Thursday, April 22, 2010

Keeping Oh Sew Busy

Where has this week gone? I cannot believe it is already Thursday. I wish the sun was shining and that we could picnic outside since it's Earth Day but we will have to have our Earth Day Mommy & Me playdate inside. I'm excited to hang out with my mommy friends today. Jack has been doing so well interacting especially when we keep the consistency of surrounding him with the same friends. He probably gets the social anxiety from me because all the moms comment about how "mellow" he is when he is in public. Far from the truth!

I have been keeping myself so busy lately. I have commited to a lot of tasks and volunteering my time as much as possible. Last night I met up with some girls from my graduating high school class and we are planning our ten year reunion. It turned out to be a blast from the past and I am really looking forward to being on the party planning committee. It shows how much we have all grown up in ten years that a mix from all different groups could sit down for an hour and inspire one another. It's a great group of girls!

Tomorrow I am volunteering my time on the PR committee for Susan G Komen Southeastern Wisconsin. I will be helping with copywriting and information feeds on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and posting inspirational videos on YouTube. This excites me not only because it's a great cause but because it will add to my experience on my resume and I can network with some great people. Good things can only come from this one!

In between playdates, meetings and hanging with Jack, I am also trying to kickstart my new company called Sprouting Up. I started creating baby fleece & ribbon loop blankets for baby Jack blankets and now I am expanding my horizons into other baby items. This shoppe will be on Etsy.com (a site to sell everything handmade) and it will have every day items for your growing babies - diaper bags, burp cloths, changing pads & more. I am excited to debut some of my items which of course means I need time to sit down and actually sew! Next week that is my priority!

This weekend will be a busy one. Saturday we are going to Madison for the 2010 Crazylegs 2 mile walk downtown and then going to a Brewer game with family. Jack gets to stay home with his Nana and Papa and play play play! Sunday the boys will be working hard in the yard and my mother in law and I will take Jack to swim class and experience this month's IRON CUPCAKE bake off at the Harley Museum. What's better than paying $10 and taste testing cupcakes from local chefs? Nothing...a perfect little Sunday.

Jack is done with his bottle and wants some mama play time now. I love this time of day with him because he is just so happy and well rested. Sleep is the key to a happy mommy and happy baby :)

Here's a picture of Jack's new tshirt by Makmaedesigns on etsy. LEGS was his dad's nickname in high school and 09 is his year of birth. He's going to wear this on Saturday for the Crazylegs walk....all bundled up in his InStep Jogger. Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My letter to my Jackson

Jackson,

You are my light. You give me strength, hope and unconditional love. You make me want more out of life and you give me the ability to want to offer all that I have to you. You make me want to be a better person, not only to you but to others. I want to show you so many things and be a role model to you while you continue to grow.  I am now listening to what my heart and my gut are telling me to do. You have encouraged me to make positive changes in my life that will someday benefit our family in the long run.

I am saving money. I am being kind. I am surrounding myself with positivity. I am doing what I love. I am finding the inner child in me. I am making our home a safe and warm place to live. I am helping the earth. I am doing the best I can. I don't know if all that I am doing will make a big difference but you are worth it all. You were created out of love and your father and I will never stop showing you how much you mean to us. We will forever be here to listen, to love & guide you throughout life.

Always always,
Mommy

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ups & Downs & Ups

What a busy week packed with dinner dates, play dates, figuring out what my life passion is and saying goodbye to a furever friend. I managed to keep myself too busy this week to avoid thinking about an emotionally trying weekend. I kicked off the week by hanging out with my cousin Shelly after Jackson was in bed on Sunday. Two glasses of wine and a lot of conversation, I looked down and it was 11PM! I got barely any sleep!

