was never a set nap time, or a set play time. We just kind of went where the day took us. I would shoot for a certain number of naps and feedings during the day, but other than that, we enjoyed a certain amount of freedom and flexibility.

Now that there are two small children in our family, and I'll be starting to work part time in the afternoons, I feel a little more of an urge to map out what our days should look like. I didn't dare try to push a schedule in the first six weeks, though, because newborns are so unpredictable, and I wanted to nurse on demand.

So here goes:

What the First Six Weeks of Having Two Kids Looks Like

Did you have people around to help out?

Yes, and also no. My mom stayed with us for two weeks starting on Teddy's due date. I took full advantage of having an extra set of hands by taking a nice long afternoon nap every day. She also helped with the laundry, dishes, cooking, and toddler-entertainment, which was a life-saver. I was recovering from a C-section, so there really wasn't much I could do on my own those first few weeks. We also had both sets of parents and Teddy's uncle/godfather stay with us for the weekend of the baptism. It was super low key, and everyone was great about pitching in. No entertainment needed, extra help with everything!

For weeks 3 and 4 of recovery, it was Justin and me on our own. 2 on 2. Man-to-man defense. I would say that was harder, because one of us always had to be doing something instead of taking turns. Gone are the days when we could say, "I think it's your turn to change a diaper." Everyone is changing diapers all the time now. Still, it was doable, and the breakdown ended up being me taking care of Teddy, since I've got the goods ;) and Justin taking care of Pippa. Justin was able to get his work done for school at home, or go in during Pippa's nap time or after bedtime.

For weeks 5 and 6 of recovery, Justin had to be at school most of the time. I am now outnumbered by my offspring. Most of the time I feel like I can handle it. There are definitely moments of chaos, though, when I'm feeding Teddy and I hear or see Pippa getting into something she's not supposed to. Or when the dog is trying to eat Pippa's snacks while I'm feeding Teddy.

What did your daily routine look like?

I guess because each week was so different as far as who was here visiting, who was around to help, and where we had to be, I can't say we had a definitive routine. But I can give you a run-down of what the past 2 weeks have generally looked like:
6 a.m. - Justin gets up with Pippa and gets her breakfast while getting ready for work. Puts on Curious George or Daniel Tiger for her.
7 a.m. - Momma and Teddy wake up, nurse, get breakfast, make Pippa turn off the t.v.
8 a.m. - Get out Pippa's toys, awake time with Teddy, then swaddle and bounce him for a short nap. Try to drink a cup of coffee. Reheat 5+ times.
9 a.m. - Nurse Teddy again. Try to get out of the house for a walk. Getting out of house takes longer than the actual walk.
10 a.m. - Awake time with Teddy, swaddle and put him down for short nap. Get Mommy and Pippa morning snack. Reheat coffee again. Mommy and Pippa activity like coloring, reading books, etc until Ted wakes up.
11 a.m. - Feed Teddy. After that, try to set him in swing while I get Pippa lunch. Set up a barrier around high chair so Pablo won't jump up and eat her lunch when I'm not looking. Pray Teddy will be content for 5 minutes so I can get myself lunch, too! No? Just a protein bar and apple again? Ok. Reheat coffee, again.
12 p.m. - Put Pippa down for nap around 12:30 (some days closer to noon, some days closer to 1). Try to work my mama magic and get both kids down for a nap at the same time. Top Teddy off so he'll actually sleep? Please? Receive 30 minutes of golden silence as my reward. Reheat coffee.
Afternoon - sheer chaos because until Dad gets home from work, there is a spell over all children. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

And if Teddy is cluster feeding and mama is recovering from an infection? Ignore EVERYTHING above, and create a nursing nest next to couch. Pippa watches way too much TV, and mama wears out her Nook and cell phone battery. We don't step outside for days on end.

How was the transition mentally + emotionally?

Ha - that depends when you ask me! On days like today when we got everyone out for a walk, to the library, and we're all resting/napping at the same time, I'd say, "Great! I feel positive and upbeat. I have enough energy to do this! I feel competent - and sometimes even like I'm rocking it!"

If you had asked me yesterday, when I was running on two nights in a row of little sleep, and my incision was feeling sore, and I had a nasty headache, I would say, "This is impossible! How does anyone have more than two kids? I can't do this, and I'm a terrible mother and wife for losing it all the time."

