17 Months

Jaxson turned 17 months today!

He started off the day with a visit to Dr. Helft as he’s been running a little bit of a fever through the weekend and has been having trouble balancing and falling when walking, so we wanted to have him checked out to make sure he didn’t have an ear infection from going swimming. Luckily, no ear infection and just a little bit of a sore throat and he was on his way home. He weighed about 28 pounds with all his clothes on and they talked some about his eating (or lack thereof lately), since between teething (canines) and the sore throat/fever, he’s not really been interested in any food. They said to try the Pediasure popsicles, he’s already been drinking at least one of the Pediasure juices each day, so I guess we’ll just keep trying.

Health

Overall Jax is one healthy little dude. This is literally the first time he’s had a fever and the first time we’ve taken him into the doctor because he was sick. He’s got an immune system of steel thus far, thankfully, since J’s is total crap most of the time. His 1st molars are still working their way in and giving him a heck of a time, he now starts screaming when we brush his teeth at night because they are so sore. We got a sample of the Hyland’s teething tablets from the doctor and they seemed to help him and he passed out for a big nap afterward! We’ve been using the Orajel pre-filled swabs and another brand of teething tablets but the Hyland’s seem to be superior, so we may just have to pick up some more for him. He’s been falling a lot lately, tripping over his big ol’ feet (like me), and scuffed his knee up pretty bad at Target the other day. We try not to make a big deal out of it and he does really well dealing with bumps, bruises, etc., that is until you try to clean them. He bangs his head/eye/chin/mouth all the time standing up into objects or leaning down onto them. Since his ears checked out fine, I really just think he’s clumsy! He most definitely takes after me on that.

Food

Lately Jaxson does. not. eat. anything. Even his favorite chicken nuggets or hot dogs can’t tempt him. He throws a fit, throws his food, pushes you/food away, yells, cries, etc. We took the tray off his high chair so he can slide up under the table so it is more like he is sitting with us, but no luck. One day he’ll drink a smoothie J makes, the next day he’s throwing it across the room. We’ve gotten him to drink the Pediasure juice so at least he’s getting something, and he takes a multivitamin gummy each night so we’re doing the best we can. We started taking him from the table if he won’t eat and then trying again a little later with mixed success. Sometimes he’ll decide he’s hungry enough to eat, other times he still refuses. I have a feeling this is going to be a struggle of ours for a long time.

Time-out

Oh, discipline. We usually would give him a quick pop on the hand or bum, but once he started acting out and getting physical with us (oh yes, hitting/kicking/pinching oh my) when he gets upset/angry, J and I decided to start implementing a different method of discipline other than spanking (which is pretty ineffectual for this kid anyway – you can almost see him going “na na na na I’m not going to cry!”). Everyone told us that he was far too young to do time-outs successfully but I gotta say, this kid has caught on quickly. He does something wrong, like throwing his food on the floor instead of saying “done” like we’ve taught him, and we pick him up and put him in the corner by the front door (for now – we need to get some sort of time-out chair or something here soon). We don’t yell, we don’t get physical, we just sit him there and tell him why he’s going in time-out. A minute later, we go over to him, let him know again what he did wrong and explain why he shouldn’t kick Mama or throw food on the floor, he says “Sorry” and we give him a hug. It’s a very “Nanny Jo” form of discipline and we thought that it would never work, that he wouldn’t sit there or he wouldn’t understand, but I think he does. Of course he’s still young and might not fully comprehend the why but he is starting to understand the cause and effect of naughty behavior, and he’s not hitting/kicking/pinching us as much as he was before.

Smarts & Stuff

My cousin, Tabi, her husband and their two boys (2.5 counting the lil’ man still in her belly!) came to visit us this month and Jax’s speaking exploded after seeing them and hearing them talking all day. After they left, he wouldn’t shut up! It was mostly babbling but he did start popping out with “Mommy” (love it!) after seeing them, and he’s started annunciating better with the words he was already saying. You can clearly tell he’s saying “car” instead of just the “ck” sound. “Bubba” and “Papa” also sound significantly different now. “Mama” and “MoMo” (his monkey) are distinguishable and he’s started saying “baby” and “ba-ba” (bottle) too. “Juice” is more like “Jew” now (haha!) instead of just the “J” sound and “Done” and “No” are crystal clear (yay…) “Sorry” is also more clearly spoken, and we hear it often since time-out has now been implemented. We’re also trying to teach him his name, which I understand can be difficult with the X and S, but he’s getting there slowly but surely and right now it sounds like “Dac”. As long as he stops answering with “Bubba” when we ask him what his name is, we’ll be okay! πŸ˜‰

