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.
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!!
Jackson is 5 weeks old today! He is growing up so fast I can hardly believe it!
First of all, Jackson got weighed yesterday, and he's up to 10 pounds 2 ounces!! Get this... he started out at 6 pounds 4 ounces, so he's gained almost 4 pounds since birth. And for comparison: Riley started out at 7 pounds 6 ounces, and at 6 weeks she didn't even weigh 9 pounds yet. Oh man this little guy is going to be big!! My little chickadee...
Here's a little of what he's up to lately:
Feeding: He is starting to space his feeds out, I think? He is also getting very efficient about his feeding, now it only takes 10-15 minutes usually and then he's done. He still has periods of the day where he cluster feeds (so nurses every hour), usually in the morning and sometimes in the late evenings. And sometimes just whenever he feels like it!
Sleeping: I've been trying to keep track of when he eats/sleeps to see if there's any sort of routine (set by him, of course)... Also I'm trying to establish what his ideal awake time is before he gets overtired, as his tired signs are pretty subtle and easy to miss, so it's a bit easier if I know an approximate amount of time before I need to be getting him back to sleep. An overtired baby is not an easy baby to get to sleep! But as you can see, each day is different! Here's what our last 2 days were like:
Clearly our days are variable... yesterday (Monday) was a bit unusual with very little day time sleep. Today he slept most of the day, and we'll see what happens tonight. We also officially started Jackson on a bedtime routine and sleeping in his rock 'n play in his room until whenever we go to sleep (and then he's in our room). I'm hoping this routine will encourage better night time sleeping, we'll have to wait and see.
This week we went for our first walk outside using the double stroller... that thing is a beast. Heavy, wide, kind of hard to get up and down curbs, but both babies enjoyed it so I consider it a success. Jackson sits in his car seat attached to the stroller, and Riley sits next to him and any time he makes a peep she yells "don't cry baby!" or "you okay, baby?" I meant to get a picture of the two of them but I totally forgot.
Jackson has started giving me more and more awake smiles, which I love, of course. His hormone spots on his face/head/back are clearing a bit, but definitely still there. We've moved away from giving him baths in the big tub with Riley since he keeps pooping in the tub, so we're trying out sink baths instead. He likes them, but the water gets cold pretty quickly, so they end up being quite short.
He's getting so strong! Riley requested that Jackson do some tummy time this morning (she loves saying "tummy time!"), so I plopped him down, and BAM, he held his head up foreeeeeeever! He looked all around, side to side, then would put his head down and suck on his hands, and then lift it up and look around again. He also kicks his legs and tries to roll onto his side, he's going to be moving around in no time!
He slept in his crib for the first time today... I was trying to get him to take a nap in his room in the rock 'n play, and he just wasn't having it, so I decided maybe I'd try him in his crib laying on his side, unswaddled. He fell asleep almost right away with me patting his back and his white noise cranked up to drown out his crazy older sister. He only slept for 45 minutes that way, but it's a start.
He's starting to like his play gym, as long as he doesn't get smothered by Riley when he's laying on it. Today he was working HARD to get that little Lamaze moose into his mouth. He managed to get himself all the way under it and tried to clumsily use his hands to get its foot in his mouth (since he had spat out his paci).
Happy 5 weeks little bubby!
Yikes, today was rough. We had an overtired, gassy baby that didn't want to sleep. Just cry. And a toddler determined to push every one of my buttons... there were many occasions where I had two crying, very unhappy little ones on my hands. I can definitely see that the crying little baby set the tone for the big baby, and she was all out of sorts as a result. Definitely a tricky thing to deal with all on your own!
But of course, in the midst of the chaos we had some moments of calm in there... short naps in the rock 'n play for Jackson meant some one on one time with big sister, which she desperately needed.
One on one time spent frantically trying to cram a million activities in (Riley, not me... the girl is on the go!) Painting and playdoh and books and puzzles and so. many. stickers. Everywhere.
The little guy seems to have a sensitive tummy some days... It was clear he had a bit of gas pain and was NOT a happy camper. He just wanted to eat or be held most of the day, which is pretty tricky to do while taking care of Riley. I did manage to get him to sleep on me sort of upright leaning over my shoulder, and I think having his legs squished up and a little pressure on his tummy felt good, so in the late afternoon I plopped him down on his tummy, and voila. 2.5 hour nap. A MUCH needed nap, poor little guy.
And eventually, daddy comes home and all is right with the world. Well, comes home from work and does some more work with his little sidekick.
And thank goodness for early bedtimes for the littlies!! Hooraaay for alone time in the evening! Well, as "alone" as it gets with a 3 week old sleeping on the couch next to you... :)
I don't even want to know what's going to happen tonight with the little guy... Hoping to get more than a few hours sleep!!
