JackJack update!

For the sake of out-of-town family and friends, I am going to try a lot harder now to post updates and pictures of my kiddos.  I know how much I enjoy seeing and hearing about my friends’ and family’s lives, I figured I should at least attempt to do the same.  🙂

Jack is 19months today!  I hardly know where to begin!  He remains the cutest little person I’ve ever known and continues to surprise and impress both me and Zach with what he understands, can say and do.  He is ridiculously verbal, which I think contributes heavily to our surprise at his development.  I’m sure many kids have similar understanding and comprehension at this age – but if they aren’t very verbal, they simply can’t communicate it, perhaps??  Regardless, his crazy talking gives us much insight into his little learning brain and we LOVE it.  At his 18mo check up, the pediatrician asked me how many words he was saying, roughly.  “Oh gosh,” I replied.  “Like… 100?”  Her eyebrows shot up and she said, “Oh wow.  Yeah we look for 5-15 at this age!”  On the drive home I began to wonder if maybe I had exaggerated the number in the moment.  So I started counting up in my head the words he knew.  By the time we arrived home, I had passed 80 (including names and animal sounds, ie – “What does the owl say?” “hoo hoo!”).  Over the following 24 hours I kept encountering or remembering more words that I hadn’t included in my original list and easily cleared 100 words by the next day.  Yeeeeah not that it’s a surprise to ANYONE that the child of Zach & Andrea Boomsma would be very verbal!  He has been putting 2 words together for awhile – mostly “help please”, “more please”, possessive’s like “Dada’s socks… JackJack’s socks…” etc. but he has also recently begun to put together 3 words at a time like “more… hummuh… peez!” (more hummus please) or “Nigh-nigh bebee coco bin” (night night baby coco bean).

Jack seems to pull hard for being like his Daddy.  He takes a bit of time to wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night.  It’s not unusual for him to be super whiny and obviously tired as we approach bedtime (7:30pm) only to have him roll around and play happily in his crib for a good hour or more before falling asleep for the night!  Similarly, I’ve found that going in to get him up in the morning immediately after he wakes up is not a good idea.  Unless I want a cranky and whiny and clingy boy on my hands, it’s best to let him hang out in his crib for 30 minutes or so once he’s woken up.  He is still a bit snuggly and clingy in the mornings, just more happy about it.  And I certainly don’t mind the sweet few minutes of snuggles I can manage to get before he is off and playing.  Also like his dad, he enjoys playing with interactive toys and likes to figure out how they work.  Even at 6 months old he was curiously spinning the wheels on the toy cars he had to see what they did.  He seems to have an analytical mind that plays itself out mostly with hands-on activities.  He does very well building things with duplos, medium sized legos, stacking cups and laying/connecting train tracks.  But his latest fascination is buckles, specifically the plastic ones on his carseat and his high chair seat.  He can now fasten the top buckle of his carseat all by himself and is working on the bottom buckle.  He will sit for a good 10-15 minutes in his high chair working on connecting the buckle while I finish preparing his food.
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Speaking of food – his current favorites are: “hum-mah” (roasted red pepper hummus!!!), “yo-gee” (yogurt), “fy-fy” (french fries, but what kid doesn’t love french fries, I mean really?), “aye-saws” (applesauce), “oat-mee dada” (oatmeal, dada – Zach has been making steel cut oatmeal several mornings a week and eating it together with JackJack), and “hot dot” (hot dogs).  His appetite has a rather random ebb and flow.  But now that he is holding steady in the 75th percentile for weight, I’m no longer constantly worried about getting enough food into him.

Speaking of percentiles – he continues to rock the 95th+ percentile for height!  I don’t know how tall he is in inches, but I find myself repeatedly forgetting that he really is tall for his age – until I get around other 18month-2yr old kids and then it’s very obvious haha.  But with a Daddy who is 6’4″, what did we expect??

With such explosions of development and comprehension have also come many more training opportunities and a step “up” in our parenting.  We have definitely moved from “keeping him alive” to intentional and specific training and “real” parenting.  We have seen a lot more attitudes and tantrums emerge when he doesn’t get his way, resulting in some “boot camp” disciplining.  But he responds well, especially when we are careful and intention to discipline him in a loving and patient way.  I will confess, I have discovered a temptation toward anger like never before.  And when I give in to my anger and frustration over his tantrums and whining, Jack gets even more upset.  Seeing how HE responds when I’M not responding rightly, definitely helps to keep my attitude in check!  It also helps when Daddy comes home.  🙂

We’ve started training him to sit and focus for short periods of time.  So far he has mastered 15minutes of “sit and read time” in the big chair in the living room.  He doesn’t necessarily always stay seated and he doesn’t necessarily always read the stack of books I put with him.  But he stays in that chair until the timer on my cell phone goes off (playing “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers) and then his eyes widen and he smiles and says, “ah dun?  git down?”
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Next up will be some “blanket time” – playing with a specific set of toys on a blanket on the floor until the timer goes off.

