Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I realized that I never got around to posting the winner of the Christmas card photo shoot, for those of you who aren't on the Christmas card list (and if that's the case and you're reading this, perhaps I should add you...hmmm.)...so here it is :) Definitely captures Jacob's essence! He is an incredibly happy little boy. He smiles almost every time we look at him now, which is such a nice feeling. Of course, we also know when he's not happy...and he's getting ever more adept at communicating that. He's acquired an ear-piercing shriek that he pulls out once in a while when he's extra angry about something. That is going to take some getting used to. But really, it doesn't happen very often and most of the time there's a good reason for it and it can be taken care of fairly easily. Usually he's hungry (once I can feed him he quiets down instantly), sleepy (a good rock and he's usually ready to nap--though he has to get to a certain fussiness before that will work), or bored/lonely (whether it's playing or just standing up and walking around, that usually works for at least a while, until one of the other two issues come up).

The whole smiling at us thing is really a lot of fun. He looks at us like we are the two coolest people ever. Big, open-mouthed grins, dimple in full view...it doesn't get any better than that. He's also been talking a lot lately. Still no real sounds--sounds that could form words--but lots of cooing and babbling. Some of the sounds are SO cute. Oh, and one of the best side effects of the smiling thing? It's a lot easier to get him to smile for the camera! Of course, he's still drooling and chewing on his hands a lot, teeth or not, so getting a picture minus those two elements is still a challenge.

Looking back on my year ago blog postings (I can do that now, which may provide interesting blog post fodder on slow days...), it's amazing how far we've come. From a newly pregnant couple that was totally clueless about babies to fairly competent parents of a six month old...though not to say that we don't still have our moments, most of which involve poop or unexplained crying spells, which I suppose could throw anyone off. And I know there are a million challenges ahead that we haven't even thought of yet...like when Jacob no longer thinks we're the coolest people he knows. Last year at this time we were finally getting the word out to people other than family, and starting to really worry and wonder about the rest of the pregnancy, now that the first trimester was officially over. Now I still worry about things, from making sure I'm doing the right thing for good breastfeeding to keeping Jacob safe. From his clumsy mom to giving him the freedom to sit on his own but trying to protect him from flopping over and banging his head, and from worrying about how secure he is in his carseat to rolling over on his face in bed, there's so much to think about. Just this morning I got a little concerned because I put him back to bed after his 7:30 feeding and some playtime (a little after 9am) and he slept until about 10:45. I was a little worried because that was a little out of character for my little catnapper. Crazy (but awesome!).

Still...I know how lucky we are. I was just watching a baby show this morning (Babies: Special Delivery--there really wasn't much on) and there was a couple profiled whose baby was born with some sort of cyst in her torso, and it was literally sucking the life out of her. Eventually she had a brain bleed and they had to take her off life support. She died. I just can't imagine going through a pregnancy and delivery, only to lose the baby a day or two later (or EVER, for that matter). I just held Jacob close and stroked his hand and face while I watched, knowing how incredibly blessed we are to have a relatively healthy little boy who brings us so much joy. 2008 has been a pretty amazing year, and I hope we experience equally good things in 2009. Have a very Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mouth-Related Stuff

Couple quick notes while I have Jacob standing on my leg fairly contentedly....

We had a really good food night tonight. Last night was okay, but tonight I made it a little thicker so it wasn't so drippy when I tried to feed him. He ate it rather well. I still have to leave the spoon there most bites to catch and refeed whatever he spits out, but I think he's getting better!

Also, today I was feeling around in his mouth when he was being fussy, and I felt something funny. The thing is, if it's a tooth, we have one abnormal baby. Instead of being in the front of his mouth, it's back on the side. Of course, that would explain his constant chewing of his hands on the side of his mouth. But do babies ever get those teeth first? Weird. Something to watch, I guess. The good news is that I think that tooth will hurt less when it comes to nursing than the front teeth, so all the side teeth can feel free to come in first! We'll keep you posted!

Wow...

Just realized that I've now been blogging for over a year. My first post was December 27, 2007, which was a year ago Saturday. Wow. Hard to believe!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas

I feel like such a slacker...Christmas was forever ago and I'm just getting around to posting anything about it. Although, we didn't get home until Saturday night and since then Jacob's been a little high maintenance. A marathon napper he is not.

Jacob had a nice Christmas...busy, but nice. My family's Christmas really got started last Monday with the birth of my niece, Kate. She's my brother's first baby (we found out they were expecting on the day of my first baby shower), which means I'm finally an aunt by blood :) Jacob is also an older cousin at the ripe old age of six months! Here's the first picture of them "together"...

As far as the rest of the week went...wow, was it busy. I felt like a terrible mother, but I had to send Jacob to daycare part of Monday and all of Tuesday just to finish everything up. I had some last minute baking and packing and wrapping to do just so we could leave Tuesday night. It was really crazy! I just felt like he'd be better off playing at daycare than having to run around with me for hours.

We had all of Christmas Eve day with Craig's family. We visited his Aunt Marie's house (which is usually the big family stop but was only a quick stop for us this year, for a few reasons), then went to church and back to Craig's parents for gift opening with the whole crew. This picture is just when we were leaving Aunt Marie's...so cute!

