Archives for posts with tag: child


My sister-in-law gave me the sign pictured here for my birthday this year. Today, I found myself thinking about the quote, and how much I feel pulled to it today. I may not be able to single-handedly write the world into saving itself, but I will share my stories, and try my hardest to affect change when and where I can.

Yesterday my son was involved in a bomb threat. My six year old son was at his school, ready to participate in his after school club when some maniac called in a bomb threat. Right now, his school educates children pre-k through eighth grade. Someone wanted to harm, scare, evoke terror, and cause chaos for children that young. Let that sink in. The targets of this terror were small children just trying to learn and play.

I walk to pick him up every day. Yesterday, I took my time walking there with my two year old. I was working on teaching him how to stop at every parking garage and intersection. I turned it into a game. We were having fun. Completely unaware what was going on. As we walked down the stairs to the park near the school, I noticed fire trucks and commotion. I truly thought it had something to do with the construction site nearby. We started to walk by it, to get to the school. Two firefighters stopped me and told me I had to go around through the park. As we turned around, I overheard two other adults say the name of my son’s school and that it had been evacuated. This stopped me in my tracks. Things slowed down a little for me. I scooped up my little one and approached a fireman. He did not have a lot of info to give me. I asked him to please ask if there was someone who could come speak with me. I needed to get to my child.

It felt as if I stood there forever. I am sure less time passed than I think. I did my best to one hand text my husband and mom. He called me to get more details and let me know he was on his way. Another fireman came and spoke with me. I again explained my child had been in that building and I needed to know what was going on and where I could find him. He said they had been talking to the head of the school, and that the kids were sent to two different locations. He would try to see if he could get any information on what kids went where. I stopped him one more time and asked him to tell me what was going on. Why this was all happening. He turned and looked at me, he was silent for a second, then quietly said “There was a bomb threat.” I can tell you, even typing that right now brings a lump to my throat. I know my heart sank. I remember I exhaled a large amount of air as my body sank a little. I rolled my head to one side. That feeling of exasperation. I was still holding my youngest son. I did not ask any more questions at that moment. He probably should not have told me what he did, and in my brain, even in the chaos, I knew that. I think he looked at me and saw a scared mom holding another child, then he did the human thing and told me. He walked off to go investigate further. Then a lieutenant walked up and asked the parents gathered there “who is missing a child?” I raised my hand. There is that lump again. I was missing my child. He then asked each parent who raised a hand how many children they were missing. He rushed off to speak to other officials. When he came back he gave me the best information he could. The children were in two locations, but he had no way of knowing which location each child was sent to. He gave me the two spots. One was across the park, it was the closest and I started there. My son had on a bright orange shirt. It is Spirit Week and it was Athletic Clothing Day. As I began to walk across the park I saw a bright orange spot. I knew it was him! Then I saw his after school club instructor. I did not run or act scared. I continued to calmly walk up to him and said hi with a smile on my face. I was not sure how much information anyone had, especially the kids. I saw some other parents. I shared with them what the fireman had shared with me.

My son had nothing with him, of course. They left everything and just evacuated the building. The school completely evacuated in under three minutes. This was during after school activities, meaning staff and students were all over the place and not in normal situations, they were still able to get every human out incredibly quick. After we stood around for a while and I spoke to some other parents and faculty, I decided we were not going to stand around and wait for an all clear to retrieve his bag. Meanwhile, my husband had immediately jumped in a cab to get to us as fast as he could. As we walked away he arrived. We then ran into two other families we know. We took all the kids for ice cream and really had a nice time. Some calm after the storm.

When I got home and called my mom to update her I started telling her the story and I broke down. The panic had remained at bay, allowing me to function and keep my children safe. As we chatted, it suddenly came to the surface. The tears came flowing and I choked up as I tried to tell her all the details.

After the phone call, I sat down on the couch but I could not stop shaking. We started to talk to our son about what happened, the truth behind the sudden emergency. We did not want him to go to school today and overhear the word bomb, not knowing what he had really been involved with. He explained to us what happened when the alarms went off. How they did not take the elevator, they took the stairs. The stairs they took were “different and we left the building in a secret exit.” He said all the children were screaming, including him, on the way down the stairs. An hour later at the dinner table he brought it up again, telling us how he was feeling. He said he could not stop thinking about it. We answered his questions and reassured him again he was brave and we were so proud that he listened to his teachers. Everyone did an amazing job staying safe. He was safe and the school, police, and fire departments were making sure everything was ok.

