Monday, June 10, 2013

5 months old!

We can't believe our little man is 5 months old already. He is the love of our lives, and we are so blessed to have a healthy, playful, handsome guy. He's teaching us about love, patience and ourselves everyday. Here's some of the most recent happenings.

Size: Jackson is now in size 6-9 months clothes. 3-6 were getting tight, he's really on the borderline for sizes, but we've moved him up. Target brand diapers are abnormally huge, so we've been able to stretch the size 2 for longer, otherwise we'd be in size 3 for sure. We haven't weighed him in a few weeks, but we've definitely already doubled our birth weight (goal by 6 mo), and he's weighing in somewhere near 17 pounds! Growing so much!

Health: Jackson has been healthy all month- praise God! No more ER visits, we haven't had to use the nebulizer or even the humidifier. Even with daycare, travel, and family visits our little man has stayed healthy as can be.

Sleep: Sleep habits are pretty much the same still. He usually gets in a longer nap late morning/ midday and then takes a late afternoon and an evening catnap. Bedtime is 9pm and on occasion he will sleep through the night, but majority of nights he's still getting up to nurse once, which gives me extra cuddle time with my little man :) Since he's still waking up some, Jackson is still in the pack and play in our room. I'm not ready to transition him across the hall just yet, but we have practiced naps in his big boy crib. It's so funny how the baby's room HAS to be ready, and noone ever goes in there except to grab clothes. Go figure.

Schedule: Schedule is the same as before. Thankfully Jackson has put himself on a regular schedule, and even with travel, visitors and everything else, he has managed to stick to it most days:
6am: Wake up/ breakfast
730am: Leave for school/ work, catnap in the car
9am: mid morning feed
10am-12pm: long nap
12pm: lunch time!
130-2pm: afternoon catnap
3pm: mid afternoon feed
5-530pm: catnap
6pm: dinner!
730pm: nurse then last catnap
830pm: bath/ shower
9pm: nurse and bedtime
2am: nurse

Social: Our little man is quite the big flirt. He's always smiling and laughing at Mommy and Daddy, teachers at school, and any friends and family he gets to meet. Just recently he's really become interested in Wally. He will often follow Wally around the room with his eyes, and smiles or gets excited when Wally likes his entire face. Last weekend Jackson threw his first fit, and Dan and I didn't know what to think. I don't remember exactly what happened, but it was something to the effect of Jax being impatient and frustrated when we didn't respond right away. He stiffened his arms and legs, then let out a short but loud yell. It happened to each of us over the weekend, and when Jax did to to me I said, "Well, excuse me sir, but there is NO need for THAT." Oh the joys heading our way...

Diet: Still breastfed! Jackson is doing great at nursing and I'm really enjoying the extra cuddle time with my monkey. I am, however, looking forward to starting him on foods. Our pediatrician supports our decision to exclusively breastfeed, and like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics both recommend, we plan to wait on foods until 6 months.

That said, the checklist of milestones for trying food include good head control while sitting and/or sitting unassisted, interest in foods, ability to turn head away from bottle or breast when full, motor skill developed for putting everything in his mouth. Jax has met all of these milestones, so we're patiently waiting for the right time to start foods. We did let him try some pureed, frozen bananas last week and he LOVED them! He was lunging for the spoon and very eager, so I think we may be trying foods sooner than 6 months.

Crying: Usually only when sleepy, and at 730pm- that's fussy-30 at our house. Otherwise, happy, giggly, smiley boy :)

Milestones: Sometimes sleeping through the night, sitting up great, trying foods soon, everything goes in his mouth, and he can flip over tummy to back. Note: he won't roll over for mom and dad because he knows we will give in and flip him, but we've seen him do it for other people :) Stubborn little booger.

Mom and Dad: Doing great. Lots of exciting changes in both of our careers, but less and less 'us' time. Taking a marriage class during VBS at church, and it's lending great insight to the institution of marriage that will hopefully help us for years to come. For the most part, we focus our time and schedules on family time, chores, and sleep. We are hoping that sometime soon our schedule will regulate and we will have more time for each other, working out, and just plain down time. For now, we are just too busy being Mom and Dad and loving our little monkey!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Special Day for Mom

This year was my first year having the privilege to celebrate Mother's Day, crazy to think I'll celebrate this day every year for the rest of my life. Here's a recap of how my first, very special Mother's Day went.

First, Saturday we demolished our kitchen. Like, literally we tore out the cabinets, counters, moved the stove, everything.

So, after understanding that we had NO kitchen, it makes this first part of Mother's Day extra special. Jackson and Wally woke up early, about 5:30am. Normally I try to allow Dan some extra sleep when that happens, but this morning he took the boys to the living room and let me sleep in- until 8am!!! That extra 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep was a Godsend. I woke up without an alarm, to the sunshine coming in through our brown curtains in the dark, cool bedroom. Ahh.... amazing. I then hear Dan in the kitchen puttering around, and Wally running in and out of the open sliding back door. I pull myself out of bed and wander down the hall to find Dan in our shambles of a kitchen, oven plugged in and slid to the middle of the room, cooking me pancakes for breakfast. Wally was frantically running around trying to get someone, anyone, to throw his Kong and play with him. Jackson was in his bouncer, telling Daddy everything about his morning and his dreams. The kid was talking more than we've ever heard before! He rambled on with his coos and ahhs and smiled when he saw me walk into the kitchen. The room was a little hazy and slightly smelled like smoke, which I later learned was a result of the first batch of pancakes- burnt to a crisp. I scooped up our beautiful boy and returned to the bedroom for diaper change/ get dressed/ Jackson eat breakfast, and Dan brought my golden and perfect (second batch) of pancakes to me in the room. Two blueberry and one banana chocolate chip. It was a perfect start to the day.

