Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Raspberries and more..

                                                          Can you tell he's an only child?! 

Somewhere between the raspberry field picking, jam making and quick run-in trip to Trader Joe's I thought to myself, "Jessica, who in the world have you become!" I seriously began to wonder if Laura Ingalls would greet me on my door step! No worries, I'm still the same girl who's heart will always reside completely east and below the mason-dixon line, but I have to tell you I'm enjoying this NW summer.  Heavens, please let it really be officially summer here!!  
This past weekend we had a good ole time picking raspberries and making freezer jam. I never envisioned myself to be a fruit picker and jam maker, but I had a blast and it was quite simple.  I quite possibly went a little overboard and made three batches!   No slaving in the kitchen involved....and surprisingly simple! That, I can handle!  

I feel like this past week has ushered in a new stage in Titus' life.  He has become quite the little talker and is starting to let his little personality show.  I know he is just a baby, but he really seems to be a content an happy little guy (someone knock on some wood out there).  He rolled from his stomach to his back and slept in his crib 2 nights.  The second night we went in to find that he had managed to get himself out of the sleep positioner and into a corner in the crib.  Hello, scare me half to death.  I felt like crying I was so upset at the risk in him doing that.  We are starting to work again towards getting him in his crib, but as long as he fits in his bassinet I doubt we'll put him in his crib again to sleep at night.  When he does sleep in his crib again, I will be taking out his bumper and putting a net one in.  So much for the cute nursery! 

Titus is also starting to suck on two fingers (middle and ring finger), and smile back when I look into his eyes.  SO.MUCH.FUN.   Seriously, I love this stage as much as I loved the last! He brings so much joy into our lives and I do not want to imagine what life would be like without him!!  My mom told me that his vision has dramatically changed from month 3 to 4.  I love getting to take him around and imagine the world through his little fresh eyes.  Titus is a magnet for women in their 50-60s.  I imagine it's because they have grand babies like him, but when we go out one always seems to stop and get him laughing.  

I am learning what it means to be cautious (not spastic), and to actively take my fears about motherhood to Christ.  The what ifs sometimes creep into my life, and I find myself asking God to keep Titus healthy and safe many times throughout the day and then having to mentally leave it with him.  I will drive myself nutty if I don't, but it's a lot easier said than done!  

So yes, we are enjoying the summer after what felt like a never ending winter!!  I told Ryan the other day that I wished Portland was like this year round, and his response was "that's why California and Hawaii have such expensive real estate!"  Ah got ya!  

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Baby Talk

Titus has a lot to say... sorry if you get a little sea sick with the swing! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer reads...

Growing up, I never understood why teachers would give Summer Reading projects.  I would usually wait until 2 weeks before school, freak out and spend my last days of summer kinda skimming, but REALLY reading the cliff notes to my assignments.  I'd be lying to say it didn't work.  It worked beautifully, and if asked I would have been honest about my lack of completely reading the real deal.  Hindsight..  I should have probably just read the thing but anyways...

I eventually developed a love for reading in college.  I would start a book, get trapped and sometimes even skip a class here and there to finish a book.  Yes, I did have friends in case you are worried.  

Reading for pleasure has taken a backseat lately.  It's been more like.. read to know what in the world I'm suppose to be doing as a mom, and of course my Bible (but that's a different kind of reading).  

So... all this to say that I'm giving myself some summer reading assignments.  I would like to review over a couple books, but my main 2 (I'm starting small) will be Crazy Love by Francis Chan and The Unlikely Disciple.  I've heard Crazy Love is amazing.. life changing.. and a must read, but the other book will be very interesting.  It's about a Brown University student who goes undercover at Liberty University to see what all this "strict Christianity" is all about.  It should be very interesting.  I actually visited Liberty and was quite impressed with their School of Nursing, but when I figured out how cold it got there and the fact that you couldn't wear jeans to class I peaced out that option.  I'm not saying I think the school stinks or anything like that... because I don't and I def think there are people there who love and follow Jesus, however, this book should be really interesting on how the Christian community as a whole are coming across to others.  Ahh.. I gotta get my hands on it!   Well, look at the time.. gotta run! (not as in the exercise...) 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Garage sales...




