Thursday, January 31, 2013

library book love - toddler version


Source: amazon.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Judah had me keep this delightful little book called "Two Tall Houses" for a second week in a row. This book is all about two best friends Owl and Rabbit and how their friendship is tested by each other wanting a taller house than the other. They have this building competition that turns south pretty quickly and the wind ends up knocking down both houses. In the end they have nothing, but each other. The final page Owl and Rabbit are sitting side by side sharing the same house. I love how Judah will grab me tight and say "cuddle mama" just like Rabbit and Owl are cuddling.  

Also my two year old thinks its hilarious that rabbit "doesn't have any pants"




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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

speaking love


I wanted to thank each of you for speaking words of love, hope and compassion into my life yesterday after I wrote my post on "behind the abortion".  I do want to personally thank each of you who have commented, I was afraid to share my story and each of you have been so gracious with your words. Writing that post was the hardest thing I've ever written. Not many people knew the details of the whole story of what I went through, not even my husband until a few months ago. I didn't like to share about the details of what happened because its something I don't like to "relive" when I tell it. Even after I blogged about it yesterday I had to keep myself busy so I didn't dwell on the emotions of my past. I thought it was important to share my story, especially if it helps someone. I believe when people speak boldly about something that kept them chained in fear for so long, that they will find healing in speaking out their fears.  Your words helped healed certain areas of my heart.

thank you
xo



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Monday, January 28, 2013

behind the abortion

I struggled with this blog post. Not because I haven't shared parts of this story before.  I struggle with the heartbreaking back story behind why I had my abortion when I was 17 years old. Its a dark story of my past that I think about and regret daily. Not  a day goes by in which I wished I was braver and made a better decision. But its hard to be brave when your in the middle of abuse. I do not know the stories behind all the women who have abortions. But I am sensing a general blanketed assumption from some people that most of the women who have had them love to "kill babies". I wanted to share my story. I don't want to kill babies, I never had and I never will. I love babies more than anything in this world and  Judah is the greatest blessing in my life. I cherish that boy. I hope by me sharing my story that someone out there reads this and realizes the deep pain that is associated with having an abortion. 

When I was 17 years old, not knowing any better I dated a man who was just like my abusive father. Alex was a few years older than me and looking back I think it was illegal for him to date a girl still in high school. I was beginning my senior year of high school in Tampa and I noticed with in the first few weeks of walking the hallways I would get really really sick. I was in honors classes and typically loved school but I was tired all the time, running to the bathrooms to throw up and daily struggling with my school work. One day when Alex picked me up from school, drove me to a Burger King, handed me a pregnancy test and told me to take it in the bathroom. I never thought I would find out I was pregnant in a dirty Burger King bathroom. When I hopped back into his truck I smiled and handed him the pregnancy test. I assumed this wasn't planned but this was still good news. He didn't speak to me on the way home. 

Once we got to my home I remember standing on the front porch and Alex (who already had a two year old daughter) turned to me and said "well you have to get rid of it". I didn't understand and asked him what he meant and he said I had to get an abortion. I was numb. I didn't know what to say to him and I couldn't tell my family because I knew my already abusive father would beat me up again over the news of me being pregnant. 

For weeks I put off the phone call to the clinic. I told Alex I couldn't afford it. I gave him books that I found in my high school library letting him know of the babies progress. He didn't care, he would throw the books at my stomach and he would drop me off on front of my job at McDonald's and tell me to get extra shifts.  When he was really drunk and angry, him and his brother would beat me, to the point of me cramping up and spotting. Alex was an evil man and I was scared to death of him. 

A day came after a particularly bad beating, I hid myself in my closet afraid my parents would know what was going on and called the clinic. I made the appointment. I was scared and didn't know what to do. If I didn't make the appointment Alex was very clear in his intent to "beat the baby out of me". When Alex drove me to my appointment I begged him to change his mind and he would just pinch me really hard in the arm so he wouldn't leave a mark on my face for the people at the clinic to see.

I remember laying down on the hospital bed, I saw the sonogram and the nurse told me I was around 13 weeks. I wanted to scream "STOP I WANT TO KEEP THE BABY" but I knew Alex was out in the waiting room and was afraid of what he might do. The nurse gave me some sort of drug and turned on a sound machine. I remember the doctor coming in and the cramping. Then I remember the blood, so much blood. When I walked out to the waiting room I told Alex "are you happy now". I hated him. But I hated myself more. 

