Everything Baby Two

Marin Merkley Photography

Marin Merkley Photography

Pat and I always knew we wanted a big family, but when we had Aveline we realized how true that was. We absolutely loved being parents from the beginning, and we loved everything about her. Once life calmed down and the reality of “the next baby” was upon us we knew we wanted to give Av a sibling close to her. We were so excited when God not only answered our prayers with a second baby, but gave Av a sibling close to her!

Since we never announce our due date I can’t tell you how far apart they’ll be, but I will tell you it’s more than 12 months and less than 18!

Ever since I got past my first trimester we’ve been slowly preparing Av for her baby. She is so smart, and I swear she catches on to everything we tell her. She knows that my belly has the baby and multiple times throughout the day she’ll lift up my shirt and rub my belly and kiss it. It’s the sweetest thing. Luckily since we have pets we’ve always taught her to “be gentle” and “be nice” with them and I’m hoping she’ll take those lessons when her sibling comes.

Whenever we’re around our friends’ kids that are younger than her I always take her over to them and tell her about the baby. She has always loved kids, and being around people, so we’re hoping that since we’ve slowly yet surely been introducing and talking about the baby that she’ll have an easier time comprehending and adjusting the change when it comes.

I think what will help us is that she will still be so young with baby 2 comes, so hopefully that’ll help with the jealousy and transitioning.

Recently I posted to Instagram about questions anyone had for baby so I’m going to answer them below!

Marin Merkley Photography

Marin Merkley Photography

What do you think baby is, a boy or girl?

I think it’s another girl. My pregnancy has been very similar and I’ve had a gut feeling it’s a girl almost the whole time. I will tell you that I have started carrying lower and a few of the HRs recently have been lower so it’s definitely keeping me guessing!

Do you want it to be a girl or boy?

I don’t care! I will say that I will be shocked if it’s a boy because my guts feeling is so strong that it’s a girl. Since my gut was right last time I’m trusting it, but we’ll have to wait and see!

I think because they’re so close it’d be really nice to have another girl and raise sisters so close. That being said though, a boy would be really fun because even though they would be competitive with each other it would be in a completely different (maybe more beneficial) way than two girls.

Do you think your parenting style will be different/altered if it is a boy vs girl? 

That’s a really good question, but I don’t think so. We’ve been sure to keep everything pretty neutral in the way we parent/discipline Av. It’ll be interesting to see though!

How do you want to introduce Av to the baby and will do you anything to help ease her into the new family addition?

We want Pat to be the one to bring her to the hospital and meet her baby sister/brother. I think it’s important that she has one of us with her when she meets it so she can find comfort in us if she is scared/shocked/nervous.

As far as easing her into it I think we’ll just have her spend a few hours with the baby at the hospital then go home, and bring her back and re-introduce them so she keeps seeing the baby. When we’re ready to go home I want all of us to bring the baby home so she’s apart of it. I think that will help her understand that the baby is ours to keep.

We’ve been starting to talk more and more about the baby and show her pictures of her when she was a baby to try and help her understand more. I know she’s so young but I’m hoping by us talking about the baby and her being a sister that it helps her in the long run.

How do you think Aveline will react to being a big sister?

I hope she loves it! I know it’ll be a huge shock to her once the baby is actually home with us, but she is so easy going and loving that I hope she just rolls with the punches and does amazing.

Ever since she was little I’ve always focused on her having time alone. This has been another amazing thing that I’m really proud I started doing at such a young age. She now is the best at playing alone and keeping herself busy while I’m in a different room. (Our kitchen is open to our living/play room so usually she’s in the living room and I’m in the kitchen and she just plays and reads on her own!) I think this will be a huge saving grace with the second baby because she’s not used to being the center of attention constantly, she knows how to be on her own and keep herself busy.

What is his/her name?

My mom thinks she’s so sneaky by asking this. Like with Aveline, we won’t be sharing the name until we have the baby! We do have names picked out and solidified, though. If it’s a girl it’s a sweet, classic name and if it’s a boy it’s a family name!

What are your cravings this pregnancy?

Everything sweet, Dr. Pepper and nachos… those are my go-tos. So nutritious, I know.

Are you having the baby in Chicago or Dallas?

We are staying in Chicago because I love, love, love our doctors here. Especially since we had Aveline with our doctors and there were so many things that came up and decisions that had to be quickly made, I can’t imagine going anywhere else if we don’t have to.

You guys know how much anxiety I have with doctors and hospitals, but the OBGYN group I’ve found in Chicago eases all of my worries and has always made me comfortable.

Are you planning on doing Babywise again?

YES! We will 150% be implementing Babywise for every baby we have. I was telling my sister in law the other day, I can’t imagine us even thinking about being pregnant again so close to having Aveilne if she hadn’t been sleeping through the night, thanks to Babywise, by 12 weeks. It was hands down one of the best decisions we made for our family and one we will continue to do!

Will you be traveling the same amount with two babies?

Yes, we hope to! With our careers traveling is inevitable, so we have to have our kids used to, and good, at it. We will most likely start when babe is 2 months old like we did with Aveline! Babe’s first big journey will be back to Dallas!

Will Sly and Roscoe put themselves up for adoption when you bring home another human?

Roscoe will 100% be putting himself up for adoption. Sophie might run away with my dad and Sly wouldn’t go anywhere without Aveline so I think he’s here to stay.

Are you nervous about having to juggle two babies so close together by yourself?

Honestly, yes. This is where having them on strict schedules is going to be my saving grace. Luckily Aveline has the schedule she will keep when the baby comes, and for the first few months afterwards, so we’ll just have to concentrate on getting B2 on his/her schedule as soon as possible.

We should be having the baby outside of football season (hint ;)) which means Pat will be home for the first month or so with me to help juggle and adjust. We haven’t decided how we’re going to do OTAs this year because there are so many other factors going on in our life, but if Pat’s in Chicago and I’m in Dallas it’ll definitely take some getting used to- and a lot of coffee.

Even though Pat doesn’t have a typical career a lot of people don’t realize just how much he is gone. Our family and close friends who have come to stay with us this season have really made me aware of what people think he’s schedule is like. So, I thought I’d share a glimpse into what their schedules really look like.

  • If we decide to be in Dallas for OTAs he’d be gone for Monday-Thursday, fly home Thursday night, fly back Sunday mid-mornign/afternoon.

  • During camp I’d be flying solo for the 4 weeks. They get one day off a week- this season they came home around 9 pm the night before their day off and then left around 5 pm on their day off to report back to camp.

    • Last year I was in Chicago because I wanted Av to spend the one day they had off with Pat. With everything going on we’d have to make a game time decision on what we’d want to do, but as of now I’m leaning towards staying in Dallas if we haven’t sold our house yet, that way I have my parents on a day to day basis to help me.

  • During season we only get one day off with him. The rest of the days he’s home by 5/6 pm, and the kids will be in bed by 730. Leaving only 2ish hours with him most of the week.

    • When they’re playing at home they leave on Saturday afternoons to get to the city to stay at the team hotel before their Sunday game.

    • Most weeks he has a massage one evening to help keep his body healthy and some weeks he does appearances.

Family Picture

We are so truly grateful for our growing family and can’t wait to meet babe 2 and see what gender it is! We can’t wait to cuddle him or her and introduce him/her to the best big sister ever- sweet Avie Jo!

Thanks for everyone who has followed our family and watched us change and grow throughout the years, I love having you along for our ride!