I cannot believe my baby boy is 6 weeks already! Where has the time gone?? He is getting so big I can't believe it. At his one month doctor's appointment he weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces, meaning he gained over an ounce a day in two weeks. He is finally getting a few rolls on his thighs, and he has a spare tire around his stomach. He had his evalution with a physical therapist and developmental specialist on Friday. They said most newborns rate around a 7 right now, and Jude was rating about a 2. It made me a little sad, but she said he was doing great for his diagnosis and he shows great promise. He starts meeting with his own physical therapist and developmental specialist every other week begining in about two weeks, and I know he is going to really start improving. He has started lifting his head a little during tummy time already and we are so proud of him!
Just because I love him so much and I think he is just about the cutest boy I have ever seen in my life, cue roll of pictures:
(Have you noticed a common theme in the schocked look he always has on his face)
This last week was my niece Ruby's 1st Birthday. It feels like just yesterday she was born, I can't believe she's already one! To start off the celebration, Jude made a shirt for his cousin Ruby to show how much he loves her:
He looked adorable to say the least.
My sister Erica put together an amazing birthday celebration with a circus theme. It was so much fun and Ruby definitely enjoyed herself. The birthday girl:
The party was complete with many games and many different "tosses":
Bean Bag Toss
Also complete with facepainting
And a lot of cake eating
In the end it was a great day, and I think we weren't the only ones who enjoyed ourselves. I think it's pretty obvious Jude partied a little too hard.
Because Jude was in the NICU for his eating problems, I have to feed him every 3 hours whether he let's me know he's hungry or not. That includes setting my alarm in the middle of the night for every 3 hours to wake him up. I have been doing this for the last month and to say the least it has been exhausting. I have not had more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep at a time. It may not seem that bad, and it really isn't, but it has begun to wear on me. Because he has been gaining weight and getting stronger I have decided to move to a feed-on-demand approach. I was quite excited last night when I didn't set my usual 3 alarms to wake up during the course of the night. I was then equally disappointed when my body naturally woke me up 3 hours later, as if it knew I was on a schedule. This is where it gets weird.
I have never been much of a sleep walker/talker, that was always my sister Aubrey. We shared a room together growing up and I had to stop her from doing things she might later regret, and convince her of many other things like: no the ceiling fan is not a helicopter and, if you jump off the top bunk of our bunk bed you will inded fall to the ground instead of flying off into the unknown. Since I was pregnant I have found myself having some pretty strange dreams which sometimes result in me acting them out or reliving them in some sort of way (remember that time I wet the bed? Because I sure do).
Last night I fed My Man and put him to sleep. I was excited to see if it would be a night where he would be waking me up every few hours, or if I might get some sleep. 3 hours later my body naturally woke me up out of habit. I can remember waking up and thinking I had something extremely important to do. I grabbed Jude out if his bassinet and it wasn't until I had him laying on my bed, naked, and trying to put his arms through the leg holes of his jammies and his feet through the arm holes that I completely woke up and realized that, no Dwight Schrute from The Office did not come to my house to convince me that if I put his jammies on backwards then it would increase brain development. Somehow I had dreamt that and definitely felt the need to try it out. Lets just say the next few hours consisted of me trying to get a very ticked off baby back to sleep.
Today I had a plan. I had a to-do list of everything I needed/wanted to get done. It consisted of:
1) doing the many loads of laundry I have neglected over the past week
2) doing the dishes
3) sweeping, mopping, vacuuming
4) cleaning the bathroom (including the shower)
5) putting all of the straggling Christmas decorations away that didn't seem to make it into the box the first time
6) and a lot more
I had planned on waking up early, showering, and having a good breakfast ready for Erik when he got home from work at around 10 am. Instead, I was woken up by Erik at noon asking if I wanted some lunch, or if I wanted to keep sleeping. I was extremely confused. I remember waking up every few hours to change Jude Man, feed him and rock him back to sleep. But I don't remember the time going by so fast. I have only been getting about 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night for the past few nights and I knew I was exhausted, but I didn't think it was that bad.
Fast forward....when I got out of bed at 3:30 to finally take a shower and actually get dressed I was extremely disappointed about how my day went. I didn't get anything on my to-do list done. I started thinking back over my day, trying to justify how it wasn't a complete waste.
1) Jude Man and I watched Music and Lyrics intermittently from 1:30 am to 7 am. It takes him a little bit longer than normal to eat and get completely full. I'm up about every hour and a half from the end of one feeding to the beginning of the next trying to feed him, and it takes him at least an hour to eat. He is still trying to master the "suck, swallow, breath" part of eating, and right now we are still on "suck swallow breath, suck swallow choke". With his low muscle tone he gets tired more easily so I have to stop a few times throughout feeding him and let him take a break. I put a movie on to help keep me awake in the middle of the night. Between Jude's soft cooing, and the warmth of his body as he snuggles next to me in his jammies, its extremely hard to stay alert. I love watching movies with Jude. He doesn't roll his eyes and laugh at the cheesy parts of chick flicks like daddy does. He'll watch just about anything that I want to watch.
2) I was able to snuggle with him all day long. And I do mean aaaall daaaay looong, literally. It is so hard for me to put him down because all I really want to do is hold him and kiss him all over. He and I were having a staring contest today during the 30 minutes he was actually awake. He even gave me a little smile, and it was nice because it wasn't a "you just changed my diaper and I just pooped again" smile, or a "I am farting and there is nothing you can do to stop me" smile. It was an "I like the way you sing mommy" smile.
3) Erik brought me ice cream in bed and we ate it straight out of the carton, still in our jammies. I think that is enough said.
