Monday, August 31, 2009

Jacob's newest talents

Recently Jacob has started doing some really cool things (in my opinion). Of course, these are basic things that all babies do, but when it is my baby doing it, it seems so much more awesome!

I am in the process of trying to figure out how to upload video from our video camera, but in the meantime, still pictures will have to do.

Mini Push-ups
Normally, Jacob really enjoys tummy time. He has gotten really good control of his head and neck and he has started really pushing himself up so that he can look around. He does get tired and frustrated after a few minutes, but it is so fun to watch him get stronger and stronger every day.

About two weeks ago, Jacob started rolling onto his side. He doesn't have a preference regarding what side he rolls to, but often when I put him in the crib, he moves to his side instead of his back. I believe that he is going to be rolling all the way over very soon. And, if I had to guess, I think he will go from his back to his tummy first. We'll have to see...

Leg Movement
Jacob is surely a mover! He loves to move around while he is on his back and he bends his knees and kicks up his feet. His legs are really strong too (as I have witnessed while trying to change his diaper or get him dressed!). His favorite toy is the Kick & Play bouncy seat that Aunt Katie let us borrow.

He loves to watch the flashing lights, kick his feet and move to the music. He smiles and laughs as he does this and it is so adorable. I have some really cute video of it, but like I said previously, I have to figure out how to get it from the camera to a format that I can upload to the blog.

Sucking his Thumb

Just a few days ago, I realized that instead of simply sucking on his hand, Jacob had actually figured out how to suck his thumb. Of course, since he has loved the pacifier (much to my dismay!), I figured he was surely going to be a thumb sucker once he figured out how to do it. I must say, even though it can be a very hard habit to break (and I am sure I won't be saying this when he is 5 years old and still doing it or when we have astronomical dental bills), it is the cutest thing to watch him do it!

He usually only starts doing it when he is either hungry or tired (more often the latter). Often if he is sitting in the swing or in the bouncy seat and he starts to get tired, the thumb sucking is the first indication that he needs to go to sleep. Also, he has started refusing the pacifier (or spitting it out fairly quickly) when he is in the crib. I guess his thumb tastes better!

Sometimes he curls his fingers around his nose while he is sucking his thumb.

Other times he does a sort-of wave with his fingers straight up.
Either way, I think it is too cute!
It is hard to believe that Jacob will be 3 months old next week! He is growing up so fast and it is awesome to watch his development. I love seeing the new things that he can do everyday. His personality is starting to come out too and I can now distinguish between his cries. He is doing really well with sleep training (which is going to be a whole new post) and I am glad that he seems to be a well-rested, happy child.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Last weekend we spent both Saturday and Sunday with friends. On Saturday, we drove to Short Pump to visit with Chris, Connie & Owen. Chris works at the University of Richmond library and has been a really good friend to both Keith and me for quite a few years. He was supposed to be a groomsman in our wedding, but Owen had other plans and decided to make his grand entrance into this world just two days before our wedding. We don't get to see them often enough and it was great to see them and catch up. We had a yummy lunch at The Baker's Crust at Short Pump Mall and had great conversation and many laughs.

Here is a picture of Owen & Jacob

We are keeping Chris, Connie and Owen in our thoughts and prayers as they will be traveling to South America in October. Connie has MS and will be undergoing stem cell treatment in the hopes that she will be able to get a better handle on this disease. They will be there for a month and we are very hopeful that these treatments will help Connie regain her strength and allow her to enjoy life to the fullest!

On Sunday, we went to visit John, Erin, Lizzie & Alex for brunch at their house in Charlottesville. Erin is a co-worker of Keith's and her son, Alex, was born one week before Jacob. It was such a wonderful visit and we were able to see how the boys "stacked up" against each other. It was also great to reminisce about the first time we visited them in the Spring of 2008 - both Erin and I were having trouble conceiving at the time. We had talked about our issues and disappointments and now, here we are with 3 month old babies, who were born just 7 days apart!
Keith, Jacob, Alex & Erin
The boys weren't really sure what was going on
Jacob had a ball playing on the activity mat with Lizzie, who is almost 5. She was talking to him and playing with him and he was smiling and laughing. She is such a great big sister! I told her it was too bad that she wasn't old enough to babysit. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I need more time!

