Long, long weeks are always, ALWAYS made better by the weekends. And this weekend was no exception. We spent the weekend wearing some awesome outfits (Riley picked that one out all by herself, my little fashionista). Sadly that onesie probably won't fit Jackson for much longer, he's getting too big! He's outgrowing all his 3 month outfits already!
Jackson practiced his tummy time, which usually ends one of two ways. He either falls asleep, or he lifts his head up like a pro. Here he's deciding which one he thinks he's going to go for...
And then today, the little man decided he was ready to try something a little different.
He rolls! Well, it was really more of a flop, but that's alright. :) Riley started rolling from tummy to back at 3 months, so he's just slightly ahead of the game. :)
Saturday morning we decided we better get our butts into gear and make a birthday card to send to Aunt Jennie (since her birthday is Sunday and it will take forever for her card to actually get to her... oops.) Well, I was literally distracted for only 30 seconds (while sitting right next to Riley) and I look up and see THIS.
She almost never colors on her face, but apparently she was feeling a little defiant, so she just went for it. A good parent probably would have redirected her back to coloring on the paper, buuuuut I grabbed my camera and snapped away instead.
YAY for super washable markers, I guess. Once she was all cleaned up, we headed out to the toy library to return our old toys, and get some new ones. I think she likes what we picked, what do you think?
She calls it the "bouncing bug" and she hops on and bounces and bounces yelling "eeeeeeeee!!!!!" the whole time. And we got one other little thing, which is temporarily hanging out in her bedroom:
And of course, this new Riley entertainment kept Riley busy in her room for a little while, which allowed Jackson to finally have some alone time on his play gym with no toddler fingers on his face. Why hello there, Mr. moose!
Then after a busy morning of bouncing and sliding and swimming and napping, we all headed over to the neighbors' house for a little party to celebrate Jackson's arrival. Riley was STOKED to play with her BFFs Charlie (3 1/2) and Gemma (2 1/2), and to jump on their trampoline. That girl absolutely LOVES trampolines.
She would ask to be put in the trampoline over and over and over, and then stare longingly out the side saying "Gemma? Charlie? Do jumping?" It made me want to just scoop her up and squeeze her it was so cute.
And then of course, we finished off the evening with some scooter races.
And that was only Saturday. Man I love the weekends.
I love looking back at the photos I've taken on photo booth on my mac during the week. I can only imagine what would happen if I had an iphone...
Look at my big 7 week old!
I feel like for the first time he doesn't seem like a newborn anymore. He's getting BIG. He's super alert. He's interacting and smiling and cooing. He's following my every move. He's sleeping longer stretches (sometimes). He's getting cuter and cuter!
Feeding: Jackson goes 2.5-3.5 hours between feedings. I try not to let him go longer than 3 hours between feedings during the day, but occasionally he just does not want to wake up to eat, so I let him go an extra half an hour. Also occasionally he starts screaming in hunger after an hour and a half, so I feed him. But I'd say on average, he's going 2.5 hours between feedings. He gets a bottle once or twice a week just to make sure that he doesn't refuse it as he gets older.
Sleeping: All over the place!! One day he will be an excellent sleeper- easy to get down, sleeping on his own, for 2 hours at a time, even hard to wake up! Then the next day he will be so tough to get to sleep, fighting it, and then he gets overtired and the rest of the day is a battle. Some nights he's gone to sleep easily and slept for 5 hours, but other nights he cries and fights it and fights it (like tonight) and needs to be walked around and shushed and rocked foreeeeever. Sometimes he naps for 2 hours, and then on days like today he wakes up after 45 minutes on the dot. Stupid one sleep cycle! So basically, just when I think I have it sort of figured out... I don't.
He still sleeps in his rock 'n play, swaddled up nice and tight. I tried letting him sleep un-swaddled a few times, and he's definitely not ready for that, his arms went flailing everywhere and he was awake after just a few minutes. The scene below? Not uncommon. Swaddled up, in his rock 'n play, vacuum going, paci and ipad with white noise nearby just in case.
His big sister still adores him, and is pretty much constantly in his face. He doesn't seem to mind! He also needs to have those little mittens on at all times when he's not swaddled otherwise he claws his little face and makes himself cry.
