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!
...we ship most of what we own to the US. Our house is a mess of boxes and stuff everywhere. We'll be living out of suitcases for a month. With only a handful of books and toys. And Riley keeps unpacking the things I pack. And Mark is working all hours frantically trying to finish his thesis. BUT. In all the chaos and mess, we still have time for fun...
Just not a lot of time for blogging. Especially since THIS is happening right now... snoring and all...
Night night friends, my 2 year old snuggle buddy awaits... I need someone to snuggle while my husband works late into the night/early morning!
Seems like she JUST turned two, how can she be 26 months already? She will be two and a half before I know it!
This past month has been full of all kinds of fun and exciting things. Riley gets smarter and funnier and more talkative by the day. The biggest development this past month has been the EXPLOSION in the number of songs and stories she has memorized. She is constantly amazing me by singing song after song after song, then reading (from memory) dozens of stories, and even reciting a bunch of them without looking at the book. She also ALWAYS knows if you skip a page while reading. :) I make up a new story for her before each nap/bedtime, and she retells them to me later on, and asks for specific stories that I've told her (her fave is currently the one about Mickey going to the zoo...)
For some reason, lately she is absolutely obsessed with the ABCs. Looking at letters, sounding out letters, spelling things, doing ABC puzzles, singing ABC songs, etc.. she just loves it. AND? She can now sing the ABCs in spanish. Not perfectly, but it's the cutest thing in the world! No, I take that back... her counting to ten in spanish is the cutest thing in the world. Especially because she doesn't like to say "nueve" (9), so she goes "ocho" (8) "mocho" (her version of 9) and "diez" (10)... I'll have to get it on video. She also loves listening to spanish songs on youtube lately.
Favorite activities lately include: painting, reading books, puzzles, and jumping off of things, or jumping on to things. Her favorite thing to do is "a kaboom crash," which basically means making a pile out of all the pillows in the house, and jumping onto it over and over and over again. She literally hops around everywhere she goes... the girl is going to have some strong leg muscles!!
This past month she has started waking up at night again. She typically wakes up around midnight, and comes into our bed for the rest of the night. And to be honest, we really don't mind at all. In fact, I like having her come in and snuggle with us. And lucky for her, Jackson seems to be totally anti co-sleeping anyway these days, so he's never in our bed, so we don't have any issues there.
Now, let's talk about Riley's sleep. Somehow, she has gotten back into the habit of needing me to lay with her to go to sleep for both her nap and bedtime. And ONLY me, not Mark. And we thought about trying to break her of the habit, but it was clear that it would involve a HUGE battle with lots of screaming, and it wasn't a battle I was/am willing to have at this point. The thing is, it's not that she doesn't want to go to bed because she wants to play with toys or she's being "naughty," she just wants to snuggle and be comforted by her mama. So all it really means is I make sure her nap time starts after Jackson is already in his bed so I can spend a little extra time snuggling her. And then bedtime takes me a bit longer than normal every night since I lay with her and tell her stories and snuggle and tickle her until she falls asleep. And when she wakes up, she runs straight into our room, and straight into my arms to snuggle, and she's back asleep within a minute. I must say, she is a very cute little snuggle buddy. :)
Potty training has been going extremely well. In fact, not really potty "training" any more, as I think she's got it down pretty well. She still sleeps in pull-ups, and I think we'll keep it that way for a while longer since she wakes up in the morning with a wet pull-up quite frequently. She has had a few naps in underwear and she often keeps her pull-up dry for nap time, but not 100% of the time yet, and to be honest, I don't want to have to worry about washing sheets on a daily basis with all the other things going on in our lives at the moment.
Riley has decided that she loves cereal, especially muesli. She also loves carrots, and was SO EXCITED to eat her baby carrots that she planted and grew in a pot in the backyard. They were pretty small since she sort of, um, overplanted (a.k.a. dumped the whole bag of seeds into one pot), so there was a bit of overcrowding in the pot, but some of them came out a decent size, and she devoured them! I love the idea of growing our own fruits and veggies, and she really enjoys it as well. Riley has also decided that she now likes grapes again, after refusing to even put one in her mouth for the last 10 months, pretty much. Toddlers are weird, I tell you.