I ordered him new shoes recently. The packages arrived yesterday afternoon. As I unpacked the new shoes last night, I paused for a moment. I looked at the shoes and thought about how if this had not been a threat, had it been real, and ended in pure tragedy, that I would have opened those boxes of shoes for a child that I may have lost. We do not always think about those small details in life. A new pair of shoes is just something that is needed or something that is fun. Not every threat ends with an all clear. There are parents who had new things for their child, and that child never came home. It makes me sick. It breaks my heart.

I am so angry today. I am angry that my child and all the other children had to experience this. I am angry that someone caused terror and chaos for families. I am angry that this is the world we live in. I am angry that my panic after getting home was not misplaced, because every day you see headlines about threats being followed through and people losing children and loved ones.

The other side of that anger is pure gratitude. I am thankful that it was a threat and my child got to sleep in his bed last night. I am thankful for the teachers, staff, and administrators who care for our children and do their best to keep them safe. I am thankful to all the firemen I spoke to. I am thankful to the fireman who told me what was really going on. I am thankful to the fireman who took the time to ask how many children each parent was missing. I am thankful to the police department who searched the building, are investigating this, and have been there today to keep an eye on the area. I am thankful to my mom who told me it was one hundred percent ok to breakdown once I got us home safely. I am thankful for the friends we grabbed ice cream with, helping us all return to a bit normalcy so quickly.

I sent him to school today. I even chaperoned a field study. The day progressed as usual. I overheard some children buzzing a bit about what happened yesterday. This did not stop us though. The kids are learning and laughing today. We are not being oppressed by the fear this horrible person tried to create. To say this is not in the back of my mind would be a lie. It is still there. I did overthink while in the shower this morning, wishing I could keep him home. I know that would not help him get over what he went through, it is just my maternal instinct to keep my children as safely close to me as I can. While this story may not save civilization from destroying itself, it is our story. It happened. It happens every day around the world, too often on a much more tragic scale. There is a human side to these events. There are new pairs of shoes waiting to be worn when a child arrives home safely from school.

Parenthood comes with the expectation that you will experience new things. It is filled with constant and changing experiences. You could write a year’s worth of blogs on every kind of new thing parenthood brings. There is only one on my mind today though.

My oldest started Kindergarten yesterday. We survived. That is for another post. It has given me some more one on one time with my youngest. For a couple hours 5 days a week I have an only child of sorts. This morning we spent a little time outside. While watching him I got lost in thought.

At the beginning of August Alex had tubes in his ears to clear up chronic fluid behind his ear drums. This fluid had caused temporary hearing loss in him. We don’t know exactly how long it had been causing it, but it was long enough to impact his speech development. Which is how we discovered the hearing loss, at speech therapy.

Since then I have gotten to experience what it is like to watch someone whose hearing loss had been remedied rediscover the world. That is an experience I have never had. It is an experience that I would not have assumed came with parenthood. However, let me tell you, it is one of the most amazing things I have ever been a part of. The difference in him has been amazing. He is no longer frustrated. He is sunny and happy and oh so chatty.


He notices all of the sounds around him now. Small noises grab his attention. He is amazed when he hears a cacophony of nature outside. This morning I took time to explore this with him. We could hear so many different tunes. Birds tweeting, crickets chirping, acorns falling from trees, a small plane that flew over our home. We heard it first and then hunted the skies for it until it became visible.

We play this game where he says momma and I respond with a quiet whistle. He laughs and laughs and says momma again and again. I can whisper things to him now and he responds. He has more words and is saying phrases and sentences. He articulates what he needs, wants, and doesn’t want.


