Letters to Jackson
My Stinky Boy,
You are seven months old today! How did that even happen? I had plans to write you a beautiful letter about all of the fun things you do these days, but today, you scared the bajesus out of us this evening. Mommy and Daddy decided to go out for dinner. We put you in the car, and before we got out of the neighborhood I heard a throaty gasping noise coming from your carseat. I screamed “PULL OVER!” and jumped out of the car. I opened your door, you smiled at me, and were seemingly fine. Nothing in your mouth, you were breathing, and you were smiling. “Ok…that was weird,” I said, “let’s go.” We got to the restaurant, which was only a few miles away, and when we got your carseat out you were coughing again. When we were in the light, I looked down and gasped, “OH. MY. GOD. That’s it.” There was a leaf on your shoulder…with a big bite out of it.
You see, there is a tree next to the driveway with a low hanging branch, and you have been grabbing at those leaves daily as I put you in the car. In retrospect I should have warned your dad about this phenomenon, as he rarely puts you in the car since he works all day. Daddy says, No way! He cant bite a leaf? I say But he has teeth now. So I peer in his mouth every chance I get, but see nothing. He gags and coughs and projectile vomits on me, and I flip out. I say we need to go to the ER. Your dad asks if we need to get the check so we can go, and I tell him that I will take you to the bathroom to see if I can do a finger swipe since the back patting isn’t working. You were breathing well and covered in spit up, so you needed dry clothes. Once we get to the changing table and I laid you down, there it was. On the roof of your tiny mouth was this:
Jackson, this was the scariest moment of my entire life. What a way to remember the day you turned 7 months old. I am just so glad that we got it out and that you are just fine, sleeping away in your crib. Mama bear, on the other hand, will be up all night keeping watch and replaying the whole harrowing experience in my head.Thank you for reminding me how fragile you are, all the while being so strong. It is a strange juxtaposition, my dear.
I do want to let you know that this last month has flown by, and has been so wonderful. You crawl now. CRAWL. You use your little hands and little knees and book it all the way across the house. You are into everything. It is kind of great because it has made your daddy finish some household projects, and it makes me keep things pretty clean around here. This month you also sprouted not one, but two teeth. They are both on the bottom in the middle and they are just darling. I think you are working fiercely on the two next to them as well.You love to play with blocks, play in your high chair while tossing toys to the ground. You even wave whenever I say “bye bye!” but you are, hands-down, happiest when you are exploring on your hands and knees. I have started finding you in the funniest of places. Which explains the photos in this post that have you not in, but UNDER your exersaucer!
I have a hard time keeping up with you already, and I can’t even imagine how tough it will be when you start taking steps.
Thank you for being the sweetest little boy in the universe. And please stop trying to eat leaves.
It’s your HALF BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!! I have been in a state of awe, shock, disbelief, etc. all day long. I cannot believe that six months has already gone by since you were placed in my arms. I always thought days seem so long, but now I know, time is so fleeting. In the blink of an eye you went from a tiny newborn, sleeping all day, to a giant six month old, who can sit by himself, eat baby food, and most recently do the inch worm crawl across the floor! I swear that you will be taking off on your hands and knees any day now, and I know for certain that you will have me chasing after you all day long. I have no idea how I will accomplish anything other than playing with you (don’t worry - it’s my favorite thing to do anyhow).
This past month has really flown by. You have become much more assertive and are showing your personality more and more. You do NOT like bedtime. You refuse to let us put you down, but once you are down, you are out for a solid 8-10 hours. For this I am grateful. You are very interested in objects these days. You love the remote control and my iPhone. If we put them in front of you, it is more than enough motivation to army crawl to them.
You had your first sleepover with Grandma & Grandpa Koonts this month! Your daddy was out of town and I had to coordinate a wedding, which meant a late night for mommy. We both survived (I was the one to worry about - you, my child, were in great hands), and I was there to scoop you up by 9:00 the next morning! You are very lucky, Jackson. Your grandparents all adore you so much. I have a sneaking suspicion that the feeling is mutual.
Not much else has been going on here. You officially maxed out the weight limit of your Maxi Cosi infant carrier (23 lbs, you GIANT!!!). We also learned that you are not a fan of hats or coats…strapping you in the convertible carseat on cooler days was a challenge, and we decided that we (I) might not survive the winter without an infant carrier where we can dress you and layers and use a thermal-lined blanket cover to keep you warm and at least try to keep you out of a bulky coat for a little longer. Sorry, but the hats are non-negotiable.
