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So sorry for being so MIA.  Like Jack, I really haven’t been myself lately—more on that next week.  My last day of work is next Wednesday.  It’s bittersweet.  Onward and upward.  Speaking of which, have you met my 1 year old?

My sweet, sweet little boy.  How did you get so big so damn fast?

These days, I’m completely exhausted.  I’m tired from wiping snot, exhausted from chasing this boy, doing dishes by hand, picking up wooden blocks, chasing this boy and fishing random objects out of his mouth.  I’m sure there’s more, but I’m too tired to think.

Oh dear God.  This child is into everything.  Anything that was of importance, uh, is no longer important.  He continues to destroy everything.  This weekend, we discovered that our DVD player is no longer working, and it has our WI trip slideshow in it!  Yeah.  Guess whose little fingers like to poke at the DVD player? uh huh.

When he’s not breaking electronic equipment, Jack can be found climbing furniture and TOYS.  Note to self:  leave all plastic toys that double as ladders at mom’s house in VIRGINIA.  Together with the climbing, he is walking– yay!  As of early last week, Jack’s been walking about 85-90% of the time.  He showed off a few of his skills for family and friends when we were back home, but now he’s really on the go.  He gets a big kick out of it when we cheer and clap once he’s made his destination.  He totally “gets” the whole walking thing!

Now that Jack is officially everywhere, he’s also become extremely conversational and sociable as well. No real words, just made up ones.   When I call for him, he’ll try to say his name (DDDDaaat!) or just lots of mamamamama right back at me.  When we read, his “words” are much MUCH louder than mine nowadays.  His signing has really flourished.  More, eat, drink, book, dog, hot, sleep and thank you are the main signs that we use for now.  It was so cool when he finally grasped the signing and would tell us what he needed without us even initiating.  Jeff said, the other day while I was out shopping, Jack was in mid-play then crawled over to him, signed sleepy and curled up on his daddy’s shoulder.  Too cute.
12 Months
Jack’s social skills are flourishing so much more now, too.  He flirts and tries to befriend kids of all ages every chance he gets.  Last Sunday, he freaked out the poor little girl behind us because he was trying to touch her hand to make nice. haha.  I definitely attribute his friendliness and outgoing nature, not only to family, but to the great teachers at his daycare.  He loves the other kids and teachers, it’ll be sad to say goodbye for now.

Jack’s size has pretty much stayed the same from last month.  He’s mainly in 24m, but still wears some 18m clothes.   The belly never seems to fit–poor guy.  He’s still in size 4 diapers, and I assume he’ll stay in that size for a few more months.  He’s still heavy, teetering in the high 20s.  We missed his 12m appointment, so we’ll have to update those stats.

The boy likes to eat, but it has to be timely.  If we get home too late from daycare, he pitches a fit and goes on strike.  He eats any and everything, with pizza, pasta, chicken, mango, bananas and peas as his faves.  We just started giving him juice a few weeks ago, but milk and water are still #1.  We have yet to switch over to cow’s milk at our dr’s suggestion.  Jack’s still trying to fight off that upper respiratory infection, so until he does, we were told not to change his diet too drastically.

Separation anxiety is big right now: he’s still a mama’s boy and loses his mind when I leave the room. He started with the toddler tantrums a few weeks ago. It’s so hard and frustrating, but signing has really helped us out. I heart baby signing.

In spite of the meltdowns (from both him and me)  Jack is such a handsome, active, lovey and bubbly little dude.  Those little boy hugs remind me how much I LOVE love LOVE being a mom.  Now that I’m closing one chapter and Jeff and I are both embarking on our own separate and new(ish) professional journeys (new responsibilities for him and freelance for me), it’s only fitting that it coincides with another year of Jack’s growth.


Baby Frankenstein

Originally uploaded by jen_rab

Wheee! It’s Friday! Even though I’m working from home and pretty delirious from taking care of a stuffy baby all morning while trying to work, I am excited about this week (finally) being over. After all the emotions from the beginning of the week, I can finally focus on Jack’s first birthday next week! We’re all excited to go home for the weekend. I can’t even remember the last time we were there? July?

Better late than never, but I’m definitely in party planning mode. While my other friends started planning their kids’ parties before they were even born, I’ve surprisingly been pretty slack with this. Normally, I’m all about DIY party events. I guess with oh, quitting my job, I’ve been way too distracted to focus on what sort of icing Jack should devour.

