Monday, February 27, 2012

Saying goodbye

This weekend we had a chance to say goodbye to our good friends, Meade and Mary Elizabeth Stone and their two boys, John and Daniel. Jonathan went to high school with Meade and we were both at UVA with Mary Elizabeth.  We've had the pleasure of spending the last few years with them in Hampton Roads and will miss them terribly when they move to Atlanta but know they will be blessed there!
 I love when Jonathan is on baby duty. He does a great job and I love watching my two boys together
 Jonathan, Jackson, Meade and John.
 Jackson is not lacking for ladies in his life! From Caroline, Kristen (above), Ilah, Helen, Sofi, Susannah, Ellie, Emma, Lizzy Kay...the list goes on and on and on!!! Thank goodness for Luke Southerland and Corbin Scott!!
 Mary Elizabeth, Kara and Ilah, Lindsey, Megan and Emma, Jackson and me
A rare family picture, courtesy of Dave Rathbone. Jackson is 18 weeks old (or a little over 4 months for those of you who don't feel like doing the math

Friday, February 24, 2012

Play dates

One of the best things about being a mom (really, there are too many to list!) is how many new friends you can make because of your kids and the new bond of motherhood. I have really been blessed with so many new friendships in the past few months and am so excited to maintain these friendships as our kids grow.  I like that these new bonds feel so natural, not forced just because we have newborns.  It is so comforting to have women around me who have recently been where I am or will arrive there soon after me. We share stories, laughs, tears and the joys of motherhood as we walk/run the neighborhood, drink coffee or go shopping (GUMP consignment sale tomorrow!).  

I still treasure the friendships I have with people who are not yet moms because we get to talk about something besides Jackson! As much as I love being a mom, I realize that it's temping to get sucked into becoming 100% "Jackson's mom" and losing my status as Jonathan's wife and "just Heather".  I was talking with a good friend today about how easy it is to completely focus on Jackson and forget about the other important relationships in my life, namely my marriage to Jonathan.  I take him for granted and assume that we will have time for us later.  It's easy to put things in hold when there are numerous feedings, diaper changes, tummy time, baths, etc.  But, it is important for us to maintain a strong bond of marriage to create a strong family and one in which Jackson will have a good example to follow for his future.  So this week I am reflecting on my roles as God's daughter, Jonathan's wife, Jackson's mother, Tom and Nancy's daughter and Heather.  I am so thankful for everyone who makes me the person I am today.  May you all be encouraged in your various roles this week.  

And a special thank you to those of you who have given us the precious gift of free babysitting so we can enjoy a date night here and there. We are forever grateful that you have also realized the importance of maintaining a strong marriage so we can raise our amazing baby boy! 

We had a play date with two mutual friends, Kelly (from church) and Christina (from VA Beach) and their precious kids: Corbin, Weston (not pictured), Helen and Jackson. Kelly made an amazing lunch which was such a treat! 
With all the baby play dates, Lincoln has been feeling left out so we had a play date for him today also. My friend Kelly F from PT school just got Gus, a puppy from Westben (where Lincoln was born). He came over to play today and tired Lincoln out! Thanks Gus :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

4 month birthday

Happy 4 month birthday to Jackson!  Jackson and I spent the weekend in Springfield visiting with grand mom and pop pop and some of my friends from church.  It's so amazing to see my childhood friends become parents. Jackson is so blessed to have amazing grandparents on both sides who shower him with hugs and kisses. Grandparent kisses are the best!
 Like all kids, Jackson LOVES to play with pop pop. He just seems to have a way with kids and can make them giggle like crazy!
 Playing with Mortimer the Moose. Look at his chubby wrists
 It was so great to be able to catch up with friends from church. I have known them since elementary school and now we have our own kids! Maria and Timothy (8 weeks), Jackson and me (4 months), Steve and Jonathan (6.5 months).
 Jackson is HUGE (16 pounds and still a very long baby). He fits snugly in our sling :)
 Grandmom kisses
 Back at home in Norfolk, enjoying the bumbo on his birthday morning.
Since returning to Norfolk Monday morning, Jackson has developed some new talents. He smiles all day every day, he is very distracted while eating, he pays attention to every light and noise in the room and he rolls from his back to his belly. His new rolling skill only takes place while he is sleeping in his crib, causing him to wake up fairly terrified and frustrated at not being able to get onto his back again.  Hopefully that skill will come soon so he's not stranded like a little turtle.  
 Since Jackson is 4 months old, I figured he should probably dress like the big boy that he is. There will be seersucker and bow ties in his near future. Wa-hoo-wa
He is so excited to be 4 months old. We are so amazed at how he has already blessed us so much and can't believe that he is ours and we get to enjoy him day after day! When people tell me, "Jackson is so cute",  I know the polite thing is to say, "Thank you". However, I find myself saying, "Yeah! I know!" and then gushing over how cute he is. I still love to look at him and just melt every time he smiles or laughs.

