Saturday, June 23, 2012

8 months old!

Hey everyone, Jackson here again giving you an update on my 8 month 'birthday'.  I can't believe that I am growing up so quickly. Some days my parents can't keep up with me. It's so amazing to be a baby because every day is completely different. On Tuesday, all I could do was sit and roll but on Wednesday I learned how to crawl!  I am super busy now, crawling all over the house and trying to eat clumps of dog hair that Lincoln is so nice to leave for me.  Wednesday was a very busy day because I also started to pull up in my crib. Most of the time I forget that I must hold on in order to stay standing, so I hit my head on the crib over and over again during nap time.

I LOVE eating solid food and really enjoy cheerios, which mom gave me on Wednesday (whew, that was a busy day!). She said that her mom cut cheerios into quarters (wow, grandmom is really nice!) but mom only cut mine in half.  I managed to get about 10% of them in my mouth and the rest of the soggy cheerios ended up down my onesie, in the bumbo or on the floor for Lincoln.  Black beans are fun to eat, cheese kinda makes me throw up and blueberries aren't that great. 
Dad took me to see mom run in another race last weekend, the CHKD 8k Run/Walk for the kids. CHKD is such a good hospital in the area and some of my friends have received care there. Mom ran with her friend Mike and two friends from Team Hoyt VB.  
Start of the race
Crossing the finish line with Hamda, Mike and Bean.

I also love to make my parents laugh with my expressions, like the new fishy face that I can make.  Right now I have straight hair in the front like mom and curly hair in the back like dad. It's turning a reddish color on its way from brown to blonde. Who knows what I will look like in a few months? I'm a whopping 20 pounds so I'm helping my parents get a good arm workout each day while playing with me.  Well, that's all for now! All this writing and playing at the beach with dad makes me tired. Time for bed!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day

Jonathan is an amazing dad. From the first day we found out we were going to be parents, he has been so supportive and excited about raising a child together. 

Neither of us has any clue what we are doing but Jonathan is there right beside me, usually helping me to laugh and see the humor in situations!  He dove right in at the hospital, changing diapers and putting J in his going home outfit. Jonathan has really grown into his new role as Dad and I have loved to watch that change. He has an amazing way with Jackson, soothing him with song and his strong, confident arms.  He changed every diaper for the first three months, allowing me a few extra minutes before each feeding session.  He walks with J and rocks him at night when he is fussy.  He learned how to swaddle even though J wasn't into it.  He has become an excellent runner, maneuvering around Larchmont with the jogger and Lincoln.
 I am so grateful for Jonathan, my husband and also the father of Jackson.  I am proud of him an what a great father he is. Happy Father's Day, Jonathan! We all love you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Some thoughts on motherhood

Being a mom is amazing...but exhausting! Some people have told me, "you'll sleep when they are 18". I laughed and thought, yeah right, we'll get plenty of sleep. Well, I feel as if I've been living in a state of exhaustion, both physical and mental, since Jackson was born 7 1/2 months ago.  The days of eating every 3 hours (meaning approximately 3 cycles of 1.5 hours of sleep) are long behind us and Jackson sleeps pretty well from 6pm to 4am (and then again till roughly 7 after he eats), but who can go to sleep at 6pm?  I ran with a friend the other day whose daughters are about 4 and 2 (sorry B, I am terrible with ages!) and she told me she is still always exhausted. Well, at least it's good to know that it's not just me and that we moms can all support each other or have a pity party some days :)  

Some people say, "sleep when they sleep", which is great advice but it's really difficult to get your kid in bed and then wind down for a nap. By the time J stops fussing, I might be able to drift off for a few minutes but he's up and at 'em in no time wanting to play again.  And then when are you supposed to get things done around the house? I know that the house doesn't have to look perfect (which has been a huge area of growth for me as I have surrendered that) but we must eat and we can't live in a complete pigsty.  However, on Monday night, I went to bed at 7:30pm and it was amazing. Jonathan came home at 1am and then Jackson woke up again at 4:45 or so, but it was roughly 10 hours of sleep. Enough to help me fight this allergy attack (who else gets allergies in June? Just me? What pollen is it?) and feel somewhat human at work.

