Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jack: Month Five

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Dear Jack,

Baby, you are getting so big!  I love your little baby rolls and baby giggles, gummy smiles and happy squeals.  It was a good month for you overall.  You still have some grumpy hours and occasional grumpy days but you are alert and interactive more than ever before.  It's fun to finally start to see little peeks into your personality!

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Sleeping:  Writing this down is going to jinx this, but honestly you were a stellar sleeper this month.  Generally you sleep from 8:30pm to 6:15am straight in your Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit. On rare occasion there is an earlier wake-up, closer to 4 am, then back to sleep until 7am.  Still no real consistency with naps (though at the very end of the month you seem to have started a general pattern) and you tend to have a lot of short cat-naps but maybe one longer nap during the day. 

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Eating:  You are such a hungry guy.  You have been regularly having close to 7 oz for your first bottle.  Then 5.5-6oz bottles during the day, usually every 2-3 hours (closer to 2 at the nanny's, closer to 3 at our house).  Overall I'd say you drink anywhere from 33-40oz per day, which is a ton.  The pediatrician said that once you were regularly drinking over 35oz we should start you on solids, so a few days ago, we did!  We started you on rice cereal  (for the iron) and you have also tried squash and green beans.  I was worried you might not be ready but generally you seem to love food so far; in fact you get mad when I don't shovel it in fast enough! (I think you want it to be as fast as the bottle).  You still have a bit of the tongue thrust going on but I'm sure as you get more used to foods it will get a little easier.

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Weight:  No appointment this month so I don't know, but I'm guessing about 16 lbs.

Diaper Size:  Size 2 for most of the month; just starting size 3s.  Hoping you're in this size for awhile!

Clothes Size:  Fitting well in most 3-6M stuff, though some of the brands that run smaller already seem too tight.  I was hoping to get you through one more month in this size but we'll see!  Might have to break into the 6-9M stuff soon.

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Milestones/Firsts:  One of my favorite milestones- you started to laugh this month!  First some tentative giggles- then soon after, adorable squeals of delight and belly laughs.  You like when I nibble on your neck or make raspberries on your tummy.  Lots of other people have gotten laughs out of you this month too.  It's so cute and heart-warming!  I just love that sound.

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You also started to have a lot more interest in grasping things this month- both toys and my hair (ouch!).  You like to try to get the toys into your mouth (and also you like to gnaw on my finger!).   You have been drooling a lot more too, even through bibs sometimes, so you have a lot of outfit changes in a day between the drool, spit-up, and occasional poop explosion.  No teeth though that I can see yet.  I wonder if you'll get teeth any earlier than Nora (she was late at 11.5 months or so)?

You seem to have actually regressed in the rolling department.  Almost no rolling at all this month, you just get mad when I put you on your tummy and chew your hands.  You don't really roll onto your side yet either so back to tummy rolling seems a long way off.  That's okay though.  You have a lot of interest in trying to stand up (you also love your exersaucer and jumperoo for short periods of time), and you've also started doing baby crunches (precursor to sitting, though I'm guessing sitting independently is at least 2 months off for you!).

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Likes/Dislikes:  Really most of your grumpiness still comes down to 3 things: (1) hungry; (2) tired; (3) gassy/needs to burp.  The third of which is the most annoying because it can either be really hard to get the gas out and you are thoroughly unhappy until it does, or it comes out in the form of massive amounts of spit-up all over everything.  I was kind of hoping the spit-up would calm down by now but nope, you are still a big-time spitter.

Other than that I find you a pretty happy and easy-to-read little baby.  You are fine in the car and the carseat almost always makes you fall asleep.  You still like sleeping in your swing and playing on your playmat.  Your favorite activity is still when people talk to you or make you laugh.  You like people interaction but not so much snuggling or rocking.  When you are cranky you do like being carried around in my arms, facing out.  You like studying yourself in the mirror.

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You find your sister quite entertaining.  I can't wait to see the adventures you two get into. She's already desperate for a playmate.  I think you will make quite the pair.

