Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Today my big brother turns 35. I have a hard time wrapping my brain around that. I mean, I can actually remember my parents at that age, and now my brother is there? How is that even possible? And how am I only four and a half years behind him? 35 itself doesn't freak me out...because after all, Craig is 36. He definitely doesn't seem old. And neither does my brother. It's not even the number, but rather this whole stage of life. I can't believe we're here.
I don't think 30 or 35 is old, but it feels "mature", I guess. When you're young, I think most of us get it in our heads that by the 30-35 range, we're supposed to have a house and kids and a stable job. And sure enough, we all do. I guess I just can't believe we're there already. I have a hard time comprehending that we've transitioned from kids to adults...that the remote control-as-projectile fights were so long ago and we're now more likely to be breaking up those kinds of fights than starting them. Lord knows Jacob can throw a remote with the best of them already. And so much has happened since those days--High school, college, moving away, jobs, marriage, and now kids--so it doesn't necessarily seem like yesterday. But it also amazes me that we're moving into the same phases of life that we watched our parents go through, like everything's come full circle.
Today is also the 10 year anniversary of my grandpa's death. Sad though it was, we knew it was coming. I was a junior in college at the time. I managed to set up a couple internship interviews for the weekend of the funeral, which effectively began my career in sports. We actually managed to have a decent time that weekend, talking about Grandpa's quirks and our many memories of his famous stories. We watched the Kentucky Derby in between funeral home visits, which was only appropriate in honor of a man whose favorite post-lunch stop was OTB. I know I gained a greater appreciation for the family man my grandfather was, even if he did come off a bit gruff in his old age. He had his moments, and deep down you knew how amazingly proud of all of us he was. Even now I can imagine the look of pride and amusement he'd have on his face if he ever got to see Jacob crawling around and smiling. Probably not far off from the look my dad gets, though he's more of an obvious softy these days anyway :) But yeah...10 years.
Long story short, time flies. Like I said in a recent post, everything goes in phases. Before we know it things change again and we've moved on to another period in our lives...even if we don't entirely realize it as it happens. And one day you wake up and you're all grown up and you have no idea where time went. Crazy stuff.
Anyway...Happy Birthday, John!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
In case you can't tell, it's a silhouette of Jacob and me cast on our house's foundation, with the tulip in the foreground. I just thought it was cool. I don't think there's any significance in the fact that these are the first blossoms we've had in our time here and it's also Jacob's first spring, but it's neat nonetheless.
Monday, April 27, 2009
When it comes to human babies, obviously (most) parents are capable of fulfilling their baby's needs, so the baby doesn't need to be mobile right away. But thank goodness they're not, because babies just don't have the cognitive ability to distinguish what's safe and what isn't, or to listen to a parent that's trying to tell them as much. God was merciful enough to spare us many months of mobile insanity, since babies come with enough immobile insanity without spending those first months having to keep tabs on them every moment. I can't imagine having spent the last 10 months doing what I'm doing now--chasing Jacob around the house trying to keep him out of trouble. He still may not understand the concept of safe vs. unsafe or the word "no", but at least we're considerably closer to the point where he will, where his physical ability and mental capacity will even out a bit. Not that he won't still get into trouble once that happens, but still...at least we only had to start this craziness now, rather than the day he was born.
And all that even before the trip to the zoo...
Sunday, April 26, 2009
So, yesterday afternoon while Craig was working a college lacrosse game, Jacob and I went for a walk. We would have stopped at the playground we walked past (a different one than the one we can see through our backyard), but he was sleeping by the time we got there. Still, it was a nice walk in the beautiful weather. The wind made pushing the stroller a challenge, but I guess it was a good workout for me! Once Craig got home, we decided to go up to the lake for dinner. We went to a place that we've never eaten before, for three reasons: 1) We had a coupon for a free entree; 2) They had outdoor seating; and 3) It wasn't Cheeburger Cheeburger, which we knew would be jammed. I've never seen the lakefront that busy. There were people everywhere. The line for one of the two Abbott's (custard) within a thousand feet of each other was super long. It was madness. Anyway, we got right in to eat, had a nice dinner, and enjoyed what was left of the good weather before the dark clouds rolled in. I got this picture of Jacob with my phone before the sun went away--but not before he rejected his sunglasses.
After dinner we headed to a Super Wal-Mart so I could check out a couple things. I actually wanted to get Jacob some summer clothes, because he really didn't have many. I had bought him three pairs of shorts at a good JC Penney sale earlier this week, but he didn't have many short-sleeved shirts and I needed an extra pair of shorts (or two) to leave at daycare for his messy days, so I figured Wal-Mart would work. Sure enough, cute, cheap stuff...easy enough.