He still loves the bath, which is a good thing because he has needed one daily since he has been having MASSIVE diaper blow outs. There's usually one a day that just gets everywhere. He also pees on me at least once a day, apparently I just am not quick enough at changing a baby boy's diaper yet!
He still loves the car, and the stroller (which is really just his car seat at the moment). He sometimes likes his paci, sometimes doesn't, but rarely sleeps with it in. He overheats really easily, so he pretty much wears nothing but a short sleeved onesie everywhere we go (and it's not exactly hot here, he's just a toasty little baby).
He sure is cute, and we love him to pieces, but he definitely keeps us on our toes these days!
Another month has come and gone, and again, lots has changed with our precious little Ri Ri. But she's still just as cute as ever. AND. She let me put her hair in pigtails. I just about died from the cuteness.
Riley's language is exploding! She repeats everything we say, she talks in sentences, and just jabbers all day long. She loves using adjectives (big one, small one, soft, too hot, too cold, green one, blue one, etc) to describe things. My favorite development this month is her ability to recount and retell things that happened earlier in the day or even days earlier. For example, when daddy gets home, we usually make a point of asking Riley to tell him what she did during the day. It's fascinating to listen to her come up with the things that must have stood out in her little mind. For example, if we went to the playground, she will tell him about the swing and slide and see-saw etc... If we went to playgroup, she will tell him she saw her friend Nikau, or that her friend Zach pushed her down, or she played with a ball or rocks or whatever other things she did. Some days, if she got in trouble for something, she will tell him what she did wrong by saying, for example "no kicking mama."
Riley has always loved books, but this month she started "reading" a ton of her books to us! She can finish the sentences of a bunch of her books, and some of them she has started reciting the lines on pages she knows! My favorite is listening to her recite "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," I even got it on video for you below. She also knows her books by title and will ask for which one she wants, and some of them she has made her own names for (For example, she calls "Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?" the "cock-a-doodle doo one", and her car book "the beep beep one.") She's also started singing the ABCs and a handful of other songs as well.
Riley has mastered all her wooden puzzles and her shape sorter, and it still cracks me up when she sits there and shows me her shapes, saying "trapezoid! hexagon! octagon! pentagon!" And if for some reason she can't get the shape into the right hole, she yells out "mama help-a you! no working!!!!" She loves fire trucks and trains, and baby dolls and tea sets. She HATES having her diaper changed, and kicks and fights and tries to roll out of it. She loves putting on other people's shoes and walking around saying "Ri Ri wearing daddy's shoes!" She still loves art projects, and she can even draw a circle now, which makes her sooo proud.
Me and my big 21 month old! Remind me not to go out in the early evening in shorts unless I want to get so. many. sand fly bites. Ugh. Oh well, at least the picture is cute.
Riley has started to show a little bit of interest in potty training this month! For a while she would sit on the potty, but nothing would happen. I wasn't sure she totally understood the concept, so we weren't pushing it at all. Then one day I decided to try something... I got a clear jar and filled it with marshmallows, and put it in the bathroom. I told her if she peed in the potty she could have 5 mini marshmallows, and low and behold, she sat right down and peed in the potty. And the next day she pooped in the potty! Totally was not expecting that! We're taking it slowly and sort of following her lead for a while though. I'm waiting for a few more signs that she's fully ready before we jump right into it full force.
It's funny the things that stick in her mind... Every morning we give her a gummy vitamin, and there are only red, yellow, and orange vitamins. I once asked her what color she wanted, and she requested green and purple, and I told her there were no green or purple ones. So now every single time I ask her if she wants a vitamin, she immediately rattles off "no green one, no purple one." Every time we play with playdoh she tellls me "no eating playdoh" and when we brush her teeth, she says "get tongue out of the way!" She LOVES watching "Ri Ri videos" and will do pretty much anything you ask if you let her watch a video of herself (how do you think I got those pigtails in her hair!?!)
Her sleep is AWESOME. Every night we read her a fairytale before bed, kiss her goodnight, and leave the room and she goes to sleep in her big girl bed. She almost never tries to get out, and never fights bed time. She goes to sleep between 7 and 7:30, and wakes around 6, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. We put a gate at her door to make sure she's not roaming the house in the middle of the night (even though she doesn't usually get up), and in the morning she calls out "daddy!? move the gate? daddy!" and when he goes to get her she rattles off "go see mama? go see jack jack? mama sleeping? baby sleeping?" She naps for 2-3 hours every day usually, and she LOVES waking up and running out to see me. And her bed head is AWESOME these days.
