Second Baby Changes

I decided to jot down a few differences of my parenting style between my first and second baby, and how I have changed. Maybe ‘evolved’ would be an appropriate word.



First baby: I checked every single food I put in my body on my app to see if it was safe. I didn’t even eat any pepperoni pizza. Who was I? No caffeine either. Paranoid.

Second baby: I ate anything I wanted. I drank my sweet tea.  I don’t even remember if I checked to see what small fruit my tiny baby was amounting to. Much more relaxed the second time around. Don’t lift heavy objects? Heck, I was carrying in groceries with a toddler on my hip.



First baby: Room was done and decorated. Name was picked. Clothes were washed and ready. College and career paths were planned.

Second baby: No name. Still used the “baby’s room” as the “clean laundry you throw in a large pile that need to be folded” room.



First baby: Stressed. Anxious. Nervous. Excited. Totally shocked when my baby came out covered in hair. (The nurse literally saw my and Daniel’s face and said, “Don’t worry, the hair falls off.” Ok cool. I knew that Mexican side was hairy, but I didn’t know I was going to give birth to a baby wolf.”)

Second baby: Still nervous, anxious and excited but much more relaxed because I knew what to expect. Not so shocked when my baby came out as a little hairy wolf.


Newborn Stage:

First baby: Freaked out over everything. Wrote down each time she peed, pooped, blinked. What side did she nurse off last? Is she getting enough milk? Why is there so much spit up? Does this poop look bigger than quarter sized?  Must lay on back. Must swaddle.

Second baby: He pooped. He’s good. Let’s just let him sleep on his belly.



First baby: Documented how long she nursed, what times she nursed.  She must have exactly 4 ounces at each feeding. Monitored what I ate. I can’t drink this, I can’t take that.

Second baby: And what’s the name of this wine again?


Washing of Things:

First baby: Deep cleaned all bottles. Sanitized everything! There’s a small amount of spit up on her onesie, change her. Gave her a nice, loving and relaxing bath with lavender scents at set time in the evenings. If the papa (pacifier) fell on the floor, wash it! All family members knew to wash the papa with soap and water immediately. (Sorry for being so extra, fam.) Food fell on the floor? GET THAT OUT OF YOUR HAND!!! Don’t eat that, it’s dirty!! She’s gonna be sick!

Second baby: Ehh, it’s just a little bit of spit up, he’s fine. I’m not going to change him. Papa fell on the floor? It’s fine, give it back to him. Build his immunity. Papa falls on dirty restaurant floor? No worries. Daddy will put it in his mouth to lick the germs off. Food falls on the floor at the house? Ezra, come here baby, clean this up. Oh shoot, it’s past bedtime and you haven’t had a bath. I’ll just wet a paper towel and wipe your face. Clean enough.


First baby: Must take a picture of every.single.thing. I’m going to make a memory book documenting every single second of her life. First time sitting on this square inch of the couch, snap it. At least 243 pictures a day. A video of her just staring at me. Look, did you see how this smile is different from yesterday’s smile?

Second baby: How many months is he this month?



First baby: Only organic. No processed foods. Homemade baby food.  Must have a balanced nutrition.  (A lot of that has changed now that she’s a toddler and loves pasta and cheese.)

Second baby: You are going to eat what we have, bubba. Old cheerio you found under the couch? I’m not going to freak out. Enjoy it. The kid can bite meat off a rib. I ain’t worried.


Baby Items:

First baby: She needs this Rock-n-Play. She needs this Mamaroo. She needs this bouncer. She needs this specific brand of swaddle. The sheets need to match her room. She needs the plethora of toys that she is only going to twice.

Second baby: He’s got a crib, and sister’s toys. He’s good. Oh and an old TV remote, and miscellaneous house items he shouldn’t have. His favorite is taking out all of the plastic containers out of the cabinet. Cost me zero dollars. Why keeps things organized? My house is a maintained mess anyways.

I could keep adding to the list!

Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of times that overprotective, obsessive, helicopter mom comes out, but I am definitely more relaxed. I’m just as obsessed with this second kid as I am my first. I still stand by his crib and watch him sleep and make sure he’s breathing, all while admiring his pure perfection. Even when there are avocado remnants in his hair, and he ate the food his sister spit out or spilled on the floor for dinner.

Ezra Duke | 6 Months

You are a half year old!

