Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Life with Baby these Days

Hello again from Jack! Just looking at this picture brightens my day, because I absolutely love how much Jack smiles these days. He is so much more interactive and such a happy baby (most of the time). I'm just waiting patiently for the day he finally blurts out that first laugh. For now, I spend a lot of the day getting him to smile that gummy smile.

I love that I have been given the amazing opportunity to stay home with Jack, because I couldn't imagine missing out on every moment. I was supposed to go back to work a week and a half ago, and I think it would have been harder than I ever thought to say bye to Jack each day. I definitely see myself going back to work in the future, but for the time being I am savoring this little guy's face.

I go a little stir crazy in the apartment every day by myself since Jonathan is out in California at work. I vowed to myself that I will get out at least once a day. Since walking outside really isn't an option here in Colorado during the winter, Jack and I have gone mall walking a few times. My friend Emily and her baby, Louise, join in on the fun. The mall is great, because they have nursing rooms, so you don't have to rush home to do feedings. Jack loves sleeping during our walks while waking occasionally to people watch and look at all the lights at the mall.

I have also been trying to start using the moby wrap. It is one of the more confusing carriers, but once Jack is in it, it is wonderful. I went over to a maternity store to have the owner show me how to use it, and Jack passed out the second he was resting against my chest. I went home and tried to do it myself the next day and could not seem to get it down, so I'm going to have to stop by the store again for another review. I thought I did it right until Jack came out the bottom of the wrap :).

Jack and I have also had the opportunity to hang out with two other moms and babies we know, Emily and Courtney. Emily and Courtney came over to our apartment one day. Their baby girls are 6 weeks and 3 weeks old, so a little bit younger than Jack. Jack was playing on his play mat, and the girls wanted to join in. Our little guy is already a ladies' man!

Another milestone that we have reached is that Jack started sleeping in his crib over the weekend. His first night in the crib was Saturday (1/22/11). I felt a lot better about moving him from the pack 'n play into his own bedroom by purchasing the Angelcare Movement Sensor. If you know me at all, you know that I am a worry-wart. You put this sensor under his mattress, and it sets off an alarm if the baby does not move/breathe for 20 seconds. There are two monitors that we put in the bedroom and the living room. The sensor shows you the baby's heart beat, the temperature of the nursery, and you can listen to the baby. The alert goes off if the baby stops moving/breathing as well as if the temperature in the nursery goes outside the limits you set. The alarm went off two nights ago, because the temperature in our apartment got too low. Overall, it helps me sleep better knowing that I would be alerted if something happened. Here's Jack in his crib after his first night alone. He was in good spirits and didn't look scarred by being alone :). I layed him down long ways, but he scoots around by pushing his feet against the mattress. He's never in the same position I left him in!

Jack and I were very excited that Jonathan got the chance to come home this past weekend from Friday afternoon until early Monday morning. It was going to be an entire month without seeing him, so it was great to have him come home and split up his time. Here's dad and son relaxing together on the couch:

Sadly, Monday morning arrived, and it was time for Jonathan to head back to California to start his hitch on the rig. We woke up early to drive him to the airport. This picture is us getting ready to head out the door. The lighting is really weird from being so dark in the apartment, but I still like the picture.

Jonathan and I are waiting to hear back about rental condos we put offers on so that we can schedule the movers. Jonathan gets off work February 8th, and he will head back home so we can get ready for the big move to California. We will be moving to Irvine, CA in Orange County. The weather out there is great right now, so I'm excited about getting to take walks every day with Jack and Izzy. It's really sad to leave Colorado, but it seems like Irvine will be a great place for our family, at least at this point in our lives. The best part is to be in the same state as where Jonathan works so that we might have a chance to see him during his 2 weeks at work. Plus, he can make it home quickly after his hitch is over.

Friday, January 14, 2011

2 Month Update

As of today Jackson is 2 months old. It feels like just yesterday we were at the hospital, but it's amazing how much he has developed. I brought Jack in for his 2 month Well-Child Check-up today. His last check-up was at 2 weeks and 2 days old, so it's fun to see how much he's grown over the past 6 weeks.

