Saturday, June 15, 2013

What I hope you learn from your Daddy...

I think about what a wonderful Daddy Chris is every single day. I wonder if our kids realize how blessed they are to have him as their Daddy. For Father’s Day I wanted to let him know just how special he is and what better way to do that then tell him some of my favorite things about him that I hope our kids will learn from him. So here are a few… written for our children.

1.    How to treat a lady and how a lady should be treated

I met your Daddy when I was just 15 years old and in 10th grade. He was 16 and in the 11th grade. That means we have known each other for almost 15 years. He has treated me with respect and always done his best to take care of me all those years. We make mistakes and sometimes get mad at each other or have little arguments, but he has never been disrespectful to me. My prayer for you, Wyatt, is that you always do the same and one day treat your wife just as well. My prayer for you, Kenley, is that you find a guy just like your Daddy that will make you feel special every day of your life with him.

2.    How to treat others

Daddy cares about other people. He puts others before himself. I will always remember this “story” from when we were in high school, although I’ve told Daddy about it and he doesn’t remember. He was walking me to class one day and there was another guy walking in the hall by himself. He was not a popular kid and most people weren’t very nice to him. Anyways, as we walked passed him he was singing (not too loud, but loud enough) the song Sweet Home Alabama. Daddy looked at me smiled and said “good song.” I knew that most people would have made a sarcastic remark or made fun of the boy, but not Daddy. I can still picture this whole thing, because it meant a lot to me. Daddy doesn’t remember because that’s just how he is.

3.    To always be honest with yourself and others

First of all, you will soon learn that Mommy is a pretty darn good interrogator and detective and can tell when people are lying. So don’t ever try it. It won’t work. J But your Daddy will tell you and so will all your grandparents – he wasn’t a perfect teenager. He made mistakes at times. Everyone does. But let me tell you the most important difference between Daddy and some other people. He is honest. No matter what the consequences have ever been, Daddy always told the truth. He knew when he messed up, and he accepted those consequences. Even when Daddy tells you little things he’s going to do with you (take you for a walk, play a game, etc.) he always does what he says. You can always trust him.

4.    To stand up for what is right and what you believe in

When your Daddy was 18, he made the decision to become a Marine. That was something he always wanted to do, but I know it had to be scary. In 2001, when the Twin Towers in New York City were attacked, that day I knew that eventually Daddy would be going to war. We were young and war wasn’t something we thought about much, but we knew something was going to happen and Daddy had made the decision to defend our country. Well the time did eventually come that your Daddy had to go to war. The day he returned home they needed volunteers to sign up to go again and without hesitating your Daddy raised his hand. There are so many stories in between all of this, but the point is Daddy believed in defending our country AND defending a country that needed our help. He always told me he felt called to do it, he was honored to do it, and that he believed in the mission.

5.    How to lead a household

Daddy is good at this. We work as a team, but each of us has different strengths and that’s what makes our marriage and our family work. Daddy is a great leader. He works hard every day for us. He is always working towards whatever is best for our family. We pray over our decisions and what’s best for us. One of our biggest decisions after having children was Mommy staying home. It was a dream of mine, but we weren’t sure it was a good decision for us financially. Daddy spent a lot of time managing our budget, getting debt paid off, and doing everything possible to make it happen. After a lot of prayer and the changes we had made it seemed to be a good option. I am so grateful that Daddy supported what I wanted and helped make it happen.

6.    How to have fun

Your Daddy is so fun. We’ve known each other 15 years and been married for almost 6 and he still makes me laugh. He makes you laugh every day, too, so I know you get this one!

7.    How to say I’m sorry

Mommy and Daddy don’t always agree and sometimes we argue. Sometimes it’s my fault, sometimes it’s his, and sometimes it’s not anyone’s fault (we just have different opinions). No matter what, we work very hard at communicating and sometimes walking away from the argument until we are both ready to work it out. But we always work it out one way or another. Being able to say “sorry” when you’ve been wrong is not always easy, but when it’s the right thing to do your Daddy does it. You will learn that a simple “sorry” can go a long way.

8.    How to be a Christ follower

Mommy and Daddy are always learning from the Bible, asking questions, and finding ways to grow in our faith as a family. Daddy is a great example to you on how to live your life. He reads his Bible daily, prays over decisions and for us, and is always learning more. I hope that as you become leaders (of anything – your family, sports, careers, anything) you will always put God first and do your very best to serve Him and pray for guidance. Sometimes the answers are clear, sometimes they are scary, sometimes they take a long time to present themselves, but faith will take you a long way.


