Remember back here when I was in the middle of making all of the stuff for Jack's room?  And I said that I just knew that he would one day look at me and tell me how much he loved his bumper pad?  Well, get in line, folks, let me tell your future! 

Ok, maybe not that severe, but Jack definitely loves his bumper pad.  How do I know?  Remember back here when I was trying to gently nudge Jack towards his owl lovie?  Well, Jack has found his own lovie.  His bumper pad.  Seriously. 

When he goes to sleep for a nap or for the night, he rolls on his side and....hugs the bumper pad!  It is adorable.  When we walk in to check on him, you can usually spot his little hand on the outside of the bumper pad, arm wrapped around it and pulling it to him.  Or, he's rolling around in his sleep, arms flailing, looking for the bumper pad to grab!  So cute.

Yes, he has stuffed animals, he's not in need, people!  We had about 1.5 million of them!  He's just being inventive and using what he's got.  He's gifted, don't you think?

For the love of carrots

One day I walked in to Babies R Us. 

Now, as a preface to this story, I strongly dislike hate Babies R Us.  Before I had a baby and would go there for baby shower gifts, I would take a deep breath, walk in, and get busy deciphering the codes to 80 million tiny little things, things I had no idea about, and, truthfully, didn't care about.  I would spend 20 minutes figuring out if the precious friend had registered for this bottle nipple or the one next to it, that looked exactly the same to me, so why did it matter anyway...bad attitude, but true.  I would leave the store, battled and weary, guessing that one day, when I had a baby, I would love this atrocity of a mega store.

Well, things did not change when I had Jack.  Now, instead of wondering the difference between this bottle nipple and that one, now I think it's just a crazy over priced black hole of mass produced baby garb.  Still bad attitude...and not one I expected to hang around! 

Anyways, one day I walked in to Babies R Us to get some teething tabs.  Teething tabs are t hese little golden nuggets are tabs that dissolve in a teething monster's mouth and seem to settle them down for about, oh, 95 seconds...and these tabs of goodness are not found at Target...they're only found at Babies R Us.  Of course.  Taking a deep breath and diving into the isles of baby land, I found my gold-priced teething tabs and made a run for the register when I passed a small display in the front of the store.  I recognized my favorite baby food label and stopped to take a glance at the probable rip off they were offering.

The price sticker said $8.99 for 12 jars, which is like $.75 a jar.  That's about what you can get at Target, but I knew I had a coupon in my pocket that would make them much cheaper than that so I walked on by.  And then did a double one get one free!  What?  That's like $.37 a jar!  Babies R Us with a real deal?  Um, yes please!

So I stocked up.  And by stocked up, I mean got 8 flats of jars!  That's a whopping 96 jars of baby food, people!  Only catch, is that you could only get carrots, pears, and pears/raspberries.  So...Jack's been eating a LOT of carrots and pears!  And he loves both carrots and pears, which is good news. 

When we first started solid foods and fed Jack his first carrots, they ended up, of course, all over his cute little shirt.  Oh well, throw it in the wash...and then find out that carrots stain like a mother!  No getting them out.  So we've been careful, but you can't avoid the occasional carrot explosion that covers more than the bib can protect.  And it seems to be that usually he's wearing one of my favorite shirts.   Come to think of it, since I get to choose what he wears, he's usually wearing one of my favorite shirts...anyways, many cute onesies have met an early end because of the stain of carrot. 

And I'm done with it.  So from now on...

we're eating naked style!

And on another note....look how cute he is!

I'm a winner!!

I love to read blogs, especially other mommy blogs.  Who am I?  I don't know.  Anyways, some of these blogs are so cool they are constantly contacted by vendors to do a giveaway!  Isn't that fun?  Anyways, I've never entered any of the giveaways, out of laziness, mostly, and I never win anything, so why waste the time?  But last week, I entered my first giveaway...and...I won!  Woohoo!!!

One of my favorite blogs hosted this really fun giveaway for some adorable mommy jewelry, and I couldn't resist entering!  Ok, I entered like 8 times...

I was going on and on to Jeff about how much I wanted to win this giveaway, but I knew I wouldn't, so I wasn't going to get my hopes up...although they really were and I knew I'd be really disappointed when I didn't win...

Diana emailed me on Friday afternoon and told me I won and I was super excited!  I got a $30 gift certificate to apply to any of Julie's me some free shopping!

I chose this adorable Teeny Tiny Initial Necklace.  Obviously, mine will have a J on it and I chose to have Jack's birthstone as the charm instead of the pearl, and I can't wait to get it!  I know it's super cheesy, but I've been wanting something like this...

Now that I'm on a roll (is it considered a roll when it's just happened once?), I decided to enter another one!  Um, this could become addicting. 


Today was a big day.  The day of the big boy car seat installation appointment! 

Like I said before, Jack is simply getting crazy heavy in his carrier, so we went ahead and purchased our next car seat.  I did my research, asked around, and decided on a Britax Marathon. 

It got great crash ratings and Britax is a well respected brand...not to mention I found one on SALE!  Woohoo!  Because these suckers are expensive!! 

Anyways, he's not quite at the weight limit of the carrier car seat, so the new one has been sitting in our living room for about a month now.  Being the good mom that I am, right after the car seat arrived, I called the car seat check people at Cook's Children's and set up my installation appointment, because the last thing I wanted to do is to install the seat incorrectly and, God forbid, be in an accident and Jack not be as safe as possible. 

Now, I can be pretty ambitious so one day I decided that I would just go ahead and install the thing.  I mean, how hard could it be?  Long story short, that was a big time fail...these are a little more complicated looking than our current car seat base, which is super easy!  To many straps and tethers!

So Jack rode happily in his carrier car seat for a few more weeks. 

But, today was the day!  Our appointment was at 11, so around 10:30, I strapped Jack in and got ready to head out when all of a sudden...I was sad.  This is the last time I'll strap my sweet baby boy into his first car seat.  We brought him home in that carseat!  His tiny little self, all bundled up...

and then I looked at Jack today, with his legs hanging out of the seat, and growing more and more every day!  There have been lots of "last time"'s with Jack...last time to sleep in his bassinet, last time to wear the Swaddlers diapers, last time to sleep in the swing...but this one got to me for some reason.  Just thinking about all the times I looked in the mirror to check on how he's doing, in the early days, trying to figure out where his mouth was to stick the pacifier in while he screams...then today, he thinks it's hilarious when he sees my arm comes over the top of his seat to hand him whatever. 
So here it is, the last ride in the car seat carrier. 
And getting excited about the switch!

Here's Jack sitting in the car with both car seats out, patiently waiting.  The ladies with the car seat safety program were so nice, and beyond helpful!  I don't think I could have gotten it without their help...they knew exactly what to do with the crazy straps and tethers!  Go figure...

And sitting safely in the big boy seat!  He will be in this seat until he's old is a 60 pounder?  I don't know, like 4?  I have no idea.  Anyways, this car seat will be around much longer than the last one, and I imagine by the time it's time to let this one go, I'll be an even bigger basket-case about it than I was this morning. 

I simply can not say how much I am in love with this little boy.  Who would have thought...I never could have imagined. And he's getting so stinkin' big, growing up so fast, and I LOVE watching him interact with things these days.  They say they grow up fast and I feel like I'm enjoying each moment and not wishing it away...but it still goes by so fast!  I feel like tomorrow he'll be 16 and my worries about a car will be a little more than just installing a car seat safely!  EEK!!

How you know you need to do laundry...

Now, sometimes I question what Jeff chooses for Jack to wear...tonight, that's not the case.  We're struggling to figure out what Jack needs to wear to bed in this transitional season!  A little warm for footie pajamas, too cold for just a we have a few cotton pants that are left over from the cooler season that he's been wearing with a onesie to bed.  Notice I said a few...

Now, call me crazy, but I like his pajamas to match.  I mean, I like to wear matching pajamas to bed, why wouldn't I want him to!  Well, tonight we were scraping the bottom of the it's a onesie covered in airplanes that's too big (he was doing the whole 80's one shoulder thing) and pants with a crazy looking rabbit on the bottom...and obviously, he couldn't care less!

Don't you worry, his laundry is in the washer as I type! 

It's dinner time!

It's a new category!  Recipes! 

I love to cook, and love meal time with family and friends.  In the last month, we've started eating together as a family.  I shamefully admit, until last month, 99.999% of our meals were consumed sitting on the couch in front of the TV.  I guess that's kinda what you do when it's just the 2 of you, but it's not just the 2 of us anymore, and I thought it would be good to start the tradition of family dinners early!  So, even though Jack has already had his dinner, he sits in his high chair and plays with his toys while he munches on some puffs while Jeff and I eat at the table.  And we're loving it! 

And tonight....I made one of our favorite spring/summer dinners, and I just have to share this recipe.  I found it in a magazine and tweaked it to be mine, and it's simply delicious!!! 

Summer-time Pizza

your favorite pizza crust mix  (mine is's super cheap and very yummy!)
cherry tomatoes, halved
4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
your favorite salad greens (I usually use romaine because that's what I have around, but peppery arugula would be really good, too)
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 TBS olive oil
1 avocado (or my new favorite snack...the Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie pack...genius!!

Mix the pizza crust mix as instructed on the product, and allow to rise.  Heat up a 1/2 TBS of the olive oil in a skillet.  (I usually use my electric skillet.) 
Divide the pizza dough into half and roll out the dough to 1/8 in thickness.  Put the crusts into the skillet and allow to cook for a few minutes, until the crust is browned.  Spread remaining olive oil on the uncooked side of the dough and flip.  Cook until the crust is done.  Now, assemble your pizza!  Spread guacamole on the crust and top with the tomatoes, bacon, onion and greens.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the whole thing and devour! 

I should have taken a picture of it tonight, but who can pause and think when there is this goodness in front of you!

Another Example...

of Jack sitting up in things not designed to sit up in!

Can I blame this on mommy brain?

I've been excited all week.  I couldn't wait until Saturday morning!  Why?

Jeff has been taking Jack to swim lessons for a few weeks now while I go to tap.  It's been great for him to do something on his own with Jack and great for me to tap the morning away, knowing that they're having a great time together!

Since we've moved into our precious neighborhood, the neighborhood patrol has been after Jeff to sign up to help with the patrol.  He's been more than willing, even looking forward to it!  Only thing is that in order to participate, you have to take a Saturday 8am-4pm class to learn the ins and outs of the radio system.  It's a pretty official operation they're running here, people!  So, Saturday was the day that he could finally work that into his schedule, which meant I got to take Jack to swim lessons!

Now, I'm sure you're wondering what swim lessons for a 7 month old looks like...well, from what I hear, it's not much, just some water time, a little splashing, and there's something to do with a rubber ducky.

You see, I still don't know. 

Jack was up at his usual 7am this morning, not super happy (stuuuuuuuuupid teething) but happy enough to play for a little while and eat some breakfast.  It was getting close to time to go, so I spent my usual 15 minutes packing the swim bag filled with towels, extra diapers, his swim suit, and began my usual prayers, praying that Jack wouldn't poop while he was in the pool because, well, I imagine that's a gross clean up. 

I recently ordered myself some new swim suits, very mommy-ish and in a larger size than I'd like to admit, so I tried them on and decided on the best one to wear, and started getting all of my stuff together while Jack happily played on the bed.  He loves sitting on our bed.  It's positioned that I can put him on the bed and he can see himself in our full length mirror, and he loooooooooves it!  And I was loving that he was happy.  Good start to the morning over all!

It's 8:30 and it's time to go, so I buckle Jack into his car seat that is increasingly too small and get ready to head out the door.  I couldn't wait to see him in his adorable swimsuit!  I've got everything ready, and go to grab my keys.  Now, my keys usually sit on the table right beside the door.  If they're not there, they are usually in my purse.  Checked both places.  Not there.  It's then that I remember what we did last night.....

Jeff was the MC for a Relay for Life last night.  I drove out to the stadium so he could work on what he was going to say.  He drove back home after we ate dinner.  It was then that I remembered that before we went into eat, I saw my keys sitting in the cup holder and thought to myself (responsibly, I might add), "I better hide those keys!  Heaven forbid someone walk by the car while we're inside, see the keys, break the window, and use my keys to steal my car!"  So I tossed them in the console. 

Which is where they still are.  Right now.  Remember when I said that Jeff had a meeting that started at 8?  Well, that's where he is.  Where are the spare keys to the car?  In his pocket.  Really?  REALLY?  Needless to say, no swim lessons this morning. 

After wallowing in my own responsible thinking turned stupidity, figuring that I would obviously miss swim lessons and my much looked forward to lunch with the ladies, I took Jack out of his car seat and put him down for a nap.  And after thinking about it, I called the locksmith.  It's really not safe to be home with a baby and no way to get anywhere.  What if something happened!  I might need to get somewhere!  Or maybe it's just that I don't like feeling stranded.  Anyways, after I called the locksmith, Jeff called and is on his way home to unlock the car.  He could basically just do a drive by, click his clicker, and keep on moving back to the meeting.  Thankfully, it's not too far away. 

So, lesson learned!  Always know where your keys are.  At least lesson learned until next time...

Am I mean?

Like I said the other day, Jack usually goes down for his nap about an hour after he gets up.  Seems kinda quick, but he always acts ready!  Although in the past week, I've thought about holding him out a little longer...his morning nap is becoming incredibly short!  Like 45 minutes short.  This wonderful break-for-mamma-time-to-shower-and-read (and maybe even watch a little Rachel Ray) nap used to stretch for at least an hour and a half. 

Well, since this nap has been so short lately, I've been just letting Jack stay in his crib for a little while once he's awake.  I mean, when it gets to the point that I turn off the shower and hear him jabbering after being asleep for 30 minutes, there's not much left to do but towel off and go about my morning routine with him happily jabbering away in his crib!  So...usually he stays in his crib for an extra 30 minutes after he's that bad?  I assure you he's not crying, just talking!  If he cries, I head in there and know nap time is surely over.  But if he's not crying, he's just fine, right?  And it's not all selfish, I promise!  I honestly think he'll fall back asleep...which he usually doesn't, but maybe sometimes does...

So next week we'll start pushing it and stay up an hour and a half or 2 before napping to see if that helps.  See, when he gets up, he's still tired, I can tell!!  So maybe staying up longer will equal longer nap time...hopefully!

Ok, so a few more things...

Remember this picture that I keep coming back to?

OMG, he's soooooo tiny!  Well, now Jack can fully spin himself around in the exersaucer so he can get to any toy he wants to!  It's pretty amazing.  He loves it most of the time...until he realizes why it's nicknamed "the circle of neglect".

Another thing he loves to do it sit up.  Yes, I know I've said that like a million times, but he likes to sit up in things that aren't designed for him to sit up in!  Like his carrier car seat.  He's still in his infant carrier seat, and is below the weight limit (which is can keep the babies in that thing until their 22lbs...well, the car seat itself weighs over 10 pounds to you're lugging around 35 lbs!  Who can do that?!?!!?) but that's about to change. 

As you can see, when you put the kiddo in, they lay back, kinda like a bassinet, and you strap them in.  Well, Jack will not have any of this.  He's a big boy and big boys sit up!  It's a battle to get him to actually lay down in it!  Once he's strapped in, he's fine, but he doesn't like the laying down part!  The stroller is slightly reclined, you know, for comfort sake, but no, Jack likes to sit straight up!  I guess he's working on his posture??  Anyway, we bought our next car seat a few weeks ago and it's sitting in the living room waiting to be installed next week.  There are so many straps and teathers, I'm taking it to the car seat safety place so they can show me how to install it!  It's a little intimidating and scary, so I'll let the experts do it.  And I know Jack will be thankful. 

Laaaaaaaaate Easter Pics

Jack had a cold on Easter...and was not happy about it.  We did snap a few decent pics inbetween fuss sessions!

On Easter morning, I put Jack in his cute little blue Easter bubble suit and...Jeff said he looked like a girl.  Now, Jeff NEVER has bad things to say about what I put Jack in, so I decided to go ahead and take his advice and do a quick change before we walked out the door.  Thankfully, I had this cute smocked outfit waiting in the wings!  I'd picked it up at a consignment shop back when Jack was tiny.  I'm actually thankful he wore it on Easter!  He's getting so big that it will be the only time he'll get to wear it!

Maybe I should try lipstick once in a while...oh well!  At least Jack is smiling and you can't see the snot running out of his nose!

7 months

I can't believe it's already been another month!  Jack's getting so big. 

Top 5 New Things That Happened in Month 6

1.  Jack can pop that paci back in his mouth like a pro!  I used to long for the day he could do this...and now he can!  It's wonderful. 

2.  He's loving eating a few finger foods.  His favorite is toast that I've cut into sticks.  Apparently they're called toast soldiers...learn something new every day!  Anyways, he gnaws on these until they're pretty mushy and gross...and he loves it!

3. Jack can sit up really really well now.  Like sit by himself for a long time on his own.  Each morning, Jack is up at about 7, has his bottle, and plays on the floor with his toys for about 45 minutes before his morning nap.  He is such a content's funny, while he's playing, I'm up getting my own breakfast, checking email, etc, and lately, he really wants me to watch him play!  He'll look around for me, checking to see where I am and what I'm doing!  He loves it when I sit on the floor with him and watch him play.  It's his favorite time.  He's also at the point where he will catch himself if he starts to fall backwards, and he'll kinda roll down to get on his tummy...which, I'm sure you remember, was not a favorite place to be for quite a while.  He doesn't hate being on his tummy and.....

4.  he's working on crawling!  Kinda.  He's not really close, but he's able to lift up his upper body with his arms and lift up his little bottom with his legs, now the next thing on the list?  Do it at the same time!  Oh is my life about to change....

5.  Jack has definitely found his voice, and realized just how loud he can be.  He loves to get really excited, and when he does, he screams, he loves to be startled, (a video is a must for this one) he yells in delight, he loves to sit at any restaurant and shriek.  If you live in North Texas, then you've heard him.  Thankfully it's a shreik of joy, not of fussiness! 

What a joy he is, I am absolutely in love and feel beyond blessed to be where we are!

teething + a cold + possible earache = not fun times

So, Jack's first teeth popped up!  Yay!  So fun.  And then the not sleeping happened. 

I'll spare you the gory details, but just know that last night, he cried in his crib for an hour and a half before finally falling asleep.  And this was with a dose of Motrin and some teething tabs.  I can't even tell you what constant crying does to the mental state of a mom.  Oh, we cooked our hamburgers like we'd planned, watched America's Funniest Home Videos (guilty pleasure), all with the sounds of a crying 7 month old in the back ground. 

No we didn't neglect him.  We would go in every 10 minutes and make sure he was ok, give him his paci back, pat his tummy, talk him down, but as soon as we left his sight, it was back to the crying.  I mean, he was so worked up that he was sweating and his hair was wet with drool and tears.  It was terrible.  I took him out a few times just to comfort him, but as soon as he was back, crying ensued. 

He doesn't have a fever, so I figured it's not an earache...but I just called the DR and the nurse said he could have an earache with out a fever!  Who knew!  So we're going in this afternoon.  Hopefully there's something that can help this little man!  And his mamma!  As of right now, baby needs some meds and mamma needs a glass of wine!

Japanimation, Scotland, and the Revolutionary War

My first few years of teaching were spent in a low socioeconomic area and my last few years of teaching were spent in a high socioeconomic area.  People always ask me which one I liked the most...which is a super hard question, because both were absolutely wonderful for completely different reasons.  One place taught me to deeply love my students and how to be their friend, care taker and advocate.  One place taught me how to set my expectations high for the students, how to spur them on to their greatest potential and how to actually teach! 

Last night, I was asked by one of my early former students to be their friend on Facebook.  She's now a senior in high school, which makes me feel incredible old...since I was her 4th grade teacher!  Dang, I'm old.  Anyways, it was so interesting checking out her profile, reading how she's doing, learning that she is pregnant, and just realizing how much I prayed for my kiddos at the time, but haven't in a long time. 

I was checking out her friends, seeing if she was friends with any of my other former students when I came across a little girl who I absolutely loved.  I honestly thought of her as my child.  She was from a difficult family, a minority in a predominately minority group, picked on, strange...she was finally diagnosed as having aspergers when she was in my class.  She was enthralled with the Revolutionary War, and could give any history professor a run for their money.  She loved Japanese animation and Scotland...where her ancestors were from.  She looked unkept, never had her hair combed, wore dirty clothes to school.  And I fell in love.  I was her stability.

Each morning before school, she would come into my room and I would fix her hair...comb it out, braid it or put it in pig tails with cute, colorful, girly clips (and some days, wash and sanitize my hands immediately!).  And then she would catch up on some of her never ending pile of late work or read under the reading tree.  She would talk to me about the Japanimation books she was reading, and even lent me a few to read...I learned that Japanimation books are read from the back to the front, and countless things about the Revolutionary War...and even tried to get her parents to allow her to go to a youth camp I worked at during college. 

After I left my school, I lost touch with this little girl.  Seeing her on Facebook brought back so many memories.  And convicted me to never forget God's children who he let me teach for a year.  She's listed her religious beliefs as atheist, and is into war reenactment.  Man, have I been burdened to pray.  I used to pray that she would make it through the tough years of middle school and high school, and then go on to something great, because I knew she was so bright and capable...I used to talk to her about going to college, hoping to set her mind to what she could do.  And that will continue to be my prayer.  She's made it through middle school, graduates next year, and I will pray fervently that a Godly mentor will come into her life, someone who she identifies with and trusts, that will spur her on towards good, bring her life into the light, and love her as I could do 7 years ago.

First tooth!

Pretty much the past month, Jack has been teething.  Just kinda grumpy, spontaneously crying, not being his smiley self.  This wasn't all the time, it would come and go, but it was definitely there.  We used teething tabs (not really sure what they are or what they do...but they kinda worked) and Tylenol when times got tough to give the poor guy some relief! 

We've been feeling around in Jack's mouth for what seems like forever, hoping to feel that little ridge of a tooth.  They say (whoever "they" is, who always seems to have such wisdom for child rearing) that once you can feel the tooth pop through, the worst is over. 

And.............Tuesday, I felt a tooth!!  Yay!  I have to say, they were right.  Tuesday Jack was the happiest and most playful he's been in a while! 

No, I didn't take a picture, he's way to squirmy and you're lucky to get a finger in there to feel anything...but once that one toothed grin shows up, don't worry, you'll be seeing it!