On the drive home I was sick, kept throwing up and at one point Alex pulled over his truck really fast, opened the door and pushed me out onto the ground so I wouldn't get any throw up on his seats. 

Two weeks went by, I honestly blocked it all out of my memory. I had to go to the clinic for a follow up. The doctor checked me out and said it was okay to have sex. When Alex brought me home he forcefully raped me on my living room floor. This wouldn't be the first time. Alex wanted nothing more than to beat, use and torture my body and soul.

Eventually my parents found out I had an abortion because the mother of Alex's first child told my father. I was 17 years old and my father kicked me out of the house. I moved up to Virginia to live with my mom and step father. I was depressed, took sleeping pills to sleep at night because I had nightmares. I didn't want to go back to high school, I felt that I was different and that no one would understand what I went through. I hated myself and I wished I would have died. After awhile I moved back down to Florida to live with Alex in a trailer for a few months. I have police reports from all the beatings that took place. Part of me even accepted the beatings because I hated myself so much from what I did, I thought I deserved them and that it was Gods way of punishing me. Alex repeatedly told me over and over and over again how I was worthless, how I was a baby killer and how I will never ever have a child. That broke me. I hated myself. I hated myself more than anything or anyone I could ever hate. I hated myself more than I hated Alex. Finally I got away from Alex and his abuse and although I am currently in my early 30s not a day goes by in which I don't think of my baby and wished that I made a different decision. 

I live daily with my consequences of what I did. When I found out I was pregnant with Judah I was fearful to tell my husband because I thought he was going to beat me. Scott never has and never will lay a hand on me, he is the kindest person I know. But since Alex beat me so badly I was fearful that any man would do the same.  I was scared my first 13 weeks of being pregnant with Judah because I thought I was going to lose him, that God would punish me and take him away. When I first had Judah I woke Scott up one night crying and asking him "where is my other baby!!".

The reason why I am sharing this is because Friday was the 40 year anniversary of Roe vs Wade and I have been seeing anti abortion pictures of unborn babies and blog posts everywhere. Every time I read a blog post, see a picture of an unborn child or hear someone talking about how people "kill babies" I literally feel this deep sadness grab my heart and and pull me back to that awful day when I was 17. I hear Alex's voice screaming in the back of my head "you will never be a mother, you are a baby killer".

No one can get rid of the feelings of having an abortion.
My hope in this is that we are able to come along side some of these women just like me who are hurting deeply. Women who are afraid to share their pain because they fear judgement. If we love one another we are able to make better decisions. If someone came along side me and loved on me when I was 17 years old I would be able to say that I had a baby when I was 17, that he/or she was adopted into a loving home. Not that my abusive boyfriend drove me to the abortion clinic so I could terminate a life.

 I am a Christian, became a believer a few years after my abortion and I know that the Lord has forgiven me of so much. Its very hard to reconcile that forgiveness in my heart and head when I see people posting so many hurtful things about something I did in my past. Before we make assumptions or post up things that could be hurtful, lets try to think of the hurt hearts out there that need healing and think if the words we are saying are healing or hurting those broken hearts.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