2 week check-up (11/30/10):
Weight: 8 lbs. 3 oz.
Height: 20 3/4 inches
Head Circumference: 14 1/2 inches
Blood Pressure: 88

2 month check-up:
Weight: 10 lbs. 14 oz.
Height: 22 3/4 inches
Head Circumference: 15 1/2 inches
Blood Pressure: 92

I can't believe he has gotten 2 inches longer in 6 weeks. I knew his onesies were getting shorter :). While he was getting the majority of his check-up done he was smiling, "talking," and trying to grab at the strings on my sweatshirt. The poor little guy was clueless about what was going to happen.

When the girl walked in to do his immunizations, he was super happy and smiling at her. That made it harder since you hate to ruin a babies good mood. I told her I might cry since I used to cry when I brought Izzy to the vet for shots...haha. I started to get a little teary eyed, but I held it together :). The girl did it so fast. She did one in the the right leg, then 2 in the left, and it was over in about 10 seconds. When he got the first one, his face didn't change. I think it was shocking and took a second to process, because by the second one he started crying. By the third one, he was bright red and screaming. He turned his head to look at me as he started to scream and held his arms up in the air like he was telling me "please come get me"...heartbreaking. Happily, it's over for another 2 months.

Everything looked great physically and developmentally, which makes me happy since we haven't been supplementing any formula. Once we left the appointment, we went to the grocery store to get some infant Tylenol just in case it's necessary. Right now as I'm typing this he is passed out next to me, so hopefully there will be no fever or fussiness.

Here's a picture of Jack once we got home and one of his Charlie Brown band-aids. I forgot how cute kid's band-aids are.

In other Nichols family news, I mentioned in the previous blog that we are moving to California. Jonathan left on Monday of this week for California to start work in Long Beach. He started off training in Bakersfield, and he is now in Long Beach. He's going to be out there until February 8th, so it's kind of sad that we won't all be together for a month. While out there, he is going to take some time from work to look for a place for us to live when we move out there. We are probably going to end up moving out there sometime between February 9-15 depending on the moving company. In the mean time, my mom will be coming out to visit for 5 days to keep me and Jack company and give me a little bit of help. By help, I'm really just looking forward to getting some stuff done around the apartment while my mom holds Jack for me for a little while. Right now, it's hard to get much done since Jack clings onto me. I love snuggling him, but it's hard to check things off your to do list. I have to say though, I am really loving getting the opportunity to stay at home with Jack!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Engagement Anniversary

I was looking at the calendar yesterday, and I realized that today (January 5) is the two year anniversary of when Jonathan and I got engaged. It's such a fun story, and I love looking back at pictures from that time. It's extra amazing how much has happened in our lives since that time. Jonathan and I met in September 2007 at the Denver airport. I was arriving in Denver from Memphis on vacation, and he was coming back to Colorado after visiting his parents in South Carolina. Ironically, his parents lived in Clemson, SC at the time where I went to college. I had noticed him at the Memphis airport, but we didn't sit next to each other on the plane. When we arrived in Denver, Jonathan approached me on the walk to the baggage claim. There was some confusion of where to go, and he helped point me in the right direction. We started a conversation and ended up having lunch together. Jonathan and his brother dropped me off at the hotel where I was meeting my parents. My parents couldn't believe that I got in the car with someone that I didn't even know. Anyway, we traded information and went our separate ways. About two weeks later he emailed me, and I ignored the email. About five months later I was cleaning out my phone and decided I should email him back...what the heck. Well, he didn't email me back for another four months. Once he emailed me, we communicated back and forth by email for two weeks before our first phone conversation (June 2008). Long story short, we visited each other every month, and I ended up moving to Denver to be closer to him in November 2008.