This month Riley has really taken a huge interest in listening to music. She loves to sing, but she is now obsessed with the toddler station we have on spotify. She clicks around and listens to the songs she likes, and loves having the headphones in, and is happy to sit and listen. She also has a whole bunch of CDs that she likes to listen to and sing along and dance.
She is also JUST now starting to get into the "not wanting to share" phase of her life. She's starting to use the words MINE and MY_____ more frequently. She will occasionally take toys off of Jackson, but she's learning that if she wants a toy that he has, she has to either wait until he's done, or offer him a new toy to trade. Mostly she prefers to trade, as waiting is not really the easiest thing for a 2 year old! For the most part, this seems to work. The only time we really have issues is if he drools on one of her favorite toys or books, then she is not happy. But again, pretty easily solved by me wiping it off, and then she's over it. I can see we might have some issues once Jackson really gets mobile, so we're trying to set some sharing ground rules and expectations now so that we don't have as many problems in the future.
waiting for daddy to get home
This month Riley had her very first real fall, and I am still having nightmares over it. I took her and Jackson to the playground, and Riley is usually very good on this playground. She can climb up by herself, do all the things by herself, and she knows she can't just jump off the ledge and things like that. Well, this time, I helped her climb up this one part that is a little tricky for her, and then I went around to meet her at the bottom of the slide. A little boy climbed up right after her, and she was sort of in a trance watching him, and she started to scoot backwards without watching where she was going. I saw this all happening, and the way the playground is set up, I couldn't actually get to her without going all the way around, so I started yelling to her while I was running around to try and get her to stop stepping back, but I couldn't get there in time and she fell backwards right off this huge ledge (it was one of those ones with the fire pole kind of thing for the big kids to go down) and she landed flat on the ground. It was one of those falls that every other person at the playground went silent and stared while I scooped her up to make sure she was not seriously injured. Which, she wasn't, but she was definitely hurt and shaken up, and she got a decent bruise on her back the following day. I'm just so thankful she didn't get seriously injured.
Her imagination is also taking off... she likes to share her drinks and snacks with her little dolls because they get hungry and thirsty. She puts them to sleep when they get tired. She has full conversations with her little mickey, goofy, and donald duck figurines, and tells them stories. She's pretty much just the cutest thing ever.
And I'll leave you with some funny things Riley has said over the past few days:
"That's just a boy... but, kind of looks like a girl..."
"You did a ooey gooey yucky poo poo... it's a baby poo poo!!" (she says of her rather small in size bowel movement)
"Oh no, can't find the other shoe! Think mama put it in a box!" (since our house is currently covered in moving boxes)
"Mama I need the screwdrivers to go fix my bike!"
When we're in the car "Jack Jack! We'll be home in just a few minutes okay? Don't cry baby!"
"Oh oh mama, I think he's hungry. Maybe he needs to feed some booby!"
Love that little bug.
Wow, a lot has changed in the past 2 weeks with this little munchkin! As in, most of what I wrote in his 6 month update is no longer true. So I figured we shouldn't wait until the 7 month update, and we'll squeeze in a 6.5 month one!
Firstly- he rolls! Both ways, consistently, and frequently. Baby is on the move! He see what he wants and he maneuvers and squirms and arches his back and rolls around to get it. Which is great for him, not that awesome for me, as now I have to constantly be on the lookout for stray choking hazard sized toys that he might try and pick up. You know, things like Riley's marbles and coins and stray raisins, etc...
Another big change? His sleep. He went from being the worst sleeper ever (waking up so many times per night and staying awake and just crying despite rocking or nursing) to being a (relatively) pretty great sleeper during the day, and a manageable sleeper at night. Not a good sleeper at night, but at least something we are all okay with, for the most part. He can put himself to sleep with just a little bit of help from us, and, get this, he now sometimes naps for almost 2 hours!!! Now, if only I could get him AND Riley to BOTH nap for two hours at the same time. HAHAHAHA. I wish.