You are growing and advancing so fast. I feel like I am stuck here and that things are just flashing before my eyes. Everything is just racing around me and being the ever-prominent reminder that these days are fleeting. They are worth remembering, and will certainly be the best days of mine and daddy’s lives. You bring us such joy, and you are so so loved. And - because you are just TOO cute to post one photo this month. I had to post a few more:
I swoon over your face in this one ^
I love you!
I cannot believe another month has passed! You are five months old today! This month was pretty big for you. You, also are pretty big! You weigh a whole 20 pounds now! We even had to get you a new carseat, as yours only had a 22 lb weight capacity, which you are quickly approaching! You have become so much more animated. You interact with us constantly. You love to hear your sweet voice, growling, squealing, laughing, and making all sorts of different noises. You recognize more people, and get very happy when your father or I enter the room after being gone for awhile. You are laughing out loud so much these days. I caught you laughing hysterically at Looney Tunes when your cousin Bailey was over the other day. You still are in love with your exersaucer and will spend more than an hour bouncing around and playing with the toys. Whenever you catch me watching you, you swing back and forth forcefully & jump around excitedly. You also always put one hand in the air as if you are riding a bull - I lovingly refer to you as ‘Rodeo Jack.’
You caught your first little cold this month. I am sorry to say that I am the one who gave it to you. Luckily, yours was pretty short and much less excruciating than mine. You tolerated the aspirator, but would not have any part of the saline drops or spray. I’m happy to say you handled it like a champ though!
You started to test out some new stuff this month. From the photo above, you can see that we are toying around with the idea of cloth diapering (more on that later). You also began eating baby food. It has been an immense success! We have yet to meet a food that you don’t like, and if not like, you at least force it down. Your favorites are bananas, sweet potatoes, and anything with oatmeal. Your least favorites are peas, and carrots - you definitely hate carrots.
Your sleep schedule is getting much more regimented. You even put yourselfto bed two nights this week with nothing but a pacifier to help you. I was quite grateful for that. As much as you enjoy sleep (I can tell by the wide smiles I get when you wake up), you sure do fight getting there. You absolutely loathe being put down for naps/bedtime. It is a never-ending battle, but I do have a few choice weapons that have yet to fail me (pacifier + rocking, nursing + rocking, nursing with no rocking, nursing + rocking + waves noisemaker on my phone, the list goes on…)
With all of these developments, it is hard to believe you’re only 5 months old! It is harder, still, to believe that next month will be your half-birthday! Every day I spend with you is the best day of my life, and every time I am away I miss you more than you could know. There truly are no words to express the love I have for you, and it may be hard to believe, but it grows more fierce by the day. You are the greatest joy of my life.
Four months. They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and man is it true. It seems like just yesterday I was staring into your eyes for the first time, yet also like you have been here for much longer than a mere four months. I am just as enamored with you as ever. It has been a crazy, busy month! You have spent a lot of time with your cousins, Carson, Bailey, & Abby. They all adore you and love to help out with you, especially when you cry. You weigh 18 pounds now and wear size NINE MONTH clothes! It amazes me just how big you are! You have learned to roll over both from front to back and from back to front (your favorite). You have even started to roll over in your sleep, which scares me a bit. I worry that you might suffocate, so I wait until late at night and turn you back onto your back. I feel silly when, in the morning, you are on your tummy again. In the past week or so, you have been really laughing out loud a lot. It is the most special sound, and I can get one out of you with a few tricks I have up my sleeves at any time! You have also become really into interactive playtime. You love, love, love your exersaucer and playmat, but now really can’t stand your swing, which was all the rage up until now. You are becoming increasingly mobile and when I place you on your play mat and look down a minute or two later, it is not uncommon for you to have scooted all the way across the room!
To date, you have had two well-visits at the pediatrician that involved shots. Today, you had three. You don’t love them. I don’t blame you. Today, you turned a dark burgundy color and let out a single wail. You are also working pretty hard on getting some teeth. You awoke at 2:00 AM this morning, and were in so much pain. You cried and cried and stuffed your little fist into your mouth over and over. Moreover, you did not nap today because of it. You have made your mama pretty tired! I went to put you to bed this evening, and woke up, two hours later, still rocking you in your room. I am hoping for an easier night tonight, but when you are in that kind of pain, I don’t mind comforting you one bit. No matter how long or at what time.
I study you each day, and spend a good majority of my time marveling at how I could have possibly created such a perfect, sweet, big, chunky, delicious boy. I truly am enamored with you, and am on the edge of my seat waiting to see where this love train is headed next!
Sweet Angel Baby,
You are THREE months old today. You are, officially, an infant. Though your size suggests that you have not been a newborn since about your fourth week here. I have to say, you are the sweetest, most magical, lovable person. Your personality is really starting to shine through, and I love every piece of you. This month, you have started laughing out loud. The first real laugh came from your Grandpa Clay kissing your feet. You thought it was hilarious (and still do, by the way). You also love being kissed on the cheek and lips by your mama. You get the biggest, open-mouthed, toothless grin every time and I swoon. Sometimes, though, you try to kiss back…with tongue…or straight spit. Those times are a little gross!