I had this idea of what it would be like to stay home all day with my child. I envisioned the perfectly cleaned house that I would keep, the laundry that would never pile up, and the hours of time that I would have to play with my child, update my blog, be on facebook, work in the yard, go for walks, talk on the phone, and whatever else I wanted to do. It would be awesome!!

Well, truth be told, it is awesome! I love being at home with my kiddo and I can't imagine not being with him every day! I love that I not on a schedule most days and that I can stay in my pajamas until noon or not shower all day, if I am just hanging around the house. I can grocery shop during the day when the lines aren't as long. I can go to my sisters' house and hang out with her and my nephew. I can sit on the front porch and enjoy the warm summer weather. I usually can have dinner on the table around the time Keith gets home.

But, it is certainly not what I had thought it would be! My "to-do" list never gets completed - actually, I am lucky if I get one or two things crossed off of it! I am WAY behind on blogging about the goings-on in our life. The weeds in the front and side gardens are growing bigger and bigger by the day (and the ones that are growing up between the sidewalk cracks still haven't been pulled up!). My grandmother called two days ago and I still haven't called her back! I am just amazed at how fast the days fly by and this summer has come and gone in (what seems to be) a blink of an eye. I need more time in the day!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Quit!

Yes, you read it right...I Quit! I am now officially a full-time SAHM (that is Stay At Home Mom for those of you that are not familiar). I gave my two week notice and resignation to the Football office and my last "official" day was Friday, August 7th (although I have never returned to work since Jacob was born).

Of course, this resignation shouldn't have come as a surprise to my boss or anyone that I worked with because I was never quiet about my desire to be a SAHM, even before I became pregnant. Once Jacob was born, I was happy to give my resignation as soon as my maternity leave (the paid part) was over. I certainly didn't want to do it too soon so I didn't lose any of my pay or benefits, but I wanted to help the office out by giving them plenty of notice. This way they could find a replacement for me before the season starts in early September.

The problem with this plan was that my boss asked me if I could come back for one week once my 12 weeks of FMLA were over (the first week in September) so that I could help them tie up some loose ends before the season started. I reluctantly said yes (I didn't really want to leave my baby boy with anyone for an entire week, but I wanted to help them out). My sister, Katie, agreed to watch Jacob even though she was going to be 36 weeks pregnant that week and already has a 2 1/2 year old running around (aren't sisters great?!...Thanks Katie!!).

Well, right before we were headed to NY, my team leader called and asked if I could have dinner with her. At dinner, she said that they had come up with a plan that didn't involve me having to work that week, unless I wanted to. I kindly told her that although I did love my job, it would be so much better for everyone if I didn't have to come in and I would just give my two weeks notice from that date, making my last day August 7th. I was so relieved to not have to worry about going in for that week and was happy that I could relieve Katie of babysitting duty.

Since we were headed out of town right after I met with her, I actually ended up mailing my resignation letter from my grandparents' house in NY. My boss & team leader were both aware that it was "in the mail" as I had sent them an unofficial e-mail resignation at their request so they could get the process of finding a replacement started. I didn't hear anything back from the office while we were on vacation, so I assumed that everything we had talked about and planned was fine. When we got back from vacation, on Thursday (the day before I was going in to clean out my office & do an exit interview with HR), I received this in the mail from the Football office:

In case you can't read it, it is a copy of my resignation letter sent back to me with the words "REQUEST DENIED" written on it. The envelope that I sent the letter in was also included with the words "RETURN TO SENDER" written on it.

I instantly recognized the handwriting as that of my boss, Gerry. He is a great guy and certainly a jokester (although I think he was serious this time!). It is very nice to know that they are not happy about me leaving and would love for me to stay. When I went in to clean out my office, Gerry and his assistant were both trying to give me all the reasons why I wouldn't want to leave. I simply held up Jacob and said that he was the reason why I had to leave!