So, there are just a few of the things I hope you learn from your Daddy. He loves you with all his heart and he shows it every day. The most precious thing for Mommy to watch is the time he spends with you. His smile is never greater than when he’s with you. I’m so blessed to have him as my husband, but I’m even more blessed to be raising you with him.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Pap & Stacy's Wedding {June 8, 2013}

Pap and Stacy's wedding weekend was this past weekend and it was absolutely beautiful. I wish I had more pictures, but it was hard with 2 kids. Most of my time was spent praying that they would be on their very best behavior and that Wyatt would do his very special job well. Wyatt was the ring bearer and sometimes he gets shy and so I wasn't sure what to expect. Add to that the fact that his nervous/shy behavior is usually to act like a complete goofball and get people to laugh (all but Mommy and Daddy). Eeek! But I have to say that I was very very proud of my big boy. Both kids did great and there was quite a bit of sitting still and/or being quiet (which we don't do much of).

Friday night was the rehearsal. Obstacle #1, Wyatt only likes to wear athletic type pants and t-shirts. He's not a fan of dressing up (gets that from his Daddy, even though Daddy does when he has to and looks handsome every time). When I got his clothes for the weekend I spent time explaining that he was going to have to wear what I had for him, I showed him, etc. We made a big deal of it all. Complete with some bribery of listening all weekend and earning a Chuggington movie for the car. Success. Both kids were cute as can be and had smiles, as well.

Daddy tried to sneak one more pose out of Kenley, but she was way more interested in whatever Wyatt was doing.

Wyatt did great at the rehearsal. A little bit of acting silly before actual practice time (again, his nervous reaction), but was super focused when it was time. Uncle Garrett walked and stood with Wyatt to help him out and make him feel comfortable. That was so helpful. Pap is in the green shirt.

The pictures are out of order, but here they are walking out the door they come out of. The room was set up for a different party, but it worked for rehearsal.

Walking out after nailing rehearsal. Look how carefully he carried the pillow. So sweet.

Sister was busy playing with Daddy during the rehearsal, but she sure was looking cute while playing.

Saturday was the big day. Again, we made a BIG deal of the suit Wyatt got to wear all week. He put it on one night at my mom's to get fitted and we played Sharp-dressed man for him to dance to and tried to make him feel really special. And he did. He decided that he loved the suit because it was what Eugene (Rapunzel's beau) wore to his wedding. This was huge, as the day we went shopping for everyone's clothes was a mere disaster of a day - cranky kids, cranky mommy, cranky Grammy, and all of us needing outfits. And the biggest meltdown issue of the day was Wyatt wanting to buy a dress because we were all wearing dresses. Ugh! He must have asked 5,914 times to get one. So for him to finally have a reason to love his outfit was amazing. And as a side note the suit is now in the dress-up bin so he can be Eugene whenever he wants. He wouldn't wear the bow tie, but choosing battles wisely we did not care! So check out this handsome prince and beautiful princess...

How are they growing up this fast?!?!

It took a long time in 4-year old time to get to the walking down the aisle part and everyone was super busy so Wyatt and I found a chair in the hallway for him to sit in, my to pep talk, and us to play games while waiting. He kept pretending that he had a pet chameleon (another Tangled character) and he would catch it and carefully put it in the ring box, then it would escape and I'd have to tell him where it was and he'd go and catch it again. This kid is nothing if not creative and if you walked by you would have really thought he was catching something. Here he is ready to get the show on the road and not wanting to pose anymore...

I missed all the pictures of him walking down the aisle AND getting to see it, because I waited in the back with Wyatt and everything sped up super fast and then it was too late to sneak back in. I ended up getting to my seat after the wedding party and Stacy got down the aisle. But I do know that Wyatt did a fantastic job and we were so proud of him.

Some of these pictures are out of order. I'm pretty sure Kenley ate for 2 hours straight at the reception. She loved the cheese and fruit tray and the mashed potato cups, which she decided she needed her own. There would be no sharing going on with those.

Wyatt didn't really eat. He talked to everyone and kept wanting to go sit with Stacy's daughters. And he asked every 20 minutes when it was time for cake.

I can't wait to see more of the photographer's pictures, but Stacy sent me this that night and I love it. She's so sweet and we are very excited for her and Pap.

