Monday, October 26, 2009

Time of my Life

I thought I'd give a little tribute to the hometown hero, David Cook, and his first single. This past year really has been the time of my life- surpassing anything I could have ever thought possible. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is by far the best year that I have ever had. Jackson is really the best thing that has ever happened to me. Despite the delivery being on my list of the worst things, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I love my family so very much and I am truly so blessed with a great husband and the sweetest little boy.

Our family- 1 day old

I knew from the time that I was a little girl playing with my cabbage patch dolls that I wanted to be a mommy and waiting until I "established a career" or "spending my 20s learning about myself" never appealed to me. Sure, someday after I finally finish my Master's I cannot wait to establish a professional career, but having a family is and will always be my main priority despite the busy lives we lead. My first year as a mommy has seemed to have flown by in a bit of a blur. Jackson was (is) continually changing and a lot of the time was spent adapting to that change and enjoying Jackson during each stage and all of the "firsts" that come with the first year.

Christmas 2008
2 months

The first few months were definitely challenging with the crazy sleep schedule and entering in to the life unknown, but we managed- with much help and support from our friends and family!!! My mom would come stay with us about once a week and that was such a nice boost of energy to get a full nights sleep! Linda came over once to just hold Jackson because wanted to be held, but I desperately needed to get some stuff done around the house. And the ladies down in the nursery at church got an earful of questions about sleep habits, doctor visits, temperatures and anything else you can imagine!!!

Jackson and Daddy- 12 days old
First Sunday morning at church

Along with knowing that I wanted to be a mommy since being a little girl, I always had to desire to be a stay-at-home mom, so the decision to stay home was not a hard decision. My mom had the opportunity to stay home with us and I joke about the first time I ever remember getting a key to our house- I was a senior in high school because whenever I came home from school or anything, mom was always there. After a year of staying at home, I absolutely love it and wouldn't want to have to go back to work like so many others do. I really enjoy spending my day with Jackson. Sometimes it's hard because I am envious of what others have, like cable tv or an iphone, but I know that those things would never bring me the joy that Jackson brings to each day- the smiles, the laughs, and just being with him.

Mommy and Jackson- 4 months
California Vacation

Born with the ability to be a people pleaser, fueled by the fact that he is spoiled to death with attention, it is no surprise that Jackson saved some of his "firsts" for when we had the camera out. Okay, so it is probably just because we always have the camera near by and in short distance so we are able to catch the newest trick or super cute moment. We got his first time rolling over on video and he decided to stand up by himself for the first time during his 10 month picture. I remember the Sunday afternoon when Jackson shared his first smile for Daddy- it was such a neat thing! We sat on the couch for 30 minutes at least, making silly faces and sounds just for a tiny little smile. Derek and I were so excited.

One of Jackson's
First Smiles

This year was full of calls to Derek during the work day, "Jackson just giggled!", "You are SO changing the next diaper!", and "Should I call the doctor?". We have had really enjoyed our time as a family-- going to DeAnna Rose, visiting California, trips the park, and even just going to the store. We have totally had our share of "No, it's YOUR turn to get up!" and "I changed the last zillion diapers!" but I have to say that Derek and I are closer now because of Jackson despite the late night one-liners. Derek has been there for me when I cried because Jackson had allergies and the times when I am all but throwing Jackson at him when he walks in the door after a long day at work. I'd like to think we make a great team, each bringing our own strengths to the table, doing our best to raise Jackson in a healthy manor.

