Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mommy, you are so funny!

And now, a little story from our guest blogger, my mom! 

As a mother, you don’t always say the right thing.  In fact, usually you say the absolutely wrong thing.  But one glorious day in Heather’s life, I said the best thing ever.  In her second grade class, when a parent arrived, the other kids could talk about the child.  When I arrived, the kids talked about how smart she was.  Finally I got to speak and I said, “Do you know what I like  the most about Heather?”  Of course they all thought I would talk about how smart and well-behaved she was.  But I said, “ She’s so funny!”   I have seldom seen Heather’s face light up like it did  at that moment.  Who knew to be funny was her secret dream!  Of course, her dad and I really did think she was a riot then and now, too.

Yes, I LONG to be funny. I ACHE to be funny. My boss makes me tell jokes at work because he can laugh at just how not funny I am. My joke telling is awkward because I forget the punchline and have to think so hard about the joke that I have long pauses and no solid delivery. Occasionally, Jonathan will truly laugh at something I say and I am on cloud nine. It feels amazing to be funny for a minute! 

One of the best things about being a mom is that Jackson thinks I am SO FUNNY! And he has started to be genuinely funny as well, with his faces, noises and personality.  We have fun just giggling and playing games all day. I am sure the neighbors think I am crazy on the days we have our windows open but who cares!? My son thinks I am funny and I am going to savor these moment because eventually he'll be a teenager and even though I have not changed one bit, I will suddenly no longer be funny.   

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So, like, what do you do all day?

I went to introduce Jackson to some coworkers at another one of our clinics and this is what one of them asked me last Monday. I went through a myriad of emotions in about 10 seconds.  It was a genuinely honest question but part of me felt like my answer was going to be insignificant, like I had to prove myself, to show her that I was still important.  Part of me felt exhausted just thinking about my answer! But most of me felt proud to state:
we get dressed, change messy diapers, take walks, read books, sit, eat, take naps (sometimes cuddling together), bathe, eat more, laugh, sing, play with Lincoln, have play dates, talk, change clothes, and snuggle. It is a big change from a 40 hour work week, real clothes, adult conversation and higher level thought processes.  But, I feel like I am doing very important work in caring for our son and I would not change a thing about where I am in life right now.
on a walk with Ellie

First time up close with a fire truck at the elementary school carnival

grandmother Beth came to babysit

enjoying the spring
Well, I would change the fact that my hair (which is significantly more grey since having Jackson) is still falling out in clumps around the house. I still have 'mushy brain', as I call it...the inability to come up with words, thoughts or basically use my brain for anything else except coming up with kid songs one after another.  I would change the fact that there is no such thing as sleeping in (not that I ever slept in before...but I was also never awake multiple times in the night soothing or feeding a fussy baby).

And speaking of changing reflexes have changed dramatically since having Jackson. Before, I could quickly doge an elbow in an open water swim, swerve around a squirrel on the bike path or quickly catch a patient who was getting a little unsteady.  Now, I pride myself (yes, I pretty much gave myself a pat on the back today) on my ability to reach out and catch spit up with my bare hand before it plops on the carpet and to intercept a falling pacifier before it lands in a pile of dog hair.  Oh, how things have changed.  :)

But, to go back to the original question, we spend a lot of the day eating now that Jackson has started solids, or semi-solids. Whatever you want to call them. This was his first time eating oatmeal and boy does he look worried.  He's moved onto sweet potatoes and his face looks even more disturbed (Jonathan is hoping that J won't like them and then it can be a sweet potato free house because I won't cook them for myself that often). Next week, green peas and apples!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Half Birthday

Can you believe it? Our little Jackson is 6 months old now. He is such a joy! Here are a few of his favorite things:
Smiling (even if no one is looking at him)
Belly laughing
Playing in his crib when he wakes up
Eating real food! Oatmeal and homemade sweet potatoes. Next up, green peas (those look so gross) and apples. I have enjoyed making his food and can't wait to experiment with new combinations! 
Listening to daddy sing
Getting licks from Lincoln
Splashing in the bath
Playing outside on a blanket
Eating his feet (and anything else he can get his hands on)

He is growing out of his reflux and copious amounts of drool, for which we are all very grateful.  We are so blessed to have this little guy in our lives.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

cuddle time

(this was from about a month ago...forgot to post it!)