He's thinking about dropping his third nap, but he can really only manage that if his first 2 naps are long enough, and he didn't wake up too early. So most days he still takes 3 naps, even if his 3rd nap is just a short one. At night, he goes to bed around 6 or 6:30pm, and is up every 2-3 hours after that. And yes, I nurse him back to sleep since that is the ONLY way he will go back to sleep. I have tried rocking him and soothing him every other way, having Mark go in there, and all he wants is to be fed. And to be perfectly honest? I really don't even mind getting up a couple times per night (well, by couple, I mean 3-4, but who's counting) to feed him... maybe it's a habit, maybe he's "too old" for middle of the night feedings, but i think that's more a matter of opinion. I didn't stop nursing Riley in the middle of the night until after her first birthday, and we all got along just fine!
Jackson does NOT like to be cold when sleeping, and he sleeps holding on to a lovey and/or cookie monster, and with a blanket over his head (put there himself). He does this almost every time he sleeps, silly baby. His ideal awake time during the day is 2-2.5 hours, but it's pretty easy to tell when he's tired. He buries his head into my chest and rubs his eyes. I sing him the same song and recite the same little rhyme to him before every sleep: "Goodnight little one, it's time for bed, so goodnight chin, and goodnight head. Goodnight cheeks, and goodnight nose, goodnight feet, and goodnight toes. Goodnight hands, and goodnight thumb, goodnight feet and goodnight bum. So goodnight little one, lay down your head, it's time for sleep, it's time for bed." Cute, right? And he knows that means it's sleepy time!
After he wakes up from his naps during the day, he requires at least 10 minutes of snuggles before he will let me put him down. And usually he wants to nurse right after he wakes up, even if he's not hungry... just a comfort thing. Then once we've filled his quota of snuggles and nursing, then he's a happy little dude! If we skip those steps, he is NOT happy to be put down! But funny thing is, when he wakes up in the morning, he doesn't even make a sound, he just plays happily in his crib! He is the most chill, happiest little guy in the mornings, sometimes we don't even know how long he has been awake, since he's awake playing happily and quietly in his crib when we wake up!
He LOVES his solids, and gets SO excited when he sees a bib and a spoon, he knows what's coming! But his food MUST be warm, he doesn't like it cold or even room temp. We try to give him food to eat on his own, but he gets really frustrated when he can't get it into his mouth fast enough! And he gets so mad if he can't eat whatever we are eating (say, a peanut butter sandwich, for example). He's also re-discovered his tongue, only on all new levels. It's like a little lizard tongue, he sticks it all the way out and then curls it up...
He loves chomping on everything and anything, but still no teeth! He loves playing with the all of Riley's toys, especially her blocks, puzzle pieces and her abacus. She mostly shares with him so far, so we haven't had many issues there. She also knows that all she has to do to get a toy from him is hand him a new toy and do a trade, which he doesn't seem to mind one bit. Not yet, anyway.
Other new developments? He's developed his first fears! He's never been one to startle easily, not even at loud noises. But just recently he's decided he's afraid of the vacuum! And occasionally he gets frightened of sudden unexpected outbursts. He's easily calmed with a quick cuddle, but this only started just recently! He loves books, but really only just eating them... the pictures keep him interested for maybe 2 seconds, and then the book goes straight in his mouth. Also if he's even remotely tired, he cries if I walk away from him. Poor little bubby!
He loves bouncing in his bouncer or his joey jumper, and would probably just stay there all day long if he was allowed. But he's not. :) He searches for toys when he's dropped them, and if he's become quite the distracted little nurser, and will crane his neck to see what's going on all around him if he hears even the slightest noise. He LOVES to be outside, and he loves dancing and jumping around while I sing to him.
He has just in the last day sort of started the think about new and different ways of getting on the move... i.e. taking is first "steps" towards the crawling motion. Oy. It's funny, with Riley, I think part of the reason she was sitting and crawling and walking so early was because we encouraged her to do so. With Jackson, well, I'm perfectly happy for him to stay put for a little while longer, but in the last few days I have made more of an effort to encourage him to try and move around himself, and he's picked up on it reallllllly fast. As in, he may crawl way sooner than I had thought.
