steps

This is the last week in our Hot Springs home, and actually Jackson spent his last night here on Friday, Jesse will be back for one night this week, we’ll close on the sale on Friday, and then we’re gone. It’s really just me and the dog here this week. On to the next adventure.

While I am so very ready to have our family re-united and settled in our new town, there are bittersweet emotions running through me this week. When we moved here a little over 3 years ago we were newlyweds, childless, and sorta clueless. We moved into a 2 bedroom trailer home with a puppy and cat, eventually upgrading to a 3 bedroom trailer home. Jesse had just graduated from school and working at his first tech job, I was working nights at the hospital and doing long-distance schooling. We were trying to conceive. It was a big step towards our independence as a couple. We made new friends, though we missed our old friends so much. We learned to be just “us.”

so cute and young

so cute and young

And then we bought our first home when I was about 5 months pregnant. We had a baby. I finished my doctorate and started my nurse practitioner career at the clinic. We’ve been doing nothing but taking one big step after another.

OMG, little diaper butt

OMG, little diaper butt

We’ll sell our first home this week and move back across the state. I’ll start a new job. Jackson will start a new daycare. We’ll hopefully buy our second home soon. And have our second baby. More steps. More changes.

baby #2, growing like crazy

baby #2, growing like crazy

I am excited for these changes, but also nervous and sad. While a house is a house, we’d made this place our home. And this is the place where Jackson learned to walk and took his first steps:

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he took his first real walking steps here, from mommy to daddy…

We’ve grown as a couple and a family since moving out here. I know more wonderful, challenging, and exciting changes are coming our way. But for this week, while I sleep on an air mattress with just the dog and a wiggly baby in the belly to keep me company, I am sad for the things we are leaving. The gorgeous scenery. The kind people. Our great friends. Splendid weather. The place we brought home our first baby.

that time they let us leave the hospital with a baby...

that time they let us leave the hospital with a baby…

Our stuff is packed, stacked, and gone. I’m chilling out on the air mattress, grateful my husband works for the cable company and that I still have TV and internet to entertain me. Because the whole house is clean. Turns out being a nest-y pregnant lady is helpful when it comes to packing and cleaning all the nooks and crannies.

that time we moved way more kids stuff than necessary... I'm canceling Christmas presents this year.

that time we moved way more kids stuff than necessary… I’m canceling Christmas presents this year.

Here’s to the next step. The next chapter. The next adventure. Side-by-side with the people I love.

our little family, onto the next big thing

our little family, onto the next big thing

23 months

Jackson is 23 months old today. This is the last “month” milestone that I can celebrate and not be considered a coo-coo mom who describes my child as a 28 month old. He’ll be 2. TWO. In one month. He’s been acting 2 for a while, and I’ve been calling him a 2-year-old for a while, but suddenly I just want him to be 1 again. I want to count his age in months, not years. I want to savor that he is my baby, if only for a little bit longer.

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Jackson is a very busy little man. He is moving from the moment he wakes up until he finally lets his eyes shut for sleep. He loves “big frucks” (yes, he says that in public, and yes, I correct him every time), “moo-moo cows” and all other animals, especially his puppy and his “gitty,” to play ball of any sort, to make big, big messes with water, and to give hugs to mommy, daddy, papa, nana, the puppy, the gitty, and any one else that will take one. He love to tell everyone “HI!” and “bye-bye” with a little wave. In the mornings, he will greet us, especially his father, with a “Hi, Daddy” in the sweetest tone of voice.

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He has a sweet tooth, like both of his parents. We had to removed almost every piece of “nandy” from the house. He is a picky eater for us, but eats good for daycare and babysitters. He is a little short and a little round for his age, but I’m not surprised – he comes from a fair number of short-legged, round-bellied men. He hates having his teeth brushed or his finger nails clipped, but loves having his ears cleaned out.

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For a short-legged guy, he can climb, and fall down, with the best of them. He is more of a do-er than a talker. I guarantee he won’t be potty-trained until he’s 3. He just won’t, but he loves to stand and watch himself pee in the bathtub. His patience for books waxes and wanes. The only cartoon character he recognizes and can ask for by name is “Memo” (Nemo), but movies will hold his attention in the car (Thank You Jesus, since we do trips 6-7 hours at a crack). He always wants to be carried and will beg a really good case for it by holding his arms out and saying “owie, owie.” Well played child, because Papa and Nana always pick him up. Me? I do most of the time, but I’m getting big, and he’s 28-ish pounds, so it is getting harder and more uncomfortable. My brother, who just had the sweetest little 6 1/2 pound baby 2 weeks ago, asked me how I can carry Jackson around all of the time. I guess it’s a good thing they grow into their weight and you don’t even really notice them getting bigger over time.

new baby cousin, Everett.

new baby cousin, Everett.

Speaking of the baby (being the new cousin) he wasn’t very captivated (I was though). He did two-hand touch tackle him twice as a sign of affection, or possibly a sign of “put that baby down Mommy, I am your baby.” We have 3 months to prep for our new baby, which is also going to include moving (hopefully twice, with the second time into a house from our temp apartment), new daycare, new routines… my prepping him has been lacking, because I don’t know that it would make much of a difference. He’s just not a fan of babies. He likes to be the center of attention… so, we’ll cross that chasm when we get to it in November. Bahaha.

Today, as we did another 450 mile treck across the state, he sat in the back and jibber-jabbered to me about the cows and trucks and cars he saw. He smiled his big, sweet, cheesy smile. He asked for “nandy” and won by getting most of my gummy bears (BAD MOM!). And for a good portion of the ride, I just tried to soak his personality up and memorize it. After spending a little time with a new baby, I realize there are already so many details that I have let slip out of my mind about Jack’s infancy… I just remember he ate all of the time, didn’t really sleep, and puked a million times per day. I vow to remember more, write more down, about both Jackson and #2. Because, really, I just blink a few times, and 2 years has come and gone. I can’t imagine how quickly the next 16 will go, and he will no longer be my little boy, but a man. Although… he will always be my little boy, now matter how big and hairy and grown up he gets. Happy 23rd month, Jackson Christopher. We love you so much!

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