Monday, June 25, 2012

Celebrating Love

This weekend J & I got to celebrate love.  We got to support one of my best friends from high school as she walked down the aisle to the rest of her life. 

And I could not be happier for Kristie (aka Drew) & Joe.
Any man who serenades his bride as she walks down the aisle, altering words to personalize them to her, has me (and the rest of the audience) in tears.
Granted, he was singing to this beauty!

J even fell head over heels for her.  He kept asking if he could sit on Drew's lap... It was so sweet... 

As a ring bearer, he was spectacular.  His 'Mother Hen' persona came out in full force to all of our benefit on Saturday, as he helped the sweet flower girl make it down the aisle. 
Afterwards, he relaxed in his glory waiting on dinner...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ocean's Adventure Week

This week J got to lean all things related to the Ocean.  He's been in the Gulf, which for purposes of helping him understand we've equated to the Ocean.  I think being able to relate his experience helped make this week even more fun for him.

He's tasted salt water.  They were not supposed to swallow it, but J proudly announced he took a big shark drink.  So awesome!  It was yucky.

He's learned about Sea Turtles, which of course led to me book shopping... I've started adding some of his books to my iPad app, and thinking of starting one for him too... I love books, and I love he has developed the same love... However, sometimes, it is just easier to have them e-version... This weekend is a great example as we travel to my parents.

He's so full of facts.  Seeing pictures of different sea creatures & telling me what they are randomly.  A sting ray was on the Octonots this morning, as I was getting ready for work & he was hanging out in my bed waiting for me to make breakfast & he started naming the Ocean animals as he saw them.  This makes my mornings so much fun.

With our pool, he is becoming such a little fish... He would swim all day every day if you let him.  He seriously cannot get enough of the water.  And the best part...  It is an activity where we just turn

And I get to add this to my home decor: 
Art by J.  Love it!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Taken after practice Tuesday as the parents were chatting & the Monkey's were playing...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Um, No. Not cool.

Less than 2 weeks before the first of two weddings J is in this summer, he proudly comes home with a tattoo. 

From school.  This school that I LOVE.

On his neck.
And no one could tell Miss Cheryl how this happened.

I was flipping out... However, employing all my skills to rationalize, I calmly asked the morning teachers before sharing how I felt...

She owned up to it right away.  A fellow classmate did bring them (J got that right), but the teacher actually put it on after many reassurances from Jacob that his mommy wouldn't care.

I let her know, I did, especially due to the location.  And J learned the hard way, as both Miss Cheryl & I scrubbed it off... I said, next time it has to be on his leg.  That way I can cover it up, if we need to go into public.  She assured me it would not happen again. 

I did learn though, a temporary tattoo may very well work to be the "be good" bribe during the ceremony...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day.  We had a really relaxing day with zero pressure.  It was AWESOME.  It was an awesome family day.

We started the day off with presents for daddy, followed by fun & laughter.

Is there anything better than listening to a child's laughter?  Uncontrolled, unrestrained - totally carefree laughter.  Matt figured out how to get it from Jacob Saturday night using his "English to Spanish" conversion software and we played with it over and over and over again.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sprinkler Fun!

Prior to our pool being fixed, all the hot weather and mommy learning how often/short to trim the grass, we spent a lot of time watering it after cutting it too short *burned* it. 

J LOVED IT!  He had so much fun running through the sprinkler.  It was such a great reminder of how much fun the little things in life are for us!
I just love his smile!
Now, every time I go to water the grass, J wants to play in the sprinkler...

Summer fun at its best!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Little Engineer

For Christmas, J's grandparents got him this awesome little building set.  It contains pieces and directions for an assortment of projects. 
 For J, this was so exciting.  He loves taking his basic Hummer apart, then putting it back together, over and over and over and over again.  So new challenges?  Oh yeah, he has been bugging me to open it.

I'll be honest, upon opening it, I was hesitant to open the bags.  I could tell this was over his development at this point.  He easily could pick out the pieces needed, but assembling them would take an adult helper.  So we have been procrastinating.  However, J wore me down over the Spring, and we put together the airplane recently.
He was so proud!!

And it was fun!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Time Flys...

All I have to do is get busy & time here gets eliminated... :(

J had a very busy week last week... He spent time with both grandparents...  He LOVES that.  He wishes everyone could just move into our home.  He loves spending time with his grandparents so much...

