It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Ok, maybe I'm being a little dramatic.....but not really!  

Let's start off with the best of times.  

Guess what!  I'm pregnant!  Yay!!!  Today, I'm 13 weeks pregnant and we couldn't be more excited about another little Jamison around here.  I feel like this pregnancy has been a little rougher on me....more tired, more nauseous, I'm either STARVING because I haven't eaten in 5 minutes or so full on a cracker I want to gag.  But the baby looks great, we've gotten 3 little peeks at her.....I'm saying her, because we went last Monday for a sonogram and the stenographer said he's 75% sure it's a girl!!  Now, I know that there's basically a 50/50 chance for either one, so really, 75% isn't that much more, but still, it's kinda fun to think about!  And worry that when I go in for the next one in 6 weeks, he's confirm it's a boy.  :)  Honestly, I'd be perfectly happy with either!!  Just a happy, healthy baby.  That's all I'm praying for.  

Now for the dramatic worst of times.  

I'd really like for Jack to be in a big boy bed before he even knows that there's a little brother or sister on the radar.  I want him to be firmly attached to his big boy bed, not even thinking that that little crying monster is not only taking away Mommy and Daddy's time, it's stealing his bed!!!  Which means it's pretty much time to transition.  He's 21 months old, so he's plenty old enough....but......he's my baby!  (PS, I'm already bawling)  That's the bed he has slept in all his life.  I made that bumper pad before I even knew him.  He's used it as a pillow for the last year.  That's the mattress he's jumping up and down on when I go in and get him after a nap.  Ok, so maybe he loved the swing more than his bed for a while, but now, he and his bed are super good friends.  

Today, I sold Jack's owl baby bedding and curtains on eBay to lucky bidder dqui1663.  And that's what prompted my meltdown, that this was for real now!  Tomorrow I have to wash it, take it to get it pressed, box it up, and ship it to Ohio for another mom to enjoy.  I hope she'll love it as much as I did.

Don't worry, I've already designed his toddler bedroom (I refuse to call it his big boy bedroom.....because he's still my baby.  So, toddler room, it is.) in my head, complete with Curious George bedsheets (got em!), a Pottery Barn Kids red and white gingham duvet (thank you, ebay!), brown (black out) curtains (on their way!), his same orange Ikea rug, and madras fabric accents to tie it all together.  It's going to be ADORABLE!  And perfect for him.  And he'll love it.  What's not to love about Monk sheets? means my baby is growing up!  And it's not fair for him to do this with my pregnancy hormones!  :)  

I know he's growing up.  I see it when he runs across the park, not minding to climb up the slide on his own.  I see it when he reminds me to get my purse before we walk out the door.  I see it as I watch him want to sit by himself and read Goodnight, Moon to Vincent.  But....he's still my baby.  He still needs his sleep sack, his Monk and paci to sleep.  He still wants me to hold his hand as he walks down the steps.  He still wants to be rocked for a little while before he goes to sleep.  

It's just been a reminder to cherish each day.  To treasure our time together.  To pray for the toddler, big boy, pre-teen, teenager, man he'll be one day.  Because it's all just around the corner!  

Thankfully, for most of those transitions, I won't be dealing with sobbing breakdown type of pregnancy hormones!  

20 Months

Now, along with this stage of the dreaded tantrum, are some absolutely wonderful things. 

And here are three of my absolute favorites!

1.  Jack loves Vincent.  No, really.  He LOVES Vincent.  Vincent is the first thing he asks for when he wakes up in the morning.  "Sin-se!  Sin-se!" he calls from his crib!  Vincent trots into his room and the world is right.  When he goes down for a nap, he kisses Vincent.  Last night we reached a new high.  He wanted Vincent in the bath tub with him.  Now, Vincent is not a fan of baths, so he did not oblige, but he did hang around....which is usually just enough to make someone very happy!  Unfortunately, Vincent hasn't forgotten what loving from Jack used to look involved a lot of yanking tails and facial hair.  As soon as he forgets that and learns that now Jack is sweet and gentle and doesn't need a warning growl for every glance his direction, things will only improve!

