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This Week at the Brennans’

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Lauren looking at flowers

This Week at the Brennans’ is slowly turning into every other week and a half at the Brennans! Eek! My bad, guys. Lack of sleep is harder than I remember.

Here’s what happened this past week:

Gordon is slowly easing back into work and out of paternity leave. His bosses are giving him evening shifts he has requested that allow him to be home in the mornings to get the older three ready for school and let me sleep in. That is probably the single most helpful thing I have had this past month. Obviously it won’t stay like this forever, but I’m savoring all the zzzz’s I can catch.

Porter is officially 1 month old! We took him to the pediatrician for a well child check and he is 10 pounds 9 ounces and 22 inches long. So basically, he has gained two pounds and grew 1 1/2 inches since he was born. All thanks to his appetite and my body’s ability to produce all.the.milk. I have had Porter in size 1 diapers for a while now (at least 2 1/2 weeks) and his baby acne has come in with quite the fervor. Once he hit 3 weeks, he started getting fussy in the evenings (hiiiii colic) and is sleeping less soundly. I took out chocolate and dairy from my diet and that has seemed to help his colic significantly, as does a little gripe water and gas drops as needed.

Still waiting on him being able to know day from night. Please oh please let him grasp this concept sooner than later. His blonde eyelashes are getting longer (read: so cute!) and he can poop like a champion (see this video for proof).

I’ve realized that his mannerisms (fussy at night, hard to transfer to his bed, etc. etc.) are so so similar to how Brooke was as a baby which has been interesting to realize. BUT, Brooke was able to sleep train once she was old enough, so once we hit 2 or 3 months old, we’ll be in business. Hope at the end of the tunnel! It’s nice to remember those days of accidentally falling asleep with baby Brooke next to me on the couch or trying to nurse her to sleep a little bit longer in hopes of getting a longer stretch of sleep out of her. We all survived so I trust that within a few more months, we’ll all be thriving and not just surviving.

Lauren and Eddie looking at Brooke

The kids all had Monday off of school for Columbus Day and that was Gordon’s last official day of paternity leave, so we rented an SUV and went up to Westchester to an apple orchard and a pumpkin patch. The weather was warm and sunny, so perfect for an all-day outing. All these photos are from the apple orchard. We also hit up Target because city Targets are not the same as regular targets. On our drive back to the city, I asked Gordon what his favorite part of the day was and he said “driving around and NOT being in the city.” HA! Clearly NYC is still not our favorite place, but we are so grateful to be able to get out once in a while and feel like we have a little more space and freedom. The hustle and bustle and general noise can get to us, especially Gordon, so its nice to get away from it all to wide open spaces.

For those of you who have been around since we moved here, you’ll remember that we moved to New York with our van. But after keeping it in a garage for a year and only using it a handful of times, we sold it and have been renting cars as needed. The new plan now is to purchase another car, probably an suv at the beginning of 2020. Gordon will need it for his job (he got a new assignment that he’ll be starting in March) and I feel way more comfortable driving in the city than when we first got here. We also are realizing the quick day trips we could take if we had a car, thanks to some friends who do have cars and tell me all about their adventures. So that’s exciting! We’re debating on what kind of car to buy, so if you have an suv recommendation that isn’t a huge suburban but still can seat at least 6, let me know!

Our treadmill arrived! We are all pretty excited to have one, especially the kids. HA! We’ll see how long that lasts. We rearranged some furniture in the basement and is now set up next to our TV in the playroom. Gordon, Brooke, Blake and Eddie have all used it. I’m waiting on my 6 week doctor’s visit before starting any kind of exercise, but after that I think I’ll be down there watching lots of friends, getting back into running. I do love running on paths in central park, but with winter being right around the corner, it’ll be nice to have a treadmill indoors. Running is what got me into shape after I had Brooke and Blake so I trust it will work again after this baby. (I got into weight lifting after Eddie, plus I was over the race thing.) I was thinking I’d love to do some kind of race before we leave New York. Not the marathon because YUCK, but maybe the half marathon. I’ve run quite a few halves thanks to my sister in law (she was a good motivator when living in Oregon!) so if I can get my mileage up, I’d be fine.


