Friday, August 26, 2011

summer hilights

I've been pretty bad at posting lately. I just don't feel like I have time for any of this stuff anymore...but I thought I could handle a quick post with some of our summer hilights :) I'll do it picture-style :)

Sweet sleeping baby

Camping in Traverse City, Michigan during the Cherry festival with our friends the Loberts :)

spent most of his time while we were camping on his bike :)

African Lion Safari with Grandpa & Grandma

The last tractor ride with Papa on the farm! The next time we visit they will be moved!

A nice visit with Grandpa & Grandma...
...and Nana & Papa!

...and Taden!

ahhhh, CAMP!! (translated: "cottage" for non-Northerners)

a visit from cousins Auna & Weston (and Adam & Ang too!!)

First time to the movies! Winnie the Pooh. Sweet memories!

Best friends! (or, that's what I tell them they are anyway!)

Remembering Mya on her 4th birthday

a new-found LEGO lover!

My boy is 3!!

a new guitar for our little musician

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

natural de-gunker recipe

I just spot-cleaned my kitchen floor using this recipe and while I was doing it, I was thinking..."i have to tell my mom friends about this!!!" So here it is:

Put these ingredients in a spray bottle:
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp Borax
1/2 tsp dish soap
2 c hot water

My favorite way to use it is for my kitchen floor. I just spot clean - spray everywhere that has dried on dirt, food, etc... and wait a couple minutes (it doesn't take long!) and wipe up with a warm cloth. It comes right off with no scrubbing!! No more mopping for me! Spot cleaning it is.
ps. what's even's natural!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

my baby in a year

I can't believe my baby is a year old!! 

Jada is such a joy in our lives. She's got a spunky personality and we're starting to really see her sense of humor.

Some quick Jada facts:
  • she is still not crawling, but gets everywhere quickly by bum scootching!
  • she loves to cuddle
  • sucks her thumb when she's tired or if something's bothering her and no one is doing anything about it
  • She ADORES her brother 
  • loves to give big open-mouth kisses and has recently learned how to "zerbert"
  • loves shoes and pretty things (oh no...)
  • loves to eat what other people are eating
  • loves to rub her bare belly while she sucks her thumb 
  • and many more, but the dear one herself is sitting on my lap typing for me, so that's all for now :) can watch my baby grow up before your eyes:

birthday girl!

Monday, June 20, 2011

first date

Lately I've really been missing one-on-one time with Jaxon. It seems like we've been in a state of go-go-go for the past while and I have been noticing that he's needing some good quality time too. When it's all 4 of us it usually ends up that Dan cares for Jax and I care for Jada. Often it's more practical that way. And I love my Jada to bits, but sometimes I miss that time with Jaxon.

It was actually during a speedy walk through the grocery store, headed for the potty, when I realized how much I really miss having time with just Jaxon. The four of us were there and Jax had to "go" I held his hand and him & I sped to the back of the store where the public bathroom was. On the way back to find Dan & Jada I realized how long it had been since I was somewhere with just Jaxon and only having his hand to hold. It was nice. So today, we went on a date.

It was sweet actually, when he was telling Dan about it he said to Dan "and you can come too! And Jeeda". And  the hour before we left he kept asking if Jada could come too. He told Dan that he was "so sad" cause Jada couldn't come. Later on while we were out I asked if he was still sad that Jada wasn't there and he quickly said "nope!" so that's good.
We had a good time. Only one meltdown cause we went to McDonalds too early and they weren't serving fries or ice cream for another half hour, and I didn't have socks for him to wear in the play place. Thankfully the tears didn't last long and we found something else to do in the meantime.

I feel a little more bonded with my little guy again. He's so precious to me, and I'm sad how fast he's growing up.

Hopefully this was the first of many dates to come!

Friday, March 11, 2011

there's nothing more precious...

...than the sound of baby giggles, and seeing your kids love each other.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

if mama ain't happy...

You know that saying we joke about "if mama ain't happy, nobody's happy"? The one that Dan likes to use around here (mostly joking) is "Happy Wife, Happy Life". We joke about it and I kinda roll my eyes when I hear it, but I've realized that there's some truth to those statements, sadly!

I have noticed in my own home that my mood plays a HUGE roll in the moods of my kids and my husband. There was one week in particular where Jax & I seemed to clash. The first day I think it was a combination of him waking up on the wrong side of the bed, and me letting his disobedience get the best of me. The next day, I was still a little grouchy from the day before and Jaxon was having another bad day as well. Or so I thought. After I realized that I needed to get a grip and make the decision to change my attitude, I saw Jaxon's attitude change dramatically as well. I think the only reason he was being bad that second day is because I was being snappy and he was feeding off of that. It actually made me sad!

The scary thing is that moms/wives have a huge amount of influence on the mood of the whole household. Apparently, we set the tone. This article said it well:

"...The truth is that Mom does set the tone for the home, and we have tremendous influence over the moods, actions and lives of everyone who enters our door. And that influence is a fact we cannot change - no matter how much the pop culture tries. In fact, in national surveys of teens, when asked who has the greatest influence on them, the majority of teens say, "my parents". This, even though many kids are now consuming up to eight hours of media a day..."

"You have no choice about whether or not you are an influence - the choice is what type of influence you will be. Your actions and words will either shape your children for good or for bad. And your silence also speaks volumes: when you are too busy or too tired to take the time to talk to your children, the message that comes through loud and clear is that they are not important..."

