Thursday, December 26, 2013

Your baby is now the size of a watermelon

As we closed up the holiday season 2013 I opened one of my pregnancy apps on my phone and I read,

"Your baby is now the size of a watermelon"

I wont lie, the past month kind of stunk. I was sick, feeling...large, ended up in the ER once, and was hit with a bout of morning sickness. I was so over being pregnant that at one point I looked at Aaron and said if I dont' start to feel better...I just don't see how I will carry this baby to term! He is such a support and told be to hang on and that things would get better. Thankfully on the 23rd of December the morning sickness was lifted and I had energy again! Praise the Lord!!

We are 100% ready for baby brother to come...well besides curtains to be hung. After our detour to the ER a few weeks ago...I repacked our hospital bag and made sure to check it twice. We had our final meeting with our Doula and finalized a game plan for P for when I go into labor. 

At my last appointment with my doctor he had a huge smile on his face and said...well this is it! Your almost just to wait and went over the signs of labor. We talked about how I want to labor at home as long as possible so I have freedom to, move, eat, sleep whatever. We spoke at our first appointment about how nervous I was going from a midwife to a OBGYN. Even with Parsons pregnancy my OB office staffed midwives, so this was my first time with a strictly medical doctors and nurses and it made me nervous...simply because they are trained to look for and find problems. Which is great and dandy...but can also cause more stress because something small can be made something big out of genuine concern but can really be nothing. 

I was also put at ease after our little trip to the ER. I was SO impressed with everyone that I came in contact with. From the ER to the birth center part of the hospital. Everyone was kind, helpful, patient, and the birth center/the doctor on call communicated with the ER doctors to ensure that baby and I were both healthy. It put my mind at ease for when I do go into labor. 

Now that all the sickness besides a silly cold is gone I feel pretty darn good for being 37 weeks pregnant. My belly button did not Pop with Parson and I did not "waddle" with Parson. Well my belly button is popped and I am waddling...and there is NO hiding it! It is clear my body "remembers" what is about to happen in the next few weeks because my hips are widening are are nice and loose :P 

The same as with Parson my belly is measuring on track but I can tell this baby is nice and long. At my last check up baby brothers head was down and low...and I can still pat his little tush clear up by my ribs :)

With 3 weeks left until my due date I am trying to remain patient..not because I don't want to carry baby brother in my belly any longer but because I cant wait to meet him! Aaron is SO excited for baby brother to come. With Parson he was nervous, anxious, and unfamiliar. Just last night he said to me "Come on baby brother...come early please! I want to meet you!" then he looked at me and said "I am so excited because he isn't "starting" our family he is another "addition" to our family and I want him here so he can fit into this perfect puzzle" WHAT...I know isn't he greatest man ever :)

Here is a little look at our growth over the past 37 weeks :)

17 weeks

27 weeks

37 weeks

It sure does look like there is a watermelon under my shirt! 

So now we wait...and wait and wait for little brother to decide that he is good and ready to come meet his family. Oh boy are we excited!


Friday, December 6, 2013

In 4 months he will be 3!

In just under 4 months my fabulous first son will be 3! How is that possible? I feel like it was just yesterday I was awaiting the stork to tell me it was time for me to have my first baby.

He is making a venture from toddler to little boy. Most days he overwhelms my heart and I cannot get enough of him.

But lets be honest there are days that he drives me bananas.

He speaks so much and so well now. There are still a few words that he pronounces backwards, for instance instead of saying "Snow" he says "Sown" he will get it right eventually, for now we love to go play in the "Sown". :)

He has been able to recognize and say letters and numbers for a long time now. He never was able to sing the Alphabet song until recently. It really is so cute. At the end he exclaims "NEXT TIME YOU SING WIT ME!" and then he yells "FOURTEEN!" We don't know where the fourteen comes into play, but according to Parson it is definitely part of the alphabet song.

Homeschool preschool is going good. He loves learning. Playdough and the iPad have been big teaching resources for us. He also is a very good learner with flash cards. We started a pack of sight word flash cards a few days ago. Sight words are a big step up from letters, but it is teaching him to recognize familiar and new words. We are taking them slow with only 5-6 cards per week, we will add new cards each week. I also picked up a pack of "Ready for school" flash cards and they go over all sorts of things from colors, shapes, counting, letters, remembering images and their names. I was SO proud of him for being able to recite the info on those cards almost 100 precent correct. We celebrated with hot cocoa and marshmallows :)  He cant start "preschool" until Fall of 2015 because he has a late birthday. We might shop around for a "preschool" type environment for him to start next summer or fall for a few hours a day a few days a week.

I ran into another scary parent decision this week at church. Now when I say scary you are all probably going to laugh when you hear what it is.

I dropped Parson off at his church Sunday school class. They had already been asking me if I wanted to move him up to the 3's room the past few weeks. I have not really wanted to yet because I am nervous that it will be "to big" for him and he wont want to go. Most of the kids in that room are older 3's and even though Parson is getting better with words, he is not socially there. Not to mention the new big kid room wont have the cool inside play park with the blue slide he loves so much. Anywho...I picked him up after bible study and the teacher that was in his room that morning said... "he is board in this really need to move him up" It was my first I have to challenge him and make sure he is learning and developing and not just staying at one stage. My heart is still a little heavy about moving him up. See how silly am I for worrying about moving my child up a class at church...I will be a nut case when he is in preschool.

His favorite foods right now are black beans, apples, and yogurt. He literally would eat only these three foods if we let him. He eats at least one apple a day. Its the best snack because its easy to take places. In fact I always have a bag of apples in my car. 1.) in case we get stuck somewhere....we have a healthy snack. 2.) I am pregnant and need to snack often 3.) its an easy and favorite snack for P.

His imagination is booming. He loves to play and make up stories. I managed to find a Fisher Price Little People Farm set at a garage sale. He cannot get enough of it. Feeding the animals, taking the tractors to the depot and to the moon to get more cheese. We cant help but stare and just watch his little mind create. Before I had a child I never understood how parents could watch their kids play for hours at the park or with toys. I thought it seemed to boring. Now I could watch Parson play and learn for hours without feeling a thing but joy.

