Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our Baby Jack

Jackson Ellis Lassiter safely arrived on June 10th at 11:35 am.  Largely due to big brother's influence, he has affectionately become known around here as "Baby Jack".  The primary reason for a delay in blogging, Jack's arrival, set me back just a bit in more ways than one.  Rather than jumping in documenting the craziness of his birthday and the events that followed, I want to introduce him as Jack, the sweet boy that he is.

I often wondered how I would feel about my second child when he arrived.  I knew I would love him, obviously, but I couldn't fathom having the capacity to love another as much as I love Mason.  Jack was born by scheduled c-section and the 30 minutes it took for him to be born were filled with excitement and anxiety.  As soon as I heard his (loud) cry and then felt his soft warm little cheek against mine, it was love.  Just like my love for Mason, it grows deeper every day.

From his first days of life, he has been very alert and strong and could pick his head up all by himself. He has also been trying to stand since the first couple of weeks and it sometimes takes an effort to get him to bend his legs into the sitting position.  In the picture above, he is in his car seat for the first time all ready to go home! Notice his super long feet!  His footprints filled up and went over the lines of the box on his birth certificate.

After he spent the majority of his first five days under the bili lights for jaundice, we kept him in the sunlight (indirect) as much as possible during our first weekend at home.  The following Monday we took him in for a check up and received the wonderful news that his jaundice was no more! Having to keep him under the lights in the hospital killed me and I was so relieved that we did not have to go back!

I am sure that Jack was just as happy to be out from under all of those lights as we were to have him in our arms! By the time we got to bring him home, no one had really gotten the chance to hold him except for a few minutes.  He only came out from under the lights to eat and then we had to put him right back under them. 

The day after we arrived home from the hospital, I got sick.  Except, I didn't know I was sick.  I thought I was just tired and that the symptoms I was experiencing were from hormones, recovering from surgery, lack of sleep, etc.  So, I spent the next 3 weeks laying around, primarily in the bed, and they are sort of blurry, as my mind was not quite all there. However, Jack and I got some quality bonding time since all I could literally do was feed him and hold him and change his diapers. For that, I am thankful.  I am thankful that I was able to take care of him even though I couldn't do anything else.

Jack's first sponge bath! He was not a huge fan.  I really was not used to having a vocal baby, but he really lets you know when he has a problem with something!  His little personality was his very own from the beginning.  He is very sensitive and likes to have things done just so.  It took me a little while to learn all of his preferences, but I think we have them down pat now.  For example, he HATES being the slightest bit wet or dirty and he smiles immediately when his soiled diaper is removed.  He is very dramatic and cries like you are killing him (high pitch squeals) if he thinks you are about to do one thing (feed him) and then do another (lay him down so you can do x,y,z).

One Month Old

He is a smiley little man, too, and I love that about him!  He smiled at me for the first time at 5 weeks and I was thrilled.  After weeks of sacrifice and sleeplessness are met with blank stares and loud cries,  it is the best feeling in the world when your child finally looks at you and smiles.

This little guy has my heart and that is for sure.  He is a momma's boy and I am going to enjoy it while I can!  No doubt once he reaches about 6 months of age he will be all about Daddy, and Mommy will be but a distant memory.  Ok, not a distant memory, but much less exciting.

Please observe the big feet and the E.T. toes.  

This picture unexpectedly captured his first coos!

Here he is after his first real bath!  Although he was unsure at first, he really seemed to enjoy the water. The drying off part, he hated.

6 Weeks Old

At six weeks old he took his first road trip to Andalusia, AL.  We went there to spend the weekend with some friends at the lake and Jack did pretty well.  Jack's first six weeks were clouded with reflux and probably a bit of colic, which was not fun at all.  While I could soothe him after a few minutes of crying, he seemed to cry often and it was difficult for other people to hold him without him getting upset.  After a couple of weeks on the right medication he became a much happier baby.

8 Weeks Old

Then he refused to take a bottle.  However, that has since been remedied, praise the Lord! Although he doesn't LIKE the bottle, he will agree to drink from it when necessary.

 This is one of his first times in his bumbo and he loved being a part of the family activities.

Jack makes this face every time he hears a funny noise like when you make a motorboat sound.  His eyes get so big and it cracks me up every time.

