Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jacob at 2 months

Its amazing how fast time goes after a baby is born and how quickly newborns change! As of June 25th my brand new baby turned 2 months old. He's starting to get so fun....he's cooing, smiling, and just getting cuter and more handsome. I fall in love with him more every day! I am so excited for all the phases that are to come!

Jacob had his 2-month well check on the exact day he turned 2 months, and the word the doctor kept using over and over as he examined him was "outstanding." As the doctor said how pleased he was with Jacob's development and growth, I just couldn't help feeling so incredibly grateful for my two healthy children...I've come to realize it really is a great, great blessing to have a healthy child, and I don't take it for granted.

Jacob continues to be a big boy, just like his big brother has always been...at his checkup Jacob's weight was in the 87th percentile and his height was in the 97th percentile. I love that my boys are tall for their age! I keep imagining them both when they're in their late teens or early 20s, as these two 6 ft 3 (or something), handsome men. I keep imagining how all the girls will talk about how gorgeous Tom and Jake Laidlaw are! I definitely sound like a gloating mom, but I can't help it! I'm sure all other mothers imagine the same kind of things sometimes. =)

I adore all the sweet little sounds Jacob has begun to make...my favorite is what I call the "Goo" sound, which he does ever-so-softly, and this gurgly little "Gggggg" sound that Thomas loves too, and always tries to imitate. I also love the sweet little smiles Jacob gives us. When he was younger we used to think he was kind of smiling at us sometimes and of course he would smile in his sleep sometimes, but now they are starting to feel more and more like real smiles. I can't wait for all the cute smiling and giggling that is to come and to watch his personality really blossom over the course of his first year. Even though I've always wanted multiple children anyway, I know now one of the big reasons why people have more than 1 child...it is so fun and wonderful to watch a child grow and develop and discover in the first few years! I look at Thomas, my big 'n' tall kid, and its amazing to remember that he was once a tiny 2-month-old baby just like Jacob!

Ryan is 30!!!

This is quite late now, but on June 14th my hubby turned the big 3-0!!! It is so surreal to me that so much time has passed since Ryan was the 22-year-old guy that swept me off my feet! Though I still have 3 more years til I turn 30, I already feel very much like Ryan and I are starting that phase of life, the era of "We're in our 30s." Its a strange feeling to me!

Ryan's actual birthday fell on Sunday this year, so we went out on a date together Friday night to celebrate (Saturday all our babysitters were busy). My mom babysat Thomas and Jacob, and it was glorious to have a kid-free evening! (It was the first time we've gotten a babysitter for both kids, and the first time we've had anyone babysit Jacob. Thankfully he did great!) We went out to dinner at Red Lobster, which is a particular birthday gesture to Ryan from me...we almost always go out to seafood on his birthday each year because I am not the biggest seafood fan and its the only time I am willing to go without trying to talk him out of it! We went absolutely all out...we had a snow crab appetizer, and Ryan got a big ole platter that had lobster and several other entrees. Though the only seafood I generally like is Halibut, I tried Tilapia and I did actually like it!

One funny story from dinner were our drinks. We love to get specialty drinks, but of course only non-alcoholic. Our waitress told us that if we ordered a specialty drink without the alcohol, we could get double the size for just 75 cents more (since of course, drinks are cheaper without the alcohol). She kind of talked us into it so we decided to go ahead and do it, and MAN were those things huge! We felt like we were drinking out of a small fish bowl! Ryan had a big ole Bahama Mama and I had a Strawberry Daquiri (mmmmm). On top of that, Ryan also got an IBC root beer in the bottle. So, here we are, with these two giant, alcoholic-appearing specialty drinks and Ryan also has what looks very much like a beer bottle! We kept wondering if people were watching us, because we were pretty giddy and laughing all through dinner, and our big ole drinks probably made it look like we were just partying it up!

