Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fun with Grandma and Grandpa!

Last weekend Craig was working all weekend (and out of town for part of it, too) so Jacob and I decided to go hang out with my parents for the weekend. We always have a good time when we go, and it gives me opportunities for a break during 2-1/2 straight days of single parenthood. And, of course, my parents love having Jacob there...and me too, I guess! We got there around bedtime on Friday night, but since Jacob napped most of the way in the car, I let him stay up a little later. My parents' friends were visiting, and with him just having woken up, he was extra shy for most of the time he was up. But he still had his cute, funny moments, and he actually went to bed much better than expected.

Saturday we had a full day of fun. Jacob spent some time coloring with Grandma, using Mommy's old crayons!

After his nap and lunch, we headed out to the yard, where Grandpa had built three snowmen! Initially we were worried about the quality of the snow to make snowballs, but as it got warmer that day, the snow started to cooperate. And behold, three snowpeople...

Jacob was having trouble staying up on his feet, because his boots are so stiff in the ankles and Jacob isn't an experienced enough walker to understand that he has to bend his knees more to walk in his boots. Oh well...he'll learn. Or he'll have new boots next year. Either way. I think this picture is catching him mid-fall!

Here's Grandpa making snow balls for him...

And here's Jacob in his snow gear, still appropriately toting his little hockey stick...

We also tried putting him on the sled, but the terrain was uneven and Jacob couldn't quite figure out how to hang on. Here's a live action shot of a face plant...and another of a treacherous trip back to the front of the house...and listen closely at the end :)
After the sled didn't quite work, we headed out on a cold weather wagon ride. On our way back we stopped at Great-Grandma Ellman's for a little while. Jacob enjoys playing with her vast collection of Beanie Baby Bears, and he's fascinated by all the little chairs and benches my Grandma has them sitting on. Here he had taken all of the bears off one bench and decided to take a load off and watch the Olympics...and notice, his hockey stick is still in his hand.

We had a nice weekend and finished it off with a pleasant ride back to Rochester, where we went to the Amerks' game. It was an afternoon game highlighted by Hall of Fame night. We had fun, though Jacob was a little less content than usual. Fortunately, the Amerks tied it in the last couple seconds and won it in a shootout, so that made for a nice end to the weekend.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I feel so crazy blessed and oh so lucky
To be the place you go
When you need to feel safe
When you need a kiss
It's me...