Matching with Mommy:
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Meeting Baby Chloe for the first time:
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Learning to eat with a spoon:
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Snuggling with Mama:
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Some of his current favorite activities these days are:

Wearing his Batman vest and growling “Batman” with Daddy:
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Finding new and interesting things to do with his toys, like putting the train tracks into a cd canister:
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Going to get donuts with Daddy:
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Putting on Mommy’s (or Daddy’s) shoes:
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Turning anything into a hat, but especially the sieves:
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Mowing Mimi & PopPop’s grass:
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and most of all – playing with balls!
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With every month that passes I swear it is even more fun with him than the last!

this kid loves books

we have been amazed at how much JackJack is into books – and without us really trying super hard to cultivate such interest!  i mean, we read to him a bit as a baby…
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when we moved into the house and filled the bookshelf with books, we intentionally left 1 square for his books, wanting them to always be accessible to him.  and he regularly (multiple times a day) goes to his little reading corner and sits and pulls the books off the shelf.  but he’s not just pulling them down to make a mess – he sits and turns the pages of most of them, looking at the images on each page and babbling to himself like he’s reading.
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I also leave a couple of books in his crib at all times that he always looks at and “reads” when he wakes up in the morning or from his nap. He may snuggle a little with the teddy bears in his crib, but it’s the books he most enjoys and interacts with until we go and get him “up.”

and several weeks ago he started carrying a book over to wherever we were and holding it out saying “bah? bah?”  again, initially we thought he was just handing us the book like toddlers often like to hand you their toys.  nope, he definitely wants us to read it to him.  if we sit down on the floor with the book he immediately turns around and “backs in” to us and plops right down on our lap, hands placed contentedly and happily on his thighs as he waits for you to start reading.  it is adorable!
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he brings me books to read frequently throughout the day.  and since i definitely want to encourage a love for and joy in reading, i try my best to stop and read him the book(s) whenever possible.

he has also surprised us at how long he will sit while we read to him – often for 4-5 books straight!  he loves to turn the pages himself and we have encouraged interaction by asking him to point out various things, or what a certain animal says.  i recently came across a blog post by a friend of mine with points and reasons why repetition in reading the same books over and over is not something to be concerned about but rather, is helpful and good for children’s development!  i found this very helpful and encouraging since 1)  Jack definitely has 2-3 clear favorites that he prefers above the others and wants to read over and over and 2) we only have about 10 books currently on his shelf and now i’m far less concerned about some super strong need to present him with a huge variety of books right now.

current favorites are:

Good Night Moon, in which he can and likes to point out the red balloon and the fire, haha!  he also knows the stars and occasionally can identify the moon (a little hard when it takes different shapes on various pages, plus it sounds just like “ballOON”).

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Brown Bear is especially fun because Jack can make so many of the animal sounds when we ask, “what does a _____ say?”
bear – “raaah!”
dog dog – “oof”
sheep – “bah!”
kitty cat – “meee”
horsey – “naaaay”
birdy – “teee teee”
and my 2 favorites –
fishy – he opens and closes his mouth, with his lips making a slight popping sound as they smack apart HAHAHA
dolphin – he totally clicks his tongue to the roof of his mouth!  there are foam/plastic dolphins hanging from the ceiling where Jack has his little swim lessons, so Zach thought he would try teaching him “what does a dolphin say?” and i was so shocked that he actually imitated the clicking sound right away!

and The Going to Bed Book.

JackJack turns 1!

our cute little bean sprout turned 1 on the 7th!  we had a small-ish party with family and a couple close friends.

it’s hard to believe that we were just meeting him for the first time only a year ago…

and now look at our big big boy!

at his party we at lots of food,  enjoyed a very impressively decorated airplane cake that my mom made,

and opened presents!  Jack received some pretty fantastic gifts – all of which have immediately been put to use and greatly enjoyed (balls, blocks, trains, walker wagons, bath toys, etc).

my parents kindly hosted the event and zach’s parents were in town – so it was very special to have BOTH sets of grandparents present.

instead of cake, jack got a special birthday chocolate pudding…

…which daddy ensured got all over his face in lieu of frosting, etc. haha

these days, jack has quite the exciting life.  he loves hanging out with his daddy whether it be helping build things,

pointing out his buttons

or working on the computer.