Anyway, more about the party stuff later. Even bigger news: Jack has a new trick! It’s the baby Frankenstein kind of trick! He still doesn’t want to be bothered with walking, but he’s trying. I tried to catch him in motion the other night, so please excuse the mess and dark video. Oh, and the ball? Yeah. The baseball is a permanent fixture for him right now. We’re hoping this foreshadows a future hall of famer and retirement plan.

Eleven months:  not quite a baby, not yet a little boy.  Or is he?

My heart is breaking at the thought of Jackson turning one in just a few short weeks.  I remember this time last year when I was anxious, but busy tying up loose ends at work before I went on maternity leave.  This year, I’m still tying up loose ends and anxious for a million more reasons.  It’s certainly bittersweet to think about how fast this year went.  We had so much fun this year, but that’s not to say it wasn’t a bumpy and hellish ride as well.

Though he may be sleeping like an angel right now, but trust me, he sleeps like crap–like 3 a.m. wails at decibles no human should be able to hear. Despite efforts to try to rectify this early on, bad habits prevailed and mama got the sleepless end of the stick (too.)  We’re working on it, but again, what works for one kid doesn’t always work for ours.  I’m a night owl anyway; sleep is so overrated.

11 months

Appearance-wise, if I may, Jack has blossomed into such a handsome little dude.  He’s smiley, vibrant and if you can imagine, he’s loquacious just like his dad.  He loves to flash that mouth full of teeth (working on 9 teef) every chance he gets.  His hair is so much lighter than I would have ever envisioned it to be.  His skin is like porcelain, but not quite as fair as Jeff, yet not as tan as me.  Those big beady brown eyes, they light up with every familiar face he sees.  Jack is still quite tall for his age.  I’m assuming he’s in the 90s as far as percentile goes.  When Jack towers over some of the kids at the park, other moms and dads kind of stare in shock when they realize my “big kid” doesn’t know how to walk yet.  I’m pretty sure his weight is hovering in the high 20s, but thankfully, his clothing size is about the same.  24 and 2T fills his closet for the most part, but after summer is done, we’ll officially retire those tight little 18m t-shirts and pjs.

Jack still loves music and dancing.  He dances every chance he gets and continues to sing very loudly at church, too.  Not that we sit him in front of the tv all day, we do watch one show together as a family.  Aptly titled, Jack’s Big Music Show showcases all aspects of music to the preschool crowd.  Though it’s only engaging to our kid for 7 minutes at a time, Jeff and I enjoy it just as much.  Buddy Guy, Cheryl Hines and even Jon Stewart have made cameos.  Actually, when I’m having another one of those crappy days at work, all I have to do is think, “Come on everybody give your foot a tap…Come on everybody give your hands a clap.  Look everybody is my dog Mel, Ruff, Ruff, Ruff, Ruff, Ruff” and all I can see is my kid dancing and clapping to the show’s intro.  The joy that this blue puppet, his friend and dog bring my kid is positively priceless.

As I said, Jack still isn’t walking, but he does have a myriad of other milestones to mention.  His communication skills are becoming more and more cohesive.  We’ve been doing our best to keep up with the signing, so as of today, he knows the signs for drink, eat, more, sleep, hot and bye bye.  He is beginning to understand more and more commands beyond no-no, such as “please give this to mommy.”  That’s not to say our little boy doesn’t test our limits.  He loves to make messes and shove things in his mouth every chance he gets.  When we don’t “get” him or allow him to do something (like stand on the wipes container) he throws these minor meltdowns–the ones where he flails and buries his head in the carpet.

At this point, I mean besides his own shoes and dirt, Jack likes to eat almost everything.  I usually try to make a variety of meals and have made a point to tone down the spice levels, so that Jack can enjoy whatever we’re eating.  He loves to feed his daddy whatever he’s eating, whether daddy likes it or not!  We go to restaurants maybe once or twice a week and Jack knows the drill.  For the most part, he’s become a great eating companion, well besides the throwing of the sippy cup when he’s done.

While we’re excited for this next milestone, I’m definitely not ready for my baby to become a full-on big boy.  I’m ready for the new developments, just not ready for this time to be done…well, besides the whole not sleeping thing.