-"Me", from the album "Blink" by Plumb
The words above popped into my head at 4:30 this morning. Jacob woke up. He wasn't really crying, but he was whining a little and calling for me. Sometimes when I hear the, "Mommy, Mommy," over the monitor, I'd like nothing more than to just ignore it and fall back to sleep. Unless he's screaming bloody murder, it's probably nothing he can't just deal with and drift back off. But then I feel a little guilty, because obviously he's asking for me, and if he's not screaming bloody murder then hopefully it's something simple enough to take care of in a few minutes. And if I can attend to my baby's needs without losing a lot of sleep, it's a win-win. He's been sleeping pretty well lately, other than a coughing fit here or there. We're in between teething episodes right now, I guess, though his bottom incisors (last ones before the 2-year molars) are getting ready to poke through sometime soon. They're all swelled and it's left me wondering if his recent behavior issues are just due to not feeling 100%, either from his latest cold or his teeth, or both. For example, we went out for dinner last night because we had $10 off at Applebee's that expired at the end of the month, and Jacob was a disaster. He wouldn't sit on my lap at all while we were waiting for a table, and was pretty much done with his meal (mentally, not food-wise) before we had even gotten he proceeded to find every way to be frustrating from then until we were finished. He screamed, spilled milk, kept demanding to get down from his high chair, wouldn't sit on Craig's lap, and did his usual rolling-around-on-the-ground tantrum when we were trying to get his coat on. All of it makes me think we should stop going out for dinner for a we may have to explore the world of take-out in the meantime. I don't mind cooking (and will hopefully enjoy it more in my new kitchen complete with a dishwasher), but I do need a break sometimes!
Anyway, when Jacob's generally sleeping well I don't mind as much getting up for a bit. It's the constant, night-after-night episodes that gradually exhaust me to the point that I feel like I just can't do it another night. And those are usually epic wake-ups too, the ones where he's crying so much that we're up wondering what the heck is wrong with him, and that stress is exhausting on its own. But when he's sleeping okay, I know that I can generally catch up on sleep a bit the next night, so a few minutes here or there isn't terrible. Even his lengthy coughing spell the other night could have been a lot worse had it fallen in the middle of a series of bad nights.
So, this morning around 4:30 I heard Jacob awake. He was whining a little but didn't sound desperate. But when he starting calling out, "Mommy!" louder and louder, I decided I should go in. When I got to his crib, he grabbed his teddy bear and tried to stand up to get to me. He fell over so I helped him stand up again and gave him a hug while he was still in his crib. But then he was saying, "Up, up..." which meant he wanted to be held. So I picked him up and rocked him. And....cue the lyrics above. He just wanted to be held and rocked, which was so sweet...and a nice departure from the crazy boy he was at dinner. It's always nice to get a reminder of the sweet boy he can be. Once he was a little drowsy again (and no longer finding a comfortable spot in my arms), I put him back into his crib and he snuggled right in. Ahhhh.
Those lyrics have been in my head ever since. Plumb is one of my favorite artists, consistently churning out CDs that I love. But 2-1/2 years ago she put out "Blink", and I was disappointed. It wasn't that the music wasn't great, but it didn't really connect with me. See, the whole CD was full of songs dedicated to her kids--Songs about them, lullabies for them, etc. And while it was pretty, it just didn't do it for me. In fact, I was trying to get pregnant at the time, and listening to it was just a frustrating reminder that it hadn't worked yet. And once I was pregnant, I still couldn't fully connect because most of the kid references in the songs were about living, breathing children. But once I became a mom, the CD took on a whole new meaning. I totally get it now and highly recommend it to anyone who has kids. Even though she's technically a Christian artist, you may have heard one of the singles from "Blink" on mainstream radio. It's called, "In My Arms", and it's all about wanting to protect your kids from the nasty outside world...and knowing you can't but savoring the time while you can still hold them and protect them from life's storms. It's good stuff, and the rest of the CD has more of the same. I seriously want to play it for baby #2 while it's in utero, just to have music it will instantly calm down to once it's been born. Of course, I said that about Jacob as well and that never happened. Oh well. Plenty of time to figure that out, since we still don't know how to pay for daycare for baby #2, which is the big dose of birth control on that front right now.
So, anyway, just a sweet little snippet of parenthood I wanted to share. Hope everyone stays safe from the approaching snowstorm!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Videos and Pictures!

As promised, here are a couple cute videos of Jacob from a few weeks ago. The first one shows him playing hockey, which is usually what he's doing when he's in the living room.

Ok, I know this one is oriented wrong, but it's still cute. Facebook let me rotate it, but no such luck here.

And now for a few cute pictures from the weekend...before the trip to Strong Museum. Here are a couple shots of Jacob in one of his new favorite hangouts--sitting in his toy bin. Both shots were so cute that I couldn't pick just one :)

And here's a shot from Saturday's lacrosse game, where Jacob sat contentedly on Grandpa's lap...and he really was happier to be there than this picture shows. He just gets so serious! Must be that he's taking it all in! And yes, the ever-present lacrosse stick makes another appearance...
I have a few more to share but I think I'll keep them for another post. This has to be enough fun for one day!
In other news...Jacob's had a pretty good week. He's been sleeping better (knock on wood), except for the fact that he's been waking up early each morning. I've been hearing him up around 7am or earlier (as opposed to his normal 7:45ish wakeup), but the good news is that he's generally been content, just chillin' in his crib and talking to himself (or his animals?) until after I shower and get dressed. While he still has his moments (most of which occur when we try to take away his hockey or lacrosse stick), he's been pretty fun this week. He's super silly, giving lots of kisses, and has been eating a bit better. Sometimes it takes some creativity or some coaxing, but as a whole he's been better. He did have a bit of a rough day earlier this week at daycare, where I was greeted at the end of the day with two accident reports. One was courtesy of a scratch he received from another kid who wanted Jacob's toy. Annoying, yes, but I can't really say much...Jacob did it to another kid a couple weeks back. Ugh. The second was thanks to Jacob's own clumsiness, when he fell on a toy he was playing with. He ended up with cuts and scratches all over his face, mostly around his nose and up on his forehead. The big cut on his nose bled pretty good, I guess. They don't seem to be bothering him too much, except when I try to wipe his nose...which, thankfully, doesn't need to happen much now that his cold has mostly subsided.

