November 19, 2013
You guys…Jack’s 1yr photo shoot did not exactly go as I had hoped. I guess I should get used to this.
Instead of crawling around smiling, laughing, and hamming it up like the perfect little boy I envision him as…he was NOT HAVING IT. As in…every time I tried to set him down so you know…we could get a picture of JUST HIM…he screamed bloody murder and grabbed onto me with a death grip. 30mins into it when he was STILL not cooperating I wanted to cry…pretty sure Sam thought I was a crazy mother who has no idea how to even make her child smile. Ugh. So it turned into a “Mom&Jack” photo shoot.
Here are a few of my favorites.
See that last one is pretty good of him right?!
Oh and here’s what I mean about clinging to me for dear life…
Another “Mom lesson” learned…things will not always go as planned…but try and roll with the punches and make the best of it.
And bring snacks…always.
*All photos by the lovely Sam Kelly.
October 22, 2013
A year ago today we met Jack.
This past year has been the hardest of my life. They say a mother’s love for her son is something fierce…and I get it now. Although it took a little longer for me to develop that real strong bond with him…the love and joy he brings to my heart now grows at an exponential rate. It’s indescribable the way his little looks make me feel…and when he tucks his head just so on my shoulder I want to stop time and never move from that moment.
Turns out…I’m not a baby person. The 6 months mark was right around the time Jack’s personality really started to show…he became such a cool kid. Being a Mom became fun…not just work. Still hard yes (oh man is it still hard!) but fun too…enjoyable. The last couple months have been even better. We wrestle around on the floor. We sing and yell. We dance. We chase each other. We laugh.
Jack is Me in miniature form. (and a boy..duh) He has that spitfire redhead personality. Lance evens us out…and one can only hope our next child is more like him…calm, relaxed, chill…or else he might have to move out.
Jack’s favorite things right now are (in no particular order):
blue blankie (although this is probably the top one)
Me…obviously (ok and Dad too)
pushing ALL THE THINGS around the house (his clothes basket being his first choice…activity table a close second)
The dishwasher…well actually the silverware in the dishwasher
Strawberries, grapes, and mac-n-cheese.
Pairs of things…and crawling with one in each hand. (ie., pan lids, blocks, cups, socks, toy cars…)
Piles of magazines stacked on side tables…that he can one by one throw off and rip up.
Jack’s least favorite things right now:
Diaper changes and getting dressed/undressed. (so dramatic!)
the Stroller (actually he has NEVER liked this)
Sitting in the cart at Target (only wants to stand and throw stuff around…makes for tricky shopping)
He doesn’t walk on his own yet…but he seems to be getting more steady and braver by the day. He’ll get this look on his face like he wants to walk from one point to the next…but then he’ll drop down and crawl. He is getting a lot better at standing on his own. All these skills I feel like have gotten stronger over such a short period of time. When he first started pulling up he was so wobbly and unbalanced…it’s amazing how quickly they change. I still gasp a little when I see him standing independently.
I think our nursing days are over. We had slowly gone down to just morning and night sessions…which i loved. Then that turned into just morning sessions…and then the other day he refused…and my boobs didn’t mind. So yeah…I think it’s over. Man…breastfeeding was SO MUCH MORE than I thought it would be. More work, more pain, more exhausting, more emotional…just all of it…MORE. But it was good…at times very good…and worth it. Oh so worth it.
Although that barely scratches the surface of the past 6+ months…it’s what’s on my mind now. I wish I had updated here more often…but such is life. I hope to drop in from time to time still…if anyone is still reading.
So with that…Happy Birthday handsome little man…I love you more than you’ll ever know. You are my happy.
August 1, 2013
I love this picture. I look happily in love and glowing as a new Mom with my almost 3 week old little boy…which is exactly how I want to remember that time.
But what the picture doesn’t tell you is that I was also suffering from my first case of mastitis, uncomfortably squeezed into my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, deliriously tired, and feeling guilty that my baby was not blissfully sleeping through his newborn shoot but instead screaming (look closely). It’s a good thing we have professionals to take pictures that paint a different story than reality…the one we want to reflect on and remember as the truth.