He still is a snuggle bug, especially when he is sick. Over thanksgiving our whole family got a nasty cold. We spent lots of those 4 days together snuggled up reading and watching shows. Sometimes he still just wants his Mama. One night I was making supper and he really wanted to be held and snuggled. Being 34 weeks pregnant or not, holding/carrying him is not something that we do or is really necessary any more. I looked down at his tired sick self and couldn't help myself. I got out our Ergo (which is safe for preggo mamas to wear) and put him on my back. Only for about 15min and then he was ready to get down. I relished those 15min of sleepy toddler snuggles. Aaron got those same snuggles at the Santa parade earlier this week. 

I still cant believe in just a short few months he will be 3. I don't think he will ever understand just how much we love him. 


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sweet Georgia

We get asked all the time if we miss Georgia...and we do. Here is just a short list of our favorite things and parts of Georgia that we miss...

Our friends and GA family - Our small group and our closest friends. Two of my best friends got married just a few months after we moved. Holidays were spent with our small group and closest friends and even some extended family. Though we are so thankful to be spending our holidays with our immediate"blood family" traditions of 5 years past are missed. We missed the funeral of one of our dearest friends Andrew. One little boy turned 2, one boy turned 3, and our favorite sweet little Sarai turned 1. In just a few short months our other favorite little guy who shares a birthday with Parson will also turn 1. Jeanette, Jennifer, Kiley, and Fredrick would always have a Christmas party with us involving to much food, nerf, and usually being a little sugar drunk.  Parson still calls for his Mimi and Papa, his Georgia grandparents and his very first love TyTy (Kiley) and even his cousin who will forever be referred to as  "baby Blakely"

Southern Hospitality - No matter where I went alone or with Parson someone almost always held the door open for me or wanted to have a 30min long conversation. Ma'am and Sir are words that are forever in our vocabulary after living in the south, say yes Ma'am or sir to the wrong person and you will get a scowl in the north :P Being called "honey or sweetie" by a complete stranger was not creepy...instead they were terms used for sincere endearment.

Retail - Kroger, my favorite little road side fruit stands, Trader Joes, "real" super targets and an over abundance of Apple stores all within a short drive. Having to adjust to shopping at a big box store like Meijer from a small store like Kroger was almost culture shock :P

Food - Thats right the food. Shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, real sweet tea, boiled peanuts and our favorite restaurants. Maybe its because I am pregnant that I miss our favorite restaurants...but there have been multiple occasions that I wanted to call our favorite tex-mex restaurant and see if they could overnight me some crab cake tacos or my favorite sushi place for a yummy seafood fix.

Church - Now we have found a church in Holland that we love. We are slowly getting involved and establishing a new church family. North Point Community Church will always hold a special place in our heart because we know and love so many people that are a part of that church.

The Culture - Because we were so close to the city of Atlanta we lived in such a melting pot. People from everywhere and part of the world. 9 times out of 10 everyone got along. No one cared where you were from, what your religion was, or how your skin looked. Children all played together not knowing any different. The area we live in is fantastic but it always seems that there is this judgement that is held over each other...and its enough to drive me bananas :)

We are thankful for Facebook, texting, emails, and phone calls to keep connected to those who are dear to us in the south. We know that we will be visiting there within the year. Georgia taught us a lot and helped grow us into the people we are. We often joke about how we just need to move all our family to the south.

Living in the south is just something you need to experience and cant quite explain. It holds something that the north doesn't have. Even though the invisible line that separates the north and the south is just that...invisible, the lifestyle and culture is so different, refreshing and endearing.

So Georgia even though it was time for us to are forever a part of us and we do miss you :)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Photo Post

Parson is busy...

Creating new ways to sit in strollers

Mastering the "Selfie" 

Waiting for Daddy to come home

Snuggling with the kitty

Modeling his new Elmo hat


Creating masterpieces 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Contract or Covenant?

You know how sometimes you go to church and the message seems absolutely mind blowing? Like for whatever reason the information you are hearing is being presented in a way that only God knew that you needed to hear it? Today was one of those Sundays. 

We walked into church today on time for a change because of the time change, boy am I glad we did. The children's choir was helping lead worship today. Something about watching the innocent children worshiping with their whole hearts gets my heart (and tear ducts) working every time. One little boy in the front row was dancing his little heart out...he just could not contain his was the best way to start a Sunday. 

Anyway...our church is doing a 4 week segment called "Why did I get married?" based on Andy Stanley's series "Staying in Love". Now I am an information junkie. I have just about every marriage book, bible study, ect and I have read almost all of them. I am no better of a wife because of them :P Granted...all of them have bits and pieces of information that Aaron and I try to practice often. 

We have been married 5 1/2 years already which seems absolutely crazy and I am not quite sure how that time flew so fast. The thing Aaron and I decided before we said i-do was that we were going to make this matter what. That unless it was a seriously unhealthy relationship then divorce was just never going to be an option on the table for us. Of course you have moments when you think "What the heck did I do...why did I get married?"

We have already had ups, downs, and dull moments and they will happen in the future to. Generally we think our marriage is pretty good. We manage to work through major things together as a team. What I have found in the short time we have been married is that its the daily junk that eats at our relationship. 

That is exactly what todays sermon was about. I am simply going to share my notes from the sermon and I am by no means taking any credit for this information...I just thought it was such a good perspective change that I HAD to share it.

We all walked down an aisle of some sort weather its was to wait for our bride or we were the bride walking to our groom. Down this aisle we brought expectations... "When we get married we will..."

-Buy a house
-Have kids
-Have images of what our husbands will do (yard work, change diapers, work for pay, buy us flowers)
-Have images of what our wives will do (work or not work for pay, clean, cook like your Mama, pick up your dirty socks)
-Images of our friends together or separate
-How you will spend time with one another (or a lack of time)
-Images of intimacy and how often you would have sex

Once those expectations begin being met or not met...we go into "negotiation" mode. Usually a 50/50 split...
You work outside the home = I work inside the home
You do the outside work = I do the inside work
You say kind things to me = I say kind things to you

In our minds we split things up "equally" 50/50. But once we get in this mode we turn our marriage into a relationship with a contract. "Ill do my part ONLY if you do your part" 

We then move into an "You owe me" mentality. For example, "I cooked and fed the owe HAVE to put the kids to bed" "I worked for a HAVE to cook and clean" or whatever your 50/50 situation is. It then makes it literally impossible for your spouse to make you happy...impossible for their 50% to be met because you always feel like your the one doing more.

