Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Take a look; it's in a book...

Wednesday Apr 30, 2008

Take a look; it's in a book...

...Reading Rainbow!

Butterfly in the sky; I can go twice as high
Take a look - it's in a book
Reading Rainbow
I can go anywhere
Friends to know, ways to grow
Reading Rainbow
I can be anything
Take a look - it's in a book
Reading Rainbow
That, my friends, is proof that Google knows everything! Children of the 80's, watch the YouTube video above - brings back a flood of memories.

So, the book story is that this weekend my mom bought us not one, not two, but THREE books on how to raise a child. Apparently she thinks it's only by the grace of God that we've made it this long without doing permanent harm to our child. Oh wait...

Anyway, we split them up. I started with BabyWise, which is supposed to help with scheduling and getting your child to sleep through the night. The idea is that children who are on a routine function better. Seems logical - the fact that I have not had any sort of routine in the past weeks certainly has reduced my functioning! Of course, functioning on major sleep deprivation is probably a factor, but that's why we're reading this book... routine leads to better sleep and better sleep leads to happier kid. Anyway, the author's big push is that your baby needs to eat, then play, then sleep (nap or nighttime). Like most parents, we'd been letting him eat, fall into milk-induced coma (uh, I mean sleep), and then wake up to scream and fuss (uh, I mean play. That's it. PLAY.) So we're trying VERY hard to keep him awake after he eats, then put him down for a nap while he's still awake, and then wake him up when it's time to eat again. The book says that he needs to learn to put himself to sleep instead of always falling asleep in our arms. Of course, the only way to learn this important life skill is to scream your way through it. My friend refers to this as "Baby Boot Camp." Just call me the General.

But the hilarious part of BabyWise is what it recommends during the awake/play times. For example, it suggests for the midafternoon (I'm quoting here...)
"1. Feeding and diaper change.
2. Waketime: Play with your baby; have him or her by your side as you read or sew.
3. Put your baby down for a nap."
Yeah, I've been just sewing up a storm lately. In fact, I'm thinking of going into business as a seamstress. You have got to be kidding me - he's supposed to just sit there contentedly watching me sew?!

Derek has been reading The Baby Whisperer. It's written by a cute little British woman who refers to you the reader as "luv" on a regular basis and calls me "Mum" and "Mummy." But she also recommends the same eat/play/sleep schedule - which she ironically refers to as the E.A.S.Y. routine - Eat, Activity, Sleep, time for Yourself. Ha! The only time I've had for myself is when I go to the bathroom, and then I can still hear him screaming over the monitor. Okay, and the time yesterday when Jay's new favorite babysitter came to relieve me for a couple of hours. Let me tell you, I've never enjoyed going to Kroger so much! I can't say much for the Baby Whisperer since I haven't finished it, but I'll let you know just how E.A.S.Y. this schedule is when we've tried it a few more days.

Then we are going to read "The Essential Guide to Baby's First Year." The goal here is to find out what Jay is "supposed" to be doing at various ages/stages. I think my mom's ultimate goal was to find something else to brag about to her buddies. I mean, you can only brag about him being the cutest baby on the planet for so long. Eventually, you have to move on to bragging about how advanced he is for his age...

I think there may be something to this grandma business. That may be even more fun that being a mom!


I loved Babywise!! P was a much happier baby once we got him to sleep through the night (and on a semi-sleep, eat, play schedule).

Posted by Bethany Watkins on April 30, 2008 at 11:55 AM EDT #

Since you have all the time in the world to lounge around and read, you might also like "Healthy sleep habits, Happy child" by Weissbluth. I even know where you could get a great deal on a "used," no, make that an "extensively used" copy!

Posted by President of the Jay Michael Fan Club on May 01, 2008 at 07:59 PM EDT #

Sunday, April 27, 2008

When I see you smile...

Sunday Apr 27, 2008

When I see you smile...