I came home the other day and our babysitter, Liz, said "Jackson was great today. All he wanted to do was eat, sleep and snuggle."  True. He is getting more content at playing by himself, which is so fun to watch (and gives our arms a break).  This morning, he woke up and played by himself in the crib for 45 minutes of contented awake time. He had his new squishy baby Bible from the Weavers which he loves to chew and was just chatting away and squealing to himself! But, we still can't get enough of our cuddle time with him, realizing that he will not be this little forever, nor will he want to snuggle with us (or even walk near us...) later in life.  
Link and Jackson are warming up to each other
I can't get enough of him in this vest...he looks so grown up!
Loving couch time with daddy at night 
Hanging out with Granddaddy Byrne at the end of a fun-filled weekend with grandparents!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Sunday, April 15, 2012


We just got back from a fun weekend in Charlottesville and Staunton, VA.  Heather had a PT leadership conference and this was my weekend off so we decided to take advantage and take everyone (except Lincoln-sorry buddy) for a family trip.  It was a weekend of firsts for Jackson including his first trip to UVA:

our flying wahoo
chillin' on Thomas Jefferson's Lawn at The University

Jackson is wondering why we put him down on wet grass just to get a photo of the Rotunda
here's our boy sleeping in style in his pack n play.  We got to stay with an old friend Larry Mueller in his home which he calls "The Larriot" and Jackson made himself right at home...
It was also his first (and ours) chance to meet some ladies-  Susannah Byrd (Ross and Hannah's sweet little girl), Mary Bullock (Brady and Annie's third little babbuns), and Ann Elise Wilton (Mike and Christian's 2nd who we go to see right after her baptism).  It was also Jackson's first wine tasting as well.  We went to Barren Ridge Vineyards outside of Staunton and had a great time sampling some of their wine.  Jackson was a trooper and was calm and smiley the whole time despite the fact that mommy and daddy didn't share any wine.  All in all a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Family Tree

Jackson, you have a great line of people who have come before you. We are proud of where you come from and hope you are too! You have many great people in your life who have been showering you with love from before you were born. We pray that you grow to be a man of strong character, integrity and faith. We ALL love you, little man.
Grandmother Beth, responsible for good style in all seasons!
Byrne grandparents over for dinner
Granddad Byrne, responsible for his 100 percentile height and maybe left-handedness! 
McKay grandparents, responsible for large noggin and gentle spirit
He LOVES great nana and her kisses
Pop Pop is so silly
Laughing at great nana's funny faces 
sweet moments with great nana
Good role models for our Jackson 
Great grandpa McKay
And we have not forgotten about Grammy Byrne even though we can't get up to Massachusetts any time soon! We are hoping that Jackson will have your laugh and sense of humor! Hugs from Jackson to you.


This Easter season, we have so much to be grateful for! Most of all is Christ's death and resurrection on the cross. Hallelujah!  Even though our small family was not together on Sunday, we still all celebrated the reason for the Easter holiday, and also enjoyed some good chocolate and fun baskets for Jackson as well :)

Here are just a few things we are thinking about this week...

I am thankful for the chance to go slow and enjoy my surroundings. On a walk the other morning, Jackson and I were amazed at the noises that you can hear. If any of you have read the Hunger Games trilogy, it's like there were mocking jays in our neighborhood. Their songs are unbelievable!

We are grateful that Jackson loves the doctors office and does well with his shots. He is a trooper and barely flinches when he gets jabbed in the thighs!

