Monday, December 5, 2016

Happenings

With the holidays in full swing, John and I have been quite busy taking care of Jack and soaking up all things Christmas... movies, decorations, and even fires in our fireplace - I love this time of year and am having fun slowing things down and taking it all in!!

Here's a quick peek of what we've been up to via iPhone photos.

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Baby toes are beyond cute, but baby feet with socks are pretty swoon worthy too... and not surprisingly, Jack very much loves wearing socks - just like his dad!


Jack and I go for a few walks each day around our neighborhood, and we always seem to be walking as the sun sets (it's the easiest way to get through Jack's witching hour while waiting for John to get home from work!)... and I am a shameless sunset picture taker!


As an early Christmas gift I gave John a Big Green Egg. It makes the most delicious food, and although we've only owned it for a couple weeks, we have used it several time. We smoked brats, a turkey, and brisket, seared steaks and grilled burgers... all have been delicious!


I always get so excited driving in and out of our subdivision seeing all of the Christmas decorations. They do such a nice job for Christmas and always have everything up a few days before Thanksgiving... and I am totally okay with that - anything to extend the season a bit longer!


My mom and dad flew to Texas for Thanksgiving and it was so nice to have family in town. Jack certainly loved the extra snuggles and I appreciated the extra hands helping around the house.


John and I have quite a bit of landscaping in front of our home, and although I know nothing about plants, I love to pretend that I have a green thumb... And I'm not going to lie, I was pretty jazzed when my rose bush started to bloom a few weeks ago!


Jacker Cracker and his grandpa hanging out on Thanksgiving Day! ...And of course, Jack is rockin' his socks!


I made sure to gift John the Big Green Egg in time for Thanksgiving so that we could smoke a turkey. It was so delicious... we will certainly be making this an annual tradition!


Jack has been working on his tummy time... we are making slow but steady progress. Sometimes he screams, other times he falls asleep, and every once in a while he actually lifts his head to look around! The boy has some chubby cheeks, so he has to make sure his neck muscles can accommodate. ;)


Jack rockin' his Michigan gear for the Michigan vs. Ohio State football game... he's the cutest fan I've every seen! I mean really, that grumpy face and those cheeks - I just love that boy. And of course, he's wearin' his socks!


When my parents were visiting we made several trips to Bahama Bucks for some shaved ice. They always have fun games to play, and we participated in a competitive game of apples to apples!


Jack recently got to meet his new friend Kaylin! Kaylin is only two weeks younger than Jack, and it was so fun seeing the two of them together even though they both basically slept the whole time. Seeing Kaylin made me realize just how much Jack has grown, and it made me a bit teary - he is growing too fast!


Anddddd face plant! No babies were harmed in the taking of this photo. ;P


John has been working on getting Lily gun broke so he recently took Scout and Lily to Austin to work her on some birds and shooting over her. They love to run and hunt, and we hope to get them out on some wild birds several times this season.


Last Friday Kelli came over for lunch and it was so much fun introducing her to Jack (who slept the whole time...) and catching up on what we both had been up to. I'm hoping we can make this a more regular thing!



Monday, November 28, 2016

Jack: One Month Update

Our sweet Jack is already a month old. It feels like he was born yesterday, yet has been in our life so much longer than a month... all at the same time!

Here's an update of his first month of life.



Age
Jack turned one month old the day after Thanksgiving... November 25th!

Weight
At his 2-week well-visit, Jack weighed 9lb 5.5oz; we were pretty proud that he exceeded his birth weight by just about a pound by his 2-week appointment... go Jack, go! At his visit he was is in the 75% for weight, 75% for length, and 85% for head circumference - he's got his dad's big brain! ;)

Since his 2-week well-visit Jack has continued to grow like a weed. I swear, he was wearing newborn diapers that fit great and in a matter of one hour they were too small! We weighed him on our scale at home and he was 13lbs even! Who knows how accurate our scale is, but the babe is a total chunk and there is no question about that.