It's the same with sitting... we started encouraging Riley to sit up pretty early on, but obviously in the early stages of sitting, you need to be spotting them and helping... well, it's a bit harder to just sit in one place and try and help a baby sit when you have a toddler running around from activity to activity. So Jackson spent way more time on his back than Riley ever did. But when we give the kid a chance... he's a pretty good little sitter!
He's also started "talking" a lot more. He spent an entire day saying "dadadadadada" the other day. As if he was so proud of himself for discovering this new sound! He loves the bath and I am dying to take him swimming, but I think we'll wait a bit longer as I think the pool water might do a number on his skin (see red eczema cheeks above...)
Anyway, I think that pretty much sums up the changes, can't wait to see what the next 2 weeks bring before his 7 month update!!
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!
Jackson turns 6 months in 2 weeks. And he is changing daily, turning into such a big boy.
Jackson's eczema has been up and down, but at the moment is not looking good at all. A few weeks back I saw a naturopath, who had some good recommendations, and since then I have started on a completely dairy-free diet, and a (mostly) wheat-free diet. I say mostly wheat/gluten free as I still have the occasional wheat snack. I thought things were improving and I was pretty excited we may have found a solution, but then BAM it got worse again. Now, I've read that anything that triggers an immune response can cause an eczema flare-up, so the fact that Jackson is pretty sick could be what is causing his eczema to be pretty bad at the moment. Immunizations can also cause flare-ups and he just had his 5 month shots last week.
The above pictures were taken a few days ago, and since then his cheeks have turned bright red, his skin is dry and red and itchy, and he is CONSTANTLY trying to scratch his face and head. The combination of his cold and his eczema has led to some terrible sleep and a very sad and overtired baby during the day. As a result, he does not want to be put down. He's pretty much only happy if he's being held, or sitting in his bouncer. I actually don't like putting him in there for very long, but at the moment it's the only way I can put him down for more than 2 seconds! Although he thought bubbles were pretty fascinating... that bought me about 10 minutes while I gave Riley a bath.
Now back to sleeping- for a few weeks he was up CONSTANTLY. I was lucky to get 30 minutes out of him. We have since started swaddling him again and putting him in his rock 'n play rather than his crib, figuring keeping him slightly elevated will help with his cough, and keeping him swaddled will keep him from scratching. Now we're back to some fairly decent stretches, although it's pretty hit or miss. He's usually asleep for the night at 5:30 or 6, and is up for a feed around 10 or 11. He rarely sleeps that whole time, usually requires some rocking back to sleep in there somewhere. Then sometimes he's up for HOURS in the middle of the night. I'm hoping that after he comes right from this cold that he'll settle into some better sleep patterns, but that might just be wishful thinking.
Other things- since he's been sick and not wanting to be put down, he's decided that he hates tummy time, and has made no progress on trying to sit up, but he can stand with us just holding his fingers. He prefers to be sitting upright or standing and trying to jump constantly. The boy goes NUTS in the bouncer, he's as happy as can be in there! In fact, one day we decided to take advantage of a decent winter day and play in the backyard, so we brought his bouncer out and he was as happy as can be.
As we get closer and closer to the big 6 months, we get closer to starting solids. I was pretty adamant about not starting solids until 6 months, but today we were all sharing an apple, and he was going nuts trying to grab it, so we let him gum it and suck on it. The boy LOVED it. But you know who might have loved it even more? Riley. She couldn't stop smiling and shouting "he's EATING it!!!" He would drop it, and she would help him get it back in his mouth.
I'm thinking of going with the baby led weaning approach with him, mostly because I can't stand the idea of having to steam and puree foods, and it will be so much easier than spoon feeding him. Problem is, we don't have a high chair for him at the moment. Guess I still have a few weeks to figure that out. We're going to be pretty strict about what foods we give him as I worry a bit about food allergies, but we'll start with some pretty basic ones so hopefully we won't have any issues.
He still doesn't have any teeth but I can feel his 2 bottom ones right under the gums. Sort of dreading having those little chompers come in since he has started biting me while nursing already, and it hurts with no teeth, and I know all too well how much it hurts WITH teeth!!
