Our little wug-a-bug is 15 weeks old! Three and a half months already. Jackson has taught me so much already. Marriage and parenthood teach you things you can never learn any other way. No exceptions. Parenthood teaches you a kind of selflessness that is unequaled. Parenthood teaches you endurance during long nights (but thankfully we haven't had many of those). Parenthood teaches you a whole new level of multitasking. Parenthood teaches you to not sweat the small stuff, you know, the stuff you used to think was life changing but was really absolutely nothing in comparison. Parenthood teaches you sacrifice, which doesn't seem like sacrifice at all.
This little face has made me a better person.
This onesie is one of my favorites. We ordered it on recommendation from a friend. Matt and I love wugs. Jean Berko Gleason created a test for children involving these illustrated bird-like creatures called wugs. He showed young children a picture of a single creature and said, "This is a Wug." Then he showed them a picture with two of the creatures and said, "Now there are two of them. There are two ____." The children would fill in the blank with "Wugs". Which, of course, is grammatically correct. This example was to show that even young children can learn the rules of plurals. We had a Master's class together that had this example in the text book. I loved the illustrations of the wugs. Matt read the chapter after me. When I went back to study for the exam I saw he had colored in one of the wugs! From that point forward, we called each other "wug". Then wugs started to appear everywhere! On a set of magnets I had for the fridge, one some sticky notes a student in my class gave me for teacher appreciation day, on a necklace at the store (which I bought). A friend then posted on facebook a link to a store that sold wug paraphernalia, including onesies! We bought this one for Jack, a pink Tee for me, and a grey Tee for Daddy. We're just one big wug family!
Camping: The Derecho that hit at the end of Week 14 had effects into Week 15. We remained without power until Thursday morning. We camped out in my office until Monday night. Monday morning an email was sent out to Liberty staff stating that limited on campus housing would be available for employees and immediate family members. I booked it over to the clubhouse that was assigning rooms and already there was a line. They created a waiting list and we didn't get a key until 11:00 pm! We were so thankful to get a room on East Campus that had comfortable mattresses, air conditioning, and a hot shower.
It was strange living on campus and having the old bunk beds and desks again! Here is a picture of Matt's bed and Jack asleep in his carseat.
I ran home to get some shower stuff for Matt and I and also grabbed Jack's bathtub. He was in great need of a bath as it had been almost a week and those days had produced a very hot, sweaty baby. Unfortunately, Jack didn't like the idea of a bath. He screamed the whole time and made me worry the other family we shared the quad with would think we were killing out baby! I'm pretty sure everyone who's had kids of their own understands though.
We moved my mattress to the floor and Jack and I settled there each night. He would nap with me in the evenings. Matt bought me a season of Grey's Anatomy (my "new" favorite show. I watched the whole series on Netflix this fall and now am hooked!) which helped occupy me after work.
Jackson and Daddy got to play a lot while Mommy went to work. Daddy did bring his computer monitor and hooked up his PS3. Had to have something to occupy his time while baby napped. I was so grateful to have a cool place for them to go while I was working. It's stressful having an infant in 100+ degree weather with no air conditioning. I heard a story of a family whose little baby stopped breathing due to getting overheated.
We have given Jackson lots of horsey rides (above) to try to replicate his first laugh. Mommy has also tried airplane rides and rocket ships. Jackson has given a few chuckles but mostly has big smiles and sharp barking laughs. We're sure in the next couple weeks he'll be giggling all the time. He fell asleep in my arms once and then chuckled a couple times while asleep. I don't know what he was dreaming about but I sure loved to hear him laugh!
Diapering: This time without power cemented our love for cloth diapers. Daddy used to think disposables would be so much easier, but didn't mind using cloth since I spray them out each night and he knows it's better for baby. Well, we used disposables while we were out of power since we didn't know when we'd have access to a washing machine. The first day and a half we thought it was nice to be able to just toss the diapers out. We have scented baggies for them that we sometimes use with our cloth diapers if they are particularly smelly. By the second night, however, we were both ready to go back to our normal diapering! The disposable diapers leaked (several times), smelled (you could always always smell the urine even if it was just a little), and had to be changed almost twice as often as our cloth. Jack also had his first blow out! Poopy all over his bottom, onesie, and shorts! I honestly don't think it would have been a blow out in his cloth diapers though. It wasn't a lot of poopy, but it just spilled out everywhere in the cheap diaper. By the time we went back home Thursday, Jack had a huge rash on his bottom. Thankfully, the rash didn't seem to bother him when we changed him or when we bathed him. The first night we put him back in cloth diapers it cleared up about 60%. Matt was fed up with the disposables too and now we are so thankful we chose to use cloth. Jack seems to like the cloth better too. They are softer and don't irritate his skin. We did have to resnap the leg openings on his diapers. He has now moved up to the second row of snaps! He is growing!
Learning: Jack is such a smart little baby. He is so busy learning that he tuckers himself out (above). Jack has begun to really mimic a lot of expressions and noises we make. It's so fun to hear him figure out a new sound that we make to him. When he babbles he mixes up different syllables and really sounds like he's talking now. He has also begun to squeal. It's only squeals of joy and it's still very endearing. I know it will probably get to the point where he squeals over and over again and gets tiring after awhile. For now I will enjoy it though. He noticed the cats this week too. They were walking past him and he stared at them. When they walked over to him his little fists started to shake, I'm assuming with fear. I sat him in his Bumbo and held the kitties in front of him. He let them sniff him and he wasn't afraid of them anymore. After that he just watched them walk around. He hasn't reached for them yet, but it's interesting to see him so interested in them. He likes black and white contrasts so I wonder what he really thinks of Emily, our black cat. Jack has also been learning cause and effect. He doesn't mind bath time so much anymore. He has figured out that if he kicks his feet it will cause a warm splash! When he does this he smiles super big and coos. He'll do it over and over.