Monday and Tuesday were calm and productive. Wednesday it got crazy-hectic but in a good way. Jack and I went to his weekly Gymboree class but had a stone look on his face the entire time. We have been battling a cutting tooth for a week now and I think the sleep deprivation caught up to us and Nana came to the rescue in the afternoon! Jack's grandma (nana Na -for Nancy) comes to hang out with us every other week. I never manage to get any errands or chores done because we always chat the day away but Wednesday stuff got done. It felt so good to clean our home! For dinner Brian and I celebrated our third anniversary and went out to dinner; nothing special except some quality time together and then we came home to tuck Jack in and watch Idol with Nancy. A perfect Wednesday and celebration :)

Thursday we had invited Danielle and Ethan over for lunch and I really enjoyed their visit. It was so much fun sitting down for lunch together and then watching the boys interact by playing They have become little friends as they get more and more time together outside of Gymboree. Friday was another playdate! We met up with Erin and William at Gymboree Music class and we admired how grown up the boys have gotten. William is 7 days younger than Jackson and Erin and I have tracked all of their milestones together. They've been buds before they were even born.

It was the weekend. Saturday morning we took Jack to his tot swim class and my was it theraputic. I was emotional and dreading the anticipation of Saturday afternoon.  We have decided to find a home for our other cat Ella and a family was coming to visit. Needless to say, they adored her and took her with them that very day. Ella was my baby before Jack. She was my longest relationship and I had her before I met my husband. It was the best decision for our family, but my heart still aches thinking about it. I don't believe that time heals pain, it's what you do with the time that gets you passed it all....so I keep busy.

One of the most impactful things that occurred to me this weekend was a phone call with a friend. She is a life coach and I was her guinea pig for one of her tests. I took the passion test and actually figured out my passions in life. Everything that I yearn for in life happens to be right in front of me and this conversation happend at the perfect time -post meltdown! After talking to Coach Katie, i realized my answer to finding my happiness. I now have some homework to take care of before my next call with her in one week.

As I sit here on Sunday winding down from a roller coaster of a week, I am reflecting on how blessed I really am. No matter how crazy - good or bad - my days get, I have definitely chosen some amazing people to share these feelings with and be my support system. To me, that makes the ride was well worth it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ready for the Magic

On a whim we booked a trip for five to Walt Disney World in Florida and we are just too excited to sleep! My amazing in-laws are going with us on Jack's first trip to the Magic Kingdom and we will be staying at the Carribbean Beach resort on the Disney grounds. To me, there is nothing like going somewhere for 6 days where you can completely transform yourself into a kid again and enjoy everything there is that is Disney.

I think I was destined to be a mom because I am so playful and in touch with my inner child. Before Jack, I used to be a nanny for two kids and all we did was play! To this day, I love Harry Potter, Disney movies, I still watch the Disney Channel and cannot wait to have a little girl to play dress up and pretend with her. I thrive on playing and making the environment for children as fun and magical as possible. This is probably why I am the most excited for this trip -next to my mother-in-law who shares similar interests.

Thankfully we stalked the airlines for a while and found a great deal (direct flight on Midwest) for quite cheap. We purchased a seat for Jack and his carseat to make the 2 1/2 hour flight a little more manageable. After all, he is a big boy and I couldn't imagine myself or my husband holding him and him sitting still for that long. Money well spent!

We also did a great job with planning when to go. We wanted to go somewhere when the Wisconsin weather became cool but also had to keep in mind the timeline if I happened to get preggers again. We decided and booked our accommodations and park tickets for the Sunday after Thanksgiving - Nov 28 - Dec 4.  This is going to be such a memorable trip!

Of course in order to prepare for our Disney trip, I had to purchase some clothes for Jack to dress the part and get familiar with some important Disney characters. I bought him some pijamas on sale at the Disney store -thinking he would fit into them in November- but he is wearing them now. It looks like I will have to make a Toy Story baby Jack blanket to go with Jack's Woody pijamas!!

I took this picture this morning while Jack was playing with his toys. I think this is beyond adorable, he's almost posing! He sure fits the part and looks like the sheriff of all his toys. I have no doubt in my mind that this kid will enjoy our Disney family vacation and maintain his child-like enthusiasm, just like his mama and nana.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A somber Saturday

Yesterday was a difficult day for our family. We have been attempting to find a home for our beloved cats as they have not been adjusting well since Jack came into our world. Primarily our cat Molly was depressed with the changes, confinement behind gates and the loss of "her space". We decided yesterday to surrender her to the Lakeland Animal Shelter where we adopted her from after weeks of family visits and no adoptions. She knew something was up and started to spray in our home. Honestly, it was probably one of the most difficult and emotional things I have had to do in my life and am not looking forward to parting with our other cat Ella. Little by little our family is coping with our decision and each day that passes it is getting easier. I guess we had to do what is best for our home and our little guy and we know that Molly and Ella will find loving families to adopt them and give them the attention they so deserve.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Rock my world and light up my life.