I am not saying that I am not sad about not working there anymore because I already miss the people and the job every day! But I know that I would be more sad every day when I had to leave Jacob with someone else. He is already growing so fast and changing so much. I wouldn't want to miss any of that! As scary as it is to not have a second income anymore and to not have the socialization that I crave, I now believe that I have the best job in the world!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our trip up North

Keith, Jacob and I took a trip up North two weeks ago to visit his family in Pennsylvania and my extended family, on my mom's side, in Western New York.

We left on a Monday morning, hoping to get out of the door by 10am, but it was more like 11am by the time we actually left (we have learned that traveling with a baby really messes up your plans!). We drove up to Indian Head, PA (which is southeast of Pittsburgh) where Keith's aunt and uncle live. We were able to see a lot of Keith's relatives and some neighbors that he has known most of his life. The house that his aunt and uncle live in is actually the house that Keith lived in with his grandmother when he was growing up. The ladies that live on either side of them, Retha & Dot, are close friends of the family and they were really excited to meet Jacob. He certainly got a lot of attention and got to meet a lot of new people.

Here is Jacob with Keith's cousin, Suzie

Keith's Uncle Barry loved talking to Jacob

Keith's Aunt Kay & his cousin's wife, Roxann, loved on Jacob

Keith's mom, Marge, was very happy to be able to spend time with Jacob

After spending Monday night and Tuesday morning with Keith's family, we left their house and headed north to NY. We made a stop at Allegheny College in Meadeville, PA. This is the college that Keith attended for his undergraduate degree. I had never been there before so he wanted to show me around. It was also a good stopping point for me to feed Jacob and for us to grab some lunch. An old college friend of Keith's works as a lawyer in Meadeville so he met us for lunch at a sub shop that Keith used to work at. It was nice to see Kevin and visit with him for a short time. After lunch, Kevin had to go back to work, but Keith, Jacob and I walked around the campus a bit. It was a beautiful summer day in PA, with the sun shining and low humidity. I really enjoyed seeing the buildings and area as Keith reminisced about his college days there.

We left Meadeville around 3:30pm and continued north along Lake Erie to the Buffalo area and then east to my grandparents' house in Spencerport, NY (which is a bit west of Rochester). We stayed with my grandparents from Tuesday evening to the following Monday morning. While we were in the Rochester area, Jacob got to meet more family members for the first time.

Here is Jacob with my Aunt Julie (my mom's sister)
And with my Aunt Kathy (my mom's other sister)

Nana (my grandma) really enjoyed spending time with Jacob.
He is her 4th great-grandchild!

Jacob also got to take a bath in my grandparents' kitchen sink.
Many babies, including me possibly, have been bathed in this sink!

Keith enjoyed playing Risk with my Uncle Rick and cousin Nicholas.
He loves to play that game but he doesn't get to play it very often.

One of the reasons that we made the trip up to Rochester at this particular time was for a surprise 30th birthday party for my cousin, Sissy. Her birthday isn't actually until December but my Aunt Kathy decided to throw the party now because it would be hard for everyone to get up there in the winter time. Also, there was a charity golf tournament and another surprise party for Sissy's grandmother (on her dad's side) happening that same weekend, so a lot of her relatives on both sides were in town.

Here are Sissy and her brother, AJ, blowing out the candles
(AJ's birthday was July 26th so we celebrated his birthday too)

Karen and Sierra flew to Rochester for the party also so we were able to spend some time with them at my grandparents' house. My parents were there too, although I didn't get any fun pictures of them.

