Saturday, January 29, 2011

Welcome to Motherhood

A few days ago I saw a contest online that asked "when did you know you were a mom?" and I started reading all the posts. They were your general...."When I felt my baby kick" and "When I looked in her eyes for the first time" I started thinking of my moment. Yes, each and every moment is amazing to me and I would love to be all goo-goo-eyed about my response, but let's be serious. It's me and baby Jude.

I started thinking of all the times he has cried and the way it made me feel. I pondered about all the poop I've got on myself and the explosions as of late. Even all the late night feedings where we've both looked into each other's eyes and wondered if we'd both ever sleep a sound night again. Then there was my A-Ha moment at 2:00 am three days ago.

It was about the 4th diaper change of the night....or should I say morning. I turned on the light and un-swaddled the little man, finding a very wet diaper. In the middle of changing this very wet diaper, Jude decides to unleash fury on his mama, spraying my mushy midsection with a gallon of fresh pee. My hands are trying to block it, splashing the rest of my clean sheets and face with wetness. It finally stops and he smiles....of course. Then I wrap him in a fresh new diaper, swaddle him and look at his little face...

....This is when I was welcomed to motherhood. I looked him in the eyes AND then looked down at his mouth. Milk spit-up down the side of his face. Without hesitation I lift my hand to my own mouth. Within seconds I realized what I had done. I forgot about all the previous events, stuck that pee-soaked thumb....into my mouth to wet it down (even more than it was already) and wiped the half dried milk from the side of his face.

We both gave each other a horrified grin about our 2 am situation and that was the moment I knew I was a mom. Bodily fluids are now less disgusting than they used to be to this mama. And I wouldn't give up this job for anything in the world!

The many outfits of J.B.B.

We've pretty much exhausted Jude's newborn outfits. When he puts on a few more lbs we've got an entire new wardrobe for the little man, but for now, he's pretty much on the rotation you see below. Our favorite is the Daddy's Rookie (yes, even Mom's fave).

Outfits don't last long around here, though. He has become quite the pooping machine, and we're not talking quiet squirters here. When Jude unleashes a #2 it feels more like a #3. Yes, it would appear he is definitely his father's son....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So Long, Sofa

John goes back to work tomorrow (sigh), so it's just Mom, Max and Baby holding the fort for the next few weeks. It's been a great first couple weeks with the whole family at home. Unfortunately, with this cold Chicago weather, we've had to spend most of it inside. Because of that, we've become extremely close with our couch. Here are some images that we feel capture the close bond we've developed with this wonderful piece of furniture.

Sometimes it was just Mom and Jude hangin out, watching TV
And sometimes the whole family got together, ate some pizza....and watched some TV
Here the couch shows it's versatility, serving as an area to peel and prepare fresh fruit
And here the couch serves it's ultimate purpose; absolute comfort
Here you see the beautiful view from the couch, truly breathtaking
The couch is a great place to squeeze....
.......and snooze
And after a long day, sometimes you just need to be alone, and the couch is perfect for that too!
So Long, Sofa, it's been great! Gotta go make that Money!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Professional Pics of Jude

We had a mini-marathon photo session with Jude yesterday with Vic Photography  in Minonk, IL. Vicki is a great photographer (as you'll see), and we were able to get some incredible shots of our little man. The whole experience was great, even when Jude peed all over my face, shirt, and then all over Mom too.
These are just a few of what is to come, but so far so amazing. We'll post the link to the entire gallery once it's complete. Thanks!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Parenthood Playlist - Songs for Baby JB

If you know us, you know we love our music. All types, all genres and all moods; from Kanye West to Frank Sinatra. Several weeks ago I tried to put this whole fatherhood thing into words myself (without music), you can read that: HERE .