I'm not sure if J was a touch sick, hitting a growth spurt or just lacking in sleep, but here is how last week went...

Sunday night we had ribs for dinner.  J loves ribs, so we were surprised when he said he didn't like them.  We did get him to eat one, and he returned it to us in our bed around 1:30.  That was so many kinds of awesome.

J & I grabbed a shower while Matt changed the bedding, after which, Mommy declared TV time.  I was worried about having him lay right back down, in case he was still sick.  We ended up spending the rest of the night on the couch.  We fell asleep around 3, so when my alarm went off around 530, I moved him in with Mr. M still asleep.  The got up around 645'ish to see me off to work.  So he got around 8 hours of sleep on Sunday.

He napped 3.5 hours on Monday, and still slept his normal 8 - 5:30.  Tuesday, he did a normal 2 hour nap, but didn't get to sleep until closer to 9.  He has tball practice on Tuesday, and it was my birthday + I was getting him ready to have an overnight at Grandma & Grandpa's.  But he slept till 5:30 and was ready to go in the AM. 

Thursday night, he fell asleep at 4:45 :( making for a sad mommy, as he slept until 1115, at which point, Matt fed him yogurt & sent him back to bad by 1145 with me, in an effort to help him get the sleep he obviously needed.

Friday was J's first day at FRA's Summer Care program, and he said he did not nap well.  :(  My Dad had come to town to pick up my mom from the airport, so J rode with him.  On the way to the airport, J complained about his legs & toes hurting.  Then on the way home, my parents said he really complained and cried until he just fell asleep around 8.  He slept until 730 the next morning.  J sleeping that long is totally unheard of in our parts of the world.  He is up with the sun, like his Mommy & Daddy.  Both Mr. M & myself have to be really exhausted to sleep through the summer early sunshine.

Even sleeping so late on Saturday, J was asking for a nap before 10 while we were running errands.  As soon as we got home, I put him down & he slept from 1030 to 1.  He then helped Grandpa & me finish up our the last of our projects (we are back to 3 working garage remotes, toilet basics are functioning properly & I learned how to weed whack), we then swam for a couple of hours.  Around 5, we ran back to Home Depot to return a remote we didn't need and pick up a new sprinkler for our yard.  On the way home, J mentioned he needed another nap.  Unfortunately, with getting dinner together and doing laundry, there was to much commotion for him to settle down & nap.  The result was J leaving the dinner table almost right after we sat down, to go to bed for the night... He slept from 8'ish to 6 on Sunday morning.

We had a lazy Sunday morning with grandma & grandpa, as they took us to breakfast.  Then we got ready for J's tball game at noon.  Right after getting dressed, J mentioned he didn't want to play, he just wanted to nap.  He played pretty well considering how he felt.  After his game, we made him eat lunch, which was a total struggle, but he ate & promptly went down for a nice 3 hour nap. 

He woke up a different kid.  He was back to his playful self, who was so adamant I had a cake to blow candles out on Tuesday.  Thank you again to Miss Cheryl for helping him make his wish come true and to Miss Wendy & Skye for helping us celebrate & sharing in the yummy cupcakes!  We went swimming, had dinner and were all off to sleep on time last night with a great wake up this morning.

Whatever jazzed up last week, I'm glad we are over it... He is such a great kid when he is well rested, and so very trying when he is not... I did give him a special treat (sugar free gum) as a reward for telling me how badly he needed a nap Saturday morning, instead of just acting out in Meijer.  I told him, I was not happy with his behavior, but the fact he stopped and said "Mommy, I really need a nap" was HUGE.  I want to reinforce that, hence the reward.

There is not a clear message from J's Young Scholar teachers on what Junior Kindergarten will bring in terms of nap time, so I will be emailing his future teachers to get a better understanding what to expect.  If we do not need to worry about shortening his nap time yet, then I will put that worry off for another year... If I do, then I would LOVE some suggestions on how to help nap wean, while maintaining his restfulness... It just has such a HUGE impact on his behavior. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

hey, look at that... It's back in the 60's...

Being from the Midwest, it is well known, that Spring can be hotter than hot (seriously we spiked a 97 degrees F on Memorial Day weekend), but come June...

School gets out, pools open, and the temperature drops.

All you have to do is be ready for it, and it will no longer be warm... Until late June/early July.


So anyone who does not like it hot, you are welcome.

Pool's open for summer.

As a side note, I turned 36 today & had the best morning with J.  He was so happy & hyped up... He was one happy little boy!

He spent the day at home with Miss Cheryl.  I think he was ready to dance on the ceiling!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Last day of Young Scholars

J officially graduates to Junior Kindergarten today.  Mrs. Bach & Mrs. Sandoval have been wonderful additions to J's life this past year.  He has learned so much, and Matt & I could not be more proud of him.

And we a lot.  We learned Love & Logic together.  Learning it, using it, and being consistent has made our time together more enjoyable.

Key points for J:
- Sign language, he can do the full alphabet, certain words (hot, more), names if spelled out to him, he can do them.  He does all the names of the kiddos in his classroom from Aashray to Henry to Kaziem to Madi to etc...

It has been so much fun for me to work with him learning sign language from him.  I hope to continue working with him over the summer, as one of his before/after school & summer care teacher is deaf, so J will get lots of practice.

- Spanish as a second language.  J has not grown his Spanish speaking skills as much as his Sign Language.  He scored a 1 on his report card, so I know he is well within the goals set for him by his teachers, but I am hoping we can practice this over the summer.  He has the basics of colors and numbers, so I want to continue working those items, expanding them to include basic clothing items.  I believe a foreign language will be crucial for J as he gets older, and studies show it is so much easier to learn at this age.

- Imagination and creativity have grown exponentially.  Wow, where do I start.  J has become an independent player (not all the time) over this past school year.  I realize some of this has to do with age, but I think school has really helped J develop his skills in this area.  The weekly stories have become such a delightful treat for both me & my fellow co-workers every Friday afternoon to see what quirky twist J added to this week's story.  The most memorable has to be the insertion of me as a gravity defying super hero who saves the world from the run amok bird egg.

- Writing his name.  Granted you generally have to know what J's goal was to interpret what he was writing, but he can spell his own first and last name and even write it on a card.  I want to work on expanding that list to include basic names like Mommy, Daddy, Grandma & Grandpa this summer.  My goal is to have him writing his name more clearly going into school next fall.

- Counting.  J has finally gotten the hang of counting.  More over, he has really taken off on basic math skills.  We are constantly finding things to challenge him to count.  iPad has a wonderful game that he just loves playing that has really helped him grasp the concepts learned in the classroom. 

- Independence.  For the first time, J has recently been asking questions about why I don't call him *Jake* or being very clear on what he believes is right or wrong for him in a given moment.  Whether it has to do with what uniform option was selected, to what shoes, to (as of last week) gel in his hair.  He is so anxious to grow up and be big like Me & Daddy.  He loves spraying on deodorant and smelling so manly. 

I'm so not ready for all this independence.  This has probably been my hardest part over the past year, and yet, watching him grow & mature has also been my greatest delight.

- Not related to school, but over the past year, J has grown in his love for God.  His knowledge.  So curious he is, it is a joy to read Bible stories to him and try to explain things in terms he understands.  He has challenged me.  This quality time is some of the best spent moments of my day.   

I met a wonderful young man after his unexpected and tragic death this past fall through a couple of blogs I read.  I've known since before J was born, my greatest fear is losing him.  Jack's death was bone chilling to me as a stranger, who has since spent time learning about him and his faith.  He was such a wonderful little man with a profound faith.  His parents encouragement of his Christian learning's provided me with the swift kick I needed to open that door for Jacob. 

Not having a strong background to draw from, and frustrations with the man made rules of the Catholic Church during my Baptism, I was struggling.  Through Jack & his family, doors were opened for me and J & I think we have found a church we can be a part of.  A church we can support.  A church we can grow with in our faith.

Watching J develop a faith in God, and understanding of the real meaning of the Christmas and Easter has been one of my most rewarding achievements this year.  He still has a long way to go, but watching him say prayer before eating consistently without prompting shows me it is starting to stick.  His queries on did God make xyz show us he is listening and trying to understand.

J has grown this past year, not only educationally, but in height as well.

1st day

March 5th
Last uniform day (sniff, sniff)

Check out the change in where J hits the FRA in the heart.  Even from March he's been growing. 

So bittersweet...