Saturday, June 18, 2016

They Call Him Papa

With Father's Day tomorrow, I couldn't help but write a "brag-post" to the man who made me a mama. Gerry has taught me so much about being a parent and I don't think I'll ever measure up to him. He is everything I hope to be one day as a parent and I am so thankful that I get to do this whole parenting thing with him.
  Sometimes I wonder how single parents, especially single moms, handle the ups and downs of parenting by themselves. I can't imagine not having Gerry here as my main support (besides Jesus, of course). Even though he doesn't always have the answers, he is willing to just lend a listening ear and a shoulder to bawl on if needed (and it has been needed). He shows me by example how to teach and show love to our children. He has patience for them when I am nearing the end of mine. He encourages me to do fun things with them, even if it means house work gets put aside for awhile (I'm still not very good with that).
 Gerry is so attentive to things like giving me a break from cooking every so often. My almost-favorite words out of his mouth are "Honey, whatfore your plans for supper?" because I know he's going to offer to take us out to eat. Heehee, I try not to sound too eager, or take him up on his offer too fast. ;)
 He is absolutely incredible at coming home from work and being so enthusiastic about seeing the boys. It doesn't matter if he had a long day and is tired, he still gets so excited to see his little buddies. Many times, he'll take one or both of them outside to watch him work. I love this so much, because I think one of the best places a little boy can be is with his daddy watching/helping him work. Sometimes after supper, Gerry will take both boys outside for a swing ride or a walk so that I have time to clean the kitchen up. Although our bath time routine has changed a bit since having two children (Gerry always gave Jaxon his evening bath), Gerry still bathes the boys on many evenings while I clean the kitchen up. Sometimes I do it myself, sometimes it's a team effort.
 Gerry has this wonderful philosophy for raising children that is part consistent discipline and part mercy. He has the perfect balance between the two and as a result, the boys have so much respect for him, both as their buddy and as their authority. Often times, all it takes is one stern glance or one spoken command from their papa, and both boys are immediately toeing the line. Yes, discipline comes in occasionally, but they know that there are consequences for continued misbehavior.
 The boys absolutely adore their papa. They get so excited when I tell them that Papa is home from work. If we have to drive separate vehicles when going somewhere and the boys are with me, they usually melt into weeping and wailing for their beloved papa whom, apparently, they won't eeeeeeeevvvvvver see again. *cue sarcasm* While I know the boys do love me, there are times when they blatantly choose Gerry over me. I secretly love this because I love that they love their papa so much. I did jokingly tell Gerry once, though, when we have another baby, especially if it's a girl, I'm not going to let him hold her until she's a year old so that she'll be only my baby. :)
 It's common knowledge around this house that when Gerry babysits for me him and the boys have more fun while I'm gone than when I'm around. :) Whether it's taking them out for ice cream, going on a bike ride, making kites for them, making milk shakes for them, or relaxing in the hammock, I know that they are having the best of times. And every single time by the time I'm home, the boys are bathed and in bed, fast asleep. I tell you, I have it so good.
 One thing I love to see is how Gerry teaches them to pray. Even before they're able to talk, he lays the ground work for them by showing them how to pray.
 I also love watching Gerry on Sunday mornings when he plays guitar for the boy's. He lines them up on the couch, all dressed in their Sunday best, and sings to them. They love it, and Jaxon will even initiate it sometimes by asking to "singa sing".
 I could go on and on about how good of a papa Gerry is. Suffice it to say, I am so glad I have him with me in this crazy thing called parenting. I am so thankful that the boys have him to look up to as a papa. I feel so blessed to call this little family mine and we truly have so much fun, the four of us together. God has blessed us so much.

