Friday, April 30, 2010

Hello, Friday!

Jacob hasn't been the easiest little tot to take to the gym lately. He has taken separation anxiety to a new level, screaming and crying and looking like the saddest baby until I make my arrival. Not to help matters, the morning daycare lady tries to calm him down by taking him out of the play area and walking him back and forth through the gym. Jacob spends this time skimming the floor trying to spot me and I spend this time trying to position my head on the treadmill behind the mini tv. I visualize myself losing my balance during this game, spinning off the treadmill, Jacob spotting me and loosing it himself because he wants me to hold him... while everyone at the gym thinks, "Momma should have just stayed home." Maybe that's a little dramatic. Nonetheless, Jacob won (I'm sure, the first of many) and I worked out from home today, running with Jacob in our jogging stroller. What a run. It was gorgeous outside, a little too early for any traffic, and Jacob managed to point out and identify every bird or dog we passed. We were quite peaceful....

Every few minutes, Jacob had to sneak a peak at me to make sure I was there. It wasn't quite as easy as running with him when he was fifteen pounds lighter, but a workout was accomplished and any separation anxiety was avoided. Perhaps this is not the best way to go about helping Jacob learn to let go, but for now, we will be all right. Talk to me again if he is screaming and crying and wanting me to hold him when he goes off to college. Oh wait, that will be me.

With the impending rain this weekend, we thankfully managed to squeeze in some outside time these past few days. Ever since Jacob watched Daddy put fresh mulch down, Little Man thinks he is our new gardener.

Last but not least? Momma's becoming a cook. Not quite... but feast your eyes on barbeque beef brisket and carrots, asparagus, and au gratin potatoes. Now if I could just cook dinner more than once a week.

Exciting things planned for this weekend... My little shadow and I are off to enjoy our time together. Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ready for a Contest?

Click here for a Mother's Day Giveaway!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Spy A Little...

Sunshine. It finally made its appearance after about five-and-a-half days of rain. And, of course, we took advantage of it this afternoon. We played outside with Jacob's new neighborhood friends, who are all four or five years older than Jacob, but believe he can do anything they can. We also spent time staring up at the sky. Jacob has a recent fascination with planes and birds. He identifies them from far away and stares and points and watches them traverse across the sky. And I envisioned our little conversations we may have a few years from now about what the clouds look like... because although he may not be fully talking yet, I'm sure his little imagination is ready and waiting to dream about what these clouds look like...

And although Jacob does love looking up, up, and away, he still loves smelling his flowers. My goodness, the rain did wonders for our flowers in the front of our house.

Blue skies and these amazing flowers make me wonder why we can't have spring all year long.

We waited for Philip to come home from work and Jacob loves when his Daddy comes home and he gets thrown into the air and showered with hugs and kisses.

Our outside time did come to an end when the little guy stubbed his toe. I, of course, received the worst-mother-of-the-year award for not having his shoes on him. There is something so freeing about running around barefoot in gorgeous weather and green grass... Philip told me I can find other ways to let Jacob feel free. Perhaps.

A little band-aid and some kisses and my little man was good to go. The Cardinals game is calling (as is my husband). To blue skies and sunshine tomorrow.....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Few Big Events

This was pretty much our view from our window all weekend. Rain, hail, and hello tornado.

It's not easy explaining to a fourteen month old that we cannot go play outside because it is raining. He sat and stared out the window, pointing to his swing set and saying "Dat!" No, Little One, we continued telling him, not today. We found other ways to keep us occupied.

Event #1: We took Jacob for his first real hair cut at a salon. Thank you, Great Clips, for your $7.99 special. This lady worked so quickly that I thought she might just snip off part of my little man's ear during his frequent movements up and down on Daddy's lap. And I was ready to snip those scissors right from her hand if she hurt him. Nonetheless, she did quite well and Jacob was looking mighty cute.

Jacob wasn't the only one who recently had a hair cut. Little Ellie is looking pretty darn cute with her new buzz. And we love Ellie for her continued patience with Jacob. For letting him throw balls at her head because he somehow thinks she is going to catch the ball like we do. For letting him chase her around the room with socks for an unending game of tag. And for letting him pounce on her for what he thinks is a big hug and kiss. You are every bit as sweet as you look.

Event #2:
We successful taught Jacob how to jump. He doesn't quite get air but he kicks his little leg out in the air like he is jumping as high as can be.

Event #3:
We headed out for the SSDN Auction. The rain actually let up for a good three minutes so we could get a quick shot outside. What is it about getting dressed up for an event that makes you feel so special? I think (without exaggeration) that Philip told me I was the prettiest girl in the room about ten times. Didn't that make me smile?

