4.22.2014

Jack | 2 Months Old

This month has been busy, busy! Lots of home improvements, many more outings with Jack, and even a visit from Grandma Carroll who flew all the way from WV to meet her chunk of a grandson! Jack actually turned 2 months on the 12th. We've seen many new developments this past month and it has been so much fun! 
 2 month old Jack likes...
bath time
bright lights
singing with mommy
his lamaze peacock
napping in mommy's arms
playing on his activity mat (or whatever you call those things)
 2 month old Jack dislikes...
tummy time, although he's pretty good at it!
napping in his bassinet
wearing anything on his head
interrupted feedings
Health: I can't believe how big Jack has gotten! At his 2 month appointment he weighed in at 14 1/2 lbs and was 23 1/2 in long. Right now he's in size 3-6 month clothes, but even some of those are getting a little tight on him. We also upgraded to size 2 diapers this month. This guy is just growing way too fast! :(

Breastfeeding: Things are getting a little better with breastfeeding every week. My naturopath has me taking a Lecithin and Echinacea supplement 2x a day to help combat the reoccurring mastitis. I've also upped my daily Vitamin C intake and am trying to drink lots of water. The biggest help though in the feeding department has come from Jack himself. Jack is a HUGE comfort sucker and for the first 6 weeks he refused to take any sort of pacifier. This left me feeding him 17+ times a day, causing my body to produce copious amounts of milk! Then out of the blue, shortly after Jack turned 6 weeks old,  he took a pacifier (he'll only take Soothies), and my breastfeeding relationship really took a turn for the better! Now instead of 17 times a day, he's only nursing 7-10 times. He's still a big eater but cutting back on about 7 feedings a day gives this momma a much needed break and is helping my milk supply regulate. Hallelujah!

Also, when Jack was born the midwives advised me to use a nipple shield because he had a small mouth and blah, blah, blah.. I wish I never would have listened to them because since then I've learned that using a shield can lead to mastitis as well. At his 2 month appointment my Naturopath told me to kick the shield. I had been trying to wean Jack from it before, but after that appointment I was more determined then ever to get rid of it. It was a bit of a frustrating adjustment for Jack, but I'm happy to say that yesterday we didn't use the shield for any of his feedings. Hallelujah again and again! I'm hoping my breastfeeding woes are now a thing of the past. :)

Sleeping: The 6 week mark for Jack brought about a lot of changes. Not only did he start taking a pacifier, but he also started sleeping longer through the night. He goes down around 7 or 7:30 and usually does a 6 hour stretch (sometimes 5). He then wakes up to feed and then sleeps for another 4-5 hours. He wakes up a second time to feed and then usually sleeps for another hour or two, waking up around 6 or 6:30. He averages about 9-11 hours a night. Before this he was waking up every 1 1/2 - 2 hours. I know the pacifier has a lot to do with his improved sleeping habits because he doesn't wake up to comfort nurse. So thank you, pacifier. You are truly a lifesaver.

Naps are hit or miss. He fights nap time even when he is getting overtired. We rock, nurse, sing soothing songs, etc. and I eventually get him down only for him to wake up about a half hour later. I know some babies are simply cat nappers, averaging 30-45 minutes a nap, while others take the glorious, regular 2 or 3, 1-3 hour naps a day. But hey, we're working on it!

New this Month: Lots of smiles and even little giggles here and there! I love hearing this little guy laugh and seeing his smile light up his face. He thinks I'm hilarious ;) This month we also had a week long visit from Grandma and ventured out of the house a lot more than usual. Jack went to the park for the first time and even had his first sit down restaurant experience. He was a champ! This month, he also took a bottle for the first time. Since I have to return to work I've been pumping and freezing my milk a lot. We finally offered him his first bottle at 8 weeks. He took it fine, but it was hard for me to see someone else feeding him :(
Saved my favorite pic for last. Apparently Jack doesn't share my love of sock monkeys.

Happy (belated) 2 Months, Jack!
Mommy and daddy love you.

