Sunday, November 29, 2009

Could I be so Lucky?

For about a week now, Braden has taken a great interest in the potty. He has always liked the bathroom and spinning the toilet paper off the roll (which is why you will never find it on the holder), but recently he is more interested in sitting on the potty. I always joke with Brad that Braden will be potty trained before Ellaina poops in the potty, but it was just a joke. Could it be? I am getting quite ahead of myself though. He sits on the potty once or twice a day, but hasn't actually ever gone pee pee on the potty. In fact, the other day he stood up off the potty to pee on the floor :)

It is so cute to see how excited he gets about sitting on the potty though. He stands up off the potty, all happy, and says " I did it!". Although he hasn't really done it, Ellaina and I still cheer him on. Ellaina has been so super about cheering Braden on. One time I went to the bathroom, and then set Braden down after me. After I got him up, She looks in and started clapping and cheering "You did it Braden! You went pee pee in the potty!". I didn't have the heart to tell her otherwise. Last night after bath time, Ellaina said she had to go potty, so we all went running to the bathroom. Ellaina said, "Go potty with me Braden". She had arranged the two potties to face each other. It was too cute to not take a picture :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Braden's Bed Buddy!

Every time we lay Braden down, Jinx is hiding somewhere in his room. Usually we find him under the crib and kick him out before closing the door, but every now and then he finds a better hiding spot. Braden is obsessed with Jinx and Jada, so he gets excited when Jinx has gotten by us and jumps into his crib.

Secretly, I sometimes let Jinx win, just because Braden enjoys it so much. I can watch them in the video monitor playing around and cuddling. Braden talks and talks to Jinx...even though he always calls him by the wrong name "Hey Jada!". It is all in good fun though! I usually get him out within a minute or two. Although, there has been the few times I didn't realize he got in. Then it is a race to get him out before he wakes Braden back up with his meowing. See, after Braden falls asleep, Jinx jumps out of the crib and starts meowing excessively at the door. If I don't get there fast enough, I run the risk of Jinx waking him.

Today at nap time, I left Jinx in Braden's room on purpose as I read Ellaina her stories in her bed. I went in to take a picture of them playing, but instead, Braden was sleeping on one side of the crib and Jinx was laying down on the other. He got up when I went to take the picture, but it was so sweet...until I kicked him out again :)

Family Gatherings!

I LOVE the holiday season! Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to be around people. To me, the holidays are an opportunity to be with your family & friends and really let them know how important they are. This November has started out so wonderfully! We have gotten the opportunity to get together with so many of our family members already.

A couple weeks ago, we headed over to Laura and Keith's house for a BBQ with Grandpa J, Uncle Jim and Aunt Sandy. Jim and Sandy live in Wisconsin, so we haven't seen them since our wedding. They were in town visiting Grandma & Grandpa J, as well as knocking out Grandpa's honey-do list. It was such a treat to get to spend some time with them and introduce them to the kids. The BBQ was pulled together very quickly, but was such a success!

The day after the BBQ we had our Jackson Family Thanksgiving scheduled. Josh and Courtney were heading to South Dakota for Thanksgiving, so we had it a little early this year :) The festivities took place at our house and it was such a blast. I cleared out my studio and set up one big table for the adults. Put a little kids table in the bay window...so they were kind of trapped :) and had the bigger kids in the kitchen. It was one of my favorite (early) Thanksgivings since moving to Texas. My favorite part of the day was all sitting around the same table eating and visiting. To me, the day was magical...even if I almost threw up from preparing the turkey. That's another story for another day :) My only disappointment thus far, is that Grandma J wasn't able to join us for either event. Here's to wishing for Christmas with her!

"Early Thanksgiving" Turkey Debacle

With Brad installing Christmas lights this time of year, turkey cooking became my job at our early Thanksgiving festivities two weeks ago. Me, the person who doesn't eat meat of the bones. Me, the person who didn't start eating red meat again until I was pregnant with Ellaina and the cravings won. Me, the person who has NEVER had a hamburger before. What the heck were we thinking.

