This year was a little odd for Easter. It is the first major holiday that I can remember that Stanton and I have spent alone since we have been married. And only the second holiday in Waco. (We spent Thanksgiving 2008 in Waco with his parents since it was only days after Chaselyn was born.) But in an odd twist, our family was able to spend a whole week in Arkansas with our extended family just last week. So, it seemed like a stretch to try to make it back only 5 days later. So that meant we had a 3 day weekend together with the four of us.
We kicked off the Easter weekend with a Maundy Thursday service. I had never been to one before because usually we are traveling on Thursday night to get home for Good Friday. Any way, the service was one of the most powerful services I have ever experienced. It is necessary to come face to face with the gravity of the true suffering, pain, and sacrifice that Jesus Christ endured to really set the tone for the joy of Easter morning. I hope that this is something that I get to experience annually.
Friday was a rarity. Stanton was off work and we had no specific plans. So, we decided to take a trip to our Waco zoo. It always amazes me that Waco has such a quality zoo for the size of town it is. And I am so happy that we decided to go ahead and get a zoo membership. We bought the membership at the end of March and we've already gone enough to pay for it, any more visits are free! And this trip was THE BEST trip to the zoo we've had. We were there when the gates opened and it was still cool so all the animals were up close.
We went to see the tigers and orangutan first. One of the tigers was standing just as close as he could get to the fence. And the orangutan was actually awake. I've never seen anything other than an indistinguishable ball of fur in the orangutan pit. He was in the building, but he was right next to the window so we could see him, some of the family chose to make faces at him too. Then we went to the African animals. Ironically, the elephants were the only animals not out in the cool eating. Usually no matter when we go we find the elephants out eating some hay. Which is probably why they are Chaselyn's favorites. So it was off to the lions. And look who we found
The rhinos were awake too. Usually they are snoozing off in the corner, but not today.
The giraffes were giraffing with their long necks eating leaves off of trees, the deer were endeering basking in the breeze, and even the bear was bearing the TX heat by taking a little swim.
The one drawback to the morning zoo visit was that there was a large group of children that were on a field trip. We started out ahead of them, but we often felt a little rushed to stay in the lead. After all, we didn't want to get Chaselyn caught up in the 'Fight! Fight! Fight!' chant they were yelling at the tigers. (We only yell 'Fight! Fight! Fight!' at the end of the Razorback fight song in our house.) But because we were hurried along, we still had lots of happy play time left for the playground.
And we wrapped up with some 'Manlybugs'.
Afternoon Friday was spent cleaning, laundering and napping. There was more of the same on Saturday. Because we have been out of town and sick and just busy, our house desperately needed the attention.
And then hippity, hoppity Easter was no longer on it's way, but it was finally here. The day was just perfect. The kids woke up together, we got the video camera set up, and watched the fun. Unfortunately, in the remembering to use the video, we forgot to use the regular camera for still shots. Chaselyn is at a fun age for holidays. She ran to her basket and looked at all the prizes. And then showed Jacob what he got too. The celebration was only slightly inhibited by the 'loud bird' otherwise known as our security system going off as Stanton tried to let Holly out. Only then did he realize he couldn't let Holly out any way because the Easter bunny had left prizes outside. After looking and perusing through the baskets, it was time for breakfast. Nothing but the finest for our first family holiday at home. I made cereal and milk per Chaselyn's request and fixed a nice microwavable pancake for the little man. After breakfast it was time to get in our Sunday best and take some pictures.
Then egg hunting.
The Easter Bunny was so smart. He put little 'C' and 'J' stickers on the eggs. So even though Chaselyn was really the only one hunting, Jacob also got to enjoy some treats.
As Chaselyn found the eggs, she would identify the C stickers because 'C is for Chaselyn'. When asked the letter on the other eggs, she responded 'I don't know that letter name.' So I guess she was classifying them as C's and not C's.
Chaselyn counting the eggs. Each of them got 8 eggs.
Then there was more surprises in the eggs.