Kenley was too busy to pose for any pictures, especially when there was cake in front of her. I had some pictures of her and Aunt Sarah, but they were so blurry from Kenley bouncing around or running away. I know the photographer will have some good ones though. Sarah looked beautiful in her dress and curly hair.

Here's Wyatt and his cake, finally. And I finally got a picture of me in. Taking pictures with 2 kids is one of the hardest things for me. Who has time for that?! I keep saying I'm going to work on it.

After cake, acting silly. The kids watched Chuggington, the well deserved prize, on the way home and everyone was exhausted. It was a great weekend of celebration and fun with family and friends.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cloth Diapering Update

Yes! We are going to continue to cloth diaper baby girl number 2. Several friends and family have asked (some with a sarcastic tone). :) I first decided that "cloth diapering might not be THAT bad" while reading a friend's blog so I sort of feel like I need to pass on my experience (which has been great for our family) in case anyone reading might ever consider it. So here's some tidbits of info or a little update of how it's going and what's working for us.

First of all, I am no expert. Sometimes (lots of times) what I like is completely different from what other moms like and everyone has their own reasons for cloth diapering which might make a difference in what they choose. The local cloth diaper store is called The Nappy Shoppe and they are amazing and have classes and all sorts of things to help people decide what's best for them. I've also joined several facebook groups where people share info, likes, dislikes, and stuff but that can be overwhelming because there's tons of info and again every mom and baby is different.

Our reason for cloth diapering:
It was simple - I wanted to stay home and we had to cut costs wherever possible. Now, I workout with a group and pay for that. That wasn't something I was willing to cut out. There's other things we might do that other people would cut out before disposable diapers but for US this was a reasonable thing to try. Diapers are expensive and there's nothing worse than running out late at night and having to run to the store to get more, but more importantly I read my friend's blog and it seemed not too bad. So we tried it and liked it and are still doing it.

There are several kinds of diapers. Here's what I like and don't like about what we've tried:

All in ones (top purple and stripes) - all in ones are super easy and very similar to a disposable. It's one piece, you put it on baby like normal, and it's done. Some close with snaps and some close with aplix (Velcro). We prefer snaps because Kenley can undo the aplix. There are several different brands and our favorites are Bumgenius (purple) and Thirsties (stripes). The purple one is a one size diaper that means it has snaps to make it smaller so it fits small babies all the way to potty training (we've gotten several of these lately so Kenley can use them and then we can give them to the new baby). The striped one is a sized diaper and I bought them when Kenley was big enough for them and they would then last til potty training.

Pockets (the super adorable colorful one and it's insert to the right) - People LOVE pocket diapers. I DO NOT! The diaper has a pocket and you stuff that insert into the pocket and then it's good to go on baby. 2 reasons why I'm not a fan. 1) I don't want to stuff the diapers before using. 2) I don't want to take out the insert before washing. But again lots of people love them, there are tons of cute designs, and they work fine (it's totally a convenience issue for me).
Most diapers, such as the all in ones have a way to stuff extra inserts underneath the main absorbing layer to add absorbency for nighttime or whatever, which is nice. A pocket diaper, however needs to be stuffed or there won't be a soaking layer.

I've been buying diapers here and there to try and get ready for baby. Today I got several new things and some new types I'm trying out.

Fitteds (top 3 with pink snaps and the 3 below them) - Everyone keeps telling me how great fitteds are. The entire thing is absorbent and then needs a cover to go over it (the bottom row are covers). I usually prefer a one step diaper, but I'm giving these a try because 1) I found a great deal on them today and 2) Kenley sometimes soaks through at night so these should stop that problem with the extra absorbency. They are sized so the top 3 are for Kenley and bottom 3 for baby. I hope I love them as much as other people do. I got ones that snap. If they don't have snaps on them then you can use a snappi (a neat little clippy thing that has hooks like an ace bandage clip and sticks to both sides of the diaper and then down the middle to hold it together) or a pin, like oldschool.

Prefolds (the thing in the top right corner) - That's the original cloth diaper. A sheet of absorbent fabric. Why in the world did I get this? Well, they are super cheap. I wanted to play with it on Kenley and see what I think and possibly get a few to bulk up our diaper stash for the baby when she is going through tons of diapers a day in the beginning. They don't seem that difficult (especially since newborns don't try to get away like Kenley does). You fold it up one of the several ways (check out youtube) then put a snappi (that's what I'll use) or a pin in it and then put a cover over it. So I don't plan on using these for Kenley (other than for practice), but I think it might be a cost efficient way to make sure we have enough diapers for baby.