he regularly empties the towel & tupperware cabinet and crawls around with a piece of tupperware in his hand:

he spends lots of time with mommy too…

and in his high chair seat:

speaking of the high chair seat… this kid LOVES eating solids and “real” foods!  and while he likes sweet potato and applesauce as much as the next kid, he has surprised us with his love of full-flavored, savory foods!  his favorite thing is hard boiled egg yolk mashed up with spicy red pepper hummus.  i’m not even kidding.  he gets very impatient and whiny while i’m mashing it all up because he wants it so badly!  and he will scarf down mashed black beans and mashed peas as quickly as anything else.  funny kid…

living in arizona, having kids that enjoy water fun and swimming is simply a necessity.  we have started him out young!  from bathtime…

to a baby pool on the back porch…

to the local public pool…

he has grown to LOVE being in the water!  we have also started him in infant swim lessons so he can learn survival skills and how to be safe around the water.  SO important with little ones and especially living in a state where swimming and pools are so prevalent!

it seems that jack has had an explosion of comprehension and development in the last 3-4 months.  he understands and remembers a lot of words, even if everything he says sounds like “bah!”  we have actually been a little startled to realize how much he understands and remembers.  if we say “jack, where’s your ___?” or “jack, go get your ____”, he knows “ball,” “books,” “walker,” “bear,” “snowy” (stuffed dog), “duckduck,” and “xylophone,” to name a few.  he can point to his hair, ears and self when we ask, and also sticks out his index finger when we say, “jack, how old are you?”

we have recently started to teach him a few sign language signs to help him communicate more.  he picked up “please” within 1 day and within 2 days was using it unprompted for multiple things we hadn’t tried yet!  and he has just started to understand how to use the signs for “more” and “help” (like for when a toy gets stuck under the couch and he can’t reach it, etc).

he has been “cruising” (walking while holding on to the couch/coffee table/etc) as well as walking with a little walker for a couple months now, and we were wondering when he would decide he wanted to actually walk on his own.  well, it just started happening over the last few days!  he has started to stand up on his own from a squat an independently takes quite a few steps to/from us, the coffee table, his walker, etc. – laughing the whole time!  he thinks it’s hilarious!  maybe it’s because of the way we cheer each time….

i don’t think a day goes by that i don’t pause for at least a brief moment in amazement at how much JOY i experience as a result of this child.  i knew i would like having kids.  i also knew it would be a lot of work.  but man, i was simply not prepared for the joy and delight that can be found in having a child.  it is truly beyond anything i had imagined.  caring for him and loving on him and watching him grow, learn, develop, play and live is wondrous.

jackjack, your mommy and daddy love you far more than you will ever know – and being your mommy and daddy is the happiest job we have ever had!  happy birthday, Bean Sprout!

cloth diapers

while i’m on the topic of being a little crazy and a little “crunchy,” i thought i’d throw up a post about the cloth diapers we are using.  if anyone is interested or has been thinking about using cloth diapers, maybe you’ll find our experience helpful?  ::shrug::

once the fog of the first 6-8weeks post partum had cleared and i needed to start buying larger quantities of diapers for Jack (gifted packages had run out), i flinched deeply when i realized that we would be dropping close to $50/month for diapers.  for us, the more expensive name brand diapers really did work the best – far fewer leaks and issues, and even buying in bulk from sam’s club proved to cost a pretty penny.  now, i care about the environment as much as the next person, i guess, but the biggest draw for me toward cloth diapering was the monetary savings.  the savings of cloth diapers over disposables simply cannot be disputed.  it’s crazy, actually (in the $thousands)!  however, i realize that “paying” in money is only one side of the issue.  yes, cloth diapering means paying more in time and also a certain level of dealing with the dirty diapers a bit more…directly.  but personally, i was willing to “pay” in both those areas more than i was willing to fork out the dollars.  but that’s me. 

i had been toying with the idea of cloth diapers before Jack was born and now decided to look into it more closely.  ooohhhh my.  all the different types and styles was overwhelming!  this video series on YouTube was extremely helpful in getting a grasp on the various types and pros/cons of each.  i also posted a status and a note on facebook asking for friends’ opinions and experiences – love hearing from people i know!  lastly, i ordered a customizable trial package from a cloth diapering company that allowed me to try 6 different types of diapers (for only $10 plus shipping) – all after i had established a general idea of what i wanted to try.  the trial was exactly what i needed and i knew what kind would be best for us within 2 days.

we opted to go with the Best Bottom diapering system and here’s why:
1. both zach and i disliked the idea of having to wash an ENTIRE diaper every time there was even just a little bit of pee (which is the case with pocket diapers and “All in Ones” (AiOs). best bottoms (BBs) is an “All in 2” (Ai2) system with outer shells ($17ish) + inserts ($3-$5ish depending on what type of cloth/fiber you get) that snap into the shell. so for pee-only diapers, you just snap out the insert, snap in a new one and diaper back up. you can often do the same for poopy diapers and just wipe the shell of any poo that got on it. or, if the shell is too soiled, you drop that in the wash pail and grab a new one. but you end up needing only a handful of shells and a decent supply of inserts total.

2. BB seemed to have excellent “gussets” – the elastic enclosure around the leg openings – which held in pee and poopy blowouts very well.  several of the other diapers i tried leaked badly from even just a light pee.