Today we did a doubleheader...baseball and the zoo. We were originally going to do the Red Wings game yesterday and the zoo today, but then we found out that the game was an afternoon game, so that wouldn't work. We had really been looking forward to both, so we decided to try for both today. We figured Jacob might not last at the game (like I said, sitting still isn't his forte), so if we left early we could hit both. The baseball tickets were free and we're now zoo members, so a quick trip there wasn't a waste. We had fun at the game, and once we were in the sun it was pretty comfortable. However, Jacob got antsy by about the fifth inning. This was only his second baseball game ever. His first, as you may recall, was on his Christening day (and my birthday). He fell asleep during that one but we lasted the whole game. Not so much this time. Oh, well. However, we saw one fantastic inning that made the whole game worthwhile. And like I said, the tickets were free.
So off to the zoo we went. Jacob slept on the way there but woke up when we were going in. Thankfully the Seneca Park Zoo is a small zoo. Perfect for small kids and their short attention spans. There are times I wish it were bigger and I'm always surprised by how quickly you come back to the entrance, but they do have some good animals. Here's a mini-tour of today's visit. Maybe by the end of the summer we'll have pictures of everything :)
The rhinos were headbutting this bristly "punching bag"...and later on they were "spooning" down near their watering hole...
Here are Jacob and Craig checking out the meerkats. Supposedly there are babies in this exhibit, but we didn't see them...
The elephants were out doing some tricks while we were there...lots of exercises, I guess. They were up and down, curling their trunks and eating out of buckets...very cool.
You can't see them very well, and I'm not sure what Jacob was looking at, but this was at the penguin exhibit. He loves piggy back rides, and it was usually an easier way to give him a good view of the animals...though I have to hold his hands so he doesn't pull my hair out. Ouch.
We also saw a lot of monkeys, including the ever-entertaining orangutans. We caught a glimpse of the polar bear, were disappointed by the otter's lack of motion, saw the sea lions getting fed, got grossed out by the usual reptiles, and didn't see a handful of other animals anywhere in their habitats. I guess that's why I'm happy we have the membership. I'd hate to pay $9 per adult and not see stuff. Obviously our membership is way more than that (but still...not bad), but I like the thought of being able to go there whenever and see what we want and leave without guilt. Heck, I don't care if we don't see anything...it's a nice place to go for a walk on a beautiful day, if nothing else. It's a quick drive there (10 minutes, maybe), and I think Jacob will start picking up on it in the next couple months, the more we go and the older he gets. It was hard getting him to see and pay attention to the animals this time around, but considering how he's just been picking up things out of the blue lately, I think something like that won't be far behind.
Speaking of which...he has been picking up a lot lately. The crawling thing is becoming old hat, though he did take one header on the hardwood yesterday that left a little pinkish bruise on his chin. He's definitely realizing that there are a lot of things he can get into, and he takes every opportunity to do so. Pulling up is also getting to be much easier for him. He cruises a little bit using the furniture, but that's definitely still a work-in-progress. His big thing this weekend was self-feeding. We've been working on Cheerios for a while, but he really seemed to start figuring it out when we tried the Gerber puffs. We now have sweet potato and banana ones, and he really seems to like them. I don't know if the shape made them easier than Cheerios or if it just started clicking from all the times I helped him put one in his fingers and guided it into his mouth, but he's getting pretty good. It's a messy job, though, since he usually has to stick half his hand in his mouth to release it safely, and his mouth is usually already messy from his food, but it's nice to see him make that step. I'm still not courageous enough to give him his own spoon, though. One of these days. He's also doing much better with the sippy cup. He still has lazy moments where it's dribbling down his chin, but he's getting there. He can do the "hard" ones now, too, not just the take-n-toss ones that taught him how to use them. We had milk in one for the first time today, too. He wasn't nursing well again this weekend--so frustrating--so I decided to put some breastmilk in one and see how it went. He did pretty good. And finally, he is such a meat eater. I've been trying to find as many different baby foods as possible with meat because each meat we've done he's loved, and I think that's a good thing to work into his diet these days. I've found a bunch of different ones at different stores, and look forward to broadening his diet as we go along.
So, thus ends a busy weekend. It was fun but I'm not sure any of us really got much rest. Off to another week of work...
Friday, April 24, 2009
Over the past few weeks they've been taking childbirth classes. He's been pretty unimpressed with the whole experience. In some ways, I agree. The breathing and massage stuff made me nuts, because by the time you're in labor, your body is going to take over and you're probably not going to remember or care to perfect any of the breathing techniques you learned. He feels the same way. He's got it in his head (much like Craig did) that he wants to be as uninvolved with the actual birth as possible. While Craig was more than happy to be there for moral support, he didn't want to see the birth itself or even cut the cord...though in the end he did. My friend would rather not even be in the room (or so he says), but I keep warning him that despite Craig's best intentions, he still got the full experience.