Money saving tips:
I don't buy newborn sized diapers. My thoughts are that newborns go through so many in a day that once you have a stash of enough newborn diapers you've spent too much money and they won't stay in them long. So we skip that altogether. We used disposable diapers with Kenley for a few weeks until she fit in the next size (which are still pretty small). Plus we had diapers that people had given us that we needed to use up.

Before babies are eating solid food they wet often so you need way more diapers for a new baby than a 6 month old. So even though we love all in one diapers it wasn't cost efficient for us to start out with them. For Kenley, we used Bumgenius Flip diapers. You buy a few covers and then several inserts (which are much cheaper than a whole diaper). Most of the time the cover didn't get dirty so you can just change the insert. A great way to bulk up your diaper stash.

Cloth diapers keep their value very well so you can buy used and sell yours when you are done. We have several new and several used. It might sound gross, but these things are probably cleaner than most your clothes -they get washed well, washed often, and most don't even get stained. If you just can't handle to buy used, no problem - buy new, use, then sell because someone will buy them!

Everyone always wants to know about the poop! Here's the deal. We all have to wipe poop no matter what kind of diaper our kids wear. Here's the difference with cloth. For newborns, the poop is pretty much liquid and can go straight in the wash. I promise it cleans all out and goes away (just like dirt and other stuff). For older babies, you just dump it into the potty and that's it. AND older kids don't poop that often so it's not that bad.

2 awesome poop dealing tips:
They make these thin liners that you can lay in the diaper and then when you change the poopie diaper you just take that piece of liner and dump the whole thing in the potty. I pretty much know which diaper change Kenley needs a liner in (even though I usually don't use them).

The diaper sprayer is awesome. It's a little sprayer, like a small hose and mini shower head that attaches to the potty and you just spray the diaper clean. It's quick and easy and totally worth it. I prefer that over using liners.

So there it is! My 19 months of experience. :) Several people are interested in cloth diapering, but never end up doing it because there's so many options and opinions that it gets way too overwhelming. I used to feel that way, but it really is super easy and REALLY does save money. If you hear that it doesn't remember what I said first. Not everyone does cloth to save money and so it might not be saving money for them. You can get some super fancy diapers for a lot of money. You can decide you need to have every color or every pattern and get way more than you need. See what I mean. But if you keep it simple it saves. Yes! Even though we use more water washing them. Even Chris will agree and he's head of the Jeans' Household finance department! He was on board for trying this in the beginning, he changes diapers, and he like them, too.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Last day of preschool

Last Thursday was Wyatt's last day of preschool. I'm so glad we decided to send him to Promiseland Preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He learned so much, worked very hard, and make some great friends. I can't believe that next year will be Pre-K. He's growing up so fast but it's so fun to watch him. I absolutely love his kind heart, playful curiosity for everything, desire to work hard and make us proud, and his contagious giggles.

Some big things he learned this year:
-his ABC's (he can sing them and recognize some of them)
-his numbers (Counting 1-11 sometimes a little farther; 1-10 in Spanish, and he recognizes 1-10 with a few mistakes sometimes)
-how to write his name (sometimes the letters aren't in the correct order, but I love to watch how hard he works on writing)
-shapes and colors (he's been doing these for awhile)
-and he continues to love crafts (scissors, paint, water paint, glue, anything you give him can turn into a masterpiece)
-how to buckle and unbuckle himself in the carseat and unbuckle Kenley (I know that's not a school thing, but it's very exciting to us)
-lots of Bible stories and most importantly that God loves us

I asked him to pose for his "Last Day" photo, but we were walking into school with a friend and he was not focused on picture taking. I told him to put his hands down and then he ended up like this: 

It was busy during the class party so I didn't get many pictures, but here's one of Wyatt making a silly face.

And when all the kids got up to go play Kenley wasted no time taking over Wyatt's leftover fruit.

The next day this sweet boy wanted to help me make pancakes. After stirring the batter, he wanted to help some more and so I found him the perfect job to keep his little hands busy. He was so proud of his job and so was I. I jokingly  sent Chris this picture in a text and said that I've waited 4 years for this. :)

We are so very proud of you. Every day you amaze us and make us smile. Your sister is your biggest fan and you are her big brother that is always protecting and taking care of her. You worked so hard this year and earned several special stars from your teachers for being Godly and kind. Every day I'd ask you in the car how your day was and after answering you would always ask how mine and Kenley's day was. That's just one example of how you care about others.

We love you so much. xoxo

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