The next hour went per routine with us alternating playing with the baby while we got ready for church. We headed off to Sunday School in separate cars, and Dan told me when we arrived that Jackson continued to talk his ear off the whole drive. After Sunday School we left before service, the boys heading home, and me heading to an hour long massage Dan had booked for me!! I drove out to the shopping area by the beach (where we were when we went into labor with Jackson- such a fond memory) and headed for my massage while enjoying the warmth of the abundant sunshine. My massage went great, and was actually very painful and uncomfortable- in a good way. My massage therapist was able to pinpoint all of my stress spots, even in my pulled IT band, and work them out without mercy. I left the massage sore, dehydrated, and feeling gross as the released toxins flooded my bloodstream. Even with as rotten as I felt, it was such a treat and she did a great job.

I headed home to my boys, we grabbed a quick lunch of refrigerator leftovers before heading out for some essentials. 10 X 10 EZ canopy and a wagon (to be bought later) to head to the beach! That's right, abundant sunshine and a house under construction means we were free to enjoy the sunshine! Jackson did great at the beach, and wasn't sure what to think of the waves crashing up around his waist and face while he and daddy sat at the water's edge. Although our beach trip didn't last long, it was a great success!

That evening we grabbed a quick drive thru dinner and headed home to unwind and enjoy our time together before starting the rat race in the morning. Jax was talkative all night, and full of smiles and coos. It was the first day we've really had him talk all day. And blow lots of bubbles. It was a perfect, wonderful day and my boys made it very special for this mama. Dan has once again spoiled me, and set the bar high for future special days for each other :)



Thursday, May 9, 2013

4 months and some change

Working moms don't always have time for some things... like monthly updates to their blogs! So we're skipping 3 month update and lumping it in with 4 month update. Here's hoping I can keep this up on a semi regular basis...

Size: Clothes are 3-6 months. Our tall monkey is quickly outgrowing the length in many of these outfits, but still has room to grow in his tummy. Diapers we're still in size 2, but we can make the size 3 transition soon. At our 4 month well baby, Jax measured in at 15.2#, 26 inches. That's the 50%ile for weight, 85%ile non-corrected. If we correct for prematurity, our big guy is measuring in the 60%ile for weight and 97%ile for height!!! For any non-medical people, or non-parents all that number talk basically means we have a very healthy size baby! When you mix long baby with normal weight, that means he's long and lean. And still perfect. :)

Health: Jax is still relatively healthy, and no question he is healthier than if he was breastfed. Being in daycare creates the opportunity for repeat colds, and Jackson hasn't been immune to that, poor guy. One of his colds last month had lots of congestion, which backed up and led to pinkeye- so that led to antibiotic eye drops, but quickly resolved. Our newest, and scariest ailment resulted in a late night visit to the ER for a breathing treatment and RSV-negative bronchiolitis. Praise God he turned out RSV-negative AND we have great insurance that covers our expenses, including our at-home nebulizer. We don't have to do the breathing treatments anymore, but the lingering cough can last weeks, so we're still dealing with that. He spiked a fever after his 4 mo shots, but he was still our smiling, cuddly, lovey baby and only needed one round of Tylenol.  Again, we are so grateful for our healthy boy.

Sleep/Schedule: We occasionally have nights where we will get to sleep 6-7 hours, but most nights our routine has stayed consistent. Nighttime shower, play time with daddy, then nurse and bedtime. We wake again between 2 and 4, then back to sleep until 6:30am. For the most part, Jackson is like clockwork. It makes weekends hard when we want to sleep in, but makes it easy for us to know what to expect from him, as well as for him to know what to expect from his daily routine. As for napping, he gets a good mid-morning nap, and in the afternoon/evening he doesn't nap more than 15 minutes at a time. He's more of a cat napper like his mama in the afternoons, and a long sleeper like his daddy in the mornings.

Social: Jackson is doing great at his milestones, like holding his head up and tracking items. He is still very dramatic, and hates tummy time, but it's a work in progress. We have a very talkative 4 month old, and there's few things better then we he sees Dan or I, smiles, clasps his hands together and starts cooing and squealing. I know he has so many things to tell us, and I can't wait to hear them! Some of his new favorite games are peek a boo and standing man. He also LOVES outside, the sun on his face, wind, walks, his stroller, just pretty much anything outside. I am so excited to take him on long walks and play in the park/ at the beach together. Only in the last few days has he started to watch and smile at Wally. We know they will be best friends when our boys can play together.

Diet: Still exclusively breastfed baby, and that makes one happy mommy! My initial goal was to be able to breastfeed, then next goal was to maintain supply after returning to work, now the new goal is to make it to 6 months of EBF, hopefully then on to a year! So far so good. Part of breastfed babies is less stinky diapers and healthy BM's. Jax used to have multiple dirty diapers a day, and now averages maybe one per day but boy does he have gas! Our tootin' man can rip with the best of them, I wonder what on Earth he eats! We don't plan to start any foods until after the 6 mo mark, but I am so excited for when that happens. It'll be so fun!

Crying: In this aspect, we're lucky. Jax doesn't cry much, but he sure has a flair for the dramatic. He definitely will work up the tears and the crying when he wants something. Within a few seconds of being picked up/ soothed/ getting what he wants he's back to being calm and smiley. This is something we will need to work on and wean away, better now than later.

Milestones: Holding his head up, standing with assistance, tracking, laughing, cooing, kicking to roll over, self soothing to sleep, squealing and grabbing his hands- all milestones our little monkey has mastered.

Mom and Dad: We are used to our sleep routine, but we're exhausted all the time. We don't remember the last time we went to bed when we felt like, or got up when we felt like it. Between Wally and the baby, we are slaves to our daily routine. We live to get home and sleep. We sleep between feedings. It's becoming a blur, and as much as we love this stage of our family, we can't wait to sleep through the night on a regular basis.

We are constantly exhausted and it is definitely a challenge to schedule time for ourselves alone and as a couple. I still struggle with feeling guilty if I want to do something without our little monkey, but we are starting to find a balance.