You are no longer thankful for each other or the things that are being done that you are not seeing because your to busy looking at what YOU did. 

When you lose thankfulness you lose go from husband and wife to roommates. 

Our next error is we see marriage is a two party deal...that it only effects the "you" and "me" in the relationship. This is so false. Obviously if you have kids, your kids are effected by the happiness and continuation or stopping of your marriage. Your family, friends, coworkers, ect are all impacted. 

The next error we make is by writing God out of our marriage. Its not about weather or not you go to church or pray. Its about weather we choose to "do" marriage Gods way or our way.

 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." Ephesians 5:31-32

Marriage is not man/our idea. It was Gods idea...ya know remember those first few chapters of the bible...the whole Adam and Eve thing.  Its not our job to figure out how it works (I am SO guilty of this) "Two shall become one flesh" to become "united as one". United in hebrew literally means to glue together and to never come apart. 

The verse then says "this mystery is profound" that marriage is a profound mystery. AKA: not easy. Regardless who you are married to...pick anyone in the world....and its still not going to be easy. Changing your spouse is not going to solve the mystery of marriage. It will change the problems maybe...but certainly not the mystery. 

13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth.You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[a] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. Malachi 2:13-15

If you got married in a church...with a religious ceremony..with a priest or pastor. You agreed to the "covenant of marriage" a covenant not a contract. 

What does a "covenant" mean to marriage?

You commit yourself to your relationship with God first.
You commit yourself to your relationship with your spouse next (not kids/job/ect)
That your relationship will be based on what YOU GIVE...not what you get.
That it will be based on a promise into the future, "till death do us part" not "Until you gain weight, work to much, stop doing laundry, stop buying flowers, ect"

A lot of times people will say "S/he isn't the same person as when I married him/her" Your right...people change. No one can say that their spouse "was" perfect when they got married...they weren't and neither are me or you (then or now).

If your marriage is a contract...its like a cell phone bill. You provide service...I pay. If I am not happy...I leave and start over. But if I switch companies and don't pay...they won't provide service. Its a never ending cycle of contracts and disappointments.

If your marriage based on a means loving this person into the future. Even if you give more than you get.  No one relationship or person will stay the same forever and that means accepting and loving through all the ups and downs. 

Our pastor ended with a marriage statistic..that you know 50% in marriages will end in divorce. What they don't tell you is the other statistic that is tacked on to that. That if out of those 50% of failed marriages would have gotten help or if both parts of the relationship worked at/ wanted it to work..that 75% of those within 5 years would have survived for many more years to come.

So is your marriage based on a contract or a covenant. If its based on a contract are you willing to put in the work (5years or whatever) to get 50 more years of happiness? 

Take this all as you want. Aaron and I were shocked at this perspective and never really realized that yes even though we are happy in our marriage...that it was based on a contract. Even if we did not ever intend on leaving the contract...think about all the un necessary "downs" you can avoid by changing your perspective. 

Our 1 year wedding annaversary <3 p="">


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Third trimester - Pregnancy Update

Its here! Its here! My third and final trimester with babe inside is here! I did not think it would ever come. I have had a stellar easy pregnancy...until now.

What morning sickness or food aversions I didn't get in the first trimester are here and showing their ugly faces now. Even though I may feel yucky its such a fantastic sign of a beautiful little life growing inside of me.

Thankfully I have been able to compile a list of foods to avoid to avoid the yucky feeling:

Anything sweet...thats right cookies, cake, ice cream, even yogurt and coffee creamer. I just cant do it. I was at a birthday party this weekend and had a small slice of cake and ice cream. Car pooling with one of my dearest friends...I did not want to puke all over her car...but I was almost sure it was going to happen. Thankfully I made it home and a nap rid of the yucky feeling.

Tomatoes/Tomato soup...which is almost more sad than losing sweets. I think its the richness of the soup that does me in.

My staple meals and snacks have been:

Seltzer water
Salad with hard boiled eggs and sunflower seeds
Toast with avocado
Hard boiled eggs
Life cereal
Grilled cheese
Raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots, orange bell peppers
Broth like soups (veggie, stew, ect)
Black bean quisdillas

My body changed so quickly this pregnancy...I didn't really grow faster but my hips widened months earlier than they did with my first pregnancy. I was able to wear most of my own pants with a hair band well into the third trimester with Parson. Well those pants have been long gone for quite a few weeks now. Sheerly because my hips have grown.

I gained 32 pounds with Parsons pregnancy and I am on track to gain the same amount give or take 5 pounds which is comforting that little brother and I can both stay healthy.

I am not nervous at all for labor and delivery this time, probably because i've done it before and know kind of what to expect. Lots of braxton hicks help me remember that my body will be practicing for a the next 12 weeks :)

Besides feeling tired and the beginnings uncomfortable I am so thankful to have reached this far and am more than happy to deal with these small no fun parts of pregnancy to have a sweet boy in my arms in just a few more weeks!

5 weeks

27 weeks 5 days

Its pretty amazing what a womans body can do. :)


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Prince Charming

October 11 is almost here and it is a special day at our house, its Daddy/Hubby's birthday.

This guy I tell you is a real life prince charming. Not only because he works so hard for us, supports us in all ways possible, is loving, caring, the best daddy ever, but also the best support and friend that I could ever want.

Dont get me wrong, he isn't perfect...and neither am I. So we drive each other nuts lots of times but balance each other perfectly.

Aaron has been gone on a business trip this whole past week, him being gone made me miss him of course but also realize how much of my day revolves around a good way. He by no means expects any of this from me but its just one way I show him love.

We are so spoiled having him around/available so much more often then before. Parson has had a heck of a time with Daddy being gone. He missed Daddy so bad, he wanted to sleep with a picture of him after he was gone for just a few days. So there is a picture of Aaron from our wedding day taped to the toddler rail on Parsons bed.

