The Right Kind of Mom

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Ya know, I struggle with this mom thing sometimes.
I struggle with knowing how to be the right kind of mom at the right time. 
It's ever changing and its something that has been weighing heavy on my heart lately.

When kids are younger they need you all the time. 
For everything.
Diaper changes, bottles, potty training, putting their clothes on, feeding them...

Here's the thing...I like and know what to do when I'm needed. 
It's where I feel the most comfortable as a mom.

As kids grow, they need you less and less and, over time, it will seemingly 
continue to get less and less.
But what I've been realizing is that I'm wrong. 
As I dove deeper into my emotion of feeling not needed enough, 
I realized that a transformation is happening.

There is a shift in HOW they need me...not how MUCH. 

Now they play by themselves, get dressed by themselves, wash their hair by themselves and it honestly leaves me feeling lost at times. 

But, them needing us just looks different now.
They need us in different ways.

Nowadays, they need me to know when to give them their space and allow them to play in their rooms while they do what their heart desires. 

Nowadays, they need me give them a pep talk when they're afraid to go back to school in fear for it being too hard and overwhelming.

Nowadays, they need me to hug them tighter and give them advice when one of their best friends wasn't as friendly to them as they had expected.

As they grow they need us more mentally and emotionally to guide them through things.
They need our love, affection, and whole-hearted attention to the situations and experiences they are going through.

I've realized that this very shift in parenting is what every life experience we have had has prepared us for. Everything we've been through has taught us lessons that we can now use to help our kid's journey. Because our job as parents is not to give them all the answers, but to be there supporting and guiding them in the best way we can. 

So, I've come to the conclusion that being the "right kind of mom" is simply giving our sweet babies our whole heart for their whole life. 

Pumpkin Hunting

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Today was the day! 
Today we went on our annual Gilcrease Orchard trip to go pumpkin hunting.

It's a running joke between Joey and I that I have pumpkin addiction.
Because of this self proclaimed problem, I limited myself to filling only one wheelbarrow with pumpkins instead of two like I have done previous times!
I overfilled the wheelbarrow by ONE, so Joey generously carried it to the checkout line, which if you've been there before, you know it's a trek from the patch to the checkout area!!
He is a good man.

I find it funny how every year I'm drawn toward a different type of pumpkin.
Sometimes it's been the odd shaped ones, short ones, huge ones, small ones, or white ones.
Today it was mostly ones that were tall, a darker color orange, and had a thick sturdy stem.
{Tall, dark, and handsome} :)
I did manage to find ONE super cute greenish/white one that makes a nice statement amongst his dark orange counterparts.

 We learned something today! Not all the pumpkins that are sitting in the patch are grown there.
There would be no way they could grow enough to have the supply for all the people who go there to buy pumpkins.
It's cool.
There have been plenty of times when we did actually cut a pumpkin off of the vine there...almost did today, but our wheelbarrow was full!
Plus, just being able to walk through all pumpkin vines and flowers is super neat, I think.
It creates an experience unlike any other!

In years past we would all end up sweating our booties off walking around the patch, but today we were faced with a chilly wind and some fierce dust storms.
Wind is the worst!

Despite all of that and the crazy amounts of people who were also there baring the wind, we had fun walking up and down the rows and rows of pumpkins hunting for "just the right ones."
Jojo and Bell were especially excited to look for pumpkins that would be the best for carving, which is maybe why we chose mostly tall ones!

Another big difference from years past was that Bell didn't have to use the bathroom!!!!
Now I know this sounds crazy, but this is a big deal for me because I get really really grossed out with having to use the outhouse bathrooms,
 No ventilation, no flushing, no sink.
On our way home I even gave Bell a high five and a big thank you for not having to go to the bathroom while we were there.
I'm ridiculous, I know.

Interestingly enough, this is the one thing in my life that I have continually blogged about.
I am HUGE on traditions. 
My mom did an impeccable job of keeping traditions alive for Justin and I as we were growing up and even now continues some of them with Jojo & Bell.

I will always strive to keep this tradition alive!!
It makes my heart so happy.

Pumpkin Patch

Sunday, October 22, 2017

So I've noticed my blog has turned into a birthday & pumpkin patch only blog.
Hmm...need to work on that...

Life has been so busy lately.
Like busier than I could have ever imagined.
But some how taking our annual trip to the pumpkin patch trip was high on my weekend priority list.

I've diagnosed myself with a "pumpkin problem."
I have an unhealthy obsession with them.
 Last year we bought every pumpkin I liked.

This year, I gave myself a limit and told myself it was ok to leave some of the
good ones for other people to find and that they didn't all need to be in my entryway.
There is something about the odd shapes, colors (orange & white), stem,
 and vines, that speak to my little bumpkin heart.
Pumpkins are just beautiful!

This year we headed to Gilcrease super early in the morning. 
They open @ 7:00 am, we were there at 7:30.
Last year, we went on the weekend later in the day and quickly learned 
our lesson to come before the crowd.

For the first time since we've been going to Gilcrease Orchard, we had to wear sweaters!
It was so great because it kind of felt like Fall. 

The kids found their pumpkins pretty quickly, but as everyone knows who has kids...
right when we were in the middle of the pumpkin patch and far away from bathrooms,
Bellamy had to go potty.

After that was handled, we had such a good time admiring (not picking)
all the gorgeous pumpkins that were there.
 I'm happy to say, I kept my pumpkin problem mostly under control.
It always seems to rear its ugly head as we are walking out of the patch and up 
towards the checkout tent.
It's like I get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out)!!
It's crazy, I know.  