It was quite exciting to see one of my session's auctioned off and I look forward to shooting the lucky winner.

A handsome pair.

And a very special set of parents (and grandparents).

Event #4:
The rain continued all day Sunday. We watched it from the inside of our home. And it was actually quite peaceful. Because when there is nothing at all to do, and no where else to go, it's quite relaxing sitting at home with our little family doing nothing. So this was not really an event at all... but sometimes, that's the way we like it.

And there are so many things to love about this last picture... that Jacob is successfully identifying his ear (as well as his nose, his head, his toes, his hands, and, as many of you know, his bellybutton).....that the little soccer ball sitting in his lap goes wherever he goes....and that those little feet are quite possibly the cutest feet I have ever seen (and yes, they are still quite chubby).

Our weekend is coming to an end and there will be many more events this week.... Let's hope there is a little bit of sunshine in our future.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kicking for a Cause

The only thing that could make a Friday night soccer game even better is a Friday night soccer game for a good cause. Tonight, Philip hosted the second annual Kick for Cancer soccer game.

There were raffles, halftime events, and snacks. Of course, Jacob had great fun kicking a goal during halftime.

He also enjoyed seeing a few of his buddies.

Three future soccer stars...

All proceeds from the event go towards Friends of Kids with Cancer. The rain held out for most of the game and we almost pulled out a win. But the win against the opposing team wasn't the main goal. This game was about giving back. In a recent article in the Webster-Kirkwood Times, Philip was quoted as saying, "when it comes to a great cause such as this we have the same purpose in mind: to help others in need." We are so fortunate for what we have in life that we should have more of these moments, take part in more of these events, that give to others.

I am so very proud of my Philip for organizing such an amazing event. His dedication to his team and our community is truly exemplary.

Thank goodness this little guy has such an amazing daddy to look up to.

If you would like to donate to Friends of Kids with Cancer, click here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Go Green!

I wish I could tell you we did all sorts of good things for our world today to celebrate and promote Earth Day. We did recycle Jacob's empty milk jug and I did actually bring a bag to Target to avoid using the plastic bags (except that I ended up buying too much stuff at Target, like always, and ending up having to use the plastic bags because it didn't all fit in my one reusable bag... next time I'll know better). I even watched Oprah's special on Earth Day while running at the gym. That's about as far as we got. Next year... we will try harder, I promise.

So while you think this post is about going green, it's really about Skippyjon Jones. Skippyjon Jones is cat. The problem is that Skippyjon Jones doesn't think he is a cat. He wakes up with the birds, thinks he looks like a dog, and dresses up in a mask and cape for the Chihuahuas. The story of Skippyjon Jones ends like this:

At night, when Skippyjon is supposed to go to sleep, he bounces on his big-boy bed.
"Say good night," calls Mama. And she gives him a kiss.

That's it. Every time we read this story (which right now, is every five minutes because Jacob loves it and loves the flash cards that come with it), I am bothered by the end of this story. There is no moral. No conclusion. What happens to Skippyjon Jones? Does he accept himself as a cat? Or is he adopted by the Chihuahuas?

This evening, as we read this story over and over and played with the flashcards, I finally had a revelation about Skippyjon Jones. It doesn't matter what he is at this moment. At this moment, he has his mom who gives him a kiss before bed and loves him for being whatever he is.... a cat, a dog, a bird. And that's exactly what Mommas are supposed to do.

And when Jacob doesn't want to hear about Skippyjon Jones anymore, or play with the flashcards, or listen to me tell him about my moral of the story, he does what any little tot would do.... he throws them in the basket.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Messes

It's only mid-week and we are ready for a weekend. I continue to look forward to uninterrupted days with my little one. While I'm quite sure I will need a break here and there, it's too early for daily drop-offs and five hour periods of not seeing my baby. I'm not entirely sure we are still in the "baby" phase at fourteen months. This afternoon, I think I got a glimpse of the terrible twos...

Reason #1: I put together Jacob's little tent hoping we could have a boy-form of a tea party inside the tent this afternoon. No pearls or teacups, but surely I thought we could enjoy some snacks and fun inside the tent. Jacob got so excited to see what I had built, he ran out the door, straight into some dog poop, and made a mess of the brand new tent floor. So much for a cute tea party.

Reason #2: Back inside our house, I went to go clean off the poop from Jacob's shoes. I left the little guy alone for two seconds and heard a horrid crashing of things. There was little Jacob just standing in the middle of this mess. Note to Momma to never leave a binkie on a table that Jacob can almost reach. The little man tried to grab it and pulled everything down with him.

