Friday, March 30, 2012

What we've been up to!

Here are some musings on our recent weeks...
Jackson is starting to get his hair back which means he is losing his mullet and mohawk. Bummer ;)
When you are married to an ED physician, every day looks a little different and there is no such thing as the weekend. So, the other Monday morning we treated it like a Saturday and had a family hang out in bed. It's so special to be able to spend this time together since it is hard to get during residency.
We have enjoyed a wide spectrum of weather in Norfolk this "winter" but in general the temps have been amazing for Jackson's first few months. We have made it outside to run or walk every day and not had to bundle him up too much. But, it means he barely got any use out of the super cute North Face snow suit that Katy bought him. Maybe we'll have a colder winter for baby #2 in the future.

We have been on plenty of walks with friends and are now starting to have play dates together since the kids enjoy toys and looking at each other. We went over to Mary and Ellie's house for a latte (delicious!) and play time. Jackson loved her walker so much that he christened it with spit up...sorry!! 

In the short moments when Jackson is napping (still no longer than 40 minutes in a stretch!) I have made it out into the garden to tend to our unruly rose bush and clematis. Thanks to advice from mom it should look great this year! We have also been surprised by bulbs that are popping out of nowhere! They must have been dormant last spring because we had a bush removed from this spot and tulips bloomed a few weeks ago.

EDIT: As my mom gently reminded me after reading the post on Friday, SHE planted the bulbs when she and dad came to visit Jackson the first week he was born. Oops. I completely forgot that she was out there, having just broken her wrist the last time she gardened at my house, lovingly planting each bulb for us to enjoy this spring. Now I appreciate my bulbs even more :)
Finally, Jonathan and I are enjoying the fact that Jackson goes to bed every night in the 6:00 hour and sleeps until his next feeding around 4:30am. We had dinner (homemade tortilla soup, yum!) with AJ and Laura at their house and went home to enjoy some beers and watch old compilations of SNL. We just laughed and laughed on the couch for hours and were able to forget some of the stresses of new parenthood and enjoy being together. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

When it rains, it pours!

      Well, it was a weekend of "showers" for us in the Byrne household! Last week, we noticed a water stain on the kitchen ceiling that was progressively getting larger but was not bad enough to call a plumber yet, for fear that they would want to break a hole in our walls to determine what was going on.  Thursday morning, I got a text from Jonathan saying that the ceiling was leaking from the kitchen light after he got out of the shower.  Awesome. It could literally be 'showering' on the two baby showers I was hosting this weekend! 
       So, thinking that the problem is made worse by use of our shower/tub, we were forced to shower elsewhere. Throwback to our college days...we gathered our towels and toiletries (too bad I don't have a bath bucket anymore!) and showered at the McNabb's house (thank you!). 
       As if that wasn't enough, we got a call from a neighbor on Friday asking us if we would like our dog back. "What do you mean? Our dog is in the backyard....oh wait...." Yes, lincoln took 1.5 years to discover (or create?) the hole in the fence that now allows him to explore the neighborhood. Jonathan texted me while I was working yesterday: "Sometimes I pause and ask myself, 'why is Lincoln waiting on the front porch for me to let him in?' Then I realize it's because our yard is not fenced in."  So we spent this afternoon rigging up a closure to the gate. Lincoln is bummed and slightly mad at us.

       Baby shower #1 on Saturday was great. We honored Stephanie Jones, an OT from work who is having a baby boy in April.  Jackson was thrilled to be part of the party! Everyone brought food to this one so if my ceiling caved in we would have been ok :) 
Co-workers at Stephanie's shower
After everyone left (a huge thanks to Michelle and Diane for doing all the clean up), I got right back to cooking for shower #2! Not quite realizing how poor my planning was, I decided to make many new recipes for the shower because they all looked so delicious! They included 2 batches of cake balls, owl cupcakes, sweet potato biscuits with ham and apricot jam, spinach tortilini salad and deviled eggs.  The cake balls were a near disaster, but so delicious! The biscuits were a sticky mess and almost didn't make a showing at the shower. The eggs came off in clumps when I peeled them but I salvaged enough to use.  All in all, when the shower was all ready to go on Sunday, I breathed a huge sigh of relief! 
Double chocolate and red velvet cake balls
Owl Cupcakes for the owl-themed shower!
Laura's shower
The second shower was for Laura Langa, a new friend whose husband works with Jonathan. She is from AZ and we were so lucky to have her mom join us for the shower! She is having a baby girl in May.  