I am pretty sure he is gaining weight primarily in his cheeks... I know I am biased, but I can't get enough of the cuteness! And those crazy eyes - they kill me!! :)



Nursing
Jack has been nursing like a champ, and I am so very thankful for this. I know lots of mommas put a lot of time and energy into making nursing work, and I am so grateful that we've had it pretty easy.

He is exclusively breastfeeding and just recently had his first bottle of pumped milk. He wasn't so sure about the bottle and was quite cranky afterwards. I'm not sure whether his crankiness had anything to do with the bottle, but since there really isn't a need for him to take a bottle at this point, I'm hesitant to push it on him... we will see - maybe we will try again in a few weeks!

Sleep
Aye, aye, aye... I feel bad complaining about Jack's sleep (since it is nothing out of the newborn ordinary), but I'm not going to lie, I would love for him to be sleeping longer stretches at night. He currently wakes up about every 2 hours to be fed, but every now and then he will make it 3-3.5 hours (which is glorious!!), but there are other times that he wakes up after only an hour.

The lack of sleep has without a doubt been the most difficult part for me. It's impossible to have a clear head when you don't sleep more than 2 hours at a time, and when you don't have a clear head all of the world's problems seem 100x worse! I am so looking forward to this getting better...

He is currently sleeping in a bassinet in our bedroom, and he will stay in our room for a while, but I won't lie, I'm looking forward to transitioning him to his crib. I hope to last the full six months that the AAP recommends, but he is a super noisy sleeper and it's hard to actually get a good night's rest.

Post-partum?
Other than the exhaustion, for the most part I feel physically back to normal. The body is such an incredible thing, and although I have some work to do to get back to my pre-baby body, it is pretty crazy how quickly your body goes back to normal after having a baby. Jack and I go on 1-2 long walks a day (it's the only way I can soothe him when he is awake without nursing him), and it has been great getting fresh air... praise God we live in Texas where the weather has still been quite warm!

I am in this weird stage of not quite fitting into my pre-baby jeans, but my maternity pants are way too big because there is no bump to keep them fitted. I have been living in leggings, but hey, I'm not complaining because I would probably be living in leggings anyway!



Clothes
I can hardly believe how much Jack has grown; I already have a drawer full of clothes that he no longer can wear that I need to pack away! It makes me sad, but excited that he is healthy, growing, and will hopefully be more interactive (smiles, coos, etc.) soon.

He is wearing mostly 3 month clothes, but there are a handful of newborn onesies that he can still wear (the Nordstrom baby newborn size is perfection!!) and there are also a handful of 6 month onesies that he can wear... so it all really depends on the fit of the particular outfit. I change his outfit ridiculously often, so I am quite thankful for his plethora of hand-me-down clothes - they have been a lifesaver!

John
John took paternity leave for the first 2 weeks after Jack was born, and it was so incredibly nice to have him home. I was sad for him to go back to work, but to be honest, I felt like it was time and I was looking forward to establishing a more normalized routine. I ended up getting mastitis around week 3 (which was the most terrible thing ever) and John was able to work from home and take a few half days to help take care of Jack.

I love seeing John handle Jack; he is perfectly comfortable with him and it really is super special to watch. He is always ready to give me a little bit of relief when he gets home from work and is super encouraging for me to get out of the house and treat myself... I am so thankful that he is my forever partner.

Scout and Lily
Scout and Lily both think their new little brother is pretty great! Scout was a bit unsure at first (which I wasn't expecting), but Lily was pretty interested in watching Jack from the very beginning. I am looking forward to watching them all grow up together and go hunting (when Jack is old enough, of course!).

Although the dogs have been great with the babe, I'm not going to lie, having two high-energy dogs with a newborn has been a lot to coordinate during the day when John is at work. I love them very much, but I really don't have the energy to be wrestling dogs with muddy feet off of our furniture while trying to soothe a crying baby. I know it will get better, but in the mean time, the pups have been spending more time outside and in their crates when they are inside.

