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What October Looked Like

November 3, 2014
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Reid went to the beach during the first week. Jack slept in our bed while he was gone.

At the end of that week, Jack and I went to visit my parents.

Jack hated coloring the first 3.5 years of his life, but he’s making up for it now.

It was a little cold, but it didn’t stop us from swimming in my parents’ new pool.

And the best shot of my brother.

Reid joined us for a little bit while we were there for pottery painting.

Everyone looks so sad painting pottery.

Lauren turned 16 this month, by the way.

I went with my Dad and Lauren to Yom Kipper that Friday night.

Drawing in my mom’s studio.

I got to see one of my oldest friends, Whitney, and finally meet her little boy, Ephraim. She was visiting at her parents house, so I met her over there and hung out with her family, which was very much like our high school days.

Jack went on his first legit field trip, riding the school bus and everything.

While we’re being random, I found a new lake behind our neighborhood while taking a walk.

Jack has declared that he wants to be a teacher when he grows us. He is determined about this.

We went to a few fall festivals.

I think everyone at Target takes this picture, but still.

Reid and Jack worked in the yard.

I visited Jack’s PE class.

I, also, went to the fun run at Jack’s school. Jack fell and couldn’t recover and cried most of the time, but in his defense, he has my genes, so I totally get it.

I took his for frozen yogurt after school that day to celebrate a great first report card.

We went to another fall festival.

And since I’m not in many of these, I’ll show you what it looks like when I try on Jack’s paint for his costume.

We had friends over and this is a favorite picture of the night. That would be sweet Lily Kate in the back with a (toy) gun.

I went the beach, but not many pictures from that weekend.

This was after I got back after another fall festival.

and those are the highlights from last month, in pictures. Minus Halloween pics.

the end.

A Willy Wonka Halloween

October 28, 2014
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We toss around ideas throughout the year for Halloween costumes. It’s almost in the same way that we toss around names that’d be perfect for a cat if something were to ever happen to Chewie. (Don’t die, Chewie!)

At one point, Jack and I were going to be evil minions and Reid was going to be Gru from Despicable Me, but once Jack got into Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, there was no looking back.

I went to the beach last weekend, but rushed to make sure Jack’s costume was ready before I left so he and Reid could go to a fall festival Saturday morning and then, trunk or treat Sunday night when I got home.

Jack’s costume came together much easier than I ever expected. I was kind of dreading it, but Reid reminded me that if he could make that robot costume and I could make the Prince Charming costume, that we could do this.

Regardless, it was totally worth it! I can’t get enough of him in this costume!

Jack and Reid were really popular at the festival and the trunk or treat; lots of people asked to take their picture, ha!

Before I continue, let’s all applaud this Sharknado costume.

Ok, back to Jack’s costume.

I’ve looked up countless Oompa Loompa costumes and always appreciate when others explain how they made theirs, so I wanted to make sure to include how we did ours.

The wig was ordered online. The shirt is a turtleneck from Wal-mart with ribbon attached to the neck and wrists via double sided tape, which has held up extremely well. The socks are just brown socks were done the same way, but, it hasn’t held up and need something else. Most people either attach felt or paint the stripes.

After buying the fabric to sew pants by making my own pattern, I found these large white sweatpants from Academy. I cut the pant legs off and hemmed them with hot glue (my sewing machine quit!) and glued the bottom edge to make it tighter around his leg. I made the suspenders from plain white fabric and glued buttons on from Hobby Lobby.

The pants puff out of the sides because Reid rolled up socks to put in his pockets. The balls on his shoes are Styrofoam with paint. Sounds like a lot, but it’s really not.

I have orange paint for Jack’s face, but he only wanted the white eyebrows, which turned out fine.

Reid’s vest was a crazy lucky find from the thrift store. He spray painted and added ribbon to a black hat found at a costume store.

I have a red dress to use as my base for my Veruca Salt costume, but I’m not sure if I’ll go through with it or not.

And because I love a flashback collage, here are Jack’s costumes from years past.

the end.