A big topic recently is Scheduling.  I talked with mom a lot before and after Jackson was born about her thoughts on scheduling. She kept us on a strict schedule and I wondered if she would do it again. She told me that it was a big sacrifice for her, having to give up things she would rather be doing to allow us to sleep and have a pattern to our days and nights.  But, she would do it again in a heartbeat. 
When J was little, we could take him anywhere and he would sleep in the carrier, which was such a treat! Then, he got older and became relatively good at taking naps in his crib (if you count 45 minutes as a nap), but they were never at regular times. It was hard for me to understand how in the world I was ever going to be one of those moms who could do things every day at the same hour with her kids. How could I get him to nap and eat at the same time each day? We picked a pattern for our eating and then the naps magically came out of our eating schedule.  Now he tends to naps at 9, 12 and 3 but is flexible if he gets up too early or later than normal and we can adjust his naps.  He is still a champ at sleeping in the car and the stroller while I'm running so we can get in some catnaps if he's refusing his crib that day.  A few months ago, i was talking with a friend whose girl just turned one and she stated that her bedtime was 6pm. 6pm?!?! That was CRAZY early! However, we realized that Jackson hit the 'witching hour' every afternoon/evening around 5-5:30pm and we decided to try a 6pm bedtime. BEST DECISION EVER.  Thank you Christina, for your amazing idea.  Now Jonathan and I get to spend time together (If he is not working), I get to clean the house, watch TV or just go to bed.  

We've "mastered" the schedule for Jackson, but it doesn't come easy. As mom told me, it does come at the expense of other things. As I continue to see, motherhood is about sacrifice, but in a loving way because I love J more than anything (third behind my other J's, Jesus and Jonathan). I want him to be a well rested, happy child and for us that means getting good sleep.  We loved reading this book, which helped us learn about the importance of sleep. I don't follow this detail by detail, but I like the philosophy behind well rested kids.  However it means missing birthday dinners, time at the beach with friends, seeing other friends with babies who have regular nap schedules, evening runs, etc. It means that we give up some things we would rather be doing for the health of Jackson.  At this stage of his life, it's a sacrifice we are willing to make and we are glad for our family and friends who understand our decisions.  

Some things that have been blessings in the crazy first few months of motherhood:
Amazing family members who have come to visit, cook, clean, watch Jackson and love on us.
Friends who swap babysitting so we can go on a date without spending a fortune
Creating a month of meals, and only going to the grocery store 1-2x/month (also good for the budget)
Friends, both those with kids and those without. The ones without kids help to give me perspective on how there is more to life than just jackson. Those with kids are an amazing support system
My BOB jogger and friends who run with me
Jonathan, who is an amazing dad. More to come in a Father's day post :)
People who cooked meals for us
Coffee and cookie dough
Women's Bible Study at church and our new Nurture group

Wow, that was a lot. Here is what we've been up to recently

We went to see Brooke Langa, who was just born after Mother's Day. AJ and Jonathan work together and Laura and I have become good friends.  Brooke is super cute and we know that the two of them are going to be best buds.  

Jackson and I went to check out OpSail for an hour and watch the parade of ships. It was amazing to see the size of the ships at Waterside. Some looked like pirate ships. Awesome.  Jackson even seemed to watch one group of people as they were lowering a sail.  

You're so vain, you probably think this song is about you.  

Jackson is mobile. It's the most ridiculous thing ever to watch because he can't crawl, but he can use every combination of rolling, scooting backwards and coming to a seated position to get where he wants to go. He made it from the couch over to the fireplace in about 5 minutes. I think we might be in for a big weight loss (sad, no more squishy thighs) in the near future as he continues to move move move.  

One of the best parts of my month. I brought J into the room the other morning when I left for work and Jonathan was taking care of him. I brought his giraffe toy to keep him entertained and when I came home from work, the toy was waiting for me on my side of the bed. It's such a sweet reminder that we have a precious little boy in our family now and I love to see those little reminders especially when I come home and he is already in bed. 

