Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jackson's Interactions w/ Ducky

After spending over two hours at two different DMV's, I finally renewed my license.  I also went on my last interview of the week and have even more to consider than I thought.  I've accepted one position but am still considering another position in another district.  After all the stress, I can't tell you how great it is to come home to such a jovial baby!

Now that Jackson is feeling better, he has been so interactive, vocal, and full of laughter.

Each day we try to spend a few supervised minutes in the bumbo.  Jackson is definitely getting better but he doesn't tolerate this position for very long.

Jackson went on a tummy time strike for a few weeks.  We've been putting him on the play mat more often in hopes he'll withstand longer tummy time sessions.  He was so close to rolling over today!  He can lift most of his upper body, though he becomes aggravated after a while.  He was content for several minutes, but as Murphy's Laws would have it, he began fussing as soon as I got the camera.

By far the most humorous interaction Jackson had today was with his stuffed duck.  Jackson was wearing a cute duck onesie today.  Jesse grabbed the stuffed animal and started talking and playing with him after a diaper change.  Jackson was laughing and talking nonstop!

Ten minutes of Jackson's laughter is equivalent to an hour of therapy and eight hours of sleep.  I feel so refreshed and happy every time I hear it!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Weekend Getaway Outtakes--Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

There were so many amazing moments that happened this past weekend.  However, there were many less than great moments, too!  I thought it would be amusing to share some of the unpredictable, imperfect details of the weekend.

Once we got all our bags out of the car and into the hotel room, I pumped a few ounces of milk.  About two minutes later, a fly committed suicide.  What a waste of milk!

While I pumped Jesse put together the pack-n-play and unpacked the clothes.  Jesse planned to wear black pants with a button up shirt to the rehearsal.  He was upset to realize he forgot to pack black socks.  We drove to Old Navy to buy black socks, but there weren't any so we hurried to T.J. Maxx.  We were running behind schedule and needed to quickly get dressed and head to the rehearsal dinner.  Once we got back to the hotel Jesse discovered that he never even packed his black pants to begin with!  We wasted an entire hour and $5 running around trying to get socks and Jesse had nothing to wear.  He threw a slight tantrum while I tried not to laugh. 

The next morning we ate breakfast at a diner and drove to Blowing Rock for church.  I had been greatly looking forward to attending our former church.  This is the church that I served as Youth Director for and the same congregation that supported me through some life-changing events.  Jackson was pretty fussy during the actual service and Jesse ended up spending half the service walking around with him throughout the building.  I was hoping to have lunch with some of the youth, but they were all headed off to a conference immediately after church.  I thought, "well at least Jesse and I can walk around Blowing Rock and take some pictures of Jackson in the park."  As we were standing in the parking lot the sky suddenly opened up.  This is the only picture I took:

I've mentioned several times that Jackson was very fussy and sick the past week.  While we were able to get some great pictures at Moses Cone, we got several photos like this:

When Jackson wasn't fussing , he was sleeping.  He slept the entire 2.5 hour car ride both there and back.  Even once we got home, he was knocked out again as soon as he ate.

It was without a doubt a fantastic weekend.  This post is simply to remind me of how many factors (weather, congestion, insects, etc) I can't control.  Several years ago any of those things could have upset me to the point of anger or tears.  There were many times when I would get pissed off about something not going the way I planned and end up sitting in my car talking to one of my sisters.  Of course I still get frustrated and perhaps rely on my sisters for too much.  But I think Jackson has put things into perspective for us and both Jesse and I have mellowed out over such matters.  The "Don't sweat the small stuff" saying is something I still struggle with, but we're getting better at it each day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Too Many Options

It's amazing how much having a child changes my decision-making thought process.  Due to my school closing, I am forced to apply for numerous teaching positions.  I secured a job back in February and already moved all of my materials into my new classroom.  However, in the past few days other options have become available and principals have called and e-mailed to ask if I would be willing to come in for an interview. 

