Okay all of you moms out there with 2+ kiddos. Here's a question for you (ESPECIALLY those of you who can relate to what I'm about to describe):
How in the WORLD do you keep a child entertained indoors who is not a home-body (like his mama) and who would MUCH prefer being outside (but it's still too cold sometimes), when buying an obscene amount of toys is not an option? And HOW do you do this at home while trying to let your newborn learn how to sleep and get on a schedule in his bed?
The big dilemma is that my Benito would rather be running around town, hanging out with other kiddos on play dates, going for walks, playing at the park, etc. He likes our backyard, but that isn't always an option with the spring weather, and he doesn't stay still for more than a minute unless the TV is on, and I'm trying hard not to resort to that if I don't have to. But truth be told, I'm stuck. I have yet to be alone with both boys for a full day and this is the main reason why. It's TOUGH keeping my kid entertained. He has a short attention span (seems exceptionally short at times) and he doesn't sit and play with toys for longer than 5-10 minute stretches. He bounces from one thing to another and is bored with being inside pretty quickly.
So what do you guys do? Do you have specific activities you do at specific times of day? (i.e. now we're doing puzzles for 15 minutes, now we're reading books, now we're watching a 30 minute show, etc.) Do you have a million kazillion toys that you rotate through? Do you sit them in front of the TV all morning? Because I'm lost right now.
This is a short phase right now, I know, when Jasper needs so much sleep, but I'd really like to figure out how to make it work with both my boys, and really, I'd like to start teaching Bennett how to stick to one activity for a little longer, but don't know how to go about it. I feel like I'm missing out on a big fat secret when it comes to playing with my little buddy, so somebody please let me in on it!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Okay all of you moms out there with 2+ kiddos. Here's a question for you (ESPECIALLY those of you who can relate to what I'm about to describe):
Posted by Jennifer at 4:12 PM
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Whew!! We made it through the first week, and you know what? It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be! I kept my expectations low, and Michael has been a rock star. Combine those two and you get a pleasant week with a gigantic learning curve. Without further ado, here are some things I've learned this week about being mommy to our sweet Bennett and little Jasper, and some pictures, since that's what you're really here for :)
1) Not all red heads are tempermental.
Our Jasper is a sweetheart and a half, and I find myself amazed and praising God everyday for how blessed we've been with not one, but TWO easy babies. I was nervous about this, thinking our second would be a little firecracker for sure. But truth be told, it's looking like that role belongs to Bennett alone, and even he is very obedient and has a very strong desire to please coupled with his mountains of energy :) Jasper LOVES to sleep (already sleeps 4-5 hours at a time at night, so I'm feeding him at 9pm, 2am, and then 6am each night), which was another thing I was a little worried about. I thought with Bennett being as good of a sleeper as he's been, the odds were we'd really "get it" this time around. But Jasper is more calm, quieter, and more docile than Bennett ever was as an infant, amazingly enough. So some redheads are sweetie pies with little to no temper :)
2) Bennett's greatest needs are love and consistency, and occasionally some intentional one on one time with his mama, which I'm more than happy to provide :)
Michael and I noticed him acting out a bit more the third and fourth days, and we talked about and came up with a game plan. Other than feedings, we swapped responsibilities with the boys. I took Bennett on a LONG walk and played with him all day yesterday, while Michael held, rocked and soothed Jasper as his needs arose. This worked WONDERS on Bennett's behavior and spunk, and I'd REALLY been missing my little buddy, so it did my heart good to hand the baby over and have some rip roaring toddler fun with my munchkin.
3) Taking the days apart and dealing with them in chunks of time works MUCH better for me and is MUCH less overwhelming.
I think about goals and things we'll do in the morning, pre-Bennett nap, then during Bennett's nap, then after the nap, then the evening time, then after Bennett goes to bed. Everything revolves mostly around Bennett's schedule because it's well established and is something I can count on. I'm learning where to fit in Jasper's needs and activities around this, and it works well so far.
4) Getting out of the house is always a good thing.
I'm not a home-body. Sometimes I wish I was, but truth be told, I go a little stir-crazy if I'm inside too long. So it's fabulous that the weather has been so pretty. We're getting zoo passes for the summer, we've discovered a new park, we go to library story time each week, and we try to get together with friends once a week, and to have a day with Mimi once a week as well. All of this, along with running errands (which I haven't really tackled yet :) ), helps me stay structured and sane, and to take a deep breath and enjoy enjoying my sweet boys :)
5) I have A-M-A-Z-I-N-G friends. Seriously.
I knew you guys were great, but SO MANY people have really outdone themselves with showers, hospital visits, setting up meal rotations, and checking in on us with e-mails and messages. I cannot tell you how much this means to me and to our family, and how WONDERFUL and what a relief it is to know there is this body of people who love us and are here when we need you. I feel so humbled and grateful for all of you. It's beautiful to see God using His people to lift up others. THANK YOU to all of you - you know who you are!!