$1 Columbia jacket! woo hoo!

$3 complete outfit! 

I kind of feel like I made up with an ex this weekend.  No, don't let your mind think I'm talking about an ex-boyfriend or anything in that department.  Before your mind wonders any more, I will just tell you.  I'm talking about garage sales.  First of all, I'm not a morning person... never have been and never will.  I become alive once the morning is over.  BUT, more than that I have been slightly scarred by garage sales.  I say this all in good humor, however, I have vivid memories of sitting in the back of a Ford Taurus getting carted around to sale after sale as a child.  My mom and her friend would always go to the sales together.  Here I was in the back seat sitting next to my mom's friend's kid who just happens to get car sick.  She puked and I begged to have some kind of reward for this torture...a barbie or even a sausage biscuit from Hardees.  Thankfully,  my mom was very generous and would reward me with both many Saturdays!!  Moon shoes, basket balls, Cabbage Patch dolls, a pogo stick and more wound up in our own garage sale years later.  I plan to do the same to Titus...minus the car sick part! (I still love you Mom and am thankful for those memories!)  

Anyways, this weekend a community in my city had 150+ garage sales.  Some started on Friday and many went through Saturday and onto Sunday.  The other good part is that it was in one of the nicest parts in the area.  Woot woot.  

Here's the other thing... I love to dress Titus in cute clothes, but since money doesn't grow on trees I have to get more creative!  I find 75% of his clothes at a resale shop when I go home for visits so these sales were just icing on the cake.  I have learned from one of my sisters to always be looking ahead for the next season and size your kid will be in.  I started to look for his winter wardrobe 9mos and older this weekend.

Ryan came with me on Saturday and found some amazing deals.  He bought a set of racks that he is hoping to sale on Craig's List.  The price he should be able to sale it for will completely cover what we spent.  Toys (some of which I am saving for Christmas), outfits, a travel swing, rug, grill, racks, camera stand and more has made me a garage sale believer!  It was hard to spend money when I didn't need things right at this moment, but to be able to save for the future will only help us!  Woo hoo for deals! Here's some of my fav outfits I found in the above pics!  

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy 1st Father's Day!

Dear Ryan/Daddy,

Can you believe that your first Father's Day just happens to fall on the day exactly one year ago that Titus was conceived (sorry if that's tmi peeps)?  What a special day to be reminded of the precious gift we have been given in a son.  I remember the day we found out we were pregnant like it was yesterday.. July 4, 2008!!  I remember staring at the pregnancy test feeling like an eternity had gone by for the result to pop up.  Scared to death, I looked to you and was completely comforted when you said, "Jess, I've always wanted to be a Dad."

Ryan, you have more than stepped up to the plate as a father.  I am so grateful for your hard work and dedication so that I can stay at home and you can continue to attend seminary.  I so respect that quality;  It speaks volumes to me spiritually.  Thank you for loving Titus the way you do.  Even at 3 months, he lights up when you talk to him.  I love getting to see firsthand the beauty of a Father/son relationship developing before my eyes.  

Thank you choosing me to be your running buddy through life.  You mean so much to me and I treasure the moments we have together during this busy season of life.. actually maybe our life is just meant to be forever busy.  I slightly think we like it that way because when we have the opportunity to rest, we rarely do.. more fun and people to enjoy!  I guess we'll make up for it in eternity eh?!  In all seriousness I love spending time with you in a group or just the 3 of us.  You are funny and witty, and bring wisdom and a sense of generosity I love to be around. 

I truly hope you liked the coffee travel mug that doesn't work, the garage sale $10 grill, and the stem you helped me pick out for your road bike.  Most of all I hope you enjoy our little family today as we celebrate the gift you are to us!

