Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Water Baby

Many thanks to grandparents and our babysitter, Amber for helping us to be very relaxed parents going into Jackson's 9th month!  Amber gave us a gift of free babysitting last week and we went to a beer tasting at Waterside in Norfolk. We enjoyed some of our favorites from O'Conners Brewery (made here in Norfolk!) while sitting by the water and in big comfy chairs on a cooler (high 80's) night. On the 21st, we enjoyed a night out with two couples from Jonathan's residency, AJ and Laura and Jonathan and Amber. With two babies, one pregnancy and crazy work schedules we amazingly managed to find a night to catch up over a flaming stove at Geisha, a hibachi restaurant in Chesapeake.  It was a great time, full of flying shrimp, funny jokes and good company.

We are also very grateful that the Byrne grandparents live so close because Jackson gets so much quality time with them while we to run errands, go to the beach and just enjoy some quiet time. Jackson loves to explore their house, which is being baby proofed a little more each day as he discovers new breakable treasures scattered about.  He just loves both of them and really lights up when he goes over there. 

At first, Jackson wasn't so sure about water, in the bath, pool or ocean. However, we kept exposing him to bodies of water and have now raised a little water baby! He loves the bath: eating the duckies' heads, splashing and trying to grab water pouring out of a cup. It's also a great way to pass the time during the fussy evening hours when he misses his third nap. Bath time keeps us on our toes as he now wants to stand up in the tub and bounce around.

Beth and Matt gave us a baby pool for Lincoln last year and we never used it because we weren't too keen on having a wet dog in our new house.  However, Jackson loves this pool and I love his naked butt :)  Cute wrinkled tushy. As Beth pointed out, this picture will be making an appearance later in his life....rehearsal dinner.

Our church has started a new ministry group for moms of all ages. We have panel discussions on kids, marriage, loving God, etc. We also take great trips to the zoo and botanical gardens! Jackson and I enjoyed a morning with Val and Luke (12 months). Val is a good friend from PT school. Our husbands know each other from way back; Jonathan took swim lessons from Tim's mother. Val got me through PT school with late night study sessions, working on anatomy while walking around the neighborhood and praying together when we had tough family things going on.  It has been fun to see her grow as a mom and to get to know her incredibly sweet boy, Luke. I am so grateful for her friendship (and for Jackson to have another boy in his life!!! Kristy, we miss you and Eli!!)

In the fountain at the Botanical Gardens

Jackson and me at the beach

And finally, Jackson's new favorite game...pull the books off of the shelf. We think that reading is important and we try to read to Jackson very often, but we rarely make it through an entire book, even if we read at super speed and skip pages. He wants to touch or eat the book, dive off of the chair or just start pulling each book off the shelf one at a time.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

9 months

Jackson's new favorite toy, a tooth brush

Lil' J,
You are such a joy to us! We can't believe you are 9 months old already. It seems like just yesterday when we first held you in our arms and now you spend the whole day trying to crawl out of our arms and around the house!  You have really developed a sense of humor lately and love to be tickled. I love your throaty laugh and how it shows off your 5 teeth!  You have done so well with teething and we hope it continues when your molars come in :)  You are still our curious baby and love to solve problems, like how to get one from one piece of furniture to the next if you can't quite stand unsupported yet.  You stay awake on walks and love to take in your surroundings, especially new noises in the neighborhood.  Pretty soon you'll be really interested in the fire trucks and I'm sure we'll spend many saturday mornings watching them clean the ladders.  Lincoln is still your best bud and we love to see your face light up when you see him enter the room. If he could, I think he would sleep next to your crib each night.  We think you are going to be a crazy climber, as you have already tried to climb the stairs and bookcases; you empty your toys out in front of the couch to build steps to help you get up but haven't quite mastered it yet, thank goodness! Dad and I are going to have to get a tent to cover your crib so you can't escape every night!

You are still a pretty great sleeper, going to bed at 6pm (or earlier if you miss an afternoon nap!) and waking again at 6am (with a 4am feeding sesh that we haven't tried to drop yet).  REmember when you used to freak out when you rolled onto your belly and we spent all night going into your room to flip you back over? Well, now when we lay you down at night, you roll right over either onto your side or your stomach, where you remain all night, butt lifted and paci in.

All the solid food you enjoy now is helping you to be a healthy, strong little guy. You are weighing in at 20lbs, 11oz and 28.5 inches, which continues to put you in the 65% range. It's time, yet again, for another wardrobe change as all of your current clothes are starting to get pretty darn short. Shoes are still not part of your daily outfit but we'll be getting you a pair of crocks to wear to the water area at the Botanical Gardens.

You are such a sweet boy and we are so blessed that God has given you to us to care for on this earth.  We love you little Jackson.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Eventually, you'll swallow a bug

We figure that if he keeps up with his favorite new facial expression for much longer, he'll swallow a bug or two. 

Outside with grandmom McKay
Pop Pop tickles
4 teeth and one on the way! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012


We love our summer babysitter, Amber, who is married to Jonathan, a co-worker of JB's. We have gotten to know them over the past two years and were so glad that she could take care of our precious boy this summer when Liz was busy with school.  Some days are very long so she brings her sweet dog, Miley, with her to our house. I've heard that Miley and Lincoln are really over each other so that leaves Miley open for all of Jackson's attention!  

Matt and Chase posted their photos from the wedding and I thought this one was too cute not to share. Their wedding was prefect, down to every last touch. It was an amazing representation of them, their joyful spirits and uplifting personalities. We are so grateful for Matt, the brother, brother-in-law and Uncle.

