Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snuggle-In Saturdays

Jon and I aren't much for sleeping-in. Mainly because mom's don't get that luxury and for Jon anything after 5am is considered sleeping-in. What we do enjoy are those relaxed, quiet moments after waking on a Saturday morning where we can just cuddle for a few minutes before tackling our day. We usually spend our weekends just hanging out around the house or running errands together. So simple, yet so much appreciated.
On Friday, October 10 I remember going to bed thinking, "Tomorrow could be our last Saturday just-the-two-of-us..." I was determined to make the most of it. Four hours later my water broke, so much for a quiet Saturday.
During the week Jack is up around 7:30am, sometimes a little later. But for some reason he's up extra earlier on weekends. Jon says it's because he knows his dad's home. Perhaps ... perhaps not. Either way, Jack has woken us up between 6-7am for the past few weekends. Usually, if I pretend like I can't hear him long enough, Jon will take the initiative to retrieve the baby while I act like I'm still sleeping. [Note: This only occurs on Saturday mornings. Jon's baby-noise-antenna does not work in the middle of the night.] We put the Jackster in between us and all snuggle up together to enjoy that last hour of sleepiness. Okay, well Jon and I try to fall back to sleep. Jack usually kicks his feet on the bed, pushes the sheets out of the way, and takes turns staring either Jon or I down while we try to catch some shut-eye. We've warned him that this is only temporary. Someday when he's older and can get himself out of bed, he has to knock on mommy and daddy's door first. And he's not allowed to get out of bed until the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 7. And he's definitely not allowed to tip-toe up to the bed, stare at our face, and whisper "Are you awake yet?" There's no need to scare mommy first thing in the morning. But for now we're going to enjoy our snuggle-in Saturdays and somewhat-little boy we get to share them with.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Keepin' it ceREAL

So we are now into our second week of the rice cereal adventure. Ugh. I already regret starting solids this early. It's messy, inconvenient, and challenging. And the extra calories have only made a small difference in Jack's sleep. But now that we've started we might as well continue. And I do think Jack enjoys the change of pace and fun new "toy." I still nurse him at least 7 times a day, and then we add a cereal feeding to 3 of those. Which means a lot less free time for me! Jack's catching on quickly. I try to go fast because he doesn't like to sit in his chair for long. And he can only take so much of the feeding routine. The hardest part is keeping his hands and bib out of his mouth. I use one hand to pull them away and the other to feed him. Which leaves no hands to hold the bowl. :( It's an interesting process.

The mess drives me slightly crazy. I feel like I'm wiping his face and hands 20 times a day, and he's still a little crusty. He doesn't seem to mind though. I'm surprised he actually likes the stuff, it's pretty much tasteless. One concern I do have is that my usual 5-poops-a-day baby is now only a one-poop-a-day baby. And trust me, you do not want to be the one holding him when that significant event occurs. On the bright side, this does making diaper changes a little easier. So one more week of this and then we start veggies!! Mmmm three cheers for smooshed peas!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mug Shot

Last weekend the three of us went to get passport photos. Jack is so much more cultured than I was at his age. I got my first passport right before my first plane ride - at age 21 when I spent a semester studying in England. As a sidenote, you can read about my experiences at Anyway, back to the present.
I warned Jack that he wasn't allowed to smile, so instead he gave us the same blank stare/gaping mouth look in all 4 shots. Jon picked out his outfit on this particular day (although I later switched out the pants because they didn't really match). Which is why he is wearing his "Defense Intelligence Agency" onesie. Really? Is that an appropriate shirt to wear for an international travel photo? I'm afraid the customs officials are going to interrogate my son when they see he's got some valuable connections.
Personally, I think passports for babies are a little silly. I'm pretty sure my son will not resemble this picture in a year or two ... or five. Not to mention that the height listed on his passport will probably double before it expires. My favorite question on the form was "occupation." I couldn't fit eat/sleep/laugh/poop in the space, so I hope the officials will be okay with "infant." That pretty much explains it all don't you think?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jumping Jack

