Saturday, February 28, 2009

Health Update

I got a call from our pediatrician yesterday regarding the results of the scintiscan. It appears that Jacob has some issues with slow stomach emptying. That can lead to reflux (which there was evidence of ), which can lead to some irritation of the throat, which can lead to his cough. She prescribed some medicine for him, which she thinks the pulmonary specialist would have put him on anyway, with the thought that we could get started on it before our appointment on Tuesday and see if we saw any change by then. By doing that, we could potentially avoid the, "Well, let's put him on this and follow up later" step. While she said that the stuff is safe, the possible side effects I've been reading about are a little disturbing (among them are muscle spasms--and the thought of watching Jacob go through something like that...well, I can't even fathom...). I definitely need to call the doctor and chat about that. I'm actually still not convinced that that is his issue, which I'm sure we will discuss at length at the appointment on Tuesday. I mean, he's been on reflux medication for a while now, so I would think that we'd see an improvement in the cough just from that, if that was what was causing it. And it still doesn't explain the wheezing. And if this isn't what's causing his problems, and the slow emptying isn't causing any other issues that the reflux meds can't handle, I really don't want to put more medication in Jacob's system than he already gets. Poor kid has more prescriptions on file at Wegmans in eight months than I think I've had ever.

Last night we thought we might be in line for another one...because day care thought Jacob might have pink eye. His eye was a little swollen and red, and it was a little watery/crusty. He woke up with a little watery-ness, and the skin around it still looks a little red, but I definitely think it would be worse if it was pink eye. I guess we'll just have to keep watching it.

In the meantime, Jacob has really become our main source of entertainment! He is so funny sometimes. From his tendency to want to chew everything (he's got some cannibalistic/vampire tendencies....does this mean he's going to be the biter at day care?), to his frequent smiles, to his obsession with drinking glasses (I need to get that on video one of these days) to his pre-crawl rock, he's got us laughing a lot. I found myself marveling at him last night when we were out to dinner, as I looked at my big boy in his high chair...he was happy, well-behaved, and eating eagerly (when he wasn't completely distracted by looking around the restaurant). I can't believe he's so grown up already! From his smiley, happy, active moments to his sweet, peaceful sleepy moments, he is such an amazing little boy. I'm so thankful for him every day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Busy, busy, busy...

The past couple days have been downright exhausting. Yesterday's 2-3 hour visit to the hospital was enough for a whole day, but then we added a trip to and from Buffalo into the mix. Jacob did very well, sleeping both ways and providing plenty of entertainment for the folks at the fundraiser. His smiles received rave reviews! We left earlier than we have most years but it was still late night--Jacob had yet another tough time going down. Even a feeding didn't do much good...Craig still had to come in and relieve me from trying to comfort him because I was just exhausted. Jacob slept until 4:15am (the same time we had woken up the previous morning for his pre-hospital feed--ugh!) and we each took a turn comforting him. He settled back down fairly quickly, but that didn't prevent us both from feeling pretty beat this morning. Despite all of the frustration we generally feel at night, Jacob usually makes up for it in the morning with a big smile...tough to hold a grudge with that face looking at you each morning!

We had to go back to the hospital this morning for a quick followup scintiscan. It was quick and fairly painless. The doctor called earlier and said that the chest x-rays look good, but the scintiscan results aren't in yet. Still, hopefully they have something of note to tell us at our appointment next week. Craig was working an event tonight, so it was just Jacob and me...it's been like that a lot lately, which is par for the course in February with the Amerks & Knighthawks. I don't miss it one bit! Jacob had his third bottle that he usually has a little before we pick him up from day care after we got home tonight (it was either use it or toss it), but still managed to eat most of a good portion of pears and cereal. He pooped mid-meal, which scared the crap out of me (no pun intended) because he was pushing like crazy. I was afraid he'd be sitting in a pile of poo when I pulled him out of the high chair, because the last time that happened he blew out all over. This time, thankfully, he didn't. Solid food poo may be a little harder to clean off, but it doesn't travel as much either...which is huge when you have a blow out specialist!! After a bath, a couple books and a nebulizer treatment, he was good and tired. But then he started fussing the second I put him in the crib. I decided to trying singing to him a little and it worked! He fell asleep with a minimal amount of comforting after that. Whew. Amazing how much more time I have in the evening when I'm not spending a half hour or more trying to get him to fall asleep! So, all in all, a good night.