It was borderline harder then childbirth (I did have good childbirths though). I started it OK and removed the bag of things I didn't want to know about. Then I called Kim to see how to season it. After hanging up the phone with her I realized I was going to have to touch it some more. I speaker phoned my Mom into the cooking fright, so she could help me through it. After lifting up the wings to butter and season, I could feel the throw up making it's way to my throat. I sucked it up and finished seasoning it, so I could put it in the turkey roaster in the garage.

I was just about done with it when my mom asked if I had gotten out the neck. My reply was yes, I got that bag out from inside. She then informed me that there was another hole I needed to reach into to get the "neck" out of. "Oh HE** NO" was all that I could get out of my mouth. Then I convinced myself it would add flavor, so I could leave it in there. I marched that turkey, neck and all, into the roaster and was glad to be done...for now.

Before my stomach settled down, I had to go out there and baste it. By this time I was way over this turkey cooking thing. I wasn't sure if I was even going to be able to eat it...or any meat anymore. I basted it twice until my knight and shining armor Brad arrived home. I handed the turkey basting over to him and threw everything else together :) When it was all said and done, Brad cut it up (after removed the neck) and everyone enjoyed the turkey. This will be the last time I will EVER prepare/cook a turkey. I get nauseous just thinking about it.

Special Sandwich!

Last night we read a couple stories and put Braden to bed. After headed to Ellaina's room for one last story. Brad laid down in Ellaina's bed and Ellaina hopped in. Then she looked at me and said "Mommy, you come and lay down too so we can be a sandwich!". Brad and I looked at each other and started laughing. A couple nights ago we both laid in her bed with her between us while we read her a book. I made some comment about how we are a sandwich. It was cute that she remembered and asked to make a sandwich again!

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Fever Guy

Braden woke up Thanksgiving morning burning up. I was getting ready for the Turkey Trot, so I laid him down with Daddy as I finished up. He and Daddy cuddled all morning while Mason was recovering on the couch. Kim and Kevin were running the 8 mile and since Mason had just had his appendix removed, he was not able to join us all at the 5K/8 mile Turkey Trot. I felt it better to have Braden stay home too, since he was running such a high fever. Brad didn’t mind one bit, especially since he got some quality cuddle time with Braden.

Once Ellaina and I returned, Braden still wasn’t doing so good. His fever had reached 103.1 under his armpit. I called the nurse helpline to get advice as to what temperature do we head to the Emergency Room. Thankfully he never hit that temp and we weren’t celebrating Thanksgiving at the ER.

As it turned out, Braden has Hand Foot & Mouth…for the second time in his young life. He is recovering fine & we are praying it is not something Ellaina picks up...or Brad with his finger biting habit.

LOVE the Smiles!

I had to include these pictures into the kids blog book. This was a day we were watching Gabriel and Miles. They all have such a GREAT time together. Their smiles are PRICELESS!

Fall Feast!

Ellaina’s class celebrated Thanksgiving by having a lunch party. Braden and I got to join her and it was so much FUN! I am pretty sure Ellaina’s favorite part was the chocolate covered cupcake. Braden liked to play with all the toys in the room. He kept putting his sippy cup in the toy refrigerator.

It was cute to see how excited Ellaina was to have us there. She kept giving Braden hugs and he got to sit next to her for a few seconds...until he ran to the toys again. After lunch and the cup cake, Ellaina and I got to make a craft together. I had so much fun, and there was no question the kids did too.

Crabby Face!

Braden has the funniest "crabby face" ever. I don’t know how he started this, but he thinks it is so funny and frankly so does Brad and I. What he does and puts his head down like he is looking at the floor, but keeps his eyes on you with a stern expression. Then when you look cross back at him, he lifts his head up with this ear to ear smile and starts giggling. I tired to capture it with my camera, but it just doesn’t do it justice. It looks more like creepy face than crabby face :)

Kisses!