Pottery Date

September 18, 2014
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]Since school has started, Jack has become my shadow on the weekends. He still likes Reid and wants to hang out with him, of course, but he’d much rather be all up in my business and have all my attention

If I’m really honest, it annoyed me, at first. And I still fight being annoyed, which means I’m incredibly selfish and not realizing that he misses me and just wants to be with me. I keep reminding myself that one day he won’t think I’m so cool anymore and won’t want my attention.

And, really, what more important thing could I be doing?

Typing that all out just makes me look like a jerk. I really do love my kid, I promise!

All that to say, on one particular such Saturday, I decided we needed to get out of the house and do something together, indoors, preferably. So, we went to paint pottery together for the first time.

But, first, we stopped for coffee and a smoothie.

We spent a long time looking around, checking out our options based on our budget. Jack was so set on painting a mummy and tea cup. I picked up a condiment bowl for me, but he ended up painting it for me since I couldn’t come up with ideas.

He painted everything himself, then I went over everything with several coats. He kept telling me over and over how much fun he was having.

I think we were there for almost two hours. It was so relaxing and fun to sit and chat while we painted. It was definitely one of the best dates we’ve had together.

If money wasn’t an issue, I think we’d go back every weekend. Even with this weekend coming up, Reid’s going to be gone all day to the Alabama game, so I keep fighting the urge to go back. Instead, though, I think we’re going to paint pumpkins and do some crafts at home.

Adjusting Updates

August 12, 2014
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Today marks Jack’s fourth day of school and I’m still adjusting. I feel this rush to get so many things done while he’s at school, but I have to remember that this is every single day; I have many days to work on things.

Jack started acting sick last Saturday afternoon, but it seemed like more of an allergic reaction than anything else, but he woke up worse on Sunday morning, so I took him to a doc in the box to find he had a sinus infection. Whatever they gave him knocked it right now. He was better by Monday morning and able to go to school.

Jack was sad because he didn’t think he’d be able to go to school. He was, also, sad on Sunday morning because he thought he got to go to school that day!

I really am so proud of how well he’s done at carpool. Considering there were days at preschool that teachers had to literally pull him out of the car with him crying, I know when I see him walking into the building all by himself that he’s come a long way and he must really like school.

We’ve figured out that our sweet spot for carpool in the morning is leaving at exactly 7:05. Every morning, the teachers working the carpool lines laugh at Jack because he takes his sweet time walking down the line to the cross walk. He blames his heavy tote bag, but I know he’s just on Jack time.

The best part of my day is picking Jack up from school and hearing him talk non-stop about his day.

Last Friday night, Jack wanted to sleep in our bed since it was storming, so I laid down with him and we chatted for a long time about school and he noticed Reid’s Harry Potter book. Reid reads the Harry Potter series about every two years. Jack asked me to read it to him, so we started it and only got a couple of pages in. Jack was laughing at a lot of it, but I thought maybe we should save Harry Potter for later down the road.

I picked up Charlie and the Chocolate Factory yesterday and we started reading it last night. Eventually, his homework at school will be us reading together for 20 minutes a night, so I thought this would be a good start.

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So, back to getting things done while Jack’s at school. As Jack’s outgrown toys and clothes, we saved everything and moved it to the attic. It was our safety in case we had another little person. I always thought that I’d eventually consign everything when Jack started school in the distant, distant future. That it was my problem for another day. And that day is here.

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Reid helped me get everything down last night. We’ve already sold the bigger items, like the swing, jumper, bouncy seat, etc. As I started going through it last night, I realized it’s a lot more intense and overwhelming than I initially thought. It’s a TON of stuff to go through. Like two bins of just teeny tiny 0-6 months pajamas.

My goal is to put all the fall clothing items in a consignment sale next month and organize what needs to be saved for the Spring sale and donate everything else.

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I know I’ll feel good when it’s all done, but that may be a month of working through all this mess. Sweet mercy. I’m already having to remind myself to pace myself and that I have plenty of time to work on this.

And there’s a few days worth of blog posts all in one.

the end.

First Day of School

August 7, 2014
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I didn’t sleep well last night, anticipating the morning ahead. I was awake by 6 on my own and peeked in on Jack and he was awake, too. I let him get up to watch TV and rest a little before the day really started.

We were so early in getting ready and taking pictures that we just sat in the car for a few minutes before leaving. I’m sure that will NEVER happen again in his schooling career.

