Hit “play” above to listen to a custom song all about Quinn Louise that sums her up in so many ways! We sing this song to her every night (Coco even knows it word for word) and it’s one of my most favorite things in this world. You can send in details about your child, their personality, favorite nicknames, and memories and get a custom song recorded for them — you can even get the song recording put into a stuffed animal. Seriously, if you’re looking for a special gift for a kiddo you love, consider a special, personalized song (if you use my link, 10% off will automatically be applied!) Anyways, enjoy Quinn’s song while you read about our girl!
Writing this one hits me in all of my feels. If you think time flies with one kid, have another, and I swear it moves at turbo speed. It feels simultaneously impossible that Quinn has been here an entire year and at the same time I can’t remember life without her. Motherhood is a straight-up trip. When I flashback to a year ago, I feel like that woman was an entirely different human — which is honestly awesome because motherhood straight up changes you.
With Coco’s pregnancy, I was so anxious and nervous and afraid of losing her. I had such a hard time connecting with the thought that it was finally happening for us. With Quinn’s pregnancy, I was so much more at peace, trusting my body, trusting the timing… I was also pretty darn busy chasing a toddler and writing a book and so I feel like my pregnancy with her just flew. Even as my due date came and went, I was calm and savoring each day I had with her in my belly. I swear those calm vibes imprinted on sweet Quinn because that girl has just the sweetest, calm soul.
Things I Never Want to Forget
There are so many little things about Quinn that I want to remember forever. Since only a mom could care about these things, I’ll make a short list just for myself (consider this my little diary!) The way she stares out of the car window, her little fists filled with veggie straws, the scootch attempts at crawling, her downward dog that she can hold impressively long, the way she always did hollow holds (I swear the girl was born with her dad’s abs!) I love the little space between her teeth, her long whispy hair, those deep dark eyes, and her expressive brows.
The way she can run like a wild woman in her walker, her gibberish noises when she sees the dogs and gets excited, her ability to explore EVERYTHING including potted plants. I love her sweet little giggles, her love of being in a carrier, the way she lights up when you look at her, and the nasally laugh she gives when you wake her up in the morning. There are a million things I love about Quinn, like her dimpled booty when she rolls over while I’m changing her, the way she didn’t use a pacifier until the ripe age of 9 months old, her vice grip when she feeds, and the way she smiles anytime Coco talks to her.
Being a Mom of Two
I honestly dreamed of having two girls, sisters. I innately feel like a “girl mom” and it’s just wild that I get to mother these sweet girls. I feel like the transition from zero kids to one was harder than from one kid to two, but I still remember when Quinn was three days old and it hit me that I now had two souls to care for. It was bedtime and Coco was crying for me but I was in a chair feeding Quinn and tenderly moving through the house. I remember finally getting into her room and gingerly picking her up and we both just cried — not out of sadness but out of the recognition that this was a big adjustment for all of us (also: hormones!) I feel like after that moment, we started to sink into a rhythm and find a groove.
There are so many moments where I pinch myself: I get to raise two strong girls and bring them up in this world. I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better than this. There are also times where I feel overwhelmed by it all, like how did someone let me leave the hospital with these babies and do I need to go get a certification from Motherhood University? There are these moments like when I turn around in the car and see car seats, strollers, Cheetos, and goldfish and I wonder: how did I get here? How am I already at this stage of life?
The other day someone asked us if Coco gets jealous of Quinn and I overhead Drew laugh and say, “never!” It’s true, Coco has the most nurturing little soul and truly loves and cares for her sister so well. Lately, we’ve been catching these sweet little moments and interactions between the girls when they think we aren’t looking. Like Coco holding Quinn’s hand or crawling next to her on the floor to teach her something. While the juggle is real and there have been seasons where I feel spread so thin, I recognize that the thinness is a result of the fullness of all that’s happening in my life.
The Things I Recommend to My Closest Friends
1.) This baby lounger: I was honestly slightly sad when I passed this down to my sister (thrilled for her, sad for me!) because I have so many memories of my girls laying in this, sleeping in this, hanging on the kitchen island while we cook in this. This baby lounger is perfect for on the go, for shoving into a suitcase, and is the best for having baby close but being able to set them down. Quinn lived in this lounger for the first few months of her life.
2.) This nursing cover: Pretty sure this product has made numerous of my monthly recaps! It was something I got for this time around and I got so much use out of it (still do!) It’s a breathable nursing cover, can be worn as a poncho, triples as a car seat cover or can be used as a light blanket. I tell every mama about this cover because it was a staple!
3.) This baby monitor: I’m pretty darn passionate about this one for many reasons. I love that you don’t need to connect to wifi, that it doesn’t require you to be on your phone, and that you can just plug it in and use it without a complicated set up! It also has a “scan” feature for more than one camera! Not only is it amazing for travel, but I just love that this baby monitor is easy to use and doesn’t require internet or Bluetooth!
