Little baby Jack Jack is 7 months old! And we are loving every single thing about him lately! He is super expressive, and the many different faces he makes in a matter of seconds cracks me up every time. He goes from happy to serious to mad to determined to silly to frustrated to excited.... and just plain old cute.
His current favorite things include: his crinkly ABC book, wooden puzzle pieces, Mark's computer mouse, bouncing, getting thrown in the air, blowing the loudest raspberries you've ever heard, sitting on Riley's little bus, and playing with keys. He LOVES being outside, going for walks in the stroller, hanging out in the backpack carrier, and if it's too cold to go outside, he's perfectly happy to look out the window.
He absolutely adores Riley. He watches everything she does, and he listens intently when she tells him stories or reads him a book. He likes when she sings and jumps around and dances, and his favorite... when he's in the jumper and she yells "go baby go!!!" and he starts jumping around like crazy. He definitely knows what he's supposed to do when she says "go baby go!"
His sleep has gotten significantly better, for the most part. He takes 2-3 naps per day. Typically, he wakes up around 6:30, is awake for 2-2.5 hours, and then he goes down for a 1.5-2 hour nap. For the most part, he goes down in his bed awake and puts himself to sleep with no crying. Occasionally he will cry and put up a fight, and I'll go in there and just rock him to sleep. He sleeps with his paci and 2 blankets, usually one in his arms, and one over his face. He looooooves to have a blanket on his face.
He falls asleep easily in his stroller, which is AMAZING because it means we aren't "stuck" at home just because I know he needs a nap in the near future. I can often put him in the double stroller and go for a walk, or put him in his car seat stroller and go for a drive to run errands and I'm confident he will go to sleep without a fight. Makes things so much easier!!
If he only takes 2 naps, he goes to bed around 5:30 or 6. If he takes 3 naps, he goes to bed around 7. Night time sleep is less than awesome, but manageable. :) He's usually up 3-4 times a night. Usually around 10pm, 1am, 4amish, then up for the morning around 6 or 6:30. I don't always know what time he wakes up as he's usually happy to play in his crib until we come get him!
He is one smiley little boy. In the morning when we come get him from his bed, he goes CRAZY kicking and flapping with the biggest coos and smiles. He's just the happiest little boy when he wakes up! He also gets so excited when I come into the room (at any point during the day), he gives me the biggest smiles every time. He also lights up for his daddy, and loves dancing around the room and singing and jumping with him.
He's getting really strong, and loves pushing up as high as he can go on his arms, but hasn't figured out how to get up on his knees yet. He can spin around and push himself backwards, but we're not close to crawling yet. We're still working on baby sign with him, although we're not as good about it as we should be.
Jackson is loving his solids these days. His favorites are definitely pumpkin and sweet potato, although he loves pretty much all fruits. He LOVES being able to hold onto a whole plum and feed himself. Now, we've been pretty careful with him and his solids as I think he's a bit more prone to food allergies than Riley was, and so far I think we have 3 potential things he MAY be allergic to. One day I gave him this teething rusk, and being sort of stupid, I didn't look at the ingredients. Well, the main ingredient was wheat, and it had some skim milk powder in it as well. DUMB. After chewing on it for a few minutes he got a rash around his mouth, but had no other symptoms. Then the other day I gave him a rice cracker with dinner, which he LOVED, but he was literally up all night crying and scratching his entire body. It was so bad that I basically ended up sleeping with him so I could block him from scratching and shush him back to sleep each time. So we're avoiding anything with any wheat, milk, and rice so far...
Jackson loves songs, and really likes it when Riley and I sing to him. He loves grabbing his daddy's hair and face. He still loves breastfeeding, and feeds verrry frequently during the day (and the night, for that matter). He rarely gets a bottle, but does okay with it if we have to give him one. He likes to chew on a sippy cup, but not drink from one. He much prefers a real cup!
