Archives For Jack

Long time, no see, lovely readers! We have been busy busy busy over here. We returned late Tuesday night from our first ever vacay as a family of three and I’ve spent the past two days recovering and unpacking. We had so much fun. Like way more fun than I thought we would. I don’t know what I was expecting. I guess I was so busy thinking about the logistics of traveling A) right after a hurricane and B) with a little bitty baby that I didn’t even consider what the trip itself might be like. In short, it was much easier than I expected and we had a blast.

The purpose of our trip was to attend Nick’s cousin’s wedding in Connecticut. Vinnie is his only first cousin on his dad’s side and Nick was a groomsman. Nick’s been telling Jack for weeks about all the relatives he was going to meet, and he was right. So many people came that we hadn’t seen in years (and lots and lots of people I was meeting for the first time). I was more than a little flattered at how many of them said they’d read my blog! I couldn’t believe it. I don’t even know what to say except that I’m surprised and flattered. I wish I’d been able to talk to some of them more, everyone was so nice!

Jack was an awesome little traveler. It seems he finds the sounds and movements of planes, trains, and automobiles rather soothing as he napped right through almost every one of those experiences. I’d read online that a big reason why babies cry on planes is that they don’t know how to adjust their ears to the pressure, so I just nursed or encouraged him to suck on the pacifier whenever we were landing and taking off and he did great. Folks came up to us after every flight and commented on how “good” he was. Of course if he’d cried it wouldn’t have been the end of the world and it wouldn’t mean he’s “bad”, but it was nice not to have the added stress of a distressed baby and resentful passengers.

The wedding was a blast. My family is very WASP-y so to experience this wedding full of Greeks and Puerto Ricans and Brazilians felt quite exotic. The ceremony was held in the Greek Orthodox Church, which was beautiful. I was SHOCKED that Jack slept through the whole reception. It was late by the time it started and I thought for sure we’d have to leave as soon as dinner was over to get him to bed, but he snoozed in our arms despite the loud music. Here’s the world’s worst cell phone picture of him sleeping on Nick’s lap during dinner. Update: I just realized I took a picture with my camera. Can you see that he’s wearing a little tuxedo onesie with a little baby bowtie? Adorbs.

We have some friends and family in NYC (all on Nick’s side; I am not nearly that fancy), and since we were staying with Nick’s aunt and Abuela about 50 miles away in southern Connecticut we decided to take the train in to visit. We spent two long days down there, coming back after midnight both nights, but once again Jack seemed unfazed by our shenanigans. He went all around the city in the Baby Bjorn, even sticking to his regular 8:30 bedtime as festivities carried on around him.

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Here he is with Nick’s Aunt Holly in Bryant Park.

We got really good at public nursing and diaper changes–I feel like I can take him anywhere now! We didn’t really plan to have him out so much but it just sort of happened and as long as he seemed to be doing well we saw no reason to take him home. Of course, the decision of how much to bring your young baby out into the world is a personal one that will probably be different for every family, but we’re pretty laid back and things are working out well for us so far. In fact, Jack’s doing better than I did–I caught a cold and lost my voice, while he hasn’t had so much as a sniffle! He must take after Nick, who hardly ever gets sick.

I think maybe my favorite part of the whole trip is that we got our first ever family picture. Nick’s dad snapped this one right before we all started getting dressed for the wedding.

I’m totally going to frame it. As much fun as we had, I think we’re all glad to be back home. On our return flight we were supposed to have an hour layover in Chicago–just enough time to change Jack’s diaper and grab something to eat–but our flight out of New York got delayed by an hour so we were literally racing through an airport neither of us had ever been to before to be the last people on the plane just before they shut the cabin door. We’d checked one big bag full of all our clothes and Jack’s pack n play and, let me tell you, I have never been so relieved to see my luggage appear on the baggage claim carousel. My wardrobe is pretty limited right now and I was so worried that every piece of clothing that fits would be stranded in Chicago. By the time we finally got home after midnight on Tuesday we were exhausted. I still haven’t unpacked all the way. Luckily this weekend we’ll be taking it pretty easy, save for taking Jack to his first ever LSU game! I think Nick is so excited he could die. The way I’m feeling I might just sleep through the whole thing, haha.

What a fabulous, fabulous day yesterday was! Jack had another ultrasound and his hips were perfect, so he no longer has to wear the harness!

I’m freeeeeeeeee!

He told me the thing he is most excited about is wearing pants. A whole new world of fashion possibilities just opened up after six weeks straight in nothing but onesies.

Juliet was eager to offer congratulatory kisses.

And Pistachio coincidentally chose this day to push her fear aside and come in for a sniff.

We are so, so excited to be done with that dang pavlik harness. We really did get used to it, but I’m glad it’s over. It’s so much nicer to cuddle a baby who’s not strapped into velcro. He was actually physically incapable of flopping over with it on, haha. He was such a rigid little man. And it was all scratchy on the outside. And those little baby legs! And feet! And toes! They were always covered up before, but no more! I can squeeze them to my heart’s content. Now I just got a little worried to realize I’ll be in charge of making sure his feet stay warm. Do babies his age need socks all the time, even in summer?

