Monday, April 30, 2012

Remembering Baby Bentley

I was just thinking about my Ben when he was a baby last night.  I wasn't as good about blogging back then and can't remember if I wrote down some of this before or not, but thought that I would get it down now while it's fresh in my mind.  Something that sticks out the most in my mind about the first six or seven months of Ben's life is our nighttime routine.  The first couple months were a bit of a blur, so my best memories are from when we moved to Salt Lake when Ben was about two-months-old.  We were in a one bedroom and didn't have room to set up Ben's real crib, so he slept in a porta crib literally right next to my bed.  To get him to sleep at night I would lay on my bed with him with his tummy face down on my chest.  I would slowly pat on his little bum and he would very quickly doze off to sleep.  I remember how I would just lay there with him in my arms, feeling his little breath on my neck.  Sometimes I would hold him for an hour or so while watching TV.  James was almost always at work because he would work mostly nights after school at Finish Line.  So usually I would end up holding him from after eight (when he would go to bed), until James would get home around 9:30.
I also remember that because we were in a one bedroom apt. when Ben would wake up in the middle of the night I would always bring him into the living room.  I would usually nurse him on the couch and then walk around bouncing him in my arms to get him to go back to sleep (he really required a lot of bouncing to settle down sometimes).  We had a big window, which we had no blinds on, that faced into the courtyard of our apartment complex.  I remember how my view changed from out that window as fall came, then winter (the white snow everywhere was my favorite view of all).  By springtime luckily he was sleeping through the night so I never noticed the view quite as much.  It's funny how walking around your living room at 3 am causes you to really stop and notice the beauty of things.  I think it's because your tired body, mind, and spirit are searching hard for some positive in being up at 3 AM!
I remember how Ben went and did everything with us.  He was out little tag along baby.  Of course we had to adjust our lives some to him, but he really adjusted well to whatever our day entailed.  Being away from family and too poor to hire sitters all the time, necessitated that we all just go with the flow.  If James had a late basketball or football game then I would just push his nap back.  If we felt like going to the rare movie, then we would go during a typical nap time, so Ben would hopefully fall asleep.  James and I were talking about it on Saturday just how blessed we were that we were always able to schedule both of our school schedules and James' work schedule just so so that we never had to leave Ben with anyone else.  We always managed on our own and our baby always had his mommy or daddy.  We got by on a $12/hour job and I got to stay home with my baby.  We both graduated from great universities without ever having to take a leave of absence or without any debt, thanks to our wonderful parents.  Really we were just so blessed.  And we were so blessed to have such a good little first baby (which is why we are so shocked that our second is just as good- if not an ever more chill baby- we thought for sure we would be hit with a difficult one).  Ben was always super cuddly and smily.  He only cried when he needed something and was never unconsolable.  He always had a curiousness about him.  His eyes were always wide open to the world and always observing his surroundings (much like Jackson).  I can still picture his funny little expression (his eyebrows furrowed, his mouth half open, his eyes wandering) as James would fly him slowly over his head saying "super baby."
I hate that I already forget so many of the little things about my boo boo bears.  Hopefully I have written enough throughout this blog, and taken enough pictures to spark those little memories.  Now Ben insists that he is a big boy and the big brother, which sometimes makes me sad I must admit.  But I'm so glad that he does embrace his new role and enjoys being big, rather than being jealous that he is no longer my little baby.  Although I still tell him that he will ALWAYS be my baby.  ANd of course that is so so true.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three Months

My baby turned three-months-old yesterday.  My brother in law, Jeff commented last night that he looks like a "real baby" now and not an infant.  And sadly it's true.  I just hate how fast time flies by with children.  Whereas the last three months of my pregnancy seemed to take FOREVER.  Some milestones were hit this month that I don't want to forget about.
Like I said on his two-month post, Jackson is still sleeping through the night, about eleven hours.  And then he usually just eats and goes right back to sleep for another couple hours.  Because of this he wants to eat all day long.  Which is a good thing because he needs to gain weight.  A few weeks ago he went in for another weight check and although he gained overall, he dropped in percentile again to the 6%.  But since then he has started to pack on some good weight and is starting to get just a little chubby.  I recently switched him to a sensitive formula for spitting up, but might try him next on soy like his big brother (I'm still nursing but need to supplement with formula), and I think it is helping.  Spitting up is still a problem so I might consider starting him on an acid reflux medication- his doctor thinks it's a good possibility that he has it.  And if he does I'm just so grateful that he has no accompanied discomfort along with it.  Because this child is the most well behaved, content, completely chill baby I have ever known.  And I'm not just biased.  Everyone comments.  I mean really, how did I get so lucky.  I'm sure sooner or later he will challenge me though; so don't be too jealous.
Jackson has been smiling for nearly a month now and began laughing out loud a few weeks ago.  Although he's only done it a few times for me.  He also discovered his voice.  Within the last week he realized it's power and has been chatting away ever since.  He is especially chatty when you respond to him and will carry on a full conversation.  And as the conversation progresses, he will get louder and louder.  Until soon it's like he is screaming at you.  So funny.  We began going to a new health club about five weeks ago and the girls in the nursery just love Jackson.  They comment every time I pick him up how good he is and they told me about how chatty and loud he has been with them too.  One girl even offered to babysit because she said she loves Jackson and Ben so much.  They are really sweet there and I feel so good leaving my children with them while I get my fitness on (I'm still a huge work in progress).