One other thing of note is that in the past couple days Jacob has started rocking a lot more, which we all know is the precursor to crawling! Recently he's been doing it once in a while...maybe for a couple seconds every day or two. Tonight he did it a few times in a row and was really getting going. It's only a matter of time before he figures out how to move those legs. He's already pretty mobile with all of his rolling, but once he starts crawling, we will have our hands full! He's very curious and likes to touch and grab everything, so when he can actually get to things, we will be in trouble! Lots of babyproofing to do! And soon!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hospital visit #1

So, today was our first visit to the hospital for Jacob's eventual visit to the pulmonary specialist. He needed to get two procedures done that will help them evaluate him at the appointment next week. He had to get a scintiscan, which checks to see if he might be aspirating food into his lungs, which can masquerade as asthma. He's got a persistent wheeze, and there's a chance that that's the cause. He wasn't allowed to eat for three hours before the 8am procedure, so I had to get up at 4am to feed him. He barely woke up but ate well and went right back to sleep. He woke up about 7:15 and we immediately got him dressed. Shortly thereafter we were in the car and on the way to the hospital. I think the change in his schedule was enough to keep him from realizing he was hungry, because he was in a pretty good mood the whole time. Once we were there he had to drink some formula with a tracer mixed in, which helps them see what's going on inside him. He was strapped into a soft vest which kept him from moving around the table, though we could still play with him and give him toys during the scan. The scanner machine moved in above him and he had to lay there for a half hour. Then he had a short break, then back under for another minute. I think that depending on what that minute showed he might have had more coming, but he had digested enough of the tracer that they couldn't do any more. He cried for about the second half of the half hour, so I spent most of the rest of the time trying to sing him songs, which quieted him down a bit. Overall he did pretty well.

Then we were off for a chest x-ray. That was interesting. They had an apparatus where he more or less sat on a bicycle seat (legs hanging down through holes, basically), and a clear plastic tube held him up. The tube kept his arms in the air, too. He screamed through the whole thing, but they said that was good because it provides a better picture of the lungs. After two pictures, he was done and was happy to be in Craig's arms. He screamed through getting dressed and bundled back up, but was asleep by the time we made it to the parking ramp...guess he wore himself out!

Overall it wasn't too bad. I mean, I won't lie...it's not fun to watch helplessly as your baby gets scanned or is stuck in a tube, but I suppose it could have been worse. Out in another room of the radiology department was another little baby (12-18 months) who was hooked up to an IV and looked like he was actually a patient in the hospital. So even in this situation, I felt pretty lucky. I really wished in the middle of it all that I had some medical training and could read the scan and x-rays as they were happening, but I guess we'll just have to wait until next week to see what they have to say. One thing that freaked me out was that the paperwork said that they were also checking his heart size. I have no idea what that might have to do with any of this, but that was a little scary to see. Hopefully it's nothing and just a really precautionary measure for some really rare, random thing (you know, "while we're in there..."). Anyway, it's good to have it over. We do have to go back for a quick scan again tomorrow (a 24-hour followup, I think to see if the tracer is completely out of his system or if some of it is stuck in there), but that should be quick and painless...I hope. No more fasting, at least. But on the bright side, we've had a nice day as a family. Soon we'll be off to Buffalo for Craig's mom's annual Mardi Gras campaign fundraiser, which should be a good time as well...with great food!! Have a great day!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Great day!

We had a really great day today. I couldn't have really asked for anything more, actually. Here's the rundown...

Jacob slept through the night and woke up at 7:15. I fed him, we hung out for a bit, he took a little nap on me, and when he woke up I got him dressed. I put him in the Jumperoo so I could take my shower (Craig was out shoveling and had to go to work shortly thereafter). Another feeding, and then I got ready for the day. We played for a while and then it was lunchtime, so Jacob and I both ate lunch...and as usual (I can finally say that!) he did great with his peaches and cereal. At some point (might have been during lunch) he pooped, but it didn't escape the diaper...yes!! After lunch I could tell he was sleepy so we sat down and read a couple books and then I just rocked him in the chair in his room until he drifted off. I put him down for a nap, then took a nap myself. I decided to not worry about cleaning or anything else I should be doing around the house, and just take the nap I've been dying to take all week. It was AWESOME. I slept for about an hour. I think I dozed a bit after that, and Jacob made a little noise but fell back to sleep at some point. Lori called me around 4ish to make plans for the evening. After that conversation, I got up and did some quick cleaning that I had been meaning to do for a while. Jacob kept sleeping, and when I finally went in to get him around 4:30 (he took a nearly 3-hour nap, I think!), he was awake and happy. I fed him, packed up the diaper bag, and headed out for dinner and shopping with Lori. He was a really good boy at dinner. He sat in the high chair, ate his carrots and cereal, and sat patiently while we ate. He played with some toys, looked around the restaurant, and eventually started grabbing at my food, glass, and napkin. We shopped a bit at Target (at which point he fell asleep for a while--it was little awkward since we were trying out sitting in the shopping cart for the first time, so Lori and I took turns carrying him), and then we headed over to the new Buy Buy Baby store, which is like Babies 'R' Us but owned by Bed Bath & Beyond. Seriously...you walk into the store and it could be BB&B, except that everything on the shelves is baby-related. The shelving, setup and the signage is all identical. Prices are competitive, as far as I could tell. And honestly, their selection might even be better with a lot of stuff. Very interesting trip. Jacob was perfect until the very end of the evening when we got back in the car to head home. I spent the whole trip singing him songs to calm him down, which sort of worked until the end. Once we got home he calmed down, I got him in his PJs, fed him, and gave him his nebulizer treatment, during which he fell asleep...so putting him to bed was easy as pie tonight. Whew. But seriously, it was as good of a day as we've had. He was smiley and happy most of the day, and we had a great time. I definitely needed a day like this, since all of the rough nights and general sleeping problems had me a little frustrated this week. But today was awesome...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eight Months

