This is the day.....

that time-out begins.  We've read books, perused websites, talked with friends, and it's time. 

Shoot me now.

Jack's 18 months old.  He knows what no means, he knows that there are things that don't make mommy smile and laugh, he knows the teacher look (although usually it's met with a laugh)'s time for some consequences in his little life. 

I feel like this is a big step.  It's the first true discipline we've done, and it's kinda scary and daunting! 

By starting time out and being consistant, we're setting up expectations for Jack, teaching him to obey the one in authority, laying the foundation for what's expected of him, and rising to the occasion to raise our child as God commanded us to do.  Discipline is good and expected.  But it's not easy. 

So, say a little prayer for our time outs! 

Picture time!

A lot's been going on, so here's a few pics of our last few weeks!

 What?  You don't play your keyboard in your safari hat? 
He's looking so old!!!
 The newest love of Jack's life is water.  "Wawa."   He LOVES it and every opportunity to be outside should be met with some water play.  His Sponge Bob watering can, "Bob", is sooooo fun but really, splashing in a tupperware full of water is pretty much the best thing EVER!  So if you come over and Jack's running around trailer park style, you know he's been playing in the wawa.
 Always loves swinging!  It's been a full year since I hung that swing....and it's still going strong!  And I'm pretty sure it loves it's new home on the playset.
Aw....Jack and Mama! 

Own Personal Park

One Saturay morning, Jack's play set went from this

to this
 to this
 to this
 to this
 to all this!

And it's been so much fun!  The weather has been great and we've spent 90% of our time outside.  Hence this.

We classed up the backyard by covering 1950's air conditioner vent that was a toddler's dream and a parent's nightmare with chickenwire.  It was either chickenwire or Jack's mangled arm.  We opted for the wire.

Toddlers are Hard

I see it.  It's coming.  Maybe it's already here.  The tough toddler years.  Look how cute he is.  Freaking adorable, right?  

He's as cute as he is a toot. 

This week, I'm honestly at a loss of how to parent.  Two weeks ago, I had it DOWN!  No problem.  I've got this! 

And then Jack learned to say, "No."  And learned that it meant something.  And expected it to be respected.  And the world changed.

We've got temper tantrums.  We've got shrieks of complete happiness.  We've got crying fits. We've got laughing until we can't breathe.  We're hitting.  We're hugging.  We're throwing.  We're giving kisses.  We're shrieking, "NO" to every blessed question asked.  And we're helping clean up. 

My son is a roller coaster of emotion.  The good times are so easy, and so fun, and what make being the parent of a toddler so much better than being a parent of a newborn.  But, to quote Ben Harper....When it's good, it's so, SO good, and when it's gone, it's gone.  And I mean big time gone. 

 And Jack vacillates between two extremes all day long.  And it's exhausting.

I know where the temper tantrums are coming from, and when the anger of being beat by my toddler isn't welling up inside me, I get it.  (Yesterday, I literally thought to myself, "If my husband hit like my toddler does, he'd be thrown in jail.)  He can't communicate what he wants to communicate.  How frustrating would that be!?!?!  He has little to no control over anything.  That's just down right angering!  The only way he knows to communicate is physically.

So I get it.  But what do I do with it?  I know, stay calm (he laughs if I raise my voice even the slightest bit), use his communication style to communicate (a-la Happiest Toddler on the Block), if it's something that I really want him to do, don't ask him if he wants to (the answer is always, "no") and tell him what we're doing, let him win the small battles that don't really matter (it gives him a sense of control) and be consistant.  Some of the books (yes, BOOKS) I've read lately about toddler hood said to make sure they feel loved, pay attention to them, make them feel safe.....I think I've got that part covered...he hears, "I love you!" about 1.1 million times a day. 

It's a struggle.  I know, I know, there will be one struggle after the next for the rest of his life!  One of my good friends just had a baby 3 weeks ago, and her mom told her, "Get ready to wing it for the next 18 years!" which is not what any new parent wants to hear....but every day as a parent, I'm learning that it's true.  What works today, might not work tomorrow. 

And isn't that just like life?  Just when you think you know what's going on, God throws something else in there, reminding you aren't in control, to make you depend on him.  I'm telling you what, if parenthood doesn't make you humble, then watch out!  You've got another thing coming.  And then I think of how I am, how I am not healthy and count calories to the number one week, and the next, back to, "Oh well!".  Read my Bible religiously for a period, and then suddenly can't seem to make time for it.  Be a good friend for a few weeks, then back to my selfish self. 

So what else would I expect from my son but to be as difficult and demanding as I am!  Um, thanks for the mirror, God.

Jack's Favorite Things

If Jack were Oprah, this would be his list. 

In no particular order.....

1.  Blue's Clues.  LOVES Blue.  He sits, enamored, through each episode....and consistently sits in his thinking chair and thinks.  He sings the songs, he has the notebook (thanks to Aunt Kat) and thanks to Daddy, has a Blue's Clues t-shirt.  It's for real. 

2.  Elmo.  No, not Sesame Street, he won't watch that for a second!  Just Elmo! 
My mom got him Elmo slippers way back in November, and it was love at first sight.  And don't worry, since then, we've added to the Elmo collection.  Now there's the Elmo shirt, Elmo notebooks, Elmo plates, Elmo bubble bath, and I even, shamefully, bought this hideous bathing suit for Jack to wear this summer. 
Nineteen months ago, I would have SWORN that anyone who bought something like this for their kid was crazy....and here I am, buying this tragic bathing suit, knowing it will bring the hugest smile to my son's face.  I can't even believe it's folded neatly in his drawer.  Jack loves "Melmo" and carried the bathing suit around for an hour, repeating "Melmo!" over and over again.  What can I say! The kid loves Elmo!

3.  The slide at the park down the street. 
 If we go to the park for 10 minutes, it's 10 minutes of sliding.  If we go the park for an hour, it's an hour of sliding.  Climb up the stairs, tromp across the bridge, slide down the slide, walk to the stairs, climb up the stairs, tromp across the bridge, slide down the slide, walk to the stairs, climb up the stairs, tromp across the bridge, slide down the slide, walk to the stairs....on and on!

4.  Cheese.  At every meal, Jack asks for "chee".  Never enough chee.  Grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, cheese cubes, cheese's like crack.

5.  Veggie puree packs.  Yes, we've moved from making them work to LOVING them!  He polishes one off in a matter of seconds and then asks for more.  To which I respond, "you owe me $3."

6. Being outside. Loves the park, the zoo, the backyard...I'm convinced he could stay out there all day and love it! I'm a pretty big outside fan, too, so that works for me!

7.  The Fresh Beat Band.  If it's not Blue's Clues, it's "Beat".  Fresh Beat Band is a show about kids in music school, so there's lots of dancing, lots of singing, lots of guitar playing, and Jack is a big fan.  He has a plethora of musical instruments of his own to play along with, but most of the time he just stands motionless in front of the TV, every once in a while, bobbing to the beat.  Jeff and I might be working on learning a "fresh" dance or two...
PS, if you're a Days of Our Lives watcher, the red head should look familiar to's the old Stephanie! 

8.  Monk.  Seems obvious, but what would a list of favorites be with out Monk???  Love isn't even a strong enough word.  There aren't words.  And by the way, if you're a mom and haven't watched Toy Story 3 yet....get your Kleenex box and settle in.  All I can say is Monk = Woody. 

So, that, in a nutshell, is a few of Jack's favorite things.  


It happened.

Jack learned to say no.

And he says it emphatically, shaking his head from side to side.

And he means it.