A quick outline of the pros/cons of each job offer:

Excellent teammates
15 minute commute
Questionable principal
No extra $$ or childcare
$10,000 Bonus
Amazing principal

30 minute commute on 85/77
Very difficult student population
Excessive data/paperwork
5th grade math only!
10 minute commute
Would apply for NBCT
Questionable principal
No extra $$ or childcare
Poor staff morale
Very different demographics
Outside of CMS
Able to drop Jackson off with in-laws

1st Grade position
Lose 3 years towards tenure
30+ minute commute on interstate

Constant prayer, reflection, and analysis has only increased my headache and confusion.

In other news, Jackson seems to be feeling much better today.  He's suffered through a week of congestion, nasal suctioning, coughing up mucous, and crying.  Today was the first day I've heard him laugh in days.  He is still not 100% and he has been sleeping a fair amount.  We were on the couch playing this afternoon and he just passed out on my foot.  He slept there until I finally moved him.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Getaway--June 25-27

Jesse and I had such an amazing weekend!  We went to Boone to attend a friend's rehearsal dinner and wedding.  In between we meandered through campus, drove along the Parkway, napped in the hotel, worshiped at our former church, and strolled along mountain trails.  It was our first overnight trip with Jackson, which made us much more thoughtful in our packing.  Some of the things we had to consider were:
  • Diapers--Do we use disposable for a few days or cloth?  Once we decided cloth, we had to figure out where to keep the dirty diapers.  Katie let us borrow a wetbag large enough to hold 20+ diapers.  We then had to consider cloth vs disposable wipes.  Since we weren't sure how to keep the wipes moist, we went with disposable.
  • Sleeping Arrangements--We brought the pack-n-play w/ the bassinet for Jackson.  Even though we originally reserved a room with one full size bed, I changed my mind because I didn't have a comfortable place to nurse Jackson during the night.  We ended up getting a room with two full size beds and Jackson and I co-slept most of the night.
  • Clothing--Jackson could win an award for the number of times he spits up in a day.  Because of this we packed plenty of bibs, burp cloths, and spare outfits.  Jesse and I had to pack nice enough clothes for the rehearsal, church on Sunday morning, and the wedding.  I had to bring dresses that I could nurse in, which is easier said than done. 
  • Nursing Supplies--Since we make sure Jackson gets a bottle per day, I went ahead and brought my pump.  Luckily, our hotel room had a mini-fridge so I was able to pump in the hotel in advance rather than pumping a bottle a few hours before the rehearsal and wedding. 
We took our time getting to Boone, but still ended up arriving before check-in.  After piddling through campus and SuperWalMart, we checked into the notorious Boone Trail Motel.  Jesse nearly took the side of my car out trying to turn on the absurdly uneven road.

I was skeptical of what the condition of the hotel would be like, but was pleasantly surprised.  Truly, I think it is one of Boone's hidden gems!  The shower was smaller than the showers at the YMCA; the room seemed strangely moist; and there was no wi-fi.  With that said, it was a very clean room that had air conditioning, cable TV, a mircowave, and mini fridge.  And an entire weekend cost less than one night at any other hotel in Boone.

The main event of the weekend was the wedding ceremony between Jane, a very good friend from college, and her Guatemalan lover, Ruben.  Jane spent a year volunteering through the Presbyterian Church in Guatemala, where she met and fell in love with Ruben.  The wedding was a beautiful blend of the two cultures.  Each scripture was read aloud in English, Spanish, and an indigenous Mayan language.  Our college campus minister officiated the ceremony as our campus ministry family joyously celebrated their marriage.

One of my goals this weekend was to get pictures of all three of us.  With the help of friends and random strangers, we definitely accomplished this!  Here's my favorite one from the wedding:

Jackson has yet another MiMi in his life.  Jane's grandmother, affectionately known as MiMi, literally took Jackson away from our arms on multiple occasions at both the rehearsal and ceremony.  Neither Jesse nor I had ever met her before, but she was certainly well intentioned.  The running joke of the weekend became, "Where's MiMi?" every time Jackson was hungry, tired, crying, etc.