I read a post on blogging moms the other week (thanks new walking buddy) and how they all make it seem as if life is perfect. It makes being a new mom overwhelming at times when you read about the amazing lives of these other new moms. We seem to have a good balance here.  Some days I can make 4 dinners (meal swap...lovely), clean the bathrooms and go on a run all by 9am. Other days Jackson and I have both worn three outfits by 9am and don't feel like changing again so we sit in clothes covered in spit-up for the rest of the day. Sometimes I wear skirts and heels, sometimes I wear a shirt obviously stinking of baby bodily fluids.  Even when we are completely exhausted, we are thankful for each day we get to spend with our new little boy, loving him, teaching him and learning from him.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Squeaks

All is well at the Byrne household. We increased the dosage of Jackson's medicine to account for his 3lb 10oz weight gain since his last MD appt and it seems to be working like a charm. He still might be teething but has nothing to show for it. He is back to being his happy self which makes mom, dad and Liz (the babysitter) very happy!

One of Jackson's many nicknames is squeaks, so here is a quick clip of him sleeping in the sling the other night during dinner at the Speasmakers house. 
video

We have loved the warm weather this "winter", and have been cruising the neighborhood daily! Here is Jackson in a hand-knit hat from Amy Hoffman, my 'big buddy' in the PT program at ODU.  She made it with UVA colors, in honor of both of our alma mater and maybe Jackson's future school?! 

Jackson playing with dinosaur toys from his 'cousin' Riley.  He is very excited for when the two of them can play together. Now Riley can finally have someone to play the prince!

Not now, I'm sleeping :)  Jackson catches some zzz's on one of our walks in a hand-knit hat from a friend of Grandmother Beth.

Gotta love this hat, and the smiling baby who is wearing it!
I feel as if all of my pictures are of him in the car seat. I promise he does spend time out of it but I'm always by myself and this is the easiest way to get pictures of him! Rest assured, we do have plenty of snuggle time, tummy time and play time out of the carrier!

We spent the weekend at the Byrne's house and Jackson loved grandparent time! They watched him while I ran with Blair, walked with Laura (who is due with her first baby this spring; yet another girlfriend for Jackson), ran errands and went to a Team Hoyt meeting. Jackson was smothered in kisses and hugs. This boy is so loved!

Granddad

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Growing like a weed

We had our 3 month doctor appointment today (which was somewhat delayed due to our doc being on vacation...jealous!).  Jackson is 14.5 weeks or about 3 1/2 months. He got another round of shots today (sad) but was a trooper, only screaming for a minute or so and then settling down (after being smothered in kisses by mom).  So far he has been in the 75 and 95 percentiles for his height, weight and length and today he blew us away. He is weighing in at 15lb 10oz (95%), head circumference of 43cm (95%) and length of 26.5 inches (off the charts). We have a LONG baby. No wonder all of his pants look like capris, his shirts show off his chubby midriff and his onesies pull down at the neck almost to his nipple line when he stretches his legs out fully! We are completely out of 0-3 month clothes, 3 month clothes barely fit him and he is consistently wearing 6 month outfits that have just a little room to grow in them. I love picking out his clothes each morning but I don't agonize over it because he usually spits up on them before 9am and thus starts his frequent wardrobe changes.  Our babysitter loves dressing him up, which is a good thing because he forces her to change his outfits multiple times each day! We think it's because he enjoys being naked so much. In fact, he gives a cute little smirk when he spits up enough to require a full bath. He LOVES it.
Aren't these overalls so cute? They lasted 3/4 of the day! 

Jackson has become more expressive this week and way more alert. We are working on his trunk muscles while sitting in the boppy and playing with toys to the front and side. Sometimes it's more like 'mom plays with toys and tries to get him interested', but it's fun none the less.  He greets us each morning with a huge gummy (maybe with a pearly white soon?) grin and loves to watch us and Lincoln.  He can bear weight on his legs, hold his head up for several minutes in prone and can do a mini baby push up. Prone is not his favorite position so we do a lot of football carries and airplane to work on his neck muscles.  Hopefully all the physical training we are doing will make him sleep well each night! 
Jackson is a very easy going baby who likes to observe his surroundings. He loves lights, mirrors and clapping. So far his favorite song is Skidamarinkidinkidink which we sing each morning. I have begun to introduce Jonathan to Veggie Tales which have already provided hours of fun for us!  Jackson loves to go on walks in the jogger and the bjorn and is really starting to check out everything around him.  We are excited for what lies ahead but are really enjoying where we are with our precious baby boy.      









He is so handsome, even with all the drool!