Happy First Father's Day (last year feel on the 15th so no, we didn't conceive on Father's Day last year)!  


jmoney and tyty

sending love to the east coast...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

mom questions

1. favorite diapers? the kind that holds the mess in!  The 2 brands that seem to pull this off for the most part (for me at least) are Pampers and Huggies.
2. favorite wipes? I'm totally open to trying different kinds, but so far Huggies seem to be the most moist.  
3. wipe warmer, no wipe warmer? of course that sounds wonderful.. who wants cold wipes on your heinie, but we didn't buy one in the beginning and it seems to be working fine without one!
4. sleep in gowns or footsies? i love love The Children's Place zip-up footie pajamas.  I watch out for sales on those and then stalk up! :)
5. schedule, don't schedule? yea, I've found Titus thrives more on a 2 1/2- 3 hour schedule so we try to do what works.. remember I am shooting from the hip here!
6. current favorite toys? he loves his mobile and swing still, but he is starting to enjoy his activity mat and bouncy seat as well!
7. three things you couldn't live with out the first few months? swing, pacis, mobile... i could go on here with kiddopatamus swaddle blankets, a good pump etc. hmm.. i sound high maintenance here.. yup probably right! 
8. something you can't have too many of? the kind of paci your baby prefers, books, pictures of your baby!
9. three things you couldn't live with out once the baby is moving? sanity... that's just a guess here!
10. favorite new baby invention? hooter hider!  
11. favorite nursing pads? either the johnson and johnson ones or lanolin's kind.
12. favorite bottle? again, the ones that don't leak! i'm a fan of evenflow's purely simple.
13. favorite car toys? Titus is starting to focus his eyes more on his toys hanging from his seat.  I also love the Praise Baby cd's because they are enjoyable for adults too (compared to some).
14. favorite teether? hmm not there yet, but I plan on trying the net teether that you can put ice in. (they have them at target)
15. changing table, no changing table? we found ours off Craig's List for around $25 and Ryan repainted it white.  I have really enjoyed it and have put cute matching baskets under it to hold toys, diapers, burp cloths etc.  It was worth the price for me, however I change him a lot on the couch!
16. breast milk or formula? breast milk, however on occasion I supplement with formula if I don't have anything pumped and need to grab a bottle.  I have set little goals to hopefully get me to a year of breastfeeding, but we'll take it a month at a time for now!
17. make baby food, buy baby food?  I might do a little of both... not there yet though!
18. first food after cereal? when the time comes I will start with a veggie
19. did you use your baby carrier? yes, I use a sling and or front carrier when it's the best option.  I highly recommend a front carrier when traveling.  It was a lifesaver...esp if traveling alone with a baby!
20. how old when slept in own crib (not bassinet)?ha.. he's still in the bassinet next to me.. I am going to do it until he is too long which is quickly approaching.  I looked online and if my measurement is correct, he is in the 95th percentile for height!  go figure!
21. do you use a sleep positioner? Yup, Titus stays asleep the longest in this and a swaddle blanket, so I guess we'll do it until it doesn't work anymore.    
22. back sleeper or tummy sleeper? back.  
23. favorite part about being a mom? seeing him smile in the mornings when he sees me for the first time.  I feel like he looks so relieved that I came back!! :)  I am also getting to the point where I enjoy nursing more.  He will look up at me and coos randomly while I nurse and it melts my heart.  I also love staying at home and pray that I will continue to be able to do this.  
24. hardest part about being a mom? no sick days, or weekend breaks from being in "mommy mode" as well as when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night and you have to be "on" when everything in your body wants to simply sleep.  Anytime by yourself,dates,or errands have to be carved around the next feeding.  It demands selflessness to be done well.  With that said I would do a million times over to have this baby at this time in our lives. He is a gift and I treasure each day/night with him.  
25. favorite mommy accessories? I love fun/gaudy earrings and a good pair of jeans...it compliments spit up nicely.