Today marks eight months since Jacob was born. Amazing. I just can't believe how quickly the time has gone, or how much he has changed since then...even though some days he's still my little baby and I still feel like we're adjusting to life with a baby on an almost daily basis. There are days when I look down at him when he's nursing and can't get over how much bigger he is than he was in those first days in the hospital, when he was so tiny in my arms and his little mouth seemed to barely fit around the nipple. I kept having to nudge him to keep him awake when he ate. He didn't do much other than eat, sleep and cry. Nowadays, he's doing more every day. He can sit up pretty well, he's (finally) eating solid foods, he's grabbing at everything, rolling all over, and getting ever closer to crawling every time he's on his belly. This morning I swore I was hearing music and a banging noise over the monitor, and when I walked in, Jacob was laying at the far end of his crib from where he usually is, banging on the on/off button of his Fisher-Price aquarium (a lights and music thing that we always turn on when he goes to bed), repeatedly turning it on and off. It's a far cry from the early days when the huge crib seemed like a waste of space because he was such a little baby and never moved from the spot we put him in! Now we're thinking it's about time to move the mattress down because he could be pulling himself up on the sides any day...yet it seems like yesterday that we were sweating up a storm on a mid-June evening trying to get the darn thing together.

His two teeth (they're still not fully in and seem to be driving him nuts at night--another rough night last night) are a constant reminder of how he's getting older. Every time I see them it makes me realize yet again that he's on his way to becoming a little boy, as opposed to my little baby. Of course, as I said, it seems like we're still making adjustments to life with a baby...but maybe that's just because we're back to waking up in the middle of the night! Last week I was obsessing over his eating (I'm still perplexed by finger foods and wheat), but now that he's figured out how to open his mouth, his sleeping has become the new issue du jour. He fights it constantly. Whether it's just a nap (I see this on weekends, but he does it at daycare too) or putting him down for the night, he just will not settle down and sleep. I don't know if we've spoiled him by going back in and holding him when he's cried after we put him down, or if he's a victim of something I read about last night--that the pain of teething is magnified at night when there's nothing to distract him from it like there is in the daytime. He's wide awake when he should be sleepy, and even if he seems sleepy he wakes up the second we put him down in the crib. He'll smile like crazy when we're there, but will start crying right after we leave. No amount of rocking seems to get him drowsy...he just keeps looking around. It gets incredibly frustrating and both Craig and I are very tired from the 3 am wake-up calls. Craig's been working a lot this week--and it continues right through the weekend--so I've been on my own a lot. I've come to dread bedtime, even though once we get through the frustrating part I'm finally free to start my to do list! We've pondered the various pain control options, from Tylenol to Motrin to teething tablets. So far we've stuck with Tylenol, but I'm ready to call the doctor and see if one or two doses a day for an extended period of time is a problem. While I'd love to just give him a teething ring and call it a day (like so many sites recommend), Jacob's attention span isn't long enough to hold it or chew it for any reasonable amount of time. Let's just hope this phase passes soon. Though I'm sure once it does we'll have something else to leave us perplexed!

So, yeah...eight months. A year will be here before we know it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thinking back...

Last Friday a co-worker of mine (granted, he's three hours away in Toronto) became a first-time dad. This morning a friend of mine from college had her second baby. I know a bunch of people (mostly casually) that are pregnant...in fact I just sent some baby registry recommendations to another college friend that I reconnected with on Facebook. All of this baby stuff has had me thinking back, from this time last year when I was just starting to show, all the way through to those crazy first couple months. It's been quite a whirlwind. This time last year I was just starting to experience all of the changes my body was going through, dealing with some of the good and bad of pregnancy. I was still trying to figure out maternity clothes and adjusting to frequent doctor's appointments, enjoying being able to eat more and drink beverages with calories, and doing my best to stay active even if I didn't feel too great sometimes. Through it all, I was still immensely scared of becoming a parent. My Canadian co-worker definitely reminded me of me when he talked about their impending arrival. While he was very excited, he was extremely nervous...you could just hear it in his voice. He'd joke a lot about the nervousness, but you could tell it was real...and I could completely relate. I was always more nervous than excited, right up until the end.