Hormonal changes continue post partum. Newest change: hair loss. I've read about it, and I knew it was coming. But it's still shocking to see handfuls of hair come out post shower and everything I brush.

Another quick update for this family: Daddy will soon be returning to school to work in his Master's, and Mommy will be returning to Florida State University Panama City campus as a professor!

Other than that, we are good, healthy and happy. Totally in love with each other and with our baby boy. :)
Campbell Family March 30, 2013 at the Crossfit fundraiser Sara organized. We are so proud of her! 

Easter basket for a 3 mo old. The large eggs had socks and new pacifiers in them. 

Easter 2013

Road trip with my boys

Watching daddy pump gas

Attempting tummy time. It's like he's saying "no ma, I'm good."

Our dramatic man hates this one particular voice I do, so naturally I do it all the time and laugh at his sad face. 

Narcissistic baby loves his own reflection

Self soothing with that thumb, and working on rolling over. 

Morning before mommy left for girls weekend. Enjoying extra cuddle time with my little man. 

Boys loving on each other while mommy is away.

ER Breathing Tx for our big guy. 

More narcissistic baby loving his reflection. 

Jax loves family walks and the sweet hat Dan's mom gave him :)

Practicing sitting in the high chair. We sit here to watch mommy and daddy cook, or during meal times to get in the routine of high chair sitting. Pretty soon we'll add baby food to the routine! 

self soothing with whatever finger he can get into that mouth of his. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lessons learned

Lesson 1: The best place to get dirty is in the shower.
We've gotten in the habit of family showers. All three of us jump in and we have it down to an art. I clean up with hot water while Dan and Jax hang out, then we turn down pressure and temp and the boys jump under the water to clean the baby. We hand off the baby, Dan turns the pressure and temp back up and he gets clean while Jackson gets a snack. Then the boys get out first, dry off, get dressed, and play while I do the same and do all of my bedtime preps. Then Jax and I nurse while Dan and Wally have cuddle time. It's a random routine, but it works for our family and our fur baby and actual baby enjoy it each time. Now, Dan and I have each taken our turn being peed on in the shower. Sometimes it's before we've gotten clean, sometimes after. Either way we're already in the shower. There's been blowout diapers, golden showers, and vomit sessions that lead to repeat bathing for one or all of us. Dan has been pooped on, and I've put my hand in a blowout. But never, I mean never, did I expect what happened the other night. As we're finishing up the shower, Jax is just nursing away and Dan is cleaning up. Jax has been really gassy lately, and I'm not sure if anyone has ever had gas in the shower--- but it's like heavier than the steam or something because it just seems to sit right at nose level. So Jax will have gas in the shower and it smells so awful! Well, not this time. Nope. He shot out poop all over the shower! Breastfed babies have soft, mustard or green colored poops and this came out like a cannon. It actually made noise, as he filled up my hand and arm. It was on the shower wall, the curtain, the tub, my hand, my arm, everywhere. And it smelled awful. Dan of course is just laughing at me as I am saying, "turn down the temperature so I can put him under! Oh my gosh this is so gross! Dan, it's not funny. I can't believe he just had butt cannon all over. gross. Stop laughing and help!" Needless to say, the best place to get dirty is when you're already in the shower. We finished up and the boys jumped out like normal while I did a repeat body clean and cleaned the shower, wall, tub and curtain. What a night. 

Lesson 2: Murphy's Law is real.
If it CAN go wrong, it will. If you schedule an appointment/ errand for baby's naptime expecting him to sleep through it, he will inevitable be awake and fussy the whole time. If you throw in the laundry, you will of course immediately dirty something that could've gone in with that load. If you put clean sheets/ clothes/ diapers on a baby- he will dirty them all together. If you plan to have time to yourself, your child and/or puppy will be particularly needy. It's a wonderful life, but such a mess! 

Lesson 3: Breastmilk is amazing.
Warning: Do not read on if you won't want to about unconventional benefits of bf. I thought I knew all the perks of breastfeeding. Flat tummy, big boobs, healthy baby, no period, better smelling poops. But then, I learn more. Breastmilk is a living thing, not just something babies eat. It's full of immune boosters, healthy bacteria, and lots of other beneficial components that cannot be duplicated in formula. Formula feeding is adequate for nutrition when necessary, but I would strongly urge any new mother to at least try bf- even for a few days, the benefits for your child are irreplaceable. So, unconventional benefits: those immune booster in breastmilk can have healing properties. I'd heard of applying breastmilk to cuts, rashes, acne, etc to help clear up skin. I've even heard of using the milk to treat soreness related to early bf. But I had never heard of breastmilk as a natural antibiotic. Lately Jackson has had a cold, and Sunday night it spread to his eye- yes his eye. Apparently it's quite common in little ones. It can either be the congestion clogging the tear duct, congestion backing up from the sinuses, or the virus/ bacteria that caused the cold can actually move into the eye and wreak havoc. Poor Jackson had Quasimodo eye that was swollen, red, and crusted shut with green goup. At his 2am feeding I was reading more about this eye irritation when I cam across a recommendation: Put breastmilk in his eye. Say what? Yes, according to this recommendation the immunoglobulin A in breastmilk helps combat the infection. Also, it recommended massaging the undereye/ tearduct to possibly unclog it. I figure he eats it, it can't hurt. And he had an appointment scheduled for the am. His eye was just so crusty and gross, poor baby. So I tried it. I dropped some on the outside of his eye to wipe away the dried goop, and dropped some into his eye to flush out the green. I did this a few times during his feeding. Then at 6am, his eye looked amazing so I did it again! By his 9am appointment you could barely tell a difference in the two eyes!!! AMAZING. Of course now I look like two different people. 1. A mom who goes in for every little thing. and 2.  A crazy woman who uses breastmilk to treat eye infections. I feel like such a hippy, crazy mom. But, if it's working and not harming him, how can I not offer to help? We got antibiotic eye drops to administer a few times per day, but I am torn given the amazing transformation mama's milk has already done. We'll end up using the doctor prescribed treatment, but I can't help but wonder if the breastmilk made a difference. 