I don't have any pictures from gift opening because Jacob was eating his dinner through it all. Oh well. Still, here's a cute one I took while we were waiting to open them! Jacob did flop back into the tree a couple times while I was trying to get this shot...guess that head of his is just a little too heavy to hold up right now!

On Christmas morning we packed up and headed off for Christmas with my family. It's always quite an affair...a BUSY day. Dinner with my parents and grandma, then gift opening! Jacob loved his moose stocking that Grandma had for him (she's been sitting on it for a few years waiting for us to have kids!), and did pretty well with gift opening...he'd grab the paper and tear a little. Can't wait for his birthday!

This is Jacob showing how much he liked the sweater that Grandma knitted for him!

His big gift from my parents was already at our house, which was nice because it would have been a bear to transport. Jacob got a jumperoo, which he's slowly learning to use. Should have some good video at some point soon! He also got a wagon from some other family members, which will be great for summers to come! He got a lot of clothes (mostly from Craig's parents), and a few other fun toys, most of which make noise and light up! We had two more rounds of gift opening with both sides of my family. He wasn't a fan of all the commotion, but he seemed to survive pretty well nonetheless. All in all, it was good...lots of good gifts but not enough to tkae over the house completely.

He was a pretty good boy for most of the time away, though he's started this fussy back-arching thing, which isn't very fun. We're hoping it's just temporary. He slept pretty good, which was great, and he got to see a lot of people. We did have to keep up a twice-a-day regimen of his nebulizer treatments to try to kick his cough once and for all. He's handling them like a champ. We did put solid foods on the back burner while we were gone, but got back at it last night. We got through what I had prepared, but not without some fuss....still going to take a lot of practice.

Now I'm home with him for four days this week--two and a half alone--so it will be a crazy week. Lots of playing and lots of trying to get the house back in one piece when I can. I've been putting off a lot of projects until this week, so we'll see how many actually get done in between Jacob's needy spells. He's so happy a lot of the time but turns on a dime lately, whether he's hungry or bored. Speaking of which,his power nap is done and it's time to eat! Catch ya later!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Letting Go

I've discovered lately that I have a tough time letting go of the past, at least when it comes to Jacob. Every time he grows out of something, I have a hard time putting it away for the last time. I guess I grow very attached to his little clothes, and I can hardly believe when something that was once so big on him is magically now too small. I probably keep him in things longer than I should for that reason, but then again...things that don't fit him in one part of the body probably fit him in another, so it's tough to make the call. For example, his arms are long so his sleeves get short, but the body of the shirt will fit him. Or his legs are too long for the pants, but his skinny little waist fits in them perfectly. But it killed me to put away his 0-3 month onesies, and the 3-6's are now in the back of the drawer. I still haven't taken the time to put away his summer clothes, though we may need the closet space after Christmas!

I also had some mixed feelings about starting solid foods. It's a big step, and it's generally a great one. It's just...starting that means that he's growing up. He's taking steps toward not needing me to be his nearly sole provider when it comes to mealtime. It's a bit of a loss of control or something. It's a new world of high chairs and spoons and messiness. Definitely dreading the messiness. So far, though, it hasn't been going well. He spits a lot of it back out and then gets fussy. I don't know if he doesn't like it, doesn't realize it will ease his hunger pangs like milk, or isn't down with being confined to a chair instead of snuggling while he eats. We have to keep working on it, but I think for convenience sake we're going to give it a rest over Christmas. No sense dragging everything along if he's only going to get through a little bit before freaking out. We'll try again this weekend.

Ok, time to go get packed for a busy few days...if I don't get a chance to blog, Merry Christmas to everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Six months

I can hardly believe that Jacob turned six months today. How time has flown. He's grown so much. The other day I was looking at pictures from his first couple months and just marveled at how much he's changed. I mean, I still see the same little boy I've always seen, but in reality his whole face has changed. He's filled out, his eyes have gotten wider and darker, and that smile is my favorite thing in the world...particularly when it is joined by a laugh! I laughed at how skinny his little legs were, and I'm so amazed when I think back to how hard those first few weeks were. Being at the hospital that first week was extremely difficult, if only because it was hard to get to know him when nurses were giving him most of his care. I just remember being so overwhelmed by it all...from the sheer discomfort (delivery is really brutal, from the obvious pains to muscle aches from working so hard), to the sleep deprivation, to figuring out nursing and pumping, and of course working out those hospital visits. It was a very disorienting time, almost like being in a fog. The whole first couple months weren't far from that either. Heck, I still have days like today where I feel like I still don't have it all together, for one reason or another. Today there wasn't any specific frustration...just a general fear of not getting it all done before Christmas, I guess. My to do list for the next three days is massive...thank goodness I'm not working. Jacob's definitely going to daycare for at least parts of Monday and Tuesday. I'll start being a full time mom on Christmas Eve!

