Coco Loco

Colleen, Colleen….you have no baby book and hardly any blog posts, but I will try to make up for it!  It’s so incredibly cliché but having 2 kids AND working full-time…well, sorry, kiddo. 😦

So.  Where do I begin with our little Coco?


When Colleen first came into our lives almost 2 years ago, it was too long after her arrival that it was hard to imagine our family without her.  Now she has grown into a spunky, curious, active, ADORABLE (I mean…I know I’m biased, but MAN she is cute!) little toddler.

Some funny (and not so funny) things Colleen is doing currently:

She’s been taking off her clothes for quite some time now, and this has become a problem especially at bedtime. We’ve probably gone in to find her naked in the morning maybe 10 times or so?  Thankfully she hasn’t resorted to what her father did at this age – smearing her dirty diaper all over the wall….(Needless to say, we’ve been putting her jammies on backwards and cutting off the “feet” on her footie pajamas).

When you ask her, “where is __?” sometimes she’ll do the raised hands and shrugged shoulders. It’s just the CUTEST thing you ever saw.

While she’s still not saying many words, she LOVES to jabber quietly to herself. I love when she plays with her toys and “talks” or hums.  Makes me laugh!

She might be incredibly busy, but this girl sure loves to “speed snuggle”! She’ll come up a give you a huge bear hug and it’s enough to brighten anyone’s day.

She’s had quite a few haircuts already (maybe 4 or 5?). It’s so hard to keep out of her face (and with cold/runny nose season? Ughhhhh….), but I love her hair so much.

She loves to “dance”, or really just walk/run around in circles.

While she’s getting a bit pickier with food (I know it’s this age), overall she is still a GREAT eater!

Coco, we love you to pieces.  You might always be looking for ways to destroy our house, but you sure do love life (and THAT is contagious)!




Kate and Colleen have begun the struggle of sharing toys…oh, what fun. 🙂 The other day, Kate was saying (yelling?) to Colleen: “You can’t play with this! It’s mine!” I looked at Kate and gave her the look, and she repeated the same phrase in the same tone. I looked at her sternly and said, “Kate! You CANNOT speak to your sister that way. Be NICE.” She promptly looked at me, smiled, tilted her head, and said to Colleen in a “southern nice” voice, “You can’t play with this. It’s mine.”


Our friend, Steve, has been staying with us for a bit as he completes his cross country road trip (so jealous!). Kate’s formed quite an attachment to him, and he’s been so good to do puzzles, color, and play with her.  The other night we were leaving our house to head to my parents’ house, and Kate asked, “Where are Steve and Dacks?” I told her they were staying at our house but coming to Grandma and Grandpa’s soon.  She immediately frowned, looked out the window, and said, “Oh. I love them.”


Kate finally has gotten the hang of Facetiming, thankfully. Well, for the most part. 😉 She loves to Facetime with Grammy, Gramps, and Aunt Katie. The other day she was Facetiming with Grammy and proceeded to put the phone on a little box lid (facing up). She then had a crazy Dance Party with Grammy, randomly popping her head back over by the phone. It was the funniest thing!


Yesterday we headed to the Doctor for Colleen’s 1 year checkup, and I had been telling Kate the past few days that we need to give extra love to Colleen when she gets her shots. When I laid Colleen down on the table to hold her arms down, Kate immediately scrambled and pulled up the stepping stool. She climbed up and grabbed her sister’s hand, then nuzzled her face down by Colleen’s. It was one of the sweetest moments as a parent, to see her truly comfort her sister.


Lately Kate has just been so sweet. At times so very ornery, but then she’ll turn around and say the sweetest thing to make up for it. I’m easily reminded why I love this age (even with its trials and tribulations) in these moments. She’ll randomly say to me, “You’re my friend, mommy.” It makes me want to cry!

Oh, how I love this little girl.




Colleen Erin: One Year!

As cliché as it sounds, I really cannot believe Colleen is already 1!  It goes by SO much faster the second time around…it’s unbelievable.

Weight & Height: Colleen weighs 19 lbs. 3 oz. (41%) and is 29″ in tall (43% – same as her sister at this age!). Her head measures 46 cm (79%).

Eating:  This girl LOVES to eat!  She also loves cow’s milk which we started introducing just before her birthday.  I’ve only found a few foods she doesn’t like – bacon being one of them.  (Neither of our kids like bacon….whatttt?!)  In fact, she isn’t a huge meat eater at all, but she’ll usually eat chicken, ham, and turkey.  She also isn’t super keen about foods with a lot of spices, which is hard because…that’s mostly what we eat. 🙂  She’s drinking about 16 oz. of milk each day, as well.

