Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jack-6 months!

I'm not going to lie, month 6 has sucked. Not so much that you, Jack, have been problematic, but it's been a crazy hectic time. I honestly feel that we haven't had a moment to sit still since before Thanksgiving. I've been in rehearsal for not one, not two, but three shows, and your father has been focusing on his concert. Busy is an understatement. We've been so lucky, though, that you just go with the flow. You love the evenings you spend at home with Dad, or the times you spend with your Grandma while I'm in rehearsal.

You're starting to show more and more of your personality. I think we're in for it when you get older-you already seem to be quite charismatic, charming, and a bit of a stinker. You sometimes play around when you know you should be doing something else. You're stubborn and strong willed, but given your parents, it's not surprising. You also love your dogs. You love when they come to visit you, and you're awesome at petting them gently.

Weight: 15 lb 2 oz (15%)
Length: 26 inches (20%)
Head Circumference: 16.75 in (10%)

Clothing: 3-6 month. We've packed up a few 3-6 month sleepers that are snug lengthwise, and one overall outfit, but most things we still have plenty of room in. Which is a relief, because all your Christmas outfits are 6 month. I'd hate to have to buy some bigger stuff all the sudden.
Hair:  Brown
photo credit: Beth Manning Photography
Eyes: Brown
Sleep: Sucks. Last week, you were doing 45 minute stretches at night and that was it. Your naps were fine, but your night time sleep was out of control. In the past couple of nights, we've gotten back to 4-5 hour stretches, but we haven't made it back to sleeping through the night yet.

Nicknames: Le Jack (Jacques), Jackie Doodle, and Jack Attack, as well as Stinker. You're a huge stinker, especially where sleep is concerned.
Milestone: You're sitting up like a champ! Sometimes, though, you refuse to sit down, you just want to stand. I still believe you are not going to crawl for long, you're going to want to walk as soon as possible. Speaking of crawling, none yet, but you're very strong and trying had to get on to your hands and knees. You still haven't rolled from your back to belly, but I truly believe it's for lack of want, not ability.

This week you had your first sample of solid food: banana! I'm not sure much made it into your mouth...most of if you just played with. You also tried your first taste of sweet potato fries on gummed your way through one and sucked the inside of it out. You were quite proud of yourself.

You've also become very interested in cups...especially coffee mugs and wine glasses.

You also had your first Thanksgiving, which you loved spending down at Holden Beach, and we kicked off the Christmas season with your first visit to see Santa.

We went to see the Legendary Santa at the Richmond Children's Museum, the same one your mommy and aunt saw when we were kids back at Miller and Rhodes. It was a a magical moment.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jack-5 Months

 Disclaimer...This post really and truly was written Nov. 14, 2013; however, I couldn't get to some of the pictures I wanted, so I was delayed (almost 3 weeks) in posting. Oops.

OK, this has gotten ridiculous...The past three posts have all been Jack monthly updates and nothing else. I am embarrassed for me. It seems that our house has been under the weather a lot, and busy, of course. I'd like to think things are going to slow down soon, but I'm kinda dreading the next month. Too much going-I don't think I have a weekend off until Christmas.

It also doesn't help that Jack is getting more and more fun, which makes it harder to spend the little time I get with him at the computer. As a matter of fact, right now, typing is taking twice as long because little man wants to be in my lap and is grabbing for my fingers.

During this month, we celebrated Jack's first Halloween. He, of course, went dressed as  a "Jack"-o-lantern. Dad had a football game on actual Halloween, so I took him trick-or-treating with my neice and nephew. The night before Halloween, we went up to his babysitter's house to go through their huge Halloween display. I'm sure you're going to think we're especially crazy for some of the pictures we took.

You've also started playing in your Step 'n' Play Piano-which you loooooove. The first time I put you in it, I showed you a few things and you just watched. Now you play with it all by yourself, constantly discovering new ways to make noise. you're still a little short for it, but we put a pillow under your feet and don't leave you in there for too long.

We got the chance to go see Daddy's band perform at their state assessment. It was ridiculously cold and windy, but we bundled you up and the cold didn't seem to bother you. You loved to watch the marching bands perform-you were extremely attentive.

In other firsts, you had your first shopping trip with your grandma, aunt, and myself. We were gone all day long-literally 8:30AM-5PM. You were so awesome, and came home with some pretty cute stuff.