Milestones: Jack has begun to such on everything. He has always enjoys sucking on his hands and most of his toys, but now he sucks on his burp clothes, his clothes, he'll pull Mommy's fingers to his mouth, and anything else that is close enough for him to grab and stick in his mouth! Usually when he fusses when we put him in his carseat or stroller we give him some rings to suck on and he settles right down. We were able to remove the infant headrest in his carseat! He can support his indefinitely now so it wasn't really necessary. it gives him a little more room and since it's so warm outside it allows his head to breathe more. We also don't bother with the infant booster seat in his umbrella stroller anymore. It still helps him fit into it a little better than without, but he doesn't slide around or anything without it. So we just put it away in his closet. What a big boy! He's still wearing mostly 0-3 month clothes, but he can fit into some of his smaller 3-6 month onesies! I've put away all his newborn sized clothes and some of his smaller 0-3 month clothes. A lot of his 3-6 month clothes have long sleeves. I don't know what I was thinking since we live in VA and it'll be hot here for a good long while. I'll probably cut off the sleeves on his 3-6 month onesies and shirts and hem them. He just grows grows grows! I swear I got to sleep or go to work and the next time I see him he's grown again!
Jack often uses a paci to fall asleep. Sometimes I can find the "magic" spot for him to settle down in (the crook of my elbow, lying diagonally, flat on the bed- he changes how he wants to sleep) and he falls asleep on his own, but sometimes he needs the paci to soothe him. It is so sweet to watch him sucking the paci and drift off.
Jackson has learned about fear. He has a very specific scared/ startled face. He isn't afraid of things like my hair blow dryer or the vacuum cleaner (which we bought a new one this week! Amazing! We actually bought a good vacuum as opposed to the $60 one we registered for. Hello, clean carpets!), but if you jostle him or move rapidly and he doesn't expect it he might make this face and then cry. It's a very sad face. His eyes are big and round and his eyebrows are furrowed. Usually his mouth is open slightly in a very straight line. He arms tend to fly out to the sides and shake slightly. This happens mostly when something startles him or when he wakes up and thinks he's alone (when he's in his sleeper and not being held), but tonight he actually got scared of Daddy growling at him. He was just sitting there like normal, Daddy growled at him, he made the face, and started to cry. Normally he likes growling and Daddy and he do "Lion face"... but not tonight. He's just learning and going through new stages.
Feeding: Jack still takes bottles fine during the day while I am at work. Thankfully, I seem to have an overproduction of milk so that won't be a problem for us any time soon. When our power went out the only thing we saved from our fridge or freezer was Jack's milk. We put it all in my old insulated lunchbox and put it in the freezer at my office. Jack does seem to prefer to have snacks throughout the day as opposed to larger meals. He'll drink 1-2 oz. every 1-3 hours on average. Maybe one feeding during the day he'll drink 4-6 oz. We feed on demand with his wants. I figure adults can choose to eat snacks or have drinks when they're thirsty at any time. Babies shouldn't be deprived or forced to eat more at a specific time of day either. Even though Jack takes bottles during the workday, he still prefers to nurse. When we're getting ready to nurse he gets a big smile on his face and is just so happy and content. That warms my heart. I love that connection I have with him.
Jack has been drooling all. the. time. I call him my little drool monster. His constant chewing on things doesn't help. It makes me wonder if he'll teethe early. His cousin, Waverly, began drooling when she was pretty young but still hasn't had any teeth pop through yet (and she's 8 months old). I'm hoping Jack is like that too. Jack has a little friend who teethed at 4 months. Not optimal for this nursing mother! I prefer to nurse for as long as we can... but we may just have to stop once teeth pop through. My pump will get much more use at that point!
One thing I am very, very thankful for... digital cameras! How much film must have been wasted when digital cameras were not around? You would wait for the perfect shot of your baby smiling... and then not know if you got it timed right until the film was developed... and then if you missed that moment you had another wasted picture. Now I can take a series of pictures and choose the best one. For instance, the first picture in this post, the 15 week one, I have about 5 pictures of Jack smiling and I like that one the best. But he's adorable in ALL of them. It's hard for me not to post them all. I also have two point and shoot digital Canon cameras and one Canon digital SLR. This means I can have a camera upstairs, downstairs, and a better one for his monthly photo shoots. It's also nice having a camera on my Blackberry for those moments I don't want to miss. The Blackberry doesn't take wonderful pictures, but they'll do in a pinch!
I feel like people are waiting for me to post complaints about parenthood or write about the hardships I have faced. Honestly though, Jackson is such a wonderful baby! He is my absolute pride and joy. I have such patience with him and it doesn't even seem like patience. It just seems so natural. When he is fussy, I figure he's just being a baby and try my best to calm him. I usually can calm him pretty quickly. I don't feel overly worn down or tired. I don't feel restricted in what I can or can't do. I have worked out times to do the dishes, laundry, and other household chores (even if I have to stop midway through and finish at a later time). I love playing with him and "working" with him on sitting, talking, and laughing. He is the best little baby.