Thursday, November 13, 2014

For the world





Tonight I was going through these pictures and thinking about this kiddo and how much I love him. How much I wish I could remember every single thing he said this week that made me die laughing or every little thing he did that made me teary and proud of him. And to be totally and completely honest, I was really just thinking...he is so freaking cute and I want to eat his face! How is my kid so cute? I don't feel like that's braggy because I know everyone has those moments. Earlier today I was talking to one of my best friends from college who is at a totally different stage of life- she is at school, dating someone and close to getting engaged. We were talking about marriage and kids and the future and how to plan for it and kind of how to decide what is right when. When I was going through my blogging hiatus a few months ago I had this about 12-hour horrible experience that started when we were driving in the car to somewhere far away- and I realized I didn't finish school. Obviously I knew that. But I really realized it. My younger cousin was about to graduate, and I think that's what really started the tailspin- but then I realized that all my best friends had or were and I was like wait, what?! I didn't finish? why??? WHY. And do you know what, I know the exact moment that I was done. I was sitting on my bed, several months pregnant with Jax with a migraine, trying not to puke for probably the 8th time and trying to write an essay. I was sobbing on my bed and McKay came in and I just said, I can't do this. I have to be done. I have to finish later. And then Jax was born and McKay graduated and we moved to a place where he could get a good job. But in the car that day, I thought about the example I was setting for my future girls. Some trend I was starting for future generations. How my kids would view at me. And dozens of other things which I don't remember because it only lasted several hours and then it was done. Hallelujah! But it was just horrible. My worth as a mom and as a woman just tanked for a few hours. But today as we talked I told my friend that whenever she planned (or didn't plan) to have a baby and it happened, that it would be right. It would feel like a piece of your family was there that you didn't realize had been missing. 
Sometimes when I give advice like that, I wonder what people really think. Like if they're picturing this person in grey sweats with raggedy hair and snot on her shoulder and a kid on her hip (probably true 80% of the time) proclaiming these things that just sound not up to parr with the world. I kind of think that there's this responsibility we feel sometimes to make a difference- and if not that, at the very least, prove that whatever we are doing, we are doing good. But that's hard, because sometimes we're just not. My mom didn't finish college either. She met my dad and they got married and then she got pregnant with me. As I've grown up, she's done lots of things- hobbies and a couple jobs, but to me, she's always just been my mom. She made the best beds on the couch when I was sick and she packed my lunch from first grade to my senior year. She feeds my babies so I can eat whenever we go there for dinner. She washed and folded all my laundry when we moved. She helped me paint my kitchen cabinets. She taught me how to nurse my kids. She talks me through all my mom worried and guilts. She made me want to be a mom because I saw how much she loved it every day. To me, nothing else ever seemed even close to as fun, or as fulfilling and especially as important as being a mom. It would be awesome to have a degree. I would love that! I would be proud and happy and grateful for it. But it wouldn't come close to the gratitude I feel for that kiddo who's going to sleep in my bed right now. The same bed I sat on crying with my last college essay.
I used to be really worried about my kids growing up. I wrote about it and thought about it and sometimes panicked because I was worrying about it so much, I felt like I wasn't enjoying the present. Like I was missing it. I've realized lately that the future doesn't make me sad if I know- like really know my kids every second it takes to get there. Like get on the floor with them and play for a whole afternoon. Or sit them on my lap and talk. Listen to what they say before bed. Stop rushing. Stop cleaning or cooking or editing pictures or whatever. Just know my kids, that day, everything about them, who they are, what they like, what they think, that day. Then I go to bed without the feeling that I missed something because I made sure that I didn't. 
A lot of the time I feel like I need to prove something or make a difference in the world. But I'm making two differences- Jax and Jonah. I'll feed them and dress them and wipe their bums and their snot and peanut butter off their faces. And I'll teach them to mix cookies and color inside the lines and to cross monkey bars. They'll learn to share and notice others and make their beds. And I'll teach them why they're here and why they're important and why they're needed. And when they get older I hope they don't care that I didn't get my degree. I hope they know that I just couldn't wait to be their mom. And I hope they realize that the very best thing I knew to do for the world was to raise them. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cartwheels