Lesson 4: I cannot do it all.
"When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways." 1 Corinthians 13:11. This verse is so fitting for comparing pre-baby and post-baby life. The verse discusses the maturity we experience as believers when we grow in the Word, well, it also applies as we've grown as parents. Pre-baby, pre-marriage I would occasionally be overwhelmed with the balance of housework, work, and relaxation time but felt like I generally had it together. I had lots of leisure time to organize and re-organize closets, shop, cook for fun, keep up the laundry, etc. Then came our puppy Wally, and leisure time went down. Then came my husband, which brought twice the workload for groceries, cooking, and laundry- but thankfully twice the help too! Now, with baby, it is all but impossible to do it all. We've managed to work out system so far of rotating chores and taking care of Jackson. I know look back to my days of living husband, baby and puppy free and wonder where my freetime and extra money went in those days? Now, all of my decisions are based on those factors. The biggest adjustment for me is to let the housework go. Now our house is not messy by any means, but I am an organized quasi-neat freak and leaving the dishes in the sink has taken some work to allow to happen. Again, before I thought like a child- now I think like a mom. I can do the dishes, or go spend a few minutes with my husband before the baby wakes up. I can vacuum the house or play with my baby. Your scale for problem solving and reasoning totally shifts. My priorities have shifted to mom duties, wife duties, house duties, then work duties. However, as we all know too well, often time life doesn't go by our priorities. Occasionally they get juggled around, and that still bothers me. If housework it put off too long, I have a cleaning spree and get anxiety about it. It's a work in progress and I have a helpful, understanding, patient husband by my side to help through it all. Without his partnership there is no way I could do any of this! 

Lesson 5: What's right for your family may not be right for all families.
Some of us are stay at home moms; some of us work twice as hard as career women and moms. Some of us are organic and all natural; some of us are just happy to get some fruits and veggies on the table. Some of us are conventional, doctor's orders types; some of us have more natural remedies. Some of us have our babies sleep with us, others aren't even in the same room. We are all different, but one thing unites us as parents: we want the best for our children. The most interesting thing to me is realizing that not only is every family different, but even in the family what works for one child may not work for them all. Granted, I am mommy to an only child, but I can read the dynamics in our adult families and see the differences between us all that make us all the same. 

Lesson 6: Good friends are like priceless.
I cannot imagine doing any of this without my girlfriends. My single, married, parent and non parent friends all have such different perspectives on things that I cannot imagine ever not having their support! Of all of them, friends that are in the same stage of life have been the most valuable recently. My married friends have been great for support and insight! Parent friend of kiddos the same age are great for support and encouragement. Friends with older kiddos are great for insight in to the future and for sharing lessons learned. And my favorite: single, non parent friends are great for reminding me to let loose while I can give them insight into the future. Such a wonderful circle of balances- I love all of them and thank God for sending them to me. 

These are just some of the lessons learned. I know more will come, but thought I'd share for those of you looking at this stage of life as something for your future, something from your past, or something you're in now. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Two-ish Months Old: A New Normal

Just when we think we've got it, everything changes again...

Size: Jackson is growing by leaps and bounds lately! He is wearing 0-3mo size clothes, which I don't think he will in for long! He's still in size 1 diapers, but daddy and I agree that we will likely be donating the rest of this box and moving on to size 2 diapers very soon. We had our two month well baby check and Jackson is right on track- a much better report than the last visit (grumble grumble). For uncorrected percentiles (those based on his actual birth day) Jackson averages between the 50-60%iles for height and weight. BUT... if we correct my growing boy to his due date (and account for the three weeks prematurity and compare him to other babies born early) Jackson is measuring between the 90-95%iles!! We are so proud of our little monkey. So many premies have trouble nursing, growing, and putting on weight so we are so very blessed to have such a healthy boy. And a big boy! He takes after his daddy :)

Health: Like most breastfed babies, Jax is very healthy. The week after we started daycare, the whole family came down with a cold. This is not uncommon once exposed to new germs, but we're still struggling with this cold- so we're starting to think it's allergies. Lots of trees and other plants in bloom here in sunny PC, so we're thinking that may be it. Whatever the cause, Jackson has had lots of nasal congestion. We use the nasal aspirator whenever we can, but we just can't seem to get all of the congestion, although saline drops, chest PT, and sitting in the steamy bathroom seem to help break up the mucus. We did learn something new- saline drops can be inhaled and cause congestion to drop to the chest, as is the case with our sweet Jackson. Now he has nasal congestion along with this rattling, chest congestion. We feel so awful for our monkey when he sniffles, and coughs and gags. :(

In addition to the congestion, Jax has been drooling alot. I know this is common with teething, but I don't think that's the culprit at 2 months old. Maybe due to his cold? Who knows.

Perhaps the biggest change with his health comes from his changed BMs. We figured out in the first month or so that me drinking lots of milk causes green stools and a fussy baby, so I've really reigned it in. For a whole month we had healthy, mustard colored, medium and small sized BM's, all signs of a healthy bf baby. But now, in the last week, boy have we had a change! Apparently it's normal for bf babies to only have 1 BM/ week. As long as they're not fussy or seem to be uncomfortable or gassy- then it's normal. That said, Jackson is now averaging 1 BM every 1-2 days, versus his usual multiple/day. But, when that BM comes- woo wee it comes!!

Story: We went to the home and garden expo this past weekend. We had planned to run around town for a good part of the day, so we brought the diaper bag packed with multiple diapers, nursing cover, pacifier, change of clothes, baby bjorn, etc. Well- Jax definitely used that change of clothes! Before heading into the expo, we decided to change his diaper and top him off nursing so we won't have to worry for awhile. Nursing went fine, diaper change- surprise!!! Not only did we have a dirty diaper (it'd been about 36 hours since the last one at this point), but we had a blowout! It was everywhere! Up the back, on the pants, on the shirt, all over the changing pad, even on his socks- his socks?! Normally we have a 1-2 wiper, no, this diaper took like 10 wipes! haha. So we get Jax all changed and clean, and put him the Baby Bjorn to walk around, then we think- what if he'd had that diaper in the Bjorn? I couldn't stop laughing. Then it'd be all over that, and Dan, and the baby, and everywhere. Oh man, the joys of parenthood.