Jaxson’s vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, and he picks up on new words quickly. He can identify almost all of the stick-up animals on his bedroom walls (monkey, lion, penguin, giraffe, elephant, whale, crocodile, bird, fish, crab, and starfish) along with pictures on his changing table cover (monkey, star, soccer ball, football, hat) and knows all sorts of body parts from head to toe (adding knees, mouth, cheeks, and even brains! to his previous knowledge). Same goes with his clothes (shirt, shorts/pants, diaper). He may not necessarily say the words but he knows them and he definitely understands what you are saying when you speak to him or give him a command or ask a question. For instance, he hasn’t said the word for any colors yet, but if you ask him to show you one, he does so accurately and without hesitation.

He says “bird” now and can tell you what a cow, cat, dog, monkey, sheep, frog, lion, bear, and elephant all say. And he can clearly say “ball” and “star”, which I think is his favorite shape right now. A co-worker brought us some Disney toddler seek-and-find books and he will just flip through the pages looking at the pictures and I use them as a teaching tool, which is how he learned star. I’ll ask him to point to different things in each scene and he is always spot-on. He also learned to say boy and girl, and will nod if you ask him if he’s a boy.

He also follows commands really well! If we hand him something and tell him to take it to the other Mama he will do so proudly! Also if you say, “Let’s go put on a new diaper!” or “Bathtime!” he’ll run over to the baby gate leading to his hallway so we can go change him or get him ready for the bath. Same goes with naptime/bedtime, he’ll run over there and wait for you to let him through the gate, then go to his bedroom. If you ask him to do something like find a ball, he’ll go to his toy bins and pull out every. single. ball. but hey, at least he’s got it!

He gives hugs and kisses when you ask him for one, and sometimes even if you don’t. πŸ™‚ The kisses are a little scary when his big noggin is coming at you, mouth wide open and drool pouring out, but its worth it. He’s still a pretty big snuggler (when he doesn’t have something more important to do at the time) and he can blow kisses now, too. He’s always kind to animals (they are all “Bubba” to him) and I think a trip to the zoo may be in order soon.

He’s always interested in what older kids are doing more than kids his age when we go to the park/indoor play area at the mall. The other day, in fact, he took a backwards spill down the stairs in the mall trying to be a stuntman like the little (bigger) boy he was playing with. I think his fascination with older kids is part of why he learns things so quickly, he sees someone do it once and then he’s got it. He likes to observe before doing anything and can take some reassurance to try new things, but he doesn’t usually have a problem being put in new situations or with new people.

He’s amazing and despite the continual frustration with his lack of eating, we love this little man so much. I can’t believe he’ll be 18 months soon…where has the time gone? He’s heading towards two much quicker than I could have ever imagined. I know that one day we’ll look back and these days will be a blur and a piece of cake compared to the teen years, so for now, we take the good with the bad and get in all the snuggles we can. πŸ™‚

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Mama & Mommy

I stayed home sick from work on Monday and Jaxson and J and I were all sitting on the couch together, Jaxson nestled between the two of us, watching TV. J asked him who he was sitting with, and in his cute little boy voice he answered: Mama and Mommy, giving us each a love-pat on our knee as he said so.

J and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes, feeling ridiculous that we were crying over a single word but feeling our hearts swell with love and pride at our son. We’ve never used the word Mommy in our house before, but it looks like its here to stay.

You may recall we had originally started calling ourselves Llama (J) and Zombie (me) way back before Jax was even born. I had had a dream where a 2-3ish year old Jaxson was running through our house calling for me, saying Zombie! Zombie! (a butchered version of “Mama B”) and when I woke I told J and she thought it was hysterical and thus began calling me Zombie also. We came up with Llama for her (because why not if I’m Zombie?) because J loves llamas and it was equally as funny. Fast forward to the time for first words and Jax, like most babies, starts using the word Mama.