We have gotten into a pretty steady bedtime routine. We brush teeth, change diapers- (YES plural! One too many pee-in-the beds and we are back to diapers at night for the three-year-old). And then we say prayers together and read scriptures and get the boys to bed. One of us rocks Jonah and one of us tells Jax a story. Jax has been liking McKay's stories lately, so after I get Jonah to sleep and McKay leaves Jax in bed- I jump in there next to him and we cuddle and talk for a couple minutes. I try every night to tell him what made me proud of him that day. A few nights ago, I crawled in bed next to him and I asked him how his day was and I just listened instead of talked. He told me really softly in the dark that his friend told him he didn't know how to do a cartwheel the right way. My mom heart got all heavy and I held him a little tighter and told him it was okay- that cartwheels are hard. I told him all the things he was really good at and I told him we would practice cartwheels. Then I kissed him goodnight and went downstairs to McKay and sat next to him teary on the couch and told him that our little boy felt discouraged and we sat there sad.

Since then, he hasn't mentioned it again. And maybe it's small. We'll work on cartwheels. But I've been thinking about what I want to teach. What I want my kids to know. They can't be the best at everything. I want them to be okay with that. Even as an adult, I struggle with that. But the struggle to end that struggle is a lot easier than the never-ending struggle of always being the best. It really would never end. ever ever ever. And sometimes I feel like the world is getting better at ways of putting comparisons to others right in your face. I grew up hearing the words "self-esteem" a lot. High self-esteem was good, low was bad, blah blah BUT when I got to college, a professor said that we shouldn't esteem ourselves. Interesting thought. Confidence, yes. In my mind, esteeming is sort of parallel with a rank and confidence coincides more with worth. I want my kids to know they have worth. Lots and lots of it. I look at Jax and already know he will be good at so many things. He will be so many things which is even more important. But I never want him to think he has to be the best at everything. It's an impossible standard to live up to. And it's easy to have the false perception that it would even be a right standard. It wouldn't be. I watch my kids and notice every day how different they are. I see something in one that I don't see as much in the other, and vise-versa. I love that about them. I love the traits in each of us that make up my family. I hope my kids grow up not searching for ways to fit a mold. Or be bigger or better than a mold that's already been made. It's easy to get swallowed into that way of thinking. It happens to me lots. Probably every day. But I see that special individuality in my kids and it makes me realize it's in me too.

I love moments of clarity brought to be by my kiddos. Being a mom is the best.

Monday, November 3, 2014

October to October


I guess I totally dropped the ball on my 30-day-challenge. The longer I go without blogging, the more stressed I get that I'm not documenting my kiddos. The day-to-day stuff mostly. This month, Jones turned one. It doesn't feel like it though. He's still so much my little baby. Jaxers is funny. He comes up with silly things and McKay and I just look at each other and laugh. He learned the word "stupid." I was pulling out of Trader Joes, trying to make a turn, and someone pulled right next to me- totally blocking my view of the road, so then I said "Ughhh stupid car." Which of course, Jax totally picked up on. The one word that would be naughty to say, "stupid." How do kids know? Other than saying "stupid," I feel like he's gotten older this last month. He takes care of Jonah. Not just being gentle, but  sharing, and giving him things, and trying to feed him, and taking care of him. I watch him with friends and notice that he's considerate. He seems older for his age. This month though, he's been holding his arms up to me and saying "mama" like in baby talk kinda. I've been trying to give total equal attention since then. Today at church he was crazy after nursery. He was running around with a little friend- which is cute and so so naught at the same time. Two little three-year-old boys in plaid shirts being naughty- how can you not almost-laugh. But Jax ran, yelling- straight into fasting testimony meeting of the single's ward. So embarrassing. It seems like every day there's something that I have to write down and never do. Which makes me sad, because I know I've forgotten like 23423432 things. Here's to another week of trying! It's hard for me to commit to anything these days!

