37 Weeks | Full Term
Final countdown ya’ll! We hit the 37 week mark today, and as you know, that means this baby can come at any time. I don’t have crazy high hopes for anything in the very near future, though. I mean Jack was two weeks late, so I have no real reason to think this one wants to come early.
I go back and forth between thinking how not ready I am to have this baby, and willing him to get the heck outta there already. With Jackson, I hit a point where I would do anything to get him out of there. I was beyond ready to meet that boy by the time he finally decided to make his appearance. I can’t say that I have really hit that point yet, but there are definitely moments where I feel like I have. Like when I have unbearable hip pain, mixed with heartburn, contractions, and other unpleasant things that come with the end of pregnancy. But most days I worry about how Jackson will handle his baby brother having the audacity to come out of my belly and into his little world. What was I thinking changing his entire life? He is going to be so confused when this tiny demanding being is monopolizing all of his mama time. what if he hates the baby? What if he is too rough with him and hurts him? what if, what if, what if… I am sure we will figure things out as we go along, and most of the time I feel really confident in my ability to give big love to two tiny boys, but there are moments where I am already feeling really guilty. He didn’t ask for this, so if he has a hard time adjusting, I will feel pretty bad about it. Only time will tell us what his reaction will be, though, so I these days I am savoring every single moment of these last days of Jack as an only child, and giving him as much love and attention possible.
We talk alot about his baby brother, and how he will come out of mommy’s belly soon, and I ask him what he thinks he will do when he comes out. My favorite responses so far:
"He will cry"
"I will play with him"
"I will rub his head"
"I teach him to play trucks"
He is dead on about the crying, and I can’t wait to see him do all of those other things. In the meantime, we will be over here soaking up our last days as a family of three, and waiting for this tiny boy to come out and meet us.
Has anyone seen my Waldo?!
Happy Halloween Ya’ll!
(the glasses! I cant evennnn handle it!)
Lord of the Gourds
We visited our favorite pumpkin patch/corn maze this weekend! (You might remember that we also visited this same place last year) It is in a quaint little town, and has plenty of pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes, kettle corn, and barnyard animals you can imagine. Everything that makes October in Virginia lovely.
Grandma & Grandpa came along too, and Jackson had to teach grandpa how to milk a cow:
The highlight for Jackson was his prize pony ride. We have been working really hard on potty training this week, and I am so overjoyed to report that it appears to be working (many trips out of the house with no accidents!). I have found that bribery is my best tactic, and so I told him if he went potty (in a port-a-potty, no less!) then he could ride a pony. He did, so celebratory pony ride it was!!!
Grandma joined in on the pony-fun :)
He was also a fan of the slides:
The three amigos:
Of course, we did the corn maze too:
I can’t believe how much he has grown in a year:
Above: October 27, 2012 | Below: October 27, 2013
2.5 | Jack’s Half Birthday Tradition
Half birthdays rock. While birthdays are special and a great time to celebrate the life of a little one, I think I might be partial to the simplicity of a half birthday. Each year on October 17th (or a day early - i work in the office all day tomorrow, so I couldn’t be sure I’d have time for cake baking between work & bedtime) I make half of a cake for my little man, and we celebrate the joy he has brought into our lives. I have had people question this tradition, and tell me that it was a waste of time, or that ‘i should stop that now, because soon i will have TWO babies, and that’s a lot of cake to have to make…’ - um. its a cake. its not that hard to mix a box of powder with some eggs and water and let it sit in my oven for thirty minutes. Its also not hard to spread some sugary paste called icing on it. I make cakes all the time for no reason - I am happy to actually HAVE a reason for once ;).
Half birthday haters aside, I can’t say enough wonderful things about Jackson. He is so full of life, innocent, and FUN that sometimes I have to actually pinch myself to make sure that he isn’t a dream. I could tell you that he talks in full, complete sentences and uses every pronoun correctly, or that he loves puzzles and pasta and Mickey Mouse, along with a MILLION other things, but instead, I will just tell you that he brings so much joy to this life, and that even though it has only been two and a half years, I don’t know how I ever existed before him.
In keeping with tradition, I made a half cake (really its just one whole cake, cut in half and stacked - people keep asking what i do with the other half - there is no other half!) to enjoy after dinner. This year I did a tie dye cake with white icing and a sprinkle heart on top.
Jackson was REALLY excited about it this year, and kept pretending to eat the cake and threatening to stick his fingers in it. He did eventually eat it, and he was more than happy with the outcome!
In other news - today I found an old point and shoot camera that I had back in college, and told Jackson that he could have it. Kid was so flipping happy, and walked around for a good hour taking random photos of random things, all of which were hysterical. When it came time to have cake, he ran to get his camera and took some photos of it too ;).