Stanton was showing them that they each got a special penny with a cross cut in it. And that the cross is really what Easter is all about.
And as a special treat, each of the kids got an Easter prize from Mommy and Daddy. I will admit, I don't plan on Easter presents from us becoming a regular tradition in our home, the Easter Bunny is very generous. But this year we had a very special prize in mind for Chaselyn and we just couldn't wait until her birthday or Christmas. So we found a special prize for Jacob too. He got a Little People car wash. It was enjoyed by all.
And then it was time for Chaselyn's treat. We had her sit and close her eyes.
It's a Belle doll.
But wait there's more.
It's a Cinderella doll.
Honestly for a while, she seemed kind of bothered that Cinderella was tagging along, but before long she was having fun with both of her dolls.
By the time it was time to leave for church, the kids were tired. This is not unusual for Sunday mornings, but this day was a bit more eventful. Church was great. We had been away for 3 Sundays and it was nice to get back.
Sunday afternoon was again filled with organizing and straightening. And we wrapped up a wonderful Easter weekend with a feast of smoked ribs, deviled eggs, corn on the cob, and semi-homemade potato salad (I bought some potato salad from the store and added some egg).
It was a fantastic weekend. We missed our family back home. And there were many traditions that I really missed, but it was good to not have to worry about traveling and sleeping in different places and trying to be sure we make it to see everyone. For once we had a holiday weekend where we were actually rested and relaxed when it was all said and done.
So as I was leaving my afternoon class yesterday, I realized that my outfit pretty much sums up how I dress and my general feelings about appearances.
The plan: blue/gray/white striped button up shirt, casual black skirt, flat black shoes, some make-up, fixed hair.
The result: Check on the shirt, but untucked and rolled up sleeves, with jeans because I forgot to shave last night. And yes, the shirt was actually ironed. My dear husband did it for me while I was attending our son at 11pm last night. At one point I did have some lip gloss on, but that was long gone by 3:30 in the afternoon when I took the pic. My go to clunky Birkenstock sandals. They aren't cute, I know, but they are comfy and they are sandals. I love comfy and I can't stand for my feet to be hot. My hair combed, but not really styled in any way, because right after my shower, Jacob woke up and didn't go back down for quite a while. Also notice the backpack. I'm always carrying a backpack. If I'm on my way to school, its the red one you see here, if it's anywhere else, it's a black messenger style diaper bag. Also, the glasses, I wear contacts when I think about it and have time. Those two don't coincide very often. You may notice the ring on my left hand. An amazing symbol of love from my husband, to which I seriously considered leaving in a box because who wears a beautiful diamond like that while wearing jeans and t-shirts every day. This girl, that's who. A cross necklace around my neck given to me as a gift when our first born came into the world. Chaselyn has one just like it too. A fake smile because I don't really like the focus to be on me. Unpainted toe nails, because I haven't painted them since my brother's wedding last May. Frameless pictures on the wall, because if I waited to frame them, I would never get any put up. A mess on the floor, because I am the product of my advisor.
And that's me. That's pretty much the summation of how I appear to the outside world. And honestly I'm ok with that. I've never really cared about the opinions of others, especially strangers. And as it turns out when you are the teacher, the students pretty much have to pay attention whether you look perfectly put together or if you show up in you jammies.
I would like to lose a few pounds and be generally more healthy, and I would love to look nicer for my husband and my children. But I get so much more joy by spending time loving on my kids and doing things that actually affect them. Somedays I make an effort, and I generally start with the intent of being more put together. And then life happens. And I love it!
... is the number of months it takes for you to step back as a mom and realize 'Oh crap, my baby is really leaving.' It was the hardest time for me when Chaselyn hit that milestone, and it's hitting hard again. But this time, I still have a lot of my little fella left to love. Jacob is being nice to Mommy and not actually walking yet. We know he could if he just put his mind to it. But he'd rather speed crawl from one room to another in stealth mode. He thinks standing by himself is one of the most fun games to play. His record is about 10 seconds before he starts laughing and dives for my lap. We've also caught him free standing by some of his favorite pull up spots, but as soon as he realizes what he's doing he grabs back on to the prop or gets down and crawls after whatever distracted him enough to let go in the first place.
