Sunday, November 22, 2009

A day at the playground

Last Monday, I met my sister, Katie, and her kiddos at one of the playgrounds in my neighborhood. It was a beautiful sunny day and was even a bit warm when you were standing directly in the sun.

Katie & I enjoyed catching up and we even chatted with a few moms and their kiddos who were also visiting the playground. Pierce really enjoyed playing with another little boy who was about his age. I wish I had gotten a picture of them sitting together on the playground talking about the plane that had just flown over us. It was so cute!

We have visited the playground a few other times with Katie & Pierce, but I have never put Jacob on the swingset before since he wasn't really able to sit up very well until recently. This time, I put him in the swing and when I pushed him a little, he smiled. I think he really liked it.

Here are some fun pictures from our adventure:

Pierce & Jacob on the swing while another little boy looks on.
Reid was fast asleep in the front carrier.

Weeeeee....Jacob is happy on the swing

Katie doing "triple duty" - pushing Pierce on the swing
while wearing Reid in the carrier AND talking to another mom

He looks so grown up! :(

He's thinking, "Mom, stop taking pictures so you can keep pushing me!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Five months old (a few weeks late!)

Warning...this is going to be a long post because I am so behind with blogging lately. I feel like I have so much to post about, but I just don't get around to actually typing out my thoughts. It's frustrating and I wish I had more time in the day to get things like this done. In addition to sharing what's going on in our lives, I want to "journal" what is happening with Jacob so I can go back and remember all of the fun things he is learning and doing. I have recently gone back and read some of my posts from when he was first born and I really enjoy seeing how little he was and remembering those times.

Alas, he turned 5 months old two weeks ago and I am just now getting around to post about it. I guess I need to be more organized and on top of things in the months to come. Maybe that can be my New Year's resolution this year :)

Anyways, I cannot believe that Jacob is 5 months old already!! He is growing up so fast before my eyes and I often want time to stop so I can enjoy this wonderful stage in his life!

Developmentally, he is changing so much every day. The biggest change in the last month is that he can now hold on to things, like rattles and such. He can also pick them up if I put them in front of him. He has always had a really strong grip, but now it is so cool to watch him actually focus on a toy, reach out and grab it. I know it's a small thing, but it just makes me so proud!

He still loves to be on his stomach (as soon as I put him in his crib or on the floor to play, he instantly turns over onto his stomach). He is not very fond of laying on the activity mat and playing with the toys that hang down above him. He would much rather be on his tummy with his head up looking at the things around him. I need to be very careful when he is on the couch or the bed as he tends to move around a lot also and I am worried that he may roll right off! I am certain that crawling is not too far away although I am not in any hurry for that to happen! As you can see from this picture, he has a lot of strength in his arms and he pushes himself up often to look around. He hasn't mastered anything with his legs let except for kicking his feet, but I am sure that will come soon.

He also has no desire to sit up at this time. I often prop him up on the couch, but he arches his back and pushes himself down to a laying position. It's weird, but I guess that is how he is most comfortable!

He is more and more alert these days and enjoys playing with things like this Exersaucer that we borrowed from Sierra (Thank you, Karen!). He still can't really push any buttons himself, although sometimes he accidently hits something and music will play. He is very interested in looking around at everything and enjoys anything that lights up or plays music. We have put the bouncy seat away and he doesn't sit in the swing that much anymore. I guess we are moving to a new stage of "playing".

I am not sure if he is teething or not, although I suspect that he is. I have been periodically checking his gums to see if I can feel any teeth popping up, but I haven't felt anything. He constantly has his hands in his mouth, either sucking or chewing on his fingers or pulling on his gums. He drools a lot too, although not as much as I had imagined. I try to give him appropriate things to "chew" on like teething rings and toys, but he often will grab one of my fingers, a blanket, his bib or his burp cloth. Basically he puts everything in his mouth!!

He has started making more sounds now too. He will babble on and on and he makes a really cute raspberry noise (although it's not so cute when he does it while he is eating as it makes a big mess!). He also likes to make a high-pitched squealing noise when he gets excited (like when Daddy comes home from work). I love "talking" with him and he is contantly smiling, either in response to someone smiling at him or even on his own. He has started laughing a lot more now too (especially when I kiss him on his neck or tickle him). Last night Keith was getting him ready for bed while I was cleaning up from dinner and I could hear them both laughing really hard over the monitor. It was so cute hearing them interact and I know that Keith really enjoys those times too!