Seeing all of the baby pictures has reminded me yet again how much Jacob has grown and changed. That tiny little baby has grown into a little boy full of laughter and smiles and a bit of a stubborn streak. He's so big and getting more coordinated every day, and it's a far cry from the early days when we just wanted him to do something. I do get a little sad when I see other people's baby pictures from the first few days. I'm still sad that those days we're robbed from us by that darn fluid in Jacob's lungs. I mean, we never got that traditional picture of me looking like crap in the hospital bed, holding my perfectly swaddled baby in his little hat. I think I was too exhausted and knew I looked like crap immediately following the birth to want to bother with a picture (if nothing else, it was 3am by then and I hadn't slept well the night before to begin with--and exhaustion had definitely set in), and then Jacob was only in our room for a few hours before he was whisked off to the special care nursery, and he stayed there for a week. Any pictures we took that first week tended to be a little awkward, with tubes and wires. I didn't get to change his first few diapers, and it took a little while before I could feed him again (after the initial couple attempts right after he was born) because he was getting IV fluids. It was so awkward holding him and changing his diaper when we finally could, because he was hooked up to so many machines. I remember feeling so helpless...that I couldn't make him better, that I couldn't take him home, that I couldn't physically be with him all the time and learn his idiosyncrasies right away. I was watching the show Wipeout the other day--the crazy one on ABC that's based on a Japanese game show--and couldn't help but think back to my nervous breakdown that first week, when I was exhausted from being at the hospital all the time and frustrated by breastfeeding, and how Wipeout premiered on that night and finally made me laugh after a couple hours of crying.

These days life is a little more normal, but it's still hard and I still get nervous whenever I'm facing time alone with Jacob, knowing that I may have to deal with a diaper blowout or a rough bedtime (both of which happened tonight). I'm learning slowly but surely but still have a long way to go. Still, I look forward to having another shot at the newborn phase, knowing all that I know now. That's still a long way down the road, so for now I will just have to enjoy everyone else's babies :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Getting better...

Well, knock on wood...but it appears that Jacob is finally figuring out the solid food thing. Thank goodness. It amazed me today how much of a load off it was to have him actually opening his mouth! He's been getting progressively better the last couple days, which I have a hunch could have something to do with the fact that he was eating pears, which appear to be one of his favorites. To be fair, he was doing pretty well before that, but with the pears he was opening his mouth really well for the first time ever. He actually did pretty great with squash tonight as well, which was also a relief since it's good to know he likes a vegetable too! I think the only reason he didn't finish tonight's squash (but very close) was because he was full from a good nursing beforehand. I only fed him the solids because he seemed like he was still a bit hungry...or maybe he was just enjoying his time breastfeeding (and based on yesterday's video, we all know he's a boob guy! And how could you blame him, since that's where 90% of his nourishment comes from?) Anyway...he still did really well and didn't fuss at all today in two solid feedings.

Now I'll have to keep working on broadening his tastes. I don't think we've tried peas yet (not sure why...just hadn't gotten around to them) and we still have peaches, too. He's done sweet potatoes, applesauce, bananas, carrots, and green beans, though we haven't gone back to green beans since the ill-fated night where the Jumperoo shook him up. I do have a couple stage 1 meats on hand. I've heard babies generally don't like those (God knows I can't bring myself to smell them at any of those "Guess the Baby Food" shower games), but I had a coupon for money off of eight jars and Wegmans' selection wasn't great, so I figured I'd just get them and try it sometime. I bought some frozen mixed veggies this weekend and may try cooking them up nice and soft and giving Jacob a few peas, carrots and beans to kick off finger foods. My only other nagging issue right now is that everyone recommends things like Cheerios and small pieces of bagel and other various finger foods, but they all seem to contain wheat, which is a common allergen. That confuses me. Even oatmeal contains wheat, and most people start their kids on that pretty early since rice cereal isn't exactly the peak of taste. However, they say that if there's a risk you should hold off until the first birthday, but it really limits what he can eat. It's tough to say how risky it is, because I don't have any food allergies, and neither does Craig as far as we know (though he's had this recurring itch in recent months that seems like it has to be caused by something he's eating--we're thinking it could be a reaction to caffeine or nutrasweet), but seeing as how Jacob's cousin is allergic to peanuts and egg, you never know what might be lurking deep in the genes. I don't really want to take the risk unless the doctors can assure me it's not a big one. We shall see.