Jack hit the big 1-0 on Sunday. Ten months seems so “old” but still so young…
Nevertheless, our baby has become quite the little boy–a mischievous and curious one at that. As in, he takes pride in finding the smallest speck of dirt in our almost daily-vacuumed carpet and shoving that small speck into his mouth the minute all three of look away. Just yesterday in fact, he took it upon himself to reach up onto our entryway table to snatch a small section of a paper towel and chew it like cud. Of course, he crawled away as fast as he could, clearly defining his guilt. After trying to calmly retract it with my finger and then fish it out, he freaked but knew exactly what he did was a no-no.

10 months old

Speaking of no-no, Jack has become quite the copycat even moreso than before. Since we seem to say no-no or not for Jackson more times than we can count, the kid knows what is, and what is not a no-no. What I mean by that is, he doesn’t always understand the concept of no, but he “gets” that when he reaches for certain things, mom or dad will immediately say no-no or not for Jackson. And in some cases, we just do the finger wag and shake our head. So every time he reaches for the low-lying cable box, he’ll turn around and wag that little finger of his…right before he lunges forward and pushes all the buttons with that same wagging little finger anyway. Better yet, since flowers around the apartment are inevitably off limits, he knows mama will wag her finger if he even looks that way. So when we were in Trader Joe’s the other weekend, as we passed the floral section, Jack smiled and wagged his little finger. haha. Besides no-no, he’s grasping a few signs, including drink, eat and some more. The best of all, he loves to blow kisses. Even though he gets the concept of blowing kisses, he kind of forgets to release the actual kiss. He “gets” it. Well, almost!

As a family member candidly said to me the other week, “He’s a real human being now!”
Why yes, yes he is 😉

His appearance, to me at least, changes daily. He looks like a little boy and is so far removed from the baby stage. His hair is long, much lighter and shaggy-like. People are starting to ask if he is a boy or girl–or if we had his hair cut like that? He’s still very fair-skinned, much like his father. We think he still sports equal likenesses of the both of us. However, I see so much of my older brother in him. He has 8 teeth as of today which, we’re often told by other parents that it seems like a lot for his age. Alas, we were assured by Jason’s brother who is a pediatric dentist that all baby teeth grow in at drastically different paces.
Jack, for the most part is a great eater. I usually make things for dinner that he can have and feed him smaller bits and pieces. Well, as of last week, he demands that he feeds himself. Slivers of chicken breast, pasta, squash, peas and brown rice are his favorites for mealtime. Bananas, Smart Puffs, mangoes and Goldfish crackers are his idea of fun snacks. Jack still drinks 3 or so bottles/cups of formula a day. When I get home, he nurses in the evening and early morning. My fears of inadvertent weaning never happened while we were apart. He actually picked it back up, without skipping a beat. Since he doesn’t nurse too frequently anymore, we’ll more than likely observe baby-led weaning by his first birthday.

On the mobile front, in order to efficiently get into absolutely everything, Jack loves to cruise and stand. If he can’t get somewhere, he doesn’t bother with the uncertainty of cruising, but instead, relies on the swiftness of crawling. The minute he hears the bathroom door open–otherwise known as the outlet to his duck tub– he sprints for it! It doesn’t matter where he is, if that door is open, by the time you’re done washing your hands, Jack is on the other side banging for you to let him in.
Size-wise, Jack is hovering in the 24-25 lb. range. He seems to be much taller, but weight-wise I don’t think he’s changed much. He’s still wearing some 12m clothes, but moreso 18m-24m. One of the brands that I like for t-shirts, he’s actually in 2T already.

His personality continues to blossom as quickly as his babbling turns into more definitive syllables. He seems to make friends almost everywhere we go with both, the young and old. He waves hi in that coy school boy sort of way. Just the other day, as we were perusing through the fruit section of Whole Foods, Jack quickly befriended any lady that gave him attention. By the time we got to the bread aisle, he was giving googly eyes and professing his love to another nice lady. And now, if you can imagine, Jack is punctuating this charm with blowing kisses. If I didn’t know any better, I think our kid is quite the flirt. On the other end of the spectrum, however, he get pretty frazzled when other kids are aggressive or too loud for his comfort level. He knows what he likes and what he does not like and expresses it all in such a way that makes sense to me. In line with knowing what he wants, the kid continues to be such a thespian. If he’s thirsty or wants more water after I’ve taken away his sippy cuppy after he’s flung it on the floor for the 25th time, he will let out the most obnoxious fake cough. As if the fake cough isn’t enough, he now does an exasperating release and will bury his head onto the floor if something doesn’t go his way, such as mommy and daddy leaving.

