Monday, July 23, 2012

17 Weeks

Happy 17 Weeks, Jackson! These past 17 weeks (plus 38 Weeks) have been the absolute most fulfilling in my life. There is nothing that compares to being a mother. It is only third to being 2) a wife and 1) a child of God. But those three things are my whole entire life!

I love how well my baby takes pictures. All you do is give him a big smile and he happily returns it. I usually snap his weekly pictures first thing in the morning. As in, Mama is in her pj's, hair going every which way, glasses askew, and baby newly changed and dressed. He is happiest in the morning. I would be too if I got 10 hours of sleep at night! No, he's not sleeping that long in one stretch. He wakes up to eat still, but this Mama's not complaining. He's an excellent sleeper!

We started this week with Mama working from home! I am so blessed to have super flexible bosses. Matt had to go to MEPS on Monday and Tuesday so I was allowed to work from home. Jack and I spent a lot of time with him on my lap and the Thinkpad in front. He loves looking at computer screens (we try to divert his attention from movies/computers as much as possible) so he was entertained with Mommy's emails and other work forms.

It's nice that Jack likes to practice sitting now. He can sit propped up by the boppy or bumbo so he could occupy himself a bit while I worked. We have a tray for the bumbo so I set him up with his favorite toys (still his oball, crinkle giraffe, and ring o links) and he was set for a good hour. Allowed Mommy to get a lot of work done! The only distraction? He's just so stinkin cute!

It is official. Last week I thought Jack was beginning to enjoy baths. This week there is no question. This week I would draw his bath, get him all nakey (all  babies love being nakey!), and as soon as I plopped him in the water he would get this big ole grin! He would promptly kick kick his legs and splash the warm water. He doesn't mind getting washed anymore, but he still doesn't like it when I wash his neck. That's just because he doesn't know to lift his head yet. His reflexes have him lower his chin when I'm trying to wash his neck so we have a bit of difficulty. But we get it clean in the end and then he splashes some more. Mama curls him out of the bath (holds him so he's all curled up like a lima bean) and quickly snuggles him in his towel. He gets to spend some time just in his diaper, but we cool down the house at night so shortly after we lotion him up and put his jammies on. He is now in size 3-6 month jammies! The 0-3 month-ers were too short and pulled on his shoulders. I forgot about all the 3-6 months jammies we have... oh my, they are adorable!

We still follow his old bed time routine: bath, snuggles, reading his Bible, praying, rocking and singing, and then bed. He still sleeps in my room and probably will for a good while yet. When he starts sleeping through the night I want to put him in his nursery, but just don't know if I can do it. I love having him so close to me! Most nights he sleeps incredibly well. I figured out that he likes to sleep with a fan. We used to put a fan near him because he would get overheated. He doesn't seem to do that anymore, but he is now used to the sound of the fan! I didn't use the fan for two nights and he would stir a lot at night and wimper. I was worried he would have night terrors (as I had them real bad when I was young), but the third night I used the fan and he slept "like a baby". Problem solved!

Look at this little face! I mean, seriously, how could you not love him? He is like a little baby angel. He has the perfect baby noises too. His laugh and coos sound just like baby soundtracks used in movies and TV. We've been told that even his cry isn't annoying. He has begun to make some really interesting noises. He is learning every day and adding to his noise maker. He snorts sometimes, exhales like a horse (like a neigh), babbles, blows spit bubbles (all the time), gurgles, growls, and has begun figuring out how to make his lips vibrate like Mommy and Daddy (like when you blow out with your lips pressed together? Like blowing a raspberry? He used to just mimic the sound, but now he can get his lips to do it every once in awhile).

Baby got a new toy this week! I was looking for an exersaucer or jumperoo. This one was perfect! It doesn't take up too much space, will grow with him, and is light weight so we can easily take it up or down stairs. This was the first night I brought it home. I'd say he likes it!

He loves to kick kick kick those legs. I noticed that he was constantly kicking while in his bouncer but it was making him slide down and get uncomfortable. I set him in this exersaucer (it's more like an exer-triangle) and he looked at me. He kicked his legs and got a Giant smile! He kick kick kicked and loved it. He can touch one foot to the springboard at time, but he'll grow. The springboard is attached by bungies so it will help him jump once he grows a bit more. It also has three levels so he should be able to use this quite awhile.