For some reason, the school requires all kindergartener to carry a tote bag purchased from the school. It’s the size of a duffle bag. What in the world.

Jack had no anxiety this morning and was ready to get to school. While driving to school, I started crying, so I grabbed some sunglasses and tried my best to hide it.

We were so early that carpool hadn’t started yet, but everyone was lining up, so I grabbed a place as close to the school as I could get and we waited.


Jack gave me a hug and a kiss without any prompting while we were waiting. And, then it happened. At exactly 7:15, they said, “Ok, everyone out!” And all these car doors fly open and kids are jumping out everywhere.

And, then, there’s poor Jack. He had a hard time getting the car door open. Then trying to grab his full-size luggage bag and lunchbox and my yelling, “close the door!”

I watched him walk in as I drove by slowly. And the tears started flowing again.

I met up with Samantha later in the morning for coffee and sharing our first day experiences since Noah started today, too, and may have worn an outfit that coordinated with Jack’s outfit.

I spent most of the day between being teary and being kind of excited about the time to myself. I got a lot of work done and before I knew it, it was time to get Jack.

Carpool was a bit chaotic, but that’s to be expected and should get better. His teacher helped him get in the car and said it was a great day and that he had a lot of fun.

Jack chatted the whole way home and through some round about ways that don’t need to be mentioned, we eventually learned that he did have a great day and can’t wait to go back tomorrow. SUCH great news!

the end.

The Day Before The Big Day

August 6, 2014
by

About 5 years ago, I may or may not have joked that I was ready for Jack to start kindergarten. During that new baby survival mode, I thought if I can just get him to kindergarten, then I could sleep forever.

That soon changed and instead of wishing for school to come, I started to dread that far off day.

After much wrestling with the homeschool or public school decision, it became apparent that public school was going to be our choice. There was some guilt about all of it at some point, but that is now gone and I feel confident about our decision.

On that note, I read this yesterday on Pitter Patter Art’s blog and I really appreciate her words.

I remember when a friend of our family asked me a while back if I was going to homeschool. I gave my confident “nope” answer. She then went on to say how amazing and brave and all these other wonderful words someone we knew was because she was homeschooling. My mom was nearby and flashed me the stink eye…like “Watch out lady. I’ll sucker punch you in the back”. She knew my heart was racing because a momma who homeschools is all those things, but mommas who send their kiddos off into the big world…whether public school, private, whatever it is…they are also just as amazing and brave and all those wonderful words too. There shouldn’t be lines drawn in the sand about this. Whether self educating your children or handing over the reigns to professional teachers & trusting, either one is a choice to be respected. I stand tall by those words. Take heart all you mommas, you are doing a dang good job!

I’ve started feeling all the emotions. I’ve been suppressing them a lot and haven’t really fallen apart yet. I did cry a lot today, but stopped myself since I was with Jack and he doesn’t need to see that right now.

For the past five years it’s been me and Jack everyday. And that is changing. It’s a huge change for Jack. And with no other kids at home to take care of after dropping him off, my life is changing in a big way.

Months ago, I cried because I didn’t know what I’d do with my life after Jack went to school, as far as finding a regular job and getting the right hours, etc. Reid always calmed me down because there was no point in getting worked up over something that was months and months away.

Now that it’s here, we both feel good about me staying home and continuing with my shop on Etsy and making it a real business. I’m excited to focus more on it while Jack’s at school and set hours for myself so I’m not working anymore for the day once I pick Jack up from school.

I, also, have a few other things I’d like to do over the next few months that I don’t feel ready to share yet. I’m trying to see this time as an opportunity to do things I’ve wanted to for a while, but knew I couldn’t do while I was with Jack full-time at home.

Back to today. Last night, I told Jack that today would be his last day of Summer and we could do whatever he’d like. He’s such a homebody; he chose to stay home and play games, Legos, color, and watch movies. And all in his elf pajamas.

We did have to leave for Meet the Teacher day at school, though.

Jack immediately was excited about finding blocks like Nana and Papa have at their house.

