Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wrestling Rather than Rhyming

Instead of the usual stories I've read a hundred times, last night I decided to break out the nursery rhyme book that Jaxon's Granny gave to him. Here is a conversation between Jaxon and I during our first attempt at a bedtime rhyme.

Me: "Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet..."

Jaxon: "Little Miss Muffet?"

Me: Yes. Little Miss Muffet. "Eating her curds and whey."

Jaxon: Curds and hay?

Me: Whey. It's whey not hay silly! "Along came a spider..."

Jaxon: A spider! Ahhhh! Daddy's scared of spiders. Are you Mom?

Me: Only the really big ones! "... and sat down beside her,"

Jaxon: Mom?

Me: Yes Jaxon?!

Jaxon: Do you like sharks?

Me: I'm scared of those! Would you like to finish the rhyme?

Jaxon: Oh, shore! (He pronounces "sure", shore!)

Me: "... and frightened Miss Muffet away!"

Jaxon: Mom?

Me: Yes Jaxon!

Jaxon: Can I go watch wrestling w/ Dad?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Duct Tape Body Cast

Today wasn't any different than any other day here at home. We woke up this morning to a beautiful fall day, had some jelly toast, watched some Dinosaur Train, did some laundry, dishes, pet chores, the usual. Jaxon was out the door to explore pretty early on so I had a chance to sit and play for a few minutes and after the day we had yesterday, Mommy-Time was much needed!

After lunch we picked up our totally trashed basement and headed back outside to enjoy the rest of our day together. There wasn't much animal talking that had to be done today, that is until Jaxon stumbled across "Scary Guy"! If you've been following my blog you may remember me mentioning that "Scary Guy" was our first of rubbery friends and that Kent hit him with the mower a month or so ago!

Right before coming in to make supper tonight I asked Jaxon to help me water the gourds that I planted right behind our house. He has helped many times with this and had never noticed his mangled friend in the bottom of the milk can I have in my flower bed directly in front of the water spout... this time was different! As I picked the water filled ice cream bucket up from the top of the milk can I had been resting it on, I noticed Jaxon staring into the bottom of that can w/ a look of total terror! He reached in and pulled out the tattered, rubbery lizard he had once loved so much.

I wasn't quite sure what to say but before I could say anything he looked at me and said, "Can you fix him Mom, with tape?" We ran inside, grabbed the roll of duct tape and began mending the torn in half, back legs missing, no more beady stuffing, rubbery friend. Luckily, he was pleased with the duct tape body cast that's holding "Scary Guy" together. He is now resting peacefully w/ his badly injured friend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Not So "Ace" of Cakes

I come up with ideas that sometimes turn into all out disasters and too often I catch myself saying to myself, "what was I thinking?!" Today I had another one of those not so finest of moments!

My hubby's birthday is Sunday so naturally I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to practice my cake decorating. Jaxon & I found a recipe for a homemade chocolate cake and decided since Grandma's b-day cake was white, we'd dabble in chocolate. We made the cake yesterday, so we could freeze it and have it ready for this mornings grand adventure!

When Kent and I got married I asked my cake lady to use fondant instead of the traditional wedding cake frosting that gives everyone bad belly aches. She sort of chuckled and said that she didn't do fondant. When I asked why, she told me that it didn't taste good and that it was hard to work with. I am a huge fan of the TV shows Ace of Cakes & Cake Boss! They are constantly using fondant... what could be so hard?!

I found a recipe online for a marshmallow fondant and decided to give it a try. The recipe was relatively easy to follow and I was excited to begin my practice session. I for some unknown reason decided to wait on coloring my fondant until the day of decorating... this was my first mistake!

Jaxon had decided that we needed to make a Superman cake for Daddy so I got busy making my stencils and thought to myself, "this is so simple, why haven't I tried this before?!" (Keep in mind, I am just drawing shapes and cutting them out at this point!)