As for the harness, there’s an orphanage in China that’s in need of gently used pavlik harnesses, so it’ll be going in the mail as soon as I can get it washed. I asked my doctor’s office if they accepted donations for local families who couldn’t afford it, but they said they couldn’t take used ones. And as for why anyone would need something like this secondhand, would you believe that it costs nearly $800??? Fortunately our insurance covered most of it, but geez. That’s an awful lot of dough for some straps and velcro. It worked so well for Jack and literally changed the course of his life so I would love for another child to benefit from it as well.

Thanks again to all of you who were so supportive of us during this time. It really did make the whole thing easier to bear. And if you’re just reading this post and wondering what the heck this whole harness thing is all about, you can read my first post about it here, and read about when we found out he wouldn’t need surgery at the bottom of this post.

Between an auction I won on eBay and a friend who thought of me when she couldn’t bring her inherited silver collection along on her cross-country move (thanks, Caitlyn!), I scored a boatload of vintage silver all in one day last week. Luckily it was also the same day that I got my first ever tub of silver cream. Why oh why have I never used silver polish before? It works sooooo much better and faster than toothpaste or baking soda or whatever other household substances I tried before. This stuff is amazing.

I’m going to make some more chalkboards out of the silver platters stacked up on the left. Everything else is pretty much ready to be listed, save for some wax I still need to clean off those candleholders. Anyone know a good method of removing wax from an uneven surface? I tried freezing it but that didn’t really work.

My shop seems to be doing really well lately, which makes me pretty excited because the more successful my shop is, the more likely it is that I’ll be able to continue spending my days with this guy:

He’s starting to give little hints of a smile. Can you see it? I’m still having a hard time figuring out how to balance motherhood vs. getting anything else done ever. I don’t know how moms of more than one kid manage to not just live in complete filth, much less work from home. I actually ended up writing out my priorities in order and putting it on the wall near my desk so that when I get him down for a nap I can go look at it to help me decide what to do with my few minutes of freedom. First priority: getting myself fed, dressed, etc. After that comes the blog, shop, studying for my social work licensure exam (still haven’t even applied to take it so I am way behind on this one), exercise, and wouldn’t you believe that housework is way down at the bottom of that list? Funny how that happens. I figure Nick helps a lot with housework when he’s home so it’s not critical that I squeeze it into my precious daytime hours. Although I do do the laundry several times a week since we’re cloth diapering, but that takes hardly any time at all. I’ve only made it all the way to exercise like once since I started this priority system. We were taking walks a few times a week earlier on but I wasn’t getting much else done and that started to wear on my sense of self-efficacy (see how I’m still working some social work chatter into my everyday life? Gotta stay fresh). I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight at my postpartum visit this week, which is amazing and blows my mind because usually I am packing on the pounds instead of seeing them melt off, but I still have about twenty pounds to go to reach my goal (which is what I weighed when we got married three years ago).

So overall, things are going just swell. I figure it’ll take me about seventeen and a half naps to get all that silver photographed, priced, and listed in my shop, but the little thrill I get every time I make a sale is so worth it.

I’m working on getting a bunch of stuff that’s been sitting around for months finally listed in my shop today. It’s so dumb that I’ve let them sit this long–items can’t sell if they’re not listed, right? But I just didn’t have the energy in the last few months of pregnancy. Surprisingly, I find life with a newborn significantly more manageable.

Anyway, I’m glad I waited, because earlier this week I had the greatest idea for two silver platters that I just could not get as polished as I would like. I always like to leave a little tarnish–I think the patina gives character–but these two were just looking a little rough. So I transformed them into chalkboard message boards!

I already had chalkboard paint on hand left over from this project.

The first coat of this stuff always looks a bit disastrous.

But after two more coats they were looking pretty good.

I waited the recommended 72 hours before adorning them with some words of wisdom and setting them up for a photo shoot.

I love them so much that I decided to leave them out until they sell. One is still in the spot pictured above at the top of the stairs, the other is on the mantle in the office. I’ll be sad when they leave me. So much so that I’m thinking about giving the same chalkboard treatment to one of the platters already hanging in my dining room. (this photo is from last October when I made the book page bouquet, hence the presence of a pumpkin atop that stack of books)

These little message boards weren’t the only fabulous thing to happen in our house this week. Yesterday marked three weeks since Jack was placed in his harness, so we went in for an ultrasound to see whether it was working. If his left hip was still dislocated we would abandon the harness and start planning for surgery. I squinted at the screen trying to understand what I was seeing. It looked good to me, but I really didn’t know what I was looking for and of course the tech couldn’t tell me anything. I waited by the phone all day with bated breath and cried tears of relief when I finally heard from the doctor that Jack would not need surgery. He’ll keep wearing the harness for now, and that’s okay with me. A little bit of fabric and velcro is nothing compared to the cast he would have had to wear for months after having his hip moved back into place under general anesthesia. Thank you so much to all of you who kept us in your thoughts and prayers, it really has been such a source of comfort to have so many people supporting us through this. Hopefully his treatment will continue to progress successfully and we’ll be out of that harness in no time!

Update: Wow, those chalkboards sold in less than two hours! I’m thinking I will definitely make some more but I’m not sure how many. Let me know if you’re interested in buying one!