Monday, November 24, 2014

Toddler Toys {Gift Guide}

It's that time again. That's right. What in the world can I buy my child that he is going to love? Although we left most of Jack's toys at our old house, he still has way too much. Seriously, how do kids accumulate so much stuff? Amazon is my go-to place for online shopping. Can I get a woohoo for Amazon Prime?

Here are a few things I'm contemplating for Jack. Have you bought any of these and what did you think of them?

l. Learning Resources Pretend & Play Fishing Set

Melissa & Doug K's Kids Pull-Back Vehicle Set
Fishe-Price Wheelies Loops 'n Swoops Amusement Park

First 100 Words

Diggin HopTop Trampoline

Happy Trains Plush Rocking Horse

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Will I Survive the Terrible Twos?

Jack has been two for a whole two weeks and the terrible twos have hit this house. My dear son has always been on the difficult side, but now that he has hit two he has upped it to a whole new level. I would say that 85% of my time at home is spent keeping Jack from hurting himself or trying to stop him from destroying everything in his path.

I'm not exaggerating.I have references. The daycare workers where Jack goes are always asking me "how do you not just fall out?". I'm not sure how to answer, because some days it feels like I really could just fall out.

Teachers will understand when I say that the last thing I want to do when I get home is discipline a child. I'm always so worn out by the time I get off work that I just want to enjoy my baby. I'm not just physically worn out, but mainly mentally done from the exhaustion of dealing with other peoples kids all day. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and my kiddos but kids are kids and will wear you down. Coming home to a terrible two toddler just adds to my stress.

Here are some of his favorites:

  • Climbing on top of the recliner. As much as I watch his every move he still manages to get up there. I'm afraid that one day he will fall off the back of the recliner. 
  • If he isn't sitting on the back of the reclinter then he is jumping in it with it rocking swiftly.
  • Climbing is his favorite right now so he really enjoys getting in the computer chair and climbing on top of the computer desk where he feels like he has hit the jackpotl The computer desk is pretty much the drop zone for everything.
  • Pooping in the floor
  • Taking off his clothes
  • Peeing in the floor
  • Throwing himself on the floor when he gets mad
  • Slapping me when he gets mad
  • Telling me no
  • Throwing toys
  • Filling his mouth full of his drink and spitting it out
  • Unplugging everything
  •  Biting me and others
  • Screaming bloody murder just because I won't let him spill out a bag of chips all over the floor
  • Jumping up and down in the tub
There is just some of his current highlights. He is such a handful. Something about him being so feisty makes me love him a little twinge more. He's got real spirit. I hope he always stays strong-willed but I really hope that his goals change and his strong spirit will be pointed to a more productive path. Driving me crazy, trying to break his arm, making messes, and getting toys is not what I want him using his strengthes for. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trials of Single Parenting

1. Making decisions. Since you soley make the decisions then if things go work out it's on you. For example, Jack loves his bottle. He only gets one a day, at night. Since he recently turned 2 I truly debated about taking it away for good. Then I thought he will probably be my only baby, and it's just one a day, and he is already going through so much transition. So I'm letting it stay-for now. If this is a huge mistake then it lands on me. I can't place blame on anyone else.

2. Going to events. Jack goes to an amazing daycare. It is Christian based and they do a lot of family oriented activities. The problem comes when I just can't take off work for everything. I want him to have me each time parents are invited but I'd never make any money. This Thursday the daycare is having a Family Feast where family members can come eat lunch with their child. My Mom is going but I wish it were me.

3. Sharing the good. It was practically an everyday event me calling or texting my husband the newest cute thing Jack was doing. We got to share in that excitement. It was even better when we both got to experience it together. Only a parent will get THAT excited that their child finally ate a vegetable.

4. Picking things out. With the holiday season approaching way too quickly I'm doing my best to pick out just the right gifts. It has been enjoying in these past 2 years working together to play Santa. Not only will I miss getting to decorate my own home, but I'll also miss playing Santa with someone.

Beyond these there are so many little ways that being a single parent is difficult. I could talk about being lonely and the financial burden like most other single parents. It's not easy, but being a parent whether single or not, isn't easy.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week Two Goal Recap and Week Three Goals

1. Bring my lunch to work everyday this week.
Overall I didn't do too bad on this one. It wasn't every single day but there was more of an effort.

