Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Updates on James

My apologies for not updating this in a couple of weeks! James, if you read this when you are older please know that I didn't have a chance to update it because I have been busy taking care of you...and loving it!

We have had a great couple of weeks. Highlights include James's one month doctor's visit. Joe and I were not surprised to find out that he now weighs 10 lbs., 11 oz. (75th percentile)! In one month he has already gained 3 lbs., 10 oz. Wow! He is also 22 and 5/8 inches in length (90th percentile). Needless to say, he is pretty much growing out of all of his cute newborn clothes.

I have been trying to get out of the house as much as possible, which means we are always figuring something out. Yesterday James took his first CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) trip. We took the red line from our place to Water Tower for some shopping. It was a smooth trip but it means making sure we only use train stations with elevators! Some have yet to be updated to be handicap accessible. We also had to feed James in "public" while at the mall. I was anxious about it but it went well and I hope to get more comfortable so I don't feel like I have to be home every 2-3 hours.

As far as behavior, James is still such a sweet boy and he is getting even sweeter as Joe and I figure him out. He is up for a lot of the day and is always gazing around the room at the ceiling, lights, etc. He LOVES his mobile so we have fun playing with that. Of course, we also enjoy a lot of "talk time" when he's up for it and his expressions and smiles re priceless! He is definitely smiling (not just gassy) because you can see it in his whole face. Yesterday I brought him to Wheatley & Timmons where I work and he was grinning ear to ear at the ladies. He is also started to "talk" in the form of coos and gurgles. So cute!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Living with and loving our James

Why am I nude and wet?

Hello mom!

Today I am loving the musical star on my activity mat!

Content in a swaddle and swing

Giving mom lots of smiles!

Whew! Our third week with James was very busy...and very fun!

It started with giving James his first tub bath. He was so adorable! He just stared at us with a very confused look on his face. His second bath was also fairly well received. I think that once he gets used to it he's really going to like baths.

We had two days when James was a bit of a bear - this in comparison to the sweet angel he is most of the time. We couldn't seem to make him happy! Joe and I were getting pretty frustrated (not to mention sad), but we think we know what the deal was after reading something in our parenting book. Apparently, babies go through a growth spurt right around 3 weeks. As a result, they want to eat all of the time. He wasn't really giving me clear hunger cues so he'd cry and cry while Joe and I tried to figure out what he could want. We didn't think it could be food since he had just eaten! In the end I'd end up feeding him so I was basically feeding him non-stop (this was hard on mom). I sure wish I would've read the info about the growth spurts BEFORE the experience so I would've just fed him right away and avoided the whole thing. We learn!

After that the rest of the week was very smooth and we've been having so much fun. We've been playing with James and trying to stimulate him to help him grow. That means lots of time on his tummy, which he doesn't love. When he's on mom or dad's belly, he can lift his head right up and look us in the eye. It's so awesome! But when he's down on the ground he gets frustrated. We'll keep working on it. He is also enjoying "talking" to us and making expressions. He is getting pretty good at smiling when we smile (see photo above) and it's so cute! We also busted out his activity mat this week. We weren't sure if he'd be into it at this age but he really loves it! He is so intrigued by the music and lights.

We also had a lot of visitors last week! Auntie's Erin Hawkins and Erin Burke and Kristin Hubner came to visit, as well as Brian Korbutt. James had a good time hanging out with everyone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our second week as a family

The perfect spot for a nap

Mom is so thrilled to be enjoying the lakefront with her 1 week old

Helloo world! I have big eyes when I'm awake!

I was such a good boy while mom and dad washed my hair for the first time

Spending some QT with Grandpa & Grandma Rankin

Relaxing with dad

Getting ready for church with mom

James, mom and dad have had a busy two weeks adjusting to life together!

Luckily, the weather last week was great - above normal temps with one day of almost 70 degrees! We loaded him up in his awesome BOB stroller and took him to Target, Starbucks, Ace Hardware, Grant Park and the lakefront! James loves to be in his car seat in his stroller because it is so cozy. He pretty much slept the whole time. Mom REALLY enjoyed the outings though, as it was a daydream of mine even before pregnancy to think about strolling around the city with our city baby! (Don't worry, we weren't out for long and mom is relaxing...in fact, today I am back in my pj's. It's too cold to do anything but relax at home!)

We also gave him his first sponge bath. We were nervous about him hating it and getting very cranky. No need to worry though! He slept the whole time. It was very sweet so I had to include a picture!

Grandpa & Grandma Rankin came to visit last week too. It was great to have them here to help with everything. They made us some great meals, helped calm James when he was fussy, played with him and changed lots of diapers. We were glad they got to see him at two weeks since he seems to be growing so quickly.