We're off this weekend to Buffalo for a weekend with my parents. There's a full slate of games this weekend (including a road trip for Craig) so I figured we'd be better off visiting my parents than spending the whole weekend alone with me getting frustrated trying to figure out how to start packing up the house with an energetic toddler! We'll have a chance to do that next weekend anyway (when my parents won't be an option, as they'll be off to visit John, Kristin & Kate!), and then the following weekend we'll be off to visit Craig's family for the first time in a while. Definitely a busy time of year!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Visit to Strong Museum

For a while now, Craig has been wanting to whisk Jacob off to Strong Museum (a.k.a. The National Museum of Play) here in Rochester. It's a kid-friendly museum with lots of hands-on exhibits. I can see it from my office window, and on a day like today, in the middle of February break, it's jammed. The place is a madhouse, and while it contains a lot of fun things, I generally walk out of that place a little more pessimistic about parenthood than I'd like. I've been there at least a couple other times, including one blogged-about trip before Jacob was born and another years before with my two best friends from college (yep, we went without kids). It's a fantastic place, but I think I'd like to go there on a weekday when kids aren't off from school...way less chaos! While I wasn't sure Jacob would be into it, I figured the Sesame Street displays alone might be fun for him, and we'd get the benefit of seeing their current Lego displays which are only up for a little longer. So, on Sunday, after church and Jacob's nap, we headed out.

If I had to put the day into one word, it would probably be "frustrating". Despite being well-rested and relatively well-fed, Jacob definitely had his own agenda. He wasn't into having his picture taken or looking at much of anything that we wanted him to look at. He fixated on a few things, but without free access to everything thanks to the many, many kids there, it was tough for him to explore as much as I think he would have otherwise. He liked running around, at least, but he just didn't get into the stuff we thought he would. Turns out that it appears that a little over two years old appears to be the ideal age for a fun trip. I posted something about it in my Facebook status later that day and got a number of responses from people whose pre-two-year-olds didn't really get into it, but six months later couldn't stop talking about it. So, good to know that's down the road. This trip definitely had its ups and downs, though. And here are some pictures...

Jacob and Craig checking out the Count. Have I mentioned that Jacob can do the Count's laugh on command? Also notice he's holding his lacrosse stick in this picture...and notice that he's holding it in almost every other one too. Per my post the other day, he wants to have it in his hands almost all the time.

Saying hi to Elmo on a wall of Sesame Street characters...

With Daddy in the cool Lego Castles exhibit...check out the Lego suit of armor...

Touching the Lego dragon's nose...or picking it?

The museum houses the National Toy Hall of Fame, and the ball was among this year's inductees. How wrong is it that it took a few years for that? The stick was an early inductee, for pete's sake! Here's Jacob admiring the ball display...because, of course, he loves them.

Jacob using a big building block as a bat. It was apparently the only way we could get him anywhere near the cool mega-sized Legos. He totally did not want to build with them. Ugh.

Back in the Lego Castles exhibit, Jacob LOVED this display for some reason. He stood in front of it forever. We have no idea what was so interesting to him...but he did like waving to people through the glass!

Daddy and Jacob attempting to build with Legos. They had a lot of tables for kids to build, including one that was stocked entirely with Duplo blocks for little kids. That only lasted so long.

Mommy and Jacob attempting to get a picture on the steps of 123 Sesame Street...Jacob wasn't into it but we lucked into a decent shot....complete with lacrosse stick again.

One of Jacob's favorites was the huge fish tank they have near the entrance. He's really into fish, if I haven't mentioned it before. It happened sort of by accident, actually, from a variety of sources. He loves eating goldfish crackers, for one. He enjoys his music-and-lights aquarium on his crib that has a fish in it (in fact, when I walked in his room yesterday morning, he had his nose up to the clear plastic front!). He loves the cool aquarium at the doctor's office, and yes, we've been there far too much. And the house we're moving into has a couple fish tanks as well, so he's liked those when we've visited there. Anyway, he loves "ishies"...

So, that was our visit in a nutshell...minus any graphic images of Jacob screaming, running away, or fighting us at every turn. Check out the full set of pics from our trip here. Hopefully I'll have a chance to post some other pictures from the weekend and other miscellanous Jacob pics and videos soon!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How much is too much?

