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jackson

Life Lately

Well, it has been a hot minute since I have shared much about what has been going on with us! For the sake of being transparent, I really took this summer to step back and evaluate my intentions with this blog. I started it four years ago to document my babies and their milestones. Over time it has evolved into more and even a little side business for our family. I have felt very blessed to have a creative outlet that also provides something more for my family! Of course, as this space has changed, I have constantly asked myself what the right balance is. My children never asked to be on the internet, and I have worried more than once that they may resent it one day.

I am by no means opposed to occasional sharing, but I made an intentional choice over the past few months to not push anything on them. So, we have been making memories. We had so many magical days this summer that I have no photo evidence of, because I was with my boys instead of behind the camera. Do I still pull it out to capture precious moments? Absolutely! But a lot of the campaigns I worked on over the past year honestly required bribery with snacks, promises of doing something after the photo was taken, and just an exhausting effort to capture that ‘perfect image’. Truly, Jackson loves taking photos, and often loves posing and doing little photoshoots. When he is willing and excited, I roll with it. But if the boys are grumpy, irritable, and have no desire to have a camera in their face, I put it down.

Of course, focusing more on the moment and less on documenting it has led to the boys being pretty absent from this little blog. While I still don’t plan to share nearly as often about them as I used to, I also realize so many of you that read along started to when they were itty bitty! So, I thought I would use today for a little summer recap, and some candid and fun snapshots!

Jackson just turned four. I honestly cannot believe it! We made the last minute decision to enroll him in preschool, and he starts in two weeks! We went back and forth on whether it was the right move for him. Since he is an August birthday, we are in the situation where we need to determine if he will be the youngest or oldest in his class. I never imagined how much stress it would cause me! The preschool class we enrolled him in is 4 and 5 year olds, so if we would decide to send him to Kindergarten next year, this is the group he would be with! We are hoping it gives us a good taste of how he is able to keep up when he is the youngest! Preparing for preschool also hit me like a ton of bricks. I cried more tears over my baby growing up in the past month than I have in his entire life. It really does go SO fast and I just am not ready to imagine him leaving me for Kindergarten! I know I will blink and that first day of school will be here. Babies don’t keep, people.

Aside from preparing for school, Jackson is ALL boy. He loves Ninja Turtles, Dinosaurs, and anything related to Halloween. He really understands holidays and birthdays, and has already planned his theme and what presents he wants for next year 😉 His new favorite show is Rugrats, which makes this 90s child happy beyond words and I have loved watching it with him. We also finally kicked bedtime diapers (ALL OF THE PRAISE HANDS). He is still my snuggler, and usually sneaks into my bed around 5am every morning after his dad has left for work.

He really mastered his fear of the water this summer. On our first day of swimming at the lake, he fell off of a floatie, and had some anxiety afterwards. But every weekend he started venturing out further, and even started doing the doggy paddle and swimming for real! With a life jacket, of course. He loves to wish, and squeals with delight every time he pulls one out of the water with his fishing rod. We really had the BEST summer watching him enjoy lake life. Of course, his absolute favorite part of going to the lake was watching movies and sleeping in the top bunk!

Lincoln. My sassy little Lincoln turned two in May. He has just taken off with his speech and is at that stage where I melt at just about every thing he says. He still has that blonde hair and those blue eyes. After skipping an entire generation, my mom finally saw her genetics come through in a child (he looks so much like her!) Lincoln is fiercely independent, and opposite of his big brother who loves to be cared for, Lincoln wants to do everything for himself. And I mean EVERYTHING. He wants to feed himself, and get his own water from the fridge. He loves to be rocked, but likes to fall asleep on his own. He puts on his own shoes and pants, and has an opinion in what he wears. I rarely vacuum, because he demands control of it the second I take it out of the closet! He wants to put the toothpaste on his own toothbrush, and loves to put on his essential oils. He is just such a little MAN. By biggest complaint of my experience with baby Lincoln is that he just never has wanted to be a baby. I feel like I was a little bit deprived!

   

Of course, for all of his rough and tough-ness, my Linky Doodle is quite the cuddler. He gives out the best kisses and hugs, and loves to fight with his brother, declaring I am ‘Minky’s Mommy’. On that note, he has started calling himself Minky, and it is too precious for words. He is talking up a storm and will make his best effort to repeat anything he hears. Some of my personal favorites are ‘morning’, ‘not so scary after all (from his favorite book)’, ‘hug (I just LOVE that he says HUCK)’, and ‘frog, rock, fork, which basically all sound exactly like f**k’. I probably shouldn’t encourage those words, but I just can’t help myself 😉 Like his big brother, he loves turtles, dinosaurs, and monsters, which usually results in them fighting over the same toys. I am 100% a BOY MOM with these two.

