Can I tell you about my Saturday?

I know I didn’t do a weekend wrap up. This is because I must devote an entire post to what I did on Saturday. It was glorious and magnificent rolled up into one.

I woke up at 8am, 30 minutes later than usual, thanks to my wonderful, blessed child who normally gets up at 7:30 but decided to sleep in a bit.

We nursed, I ate breakfast and showered, he cooed, smiled, and pooped before being put down for his morning nap.

At around 10:15, my mother arrived. We loaded up her car with Jackson’s things, and by 10:30 they were off for a grandma/grandbaby day in King William. A grandma/grandbaby day that would last until FIVE PM.

After the small lump in my throat dissolved (because PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY THAT’S MY BABY IN YOUR CAR), Ross and I headed out to leeeeeeeeeeisurely run errands and leeeeeeeisurely eat lunch. We then came home and I settled in for a 90-minute nap that did not involve remaining 70% awake to listen to a monitor.

After some lounging and cuddling, we got ourselves together and headed out to King William to pick Jackson up. When we arrived he had just finished eating and was all smiles and coos.

We then left King William and headed to the Southside to meet Ross’s parents for dinner. Jackson was supposed to be napping during that time, but decided instead to stay awake through dinner, being charming and wonderful.

Dinner was followed up by a visit at the in-law’s house with some playing of the WiiFit before heading home.

See? What would be the point of even mentioning the other parts of the weekend? They would be so embarassed for not being as wonderful.

It’s not all flowers and sausages with this kid*

*A prize to the reader who knows what that’s from! The prize being the knowledge that you are the winner!

I know what with all of my gushing you might think that Jackson is the perfect child who spends all his days smiling and being cute and his nights sleeping soundly. Well, he does spend his nights sleeping soundly right now – probably mostly because we haven’t encountered teething yet. But he does have days where he’s, for lack of a better word, a butt head. A CUTE ONE WHO I LOVE, but a butt head nonetheless.

These days are few and far between, thankfully. But it seems like Jackson is going to be one of those people who has an extremely long fuse but when he explodes, HE EXPLODES. Case in point: his crying. He’s either smiling or screaming. There is no whimpering or whining. It used to upset me, but now that I know he’s fine, I find it somewhat humorous.

Here’s a video example for you, showing Jackson’s typical reaction when he’s been awakened unexpectedly from a nap. I assure you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with him here. You’ll even see that he suddenly becomes totally fine. Don’t call social services.

Cry baby from Valerie on Vimeo.

Like I said, he’s fine. He was fed, clean, and healthy. Just really, really pissed off. And I’m sure the fact that I was filming him helped a TON.

Two months

Dear Jackson,

You turned 8 weeks old yesterday, and already I can’t believe how much you’ve changed. I mean, seriously. Look:

Here you are on the Boppy at 5 days old.

And here you are on the Boppy at 7 weeks old.

WTF, dude?

You had a checkup yesterday. After you got weighed and measured (14 pounds and 10 ounces; 24 inches long), the nurses all passed you around to get a cuddle and go ape over your now-reddish hair and soon-to-be bright blue eyes. Quite the charmer you are, but not in an overt sense. You don’t hand out big gummy grins to everyone (just me and your dad at this point), but instead give people slight smirks while looking at them out of the corner of your eye. Keep it going with the aloof thing – it will play out well for you in high school because girls LOVE IT.

You got four shots in your chubba thighs yesterday. You weren’t too fussy last night but HOLY LORD what a day we’ve had today. Basically when you weren’t sleeping today, you were crying. Not hard, but just enough to let me know you were uncomfortable. Due to poor timing on my part, I also had to be out tonight, leaving someone else to wrangle you through this post-vaccination fussfest. Our good friends Allison and Sam came to take care of you – the first nonfamily to do so. From what they tell me, you did fine, you’re sleeping comfortably in your crib right now.