Oh yeah, forgot to mention naps. Up until 2 days ago, he slept no longer than 40 minutes. Every. singe. nap. If the timing worked out, sometimes I could get him and Riley to nap at the same time, and then after he woke up 40 minutes later, I could bring him in bed with me and nurse him to sleep for another hour or so. But the stars don't always align like that, so mostly he was taking a bunch of cat naps during the day. Then all of a sudden yesterday he busted out with an hour and 40 minutes sleep. Twice. No interventions required. Then today he had an hour and a half sleep, but then two of his standard 40 minute ones. So who knows what tomorrow brings in terms of naps. :)
Oh yeah and? He still LOVES his big sister. Big time.
So that's the latest on our little Jack Jack...
You may have noticed a distinct lack of blogging here lately. It's not that I've been lazy, or been so so busy. Nope. I wish that were the case. The truth is, I'm running on empty. This precious little face? Yeah, not sleeping.
Now, part of the problem is, he's sick. He caught a cold from big sister, which means the whole household has been sick. Mark has been away in Australia this week, and my mom is here visiting, but schedules and routines have been off, Riley has been out of sorts, and Jackson has just flat out not been sleeping. He wakes up so many times a night I can't even count. And eventually, the only way I can get him to sleep is to bring him in my bed, swaddle him, prop him up slightly with a pillow, put other pillows around him so he doesn't roll, and have one of my arms on top of him sort of pinning him down. Yeah. I celebrated because last night he slept for two whole hours in a row without waking up. Usually we're up every 15-45 minutes all night long. I'll get more into the specifics of his night wakings and problems we're facing a bit later when I can actually see and think properly and not feel like I'm going to keel over in exhaustion by 8pm. And sadly, I've barely even picked up my camera this week. :( But not to worry, tomorrow Mark gets home (hooray!!!) and Jack Jack turns five months old, so we've got a little photo shoot planned (depending on the little man's mood, health, and cooperation, of course). Until then, I leave you with this:
He may be sleepless, but he sure is the cutest, sweetest little guy during the day.
It's official. Our house is on the market. We have a big fat sign out in the front yard. We're listed on multiple sites. And we have our first open home in just a few days. We have "officially" been on the market for about 5 days now, and we've had 5 prospective buyers through already. We have no idea what to expect- is our price fair, will we sell quickly, will we get ANY offers, etc... but we will see! One thing I do know... having your house on the market means it basically needs to be ready to be seen at any time (or with 24 hours notice, per my request), which means there is a LOT of constant tidying going on. Our house has never been so clean and organized! In fact, we had someone through today, and I had just cleaned the lounge and kitchen, so I confined the babies to our bedroom for a little bit. Riley didn't mind one bit.
Jumping on the bed is probably one of her fave activities. She could jump on the bed all day long... She loves to jump and then slam her butt onto the bed (see above). She makes sure to tell me she will only jump in the middle so she doesn't fall off and get a big owie (may have said that to her just a few times before). And she has yet to fall off the bed or get any sort of injury jumping on the bed, so let's keep our fingers crossed that it stays that way. The same cannot be said for her antics with the beach ball...
Seriously this girl cracks me up. I won't share too many of her latest antics, as they are going to all be put into a big TWO YEAR post, but I love love love her to pieces. I'm surprised she's smiling in these photos below, she was saying "no mama, don't do that, no can take a picture."
And the little dude? He's still pretty much the happiest, most chilled out baby during the day, and the worst sleeper ever during the night. Okay, not worst sleeper ever, but pretty darn close. Like, waking up more times than I can even count, every single night, kind of bad sleeper.
The thing is, for the most part, he's just a happy little guy during the day, you'd never know he doesn't get a good night's sleep. And he goes down for most of his naps in his crib, all by himself, so it's not that he can't put himself to sleep. I'm convinced it's directly related to his eczema, but we can't seem to fix it. Oh well, eventually we'll figure it all out. It could definitely be much worse! I'm sort of wishing he would ditch his paci and and learn to suck on his fingers or something, but we still swaddle him otherwise he scratches his whole face and head.
On another note- currently his favorite thing to hold on to or play with are little blankets. He loves this blue blankie, and there was a massive meltdown (by Riley) today when I wouldn't let her take the "blue gray gray" away from Jack Jack. It's the same as her pink one, only... it's blue.
