Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sleep? What is that?

Not quite sure what is going on over the last couple days, but Charlie has been extremely clingy. I'm fairly sure that he's going through the famous "three month growth spurt." Not only have I been unable to do housework for more than five minutes at a time, but I'm getting literally no sleep at night. Seriously, it's like we're back in the newborn phase where he's up every 1-2 hours to nurse.

It's weird though, I feel really guilty even complaining. I feel so blessed to have this beautiful little boy and I continue to remind myself during those late night feedings. So what if the laundry is piling up a little more than normal, or I haven't been able to deep clean our bedroom and bathroom the way I'd like? I have this amazing, healthy baby who I should be focusing on right now. This time with him being snuggled up on my chest and looking into my eyes while he nurses is such a short time and I know I'll miss it once it's gone.

I was able to improvise a little yesterday morning and threw him into the Baby Bjorn while I prepared the Bean and Bacon soup in the slow cooker for dinner. He actually enjoyed facing forward and looking around! But once the afternoon rolled around, I finally rose the white flag in surrender and we spent the rest of the day in my bed, watching movies and nursing. It was actually a wonderful bonding opportunity. I have been keeping myself so busy lately so it was wonderful to just slow down and spend that time with him.

Needless to say, I'm depending on lots of coffee to get me through each day and hopefully this growth spurt will be brief. Just trying to enjoy every moment and take it all in.

His squeaks and smiles make every sleepless night worth it...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Breakin' out the slow cooker

Okay, can someone please tell me why I haven't been using a crock pot before today? My mom gave me a very fancy slow cooker two years ago for Christmas. Take a guess how many times it has been put to use? One time. Only once in two years... what has been wrong with me??

Today is Eric's 28th birthday. I decided I wanted to cook him a nice dinner that he could come home to after work. I found a healthy recipe for a Cranberry Pork Loin Roast. It sounded so yummy, and since we're both on track with healthy eating, I decided this was the perfect dish to attempt for my sweet husband. Keep in mind I have never cooked a roast, so I feel this is quite the challenge for me. Or so I thought! I have decided that the slow cooker is the most amazing invention of all time.

It literally took me ten minutes to brown the roast, throw it in the pot, cover it with the cranberry mixture, and voila! Here it is, cooking away in the afternoon:

This roast turned out AMAZING. The entire time we were sitting and eating I kept stating that I couldn't believe I made this. It was so tender and full of flavor! I know it seems silly that I'm dedicating an entire post about my pork loin roast, but I'm very proud of myself... I can't help it!

The slow cooker has officially become my new best friend. How did I ever survive without you, dear friend?

Here is the final product, before being drizzled with the incredible cranberry sauce mixture:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Jackson

Dear Jackson,

Well my son, today is your fourth birthday. I have to admit that so far, this has been the best birthday I have spent with you. I opened my eyes this morning to see you standing by my bed with the brightest smile on your face. You snuggled up with me while I quietly sang "Happy Birthday" to you so we didn't wake up Charlie who was sleeping in his swing. You let me cover your face with kisses and kept announcing that you were finally four. No longer three, but four. You were so very proud.

I have spent many moments today reflecting on the day you were born. It truly feels like yesterday. I can still feel you moving around inside my tummy, yet here you are running around and telling clever stories. How have you grown so quickly? The first moment I laid my eyes on you changed my life. I knew I would never be the same and my life has been better because of you.

This last year has brought some tremendous changes in you. You started preschool in September and I have seen such growth on so many levels since. You have learned how to trace your name, recognize numbers, and your social skills have absolutely exploded. You have truly become such an amazing little man. When I pick you up from school, I love watching you run around and play with your best buddies. Damian and Grace have become your closest friends and it's so fun to see. I love receiving all of your fantastic art projects. We have a special box to store every single one of them. It has filled up very quickly!

How can I even begin to describe how much joy you bring to my life? Every moment is an adventure and I treasure the time I get to spend with you. There is no doubt that you are strong willed, which can be a challenge sometimes. But I know that in the future it will be a very positive personality trait. You are one of the sweetest little boys I have ever seen and I still can't believe you're mine. You're my little boy. God has truly blessed me for allowing me to be your mother.

I love you, my special boy. Happy Birthday and I can't wait to experience the next year with you.

Love you always,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Done with winter

I am in complete disbelief. We have been planning for weeks for Jackson's preschool birthday celebration. I spent hours frosting 48 sugar cookies, my sweet mom helped me put together party bags for all the kids, I spent hours at Leah's house to create a poster board with pictures over the years (well, she did it all!). And what happens on the big day? Jackson woke up this morning with a fever, sore throat, and cough. AGAIN. This is the billionth time he's been sick in the last few months.

Can I tell you how much I wish winter would just end already?

My poor little guy is such a trooper. When I first told him I didn't think he'd be able to go to school, his little bottom lip pouted out and it just about shattered my heart in pieces. But he's pretty darn content now, snuggled up in my bed watching "Monsters Inc." I'm pretty sure I'll be able to talk with his teacher and plan on them celebrating his birthday on Monday instead, but it still just stinks.

Now all I can pray for is that Charlie doesn't catch this again. That's a whole different story for another day. I just keep focusing on the fact that spring will be here soon and hopefully we can all be healthy for more than one week at a time!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My son the Vacuum Man

When Christmas started rolling around this year, we started asking Jackson what he wanted from Santa. We were expecting the typical boy responses.... "Cars, trucks, frogs." You get the idea. Imagine our surprise when he was absolutely set on wanting a vacuum cleaner. Yes, his very own vacuum cleaner. For weeks all we continued to hear was that he wanted a vacuum cleaner with a light on it. My boy is very specific about his cleaning equipment.