A friend of mine recently had a baby and jokingly (honestly?) pokes at me for not telling her exactly how hard it would be in those early weeks. Hard doesn’t even come close. Everyone and their aunt Sally will tell you it’s “hard”…but no one can actually explain it in a way you will ever be able to comprehend until you’re living it. But how can you expect them to? I came across this article via another blogger and it really resonated with me. (if you’re a new Mom…or even considering the idea of ever becoming a Mom I suggest you read it…then read it again at some point during those first weeks….and then read it again…) Our minds have this amazing way of working…or maybe it’s just the magic of sleep deprivation…that the early months of new motherhood slowly turn into a fog…and what’s left is a montage of fond memories. We slowly forget…or maybe just gloss over…the bad…and focus solely on the good.
It took me a while to start writing in Jack’s baby book about the early months…because I was terrified of what I might write. In hindsight I wish I had written it down somewhere and kept it for me personally just so when #2 comes around I can reassure myself that I am not crazy and my feelings are totally ok. Even now at 9 months in…and what feels like a lifetime away from those early days…I still feel a small shutter of terror and anxiety with the thought of ever caring for a newborn again. Yes my controlling, change-hating, stress-ball personality may also play a role. The thing about babies is they can teach you a lot about yourself…or more realistically force you to acknowledge things about yourself you stubbornly don’t want to admit.
Even now the fogginess has already begun to set in. The relationship with my son blossoms on a daily basis…and I no longer think of him as an angry blob who only wants my boobs…but instead the funniest, cutest, sweetest, ( and on and on and on…) little redheaded kid I know. Lord help the woman who wants to marry him someday.
It took me a while to accept that life would not go back to normal….THIS…life with Jack…is our “new normal”. Some things will never be the same as they were pre-baby. Seems simple enough…but it was (and continues to be) a hard adjustment to accept. Although I’m getting more comfortable in my roll as a Mom… I may never feel fully confident. But I think that’s ok.
As Jack grows older, and I learn more and more about him and myself…we make our montage of those early days that much more beautiful.
Photos by the wonderful Jylare Smith.
June 19, 2013
May 13, 2013
Jack is over half a year old. How did that happen?! I meant to update sooner but there’s this thing called work I have to go to…oh and then I also have to take care of a small human who hates to sleep during the day. So yeah…when I do get some time to myself I usually opt to just sit and stare at the TV and zone out with a glass of wine instead of doing more important things….like cleaning and shaving my legs. Such is life.
So the past 3 months have been pretty great overall. Each
week day Jack seems to change and develop more into a tiny little person right before my eyes….it’s amazing and so so fun to watch. This past month has probably been my favorite thus far. The newborn phase is cool for like a week…then I’ll take this age please. Jack is so aware of everything around him and it is so fun to watch him explore with all his senses.
The “big” story at 4 months was Jack starting daycare as I headed back to work full time. No I haven’t been sobbing at my desk. I still get Friday at home with Jack (Lance has Mondays) so really he’s only there 3 days out of the week…and somehow I think he wishes he was there EVERY DAY. The kid loves it and the nursery ladies love him too…and every time I’ve picked him up he’s been just happy as a clam. So that is a huge plus and makes going to work so much easier knowing he is in good hands. The 4 days I do work are long though and I am usually racing to get home in time to put him to bed…which means I barely get 20mins of interaction with him on days I don’t pick him up from daycare.
The other big story from 4 months (and continues to be…) is SLEEP. Yep..the never ending battle. Some days I swear I spend more time trying to get this little bugger to sleep then he actually sleeps. To say it’s exhausting is an understatement. As much as I hate to admit it…we’ve done a LOT of CIO in this house. It’s not fun…but those of you that have been there know that sometimes it’s the only option left. You know…unless I want to re-insert a pacifier every hour all night long and co-sleep till he’s 30.