Jacob loves sports. There is no doubt. He came by it honestly, thanks to two parents who love sports and a TV that frequently shows sports in one form or another. He liked throwing balls right from the get-go, and is now really good at the point that those playing with him frequently cower in fear as he winds up. Granted, his power is generally better than his aim, but we'll work on that. His favorite words right now are "Knighthawks" and "hockey", with the old standby "ball" still hanging in there. He frequently stops cold and will do his baseball swing, or he'll turn any elongated object--food, a hairbrush, writing instruments--into a baseball bat, hockey stick, or lacrosse stick, complete with the appropriate motions. When we first gave him a little baseball bat, he carried it around with him all the time. Same thing happened when we gave him a mini-hockey stick, and then in the past couple weeks with a little lacrosse stick. However, he seems to be most attached to the lacrosse stick, which he will whine for whenever it goes missing. When he starts repeating "Knighthawks" over and over, looking worried, I generally know that's what he wants. He screams whenever we try to take it away to do something where it would be inappropriate, unwelcome, or easily lost, like daycare, church, or mealtimes. Even bathtime and bedtime aren't immune. And even when we take it away and try to distract him, he still asks for it back. At mealtime, after about five bites he's saying "All Done" and trying to get out of his seat. The second he walks into the living room most of the time he's pointing to the TV saying "hockey" or "Knighthawks", which is his cue to us to turn on sports. And we do have the MLB Network and the NHL Network as part of our cable package, so there is, indeed, always sports to turn on. Of course, lately I've been putting on Sesame Street off the DVR instead, just so it's something to distract him from an empty TV screen.

Now, all of this said, I know how kids are. I've heard enough stories about kids who have to wear their PJs to school, go to bed with their fire helmet on, or have to have their food cut into certain shapes to eat it. Kids are weird sometimes and they have strange phases with strange hangups. They obsess over things for a time, and within reason you might as well just let them be weird and pick your battles over more important things. However, I still worry that Jacob's just too obsessed with sports. While I'd like to think he spends his days at daycare interested in drawing and singing and playing in the toy kitchen, I still have this nagging suspicion that they spend half the day trying to keep him involved with the other kids and preventing him from dragging another ball out of the ball bin. He's frequently playing ball when I get there, which only adds to that theory. But regardless, once he gets home, sports is at the top of his very short list. Yes, he'll play with his other non-sports toys once in a while. He loves his stuffed animals and was giving them lots of kisses yesterday. He'll play around with other things--his Little People cars and parking ramp, his Incrediblock, miscellaneous trucks, and his Elmo Live, but almost without fail, the next time you turn around, he'll be playing with some sort of ball and some Jacob-sized sports equipment. Or sometimes he'll try to use a non-sports toy as a stand-in for sports stuff. His Little People have had to be rescued numerous times from their use as hockey pucks. I have no idea why he has it in his head that they should be pucks, but no amount of logical discussion has convinced him of that yet. If he's not playing with something sports related, he's checking out the sports on TV or paging through an Amerks magazine or one of the many sports media guides sitting on our bookshelf.

And while I think his obsession has its cute moments (I have some cute videos...I can't remember if I posted them here, or just on Facebook...ugh), I do worry that it's just a little too all-encompassing and that it may be distracting him from learning other, more important things. I mean, if he's going to obsess over something, I'd certainly rather it be sports than, say, Barney or the Wiggles or even Yo Gabba Gabba...for my own sanity's sake, anyway. However, I would like him to be learning his letters and numbers a bit, or heck, even good manners...and I'm not sure sports teaches any of least not at this point. Hence the reason I've been turning on Sesame Street whenever I can. But still, I couldn't help but be a little nervous when it seemed like sports was taking over his vocabulary. He'd been saying certain words for a while and a few times recently I've asked him to repeat them...and all I got was "Knighthawks". Maybe he's just being a difficult 19-month-old who knows how to push all of his mama's buttons, but can you blame me for being a bit nervous when it starts taking over everything? I'm sure things will balance out, but in the meantime I'm trying to think of ways to divert his attention and broaden his horizons without withholding the one thing he truly loves. I try to stay firm when it's not a good time for him to cart around his lacrosse stick, like tonight when he screamed through his whole bath because he wanted it there with him, or whined a bit at bedtime because he couldn't have it there either. Maybe I shouldn't bother, but there are limits and there's no time like the present to start teaching him that. I can appreciate that he's into something, and it's a really cool thing to be into. I just hope that we as parents can guide him into other interests as well, or at least use his sports interests to enhance other areas of his life. Maybe he'll be the only kid in his fourth grade class to master long division (unlike his mama) because he's been calculating save percentage, goals against averages, and batting averages since he was in kindergarten. Who knows? You can't fault a kid who has a passion, but as parents we can channel it. Let's just hope we figure out how to do that...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Looking forward to a fun weekend...

