jackson: 3 months

Weight: 15 lbs, 4 ounces

Height: 25.5 inches

Milestones: Mirrors what I am doing (sticking out his tongue, cooing). Tummy time for 2-3 minutes at a time without screaming. Yes, I am considering this a milestone since he usually went 2-3 seconds before screaming. Pushes up to standing position on his own when I am holding his hands. So basically I think he is going to skip crawling and go right to walking. My sister did that at 9 months. Pray for me.


Challenges: SLEEP. He is still waking up every 2 hours at night and fighting every. single. nap every day. I am incredibly frustrated but in the end I know it is temporary situation. Reflux is still a problem but we are working on finding a permanent solution. We have changed his Zantac dosage so hopefully that will help.

Favorite Moments: This is going to sounds very selfish but my favorite moment this month is that he prefers being with me over anyone else. No matter how frazzled or upset he is the second he is in my arms, he is smiling. I had a really tough case of baby blues in the beginning and I can say at this point, I have never felt more connected to him.

Likes: Boobies, Pushing up to stand, the Jumperoo, Grabbing things, especially my hair, and his all-time favorite–BATH TIME. Whenever he is especially fussy I run a warm bath and he is all smiles.

Dislikes: Bottles, tummy time, massages, and of course, the car seat. There will be no road trips in our future.

Outings and Events: 4th trip on an airplane to San Jose, cousin Cody’s first birthday luau, started Gymboree music and play class, and lots of neighborhood walks in the stroller.




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for the first time…

I am hosting Thanksgiving for my whole family. Sure, today is Halloween and I may be rushing the holidays with this post but I am so excited. We are going to be in Hawai’i for Christmas this year so Thanksgiving will be our only big holiday at our new home and I plan on going all out. I will roast the turkey, make some homemade cranberry sauce and decadent desserts and–my favorite part—decorate. Like a good blogger I headed to Pinterest to get some inspiration for the table and surrounding decor and for the first time in my life I may be more excited about decorating than eating. And that says a lot because I was pregnant last Thanksgiving. Here is what I am thinking so far:

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Plus, how cute is this kid’s table?

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P.S. If you are interested, you can find me on Pinterest here.

7 months

Reggie’s mom recently told me that baby Reg had colic for 7 months.

Let that marinate for a minute. 7 months.

How do you feel? Terrified? Us too.

I couldn’t help but think–what if Jackson’s colic lasts for that long too? I know in the grand scheme of his life 7 months is not that big of a deal but sometimes when you are trying to soothe a screaming baby time seems to stand still. And truthfully, things are not much better than they were a couple weeks ago. He hit 3 months last week and not much changed.  I thought I could say that colic passed us by–and maybe it has–but he is still very, very fussy and obviously uncomfortable most of the day. I am not so sure it is the colic anymore but the reflux. Our pediatrician seems to agree. So next week Jackson will meet with a pediatric gastrointestinal specialist at CHOC to discuss possible tests and stronger medication. The thought of my little boy hooked up to an IV and being put under anesthesia for testing makes me so anxious and terrifies me even more than 7 month long colic. But I know I need to be strong for him and realize that this is only going to help him in the long run. Having him live with painful reflux is far worse than the trials of finding a solution. And we will find a solution—even if it takes 7 months.

baby’s first pumpkin

Growing up in New England where fall isn’t just a season–it is more of an art form–each year I looked forward to pulling out my fall boots and cozy sweaters and welcoming in my favorite season. Apple picking, carving pumpkins were always on the agenda. Even in California, a place not known for a dramatic change in seasons, we can find places to do both.

Now that we have a baby, celebrating holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas now seem just as fun as they were when we were children. You know how that feeling of excitement fades as you get older? Well the feeling comes back with babies around. Everything feels new again. At least it does for me.  So we have pretty much had a pumpkin picking date scheduled since Jackson was born.

