Friday, October 31, 2008

Jacob's First Halloween

Well, it didn't go exactly as planned, but Jacob's first Halloween is in the books! We got a head start yesterday with the photo session I had been planning, with the "Jacob-sized pumpkin" and our jack o' lantern. Good thing I did this in the morning, because the clothes were out of commission by the afternoon, thanks to Jacob's first blowout in a while...thankfully it was at daycare, and thankfully Mommy's stain removal worked well...so hopefully any future siblings can enjoy this shirt as well...




He wore his Halloween outfit yesterday because today was "Ira Sleeps Over" Day at day care. I don't know if it was an effort to get everyone off the hook of "keeping up with the Joneses' Halloween costumes" or what, but everyone was supposed to dress in their PJs today for a special day with the book "Ira Sleeps Over". I know it was around when I was a kid but I can't for the life of me remember it. Anyway, Jacob just wore a sleep 'n' play because I wasn't sure how he'd do in his sleep sack all day. Today was also his last day in the little infant room. Next week he moves up with the bigger kids. He may start learning all sorts of new things now that he'll be with babies that can sit up, crawl, eat solid food, and whatever else. He's been with some of these kids before, when he was the little guy in the room. They've all moved up and now he gets to join them. It was weird saying goodbye to his teacher this morning...like, "Thanks for everything!" What else do you say? He should still have the same caretaker in the late afternoons, so that's good...they seem to get along well and I like talking to her, too. She's due with her first baby in January, so she won't be around for that much longer, but I'll be happy if she's still with Jacob to help him transition in for now. Hard to believe we'll be going to a different room on Monday!
Tonight we went to the Amerks game. It was either stay home and hide in the dark, stay home and try to give out candy despite nursing every couple hours, or go to the game and let Jacob wear his costume for a bit. The game wasn't very well attended (duh, it's halloween) and Jacob didn't exactly love his costume. I think part of the problem was that it was so warm today...which was awesome...but not so awesome when your costume is thick and furry. We still managed to walk around for a bit and say hi to Daddy, but we didn't really get around to trick-or-treating in the suites or anything. We did get a picture, though:
We had to unzip it a bit to keep him cool. You can't see it in the picture, but the costume has a cute little stinger on the butt...so sweet. It was a long day for Jacob but he did pretty well. Now we're home and he's in bed...and I'm not far behind! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Serious stuff...but don't miss the Halloween treats at the end...

I've been blogging now for about 10 months...10 months yesterday, actually, now that I look at it. By the time I started blogging we were past the first trimester and were slowly but surely letting the cat out of the bag as we found appropriate. A year ago right now Jacob already existed but we wouldn't know it for a couple more weeks. Amazing how times have changed! It's been a great experience to document all of this for the past ten months, and it will be something fun to look back on when Jacob's older and we're seasoned parents...or when we do it all again in a couple years!

Unfortunately, over the life of this blog I've also managed to rub some people the wrong way with the things I've written. Both sides of the family have expressed concern at various times. Blogs are dangerous, I guess. You put yourself out there for all the world to see, knowing full well that the written word doesn't always capture the full picture. If there's anything I've learned in the digital age, it's that e-mails and instant messages (and now blog posts) don't have facial expressions or intonation to fully convey what you're saying...and hence things get taken the wrong way when someone reads too far into it or sees it from a different angle. Obviously it has never been my intention to anger people. That's the last thing I want to do...I hate conflict. No matter how many times I re-read the inflammatory content, I know the context in which I wrote it and know it wasn't meant in a hurtful way. Can I see how it would be taken the wrong way? Maybe, if you choose to believe I'd purposely be hurtful. Perhaps I could have chosen my words better at times, or left out certain things altogether to minimize the risk of something being taken the wrong way, but I don't feel anything I have written has been hurtful when taken at face value within the context meant for it. For the mere fact that I have written things that could be taken the wrong way, I apologize to anyone affected by it. However, I must admit I am hurt that people I care about would think that I had any malicious intent in writing the things I did. If I really thought they were going to be hurtful, why would I write them? This blog is supposed to be a happy thing, about the greatest thing ever to happen to me/us--Jacob.

Obviously something sparked this post, but I'm not going to get into details. It's been an upsetting last day or so as a result, because family is really important to both of us. Were it not, we probably wouldn't live where we do...we probably would have gone somewhere else where Craig's sports career could be more financially rewarding. We might also have been less likely to have kids. Just a few years ago we were both working in sports, with little time for anything else. Part of the motivation in me moving to a different job was so that one of us had a normal, more kid-friendly schedule. I think the fact that we both grew up in awesome, supportive families was a big factor in even wanting to have kids...both to bring someone else into that circle and also build our own life as a family and enjoy that stuff all over again. And that's why it's hard when something I write gets taken the wrong way. The last thing I want to do is upset the family members that have made our lives so rich.

I can apologize for writing something that could be taken the wrong way, but I still can't control what people think or how they react, so that leaves future blog posts just as vulnerable. Where does this leave the blog? Honestly, I can't bring myself to end it. I know that the people who still read it enjoy it, and it's an easy way to keep people updated. I have enjoyed this journey and will continue to enjoy looking back on it as time goes along. I just think it would be a shame to stop. Obviously the photos are the big draw, so I guess I'm going to focus more on that, along with more straightforward posts whenever Jacob hits a milestone. Not that I won't have random posting like I've done in the past if the mood strikes, but I think that's going to be toned down a bit to minimize any future issues.

