Archives for posts with tag: parenting

Today it is pushing 90 degrees where I live. I am not complaining! After the terrible, long, brutal, 50 below 0 winter we had, I welcome the sunshine and warmth on my face! But being pregnant in summer is far different than being pregnant in winter. Jackson is a February baby. I was in the nitty gritty of pregnancy in much cooler weather with him. This time I get the joy of a summer pregnancy. Both have their perks I think and both have their challenges.

I wanted to share some summer (and not necessarily summer) pregnancy essentials that I am obsessed with.

1. I used this with my first pregnancy and I escaped stretch mark free! I swore by it, I swear by it, and I share it with most new preggos I know. Bella B Tummy Honey Butter.
photo 3 (1)It always soothes an itchy belly for me. I usually use it twice a day. It can be a bit greasy feeling initially but the way I see it is, it soothes the itching and I was stretch mark free. So far I am as well. Greasiness is a small price to pay for both of those! You can find it on their site or Amazon. I am a fiend for ordering it from there. This is my current tub and I have two or three more stored in a cabinet. Just watch the price on Amazon. I have sometimes noticed it to be priced higher than their retail price.

2. My Gap Maternity jean shorts. I have two pairs that I love. They are so comfortable. They are the same pair but different dyes of jean. Unfortunately it appears that the darker wash I own is no longer anywhere on their site!

photo 4I am wearing the lighter wash in this photo. I was 16 weeks here. I am a few days into 24 weeks now and I am comfortable wearing them today. They are still loose but comfy! I also like that they are a panel at the waist and not a full panel. I wore full panel shorts one hot day recently. We walked to the park. That was a mistake. I was so hot, sweaty, and itchy that as soon as I walked in the door off they came. Never again!

3. Three goes hand in hand with the above photo. I am obsessed with any kind of ribbed tank. The one above is also from Gap. One of their Essential Tanks. I also have the white one I linked to. I am again wearing this tank today at 24 weeks and it is still way comfy and fitting. I have ribbed tanks from A Pea in the Pod too.

IMG_5657This was Memorial Day. Also, note the shorts ;-) These kinds of tops are just so comfy and keep me cool. Plus they show off my shoulders and arms. They are fitted so I don’t feel overly billowy. Tank tops are just a must have summer pregnancy staple for me.

4. Be Maternity BeBand. I know I said I hate full panels, and that is true, unless I am running! I need the belly support. I have found that two of these or one with a full panel maternity running capri keep me supported enough to not have any ligament pain in my low abs during runs. I have 4 of these. Two white and two black. Not that colors matter for me because I wear them under a fitness top. I have tried another band, a more elaborate one but right now, at this stage, it was more cumbersome than helpful. Perhaps as I get bigger in the next 3 months I will be switching. But for now, these rock my running world.

5. Pacifica Kona Coffee Sugar Scrub. This stuff smells so good I could almost eat it in the shower! Ha! Just kidding but really it smells fantastic, if the smell of coffee doesn’t bother you. I find it amazing.photo 2 (2)

This product leaves my skin so fresh and smooth. It is the last thing I use in the shower. I go through it quickly because I use it all over my body. So, it can be a bit of a splurge. But it is so relaxing and refreshing to start my day with this. I initially found it at Ulta. I have also ordered it directly from Pacifica. I also have read that Target carries this brand. I keep forgetting to look for it when I am there, so I cannot confirm or deny if they have this specifically.  Like I said, it is a splurge that it is worth it for my pregnant self.

6. On the same brand note, I am loving their Coconut Crushed Pearl shimmer lotion.photo 4 (1)

It gives a nice sparkle to your skin. It is also very moisturizing. I was playing in the pool with my husband yesterday and he kept trying to grab my arms and legs. I was swimming away. Each time I was able to slip right from his hands. I bragged about how I can get away because of all my lotion! Ha! It leaves me glowing and moisturized. It smells lovely as well!