4.06.2014

I'm No Super-Mom

It took an hour and and half, but I finally got Jack down for the night. I feel like I need some scotch tape to keep my eyelids open at this point but I thought it was important to let my reader's know I am still alive and kicking, albeit a little more worse for the wear...but last time I checked I still had a pulse.

I'm feeling vulnerable. Maybe it's because I'm tired or maybe it's because it's so late at night and I'm used to blogging with a pipping hot cup of coffee in the glorious AM... Either way, my vulnerability is making me feel like I need to be transparent. So here we go.

I am no Super-Mom. Not even close.  And the worst part about it is I honestly thought I could be.

I see my mommy friends on Facebook or on their blogs and I think to myself, "how the hell do they do it? How do they seem so together?" Because I, for one, am not "together." And if I'm being really pain-strickenly honest, the last few weeks I've been too ashamed to admit that. Too ashamed to get on here and say that I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding (and it's mostly hate), that I've struggled through 3 bouts of mastitis and 2 clogged ducts, that I've called my husband crying while he's at work and begged him to come home because my fever had risen to 103 degrees and I can no longer care for our child on my own, that I co-slept with my son for the first 6 weeks of his life (and still do most nights), that I hold him in my arms the entire time he naps because I haven't figured out how to put him down and keep him asleep, that I've obsessed over baby poop, diaper rash, and spit up, that I am tired, worn out, stressed, and in great need of a shower.

This mommy business is so much harder than I ever thought it could be and I certainly do not have it all figured out. And deep down I know that's okay and I know I shouldn't be ashamed to admit it, but it's difficult nonetheless. But maybe, just maybe, there are other moms out there who feel this way, too. And maybe me sharing my fears can bring some encouragement to them.

So yeah... you've seen very little of me on this blog as of late and I'm afraid that will continue. As I go through this journey of motherhood the one thing that I've readily learned is that time flies and Jack is growing up far too quickly. It is so important that I keep my priorities straight during this time. My family comes first and the cleaning, errand running, and pretending like I have it all together on my blog can definitely wait.

I am no super-mom, and I'm pretty sure I never will be, but goodness, I love this little boy!
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
 - Ruth Hamilton

3.17.2014

Jack | 1 Month Old

Last Wednesday Jack officially turned 1 month old! I can't believe a month has already come and gone. I had to wait until he was in one of those limp limbed sleeps to snap a few shots of him with his sock monkey. Prepare yourselves for some cuteness overload. 
Weight: 11lbs 11oz... he's a little chunk!
Height: 21 1/2in
At one month, Jack likes...
bath time!
his lamaze peacock
the picture frames above our couch 
(for some reason those never fail to mesmerize him)
lotion massages
his all you can eat milk buffet
falling asleep on mommy or daddy's chest
Dislikes...
sleeping in his bassinet
changing outfits
being put in his carseat
tummy time
any sort of schedule ;)
New this month: Jack has really put on some weight! He now has the cutest rolls on his arms and legs and the chubbiest, most kissable cheeks I ever did see! He is starting to make more eye contact with Steven and I. My absolute favorite time of day is early in the morning when he is super sweet and alert. He'll stare right into my eyes and give me lots of coos and grunts. Priceless. He is a champ at passing gas. He farts so loud I always blame it on his daddy... how can something so loud and startling come from such a small booty??? Anyways, he is pretty much the most perfect and content little baby every day until around 6 o'clock. We call this his witching hour. He loves to use this time to cry and scream and make his mommy and daddy want to pull out our hair. I don't think he is colicky, but rather that it is just a fussy time for him. One theory I've read is that he is possibly de-stressing from all the stimuli he's received during the day?  Steven and I simply hold, shush, and love on him. What more can we do?! Best part of every day is when he passes out on my chest after a feeding. It is the sweetest, most amazing feeling. I love being this guy's mommy.

In his happy and fussy times I am simply so in love with my little boy! I can't get over how much he seems to change and grow everyday and I can't wait to continue documenting his month to month progress. But let's not grow up to quickly, Jack! I love you.

3.07.2014

I'm Alive!