It was a pretty good long weekend other than Jacob's sudden aversion to sleeping. He woke up twice last night and fought napping big time the last two days. Not sure if it's just teething or if something else is bugging him. He's also picked up this screechy cry in the last week or so, and that's been horrible to listen to when he's miserable. But outside of that issue, it was really a pretty good weekend. Back to the grind in the morning...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Read the Post Before you View the Video...

Ok, this is probably wrong on so many levels, but I had to post this because it is really funny. Let me preface this by telling a couple stories. Have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel have to keep singing "Baby Got Back" (aka "I like big butts and I cannot lie...") to their baby Emma because it's the only thing that stops her from crying and gets her to laugh instead? Well...seems we have our own version of that. Its success has varied since this video was taken, but Jacob still cracks a smile if he's in even a decent mood. So...the actual background story to the video is this: We were watching Survivor on Thursday and I was trying to feed Jacob some pureed carrots, hence his orange face. It was right near the end, as this girl was getting blindsided at tribal council. The girl happened to have a rather large chest, and I said something to that effect (different terminology as you'll see), and out of nowhere Jacob started cracking up. Of course, when your baby laughs, the parental tendency is to try to repeat it and keep your child as happy as possible. So, we did. A bunch. And thankfully my camera was right on the table so I could quickly grab it and capture this moment for posterity. No, it's not a glorious moment for Mommy and Daddy, that's for sure...so my apologies for that. But seriously...how funny is this?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Week in Review

Well, let's see...My biggest beef from the week was the celebration of Valentine's Day at day care. We got a note on Wednesday, I think, with the names of the other kids in Jacob's room in case we wanted to send valentines. Now...I have fond memories of valentine exchanges back in grade school, and I am fully prepared for the celebration of holidays in school as Jacob gets older. Heck, I was all excited to get cupcake pans back when I got married simply because I wanted to be equipped for my kids' birthdays! Though nowadays I think you have to send store-bought stuff because of the allergen information, which is a bummer...one of my favorite memories of school birthday celebrations was when someone brought cupcakes in ice cream cones...yum! Anyway...maybe this was naive of me, but this whole valentine thing caught me off-guard. I never in a million years pictured 7-12 month olds exchanging valentines. But if I would have had more time and energy, maybe I would have done something. But Wednesday and Thursday were late evenings as it was thanks to working late and my once-a-week class at the gym, so I just never got around to it. Next year I will probably do at least a little something for the teachers, and depending on how interactive Jacob actually is by that point, maybe valentines too. He ended up getting three this time around, so at least not everyone did it. Still, I couldn't help but think that this is one of those symptoms of the world being a little wacky.

Of course, just when I was reeling from the Valentine's Day stuff, reality set in as I got to work yesterday and saw the front page of the paper. Somehow in this world of ubiquitous media, I didn't hear about the plane crash until then. It must not have made it to the headlines online when I was on at 11pm the night it happened, and then I must have missed all of the major news at night and in the morning. It was obviously so sad and scary. Our family even knows people (close friends/distant relatives) that live very close to the crash site--close enough to feel the earth shake and then run out to help. It's so tragic and is one of those things that makes you think--about the people who lost children, the children who lost parents, and the young people that never got to make it to their marrying/childbearing years. It definitely made me want to hug Jacob just a little more last night. Craig is flying to and from Newark tomorrow this weekend for a Knighthawks game, and I'm obviously just a little more nervous than usual. Normally I'd be relieved that he has such a quick trip, but not this time around. It also makes me more hesitant as a parent to fly anywhere. You can't let stuff like this stop you, but it certainly makes you stop and weigh the risks.

Jacob is doing well in general. Not much has changed. He still has his cough and we are really looking forward to seeing the specialist and getting him checked out. Still a week and a half until his preliminary tests, then another week or so beyond that until his appointment. Even if there isn't much they can do, it will be good to know what's going on. He's still not exactly loving the solid food, but he does seem to be getting better overall. Earlier he finished an entire bowl of food--a couple tablespoons of cereal (prepared) and some applesauce. It took some coaxing, but he probably opened his mouth more than he ever has for me. He's been doing pretty well at day care, too. Of course, mid-meal he had another diaper blowout, so that's still an issue. While he did get poo on his onesie, it didn't reach his actual clothes, and considering all that was in the diaper (yikes!) I was thankful that was all that escaped. And since it didn't have to sit in a bag at day care for a couple more hours, it washed out pretty easily this time. I don't know what it is, but Jacob's butt, cute as it is, must be formed in some way that makes him predisposed to blowouts. No idea why no diaper can contain him. Apparently Craig had similar issues as a baby, so I suppose he comes by it honestly. I'll keep my fingers crossed that our next baby gets my butt :)