After dinner we went and saw "Wolverine," which we both liked pretty well. We love comic-book/super-hero movies! Going to the movies anymore is a huge treat for us...we used to go pretty much once a week before we had kids, and I don't know about Ryan, but I go through serious movie-theater withdrawals, especially because we would commonly go see movies right after they came out. Now we're lucky to find time to watch the movies we get through Netflix!

As for a birthday present, I really wanted to give Ryan something big this year, but he's seriously difficult to get gifts for...he pretty much will get for himself whatever he needs or wants! But he came up with an idea of his own...some time back he came up with the idea of going on a snorkeling trip with his Dad and brothers, because they all really love snorkeling. So Ryan got serious about the idea as his birthday approached, and they all started talking about going and trying to make it happen. They actually worked out the dates between all of them and went on a 5-day trip to Cozumel, Mexico! It was Ryan, his dad, his brothers Nate and Eric, and our brother-in-law Jon. They all had an awesome time, of course! They did lots of snorkeling where they took lots of amazing underwater photos and also toured some of the ruins, and also did lots of eating. Ryan keeps saying how amazing the food they had was, especially because they ate at a lot of places that were more local dives than tourist-y restaurants. It was particularly easy and comfortable for them to navigate in Mexico because 3 of the 5 of them speak Spanish...Ryan served his mission in El Salvador, Nate served in the Dominican Republican, and Ryan's dad served in New York City, Spanish speaking.

I can't say I wasn't (very) jealous that Ryan got to go on this awesome (kid-free) vacation, (I'm not a saint!) but I'm really glad he got to do something momentous for his 30-th birthday...I'm big on celebrating and recognizing birthdays, and especially milestone ones. But now me and all my sisters-in-law that were also left at home are thinking we definitely deserve an all-girls, kid-free vacation!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sweet Newborn Jacob

On Friday, May 8th I took Jacob to get newborn photos taken while my mom babysat Thomas. Jacob was one day shy of 2 weeks old at the time. I've been waiting impatiently to get the CD with all the photos back, and I finally got it a few days ago! The pictures turned out gorgeous...I am so excited to have these beautiful images of my little newborn Jacob to treasure forever! Sorry for the long procession of photos following...I tried to narrow it down, but there are so many I love, and then on top of that its really hard to decide whether I like the color or B&W version best!

I really thought I wouldn't like the photos with me in them, but I was pleasantly surprised! I'm sure she must have photo-shopped my face like crazy (for which I'm grateful!)...I know my skin doesn't look that good in real life, and I look 5 years younger!

With Thomas, I never got any pictures taken of him when he was a newborn, and I have always and forever regretted it. I think the reason I didn't was because I felt nervous and guilty taking a brand-new little baby out in public and exposing him to everything so soon just to get pictures taken. I actually felt a lot the same this time around too...I wasn't feeling ready to brave the mall and take Jacob to Kiddie Kandids or JCPenney or somewhere like that. But a friend from my ward referred me to an awesome photographer who worked out of her home, Skye Johansen. She lives relatively close to me and has a cool studio in her basement, and she only does maternity, newborn and child photography. I get super stressed about getting professional photos taken, but Skye was so awesome and completely put me at ease. I also really lucked out that I was even able to get a session with her...I had put off planning the pictures and when when I finally realized I better get around to setting something up or it would be too late, I emailed Skye to see if she had any openings or if she could squeeze me in soon somehow. She emailed back and told me someone had just cancelled a session for a couple days later, so I totally lucked out! I had been so worried that the stress of figuring out and setting up pictures would keep me from getting them done at all, and that I would, again, be sad and regretful about it. I'm so glad it worked out and that wasn't the case!

It was so nice to just go to someone's home where it was nice and quiet for these photos. Skye took lots of time with us, over two hours! I could stop and feed Jacob when I needed to, and she was so great and obviously experienced at working with a little tiny newborn...because its the majority of what she does! She was fabulous. If you are interested check out the link to her blog on my "Favorite Sites" list.