"I'm Jessica, the pump-kin queen"
(Jack's song from The Nightmare Before Christmas)

Anyway, going there makes me so happy and making that a tradition with Joey and the kids
is like the icing on life's cake.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

pumpkin man.
 little mister.

This sweet boy turned six on June 3rd.

How did this happen?!

It literally feels like I was just sitting in the hospital room,
 after having him 2 weeks earlier than expected,
wondering how would I know what to do 
once we took him home.

  He has grown in so many ways this year and
his little personality has been shining through like a bright star.

He has a natural ability to start up a conversation with just about anyone and 
makes friends with kids everywhere we go!

 He has always been a cool kid, but this year 
he developed a type of swagger that can't be taught.
I loved catching his eye on the playground at school 
because along with a big smile 
he would give me a head nod like "what's up" 
and...ready for this...a wink!
Two words:

He's pretty much got a handful of little girls at
Bellamy's dance studio wrapped around his finger.
 Every time they see him they say "Hiii Joseph" with a tiny wave and starry eyes.

Bellamy is his #1 girl though.
She's his partner in crime, preferred wrestling partner, imaginative play buddy,
and major source of comfort.
They are like two peas in a pod.
Although they know exactly how to push each others buttons they have a
special bond that I think only comes from
not knowing life without each other.

He still has a love for vacuums, mops, tools, and trash trucks, but it has lessened slightly
and his focus has shifted to his newest obsession:
His Nerf battles with Daddy are nothing short of a real life Call of Duty game.
He pulls out these amazing tactical skills and aiming abilities
that look as if he has been through some sort of police training camp.
He blows me away!

This boy is equal parts sweet soul, kind heart, & tough spirit at a mere 6 years old.
Watching him grow is one of my greatest joys.

This is 5

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

On the night of May 6, my life changed forever. 
That was the night my sweet precious baby girl entered our world.

I remember that day like it was yesterday.
She was ready for this world, entering it at lightening speed!
Little miss Bellamy doesn't do anything half way. She throws herself wholeheartedly into everything she loves; dancing, singing, coloring, baby dolls, barbies, school, and family/friends. 

Her nickname around our house is bouncy Bell. For as long as I can remember she has had a happy bounce in her step as if she is somehow floating on air. Most days you can see her joy for life radiating out of her cute little face.

She's constantly the star of her own life musical as she makes up a song for everything she does and sees. As long as Bell is singing we know she is OK.

Jojo is her main man. He's her creative accomplice, wrestling partner, the dad when she's playing house, and the person who can annoy her the most. Their relationship really is so special and honestly reminds me of the type of bond I have with my brother. It's deeply knit and life long.

Bellamy's unspoken confidence is something I most admire about her and at the same time find the most difficult to parent. She is very in tune with herself and knows very clearly what she likes and dislikes. We try our hardest to foster this strength in her, yet at the same time help her broaden her horizons.

Speaking of confidence, you can often find her leading a work out routine or parade around the school playground with a group of her friends trailing behind her listening to and mimicking her every word and movement.
It's really quite incredible to watch the way she can lead a crowd!

After doing just ballet and tap for the last two years, she started jazz this season and wow did it open up a can of sassy worms!
The day she learned how to sassy walk I'm pretty sure "A Whole New World" was playing in her head because it was as if the sassy walk was created just for her!

I spend the majority of my day with Bell & Jojo, but my favorite part of the day are the moments right before I kiss them goodnight. This is the time when Bellamy tells me the most important stories from the day, asks me questions about tomorrow, and just generally likes to talk. I feel the most connected to her during that time and cherish every little word she wants to tell me.

My girl is only 5, but she is larger than life, wise beyond her years and one of the greatest little kiddos I know.

Pumpkin Picking

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two weekends ago we took our annual Gilcrease Orchard pumpkin patch trip.
This time Joey, a total newbie to the joys of pumpkin hunting, came with us!

In the past I had always been able to take the kids during the week in order to avoid the crazy amounts of people who go on the weekend...not this year.
 I started teaching again so we were only able to go on the weekend, however, it came with one major perk...having daddy with us for the first time!

Before we even got to the orchard parking lot we could see cars parked along the side of the road as if to say the main parking lot was full...oh goodness.
Well, I should have known that having Joey with us was a good luck charm because despite the parking lot being full we found someone pulling out pretty darn close to the main entrance of the orchard.

At that point I said to everyone in the car, 
"I know it's going to be madness, but it's ok...we are here with each other and we are going to have fun."

I kept that mentality up as we fought through the crowd of people and had to patiently wait for a wheelbarrow.
Once we got our wheelbarrow we booked it down the long stretch of dusty dirt road till we reached the pumpkin patch, which was way less crowded than the entrance area and walkway had been. 

As per our last trips to the pumpkin patch, I was mentally prepared for one of the kids to have a melt down on THIS trip, but to my dismay both kids were great and had so much fun! 
I think I owe that to Joey's persistence with keeping the kids (& me) hydrated with his camel pack!

This year, unlike past years, Gilcrease had grown white...yes, WHITE pumpkins!!

They were gigantic, heavy, & so incredibly beautiful.

 By the end of our pumpkin hunting adventure we had 200 lbs of pumpkins in our wheelbarrow...

That was the day Joey discovered he had married a pumpkin addict, buuuut...
I wouldn't have it any other way! 

Picking pumpkins right from where they grow will always be my favorite fall activity. 

I'm so thankful this year, despite the crowd, that Joey came with us and we in fact had the best pumpkin picking time to date!

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