Yes, I am alive! Sorry I've been a little MIA these last few weeks... My days simply consist of changing dirty diapers, parking my behind on the couch to feed my perfect little one, and stuffing food down my throat every spare moment I can get. It's been quite a blur, really! So prepare yourself for my stream of consciousness blog post.

+ I am sleep deprived and covered in spit up, but I wouldn't trade any of these moments with Jack for the world.

+ Monday was my first day alone with Jack since Steven had to head back to work. I was super nervous, but we survived! I'm really cherishing this bonding time and all his cuddles!
+ Just last night I had the feeling that I am starting to get the hang of this whole "mommy" thing! But man, it is TOUGH WORK! Breastfeeding is still my biggest struggle. Jack and I work hard at it on a daily basis, but I'm beginning to feel as though I need to call in some reinforcements (has anyone every reached out to and used the Le Leche League?). Jack is growing and gaining weight, so I know the hard work and plenty of tears (by both of us) is worth it.  

+ I am famished all. the. time.  I seriously cannot stop eating. I think there is something wrong with me..
+ I've lost 30 of the 41 pounds I gained during pregnancy. I don't even know how that is possible...

+ I'm an emotional wreck. I can't get through a prayer for Jack without bawling my eyes out. I just love that little boy so much! 
+ When Steven gets home from work and sees his son his whole face lights up. It' enough to make my heart burst.

+ On the other hand, when I get up for the umpteenth time to tend to our son at night and see Steven sleeping peacefully I want to punch him in the face. 
+ Expect to see monthly updates of Jack with his sock monkey. (I apologize in advance.) Jack is 0 months old! ;)

These last few weeks have been the most difficult, yet most rewarding, of my life. I seriously don't want to be doing anything else but spending my days with my little boy. My heart aches when I think about returning to work, but I'm trying to live each day one at a time and cherish the time I do have to give him my undivided attention. He is just so stinkin' cute!

Thank you for continuing to read and check up on this blog even though I've become the most flaky blogger in the history of the universe. Maybe one day I'll have some sort of routine established... but don't hold your breath. 

2.24.2014

Currently...

Watching...  My little guy sleep contently on his daddy's chest. This scene makes my heart burst every time.

Admiring... My husband. He has taken such good care of me these last couple days. Bringing me food, keeping the house clean, and holding Jack so I can take a shower or relax in the tub. He's the best. Not sure if I'll be able to manage when he goes back to work next Monday!

Grateful for... Friends and family who have brought over meals for us. It has been such a blessing not having to cook every meal so I can spend more time bonding with my boy.

Struggling with... Breastfeeding. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but there is nothing anyone could have told me to really prepare for it. It's tough, but me and Jack are powering through and everyday things get a little easier.

Thankful for... My little guy's health. At his one week checkup he had already surpassed his birth weight! Most babies don't until they are around 2 weeks old. So even though feedings have been rough, I am glad to know he's gaining weight and getting the nutrition he needs to grow big and strong.

Feeling... A crazy range of emotions! One second I'm overjoyed and cooing over my sweet babe and the next second I'm crying because I feel like a failure as a mother when there is more milk on my outfit than in my baby's tummy. When will these crazy hormones begin to balance out in me?! I'm afraid my husband might suggest I be committed if the tears don't stop soon ;)
...................................................

And because I've been such a flake about blogging lately (and probably will be for quite some time now that Jack has arrived), I wanted to direct you to an amazing blog to peruse in my absence.   
Kali is the face behind the blog, Kaliwood. This smart and bubbly blonde definitely has a way with words that comes across beautifully on her blog. She is a deep thinker who also has a sense of humor that I absolutely love. This is clearly seen in her post "Embrace the Mutt in All of Us." (Go read it!) And for a good laugh, check out her letter to her 16 year old self, too. Kali also has a passion for fitness and I found her post about why she loves to run incredibly motivating.  To top it off, she has some travel experience under her belt due to spending a semester abroad in France! (Jealous.) There is definitely a little something for everyone on this sweet lady's blog, so be sure to check it out!