Thinking back on all of this has me nervously excited for my brother and his wife, who should be welcoming their daughter on Monday. It's so exciting! And honestly, it's nice having been through it and now being on the sidelines seeing someone else go through it. You appreciate it a lot more. Being a parent is overwhelming, and some of it is so hard that it's almost difficult to wish it on someone else...but in the end it's all worth it. It's something hard that you have to go through to make it to the awesome stuff on the other side, once your baby really starts responding to you directly.

Anyway, even with days like today I marvel at how far we've come, and how far Jacob has come. Let's see...some of his more recent milestones...he's definitely sitting up better. He's still not entirely stable, but he's really getting a lot better at staying upright for longer periods of time before that big ol' head of his knocks him off balance. It appears he's also gotten better at rolling over both ways in bed. He used to just roll one way and get stuck on his belly, but I've been finding him on his back again more and more when I go to retrieve him in the morning. He still sleeps on his belly with his butt in the air, though. He's really getting into his toes. He likes to try to pull his socks off and grab and/or suck on his feet. Or sometimes he just sucks his toes right through the socks. He comes by it honestly, though, because I really liked my toes too.

And seeing as today marked six months, we gave solid foods a try. Well, semi-solid. The consistency of the first round of cereal is supposed to be really thin...basically breastmilk with a few little chunks of stuff. Jacob did ok. He spit a lot of it back out, which is normal. He didn't seem to mind the taste, though...no icky faces. We'll just have to keep practicing. He kept grabbing at the spoon, which is going to get messy! Definitely need to buy that mess mat at Babies 'R' Us tomorrow.

We have his six month well visit on Monday morning, so we'll have a new round of stats and percentiles to report. I'd like to go in and complain about his cough again, since he's had it since August, but he's actually got a cold now so there's a reason for it again. It's bad again like it was a few months ago, but considering all that's floating around in there, that cough isn't the worst thing--it's all he has to get it out of there. Hopefully someday it will go away...or we'll find out that there's a reason for it, at least...allergies or asthma, most likely. Not good, but sometimes knowing why something is there is better than nothing. But hopefully we can get some good advice on this solid food thing and make sure all else is well.

We're supposed to get another round of snow tomorrow, which after Friday's horrible experience is the last thing I wanted. Keep your fingers crossed that the lake enhancement is kept to a minimum. I don't think it's stopped snowing here yet. We had perfect gentle Christmas snow all day, but it can definitely stop now that we're assured a white Christmas. I have too much to do in the next few days to worry about getting stuck again. Stay safe and warm, wherever you are!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow and Shiners

Ugh...quite the day today. As much as I love a white Christmas, I'm not convinced this is the way to do it. It's still snowing here. Craig is still working and will have to drive through this craziness to get home. It's a little worrisome. But Jacob's in bed and this is as much peace and relaxation as I've had all day. I'm beat. As I mentioned in my last post, I was worried about today's snowstorm. I got up this morning dreading it, and took a deep breath when I saw the snow gently falling this morning at 8:30 as we left the house. After dropping Jacob off at day care, I came out and my back window was already covered. I had only been in there less than 10 minutes and it didn't seem like it was snowing that hard. Yikes. The roads were ok going in, and I sat at my desk all day staring at the snow. It just kept coming. It never looked particularly menacing...just a lot of small flakes blowing around. But sure enough, it piled up. The office closed at noon but considering this was my last day before nearly two weeks away, I didn't want to rush out. I went out to lunch with my Friday lunch buddies (two guys that work game production for the Amerks) and there seemed to be a good six inches or so in places. Driving didn't look fun, but other than the blowing snow it wasn't bad.

I stuck around the office until 3:30 finishing things up, then headed out. The drive wasn't that bad. Slow, but okay. I mean, if I would have been going faster it would have been bad, but at a reasonable speed it was fine. I was a little scared that there weren't really any tire tracks in the snow on the highway, just patches, but it all went fine. My first problem was when I got up to Greece and started running into piles of snow in the road. When I pulled in to day care, the hill to get in was a little scary, and I got stuck at the top for about 30 seconds. A couple rocks and I was moving again, only to end up stuck in my parking space when I came back out. Oh, and this time my back window was opaque again a minute after I brushed it off. It took me about six tries but I finally got out of my space and back on the road. I was hopeful as I drove down the street because it seemed like there wasn't a lot of plow debris at the end of driveways along our street. However, as I pulled into our driveway, I came to a standstill. Ugh. I was mostly in the driveway at that point, which was good. I opened the garage, hopped through a foot of snow up the driveway, and came back down with a shovel to start digging out. I dug around my tires and tried again. No luck. I think I tried one more time and straightened out a bit, but no real movement. I had no choice but to leave the car running with Jacob in the backseat and start shoveling a path for my car. Luckily he fell asleep again despite having had a two hour nap at daycare, which is almost unheard of for him. Fortunately, our neighbor across the street came over and helped me dig, and after 20-30 minutes, we had finished the path and I got in the garage. I got Jacob into the house and ran back out for five minutes to finish shoveling where my car had been.