Watching him hear the world clearly for maybe the first time in his life has been one of my favorite parenting experiences. I was so worried about the surgery. I felt awful for not catching this sooner. I was hoping with all hope that it worked and we didn’t put him through that for nothing. Every one of those concerns were squashed. When his face lights up at the sound of a bird singing a song, I know that I wouldn’t change a thing. He has allowed me to watch someone exploring their world for the first time in a new way. You can see the appreciation he has for his newfound hearing ability. I can see it in his face when he hears some random noise that grabs his attention. WOW OOOO OHHH Mamma!! I can see it in his face when he starts a conversation with me. I can see it in his face when he now says hi and bye to everyone that walks by him. I can hear it when he answers questions with real formed words instead of babbling or yelling. I can hear it when he plays his mamma game. I heard it that very post op night when he went from say “wah” for walk to “WALK.” Right now he is sitting at the end of the couch we are on together. He is hugging our cat and saying “kikey.” Which is a word he couldn’t even come close to forming before.

There are tons of thoughts on seeing the world through a child’s eyes. But for me, I am hearing the world through a child’s ears. And it is phenomenal.



I am lounging on my couch as I start this post. Not necessarily because I want to be lounging around, but because I am supposed to be lounging around more. 

Wednesday I went to my weekly OB appointment and follow up ultrasound. The appointment was at 11. I expected to be home by 11:45 the latest. Instead I was sent to the hospital by my OB and immediately admitted for further tests. The reason I was having a follow up ultrasound was because they have been monitoring my amniotic fluid. Well, the results of this week were 5.8. Which is borderline immediate induction low. Below 5 and they would have induced me being 35 weeks along. 

I was tested for a break in my water bag. That came back negative. Well, all 4 tests for that came back negative. They put my on IV fluids and there I stayed. I wasn’t supposed to get up for much more than to pee. The plan was continuous IV until Thursday morning when they would give me another ultrasound. If my amniotic fluid was 8 or higher I would be released. 

I happened to have fallen the previous Saturday. I was playing soccer in my driveway with my son and husband. Nothing intense as Jackson is 3 & 1/2. Just normal kicking the ball around. I went to get the ball and my foot got stuck in between one of our brick pavers. I fell down. I landed in a lunge (yay Pilates!!) So my left knee took the brunt of the fall. My belly next to my right leg, which didn’t hit the ground. I was fine. I stopped playing and went inside, but there was nothing to worry about. I did mention it, just in case. Turns out, I should have kept my mouth shut. The labeled me a FALL risk because of it. I had awful obnoxious signs on my door and I got a lovely accessory. IMG_7749

Even my husband laughed at me for this. It was so over the top. A non pregnant person would have wiped out too. The tip of my foot was literally stuck in a hole! I probably went down better than most people because I am in such good shape. I made my opinion on this heard. That I thought it was absurd! 

My sweetheart came to visit me after school. I was so happy to see him. He really cheered up my day. I missed him terribly after he left though. I certainly would have preferred to be at home snuggling with him over sitting in a hospital bed pondering the fact that in a few hours I may have a premature baby.

My sweetheart

My sweetheart

Things were a little boring after he left. My husband stayed with me. My mom took Jackson to our home and spent the night with him. I didn’t sleep much more than an hour all night. Labor and delivery beds are NOT comfy for overnight sleep, especially if you are not in active labor about to meet your new baby. Plus, my separated pelvis was highly irritated from sitting and laying on the rock hard surface. I listened to two babies be born. I listened to my unborn baby’s heart beat on the monitor. I listened to different mediation tracks on Spotify. I worried about what the morning would bring. I had a nightmare about a garish blood draw. I finally gave up around 6:30am and got up for the day. 

My breakfast left something to be desired. I was pretty disappointed with my burnt toast. I didn’t order anything else except fruit. I ate the toast. But it tasted like it looks. 

mmm burnt toast

mmm burnt toast

We were supposed to be waiting until 11 for my next ultrasound. I kept counting the hours. How many more I had left. I finally switched to sitting in the rocking chair. Ahhh sweet relief for my pelvis. The nurse came in shortly after. It was just past 10am. My primary OB was in the hospital and changed my ultrasound to right that minute. We were thrilled. Again I was constantly sending mental vibes to my uterus, “please be at 8 or higher. Please” I laid there watching the screen and the face of the tech, trying to determine the results. I saw him type very low centimeter results in all the scans. 1 here 2 there. In the back of my brain rationalizing, they must add that all up. They must! Finally he told us “It is looking like it is 8. Yeah 8.”