When he's not napping, Jack is a busy boy. And mom is busy keeping baby entertained. He seems to have a short attention span, or rather, activity tolerance, so I need to keep a few tricks up my sleeve to get us through to the next nap time. First, there's the activity mat: Jack just started actually reaching for the toys that hang down. I usually keep this by the balcony door where it's nice and sunny. Since it's been too cold to spend time outside, at least I can give him a nice view and a warm corner. From there, we might move to the Bumbo: I keep this in the kitchen. Jack can sit on the table and watch me get dinner ready or wash dishes. This is supposed to be one of those "Best Baby Items Ever" things. And it is really cool. But unfortunately, Jack can only handle it for 10 minutes max. He usually starts arching his back and then starts fussing to be rescued. It seems pretty sturdy but I'm afraid that one of these days he's going to learn to pop himself right out! When the Bumbo gets old we try the swing.
When Jack was a baby I didn't let him sleep in his swing, except for maybe once or twice as a last resort. I didn't want it to end up being a sleep prop. I think that may have backfired because it doesn't seem to have the calming effect on him that I was hoping for. He does pretty well in here when he's by himself, but if he sees me in the same room he'll soon be yelling for Mommy. Recently, we added my favorite activity to our daytime routine - the Jumpster! After weeks of practicing jumping on my lap, I finally wisened up and got Jack his own mechanism. Yay for good exercise! As you'll notice, the Jumpster requires a doorway, which aren't easy to come by in our house. That's why Jack is jumping in our pantry, it's the only doorway (other than the bathroom) on our main floor. So yes, he gets to play in between the Swiffer and Crock-Pot. Poor kid. At first Jack didn't know what to do with his new toy. He spent most of his time spinning in circles. But within a week Jack was catching some serious air! It's a lot of fun listening to him get a kick out of himself, and I'm able to get stuff done around the house while he stays occupied. So far he's managed pretty well, despite a lack of steering ability. He only occasionally slams into the doorway, and hasn't yet pinched any fingers and knocked over any brooms. So here's hoping the Jumpster, and the doorway trim holding it up, will last us a long time!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Favorite time of the day!

Is diaper time!! These vidoes have been posted on Facebook for a while, but just in case you haven't seen ... here's proof that Lil' J loves having his diaper changed!

And these were before we even got the stinky diaper off!

By the time I got the camera out he required a little coaxing and tickling from Dad, but you get the idea. The best part about all this is that Jon really enjoys changing diapers. He claims that on Monday he changed Jack 7 times while I was at work! I don't even change him that much. Keep up the good work Jack!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mom's new workout routine

Recently we've had some great weather here in Virginia, unfortunately it didn't last long and we're back to the cold. But Jack and I were able to make it out for a few walks, including one sunset stroll with Dad on the beach.

As you can tell from the pictures, Jack LOVED this experience. :) Actually, he's a very serious "walker." I'm not sure if he's just taking it all in or what, but whether he's in the stroller or the carrier, it's his quietest time of day!

All I can say is that this kid was a whole lot easier to carry when he was in my belly and not on it. I'm pretty sure next time Jon will be the one with Jack strapped to him, Mom's shoulders ached the rest of the evening! One things for sure, we're all looking forward to warmer weather and a chance to spend more time out of the house!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A year ago today ...

... we found out we were pregnant! Wow. It's amazing.
How did we go from this -

to this -

in just 12 short months?? I'm still reeling!

Our lil' Tank is doing so well! He is now 18 lbs. and in the 97th percentile for weight, and 25 inches which is the 75th percentile for height. His naps have improved greatly! Occasionally he'll still cry at the 45 minute mark but never for more than a minute or two. He's a sleepy boy and still takes four 1.5 - 2 hour naps a day, plus 11 hours at night. Two weeks ago he was sleeping up to 9 hours straight at night, but recently started waking up several times between 10 and 7. He's a very hungry baby and was obviously getting frustrated towards the end of a feeding when Mama was running low on milk. So the doctor advised us to start solids. I really wanted to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months mainly for convenience but also because I feel like my baby is too young to be sitting there eating food from a spoon. But typical acts-well-beyond-his-age Jack is a natural at eating and although it drives me crazy to wait until the end of dinnertime to wipe down his sticky face and hands, I think we're both starting to get the hang of this. (Pictures will be posted at some point). He's a total ladies' man, and had all the nurses wrapped around his finger at his appointment last week. Of course, who can resist that adorable smile and infectious laugh! Although he has shown zero interest whatsoever in rolling over, he did manage to fall off the couch this past weekend (Mommy's sorry Jack!!). Don't worry, he was laughing shortly afterward and appears to be completely normal! Being parents is not what Jon and I expected it would be a year ago, but we're really enjoying the learning process!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A message from Jack ...