Oh boy, separation anxiety. This topic deserves its own post. Separation anxiety, at the moment, is definitely a major struggle. It’s something that has surfaced in the last few months, but definitely became more prevalent once he came back from Va. As guilty as this makes me feel, my friend promises me that all kids go through this stage, some more than others. As much as I think this 25 growth on my leg, hip, arm is cute, it does wear on me and tends to be a bit much when he doesn’t want anyone else! On the bright side, I do enjoy those days when I am the center of his universe. In a few years, like we were told, there will be a day when daddy walks on water and he’ll be like, “mommy who?” For now, he’s a mama’s boy.

Without a doubt, that clingyness solidifies my path in life and the importance of balancing it all. And not just for my sake.

As Jack reached his 9-month milestone and with a recent addition to our extended family, I’m quite reflective and excited. Nine months ago, much like my friend/Jeff’s cousin did a week ago, I was doing this. Almost a week overdue, I was so done. Last September, I was toasted with exhaustion and filled with anxiety.

To say the least, so much has changed over these past 9 months. We brought home an adorable bundle of sweetness who has quickly morphed to a bundle of energy. Little did we know just how much this boy would fill our hearts.

At Jack’s 9 month well baby visit last week, we learned that his weight and height have definitely tapered to the point where he’s back on the charts. He’s very healthy, weighing in at 24lbs. and measuring at 29.5 in. For weight he is in the 90th percentile and for height he’s in the 75th percentile. Though big, he’s definitely back on the charts! He’s still wearing size 4 diapers and large cloth diapers. Depending on the brand, he wears anywhere from 18m-2T clothes. His hair continues to get lighter and longer, and he still resembles both of us equally– at least we think so!

At the dr’s office, Jeff reported that Jack was his usual active self. Because he’s much taller and so much more curious, in one visit, he was able to singlehandedly create enough destruction to turn off the lights, knock over almost all of the dr’s tools on the walls and destroy the paper on the examining table to the point where the nurse had to change it 4 times. Yup. He’s a boy in ever sense of the word.
destroying things at the dr's office
He’s crawling on all fours like a madman. He’s quick like a bunny; if you turn your head to grab the remote, he’s probably dumped out his entire toy basket or found a 2 inch entrance to his closet nursery that we’ve temporarily barricaded with his exersaucer or is turning off the DVD player, despite the fact that there are 10 pillows, an ottoman and a fan blocking his path. He’s quickly becoming a pro at pulling himself up on all the furniture. He’s had his fair share of falls, but practice makes perfect. He’s definitely working on mastering the whole cruising thing. Though he hasn’t taken any steps on his own, he frequently stands on his own, but isn’t quite sure where to go from there.

It’s becoming so much easier to communicate with Jack. We call him Jack more often than Jackson, but he knows his name. Every now and then when he’s being wildman Jack, I’ll flip on this show and he just dances and giggles. Every time he hears his name, he smiles. He must think the show is talking to him. We’ve been continuing to introduce some basic signs to him, especially while he’s eating. He’s catching on, at least I thought he was…Just the other day, I signed “all done?” to him. He waved “bye bye” back. haha. We’re getting somewhere!

His personality is so fun now. He’s very cognizant of our daily routines, and who does what and when. He’s caught on that if mommy is carrying him a certain way, it usually means we’re going somewhere. More often than not, if I’m carrying him to a different room, he likes to wave bye bye, as if we’re off to another trip to the park. He knows that if Jeff picks him up and says uh oh, that it usually means he’s getting kisses on his belly. When Jeff says uh oh, Jack is already giggling and pushing Jeff’s face away from his belly. He enjoys dancing and grooving. Anytime he hears music, even if it’s a commercial, he’ll wave his arms like he’s conducting or does this pelvic thrust thing. The dancing doesn’t stop him, even if he’s sitting down. He’ll dance regardless of his positioning. It makes me crack up every single time!

