Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Out with the old, In with the new

2010 is coming to a close, and what do I have to say about it?   It’s about stinkin’ time!!!  Looking from inside out I have to say that this has been probably the hardest year Jarrod and I have been through.  Raising a baby (especially one of Jesalyn’s standards) on one income has not been fun. It’s been stressful to all heights.  We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments and go through a lot of things.  And while we got through them (coming out stronger and better parents) I’m ready for it to end.  I’m ready for the stress to go away.  I’m ready to have a year where I can buy birthday presents for people, and be able to get my friends and family Christmas presents.  I’m ready to stop putting things on my credit card and see that $0 balance again. 

I know that there are two sides to every coin and if I step outside of the situation and look in, I can see a lot of good from this year too.  I see a year of Jesalyn getting to spend every day with her daddy and not having to go to a day care with strangers.  I see a year of getting to travel back to Illinois when we want because we only have one work schedule to plan around.  I see lessons learned.  Lessons learned on how to save money and use coupons, and most importantly, lessons learned on patience and faith. 

All this to say, 2011 bring it on!  I’m trying to have good vibes and faith that Jarrod will find a job and things will be “normal” again…whatever that means.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Many Faces

In case you've never met my daughter, she is a character. She has got her own little personality and I'm not sure where it came from, but she has us laughing ever single day. So for you own enjoyment:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Christmas in pictures

Ni Hao Kai-Lan!!

Dora tent with tunnel:
..i love her face in the first one

 Toy organizer.  Momma loved this one!

She also got 6 dvd's of Blues Clues (with Steve.)  She was ecstatic, but we didn't get any good pictures of it.

 White Christmas. We had to get out for just a little bit

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Momma was praisin' Jesus tonight.  Why?  Because this is what Miss Jesalyn was doing:

Yep, she ate so stinkin' much, I don't know where it all went. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Makeshift baby gate

Some little girl, couldn't keep her hands off the Christmas tree and ornaments so daddy came up with this nifty idea =)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas tree

We put up our very first official Christmas tree this weekend.  We normally go to Illinois for Christmas so there is no point in putting one up every year.  The first year we were married we decorated a palm tree we had.  I actually really liked it. So unique!

The scheduling didn't work out at work so we are staying in TN for Christmas this year and some of the family are actually coming to us!!  We couldn't host Christmas at our place and not have a tree, and Jesalyn is old enough to enjoy it now.  She was so excited as we were putting it up. She had more energy than she knew what to do with...and that's saying a lot for her.  So, check it out. I think we did pretty good for our first time:

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Latest

So Jesalyn's latest trick requires no words. I'll show you in pictures instead:

Yes, in that second picture she is playing with a potato peeler.  Safety issue maybe.  Jarrod took it away from her for the record, but we have some "mystery blood" that showed up on the counter. Can't find a scratch on her anywhere.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This is for Bonnie

...and everyone else too, but she has been waiting for this.  I'm proud to announce...

We have pigtails folks!!!

Not much up front and on top, but we can definitely rock the back!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Name

Jesalyn has learned a new name!!  Ready for it?!?!   Are you sure?

                                   *                        *                      *

                                  *                       *                              *

"Dooorruh"   Who is this?  It's definitely not mommy.
Nope, it's this chick

*sad, depressing exhale*  My day will come.....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

S.C. vs J.C

So if you didn’t know, Christmas is in 11 days.  (Crazy how fast this year has gone by!  )   Before Jesalyn was born, Jarrod and I had discussions on whether we were going to introduce Santa Clause into her life. I grew up, like I’m sure most of you did, thinking that on Christmas morning the big present under the tree was from a man who snuck into my house at night and ate the cookies we left for him (I'm still not sure why this didn't freak me out.)  My parents always got us gifts too.  They were wrapped all nice and pretty under the tree. But the big one, the one that wasn’t wrapped because it was way too good for pity paper was from the jolly, big guy!  And then the year came, the year I saw the box that my mini trampoline came in, sitting outside for the trash man.  Surely Santa didn’t take it out of the box and sit it with the trash. This meant only one thing!  I don’t remember being totally crushed because at this point, I had had doubts but I would be lying if I wasn’t let down just a tad.

