Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fun times

Life has been a lot of fun in the Hulgan home for the past few weeks! It is as though Jon woke up from a dreamy state and is now aware of the world around him. Our pediatrician told us that he would start to get social around six weeks, and he sure has! He smiles, 'talks,' bats at anything you hold above his head, and yes...has started tugging on our hair. He also tugs on his own hair! He grabs onto the hair on the back of his head while nursing and when he's going to sleep. The magic moment every parent dreams of happened last week when Jon slept through the night on his own!! I must give props to my friend Stacey, who gave me a tip to try to spread out that middle of the night feeding. It totally worked, and Jon now sleeps from 11:30pm to 5am. I feel like a new person!!! He still cries a bit when going down for daytime naps, but his wailing has gone from 15 minutes to about 5, and when he wakes up mid-nap, he is either able to get back to sleep on his own, or a quick pop of the pacifier in his mouth gets him settled. There are still not-so-good-nap days, like yesterday when I just let him sleep in his swing for his afternoon nap because he had pretty much cried through his entire morning nap. But we are making progress : )

Despite being on seven prescriptions for various silly ailments (long story which involves going to doctors three times in one week and crying in the parking lot of the dermatologist's office), I am feeling really good! With the uninterupted sleep my energy level is up, I feel good about how baby weight has started to come off, I 'ran' for the first time since August, and I have been able to get out of the apartment on my own sans baby a couple of times so that I remember I am a person outside of being a mom. I am so glad that I have been able to stay home for 8 weeks with Jon. If I had needed to go back to work at 6 weeks, I would have missed this super fun period his is in right now. I have also been able to help support Jonathan as he has finished up his dissertation (he turned it in to his committee yesterday!!!!). With me being home, he has been able to focus on adjustments to his research and has not had to be fully responsible for Jon during the day. It really has been a joy to have time to take care of things around the apartment and make special treats for Jonathan as he was in his final push.

I prayed a lot in the first few weeks home with Jon, when I was at the end of my rope with a crying baby who would not nap, I had no energy, my mood was on a roller coaster, and I felt alone. God answered those prayers in so many ways: first by drawing me closer to him through that increased prayer time, then by giving my husband a patient heart, by sending friends to me with encouragement, and by teaching me through our study of Timothy on Sunday mornings. I still have not-so-good days mixed in with the good days, but I feel better supported to handle those days when they come. I know that next week is going to be a challenge as I head back to work, but it is Holy week. Easter is my absolute favorite holiday of the year, because it is the celebration of our victory over sin and death by the loving sacrifice of Jesus! I will have that to meditate on as I get back into the working world.

And health care reform is now law! How sweet is that : ) (haha...I know that I have many conservative friends who are rolling their eyes right now. Well – I'm one of the Americans who is very, very, excited about health care reform.)

Okay, long blog over – now some pictures! These are all from my iPhone, so they are a bit blurry....

Jon realizing there is a mirror at the top of his swing. At first he was confused about the face looking back at him. Now he smiles and talks to his friend in the mirror whenever he is in the swing.

Jon has figured out that his playmat has fun toys. He has started batting at them and gets so excited when they move!

Proof that we still have our cat. Sigma is still not too sure what she thinks about Jon.

My goofy boy!

Finally I was able to capture that smile!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Getting ready for a walk with Becky. Jon was all smiles, although of course I couldn't get one on camera! This is the closest I got.

My props: the swaddle and the pacifier!

First trip to the zoo!

How Jon spent most of the visit...asleep.

Enjoying the Sea Lion Show! Jon was awake for the show.

First bottle!

Ready for church on World Missions Sunday! All decked out in the Argentine soccer jersey we bought for him in Buenos Aires last July when he was 9 weeks in utero.


Sigma checking out the BOB.

Two more weeks, and we get to start using the BOB!

Crazy hair!

6 weeks!

Tomorrow Jon will be 6 weeks old! It is amazing how much he has grown up in such a short time. I head back to work in 3 weeks, and I have had many bittersweet feelings as the time draws nearer. I am ready to get back to work, mostly because I really do love my job at Youth Villages as the volunteer coordinator. Every time Jon smiles, though, I think of what I'm going to miss. He has had quite a few firsts in the past couple of weeks, and I know I will most likely miss a 'first' or two while I am out of the house. The best news is that Jonathan will be taking care of Jon at home, so I will hopefully get a phone call or a picture emailed to me with any special moments that I miss. Okay...enough dwelling on that!!

