May 31, 2008

You did it!

We're in Detroit at my parents' house because my brother's graduation party is today. When we were at the church setting up last night, my mom gave me a sign to assemble . . . you know, the kind where you use the sticker letters and sticker phrases to make the sign say whatever you want it to. The sample sign on the packaging said, "Congrats (fill in the name)! You did it!" So, feeling a total lack of creativity, that's what I was going to put on his sign.

When Jeff saw what I was doing, he made me stop. He felt like the phrase, "You did it!" implied that we didn't think he would ever actually do it. And there wasn't really ever any doubt in our minds.

When we got back to my parents last night, my mom showed me the slide show that she put together to have running at the party. My sister and I were both teary watching it. It seems like a totally different lifetime to see him as a baby. I have very few memories of that. I guess I did only live at home for his first five years of life. He says he doesn't really remember me ever living at home.

Jeff's working as a lifeguard at camp this summer and then he's headed to Liberty Unversity to study aviation in the fall. It's weird to think that starting in August he'll will be coming home to visit just like Karina and I do . . . he won't always be here whenever we come over.

Time passes quickly . . . I'm learning not to waste it. And I'm pretty sure saying that makes me sound like I'm 45.

May 30, 2008


Approximately 2 weeks after cleaning up spilled vegetable oil from your carpet, large spots will appear from all the dirt and grime that sticks to the oil residue. No amount of vacuuming will help. Sick.

May 28, 2008

28 goldfish later . . .

A week ago, we didn't have anything but this banner for Jack's party, so we pulled this all together quickly! I was worried that it was going to look like an afterthought, but it came together quite nicely, if I do say so myself. And, thanks to family who brought a lot of the food, it was really inexpensive! I'm pretty sure that this banner was the priciest thing I purchased!

We had it in Applewood Lodge at camp, which was nice because our house isn't big enough to hold that many people! Jack didn't really get what was going on, but he LOVES being around lots of people so he was enjoying it. I really wanted it to be fun for him (rather than overwhelming).

I didn't really have a theme, other than . . . um, frogs and bugs? Or maybe summer? You decide.

Here's the invitation:

I cut up those cheap, fake grass welcome mats into little patches to put on all of the tables. Then I put a bowl (borrowed from the camp) with goldfish and some rubber frogs and bugs on the grass. The only problem was that I bought fish on Saturday and they all died. We bought more on Sunday and they died, too. I sent my brother to the store early Monday morning to buy the last batch and all but one of them lasted until the end of the party. I was worried that our guests would be eating their lunch and watching fish float belly up in the bowl of water in the middle of their table. Yum. My mom suggested giving a prize to the table who had at least one fish alive at the end of the party!

We ate hamburgers and hot dogs, and thanks to my mom and Kyle's mom, we had quite a spread of food!


Jack helped me open one of his presents and then played with the beach ball the rest of the time while I opened the rest of them! Everyone knows him so well that he got a lot of doubles and triples of toys! This is one spoiled loved kid!




Maria made the cupcakes and they were delicious. Incredible. People are still talking about how good they were. I added the frog eyes.

Jack liked them too.



Jack was so tired at the end of the party, that he kept curling up in my arms and trying to sleep. But when we got home, he refused to nap. Sugar high, maybe?

It was a great celebration! I was choking back tears when we were singing happy birthday. How is it possible that it's been a year already?! You can see all of the pictures from his party here.

For the first time in weeks . . .

It's 7 AM and Jack is still sleeping. He slept all night. So did Murphy.

And so did we.

It's gonna be a good day.

May 27, 2008

All partied out

Jack's birthday is next Monday, but we had his party yesterday. I'll write a lot more about it later, but I've had family wanting me to post the video that I did for his birthday, so here it is . . . 6 days early.

Ironically enough, I created this video on a PC.

May 25, 2008

Ready or not.

There are so many untold stories from this month and I'm sad that I probably won't remember them. I didn't write them down here. I just don't have TIME. Summer is upon us.