Anyway, as I said earlier, this blog is ultimately about Jacob. And I think we can all agree he's a pretty amazing little dude. As proof, allow me to present a couple pictures to end this post on a happy note:
Jacob's runner-up Halloween costume...a little kitty costume that my grandma made years ago. It didn't quite fit him in the legs, so it was a no-go. He looked cute, though! (Pardon my feet making an appearance...)

Jacob in his halloween shirt (courtesy of my boss...so sweet of her!) with his "Jacob-sized pumpkin", as I was calling it when we were looking for one like that. I'm hoping to do a more formal version of this later in the week when I have him in this outfit again (I need to get the halloween gear as much use as I can while I can, right?), but I did this one as a backup for now!

Monday, October 27, 2008

He made my morning...

I think Jacob knew he had to make up for his little freakout on Saturday night, because he gave me a little treat this morning. As I was getting him dressed, I tickled his torso, from his belly up to his armpits, which I actually do quite often--his belly is just irresistable :) But this morning he let out the best laugh! A real, from the belly, extended laugh...and he did it twice! Until now I've only gotten a little laugh here and there...where you couldn't really tell if it was a laugh or a cute baby noise that sounded like a laugh. But this was definitely a laugh...and it was absolutely adorable! It's been making me smile all day long. Of course, now I'm totally going to want him to do it all the time, and he's probably going to get sick of getting tickled...but it's a risk I'm willing to take!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rough night

For the first time ever, Jacob kept us up half the night. We're not sure what happened. Obviously we were in a different setting (he was in his pack-n-play at Craig's parents' house) and it's been a while since he's slept away from home, but this was unprecedented. He had been fussing a bit during his last feeding, but that wasn't surprising since Jacob's four cousins were chasing each other all over the house. Day care noise must be one thing...four active kids must be another! We went upstairs to finish up and get him ready for bed, and he went to bed happy with no issues. He made some noise over the monitor, but no crying. After an hour or so I could tell he still wasn't asleep, and he started fussing a bit more. I went up to check on him, he calmed down, and I laid down for a bit just in case. Craig came up around 11:00 or 11:30, and pretty much from that time on, until about 2 or 3, we couldn't put Jacob down without him freaking out. He slept on Craig a couple times (good for Jacob, good for Craig, but scary for me), but besides that, he just wouldn't sleep. And he just never seemed to get tired. Even after crying for a while, when Craig and I were sitting there trying to figure out what to try next, he didn't slow down. I think finally around 2 or 3 he chilled out and fell asleep, but it was still not the most settled night after that. We didn't officially get out of bed until about 11. He did ok after that, until he started to get sleepy again while we were out watching the Bills game at the VFW Post (he's not used to Buffalo sports fans yet...not a fan of sudden noises!), and now he's taking a bit of a nap in his car seat while we relax a bit. Let's hope this was just a blip on the radar and not the beginning of a trend. Still, he needs to know how to sleep in his pack-n-play, so this could be a little scary...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Baby pictures

Sorry, not Jacob...yet. I will have some soon, I promise. We got our Jacob-sized pumpkin today that I had been wanting to get to pose him with, so I should have some cute stuff to share soon.

But tonight I finally got to see Craig's baby pictures, so I could see how similar he and Jacob looked. I'll admit, there were some pretty striking similarities. However, it also proves that there's got to be some of me in there somewhere, even if I can't always see it. I guess Jacob has my nose (Craig's was different) and my head shape (Jacob's is rounder than Craig's was). But some of the pictures did look remarkably similar. Funny how genetics work. I do hope Jacob avoids the awkward phase we both went through, but I think every kid goes through that in one way or another, from bad hair to bad teeth to bad clothes. Much of that can probably be blamed on the styles at the time. I'm still convinced that all those little boys running around with long hair right now will wonder what they (or their parents) were thinking about 10-15 years down the road. At least Jacob is starting out incredibly cute, so there's a good canvas to work with!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Doctor's appointment

Remember when the doctor's appointments were all mine? Seems like an eternity ago now...I would swear I was never pregnant if it wasn't for Jacob's presence (although, the stork theory is still out there...but no...I remember the pain) and my belly that doesn't look like it used to. Anyway, today was Jacob's doctor's appointment--his four month well visit. Everything went well. He's up to 14 lbs. 7 oz. and 25 inches long...right at the 50th percentile for both. His head circumference wasn't exactly high on the charts, but I'm going to chalk that up to genetics since he's reaching his developmental milestones ok. The doctor didn't seem concerned, anyway. I had a long list of questions for the doctor, and we came home with two prescriptions and one other recommendation. He's going to stay on the Zantac for a bit longer, he's going to go on a Vitamin D supplement (standard for breastfed babies), and we need to get some cream for a dry patch on his face...poor kid got fair skin from both sides! She didn't seem concerned about his rolling over in bed--that if he's strong enough to do it, you can't stop him and he should be ok to sleep that way. Still scares the crap out of me. No idea why he likes it so much all of a sudden, though. Too many naps on daddy's chest, maybe? He had to get more immunizations today as well, which he of course screamed through. Poor thing. Probably didn't help he was hungry at the time so he was already fussy. He slept through the night but woke up at 6:15 this morning, which put his every-three-hour feeding right smack in the middle of his appointment. I knew it would happen. He survived, though, and fell asleep on the way to day care. I'm sure he was voraciously hungry by the time he woke up, though. I haven't gotten the full report yet because the boys are sleeping in the living room. Speaking of daycare, he'll be moving up to the next room early next month! Hard to believe he's the big boy in the little infant room now and an influx of new babies is pushing him up! Just when he was getting in good with that little Chloe ;-) Back to the older women, I guess! I'm hoping he'll still get to see some of his current caregivers, because they seem nice...especially the one that's there with him in the evening...though she'll be off on maternity leave soon enough herself.