*Bennett LOVES his baby brother. He brings him toys when he cries, he CONSTANTLY wants to hold him, and he's very gentle and loving. This is a great blessing as well.
*I'm feeling GREAT. My surgery went really smoothly - I'd say even more smoothly than last time, which has really helped getting things back to normal and figuring out how our family of four should function now.
In the hospital...
And that should last all of you who were wondering how we've been and what our little buddy #2 looks like/acts like for a good while! Have a great weekend! :)
Posted by Jennifer at 10:56 AM
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Hello, all! I am SO happy to be here right now, introducing you to our newest arrival - our precious Jasper John!
Stats: 7 lbs. 10 oz.
19 1/2 in. long
dark blue eyes
BIG head (just like his brother!)
born at 9:44am on March 14, 2009
I think he looks a bit more like Michael, different from Bennett in several ways, although they really do resemble each other. His head shape is almost exactly like Bennett's.
So far, little Jasper has been a very low-key, low-maintenance baby. He rarely cries, and when he does, it's more like a soft complaint. I'm beginning to wonder if he's actually a shy, sensitive little guy, rather than the spit-fire I thought he'd be based on his actions in the womb :) I think we'll have a better idea tomorrow, but it's so AMAZING to me how different he and Bennett are, even after just one day of life! God is so big and so great and so amazing to orchestrate each person so wonderfully and differently :)
Bennett met him today and kept saying "baby! baby!" over and over again, giving him kisses, gently patting him, etc. It was precious.
I'm doing great. I'm glad I chose to have a repeat c-section. It was a great experience and was quick and painless :) Thank you, Lord!
I'll post more pictures soon! Thank you all SO much for your prayers and love! More pictures and updates to come in the following days!
Posted by Jennifer at 8:23 PM
Friday, March 13, 2009
Okay, so I lied about last time being the last post before baby :) There are a MILLION things running through my head right now, knowing we're having baby #2 tomorrow, and I wanted to spout out some last minute thoughts to look back at later. Funny thing is, I TOTALLY didn't freak out like this with Bennett's birth. It's just different this time, already having a kiddo.
Questions I have:
1. Will Bennett continue to function normally and still like me after I give a bunch of attention to this baby and things are forever changed (a little dramatic, I know, but I'm feeling very dramatic and emotional right now).
2. Will I love this baby like I love Bennett? (actually didn't think I'd struggle with this one, but I am right now)
3. What will our family look like, what will our dynamics be, how will we function as a family unit with this new addition?
4. What will his little personality be like?
5. Will I bounce back and be able to function well this time like I did last time?
Things I'm SO excited about:
1. Bennett being an older brother and having a brother to play with :)
2. Watching Michael with his TWO sons. Beautiful.
3. Getting to see what this little person is like all on his own and the plans God has for him.
4. The non-stop action and excitement that comes with a house full of boys :)
5. Things settling in and feeling like I don't understand how I ever lived without our second son.
6. Experiencing all of those PRECIOUS newborn baby things - the sweet smell and feel of new skin, sweet sounds they make, the stretching and yawning, all of the "firsts," etc.
Tomorrow, my friends. They checked me in at the hospital already today. We did all the paperwork, baby monitoring, stats, bloodwork, etc. Tomorrow it's just go, get it done, and meet my sweet second son. We'll post an update and pictures when we can :) Love to you all, my sweet, sweet friends! I feel so overwhelmed by your kindness and care over the past several days. Thank you for your well wishes and prayers.
P.S. Does anyone know how you REALLY spell "sike?" Michael and I have debated and even researched on the internet and are still up in the air about it :) My guess is "sike" or "syke" or "psych." He insists it's "sic," and provided some background as to why. So we're at a toss-up :)
Posted by Jennifer at 5:55 PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Here's a picture walk of what my little buddy has been up to for the past couple of months. I can't believe how big he's getting and how independent. I absolutely LOVE being his mommy. Part of the anxiety I feel about having this baby in a few days is not wanting my relationship with him to change. I've been reassured by many that it won't in all of the important things, and I'm so very glad for this. As I'm thinking about this new little one, I remember when I was waiting for Bennett's birth and my mom told me how much I would LOVE having a little boy - that he would be my little buddy, my pal. And he really is. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones and the life change around the corner, but just writing this makes me want to cry. This little guy is a light and a joy in my life like I never knew someone could be.
Okay, enough of the pregnant ravings about my fabulous child. On with the cute pictures :)
(and at the end of this post, I've combined the post about my diaper bags, if you're interested)
Bath time with daddy is a beautiful thing.
Doing the Shimmy-Shake...when we're in public he'll point out the people that have "Shimmy-shake hair" (think The Beatles). Silly boy.
When he's sick he wants his blanket, Lamby and Froggy, and a snuggle with mom or dad while we watch Nemo.
The end result of all our hard work! (an afternoon of raking/playing in the leaves)
Bible story time with daddy before bed.
At the park with friends. Getting him to go down the slide was monumental :)
Swinging with his true love: the flag. He is OBSESSED with flags.