She is still obsessed with peanut butter sandwiches, and loves spaghetti and noodles and omelettes and baked beans. She is a pro at using her fork and spoon. We've started trying to get rid of sippy cups and move to a regular cup, so she's been doing great so far! Getting rid of her paci on the other hand, that's a different story. Hopefully by her second birthday, which was my goal, so we have a few months.
Size-wise, she's about 26 pounds, wearing mostly all 18-24 month and 2T clothes, although some 18 month old things still fit her... sort of. She's size 6 shoe I believe. Ya know, just in case you wanted her stats. She is the best big sister ever, and loves Jackson so so much. She's kind and gentle, she likes to try and play with him, and wants him to come with her wherever she goes. She wants to hold him and lay with him and do tummy time with him, she pats his head and offers him his paci when he cries. The two of them together just makes me so so happy. I dare you to watch this video and not want to have like 10 babies. :)
This month Riley also developed her first real fears, and there are a couple of them. (1) She's afraid of me taking a shower. She developed this fear all of a sudden, and she absolutely loses it when I try to take a shower. I've tried a ton of things to ease her fears, and nothing has worked, so in the end I take showers while Mark is looking after her or while she's sleeping. (2) She's all of a sudden afraid of draining the bath tub water. She used to like pulling out the plug, and now she gets so scared and she cries and shakes and hates it. So we pull her out of the tub, and drain the water after she's in bed!
Happy 21 months baby bug!!
Let's start with Friday night. After a rough day, the night was not looking much better as Jackson screamed the house down, threatening to wake Riley up. We walked him and shushed him and tried the swing and the stroller and feeding him and everything else we could think of, and he was just overtired and not a happy little fellow. Mark and I were taking turns trying to get him to sleep, and it was Mark's turn so I went in the kitchen to get a drink and recharge. And then I hear silence. And I turn the corner, and see this:
Mind you all the lights were off, but Mark had just propped him up just to see what would happen, and he was quiet, happy, alert, and even smiling... at 9:30pm... after crying and fighting sleep for well over an hour... And then after chilling there on his own for a little while, being nice and calm, he fell asleep in Mark's arms. Weird. But then he slept until 3am, so I'll take it!
After that, we had a nice lazy weekend. Saturday was a rainy, inside kind of day. Jackson was much more settled (except for the 20 minutes before he went to sleep for the night), and in fact, in the middle of the afternoon he was SO sleepy he pretty much could not be woken. I decided that surely as soon as I tried to pose him for photos, he would wake up... WRONG. He pretty much let me pose him like a newborn, which was awesome, and a little disappointing since I didn't have anything set up for a photo shoot! But we made do with the couch and a few handy blankets.
I started off just taking photos of him as he was, hanging out in his most favorite position.
Keep in mind I was TRYING to wake him up, and the first loud click of my camera made me think I was doing just that. He rolled and stretched and puckered up his lips, making me think he was waking.
But then he changed his mind and decided to go back to sleep. So I stuck him on a pillow while I got out some blankets, and back into his favorite position he went.
So I decided to go for it, and I set up some blankets, and plopped him down, not expecting to get many photos, as surely an almost 7 week old would not let me pose him like a newborn. No way. Well...
I couldn't believe it! He didn't even let me pose him like that when he was a newborn! Oh how I wish I had all my stuff set up, the blankets are just draped on the couch and it's not exactly perfect, but I thought for sure he would wake up as soon as I posed him! But since he was sound asleep, I decided to try my luck and keep going. We got some "easy" shots...
And then we really went for it. This next one cracks me up because it's totally a newborn pose, and Jackson's head looks HUGE... he's one BIG newborn!
I seriously could not believe he was sleeping through all of this. Such a good little model!
I spent a solid hour fiddling with him and he barely batted an eye. Then Riley woke up from her nap and the photo shoot had to come to an end... almost.
And can we just take a minute to compare (and please ignore how unflattering the photos are of me...). Jackson at 5 days, and then at 6 weeks 4 days.