Jackson's first outfit before the expo.
Shirt is fitting for spring break here in Panama City Beach 
Sleep: Prior to starting daycare, Jackson was going down for the night at 10pm, nursing at 2am, then sleeping until 6am. Daycare changed all of that. His feedings started changing times and he'd wake up at 1230 or 1, then again at 430 or 530- just late enough to not let me get back to sleep, but early enough to be awful. Also, the first week of daycare Jax was exhausted and slept all evening/ nights. Then he was awake all evening/ night because he was so well rested at daycare. This past week our sweet baby has been battling a head/ chest cold and has been sleeping more than ever- even through some feedings!

Our sweet boy takes after his daddy as far as sleep talking. He coos and ahhs in his sleep all the time. He'll get a big sad face and whimper/ cry, then in the next breath he'll be giggling. Granted, we've only heard sleep giggles so far, but it is the best sound ever. I can't wait to hear my sweet baby's giggles when he's awake. So far Jax is definitely a side sleeper, which he really only gets to do in the bed with me when he can prop up. He gets so comfy and will stay on his side all night. We try not to let him sleep in the bed with us, but at the 3am feeding, I'll do whatever I can to get a few more hours of decent sleep before we wake up for the day.

Sleeping in Daddy's lap
Story: One of my favorite sleep stories of Jax was on our recent trip to Sarasota for the wedding of some dear friends. While we were at the ceremony, Jackson was hanging out with my mother in law getting lots of cuddle time. He fell asleep in the very middle of the King Size bed, with the sun shining on his face (one of his favorite things). In attempt to make him more comfortable, she went to move him to the pack and play- well he started fussing and made it very clear he wanted to be back in the bed, so she put him back. Next she went to close the blinds of the window so at least the sun wouldn't be in his eyes. Yet again he fussed an squirmed, making it very clear that he wanted the sun on his face. So here is a picture of him, in the very middle of the bed, with the sun on his face, happy as a clam.

Schedule: Jackson's ideal schedule is a 6:00am wake up, nurse til 6:30, again at 7:30, then bottles at 10, 1, and 4, nurse at 6, 8:30 and 1030pm. My ideal schedule is the same, but with only pumping at 10 and 2. I've been lucky so far that two pumping breaks gives me enough supply for his 3 feedings. In reality, our schedule is anything from this ideal time table, to awake for three hours at night, to sleeping all day through feedings. We're still working on it, but at least he's in a routine, even if the times change up some. One of my favorite parts of the routine is family shower time. We get all three of us in the shower at a baby safe temperature, and we get everyone clean at one time. It is so much faster and easier! Jackson loves the water running over him, especially over his head before and after shampooing. He's usually wide awake after a shower and has crazy hair all over the place.

Alert baby after a shower
Social: Jax talks alot theses days, mostly when he's sleeping and eating. He hums and looks all over. One of my favorite things while he's nursing is he kicks his feet and crosses/ uncrosses his legs. The last week or so he's become very aware of his hands and grabs at everything. So often times when we're holding him, or if he's nursing, he grips your shirt/ hair/ arm over and over again. Opening his hand and closing it- it's the cutest thing. He also has had a huge improvement of his visual focal point and can not only see Dan and I, but he recognizes us. When he does, he just smiles and laughs- apparently daddy and I are hilarious.

Chubby legs crossing, uncrossing, and kicking while eating.

Smiling at mommy. No doubt in the middle of the night. 

Lots of smiles until he saw the camera, then he looked at me like I was crazy.

Diet: Still exclusively breastfed baby boy! He's growing great and I've been so blessed not to have supply problems yet. Often times when women return to work their supply will go down and they have to give up breastfeeding. Not only have I been able to maintain enough for Jax for the next day (12 oz), but I've been able to add to our freezer stash on most days- aka I'm pumping more than the needed 12 oz. This is an extra blessing because every additional amount to the freezer stash is more that Jackson can have if for some reason I am unable to produce. So far we're up to 260 oz- that's 65 4oz bottles, or almost 22 days of daycare feedings- a whole month's worth! Again, such a blessing!

Jackson has had bouts of cluster feeding, but by far the worst has been lately with this cold he's fighting. He can't breathe as well while he's eating, so he doesn't eat as well. When he doesn't eat as well, he wants to eat more often and for less time, resulting in a very exhausted mommy! Recently, Jackson's BM have changed to being less frequent, which is ok by this mama. The funny thing is when he does go, he makes up for the long breaks between them. Last weekend we had a family day long outing and Jackson's blowout was the biggest yet! I already mentioned that, but still it was hilarious.

Crying: More than before, but he's still not a big crier, which we're thankful for. But, when you do get him mad enough, Jackson will definitely cry and let you know he is NOT happy. Bless his little heart. The biggest thing is when he is sick, tired, or generally uncomfortable he will be fussy. This half whimper/ cry noise. Otherwise, we have a very observant, content baby.

Milestones: Jackson is holding his head up great! We're working on tummy time, which is going just so-so. Jackson's point of focus has improved and he is starting to watch us and interact with us even more. In the past week or so he's decided he likes to laugh and smile at us when we say his name, or when we play peek-a-boo. We haven't heard his giggles yet, but his smiles are big so I know the giggles are coming soon. I can't wait to hear those sweet noises :) One of the most exciting things that happened recently: Jackson rolled over!! He was practicing tummy time and rolled from his stomach right over onto his back. He hasn't done it since, but it was very exciting!