Hello from Sickville. Jacob's still sick and I'm now sick, and I'm waiting for a break from all of this sickness any day now. Jacob's been a pretty good sport despite his nasty cold, but it's been a tough week or so. He hates when I wipe his nose, and despite my best efforts it's dry and cracked around the nostril. I use saline to loosen up the caked on boogers each morning, but even that isn't making it gentle enough, unfortunately. He wakes up periodically at night and coughs quite a bit in his sleep at times, but other than a handful of frustrating moments, he's been pretty good. Of course, Jacob hasn't been eating much in light of his current cold, which has been frustrating considering he's not a great eater even when totally healthy. He even refused cake and ice cream the other night. Sometimes it's tough to tell if it's just his illness or if he's just too busy to sit and eat. If his lacrosse or hockey stick are within his sight from his high chair, he usually starts saying "All Done" after about five minutes and five bites. No wonder he's so skinny! Fortunately, his energy has stayed up, and he has a lot of really happy times in the midst of his major congestion and nasty coughing. I'm pretty sure I have the same thing right now, though I still don't think mine is as bad as his. Perhaps it really is a different strain, or maybe he just reacts worse due to all of the respiratory issues he's had thusfar in his short little life. It's been a rough one, though, and on top of the other health issues we've had so far this year (stomach bug, cold, ear infection, hand, foot & mouth disease, and now another cold), it's really been quite enough to last us for a long time. At this rate I might be digging into my vacation time for Jacob's sick days by about April. Let's hope it starts slowing down now that we're supposedly on the downside of the winter season. Yeah, right. Jacob did get his H1N1 booster today, so let's hope we can avoid that illness, at least.

In the midst of all of this, we're still looking forward to a fun weekend. My parents are supposed to be coming in for a bit tomorrow, and all four of us will be going to the Knighthawks game, which is an afternoon match...thank goodness. Based on how cranky Jacob was after his last night game, I think we're going to stick with afternoon games as much as humanly possible...which means this may be the last Knighthawks game we attend this season. It's a bummer because I like them, but the battle I have to fight the Sunday after just isn't worth it. Or maybe we can go for a bit but need to utilize some willpower and leave by 9 to get Jacob in bed within an hour of his normal bedtime. But tomorrow's afternoon game will be fun. Sunday we're hoping to take Jacob to the Strong National Museum of Play here in Rochester. We think he's at a good age for some of the exhibits (like Sesame Street and the mini-Wegmans), and there's a cool Lego exhibit there right now that we'd like to see. I think they have some giant Legos there as well, so Jacob might enjoy that, too. It should be fun, as long as Jacob cooperates! It's one of the few weekend days until May that Craig has off, so hopefully it works out. As if that wasn't enough, I have off Monday so Jacob will get an extra day at home. Craig has to go out to our local Build-a-Bear for some preparations for an upcoming work fundraiser he's spearheading, so Jacob and I will hopefully go out there with him for a bit. I think it will be a fun weekend but I'm hoping we all start to feel better so nothing gets in the way of our fun!

Have a nice weekend, and hopefully I'll have some fun pictures to post soon!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sick again, and Sleep Deprivation

Well, Jacob's sick again. But wait...I don't think I ever posted about his last illness. So last Tuesday night we noticed a rash on Jacob's hands and feet, and up his legs to his knees. Lately he'd also had what I thought was a drool rash on his mouth and another round of really nasty diaper rash. We called the doctor and they said it was probably just something viral and it would go away on its own. But when I took Jacob to daycare on Wednesday, they took one look at it and guessed that it was hand, foot and mouth disease. It sounds worse than it is, but it's really just a virus that causes a rash that turns into blisters. Apparently it's worse in adults than it is in kids, but somehow it seems to travel among kids more often because most of what I read said it's mostly a kids thing. He got a few blisters but I think his case was rather mild. It didn't seem to bother him too much, though one day he cried when we tried to put his shoes on. We originally thought it was because they were suddenly too small, but I think the combination of them getting tight and the formation of blisters might have both contributed. The odd thing about this illness is that it's usually preceeded by a fever, but I don't remember him having one at all last weekend. He was such a good boy on Saturday, though he did take two naps, and Sunday he was cranky but we spent all day together and I don't remember him being warm at all. So who knows?

