Saturday, March 28, 2015


Our baby boy turned one on March 19th. Oh, my.

Here are the stats on our sweet little dude:

Mobility: Jo can stand holding onto something with one hand. He's great at pulling himself up onto things, cruising back and forth while holding onto furniture, and crawling as fast as the wind. He also loves walking with his walker toy, but he has yet to take any steps by himself. He doesn't really seem all that interested. Sometimes I will hold his hands and have him walk, but he inevitably drops to his knees and starts crawling. He can crawl up stairs easily and SO badly wants to be able to crawl up onto our fireplace. Luckily, his little legs are just too short.

Eating: He still eats a lot of purees, but he's been more adventurous with solid food. He likes ham, cheerios, fish crackers, oranges, and shredded cheese. He is similar to his mama in regards to food texture sensitivity.  For example, he inhales blended bananas but refuses to put a bite of unmushed banana in his mouth. I can get him to take sips of cow milk each day, but no more than that. His favorite foods are whatever his parents are eating and whatever is on the floor. Runner up would still be Gerber's chicken and apples, and pieces of oranges.

Sleep: Siiigh. For a while he was sleeping through the night until about a month ago. Then he had about three weeks of waking up in the middle of the night, standing up, and crying. At the risk of jinxing anything, I am happy to say that I think we are back on track to sleeping through the night since his birthday. Over the last few days he has been able to be put in his crib at night awake and fall asleep on his own. This is BIG news, as he has been rocked to sleep for nearly a year.

Body: For a one year old boy, he's fairly bite sized. Most of his clothes are 9 months size. He wears size 3 diapers. He height is 29.5 inches, which is around the 32-35th percentile. He only has two tiny bottom teeth, and just finally his top teeth are starting to break. HIs hair, however, grows like a weed.  He has now had three haircuts.

Social Skills: He has yet to develop any type of stranger danger. He still lets anyone and everyone pick him up and hold him. He doesn't care if Jordan and I leave. Maybe he is just trusting? He is fine with adults, but he has grown VERY fond of children. He loves to watch them and laugh and laugh! He desperately tries to keep up and play along with the big kids at playgroup. Poor guy should have been a younger brother. His only flaw is he still loves loves loves to pull hair. One time I was at a play group with Joand we heard a 3 year old boy yelling, "OWWWW!" I looked over and sure enough, my little guy had both fists clenched with the poor 3 year old's hair. Oops. As soon as I pried Baby Jo's hands off the kiddo's head, he yelled, "That baby's CRAZY!" I know, kid, I know.

Hobbies: Jo is becoming so much more interested in toys. He loves to "throw" things (i.e. drop things rapidly), and roll cars back and forth on their wheels. Sometimes he loves to sit and have 4 books read to him, other times he slams a book shut after three pages. I usually take him to library "BabyTime" classes once or twice a week, which he seems to enjoy. He LOVES the librarian who runs them. I think it is because she talks like a cartoon character. "Heeeeeelllllllllooooo, everyone! YAY!! Hi! I'm SooooOOOooOOOoOO happy to see you!" You get the idea. Shout out to Miss Rhonda! He also seems to enjoy shopping with me. He tolerates the shopping cart seat now, and gets excited to look around and try to grab anything in reach. Usually this ends up just being my hair. I admit that sometimes I let him watch tv when I am super exhausted or trying to get something done. He only watches for about ten minutes or less. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood seems to be his favorite.

Tricks: Recently he started playing peek-a-boo where HE is the one who is covering his face with something and popping his little head up. On a scale of 1-10 in cuteness, I would rate it an 11.He can also wave, clap his hands, give high fives, and blow raspberries on command. He likes to mimic us with sounds, such as clocking his tongue when we do, making high pitched squeaks, and saying mama. Which leads into the next category...

Talking: About a week after Jo turned 10 months old, he started saying "MAMAMAMA....MAMA...MAMAMA" repeatedly. However, he never once looked at me when he said it. We weren't sure if this was his first word, or just a noise he liked making that sounded like "mama". I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be excited or not. After about three weeks of "MAMAMA" we decdied to declare it his first word. It's actually pretty funny, Jordan and Baby Jo would have this conversation a lot:
Jordan: Say DADA!
Jordan: No, say DADADADA!
Needless to say, I loved it! However, he was occasionally made the sound "DADA" a couple of times. We still don't know if he knows what he is saying. Oh, well.

Toys: Jo loves musical instruments. His favorite toys seem to be his xylophone, my casio keyboard, and his little Baby Einstein "MP3 player". It's not real- just a toy that plays lots of different songs. He also loves anything with wheels. He is getting good at pushing around his toy cars and trains. Much to my dismay, he has absolutely zero interest in stuff animals. I hope that one day he was a cute comfort stuffed buddy. In the meantime, he falls asleep in his crib with a plastic train that he got for his birthday.  He also loves real cellphones, my wallet, and sunglasses.