Anyway, time to go make dinner. Just wanted to pass along the update!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rolling Over

Why is it that whenever I try to get Jacob to roll over when we're playing, he won't, and when I don't want him to--when he's in his crib--he does? The second we put him in his crib, particularly when he's upset, he flips himself over. He did it a number of times last night, and it's making us nuts. It took some good sucks on a pacifier last night to get him to settle down (my absolute last resort--I figured it was worth a try when he tried sucking my face, then my fingers when I was checking him for teeth!), and even then the best we could get was him sleeping on his side. By 5am he was over a little further, and by 6:30 he was all the way over on his belly. As if the fear of SIDS wasn't enough when we were doing everything right, now it's going to make me crazy because Jacob just won't stay put and inevitably ends up with his head right up against a side of the crib in some sort of contorted position. Even the other night, when he went down without a fight and slept through the night without much more than a peep, he was still in a weird position when I went in to get him.

I don't know if he's figured out he's more mobile than he thought and wants to keep exploring that, or if there is something physical that's bothering him and it's making him want to move. It's just so odd how sometimes he just won't go into his crib and fusses like crazy whenever we try to put him in it, no matter how long we've been holding him or how sleepy he is. But then again, some nights he's fine. I know being overtired can contribute to bad sleeptime behaviors, but unfortunately, we only have so much control over that since we're not with him all day. Maybe it's gas?

He's still not that controlled with his movements, obviously, and my fear is that he's going to work himself into a corner and be unable to get his head into a good position for breathing. I hope he's with it enough to know to cry if he's uncomfortable like that or is having trouble breathing. And I hope I'm with it enough at that time of night to remember that he's gotten into these bad habits and I need to go check on him. I have been placing him further down in the crib and further over to give him more room to move, in hopes he just won't get far enough to get stuck somewhere....to no avail.

I know that kids slept on their bellies for ages with minimal issues, but I just don't want Jacob to be the exception. I don't even want to take the chance. It's agony to even think about it. He's got a doctor's appointment tomorrow and I will be interested to see if they have any suggestions. I have a handful of other questions on the agenda so far, from his bedtime issues to whether or not he needs a Vitamin D supplement (per things I've been reading and a story in the paper recently). I'm also going to check in about his cough (better, I think, but he's still got it), and ask about flu shots. He can't get one until he's six months, but I'm guessing it would be a good idea for Craig and me to get them...as long as it's ok when breastfeeding. On the bright side, we'll get another weight check and length check, I assume, and will see where Jacob falls on those percentile charts. My guess is he'll be about on track for weight (if not a bit light--tiny waist on that kid, based on the fit of his pants) and a little longer than average. Should be interesting. I'm off for an evening alone with Jacob while Craig goes to a dinner in Canada for work. Let's hope he's on his best behavior or it could be a long night!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hmmm....

Over the weekend on our date night, I was debating whether or not I should have a second beer. I was free from nursing for at least another few hours and thought I'd just try to relax and feel like my old self a bit while I could. Beer was never my drink of choice, but it was there and it was easy. While I was debating with myself, a woman that I've known for a while came over to the fridge. While the conversation that followed didn't surprise me, it made me shake my head a bit regardless. I explained my dilemma and she basically said, "Ugh, breastfeeding...I never even bothered with that. [Drinking] was the first thing I did after I had my baby. I wanted my body back!"

While I understand what she was talking about, and have even felt like that periodically, the whole thing couldn't help but bug me. Maybe it was just the tone of her voice, how flippant she seemed about it all. On the surface, it just struck me within the same vein as my beef with all of the other anti-breastfeeders out there. I know it's not for everyone, but I've long felt like every woman owes it to their baby to give it a shot. It's good for the baby, and despite some early frustrations, it can also be good for the mother. It's a new thing for every new mother and every baby, so it's going to take some getting used to. While I get that it's not the most comfortable thing sometimes (be it due to physical difficulties like engorgement or mental blocks about the ickiness of breastfeeding (for lack of a better term)), I still think it's worth a shot. You never know if you'll end up liking it, even if it's merely only tolerable for the sake of convenience or financial savings. So while I get that some women have legitimate concerns about breastfeeding, I still feel like it's worth trying. After nine months of discomfort, what's a little more if it means your baby will get a little extra nutritional boost?

The more I thought about the statement, though, the more it struck me as sad. I mean, isn't having a baby all about giving of yourself for this new little life? Pregnancy isn't easy, and I've even said before that I'm in no rush to do it again because I'd like to have my body be my own again for a while. It's a scary thing to always worry about what you're putting into your body because of what it might do to your unborn child. Nursing does continue that trend, though there are small differences here and there (like being able to work a drink or two into the mix without much risk to the baby). But I've decided that the drawbacks aren't strong enough to make me want to give it up anytime soon.

But what really struck me about this whole thing is that once you have a child, your body is NEVER really 100% your own again. From a stubborn little potbelly to the perpetual drool on your shoulder, from thinking about your baby 24/7 to having your heart practically hardwired to your child, your life is never just your own again. Between some random thinking the other day and the concert the other night, I was a little sad to realize that no vacation or shorter activity apart from Jacob (or any future children) will be quite as purely enjoyable as it was before kids, because part of me will always be somewhere else, thinking about him, wondering what he's doing, feeling a tad guilty for not being there with him, etc. I know that stuff is necessary for my sanity, but still. Worrying about that little fetus on our trip to Florida last December seems to pale in comparison to the emotions I'll feel on our next husband-wife vacation, whenever that finally happens.