3. BB is a pretty slim fit, which fits my lean little man much better. a few clothing items will need to be “sized up” to fit over the bulk of a cloth diaper, but not a lot and not by much. plus, these diapers were adjustable both in waist width AND length, making them a “one size fits all” option that aren’t particularly bulky and will theoretically last until we potty train!

4. have to admit, the BB shell color/pattern options were darn cute! i ended up getting colors that leaned more toward “boy,” but were also fairly gender neutral should we have a girl next. that way i’ll only have to purchase a couple extra shells if we have a girl.
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5. BBs are slightly closer to the “cheaper” side of the pricing scale. total cost so far has been: $10 trial package + $10 s/h trial package + $10 to ship BACK the trial package* + $200 order** (6 shells, 18 inserts, 3 “doublers” to thicken reg inserts for overnight, etc, 1 small wet bag for the diaper bag and 1 medium wet bag for the nursery or laundry room (i’ll graduate to the large wet bag when we have more kids)) = $230. depending on how old jack is when we have a 2nd kid and how many inserts/diapers he’s going through per day, i anticipate spending maybe an additional $100 for a few more shells and inserts plus a larger wet bag. but still! less than $350 for pretty much ALL the diapers i should need potentially for ALL our kids (i’m planning for jack to be out of diapers by the time a possible 3rd and 4th child come along, Lord willing)!  a GREAT deal in my mind!

*i did the trail package through Jillian’s Drawers. they advertise that it’s a $10 trial, but it really works out to be $30 because they charge you an additional $10 for shipping and you also have to pay to ship the trial package back. however, they give you free shipping on your next order… (not a “break even” deal necessarily though unless you order $75+ worth of items)

** i ended up placing my BIG order from Nicki’s Diapers because they were slightly cheaper (discount if you buy quantities), offered FREE shipping on orders of $75+, and had WAY more color/pattern options for both the diaper shells and the wet bags. unfortunately right now, Jillian’s inventory is a very limited, at least as far as the BB stuff goes. however, i would like to at least remark that i had a WONDERFUL experience with Jillian’s customer service.  reasonably prompt email responses, personal and very helpful. no complaints about the company AT ALL.  simply chose Nicki’s because of the better inventory and pricing.

a word on the maintenance/work of dealing with cloth diapers:
yes, it IS faster and cleaner to simply fold up a disposable and drop it in the trash.  no arguing that.  but honestly, the amount of “extra” time i have put into the handling and washing of the cloth diapers we got comes to a grand total of about 1.5 hours… per WEEK.  i’m not even kidding.  pee diapers? drop in the wet bag until laundry time.  soiled diapers?  i drop them in the bathtub and spray ’em down with our combo/hose shower head that we already had, then drop them in the wet bag until laundry time.  (breastmilk poo is very runny and essentially water soluble so it rinses right out and down the drain easily.  since jack has been on the goat milk formula, however, his stools are now thicker.  i started using flushable liners and rinsing any spill-over.  still quick, easy and cheap!)

i “use up” the cloth inserts about every 48hours.  so every other day i put everything – shells, inserts, wet bag – into the washing machine, run a cold rinse/pre-soak, and then a hot wash using a scant 1/8cup detergent.  after that i have the option of putting it all in the dryer on medium or low heat, but i usually opt to put them all up on the clothesline outside.  the sun is a natural bleaching agent and kills any remaining bacteria and/or smell.  they smell all clean and fresh when i bring them back inside!  the whole process literally takes me less than 10 minutes, not including the time they’re actually IN the washer. 

here’s a few tips/opinions of mine, if you’re thinking about / looking into cloth diapers:
– wait until your baby is 6-8 weeks old.  not for the baby’s sake but for yours!  let the post partum fog clear a little.  let your body adjust to the sleep deprivation a little.  get past the thick and tarry meconium poop.  get past the “changing their diaper every freaking hour” stage. 
– do your research and do the trial package!  talk to friends!  that was the most helpful part. 
– still keep disposables on hand!  i use disposables when we travel or when Jack is with a babysitter or in the church nursery, etc.  this is a personal choice we have made and i don’t want to inconvenience others or gross others out by making them use the cloth diapers if they don’t want to, or asking to wash my cloth diapers in their washing machine.  and actually, since Jack has been on the goat milk formula, he is SOAKING his diapers like CRAZY.  it’s a good thing and a good sign of hydration, etc. but the cloth diapers aren’t cutting it during the long stretch at night.  so i’ve started using disposables at night too.  i can handle buying 1 bulk size box of disposable diapers every couple of months.  it’s worth it to not have to change his clothes and the sheets and his blanket at 2am every night because he’s soaked through it all! 
– do cloth diapers because you WANT to, not because you feel guilted into doing it because your friends are, or it’s the big thing in the “all natural” community, etc.  not that there may not be future seasons where you use disposables for awhile, but if you’re not all in and up for the extra work, you’ll fizzle out fast and the feel even worse about the money you invested. 

