....sooooooo big!!! Jack loves to eat, loves to sleep, and loves to be happy. He really is a happy, smiley, laughing baby. Even when he had both pneumonia AND RSV last week and into this week he still tried his best to laugh and smile. And yes, he's big!! Just over a week ago he weighed in at 17lbs 4oz. That was about a week before he turned 4 months. Yep, he's a big bundle of cuddles and happiness!
So yesterday we (and when I say "we" I mean "I") whipped out the Cool Whip -or whatever knockoff brand we have in the fridge- and plopped some on a plate for Max to play with. I put a drop of food coloring on it, gave her a toothpick, and let her run amuck. It was great. Entertained her for quite some time.
Decided it was edible... (okay, I told her...)
Then she discovered that she could use her fingers and get more into her mouth...
And if she uses her WHOLE hand, she can get MORE in her mouth!
When my babies are grown, and they talk about their childhood, what will they remember? What do I WANT them to remember? Do I want them to remember a clean house? Nice meals every night? Clean clothes? Fun outings? Reading books together? Playing together? I want them to remember all of those things, but with varying emphasis. I don't want the house to be a pigsty, but I don't want them to remember Mommy as being too busy cleaning to play. Nice meals are all well and good, but I don't want them thinking back on those and wishing I'd stopped and read a book with them. Max and Jack will, eventually I hope, be even slightly appreciative of clean laundry, but not at the expense of taking a walk outside together.
Through a roundabout way I found the story of Layla Grace the other day. She is just over 2 years old, and in what appear to be the final stages of stage 4 Neuroblastoma. As I write this, her mom recently Tweeted that Layla is having a harder and harder time breathing. The page that I linked to at the start of this paragraph is the first post I'd ever read about Layla. Her mother talks about regretting complaining about having a toddler underfoot, and wishes Layla WAS up and running around like a "normal" 2 year old. (I may have paraphrased, forgive me.) While reading this post I got seriously convicted. Now, I had thought of all this stuff in the past, but for some reason it really hit home this time. How often am I more concerned about getting "Stuff" done than I am about playing with and loving on my babies? How often do I get frustrated at Max for doing normal toddler things that are simply creating a bit more work for me? How many times have I gotten short with her because of my own selfish desires to do what I want to be doing??
In fact, right before reading that very post, I had snapped at Max for something stupid and small. It was my pure selfishness, and she hadn't done anything really wrong.
Having "met" Layla and read her story, I now am striving to cherish my babies more, spend more time with them, and less time worrying about the stuff that doesn't really matter anyway, and that they won't care about in the long run. I don't know why God is allowing Layla and her family to endure this pain and heartbreak, but I do know that Layla and her family have touched more lives, mine included, then they will ever know.
You know how Oprah has a "Favorite Things" episode where she highlights and gives out her favorite things for that particular time? (Like summer or whatever. Say what you will about Oprah, she's got some cool faves and giving them out to her audience is way cool.) Well, if Oprah had a baby, then I'd be willing to bet good money that the Sleepywrap would be at the top of her list of favorite things until said baby was too heavy to be worn in it.
When I first saw wraps in general, I was seriously daunted. It looked like a ton of work to put on, and how could it possibly be more comfortable than a Snugli (patooie!) or a ring sling? Well, the more types of carriers that I tried, and the more I read about the Sleepywrap, the more I really really really really wanted one. And finally, I won one! (Yeah, I could have just BOUGHT one, but that would have been too easy.) Now, after having used mine for just over 2 months, I don't know how I survived without it. Both with DS, now, and with my DD, who is now 20 months. With her, i just had a ring sling and a Snugli (patooie!), so I didn't wear her unless I really really needed to. Looking back, I can only wonder if I would have been more relaxed and confident as a first time mommy and if she would have been a happier, more content baby, if I had had a Sleepywrap. Having the wrap now with DS is simply amazing. I can wear him almost wherever, whenever. (The exceptions being in the car, while taking a shower, etc. You get the idea.) He's happy, I'm happy, and stuff still gets done. When he's awake he can look around and laugh and smile, and then when he goes to sleep I can tuck his head under one of sides of the wrap, and it's supported and I can continue with what I was doing. He's well over 15 pounds now, at just 3 months, and this wrap distributes the weight AMAZINGLY well. I wore him at the mall the other day for 3 hours and had no discomfort whatsoever. When he's fussy, putting him into the wrap calms him down almost instantly. On the rare, rare occasion that he does fuss while being worn, at least I know he's okay until I can get to taking care of whatever is bothering him, and his crying doesn't stress me out like it does if he's in his swing NOT being held.
Okay, so I know a lot of people like to do lists for pros and cons, so here's mine for the Sleepywrap:
PROS: - easy to use, after initial time or two of learning - happy baby - happy mommy - truly hands-free - ease of portability - machine washable!! - weight distribution is AMAZING - can be used by almost anybody, regardless of size or weight. (I.e.- DH who is 6'6" and over 280 can wear the same wrap as I can.) (Yes, he's striking a "isn't my butt sexy?" pose.)
CONS: - not safe nor recommended for back carrying - I have yet to figure out how to nurse while wearing DS in it. UpstateMomof3 says she's done it, but I haven't gotten around to e-mailing her to ask how.
Would I recommend this to a friend? YES YES YES. I think EVERYONE with a baby should own one. They are VERY affordable and, as I mentioned before, I seriously wish I'd owned one when DD was a baby.
I haven't been around for a while... sorry! Did you miss me? You probably shouldn't answer that unless the answer is "yes." Body After Baby has been slightly derailed, but oh well. I've been busy sewing and fixing diapers. It's been a lot of fun! Then Max got sick. Then Jack and I got sick at the same time. Max is almost better, and Jack finally slept well last night, but I think it's going to take a while longer for him and me to get better.
Jack is almost 4 months old! So crazy. He's generally a very happy baby- loves to laugh, smile, chuckle, etc. (So when he was being super cranky I knew for sure he was sick!) And he already weighs just over 17lbs! He and Max wear the same diapers now, same sizes and all! It's nice for stuffing and grabbing!
Did you make it this far? Good for you! Ugh, now if my nose would just STOP running, I'd be set...