He continues to do really well with eating. On November 4th, I decided to get his high chair out of the box and see how he would do sitting in it while eating his rice cereal. As you can see, he really enjoys it. Keith said that seeing him in the high chair really made him look like a little boy and I would have to agree. I am sad that he is growing up so fast!

He is still breastfeeding about five times a day (usually every 3-4 hours). After he breastfeeds mid-morning and mid-afternoon, I give him a 1/4 cup of rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. He has become really good at eating with the spoon and he really likes to eat! He gets excited when he sees me coming with the cereal and he waves his arms and legs. He finishes all of it in a very short time and would probaby eat more if I gave it to him. A few weeks ago I was thinking about giving him some fruits and vegetables too, but I have decided to wait a few more weeks until he turns six months old.

In addition to being a good eater, he is also an awesome sleeper! He has really stared to establish a pattern which is nice for me! He usually gets up around 7am (give or take 15 minutes). When he wakes up in the morning (and from most naps), he doesn't cry or really even fuss. Most of the time I will hear him just babbling to himself in the crib. Usually after about 45 minutes of being awake in the morning (including feeding time), he starts to get fussy and will go back down for a morning nap. These days, he will sleep anywhere from an hour to three hours during that nap. Once he gets up, he eats and plays for about an hour to an hour and a half, and then he goes down for another nap. His afternoon nap is often shorter than his morning nap, but he sometimes sleeps three hours in the afternoon too (if he takes a long nap in the morning, it's often shorter in the afternoon and vice versa). Depending on what time he wakes up from his afternoon nap, he will sometimes go down for a short nap around 5pm and sleep for about an hour. He is usually in bed for the night between 7 and 7:30pm.

He does really well with going down in the crib. I think we taught him well that the crib is the place you go to sleep. He will often lay his head right down as soon as we put him in it. He very rarely fusses or cries, although sometimes he will babble for quite awhile until he falls asleep. One cute thing is that he will "talk" to the bears that are on the bumper around the inside of his crib. If he is "talking" a lot, sometimes I will go in to see if he has spit up or if something else is wrong and he will just be staring at one of the bears making "ooh" and "aah" sounds. I usually smile and just walk out of the room.

One thing that he does have trouble with is falling asleep in the pack and play when we are traveling. It usually takes him some time to fall asleep and he sometimes gets fussy if he is in an unfamiliar place. I am hoping this is something he will grow out of. We are traveling to PA next week to spend Thanksgiving with Keith's family so I will have to see how he does.

He is still taking Zantac for his reflux issue. I have decreased his dose to 1 ml twice a day and I am hoping to get it even lower (and eventually not have to use it at all). I tried to decrease it to .5 ml, but the next day he was very fussy so I decided not to mess with it for now.

I wish I could say that he isn't spitting up as much now that he is eating cereal, but that isn't the case. In fact, in the past few days, he seems to be having more stomach issues and is spitting up more than usual. I don't know what the cause might be, but thankfully he doesn't seem to mind it, except when he does it in the crib and then he gets it all over his face. As for me, I am definitely ready for it to STOP! I walk around most days smelling like sour milk....not fun!

All in all, Jacob is growing and changing so much! I love being around him and find it a joy to hang out with him every day. I cannot believe that he will be six months old in just two weeks!! He has his six month checkup with the doctor scheduled for December 9th, so I will be sure to report his new "stats" and let you all know what else he is up to!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy 3rd Anniversary to us!

Today Keith and I are celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. Some days it seems like our wedding was just yesterday and sometimes I feel like I have known Keith my whole life!

This past year has brought many changes to our marriage, most importantly being the addition of Jacob to our family. Three years ago, on our wedding day, we could only dream of the childen that we hoped to have. Today, we are not only husband and wife, but we are also Mom & Dad to this precious baby boy.

I am truly thankful to Keith for being a caring husband, a loving father and a gracious provider for our family. I look forward to many more years of health and happiness with this wonderful man.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jacob's Baptism

Last Sunday, Jacob was baptized at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Richmond. St. Martin's is the church that Keith and I belonged to before we moved to Charlottesville. Keith attended the church for ten years & I went there for three years. We really miss that church and all of the wonderful people that are involved there. We have been attending a church here in Charlottesville but we haven't gotten very involved or met very many people. And, I think even when we do, it will be really hard to replace the memories and friendships that we have at St. Martin's.