I rise when he and Parson rise and make coffee and breakfast for the three of us, we watch the news together in the morning and while he gets ready for work I make his lunch. After he leaves for the day includes lots of things focused on Parson. Nap time is my time of solace. But in the afternoon my day is busy with making sure his work clothes are clean and preparing dinner. One of my favorite things to do is have dinner ready and the house semi picked up when he gets home. Not only does it make him feel welcome but it also makes me feel proud. That I am able to keep our home and provide a loving environment for our family. Again, he does not expect this from just one way I like to show love.

I hear men and women all the time talk about how they don't mind staying late at work just because they don't want to go home for fear of whats waiting. I want Aaron to want to come home and feel wanted. Again, there are days I am grouchy and un grateful and pregnant and ready to push Parson his way the second he walks in the door. Even on days like that, he takes Parson, eats cereal, is fine with the house being messy and doesn't care that every dish isn't clean and the laundry isn't done.

He has an amazing way of making me feel like the best mom and wife ever even if I am grouchy, still in my jimmies from 3 days ago, un showered with no decent food in the house. He still tells me I am great and doing a good job and simply makes do.

Lots of days I dread waking up and preparing and cleaning every meal and doing endless amounts of laundry just to do it all over again the next day. When I get into this mopey woe is me I do everything (which isn't true) moods...our relationship suffers. I get 100% focused on me and not on "us".

I had been in one of those sorry moods for awhile and it was making us miserable. I heard a speaker at a bible study I attend for Moms a few times a month. And it was exactly what I needed to hear. She said "Stop blaming your husband, start treating him the way you want him to treat you" I know this is a well spoken, we hear it all the time quote...but for whatever reason it was the smack in the face I needed that Thursday morning. It made an immediate difference in how we interacted with each other. If you haven't tried or done this... I dare you to, just for 2 days...and see what happens.

I am so thankful for him, I am thankful for his imperfections, and things that drive me crazy, and I am thankful for all the things that make me love him more.

We love you Aaron Jones.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Baby brother to-do's

With only 17 weeks-ish  or 3ish months left of until baby brother is going to arrive my mind is going crazy with all of the to-do's that need to be made into to-dones. Most people say oh its your second baby and it will be easier to prepare. This is true in a sense, yes I know exactly what needs to be done and not done. I also know whats going to happen if I don't get them done.

For instance when I was pregnant with Parson I waited until I was 36 weeks pregnant to get his nursery ready. What was I thinking? Organizing, hanging, putting away, being on my feet for extend periods of time was not ideal for a 36 weeks pregnant lady. I was exhausted, sore, and full of baby. I was also working outside the home full time.

I am now 23 weeks pregnant and I have the majority of the nursery set up already. I do have a cute little helper who loves helping Mom get things ready for baby brother. Being a "Stay at home Mom" allows me to take time to get these to-dos done in a much more organized and timely manner.

My very cute assistant

That being said below is my "Baby brother to-do list" for the remainder of my pregnancy, it is actually quite different than the list from my first pregnancy;

Setup Nursery (crib, glider, swing, changer, ect)  (This was much easier to do at 22 weeks rather than 36)
Wash, stuff, and size cloth diapers and wet bags (Did not do this with P, we used disposables until 10 months)
Sort through all of Parsons baby clothes
Put away newborn-9 month clothes and store 9month-2T
Inspect pump tubing and make sure its in working order (I didnt even buy a pump till after he was born...what was I thinking?!)
Find all bottles, pacis, and other random baby needed items
Clean boppy pillow and covers
Clean pack N play
Make space in master for pack N play
Create a registry or things needed list
Find and wash all nursing clothes
Stock up on nursing nessecities (breastmilk storage bags, breast pads, lanoline)  ( I did not do this with Parson eaither. I learned from late night full nursing pads, that having boxes on hand is a major help)
Hospital tour
DIY Hypno birth course (I only took one 2 hour class on child brith for P, whoops)
Stock up and prepare postpartum items (Did not do this with Parson)
Prepare a least a months worth of freezer meals/snacks, ect/buy chest freezer (did not do this with Parson)
Prepare Parson for baby brother as good as possible
Prepare myself for birth and mothering 2 boys
Re-read breastfeeding info for a refresher
Pack labor bag for Aaron and I
Pack hospital bag for baby and I
Find a basket/space for diapers, wipes, wetbag/pail, creams ect for downstairs
Buy a crib mattress
Make baby brother 2 blankets
Change air filters/clean air ducts
Make sure Parson is enjoying away from Mom time
Winterize windows in master, Parson, and baby brothers room
Get/make blackout curtains for baby brothers room
Add dimmer switch to light in baby brothers room

Crib is setup and two super cute whale blankets made!

I am making pretty good progress on my list. Things like preparing freezer meals and postpartum care items are things I did not do when preparing for Parson. Those I think are things people tell you to do with your first child, but you somehow think you can manage them after the baby comes. I literally teared up when I used our last freezer meal after Parson was born, and he was only about 1 week old when that happened. I now understand the importance of having ready to heat or throw in the crock pot meals.

The same goes for postpartum care. I did nothing as far as postpartum care and I was fortunate enough to have an easy healing process. The hospital does a good job sending you home with the basic tools you will need to aid your bodies healing process after birth, but I learned there a few other herbal remedies that sure would have been nice to have on hand.

Overall I am remaining calm and collected as I cross things off my to do list. I am not nervous or anxious about anything (yet). I am just counting down the days until I have another sweet boy in my arms to love on.

Its going to be an adjustment, tiring, hard, and sleepless...but its a stage, only a moment, only a very short period of time that my boys will be young. I am going to try my best to enjoy every tantrum, cry, up all night nights and days, sickness, and snuggles. I know before I know it...both boys will be grown and less dependent.

For now this is my life and my job, to nurture and grow two little boys while trying to be the best wife I can be...and its harder than any job I have ever done and I would never ever change it for anything.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Homeschool Preschool

The idea of homeschooling has always appealed to my Mama side and has always been something I wanted to try. I figured preschool is a pretty good "lets give it a try" age. Today was the first day that Parson and I tried our Toddler 2 ABC Jesus Loves Me home-school preschool curriculum....It was an adventure and fun for both of us.

I have had the curriculum for 6 months but the past 6 months have been pretty crazy. This has given me lots of time to read through and get familiar with the parent/teacher guide and activity pages. It also has given me time to look at Parson and see what way he learns best.

