XO

So he has his days– he cries for no reason and refuses to sit on the toilet and occasionally stomps his feet and uses his devil-voice when things aren’t going his way (you know what I’m talking about, the one where you think for a second he might be possessed, that one). Maybe this is the definition of a bad kid to someone. I know that 2 years ago, I might have felt the same. But it’s just not true. People put too much criticism and judgement on kids (and their parents) based on how they act 5-10% of the time.

Since I used to be one of those people who saw a screaming kid at the store and thought “what a brat” I am going to elaborate on why this is TOTALLY bogus and why my perspective has completely changed. First of all, kids are learning. They don’t come out tha womb knowing all of their manners believe it or not, and I bet you you were once that screaming kid at the store until you learned otherwise. They literally don’t know how to control their emotions or how to react to them. Once kids start to understand things more, like what “no” means, it can be especially hard for them to react in an appropriate manner. Imagine how it makes you feel to be told no. You feel shut down, and maybe a little sad or frustrated, but you continue on with your life and get over it because you know better than to scream and cry and flail your arms. Give these kids a BREAK. They are learning how to be respectful, emotionally stable adults one tantrum at a time. (And if they aren’t respectful emotionally stable adults when they grow up, I am making a bold prediction that they were not given the opportunity to throw tantrums and were rather never told no, and therefore never learned.) I was one of those people judging you and your kids throwing fits in the store, and honestly probably still would be if I never had a child. What a joke it is to go into parenting thinking you won’t ever have the kid that throws a fit at the store! LOL It’s just not realistic y’all.

This post got sidetracked and was supposed to be about how GREAT J is despite his 10% of yucky behavior. Sometimes I want to pull my hair out and bang my head against the wall when J cries over every little thing and wants me to hold him all day, but then something magical happens. He gives me kisses and hugs in public, or he holds my hand in his sleep. He giggles until he toots or vise versa. I try to gently sneak my arm out from under his neck after he falls asleep and as soon as I move, he lays on my chest on hugs me tight so I am unable to leave. He lays in my lap and watches Shrek, without squirming for ten minutes straight. Even watching him learn new things, like where his belly-button is and where the ice cream is at make my day a little brighter. Little moments like this just make me so happy and thankful to be a mom to the most kind-hearted boy I’ve ever known.

Earlier I was talking to my mom about one of these little moments that make my heart stop and tears roll. She said:”That’s how you know you’re doing parenting right. When they know how kiss and hug and love.” And she’s right. Teaching my Little how to love is the most important thing he will learn in his life. Everyday I pray that I don’t mess up this parenting thing, as I’m sure a lot of parents do, but today was one of the first days in months that I felt confident in my parenting.

The POSITIVES of Being a Single Mom

Hey y’all!

It’s been a minute since I posted on the blog and it’s mostly because I just haven’t had the time or energy. Why didn’t anybody warn me how tiring being a parent is?? (Kidding. Everyone did.) but really. I didn’t take all of those warnings from my parents and friends and everyone else seriously. I never expected to wake up with a single goal: to shower today. And go to sleep unshowered and too tired to utilize my “free time” (the time after Jakson falls asleep) to accomplish my pathetic goal. It’s crazy y’all- it almost makes me wish DB (deadbeat, douche bag, dad of baby, etc) had stuck around and helped out instead of leaving me to explore parenting and adulthood all alone. ALMOST.

Despite the ridiculous situations I find myself in, like the one described above (which is a regular thing, btw.) there are some advantages to being a single mom.