We had a great time at a local farm picking out a pumpkin for each member of our little family. Even though the weather was very warm, the act of picking our pumpkins made it officially feel like fall had begun. And so did a new family tradition. Jackson won’t remember this day when he is older…

But I certainly will.

perspective

I had this big post planned for today about Jackson and his love for avoiding sleep but honestly after reading this article, I sort of at a loss for words. That post can wait for another day.  I am lucky to have a healthy, stubborn little boy. Nothing else matters.

Jackson baby,  I will rock and bounce you for naps until I am blue in the face. I love you little man.

xo

Mama

baby’s first luau

This past weekend Reggie, Jackson and myself headed back up to Northern California for a traditional birthday luau for Reggie’s little cousin Cody. Even though the party was to celebrate another baby’s 1st birthday, the whole trip was a real “full circle” moment for our little family. You see, last year on this exact weekend I went up to Oakland to visit Reggie. Little did I know that when I returned home I was pregnant with Jackson. As we sat around celebrating this beautiful little boy, I couldn’t help but think about how in just 9 months we will be  doing the same for Jackson’s birthday.

 

jackson’s newborn photos

Two days after we came home from the hospital, our wonderful maternity photographer came to our house to take Jackson’s newborn photos. He was so squishy, quiet, and sleepy. Looking back on these photos and that day, where he would sweetly stop to nurse and then go right back to his sleepy poses, I cannot believe I am the mother of an (almost) three month old. I am so proud of him and also myself. We have been through so much in the last twelve weeks. Colic. Reflux. Breastfeeding trouble. Moving. You anticipate that motherhood will change your life but in no way could I have ever foreseen the way my life was pushed, pulled and shaped by this little man in the last three months. I can’t even picture what my life looked like before him and I don’t want to.

Jackson, you have rocked our world little man and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Now if you excuse me, I am going to shed a couple tears looking at these pictures and go put away all of his 0-3 month clothing because he doesn’t fit in them anymore…and then give little Jax a cuddle.

connecting the dots

Yesterday we lost a great innovator. Someone who is most certainly the Edison of our generation. Upon hearing about the death of Steve Jobs I was immediately reminded of his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. As a former public speaker teacher I highly recommend checking out this speech as it is truly one of the finest examples of inspirational speaking. Like many others I decided to revisit that speech after hearing about Steve’s passing.While I always felt really connected to the part where he speaks of following your heart and finding something you love to do, yesterday I was struck most powerfully by the part of “connecting the dots.”

“…you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life” (Steve Jobs).

This got me thinking of my own life and where I am today. I wrote a couple months into my pregnancy about becoming a stay at home mom. While I wanted to be a mom for quite some time, I was occasionally ambivalent in my decision to not go back to work. Like most college graduates, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. So I went to graduate school, taught at the college level, quit to work a retail job, worked for my father, then back to teaching. I consistently beat myself up for not finding the career like so many of my peers. Why couldn’t I be happy with what I was currently doing? All the while I knew I wanted something more and I hadn’t found it yet. I trusted myself enough to know that.

Last night while I was rocking my baby to sleep, it was as if all the dots connected right before my very eyes. This is what I am meant to do. And it is true, I never could have predicted getting to the place I am today the way I did. All I know is that it is a happy place, a place filled with endless joy even in the most trying situations (I am looking at you colic). I am so proud to be Jackson’s mama. He makes me feel like anything is possible–for him and for me. My other career goals now feel more accessible, within reach. I want to teach. I want to write. I want to create things. I refuse to limit myself. But if I hadn’t done all of the other things in my life, I am not sure I could sit here in this place with such certainty. So here is to connecting the dots and living the life we dream about.

jackson: month 1 & month 2

Weight: 10 lbs, 1 ounce

Height: 21.5 inches

Milestones: Holding head up on his own

Challenges: SLEEP

Favorite Moments: 1st real smiles, meeting his grandparents. For me this was especially significant. I have never seen my father more happy than when he met his grandson. He has three daughters and had been waiting a long time for that moment. To say he is obsessed with Jackson is an understatement.

Likes: Breastfeeding, diapers changes and bath time.

Dislikes: His car seat and not being held. Don’t even think about putting him down.