Sleeping (naps):  Two naps a day, each anywhere from 1-2 hours long.

Sleeping (at night):  She was going to bed between 7:30 and 8 p.m., but here in the last month or so it’s moved up to 7:15/7:30 p.m.  After a few attempts at sleep training and some regressions with teething, she FINALLY started sleeping through the night around 10 months!  Praise the LORD.  She’ll usually wake on her own between 6 and 6:30 a.m., but occasionally I have to wake her up in the mornings at 6:30 or so.

Clothing:  Mostly 12 month size, Size 3 diapers.

New this month:  Saying “mama”…a lot!  And I’m loving it.  She started saying it maybe around 10 months old or so.  She’ll also say “ba” and “da”.  She was waving a month or two ago, but now you have to work for it. 😉  Still crawling (LIGHTENING fast!) and most recently has stood up on her own without holding onto anything.  I’m so surprised we don’t have a walker yet, but it’s also…kind of nice.  We’ll need to get her over to the convertible car seat soon (which means…buying her big sister the next one!), because her little feet are almost dangling over the edges.

Nicknames:  Co-lene, Coco

Colleen likes:

-Her blankie…just like her sister!  They sleep with them the same way–with their faces nuzzled right into them.  So sweet.

-Music–she LOVES to dance, and even if you sing a measure or two, she’ll likely start bouncing along right away.  It’s just the cutest thing!

-Food/bottles.  All the time, any time!

-Mommy.  I’m not gonna lie…I love when I pick her up at Michelle’s and she speed crawls over to me!

-But no one can compete with her favorite person in the world–KATE.  She just giggles and laughs and adores her big sister.

Colleen dislikes:  

-Sitting in her high chair too long…which is often difficult to avoid, because it’ll often take her 30-45 minutes to finish a meal!  She’ll let you know when she’s done, that’s for sure.

-Her teeth have been bothering her, but she’s usually good to go after some ibuprofen/tylenol.

-Getting into her car seat.  THANKFULLY she’s usually okay once we get going, but we definitely have the back arch going on while trying to get her in.


Oh, Colleen….you have brought such immense joy to all of us.  It’s truly hard to imagine our lives without you!  You are such a curious, busy, easygoing, happy, FUN little girl.  I cannot wait to see what the next year brings!  We love you more than you’ll ever know.

Things I’ve Learned as a Mom

With some new friends and family members (!) in my life having babies, it’s really gotten me to think about the things I wish I would have known going into parenthood.