Even though there are still a lot of uncertainties in my head about how we'll manage everything, I'm really looking forward to the summer. We've hired a great staff . . . I would dare say one of the best we've ever had. We have a great program. Camper registrations are still rolling in. We've hired a great nanny for Jack . . . and I'm so glad that we won't have to be concerned about whether or not he's well taken care of.

This weekend is kind of the "kick-off" of the summer season at camp. The campground is full, the beach is packed (even though the temperature is still pretty cool) and life is continuing to get crazier and crazier. We're having Jack's birthday party TOMORROW and I feel totally unprepared. I'm a little worried that his birthday parties are going to be afterthoughts because of how busy we are during this time of year. I need to get things figured out TODAY! I think it's ironic that we're having his party on the day he was due. Maybe I'm still wishing he had come on time . . .

Jack is still having trouble sleeping and we're testing out the theory that dairy products might be the culprit. So, right now it's formula and soy milk for him only. His crankiness has begun to subside, but he's still waking up at night. Hopefully we'll get things figured out soon because starting the summer this tired is going to be a challenge.

May 24, 2008

Done. Done, done, done.

Yesterday, I received a note in our mailbox saying that we had a registered letter waiting for us at the post office. Which is unfortunate, because we have to drive a long way to get to our post office in a direction that we never go.

So, I made the trip and was dreaming the entire way about what it could be. Maybe someone sent as a large sum of money anonymously. You know, because they didn't need it and thought maybe we could use it.

Hey . . . it could happen.

Or, maybe I won one of those $1000 Target gift cards for one of the 25 satisfaction surveys I fill out every month. And I just missed the e-mail telling me it was coming. I had myself pretty much convinced that this was what it would be.

But it turned out to be my diploma. I now officially have my masters degree. I'm not going to lie to you . . . it was a bit of a letdown.

But after some consideration, I realized that that piece of paper is worth the $18,000 I paid for it. Because, seriously, now I can get a job as a professional Sunday School teacher ANYWHERE. It was so worth it.

What is "normal" anyway?

Now that Jack has been weaned for over a month, the symptoms of my PCOS have returned. The good news is that my insulin, thyroid and cholesterol levels all tested as "optimal" so I'm not facing any of the significant health risks. Just the annoying ones. And it seems that if we do decide to get pregnant again, I'll have to go through all of the same fertility treatments that I did with Jack. Which is fine because I was trying to decide what to do with the pile of cash I have sitting in my back yard. Glad I have that figured out.

I was hoping and praying that the pregnancy would have kind of . . . well, I don't know . . . maybe re-set my body so that it started behaving the way it's supposed to. Not so much. It's actually worse now than it was before I got pregnant.

The main treatment for PCOS is the birth control pill. My doctor put me back on that four weeks ago and I felt overwhelmingly nauseous, tired and emotional since then. Yeah, we'll just call it emotional. This, combined with all of the fun I had last Saturday, my ability to cope hit an all time low and anxiety hit an all time high. I wrote anecdotally about the situation, but honestly, I was struggling to function. So, I stopped taking the pill and I had an appointment on Thursday to find alternative treatment. And I think we have it all taken care of. At least I hope so, because I'm going to need to be as stable as possible when I receive the bill for all of my doctor's visits and tests over the last month.

So, the last few weeks have been pretty stressful. Everything seemed bigger and more catastrophic than it really was and I'm glad that this little episode is nearing its end. I'm also praying that I can regain a sense of normalcy and routine as we head into the summer. Oh, and that I'll win the lottery.

May 22, 2008

Oh, Walmart.

So, I've shared some of my Walmart tales . . . about how it's equal parts of annoying and entertaining. Today I read this.


May 21, 2008

Time to do the laundry

I think we need to buy a new clothes dryer. The electronic panel on ours goes out about every 10 minutes when it's drying. One night, it wouldn't stay on, so I sat there holding the button down until the clothes were dry. However, we haven't had a problem with it for about four days straight now.