Back in the Spring, when I was pregnant, we visited St. Martin's one Sunday when we were in Richmond. We had numerous people tell us that we had to have the baby baptized at St. Martin's. They made it very clear that they wanted to be involved in this spiritual event and Keith and I were really glad to share it with all of them. It was also awesome, in my opinion, to have Fr. Lee, who is the priest that married us, perform the baptism. It just seemed appropriate.

For anyone who is not familiar with the Episcopal church, we believe that "Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redeption by God." The baptismal promises are made for infants by their parents or sponsors, "who guarantee that the infants will be brought up within the Church, to know Christ and be able to follow him". [Excerpt taken from HERE]

Keith and I asked my brother & sister-in-law, Mike & Blakely, to be Jacob's Godparents. We believe that they are faithful people who have the same religious beliefs as we do. They will be good examples to Jacob and will pray for us, and him, as we strive to raise him to be a loving and faithful Christian.

Unfortunately, Jacob missed his morning nap due to the timing of the church service so he was pretty cranky during the entire thing (except for the actual baptism). He had a bit of meltdown in the beginning of the service because he was hungry. I tried to give him a bottle in the pew, but he was not happy with it. I took him out and breastfed him in a private room and we returned to the sanctuary just when we needed to go up on the altar for the baptism.

Thankfully, he did really well when it was time for him to "shine" up on the altar. He didn't cry at all when Fr. Lee sprinkled the water on him. He did, however, cry a bit when Fr. Lee made the sign of the cross on his forehead. I'm not sure what he didn't like about it, but people thought it was "cute" so it wasn't that bad.

During the ceremony, Jacob wore a Christening gown that belongs to my grandmother and is an old family heirloom. It is almost 50 years old and has been worn by many baptized babies in my family. I wore it when I was baptized 34 years ago. Do you see any resemblance?

After the baptism, Keith had to leave the service and sit with Jacob in the parish hall for the second half of the service. He was very overtired and by the time we left the church, he was prety much spent! We took him back to my parents' house and he went to sleep pretty soon after we arrived.

While he was sleeping, the rest of us watched football, ate my mom's awesome Spaghetti dinner, and enjoyed some cake that we got for the occasion.

Keith and I are very thankful to my entire family for coming to Richmond to help us celebrate this very important event. It was great to have the whole family together and to have everyone be a part of Jacob's special day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Last night Katie, Pierce and Reid came over to our house for dinner. Keith was seeing a movie with a friend and Shaun was working late so it was a great night for us to get together.

When they arrived - and while we ate - Jacob was napping. As soon as I mentioned that I should probably wake him up so that he didn't go to bed for the night too late, Pierce jumped up and said "I am going to go with you". He was so excited to see Jacob! Together, we went into Jacob's room. Pierce was standing on the ottoman so that he could see into the crib when we woke him up. Luckily Jacob is usually pretty happy when he wakes up, even if we have to wake him. When Jacob looked up and saw Pierce, he smiled at him. It was so precious.

Then Pierce said, "I want to hold him". He was really excited to hold Jacob and was really cute interacting with him. He was talking to him and saying "He is looking at me". They both seemed to be enjoying each other's company. They even watched a bit of a "Berenstain Bears" movie together.

When Jacob was sleeping, Pierce noticed one of his toys on the coffee table. It is a teething ring that has water in it. Pierce saw the water and said "It has water in it". I explained to him that it is for Jacob to chew on because it helps his gums. His next question, of course, was "What gums?" and I told him that Jacob doesn't have any teeth but he has gums that get sore when his teeth are growing.

Well, once Jacob got up and Pierce was holding him he said that he wanted to give Jacob his toy. When I handed it to him, he immediately put the water part in Jacob's mouth. It was too cute to see him holding the teething ring for Jacob.

Later, while I was feeding Jacob, I asked Pierce if he loved his baby brother. He said, "Yes, but I love this baby too" (as he patted Jacob on the head). He is such a good "big cousin" and such a loving little boy! I look forward to seeing them interact more and more as Jacob grows up!