On Sunday we took Riley to her second soccer practice, and while I was kicking myself for not actually bringing my camera with me, I made up for it by snapping a few quick picks once we got home. She had so much fun this time!
She loved running around and kicking the ball and scoring goals. Mark taught her to yell "gooooaaaalllll!!" and do an airplane celebration, which I will HAVE to get on video because it was possibly the cutest thing ever.
We spent the rest of the day just hanging out. Jackson practiced using his huge neck muscles... can't believe how strong he is already!!
I've got so many pictures of Riley, but you'll have to wait for her 21 month post tomorrow!! Until then, I'll leave you with this:
After a bit of a rocky morning, Jackson has now been sleeping for 2 hours all on his own, Riley has been asleep for an hour and a half, so things are looking much better today than yesterday. Also means I had time to clean the house a bit, eat lunch, and put this little number together. Enjoy.
Just so you aren't fooled into thinking we're living on easy street over here with two babies, today was ROUGH. Jackson is mid 6 week growth spurt, and not handling it well. He's unsettled, and hungry, and not sleeping, and just tough work! This morning, after trying to get him to sleep for over 30 minutes with no luck, I popped him and Ri into the car and we went for a drive. For 40 minutes. He slept, Riley played and talked and read stories, and I got a mental break. Riley must have known we were having an off day because she was really good all day long and she took a 3 hour nap. This little guy, on the other hand... did not do much of THIS.
It's hard because with Riley, when she was tough to get to sleep, I had the luxury to be able to hold her or sleep with her or basically do whatever it took to meet her needs. With Jackson, I just can't do that. And with only one baby, it's so much easier to deal with the lack of sleep, but with TWO babies, it's so hard to function during the day. When the little baby is up every hour during the night, and the toddler is up for the day before 6am, and they make it impossible for me to nap during the day... yikes, it can be a struggle. And the thing is, it took Riley TWENTY MONTHS to sleep through the night, so I'm not fooled into thinking that "this too shall pass" or that "this is just a phase" that I just have to get through with Jackson. Something has to change, and I'm just not sure what it is.
An overtired baby is NOT a happy baby. And the thing is, it's a vicious cycle. Overtired babies fight sleep, and then don't sleep well. And then when they don't sleep well, they get overtired, and on and on. And let's just say Jackson is one not very happy, very tired baby right now. In fact, right this moment as I type, Mark is pushing him around the house in the stroller since all other methods to get him to sleep have failed. He's alternating between being quiet and yawning, and screaming. But not yet sleeping.
It's hard because I want to do what's best for Jackson, and I want to do what's best for Riley as well. But how do I do both? Do I spend hours each day with Jackson trying to get him to sleep, and unable to spend that quality time with Riley? Do I let Jackson cry a bit, so that I can give Riley enough attention during the day? I'm trying a bunch of different things to see what works best for me, and for us as a family.
But today, I just felt... defeated. Jackson cried. A lot. If I wasn't holding him or feeding him, he was crying. And even if I was holding him, often he was crying. Riley had to spend way too much time entertaining herself, or playing with the ipad, with not enough attention from me. I was so exhausted and impatient. And questioning myself. Should we stop swaddling him since he seems to be getting too hot? Should we swaddle him tighter since he can break free? Is he awake too long? Should we put him in his crib? Or keep him in the rock 'n play? Should we move him out of our room? Should I space out his feedings? Should I just wear him in the MOBY wrap all day? Is he going through a growth spurt? WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Or, maybe today was a fluke, maybe he's just struggling his way through a growth spurt, and all will be easier tomorrow Or the next day. At least it's a weekend, and I have some back-up. Days like these make being far far away from your family harder than ever.
A couple of times a week I try to go do something with just me and Riley. We leave Jackson with daddy, and even if it's just 30 minutes, it's 30 minutes with just me and my big girl. Yesterday we went on a little nature walk. Well, it started out as a walk for both of us, and ended up with me carrying Riley all the way back. And she's just a liiiiiitle bit heavier than Jack Jack.
She was totally into all the flowers... smelling them, telling me what color they were, touching them...
And climbing on every bench we came across...
I let her pick one flower, and she carried it around with her the entire time, held it the entire ride home, and gave it to daddy when we got home.
I thought it would be cute to put it in her hair. She wasn't really into it. Oh well.