I can face the world, oh
You know I can do anything
When I see you smile
I see a ray of light, oh
I see it shining right through the rain
When I see you smile
Baby, when I see you smile at me

Jay has learned his first cool baby trick - smiling. (Sorry, but audible pooping and projectile vomiting do not count as cool baby tricks.) Sure, he'd already mastered the "I'm about to fart" smile and the sleeping "I'm dreaming of milk" smile, but this is now the real deal. The "I recognize your face and I'm happy about it" smile. While I know that there will be many milestones to come, and I'll celebrate his first tooth, his first steps, his first word (and it had better be "Mama"!) as if he's the first child to ever do those things, I really like the first smiles. It's like he's really a person with real emotion and a real personality, not just a hungry, screaming mouth to feed. It's his way of communicating "Hey, I like you!" And I really like that.

But he's got lots of other entertaining facial expressions as well. Check out:

Baby Elvis...

Screaming for more milk

Breaking it down, dancing the Cabbage Patch!

And last but not least, that grin!


Dear Jen,
You have always amazed me even as a young girl. But the way you have handled the hurdles you have faced with Jay Michael have me in awe. I can feel your love for him throughout your blog and it just makes me so happy that you are now able to enjoy all the wondrous experiences he brings and hopefully not as much worry. (Although, as a Mom, I will admit you never quit worrying about your children, the degrees will amp up and down...)
I love the pictures you have posted, he is just absolutely adorable and YES a smile that will send little girls hearts a tingling for years.
If you are wondering how I came across your blog,when you were first in the PICU with Jay, Jeannette sent the site to many of us with who had you all in our prayers.
Give me a call if you ever need some help or are looking to run a quick errand or just need a breather and I'll be soooo happy to come and do whatever you need. 872-6891.
Much love and admiration sent to all of you, but special love from you to me. Susie

Posted by Susie Hoffman on April 28, 2008 at 02:05 AM EDT #

LOVE the pics! A cabbage-patching, smiling Elvis. I think he has future in show business.

Posted by Rebecca Sasser on April 28, 2008 at 09:34 AM EDT #

Thank ya, Thank ya very much! My next gig will be in Tahoe, after I close down Vegas.


Love ya Jay,
the girls in Kennesaw
Kelsey, Olivia and A. Robin

Posted by Robin Perry on April 29, 2008 at 08:03 PM EDT #

I could eat him......maybe with a peanut butter, banana and potato chip sandwich.

Posted by President of the Jay Michael Fan Club on May 01, 2008 at 07:49 PM EDT #

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How do I live without you?

Thursday Apr 17, 2008

How do I live without you?

I want to know
How do I breathe without you
If you ever go
How do I ever, ever survive?

Okay, you would think from the song lyric title that this post is about wonderful it is to have Jay in our lives and wondering how we lived before him ... but it's not. While we certainly feel that way (most of the time!), this post is about the STUFF that has become such an integral part of our lives that we can't imagine life without it. So here's a top ten list of baby products that we just can't live without...

#10 - Baby view mirror in the car. For all those times when you want to know why he's screaming in the backesat...oh wait. Even Snow White's magic mirror can't explain that. But at least you can look to see that he's still breathing.

#9 - Medela Quick Clean Micro-steam bags. Just rinse off that paci that landed on the nasty floor of the hospital waiting room, toss it into the bag with some breastpump parts, add 2 oz water and nuke it. PRESTO! Clean enough to stuff in a baby's mouth.

#8 - Munchkin dishwasher rack for bottles, nipples, rings, etc. We thought that 6 bottles would be enough. HA! When he's eating every 3 hours, those bottles pile up faster than the pile of unread newspapers & magazines we're accumulating. Get lots of extra bottles, and toss those suckers in the dishwasher.

#7 - Baby Bjorn carrier. This works better for Derek than for me, but Jay loves to ride in this carrier. I figure, I carried him for 9 months, now it's Dad's turn to find out just how tired your back can be with an extra person to tote around.

