Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Jack: 6 and 7 Months Old

I'm a little behind, but I want to make sure I write down all the exciting things happening with Jack these days! He turned 6 months old on May 22nd and 7 months old on June 22nd.

Since there are some benefits to being the second child, Jack got a cupcake celebration for his 1/2 birthday, mainly because we knew Max would love it (we were right, as seen below!)

A few days after Jack turned 6 months I decided he needed to learn how to fall asleep on his own. Before this the plan was he nurses to sleep, and I lower him slowly into the crib and hope for the best. More and more often the "best" was him waking up a little while later wondering where my boob was. The sleep training experience was anxiety inducing again, but not as terrible as it was with Max. Jack did not prove to have the flipping out stamina that Max had, thankfully. It was also nice that since I'm home with him during the day I was able to do naps at the same time, so he now can put himself to sleep at all times of day. This has resulted in a happier guy who is getting more sleep and a happier mom who doesn't spend hours every day just getting this kid to sleep.

Another huge 6 month milestone was starting to eat some solid food. We started giving him some oatmeal a few days before six months, and he was not a huge fan at first. I noticed quickly that he really enjoyed feeding himself. I had wanted to do baby led weaning with Max too, but the fear of choking made me too nervous to start his early. I was worried about it with Jack too but I pushed through and it turns out he just LOVES feeding himself so much. It's slightly easier for us too since we can all eat at the same time, although the clean up after may take as long as if we just fed him! So far he loves everything he has tried, so we are hopeful that he will be a better eater than his older brother. Some of his favorite foods so far include banana, peaches, sweet potato and broccoli. He also loves pizza, but what's not to love about pizza really?

Around 5-6 months I was trying to figure out if Jack had a milk protein allergy. I gave up dairy for a few weeks and was slowly adding it back in. The doctor basically just said to give Jack some dairy and see what happens. So far it seems like in small amounts he is okay but if I/he has a ton in one day it seems to make him spit up a lot the next day. Of course this is all just trial and error so we will be continuing to watch this. Luckily (fingers crossed), so far he hasn't had any other bad reactions and he's had eggs, peanut butter and a few other things that kids tend to be allergic to. Hopefully the dairy thing will get better as he gets older since it doesn't seem to be a full on allergy... we shall see.


As we moved more into 6.5 months, Jack learned how to sit up independently. Well, he may have been able to do it a few weeks before that but he just couldn't sit still long enough to sit. Even now he will sit for a bit, and then move into a crawling position and try to crawl. He can kind of scoot himself around right now so basically we have a mobile baby even though he's not full on crawling yet. I think watching Max he just really wants to GO!

Speaking of Max, he has become even more interested in Jack lately. He likes to give him hugs and play with him. He also likes to steal his toys. Interestingly, if Jack takes one of his toys, Max grabs it back immediately. It's so fun to watch them play and interact.



I may or may not have bought them some matching outfits for the summer. I just love these boys!


Likes: watching people (especially his brother and dad), eating, playing with toys, going for walks (either in the stroller or baby carrier- likes both), blowing raspberries
Dislikes: being tired, sitting still,
Eat: still not really on a schedule, usually eats around 7:30am, 11am, 3pm, and a few little snacks until 7:30pm his last feeding- solid food is TOTALLY random, just whenever we happen to be eating and he is awake and not otherwise involved in something else, lol #secondchildproblems
Sleep: 8pm to 6:30-7:30am, nap around 9am, 1pm and a cat nap later (or a normal nap later if one of those other naps were short because we were out)




We are looking forward to a fun summer together as a family. Hopefully Jack won't mind being dragged on many, many adventures! 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

What I Love About My Kids Right Now (Jack: 5 Months, Max: 3 Years, 3 Months)

Being a Stay at Home Mom to kids that are my kids' ages is a tough job. There is no promised time off, not even at bedtime since Jack basically sleeps when I do. The last month or so has been particularly tough- both kids experiencing some sleeping issues and both kids being at hard ages for me.

But, I'm also super lucky to be spending this much time with them during these early years. So, here are some things I'm loving at them right now. Followed by some info about Jack since this will double as his 5 month post (see lack of time above).



*Max is thinking about things so carefully right now. You can literally see the wheels turning after you tell him something. He is starting to ask "why?" a lot, and verbalize what he is wondering about.


*Jack is figuring out the concept of Peeka Boo. I mean, is there anything more satisfying than playing this game with a baby? All you have to do is cover your face with your hand, remove your hand, and then you get HUGE adorable smiles and laughs. If all of life could be this easy...


*Max is learning how to explain his feelings/wants a little, "I want to stay home and play with you" and "I don't want Miss Amanda (swim teacher) to put my head underwater" (ha ha). Sometimes he even tries to explain Jack's feelings "I think Jack is sad!" or his peanut butter sandwich's feelings (in response to "how's your pb sandwich doing?") "it doesn't want to get squished by my mouth"

*Jack LOVES having his diaper changed which is incredibly refreshing since his brother does NOT (and if his brother would like to start using a toilet anytime now that would be great too). He literally smiles and giggles the entire time. I think he thinks it is a game.

*Max is obsessed with a schedule. After reading his report card and seeing that they do not experience any of the transition issues at school that we do at home, I started making him a visual schedule on my phone (in google drive) every morning. I started it just for mornings but he loves it so much that I now basically do his day. Now in the morning he will say "what is the schedule of what we are going to do?" Just like when Max was an infant and we started an eating schedule with him, I'm finding him to be better able to handle changes in routine when most things are expected for him. And bonus, now instead of fighting me to go for a walk he suggests it! Ha.


*Jack and Max love each other right now. I'm sure (or at least hopeful) they will always love each other. But, right now I don't think they are even slightly annoyed by each other. Jack wants to watch Max every chance he gets. Max likes being adored by his little brother and often gives him more toys than he can possibly handle at once (and also steals his toys- but even this is fine since Jack doesn't even get it yet). This morning one of the neighbor's car alarms went off and Max was like, "why is that truck waking up Jack?"  I'm enjoying these times since I'm sure there are years of bickering ahead!



*Max is beginning a new phase I like to call the ENTHUSIASM phase. He is literally jumping up and down excited about almost everything. It reminds me why I used to love teaching swim lessons to three year olds. We went to a birthday party on Saturday and he was jumping up and down excited about the bouncy house, decorate a cookie, make a bracelet (I got my first bracelet made for me and I'm telling you he worked HARD on that- fine motor skills are not his strong suit!), singing Happy Birthday, eating cake etc. He is also jump up and down excited about swimming, walking the woods, reading his schedule each day, and too many other things to list.


*Jack is in the that phase where he tries to put everything in his mouth. The best part of his phase is when you go to kiss him and he tries to eat your face.



Sleeping: struggling with bedtime a bit- usually goes to bed around 8:45 and then wakes up once or twice, then settles in for the night and sleeps until 7am

Eating: still snacking all day long

Likes: his exersaucer (obsession!), grabbing the elephant on his playmat, going for walks, anyone making faces at him, getting his diaper changed

Dislikes: sleeping without a swaddle, being tired or hungry, needing to burp (this has been a huge struggle this month, a lot of waking up because he has a burp!)



New Skills: rolling over both ways, grabbing everything and putting it in his mouth, grabbing his feet


Working On: still a battle to sleep without the swaddle- I've got him napping with 1 arm out and that's about all I can do. Say some prayers I can accomplish this by 6 months. And maybe teach him to put himself to sleep by then too... that's probably asking a lot!

*Update: in the week or so it's taken to actually finish this post I am making some good progress on the swaddle ha ha

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!