Sunday, November 30, 2008

What a weekend...

Well, despite the fact Jacob is crying right now, it was a pretty great weekend. Fever and current bedtime fussiness aside, we really had a very nice 4-1/2 days together. It was nice having such a long uninterrupted time with him. It's rare to have that. Today was exceptionally fun, with lots of smiles and happy time. He was a really good boy, other than when he was so tired that he got fussy--this kid can fight sleep like few others--but for the most part he was downright awesome. He was so much fun to play with. He seems to be getting to the point that I can simply look at him and he'll start smiling...let alone if I make a funny face, blow raspberries at him, or give him a toy to play with. He's also getting to be quite the grabber. On Friday he grabbed a spoon off the table very swiftly, and later he knocked over a (closed) 2-Liter bottle of soda/pop (pick your word--I grew up in Buffalo but live in Rochester so I'm torn) just by reaching out for it while he was in my arms. Oops. Yesterday he did the same with my plastic glass at a restaurant (just ice). Today he was reaching for all sorts of stuff. It's funny to watch him fixate on something and start exploring. We're definitely getting into a new frontier with that stuff. He's becoming more interested in grown-up food, but I think I'm still going to hold out on solid food a little longer. No sense rushing things. Maybe a couple more weeks and we'll give it a shot, just so we can get in a decent groove before we're off for another few routine-jarring days in Buffalo at Christmas. I forgot to mention that he weighed in around 16-1/2 pounds at the doctor yesterday...so he's definitely getting bigger by the day. He's a lot to cart around sometimes, but when he falls asleep in your arms or hangs on to your neck (another new thing--nice to not always have to support him completely when I need that extra hand), it's worth it. Anyway, it'll be tough dropping him off tomorrow. It definitely makes me look forward to the whole week I'll have off at Christmas, not to mention any additional vacation days I happen to take between now and then. Long weekends rock...now more than ever.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Not quite how we planned it...

In case we needed another lesson on how having kids changes things, the Thanksgiving holiday provided it. Regardless of everything that happened, we still managed to have a nice couple days and two awesome meals. Jacob was quite entertaining when he was in a good mood, and we had a nice time hanging out with both sides of the family. That said...

Jacob's fever stuck around until Thanksgiving night. It really didn't seem to bother him too much, but he probably didn't eat as much as usual and it was painful knowing how warm he felt. Still, he seemed to do pretty well. We kept him medicated with Tylenol, and that seemed to keep the fever at bay. The first night away he did ok, just waking up once, I think. Nothing too bad. The second night was a little worse, with him waking up twice. I fed him a bit both times because nothing else seemed to work. Craig slept with him on his chest for a bit, and later on I slept with him cradled in my arm. Far from ideal, but considering he was sick and we just needed to sleep, it worked out ok.

He seemed ok in the morning, but by the evening he seemed a little cranky and uncomfortable, so I tried Tylenol again in case he was having pain from an ear infection or teething. He seemed ok after that. We put him in bed around 10, but he woke up around 12:15 or so screaming. I've never heard him scream like that. He stiffened up, arched his back, threw back his head, spread his arms, and screamed bloody murder. Nothing seemed to calm him. After a while I think he started tiring himself out, but it took a long time before he was calm enough to fall back to sleep. In the meantime, we called the doctor and talked to the nurse. She didn't have much to say except to keep giving him Tylenol if he seemed uncomfortable. He woke up again around 3:30 for another half hour of painful crying, and I think for the rest of the night he slept on Craig's chest. Needless to say, Craig is napping as I type. We got up this morning and got on the road by 10 so we could make it back to Rochester before the doctor's walk-in hours ended at noon. We had planned to stay in NT until at least this afternoon, to hang out with my parents, maybe do a little shopping, and whatever else. Not so much.

The doctor didn't have much to tell us. No ear infection, at least. She chalked his discomfort up to congestion, which he has had a lot of, but he's been congested since his bronchiolitis episode in August. I'm not sure what would make last night turn so ugly compared to any other night with congestion, but it still may be that he's teething. We can't feel anything yet, and although he's been chewing on his hands and fingers a lot, he does that quite a bit anyway. I guess if it happens again we'll have to try a teething ring or a cold, wet washcloth. I have a feeling, though, that if it is teething pain, it may be the teeth inside the gums moving around. For anyone that's ever had braces, I think it's probably like that...just an ache you can't do anything about as the teeth migrate around your mouth. Who knows.

I will say that the crying fits were probably among my scariest moments as a parent. The fever was scary on Tuesday night, but the way he was crying so inconsolably was truly frightening. When attempts to soothe him didn't even register, it just seemed like he was completely consumed by pain. He was oblivious to anything going on around him and just screamed like crazy. As a parent you want to take away your child's pain, even if it means bringing it on yourself. But even more, you just want your baby to be okay. You just want to know that whatever's causing the pain is temporary, that it won't permanently harm them. You want answers...desperately wishing that you could read minds or that your baby were extremely advanced and could point to where it hurts. Jacob wasn't giving us many clues, so it all just felt very scary and out of control for a while.

He seems better again today and is taking a nice long nap right now. Hopefully he'll be in a good mood when he wakes up and will be ready for some running around as we attempt to brave a few stores in the midst of the holiday shopping season's opening weekend.

We hope everyone had a very happy thanksgiving, and hopefully we'll get to see more of you at Christmas!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

First Fever

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Jacob has come down with a fever. Apparently he was a little cranky, extra sleepy, and a little warm at daycare yesterday, and by the time I got home Craig was having a rough time with him too. He definitely felt warm, and after some less than successful temperature-taking early on, I decided that the digital thermometer that came with a baby toiletry kit wasn't going to cut it. We had used that thermometer to try to take an underarm temperature when we were afraid Jacob was overheating in our hot house, and it just never seemed to get a solid temperature. So...off to Walmart I went to buy an ear thermometer, which Jacob is now old enough for and I had been meaning to get sometime soon anyway. When I got home and finally figured out how to use it, he had a temperature of 100. I called the doctor and they said to give him Tylenol. If it sticks around for three days, we need to call back to make sure he doesn't have an ear infection. The Tylenol worked like a charm for the fever. He ate fine, cracked a few smiles and went to bed without much problem. He woke up once at 5:30, but a little snuggling and he was fine until I woke him up to eat this morning.

