Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jack Stats, 2 Months

Weight: 12 pounds, 15 ounces (50th - 75th percentile)
Height: 25 inches (95th - 97th percentile)
Head circumfrence: 42 (centimeters? Can't be inches, right?) (75th - 90th percentile)

My big guy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I'm working on eBay while both boys are napping (!), and I hear Nate wake up and call out for me. I tell him I'll be right there, and while he's waiting he starts talking to himself: "All aboard!" (We're very into choo-choo trains these days. And horsies. And cowboys.)

After 5-10 minutes, I go in to get him. He puts his arm over his eyes which is his signal for not wanting to do whatever's coming his way. I ask if he wants me to leave him alone, and he says yes. I tell him "no problem" and to call me when he wants me, and head back to work.

It's been 15 minutes now. He's counting and singing, and calling out "Choo choo!"

I love it. It's so wonderful that he didn't want me, that he wanted to be alone and do his thing. I'm so proud of him!

Edited to add: 17 minutes later, he's still happily alone. Sometimes I hear "one two three four!" and then a long silence, then a bit of the ABC song...right now he's saying "Hockey! Hockey? Hockey!" and "My Grandma! My Mommy!"

Monday, January 21, 2008

Milestone Moment!

Right this very second, Nate is sleeping in his big-boy bed for the first time. And I've checked twice - he really is sleeping! We practiced this morning, and Daddy got in on the fun.

Should I be excited about this? Seems like trouble on the way. I was happy having him in the crib, safely contained. I guess as long as I'm up 5 times a night with Jack, I can add in a visit or two to deal with Nate. Why sleep? It just makes me rested and, seriously, who needs that?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jack's Monthly Newsletter, Month Two

Dear Jack,

I am so tired. So, so, so, so tired. You are a gorgeous, happy, healthy, huge, sweet baby boy who is a very, very bad sleeper. Very bad. But you're cute, so we keep getting along. For now.

You are a smiley, smiley boy. When you smile, you do it with your mouth open wide and your eyes squinched shut with joy. I laugh out loud every single time you grin at me like that. You love to lay on your playmat and smile at the animals, at the wall, at the ceiling fan, and at things we just can't see. Those things make you happy, and that's good enough for me.

In fact, you like to lay on your back more than any baby I've ever known. Sometimes when you're fussy, I'll just lay you on your changing table and your mood almost always brightens. You just lay there, kick your legs, and survey the surroundings. You rarely cry when I change your diapers or your clothes, which is also very unusual. Your brother used to scream like we were branding him.

When we're having a little bonding time and smiling at each other, you talk to me in sweet sincere coos and gahs and oohs. I could listen to you croon all day.

Another thing you do that Nate never did is to take a pacifier and a bottle. I cannot thank you enough for being amenable to both. When we're grocery shopping and you start getting bored, I can pop in the paci and you'll happily suck away while I finish up. I can't imagine how we got by without it with your brother.

And since your brother didn't take a bottle until he was 9 months old, I was determined that you would. You got a bottle the very day you were born, filled with the evil formula, and you've had one almost every day since. As long as it's warm, you're happy to drink whatever milky nipple is shoved into your mouth. Bless you.

When I nurse you, or you lay on my lap, you're usually holding one of my fingers tightly in each hand, pulled tight to your chest. When I walk around with you, you grab hold of my hair or my shirt. The reason I'm balding isn't just lack of sleep, it's the sheer quantity of my hair that you've pulled out. I wanted a cuddly baby this time, and I would guess from all of the clinging that you're going to fit the bill.

In addition to the fact that you don't much like to sleep, you also have a very sensitive tummy. Mama's had to give up most of her favorite foods like beans, tofu, broccoli, and diet soda. The soda's been the hardest, but taking it out of my diet seems to have done you the most good. I'm so glad you're feeling better, but the diet restrictions have only reinforced my plan to wean you at six months. Enjoy the boobs while they last, son.

Most of your birth hair has fallen out, except a bottom fringe around the back of your head. Your new hair is growing in soft and dark, and your eyes are hazel just like your Daddy (and my Daddy, too). Everyone thinks that you are a very big boy (we'll find out how you're doing next week at your 2 month checkup).

You're definitely growing up. You smile a lot, and interact with people instead of staring past them. You have a soft little in-between cry now instead of just the silence or the screaming that you did when you were first born. I think of it as your Early Warning System. When I put you in your carseat for a walk, or a trip to the store, you stay awake for 10-15 minutes now, looking around at the new sights.

Your brother absolutely adores you, Jack, and you're so lucky to have him. Whenever I come into the room holding you, he squeals "Baby Jack!" and comes to see you. He holds your hand and smiles at you. He tries to shove your pacifier in whenever it falls out. He tells you "Don't cry, baby Jack." He loves you.