  1. Don’t compare your child to someone else’s.  This is probably one of the hardest things about parenthood for me, and something I’m continually having to work on.  I have a friend whose daughter is Kate’s age, and I remember comparing every.single.developmental milestone as they hit.  Kate isn’t talking yet…what is wrong?  Kate doesn’t know her numbers….holy shit, she’s never going to graduate high school!  Seriously…it’s ridiculous.  Kate was a late talker, and now she’s talking up a storm.  It took her a full month to really walk full-time after her first steps, and soon after she was running (away-ha).  Every child develops at a different pace, and if you compare them to everyone else….well, you will go crazy!  So just don’t do it.
  2. Find a group of mom friends-ones with babies about the same age, if possible.  Three of my girlfriends had their first babies within a year of me, and I can’t tell you how helpful it was to text and meet and “bounce” things off of them.  Any mom friends are going to be incredibly important, but I found it so helpful to have all of our babies around the same stages.  Everything that we’re going through is fresh in our minds, and we share big tips or ideas or frustrations all around!  Also…play dates!
  3. If you delivery vaginally, prepare to not feel “normal”…for awhile. Especially if you have big babies. Or babies with big heads. (Or both).  I knew it would take awhile to recover after delivery, of course, but I wasn’t quite prepared to be 6 weeks out after delivering Kate and still uncomfortable.  It wouldn’t say I was still in pain at that point, but at my 6 week check up, I was incredibly uncomfortable being examined.  Thankfully, over the next few weeks, I started to feel more like myself again.  And with Colleen, I felt completely normal after only 2 or 3 weeks!
  4. Get out of the house.  Often!  And not just to Target.  I think this was the hardest part for me during my maternity leave.  With Kate, it was a. during the summer, and b. I “only” had one child-so it was 100 times easier to get out of the door.  With Colleen, it was still cold and rainy that first month…and man alive. It’s obviously MUCH harder to get a toddler and a newborn out the door.  But for me, this was crucial and had a HUGE impact on my mood.  I know some people are content at being in their homes for days, and that is completely okay–but my mood is drastically improved with a little fresh air.  Plus, kids LOVE to be outside.  And it’s good for them! (Also, nothing against Target–sometimes, that’s your only option!  But seek out parks, go for walks, go visit a friend, even just go for a drive).
  5.  You must rely on your partner–and do NOT be afraid to ask for help.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t know WHAT I would do without Brian.  Now that I’m “older”, I’ve seen far too many of my friends assume traditional stereotypes in their marriages after kids come along.  You know, the wife does most (if not all) of the cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing.  The husband is only “on call” for those desperate moments when she is going to lose her shit.  I’m sorry, but it’s 2017.  This should NOT be okay, in my opinion. Yes, I understand it’s hard for some moms (including myself…) to “let go” of some of those tasks.  But honestly, it is much better for your marriage in the long run to be a PARTNERSHIP.  When you’re out to eat with a fussy baby, take turns with who walks around with him/her.  Take turns with diaper changes while at home, bath time, bed time, clean up after meals, the list goes on and on.  This is something I’m VERY passionate about, and I often have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when I see friends close to me slowly losing their minds because their partner won’t pitch in to help.  Trust me…it won’t do you (or your marriage) any favors by trying to do it all on your own.
  6. Breastfeeding is HARD. This is something I’d heard but didn’t realize just how difficult until I was in the thick of it. It goes beyond cracked, bleeding nipples–at least there is a fix for that.  It’s painful, it’s different for every person AND every baby, and don’t even get me started on how hard it is to work and breastfeed/pump.  That being said, I am SO thankful I was able to do it for as long as I did with both girls.  Knocking on wood, but neither girl has ever been on an antibiotic in their lives…and I know the benefits of breast milk have had a lot to do with that.  On the flip side, I’ve had friends who’ve been unable to breastfeed after trying, and of COURSE you have to do what is best for YOU and the baby.  It’s not worth weeks of tears and beating yourself up emotionally.  “Fed is BEST” – no matter how you do it.
  7. You will be doing a shit ton of laundry. (<– see what I did there?)  I’m very particular about the girls’ clothes and work hard on alllll of the stains that we come across.  First you have blow outs, then baby food, then table food, then mud/dirt/the marker they someone found hidden in the junk drawer….you get it.  I’ve learned it’s important to work on stains QUICKLY and never, ever, ever put clothes in the dryer unless you’re able to completely wash the stain out–the dryer “sets” the stain, and then it becomes almost impossible to get out.
  8. People will always suggest your baby is teething, tired, hungry, etc. whenever he/she is crying.  Sometimes, they are just fussy!  And fussy is okay and completely normal.  Both our girls experienced “the witching hours” for a few weeks:  between the hours of 4-7, they were more likely to be fussy.  We knew this and were just prepared to walk around with them during those times.  Yes, crying does often indicate one of the above issues, but NOT always.
  9.  There’s no “perfect formula“.  If there was….wouldn’t we all be not need to read lists like this? 😉  But really.  What works for one parent may or may not work for YOU.  Take advice, talk to others…but know that YOU have to make the decision for your child in the end.  It’s scary to someone like me who struggles with even choosing what to wear each day, but it does get easier.
  10. If you aren’t friends with a doctor or nurse….become friends with one. NOW. I cannot tell you how many times I have texted my cousin (a school nurse who previously worked at Riley) and friend (an excellent ER nurse whose dad is a doctor/mom is a nurse). Of course I always called our own doctor with the big concerns/questions, but you’ll have approximately 1,000,008 questions/things that come up where you’ll need advice.  I still continue to bounce things off of these 2, and thankfully they are ever so happy to help!

Transition to Two

All during my pregnancy with Colleen, my number one concern (other than the baby’s health) was–how on earth can I love another child as much as I love Kate?  Well, funny how what EVERYONE says is true–as soon as you see that baby, you forget that was ever even a concern.  I can honestly say my heart grew in that moment I met Colleen, and I absolutely love both of my girls with all of my heart and soul.