7. Ok, this is the last Pacifica product…..for now! Indian Coconut Nectar hand cream is a must for bedtime for me. I put it on every night.photo 1 (2)

I will also use it in the morning after getting ready and before I put on my rings. It keeps my hands soft and smelling lovely. I wash my hands so much between a 3 year old who is potty trained, but sometimes needs help, and the washing of the dishes or cleaning in general, that they get dry even in summer. I also have the Tuscan Blood Orange. It smells lovely too!

8. This is by far my favorite foot lotion, pregnant or not! I have been using it for years. It feels especially nice before bed after a long day. H2O Softening Mint Foot Rub.photo 5 (1)

It is cooling and moisturizing. I will usually sit with my feet up on a pillow in bed for a few moments after and the cooling feeling is so refreshing. That is especially important as a pregnant lady in the summer! I usually buy it at Ulta, but you can also order it directly from H2O or go to one of their stores.

9. A reusable water bottle of your choice. I am on the go so much with the little man. I have an assortment of water bottles I can fill and take with me. Especially if we are walking to the park. You have to stay hydrated while pregnant and even more so in the summer heat.

10. Pilates/yoga/birth ball. Ahhhh!! Again, one of your choice. I love to do pelvic tilts and circles on mine at the end of a workout. It is also a great way to stretch. I am planning a medication free labor/delivery and I will be bringing it to the hospital as a birth ball as well. It is so versatile. It is not just for pregnancy either. It can easily be used for anytime workouts! I have had mine for a few years. I love it.

11. A good swimsuit of your choice. I have played around with a one piece and several tankinis. I was so miserable in them! I always felt puffier than I am sure I appear to everyone else. I am just a bikini kind of gal. I love them for swimming. I feel so much more free in the water when I wear one. photo (6)

I actually found a non maternity top that fits me nicely. On the clearance rack at target. I am normally a small but I bought a medium for my much larger chest (two freakin cup sizes!) Those bottoms are maternity bottoms from Target as well. I happened to buy them to go with the aforementioned tankini tops. A bikini during pregnancy may not make you feel more comfortable, and that is fine! That is why you just need to find one that makes you feel sexy and beautiful. Getting in the pool while pregnant, any time of the year, is so wonderful. You feel weightless. You can float on your belly! You can get in a workout. You can cool off. It can even help with water retention. I usually have to pee a ton by the time I get out of our pool. So if you don’t have one, check your local Y or gym for a prenatal swim class. I did that with my first pregnancy. This one, we have an indoor pool so I lucked out. I just train myself in there.

Do you have any pregnancy essentials? Anything you could not live without during your maternity time? 

 

Today was Jackson’s last day of soccer. He is 3. There were no games. It was basically indoor skills practice. He has had a difficult time with soccer. He is good at dribbling and scoring. He enjoys playing it, at home. The boys he plays with are mostly 4 year olds. They have played before and can be aggressive with each other and the ball. My little man tends to be on the more non confrontational side. So there have been many tears on Tuesday morning trying to convince him to get in the car to just finish up what we joined.

Over the past 3 weeks his confidence has grown. I could see him enjoying himself a little bit more while he was on the field. This morning I had been thinking I wished there were one or two more weeks because I feel he would start to say he enjoys it. But all things must end.

Today there was one 4 year old boy that was being quite nasty. He was throwing elbows when trying to steal the ball. He was pushing Jackson. The worst moment? I saw him actually get close to my son and spit in his face! The coach happened to not see that. He has about 7 little 3 and 4 year old boys to guide. His back was turned. I could see my son’s face from the sidelines. I wanted to get up and scream at that little monster. How dare he! What do his parents teach him? I held my tongue. I watched my poor son aghast take a step back. I could see he said something like “no” to the boy. However, that was all he did. He is non confrontational. Not that I want him to spit back, because I don’t! But it made my heart ache to see this happen to MY kid. One of the most disgusting and disrespectful things.

