Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jack and the call to the Fire Station

today i realized that i haven't done a single post about Jack on my blog. for the last 20 months, Jack pictures have taken up 95% of my phone storage, and he is like 75% of my instagram posts, and when/if i snapchat, Jack is more than 87% likely to be the lead of the production.....


(ok, i did a birthday post for him when he turned one, and sometimes there is a picture that he makes his way into, but neither of those things give any insight on the kind of human this wild little boy is...)

sure, blogs are dead and no one reads them and yada yada, but i still have this glimmer of hope deep down inside that i'll magically find 500 hours laying around and actually catch up on this thing. (obviously, the place i'm caught up to is.......when Jack was born. 20 months ago. 20 months behind. i think i'll need like 1,000 hours to catch up).

anyways, i wanted to write about Jack today. Jack at 20 months. because Jack. is. awesome.

every morning i hear this little hum coming from Jack's room. it's not jabbering (yet). it's not crying (hardly ever). it's just a little hum. and that little hum is how i know that Jack is waking up. he hums himself awake, while sucking on his cute two little fingers and holding his lovie and i peek at my little video monitor (best invention EVER. wish i had one for all my babies!) and sure enough, i see those little eyes peeking open, his little body stirring just a bit, and then there he goes rolling around. i love that he does that. little hummer boy.

{that's Jack cuddling with Snoopy. i die.}

and then it's always a race of who gets to get him. if Ellie and Alice are home, it's: "Can i get Jack, can i get Jack?? PLEASE!!!! IT'S MY TURRRRN!!!" and if Mike is home, it's: "Is it cool if i get Jack? i mean, i don't have to if you want to, but can i get him?" but before they usually get the chance to say any of that, i usually rush in there because gosh dang it i'm the mom and gosh dang it there are some things that are just the best parts of that job and getting the baby from the crib in the morning is one of them.

and so i rush to the door, quietly open it....and as soon as that door opens, he jumps to his feet and yells:



every time.

every single freaking time.

UGH. (which, have you ever heard someone actually say "Uggghh?" my girls say it NONSTOP right now. (i know, where'd they get THAT from, right?) it's actually really annoying. but funny. but mostly annoying. "Ellie, will you do your homework?" "UGGGH." "Alice can you help me wipe this counter?" "UGGGGHH." "Ellie, can you come her for a second?" "UGGGHH." it's the worst. i'm raising a bunch of ungrateful complainers and i don't know how to stop it. tips?

 wait. this post isn't about the girls. it's about Jack. i'm such a distracted human.

Jack is a daddy's boy. all of my kids are really. i thought Jack was going to be my shining star. NOPE. wrong. Jack loves his dadda and asks for him pretty much alllll day. "dadda" he's at work Jack. and then we eat breakfast. "dadda?" he's stilllll at work Jack!" we get dressed. "dadddda?" nope. still gone.

and i know what you're thinking, there's enough love in that little heart for all of us...but here's a little snippet for ya: he was like 18 months old and still calling me "ba-ba" or "ba-boo" or something entirely offensive that definitely does not resemble "mom" in any way. JACK I'M YOUR MOTHER. MAMA. MOM. MOMMY. MUM. MOTHA. NOT YOUR SWEET LITTLE BABOO.


anyways. i'm not really as mad about it as it sounds. that's the funny thing about blogs. you type in caps, and all of a sudden it means you're super raging mad about it. i'm not. i just wanted to type in caps because i'm passionate about him getting my name right and hope he does so before he goes to college or on his mission so that i can get that mother's day phone call.

and so our days go on.