Since he started saying Mama that is what we’ve been called. We both answer to it and we always know which one of us he’s talking about/to based on his inflection of the word, and if I ask “Where’s Mama?” he’ll always point to J, and if she asks he will point to me.

Now, he’s learned the word Mommy and he does use it to refer to both of us. We’re not sure who will be which but I’m sure we’ll find out soon. I think it will be his name for me. He’ll call J Mommy sometimes but its not with the same oomph that’s present when he uses it to call to me. My heart melts! The same goes for Mama, he’ll use it interchangeably but its got more love behind it when used for her.

So here we are, at what I think is a pretty big milestone: Jaxson has not only learned a new word, but comprehends that while we both can be Mama or Mommy, him beginning to use one name for J and one name for me just affirms that he understands the concept of having two moms, one a Mama and one a Mommy. And it doesn’t sound like he’s got a problem with that one little bit. πŸ™‚

Tick, Tick, Tick

Everywhere I turn lately, there are babies. Babies just born, babies still in bellies, baby-making. In real life, on TV, in the news. Perhaps they should check the water supply…

It seems that this is just how it goes. There always seem to be cycles of pregnancies/babies around the same time. Kind of like when you get a new car, suddenly that’s all you see on the road. All I see now, are BABIES. And I’m a little sad.

June 2011 was the month we were cleared to start trying to conceive and we planned our first at-home insemination. All our ducks were in a row and we were ready to go! We had no idea what we were doing, what to expect, but we headed into our baby journey full speed ahead. We didn’t know how much it would ultimately end up costing, we didn’t know that trying at home was a futile attempt and basically a waste of time, money, and sperm. We didn’t know that there was this whole other world to baby-making once you visited the RE. Hell we didn’t even know what RE stood for (reproductive endocrinologist aka fertility doctor in case you are still in the dark). But we blindly followed directions, sought advice and experiences online, and of course, started our blog to document our journey to mamahood.

Fast-forward and J was pregnant, Jaxson was born, Jaxson was growing. And while I struggled with filling my role as the “other” mother, eventually it became easy to be his Mama. He is most definitely my son, making my faces, sporting my attitude, being a big love-bug like me. We don’t share a drop of blood but he’s my son as much as he’s J’s.

J never wanted to be a Mama. She never thought she’d get married, she never thought she’d have kids (let alone from her body!). Yet here we are, married with a baby that grew in her belly for 9 months. I, on the other hand, always knew I would get married and get pregnant and have babies. I wanted 4! But then when I was 18 I was diagnosed with PCOS and the doctor crushed my dreams by telling me that I would never get pregnant. I don’t have regular periods and have to be on all sorts of medication just to make it happen. While most women would be apt to say “YAY! No periods EVER!” and are jealous, I was always embarrassed, frustrated, annoyed. Why can’t my body just work right? I want kids one day! The doctor’s answer was always the same – lose weight, be healthy, take birth control pills. You’ll figure it out in the future when you’re ready to have kids.

It’s been nearly 10 years since that diagnosis and not much has changed. When I lost weight a couple years ago I started getting my periods on my own, but they were irregular. Which meant my new doctor put me back on birth control pills. They, however, literally make me crazy – I get unbearably moody like nobody’s business and eventually develop a 24/7 migraine from the hormones in the pills, which meant I had to stop taking them because I couldn”t even function.

The only thing that has changed now is that I know that you can get pregnant with PCOS, after all my wife did. And so my dreams were resurrected and we had planned that I would start visiting the doctor about getting pregnant. Until J decided she wanted to try to carry a baby for us and I let her go first because she was older. You know that part of the story already though. πŸ™‚

While J was pregnant, we had planned that Jaxson and his next sibling would be fairly close in age, within 2 years or so of each other. The plan was that I would start trying to get pregnant the Summer after his 1st birthday, so that hopefully they would be just over 2 years apart. This month, in fact, I was supposed to start going to the doctor for my labs and scans and prepare to start trying for Baby #2 by my birthday in August.