A few moments later he stole Jackson’s ball. I cheered for Jack to go after him and steal it back. He did. The kid threw another elbow. The coach saw this time. Jack came running to me to tell me what happened. I assured him he was ok and that it wasn’t nice that he did that but to keep trying to get the ball and score a goal. Meanwhile the coach started lecturing the other boys on how they do not use their hands and arms to get the ball from someone, only their feet.

I am protective of my child. Most moms are. I have yelled at other kids at the park who would throw sand when he was a baby and playing in the sand. I have told nasty older children to be mindful and nice to the toddlers at the park. But he was a little guy who still wobbled when walking and often needed help on most things at the park. This was one of the first times I did not step in. He is starting to become a child. Not just a baby. I wanted to step in. Everything in me screamed to go say something to the coach. “That boy SPIT in my child’s face!” What would have happened? Nothing. It was the last day. It is preschooler skills development. There are no yellow or red cards. The coach would have just told the other kid not to spit.

This was the first time I had to face the fact that shitty things are sometimes going to happen to my boys. And during some of those shitty things I won’t be able to intervene. All I will be able to do is be there after the fact to console them, listen to them, love them, and let them know it will all be ok eventually. On our way out we chatted about the things that had happened. I told him I saw what that boy did and it was nasty and wrong of him. He shouldn’t have done it and I was sorry it happened to Jackson. I also explained when he does play soccer with other kids it is ok to keep trying to get his ball back with his feet. To follow through and stick with it. I didn’t tell him to throw an elbow if someone is being particularly douchey, though I was tempted. Ha!

Milestones don’t end after the first year or so. They just come in different forms. Sometimes they are milestones for your child and sometimes they are actual parenting milestones for you. Today, this was a big parenting milestone for me. It will probably bother me for a long time that some little jerk spit in my chubby cheeked sweetheart’s face. I probably won’t forget this day in particular. A little piece of my heart was left on that indoor soccer field this morning.

 

I have heard that each pregnancy is often very different and unique. I have to admit, I stubbornly thought that was ridiculous until I experienced it myself. Regardless of the fact that I am having another boy, this pregnancy has been a lot different. I won’t go into each detail though. I do want to focus on one super cool aspect.

I felt this baby, Alexander, move MUCH earlier than I ever felt Jacky move. I am 18 weeks pregnant and I have been feeling him wiggling around in there for weeks now. It started off very faint. To the point where I wasn’t even convinced that is what I was feeling. As the days passed I began to understand exactly what I was feeling again. Now I feel him move every day, multiple times a day!

One of the coolest things I can do is actually make him move with some Pilates. It all started with a prenatal mat series I did on my vacation.

It starts with a series of half roll downs with bent legs. Roll halfway down, then all the way back up. You continue to build on that. You move onto rolling halfway down, holding, then tiny pulses up. The next part of the series is rolling halfway down, holding, then twisting to the right (obliques!) for several counts. Coming through center, hold, twist left for several counts, come center, roll up. Repeat.

Immediately after that you lie down for bridging. Once I articulate up into a bridge the little man moves to the very front of my lower abdomen. I can actually feel a little ball of a baby. I can feel him shifting around as an entire unit in there! It becomes so pronounced that my husband was able to feel the little baby ball (as I call it) as well! It never fails. I have done this series multiple times now and I can always count on him to wiggle his way to the front of my body and say hello to me!

It is no secret that I love fitness (um my blog name!) So when I find something even extra cool about it, I am overjoyed. I would do that series regardless of finding baby Alex in there, but the added bonus is a few moments of utter connection with my sweet unborn son. I love having this body awareness that Pilates (and proper fitness) provides you. Sometimes it feels like I am walking through this world with an extra sense. Or a more intense sense of feeling. Not emotional feelings, but a the actual physical sense of feeling within my own body and person.