We are a kissing family! Always smooching on each other. It is so much fun and the best feeling when my kids run up to me with a huge hug and kiss. This night was a smother Daddy with kisses night. It was so precious I had to grab my camera and capture the moment!

"I love you so much Gavin!"

We had little Gavin over on Monday while Mason was going in for a check up. Ellaina was pretty tired from having Brooke and Nina over for a play date, so I was hopeful that she would nap while Gavin and Braden napped. I laid Braden down...with no problems of course, and headed into Ellaina's room for story time. Gavin, Ellaina and I all laid on her bed as I read stories. About halfway into the first story Ellaina rolled over, put her arm around Gavin and said "I love you so much Gavin!". It was the sweetest thing. She did it a couple more times during the second story too. It is so sweet how excited they all get when they are together!

Oh...the kids are topless in the table picture because it was a spaghetti dinner. Lets face it, it's easy to wipe them off that way :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's Behind Door #1

Every afternoon, I get the opportunity to guess what Ellaina has done during "quiet/nap time". First big one was the lotion overload, so we cleared her drawers and closet of everything little girls shouldn't have. Then came the taring of her books. I pulled all the books out of her room and make sure not to leave any in there when we are done reading. Her newest thing is dress up. After spending a greater part of the day doing laundry and hanging it all up, I was a little disgusted when I opened her door to find the floor littered with cloths. The bright side was that she had dressed herself in multiply outfits. After that, I started tying her closet doors together so she couldn't open it. Every day it is something new with my Ellaina :)

Now, she gets into the only two drawers she can open and plays dress up. I am finding myself anxious to open her bedroom door and see what silly outfit she has put on this time. A couple days ago she had put her swimsuit on over the cloths she already had on. Today was funny because she had paired boy navy and red MN Twins shorts with a purplish pink tank top. As if that was not funny enough, what she said put me over the top with laughter. She said, "I'm going to go exercise like you mommy!" She is ALWAYS good for a laugh.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pretty Doctor...

Ellaina went for her first dental appointment a couple months ago, and still talks about Dr. Barnes. I used to work for Dr. Barnes and still fill in from time to time, but he must of made a lasting impression on her. This morning I was changing Braden, and Ellaina came over to pretend like she was his doctor. She ran away for a second and came back dressed up like...well, the picture. She even had oven mitts on as gloves. Then she said "It's OK Braden, Dr. Barnes is here". I started laughing and asked her again which doctor she was. She stood up and said "Dr. Barnes!". It made for a good laugh this morning, and I needed one! Dr. Barnes is an incredibly talented dentist, and apparently even my three year old thinks so. I think Dr. Barnes should let Ellaina pick out the next set of scrubs or at least get her input :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mama's Boy!

Braden has been called a Mama's boy every now & then (mostly from Daddy). I would like to say that it is not true, but I would be lying. I LOVE that he can't get enough of me! Both of my kiddos are such lovey kids. Always hugging mine and Brad's legs, or wrapping their arms around our necks for big, sweet hugs and kisses. It is the best perk of being a parent :)

I do have to agree with Brad though, he keeps commenting on Braden's Mama's boy status reaching a new level. If I am in the kitchen and he is not, he periodically comes into the kitchen to check on me. When I catch him doing this, he comes running over to me with his arms out saying "MAMA!". If I am sitting on the floor, he pretty much attacks me with kisses and hugs! If I am not getting it from Braden then I am definitely getting it from Ellaina. It seems so magical how quickly those hugs and kisses can melt your heart and take away any worries. I notice it with Brad too. Everyday he walks into the door and is showered with hugs and kisses. Ellaina & Braden start shouting "Daddy!" with so much enthusiasm. It always puts the biggest smile on his face. Well both of our faces. Ellaina and Braden definitely have a little pixie dust in them :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Sleeping Beauty!

