Happy Holidays!

We won a free photo shoot at Target, so we took Jaxson to get professional pictures done. Our photographer wasn’t so great, so it took forever to get any decent pictures. Jaxson, overall, did a great job for his first time having pictures done, but of course was a typical two year old and just wanted to play with all the props instead. 🙂 I’m glad we didn’t have to pay for the pictures, but we got a few really great ones so it was worth it in the end.

We are celebrating Christmas Eve at my parents’ house tonight, then we will do our Christmas at home in the morning and go to J’s parents’ house for Christmas in the afternoon. It will be a busy time, as always, but I’m looking forward to watching Jax enjoying it all! It is exciting this year because he “gets it” now that he’s a little older, and he’s been honing his gift-unwrapping skills.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

holiday card 2015

 

 

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! 🙂

Halloween 2015

Jaxson got to go Trick or Treating like a big boy for the first time last night! We went to Nana and Papa’s neighborhood and got lots of treats. He was scared of their neighbors’ house – it was all decked out in ghosts and ghouls and spooky lights!

J and I made his costume. He had told us he wanted to be a ghost so we went to Goodwill and bought a sheet. He then decided he didn’t want to be a ghost after all, so we tried to think of something else we could do with a white sheet…and ended up making him Marshal from Paw Patrol! It worked out and he looked so adorable and he got tons of compliments! We especially loved his little tail wagging as he walked around.

He got a good haul and even got some extra candy for being so darn cute. At every house he would compliment the owner on something, whether it was “Oh I love your spooky Jack o Lantern!” or even “These are pretty bushes”, he was putting out some serious charm. Once we got back to Nana’s house, he helped give out candy and one girl ended up giving him a candy bar!

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Jaxson sure did (and so did we!) 🙂

Truck or Treat

Today was Truck or Treat Day at our library and they had so many cool things for Jax to see! They had a power truck, a tractor, a bulldozer, two fire trucks (one with a ladder!), an ambulance, a semi, a dump truck, a stretch Escalade limo, a bomb squad truck, a big truck with a crane, and a police car!

Jaxson didn’t like the loud horns  honking but he did love seeing the fire trucks. He kept waving and saying hi to the firemen and wanted to go in the fire truck twice. We asked him if he wanted to be a fireman when he got bigger and he said yes. 🙂

He came away with some yummy candy too, which of course he was excited for. It was great to get outside and enjoy this “cool” weather (it was only 84* out today) with a nice breeze. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, we sure are!

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A Birthday, A Big Boy Bed, and Tantrums

I’m a little late posting this…August 12 was my birthday! I was kind of bummed because we didn’t have much money to do anything, but my lovely wife gave me an at-home pedicure the night before which turned out great! I started my birthday by taking Jax to Dr. Helft for his 2.5 year checkup and then met my mother-in-law for lunch and coffee. Yum! After Jax’s nap, we dropped him off at my parents’ house so J and I could have a nice dinner together at Outback. It ended up being a 45 minute wait there, so we headed over to one of our local favorites and found out they do free birthday dinners! So we got a budget-friendly and very tasty meal and had a nice time out together. We even got Starbucks afterwards thanks to a gift card from my mother-in-law! Overall it was a very nice and low key day; a great start to my 29th year. 🙂

As for Jax’s doctor visit, everything went really well. He’s 30 lbs and 38.5 inches, which is 53rd and 98th percentile respectively. He’s so tall! Everything checked out great and he’s developing right on schedule. He had no shots this time (yay!) and he doesn’t go back until he’s 3. They always ask such strange questions, like does he alternate feet to climb up stairs or ladders…we had to really think about it, but yes he does if he can reach. He also got to answer some of the questions on his own, like what does he like to do? His answer: I like to play drums and piano and guitar at Guh-Guh’s…oh and go swimming! Dr. Helft was pretty impressed with him! 

We love seeing Dr. Helft and we liked how when it was time to check Jax’s diaper area, he made sure to stress to Jax that only him and mommies are allowed to look there, no matter what. J and I have wondered when and how to start introducing that concept, and it’s sad that that even has to be taught to children, but alas it is a sad world out there. So we left our visit with a very healthy and happy boy who even got a lollipop for being so good (unlike the girl in the room down the hall who was literally screaming nonstop for her whole visit).

Everything else in Jax’s world has been mostly good. He’s blossoming in personality and vocabulary and every day he amazes us. He knows how to get to ours and the grandparents’ houses by telling us to turn left or right. He knows all of his colors and can now song Twinkle, Twinkle and the ABC’s (most of the time). He’s started counting and is good with 1-4 and 8-11 (but leaves out 5, 6, 7). He loves puzzles and cars and animals. He loves playing outside and even helped us wash the cars the other day. He helps me take out the garbage and feed the guineaa pigs.  He can mostly dress himself and has gone on the potty more, but not frequently enough to say were making much progress. He’s kind of gone backwards with it here he’s just too lazy to go sit on the potty, or he only wants to do it when he wants candy. He talks in full sentences now and even has some funny little sayings. “Oh c’mon!” when something is really funny or if he is struggling or drops something. “Wait a second” and “No wait, I mean…” when he’s talking too fast to pick the right thing to say. He makes jokes, he tickles us, he loves to snuggle. 