Standing at the couch. Trouble.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Adventures in eating

We love feeding Jackson every day. He sits in his high chair and eagerly awaits each bite of food coming his way.  He could afford to miss a meal or two (look at those thighs!) but he would be so sad.  He loves to hold the spoon, which involves flinging food all over the walls, me,  and Lincoln.  It's amazing how food can get all over every part of the high chair, even parts that he is physically unable to reach while he is in it.  His list of foods now includes:

peas, greenbeans, sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, carrots, bananas, apples, pears, prunes, peaches, strawberries, oatmeal, rice, barley, yogurt, cheese, bread, puffs

Lincoln is a very helpful dog. He wants to make sure that we save our baby wipes for more important duties, so he makes sure to clean Jackson after (and during) each meal.

I thought I was being smart by introducing Jackson to homemade peas as his second ever solid food. It was not a good idea and he completely rejected them, leaving me with 8 containers of frozen peas. I decided to re-introduce them today and it was another fail.  Well, at least he likes the Gerber variety.

And finally, we might have found his favorite food. Prunes. Gross. (I have tried to upload a video but keep having trouble...will try later!)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jackson's adventures

Jackson took his first flights to make it to Arkansas last weekend. We were very nervous going into the trip since we didn't want to be "those people" with the screaming baby. Our seat mate on the way there was annoyed with us, but we were blessed by having very friendly parents and grandparents on the subsequent flights.  Jackson was a great traveler, with no ear problems and minimal fussiness while in the air. He hammed it up for people around him, charming most people on the flights, thank goodness! I was so grateful to have Jonathan and can't imagine doing this by myself (high five to all of you military wives and those who have flown solo!)

Jackson has gotten super active recently and we think he is going to crawl any day now (watch out!). He has a huge personality and we grow more in love with him each day.  At his recent doctors appointment, we learned he is 19.5 lbs (approx 65%), 28 inches (65%) with a relatively average head now too. Thank goodness our large and in charge boy is now back into the average! He loves to kiss us, sit up in bed occasionally (we had to lower the crib this week), eat my hair, listen to daddy sing, and roll all across the floor.  

Who needs a toy when you have a tag?
this it
second day in the pool, in little rock
loves mommy's jewelrey
Our friend picked us up from the airport. He and his wife have twin girls who ride in forward facing carseats. We figured it was easier to load him into one of these rather than strapping out carseat into the car. He LOVED it and has hated his rear-facing seat every day since then....bummer for us.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Matt and Chase's Wedding Weekend

We spent the weekend in Little Rock, AR for Matt's wedding. He married Chase Gwatney, who is the sweetest, most bubbly person ever. She is like a little ball of spunk and she makes Matt so happy.  We are so glad to have her as party of the family and excited that there is a new Mrs. McKay around too! Here are some highlights from the weekend!  
Matt with his handsome groomsmen
Matt and me at the rehearsal
Peyton and Morgan, the ring bearer and flower girl
Jackson and Auntie Chase! 
 We had a bridesmaids luncheon, a southern tradition as we learned, at the home of one of Chase's bridesmaids. The home was so gorgeous, decorated in eclectic colorful glass pieces. What a treat to enjoy amazing food and good company the morning of the wedding.  Here is our group, Aunt Joyce, Laurel, Mom, me, Aunt Janis and Aunt Doris.

The wedding was at the Terry House, a local historic attraction which has amazing grounds and hosts art pieces inside.  The lovely ceremony was outside in the hot Arkansas sun but we had a cool evening to enjoy dinner and dancing outdoors.

The wedding was full of small touches that gave it a southern feel and made you feel as if you were experiencing a wedding from a bridal magazine.  The wedding programs were also fans :)

Lovely mother of the groom

The McKay Family

Jackson in a Suit! 

 They had baskets of flip flops for all the women with weary feet. We danced the night away in our Tiffany blue flops. Thank goodness for some flats.

Laurel, Aunt Joyce, Jake, Aunt Janis, dad and me
What a handsome groom
Making their grand exit with sparklers

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Wanting to Crawl

It is so fun to watch Jackson become more mobile every day. He wants to crawl so badly and is making valiant attempts!