... if you're skilled at translating "Babese."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Jack Scratch Fever

Since the moment he arrived in this world Jack has had a formidable set of claws. And ever since then, try as I may, I just can't seem to get them under control. You may have noticed the long scratch on his face in some of his hospital pictures. :( This was just the beginning of a sleepy-time habit which often leaves Jack with a new mark on his face every few days. And Jack's not the only one suffering from these ghastly gashes. He also has a thing for scratching my neck when I'm holding him, or using his talons to tickle my armpits when he's eating. If you ever noticed my propensity for turtlenecks ... now you know why.
Early on we tried those cute little baby mittens, but despite my son's somewhat large hands, they would never stay on. Occasionally I'll file his nails, but a.) it's a lot of work and b.) the effects don't last long. Some friends suggested biting his nails, but since I've never been a nail biter myself I wouldn't know where to start. Which leaves us with the most effective, yet most difficult option - nail trimmers!!
Trimming Jack's nails is a two-person ordeal. One to hold him still, the other to perform the act. Even that doesn't work out so well. Last week Jon was keeping the child contained while I was clipping nails. They're so small it's hard to see what you're doing. I must've misjudged and accidentally clipped a finger. Despite all the blood Jack remained unphased. Jon and I were definitely more panicked than the babe. I'm sure he was wondering what the red stuff was on his finger, and why mommy and daddy kept trying to make it stop.
I'm happy to report that we were able to avoid a trip to the Emergency Room and that Jack appears completely normal despite this horrific experience. I, on the other hand, may never want to pick up nail clippers again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Things we'll still talk about 30 years from now...

It's been 4 months since Jack-Jack arrived. It seems like such a short amount of time for our teeny baby to turn into a little boy. I never used to understand when mothers would always talk about how big their babies were, or how fast they grow (um, yeah it's what they do). But now I get it. It's so exciting to watch your child grow and develop, and a little sad to see them become new little beings before your very eyes. Sometimes you just want them to stay babies forever! Those early days are so special. My boy doesn't even same like the same baby we brought home in October, I'm so afraid I'm going to forget those sweet little things that make Jack our's. So I've been keeping a list ...

I hope I never forget:

- the way it felt when I held you for the first time. I could replay that moment in my head 12 times a day and it still wouldn't get old

- your dad's first diaper change, so eventful!!

- how sometimes your laugh is so spontaneous, it catches even you by surprise

- how hard your dad and I used to try to get you to look right at us, but when we'd finally catch your eye it just melted our hearts

- the way you try to suck on both your fists, at the same time, and so loudly we can hear you all over the house

- the way you lay your head on my shoulder, I hope you stay this cuddly for a long, long time

- how you love your bath but never want to put your hands in the water

- how wide your eyes get when you see something new or when I walk too fast

- how when you laugh, your whole body laughs with you, from the crinkly corners of your eyes to your wriggly toes

- how you insist that I stand while holding you, and how hard you can kick when I try to sit

- your morning wake-up routine - a big stretch of the arms and legs while arching your back, coupled with a few grunts and a protruding bottom lip. When I pick you up you immediately curl up into a little ball on my shoulder.

- how your eyes are the easiest way to tell when you're tired, just like your mom

- how your lower lip forms a bona-fide frown seconds before you burst out into a good cry

- the way you always look up and to the left when you smile - you know you're being cute!

- the way your arm ends with fingers. Wrist? What wrist?

