Friday, February 26, 2010

Let the fun begin...

Jacob has been doing some pretty exciting things lately.

We borrowed this walker from Sierra a few months ago but I just got it out of the garage last week. Jacob learned how to maneuver pretty quickly and was moving around the kitchen on the first day. Yesteday I took this video:

This past week, I started building "towers" with Jacob's blocks and he enjoys knocking them down. This morning while we were playing, I decided to place the tower just a little further away from him so he had to reach to get it. Much to my surprise, he didn't just reach, but he crawled to get it. Of course, I was so excited that I jumped up and got the video camera and shot this video (along with some other footage later in the day):

I'm assuming our days will never be the same now that he is "on the move". And even though I am nervous and a bit anxious that he is able to move around now, I am excited to see him physically progressing. Let the fun begin...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eight Months old

Jacob turned eight months old on Sunday, February 7th (yes, I am a little...ok, a lot...behind in posting this!). That was Super Bowl Sunday and even though he was in bed before kickoff, we had some fun watching the pre-game show and practicing his "Touchdown" moves for next season!

As I say every month, I truly cannot believe how fast time is flying by and how much Jacob is growing every day! I am sad that he is not a baby anymore but we are very much enjoying watching him learn and grow and acquire new skills. Here are some of the things he's been doing lately:

~He is enjoying books a lot more these days. Of course, he still has times when all he wants to do is eat the book or when he really isn't interested, but for the most part, he will now actually pay attention when we are reading to him (at least for a short time). He especially likes books where we make sounds while we read such as "Mr. Brown Can Moo" and "Hands, Hands, Fingers, Thumb". He is also starting to like the "Touch and Feel" books and the "Taggies" books. Daddy does a good job of reading him bible stories frequently and he seems to really like them.

~He loves to take a bath! We give him a bath every other night, usually right before bedtime. I taught him how to splash the water (which will come back to haunt me, I am sure!) and he enjoys playing with little toys and his rubber ducky while in the tub.

~He is becoming more aware of his surroundings lately. He leans to see things such as the computer screen if I have it open or himself in the little mirror on his exersaucer. He also notices when he drops something and will look over the edge of wherever he is (in his highchair or the exersaucer) and try to see where it went.

~His language skills are still developing. He is grunting and yelling more than really "saying" anything. He will still make some "ah" and "oh" sounds and something that sounds like "hi", but not much else. He still squeals when Keith comes home from work (or really anytime Keith walks in the room) which of course Keith just loves!!

~He is still sleeping really well, although his nap schedule is still not set in stone (I am not sure it will ever be!). He LOVES his morning nap (sometimes sleeping 2-3 hours), but the afternoons are still spotty. He is still sleeping 12-12.5 hours a night, going to bed between 6:30pm and 7:30pm and waking up around 7am.

~And, speaking of sleep - Jacob is super cuddly when he is tired. I know when he is really getting tired because he will put his head on my shoulder or bury his head in my chest. He also has begun sucking on his fingers (it is always the last three fingers on his left hand!) when he is sleepy or hungry.

~He continues to eat really well. He is nursing 3-4 times per day now. The nursing strike that he was on in early February lasted five days. During those five days, he only nursed once per day (first thing in the morning) and wasn't interested in it the rest of the day. It was stressful for me but I was happy that he decided to start nursing more often again. I had to sort of coax him to do it by nursing without distractions around and singing to him while he drank, but eventually it got back to normal. I think it also helped that his stuffy nose became clear.

~He is eating solids three times a day now (simulating breakfast, lunch and dinner). For breakfast (after his morning nursing session), he eats baby oatmeal and all-natural applesauce (with a dash of cinnamon that I add). For lunch (around 11:45am), he eats a veggie and a fruit. And, for dinner (around 5pm), he eats rice cereal, a veggie and a fruit. I am still making all of Jake's baby foods (except for the oatmeal & rice cereal and the snacks). Some things he has tried recently are: avocado, squash, peaches, pears, mangos, and cheese. He LOVES all of the fruits and also really likes the squash. He wasn't too fond of the avocado but he really liked the cheese, although it made him spit-up a lot (similar to the yogurt so I am wondering if he might have an issue with dairy right now).

He also eats snack-type foods while I am preparing his meals (his favorites are the Gerber Lil' Crunchies Snacks - they are like cheese puffs). He is enjoying eating independently and sometimes prefers that over eating with a spoon. Here are some video clips of him eating independently [side note: I put this video montage together at the beginning of February. It is amazing to me how much better he is at eating now - just three weeks later.]

~I have completely stopped pumping (except for during that nursing strike) and actually don't even have a pump anymore. I had borrowed one from my sister Karen and since she is due with her second baby tomorrow, I gave it back to her. My sister Katie has one that she isn't using so if I need to pump for some reason, I can always use hers. Since Jacob hasn't taken a bottle since November (I used to give him a bottle every morning and night with an ounce of breastmilk mixed with his reflux medicine. Back in late November, we switched to just giving him the medicine straight into his mouth from the medicine dropper, which he takes really well.) any milk that I was pumping was just getting mixed in his cereal. We are also continuing to work on using a sippy cup.

All in all, Jake is doing very well. It is a joy to watch him grow and it is wonderful to see him learning new things every day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Two becomes three...

