dear Logan (7 months)

8:51:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments


my dear little Logan,

In less than 1 week, you will be 7 months old. I can't quite wrap my head around the idea. These have been the absolute greatest 7 months of my life. In the 10 months we waited for your arrival, I constantly heard horror stories and warnings about how hard and challenging life is with a baby. But here you are... and although I have questioned every decision we've made for you, those are the last words that come to mind when I hear your name. You are a joy, and the sunshine that fills our world each and every day. Every night your father and I say just how perfect you are, and how much better you have made our lives. Sleepless nights and fussy evenings will never change that.


You are much more a little man than a baby these days. Your personality can light up a room. Those dimples melt the heart of every girl you meet, and your overall happy outlook on life is contagious. You have surprised me in your laid back, relaxed attitude when we're out in the world. I love that you embrace all new situations, people, and places, and I hope so much that you are not shy like your mother.


You still haven't found a food you don't like. You're eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, cereal and oatmeal, and learning the fine art of the sippy cup. Your jumperoo is still your favorite place in the house, and you're also now riding in style when we hang out on the patio.


Your little voice is music to my ears. You still have your squeals and screams when you're excited, but you babble in a soft, calm voice. We haven't quite yet heard your first real word, but "dadadadada" is a favorite sound to sing to us. I know it is only a matter of time before you're talking up a storm. 




If there's anything you love most in the world, it's being outside. Whether it's day or night, at home or in the park, outside makes you happy. You love to swing, swim, and watch the sights and sounds of the outdoors. We recently let you explore your first playground, and you loved it.


I'm learning to soak up every little bit of you during the time we have together. No matter how many days or nights we have, it is never enough. I can't get enough of you. You're growing and learning so fast, and your baby days are numbered. You are such an amazing little boy. I hope you know that through all of life's ups and downs, your daddy and I are always behind you. You are the center of our world. Sometimes, early in the morning, I sneak you out of your crib to spend your last hours of slumber snuggled in my arms. I hope you always feel safe with me. 


As we plan your first Halloween, Christmas, and your first birthday, I can't help but feel it's moving way too fast. You will always be Mama's little boy.

love always & forever,
Mama



1 comments:

6 (1/2) month photo shoot

8:35:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 4 Comments

 I finally plunged into manual mode on my Nikon d5000 (after studying Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure for the last 24 hours), and these are the results. I have a long way to go (I'm not happy with the lighting at all), but I'm satisfied for my first attempt. If you have any tips for a newbie photographer, I would love to hear them! (but please be kind... I know I have a lot to learn). I feel like I cheated by using an insanely handsome subject. I mean, really, is there a picture of him that wouldn't be adorable?













4 comments:

Logan lately.

4:45:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 7 Comments





















I swear I fall more and more in love with this little boy everyday.

Those eyes! Those dimples! I can barely stand it.



7 comments:

working mama: back home

11:34:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Nick has spent the last week in Mississippi for annual training with the TNARNG, which means I have spent the last week at home with my little man. I have loved every second of it. I've savored every snuggle, stolen a few a thousand extra kisses, and lived my life the way I always dreamed it would be.

If the last 6 months have taught me anything, it's that I will never get used to being away from my little love. He truly is the light of my life, and brings so much joy to each day. Leaving him at home while I go off to work will never get easier. I can never get enough smiles or giggles from that little boy.

I know many moms struggle with the same challenges that I do, but I don't have to like it. The realization that this week is coming to an end brings tears to my eyes. The past few days have been nothing short of amazing.

I'm terrified that when I return to work tomorrow, my relationship with little man will change. We will always share a special bond as mother and son, but it isn't the same when I'm out of the house most nights of the week (and sleeping my days away). It hasn't been the same since I went back to work full-time. I love being his comfort and security, and I don't want to hand the reigns back to Nick (even though he truly does an amazing job). It hurts to know I can't be the constant in his life that I want to be.

For now I will rock him a little longer, hug him a little tighter, and make every moment we have together special. And when Daddy returns home next week, I will do everything I can to keep him a Mama's boy.