I just got done sneaking out of Ellaina's room, while she lay so peacefully sleeping. She is getting to the age where naps are very far and few in between, so we call it "quiet time" now. It usually starts by me putting Braden down for a nap without any problem. Actually, he is the easiest about going to sleep. Nap time and night time you just give him a water sippy, his "nigh night" and turn on his musical turtle. He rarely ever makes a peep. However, I deserve this easy one because Ellaina does anything possible to procrastinate when it is quiet time or bedtime.

Here lately she has become interested...no obsessed with the Disney Princesses. She calls herself Cinderella, and any dress she wears is a "Cinderella dress". Thankfully this has opened the door to reading some longer stories with her. I have almost every Disney story book. I have been collecting them before we even had kids. Strange I know, but you would get it if you knew me when I was young :) Here is my reasoning...I was the youngest of three and only 20 months younger then my brother. By the time I came along, my mom & dad had their hands full. Story time wasn't necessarily a priority, so I never developed the love of reading...still don't. I always wanted to make sure I read all the time to my kids, to help them develop that love of reading. Hence why I started buying books before having kids. That's usually when you have a little extra money and I didn't want any excuse not to make this happen.

Back to the story at hand :) At quiet time, she always asks to read a book or ten to stall. We have begun reading the longer stories, and Ellaina has really been enjoying them. Today was Snow White with a bonus Beauty and the Beast. Half way through the bonus book, I realize she had fallen asleep. I stopped reading and just watched her sleeping so sweetly. She truly is my Sleeping Beauty and I love moments like this! Wanted to make sure I didn't forget the moment or the way I felt.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"My Boys!"

Ellaina is surrounded by boys. There are the usual play date suspects: Gavin, Wolfie, Jake, Ryan, Tyler, Zach, Gabriel and Miles. Then there are a couple extra friends that join in our play date from time to time, but for the most part she is the only girl (except Juliette, but she isn't quite mobile yet). Ellaina has picked up on the fact that she is usually surrounded by boys. Lately, she has been calling them "My Boys!".

On Thursday we all headed to Finch park for our weekly play date. The weather was so beautiful, and the company was so nice that we played for quite a while. After about an hour or so, Ellaina told me she had to go potty. As we headed to the bathroom, so said to me "Those are my boys!". Then she turned around and yelled "Bye my boys, see you real soon!". It was so funny and cute! It almost made up for the fact that she had a number two accident only minutes after that potty trip to the bathroom. Arghhh, she just won't go poopy in the potty still. Even when she knows she has to and she is sitting on the potty. But that's another story for another time :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Brad..man

My little Braden is so precious and such a funny little guy! He is always making me smile, and warming my heart when he runs to me with his arms out and an ear to ear smile on his face. Now that he is talking so much more, it is even more fun to watch and listen to him. I feel like I don't get to record all his moments because of our more hectic life. With that said here are a few cute Braden things for the Jackson's Journey blog memory book before I forget :)

Yesterday Daddy had gotten off work early, so we decided to go out for dinner. Brad asked Braden where his shoes were and his response was "ummmmm" as he walked around looking for them. Then today, we were heading to the Daugherty's house so Kim and I could go for a run. I couldn't find my keys and realized Braden had them earlier. I asked Braden where my keys were and he started walking around saying "ummmm ummmm". We never found that set of keys, but he definitely got me to laugh.

The way Braden gets excited and interacts with the cats is both adorable and hilarious. He gets sooooo anxious when he sees them. He calls them both "It's Jada" and is overwhelmed with joy when they are around. Jada actually keeps her distance for the most part, but Jinx LOVES the attention. Jinx will let Braden pet him, lay on him, and much more. Braden has this fascination with eyes and pokes every one's eyes while saying "eyes". Unfortunately Jinx is no exception and Braden gets a few pokes at his face too. Jinx pretty much just lays there with his eyes closed. Sometimes Jinx will even circles Braden to get him to play. Braden's newest thing is giving Jinx kisses. Actually his thing is giving everyone kisses. He doesn't actually kiss with his lips. He leans over and kind of head butts you while making the kissing noise, and he will do it over and over and over again.