Needless to say, I've been pretty exhausted tonight. It's a little scary considering this is night #1 of nearly two weeks home with Jacob. Granted, a portion of that time will be spent with family so we will have plenty of extra arms looking to hold him, but I will have a lot of days home with him, too. Hopefully during that time I can officially catch up on my sleep and keep up that energy with Jacob. He'll also have a bunch of new fun toys to play with, so that should break up the day a bit too. I just don't want to feel like I did at the end of my maternity leave, where I was ready for work again because I needed a break from baby land. I spend all day at work thinking about him, so I really want to enjoy this time off. But I'm actually very nervous about it. I don't want Jacob to be bored, and I don't want to spend all day staring at all of the stuff around the house that I need to get done but can't because Jacob takes up most of my time. We'll see how it goes...God knows I have a ton of wrapping to do in the next few days and Craig will be working for most of it.

As for the other part of this post's title, Jacob came home with his first official boo-boo yesterday. He's had scratches here and there, not to mention his little arm hickey way back when, but this is a legitimate bruise. It's tough to see, but you can see it right above his right eye in the picture below:

He did it to himself, flailing his arms like he does so often these days, only with a toy in his hand. Apparently he didn't cry. He just whined a bit so they knew he did it, and that was about it. At least it doesn't bother him. It looks a lot worse than it is, I think. Just a little tiny shiner for a little tiny guy!

Here are a couple more pictures that I couldn't resist:

Finally, wanna hear something crazy? Six months ago right now I was in some pretty serious labor. Although, at this point I probably couldn't feel it thanks to that fantastic epidural. Jacob will hit the six month mark at 2:40am, and I can hardly believe it. Hopefully I'll have a chance to blog more about that this weekend. This post is already long enough! Stay warm and stay safe!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Random Stuff

Just a few random news and notes today...

Jacob had a massive blowout this morning. I swear there was poop over about 2/3 of his back, at least. It was really nasty. I'm not sure that onesie is ever going to recover. I somehow even gave myself a blister trying to scrub it out. I was feeding him and could tell he was going, but when I sat him up to burp him and could smell it really well, I figured something was up. And sure enough...yuck. Nothing like a monkey wrench like that into your morning routine!

Jacob is really, really cute. I know I keep saying that, but every time I look at him, whether he's smiling or sleeping or just being his goofy self, I can't help but think it. I have the close-up Santa hat picture from my last post as my work wallpaper, and every time I click back to my desktop I can't help but smile. He gets a lot of comments when we go out and people peek into his carrier or see us carting him around. When we got his pictures done the other night, the photographer kept saying how cute he was...though she probably says that about all of the kids.

Speaking of the photos...they went ok. I was a little underwhelmed by their backdrop options. Either Christmas or a black or white drape. Hmmmm. Since I didn't want these to be Christmas specific, it had to be one of the drapes...and since he was wearing mostly black, it had to be white. Ugh. We tried him in all different positions...sitting up (he did remarkably well...I hardly had to support him), on his belly, on his back, with me holding him...anything to keep him smiling...which was a challenge. Normally Jacob is so smiley, and he was at the beginning of the shoot. But as it went on he just sort of stopped. He didn't cry (he whined a bit once), but he just didn't smile either. I don't know if he just wasn't in the mood, or if he was getting bored, or if he was too interested in the camera to bother with anything else. Afterward he was smiling again, so who knows. The other issue was that he's got a bit of a cold right now and his nose is extra runny these days. As a result, he's got quite a dry patch under his nose. I put cream on it a lot and it generally looks better in the morning when his nose has been running less overnight (it all must run into his throat instead, since we're back to a bad cough...poor thing), but at the end of the day it's pretty rough. So, the couple good close up shots weren't particularly attractive in the nose region. Ugh. I did manage to pick one pose that was cute, though, so I guess that's good.

In other news, I'm getting a little extra nervous about tomorrow's weather forecast. We're supposed to get like, 6 to 9 inches of snow during the day. Overall it's just terrible timing. For one, it's my last day of work this year. I have a lot to do and even if we got released early, I probably wouldn't be able to leave. And now that I have to pick up Jacob (Craig's got a game...that no one will be at if this thing is as bad as they say it will be), it makes me even more nervous because I don't like driving in weather like that, nor do I want to risk getting stuck somewhere and not be able to get to him. It's that much scarier with a child now....who knew? And the other issue? I won't be able to shovel. I'd hope I'd be able to get in the driveway, but if the plows come out during the day I could be in trouble. It'd be awful if I couldn't get in the driveway or if I got stuck, because I don't want to just leave Jacob in the car, nor can I just leave him in the house if I had to shovel out. Hmmm. I shouldn't worry about it yet, but it crossed my mind and has me a little concerned.

I guess that's about it for now...like I said, random :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Card Rejects

Hi, I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Ours was busy as usual. Jacob and I went to the hockey game on Friday night so he could see Santa. I figured it was his shot to see a non-creepy Santa (the ones at the malls bug me...not to mention that waiting in line is awful). Staying up late totally screwed up his schedule for a couple days, but oh well. He didn't particularly enjoy Santa, however. No tears, just no smiles.


Here's a pic I snapped of Jacob when we got home that night...couldn't resist :)


My parents came to visit on Saturday so they could hang out with Jacob while Craig and I went Christmas shopping. It was weird being out and about without him, especially since it seemed like everyone had their baby out at the mall, no matter how young. Crazy. While I did miss having Jacob around, it was nice to be able to move around as quickly as possible (in spite of the slowpokes all over the place) and to not worry about when he'd need to eat or what to do if he got cranky. We had a fairly successful trip, though there's still a lot more to do!