Jackson's first boat ride
Sacramento, CA- 4 months

I am going to end this post (I know it's long) with some moments from this past year that haven't been "blog-worthy" in themselves, but I don't ever want to forget:
  • As soon as we got home from the hospital, I heard Derek yelling in the bedroom. It was Derek's first time changing a diaper ever and Jackson peeped all over him!
  • Emotionally, I was a mess when we first brought Jackson home from the hospital. The next day, I was looking through the zillion pictures we had and cried because I thought it was going by too quickly. Seriously.
  • I took Jackson to the library when he was only a few weeks old and while we look at some books (in complete silence), Jackson tooted SO loudly that most of the people in the library could probably hear. I was so embarrassed.
  • When Jackson took a bath in his baby tub, he soaked the entire bathroom from splashing.
  • Jackson has always found jumping funny- an early trick to get those baby smiles and giggles!
  • You DO NOT eat in front of Jackson EVER! Even since he was a little guy, he did not like anyone eating anything in front of him without sharing whether it be a snack or a meal, or a little friend having a bottle.
  • When Jackson choked on a cracker at Wendy's, I went home and cried. I was so scared.
  • The time that Derek and I took Jackson to Jose Peppers for dinner and Jackson all but claimed the attention of our entire half of the restaurant!
  • Jackson became so attached to his blanket(s) just overnight at around 10 months. We don't leave the house without one.
  • When he bit my toe- after he actually had teeth. OUCH!
  • I was SO stressed out when Jackson fell and knocked his head on a sharp corner of the bookshelf. He had a goose-egg the size of a golf ball in just seconds. I think I needed to hold him more than he needed me to hold him!
  • When Derek played was playing darts in his parents basement, Jackson thought it was SO funny when he pulled the arrows out of the dart board. Not when he threw them, only when he took them out. He was cracking up in tears.
  • The lemon at Chipotle.
  • Jackson tries to escape to outside every single day, multiple times. And when he would get outside in shorts and realized that it hurts his knees when he crawled, he stuck his tush up in the air and crawled using his feet instead!
  • Jackson can pick up anything and pretend it's a telephone. He'll hold it up to his ear when you say, "Hello!" Maybe this is a sign he sees me on mine a little much! :)
Mommy and Jackson
Pumpkin Patch-- 11 months

I will never forget the feeling when he first reached for me or how he smiles at me when he first wakes up. Or how we wait by the window for daddy to come home and how I am nearly beaten to death because he flails his arms in excitement when he sees Derek. I cherish the moments he looks at me to make sure I am still watching as if to seek my approval and when he is playing and rushes over to me to give me some lovin' and heads back to play. Nothing could have prepared me for the hard work that it has been being a mommy this year, but I could never have comprehended the love I have for my baby. Nothing in this world compares to the joy I receive every single day from being his mommy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Family Pictures

A friend of mine, Kasey Allen, took some time last week to head up to Unity Village in Lee's Summit to take some family pictures for us. We ended up with some great shots! Here are some of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

I found this in my drafts and wanted to go ahead and post (even though it was a little over three weeks ago)!

We went to the pumpkin patch today. Linda, Jackson, David (the little boy I watch) and I headed up to Faulkner's Farm in Kansas City and we had such a good time! The weather was perfect- chilly, but sunny- perfect fall weather.

It is so much fun to take Jackson to do things these days. He is interested in so much and now that he is walking more, he really chooses what interests him at the moment. He enjoyed looking at the animals today, but he didn't want to look too closely- or touch.

The hay ride was fun. I haven't been on a hay ride in years! Jackson loved looking around at everything and was babbling about it too. Jackson played on the swings and the slide and he toddled all around. We had fun looking at the pumpkins too and we even found some Jackson-size pumpkins that promptly found their way into Jackson's mouth.

For me though, the most fun part of my day at the pumpkin patch is to see Jackson having so much fun and enjoying himself! And it is really neat to see his personality shining through. He is such a social little boy- he loves being around people and he squeals with delight when he gets to play with other kids. He is also for sure a go-getter, not afraid to just start climbing or exploring. He is ready to figure out the world and is not content to just watch from the stroller. I really truly can't wait to learn more about Jackson and the little guy he is going to become!

Click Here for more pictures.

checking out the horse

Jackson just looks so cool!

Jackson riding the tin horses with David

I'm on a mission to the top!

My little man with the pumpkins!


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