Keith spent some time reading to Sierra

Sierra was having fun with Papa G (my grandpa)

Here are the four ladies (Nana, me, Karen & Sierra)
plus Jacob before we left to head back home.
We left Nana & Papa's house on Monday morning and headed back to Indian Head once again. We stopped in Meadeville again on our way home, but only for a brief time to feed Jacob and get fast-food lunch for ourselves. We also stopped in the Allegheny bookstore (it was closed when we were there the Monday before) and Keith got a nice coffee mug and a sweatshirt for Jacob. We spent Monday night in Indian Head and were able to spend some quality time with Keith's mom before heading back home on Tuesday.

It was great that we had the opportunity to take this trip and be gone from home so long (I was still on maternity leave and Keith was on paternity leave). I really enjoyed seeing everyone and was glad that Jacob was able to meet more of his family. I hope that we can make this a yearly tradition so that Jacob can see where his mom and dad grew up and he can become familiar with all of his extended family members. I was sad that the trip had to come to an end, although it was also nice to get back home.

Our travels are not over quite yet! We leave on Thursday to head south to Augusta, GA for my aunt & uncle's 40th anniversary party. This time it is my dad's side of the family and more people who have not met Jacob. It is sure to be a great time and I am sure I will have more pictures and stories to tell upon our return!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two Months Old

I cannot believe how fast this summer is flying by. We have been on the go so much that I haven't had much time to blog lately. I have quite a few things that I want to blog about, but of course, the most important first and foremost is our baby boy:
It's crazy that Jacob turned 2 months old last week. He is growing bigger and smarter every day and his personality is really starting to come out. He is such a happy baby most of the time, except when he is hungry or tired. He has been on a really good 3-4 hour eating schedule since he was born, so that is easily taken care of. The sleeping part is a little more of a challenge, especially since we have been on the road so much. The night time routine has gotten to be pretty predictable - he nurses sometime around 10-11pm and then goes to sleep in his crib. Usually he wakes up around 3:30am and then again around 6:30am. Last night though, he slept 8 straight hours! He nursed and went down at 10pm and didn't get up until 6am. I woke up at 3:45am (I think my body is used to getting up at that time!) and I was really worried because I hadn't heard him cry. So, I tiptoed into his room to make sure he was still breathing (I think I am going to be doing this until he is 18 years old!!). Sure enough, he was still breathing fine and sleeping "like a baby". Of course, when I left his room, he started stirring a bit - must be he heard me come in. But, he didn't make much noise and fell back asleep right away. I am hoping that this sleeping through the night continues!!

Today I have started to try to get him on a regular nap schedule. I am also trying to get him to nap in his crib instead of the bouncy seat or the swing, which is where he has been napping recently. I understand the importance of having him nap in his crib and also for him to be on a regular schedule, but today has been really hard. He did end up sleeping for 45 minutes in the crib this morning, but that was after I listened to him cry loudly for 30 minutes. Once I went in to console him, I rocked him and he fell asleep in my arms. I knew he was tired, he just didn't want to fall asleep in the crib on his own. I know that he can put himself to sleep because a few times in the middle of the night, I have put him in the crib when he wasn't quite asleep and he has done fine. I don't know what his reluctance was today, but hopefully it will get better. Right now, he is sleeping in the swing, where he fell asleep after he ate! I guess this napping routine is going to take some time (and patience!).

We have been doing a lot of tummy time with Jacob. He does really well on his stomach for about 10 minutes and then he gets frustrated. He is constantly moving his little legs and looks like he is about to crawl, but of course his arms are not strong enough for that yet (thank goodness!). As you can see, he lifts his head up really well:
Against all recommendations, I have also been putting him to sleep on his stomach a bit (mostly in the mornings, when I can monitor him). I know that everything you read nowadays tells you that a baby should only sleep on his back, but Jacob enjoys sleeping on his stomach (and sleeps so soundly) that I figured a little bit can't hurt. As my mother and grandmother reminded me, we all slept on our stomachs and we survived!