Reason #3: He's learning and absorbing and doing everything that we do. It's quite amazing. Duck, dog, bug, and ball are just a few of the words he saying.... and his noises to go along with the animals are just as precious. Not so adorable? Daddy taught him to grunt if he sees someone going to the bathroom. I apologize in advance if you come to my house and use the potty and the little guy starts grunting.... maybe this indicates we can potty train early? I won't get my hopes up.

So if this is what the "terrible twos" has to offer, bring it on. The messes, the accidents, the crazy giggles that make each day worthwhile. I'll take it all. Happy Wednesday to you... may you enjoy your own messes just as much as we do.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A (big) Twenty-Eight Year Old Post

Twenty-eight. It's easy to reflect on one day or one week, but it becomes a little more tricky to reflect on a whole year. When I was a tad younger, I used to think that by twenty-five, I had to have it all figured out. For the most part, I was doing okay. Job. Check. Education. Check. Family? Not quite.

Today? I'm feeling like my twenty-eight year old self has it all.

(I'm not one to let go of my camera easily, but Philip loves snapping away pretending like he's being me - all professional and such.)

In a nutshell?

A job I love (If you can call taking photographs of gorgeous bellies, the most precious newborns and little ones, a job).

The most amazing husband in the world, who continues to surprise me every day (more of this later).

A family, in the form of the most adorable, sweet fourteen-month-old who thinks his mom and dad are just the greatest and who also thinks his belly button might walk up and leave him if he doesn't look at it every few hours.

Does twenty-eight sound old? Absolutely. But twenty-eight is treating me pretty good.

Now onto some birthday magic.

Sunday morning, Philip told me to get ready for a lunch date. Who doesn't love a weekend lunch date? I threw on my springiest dress and was ready to go. I was told we had to make a quick stop at my parent's house to pick up something. I was also told not to "dilly dally and not leave your parent's house like you always do because we have to go somewhere." Hmppphhh. So what if I love, love hanging out at my parent's house. On Saturday evening at dinner, Lindsay and I actually tried generating a plan to buy the house across the street from my parent's house so we could all live that close. It didn't go over that well with the men. Don't get me wrong, they love our parents, but I think they fear they would never see us if we lived that close. Not quite what you'd expect in a twenty-eight year old but, hey, I didn't say I was grown up. A number is just a number.

As we pulled up to my parent's house, I realized there were many cars in the driveway.... A surprise birthday brunch with my family? What could be better?

When my mom does a meal, she goes all out. The same conversation always transpires between my mom and dad before they host.

Mom: Brett, I just don't think we have enough food.
Dad: Suz, there's enough.
Mom: I just don't know if there is enough.
Dad: Ok, you're right, there's probably not enough.

My dad will say that he has been trained to agree with this statement. And he loves telling this story and my mom always listens in the background, unknowingly smiling and laughing along with the rest of us as we do a little lovingly "Mom Bashing." Did we have enough food? Oh, yes. But leftovers are quite delicious.

We were inside and outside, enjoying doing nothing at all but being with our family. I love the fact that we have this little family as well. We have sat on this little stump many times, for many pictures, but for some reason on this day, on this celebration of my (almost) twenty-eight year old self, I felt like I was on top of the world. All on this little stump. And it didn't matter that it was too bright out or that Jacob really wanted to hop off Daddy's leg to go feed the fish... it just mattered that we were all there. Family. There's nothing better than that in life.

Except maybe these giggles when Pops puts him in a tree for a picture.

Or these amazing grandparents who spoil this grandchild with love.

Or these two GREAT-grandfathers.

Or these very amazing women that ground our family and show us how to be a good momma (and grandmomma).

Or these very handsome men that would do anything for each other.

Or getting sung happy birthday to on your twenty-eighth birthday and still making a wish (which may or may not have something to do with Philip's guess of baby girl to come).

Family. Every day should be a celebration. Every day should be this good. (And it is).

And everyday should be as sweet as these goodies that Pops just had to feed Jacob. For what's a birthday without a few treats?

The icing on the cake? Oh, Philip gave it to me. Philip called me upstairs and told me to go get ready for my last surprise. I walked in to this:

Sunday night baseball? He's my hero. Icing on the cake, Philip. We cheered. We relaxed. We inhaled that sweet Busch Stadium scent of hotdogs, nachos, and the greatest baseball fans in the world. Even the great Pujols himself.

Wainright threw a beauty.

And what's a Cardinals baseball game without a wave? We won. We must be good luck.

It's going to be a good year. Twenty-eight and counting.... Reflecting on the year?

I couldn't ask for anything more.
Thank you to all who make my life (complete).
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