Monday, April 23, 2012

Dear Jack

Dear Jack,

    Today we played outside.  It was chilly, and you begged to wear your black, chuck shoes.  You use to call them your "dancing shoes"... your Dad and I honestly don't know why.  You prefer them over your spiderman shoes.  It's pretty shocking.

    Anyways, fast forward through our walk to the mailbox... afterward, I was sitting on the wood steps outside, and you were riding your bike.  I wanted to show you some love, so I walked over and hugged you from behind, and gave you a kiss and told you that I loved you.

You took it all in and as I walked back to where I was sitting, you followed on your bike.  You came up and told me that you loved me too and kissed me.  And I knew you meant every word because whenever you mean what you say, you get this look... your eyes go soft and you smile without showing your teeth.  You're patient, and slow when you deliver the words and you sometimes touch the person's face you're speaking to.

I've seen you do this to other family members... it's rare and I'm not sure they know your small hand on the side of their cheek means you're speaking from your heart.

Then you sat down next to me and told me you wanted to pick a flower for me.

You do this a lot to show your love too.  Even in the super market when I mention how beautiful the flowers are, you get this look and say... "Mom, you want some flowers?  I get you some!"  And normally, I have enough time to tell you I don't need any, but sometimes you are so determined to warm my heart that you pick a flower from the closest bouquet.  I normally stuff the flower back into the bouquet like nothing happened and quickly wheel our cart in the opposite direction with a hidden smile on my face.

So, you stood up and started up the stairs to the front yard to find a flower, but half-way through the staircase you turned around and said these words...

Jack: "Mommy... I'm a good boy."

Me: "Yes you are a good boy."

Jack: "I'm big.  I can shoot zombies now."

Me: "I know you can Jack."

Jack: "I could save Mommy and Daddy."

And I seriously started to cry... because you said it in your, "I love you" language.  You really meant that you would save us if you could.

And as silly as a conversation as it was, your heart was in it.

I love you so SO much Jack.

                                                                                      Love always,

Jack picked it for me :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

one of those days...

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

I found myself googling "overwhelmed stay at home mom" today. 

It talked about making sure you get alone time (uh, what's that?) and if you want to be a lot and give a lot, you have to refuel a lot.  Meaning you need a lot of you time.  

Where does that come in?  I can't even fathom asking someone to watch Jack so I can get a massage or pedicure.  My over-active mind quickly judged myself through that person's eyes... I was raised in a way that doing things like that for yourself is selfish.  It's hard to break through walls like that.

I think I really need to start practicing positive thinking, and actively redirecting my mind when it slips into a negative mindset or starts the judging... I am horrible at judging myself through someone else's eyes.

The negative self-talk is getting old, and it's not something I want to pass onto Jack and Jude.  It's not healthy.  I want to think the best in every situation.  So this is me saying I'm going to make this a habit... I want to change this. 

To give myself some credit I'm a pretty positive person when it comes to my relationship with Joel.  I've changed a lot of negative self-talk that could easily make me angry with him, but I've chosen to look at situations and small things with a positive spin and choosing not to get angry or think the worst.  Somehow I've mastered this in our almost five years of marriage.  It has made me a much happier person, and it's something I'm damn proud of... I don't see why I can't plug it into the other areas of my life as well. 

So, while googling... I came across this website: and it's ah-mazing!  I honestly think it's just what I needed.

“If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.”      
-Mary Engelbreit

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dear Jude

Written April 17, 2012, 11pm

Dear Jude,
    My sweet Jude... Jude Maximus.  Today we named you.  We had an ultrasound today and got to see you.  We learned you were a boy.  We couldn't stop smiling.

    I had a feeling you were a girl until last night.  Last night as I was watching tv and I saw two brothers that were really close, I thought about how I wanted you to be a boy so you could bond with your big brother Jack, like only brothers do.  Then I saw another show about some volunteers at St. Jude's... it's a children's hospital.  They kept saying the name JUDE JUDE JUDE.   It was like a giant red flag in my intuitive- this must be a sign- mind.  I turned to your Dad and said, "Joel, I think it's a boy.  I just have this weird feeling all the sudden."  And last night the feeling grew... it was so intense I just knew you were a boy.  And this morning, your Dad came out of the shower, being goofy as always and started singing... "my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard..." and I laughed and said we needed to stop to get me a milkshake before the ultrasound so you would be nice and wiggly.  And I pointed out...  it was another sign, BOY! haha  Your Dad thinks I'm crazy.

    I baked your Daddy a birthday cake tonight with your big brother... I ate the last little bit of icing and you are wiggling like crazy right now.  You must be a vanilla icing fan too.

    Jude, I am so excited!  I wish you could have seen the smile on your Dad's face today at the ultrasound, he was so ridiculously happy and proud.  Your big brother doesn't quite yet understand what a brother is yet, but he knows you are a baby and you're going to be his friend that he can play with.

     So I guess that's it for now.  Jack asks all the time when you're going to be born... we are all excited to meet you!
                                                                                             See you soon,
                                                                                                  Love always,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

cloth diapers

Yep, I'm going there.