We started with Ferber…then moved onto extinction…because it just wasn’t working. Some nights it would…other nights it wouldn’t. No “3 nights and it’s AMAZING SLEEP FOR EVERYONE” around here. Then you throw in teething, wonder weeks, colds, and every other excuse in the book and here we are at 6 months and I still don’t feel like we’ve got it figured out. He goes through phases of being easy to put down…to absolutely fighting it like a madman (45min+ screaming sessions) Night wakings are tough too…some nights he’ll just fuss a little and put himself back to sleep…and some nights he’ll cry for an hour until I finally give in and give him the boob to put him back to sleep. If we can make it from 7pm-4am w/out any issues/feedings…I consider it
a good night the most amazing night ever. If you try and give me advice I’ll punch you…I’ve heard it all. We’ll get there…Jack just likes to do things at his own pace. I’m slightly bitter toward people that have babies that sleep awesome from the get-go. I just assume they’re lying to make myself feel better.
Oh and “naps”…haha. 30-45mins is the usual around here…3 times a day if we’re lucky. They don’t come easy though. Some days he will go down like a little baby angel and then I race around the house trying to do dishes/laundry/eat/shower all in that short time frame. I’ve gotten crazy efficient at a lot of things and given up on others…like drying my hair and wearing clean clothes.
The good thing is Jack is generally a very a happy kid. SO MUCH happier than those early months. Smiles and squeals fill our awake time. Happy Jack = Happy Momma! He does have his moments though and my mind is sent racing back to the colic days…but thankfully those are few and far between. Most of the time if he is fussy he just wants to be held. I know soon enough he’ll be mobile and the last thing he’ll want is me to hold him and carry him around so I’m ok with it. Plus it’s a pretty sweet work out for my arms…since actual working out is a thing of the past. I also like the challenge of doing things one handed…keeps me on my toes.
Around the 5 month mark Jack’s personality really started to show. I felt like I got to “know” him a lot more. He suddenly looked around the room for me when I would talk…and then get this huge smile on his face once he found me. There’s seriously no better feeling than that. He also started doing this thing when we pick him up…he’ll scrunch his legs up and bury his little head into our shoulders. I think that’s his version of a hug. He also gives kisses…at least I think that’s what they are…or he’s just trying to eat my face which wouldn’t surprise me either.
Jack also woke up one day and discovered we have 2 cats! He now will reach out and grab for them…look around for them and watch them as they move about the room. I think he likes Mini the best…as evident in the photo below. They have a certain connection…probably because they both get cranky if they don’t get food at the exact second that they want it.
Jack started showing the signs of teething right around the 4 month mark. He became a drooling machine! And suddenly no finger/arm/toy was safe from his monster chomp. Still I was a tad surprised when around 5 1/2 months his first little tooth poked through…and 3 days later the 2nd one made an appearance. He now has 2 little bottom teeth…and I feel like the top two will be here before we know it. My boobs are scared.
Jack has recently mastered sitting up…and it’s awesome. I can now just plop him down with some toys and he’s happy to just play by himself for 30-40mins! He gets frustrated when he pushes something out of his reach, but that just means he’ll be more determined to move and get it. Watch out world. He’s outgrown his swing, playmat, and bouncy seat so it’s time to pack them up…which makes me a little sad…but also happy that our living room will no longer resemble a baby obstacle course.
When Jack was about a week from his 6 month birthday we finally jumped on the solids bandwagon. Our pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to start after his 4 month check-up but I just didn’t feel Jack was ready. He hadn’t shown any of the “signs” and could care less when we ate. So we waited and I started doing some research online about the whole solids adventure. Then when Jack suddenly became very interested in us eating and could sit up pretty good assisted…we went out and got a highchair and fed him his first “real” food…avocado! I don’t think he ate any of it…but after a week of trying some different purees he became an eating machine! I’d like to do a mix of purees and BLW…more for convenience than anything…but we’ve mostly focused on the purees so far. I feel a little overwhelmed by it all still and the few times we’ve given him big pieces of food (like the BLW method suggests) he’s taken giant bites and gagged…which freaks me out. All part of the adventure I guess.