Jack at 9 months

Jack is quickly becoming such a copycat. Our reading routine is very regular, so he knows what to do with the books. He’ll sit in our laps and follow along. He gets it: he points and follows the words, just like I do. I’m not sure if this should be in the copycat category or the City Baby category, but whenever Jack hears a siren–whether it’s an ambulance, firetruck or police car–he loves to squeal along with it. haha.
His curiosity is very much like his father’s. He continues to examine and study objects, as if he needs to get behind why stuffed bear rattles. He enjoys banging things together almost as much as he enjoys stomping on his toys. But as playful and active as he’s become, Jack is still quite the lovey boy. He has this puppy puppet that we like to play with that he loves to kiss. Whenever he sees it, he has to stop what he’s doing in order to give it a few smooches. In the middle of bashing his blocks together, he’s known to turn around and crawl over to Lola just to give her a little open-mouthed smooch. His way of letting you know that he’s content involves petting your arm and lovingly pinching you. My upper arm is all blue and purple, and I’m so o.k. with it.

With all the sweet smooches comes the tears of defiance. We’re still working on the soft discipline. Serious faces and “no Jack, that’s not for you,” often illicits a giggle, but we’re staying stern. Like most kids, he will vocalize when he’s bored, hungry or tired. You know, the usual. But when it’s time to change, he still unleashes shrills of terror. This kid still does not like clothes! (It’s such a shame, especially when I have an obsession for buying him clothes!) When he’s upset and crying, like if I need to put him down to make his dinner, he now does this exasperating slump to the floor. It’s so dramatic! Not sure where he would’ve learned that. 😉

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standing

Originally uploaded by jen_rab

What a week it’s been. Aside from living out of Styrofoam cooler for a good part of the week since our fridge died and the usual work craziness, the boy has continued to blast through the milestones. Just last weekend, Jack started to actively pull himself up and “big boy crawl,” or crawl on all fours and transition to sitting up from the crawling position. Other than from sitting positions, he initially started to stand when he was digging through his toy basket. (Because, the 100 other toys on the floor just weren’t enough.) From the toy basket, he’s moved on to the ottoman. It’s kind of mind-numbing to see him so persistent on being so mobile. Everyone’s predicted that he’d be walking earlier rather than later, but regardless of when it actually happens, it’s fun seeing this whole cruising stage develop.

He’s completely into everything, even more than he was a few weeks ago. Shoes, magazines, specks of dirt on the floor, the remotes, electrical wires– you name it, he’s all about it. While we’ve tried to be as diligent as possible in the childproofing department, he’ll find a loophole and get into things anyway.

He’s had several crash landings over the past few days as he pulled himself up to the ottoman. But nothing crazy. If anything, he’ll get shaken up from the initial fall and look around to see if it’s ok. Once he sees either Jeff, Lola or me, and realizes he’s ok, he’s back to climbing and pulling himself up. He’s built like a tank and can seemingly handle the falls like one too. It’s hard not to freak out about him hurting himself, but at the same time, he needs to learn on his own. My mom’s usually the first to shriek (loudly) if he does fall. I’m always there to supervise to make sure he’s alright. But more often than not, I’m usually reminding my mom, “it’s ok. he’ll be fine. and you need to relax!” As much as I’d like to hover over him and make sure he’s safe and sound 24/7, we all know what that leads to…

Speaking of relax, we’re looking forward to a fun weekend. My girlfriends are visiting, so I get to have some fun with the ladies– at the Mets game, no less! Sunday is Father’s Day and we have an agenda full of nothing, which is exactly what Jeff ordered. More on that later 🙂

Teeth!

cheese

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I recently read somewhere, In the realm of parenting, we find ourselves saying things out loud we never imagined we’d have say. Over the past month, I’ve often found myself saying, “Please don’t eat your clothes or shoes– are you a goat?”, “Dear God, do you EVER stay still?”, “What am I going to do when you start walking?”, “Is that smell you or Daddy?” and even, “Please stop grabbing your balls like that.”

The days of discretion are long gone. Ah! The joys of baby boys.
8 months old
Again, it’s deadline week and I’m behind as ever, but I couldn’t not post another diatribe of Jack’s latest developments–specifically, hitting the 8 month mark.

At 8 months, Jack is right about 29-30 inches tall I believe. We weighed him while we were in Va. and he was right in the 25-lb. range. He’s still in size 4 diapers and quickly outgrowing 12m clothes and fitting perfectly in 18m. He’s already wearing a few 24m-sized shirts and he may very well will be in 2T before his 1st bday. His size may be “normal” for Jeff’s side, but his growth is unheard of on my side. Let’s put it this way: When I went to the Philippines in 2002, at 5’5″, I hovered over every single one of my cousins. As a matter of fact, I was much taller than many people in the entire town, minus a few men. Aptly, they called me “American Girl” because, well, despite my “look,” I really looked much different than everyone else. Again, his growth is another example of  Jack’s unique heritage.