Favorite moments?
There really hasn't been a single favorite moment, but I have really enjoyed watching him grow. It's like I wake up one day and he all of a sudden needs a larger size diaper; or I try to put a onesie on him, and although he has worn it several times before it all of a sudden doesn't fit his chubby belly anymore. It makes me feel like we are making progress of him not being quite so itty bitty (and although I love me an itty-bitty Jack, I am just so excited to see him grow and get to know him more).

Also, his sneezes and yawns are entirely heart melting... I can't get enough! :) He also has the funniest facial expressions and total side-eye that are pretty dang cute.



Looking forward to?
Christmas and family time! My parents came to visit for Thanksgiving, and it was so great to have family around. I am looking forward to more family coming down in two weeks and then again for Christmas. The extra hands are nice, but it's also just nice to have people around and enjoy the company and conversation.

I am also looking forward to our sweet babe becoming more interactive. Jack flashes us several reflex smiles, but I am so looking forward to the real thing - and I feel like it is right around the corner. I will talk to Jack and play with him, and I can just tell a smile is coming soon. If he knows what's good for him, he will make sure to smile at me first... ;)

To do?
I have been meaning to take photos of Jack's nursery to share on the blog and finish the million half-written baby related blog posts that I have sitting in my draft folder... some day I will get to it!

I also have Christmas cards (which are doubling as Jack's birth announcement) to send, and I have a few items from our registry that I still need to return/exchange. So please send all the stamps my way, because I have lots to mailing to do! We were able to get our home decorated for Christmas this past weekend, so now we just have some shopping to complete... then we can really sit back, relax, and enjoy our first Christmas with a little babe. :)


For more baby Pray:
Jack's Birth Story

Monday, November 14, 2016

Life Lately!

As I'm sure you can imagine, life lately has been quite busy trying to settle into a new normal with a newborn! My to-do list is over flowing, but it's all just going to have to wait because I have a sweet baby that needs to be cuddled. :)

Here's a peek into what life has been like over the past few weeks!

***

Jack was born! You can read more about his birth here.


Welcome to the world, Jack... we think you are the best thing ever!


We brought the babe home and gave him a tour of his new digs - he approved. :)


My mom flew in from Minneapolis to stay with us for the week - and it was amazing! To say we were thankful for her being there would be a huge understatement. How about eternally grateful? 

She was incredibly helpful and made sure we were well fed (with leftovers!), rocked Jack for many hours during the day (and night!), and provided lots of very valuable advice... John, Jack, and I were sure sad to see her leave!


For the first week after Jack was born he had a doctor's appointment or some sort of lab work every single day but one; so there was a lot of waiting room time! Thankfully, he slept through most of it, but the poor guy was totally over getting his heel pricked.


John and I took Jack and the pups to the park! 

John ran the dogs to get out all of the pent up energy, and I (attempted to) walk-off all of the Halloween candy I had been eating. ;)


We practiced our swaddling - which, by the way, Jack does not enjoy... the only way he will tolerate being swaddled is if his arms are out. If you swaddle with his arms in he fights it the whole time until he can finally get them out - or he screams until you take them out for him. :)


Lily took an immediate liking to her new little brother. For the first few days she would just follow us around and watch him - it was pretty sweet and a little unexpected! I thought for sure that Scout would be the one that was more interested.


We tried to find a pacifier that Jack would take, but we still haven't found one yet! He will suck on the MAM for a little bit, but really doesn't seem to enjoy it too much. 

I'm sure he will be more interested when he gets a bit older, but I wish he had something (other than me!) to suck on in the middle of the night... Any advice, mamas?


The first week had lots of day time sleeping! 

He is getting more and more alert every day and will now spend a few hours just looking around. It's so sweet when he is alert and he makes the most ridiculous faces like he is solving the world's problems (and God knows there are a lot to solve...).


And lots of nighttime cuddles. :)

I enjoy all of the nighttime cuddles until about 6AM... at which point I just wish he would go to sleep and stay asleep for more than 2 hours - all in time, I suppose, but boy, I'm t.i.r.e.d. It's a good thing he's so chubby and easy to snuggle.