I thought it would be fun to put together a playlist of songs that celebrate having a son, being a son, relationships and love. This became "Jude's Playlist" on my iPod, and here's how it ended up: 
  1. Two of Us, Aimee Mann and Michael Penn
  2. This Boy, The Beatles
  3. Son of a Son of a Sailor, Jimmy Buffett
  4. With My Own Two Hands, Jack Johnson ft. Ben Harper
  5. You Make My Dreams, Hall and Oates
  6. Imagine, John Lennon (also love Jack Johnson’s version)
  7. When I Grow Up, The Beach Boys
  8. You and Me, Dave Matthews Band
  9. Salvation Song, The Avett Brothers
  10. In My Life, The Beatles
  11. Guaranteed, Eddie Vedder
  12. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy), John Lennon
  13. You Are the Best Thing, Ray LaMontagne
  14. Calico Skies, Paul McCartney
  15. Hey Jude, The Beatles
If you're interested in getting any of these songs, let me know and I can refer you to the album or copy the music for you.

Do you have songs you listen to that remind you of being a parent or a son or daughter? Or perhaps a song about family in general that just makes you smile? I'd love to hear about them!

So Fresh and So Clean!

First Bath!

Here's Baby JB getting all wrapped up after his first bath. Well, more of a wipe down at this point, but he's smelling fresh and loving his ducky towel.

Getting dry

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Natural

The Heisman Trophy is given out to the best player in college football each year. The day we came home from the hospital I caught Jude doing the "Heisman" pose. He was even wearing the "Daddy's Rookie of the Year" outfit. I can't help thinking that this is a sign he will eventually be the first Bennet to hit 6' tall and win a scholarship to a major Division 1 University. 

Then again, he may end up playing golf at a small, obscure Division III school cleaning his fraternity house to pay his credit card bill. I'm good either way.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jude Working on a Poo

And in true Bennet style, the first videos we post will be feces related. No worries for the squeamish; there is no poo on camera, but JB's facial expressions tell the story. Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jude's Journey Home; a short video

Here is a short video we put together with some candid shots of us preparing and celebrating the birth of our baby boy, from hospital to home. Pictures say a thousand words, but videos say a million, and a million is about how many pictures we've taken so far! We hope you enjoy:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thank You Visitors

We were only at the hospital for two days, but that was plenty of time for some close friends and family to stop by and check up on Mom and Baby. Ashleigh's parents surprised us just hours before the birth and were able to be there for the big moment! Thank you Nick, Brigid, Jennifer, Gramma Cash and Grandpa Richard for your support, it was great to see you during our stay!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baby Bennet Pics - from Bella Baby Photography

Things have changed since most of us were born.  They used to do the standard "mug shot" pose for newborns, and now they have professional photographers patrolling the halls of this amazing hospital offering a quick, high resolution photo shoot if you want it (and want to pay for it :) haha). Great job Bella Baby Photography for their quick and professional work!

The photographer had a blast for the 10 minutes she was here. He pepped right up and was giving her his best Zoolander looks. I think I even caught a glimpse of Blue Steele (hopefully somebody gets that reference). He's definitely a "ham", because as soon as the photographer left it was like he knew the spotlight was off him and he started crying. We love him!

Here's a few of our favorites, and the rest can be seen at the link below. Sooooo precious.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jude Benjamin Bennet

Born January 13th, 1:52pm
7 lbs 13oz
20 in 

He's here, and we are happiest people on earth. We are sitting in our postpartum room, looking out over Lake Michigan, listening to some Avett Brothers, enjoying the company of our new son, Jude.

We went in for inducement yesterday morning at 3a.m., and on the way to the hospital Ashleigh began having contractions! We got settled into our room, and the nurse confirmed that she was definitely going into labor. A few hours later it was time to push, Ashleigh did AMAZING and 45 minutes later we became parents for the first time.

Everything went pretty much by the book. She was able to have a vaginal delivery and avoid the C-section. Induction wasn't even necessary because her contractions had already begun! He was "sunny side up" as the Doctors said, facing towards the belly, rather than facing down. So with some help from the midwife, and A Lot of time on all fours, Ash was able to get him turned over and ready to go. He has some small scratches and bruising on his head from the effort to get him turned over, but he is 100% healthy and 100% beautiful.

