Friday, August 24, 2007

Sunday Morning Walk

Last week we also went out for a little hike along our property and the adjacent, incredibly accessible but less often used trail. We took advantage of our 'new' Kelty pack (purchased for $20 from the bulletin board at work). Jackson really likes the pack. He looks out over the side and sucks on the edge until the gentle rocking lolls him to sleep. Jason uses it to vacuum with tremendous success. So anyway...(shout out to Ted). We set out cutting back through the woods and saw a little bitty snake. I'm out of practice and didn't have the field guides, so I didn't identify it. Leon, if you see this pic, feel free to set us straight. Anyway, we couldn't help but harass the wildlife a little.

There's a significant elevation difference between our house (on a little berm) and the trail (mostly level). Where the terrain meets, we crossed over to the trail. It was a perfect day, and its really a perfect trail. They just regraveled it this spring and the trees meet overhead, so its shaded. We crossed over to the powerline right of way when we reached it to take advantage of the uphill. There were some ripe blackberries along the trail to enjoy. On the way down, our lazy beagle, Ally, was too tired, and found a little shady spot to rest, so we all took a nice break.

After we returned home, we sat out in the front yard, watched the chickens, and enjoyed the day. Jackson has taken a real interest in the animals. He watches them whenever they come close, so you know, whenever he's with me since the menagerie follows me around. Mabel and Ally tolerate an occasional baby pet. Mabel especially since she's an attention hound. I've discovered that his interest in the animals is a very effective cat repellant. Here's a pic of him reaching for the dog after our hike.

Happy 4 monthday to Jackson!

To celebrate, we started solids. I had a perfectly ripe banana on Sunday, so I mushed it up and thinned it with a bit of milk, then strapped Jackson into the high chair. He was really excited. The first feeding is kinda like the coach who picks a few kids for the freshman team not because of their talent, but because of their enthusiasm. Jackson opened wide and helped hold and guide the spoon into his mouth. He'd close his mouth, and have me convinced that he'd swallowed the banana. He'd even say "Mmmm Mmmm" to let me know just how tasty the banana was. Then he'd open up and laugh as the banana slid off his tongue and ran down his chin to the bib. Despite the setbacks, he was eager to go back for more, and we got most of the banana at least into his mouth even if it didn't stay there. Once the banana was gone from the dish, he picked up his bib to try to eat some off of the cloth. We've repeated the exercise with some whole grain rice cereal and had the same boisterous, joyful, messy experience. Mmmm Mmmm!

Our visit to the pediatrician went very well. No fountains in the office. I guess the 2 sprays we had last time covered us. The doctor said he was meeting his milestones well and was very impressed with how well our little guy stands. (We've been saying this for months!) Jackson weighed in at 18 lbs 8 oz, measured 27 inches in length, and 17.5 inches in head circumference. He's tracking nicely along the 97th percentile curve. Jackson took his vaccinations very well. He cried for about 3 seconds each time, then put on his brave face and calmed right down.

Teething pains have been another recent milestone. No teeth yet, but Jackson has been complaining about it. In the afternoons, he'd rather have a cold bottle of milk than nurse. (This isn't too disruptive to our routine since he gets pumped milk while I'm at work anyway. It was upsetting that this started on a work form home day, and my pump was safely left at work since I'm sick of lugging it around.) They say the suction can irritate his tender mouth. Any missed daytime meals are made up for during the night by every 2 1/2 hours Jack. This unfortunately setback is taking a toll on me. To combat the teething, we have teethers, but since Jack is so young, he's not very coordinated and we have to hold the teether for him. He's still wearing his amber necklace, but its hard to tell if that's helping since he hasn't really gone without it. The best thing we've found is a cold beverage--for us. He likes to suck on the outside of the bottle or glass. I've started keeping a cold can of soda by my side for nursing, it calms him when he starts to fuss, and we can then continue the feeding. I had a glass of water at Helene and Reeds, and I let Jackson suck on the bottom. He worked his way up and I could see the inside of his mouth through the glass. It was bright translucent blue and fascinating for him, but funny for me. I let him have a little sip from it which was fun for him, but deterred me from drinking any more since his little sip was mostly spit back into the cup. We picked up a sippy cup since he's so interested in the beverages, but again, he's not really coordinated enough to handle it yet.


Last week, we had a get together with some of the families we met at child birth classes (Reed, Helene, & Marika and Kurt, Kelly, & Braeden. Link to their blogs at left). I haven't seen them since I went back to work 2 months ago, and Jason hadn't seen them since before our children arrived. It was really nice to be around families who are at the same stage as us, compare notes, and enjoy blabbing about the babes without feeling like we should have something adult to talk about. It was wonderful to see how much the kids have developed in such a short time. Marika showed off her rolling skills. Jackson was thrilled to see kids his size. This is a picture of him with Marika (and their dads) laughing and waving his arms around with excitement. Marika was happy to see him to, but not quite so enthusiastic. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture, but Jackson gave Braeden the same exhuberant greeting.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sitting all by himself!! (However briefly)