Weight: 14.5 lbs

Length: 24.5ish in
Head Circumference: I didn't quite get this one done...

Clothing: 3-6 month. There are a few sleepers in a brand that tends to run on the small side that I would imagine you're going to outgrow them soon and move on to 6-9 month. Everything else you have plenty of room in.
Hair:  Brown, with some lighter highlights coming in.
Eyes: Brown, almost a clear amber.
Sleep: You were doing so well! Sleeping through the night at leas t75% of the time for the last 2-3 weeks, then bam! this week has sucked. The last two nights you were up every two hours. I feel certain your gums are bothering you-we'll probably see some new teeth within the next week, 
Nicknames: Your father has suddenly become French and is calling you "Le Jacques." I still with Jackie Doodle.

Milestone: Tummy time is getting more and more adventurous. You're constantly trying to get up on your knees. We made the prediction you would be crawling by Christmas. I'll be anxious to see if that is the case. It's definitely plausible. You are starting to sit up unassisted. You rolled from your back to your tummy one time, but we think it was just a fluke. You are also officially sleeping unswaddled. You have to have a (wearable) blanket, but you're free to move all around in it.

Monday, October 14, 2013


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Jack-4 months!

Pictures got much more difficult this month as you want to play with Toto instead of just lay beside him.
Another month down, another month older. It's obviously been a pretty busy month as I haven't updated here since your last update. In many ways, it's just been getting back into the full swing of things with work and school. You're still loving going to Nana Becky every day. You finally met someone younger than you-Miss Ila was born during this month, and we're already planning play dates. This month, especially the last 2 weeks or so, have been...trying. I can tell you are getting ready to make some huuuuuge advancements, but it's been a little difficult waiting to get you there.
You sent Tarra some encouragement during her labor.

Weight: 13 lb 8 oz
Length:   24 7/8 inch
Head Circumference: 16 1/8 inch
That mop of hair.
 Clothing:You're merging into the 3-6 month clothing. As a matter of fact, I packed up *most* of your 0-3 month clothing this morning. There are things you can still wear, but 3-6 month just looks more comfortable on you. For the most part, though, we're still in 0-3 month pants. Your short little legs and skinny waist don't want to fit in 3-6 month pants yet.

Fitting into some dapper new clothes...are the links ready for you?

Hair: Brown and long. When I was giving you a bath the other night, I noticed it will hang down below your shoulders when wet in the back. The texture seems to be thickening up, too. You have this crazy cowlick you get at the top of your head, which makes your head look about 2 inches taller than it really is. Seriously. That is not an exaggeration.

Eyes: At this point, I'll be surprised if they are anything other than brown. But they are a beautiful brown. 

Big, beautiful, brown eyes

Sleep: This is a sore subject for me right now...Shortly after you turned 3 months, you actually had about 2 nights of sleeping through the night. Then, the teething began. You were not fussy, but you were not restful. We decided since you were struggling with sleeping anyway, may as well  go ahead and try to wean you from the swaddle. That hasn't worked. This week you seem to be going through the "4 month wakeful period" or sleep regression. I'm not sure if you're not filling up during the day, and therefore waking up to get in your calories, or if your sleep patterns are just changing, or if you're having digestive issues (pulling off and fussing/screaming while eating)... At any rate, it's been rough, especially the last few days. And while I want you to sleep, I don't want something to become a crutch for you. I'm frustrated because I know we all will be happier once we can to better sleep, but I'm not sure what's the best way to get there. I was starting to get all worked up about sleep training you, but after talking to the pediatrician today, I'm not so worried. He said we should just set the groundwork now by keeping things calm and quiet at night when you're up (which we do), and be more aggressive around 6 months. 

Sweet, pouty baby lips.
Attempting to sleep...unswaddled. I keep expecting to see a demon or something pop up on the screen when we check him on the monitor. I should never have watched Insidious.
 Nicknames: I call you "Jackie Doodle" a lot...your dad sticks with "Jack Man." I also refer to you as a sleep hater from time to time.
Watching the Pirates with Dad, just before they were out of the playoffs
Milestone: Rolling over! You've gone from your belly to your back a lot, and you did back to belly once, as a fluke, I believe. You've also gotten in 2 teeth and seem to be working on more. I wouldn't be surprised if you have a full mouth by 1 year. You're also consistently laughing-especially on the changing table. That's you're favorite place in the whole world. And talking...sometimes I think you won't shut up.
Sweet baby laughter

Not that you asked, but I'm pleased to report that this month the extra baby weight has decided to start coming off-finally. I've lost about 10 lbs in the last 6 weeks, so I'm really hoping I can keep this up. I haven't done much differently, other than starting back to work (which automatically means having to plan meals better and be more active), but I want it to keep up. I worked so hard to lose the weight before, I know I can do it again.