Since Gordon has gone back to work, I’ve started trying to stay more organized with way more things. Writing everything on the calendar and planning every single meal and snack and shopping accordingly. I’m trying to up our fruit and veggie intake to help keep us all healthy going into winter. No one has gotten sick hardly at all this year  and I want to keep it that way, especially now that we have Porter. I figure adding extra nutrition into our dinners certainly can’t hurt. Plus, it’ll do my kids good to add a little more kale to their diet. (It really helps to call it dinosaur kale 😉 ) We’ll see if it sticks. It takes a while to plan out, but makes the week go so much smoother.

Here’s what is coming up this next week:

Speaking of staying healthy, I’m taking the older three to get their flu shots this week. That should be a fun trip…/sarcasm.

One of my best friends, Amy, is coming into town to help me with the baby! I’m so excited to see her. Her sister works for JetBlue so friends and family can fly free!! So, she’s taking advantage of it and coming for a week 🙂 I’ve been so lucky to have so many people available when I need them. I’ll take all the help I can get at this point.

There is a halloween party we’re going to next weekend…I’ll probably go as a tired mama. Also, its really hard to find costumes for infants. So, we’ll see if we can come up with anything clever.

And last but not least, we will be taking family photos as a family of 6 this week! I’m trying to find clothes that are cute that fit me (that aren’t workout pants) along with a somewhat cute/warm outfit for Porter that doesn’t read as pajamas. Ha! Wish me luck.

Never Miss a Week

Last Week: This Week at the Brennans’

Two Weeks ago: This Week at the Brennans’

Three Weeks ago: This Week at the Brennans’


Brooke Eddie and Lauren

Eddie in a field of pumpkins

A table of pumpkins

Blake picking out a pumpkin

Brooke picking out a pumpkin

Fresh Donuts sign at the pumpkin patch

A group of people picking fruit from a tree

A man holding a frisbee in a park

A bowl of fruit on a table

A little boy that is eating an apple

Brooke eating an apple

Gordon and Eddie walking down a dirt road

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60 Responses
  1. Julie TAYLOR

    I love how you manage NY with family. It’s difficult and being organized is probably the best thing you can do for yourself. Great pumpkin patch photos. Loved the idea of salad for dinner. It’s unique. An Equinix with a third seating, row, works well. Good luck.

  2. Laurie Scarcello

    Try a Toyota Sienna mini van. Easy to get to the 3rd row and you can still fit a stroller in back behind the 3rd row. They are made to last.

  3. Tracie

    I love watching your stories on Instagram and I know that when I come to your blog I can always find something tasty with a wonderful story, and great pictures of your family.

  4. Afton

    First off, I love reading your blog, so real and relatable. Secondly, please tell me your secret and how you manage a new baby, the other kiddos and have time to blog? I don’t even have time to pee!! Haha I feel you with the no sleep, my 7th month old apparently is an alien and doesnt need any sleep EVER. Team no sleep!!! Thanks for all the amazing recipes and info you continue to share.

  5. Beth Diamond

    I think I have been following since before Blake was born! It has been fun to watch your family grow. I can’t imagine all those moves in NYC with young kids! There is so much to do and see there, but I hope you can get back to the burbs at some point to enjoy the wide open spaces. My best to you all, but especially Brooke, who is such a good big sister!

  6. Kim

    I lived in the Hudson Valley for 3 years and miss New York every fall. Your trip to the Apple orchard makes me truly jealous. I can ALMOST smell the apple cider donuts! We’re in Alaska now (military), and fall has been over for a few weeks now. Thank you for sharing these pictures – they just remind me of a very happy time in our lives!

  7. Jenny

    I love keeping up with your growing family. Have been in France for the month of October and it feels like home being able to daily continue to follow you.

  8. Ashley

    I have a 2 week old and a3 year old, and I don’t know how you do it!! You have double and still find time to post and cook etc! My 2 wk old was just diagnosed with a dairy sensitivity…I am starting to go off dairy. Did Porter have other symptoms other than the comic that made you
    Go off dairy? I’m not sure I can stick to dairy free and no chocolate!!

