Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Sleep Thing

Typical recent conversation with friends, associates and strangers:
Friend: "Oh he's SO cute! How old is he now?"
Me: "Almost two months."
F: "Wow he's getting so big!"
M: "I know. He's huge!"
F: (In a lower, more ominous tone) "So... how is he sleeping?"

Now this is a very important question. It is by far the most challenging part of the lives of most newborn's parents. I get asked this question so often, there are times I want to say:
"Well, usually it's with his eyes closed, but he has been know to keep them cracked even though he's really asleep."
"Generally laying down, but he does prefer a more upright sleep position."

In truth however, I'm quite excited to relate Jackson's latest sleeping habit, as it is always different.

That's one thing that I've had to learn. Habits generally don't stick around for longer than 3 days. Sometimes this is good--like the "I'm going to stay awake from 5 pm until 2:30 am" habit. Sometimes... not so good, like the "I love to sleep in my carseat" habit. [Seriously did not know how good we had it until it changed to "I love to cry in my carseat."]

In general, we can't complain too much about Jackson's sleeping. He takes good naps during the day--as long as there's not too much going on around him, and he'll sleep for 6 hours in between feedings at night (he just likes to determine when the last feeding is--last night it was gratefully 10:30--not 2:30).

However, if some one asked me today, how he's sleeping, I would be overjoyed to share a very exciting detail about last night. Jackson has a problem sleeping in his crib. I guess he just has too much room. In fact, sometimes when we need to wake him up, we lay him in his crib... and presto! He'll wake up within 0-30 min.

SO, after a month of sleeping in our room, we moved his bassinet to his room to help the transition. This was very successful for Mark, as he was able to sleep without being interrupted by Jackson's groans and grunts that occur all night long, and successful for Jackson, as he still felt secure in his little bassinet. Unfortunately he's getting a bit large for his little bed--everytime I lay him down his hands hit the sides, plus he always slides down to the bottom and squishes his legs. (He's waking up in the photo below.)

So, despite his general pattern of waking up within 1/2 hour of being laid in his crib, I decided to risk it last night. I seriously had to get a strong spiritual confirmation to do this, because it was 10:30, and I was really looking forward to going to sleep so early.

Wonderfully, I could NOT believe the clock when I woke up to his hungry moans at 4:45 this morning. Woo Hoo! Success.

Now if we could only make this a genuine habit, we'll be fairly set.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To Be a Dad

The most surprising thing about having Jackson has been how much I love watching Mark be a Dad. Every girl loves a man who's good with kids, but I had no idea how attractive it was when the child was your own!

Besides being our at-home diaper changing service, Mark serves as a fantastic feeder and baby vehicle. Father and son time has included some interesting conversations including extensive lessons on the art of wrestling, conversations on politics, and discussions on the best time to do dishes. Needless to say, we don't have to pay for entertainment very often.

Here are a few Dad moments captured visually:

"Daddy's little wingman" waiting to fly (via Dad's arms)

Dad willing to hold a fussy baby in public ;)

Giving mom a break

Practicing a firm grip--absolutly necessary for backyard ball practice

Dreaming of something


Taking a break

Love my boys!
Happy belated dad's day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


So, I've been trying to post a video of Jackson for SO long! But, with technology how it is--it's just really difficult to upload videos... or, I guess it is when you're working our laptop. BUT, we finally did it--just in time for Father's day (which is doubling as Grandpa's day). So, happy Grandpa's day Dad.

Here be Jackson B.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How to cart 10 lbs of human around

Graco, BabyTrend, inStep, EvenFlo, BOB, Quinny, Phil & Ted, Bjorn, Mobi Wrap, Ergo, Infantino, Baby Jogger.

Where in the world do you start!? All of these lovely brands were up for consideration as we tried to figure out how to best move little Jackson around.

Get excited to see what ended up being the finalists!


Here is Jackson, modeling the Graco Snugride--5 point harness--infant carseat. This was the one thing that we HAD to acquire by law. The hospital won't let you take the baby w/o one properly installed. Really, these things are so awkward to put a baby into, but LUCKILY Jackson will usually stop crying once he gets moving (via the car or his parents arms). Unfortunately our arms are not looking forward to Jackson's continued weight gain, as these things are already too awkward to hold and carry.

 Laundry Basket.