Whenever it feels really hard, I remind myself that in a very short amount of time, Teddy will be out of this newborn stage of eating all the time and needing to be held all the time. That makes me simultaneously nostalgic and relieved.

How is Pippa handling it?

Really well. I didn't worry at all about it before the baby came for several reasons. First of all, both Justin and I come from big families, so I saw the benefit of siblings for her. Second, I didn't want to project any of my anxiety onto her. I wanted her to know that having a little brother was going to be so much fun!

Once the baby actually arrived, my mom was staying with her to make that week seem fun and exciting. The "baby" gave her a gift - although I'm not sure she was even old enough to understand what that meant. She seemed nothing but excited to have a baby brother - even when he came home and took up all my time! Because those first few weeks are so focused on baby, I made sure to take at least one special moment each day with my big girl. Even if it was just reading her one book, a short cuddle while watching Curious George, or painting her nails.

Pippa is really good about entertaining herself, and has a wonderful imagination. She never truly gets bored. That has made the whole transition much easier! Especially when I'm nursing and can't really entertain her besides reading her a book. Go Pippa!

Anything you wish you had known ahead of time?

  • To rest and nap anytime I could take it.
  • To not feel pressured to get back to "work" and "normal." Those things will happen all on their own.
  • To let my husband know when I need help right away, and not wait until I'm feeling frantic.
  • To keep burp cloths stashed all over the house. We have a very spitty babe.
  • That Pippa will naturally want to start potty training during this time. Don't ask how it's going. It's not.
  • To try not to feel guilty about the toddler watching lots of tv. I will be a much better parent to her when we emerge from this newborn fog. I promise. 
  • To keep a water bottle stashed in every room of the house.
  • To set up a nursing nest with the essentials: water, burp cloths, Bible, book, cell phone + charger, laptop, snacks, and occasionally coffee. The days of cluster feeding seem l o n g. Especially when your husband is at work. Set yourself up for success. Don't be like me asking the 26 month old toddler to fetch things. Sometimes she gets it...and sometimes she doesn't. 
  • To buy a baby swing. Just do it. Don't wait until you go crazy, break down crying because you can never set the baby down without listening to screams so you can get the toddler lunch, and text your husband frantically while he's at work. Just buy the dang swing. 
  • To enjoy every single newborn nap on your chest. (As is the popular parenting advice of the day). We all know that before long, he will be way too busy for those snuggles, so soak it in! (Then hand baby off so you can get some real sleep).

Probably so much more. You think because you've had a baby before you know how this goes...but you kind of have to relearn a lot of things.

Ugh, this was actually a novella. If you are reading these words at the end of the post, you are either a nursing mom yourself who has run out of reading material, or you are just really supportive of me. Either way, thanks!

Now here's to the next six that time Theodore will be 3 months old...and I just can't handle that thought.

teddy's birth story

The two weeks leading up to Theodore Scott's birth were at once exciting and frustrating.

Exciting because for weeks I had been experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions, which were becoming stronger and more frequent each day. Each morning I prayed to feel the pains of labor, because that would mean escaping the inevitable C-Section if I surpassed my due date. Throughout my pregnancy I had read and reread my copy Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method. Frustrating because I hoped this would be my chance for a natural labor, but it was hard to remain hopeful with a deadline looming over my head. I was supremely uncomfortable with a giant baby bump, excessive swelling in my hands and feet, and constant heartburn.

My mom flew in from Wisconsin the day before my due date, and I was both relieved and disappointed that I had made it that far. So many people had guessed that I would go into labor early, both because my bump looked comically large on my body, and because of the discomfort I was feeling. At the same time, I was glad Pippa would get to stay in the comfort of our home, with someone she knows and loves during our stay at the hospital. At that point I was ready. The bags were packed, the bassinet set up, and the onesies washed and folded.

My due date was Friday the 17th, and the C-Section was scheduled for the following Tuesday, June 21. That left me all weekend plus Monday to go into labor on my own. Several times I was convinced I was starting labor, but it all came to nothing when my doctor gave me the disappointing news on Monday that I was just barely at 1 cm. I cried and prayed for hours that day. I cried because I was sad my chance at going into labor was taken away again, and I cried because for some reason I was more anxious about surgery the second time around.