Firsts & Milestones.

Your 6 month birthday is bittersweet. You are growing and growing and I love it, but you’re growing up and time is going by too fast. I can see in your eyes that you can’t wait to go after sister. You will grow up soon enough, my love. Stay little for me just a little while longer.

You had your first trip to the beach this past Memorial Day Weekend. I’m sure you had no idea where we were, but you seemed to love it.

You spent your first nights away from home at Grandma and Pop’s house while mama and daddy were on retreat. You slept great for Grandma. I know with me, you just want more cuddles – and easy milk access. Grandma’s milk factory has been closed for years…decades.. going on centuries now…. so why wake up? (My mom is going to love me for that one. Ha!)

You had your first carousel ride, train ride, and splash pad experience at Morgan’s Wonderland. You’re pretty accomplished for a 6 month old.

You celebrated your first Father’s day with daddy.

Your hair has been falling out, but you are still as handsome as ever. You pull off the comb over.



You wake up about every 2 hours, almost on the dot, to nurse. Some nights you sleep longer than others. Even though I run on no sleep the majority of the time, I’ll pick you up anytime you need me. I’ve learned that babies don’t keep.

You still sleep on your belly with your hands underneath you – oftentimes with your butt in the air.




You tried mashed avocado for your first food. You didn’t know what to do with it and spit it all back out. Daddy said you better fix your ways because we’re an avocado eatin’ family! Ya hear? (I totally did that in a hick/redneck voice in my head while I typed.) Kapri ate what you spit back out – I’m telling you…that’s how much we love avocado. Baby drool? We don’t waste no avocado!

Until we find what you like to eat. Or you get on board with the whole avocado thing, mama’s milk it is.



I would still say your favorite is Kapri. Although, you do love that mama is home for the summer. I love it too.

Hair Pullin’. You get so happy and just grab and pull hair. You LOVE to pull sister’s hair. Thank God she’s hard headed.


Smiling. You love to smile. You smile at everyone. My happy, easy-going baby.

Jungle Monkey. You love that monkey that hangs from your activity gym/mat. You get mad at him a lot. Or maybe you’re just talking to him about life.

Chewing your fingers. Those fingers are always in your mouth covered with drool.


Happy 1/2 Birthday, Baby Duke Man! (I’m only two days late writing this.)


Here’s a  6 month photo shoot I did in the backyard of the tubster.

[Thank you to my assistant, Daniel, for holding the fence boards in the background for me. You may have been literally behind the scenes, but the way you held that fence with so much strength was impeccable. Also, you didn’t tell me to hurry up while I was playing photographer. Your patience made me weak in the knees.  Kapri, thank you for just being yourself.]

We were going for the carpenter, wood-working, handy-man look. (It was cloudy, but still sunny. Hence all the frownies.)




Morgan’s Wonderland Adventure Day

Yesterday we had our first trip to Morgan’s Wonderland and let’s just say, Kapri had the. time. of. her. little. life.

Morgan’s Wonderland is an ultra-accessible theme park for guests of all ages and abilities. Their mission to provide a safe and fun place free of physical and economic barriers, is inspirational and a reason we will be back time and time again.

They have two parks now – Morgan’s Wonderland and now a waterpark – Morgan’s Inspiration Island.

I’m not sure how crowded it gets on a weekend, but going on a Friday was perfect. It wasn’t very crowded and we never had to wait in line. I’m pretty sure Daniel and Kapri rode the carousel at least 6 times in a row. Ezra had his first carousel ride too!


Kapri explored the huge jungle gyms, drove a truck, shopped for some groceries, played in the sensory room, and so much more – all with a huge smile on her face. She could do everything! We also took a family train ride. Ezra LOVED it!


It was getting pretty hot, so we decided to head on over to the water park. We had a toddler tantrum for a while because Kapri refused to put her swimsuit bottoms on. Then Ezra was missing his nap, so he started screaming too. It’s not a fun trip unless you have some meltdowns, right?

The water park has 5 different splash pads, and a boat ride. We didn’t make it to the boat ride this trip, because Kapri found her favorite spot at Shipwreck Island. This is where the slides are. When she figured out she wasn’t scare of going down the slide by herself, we realized she wasn’t going to leave. This particular splash pad also has one of those suspenseful water buckets that drop a substantial amount of water every 5 minutes or so. I thought she would be scared when the water forcefully dumped all over her. Nope. It seemed to only energize her more, like a battery. A happy, little toddler battery. Ezra was able to splash in the water too –  he liked staring at the water trying to figure out life and what not.