My husband Brian is my rock and Jack is my light. My husband also rocks! Yesterday Brian came home after work (instead of his usual routine of going to the gym) so he could join Jack and I at open gym class at Gymboree Play & Music....technically he actually went to the "gym". We watched Jack as he played independently and with his buddy Ethan and enjoyed the moment. I suppose we could have stayed at home, laying on the floor and having Jack crawl all over us but it was a nice change of scenery. I now spend about 3 hrs a week at Gymboree Play & Music and Jack is progressing so much from it. He is climbing all over the place and it amazes us every day how much he has grown. He continues to shed light on each and every one of my days. I never knew you could love this much!

Today I created a "Jack cam" to show what he is up to so his friends, family and fans can keep tabs on him. I will try to post a video of him playing once a week so it doesnt become too much.

Here he is climbing his chair, shakin' maracas, saying "hi kitty" and finding his hammer.  Enjoy this video and hope it brightens your day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A lot of Sun on a Rainy Day

Today was a very eventful day with positivity surrounding our blessed family. It started out with a cup of coffee after a restless night of sleep that managed to keep my energy level consistent throughout the day. I took Jack to his Grandpa's house while I had a doctor's visit. The visit went extremely well and showcased how much progress has occurred over the past few months. I left there with a feeling of complete contentment and the realization that if I think positive, great things can and will happen.

After picking up Jack, I managed to get him to nap in his crib for about 45 minutes. This has been a difficult tasks for months now as he has been teething and going through separation anxiety. When he awoke he was rather mad that I snuck him in there but instantly began giggling since he was well rested.

On to Gymboree Play & Music class. Jack joined this class in February and since then we have made some friends and learned to climb, share and interact. Each week he checks off another milestone from his list and proves that he is growing up before my very eyes. Yesterday marked his 14 month birthday....it goes by so fast! We had a suprise visitor at our Gym class, his Gramee was in the area and stopped by to see Jackson in action! After class Gramee walked Jack around the mall and I got a chance to chat with Danielle (a mommy friend from class) for a bit.

On my way home I found out that my husband Brian got a promotion! After almost 5 years at Bucyrus International, he was promoted to a Senior Analyst of Production Control. I couldn't be more proud of him! He now has three people reporting to him and will be mixing up his workout and work schedule that will happen to provide more quality time together as a family!

Another accomplishment today was that I have planned a baby photo shoot for my blanket business http://www.babyjackblankets.com/! I have "casted" 10 kids between the ages of 0-2 years that will be helping me capture some amazing photos with my product. I am getting the help of some amazing people along the way with photography, lighting, backdrops, attire and promotion.  I am beyond psyched to see how it turns out.

After looking around me, always staying positive and having faith, it goes to show that negativity gets you nowhere. I am so happy and excited of what the future holds for our beautiful family and am looking forward to our busy remainder of the year.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The smell of Spring

April showers bring May flowers, am I right? What a perfect day to do absolutely nothing indoor or to run some errands. There's pouring rain (yes, we have been singing It's Raining, It's Pouring), lightening, thunder and water everywhere! I believe this is the first storm of Spring.

That reminds me, Spring to me = cleaning. My husband and I are trying to clean and organize everything in sight so that everything has its place and we can actually find it when we need it. Our home is rather clean to a visitors eye, but behind the scenes it is a mess.

Another Spring thing that I now get excited for is planting flowers. Last year we landscaped our home and poured a backyard patio for entertainment and I can't wait to plant flowers in the pots and "pink it up". To me, our backyard is serenity once the flowers are in bloom. We have a cherry blossom tree, lilac bushes guarding our fence, burning bushes, lillies and more. My goal is to eventually convince my husband or dad to build me a large flower box of a garden. I thought it would be cute to paint on the side and say "Mama's garden". I always wanted one of those when I became a mom! Maybe a mother's day gift. (my husband better be reading this!)