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You are our little Jack, Mister Jack, JD, Buddy, Jack Attack.  We love seeing all your new discoveries and changes every day.  I love to study your sweet little face- such perfect chubby cheeks, such blue eyes, such a round little nose- and I picture you as a little boy and as a man.  How fast time is already going.  We love you, little one!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

This is sad to admit but I don't think I've been up to the mountains since maybe last Thanksgiving?  Kind of sad since one of the best parts about living in Colorado is the beauty that are the Rockies.  We've tried to plan a trip I think twice now with Kevin's sister and cousin, and both times everyone got sick.  It's really hard to get 3 families with small children all together for a whole weekend! Especially since Kevin rarely has a whole weekend off.

But finally, last weekend, we did it.  And it was SO nice.  Honestly we hardly left the cabin except to go for a walk, but it was pretty relaxing and fun to catch up with everyone. 

We went up Friday night- had a pretty easy drive up there, minus the last 10 minutes when Jack was not having it with his carseat anymore.  Still, he was a happy guy for most of the drive, and Nora just played her iPad while Kevin and I listened to the first 3 episodes of Serial.  Once there, Jack fell asleep easily in the pack n'play, while Nora struggled a bit more in a new bed but did eventually conk out.

The next day was a bit cold in the morning but we took the kids (Kevin's sister and her two kids had arrived with us Friday night too) on a walk.

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Nora and her cousin Finn loved stopping to feed the horses some carrots:

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Jack was all bundled up and fell asleep in the Ergo:

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We saw some big horn sheep on the walk! We maybe went a little too far though because Nora did not want to walk all the way home. We did finally make it though, and then we hung out inside for awhile and had snacks. Nora and Finn played on the piano and sang songs (too cute):

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We had grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles for lunch, and by then the kids were pretty tuckered out so everyone went to nap time. Nora slept so long I even got some reading in! After lunch, Kevin gave Nora archery lessons! He's been really into archery lately, and picked up a kid-sized bow for the kids to use. It was cute how excited Nora was- she actually had pretty good form and managed to pop a balloon with her arrow! (with daddy's help of course).

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Kevin's cousin and her family then arrived so the cousins all had fun playing together for the rest of the afternoon. We had delicious chili for dinner and cookies for dessert. Enjoyed this beautiful view and sunset:

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We attempted to let the cousins all have a sleepover in one room; seemed to be going pretty well at first but then all the other kids fell asleep while Nora was bouncing off the walls (quite literally, the girl fell off the bed between the wall and the bed like 3 times, we were watching her on the video monitor). After about two hours of hoping she would eventually go to sleep, we moved her back to her bed in our room- and even then it took a good 30 minutes more to get her to calm down enough to sleep. By that point she was crying and saying "It's so hard to fall asleep! I can't close my eyes! I want to sleep with my cousins!" It was like 10:45pm when she finally passed out in complete exhaustion. I guess it was all too much excitement for a three year old. At least the adults were playing a game and drinking copious amounts of wine/whiskey during this whole thing so we didn't care too much. :)

Sunday morning we let the kids watch TV for awhile while we all tried to wake up a bit (babies do not care if you stay up past midnight and maybe drink too much, fyi. They will still wake up as usual bright and early. At least Jack let me have until 6:45am or so, really one of his latest sleeping times yet).

 It was actually snowing a bit Sunday morning. I was a bit worried about the drive home but luckily the snow let up around noon, and we left around 1pm. Because of the chilly weather we didn't do too much Sunday, just hung out inside with everyone. Nora had fun with some of her one year old cousin's toys:

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We loved our weekend in the mountains, I'm so glad we could finally all get together!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

We have been excited for fall.  Nora is learning all kinds of songs about Halloween and falling leaves at preschool.  We actually got Halloween costumes early this year.  And we went to the pumpkin patch at Anderson Farms the first weekend it opened (a rare day off for Kevin).  Despite our best efforts, the weather has remained pretty summer-like around here (though it got much colder today).  I won't complain though, I much rather have it be warm than cold!