But the main conversation that prompted this post was about pain meds. I was very open about my intentions to go the epidural route. I had no illusions that I could take the pain without one...I know I don't have a great pain tolerance. I know that any sort of pain medication runs the risk of passing to the baby, but the risks are minimal and the resulting relief seems to be worth that small risk. Of course, if something actually happens I suppose it isn't. He said that they asked and pressed the instructor about the risks of pain meds, and she finally had to admit that there is a small risk. Still, I think almost anything involving labor involves a small risk. C-sections are pretty routine these days, though it is still major surgery. But considering how many they do successfully, the risks seem minimal. Heck, just going into a hospital puts you at risk for picking up an infection. You obviously want to do whatever you can to keep your baby safe, but personally, I also wanted to get through labor without passing out from the pain. Regardless, the admittance of risks has led my friend's wife to consider delivery without drugs, and he couldn't be happier...presumably because he wants to keep his baby as safe as possible.
The whole conversation made me think about about whether I made my decision too hastily. Should I have considered the risks more? Maybe Jacob wouldn't have had fluid in his lungs if I would have gone the natural route. I have no real medical basis for that thought, but it is something to think about. I'm not sure it matters, because I know I was in a world of hurt by the time I got my epidural, and I'm not sure how I would have managed without it. Even the pure relief I felt when I got it gave me enough energy to get through the rest of my labor. However, maybe the labor would have gone quicker if I could actually feel what I was pushing. When you're numb, it's sort of a guessing game based on what you know of your muscles from previous experience. Still, knowing how bad the pressure was, I'm not sure how I would have survived the pain of tearing flesh on top of it (sorry, that's graphic, I know...but it's an important factor to consider). I was literally on my last push when they finally got Jacob out. I was completely spent after three hours and a lot of discomfort, and I'm just not sure I could do it with a full dose of pain on top of that.
Fortunately I can't remember the exact pain (not something I want to recreate), but I know how absolutely miserable I was so I can only imagine...feeling like I was going to explode, wanting to jump out of my own skin, and on the verge of a complete and utter breakdown. It was pretty horrible. But worth it in the end? Absolutely. Will I do it again? Yes. I definitely wonder what will happen next time around in the event I can't get drugs. Would I panic? Would I find out it's not as bad as I thought it would be? Would I indeed pass out or lose my mind amidst the pain? Who knows? Every time I think about how easy a C-section seems, I think about those women that I hear about who have trouble lifting or holding their babies, or walking up steps, even weeks later. It is real surgery necessitating a real recovery. Short term intense pain vs. long term, less intense pain....hmmm. Tough call.
Recently a friend of mine from college mentioned in her Facebook status that she was sad that 85% of the women at Highland (the same hospital I delivered at) get epidurals. I think she's studying to be a nurse and must be doing work there. Anyway, she got quite a few comments from both sides of the fence. One girl mentioned the pain of back labor (which I had as well), and one guy mentioned their wife's 30+ hour labor...both wondering how they would have gotten through it without one. I did my usual line, "Why suffer if you don't have to?" If God gave someone the ability to lessen pain through medication with minimal risk, I am all for making good use of it.
Anyway, it was an interesting discussion but I still don't think I'd ever willingly do it without one unless my next labor is quite different than my first. Thankfully, that's not something I will have to worry about for a while...
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I'll say it again...thank goodness for a doctor's office with long hours. We got in right after work, which was perfect because I didn't have to make up time. The doctor couldn't find anything wrong, and said it's probably just a developmental stage he's going through, dealing with separation anxiety and all that. Whether he normally wakes up that much and in the past was able to soothe himself back to sleep, or whether waking up as a whole is a new thing, I have no idea. But long story short, no quick fix. However, he did sleep through last night. Thank goodness. I'm not sure why he was able to sleep, but I'll take it regardless.
He did get diagnosed with eczema while we were there. He's had this rash for a while, and it never really seemed to get better or worse. Just some of it on his belly and his back, ranging from looking a little pimply to more like dry patches. Turns out it is eczema, which I was worried it was. I was doing the right thing, though, putting Cetaphil (a good cream) on it whenever possible. We can also use some hydrocortisone. It doesn't appear to be itching him, so I guess that's good. My big concern is that eczema can be a sign of/precursor to allergies. We've long figured that he'll have environmental allergies, but I'm definitely more worried about the food kind, which eczema is more commonly linked to. I never would have thought it would be an issue until Jacob's cousin Grant ended up having nut and egg allergies...and all of a sudden there's a family history. I'm not quite sure what to believe about what causes them, if they can be prevented, etc. On one hand I've read that, for example, peanut proteins can travel through breastmilk and cause an allergy to form, but then I've also heard that a little bit of exposure helps the body adjust to the allergen and therefore prevents allergies. Sometimes they say you should delay introduction, but then other studies say that delaying it only makes it worse. And then there's the theory that if you're prone to it, you're going to get it no matter what. I am definitely scared to death of him ending up with some tricky allergies...heck, I can hardly think of things I'm comfortable with him eating right now, let alone if I have to avoid certain ingredients. I don't think the rash really coincided with the introduction of any specific food, so who knows. Could just be dry skin and that's it, but I'm definitely a little nervous.