For one, I can guarantee that Jakson will be kind and respectful when he grows up. I can raise him how I want and teach him values that I find important. Some things my ex and I just didn’t agree on, like same sex couples, for example. He thought it was a sin to be gay and that they were all bad people and a blah blah blah. I was SO shocked to hear him say this for the first time after knowing him for years, and wondered why we had never talked about it before. In my opinion, people’s sexual orientation does not define their character or sins any more than their race and gender do. Although Jakson will be able to make his own mind up about topics like this once he is old enough, I’d like for him to inherit my open mindedness. And since I’m his only parent I can raise him and teach him the way I think is best 🙂

Another disagreement we had was about how we would introduce him to sports and activities when he got older. I suggested we let him decide what he wanted to do, and sign him up for a variety of sports & activities so he can find what he’s interested in. This was not DB’s plan at all. He was very firm about the sport Jaks said was to play (which is the same sport he played and his dad before him played) and said that he WOULD push Jakson to do well in it. I can kind of understand wanting to pass on the legacy or whatever, but here’s where I had a problem: I have been to a sporting event with his family before. It was DB’s 10 year old cousin’s football game. The kid wasn’t athletic, and carried a little extra weight around with him. But instead of being encouraging and proud of him regardless, I sat in disbelief as their entire family spoke poorly of him and voiced their disappointment. The thought of the same thing happening to Jakson made my blood boil, and as you might have guessed, an argument was born.

I could keep going for days about all of the ridiculous fights we had about Jakson’s future and it’s crazy because they all happened within the 1-month stretch of time that he was actually around and made some efforts to be a dad. It was hard for me to compromise on some of the parenting techniques DB wanted to use, because by the time he came around Jakson was already 6 months old and I had done it on my own up until then. I was reluctant to let him come in and change everything that I had worked so hard for.

But the point is, it’s over now. The fighting and arguments were all for nothing because now, I am able to raise Jakson however I want. Though being a single mom is tough and at times trying, I wouldn’t have it the other way. I’m happy with my life and the people in it. And I am confident that my son will be a sweet, caring, non-judgmental human being. EMBRACE being a single mom and make the best of the special bond it creates between your child and you. 💕

To end this short post, here are five other ways I have found to appreciate being a single mom, instead of feeling envious of those happy families you see on social media (because let’s be honest, IT’S HARD sometimes.) :

  1. Jakson’s existence gives me the motivation I need to work hard and succeed on my own.
  2. I feel accomplished and proud to know that I alone raised such an amazing human
  3. I dont have to do laundry / cook / clean up after anyone but Jaks and I (score)
  4. I get to cuddle Jakson in bed with me every night! (double score)
  5. I love Jakson more than ANYONE in the world, and I know he feels the same way about me. Our bond is indescribable and exclusive to only us.

To single moms everywhere: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Remember the positives and pat yourselves on the back for being such strong and independent women. If you’d like, share what you are most thankful for being a single mom in the comments below! Happy Monday to you and yours!

xx Jordan

Toothless no more

Teething babies are hard.

We are pushing through the last week or so (hopefully) before my little Toothless the Dragon gets 8 teeth all at once! I can already see two popping through just barely, and the outlines of the other six underneath his swollen gums. My poor sweet boy has just wanted to nurse constantly, which makes me a little discouraged and also grateful. Reason being, we had finally cut the nursing down to 2-3 times a day at nap and bed times, and now he is always wanting to nurse and will barely take food. I am grateful, though, that I am able to soothe and feed him alternatively; I don’t know what these last couple weeks would have looked like if he hadn’t been able to nurse…… actually, I do. And a hungry baby in pain and with no way to help him doesn’t sound fun, my friends.

In a couple weeks we are going to a beauty and the beast symphony and I am so excited to see what Jaks thinks of it! Will he be scared? Will he dance? Will he like seeing the other kids dressed up? I don’t think I’ll dress him up (because even if I did it wouldn’t last- I can barely keep his shoes on him) but my good friend Judith bought him a Mickey Mouse ears hat with his name stitched on the back, so I will probably put that on him. 

Stay tuned for pictures of the symphony and especially for Jakson’s NEW TEETH!!! Happy Friday y’all 🙂 

P.S. We went to Freddy’s for ice cream- best date I’ve ever been on. I got out of the house AND it made his gummies feel good. Win-win 🍦

New Eyes

 I’d like to document a few things that have happened since we made our move to Colorado. First of all, Jakson has gotten out of the house significantly more than he did when we were back in Idaho. He sees other babies, we go grocery shopping, we go to Barnes & Noble and play with the train table (which by the way is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to meet new babies for jaks and new mamas for me) and overall we are just happier. 