I was hopeful on the ride back to my room, but ultimately it was up to my OB to decide what to do. Almost 3 bags of fluids and I was just at an 8. Not 8 point something. Flat 8. We sat in our room waiting. Finally the nurse came in and said “The gods must be with you. You’re being released!” 

That was the fantastic news. The bad news. I am not out of the woods yet. We have a follow up ultrasound and appointment on Monday. It is likely that I will be closely monitored from here on out. Also, I am not allowed to exercise anymore. I am not on bedrest, but I am supposed to take it easy in general. I can do normal every day activities. I have to watch what I lift. I am not supposed to lift Jackson unless it is absolutely necessary. 

Monday will determine what happens next. I will be just over 36 weeks, still not full term. It will help to decide how often I have to see my Dr, how often I need an ultrasound, if I need to be sent back to the hospital for more fluids, or if I need to be induced. It is a big day, that Monday.

I am not good at sitting still. I hate it too much, actually. I am pretty upset that I cannot exercise anymore. I do not know the last time I went this long without working out. 8 years? I don’t know. My husband is treating me like a porcelain doll. Another thing I hate. I am very independent. I don’t like being overly babied. I hated being pushed around in the wheelchair. You have read my feelings on the fall risk situation. I like to do things for myself. It is hard to take a break. I insisted on grocery shopping myself today. It is a normal every day activity. I didn’t lift one grocery bag in or out of my car though. I went to Old Navy for comfy yoga pants to lounge in. If I have to be lounging, I want to be able to wear something comfy. I also got a pedicure. That was the only thing I didn’t have to defend to my husband. He is fine with spa treatments, since you sit around being pampered. As I was leaving for my pedicure my husband said “you have almost used up all your allotted walking time today” He was hoping the Dr would put me on bed rest or at the least very limited activity. I have explained to him being told not to exercise is a prison sentence for me and that since I can do normal every day activity he has to give me some room here. That being said, I have been taking sitting down breaks. Compromise. 

That is where I am this Friday afternoon. Sarcastic, annoyed, and well, frankly, a little worried deep down. I don’t want him born prematurely. It is a hard balance. I want to be my normal exercising active self but I don’t want to cause harm to my little spitfire. Wish us luck on Monday. I am going to take it easy this weekend. Other than Tae Kwon Do for Jacky, we have no plans. I will be trying to not be a cranky lady who hasn’t been allowed to workout. I am trying to adjust to my new normal. 

I am a bookworm. I have been since before I learned how to read. I have vivid memories of my mom reading to me when I was a little girl. After learning how to read, I couldn’t put books down. I would spend hours in the library deciding on which books to check out next. It was always torture that I could only take a few at a time. My grandma would take me to the library with her and we would spend hours? there. To me it seemed like hours. I am not sure how long it was in actual time. As a child though, I was in that magical wonderful place for what seemed like an eternity. In college I spent a lot of time studying in the library. If I had time in between classes I would head there to read, study, work on things, or just be there.

I have worked to pass that on to Jackson and soon Alexander. Their book collection is extensive. I even have a book box where I add new books all the time and Jackson gets to pick a new book rather often. Last night I decided to grab two new books that I wanted to read to him. One of them is titled If I Could Keep You Little.

I bought this book a while ago. I read it in the store and cried. The premise is a mom who would love to keep her child little but knows she would then miss out on all the great things they did as they grew. I think this is my number one struggle as a mom. The idea that one day my boys will leave the nest. That one day I will have to let them go play outside in the big world without my hand a few inches away. I try to not be a total helicopter parent. I don’t hover constantly, especially in our home. I let Jackson play on his own. But outside, in the big scary world? He is only 3 & 1/2. I am not ready to let him wander. I don’t have to be ready quite yet, but one day I will.

The tantrums and arguing back can be hard. The bad days where we all don’t seem to sync up can be rough. But that is not the hardest part for me. With those moments I have about a 2 second rebound rate. I never feel defeated or that it drags out to the next day or even the next moment. Sometimes I can reset with just 20 minutes. It is the letting go that I know I will struggle with more and more as my boys grow.