For his first 8 weeks he slept in a bassinet that has been used for every child on my mom's side of the family for the last 56 years.  It has even served, though not deliberately, as the birth place for a litter of kittens.

He did well in his bassinet, but preferred and slept better in his swing.  He has since transferred, pretty seamlessly, to his crib and sleeps all night long because he is a sweet angel who loves his mommy.

2 Months Old
The crib he sleeps in was originally bought for me!  Although it is now thirty years old, it is beautiful and in great shape!  I am so happy that he gets to use it too!

We moved the chair from Mason's room into Jack's nursery and I love that I get to use it for his monthly photographs as well.  That chair was one of the best baby investments that we ever made!  Yes, it is massive.

Every week that passes is more fun with this little guy.  I just love that little bald head!  A lot of people think that Jack looks like me.  I have to agree that he does look a lot like me in my baby pictures.  I was bald too, for like a year.  Jack is starting to get a little bit of light brown hair and I can't wait to see what it will look like!

Sucking on his fist is a relatively new thing that he likes to do and though he is not a huge fan of the pacifier, he will take one when he is going to sleep.

This past week he started grabbing at his toys and he loves playing on his little play mat. I love watching him studying his little animals and hitting at them.

Jack sure does love his big brother who is a huge help!  Sometimes I think Jack is like, "Oh no! Here he comes again!" but a lot of times he smiles really big when he sees Mason. Mason is crazy about him, sharing all of his toys and trying to comfort him when he cries (as pictured above).  I know that they will be big buddies.

The day that Jack was born, through my morphine induced cloud of fog, and the days that followed, I just kept thanking God over and over for all that He had done.  I am so very blessed.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Week - Long Post!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!  Due to a second trip to the hospital for contractions coming 2-3 minutes apart, being placed on medication for contractions, failing my glucose screening, and simply being completely stressed out and worn out, our plans to go to North Alabama changed and us three Lassiters stayed put for the weekend.  I was sad to miss out on seeing my family but it really was the best decision as I am feeling much better!  And on the upside, we got to spend some time with Ben's family which was a lot of fun and you will see pictures of that towards the end of the post.  Also, before I go any further, Baby Jack (yes we have a name now!) is fine and I am not considered to be in preterm labor, thank the Lord. 

We decided to name the baby Jackson Ellis Lassiter and call him Jack.  As I mentioned before, we have had a hard time deciding on a name and I had been praying about what to call #2.  The name "Jack," a family name on both sides, had popped into my head but I hadn't mentioned it to Ben.  So one day  I asked Ben if there were any baby names sticking out in his mind and he said, "Well, I have kind of been thinking about Jack."  I told him that I had been thinking the same thing and so we decided that Jack it must be!  We got Ellis from my dad's middle name which had been in the running for the middle name pretty strong all along.  My only hesitation was that I might want to use it for a girl down the road, but we thought it sounded good with Jackson.  All of the family approves and that is the icing on the cake.  I am really really excited to finally have a name for this baby!  ALSO, this baby now has a birthday all picked out... June 10th! We scheduled the C-section at my last appointment and that means that Jack will be here exactly 10 weeks from today (if he stays put like he is supposed to)!

Now, let's get back to Easter...  When I realized that Mason is now old enough to enjoy egg hunting and dying I got a little carried away.  I bought 2 dozen eggs and boiled them last Sunday in anticipation for the dying and hunting to begin.  I realized that he would not be very entertained by waiting on eggs in cups to change colors and I was trying to figure out what to do when I came across a post on watercolor eggs from this website.  Perfect!

So, we added a few drops of food coloring to a few tablespoons of water and then a splash of vinegar and we painted away!  Actually, Mason did the painting almost all by himself!  He really seemed to enjoy it and also enjoyed moving the eggs around in the carton.

I was a bit nervous about there being a huge mess but Mason barely got any of the dye on his hands and the newspaper soaked up anything that dripped.  Clean up was no problem.  In fact, we only painted one dozen so we will probably paint the second dozen soon just for kicks.

My parents decided to head up to Nashville to spend Easter with Cara and Matt, but not before bringing Mason his Easter gift.  They gave him a new pop up book, which is awesome and has a whale in it (Mason's favorite lately), and some Thomas the Tank Engine pajamas.  I will have to get a photo of him in his new PJ's.  He loves them and cried when I took them off of him the first morning.  He points to Thomas and says "Thomas... blue!"  Blue is the only color he knows so it is good that Thomas is actually blue.  

