Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baby Jack is Big Boy Jack Now!

I'm going to try to avoid the much used phrase "I can't believe my baby is...." but let's just say I definitely understand the sentiment! Jack will be 2 on Saturday. That means 2 years ago, I was hugely pregnant, impatient, and NAIVE to what motherhood really meant.

I definitely think motherhood changes you very quickly. There's no doubt it's deepened me as a person and rearranged the order of importance of everything in my life. It is without a doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me. And not just motherhood, but specifically Jack (who wouldn't exist without that other great thing that happened to me - Jacob Landry).

Every month since Jack was born, I've been writing down what he's like in a little journal. I always get frustrated as I sit down to do this because there is so much to say and my hand writes so slowly. I've decided I'll switch to typing from now on.

Let me tell you a little about Jack and his first 2 years:

Adorable 8 lb, 10 oz baby

Cuddly, milk guzzling, BIG baby

Strong, brave, soul - an eternal inspiration to me
(open heart surgery at 3.5 months)

Mr. Chunky

The Third Musketeer and Big Time Traveler

A Very Loved Owen/Landry Family Addition

An Avid Reader

Momma and Daddy's Baby and Best Buddy

As he approaches the milestone of his second birthday, who is Jack now?
  • He is definitely independent, insisting on carrying his own bag or playing contentedly by himself.
  • He is imaginative "I am a dump truck"..."I am a car carrier"... I've watched him make up many games and identities.
  • He is polite - he says "Excuse me" when he "has gas" and always says "please" - actually kind of a challenge bc I don't always want him to have what he's asking for!!
  • He is a smart little cookie. I know it might sound like bragging, but when it's your own child who you have watched evolve from a tiny baby to a thinking, talking boy, everything is amazing! He knows his ABCs, including identifying all letters except a handful (U, V, E, and N if you are curious). He counts to 11. He knows an impressive amount of machine names ("Mommy, I see a mobile crane....Mommy, where digger go?.....Mommy, find backhoe loader")
  • He has an uncanny memory. Jake gets tired of my stories, but the child doesn't forget anything. We go on walks and he knows what road the hospital is down, where he'll likely see school buses, and remembers that a car that looked like his friend Felix' Mommy's was parked over there once. He randomly spouts out things from months back. For example, when he heard us talk about Uncle Chris, he said "Uncle Chris has a boo-boo" - which was true, when he saw Uncle Chris 3 months ago.
  • He loves, loves, loves to read. My favorite moments are the ones where I look over to find out why Jack is so quiet and it's because he's sitting on his blanket reading his books, slowly flipping through the pages. We read together during the day, before nap, and before bed. He loves Sesame Street books (mine and Jake's from our childhood), loves non-fiction books about trucks (I highly recommend the emergent reader Mighty Machine books), and random other books.
  • He loves his school, the Child Development Program. When we sit down to say his prayers, he immediately says "Ms. Robin" wanting to make sure we bless his teacher in our prayers. He's proud of the pictures he brings home and is making good buddies at school (Stephen and Jack namely).
  • He has had a wonderful first best buddy Felix, who he's been hanging out with every week or so since he was 9 months old. Sadly Felix is moving to NC, but hopefully will come back to visit.
  • He loves to eat. He can definitely be picky when he wants to, but the boy is indiscriminate when it comes to fruit and cheese -- his two favorite types of food. Jake and I are pretty proud of Jack's diet and the fact that he eats very little processed food. I have a feeling we come off a little intensely to some (i.e. the church nursery ladies) but I'm confident we've got sound logic on our end and I know Jack is healthier for our strictness.
  • He is so loving. He says "Mommy hold you" and "Mommy snuggle" a lot and I love that he comes to me for comfort. Now that he knows we are having a baby, he is so sweet and cute. He says "Hi baby, how are you?" to my belly and has started to say "I love you" and gives my belly a kiss, unprompted.
  • He will be an awesome big brother. He's just a great kid, so who wouldn't want to have him as their big brother? He knows that when the baby is ready, we'll go to the "hopipital" and that he'll get to hold him/her then. (He thinks it's a girl).
  • He is still a baby. I LOVE his pronunication of certain words and almost encourage it just bc I think they are so cute. My favorites are "hop-e-pital" (he's obsessed with building hospitals and looking for the hospital and ambulance trucks so he says this a lot); "nummy" (which means another, i.e. "Jack had a nummy bad cough" after he coughs a second time); "manana" for banana and "banola" for granola and "strawbay-yay-yay" (and rasbay-yay-yay etc.) :)
  • He is not perfect. He has a temper, he's definitely hit Jake and me more than I'd like to admit, and he is nowhere near rational at this point. But these are all parts of Jack and the little boy his mind/body/soul are working toward becoming. It's our job to be patient and help teach him in these moments (EASIER SAID THAN DONE but we are working on it!)