- the way you gnaw on my shoulder as you peer out at the world

- how you head-bang me at least once a day because you're constantly turning back and forth, it never seems to hurt you as much as it hurts me

- those cheeks!!

- the "who, whoo" sound you make, like a little owl

- the way you pound on my chest while you're eating

- the sweet smell of your breath, it won't last forever!

- the way you hold my finger when I'm carrying you on my arm

- the way you double over and throw your arms up in the air whenever I walk down the stairs, I think you're going to love rollercoasters!

- that bicycle kick thing you do whenever I'm trying to change your diaper

- how you insist on using both hands when I'm feeding you, and you can't understand why this doesn't always work to your advantage

- the way you can cry, laugh, and cry again all within 30 seconds

- when you try to hide your face in my neck. You're getting so big, I hate to think this won't last forever!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Camera Shy

I'm dead serious - Jack is a fun, smiling, giggling, chattering little boy. But you wouldn't know it from pictures and videos. For some reason, he always gets the same what-on-earth-are-you-doing-mom look when I get the camera out. For instance, it's been 5 weeks since Jack has seen his Marmie and Poppa, so we pull out the web-cam for a little chat time. Jack just sat there, drooling. It was a fairly uneventful conversation. Afterwards, I changed his diaper and smiling, squealing Jack was back again. Not fair. Usually it goes like this: - Jack acts like a ham - Mom pulls out the camera - Jack suddenly is tired and bored Here are a few of my failed attempts to catch my cheery chunker...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jack's Jams

You can tell Jon's and my different parenting styles by listening in to our Jack moments. Yes, we BOTH sing to Jack ... independently. Although occasionally we may join in for a duet.

When I'm with Jack I usually sing classic baby songs or the good oldies:
"Baby Mine" when I'm trying to put him to sleep
"Goodnight Sweetheart" when we're getting ready for bed
"Have I Told You Lately" when he's extra fussy and won't calm down
"Ooom Ahhh Went the Little Green Frog" complete with motions for diaper change time, mostly because I love to hear his ecstatic laughter
"Splish Splash" during bath time
And I usually put a Hillsong United CD in when he's in his Jumpster so he has something to rock-out to.

Jon usually works to the tune of:
"He's a Maniac" during play time
"Wild Thing" when he's changing his diaper
"Highway to the Danger Zone" this could occur at any point during the day
"The Boys are Back in Town" when I have to run errands and I leave the two of them home alone
And another song about Jack Attack that I don't recognize. Actually, a lot of Jon's songs I don't recognize. We obviously didn't listen to the same music growing up.
At least we can say we're raising a well-rounded child!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Go Team Go!

Last night was Jack's first superbowl and he was very excited to see "Poppa's Team" make it big. So excited, in fact, that he couldn't sleep the night before. He woke Mama up 5 times. *sigh* Just when I thought we had settled into a predictable sleeping pattern Jack has went back to only sleeping a few hours at a time. I'm just going with the flow, hoping it's only a phase.
Last year Jon went to his bachelor friends' house for the big event, and a pregnant-but-didn't-know-it-yet Janine stayed home and watched the game all by herself. Now personally I believe that the Superbowl, unlike regular season games, is a family activity. It's not just about the game, players, score, etc. There is also the good food, funny commercials, and great conversations during the not-so-funny commercials. So this year I laid down the law and told Jon that we would be celebrating the Superbowl as a family unit. He agreed and then we both forgot about it until earlier this week when it suddenly occured to Jon that he would be viewing his favorite sport with only me (and Jack) and that this probably wouldn't be much fun. Fortunately, we found another couple who also didn't have plans and were able to throw together a small football festival.
So yesterday I dressed Jack in the only yellow shirt I could find. And then he had his Steelers jammies on for the night. Since it was so loud in the house I let him skip his nap (translated Jack refused to sleep and all his fussing was interfering with enjoying the game, so we gave up and got him back out of bed). We try to limit his TV time, and I had to cover his eyes for a few commercials, but I think he enjoyed all the activity. I wonder if he'll end up playing football like his Dad? Then again, I wonder a lot of things about Jack, it's a good thing we have the rest of his life to make these important decisions!
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