Gosh! We didn't even have to buy this one! A baby in the house has turned out to mean I GET to do an average of 5-6 loads of laundry a week. (SO GRATEFUL FOR A WASHER/DRYER!) It's really quite impossible to carry up a load from downstairs with a baby in arm, so why not throw him into a freshly dried basket of clothes. Despite his face of "I'm not really sure what to think of this," I'm convinced heaven must include adult-sized baskets of warm downy goodness--just for lounging about.


By far the most difficult decision. There are only five billion choices of the same thing, and yet NONE of them had everything that I wanted! So, we're going with 3 different ones, and we'll probably have to get more once a sibling comes around in a few years. Mark is sporting the BabyTrend Snap n' Go stroller (picture above). Basically it's PVC pipe in a collapsible form that holds a car seat.  Love it. ESPECIALLY because this one was 7 (not 70) dollars at a consignment sale, and it works magnificently.

Jackson is awkwardly buckled into the Combi EX Cosmo--cranberry. I went to Babies R Us to register for a lightweight stroller that would fit him when he got older, and I was so overwhelmed by the choices I asked the salesman for advice. He picked up this stroller, folded it in two seconds, and slung it over his back like a backpack, opened it back up in 2, and showed me how it lays flat for an infant, but holds a baby up to 55 lbs. Super lightweight and it has ONE handle at the top. I was totally sold.
Funny enough, he must have said the same thing to everyone else, b/c when we went back to get it with gift certificate money that Mark's office gave us, it was totally out of stock--in EVERY STORE, AND the warehouse. Guess it was popular. SO, after a grueling hour, we were finally able to have one shipped to our home. Whew! 
Jackson and I took it out for a spin, and decided it was awesome.

We will also be purchasing an Instep Safari Jogger but since mom and baby aren't jogging yet, we're enjoying a no guilt postpartum.

Baby Carrier.

LOVE THIS. Yes, I garden, cook, clean, sing, dance, jump... all in my lovely Infantino Front to Back carrier. He can face either way in the front, and when he gets too big keep his hands to himself, we'll just turn him around and wear him on the back (I'll have to let everyone know if I still appreciate it at that point).

As lovely as it is for me to do all these domestic things, it's even BETTER when I get to strap junior onto Dad.

We went to the International Spy Museum last Friday. Apparently they have a strict "no stroller" rule--which meant Mark got to be the baby carrier. Love having a willing man around. Jackson did great as a spy, until he decided the media and images were just a bit too much for him (after about 30 min). So, to save the ears of the other patrons, he was held and bounced for the last hour and a half of our little spy museum tour. But the subway ride out there, and all of the walking was definitely w/ Dad right next to him.

For memorial day, we went down to Fredricksburg VA--a National Park/Memorial for 3 different civil war battles. We brought the snap n' go, but for a lot of the walking we strapped the poopster (Jackson) onto Mark. Jackson did amazingly. Besides napping more consistently than ever before, he was definitely our little celebrity. "OH!!! A baby!" "Look how little" "He's SO cute!" (Most of the time he was under blankets, so I'm not sure how they knew he was so cute, but I guess he just puts off the vibes.)

Mark is ALSO standing in front of the latest FAMILY Carrier. YES. We finally retired ol' Betsy (the 94' Ford Taurus that has been loved so dearly by so many), and got a 07' Toyota RAV4. We definitely love it, (especially the AC!!!) but we've driven old cars for so long we almost feel embarrassed to drive it. It's just a bit... worldly?


With Hands. My old roommate Kimberly, came and got to practice. Jackson was so used to the other methods, he didn't know how to react! ;) ...No, he gets held all the time, and boy is that our favorite too!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Getting Old

This year my parents will be turning 50. Although that seems young for most people's parents my age, they are certainly hitting a mile-stone of an age. Strangely enough, I would say they both look very young for 50. Wrinkles are at a minimal, gray hair is there (but not age-defining), and both are exercising more than they did in their 20s.

Jackson's body has decided to celebrate for my parent's mile-stone birthday, taking over an area that hasn't affected them much--hair loss.

Last Saturday, Mark noticed a little "bald spot" at the front of Jackson's head. I thought that it wasn't that big of a deal, and couldn't really tell much of a difference. However, Sunday morning, there was definitely a difference, and by Monday? Whew! We were ready to try implants.

Luckily we are aware that this is only supposed to be temporary, but goodness! It's really awkward now, because he's got tiny little hairs in the front, and then a gap until the old hair starts up again.

Here's the hair before the loss

Here's the aging:

We'll let you know when the new stuff comes in. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy getting old!