Nicknames: Jo Willy, Puppy/Pup, Bubby, Joney, Jo (obviously), or as my niece likes to say, "Ho-due". My other niece calls him "Jo Willy the First" (like Sofia the First)

We just love this kid!! Here is a look at our boy less than one day old vs one year old:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Reflections on Motherhood

Happy St. Patrick's Day! This morning, as I was browsing my closet for a green shirt, I was reminded of how last St. Patrick's Day, I had to opt out of wearing green. I was over 40 weeks pregnant and not one single green item of clothing fit me. I cannot, canNOT believe that that was one year ago. It seems like four, maybe five months ago? This year has rushed by so quickly.

My sweet little guy will turn one on Thursday. It's unbelievable to think that I will have spent every single day of a year with Baby Jo. I don't think I can say that about anyone else in the last 20 years of my life. Today, I've been reflecting on how much he has evolved from a delicate, basically motionless newborn to a blooming, interactive toddler. Almost a year ago, he could barely keep his eyes open long enough to look at me. Today, he was pretending to serve me his sippy cup, trying to shove chewed up ham in my mouth (how kind), hugging me, grabbing fistfuls of my hair and shoving it in his mouth, and clapping along with me. He's no longer a sweet, high maintenance accessory in my life- he is his own sweet person.

Not only have I been reflecting on how my son has evolved; I have also been thinking about how much I have changed as a mother in the past year. I remember the final night that he was staying in the NICU. He was about six days old. The NICU had a transitional room that had a double bed for a parent to sleep in the room with the baby- kind of like a trial run on how the baby would do with minimal medical watch. That night, Jo did not sleep. He cried and stayed awake for a long time. I would rock him to sleep, lie him down in his crib, only to hear him stir and cry two minute later.  After a few hours of this, I felt completely overwhelmed. I paged his nurse to come in (bless those amazingly patient NICU nurses!) and told her, "I just don't know what to do. He isn't sleeping. I just don't what is wrong." She gently asked, " you think maybe his diaper needs to be changed?" I broke into tears. I felt so stupid and incompetent. Am I supposed to know what's wrong? Why didn't I just know?

Fast forward a few weeks and my sister-in-law was awesome enough to fly down to OKC to help me with the baby for a few days. While she was there, Baby Jo started crying pretty hard. My sister-in-law asked me, "Hmmm.... is that his hungry cry?" I had no idea. I remember feeling so clueless. Crap. Am I supposed to know what cry means what? I don't know how to do any of this!

I also remember being petrified about being alone with the baby. What if I had to go to the bathroom? How could I ever go grocery shopping with him? What if he cries? Or has a blow out? Or needs to be fed while I am in public?

Now, as his first birthday is almost here, I so badly wish I could jump in a time machine and head back to the poor version of myself. I would tell myself, "What everyone says is true- you WILL get the hang of it. You WILL learn what his cries and cues mean. When he eventually has a meltdown in public, you will be able to handle it like a champ. You will fly with him on 11 different flights. You WILL get the hang of nursing, and will be able to awkwardly do it in public ( I still need my boppy).  You got this....oh, andheisn'tgonnasleepwellforareallyreallylongtime, kbye!"

I still feel clueless about a lot of things. I still wonder if I am making the right choices often. But for the most part, I am happy with my ability handle this whole motherhood thing so far.

At the risk of sounding braggy, I wanted to document some things I feel that I do well as a mom. I usually tend to focus on my flaws, but I think it's more helpful to remember the things I like.

I am very affectionate. My kiddo doesn't go long without being told he is loved, hugged, snuggled, and smothered with kisses.

I'd like to think that I am a fun mom. I get super bored playing with baby toys and reading books, but I have fun doing more physical interaction. I like to toss Jo in the air, spin him in circles, push him around in a box, swing him in blankets, and wrestle. I also dance like a moron and make up dumb voices, much to my little guy's delight.

I've been good at exposing my son to music. I sing to him A LOT. Singing to my baby was one of the things that I looked forward to the most when I was pregnant. I also play on my keyboard with him, listen to instrumental music with him, and try to expose him to various instruments. One of his favorite toys is his Fisher Price xylophone that my parents got him for Christmas.

While I am an anxious mom about many things, I feel like for the most part, I'm good at shrugging a lot off. He doesn't want to eat anything but dry cheerios for lunch today? Whatever. He's eating chocolate chips off the kitchen floor? Gross, but whatever. He wants to take down all the picture frames and clap them together?..Meh. Go for it. Sometimes when he is standing against something hard and heavy, someone may say, "Oh, is he gonna hit his head?" I usually respond, "Yeah, probably." I assume with a boy, there will be lots of bruises and bumps. I don't worry too much about them. (But I am not neglectful, so no need to call CPS.)

Though I absolutely do not think nursing makes me a good mom (I think any mom who appropriately feeds their infant breastmilk or formula is doing it right), I am happy that I have been able to stick with nursing. It wasn't easy at first. After about two weeks, I cried to my mom saying, "I can't even imagine doing this for another MONTH, let alone a YEAR!" But somehow, me and my now very altered chest have been able to keep it up. I am grateful that my body has been compliant in the process.

So here's to my first year of motherhood ever. I'm so grateful for my role as Jo's mom. It is such a tough thing to do, but it's wonderful.