Being a parent isn't for the selfish. If alcohol was such a tough thing to give up for this person, it makes me wonder what other sacrifices she's begrudgingly made (or not). I don't want any non-breastfeeders out there to take offense at this post, but I guess as a whole I just felt like she was so dismissive of the concept, despite the good it could have done for her child, and it just seemed like it might be a smaller symptom of a larger issue. It just bugged me. Anyway...enough about that.

Side note after a long bedtime fight last night: I've decided that the moment your baby finally closes his eyes and drifts off to sleep is much like the moment the sun goes below the horizon. Your baby's eyes close ever so slowly, and in an instant you can tell when they're really asleep, whether it's because they go limp, their mouth hangs open, or you can just feel a peace about them. Like the bright sun disappears below the horizon, your baby drifts off to sleep. The day's excitement is over and there's a serene beauty that follows...whether it's the fantastic post-sunset color palette (lovely last night as well) or the sweetness of a sleeping baby. Jacob fought us for a good half hour or more (which he did most of the day when it came to sleep) and after sitting quietly for a while I got up to put him down. He stirred a bit and whined a little when I put him in his crib, but as he turned on his side like he usually does when he fusses, he just...stopped. His face relaxed and he quieted down, fast asleep. Ahhh....peace. Now if only he would have stayed asleep until 6am and stayed in one spot...ugh.

Four Months

Jacob is four months today. He celebrated that by waking up right around the time he was born (about 3am) screaming and hungry. Hmmm. That after a tough time getting him down for the night...about an hour long process, at least. This morning when I went in to get him, he was sleeping with his head tucked in the back corner of the crib, nearly face down between the mattress and the bumper.

The good news:
- Jacob officially rolled over from his back to his front.
- He's obviously quite mobile now, since he turned himself about 90 degrees and moved up about two feet to get himself in that position.
- We have breathable bumpers.

The bad news:
- The fact he can roll over and plant himself face down in his crib is going to make me a nervous wreck.

More later...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Date Night

Tonight Craig and I had our first real date night. The only other time we'd left Jacob with a baby sitter to spend time together was when I was in Lois' wedding and we took my cousin Lori with us for the weekend. Tonight Craig had a work function, going to see Sugarland and Kellie Pickler (of American Idol fame) in concert. Lori and my Aunt Lynne tag teamed the baby sitting, with one taking the early shift and one the late shift. Thank goodness for local family, because I don't know or think I could trust some teenage girl from the neighborhood. Since we leave Jacob at day care all day, a baby sitter (particularly family) probably isn't that much traumatic, except that it's in your own house so ultimately you're responsible for the rules. It was a bit of a rush to get home from work, pump, get a bunch of notes together about where things are, what to do if he freaks out, etc., get ready, and get out the door. We finally did it (albeit 15 minutes late), and ended up having a really good time at the concert. We ate too much, drank a bit (two beers...hours ago, so the pumping I just did (desperately needed) should be a-ok), and hung out. It was nice to just be out as a couple again.

However, I REALLY missed Jacob. I thought about him all night, texted Lori a few times to check in, looked at his picture on my phone, talked about him a bit, and just generally missed him like crazy. I think under normal circumstances an evening away would be fine. It's just that when I haven't seen him all day, missing an evening with him is tough. Every day I wait to get out of work so I can go home and see him, and today I got about 30 seconds of quality time among my rushing around after work. I went in to kiss him good night when we got home, but I didn't want to linger too long or caress him too much for fear I'd wake him up. I couldn't help but laugh, though, that his hand was somehow up in the air from the elbow up. Who sleeps like that?

It makes me wonder if we're ever going to be able to take a romantic vacation alone without our minds constantly drifting back to Jacob. It's hard enough getting over the fear of leaving him in someone else's care for an extended period of time...worried about him getting cared for as you would do it, hoping he doesn't forget you or resent you...but the emotions involved in not being involved in his life every moment make stuff like this tough. Tonight was probably the first night since the hospital where I haven't put him to bed. I think even with the wedding he was up for a late feeding when we got back.

I guess I didn't anticipate missing him that much, but I really did. The good news is that I have two full days with him coming up. Of course, I will have to share him on Sunday since my parents and a bunch of family members are in town for our family Oktoberfest, but we should still get a significant amount of time together. I can't wait. But first I need a good night's sleep...apparently you can get out of practice of being out late. I am beat!

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Things

Jacob has picked up some new habits in the last few days. I'm sure I'll be saying that pretty much every week at one point or another for months and months to come, but it's just amazing to see him pick up new abilities out of the blue.

A few days ago I caught him craning his neck trying to see out of his carrier. It's now a full body craning, which Craig refers to as Jacob working his abs :) I think it's more of a curiosity thing than him wanting to actually get out of the carrier, but I'm sure that's not that far down the road. For now he's still pretty content in there unless he's cranky and wanting some attention.

Last night we noticed Jacob actually grabbing for the toys on his baby gym. He'd swatted at them a bunch before, and seemed to get more coordinated in that effort in the last few weeks, but last night he was actually grabbing things and holding them for a bit. He even got the music to play once (you have to push a big orange button on one of the fish toys) and Craig swears that Jacob did it on purpose, actually holding it and pressing the button.

Last night he was also talking up a storm! His noises have been getting cuter and more frequent in the past few weeks, but last night a couple times he got really vocal and was making a wide variety of noises for a significant period of time. They were hilarious! It was almost as if he knew exactly what he was saying and was trying to have a normal conversation with us...complete with intonation, facial expressions and a variety of sounds. It was so funny and extra adorable since he was smiling and bright-eyed for the whole "conversation".