Jesse and I are both proud Appalachian alumni.  I made a random stranger take a picture of us by the sign, in hopes that we will be able to recreate the same photo in 18 years.  Of course I will support Jackson wherever he goes, but I will make it clear that ASU is the best choice for him.  ; D

On our way back home, we stopped at one of my favorite places in the High Country, the Moses Cone Memorial Park.  I've always felt especially close to God looking out at the vast mountains from the manor.  Jesse and I had our pictures taken in the same spot on our wedding day.  It was fun to go back there today with Jackson.

One of the best recent purchases we've made is a cheap, small stroller from Wal Mart.  After one too many problems from the expensive, bulky jogging stroller, we've vowed never to use it again.  This stroller has made our lives so much easier this weekend!

You know it's an amazing weekend when you get to celebrate with close friends, reminisce, and see God's creation at its finest.  We spent a grand total of $150, which included all meals, hotel expenses, and fuel.  I feel so blessed that Jesse and I are able to create such great memories with our son.

Diaper Dilemma Resolved

Jackson has been battling a nasty diaper rash/allergy for a few weeks now.  Ever since we switched to the BumGenius, his entire diaper area has become an increasingly intense shade of red.  We've tried creams, extra diaper rinses/vinegar rinses, stripping the diapers, and consulting our doctor.  Despite those attempts, Jackson still suffered from a nasty rash over his entire diaper region (including waist and thighs).

Jesse and I were obviously concerned but not sure what to do since we've spent hundreds of dollars purchasing 24 BumGenius diapers.  We thought the rash was getting better but once we stopped using the hydrocortisone cream it flared back up again.  We knew we couldn't continue applying hydrocortisone cream each day as it isn't safe for prolonged use on infants and was never intended for this part of the body anyway.

Thankfully, my sister recalled hearing about babies being allergic to suedecloth, the fabric that BumGenuis diapers are made of.  She consulted with her online cloth diapering board and we felt confident that Jackson must be allergic to the material since Jackson did not have the rash when he was using the newborn Kissaluv diapers.  Katie has a large enough collection of diapers that she was able to loan us 22 different diapers that are not made of suedecloth.  We've used these diapers on Jackson for the past three days and the change in his skin is a clear confirmation of a severe allergic reaction to suedecloth.

After wearing BumGenius 4.0 diapers
3 days without using BG 4.0

Katie and I are able to swap diapers.  I don't want to sell the BumGenius diapers because I really love the ease of use, one-size feature, and absorbency.  I am hoping my future children will not have a suedecloth allergy and we can use them then.  In the meanwhile, I hope Jude likes them.  Jesse and I are having fun trying out different types of cloth diapers.  We're getting much better at using a Snappi fastener and have found amusement in some of the more feminine diapers.

We're trying to decide which diapers work best for us and we'll likely purchase a few in each size.  Maybe I'll even get brave enough to use flats!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mompetitors--Thursday, June 23

Before reading this post, please watch the following 3 minute video: Why I Can't Make Mom Friends

Obviously the video is a satire, but it struck a chord with me.  (I laughed hysterically after the line, "Oh shit!  Do you know how diseases are spread?") 

There is a clear difference between passion and close-minded ignorance.  I can't stand the guilt mothers inflict upon one another.

My sisters and I were discussing the absurdity regarding formula feeding vs. breast feeding.  There is so much unnecessary pressure and judgement regarding how you feed your child.  We talked about how we feel the need to announce to people that our children are still receiving breastmilk even when they are bottle fed, as if we will be looked down upon if we were formula feeding.  For as much judgement there is about formula feeding, there is equal criticism and even disapproval for nursing in public.  All of it is ridiculous!  Why should anyone else care how you choose to feed your child?

Certain people smirked and gave condescending remarks about us co-sleeping with Jackson.  We were told it wasn't safe and were also warned that Jackson might never sleep in his bed.  And yet when we transitioned him to the crib, another person remarked that Jackson was way too young to be sleeping in another room.  We can't win!

I don't have any insight or wisdom.  I think most mothers feel a sense of connection and desire to help one another.  I don't know why there is any judgment among mothers. 

I found this prayer online and thought it would be a good prayer for all mothers.

