Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Visual tour of the weekend

"Papa John" visited Thurs thru Sat. Jackson loves his crazy papa.
Then, on Sat, Grandma Lynette had a birthday party (we'll spare what # it was)... we had gifts ready for her, but she brought a gift of her own! Look at this fun addition! It can be ridden, like Jackson is demonstrating, and it also transforms into a pushing thingy. COOL!
Look at that connection!
That same night, Cousin 7 week-old Dillan visited. Jackson had great interest in the beginning, but then started getting fidity, as this pic indicates.
Baby Dillan and Daddy Doug
The pampering BEGINS! So relaxed.

Time for the mini manicure. This pic shows my hair a little better ... shows the natural curl that this shorter do profits from. The back is where you can REALLY see it... Marty got it REALLY short back there. He calls it a "severe" angle from the front to back.

Becky and I - TWINS with our red turtlenecks on. Wish we didn't have to wear turtlenecks in March... but, hey, it's OHIO. Look at Beckt's spectacular eyes!

My new favorite pic of Jackson... he looks like a French artist, pondering his next portrait.

The palm leaf from this past Sunday's worship service had been hanging around our home since Sunday. I decided this morning to finally place it in the trash ( I know, I know, it probably woulda been better placed in the compost pile! Which, I'll have you know, is STILL up and running successfully). Jackson went for it from the trash can (on top, so clean), and I couldn't help but let it slip. Made me think of the kids walking down the aisle (in this case, rolling in a walker) at church waving those branches.

The Pampered Life

This past weekend I felt quite feminine. On Friday, I got my hair cut by a REAL stylist (as opposed to my habit of randomly walking in Supercuts - no slam to the $7.99 cuts at places like that; I've always have decent success... ). For a NEW style with the complexity of my hair, though, I was wanting to find someone who GETS it. Good ole Marty was introduced to me by friends Becky and Nancy. After years of fighting with my hair... wait, I guess it would be better described as "conceding" when it goes in a ponytail EVERY DAY... I finally received some validation by Marty (he had seen me once before for a regular trim), who said, "I booked you for an entire hour since I know your hair is a BEAST." I took that as a compliment, because for so long I just thought I was whiney/lazy about my hair. Other people's hair looked great but mine never seemed to cooperate. They must just spend the time required and I don't/WON'T.

But Marty let me know that I go down in the books for having the most unique caucasian hair he has worked with: DENSE, CURLY, THICK, and INCONSISTENT were the words he described. Yey, send me home with a medal! I know I'm going on and on about this whole hair thing, but you have NO idea how much this helps my self esteem. I mean, I know I am a ridiculously lazy woman, but I really was beginning to think something was wrong with me that I was unwilling to "fix" it daily. Turns out, it's abnormally difficult to work with. So I feel VALIDATED.

Anyway, I love my hair cut. It's not sheek and sophisticated... more cute and spunky. But I guess that's more ME anyway. I think I'm going to give up sophistication for Lent. Oops. We're already in Holy Week. Maybe I'll give it up for the rest of my life. (A short background on this, I feel like I've lived my entire adult life feeling conflicted about how to be an adult... it seems like I have an inner desire to be mature, sophisticated, stylish, professional -all features that seem to describe a REAL woman - but what naturally comes to the surface is this goofy, raggamuffin, raw, foot-in-my-mouth kind of gal. I guess what I'm saying is that I want to be refined, but the reality is that I'm just plain ragged! I know that the topic of HAIR is a silly one for all of this philosophical "how to be an adult in this world" junk to bubble from, but I'm realizing more and more that spunky and cute may even trump sophisticated and sheek. For me, at least.)

So... jump to Sunday and I find myself in Aveda at Easton. My dear friends and I decided it was high time that we take care of our faces. So we learned techniques, first from Aveda and then from Origin, about how to do that very thing. We're talking tea bags on the eye lids, face mask - the WHOLE nine yards. There was even tea to drink and mini manicure offered to boot! I learned quite a bit about my face... from how to clean/moisturize it to how to make it up (back to my ragged-ness, I asked for a VERY basic look). Fun fun. And, if I may get on my soap box for a moment, EVERYONE NEEDS TO GET A FACE LOTION WITH SOME LEVEL OF SPF IN IT. Do it. Now. It's worth whatever you pay.

Thanks for letting me babble about a) being pampered, b) what kind of woman I am, and c) the specifics of my hair texture. Ha.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cool & Preppy

Grandma Lynette found this adorable POLO sweatshirt on sale. And I found a pair of way fun Target strap-on sunglasses on sale. The combo makes for a WAY cool and preppy little boy. After a couple practice rounds, Jackson didn't even attempt to get the shades off his face. I think that means one of two things: either a) he is READY for Spring to get on with is and Spring forward or b) he is READY for a vacation. Both are around the corner!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


On Monday I was inspired to trade every last single snowman decoration in our home out for the Spring collection. After all, it was 70 degrees. So in the boxes went snow-themed items and on display went chicks, flowers, eggs, and bunnies. I went out that afternoon (with NO coat on me OR Jackson) to stock up on new Easter-themed decor. I even bought jelly beans and peeps, for peep's sake (pun intended)!

Jump forward 4 days. Blizzard in Ohio. BLIZZARD! So when we awoke yesterday morning to 10-13 inches on our street, we not only decided to do the mandatory shoveling, and to give Jackson some face time with the falling white stuff, but we also wanted to show all of our non-midwestern friends (FLORIDIANS, for example) what contrast I speak of:

I couldn't help it. I just had to tote those darling vibrant little peeps outside so they could freeze their patootees off in the snow.