One of my least favorite new habits has to do with this whole rolling over thing. When he's in his crib he tends to roll on his side a lot and he sometimes buries his face in the mattress. I'm not sure what purpose the face burying serves for him (maybe he thinks it'll feed him?), but it makes me incredibly nervous. I just don't want him rolling, getting stuck, and inadvertently blocking his airways. I usually listen to the monitor like a hawk when he's falling asleep, in case any of his noises sound panicked or muffled. Chances are he'll be fine, but it scares the crap out of me.

Jacob is back to waking up fairly early (if not in the middle of the night--though this morning he did make it to 6am). I think now it's basically the result of his cough waking him up and while he's awake he decides he's hungry. In case I hadn't mentioned it yet, we just have to wait this cough out. It usually takes a while to go away after bronchiolitis, unfortunately. It pains me all night every time I hear him cough...both because I hate to hear him have to go through that and because I'm worried he's going to start crying and one of us (or both) will have to get up...and man, I'm tired these days as it is! At least he's going to sleep happier these days...and I know he can't help it at this point when he does wake up. I just worry about when we have to draw the line and let him cry it out so he doesn't get in the habit of getting fed in the middle of night. Tough call.

Still, he's such an awesome kid and I can't help but smile every time I think about him. We are truly blessed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

One more thing...

I forgot to add to my "Things that occurred to me over the weekend" list that I gained even more of an understanding as to why moms let themselves go. I already understood the time thing, that women don't always have time (or want to take the time) to work out. I definitely see myself wanting to run home more often to see Jacob than wanting to run off to the gym. I have to force myself to go, and that's why I'm only going once a week...but at least I'm still going. But anyway, the realization this weekend came when I was planning on running to the mall on Sunday afternoon. By the time I was ready to go, I realized Jacob would be hungry again soon and really needed to take a nap as well. I figured I'd give it some time and see if I could go again later. Alas, I was really tired and ended up taking a nap myself. By the time we would have been ready to go again, it was close to closing time for the mall and I just wasn't in the mood anyway. My thinking for women as a whole is that it takes too much coordinating to get to the mall to shop...between feeling like going, getting kids in the right frame of mind to shop, and getting far enough down the priority list that you have the time to do it. It's just not worth the effort sometimes, and if that feeling continues over a number of years, suddenly the mom hasn't been shopping in years and she's let herself go. This is a really simplistic way of looking at it, but it was just how I felt this weekend. I'll get shopping one of these days...I hope.

Things that occurred to me over the weekend...

Things that occurred to me over the weekend:

1) I was probably pregnant about this time last year. Though we never did exactly pinpoint when it all happened last year, it was somewhere in the first couple weeks of October, I guess. I still think it happened the weekend before I went to the doctor to see what was up...and that I hadn't been pregnant long enough by that Monday for the pregnancy test to come back positive. I think if I were pregnant any longer, though, it would have shown up. So yeah, funny to think that all of this started a year ago, and I didn't even know it. And I wouldn't know it for another month!

2) I have moved into a new phase of parenthood where I actually have some experience. I can talk to more experienced parents with some degree of knowledge, and might actually have some wisdom to impart to more recent members of the parent club. Yesterday I saw a new mom at church putting formula into a bottle from a baggie. I have my handy dandy sectioned formula dispenser that works pretty well. It has three sections that you can premeasure powder into, then just dump into the bottle. Seemed a lot easier than a baggie, and it was only a few bucks. I would have mentioned it to that couple if I would have had the chance (they skipped out early). Then last night at Wal-Mart the clerk asked me how old Jacob was. He said that he's got one that's five weeks, and I groaned a bit thinking back to the sleep deprivation. We chatted about that for a few seconds, and it felt funny to be past that part of this whole experience, but it was pretty cool.

3) I said it in yesterday's post, but I'll repeat it again...there is nothing better than having your baby look at you like you're the coolest and most entertaining person ever. When Jacob flashes me the biggest smile for no apparent reason, it automatically makes me smile back. I can't even describe it. He just completely cracks me up.

4) I sort of knew this already but I confirmed it pretty soundly this weekend--this frog toy that Jacob has on his carrier makes him stop crying. When he's screaming in the back of the car and there's nothing I can do about it, I reach back and try to make the frog toy ribbit...and sure enough, it makes Jacob stop crying...at least momentarily. That thing is magic.

I'm sure there's more, because weekends with Jacob tend to be pretty thought-provoking, but that's all I can muster for now. Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Big News!

Jacob may have reached two milestones today, though the one is probably up for debate! Of course, I was the only one here to witness them, so I don't have anyone to compare notes with! Anyway, earlier today I swear Jacob got in his first real laugh. For quite a while he's made some noises that sounded like laughing, but you could really tell that they were just normal baby noises that bore a resemblance to laughing. When you hear a real baby laugh, it's pretty unmistakable. I actually have another blog to thank for that...it posted a video of a laughing baby, and there was definitely a difference. I know all babies are different, but it confirmed that a real laugh just has a different sound to it. Anyway, I've been trying to tickle Jacob to get one out of him since I know he's in the age range to be able to do it, and I swear I got one today...a deep-from-the-gut giggle! I haven't been able to replicate it, but it was cute. He was really cute a lot today, actually. He had his fussy moments in between, but seriously...sometimes he'd make the cutest faces at the funniest times. When I was feeding him tonight, he took a little break, and when I looked down at him, he was just looking up smiling at me! It was so funny. There were just little moments like that all day, where out of the blue he'd just start smiling and making happy noises. There's nothing better than having your baby look at you like you're the best or most entertaining person in the world :)

As I mentioned, he did have his grumpy moments today. He got hungry during church and wouldn't stop screaming (we were in the crying room by then, thank goodness!) until I got him a bottle...and even after that he wasn't particularly happy. I ended up putting him in the swing for a while this afternoon and he took a two hour nap in there. Normally I would never leave him in there that long, but he desperately needed the nap, and so did I. We had a busy, nap-less morning since we went to the doctor--followup on the bronchiolitis--the cough is still there (horrible overnight) but apparently it will just take time to get better. He's got a well visit coming up in less than two weeks, so I imagine we'll look deeper then if it still isn't gone. Anyway, I expected he'd wake up happy, and he was for a bit, but then he started to get crankier again while we were out running a couple errands. However, when I went to get him out of the back seat he gave me a big grin. Maybe he's in a needy phase and just needed to see me. He was back to his happy self tonight, thankfully.

