Monday, July 27, 2009

On the road again....

We are headed out of town once again. This summer has been filled with numerous trips for us, and although I don't like being in the car, I am very much looking forward to visiting family & friends in the upcoming days.

We are leaving this morning to head to the Pittsburgh, PA area to visit with Keith's family. We are spending one night with them and then packing up and heading north to the Rochester, NY area to visit my extended family. I am really excited to see my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and introduce Jacob to them. We lived to close to all of them for so many years, and now we usually only get to see them once or twice a year, if that.

We will also be making a trip to Niagara Falls on Wednesday to spend some time with our friends, Daryl & Ana, who used to live in Richmond. Daryl worked at the University of Richmond library with Keith and me and he was in our wedding. Ana's job transferred them to Toronto, Canada around the same time that we moved to Charlottesvile and we don't get to see them nearly enough! We are grateful that they are willing to meet us in Niagara Falls (since we can't travel into Canada because my passport isn't up to date and Jacob doesn't have one).

We are hoping for safe travels and many happy times on this trip. I am sure I will take a lot of pictures and hopefully will be able to share some of them when we return next week.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Locked Out

This past Wednesday I did the stupidest thing ever...I locked myself out of the house! The story goes like this:

I was heading over to my sister Katie's house in the morning to hang out with her and Pierce. I was supposed to be there around 10am, but got a late start and didn't end up heading out of the house until a few minutes before 11am. I gathered everything together that I needed to take with me - the diaper bag, the boppy pillow, my purse, and Jacob. I checked my purse to make sure I had my cell phone and I walked out the door into the garage. I locked the door and pulled it shut behind me. I put everything in the car and got in the driver seat. It was at that moment, when I went to put the key in the ignition, that I realized I hadn't gotten them off of the key rack where they are kept. My first inclination was to cry and my second was to go around to all of the doors & windows to see if any of them were open (which they weren't). Next, I called Katie (because, thankfully, she has a key to my house!).

When I called Katie crying and told her that I had locked myself out of the house, her first question was "Is Jacob inside?" Thankfully, I had him out in the car with me. I would have certainly been freaking out if I had locked him inside the house with me on the outside! Katie said that she and Pierce would get in the car and come rescue me. I said I would be there waiting (like I had anything else to do!)

Since it was really hot in the garage, I decided to take Jacob and sit on the front porch while we waited. Unfortunately, that day there wasn't much of a breeze so it was still very warm on the porch. Jacob needed to eat soon so I figured I could feed him while I was waiting (again, not much else to do!) I got the boppy out of the car and started to breastfeed him on the front porch. Since our house is pretty far back from the road and it is mostly covered by trees in the front, I figured no one would be able to see what I was doing. That is, until the mail lady pulled her mail truck into the driveway about two minutes after I started!! I quickly stopped what I was doing and pulled my shirt down so I wasn't exposed anymore (luckily Jacob didn't fuss at all!) The mail lady came walking up to the front porch with a package and the rest of our mail. I quickly told her that I had locked myself out of the house (in case she saw me breastfeeding before she got out of the truck). I didn't want her to think I was some weirdo who likes to breastfeed her baby on the front porch! She gave me the package, commented on how cute Jacob was and talked for a few minutes. When she left, I noticed that I had a huge spot on my shirt from where I had leaked since I had stopped litteraly mid-stream! Ugh!

Once Katie & Pierce arrived and I was able to get back in the house, I had to change my shirt, wipe all the sweat off of my face, and fix my hair before I could go to Katie's house. We didn't end up getting back to her house until 12:30pm and I had to leave at 2pm to get to an appointment. So much for spending a lot of time together!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jacob's First Family Vacation

Last week, we spent a week in Corolla, NC in a huge beach house with my immediate family. There were 13 of us - ten adults and three sweet children. We spent the mornings at the beach, the afternoons at our private pool, and the nights playing games. We ate more than our weight in food, or so it seemed. All in all, we had a wonderful time and were sad to see the week come to an end.