He's also getting closer to rolling over. He'll roll to the side, and with a tiny bit of help he'll roll all the way over, but he's just so happy to lay there and take it all in, or to watch what Riley's doing, that he just hangs out on his back a lot. And I'm pretty sure he's got a flat head as a result of all the time he spends on his back. Dangit. He also always has his two little feetsies glued together. Only a matter of time before he gets those toesies in his mouth!
Anyway... so, first open home this Sunday, which also happens to be Mark's birthday! Then Riley turns TWO on Tuesday, and MY MOM GETS HERE ON THURSDAY. To say I'm excited would be an understatement. Riley's super excited too, and Jackson, well, he's just chillin'...
4 months old. Pretty hard to believe!
The last few weeks have been crazy. Lots of changes, ups and downs, new developments, and basically horrible sleep. Yeah, we'll start with that one. Sleep. How could this happy little dude have any sleep problems???
Sleep (night time): Wow, I don't even know where to begin. If you have ever had a 4 month old, then you have likely heard of "the 4 month wakeful." And if you haven't, well, you are very very lucky. This little guy is in full 4 month wakeful mode. His night time sleep has been absolutely horrible lately. As in, I went three nights in a row of getting no more than 45 minutes of consecutive sleep. And only about 3-4 hours total. Basically, this little guy is wanting to go to sleep for the night around 6pm. Sometimes he fights going to sleep (which just requires extra rocking/walking) and sometimes he goes right to sleep with just a few rocks and shushes. But then he wakes up anywhere from 10-30 minutes later SCREAMING. And all he wants is to go back to sleep. Then we get him back to sleep, and he wakes up again. And again. And again. Sometimes the only way to get him back to sleep is for me to lay with him and nurse him on the bed or on the couch, and wait until he is in a DEEP sleep to transfer him into his bed. Otherwise, he wakes again. These days, his longest stretch of sleep is MAYBE 4 hours if I'm lucky, usually no more than 3. And after that? Oh man he's pretty much up all night. Only way I can get even a little bit of sleep is to bring him in bed with me, and even that is hit or miss. I'm praying he gets through this little phase without deciding it's fun to keep waking up 10-15 times a night, or wanting to stay up for hours at a time at 3am.
Sleep (day time): Now, funny thing is... his day time sleep has seemed to improve. We're still struggling with extending naps past one sleep cycle, but that's mostly because I can't drop everything to rock him or shush him or nurse him or do whatever it takes to get him back to sleep. He is sleeping in his crib for most of his naps, except for his midday one where I usually hold him (since Riley is also sleeping) in hopes of getting in at least one good long nap during the day. In his crib, he usually naps for 30-50 minutes, with his longest nap so far being an hour. He likes to sleep on his side, snuggling a security blanket we just introduced to him. He LOVES it. Obsessed. He strokes it and clutches on to it between his arms, it's pretty darn cute. He occasionally puts himself to sleep all by himself, as long as he has his paci, his blankie, and his fisher price seahorse to look at. He's taking 3-5 naps a day, depending on what time he wakes in the morning and how long each of his naps are. (Below right... how he falls asleep for all his naps. Cutest thing ever)
Personality: Jackson is a totally easygoing little dude during the day. He is happy being held, or laying down, or sitting in his baby seat, or chilling wherever we are and doing whatever we're doing. He smiles pretty much as soon as I look at him, and loves to watch every little thing I do. He's a chatty little guy, and loves to have conversations with anyone who cares to have a chat with him. He's super ticklish on his tummy, legs, back, and sides. He loves his paci, and he gets mad when it falls just out of his reach. He also lets out little cries of frustration when he can't quite get something into his mouth due to lack of coordination. He loves his playgym and goes nuts kicking and flapping his arms and yelling at the toys while he whacks them.
He has no problem with new people holding him or talking to him, and gives out smiles pretty freely. He is pretty happy in his car seat as long as he has a paci or something fun to hold onto, and he hasn't fallen asleep in the car in quite a while. He likes being outside and riding in the stroller, but we don't get out all that often since it's just so darn cold. This little guy does not like to be cold, and like his sister, does not like the wind on his face.