Lincoln is a daredevil, and I have chased him down the aisles of grocery stores and out into the parking lot at the doctor’s, all while he sprints away and laughs like a maniac. We don’t take him out to eat or to places he needs to sit still very often, because, well, he WON’T sit still. I almost always end up chasing him into the bathrooms, or back into the kitchen, or anywhere he shouldn’t be. He is just all over the place, and so busy, all of the time! I’m sure as he grows I will love how active he is, but for now it is a pretty exhausting. Being able to go to the lake has been such a blessing, his grandma runs him ragged, and he lives for making ‘MORESSS’ around the campfire 🙂

My boys have quite the love/hate relationship with each other. While I would love to tell you all the snuggle, share nicely, and play together like angels, that would be a total and complete lie. They have started playing together more, but I am breaking up fights 99% of the time. When they do play together, they are LOUD and there are lots of squeals and screams (whether they are happy or not!) It has been fun to watch their relationship blossom, even though it is truly nothing like I imagined it would be. They protect one another, but are also the first to push each other’s buttons. Being so close in age, there is a lot of competition, and their interests are so similar that it makes sense that they argue. Of course, when those magical moments of them loving on each other do happen, it makes it that much sweeter.

For those of you that continue to follow along, thank you. There have been a lot of growing pains, both in real life and on this blog, in the past few years. I cannot imagine stepping away, but also appreciate patience and continued support as we navigate these waters. I am going to try and do little updates and sharing about the boys and what is going on with us a bit more frequently, so please continue to follow along!

Ninja Turtle Birthday Party: Jackson Is Four!

This weekend we had the best time celebrating Jackson’s 4th birthday! We have always done birthday parties on Saturday afternoons, but since his actual birthday fell on a Friday this year, we decided to go with it. And I loved how it went keeping it more low key! While we love cooking and preparing food, I always think it makes it so hard to focus on decorating and cleaning when you are also making a mess in the kitchen! So we did the ultimate in lazy, and ordered pizza. It was, after all, a Ninja Turtle birthday party, and ALL they like to eat is pizza, right!? I placed the order about an hour before we planned to eat, and aside from throwing some chips into a few bowls and picking up the cake, I had NO food to prep. You guys, it was AMAZING. There was also NO clean up. Am I allowed to order pizza from now on for every single party?

The Ninja Turtle Birthday Party Decor

The most labor intensive project for this party was putting up this faux brick wallpaper. I purchased it on Amazon, and it came in a HUGE sheet and was easy to cut. It was almost like a plastic table cloth in terms of feel. I was able to get it to stay on the wall by putting painters tape flat on various spots on the wall, and then placing a piece of duct tape on top of that to get it to stick! I used our wall under the staircase, which is angled. So, I had to cut a few pieces and it got a bit tedious to get them to all match up together. However, it was 100% worth it when Jackson woke up and thanked me up and down for making him a ‘turtle wall’. I will also say that if you put it up on a square wall with no angles, it would be much easier!

The adorable Pizza Garland was an Etsy find! Jackson kept playing with it, which is why it is a bit uneven in some photos 😉 And the FOUR balloons were just individual letter balloons I picked up. They come with little holes on top to put string through so you can spell whatever you want! I was honestly pretty relieved when Jackson asked for a ninja turtle birthday party; it is a pretty common theme and I had a LOT of options for decor ideas!

How cute is Jackson’s FOUR shirt!? I was able to customize the colors (because he ONLY wanted things with Michelangelo, of course) and I was so thrilled with how this one turned out!

I have started making the boys felt crowns on their birthdays! It has been so much fun to make them a crown that is EXACTLY what they want, and the materials to pull these together comes in at less than $5 a piece! 

I once again grabbed a cake from Little Nuggets Bakery, and decided to try cake pops this time, too! Kimberly is the absolute SWEETEST, and is so gifted at cake decorating! Seriously, how cute are those cake pops!?

For those of you that grew up on Rugrats, Jackson has discovered REPTAR and I found this stuffed one online! He LOVES it, and I am kind of loving him finding a show I watched as a kid!

My favorite letterboard from Mcleod Letter Co! I didn’t get too creative with it, but it is always the most perfect piece to add to bring something extra to a party display!

I imagine one day we will capture a family photo with all four of us looking AND smiling, but this was NOT that day. Family photos with toddlers are no joke!

These pictures of Lincoln KILLLLLL me. Clearly he did not get the memo that it wasn’t his birthday, but he was too cute to burst his bubble. He went and posed by the table and said cheese, and I had to snap some pictures. He also insisted on wearing the crown I made for his birthday back in May. Whatever floats your boat, little guy!

Once we ate our pizza we sang happy birthday. Jackson was SO excited! It has been so much fun this past year seeing how excited he gets over everything. Celebrating babies is great, but they don’t really get it. At the age Jackson is now, he understands what is going on and it makes it so much FUN to make things special and magical for him.

These brothers, melt my heart!

For any ladies in the market for a Ninja Turtles shirt, you can find my tank here!

We finished up the night by opening gifts, and called it a night! Like I said, with nothing but cake and pizza boxes, clean up was a breeze and I had ZERO dishes to do! It was such a great day celebrating our sweet, big FOUR year old with his ninja turtle birthday party!

Past parties:

Jackson: Minion Party

Lincoln: Two-rex

Lincoln: Wild ONE