I am so grateful for good friends! I had a girl's night decorating Easter eggs with some old and new friends at Mary's home last week. One of my dear friends, Kelly, and her husband just had their first baby girl the Wednesday before Easter.  Congrats! And, check out this sweet and so thoughtful thank you gift from Laura. It's an "Evening In Kit" with homemade wine charms, chocolate, bath beads, a bookmark with sweet note on it (because she knows my current bookmark is Jonathan's BoyCrazy card) and a gift card to Running Etc. What an amazing thank you. I am going to steal the idea for future gifts :)

We are thankful for people who provide for us, whether that has been meals for months after he was born, homemade blankets and toys for him to play with or aunts and uncles who send him cute new outfits. We got a cute turquoise polo and navy/orange swim trunks for this summer from Aunt Chase and Uncle Matt.  You are his favorite aunt and uncle :)

We are so grateful for our healthy boy who continues to amaze us more and more each day! This week he has really enjoyed sitting and playing with toys with both hands. He also loves to smack himself forcefully and repeatedly in the mouth. His new favorite face is the ducky face, but now he blows wet raspberries and keeps himself awake all night doing this.  He is more content to sleep on his tummy (finally!), which allows us a few more hours of continuous sleep. Jackson has also discovered a gurgling sound, so now we have a perpetual gargling noise coming from our son!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Just 2 guys and we're havin' a good time...

Jackson had his 5 month old doctor's appointment yesterday- well actually his 4 month appointment, but we've been pretty consistently a month behind due to scheduling difficulties.  For those of you keeping stats on our baby at home (hopefully not in a creepy way): he is now 17 lbs 11oz (somewhere between the 50th and 75th percentile) and 27" long (95th percentile).  His head is still pretty big- he inherited that from both his bigheaded grandfathers!  

Jackson and I have got to spend a lot more time together over the past few weeks, especially on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons when Heather is at work.  We do fun guy stuff like watch soccer games on TV, sing songs, talk about guy stuff, and of course, take naps.  Jackson, Lincoln (our dog) and I have also started running together so that Link and I can get some exercise.  I don't have any pictures of that because it's hard to push a jogging stroller, hold a leash and take a picture at the same time without injury.  

Here's us two guys taking a nap after a long night at work.  Well, for Jackson this is a nap after a long night of sleep, but it is hard work being a growing baby.  He has no problem sleeping during daylight.  I, however, require a faceshirt.   

More sleep!  Here's our boy sleeping in the church nursery during the Good Friday service.   He has found that the best way to avoid germs in the nursery is just to pretend you are sleeping then the other kids don't think you are being rude for not wanting to play.

  Here you can see the large round head that he inherited from his grandfathers.

And here is bath time with splashes!

I've been working in the pediatric intensive care unit this month (PICU) and it makes me realize how fortunate we are to have a healthy and happy baby when sometimes it seems there is no rhyme or reason when it comes to bad things happening to helpless kids.  We are so thankful for our little boy.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sow Bug

I just finished reading "Operating Instructions" by Anne Lamott. It was a thoughtful, humorous book about her son's first year of life. I found that she could say things much better than I can (maybe because she is a professional writer?) and they perfectly describe Jackson. 
"When he's on his stomach, he'll suddenly sort of sag forward in a rolling motion because he wants to move but he can't quite keep his head up. It's some kind of precrawling thing, and it makes him look exactly like a sow bug. I mean that in the nicest possible way."

This is Jackson's new thing. He gets on his stomach and wants to move but his head plows into the floor. He has enough strength to lift it but can't figure out that he must coordinate leg movements with a lifted head in order to move forward.

Well dressed baby, courtesy of Aunt Dwyn. Will she also pay for the tuition if he goes there? :) 
Jackson is sitting for short periods of time by himself! He also grew dreadlocks in the last week ;)  
his favorite face this week
We got an old mirror down from the attic and he loved looking at himself, or that baby in the mirror
All dressed for a walk with Ellie

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Well, now that Jackson has good head control and can sit, I thought we should take advantage of the park that is 1 block away from our house. We had a playdate with Sofi, Jackson's bud who was born 3.5 weeks after he was. They have been on many walks and runs together but never to the park. Aren't they cute in their matching floppy hats? They lasted 20 minutes or so and then we took them down the slide and played on a funny merry-go-round type deal. I had to stop because I was getting dizzy and right after we stopped Jackson threw up everywhere. Guess he might not be our Busch Gardens kid...

 We took dad and Lincoln to the park on Sunday and he still loved the swings.