Prenatal fitness is so important to me. Not just for myself. I advocate it to all women I know. I am probably annoying to those who don’t enjoy working out (which that concept is beyond my ability to comprehend, haha!) I truly feeling that staying active is vital to a long and healthy life. It gave me a nice healthy pregnancy the first time around. I didn’t know what I was doing then as well as I do now, with my added education in this field, but I found classes and videos. I searched for the answers then. The day I went into labor (past my due date!) I attended my prenatal swim class. I know every body is different and some women are severely restricted while pregnant, but if you are not, get up and move. Groove, dance, run, walk, find a class, do some planks, swim, just move. It is good for you. It is good for baby. And maybe, just maybe, your little one will poke to the front of your belly and say “hey momma! Thanks for moving and grooving this morning!”

On that note I will go up to my Pilates room and move myself. Tonight, we have plans for a swim in our pool. On top of chasing around a 3 year old boy! Moving is all I do. Ha!

Happy May! It has nearly been a month since I last wrote. Yowza! In all fairness we were on vacation for almost 2 weeks out of that month. I was hard pressed to sit down and write when I had lots of fun things to be doing with my family. Like playing in the ocean, sailing, or exploring the Smokey Mountains.

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Tomorrow will mark 18 weeks of pregnancy. I cannot believe that I am about 1/2 way through this adventure! It seems to be going by much faster than the 1st. I am sure that is because Jacky keeps me busy busy busy every day. He is such a wonderful and full of life 3 year old! He still talks about his little brother Alexander daily. He asks me a ton of questions and always wants to buy new things for his little brother. Yesterday, he informed me that our cat had a fuzz hanging from her mouth. He was very serious about me getting it out. He is going to be one helpful eye around here with a little one toddling around.

I am over the moon that I am having another boy. I have always wanted two boys and my wish has been fulfilled. Yesterday was my birthday. Alexander spent the day being an extra wiggle worm. It started with my Pilates Chair/Reformer workout and continued all day. It was the most I have felt him move in one day! Definitely and extra special birthday treat. He is going to be one active little boy, just like his big brother!

As fat as this pregnancy goes….

Exercise:

Still running, several miles each time I run. Usually a couple times a week.

Pilates. Mat, Chair, Reformer. I just modify my work based on how far along I am. I also sometimes watch some Prenatal videos on PilatesAnytime. I mostly do Chair and Reformer.

Swimming. I also incorporate water aerobics/Pilates into my swims. I have some equipment for that

Barre. I am going to be starting some Barre classes tomorrow. I miss Barre!!! I incorporate it at home, but I haven’t been to an actual class outside of my home in a while.

Cravings:

Limes! I love lime juice on everything. Rice. Fruit, grapes, bananas, apples, honeydew. Shrimp. Oh my gawwwd. If I could eat shrimp every day without worrying about mercury, I would. I have to limit myself and that is hard. Cottage cheese. Spinach, cilantro, arugula, veggies!!! I cannot get enough veggies in my dinners.

This is all much different than Jackson as well. I wanted to much junk with him. Or maybe I have learned how to eat better with pregnancy after going through it once. Either way, I am not complaining!

This was last week. I haven’t take one this week because we have been busy getting home and unpacking and celebrating my birthday. Plus, what’s a better background to a belly photo than the Atlantic Ocean?

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Now I am off to workout. Debating a run or Pilates. Choices are hard ;-) Just wanted a fast update, since it has been so long. I didn’t vanish again. I swear! I was just busy enjoying life outside of blogging for a bit. That happens and is good.

 

It’s a few days into April here in the Chicagoland area. You wouldn’t think it though. It is still very cold and windy on a regular basis. I am not entirely sure summer will ever arrive for us. I am starting to accept that. (Ok, maybe not. I still long for warm sun and playing outside without shivering)

I am into my 2nd trimester. I have a 3 year old that is as active and hilarious as always. I also know what this second baby is as far as gender! We got our Panorama test results back earlier this week. My family is coming by on Sunday for us to tell them. I didn’t do anything cutesy with Jack and I decided I wanted to do something cutesy this time around. I am over the moon about what we are having!