One thing I didn’t really think so much about was how the transition to two would go.  I mean…yes.  I knew it was going to be difficult.  I knew we’d be drowning in diapers for several months.  I knew the house wouldn’t be as clean and our laundry would seem to double overnight.  But I really, REALLY couldn’t have prepared myself for how hard it was going to be.

Whether it was Kate going through the terrible two’s early, or our difficulty breastfeeding, or Kate just being bored AF sitting at home rather than playing with her friends everyday–those first few months were HARD.  I knew this maternity leave would be drastically different, and it absolutely was.  It wasn’t until the end of my leave that I felt like I was fiiiinally kind of pulling things together.

Honestly, I think a lot of it came from our breastfeeding issues with Colleen.  I could write a whole post just about that (and just might), but basically, she gained weight evvvver so slowly those first few months.  It took her 3 weeks to get back to her birth weight when they like to see it at 2 weeks, and when we met with a lactation consultant, she only was getting a couple ounces at our feeding.  I gave her a few ounces of formula each day, but the rest I was able to supplement with pumped milk.  (Usually about 10-12 ounces extra of pumped milk and 3-4 ounces of formula).  At her 4 month appointment we FINALLY got the okay to stop supplementing unless she seemed hungry in the evenings, so that has made the world of a difference!  Especially after going back to work–the last thing I wanted to do in the evenings and weekend was to spend MORE time pumping.

Yesterday I took the day off of work unexpectedly as our sitter had to close, and let me just tell you.  It was a VAST difference in staying home with them now, at these ages.  We had the best day–we played inside, went for a walk, went to the store (where the girls were ANGELS), went to the park, I was able to make a nice lunch, they both took good naps…I tell you what.  I just couldn’t believe how much easier it was at this age…even though it’s only been a few months!

I’d LIKE to think that, if we have a third child, the transition won’t be as bad or difficult.  Mainly because a. we’re already used to chaos, and b. the oldest will help to play with/distract/occupy the middle child.  But…who knows. Only time will tell that. 😉




Kate: Two Years Old

Our fun, lovable, sweet, sassy, hilarious, life-loving little girl is now TWO years old!

We have officially entered toddler hood over here, and I would describe it similarly to how Brian describes our dog:  the most fun (dog) he’s ever had, but also the most challenging.  Two is really SUCH a fun age, but it’s definitely the most challenging that I’ve encountered so far.  Give me a crying newborn that can be soothed, or a bratty eight year old that can be reasoned with, but a TODDLER?!  Hmmm.

Temper tantrums and the stink eye aside, I absolutely LOVE getting to see Kate’s personality emerge.  She is freakin’ hilarious, and obviously she gets this from me.  Also?  This girl is excellent at entertaining herself.  Sure, she gets bored at times (we struggled with this a lot after Colleen was born), but she is really so great at playing on her own and just blabbering on and on to herself about one thing or another.


What does she like to do?  Well, for starters, she still loves to read books…and I’m hoping this lasts.  She has a horrible habit of trying to EAT the books, however, so we’ve been trying to work on that.  She loves anything “neigh neigh” related, and I’ll admit–I have totally let her watch her fair share of horse videos on YouTube while I’m been nursing Colleen and/or pumping.  She thinks running around the house is hilarrrrious, and most recently has started running around while shouting, “Go fast! Go fast!”  She likes puzzles, coloring (this is a new one), playing with her baby, getting dirty, playing in the water, and going for walks, to name a few.

She ALSO loves her sister, Colleen, which absolutely melts me every time.  I was incredibly concerned at having to split my attention between both girls, but Kate has really taken it far, far better than I thought she would.  Every morning she’ll usually ask, “Where Colleen?” and then we have a race to go find her in our bedroom.  Yes…it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever.

At her doctor appointment, I brought up some concerns regarding her speech.  I’m so used to my incredibly smart nieces who spoke so fluently by 2, that I told the doctor it’s hard to understand her a lot of the time.  She is able to say a LOT of words–I’m too lazy to count–but she doesn’t always pronounce them correctly.  Water is “wah-ee”, Colleen is “Cow-ee”, Gram is “Gam”, etc.  Some of this I know is normal, but I still wanted to see what the doctor had to say.  At first she said she’s probably fine, but as I asked Kate to say “thank you” as we were leaving (which comes out as “ank ew”), the doctor suggested maybe seeing her again in 6 months just to check up on her. 😉  I will say that having her home with me has helped a LOT, I think because the older kids at her sitter’s were probably doing  a lot of talking for her (since she was the youngest at the time).  In the mean time,  I’ll continue to roll my eyes at those moms who brag about their kids speaking complete sentences at, like, 6 weeks old or whatever. 🙂

All in all, I couldn’t love this little girl any more.  Her growth in this last year has been absolutely incredible, and I’m excited to see where this next year takes us!