P.S. When Ryan and I went to Hawaii with his family in January (which I never finished my blog post for, I feel so bad...I still plan to, it just got really, really long before I was even halfway through, and I have about 500 photos to decide from!) we had professional family pictures taken of Ryan and Thomas and I. I felt a little silly getting family photos taken when I was pregnant and we were going to have a new member of our family in only a few months, but I decided to anyway because we hadn't had any family photos taken for the last two years, and I thought it would be an incredibly cool opportunity to have photos taken in Hawaii! I was also excited to get some maternity shots of me and some photos of Thomas right at 2 1/2. Plus, I won't be getting new family photos of all four of us until the fall, when Jacob is older. (*Sigh* my poor husband. He thinks I'm photo-obsessed. And admittedly, I pretty much am. But aren't most moms?) So, we got to see all the photo proofs quite some time ago and I LOVE them, but I'm such a dork and have never gotten around to paying for the CD so the photographer can send it to me. I'm doing it this week. But she did post one of the photos of Thomas on her blog as a little preview for us, and I positively LOVE it. So I thought I would just throw it in the mix and add it to this post. I have such beautiful boys!

Even though I will be getting around to it ridiculously late, I can't wait to post the rest of our Hawaii family photos when I get the CD!

6 Weeks Old!

I actually started this as a "One Month Old" update, but never really got around to finishing it! That is the way my life seems to go lately...its been very hard to find time to write, and especially to finish writing! And it really doesn't help that I am so long-winded! So I just decided to add on to what I had.

I can't believe how fast these weeks have gone! Jacob is exactly 6 weeks old today! I know every mother says it constantly, but really, where does the time go? Before I know it, it will be Jacob's 1st birthday~ I'm already telling myself to grasp on to the days and weeks because I know they will disappear in a flash! I will be so sad when all Jacob's sweet little newborn mannerisms fade away...all the cute sounds he makes, the way he cries, I even think the "startle reflex" is cute! But, at least I can look forward to all the new milestones that are to come, like the cooing and babbling and smiling and laughing! (Though we do get some smiles out of Jacob every so often already...I have yet to really catch one on camera, but its soooooooo cute!)

I can really see how much Jacob is changing from week to week, and even day to day...usually parents have a harder time noticing the growth of their kids than other people because they're with their kids constantly, but I really can see how much bigger he is, all the time! He seems huge to me sometimes! For awhile now he's been grown out of all his sweet, tiny little newborn clothes and newborn-size diapers, and though it was very much expected, it makes me sad!

One thing that really impresses me about Jacob is how strong he is! Very early on we noticed he was very good at holding up and supporting his own head and looking around...of course his head is still a tiny bit wobbly and in need of support, but he amazes me with how strong his neck is and how good he can hold up his own noggin! And his legs are SO strong and getting stronger all the time...he works really hard to push off with his legs and when we hold him up so he's "standing," he can bear what seems like almost all of his weight on his legs...we can be barely holding on to him and he's practically supporting all his own weight! So we have ourselves a Little Mr. Strongman! Am I going to have an early crawler/walker? (I sure hope not! I vote for immobility for as long as possible, please!)

I am very pleased and extremely lucky to report that this little guy is still very much in the habit of sleeping longer stretches at night. It really is just complete luck as I haven't done much to put him on a regular schedule or anything yet, and I'm not really following any particular method. I'm pretty much just feeding him on demand for now. And though its not as pronounced as when he was brand new, he really is a little eating machine sometimes! I am usually too groggy to pay attention to the exact times he wakes up to nurse at night (or I don't even bother putting my glasses on and therefore can't read the alarm clock), but there's been a few times where he's slept around 6 hours straight. Woohoo! I really hope Jacob follows in his big brother's footsteps and continues to be a good sleeper!

I'm also so glad to say that Jacob's clogged tear duct in the one eye already cleared up, all on its own, 2 or 3 weeks ago. I felt so bad with how often his eye would just be gunky and nasty, which was pretty much all the time, even though I was constantly cleaning it! I never realized how much work the tear ducts really do to keep our eyes clean!

