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Kids

ONE-ON-ONE TIME

Roxy Theater Family MatineeOne of the hardest things about having a second child is making time for the first. As a stay-at-home mom I’m with both kids all the time so, naturally, they get lots of good mommy time all day long. But it’s easy to forget that one of those babies is used to being the only one and making time to spend with just her is incredibly important. Isla’s never had to share my attention before, and while she adores her brother and has done incredibly well with the transition (for the most part), I’ve been trying to set aside some time to spend with just her. Sure, I love our short walks to get coffee together while Theo stays with dad, but I was hoping to make time for something more.

I received an invite from the Philadelphia Film Society to take Isla to a kids’ movie during one of their family matinees and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon they show family friendly movies at The Roxy Theater at 20th and Sansom for $4 for parents and $1 for a child. You can’t beat that! When Isla and I went they were showing “The Lorax.” I wasn’t sure she would last through the whole movie, but I was excited since neither of us had seen it before. I think she was a little overwhelmed with the big screen at first, but she settled in and lasted through the whole thing! We shared Raisinetes and she cuddled on my lap for the entire second half. Afterward, she was so excited she repeatedly thanked the man selling tickets and candy and even told the neighbor kids “I fun movie!” when we saw them outside on our way home. It was super sweet and I’m so glad we were able to enjoy her first movie together and have a special girls’ day. There’s a showing of “An American Tail” coming up and I’m so tempted to take her again. That’s one of my all-time favorites.

I hope to do much more of this with both kids as they grow. Whether it’s a movie date, a trip to the park or lunch for two, I want them to always know how much I love being with them and how important they are to me. And I’d love for this one-on-one time to evolve and perhaps help keep the lines of communication open with our kids as they enter more challenging phases in their lives.

Roxy Theater Family MatineeRoxy Theater Family Matinee

Baby

SIX MONTHS

Theo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxWe’re already halfway through Theo’s first year and I can’t figure out how that happened. Time is passing me by and I’m freaking out a little. It feels like we just brought this cutie home, though I love him like he’s been mine for eternity. I guess that’s just how motherhood goes.

This giggly guy makes friends everywhere he goes using his perma-smile and I-only-have-eyes-for-you gaze that gets me every time. He’s both chatty and exceptionally observant. I predict he’ll be a good listener and incredibly thoughtful. He hasn’t quite mastered sitting up (though he’s close) but he’s a champion planker and has started rocking on all fours like he’s about to crawl. He’s getting better at napping and goes to bed at the same time as his sister every night (still in the same room!). Unfortunately, he’s not quite sleeping through the night, but thanks to some reflux medicine he’s down to only one middle-of-the-night feeding. Our sweet guy is a snuggler, loves trees, actually enjoys my singing and thinks his sister is the funniest person who ever lived. He prefers to be on his stomach most of the day (and now during the night) and if we turn around for even a second he’s across the room and rolling under the couch. He’s ticklish everywhere, loves chin kisses and chews everything he sees.

This month we’re going to spend some time with my mom, start baby-led weaning, learn to sit up, take the kids to their first Phillies game and take a bath in a real bathtub (once our renovation is complete!). Oh, and Theo’s going to sleep through the night. He swears.

Happy six months, crazy boy! We love you more than flowers love showers.

(Theo at five monthsfour monthsthree monthstwo monthsone month and his birth story)Theo Six MonthsTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six MonthsTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightbox

Kids

TODDLER/BABY SHARED ROOM

Shared Toddler Baby RoomI’ve had my heart set on Isla and Theo sharing a bedroom since long before Theo was born. We have a spare room so it’s not really about space, it’s more about the bonding experience and required sharing that comes with it. Apparently I wasn’t mentally prepared for the challenge. Isla was always a great sleeper. By five months she was sleeping 12 hours straight every night with very few exceptions. Theo, on the other hand, is still up several times each night screaming his little heart out until I give that boy some milk. It’s exhausting for me, but also for Isla because it turns out she’s a light sleeper. It also turns out I’m stubborn so I refuse to give up!

In the beginning, I couldn’t figure out how to get Theo to even sleep in the crib, again, unlike Isla, who took to it easily. I’d have to nurse him to sleep and then try to transition him to the crib without waking him, which never really worked. I would’ve been better off chopping off my arm than pulling it out from under him. Finally, after one particularly difficult night a few days before he turned five months, I decided on the fly I was going to sleep train. Chris was at a work event so I was juggling bedtime on my own and decided I couldn’t take one more night of fighting Theo to sleep. Needless to say, Chris came home to a house of horrors. Isla was yelling, Theo was screaming and I was sitting on the couch in their room silently holding back tears. It was not pretty. Every time Theo did start to quiet down and drift off, Isla would yell “SHE-OH!” and we’d start all over again. Eventually Chris took her into our room to watch Bubble Guppies while I sat on the floor of the nursery (out of sight) and let Theo cry. I got up to rub his back a few times, but never picked him up and tried not to linger for too long.

If you’ve ever sleep trained you know how difficult it can be. The screaming is unbearable. But just when you think you can’t take one more minute because this is cruel and your neighbors are going to call DYFS, it stops. One second Theo was screaming his head off and then suddenly he rolled himself over onto his belly and passed out. And that was that. We brought Isla back into the room about 15 minutes later and Theo slept through the whole thing.

The next night I expected more screaming, but instead I laid him on his back and he instantly rolled over onto his belly and fell asleep. He cried a little on nights three and four, and occasionally he’ll put up a fight still, but for the most part bedtime is smooth sailing. Sometimes we put Isla down first if Theo isn’t tired and I nurse him in our bed and bring him in when he’s ready, and sometimes we’re able to put them down at the same time. Isla never ever got out of bed at nighttime until Theo moved in. She’ll run around, put things in his crib, call his name, unplug the nightlight, bring toys into her bed, get a drink of water or just be a monster, but she eventually makes her way back to her bed and Theo sleeps through it all.