We're still status quo on his medications. His dose of Reglan did get upped since he's (finally) gained weight. He weighed in at 20 lbs., though he did have his clothes and diaper on. I figure at least 19.5 lbs., though. He definitely feels like it these days. We go back to the specialist in early May, so we'll see what they have to say. He's still got his cough. Beyond that his reflux symptoms were never 100% obvious (circumstantial at best), so it's tough to tell how well everything is working. This may be something that sticks around for a couple years. Hopefully he will outgrow it eventually, but I suppose he's used to it at this point so there isn't much use in worrying about it.
Well, time to go to bed before we get our first wakeup call....whenever it may be. Enjoy the great weather this weekend...hopefully we'll have a lot of fun and some cool stories to share!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Speaking of which...time to start working toward bed myself. Hopefully we'll get back to happier topics soon!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Having been a parent for 10 months now, so many things boggle my mind. For example, how can I feel like a controlled, comfortable parent one minute, and be absolutely panicked the next? There are days when I daydream about baby #2, and other days when I wonder if I'm kidding myself that I'll be able to handle two kids. Some things have become old hat, but some things continue to drive me nuts to this day...and I know some things will continue to drive me nuts for years to come. I'm still nervous about extended periods alone with Jacob, that I'll be able to maintain my sanity and provide a good time for him. Going out with him is still a little intimidating as well, even though we're pretty much out of the explosive poop phase and he's really good when we're out about 95% of the time. I will always freak out about illnesses and behaviors I can't explain, and I will always worry about Jacob (even just a bit) when I'm away from him. Some things have come full circle, like nursing. I started out so unsure and clumsy, and while the actual practice has become second nature, I'm now back to worrying about whether Jacob is getting enough to eat because he doesn't nurse for long these days unless he's tired. I'm guessing he's just slowly weaning himself because he doesn't seem hungry that often (unlike his younger self that sometimes nursed every hour in the evenings)...but even still, it makes me nervous.
While at times Jacob still seems like my little baby, there are so many other things that remind me that he's not...not really, anyway. Having him still wake up in the middle of the night is a sobering reminder that he's still a baby, and the fact that we still can't exactly communicate with him keeps us in that frame of mind as well. But now that he's crawling and standing and weighs in around 18.5 pounds (or so our scale says...tough to tell how "on" the scale he was), he's definitely a far cry from the tiny little baby we brought home. When I think of how tiny he was in my arms all those nights in the hospital when I sat up and fed him, he seems downright toddler-sized when he's asleep in my arms these days. He practically overtakes me. The other night at the Knighthawks game I had him in the Baby Bjorn carrier, and a few people remarked at how he's almost as big as me! Obviously he's not quite there, but he's probably at least 28 inches long, which isn't too far from half my height. And he is starting to feel really heavy when I'm carrying him like that. I've actually been thrown off a bit lately while shopping for him, because I got in such a habit of looking in certain sections of stores and suddenly he's outgrown those sections. I'm not buying anything smaller than 12 months for him now, and some stores pretty much segregate anything up through 9 months in their own section...so now I'm in totally different areas. I guess I never realized how quick that would happen. I still get just a little sad when I have to put away clothes he's outgrown...and it's happening more and more, it seems.
The other day at Babies 'R' Us I walked past the bottle section and was like, "Wow, we're really almost done with this section..." and then proceeded to stare at the sippy cup/solid food feeding section for a good 15 minutes debating about what things I might need sometime soon. I have thought about trying to get Jacob into using a straw, but now that he's sort of figured out sippy cups, there's less urgency with that. Actually, I don't think I ever told the sippy cup success story. Jacob never seemed to fully grasp the sippy cup concept--just lots of chewing on the spout and banging the cup around. Well, the one day it occurred to me that he loves cups so much and gets the idea of putting them up to the mouth to drink...but he wasn't so good with control of the liquid itself. Real sippy cups take a lot of sucking power to get the liquid out unless you take out the rubber valve, in which case they leak a lot. I happened to have a set of Take 'n' Toss sippy cups we got for a shower sitting in waiting, and thought, they don't have handles, but that doesn't matter because Jacob can hold a cup. There's no valve, but the spout doesn't leak as bad as a normal non-valved sippy cup. And sure enough, he took to it right away. I still can't tell how much he gets to drink vs. how much ends up down his chin and on his bib, but he seems to be getting better. I was looking at him just yesterday, with his sippy cup and his Gerber puffs and thinking how grown up he looked. Now if only he could figure out how to get the puffs or Cheerios into his own mouth, that would be great. But then he'll want to put everything in his mouth, so...