Though Jacob has a mellow temperament a lot like Tommy did as a baby, Jacob is different than Tommy was as a baby in a few ways. Thomas had a full head of hair at this age, and Jacob's is a little bit more like old man hair! Every time I bathe Jacob it seems more of this hair in the front falls out, making him look a little like he has a receding hairline. And then, he has this long fringe of hair in the back at the nape of his neck, kind of like a little mullet! I think he's so handsome though. =) Jacob isn't incredibly fond of his bouncy chair, whereas Thomas practically lived in his bouncy chair for several months. I also didn't think Jacob liked pacifiers at first, whereas Thomas was a binky baby from day one. Jacob didn't like the Soothies, which is what Thomas always used. So I tried a couple different kinds of binkies and found one kind that Jacob seems to like pretty well. One thing Jacob does seem to like, most of the time, is his swing! I didn't have a swing with Thomas, so I was really excited to get one for Jacob. Most of the time he likes it and will go to sleep in it easily. And he's started watching the little mobile above the swing...its so fun to watch him now that his vision is improving and he is able to see things better. Its especially fun when he watches our faces and studies them. I always wonder, what is he thinking?

Even though he likes his swing pretty well most of the time, I really think Jacob just loves to be held more than anything! He'll go to sleep in my arms easier than anywhere else, and if I keep holding him he'll stay asleep for what seems a loooooong time! In fact, at night when I wake up to nurse him, I often end up just sleeping for hours in the glider while holding him. Its not always on purpose, sometimes I just doze off. Yeah, I'm not exactly getting the most quality sleep these days, since I seriously am sleeping in the glider most of the time! But I think I'm often hesitant to get up and lay Jacob in his bassinet again because he often wakes up when I do. Plus, its just fun to hold and cuddle my sleeping, curled up, cozy little guy!

Jacob is also a great nurser. Nursing has been going well in general, for which I am sooooo grateful. With Thomas I was in serious pain for the first two months, and it was hard to cope with...I remember crying sometimes during those first weeks because it hurt so bad, and wondering if it would always be painful. With Jacob I've had very little discomfort at all! And he's a quick nurser...it seemed like Thomas took forever to nurse when he was a newborn, but Jacob has always seemed fast! But it could also have a lot to do with the fact that I'm experienced this time around. I'm so glad nursing is going well, because I knew that just because it went well with my first baby didn't mean it was going to be the same with my second. So I'm incredibly happy that its not only going just as well as the first time, but better!

One of the sweetest things to see is how affectionate Thomas is with Jacob. Tommy can't hardly pass by Jacob a single time without stopping to give him a kiss on the head! And Tommy loves giving Jacob his binky...of course, like all toddlers, Tommy can be a little over-helpful or over-enthusiastic sometimes! Jacob can be fast asleep and perfectly happy, and Thomas will find his binky and try to shove it in his face! Or Thomas will try to bounce him in his bouncy chair a little too hard, or push his swing too fast, or he goes to give Jacob a hug and kind of smothers him sometimes...but we know his intentions are good. He really does love his little brother! Sometimes I feel bad, because I don't want to discourage Tommy from being affectionate or attentive to Jacob, but we often find ourselves having to say (especially when Jacob is sleeping), "Tommy, just leave him alone!" But he's a great big brother. Thomas does seem to throw worse tantrums than I think he used to and some things are often "the end of the world" to him, as I always say, but he has never shown anything but love and affection toward Jacob. If there is any sibling envy behind his tantrums, I'm much happier that Thomas is taking it out on his parents rather than his little brother! Though I by no means want to wish away any part of Tommy & Jacob's youth, I'm so excited to watch them together as the months and years pass. It will be so fun when Jacob is a little older and I can see them playing and interacting together more, and hopefully becoming best friends!