i have yet to feel any regret or remorse about our cloth diaper choice – in fact, i LOVE it!  🙂

a hungry boy and homemade formula

a week before thanksgiving i took jack to the doctor for an eye infection.  i thought it would be a quick visit, they would confirm if his eye was truly infected (no improvement after keeping it clean and treating it with breastmilk for 48hrs), we would determine a course of action and that would be that.  well, that visit turned into a whole lot more…

the routine weight check revealed that jack had lost 9oz over the 6 weeks since his last appointment (at which point he had been trending upward).  yikes!  losing weight in any amount isn’t a good thing for babies and especially when you’re a string bean like my little boy.  clearly, he was not getting enough to eat.  i was honestly shocked.  jack had never really given any clear indication that he was still hungry.  he would nurse fully on both sides and when he was done, he was done.  no whining or crying or complaining.  he was still happy and smiley.  i assumed that if he wasn’t getting enough and was still hungry, he would “tell me”!  nope.  apparently he takes after his daddy and eats what’s put before him but otherwise doesn’t think about it.  (i have no idea what that’s like!)  jack’s sleeping had seemed to “regress” over the prior 4-6 weeks. where he had been sleeping a good long stretch, waking up to nurse once between 2-4am and then going right back down till 7/7:30, he had begun to wake up every 3ish hours or so during the night.  i would just nurse him and then he always went right back to sleep.  this also had pretty much started around our trip to Michigan, so i assumed it was a result of traveling/jet lag/being off schedule, etc.   again, because he never acted hungry after a feeding, i never assumed the sleeping troubles were connected to eating.  another thing had had happened on our trip – my cycle had returned.  the more i thought about it, the less shocked i became.  it was actually all starting to make sense.  my supply must have started dwindling with the return of my cycle and jack, being the happy, pretty laid-back kid that he thus far has seemed to be, never complained – so i had no idea.

the doctor handed me a can of formula and instructed me to give him 2oz 3x/day in addition to nursing.  i went out to my car and cried as i stared at the can of formula.  i wasn’t upset that my body couldn’t provide enough for my child.  i was upset because he had not been getting enough to eat and i had no idea!  i felt awful!! the thought just broke my heart!  and i also cried because as i stared at the list of ingredients on the can, i kept thinking, “i can’t do it.  i just can’t give this to my son.  but i have to give him something!”  i have my own personal convictions and opinions about commercial formula that make me very uncomfortable with giving it to my son.  but what other option did i have??

**(let me just stop right here and share word of explanation as well as my heart: to any and all of my friends who have used/do use commercial formula – i sincerely hope you can read this without hearing any judgment from me, for i certainly mean none toward you whatsoever!  i promise, i have not been silently judging you in my head while you give your kid a formula bottle.  with every passing day that i’m a mom, i grow more and more aware of how personal and individual the decisions are that you make for each of your children.  heck, they start before you even HAVE children!  from the birth control you choose – or don’t, the type of delivery you choose – or don’t (some women don’t have a choice!), when to vaccinate your baby – or don’t, how and what you feed your baby, sleep scheduling or not, when to start solids and which ones to start with – those decisions have to be made by you and your spouse based on what you feel is best for your child, your family and your season of life.  and the list of decisions above are just within the first 6-12months of your child’s life!  and as i watch my other friends and family members with older kids, i realize that the decisions only increase in volume and complexity as you throw in discipleship and parenting and morals and values – and more kids!  so for ALL of you who may be reading this, please know: i am NOT writing this post to say “this is THE right choice.”  i AM writing this post to share what has become the best option FOR US.  it’s something that i’m in the midst of and currently really excited about and want to share!  one other thing:  i am well aware from my own experiences that many struggles that people encounter in the throes of conception, pregnancy, delivery and infancy are not commonly/openly discussed and therefore can become very lonely trials.  it can feel like things are working smoothly and perfectly for everyone around you… but not for you.  and when faced with a struggle/challenge  you never expected to face, especially the first time around, you can often feel a little (or a lot!) lost, confused, helpless and unaware of options.  so another reason i am sharing what happened is for the sake of any of my friends who may find themselves facing something similar and looking for an alternative solution like i was. and to any of you who think i am crazy and extreme – well… isn’t that part of being a parent?  oh the crazy things we do for our kids… 😉 )**

i called zach and told him what had happened and poured all my tears and fears and concerns and opinions.  he helped calm me down and assured me that everything was going to be just fine and we would do the best we could and find a good solution for jack.  he also reminded me that jack’s health and growth and gaining weight were the most important things here and if we needed to set aside a few of our ideals for a short time in order to make sure he got what he needed, then that was ok too.  this was not going to be the last time we would face a decision like this.  🙂  after hanging up the phone i took a deep breath and began driving home from the Dr’s office.  on the drive i suddenly remembered (translate: the holy spirit brought to mind!) a blog post i had read just a few days earlier from a mom who had to stop breastfeeding and instead made her own formula using goat’s milk.  i jumped on the computer as soon as i got home.  as soon as i re-read the post i KNEW that this was the solution for us.  i already have a fairly strong leaning toward doing things “naturally” and zach has grown accustomed to my thinking and has even started to get on board with a lot more of it – so it didn’t take a lot of convincing to get him to “let” me give this a try.  🙂