Jacob usually gets a perma-cold this time of year, like most kids in daycare. It goes from just a slight stuffy nose with a slight trickle to a nasty cough and a nose like a faucet that's also completely plugged up. Well, Sunday night we went to a Superbowl party at our former co-workers' house. They hold this huge bash every year, complete with catering, and last year I was sick the day before so we stayed home. This year we were so excited to go. Once we were there we noticed that Jacob felt awfully warm. It was warm in the house and Jacob had a few layers on, and he was also running all over the place. We brought a couple footballs and he was having a blast throwing them, running around, and being tackled by one of us trying to corral him. He didn't seem like he had a fever, but thanks to all the congestion, periodically he seemed a bit pathetic. I couldn't get his temperature to register too high once we were home, but he definitely felt warm. He slept ok, only waking up screaming once in the middle of the night. I gave him some infant Motrin and he went back to sleep pretty easily. He seemed ok this morning but Craig stayed home with him just to be sure. Craig said he didn't seem warm today other than after a couple naps on Craig, but that was normal. However, tonight he was warm again. And he was so congested. I don't even know how to help him at this point. He won't let me wipe his nose, hates the bulb syringe, and is still coughing pretty nastily. It's so hard to watch. I just keep hoping it lets up soon.

But in the meantime, the sleep deprivation around here lately has been tough. Between illnesses and teething, we've had a handful of good sleeping nights around here since the new year began. First the stomach bug, then a couple colds, and teething really did us in. It seems that in the days before teeth finally poke through, Jacob is at his worst, waking up every hour at night some nights. Luckily we had a couple incisors poke through last week, and after three relatively good nights I was hoping we'd get a couple weeks to catch up on sleep before the bottom teeth decided to come in. But now we're back in illness mode. And with my job, it's killing me. Today I had to sit through a three hour presentation at work by our CEO, and I was having the worst time keeping my eyes open. It was horrible. And then there's the work I do. At my old job, being tired was a way of life. And if I was really, extra tired, I could still fake it. I could structure my day to do things that were doable despite exhaustion. But in my current job, most of what I do is highly detail oriented and one mistake can set me back hours. It takes a clear mind to do almost everything, and when I'm tired I'm lacking the patience to think it all through and make sure all those little details are taken care of. It's so hard to work tired. And while I've done it for the last year and a half, it's getting harder for some reason. Maybe I just expected to be well-rested by now, despite everyone's claim that you don't get to sleep for at least the next five years. Maybe the work I'm doing is that much more detailed. Maybe the duration of sleep deprivation is just starting to overwhelm me. I'm just not sure. But it's brutal. And I keep wondering when it will end, or when it will somehow, truly get the best of me. I'm beat. And I suppose sitting here blogging isn't helping. Good night...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Change is a' comin'!

In the past few days I've been thinking a lot about the changes that are coming our way in the next couple months. The fact that that time period is now definitively a couple months is blowing my mind in and of itself. We have two months to get all of this house stuff taken care of--legal stuff, packing, address/utility changing, etc.--before embarking on a whole new set of changes. On the bright side, we're not moving far so our little world outside the house isn't going to change much. Yes, it will be a slightly longer commute and a more indirect path to daycare each morning, but we won't have to change our shopping habits or our church or anything like that. We're still traveling in the same general direction and living in the same little world we do now. And as much as I anticipate the changes of having more space, a dishwasher, and a kitchen that doesn't make me roll my eyes every time I talk about it, I know there are changes that won't be quite as good. There will certainly be a lot of give and take, and I'm just not sure my brain is comprehending all of what we'll be giving up. It's hardly sunk in yet that we won't have another spring in our house to watch the lilacs come out (sad) or wonder how brown our holly bushes will become (yes!! I will NOT miss those.). We'll only have two more months of our life as we know it, with Jacob in the room he's had since he was born. Incidentally, I plan on using our camcorder sometime soon before we start packing to wander around the house and take in all of the little details. Jacob won't remember this house, but I'd like him to someday see the place that he first called home.