encouraging it forward week 4


I want to share with you a story. On Wednesday when I took Judah to our weekly library date he wasn't behaving very well. I was pretty frustrated and discouraged. Leaving the library I realized that I didn't have anything to make dinner that night. Im normally not this unprepared for the week but this past weekend Scott did the grocery shopping and we were missing things for our meal plan. I needed to drive to clear my heart so I drove out to whole foods. I feel like the past few weeks I've been stuck in the house with a very defiant toddler, over burdened with every one's opinion on how I should be doing things as far as raising Judah and just feeling really discouraged  and overwhelmed (it was one of those days). When we drove up to Whole Foods Judah saw the Starbucks next door and asked for a "cake pop" and "milk". I leaned down and looked at him in the eye and said "If you are a good boy, meaning if you do not touch, do not throw things and do not scream while we are in Whole Foods I will take you on a Starbucks date and give you a cake pop and some milk". While we walked into Whole Foods I had Judah repeat to me "good boy, no throw, no touch, no screaming". I walked the store looking for something for dinner that's dairy free and easy to cook. Decided to get stir fry, grabbed a fruit cup for Judah and I to share and walked to the cashiers. All the cashiers were slammed except the line in front of me. The cashier was just waiting for the lady in front of me to pay. While I was standing in line my heart just felt this intense compassion for my son, he was staring at the cashier and I was staring at the heart cowlick on top of his sweet head and was overcome with this thankfulness that this is my son. That he is my sweet boy and that he listened and behaved really well while we were at the store. When it was our turn Judah said to the cashier "No touch!" and I had to explain that he was going to get a cake pop if he didn't touch anything and she went on to tell him that he did a good job. I said well he is very curious and Judah said "Curious George!" and we laughed. Then the lady said to me "I love your cowl where did you get it!" I said actually I make them, I own an etsy store called My Charming Colors. Then I felt this tug in my heart and I said "Actually I am doing this encouraging it forward thing, where I am trying to encourage other people to go out and randomly encourage people. I will totally give this cowl to you, to encourage you if you would be willing to take a picture for my blog". She had the biggest smile on her face, tore off the old scarf she had wrapped around her neck, took the cowl and was just beaming. I snapped a quick picture and we both just started to cry. My heart needed to see that one simple act of kindness could change someones world. Could brighten their day. That one simple gift could stir up so much emotion in ones heart. 

Giving this cashier my cowl encouraged us both. 

Who have you encouraged this week? Please share your stories so we can all be encouraged by them. 





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xoxo
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encouraging YOU for February


Im only doing Ad Swaps for the month of February. Would you like to be encouraged by a spot? 
Visit my sponsorship page and click on the small ad space and used the code "adswap"to reserve a space. I am offering this to 10 blogs or businesses. 

Also would you like to host a giveaway and encourage some one else with your product? email me at jessica.a.west (at) gmail and lets discuss how we can do that together!

Finally do you have a blog or facebook page with over 400 readers or followers? Would you like to host a custom ear-warmer giveaway from my shop? Email me and I would love to partner with you!


Also could you please vote for us? The numbers reset at top baby blogs and every vote counts.
xoxo

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encouraging it forward at the library

Judah and I have weekly book dates at our library. We have been going to this library since Judah was a baby the librarians know us, one of the librarians husband actually used to play in Scott's Sunday Worship Band at church with him. We wanted to encourage the staff since they work so hard on keeping the books in order, making sure they have plenty of children's books, programs and they have a great attitude and plenty of grace for the extremely active and loud toddlers that visit their library. I thought it would be really cute if we made them some heart shaped cookies. 

Judah assisted me in cutting out the hearts. I think he thought he was the sugar cookie because he 
ended up getting flour all over the place. Including his hair. 


Toddlers + flour + water does not = good. I should have blow dried the flour out of his hair before I gave him a bath. It ended up turning into this dough mixture and I had to wash it 5x to get it out of his hair. 


I wrote "Read" and "Books" on the cookies. The librarians loved them and said they were encouraged. 




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xoxo
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

library book love - toddler version





Source: amazon.com via Jessica on Pinterest


Judah's favorite library book this week was "Baby Bears Big Dreams". This is a sweet story about a little bear who talks about all the wonderful things he wants to do when he "grows up". Its filled with stories that only a child would think of, like a never ending play time or living in a tree house. Judah loves the storyline and enjoys the colorful and whimsical illustrations. At the end of the book the little bear returns home to sleep his own bed. 

If you would like to see a list of great toddler books click here. 

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xoxo

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Monday, January 21, 2013

do you like us


Hey guys!!! - Judah screaming

Do you like us? Well we like you to! We also would love it if you would vote for us on Top Baby Blogs. The numbers reset last night so everyone has to start over. 

All you have to do is click on this link CLICK ME . Then click on the owl to the left. You can do this on as many computers or phones that you can, also you can do this once a day!

Thank you so much! I only ask for votes twice a year and this really helps me with promoting my shop and it totally encourages my heart. 
xoxo

Judah wanted to do a little dance for you guys (below)


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Sunday, January 20, 2013

yarn-a-gram


This weekend should be called yarn-a-gram because I uploaded so many pictures on Instagram of Judah or myself modeling cowls I crochet. 

Some highlights of this weekend.