Good and Gentle God, we pray in gratitude for our mothers and for all the women who have joined with you in the wonder of bringing forth new life. You who became human through a woman, grant to all mothers the courage they need to face the uncertain future that life with children always brings.
Give them the strength to live and to be loved in return, not perfectly, but humanly. Give them the faithful support of husband, family and friends as they care for the physical and spiritual growth of their children. Give them joy and delight in their children to sustain them through the trials of motherhood. Most of all, give them the wisdom to turn to you for help when they need it most. Amen.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Time for a completely unrelated photo of the day.  Jackson concentrates SO hard on grabbing things, clasping his hands together, and bringing things towards his mouth.  It's so amazing what all he is learning and absorbing.  I find it absolutely fascinating how much effort a baby must make to do the most simple tasks we take for granted.  How incredible is it that Jesse and I (through the grace of God) actually created this child???  I love watching him learn and grow!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Update on the Trivial Things--Wednesday, June 22

Two months ago I was only concerned about diapers, breastfeeding, and our physical well being.  Now of course, those things are fairly mundane issues of no interest, despite still being critical to newborn care.  Time for a quick upate:
Jesse randomly asked me a few days ago if it still hurt when Jackson latched.  Due to thrush, I had stinging pain up until a few weeks ago.  Now there is nothing eventful about breastfeeding.  Jackson eats and I feed him. 

I make a batch of lactation cookies every week and a half.  (Between toffee and chocolate chips, I definitely prefer chocolate chip.)  I pump daily and also keep two 4-oz bottles of milk in the fridge at any given time.  We gave Jackson a bottle of frozen milk a few nights ago just to make sure there were no issues with the bags leaking or Jackson refusing to drink it.  I took inventory on my frozen stash this afternoon.  To date, I have frozen 155 ounces (31 bags) of milk.

Jackson obtained a nasty rash/allergic reaction when we switched to the BumGenius diapers.  We put the diapers through an extra rinse cycle after each wash to eliminate any lingering detergent, along with an occasional vinegar rinse.  We also used 0.5% hydrocotisone cream.  His diaper area looks SO much better. 

Now that Jackson is sleeping longer stretches we just throw a doubler in his diaper.  Eliminating middle of the night diaper changes means we only have to wash every three days.  The only problem is that our diaper pail cannot fit three days worth of dirty diapers (but the pail liner can).  Jesse found a cheap trashcan at Ikea that can easily hold up to 24 dirty diapers.  It's nice not having to wash diapers every other day, especially since we are using more water with extra rinse cycles.

Eczema/Cradle Cap:
Jackson's skin feels much better, but no where close to the baby soft skin that it should.  We cut baths down to twice a week, use eczema cream, and apply lotion daily.  Thanks to Cradle Cap Lotion, his head looks significantly better.  The downside is that my poor baby is losing all of his hair.  His hair falls out every time we brush it, give him a bath, or simply hold his head. 

Unlike his parents, Jackson isn't grieving his hair loss.  On the contrary, he is quite the happy baby.  He's easily amused and has just recently begun giggling.  Jesse was even able to get Jackson's sweet smiles and giggles on video this morning, which I promptly posted to Facebook.  The kid gets so excited when we talk or sing directly in front of him. 

30 Day Challenge
I'll do a real update next week after the 30 days have expired.  Obviously I failed my self-imposed challenge, but I am okay with it.  Within a week of me working out and eating less, my milk supply had decreased.  I've been working out a few times a week, but not daily.  I took a ridiculously intense Zumba class yesterday where the instructor literally kept us moving the entire hour.  In between songs we did 150 push ups, ab exercises, mountain climbers, etc.  I felt like I was going to pass out.  I want to get in better shape, but I am not mentally devoted to the commitment and discipline that it takes.  At least not yet. 

I think that's all there is to update...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

You Know It's Summer When...Tuesday, June 21

 The clothes only take an hour to dry in the 96 degree heat.

Fresh, sweet watermelon becomes a staple of our diet. 
(Thank you, Aldi, for your cheap prices.)

I crave BLT's and Cheerwine floats.