I have a lot of links lying around, so I hooked some onto the attachments on his exersaucer until he's bigger and can reach all the knobs and gizmos. I attached random links and some links with his gummy keys. He's been drooling so so much so we may be using those keys a lot more in the future. They are for teething so can be put in the fridge to cool his gums. I also have given him his teether strawberry that vibrates when he bites on it. He hasn't figured out how to get it vibrate on his own, but when I push on it and it's in his mouth he smiles. Hopefully he isn't really teething yet and is just drooling excessively. Mama's not ready to give up nursing yet!

This Sunday we put him in the church nursery for the first time. We had been keeping him with us during the service and he would sleep in the Moby wrap. The past two Sundays he's been waking up during the last half hour and I've gone into the hall with him. He hasn't been fussy, but he has babbled a bit. We put him the nursery and enjoyed some time alone. This was the first time he had been away from both of us. He fell asleep shortly after we dropped him off and woke up a half hour before we picked up him (so right on track!). He didn't fuss at all (so they say) and had a nice time in a swing. He doesn't have a swing at home so this was a treat for him. The above picture is him when we first got home. I just love his little outfit! Jeans from Ben and Lindsay VanStensel (one of mommy's oldest friends) and the shirt we got him for his baby dedication, both from Baby Gap. He looks like such a little man! As soon as we picked him up he gave Mommy a big smile and was smiley all afternoon. I'd call that a success!

Jackson loves to be with people. He loves to be held and to look at faces. One of his favorite things is to be held and look into a mirror. He looks back and forth from his reflection to mine and then laughs! It's isn't a chuckle, but more of a squeal. It is a very specific laugh that he only does with the mirror. He also recognizes voices now. One morning I left him in his sleeper while I took a shower. I brought him into the hall outside the bathroom though. I heard him wake up and start to cry so I talked to him. He stopped crying so I peeked out to check on him and he was staring at where my voice was coming from and immediately smiled when he saw my face. He also has been turning to face Daddy when he talks to him.

He has begun to suck his thumb in earnest. He rarely takes a paci anymore, but we keep them handy. If he's really tired sometimes he'll take a paci, but for now he prefers his thumb, fingers, or fist. It's so adorable to see him sucking on just his thumb as opposed to his whole fist. I love to watch him. He's figured out that it's much easier to suck when it's just one thumb as opposed to a round fist. He also has begun to roll over! At first I thought he was just doing this because of my weight on the bed. But I set him on the guest bed one day and watched as he rolled from his back to his side (while sucking on his fingers) and then proceeded to roll onto his tummy! This is one proud Mommy! I have yet to get it on film, but that day will come. He arches his back a lot and sometimes it's when he's fussy and wants to be held, but other times it seems like he's just doing it because he can. Maybe it stretches him out? It's kinda funny to watch.

His hair has been growing steadily. He was born with a good amount of hair. Then it thinned a bit. He always had a light covering though. But this week I noticed that it was a lot thicker than in previous weeks. I noticed it first during bath time and then when it was dry. You can't tell in front view pictures very well, but it is growing back. I love his little peach fuzz!

During the day he still takes bottles quite well. He varies with his eating. Sometimes he'll just eat 0.5 oz. and be good for an hour, sometimes he'll eat 4 oz. and be good for 3-4 hours. He has overall been eating less. He used to eat about 10-12 oz. during the day and nurse at night. Now he's been drinking 5-7 oz. during the day and nursing at night. I weighed him today and according to my scale he weighs 14.8 pounds. That was fully dressed including cloth diaper. Again, with our scale it doesn't count oz. so I'm not sure what the .8 means exactly. But he's still under 15 pounds. He's healthy and happy so I'm not worried about his eating habits. He does super well with both bottle and nursing, but he prefers nursing, which warms my heart.

In this picture he was rolling his tongue all over. He'll definitely be able to flip his tongue like his Daddy, Mommy can't do that. He can already curl his tongue like both Mommy and Daddy. Mommy can't wait to try to teach him to do the taco shell with his tongue! I'm so thankful his tongue is so agile since he was tongue-tied at birth. Seems like such a small thing, but will make such a difference in his life. 

He is the epitome of cuteness. He is so well behaved. I worry that people think I'm sugar coating it. Don't get me wrong, there was a day last week when I thought he just wanted Daddy. That made me sad as I want him to always want Mommy (but of course, it's good he loves his Daddy). I came home from work and he was a fussy bunny. He wasn't snuggling up to me like he normally was. It was frustrating not being able to calm him just by holding him. He was just tired and he settled down for the night early. He's just like other babies and has his moments... but they don't bother me. I try to figure out what he wants or needs and take deep gratification when I figure it out and he is calm and content once again. Overall he isn't a fussy baby. I am so blessed. I am so undeserving. It is such a privilege to be his mother.