Well, it's almost time to get Jacob up from his nap so he can be fed and ready for when Lori comes to babysit tonight. Craig and I are off to dinner and the Rascal Flatts concert (Jessica Simpson is opening), so it should be a fun night...even if we are thinking about Jacob the whole time! I'm happy it's a long weekend (even though Craig will be leaving early early in the morning for his roadtrip) and I will have a lot of time to spend with the little man. Stay tuned, because I will have a very funny treat to post in the next couple days...but in the meantime, Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Photo Wednesday

Just wanted to share a couple cute pics for lack of anything better to share today. It's been nice that Jacob finally "gets" the camera, and as long as he's in a decent mood, will do what he can to provide a smile when he sees one. It doesn't always work, and if you hesitate actually taking the picture you might lose his interest, but it's nice to get a good smile most of the time. I love his smiley pictures!!

This one was taken a week or so ago. Jacob was having another rough round of eating, completely uninterested in the bananas and cereal I was trying to get him to eat. So, I decided to just let him play with it, to see if maybe he'd eat some of it himself, off his messy hands or the spoon, and maybe he'd decide he liked it. No such luck, but he did make a pretty good mess! He's doing a little better with the eating these days. Still not exactly opening his mouth willingly, but using various methods you can usually get him to eat some of it, with a little patience. Day care has probably had better luck than me lately!



This one is showing off his cute outfit that Lori gave him for Christmas. I took it because I live in constant fear of Jacob's poop blowouts, and I wanted to make sure I got a picture of him in it just in case it became the unfortunate victim of a blowout that day. They tend to happen with about 90% of his BMs, even though I've tried everything--different diapers, how I put them on--to prevent them. Scrubbing poo out of clothes is really annoying and hard on my hands, but I do it anyway because I want to save his clothes as much as I can. He's not in them for that long, so to go out and buy new ones to replace poopy ones seems silly. I think only one or two items of clothing have ever been given up on, and even in those cases I think they were still wearable. I make it my mission. Anyway, just in case one of the infamous blowouts happened, I wanted to capture a shot of this outfit. How cute is that?

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Live-in Comedian

I know this is probably only going to get more and more common, but Jacob is starting to turn into our own little live-in comedian. Obviously he's not exactly telling jokes or anything, but he does the funniest things. This weekend he really seemed to up the ante a bit. He and I went to visit my parents while Craig was working all weekend. We left on Saturday just before lunch and came home Sunday night. We just hung out and visited my grandma on Saturday, then went to church, lunch, and a birthday party Sunday. In between we had a lot of fun just playing. All of his rolling around and finding ways to amuse himself with things other than toys can be entertaining. He's still obsessed with his feet, and his tendency to grab his feet and try to shove them in his mouth (barefoot, socks or shoes...he doesn't discriminate) can be really funny. In church, I had him balanced on the top of the pew in front of us when we were standing up, and he was folding himself completely in half trying to grab his feet. It was so funny! At one point he was looking at my mom and she bowed her head to pray, and Jacob maneuvered himself as if he was trying to stay in her line of sight, with a big smile on his face. So silly! He's grabbing a lot of stuff these days, and watching him grab and "drink" out of my empty cup was so funny. I think to him it was more about having something to gnaw on, but how he held it in his little hands was so cute.

I love when I can get him laughing hysterically, whether it's something as simple as waving his sock around after he's pulled it off, or bouncing on my bed with him a bit (he lays, I bounce, and he bounces from my "shockwaves"...he laughs every time! And trust me, it's safer and gentler than it probably sounds.). His giggles make me giggle, and some of his faces are just priceless! It's fun to have such a happy, content baby. Our life now is a far cry from those early days when he didn't do much and we were dying for even a real smile. Since he's still not eating consistently well and I'm starting to get worried about discipline in light of his tendency to grab at everything these days (you have to start saying "No" sometime, right? Even if it's not forceful or involving a punishment...you need to start saying it for consistency purposes, I suppose, before it's too late.), it's nice to have a lot of light moments to enjoy!

Here are a couple cute pics from the weekend...

Jacob's first experience with balloons...


And his first real carrot! He barely made a dent but seemed to enjoy chewing on it regardless!

Finally, when we were packing up to leave the birthday party, Jacob was getting a little fussy. I happened to notice that the way he was crying (not hard, just a consistent whine), you could see his teeth really well. My camera was sitting in the diaper bag at my feet, so I quickly grabbed it and snapped a picture so I could have the first official picture of Jacob's first teeth! As you can (hopefully) see in the close-up, the teeth are just coming in. And yeah, he's got a little rash there from all of his drooling. We put cream on it multiple times a day and it's still like that. Poor thing. As cool as the teeth are, I'd much rather focus on the smiley boy in the picture above!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Three Years Ago

Three years ago today I took a big step in shaping my life as it is now. That was the day I started my current job. It was a huge step to leave the sports world, but it was something that had to be done. Sports had been pretty good to me, at least in some ways. I had wanted to work in sports for years, and it allowed me to make a few dreams come true...seeing all the behind-the-scenes stuff, hosting a TV show, meeting the love of my life...and a lot of it was a ton of fun. I had good friends (more like dysfunctional family members) and for better or for worse, my life revolved around that job. I never really loved the central tasks of my actual position, but I did what I could to keep it fun and get the job done well.

