Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Miracles Happen

This morning I ventured out of the house alone to run a few errands. Yes this is rare, however I am trying to make it more of a priority to do a few times a week as I think it is going to help me to become a more calm mommy to my very high energy child.
Now usually I go through the drive thru at Starbucks because frankly it just feels like a hassle to get out of the car. Laziness at its finest I know. However, today I needed to return a redbox movie so I decided to walk in since it was only one door over.
As I walked in I noticed it was pretty empty for a Saturday morning, for this I was thankful, but as I waited in line a little girl at the table next to the line kept smiling at me and trying to hand me her bag. I smiled back and said Hi. I proceeded to order my drink and wait for it to come out. While I waited I chatted with the little girl (who I later learned was 18 months old) so in reality I did most of the chatting but that's just a technicality ;) I told the, who I assumed were the grandparents at the time due to their age, that I had a 3 year old and 12 week old at home. Then they shared with me one of the most beautiful stories I'd ever been told....
This little girl was born 2.5 months pre mature, 3lbs, and on drugs. She was abandoned at the hospital by her mother. It is a miracle that she even survived. As the man told me this story I could see the tears start to well up in his eyes. This little girl is their 82nd foster child. 82nd!!! They have been in the process of trying to adopt her since she was an infant and they were just told this morning that they got her!
This little girl certainly had an angel looking down on her...she is incredibly lucky to have those two loving people. Bless you mystery starbucks proved to me that miracles do happen.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dear Jackson

Dear Jackson,

On your last day of being 2 we sit and reflect on all the amazing things that have happened this past year!
1. We started off your 2-year old year by living in Colorado.  In Colorado is where you met one of your "Best Friends" , Ashton.
2. You learned that you were going to be a Big Brother to your baby sister Lucy and you were over the moon with excitement!
3. You stopped wearing diapers and fully embraced being a "Big Boy", peeing on the potty and wearing underwear!
4. We found out we were moving to Washington for Daddy's work! Yay!
5. Your sister Lucy was born!
6. You communicate in full and complete sentences now and constantly amaze us with the silly things that come out of your mouth!

But the most amazing thing that has happened this past year is mommy and daddy's ability to love you even more than we did every single yesterday. You are our spirited, brilliant, silly, beautifully exhausting, one of a kind son.
There may be days that we struggle to be the mommy & daddy that you need us to be for you. But please always remember that we love you more than anything. We are new at this parent thing just like you are new at this kid thing :)
Parenting you has helped us to be stronger than we ever thought we could be, love deeper than we thought possible and see the beauty in the small things in life.

You are an incredible person Jackson, never stop being you!

We love you forever
We love you for always,

Mommy & Daddy

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Potty Training...Piece of Cake

We have spent a large majority of Jackson's life struggling. Jackson is an incredibly strong willed, head strong child which poses a variety of challenges on a daily basis. These challenges have become even more apparent the more pregnant I've become, due in part to my lack of patience and his insecurity and difficulty with all the changes.

This all being said...this is not a post to talk about our challenges and is to brag a little bit about our amazing child whose strong willed personality has proven to be a benefit in the Potty Training department!

We attempted to potty train Jackson around 18 months old because he showed such a strong interest in it but it was too soon and so we backed off. Because we attempted it then and backed off we knew that we were going to have to wait till he was 100% ready and than attempt again with no turning back.

Shortly after turning 2, Jackson began showing an interest again in it and so we started to have him go potty at specific times everyday (when waking up, before nap, after nap, before bed). This continued for about 2 months before he came to me one day and asked to wear underwear and from that point on we didn't turn back. We gave it a good month of just pottying at home and wearing a pull up out before he asked to wear underwear to the store. While at the store he had to go pee and successfully without a single tear or fear went on a big potty at the store! I couldn't believe it! How was it that my little BOY was almost fully potty trained at not even 2.5 years old!

We have had set backs once or twice...mostly due to our big move from Colorado to Washington at the end of August but he quickly got back on track and is now 95% potty trained at 3 months shy of 3 years old and will pee anywhere!

And then today...well I just have to brag about what happened today!

I was making his dinner and he came up saying he had to go I asked him if he wanted to try and go on his own  (we've been working on pulling our own underwear and pants up and down lately), he said yes! I heard the door close and i waited a minute then i decided to go see what he was up to. I walked into him successfully peeing on the potty with his pants down! I than sat back and watched him while he picked up the little potty container, dumped it in the big potty, got a wipe, wiped himself, flushed the toilet, pulled up his underwear and pants, got the step stool, washed his hands, put the step stool away and then without a pause...walked out the door and turned back and said .."i'm all done mommy"

I was in utter shock! I couldn't even think of the right words to tell him how proud I was of him...

Every struggle, every challenge, every minute of feeling like a failure as a parent and uncertainty of if my child loves me or hates me were completely gone in that moment. I knew in that moment that I'm doing something right as his mommy. I am raising an amazing person!
my heart

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The next Gardner adventure!