Last weekend I decided that I thought Parson was at a point where I thought he would really be able to enjoy some of the activities and be cognitively ready to try and "learn" the information. I was nervous...not about teaching him colors, letters, and numbers. He knows all of those pretty good already. But teaching him about God and the bible. I mean, I know its important...but lets be honest I am still learning myself. How was I ever going to properly teach Parson all of this information?

Thank heavens for this curriculum it has it all spelled out for me (to learn and re-learn) to teach Parson. For instance, week one is teaching about Genesis 1:1. One simple verse about what God created on the first and second day. So this morning I read Parson Genisis 1:1 out of his toddler story bible. He loved the pictures and pointed at the moon and the sun (day and night) and pointed to the water and the sky.

Today we just focused on the day and night thing...and sure enough if I ask Parson "What did God create on the first day?" he will reply "the moon and sun!" to him that is day and night!!! Golly, a little prodding and a coloring sheet and help from Mom and he has got one part down!

We are taking things nice and slow with this structured learning thing. Like 15-30min in the morning of  "activities" with stores and songs throughout the day and probably a little something before bed with the verse we are talking about that week.

This week not only are we learning about Genesis 1:1, but also about the color red, letter A, number 2, and the circle shape. So for our before nap snack we ate off of  red circle plates. The letter A and the number 2 are hanging on our fridge on red construction paper and Genesis 1:1 is written on red construction paper also on the fridge.

Yes, as a treat Parson got to have homemade fries and "red dip" for pre-nap snack :)

When we were out running an errand this morning the game in the car was find something red or the letter A. Which lasted awhile until we saw a school bus, ambulance, and a mail truck and to a two year old those are way more fun to find then the letter A.

Our new daily schedule looks kinda like this:

6:30-8:30am - wake up, watch a show, eat breakfast, free play, get daddy out the door to work, and get Parson and Mommy cleaned up for the day.
8:30am -"School" time
9:00am-11:00am- Free play, outside time, run any errands that need to be done, play dates, ect.
11-11:30am - before nap snack if wanted and stories/quiet calm down play
Noon-2pm - Nap time
2pm-4:30pm - usually include, coloring or craft of sorts, free play, more outside time, and stories
4:30pm-5:30pm - Parson gets to watch a show...usually Sesame Street because its an hour long and allows me to get dinner made and Daddy comes home.
6:30-7:45pm - FAMILY TIME our favorite time of the day
8pm - Parsons bedtime

So far the first half of day 1 has been a is to hoping Parson and I both continue to enjoy and learn together :)


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Baby Brother!

Baby brother! Baby brother! Baby brother!

We found out last week that we are in fact having another son! Which we are so excited about. Sure it would have been fun to have a little girl, but have you been around a little boy lately? They are so fun and he and Parson can be best buds.

We are keeping baby brothers name a big surpise until he is born. Which is January-ish, it could be the begging or it could be the end, who knows. What we do know is he is a good grower just like Parson was. He is already measuring almost two weeks ahead of schedule. This surprised me because my belly is measuring right on track. Looks like we are going to have a big strong baby!

Parson is ecstatic about is brother (for now). He asked me yesterday if he could play with baby a brother and I had to explain to him that baby brother had to stay in mommies belly for awhile longer to keep growing... Then he told me that it made him sad that he could not play yet. So sweet.

Everyone keeps asking me if I am nervous to have two little boys, two little boys who are both still dependent on Mom and Dad for almost everything. Yes, I know the first few weeks are going to be hard with a up all night babe who is going to want to nurse all the time. I know I am going to be tired,  healing, recovering, and trying to balance a almost three year old and a newborn. But I also know its a season. I also know that they won't be little forever and they won't be 100% dependent forever so I am going to do my very best to enjoy every sleepless stressful moment. I guess because this is my second child I kind of know what to expect just x10 with a tot.

Honestly, I am more terrified about being in my third trimester in just 7 weeks, being tired and being over pregnant. Luckily it will be winter by then a and the holidays will keep us busy and a schedule of play dates and Mommy and Parson dates will keep us busy and my mind on my biggest little boy.

I am preparing as much as possible now for this new babe. Getting his nursery set up, clothes, and cloth diapers washed. Preparing my body for birth and nursing is top on this list to. The more I get done now the less I have to worry about at the end.

Thankfully we have almost everything we need for baby brother. Some warmer clothes and doubbles      of things Parson is still using and basic nursing supplies.

Aaron and I were laughing a few days ago when I opened the very small freezer on fridge in our rental home. I said, we are going to need a chest freezer, and he said why? Well I responded there is no room for breast milk in here. Good thing we realized this way ahead of time!

Until baby brother arrives we will be preparing and playing with Parson a whole lot. Enjoying every moment we have with our fabulous first before our hearts (and hands) double.

I am so excited to enjoy these two boys soon and I can't wait to see the cuteness (and naughty) these two are going to have for their Mom and Dad.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Parson 2 years and 5 months (almost)

2 years and almost 5 months ago our lives were changed for ever when Parson was born, and oh what a little growing person he is.

He has developed such a personality and many likes and dislikes. In two years he went from nursing and eating 1oz every few hours and using only cries to communicate to a running, talking, thinking, observant little dude.

Some of his favorite things are:

Running - or what he calls "Runn-an!" he absolutely LOVES to run and run and run. Which is probably why he is such a good runner taking long strides with each step instead of the usual bounce of a two year old. When we go to the park and there is a baseball diamond there to, he will choose to run around the printer of the outfield and run from base to base and finally stopping in the dugout to check things out. If he does not play baseball we would be surprised. Not to mention he can throw a ball overhand pretty good. Right handed he is, but hey he is young, why not practice with his left hand to?

Doesn't he just look like a little baseball star?

Trucks/Buses - If he is not running then he is pushing a toy truck or his toy bus "Yellow Bussie!" We watch the school bus pass twice a day, the mail truck deliver mail everyday, the package truck drive by every day and on Thursdays we watch the recycle and trash truck to. He watched in amazement of the trash truck when it scoops up the trash bin and always sequels "WHOA!"