So, in that respect he's still a little guy (especially compared to Chaselyn who was walking at 10.5 months). But as far as his appetite goes, he's quite the mature little man. He still takes baby food (stage 3) for breakfast and lunch (primarily because he's still in the babies class at daycare). But for dinner, he wants the good stuff. Hot dogs, carrots, ravioli, pasta, beef, lunch meat, green beans, pretty much anything you put in front of him, he'll scarf down in a matter of minutes. Double fisting handfuls of tasty treats and over stuffing his mouth is a nightly show. Maybe he thinks if he doesn't eat it fast we're going to give him some more of that yucky baby food. I don't know, but the boy loves to feed himself.
Jacob likes to play with puzzles and by play I mean gnaw on them. He is also a fan of finding the most obscure, unsafe, tiny item in the house and stick it immediately into his mouth. He still loves electrical cords of all varieties. He has developed good climbing skills which serves him well when trying to be a danger to himself and everyone around him. His favorite place to go is into the bathroom. Usually he goes straight for the tub. I think he would stay in the bath all the time if we would let him, but we can't because he is the squirmiest, slipperiest little booger in the world. Only once has he succeeded in playing in the toilet. We also think he's intrigued by the awesome animal decor in the bathroom. Another favorite hang out is Chaselyn's room. There's all kinds of toys and stuff to get into. There's also a slide in there for a good time.
We're currently working on 'bye-bye'. He says 'Ma-ma-ma-ma' in his insistent angry voice and 'Da' in his sweetest little loving voice. It's not fair, but I'm the one he calls for comfort, so that gives me the warm fuzzies.
We still have some issues with sleeping and drinking. Thankfully he seems to be back to sleeping from about 8pm to 6:30am. He also has a morning and afternoon nap. When he's home, I try to make him stay awake until about 10:30 or so before his morning nap. That way, I can usually get 15-20 minutes of overlap time in his nap and Chaselyn's nap. On average he probably sleeps for about 1.25 hours. Afternoon nap is around 3:30pm and lasts about 1.5 hours. He still doesn't care for a bottle unless he is tired. I can usually find some way to get him about 20 oz. in a day, but that's generally lower than what he should have. We're working on switching to sippy cups and in only one short month, we'll be switching to the Moo juice.
This past month was full of fun and family. We kicked off the month with our trip to Indy to see friends. And last week we got a visit from Ducky & CrawDad for the first half of the week and a visit from Papa, Granny, and Aunt Rachel for the second half of the week. We made a trip to the zoo with each group. Jacob liked the fish the best. He had lots of play time with all of his fans and some good snuggles too.
Jacob, It is happening, you are growing up. You are going to be one year old in just a few short weeks. It is amazing to watch you grow and develop. We appreciate every little new glimpse into your forming mind. Your smile absolutely melts our hearts and your beautiful blue eyes shine extra bright in the spring sunlight. We like to lay claim (and sometimes place blame) on each other saying 'That's my boy!' or 'That's your boy!' You are your Daddy's son in that you do not seem to enjoy sleep, you know just the right time to crack a smile to make Mommy more happy, and you just do those things that boys do. You are your Mommy's boy in that you love snacks and munchies, you demand attention from those who love you most, and you love to climb and explore even when it's not so safe. We love you for all of these reasons. And we hope that the more of us that we see in you, the more you take on the good qualities and forget the not so wonderful ones. We are looking forward to celebrating your 1st birthday and can't wait to follow along on your continuing adventure.
Mom of beautiful Chaselyn and handsome Jacob.
Wife of wonderful husband Stanton.
Daughter of lovely parents.
Sister of siblings I've grown to love (yes it took some growing on my part to learn to love them).
Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics.
Student of life.
Friend of many great people.
Child of God.