Friday, April 25, 2008

Communicating Joy

Jack is more and more expressive everyday. He waves his little hand and flashes a coy smile at his favorite people. If you say "bounce, bounce, bounce", he dances and bounces his body. He started clapping his hands in celebration two days ago. If you say, "Yay" and clap, he'll follow suit. Or if he's feeling it, he just starts clapping on his own. It's fun to hear baby hands clap together and see your little boy smiling up at you, hands mirroring the obvious joy his face is radiating. Jack likes to applaud his sister when she does something impressive (sings songs, runs, hops...). He also says something that sounds like "Yay" when I prompt him.

He's got a sweet, subtle sense of humor, too. When I'm walking and singing him to sleep, if I stop the song and the walk abruptly and look at him, he smiles at me like he gets the joke. If I ask him, "Do you think that's funny?" He smiles and laughs like he understands what 'funny' means.

Just like Harper, Jack's enjoying the bird mobile/toy on the side of his crib. When he wakes from his nap, he entertains himself by pushing the button with his foot and watching the birds fly around and around to the tune of classical music. I often hear the sound of this toy before I hear him cry out through the monitor. Such a sweetie pie. We're trying to use his crib more and he's taking to it slowly. It just requires patience and consistency and it's a little tougher to do it with #2 than with Harper, simply because he is the second child (keeping Harper quiet, keeping Harper out of her own room when Jack's having his AM nap, worrying about Jack's noise waking Harper...).

Having two is definitely tougher than one, but we lucked out that Jack is as sweet as he is. Harper and Jack are great buddies, and his general contentment, attachment and lovey-ness, and capacity for joy makes him a natural part of our family and a fun part of everything.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Teeth Photo

Photo taken 3/8/08 See 'em? Click to see full screen.

7 months old today!

Jack Jack has begun waving hi and bye. It is sooooooo cute... the blogging doesn't do it justice. In true genius fashion, the boy is waving his greetings to loved ones at a very young age. He first waved back to us on Saturday morning, just a few days before he turned 7 months. He will often wave back in reply to your greetings, but perhaps the coolest part of this is that he will also initiate your interaction by beginning to wave at you without any solicitations. He just wants to say "hi".

Jack remains a super sweet kid, leaning into me when he wants to nurse or if he is feeling a little shy. He prefers Mama, a little of the "stranger anxiety" setting in, and when in another's arms, he'll whine a sad (almost dog-like) sound at me with eyes fixed until I respond and rescue him. He instantly, I mean instantly, stops his fuss when Mama holds him. That goes for waking up from a not-in-Mom's-arms nap, as well. He will cry out, maybe even tear up, but as soon as I have him, it's completely over. Sometimes he'll even smile at me through wet eyes. He's definitely well-attached. Jack adores his Daddy, too. He tosses gleaming smiles at Dad when E returns home from work or when we approach Dad. He leans into Daddy when he's tired. He continues to adore his sister, clearly missing her when he wakes before Harper in the afternoon, and clearly happy to see her when she emerges from her nap.

Jack got his 6 month shots yesterday. At the appointment, he measured 27 1/2" long and weighed in at 16 lbs. 3 oz. All of these stats mean he's not particularly tall (a bit taller than average... 65th percentile) and he's skinny (35th percentile) for his age.

Knowing that this is my last time in life with a baby, I am savoring the moments with little Jack. I am so glad that I have the chance to be home with my little ones as they start their important lives. I hold Jack for his afternoon nap (he usually naps in the AM, during Harper's afternoon nap, and occasionally evening-- although we're phasing that one out). He sleeps nestled in, on my left arm and if all is well (no snot, no diarrhea, nothing ailing him), he's a good sleeper at night, only waking once or twice to have a quick sip and go right back to sleep. As he falls asleep, he usually sings/hums a little song to himself. I held Harper more than most Mommies, too, and looking back I have no regrets: I didn't miss any opportunities for cuddling, she's well-attached and ( I believe) as a result, easy to discipline, and she's a great sleeper while many of her peers we know don't sleep as well as she. Jack loves to snuggle in and be lovey, and why deny him that luxury?

He still nurses 97% of his nutritional intake, but we've started to introduce some cereals (he likes them better than the baby food stuff). Interestingly, the introduction of this additional food has been just that, additional. It hasn't seemed to change his desire for "ninny milk" yet. He's a growing, hungry boy!

Since we've been gardening lately, we've learned that Jack really likes to be outside. We put on a wide-brimmed white hat, throw out a blanket for him, and he's happy in the grass with a few toys. He watches me work and smiles at me often. As my great Aunt Jesse said upon seeing his birth announcement, "he's smiling because he knows he's landed in a soft place"... I think there's something to that. He truly loves his family, and he's a perfect fit with all of us.