You have made some serious developments this month. You are starting to really grab at your toys. Tonight in the bath, you put one in your mouth as well. Generally, you save your hands for that. Out of all 5000+ photos we have taken of you over these three short months, I would have to say that about half are of you eating your hands. You also can roll from your back to your side, but cant quite figure out what to do with that arm that seems to block you from flipping all the way over. You love to stand. All you want to do is stand on our laps. You will even grab our fingers and pull yourself into a standing position. You still love to eat. No question about that. You weigh 18 lbs!!! Everyone we meet on our outings loves your chubby cheeks and yummy leg rolls. The thing that you love the most, however, is the television. We refer to it as your best friend Stevie (Stevie the TV - get it?). No matter where you are in a room, you crane that little neck of yours in the funniest ways to see the TV. Just today, the USA Women’s Soccer Team played in the World Cup Final. You were laying on my lap and twisted your head upside down to see what was happening on Stevie.
All-in-all you are an easy baby. The one thing you despise is sleep. You do not like to be put down for naps, you do not like to sleep in the car, and bedtime? Forget about it. As much as I wish you would sleep, though, I miss you when you do.
Everything about you is a complete joy. It is my privilege to spend the days with you and watch you continue to grow and change.
All my love,
My sweet boy,
You are two months old today. It has been a day full of fun as we traveled from our house to the Outerbanks, a really awesome collection of beaches in North Carolina, for our dear friends’ wedding. On the way, we stopped by my old college, CNU. While you were a dream to travel with (you slept the entire time, my love), you were not happy to be on campus. Your daddy said it is because you ‘didn’t want to go to school today.’ Funny guy. This last month has absolutely flown by. You now weigh over 16 pounds! That is 4 pounds gained since this day last month! Everyone that sees you comments on how cute & chunky you are. I always respond ‘well, he certainly doesn’t miss a meal!’ You have become so much more interactive these days. You love to watch TV, stare at your dad’s baseball hat, lights, and you have recently discovered your hands. You are always moving and playing with them, and I laugh because half of the time I can’t even see your face as you block it with those pesky hands! You have begun sucking your thumb, which is adorable, but we are kind of hoping it doesn’t become a habit ;). My personal favorite thing about you is the new emotions you have! There is an amazing juxtaposition between your happiness and sadness and anger. You get frustrated when you are tired. You fight sleep every. single. day. You seem to be aware that a lot is going on, and are a bit scared that you might miss something. When you cry, you now cry with tears, which is just heartbreaking to see on your tiny little face. But for each of those tears there are about a million smiles. These, my boy, are the best! You seem to find me to be the funniest person in the world, which does wonders for my ego. You will have the biggest smiles when I kiss your face. It makes me melt inside each and every time. You also like to stick your tongue out when you smile now, which I also love. You do still smile in your sleep (and also cry out in sadness), but these interactive smiles are so much better, if you ask me. You also still have the lower lip/chin quiver that I love so much. There are so many moments with you where I want to freeze time and bask in your glory till the ends of the earth. I say it all the time, but I am SO lucky that you are all ours. You, sweet boy, really do make my world go ‘round.
All my love,
I can’t believe its been a month already! The days seem to fly by so much faster since you made your arrival. I am constantly surprised (and impressed) by the changes you make every day. You have gained THREE ENTIRE POUNDS since your birthday. You now weigh 12 pounds exactly, and as you can see in the photo - you have a wonderful potbelly. In addition to being a hungry monster (you eat non-stop!), you have also lost almost all of the hair on top of your head. I laugh and joke that you are a tiny old man, balding, as you basically have a ring of hair around your head with none on top :). Your vision has very obviously improved. You stare at the ceiling anytime we carry you anywhere, and of course you stare at the birds on your bouncy seat and swing. You also have impeccable head control already. You hold your head up, steadily, for so long! At LEAST a few minutes! You still make sleep smiles, and even laugh in your sleep sometimes. It is a quiet laugh, more of a chuckle. Those are my favorite moments with you. You also have tiny nightmares, where your little face crumbles and you cry out with a mini-wail - those moments break my heart. You also make a disgusted face in your sleep. That one I laugh at. You also have had this intense lip quiver since the day you were born. You do it mostly when we pick you up. It is way cute. This month has been so much fun for us, I can’t wait to watch you grow and continue to marvel at your progress each day. It is the greatest joy of my life being your mom. I am so lucky to have you!