Having a new baby on the way 4 years after we were expecting Jackson has proved that. I have seen now how much I have let go over the past 3 & 1/2 years. Much to my surprise. Things changed a little every single day. I do it, but it doesn’t mean that it was easy. To be honest, I usually still feed Jackson dinner. He can do it. He prefers me to help him. Much to my husband’s eye rolls. But one day he won’t want mommy to scoop his food and feed him. I will probably be trying to convince him to sit down and eat with us! Those are the kinds of things I think about. While I am saying “But Jackson, you are a big boy, you can feed yourself, right? You do it at breakfast and lunch!” In my head I am just perfectly fine with scooping that pasta into his mouth for him.

I made it through the book this time without crying. I didn’t even choke up when I read it to him. I even was able to point out similarities in his life and watched a big smile beam across his sweet soft face. My lap has less room these days. My belly is getting big. Less than 2 months to go until I have two boys squirming for space. But each day we cuddle on Jackson’s old rocking chair and we read books. We adjust every day to that growing belly. I suppose that is what parenting is. Every day you adjust to the changes just a touch. You have to wiggle something over to make room for something new and different. Some new skill, ability, task, thought, need, or want. Sometimes it happens without you even realizing it. When did my belly get so round? When did Jackson have to learn to sit differently on my lap? It wasn’t in one fell swoop. We grew together.

How I long to keep my boys little. Even looking back on infant photos of Jackson, which I have done more and more lately, I wonder, how did he grow into this boy? As we tucked him in and he had to show me one last fancy trick before being snuggled under his blankets I just watched his face. The book fresh in my mind. He used to be this squishy little infant, with a personality, but certainly not this specific personality. When did he grow into this little boy and leave that squishy infant behind? When did I stop using onesies? When did my world revolve around themed tshirts and pajamas? Spiderman adorned my sweetheart from head to toe last night. No more sweet baby blue footie pjs for him. He used to fit into all the clothing I have purchased for Alexander. Now, you couldn’t get a foot in some of those.

But, like that book tells me, if I kept him in those, I would miss out on him calling to me as I left “Mommy one more hug and kiss. Hugs and kisses are my favorite.” They are mine too sweet boy, whether you’re a newborn or a grown man. They will always be my favorite, in every stage you pass through.

Our growing family

Our growing family

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?

I have always loved words. Talking, reading, or writing. I am a chatterbox. I talk a lot. Always have. I used to get in trouble in school for being a social butterfly. I haven’t been able to put books down since I learned how to read. I have been writing since elementary school.

I always knew that I loved words in all forms. But I never knew that love could grow so immensely until I heard my child utter his first words. It started when he was around 9 months old. 9 1/2 months to be more precise. I stopped in my tracks the first time I heard him form a real word. I was caught totally off guard. He was crying for us. He had just woken up for the day. I went into his room. He was sitting in his crib and as soon as he saw me he started crying “momma momma momma” I couldn’t believe it!

Fast forward to now. Today (literally) he is 17 months old. I am desperately clinging to this last month of having a toddler under a year and a half. But that is for another post. Today I have to talk about how excited I am to hear WORDS from his precious pouty mouth. Last week he started saying “yellow.” He loves cars. He has this set of Maters. From Cars2. Mater in all of his secret agent disguises. There is a yellow one. I asked him, “Jack do you want your yellow Mater? Can you say yellow?” He looked at me and said “Wheh Whoa!” HE SAID YELLOW. That is not a particularly easy word. It is also a two syllable word. I was flabbergasted. I always ask him to repeat things or words I say. I am constantly asking him to try to use his words. Yet it still caught me by surprise. I was elated.

He has been working on the word flower for a while. I have flowers throughout the house. I have my wedding bouquet dried and on a wine rack in our dining room where we eat every day. I also have a fake orchid in my dining room. (I cannot have real plants. They die) But he has been taken with them for months. If you ask him where the flowers are he points. For a while he had been saying “fa” in reference to them. Yesterday he was working so hard to saying flower. “Ffffa-ah” On his own. We were sitting there enjoying breakfast and he started pointing and saying “ffffa-ah” over and over. Much later in the day we were at the grocery store. On his own he spotted some flowers and started saying “fffa-ah” again!