And, on a bittersweet note, I think it's time we found a new home for our kitty Sissi. I've suspected Nick is allergic to her (and me, not nearly as much as he), and she has a penchant for urinating in inappropriate places when she's angry. Well, apparently she has a beef with Jack as she peed on him Saturday morning. No, I didn't see it, but he was hanging out on his Kick'n'Play Piano while I did some things in the kitchen. I went to pick him up, and I noticed his mat was wet. Then I noticed his feet and ankles were wet. Not on the bottom, like he had put his feet in it, but the tops, as if he had been sprayed. And reeked of cat pee. I will not have a cat that pees on my son. So...she's got to go. Know anyone that wants a cat?

Enjoying your Piano, ready to roll over back to tummy, before the cat peed on you.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jack-3 Months

This month has brought so many changes. You are coming more and more into your own personality. You've been around your cousins, David and Colbie, a lot, but I think going to your baby sitter has been huge for your social development. You are watching people and things all around you. You have a friend at the baby sitter's who is almost a year older than you, and I cannot wait to see you running around with him. As it is, you watch him wherever he is going, and he is constantly by your side, talking to you and checking in on things. Mama, on the other hand is still struggling with our morning routine. The afternoon routine we have down. We get home, you play a little while I get the bottles/pump parts washed from the day, prep bottles for the next day, and get diaper laundry started (if it's Tuesday or Thursday). We play a little, then it's into the swing for a nap. Our morning routine is suppose to go: Alarm goes off at 5AM, get up, pump while eating breakfast, load the car (in my PJs/bathrobe), get dressed, change your diaper and PJs, nurse you, and then out the door by 6:15AM. Sometimes, this works, sometimes you decide to wake up earlier, sometimes I oversleep, sometimes nothing seems to go right. At any rate, you sleep in the car and stay asleep until about 8-8:30AM. I like leaving you in your PJs and throw an outfit in the diaper bag for you to wear later in the day.

In other major events, you had your baptism last weekend (Sunday, September 8). You were so well behaved during church-you sat him your daddy's lap and watched everything. During the actual baptism, you were alert and played with your tongue. Yes, you have found your tongue, along with your hands. And if you're not touching something, you're making obscene gestures with your mouth.

Weight:13ish lbs 
Length:  24 inches
Head Circumference: 15.5 inches
Clothing: Solidly in 0-3 month clothing, but I'd say not for too much longer. There are a few 3-6 month pieces you can wear. Your christening outfit fit you perfectly this past weekend, but I'm sure if we had waited much longer, we would have had to buy you a new one.
Hair: A lighter shade of brown, with some stray curls and crazy bed head. The length is out of control, but I really don't want to have to worry with cutting it yet.
Eyes: Brown, with a surround of blue. I still believe they will end up hazel in the end.  (It's the same as last month, so I just copied and pasted it.)
Sleep: It's going pretty well. You are consistently doing a 5-6 hour stretch when you first go down, but afterwards it's still mostly 2 hour stretches. Last night you went down around 9:15, slept till 3:30, back down by 3:45 and I had to wake you up to feed you at 6 so we could get to work on time. I'm hoping the be able to forgo the swaddling soon. We've started using primarily a Halo Sleep blanket, swaddled with the arms in. You are inconsistent with sleeping when we swaddle you with your arms out, so I think you're not quite ready yet. We usually start bedtime around 8PM, but I think you'd sleep longer if we could push it back until 9. You just get so upset if we wait much later than 8.
Nicknames: Your father has taken to calling you "Jack Man," which is what your pediatrician loves to call you. I call you "Big Boy" a lot, as you're getting so big all the sudden, and Dad makes fun of me, as that's what Grandpa Tom calls him.
Milestone: You're a champ at tummy time. You can hang out there for days on end, especially when you are looking at the bright colors on your play mat. You've started laughing some, too. It's inconsistent, but it's there.