After a while the job really began to wear on me, for a lot of reasons. Long hours, low pay, friction with my boss, and being able to discuss little else with Craig at home really started to get old, and I realized one day how the job had just beat me down. I knew we wanted to have kids at some point, and for many reasons it couldn't happen working there. Not enough money or time ranked right up there, but I remember thinking for ages that based on my emotional state from being so drained all the time, I couldn't even fathom the emotional commitment it would take to have a child. I was just spent.

I finally got up the guts to send out my resume to a headhunter, and before I knew it I had an interview there, then an interview for my current job. It all happened very quickly (three weeks or so), and bolstered by another argument with my then-boss, I swore to myself that if I got offered the job, I would take it. And I did. I had absolutely no idea if I would like it or if I was really even a good fit for the position, but I figured that ultimately it didn't matter. I was smart and could learn, and I would do what I could to make it work. And if it was really awful, I'd keep looking...no worse off than I was before, and gaining more experience and making more money in the meantime.

Thankfully, that was never an issue. It took a while to settle in, but since I found my niche, it's been a great job. Good hours, great pay, and low stress, but challenging enough to keep me engaged without making me crazy. And most importantly, the extra time and money made it possible to have a baby. It also allowed me to get my sanity back, which was integral to surviving parenthood emotionally and mentally. I still have my moments, of course, but I never would have been able to do it in my old job. I know now more than ever that we never could have done it with both of us working in sports. All the evenings and weekends that Craig works make that abundantly clear. As much as I beat myself up sometimes for being a working mom, I'm grateful that I have a normal schedule and am only away from him for the time that I am. I know that Craig must hate when he comes home and Jacob's already in bed.

I am extremely grateful that I had the guts to change jobs, because it was the beginning of the path to the life we have now. All of it shows God's perfect timing. That I got this job alone was miraculous, because it originally had been given to someone else, who then decided she was afraid to work downtown. I interviewed with the headhunter just as that was happening, which opened the door for me. The argument with my old boss really convinced me to take the job even though I wasn't sure if it was what I was looking for--definitely the push I needed. In the end it is really a great fit for me, from the organizational and creative aspects, to having great bosses (they surprised me with cupcakes and a little gift this afternoon!), to just a general good fit with my lifestyle. And the fact that I had such a good setup for my maternity leave (my old co-worker who was available to come back and work remotely for the summer) was great. It really turned into a nearly perfect scenario. And it all began three years ago today...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A couple more notes...

I knew there was more I was going to mention yesterday, and I remembered one thing. Jacob is obsessed with things with buttons...namely remote controls, phones and computer keyboards. If it's got buttons, he's all about it. He tries to type whenever he's sitting on our laps by the computer, will bend over backwards (literally) to pick up the remote control, and constantly grabs at the phone when I'm holding him while talking on it. He doesn't exactly have the coordination yet to consciously hold it and press buttons at the same time, but he's got pretty decent accuracy at hitting something when he's grabbing. This morning he leaned over the boppy pillow backward after his feeding, and grabbed the remote. Of all buttons, he hit one that changed the video input so the screen went blank. Lucky aim :)

In other news, his teeth are finally, officially poking through! Based on him waking up early a couple (and now three) mornings in a row and some other general fussiness, I felt in his mouth last night and was surprised to feel some rough edges! No wonder the poor kid has had some miserable moments...those buggers are sharp! I don't know if that's just how new teeth feel, or if he's got extra sharp ones (yikes!), or what. I'm hoping that they'll smooth off once he starts chomping down on some rougher food. I remember when he was first born his fingernails were rough, so maybe it's the same with teeth? Who knows. Either way, I'd probably cry too if those things were cutting through my gums. Nothing a shot of Tylenol and a short 5:30am feeding can't fix, though! (Ugh.) Incidentally, I keep hearing about these teething tablets that supposedly work wonders, but even though they're homeopathic, they scare me a little. I read somewhere that if you're allergic to ragweed they may not be the best because they have something in them that's in the same family. I'm terribly allergic to ragweed, so if Jacob inherited that...well...it's a little scary. Hard to know if it's just internet hype or legit medical research. The doctor didn't recommend them, but like gripe water (remember that, way back when?), other doctors out there do. Sometimes a frozen teething ring or washcloth doesn't cut it!