He's got a little bald spot/patch on the back of his head, presumably from rubbing his head on his mattress when he sleeps. For a long time he preferred to sleep on that side, although now he rolls around and sleeps on both sides. He gets mad when I leave the room, he loves to snuggle, and he still doesn't have any teeth! He loves to throw his toys off the high chair tray and have us retrieve them for him.
He's just the sweetest, happiest little guy and we absolutely adore him. Love you to pieces little Jacky boy!
Half a year old. I can hardly believe it.
This past month has been... interesting. So many changes and new developments in pretty much every aspect. We'll start with a big one: He sits!
He CAN sit for quite a while on his own, but as soon as he spots something to one side of him, he basically just lunges for it or gets too distracted and topples over. But if he's looking at something in front of him, or holding on to a toy, he can sit for quite a while. Although if Riley is around he always tries to look at her and then he falls over, and she thinks that is SO SO funny.
He can roll easily from tummy to back, and is so so so close to rolling from back to tummy. He goes from his back to side to back to other side, and aaaaaalmost completes the roll on to his front, but then decides he's actually quite happy on his side. When he's on his tummy he can scoot backwards (unintentionally) and spin in circles (intentionally) to get to his toys.
Speaking of getting to his toys... ooooh that boy has a temper!! If he drops a toy out of reach, he doesn't just complain, he screams about it until you help him get it back. Same for if he can't quite get something in his mouth the way he wants it. He also cries if you take something away from him, or if he wants something that we are eating that he isn't allowed to have (say, a cookie for example). Silly boy makes sure we know when he's not happy about something!
Two photos below by Rachael Brown Photography
This month (well, last week) we started solids (sort of). I talked about it a few days ago, we're taking it slowly, trying to follow his lead and not stress over it. So far he has had banana, avocado, apple, carrot, pumpkin, kumara, and parsnips. I think banana is the fave so far, although today he DEVOURED his pumpkin and kumara. I have a feeling this boy is going to be a good eater. Other than his few tastes of food here and there, he's still 100% breastfed. Which leads me to our next issue: breastfeeding.
Photo by Rachael Brown Photography
We have had zero problems with breastfeeding up until now. I've got what appears to be thrush, or something equally nasty, which basically makes each and every feeding incredibly painful. Like, 20 times worse than the newborn nipple soreness kind of pain. And he won't take a bottle, so I don't have a lot of other options. Especially since the child wants to eat every 2 hours, and lately has been wanting to nurse all through the night. This means pretty much constant pain for me. I'm hoping the medicine we've got will help clear things up asap!
Now... onto sleep. Ohhh sleep. Jackson has been pretty shocking this past month in the sleep department. Occasionally we would get good 90 minutes naps out of him, but more likely they have been about 30-40 minutes. At night, we MIGHT get a 3 hour stretch, but more likely he's up every 2, if not more. And very very frequently he is up for at least an hour in the middle of the night. This, among other things, made us realize we needed to do something different in terms of helping him sleep better, which I will cover in detail in a few days.
He's also starting to develop very clear preferences for his sleep, it seems. He sleeps with a paci, and likes to hold on to something furry- either his little bear lovey, or his cookie monster. He likes to sleep on his side with something touching his head/face (blanket/lovey) and another heavy blanket over his lower body. He likes to be rocked/bounced rather vigorously... no light rocking will do.
His perfect awake time is currently about 2 hours. His tired signs are super obvious... (1) he gets cranky and (2) if I'm holding him, he burrows his face into my body and sort of arches his back. If he does that, I know he's ready for a sleep. He is usually in bed for the night around 5:30 or 6pm which works pretty nicely for us since then we have a little bit of time with just Riley before we put her to bed for the night. He's up for the morning around 6ish, with multiple wake-ups in between.