 2. Get EVERYTHING ready for Math/Literacy night by Friday.
Big fat negative. We had some illness that caused everything to get behind. I really wish I would have accomplished this goal because now today is super stressful getting it all ready.

 3. Finish Thanksgiving planning by Friday. During the weekend send out information.
I did finish the planning but didn't send out all information. I did to some but not all.

 4. Lay out Jack's clothes the night before school.
Although I did this way more than I usually do, I didn't do it each night before school. I recognize that the nights that I did lay his clothes out that things were much easier that next morning.

 5. Make sure the kitchen is clean before I go to bed.
Most nights I accomplished this which made me feel good.

I see the pattern of not accomplishing it all. It bothers me that I didn't get it all done. It would have been nice to say "Yes, I did this every night and it felt great". I guess I have the chance again this week.

Week 3 Goals:
1. Make a budget.

2. Pick out a hair cut/dye that I want. My plan is to get my hair done next week.

3. Work on not snacking (especially at night).

4. Drink more water. Isn't that on everyone's list?

5. Do a Thanksgiving activity with my nephew Bennett and my son Jack. I would like to do something that I can display for Thanksgiving supper.

Friday, November 14, 2014

On His Birthday

Today is my husband's birthday. That's weird. He is my husband and we aren't together. Reminds me of the Friends episode where Ross is losing it and saying I don't know where my wife is. I feel him now. I don't know where my husband is.

Days leading up to his birthday I kept feeling like I was forgetting something. I'd remember, "oh I need to get J a birthday present". Then I would have to remind myself that I didn't. His girlfriend will be agonizing over what to get him this year. A part of me is relieved because he was always so hard to shop for but mainly it is just sad.

I'm not sure if I was suppose to get him something from Jack. Is that the right thing to do? I know it would be the nice thing to do but since he isn't being so nice then maybe I shouldn't be either. Then I wonder if I'm just being petty. Do I send him a card? Do I even send a happy birthday text? Do I just try and stay busy that day to keep my mind off of it all?

The idea of him celebrating when he has turned our lives upside down makes my skin crawl a little. She is going to make him a cake. She is going to wrap his presents. She is going to wish him a happy birthday first. I'm his wife.

On his 35th birthday he will be a married man living with his girlfriend. On his 35th birthday I'll be a married woman living with her parents. On his 35th birthday my son Jack will be 2 with married parents.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Weekend in Review: Middle of the Week Style

Jack is all about climbing. One quick minute I go to the bathroom and come back to this. He got that Dr. Pepper. Determination in a toddler isn't so great for Mama.

My Dad killed this huge deer on Saturday. The little boys loved looking at it and saying "deer". I'm not such a huge fan of the deer hunting thing but for Jack's sake I let him look. More than likely he'll be a deer hunting enthusiast one day.

A part of me feels it's time for a haircut but the Mama in me just loves these curls. Jack is showing off his new boots that Nana got him for his birthday. He is also getting in trouble in this picture for throwing rocks. Why do boys love throwing rocks?

Other than what you see, I spent my weekend organizing my bedroom. I've had to go from living in a 3 bedroom house into one room. It's not easy but I've been making the best out of the space I have. Plastic totes are my friend. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Big Boy Shirts

Who doesn't love Children's Place? Recently I purchased several new items for a now 2 year old. I wanted to go with a bigger boy look and get away from the onesies and one piece outfits. I also had to force myself to step away from the matchy stuff (you know, the sets that only go together). Here are some new shirts that are now hanging in the closet.

wonder boy graphic tee
sport thermal
striped polo
oxford shirt
plaid shirt

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Christmas Wish

1. A vacation with unlimited mixed drinks, a beautiful scenery, and quiet.

2. A weekend to watch as much tv as I want and take as many naps as I want.

3. Thousand dollars to shop for just myself.

4. A spa weekend with my mom and sister.

5. A pile of books and unlimited Starbucks.

In reality I would take:

1. A margarita and a good Mexican meal.

2. To be able to watch How to Get Away With Murder and it not be interrupted.

3. To be able to buy some new winter boots.

4. To get my hair dyed and cut.

5. To read a magazine and drink a McDonald's White Chocolate Mocha.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 2 Goals and Week 1 Recap

Week One Goals
1. Turn off utilities to old house after cleaning it. 
We never made it back to the old house so nothing there got done.

