Thankful

So, today is Thanksgiving…

My wife hates Thanksgiving, always has, always will. I know some people balk when we say that, but hear me out. We’re not huge fans of the food and my wife’s birthday is Nov. 26 and so nearly always falls right near Thanksgiving (or like this year, it’s actually ON Thanksgiving). This meant a childhood of no birthday parties with friends since everyone’s usually travelling or spending time with family during the holidays, having a meal for your birthday that you don’t really care about (steak please?!), not to mention desserts that give you no joy (she’s not a pumpkin fan either). And talk about stress getting everything presentable and spending the day in the kitchen! Plus, its an awful holiday. Shouldn’t we be thankful every day? It’s not even about giving thanks anymore, its about stuffing your face as quickly as possible so you can get out and go shopping that evening (because Black Friday has now become Black Thursday). Anyway…

I wish I could say this year is different for her…but her birthday actually falls on Thanksgiving. We somehow ended up putting on dinner again this year. At least we control the food so we can keep the sugar and carbs in check, but it sucks because she’s upset with the whole Thanksgiving thing. I wanted to buy her a steak for her birthday and grill it without her knowing, but there was just no way I could pull that off! I wanted to give her something good this year, so I asked her what dessert she wanted me to make for her “cake” and she decided on a Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! So she’s excited about that. She’s not excited about the stress of cooking that huge of a meal (24 lb turkey!) and having 4 kids and 10 adults crammed into our smallish house (where do we seat everyone?! at least we have a large porch!) on a day that should be all about her.

So to me, today is not Thanksgiving, it is her birthday. The day to celebrate that she came into this world so she could grow up and I could fall in love with her! Without her, there would be no Jaxson. Without her, there would be no Bubba (our cat). Without her, there would not be the home we share or the large family to share this Thanksgiving with. And so for her Thanksgiving, just like everyday, I am just so thankful for my beautiful wife. She is truly amazing and I am so lucky to have her. She busts her ass every day to take care of our son and keep our house running smoothly. She shops, prepares, and cooks all of our meals. She cleans our home and keeps it pristine! All this while making sure our son is a well-adjusted human and gets the proper social interaction and physical activity every single day. She has the most thankless full-time-with-mandatory-overtime-24/7 job in the world – not to say being a stay at home mom is not rewarding in its own way – but so many times the importance of her job and the contributions she makes to our family is vastly unappreciated and overlooked by virtually everyone.

Even I, sometimes, forget to say thank you. Of course I am always grateful for her and the amazing things she accomplishes every day, and I am thankful for the sacrifices we have made so she can stay home with Jaxson. I know its not easy for her, just like its not easy for me to get up and go to work every day, but she doesn’t get a choice of going to work or having a sick day – her job is 24/7. Her job is nights, weekends, overnight…endless dishes and cooking and playdates…with no time for herself.

I wish we weren’t struggling financially, so that for her birthday I could have given her the massage and the haircut and the day that is only about her. The day she deserves! I hate that I wasn’t able to do these things for her, because she gives so much of herself to do so much for us. I hate that I could only get her a card from me, a card from Jaxson, and a chocolate bar. I hate that our gift is so minuscule in scale to the gift she gives our family every day. She deserves the world on a platter, not just a candy bar.

So, Wife (since I know you’re reading this ;)), I want you to know that not for Thanksgiving, not just for your birthday, but every single day, I am so thankful for you. I am so thankful that you came into my life when you did, that you love me like you do, that you gave us our beautiful son, that you have literally sacrificed everything to stay home with him, and that you have so selflessly taken on this role in our family. I just want you to know that I truly appreciate everything you do for us and I love you so much! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! You are my everything and I’m so glad you were born!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LOVE!