He now cries in his car more often than not, mostly because he tends to drop his toys and then he gets mad. He loves going for walks in his stroller, but ONLY if Mark takes him. If I take him, he cries because he wants me to hold him instead. Same thing during the day... he's totally happy to play on the floor with toys for ages when Mark is looking after him, but if I come anywhere near him, or if I'm home with him (sooo... all week long) he will cry for me to pick him up and hold him and play with him! Boy loves his mama cuddles!
He still doesn't have any teeth (thank goodness, as I currently have enough pain in the feeding department, I don't need any more issues at the moment!). He loves books, chewing on foam letters, bouncing in his jumper, playing with Riley, the hand motions of itsy bitsy spider, being thrown high up into the air, being swung in our arms, bubbles, and being tickled. He's still SO ticklish. He loves having his face/cheeks massaged, being outside, standing up, and sitting like a big boy in his bath.
His eczema is looking better, but he still scratches his face all the time. I think now it might be more of a habit though, although there's no way to really tell. He loves sucking on his bottom lip (see below) and it gives him the cutest little chipmunk cheek look. Seriously, I'm not sure it gets any cuter!
Two photos below by Rachael Brown Photography
He loves his daddy, and he saves some really big belly laughs just for him. He loves to stand up, and can stand just supported by our fingers, although he will randomly start to jump so we've got to keep a tight hold on him! He puts everything in his mouth, and loves to give open mouth kisses. :) Nice a slobbery ones. He's quite the chatty little guy, and squeals and squawks and tries to say dadadada and mamamama. He is pretty good at manipulating his toys (grabbing them, shaking them, getting them in and out of his mouth so he can alternate eating them and looking at them), and he can take his paci out and put it back in all by himself. He can even throw it all the way across the room... literally.
He was totally thrilled about this photo below... not.
Sucking on his bottom lip and not happy about being on the ground.
We've started baby signs with him- "more," "milk," and "all done." He's starting to lose some of his baby chub, and is looking more and more like a little boy each and every day. He had his first "stranger anxiety" moment this month, but mostly he's happy to be around all kinds of new people as long as they smile at him. He's less than happy when his mama leaves the room, but does just fine as long as someone else is there to distract him. It is definitely clear he's becoming more and more attached to me!
Well, I think that about covers it... :) Happy 6 month birthday to my little man, we love you so so so much!
Riley signing "more."
We've been signing with Riley for a while now, but in the last month she has really picked up on it. The big one she does all the time is "more." Her sign for more is sort of a combination of "more" and "eat," but we go with it because, while it's not the perfect sign, we know what she means and that's what matters. At first, she signed more for more food. More cheese. More puffs. More sandwich. More water, etc. And then she started signing more for things other than food. More books. More tickles. More peek-a-boo. She really understood the fact that her sign got us to give her some more of whatever she wanted. And we ALWAYS rewarded her with what she wanted when we were first teaching the sign, even if that meant we read 50 books in a row (which actually happened... more than once).
Lately, she's sort of overgeneralized the sign. Based on my studies of language development, I know that's common when children are learning language to overgeneralize, I just didn't really think about it in reference to SIGN language. But she now uses her sign for more when she wants something. Anything. This can get a bit tricky when you don't know exactly WHAT it is she wants. She has also started using the sign for "more" when she really means "help." I caught it on video. She's doing her sign for more (meaning help) when she can't get the last ring off the stacker and then again in order to get Mark to put the rings back on for her.
The coolest thing is, even though her signing is far from perfect, I can already see that it's making a huge difference in decreasing the number of tantrums. Instead of crying when I finish reading her a book, she signs more. Instead of throwing herself on the ground when she gets frustrated, she signs "more" (for help). When she sees us eating or drinking, she signs more/eat instead of crying. We're in the process of teaching her the actual sign for "help," along with signs for many other things. Currently we are trying to sign the following words with her: ball, mama, daddy, drink, eat, more, again, help, all done, book, please, milk, cheese, dog, bath, sleep, "don't like," stop, kiss, "i love you," no, open, up, and play.
I love watching this little munchkin learn to communicate with us!!