After much back and forth, Craig and I finally figured out that he would take the morning and I would take the afternoon. He had to be home to wait for a plumber anyway (our bathtub faucet is leaking a bunch--nothing a few hundred bucks won't fix), so he just stuck around until I could come home at 1. I would have gotten out of work early today anyway, but took a sick half day so I could be home sooner. His temperature was probably low enough that we could still have sent him to daycare, but 1) I don't want anyone else's sick kid there, so I shouldn't send mine either; and 2) He was so cranky with Craig this morning that he didn't want to "dump him off" on them. He wouldn't eat much for Craig earlier, but he had a very good feeding when I got home and was happy and laughing for a good hour, I think. Then he started to get a little cranky and I rocked him to sleep. He woke up a bit when I put him down, and has made a bit of noise twice since then, but each time he seems to drift back off. When he wakes up he'll be due for another dose of Tylenol, and hopefully I can finish packing his stuff up for our Thanksgiving travels.

I don't know what's causing the fever at this point. He's always pretty congested--it's never really let up since the bronchiolitis. His cough is less frequent and usually less painful-sounding than it used to be. Hard to tell if he's just going to have they daycare perma-cold for the rest of the winter now, or if the bronchiolitis remnants just happened to run into a couple colds and the fever is part of this particular cold. It crossed my mind that he might be teething, since he seemed to be sucking on his fingers a lot today. I didn't feel anything, but I have no idea how much you can feel before a tooth actually breaks through the skin. In any event, I'm hoping this clears up soon. We have a few very busy days ahead and I was really looking forward to hanging out with my normally happy little boy! I guess we'll just be packing the thermometer and Tylenol, once again hauling the humidifer along for the trip, and hoping for the best.

If I don't get a chance to blog tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Holidays

The holidays are coming and I can hardly believe it. Practically seems like a couple months ago that I was nervous about seeing family at Thanksgiving and not letting on that I felt like crap because I was in the middle of my first trimester. It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was dragging myself through decorating for Christmas and packing for our trip to Florida feeling sooo exhausted. I remember marveling at the thought of having a 4-6 month old baby by the holidays this year, looking at our nephew Grant and thinking our baby would be right around his age by this year. And sure enough, here we are. We have an amazing five month old little boy and we've survived parenthood pretty well so far.

I remember thinking last year as I struggled through Christmas shopping and decorating that doing the Christmas thing exhausted and nauseous was one thing...but doing it in and around a baby's schedule would be something entirely different. And from what I can tell so far, I was absolutely right. Gone are the days where Craig and I could head out to the mall together at 9pm to get in an hour or two of shopping minus the crowds. This year we'll either be going early or going solo late, with one of us staying home while Jacob sleeps. Lately I've been doing my grocery shopping at 9 or 9:30, once Jacob is fed and in bed. It's just easier to do that than to work around his feedings or cart him around (he's HEAVY these days) and hope he doesn't freak out in the middle of the store. For the most part he's a good baby and doesn't even cry that loud most of the time, but it's still a helpless feeling when you're out in public and your baby is screaming. I can go out with him just fine, but a lot of times I simply choose not to. It just makes the quick in-and-out running around I used to do a lot harder. There are days I'm willing to attempt it, and some days that I'm just not.

As a result, Christmas preparations are going to need to be more organized and streamlined than ever. I'll need to get my lists together ASAP, figure out if any trips can be combined, and focus on the best uses of my time. I am still probably going to take one day of vacation in the next couple weeks (hopefully my lists are coming together by then) where I send Jacob to day care, get as much shopping done as possible, and go pick him up a little earlier than usual. I think that's going to be the best way to get things done. I tried shopping with him a little this weekend at the mall, and I just wasn't into it. I was worried about him getting hungry and I just didn't want to take the time to try things on or really look around. And manuvering a stroller through some stores is nearly impossible. Based on running around this weekend, I think weekday shopping is wise. Crowds were already terrible this weekend. Annoying when it's just you, but extra inconvenient when you need to have a stroller or cart and everyone else's carts are blocking everything! Add a crying baby into that and I'm headed to the insane asylum.

Even getting decorations out at home is going to be a challenge. I think once they're up Jacob is going to have a blast with them, but just finding the time and energy to get up all of the bins and put everything out is going to be tough. And just wait until next year when everything needs to be baby-proof...yikes! But for this year I am looking forward to his reaction to all the lights, and hopefully he'll be ready to do a little tearing of wrapping paper in another month. He may not get it yet, but he may like that sensation nonetheless.

There's so much to do and I have a lot to organize in the next month. Holy cow, it really is a month...one month from right now we'll be hanging out with Craig's family for their annual Christmas Eve get together. Wow. It's coming quick...and I better get ready!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why do I always choose wrong?

I swear, I am so bad at reading Jacob sometimes. Or at the very least, I have bad luck. For whatever reason, when Craig brings Jacob home, they always manage to have a nap together. Jacob falls asleep in the car on the way home, and somehow Craig gets him in the house, out of his seat, and on his chest without too much trouble. They nap until I get home, and Jacob is in a good mood most of the night because he's well rested. I never can get him to fall asleep. I carry him around, rock him, try to lay down with him, put him in the swing. He cries if I put him down and squirms if I hold him. I know he's tired, but he fights it like crazy. I'm convinced that part of the problem is that with me he can smell the breastmilk...he gets tired and would rather eat than sleep. I can feed him and he gets sleepy, but the moment I try to move (generally to try to lay him down), he wakes up and starts fighting all over again.

Tonight we got home from daycare and I tried rocking him a bit, walking around with him, anything to get him to take a nap before he got too cranky. I could tell he was tired, but no dice. Eventually he melted down and I had to feed him. He was sleepy afterward but sure enough, wide awake shortly thereafter. I desperately wanted to eat dinner but nothing was working to get him to sleep. Finally, after letting him cry while I ate a Hot Pocket with one hand, I rocked him a LONG time (which was so hard with my sore arms from last night's workout), and he conked out. I figured he'd sleep about a half hour or so (his norm), wake up before 9, eat and go to bed. I let him sleep on me because I hadn't done that with him in a while and I didn't want to wake him up. Well, over two hours later, he was still asleep and I was well on my way. So much for waking up and eating. I finally got up, took him into his room and changed him for bed. Of course, he never fully woke up and instead was writhing around half asleep, making it almost impossible to change him. I managed to get him in bed still half asleep and without much fuss, but now I'm wondering if he's going to wake up hungry at 3am or something crazy like that.

The point of all of this is that even with a wonderful and generally predictable baby I still have a hard time guessing what to do. The other night I had a similar situation...I can't remember the circumstances exactly, but I just know that I felt trapped by decisions. Like I misjudged timing in something and it left me in an awkward position for something else. I just feel like I never read him completely right, and it drives me nuts! This sleeping thing is at the top of the list.