We took our first road trip a few weeks ago and Jackson did great! He cried the first 90 minutes we were on the road and wouldn't settle down- not with a diaper change, nursing, or being held. Finally we pulled over at a truck stop and walked him around outside with the breeze and sunshine on his face; he settled right down and did great the rest of the weekend.

All dressed up and nowhere to go! (It was too cold at the outdoor reception for our sweet boy to join us)
Jackson and Mrs. Robyn Pigozzi
Mommy and Daddy time without baby

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Day of Firsts in the Campbell House

Yesterday was a very eventful day of firsts in the Campbell house. Looking back, it was quite the day so I will write about it as a memory to look back on in the future. Such a roller coaster of a day!

First Practice Morning Routine:
Dan and I have been hoping to start practicing our morning routine. I will slowly start returning to work next week, working from 8 hr/wk up to my full time normal schedule. We have a goal schedule for Jackson to help me figure out when to pump and give him some normalcy, but that schedule is still a work in progress. So, while Dan got ready for work, Jackson and I got up to practice us getting dressed, my getting ready, nursing, packing the bag and getting out of the house on time. I had a few errands to run, so I figure we might as well practice the morning routine and also do a daycare dry run to time the traffic.

Our goal morning routine:
6:00am- everyone awake
6:00-6:30- Mom and Jackson nurse, Dad gets ready for work
6:30-7:00- Mom gets ready, Dad and Jackson play/ get baby ready for daycare
7:00- Dad goes to work
7:00-7:30- Mom, Jackson and Wally finish getting ready, packing up and leave by 7:30 for daycare

First Crying with Tears:
We were in the car only 10 minutes late and our daycare run and morning of errands went off without a hitch- until Target. The oil change/ tire rotation took longer than expected, so Jackson started to stir while we were in Target. We still had one more errand to City Hall, and I had a choice to make. I could either go to City Hall to pay our bill and set up auto debit, risking a waking/ crying baby, or I could surrender to the house and attempt to go out again later. I chose to chance it. By the time the paperwork was done at City Hall, I had an awake and very hungry baby- and a 10-15 minute drive back to the house. By now it was 10:30, and I had expected to be home nursing by 10, so Jackson was already 30 minutes past feeding time. Well, the whole drive home he was MAD, and he let me know. It broke my heart to hear my sweet boy wailing and crying, knowing that there was nothing I could do to ease his hunger except try to get home quickly and safely. (Of course every slow, yahoo driver was on the roads- or so it seemed). When we got home my sweet baby boy had huge tears rolling down his cheeks, and we rushed inside to nurse. Finally, by 10:50 we were in the house, nursing, and I once again had my very happy baby boy.

First Smile:
I guess since I waited so long to feed Jackson, I deserved what came next. Jackson spent the few midday hours cluster feeding. We nursed until he fell asleep, then upon putting him down he'd wake up within 10 minutes and want to be held/ nurse again. This put a delay in my mental to-do list, but I got extra cuddle time with sweet Jackson so I can't complain. With me returning to work next week, I especially enjoyed these extra moments together. And then it happened. I showed Jackson a picture of his newest cousin, born yesterday, and he seemed especially alert. So I started talking to him saying "Hello, Jackson. Hello sweet baby. Hi! Hi Jackson." Jackson's pupil got big as he listened to my voice, then his eyes shifted, he looked at my face, and smiled a huge smile! Instantly my heart melted and I couldn't wait to see his smile again. Jackson soon drifted off to sleep, but I could have cried tears of joy! We have been waiting to see his first smile, and finally it happened. What a good day :)

First Workout:
Later in the afternoon, Jackson finally went down for a decent period of time and I was able to get some chores done. Dan decided to duck out of work a little early so we could get in a workout as a family. Up until now I've taken a few short, flat walks, but no substantial physical challenges. We decided to go to the Hathaway Bridge here in town- a 1.5 mile long bridge that is shaped like a huge hill. To walk up and over the bridge, and then back, is a 5K (3.1 miles). The weather was wonderful, Jackson slept through the whole thing, and we kept a great pace walking, even adding in about 3 minutes of uphill running on the return portion of the bridge. We were feeling great and I'm very relieved to say my body still remembers how to breathe when running, even after almost a year without running (thank you knee injury and pregnancy). I can't wait to make this bridge part of my regular workout routine! We followed up our workout with Publix fried chicken for dinner. We may have reversed all of our hard work with our dinner, but it was a delicious, cooking-free reward for us. We rented a Redbox and settled in for a night of family cuddling and hopefully an early bedtime. Jackson had been following our ideal feeding schedule all day, we got in a workout, and Jackson smiled. Yet again, it was a good day.

First Puking Session (and second crying with tears):
As we settled down for the night, Jackson took his time with our long nursing session followed up by cuddle and play time with mom and dad. Although he had eaten a substantial length of time, and burped well, he continued to be restless and require position changes. We'd cuddle on his tummy, sit him up, hold him, burp him, all sorts of things. Jackson was loving the attention and was not fussy at all. Then, I realized he must have peed out of his diaper because he had a wet spot on his PJs and our sheets. As I changed him, Dan grabbed new PJs for Jackson and new sheets for our bed. Dan started changing the sheets, and a newly changed Jackson and I sit down to nurse. Then it happens. Vomit. Everywhere. Who knows where it came from, or how a baby can make so much vomit. The nursing chair, all over me, all over Jackson, the boppy, the blanket, everything.

I quickly ran to the bathroom with Jackson in tow and stand in the bathtub in case he continues to vomit. Dan intercepts Wally to prevent him from licking everything. Wally gets out of Dan's way and proceeds to lick Jackson and I standing in the bathroom while I yell at him to stop. Around this time the vomiting stops, and a terrified Jackson starts screaming. So imagine it: Dan cleaning up puke and yelling at Wally to 'leave it!'; Jackson and I standing in the bathtub covered in vomit, Jackson screaming, Wally licking us both, me yelling at him to 'leave it!'; our bed half made; the nursing glider covered in vomit. Quite the scene. The panic in poor Jackson's eyes when he was getting sick was so sad to see, and then to have him inconsolably terrified with tears rolling down his beautiful, chubby cheeks was awful. Dan helped Jackson and I strip down, then put Wally into his crate while we cleaned up. Dan took Jackson, still crying, to try to comfort him while I grabbed all of the vomit covered materials and throw them in the washing machine to run after we shower.

