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:

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Jen
Jen
14 years ago

Two words: teepee peepee. He’s absolutely adorable! I love the photos of the four of you.

LJ
LJ
14 years ago

sweet, sweet, sweet

Jeanette
14 years ago

How incredibly sweet! Congrats and enjoy your wonderful family of four!!

Leslie
Leslie
14 years ago

The first thing my niece did on meeting her baby brother was poke him in the eyes so he’d open them and she could see if they were blue.

superblondgirl
14 years ago

I love the family photo, Riley looks like “oh, hi! Hi camera! What a surprise!”
You guys are so cute.
And the head-kissing? My heart is sort of all gloppy and melty at the sweetness of that.

Nonacita
14 years ago

Hooray! Congrats! Sooo freaking adorable, those two together!

leenie
14 years ago

oh my oh my— sweethearts, both of those little boys. again, many congrats!

Teej
14 years ago

He is so, so sweet. They both are. You all are! Congrats.

Sara L.
14 years ago

You guys all look so healthy and happy! Again, congrats on the new family of four. And yeah, having the second one is pretty amazingly relaxed compared to number 1. Although you don’t EVER get to do the “sleep while the baby sleeps” crap they tell you. Sleep while the baby sleeps and the three year old smears poop on the walls, maybe.

Enjoy every excretion-filled second!

tracy
tracy
14 years ago

Awwwwwwww!!!
You all look wonderful!
Congrats!

Kathryn
Kathryn
14 years ago

Beautiful. Your family looks complete now.

AidoEllaMomma
AidoEllaMomma
14 years ago

You just totally described what it was like for us when we had our second, and first for that matter. I think you also figure, “Hell I’ve kept the first one alive for this long, I must really know what I’m doing!!” The lack of stress will inable you to really enjoy gorgous Baby Dylan, and be warned that this may induce days of guilt about how you felt about Riley, just a heads up. I was racked with guilt, but I’m also a freak so maybe it won’t happen for you. :)

You are a lucky Momma to two beautiful sons. Try to enjoy every minute of it. Take care.

diane
diane
14 years ago

Aww, thank you so much for sharing your family joy with us. Perfect and Beautiful.
But are you sure you just had major surgery…you look amazing!

Lisa
Lisa
14 years ago

Hi Linda
I’ve been reading you for about a year. Just so you know..enjoy the times when your boys are getting along! I have two, 11 and 14, and all they do is fight!

Congratulations on your beautiful family!

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

wow – what a gorgeous family! I can relate to everything you said in this post as we just had our 2nd daughter in as many years on Feb 2nd. You look great!

wilddreemer
14 years ago

your post partum nursing boobs are kicking my post partum nursin boobs asses! both boys are adorable. every time i pull out my camera now my oldest runs over to kiss my youngest’s head

Michelle
Michelle
14 years ago

Ahh! Your family! And the hands … Dylan is following right in his big “brudda’s” foot steps :)

kalisah
14 years ago

I can’t believe you found the time (and the brain cells!) to write such an entertaining post. You amaze me, really.

Gaby
Gaby
14 years ago

Awww! Thanks for sharing these pictures with us. They made my morning. You truly do have a lovely family, and I wish you all the best. Quick question, though: The quilt in the second picture-did you make it? Or did someone make that for you? It’s beautiful. Of course, the baby lying on top of it is even moreso! Take care of yourself.

LFM
LFM
14 years ago

Dylan is irresistibly adorable, I want to nibble on his little cheeks. That’s an awesome picture of the three of you.

This is your first weekend home…so if it’s anything like my first weekend home with my daughter last year…you might want to install a revolving door in your house…there are just sooo many people to see and nibble the new baby that will come through your house.

Welcome home and Congrats again! Dylan is beautiful!

Kristen
Kristen
14 years ago

So adorable! Between you and my sister, who had her baby on Wednesday, my ovaries are about to explode with jealousy! So happy for you and your family.

Pam
Pam
14 years ago

Congratulations! You are a very beautiful family.

Jamie
14 years ago

Wow. And suddenly, there were four. At the risk of beating a dead horse, congratulations!

Robin
14 years ago

He is so cute. I just love little babies. I think all the cookies you craved while pregnant even made him more adorable. You did great.

d
d
14 years ago

no ovaries here, but that is one cute kid. :)

Clueless But Hopeful Mama

Yay! You made it through! You’re on the other side! I can’t wait to hear about it all.

