Year 1

Jonathan officially joined our family on January 18, 2010, at 8:05am. He weighed 7lbs 3oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. He is a laid-back baby, very sweet and snuggly, and we are so thankful to be his parents.

You can also read my journal of his pregnancy.

Nov 12, 2010 Jonathan LOVES his big brother! Whether chasing him around the house, crawling over him, trying to climb him, wrestling with him, or simply watching him, Jonathan thinks Brenden rocks. He’s also becoming more interactive with us. When we enter a room he’s in, he often crawls over and reaches for us to be picked up. If we ignore his efforts, he cries. Big, sloppy, open-mouthed kisses are another way he shows his affection, so watch out! His big, enthusiastic smile always brightens our day.

He’s starting to talk. Much is typical baby babbling, but if you pay attention to the context, you can sorta make out some actual words, including “Bubba,” “Mama,” and “Dada.” We tried teaching him Baby Sign but not as extensively as we did with Brenden. He sometimes signs “all done.”

His schedule still varies significantly except for his bedtime. He wakes up anywhere from 6:00-7:30am and takes a morning nap and 1-2 afternoon naps. His diet includes four daily bottles plus a variety of finger foods (puffs, Cheerios, bits of cooked veggies) and other typical baby food. Sometimes he tries what we’re eating, too. He loves Jenny’s potato soup.

That boy is strong! He’s long like Brenden but heavier and more muscular for his height. His caregivers at the gym call him Jonathug. Changing his diapers or clothes can be a significant challenge, especially since he doesn’t like to be pinned down. We had to get a bath chair for him because he just wouldn’t hold still in the tub and we were afraid he would hurt himself. Most of his clothes are 24-month size now. Jenny has started moving Brenden’s outgrown outfits directly to Jonathan’s dresser. He isn’t walking yet but has stood briefly on his own and can crawl up the stairs. He seems to have four more teeth coming in at the same time.

Oct 19, 2010 At his nine-month checkup, he weighed 23.3 lbs (83rd percentile) and measured 30.8 inches long (97th percentile). The weight measurements should be accurate, but keep in mind that any length measurements on a squirmy baby are approximate. Compared to Brenden at nine months old, Jonathan is 2.7 lbs heavier and about the same length.

Sept 28, 2010 At seven months, he is now an accomplished crawler and seems to really enjoy it. We have to keep a closer eye on him now because he can cross a room very quickly. He can also pull up on things now, everything from couches to your leg. A look of pride often crosses his face afterward, especially if you’re paying attention and praise him. He wears 18mo clothes now, some of which are getting a little tight. Two top teeth have broken through, giving him four in all. He often takes 10oz bottles instead of those chintzy 8oz ones. He’s starting to get the hang of eating puffs, Cheerios, and other small finger foods. The nursery workers at church and the gym all love him because he is so snuggly and good-natured.

Aug 9, 2010 Six months now! He is a BEAST! His strong appetite and high activity level have helped him grow big and strong. He is literally off the chart in height at 30 inches (100th percentile, if that’s even valid), and 20.7 lbs (91st percentile). Compared to Brenden at this age, Jonathan is 2.5lbs heavier and 1.5 inches longer. At this age, I was 18lb 15oz and 29.75 in. He wears 12mo clothes, and some clothes in that size don’t fit. Dr. Z. says he looks great!

He is well into solid foods now, eating three cubes of fruits or vegetables at breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a little oatmeal cereal mixed it. That’s on top of four 8oz bottles each day. So far he likes pretty much everything except green beans. He sleeps from 8pm until 6 or 7am consistently. After waking up, he’ll stay awake for about two hours each time before needing another nap. Over the last week, he has mastered the ability to pull himself up from horizontal to sitting up and also the ability to army crawl (pulling himself around with just his arms). Full crawling shouldn’t be far behind. He loves to play with (and suck on) simple toys and will now move across the floor to reach one that interests him. Unless he’s hungry, lonely, or tired, he is a very happy and content little guy. If you look at him and smile, he’ll usually give you a big smile in return. Two teeth have emerged on the bottom in front. His legs are STRONG, and he can make you life quite difficult if you want him to take a bottle and he disagrees. We just switched him to a regular rear-facing infant seat instead of the portable bucket he used at first. He’s just a great baby, and things couldn’t be any better with him.

May 23, 2010 Our little guy is now four months old. Wow. Jenny took him to Dr. Z. for his four-month checkup and shots on Tuesday. She says he still looks great. His weight was 16.8 lbs (90th percentile), and his length was 25.8 inches (85th percentile). Compared to Brenden at this age, Jonathan is almost exactly the same weight and maybe an inch shorter. We make large children. He has a bit of flat-head syndrome like Brenden did, but not enough to concern the doctor. Now that he’s rolling around so much and sitting up more, we hope his head should return to a round shape over time.

He is getting better at rolling from back to front. Unfortunately, he’s not as good about going the other direction. Sometimes he gets stuck in uncomfortable positions and gets mad, which isn’t fun for Mommy and Daddy at 5am. But he should master front-to-back soon enough and be able to fix himself better. He has also discovered his voice and enjoys making baby noises. The mobile that Jenny made and hung over his bed has become very interesting. For daytime naps, we often wind it up so it spins for a minute or two after we lay him down. The spinning seems to keep his attention well and helps him fall asleep.

