Thursday, March 30, 2017

Jack: 4 Months

Man, these months are really just flying by! I totally missed Jack's four month "birthday" last week because I didn't even know the real date. Whoops! Figured it out the next day when he had his 4 month doctors appointment and I was like, wait, is he four months already?

Jack had a good appointment- he is healthy, 24 1/2 inches and 14 lbs 2 ounces. He is the exact same height as his brother at the same age, but a full pound lighter. He is 20th percentile for both height and weight. He's a pretty little guy!

Jack is super alert these days and always looking at EVERYTHING. He continues to love his play mat, so last week I borrowed and bought used some more pay equipment for him including an exersaucer and a jumperoo. He is a big fan of the exersaucer so far, but still a little too short for the jumper to be fun. He will get there though. If he's not tired, he will play in the exersaucer for 10 or 15 minutes just looking at all the toys around him.

He's a pretty active kid, always moving his arms and feet. He likes to give hugs and cuddle, but only if the person trying to cuddle with him is walking around... he wants nothing to do with cuddling on the couch. He likes tummy time a lot more these days, and learned how to roll from tummy to back last weekend a couple of days after he turned 4 months.

I talked in the 3 month update about too small problems Jack was having: witching hour and refusing to let anyone else put him down for sleep at night. Both have improved! Both Eric and his mom have been able to get him to sleep the last two Saturday nights. This Saturday Eric will be braving both kids bedtimes alone while I'm at a bachelorette party. I think he can do it- and let's be honest, worst case everyone will just be crying and that's pretty similar to a usual get Max to school or swimming lesson morning in this house. Ha. We've made some good progress with witching hour too, though it depends on the night. I'm slowly moving Jack's bedtime earlier so that is eliminating some of the time. I've also just learned that the time after 7pm which was typically more of a time to relax after Max went to sleep is now an all hands on deck entertain and keep Jack happy time. Someday I'll get to relax again!

Likes: toys and entertainment, watching his brother, taking walks, "talking,"

Dislikes: still not a fan of waiting for his brother to get in the car (don't blame him- it takes forEVER), being tired

Eating: still a snacker- at the moment he usually eats a little bit right when he wakes up and right before his next nap/bed, on repeat throughout the day. I'm just starting to think about offering him both sides again and seeing if he's interested in eating a little more at a time now that's he's getting older. We shall see.

Sleeping: I'm not sure. He is still sleeping well most nights, but we've had some long bedtimes, random wake ups etc in the last few weeks. I know I probably need to break the nurse to sleep habit soon. I also need to get rid of the swaddle soon. I'm not sure what my plans are for all of this, so all I can say is that I hope by the 5 month update I'm not worried about this anymore- lol!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jack: 3 Months

Jack spent his 3 month birthday (February 22nd) in sunny Florida. It was his first opportunity to experience warm weather and I think he liked it! It was also his first plane ride, boat ride and time sleeping in a Pack N Play. He did really well with all of them. His biggest struggle on the plane was that his big brother kept waking him up ha ha.

The other thing Jack loved about Florida was having a lot of people around. This was the height of his need to be entertained phase, so he loved when he was lying on the ground and people came over and made faces at him, or picked him up and walked him around. He did not love when he was left hanging out by himself for more than about one minute. Ha.

He also started smiling a lot a little before 3 months and he tried that out quite a bit while on vacation. 

Jack has never really been one for a set schedule (like his brother!), but he settled into one a bit around 3 months. He would wake up around 7:30-8am, eat on one side, play for a bit, eat on the other, then sleep in the carrier while we were out and about, eat again on one side (he is a snacker!), play a bit, eat on the other side, nap in his crib, and then.... kind of random after that until bed. 

At 3 months he continued to have a "witching hour" around 7:30-9:00pm. He either needed to be walked around for this time or in the bath tub, or else screaming would happen. The rest of the day he was pretty happy unless he needed something or it was a particularly crabby day! 

Also around 3 months, Jack started saying "Goo!" a lot. It's adorable. The other thing he does that I love is reaaaaallly looks at you. He locks in his eyes and just follows you. He does this mostly to his brother, who he is already very interested in!

He has been playing around with imitating people, usually involving sticking out his tongue. We noticed he can roll his tongue, which I cannot do but Eric can!