(btw – increasing my supply of breastmilk wasn’t much of an option – i had been getting plenty of calories and tons of water already… and a pump had stopped having any effect on me over a month prior.  plus, even if i was able to get my supply up, that would take time i didn’t have.  my son needed something NOW.)

from what i’ve researched and understand, goat’s milk is actually the one type of milk that most closely resembles a human mother’s breastmilk, making it the ideal choice for a formula base.  all the other ingredients on the list help provide the additional nutrients, vitamins, minerals and immunity boosters found in breastmilk in a more naturally-occuring state.  i actually recognized pretty much everything on the list of ingredients and was able to obtain them easily from Sprouts or amazon.  we know a family who raises goats for their milk and has very kindly agreed to give me some of it since they aren’t able to consume it all themselves – what a blessing! any additional goat milk that i need i buy from whole foods or trader joe’s.

i spent about $200 in up front ingredients and supplies, which should last me for several months. (i’m hoping to only need 1 round of supplies as we’re planning to start jack on solid foods in january)  i eagerly made up a batch of the formula, filled up a bottle and gave it to jack.  aaaaand he wanted NOTHING to do with it.  he grimaced and turned away and spit it out.  and i started to cry all over again.  what was i going to do?!  well duh.  he had never had anything other than breastmilk up until this point – of course it was going to taste weird to him!  we needed to transition him onto it slowly, mixed with breastmilk.  more tears on my part because i didn’t have any breastmilk left in the freezer to use!  my sister-in-law came to the rescue and gave me 2 bags of frozen breastmilk that i used to transition jack over.  and boy did he guzzle!  after the first few bottles it became obvious that my supply had dwindled MUCH more than we realized.  instead of giving him 2 extra ounces 3x/day, i would nurse him on both sides and then he would drain a 5oz bottle!  i was simultaneously sad and thrilled.  sad that he had wanted/needed so much more to eat for over a month and i hadn’t known, but thrilled that he was now going to get all the food he needed – AND it was a solution that i felt comfortable, excited even, giving to him.  the sad feelings abated quickly and my heart soared with each bottle he drained.

after 12 days of nursing + formula, we went back to the Dr for his 6month check up.  he had not only re-gained the weight he had lost, but gained almost an additional full pound MORE!  YEAH!  and within 2-3 weeks his sleeping went back to what it had been before – and is continuing to get even better.  we might, just might, be on the brink of him sleeping through the night!

i’ve made several more batches of the goat milk formula.  like the mom in the recipe post, i actually make 6-8 batches at once, freezing what i don’t need right away and keeping the rest in the fridge.

the ingredients:
photo 1

i put each batch’s added ingredients in a small dish first – especially helpful when you’re making 6 batches at once!
photo 2

my parents have a vitamix machine – with TWO containers!  i find this method to be the quickest and easiest for mixing up the formula.  once we move into our house and i get all my stuff back from storage, i plan to just use my ninja blender.  in goes the milk and water, then 1 small dish of the extra nutrients.
photo 3

my finished formula – i learned the hard way to leave plenty of extra room at the top AND to let them freeze for 24hrs WITHOUT the lids first.  yeah… let’s just say this is my second round of mason jars.  the other set is laying in pieces in the trash can (the formula was able to be salvaged and strained, thank goodness).
photo 4

it takes me less than 1.5 hrs to make 2 weeks’ worth of formula!

he likes it!
photo 5

i’m so excited and grateful that God led us to this particular solution.  not to over-spiritualize it, but i truly believe that this came about as clear leading and provision from God – an answer to the tearful, desperate prayers of a mom who didn’t know what else to do and really wanted to find an alternative.  but most importantly, i’m elated that my son is putting on weight again and growing, growing, growing!  (not to mention sleeping long stretches at night again.  i’m pretty excited about that too!)

how we chose Jack’s name

i love reading other friends’ stories about how and why they chose a particular name for their child(ren) so i thought i would post about our choosing of Jack’s name!  so here you have it:

we liked it.

the end.

ha, ok not totally.  but pretty much yeah.  we just both really love the name Jack.  we weren’t really into name meanings and we didn’t feel strongly about choosing family names.  we simply chose a name we loved.  and we felt like Jack was a strong, masculine name that works for both a little boy and a man.

aaaand not gonna lie… in many tv shows and movies, Jack is VERY frequently used for the awesome guys who are strong, confident, patriotic, leading men.