This month also marked my semi-return to work. It’s just two days a week, but I must say that I miss your little face. The first day was hard (for me, not you as you spent the entire day with your wonderful grandmother). The second day was much, much easier. While I do miss you, I think it’s good for me to get out of the house and have the opportunity to miss you. When I think about you while at work, it’s more about how much I love you, not about what’s next in the list of things I need to do to take care of you. Every parent should get that time I think.

You’ve found your thumb recently and you’re getting better at getting it in your mouth on your first try. A few weeks ago you would root around for it, grunting like a mad man. Now it just takes a few drooly attempts and you’re good to go. This achievement makes me oddly proud as I know you’re not going to be dependent on a pacifier. However, it will hard to hide your thumb from you as you get older. But I’ll take it for now.

The best development this month are the smiles and the coos. The grunts are phasing out (saved just for when you wake up and when you’re “working on something.”) You spend much of your naptime cooing and squealing, just to hear the sound bounce all over the room. And the smiles. OH THE SMILES. They make the spit up, poo-leaking diapers, and occasional fusses totally worth it.



And there it was…

Jackson is not a particularly snuggly kid, at least at this point. He already seems pretty independent – perfectly content to hang out on his own, more than able to settle himself down to sleep. Aside from the whole feeding and financing thing, he could probably take care of himself.

But then there was this evening.

Ross, Jackson, and I got home at about 5:15. I had picked up Ross on my way home from getting Jackson from his Thursday visit with his grandmother. As usual, Jackson was passed out in his car seat. I carefully picked him up and placed him in his crib so he could finish his late afternoon nap not crumpled up in a plastic chair.

And then apparently the world exploded.

That kid screamed. And screamed. And screamed. And then screamed some more. Of course I automatically thought he was hungry, but when I picked him up there was no nuzzling or rooting around – he wasn’t interested. I changed his diaper. He kept screaming. I checked his temperature. Perfectly normal. I brought Dad into the picture. He screamed harder.

I had no clue what to do. So I took him into our bedroom, turned all of the lights off, rested him on my belly, and rubbed his ears.

He was asleep in about 15 seconds.

And there it was. For the first time since he was born, I really felt like a mother. But not just any mother. Jackson’s mother.

We stayed that way for 45 minutes. Him breathing softly, in and out. Me still rubbing his ears and thanking God for putting this little man in my life.

My thoughts on nursing

So Jackson is almost 7 weeks old. This means I have spent almost two months sustaining him WITH MY OWN BODY. I know that I also sustained him with my body for nine months (plus 5 days, freeloader!), but that involved me shoveling peanut butter toast and cereal in my face and that was about it. Now I actually have to *do* stuff to keep his not-at-all-little body going.

Let me start by saying that we have had a pretty easy run so far with the whole breastfeeding thing. Once we worked out a few kinks in the beginning, it was smooth sailing – and, on the whole, still is smooth sailing. He doesn’t seem to have a very sensitive stomach (knock on wood) and he’s become extremely proficient at getting down to business and finishing up in 20-30 minutes (as opposed to the 45 minutes he was clocking to start out).

But Holy Lord, none of the information passed along to you in those baby classes or books on breastfeeding can prepare you for how hard and stressful the whole process can be. Because when it comes down to it, it’s you, your boobs, and your baby – that’s it. You’ve got to figure it out. Jackson’s eating has been the only thing that has stressed me out so far. Adding to it, his recent decision to drop his middle-of-the-night feeding while good news for our sleep has me completely paranoid that he’s not going to get enough to eat. And wishing that breasts had some kind of liquid volume gauge on them.

But then I remember that, believe it or not, babies are smart. Crazy smart. And not restricted by wanting to be politely quiet when they are still hungry. In the rational part of my brain I know he’s not going to let himself starve. It’s just that sometimes the crazy lady mom part of my brain is a bit louder.

I can’t say how long I’ll keep up with nursing. Honestly, the whole idea of continuing this once teeth come in makes me cringe a little bit. And really, while I love what nursing *does* for Jackson (and for me), I can’t say that I always love the act of nursing. But we’ll stick with it for now. These fat rolls seem to indicate that we’re doing just fine…