Braden has begun to grow quite attached to his blue blanket. He calls it his "Nigh Night". I usually try to keep it in his crib, but every once and a while he pulls it out of the crib and walks around with it repeating "Nigh night" and smiling ear to ear. Today we were on our way home from the Wiggles playhouse and I was talking about him taking a nap when we got home. He started asking for his "Nigh Night", so I handed him a random blanket in the car. He got excited and then looked at the blanket and looked at me with this "what the heck" face. Then he said "Not nigh night" and threw it. It is official, he has formed an attachment to a blanket. Now I need to be on a mission to find a second (backup) blanket just in case :)

We have been working on manners so much with Ellaina, that Braden has been saying them now. When he asks for something...like his milk, I will ask him "what do you say?" and he says "pleeeease". He has also mastered "Thank you" and "Bless you" at the correct times. Now if we can only get Ellaina saying them without me reminding her, we would be set :) Ellaina sometimes will say "Thank you, your welcome" when I give her something, which makes me laugh.

Lets see, what else has my little guy been doing? Oh, he talked to Grandma on the phone yesterday. This is one of the first times he has actually talked on it. Usually he just stands there listening and smiling. This time, he was repeating everything after me. Grandma was lucky he was so talkative, because she got to hear him say "Grandma" for the first time. He also said "Love you", "Bye Bye Grandma" and I believe a little "trick or treat" got in there too :) When I got back on the phone, he was upset and took it back from me. Grandma said something and all excited he said "Grandma". It was precious!

I know there is a lot more of these little Braden stories, but I am drawing a blank...and a little tired. So...to be continued :)

Oh wait I thought of one more :) Braden LOVES to sing, he has the tone of many songs down even if he doesn't know the words. Lately he has been getting better with some of the words though. His favorite songs are "Ring Around the Rosie"(which is so funny when he gets to the ashes ashes part. He will sing Ashes Ashes over and over before finally singing "we all fall down".), "Twinkle Twinkle", and "ABC" (he actually gets some of the letters correctly). Ellaina and him will hold hands and dance in the "living room" as Ellaina calls it when she asks Braden if he wants to dance. I LOVE it!

I am so thankful I get to be apart of all these moments. Only because of Brad's hard work and my photography it possible for me to stay home. I feel so incredibly blessed for that opportunity and thankful everyday. It is such a sweet sight when Brad walks in the door and Braden and Ellaina get so excited. They both go running to him and shout "Daddy Daddy"! It melts my heart everyday :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ellaina's 1st School Picture!

I absolutely LOVE Ellaina's first school picture! It is sooooo adorable and catches her personality so well. She started school late last year (she was on a waiting list), so she didn't get an individual school picture. I know school pictures are usually pretty bad, but I wanted it anyway to commemorate the moment. Now I am so glad I did :) I rarely ever can catch a smile like that on her with my camera. I guess that is the product of a photographers kid. She is so used to me sticking the camera in her face, that she rebels against it and refuses to look and/or smile. They however caught it and it is so special. Hopefully it is just a phase with me :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hilarious High Five!

My little Braden is growing up so quickly. His personality is so fun and silly. He is always goofing around, smiling and laughing. There are so many similarities among him and Ellaina, but yet so many differences.

One similarity is their love of music. Anytime he hears certain songs on the radio he starts clapping and bouncing up and down. He can almost be completely asleep in the car, but if Black Eyed Peas "I Got a Felling" or Miley Cyrus "Party in the USA" starts to play he'll start clapping and shrugging his shoulders up and down with the music. Ellaina will start asking for me to "Make it louder please?". Although it sounds more like "make it Water, please" :)

Braden has been doing the high five thing for quite a while now, but all of a sudden he thinks it is the funniest thing! Every morning at the kitchen table he will say "high five" and hold his hand out. When I put my hand out, he slaps it and starts laughing. Then it becomes a high five breakfast. Ellaina, Braden and I spend the rest of our breakfast slapping each others hand and laughing. This has been going on for a couple days now and I have to admit that I look forward to it :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Out Smarted by a Three Year Old?!?