There is so much to love about him. I hope I get to be blessed with a long life as his mother so I can get to watch him grow up through all the stages and get to know the wonderful person I know he will be as an adult.

Happy Birthday Jack - we love you the most!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

9 weeks!

9 weeks pregnant! (11/26/11)

I'm still feeling sick but it's a little helpful right now because I'm at the point in pregnancy where there is a disconnect between the knowledge that I am pregnant and any physical confirmation of that fact. What I mean by that is, according to the books I now have a grape sized tiny baby inside of me, with 10 little fingers and 10 little toes, but I can't feel that baby, I don't really look pregnant, and I haven't had an ultrasound to give me visual proof. So the constant sickness helps me believe that I actually am pregnant!

I'm still VERY excited about this baby despite the first trimester side effects. As I watch Jack grow and develop into this personable, bright, loving child, it's amazing to know I'll get to experience all that joy again with another baby - and that that journey has already started! I have a phone ap that gives me daily pregnancy updates and which has some great little videos to detail the journey. Jake and I watched the "First 9 Weeks of Pregnancy" video last night and it's crazy to see how a ball of cells turns into a tiny human in such a short time frame!

We are now T-minus two weeks for the big move and I'm so excited, albeit bracing myself for a month of craziness. It's been fun to visit the new house and watch it take form. I love that Jack has had so much exposure to it and how it's been a form of preparation for the change of the move. He is going to love this bigger, more spacious home with all its new opportunities for adventure. Our yard is literally a construction site, but EVENTUALLY it will be awesome to have an outdoor spot for Jack to play.

Jack is being a good sport about these Jack/belly pictures, but added in the school bus to make it more fun.

Week Nine Stats:

How I know I'm pregnant: still pretty constant nausea, complete exhaustion at times, and I've started waking at least once in the night needing to pee

Diet: still oatmeal and OJ, followed by apples, rice cakes and peanut butter usually, and then a normal dinner - this week we had dinner brought by friends + dinner out + 3 holiday meals/leftovers, so that helped with my utter lack of interest in planning/preparing a meal; still not all that interested in sweets and turned off by certain foods

My healthy pregnancy intentions for last week (how I did):1) Get my labwork done. ()
2) Continue to research baby boy names. ( - Jake and I took a look at my initial list and narrowed it down to about 15 possibilities)
3) Take advantage of week off and get good rest (while also getting a LOT done for the new house/move/Christmas shopping). (3/4 check - got good rest and got close to half of my Christmas shopping done and packed the first boxes for the move)
4) Get vegetables back into my diet. (X - sadly, no)
5) Make sure I'm not neglecting my husband like I have these past few weeks. (half check - we went on a date and we spent a good bit of quality time together over break but I've definitely still been short tempered at times and am still spending a lot of time lying on the couch!)
*Bonus: I got my flu shot.

My healthy pregnancy intentions for this week:
1) Email our HR director to get information about maternity leave
2) Make a daily to do list so I can stay on top of the move + get ready for Jack's birthday (!!) while still making sure I'm getting rest
3) Go to bed before 10:00 every night
4) Try to vary what I'm eating some to get more nutrients in

Saturday, November 19, 2011

8 weeks!

8 weeks pregnant! (11/19/11)

8 weeks feels like the first milestone! (I have no idea why.) At 10 weeks, I plan to stop keeping this pregnancy such a secret, so that is the next milestone. And the milestone of feeling better can happen ANY TIME - I am VERY ready!!

I continue to feel a little better. I still have a nauseated feeling most of the time, but it is no longer constant and hasn't been debilitating this week. I'm frustrating Jake with my pickiness about food, but what's a girl to do when SO FEW foods are appealing!

The main challenge this week has just been feeling SO tired. Case in point: I got ELEVEN hours of sleep last night, definitely a record since Jack was born. This included falling asleep on the couch at 8:30 and staying in bed while Jake got up with Jack this morning. Even still it took almost 2 hours for me to stop feeling exhausted after I woke up and start to feel like I could tackle the day.

Jack has continued to be a champ and has been great with his naps (with one exception yesterday). This has been very helpful because I spend the whole 3 hours he is sleeping on the couch, either doing computer tasks or sleeping.

Jake and I went to our first prenatal appointment on Thursday at Woman to Woman Midwifery. This is a practice of two midwives. I had a great appointment - we were there close to 1.5 hours, but only about 5-10 minutes of that was spent waiting. The rest of the time was spent going over my medical history, learning about their practice, talking about this pregnancy, and then getting my exam. Everything looks good and I've gained back about half the weight I lost in the early weeks. We go again on December 15th and plan to bring Jack.