I think Jacob enjoyed his first trip to the beach, although he slept through most of it! Here are some pictures of what Jacob got to experience on his first family vacation:

Our first day at the beach wasn't super sunny but I was still worried about him getting too much sun. Here he is "under cover" while hanging out with Mommy on the beach:

One day he got to put his feet in the ocean:

As you can see, he didn't like it at all:

He did enjoy laying in Mommy's arms under the umbrella:

He also enjoyed his first dip in the pool:
And lounging by the pool:

And, sleeping by the pool
(this was after his short stint in the water;
it must have really worn him out!)

He got to spend time with his cousins:

And with his "Mimi":

He got to ride in the carrier with Daddy while we climbed
the dunes to see the sunset:

And he was wide awake for our photo shoot on Jockey's Ridge:

He slept, however, through the entire photo shoot
at the beach on the last night:

On the way home last Sunday, Jacob told me that he had such a great time and he is counting down the days until we can do it again next year. (OK, he didn't really say that, but I am assuming that is what he would have said if he could talk!). I know that is what his Mommy is thinking.....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

6 week check-up

We went to the doctor yesterday for Jacob's one month check-up (really it ended up being a 6 week checkup due to the doctor's schedule and our trip to the beach last week). We received a great report from the doctor. She said that Jacob is looking great and he passed all of his "tests".

Keith and I have been a bit concerned lately about Jacob having possible stomach issues. He tends to spit up & need to burp A LOT and he also seems to be in a lot of discomfort at times - he will cry in the middle of a feeding, he sometimes wakes up out of a deep sleep and starts crying, and he also has this awful grunting sound that he makes when he is fussy. I addressed this with the doctor and she didn't seem overly concerned. Part of that is because Jacob weighed in at a whopping 12 lbs, 3 oz! This puts him in the 75th percentile for his weight and the doctor said if he were having troubles with his stomach, he would not have gained that much weight (almost 5 lbs in a month!). She said that it could be a milk allergy and that would mean that I would have to cut out all milk products from my diet. But she said that was it, he would be fussy all the time and that is not the case. She said that some babies just have more problems with their stomachs and anal areas developing and getting used to the digestion process. She assured me that all of it would get better by the time he is 3 months old.

He measured 21 3/4 inches long, which puts him in the 25th percentile for length. The doctor said that a lot of babies start out with higher weight percentiles and lower length and then they "even out" around one year old when they start walking. I guess the fact that Keith and I aren't super tall also doesn't help Jacob's chances of being a tall person. I guess we will just have to wait and see.

He did have to get three shots while we were at the doctor. These would normally be given when he is two months old, but since he is six weeks old, the doctor said it was safe to give them to him now (this way we wouldn't have to go back to get them in two weeks). Jacob didn't like the shots at all - which wasn't suprising. He cried pretty hard, but I think it was a combination of pain and the fact that he was laying on his back on the exam table. He had fallen asleep and gotten really comfy in my arms while we were waiting for the nurse to come in with the shots and then he freaked out when I set him down on the table. Thankfully, he calmed down right away when I picked him up and cuddled with him afterwards. He fell asleep on the way home from the doctor's office and he slept for about an hour.

He was super fussy last night and I am sure that getting the shots had something to do with that. Keith and I were out to dinner with some friends and he started screaming in the restaurant and couldn't be calmed down for what seemed like a long time (I was really concerned about the other people in the restaurant - I didn't want them to be bothered while they were trying to enjoy their meal). Keith and I took turns walking around outside with him and eventually he calmed down enough for us to finish up and pay the bill. He did fall asleep after his 10 o'clock feeding but he was up crying at 1am, 2am, 3am, and 4am. Thankfully he fell asleep after a feeding at 4:30am and slept until about 8:30am. He seems to be doing good this morning so I am hoping that the pain and uncomfortableness associated with the shots is now gone!

All in all, Jacob is a great baby and I love seeing how he is changing every day. I can't wait to see what new and exciting things are in his future!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One Month Old

I am a bit late on this post as I was trying to get it out on Tuesday, which was the actual day that Jacob turned one month old. Unfortunately, life with an infant has not afforded me a lot of time to blog (except late at night when I am usually super tired). I guess it is "better late than never"!