Ellaina is just not napping anymore. I thought for sure she would today, since she was up a lot last night with a stomach ache. Apparently I thought wrong. I know she was tired, but today she was more stubborn then tired.

Some how she figured out how to get the child safety knob off her door, so she could get out of her room. Knowing that she needed a nap & I needed some quiet time to get work done, I out smarted her by switching the bathroom knob with hers. Which quickly made her victorious grin turn into tears. I did it, I have become a mom who locks her kids in their room from the outside...or I thought. Some how little Ellaina figured out how to get the door open still. Even with it locked from the hallway and her locked in, she wiggled that door knob until it opened. Wow what a determined little girl can accomplish.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

With Halloween on Saturday this year, the kids got two days of Halloween fun! Saturday evening we headed over to Stone Brooke Crossing neighborhood for “BOO in the Brooke”. It is a fun pizza party like block party at my sister-in-laws’ neighborhood. It is such a blast for the kids and for Brad and I. We all get to hang out and visit while the kids play together before trick or treating fun begins. The weather was beautiful again this year. I put an extra layer of cloths under the kid’s costumes though to make sure they would stay warm after the sun went down.

Ellaina, Braden and all the other kids were having a great time taking all the candy out of the dishes and putting it in their basket. Instead of putting it in his basket, Braden would try feeding it to little Ryan. It was so adorable! Ellaina was good about putting all the candy back before we started trick or treating. Daddy let her pick out three pieces and we were off. We walked around with Greg and Wolfie, Kevin and Gavin, Mike and Ian, and us with our kids. We brought the wagon along with us, and the kids liked to ride in it when we had to go far to the next house. It was exciting as a parent to see the kids having so much fun trick or treating together. Gavin, Ellaina and Wolfie would ride in the wagon with their legs hanging over the side until we got to the next house. The kids would all go up to the house together and knock on the door. The people would barely get their door open before the kids would be rushing them saying trick or treat. Many times stepping into their houses. At one point Ellaina started saying “M&M’s” instead of trick or treat. That would be about right…after all she is my daughter and I am an M&M fanatic.

This was such a wonderful Halloween! It is so much fun when we get to do things as a family and watching our kids experiencing things as they get older. I LOVE watching their little personalities develop. Hope everyone had a magical Halloween!

My monkey eatting pizza on the run

Ellaina & Lena...Ellaina is still not a big fan of pictures

Wolfie, Gavin, Ellain and Jake hanging out

Katie, Courtney & Ellaina

Braden feeding Ryan (Dino) candy

Steph and I...Dino's mommy

Braden & Gavin chillin in the wagon

Brad, Laura & Kim

Ellaina & Wolfie playing with the candy

The Grubb family aka the hostesses with the mostestesses

Braden & Aunt Laura

Juliette, Cathy, Me and my monkey

Gav Gav and Kim

Halloween Festivities!

On Friday we met up with Laura, Kim, Kevin, Cathy, Greg & "lots of kids" for Scare on the Square. We got there a little before four and ditched our wagon in the D+B Real Estate office; it was really going to be more work then help. Courtney joined the kids and me as we walked around trick or treating. She ended up being a tremendous help. Braden had the perfect costume, since we was such a busy little monkey. He was going none stop when I would set him down. Ellaina just adores Courtney and was so content holding her hand walking around. It was so SWEET and she was such a perfect little girl...kitty!

It didn’t take long for the square to get crazy busy. I have never seen so many people lining the stores. I think the kids had the same feeling of being overwhelmed. I asked Ellaina if she wanted to keep going or go back. My three year old candy girl said “Go back”.

We meet up with the group and headed back to D+B Real Estate. Everyone had such a wonderful time! Ellaina really got the trick or treating thing this year, and surprisingly, Braden had it down pack by the time we were threw. He even kept saying “trick or treat” and “thank you”! I think it is the difference of having an older sibling to show him the ropes. There was no “monkey” business when it was time to pick out a treat or two to enjoy :)