Like father, like son.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sweet Baby Jesus!

Beer: Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter
Store:The Virginia Wine Experience (Fredericksburg, Va)
Cost: ???

Once upon a time, I thought I only liked really light beers; recently, though, I've found that darker = more flavor. Besides, most cheap, nasty beer is light (not to say all light beers are nasty), so there has to be something going on with the darker beers. This beer is like a party in your mouth. It's sweet and bitter all at once. As soon as you pick it up, you automatically get the smell of sweet peanut butter. You first experience a bitter cocoa taste with the beer, followed up by the sweet peanut butter. It is a very strong taste, but reminds me of a dark chocolate, alcoholic Reese Cup. It's not something for everyone, and it didn't really mesh with the barbeque I had earlier with it. This is a late evening beer to enjoy with a vanilla dessert.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to work...

As much as I think I would hate to be a stay at home mom-I give props to those that are-I was really sad to see summer and my maternity leave end. In some ways, I feel like I didn't have any maternity leave. I had really hoped he would come a little bit early so I could enjoy a little more time with him, but considering all my time with him was spent during my normal summer break, it almost feels like it wasn't a real maternity leave. Don't get me wrong, I loved having those last three weeks of school off-and given my physical, mental, and emotional state, I think it was the right choice. It just didn't feel like maternity leave as I had no baby yet.

Going back to work has been good though. We've been back for a little over a week now, and things are going well. There are parts of my job that annoy me-typical of any job-but overall, I'm happy to be back. Jack and I both love his baby sitter. He's staying with a woman who is keeping two other kids-a boy that is just over 1 year and a little girl who will be three this winter. Both of their moms used to work with me, so it's nice seeing them in the mornings. I don't worry about him while he's there. His behavior seems to be pretty consistent there as it is at home-struggling with names, but eagerly accepting a bottle. As much as I enjoy being with him, it's nice to be around adults and have a break from him, too. Yesterday, when I picked him up, he gave me the biggest smile when he saw me and heard my voice. Made my heart melt.

I'm still struggling with figuring out a morning routine for us...If I can get him back to sleep before we leave the house, he tends to take a nice nap in the morning, which is good for everyone. It seems like the best routine is one where I wake up him when I have to get up, we nurse, get dressed, and he can play with his crack mat kick-and-play piano while I finish getting ready. Then he goes in his swing to get in a good nap while I pump, stirs slightly while I put him in the car seat, and he's good for another 1.5-2 hours. Today I deviated some and he didn't get back to sleep before leaving the house, which meant he didn't get that awesome nap in, and this afternoon has been a little difficult.

Our afternoon routine is working out really well, though. We come in the door and I typically have a load of laundry ready to go. I start that, throw bottles and pump parts into the sink to soak, and we have a bit of play time before napping while I clean up, wash bottles, blog...typcially mommy things. I hope we can keep this up as the school year progresses. 

And while I fervently believe that breast milk is the best choice for my child right now, pumping is a pain in the butt! I typically pump before we leave the house as my supply is pretty high, and I will be pumping three times at work, although right now I'm finding I am only doing it twice due to our schedule. Finding a quiet place can be rough. I have an office, but I share it and during certain times, the door is open while we dig out costumes. I can't count on it to be a private place. I've been going to the clinic, which I really appreciate them letting me use the space, but I can't keep my pump set up, it takes extra to go down, get set up, pump, and then clean up. The good news-my supply (thus far) is holding up, and I'm getting enough for the next day plus an extra feeding or two. After my freezer supply was defrosted and completely lost down at the beach, I'm excited to be building that back up while maintaining what I need in order to feed him. I just hope I can keep it up.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Trader Joe's Grower's ReserveSauvignon Blanc

Wine: Trader Joe's Grower's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Store: Trader Joe's (duh)
Price: $5.99 (I think...I'm having trouble remembering)

"The Trader Joe's Growers Reserve Sauvignon Blanc was made with organically grown grapes. We believe in working with nature to produce outstanding wines. The Trader Joe's Grower's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc is deliciously complex with ripe melon, nectarine, and lemon zest flavors.  The wine has a rich, viscous mouth feel which finishes clean and refreshing."~back of the bottle 