Friday, June 12, 2009

THE first time mom

Maybe we should all have a label slapped across our head that says, "no matter what I say or how I come across, I am pretty much shootin' from the hip."  Yup, I'm talking about the first time mom.  I think I could pick them out of a crowd. I think we all generally have a similar look!  I could go into details but certainly make-up lines and bags under our eyes could possibly be on the radar!  For most likely, the fist time in our life, we are giving every ounce of our self and as necessity demands, have to cheat a little on our own selves.  Just like babies, we are all so different, but similar in experience.  It seems like we pretty much have a one track mind.. diapers, wipes, good nursing undergarments, and how to get that ragamuffin to sleep through the stinkin' night.  Some of us are sure that all babies are like our own, it's just a matter of scheduling and parenting; while others are humbled by the fact that we simply want to just make it through the day and live to tell about it!  Some days I'm in both categories all by 11 AM!  :)

I was hangin with a first time mom the other evening and I kid you not, within 5 minutes we were onto our awesome birth stories.  Both of us scored between a 25-30 hour labor.  Mind with a c-section and homegirl with forceps and needing 4 pints of blood.  The thing that blows my mind is that we both still want more.  What on earth?!

Now granted, when I went off to college and set out to declare a major, I was a little confused.  I wasn't sure quite where to find the MRS and MOM degree on the credit sheet.  I mean, if I'm just going to be flat out honest!  I feel sure I thought I would bake muffins and play pattie-cake all day long while shopping with an endless cash flow.  Although, my reality is at times very different (who am I kidding, I don't make muffins and there is certainly not endless cash.. so I'm left with pattie cake) and way more tiring, there's something mysterious about being a first time mom.  It's really hard and exhausting , but unexplainably rewarding. 

Something that probably wouldn't get you to the top of the corporate ladder, but what does that mean anyways?!

Something I have found extremely interesting for myself is reading facebook status' from first-time moms.  I love it and get a kick out of how so much of our lives reflect baby world (myself included).  I love the joy I feel across the computer screen when I see that Baby T slept through the night or the concern I feel when Baby E's Mom is wondering how to cure the diaper rash.  

So where is this all going? Instead of giving any advice to first time mom's here's some random 411  for people interacting with first timers.  Perhaps, first of all to enjoy watching us discover all the joys of our new bundle of joy... we truly have gifts in Titus' grandparents on both sides in that they celebrate every milestone (even from afar) like it's their first grandchild.  That's awesome.   Next, to just love us for where we're at and give us an extra measure of grace...please know after pregnancy, having a baby, and not sleeping as great.. our brain struggles.  Finally, please keep the supply of caffeine coming our way!  Roll your eyes when we talk like we've got it figured out (because clearly you know we don't, even if we genuinely believe it), and know that by the time number 4 rolls around we will be letting things roll off our back just like an alligator! But for now, I'll just enjoy the below 2 guys in this video...and be uptight and slightly sleep deprived! :)  


Monday, June 8, 2009

Some days stink

It all started when I saw this color that I normally like flashing behind my jeep. Blue light special? Not quiet the "deal" I was looking for on my way home from church. I got lost and ended up turning the wrong way down a one way. I was by myself due to Ryan at drill this weekend. In my embarrassment, I pulled over and the police officer gathered my information. I started shaking and wishing my baby would start screaming so that the man felt sorry for me. Titus just slept peacefully and I shook in my shoes. The cop returned and chastised me while I held back the tears. He then said the most precious words, "I hate citing military families, so just be careful and take 205 home." Really??? Am I still in Portland, because sometimes people don't seem to be a fan of the military here. (Want to try that theory out.. go to any organic grocery store with your army uniform on). I thanked him and wanted to give him a bear hug, but I refrained.