I guess what I've come to realize over the past 10 months (and really, even during pregnancy before that) is to appreciate each phase. For better or worse, each phase only lasts so long. The little baby phase is scary and sleep-deprived, but it's also so amazing and special...mostly because it really does only last a little while. The concept of brevity is still hard to take sometimes when you're facing a particularly tough phase (teething) or something that's only going to get harder (like dealing with increased mobility--per yesterday's post), but I at least try to keep it in mind throughout so I appreciate the good stuff no matter what. There's a lot of looking at the bright side in parenthood, I've discovered. In most cases, from night sleeping to illnesses, it could always be worse. Even with little stuff like how Jacob still hasn't learned the word "no"...it may be annoying that he doesn't understand it yet when I'm trying to get him to stop doing something, but he can't say it back to me either. So, in the meantime, I can live in the ignorance-is-bliss phase that he's not directly defying me yet...he just doesn't know any better....right? :)
Each phase has its pros and cons, and I just need to keep remembering that. In the meantime I will still sit here in shock realizing that we're only two months away from a first birthday party that once seemed so far in the distance. My little boy is growing up before my eyes, and it's definitely nice to have a front row seat to experience it.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
We had a pretty good weekend but I am still wishing I had more time. Yesterday we did a little shopping with Lori and then met up with some of my old coworkers before the Knighthawks game. Craig missed out on the fun reminiscing because he was working, unfortunately. Then we went to the game. Jacob was a trooper through the whole thing. It was a long day and he didn't really nap or eat well, but he was still in a pretty good mood the whole time. Serious, perhaps, but not cranky. He also tolerated the noise at the game really well...though I did jump to cover his ears each time the crowd noise crescendoed prior to a goal...because the horn was right above us. He woke up a couple times in the night but fell back to sleep fairly quickly (compared to other nights--we had had a couple great nights and then one really bad one...very inconsistent these days), and ended up sleeping through much of church this morning. He was good but distracted during lunch out, and then has managed to sleep away a good chunk of the afternoon on Craig. Don't worry...Craig is sleeping a bunch, too. As did I. As a result I haven't gotten much done and would love another day to really work on cleaning the house. It's a mess and I really am at the point of wanting to get down on my hands and knees and scrub everything, since Jacob is now down there a lot in much of the house. I just haven't had the time or energy to do a good solid cleaning in months, so now I'm pondering taking a day off just to do that while Jacob's at day care. If I get done early, great...we'll have some bonus time. If not, at least I'll have time to get it all done. We'll see. I'd rather just take a nice day off and take Jacob to the zoo, but a cleaning day may be even more beneficial for him in the long run. Then again, I have a ridiculous amount of work to do at work, so I'm not even sure I can pull off a day off. Ugh.
Jacob's increased mobility has me so paranoid, though. I just look at everything and think about how much damage he could do...to it or to himself. He's curious and strong and quick. Bad combo. He's also incredibly squirmy these days so I'm worried about dropping him myself. He flips himself on the changing table, and squirms and climbs me when I hold him. God forbid I lose my grip, particularly in a place without carpet. The thought just makes me sick. It's such a daunting task to protect him from everything. I wish he was old enough to learn little lessons to help prevent problems, but that doesn't seem to work just yet. Definitely looking forward to when he reasons a bit, and understands the word "No" a little. I was hoping we'd have plenty of weekend time to get more babyproofing done now that the Knighthawks regular season is over, but they did make the playoffs (that's ok...I would never root against them) and will have a game in a couple weeks, and Craig got an offer to do a college game (good $$) next weekend, so he will still be busy for a couple weeks. And when he's busy, most of our weekend days end up like this--full of napping! We'll get there, but it'll probably all drive me nuts in the meantime.
Well, off to try to be productive...one way or another...
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Here's Jacob playing the infamous piano on Holy Saturday morning. It spent many long years in my grandparents' living room, and has stayed put even now that it's my Uncle Jeff's house. Many, many grandchildren have pounded away on that piano, and it's cool that Jacob can be added to that list!
How cool is he? :)
Jacob checking out his Easter basket, complete with his bunny-in-a-carrot-car rattle, rubber ball, and two eggs filled with Cheerios.
Monday, April 13, 2009
He made the family rounds on Friday night at prunes and noodles, but was not a fan of going to church in the evening for the Good Friday service. He just didn't want to sit still. He was fine when we were moving around out in the narthex, but sitting in the pews was a no-go for most of the second half of the service. He did LOVE the red cords that they gave us to drape over a cross. The cords were made out of a stretchy red fabric and were supposed to symbolize our sin. We had to take them up to the altar and drape them over the cross (Jacob was screeching because he did not want to let go--lovely.) and when they stood the draped cross up, it had this cool, almost dripping-blood-like look. Not as creepy as it sounds, I swear. He slept terribly that night, waking up a lot. I held him in bed for a bit but didn't sleep with him for too long.
