Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jude's Story, Jack's Perspective

So the question everyone is asking is "How is Jack doing?"  It was hard to tell at first, since Marmie and Poppa have been here all week.  But now that they've left, I have a lot more to say on the transition ...

Jack spent two nights with his Great Aunt Julie and cousins.  And from what I hear he had a blast!  Aunt Julie journaled all about his visit for me, which I LOVED!  I heard about the fun they had outside, going on walks, shopping for Jude and all the good food he ate.  And of course he loved playing with Maggie the dog.  From what I hear he only required one time-out, although I'm sure he kept everyone very busy! ;)

Jon and I were really missing Jack during our stay in the hospital.  Right after Jude was born I looked at the clock and realized Jack was probably up and eating breakfast.  Later that day I had a salad for lunch.  I looked at the cherry tomatoes on my plate, safe from little hands trying to steal them.  Later on I was flipping through the TV channels and "Jack's Big Music Show" (his favorite!) was on.  One of the main reasons I wanted to get released earlier was to see him again.  But Jon and I both knew he was in great hands and probably having the time of his life!  We decided not to have him come visit the hospital.  One look around the room and we realized there was way too much for him to get in to.  Plus I think it would have been too hard to say goodbye again.  So he came home the same day we did.

We pulled into the driveway and Marmie and Poppa and Aunt Julie and Jack were already there waiting for us.  Jon stepped out of the car and Jack immediately came running, then I got out and he veered away from Jon and gave me a huge hug!  (Poor Jude was left in the car at this time!)  Everyone warned us that our oldest would seem big when we returned.  And it is so true!  Not only did he do a lot of growing up in just two days, but both Jon and I are positive he's put on weight (according to the scale he still weighs 32 lbs.).  I must have just gotten weaker from not holding him.  It's easy to forget just how tiny babies are.  And when you see little Jude next to Jack, everything about him looks huge!

It was a little hectic when we first walked in the door.  Jack was excited about all the visitors.  We hadn't seen my parents or Aunt Julie in a long time, and then Jude was suddenly starving.  Things finally calmed down.  Poppa took Jack on the first of many, many walks that week.  I'm afraid that Jack now thinks a "walk" no longer involves a stroller, since Poppa lets him run crazy around the neighborhood and beach.  Each time Jack would return to the house looking like this:

Poppa also took him on bike rides and tree climbing in the back yard.  Marmie read him lots of books and gave him a tubby every night.  My brothers surprised us by arriving at 2:30am on Sunday morning, and they also kept Jack pretty busy.  Of course, with a very active toddler comes a very tired toddler.  He had a few meltdowns, but took some incredible naps!  And of course, now that Daddy is in charge of Jack in the mornings, he's started sleeping later as well. (Not fair!!)

We kept busy the whole time my family was in.  Jude has been a FANTASTIC baby so far!  I'm tired, but not nearly the way I was when Jack was born.  It's been so nice to enjoy this time off from work with my kids and family, in fact, it's almost been like a vacation!  On Saturday we went to the mall.  Jack was afraid of the giant cow at Chick-Fil-A, but had fun playing on the rides.  And Marmie and I had fun spoiling the boys with some new clothes.

On Sunday we all went to church.  We don't have many more weeks left there so I wanted to go while we still can.  Jude slept through the whole worship service and then he and I spent the rest of the time in the nursery.  And from what Daddy says Jack had a good day in Sunday School.

On Monday we all went to the zoo. The weather was perfect and it wasn't very crowded. Jack LOVED the zoo. Especially the farm animals and the reptiles. He was a little afraid of the cow, and refused to pet the sheep, but got a kick out of the monkeys! 

Lunch was a little rough.  He threw his food, dumped his juice and screamed through much of the meal, but he did eat.  And it was mainly our fault for keeping him up past nap time.  He konked out on the way home and was refreshed and ready to spend the rest of the afternoon at the beach!

So, as you can see, Jack has been very busy these past few days.  Too busy to notice much of his little brother.  He's interested.  And he likes to get close, a little too close for my comfort.  But there's always someone around to watch or distract him.  At least, there was.  My brothers left on Monday afternoon and my parents the next day.  As predicted, Jon has been busy working on his final final.   Which leaves me alone with the boys most of the day.  And now Jack's starting to show his real feelings ...

I'm sure he's feeling a little jealous and neglected.  And I think he's a somewhat angry with me, which probably explains why he's hitting me and throwing objects in my general direction.  I mean, I do spend a lot of time with Jude.  I have to hold him about 5-6 hours a day, and that doesn't include the times I'm not feeding him.  So unfortunately for big brother, Mommy's lap isn't always open.  But Jack hasn't realized that yet.  He seems to think he can fit there too.  So I tend to spend the entire time nursing Jude with one hand and warding off Jack with the other.  First he'll try and sit on both of us, then he tries to lay across me and put his head on my lap.  When that doesn't work he decides to grab a pillow and jump on me and the baby.  Occasionally he'll bring a book over for me to read but then he gets distracted and wants to touch the baby.  And do you have any idea how difficult it is to nurse a baby when a toddler is jumping on the couch?  When he's not bugging us he's off getting into trouble.  Today, during our last nursing session, Jack managed to injure himself while playing near the toy box, and came running to me with a bloody nose. Earlier, he decided to pull the Vaseline out of the the diaper caddy and smother that all over himself.  Then he dumped my pile of papers off the table.  And when he got really angry that I was pre-occupied he purposely banged his head against the wall.  Hmmm, I think he's trying to get my attention.  I'm really hoping this is just a phase and we'll soon get used to being a family of four.  But in the meantime, I think we're going to have to make some changes.  I think we'll start with Mom and Jude nursing in the chair instead of the couch from now on.

Jack is generally good around Jude.  Our most challenging moments are in the car, since both boys sit next to each other.  I have to ride back there to keep Jack's hands off of Jude (and to put Jude's head back where it belongs everytime Daddy brakes).  It might be a while before I can venture out with both boys...

When you remind Jack to be gentle you can see he's making a conscious effort to do so.  Although his version of gentle isn't quite what I had in mind.  He likes to pat Jude's hand, bring me his socks (Jude's always loosing his socks), or stick a pacifier in Jude's armpit.  He also likes to test me.  I asked him to get off the diaper mat while I was changing Jude's diaper.  So instead he just puts one foot on it, then he'll walk away, come back and do it again.  Normally I can take care of things right away, but when you're in the middle of a feeding or diaper change, it's kinda hard to drop everything.  And I think Jack has realized that Mommy's hands are full!

And so we're all learning and adjusting, taking one day at a time.  Thankfully, Jude is a VERY good baby.  I hope he keeps this up because it's allowing me to focus on Jack more than I thought I would be able to.  I wanted to have this all worked out before Jude arrived, but I honestly didn't know what to expect.  We're learning fast, we've only had one day on our own so far, and we're going to learn even faster once Jon goes back to work on Monday.  But I think we'll get the hang of it. 

In the meantime, I've at least figured out a way to get a shower each morning.  This should work until Jude starts rolling ...

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