I know that it will probably take some adjustment for Jacob (though he loves the new house and never wants to leave when we're there) because he's so used to ours. Will he be thrown off when he's sleeping in a different room, even though it will still be all his stuff? Will he be able to find me when I'm hidden away in the kitchen, since the kitchen's in a different spot? Will he be thrown off because his toys aren't where he's used to them being? I'm sure he'll adjust, but the interim could be interesting. As for me...I keep wondering how many things I'm taking for granted and will miss once we move...or on the other hand, good things the new house will provide that we never even thought of. I'm not looking forward to the commute change (about 5-10 minutes longer), though I will enjoy having about 5-10 minutes less travel each time we go back and forth to Buffalo. I was so excited a couple years ago to get our new storm door with the retractable screen, and now our new house won't have that...but with central air and ceiling fans, does it matter? Will the lack of a door directly from the garage into the house be more of an issue than I think? Will I be annoyed because I have to run up or down six steps to get to the bedrooms or basement? Will our lack of a fenced yard be a major drawback? Do we have too many tall things to store that will make having only a 3-foot high crawl space an issue? So many questions...

I know we'll miss our one set of neighbors, though apparently the new ones will be great, too. Our current neighbors have always taken an interest in Jacob and been very friendly and helpful in general. I'll definitely miss easy access to a lot of the great walking and bike riding neighborhoods around our current neighborhood, but I know that we'll have a whole new neighborhood to explore and a gorgeous park just down the road. Will I miss my view of the elementary school out my kitchen window, or regret that I can't see the street from my bedroom? I'm sure I'll miss the lovely shade tree in our backyard in the summer, particularly because that's where Jacob's swing resides, but I won't miss it in the fall when we're not raking leaves...but then again, will I miss letting Jacob play in a big leaf pile like he did this year?

Moving to a new house means that we have to rework all of our current habits and processes. And when you're dealing with a baby, that's not always easy. Heck, the stuff we got used to here when Jacob was a real baby may change completely in the new house when we bring on baby #2. Or maybe not. And I guess that's the hardest part of this change. For as many good things as we know we have coming (seriously, the dishwasher, garbage disposal, larger living room and infinite crawl space alone are enough to get me psyched), there are that many more unknowns. And I know we'll adjust...we did last time and we will this time. We made it through the massive life shift that comes with having a baby, and bringing that baby and our current life into a new house shouldn't be a big speed bump. It will have its challenges, no doubt, but I think in the long run we will be happy there and create a lot of new memories. The next few months will certainly be more of an adventure than usual. And in the meantime...I should probably start packing, huh?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Weekend Review

Well, it was a bit of a mixed weekend for us this weekend. Saturday was perfect, Sunday was far from it. Friday night was good, with a visit from Lori during which Jacob fell asleep in my arms by about 8:30. His sleeping has been pretty inconsistent these days, with one good night interspersed among a few bad ones. I think it's teething still, but it's driving us nuts. Sometimes he'll go down fine, sometimes not. Sometimes he sleeps soundly until the middle of the night and then wakes up periodically for a few hours, or maybe he'll wake up crying before we're even in bed and then sleep through after that. It's been tough, and I think it's got us all a little tired...hence his early drop off on Friday. I think he might have had one episode that night before I was in bed, but mercifully he let me sleep for most of the night because Craig was out of town and I would have been on my own. Saturday we slept in a bit and then quickly got ready and headed off to the airport to pick up Craig from his lacrosse roadtrip. Jacob was a little cranky on the drive there and back, but from then on he was awesome all day. Craig stopped at home for a short time and then was back off to work, so it was just Jacob and me all day. He napped relatively early and I had to wake him up in time to get out of our house for a 1:30 showing. We went out to McDonald's for lunch and I greatly enjoyed feeding him a burger. He really liked it and was so cute while he ate it. I know that's a bad habit to get him into, but we won't do it that often and I think the taste of a McDonald's burger is one of the most memorable tastes of my own childhood. I got into many more exotic things at McDonald's in recent years, and just in the last year or so rediscovered the plain ol' hamburger. It totally takes me back to the days of my youth when I would beg for a Happy Meal. So, yeah, it was cute seeing Jacob enjoy his burger so much! After that we went out for a quick shopping trip to Kohl's. We had to take back a Christmas gift for Craig, and I browsed the clearance racks a bit. I found a 3T shirt for Jacob for $4.20 that will fit him down the road, but that was about it. I did pick up a little Toy Story-themed Doodle Pro for him (the Fisher-Price version of the MagnaDoodle). I'd been wanting to get him one since Christmas and just hadn't gotten around to it, and they were on sale cheap. He definitely likes it, even though he doesn't entirely get it yet--which came back to bite me a bit on Sunday. More on that later. But anyway...I gave it to him on the way home and I enjoyed looking back at him randomly drawing away. After we got home and played a bit, I noticed he seemed to be getting tired. Since he'd already had a good hour and a half nap earlier (prior to our house showing), I figured I'd take the opportunity to snuggle him a bit. And sure enough, he snuggled right in with me on the couch. He napped for another hour and a half while I caught up on a long-awaited, DVR'ed Biggest Loser episode. Once he woke up, I made him a can't-miss dinner of hot dogs, cheese, and fruit, and then we were off to the Knighthawks game. Jacob says "Knighthawks" about 100 times a day ("Ai-awks"), so I figured he'd have fun. And indeed he did. Of course, he did start getting tired once it was way past his bedtime, and he actually managed to fall asleep for part of the 4th quarter, despite the crazy amount of noise around us. That was a first. Ironically, there was a six-week old baby down the row from us who was awake and fighting sleep like crazy. And yes, six weeks seems young to have a baby at a lacrosse game. She was so tiny and it was so loud! I guess I can't throw stones too much because I did have Jacob at a lacrosse game on his six-week birthday, but it was an outdoor game with fresh air and more muted noise, so I tend to think that was a little better than the Knighthawks game, which is sometimes loud for even me. Yikes. Jacob woke up near the end of the game and stayed awake for the ride home, but he went down pretty easily that night and only woke up a couple times, each time for a mere couple minutes. Easy.

