My, oh my. An entire year has come and gone since you joined our midst, Jack! What a fun, happy little boy you are. I’m so glad that I have the opportunity to be your mother, and that I have had the pleasure of watching you grow and change over these last 12 months. We are so proud of you and love you to distraction.
The above photo was taken at New Quarter Park here in Williamsburg, just 2 days shy of your 1st birthday. Joe is in the background, peeking over the stairs to the slide. You absolutely love slides and whenever you have a chance to go down them, you enjoy it to the fullest. That was a fun day of walking the trails and letting you and and your brother play on the playground.
Joe was a bit concerned that you would hurt yourself going down the slide, but you had no such fears – you were ready to zoom on down, trusting that I would be there to catch you And I was, of course. Hopefully I or your father will be there to catch you many times over the years and help you learn from any mistakes that you make or trouble that comes your way. I pray that you have a relatively trouble-free life, but I know from experience that hardship is one of the best ways to grow faith and strengthen your character. For as long as we are able, we’ll be there by your side to pray for you and support you, whatever comes your way.
Here are a few updates since my last post about you. You change so much each day!
You haven’t had any major health issues. A bit of teething, a bit of a runny nose, but no major illnesses. You’ve had some issues with dry skin these last few months and we’ve been using Aveeno baby lotion and shampoos to help with that. It seemed to really flare up over the winter months but, with daily application of the lotion and limiting your exposure to regular soaps, it seems to be improving. Your big brother and daddy have the same issues, so it’s not worrisome to me.
You’ve dropped down to 1 nap a day, which typically takes place around 12:30/1pm and then goes till around 3pm… or sometimes even 4pm depending on how tired you are. It’s not easy being a baby, and sometimes your big brother and the day’s activities wear you out. You go to bed around 7:30pm and then wake up anywhere between 6 – 7am. It’s rare for you to wake up in the night but, if you do, weren’t too bothered by it. We still do the 5-minute test, where we turn the baby monitor off for a few minutes and then turn it back on to see if you’ve stopped crying. I’d guess that, 90% of the time, you’ve gone back to sleep.
You love to sleep with a pacifier but try not to give one to you at any other time. You wear a zip-up sleeping gown (it’s the same summer sleeping gown that your big brother used to wear). It’s sleeveless and made of thin cotton, but it provides a little extra warmth. That comes in handy since you love to move around in your crib and often kick off your blankets. You also love to sleep with your “silkie” or “lovey”, which is a silky little blanket that your grandmother gave you. If we have to take a road trip and your nap or bedtime falls during when we’ll be in the car, I’ve learned that having your lovey helps a lot in encouraging you to sleep. It’s like once you have it in your hands, you realize, “OK – this is time for me to go to bed”. Not always, but enough to make it worth bringing your blanket along!
You love to eat!
You like nothing better than to grab the spoon and try to feed yourself. This means messes and for some reason, I’m not as keen on the mess-making as you are You still nurse 3 times a day: after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner. You don’t need to be nursed to sleep, though, and that’s a blessing. Honestly, you don’t really need to be nursed at all in the evening. We’ve learned that, in a pinch, you can get by just fine with a sippy cup of warm whole milk (figured this out after I was at a meeting that ran late, and your daddy had to improvise). Still, I can’t deny that I enjoy the cuddle time and it makes me happy that I get to hold you, rock you, and talk to you.
You love to scoot, so much so that you’ve gotten the nickname “Scoot”. You will scoot right out the door if we let you! I’ve had to put up more and more babyproofing devices: power strip covers, toilet seat locks, cabinet locks, and more baby gates. The baby gates are a true sanity saver for me. Here’s a video of you scooting around the house. It is so fun to watch you move!
You babble and coo and love to growl at us You’ve said “hi” and “bye” and you’ll say “Mama” and “Dah-Dah”, but I can tell that you’re more reserved than Joe, and that is completely, absolutely fine. You’re a smiley baby and whenever I bring you to the nursery, the women that are in there get a big grin and say, “It’s Jack!” They tell me that you are such a happy, easy-going baby and I agree with them. It’s pretty easy to figure out what causes you to fuss and you usually love to play and be snuggled.
Joe and Jack
Your big brother is truly watching out for you on a regular basis. Yes, there’s some sibling friction, but that’s to be expected. He will often come running to me to let me know that you’re doing something you ought not do (ahem, such as attempting to pull the cords out of the safety cover of the outlet strip). He plays with you and you can really hold your own most of the time.
There was one incident that I want to share. You and Joe were laughing so hard. I was in the kitchen and didn’t know what was going on. I peeked my head around the cabinets and saw you two facing each other, just laughing. Then, I saw you reach out and slap Joe in the face. You would laugh and laugh, and Joe would, too, but I was shocked! I came over and said, “Joe, is Jack hitting you in the face?” You slapped him again and you both laughed. Joe said, “Yes”, and I asked if it was hurting him. “Yes”, he said, but Jack thinks it’s funny.
I didn’t know what to think – here was my first child being hit in the face by my second child, and they were both laughing about it! Even though it hurt him, Joe was so happy that you were happy that he didn’t want to stop you. I intervened, though. I took Joe’s chin, turned his face to me, and saw a red spot where your tiny hand had been hitting his cheek. I told him that it was OK for him to move away when you were hitting him, or to come tell me, and that even if you thought it was funny, I didn’t want him to be hurt. There were a few more times where you tried to hit him and would laugh, but Joe learned to move away. Still, it was a strangely sweet thing to witness, even if doesn’t make much sense to anyone else.
How Mom is Doing
I’m doing better. I’ve started taking an exercise class 3 times a week. I’ve enrolled your big brother in preschool – it starts this Fall, is 2 mornings a week, and I’ll be volunteering there in some capacity. I still go to MOPS and have volunteered to be the registrar for next year. I’ve completed volunteer training at the local hospice and have started to volunteer there 2 evenings a month. In other words, I’m becoming more involved in the community and spending less time at home being a hermit. There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody, but I’ve found that it leads to depression in my case, and an unhappy mother = an unhappy family! Now, I’m happier, and so is everyone else
Other Odds and Ends
I just know that you’re going to need a haircut soon. I”m not sure I”ll be able to bring myself to do it. You have such soft, white-blonde hair and so much of it! I suppose it will have to be done – it’s reached the point where I can easily pull it into a ponytail atop your head – but I don’t look forward to it. Just one more move away from babyhood. Next thing I know, you’ll be heading out the door for your driver’s test!
We love you and are proud of you. Again, I’m so glad that I, out of everyone else in the world, get to be your mother. I love you, Jack.