But we’re not doing that. At the beginning of this year, we sat down and had a long talk about our plans for our family. My job was (is) unstable, we had major car repairs for both of our cars, money was tight, and generally we didn’t feel Jaxson (or we) were really ready for another baby. We wanted to focus on him for a little while longer and wait to see what happened with my job and pay down the car bills and save money. Because the difference this time is that we know how much its going to cost, and we’re just not prepared for that hit just yet.

So now, 6 months after that conversation, we’re ready. We want another baby. And we’re seeing her everywhere, which only makes the desire that much more unbearable. Last night Jaxson was yelling while playing outside and I had the fleeting thought, I hope he doesn’t wake the baby. It feels like she’s already here, perhaps because we feel just like we did before we got pregnant with Jaxson – like we were missing someone that we haven’t even met yet.

It literally hurts. I ache in my heart, in the pit in my stomach, in my womb. I find myself daydreaming about our next child, and I’ve seen her in dreams, visions, whatever you want to call them. I know her soul is out there, waiting for the right time to come to us, just like Jaxson’s did. I miss her and she’s not even here yet. The other night J told me that she felt the same way, and if I wanted to go ahead and start the process sooner rather than later, we could figure out how to make that happen.

I was thrilled to hear that, but I know that now is not the right time. We’re just not where we need to be financially to start the process again, and I’m still not 100% sold on the sperm donors we’ve looked at so far. We’ve been losing weight but I haven’t lost enough yet to have a healthy pregnancy. This time we’re not going in blindly. Instead we’re going in cautious, nervous, educated, experienced. It’ll be the same but different, because our roles will be reversed. I’m curious to see how J handles pregnant me! LOL I just know I’ll be excited for that 9 month break from cleaning the cat pan. πŸ˜‰

That said, I’m not writing this post to announce our grand plan for making Baby #2. The plan is….there is no plan. For now, it’s still postponed, because its not responsible for us to start trying just yet. It’s been on my mind a lot lately and I feel like it belongs out in the open instead of weighing on my mind in secret. Sometimes I feel like we are so alone, stranded out here in the desert of In-Between, knowing we want to start expanding our family but also knowing we can’t because we need to wait a little bit longer. But we both have the desire to become moms again and its only growing stronger with each day that passes. I miss our next baby/babies! I want Jaxson to have a sibling! I guess its our biological clocks tick-tick-ticking the minutes away. If only there was a snooze button!

Swim Lessons Begin!

J took Jaxson to his first swim lesson at our gym this morning! Unfortunately his little friend S. wasn’t feeling well so she couldn’t make it BUT he had a great time nonetheless. They had the babies blowing bubbles in the water to get comfortable and started teaching them how to float on their backs, resting his head on J’s shoulder to feel safe. Apparently they will learn to float on their back with just your hand under their back next week, but J felt adventurous and started trying it out with Jax and he loved it! He was laughing and having a good time and he even jumped off the steps to her in the water. She called on the way home to let me know how it went and he was starting to drift off to sleep in his car seat, he was so worn out!

J is not such a big pool fan, she prefers to relax and sunbathe on a floaty instead. πŸ˜‰ On the other hand, I splash and swim around and play games and am soaking wet at all times from head to toe. I am hoping he becomes quite the little fish and loves the water as much as I do/did as a kid. I’m so happy that he didn’t freak out or cry or scream (usually when he first goes in the water he gets a little spooked and has a death grip on Mamas) and that he was a good boy today. It sounds like he’s going to enjoy learning how to swim, and its good one-on-one time for Jax and Mama J to have together. πŸ™‚

16 Months

OMG I feel like I just wrote the blog about Jax’s 15 month updates! Time is going by way too fast and our little man is growing by leaps and bounds every day. May 31st was 16 months and this month Jaxson:

  • Learned a few more body parts – feet, toes, hands, head, belly, and (my personal favorite) boobies! This was a purely unintentional pick-up on his part and is ridiculously hilarious when he grabs his little man-boobies.
  • Picked up some new words this month and is honing his skills on his previous vocabulary as well. He’s been working on saying grandma (grr-ma) but of course won’t do it when she’s around or if we’re trying to video it. Also grandpa is usually “guh-guh” but is sloooowly becoming grr-pa…he’ll just say “pa” which he already knew since J’s dad is Papa. We can also understand the difference between words, such as nugget/Nana/nu-nu (pacifier)/no although to any other person it probably sounds about the same. He’s also a master repeater and picks up so quickly on the funniest things – for instance, he has a Batman toy and when he goes on it I will sing theΒ  “Na na na na na na na naaaaa Jax-son!” and he’ll repeat it back to me with “na na na na na!”. We’ve been trying to teach him to answer “What’s your name?” but every time he answers with “Bubba!” which is hilarious but not so accurate. Eventually we can get him to say Jax (juh) but Bubba is always the default answer. He also “talks” a lot more now, and he’s very interested in telling you whatever it is he’s saying.
  • Started eating REAL food (which I’m hoping I’m not jinxing by saying this). Granted, he’s always up for some nuggets or hot dogs but we don’t want that to be his only food group so we’ve been keeping veggie/fruit pouches on the shelf in case. He’s now successfully eaten (and enjoyed!) green beans and steamed broccoli! He even ate grilled chicken I had for lunch at Cheddar’s one day and when I cooked him some in a pan he gobbled it up too. Okay so I called it “nuggets” when I gave it to him but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him! πŸ˜‰ Regardless we are very excited that he’s finally started branching out into trying real food, and hopefully he will be able to share dinner with us 100% of the time soon!
  • Been a little bit of a jerk sometimes! If you fuss at him for doing something he’s not supposed to, he’ll flail his arms at you (thus hitting you) and gives you this nasty stink-eye face or glares at you from under his eyebrows and then stomps away to go do something else wrong. Tantrums have also made an appearance, in the form of him throwing himself to the ground like WOE IS ME! I’M SO MISTREATED BECAUSE YOU WOULDN’T LET ME ______ (fill in the blank with some form of destructive or dangerous action or abusing us in some way lol)! These tantrums come complete with real tears and sobbing/yelling. Therefore, we’ve begun time-outs in the corner when he gets ridiculous and he gets his minute to calm down so he can move on from the theatrics.
  • Has 12 solid teeth in there, still working on the 1st molars on the bottom to come in all the way but they are most definitely there. Thankfully, no severe sleep loss has resulted (knock on wood!).
  • Remember before when I said if you said “What noise does your booty make?” he would reply by blowing a raspberry? Well now he’s taken it one step further and if we ask him “Did you go poo-poo?” he’ll hunker down and act like he’s pushing one out right there. He will also force himself to burp now by sticking his fingers down his throat, gagging as he does this of course. Boys are gross. πŸ˜›
  • He’s gotten the concept of getting dressed and will help when you put his shirt over his head by finding the arm holes. If you hold his shorts up he will try to stand on one foot to put the other in, although he doesn’t quite have the balance down for that yet. He also knows clothes by name (shirt, shorts, socks, and of course shoes) when you say it even though he doesn’t say them himself yet. Except shoes. Every time he sees them sitting by the back door he will go get them and bring them to you, the whole time saying “tchoo, tchoo, tchoo, tchoo”. At least he doesn’t fight us putting them on him anymore!
  • Has mad skills at cleaning! When its time to clean up his tray on his highchair, if you hand him a wipe he’ll go to town on the mess! Same thing goes with a spill on the floor and J discovered that he has a natural talent for vacuuming! Usually he will follow her through the house and she’ll let him help move the vacuum around, but the other day she let him go at it solo and he did a great job!
  • And now your favorite part of all, PICTURES of our handsome boy!
Sitting in the big boy chair!

Sitting in the big boy chair!

Love this look on his face.

Love this look on his face.

Sleeping Booty

Sleeping Booty

Got Milk?

Got Milk?

Bedhead!

Bedhead!

Vacuuming Champ!

Vacuuming Champ!

Our Little Dude

Our Little Dude

He's a nut!

He’s a nut!

#selfie

#selfie

Sweet boy!

Sweet boy!

In other news, yesterday (June 3) marked 2 years since we got that big ol’ plus sign on the home pregnancy test telling us that our baby was taking up residence in J’s belly. I went back and read that post and got chills! It was such an exciting time and the beginning of one of the greatest adventures of our lives. Its been crazy but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! πŸ™‚