There's a good chance you can find Jackson and I cat napping at any random moment.

*Poor Jackson has a nasty cough and rough congestion today.  We've had two nights in a row of crying, cluster feeding, and nasal suctioning.  It truly has been the longest day ever! 

It's official, summer has begun.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Photo Fun--Monday, June 20

I don't know what was going on with Jackson last night, but he was awake every hour.  Neither Jesse nor I minded too much since we have no obligations during the day, but I certainly hope tonight is better.  Jackson ate five times and woke up crying in between feedings several times.  We took turns giving him the paci, rocking him, and turning back on his "soothing sounds".  He's been fine today.

Jackson's latest pastime is sucking his bottom lip, blowing spit bubbles, drooling, and sucking on his fist.  He is infatuated with his mouth.

Jackson is also making a wider range of sounds lately.  He's always been vocal, but I swear he is trying really hard to tell us something now.  He just yells and smiles at us constantly.  His arms and feet flail about with excitement as if he is about to fly away and he gets louder and louder while smiling.  I am just waiting for him to erupt into laughter. 

I am very particular about framing and hanging photographs.  I prefer landscape pictures over portraits.  There are way too many people in my family to display so I would hate to have a large photo of some kids, but not others.  For that reason we've only had one large photo hanging of Jesse and I from our wedding day.  I finally decided it's time to enlarge and hang pictures of Jackson.  We picked our two favorite photos from our 2 month photo session.  I bought matching frames (14 x 18) and printed the photographs (8 x 10); then Jesse hung the frames above our couch.

Jackson still has my dad's eyes.  Initially, we were convinced his eyes were going to change color because a third of his right eye quickly turned brown.  Now two months later, his eyes remain two different colors.  I hope they stay like that simply because it is a unique connection to my father.    

After an entire year, I finally figured out how to post pictures on BabyCenter posts.  Since I have taken multiple pictures from every day of my child's life, I searched every photo thread on my birth board and posted pictures of Jackson.  I got a little carried away posting pictures of "LO [little one] w/ pets", "LO w/ Dad", "Bath Time", "Let's see those smiles", etc. 

Along with celebrations, my mother was also obsessed with capturing the little moments.  Our hallways were lined with pictures and our shelves were overflowing with filled photo albums.  Growing up, I loved looking through the photo albums and seeing how my siblings and I had changed.  I am delighted that Jackson will be able to do the same! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day--Sunday, June 19

I've been looking forward to giving Jesse his Father's Day gift ever since I completed it a week ago.  I wanted to blog about it so badly but that would ruin the surprise since Jesse reads the blog daily.  I stole the idea from my sister.  I bought the letters and frame, took dozens of pictures, and put everything together on the last day of school. 

Jesse's breakfast request was scrambled eggs and biscuits with sausage gravy.  I woke up early enough to feed and change Jackson first, then cook breakfast while Jesse showered.  After breakfast, Jesse opened his gift.

I was really surprised how much Jesse liked it.  Though he probably doesn't love me writing this, he definitely cried and hugged me for quite some time after opening it.  I don't think either one of us could have ever expected just how much we love Jackson and enjoy being a parent.

While I will forever be a Daddy's girl and it saddens me to know that Jackson is missing out on knowing an amazing man, I really wanted today to be about Jesse.  I was able to reflect a lot on my own father yesterday, so I think I was able to focus on Jesse today.  I am so proud of how hands on and loving Jesse is with Jackson; of course, I never expected anything less.  It's hard to believe it's only been ten weeks since bringing Jackson home.  It gives me great joy to watch the two of them interact.  I know I've said it before, but it really does make me love Jesse even more. 

I'm so happy to celebrate many, many more Father's Days with my two favorite boys. 

Harwood Men--Saturday, June 18

The morning began with Jesse and I tiptoeing around in the nursery trying to avoid waking our out of town guests.  Once all were awake, Jesse and I fixed a mountain of pancakes and bacon and we reminisced about college experiences with our friends over breakfast.  My old roommate is one of those few friends that I can go a long time without seeing and instantly pick up exactly where we left off.  Our company left just before noon.