My energy levels have been way up. As a matter of fact, today is my first “rest day” in over  a week! I have been running and doing Pilates. It feels great to not feel like total death on a regular basis. I feel slightly like my normal not pregnant self. Jack hasn’t asked me to “not be cranky anymore” in a while. So, he too has seen the improvement. I felt bad every time he said that to me, but hormones man, hormones. I always apologized to him and explained sometimes having a baby in my belly makes me cranky and it will get better.

The checkout girl at Whole Foods yesterday asked me if Jack was a “helper or a hinderance” as far as grocery shopping. He is a chatty kid and I always speak to him like he is an adult, so I answer his questions and have conversations with him. He was being his chatty self in line. Helping me put all the food on the belt. Talking about each item and asking me questions. I was answering them. Telling him no to more candy and reusable bags (the kid has probably 50.) The comment took me aback. Obviously he is my little helper. Even on days where I wish I could just do it all myself, I always think “one day I will want him to help and if I always deter him now, he may not be interested in helping at all” I wanted to tell her that. To give her my insights on how to parent, but I just smiled and said “he is my little helper!” I really try to avoid making him feel like he is in the way. I would certainly never tell a stranger, right in front of him, “oh, he hinders all of my errands. We never get anything done!” I am convinced that often, people do not think before they speak. I don’t think I would ever ask that of someone. And as a matter of fact on every other errand we have ever been on and someone sees his utter exuberance for life, they always say “You have a little helper on your hands!” They smile and usually tell me how cute he is.

My kid isn’t a hinderance. This second one won’t be either. Sure, sometimes it takes longer to get out the door than I would like. Sure, sometimes we have to stop in a public bathroom, which I hate because they are gross. Sure, sometimes he wants to put the jam on his toast and I am thinking we have to eat now so we can get out the door for school by 8:30. Sure, sometimes he spills food or drinks during dinner. But that is part of it all. That is part of childhood. That is part of parenting. That is part of this whole adventure together. It is my job to build him up, not tear him down. It is my job to teach him how to put the jam on his toast and to cheer him on as he does so. If he thinks I will scold him for those small unimportant mistakes, then what will he think when he makes a big one? I don’t want him to keep big things from me. I want him to know that he can come to me and sure, I may be upset, but I won’t hate him. I will help him. I will love him.

Don’t tell you kids they are a hinderance. Just don’t And certainly don’t ask someone that in front of their child.

When you’re a parent it is your job to help your child through difficult parts of their life. Jack will be 18 months on August 4th, so the difficult things in his life aren’t overly tough to handle. For him they are, but as an adult they really are just small bumps.

I love to be creative. I am a creative person by nature. I have been my whole life. I march to my own beat. I have embraced that. Jack is a lot like me. I try to remember that when trying to overcome certain bumps in the road.

Most recently he went from going to bed quietly and peacefully to full on hour long scream sessions. He was tired. He goes to bed very late. 9-10pm some nights. But suddenly he was acting terrified of his crib. Clinging to me like he was terrified for his life as I tried to lay him down. His face would break my heart. I knew he wasn’t just being a brat. He was upset about something. It was like he was genuinely scared. We have crib toys that light up for him. Two of them actually. We turned them on for him, as night lights. He also knows how to turn both on himself. So he had a light night on a timer. But the problem wasn’t so much in the middle of the night as really when it was bedtime. We read stories before, we have those night lights. What is going on here? I can’t listen to this sad crying anymore! My poor poor baby! But I am also not going to rock him all night long and sleep in a chair. He is almost a year and a half, close to 30lbs and closer and closer to 40inches. He is a big kid and not a newborn!