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P.S. Just to update, our Thanksgiving was awesome. Everyone got along great, had a nice time, and all the food came out at the same time. I busted my ass today and cooked everything (except the dressing!) and kept kicking J out of the kitchen so she didn’t have to do anything. Inadvertently, I gave her the gift of a day where she didn’t have to lift a finger, and she said that was the best gift I could have given her. Success! It was a wonderful day, and J also got lots of Starbucks cards so she was excited about that! And she liked the chocolate bar Jax and I got her very much. Yay! 🙂

22 Months

Jaxson turned 22 months today! He’s been a very busy boy, playing and growing and driving Mommies crazy. But at the end of the day, all the snuggles and kisses make it all better. 🙂

New Vocabulary:

  • Hello! (finally! but only while pretending to talk on the phone)
  • Daniel (as in Daniel Tiger)
  • Babe (as in, “hey babe!” which he hears J & I say to each other)
  • Laundry
  • Box
  • People
  • (Aunt) Chelsea
  • “New-new Car”
  • “Mommy and Me book”
  • Yum!
  • Leaf, Tree
  • Garbage (he is such a great helper and helps me take it out!)
  • Garage
  • Seatbelt
  • Bubble bath
  • Helicopter
  • He’s starting to string words together in a sentence, and is getting the hang of manners such as “more, please”

New Skills:

  • He’s able to sort his toys by type. We have a bin that is only for his cars and no matter how messy the other toy bins get, it’s guaranteed the car bin will ONLY have cars in it.
  • He most definitely has memories now. The other morning J woke him up and he started saying “car Mommy and me” which were the two books we’d read together the night before.
  • “Drawing” – we have one of those magnetic boards with the pen and he loves drawing pictures for us.

New Likes:

  • Matchbox cars (really, ANY cars/trucks/planes/motorcycles/trains/etc.)
  • Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (the one show he will literally stop everything to sit and watch!)
  • Drinkable yogurt, which is good because at least he’s getting something in his belly.
  • We put up our Hanukkah decorations and the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving while Jax was napping. When he woke up he gasps in amazement, pointing to the lights, and going “Ooooooh!”
  • Christmas lights, we drove around the other night looking and he kept saying “Pretty! More please!” SO CUTE!

New Dislikes:

  • Mommies not letting him get away with whatever he wants (complete with full-on throwing-himself-on-the-floor tantrums)
  • Sitting in the shopping cart, he tries getting out constantly and sometimes we just have to let him sit in the big part if we’re not at the grocery store.
  • Eating…anything. He’s been so difficult with food lately, he’s even turning up his nose at old favorites.

And Everything Else:

  • If you ask Jax a question that he has to “think” about – he’ll scratch his head and go “hmmmm”.
  • We told Jax that we are going to have another baby eventually, and for fun we asked him if he thought it would be a boy or a girl. He replied that it will be a “people baby”!
  • The answer to every question is always “no” and every color is still “yellow”.
  • Aunt Betti came to visit one weekend with cousin Jolie & Marque and we had a great night at the county fair! Jax got to ride a lot of fun rides this time and we all got to go on the Carousel together.
  • We had a great Thanksgiving, with breakfast at my parents’ house and then dinner at J’s parents’ house. Aunt Beck & Uncle Charlie along with cousin Riley & Caden came to visit. Jax had a fun time playing with them, despite his bad attitude from not napping.
  • We got a new car because J’s car died for the last time…Jax loves his new car and so do Mommies because now everyone has a lot more room!
  • Discipline has been tough – he’s old enough to understand when he’s doing something wrong, but after the 500th time of saying “No, don’t ____”, we just want to give up. We don’t like saying no, but he’s definitely entering Terrible Two land where he’s starting to fight us on every. single. thing. just for the sake of fighting it and seeing if we’ll be consistent.
  • He gives the best snuggles and kisses right before bedtime, where he grabs you tight around the neck and gives you a squeeze and/or a pat on the back, and a big kiss! He’s such a loving boy!

Pictures!

YUM Bananas!

YUM Bananas!

He's got his bag, he's ready to go!

He’s got his bag, he’s ready to go!

Yo-Ho-Ho!

Yo-Ho-Ho!

Fun at the Halloween Sale!

Fun at the Halloween Sale!

Wearing Mama J's shoes

Wearing Mama J’s shoes

Who's in Mommies' bed?

Who’s in Mommies’ bed?

So cute!

So cute!

Carousel at the Mall

Carousel at the Mall

Packed & Ready to Go!

Packed & Ready to Go!

Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Handsome!

Handsome!

Playing with the baby monitor

Playing with the baby monitor

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

J looked away for a minute and he escaped out of the porch!

J looked away for a minute and he escaped out of the porch!

Bye Mom!

Bye Mom!