It was such a late night last night for Jesse, Jackson, and I; we were all ready to crash.  The three of us took a much needed nap this afternoon before driving to Jason and Chrissy's for a Father's Day dinner.  I've been wanting to get a picture of all the Harwood boys for over a month, and I finally gathered them all on the front porch this evening.  I felt so much like my mother making everyone pose and taking numerous pictures as the cousins squirmed and fussed.  This was the best photo of the bunch:

Since I did not (and will not) change my last name after getting married, I debated over what to call Jackson.  We went back and forth between hyphenating, having two middle names, or just going by one of our last names.  Honestly, I was hesitant even after writing Jackson Lee Harwood for the birth certificate.  I think I am finally happy with his name and am really proud for Jackson to carry on the Harwood name and be part of the family.

Today would have been Mom's 62nd birthday.  Tomorrow is Father's Day.  I am missing my parents something awful.  Not the resentful, melodramatic sobfest that took place on Mother's Day.  More like a bittersweet, contemplative kind of feeling.  Jesse's mom was holding Jackson tonight and his dad was kneeling on the floor singing to Jackson.  It was the sweetest thing ever and I got teary eyed thinking of my father singing remixes of Hank Williams songs.  I love watching my father-in-law interact with Jackson.  That's one of the main reasons I want Jesse to teach next year so Jackson will be able to spend each day with his grandfather.  I never knew my grandfathers and obviously Jackson only has one living grandfather so I really want Jackson to be close with his PaPa!

Here it is after midnight and I am once again wide awake.  I've got to stop taking naps and start going to bed early.  Just when I fall asleep Jackson is going to be ready for his middle of the night feeding.  I think I'm too anxious thinking of how to make Jesse's first Father's Day perfect.  At this rate, I don't know that I'm even going to be able to get up to fix him breakfast.  Time for bed!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lots of Visits--Friday, June 17

It was a busy day.  I apologize in advance for the blurry photos!  Here is a recap of the highlights:

Lunch with MawMaw
We drove to pick up Jesse's grandmother.  It's very important to me that Jackson knows his grandparents and great grandparents.  We ate a seafood lunch at the Mayflower and ran a few errands.  I've been getting a lot of grief from various loved ones (especially MawMaw) about not letting Jackson cry and that I'm spoiling him.  Now I don't know a lot about raising a child, but I do what feels right.  I'm not going to listen to my hungry two month old cry for 30 minutes in the car and refuse to feed him, nor am I going to let my tired, fussing child continue to cry without picking him up and swaying/shushing him.  If that makes him "rotten" and spoiled, so be it.   

Visit with Baby Connor
Jesse found a set of SwaddleMe on clearance for $4 at Wal Mart!  Jackson loved these and it was too cheap not to purchase for Connor.  Since MawMaw's house is less than 5 minutes from Elizabeth's, we made a very short, impromptu visit.  I vividly recall one of the first persons I told about my pregnancy telling me, "Welcome to motherhood.  You'll gain the respect of every mother you know."  It is totally true!  While every mother-child relationship is different, I really do feel a deeper connection to other mothers.  It excites me to hold a newborn and to hear about a new mother's experiences.  (I totally realize I am a new mother, by the way!)  I love the bond and sense of understanding that only a mother could have with another mother.

Christina's Birthday Party
My family is obsessed with birthday celebrations.  After feeding and changing Jackson, we drove to Gastonia to celebrate my oldest sister's birthday.  The three youngest babies of the family hung out on the floor.  Megan, aka Thunder Thighs, cracked me up as she is already exhibiting nurturing qualities trying to calm a crying Jude and upset Jackson.  It is virtually impossible to get a decent picture of these squirming babies, but I think you can get a sneak peak of their personalities.

Christina has taken on the role of mother to everyone in the family.  It is rare to see her without a child on her lap or in her arms.  She is always on the go, selflessly taking care of her family first.  Happy Birthday!