Then we decided to step up our game. By nature, he is not a scaredy cat. Not at all. In fact he is incredibly brave and usually has no problem jumping right into trying something new out. So we decided to make bed time a little more fun. We started pointing out all the amazing things about his room and his crib. He is very bright and understands everything we say. He responds to requests and questions. He has a lot of words for a 17 month old. So we know he understands as we explain this. He has glow in the dark stars on his walls and ceiling. He can say star. So we reminded him of those and how at night if he is upset to look at them because they glow and THAT is awesome! We pointed out his Cars bedding, his sheets, big blanket, and pillow. Mater and Lightning are all over them. Then we point out his stuffed Lightning and Mater. We remind him that he can bring his books to bed with him, if he feels like reading. Finally we point out his amazing crib toys that light up and all he has to do is press the button!!!! He started to get so excited and smiled and REACHED for his crib. We have done this a couple nights in a row now. Bedtime has been going much more peacefully.

With Jack we are lucky to be able to put a positive spin on things, distract from the negative (most times, not always like a tantrum at the grocery store where he is DONE running errands! ha!)

We also recently did this with an amazing thunder and lightening storm. It was loud and bright. He is older now so I thought he might get frightened if this is going on when he is sleeping. We all went upstairs, to our bedroom. Opened our big blinds. We have huge windows that overlook the lake. I turned off all the lights inside and we watched the lightening like a fireworks show. Jason and I ooooo’d and ahhhhh’d. Jack LOVED it. Stood on the window ledge (we held him still) and tapped the windows, smiling, making noise himself. That night we didn’t hear a peep from him.

So we keep trying out these “making things cool trick.” It works for now. It is a great trick to have under my belt. It helps that his personality is more tuned into responding to this kind of spin. No doubt about that.

What do you do to help your child(ren) through a tough time or stage? Are yours easily frightened? Or do they tend to barrel through life and think after, like Jack. How do you handle bedtime protests?

For the past week or so I have been working on a new crafty project. My son is obsessed with cars, trucks, vans, etc. VEHICLES rule his world. We cannot leave the house without cars in tow. In particular we cannot leave without Mater and Lightning McQueen.

As you can see, Lightning in particular is rather loved. He is in need of a fresh paint job. I can bring along other cars. He will play with them sure, but only if he also has Mater and Lightning. If I do not have both of them he will shake his head no and point at my purse over and over until he gets the right cars. If he doesn’t get the right car, prepare yourself for a meltdown!

So my kid’s lovies are two cars. Not a blanket or a stuffed animal but metal/plastic cars. Always in his hands. He has even managed to master being able to hold them both and pick up other objects.

Now that you have the background back to my project. I made him a car mat. For him to play with and drive his cars around his town. He has started to drive them around things and make a car sound. I figured it was time for him to have roads to play on.

It is a yard long

I made it from felt. I hand cut all of the pieces. I mean it is not perfect scale or size etc. But I think that adds to the charm of it. The words are actually scrapbooking letter stickers I had. I hot glued everything down. Even the letters.The cutting and the layout took a while. I created it all before gluing anything. Made sure it looked how I wanted. I then ran out of hot glue one evening this week while he was sleeping. He was super cranky all week so we didn’t make it to the craft store until Thursday. I didn’t have the time or energy to finish it until yesterday during nap time. It took me a couple hours to glue it all down. At least 2 hours for sure. Maybe longer. I sort of lost track of time. Thankfully we had been at the beach/park/spray park all morning and he took a long nap.

He did love it! I showed him how to drive his cars on the road and he picked up on it pretty quick. When he saw it he immediately tried to pick one of the lakes up off of the mat. It cracked me up because it was glued down and he was a little confused. I have been contemplating making him a felt board. With felt shapes to stick on it. Now that I saw him do that with the mat I will be making that board.

Yesterday I decided to throw together a quick sensory drum for Jack. I call it a drum instead of a box because I used a drum he received for Christmas. It was an instrument set. All the instruments were inside this drum. He has lots of containers that his toys go in. Even a Pirate metal bucket from Easter. I chose the drum because half of it is see through.

