There are a lot of things I had forgotten about new babies, like how they constantly make a series of weird/adorable noises: tiny grunts, snuffles, balloon-deflatey pbbblllth sounds from their mouths, half-grumbles, delectable fluttery pigeon coos, etc. Also, the turtlish head extensions, the shockingly strong crooked little legs, the frantic piglike snorting during their cries when they get all pissed off about a diaper change.

I forgot how hard it is to change a newborn’s diaper. I get one diaper off and he instantly starts wailing and squirming and pees all over everything within twenty feet. I wrestle on a new diaper, trying to avoid the terrifying umbilical stump, peel off his wet clothes and blankets, and thread his noodley arms through a fresh outfit — all while he’s doing that panicky full-body crying — then I re-wrap him, toss his wet stuff into the laundry basket, and then it’s time for him to eat because he’s depleted all of his energy resources freaking the hell out about the DIAPER. Two seconds into the feeding, his butt goes blrrrrrrt and it’s time to do the whole cycle again. In the meantime, the baby has now spit up on fifteen clean blankets.

That’s what’s so exhausting about newborns, really. It’s the lather, rinse, repeat cycle of eating/pooping. There are these wonderful periods of sleeping in between, but hell, now there’s laundry to do. Which I would ignore in favor of joining Dylan in a tandem snorefest, except there’s this whole second kid dynamic this time, and I am frankly wondering why I thought it was so hard to have ONE baby, back when Riley was first born.

Except, I do know why it was so hard, and why it’s actually much easier this time. The first time around, we had no idea what we were doing. We were scared, stressed out, and filled with the sort of brain-bending paranoia that makes otherwise normal people fashion tin foil hats and mutter darkly about alien transmissions. Everything that went in or came out of Riley’s body was painstakingly documented in an Excel spreadsheet, because god only knew what would happen if we didn’t know to the milliliter how much he had eaten between 2 and 4 PM.

We’re much more relaxed with Dylan. Everything is coming back, in that cliched bike-riding sort of way, from how to get a really good swaddle to the best burping method. We aren’t constantly afraid that we’re going to break him, which is much less stressful. Although maybe I should worry about this a little, since I’ve found myself casually moseying through doorways with Dylan slung out to one side, nearly cracking his tiny, still-smooshy head into the wall.

Things are easier, even if they are also harder in some ways. Riley is doing very well with his new baby brudda, much better than I had expected, but he needs extra attention. He’s super rambunctious and chattering nonstop, all in an apparent effort to display his many fine talents and positive qualities, and he is such an awesome, awesome kid but it is all a little tiring. I am blown away, though, by his ability to be sweet to Dylan, and his desire to be helpful by informing me whenever Dylan’s hat has fallen off. He even kissed his brother’s head earlier today, at which point I died. I just, you know, DIED, because does life get any better than that? Seeing my two beautiful boys together, neither one of them attempting to kill the other?

Coming up soon: Dylan’s birth story, which is refreshingly drama-free but chock full of thrilling surgery details which I know you are on the edge of your seat to hear. Or maybe not, but too bad, I want to share it ALL. In the meantime — more pictures, OF COURSE:






111 Responses to “Like riding a bike, only with more explosive poops”

  1. ollka on February 8th, 2008 3:54 pm

    Can I just say – wow! You know, I used to look at pictures of you, JB, and Riley, and think ‘God, this is the perfect family!’
    Now I’m at a loss, because this – this is better than perfect. And I don’t have a word for how happy these pictures make me.

  2. Jennifer on February 8th, 2008 4:20 pm

    Thank you so much for posting, even though I know you’re wayyyy busy. Are JB’s folks still there helping out? If not, I’ll volunteer to stop by and deliver a casserole the next time I’m in town :-) Just say the word; chicken and wild rice is my specialty.

    How are YOU feeling Linda, is the C-section surgery healing up well? Not too much pain I hope.

    And JB must be a very busy/attentive dad, as it appears he’s been wearing the same shirt since Monday. (Or does he just have a LOT of plaid flannel? Heeee!)

  3. Belle on February 8th, 2008 7:08 pm

    Dylan’s complexion is to die for. How I wish we all kept that wonderfully soft and perfect skin the rest of our lives.

    Hope you are getting enough rest! Lovely pics!

  4. TB on February 8th, 2008 7:30 pm

    Beautiful baby, beautiful family. Congratulations to you all.

  5. Valria on February 8th, 2008 8:13 pm


    I know you have that video monitor and you are quite tech’y. Since you have all this spare time (HA), you should set it up as a web cam so we (loyal readers and already Dylan fans) can watch all day!!!

  6. courtney on February 8th, 2008 10:12 pm

    Dylan looks just like you!

    and I love Riley’s face in the picture of the 4 of you. so cute.

  7. Meg on February 9th, 2008 12:17 am

    Oh, wow, Linda, I am so happy for you all. What a lovely family you are.

  8. Erin on February 9th, 2008 1:29 pm

    Oh Sundry. You just perfectly described my experience in having our second also. Enjoy enjoy. And munch on him plenty.

    I love the name. LOVE it. And your photos are some of the most beautiful newborn/ post partum photos I’ve ever seen. Seriously. Am I weirding you out here? Sorry. I’m excited for you and your family.

  9. Victoria on February 9th, 2008 1:32 pm

    He’s so pretty!!!!!!

  10. emily on February 9th, 2008 6:00 pm

    I’m dyin’ over here – your family is so precious! Thanks for sharing!

    PS – you look FABULOUS!

  11. Josh on February 10th, 2008 7:30 pm

    Hot damn. You look way less gigantic already. I had no idea chicks deflated so quickly. I kind of thought it would take a long ass time. And I’m not going to read all five billion comments before me, I’ve got laundry of my own to do, (sans urine thank god) but check out Riley’s face in that first picture. I swear to god he’s the spitting image of Puss in Boots from Shrek two or three or whichever Shrek he was in. (hopefully a hundred people haven’t already pointed that out) I used to have a poster of Puss in Boots making that face. Yes, I realize I’m a full grown man and that’s pretty fucking gay, but he’s just so damn adorable! Plus the chicks loved it. Even imaginary adorable shit gets chicks all happy and lovey dovey.

    How long does it take for babies to start growing hair and looking less like Neo after he pops out of that energy pod all gooey and bald? Cause I sort of thought babies were born with eyebrows at least, but apparently not. God I’m ignorant. May the lord have mercy on the poor woman I eventually knock up.

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