4.) This breast pump: First, I’m so proud of myself for making it another full year of breastfeeding/pumping. This time around, I only pumped when I absolutely had to or when I was traveling and I still loved the same pump that I used last time. It’s a little bigger than your cell phone, doesn’t have to plugged in, and is quiet yet powerful! I love, love this pump!
5.) This easy pack and play: Embarrassing confession time! Quinn has slept in a pack and play for most of her life. While we had created Coco’s big girl room and prepared to move her into it, she just wasn’t ready and so Quinn lived in our room, then in our master closet, then she moved to that big girl room and has been sleeping in this pack and play ever since. I am honestly so excited to get settled into our new home where she’ll have her first real room! (Good thing she’ll remember none of this!) But this pack and play has been with us for nearly four years and it’s so easy to set up, take down, and is super breathable.
Photos by: Angela Rose Gonzalez
Memorable Moments of 2022
Travels: From our two-month-long stay in Arizona for the winter to our quick little weekend trips to Napa, New York City, Salt Lake City, and Florida, you’ve already dipped your toes in the ocean, saw a giant cactus, and set your eyes on the mountains! The first year always feels like a great year to get out and travel and now we enter the tricky flight age, but we’re still booking tickets, baby girl!
Family Time: Oh so much time with family from the time when Papa and Nana watched you and Papa did all the nighttime feeds to our road trip to Wisconsin to see our Kutcher fam! I love watching the older cousins love on you and the way you light up watching the big kids roam! We’ve got in a lot of quality family time over this last year and you just go with the flow with whatever we’re up to.
The Book Launch: Finishing my final round of edits when you were just a few days old to writing the dedication on my book, “How Are You, Really?” having met you after growing with you through the writing process. As my book’s heartbeat grew stronger, so did yours. We often joke that you have a twin, it’s my book, and I birthed you both at the same time! From seeing you up on a screen in Times Square to having you watch me on The Today Show, while you’re too little to remember any of it, you were a key player in my “why” behind the craziness of getting a book out into the world.
The Home Build (and Sale!): I remember designing our dream home and wondering who would fill the room! When we designed the space, I was pregnant but we didn’t know who our baby would be! It’s been so fun designing a space for sisters and honoring their personalities (tie-dye room for Coco, a more neutral peaceful floral for Quinn) and imagining life with the four of us in our new space! We also tackled the (sometimes stressful) process of listing our current home! We’re lucky to be still in our home until we transition but it’ll definitely be bittersweet when we leave the place where so many memories happened!
Photos by: Angela Rose Gonzalez
You Completed Our Family
I always dreamed of having two kids, it’s been my vision for as long as I can remember. The thought of being outnumbered stresses me out and feels like chaos and so in my mind, it’s always been a family of four (and frankly, after our losses, I just dreamed that I could someday become a mom in any capacity, so prayers answered, for sure!) I went through Quinn’s pregnancy just telling myself it was the last time I would experience any of it and I had that foresight to just cherish every first and last.
When Quinn was a few months old, I started to question if we really were done. I am one of the weirdos that just loves the post-partum phase (heck, I even love birth and delivery!) and being in that beautiful sacred window, I wondered if I wanted to do it all one more time. My family kept teasing me because I just couldn’t fully commit to being done, for sure. As I was handing things down to my sister, there was a tiny piece of me that wondered if we’d need everything back someday if we decided to add another babe to our fam. It was so bittersweet and definitely had me second-guessing!
Then, at about nine months postpartum, my period was late (I blame the moon or mercury retrograde or something) and I took a pregnancy test it was the first time in my six years of doing that where I prayed I wasn’t pregnant. The reality of what that would look like for us on so many fronts (me physically, my career, the fact that we’re building a home with rooms for the girls, etc.) and I felt total peace and clarity that our family is, in fact, complete! It was a blessing in disguise to face the question and have a clear answer revealed. Since that negative pregnancy test, I’ve just felt grounded and sure that it’s us four, this is it! While I grieve not experiencing a few of the special things that come with all the stages, I can’t wait to enjoy other people’s babies and live vicariously that way (while not having to experience all the heartburn, lol!)
Tonight we’re having my immediate family over and singing to our girl and enjoying ice cream cake and Funfetti gluten-free cupcakes, and there won’t be a big theme, there definitely weren’t invites, or a balloon arch but there will be so much love for our Quinn Louise! I can’t wait to celebrate this past year of having this joyful girl in our lives. Let’s be honest, the first birthday should really be a celebration for the parents who kept the baby alive and thriving, am I right? At some point we’ll get our parenting crap together and throw a proper birthday party but for now, it’ll be a Dairy Queen ice cream cake (which let’s be honest, everyone loves!) and some off-key singing!
The Entire Year in Posts
- Click here for our Month 11 Recap
- Click here for our Month 10 Recap
- Click here for our Month 9 Recap
- Click here for our Month 8 Recap
- Click here for our Month 7 Recap
- Click here for our Month 6 Recap
- Click here for our Month 5 Recap
- Click here for our Month 4 Recap
- Click here for our Month 3 Recap
- Click here for our Month 2 Recap
- Click here for our Month 1 Recap