And then there were four…

We’re a family of four! As of April 13th…Jack Bradley made his arrival at 8:59 P.M. His birth was peaceful, intimate, and an incredible, empowering experience for me.

Three weeks after Jack arrived, we moved! We currently are residing in Utah County… We will be here for the summer and return home to Logan at the beginning of August.

I’ve been adjusting to my life as a mother of two. There’s been a learning curve. Not only am I Ella’s mom, but Jack’s mom too!

Ella just turned 22 months. She is so fun and the most amazing big sister. When we walk down the stairs to run an errand she counts as she goes down, “two…five…” She says, “Mommy mommy mommy mommy…!”when she wants to talk to me and have all my attention. Whether Jack is eating, sleeping, or I am taking a picture of him she’ll smile at me and say “he’s cute!” followed by a kiss, rub on the cheek, or covering him with a blankie. She loves when Dad comes home and usually giggles uncontrollably when he walks through the door! She can’t hold in her excitement. She loves to “pay” (play) with dad, read books and show him the new things she can do like stacking rolls of toilet paper rolls, putting salve on her farm animals bottoms, and coloring on the i-pad.

Jack’s reflux has improved so much just by making diet changes. I eliminated dairy, cocoa, gluten, soy, and limit eggs and corn. It’s been very rewarding to see so much improvement and NOT see Jack in distress all the time. I’ve learned how consistency is sometimes all we need. I was implementing so many things to find “the cure”, but diligently sticking to the diet has simplified things, and most importantly, been enough.

Our lives have changed so much since he was born. Each day becomes a little easier the more we get to know Jack. The progress is subtle which makes it hard to analyze what was accomplished on what day, but we’re just glad we are where we’re at. All the discoveries we’ve made regarding the different ways he likes to be held when his tummy hurts versus when he has a burp, or sounds he makes when he’s hungry, or just tired and needs help falling asleep. Or the cues and faces he makes after a full and satisfying feeding. Our favorite discovery is the hold that stops him from crying no matter what. We call it his sweet spot.

You only wish you knew then what you know now. How much easier day one would have been! With that said, I must mention that of course I am missing newborn Jack already, but each day his body matures which means more smiles and comfort for him. Time is a thief, but it can also be one of the greatest remedies.

Oh and did I mention he has a killer tan and it’s only June? We put Jack in direct sunlight for 10-12 minutes a day to treat his jaundice, but it relaxed him so much you would have thought he was under a cabana by the ocean. Needless to say we couldn’t deprive him of that much needed vitamin D.

We’re trying to get familiar with our new area, but aren’t making a huge effort. We had all these great ideas to explore the canyons, find beautiful hikes, and try new restaurants but the reality is that Dan works LONG hours. Long as in he kisses me goodbye at 8:30am and walks through the door at 10:00pm. Just in time to kiss me goodnight. 🙂 Not really, but it is about 1-2 hours before we go to bed. I was told by other wives in the company to make that time count because it’s all we have. Because of some postpartum anxiety I was doing, all their words of wisdom did was create pressure. Pressure I didn’t need at such a vulnerable time. Every night he came home I felt this obligation to do something great and grand together. We found, it wasn’t what we did when he walked through the door, but the attitudes we had. And who said jammies, soiled diapers, and tired babies wasn’t great and grand?

Some days are much longer than others. Usually 5pm hits and one of three things happen… One, I am immersed in something (like planning our Hawaii trip in August, or a chopped marathon) Playing travel agent is one of my favorite things to do. Two, the kids have run me ragged and 4 more hours of being a one man team makes me want to cry, or three… I am busy making dinner while simultaneously having a tea party with ella and feeding Jack. Immersion, exhaustion, or distraction. Whatever the day brings I always miss dan and can’t wait for him to get home.

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