Books- Especially books about trucks, trains, buses, Elmo, or anything that is "touch and feel" or with flaps. We have a huge collection of children books (and adult books to). From gifts, goodwill, and library book sales we have a lot of choices and a lot of favorites at our house. He loves books so much I cant take him to the library. Why you ask? Because his sweet little two year old self gets so overwhelmed by all of the wonderful books and choices around him and he usually freaks out :P.  No matter where we go I always have 3 books with me just in case we need to keep little dude busy for a while.

We are so blessed to be this little guys Mom and Dad. He will never really understand just how much we love him, which is bigger and deeper than we could have ever imagined. 

To think that in a few short 4 months we will have a brother or sister for Parson is beyond exciting. Another little Person to train and try and grow into a responsible, respectful, and aware child and adult. 

Parenthood is one wild and rewarding ride. We cant wait to see what the Lord has in plan for our favorite little man.

- Patty

Thursday, August 22, 2013

There is no place like home

That's right friends...with the help of some of the best people we know we have made the move from Georgia to west Michigan.

The phrase "There is no place like home" is so true. We thought there was going to be a transition time and a strange feeling of un-belonging in Michigan. This was not the case. Its almost as if we have not been gone for 5 years (Aaron for 7!)

The fact that we can drive minuets away and be with family or be able to say "In an hour lets do dinner" is such a treat.

Parson has been a rock star through all of this change the past two months. Between staging, selling, vacation, packing and moving he has been such a trooper. Good thing because a grocery toddler is no fun but on top of moving it could really be a mess.

Moving to Michigan was one of the hardest  and biggest leaps of faith we have made. To move 900 miles north without a house, job, or medical coverage for my pregnant self was scary. But within 10 days of us being in Michigan everything was in order and just as it needed to be. God is good and when we trust always works out.

Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks of craziness at the Jones home:

Making the long two day move and this sweet boy was as happy as could be

Helping Grandpa unload the big truck of our stuff

Enjoying the dandelions in the pasture on our rental property

On top of a fenced in pasture we have fruit trees/bushes. Parson loves that he can go and grab and apple whenever he wants. Plus they are naturally organic and small...perfect for a toddler!

Parson LOVES the horses in the pasture behind our house. The horses are so gentle and now come to the fence anytime we are outside. That could have something to do with the fact that Parson usually has an apple in his hand that he "drops" :) 

Calling his friends the horses to come over and play

Cherries are almost ripe!

Nature walk and ice cream family date!

We are so thankful for all of your prayers and help through this move. We felt them thats for sure. Thank you Lord for your plan and working everything out so it is just right.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

What lies ahead

Few its been a crazy month!

In the last month we have:

Gotten our home ready to show/sell
Listed our home
Sold (almost) our home
Went to Michigan for two weeks to try and find a new place to live...this is still in the works :/
Booked a shipping trailer to send all our stuff 900 miles north
Raising a crazy 2 year old
Oh and I am busy growing baby number 2!

It has been a whirlwind of a month and I don't think my pregnancy hormones are making all this less emotional :P

We have wanted to try and move back to Michigan since about the time Parson was born. The Lord is opening up all of these doors and showing us NOW is the time.

We are still trying to find a place to live in Michigan...a rental to be specific. Oh and Aaron is trying to find a full time job in Michigan to. He has freelance but you know...a full time job with benefits would be amazing. We have been purchasing our own health insurance for over a year now and it would be nice to have those benefits through a company again :)

Even though we have been trying so hard to get back to Michigan we are certainly going to miss Georgia to.

We are going to miss our friends, church small group family, church, and crazy enough I am going to miss having local farmers that I can trust. I am also going to miss my midwife :)

Even though this all seems absolutely crazy and last minuet it is clear that it is in the Lords plan. We know that he will provide a home of our own to rent, a job for Aaron and all the little and big pieces in between.

- Patty

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memorial Day - Disconnect

This Sunday is Memorial Day...a day when everyone wears red, white, and blue an puts little American flags in their wreaths and hanging baskets. A day where we honor all military men and women who have died serving in the American armed forces during wars and military conflicts.

I was 10 years old and I was in 4th grade and my teacher had us write letters to soldiers who were serving overseas and on American soil. I remember as a small child feeling a heaviness in my heart....a wanting to "help" or "thank" these men and women and their families. Ever since then I have always felt like a simple "thank you" was never enough.

Since I have "grown up" and I am looking through the eyes of a women, mother, and spouse my gratitude and thanks for our service men and women has grown. I could be wrong, but I feel like there is a large disconnect from "civilians" and those who are serving or whose family is serving in any branch of armed forces. I feel like many Americans...even myself at times forget exactly what it takes to keep our America safe and functioning they way that it does. I feel like to many people are fighting over the number and the politics and the war itself...and not thanking and remembering enough.

My Grandfathers served in World War II and Korea, my Dad served in Vietnam, one of my Uncles served in the Air Force for a whole career, some members of our Georgia family are retired Navy and active national guard, a cousin waiting to go on his first deployment with the Navy. Not to mention countless friends who have joined or are married to service men or women. There is a Dad who returned home to his wife and two children just a few months ago from deployment.

These are just the handful of people that we are connected to. These men and women are husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. And each person that I have encountered has always said "I love serving my country".

Each time I hear of a homeless veteran or a returned service man or women who cant get the care they need, my heart breaks. You hear of men and women who don't have family and don't get letters and welcome homes. To think of the sacrifice that they make and we simply forget.

I came across a wonderful website when I was in high school called It is a list of men and women who are currently deployed. They list their wants and needs for care packages. I sent a package once to an African American women, her only request was hair care items made specifically for her hair. Another time I had my Sunday school class of 4th grade girls write letters and we sent them...and their letters were cherished.

If you cant send a package, send a letter of thanks, if you cant do either just remember and offer a prayer. Raise awareness to your friends and family, reminding them that Memorial Day isn't just about hot dogs and hamburgers and an extra day off work. Remind them of the reason that they can vote, drive their cars, and not worry about their country's safety.

Parson has a Navy shirt that he got as a gift from his Georigia Papa who is retired Navy. All the time people ask if Aaron is in the Navy. I simply reply no, but there are lots of men and women who are. Remember that you are connected to service men and women to, not because of relation, but because they are serving our country and protecting our family and for that we all owe them a thanks.