Saturday we went back to Uncle Jeff's house for breakfast, and he got to play the old piano that has occupied that corner of the living for many years dating back to it being my grandparents' house. More crawling and pulling up (on the nice coffee table with all rounded edges!), and then back home. He fell asleep on the way, so my mom and I popped him right into the stroller when we got home and took him on a walk. It was a little cool, but the sun was nice. Eventually we spent some time with my friend Heather and her husband Peter, and then I left a napping (sort of) Jacob with my parents while Heather, Peter and I ventured to an NT tradition, Platters Chocolate. Yum. While the chocolate can be obscenely expensive, it's so good and worth the splurge once in a while. While their chocolate is part of my Christmas world as well, they ARE Easter chocolate in my mind...primarily because we used to sell it as a fundraiser for Easter every year in grade school, and it was always the chocolate in my Easter basket. They specialize in orange chocolate (chocolate with a hint of orange flavor--much better than you might think), which is a Buffalo thing. All of the food that was around this weekend (and Jacob's evil eye when I was eating it in front of him) really makes me look forward to next year when he can indulge in some of the good stuff. This year there was a lot of, "Hmmmm...I wonder if he can eat that?" I did give him a little tiny piece of ham and a couple little pieces of jello. Of course, last night I noticed that he had some pink patches on his back, so I'm hoping it wasn't an allergic reaction to anything. Ugh. Hopefully just dry skin or something.
Later Saturday we went to Arby's for dinner (I gave Jacob a tiny piece of plain beef), then went to visit Great-Grandma Ellman for a bit. Lots of rolling and crawling there, which made Great-Grandma very nervous on account of the gigantic flower arrangement that was sitting in the middle of her coffee table...Jacob kept eyeing it up! Saturday night overnight was another rough one...better but still rough. Craig got in around 6:15am. We all went to church. Jacob was a little better this time, though he slept through half of it. He ate a bunch of Cheerios at breakfast in the church gym and had fun banging spoons. We went back to my parents and packed up, but not before Jacob got his first Easter basket! Of course, even though the stuff in there was fun, he was more into the Easter grass! I happened to have some paper Easter grass, which I figured would be less messy than plastic Easter grass which gets all over. It was less messy, except that when Jacob drooled and it got on the grass, the green dye came off of it and got on his shirt a bit. Arg. Still, he had fun while it lasted, grabbing the grass and shaking it around. Nice rustling sound it created! After we packed the car, we were off to Craig's family gathering.
We had a good time there. Jacob met some new family members that he hadn't seen yet, so that was nice. I feel bad that some people missed out on him during that whole "baby" phase, when he could just be held quietly in your arms, but schedules just didn't work. Hopefully they'll get to see more of him this summer since Craig isn't working weekends and we have a series of birthday parties from May through July. He'll only get more fun from here, anyway.
We ended up leaving earlier than expected, mostly because Craig was just beat. Two nights of bus "sleeping" (meaning, an hour or two a night) caught up with him, and he was ready to come home and relax. Can't say I blame him...and I wasn't far behind anyway. As usual, it was rough knowing that we had the hour and a half drive ahead of us. Someday I definitely hope we can avoid that. We have a good life here in Rochester, but it would definitely make things easier (in a lot of ways) to live back in Buffalo near to our families. On our way home from visits and parties, we always dream of what it would be like to have a 20 minute (or less!) drive home! But in this economy, we're just lucky to have jobs and it would be a tough call to voluntarily leave them at any point in order to move, because there's no guarantee a new job will hold. Of course, I'd like to get a bigger house before we have any more kids (ours is filling up fast!) so at some point we'd have to ponder where our priorities lie. I don't want to have to move twice in a row!! But that's another issue for another time...
In any event, it was a nice Easter and I will hopefully post some pictures soon! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, as well!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Incidentally, I was just laughing a little yesterday when I studied a picture of Jacob on my wall. It was the professional picture we had done before Christmas to give as gifts, and it struck me how little hair he had there compared to now. He still only has this really fine head of baby hair, but there's actually some length to it now and he doesn't look too cue-ball-ish...at least not compared to that Christmas picture. It's amazing how you don't really notice changes on your own baby until you have something to reference back to.
Sunday we'll do church and see whatever family we can...probably lunch with my Mom's side and then off to Craig's family gathering. I am looking forward to giving Jacob his first Easter basket, even if it won't have any candy and he won't be able to appreciate it that much yet. But I'm still excited to give him his little bunny-themed rubber ball, bunny in a carrot car rattle, and a couple plastic eggs full of Cheerios. He will like shaking the eggs, and then have a snack later :) I bought him a cute orange gingham shirt yesterday for the occasion. I was hoping for green, but the orange will work. Next year maybe we'll try dyeing eggs or an Easter egg hunt or something like that. He'll be able to eat chocolate by then, too, so perhaps Easter will be a little more of an event for him.