Anywho…back to the big kid. Jack continues to be a very energetic child. I love his little personality and especially the way he practically rips my face off when he mashes my face with all those kisses. He’s so vibrant and generally a happy, active little boy. He’s a generous mix of the Tasmanian Devil and Baby Jack Jack from the Incredibles. Because he’s built like a tank, he’s far from delicate or graceful. He is a boy through and through. He’s completely innocent but enjoys (unknowingly) wreaking havoc every chance he gets– ripping magazines apart, kicking doors, rattling the safety gates. He loves to “talk”, even if it’s to himself. He often interjects into our conversations, as if to remind us that he’s there. He chatters a compendium of repetitive random consonants and syllables–mama, dada, gaga, baba, gogo–punctuated with a lot of drool. Probably one of the coolest communication developments was the beginning of buh-bye! Out of nowhere, when we were at Disneyland, we were saying bye to my friend Lori and her children. Lori said bye bye to Jack and whattdya know, Jack said buh-bye right back! I was dumbfounded! So, now, he waves that little hand any time he hears buh-bye or words sounding similar. Oh, and the laughs! The laughter is quite possibly the best part of it all. He laughs at everything, especially if it involves rough-housing with his dad.

Happy boyAs of this morning, Jack still only has one tooth and could probably break 2 more any day now. He loves to show off that one tooth and shares it with anyone who asks. He enjoys utilizing that one tooth on his various snacks and teething biscuits. The teething phase kind of meshes with all the other craziness that goes on. I’m slowly but surely beginning to phase out the paci. Jack doesn’t seem too attached because the past few nights I haven’t had to use it at all. I think everyone around us is more attached to it than the kid himself. Meaning, if he’s sucking on his hand, someone is bound to pop the paci in his mouth for him. Oh! the Dreaded Stigma of the Paci! It’s so funny how so many different things cause so much idle chatter…

Jack still beams any time he hears music, especially if it’s from his John Deer Music Box (If I hear Yee-Haw one more time…) or Hip Hop. His dance is usually concentrated on the upper half of his body. He sort of fist-pumps and waves his arms like he’s conducting any time he hears music from a commercial on tv or the radio. Hell, even in mid-cry, he’ll do a little arm wave WHILE he’s crying. Crazy kid! He still kicks if he’s in the right position, but if he’s sitting and hears a song he likes, oh man, the kid just flaps and dances away. His dance sometimes includes a lot of gyration from the pelvic area. Yup. He’s pumping the pelvis! haha.

His quest for mobility has accelerated to the ‘Holy Shit’ point. He doesn’t crawl on all fours yet, but has mastered the army crawl and can disappear in nanoseconds if you blink too slow. I’m not sure what he’s trying to do, but when Jack is army crawling and realizes he doesn’t know how to walk yet, he’ll do the Downward Facing Dog stance. I’m assuming it’s his intention to stand or walk, but it’s hard not to laugh when he gets mad when he can’t go any where else from this position. He loves having people walk him around. He’ll wiggle off your lap now to get onto the floor to go for a walk, sometimes he’ll try and jump head first! This kid has no fear– none whatsoever.

Jack loves eating and seems to enjoy the food that I make for him. When we went out to CA, I brought along some Healthy Times jarred foods. The convenience was great, but unfortunately, he didn’t eat very much of it. Squash, Zucchini, Broccoli, Green Beans, Mangoes, Nanas and Pears are his favorites right now. He still gets about 4 bottles a day while I’m at work and nurses 2-3 times when I’m home. On the weekends, our schedule varies but he’s still nursing regularly, in between his solid food meals.