So anyway, at one point I put him down on his belly because he's been getting close to turning over and I wanted to keep him practicing. He struggled for a good five minutes or so, getting ever so close but not quite getting his leg to push right when he was at the peak. He did manage to scoot himself up the blanket a few inches when he'd get up on his knees and push off. He was starting to get frustrated but I told him to give it one more shot...and sure enough, a minute later, over he went! He was still too busy whining from being stuck on his belly to really process what he'd just done, but I picked him up right away to celebrate! So, his first big mobility milestone....Jacob turned over from his belly to his back! Back to belly can't be far behind based on everything we've seen, but once he masters that one, things start to get scary! I like being able to leave him unattended on his back for a few seconds here and there, playing in his baby gym or laying in the middle of our bed. It'll still be a while before he gets too far, but it'll happen before we know it.

Hard to believe the weekend's over already...no long weekend for me, unfortunately. Craig may have a short day tomorrow, but that doesn't nearly make up for working late on Friday and all day today. Hockey season has begun, and now more than ever I am relieved to not be working there anymore. I have something way better to fill those extra 10-20 hours each week! :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekend Treat

Jacob went to his first hockey game tonight. We actually didn't watch much of the game (actually, pretty much none) because we were walking around and I was afraid of the airhorn and all of the noise. I can't decide if I should buy headphones or if a winter hat with earflaps will drown it out enough. Anyway, Jacob did pretty well but it got late and he started to melt down as I figured he would. The night seemed to go well, though, even though the Amerks lost. I really don't miss that job at all. The amount of stress I would have been feeling today would have been horrible, and if I was still there we wouldn't have the time or money for a baby...so yeah, it's all worked out rather well.

Jacob is officially sleeping better. He goes down without as much fuss, has an easier time soothing himself, and has been sleeping better again. Whew. Of course, being up late tonight could have totally messed him up, but we'll see. He's taken to sleeping on his side a lot. Thank goodness for breathable bumpers, because this morning when I went in to get him, he had turned himself on his side and had his face buried between the mattress and the bumpers. It scares me when he turns himself like that. Tonight when I put him down he kept turning his head down into the mattress, like he was trying to eat. I decided to feed him a bit before putting him back down because I didn't want him suffocating himself! I don't know how I'll sleep at night when he figures out how to turn over.

It should be a nice weekend at home, with beautiful weather and just enough stuff to keep us busy. Every weekend is just such a blessing now because I get to spend time with him. Sleeping in and having time for other things is nice, but at 3pm today all I could think about was getting out and going to pick him up. He's so awesome.

And to prove it, here's a little video showing him in action...so cute! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bedtime

So...Perhaps Jacob was just sleep deprived. I don't want to come out and say that he's better, because every night is a new adventure around here these days. However, he did pretty much sleep through last night with just a little fussing (not enough for me to wake up--Craig checked on him briefly on the way back from the bathroom, though). Much better than the previous couple nights where I was up feeding in the middle of the night for the first time in a long time. Ugh. Jacob's napping wasn't going well for most of the week. Hardly anything on Monday with my parents other than when my mom took him for a walk, and just an hour yesterday before majorly crashing for most of the evening. I did some research and figured out that there was a chance that he just wasn't getting enough sleep in general, which was making him overtired and therefore extra cranky at night. I decided that I needed to make an effort to get him to bed earlier than I had been (usually around 10, depending on his feeding schedule). Early on he'd go to bed between 11 and 12, but back then the days just ran into each other...every three hours, day or night. Slowly but surely it's gotten earlier, usually with me aiming to get him eating his last meal by no later than 9:30. That didn't always work, but most of the time that's just how it worked out based on his schedule after day care. I knew that kids generally go to bed earlier than that, but figured it came later. I figured at this point he was mostly flexible within our schedule. But with how cranky he'd been with napping and going to bed lately, the sleep-deprived crankiness theory seemed plausible.

The problem? Well, here's my issue right now. Every day Jacob wakes up somewhere between 6:00 and 7:30. Sometimes I have to wake him up, but not often. He gets a half hour of feeding time, and other than that, there really isn't a lot of quality time. I try to play with him a little when I'm dressing him, or to interact with him if he ends up in his swing or vibrating chair while I'm finishing getting ready. Lately I take him in to Craig (who's still in bed) while I do any finishing touches. As it is I wake up at 6:15, get out of bed by 6:30, and need to be out the door by 8:30. There just isn't a lot of time to just have fun with him, and I really can't get up any earlier. At the end of the day, either Craig or I pick him up by 6:00. Often the non-picker-upper isn't home until 6:30 or 7. If he's awake at that point we can usually squeeze some playtime out of him before dinner, but between feedings and naps and cooking dinner and any other evening tasks that need to be done (dishes, bill paying, shopping, etc.), again the playtime is limited. Add a couple feedings in there and there's even less.