Likes: being entertained, watching his brother, music

Dislikes: waiting in his car seat for his brother to actually be ready to leave the house, the witching hour, still not a tummy time fan

Feeding: He eats pretty regularly during the day but just a short snack each time (every 1.5 hours ish)

Sleeping: He sleeps through most nights, goes to bed around 10, wakes up around 7-7:30, takes 2 solid naps and then a few additional cat naps when he falls asleep eating or when you are walking him around... still no real luck putting him down "drowsy but awake"- absolutely HAS to be swaddled for sleeping unless he is in the carrier or sleeping on someone... I do NOT look forward to having to stop the swaddle at some point. Also, no one can really put him to sleep except for me, so we need to work on that. 

I'm really enjoying this stage with Jack! Can't wait to see what he's up to next :)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Jack: 2 Months!

Jack hit the 2 month mark on Sunday! He is definitely awake more and more interactive. He smiles at us. He watches Max play. He also love to look at lights, just like his brother did at the same age! If I remember correctly, light was one of Max's first words lol. Let's hope Jack's will be "mama!"

Like probably all babies, but especially my two at 2 months old, sometimes he is just grumpy for absolutely no reason. Usually later in the day. I have to stop having babies in the winter so that we could go for evening walks and escape the witching hour. Okay, truth be told, sometimes we just do this anyway and it's freezing and kind of raining out. But, it would be easier, ha!

His 2 month pics were amusing. First he wants to hug the giraffe...

...then he wants to eat him!

Despite the occasional grumpiness, he is a pretty cool baby. He is "go with the flow" most of the time. He loves to cuddle. He is relatively patient which seems to be necessary when you are the second child in a house with a tyrant three year old ;) I mean, I'm biased, but I think he is pretty cute!

Eating: He's still not a schedule guy and still a snacker, so I usually feed him on one side every 1.5-2 hours during the day. I'm embracing his flexibility and kind of love the no schedule part. I do hope he will eventually eat a little more at a time so that it doesn't have to be as frequent. He is also a much faster eater than Max (probably because he is eating less at a time) which is great. If he took as long to eat, I'd probably literally be feeding him all day. Though it kind of feels like that anyway!
Sleeping: All over the place. He usually wakes up twice a night, sometimes once. Often there will be a 4-5 hour stretch somewhere in the night, but where is still completely unpredictable. He still does the thing I hate sometimes where he screams and then by the time I get in there (which takes me about I dunno....20 seconds?) he is already back to sleep. I still have his crib elevated a little bit, but I'm hoping to wean off that in the next few weeks. 
Likes: bath time, lights, snacking on milk, cuddling, walks
Dislikes: tummy time, waiting to eat, being tired

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Max is THREE years old!

Max had his third birthday last Tuesday! It's both easy and impossible to believe he has been in our lives for 3 years!

Max is both the sweetest boy in the world and a stubborn three year old tyrant all at the same time. He is incredibly caring; hates for anyone to be sad or hurt. He'll say, "Mama, you ok?" or "Dada, you ok?" Upon hearing Eric's dad was hurt, "oh no! what are we going to do? I have to get GPa a band aid!" Sometimes when Jack cries he will just go over and pat him on the tummy trying to make him feel better. If it takes me an extra minute to come into his room in the morning, he will say "Mama, I was so worried about you!" Often Eric will say to Max "I missed you today!" when he was at work. We thought Max knew what that meant until this weekend when Eric was with Max every single second of the day and then Max said, "Dada, I missed you today!" Ha ha! When I'm feeding Jack, he often asks if he can "sit with me" and then he will sit right next to me or practically on top of me and say "we are sitting together!"

Max loves routine. He has been this way since he was a baby. Some routines he loves include watching a show on his iPad at breakfast (he lines up his monster machines to watch it with him), reading 3 stories at night before bed and having us stand at the door while he takes a sip of his water and hugs his doggies. Then, we say, "see you when the light turns green!" and he likes to say "tomorrow is a HOME day!" He says this regardless of whether it actually IS a home day or not.

Though it can sometimes be a huge challenge to get Max out the door, he does have an adventurous spirit! He loves being outside, whether it's going to the park, going on a hike, going to the beach etc. His recent favorite adventure is hiking up to Watch Tower in Medford which he calls "the castle!" When we were at the Cape over December vacation, he loved going down the boardwalk at Grey's Beach and going to the Museum of Natural History. This time there was a giant whale you could walk through, so I think his favorite part of the whole museum was RUNNING through it.