Sleeping patterns are our biggest enemy at the moment. Sleeping habits are a reminder that because of our circumstances, things won’t always go the way I envision. Jack doesn’t sleep through the night yet. His sleeping patterns aren’t horrible, but it’s still not great. Coupled with the nursing and the sleeplessness from teething, we found that part time co-sleeping was the best solution for our family. We’re transitioning him to go back to his crib, but the night time wakings can be so painful for everyone involved. Lately, he’s been waking up screaming if I’m not next to him. As much as the kid needs his sleep, I need mine. He’ll only wake once a night, but still, he can’t go back to sleep unless I nurse him. I know the “rules” suggest on dropping this nighttime feeding to help with the sleeping through the night. But again, it’s hard as hell to institute sleep training, especially when there’s excessive crying involved. Since we live in a brownstone with concrete and wood separating us from others and have the anti-crying gestapo just a few feet away (AKA my mom) our living arrangement isn’t conducive to certain methods of sleep training. Just like everything else, it’ll all work out in time.
walking with Lolo
And finally: the temper. Like me, Jack is very vocal about what he loves and what he does not. Except in 8-month old fashion, Jack SCREAMS when he doesn’t get his way– whether it’s getting dressed, not being able to walk around or if he’s tired. Oh the squealing! We’re continuing to gently discipline, in hopes of staying abreast of the defiance.

We’re holding on to our seats, hiding my magazines and childproofing our small apartment as much as we can! I’m sure we’ll see some minor bumps and bruises as the kid moves on to cruising, but it’ll be another fun new phase, I’m sure!

After months of anticipation, the usual fragmented sleep, unpredictable fussiness and intermittent clingyness, it’s finally happened: We have our first white cap. Jack’s first tooth officially erupted over the weekend. YAY.

As the person who’s usually consoling the inconsolable and screaming alongside of the screamer, I’m elated about this latest milestone. I’m definitely going to miss that super-cheesy gummy smile, but it feels like we’ve made progress in the teething department.
first tooth

The lower right central baby tooth made its appearance sometime over the weekend, which we noticed yesterday morning. Jeff was the first to notice it and kept trying to help me find it. I had a hard time locating it but finally found it way to the left, and not in the center-ish part that I was expecting. I know this isn’t the end of this sometimes neverending phase, but it’s a relief to see what all the madness has been about.

Like the doting first time parents, we stuck our fingers into the mouth of the lion to get a clear view of this tooth. Jack let Jeff know he wasn’t having the fingers-in-mouth invasion, so he bit him! ha! He bit me again last Thursday while I was feeding– now THAT hurt. The little tooth is barely noticeable, so we don’t have any pictures of Toothy McTootherson.

Jeff said it best when he was lovingly admiring our little piranha this morning, “Aw…look at your little tooth! You look like a can opener.”

I have to apologize for being so MIA lately. A professional personal crisis has been lingering, in addition to my monthly deadline madness.
As I was telling my incredibly supportive husband last night about my mounting woes (seriously ya’ll, this guy is heaven-sent *swoon*), I wish I could openly unleash what I’m thinking right now. However, we all know I can’t. Thus, I have to remain cryptic for obvious reasons.

But I digress…
Of all the worries a girl could have, I feel so lucky in the kid and husband department. Things at home are so far from perfect, but undoubtedly, it’s who and what I come home to every day that reinforces that old adage– love conquers all.
So, imagine the surprise I got when I flung the apartment door open yesterday afternoon to greet Mr. Jack after another crazy day. Per usual, when I screamed, “Hiiiiii baby!” Jack responded with the usual giant gummy, drooly smile. But this time, he clapped his little hands, as if to say, “YAAAAAY my mommy’s home.”
I know, it’s just clapping. But it’s my baby clapping! So when I spend all day stressing and growing gray hair, to come home to something as simple as the new development of clapping, it makes my day. For the rest of the evening, we practiced our clapping on cue. If you raise your hands in the air and say, “YAAAAAAY!” he knows that it’s time to cheer and clap. When you sing and need some back up, he’ll sing, or rather, scream along and clap too. And yesterday, as an added extra, as we sat down on the floor to play before dinner, I propped Jack up on my lap facing me. He must have given me 100 big open mouth kisses. He kept kissing and kissing and kissing my cheeks until both of our faces were drenched from all the drool.  Kissing mommy and daddy when we get home for work is part of the routine, but yesterday was so different.
I tell ya, the kid just knows…

In addition to clapping, Jack has been practicing the crawling. Now, he knows to pump that chubby butt and let his knees and hands lead the way. I use the bait method to entice him with crawling, but the army crawling and rolling continues to be his favorite mode of transport. He’s getting there!

Amidst the madness that greets me when I walk out of my door every morning and the mounting pressures of working moms’ guilt, it’s the simple things like clapping, baby butt pumps and endless kisses that make the worries of the day so completely meaningless.