In other news...
- we are slated to move between December 7-10 - ahh! We will be ready, but will the house be??
- Jack now thinks there are two babies in my belly and knows that when the baby is ready, that I will go to the hospital ("hop-ee-pital") and that's where he'll come meet the baby
- somebody is turning 2 in two weeks!!

Week Eight Stats:

How I know I'm pregnant: still feel nauseated, definitely have a small baby bump (that is huge after meals :) ), SOOOO tired, and still sensitive up top, and now I have the midwives' confirmation!

Diet: oatmeal every morning with glass of OJ, bananas for snack, usually peanut butter with apples or bread for lunch, had real dinners this week, though 3 of them were purchased (so I could have exactly what sounded good); not all that interested in sweets which is a big change for me

My healthy pregnancy intentions for last week (how I did):
1) Write down any questions I have before our Thursday appointment. (, but of course left them at home)
2) Keep the pregnancy quiet for at least another week at work. (√ - now it's Thanksgiving break - I plan to tell HR once we are back in school)
3) Try to diversify what I'm eating bc I think I'll feel better with healthier, more varied foods in me. (√ - thanks to Juan's Flying Burrito, Reginellis, and Gott Gourmet for providing me with ready made dinners this week :) )
4) Keep going to bed early and making time for afternoon naps. ()
5) Get back to researching baby boy names. (√ - up through the letter S now)

My healthy pregnancy intentions for this week:
1) Get my labwork done.
2) Continue to research baby boy names.
3) Take advantage of week off and get good rest (while also getting a LOT done for the new house/move/Christmas shopping).
4) Get vegetables back into my diet.
5) Make sure I'm not neglecting my husband like I have these past few weeks.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

7 weeks!

7 weeks! (11/12/11)

Well 7 weeks definitely feels better than 6! I'm still nauseated but it is NOTHING like how I felt last week. I'm proud to say I went to work every day this week and generally held it together despite some rough afternoons of not feeling well. I've been fortunate in that I seem to feel the worst after lunch and in the evenings, which line up with when Jack is sleeping. So I've been doing a lot of couch sitting and sleeping myself. In bed at 8-something + a daily nap - Jake is just loving this, let me tell you!

I noticed a definite positive shift on Thursday, so I hope it continues!!! I cannot wait until the day when food is actually appealing again! I have a pregnancy by the week book that I've been rereading this go round. Our baby has doubled in size in this past week and is now the size of my fingernail (1/2 inch long), so there is a definite positive aspect of the side effects.

We'll be going for our first appointment this Thursday. We are switching to the local midwifery practice this time. We liked our obstetrician last time but in principle, I believe I'm a great candidate for a midwife assisted birth. I'm young, healthy, and have had one uneventful pregnancy. In general, I believe birth has become over-medicalized in our society, and I think it makes more sense for me to be cared for by a midwife, especially since my goal, again this time, is to deliver naturally, without any medicine or interventions if possible. I also CANNOT imagine taking Jack to monthly and then weekly doctor apptmts. where we wait 90-120 minutes which was our experience last time. I have 3 good friends here who delivered with the midwives and all of them have stressed how family friendly their practice is. This is great as I want Jack to be very much a part of this pregnancy and to learn what is happening with "Jack's baby."

In other news this week, I am now showing! Holy cow - at 6.5 weeks?! But no doubt, my pants are tight and there is a definite lower belly pooch (see exhibit A below). We haven't really started telling people here and don't plan to for a few more weeks, so we'll see if I can hide the pooch for now.

Jack continues to be a great sport for his lazy mom. He gives his baby daily kisses and now says "Hi baby, how are you?" (to which I say, "I'm good, how are you Jack" which he then repeats :) ) He does have his second ear infection in 3 weeks, so he is needing a little extra loving this weekend.

Week Seven Stats:

How I know I'm pregnant: baby bump!, the around the clock nausea, constant fatigue, a little sensitivity up top :)

Diet: depressing: lots of bananas with some grapes and apples; bread, a little PB, some soup, oatmeal, and orange juice (the one thing that still sounds 100% good to me)

My healthy pregnancy intentions for last week (how I did):
1) make sure I'm keeping at least some food down at every meal (after last weekend, I've eaten at least something every meal)
2) stay positive bc I know this sickness is temporary and is going to lead to a wonderful baby (I give myself an A- here - I'm really excited for this baby - just longing to feel better so I can enjoy it more!)

My healthy pregnancy intentions for this week:
1) Write down any questions I have before our Thursday appointment.
2) Keep the pregnancy quiet for at least another week at work.
3) Try to diversify what I'm eating bc I think I'll feel better with healthier, more varied foods in me.
4) Keep going to bed early and making time for afternoon naps.
5) Get back to researching baby boy names.