....teeth! One of Jacob's top teeth "popped" through recently (and the other one is not far behind). And, although he hasn't been a drooly baby for the most part, that has now totally changed! The tooth is just barely showing (but is already sharp!). He doesn't seem to be too bothered by it which is good. He is still a happy little boy, albeit a wet one! I am not a huge fan of babies wearing bibs all of the time, but it's better that the bib get wet instead of his shirt. I know I am behind on writing his Eight Month Old post but I am hoping to do that tonight or tomorrow. Until then, enjoy these pictures of our smiley little boy.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Our Most Recent Snow

Yes, I titled this "Our Most Recent Snow" because we have had so much of it in the past few weeks. First, we had the two feet back in December right before Christmas. Then, just a week ago (the last weekend in January), we got about 10 inches. That storm caused us to lose power on Sunday for about eight hours. It went off around 10am and came back on just as the house was getting really dark around 6pm. I was just finishing feeding Jacob some dinner and we were going to venture out to get a hot meal when it came back on. It really wasn't bad having the power off since it was during the day and we have the gas fireplace to keep us warm. Keith and I pretty much just lounged around and read. It was actually a pretty peaceful and relaxing day.

This past weekend, the snow started on Friday morning (thankfully UVA cancelled classes and only essential personnel were required at the library, so Keith didn't need to go in). It snowed all day Friday and then turned to ice/freezing rain on Friday night. Keith and I had prepared for the power to go out by gathering candles and flashlights, but of course we were hoping it wouldn't. Unfortuantely, around 9:45pm on Friday night, we lost power. It ended up being off until Saturday morning around 8am. It wasn't too awful bad to be without power since it was nighttime and we slept through most of it. Keith did get up around 4:30am and turn the fireplace on because it had gotten a bit cold in the house (we weren't comfortable going to sleep and leaving the fireplace on but I was really concerned about Jacob getting cold). The power did end up going back off for about 3 hours on Saturday afternoon, but thankfully it came back on before it got too dark (and in time for me to cook dinner!). We felt very blessed to have our power on for most of the weekend! There are still people in our neighborhood who haven't gotten it back yet!

Keith did such a great job clearing the driveway twice during this storm. He cleared it on Friday evening after we had gotten about 7 inches of snow. Then, on Saturday afternoon, after the ice (and more snow!) came, he shoveled again. I was inside watching Jacob on Friday, but on Saturday, after Jake was in his crib, I decided to venture out and "help". As you can see from this video that I took, there wasn't much left to do by the time I got out there. I'm sorry that the video quality isn't great - I put my flipcamera in a small baggie so that it wouldn't get wet from the snow. This made the picture kinda blurry and not as bright. At least you can get an idea of what it looked like around here. As you can tell from my awful commentary, I thought it was really crazy!

Yesterday, the sun came out and it was actually quite pretty with the sun shining through the icy trees.

After he got up from his morning nap, we took Jacob outside for a short time so he could play in the snow. He has only seen snow up close one time before (after the December snow storm) so of course, he didn't know what to make of it all. Here is a snippet of some of the time we were outside.

Much to my dismay, the weathermen are forecasting 4-6 inches of MORE snow for us to come tomorrow. Yuck! I am so tired of this snow and cold weather. How many more months til Summer???

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nursing Strike

As I sit here and type this, we are on Day 5 of Jacob refusing to nurse. OK, that's not completely true because he will nurse first thing in the morning when he wakes up. But, that's it! And it's been like that since Monday. I am not completely sure what the reason is although it probably has something to do with his stuffy nose and/or his swollen (and probaby painful) gums. I was able to see one of his top teeth barely popping through yesterday so I am sure that he is in discomfort. Boy, how I hate teething!!

So, what does this nursing strike mean for us? Well, I have been trying not to freak out about it but admittedly I am! I am trying not to look too far into the future, trying not to worry about him becoming dehydrated or starving, trying not to wonder if this is him weaning or is it just a stage that he'll get past, trying not to check every diaper to see if he is peeing the "correct" amount, basically trying not to think too much about it....but, all of this not thinking has me worried and thinking about it All. The. Time!

Also, I wish I had pushed him to use a sippy cup more (this would help the situation as he could just drink the breastmilk if he isn't going to nurse). He is definitely getting better at using a cup, but he is by no means proficient or successful most of the time. He can get a little liquid in his mouth and down his throat but, for the most part, it just dribbles down his little chin.

The worst part is that I am feeling very guilty! Guilty for raising my voice the few times that he has bitten me (experts say that could be a cause for babies to stop nursing, but I am pretty sure that isn't the case with Jacob since he hasn't done it in awhile), guilty for sometimes secretly wishing that I didn't have to nurse anymore and basically just guilty for whatever it is that I did (or didn't do) to make this happen. I know, I know....I probably didn't do (or not do) anything to cause this, but as a mother who is the provider of nutrition and hydration for her child, I have this overwhelming guilty feeling! The whole thing just makes me sad and angry and frustrated.

I spoke with Cindy, our nurse at our pediatrician's office, on Wednesday and she told me to continue to do the same things that I have been doing.....offering Jacob the breast everytime he is supposed to nurse, being patient with him and trying to minimize distractions, pumping and offering the milk to Jake in a sippy cup - even if he only gets a little bit of it, and giving him less solids to make him more "hungry" for the milk. Oh, and not stressing (I am trying to work on that part!!)

So far, even though nothing has worked, Jacob still seems to be super happy during the day. He doesn't seem to be dehydrated and his output (pee & poop) are both looking normal (although his morning diapers aren't as full as they normally are). Cindy said to give him until Monday and if he still isn't back to normal nursing by then, I need to give them a call. I am just hoping and praying that he "turns a corner" today or in the near future and I don't have to make that call. Any and all prayers are welcome!