First shower:
Thankfully at one of our baby showers we received this awesome duck that tells if the bathing water temperature is suitable for sweet baby's sensitive skin. We used the duck to find a shower temperature safe for Jackson, then the three of us jumped into the shower. Jackson had fallen fast asleep by now, quite exhausted by his crying. He practically slept through his first shower as Dan and I took turns washing our vomit covered bodies, then holding/ washing Jackson. We made short order of the shower, because big surprise: baby temperature is really cold at 11:30pm! We all get dried off and dressed, then after a short nursing session Jackson drifts off to sleep once again.

The rest of the night was uneventful and we woke up for nursing sessions like normal, with no more puking! It's a good thing, because in the height of the chaos, we called the pediatrician on call from the base, and she was less than helpful. I am almost positive it was the same Ped who made the measurement mistake at Jackson's 2 week checkup. The first number they tried to reach her at had no answer, so after trying a second number we were connected. The voice on the end of the line was half-asleep with one word answers. The conversation went something like this:

"Hi, yes my son just vomited everywhere, he's not running a fever, do we need to bring him in?"
"Was this the first time?"
"Yes ma'am, he's never gotten sick before. He just started puking everywhere."
"So, do we need to bring him in."
"Ok, so he's fine? We just have to watch him? Is there anything we should look for besides him getting sick again?"
"What do you mean getting sick again?"
"I mean getting sick, like he just did. If he gets sick again do we need to bring him into the clinic in the morning?"
"When you say getting sick you mean..."
"Vomiting, like he just did, the reason I called. (frustrated pause) Excuse me, let me rephrase. If my child projectile vomits again should I proceed to the clinic?"
"Oh, if he keeps getting sick after he eats, then ya, bring him in."
"Oh, ok, thank you.... hello?"
(nothing on the end of the phone... she hung up.) Let me just tell you, Lord help this woman when I see her at the 2 month check up, we are scheduled with her.

All things considered, everything turned out fine. I had not eaten any new foods yesterday, so I know Jackson's getting sick wasn't from a new food exposure. We think he was just very full from nursing, and we shook him up too much playing and adjusting- like a soda. Good news is he is wonderful and cuddly today, and we still have our happy healthy boy. Through the whole day, the moment of his first smile still sticks out in my mind and outweighs everything to make it a good day :) In reflection, I give thanks to God for our healthy son, for access to healthcare if needed, for our washing machine!, and most of all, I am thankful for my partner, my love, my wonderful husband Dan. I can't imagine doing any of this without him, and I am so glad that my son gets Dan for a daddy- he is one lucky little boy.

Monday, February 4, 2013

One Month Old!

Size: If Jackson is gaining an average of an oz per day, he should be near 9 lbs now. I can't believe it! He's a great eater, so I guess there's no shock here. We weighed him at home by holding him, and the scale says something like 9.5-10 lbs. So I really have no clue. But I do know our little man is very quickly outgrowing Newborn diapers and is on his last day or two of newborn size clothes. Such a big man :)

At our two week well baby, the tech read the scale wrong and we spent a week thinking Jackson wasn't gaining weight appropriately. The day after our appointment, after spending 24 hours crying at every feeding thinking something was wrong, I took Jackson to the health department to be weighed in the WIC office where I used to work. Low and behold he was gaining weight great- averaging an oz per day! The next week, at our weight check, the Dr. informed us of their mistake and cancelled his weight checks- much to our relief. (Side note- the day I weighed him at WIC I called the Dr. office to see if we could re-weigh and they told me I was welcome to come sit in the waiting room with the sick kids and see if they could fit him in. Talk about one mad mama!)
1 mo old

Not pleased with my picture taking

Obviously eating sounds better than mom's photoshoot

Health: Jackson came into this world with a minor heart murmur and has some moderate jaundice during his first two weeks, but now Jackson is healthy as can be. He has the normal baby sneezes- but I can already tell he takes after his daddy with 3-4 sneezes at a time. He does this little sigh/ moan thing between sneezes that is just the cutest thing you've ever heard. As far as his tummy goes, Jackson seems to be gassy at times (namely late at night when mommy and daddy are sleeping). He gets these tummy bubbles and he's so uncomfortable. We burp him, move his legs like a bike ride, stretch his legs up and down (occasionally working out a fart or two- haha). Due to this gassy tendency we invested in both gripe water and Lil Tummy's gas drops. One thing we've noticed is when mommy eats spicy Mexican, it upsets his tummy. This is a trend that started in utero- big sigh from this mama. Mexican is our favorite. We're going to just have to work him up to liking it, again.

Sleep: At our one week checkup for his heart murmur and jaundice, we asked the doctor if Jax was sleeping too much. Although we are SO grateful for his sleeping, we can't wait for him to be awake and interact with us each day. We try not to let him sleep more than three hours at a time during the day so he can nurse and get diaper changes. In the evenings though, we let him sleep away! So far he averages 4-5 hour stretches, for which we are very grateful :)

Some of my favorite moments with Jackson have been in his sleep/ sleepy state. He makes all kinds of funny faces while dosing off to sleep. He recently has started making smile and grimace faces in his sleep, as well as cooing and grunting in his sleep. I think he's going to be a sleep talker like his daddy because so far he talks up a storm in his sleep. My all time favorite sleep activity so far is his giggles. Sometimes in his sleep he'll be cooing and then just start giggling, which makes me smile with excitement for the day we get to hear his giggles while he's awake.