4) Jude Man finally mastered holding a pacifier in his mouth on his own. I was so proud of him, no more holding it in his mouth while he sleeps in the middle of the night. I know this is just one step closer to getting his sucking skills down, way to go Jude Man!
5) We made it to the in-laws house for dinner by 5, and had a great time. They held Jude and loved on him all night long.
6) I read a lot from THIS BLOG and my heart strings have been pulled. I heard about this blog about 2 weeks after Jude was born and I have not been able to stop reading it. The mother of this beautiful little girl has been so inspiring and it has been so great to read the words of another mother that is raising a special one. I wish that when my words are spilled on to the page that they would make as great a difference as hers do. I have never been the writer in the family and sometimes (most of the time) I have a hard time expressing how I'm feeling. But I read her blog and can not help but be moved.
So today the dishes didn't get done, and I'm pretty sure we have no clean towels in the house. There are dirty bottles everywhere and a bag filled entirely of Jude's diapers sitting by the front door waiting to be thrown away. Instead I loved and held and snuggled with the two most important people in my life. I tried to make Jude feel important. I tried to tell him how much he will change other people's lives, and how much he has already changed mine. I told him how much I loved him. I tried to tell him how I felt inspired and I wish I could take what I felt and help inspire other people.
And as I held him in my arms and danced around my bedroom while singing "Hey Jude", he gave me a smile that not only said "I like the way you sing mommy", but "I love you, and always will".
This year as a Christmas present to Erik and I, my sister paid for the wonderful Lang Photographers to come into our home and take pictures of Jude Man. Stacie and Geoff were the photographers who took our maternity pictures, and I was more than excited to say the least. We had such a fun time, and Mr. Man was wide awake and alert for most of the time. He usually doesn't like to be in just a diaper, so I had a bottle ready and made, his pacifier, and an outfit ready to put on him just in case he just wasn't having it. But when they starting taking his picture he turned on his camera face and did so good! Thank you so much Erica, Stacie and Geoff!
Jude has been so great. I have absolutely loved every part of being a mom. Maybe not the, wake up every two hours in the middle of the night to feed you part, but that just gives me extra time to love and smooch on him. Him having Down syndrome hasn't put a damper on him being here at all. If anything, we love it even more. It could just be because I am his mom and I look past it, but I don't see much of the Down syndrome in him at all. We had the owner of Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona at our house this past week, and she put it into perfect words exactly how I was feeling. When he was born and they told us he had Down syndrome, and even to this day, my thoughts have been "Why me?". But I don't say that in a way of "Why did I have to get this child?" I say that meaning "Why did this child have to get me?". I must say I have never felt a greater sense of inadequacy in my life before. Of course I have all of the normal doubts and fears with having a child, especially him being our first. It is such a great comfort to know that I don't have to worry about where he ends up after this life. I know that usually it is the parents responsibility to try and get their children back to Heavenly Father, but in our case Jude will be doing all he can to get Erik and I back. I could not feel more blessed after this thought. I know we will have a rough life ahead of us, but I just look at my Jude Man and could not be more excited. I know I have been rambling, so I will end this post with one more adorable picture of Jude!
You may get tired of me only posting about Jude for a while, but its my blog and I can do whatever I want with it, right?
We gave him his first real bath the other day. His "c" is all healed and his cord fell out so we thought we would cover his body with bubbles and see how he liked it. At first he hated it. He is more like his mommy than his daddy in the area of not wanting to be exposed. But once we got to the hair-washing he loved it. Every time I wash his hair he gets that "eyes rolled to the back of his head" look and almost falls asleep on me. This time was no exception.
(Erik strategically took pictures when something was covering his hoo-ha, no perverts allowed)
His new favorite way to sleep is with his hands up right by his ears as if saying "its too loud!", although we all know he can sleep through just about anything.
Last night I fed him right before I put him to bed. He drank 4 ounces instead of his normal 2, and I knew he was in a drunken state as he literally passed out in my arms. I laid him down in his bassinet and I think World War 3 could have been happening right in our bedroom and he would have never noticed. Erik and I then crawled in bed, and as we laid there talking about our day and mainly about Jude we looked over and saw him sleeping with his one arm raised in the air.
(Sorry about my creepy eye in the corner)
We laughed for a good 10 minutes about it. I had to cover my face with my pillow so that I wouldn't wake him I was laughing so hard. He would put it down, and then it would slowly make its way back into the air. I don't know what he was dreaming about but it must have been good!
Sunday was mine and Erik's 2nd anniversary. It is absolutely crazy how fast time flies. It really does feel like just a month ago we were in the temple being sealed to each other, and now its 2 years later! We decided that we probably won't get many opportunities to go out much since we have Jude now, so we dropped him off with my sister and headed out for Cheesecake Factory. We were going to go to a movie as well, but got halfway to the restaurant and decided that dinner was going to be long enough and we didn't want to be away from him all night.
We sat across from each other at dinner and felt like we were really seeing each other for the first time in a few weeks. Things have been so crazy with Jude coming early, Christmas, New Year's and other things that we felt like we had hardly seen each other even though we sleep in the same bed.
We didn't talk about school or work. We talked about the last 2 years, and mostly about Jude. We laughed and laughed, and I felt giddy again. It felt like we were dating and by the end of the night we ended up on the same side of the booth.
We of course had to order cheesecake, and we decided to get 2 pieces and bring the leftovers home because there is no way we could have finished them both.
(Erik's Reece's and my Chocolate Mousse. Yum!)
Things have been so great with us. Having Jude has done nothing but bring us closer together. Here's to many more years!