0 comments:

photo challenge: black & white

8:48:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 3 Comments

Linking up with Lena B for the Perspectives photo challenge.
Of course I chose pictures of Logan. 
I mean, really, does it get any cuter?




Such a precious little boy! 
Which is your favorite? 
Link up!

Perspective

3 comments:

dear Logan (6 months)

10:19:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 2 Comments


my sweet baby boy,

6 months! You are halfway through your first year of life. It has been an absolute joy watching you grow and learn from the world around you, yet it terrifies me to think that your days as my sweet little baby are numbered. So much of your personality and development reminds me daily that you are much more a little boy than the tiny little newborn we brought home 6 months ago.

You started eating rice cereal a month ago, and have since moved on to squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes. You haven't met a food you don't like! I have anxiously awaited your first bite of food each time we try something new, but you have yet to make a face or spit anything out. You are living up to the Armstrong name. You're still a tiny little thing, but I have no doubt that you are healthy and growing right on track.

You spend much of each day bouncing around in your jumperoo. Your little legs are so strong, and sometimes I worry that the whole thing will come crashing down on you because you're such a strong jumper. We are complimented often on how happy of a baby you are. You haven't quite mastered rolling from back to belly and you aren't crawling yet, but you still manage to get wherever you want to go. You spin and scoot, and you're smart enough to pull your toys closer when they are out of reach. Sometimes I find you so far from where you were left, that I am beginning to wonder if you're hiding some skills from your Daddy and me. I think it is only a matter of weeks before you start crawling all over our house.

You love to blow bubbles and make airplane sounds, and you babble to anyone that will listen. It is such a joy to your Mama's ears. You are also very aware of who Mama and Daddy are, and you are not happy when we leave your sight. We recently took a trip to visit your grandparents, and you knew that we weren't home. You had a great time, but you missed your room and crib back home. You are a (little) man of routine.

Your 6 month round of shots went well... so well, in fact, that I didn't realize that she had given them to you! Such a brave little boy. You are weighing in at 14.8 lbs and are 25.5 in long, with just enough baby chunk to let us know you are well nourished. Most of your meals involve food now, but you still love to nurse in the morning and before bed.

Please don't grow too fast! Mama is having a hard time comprehending that you will one day be a toddler, and may even run off to school by yourself in a few years. For now I will continue to cherish our snuggle time, and the sweet look in your eyes when you realize you're in Mama's arms. You know our favorite book, Love You Forever? I mean every single word of it.

love with all my heart & soul,
Mama

waiting on your 6 month checkup


2 comments:

hurry up & wait... or don't

9:44:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 1 Comments

A little known fact about me: I was this.close to joining the Army Reserves Nurse Corps. Not back when I was fit and young... more like a little over a year ago when I was in decent shape and getting older everyday.

I have so much admiration and respect for our soldiers, and I am so proud to be the wife of a Sgt in the TN Army National Guard. I wanted to join the Army for quite some time before I convinced the husband... and I still only managed to convince him to let my join the Reserves. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it, I wanted to serve my country, and the student loan payoff was an added bonus. It seemed like the perfect life for an infertile 20-something.

As my final paperwork was being submitted I was surprised with 2 little pink lines that forever changed my life. Looking back I can't imagine if my paperwork had been completed just a few months sooner, or those little pink lines showed up just a little later than they did. I have a feeling I'd be snuggling my sweet little boy in Canada right now.  I cannot imagine leaving him for weeks, or months, or even a year at a time. My heart couldn't handle it.

To those soldiers that leave their families and little ones behind to serve our country, THANK YOU. There truly is no greater sacrifice. You are the strongest, bravest, and most selfless individuals, and I am proud for you to represent our country. Most of us could never do what you do.

I'm grateful for the way life turned out for me, but I can't help but get a little jealous when I see videos like this:


If my husband's training, schools, and deployment is any indication, it really can be this much fun.