Kelly, thank you so much for these pics! (Taken on her 2nd Birthday). I will treasure them, always!

Two Year Stats:

Weight: 25 lbs. (28%), Height: 34 1/4 in. (72%), Head: 65%





Baby Dolan 2.0 – 39 Weeks

Weight Gained: About 26/27 pounds.


  • Oh, how this list has grown. 🙂 Overall, with tomorrow being my due date, I can’t complain too much. I’ve been having contractions off/on the past few weeks, but nothing major or consistent.
  • I feel like the baby really has dropped a little bit, because it is a little easier to breathe.
  • Sometimes I get up from my desk and I feel REALLY sore/need to waddle it out, and then other times I feel completely normal. So strange.
  • A little more emotional than usual….to be expected, I suppose!

Movement: Yes, although it’s slowing somewhat.  The constant kicks and jabs are now more rolls, with an occasional kick in there.  You can tell he’s getting bigger!

Food Aversions: None really.

Food Cravings: Still the same…sweets, sweets, sweets!  My newest favorite has been Starburst Jelly Beans….thank you, Easter candy.

Sleep:  This past week my sleep has been pretty off.  I’ve been up 3-4 times a night to pee and sometimes just can’t fall back asleep. The baby also rolls up into a ball at times and shoves his little bootie waaaaaay out, and it’s pretty uncomfortable. It also makes me laugh–I can’t wait to see him/her do this outside of the womb!

Stretch marks?  Not yet!

Miss Anything? Sleeping through the night (without having to pee 3 times), but we all know this is much better than it’s going to get here soon on the sleep front…;-)

Fun and/or Interesting Things from the Week: I lost my mucous plug on Sunday (and I think part of it again yesterday, if that’s possible?)! This didn’t happen with Kate, so I kind of freaked out afterward.  I still had baseboards to clean and Brian spent all weekend working on a bookshelf he decided to build last minute, so I was on my own with Kate. Anyway, after frantically texting my sister, I was kind of relieved that she lost hers twice and yet went on to be induced.  Not that I’m wanting to be induced, but I at least need until Easter Sunday…if possible. 🙂  The great thing is that hopefully this means my body is getting ready on its own this time!

Also, my co-workers surprised me with the SWEETEST “sprinkle” shower a couple of weeks ago!  I felt so guilty…I mean, they had a wedding shower for me 3 years ago, and Kate’s shower 2 years ago. I assured them if there is a number 3, they need not do anything. 🙂  We received SO many diapers, wipes, toys, and other necessities…and several gift cards–which I think I’m going to use to buy this double stroller!


I didn’t want to register for a super nice or fancy single stroller for Kate, because I knew we’d need a double stroller shortly after.  Of course they are all SO expensive, but I have enough in gift cards to Target so that this will be about half the price!

Belly Button in or out? Out.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time: Pretty happy, especially now that I’ve knocked off a LOT of my to-do list this week.  We still have to get Kate’s new room ready/move things out of that closet, but honestly, that’s pretty low on the list since she’ll be in her room for awhile. The house is clean, baby gear is out, car seat is washed (thanks, mom!), gender neutral clothes are ready in the drawers. My parents kindly offered to watch Kate last Saturday so I was able to get a LOT done–thank you mom and dad!

New Baby Items: I ordered something for the baby’s room, finally!  I’ll need to move all of the wall art into Kate’s big room over the next few months, so I’m taking my time to order new things for the baby–all gender neutral.  I got this sign from Etsy and I just love it!

Ill Eat You Up I Love You So, Where The Wild Things Are Baby, Woodland Nursery

BabyoutfitI also finally ordered a boy and girl “coming home” outfit for the baby.  I NEVER buy things from Baby Gap because $$, but I absolutely LOVE their stuff–the quality can’t be beat. So for Kate and this one, I’ve splurged for one Baby Gap sleeper.  I can’t wait to see which one we’ll need!  (Cough…blue).

Looking forward to:  Isn’t it obvious?!!


39 weeks (2) front2

39 weeks (2)2.jpg

39 weeks comparison.jpg

With Kate and Baby #2!