DITL: A Toddler and A Newborn

March 6th 2013.

T2 is exactly one month old. T1 is one month shy of his 3rd birthday.

The first waking of the night happens around 2 am.

She eats again around 4.

And once more at 6.

I get up an hour later to pump.

While I’m pumping, T1 makes his entrance. With my exercise ball for some reason.

He jumps on the bed and throws the ball around. Which also happens to be where T2 is sleeping. I remember we used to tiptoe around T1 when he was sleeping, and I laugh about that now. Newborns can sleep through almost anything!

By the time I’m finished (technically before I’m finished) she’s awake and not happy about it. I take her downstairs and tuck her into the bouncer while I help T1.

He wants milk and a show. Those are his first requests every morning.

I head upstairs and he forgets about his show, following me and choosing to play on my ipad while I change T2.

She’s dressed, now it’s time to get him ready for preschool.

I get dressed, and collect T1′s things to get him dressed too.

Breakfast for him is cheese sticks and an open-faced peanut butter sandwhich on a roll leftover from one of the meals brought over by the women from church. Breakfast for me is a few eggs oever-easy.

He finishes off his breakfast as I load everyone into the car.

He loves preschool. (This face he was making is the result of a noise he heard down the hallway that startled him, haha).

When I get home T2 is still sleeping, so I make myself a batch of Mother’s Milk tea.

She’s a peach.

I feed her a bottle while balancing her on my legs and pumping at the same time.

Her weekly photo shoot is next.

After photos she’s still hungry so I top her off with what I just pumped.

We have some time before we have to go pick T1 up, so I answer some emails and such while she chills in the bouncer.

She’s not happy about being loaded back into the car, but she’s sleeping again by the time I pick up T2.

We get home, and both of them are crying at once. This is the hardest part of handling two young kids.

I change another diaper.

And then I feed her again while T1 plays on the ipad.

She’s happy again, so I put her in the swing and run around picking things up and getting the diapers in the washing machine.

I get into my workout clothes and scramble around downstairs, emptying the compost bin, cleaning up toys, etc.

T1 is unhappy and I realize we are past due for lunch!

I have a big salad and leftovers from the church-provided meals. He has leftovers as well. With ketchup of course.

I hear her fussing on the monitor and run upstairs to check on her. The clicking of my camera woke her up for a second, but she (thankfully) falls back asleep.

We finish eating.

Time for me to pump again.

I put on the Moby and take the kids for a walk. I try to push T1 in the stroller so he will fall asleep, but he insists on pushing the stroller himself.

Bathroom break when we get home. T1 is still working on going without any assistance whatsoever. That will be a dreamy day.

We water the plants. T1 can do this all by himself! It’s a great first chore.

I turn on another show for T1 and jump into the shower.

I move the cloth diapers from the washer to the dryer.

I grab an apple and pump again.
This is my entertainment while the pump sucks away at me.

He steals my apple and then abandons it on the floor. Oh well.

She eats.

I change her diaper and put her into a sling.

We head into T1′s room and read some books together. This was his idea, and as someone who loved to read it makes me so happy to see him embracing reading.

The laundry buzzes and I add to the mountain that is growing on our bed. T1 finds the iPad and I blowdry my hair with T2 in the sling.

I sterilize bottle and pump parts and then she’s hungry again.

When she’s done eating, T1 asks for milk.

One of the women from church stops by with our last gifted meal. They were so good to us and it made such a huge difference to have food I could reheat quickly when T2 needed me so often. Things are better now (I’m writing this post 3 weeks later) and it’s getting easier to manage things every day. Plus I have my freezer meals!

Toward the end of dinner T1 goes into the bathroom and stays in there a long time. I go in to find this.

T2 wakes up and I change her diaper again.

I put T1 in the bath and play with baby feet as he paints with bubbles on the sliding glass doors.

We all go into T1′s room and get him ready for bed. Pajamas, two books, talk about our day, and go to bed.

Sometimes when we’re reading books he sits right next to me and reads along with me. Other times he races around the room and plays with his toys as we turn the pages.

After he’s in bed, I finish building my laundry mountain. T2 swings away while I work on breaking it down and putting everything away.

She gets a bath while I brush my teeth and change into my pajamas.

I snuggle her into her pajamas and then wrap her up in the miracle blanket. I leave one arm out because she fusses if she can’t get it to her mouth at will.

I feed her again and then tuck her in for the night.

My day ends with an episode of Breaking Bad on Netflix streaming. When T1 was this age I used this time to blog, but now I just want to collapse into bed and prepare to wake up in a few hours and do it all over again.


38 thoughts on “DITL: A Toddler and A Newborn

  1. Oh boy! That just sounds exhausting! I’m so glad that you were able to get so many meals after baby. After I had Anna, we only received three meals from church. I was pretty disappointed, but really glad that I had made so many of my own freezer meals. Saved us so much. The pumping, oh do I remember the pumping. Are you still doing that? I can imagine how crazy it would be to do that and have two kiddos to look after.