We spent a while at the splash pad. Then it was time to go home. Yep. Time to go home. It was sad crushing her little toddler dreams, but it had to happen some time. She was reluctant, but as soon as Daniel picked her up she rested her head on his shoulder.

It was a day well spent.

Here are just a few pictures of yesterday’s adventures! We can’t wait to go back!




Beach Trippin’ with the Duke Man

The littlest of the Mexican Vanilla babes took his first trip to the beach this past Memorial Day weekend to Padre Island. It was a gorgeous day for the beach – breezy and sunny.  Kapri jumped the waves and played in the sand, being her crazy toddler self. Daniel jumped the waves and played in the sand, being his crazy toddler-man self. I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to be buried and covered in sand, but Daniel loves it. Our kids will always have a daddy that’s up (or down?) for being buried in the sand. That works for me.


Ezra chilled, like the tubster he is, under the umbrella for the majority of the time until he was ready to venture out. When he did, it was nothing short of an adorable baby digging his little chubby feet in the sand and looking precious – having no idea what’s happening or going on while his mom acted like a crazy paparazzi person trying to get pictures of him and his sister.  He’s a mama pleaser so he went along with it. Everyone had a great time. First beach trip for the Duke Man – in the books.


Later that evening we went to our favorite restaurant in Rockport, The Boiling Pot.  It was delicious, as always. Have you been there? If you haven’t, I highly recommend the next time you are down at the Texas coast!




Ezra Duke | 5 Months

Well, it’s month 5 with you earth-side.

You are the happiest little baby and love being talked to. A total sweetheart. You love to smile and drool.  Give you a little attention, and you are good to go. Except when I get home from work on the weekdays. You have to be carried by your mama. I have mastered the art of cooking with a toddler on the counter and a baby on the hip. I can’t just carry you any old way. It must be on my hip, facing out. That way you can see the world, and know that mama still got yo back. I try to put you down and in the half second that I change positions to put you down, you instantly fuss. Then you instantly stop when I put you back on my hip. You got me wrapped around your finger.



Firsts. & Milestones.

I gave you your first haircut. And yes, I saved the cut hair. I’m sentimental, ok?  Will you let me always cut your hair? I hope so.

I got to celebrate your first Mother’s Day with you by my side. It was a perfect day.

You found your toes. And eat them like the chubby sausages they are.

You are a master at tummy time. You can scoot pretty well and try so hard to crawl. You will soon!

You came down with Roseola this month. That was not a fun time, but we got through it!



You’re a tummy sleeper. You used to sleep really good and only woke up once a night. You decided you ain’t about that life anymore and wake up every two hours. Good thing you’re adorable.

Let’s pray that improves.



Tubby. Chunky. Tubbs. Chubbs. Tunker. Bubba. Tubster.



Just mama’s milk. Going to start food soon!



Kapri. Your favorite person is, by far, Kapri. You may be a mama’s boy, but Kapri has your heart. I don’t know the  right words to describe y’all’s relationship. She is obsessed with you and you adore her. You can just watch her for hours. Your little legs start to kicking when she’s running around the house. You can’t wait to start running with her. You’ve accepted her craziness and let her do whatever she wants with you. You are HER baby, and you are very proud to be HER baby. I am the proudest mama to see all the love you both have for each other.

Eating your fingers. Those fingers must taste like chocolate because they are ALWAYS in your mouth. Sometimes you gag yourself and then frown at me because you don’t know how that happened.

Talking to daddy. You get real serious when you talk to daddy. I am certain you are tattle telling on your sister.

Having your junk exposed. Is this a man thing? You could be crying and as soon as i open that diaper up, you immediately calm down and put a smile on. You would be happiest completely nakie.   You love that fresh breeze. You lack no confidence, just like your daddy.

Standing. You love to stand and push off your feet. You’ve got some strong chubby thighs.

Looking at yourself in the mirror. You surprise yourself every time with how dapper you are.

Happy 5 months, little man. We love all of your double chinning self.


5 month5 month 25-month-3.jpg5 month 45 month 55 month 65 month 75 month 85 month 105 month 115 month 12