4 months

there are certain days I’ll never forget. January 12, 2013 was one of them… one of my close friends from my home town lost her home in a fire that day. My sister-in-law was in the right place at the right time and helped saved the day that day. I found out I was pregnant that day. A year ago, already. It amazes me. The year we were trying to get pregnant was the slowest, most painful year of my life. The last 365 days, however, have zoomed by.

bet ya'll freaked out when you saw this picture on your reader page :)

bet ya’ll freaked out when you saw this picture on your reader page 🙂

and now we have a 4 month old. A FOUR MONTH OLD!

4 months

4 months

He’s so fun right now. He loves to play and loves raspberries on his tummy.   He discovers and learns about everything by putting it in his mouth.  He loves to eat, of course, and he’s taken a new interest in what mommy and daddy are eating. He reaches for our food, too. We haven’t started solids yet, and I’m thinking we’ll go the baby-lead weaning route (it’s easy, google it), so I probably won’t start solids for a few months. He’s finally noticed the dog and loves to watch her run around. He still hasn’t done a “back-to-front” roll, he gets about 3/4 of the way over and quits. He can often be found sleeping in that 3/4 roll position, so I think he just likes it there. He HATES tummy time, but will tolerate bumbo time and loves to stand up on his feet while we hold his hands, so I’m not too worried about his core strength.

4 months

4 months

He’s better at keeping himself content for a little bit. He’ll also watch 10 minutes of DocMcStuffins (mommy’s choice, SO cute!) to let me shower in the mornings. He’s sleeping in his crib full-time now, and still waking up 1-3 times per night. He does 2 solid, scheduled naps per day, and usually a cat nap in the evening. He started daycare and is doing well there. He’s in size 2 diapers and 3-6 month or 6 months clothes. He’s pretty much your average, adorable baby.

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true that, momma.

I’ve been following the Everything and Nothing from Essex blog for a while, because this lady is real and relatable and funny! Her recent post struck a cord with me. I only have one baby. She has three. I work. She stays home. She has a beautiful little DS girl. I don’t. But her words are so true.

This year… today… now matter what… I need to focus on and enjoy the small moments. Appreciate the little things. Even if the little things are hours in the middle of the night that Jackson is not sleeping. Those are OUR moments, just him and me. I should like those moments more, and complain about them less, because we all know I will miss them when they’re gone.

 

a day for me

First of all, I really like our new daycare lady and Jackson seems to be doing just fine there. Phew!

These past 2 days Jackson went to daycare and my only mission in life was to finish writing my proposal, and I DID! YAY! Now just need to acutally propose, hopefully by the end of January or beginning of February. And after I finished, I took a nap. A NAP. I haven’t done that in ages. I caught up Jackson’s baby book. Took a shower and shaved my legs. Played fetch with the dog and pet the cat. It was awesome.

Of course, I missed my little man and was so happy to go pick him up from daycare.

Today was a nice day to reflect on where I am in life. To think about where I’ve been and where I want to be. Jackson will be 4 months old this weekend… a third of a year already! Amazing!

The next 7 months of my life are going to be a whirlwind version of grad school hell. I will probably be even more scant in my posting, but I’ll try to keep up with my blog reading and your lives and jouneys.  And I’ll  at least do a monthly update on my growing boy 🙂 if only so I can look back and remember stuff when I get a chance to update his baby book again in 4 months! (who am I kidding, it will be at least 7 months!)

dear daycare lady

jackson starts daycare monday… we managed to find a different in-home daycare than the one that i was originally uncomfortable with… so i feel better about this transition than i did a few weeks ago.  however, i am also sad, and scared, and miss him already. i always knew we’d do daycare, and i am okay with it. i was a daycare kid, too. but, something only a mom can explain is the inability to trust that anyone can do good enough job with your child… and that ever-present guilt of not being there every minute of every day.