I love you too.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sleep update

Things are much better on the sleep front. Jack actually has a "bedtime" now, 8:30 like his brother. It took much work for me to move it from the 10 pm that he was favoring, and it gives me a blessed couple of hours to myself in the evenings.

Last night, he went 3 hours, 3 hours, 2 hours, 2 hours, 2 hours. This may sound painful, and trust me it is, but it's a lot less painful than a few weeks ago! He gets up, nurses, and goes right back to sleep. That in itself is amazing. Even the 2 hour stretches are a huge step forward from last week.

Just knowing that there's going to be some regularity to the evening and nighttime is wonderful. It's so comforting and hopeful.

Keep on improving, kiddo! And here's some cuteness so you'll know why I keep on doing this!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fight the power

So it turns out that Jack does like sleeping, he just doesn't like sleeping in the ways you think he should like sleeping. You can spout your propaganda that most babies like to sleep in their carseats, and you should like it, too, but he's all "I'm my own man and I'll do things my own way and The Man can't tell me what to do or how to be, dig? If I wanna sleep on my Boppy with my head danging off the back until it appears that it will fall off and I will die, it's my right as a human being. And you can try to put me down but I'll fight back and stand up for my people." And then he started singing a little spiritual, but dozed back off again.

Power to the very small people, man.

Milestone Moment!

Jack rolled over, front to back, today!

He also slept for 5 hours last night, midnight to 5. Of course, this was after being up seven times in 2 hours, but still! Five hours!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Nate's Monthly Newsletter, Two Years Four Months

Dear Nate,

The fun continues with you, much to our amazement and delight. You are truly letting down your fellow two year olds; your reputation as tyrants is about to be severely damaged. I truly can't believe how well, and often, you listen to me without argument. You are an incredibly obedient child for someone so lively and sassy. Best of both worlds.

This past month has been all about Mama. You've handled it beautifully but it's clear to us that you're missing me a bit; you've been mostly with Daddy while I've been mostly with Jack. You're not throwing tantrums or hating Jack or anything we were warned about; it's more subtle - you want Mama to bring you your milk, or take you out of your crib, or put your shoes on. Whenever you ask for me, I try my hardest to be there for you.

Our friends Stacy and Matt were having a housewarming party last week, and I planned to go and take Jack with me. But I gave it some thought and decided to leave Jack home with Daddy and take you with me instead. We had a wonderful time, and it was nice to have some time with just us. I wish you knew that it was special time between us, so that you'd know how much I love you and how much I like to be with you. That'll come with time, I guess. As always, you were delightful and well-behaved at the party.

You like to copy everything I do these days; how I drink from my cup or eat my food. I've gotta watch myself closely to make sure I don't teach you something I don't want to! If I'm eating something, you want to eat it too. It's gotten to the point where I actually wait to have lunch while you're asleep; it's less complicated than negotiating with you about what you're allowed to eat and what you're not.

Your language is unfolding day by day. You repeat every new word we teach you, and ask me all the time: Who 'dat, Mama? What 'dat, Mama? You end almost every question or statement with "Mama" - more milk, Mama? Eating cereal, Mama? You're so earnest and interested in everything!

You're really understanding language now. Yesterday you were helping me prepare a dish for a party we were going to - you were sprinkling on the cheese and tomatoes (one sliver of cheese, and one diced tomato, at a time. A lesson in patience for Mama). Daddy came into the kitchen and you said "I helping!" I had definitely not used the word help or helping - you understood what you were doing, and what it meant. You use all sorts of fun phrases like "No way, okay?" and "Wait!"

Daddy plays a game with you where you push on his nose and he pretends to fall asleep; you push it again and he wakes up. You were in bed with us a few days ago playing the game with Daddy and then you reached over and played it with me for a while. You stopped and then pushed your own nose, paused for a minute, and when you didn't fall asleep you said "It broken!"

Your imagination is expanding, too. You were eating oranges the other day, and you stacked halves on top of each other and exclaimed "Snowman!" You love to run around the house being a scary monster or dinosaur, and roaring away. Being a rocketship looks a lot like being a scary monster, but it says "Whooosh" instead of "roar"! Today you were running around being a horse, and then a cow. Of course, Mama had to run and be a cow with you. She was happy to.

You're still wonderful with Jack, and you've made it all so much easier for us. You like to bring him his pacifier, and to share your bumper with him. You come get us when he's crying, and get excited to see him each morning. You give him hugs all the time, and lay down with him if he's on the floor. You're the best boy, Nate.

I love you like crazy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Stats, for posterity

At Jack's one month appointment (he was 5 weeks, 3 days old):

Weight: 11 pounds, 4 ounces (up from 8 pounds, 12 ounces at his 2-week check)
Height: 22 inches

He's 75-90th percentile for weight, 75-90th percentile for height, and 25-50th percentile for head circumference.

Which seems odd. His head is very large and round. Very Winston Churchill.