My mom was talking to me last weekend about putting him in his crib to nap. I haven't done it a lot, to be honest. When I was home on maternity leave I used to try to get him to sleep in his pack 'n' play or he'd fall asleep in the boppy (supervised by me, of course). I had read somewhere that keeping the crib for night time sent the signal that it was time to sleep longer, and that seemed like a good plan. And honestly, that seemed to work well. If I were still home with him during the day I would have had to switch to the crib at some point, but obviously that only happens on weekends. On weekends there isn't a lot of opportunity to get a good schedule. Either we're out and about and he sleeps in his carseat (many times he'll be sleeping when we get home and we'll leave him there until he wakes up--he's comfortable, right?), or he'll fall asleep on one of us and we're just so happy to be with him that we'll just sit there and let him sleep. Times like tonight when he's fussy, I'm hesitant to use the crib for two reasons...first, it's dark out already and I don't want him thinking it's bedtime and falling asleep for good at 7:00, practically right after we get home. Not only does that leave him no time with us, but it would probably set him up to wake up at 5am. Second, if he's cranky and I try to put him in there, I don't want him to start having a negative association with the crib because of naptime and start giving us trouble there at bedtime. It's such a tough call sometimes.

So, yeah, weird night. I'm just hoping he sleeps ok despite a less than routine bedtime process and an early last feeding. We should have fun tomorrow, though, as long as I can read him well enough to get through the day unscathed!

Forgot to mention...

Yesterday Jacob officially turned five months! Crazy! I can hardly believe it. Though it feels like he's been around forever now, it just blows my mind to think that five months and two seasons have gone by since he was born. He's getting to be such a big boy with his own little personality (a fun one for the most part, thank goodness!). We celebrated the big day by going out to the Chinese buffet. Yeah, I know...but I had worked out and we were starving by the time I got home at 7...and buffets don't make you wait for your food. Plus, I had been craving Chinese forever. I was shocked later on when I realized it has been at least six months since we were there last. We haven't been there since Jacob was born, and I don't know if we went there in the last month or so before that. Even still, we used to go there once every month or two (whenever we had a coupon) and it was amazing to think it had been that long.

While we were bundling Jacob up to go, he got into this awesome giggle fit. He had just woken up from a nap, and as I was putting on his winter hat and mittens, he just started laughing. I don't know if he was laughing at anything in particular, but anything I did was simply hilarious and he'd just bust out in giggles. Good laughs like that are still few and far between (but getting more frequent every week), so it was really fun while it lasted. I have looked forward to moments like that for months, because it's nice to know when your baby is really truly happy, particularly after those first few months of expressionless contentment. You know your baby's more or less ok because they're not crying, but beyond that you have no idea if they're feeling great or just so-so. Finally the smiles start and you get more of an idea what's going on with them, but laughs are a sure-fire way to know they're happy. And that's a good feeling.

Today is his last day with his normal late afternoon caretaker, who is leaving to be a stay-at-home mom. I'm sad she's leaving because Jacob really seems to like her a lot, and I enjoy talking with her when I go to pick him up. I have no idea if Jacob will know enough to miss her yet. If not I suppose that's good, but on the other hand it's a little sad because he won't remember that she was an important part of his world for a few months. I'm happy for her that she won't have to use the services of his soon-to-be-former employer, but it's sad to see her go. But man, she's got a great base of knowledge for a first-time mom, eh?

Should be a relatively pleasant weekend, with enough to keep us busy but nothing too crazy. Probably some shopping with Godmother Lori tomorrow and hopefully some time with Craig in and around Knighthawks training camp. Then we only have a three day week before four whole days with Jacob...woohoo! Happy Weekend :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Puppies

The other day my mom sent me a link to a camera watching a litter of puppies. Turns out there were a few others as well. For your viewing pleasure:

Golden Doodles

Havanese Harbor

Shiba Inu

White Miniature Schnauzers

Belgian Tervuren

All of them are so incredibly cute. Remember back in the spring when I compared my webcam viewing of hatching birds to my impending parenthood? Same deal here...I look at cameras like these cameras from a whole different perspective now that I'm a mom, for many reasons:

1) I can sympathize with the mama dog when she's nursing. However, she's got it much worse...she's got 6-8 puppies chasing after her, and they've got teeth! However, it doesn't appear she spends a ton of other time with them, so I suppose on that front she gets off easy. She did have to carry around all those puppies though....and I can't imagine having that many legs kicking me from the inside. (Often thought about that while watching Jon & Kate Plus 8, too.)

2) The puppies' cycles remind me of Jacob. They have their active playful periods, and then the next thing I know, they're all sleeping. It's funnier to watch en masse, when suddenly all these active puppies are down for the count, sprawled all over each other. It reminds me of Jacob and how he does much the same sometimes...wide awake to a complete "I'm tired" meltdown. Unfortunately, Jacob tends to fight it rather than immediately plopping down and sleeping.

3) They sleep in funny positions, and so does Jacob. He's now taken to sleeping with his butt in the air. No matter how we put him in his crib or how many times we go back to flip him over, he ends up on his knees with his butt in the air. Still scary to have him like that, but we can't fight it at this point other than to flip him when we can. Most of the time it seems like his face is turned to the side so he can breathe ok (once in a while I wish he'd turn it just a little more!), but I suppose the fact that he's up on his knees means less pressure on his chest when he breathes. The puppies are classic, though....on top of each other, on their backs with feet in the air...so cute. And in both cases, sleep looks oh so peaceful.

4) All the little movements remind me of Jacob. Puppies have the famous "chasing a squirrel" dream that gets their legs moving in their sleep. Jacob only moves in his sleep once in a while, but he smiles a lot...enough to make you wonder what he's dreaming about. When the puppies are awake, you can watch them explore, find a chew toy, and take in the world around them. I see Jacob do much the same--trying to figure out how all these body parts work in his own clumsy way, looking around at the world with wonder. He's slowly getting better at grasping toys, and he's discovering his toes. So cute to watch. The one thing that differs is that the puppies are a lot more mobile than Jacob...but I have this feeling when I watch them run and climb around that if Jacob could do those things, he totally would be!