Bringing his car back inside

Bringing his car back inside

Our Christmas Tree!

Our Christmas Tree!

 

10 Months

Now that we’ve moved into December, we’re in the final stretch of this year. 2013 has been such an incredible year for our family and I’ve enjoyed our journey and all of the many blessings we’ve received throughout the year. We have such a great life!

Jaxson is 10 months old now and finally getting the hang of crawling. He’s still a little dead-legged but getting much better at moving both legs now when crawling and is getting quite speedy! He’s also figured out how to pull up on things and despite our best efforts to redirect him, he likes to use our living room TV stand to try to pull up and inevitably turns on or off the DVD player or cable box. Nevermind the fact that we really don’t want our 60″ TV falling over on top of him, so we’re looking into getting a wall mount and securing the TV well out of his reach.

Along with pulling up comes walking and this boy is ready to just take off on his own. Every time he stands he wants to just let go of our hands and start going on his own, and he gets so mad when he can’t. He’s fallen down plenty and loses his mind when he does! He gets so mad and throws a little fit (complete with real tears) and then he gets over and gets up again. We’ve been trying to learn different ways to redirect him when he acts out in anger or frustration (oh yes, we’re at that hitting/kicking/pinching/biting stage now) and its been difficult. The worst is when we know he’s doing something on purpose. We’ll say “No Jaxson, don’t play in the garbage. That’s icky.” and redirect him back to a toy on his walker and move him into the living room. Five seconds later and he’s back in the garbage. Repeat. Back in the garbage. Repeat.

Sigh.

Or how about when he is throwing a fit on the changing table (he has started screaming and crying when you go to put him down on it now – oh boy what fun) to the point where he will launch himself out of your hands and he even hit his head (hard) the other day because of this attitude. He got mad at me and threw a fit the other day and kept kicking and grabbing at me while I was changing his diaper, until he stopped and looked up at me and pinched the side of my boob  so hard it bruised! Boy did it hurt – I was so mad!

In other news, he’s been off the Prevacid for a month now and is doing amazing. He gets annoyed with the bottle now and really only has two, sometimes three, a day. He’s eating mostly 3rd foods now with texture and he’s apparently gotten over his meat-aversion since he now enjoys Beef & Veggies, Herb Chicken & Noodles, and even Turkey on Thanksgiving (he didn’t like the mashed potatoes though). He loves the Gerber snacks too – puffs, fruit melts, and wagon wheels oh my!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, it was great. J and I worked our butts off to make a great meal and I think it went off without a hitch! After seeing the turkey and having to prepare it though, I don’t know that we’ll ever be doing this again (J was literally turning green and had to leave the kitchen while I was getting the turkey ready for the oven!). It was enough to almost make us go back to being vegetarians! We made our own apple pie (J) and pumpkin pie (me) and had J’s parents and sister and her family over as well as my parents and brother and sister. This year Hanukkah coincided with Thanksgiving so everyone got a Hanukkah gift and we got some super cute pictures of Jaxson!

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He is growing so fast, stuck between infant and toddler with not many months left until he turns one! I’m already planning his first birthday party, although I’m a little hesitant to have that many people in our house after just 10 adults and 3 kids for Thanksgiving being a handful!

Right now, we are enjoying Hanukkah together as a family and we decorated our Christmas tree together this past weekend and wrapped all our gifts. I’m happy to say we are all done! We started shopping right after Christmas last year and it really worked out well and cut down on the holiday stress.

Despite his attitude, Jax is a little chatterbox, but not so much when other people are around. I guess he takes after me! Just last night though, he was talking up a storm and of course we talk back to him as if we’re all having a conversation together. It even sounded like he said “grandpa” at one point! True story though, he did say “Bubba” (our cat’s name) and looked over at Bubba and said it again. So I think we’re safe to say that he knew what he was saying and meant it. (How did we know Bubba would be his first word? Probably because he’s just as obsessed with Bubba as J is!)

Jax also says “mom” (me) and “mom-mom” (J) although he also says it when he wants to get up out of his highchair/walker/etc. so we’ve started saying “up” when he wants up instead of him just using “mom” as a catch-all alternative.

IMG_3774Mom-Mom & Jaxson

Official 10 month pictures will be coming up soon, but for now I hope these hold you over! Happy December! 🙂