J is no longer the boy who likes to demolish every tower in sight! Now, he can take one block off the top to eat it. He almost stacked a block on top the other day too! Our little engineer, taking after both granddads.  Don't be fooled by the calm dog sitting on the hardwood floor in the background. He is normally on the carpet (against his training) trying to lick me, the camera or Jackson.  But, we love him :)
Jackson and I went to the beach on Monday for our first trip with just the two of us. We had a great 35 minutes there, enjoying the awesome waves as the storm blew in, eating some sand and sitting in the cool ocean.  Then, I figured out what it was like to hold a sandy baby with one hand over a brick walkway, strip him down one-handed, hose him off with a very forceful spray, put him in a towel, and change a crazy mobile baby in the back of a car. WHEW! I may reconsider solo days at the beach!

On Tuesday night, Jonathan and I sat on the couch after coming home at 7:15, and we talked about how we miss seeing Jackson at night.  We are so glad that he is well rested and pleasant and some days were are glad for the break, but other nights we want to cuddle and play with him for 10 minutes and put him back to sleep. That would work, right? :)  Jackson, we are so grateful for you. You have changed our lives for the better and we love you little guy. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy 4th of July

We had quite a fun-filled 4th of July week!  Since we were still without AC, we spent the pre-4th of July weekend at the beach, enjoying the cooler temps by the ocean...meaning it was 100 in Norfolk and only 90 at the beach! Jackson and I enjoyed a long walk with Allyson and Lizzy Kay, walking down to their NEW HOUSE in our neighborhood! We are so thrilled to have the Sabins join us in Larchmont so we can enjoy more of their company and our kids can be best buds as well. Allyson has been such a great resource for me since her daughter is 12 months. It's great to seek advice from friends who have been there just a few months before us and to give us new things to try when our strategies just aren't working for little J.  
Jonathan was on a week of night shifts which is always hard. It's gotten much easier to take care of J for a whole day and night by myself but it's just lonely around the house and I miss JB.  It is great however, that Jackson recognizes his dad and lights up when Jonathan wakes up or comes home from work during our breakfast time.  They enjoy playing the drums together, watching TV and going running. Jackson loves running with dad because he goes so much faster than I do! Our poor running jogger has suffered its second flat in its short life. I knew I couldn't be THAT tired and out of shape on my last run...boy was it hard to run three miles to get home with a flat tire :(

We have enjoyed a lot of time in the pool, both at Sofi's house and also in our mini blow up pool in the backyard. Jackson enjoys the pool for a good 10+ minutes before he is trying to get out of it to grab the grass and twigs.  I can toss the ball to Lincoln so he feels like part of the action too (he also thinks the pool is the world's biggest water bowl for him). The other night, Jackson got his bath in the pool; might as well strip him down and suds him up while he's already wet! 
Here is Jackson on his first 4th of July! Cousin Riley was concerned that he was not wearing red on his first Valentines day, so we have made sure that he is appropriately dressed for each holiday! :) 
Jackson is all over the house now. He wants to climb the stairs (good thing we moved that baby gate to the bottom), bang on the front door, swing from the blinds on the back door and cruise around the coffee table.  Thankfully, he still enjoys his jumper toy so we can have a few minutes of hand-free time. THe other morning when I left for work, he crawled to the front door, pulled himself up and 'waved' good-bye to me. It's going to make leaving for work much harder now.  He has developed a small case of separation anxiety and prefers to be with me a majority of the day, however he still loves JB, friends and grandparents and is completely ok with being dropped off in the church nursery. We are savoring the moments without stranger danger and hoping that he only has a mild case or avoids it completely :) 

And here is Jackson's new favorite position, standing up in his crib facing the door hollering to be let out of his 'prison'. He actually wasn't crying in this shot (although he usually is), but has tired eyes that weren't ready for the light to be turned on. Mr. Social has started to wake up for good at 5am this week so we have enjoyed a few early morning walks and a Veggie Tales video or two while I struggle to wake up!

The end :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

8 months photo shoot

As a PT, I am always tracking Jackson's milestones to the day. On one hand I can tell myself, "Every kid is different. They progress at their own rate", but on the other hand I know exactly when he 'should' be doing something.  I was waiting for him to start crawling because I thought it would be the cutest thing ever. Mom and Aunt Karen said, "just you wait!" Well, yes, we are completely exhausted but it's incredibly fun to have him crawl. It was the most incredible feeling when he smiled at me for the first time and now he can crawl to me because he wants me! He crawls over and then climbs up my legs and reaches up as if to say, "pick me up; hug me". I love it (although my arms are very tired).

This was a difficult week for us because we were without AC on the upstairs floor. It meant three nights at the Byrnes, two nights at the Mazzios and one night on an air mattress in the living room. Poor  Jackson was pretty much sweaty all week between our runs, getting diaper changes in 95 heat upstairs and then crawling like a mad man all over the (downstairs = ac working) house.  We attempted a photo shoot yesterday since it was the first time Jonathan and I were together in a week (booooo night shifts). It went something like this...


With crawling comes new toys all around the house! His new favorite is Lincoln's bowl. Gross. TIme to re-arrange the house.

Jonathan's Aunt Dwyn and Uncle Kenny came into town last week from Massachusetts and we are always so glad to see them!  Last year I was pregnant and this year they got to meet an 8 month old Jackson. She has been one of his biggest fans (her daughter; cute onesie) and she got him the cutest book ever, TIckle Monster. Jackson is so full of giggles now and loves to be tickled.

How can you say no to those eyes? I am in trouble.