It makes my heart grow a million sizes bigger each time he gets a new word or phrase. I love communicating with him. I love hearing his little raspy voice work out new or old words. I am a big believer in using your words. When he is upset and having a tantrum I ask him to stop and use his words. I get to his level and look him in the eyes and tell him I can’t help him until he uses his words and tells me what he wants or what is wrong. If he knows the word he really stops and tries to tell me. I have found it to be a great relief during tantrums.

Words. They have been such a big part of my entire life. But I never truly appreciated them the way I do now. It is amazing the world a child can open up. The most simple thing, saying the word yellow, can make your day, week, and month so amazing!

my cool little talker

I know a lot of my posts have been about toddler things lately. Not as many fitness ones. I promise I am still working out regularly. Still going to my Barre class. The one thing that has changed is I haven’t gone for a run in 2 weeks! YIKES! Part of that is the stomach issues I have been battling. Part is I have been enjoying the break from it. I was really pushing myself for a while with my runs. I was ready to try Wednesday and Thursday but it has been nonstop rain around here. Wednesday my hubby wanted to workout when he got home so I worked out in the morning. The elliptical has been my friend lately.

Anyway. Back to toddlerhood. Trust me, running around after a 27lb almost 16 month old is a workout too. Also, he is a huge momma’s boy, which means I am constantly picking him up and holding him. The child knows how to walk and enjoys running but he really loves snuggles with his momma.

I have been having some fun with lunches. I enjoy making shapes and scenes and creatures for him.

This one is a little older. I had spelled out Jack and he ate the C before I got the photo.

A little face. Don’t worry, he is welcomed to have more food if he is still hungry after this small amount 🙂

Apple/grape cars. Held together with peanut butter

Jack is obsessed with cars and vehicles in general. So I thought this would be fun for him to have cars to eat. I use all natural peanut butter. No added sugar, salt, or anything. Just roasted peanuts. It is YUMMY!

Two lanes of cars, driving past a forest

That was my intention with this scene. He thought the green apples were a bit tart so I switched to red delicious apples. Looking back I should have used cheese for the lane markers! Next time!

Teddy bear

These were teddy bear cheese sandwiches. Whole grain crackers with cheese in between. I used a small circle cookie cutter to make a perfect circle of cheese. The rest was just decorated with fruits. Jackson promptly took apart the bear and devoured the cheese! He also was a big fan of the strawberries. The previous day he had been all about grapes.

He is becoming more and more picky. Mostly he doesn’t like to try new things, especially if the texture feels weird in his hands. So I have been trying to have fun and make lunch time silly. When he saw the bear he got a huge smile. That made me happy.

I will continue to share our adventures in toddler lunchtime. I am not sure what I will create today, but I will create something! I have a set of 101 cookie cutters, the creativity is endless.


I have my Shamrock Shuffle photos! I am so excited to share them.

Nearing the finish line

Almost there!

After I crossed the finish line, double checking my time

Just after I crossed the finish line! DONE

I have to say they got some really good ones. And for running an 8k and being at the end I don’t look all that awful! Like I had said in my original post about this race I couldn’t find my camera prior to heading downtown on Saturday night so we had to go without it. I didn’t actually think there would be photos captured of me. I mean there were nearly 40,000 runners that day! So 4 cool photos is not too shabby.

Jack is sick today. A cold the poor thing. He finally just went down for a nap. He usually goes down between 11-12. It is after 1. Last night he woke up 2 times, he never ever does that these days. My heart is aching for him. I want to make him feel better and the little I can do doesn’t seem to be helping. My grandparents and my great aunt were supposed to come visit today. That was canceled since he is so sick. I had told them they were still welcomed but they thought it was best for us to let him relax. It ended up being a good idea because he seems to feel crappier and crappier.

My poor munchkin face

Look at the poor face. I feel soooo awful for him. Oh the scratch on his nose isn’t from being sick. He fell down at the park yesterday. Poor thing! A nasty scratch on his runny, stuffy nose! And Momma keeps coming at him with Boogie Wipes to wipe the snot away.

When Jason gets home I think I will go for a run, hopefully 6 miles. I think I will need it to clear my head and prepare for tomorrow if he is still sick then. Today has already been long, and it is only 1 pm.