I was running at the gym on Saturday and my pants kept falling off because I lost so much weight! I didn't want to stop my workout so I walked to the front desk to see if I could staple my pants together so they wouldn't fall. But since I've lost so much weight the stapler wouldn't work. Then they gave me duct tape which also didn't work. So I borrowed one of those black jumbo binder clips and clipped together my pants. I was able to run for 3 more miles. 

Also Scott and I finally went on a date Saturday night! I forgot how important it is to have dates with your spouse. We went to the mall and walked around like a bunch of teenagers for a few hours. Then we hung out at whole foods, had dinner and talked for an hour. Scott thought I was acting like a giddy newlywed and when he mentioned that three hours had past I was surprised because I haven't been away from Judah longer than two hours in his entire life. 

Sunday we had a yummy family breakfast and finally reupholstered our Danish Teak dining room set. I'll put up a tour of the main level up on the blog soon. 

Other than that we tried to soak in as much family time as possible. Scott has been working 10-12 hour work days for awhile now and next week will be just as bad. I'm thinking we may need a mini family vacation after next week. 

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

encouraging it forward week 3

Today Judah and I stopped by the Fairfax Hospital to drop off some NICU hats I made for the preemie babies. Since the hospital is on a flu lock down we couldn't go into the NICU area but had to drop the hats off at the front desk. We were prepared. 


I wish you could have been there to hear the front desk attendant scream when she opened the bag and saw the hats. She loved them so much that she got up and said that she was delivering them right now to the NICU. It really made my heart smile and I really hope these hats encourage those parents who must be so worried about their babies. I hope that this hat helps them smile when they see their sweet baby wearing it. 


I wrote a note for each hat that said 

I hope that this hat that I crochet for your baby will encourage you and make your heart smile. I designed it to keep your baby's head warm and stylish.

This was such a fun way to use my gifts to encourage another person. My plan this year is to try to make 4-5 hats a month to donate to Fairfax Hospital's NICU unit.

Who have you encouraged this week? Link up below so I can read all about it!



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losing 20 pounds


Since last summer I've lost 20 pounds! It may not seem like allot in such a long period of time, but its allot for me! After I had Judah I was pretty depressed for awhile and it was hard for me to lose the engagement/marriage/pregnancy weight. Last summer I decided that I am going to be pro-active with my health. I didn't like the way I felt, the extra pounds were causing medical problems with me and I hated that I couldn't fit into anything and I didn't want to take pictures with my son. 

So I started walking and I started running. 

Last summer I weighed 180 (sometimes 181-182, depending on the day)
I measured
belly 40"
arm 14"
but 45.5
thighs 28.5

I stood on the scale earlier this week and was shocked to see that I weight 161!
I now measure
belly 36"
arm 12.5"
but 41"
thighs  23"

The past two weeks I started going to the gym at night when Scott starts to read Judah books for bedtime. At the gym I am able to unwind from the day and run with out worrying if Judah needs me at home. I feel that I am running longer, faster and feeling better after runs. Back in November my primary doctor and I were talking again for the hundredth time why in the world does my stomach/ovaries hurt after I had Judah. She suggested that I start working out my abs. I explained that I feel worse after I do an ab workout, but she made me promise to work on them for at least ten minutes a day and after two weeks I will start to feel a bit better. She was right, I just started using the roman chair again at the gym along with some other ab machines and after two weeks, I am feeling better! Im sure after awhile once I regain muscle my whole body will feel better.  

I'm not at the weight I want to be, but its nice to finally see some progress, it make me want the end goal even more. The end goal is to feel healthy, to feel better about myself, to fit into some pretty cloths and to boost my mood with running. They do say running is cheap therapy to help with those winter blues. 



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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

in sickness and in health...Brookes story

I wanted to introduce you to my sweet friend Brooke, she has an incredible story. A story of finding your soulmate, falling in love, having a family and enduring through unexplained illness. Her story resonates with my heart because Brooke has been one of the few friends that truly understands what it means to be married to someone you love who has an unexplained illness. 

Here is Brookes story....