Milestones: He has started really trying to roll from back to belly, although he only gets as far as his side. If he's on his side, he tries to roll onto his tummy but can't quite get his arm out of the way, and sort of gets stuck face planting into the ground. He seems to have no interest in rolling from tummy to back anymore (he only did it once). He's totally figured out he's got hands, and stares at them very intently. He's also figured out that he can grab toys AND bring them to his mouth, which has opened up a whole new world for him. His favorite thing to suck on is still blankets or any kind of cloth. He is constantly trying to grab my fingers and pull them into his mouth. He has also started sucking on his fingers, which I think at this stage, I would love for him to become a finger sucker rather than a paci-a-holic like Riley, but we'll see.
He is constantly trying to do little baby sit-ups. He can sit-up briefly all on his own, and loves to stand up and bounce with some support from us, although not for too long as his little legs buckle without warning. We introduced him to a door frame jumper (daddy's idea) and he's pretty darn cute rockin' his little body around.
Feeding: Still doing well with breastfeeding, no problems whatsoever. Mostly he's on a good eat, awake, sleep routine, but sometimes if his awake time is too long, he refuses to sleep without being fed again. And you will KNOW if he wants to be fed when he YELLS when you try to give him his paci. He's not fooled into thinking something delicious is coming out of that! He's not so good with a bottle, in fact, the most he'll really take at a time is about 2 ounces before he gets fed up and won't take any more. And I know it's not because he's not hungry, as he'll nurse for quite a while right after he's offered a bottle. But at least he'll take enough so that if I go out somewhere (which is not often), I know he won't be starving! He loves grabbing onto me and pinching me while nursing, and his little karate arm goes nuts swinging all over the place.
He still LOVES Riley, and she is enjoying having him be a little more interactive these days. He seems to like being naked, which I discovered now that I have to strip him down to keep him moisturized so frequently. His eczema is looking better now that we've switched to everything 100% cotton, but his skin still gets pretty dry and requires special care to keep the flare-ups at bay. I'm convinced his itchy skin is contributing to his horrible sleep, since he looks like he's constantly trying to scratch himself. We're still trying to figure out how to get it all under control!
Jackson likes stories and songs, and gets to hear lots of big sister's favorite stories every day- lucky little boy. He also gets to hear whatever songs Riley requests... really though, as long as someone is saying SOMETHING to him, he's happy. Even if it's Riley yelling all kinds of stuff in his face. :)
His growth seems to have slowed a little, he now weighs about 16 pounds, and is mostly in 6 or 6-9 month clothes. He still loves bath time, although not quite as much as before, since due to his eczema we make his baths quite a bit cooler than before. He splashes like crazy and kick kick kicks the whole time. He only poops once a day or every other day, but when he does poop, it gets everrryyyyywhere! He likes to suck on his bottom lip and does it all the time when there isn't a paci in there (see below right).
He's just the most precious little boy in the entire world and worth all the sleepless nights!! Happy 4 months little boo boo!
I think reading books is one of the most important things you can do with your children, no matter how young or old. Oral stories are almost just as important. I may not be the best story teller ever, but I try and tell Riley some made up stories at least once a day, a lot of times using real life people and things as characters, and she loves it! I wasn't sure how much she was retaining, until she lay down next to her baby brother and started out with "Once upon a time, there was a baby named Jack Jack..." (how I start all her stories) and went on for a few minutes telling him a story, and I about melted it was so cute.
"Jack Jack give 'catterpidder' a kiss!!"
I think there is always time to play with your kids. Time to sit and play playdoh and do puzzles and build towers, draw pictures and play chase, jump on the bed and go for walks. There's always time. Everything else can wait. I think the bigger the mess, the more fun, even if it makes me cringe sometimes. I think pretend play is incredibly important, and fostering imagination is crucial. I believe in using daily tasks and activities as teaching opportunities. I believe your kids ALWAYS understand and absorb more than you think. I believe in asking your kids tons of questions, and always taking the time to answer theirs.