I can't help but think back to last year, when I was really starting to look pregnant at Easter. Of course, Easter was waaaay early last year so by this time last year I was really getting big. But Easter was an exciting time...sitting in church feeling the baby move, wearing my first maternity dress for the first time, showing my new belly off to family...it was neat. This year things are vastly different, from my parents going to a different church to the complete change in lifestyle that a baby brings. Should be a fun weekend. I just hope Jacob sleeps. He finally did last night, by the way, which was awesome. I don't know if it was the extra dose of food he got at day care (they accidentally made up a second batch of fruit and cereal and didn't want to waste it) or if finally elevating the end of his mattress did it. Could be his reflux was bugging him, and elevating the mattress helped. We shall see how tonight goes. I'd say that it wouldn't matter since I'm not working, but we're making the most of my time off and getting our taxes done in the morning...so we're on our normal schedule even though I'm not going to work :-P Still, the day off will be great and I am really looking forward to the holiday. If I don't get a chance to blog again, have a very Happy Easter!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Last night he woke up again. Craig went in twice, I went in once. At one point we just decided to see if he would cry it out and fall asleep on his own. We'd pondered that other nights, but last night we really gave it a shot. Craig's second trip in was near the end of that process, but eventually he did go back to sleep without sleeping with us. While I'd love to think it will make a difference (some people swear that technique works right away when it's used at bedtime), I don't know if Jacob would have the cognitive ability while half-asleep at 3am to make whatever connection in his mind that cry-it-out success stories make when they become functional sleepers. Listening to him cry was hard, but honestly, I've been so tired and this whole situation has been so frustrating that sympathy was in short supply last night. I felt bad...but not bad enough to get up more than once. I guess the biggest issue is that there isn't anything visibly obvious as to why Jacob wakes up. If he was waking up sucking on his hands like a madman, obviously it would be teething and we'd grab the Tylenol. If he was sick, we'd do what we could to make him comfortable. But not knowing what's wrong, it's hard to know if there's a real reason or if he's just wanting some company. Maybe it's gas/constipation (trying Mylicon before bed and giving him prune juice again...no luck so far). Maybe it's his reflux...but we're doing everything we can to help him there already. But ultimately, whatever it is, the goal would be to help him be a functional sleeper in the midst of it. Sure, we want him to sleep so he's energetic, happy and healthy, but that shouldn't be at the expense of our sleep or accomplished in a way that makes him a less effective sleeper in the long run. So if we can work around the problem and help him sleep through it, that would be better for everyone. But I just don't know what it will take to get there since we don't know what the problem is. It's definitely frustrating but we're hoping he just grows out of this soon or we find a workable solution in the meantime.
In other news...crawling is coming along. He's still not exactly motoring around, but he's getting better and it's been fun to watch. It's nice to be able to put him on the floor and let him go get the toys he wants to play with. Last night he alternated between his newest moose (fresh from Craig's trip to Colorado), his peek-a-blocks, and his activity table that started this whole crawling thing. It's sort of a neat thing to see him be able to express himself like that. Instead of just being handed a toy and simply playing with it or dropping it, now when he drops it we know why...at least when he specifically goes after something else. I keep thinking how fun it will be for him at day care to be able to get around the room he's been in for so long, on his own terms. They've made it an interesting and safe room to crawl around, so I think it will be an enlightening experience for him. As it is he's the oldest full time kid in the room (one little girl keeps going back and forth because she's very attached to the one teacher but she's old enough for the next room), so he's getting some new experiences these days when he goes into the other room and hangs out with the "big kids". Yesterday he played with bubbles, and this morning when I left him there, he was getting to play with Cool Whip. All the kids were in high chairs getting dollops of Cool Whip on their trays, and being able to mush it around. At first I was a little concerned about the dairy element of it all (kids under 1 aren't supposed to get it), but was hoping he just wouldn't figure out to put it in his mouth (hasn't figured out Cheerios yet...why Cool Whip?)...but then I figured out that it's non-dairy. I hope he had fun and is enjoying his sensory experiences.
Anyway, wish us luck for tonight...
Monday, April 6, 2009
All of the fun and excitement of visitors and milestones almost would have had this as an A+ weekend, but Jacob slept terribly the last two nights. Both nights I/we have given up and had him sleep with us for a little while. When you desperately need sleep and that's the only way it will happen, that's how it goes. I've said it before...it's a bad habit to get into, but it just seems like there isn't any other way. When he gets in this sort of mood, Jacob just won't go back to sleep (let alone stop whining/crying) unless he's right near us. The second you stop rubbing his back and step out of the room or set him back down after extended rocking, he starts crying again. And we've tried to wait out the crying a couple times, but he's persistent. I think the new crawling developments have made it that much worse, because last night he was even sitting up and moving all over the crib when he was awake. He still only seems half awake a lot of the time, too, which I think probably makes him that much more irrational (as if a 9-1/2 month old is ever rational, but...). I've read that babies who hit big developmental milestones tend to wake up more, in essence to practice their newfound skills, but this same sort of thing has been happening on and off for weeks so I'm not sure what's up. Gas? Constipation? Teething? Growth spurt? Nothing is emerging as the big winner, so I am perplexed. But when he's awake Jacob's been pretty great lately...still has his moments but 90% of the time he's happy or at least content.