Dear daycare lady,

Thank you for opening your home to small children. For providing a warm, loving, safe, and fun place for babies to grow. May the first thing I always get across to you is my gratitude for what you do.

Please remember this is so very hard for me. I’m a new mommy, dealing with a multitude of emotions. My baby is the best (best, best, best) thing I have ever done. He is my world. I know you understand this, because you’re a mommy too.

Please don’t judge my choice to work and go to school. I judge myself enough for both of us. I’m only doing what I feel is best for my family and our future. I need your encouragement and support, because every day is a battle in my mind, every day I make a hard choice to move forward with my education and not stay at home to snuggle my baby.

Please respect my choice to breastfeed, it’s one way I can be with him even when I am not able to be with him. Three times a day I hide in a bathroom and pump for my baby. Please treat that milk like the liquid gold that it is. I know it’s not easy to deal with all of the “rules” that feeding pumped breastmilk entails, and that, for you, formula would probably be easier. BUT, breastmilk is one of those things that is really important to me, so I hope you will be willing to be flexible and work with our choice.

Please don’t tell me if he takes his first steps at your house. Let me think I saw it first when he does it again that night. And please just giggle when his diaper bag has three extra pairs of pants but no shirts, or when his outfit doesn’t match on the days his daddy drops him off, and try not to judge us based on those silly things that embarrass me that must happen to everyone.

All I can really ask is that you take care of my baby like he’s your own. Protect him. Nurture him. Teach him. Read to him. Play with him. Be fair with him. Kiss his boo-boos. And love him. Because we love him with every fiber of our beings.

Thank you so much for what you do,

The McMillans

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a good baby

we just got home from a whirlwind trip to my parents’ to surprise my mom for her birthday. mission accomplished in that respect. we also came home with a pile of gifts for Jackson. hopefully we didn’t also drag home viruses and all end up sick.

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happy birthday grandma!

anyway, as with any trip home, Jackson was introduced to friends and family who haven’t met him yet. everyone’s favorite question (usually as I’m cleaning up spit up from my shirt, or bouncing him around with my eyes closed, pretending I’m asleep…) “is he a good baby?” and they smile as they say it… because any good mother would look them straight in the eyes and say, “why yes, he’s the best baby ever.” even when they don’t mean it. even when their unwashed hair and deep bags under their eyes say otherwise.

for some reason I can’t get my self to say that. what I do say is simply, “he’s a baby.” because, for goodness sake, he IS a baby.

IS he a good baby? what is a GOOD baby?

if “good” babies sleep, then no, he’s not a good baby. if  “good” babies don’t spit up, then no, he’s not a good baby. if “good” babies don’t cry very much, then no, he’s not a good baby. I could go on and on….

but then, if he is not a good baby, is he a bad baby??

can there be such a thing? a bad baby?

Jackson does not choose to have gas pains, or an immature epiglottis, or to be a light sleeper. he is not bad. it hurts my momma heart to consider him to be anything but good. he smiles and giggles and coos and loves me and his daddy. he has a personality. he is strong willed, not easy going. he will probably never be an easy baby or an easy child or an easy adult. he has challenged me to new heights, and he’s not even 4 months old.

and maybe that’s what people seek to know when they ask if your baby is good. maybe they want to know if the baby is easy to care for. Jackson is challenging. sometimes difficult. that I will concede to.

no, he’s not the best baby ever in terms of being quiet and content all of the time. but he is the best baby at giving morning cuddles. he is the best baby at trying to gum down his sofie the giraffe. he is the best baby at taking baths. he is the best baby I’ve ever had, and I love him to pieces. through sleep-deprived eyes, I tear up when I think about how much I love him. and even though an 8 hour stretch of sleep would be amazing, I can always sleep later.

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the opposite of good is not bad when it comes to babies. babies can’t choose their reaction to this crazy world. but, I can. happy new year everyone… may it be filled with full nights of sleep and a smattering of really long naps 🙂

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