Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene is headed our way...well kinda. But headed our way enough that they canceled school on Monday.

While I am not happy about the hurricane (because I know it's done some major damage thus far), I am happy that I have one more day until I have to take Jack to daycare.

So now D-Day is next Wednesday. :(

On a happier note, since we have the day off on Monday, I think Bech and I are going to take Jack to the fair!
We went last year and loved it. I know he is too little to really enjoy it, but I am super excited to go again. Plus, who doesn't love fair food?

Actually, fair food is kinda gross. But if you just eat it once a year, it's good.

So right now, Bech and I are going to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie until Jack wakes up from his nap! We've got extra water and food, plants pulled inside, gas in the car, and we're ready for Irene!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I have only linked up once (to Kelly's Korner "Show Us Your Singles"), but I thought I would try to link up to another site!

This is "What I'm Loving Wednesday's," found on this site.

1. I am LOVING Chobani yogurt. It's greek yogurt with fruit on the bottom and it's amazing. Plus it's high in protein which I need because I'm breast feeding. I normally suck at getting the right amount of protein--I'm just not crazy about meat. But theses are amazing!

And if you live in the Burlington area, they are on sale at Shaw's this week.

2. I am loving that it is almost fall here! I absolutely adore fall, and fall in Vermont is incredible.

I cannot wait to go pick apples, get fresh cider, and go to a pumpkin patch. I think we are going to be able to take some really cute pictures of Jack at the pumpkin patch!

And the leaves here are ridiculous. This picture is from when my parents came last fall--Amazing!

3. Finally, I am loving the theme of this new season's America's Next Top Model...Fan favorites!!!

Alison (who totally should have won) and Laura will both be in it...yay! I love this show (in fact, it's the only show I downloaded while in Malawi, and that's really saying something!) and am so excited.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2 Months

Sunday, Jack turned 2 months old! Of course, I am just now posting this, and I also took the picture a day late. Oh well.

Jack is a chunk! We weighed him at my dads office when he was 7 1/2 weeks, and he was weighing in at 13 lbs, 9 oz...whoa!

This was a big month for him. He went on his first plane ride (well actually 4 plane rides) and did amazing!

He also got to meet his grandfather, his aunts and uncles, and his great grandparents. I personally think he loved the South and completely gets that that is where he is really from!

He had just started smiling at 1 month, and now he is a full on smiler. He loves to smile, and we love to see him smile.

In the past couple of days, he started really making noises. You can tell he is so proud of himself for making noises.

He has also discovered his hands. He is getting really close to getting that thumb in his mouth.

We are still swaddling him--not sure when we'll drop that, because it works like a charm.

He loves his activity mat. He also loves bouncy seats. And he loves his family! Unfortunately, his aunts and uncle taught him how to stick out his tongue. Thankfully, we have not had a recurrence of that bad habit since returning to Vermont!

He is in size 2 diapers (we wore disposables while home, so I actually know his size this time), but is still wearing mostly 0 to 3 month clothes. I think his time in them is limited, though. I'm kind of obsessed with this cute smocked outfit he has on in the pictures (thanks, Bella!).

At first he wasn't so sure about this month's picture.

But he warmed up pretty quickly!
(I tried and tried to get him to put those hands down and out of his face...but he loves them!)

He even started flirting with the camera.

I can't believe it has already been 2 months!

Monday, August 22, 2011

"a man of hands..."

Recently, Jack was given an activity mat. I didn't even have an activity mat on my radar because they're just, well, a little too bright. I mean, look at our bouncer. It's simple and calm. But in the past few weeks, I've realized that Jack might really enjoy one.

The Evans had borrowed a mat that Jack played on one morning while we were home. And he loved it. And since getting the mat, he has had so much fun on it!

And yeah, it doesn't really fit with our "decor." But I am learning that most baby things don't!

I know he's being all serious here, but he is usually cracking himself up while playing with the toys. He especially loves the octopus that hangs over him!

We love seeing all of the new advances Jack makes everyday (although it makes me sad, too!). Several times Bech and I have wrapped one of his hands around the rings that hang down. Today I was washing dishes, while Jack was playing on the mat. When I finished up, I saw that Jack had found rings for both of his hands all by himself!

We have a genius!

Okay, don't worry--I really don't think that because Jack can now wrap his hands around toys by himself that he is brilliant. But he seems pretty brilliant to us!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Babywise update

So this post is mostly for me. I want to have records of how Jack was doing and what his schedule was so that I can look at it months and years later. And I know that if I write it down somewhere, I will just lose it.

Plus, if anyone else is doing babywise, this might help them with their own schedule.

Okay, Jack is 2 months tomorrow, and we are on a 3 hour schedule:

7 a.m. -- wake up and eat. I'll let him sleep until 7:30 for this one. Usually he is up around 7 or 7:15.