 2. Order cupcakes for Jack's class.
Complete! The party was a success!

 3. Complete papers from lawyer.
Big fat negative!

 4. Walk 3 days.
Nope! I'm going to have to figure out something else. By the time I get home it is getting dark. I haven't seen Jack all day so I don't want to leave him to go workout. I'm not sure how to fix this issue so I can workout but I need to do something.

 5. Start a new book. I miss reading.
I did start a new book but I don't really like it so I think I need to throw it out and just start a new one.

Week Two Goals
1. Bring my lunch to work everyday this week.

2. Get EVERYTHING ready for Math/Literacy night by Friday.

3. Finish Thanksgiving planning by Friday. During the weekend send out information.

4. Lay out Jack's clothes the night before school.

5. Make sure the kitchen is clean before I go to bed.

Maybe I'm Cold Hearted?

I've always been one who could departmentalize. My Mom says this trait came from the Ponder side of the family. When Jeremy said he was moving out I got angry-not sad. I didn't beg him to stay or cry for him to keep us together as a family. In my mind I just thought "okay, he doesn't want us so what do I do now". I immediately starting trying to figure out the next step and making to do lists. It is who I am. Did I get sad? Yes. Do I still get sad? Yes. Do I stay sad? No. I feel that someone else's choices can not control our situation. Why beg someone to stay who wants to go? Maybe I didn't feel like it was worth fighting for? Maybe I was too tired of fighting for something he clearly didn't want.

It bothered him that I didn't cry, beg, or plea with him. Perhaps it's my pride.

There are many times when I get very sad. I can't look at pictures of happier times for too long or listen to certain songs on the radio. It becomes too much and my brain starts thinking and my heart starts feeling. I have to remind myself that looking back isn't helping us move forward. 

When things in my life get tough I've always been one to try and figure out a way to fix things and dig ourselves out of the mess. Of course, it was better when it was the two of us working together to make things better. Now that he is gone and Jack is my whole world I have even more of a fight in me. I don't want any of this to effect him in any way. If I'm down and upset that isn't going to make him feel like his best self. I have to put him first and not get myself down about the love that I lost or the betrayal that I feel.

Honestly, I don't feel like I am a cold-hearted person. To some people I'm sure they probably look at me and think why isn't she more upset. To those people I say "I just can't be right now. I have to make the best life possible for Jack and myself. That means that for now I have to put my big girl panties on and tackle things I've never wanted to do. For now, I need to survive. There are to do lists to work on and a life beyond divorce to make. I'll be sad another day, when I have more time".

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Jack is 2 in Pictures

This cutie in glasses had me laughing during Jack's birthday party at daycare.

Bennett came to Jack's room to celebrate with us.

They were in such a sweet mood. Giving birthday hugs is too cute.

Look at Jack's amazing cake! The lady who made it is wonderful. Not only is it a-dor-a-ble but it tastes so yummy! She is the lady we always use when we need a cake.


It was so hard getting Jack to be still for a picture. This is one of like twenty that it took to actually get a decent picture.
Yesterday was a lot of fun but it came with some divorce drama (ugh!). I love my baby Jack and he had an amazing day. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

I've Been a Mama for 2 Years!


This is the picture taken when I held Jack for the first time. It was a Friday, yet he was born on a Wednesday. I cried so hard that the nurse was nervous about handing him over to me. I couldn't wait any longer to hold him. I truly felt like a Mama. 

Oh this picture of Jack in his take home outfit makes me wish I could love on that sweet baby again. I remember just how he smelled and his little piglet sounds. He was so squishy and sweet and I would pay money to go back in time for 5 minutes to relive that moment. 

This second picture was taken exactly a year ago. A little one year old with a face full of cake. I had no idea that a year later I'd be going through a divorce and that the 3 of us wouldn't be spending his birthday as a family of 3. 

