Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Go Big Kids!

My kickball team surprised me last week by presenting me with a very generous gift card to Babies R Us. To say thank you, Jack wrote a note and emailed the team encouraging them to win the quarterfinal match-up on Thursday night (also Jack's 1-month birthday!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Wearable Baby (Part 2)

Just a quick shot of the aforementioned Baby Bjorn. The funniest thing about this product is the package it comes in because the pictured "parents" look A) extremely "Euro" and B) like they rented their kids.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Wearable Baby

Those of you who were visiting this site when I started it late in Jen's pregnancy remember the pics of Jen watering the flower boxes. Well, the kid is still in the shot-- just on the outside now!

In addition to the Baby Bjorn baby carrier, which dad has used with success, Jen acquired a baby sling. This is a pretty neat (and fashionable) way to carry Jack around and keep him close. It was recommended by Shannon and has already come in handy. Jen plans to attend a meeting on Tuesday and hopefully learn how to use the sling for nursing, too. These are the exciting moments of our lives, nowadays.

Aunt Niki spent the night last night. Jack had been a social baby on Saturday, heading to a summer picnic that the boss of Jen's organization throws every year. He was pretty much a prince the whole time (mostly sleeping) so payback was in store. Jack decided to have what we will henceforth call a "Jack Attack" this morning, keeping us occupied with feeding or soothing for the morning and into the afternoon. He can be a handful! Like his restless, active father, Jack likes to stay in motion, so hopefully we can get more beautiful days like today for strolls or walking around in the Baby Bjorn, because Jack needed to stay on the move to be happy.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

3 A.M. Eternal

Jack has fairly standard-issue baby sleeping habits, which is to say he sleeps a lot. Over the past few nights, he seemed to really fire up for "cluster feedings" between 6 and 9 o'clock, which was pretty tiring for Jen, but resulted in the boy going down to sleep around 9:30-10 and giving us a solid 4 hours before he woke up again.

Well, as babies tend to do, Jack changed the game last night. After our Friday afternoon visit with Josh, Jenn and their new son, Austin, Jack napped away most of the evening-- including all the way through a visit from Jen's co-worker Johnavae (pictured)-- before finally waking up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 11. He ate like a trucker and then hung out with dad while mom tried to get a few Z's. Father and son watched the replay of the Tour de France stage 12 and also caught an edited-for-TV version of "Top Gun." I'm not sure how Jack felt about dad joining in for the chorus of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling." I'm going to assume the that his prompt filling of a diaper had more to do with his opinion of Val Kilmer's acting than dad's singing voice.

Oh, if Johnavae seems particularly happy to be holding Jack, it is helpful to know that she just got engaged a few nights ago and was sharing the story with us!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Jack's Friends

Jack made all kinds of friends this week. First, he got to meet his new neighbor, Elizabeth (Ellie), who was born on the day Jen hoped he would be born, 7/7/07. Is Ellie a magical girl? Jack's first girlfriend? Who knows! Ellie's parents, Jeff and Kathleen, are great neighbors who were happy to venture out of the house to introduce their daughter-- also their first child.

Our little neighborhood in Alexandria, Warwick Village, and neighboring Del Rey should be designated stroller zones. There is definitely something in the water. In addition to Ellie, our neighbor, Danna, is expecting her second child, a girl, in October-- same due date as our friends, Matt & Mae. As I look at Danna's first child, Zane, now 2 1/2, I have a hard time remembering when he was as small as Jack is now.

Earlier in the week, our friends Steph & Jay (pictured holding Jack) dropped in to deliver a fantastic dinner and dessert with plenty of leftovers. They were too generous, in fact, refusing to partake of their own food and leaving every bite for the new parents. Despite my protests as they left, I have to admit that we have been devouring the delicious chicken croissants. Supplementing that meal (which fed us at least three times), Jen's boss, Colleen, dropped in last night with a pasta dish that is tonight's dinner. The old saying is true-- the quickest way to the heart is through the stomach!

Another highlight from Jack's week-- mom went on her first adventure with him by driving on Tuesday into Arlington to a lactation support group. All the women at the group were very impressed that the mother of a 3-week old (and a c-section) was out-and-about with her boy. Jen managed all the rigamorole-- car seat, snap-and-go stroller, etc., and of course he put on his best show of breastfeeding. Jack seems to like an audience, which is appropriate when you consider what hams his parents are.

Finally, today, we ventured out of the house to visit Austin, Josh and Jenn's new son-- born on Wednesday. Austin tipped the scales at 9 lbs 6 oz and threatened to eat Jack while we were there. (Mercifully, Jenn had a scheduled c-section.) As my wife and I packed up to head to the hospital for a visit, we remarked that it felt like ages since Jack joined us, even though it has only been 3 1/2 weeks. Has time slowed down?