I also find it funny that lately in the comic strip For Better or For Worse, they've been covering this topic a bit--the similarities between puppies and babies...from getting peed on to teething to the high energy level that both possess. I think when it comes right down to it, babies and puppies are both so sweet and innocent to the core. They're these tiny little beings, so ready to learn and grow that they expend all of their energy in one big burst and head off into a peaceful sleep....only to wake up and eagerly do it all over again. They're a blank slate, so full of potential and so excited to explore it. And lucky us that we get to watch it all happen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Good and Bad of Breastfeeding

Every day when I shuffle off to the bathroom at work to pump, I seem to do it begrudgingly. I know it's a good thing to do, and I should be happy to have the break from work, but there are some days that I just don't like doing it. However, I know that ultimately it is a good thing, and making it almost five months is pretty impressive. Now that I've had so much time to adjust and I'm not the sole feeder (one of the bright sides of daycare, I guess), I can have some objectivity on this issue and say that breastfeeding isn't too bad. I know why it's not for everyone, but as I've said before, I still think most people should give it a shot. There are good and bad things about it, and here's my rundown.

The Bad:
1) I miss certain things - Drinking among them, but only rarely. I miss milk, thanks to what appears to be a cow's milk protein sensitivity. I also miss peanuts (or at least peanut butter with chocolate), which I'm trying to avoid since the jury's out on whether or not peanut allergens in breast milk create an allergy.
2) Being the #1 feeder - It's hard sometimes to be stuck on the couch for a half hour or more, or worse, up in the middle of the night at least once for a half hour or more. Luckily those days are (hopefully) done. It's a privilege, but it's tiring at times.
3) Engorgement - This was obviously worse in the beginning, but there are times when I wake up in the morning and notice that "things" don't quite feel like themselves. I described it before as what I think bad implants feel like. It's a weird feeling and not very comfortable. Fortunately I don't have to deal with it too much...just when nursing or pumping isn't convenient over the course of 4 or more hours, or a bit in the morning...but that's short lived because I have a hungry baby who wakes up about an hour after I do.
4) Clothing - As I've complained about before, the larger chest means my clothes don't fit right. Someday, maybe. In the meantime, nursing bras are not my favorite thing in the world.
5) They're functional, not sexy - Nothing wrecks the moment like leakage...or so I hear. Haven't really wanted to find out so I've taken precautions.
6) Pumping's a pain - Self-explanatory

The Good:
1) It's good for Jacob - Antibodies, allergy protection, etc.
2) It's convenient, as long as I can find a semi-private place
3) It's cheap - Formula is so crazy expensive...just five bottles a week and I still cringe every time I have to buy it.
4) I can eat more - 500 more calories a day...woohoo! And my instructor at the gym told me that it burns fat from the rear end area. Nice. Maybe that's why I'm now below my pre-pregnancy weight...even if I don't look the same.
5) Bonding time with Jacob - Now that he's a little squirmier, it's one of the few times I can just get him to sit and hang out with me.
6) Jacob's funny faces - I can't help but laugh when Jacob stops eating long enough to smile at me...cracks me up.
7) Breastmilk isn't stinky - Spitup isn't too smelly when it's coming from breastmilk...formula is gross.

Ok, as much as I'd like to sit and write more, my bed is calling. Have a good night :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Busy, busy, busy...

I have a very good little boy. Can I just say that? While he seems to have developed a car phobia (more on that later), he was so good this weekend in the midst of a lot of running around! Friday night was tough, because once we got home I still had quite a bit of packing to do. Traveling with Jacob is a pretty high maintenance prospect. Besides extra clothes, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, etc., I had to pack his Baby Bjorn carrier, humidifier (that was for my own sanity, since he seems to sleep so much better with it and I wanted to up the odds that we'd sleep well despite being in the same room), a few toys, a bottle and some formula, and more things I'm sure I'm forgetting. Oh, and I needed our birth certificates too, for Jacob's first trip to Canada (and IKEA!). The packing process seemed to take forever, and I kept having to put Jacob down somewhere so I had full use of my hands...poor guy just wanted to play, I think. Once we got on the road (after a couple runs back into the house), the trip wasn't bad. Jacob cried a bit but fell asleep rather quickly and stayed asleep for the whole trip. He was up a little later than usual since we wanted to stay up and play with Grandma and Grandpa a bit, but he went down fairly easily and slept well other than a couple of whiny periods that resolved rather quickly.

We got up the next morning and headed out to the St. Paul church bazaar. My mom wanted to show off Jacob to everyone who has changed churches in recent months thanks to problems at my parents' (now former) church. We were there for a while and he was content just hanging out in the Bjorn and watching everyone. Now that his head and neck are strong enough to face out, he's loving the view from that thing. We found a couch where he could sit and eat (awkward though it may be, breastfeeding is pretty convenient sometimes!), and after my mom and I grabbed our own food, we headed off to IKEA. I had been wanting to go there for months. I hadn't been to one since my Pittsburgh trip last November, the weekend before I found out I was pregnant. So...it was a whole new world of baby stuff this time around. I ended up with some little stuff, like a stool that I can sit on at Jacob's bathtime, and he will one day use to reach the sink and toilet, I suppose. I got a tray to go under his leak-prone humidifier, a toy to give him at Christmas, and a cool hanging storage thing for his stuffed animals...basically a cylinder made out of netting that has holes in it for access. He survived the trip through the store until the very end when he conked out (still in the Bjorn). He was fussy on the way back and we finally stopped at a rest area so I could feed him. He was still fussy after that but finally fell asleep until we were about 10 minutes from home. That evening we headed out for a quick dinner and went to see the Canisius College women's volleyball team (coached by my cousin's wife). Jacob was once again taking it all in, and didn't seem to bothered by all of the noise. He fought sleep for a long time but finally gave in. He didn't even flinch when the winning cheer erupted around him!

He had a good night's sleep again, other than one short fussy period, and Sunday morning we were off to church. He was pretty good during church but kept whining whenever I'd try to make him stand. He normally loves that but wasn't into it at that moment, apparently. We snuck off to the bathroom to get a feeding in while Grandma and Grandpa went to their Sunday School class, and then it was off to Moe's for lunch. He was in a great mood, laughing and smiling on the way in. He stayed happy but took a rather large poo while we were eating. He smiled right after, though...he knows what he's doing, I swear. :) Once we got home I was off to the Aud Farewell event with my cousin Kim, and Jacob spent the afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa! Kim and I had a great time reminiscing about our glory days as hockey fans, and Jacob did well hanging out at home. He was extra happy after a nap and a meal, and we had a blast playing with him before Jacob and I had to pack up and go.