I used things I had in the cabinet. I raided my pantry! I used rice, split peas, kidney beans, black eyed peas, and lentils. I had the kidney beans and split peas from a Thanksgiving decoration I made and then I had the other things just from previous recipes. I used his toys inside of the bin. I didn’t have to go out and buy anything specific for this activity. That was nice. It felt like a freebie!

It took me maybe 5 minutes. Most of the time I spent on it was looking for all the bags of dried goods to put in it! What an easy activity to create. He really likes it.

At first I really buried all of the toys. Trying to get him to dig for them. He wasn’t so interested in doing that. Maybe because he is still 15 months that concept was unclear. BUT if they were poking out a bit he loved searching for them. I could ask him to find a certain object and he would dig it out.

Found a block

Score! A car!

Today he pulled objects out on his own, without any prompting. I found the lid to the drum and he also enjoyed putting the lid on and taking it off.

It gets slightly messy, beans and rice all around the drum but nothing some vacuuming couldn’t fix. I vacuumed this morning from yesterday’s session. Jack loves when I vacuum. He gets so excited every time I bring it out, which is at least once a day these days. I don’t mind the mess so for me that was no big deal. The way I see it, he is learning and learning can be messy. So is life. It is nothing a 5 minute vacuum session cannot take care of!

Next on my list is a felt car mat! He is obsessed with cars. He has started to “drive” his cars around and make car sounds. I think a car mat would be right up his alley. I also plan to make a felt board for him to play with, since he also loves magnets so much.I thought it would be nice for him to learn how other things can stick together besides magnets.

I hope to have the felt mat done before next week. I will post that project as well.

I recall a season when I had a lot of time to get posts written. I was tired and nearly delirious from lack of sleep at night, but man did that baby sleep a lot during the day! This meant if I wasn’t also napping I had more free time to write. I don’t have that free time anymore! He does nap once a day for 2 hours at least. But that first hour I use for my workout and the 2nd is assorted other things.

I have begun a number of posts earlier in the morning without finishing because Jack wakes up before I am done. I have saved them all, perhaps one day I will finish those and post them! (That is funny!)

Jack is 1. Well heading into 13 months at this rate. In less than 2 weeks he will be 13 months! He is amazing and wonderful. He has me in awe daily. He has started to show his stubborn personality as well. I don’t think either of us is surprised or confused about that. If you know my husband and myself you know we are two of the most stubborn people around. We are very like minded though, which is why it works for us. Sometimes I have to laugh at Jack’s temper because I see myself. I try to not laugh too much, as I don’t want to totally encourage it. But sometimes it is just too funny. He is a mini me! MINI ME!

Jack's "mommy face" as my hubby calls it

Mini Me and well me!

We are all done nursing. For over a week now we have been completely done. Let me tell you, I have been enjoying wine and other assorted beverages. Naturally when there is someone else or other people around. No getting hammered during the day by myself! Ha! It sure is nice to be able to share a bottle of wine with my hubby. I know some say drinking while nursing is ok and safe but I was never really comfortable enough with the idea to have more than a few sips once or twice.We all make our parenting choices and that was mine. Not saying it is the only way to operate or knocking anyone who sees it differently. I sure drank a great deal of coffee while nursing. I am addicted to it :-) We are all different!

It went surprisingly well, weaning. I did it over one week. That wasn’t too bad because we had essentially been down to 3 nursing sessions a day. I had one bad attitude day from him. The 2nd day. But he got over it and it went unnoticed on his part for the rest of the week and stopping the rest of the nursings! I was a little sad he didn’t notice. I was sad that it was over. But at the same time I am enjoying not feeling worried if I go to the store or a bridal shower without him. I can! My hubby is completely capable of keeping him fed, watered, and alive.

My home gym keeps coming along. I added a step for more aerobic dvd’s. I love it. I went running twice this weekend. February has been incredibly mild in Chicago. Excellent running weather. I decided since I didn’t have to wait around for Jack to get up before I do things so I can nurse him, I went running both days. Jason home with him. It felt amazing.