Although its been a bit of a struggle adjusting to our new lifestyle and being away from the home that we rarely ever left, it’s a good change and a necessary one. I am so impressed by the progress Jakson has made being social with others! I swear he is growing up right before my eyes and every time I blink he’s doing something new. For example, a few days ago we had some people over and instead of being shy and clinging to my leg like a sloth, he crawled away from me to play with them, and didn’t even look back until 20 minutes later!!! This might not seem like a huge milestone to some, but Jakson has always been extremely shy so this is a serious miracle. Another great thing that happened is Jaks took his first solo bath last week, and has taken them alone ever since. Baths have always been a special bonding time between the two of us, and it makes me a little sad to see him growing too big for it… But also proud of him for being so brave and finding new independence. Another milestone to note is that he has started standing on his own for long periods of time (and attempting to lift the heaviest object he can find… *eyeroll* Boys amiright?) It will not be long now before he is waddling around keeping me even more busy. 

On another note, an unexpected change since arriving is not having a phone. My phone has been pretty rough for a while and the last straw was it falling out of my hoodie pocket and onto the tile floor. This paralyzed the touch screen, so I can see all of the notifications but can’t unlock it or use it. This has honestly been one of the best things that has happened since our move. I never realized how much I used it until it was gone, and now that it’s gone it’s such a relief and a breath of fresh air. Some of the changes I have had to adjust to without a phone are:

  • No communication with people, outside of the occasional use of my sister’s phone to talk to my mom. This ones obvious but has been surprisingly great. I haven’t had contact with anyone from Idaho and it feels good to leave it behind, completely. 
  • No social media. I’ll be honest, I was addicted to social media, though I never would have admitted it. I would wake up in the middle of the night and scroll through Instagram and get headaches the next morning. I love that I can focus on my life and my child and not see what everyone else is doing.
  • I can’t occasionally stalk my exes social media. Doesn’t need explanation, everyone does it. Moving on. 
  • I have started reading more. I was always using my lack of time as an excuse for not reading anymore, but all along I was wasting my time on my phone. Who woulda thought? 
  • I can’t use recipes from pinterest. So I have had to wing it and actually learn how to cook on my own. 
  • Also, I’m a lot more creative and confident as a parent without searching for ideas on pinterest about keeping jaks entertained and how to discipline and whatever else.
  • I haven’t had navigation to find my way around this unfamiliar city. Although I have lived here before, I was too young to pay attention to the roads.This one has been tough, but has forced me to pay attention to where I’m going and not rely on Siri for help.
  • I use my camera a lot more.
  • Jaks and I have more quality time, which is making me a better parent and helps me understand him.
  • We go outside a lot more! This is also mostly due to the weather but everyone needs to go outside more.

Some of these seem silly but I’m just being honest. My life has changed dramatically because of a phone??? I encourage everyone to go a week without your phone. I mean turned off and hidden by someone you can trust until the week is over. Since going without, I see how cliche and staged everyones lives are on social media. Why do we all want the same designer crib? Same color walls? Same hairdo and clothes and eyebrows? Same pictures with our babies? My favorite pictures to look back on are not the ones I staged to be instagram worthy. They’re the ones that were unplanned. In 20 years we’re all going to have these pictures of our staged lives instead of memories that are real. I personally no longer care to have a nice phone or even a smart phone, and am planning on getting rid of my social media entirely. I just feel better and happier without it. 

Anyways,  there’s the end of my liberating experience of going without a phone (how embarrassing) but hopefully someone can relate? I’m going to use this time to read my new fav book Outlander. If you’ve never seen the show, watch it. I don’t know if I would understand the book quite as well without watching the show first. But reading it is like watching the show again with deleted scenes- its the best! 