Max continues to love taking walks to the park, something he has been doing since he was just a few months old. He still likes his old favorites at the park including the slide and the swing (where he likes to get "underdogs" and "super pulls"). His more recent obsession at the park is actually the woods behind the park. He likes to take the toy lawnmower from the park and push it down the path in the woods. Don't even try to make him turn around until he has gone just as far as HE wants to go into the woods. Max found this toy camera (pictured above) at the park a few weeks ago. He decided he wanted to be like his best friend Aunt Caroline. "I take a picture of you! Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!"

Max continues to love watching TV shows, mostly Blaze and the Monster Machines and Paw Patrol. Occasionally he likes to watch Daniel Tiger, especially the birthday episode, and Curious George Flies a Kite or the donut episode. He gets very into his TV shows. His favorite Christmas presents were his monster machines from Blaze and a fire truck with Marshall from Paw Patrol. He can spend literally hours just making up/reenacting things that happen on the shows.
His other favorite form of entertainment is books! He has also loved books since he was a baby. He is really into holiday books with absolutely no awareness of what holidays we should be reading about. Earlier tonight he wanted me to read "Little Blue Truck's Halloween." He loves Pete the Cat, Sesame Street books (Elmo Gets Lost, Bert and the Missing Mop Mix Up...), his many truck books, Llama Llama Red Pajama, The Hungry Caterpillar (which he says "calapittah!"), Ten Apples Up on Top, Where is the Green Sheep, Carl's Snowy Day and so much more. He memorizes books and loves to "read" them with us.

With 2 parents who are teachers, it's probably not surprising Max has a little bit of a teacher in him. He loves telling people what to do, for one thing! When they don't do it (for whatever reason) he often yells irrationally... so I guess he needs to work on his classroom management a bit! He likes to ask us to say things, "Mama, can you say blue?" Then when I say it, "good job!" In fact, he loves to compliment us on the most basic of tasks: "good job turning on the light Mama!" "good job getting me milk Dada!"

The things he gets irrationally upset about include when the iPad isn't working to his exact specifications, getting his diaper changed (yes, we've explained if he'd like to use the toilet this would no longer be an issue!), putting on clothes especially socks, when the "wrong" person helps him or offers to help, when we say no to something he wants or wants to do, when his routine or what he "usually" does changes unexpectedly... probably more if I thought about it. He continues to be a terrible eater. I know "all" toddlers are bad eaters but everyone says that but trust me my toddler is worse. He literally with not eat ONE SINGLE fruit or vegetable. We continue to put them on his plate, and his friends at school eat fruit every day... but no luck with him trying anything. He used to sometimes eat what we ate (turkey pasta, tacos etc), but it's been months since he even did that. He essentially eats Trader Joes fruit bars (all of which he calls "blueberry bars"), chocolate chip granola bars, waffles with peanut butter, pb or sunbutter sandwiches on wheat bread, and most snack foods like Goldfish crackers, Inner Peas, etc. He will also conveniently eat/try almost ANY candy, cake, cookies and ice cream. I'm just praying that Jack will be a better eater so I won't think this is all my fault.

We are obviously a little biased, but we think Max is the coolest three year old out there. He is incredibly enthusiastic about things (loves to jump up and down in excitement) and creative. He's an amazing big brother and can play independently for hours. He LOVES his cars and trucks- he has a million and plays with all of them. It's so much fun to watch him start to really play and have conversations with kids his own age. Plus, there is just nothing better than when he randomly says, "I love you SO much!"

Monday, January 2, 2017

Jack 1 Month- 6 Weeks

Jack is 6 weeks old tomorrow! I can't believe it! (I'll probably say that about every single age with this child because it seems like time is going by really fast.)

It's been a super busy few weeks with Christmas and Jack's first visit to Cape Cod! We had so much fun hanging out with family and even a few friends. Jack loves being held by the many people that love him, so he was on board for all the festivities.