  9. Rebecca Brown

    What a fun fall activity for the family. I hope you’re feeling ok with Gordon back to work!! I have a new wee guy born a week after Porter (fun fact, my daughter is exactly 2 weeks younger than Eddie!!) and my new guys name is Eddie!! Your sweet Eddie made me suggest the name and my husband loved it as much as I did. Our sweet Eddie was also 10 lbs 9 ounces at his 1 month appt today and his baby acne and colic is intense!! So fun reading about the similarities and differences with babes at the same stages. Love following your page and hearing about your sweet family 💕

  10. Joanne Woosley

    Such a beautiful family! I’ve been following your blog for several years. I love your recipes – especially the creamy chicken wild rice soup! I love This week at the Brennans!

  11. Brittany J

    I love all of your blogs! I have enjoyed watching your little family grow! It’s very exciting, as my husband and I are planning on growing our family too!

  12. Debbie Simpson

    I feel like Blake gets left out, cause EDDIE, so my comment is: Blake is the cutest boy ever!
    (The other boys and girl are pretty cute too).

  13. judy burke

    I love to follow your happy, growing family.
    You so often mention Gordon’s work but never tell us what it is. What does he do??

  14. Precilia Reyna

    Hi Lauren! I love your blog! I follow you on Facebook and Pintrest as well! You have a beautiful family! My hat off to you, you make everything you do look so easy and fun! We also have 4 kids, 9, 7, 4, and 3. We bought a GMC Acadia when our youngest was born in 2016, it has seating for 8 and we all fit just fine. We take the in-laws to church with us on Sunday’s so there is room for them as well. I love my Acadia. It’a not too big or too small. It’s just right! I didn’t want a big, huge suv when we needed a bigger vehicle. I had driven my sister-in-laws Chevy Trailblazer when I was preggo with baby #3, and I fell in love with the smaller suv’s. It was so nice not having to climb in to buckle the kids into their car seats (I drove a Dodge truck!) And with the Acadia getting the baby carrier in and out is soooooo nice and easy. The Chevy Traverse is also nice. It’s basically the same thing as the GMC Acadia only it’s made by Chevy. We looked into both and I think we went with the Acadia because it was a little bit more roomier than the Traverse (that was in 2016, they might have changed.) But either one would work and be just fine for your family I just know it!!

  15. Danielle Soffa

    You are making me want to travel to the east coast to go apple picking, see fall foliage and have apple cider. Maybe next fall.

  16. Emily Jones

    Calling kale “dinosaur kale” is genius 😀 I’m totally trying this! We have a newborn as well and are stressed about keeping everyone healthy!

  17. Sarah

    Wow can’t imagine living in New York City! I don’t think I could ever do that, especially drive!! You are a brave soul and seem to have adjusted well!! I have 3 kids and having a 4th doesn’t seem possible, although I guess once the 4th one is there you just do it, but you seem to have so much going on and yet you are able to manage, guess when you have a really supportive husband and work as a team anything can be done!! Looks like your family had a fun time at the pumpkin patch, hope to take my family to one this weekend, looks like the last nice day in Minnesota for the year!

  18. Christie Schoenrock

    Love hearing about your family and all that you do! And love seeing all the new recipes! thanks for sharing with us.

  19. Brandy

    I love your recipes but I have to admit the family updates are becoming my favorite. I guess because we have a few kids the same age. I have 5 ages 2-10. So a lot of what you are saying with number 4, I’ve said before. 😁 Thanks for sharing!

  20. Jennea

    I have a Ford Explorer and really like it, not too big and 3rd row can fold down for extra storage! Awesome pics! Enjoy your posts!

  21. Emily Arent

    Love all the pictures of your family adventures! Baby Porter is such a doll, and I hope everything is going really well for all of you!

  22. Laura

    I love reading This Week at the Brennan’s. Especially the stories about life in NYC. I’ve been there once and loved the city.(couldn’t live there though.) I’ve been reading you blog for several years and always enjoy.

  23. Rebekah

    The apple picking day looks absolutely perfect! That was definitely one of my favorite activities with my kids when they were little! We’d go home and make so much applesauce and that just kept the memories in the making. Now I have granddaughters and love going with my son and watching him make those memories with his own kids. Glad you felt up to going and had some nice family time! I always love these posts because you’re so real. The joy and the struggle! And hey mama you are doing great!
    Anyway, we have a Hyundai Santa Fe and it is my favorite car we have ever owned! Has a 3rd row seat and lots of room but doesn’t feel like I’m driving a bus. We do alot of travelling and it is very comfy for long rides. We have the grandkids, dogs, and a bunch of camping gear very often and it works perfectly and drives like a dream. On top of that it gets the best gas mileage I’ve ever seen in an SUV – like 27 mph, making our trips even better!
    Keep the good stuff coming!