(I think it's easier for me when I don't know what to expect. That way, I don't have to worry about things ahead of time. Sometimes the anticipation of pain is worse than the pain itself.)

The next day we awoke at 4 a.m. (let's be honest, I was up by 2) so we could be at the hospital by 5. The surgery was scheduled for 7:45. Most of the anxiety was gone - at that point I was just excited to meet our little guy! Once we arrived at the hospital I felt even more at ease with our situation. Each doctor and nurse we had the chance to work with was so kind, efficient, and understanding. I chatted a little bit more in depth with my nurse about why there was a deadline for the C-Section, and the conversation put me at peace.

When the anesthesiologist walked in the room, the medical procedure honestly started to feel more like a party than major abdominal surgery. The only way I can think to use to describe him is "cool dude." He was tall and lanky, super laid back, but really good at his job. He joked around with us, and made me feel so at ease, even with an uncomfortable IV in my hand. (I maintain that the IV was the most painful part of the experience - the only time during the whole procedure and recovery I actually shed tears of discomfort). When I brought up how nauseous my C-Section with Pippa made me, he assured me that there was no way he was going to let me feel sick. At that point, we were ready to rock and roll.

Justin "suited up" somewhere while I got wheeled into the operating room across the hall. The nurse and anesthesiologist got me through the spinal with no issues, and before I knew it I was lying flat on my back. All at once it seemed my husband was whisked into the room and someone told me that the surgery was beginning. "Oh! What a pleasant surprise!" I remember thinking, as I couldn't feel a thing. I remember a lot of pushing and jostling when Pippa was brought into the world, but felt nothing of the sort this time around. Only once did I have to warn the coolest anesthesiologist in town that I was starting to feel ill, and within seconds he worked his magic and the feeling was gone.

I felt so at peace on that operating table, and I'll never forget Justin gasping, "Oh! He's a big boy!" as newborn cries filled the sterile room. Joy and impatience were my primary emotions in that moment. I felt like an interloper- the nerdy kid peering over the cool kids' shoulders- as I tried to get some information about el bebé. "Well how much does he weigh?" "Let me see him!" "How long is he?" But in the moment it was like I didn't exist, save as the vessel that brought him into the world that needed sewing up. I wasn't mad or was just a few moments after all. But those moments lasted an hour to a mama who is excited to meet the one nestled inside her for 40 weeks.

At long last my husband brought his son to meet me. Immediately a nurse helped me get skin-on-skin time right there on the operating table! We even got a chance to breastfeed for a few moments while the doc took care of sewing me up. Everything I had stressed about, prayed about, cried about for the last few weeks didn't matter anymore. I was blissfully united with our son, and how he arrived didn't matter one bit anymore.

Back in the recovery room, I soaked up newborn cuddles while Justin made the obligatory phone calls to family - which in our case took about 30 minutes, since I have 5 siblings, and Justin has 4. Once it was determined that everyone had heard the news, all that remained was for Theodore Scott to meet his big sister. Pippa was so excited to meet Baby Brother, especially because that meant she got a present "from him." She smothered him with tender hugs, kisses, and head rubs ("Gentle!"), and repeated his name over and over. Then she promptly forgot about him, and focused on her "pwesents!"

We only stayed in the hospital for two nights this time, and the whole experience couldn't have felt more different than it did with Philippa's birth. With Pippa's struggle to gain weight, the jaundice, the hip displaysia, and the trouble we had breastfeeding, there were nurses and doctors constantly in and out of the room, charting ever ounce she ate, grilling us about diapers. This time, the charting of diapers and feedings was half-hearted at best. The pediatrician barely stopped in our room for more than 45 seconds, since everything was so normal. Feedings were coming along swimmingly, and my recovery was going well. One nurse declared that I was her easiest patient ever! I aim to please, what can I say? We were happy to climb into our new minivan on Thursday, July 23rd and drive back to all the comforts of home.

Now here we are, a family of 4 (plus Pablo), and figuring it out together.

The name Theodore means Gift of God, and that is truly what he is to our family. So wanted, prayed for, and loved. Welcome to our family, Teddy!