2.  Last summer and this past winter, Jack hated hats as much as he loves Vincent.  He wouldn't wear one for anything!  Now, we can't leave the house without a hat.  We were walking out the door the other day and I turned the alarm on and we were walking out the door when he puts his hand on his head, felt around, and ran around the house, searching for a hat to grace his little noggin, finding one just in time to race out the door before the alarm went off!  He wants others to wear hats, he wants Vincent to wear hats....hats are pretty cool right now! 

3.  Probably my favorite thing.  We try to talk a lot about Jesus in our house.  Jack and Jeff read the Big Picture Storybook Bible most mornings, we say a prayer at dinner, we sing songs about Jesus, and we say bedtime prayers.  And Jack loves it.  I know he doesn't get it, but he's figuring out that Jesus is pretty important around here. Now, when we sit down to dinner as a family, he holds his hands out to us, bows his head, mumbles for a minute, ending with an "Amen" and he'd ready to eat!  It's so cute.  And we usually have to do this multiple times before he's satisfied and we can actually eat.

Come, Lord Jesus!

I'll skip over the apology and explanation for not writing much lately (that will come later) and head straight into the most recent development in Jack's little world. 

And I can sum it up in one word.


This week Jack thought he'd give a tantrum or two or three a try.  Ok, let's be honest.  Every day this week, there's been a tantrum. 

West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn PopperMonday:  Jack was feeling under the weather and it was 40 degrees outside, so after his afternoon nap, I decided we'd have our first movie afternoon together!  When Jeff and I got married, probably my favorite thing we registered for and received wasn't the beautiful china, wasn't the gorgeous serving was this Stir Crazy popcorn popper. 

When I was little, a friend of ours had one of these, and I've never gotten over how much I loved it!  And I've been WAITING for Jack to love it as much as I did!  He woke up from his nap, and we headed in to the kitchen to get the party started.  He LOVED watching the "pop-pop" and it was so fun for me to watch him love it!  Yay!!  The popcorn was finished, so we headed to the living room to start in his Elmo movie.  Things were going great!  He loved the popcorn, adored the movie....until, all that was left in the bowl were kernels of the choking hazard kind and I took the bowl away.  Then it all hit the fan.  And it totally caught me off guard!  We haven't had the kicking and screaming kind of tantrums before!  Besides.....not my child!  Not my sweet little boy who gets rave reviews at Mother's Day Out and when I tell him it's his last fruit snack says, "All done!" and skips jovially off to play!  Oh, but he did. 

He chased me into the kitchen screaming, "MORE POP-POP!!!!" and collapsed into a sobbing heap on the floor.  He flopped around and would not give in to my promises of Elmo in the other room, a tasty cup of juice, a fun toy to play with, or me dancing around like a fool to make him laugh.  That's when teacher Mrs. Jamison pulled herself together and thought, ok.  I've been here before.  Maybe with a 10 year old who can reason instead of a 19 month old who's full of emotion.  But I can do this.  I walked into the living room, leaving the wallowing crazy child in the kitchen.  He followed me....he wanted an audience!!  Of course he did.  The tantrum subsided, and soon, I had my normal sweet baby again. 

What in the world. 

Tuesday:  We had a great day!  I was a little weary of his new ability, but the day went just fine.  Except for the moment at the zoo when he got stung by a bee....turns out he's not allergic!  Good to know.  Jeff came home for dinner, and I'd made Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Pasta Bake and some french bread.  Jack actually likes that casserole, so I was all set for a nice family dinner.  Jack had a plate of pasta, a little piece of bread, and some strawberries.  First thing in his mouth was the bread.  Mistake.  Once he finished that piece of bread, he spied the extra bread on the table for Jeff and me, and he wanted more bread.  Like any loving mother would do, I told him he needed to eat some pasta before he could have more bread.  And it all hit the fan. 

"More!  MORE!" was all he would say.  And all I would say is, "You need to eat a bite of pasta before you eat bread," and hand him a piece of pasta.  Which he would promptly throw on the ground to Vincent.  PS, Vincent was loving it.  Eventually, the thrashing in the booster seat started, to the point that it was unsafe for him to be in it any longer.  Jeff picked him up and put him on the floor.  Where the thrashing continued.  Are you kidding me?  Thrashing, screaming, you name it, he was doing it.  When we finished eating to the chorus of toddler shrieks, Jeff thought maybe he wanted to be held and comforted.  Turns out he didn't and Jeff had to practically throw him on the couch to avoid Jack wiggling out of his arms and landing on the tile floor. 