I usually keep things positive and pretty sugar coated. I like to highlight the good in life without denying the bad. I use my blog as a happy place. I post pictures of my daughter, my recently enjoyed things (mostly food), I talk about my pregnancy and soon to be second daughter. I post about things I think are cool whether they're vintage or new while trying to remind myself to keep life simple and less cluttered. My blog is for me, and my family who read to keep up with our day to day life. I try to avoid getting too deep or introverted and keep it classy. So I hope you'll understand why I'm taking this opportunity on Jess' blog to go somewhere else today. Somewhere I try not to dwell in my everyday life even when it forces it's way in without my permission. I met Jess through the Internet and have yet to meet her in person but I feel so connected to her already. Connected as a friend, a woman, a mother, but mostly... as a wife. Early in our friendship Jess and I both shared with each other that our spouses struggle with health. While I wont go into her story, I can share a little bit about mine with you today.



Travis is my husband - the love of my life. My soul mate. We met first in high school. He was a grade younger than me but we shared some elective classes in a very small high school. As quiet as he was and even though I had a boyfriend, we eventually spoke and became friends. Travis is handsome, reserved, incredibly intelligent, laid back, and super creative. His hands can do beautiful things. In our years together I've seen him draw, paint, craft, build, carve, sculpt, tattoo, and welcome our baby into this world all with his own two beautiful hands. We stayed in touch throughout our classes but as I graduated it would be some time before I saw him again. I went around the world and back for what felt like seven different lifetimes before finally settling into Brooklyn NY. After years of a long term relationship and numerous rebounds I was finally single. I took a much needed break from the city and drove out to my hometown with a friend. Showing him my small town we randomly ran into Travis. I was flustered and feverish without explanation. We continued on our drive east but returned later that night for a party that Travis had extended an invitation to. I mingled with old friends and enjoyed the night. I had no idea Travis held any romantic feelings for me but I could feel them on the back of my neck that very night. In a casual conversation a slightly drunken friend of his spilled the beans about his long time crush and I was immediately nervous and back to the city I drove. Weeks later we moved in together. A year later engaged, and months after that we married, solidifying our union before god and all in attendance.




Here we are 3 apartments, 2 houses, 2 cats, 1 dog, our Luna, another any day now just 8 years later. I jokingly refer to the last few years as the dark years. I know that sounds so grim considering our growth as a family - but maybe you'll get it with some further explanation. As a girl when you dream about your husband you don't picture him sick. You can't foresee the possibility of struggle. You don't know what it feels like to be on a different page physically from the person you share your soul with. As you stand on the alter, hands entangle to recite the words "for better or for worse, through sickness and health" its never clear how soon that can come. I feel selfish even typing these words out. I'm not the one physically suffering and in pain. I'm just the one grasping to understand and support it. The one trying to cure my husband of something apparently no one else can put their finger on and figure out. I don't want to this to turn into a medical report so I'll just leave it with a few terms we exchange so often between us as husband + wife: Night sweats, stomach pain, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, vertigo, and pain that can only be described as someone stabbing you in the eye with an ice-pick. Some doctors say cluster headaches. Some say Neuritis. Some say blood toxicity. There are further physical complications that I wont divulge however much they effect his everyday life. He's spent the last 3 years slowly getting worse, researching, and eventually dying every single day. Some days he will only have one headache. Some days its six. He can only sleep a few hours at a time if at all. There have been prescriptions, experimental treatments, surgeries, and lots natural remedies. Neurologists, General Practitioners, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Acupuncturists, and Internists. Every week we try something new. We delve into nutrition and possible allergies. We restrict and identify over and over without any relief. While he's climbing his proverbial Mt Everest on no sleep for the past 36+ months I struggle with watching him morph into someone I almost don't recognize. There are mood swings, irritability, and obvious physical changes and emotional pain with no end in sight. Like I said, when you find your soul mate you never know things can change like this. In our society we are so familiar with infidelity, separation, couples driven apart by addiction, or irreconcilable differences. We see it highlighted everyday in Hollywood and broadcast on gossip tv news shows. But sickness? Lack of health and answers in modern medicine we are much more hush about. You don't realize the weight of your love until something you can't feel with your own hands wraps its wrath around your significant other. I hear him in pain. I see his will to live clouded by the unknown. He wakes up every morning to face a day of unknown pain and struggle. In turn I wake up not knowing what to expect in my husband.