Jack Bauer from 24 was our big favorite:

but we also thought of Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy’s novels:

Jack Bristow from Alias:

and Jack Carter from Eureka:

 

not that we want Jack to go into tv or movies (ha!  no thank you), but we DO want him to grow up and be a confident leader, defender of truth & justice, patriotic, masculine & strong, etc.  we want him to love God with all of his heart and to live his life with passion, make mistakes at full speed and stand for what he believes.  it would also be nice if he knew how to handle a gun…

also, i personally prefer that my kids have names that are fairly easy to spell, pronounce, and clearly indicate their gender.  Jack definitely fits all of those.

in regards to his middle name – or lack thereof – this option originated because frankly, we were having trouble coming up with a name we really liked paired with Jack.  i actually started to get a tad cynical and overly practical about it, thinking, why do we even HAVE middle names anyway? i mean, MOST people never use their middle name… and other than your family and close friends, how many people’s middle names do you even KNOW?!  middle names seem pointless and dumb.  HAHA!

then it occurred to me – not having a middle name is actually something of a Boomsma male “tradition” of sorts.  neither zach, his dad nor his grandpa have middle names.  perfect!  we could give a nod to the family, uphold the tradition, and escape having to come up with a middle name when we were having so much trouble.

so there it is.  the not-so-deep, slightly-superficial-but-we-don’t-mind explanation of Jack’s name.

baby showers!

i just have to say first off that i find wedding and baby showers to be truly mind-blowing.  when i was planning my wedding, a friend gave me some excellent insight.  she said, “no one is as excited about your wedding as you are.  be ok with that.”  i found that to be wonderful perspective, not just on my wedding, but pretty much into many areas of my life.  it’s always a big deal when it’s happening to YOU – don’t expect people to have the same level of excitement and interest.  and if they do – consider it a wonderful blessing!  so when it comes to showers, i find myself so amazed that people would take time out of their full schedules and lives to celebrate something with me that i am very excited about (but that isn’t nearly AS exciting to them – although they graciously do share in my joy)!  and on top of that – they will BUY me stuff to help get me started on this new season!  who DOES that?!  seriously.  showers blow my mind.  they are such a neat picture of community coming together to help a new bride or a new mom as her life is about to change quite dramatically.

also?  i find showers to be SO MUCH FUN.  i mean, what could be better than getting together with a bunch of women i love, chatting it up over all things girly and eating yummy food?? 

when it came to baby showers for us/jack, i quickly realized that i am overwhelmingly blessed by so many people who desire to share in our joy and excitement.  my mom and i came to the conclusion that, if only for the sake of space/size, it would be best to have 2 separate showers.  my cousin becky and my sister in law jessica threw the first one on a friday night for gals/ladies closer to my age/season (singles, young marrieds/moms, etc).  we used this invitation from evite.com and then just piggy-backed off the colors to create a theme:

taking some of my current loves as a cue, they included a donut cake and iced tea in the food.  soooo delicious!

basically, we all just hung out, ate and chatted…

my dear friend courtney brought one of her newly adopted twins, hazel!  babies at a baby shower?  yes please!!!  isn’t she just the most precious little girl you’ve ever seen?!

my sisters-in-law even drove over from california for the weekend!!  i was SO happy to have them there!  aaaand this is the best pic i have of all 4 of them.  sorry. 😦

and of course, we opened presents!  apparently i am very animated and expressive while opening gifts… and make a lot of really weird faces…

it was a super fun, laid back shower and i loved being surrounded by so many wonderful friends (some of which drove nearly an hour to come!) and i look forward to sharing mommy-life with them all very soon!

the next morning was a shower that my mom threw for me.  we invited ladies from a more “mature” season of life to this shower (older/grown children, married children, plus my own aunts/grandmas, etc.).  and while they all have at least 20+ years of life on me, i LOVE being around this group of women.  they are all so much fun to talk with and hear from, and many of them have known me since i was very young, so it was all the more special to have them there! 

we (ok so i may have contributed to the shower planning a bit with my mom) used the theme and colors of jack’s nursery (airplanes + red/navy/tan) as the theme for this shower.  i love my mom’s style – simple & elegant with fun details!

we gave out peanuts and pretzels as favors (you know, like what you get when you fly on an airplane??)

aaand the faces continue…

it was extra special having my mom-in-law and HER mom (zach’s grandma) present as well!  they braved some crazy traffic to get here and we are so grateful they made it!! 

i was beyond blessed by both showers, the community of women i am surrounded by and the outpouring of their love and support.

it’s a BOY + birthday + pregnancy update

yes, friends and family, we are having a BOY!  i am thrilled to introduce you to our SON, Jack Boomsma:

(that’s his face on the left – looking right up at us!)
(and yes, Jack is the name we’ve chosen – not just an “in utero” name.  no middle name for this little guy in keeping with the Boomsma male tradition – neither zach nor his dad have a middle name)

birthday
so yeah, i had a birthday this past weekend.  i actually kept forgetting about it because i was just SO excited about finding out the gender a few days later.  zach was working on saturday so we decided to celebrate on tuesday when he was off.  kicked the morning off with the anatomical ultrasound.  everything looks great – limbs are all in present and accounted for, major organs look good, the heart is beating strong and everything is in the right place.  and yes, the tech confirmed the very clear presence of boy “parts.”  i say “confirmed” because, confession: i had had my regular OB check up on monday and during the quick ultrasound they did, my OB was 95% sure she saw those boy parts then.  so we actually were pretty sure it was a boy, but the appointment tuesday morning confirmed for sure. 🙂  after the appointment we promptly headed off to buy something gender specific, haha.  we got a set of Hurley onesies:

after that we drove into the heart of downtown LA to have lunch at Botegga Louie.  i’d been there once with a friend and have been itching to go back for awhile.  it’s on the more “up scale” side, which i thoroughly enjoyed.  you know, very classy, a little more “foodie,” where you don’t quite know what everything is on the menu, they offer you sparkling or flat water and ask if you have any allergies you’d like them to consider.  also?  i consider it a mark of a more upscale restaurant when the portion sizes AREN’T massive.  ah, it was perfect.  and um, the dessert case up front is AMAZING. 

i felt so fancy and spoiled.  and bonus – zach really liked it too! 

after lunch we came back to pasadena and got massages together.  i had found a groupon for a head/shoulder/back/arms/feet massage at a really good price.  i snagged 2 of them and saved them for our day out.  also? we both were in desperate need of haircuts.  me, because i was tired of having my hair sooo long.  it was actually starting to get in the way and get really annoying.  so i whacked 6″ off and LOVE IT.  zach, because he’s actually letting his hair grow out a bit and it really needed even-ing out and cleaning up.  groupon to the rescue again!  half off full salon cuts?  yes please!  here’s my new cut – as you can see, the change in length is really the only significant alteration:

(please note the lovely necklace my mom sent me as a bday gift – the back side is a scrabble tile!)

it was really fun to get some “pampering” TOGETHER doing things we both really enjoyed.  we grabbed a quick dinner and saw a movie to finish off a very full and absolutely wonderful day. 

general pregnancy update
here i am at 19 weeks (monday):

over the weekend i went on a little shopping spree and used some christmas and birthday money to get some better quality maternity clothes.  here’s some of what i got:

i feel like i’ve finally grown into my belly.  or maybe i am just used to it now?  it’s still a bit awkward, especially when bending over or reaching for stuff, haha.  but it doesn’t freak me out quite so much anymore.    i feel flutters off and on, but no kicks or anything that zach can feel on the outside. 

just before i hit the 17week mark, i turned a beautiful, glorious, 2nd trimester corner called “almost normal”!  i couldn’t believe it!  i had pretty much given up hope of feeling normal until after the birth, so this felt like the best day ever.  except for a few little things, i really do feel about 90% normal again.  (normal = how i felt before getting pregnant as far as nausea, energy, etc)  i say 90% because i still move a bit slower, have a bit less energy, and a few food aversions remain.  but i feel SO good and am SO grateful.  what a huge blessing it has been.  this has also allowed me to get back to exercising.  a very modified version of what i used to do, but i’ll take it. where i used to run 3 miles in 27-28 minutes, i am now walking the Rose Bowl track 3x/week (3 miles) in about 55 minutes.  i’m planning use my previous pilates video for strength training 2-3x/week and just modifying as necessary to work around my belly and new limitations.  i also no longer have an excuse to justify some of the crappy food i was eating before.  back to healthier choices!  which is fine by me because i’ve been REALLY into salads lately.  oh gosh, and can i just say how wonderful it is to be able to drink lots of water again without feeling awful??  hooray!

i can’t tell you how happy we are to be having a baby boy.  deep down, zach and i really wanted a boy first, but we honestly didn’t think the chances of that happening were very strong since girls tend to dominate the gene pool on the boomsma side.  since zach and his dad are each the ONLY males in their families there’s sort of a little “pressure” to have a boy so the boomsma name will carry on!  and we both love the idea of a “big brother” as the oldest sibling.  and honestly, i REALLY wanted my husband to have a son.  that actually felt more important to me than having a daughter (which i still very much want).  additionally, our culture needs strong, upright, God-fearing men.  and the women need solid guys to marry.  we are so excited about the opportunity to raise up a young man for Christ and we are already praying that the Lord will capture our son’s heart and bind it fast to Himself!  (basically i’m praying that little Jack will grow up to be just like His daddy!)