On Friday, when Mason was finally all well, we got to take a trip to the zoo with several of our friends.  Mason had talked about going to see the animals with Caden allllll week and literally cried when we didn't go immediately at 3:00 one morning when he woke up sick.  I was only able to get all the little kids in the picture above because of the lens I had with me, but Hadley and Alex are there too!  I kept trying to get them all on one level but as soon as the big kids would get down, the little ones climbed up.  Mason had a great time with all of his friends and I loved getting to spend time with their mommies too!  All the kids are so much fun to watch and it has been a joy getting to see them all grow up together.

In all the craziness with the pregnancy, I completely forgot about getting Mason something to wear for Easter and getting stuff for his Easter basket like I had planned to do the weekend before.  On Saturday I went through his closet to see if he had anything "Eastery" for church the next day.  Thankfully I had bought some outfits for him last year when they were on sale in anticipation for this year.  I also pulled out some of his 18 month outfits from last summer to see if they still fit.  Mason ooh'd and ahhh'd over all the outfits I showed him.  Seriously.  He really likes all of his clothes, even the dressy ones.  All I have to do is say, "Oh Mason! Look at your outfit with monkeys on it!!"  And he goes, "oooh!"  So, he picked up the one pictured above with machines on it and I tried it on him only to realize it is way to small.  However, he refused to take it off and insisted on putting his boots on with it.  So that is how he spent much of his morning....  wearing an unbuttoned too small smocked outfit with cowboy boots.  He even wore it to eat breakfast.  Notice he is also holding his friend "Baby Duck" who he named himself and sleeps with, along with the bunnies.

We convinced Mason out of his smocked outfit and into "work clothes" so he could go out and play and hunt eggs while Ben and I did stuff around the yard.  He loved hunting his painted eggs as much as the plastic ones but he kept trying to put the painted eggs inside the plastic eggs and they kept falling out.  He would put the painted eggs in the plastic ones and then put them into his basket just like that.  The only draw back to the real eggs is that the dogs kept trying to eat them.  I would go to a spot where I knew I had hidden an egg and find that it had disappeared.  Then I'd see it later covered in dirt somewhere else in the yard where one of the dogs had dropped it.

Working in the garden

Digging in the dirt pile where Daddy has been fixing the fence

Bringing out the heavy equipment

Filling up the dump truck

He was helping me pot the plants, or really just taking out all of the potting soil that I was putting in.
After all, what else would you do with potting soil?
Goodies from the Easter Bunny... clothes, bubbles, golf bag

Mason and Daddy after church on Sunday
The "test picture" I was taking from the tripod while trying to set up for the family photo.  I love something about it....
Little man and Me, 29 weeks pregnant...  Mason was done with pictures and wanted to play with his golf clubs. He was literally putting up a fight for me to hold on to him so I said "Ben, say something to make him laugh."  Ben's response, "Mason, say boogers!" Really?? Haha!!
Getting a golf lesson from Daddy
This is a "before" shot of our yard and garden.  We are getting new grass today, but more on that later!

That evening we headed out to Mimi and Pop's house for dinner and some egg hunting with Neal and Tori and their kids.  (Neal is Ben's younger brother.)  We had such a good time hanging out and watching the kids play.  Even though rain was predicted, it cleared up just in time and left that beautiful rainbow for us to enjoy!

We were greeted  by Neal and Tori's new puppy, a Bull Mastiff.  So cute!

Neely made sure that Mason knew where Bunny was at all times.  They were so cute playing together.

Running through the clover to get to Pop and Cole

He loves a tractor ride with Pop!

Weslianne and Neal taking a spin on the 4 wheeler

Neely loved hunting the eggs and was so excited to find them.

Such cute cousins!  

Pop helping Mason get to the good stuff... he knows if you shake it and it makes noise then there is a prize inside

Mason loves his Mimi

Mason wanted to go the pasture to look for the "neigh" but there were no horses out this day.

I said a lot of stuff about Easter but somehow failed to leave out the most important part... Jesus!

Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
And I know who holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives!!

 Until next time...