May 6, 2010 Jonathan rolled over during naptime and slept on his stomach! Currently that’s not the preferred sleep position for a baby, but I don’t know of a good way to stop him. =) He is becoming more active, kicking his legs and waving his arms when he’s happy or curious. With effort he can scoot himself around in his crib or on the floor. When interested, he sometimes bats at toys hanging in front of him or grabs things. I suppose it won’t be long before he can roll over from front to back as well. Normally, he sleeps from about 8:30pm until 6:00 or 7:00am, which is helpful for mommy. Four to five bottles a day are the norm, and we’ll probably start him on some rice cereal within the next month or two. His four-month checkup is May 18, so I’ll post more info after that.

March 22, 2010 Today was Jonathan’s two-month checkup. Dr. Z. says he is a very sweet and laid-back baby, which we already knew. Due to his massive appetite, he weighed 13.3 lbs (89th percentile, up significantly from last visit) and was 24.2 inches long (93rd percentile). Brother has filled out! Brenden’s numbers were similar at this age. The biggest medical development is acid reflux. Yes, Jonathan got it, too. It’s not as bad (no volcanic eruptions after each meal), but over the last couple of weeks, he started showing some of the other signs, such as arching his back when eating, starting and stopping, wanting to eat all the time, and lots of coughing and hiccups. The pediatrician prescribed Prevacid, which helped Brenden quite a bit. We caught it sooner with Jonathan, and we hope it won’t bother him nearly as much.

Otherwise he’s doing great! We have a decent routine down. He wakes up hungry anywhere from 4 to 6am, inhales an 8oz bottle, and goes back to sleep until about 9:30am. During the day he eats every 3-4 hours most of the time, sometimes less, with some naps and alert time mixed in. We wrap him up and lay him in his crib around 8-8:30pm, sometimes after giving him and Brenden a bath together. Ideally, we give him another bottle around 10pm, mostly a top-off rather than a full bottle, and then he sleeps the rest of the night. Not bad for a nine-week-old! He started sleeping most of the night a week or two ago, which has been most helpful.

After working really hard to breastfeed and/or pump for two months, we finally decided that the stress it added wasn’t worth the additional benefit. He’s on straight formula now with occasional supplements of frozen breastmilk we had saved. Jenny is still very busy and stressed (like any mother of two boys under age two), but her life is getting a bit easier due to longer sleep at night and less time spent pumping and the associated stress.

He has started to smile a bit, especially when he first sees me or Jenny after a nap. He coos and gurgles, especially when happy, and seems more interested in his surroundings. Pacifiers aren’t really his thing, which is a MAJOR break from his big brother. He’ll suck on one for a bit, especially when going to sleep, but otherwise he rarely wants one. Bathtime is another hit. Warm water soothes babies just as well as adults. We’re so pleased to have such wonderful, healthy, and sweet boys.

Feburary 19, 2010 The little guy is doing great! We won’t have updated measurements until his two-month checkup, but his great appetite has surely boosted him to at least nine pounds now. He is noticeably heavier and longer, with a tiny double chin. He’s even starting to grow a butt, which he didn’t have before. Snuggling and eating are his favorite pastimes. Due to some breastfeeding problems, he’s eating pumped breastmilk during the day and formula at night. This change has greatly reduced Jenny’s stress level and helped him sleep longer at night. He normally eats every two hours during the day and every three to four hours at night. We finally moved him to his room last night, so he’s sleeping in his own crib.

Brenden seems to have mixed emotions about being a big brother. When Jenny is busy with Jonathan, sometimes he gets upset and asks Jenny to put Jonathan down or intentionally misbehaves to get her attention. However, he seems to really like his brother. He brings Jonathan pacifiers when he cries, kisses him goodnight, talks about him often, and even tries to share his French fries.

Feburary 3, 2010 Jonathan’s two-week checkup was Monday, and he’s still doing great. He blew through the goal of returning to his birth weight by five ounces, weighing in at 7lb 10oz and measuring 21 inches long. When I picked him up today, he finally felt like a baby instead of a folded blanket or doll. His appetite is so big that Jenny can’t always keep up, so we’ve had to supplement his diet with some formula on occasion. Sometimes he wants to eat every two hours or less, and he likes to make “yummy noises” while he eats. He’s still very snuggly and content when he’s not hungry. He’s perfectly happy to fall asleep in your arms if you let him. Gradually his frog-leg tendency is fading as he adjusts to having the freedom to stretch out his legs fully. The last week in particular has made him much more wiggly and noticeably stronger. Today his umbilical cord fell off, which allows us to give him a tub bath instead of the more awkward sponge bath on the countertop. Jenny is exhausted from feeding him all the time, so we hope they can stretch out the feedings a bit.

January 22, 2010 After Jonathan was born, our families took care of Brenden until we left the hospital, and Jenny’s parents stayed with us after we went home. After getting several family visitors this afternoon, we are now alone with both boys. Yikes! We are excited but a little nervous. Taking care of Brenden and Reagan together a couple days a week wasn’t easy, and now we have an active toddler and a newborn full-time. However, millions of families have survived, so I’m sure we can as well. So far, so good!

Jonathan’s first checkup was yesterday, and Dr. Zwernemann said he’s doing great with no problems at all. After dropping to 6lbs 8oz in the hospital, he’s now back up to 6lbs 11oz. The goal is to get him back to his birth weight by Feb 1, two weeks after birth.

Jenny is feeling pretty good as well. She’s still sore, but ibuprofen makes the pain manageable. Jonathan’s feeding schedule varies from 1 1/2 hours to 4 hours, as does his sleep and alert time schedule. I am thankful that I don’t have to return to work until the night of February 12, so I’ll be able to help out for a few weeks. Brenden doesn’t seem jealous at all of his new brother, although I’m not sure he understands that Jonathan is here to stay. He calls him “Baby” but knows his name is Jonathan. When Jonathan cries, Brenden says, “Baby” and sometimes gets sympathetically upset.

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