Jack is independent, but doesn't like to be left alone. in fact, he doesn't like to be left anywhere ever. he HATES GOODBYES. he cries saying goodbye to daddy. he is sad saying goodbye to sisters when they go to school. saying goodbye to Gammy and Pops and Grandma and Grandpa is absolute TORTURE. and nursery.....he can't stand that separation to nursery thing. what is that all about? it's like they are desperate for nursery and you're ABSOLUTELY DESPERATE for nursery and then they turn 18 months and all of a sudden a switch goes off and they NEEEEED YOU SOOO MUCH. and they cry and cry and cry when you leave and so you're left with nothing else but to go back and watch babies eat goldfish and fight over toys and spill water all over the table and try to feel the spirit in a 10 minute lesson where the instructor is scolding a room full of 18 month olds to sit in their chair and listen. heaven bless nursery leaders everywhere.

one way to help with the goodbyes is to get Jack blowing kisses. aw, that kid throws the best dang kisses! you know that guy Higgins on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? you know how when he does or says something dumb or awesome he walks away from his little podium, waves and blows kisses like "he's done for the night?" Jack blows kisses like Higgins. they are like my favorite thing right now. he is definitely selective about who he'll blow kisses for- but he is Mr. Charmer and whips them out in the perfect moments every time. like to the exasperated postal worker at the Post Office. or to the woman in the wheelchair who looked like she was going to cry. or to the really grumpy looking man who all of a sudden lights up and says in a deep scruffy voice, "thank you little man, that just made my day." actually today he blew a kiss to a pharmacist who looked totally stressed out and had been pretty short to me about some antibiotic confusion. once he blew her the kiss,  all of a sudden she melted like butter and was so helpful and i think Jack could've gotten any drugs he wanted in the world at that moment.

just say no, Jack.

thankfully he doesn't know that word yet. it's a miracle really. because i say no to him all the time. like "no Jack! don't hit the Christmas tree with the bat!" or "no Jack! don't hit Alice's face with a bat either!" or no Jack! don't write with marker on the cabinet!"or "no Jack! don't put any more toilet paper in any more toilets!!!"  or "no Jack! you can't wave your gogurt in the air! it sprays yogurt EVERYWHERE!" or "no Jack! you can't eat those marshmallows at 7:37 am!" or "no Jack! you can't throw a baseball at the tv!" basically that book "No David!" is a biography of Jack's life. they just changed his name because Jack didn't want everyone to unfairly judge him. but now you know.

and since i mentioned baseball, Jack is OBSESSED with baseball. and Jack is OBSESSED with football. and Jack is OBSESSED with basketball. and basically Jack is obsessed with anything that has to do with a ball. all day, he is kicking a ball and throwing the ball and he has a better swing than any 5 year old out there. this kid is athletic. i'll let you guess how that makes his daddy feel!

and did you know that before Jack learned to walk, he learned to run? i'm actually not even kidding. he would try to take steps, run and fall on his face over and over and over. this kid didn't want to use his feet unless he was going to be able to run with them. and once he figured it out, he has been running ever since. i love hearing the pitter patter of his little feet everywhere he goes. sure, he falls a lot and sure those little feet mean that he's bound to be getting into trouble right now, but man those busy fast little feet are cute.

and speaking of quick-lightning-fast Jack, guess what just happened while i took a little dinner break from this post? so i was moving things in and out of the oven, and Jack was hannnngry, so i put him in his high chair for some appetizers (cheese and yogurt). well, while i was distracted with the oven stuff, he wiggled out of his buckles like he always does, stood up, and reached to the wall behind him where our house alarm box is and pressed the fire alarm button. the house started siren-ing sooo loud that i yelled and then saw Jack and said, "no Jack! don't touch the fire alarm!" (sound familiar? see 3 paragraphs back) and i deactivated the alarm real quick, canceled the call, and Jack just looked at me with his big round eyes like he was proud of himself. not an ounce of remorse. and less than 5 minutes later, what do you know, i hadn't canceled the call because a big ole fire truck with it's big ole proud lights blinking all over the place pulled up to the front of my house with a crew of fully-uniformed firemen ready to save us from peril. and there was Jack in dadda's arms yelling "BIG TWUCK!!" over and over and over. and he even blew them kisses. it was hilariously humiliating.

i can't make stuff like this up.

that seriously happened.

oh man, Jack.

he has more nicknames than any of our other kids: boosky boy, booskarooskie, budjy boy, Jack Jack, Jack Attack le Mack, and Bruiser... he can be such a punk, picking fights with anyone smaller than him, and even kids bigger than him. why does he always want to push someone who is in his space? why does he randomly come punch Alice in the face with a truck? he's trouble, i'm telling you.