Jack’s teacher is so sweet and meeting her really helped calm my nerves. Although, I’m not going to lie; I did have a bit of a meltdown after we walked out of the school today. There were too many feelings and I didn’t know what to do with them and I was a mess. I got it together and we hit up Wal-Mart for last minute things, but then, stopped back by the school for something.

We dropped by Jack’s classroom, mainly because I wanted to make sure he knew how to get there by himself, and his teacher was still there and Jack ran up and gave her the biggest hug. It happened so fast, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!

It was really reassuring. Jack says he’s a little nervous, but seems to be just fine. He went to bed with no problems tonight.

My biggest concern right now is that darn three lane carpool in the morning. That and Jack finding a friend.

I’m going to miss him and tomorrow with be hard, but I know it will soon be our normal.

For now, I think I’ll miss our lazy mornings the most. We’ve recently started watching Let’s Make a Deal together and it’s quite amusing with Jack’s reactions.

the end.

Turning a Corner

July 29, 2014
by

Mentally, I’ve been making a list of things to do when Jack starts school next week, which includes blogging. I miss it. I kept telling myself I wouldn’t blog again unless I actually wanted to because what’s the point. And really, what’s the point of blogging? Regardless, here I am!

In April, I shared some of my health issues. Since then, I’ve found a specialist who didn’t take four months to get an appointment with and was eager to find the root cause of all my problems. Turns out there are lots of roots.

I’ve since found out that I’m allergic to dairy, chicken, eggs, and a few other small things. I have no B6 in my body, which could be the reason for so much inflammation. I’m deficient in several vitamins linked to brain fog, depression, and exhaustion and showed signs of chronic fatigue syndrome. I tested positive for the MTHFR gene (C677T). Oh, and I have Candida in my gut.

*I feel the need to include that I’ve passed the denial and pity party stage. At this point, I’m so happy to actually know what’s wrong with me! I’ve been very fortunate!

As for my thyroid, I do have Hashimoto’s Disease, but at this time, my thyroid levels are within the normal range, but even if it’s a normal range, it doesn’t mean it’s that it’s my optimal range.

In the meantime, I visited my rheumatologist to figure out what was happening to my swollen toe so we could get that taken care of, too. After x-rays and ultrasounds on my toe, it was clear that psoriasis was causing all the swelling.

The ultrasound technician was basically Javier from Felicity. Interacting with him was the best part of the appointment. Just by looking at the ultrasound, he correctly guessed things about me that made my eyes widen. He asked if I had children, then asked if I had problems with preeclampsia when I was pregnant. Bingo! Just by looking at my TOE!

After we chatted some more, he did an ultrasound on my thyroid and assured me there was nothing to worry about there. I was worried about this in the beginning of my diagnosis of Hashimotos, so this was so great to hear.

This appointment took an emotional turn when discussing treatment options since the medications I need to help my body heal can have an extreme effect if I were to get pregnant, not that we’re trying, but you never know. So, having the conversation about whether or not we’re going to have more children was not what I expected when going in for my toe.

So, what now?

I stopped the thyroid medicine (Levothyroxine/T4) I was prescribed back in April and started on a cycle T3 two times a day. It was tedious at first because I was increasing my dosage every day, along with taking my temperature 3-4 times a day, but I’m finally at a point that I can start the process of coming off of it.

Along with that, I’m taking a plethora of vitamins and supplements to get my levels where they need to be. I’m not taking any medications for my toe yet because the first prescription made me sick to my stomach, so I’m waiting to try something else.

And I’m following a strict diet that’s some sort of Paleo. My doctor told me I needed to follow a Paleo diet at my first appointment and I said no. Even after seeing my lab results, I said no. But, after more reading, especially on Candida, I’ve cut most foods out, even slowly cutting out all fruit.

And, now, I have pictures to prove it’s all working. By June, I had extreme inflammation. My ankles looked like they did when I was pregnant! The two left pictures were in June and the far right is from last week. At that point, it was only a 3 lb difference, so not a weight loss issue, but water! My doctor measured my water and body fat today, telling me the 5 pounds I’ve lost were all water.

I still have A LOT more weight (actual fat, not just water!) to lose, but I’m starting to look and feel like myself again. I’m hoping by my 30th birthday in December that I’ll be in a much healthier place.

the end.

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