Jackson is 3 weeks old today!
What a joy this little man has been. We had a few rough growth spurt days, where he was eating all the time, and not sleeping well, but he seems to have settled back into his usual routine... whatever that means, at this point. I tried to actually keep track of what he did today, just for my own record's sake, although it's probably painfully boring to you so feel free to just skip over. His schedule today went like this (the night is all a blur so we'll start with when we got out of bed for the day):
7:15am wake and diaper change
7:30 feed- this takes about 45 minutes as we have to stop to burp, diaper change, tend to Ri bug, etc...
8:15- 9:00 awake time in swing, looking in mirror, playing with sister, cuddling with mama, etc...
9-10:30 SLEEP (in swing)
10:30 awake and feed and diaper change
11:30 feed again! (nursed to sleep)
11:45-1:30 ASLEEP (in bed with me while I napped too!)
1:30 diaper change and feed
2:00-3:30 ASLEEP (on couch)
3:45 diaper change and feed and diaper change
4:45 continue interrupted feed due to Riley getting into mischief...
5:20-7:00 ASLEEP (rocked to sleep then slept in swing while we ate dinner)
7:00 awake and feed and diaper change
8:00 ASLEEP (and still sleeping as I type this at 9:30 pm...)
He's got such a strong little neck, he'll hold his head up for ages when held upright. During tummy time he lifts his head and turns it from side to side. He's not totally thrilled to lay flat on his back, and prefers to sleep on his side or his tummy. If he must sleep on his back (like at night), he does so elevated in his rock 'n play, or sleeps in my arms, depending on his mood.
He stares intently at our faces and even flashes some occasional smiles. He likes looking at the mobile and mirror above his swing, we haven't quite gotten out his little baby gym as Riley sort of just takes it over, so we'll see what happens with that... His longest stretch of sleep has been 3.5 hours, but usually we only get 2 hour blocks at night.
He loves the moby wrap, and the car seat, and the swing. He's making cute little baby cooing noises now. He is the LOUDEST sleeper- much louder than Riley was, and I thought she was loud! He's starting to get a tiny bit of baby acne, and his skin is peeling a little on his face. He likes bath time, but prefers to be submerged rather than sit in his little baby bath hammock thing. He's gone from pooping 15 plus times a day to about half that,, thank goodness! He's still in all newborn clothes and diapers, and probably will be for a few more weeks. But he's out of his preemie clothes!!
He loves when I sing to him (or to Riley), and always falls asleep with a little rocking/bouncing and a song. We introduced him to the bottle a few days ago, and I wasn't sure he'd take it since he's not into the artificial nipples really, but he downed it! I only pumped about 40 mls for him since I didn't think he'd drink it, but he gulped it all down and demanded more. I plan on giving him 1-2 bottles of breast milk a week just to keep him used to drinking from a bottle.
He is starting to like his soothie paci a little more, but HATES the MAM ones that Riley loved so much (and still does). He almost always falls asleep after a feed (milk coma), but I usually wake him by burping or diaper change otherwise he wakes up after only 20-30 minutes and wants to eat more. If he really wants/needs sleep, he will sleep after I burp/change him anyway, but this way I wake him up, get more milk in him, and then he sleeps longer and goes longer in between feeds, usually, Not always. You can see in his schedule today that his wake time varied from 30 minutes to 2 hours... we just go with what he needs!
He had a few days of being very gassy and seeming like he was in pain, but I think that has mostly passed and he's much more settled. He never ever spits up, and literally just starting a few days ago have I been able to get burps out of him after feeds. Before that, didn't matter what I did, he wouldn't burp!
Happy 3 weeks my sweet little bubba!
My favorite photo of February for the Click it up a Notch photo contest. My little man, 11 days old. Definitely my favorite photo of him!
The little man is two weeks old already!
Here's what he's up to in his little 2 week old life...
He is going on day 3 of his first growth spurt, which meant lots of eating, not lots of sleeping. Although, we did get one 4 hour stretch of sleep last night (followed by waking every hour for the rest of the night). He's becoming a lot more alert, and spending more and more time awake during the day. Now the real work of taking care of two babies begins!
He had his first cold (almost over it), and his first baths in the big tub. He takes baths with Riley and he normally loves it as long as the water is not too cold and he's not hungry, (which lately seems to be all the time!) He gets so calm after bath time, and usually goes right to sleep once he's all dressed and fed.
He loves looking at our faces, and doesn't seem to have any problems with tummy time (I only say that because Riley hated tummy time). He almost never spits up, but does get some gas/tummy pains after he eats sometimes. He prefers not to lie flat, and sleeps part of the night swaddled in his rock n play, and part of the night unswaddled in our bed. The paci is hit or miss.. today he refused it all day long, he only wanted the real deal!