Oh, I forgot to mention he moved to the toddler bed and HE LOVES IT! He was fighting a nap one day and as we were watching him on the monitor, he started climbing out. J went in there and he was halfway out of the bed, so we knew it was time to move him to the big boy bed. We converted the crib and moved his room around right then and surprisingly (because we’ve heard horror stories) he just goes right to bed. He doesn’t get up multiple times and throw fits about going to bed. He just climbs up there like a big boy and lays down. There has only been one time that he got up when we put him down but that was it. We put him back to bed and he stayed no problem. He gets up in the morning now and comes to our room to get us up, although we usually wake up when we hear him open his door. He loves his new room setup and newfound freedom to play in his room now. He’s getting so big…

And so is his attitude. For all the wonderful things he is and does, his tantrums are awful. The other day he just screamed at us all day and cried and hit us and banged on the walls and carried on. J and I were both completely frazzled by the end of the day. Timeouts didn’t work, spanking didn’t work, yelling didn’t work. The only thing that worked (not really) was ignoring him. At the end of the night he threw such an awful tantrum after bathtime that I just ended up just hugging him so tight so he couldn’t move until he calmed down, which took a good ten minutes. I just kept telling him I loved him him even though he was acting in a way I didn’t like. He kept saying “Don’t say I love you!” So I just said it more. LOL A friend of ours was over that night and was like OMG – they’d never seen him act like that. It’s been an unbearable couple of days, and I think he’s just testing his boundaries and trying to be Mr. Independent and getting frustrated when we still help him or do things instead of letting him do them. He’s just gotta learn that sometimes mommies still have to help because he’s just not big enough yet.

He’s getting there, though. Our big little boy is growing up so fast, too fast. 🙂 

Jax & MoMo in his Big Boy Bed!

 

Big Truck Day

Today was Big Truck Day at our local library! Mama had a doctor’s appointment so just Jax and I went. We got to see two types of dump trucks, a bus, and Jax’s favorite: a fire truck! He loved being able to drive all of the different trucks and honking the horns, of course. We had a really good time. 🙂

My last day at work was this past Friday. I had a phone interview on Monday for a work at home position and although it is only part time, I’m excited to learn a new skill. For the time being I’m just enjoying being a stay at home Mommy!

Here are some pics from Big Truck Day! I love this kid so much!  

              

Fucking Ridiculous

I found out on June 17th that I’m losing my job on June 30th. Count ’em – that’s only 9 working days notice! I’ll be honest, I’m not shocked, but I am surprised they gave us such short notice. They sent us some bullshit letter about how they sort of knew but didn’t want to tell anyone. What?! At least we could have been planning this whole time instead of being blindsided. I’ve been doing contract-based work for about a year and half, since our company bought our building from a large financial institution that was looking to cut some costs. I’ve been on 3 different projects since they took over, had benefits whose costs keep escalating, and lived in constant fear that “this would be the month” that they let us all go. Over the past few months, I’ve watched numerous co-workers and friends flee the company to more stable jobs or be let go (they like to call it “furloughed” and then they never bring you back), always clinging on to some stupid hope that it wouldn’t happen to me. My pay is phenomenal – thanks to the large financial institution hiring me in at that pay (we haven’t gotten raises in close to 3 years) which our current company kept paying us. So we’re a little stressed out that I’m losing my pay. But I’m not stressed about losing this place. Honestly, I’m rather relieved.

It’s awful to have to come to work at a place you absolutely loathe, that offers you no incentive or enrichment. Sure the pay was great, but the mental stress of having to deal with fearing for your job on the daily has taken its toll. I’m tired. I’ve already started putting in job applications and started cutting back on some of our monthly costs to hopefully keep us floating above water until my unemployment pay kicks in. I hope I can move into another job quickly so it won’t get too bad. We’ll figure it out though, we always do. At least my company decided to open up overtime for us to finish out our work before the 30th, so I’m banking in on some 13-14 hour days next week to get as much as I can, plus working 8-5 today.

This all wouldn’t be as bad if J wasn’t also losing her job toward the end of the year. We actually found out at the beginning of June that this was happening, but at least she had four months’ notice. We were planning around me still having my job, so of course those plans had to be thrown out of the window and completely rewritten. Even through all of this stress, we both agree that it feels like we’re being “guided” in some direction, toward some other path. I know that things will work out in the end, they always do, but its still just frustrating and stressful to have to deal with it at all.

On the bright side is Jaxson. He’s so amazing, when he’s not hitting or kicking us or being a “naughty boy” on purpose. He’ll even tell you: “I’m not nice boy, I’m naughty boy” like in Walmart last night when he would. not. cooperate. Mostly though, he really is a nice, good boy. He has such a kind heart and such love for his mommies. He gives the best snuggles and kisses and ugga-muggas (rubbing noses). He loves his stuffed animals, and bring them everywhere. Swimming is one of his favorite activities, and he can now swim around both grandparents’ pools on his own (with floaties of course). He can have full conversations with you now, and you can understand so much of what he says. He knows all of his colors, shapes, and ABCs, and about half his numbers 1-10. The thing that comes along with this boost in vocabulary, however, is that he is now repeating literally everything we say. In fact, last night, Jaxson says: “That’s fucking ridiculous!” Well, yes it is buddy, but I think it’s time we implement some censorship for J and I. 🙂

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