As a whole he was so well-behaved all weekend. It seems that when he's happy, he's really happy...lots of smiles and some good laughs. When he's content he just seems to be taking everything in...looking around, reaching out, chewing on his hands. When he's not so happy it's obvious, and in most cases he's either tired or hungry (or maybe just looking for a little attention). Hungry is an easy fix, as long as it's a convenient time or place. If he's tired it's just a matter of getting him to relax enough to fall asleep. The one thing I don't get is why he's suddenly fussy whenever we get in the car to go somewhere. My mom's theory is that his carrier cover prevents him from moving his feet, but that happens before we're ever in the car, and he mostly starts crying when we start moving. That used to be a good thing for him, but apparently not anymore. It was tough to deal with it repeatedly this weekend (particularly when I'm in the front seat--at least he had company in the back some of the time this weekend). Maybe he's just uncomfortable in another way...Lord knows bundling up isn't very fun as an adult either, let alone when you're strapped into a car seat, too. Poor thing.

Back to the real world today, though. Hopefully he had fun at day care watching the snowflakes fall outside! Now it's just the countdown to a couple days off for Thanksgiving. I can't wait!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tough Day

...More for me than Jacob, but he didn't have such a great evening himself. Jacob was exceptionally fussy last night, crying a lot. Even when he was being held, he tended to either cry or whine a bit. He didn't feel warm and didn't exhibit any signs of illness beyond his still-present cough and congestion. As unpleasant as that stuff is, I'm grateful he hasn't yet had one of those massive runny noses you see so many kids with. Knock on wood. But regardless (particularly in light of the stories below), I couldn't help but be concerned that he was so much fussier than usual. I kept asking him, "What's wrong?", hoping he'd magically answer. In between crying spells he still had his moments with smiles here and there, and he went down to bed pretty well after about two minutes of fussing. Seemed better this morning, so I can only hope. I'm concerned enough about how this weekend's visit to Grandma and Grandpa's will go...first trip away since his overnight meltdown at Craig's parents' house a few weeks ago...but I think I'm going to bring his humidifer with us (worth the hassle if it helps him sleep, and based on what I've experienced, it does.) so hopefully we'll be ok.

As for me, yesterday was a tough parent day, emotionally. It seemed like I kept running into unfortunate stories about sick kids and the impact on their parents. Two of the blogs I read each day dealt with this topic--one discussing miscarriages, the other talking about a two month old baby (the nephew of the blogger, as told by her sister, the mom) who was having seizures and was diagnosed with this horrible problem--though a second opinion gave them a little more hope that he could still end up pretty normal. Even still, not something you ever want to think about. The miscarriage one obviously had less of an impact since (for now) I'm past that stage, but now that I have a baby and know the joy of watching this little baby turn into a little person, the thought of losing one and wondering "what if..." is hard to think about.

Just those two blogs alone made me feel incredibly blessed to have a healthy baby, and slightly fearful that something could ever happen to Jacob. As I've mentioned here before, the mere thought of it makes me absolutely distraught. You never want to expect something to happen to your child, but there's always the thought that things happen to very ordinary people, and who's to say it couldn't happen to you? Why one person over another? This particular family has already been through cancer three times (once for the blogger and twice for the mother of this child), so there's obviously little justice in the world sometimes. So while you shouldn't expect it, there's always that little part of you that thinks about it and prays that your family is spared the pain.

As if that wasn't enough, last night's ER nearly brought me to tears. The appearance of the long-deceased Dr. Greene was pretty cool, but the general topic of the show was sick children. One storyline took place in the present, dealing with a little girl who feel into some freezing water and was unconscious. Of course her parents were devastated while they were doing everything to revive her. That storyline ended pretty well, but I don't know if they ever discussed what shape that girl's brain might be in after all that trauma. The other storyline took place in the past, with one doctor thinking back to when her otherwise healthy son was started having seizures and ended up at that same hospital (with Dr. Greene as his doctor). After one particular seizure, as the boy woke up, he started vomiting blood, and it all went downhill from there. Ultimately they discovered that he had leukemia, which caused a stroke. The boy died. Healthy to dead in one afternoon. I know it's TV and I know they do stuff like that to get a response from the viewer, but as a parent, it's hard not to put yourself in their shoes. Even if the stroke wouldn't have done him in, the leukemia would have been a tough battle on its own. And we've all come across stories of kids with cancer and been heartbroken at the thought of it ever happening to someone you love. But at the end of the storyline, the dead little boy on the gurney hit a little too close to home and I was moments away from breaking down. Sad, scary stuff.

From cancer to autism to accidents, there are so many things that can happen to kids--so many that are completely sudden and shocking--and when you have something so precious, the thought of losing it is horrifying. And from the moment you find out you're having a baby, that is your existence. It intensifies when you have the baby and can hold it in your arms, and from what I can tell so far it becomes even more intense as they grow and develop into a complete person with so many different qualities to love. No matter the stress and problems of the day, I know I should be grateful for every single moment I have with Jacob. Even when he's crying, I know I should be thankful to have that crying baby to hold and comfort. It's not always easy, but deep down I know it.

Parenthood is an amazing experience, for better or for worse, and I don't think you can ever grasp what it all means until you're in the middle of it. A friend of mine just told me that he and his wife are expecting. When I asked if it was planned, he responded that they weren't doing anything to prevent it, but they weren't specifically trying, either. It's not my place to make a judgment on their intentions, because he's a tough guy to read sometimes and there's probably more going on below the surface, but I genuinely hope that deep down they really did want this to happen. Parenthood is not something to be taken lightly...there's way too much that goes into it and it's a lifelong commitment. I'm sure they will take a lot of joy in their baby once it arrives, but my hope is that they know (as best they can) what they're getting into!

Have a happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Diaper Issues

Now that Jacob is choosing to sleep on his belly or his side most of the time (not that I still don't go in and flip him once in a while), a new problem cropped up. Quite a few mornings he'd wake up wet, like he was peeing out of the top of his diaper. I figured out that the way he was laying must make the top of the diaper gape open, and when he pees there's nothing there to contain it. Not cool.

I've stated before on this blog that the internet has greatly changed/enhanced baby life. Perplexed about what to do, I went onto Yahoo Answers and asked about this issue. I got about 10 answers within a few minutes, ranging from using a larger diaper to getting overnight diapers to folding down the front of the diaper into the diaper to create a barrier. Since we had some size 3 diapers waiting in the wings (thanks Cousin Lynn, for the gift you gave us ages ago!), I decided to give the one-size-up diaper trick a try.