Due to the holidays, Jack hasn't had his 1 month doctor's appointment yet- it's not until next Monday, but I think he's around 8.5-9 lbs right now and starting to outgrow his newborn clothes. His big accomplishment was his move into the crib which I did on his 1 month birthday. I had to make some alterations to the crib to convince him of how amazing it is (I propped it up with a pillow and did some towel rolling under a sheet- don't ask) but he seems to be settled in well. For the first few weeks I had lots of middle of the night debates with myself because Jack would grunt and grunt and grunt, and I'd be like, is he awake? should I feed him? The move to the crib made it so that I don't hear all the grunting as clearly and I only go in when it's clear he is actually awake and hungry.

This past week Jack has been awake a lot more. Sometimes he is quite happy to be awake, and other times he is quite grumpy about being awake. Such is the life of a baby, I guess!

Looks Like:

Eating: Jack is a total snacker, which makes me a little crazy even though I'm a snacker myself. I just am not a fan of being "on call" to eat allllll day long... which is kind of what breastfeeding is anyway but it's even more so when there is no schedule and just small amounts of eating happening all day long. Max was very schedule oriented and he still is now, so I'm hoping this is a sign Jack will be a more flexible toddler? Ha Ha!

Sleeping: Jack goes to bed between 10-11PM, wakes up twice around 1-2am and 4-5am. The past few days he then wakes up around 6 and then will only go back to sleep in my bed at this time, but whatever, survival mode. There is always the occasional bad night, but this is the usual.

Likes: snacking, wearing clothes, walks as long as it's not shockingly cold/windy, his paci, pooping all day long...

Dislikes: gas, diaper changes, sometimes I really don't know why he is grumpy ha!

Big Brother Max Update: 
Max continues to surprise us with how he's handled this transition and what a great big brother he is. Every morning he asks about Jack. He often goes over and rocks his Rock N Play or shows him one of his trucks. The rest of the time he basically just continues with whatever he is doing and doesn't pay much attention to him. I try very hard to not constantly "blame" Jack if I can't do something but every once in awhile I'll say "I have to finish feeding Jack" and he usually responds pretty well. Last week at the Cape we had a couple of outings where Jack stayed at home with my parents including a visit to the boardwalk and the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. It was a great break for us to just focus on one child, but I don't think Max even noticed very much. I don't expect this will necessarily continue when Jack is more interactive, but for now I'm thankful for it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Jack: 2 and 3 Weeks

Took me a whopping 2 weeks to start slacking on the blog posts, ha. Oh well! I'm testing out actually staying awake past Max's bedtime tonight so I have a little extra time for blogging.

Jack has been busy since I last posted, mostly making crazy noises. He does not cry much, but even in his sleep he is constantly making disgruntled noises. How soon is too soon to move him to his own bedroom?

He had his two week doctors appointment and he was up to 19 1/2 inches and 6 lbs, 12 ounces. The doctor thought he might have acid reflux (based on our description of all the noises and spitting up), but after one night of medicine in which he woke up every 5 seconds to eat, I decided to try out not using the medicine for awhile and see how he does. Don't mess with my newborn sleep, thankyouverymuch.

Jack's weekdays have been pretty quiet- hanging out with mom and dad (til dad went back to work this week), watching his brother play, napping... but his weekend was busy! He visited his new baby cousin (he and Max's first cousin!) at the hospital on Saturday. Then, he went straight to a Christmas party where he was held by Santa for the second time. On Sunday, he went to a baby naming for my friend's new daughter. He rose to the occasion by actually being pretty quiet. His big brother Max wasn't bad either, except when everyone started singing and he said, "everyone, be quiet, you are going to wake up baby Jack!" (Jack was not asleep at all, but it's the thought that counts!"

Jack has also been pretty busy meeting so many important people in his life. He has had lots of visitors and has made some short visits to see his great-grandmothers!

Looks Like:

Likes: making noises, eating, pooping, his rock n play, being cuddled up...

Dislikes: waiting too long to eat, his bassinet....

Feeding: every 2-3 hours day and night basically

Sleeping: loudest sleeper ever, but usually does 1-2 hour stretches between each feeding, so not bad.

Big Brother Max is still doing well. He rebels in his own way, mostly by fighting naps and bedtime, but he is a good brother to Jack. I try to do most stuff for Max first, but when he does have to wait because I'm doing something with Jack he is pretty patient. He also always tells Jack "it's okay Jack" whenever he is crying. It's very sweet.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Jack's Birth Story!