but he can also be such a love, giving the sweetest kisses, and saying hi to everyone he passes at Target. he lives for when the girls get home from school and is their little shadow, following them wherever they go.

he loves playing with cars and BIG TWUCKS and choo-choo's, looking at books over and over and dancing, and singing songs (especially Twinkle Twinkle, Jingle Bells, and the song Stronger from Finding Neverland (he's very particular)). he loves to be chased, has tickle spots all over his body, and cheeks that beg to be kiss-attacked underneath those ocean eyes. such a busy, wild, fun boy with the best smile i've ever seen and most infectious little laugh i've ever heard.

the truth is this wild happy boy with all his ferocity has healed the pieces of my heart that i was certain were broken forever. i think that could be a forever gift and talent of his, to heal broken hearts. what a powerful gift... and what a love, that 20 month-old wild Boosky Jack Jack boy.



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

welcome to Narnia

tonight i started reading "The Magician's Nephew" from one of my very favorite books series, "The Chronicles of Narnia" with the girls. it was one of those "mom-high" moments where i felt like i floated on a cloud out of their room at bedtime and just had to write it down. i mean how often does that happen at bedtime? i love words and books and pages - they feel like friends to me. i just love the way they can wrap you up and transport you and anyone within their reach to a whole different place. the Chronicles of Narnia were some of the first books i remember doing that to me. where i felt like i wasn't just a spectator...but rather a character grabbed by the hands and feet by those words, and taken on an amazing adventure, to an idyllically beautiful place that i didn't want to ever leave. it's so special to be able to be a part of that same magic with my kids.

life is good with these three. it's not perfect. i feel like it's a tough world we live in these days. social media has us convinced that we need to be people living in two extremes: either life is orderly and perfect and just like so with new shoes and healthy meals and pillows and perfect paint on our walls, or we should be dang proud of how out of control it all is, eating donuts for every meal. i'm like switzerland in this - just neutral. totally far from perfect - ( let it be known that my perfect INCLUDES donuts for dinner!) but i care about my house being clean, when i'm not too tired to do it.

these days i am outnumbered and often exasperated, searching for energy and time and more energy and more time every day. the girls are busy with preschool and 2nd grade, and ballet, gymnastics and violin lessons. we drive from one thing to the next, and i hope that i am helping them discover their talents and love for things, and not just busying them so much that they are miserable. i spend a lot of time chasing Jack and keeping him from immediate danger. he is a thrill seeker! and he really loves dumping things everywhere. crayons. pretzels. pencil shavings. blocks. back-pack papers. if it can be dumped, he's dumping it. (that sounds kind of gross the way i typed that. but it's true). it just seems like there aren't enough minutes to get it all done and clean the way i like it. i wish i were a little better at multitasking, i wish i liked doing laundry (because i really hate it and avoid it and hate it) and i wish i had it better under control... but i'm realizing that it's sad to wish away these precious young years with my kids. they want to be with me, in spite of the messes. they don't care about the piles of laundry that need to be folded. they're grateful to come and shuffle through the piles and find stuff if they need it. they don't mind eating breakfast for dinner AGAIN! because let's be real, it's the easiest dinner ever and everyone tells you how much they love you for letting them drench their face in whip cream and syrup. they still need my hugs. and i realllly need their hugs. they aren't too cool for bike rides or selfies while we ride - which is one of my very favorite things to do with them right now. they love for me to sing them songs and even like my music, they'll dance with me and laugh at my embarrassing ugly dance moves, they'll lip sync with me, they do their homework when i ask them to, and they lovvvvve to be read to. and so, i'm gonna keep reading to them as long as they'll let me. because i lovvvve reading to them. it's just one of those perks to the job for me. and all of the un-perks...well, they aren't going anywhere. they can wait.


(do people hashtag their blogs? well i just did. boom.)


