Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Daddy Day at the Zoo

Chase took a vacation day from work and wanted to go with Jackson and me to the zoo. Jackson and I go quite a bit since I have a season pass, and Jack is always talking about all the animals, so Chase wanted to be able to go and see the excitement that I always get to see. I know Chase hates missing out on things like that, but I'm so thankful he works so hard so that I am able to take Jackson to things like that. We may be broke 95% of the time, but it's so worth it for me.

(Also, you'll probably notice "yellow truck" making an appearance in most of the pictures. That toy...)

Every time we go, Jackson asks to look at the giraffes, the elephants, and baby jaguar. They have also had a dinosaur exhibit open, so he gets some crazy looks for people when he tells them he saw dinosaurs at the zoo.

Checking out the elephants with Daddy. Chase held Jackson for the majority of the time, so he could get a better view of all the animals. Such a sweet thing to do, and not easy because he is getting HEAVY these days.

I tried to get a cute pic on the alligator, but Jack was not a fan. It didn't help that it was SO hot outside, and almost lunchtime.

Our final stop was the indoor (air-conditioned!!!) museum. We tried to get Jack to pet this snake, but he was just not interested. He did like looking at all of them though, and we heard a lot of "Snake says Sssss..."

We went to Chili's afterward, and Jackson wanted to hold onto Chase practically the whole time. He is typically a momma's boy, but lately he has been having his moments where he wants no one but his daddy. It's so sweet! We finally got him in his highchair so that we could actually eat our food, but he was so tired, he ended up getting cranky fast, so we left as soon as we could.

It was so nice to get to spend the day with Chase though. He's been working a lot of overtime at work lately, and his weekends have been occupied with working on his car(s). We are currently down to one running vehicle, which is not a lot of fun for me, since that means I'm stuck at home all day. I'm trying to look on the bright side though, because I know this would be a worse situation of I was working. Plus, it gives me no excuse not to keep my house clean. Ha! Although, some days, I'm sure Chase gets home and thinks to himself "What in the world did she do all day?!"

I'm so glad that Chase loves to be involved with Jackson, and wants to spend time with him. I really hope that Jackson appreciates that when he gets older, and I hope he sees that example and demonstrates it in his own life. So many kids don't have a father, or even a father-figure, in their lives, and I think it's so important. He is so fortunate to have a good dad!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jackson - 21 months

Jackson, you continue to amaze me every month. The amount of things you learn and remember each month just blows my mind.

(being silly in Daddy's hat)

We haven't been to the doctor since April, so I don't know any of his stats, but he is now fully in 18 month clothes, size 5 diapers (no potty training going on -he's just not ready), and wears a size 5 or 6 shoe, depending on the brand. He has been sleeping at night from about 9:00pm - 7:00am, and taking a 2 hour nap during the day (sometimes even 3 hours!). I am soaking up every good nap, because he NEVER took good naps as a baby. EVER.)

Most days, Jackson is the easiest child. But lately, he has definitely been showing me his desire to do things the way he wants to and when he wants to. Two of his new favorite phrases are "I want ____," or "I need _____," and he is having to learn that just because he "wants" or "needs" something, doesn't mean he will get it. Apparently, it's a hard lesson to learn, because it has resulted in quite a few meltdowns. I think it's just a sign of what is to come. But, typically, he's just a content little boy!

He loves to sing songs now, although he does get a little shy if you ask him to do it. He loves to sings the ABC's and Deep and Wide. He can also tell you know what sound every letter in the alphabet makes. He will just walk around the house most days singing "B says buh" or "M says mmmm." So cute! He is talking in complete sentences quite a but now too, which is so funny. He is still a momma's boy, but he has definitely been getting more attached to daddy recently. He wakes up every morning asking "Where's Daddy?" or telling me "I want to see Daddy." So cute :)

He is still all about cars and truck, baseball and basketball, and letters and numbers. He was never attached to any kind of security object as a baby, but now he has this a little yellow matchbox car that rarely leaves his hand. Unfortunately it is so small, we tend to lose it around the house, so we've spent many evening lifting every couch cushion, checking every nook and cranny, and digging through the toy box, in search of "yellow truck."

(Got caught playing with toilet paper, laundry, and Daddy's belt while I was on the phone...see yellow truck??)

He is just so much fun, and I can't believe he is getting so big. It blows my mind that I'm about to plan his 2nd birthday party!