8:15 or 8:30 -- go down for a nap.

10:00 -- wake up and eat.

11:15 -- go down for a nap.

1:00 p.m. -- wake up and eat.

2:15 -- go down for a nap.

4:00 -- wake up and eat.

5:00 -- go down for a nap.

6:00 -- wake up and eat. In the next two hours, we give Jack a bath (not every day, just when he needs one), get him ready for bed, etc.

7:45 or 8:00 -- eat, go to bed.

10:30 ish -- dreamfeed

4:30 a.m. ish - Jack wakes up and eats. I unswaddle and change his diaper, then reswaddle.

A couple of explanations:

The 4, 6, 8 feeding schedule at night is called a "cluster feed." Jack is sleeping longer at night, but I still want to make sure he gets 8 feedings in a day. Thus, we cluster feed.

A dreamfeed is just a night feeding in which you don't wake up the baby. I started doing it a few weeks ago. At first I wasn't sure it really was worth it, but now I like it. Part of the reason I was hesitant was that I have to stay up a little later. I would really rather go to bed at 10. But it is better (at least for me) to stay up later rather than be woken up twice at night. It makes a big difference in the way I feel. Also, I pump for the dreamfeed. It lets me see how much he really is getting, plus Bech can help with it some nights.

He's doing really well on this schedule. He was off a little yesterday, so he ate earlier some of those times. I think it's because he is sick so he hasn't been eating as much at some of his feedings.

One great thing is that we haven't had to do much "cry it out." For naps, I watch for tired signs: yawning, red eyes, maybe a little fussiness. I then take him upstairs, swaddle him, and put him down. When he was 4 weeks old, he cried for 2 days (and even then it was only for, like, 3 or 4 of the naps and only for 10 or so minutes). He cried a few times while we were home. But here at our house, he never cries for naps.

This week he has been waking up early for naps. Again, I think its because he's sick. He'll start coughing and then wake up crying. Thursday and Friday, I decided not to fight it when it happened (because he only had 30 minutes left for those naps), brought him downstairs, and put him in the swing. But Saturday morning, he woke up 30 minutes early, I went and soothed him (but kept him in the crib), and he fell back asleep!

Also, I think Jack is getting close to extending his nighttime sleeping even more. Right now, he is at about 5 1/2 hours consistently. He has done 6 hours twice. But he either doesn't eat much at his middle of the night feeding or he doesn't each much for his 7 a.m. feeding. So he is close to needing just one of them. But I am not going to try to make him drop one yet. He is doing so great for his age! I think in the next 2 or 3 weeks he will drop one on his own.

A few final notes:

If you are interested in Babywise and read this post, I would encourage you to try it! Some people think that Babywise means not feeding a baby when he's hungry. But if Jack is really hungry, I feed him, no matter what the schedule is. I have had a couple of times this week already where we have tweaked the schedule because he was hungry. But for the most part, he sticks to the schedule.

What I love about Babywise is how it affects me and how it affects Jack. I am an ordered person. I like to have a plan and a system. Babywise creates an order that I can somewhat depend on. I say somewhat because you do have to allow for your baby's changes. Jack might be going through a growth spurt and that throws everything off for a few days, for example. But overall, I know that I will feed him at the times listed above. I know that I will have free time during the day while he naps.

I also love how Jack does on this schedule. He is such a happy baby! He gets enough sleep and enough food (definitely enough food as evidenced by his 95th% weight!). He is smiley and so fun. He rarely fusses. He rarely just cries (other than waking up in the middle of the night and sometimes early from naps). He is, as my mother says, a "dream baby." And some of that is just his personality. He really is just an easy baby. But I think a lot of it is the schedule. I know Babywise is not great for all babies. But it is great for Jack.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I have finally jumped on the Tim Keller bandwagon. I had done a Bible study of his in high school and read various quotes and articles of his. But The Reason for God was the first book of his that I read. And I absolutely loved it.

I would describe this book as a slightly more practical version of Mere Christianity. Keller isn't as poetic and eloquent as Lewis. But he does delve more deeply into scientific and political issues.