Next time, every time you see a service man or women or their family, reach out shake their hand, honor them, and thank them. Try and mend the disconnect that is happening in our society.

From our family to yours have a happy and safe Memorial Day.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

I have neglected you...

I have thought many times "oh I should blog about that" but then I don't because of who knows what...usually exhaustion.

Ill be honest, the Lord has been working in my life and heart a lot the past few months. Mostly because I have a tendency to not be happy with what he has provided me with. I am a pro at looking at whats next and what the end goal is instead of enjoying the present.

The entirety of my life all I have ever wanted to do was be a Mom to a million kids. And being a Mom of one child is amazing, fulfilling, exhausting, and the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

Aaron and I wanted (want) to have another child a year ago badly. But it just is not in the cards for us right now. Because this is not in the cards for us right now, I have been..well mad. Mad because it seems like everyone around us is living life exactly they way they want. I am mad because everyone has an opinion about when and why and how we should do things. I am all about advice and tips and pointers and 9 times out of 10 I listen and understand and appreciate advice.

Now I know that sound awful and terrible and mean...and it is. I can write this now because the Lord has worked in my heart and showed me they way we (I) had been feeling. Every time we saw someone else pregnant, a new baby anything along the lines it made me want to burst into tears. Knowing that I could get pregnant and have another baby..but it would be the most irresponsible thing to do.

1.) Because we don't have health insurance that covers maternity care
2.) We don't qualify for maternity medicare
3.) We don't have the 5k extra to have a home birth (yes I know everyone we know thinks we are crazy)
4.) We don't have 20-50k to have a hospital birth

Know, my excuse now is "we are not ready"or "Parson is not ready" and that may be why another baby is not happening in the next who knows how long. In due time the Lord will show us his plan and  in the mean time we do have

1.) A sweet crazy full of energy two year old
2.) A wonderful marriage
3.) A home, food, clothing
4.) Friends with babies we can love on until our second time comes
5.) Being a stay at home Mom which is a dream come true
6.) Starting a gentle "preschool home school" curriculum with Parson

So if you have been on the receiving end of our grouchy selves, we are was just us being selfish and ungrateful.

But if you can refrain from asking "When are you having another baby" "Don't you want more kids?" "Its better when they are close in age" or telling us any other reason we should or should not have a baby now. Because it has a tendency to make those ugly grouchy ungrateful feelings re-appear.

In the mean time we are going to enjoy the heck out of Parson. He is at such a wonderful age and this is the only time it will be just the three of us.

I will not be blogging much because I am busy enjoying every second of my fabulous first child's first few years.


Thursday, February 14, 2013


Lent...when we lived in Michigan...a largely Christian Reformed area I grew up hearing about Lent. We always gave something up for Lent. A lot of people pick things like cake or sweets or smoking. I never understood why...just that we had to because Church said so...and really a lot of people don't stick to their "fast" anyway.

When we moved to GA a mostly Southern Baptist or Non Denominational area, I never heard anyone mention Lent.  I did some research and found out what it was all about. The whole idea of Lent is to observe the 40 days fast that Jesus spent in the wilderness. We celebrate it from Ash Wedensday till Easter to prepare ourselves for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ.

Anyway we decided that even though our church does not mention Lent or practice it, we wanted it to be something our family did. This gives us extra attention and time to spend with The Lord.

This year Aaron and I have decided to fast from Facebook and for me also Pinterest. It seems silly but think about all the extra time you (we) spent on these sites...that's a lot of extra time in the day. It's been freeing these first two days without it...honestly I don't miss it at all.

So here is to 38 more days of spending my time with a more important thing...the bible and The Lord.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Potty Time

Yes that is right I said potty time.

We are not "potty training" we are going through potty readiness. Parson is very interested in the potty, in fact he has used it a few time by his choice. We are not asking him to go potty on the big boy potty and we are not sitting him on the potty unless he asks for it.

He generally asks to sit on the potty once or twice a day...sometimes we get some potty action and other times we don't. We are not to worried about it because for petes sake Parson is not even two yet.  I have to say the first time he pooped on the potty we might as well have thrown a party.

We stopped doing stickers and wont do treats because they are to much of a distraction for our little guy. A big bout of praise, singing, dancing, and clapping does the trick with P-man.

There are a million books and opinions about potty training out there and I will admit I have read a good portion of them. Some of them have great information and others are down right crazy. The fact of the matter is you are not going to "make" your child use the potty. There is just no sense, your child will probably not like the potty if they are forced or pushed to hard to use the toilet.

I have two or three veteran Moms that I run to when I am confused and have questions (bless them because that's often) the best bit of information I got was a profound truth to me at the time. That we are in the passenger seats when it comes to potty training, we have to wait for the interest and readiness of our toddlers. Another thing they said was "No one goes to kindergarten in diapers"

I think a lot of the stress that we as parents feel (that we in turn put on our kids) comes from society. Things like the Mom at the grocery store saying "Well my child was potty trained at 19 months" or "My child is not even two and they have a better vocabulary then 5 year old's"  or those books that we information hungry Moms cling to so we can make our kids the best and most successful.

Our intentions are honest and wholehearted. But lets be honest weather your child knows their ABC's by the time they are two or not until they are 3, weather they are potty trained or not and weather they have the best vocabulary early or late. They are still your baby, someones baby. Who are we to judge one another children based on our own families or that information we find in books.

Children come in all shapes and sizes and developmental speeds. Recommendations and milestone suggestions are just that... recommendations and suggestions. If we as parents feel in our hearts that there is a  problem with our little ones lets promise ourselves and our kids to check with experts and not Google.

Lets do our kids a favor and let them be kids. Lets guide them in the direction they need to be going and help them learn the skills that they need by playing and reading and spending time with one another. Lets promise to not hold them up to an expectation that we found in the newest amazon best seller book.

Lets do this because each stage is temporary and we need to enjoy and remember every bit of every stage.


Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have been toying with this post for a long time. I have been writing it and re-writing it for almost a year. Trying to make sure I am doing justice to the person the post is about and to make sure I am respecting my family who is still alive on earth.