College Roommate Spending the Night
My college roommate and her fiance live towards the coast.  They were in town for a concert and wanted to stay the night with us.  They didn't arrive at our house until after the concert, which was after midnight.  It felt great to instantly reconnect, but I was beyond exhausted and unable to carry on a conversation past 1 a.m.  The guest room is adjacent to the nursery so I was hoping and praying Jackson didn't wake them during the night.  His schedule was way off since he's normally asleep by 9 p.m. but it was close to 11 pm. before we even got home from Christina's.  Despite lots of crying, our guests are heavy sleepers and swear they didn't hear a sound.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Family Play Date--Thursday, June 16

Today is my oldest sister, Christina's birthday.  It has always been tradition to call and be the first person to say "Happy Birthday" at midnight.  I had to set my alarm last night since I knew I would be totally passed out.  I'm so accustomed to waking up to a smiling baby; I dread waking up to an alarm every morning come August. 

Another birthday tradition is for the three sisters to eat lunch together.  I picked up the requested orders at Shrimp Boat and headed over to Katie's house.  We enjoyed lunch, brownies, and playing with all our nieces and nephews.  Jackson and Jude entertained one another.  They were seriously too cute talking to one another and holding hands.

Once home I fed and changed Jackson again and waited for Jesse to return from his dentist appointment.  I cooked dinner while Jesse finished drying and stuffing the diapers.  We've been rinsing the diapers again after the wash cycle to strip any lingering detergent from the diapers.  I also applied the 0.5% hydrocortisone cream to see if it helps his diaper reaction.  After dinner we gave Jackson a bath and doused him in lotion.  He kept making a fist and staring at us.  He looked just like a little boxer in his robe.

I still need to nurse Jackson once more, bake and decorate a cake, and tidy the downstairs before heading to bed.  We have a busy day tomorrow with more birthday festivities and out-of-town company visiting.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sleepy Time Problems and Solutions--Wednesday, June 15

There are a few unforeseen problems preventing Jackson from falling asleep easily and sleeping peacefully at night.  Here are the problems and our attempts at solving them.

Problem: Losing Pacifier
Jackson was a bit lazy sucking on his paci.  He loves sucking, but he lets go all the time and then gets mad.  Then I get frustrated giving it to him again.  I never wanted him to be hooked on the pacifier, but the sucking reflex helps soothe him during nighttime fussing and bedtime.  He is much lazier when he is tired and needs the sucking action the most.

Attempted Solution: Reverse Psychology
I read in The Happiest Baby in the Block that you should train your infant by gently tugging on the pacifier as soon as he begins to suck it.  As he resists your tugs, he is learning to keep a stronger grip.  It's become a bit of a game.  We've done this so many times that Jackson can now smile, cry, talk, and sneeze while keeping the pacifier in his mouth.  (We plan to discontinue paci use after four months once he is able to self soothe.)

Problem: Uncontrollable Arms
For the past two weeks Jackson has unravelled his arms from the SwaddleMe.  We tried putting him to bed in the crib without swaddling him, but he still lacks arm control and continues to scratch his face and smack himself.  It's almost impossible to nurse in the middle of the night without him swaddled because he flings his fists at me and himself. 

Attempted Solution: Miracle Blanket
Unlike SwaddleMe, the Miracle Blanket has a double wrap for the arms, making it seemingly impossible to wiggle out of.  It offers all the other comforting features such as gentle pressure on the stomach and securing his limbs close to his body, just like he was in utero. 

Problem: Trapped Merman Legs
Jackson gets his legs stuck through the crib slats almost nightly.  He awakes absolutely screaming.  I feel so bad for him because I can only imagine how panicked he feels. 

Attempted Solution: Breathable Crib Bumper
I exchanged over $30 worth of unopened Medela breastmilk storage bags for the Breathable Baby crib bumper at Babies'R'Us this afternoon. The bumper is made of mesh material, preventing suffocation but providing a safe boundary for Jackson's wiggling limbs. 

We have purchased, installed, and practiced each of these solutions today.  I'm curious to see if it enhances Jackson's sleeping experiences.  I'm not concerned about Jesse and I sleeping; I just hate to think that Jackson isn't comforted and safe in his crib at night.  Good night, Jackson!