Here is my favorite section of the book (from the Intermission):

"Here, then, we have a way forward. We should not try to 'look into the sun,' as it were, demanding irrefutable proofs for God. Instead we should 'look at what the sun shows us.' Which account of the world has the most 'explanatory power' to make sense of what we see in the world and in ourselves? We have a sense that the world is not the way it ought to be. We have a sense that we are very flawed and yet very great. We have a longing for love and beauty that nothing in this world can fulfill. We have a deep need to know meaning and purpose. Which worldview best accounts for these things?
Christians do not claim that their faith gives them omniscience or absolute knowledge of reality. Only God has that. But they believe that the Christian account of things--creation, fall, redemption, and restoration--makes the most sense of the world. I ask you to put on Christianity like a pair of spectacles and look at the world with it. See what power it has to explain what we know and see.
If the God of the Bible exists, he is not a man in the attic, but the Playwright. That means we won't be able to find him like we would find a passive object with the powers of empirical investigation. Rather, we must find the clues to his reality that he has written into the universe, including into us. That is why, if God exists, we would expect to find that he appeals to our rational faculties. If we were make 'in his image' as rational, personal beings, there should be some resonance between his mind and ours. It also means that reason alone won't be enough. The Playwright can only be known through personal revelation. That is why we have to take a look at what the Bible says about God and the human condition.
In the Christian view, however, the ultimate evidence for the existence of God is Jesus Christ himself. If there is a God, we characters in his play have to hope that he put some information about himself in the play. But Christians believe he did more than give us information. He wrote himself into the play as the main character in history, when Jesus was born in a manger and rose from the dead. He is the one with whom we have to do."

If you haven't read this book yet, do it! It is an incredible book, both for Christians and non-Christians to read.

I just started his new book, King's Cross, and am really enjoying it as well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jack's baptism

This past Sunday, we had Jack baptized at Faith Presbyterian Church in Brookhaven, Mississippi.

This is actually not our "home" church, per say. But we are in a strange situation. We are still members of Christ Presbyterian in Oxford. We left there for Malawi and attended IBF (on campus) as well as various village and local churches throughout the year. In Jackson, we attended First Presbyterian, and would have joined. But then I started applying to graduate school, so we decided to wait. This past year, we have attended Christ Memorial Church, but have not joined. It is a great church, but there are some issues that we disagree with them on. There is one PCA church in Vermont, but it is 30 minutes away. We attempted going there at first, but it's just too far. There is also a PCA church plant starting here in Burlington, but it will be a while till they are ready to baptize.

So we asked if we could have Jack baptized at Faith. Faith is really special to us. I spent the last 3 years of high school attending Faith. We were married there. Faith commissioned us to go to Malawi. My dad is an elder there and my parents are really involved. It is a sweet, sweet church full of people that love us and that we love.

I hope that the next place we live will have a PCA church we can join. But we are so thankful that we were able to have Jack baptized at Faith this past Sunday!

Here is Jack, in his beautiful baptism gown. My mom made it--isn't she talented?!? And yes, he has a pacifier in his mouth, but it was about to be time for him to eat, and he was getting fussy.

A lot of people have problems with infant baptism. But a lot of people also don't understand infant baptism. We don't believe that Jack is now a Christian. We don't believe his baptism saves him. We believe that we deal with a Covenant God, a God who has grafted us into the tree of his people (the Jews). We believe that in the same way that circumcision was a sign of God's covenant with his people, so Jack's baptism is a sign and seal of God's covenant with His people. One of the primary ways God uses of advancing his kingdom on earth is through believing families. And we hope and pray that God will do just that through Jack.

Here are the questions asked of Bech and me as parents this past Sunday:

1. Do you acknowledge your child’s need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?

Basically, do we believe that Jack is a sinner who cannot save himself.

2. Do you claim God’s covenant promises in his behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation, as you do for your own?

3. Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before him a godly example, that you will pray with and for him, that you will teach him the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God’s appointment, to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

Here are a couple of articles and links that explain infant baptism much better than I ever could. And here is a link to the section about baptism in the Book of Church Order.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back Home!

We are back from the South! And I am sad. We had a wonderful (and busy!) time. I am ready to be done with school and be able to move back home!

I have lots and lots of pictures, but they are all on the upstairs computer. So for now, I will just share a few random things, and be back later with more pictures!

* Jack is a chunk! We weighed him at my dad's office last week and he is up to 13lbs, 9oz. A chunk!

* But a cute and very sweet chunk! He did amazingly on the planes. He didn't even cry. He had a few fussy moments on two of the flights, but overall he was incredible. We did almost miss our second flight on the way to New Orleans. We ran up just as they were calling out the final boarding call. But we made it!

* Jack did pretty well with his schedule. He was off for the first two days, just with traveling and church (although he did stay on his eating schedule). But after that, he got it all figured out again. He didn't sleep super great at night, but I think that's because we were sharing a room with him.

* I had 3 snowcones from my favorite place in Brookhaven. Plus, I had two Blondie Frappe's from Cups and two meals from Little Tokyo.

* We had 3 sip and see's. Well one wasn't an official sip and see, but basically it was! And Jack did pretty well at all of those. And I did well letting go of being OCD (or at least I think I did).

* Jack got baptized this past Sunday. I will do a separate post on that, but it was really special.

* Jack loved all of his aunts and uncles and his Doc. And of course his other grandparents, but he had met them already!