After this weekend, I needed a break from the kitchen so JB and I finished the growth chart. It's going to look so great in his room! Hard to believe that he is already past the 2 foot mark, but we won't measure him until he can stand up.  
And finally, we unwound today with Women's Bible Study in the morning, a walk with Mary and Ellie in the afternoon and a run with Anna and Val this windy evening. Val finally got to hold Jackson, since she is usually holding her own daughter, Sofi. Jackson was ALL smiles for Val and Anna today. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy 5 month birthday, Jackson (technically it's one day early but I work tomorrow and can't do our monthly photo shoot...he'll never know the difference).  This is what's going on in his world:

He is sleeping like a champ at night (10-12 hours) 
Still loves to eat and can't wait to get his mouth on some solid food really soon
Weighing in at over 17#
Lincoln is his new best friend
He loves to go on walks
Thinks his toes are the most delicious thing ever
Loves to talk to himself in his crib when he wakes up
Might be growing out of his reflux
Hakuna Matata is his new jam
Loves to stand with assist from mom
Thinks his dad's singing voice is the best sound
Mouths anything he can get his little hands on
Has blowout diapers just about once a day 
Enjoys time with all of his grandparents

naked baby, first day of spring! 
with his weasel from Ila Byrd

Loves his feet
so happy...

yet so serious and thoughtful. We love our boy

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A ShamROCKIN' good weekend

What a great first St. Patrick's day! We started off with a walk around the neighborhood to calm the crazy beast (Lincoln, that is!). Then we loaded up into the car for a weekend in Virginia Beach. First stop was to see my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. (Troy) Adgate who was in town for her son's soccer tournament. I got to meet her sweet kids, see her husband again and catch up with her. Can you believe that I was her daughter's age when she taught me and now have a son?  Time flies. How great to maintain ties from the Bush Hill days. 
Mrs. Adgate and Sofi meet Jackson
Then, off to VA Beach for Shamrock Marathon Weekend! Jackson and I have had a blast training with friends: Diane, Val and Sofi, Anna, Christy and Eli, Kaitlin, Blair...thanks to all my wonderful training buddies! Our BOB has logged hundreds of miles already and is still going strong.  It was such a blessing to be able to be so active during the pregnancy (and i'm sure it helped make labor go smoothly) and so soon after.  Running is a my therapy...quiet time to think, watch Jackson, enjoy nature and God's creation and most of all hang out and get to know new friends.

I met up with Val and Anna to head to the 1/2 marathon. This was Val's 3rd, Anna's First (woo hoo!!!) and my 2nd. Weather was perfect, in the high 50's. Everything about the Shamrock makes for a great race day....good support, good weather and a flat course. It was super strange to not run with Jackson, though, after pushing a jogger for every single run since he was born.  We had a great time running and everyone did so well in the race! Must be the luck 'o the babies!

Val, Anna and me before heading out to the race! 
Matt Byrne (or should I call him Granddad Byrne) made me a great sign that I saw around mile said, "Go Jackson's Mom". Love it :) It was strange to do a race with a baby. Last night I went to sleep at 7:30pm which was a good thing because he was up at 2:30 ready to eat. Then fed him again at 5:30 and got ready for the race. He slept through the start of the race but I got to see him on the return trip. They swore he was happy all state otherwise, at least for that brief moment when I showed up! I think the hardest thing about doing a race with a baby is having to take care of him later on that day. I got home and wanted to be a worthless bum but Jackson wanted some serious attention. So, he's finally in bed (at 6:30pm) and I'm not far behind! Thank goodness I only have 1/2 marathon legs and not marathon legs or I don't know that I would have been able to carry him up the stairs tonight. Blair, how do you do it!?
Not sure he likes this racing thing...better get used to it baby! :) 