So...the point to all of this is that there wasn't a lot of good bonding time with Jacob before, and now, with an effort to get him to bed earlier before he melts down, there's even less. It bothered me enough before that the people at daycare see my baby more than I do, but this just made that even more obvious. I'll admit that I was a little nervous today when I came in to pick him up and he just kept staring at Ms. Angela and wouldn't turn to me even when I tried talking to him. Did he like her more than he likes me? He was good with me after we left, but still. That sort of thing messes with your mind. A handful of hours each day just doesn't seem like enough. I feel really bad about that. However, what can I do? I can't give up my job, and neither can Craig. On top of liking what we do, we can't afford to give up either salary, even if you take out the daycare cost we'd save. My dream has always been to go part time, but that's still a ways away, if ever. Not only is that probably not possible for my position, but money-wise I still think it would be a little too tight. It's a bummer.

If going to bed early gets Jacob sleeping better overall, we'll both be happier in the time we do have together...so that's good. But I can't deny that it kills me that I don't have more time to spend with him. He's so amazing and totally makes me laugh, and even giving up one more hour of that is tough. We'll see how it goes, though...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Picture Day

As promised, finally some pictures...


This was taken at my Geneseo reunion a couple weekends ago. Jacob was obviously enthralled by the goings-on. Although, this response is better than the one he had when I tried to take his picture overlooking the Genesee Valley...it's a great picture of the valley with Jacob screaming in the foreground. In any event, he got rave reviews even when sleeping. I love the open mouth sleeping face :)

This one is from this past weekend. I usually go for the smiley shots because they're too stinkin' cute, but he does have a sweet little face even when he's not smiling. As you can see, he's getting ever closer to mastering holding his head up. He's still not particularly excited about tummy time, though he will tolerate it for a bit. One of these days he'll roll over, and then there will be no stopping him.

I took a picture like this a couple months back and decided it was time to take another. Jacob was happy, and it had been a while since I got a good, smiley picture of him. It's tough to really compare the pictures, but it's funny because we thought at that time that Jacob was starting to chub up a bit, and now he looks quite a bit bigger than he did then...and I still don't think he's that chubby. He's definitely grown, though. And check out the dimple!!

People have been telling me to take a lot of pictures of him, because kids grow up so fast. I totally get that, and thank goodness for digital cameras...much easier to take a bunch and edit your photos without spending all the time and money on film and developing. I do still print mine, but I pick and choose. I like my photo albums a lot and thought it would be sad if they just cut off. Anyway...I take a lot of pictures but only like a handful of them. Part of me wonders if I'm being too picky...I mean, Jacob's adorable and as his mother I should love and cherish every photo. However, I want to show off his best looks. I don't mean to censor the not-so-great shots, but I tend to gravitate to the ones that seem to capture his essence the best. Sometimes it seems it doesn't transfer to photos very well, or that it's tough to get those key smiley moments. I just feel bad when I put him through repeated photo ops just so I can get a shot or two that I really like. And then at the same time I'm a slacker with video. Video will someday remind us of all this stuff we'll forget--his cry, his noises, his little movements--but yet it's hard to know what to capture, particularly right now when he doesn't do much except smile and bat at things. Like the mediocre pictures, I know that every moment is special, but I guess my challenge is figuring out what's special enough that I'm going to want to look at it repeatedly as the years go by. Hmmmm.
But anyway, I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fun weekend

Other than continued sleeping difficulties (which actually weren't too bad other than a 2:30am feeding this morning...ugh), we had a nice weekend. Jacob was very well-behaved on Saturday when we hung out with Lori (my cousin, his godmother). We went to lunch, did some shopping, and came back to her place to hang out. He only had a couple fussy moments, and otherwise was super happy and smiley. He also went to bed pretty easily that night, which was nice. He woke up at 5:30, but on weekends I don't mind because I know I can get up anytime around there, feed him, and still get a few more hours of sleep after. During our shopping I picked up a carrier cover to keep him warm when the weather gets cold, so that was good. He also got a couple cute articles of clothing and a $1 purple monster hooded blanket at Target...figure it'll be good for quick trips on cool evenings until I find him a winter hat or a hooded jacket or pram (aka snowsuit-ish type thing).

Yesterday we took Jacob's first trip to the arena for a hockey event. He got to see a lot of Craig's co-workers (some for the first time, some for the first time since he was about six weeks). He was strapped to my chest and was pretty sleepy by the time we got out to see the ice, but he'll get his first real dose of hockey on Friday. Later yesterday my parents came up to spend a couple days here. We had a good time (except for that darn Bills game) and today they are watching Jacob all day. So far so good apparently. He was a little fussy this morning but not too bad--which may have been due to the large poop he took shortly thereafter. He's now sleeping in his stroller after a long walk. He's eating well and I'm sure he will wake up hungry but happy this afternoon. My mom is cooking dinner (yes!) and I'm looking forward to going home for a nice evening. I just wish I wasn't so scared of nights now. So odd that he's regressed in the sleeping department. Still seems to be a growth spurt thing from everything I've read, so I'm hoping it fixes itself soon. He's still got a bit of a cough/congestion thing from the bronchiolitis, so if he's not all better by a little later this week, it'll be back off to the doctor even though we've got his four month well visit in a couple more weeks. Poor baby....and darn co-pays.

