A Day at the Farm

I am a member of a Williston toddler group on Facebook and they have such fun activities every few weeks. One of the other moms in the group invited everyone over for a tour of her farm. It was really interesting and the kids liked it, too.

We got to open the grain bins and then see the different kinds of grain. There wasn't a bucket for each child, and not to mention any names, but some people's kids were having breakdowns about not getting a bucket.

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Can we wrap this up so we can go see the cows?

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She was telling the kids not to climb in because grain acts a lot like water. It was kind of freaking me out since I had just read an article about people drowning in grain bins.

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Grain in his hair.

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First order of business after digging in hay? Stick your fingers in your mouth, of course!

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Carissa came with us and she carried Declan the whole time. They coordinated outfits and everything.

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We got to see a baby cow and its very protective mother, play with grain some more, then eat homemade hummus. We also got a small bag of chickpeas and lentils to bring home. It was such a fun morning at the farm!

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Sam doesn't have to go on work trips very often. A few months before Declan was born, Sam talked to me about going to Houston for a training at the end of April. I knew we would have a new baby but my mom would still be in town for part of it so I said it would be fine. Then Sam found out about another training the very next week. His boss suggested he stay over the weekend instead of flying home since the hotel would be cheaper than two extra flights. This is the reason Sam missed 11 of Declan's first 20 days of life.

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Sam gets annoyed because I always call his work trips "vacation." However, he had three days of no work/trainings in the middle so this really did qualify as a vacation! He got to see quite a few friends from his MILR program at Cornell. Houston seems to attract MILRs!

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Sam was busy during his trainings so he wasn't available for me to call/text. It was frustrating to feel totally alone (except for the three kids ages three and under). I think I probably overshared with my friend on our trips to the park (sorry, Alyssa!). I was just so excited to have someone to talk to! There were definitely tears from me in the five days I was alone with the boys. Lots of quiet snuggles with Declan in the middle of the night, too. I loved having the nights with Declan. During the day we went on lots of walks, got frozen yogurt, and only made it through one of the days because of a friend bringing dinner (thanks, Carissa!). We were definitely just getting by. There was no super mom to be found in this house.

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Sam was out of town on our anniversary. After he got home, we went out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Crazy that we were a family of five before our fifth anniversary. We left all three boys with our friends. I have never left a nursing baby so young. I guess I am getting more relaxed. It also greatly helps that we have friends who I trust with my babies. Thanks, Tanner and Carissa!

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Documenting Declan (2 Months)

Weight: 13 pounds, 2 ounces
Length: 23 inches

There are so many Declan quirks that can't be captured in a picture, video, or even words. Declan is my little buddy. I love how his hands shake back and forth when he stretches and how I get so many kisses from him because he dives into my head and puckering my lips is the quickest way to soften the headbutt. I love his half smiles and his silly eyes. I love how pleased he looks if he spits up. The same look I am sure I'll see hundreds more times as he learns to empty the toy box and then when he learns to walk and probably again when he learns to ride a bike. I love the chunks on his thighs and the way his bottom cheek droops when he is lying on his side. Every part of him is so precious.

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Alex and Edison shared some toys. Just in case Declan gets bored of staring at the lights.

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These boys make me so happy. How can they already love Declan as much as I do? It amazes me.

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Belly massage?

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Edison is constantly saying, "Tuuute." Every time he sees Declan it is like he cannot control himself and must comment on the cute baby.

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Slumber party at Declan's!

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His little nose!

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I don't blame them. I like to be around Declan, too.

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Alex is so sweet with his little brother. This one at least.

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Edison starts crying hysterically if we don't let him kiss Declan. Then he repeatedly insists, "Kissss!" until we give in. He will even kiss Declan's feet.

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 "Mommy and Daddy aren't quite so squeezy when they hold me like this..."

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Daddy snuggles.

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This seems to be the best part of the day for both of them.

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This is my favorite outfit. It is still too big for him but he wears it once a week.

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Always dancing.

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Curly hair? Not really, but I will pretend.

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Crazy faces and puckered lips.

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Alex has started asking to hold Declan a lot more.

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I don't know why all babies do this but it cracks me up.

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Wrapped around his finger.

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We spend his awake time gazing into each others' eyes.

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His skin started clearing up about one week after his baby blessing. Hallelujah!

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Cute blanket, Great Grandma Merkley!

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You can do it!

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"I think I had too much to drink."

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So loveable.

I have not kept it a secret that Declan is an amazing sleeper. His schedule is becoming more predictable. I basically just plan that he will be sleeping always.

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 How to be a good parent:

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Make sure the other children don't lie straight on top of the baby.

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Feed your child on demand so they never look elsewhere for food.

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Help the child experiment with different styles.

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Introduce them to delicious ice cream as young as possible. (Just kidding, Mom. Set down the phone.)

Here are a few more things Declan does for which I do not have a matching picture:
 ...is another month closer to crawling and walking and leaving on his mission and retiring. How does this happen so fast?!
...is getting very grabby at my hair. His clammy hands like to grab Sam's leg hair, too.
...is smiling when awake, asleep, pooping, always. He started smiling in response to us at 5 weeks and I am surprised he doesn't smile while he's crying.
...opens his eyes so wide if he wakes up and it is dark. I love seeing him trying to take in everything.
...does a lot of grunting and snorting.
...turns his head from side to side constantly. His bald spot is coming along quite nicely.
...would not wake up when I tried to get his passport photo taken. We poked, tickled, tipped him upside down, stripped him, and pulled his eyelids open. No luck.
...loves to hold our fingers.
...sleeps for up to eight hours at night and nurses every 2-4 hours during the day.


Kids' Day Out

The community center had a Kids' Day Out two days after Declan was born. I considered going but then decided I would rather take a nap so I stayed home while Sam and my mom took Alex and Edison.

Instead of taking a nap, I ended up doing laundry and cleaning the house. It was not as restful as I had intended but it was nice to have some quiet snuggle time with Declan, too.
The boys had so much fun. They got lunch, cupcakes, and candy. There was facepainting, a police car, and bounce houses. There were supposed to be some outdoor activities like a train but it was snowing so everything was moved inside.

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Approximately every person in Williston was there. Edison got lost for about ten minutes and when Sam finally found him, he was just happily wandering around with candy in his hand that he found somewhere. I am glad I wasn't there because I would have been freaking out. That kid is too independent for my liking.

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