Here are some other shots to show the depth of snow:

Although this shot does do a good job of capturing the sheer depth of snow we received (the AC unit barely showing), I really intended for petrified, shivering Lilly to show up better. She is huddled against the house. She had been meowing like a madcat at the door all morning, trying to escape with every door opening. She finally made it out, but curiousity froze the cat. She was NOT a happy camper after two or three leaps through the white stuff! I had to go fetch her.

Our house looks so beautiful as it is STILL coming down hard Sat morning...

And now for pics of the J-man and his family:

Not QUITE awake from morning nap, but pumped about wearing what Scott describes as "a very girly snowsuit." I, personally, thought it looked perfect on him!We had to come in for lunch-time... I LOVE this shot of Jackson peering out the window at his Daddy working hard on the driveway and sidewalk!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Chef of the House

~ Happy to be Alive~

I am notorious for choosing carelessness over carefulness. Primarily, this choice is made in a hasty attempt to speed up a task. You'd think I'd learn that, more times than not, the method behind my madness typically backfires and I am forced to redo what I half-a#!ed the first time. I can hear my mother's words in these moments, "Tricia, don't have-a#!"

The dressing and undressing of my child takes more time than I would like it to. So I do it rushedly 100% of the time. I cut corners. Poor Jackson... this sometimes equates to cutting circulation, jostling him back and forth, and - in the case below - attempting to squeze his head through spaces only a lemon would squeeze through (because, as aforementioned, I cut the corner of unbuttoning where I should have). Yesterday he was such a good sport about the chef hat look he was sporting that I just HAD to get a shot of it!

I hope no chef cooking MY food does so with only a diaper and socks half on!

Today marked a special day in my nannying role. I took Sophia and Jackson OUT! Now, I had done so previously - but only through drive thrus... I hadn't taken them both OUT of the car. I had not been apprehensive to journey with Duncan and Jackson before - but then that was also when they slept a ton and didn't require much parenting (for more on "parenting" preview my previous entry). Two 9 months old with wills of their own? Where else to test my abilities of monitoring the babes AND accomplishing a task - then COSTCO! Piece of cake, folks! The COSTCO shopping carts are a DREAM, with four leg holes along the front. Jackson and Sophia sat side by side eyeing their surroundings while I shopped. A few passerby-ers asked about the nature of their relationship. "Twins?" I said, "Kinda. They're born on the same day, but only one of them is mine. " Then I started thinking about the implications of that information (would they think that my husband had an affair and ended up getting another girl pregnant at the same time as me, then had that baby the same day as mine?) So I cleared the air by adding, "I'm nannying the little girl and the little boy is my son." It was a fun adventure. Below you will see Sophia and Jackson playing together and prepped in matching jackets to go out.

And as a finale, here's Jackson's 9 month bear shot. We're now having difficulty letting the bear alone for longer than .2 of a second. This was the best pic I could get!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


So I am learning that my son has one. I was beginning to think mine was the only one that mattered. At Jackson's 9 month check up on Monday (that's right, he turned 9 months on SUNDAY!), Dr. McClellan placed Jackson on his back to do a routine examination. Jackson proceeded to throw a hissy fit. I commented to Doc, as small talk, that Jackson had begun throwing crying fits when we laid him down to change his diaper or any time we placed him in his back. I posed that it might be because he thinks he'd being laid down for a nap??? Dr. McClellan responded with, "Maybe, but I'm betting it's a control issue." I interpretted that to mean, "Jackson has increased bodily control and that means he knows what he wants his body to do and what he doesn't want his body to do. Therefore, Jackson will forever until the end of time exercise his control of his surroundings... let the battle begin between his will and yours as his mother...from this day forward you will need to come up with strategies, positive reinforcement methods, negative reinforcement methods, tricks, bribery, and reverse phsychology to get the little tike to do what it is you would like for him to do BECAUSE GONE ARE THE DAYS THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO THINK AS A PARENT!!!!"

By the end of Monday, I had begun observing several other examples of Jackson having an increasingly forceful will. Example 1) (this is gross) I have a habit of picking at Jackson's ears. I like them to be clean, and therefore a little wax build-up is sometimes needing removed. Whereas before he'd sit there and just TAKE IT, Monday he spun his neck around with force and pulled back to avoid my efforts (I mean, who REALLY can blame him?). Example 2) I am convinced that telephones are a child's favorite plaything. It used to be that Jackson would observe the phone up to my ear and reach for it. But, acknowledging that it wasn't an easy target to get ahold of, he would find an equally stimulating plaything and "forget" the phone. On Monday, and henceforth, the kid will part the Red Sea to get to my stinkin phone. When I "hide" it, he looks at me in a "Yeah, right Mom... ya think I'm stupid? Didn't you hear the doc today telling you I have wants and desires TOO now?" -way and persists to grab at, snatch, at and fuss until he gets control of it.

I'm screwed.

Motherhood has stopped being a walk in the park. Now it's become a carefully strategized balance of when Jackson wins and when Mommy wins. And the awefulest thing about that is that I HAVE TO MAKE DECISIONS. I liked not making decisions. Before, all I had to do was change his diaper when he stunk, shove food in him when he was hungry, and plop him in the crib when he needed sleep. Now his needs have intensified... beyond the basic ones, there is now the need for discipline and being told "no."

You know I'm intentionally being overly flippant about this whole topic. The reality is that the beauty of parenting is at my doorstep - the part where I, with God's help, begin helping to mold the little guy into the man he will one day become. It's amazing to me that we've already arrived at that place. Daunting, but exciting!!!