So...Sunday morning. He slept in until about 9:30, which I was hoping would mean he'd be all caught up on his sleep. But I knew better and figured it might be the start of a long day off his schedule. The two of us went to church (Craig was working again) and I decided to sit in church this time since Jacob had been doing it so much lately, through the holidays and then the past two weekends at my parents' church. Might as well strike while the iron's hot! He did pretty good through most of the service, though he was a little chatty. But at least it was mostly happy chatter. He doesn't quite get the "Shhhhh..." thing yet so that was a little tough. He did want to try to use the pew pens to write on his Doodle Pro, and he did get a little antsy, but for the most part he was good. But at some point right near a quiet moment at the end of the service, he decided to get frustrated that (I think) his Doodle Pro pen wouldn't come off the string that connected it to the drawing board. Ugh. He flipped and I quickly threw all of our stuff in the diaper bag, grabbed the coats and headed out. He was still cranky in the narthex while I tried to put on his coat, and thus began a cranky day. No matter what we did, Jacob had a (negative) opinion about it. He was cranky though lunch and about going down for a nap, and only napped for an hour. In the late afternoon we headed out to do some quick shopping, and then went to the Amerks game (a much earlier one this time). Jacob fought me when I tried to feed him dinner there, but for the most part he was pretty good at the game. He did try to escape a little more often than usual. I was impressed, however, that he managed to hold on to one of his mini-hockey sticks the entire time we were there. It took him half an intermission and an entire period to eat 2/3 of a hot dog, but at least he was fairly content while doing it. He fell asleep before we were even on the highway to go home, so I know he was tired. But once we were home he fought sleep for a good hour or more. And then at 1am he proceeded to wake up miserable and screaming, and despite lots of rocking, rubbing and a dose of Tylenol, nothing worked. Finally I had the brainstorm to go grab a teething ring, and like magic, he calmed down and drifted off. Why didn't I think of that an hour earlier?!

Last night was more of the same, with Jacob waking up pretty much every hour starting around 1am, miserable. I think at least one tooth is finally breaking through, but we still have a long way to go. He was hysterical for a long time last night, and wouldn't even take the teething ring this time. Craig took the brunt of the getting up last night as I seem to be low on patience these days. He spent most of yesterday afternoon napping after his busy weekend, so I figured he had a little more in the reserves than I did. It's just so frustrating when nothing--Tylenol, rocking, teething rings, etc.--works. What can you do when you need sleep? All of us need sleep, Jacob included. Hopefully this will pass soon and we'll all get back to some sort of normalcy.

Oh, and as if teething wasn't enough, Jacob's got horrible diaper rash, drooling rash on his face, and a horribly itchy, scaly ear--presumably eczema that we're trying to treat with hydrocortisone and Cetaphil. Poor kid is not having a good couple weeks. And neither are his parents, for that matter. Add in house stress, and it's a lot to handle. We've got ours sold (for the second time, now to a more stable buyer), though it's still a pretty crappy deal for us, but at least it allows us to get a house we love. I'll keep you posted on that, too. Hope everyone has a better week, and pray for all of us to get some sleep!