Craig had another game yesterday so Jacob and I were on our own. We ended up going to the children's Christmas program at church in the afternoon, which was nice. Jacob seemed to enjoy it...he was very content the whole time. Once we got home it was time for our Christmas card photo shoot. I'm keeping the winner under wraps since most of the people that read this blog will be getting a card....and perhaps will post it later on once the cards have gone out. But for now, here are some rejects...the best of the rejects, anyway...so many cute ones, but there could only be one winner...

It was fun playing dress up and getting Jacob to smile, until he decided he wanted to suck on his hands non-stop and the drool started showing up on his shirt. We have some "official" pictures tomorrow evening, and I am SO hoping that he's in a good mood for them. We shall see. Happy Monday :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

So awesome...

I really have a pretty awesome little boy. I know that sounds really parental of me, but honestly, the kid is amazing. He's so cute, really sweet, very content, and a great sleeper. He smiles all the time, laughs a lot, and is really pretty flexible. We went to the Amerks game tonight, and he was such a good boy. It was a late night and quite a bit of a change from his normal routine, but he was awesome. And then we came home and he went to bed without incident, even though I didn't get him from his carseat to the crib without waking him up. He just smiled as I put his pjs on and put him in his crib.

I figured it was time to go to a hockey game because we hadn't been there since Halloween. He's grown and changed a lot in the last month and a half, and I wanted to show him off again. In addition, Santa was at the game tonight. I'm creeped out by mall Santas so this seemed like a good opportunity since we know the Amerks' Santa. And seriously, you won't see a more authentic looking one anywhere. I'll post a picture soon. Jacob didn't smile, but he didn't cry either. Wait until next year!

Anyway, the whole time we were at the game people (even strangers) were remarking how cute he is. We ran into one of the teachers at Jacob's daycare (she's a season ticket holder) and she was saying how much everyone there loves him. And while I'm sure they love all the babies, he does seem to get a lot of love there. I think it's the dimple! Or perhaps it's just that he's so easy-going and only cries when he really needs something. Nice change of pace from some kids, I suppose.

The last couple nights he's been so happy, laughing a ton and keeping me laughing myself. He's been going down to sleep really well lately, too (knock on wood), and it's given me some decent time in the evenings to get things done or just relax with Craig like we used to back in the day. I spent a lot of time today talking to people at work because we had our Christmas party all afternoon. There was a lot of baby talk, and Jacob is definitely the king sleeper of all the new babies. He's also the oldest, but still...not by so much that he's getting in two hours more sleep each night than his next closest competitor. I feel bad for the rest of the parents, but I am immensely grateful for Jacob's sleep skills...rest assured.

While I know I have my moments of frustration when he gets cranky or I just don't feel like running errands with 18+ pounds of baby stuff, I wouldn't change a thing. He's such an amazingly good baby, completely adorable and endearing, and I just can't get enough of him. He makes me smile, makes me laugh, and makes me so grateful for the amazing blessing he is. Every time I'm with him I marvel at how great he is. Again, I know this sounds so parental...and parents are totally allowed to be proud of their kids. But I just know I have an extra special baby...and I can only pray that he continues on this path and becomes a very special little boy--genuinely nice and sweet, well-behaved, and completely adorable. Of course, with all of those characteristics we'll have to make sure he's humble as well! For now, though, I am content to just enjoy him. Still can't wait until Christmas week...only one more week of work and then I have almost two weeks to enjoy him...YES!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One year ago...

One year ago today Craig and I were just getting settled on vacation in Florida. As much as that life is a world away now, sometimes it just seems like it wasn't that long ago...certainly not a year. So much has changed. There are days when I can hardly believe that I've gone through an entire pregnancy and have a nearly six-month-old baby since we were in Florida last year. It was somewhat of a last hurrah for us as far as getaways go, so it was definitely a special time.

I have a lot of random things that come to mind from that trip. I was so nervous about traveling pregnant, from imaginary risks of flying to real risks of riding rides, from worrying about feeling good enough to enjoy it to fears of what would happen if something went wrong while we were there. I won't lie...I did have this random thought about how horrible it would be if, say, the plane crashed and Lori would have been left with the issue of telling people I was pregnant. Yikes. Fortunately none of that was a problem. We had a wonderful trip that was only besmirched by horrific travel on the way home (a canceled flight, missed connection, and 10 hours of delays due to LOTS of snow).

I vividly remember the joy of getting down there, taking in the warm weather, giddily changing out of my jeans and hoodie, relishing the feeling of flip flops on my feet, and heading off to lunch at CiCi's Pizza (yummy pizza buffet, for those of you who have never seen the commercials on TV) while we waited for our FREE accomodations to be ready (golf tournament prize that Craig won years ago). CiCi's was a planned stop because I had been dying to go to one and it was right down the street from our apartment. I was still in my bottomless pit phase, so the buffet was awesome and I ate a ton. Miraculously, I starting coming out of my first trimester blahs right in time for the trip, so that was a relief. I think I had a couple mornings where I wasn't feeling particularly chipper, and I think there were a couple evenings where I conked out a little early, but that was about it. I remember being a little self-conscious about my belly when I put on my swimsuit, though I wasn't really showing at the time...a bit bloated maybe, but that was about it.