But all about Jones at ONE: 

-you have this smile that is so random and cute! You look at us, sometimes when we're not even paying attention to you, and you smile just so big until we look at you! You squint your eyes and you raise your eyebrows and show your cute little teeth. You do it to people not in our family sometimes and everyone thinks your hilarious. 

-you are starting to stand up for yourself. When you really really want something, you aren't afraid to try to take it from Jax. You sometimes just dive on him. Other times, you head-butt. Usually the head-butting is a last resort. 

-you give lots of kisses! Almost every time we ask you to kiss us, you will. You open your mouth really wide, and usually we get a bunch of slobber or snot, but that's okay! Sometimes you bite. Most of the time, you bite me...but it's worth it, so I endure the pain. Usually when you kiss, you kiss over and over again. You sometimes grab onto our face when you kiss us and that is my very favorite.

-you sleep during the night usually, but you still wake up sometimes. Just remember...no more siblings until you sleep through the night every night. Just kidding...kinda...

-you are starting to like books more and more. Your favorite books are the ones with texture or pop-out things. You usually won't sit still through a whole one though.

-you are usually really really easy at church. You just walk along then each we are sitting on back-and-forth. You smile at the people behind us. Sometimes you play with toys. You will never fall asleep there! We actually meet during your nap time, but you will never give in.

-which reminds me...you rarely fall asleep on us. You are way more likely to fall asleep if I stick you on our bed then if I am holding you, bouncing or rocking. It's the funniest thing. You only fall asleep on me when you're nursing. Last night you fell asleep nursing and I kept holding you for forever. You still seem so small for me except for that- that you won't cuddle and sleep on me very much. You like to be awake. Sometimes you are so tired, but fighting sleep so much, you will arch your back and throw a fit until I finally just stick you in your crib to fall asleep. little stinker.

-you have been waking up in the morning and from naps happy! For a long time you would always wake up screaming. It's just what you did. But lately, you have been waking up and playing in your crib. This morning actually, dad didn't think you were awake but I said we should just check- so we did and you were just sitting in your crib, quiet and totally happy!

-you have a mullet that I don't want to cut. Dad makes fun of it every day almost. I don't want to cut it. Plus, I tried and you wouldn't let me. 

-you have the most pouty, perfect, pretty lips! I look at them every day and wonder where you got them! I think they are from your uncle Chad. When you talk, they are so cute. Dad loves them too.

-you have taken lots of steps! I think you have taken about five or six in a row now. You seem pretty content with where you are though. You can get to wherever you want to go. However, you refuse to learn how to properly go down the stairs. I have tried to teach you so many times. You just won't scoot down backwards on your tummy. You climb them really fast! 

-You love pasta- spaghetti, fettuccine, whatever- but your most favorite food in the whole entire world is....GRAPES! You hate squash though, which surprises me- cause we load it with butter and brown sugar. 

-You are a little climber. Ever day, you climb my bathtub and turn on the faucet and stick your hand in it. You love running water. Last week, You turned on the faucet to a clogged sink and you flooded my whole bathroom counter!

-when we're at the grocery store you stand in the cart and hold onto my neck. Sometimes you give me kisses and I just stop right in the middle of the aisle until we're done kissing

-which reminds me...you and jax have started doing this screaming thing when we're running errands...you usually start it and you two just take turns screaming. it's great. 

-you lay on our shoulder sometimes now! for most babies, that wouldn't be a big deal, but for you, it is! you have never been that big of a cuddler. It's funny because you LOVE to be held. You always want to be held, you just don't really cuddle into people...except you have been more lately!


there are so many more things you do. I will add to this list as I think of them. You bring us so much happiness every day. you are still my little baby. I'm not even baby hungry because I have you. You are still a little momma's boy and I love it! however- you get really excited when daddy comes home. all three of us are in love with you. you are silly and sweet and loving and I think that for your age you are very in tune with people's feelings. thanks for being my baby boy. And thanks for all the slobbery kisses! You can bite my face all you want! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jonah Turns One