We also brought James to church! He was very well-behaved (ie. sound asleep) but got to meet Father Bob and our church friends. Everyone loves James, of course! :)

At his two week doctor's appointment he weighted 8 lbs., 13 oz. (50th percentile) and was 22 1/4" in length (95th percentile). He must be getting his height from his Grandpa Middleton or Uncle John!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweet Baby James

I look just like my daddy right now!

Playing Wii with dad

When I'm asleep I look like an angel

A relaxing Sunday on the couch with mom

I look goofy in my sleep sack, but at least I'm safe!

Things have been going great as we adjust to life at home as a family of three! James is a very good baby. Most of his days are spent sleeping, but when he is awake he is already so much fun! We have fun playing with him and watching him learn. He follows voices very well, loves to "mimic" facial expressions (the best he can), is starting to focus on objects (like the mobile above his changing area) and even seems to want to "talk" when we get him really going. We think he is very smart (yes, we are proud parents!). The only time he is really fussy is right when we want to go to sleep. This usually lasts just a couple of hours though, and after that he sleeps in two periods of 3-4 hours. (I have to remind myself of this because it really can be quite frustrating) This is great because it means mom and dad can usually get 5-6 hours for the night! Not the 8-9 we got before he was here but we'll certainly take it.

His 4 day doctor's appointment last Saturday went great. He was down 7 oz. when we left the hospital Thursday but had already gained 8 oz. back in 2 days! He is still eating like a champ and is already getting chubby cheeks.

What else can I say about James besides the fact that he is a very sweet baby boy...Sweet Baby James certainly suits him! :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hanging out and coming home

Hanging with mom...
Daddy and mommy love you James!

Enjoying the Chicago sunset.

Cozy in the car seat.

Going home!

Here are a few more shots from the hospital stay. Prentice Women's Hospital at Northwestern took very good care of us. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We are so appreciative of the time there to get acclimated to parenthood! I WILL say that I was quite surprised at just how tired and overwhelmed we were the first few days. I really thought that after he was born I'd be right up on my feet and the hospital stay would be one big party. I didn't realize that I would actually need to recover and that pretty much every minute would be filled with a check-up on James or me, instructions on something, a test on something, a diaper change or a feeding. We had no downtime to even read the many magazines we brought! I need some pictures of James visiting with his Rankin and Middleton grandparents. It was fantastic having them there! I will post when I get some.

One of the pictures is of James in the car seat getting ready to take his first car ride home! He was a champ and totally loved it - he slept the whole 10 minute ride home. We finally got home from the hospital last night (Thursday) around 9 pm. We were very excited to be home, but also very exhausted. At first, James didn't adjust too well to his new surroundings. It was a rough couple of hours! But by the middle of the night everyone had settled down and we were all able to sleep for 4-5 hours. Today was a great day, although it was again spent figuring out how best to do everything now that we're at home. We're getting the hang of it though and he is sleeping long enough to let me update this post and eat a nice dinner (thanks to Jen and Dave for cooking lasagna for us!)!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Our beautiful baby boy is here!

James Joseph Middleton (we will call him James)
February 3, 2009
8 lbs., 1 oz.
21 inches

Labor and delivery went well! I started having contractions Monday afternoon and by 1:30 am Tuesday Joe and I decided it was time to go to the hospital. I was admitted at 2:00 am, an hour and half before my scheduled induction and didn't end up needing to be induced at all. Everything else progressed smoothly and by 10 am he was here with us! 

We've been "relaxing" at the hospital these past two days. We were exhausted after a sleepless Monday night while in labor. James is doing so good and is already growing and changing right before our eyes! He is a great baby so far...I would say that he is very thoughtful. He really checks everything out! The pixs above are from yesterday (Tuesday) and he already looks different today...

This morning a photographer stopped in and took some pictures. They turned out great! Please view them here:

Click on "Web site"
Click on "New Client" (at the bottom)
Password: 0203jamesmiddleton
User name: 0203jamesmiddleton

Friday, January 30, 2009

Waiting...but much more calm (39 weeks, 6 days)

Thanks to everyone for your nice comments and thoughts, whether here at the blog, via email or text! I am feeling much better after taking the time to adjust my expectations. Last night I got home from work and Joe had prepared me a nice comfy spot on the couch in front of the fire. I got to settle in while he made dinner. Baby M was an absolute riot to watch last night and I am so thankful he is active and healthy. We are still in awe by it. We read him a book last night and this morning I played him my Rockabye Baby Green Day CD (music at belly level) while I got ready for work. Last night I actually slept for two-hour increments throughout the whole night! The previous few nights I had been up every hour on the dot. Honestly, I think the "extra sleep" made me feel so much better. I have now decided I am just going to enjoy these last few days (maybe weeks...gotta be realistic!) with him in my belly. I am very blessed to be experiencing this whole thing in the first place, so I really shouldn't complain!