We had a fun time at the pumpkin patch.  We let Nora wear her witch costume and she was pretty excited about that.  We also brought Jack's shark costume to get pictures similar to those we took of Nora when she was a baby, but he was NOT a fan.  More about that in a bit.

My little witch, sans hat and broom:

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I think Nora's favorite thing at Anderson farms was this Cinderella pumpkin carriage.  She spent like 20 minutes in there and wanted to go back in at the end too.

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Kevin went with Jack to watch the pumpkin catapult while I took Nora to ride on the barrel train. I thought maybe she'd want to ride by herself this year, but nope, she still wanted me to ride with her. :) Made me happy though it's getting harder for us to both fit in there. I took this photo first:

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 This photo just makes me laugh:

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Anderson Farms also has a little pony ride for $5. It was kind of lame because the horses are all tethered in a circle around this pole, but Nora had fun (she actually went on a much cooler pony ride the following weekend). Still she looks so excited here: 

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I got Kevin to take a photo of me and my little boy.  He was in a good mood at this point!

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So that part of the pumpkin outing was all pretty successful, but then we decided to try to go out to the pumpkin patch to take photos and get a pumpkin. You ride in a large wagon over there, but I was kind of stressed out because you can't take your stroller with you and in the hurry to get on the wagon, I didn't think about Jack's schedule. Pretty much as soon as we got on the wagon he started crying- he was hungry and the bottles were back with the stroller. :( He did fall asleep for a little while on the way out there from all the bumpiness on the wagon.

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The pumpkin patch was actually really cool and since it was the first weekend, there were a billion pumpkins and most of them were perfect.  Without kids I would have liked to spend time searching for some funky and unusual looking pumpkins (not sure Kevin would have enjoyed that, lol).  Anyway, Nora found one she liked pretty fast and I took her picture.  She was so cute!  But I didn't have a lot of time because Jack was pretty upset.  But, since we had come out all this way to take photos, we quick put his shark outfit on and took his picture too.  Too bad there are no smiley ones of him- maybe next year. :)

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 And this was the best we could do of the two of them together... the three year old was also starting to lose her attention span.  Ah kids.

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Once we got back to the stroller Nora was feeling a bit grumpy and hungry too so we shared a bag of Kettle Corn and gave Jack his bottle. Then we headed out (stopped for BBQ in Frederick). It was a fun day all in all, even with a few hiccups!

I wanted to share this collage too, of Nora's four Halloweens. Next year I'll be able to make Jack one too!(and how much do Nora and Jack look alike in their pumpkin and shark outfits? Crazy!)

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p.s. I apologize for the lack of blogging. Our internet has sucked for like 6 months and it's always worst between 8-11pm... the only time of day I have free to blog. Many nights I can't get on at all. Very frustrating. But I'll try to post when I can!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Jack: Month Four

Dear Jack,

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Yay, we are finally leaving the newborn stage behind!  I know I should be more sad.  But honestly, I'm perfectly happy to never have to deal with the newborn stage again.  You have already started to be so much more interactive and content and more interesting this month.  You seem happy to leave that newborn stuff behind too!

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Sleeping:  We feel incredibly blessed to have such a great sleeper so far.  And this month we made some serious progress with sleep!  First, we moved your rock n'play out of our room into your own room for about 3 weeks.  I was sad to not have you next to me at night... I missed being able to reach over and check on you.  But, it's worked well to have you in your own room, so we don't feel like we have to tiptoe around you, since we stay up later then you.

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Anyway, after some weeks of that, you seemed to be getting more and more dissatisfied with your swaddle- breaking out of it lot, fussing when we put you in, etc. Around this time you had two not-so-great nights of sleep, and I had read about Merlin's Magic Sleep suit and saw one advertised on a local message board, so I picked one up.  And with the magic sleep suit's help, you have been sleeping in your crib, flat, for about two weeks, and doing wonderfully!  Generally you sleep from around 8:30-9pm to 5-6am, straight.  Sometimes you have an extra wake-up in there.  The suit lets you move your hands to your mouth, but it's harder to whack yourself in the face and it slows the startle reflex, so it works really well.  Oh how I wish I had bought one when Nora was a baby!  We tried the whole one-arm out of the swaddle at a time trick with her and it sucked- weeks of bad sleep.  This (so far) has worked a lot better!