As I write this I have an overwhelming amount of emotion running, a strange heaviness in my chest, yet an overwhelming peace. I can close my eyes and see in slow motion everything I am about to write in bright vivid images, as if this all happened yesterday,

Donna...this post is about Donna. Donna is my Mom, my birth mom, one of my Moms'. I am lucky enough to have a couple Moms, but she was the first.

My earliest memory of her is from when I was six...on my sixth birthday actually. I ran into her bedroom and stood next to her bed and woke her up by saying "Mommy!! I am six!" and I remember her saying "Yes you are! I love you!"

I remember when my brother and I were little, she always made our birthday cakes from scratch. And they were always themed. She always kept them a secret, we were never allowed to see them until it was time to blow out the candles...or that's how I remember it.

Every Christmas she made cookies. I mean ALOT of Christmas cookies...all kinds. My favorite of them were the pazels. Now, we never got to actually eat the thin waffle like cookies, we got the little bits that come off the sides of the cookies. You know, that part that gets stuck to the waffle iron that makes the waffle not you have to tear it off to make the waffle perfect. Those parts...there was always a whole bowl of these little bits, and with a little powdered sugar, its just like Christmas 1994.

On Christmas and Valentines day we always got those little lifesavers books. The ones that came with 5...thats right 5 regular sized rolls of lifesavers....we loved them. Well besides the butterscotch. Those were the last to be eaten. I have looked for them during the holidays and I can never find them...I will find them and keep this fun tradition alive (or something similar) with my own children.

She loved to cook and bake. She was so good at it to. If I ever am half the cook she was I will have some happy family and friends! She did not mess around. No boxes, mixes, or frozen stuff. All from scratch all by hand. I suppose this is why its so important to me that I do the same... because I have such great memories of her doing it, its just my way of remembering.

She loved to sew and craft...and she was good at it. She had a sewing/craft room once. I remember it being a hot mess of a room...but it was always so special to got inside. She was a master, she could sew clothes, she could embroider and cross stitch. I have two pieces of cross stitch that she made. One she gave to my Aunt as a wedding gift 20 years ago, and my Aunt handed it down to me when I got married. I plan to give it to my daughter or son when they get married. The other piece is one she gave to me as a wedding gift.

She was strong. Quite possibly the strongest person I ever knew. She managed to keep a smile on her face and keep her head above water and seem just fine to many people. She was able to do this in some cruddy circumstances. She worked so hard at being the best Mom she could be even when she was sick and struggled with addictions...she always tried.

She passed away a little over 3 years ago. I remember this day vividly to. I remember because I was 2 1/2 months pregnant with Parson. I remember that it was a sunny beautiful day outside. I remember feeling so strange and not knowing how or what to process. I remember not wanting to tell anyone.

I know a lot of people think that its strange that I don't talk about her more. But just because I don't talk about her doesn't mean I don't think about her or I don't remember her.

I look just like her...I mean like spitting image of her. Sometimes I glance in the mirror and almost mistake my reflection for her image. Every time I sit down at my sewing machine I think of her, every time I try a new recipe or bake a loaf of bread I think of her. When we are in Michigan and drive past certain places I think of her.

A few weeks ago I was going to the grocery store late at night after Parson was in bed. I had been thinking about her that day because I was working on some sewing projects. I sat down in my car and I swear on my life she was in that car with me. I could feel it and I could smell her, you know that comforting smell of Mom. I didn't break down and cry and I was not mad...I just smiled. I smiled because I knew she was happy, I knew she had the best seat in the house and she was loving watching my brother and I. I know she loves watching Parson.

Its funny how you don't need to spend your whole life with one person for them to make an impact or imprint on your life. Even though I only spent part of my childhood life living with her and a part of my life missing her she is a huge part of me.

Take it as you may...but do this. Remember no matter how short the time you are with a person, you will impact them, shape them to be who they are.

Left: My Mom with me as a newborn
Almost 23 years later
Right: Me with Parson as a newborn


Monday, January 7, 2013

Dealing with the "terrible 2's"

Parson is 21 months...that is 3 months away from being the big 2. This still blows my mind, that this little guy has held Aaron and I's hearts in his hands for almost 2 years outside my tummy.

There are some wonderful things about toddlers...their expressions are priceless, they make you laugh like crazy, they are silly, their snuggles, hugs, and kisses are intentional and steal your heart every time.

There are also some less glamorous things about toddlers, blossoming independence, learning to handle and control their emotions, and the  "Whats mine is mine and whats yours is mine" mindset...oh and don't forget the tantrums. Most times this is what people and even myself have called "Terrible 2's"

Don't get me wrong, I would be lying if I said I never thought that Parson was having "terrible 2's". But I have to give the little guy some credit. He (and all toddlers) are learning a whole bunch of crazy stuff right now. Think about it, if you and I were just know realizing our emotions and did not have all the words to express it...we would be grouchy to. In fact we as adults choose to be grouchy all the time. Toddlers little minds understand and know exactly what they are feeling and know exactly what they are trying to do. But their little bodies and vocabulary is not quite developed enough to express what they need or want.

Our jobs as parents, guardians, or whatever your title or relationship to the toddler is, is to teach them to understand what they are feeling and how to correctly react to it. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I will give birth all over a toddler is way harder!

So now in the midst of training and teaching a toddler, reading books on how to do this, and trying to keep my cool when this is happening is real hard.

In the midst of all of this I am seeking the Lord to keep that control and peace in my heart when dealing with this. Colossians 3:15 is something that I have memorized and repeat in my head and sometimes out loud when dealing with the challenges of toddler-hood.

"Also, let the peace of Christ control in your hearts, for you were, in fact called to it in the body. And show yourselves thankful." Colossians 3:15

So instead of calling them the "Terrible 2's" I am going to call them the "Thankful 2's". Because I am thankful for every snuggle, kiss, laugh, cry, tantrum, and accident. Because I am thankful that I have the privilege of being a Mom. Because the Lord deals with my laughs, crys, tantrums, and accidents and I well beyond the age of 2.

This to is a season, I know I wont always be picking up toys, cleaning up messes, wiping dirty bottoms and snotty noses. I also know that I wont always be getting my little snuggles, pure love of a toddler, and hearing "mommy up!".

Even though the days are hard and long...I will remember and repeat Colossians 3:15 and keep a thankful heart. Even on the days I don't want to be thankful.