Although he's had some diaper blowouts recently as well, he doesn't really seem ready for a bigger diaper yet...based on weight, anyway. The 3's start at 18 pounds or so, and he's not even close...let alone that he's always been fine in a smaller size even when he was above the weight range...that skinny waist! Size 3's seem huge on him, though I know he'll grow into them soon enough. However, they fit enough that he could wear one, though it seemed awfully bulky and like it took over his whole body--like old man pants, pulled all the way up to his chest! Regardless...this morning I got him up and he was dry! And the diaper even performed well with his mid-breakfast poop :) Thank goodness. It remains to be seen whether or not this method will continue to work, but so far so good. Kudos to the internet folks who suggested it!

Not much else to report these days. It seems like he's getting bigger every day, and he's obsessed with faces now. Whenever he's laying down and we're looking down at him, he grabs for our faces...mouths especially. He even does it when he's nursing (speaking of which, he's easily distracted these days which makes getting in a good, solid feeding tough...though I can't deny that when he looks up at me and smiles, it cracks me up). He's had some irrationally cranky crying spells this week, but in general once they're over (either because we do something or he just stops), he goes right back to being all smiles. Gas maybe? I experimented for the second time with soy milk over the weekend because I miss cereal so much, and that might have triggered it. As you may recall, I decided Jacob must have a cow's milk protein sensitivity because he was so gassy early on, and gave up milk a while back (just couldn't do all dairy...cheese and ice cream are too hard! His first major spell was on Sunday, followed shortly thereafter by some massive gas passing. I have no idea if the soy did it--many babies with the milk protein sensitivity have the same issue with soy--but I don't know how long it would take to get out of my system either. Hmmm. But for the most part he's still a happy boy...and I can't wait to spend another weekend with him starting tomorrow night! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Parental Progress Report

In another week and a half, Jacob will be five months old. That seems nearly impossible to me, because that means that a month after that he'll be six months old, and that's half a year! Crazy. After nearly five months of parenthood, I've been thinking about how far we've come...and how far we have yet to go. There are some things I feel pretty good about, and some that I'm not as sure about. And even that stuff depends on the day. Some days you'd swear you're totally on the same wavelength, and then one bad day makes it feel like you don't know your child at all...which is usually when I sit there and worry about how much time he spends as day care. The past couple days Jacob has had some epic crying spells...and you just sit there and wonder. I think we diagnosed Sunday's as gas (it was on our way back from Buffalo--I ended up spending all but 10 minutes in the back seat with him. He cried for a good half hour and then fell asleep. When I tried to get into the front seat at the Pembroke rest area, he woke up and got fussy momentarily so we opted to just keep going with me in the back.) as gas, but beyond that, I'm just not sure. Even last night I had a moment of concern about something totally happy. When I walked into the daycare room he was standing up on the lap of his favorite caretaker, the one who's almost always there at the end of the day, and she had him laughing like crazy. I've gotten some good laughs out of him, but not consistently. I know that a lot of it depends on his mood, but I don't think I've ever seen him quite that giddy...and it's like, "What am I missing?" A lot of days when I pick him up and take him back from her, he'll just keep looking at her and smiling. Hmmm. But babies are fickle and tend to fixate on random things, so I'll just keep chalking it up to that for now. We just found out today that she's staying home with her baby once she has it, and her last day is in a couple weeks. Too bad, since Jacob really liked her and she seemed to enjoy spending time with him.

Anyhoo...it's been nice that some things have become quite routine. I've gotten pretty good at reading him (apart from those freakouts mentioned above). I know when he's tired or hungry, I know that nursing will almost always calm him down when I'm desperate, and I know his "poopy face"--the face he makes every time he goes #2. Diaper changes (which, of course, I had never done prior to Jacob) are still not fun, but I'm pretty matter of fact about them these days...even if they are stinky. I still get annoyed when he has a blowout, because stain removal isn't fun, particularly when it's stinky...but even still, I'm better than I thought I'd be! Breastfeeding is pretty routine these days, and pumping is as well. Jacob seems like a pretty happy baby, and that is a good feeling. He smiles a lot, seems pretty content most of the time, and is generally pretty flexible. While part of that is luck (or actually God knowing what he's doing, I suppose...not sure how I'd do with a really fussy baby), I'd like to think that we're providing a good environment for him that's led to his good nature.

On the not-so-good side, I still feel clumsy. I have a hard time toting Jacob around sometimes, and when I'm holding him and he's squirmy, I don't feel very coordinated. I live in constant fear of dropping him or losing my grip in one way or another. I remain completely petrified of when he gets more mobile and messy...though I can't wait for some other abilities that come with that time. I am scared to death of the day he learns how to disobey, or learns the word "no" at just the wrong time. Right now I just love that he's my sweet little boy. I'm sad when I leave him at day care each morning, but I am grateful to day care that it provides a different set of stimuli for him. I sometimes feel like I'm not doing enough for him, not varying the little ways that I play with him. My creativity is lacking. I feel like I don't read to him enough. Bedtime is tough because we have a very small "happy" window between the end of his feeding and when he starts to get cranky about going in his crib. I should find other time, but between trying to play with him in other ways, feeding him, and doing my nightly chores, sometimes it's tough to find the time. I'm probably not the best wife these days, either. Sometimes I'm a little too focused on making sure Jacob is taken care of, and I forget that Craig needs taking care of, too. Time and romance are tough to come by these days, though I think slowly but surely we'll adjust to that, too. We better, if we want Jacob to have a sibling someday! ;-)

I'll admit I still have a feeling of trepidation when I know I'll have Jacob by myself, whether it's for an evening or the whole day. I definitely want to spend time with him, but there's that unknown of how he'll be...and how it will start to affect me after a long day when I'm tired. Will he nap easily or will he want to be held all the time? Can we find enough things to do so he won't be bored? Will I be able to leave the house and not risk him freaking out? Regardless, I'm generally still pretty content just hanging out at home with him. I'm not sure if that's because I just want to spend time with him, or if I'm just too nervous to venture out for too long. That's part of the reason I haven't been clothes shopping in months. It's still definitely easier to do things without him, like grocery shopping, just because he's quite a load to cart around and I'm barely tall enough to see over him when he's in his car seat on a shopping cart! I'm almost to the point where quick trips into stores are easier with him in the Baby Bjorn carrier than in his car seat. But unlike when he was first born, at least I know I can do it if I have to...but most of the time I just choose not to.