That said, laundry has been piling up while we try to figure out what to do. I think Jack's makeshift pajamas from two nights ago make it evident that it's time to do the laundry.

May 20, 2008

Hide and seek

It's shocking that Jack didn't sleep better last night after this. He hasn't slept through the night in about two weeks. Last night, he woke up four times, the last of which ended in me sleeping with him in the spare bedroom. Kyle had to sleep with him in there two nights before that. I don't know what's going on with him. Full moon, maybe? But that's not what this post is about.

Let me set the stage . . . I was changing Jack's diaper when the phone rang. So, I quickly secured the diaper and set him down without pants while I answered the phone. Toward the end of my conversation, I heard Jack laughing hysterically. It went on for about 5 minutes before I was off the phone. He and Murphy were essentially playing a game of tag . . . which evolved into a game of hide and seek. Though, Jack was waving around one of Murphy's bones, so maybe it was a game of keep away.

At first, I thought Murphy was trying to avoid Jack, but any time he seemed to lose interest, she'd try and get his attention again. So, I grabbed the video camera and caught the last 15 - 20 minutes of their little game. I edited it down to 3 1/2 minutes. My favorite parts are when he's been laughing so hard and running so much that he can barely stand up! If nothing else, just watch the first minute. And turn the volume up.

May 17, 2008

Can I borrow a cup of vegetable oil?

Days like today make every other day seem like a trip to Disney World.

Kyle had to be at a baseball tournament all day today so Jack and I were on our own. After breakfast, I lifted Jack out of his high chair only to feel a sharp pain shoot from my lower back down my left hip and leg. I took 2 of the Excedrin and carried on . . . while hunched over in pain. At this point, I felt like I was about 65. Not a good way to begin the day.

I started cleaning up from breakfast and from, well . . . the week! We weren't home much so things seemed to kind of pile up. Have I mentioned that Jack figured out how to open the cabinet and drawer child locks in our kitchen? Jack gets so frustrated now when we won't allow him to get into the kitchen cabinets. I think he saw the cabinet locks as a challenge . . . and that once he could figure them out, the cabinets were fair game. Like figuring them out was a rite of passage that earned him full access or something.

After about 1/2 hour, I realized that it was remarkably quiet. I turned around to see the pantry door was wide open. I found Jack in our carpeted hallway dumping one jug of vegetable oil all over himself and the carpet. How on earth he got the cap off, I will never know. In retrospect, I wish I had stopped and taken a picture. For a split second I thought, "Is this the catalyst we need to get new flooring?" But then I remembered we don't have any money.

I stripped Jack and left him crying in his crib while I scraped vegetable oil off and out of the carpet. Once Jack realized that he could see me from his room, he got a kick out of watching me. I know he wanted to get out and join in on the fun, but I couldn't have him running around through it and I knew I needed to get it up before it was too late.

Don't forget . . . I'm still hunched over at this point because of my back pain.

I re-dressed Jack and gave him a snack. I remembered that one of the chambers to our carpet shampooer was cracked. Of course it was cracked. Why wouldn't it be cracked? I tried to fix that while Jack ate.

I read Jack a story and put him down for a nap . . . which sounds much easier than it actually is . . . and got back to the carpet. The Excedrin was finally starting to kick in, so I was in a little less pain. I quickly googled "get vegetable oil out of carpet" and almost every piece of advice included kitty letter. I was fresh out of kitty litter so I went to the second best piece of advice which was using hair shampoo. I read that the more expensive shampoos work best. I grabbed my Suave Daily Clarifying shampoo from the bathroom and figured it would have to do. After I got up as much of the oil as possible (many thanks to Bounty, which I really do believe is the quicker picker upper), I scrubbed the spots with a sponge and the shampoo. As I was scrubbing, I wondered if it really would work better if I used a more expensive shampoo. I mean, when I bought it I didn't think I'd ever be using it on my carpet. And I almost never get vegetable oil in my hair.

I was able to fix the water chamber of the carpet shampooer, so I ran it with water only trying to get up all of the soap. It was at this point that I realized that vegetable oil in this amount doesn't come up out of carpet.

So, I went downstairs to work on card orders I had received Friday and found that I had three more. I got to work and realized that all of my work from Friday night had somehow been lost. I wasn't a bit surprised. I mean, look at my day up until this point. It didn't matter anyway. I had only been sitting down for 10 minutes when Jack woke up.

I gave Jack some lunch and attended to the carpet spots a little more. They were now more sudsy than they were oily. I'm not sure which is worse. I just kept running the carpet shampooer on rinse mode. Of course, the shampooer sounded like a vaccuum and made Jack freak out, so I had to stop.

After lunch, I ignored every voice in my head telling me that today might not be the best day to leave the house. I took Jack to Target to make some returns. It went so smoothly, that I decided to do my grocery shopping. I had about $20 worth of coupons for things that I needed and I wanted to use them before this week's sales were over.

In Meijer, Jack started giving this throaty scream and pointing to his diaper. He's never told me when he needs to be changed before, so this was something new. I figured I had better change him soon if he was communicating to me that he needed to be changed, so I grabbed the diaper bag and my purse and left my cart there. It's a good thing I left then because his diaper was LOADED. A minute or two more and He would have had to wear just a t-shirt and his diaper for the rest of our trip . . . which, to be quite frank, probably would have helped us fit in a little better.

We got back to our cart and I was delighted to see that everything was still there.

I got into the check out line and the cashier began ringing stuff up. I looked all over for my coupons and they were no where to be found. My guess is that some lucky Meijer shopper got their very own guide for how to get $35 worth of groceries for $15 while I paid sale price, sans coupons, for my items. Either I dropped it or someone took it while our cart was unattended. In either case, you're welcome.

My back pain started to flare up as we were leaving Meijer and I couldn't sit still the whole way home because it hurt so bad. I called Kyle and he told me that there were rain delays at the tournament and he'd be home 1 - 2 hours later than he had anticipated. Lovely.

I managed to make it through the rest of the afternoon and give Jack dinner while only being able to stand halfway up. Jack actually thought it was kind of funny. At one point, I was on my stomach, with my knees balled up under me and Jack was lifting up my shirt and kissing my back. Which totally made up for the large oil stains on the carpet in our hallway.

My back is still pretty bad, but Kyle's home now. Everything is better when he's home. I'm hoping I'll wake up tomorrow and my back will be as good as new because, well, the chiropractor is expensive. But with my luck, I'll be making an appointment first thing Monday morning.

May 16, 2008

Somebody's sleepy

I tried to take a nap yesterday . . . in the middle of the day. I've been unreasonably tired over the last few days because Jack's been a little cranky at night and we've had to get up with him. Kyle usually falls back to sleep fairly quickly. When I wake up . . . whether it's 3 AM or 6 AM . . . I'm up for the day. Kyle encouraged me to nap when Jack did in the afternoon. So, I brought Jack home for his nap, I finished a few household chores and then I laid down.

I don't usually do this and I don't really think it's a good idea. When I'm home with Jack, I see that as my job. And most people I know aren't allowed to take naps in the middle of the day at their jobs, right? Why should it be any different for a mom whose job is taking care of her child? If I want that job to be taken seriously, it seems as though napping in the middle of the day is a bad idea. Of course there are always exceptions . . . for instance, this job certainly doesn't come with sick days.

Anyway, I also have trouble falling asleep when it's still light outside so I closed the curtains and shut my eyes tight and tried to relax, but nothing really worked. So, my "nap" was me just laying in bed tossing and turning and thinking about everything that I should be getting done. Not very restful.

So, I'm still tired. And the stupid dog kept me up again last night. I wish that I could just catch up on sleep, but my body won't let me. I'm not at home today . . . I'm working at camp so there will be no opportunity to attempt another nap.

Although, I do have a sofa in my office . . .

May 13, 2008

A breach of protocol

I know the protocol for Mother's Day blog posts is write about what an honor and a gift it is to be a mom. Leave it to me to break protocol. A good percentage of my posts are written on this subject, so why be redundant? I'm just gonna fill you in on how the day was . . .

My first mother's day as a mom was very low key . . . Just the way I like it. I've always thought we have it a little backwards. I think moms should be honored on their kids' birthdays . . . you know, for bringing a human being into the world. And kids should be honored on mother's day . . . you know, for bringing a mother into the world. But no one listens to me.

On Sunday, Kyle and Jack let me sleep a bit longer than usual, while they made a trip into town for McDonald's breakfast. I'm pretty sure the gas to get in there cost more than the actual food, so I appreciated it quite a bit. I love breakfast from McDonalds. They went shopping last week and got me a new pair of sunglasses (to replace the ones I lost a week or two ago . . . shocking, I know). They also got me a movie that I really wanted. Seriously, Kyle is great at remembering things that I need and/or ask for . . . sometimes I don't even remember asking for anything until I open the gift.

At church, Jack cried when I dropped him off at the nursery. He rarely does this, but it made me feel as loved and adored as all of the other mothers whose kids do that every week. Maybe he pulled out the tears just for mother's day. Wasn't that nice of him?

We went to dinner at Kyle's parents house and spent some time with his family. Afterward, we went home and just relaxed. Like I said . . . low-key.

By the way, if Jack had been born when I was hoping he'd be born, we would have celebrated his first birthday yesterday.

May 10, 2008

Date night

Katie came over to stay with Jack tonight so Kyle and I could get out for a little while, sans baby. We planned to have dinner at Outback (because we have gift cards), but the wait was ridiculously long there so we ended up at Applebee's (where we do not have gift cards). Afterwards, we went to see "Baby Mama." It was cute . . . and funny. Cute and funny. I think if I had seen the same movie with anyone other than Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, I might have been disappointed. But I love those two. Hands down, my favorite part was when Tina Fey's nephew came out with something brown on his arm and his mother kept saying, "Poop or chocolate? Is this poop or chocolate?" It was a great night and was exactly what we needed!

It turns out that it wasn't just date night for Kyle and I. Many of the area schools had their prom tonight. And if you live in Jackson and want to take your prom date to dinner, where do you take her? Applebees, of course. Fancy. I saw one girl in a maternity prom dress. Yep. Kyle and I were sitting at the window that looks out at the mall corridor and saw another dressed up couple leaving with a Victoria's Secret bag. I think they need to spend a little time with the girl in the maternity prom dress.

May 8, 2008

The craziness and the loveliness

Every morning, after I get out of the shower, I plug in my hair dryer and I turn on my flat iron.

Every. Morning.

I thought about this yesterday morning when Kyle asked me if he could turn off my flat iron. He wanted to know if I was finished with it. I told him I was, even though I hadn't even used it. I actually use the iron about once a month and I probably have time to dry my hair once or twice a week.

Even though I usually leave the house with frizzy hair that was not blown dry or straightened, I do these things each morning with the hope that it will be the day that I have the time and the opportunity to actually do it. I hope that I won't go out in public for the rest of my life looking like someone who lives without electricity.

I've said many times that I have the best of both worlds with being able to work full time and stay home with Jack. During this time of year, I'm reminded that I also have the worst of both worlds. I feel like I can't do either of my jobs really well because Jack's with me at work and my work is with me at home. Every time Kyle's grandma sees me she asks me if I wonder what I did with all of my time before I had a baby. I really, really do wonder that.

I can't afford full time day care, but even if I could, I'm not sure that's what I would want. And I can't afford to quit my job . . . but even if I could, I know that I wouldn't want to give up my position at camp. Sometimes I get bitter (and envious) when I look at moms who can have it one way or the other. At other times I'm grateful when I stand back and look at my arrangement.

Can you see why I'm confused?

I wish I had more time to myself. I wish I had time to get ready in the morning. But I think I'll sacrifice good hair days for the good that I have right now. I'll take the craziness with the loveliness.

May 6, 2008

Sure it's fun . . . for a day

Kyle and his sister are 10 1/2 months apart. Which is the equivalent of me having a one-month-old along with Jack right now. I can't imagine . . . I have a lot of respect for them for doing it without going completely insane.

I was thinking about that as I babysat for my niece, Emma, today. Granted, she's already 7 months old, but having two babies that young is still a lot to handle. I took Emma (in the bjorn), Jack (in the stroller) and Murphy (on a leash) on a walk before lunch and they were both out cold by the time we got home. They had fun and I got quite a workout!

I really did have a lot of fun with the two of them . . . but not enough fun to make me ready for a second child!

May 5, 2008

Flying High

My younger brother got his pilot's license this last year I drove to the Hillsdale airport yesterday to take some pictures of him with the plane. On Saturday night, he sent me a message telling me that Kyle and Kevin (my brother-in-law) could come and he'd take them up for a little while. I didn't think that there would be time for me to go up, but I did!

I was so, so nervous. It was weird because it was like my brother was someone totally different when he was flying the plane. He was . . . well, an adult. An adult who had my life in his hands. He explained everything that he did and everything that happened which was really cool. As he was doing the preflight check stuff, I caught a glimpse of this list:
Jeff started to explain it and I asked if we could just wait to look at it until we were back on the ground. As we were getting ready to take off, I asked if there were any air sickness bags. He asked if I was joking and I said "yes." I was joking. Kind of.

We flew around camp, and over Lake LeAnn and over our house. There was some turbulence, but it wasn't too bad. Though, my stomach was a little queasy for the rest of the day.

The pilot:

Future pilot?
Here's a great view of the camp:

And a view of our house:

It really was a lot of fun, and I'm so glad that I had the chance to go up! You can see more pictures of our flight here.

May 4, 2008


OK, so this is the farthest thing from the tone of my usual posts, but it's my blog and I can do what I want. However, I guarantee that when I self-publish this blog in book form (using blurb) for Jack to read someday, I'll leave this post out.

So, anyone here have a paypal account? There's a new "paypal-esque" site called "Revolution Money Exchange." It's the same idea as paypal . . . and just for signing up they put $25 into your account. Seriously. No strings attached. It's just like opening a bank account. You can even sign up and then cash out your $25 (by bank transfer or check) and never go back to the site again.

Why am I plugging this? Because for every one of you I refer, I get $10 into my account (I think there's a limit, though). And then after you join, you get $10 for every referral. It's not a scam. It's not a hoax. I know people who have done this and have received their checks already.

It's completely legitimate. I know that I sound like one of those e-mail forwards that tells you that Bill Gates wants to share his fortune with everyone who passes the message on to 20 of their friends. But it's not. It's just a new site trying to round up customers.

It's free money, and I just thought I'd pass it along. Click on the link below to sign-up.


Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

May 3, 2008

Dear Jack, Month 11

Dear Jack,

When I began writing your letter tonight I started to stress out. Why? Because your first birthday is less than one month away and I have no idea how we'll celebrate it. For most people, this might not be a problem. One month is plenty of time. For me, however, this is bad. You see, one month from today, we'll also be on day 3 of staff training. The "summer blur" will have begun. IN ONE MONTH! Whew. I need to take deep breaths here.

I know, I know. This letter is about you, for you . . . not me. But you'll be affected by the "summer blur" too. Our routine will change drastically. We've hired someone to help us take care of you at camp for the summer so that we can spend lots of time with you but things will be different. But I guess things change, don't they? Even if we lived a normal life with normal jobs, things would change anyway, wouldn't they?

I have to be honest with you, Jack. There have been days this month that made me want to give you away as a prize to the next person who told me how cute you are. On these days, it seems that I can't make you happy. You want to be picked up, but you also want to be put down . . . you want to play, but you want to be held . . . you want to pull things down off of every shelf, but you don't want anything on the floor . . . you're hungry, but you don't want to eat . . . you're tired, but you don't want to sleep. You've thrown lots of tantrums and I let you. I do my best to ignore it and you usually calm down pretty quickly when you realize that NO ONE'S LISTENING! When you aren't quite irritated enough to throw a tantrum, but still want us to know that you're upset with us, you crinkle your nose and mouth up and just glare at us. It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Of course there are still plenty of good days, too. In fact, the first few days of your twelfth month have been fantastic (but more about that at the end of this month)!

I was holding you the other day when your dad was leaving the house, and he kissed me before he left. This must have been the first time you ever noticed this, because you thought this was HILARIOUS. You continue to laugh and applaud every time we kiss. I'm sure that someday you will think it's gross when you see us kiss, so I will enjoy it while it lasts. But I hope you'll always know that your mom and your dad love each other very much.

You've been walking steady for several weeks now and with the help of the vaccuum cleaner, you've started running, too. You are SO AFRAID of the vaccuum. I got you up from a nap last week, and you toddled out into the hallway. You immediately let out a screech and ran back toward me. It seems I forgot to put it away and just the sight of it bothered you. The Roomba isn't as much of an issue for you, and you even got brave enough to follow it around a little bit. But the minute that thing hit a wall and started coming in your direction you panicked!

You've tried all kinds of food now, and after the introduction of small bits of pizza, you began refusing foods that up until this point, you have liked. You want whatever we're eating and you can now tell the difference between what you're eating and what your dad and I are eating. We can no longer get away with eating tacos for dinner while you sit next to us eating your lima beans.

I think this month has been all about you testing the waters a little bit and trying to figure out how you fit into this crazy world. This is only the beginning and I promise that I'll do my best to help you get it all figured out.


May 1, 2008

Uh oh.

Ok, let's play catch up.

Last Wednesday was quite possibly the best day Jack and I have had together in all of his short life! That morning he slept until (drum roll please) 8:45 AM! Almost 13 hours! To be honest, he did wake up at 6 AM, but Kyle got him out of his crib and he put his head on Kyle's shoulder and went right back to sleep. I got so much done that morning. Of course it was interrupted by me checking on him ever 3 minutes to make sure he was alright! I don't know what prompted that extra sleep, but it was nice to get a few things done around the house. Jack was in such a great mood the rest of the day and we enjoyed the beautiful weather and each other's company.

That evening, however, the skies parted and God looked down and decided that Kyle and I have had things too easy. He woke up three or four times that night. He was up pretty much all night the next two nights. We blame teething. Stupid molars. During the day, he has been Whiny (that's whiny with a capital "W"). And the tantrums! Oh, the tantrums!

That said, when I'm home, my entire focus has been on Jack. I guess the bright side is that I've been able to break in my Love and Logic skills a little. I've said "uh oh" and "so sad" more times than I can count. It's working though, because when I give Jack a firm "no" on anything, he's learning to turn around and walk in the opposite direction. When he hears "uh oh" he knows it's too late. He starts whimpering and holds his hands up to me as if to say, "I know. I blew it. Time for a little time out." I heart love and logic.

Things have started to get a little better, though. I think the last week has been a lot about Jack testing his limits and seeing if he can control us or if we're going to be the ones setting the boundaries. I'm sure teething has also added to his unpleasantness. He is definitely learning to make his will known. He even has this face he makes where he scrunches up his nose and mouth and glares at us sometimes when we say no. It's hilarious. I really want to get a picture of it sometime, but it's hard to discipline and photograph at the same time.

We played outside on the deck for a while yesterday. I had some stale popcorn in the pantry that I knew we would eat, so I poured it into pans and let him scoop it up and dump it into the other pans. It took him a little while to get the hang of it, but he caught on eventually and LOVED it. We spent the rest of the afternoon, rolling his big red ball back and forth to each other in the back yard. Playing "catch" is one of his new favorite activities and will initiate it whenever possible!

I love this kid. Tantrums and all.