We, of course, need the FULL birth story. With all gory surgical details (including sound effects?!?!) intact.

breckgirl
14 years ago

Dylan is just gorgeous and I look forward (maybe a little too much?) to the complete birth story – I love your detailed descriptions. Congratulations to you all!

Carolyn
Carolyn
14 years ago

how can you be writing so eloquently when you just had a baby???

What a beautiful family–you must be so proud!

wordygirl
14 years ago

Riley kissing Dylan’s head would have made me die, too. Squee!

And I am TOTALLY on the edge of my seat waiting for your birth story. I live for that kind of stuff. Gory details, please!

Alyson
14 years ago

Dylan is so cute. Riley is adorably serious in that first picture. Totally cracks me up!

You got that swaddling thing down? THREE kids, and I NEVER got that right (and my 10 year old “baby” isn’t in to letting my practice on him).

Oh and that not trying to kill each other thing…..they get over that.

Coming up next…… Riley saying “I’m going to run away!” I’ll send my two older boys to help you with that one. They straightened out their little brother when he pulled that one…..”Dude! NEVER say that to Mom! You don’t want to see what she does!

caroline
14 years ago

SO CUTE!

And I love birth stories. The gorier the better.

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

I just love the pictures, and how happy you all look despite the exhaustion. Congratulations again!

Miss
14 years ago

You look amazing!!! That little one is quite the looker already! This post makes me NOT fear having another baby. Thank you.

Christine
Christine
14 years ago

You guys look great, and you are entitled to under eye bags the size of footballs. Congratulations, and try to enjoy the little moments through your sleep-deprived haze. And take lots of video.

laughing mommy
14 years ago

That last picture of Dylan is so beautiful! Is his skin absolutely perfect? Because it looks absolutely perfect.

lisa-marie
14 years ago

Such a beautiful family!

Mary
14 years ago

Good God, I think my uterus just skipped a beat! They are just so cute, especially together. Oh the photographic opportunities you will have!

Meagan
14 years ago

Aww… I love the family picture.

missbanshee
14 years ago

Oh my god, the matching Mr.Burns hands of suspicion are SLAYING ME. You make some damn pretty babies, Linda.

Leah
14 years ago

I have been waiting anxiously for every update and I’m so happy you posted one! Dylan’s adorable and the four of you look so happy together.

Side note: I have to go to Seattle on Monday (live in Canada) and one of my Mom’s first responses was “oh hey you can go see Linda!”. I won’t… we’re not like y’know creepy and stuff, we just sorta umm… love you!

Kay
Kay
14 years ago

Riley and Dylan will have to start their own boy band. The girls will swoon! :)
I think you now both have mini me’s of yourselves!
He is gorgeous Linda!

ali
ali
14 years ago

he is just perfect. yum!

Lawyerish
14 years ago

Lookit, lookit! Both of your boys are suspicious in the first photo. DANG, your family is adorable. And you look fantastic.

The wee hats are killing me. KILLING ME.

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

Feeling all kind of mooshy and choked up. . .don’t know why. . . . .

Anais
Anais
14 years ago

I’m so glad Riley is adjusting well. My aunt just had her second child and her first born is being an absolute monster.

And that whole bit about Riley kissing Dylan’s head just about killed me! How sweet and adorable!

Congratulations for the 187,236th time on your beautiful family!!!

Rebecca M.
Rebecca M.
14 years ago

My parents have a series of photos of me when I was a baby starting to cry and being comforted by my older brother. I’d say it’s one of my favorite memories, except I don’t actually remember it.

Speaking of photos – how bout a cuteness warning next time? A newborn in an oversized teddy bear onesie is approaching dangerous levels of awwww.

JennyM
JennyM
14 years ago

MORE SMOOSH! Gosh darn, but you guys are cute.

Was it as weird for you to blog about Dylan as a real live person instead of as Smalltopus Of The Belly as it was to see it written? SO COOL.

JennyM
JennyM
14 years ago

Whispering: also — is it weird that certain commenters at certain other sites who typically pop up immediately to leave challenging, negative-y comments haven’t popped up yet to offer congratulations? I’m just saying.

Anne L.
Anne L.
14 years ago

Ahh, I can’t take this much cute! Also, wee and delicious. He is such a beautiful boy. And the look an Riley’s face in that first picture… aww.

shygirl
shygirl
14 years ago

You officially have the cutest family EVER. You all look so happy :) Congratulations!!