Brace yourself.

I never heard of cloth diapering until Jack was about a year old.  And when I heard about it I immediately thought of kids with cloth and pins... so old school and weird. 

And then I really learned about them.

They look like normal diapers and are held together with velcro or snaps.

Look at this cloth diaper... 
Adorable right?

Moving on.

The diaper shown is actually the shell of a diaper.  That means there is an insert on the inside that you can change with each diaper change and use the same waterproof shell, after wiping it clean.  You can also double up on inserts for night-time or if you have a heavy wetter.

Here's what inserts look like...
FYI: There are also AIO (all in one) diapers out there, meaning there are no inserts, it's just one whole cloth diaper that you wash altogether.  It's a bit more pricey though, so we are more than likely sticking to shells and inserts.  The diaper and inserts shown above are the Thirsties Duo Wrap.

Some diapers actually grow with your baby, so you can buy a diaper that lasts from birth through the potty training years.  The diaper shown above is a two step diaper, meaning it grows with your baby so you only need two sizes from birth to potty-trained.

So why would someone cloth diaper?

The main reason for us is the cost savings.  It's ridiculous when you do the math.

Let's say disposables roughly cost around $50 per month, maybe more when the baby is younger, and we'll say you will be diapering your child for three years.  That means you will be spending 1800 dollars when all said and done.  A great cloth diaper stash will cost you about $500 when all said and done.  That saves you $1300!

Some other benefits?  Babies that are cloth diapered actually potty train earlier.  It's very eco-friendly since you're not filling a landfill with thousands of disposables and did I mention you save lots of money?  Some people are also happy because there are not a bunch of gel filled chemicals against their baby's skin.  Also, no more worrying about running out of diapers!

So what about the dirty details?

Depending on the type of diapers you buy (it is overwhelming all the cloth diapering options out there) you just change your baby's diaper like normal, except if your baby poops you're suppose to plop the poop into the toilet and throw the dirty diaper into a "wet bag."  And every other day, you wash the inserts and diapers.

Now for the other question I'm sure you're wondering about.

How did I win Joel over?

It was insanely simple.  I had one conversation that lasted about 5 minutes going over the basics and he was onboard.  I was shocked.  I need to give the guy more credit because sometimes I forget just how open-minded he is.  He also loves the phase, "will save us money."  I was way more skeptical than Joel when someone told me about cloth diapering.

Obviously this route is not for everyone.  With me staying home with Jack, and running a very part-time photography business, I think this is a great choice for us.  I'm still researching and figuring out exactly what we need and how much for baby #2.  It's wonderful to know I'll only have one baby in diapers and it is going to be insanely cheaper than when we diapered Jack.

I only wish I had heard about this before Jack was born, and if you have multiple children you can reuse the diapers with each child... more cost savings!  Woo!

Also, you maybe surprised that this is becoming quite mainstream.  Two of my best friends cloth diaper their kids (or did cloth diaper) and have nothing but encouragement and good things to say about their experience.  I hope it works for us!

Disclaimer: I am not a cloth diapering guru, so hopefully all of my information in this post is accurate.  Also, this post is very much the simplified version of cloth diapering.  If you'd like more information on cloth diapering, I've been told this website is amazing.

Monday, April 9, 2012

a meaningful life

     "If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked years to get it, you wouldn't cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers.  You wouldn't tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you'd seen.  The truth is, you wouldn't remember that movie a week later, except you'd feel robbed and want your money back.  Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.
     But we spend years actually living these stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful.  The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won't make a story meaningful, it won't make a life meaningful either."

-Donald Miller
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dear Jack

Dear Jack,

Beside me you lay, asleep, slow breaths.  In your favorite "suppa hero" shirt.

When I told you it was nap time you asked if you could "sleep in Mommy's bed."  And when I told you no, you started to cry... and that mommy voice deep inside told me to pick my battles, and also reminded me that you won't be little forever.  So I listened and changed my mind.  You quickly stopped crying and ran to your room to "get my blankey."

The same worn, puppy-dog blanket that has been your favorite since you were born.  The blanket with a hole here and a stain there, colors faded, but clean and smells of lavender.  The blanket your Aunt Lynnette made for you before you were even born.  The blanket I must swiftly and carefully sneak away from you to clean.  The same blanket I've seen you drag from your room since you could walk.

We climbed into the big bed together, snuggled close and I read you the new library book, "I love my Mommy."  You listened quietly and asked if the big raccoon on the cover hugging a baby raccoon was you and me.

"Yes," I said and kissed you.

Afterwards, you rolled to your side, like you always do, and asked me to scratch your back and sing you a song.

I sang... you are my sunshine, over the rainbow, and Jack and Jill.  And Jack and Jill another two times because of special request.

I gave you kisses and scooted over to my nightstand and grabbed a book to read until you fell asleep.

And asleep you are.

The house is so silent I can hear the hands of the clock in the living room.

You deserve moments like this.

And I don't think I even need to say this, but I know I'm going to miss this...

                                                                        Love always,

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