Jones! At first I had no idea what to do for the theme of your first birthday. Then it came to me...duh! MILK. Milk is your favorite thing in the entire world. You love nursing! I hope this doesn't embarrass you when you're a teenager, but you do! You have always been the best nurser and you actually demand it, lots and lots during the day. You also love sweet things, so I knew that milk, plus a cake would be your dream birthday party. But guess what? You HATED your cake. You wouldn't touch it. You were such a little stinker. I thought you would tear into that thing, but you barely had three bites. Jax even tried to feed it to you. We'll try the cake smash when you turn two. We love you anyways! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jones: 10 & 11 months


Jonah! Next month you are one. I would say I can't believe it, but I really can! We have had you for almost a whole year, but I can't even imagine living life without you. I almost can't remember what it even felt like. Today we were sitting on the couch with Jax and he was making you laugh and I was wondering if Jax could even remember life before you. I don't think he can. Your great-grandma cause you my "appendage" because you are attached to my hip always. That's part of the reason why it is pretty believabe that it has been almost a whole year...I have carried you about 90% of that time. You're my sidekick, my buddy. I forget sometimes that I am holding you. Sometimes you get spurts of independence and want to get down, but then you lean right back to me. You are starting to get silly! Just in these last couple weeks I have noticed you and Jax playing! Really playing. Jax talks to you and does silly things to make you laugh. Today I snuck up on you guys while you were playing in the loft and you were taking turns with a toy. I love watching you guys grow together. When you were a newborn, I would get sad sometimes because I didn't want you to grow up. I wanted to freeze my life right where it was. Jax as a little two-year-old and you as my baby who needed to be held and bounced and nursed- but watching you grow together is even better. Whenever you are crying in your crib- Jax is in there as fast as he can be. At first he would lay with you and put his arm around you, but then he realized you didn't like that- so now he just lays down in your crib, not touching you, just to be there. You have been climbing up the stairs for months now, but Jax still cheers for you every time. He comes to me and says, "Mom! Jones just climbed up the stairs!" Lately he's been in to feeding you. He gives you bites of whatever he has, even if it's something he really really loves. I can't wait for you two to grow together and have each other always. I'm not sad about you getting bigger anymore. 
And by the way...you still need to be held and bounced and nursed all the time, so I'm not having withdrawls quite yet! :) We love you Jones! Thanks for being our baby boy!

Right now you:

-Are holding my leg whining...hahaha. You really are! But you are getting much more independant. Sometimes when I put you down, you will just crawl away and play. You love to play with toys now. You LOVE books! You don't sit through an entire book very often, but you love to flip through them and look at the pictures.

-You love to eat whatever we're eating. If you see us put something in our mouth, you want it. You love yogurt, applesauce, and fruit the most. Dinners are kind of hit or miss. You either love it or you hate it. If you don't want something, you will put your chin up and shake your head "no." It's the cutest thing! Sometimes if I am giving you another bite too soon you will shake your head no too!

-You hate to be in your crib. 90% of the time, you wake up in the morning of from a nap crying. You can put yourself back to sleep in the middle of the night though! Sometimes when you are really tired, you want to go to your crib. You will be really fussy or squirmy and I will lay you down in your crib and pat your chest and you go right to sleep. Last night, I just laid you in there awake and tired and you feel right to sleep. 

-You love to climb the stairs! You have yet to go down them though...I keep trying to teach you but you haven't caught on yet.

-You can stand up and you are so proud of yourself! You love when we're all watching you stand and we're clapping and cheering. You haven't really tried to walk yet. Yesterday you were standing on the couch next to dad and he said he saw you try to take a step! I think you'll be walking in the next couple months.

-On Monday we went to a little park and you noticed your first girl! I was dying laughing and wanted to take a picture, but didn't want to make her mom feel weird. It was hilarious. All the older siblings were playing and you two were just standing there holding onto the playground. She tried to pull your hair, but you kept putting your arm around her. It was so cute. Her mom and I were both laughing. You love other kids. You are so gentle and sweet with them. You never are rough with other babies. Dad thinks you'll always be gentle and compassionate. ;)

-You are starting to get silly. You love it when I say "JONAHHHH!" You laugh and smile and breathe really fast. You love to be naughty! Today I was trying to bring you downstairs so I could stick dinner in the oven and you were holding on the rails as tight as you could do I couldn't move you. You were laughing so hard! The harder I pulled on you and ticked you, the more you laughed! Oh...and you LOVE to be tickled! You are the most ticklish on your sides and on your tummy!