It is hard to believe that Jacob turned one month old this week. It has been such a wonderful month and I can't imagine my life without him now. Everyone says that your life is never the same once you have a child and now I know what they mean. It has not always been easy, but I have never once wished to go back to the days before he was born. He is a true miracle and I am so blessed to be his mommy.

Here are a few things to document how Jacob is doing:

Sleeping - he is a good sleeper for the most part. We started putting him in his crib to sleep from Day 1 and he does pretty well in it. Even for naps during the day, I try to get him to sleep in his crib. If he gets fussy or doesn't seem to want to go to sleep, I will put him in the bouncy seat and often he will fall asleep. When he is in the crib, he always sleeps in a sleep sack and we swaddle him 99% of the time. We have one of the Sleep Sack Swaddlers and that has worked really well. Lately (the past few days), he has fought me when I tried to swaddle him (he likes to have his arms out and above his head) so I have not used the swaddle. Sometimes I swaddle him and he fights one or both of his arms out and I find him like this:
Regarding his sleep schedule, it changes every day. Some days he is awake more and some days he seems more sleepy. Generally he has been good about going to sleep after his night feedings, but a few nights he has decided to be wide awake at 3am after he is done eating. He wasn't fussy, just wide awake and when I tried to put him in the crib, he would cry. Those nights were hard but hopefully there won't be too many more of those. The past two nights he has gone to sleep right away after his feedings and he has slept for 4 hours straight each time. This means more sleep for Jacob and me! I hope this trend continues!

Eating - as I said in this post, breastfeeding has gone really well for me. I have been really blessed to have had a good experience so far and it seems to be getting easier every day. He latches on well and drinks for about 10 mintues from each side every feeding. There are certainly somedays (like today) when he seems to be a little fussier than normal and his eating habits are a little off, but for the most part, he is on a good 3 hour schedule during the day & 4-5 hours at night.

I have also been able to pump a handful of times when he hasn't eaten that much in a particular feeding. This means that I have some breastmilk stored in the freezer for those times when I may not be available to feed him. We have recently (this week) used some of this supply to try to get Jacob to use a bottle. I do not, by any means, plan on stopping with the breastfeeding (and I have to admit that it makes me sad to see him drink from a bottle), but I want to be sure that he is able to take a bottle in case there are times when I am not available or able to feed him myself. The experience was a little rough on the first night (and then again tonight he didn't want any part of it!), but last night he did very well and drank about 4 oz. from a bottle for Keith. We will continue to try the bottle (and possibly different kinds of nipples) until I am confident that he will not starve if I am away.

Other things to note:
  • Jacob hates to be laying or sitting still, for the most part. If he is fussy, all you have to do is rock him or sway or jiggle him a little bit and he is happier.
  • His neck is getting stronger and stronger every day. He is able to hold his head up for quite a long time. He loves to be on his stomach where he can stretch out his neck and look around.
  • He is starting to smile, coo and laugh a lot more. I am not sure if the smiles and bursts of laughter are really gas or if he knows what he is doing. He most often exhibits these after he has eaten so it could definitely be gas (but I also read in one of my baby books that infants will smile and laugh when they are satisfied or comfortable, so that could be the reason too!)
  • He is able to recognize voices and faces a lot better now. Until recently, he could not really focus on faces but now he will look me directly in the eyes (and I just melt!). He also moves his head in the direction of voices or noises such as the television. It is awesome to watch him taking it all in when he looks around with his eyes wide open!
Like I said, it has been an amazing month. I have certainly had my good and bad days, but mostly I have enjoyed every moment. I am excited to see what the future holds for Jacob and our little family.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Two Firsts

Jacob experienced two "firsts" recently.....Tummy Time & a "real" (not sponge) Bath! He did well with both and didn't fuss once.