I agonized over not being able to ride rides at Disney. I had been waiting years to ride Space Mountain and so many other rides, and most of them had pregnancy warnings. Ugh. At that point it probably wouldn't have been an issue (a placenta detachment from jarring motion or G-forces might have been the biggest fear), but I figured it wasn't worth the risk. The only exception I made was the safari ride at Animal Kingdom because, well, isn't that the whole point of the place? I did some research online and people said it wasn't that rough and was fine for (early) pregnant women. And thank goodness, because it was really great. My energy level held up really well with all of the walking we did, and we really covered a lot over the course of the week.

We did a lot of Christmas shopping over the course of the trip, which was a godsend in the midst of not having had the energy to do much shopping prior to the trip. We also looked at all of the baby stuff with a newfound appreciation, though we didn't buy anything since most was either pink or blue and we didn't know what we were having...and I think at that point we didn't want to jinx it. As we went through the various attractions at the parks, we talked a lot about coming back someday with our kids, noting in particular things that we thought we'd all really enjoy and appreciate more with kids than we did as a couple. I do think it was a little sobering to look around and see people juggling kids and all of the stuff that they require, not to mention the thought of how much it costs to feed kids there. Yikes. Definitely intimidating.

But here we are a year later with an amazing little boy. While a vacation would be nice I don't know if I could be away from Jacob for too long. On the other hand, I'm still a little nervous about traveling with an infant. I can barely get myself through an airport, let alone a baby, a car seat, and whatever else. Oh well. It's been a whirlwind year, but what an adventure. I'll leave you with some pics from the trip, as well as a very holiday-appropriate video of the fantastic light show at Disney-MGM....awesome.

Cinderella's Castle...pretty :)


All Legos...except Craig, obviously!

Me with Figment...my favorite character from my last trip to Disney!



The only picture we had of us together, in front of Canada at EPCOT.

And now...more Christmas lights than I have ever seen in my life...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Feeling better...

Fortunately I am feeling better today. I am still scared that Jacob is going to catch whatever I had/have. He's at daycare today so it's been nice to just recover a bit and not worry about getting him sick. I will be going to get him in a few hours, so I'm sure I'll worry about it again tonight. Even though the worst appears to be over, my body went through quite a bit yesterday....I probably ate 20% of what I usually do, and all of that forceful ejection of what was in my body wiped me out. I am still recovering a bit today. I feel good enough that I can get some things done, but I usually need a bit of a rest afterward.

It's been an odd day being home alone. I haven't had this experience in a long time. To nap uninterrupted, to clean things up at will without having to think about what to do with Jacob....it's strange. I may still try to get one more nap in before I head off to go get him. I've been pumping as usual today, but I'm getting very little out. I think the dehydration is impacting my milk supply big time. In two pumpings I only have six ounces, and usually I have about 10. I will probably try to pump one more time before I go get him, too. We made Jacob an additional bottle this morning because he still seemed hungry but kept popping off, presumably because there wasn't anything there for him. Poor guy. Hopefully we'll get back on track soon.

I'm grateful that this illness didn't last longer, partly because I'd go nuts (couldn't help but cringe at the thought of feeling like I did yesterday for three months...SO incredibly thankful I didn't have morning sickness!!) and partly because I have a lot to do at work in the next couple weeks before a blissful week and a half off! I feel bad not being there, but obviously they don't want to catch what I had either. I am definitely looking forward to time off at Christmas...lots of uninterrupted time with Jacob, which will be awesome.

Well, I'm off to nap and maybe get the tree decorated...since that didn't happen yesterday!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sick Mommy :(

Today was not fun. This morning on the way to church I just suddenly didn't feel well. My stomach gurgled a bit during church and although I was starting to feel tired, I did some running around with Jacob while we were already out and about. Long story short, by mid-afternoon I was not doing well. Craig was on the road for a lacrosse game, so I was feeling really stuck. I called Lori and had her come in to take care of Jacob. It was a lifesaver, because I was puking by this evening. All I can do is hope that it's not something contagious, because I do NOT want Jacob getting this. It's hard enough when it comes out of both ends, let alone when a baby can't run himself to the bathroom. After two rounds worshipping the porcelain god (or the plastic garbage can--plus some earlier lower digestive issues), I seem to be doing better (knock on wood). All I've had since breakfast is a couple crackers (one came back up), a little bit of jello, and a freeze pop, so I'm a little weak. I've had a bunch of water to stave off dehydration and keep my milk supply up. Lori fed Jacob one bottle because he'd been fussy nursing all day and my theory was that the dehydration had already kicked in, plus I didn't want to go near him. Wish I could have stuck to that earlier today before I felt this crappy. Craig tried another bottle earlier but that didn't go well and I ended up having to nurse. Jacob had a hard time going to bed, but it could have been the disruption in his schedule that did it. Who knows. I'm just hoping that we're both ok in the morning. Being a sick mom is not fun and I am so grateful to Lori for being able to come over and help out. I would have had one miserably crying baby without her, because I could hardly pick him up. That is a scary feeling. Keep us in your prayers...