#6 - Medela breast pump. I never thought I'd spend so much time attached to plastic parts. And thank goodness for its auto-shutoff feature. I heard a horror story of a friend who fell asleep at her pump and the result was not pretty. Funny to laugh at later, but not pretty at the time.

#5 - Fisher Price Cuddle Ducks swing. I mentioned this in a prior post, but Jay is absolutely hypnotized by the circling ducks on the mobile on this swing. When they stop circling, he starts wailing. If he grows up to be a duck hunter, we'll know why.

#4 - NC State crib mobile. Much like his flying ducks, the kid loves his mobiles. This one plays the fight song - we're training him up right!

#3 - Happiest Baby on the Block. This book, recommended by my childhood friend, has been a lifesaver. I don't know that I'd say he's colicky, but he's certainly a fussy kid. Okay, he cries a lot. This book has many strategies for calming a crying baby, and while they don't always work immediately, and our parents think our techniques are a little weird, it's been a lifesaver for us. He's not the happiest baby on our block, but he's at least the second happiest. (Note that there is only one other baby on our block, so that's not saying much.)

#2 - The PeePee TeePee. Okay, so honestly, these aren't that useful in real life, but they have brought us enough laughs to make them among our favorite baby products. The theory is that you stick the teepee over the offending sprinkler to prevent mid-diaper changing fountains. The reality is that he could shoot that thing across the room with his urine spray. But they're cute and amusing, so we keep them on the changing table for entertainment.

#1 - The Miracle Blanket. Seriously, this thing lives up to its name. While it looks like you're putting your kid in a straight-jacket (which I've been tempted to do on more than one occasion!) he actually really likes being swaddled so tightly. We got it as a hand-me-down from Auntie Jen B. (who happens to be president of the Jay Michael fan club) and he liked it so much he pooped on it daily. To cut down on our laundry, we decided that we needed two since it is the only way we can get the kid to sleep. New parents, trust us on this one. You need it. You may need two.


Great list! I also found if I needed 1 of something, I needed 2 or more.

Posted by Lisa on April 17, 2008 at 10:44 PM EDT #

I promise not to comment EVERY time you write- but I couldn't help thinking while reading about the "miracle blanket" you wrote that Jay pooped on it daily. Okay, so you wrap it tightly around around him? Could it be that you are wrapping it around him so tight your squeezing the poop out of him? Just a thought....

Posted by Great Aunt Ali on April 18, 2008 at 08:22 PM EDT #

Oh my gosh! We recieved the announcement and Braves fans unite!!! What a cutie!

And until you have gone through a vacuum cleaner (I mean burn the motor up for the white noise) because a friend mentions to you it is a life saver. you haven't done all the weird things for the wellbeing of your family and baby. Ofcourse the after effects, David is like Papa...he cannot hear a word we say in the same room anymore :-)
Love to all!

Posted by Robin Perry on April 25, 2008 at 06:24 PM EDT #

Another thing we couldn't live without was the Egg temperature light, it showed whether baby was hot or too cold.

Posted by Mobiles on February 05, 2009 at 08:58 AM EST #

Great list... I agree with almost everything on it. I just wanted to say one thing about the baby carrier... you would likely find it easier on your back if you use a carrier that has a waist belt so that most of the baby's weight is carried on your hips instead of your shoulders, which strains the back. Enjoy the early years - they go by too fast!

Posted by Baby Carriers on May 27, 2009 at 12:51 AM EDT #

I love the list. I have one of my own, but have found a few more that you listed to add to it. Thank you very much

Posted by baby carriers backpacks on July 31, 2009 at 09:39 AM EDT #

#3, 2 and 1 are the best. I have a one year old grandson and the numbers of times we got christened with pee. The Miracle Blanket is the best thing I ever bought, Jack had colic and it worked just like it said and he is a much happier baby because of it.

Posted by Patsy on September 16, 2009 at 09:20 PM EDT #

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I said "Do you speak-a my language?"

Thursday Apr 10, 2008

I said "Do you speak-a my language?"

