True life: My son needed *a lot* of time to adjust to his new baby brother

And then one day, he told me that he missed Baby Simon—and he has been in love ever since.

True life: My son needed *a lot* of time to adjust to his new baby brother

It seems like yesterday I was walking back to the OR in my hospital gown to get ready for my second and final baby boy to enter the world. It doesn't feel so long ago that my now almost 4-year-old was my only child.

Now my baby, Simon, has been out of my body as long as he was in my body. And somehow nine months of balancing two kiddos have zoomed by. As they say, time flies when you're having fun. (And also when you're not sleeping so much, too, I guess.)

I have experienced so many emotions during this time. Deep love, awe, gratefulness, exhaustion, anger, anxiety and that feeling you can't quite name because it has been so long since you have had a full night's sleep.


Most of all, I've learned so much about myself and my sweet little family over the last nine months:

1. For me, my second baby has been much easier than my first.

I have not freaked out as much about Every. Tiny. Thing. I didn't sob and call the doctor on his personal cell phone at 2 am when my son had a fever for the first time. I take him everywhere with me because I know this baby phase makes that part pretty easy. (Not to mention, he's just so freaking cute right now and I want to soak it all in!)

2. Multitasking is my jam—kind of.

I can work full-time, take care of a baby and a preschooler, write a blog, spend time with my husband and keep my house from burning to the ground. I think that's a pretty big deal. Yes, the piles of laundry are absolutely insane, the dishes are rarely done and I am about five minutes late for everything I attend, but hey—I'm there, I have clothes on, and most likely my hair appears to be clean. (Thank you, dry shampoo.)

3. My preschooler needed A LOT of time to adjust to his new baby brother.

As in, it took seven months for him to actually acknowledge the baby. Before that, if people asked him about his baby brother, he would just walk away. He would just step over him if he was on the floor.

And then one day, he told me that he missed Baby Simon—and he has been in love ever since. It melts my heart. He likes to tell people that he has a baby brother named Simon who looks just like the Boss Baby. 😂

4. Exhaustion is real.

So, so real. All you other moms feel me. Personally, it sets in the most for me when the bedtime routine starts and I know I'm so close to being able to lay in bed and catch up on my DVR. But someone needs a glass of water and has to line up all 97 of their superheroes in a perfect line on the floor in front of the bed, and, oh yeah, he has to go potty again.

5. My children have too much screen time.

Sometimes, Mama needs a break. And if getting that break means turning on the Minion movie for an hour, so be it. I have to stay sane, and frankly, this helps. I have to refill my cup and get time to myself during the day and if that means some TV time, then I am okay with it.

6. My preschooler needs a lot of one-on-one time.

He is still a little jealous of the baby and I have to remind him that he hasn't been replaced. He is a mischievous little guy with TONS of energy. So when the baby naps, we play. And we play HARD. (I mean, not to brag but, I can name every single superhero ever.) And before he goes to bed, he gives me the biggest kiss and the biggest hug and lets me know how much he loves me. And it's how he reminds me that I am doing something right.

7. My body is still not back to "normal."

After I had my first son, I lost the baby weight pretty quickly. I got in great shape and focused a lot on eating well. It's not so easy the second time around I'm finding. My body has a new pear-like shape to it and honestly, I still can't look in the mirror without thinking I look a little squishy. (And let's not even talk about the massive bags under my eyes.) But I have learned that I can't do it all. I have to be nice to myself and give my body a break. It's been through a lot.

8. I have so much love in my heart.

I can love both of my children so much that my heart might explode. I'm exhausted—yes—but I also have never been happier in my entire life.

Life with a 9-month-old and a preschooler is not easy. At all. But no matter how hard it is, or how mad I get when my oldest throws a tantrum in the middle of Target, or how frustrated I get when the baby won't sleep—I realize that this is it. This is the life I've always dreamed of having. It's messy and it's sloppy, but it's mine and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

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Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

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Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

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There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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