As most people know by now we are finally moving back to the NW! YAY!

This has been a long, exhausting, growing and at times trying experience for the 3 of us this past year here in Colorado. When the opportunity came up to apply for the Bellevue, WA store a few weeks ago we HAD to jump on it! Jesse will have quite the challenge ahead of him with this store but in my mind nothing can be worse than what we experienced in Colorado the first few months we were here.

Jesse and I have had quite the different experience in Colorado. Jesse had a very set schedule where he knew what he was doing everyday and always had people to talk to (whether he wanted to talk to them or not). Jack and I on the other hand had a basic idea of how each day would go with meal times and nap time but other than that we had to create our day and at times the only adults I would talk to for days a time were the angry checkout people at the grocery store. That was until this past spring when Jack made a wonderful little buddy and I a great new friend. This now will be the hardest part about leaving Colorado :( Jackson constantly asks to play with his buddy a few times a day and while I know he will still ask for his buddy after we leave I hope that over time he will ask a little less because it just breaks my heart for him.

On a happier note we are SO excited to start our new adventure in Washington (a mere 4 hr drive) vs getting on a plane and going 4 months inbetween seeing all our family and friends. Especially with our precious little GIRL on the way! AH i still cannot believe we are having a GIRL! I still go toward the boy clothes in the the store because I just can't believe it's really a GIRL! But the ultrasound tech assured me that she is definitely a girlie :) Little lady had here legs WIDE open...silly girl :)

Now I am in the midst of packing up our apartment by this Friday for the 2nd time in 2 months because we get on a plane on Saturday to come back to Oregon for our annual camping trip with Jesse's family (YAY) and Jack & I will not be going back to Colorado after that. Jesse will come back with my dad and drive all our stuff to Washington at the end of August...what a whirl wind move! But we're happy to do it because it means we get to be with our family and friends again!!!!

See you all soon!!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

2 1/2

We joke that Jackson has been going through the terrible 2's for roughly 2 1/2 years...and while this is basically true he has really kicked it into high gear lately!

Sometimes I honestly feel like I'm talking to a dog. You know when you give a command such as "sit" and the dog stands there staring at you with the dopiest expression on its face and does nothing. Yes that is pretty much what it feels like talking to my child daily. The only difference is that instead of standing there with a dopy expression he is yelling back at me and doing the complete opposite of everything I tell him to do and I'm the one standing there with a dopy expression of my face!

Defiant, completely unreasonable and unable to listen to any instruction is what describes Jack's behavior right now. At times I feel that he is getting great joy out of doing things he shouldn't and getting disciplined for them. Blows my mind....I know he's 2.5 and this is normal behavior at this age but it still leaves me standing there with my mouth wide open at times.

When I thought about how it would be to be a mom one day and what my child would be like...I honestly never thought I'd have a child like Jackson. Sure I knew that my kid would throw fits and a kid. I love Jackson's larger than life personality, his innate ability to make anyone smile and laugh and his beautiful spirit.  But with all of these wonderful qualities he has he is also an extremely challenging child. I've read lots of books about different parenting methods but none of them seem to work for Jackson. I feel that we have created an entirely different method for him...and for the most part we make it up day by day.

I just hope that behind all of the discipline he receives and the tears that both of us shed daily that he knows how much I love him and want to be the best mom I can for him. Sometimes it feels like I'm failing and not doing the right thing but all I can do is provide him with love and comfort and pray with all my might that he comes out of this soon!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A little more freedom

I try very hard to make sure that Jackson has the opportunities to explore the world around him.

We go to playgrounds to work on social, physical and emotional skills.
We hit up the Zoo to discover different types of animals and talk about what makes each one different.
We read tons of stories to work on verbal, cognitive and discovery skills.
And we play with his best buddy Ashton a few times a week to work on sharing, social skills and just plain ol' FUN!

However even though I try very hard to provide Jackson with lots of learning activities I know I have been lacking with the art projects. This is mostly my hang up. Jackson is a VERY active little boy and really enjoys running and playing outside. This is nice for me also because it usually means a nice long nap aka "mommy relaxation time!" Plus with playing outside Jack gets to have a lot of freedom. I've been thinking lately that even though it may drive my extremely hormonal patience to the end I need to work on providing him with more opportunities to explore his artistic side. Providing Jack with these opportunities will not only allow him to explore a different side of his brain but as an added bonus it will let me work on my patience which is something I'm going to need A LOT of once this new little bundle of joy arrives :)

So today I let go of my need to control mess side of myself and let Jackson have a little artistic freedom! He had the BEST time and I have to admit I didn't loose my patience once and ended up having a really awesome time as well watching my little man explore his inner Picasso :)
Super Concentrated
what a beautiful moment

These are the best painting cups & brushes EVER!
Super proud of his creation :)