He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich.

(From "Land Down Under" by Men at Work)

Hi everyone, Jay here again. Since my mom and dad are being so slack about posting here, I thought I'd help 'em out. I mean, seriously, one message in a week?! I'm always doing something adorable they could write about!

So, I thought I would explain to everyone what I'm doing to try and train my parents. "Try" is the key word here - they are a little slow in picking up on some of my hints. I know that I don't speak their English language yet, so I'm trying to communicate with them in MY language, known as baby-ese. It's so simple, and yet they just don't seem to be getting it.

Baby-ese is a combination language, using both sound and signs to get the message across. Here are some of the signs:

Wide open mouth = "Feed me"

Wide open mouth with head shaking = "Feed me now"

Lip smacking = "Feed me right now"

Fist into mouth = "I'm so hungry I'm going to eat my own arm"

(You can also combine all of those signs at the same time to mean "If you don't feed me right now, I'm going to eat my own arm, dammit!")

And here are some of the sounds:

Waaaaaa! = I have a wet diaper

Waaaaaaa! = I have a poopy diaper

Waaaaaaaa! = I'm bored

Waaaaaaaaa! = I'm cold

Waaaaaaaaaa! = I'm hot

Waaaaaaaaaaa! = I'm tired

Waaaaaaaaaaaa! = I'm hungry

Waaaaaaaaaaaaa! = Stop taking pictures of me. What are you, the paparazzi?

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa! = Let's go for a ride in the car

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! = No? How about taking me out in the stroller, then?

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! = Just a walk outside? Pretty please?

See? Baby-ese is so simple. If any of you can help my parents figure this out, our lives would be MUCH smoother.


Ooo -- there was an Oprah show about this, you know. There is a video out there somewhere about the language of baby cries. It really was pretty fascinating.

Posted by Amy Galvan on April 10, 2008 at 10:00 PM EDT #

Wow, Jay is quite the prodigy. Most babies "coo" first, but Jay is already into typing and using the computer. Definitely a new generation. I love the postings from whoever writes them. :)

Posted by Great Aunt Ali-Sorry, I like the "Great" part on April 12, 2008 at 10:38 AM EDT #

Ok- I am on an emotional roller coaster, probably like you :)Last post I was crying and this one truly laughing. I never really got the "a mother understands her babies cries" thing either. Sorry to not be more help, but I do know how you feel!

Posted by Lisa on April 14, 2008 at 02:50 PM EDT #

Hey Jay! Kira here! Good luck getting these big people trained up well. I'm still working on mine too. Plus, our parents seem to be pretty slack about letting us hang out. I mean, come on now, last time they didn't even take a picture of our cute selves together. What can you do? Maybe they will learn. Drop me an email and maybe we can help them out a bit. :)

Posted by Kira Harrison on April 15, 2008 at 10:16 AM EDT #

Okay, Jay I'm sorry to tell you that we all went through this with our individually slow parents. They have degrees and everything and still don't get it; we can't really expect that much from them, can we? If they could get the timing of when to do things as you see fit, life would be much easier!!!! Hey, can you send me the picture of us since you are so computer savvy. In the meantime, I will pray for your mentally slow parents :)

Posted by Theresa on April 15, 2008 at 10:44 AM EDT #

Monday, April 7, 2008

In the still of the night...

Monday Apr 07, 2008

In the still of the night...

I held you
Held you tight
'Cause I love
Love you so
Promise I'll never
Let you go
In the still of the night

(Hope those lyrics brought you a nice little flashback to the movie "Dirty Dancing" - one of my faves!)

It's 3:26 in the morning, and I'm up writing this blog when I should be sleeping. I know, "sleep when the baby sleeps" is the rule, but tonight I'm just awake. I've spent many nights up at this hour. I pulled a few all-nighters in college cramming for exams or finishing up papers that should have been written during daylight. I've even enjoyed some late night fun that kept me out on the town this late into the night. As a champion worrier, I have spent more than a few nights up at this hour, watching late-night infomercials and imagining one potential catastrophe after another. Why is it that our anxieties always seem a million times worse at 3 a.m. than at 3 p.m.?
But tonight I'm not up for any of those reasons - I'm up with the baby, just like I've been up with him every night since we brought him home.