-You hate having your diaper changed. You are the hardest kid to change and put pants on. You are constantly rolling. Sometimes you're just being silly and sometimes you are actually mad. You wake up from almost every nap with no pants. You are actually getting skinnier- so some of your pants are too big now! You also sometimes hate getting in your car seat, but are always really good once you are in it. 

-When we go to stores you always stand up in the cart. It's hard but I kinda love it because you hold on to my neck while I shop. Jax did (and does) the same thing. I love my little cuddly boys. (And P.S. you are a really good shopper! Lots of other moms get babysitters while they shop or bring someone with them, but you and Jax are so easy! We go walk around stores every week when we're bored! You guys love to look at things!)

-You aren't scared of animals. You love kitties and dogs. You usually try to catch cats. It's hilarious. And you are learning to be "soft" with animals too.

-You give kisses! They are very sporadic but that makes them really special. When you decide to give a kiss, you look that person right in the face and lean in really softly. You don't give slobbery kisses. They are soft and you just press your whole face against the person and freeze for a minute. It's the cutest think in the entire world. I live for your kisses! You need to give them a little more often though! :)

-You are really really good at church. You don't need to be bounced or stood up with or anything. You usually still nurse at some point while we are there though. You hate football games. You whine the whole time and hate sitting on the bench! haha

-Your voice is really raspy. I LOVE IT. I am hoping it stays. 

-You love to play with cords and get into all the kitchen cupboards. You are starting to get in to things, but you are a good little listener! I was so surprised because just in this last month I have started telling you "no..." and you listen a lot of the time! Complete opposite of your brother. It was so unexpected. You love to play in the shower that dad is fixing. You think you are so funny. Sometimes I tell you "no" and you look at me and laugh. You are getting such a cute little personality. 

-I'm obsessed with your lips, cheeks, neck, shoulders, and wrists. You have always had the prettiest lips. Right when you were born, we noticed your lips. You are a squishy little baby. Jax was more solid- you are more squishy. You have tiny little feet! You are barely just fitting in to Jax's first pair of shoes. You do wear size 18-24 month clothes though! Lots of people say you are starting to look more like Jax- other people say you look like Cody and Chad. No matter what, you will be one cute kid!

-You love to feel different textures. I notice you looking at and touching different things. If we are reading a book and something on the page looks different or textured, you feel it right away. You are curious and observant. 

-You  have two teeth and you just got another one on the bottom! I noticed it yesterday!

-You are naturally gentle. I'm amazed at your understanding of "be soft." You know to be soft with animals and other kids. There have been a couple times where you have bulldozed your brother though- if he has a toy you want, you can definitely hold your own!


I am going to write more things about you as they come to me. All day, I think about you and say to myself,  I need to write that down! I just want you to know that you are loved. You are so so loved! I wonder every day why I was so blessed to be your mom. I love being your mom. It's the only thing in life that could ever make me feel the feelings I feel every day- joy and fulfillment. Heaven doesn't feel so far away because I have Jax and I have you. 

Love you my little Jones! 

One fish, two fish!


I took so many pictures on this little patch of sand at our lake house this summer. It looks so serene and perfect, but what was really happening was this: two older ladies from church were sitting in lawn chairs right on the grass near this patch of sand watching me- wade in the water in my pajamas trying to get these shots. Saying "Jonah! Jonah! Jonah! Look at mommy! Jonah!" like a maniac. And running back and forth. Jonah actually hates the sand, so he kept crawling to me and I kept picking him up and putting him back in the water and then I would run over and crouch on the sand to try to get the perfect shot- probably underwear hanging out and all! I'm sorry. But I cannot resist sandy bum cheeks and little boys with freckles on their noses. But I still don't miss summer guys! Not even at alllllll. Happy first day of Fall! 
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