He seemed to really enjoy the bath, after a little bit of shock when I placed him in the water. Previous to this, we were giving him a sponge bath since he still had his umbilical cord stump. I was surprised that it took almost 4 weeks for it to fall off, but finally last Wednesday a big part of it came off and then the rest came off yesterday. Here are a few pictures of him in the tub (he is really becoming a little chunker....I love his rolls on his arms and legs!!)

Tummy Time is something that I knew Jacob was going to love. He actually prefers that we hold him so that he is on his stomach - either with him draped over our shoulder or with him laying our our chest. He sleeps really well when he is on his stomach, but of course, we never put him on his stomach in his crib (even though we would all probably get more rest that way!)

He does really well with holding his head up, as you can see from these pictures:

Here Jacob is giving a "Fist Bump"....too cute!

I can't believe he is going to be one month old tomorrow. Time is flying by and he is growing up so fast. Everyone said that it would go fast so I am trying to relish every moment with him (even when he won't sleep at 3am!). Be on the lookout for a "One Month Old" post tomorrow where I will hightlight a few of his likes and dislikes and post a few more pictures.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th babies

Last night, after attending a party at one of Keith's co-workers' house, we went over to our old neighborhood to watch fireworks. It is the perfect place to see the fireworks that the town of Charlottesville puts on, without having to deal with the crowds and the traffic. One of our old neighbors has become a really great friend so we went to hang out with her and her new puppy.

As you can see from these pictures, Jacob was less than enthused with the festivities. Jelly Bean (the puppy) was very tired too, but he first checked out Jacob to make sure he wasn't a threat. :) It was funny seeing Jelly Bean next to Jacob since he only weighs 2 lbs. He made Jacob look huge!

Both of them did very well during the fireworks and weren't bothered in the least bit. Jacob did wake up at the end, but that was more because it was time to eat (he is definitely my son - he doesn't miss a meal! LOL)

I hope everyone had an enjoyable July 4th filled with fun!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Family visits

The week that we came home from the hospital, my immediate family all came to our house to visit. I have been meaning to post about this for weeks now, but I am just getting around to it now. Mike & Blakely drove up from Raleigh to make dinner for the entire family. Karen, Brian & Sierra came from Virginia Beach. Mom & Dad came from Richmond and Katie, Shaun and Pierce drove over from their house. It was a wonderful meal and it was so much fun for everyone to be together to celebrate Jacob's birth.

Here is a picture of everyone at the dinner table
(except Katie who was taking the picture & Jacob who was sleeping):

My parents (who are called Mimi & Papa by their grandchildren) enjoyed spending time with our growing family.

Here they are with Sierra, Pierce & Jacob:

This past Tuesday, Keith, Jacob and I drove up to Winchester, VA to meet up with some of Keith's family members. Winchester is pretty much half-way for both us and them (it is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Charlottesville and the same from the Pittsburgh area where Keith's family lives). Since his mom doesn't drive, this was the first time that she was able to meet Jacob. She came with his aunt Kay, his cousin Susie and her daughter Rebecca. It was really nice to see all of them and we had a great lunch at the Olive Garden.

Here is Keith's mom spending time with her first grandchild:
Keith, Jacob and I posing with Marge
A family picture (Susie with Jacob, Marge, Kay, Keith and Rebecca):
As you can see from the following pictures, we resorted to using a pacifier at the restaurant. I am not a huge fan of pacifiers and, if I have any control over it, I would like Jacob to not use one. I just do not want him to become dependent on it as I have heard horror stories of two and three year olds who do not want to give it up. We have had to use it twice now, both in situations where he would not settle down and the sucking of the pacifier seemed to easily soothe him. In this particular situation at the restaurant, he was hungry (and overdue to be fed) but I was trying to put it off as long as I could since it wasn't super easy to breastfeed him in the Olive Garden. I felt bad making him wait, but when we gave him the pacifier, he fell asleep instantly and didn't seem to be in distress. Hopefully we won't have to use it a lot, but since it seems to work well, I am definitely keeping one in the diaper bag for situations when it might come in handy.

I was surprised he took the pacifier, but he seemed to like it:
And he fell asleep pretty quickly (and slept for about an hour):