I think that about gets things up to speed in the Jack dept. I’d like to do a post on ME 6 months postpartum…if I can find the time and energy to say all that I really want to say. Becoming a Mom has been both the most amazing experience…and most challenging. I’ve grown and changed in ways I didn’t expect and learned so much about myself. Having a baby truly does change everything…and not just in the day-t0-day aspect…it’s all encompassing…even the most mundane things seem to be different now somehow. Yet better in a way.
January 23, 2013
So it happened. Just like “they” said it would…things got better. We’ve moved into the range of normal baby crying/fussiness. The crying seems much more focused now and I can calm him MUCH faster…so fast sometimes I feel like I’m being spoiled and a week from now BAM things will go back to how they were. Always in a little state of fear I guess…never really comfortable enough to declare “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!”…because we all know once you do shit will hit the fan.
Swaddling…we’ve gone back to both arms down nice and tight. This has made a WORLD of a difference in how quickly he goes to sleep…both with naps and at night. The Halo Sleepsack is a godsend for nighttime…and the miracle blanket is perfect for when I need to get him to nap during the day. Both of these things I bought before he was born and after a month into his life I hadn’t used them…I was sure it was money down the drain. Not so…turns out I just gave up too soon. Now they are money well spent indeed. You can’t put a price tag on being able to calm your baby.
Jack has a lot more “happy times” now…and I spent the last two weeks of my maternity leave just gobbling up as many smiles and coos as I could. He actually seems to enjoy tummy time and his play mat now…of course he gets bored after about 15mins but hey…it’s better than nothing! He even rolled over at 11wks and I, mom of the year, caught it on video (thank you iphone!).
Another big thing happened this month…we’ve gone down to ONE night feeding. I know this will not be it for good…growth spurts and fussy nights will happen. But man those nights when Jack sleeps for 5-6 straight hours is like heaven. Oh I should probably clarify that just because he only EATS once a night does not mean I’m up only once a night…oh no no no my friends…there are still trips between rooms at least 4-8 times each night. Pacifier inserting, stomach patting, and ‘go back to sleep little man’ whispering…the kid is slowly learning to put himself back to sleep. If he can’t on his own I’ve got Dr Ferber’s book on standby for when we need it.
We’ve got a pretty solid nighttime routine going now too. Although Jack has absolutely NO interest in books yet…as soon as I say the words “Goodnight Moon” he starts crying…we never make it past “cats and their mittens” and I’m left in suspense every night. So we’ll just wait a little longer and try again.
Things are pretty good over here…minus the whole “back to work” thing. It is what it is. Each month is truly an adventure with this little one…and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
January 15, 2013
When I set out to decorate Jack’s nursery I had no idea if we were having a boy or a girl…so I needed something that would work for both. I’m not super big on boy vs girl nurseries anyway so I really don’t think it would have turned out much differently had we known what we were having. I didn’t really have much of a plan….the walls were already grey and I knew I wanted white furniture…but that was really it for the starting point. After browsing pinterest for weeks on end…I found I was gravitating toward the lighter grey/yellow/teal nurseries. So that was what we went with!
(view from the doorway)
photo by Jylare Smith
last 3 photos by Jylare Smith
I had to sneak in that last pic of our little family :) I really love how Jack’s room came together and I look forward to watching it evolve as Jack gets older and we add more to it!
Oh and since I never got around to posting them…you can see more pics from Jack’s newborn shoot here.
Wall Paint: Valspar Urban Sunrise **
Crib: Graco Lauren
Dresser: Ikea Hemnes
Rug: West Elm
Rocker: Buy Buy Baby
Curtains, side table, lamp, frames, book ledges, overhead light…all from Ikea.
** I’ve gotten some comments asking about the wall paint color so I thought I’d add that in here…unfortunately it doesn’t look like it’s available anymore…maybe it goes by a different name? I did find the number for it here.