On Christmas Eve, I took both boys downtown to see Saint Nick in all his glory. Jackson was star struck, Charlie slept the entire time like a blob in his stroller. Even after he was handed over to Santa, he didn't make a peep! So they did the pictures and then it was the moment Jackson had been waiting for... Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas. I am not kidding you, he looked straight into Santa's eyes and said, "I want my very own vacuum cleaner so I can help my mommy clean!" I wonder how many times Santa has heard that. I'm betting on zero. The look on his face was priceless. You could tell he was thinking, "Wow, this woman must put her kid to work!" It was pretty much one of the cutest moments in Jackson's life.

All I can say is thank GOD for my dear mother-in-law. She searched the wonderful world of eBay and found Jackson his very own red Dirt Devil Vacuum. It even had the much anticipated light on it! It was purchased and stored away until Christmas morning when Jackson was the happiest I have ever seen him. The second he peeled away that wrapping paper and saw his beloved vacuum cleaner he went buck wild.

Only minutes after opening his present, he proceeded to run around the house screaming that he got a vacuum cleaner. Then he began vacuuming my entire parent's house. I'm talking every single room that had carpet in it. Needless to say, my parents had a lot of gratitude for Jackson cleaning their carpets!

I've written about this today because I shared such a fun and special moment with my little janitor this afternoon. I was busy doing my usual homemaker duties and decided it was a good day to vacuum (after Jackson begging me if we could vacuum all morning). I pulled out the vacuum and started working on the living room. Next thing I know Jackson was beside me with his little vacuum and we vacuumed the entire downstairs side by side. I wished so much I had someone with a video camera to capture that moment. I just shook my head and laughed silently and promised myself that I will never forget this for the rest of my life.

At least I'll never have to complain about dirty carpets with Jackson around. Remind me I said that when he's a teenager and tracking in muddy footprints without a second thought.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life and such

So I've taken a few days to sit back and think about where I wanted to start this blog. Do I want to begin with explaining my history over the last few years, or do I just jump in with where we're at in life right now? Here goes:

I'm married to an absolutely incredible man named Eric. We've been married since December 4, 2004. It's so hard for me to believe that it's already been five years. There is no doubt that we have definitely had our struggles, especially over the last two years. I really feel like we have been facing so many trials in our marriage. There have been a couple very serious times that I was fairly sure our marriage was over. I can't believe I'm sharing this so openly, but this blog is about opening myself and releasing everything in my mind. Anyways, Eric and I.... I believe there have been many times that we have both questioned whether we were even meant to be together. But you know what? Through everything we have been through, I know with all my heart that he is the man I am destined to share this life with. I have never known someone with such a deep soul and caring heart. His main goal in life is being a good husband to me and a good father to our boys. What more could I possibly ask for? I believe he is in a very dark part of his life right now and I pray every day that I can help him through it and he can see the brightness in life again. I love him so.

Together we have created two beautiful boys, Jackson and Charlie. Somehow I always imagined I would be a mommy to boys.... I can't picture my life any other way. They are such beautiful souls, my special angels.

Jackson William: We welcomed our first son into the world on February 20, 2006. It was Presidents' Day at 9:48 PM when I heard his first scream fill the room. I will never forget that moment and knew my life was forever changed.

Jackson has brought so much joy into our lives. It's unbelievable to me that he will be four years old this Saturday. It feels like he was born just yesterday and now I look at him and see this amazing, handsome, smart little boy. He's got such a bright spirit and brings a smile to my face at least a thousand times a day. I pray every day that God blesses him with happiness, peace, and love in his life. He will always be my special little man who officially made me a Mommy.

Charlie Patrick: Our second precious little guy joined our family on November 25, 2009. He was born just eleven minutes before my 28th birthday and what a special birthday present he was. He truly has changed my life even more than I thought possible. I feel like the moment we brought him home truly made us a family. Eric and I still relish in the words, "our boys". He is such a fantastic little baby boy. Staring into his eyes and seeing that gummy smile can actually erase any bad moments going on. These first three months have flown by in a flash. I find myself wishing daily that time would slow down a little since I know this time with him as a baby is so brief and precious. I'm so blessed to have him for my son.

I still have a hard time grasping that I'm now 28, married, and the mother to two wonderful boys. The last ten years have absolutely flown by. I still feel like I'm 18 and still in high school. Now my ten year high school reunion is quickly approaching and I can't understand where the time has gone. But I wouldn't change my life for anything. God has truly blessed me with the most amazing family. Sometimes I just sit back and watch Eric cuddling with both kids and I just want to cry because it's such a beautiful thing to see.

Life has given me an incredible ride so far and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Taking the leap.

I have waited a long time to begin this blog. Believe it or not, the one thing stopping me was not being able to figure out a creative name for my blog. So what happened? The blog never began. All because of no name. Well, I've decided to jump in with both feet and begin this journey of blogging, something I never thought I was good at. I don't see myself as a good writer. I never feel that I can express myself well in words. But you know what? Life is seriously passing me by in warp speed and I'm realizing how important it's going to be to document every memory possible. Boring vocabulary? Check. Run on sentences? Check check. Zillions of attempts to be witty and humorous? TRIPLE CHECK. But this is my life, this is me, this is my unnamed masterpiece.