  2. That is a lot to do in one day! You seem to be really managing well though! Also, that might be my least favorite and most traumatizing episode of Breaking Bad ever.

  3. Every time you post one of these I’m determined to do a similar post because I imagine you will LOVE looking back on these and seeing how your day-to-day life has changed over the years. I loved this one. Busy busy, but what cute kids to be busy with! I’m committing to make myself do one of these in the next month…

    Jenna Reply:

    It’s pretty fun to look at this post compared to those with T1 when he was a baby and see how different the experience is.

  4. You are amazing! I have been a long-time reader, but have only commented once or twice…however your post today inspired me to chime in and tell you that you are doing a great job! The constant running around, trying to keep up with two kiddos, Pump (which takes up so much time!), AND cloth diaper…I just want to say way to go! Being a mom is such hard (rewarding) work, and I think you are doing great. :)

  5. Loved this post – and you are doing a great job!! Lots of moms have family close by or a husband that doesn’t travel so much, so you are doing great.
    I don’t envy you on the pumping – arrg, I remember that so well. Found it traumatizing. The pump started speaking to me, I swear. In the middle of the night it sounded just like it was saying, “Let go, let go, let go.” I wanted to yell at it that I was indeed letting go, and that’s all the milk that I was making! :-)
    Wondering if you are having any trouble with limiting T1′s iPad or iphone time? I’m so reluctant to let our daughter play with ours as I’m worried about her usage long-term, or her ability to stay patient through ‘down time.’ My husband disagrees, so I’m keen to hear your thoughts.

    Jenna Reply:

    I’d like to write a post about that. It’s on my list.

    Laura Reply:

    I’m far enough removed from pumping that I don’t remember the exact words, but yes – I heard words in the rhythms of the pump, too! It was… disconcerting.

  6. This is such an awesome post! Think of how fun it will be for you and T1 and T2 to read — years down the road :).

  7. It does look exhausting, especially with a non-napper (ouch)! But you seem to be really on top of everything (especially with all the pumping, ugh what a tiresome chore).

    I’m going to have to do one of these, because as Lisa says it’s such a great way to remember your life at that time. Will do it for tomorrow! Thanks for the inspiration.

    (And both of your kids are beautiful!)

  8. Loved this! Not sure how you do it all–impressed! And the kids are so happy and beautiful!!

  9. Both of your kids are so adorable! Motherhood really is the most undervalued job in our society. You’re doing a great job!

  10. Phewf! How do you do it with 2? I have just one for now – she’s 13 months – and I can’t seem to get everything done!

  11. Such cuties, it almost hurts :) I hope you don’t mind me asking why T1 always “finds” the iPad or an iPhone…don’t you give it to him for some entertainment? Don’t get me wrong, I truly understand a mothers’ need for some quiet time but – honestly – I think that is too much screen time for such a young kid. You wrote about not being able to bond with T1 due to breastfeeding issues, I think one-on-one-time while playing some fun games while the baby is napping could be an awesome opportunity to bond with him. It’s never too late, you can still cath up!

  12. hey jenna — 3 questions — i know this may not be the whole picture but i’m curious if that is all you ate that day? i know you are trying to lose weight but seriously anything less than 1800/2200 cals really drops supply. my doc recommended weight loss after 5/6 months and i have had no supply issues with either baby. 2nd question — i remember a while ago that there was controversy with you watching friends and now you’re watching BB — what happened? i’m not mormon but i remember that friends story and being amazed at how conservative it could be. lastly, does your son get exposed to that much electronics typically? i know its about survival with small babies (mine are 4 months and 22 months) but it seems like a bad default habit to set. my toddler knows we go to books, blocks, playdoh, legos, stickers, etc. when mom is taking care of the baby. we do daniel tiger first thing in the am so i can wake up and get the day ready (cloth diapers, dishwasher, breakfast) but 25 mins later no more tv. i think its hard but it forces us both to be creative. i know this is a snapshot of your life and may not be the whole picture. just curious!

  13. You are doing a great job and your babies are beautiful! :) Question- where did you get that beautiful clock?

    Jenna Reply:

    The one in the bedroom? Kohls.

    Alisha Reply:

    Yes, thank you! :) And thank you for sharing your life with us!

    Marissa C Reply:

    Is that the big iron one with the Roman Numerals? Because I was going to ask the same thing!

    Alisha Reply:

    I was asking about the smaller wooden/metal one, and I found it on Kohls.com. But hopefully Jenna will answer you. :)

    Jenna Reply:

    That one is from Aaron’s Brothers. A lucky find for $60!