Its hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel but I still have faith. Our dark days may have turned into months and then into years, but we're still here. We're still together. We are more in love than ever before however driven apart we may be by this sickness. Even if this is his battle to face I accept the challenge that the universe has put on me too. I must stay by him and support. I try to help research and bring relief. I lay in bed at night on my iPhone on message boards reading what others with similar ailments are trying for relief. I continue to work to support us and carry our health insurance. I try to continue our life with some normalcy to distract him from this nightmare. We're not putting life on hold. We're still making babies, taking trips, and planning our future together. I'm so proud of him for how he has pushed on with his personal goals in his own work too. Despite being so sick he watches Luna most mornings while I'm at the office. He continued his career as a tattoo artist full time and even opened his own Shop last spring. He has submerged himself in meditation and yoga to help distract and relieve his pain, something I always wanted him to join me in before the dark years. He may not be the laid back, quiet, shy kid I met in high school but he is doing as best as he can. I've watched his personality traits change because of his physical pain. I know my Travis is still in there somewhere deep down and I have faith that he'll feel better one day. It could be a few more years, or ten, I'm not sure. I don't expect him to return to who he was when we met - that would be insane. Who among us would stay so rigid throughout life and not grow through this journey? I'm excited to see the man that emerges from this battle and call him my husband. As much as my patience and understanding may waver some days, my love is unchanged. I have faith that we are going through this separately and together, for some reason beyond our current comprehension. I trust the universe and its paths for us. We may have separate schedules, bodies, and been forced apart by physical illness leading to emotion distress - but our souls bonded what we spoke on that twilight lit September evening: "For better or for worse, through sickness and through health".



to find out more about this beautiful soul
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

library book love - toddler version


The face says it all. Judah loves this book!



Source: amazon.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Maybe I've never noticed this before since I am a first time mom, but I love how children authors will take characters from classic children stories and give us readers an even sweeter story. For example in this book "Whats the Time, Mr Wolf?" the author takes the characters from the three little pigs and a handful of other classic children's stories and merges them into this wonderful story of surprise and encouragement. All the characters come together to try to secretly encourage Mr. Wolf through out the day when he thought everyone had forgotten his birthday. At the end of the day Mr Wolf comes home to a big surprise birthday party. This book is adorable, Judah wants me to read it to him over and over again and I'll often find him sitting on the chair alone reading it to himself. He even took it out of my library bag today when we went to exchange it for some new books. I love how this book goes hand in hand with how I am trying to teach Judah how to encourage others, its very sweet and endearing and teaches a great lesson of encouragement.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

tug of war


Judah is now at a stage where he is testing every sort of boundary with me, over and over and over again. This past weekend he has screamed at us, tantrum thrown himself onto the floor, thrown things and spit out his food. When we place him into time out he will either scream or look at us with these big alligator tears and say "I sad mommy, itsa accident". Its hard not to let him sit there the full two minutes when he looks so remorseful and sad. 

Today after his nap I took him to the backyard to play with his sand table. He knows the rules, no throwing sand and do not take the sand out of the box and dump it onto the ground. I sat on a chair next to him with my crochet and before you know it he is shoveling out big piles of sand onto the ground. I say "Judah Judkins, you know you are not supposed to do that, do you want a time out?"
he says "noooo" and then I say "okay then play nice and do not dump out the sand, keep it in the sand box", then he does it again and again and again. I brought him inside twice for a "time out" in which he said he was sorry and "no dumps". But he continued to take out the sand and dump it onto the ground. In my frustration I thought "I give up, why in the world do I care if he dumps out all of his sand. Its ridiculous that I have to correct him this many times for sand dumping. But I thought I don't want him to dump out the sand because he wont be able to enjoy his sandbox anymore with out the sand in it". Then for some reason I started to wonder if this is how the Lord gets frustrated with me when I continue to do something that is absolutely ridiculous. 

I feel like rebellion could have been my middle name growing up. I went against the grain on just about everything I did, including my faith. I always felt like I was in the middle of an epic tug of war with the Lord. Not wanting to do things His way, not wanting to listen to Him and just essentially ignoring Him and putting Him in a box tucked away somewhere that I could reach when I needed Him the most. I know this is not what He wants from me, He does not want my heart to be in the middle of a tug of war with Him. 

While I am feeling frustrated over having this tug of war over sand with my son, I started to see how the Lord is frustrated with me over MY tug of war with Him. How ridiculous I must look to Him when all He is trying to show me is a better way.  