1 comments:

clothdiapering: 6 month update

9:03:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 4 Comments

I'm proud to say that 6 months in, we are still cloth-diapering! Here are some notes on our journey so far:


  • When I first started investing in our stash I did a ton of research, and mostly bought Fuzzibunz One-size. They are great quality, come in a variety of colors, and are the trimmest diapers we own. We have a decent collection of Fuzzibunz that stay in our rotation. I was purchasing them through Fuzzibunz Store, and with free shipping (arriving as early as 2 days later) and 10% back on every purchase I thought I was getting a great deal. Until I found ALVA baby
Fuzzibunz one-size

Fuzzibunz one-size
  • ALVA baby are great diapers. I never thought you could get good quality cloth diapers for less than $15, and these run from $4-6 each! They are shipped from China, I believe, but offer worldwide free shipping. They take a few weeks to arrive but are well worth the wait. These are one-size pocket diapers, and are always the go-to diapers in my stash. I love the colors and the fit. I've also bought a wet/dry bag from alvababy.com, but sadly it doesn't hold up as well as my Simple zipTote by CDI (bought from fuzzibunzstore.com). So buy your diapers from  ALVA baby, but spend a little more on your laundry and wet bags (our large laundry bag is also by CDI).
Alvababy one-size
  • A month or two into the cloth diapering game, I started making cloth wipes. It only made sense. Every time we changed little man's diaper we needed a wet bag for the diaper and a trash can for the wipes. I'm all about simplicity. So I bought a yard of cotton flannel at Hobby Lobby (for cheap!), cut 8x8 squares (or 9x9? I can't remember), and sewed a simple stitch around the edge to minimize fraying. I've made a total of 2 yards worth of wipes, and they are more than enough for traveling and at home. We never even come close to running out. I made a simple wipe solution of baby oil, baby wash, and water, and filled up a few squirt bottles I had around the house (you can find them in the travel aisle at your local drugstore). I keep a mini bottle with a few wipes in the diaper bag, and a larger spray bottle on the changing table. For the solution I modified a recipe found at As We Grow.
  • We've traveled for weekend and week-long trips, and so far cloth-diapering hasn't been an issue. We have yet to go somewhere we didn't have an easily accessible washing machine, but I imagine if you have enough diapers or are willing to find a hose or sink it wouldn't be that much more difficult. Even easier if you use covers or AI2s (we only use pocket diapers). 
  • Cloth diapering has been a conversation starter over and over again. Most people still think the only cloth diapers available are the traditional prefold+diaper pin combo, and they are amazed at what our cloth diapers look like. I really think more people would cloth diaper if they had a different image in their head. Although I'm not one to think everyone should cloth diaper, I just love to help people save money! (I guess saving the environment is okay, too)
  • Diaper covers or pockets without the insert? An endless supply of swim diapers. Nothing else to pack, and we all know we already have way too much to pack.

  • Now that Logan is eating food, poop is gross... and I'm a nurse for a living. It has definitely made cloth diapering more work, but not as much as you might think. Logan typically poops 1-2x a day, and most of it easily falls right into the toilet without much effort. Anything left gets sprayed and then thrown in the wet bag with everything else. We had an attachment sprayer for the shower lying around the house (we bought it for washing our dogs years ago), so for now we are using that. It actually works great... the only downside is our ridiculous water pressure, so if you aren't careful you'll blow the diaper right out of your hand. I plan on making this DIY diaper sprayer when I find time, because I like the idea of having something directly attached to the toilet. And there is no way I'm spending $30-50 for the diaper sprayers I've found. 
  • We've probably spent $200 for everything we needed to cloth diaper our little man. If I had found ALVA baby diapers sooner, it would have been a lot less (another great option? Sunbaby diapers). I bought things a little bit at a time, starting before Logan was born, so it has never felt like a huge dent in the wallet. We have more than enough to make it until potty-training, and all of our diapers are one-size. I can't imagine the cost to diaper a baby for 2+ years with disposables! We will also be prepared for any other little ones in the future (although I imagine I won't be able to resist a few pinks and purples if we find ourselves expecting a little mini-me). 
  • Nick has never put up a fight about cloth diapering. I explained how much money we would save, and he was sold. I think it also helps that we've never done anything else, so we don't notice the little bit of extra work or the extra load of laundry every other day. Cloth diapering is what we do. 
  • Have I mentioned how stinkin' cute cloth diapers are? In case you haven't noticed, they are. They look especially great on a naked baby in the summertime. 


4 comments: