fathers day

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If Jackson could talk, he’d say… “Thank you, Daddy, for everything you do – for getting up early and staying up late, for rocking me to sleep (and sometimes yourself at the same time), for looking for every single thing i could possibly fit into my mouth and choke on and keeping an eye out for every possible danger that could befall me, for taking over for mommy when she’s super tired (or cranky), for playing on the floor with me after work not matter how long of a day you’ve already had, for spending 13 hour days all by yourself with me while mommy works, and for always putting me first in your life. I love you!”

 

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9 months

9 months

9 months

9 months seems like a big deal. all of those months that correlate with baby cloths sizes, updates in baby pictures, and well baby exams seem like big deals. i just. can’t. believe. it. he’s lifetime existence has officially doubled. crazy.

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he continues to be a strong-willed little man. i firmly believe he is choosing not to crawl like a “normal” baby. instead, he does an army crawl/total body thrust.  it is most seen when motivating him with “adult” food, for instance, the pizza i dangled in front of him last night across the room. he wormed his way over fairly quickly, and then i ate the pizza. mean momma.

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he babbles mamamamamama. all of the time. while he does not correlate his mumbles with me per say, it’s nice to hear his little voice. except at 5am, then just go to sleep baby. i don’t even set an alarm anymore. i have jackson.

morning smiles

morning smiles

he only pulls himself up on me or daddy. not on furniture. so far, that’s fine by me. but he will stand and hold on to stuff no problem. and take steps holding our hands. he’s a “ring bearer” in september… gotta get him walking by then 🙂

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he is a wild child. he is loud. he is slightly crazy. he doesn’t need much sleep. he tests me everyday. it’s great… when he’s happy. it sucks when he’s cranky.

he is also adorable. funny. loveable. and so smart.

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i always knew i wanted to be a mom. but i never knew… the commitment. the love. the struggles. the triumphs. the overwhelming desire to live for someone else. and i know my hubby didn’t either. we are so, so, so blessed.

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and happy first fathers day to my hubby, whom i could not live without. he is my compass in the crazy and my partner in parenting. love you honey!

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heartbreak

there are those stories you read, usually fictional, that make you think, “that’s unbelievably sad, i’m not sure how anyone could withstand that heartache.”

but a real-life story was published this week by a girl that was in my nursing school class. i had 80 people in my class. we were just acquaintances really, but i knew a little bit about her, just like i knew a little bit about everyone, just like they all probably knew a little about me. we graduated. we all became facebook friends and went our separate ways.  that is my connection to megan.

you know when bad stuff happens, it runs rampant through your facebook newsfeed? at the end of april, suddenly megan was all over my newsfeed. and it was bad. her husband of only 6 weeks had been the pilot in an airplane crash… he was dead. all i could think was, “what would i do? what if it was my husband? my life shattered?” my heart broke for her. the entire state of south dakota’s heart broke for her.

how do you not put yourself in that person’s shoes? how do you not wonder how you would respond, how you would fall apart?

i dread the idea of something happening to my husband. my baby. my family. i dread the possibility that i answer a phone call, and it’s devastating news. earth shattering news.

she is being ridiculously strong. and she published her story this week on a blog… she let the whole world in on her heart. i felt like i was peering into a story that was not my business… and it got so much worse. she found out she was pregnant right after he died. and then she miscarried. and then she found a lump in her breast. how can the human heart withstand this?

her story, her life, wears heavy on my heart tonight. it also highlights that we should cherish each day, because each day is truly precious. God bless you, megan.

surround yourself with people you love, and love them well.

 

a trusting and grateful heart

I spent most of last week sitting in a hotel about 200 miles away from my baby and 600 miles away from my hubby… for a NP board review. I needed to be there, to focus, and give my self the best chance I can to pass my boards ASAP after graduation. But, besides the 2 nights I was hospitalized when Jackson was a week old and one other random night when I left the baby with Jesse while I went to class alone, this is the only time I have been away from Jackson overnight – and this is the first time he was separated from both his mommy and daddy overnight.  I think this was a big deal.

Jackson stayed partially with my brother and his wife (who also happens to be one of my best friends) and partially with my parents. These guys only live about 7 miles away from each other, but I know it was still a headache for them to haul his stuff from one place to the other. How do you pack for a 8 month old when you know you won’t be there and neither of the places he will be staying have children??? You pack everything. There was even a rubber duck in his suitcase. My Tahoe looked like a BabysRUs. I just wanted to make sure they had any thing they might need. Baby thermometer. Tylenol/Motrin. Socks. Hats. Sunscreen. Pack’n’Play. Jogger. Portable high chair. Jumper. Baby bathtub. Bottle warmer. Sound machine. Toys, toys, toys. Baby food. And plenty of frozen milk. In fact, I brough almost my whole stash – and everything they didn’t use was donated before I went back home…  which was about 800 ounces!

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“so you’re going to leave me with her, eh??”

chillin' with uncle rob

chillin’ with uncle rob

grandpa's sidekick

grandpa’s sidekick

It was a little bit amazing to sleep at night, but I still woke up in the middle of the night and checked my phone just in case my sister in law or mom had called or messaged me with a question of concern… I’m too used to waking up and checking on him! It was a weird exercise of trust.  My family is absolutely capable of providing wonderful, loving care to my son, and I just had to trust them to do whatever they deemed necessary for Jackson. And I am so grateful. So grateful to have people who love me and my little family enough to swap around their schedules to spend the week with Jackson.

thank goodness for snapchat updates!

thank goodness for snapchat updates!

i'm fairly certain this is my dad's first "selfie" - he was so proud of being able nap with Jackson.

i’m fairly certain this is my dad’s first “selfie” – he was so proud of being able nap with Jackson.

HI

Hi Mom!

I missed him like crazy, but thankfully technology provided me (and his daddy) with lots of photographic updates – proof he was just fine. I was never really worried about his safety or their capability to take care of him, but I think it’s just a momma’s nature to worry no matter what. He was in the care of some of the people I trust the most in the world… and I know they understood how much trust it took to leave him for those 3 nights. Like I mentioned, my sister-in-law and brother don’t have children (yet 🙂 ), and I think this gave them a very real look at life with a baby. A real, live, feed me, change me, entertain me baby. And when Jackson was at my parents’ home, which is a farm, he was happiest outside with the animals and hubbub. All in all a good experience for the little guy! And I cannot say THANK YOU enough to my parents, my brother and his lovely little wifey!

feeding the bottle calf with grandpa.

feeding the bottle calf with grandpa.

And, also good for me to be home with my family for a little bit. This is my last trip home before graduation in August. I cannot believe how close I am to graduating, how close I am to attaining this goal for myself and for my family. That deserves its own post at another time, when I have enough time to process it more fully. Until then, once I make it through my project defense on June 24th, it is smooth sailing until boards. So, hard-core school work for the rest of the month. Almost there… I just can’t believe that I am done with my “Jackson and Mommy” trips. They have not always been easy, but they have been some of the most memorable bonding moments with my little boy, just us. It almost makes me sad when I think about the fact that that season of our lives is almost over.

so worn out after a great week with his family!

so worn out after a great week with his family!

This is one of two coolers of frozen milk I donated to the Iowa milk bank. In total it was 6 gallons of milk. This will be used in NICUs in the midwest. I was so happy to "share the wealth" :)

This is one of two coolers of frozen milk I donated to the Iowa milk bank. In total it was 6 gallons of milk. This will be used in NICUs in the midwest. I was so happy to “share the wealth” 🙂