What Jon loves:
* Waking up in the morning! We wake up at 5am (eek!) for Jon's first meal of the day. I actually set this time, because it gives me enough time to feed him, go through my morning routine, and get to work in Bartlett at 7:30am. Jon is a very sweet baby in general, but he is SUPER happy in the morning when he first wakes up. He smiles and coos and is very interactive. This makes getting up at 5am much easier for me : )
* The swing: I have wondered this week if I put him in the swing too much : ( It is an easy place for me to put him when I need to do something, and it also soothes him if he is fussy. Just in the past day or two he has realized there is a mobile attached to the top, and it is so fun to watch him watching the little sheep turn around or to look up at the mirror right above his head.
* Spitting up on Jonathan! Jon spits up about once a day, and without fail Jonathan is always holding him when he spits up!! It has become a bit of a joke around here, and I am washing lots of Jonathan's shirts : )

What Jon has learned to tolerate:
* Baths: Thank goodness! He did not cry at all when we last bathed him : ) Yay!!!! This is most likely due to the weather change, since the kitchen room temperature is much warmer now than it has been the past few weeks.
* Diaper changes: Again, thank goodness! He has almost stopped crying when I change his diaper. Hopefully he is just getting used to it. It definitely makes diaper changing less stressful for me : )
* Naps: Can I get a 'Praise the Lord!'? While I do not have a perfect napper by any means, Jon is getting much, much better. Every night when Jonathan and I pray, we pray for Jon to learn to be a better napper and for us to know how to help him nap. We have reintroduced the swaddle and I use the pacifier if he takes more than 15 minutes to settle down. Yes, yes, I use props. But hey, it's working for us. He does not need the swaddle or the pacifier at night thankfully.

Thankfully he really doesn't get upset by all that much. I can't think of anything he really hates this week. I am going to bask in this glow of happy baby while I have it : )

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Shoes

I bought new running shoes today! Yay!! I usually upgrade my running shoes in June, but I couldn't justify spending the money last year when I knew I wouldn't use them as much. Becky and I took a 4 mile walk on Thursday, and my feet were pretty sore afterward - reminding me that my shoes were a year and a half old. So today I replaced them : ) Wearing them home from Breakaway was pretty awesome - I think Justin thought I was a bit weird when I smiled and asked if I could wear them out of the store!

I had a lot of fun running errands this afternoon. I walked to Las Savell to get my engagement ring cleaned, then to Walgreens for a few items, then to Breakaway for my new shoes, then to Starbucks for a latte to surprise my husband (hey, it's the little things that count), and back home. I felt invigorated and full of endorphins at the end of my little walk. Jon was strapped in to the Bjorn and slept the entire time : )

One Month!

Wow! Jon turned one month old on Sunday! It is crazy to think that we have had this little one with us for a whole month. As Jonathan and I were going to a church event Saturday night, I reminded him that a month earlier, we were in the Germantown Methodist waiting room (for 3 hours!) as there were no labor and delivery rooms available for us. On the one hand, that seems like an eternity ago, and on the other it seems like yesterday. A lot of people have asked me what it feels like to be a parent. Since Jon is so little, it is hard to say, but I can report that it is amazing and we love it! There are moments that are frustrating, but the sweet moments significantly outweigh them, and the little guy is totally worth it.

Here are some things I have learned in the past month:
* Taking charge with a schedule (a la Babywise) is very helpful, and I am pretty sure it has helped keep me sane and my baby happy.
* That said, my baby does not conform to the Babywise model perfectly. It took me a week to realize that if my baby does not nap like he is supposed to, it will be okay. The world will not end, Jon will not grow up to be an ax murderer, and I am not a horrible mother if my child does not nap for 1.5-2 hours every 3 hour cycle of the day.
* I am much more productive when I a) have a list of things to do each day, b) shower first thing in the morning, c) keep the TV turned off, and d) get out of the apartment at least for a little while each day.
* Jon does not like baths or having his diaper changed. Hopefully this does not mean that I will spend the next 18 years trying to get my son to stay clean.
* Pacifiers are at the same time my best friend and worst enemy : ) This is a delicate balance, and today was a good pacifier day.
* Praying for Jon always brings tears (of joy) to my eyes, because I am so grateful to God for this beautiful boy He has given me. I know raising him up will be possibly the most difficult thing I ever do, but I am so looking forward to it!

And finally, some more pictures:
Couldn't resist taking a picture of the faux hawk!

Trying out the Moby wrap.
I've used the Bjorn nearly every day, and I want to start using the Moby more. It is slightly more complicated, and Jon doesn't seem to like it quite as much. We're going to keep on trying, though : )