Jacky also discovered his hands.  He is using them more to grab at things, especially pulling things like blankets to his mouth to chew on.  If his paci is right near his face he has on a couple of occasions managed to put it back in his mouth.  He also likes to munch on his hands.  I assume he is going for the fingers, but just ends up with a mouth full of knuckles, which he happily gnaws on for few minutes.
He is getting stronger and stronger everyday.  He can easily roll from his tummy to his back and has even rolled over one time from back to tummy.  He can sit in the boppy chair although doesn't really prefer it for more than a few minutes.  Is a pro at tummy time though; can handle that for about five minutes at a time.  I no longer use my infant cocoon in the stroller and have him sit directly in the big boy seat.  He likes the view much better, plus everyone comments about how cute he is as we go rolling by, which is fun. : )
Overall just another amazing month.  I love this kid more than I can tell you.  I love his long skinny limbs, his giant hands and feet, his fluffy hair that sticks straight up no matter what, his loud babbles, the way he smiles huge at the sight of his big brother, and the way he curls his hands around my thumbs when I nurse him.  Love, love, love him!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter and the Lead Up in Photos

We went on an Easter egg hunt.

Hosted an Easter party for all our friends.
Where the children painted their own flower pots. 
And participated in an indoor egg hunt. 
Visited and got a pic with the Easter Bunny.
Dyed Easter eggs.
Made crafts at an Easter festival downtown.
Where we also went on another Easter egg hunt.
Did the Bunny Hop.
And took a pic with the Easter chick (doesn't everyone.)
We were visited by the Easter bunny.
And spent Easter Sunday with our wonderful families. 
Hope everyone had an amazing Easter too. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

In Love

I am so in love with my family right now.  Well, duh! I should be right.  And of course I ALWAYS love my family, but right now I am head over heals in love with them-- with us!
 During the last several months of my pregnancy I didn't always feel this way.  I blame it partially on hormones and partially on a poor outlook.  I often was feeling and thinking the worse of my husband, of our marriage, of myself, and of our family.  I felt like everyone around me MUST certainly have a better spouse, a happier marriage, be a better person themselves, and have a happier more unified family than me or mine.  Total Debbie Downer I was.  And then Jackson Thomas was sent to me.  I'm not sure if it doesn't exist or if it's just not very common.  But the moment I had him I felt a dark cloud lift from me (which is why I felt like I may have been suffering from a mild pre-partum depression).  He has brought so much happiness into my life, and in turn into my family's life.  Because what I have learned through this season is that I have a major impact on my family's happiness.  Not only do I believe that my once wacked out hormones, had been restored to a somewhat normal balance, I also came across this amazing blog, which not to sound corny or trite has changed my life by changing my outlook on marriage and love.  It is seriously a must read.  Through reading I have learned that I can't depend on externalities to make me happy-- i.e. my spouse's validation, my child's obedience, etc.  I have to make me happy.  This cute-as-can-be couple that author's this blog also have given me so much insight on how to create and maintain a healthier, happier marriage.  And how it's actually possible to have little to no fighting in a marriage (and I do not mean disagreements or distress- these are a given), but fighting.  Yelling and being less than kind had become such the norm for us that it really was a lesson to me that this doesn't need to be nor should it be the case.  I feel like such a kinder spouse lately, and in turn, surprise surprise, I have been treated with such kindness.  Anyways; far too much info. but I just wanted to record this down for my own purposes as perhaps a changing point in my life and my marriage towards a much happier path.  And I just had to express what I was feeling just now while lying in bed with Ben as he drifted off to sleep for the night- and that is the overwhelming love I feel for my family.  I love my two boys and am so blessed to have them.  I love their father so much.  It really is possible to fall in love with someone all over again.  And I love our family.  I love our interactions and the simple ways we spend our days together.  And I love that the sweetest little baby in the whole world has brought all of this to me.  I call him my angel and he really is just that.  We have all bonded over our intense love for this tiny, and I mean tiny (we are talking 6% in weight) baby.  Each one of us- Ben, James, and myself- will say at least once a day how we just love baby Jacky so much, too much!  We all just want to squeeze him and never let go.  So funny how love for a baby makes you want to squeeze them.  My favorite part of the day is when James gets home and we sit side-by-side on the couch.  Our feet up on the ottoman.  I rest Jackson on my legs looking at us and we just sit and stare at this child that we created together.  We laugh together at a funny face he makes.  Or we gush together over how cute he is.  And the other day, Thursday April 12th to be exact, we looked at each other with joy and excitement over his very first laugh.
And who wouldn't love these three cuties?! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Phone Pics