It was one month ago today that Jay was born at 2:31 a.m. I thought I understood exhaustion that night, after being in labor for more than 24 hours and struggling through a long and difficult delivery. But that kind of tired has nothing on the kind of tired I feel now after weeks of sleeping only in 2-3 hour spurts. On a good night, Jay will sleep 4 hours between feedings. Let's just say tonight has not been one of those 4 hour nights! I'm a big fan of sleep, and it's a luxury I haven't been enjoying the way I would like.

And while I'm suffering from a major case of exhaustion during the daytime, I really do like the middle of the night snuggles I get to enjoy after feeding him. After Jay eats, we try to keep him upright for at least 20 minutes to help keep him from spitting up. (When we've struggled to get every ounce into him, we don't want to see a single drop coming back up!) While some nights all I want to do is drop him back into his crib and fall back into my bed, that 20 minutes has become some of my favorite time with him. He's much more snuggly with Derek than with me - for some reason he just settles into Derek's shoulder better during the day. But at night, he'll cuddle up on my shoulder and let me enjoy some some snuggles, too. Tonight, I spent the whole time praying, thanking God for the amazing blessing of having him here, having him at home and healthy.

Never thought I'd feel so lucky to be up all night long.


Well, you've finally done it....I'm crying.
Crying because I, too, am thankful that you are in the midst of enjoying and enduring sleepless nights with a beautfiful little miracle like Jay.
I'm also crying because you've reminded me that the little boys that I've refereed all morning and gotten frutrated with at least 100 times were once snuggled on my shoulder at 2:45 am. They are still my miracles. Thank you!

Posted by Jen B. on April 07, 2008 at 12:38 PM EDT #

So, I am tearing up, too! I don't know what else to say. I totally understand all that you are feeling!

Posted by Lisa on April 07, 2008 at 02:34 PM EDT #

Ugh! Goodness Jen! Way to hit on every emotion a mom has! I'm so glad you are enjoying being a new mom. It definitely has it's joys and hardships all at the same time.

Posted by Bethany Watkins on April 07, 2008 at 08:22 PM EDT #

Hello to all! The night has its moments and only a parent understands that!!! I still sneak a peak at my son when he is sleeping. At 19 the face is the same, the peacefulness is the same. Enjoy the
time with Jay.

Posted by teri carpenter on April 08, 2008 at 08:38 AM EDT #

Now I know why I spent 24 hours in labor giving birth to you and why I spent sleepless nights crying because you wouldn't stop crying and why I carefully measured every drop of formula you got and why I mixed it with every possible additive to make sure your system worked right and why I loved that colicky baby every moment of her life. It was all so that I could have this moment of awareness that life is a cycle that goes on and on in all of its wonder and joy. Now I know.

Posted by Mom on April 08, 2008 at 11:03 AM EDT #

Another crying mom here...thank you for sharing this Jen. Thank you for that reminder of times that we get to snuggle with our little ones. It's amazing in so many ways. While I know you are about to tip over from exhaustion, keep enjoying every minute. Sounds like you are. I am so glad you 3 are together at home and doing well. I look forward to seeing all of you soon!

Posted by Rebecca on April 08, 2008 at 12:00 PM EDT #

Not only did your post bring tears to my eyes, your mom's comment did as well! What a blessing. I can only hope I'm blessed the same way someday! Love to you all!

Posted by Katrine on April 08, 2008 at 06:33 PM EDT #

Awww...I'm not a mom but I felt this blog. Enjoy the snuggles before he becomes "too big" to snuggle and wipes off your kisses. What an awesome experience for you. Be Blessed!!!

Posted by Theresa on April 09, 2008 at 02:15 PM EDT #