It all ended well, but my nerves were shot for the day. Today, I've been in a funk of missing home, worn out, frustrated with bummer news, and slightly overwhelmed with being a wife and mother. On days like today I wonder how something so worth it often is so hard.

I am truly grateful for my life, but sometimes there is just not a cute little ribbon tied around the end of the day. Sometimes there is...

In my funk I let the fears flow, just in time for a cute little baby to look up at me and flash the biggest smiles known to man. Truth is that he thinks the tears are me making funny/baby talk to him! He thinks the same about T.V...especially when I watch the Price Is Right. Granted, Drew Carey is not the same as old Bob, but Titus loves it!

It was too cute and a good reminder that bummer days/weeks might not have a cute ribbon, but a cute baby is even better.

Friday, June 5, 2009

home again home again jigidy jig...

I layed Titus down for his morning napped and gasped when I saw how long he now is....seriously where is my crusty-eyed newborn?! Ryan was amazed at how much Titus has grown since we've been gone. He is getting "almost" too big for his bassinet next to our bed. It pains me to put him in his crib in his own room (I have a pit in my stomach just thinking about it), because I really love him being within an arms length at night. I am also in denial over the fact that he will soon be out of 0-3 months clothing...ehhh. I still can't bring myself to boxing up his newborn clothes. Maybe this is a little foretelling on what a train wreck I will be when the poor child goes to college! Ha.. day at a time!

Now to arriving back in Portland... It was so nice to see Ryan yesterday evening. I missed that guy, and I think it's safe to say he missed us to because the house was spotless!! I had to push the repeat button when Ryan said, "I cleaned everything just how you like it, you know how you take everything off and dust in individually and then the surface with pledge?... I did that, and the floors, and the shower, and changed the sheets..etc." He knows me well. That's not to say my house is always clean... AT ALL...just what I like and if I clean I have a tendency to go overboard.

Portland is greeting me this morning with dreary skies. I prepared myself for it because when I left the heavens opened up with a "Portland Summer." I'm back Portland, you can rain again! I do like it here and I am trying to not remind myself about the beautiful beach I was laying on just 2 days ago. :) Maybe I will lift my spirits with a visit to Trader Joe's for some hummus. Life is about "blooming where you're planted" eh? Speaking of blooming we have the most gorgeous flowers in our front yard.... roses galore!

We had a fabulous time in Charleston. My parents went above and beyond loving on Titus and I. I could cry like a baby just thinking about it. I seriously have been given the best parents known to man and am eternally grateful. They have so many qualities I am hoping will be developed in me overtime. I don't think there will ever be one day in my lifetime where I don't cry when I leave them. I had to pull it together quickly in the midst of airport security due to the undertaking of getting through security with a baby. Yup, baby out, car seat, stroller jacket etc through security and breast milk "vapor" test! Thanks to the sweet grandma in front of us who said, "hun, why don't you let me hold him while you get through." He was in her arms .2 seconds later.

I always pray for helpful strangers when I fly. This was answered over and over from the sweet grandma, to our very flamboyant flight attendant, Juan (I had him on the flight coming as well..he hooked me up with refills, extra biscotti cookies etc) to the blessed woman and her husband from Atlanta, Georgia who literally got my luggage for me and walked me up to where my ride was arriving. Please God, let there be extra jewels in their crowns!!

Titus was a champ! With having parents cross-country, my child will earn his wings by the time he's one and will be helping the flight attendants during the safety talk point to the emergency exits! I can hardly believe he is my child because he has been so flexible. If he didn't look just like Ryan I might wonder if the hospital didn't give me the wrong baby! That's a joke for any dry personalities that might be reading this! Ahh, well it's time I hop in the shower. I am excited about some sweet visitors coming in an hour! They bring sunshine to my rainy Portland!

Peace out peeps and have a great day...if you've made it to the end of my "book." Or maybe I should say, "talk to you soon, Mom, because she may be the only one! :)