Napping Away on my lap

Silly faces while falling asleep
Napping with Wally 

Schedule: Schedule right now is still on-demand. He sleeps/eats/interacts on his terms and his timeline. In the next two weeks we are hoping to get him into a regular routine to prepare for my return to work. We are still trying to iron out the details of what morning/ evening routines will look like with chores, meals, work, etc. It will be a learning experience for sure! So far we've already learned that our plans or timeline of events needs to be relatively fluid with a newborn dictating things. We'll see how this adjustment goes...
Alert little monkey ready to head out with Mom to scope daycares

Social: Jackson is a very happy baby. Although he doesn't interact with us much yet, we know he is learning so much and taking everything in. He loves to be held and sleep on our chests. Some of his other favorite things include hanging out after nursing (he doesn't actively nurse, but instead uses me as a pacifier) and he also loves outside and windows. Our changing table is next to a window; when the weather is nice and the window is open, the warm sunshine and the wind blows in Jackson just calms down right away. He also is relaxed by car rides and walks around the neighborhood or backyard when the weather is nice. So far Jackson likes the bath most days, which is such a relief. The first few bath times were accompanied by a beet red, crying, unhappy baby so to see him actually relax and enjoy the bath is a relief.
Enjoying the sunshine on the changing table

Alert little man just hanging out, taking it all in

Walking in the neighborhood with the Baby Bjorn- Jax went right to sleep

In the stroller for walk with Mom and Wally- quite the adventure when the dog is afraid of the stroller
Diet: Exclusively breastfeeding still!! We've made it through the hardest part of breastfeeding- the first few weeks. The next hurdle is returning to work/ Jackson starting daycare. To prepare, we've recently introduced the bottle for feeding. I've been able to freeze over 100 oz of pumped milk so far, and plan to pump each day I'm away from Jax. So far we plan on using the Tommy Tippee bottles for feedings, but we will see how he tolerates these as we move forward to more regular/ frequent bottle feedings. I can't take any of the credit for still breastfeeding, Jax enjoys it, he does all the work, and I have an oversupply of milk- all things that have made it fairly easy so far :)

I suspect Jackson has some food sensitivities given his daddy's lactose intolerance and my food allergies. He's had intermittent rash/ baby acne on his face as well as occasional greenish stools- both signs of food sensitivities. I'm going to try weeding our dairy first to see if that's the culprit, which makes me very sad because I can go days without eating meat and get all of my protein from dairy and peanut butter.
Milk drunk  baby in a milk coma after nursing

Exhausted during a growth spurt cluster feeding session

First bottle with daddy 

Crying: No complaints about crying so far. His growth spurts weren't bad with fussiness and Jackson is very good at communicating his needs without getting worked up into a full cry. His rooting signals are easy to read, and when he's not happy or uncomfortable in a position, we are able to tell he's ready for a change.

Given his easy going demeanor, I was very surprised this afternoon when Jackson LOST IT. We were out to eat with a friend and he woke up hungry and needing a diaper change. Dan volunteered to change him, and after what seemed like forever, Dan returned with a half dressed baby. Turns out, right as Dan entered the bathroom Jackson started SCREAMING at how upset he was, which only got worse with removal of his clothes. He then proceeded to pee all over the changing table, his onesie, pants and even his socks. All of this is happening as about 6 men enter the restroom. Needless to say Dan covered him up quickly, and returned to the table (the diaper bag) for a change of clothes and a baby hand off. I then took him to redress him in clean clothes, and he was not happy about still not being fed. I knew he was a breastfeeding champ, but when he wants to eat apparently he wants to eat right now.

Milestones: Jackson may have been three weeks early, but he has not let that slow him down for a minute! He is right on track with all of his milestones so far. For those who are unaware, at 1 month old babies should be able to move their face to the side when on their stomach, roll from their back to their side, eat/ nurse well, be having 3-4 poopy diapers and 5+ wet diapers per day, and be responding to lights and sounds by turning their faces.

Mom and Dad: We are adjusting to this new parents thing. Sleep deprivation has definitely taken it's toll on more than one day, but in general we are getting into a routine. One night, I fell asleep in the glider nursing, Jackson slept in my arms, and Dan and Wally fell asleep on the bed. This particular time we were all in our street clothes still, lights on, TV on, at 8pm. We woke up a few hours late and went about getting ready for bed like nothing was wrong. Tonight the whole family napped from 530-830 after running around this afternoon- naps have become our best friend.

Dan returned to work after two weeks at home with us, and Jackson and I have spent two weeks at home alone during the days. We're getting more comfortable with taking excursions from the house to run errands, eat out, etc. I spend most days in various stages of undress due to the on-demand nursing schedule we've been on, especially during growth spurts. There have been days when Jax and I both manage to be showered and in clean clothes, other days neither of us are out of our PJ's.  Wally has been wonderful since Jackson's arrival, especially when it's just he and I at home. When Dan gets home, Wally gets rowdy and playful- but that's likely because he spends all day lounging and guarding Jackson and I.

We've learned to be more fluid in our plans in this first month of parenting. Sometimes (like today) is a two loads of laundry, multiple outfits, peed on, two bath, vomit kind of day. Other days are easier. Seeing our baby smile, listening to him giggle, and getting sleepy cuddles with him make it all worth while. I love our family so much- and all three of my boys Dan, Jackson and Wally. Each of the three boys has already taken their turn as my least favorite at any given time, but all in all my love for all of them grows daily. We are so blessed and so truly grateful for our wonderful life, we can't wait to see what the next month (and months) brings to us.

Upcoming Events: We have our first road trip next month to Sarasota for the Sierra/ Pigozzi nuptials. Jackson starts daycare in two weeks when I return to work. Jimpa comes to visit next weekend, as well as my best friend and her family! While my dad is in town Dan and I plan to attempt a date night for an early Valentine's Day, which will probably just be dinner out alone and a quick return home to our sweet baby. Lots of things changing has kept us busy and helped the time to fly by, I just hope we're taking enough time to smell the roses along the way :)