  14. I have no judgments about letting T1 use the ipad, since this is just about the most intense period of parenting (toddler + newborn phase) and I think you have to do whatever you can to get through it. But I was thinking about my toddler boy and what keeps him occupied with independent play besides electronics. Our #1 best toy is his train table. He can play for hours. In your old place I know you were trying to limit toys, but now that you have more room, I wonder if you could invest in something like that to encourage creative independent play. Train tables are available secondhand all over the place, and I bet you can also get a big bag of used trains/track on craigslist or secondhand. Other suggestions for independent play (you may have some of these already): a basket of matchbox cars and a ramp or car garage (or even just a long cardboard tube to send them down), a basket of books he can look at by himself, magnatiles or bristle blocks, or little people sets.

  15. Oh for goodness sake! She’s on her own all day with a newborn and a toddler, she’s got a home to run, two kids to care for and she’s pumping on top of that! Give the girl a break. He was hardly stuck watching shows and playing on the Ipad all day. He went to pre-school, they took a walk, he played with blocks, they read stories, he watered plants and who knows what else… Give her a break! I know what it’s like, been there, with 2 it’s HARD work, and sometimes, in the first few months, your toddler will watch a bit more tv than you’d like, but really in the grand scheme of things, she looks like she’s doing fine to me, far better than I was at that stage, and my kid watched a lot of tv, and learned to entertain herself while I fed the baby, pumped, tried to pee, and did house stuff! Once we got into the swing of things and the baby didn’t need the almost continual feedings of a newborn, and was a bit less needy, the tv was on less, we “did” more activities and life moved on!
    You look like you’re doing a grand job to me! Pumping is HARD work on top of it all!
    Long time reader, first time I’ve commented! :)

  16. Maybe I’m missing something, but why pump and then feed the baby a bottle of breast milk? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to just skip the middle step and breast feed?

    Jenna Reply:

    For awhile I was doing all 3

  17. I find the sanctimonious barbs couched as “advice” frustrating. Jenna is a young mommy and a very good one. It is not a biggie for her to give her son an IPAD to play with (hello, it has books and great educational things on it too). She’s with her kiddos quite alone when hubby travels and she’s doing an amazing job. I guess the “pushing the stroller for mommy,” “watering plants,” “helping mommy pump,” “pre-school,” and “reading and talking about the day” don’t count as activities?
    I imagine all the mommies who make these comments see themselves as raising perfect kids, but as a new teacher and young mommy myself, I know that there is no path to the perfect child. When you drop them off at my classroom door, that’s the real test and no amount of your “independent play toys” (or lack thereof) made a difference in whether they are easy to teach or brats.

  18. leave it to kindly (usually) strangers to point out every teensy tiny detail of your documented day that could possibly be scrutinized. i’m a nurse case manager who does home visits for young moms and babies in their first week home and from what i’ve seen and learned: 1) every single family finds a groove that is good for them, which is bound to be different from another family’s (even more so when there is a sibling at home), 2) your kids appear to be extremely well cared for, stimulated, and loved. i’ve always wondered what the juggle looks like on the daily when moving from one to two and you do it beautifully. and there’s nothing like crawling into bed with good TV at the end of a crazy day. : )

    Jenna Reply:

    Thanks for chiming in Ashley. The thing I see the internet struggling with the most is the idea that things change. When I post one day out of my life, people have a hard time accepting the idea that this is just one day. It’s not like this every day, and things will change and develop as life goes on. Sometimes I do better, sometimes I do worse. Every DITL (and every post, really) is just a snapshot of what I’m doing, who I am, what I’m thinking at that point in time.

  19. Seeing some of the follow-up comments, I’m worried my comment above was misconstrued. I am by no means a perfect parent, and screen time is something I am struggling with with my daughter -how much is okay, what it means for the long-term, etc… Particularly as my husband thinks it’s great and is all for it, while I struggle with it a bit more… Hence my question for the mom(s) who are a few months ahead of me in terms of their child developing. I do think / hope that as moms, we can all learn from each other. Our generation is navigating new ground when it comes to incorporating electronic devices into our homes and our families.

    Jenna Reply:


    I wasn’t ignoring you on purpose – just didn’t have time to get to your comment. You’re so right about the screentime thing. We can’t ask our parents because they have no experience in the area!

    My husband also didn’t see the reason to be strict about screentime, and we both really regret our lax approach now. I would urge your husband to rethink his approach. Long periods of screen time equal a frustrated, overstimulated, grumpy kid.

    I’ll write a post about it, but I recently picked up a timer that we use for TV and it has been revolutionary. It works so well *that he polices himself*. I turn on the TV, turn on the timer, and leave the room to do whatever, and when the red light turns off he will get up and turn off the TV himself and tell me it is time to take a break. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007DHU0S/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I still deal with a tantrum every so often when he wants more, but overall it’s been so worth the money. Eventually I’d like to implement it for the ipad as well. I need to get in the habit of putting the ipad up in a place he can’t reach it, and forcing him to ask for it, and then pointing out that we need to turn on the timer so we can do so. Baby steps :)

  20. Thanks for your note Jenna. I really appreciate the lengthy reply; this was very helpful and I’m going to learn from it and take some of your tips on board. I do hope you write a post about it eventually- I think there are lots of families in a similar unsure situation.

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