I went home for Christmas, and Jonathan had to work over the holiday on the oil rigs in North Dakota. After his hitch was over, he came to Chicago to spend some time with me and meet my parents. Here are pictures of our reflection in the "bean" in downtown Chicago:

We also spent a day at a museum downtown:

One of the days in Chicago I mentioned marriage, but he said he really wanted to wait to talk about it until we had been together for at least a year or so. He had mailed my Christmas gift to my parent's house a few days earlier. I was hoping it was a ring, but his reaction to me talking about marriage made me doubt that's what it actually was. Little did I know he asked my dad to marry me our last day in Chicago together.
When we flew back to Denver, we happened to be two baggage claims down from the one we met at. We first met at Baggage Claim 19 at the Denver airport. After we claimed our bags, we walked down to Baggage Claim 19 to reminisce and wait for our ride home. I was sitting in a baggage storage thing and Jonathan was standing over me. He asked me if I would do him a favor, and when I said what he asked me to marry him. I thought he was lying at first, but the ring was good proof it was true :). Here I am next to "our" baggage claim with Izzy after the proposal:

My mom knew that I didn't know it was coming since I looked so "casual"...haha. So we got engaged January 5, 2009, and we got married in Golden, CO May 24, 2009.
Now two amazing years after this memorable moment in our lives, we are blessed with our little baby bear, Jack:

People have always said how much time flies, but I can't believe how many of my dreams have come true in the past two years. I met a guy who truly understands me, and where we are best friends. We got married, and we had a baby so cute I can't even believe that we made him!
Now we are embarking on another new journey together. We are moving to California in February for Jonathan's job. We are sad to leave Denver and all that we have here, but we are excited for everything to come in California. So far we feel that everything has happened for a reason, and we couldn't ask for much more. I'll post some more information on our move as we get it all set up.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The End of a Great Holiday Season

We had an amazing holiday season where we were able to spend a lot of time with both of our families. Pretty much everybody made it out to Colorado besides my sister! My niece Lydia came to see Jack before the rest of the family got into town, and she was loving on her little cousin. Lydia is the only girl of the family with two brothers and now a male cousin, but maybe someday she'll get a girl buddy in the family.

We spent Christmas Eve with the Nichols family, and it was a special time since all 6 of the siblings in Jonathan's family, his parents, and his aunt and uncle were able to make it. Besides our wedding, that is the first time this has happened in 6 years. Plus, now we have the addition of Jack to the family! We got a family photo, which hopefully won't be the last one for another 6 years. And a few other highlights from the party:

My parents also came into town on Christmas night and spent 5 days in town. We didn't get a chance to spend the holidays together last year, so it was nice to spend some time with them this season. It's their first year with a grand child, so they were pretty excited to spend some time with Jack. Here's a few photos while at our apartment:

Another bonus to having family around is that Jonathan and I had a chance to go on two dates while Jack was left at home with grandparents. My parents watched him while Jonathan and I went out for dinner and coffee. It was great to get a chance to just sit and chat, but we were definitely ready to get back to our little guy. We were also able to go to a couple's house we are friends with for a New Year's party while Jonathan's mom watched Jack as well. A couple brought their four day old baby to the party, so I spent a lot of my time sitting and talking to that mom and talking about our babies.
To be able to do all of this we had to work with Jack on taking a bottle. We practiced twice before family got here, and it was a huge success while we were out. He's not a huge fan of taking a bottle from me, but he is willing to take it from other people, which is all that matters really. I don't think the bottle is his preference, but he'll take it so I can spend a little bit of time away. Jack has also been A LOT more alert lately. He actually spends more of his day awake than asleep now. He smiles all the time and tries to talk to us with his little baby coos. When we put him on his play mat he swings his arms trying to reach the little stuffed toys. When my parents were here he was able to grab the rings attached to one of the stuffed toys and hold on to them. He's becoming a lot more coordinated! He really likes sitting up and watching what's going on in the room, and he follows people around with his eyes. He gets more and more of a personality everyday, and it is so fun to watch how quickly he develops. Here is our little Jack practicing sitting up against Jonathan's legs:
A woman at my work made Jack a knitted hat and blanket. It's turned out to be the perfect size hat for him, and we have definitely needed it these past few days. The weather in Denver has changed from temperate and in the 50s to the single digits overnight. When he wears his little hat he's so cute I could just throw up :).
Jonathan and I have so much to be thankful for as we enter this new year. 2008 we started dating, 2009 we got married, and 2010 we had Jack. I'm excited to see what 2011 holds, because it's going to be hard to top this past year! It's amazing how much can change in your life in one year.