Today, I had propped Jackson in the corner of the couch so that I could eat hands free. He'd already had enough of his bumbo and being wheeled around the kitchen in the high chair. So, my boy was propped up, and I was facing him with a leg extended along the couch edge like a rail just in case. His attention became fixated on my mashed potatoes and he started to reach for them. In doing so, he leaned forward so he was sitting ALL BY HIMSELF!! He was leaning forward at a pretty steep angle. I thought he would collapse onto his outstretched legs at any moment, but he didn't. I leaned him back, and he pulled himself forward again.
Such a big sitter! When we were done, I gave him a little bit of mashed potatoes. I figured he'd earned it. Guess he's not ready for Thanksgiving yet. He pushed them right out of his mouth with his tongue. That's OK, I'm not supposed to be feeding him such complex foods yet anyway.
Hurray for Jack!!

Nik & Ben come to visit

This weekend, Nicole and Ben came to visit us. They Coy's had planned to come too, but poor Harrison came down with Shingles, and we didn't want to risk potentially exposing Jackson to chicken pox so early. We'll have to reschedule soon.

We had a great time with Nicole and Ben, mostly spent just chillin' since we didn't want to pack our 18 pounder out in the heat all day. Jason and Ben went out to test Jason's new shotgun off the back deck. (This time, they called the neighbors beforehand.) Jackson wasn't bothered at all by the noise. The dogs however cowered under my legs. Mabel broke the rules and jumped up onto the couch and somehow managed to squeezed in between me and Jackson, who was feeding at the time.

We went out for lunch, coffee, and a visit to the fish store. Sadly, the fish looked sick, so we came home empty handed. We had a barbecue with chicken, corn on the cob, and fresh garden peppers. Yummy! Nik & Ben also introduced me to their fish with olive tapenade recipe (see comments). It was soo delicious!

Jackson was very good the whole time and enjoyed playing with Nicole and with Ben. Hope to see you again soon!

One last note. Nicole met another baby this week. She said how cute that baby was, then thought "Yeah, but she's not Jackson cute."


Jackson isn't much of a roller. He had the one accident feat of strength at 2 weeks when he rolled from front to back. Since then, if he doesn't like the position he's in, he grumbles about it, and kicks, but no rolling. Lately, his peers have been roling and blogging about it. We watched Marika and Braeden's videos several times for technique, but still no rolling.

Jackson has a different game. Often when he's lying on his back, he'll become interested in something to the side. He'll turm slowly to the side to look at his parents, play with his elephant, or chew his burp cloth. Often, he brings his legs along for the ride and then lies on his side for a while chewing or chatting. Occasionally, he lands on his belly. This is great, but its hard to get too excited about. The drama of rocking and lunging just isn't there. It's slow and methodical--the whole process can take 10 minutes or more--but it doesn't seem deliberate.

Sunday, we were playing on his bedroom floor. I ran downstairs to open the door for the dogs, and when I returned, Jackson had moved 2 feet to the right and was lying face down complaining about it. I think this one counts as an intentional roll, but again, there were no witnesses. I turned him back over and encouraged a repeat, but I didn't get one.

The slow roll is adorable, though!

Around Jackson's neck is his new Baltic amber necklace. Apparently, all the Baltic Babes wear amber necklaces to ease their teething woes. They claim the resin releases succinic acid onto the skin which is absorbed and acts as a natural analgesic. The baby at the baby store wears one. The staff all swears that he was a huge drooling and the amber completely stopped it. I don't think Jackson's teething yet, but he is becoming drooley. The necklace also helps to differentiate his neck from his extra chins. If I find it helps when the teething really starts, I will certainly post.

Things Jackson Likes:

Rubbing his face when he's tired, either with his tiny little dimpled fists, or if he's on his belly, back and forth against the bed.

Standing up. Especially if he can try to take little baby steps and a) dig his feet into his parents soft spots or b) curl his toes into his daddy's chest hair and pull.

Having his hands clapped together and shouting, "Yeahhhh". Also having his fists pounded on his chest tarzan style, playing his belly like the tympani, putting his hands against his face and saying "Oh, No" Home Alone style.

All-i-gator kisses. Or his mommy's hair when she kisses him and he's lying on his back.

Watching his crib mobile (why can't it spin for more than 3 minutes?)

Watching the turtles, goldfish, and bubbles.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers, especially accompanied by the media player wavey lines on the computer.

Reading the following: His little softy farm animal books (Thanks Nana), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (numbers or alphabet), The Owl and the Pussy Cat.

Chewing on his burp clothes.

Feeling the fur of his little stuffed elephant and pulling its many limbs when he's falling asleep.

Being packed around EVERYWHERE by his parents.

Playing peek-a-boo, especially with the strings on the "fuzzy" blanket Spring made for him.

Playing with the Pentapuss and the mirror on his Gymini (Thanks Catherine).

Saying "Whoooooooo Whooooooo" and sucking on his bottom lip.

Kicking his feet against his ankles when he lies on his belly. This is almost as good as having something real to push against and travel across the room.

Splashing in the tub.

Having his little toes or fingers counted.

Sleeping snuggled against his parents chests.