I may not have won my sandbox tug of war with my son today, but he was able to give me a better understanding to my own little tug of war that goes on daily with in my heart. Maybe if I gave up on my tug of war with the Lord and ask him for help with my son, he would be able to show me how to work with my son and his little tug of war with me. 


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Sunday, January 13, 2013

cozy charming childrens cowl


My theory is, everything is cuter on a toddler and starting on Tuesday I am going to list some of these soft, chunky toddler cowls. Judah loves them, he wont try to take it off and unlike a scarf I am not worried that he may over wrap it around his neck because he thinks its funny. 


Also I listed a handful of these colorful ear-warmers that are perfect for keeping those tiny ears warm and stylish this winter. 




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Friday, January 11, 2013

encouraging it forward week 2

This week for encouraging it forward I wanted to create a care package for my friend Ivelisse. She posted a picture of her daughter Jules on instagram saying the doctors said she had the flu. I know their is nothing worse than your child feeling sick and we are right in the middle of flu season. So I crocheted a pretty child sized granny square ear-warmer, grabbed a few things I had around the house and made a Target run to the dollar section. 



I was trying to think, what would encourage a child who is sick. 
an ear-warmer to keep her head warm
pretty socks to keep her feet warm
chap-stick (in a fun flavor)
emergen-c for kids 
a pretty pink eye mask to help her rest
nail polish since all girls want to look pretty even when they are not feeling well
pretty pink purell
a cupcake notebook with a pencil to draw if she is feeling better
I also added some gypsy cold care tea for the mom

I wasn't able to mail the nail polish or purell since its on the USPS do not mail list but I mailed everything else. Last night Ivelisse sent me the sweetest tweet, Jules really loved her care package.  Since we are right in the middle of flu season its not hard to find someone who is in need of an encouraging care package. 


Who have you encouraged this week? I can't wait to read everyone's posts! 



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Thursday, January 10, 2013

plans change

I was planning on writing a different blog post today and had plans to hang out at a park with my friend Kendra and her kids today, but plans change. Last night Judah woke up at 2 am wanting to get into bed with us. I knew the second I walked into his room that something was wrong. When I picked him up his body was hot to touch, I changed his diaper and was asking him "are you hot" and he would respond "I hot" and I asked him "are you thirsty do you want a drink" and he said "drink". When I turned around to go downstairs to get him a drink he started projectile vomiting all over our bed. I quickly picked him up and woke up Scott who ran over to help. I sat on the ground holding my sweet boy while he puked it it all out. I kept thinking "Jess do not puke, focus on Judah, focus on Judah". He has only puked like this one other time in his life, last year when he and Scott were hospitalized with the Niro Virus, so we barely got any sleep last night in between trying to give him a bath to lower his temperature and just watching him as he tried to rest. Once your a mom you lose your right to sleep and when your baby is sick you dont even care about sleep, your focus is on your child.


Today while Scott went to work I tried to keep Judah's fever down. It kept spiking all day and the highest was a little over 103. Cheeks pink and glassy eyes, all he wanted to do was lay down on the couch with his stuffed animals and be near his mama. I honestly didn't mind and really enjoyed being so close to my sweet boy. 

Today I missed my workout, but here is a great post on Angie challenging herself with her workouts.
Every-time I read my friend post on her daughter Luna I am reminded of how Judah is growing up.

I'm kinda obsessed with crocheting toddler/children granny square ear-warmers. I'll be listing some in the shop if not tomorrow than Saturday. All depending on how Judah is feeling. 


Also I am pretty excited to announce the winner and link up for encouragingitforward tomorrow. 
Have you seen what its all about and have you entered the giveaway?

I'm off to try to get a few more hours of sleep before Judah wakes up. I've had only two hours of sleep in the past 48 hours and I am planning on waking him up early to take him to get tested for the flu at the doctors office. 


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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

library book love - toddler version



This weeks favorite library book is Sweet Hearts by Jan Carr. This adorable valentine book is about a panda bear who leaves valentine hearts all over the home. Judah loves the panda bears and it helps me teach him about encouraging others with love. This book would also make a great valentines day gift. 








Source: amazon.com via Jessica on Pinterest


Great Toddler Library Books. 

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