Jackson - I love you so much! You are such a joy to your daddy and me. I can't wait to watch you grow up!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Happenings

We really haven't done a lot this summer. It's been too hot to go outside in the afternoon. Plus, Chase has been having car issues, so Jackson and I are stuck at home a lot. But I'm trying to enjoy it and find fun things for us to do because I know it's better than being stuck inside because of extremely cold temperatures.

A couple weeks ago, I took Jackson to the zoo for a couple of hours, and it was so much fun! He's been a few times before, but never just him and me, and this time he just seemed so much more interested. He was telling me which animals he wanted to go see, and what sounds the animals were making. I took him into the bird observatory to let him feed the birds, figuring he would HATE it, but he loved it! He didn't want the birds getting to close, but he didn't freak out, so I was happy about that! He was talking about the elephants all morning, and when we went to see them, the workers were cleaning out the elephant area, so all 4 elephants were closed into a smaller area and we got such a good view of them. Jackson was so excited! Of course I have no pictures, because I left my camera at home.

Yesterday, I took Jack to the movies for the first time...let's just say it will be a while before I actually pay to take him. Ha! A local movie theater was playing Cars for free, so I figured this would be a good test to see if he would sit through a movie. He didn't do bad, but he just wanted to get down a lot (I think he just didn't like sitting in my lap). Meredith, Ella, Dana, & Isaac were there as well, and we all left about an hour into the movie.

And here's just a few pictures I've snapped over the last few weeks.

Fell asleep in his highchair at lunch :)

This is how he takes naps most days. I can tell he's getting tired so I sit on the couch, he crawls up there too, tells me he's sleepy, and lays down. Usually he falls asleep playing with one of his little cars or something. So funny.

Just being sweet, watching our neighbor mow the lawn.

I think he was upset here because I made him come inside after playing in the yard.

Goofy smiles! I just love this sweet boy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tough love - and why I hate teeth.

I am only able to write this now that I believe the worst is over. But, man! These past few weeks have been rough! My sweet, loving, gentle, child was taken over by a demanding, high-maintenance, rough-and-tumble boy. I lost my patience more times than I care to count, and had some of my worst parenting days ever. It's really hard to go to bed several nights in a row not being able to think of anything positive from your parenting that day, but that's how I felt. And the overwhelming feeling of "Did I yell too much today? Is this going to scar him for the rest of his life?! And I ruining my child?!?!" can really break you down. But I just didn't know if I could take any more of the screaming, the throwing toys, hitting/climbing on Mr. L., breaking things (like the ceramic waste basket that he THREW across the bathroom), and just being ugly towards people. And the worst day? It was 4:00. He'd been awake for 10 hours with no nap. So tired, he couldn't stand up, but wouldn't let me hold him. Laying on the floor crying and screaming and rolling around. Him, not me (although I was about 2 seconds from joining him.) So I just went and put him in his crib, praying he would just fall asleep on his own. Next thing I know, he is KNOCKING ON HIS BEDROOM DOOR! He crawled out of his crib. AWESOME.
I was at my wits end. It also didn't help that Mr. L has been going through a severe attachment phase, and would scream if I got more than a foot away from him. 9 hours a day with 2 crying/screaming boys is not good for your sanity or your health.

Then last week, Jackson had an eye tooth break through. His behavior got a little better, but it was still nothing to brag about. 6 days later, second eye tooth. A little more improvement this time. Yesterday, I found a 3rd eye tooth. And he was an absolute angel all day. Jackson is back!
I've always heard that the eye teeth are worse than the molars, but I just did not expect it to be that bad. I'm praying that this is not foreshadowing his 2's or 3's.

God has really been working on my heart about how important my job as a mother is. I try not to take it lightly that Chase and I have been given this little soul to mold and teach and raise to the best of our ability, but also to God's standards. But, man, is it hard or what?! It's a very daunting task when you really think about it. I want to be "gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy." (Psalm 145:8)

One verse that I have to constantly remind myself of is Ephesians 6:4 "...provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." To admonish Jackson is to show him "gentle reproof." Not yelling correction. Not screaming "NO!" at him. Not getting on to him out of anger. But showing him right and wrong out of love. Wanting to correct him so that he learns what he should do next time. Not scaring him out of doing it again.

I know I will fail. I know that there will be more days when my parenting falls short of how it should be. But I also know that "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not." (Lam 3:22) And that's encouraging.