Background: My pregnancy with Jack was a lot less eventful than my pregnancy with Max. I still am not a fan of being pregnant, but it definitely helped the know a little more about what to expect especially when it comes to my liver. I did develop cholestasis again this time, but my numbers only reached 18 at the highest (compared to Max’s 144). However, the procedure with cholestasis is to induce between 36 and 37 weeks no matter what the numbers (as long as they are above 10) because numbers can change rapidly at the end of pregnancy and increase the stillbirth risk. I think because Max was living in SUCH a crazy liver environment, he came early on his own and, probably due to the stress, managed to be totally ready to come even though he was only 36 weeks, 2 days. Jack, on the other hand, had to be evicted at 37 weeks when he was not really ready and, well… read on ;)

Monday November 21st 9:30am (yes, this is a multi day birth story…)- Eric and I arrive at the hospital for my scheduled induction. I was anxious about how it would go after my experience of going into labor on my own with Max and having it be a very fast process. At about 9:45am, they checked to see if I was dilated at all and since I wasn’t, they gave me a medicine called Cyotec which softens the cervix to get it ready for labor. You can take this medicine every 4 hours, but when they checked me again my contractions were frequent enough that they didn’t want to give me  more and instead wanted to wait it out and see if I would go into labor on my own. This went on for hours. Eric and I watched Friends DVDs, Caroline came to visit… I continued to have contractions every minute or two, but they really weren’t doing much.

Sometime around 6PM, they decided they needed to help me manually dilate. They do this by inserting something called a foley balloon into the cervix. For some reason this “balloon” thing made me more concerned than any other part of the induction process. We joked a lot that maybe the word “balloon” was bad PR. Anyway, when you are trying to get a baby out for medical reasons, you don’t really get to say that doesn’t sound fun. It took 3 annoying times to put that dang balloon in, and then the only way I could describe it was it felt like I needed to go to the bathroom SO badly, but couldn’t. That lovely feeling continued all night long. Seriously people, don’t have kids.

Tuesday January 22nd

I watched the clock closely for the time when I could finally take that stupid balloon out, which was around 6AM. At that point I was 4 centimeters dilated and they decided it was time for the Picotin. I think Picotin has the worst reputations when it comes to inductions because supposedly it makes contractions hurt more. I’m happy to report I have no idea if this is true because I immediately asked for an epidural. I could tell they were a little hesitant to give it right away but I was already so done at this point and didn’t forget how long it took to actually get the dang pain relief with Max so I was like just give it now. The epidural itself was annoying this time, as they had to stick me THREE times before it was right. By this point I was SO sick of being poked and just wanted this baby to come. My only positive thought was that my own doctor was working that day so I was hoping she would be able to deliver me. This is pretty rare when you go to a huge hospital in Boston, so I was thankful. I also had the best nurse ever who came on at 7am.

I couldn’t feel contractions at this point and the monitor just kept looking THE SAME but thankfully the next time they checked me I was at 8 centimeters. Have I mentioned my undying love for the epidural? My water still had not broken, but the baby’s head was not far enough down to manually do it, so we kept waiting. Eventually they broke my water and then it was time to push. My memory of pushing with Max was that it was really hard, but also not too miserable of an experience (pain relief talking). This time I was just SO DONE before I started that I was like I don’t even care how fast this goes and if I have another tear, just get this baby out. Fortunately, it only took 19 minutes of pushing and he was out.

Since he did not pass meconium, he was allowed to be placed right on me at birth. I held him for a minute but he was not doing a very impressive cry and was “very floppy” (according to the nurses), so they had to take him and see what was going on. I only got one more quick glance at him and he was whisked off to the NICU. Eric followed him and I stayed to get stitched up. I did have another third degree tear, despite my doctor’s best efforts, in the exact same place as before. But by some miracle the stitching process took less than half the time as last time and was far less miserable. Recovery has also been significantly better, so I'm going to credit my doctor for just making this a less miserable process all around. Or, am I just getting used to tearing my body up to have children?
Overall, the experience of Jack's labor and the immediate time afterwards was more challenging in a lot of ways. But, it was also easier having been through it before in some ways. One of the nurses warned me that after Jack came back from the NICU I might have a hard time bonding with him because of the separation. Luckily, this didn't happen and I think it's partly because Jack looks so much like Max to me!

I'll be back later this week with a two week update about my favorite baby!