Introvert vs. Extrovert
Jackson becoming fast friends with a little girl at Panera
Jackson is so friendly. The opposite of shy. This is really strange to me, because i was painfully shy as a child. It was actually debilitating. With a September 7th birthday, I was deemed ‘not ready’ to start kindergarten at age 5, and needed to begin school the following year at nearly 6 years old. Even then, I remember being so afraid of the other children, my teachers, and people in general, really. My extreme shyness extended all the way through elementary school, and I can count the actual friends I had at the time on one hand. In 4th grade I met a girl named Ashley, who was the opposite of shy. She was the most outgoing, wild, fun person I could have dreamed up, and I remember the tightening of my chest and anxiety when she approached me for the first time and said “why don’t you talk to people!?!” I was paralyzed with unnecessary fear, and simply shrugged my shoulders. She responded that we were going to be friends, and that we were just going to have to change the fact that I was shy. I’m not sure if she realizes it, but Ashley probably changed the entire trajectory of my life in that simple gesture. We became fast friends and I slowly came out of my shell, and by the time we got to middle school I was much more outgoing and accepting of other people.
Jackson has already shown just how outgoing he is. Since he was about 12 months old, he has been saying “Hi!!!” and waving to all people from his seat at the front of each shopping cart. Sometimes people ignore him - which I find to be absolutely strange and rude, so I compensate by saying hello to him for them. No need to let him know how crappy the world can be at such a young age, right? He also has no problem approaching other children and people and jumping into whatever game they are playing. He makes friends at the playground, the kids in his class at school always greet him happily when I drop him off once a week, and just the other night at Panera, he became fast friends with a little girl as they hung out by the fireplace. I am so proud of his ability to trust that people are kind and friendly, and the way he can insert himself into any situation seamlessly. I also find myself watching him with awe and wonder, trying to figure out just how he got to be this way. It certainly is not something I can take credit for, judging by my introverted childhood.
Most of all, I am so grateful that he isn’t painfully shy like I was. Oh, and that girl Ashley? She is still one of my favorite friends, and is a wonderful mama to two little beauties. The oldest one is three, and she is wild, carefree, and fun - an extrovert, just like her mama.
Airplanes | Big Boy Room
Back in April, Jackson made the switch from a crib to toddler bed. It was really simple considering the front of his crib just came off, and another rail took its place. We were a bit nervous about the change, and worried that he would never sleep in his bed again. Luckily, we were blessed with a child who loves his sleep, still naps for a 2-3 hour block each day, and never had a problem staying in his bed. When we bought the new house a couple months later, we decided to go ahead and use the crib for the new baby. It converts all the way to a full size bed, but we also had a full size bed sitting in storage. I took the opportunity to go a little crazy on the big boy room - if we were taking his crib away and putting him in a brand new space, we might as well make it really special first. I hopped on pinterest to look at airplane room ideas, and settled on a red & navy color scheme, and got to work.
I am a big fan of refinishing furniture, so I used my special chalk paint recipe and painted the bed white (it was black before) and lightly distressed it. I also re-purposed the dresser that used to be in my closet at the old house, which I had already painted red & distressed. I wanted to keep some pieces of his nursery in the space, so I reused his blue rug, hung the banner that my sweet friend Ali made at his baby shower (perfect colors, by the way!) and made sure to put the quilt I made him at the foot of the bed :)
I bought the kerosene lantern from the camping section of walmart. It was $6.00 and I liked that it was red. The wooden plane on the dresser came from grandma & grandpa’s house. I also bought wooden letters from Michaels and painted them navy to form the word ‘fly’ to hang above his closet. The Jackson bench pictured below was a gift to Jackson from his Grandma & Grandpa at his first Christmas. The letters come out and act as a puzzle too, which he loves!
I found these framed airplane photos at Home Goods recently marked down to $10 each, and thought they would be a perfect fit in the room as well.
The giant wooden list of life lessons was another great find at Home Goods for only $20!
I used bamboo shades & white curtains on the windows, and love the feel that it gives the room. The cubby was a gift from Grandma, who stumbled upon it at a local consignment store and knew how perfect it would look in the room - the jack and two stars inside of it were repurposed from J’s baby room, and I added a red truck, some model airplanes, and a few of his favorite books. Eventually more airplanes will live inside, and of course, his ears from his trips to disney live on top.
My favorite feature of the room is, hands down, that red airplane. I found it for TWENTY dollars at Ross, and knew it had to be Jack’s! It was the perfect colors, and I cannot believe that it was only $20!!! I went to another Ross location the same day and snatched up the grey plane and the smaller silver one as well.
Overall, I love the feel of this big boy room. It is the perfect amount of big boy, blended with some items carried over from my baby as well. Jackson loves showing it off to all of our guests as well. The greatest thing about the room - it cost next to nothing. The only things purchased were the bedding ($40), Planes ($50 total), All wall art ($50 total), Lantern ($6), blinds ($50) and curtains ($16 total) for a grand total of about $200.00! This doesn’t include the mattress & box spring & hideaway bed rails (best invention ever), which were about $200.00 total, and less expensive than any crib we would’ve gotten for baby brother. Everything else was either given to him (cubby, wooden plane, bench) or repurposed from another area of the house (throw pillows, dresser, nursery items)!
Aside from the $200 price tag, the best part is how much my little guy loves his space :)