(Never Underestimate the Power of a Mother - Rebecca Hagelin)

On that note...I have recently learned some ways to being a less easily annoyed, more patient, more fun, more creative, more intentional, and more loving mom. I am NOWHERE near being perfect at it, but I'm realizing what makes it a bit easier.

These are a few things that help me to be a happier mamma :)

1. Go to bed on time - I find this to be a hard one. My evenings are my "responsibility-free" time that I get to do whatever I want, and spend time with just Dan. I often procrastinate going to bed on time (10:00 is my goal). But I can tell you (and so can Dan, lol) that I NEED my sleep. Lack of sleep makes me irrational and moody.

2. Give myself enough time before going places that I don't have to be rushed . I'm a bad mom when I'm in a rush. There's no reason why my toddler should be scolded for observing a "neat" piece of gravel from the driveway on our way to the car.

3. Ditch my "to-do" lists. Having things on my to-do list that are un-done makes me crazy. I feel like I have to get them done ASAP and then I get grouchy when I feel like I don't have the time in my day to get them done. Then I also rush getting the routine things done with the kids and I hate that. Now, I'm not saying that I'm ditching to-do lists all together. Goodness, if I didn't have lists I wouldn't remember anything. I just have to stop being so busy with {good} but not priority stuff. Before Christmas I put way too much stuff on my plate, and my to-do list drove me crazy. Before I make something a priority I am trying to ask myself whether it's really that impotant or not.

4. Don't count on getting a nap. Or "me" time in the day. If I count on it, I will be frustrated if it doesn't happen. And again, I'll be rushing the routine things so that I will have time to fit it in.

5. Spend more time playing with my kids, even if I'm in the middle of something. I have to keep reminding myself that these days of Jaxon WANTING to play with his mommy are not going to last forever. These are the days where our relationship is being built. His brain is registering whether the things that matter to him matter to his mom. I think the way I respond to him now are going to impact how he responds to me when he's a teenager.

Most times when Jaxon wants me to "play guitar" with him, or sit down and play cars, or help me cook in the kitchen, my first thought is to tell him I can't because I'm busy doing something. But the times that I do actually drop what I'm doing and play with him I am SO glad that I did. It is rewarding to spend that quality time with my kids doing what they want to do.

6. Go out on regular dates with Dan (and dates by myself!). It makes me feel refreshed and have more mental energy to deal with the everyday things I have to do. We've started budgeting for a date night every-other week. And sometimes I'll just go out by myself for an hour after the kids are in bed. Do you remember how nice it is to go shopping by yourself!!?

7. Step outside the picture. When I step back and look at my life and realize how fast my kids are growing, I realize how good I have it right now and that these REALLY ARE some of the best days of my life. I do not want to be 60 and look back regretting that I didn't make more out of these years.

After realizing these things about myself, and trying to follow through with the solutions, I'm finding myself ENJOYING my children even more than ever. It really is too easy for the joy of motherhood to be stripped away.

I'd love to hear your ideas on how you set a positive tone in your house. What is God teaching you?

(I apologize for the scatterbrained-ness of this post...I'm feeling some real "mommy brain" in the communication department lately.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

a labor of love...the quiet book!

It's done! The quiet book is finally done. I managed to finish it a few days before Christmas, just in time for Jaxon to open during our own little family Christmas.

Before I go any further, I must tell you that a LOT of these ideas came from other people's quiet books that I looked up online. Some of my favorite blogs that I got ideas from were Sew Can Do, Leafy Treetop Spot, and How to Make a Quiet Book. I also got a lot of ideas just from searching "quiet book" in Google images.

I had a lot of fun making the book. At times it was hard to focus on the "more important" motherly duties because I was so motivated to get this book done. Normally I don't like to do big projects for that reason, but it helped that I could at least finish a page at a time.

Jaxon's first unhindered glance through the book (he got sneak peeks while I was making it)

the cover

Shapes that snap off

This is by far Jaxon's FAVORITE page...

the lock comes undone and there's a picture of all of us inside.

I have a few of the soccer and baseball beads leftover and Jaxon carries them everywhere! They are a favorite.

fridge (for the next page)

what's for breakfast? (the food velcros off so you can put it in & out of the fridge)

buckles! Jaxon's #2 favorite page.


it's carrot-pickin' time!
there's a funny memory that will always go with these carrots...while I was sewing the carrots, Jaxon was playing in the same room and I had given him one of the finished carrots to play with for a few minutes. He gave it back to me and it was soaking wet. Like soaking. After smelling it and examining it I had thought he had put it in his mouth so I asked him if that's what he did and he said "no"...I thought he was lying so I was lecturing him about lying...then I saw a puddle by his feet on the mini quad he was sitting on. Yeah. That's was soaked in pee. I sat there for a few minutes trying to think of any way that I could restore the poor carrot...then soon realized I would just have a make a new one. So, I'm pretty sure I will think of that frustrating but now funny potty training moment every time I look at the carrot page :)

I got this idea from Homemade by Jill. (Jill, in case you are reading this, I like yours way better! ;)

with a bear inside :)
Jaxon loves campfires so this page is fun for him. It usually gets him & I talking about the campfires he helped daddy build in the summer.

...finally found something useful for those ripped but favorite old jeans!

So there it is! I'm really happy with how it turned out. I plan on making a couple more pages each Christmas. It's really neat to watch Jax enjoy it. It actually worked this Sunday in actually kept him quiet when he was supposed to be quiet! :)

Time for bed....half an hour ago!

Good night