In other news, I am officially liking the reworked living setup. It looks a lot bigger, and I don't have to contend with sitting on our beaten down ottoman anymore. I still have no idea what happened to it, but the cushioning in one area was completely decimated and it was awkward to try to sit on it. So now it's a modified coffee table, merely there to hold the newspaper, be a footrest, or for Jacob to try to pull up on. Adding the chaise to the chair (instead of the couch)makes getting into and out of the chair much easier, and the whole flow of the room is better. It's been a nice change, surprisingly.
We'll see how quickly he gets good at this crawling thing, and in the meantime we need to start thinking about babyproofing. Ugh.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Once we got back to our house, my mom and I were playing with Jacob on the floor. He really loves his peek-a-blocks, which we were having a good time with. But then I brought out what's probably his favorite toy right now, a hand-me-down activity table from Uncle Brad's family. It's got some stacking rings, a few of those pop beads, a spinning noisemaker, and some other activities he hasn't completely figured out yet. Lately Jacob's been pulling up to his knees and enjoying standing while supported, so the table is perfect for him to play at. When I brought it out, he got pretty excited, and before we knew it, he was crawling toward it!
Jacob's been close to crawling for a bit now. He started rocking a while back and lately has been getting closer to lifting his legs. He's been trying to launch himself forward and was really getting quite the jump in the past couple days. Mostly his crawling attempts ended in face-plants or he just sat back down before trying too hard, but you could tell he was merely days away. My goal was to have him crawling by next weekend when we're back home for Easter and seeing a lot of family for the first time in a while (or ever!). We played with him a lot on the floor during our visit today, but all of a sudden when we got back home he just figured it out! He did it a few more times, so we know it wasn't a fluke. He's still got some practicing to do, but he's really got it! Unfortunately Craig wasn't here to see it, but it was nice to share it with Grandma and Grandpa!
As a result of today's big event and Jacob's constant obsession with our coffee table, I decided that it was officially time to move the living room around to make it more Jacob friendly. The coffee table got pushed into a corner, the end table got moved across the room, the chaise extension on the couch moved to the armchair, and the armchair's ottoman is now in front of the couch as a sort of soft coffee table. It gives Jacob two softer things to pull up on and takes away his biggest temptation...or at least moves a lot of the less baby-proofed stuff a bit out of the way so it won't be as easy for him to find them. He still will, I know, but it will take a little longer than it would have before. The room definitely looks bigger now and he's got some extra room to play. It will take some getting used to, but I think it's good for now.
Anyway, here's some video of one of his crawls. It's not a great angle and it makes him look a little more clumsy than the crawling really was, but you get the idea. And there are a couple cute smiles, too, so if nothing else it's worth it for that! Enjoy...
Thursday, April 2, 2009
7) "7am? That's sleeping in!" - My perspective on sleep and sleeping in have definitely changed. Before Jacob I was convinced that 4am didn't even exist...I never saw it for more than, say, a quick glance at the clock if I happened to wake up for a brief moment. Early on in this experience I got quite familiar with times like that. Fortunately those occurrences have been fewer and farther between since Jacob started sleeping through the night, but once in a while we do see those terrible wee hours. My alarm goes off at 6am each morning and I get out of bed by 6:30, so if I ever get to actually sleep until 7 on the weekends, it is sleeping in. And if Craig happens to take a morning shift with Jacob and lets me sleep later (since he usually gets a good 1-1/2 - 2 hours more sleep than me), even better. It's a wonderful thing to even lay in bed until 8am.
I can't remember if I had more in mind when I conceived of this topic, but I think these are some pretty good ones...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Here are a couple pictures showing Jacob's rash. It's tough to see but you can probably see the blotchiness a little on his belly, back and neck. It only lasted a couple days and didn't seem to itch or anything.
Here's Jacob's first official ride on the swings at the playground on Saturday. I'm not entirely sure what the deal was with this swing, because it wasn't like the baby swings of my youth (it was bigger), but my guess is that it might be for special ed kids at the school, if they need to be strapped in. Still, it worked for Jacob. The only problem was that the swing faced the sun so he could hardly open his eyes to enjoy it. Sunglasses are coming soon...
Here are two pictures I took while sitting at the computer while Jacob tried to figure out this crawling thing. He can still move himself around pretty good despite not being able to crawl. He managed to spin and roll and scoot a couple feet when he decided that the bottom of the chair made a good chew toy. Oh, to have the ability to read a baby's mind...
Looking mischievous already!