Waking up early for the third morning in a row has been rough. 5:30am has to be almost the worst possible time for Jacob to wake up, because it's so close to my normal wakeup time (alarm is set for 6:07am, I'm usually out of bed around 6:30) that no matter what I do I can't really get back to sleep. Even if I did stay up and do a full feeding then go back to sleep for the half hour I'd normally spend feeding him later, he'd theoretically be ready to eat again by the time I'd drop him off at daycare so it really doesn't do me any good. I've been doing two short feedings--one at 5:30 to lull him back to sleep as the Tylenol kicks in, and another shortly before we leave the house so he doesn't show up to daycare starving. The short feeding later cuts 10 minutes off my normal morning routine, so it gives me a few minutes to go back to bed, get a few more low-key minutes of rest, and psyche myself up to get back up and shower. I'm still technically awake at 5:30, which is far from ideal, but those few minutes back in bed make a big difference in my attitude, if nothing else. I'm not too happy about risking Jacob getting back on a middle of the night feeding, but when his teeth are bothering him, nothing else seems to work...so we'll just deal for now.

Hopefully I'll be able to get pictures of his teeth soon, but they're not in enough yet to even attempt it. I can hardly see myself, let alone with a camera in my hand! I'm sure they'll be adorable when they make it in, though!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Miscellaneous Monday

Has it really been nearly a week since I last posted? Oops, sorry about that. I guess last week was a little crazy. Between making up work time for doctor and dentist appointments and generally busy evenings, I guess I just ran out of time. I would have posted over the weekend, but I got busy early on Saturday and then got sick...another brief but painful bout of the flu/food poisoning, much like I had a month or two ago. Not sure why that keeps happening, but it's awful. This time my parents were in town, so at least Jacob was well taken care of. Once they left to meet friends at the lacrosse game, Lori was there to help out until after Jacob was in bed. Thank God. I was feeling pretty brutal until about the middle of the afternoon yesterday. The worst part of the whole thing is just not being able to take care of Jacob like I'd like to, from keeping my distance in case it's catchy, to not having the energy to hold him or rock him or play with him, to a non-existent milk supply thanks to the dehydration. Unfortunately, the illness meant Jacob had to miss his first Superbowl party. We just enjoyed it at home, but I should note that the DVR was a huge help in enjoying the game and the commercials, because I can't tell you how many times we were otherwise distracted and had to rewind!

Anyway...let's see...last week...we made a little bit of progress on the solid foods front. Jacob still isn't exactly an eager participant, but he's getting better about letting me sneak bites in and not screaming about it. We had one good and one great bananas and cereal feedings a couple evenings, and so I decided we'd give it a shot at daycare on Friday, which apparently he did pretty well. We had a less successful attempt on Friday night out at dinner, which was the first time Jacob sat in a restaurant high chair instead of having his carseat in a sling or highchair or booth. I don't know if it was the timing or what, but he wasn't interested. He did seem to like sitting up and looking around, though. He had an okay feeding last night. So far we've tried apples (will be trying again soon), bananas, sweet potatoes, and green beans (the night he got sick--probably won't try those again for a while). Today at daycare I left him squash. Hmmm. So, like I said, still not great, but making progress. We'll keep working on it.

Jacob definitely seems to be increasingly aware of things. His various skills are improving a lot. My parents hadn't seen him in three weeks (they were off visiting Jacob's beautiful little cousin Kate!!) and remarked how much he seemed to change just in that time. He can grab better, sits up well, and smiles a LOT. As long as he's content, he'll smile at Craig and me upon eye contact most of the time, which is great. He laughs quite a bit, sometimes at nothing but mostly when I'm doing something goofy or tickling him a little. He still loves his jumperoo, and had us laughing last night when he was really getting going in it! He's definitely got his quirks, though, like how he tends to chomp down on faces. Out of nowhere he'll try to latch on to your face...but he's not sucking, he's almost chewing. You can actually feel him biting down. Let's hope that stops once his teeth come in!! He was up in the middle of the night the last couple nights (Saturday to Sunday I couldn't blame him, because we were all a little off...and last night he just wouldn't go to sleep, so I can see how that might have left him a bit unsettled), but it could just be teething again. Until those bottom two come in (they're so close!) we may be dealing with this stuff from time to time. It's tiring, but I can put up with it when I consider how lucky we've been so far.

He's getting really grabby, reaching for everything from glasses (his favorite) to Craig's hats, my necklaces, toys, drinking glasses, or anything near his changing table. He's very curious and is starting to get to the point where if he can't grab something he wants, he expresses his frustration. Not all the time, but sometimes. Luckily distraction still works most of the time!

I'm sure I had more to add, but I guess I will save it for another day...enough for one post!