Outings and Events: 1st trip on an airplane. He did so well. By well I mean he slept the whole hour long flight. That counts as a win, right? Also, 1st trip to the movies. He did great for Crazy, Stupid, Love but not so great for The Help. I think it was just too much Emma Stone in one week for him.

Weight: 13 lbs. 1 ounce

Height: 24.5 inches

Milestones: Rolled over (but has been boycotting it ever since)

Challenges: Reflux and SLEEP

Favorite Moments: Crosby and Jackson bonding. I thought Crosby would be a complete jealous, needy freak show. Instead he is quite protective of Jackson and incredibly gentle with him. Absolutely adorable.

Likes: Breastfeeding, outfit changes, bath time, and unfortunately watching TV. He is obsessed with it and if the TV is on, his little head finds it. So yeah, I don’t watch nearly as much TV anymore.

Dislikes: Nap time and the freaking car seat. Seriously do not even bring the thing near him. He screams.

Outings and Events: Moved to Southern California, 2nd plane trip, antique shopping in Long Beach

remember me?

It feels good to be writing something again. And not something half-assed like most of my posts were post baby. My brain was mush from being sleep deprived at the time so please forgive me. I want to really commit to writing as much as can. So for those of you who are still here, here is a quick update. The last few months have been insane. Not only have I had a new baby with newly diagnosed reflux and colic but we moved down to Southern California. We had to pack and move with a newborn in a matter of days. Days, people! But we survived and are loving our new place with our little man.

Speaking of Mr. Jax, here is what he looking like now-a-days…

He is doing so well. He is healthy, happy, and as you can see dresses far better than I do each day. The first two months were not easy. In fact, I think the second month was much more challenging than the first. The first month you are basking in this new baby haze and the serious sleep deprivation hasn’t quite sank in yet. Then, for me at least, month two comes around and the whole not sleeping thing sort of makes you start to go crazy. To be more specific, Jax had colic and reflux. I sort of danced around it and pretended like it wasn’t really colic. But it was. He cried and cried and I couldn’t do anything to help him. After the first two weeks, he rarely slept and if he did, he absolutely had to be held or the screaming would ensue all over again. Soothing him was like a scientific process with a 40% success rate. I know newborn fussiness tends to peak at 6 weeks so I was trying to just be patient and let him grow out of it. Eventually I had to call his pediatrician. I assumed the screaming was a reaction to gas from my strong letdown but by 5 weeks his fussiness was only getting dramatically worse. The nurses on the help line told me it was most likely really bad gas and gave me a variety of things to try–Mylicon drops, Colic Calm, laying him on an angle, burping him for 15 minutes after he eats, burping him every 3-4 minutes while he eats. I tried them all. Sometimes the Colic Calm worked but Jax pretty much laughed at all of the other options. Except he wasn’t laughing. He was screaming like he was in pain. I was up almost every hour every night with a baby that seemed so unhappy in his body. Sometimes the two of us would just sit there, rocking and cry during those late night feedings. After giving the suggestions the recommended two weeks, I practically ran into the office to meet with his doctor face to face. At that point, he started spitting up all of his meals in addition to all of the other symptoms. The doctor quickly diagnosed him with reflux.

I felt like a horrible mother. Why didn’t I take him in sooner? He wouldn’t lay on his back. Arched his back and screamed during most feedings. And now spitting up most meals. Of course he has reflux. But I didn’t know. I am new at this. The nurses I talked to on the phone did not suspect it at the time but the diagnosis made perfect sense. I am trying not to beat myself up about it but when you feel like you allowed your child to be in pain, it is hard not to feel that way. At least for me. Luckily, the diagnosis was spot on. He has been on Zantac for about a month and his symptoms have dramatically improved. I have eliminated dairy, soy, and nuts from my diet to help. The new medicine and dietary changes have made Jax a different baby. Up until a couple weeks ago I was still getting up 7-9 times a night but now he is down to 2-3 nighttime feedings. So at the moment I am focusing on the here and now and trying not to beat myself up too much about the past. And I may have put his new pediatrician on speed dial. I am so that mom now. But I don’t care.

That smiling face is so worth it.