Hope everyone is having a lovely Monday! 💓

XO, J

Mama Tried 

Today I have been looking back at some of the old pictures off of my camera. Ones from when Jaks was still immobile and was always happy. At the time I didn’t notice I was living in one of the best stages of his life: no fits, no attitude, no getting into things he shouldn’t, and always happy and smiling for the camera. The summer of 2016 was truly a dream. I will always remember it as some of the best days of my life. 

Lately I’ve been feeling unsure of myself and my parenting. I don’t know the right way to punish, or if I should even be doing that yet. I don’t like the idea of spanking my child but feel pressured by everyone I know to use this method of discipline. Jaks is testing me more and more each day, and I’m starting to see that “no” isn’t effective anymore, and when I try to keep him out of something he shouldn’t have he doesn’t even hear what I’m saying or if he’s in trouble. He just continues doing whatever he is doing and doesn’t even look up at me. To some, this might seem like the opportune moment to spank the child and “teach him a lesson”, but he learns so quickly by example that I’m afraid this form of discipline only backfires causing more bad behavior, which only furthers my desire to find an alternate way of teaching him to listen.

 Patience is key, right? I have read all the parenting books and try my hardest to practice “monkey see monkey do”, but lets be honest. Talking it through and setting a good example doesn’t always work for a one year old. (Especially stubborn independent ones like Jaks) The last thing any parent wants is to raise a spoiled brat. All I want is to hear “he is so well behaved!” And “you’re doing a great job!” But instead I find myself apologizing for his out of control behavior in public and promising he is really a good kid… And he is. When we’re at home he is polite and he plays. He shares all of his toys with everyone- even the dogs. He does have a bad habit of throwing fits when I take away something he shouldn’t have, or change his diaper when he’s in the middle of playing. But I think most could say the same about their one year old, and regardless he truly is a great baby. Sitting down at a restaurant, on the other hand, is a different story.

People say that it’s just a phase and that he will outgrow it but I’m worried it’s  becoming a habit. I need him to listen to me and respect me. Understand that I’m the boss. And I don’t know how to make that happen. Why is parenting so hard? While I sit and try to make sense of the sweet one year old that I hold in my arms (and the rest of my messy life) I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the simpler stages of parenting. What a great summer that was, with my little six month old Jaks, taking 5 stroller walks a day and having picnics outside with the pups. I can only imagine that it gets harder from here, and one day I will long for the season of life that I am in right now, so I shouldn’t waste time wishing for yesterday. 

XO, Jordan

P.S. . . . .  I went to dinner with a couple friends the other day, and Jaks was so fussy. I went to the bathrrom with him three times during the night to try to calm him down, and the last time I went into the bathroom, as I was leaving (probably looking clearly defeated) an old lady stopped me and told me how handsome Jaks was and how much we looked alike. She told me about her children, and how her youngest great grandson had just turned four. She said that time flies by so fast that she felt like it was yesterday when she was in my shoes, with a teething baby and a weary look on her face. “Cherish every moment, enjoy every stage. Fits and all. It truly does go by so fast.” 2/26/2017

What’s new 

With family visiting my week has been crazy. but as always, I find myself too lazy to lay Jakson down in his bed for a nap (mostly because I fear him waking up and me not getting my mid-day break) so instead of doing chores that need doing I’m sitting here with him in my arms doing nothing.