* Jack is now sick, for the first time. He just has a little cold (and I have it, too), but it is so miserable to not be able to make him feel better. He is still happy and smiley, and he hasn't run a fever yet. But he has a cough and a runny nose :(

* School starts in a week and a half--ahhh!

Okay, that's about it for what's going on in our lives right now. Oh wait, I forgot Bech! He just fired tons of stuff, and has put a lot up on his etsy site. Check it out. I may be biased, but it's really good!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

my little chunk...

We had our two month doctors visit on Tuesday. It was 2 1/2 weeks early, because we wanted to get started on his shots before we took him on a plane with tons of people and before he got held by tons of people in Mississippi.

First of all, let me just say that the shots were horrible. Jack is not a screamer. He's not really even big cryer. When he fusses, he is pretty calm about him, compared to most babies. But when he got those shots, he screamed more than I have ever heard him scream before. It was so sad. Then he did a little more of that crying that night before bed (of course, once I swaddled him and put him down he was fine--I guess he was just tired and worked up about it all).

Second, we have a really large baby. He is in the 95th % in weight. He weighs 12 lbs, 12 oz and is 23 inches long. That means that in 2 weeks he has grown and inch and gained almost 2 lbs. Wow. When the assistant weighed Jack, I looked at him and said, "Are you sure? I mean, is that okay? Is that even healthy?" But our doctor assured us that his weight is fine. And I keep reminding myself that since Jack was a week and a half late, his adjusted age is more like 7 1/2 weeks.

We are doing Babywise, and there are a lot of groups out there that don't like it. But one of the main complaints against Babywise is that the babies on it don't eat enough (because it's parent led feeding) and don't thrive. Um, I think we are disproving that theory!

Here are some recent pictures of my little (smiling) chunk!

I love this little "come hither" look.

By the way, this outfit is a 3 - 6 month! But I do think this brand tends to run small.

We love our little guy...can't wait to bring him to the South!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Random Thoughts

* I will be in Mississippi in 3 days--yay! I cannot wait!

* I am ready for a Brookhaven style snowcone...there are few better things.

* I start school in just a few weeks. I am not excited about leaving Jack at a daycare 3 days a week.

* I just uploaded pictures of Jack to facebook. Facebook suggested that I tag those pictures as Blaise Braden...ha! I can't wait to go home and pull out all of the baby pictures and see who he looks like...maybe it is Blaise!

* Bech and I have 3 shows we watch every summer: So You Think You Can Dance, HGTV Design Star, and Next Food Network Star. This summer we had to give up SYTYCD...we just don't have the time or energy. But HGTV and Food Network stayed.

On HGTV, we are rooting for Kellie and Mark, although it's still pretty early. We absolutely can NOT stand Cathy--ugh, get her out of here!

On Next Food Network Star, we love Suzy...I would totally watch her show. We like Vic a lot, but we have actually really started to love Jeff. This show is now in the final 4, so we'll know soon.

I swear, we don't just sit around and watch tv all day. It's just rare that there is a show that Bech and I can agree on. But we both love these shows and love watching them together!

Anyone else watching them? Who do you like?

* Speaking of tv, I made the mistake of asking on facebook what Shark Week is. I just kept seeing it as peoples statuses and had no idea what they were talking about. I was quickly informed. Yesterday, I happened to actually find Shark Week on tv (completely by accident)--um, boring. I don't get all the hype. It was just people talking about their shark attacks. Call me weird, but I'd rather watch I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant any day over Shark Week.

* I swear this is my last comment about tv. I have been watching tv while I nurse Jack during the day. Have you ever watched tv around lunchtime? There is almost nothing good on. Even HGTV is sometimes a disappointment. So I have been watching iCarly. Don't judge. It is a really cute, really clean show. The first time Bech saw me watching it he definitely made fun of me. But I have noticed lately that he has been paying attention to (perhaps even watching!) the show when it's on.

I mean, how could you resist these cute kids?

Oh well, I have never been accused of being too mature, and I guess I never will!

* I am so excited for everyone to meet Jack, but I am definitely nervous, too. Jack gets really overstimulated. He loves to watch everything that's going on around him, and will stay awake and fight sleep just to see what's happening. You know how most babies sleep through church and outings? Not Jack, he wants to know what all is around him. And then he gets super tired and fights his naps.

But if we are home, just being calm, he goes to bed so easily. Literally, we swaddle him, he might fuss for a second, but we lay him down and he's out.

And Jack is definitely going to be overstimulated on this trip. He is going to be in so many new places and with so many new people. He is going to be held a lot and going to be off his routine. I am worried he is just really going to struggle with napping and then get fussy!

Oh well, I am worrying in advance, which drives Bech crazy! I need to just wait and see