One bad thing that Jacob has had to deal with recently is GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), also know as acid reflux. Keith and I noticed a few weeks ago that Jacob was having a lot of discomfort when he was eating (he would cry out during his feedings), he was having a lot more spit up and would gag and cough a lot. Also when we laid him down flat, even hours after he ate, you could see (and hear) stuff moving up through his throat to his mouth. Sometimes, whatever it was would come out, but most often he would swallow it and would be very uncomfortable. I mentioned this to the doctor when we saw her for Jacob's 6 week checkup and she said that it was normal for babies to have some of these symptoms. She wasn't concerned that it was something that needed to be treated since he was gaining weight so well, but she did say that we could give him some medicine if it got to be too uncomfortable for him.

The Friday night right before we left for our trip to NY & PA it seemed to get worse! None of us slept well because Jacob was up until 4am! He would cry every time we put him on his back in the crib. Finally, I put him in the swing and I laid down on the couch to try to get a few hours of rest. We deliberated the next morning about what to do. We certainly didn't want to go away for 10 days with a baby that was uncomfortable and wouldn't sleep. We decided to call our pediatrician and she called in a prescription of Zantac for us. Jacob has been taking it for over two weeks now and we have seen remarkable improvement. He gets the medicine once in the morning and once at night, 12 hours apart. Since the medicine tastes so terrible (yes, I did taste it!), Jacob refused to swallow it straight. We have been giving him a bottle with an ounce of breastmilk mixed with the medicine and that seems to be working. It is a pain to have to put a bottle together twice a day (and also for me to pump enough to have milk on hand), but we are glad that our little guy doesn't seem to be in as much discomfort!!

It also helps that we have "raised" one end of his crib so that his head is propped up. As you can see, we used bowls under the feet of the crib and rolled towels under the mattress. This works really well, except that now that he is moving so much, sometimes I find him at the other end of the crib - I think he moves his legs so much that he pushes himself around!
Before the Zantac started working, we noticed that Jacob would sleep much better in the bouncy seat, so we put him in it in the crib to sleep at night. The morning we were leaving for our trip I went in to see if he was awake (because we wanted to leave early in the morning) and this is how I found him:
He had moved so much and pushed himself down in the seat that he was basically hanging off the thing (we started buckling him in after this!). The funny thing is that he was sound asleep (he didn't even wake up when I took these pictures with a flash). I guess he was comfortable, but it certainly doesn't look comfortable to me!

Jacob is really starting to become more interactive & vocal and it is so cute. He smiles when we talk to him and he coos and "talks" to us sometimes when he is in the mood. I love that when I ask him a question (that he, of course, doesn't understand), he will look right at me and make a sound like he is answering me. He is also really good at listening and following sounds - like the music on the swing or the clock that chimes on the hour or Daddy's voice. He will stop and look up to see where the sound is coming from. You can just see his little mind working to try and figure out what that sound is. Also, he is using his hands more - he moves them all about, bats at things sometimes, grabs my finger or shirt when he is nursing, and sucks on his hand when he is hungry or when he is sleepy.

We were also happy to hear that Jacob does not have urinary reflux, as the doctors thought he might. If you remember, we were told that he had hydronephrosis (dilation of the kidneys) when he was in utero. Then after he was born, that dilation seemed to be gone, but the doctors were unsure about the urinary reflux. Last week, Jacob had an ultrasound, a VCUG (an x-ray exam of the bladder), and an appointment with Dr. Peters, the same pediatric urologist that I saw when I was pregnant. Dr. Peters confirmed what the doctor had told us during the VCUG - that no reflux was found. Thank God! And, Jacob did really well during both procedures, even when they had to insert a catheter into his bladder and fill it with a contrast material. Keith was having a hard time watching them insert the catheter into his penis, but he was a trooper during the entire thing! He only got fussy when his bladder got extremely full. We kept telling him to just let it out (pee) and he would feel better, but it seemed like he had performance anxiety for a moment. Once he was able to urinate, he felt much better and so did we! There was slight dilation of one of his kidneys still, so we have to go back to have another ultrasound done again in 6 months. Hopefully, at that time, everything will be fine.

It is so awesome to see how he is developing physically, mentally and emotionally. I can't wait to see what the future holds for him.