Jack is very quiet right now eating his Cheerios and watching the rain hit the kitchen window. I wonder what he thinks about. If he only knew how much fun we were going to have outside - under the sun, rain, clouds and snow.  Watching this rain makes me so grateful and blessed that we can cherish these moments and anticipate more to come.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Eggcellent Easter Day!

Easter weekend came and gone and what a weekend it turned out to be! Holidays are exhausting; especially with a little one to entertain, keep happy and AWAKE for and during the festivities. Jackson did a great job today at his Grandma's house for Easter lunch. He ate brisket, mashed potatoes, pees & beans and yummy rolls. He explored her home and pulled on her rugs, climbed on her couch and tore up her Sunday paper.

We were able to have a quiet morning and evening surrounding our holiday celebration and spend time playing and laying with our boy. I am really looking forward to being able to start traditions that our child (and future children) can remember and look forward to. I havent the slightest idea of what traditions to incorporate into our immediate family, but perhaps bunny shaped pancakes for breakfast and an easter egg hunt is in store for next year.

To wrap up our night, we caught our little man shakin' it to his supper CD. Check out this video to see Jackson in action. Happy Easter to everyone reading!

video

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jack's Circle of Friends

Being the only mom in my circle of friends has been tough but it's also an eye opener. When you start a new chapter in your life, you want to gravitate to those people with common interests or towards those that are a positive influence.

Since becoming a mom and having new priorities, my friendships have been evolving. I hold on tight and put forth so much more effort into the friendships that have meaning and have let go of the ones that have faded. I've learned that a few great friendships is far better than a lot of acquaintances and am starting to open my eyes to a lot of great new people with similar interests.

Jack and I have met some friends throughout our new chapter in life and today I want to celebrate our circle of mommy & baby friends and thank them for being there. It's a different sort of bond that we share and an understanding if "something comes up" because after all, our babies rule of mommy world and call all the shots!

The people that we surround ourselves with in life shape who we are or who we want to become. I am grateful for all the people that I choose to have in our life and look forward to making new friendships; for myself and my family.

Here is Jill and Ethan. Jill and I worked together at my previous job and became really close before we were pregnant. Jill had Ethan in August and continues to be a big support person through all the trials and tribulations of motherhood. She is my go-to mom with all of my questions!



This is Jack's buddy William. Will was born one week later than Jackson and his mommy Erin and I were pregnant at the same time. I met Erin through work and this bond continues to grow stronger as our boys grow up!





My newest friend is Danielle. Her little guy is Ethan (just turned 1 in March!) and we met through Jack's Gymboree Play & Music class. She and I have a lot in common - she inspired me to start blogging again - and we keep in touch on a daily basis. We are starting to plan plenty of playdates (picnics, zoo visits, and luncheons) outside of Gymboree and get to know each other more.



My cousin Shelly has two adorable boys name Josh and Joe. Josh is five months older than Jack and I can see how Jack looks up to him. I am making more of an effort to visit with Shelly and the boys (as they live 10 min away!) because she is a great person to be with and I know that Jack can benefit and learn so much from Josh. Also, holding Joe (who is only 5 months) makes me want to have another little one!










Thursday, April 1, 2010

A family photo first

Yesterday was one of the most wonderful days we have had in a really long time despite going on a mere four hours of sleep due to a teething baby. My husband Brian took the day off of work and his parents Randy and Nancy came down for a visit. On Wednesdays we have our weekly Gymboree Play and Music class where kids get to learn to climb, run around and interact. Brian rarely gets to see Jack in action so this was a special treat for him. But on this particular Wednesday, I had planned the first professional family portrait and was beyond excited!

Due to the lack of sleep, all of us were dragging and exhausted. We tried to push a few AM naps on Jack so that he would be his happy self during the photo shoot but it didnt turn out the way I had envisioned. We took the "long route" to the studio so Jack could grab a quick nap and by the time we got there, he only had fifteen minutes of sleep.

During the snapshots, his facial expression was well, non existent! He was so tired the poor guy couldnt bring himself to smile. After several people attempting to entertain him, we snapped a bunch of photos with barely a little smirk. What I was amazed by was that he didnt squirm, cry or fuss the entire time we were there. The pictures turned out amazing and it was definitely money and time well spent.

We ended our afternoon by soup, salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden and plenty of rest when we got home. The perfect end to an amazing day.