Overall I think we're doing pretty good. We've learned a lot in the past 4-1/2 months, and we'll always continue to improve. And once we think we've got it figured out, it will all change anyway! All I know is that we love him like crazy and both wish we had more time to spend with him. In the meantime, he's still a wonderful little boy and we feel so fortunate to have him.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Things Jacob will never experience

Every year they come out with that list about the "reality" of this year's incoming college freshman...stuff that has always been the norm in their lives, what was going on when they were born, etc. Jacob will always know the internet, might never see a rotary phone, will probably be one of those kids obsessed with cell phones, and might always wonder what those cassette tape things are near the CDs in our house (last used in my old car that had a tape deck). For the record, I am scared to death of bringing up a kid in this technology-based world, because I don't really have a precendent to follow. Cell phones and the Internet weren't popular until I was in college. Jacob will encounter all of that stuff at a much earlier age, and I have no idea how to determine what's appropriate for his age. Lots of internet supervision, I guess, and we'll have to figure out the cell phone thing when the time comes. But anyway...

We've always said that we'd have to tell our kids about September 11th, and who knows how much of Craig's sports career Jacob will be aware of. He wasn't around for one championship, and was a couple months old for the other...so far. There are older relatives (great-grandparents, mostly) that he'll never get to meet. Perhaps we won't be in our current house long enough for Jacob to remember it (we'll see how much stuff we can fit here for now, and decide before baby #2 if we can cram it with more). I'm sure the list can go on and on.

As much as this post could be about something super meaningful, it's actually been inspired by looking at some rather unfortunate pictures of the Aud in Buffalo. The Memorial Auditorium, the Sabres' original home, was one of my favorite places in the world. I liked it so much that I wrote a really long piece about it (somewhere around 25-30 pages) shortly after it closed in 1996. It's still housed at my old website here. I wanted to write down all of the fun stories, complete with random details, so I wouldn't forget them once I was no longer able to go there and remind myself with each visit. Twelve years later, I'm incredibly happy I did. A lot has faded in my memories, as I figured it would. Twelve years later the building is finally facing imminent demolition, and apparently the media was let in for one last tour. Those pictures, as well as some unauthorized ones on theaudclub.com, paint a sobering picture of the inside of this once cherished building. It's been left to rot, from peeling paint and graffiti to mold and bat/rat droppings. Now it's even more torn apart because they've been removing asbestos in preparation for demolition. It's sad. It should have been torn down years ago, though that would have killed me even more then. Now I know it has to go. It's sort of like the difference between losing a loved one suddenly while they're still seemingly healthy or losing them once they've already deteriorated. This is obviously nothing compared to human life, but it definitely echoes my feelings when my grandmother passed away. Before dementia took over, she was vibrant and colorful, very involved with the family, and fun to be around. To lose her in her prime would have been tragic and sad, because there was still the potential for so much more good stuff. However, by the time she died it was incredibly sad to see her in the state she was in, confused and often frustrated. It made the sting of her actual passing less painful, but seeing her get to that point was hard in its own right. The Aud is merely a building, but it was one that held many great memories for me. It laid the groundwork for a love of hockey that led me to where I am in life. As I've said before, without hockey, Craig and I would never have met, and Jacob wouldn't be a part of our lives either. To see it go right after it closed would have been sad for me, because at that time it seemed like they could have done something cool to save it, like they did for the Forum in Montreal. Now it's obvious that there isn't anything still good enough to save in there, because time, unmanaged moisture, small animals, and trespassers have left the building disgusting and useless. I still wish they'd find ways to save certain things, like the big blue scoreboard still hanging above the playing surface, or the classic front facade. Most of the seats are too gross to save, but apparently some have been salvaged for an auction next weekend. Not sure I'd want them impacting the air quality in my home, but...anyway...

It saddens me a bit that by the time Jacob is old enough, that plot of land is going to house a Bass Pro Shop, among other things. I hope it does well there, because God knows downtown Buffalo needs a shot in the arm. But it will be hard to describe the Aud to Jacob someday, and help him understand how electric the building was during a hockey game. Nothing's built like that anymore, with steeply sloped seats that sat right on top of the action. I have a handful of pictures from the final game there, plus whatever might be floating around on the internet, and beyond that a handful of hockey footage (mostly on VCR tapes--however long those will be functional) from inside the building. Of course, he might not even care...but someday I hope he does, because that building built the foundation of a love that his parents share, a love for a sport that eventually led them to a love for each other. Sappy, I know, but true nonetheless. No other hockey building holds memories like that for me, despite having seen plenty of games in both HSBC Arena and the Blue Cross Arena here in Rochester. My BCA memories are of a different sort, and those may be fun to share someday, too, but when it comes to purely joyful hockey memories, the Aud is it. And it's one thing Jacob will never have a chance to see, let alone experience. Bummer.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Year Ago

It occurred to me the other day that this week one year ago was the last week of our baby-free existence. Fifty-two weeks ago this coming Monday, the pregnancy test came back positive and we were officially starting a new phase of our lives. I said from the very beginning that even if (God forbid) something would have gone wrong, there was no going back at that point...we would forever be changed by the experience. Fortunately all did go well.

I'm not sure what sparked that realization that it had been a year, but I did get to thinking that a year ago this coming weekend I went to Pittsburgh with my cousin, aunt and uncle to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit. We headed out Friday afternoon and came back late Saturday. Friday night we went to Joe's Crab Shack and I ate a bunch (and had a drink...oops!), and experienced my first bout of delayed digestion--an issue that plagued me for at least the first few months of pregnancy--where I would eat like a bottomless pit but stay full for hours. I slept horribly that night, partly because I was full, partly because I was sharing a bed with someone other than Craig, and partly because my aunt wasn't the quietest sleeper. The next day we went to the exhibit, then headed off to IKEA to do some shopping. We also ate at Steak-n-Shake. Yum. (And yeah, that really was among the highlights of the trip!) I still look back on that weekend as a last carefree moment...the last time of my life where I wasn't always thinking/worrying about this little human being. Even though we did plan a little ahead, the trip was a bit of a whim...not too easy to do that anymore! Even if Jacob is physically taken care of, it would still involve a lot of planning and pumping!

To spice up this post, here are some pics from the exhibit...keep in mind that what you're seeing is generally a combination of glass and plants!

It was a great weekend, but by the time we got home, I was beat. I tried to recover on Sunday, but by Monday I was absolutely spent. I hadn't been feeling too fantastic for a couple weeks at that point and was in the midst of the ovulation confusion, but it never crossed my mind that I might actually be pregnant. But before I called the doctor (since it had been two weeks since the drugs that were supposed to get me on track), I knew I needed to take one more test so I knew for sure...so on my way home from work, I stopped at Dollar Tree (I know...but seriously? You can buy like, seven tests for the price of one brand name one, and they're not ALL going to be wrong. All the ones I have ever taken have been correct. And the best part? You don't even have to do the stereotypical waiting...my positive result came in about 30 seconds.), and went home to take what ended up being the positive test. Cue the complete shock. The rest is history, and a year later here we are with a wonderful four month old baby.