I think having one on one time with Riley is incredibly important now, given how much time I spend with Jackson just feeding him and getting him to sleep during the day. I can't even begin to describe how much I adore this little girl!
Riley has some striking blue eyes. She always has. Everywhere we go, people ALWAYS comment on her big blue eyes. And now they ask me if I think Jackson will have her eyes. It's too soon to tell, but I sure hope so.
I love those big baby blues! Although lately it is quite the mission to get ANY decent picture of Riley. She pretty much refuses to look at the camera, I have to sneak up on her or trick her into looking at me. I have to have a quick trigger finger, and even then, most of my photos of her are out of focus or blurry because she just does not. sit. still. So when I do get a picture of her looking at me, that's in focus... ahhhhh I treasure it!
And of course sometimes, the pictures where she's NOT looking at the camera are even better. More real. More HER at this moment in time. Such a little goofball.
I mean, come on... look at her! I honestly don't even know what she's doing here, but it looks like she's shooting free throws!
This hat... she picked it out herself when we were shopping the other day, and then flat out refused to wear it when I tried to put it on her. She would ONLY wear it when Mark put it on her. Who knows what is going on in that little head of hers.
Lots of pictures coming soon from our little one-on-one adventure yesterday....
Jackson is 6 weeks old!
He not only become much more alert, but much more calm and happy when he's awake, looking all around him and taking everything in. He loves looking at Riley. He loves being talked to. He loves being sung to, especially by Mark. He loves noise and music, and does not startle very easily at all when Riley does all kinds of loud toddler things. He's really liking having his hands up by his face, although tends to scratch himself if he doesn't have his mittens on.
We tried putting him in his crib for the first time one night this week (un-swaddled), and it was a huge failure. Instead of sleeping a solid 3-4 hour stretch after we first put him down, he was up after 45 minutes and was tough to get back to sleep, and then up again and again until we gave up with the crib and had to get him sleep in his swing for a bit. Oh well, there's nothing wrong with sleeping nice and swaddled in his rock 'n play. We also just changed from swaddling him with the aden and anais blankets to swaddling him with those swaddleme blankets, which are so much easier!
He coos quite a lot these days, making "aaahh" and "aagooo" sounds. He likes to hold on to my shirt when I'm nursing him. He grabs blankets and anything he can get his little fingers around. He loves car rides and ALWAYS falls asleep in the car. The paci seems to be growing on him, and he's even taken a few different kinds of pacis this week (mostly because we temporarily lost the one and only paci we have that he'd take... turns out it was in Riley's bed). He doesn't sleep with it in, which is good because I do not want to keep replacing that thing when it falls out!
He seems to love tummy time, and holds his head up incredibly well. His skin is clearing up, but seems to get aggravated if he gets too hot, almost like a heat rash. He's now getting a bit of cradle cap on the top of his head. He still loves the bath (in the sink), although he poops at least a little bit almost every single time. Speaking of poop... we have officially entered the stage of total diaper blowouts... we barely had any up until about a few days ago and then BAM. Siiigh, more laundry for me I guess!
He got his first round of immunizations yesterday, and was not happy about it. He didn't cry that long after the shots, but he was extremely unsettled last night for about 30 minutes (and by unsettled I mean screaming his head off despite most calming efforts), which is really unusual for him. But once we finally got him to sleep, he slept for 5 hours! And then today, he has slept literally ALL day long. As in, slept 11am to 2pm, woke to eat, slept 2:30 to 5:15pm, woke to eat, slept 5:30 to 8:30pm, woke to eat!! I'm a little scared of what will happen tonight though...
My view most of the day...
I'm starting to see a bit of a routine form (aside from his crazy sleep-all-day day today)... he's taking about 4 naps a day, and if I time it right, I can get him swaddled and put him in his rock 'n play and rock it back and forth for a few minutes and he'll go right to sleep. If I DON'T time it right, I have to swaddle him and walk him around the house for 15 minutes until he falls asleep. He goes to bed when Riley does (around 7 or 7:30) in his own room, and Mark brings him into our room when he wakes for a feed, or when Mark comes to sleep for the night (since I go to sleep before he does).
He's been such a joy, I'm trying to enjoy every minute of his little-ness while it lasts! Happy 6 weeks Jack Jack!!