Jarrod, on the other hand, grew up without a Santa Clause.  When I asked him if he thought this lessened his childhood at Christmas any he said, I quote "heck no!!"  It’s really the only thing he knew.  Sure, he knew who Santa Clause (S.C.) was but he also knew who he wasn’t.   So that leaves us with the decision.   She’s still at an age where she doesn’t understand it all yet, but within the next couple of years we are going to have to “do it” or not. Jarrod says absolutely not. Here’s my thoughts, for and against:

Thought 1:    I want Jesalyn to know the true meaning of Christmas. As in the birth of Jesus.  Celebrating his birth and life. Enjoying time together as a family and being thankful.  Yes, you can do this and S.C. still be in the picture but my feelings are that I don’t want her to get caught up in the receiving of gifts like I know I was. We all know that Christmas has been so commercialized  that it’s all about shopping until you drop and spending too much money and going into debt so that so-and-so can have this or that.  
Thought 2:  I don’t know that I want to lie to her.  I know in most people’s minds this is one of those “white lies” that doesn’t really hurt anyone so it’s okay, but I really want to be as honest with her as possible.  I want her to feel like she can always trust me to tell her the truth.
Thought 3:  There is something fun about the idea of Santa Clause and having those memories.  I don’t want her to feel like she missed out on anything as a child. 
Thought 4:  No picture with Santa.  Okay, this one isn’t that big of a deal, and I guess technically she could still take the picture but the smile wouldn’t be because she is seeing Santa, it would be because she knows the “truth.

These are just my thoughts.  We haven’t made any official decisions. What do y’all think? Thoughts?  Also, being that we are a new family, I want to have some kind of Christmas tradition.  Do you have any I can steal?  =)

Monday, December 6, 2010

White Flag

Today has been one of those days.  I feel like I just want to throw my hands up in the air and say "I give!  I surrender!"  I feel like life has been hard lately.  If you have read even 30 percent of my posts, you know of the "ordeals" that we've been through with Jesalyn.  That part of my life, I have let you in on, for a couple of reasons.  One, everyone knows life with a baby can be hard. If you have children, you've experienced it and it's always good to get advice from others out there that might have better ideas.  Two, she is just so stinkin' adorable =)  And as difficult as she can be, she can also be the best thing in the world.  So, I've let you all in on that part of my little world.  But this is not the part that I want to give up.    
I'm so sick of stressing!  When we had Jesalyn, the plan was for her to go to daycare after my 3 months maternity leave was up.  The morning of, I had a breakdown and, to make a long story short, Jarrod quite his job to stay home with her.  This was before we had figured out her formula issues and she screamed all day.  I knew how hard it was for us to have patience with her, there was no way I could trust some stranger to stay calm.  We talked/prayed long and hard about this decision. We knew it would be difficult financially but it just felt like the right thing to do.  We had saved up a good amount of money and thought that could last us for several months.  The good news is we have made  it last for almost a year now. The bad news is, our savings is quickly being depleted.  Jarrod has been looking for jobs and has just had no luck.  I have kept my spirits up, knowing that it will all work out.  God has never let us down before. I believe he has a plan, but I feel like I've been beaten up.  I'm tired.  I'm worn out.  I'm ready for something to go right in our lives.  
This is by no means a pity party.  I know this is a common story in many households all over America, but how real our we if we only show the sunshiny part of our lives.

Monday Morning

Here's to another week.  I'm praying (needing) good things to happen........

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tru Blu Mommy

I slept in puke last night; Jesalyn's puke.  Let's just be honest, there's no good way to work up to that sentence so I just put it out there.  Go ahead and cringe if you want, I know I did but it made me feel like a tru blu mommy.  You know the kind that gets out into the trenches and gets dirty.  How did all this happen? ...keep in my mind, I'm the girl that gets grossed out about a lot of stuff.  I haven't cleaned the bathroom in the almost 5 years I've been married (praise the Jesus for my husband.)