The other night I put Isla in her bed, turned off the light and sat on the couch in their room to nurse Theo. I could see Isla was watching us but was hoping she’d drift off. Not so much. She very slowly climbed out of her bed and with a big, sneaky grin on her face started tip-toeing over to me. She was trying so hard to be stealthy that she was losing her balance as she teetered on each foot. I’m certain she thought I couldn’t see her because the light was off and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. She then climbed onto the couch, nuzzled herself under my free arm, started sucking her thumb/twirling her hair and cuddled with us until Theo was done eating. This is now her favorite bedtime ritual and I secretly love the double cuddles.

If only I could get Theo to stop waking up three times every night and we’d be all set!

Are your kids in a shared room? Are you sleep training? Do you have a baby/kid who will not sleep through the night? I’d love to hear your stories, especially if you’ve mastered two kids in one room and want to drop some knowledge on the rest of us coffee addicts!

Shared Toddler Baby RoomShared Toddler Baby RoomShared Toddler Baby Room

Kids

HOORAY MAIL

Hooray MailThe other day a small red envelope arrived in the mail for Isla. It was from a cute, little service called Hooray Mail and it was addressed from “Mom and Dad,” even though we had nothing to do with its contents. Inside we found a card that read “Yummy Yummy In My Tummy” with a picture of a pizza, which just happens to be Isla’s favorite food. On the inside, the card featured a fun, simple activity for her. Here’s what it said:

“Hi Isla Bee,

Hope you had an awesome day! What is your favorite food in the whole wide word? What is your favorite healthy food? What is your favorite special treat?

Love you lots, Mom and Dad
P.S. Don’t forget to eat your veggies!”

The instructions for parents told us to talk with Isla about table manners and table settings, and to practice with real plates and utensils. Then it asks us to help her color her favorite meal on the drawing of a place setting. So we did!

First and foremost I had to wrangle Isla to let me read the card since she doesn’t let anyone read things except for her (and by reading I mean she sings her ABCs to determine the letters). Then I got some crayons and we drew bananas, strawberries, blueberries and peas (she’s a fruit girl mostly). Then I asked her about broccoli. Never have I ever seen Isla get so excited about broccoli. “Yea, broccoli!” she exclaimed, when I asked her if it was one of her favorite foods. In real life, she shakes as much grated cheese on her broccoli as she can and then pushes her plate onto the floor. But at least it’s fun to draw! Hooray!

Hooray Mail is a service that sends kids an activity in the, you guessed it, mail, twice a month. Isla loves getting things from the mailman so this was a nice treat for her and would be a fun, thoughtful gift for young kids. We had a lot of fun completing the exercise and I’m going to hang her colored fruit and veggie plate on the fridge to remind Isla of all her favorite foods. Maybe she’ll even give broccoli a try since at one point in her life it was her absolute favorite!

Thank you Hooray Mail for sending us this yummy activity to try!Hooray MailHooray MailHooray MailHooray MailHooray MailHooray MailHooray MailHooray Mail

Baby

FIVE MONTHS

Monthly baby photo shoot: Theo is Five MonthsThis guy. He’s the only person I know who is perfectly pleasant, downright joyful really, on very little sleep. Let’s be clear, he did not inherit that from his mama. But we love him anyway! All five months of him! I might have cheated and taken these photos a few days early because having a toddler who has things to do and places to be means little bro gets the shaft time-after-time, but no one will know, right? I mean he can’t possibly have changed that much in three days? Anyway …

Theo is officially the jolliest little fella south of the North Pole and spends 85 percent of his days smiling. He even smiles up at me when he’s nursing because he just can’t help himself. He loves to read books, specifically one about a hedgehog who lives in a garden with a lot of very colorful and amazingly fun to look at bugs. He found his toes and was properly ecstatic about it, though he hasn’t realized they’re also good for sucking. We did catch him sucking that thumb a few times though. Finally!

Until two nights ago, Theo did not sleep. At all. No naps, no night time sleeping. He’d wake several times a night with very unpleasant screaming for either daddy to soothe him or mommy to nurse him. Bonus if he woke up Isla so they could both scream and cry and make their parents wonder what in the world they were thinking putting them in the same room together. Also, karma. Isla was sleeping 12 hours every night by this age and I probably told too many people that. Too many moms who likely wanted to punch me in my well-rested face. Dear those moms: Karma is a B and she is punishing me on your behalf. You’re welcome. Now we’re sleep training. The first night was awful. A-W-F-U-L. But it’s working! Fingers crossed.

Last month Theo met his aunt Chaya and cousin Laila from Michigan, spent lots of time with family, celebrated his first Easter by watching his sister steal his basket of toys, visited the beach for the very first time (and loved it, obviously) and got spit on by an alpaca. He loves music class, morning walks to the coffee shop and belly laughing so hard he can barely breathe every time he sees his big sister, who loves him so much she can hardly contain her squeezes.

Next month we’re going to sleep through the night. Just kidding. That probably won’t happen. We’re going spend more time outside, work on sitting up and meet Aunt Sierra (my sister) for the first time!

Happy five months, Theo boy! We love you more than the world loves cherry blossoms.

(Theo at four monthsthree monthstwo monthsone month and his birth story)Monthly baby photo shoot: Theo is Five MonthsMonthly baby photo shoot: Theo is Five MonthsMonthly baby photo shoot: Theo is Five MonthsTheo is Five MonthsMonthly baby photo shoot: Theo is Five MonthsMonthly baby photo shoot: Theo is Five MonthsMonthly baby photo shoot: Theo is Five Months