These moments -with his sweaty little head in the nook of my arms and his toothless dreaming smiles appearing across his face every now and then- are what I live for. Through all the tantrums and whining and driving me semi-crazy, this is what makes it all worth it. This week was rough because we have a lot going on. Not only are we getting ready for a move on Sunday (which I haven’t even started packing for- AHHH!) but my brother, his wife and his new baby are here visiting and aren’t leaving until Saturday. It has been so overwhelming with the move coming up and the excitement of meeting my new nephew, that Jakson got a little lost in the midst of it all. His poor teeth still haven’t come in and it seems like he’s been teething for 6 months, but this week was really rough for him. He got shots, had sore and swollen gums, and had to adjust to not being the baby in the house anymore with his cousin around. Truth is, I was so caught up in my busy week that I didn’t give him the understanding, patience and attention he deserved during this rough time for him. I didn’t realize this until the worst of it was over, and I had already lost my patience with him more than I’d like to admit. He wanted to be held all day & night and cried for what seemed to me like no reason. He threw fits when he didn’t get what he wanted and it wasn’t like the occasional fit that toddlers have, it was constant. Like every ten minutes, for three days. I was tired (still am) and my patience dwindled by the end of each day. Now I realize that he was in pain and he was probably just getting fussy because of it.

This is what parenting is about I guess; trial and error. Taking the good with the bad. Yes, we had a rough week and I wasnt always the happy and fun mom I try to be, but there’s always tomorrow. For now I’m just soaking in this little moment: holding him while he sleeps, sneaking in my kisses before the wakes up and turns his head at them.

Motherhood is hard but dang I love being Jakson’s momma so freaking much. I should spend more time being thankful & less time being busy.

xx  J

Stay

It’s 3 a.m. and all I can think about is the future. I found a 21 month program to earn my required degree in my desired field, which is a dream come true. But what does that mean for Jaks? Twenty one months. Older than he is now. He has always stayed home with me while I go to school online, and rarely allows for anyone else to even hold him, much less stay with them for a long period of time. It breaks my heart to think about how much he will grow in that amount of time, and how much I will miss. It’s a full time program with 6-7 classes for two semesters, and work experience for 3 semesters, which means I would be gone at school nearly all day and then I would be working on homework when I was home. Despite my need for stability and a job that can support us I can’t help but question whether this is the right thing to do, because as I look beside me at my little boy my heart sinks. In just 13 months I have seen him grow into the kindest, squirmiest, most selfless human being on earth. He shares everything with me, and finds happiness in the simplest of things. Our bond is something that I never want to lose. Would I risk losing him if I go through with this program? Would he lack stability and a connection to his family? Could this make him feel sad and like I don’t want to be around him anymore? I never want him to feel that…

I want to stay in this moment, right here, forever. His little baby feet peeking out from under his baby bum like a turtle (the way he has slept since he was a wee lad) and waking up every few hours to squirm his way over to me and lay his head on my chest. His soul is so pure and innocent now. I waste the days away trying to keep him busy instead of savoring these special moments I have with him. I convince myself that somehow what I think I need to do, like clean or shower or do something on my phone or look for scholarships or blogging or whatever. Somehow I convince myself that it’s more important than being here, in this moment, soaking all of this up. After months and months of searching for a program that I could finish within a short period of time and one that would set me free and allow us to start our own life, I have found one. One that would give me my dream job. A life that I crave, without struggle and charity from others. But I’m so scared to take the leap. I’m scared of what I might be leaving behind.

I don’t often turn to God, because truthfully growing up we rarely stayed in one place long enough to find a good church. So all I really know is what I’ve pieced together from reading the first few pages of the Bible and what I’ve heard in movies or from people around me. I lack any education about religion, which leaves me feeling kind of hypocritical asking for God’s help in my time of need. But here I am, hoping, wishing, praying for the right answer.

Guide me through this life. Give me the strength to make decisions and the patience my little one deserves. Help me be the mom that I can be, that doesn’t take my time with my little one for granted. Someone who makes him smile and laugh all the time. Help me use my phone less and connect more. Create memories with these moments. Live to the fullest. Be the best version of me.

I just want to make him proud, and for him remember his childhood as a good place. I wish I could stay here,with Jaks in my arms and his hand in mine forever. But I can’t. So I’ll have to choose.

The photo is one from over the summer, and I miss the sun and when Jaks was this little. I loved this little bear suit ❤Thanks for always being a good listener (@ my blog).

XO, J