Monday, June 6, 2016

How We Potty Trained In Two Days

A while back on Instagram I mentioned that I was going to share how I potty trained Jaxon in two days. Well, at long last, here is that aforementioned post.
 Really, it could be said that Jaxon potty trained himself. Because that's virtually what happened. I was just his biggest cheerleader and coach.
 You might remember that we attempted the potty training a number of months ago and you can read about those experiences here and here. Cue the sad faces because at that time, Jaxon wasn't ready for potty training. He wasn't telling me when he had to go and consequently, he would pee through his Pull Ups constantly. I put him back in diapers thinking that we would attempt this whole training thing at a later date. Well, Jaxon happens to be a huge fan of water. No joke, he has probably the best flushed system of just about anybody on this earth. As we all know, what goes in eventually comes out, or most of it anyway, and in Jaxon's case, it was definitely most of it. He was constantly peeing through his diapers and pants. Not because I was being a lazy mother (or was I?) but because I would check him, find him fairly dry, and literally the next time I looked at him his whole backside was wet. Remember how we talked about what goes in, comes out? Yeah. Totally. I was getting to the point where I wanted to have him potty trained but I dreaded starting it again. What if it didn't go well again?
 After much pushing and prodding from Gerry and a day where Jaxon took himself to the bathroom just one time, I made the decision to give potty training another go.
 Wonder of wonders, the day before I planned to begin potty training, Jaxon took himself to the bathroom numerous times. I was rather hopeful things would go better!
 This time, I changed up my strategy. I never thought I would do this, but I chose to do the no-pants method. It took some bravery, but it turned out to work really well. The first day of training, I let Jaxon run around with his bottom free and clear. I pumped him full of water and apple juice then sat back and let nature take its course. I did not set any timer, just waited on Jaxon to give me cues. It worked! I think not wearing pants made him more aware of what was going on down there and he had only one major accident on the first day!
 The second day was pretty much a repeat except I started him out with real underwear (I had previously decided that I was going to totally skip the Pull Ups). He had several accidents in his underwear that morning, so I switched him to pantless again for a couple hours. He did really well that day, even stopping his playing and watching a movie to go pee. I was worried about those things, especially what he would do if he was watching a movie, so I tested him on it and he passed!
 Since then, Jaxon has stayed very consistent. Even holding it if we're in the car and can't get to a bathroom right away. He had a few more accidents at the beginning but for the most part, he is totally accident free. I didn't know it would feel this good to have a potty trained child! Makes life so much easier and it means less diapers to buy!
 Somehow I think we nailed the timing just right. Most of the time while training him, he wouldn't even tell me he had to go, he just took off for the bathroom by himself.
 It all comes down to timing and knowing your child. It turned out to not be as scary as I thought it would be and the benefits are even better!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Life Lately

 Things have been a little crazy around here lately. For the last several weeks we've been dealing with all kinds of things from potty training, to a nasty stomach bug, to colds, to a bedroom renovation, and just in general trying to recover from all of that and get back into our normal groove. I am a very routine oriented person, so when things start getting a little wacky with our schedule I have a hard time coping.
 As it is, life is starting to settle back down and we've been getting our rhythm back. I thought I would share a little bit about what we are currently up to these days.

//Recently read// The Seven Laws of Love by Dave Willis. I enjoyed reading this book as Dave covered different aspects of love from commitment, sacrifice, truth, and fear, to grace, healing, and love that lives forever. The first section of the book is dedicated to an in depth discussion of each aspect of love and in the second section, Dave offers practical ways to live out love in our relationships with our spouses, family, neighbors, friends, enemies, ourselves, and ultimately, our Creator. I was impressed with his applications for loving ourselves. That is such a huge thing right now, "loving yourself" and I'm not too sure what to think about it. That mantra sounds almost selfish to me, but I thought Dave did an excellent job of navigating this section. Rather than making it all about taking time for yourself and caring about yourself, he came at it from the perspective of loving who we are in Christ and how Christ has a plan for our lives. Altogether, this book was an inspiring read filled with practical life applications.