I really like this wine...It has subtle fruit flavors, and is slightly acidic with a buttery finish. Not a strong after taste and easy going enough to enjoy alone with with a light snack (cheese and fruit-my favorites!) or with a light chicken or fish meal. Or scallops...yum. (I wish my husband wasn't allergic to shellfish. He's offered to cook scallops for me, but I can 't bring myself to let him. But I digress.) And it's all organic, a plus in my book! Definitely will purchase this again.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, August 26, 2013

Skinnygirl Margarita

I've seen Skinnygirl cocktails all over the place, but I've never had a chance to try one. Considering I'm (desperately) trying to lose the pregnancy weight, my husband picked this up for me as a pick me up. And it worked. The website describes it as...

"There’s a reason this is the one that started it all. Made from premium Blue Agave Silver Tequila (yes, please) and lightly sweetened with agave nectar, the original Skinnygirl® Margarita is STILL delicious and low-calorie (really?). Yes, really. Serve this refreshingly light low-calorie Margarita in a fun glass rimmed with salt, and you and your girls are good to go!"

The thing is, it's not a margarita. There's something missing-hard to put my finger on it. It's a really good lime cocktail, though, especially when you mix it with some Diet 7Up (helps give it a little more flavor and who doesn't love some fizz).  I would try it again.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, August 16, 2013

Jack-Month 2!

So we're a few days late...This post was ready to go earlier this week, but life kept getting in the way of taking his picture. Oops. Better late than never...

I know it's a cliche, but this month has flown by. Mr. Jack, you went to bed one evening a newborn and woke up a little infant! And you grew so much...Suddenly, a set of sleepers were too small, and you were much heavier to hold.

You have the cutest smile. but you hate to let it show when the camera comes out!

You were a trooper on vacation. You were lucky enough to visit two beaches and even made it to two different states. You loved the beach. You took some awesome naps out on the sand, and by the end of the week, you liked to pull back the towel and kick your feet in the sand. When we came home and found that the cat had peed all over your Ikea play gym, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to get the Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano. You love that thing. You're content to play with it for  quite a while, staring at yourself in the mirror and kicking away at the piano.

You also had your first taste at being a studio rat this month. Last week there was a summer intensive at the studio so you hung out there Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for part of the day while mommy took class. You were pretty well behaved.

Weight: 11 lb 0oz

Length: 22.5 inches

Head Circumference: 15.125 inches

Clothing: You are officially in 0-3 month clothing, and you've actually outgrown your 3 month sleepers in the Babies R Us brand (too short!). Your current shorts are a bit big in the waist although they fit your fluffy cloth diaper butt really well. 
Hair: Still brown, but lightening up. Your ears are almost completely covered by your hair...I'm wondering how long we can go before you get your first hair cut.
Eyes: Brown, with a surround of blue. I still believe they will end up hazel in the end. 
Sleep: It's hit or miss. You have had a few 4.5 and 5 stretches lately, but then wake up every 2 hours like clockwork afterwards. Sunday night, however, you went down as usual, and only slept for about 2.5 hours. I think you were a bit constipated and your swaddle didn't let you stretch out the way you like in order to work out the poop. We worked on sleeping from 11:30-3AM, when I finally laid you down with me, in your diaper only, on the twin bed and we red books. You seem to calm down enough we could nurse one more time and get some sleep...until 5:30AM. At 7, we were up for good and I was just happy you took a long nap. You transitioned pretty easily to the crib when we got back from vacation, although you were so fussy Sunday night we went back to the Rock and Play for the night.The rest of the week has been difficult, too, although not quite that bad. I've read this fussyiness and clinginess can be part of "Wonder Weeks," so I'm hoping we'll get back to normal and you'll have made a huge cognitive development when we're done.
Nicknames: You still have just as many nicknames as last month, but your father has taken to calling you "The Jack," which I'm not too thrilled about, but what does it hurt?
Milestone: You are so animated. You love to see and interact with people. You are good at playing by yourself, but you prefer to have your gym in the middle of everything so you can play and still know what's going on. You smile and laugh at people all the time.

The beach is a bore...

Not a fan of the Atlantic Ocean

Play gym, before it became a casualty of the cat.

One of the many pictures your cousin David wanted to take with you.

Dad, leave me alone.