This morning he was circumcised and got some vaccines, but right now he is sleeping soundly with Momma. Our first night went well; didn't get a ton of sleep, but who cares! We are here until Saturday morning, when we'll be discharged and sent out to be parents on our own.

Rest assured that we'll be loading pictures and videos on here like it's our job over the next several weeks. Here are just a few for now from delivery and the hours following. Thanks again to those close to us who have provided love, support and encouragement the past 10 months and beyond. We love you and can't wait to share the joy of our little man with you all too :).
Mom and baby just seconds after delivery. They both did amazing.
First picture with the proudest poppa on the planet
The Bennets
Baby JB, at last! Opening his puffy little eyes for a split second for a picture.
A few hours after delivery, and right before we attempted to get a few hours of sleep
My new favorite person to watch Bears games with
Jude Benjamin Bennet

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hey Jude.......

Hello everyone! Just a quick note to say that tomorrow morning at 3am we'll be heading to the hospital to begin the inducement procedure. It's been a long, fantastic journey over the past 10 months, but we are ready to move on to the next chapter of parenthood. You know, the part where we actually get to be parents!

We are so happy to finally be able to meet our son, and cannot wait to begin our lives as parents. Thank you all for the love, support and patience, we truly feel blessed to have such a great group of friends and family. We'll keep you all updated, and will definitely have some pictures up as soon as we can.

Love, John and Ashleigh

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Shower to Remember...and the BEST FRIENDS and FAMILY!

Sitting here on my yoga ball bouncing....trying to do anything to get this little boy out....I'm thinking of what it is that I haven't done that Jude could be waiting on. He's already challenging me! Got the stroller. Got the diapers. Got the books, the clothes, the baby gadgets. Got the pictures to prove it. A-HA Moment!!!

I've got the Thank You's out, but haven't blogged about the most AMAZING PEOPLE and the wonderful CELEBRATIONS held for John, Jude and myself. And I thought he was just waiting for me to get that mani/pedi the other day. Well I checked that off just in case anyway:)

In October, one of my best girlfriends, BRIGID, threw Jude and me the prettiest baby shower. Friends and family came from all over Illinois and even Wisconsin. I could not believe it. Number one....It was the most gorgeous shower out in the middle of a wine vineyard. Seriously?? YES. The Mackinaw Vineyard to be exact. Although it rained all the way there, it cleared up just for Jude. IT. Was. Perfect! Number two...seeing all these wonderful women travel just to see me??? I am truly blessed.

Besides the setting, the food was fantastic. In keeping with the fall/pumpkin theme, Rachel made these amazing little pumpkin whoopy pies and sweet pumpkin dip. Oh lord those were delish! And the cake!!! Brigid and Kay Devries know of this bakery who make these cakes that I could just roll around in. So pretty...but so yummy. I ate on that thing for weeks. Let's not forget the decor. Teresa made these cute booties filled with candy and a pumpkin coach for my fancy table. Pumpkins and signs for the baby where everywhere.

I must share a special THANK YOU with Brigid, Kay, Rachel, Jennifer, Teresa, Kim and Julie for making this such a special day! AND everyone for helping us get ready for the arrival of Jude. He has everything he could ever a couple fun and adorable things to keep him as POSHY as his mama.

The spread. SO DELISH!

Me enjoying the spread.

Jude is a lucky man. Still cannot believe all his wonderful gifts.

The hostess Brigid, Jude and myself.

Some good looking women!

Grandma, Great Grandma and 2 more of the coolest people I've ever known.

The best girls ever!

Mommy, Daddy and Nanny Nessa. We are so happy to have her in our lives.

Plus a few gifts from AMAZING friends who couldn't make it. It's so exciting to get gifts in the mail. Thank you so much.