I remembered my mom always said my sister had horrible tantrums and she finally learned that if she would put her in the bath, she would calm down immediately.

Bath time!  Note to self, doesn't work with my possessed child.  All that happens is that the thrashing and screaming happens in the bath tub.  Add that to standing up and jumping.  Safe bath time, right?  We got done with the bath pretty quickly and wrestled him into a diaper and some pajamas and turned on the Fresh Beat Band.........and he calmed. 

Lord Jesus, I can't handle this. 

Wednesday:  I'm nervous.  I loathe these tantrums.  I called a friend who has a daughter a year older than Jack to seek her wisdom, and found out that basically, it just stinks to go through this stage.  She pointed me in the direction of a website she'd been reading, so I spent nap time perusing that.  One thing it said that struck me was the we should aim to teach our children that tantrums are not ok, and to stop them, not just accept they go on and won't last forever.  I know that we discipline our children and teach them to obey out of obedience to the Lord, that we are essentially teaching to be obedient to the Lord, so it kinda made sense!  Ok!  Goal for the day, don't let him have a tantrum.  Tell him, "Stop it."  Easy enough! 

After his afternoon nap, we went outside to play, and pretty much as soon as we got outside, he needed a diaper change.  He likes to poop outside.  Always does it, so we always have to go in and get a change.  No biggie.  Well, with his new talent, it was a big deal.  Tantrum ensued.  I told him to stop it.  It didn't work.  I dragged him up the steps and into his room, where I tried to distract him by singing BaBa Black Sheep, but he was like a trapped alligator.  Thankfully, we got that done, and he seemed done with the tantrum as we walked towards the backdoor.

Then he spied Vincent or "Sinse" eating.  Vincent always comes outside with us, so he started saying, "Sinse, 'mon" (Vincent, come on to you novices), but Vincent was eating.  So he decided to go over and push Vincent.  Vincent was eating and you know eating dogs don't play!  He growled and I grabbed Jack's hand and told him Vincent would come later.  Tantrum #2 for the day.  I told him to stop it.  It didn't work. 

I'll call these first two incidents mini-tantrums, because I had no idea he was capable of what came next. 

I got him out the door and he wanted me to pick him up so I was about to start down the steps and as I did so, I said, "Jack, look at Mama."  Ya'll he would no more look at me than eat a green bean.  He would look to my left.  Look to my right.  But WOULD NOT look at me.  Seriously kid?  He wanted to go down the steps and play outside soooooo badly, but not enough to obey.  Nope.  We stood at the top of the steps for 15 minutes.  Him sobbing and saying, "Souside!" and me saying, "Jack, look at Mamma's eyes."   Nope.  So we went inside, thinking maybe that would help him focus.  Nope.  15 minutes inside, my child  And yes, he knows what, "Look at Mama" means.  Screaming, thrashing in my arms, laying his head down on my shoulder, me blowing his nose, wouldn't look a me. 

Another 15 minutes.  I thought, well, maybe he'll just give me a kiss.  So I started asking him to give me a kiss.  Nope.  Another 15 minutes.  He loves to give high 5's more than life itself, so wondering how in the world I'm ever going to get out of this, I ask him to give me a high 5.  Nope.  After holding him and battling for an hour, I decided to put him down.  It was obvious we weren't going outside, but honestly, I couldn't hold him anymore.  He thrashed around for a bit and then wanted to be held (of course) and he was done. 

And I felt like he kinda won that last round.  He might have won that battle, but I'm telling you what, he will not win this war. 

Things I learned this week:
1.  Sneak the popcorn kernels out of the bowl so the bowl is empty and he can visually see we're done.
2.  Don't put more than enough french bread on the table for dinner.
3.  Give him a 2 minute warning that we have to go inside to change his diaper.
4.  No idea what I learned about him trying to push Vincent outside while he's eating.....but that Vincent is more patient than I give him credit for.
5.  Don't hold him while he's having a tantrum.
6.  I'd love for Jesus to come back in the middle of a temper tantrum.