Ironically, today I got a Travelocity e-mail about travel to Pittsburgh. And if that isn't enough, shortly after thinking about last December's trip to Orlando the other day, I got a call from Marriott trying to get me to book a trip to one of their resorts in Orlando. Weird. I can't believe that it's almost been a year since that trip. The past year has definitely been a whirlwind. The whole time period between finding out I was pregnant and Christmas (when we finally told most people) was such a weird limbo period for us. We wanted to tell people but were nervous about word getting out and something going wrong. We had to go through Thanksgiving with our families without mentioning a word. Once we got past the initial ultrasound and knew we were actually further along than we thought, we still had to wait because we wouldn't be seeing anyone in person until Christmas (thanks mostly to the Orlando trip). We told a couple people here and there based on extenuating circumstances (like only seeing them in person that one time and either knowing they wouldn't see anyone or swearing them to secrecy), but for the most part we had to hold our tongues for a while...living a double life, so to speak. I remember the exhaustion, the combination of fear and excitement, the ever-present feeling of nausea despite a voracious appetite, and the anticipation of all of the changes that I was going to be experiencing...and the odd feeling of not being able to share it all with some of the most important people in my life.

I think the time change has brought a lot of this on, since a good portion of this stuff took place during a "dark" time of year, and that time of year is back...yuck. It's just funny to be entering into a time where last year we were constantly thinking, "Wow, next year at this time we'll have a [insert baby age here]...", and now here we are. Time flies when you're having fun :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nine years ago today...

...Craig and I met for the first time. I was in college and had hitched a ride from a friend of mine up to Rochester for my internship interview with the Amerks. I was scared out of my mind but super excited at the prospect of interning for a hockey team. I had done my Buffalo Bisons (baseball) internship the previous summer, and I decided early on the following semester that I should probably get more experience if I wanted to get a job in sports after college. When I saw that the Amerks offered internships, I looked into it with the Geneseo internship coordinator and was given two business cards. One belonged to a corporate sales person who had attended Geneseo, and the other belonged to a guy who had Craig's job before Craig did. Craig ended up contacting me, as he had taken the job over a couple months earlier, and we set up an interview. I still vaguely remember walking into the office that day and meeting him. Was it love at first sight? No, not so much. But in the weeks and months that followed, he was a great mentor and became a good friend. Oh, and did I mention I had to bug him a bunch before he finally hired me? I didn't find out I had the internship until I was home for Christmas, and then I had to run out and buy a car ASAP! Good thing I was persistent...not sure how he feels about that trait now, though! ;-)

I stuck around as an intern until the Amerks lost in the Calder Cup Finals in June, despite graduating in May (and I think I finished my hours in March or April!), partly because I wasn't about to leave in the midst of a playoff run, partly because I wanted to get as much experience as possible, and partly because I loved what I was doing. Staying on that long and getting good recommendations from a couple people led to me getting a job there, and Craig's and my friendship grew over the year that followed. I was dating someone else in the office for a while, so it really was just a friendship for that year. Eventually a mutual interest developed, and the rest is history. We dated for a year, were engaged for a year, and now have been married for over five. We've crammed a lot into these nine years, though. Who woulda thunk it? And now we have the most beautiful baby and a pretty darn good life. Can't complain. And it all started with one simple interview...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday Notes

First of all, this is post #200! Wow...that's just crazy!

Anyway...it was a good weekend. Not all that busy, but full and a bit tiring nonetheless. I was home with Jacob all day on Saturday while Craig was working. It was a lot of fun but by the end of the day I was pretty beat. It was a reminder of why the stay-at-home mom thing would be a challenge. As good as Jacob is, he's a lot of work. If I'm home with him I want to play with him. Eventually he gets either tired or hungry. If he's hungry, I'm on the hook for that as well. If he's tired I can either try to rock him to sleep a bit or if he's fighting me, I can put him in his swing. During naps I try to get as much as I can done around the house...or if he's fallen asleep on me, I guess I can get in a little rest, too. But the whole day--from morning to night--follows this pattern, and it's tiring. Rewarding, but tiring. I constantly marvel at how adorable he is, how smiley and sweet. Like any baby, he has his moments, but for the most part he's predictable enough to keep under control.

I got a little help yesterday with Craig home, though we had to do some outside work together to keep our fall leaf situation under control. Jacob fell asleep while we were coming home from lunch after church (since he just wouldn't sleep at church), and ended up sleeping for a good couple hours. We went outside with the monitor in tow and took care of leaves and some of the gutters before Jacob woke up famished. After a feeding he came out with us and sat in his carrier on the porch while we finished up. The rest of the day it was nice to have Craig there so I didn't have to "abandon" Jacob to his swing or vibrating seat when I had to do something like make a meal. I know Craig loves his "snuggle time" with Jacob anyway, so that's good he got some of that in himself.

Jacob's really getting a lot better with his hands...and in the last couple days he's discovered how to pull my hair. Ouch! I keep trying to move them, but he tends to just grab right back on whenever I'm carrying him around. He also seemed to get ever closer to thumbsucking yesterday. I noticed a couple times where he'd have his thumb in his mouth, though not in the traditional tumbsucking position and not much more than a random slurp here or there. But I'm sure one of these days he'll figure it out. We also had a lot of fun this weekend with sitting up. I'd pull him up from laying down, and he'd sit there happily holding my fingers for balance. He'll be sitting on his own in no time, I think!

This morning I dropped him off in his new room at daycare. That was weird. For almost three months we've been going to the same spot every morning, and now we have to go somewhere different. Everything is pretty much the same, but this room has a lot more going on. I was reminded of that when I set Jacob's carrier down and almost immediately there was a little girl (a very mobile 11 month old, apparently) walking up and exploring Jacob's seat (but not Jacob, thankfully). In this room, the kids can move...walking, crawling, sitting...and there was one in a high chair ready to eat. High chairs...oy...a new frontier we have yet to cross. Everything was just a bit more chaotic and I'm hoping Jacob adjusts ok. Even though the one teacher there had been in the small infant room for a while, it was still weird leaving him in a different spot with different people. He seemed content but distracted as I was leaving...a lot of new stuff to look at, I guess! We'll see how his day went...

By the way, can you believe how dark it is out so early now? And is everyone else as anxious as I am to get past election day tomorrow?