I'm hoping to get some new pictures on here soon. I was trying for some video and may have to try again later, but I know I at least have a cute pic or two I can post when I have a chance. He's such a cutie...adorable with his dimpled smile, and just super sweet even when he's not smiling. Such a good boy.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Discovery

We (Craig, me, and day care) have been noticing that Jacob is becoming more and more aware of his surroundings. I think he's officially discovered his hands, because he's taken to sucking on his fist a lot. He wraps one hand around the other fist, and basically sucks on the first finger at the top of the fist. It's sort of funny to see, and very funny to hear. I can't decide how I feel about the hand sucking, since it's a bad habit...but these days I'm all for anything that seems to soothe him, and that does it, at least for a bit. I also noticed the other day that he's finally seeing the animal mobile above his swing. For the longest time we tried to get him to look at the four animals that hang above the swing, and he never seemed impressed. But all of a sudden the other day I noticed him absolutely transfixed by them. It was actually really cute. Someone at cay care commented how he's becoming more aware of things, too. Supposedly he had full on baby conversation with one of the other boys there...exchanging baby noises like a normal conversation. Would have loved to see that!

Last night Jacob went down without a fight, though he had practically fallen asleep eating prior to that so I suppose he was too tired to bother. However, he started crying a bit at 1:30am...ugh. I waited it out and eventually he fell back to sleep. I knew he couldn't be THAT starving at that point, considering he's easily made it at least twice as long overnight before. However, he started up again around 4:30am, and after waiting as long as I could, I decided I was better off getting up and feeding him a bit so we could both get some sleep. I gave him ten minutes on one side and tried to switch him over, but he was apparently too tired to go on. That's another new trend, by the way--getting too tired after one side to bother with the other. He's almost never done that, but he's done it a lot this week. Anyway, I put him back down but he started crying a few minutes later, at which point I sent Craig in. No sense putting all the burden on me if he wasn't just hungry. Still, neither of us got much sleep after that point.

I theorized while I was laying there awake that maybe Jacob isn't sleeping through the night anymore because he's getting healthier. He's had that cough for over a month now, the one that we now know was due to the bronchiolitis. We're still giving him the inhaler a couple times a day (though not before bed, in case that was making him more hyper) because there's still a lot of congestion in there, but it sounds as if it's breaking up some. The cough isn't as frequent and he seems to be getting more out of his nose, so we're hopeful we're on the downside. So anyway, I was thinking that maybe his illness had been making him extra tired, and now that he's getting better, maybe he's back to being a "normal" baby...which I suppose means he wakes up once in a while. I'm still thinking it's probably a growth spurt, because they hit one at three months and it can disrupt sleep and all that. Let's hope it's just temporary.

In any event, I'm glad it's the weekend. A couple days with him will be nice, and my parents are coming in to visit for a couple days. They're going to be playing the role of day care providers on Monday, which will be an interesting experience for them. While I'm sure they'll do fine, it's probably been a while since they've had an entire day alone with a baby! I'm sure they'll have fun, though. I'm a bit jealous, actually!

Off to enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Updates

Not much has changed with Jacob's fussiness, though we did actually get him into bed without him crying last night. He started up about five minutes later, however. Tough to say if it has something to do with his medicine, the bronchiolitis itself, a growth spurt, or just some general change in his perception of the world. It's just a bummer because it came out of nowhere after weeks of great bed behavior--going to bed without incident AND sleeping through the night. He was up at 6am this morning, which was ok but earlier than usual. Again, I know we've been lucky for so long so it's tough to complain, but it does take some readjusting. Other than the bed issues he's still a pretty happy guy. We still get plenty of smiles and he doesn't seem too bothered by gas these days. He is actually on a pretty regular streak as far as BMs are concerned...three in two days late last week and three in two days between yesterday and today (two at day care--finally they get some of the fun!). It makes for much easier cleanups when he goes more frequently, that's for sure! I still can't tell if the expensive formula makes a difference for him or not. I guess we'll have to keep watching until this can runs out.

He had his first "school pictures" taken yesterday. I guess it's good because we hadn't gone to get any formal ones done elsewhere. Is it really necessary in this age of digital? I don't know. But apparently they got him smiling and a couple people told me he looked really cut and we'll have a lot to choose from. I can't wait to see them.

I forgot to mention (because I only figured it out the other day) that Jacob has now doubled his birth weight. He clocked in at 13 lbs. 10 oz. on Saturday, which is officially double 6 lbs. 13 oz. Crazy. Some days I can definitely tell, but others he still seems like this little tiny baby. We're slowly transitioning into size 2 diapers and eventually I'll get around to putting away most of his 0-3 month clothes. Some still fit, but things like Gerber onesies (traditionally run small) haven't fit well for a while. Just as well since it's getting too cold for his summer clothes anyway. Such a shame, because they were really cute :) He's also outgrown a bunch of socks with those giant feet of his. Scary to think we'll have to start getting shoes for those monsters sometime soon. Despite bulking up a bit, I think he's still probably a pretty skinny baby. He hasn't quite gotten that baby chubbiness yet, particularly around the waist (though I LOVE his belly!) because most pants are still big on him. Most sleeves, however, seem short. It's so weird how you can look at him and know he's grown, but that you really have to sit and think about it...otherwise he doesn't seem that different from the tiny baby we brought home! You just don't notice the changes as they're happening. But yep, I guess he really is a lot bigger than the little peanut I sat there feeding all the time in the hospital! Jacob's also on the verge of becoming the "big boy" in his room at day care...eventually the babies move up to the next room, and there's still one ahead of him who's over five months old. But he's supposed to be moving up soon and Jacob will become the oldest. Crazy, since it doesn't seem like that long ago that we were visiting that room the week before I went back to work and he was so small compared to the other babies. I can hardly believe it's been almost five months since we toured the place all the way back in May. That doesn't seem like it was an entire summer ago! Time flies!