We are keeping it simple. A yummy Mickey Mouse cake from our beloved cake maker Ms. Brenda who seriously makes the best cakes in the world. We are going to eat his favorite meal-pizza. Lastly, we'll open presents. I'm also taking cupcakes to his daycare. It seriously blows my mind that he is two. I love him with every bit of myself. Although I miss my little baby I enjoy watching him grow and learn. I know this next year will be just as exciting, if not more. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure: November

Life According to Steph

When I saw this link-up I knew I wanted to participate. I love setting goals and I really love that the theme is chosen for you. November's theme is ORGANIZE. Being in my current situation really calls for me to get organized and this just might be the push that I need. 

I am choosing to organize these 3 areas:

1. Jack's clothes. Big hunking mess! His too small, just right, and too big are all mixed together in totes, boxes, on the bed, in the laundry room, in grocery sacks, at our old get the idea. 

2. My Christmas shopping list. Pieces of scratch paper aren't going to cut it this year. Finances are tight and I need to be smart. I need to make a plan and a budget. 

3. Finances. They are a mess! It's time to get it together. I've been dreading this for awhile. When your income suddenly gets cut in half in kinda brings you down. It's time for me to get over it. 

I hope to look back at the end of this month and really see a difference. I'll be sure to keep you in the know. 

Sleepless Nights

Jack is not the best sleeper. My Mom is always there to remind me that I wasn't the best sleeper either. She says that is the reason there is 7 years between me and my younger sister.

Last night was one of the worst nights in awhile. Jack woke up at 2:30 am and didn't go back to bed. We watched Lilo and Stitch back to back and one episdoe of SVU. When my alarm went off at 6:10 I just chuckled. It was the first time in a long time that I had even set it because my Dad always wakes us up around 6:30 but I wanted to try and get an earlier start. I did not want a 2:30 am early start.

Several times I had to remind myself how blessed I was to have a son to keep me awake. I had to repeat this to myself many times.

Work has been so busy. I am in the midst of getting ready for Math/Literacy Night, bookfair, AND we are in the middle of our fall fundraiser. As librarian, parent coordinator, and PTO treasurer I am involved in all three. Add getting a divorce, Jack's birthday tomorrow, and having to move all my stuff out of our old house and this chick is stressed out.

Thank you baby Jesus for white chocolate mochas that jolt me into gear and to the Dr. Peppers that keep that motor running.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Toddler Thanksgiving Activities

I do my best to stay active with my son Jack and my newphew Bennett. I love doing arts and crafts with them and learning activities. Here are some cute ideas I found on Pinterest. Feel free to follow my Active Mama board on pinterest my clicking here.

I'm loving this corkscrew fall tree!


Super cute and easy!

Turkey Clothespin Counting ... great for fine motor development as well as math centers.

Q-tip Painting sounds a little more manageble with a toddler. 

Get out the paint and download these free Thanksgiving q-tip painting printables at 1+1+1=1. Click here to find more free Thanksgiving printables!

I'm in love with these printable preschool packs. They are too hard for Jack (age 2) but most are a great fit for Bennett (age 3 and a half). 

Printable Thanksgiving Preschool Pack for toddlers and preschoolers. Preschool, homeschool activities. Printable Thanksgiving toddler activities.

I love making these little crafts with little ones. They make for great memories. Nothing like a toddler and paint.

thanksgiving crafts for babies | Thanksgiving Baby Craft - | Crafty Projects

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 1 Goals

1. Turn off utilities to old house after cleaning it. 

2. Order cupcakes for Jack's class.

3. Complete papers from lawyer.

4. Walk 3 days.

5. Start a new book. I miss reading.

10 of Me

1. I'm actually still in the process of getting a divorce.

2. My son Jack and I are living with my parents. 

3. I'm an elementary librarian at a K-5 school in Arkansas.

4. I have a nephew named Bennett that you will probably think is my son because I will talk about him a lot. 

5. Once upon a time I was a tv junkie, but now that I have a toddler running all over the place I only watch a few things. Right now I'm loving How To Get Away With Murder.

6. Jack is turning 2 on Friday and is a very wild little toddler. 

7. Jack was flown 2 hours away via helicopter at birth and was placed in the NICU for a few days. I had complications and have had 2 surgeries to try and correct my botched c-section.

8. The ideas of what I want to do are endless, yet sometimes it's hard for me to get off the couch. 

9. I'm a Dr. Pepper addict and I want to stop but my goodness that stuff is good!

10. My immediate family and I are very close. They are my everything. Being a Ponder again just might not be so bad.