He's been a trooper when it comes to his big sister for the most part. Putting up with her hands all over him, with her version of "gentle" touches, with toys being shoved in his face in her attempts to "show baby." No real injuries so far! Just lots of love! For about half an hour today Riley demanded to lay down with Jack Jack on his baby blanket. I stood back and watched with such happiness... and a little anxiety, as who knows what Riley would do at any moment :)
Happy 2 weeks Jack Jack!
2 weeks ago I gave birth to little Jackson James. His 2 week post is coming, but I didn't manage to get many pictures of him today, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Instead I want to write a different kind of 2 week post. See, when Jack was born, I decided to give myself two weeks to recover mentally and physically. Two weeks to not worry about losing weight, or exercising, or going on outings, or cooking elaborate meals, or letting Riley watch too much TV, or the fact that she's eating yet another peanut butter sandwich as a meal. Two weeks before I would get my butt in gear and become a good parent/wife/housekeeper.
And now, two weeks is up. And I can say I'm ready to try and regain some sense of normalcy. Getting out of the house more, eating healthier, starting to get back into shape, spending more time reading and playing and less time watching Mickey and Tangled (which is a new fave, by the way). Tomorrow I will be weighing myself (gulp) and seeing how much weight I have to lose. I' cooking dinner and not leaving the dishes to pile up for days.
But most importantly... I'm spending time with my babies and soaking up the days when they are still so little. Although Riley has decided she thinks she wants to be a big girl, and is getting very interested in her potty. She has always liked to play with it, but she must have told me about ten times today she wanted to either "peepee" or "poopoo on potty," and she'd run into the bathroom and I'd taker her diaper off, and she'd sit down. She never actually went, but she was definitely thinking about it! And of course she would start to be interested in the potty right when we have a newborn in the house... definitely makes things a bit trickier for me, but I don't really think she's ready yet, so we'll see.
Today Jackson had his very first blow out diaper, which normally I probably wouldn't share as any sort of important milestone, except for the fact that it happened while Riley was holding him, which then meant I had TWO babies covered in poop. Once I got them both all cleaned up, I asked Riley if she could help me pick out some new clothes for her brother. Off she went, and came back with this...
The biggest girly onesie ever, plopped down right on his face. Followed up by some big sister smooches. Riley needed some new clothes too, especially since this was at 4pm and she was still in her pajamas (remember i was giving myself two weeks? That apparently includes dressing my babies...) Anyway, I decided to try this little ensemble on her:
Riley's Uncle Philip sent us this toddler-sized Ireland soccer kit, and I'm not sure if it was meant for her or Jackson, but it fits her pretty well so she can get some use out of it before Jack Jack is big enough to wear it. She thought the socks were AWESOME, which is weird since she never keeps socks on for more than about 10 seconds.
Anyway... two week Jackson update tomorrow, today he was less than thrilled with my few photo attempts, so maybe I'll get some more tomorrow. :)
This post is sort of long, and just a jumble of pictures with some words thrown in for good measure. Just giving you a heads up...
The sick baby seems to be a bit better, but now he seems to be in the middle of a growth spurt, which means he has literally been nursing all the time. I can't even keep track of how often... but it's VERY. He is ravenous all day long, and I've got plenty of milk so that's not an issue. Since I had a baby attached to me most of the day yesterday, that meant daddy was in charge of entertaining this one...
I did manage to sneak out for some 1 on 1 time with Riley on Saturday, and we visited the local toy library. And guess what we brought home... a SLIDE! Holy cow she was SO thrilled, she must've gone down it a hundred times. She also asked multiple times "baby slide? baby down slide?"... Not yet Ri Ri, not quite yet. :)
I had planned on taking the last of Jackson's newborn photos yesterday, but his cold combined with a growth spurt made it near impossible. I laid him down to get him all undressed and ready for photos, and this was his "pose." Got it buddy, I got. No more pictures, please.
He's starting to like his paci more and more, although don't you dare try and give it to him when he's hungry, he will not be happy about that! He is also starting to find his fingers, so he's been sucking on those a bit when he manages to coordinate getting them in his mouth.
Riley has been so funny lately. We bought her these little steps for her room, and she loves to climb up them and jump (or free fall) onto her bed. Se gives herself a countdown and everything (1...2...3... GO!) Although it's only a matter of time before there are some tears...
She also has the BEST bedhead when she wakes from her naps. It's pretty awesome.
We've started doing some regular tummy time with Jackson, and it usually starts out like this:
But then it progresses to this! My strong little boy!
He's getting more awake and alert every day! I loooooove looking at his big blue eyes!
But of course all that awake time is tiring, and eventually puts him right to sleep. :)
And now my babies are sleeping, and it's time for me to go to bed. :)