This week I am working on a Skinny Ms. Challenge. Not a month long one. Maybe soon I will work up to that. Just a 7 day Abs Challenge I started yesterday. I found it to be rather easy. A little tough at the end because I was tired. I had just run 3.2 miles before I started my ab work. The reverse crunches, all 50, were a little hard too. Over all not too bad though. Today I will do Monday’s, obviously. I will write (I hope…) about this all once I am done. My guess is my abs feel kind of fried next Saturday!

That is a brief update. I have a million other things going on, but I should tend to them now.

Are you on Pinterest? Follow me there, I will follow you back too! I am obsessed. That takes up a lot of my internet time…oops! :-)

My last couple of posts have been fitness related. But there has been a lot going on with Jack. I feel each day gets busier and busier because he is so very mobile. He has started talking a bit as well. Yesterday I got to hear him say “mama mama mama mama” all day. He is not just babbling when he says that word either. He says it loud and clear when he wants my attention or wants me to pick him up or any other need he has from me. Mama was actually his first clear word. Over the weekend I went to get him in the morning. As soon as he saw he me he began saying mama mama mama and reaching for me. I was over the moon and elated. I was not expecting it! He babbles baba, dada, gaga, etc as he goes about his business.And he seems to be starting to say dada in reference to Jason as well. Yesterday it really sounded like it when Jason held him.

He has begun to say “ball.” Playing with a ball is his favorite activity, so it is no surprise that ball would be one of his first words. He can throw and catch a ball. It is rather hilarious.

On Sunday he will turn 10 months. I again am dreading this approaching date. I remember early on how I was always so excited for him to turn the next month old. Now I wish it would slow down. His first year is nearly over! OVER! He is nearly a toddler. Jason refuses to call him an infant or baby anymore. He calls him a toddler already. His theory is that he sits up, crawls, pulls up, stands,

walks around his table or along the couch or entertainment center, and is talking. So in Jason’s book that means he is a big boy toddler. In my book he is still my little baby. I refuse to even entertain the idea that he is a toddler until after his first birthday.

I will say I enjoy this time with him. He is so fun and sweet. He loves to play and games are now a two way street. He is so interactive. I can roll the ball to him, he laughs, catches it, and throws or rolls it back. If I clap, he will clap too. I point at him, he will point back. It goes on and on the things he responds to. Sometimes I feel like a child again because I get to play with one all day. It is very fun. Sometimes it is hard work, but the fun times help you to move past any of the harder times.

He is understanding the lessons I am teaching him. He knows when I am trying to reprimand something he did. I don’t yell or anything, but I get a stern voice when telling him no about something and then I get a loving reassuring voice and I explain why I said no. He may not grasp this concept entirely but he knows the different tones and I believe he understands when I say no. I think the positive reinforcement after is so important. Yesterday our cat Lili walked past him and stopped in front of him. He reached out to pet her. I have been teaching him the word “gentle” for months, especially around the kitties. So from across the room I said “Gentle Jackson, gentle” He stopped, looked up at me, then looked back at her and gently ran his hand across her body. After he was done he looked up at me with this look of “did I do it right momma?” I then reassured him he did a great job by telling him so. He was so happy with himself he smiled and clapped. He knows what is going on! So smart. He wanted that positive reinforcement. And he acted accordingly. It just amazes me how much he is learning each day. I can get lost in his development sometimes. I am always in awe of him.

my big guy!

Children are so amazing and such a wonder. I am holding on to these last two months and so many days in his first year. I love each stage but I will no doubt miss the baby stage eventually. Although, if he continues to be as cuddly as he always has been with me I think that will help. Usually whenever he wakes up whether it is in the morning or after a nap he is very quiet and not ready to play (a trait he got from his dad) He wants to sit on my lap and snuggle and watch tv or read a book. He needs a good 15 minutes of this before he starts moving and reaching for the floor to play. I do not mind having to sit around with him and snuggle. I don’t care how much I have to do, I savor those moments of snuggle time each day.

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