Now that I have a new nice camera (happy birthday to me!) I never load the pics from my phone anymore.  And even though the quality isn't always that great, these photos are gems.  They capture the little moments when either I don't have my camera with me or don't have time to grab it.  So here is some snippets of our life lately, as caught on my phone.
1) Bentley waking up his little brother at the beginning of another good day.
2) Jackson had a bad cold a couple of weeks ago.  After two days of holding him in my arms almost all night long, I read on a website the idea to have him sleep in his carseat (elevation helps with coughing).  So this was his little sick bed for two nights.
3) Ben and I were enjoying making graffiti on our big windows on the first day of Spring.
4) Jacky was just looking so cute in this hand-me-down onesie of Ben's that I had to snap a pic and text it to Daddy at work.
5) We met my parents at the Jungle on Friday.  Here the boys are riding on a snowmobile game.
6) Ben enjoyed a sports themed Kids Night Out at the club we belong to and mommy, daddy, and jacky enjoyed dinner and a movie.

Two Months

Jackson turned two months old last Sunday, 03/25.  I intentionally waited a week to post this because I wanted to make sure that something I was going to write (brag) about wasn't just a fluke.  So after one week straight of this occurrence, I think it's safe to say that my little baby is already sleeping through the night.  I mean the entire night.  We are talking ten to eleven hours of straight blissful sleep.  Last Saturday he went to bed around 8 pm and awoke the next day on his two month birthday at 6 am.  I was shocked of course and woke up well before then because a) my chest was killing me and b) to check on my baby.  I decided I wanted to let my body get used to this all nighter in case by some miracle it became a habit, and it appears it has.  I'm sure I'm jinxing myself now as I type.
Other wonderful things about Jackson at age two months- he began to smile.  And it's the cutest smile ever.  He is especially smiley when he first awakes.  And why wouldn't he be.  He sure gets enough sleep. : )  I love walking over to his crib and seeing that cute smile light up across his face when he sees me appear from no where over the side.  It also gets him smiling when I say in my highest, babiest of voices, "Hi my sweet baby.  Hi.  How are you?" etc. etc.
He is also still very strong.  I laid him on a towel yesterday in the bathroom on his back to fill up the tub with some water for him and his brother, and when I turned around his little bum was up in the air.  Already turning from his back to his tummy.  Just crazy.  Tummy time isn't his favorite thing in the world, but he can deal with it for a few minutes at a time.  He likes it more when I put him in front of the mirror.  He holds up his little head and stares at himself in the mirror.
From the beginning he has always been a good eater.  When I would pump him a bottle he was eating around four ounces right away.  The only problem was he was spitting up a lot.  So I thought I was over stuffing him.  So I lessened what I would feed him out of a bottle and would only nurse him on one side at a feeding, rather than on both like I was doing previously.  It helped with the spitting up a little but not drastically.  At his two month well check up I learned that this perhaps wasn't the best idea.  My baby dropped from the 40% in weight at his two week checkup to 10%.  The doctor didn't seem too concerned, she just told me to add one extra feeding during the day and go back to nursing on both sides.  Luckily she didn't say it was worth waking him up at night to feed him.  Phew!  So since then I have amped up his feedings so hopefully at his weight check appointment in two weeks the results will be good.  He is definitely my string bean- super long and skinny.  But that's how his daddy has always been and Bentley was always a little on the thin side as well.  So I'm sure it's just the Greene boy genes.  I wish I could get me some of those genes.
Overall he's still a super mellow baby and I can't believe how lucky I am with his sleeping schedule.  I definitely don't take it for granted.  I'm cherishing every moment with this little guy.  With Ben I was always waiting for the next thing, the next big milestone.  With Jackson I'm just soaking it all in and wishing that time would stand still.  Although I do find myself often daydreaming about what fun my boys are going to have together as Jacky grows.  Such good things to come.