Friday, December 5, 2008

"No"

I keep wondering when it's appropriate to start disciplining. I know Jacob still doesn't have a concept of right or wrong, but if we don't start now, will it be a problem down the road? Fortunately right now I'm just talking about basic stuff...telling him no when he goes to touch something he shouldn't--primarily food or beverages--or when he pulls hair or glasses or squeezes a little too tight when his nails need trimming. I feel funny telling him no at this point, but again, if we don't start it now, will there ever be a good time? Should we just get him used to the word now before he knows enough to ignore it?

I definitely worry about him getting older and more mobile and learning how to disobey. One of the bloggers I follow discussed that today...that she's finding raising a toddler to be harder than going through cancer. As much as she loves him, she's at the end of her rope when it comes to keeping him under control. He runs everywhere, gets into everything, and has a bit of a daredevil streak. Stuff like that scares the crap out of me. I just don't know if I'll have the patience or the energy. Right now, even though he can get frustrating at times, I know Jacob doesn't know any better when he's being difficult. That's the only way he knows how to react. I know that the experts say that manipulation can begin around now, where babies figure out how to get mom and dad's attention with a little extra crying or some other similar device. There's definitely a fine line between giving your child prompt attention and giving them the chance to resolve something themselves. You don't want to ignore a crying baby, but you also don't want to get them too used to parents that drop everything the second the baby lets out a peep.

I like having this "perfect" child right now and will be a little sad the day he knowingly disobeys. I know it will happen but I just hope that we can be good, strong parents that teach him right from the beginning so we can minimize those moments. The better the foundation, the better he'll be as he gets older. I had a strict but loving upbringing and I hope I can find that balance with my own children.

It should be a fun weekend ahead. Tonight Jacob spent a good chunk of the evening napping on me--must have been a busy day at day care! After a bath he went to bed pretty much without incident. Craig is off tomorrow, which is also his birthday. We're going out to dinner and a movie and leaving Jacob with Lori. She's definitely looking forward to it, and I think we're both excited for a night out alone...only our third since he was born, I think. Sunday Craig has to work so it will just be me and Jacob. At some point I hope to get our tree decorated. I got most of the house done tonight after Jacob went to bed, but the tree is still empty. Jacob was pretty entranced by the lights tonight, though. He just couldn't stop staring for the longest time. Very cute! Off to bed now....happy weekend!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another point...

I don't know if this was the point I was forgetting about earlier, but I meant to mention this last week when I posted about Jacob's fever so I guess I'll do it now since it seems like a logical next point after today's earlier post. Last Wednesday was the first time I felt like I let my job suffer for the sake of my child. I've always tried to be a team player at work--staying late when necessary (and sometimes when it wasn't), working on projects until I'm losing my mind and my eyesight to make sure they're done in time, and just doing what I could to help my two bosses out. Most of the time I can do all this and still be a pretty good mother because I'm still getting home at a reasonable hour and I've had all day to live a normal life before coming home to a Jacob-centric world.

Ever since I went back to work I've been a bit limited, however, because three days a week I have to leave by 5:30 in order to get to day care in time. I'd get to work earlier if I could, but I'm already getting up at 6:30 and barely getting in by 9 as it is. I don't think I could take any less sleep. Still, I think I've done pretty well despite the limited schedule and sleep deprivation. But last Wednesday we had a huge project going on, one that I was supposed to do a lot of work on, and I just couldn't do it. I had to leave early to take my afternoon shift with Jacob and his fever. I felt terrible that I couldn't be more helpful to my boss, particularly because my other boss was on vacation and I was the only hope to get this project done in time without her spending her whole thanksgiving working on it. I would have liked to do some work from home, but I never did figure out how to make my laptop work. I suppose I should work on that ASAP for the next illness. I just felt bad. I've always prided myself on being a good, reliable employee, and this time I just couldn't come through. I know that it was for the most important reason possible and that I shouldn't feel guilty, but still...it's hard.

When I worked in sports I used to say that even though people can do their job, it doesn't mean it's the best fit for them based on their circumstances. Basically...it's great that you can do your job, but that doesn't mean you're doing it well...and if not doing it well means that it's impacting other people negatively, sometimes you just have to take the high road and know what's best for everyone involved. I got to a point in that job where I just felt like I was too frustrated to do the job at the level I wanted to, and I left because it just wasn't a good fit anymore. Kids or other interests can have a similar impact. Your priorities change and it affects how your view that part of your life. While I'm nowhere near feeling like I need to rethink my current job, I'm always mindful of how much my home life impacts my work life. And the day it truly starts impacting people negatively on a regular basis will be the day I figure out if it's still the best fit...for me, for the company, and most of all for Jacob.

Now if I could just figure out the best way to use the rest of my vacation this month without leaving people hanging...

Coincidence or a reason to feel extra guilty?