Playing with playdoh at sunrise
I believe in trying your best to breastfeed as long as possible, but not feeling guilty (or making others feel guilty) for using formula. I don't believe in judging other people's parenting choices just because they aren't for me. I think it's okay to feed your 2 year old a peanut butter sandwich every day if it's the only thing she wants to eat for lunch. I think sometimes no matter what you do, some kids are just picky eaters. I believe in teaching your kids good manners (please and thank you), and in giving unlimited cuddles and kisses. I believe some of the best toys are just everyday items laying around the house. I think it's absolutely fabulous to spontaneously grab the pajamed, sleepy almost two year out of bed to show her the hedgehog strolling across the front yard, or the totally awesome super moon. You can be sure she will not forget about it the next day.
Coloring all over herself, sitting in her cardboard "boat"
I believe in trying to expose your kids to all kinds of situations and experiences. I don't think preschool is essential, and I think homeschooling mamas are actually pretty awesome. I believe in creating an environment where I don't have to say no all the time. I believe in positive parenting, and avoid the traditional stick-the-kid-in-the-corner time outs. I believe in expecting good behavior, but in understanding that little kids are still just that- little kids, and need help to regulate their emotions. They aren't throwing tantrums to spite you, even though sometimes it may feel that way!
I believe not all babies are good sleepers (in fact, many are not!). I think bed sharing is awesome, but babies sleeping in their own cribs/beds is definitely nice too. I believe babies will sleep through the night when they are good and ready, and for some that might not be for YEARS. I also think that if you reach a point where lack of sleep is negatively affecting baby, and your ability to be a good parent, it is okay to do some sleep training. Your baby will not be scarred for life. But I like to avoid that at all costs, if possible. It just hurts my heart too much to hear my babies cry.
Riley wearing mama's shoes, and putting on her own shoes "ALL BY YOURSELF!!!"
I believe in letting kids learn by trial and error, even if there might be more tantrums that way. I think including your kids in all your daily routines is important- helping with laundry and dishes, with gardening and sweeping, cleaning up toys and cooking dinner... even if it would be much faster/easier/cleaner to do it yourself. I believe (appropriate) TV is not going to ruin your children, but think it should only be allowed in moderation. I think cloth diapering is awesome, but is just not for me. I used to cringe at the thought of my almost 2 year old still having a pacifier, but the thought of getting rid of it makes me sad since she loves it so much.
I think watching a child's language develop is one of the most fun parts of parenting a toddler. I've been trying to teach Riley how to express her emotions through words rather than tantrums, and today, through some sobs, she stopped, looked at me and said "Mama I didn't like that, mama, don't do that" and I was just so proud of her and couldn't help but scoop her up and cuddle her and praise her for using her words to tell me how she was feeling (in case you were wondering, I put the lid on her sippy cup for her rather than letting her do it herself).
I think electronic toys are annoying and not awesome for development, but keep a few around because Riley just loves them so much. I believe bribes are just fine sometimes. I believe in praising children for good behavior and small achievements, and in celebrating all the little things. I believe in vaccinating and don't totally understand those who choose not to, but I'm sure they have their reasons. I don't believe in only buying gender specific toys- Riley loves cars and trains and dolls and tea sets, necklaces and bugs and dirt and rocks. I like the whole Montessori philosophy, but think people can get a little carried away and it becomes a little...strict? Formal? Not sure, I like to take bits and pieces from different learning styles and use what works for us.
I believe in celebrating all holidays to the fullest. Going totally overboard with Christmas and Halloween, Easter and birthdays too. I think birthdays are occasions to celebrate BIG TIME. I believe in creating memories at every possible chance. I believe in putting the needs of your kids before your own, MOST of the time. I also believe it's okay to have "off" days, days where your kids watch a movie (or two), where they eat fruit snacks for lunch and have pizza for dinner, where you don't go the playground because you just don't feel like. That's okay. You've got plenty of other days to make up for it.
I believe there are a million different parenting decisions to be made, a bunch of different philosophies, and even more people to make you feel guilty about what you choose to do for whatever reason. But really, I think most parents do what they believe is best for their baby, and that is really all that matters. Every day I strive to be a better parent to my two little ones. It really is the best job in the entire world.
I've got a few fun posts coming up in the near future, because, man we sure are having a good time over here. :)