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LumberJack is 1!

i'm not even caught up on my blog to the part where Jack was born yet - but i decided that in an effort to not get further and further behind on this whole thang... (and to hopefully catch up! fingers crossed!) for every time i sit down to post in the past, i have to post things in the present...(or almost present since it's already been a month since this happened. but i basically live a month behind anyway, so this is doing pretty good. i digress). and so! one of my very favorite things in the present is my lil Jack -- who just turned one!

but before i get all ooey and gooey and turn into a sentimental slob, i wanna write about the partay! while i was in the hospital after giving birth to Jack, i remember turning to Mike at one point and saying, "We should totally do a Lumber Jack birthday party for his first birthday! Get it, Lumber- JACK?" Mike has always known that i was semi-nuts but i think that this really earned me a spot in the "100% whack" category. but i was totally serious -- and the idea stuck with me the whole year! so LumberJack is turning 1 was the theme.

the invitations:
(would you believe that this was a free evite from Paperless Post??? i mean, i came up with the little poem, but isn't that art just so perfect for this theme? you'd better believe i was stoked out of my mind when i found it!)

lots of red/tan/gold, buffalo plaid, burlap, homemade pennant banners and tissue paper tassel banners, chalkboard signs and junk, and wooded stuff randomly strewn about and that i didn't get very good pictures of. (why do you always run out of time when you're getting set up? why? why? why??)

^^ i love this 'Lumber Jack is 1' sign because Alice helped me make the whole thing; we used buffalo plaid washi tape to outline the pennants and cut out the letters and she was so cute sitting there assemble the whole project with me. 


have you ever cooked from the America's Test Kitchen cookbook? if you haven't, what are you waiting for? go on and buy one right now because i've made like 50 things from that book and they were alllll INCREDIBLE. love love it. so for the main dish i made the Smoked BBQ Roasted Pulled Pork or something like that. we served that with dinner rolls to make little pork sandwiches. and also had hot dogs, watermelon, frozen grapes, chips & dip, cupcakes & the cutest cookies you ever saw that my mom brought. i mean, flannel shirts, trees and logs?? are you kidding me right now? so adorable.

 so i had planned to do an axe throw contest and a log toss -- had all the things for them and we just ran out of time! i had these little baggies of tootsie rolls all assembled and made for prizes that said, "i LOG that you tried your best!" kinda stretching it, but whatever. you gotta rock that theme to the max, people! unless you run out of time. then you just did all that work for nothing. (FAIL).

we did have time for LumberJack coloring pages (found online here), lots of trampoline time, and some Pinata fun with Lumber Bob (aka, Sponge Bob in a beard + flannel shirt- funny back story: my friend Maria heard that we were throwing a birthday party for Jack and asked if we had a pinata. when i told her we didn't she was shocked and said, "How can you have a birthday celebration without a pinata?" i assured her we'd have fun and that it'd be ok without one. well, about an hour and a half before the party was going to start, my friend Maria showed up at my house with the big ole Sponge Bob and said, "i had this laying around my house and want Jack to have it for his party." i love her! so cute and loving. and of course the kids LOVED it. even though i got zero pictures of that, too. (one thing is for sure: i realllllly stink at taking pictures at my kids' parties). oh, and we also ate. oh, and just hung out. and had a lot of fun just eating and hanging out.

and my very favorite part of any 1 year old party:
the cake smash!
which Jake definitely did NOT like. i don't think he's a fan of chocolate. (like his mama!) i should have gone for something a little milder, probably. but it did make it super fun to watch! so there's always that.

oh! and we did a "Jack's Tall Timber Photo Booth" too - lots of beards and other woodsy things there. loved watching all the cute little people snap photos with their beards on - so classic!

and, i mean, the thing that makes any party is the people. we had some dang fun people to party with that night. thank you to all who came and partied with us and made Jack and our family feel loved.

a special thank you to my mom and grandma for making the last-minute trip to be with us and spoil us for the weekend! it meant so much to have you there. xoxoxoxoxooxox (infinite hugs and kisses)

 oh, and a bonus highlight: Hazel & Jack's first kiss. it didn't go so well for either of them.
let's just hope they'll wait a few years for the next one.

for reals though- isn't Hazel sooooo beautiful??? i hope Jack stands a chance someday.

and i adore these little humans so much! so grateful to have such fun little people in my life and in my kids' lives. 

so glad we got to celebrate my favorite lil lover boy -- he is everything good in the world and deserves all the love in it.