  24. Ashley Carofano

    Love following you and seeing all your recipes and family updates! I love your honesty about life in the city especially with kids, it’s refreshing. Your family is too cute!

  25. Janet Hasler

    Love reading ‘This week at the Brennans’. Thanks for sharing your family with us. Thank you for your recipes. I always visit your site when I need a recipe.

  26. Autumn Vigil

    I get so excited when I see a new “This Week at the Brennan’s” even if it doesn’t happen every week. I love reading about your adventures and especially about your NYC life with your family. They’ve inspired me to be better at journaling and documenting about my own family.

  27. Amanda Anderson

    I love reading your family blogs! I’ve been a follower for many years. I really enjoy reading about your family in the different places you’ve lived. I really enjoy learning more about how you navigate NY as a family of 6. I tend to take for granted that I can hop in my SUV and drive to a Target ❤️ or other fun places. I don’t think about car storage living in the Midwest. It’s such a foreign concept to me.
    Keep up the wonderful blogs. I really enjoy them!

    1. Rita kavanaugh

      I drove a Pacifica this summer to California, and it was heaven! You know me, I swore I’d never do the van thing, but it didn’t feel like a van! Also I ride in a friend’s highlander and was surprised at the roomy interior! Other cars that get my vote are the dodge Durango and Chevy traverse I know you’ll find something great! Post more pics, especially with the baby!

      1. Jennea

        I have a Ford Explorer and really like it, not too big and 3rd row can fold down for extra storage! Awesome pics! Enjoy your posts!

  28. Melissa D.

    Good luck with the SUV search. I give you credit for driving in the city. We recently moved to a bigger city and it took quite a bit of getting used to again! Love your Porter updates too. Such a sweet family!

  29. Tammy Sewell

    I love the fall pictures that you posted from the apple orchard and pumpkin patch…but especially the picture of you standing around all the chrysanthemums, holding Porter! Fall is my favorite season but I live in Texas and the leaves don’t really change colors here the way they do in other states. I have never been to New York….but it’s on my bucket list….so I also enjoy reading about your family’s adventures and seeing the pictures. Continue to share….we love it!

  30. Patti Hurtt

    Love following you and your wonderful family with all your adventures. You are so inspirational in how you took blogging to the next level to help support your family.

  31. Amanda Young

    Y’all are such a cute family. I’ve loved following along as you’ve transitioned into living in NYC, I always thought city life would be so hard with kids, so I love how honest you are about not entirely loving it but just totally embracing it and making it work for your family.

  32. Jennifer

    Love all these sweet pictures! Porter is adorable along with your other kids. I started off following you for the food, but it has been fun following the family as well!

  33. Annemarie Williams

    I love seeing your adventures as a family in NYC! It’s so fun to see how you’ve embraced that amazing city! You have a beautiful family!

  34. Brooke Greenstrest

    So fun to see you guys get out of the city. I’ve been living vicariously through your adventure- but now we are taking our family of 6 and moving into Washington D.C. for three years (currently live on 5 acres so into D.C. proper is going to be a huge change!). But I see my husband feeling the same way Gordon did when y’all got out of the city for the day! Here’s to adventure and making the most of where life takes us!

  35. Kris

    Check out the Kia Telluride! It fits six easily including two (optional) middle row captains chairs, has all the latest bells and whistles, but doesn’t totally break the bank! Decent cargo space too… It’s my favorite 😍

  36. gloria Hunt

    Try to enjoy even the hard stuff, it all goes so fast. I know I have 3 girls 16 months apart. I thought I would loose my mind sometimes but now they are in their 30’s and I think back I should have savored more moments.
    I hope little Eddie never looses those big blue eyes and that adorable smile, how do you ever discipline that little guy?? One look of his and I would melt!
    You have such a loving and adorable family.

    God bless you all!

  37. Lena Boyd

    Hello and you are doing such a wonderful job, wearing all those different hats with job titles on the front. Only mama knows for sure how many hours of the day And night is actually belonging to Porter.
    As my Mom use to say “and this too shall pass!” A friend is coming to help, the children can help and every day Porter gets older. God Bless.