On with the diaper bag! Thanks to everyone for all of your feedback and advice on how to make it work with two tots! I mostly went with Kristen C.'s suggestion, with a couple of twists.
1. I did in fact purchase an Eddie Bauer diaper bag, but it's a little larger (I'd say medium size). I'll use this for both of the boys when we're out in public, or when we go on assorted "field trips" like the zoo. It's also a super cool silver color that doesn't scream diaper bag and looks kinda fun, so that was a plus.
2. I also purchased two little canvas-type bags that are pretty small, but have all these awesome pockets and a mesh holder PERFECT for a bottle in front. It's a fabulous size for church for each of the boys once Jasper's a little older and going to the nursery. Just enough room for the essentials. What I LOVED about this find was that each bag was only $6 each, they're in fun camo print, the pockets are phenomenal, and I'm going to have each one embroidered with the boys' names on them :) Sweet. The plan is to keep the bag permanently filled with a couple of diapers, toys, wipes, etc., and refill it when we get back from church each week so it'll always be ready and I won't ever have to switch bags around.
So there's my solution. I'd still love to hear from anyone else that came up with another creative idea!
And this is probably the last you'll all hear from me until I have some news on our upcoming arrival! We'd love to have your prayers with us on Saturday!
Posted by Jennifer at 6:33 PM
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Okay, here's the gargantuan baby post you've all been sitting on the edges of chairs for :), which will not include sonogram pictures from 36.5 weeks because our scanner is busted :( , but will include stats of the baby, updates from my doctor's visit yesterday, a new and improved date for Jasper's birth (YESSSS!!), a picture of yours truly at 37 weeks, a picture of Bennett's "Big Brother Bucket," and as a bonus for visiting today, pictures, information, and a link for the instructions of the two nursing covers me and my mom made yesterday, which turned out FABULOUSLY, if I do say so myself! (THANKS for the link, Lori!)
Here's the link:
One quick side note if you DO go and make your own. I added 2 inches to the length of mine and like it a LOT. I think it would've been a little short without the addition, and to make sure I had enough fabric in case we made mistakes, and to take into account the extra two inches, I bought 1 and 1/4 yds. of fabric instead of just 1 yd.
I also wanted to include a picture of the "Big Boy Bucket" I put together for Bennett. It's filled with little goodies, stickers, snacks, etc. Thanks for this idea back when you had Levi, Courtney! I'm excited about giving it to our little guy and making him feel special on the day of his brother's arrival!
And I think that's PLENTY of stuff to chew on for one post!
Posted by Jennifer at 1:27 PM
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Here are a few things I'm itching to blog about, but haven't found the time/energy to do it...hopefully I'll get them cranked out soon, since I can pretty much guarantee it won't be happening when baby arrives:
1. 36.5 week sonogram pics/stats + info/update from the doctor (I go tomorrow to get checked!)
2. Picture updates of Bennett that are both cute and random, and definitely post-worthy.
3. My diaper bag solution. Yes, I think I've found the answer, friends (for me, anyway).
Working on these three should tide me over for a while, maybe even until "The Post." Can't wait for that one!! :)
Posted by Jennifer at 7:04 PM
Monday, March 2, 2009
Our family has been GREATLY blessed over the past couple of weeks by a couple of wonderful showers given at work and by some of my precious friends. I wanted to say THANK YOU SO much to everyone who came and those who blessed us and helped us get started with Mr. Jasper's needs. I have amazing friends and co-workers who made me feel so loved and cared for - always a great feeling.
At the work shower, they had me sit in the rocker and they brought me all these gifts to open as the people I work with stopped in a few at a time to watch and offer their best wishes. During all this we also had some cute, yummy cake and punch, which made baby very happy :) Thanks, ladies! It's fabulous working with all of you!!
And I have to say I was PUMPED at the way my diaper shower turned out. The hostesses are rockstars and made it such an awesome night. We had it at a restaurant (an Italian one I really like) instead of something more formal. Needless to say, it was pretty much like one gigantic Girl's Night Out, and I have enough diapers to cover Jasper's bottom for at LEAST the next six months, and wipes to last a full year (not even exaggerating). You ladies are AMAZING and I treasure your friendships. God has opened the floodgates and overwhelmed me with new relationships and fun people I'm getting to spend time with. I have to say it again: I feel blessed.
Here are some pictures from the night (I apologize for the few of you we missed getting one of!!)
Me with the FABULOUS hostesses: Molly, LB, Terri and Emily. THANK YOU ladies!!
Me and Mom/Mimi. Man I love this lady. She's the best there is.
Sweet LB and Molly, two of the most loyal sweet friends I know!
More sweet ladies.
Part of the Girls Night Out crew.
The AMAZING diaper cake Molly made :)
Opening more diapers and wipes, and loving every minute :)
Thanks again to all my sweet friends who were there, and to all of you who wanted to be but weren't able to make it. Friends make life so sweet and wonderful. I love you all and can't wait to come to YOUR showers! (cause goodness knows there's something in the water these days :)).
Posted by Jennifer at 5:17 PM