//Cuddles// With Taylor. Did I mention that he's been teething? Yep, finally got some molars through on the bottom, now we're waiting on the top ones to come through. At random times throughout the day, Taylor will gather up his choice of blanket in his arms and scoot his little bum across the floor to me looking for cuddles. If Big Brother is awake, this usually turns into a three-way cuddle complete with songs and stories.

//Excited// about some sewing projects that I have in mind. I go through phases where I love/hate sewing. After a particularly failed attempt at sewng, I decide sewing is not that great and why don't I just buy whatever it is I'm trying to make?? Weeks later when I successfully complete another small project I change my mind and decide maybe it's not so bad after all and with a little practice...

//Decorating// the boys room. We recently tore out the old dry wall and put up new, so that meant new paint as well. I chose a dark teal for their room and I have plans to accent it with orange, tan, and bits of navy. Some of those sewing projects I'm excited about? They involve curtains, a changing pad cover, a pillowcase, and quilts (#gulp) for the boys room. I'm going with kind of an Indian/tribal/Aztec look for it. I'm already jealous of their room.

//Planted// our garden. With the craziness of the past few weeks, it just wasn't happening. Finally, this past weekend, we managed to get everything in the ground! And right before a rain shower came through! Before long we'll be seeing tomatoes, peppers, beans, corn, zucchini, butternut squash, lettuce, cucumbers, and melons gracing our garden. I still have flowers to plant as well and hopefully that will happen this week yet, if the weather ever decides to STOP RAINING.

 What have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Recipe // Custard Pie

 I have always loved baking. My earliest memories of baking were making biscuits and blonde brownies. They were my specialties. As I grew older, I learned to bake cakes, cheesecakes, and more. I still love baking;

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

On My Heart

 For awhile now my mind has been hashing out the purpose and intent of this blog. There have been stirrings inside of me for some time that as yet have never really been put into words. Words on a page make things seem so concrete, so much more set, final. The other day I decided to pen down some of those stirrings and what resulted was more than I expected. What flowed from pen to paper came almost faster than I could write it down. I don't know where all this will lead, but here it is, my heart on paper...errrr, screen...

Thursday, April 7, 2016

When Spring Opens Its Eyes

 Spring is playing peek-a-boo with us right now. The flowers are blooming, the trees are donning their green leaves, but the wind still has occasion to blow chill tendrils of air. The sun shines each day making you believe that it's a throw-the-windows-open kind of day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

These Are The Memories

 Life is a continuous cycle. It spins and swirls like a merry-go-round. It blurs away, moments caught up in an endless spinning. It is so fast that it can be dizzying. You know how it is when you're on a merry-go-round. It picks up speed and everything else fades away into a blur and all you can focus on is hanging on tight so you don't fall off. The effects of this means that moments can be forgotten. Those precious, fleeting memories, moments become a dim blurry substance and you wonder if you will ever get them back.
 There is a way to keep these memories fresh and alive in your mind. Write them down. Frame them through your lens. Take the time to still the rush and blur of life. Put pen to paper, light to pixels and freeze the moment. It's the reason so many people have taken to blogging either as a lifestyle blogger, a food blogger, or a personal blogger. We want to hold time still, even for a moment. We want to stop the merry-go-round just for a bit to see the life that is surrounding us. We don't want to forget it.
 These are my memories, the moments I want to remember.

-Jaxon running along behind his papa trying to keep up with him as they work

-Taylor and Jaxon, each other's best friend and worst enemy

-Jaxon begging to have his shoes on so he can go outside and work with his papa

-Taylor's chattering that sounds so much like a real conversation

-When Jaxon tells me "Hi" repeatedly throughout the day

-The way Jaxon repeats "love you" (sounds more like "lah you")

-When Taylor tries to climb all over my lap

-Family nap times when there is barely room left for me on the bed

-The weight of my children in my arms and my heart that is filled to bursting

"Precious memories, how they linger, how they ever flood my soul"

 What memories do you have that you want to hang onto? Do you have a way of recording them to keep close?