Jack is happy to have so many friends in his life, although he has limited means to show his happiness. Usually, he does this by making a dirty diaper. By that measure, Jack is a very happy boy, and the folks at Proctor & Gamble, makers of Pampers, also consider themselves friends of Jack's.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Nonni & Granpa Tour

Mom spent Week 2 here helping us get used to the routines involved in taking care of our little Jack. Meanwhile, back in Dayton, my dad (dubbed "Granpa" by Jack's cousin, Ethan) had to get by on website pictures and phone calls. It was really unfair! Fortunately, Granpa was able to join Nonni and meet his new grandson for a too-brief weekend visit.

And what a weekend it was! My parents, like Jen's mom and Steve, are project-oriented people. We got a lot of things done around the house, including the finishing touches and paint on our front door trim kit, a storm door repair, a repainted stool and, unbelieveably, the construction of two new radiator covers for the kitchen and nursery. Meanwhile, Jack is making diapers. We're really rocking and rolling around here!

As I type, my mom is (hopefully) escaping from DCA on her delayed flight home. My dad's flight is later tonight. More pics in the album below:

Nonni & Granpa

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Changing of the guard

My mom (known as Nonni to her other grandson, Ethan) arrived on Saturday shortly after Jen's mom departed. It's great to have help, especially in these early days. Jack has been fantastic, although he seems to be discovering his lungs and is expressing himself a bit more lately.

The big news, of course, is that Jack had his two-week birthday on Tuesday. That's the date that pediatricians like to see a baby has gained back to his birth weight. Our little guy is already an overachiever, tipping the scales at 7 lbs, 4 oz. Now if only someone can tell me how many ounces in a pound, I would be able to say how much over his initial 6 lbs 7 oz he was!

Every day is a new adventure. Jack delights us with his charm and rattles us with his cries. He'll go down for some decent stretches of sleep at night, but he has an alarming tendency to want to "cluster feed" at night. This is exhausting for his mom, but she is a trooper and is pulling through.

The heat in DC has been miserable this week, and it has prevented us from taking the boy on a nice walk. We expect a break in the weather tomorrow and hope to parade the neighborhood soon. Seeing as how Jack is fairly light on "action shots" in these albums, a walk is our best chance at putting him in motion.

A few new pics in the album below:
Jack July 8-10

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Knee High by the 4th of July?

Our little guy isn't quite growing according to the old farmer's saying, but he's doing great. A follow-up "weigh-in" at the pediatrician showed that Jack bulked up to 6 lbs 12 oz and is over his birth weight now. What a champ!

Jack has been pretty nice to mom and dad, and he even managed to sleep in 3-hour increments on Friday night. That was extremely generous of him, and I can only assume there are consequences for such a blissful, sleep-filled night. We'll see how this week goes!

We said farewell to Grandma Debbie today. Husband Steve (aka "Poppy") drove over from Ohio on Thursday and immediately found a couple of helpful projects to complete. (Or maybe he was directed to those projects-- the details are fuzzy.) However it went down, the middle burner on our grill is once again operational and the serpentine belt on our Ford has been replaced.

Grandpa Bill also hit town this weekend to meet Jack. Meanwhile, friends and neighbors continued to visit. Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

Next week will be a real adventure when I go back to work on Wednesday. Fortunately, my mom (aka "Nonni") took the baton from Debbie when she flew in this afternoon. Keep an eye out for future posts featuring Nonni and Jack.

Album of pics from the past few days below:
Knee High by the 4th of July

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

One week old

Jack turned 1-week old today. I can't help but think of the parents who say they can't remember what life was like before they had kids. At this point, I still do. That's because I remember a time when getting two consecutive hours of sleep wasn't considered a victory. In the few days we've been home, Jack is a champ during the day-- eating and sleeping like clockwork. At night, though, all bets are off. He might decide to get hungry on an hourly basis, or he might just get fussy after a feeding for no particular reason. Mom and dad are learning his cues and doing their best to get through these fun-filled nights with their wits intact. All-in-all, we can't complain. He's a great kid and adorable as all get-out.

Jack's first pediatric appointment was yesterday (Monday) and the boy is doing great. He is putting on weight and shedding the touch of jaundice he had at the hospital. In the slide show, you'll see a couple of pics early on from when we were still at Sibley. Our last night there, they strapped a vest with a special light-up back that sent some special rays to help break down the bilirubin that causes jaundice. It was connected via a fairly large hose to a projector unit under his bassinet. The poor kid looked like a glow-worm and was mighty uncomfortable. Thank goodness that was our last night at Sibley. Since then, we've had a great time with him at the house and have enjoyed a parade of visitors. Here's an album of recent pics:
Jack is home

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Ode to Grandma


Jen's mother, Debbie, arrived Friday night and was at the house to receive us when we got home. Since then, she's been making our house run in an orderly fashion while we figure out just what our little bundle of joy wants at various moments of the day and night. Preparing meals, cleaning up, managing breastmilk bottles and providing emotional support are just a few of the roles she's played in the two days we've been home so far. We're going to have a lot more to say about Debbie as the week progresses-- and I'll be sure to post more pictures soon-- but here's a quick look at the proud grandmother with her little Jack.
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