Sitting in the sun room at Grandparents house! Loved watching the runners pass by
 And, Jackson wore green all St. Patrick's weekend. This is especially for cousin Riley who was appalled when jackson was not wearing red on Valentine's day ( bad).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Jackson's Faces

What fun it is to see Jackson become more and more expressive every day! He is such a cute little thing :)

Practicing this duck face
This was a massive spit up one morning when we were all home hanging out
He was so proud of himself for the volume he projected all over himself, the bumbo, kitchen counter and the floors. Our floors are definitely not clean enough to eat off of! 
We have LOVED his eyebrows from day one. So expressive!
Curious yet surprised baby

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I usually don't post this often but I was having some good thoughts to share... So if any of you read mom websites you know that SAHM stands for stay-at-home-mom. I realized today that I love being a part time SAHM. I have 4 day weekends to travel, rest, etc. I have a day off between work days to have wonen's Bible study and our community group for church and to enjoy time with Jackson. I get to go on walks with Mary and Val (and Ellie and Sofi!). Jackson and I get to have play-dates, walk Lincoln, drink coffee and watch the today show (a little boy must be up-to-date with his news!). I thought that I would always want to work, and I do, just maybe not full time again. I am more compassionate at work now, having the energy to listen to people who are hurting both physically and emotionally. Jonathan commented today that I have not complained about any aspect of work since I have been back! 20 hours of patient care seems to be an ideal amount for me. Being at home with Jackson is FUN on our days together because I miss him so much when we are apart. Being part time has allowed me to have true energy and excitement for whatever I am doing that day. Come April, Allyson and I realized we can go to the beach on weekdays!! 54th street. Please join us in our green beach tent. There will be snacks and nap time. It's time for bed now. I have a fun-filled day tomorrow of a possible breakfast date with a friend and her baby and then a walk with another friend and her baby. Then to savor some quality family time while Jonathan is home (something I get to do way more of being a part time SAHM). I am so grateful for my place in life right now and would not change a thing.

Our week

It was a great week in the Byrne household. It's amazing how every day can bring a completely new skill for Jackson. I had been asking friends for advice on how to get him to nap longer than 45 minutes. We were talking a lot about sleep cycles and maybe "Ferberizing" him during nap time in addition to at night. Well, I tried it out during our play date last week and both friends looked at me and said, "That's kinda a bad might want to go get him". He freaks out after 45 minutes in the crib (which is only about 30 minutes of sleeping since he cries at the start of most naps).

I had a friend, Allyson, and her 7.5 month daughter Lizzy Kay over the other morning for breakfast. I put him in the crib at 8:10 and he cried until 8:20 after which A and LK arrived and I asked her for advice about sleeping longer than 45 minutes, expecting to hear him at any moment.  Lo and behold, Jackson proceeded to sleep until 11:45!!! WHAT? I LOVE it.  Our little boy is growing up.  That being said, he has not taken a long nap since then but at least we know he is capable of it!

He is also cooing, which just suddenly showed up on Friday morning. It is fun to listen to him learn how to make new noises.  He loved talking to the Byrne grandparents this weekend when we spent the night there.  

We went out to Red Dog after Jonathan's intern exam for his second year of residency. Jackson has been bar hopping (well, not that we are really bar people, but you know....going out for dinner and drinks) since he was an infant so we might as well keep up the tradition!!  I showed up with him in the Bjorn and he was the hit of the party. He was stingy with his smiles, though. Maybe he was overwhelmed with all the new people smiling at him and didn't know what to do!  At the end of the afternoon, he curled up in Sarah's arms and got all snuggly. Sweet baby.
Jonathan and I also had the chance to go on a date on Friday! We received a Groupon for a coffee tasting for 2 from a friend who was unable to use it.  We dropped Jackson off with Allyson and walked to the coffee shop near McArthur Mall.  Whereas the coffee tasting smelling was somewhat of a disappointment,  we really enjoyed each other's company.
Our first babysitter outside the home, Allyson, cuddling with Jackson when we got back from our date.
 Finally, Jackson discovered his feet this week which means he always has a toy with him (and it makes diaper changing much harder!)