We ventured out for Mexican food and margaritas. 

Jack slept the whole time, but I know once he is older and has his first taste of queso, he will find the whole experience much more exciting. Queso is always a game changer, if you ask me. :)


Jacker-cracker and his grandma!


His expressions... so stinkin' cute and silly! 

We call Jack our tiny pterodactyl because he makes the funniest dinosaur noises and will move his arms like little dino hands - and he has a strong preference for wearing anything with dinosaurs on it! ;)


Scout was quite unsure of Jack when we first brought him home... I'm pretty sure she thought Jack was noisy and a little disruptive to her puppy environment. ;) Thankfully she is warming up nicely now.


I took the babe shopping at Hobby Lobby to teach him about all this Christmas and baby Jesus! He was the perfect shopping buddy.


Scout has just recently started investigating the little babe. She never gets close enough to touch Jack, but does make sure she gets a good look every now and then.


My cutest accessory! Jack still isn't quite sure what he thinks of the Boba wrap - I love it, but I will say, I can't quite tell if he is comfortable in there. I feel like he is a little munched up in there... but then again, he did live for 10 months in my stomach, so you would think he'd be used to it!

Any wrap tips that I should know about?!


I think Jack is fitting in quite nicely to our family, don't you? ;)

A little wine and baby cuddles... it doesn't get a whole lot better! And those baby socks - he loves wearing socks (just like his dad)... it is kind of heart melting, if you ask me! :)


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Jack's Birth Story

I can hardly believe that my sweet newborn is two weeks old. He has changed so much already, and if I think too much about it, I start to get teary... I want to soak in every moment of him being teeny tiny (even though he is already 9lbs 5.5oz!).

The morning that Jack was born I headed to my 7:45AM 39-week doctor appointment and my blood pressure was unexpectedly high (when compared to my normal baseline, that is). My blood pressure, coupled with a few other factors, prompted my doctor to suggest induction. 

I was somewhat open to being induced and asked when she was thinking (expecting her to say maybe that weekend or the following week) and I was absolutely floored when she responded with "how about today?" I didn't quite know how to react and immediately felt slightly panicked! I was planning to have breakfast with a friend after my appointment and had several meetings at work scheduled later that day to go over final assignment handoffs before maternity leave. 

I gave John a call to let him know that I was going to be induced that day; I expected that he would be equally unnerved at the idea of a baby arriving that day, but surprisingly he was quite calm and excited. He asked how much time he had, and I assured him that the baby wouldn't be arriving within the next few hours so that he should take his time!

After talking to John and filling him in on the plan, I literally walked down the hall to labor and delivery, checked in, changed my clothes, and got ready for induction - it was honestly the most surreal thing ever... like, I'm going to have my baby sometime today or tomorrow! By 9AM my doctor broke my water and started me on pitocin to get the contractions going... I could hardly believe that just a few hours earlier I was going to my normal scheduled appointment!

At this point John had not yet arrived at the hospital and was headed home from work to drop off our dogs to be boarded and pick up some miscellaneous items. Thankfully I already had the car seat installed and my hospital bag in my car (as well as a "to grab" list taped to the garage door in case we had to run to the hospital unexpectedly - cheers to organization and nesting to the max!).

John arrived to the hospital around 11AM and was quite excited to have a baby. Knowing that induction could be a potentially long process I made sure that his expectations were that the baby may not arrive until the next morning. I honestly did not think the baby would be arriving that day, and was preparing myself for a very long labor. Much to my surprise, I was dilated to 10cm by 9PM! I was beyond thrilled at the news and it seemed unbelievable how close we were to holding our sweet baby in our arms.

Jack eventually made his arrival at 11:23PM and was 8lbs 6oz and 21.5 inches long... and he looks exactly like I expected - just like his daddy! To say we are in love would be an understatement - we feel so honored and blessed that God chose us to be his parents.






























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