Over the weekend I had over four days straight to spend with Jacob, for the first time pretty much since my maternity leave. Sad, isn't it? Alas, the realities of being a working mom. Anyway...it seemed to me that he was really aware and more active than ever before, and that feeling has continued since the weekend. Whether it was his non-stop stream of smiles and laughs on Sunday, or his increased grabbing at things, or just a generally heightened awareness of his surroundings, it seemed like all of a sudden he was a whole new baby. Maybe it's a coincidence that he happened to cross this threshold over the weekend...or maybe not.

As I've thought about it in the last few days, I've been trying to figure out if it was just that I had never had a chance to string individual occurrences together as a trend because my time with him is limited, or if those four days with Craig and me (and the rest of our families) gave him such a jolt of interaction and stimulation that all of a sudden he started coming out of his shell. Either way, it leaves me feeling a little guilty. If I just never noticed, then shame on me. I'll admit it's tough sometimes. I try to play with him as much as possible during the limited time we have, but maybe our play activities never allowed him to show his new skills. If the increased activity helped him along, then I feel bad because me being at work prevents him from getting full days like that on a regular basis. I think day care is giving him sufficient care and interaction, but Mommy and Daddy are definitely different. It's just unfortunate that we can't afford to have either of us stay home (at least, not if we want to maintain our savings and have a shot at giving Jacob and any future kids a hand with college), and neither job is made to be part time. Definitely a tough spot. I can't wait until I have a full week or so off at Christmas!

I swear I had another point to make on this, but for now, enjoy these pictures from the weekend. The shirt was a gift from godmother Lori, and the pants were a clearance rack find at Baby Gap...Jacob's first pair of cords! These pictures are yet another piece of proof that Jacob is a boy of many looks...I think he looks so different in all three pictures! Such a big boy, isn't he?



Monday, December 1, 2008

Weekend Aftermath and the Holidays

Well, it's back to work today. It was tough leaving Jacob at day care because I had so much fun with him over the weekend, particularly yesterday. He had some bedtime and overnight issues, but really, the amount of smiles and laughs I got from him totally overshadowed all of it. I wish I had some great pictures of the smiles, but he seems to stop smiling when I pull out the camera. I still need to pull them off my camera and see what I have. Hopefully soon. He's growing a ton so he's probably changed since the last time I posted pics. Sorry about that.

We did a lot of running around over the weekend to get a head start on Christmas shopping. I think I've mentioned here before that we used to do a lot of 10pm shopping trips in the past, but that we know that trips like that with both of us are probably a thing of the past since Jacob's in bed by 9:30. I did some running around on my own last night because so much of it was quick, easy, in-and-out stuff that I knew would take forever if I had to pull Jacob out of the car every time. If nothing else I had to get Craig's birthday present, so I had to be alone for that part no matter what. We still have a long way to go, but we made progress.

I didn't, however, make any progress on getting out Christmas decorations. I'm still on the fence (for the 3rd or 4th year in a row) about getting a new tree. I want a new one that's bigger than my 6-foot, $20 tree that I bought my first year on my own. It's better than you'd think, but considering the number of ornaments we have (and the number we're sure to get with a third member of the family), we definitely need a bigger tree. There are a couple I have my eye on, and I may very well go get one tonight, but regardless, I guess my evenings this week after Jacob is in bed will be spent hauling up my Rubbermaid bins of decorations and getting as many in place as I can. I am really looking forward to Jacob taking it all in.

I got to thinking this weekend about all of the holiday traditions. We already have some in place from our own experiences, but I look forward to adding more as Jacob gets older. When I was a kid I loved all of the advent services at church, from the school advent programs to the Sunday School and Candelight services on Christmas Eve. In a few years hopefully Jacob will get to do things like that at church or in school. I don't know if we'll ever get in the habit of visiting Santa (depends how creepy the mall Santas look, I suppose), but I guess we can always write letters. Maybe we'll get into baking Christmas cookies or building snowmen. Who knows what he'll take to? I do look forward to doing an advent calendar or two...I loved that as a kid and still enjoy it now, and I think the excitement of what's behind each door (on whatever calendar we use) is something every kid can appreciate. I used to like going to the Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, so maybe there's something around here like that. Who knows?

I do know that his experiences with Christmas morning are going to be different. My family was all in town, so I always woke up Christmas morning at my own house. Since we've been married we've always spent Christmas Eve with Craig's family, slept there, and headed to my parents' house by noon on Christmas Day to start a crazy day with my family. It saddens me to think that Jacob and any other future children may never have Christmas morning at our house (but maybe someday we'll get back to Buffalo), but family makes it even more special so maybe it will be cool in its own right. I did mention to Craig that we might have to work out a schedule to do every other Christmas morning at my parents' house, so both sets of grandparents can appreciate the Christmas morning excitement. That would probably mean a late-night drive from Hamburg to NT every other Christmas Eve (hopefully with sleeping children in the backseat), but I think my parents would definitely appreciate it to see Jacob run down the stairs like my brother and I used to. I think we at least have a couple years before Jacob fully grasps Christmas morning and Santa, so we have time to figure it all out, but I think some of this stuff was stuff I never thought about before we had kids.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts on this as the holiday season progresses...