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You really don't have any kind of consistent nap schedule which is a little frustrating but I think pretty typical for this age.  You do a lot of catnaps and naps on the go.  Sometimes you'll take 2-3 hour naps but it's never the same time from one day to the next.  Honestly I can't really remember how I got Nora on a nap schedule so I'm hoping it's like a developmental thing and it just starts to click for you.

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Eating:  This month you really ramped up your hunger.  A month ago you were only eating 3.5-4oz per bottle- now you take a minimum of 5oz per bottle and sometimes want 6-7oz!  Plus you still want to be fed every 2.5-3 hours, so I think you are getting like 33-35 oz per day (the average amount babies your age eat is 30oz).  It's hard to believe in the weeks after your birth we were so happy for you to be able to suck down 1 ounce, and now you're pounding back your bottles.  It's actually been a little tricky trying to figure out how much to give you because you're like a bottomless pit and we don't want to upset your tummy by giving you too much!  I'm a little scared how much you'll be drinking in another month- we may start solids at 5 months which will help (the pediatrician recommended starting then given how much you are drinking), but I'm not sure if you'll be developmentally ready until a little later.

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Still on Alimentum for your milk protein allergy.  We switched from Axid to Prilosec for your reflux (getting that cleared with insurance was a huge pain.  Finally figured out I needed to get the adult generic stuff ground up at a compounding pharmacy into infant size amounts, for insurance to cover it.  Of course they don't tell you that, I had to do some internet sleuthing).  Still on iron supplements too but the doctor says you can stop once you start solids, since the cereal or oatmeal will be iron-fortified.

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Weight: I was holding off on publishing this post until we had your pediatrician appointment today. You weigh (at 4 months 1 week).... 14 lbs 14 oz!  Not only does that mean you gained over 5 lbs in 2 months (!!), but you have more than tripled your birth weight!  Guess all those bottles you've been guzzling have been doing something.  You went from 2nd percentile in weight at 2 months to 30th percentile at 4 months!  You are also still somewhat short at 23.5" (they said it could take some time for your height to catch up), and you have a big head (70th percentile).  I can't believe how fast you've grown.

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Diaper Size:  Size 2.  I actually had to return both boxes of size 1s that I had left, there was just no way you could keep wearing those.  Actually I think it won't be long before you are in 3s.

Clothes Size:  3-6M.  Packed up the 0-3M about a couple weeks ago; probably hung unto those a little longer than needed, but some of them were so cute. :)  You've got some cute 3-6M stuff too, though, like this adorable onesie.

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Milestones/Firsts:  You are getting much more solid head control.  You can hold your head up well and support yourself on your arms during tummy time.  You rolled about 10 more times from tummy to back this month, though it's still not consistent (a lot of times you still just get mad and cry when on your tummy).  Lots of smiling and some chuckling.  One cute development is that you've started "talking" back to me.  You make all kinds of cute coos and ahhs.  Those little conversations we have are one of the best parts of my day.

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While you will swat at toys, you have very little interest in actually holding onto any of them.  I will sometimes put something in your fist to practice, but you really seem disinterested.  Your favorite thing to look at right now is faces, not objects.  In this respect I think you are still following closely to your adjusted age, which is about 12 weeks.

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Likes/Dislikes:  You still like bath time (unless I dare attempt it when you are hungry or tired).  You like being worn in the ergo and at night during your fussy time we put you in there and you usually take a pre-bedtime nap for awhile.  We tried out the exersaucer in the last week- you are still a little small for it but you really like being in there and being upright.  You love when people talk to you.  Not such a fan of just plain old snuggling and you seem to get antsy if we're just rocking in a chair or something.  On the other hand you like being held and carried around.  You've shown a little more interest in your big sister this month and smile when she comes around.

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We love you little Jack!  In many ways it feels like you have always been part of our family, instead of just 4 short months.  We are so lucky to have you.

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