I was rocking her to sleep and she was drinking a bottle of milk.  She started to sound real phlegmy so I got the bright idea to give her some apple juice to wash it down with.  One sip and up it all came all over me and her.  At first I got a little like "oh, yuck, this is so gross" but I thought I would get us changed and rock her back to sleep.  Before that could happen, she decided she was ready to crash for the night at that exact moment.  *a little back story; she had been screaming and crying uncontrollably for like 4 hours straight. we never thought she would go to sleep* So, I put on my "big girl panties" as we call them in my house and said "bring on the puke!"  I pulled her back up to me and rocked her until she fell asleep.  She has been sleeping in bed with me while she's sick so I took her to bed and we slept for a good 4 or 5 hours until I was able to wiggle my arm out and change my shirt.  A little tip, if any of you find your self's in this situation; a little Vick's or mentholated camphor on the tip of your nose will mask the smell for a good hour.

For ya'lls benefit, I purposefully chose not to include pictures on this post.   Your welcome =)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Outsiders Beware!!!  The person(s) on the other side of this threshold are indisposed, infected, bedridden and sick! Enter at your own risk!

This is the sign I wanted to make and hang on my front door this week.  And what a week it has been.  We went home last weekend for Thanksgiving and had a fabulous time.  It was so great seeing everyone and watching Jesalyn eat food. Yes folks, she ate food. Real food, I think she might have had one cracker all weekend.  She ate broccoli casserole, macaroni and cheese, yogurt, and all kinds of other Thanksgiving goodies.  I was so proud of her.  Saturday night rolled around and Jarrod and I got out of the house and visited the Sanders and kicked. their. butt. at some Cranium (don't deny it Justin & E, you know we won!)
And then, Sunday rolled around.  Jarrod started feeling pretty bad Saturday night but we just thought he was tired. Not so much.  His head and sinuses were pounding and he slept until I got him out of bed Sunday and threw him in the car to ride back to Nashville.  Monday morning I called in sick because Jarrod was pretty much worthless as far as watching Jesalyn.  About 1100 that morning it hit me too, like of bag of bricks.  Oh my gosh people, this cold/flu/virus that we have is the most horrible thing in the world.  And the fatigue with it is unreal.  We have been knocked on our butts for close to five days now.  And to make matters worse, Jesalyn got it Tuesday.  So, all three of us have been just barely getting by feeling completely miserable. I'll spare you all the details, but Jesalyn has been running a constant 102 temp and we've got more mucus between the three of us to keep Slimer supplied for a year.

I had a meltdown Wednesday morning.  Jarrod was sick and miserable, I was sick and miserable (plus completely nauseous from the "medicine" the doc prescribed to make me feel better...needless to say, I didn't take that again,) Jesalyn was sick and miserable, my house was a disaster, cracker crumbs were on the floor, and we still hadn't unpacked from the weekend.  I broke down and just cried.  Didn't make things better, but it sure felt good.  I called my mom to give her the daily update on how we felt.  She then proceeded to tell me she was on her way down to Tennessee.  *cue the music*  Enter.......Super MOM!!!

If I could clone this woman and let you all experience her I would.  She came in Wednesday night.  She has cleaned my house and done my dishes several times.  She has done all my laundry, including our bed sheets so we could sleep in a clean bed, watched Jesalyn, rocked her to sleep, and to top it all off, made us homemade chicken and noodles.  Forget Campbell, I'll take Arleda's any day!

Today, finally, I feel like I'm on the road to recovery.  Jarrod is still fighting it since it's moved to his chest, and poor little Jesalyn is still in the middle of it.  Here's hoping she will sleep tonight (last night I only got like 2 hours of sleep) and the fever will be gone tomorrow.  
All this to say, what we've had this week, I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.....but I did make sure to lick the envelope really good before mailing in my property taxes to the State of Missouri  =)