people watching 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe other day Jakson and I were standing in the return line at Walmart when I spotted a frantic woman among the crowd. I watched as she ran in and out of the bathroom, searched in the produce section, among the checkout lanes and even in the carts. I began to look for the missing child too– I had no way of knowing that was what she was looking for, but the look on her face was precisely what I imagined mine would look like if I ever lost my baby. After about five minutes of feeling my insides twist watching this poor mother search for her child she walked to the help desk and I imagined her asking to call for the missing child over the intercom. Instead the employee handed the woman a pink iPhone. Relief swept over her face in an instant and she praised the lord that her missing phone had been returned, unharmed.

Moral of the story. People are loco over technology.

Happy Tuesday y’all 😂

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sunburn, white & blue

Our Fourth was so fun and I wish I had gotten more photos but the ones I did get are worth more than GOLD so it’s okay.  We spent the day with lil J’s fav person in the world, grandma. Jaks didn’t go to the parade or see fireworks last year, so this year was his first time seeing any of it and I kid you not, the second he heard the drums from the first float in the parade, he was going NUTS. If you don’t believe me here’s a picture.

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He clapped, and said “oooooo!” and was bouncing like a maniac in his grandma’s arms… It was the cutest.

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His fav part was when the marching bands went by, but the elephants & camels were a close second. (who else can say they had people riding elephants and acting like pirates and kings and queens for their 4th of July parade?! Living next to renaissance fair is awesome.)Also, Jaks got maracas from a vendor and we ate the best BBQ ever.

Regardless of the profuse sweating, bright red skin and constant wedgie I acquired over the course of the day, I still got  compliments on my outfit (that was a total of $12. I’m serious.) And it was still a wonderful day. After the parade + street fair we were basically dying for ice cream, so we stopped at a cute little parlor north of our town.

 

We spent the evening cuddled up on our patio with a blanket, just Jaks and I, watching the fireworks from afar. He fell asleep laying on my chest looking like a literal angel. It was the perfect tribute to Jaks’s first parade & fireworks. We celebrated our freedom, our country, and our blessed lives by living to the fullest. I just love my simple life with my little boy in the greatest country there is. ❤️

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BBQ lips.

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give. the. kids. a. break.

 

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.

Easter at the Zoo

Baby J’s second Easter was such a fun day. We went to the zoo, and this time he was actually old enough to look at the animals and be super interested in what was going on. Jaks LOVESSSS animals, so I knew he would love spending time at the zoo. His favorite exhibit was the birds! Then, a close second was the meerkat, followed by the giraffes and then goats maybe?. (I would have put the giraffes first, but he got scared when it licked his hand.)

The bird exhibit was basically just this wide open room with trees everywhere. They sold popsicle sticks dipped in honey and rolled in bird seed, so you could feed them. Jaks got to feed a couple of birds, and I’m pretty sure it was the best day of his life! He smiled from ear to ear the whole time!

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the absolute best Zoo I have ever been to. They had a waterfall for the elephants, and they have the largest giraffe exhibit in the United States. Despite the sick feeling I get in the pit of my stomach at the thought of animals being held against their wills to be photographed and stared at behind bars, this Zoo seemed more like a sanctuary and a truly good place to live. All the animals seemed happy and very well taken care of! They even give you tokens for each ticket you buy to donate to the animal foundation of your choice.  Going to the zoo on easter is definitely going to be a new tradition for us.

So a few sunburns, sore cheeks, dippn’ dots, a carousel ride and lots of animal watching later, Jaks was worn out and fell asleep as soon as we got to the car. I wish I would have gotten more pictures, and the ones I did get weren’t great quality. But I will hold this memory close to my heart as one of the best days.

After the zoo we ate pizza, then went to great grandma and grandpa’s house for gifts and more food. We were so busy that we didn’t even do the egg hunt that I had planned, so Jaks and I will do it tomorrow when we’re home alone!

Such a good day. ❤️

Dear Jakson 

Today I put a few M&M’s inside a little clear box and gave it to you. You twisted and turned it around over and over in your tiny hands, trying to figure it out and came to me for help when you couldn’t. It lasted for about half an hour and when you finally got it open, you grabbed the candies and gave them to me with a big smile on your face. 

Little silly moments like this one make me so proud to be your mama.  You find so much joy in sharing with others, and you have more compassion in one of your tiny fingernails than the rest of this world combined. Some day you’ll move mountains with your kind & caring heart. 

Never change, sweet boy. 

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