I woke up this morning to a not so clean kitchen so while I waited for Jaxon to get up, I cleaned! By the time he woke up I had the cake prepped and the frosting ready... (oh yeah, did I mention that you must have regular frosting covering your cake before you lay your fondant over it?!) Anyway, we quickly frosted the cake, no problems there. We set aside a little extra to use as adhesive for our cut out shapes and began to unwrap our ball of fondant.

I split the fondant into 3 sizes and began coloring the base for the cake. This is when my morning got a little interesting! First of all, the food coloring wasn't blending quite as well as I had imagined and the fondant was taking on a marbled look! Second, I ran out of blue food coloring so when I finally got it blended the color wasn't right! Next I found that the wooden rolling pin I bought the other day doesn't work too good and that my Mom's marble pin will be borrowed for my next adventure! And finally, (this is my favorite part), the wax paper I was rolling my fondant out on had stuck to the frosting so when I went to peel it up to lay it over the cake, it wouldn't budge! I had to start rolling it out all over again after prying it up with a knife!!!

I, at that point sent Jaxon to the living room for some cartoons, turned up Pandora Radio on my computer, used a few choice words and decided that I was not giving up! Two and a half hours later from the time I started, I had a Superman cake. It's not as pretty as I had hoped but it's done! And if you didn't already think I was crazy... I am SO doing it again in a few weeks for Jaxon's birthday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Adorable Niece

There are many stories to share about my little munchkin Jaxon, but there's another little person in my life who I adore as though she is my own, and that's my niece Mackensi! She and Jaxon are only 3 months apart and are double trouble as a pair! I do not desire ever to be the mother of multiples but spending time with these two (almost) 3 year olds is a hoot!

Last winter, Mackensi was spending the day w/ Jaxon & I when she said something to me that to this day still has me in stitches every time I think about it. We were all outside playing when I hear Mackensi calling for me. "Manny, Manny, HELP!" I am less than a foot behind her and I can see that she is stuck between to very tall weeds, (ones that Jaxon has trampled through many times). As I approach her and begin to release her from her weed trap I say, "Oh Punkin, are you alright?" She looks at me as serious as a heart attack and says, "I not Punkin, I Mackensi Meier!"

This little lady has a pretty good grasp (at a very young age) of who she is and what she is all about and I love that! I am excited to become an Aunt again, Mackensi's Mommy and Daddy (my brother) will welcome the newest member of our family in October. I, myself, am selfishly hoping to have a nephew (since I don't have one) but also so Jaxon has a little boy cousin to play with too!

My Mom called this afternoon and asked if Jaxon and I were free to come visit, Mackensi was at her house! I excitedly told Jaxon the news and asked if he'd like to go see her. He had a hard time getting his Crocs on he was so excited! As I was helping him to get them on he told me he thought Mackensi was a very pretty girl and asked if he could pick her a flower! I almost cried... what a sweet little guy! When we got outside I asked which flower he'd like to pick for her but at that point he just wanted to get over there!

While we were there my Mom had to go pick up my sister from volleyball so we all got to ride along. The two little ones were all buckled up in the back carrying on conversations of only God knows what, when I hear in the sweetest little voice, Jason Aldean's "Big Green Tractor"! Word for word, my adorable niece was singing her heart out!

It comes as no surprise to me really! For any of you that know my brother Dusty, he is a die hard John Deere tractor fan! Since this is a song that is near and dear to Jaxon & I as well, I found her singing to be some of the sweetest I've ever heard! Watch out Taylor Swift, Mackensi Meier is up and coming!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Birthday Party Countdown

Every morning I start my day not only w/ coffee but a review of the calendar. I am currently in the middle of finishing up Jaxon's birthday party planning for the year and today marks the 20 day deadline! It's bittersweet really, I have been planning since January and don't get me wrong, I'm really excited to see it all come together but part of me will be disappointed to see the planning come to an end!

The summer before Jaxon's 1st birthday I discovered that planning a party for a child was more fun than I could have ever imagined! I also found out that your options are endless but finding exactly what I was looking for was not so easy! The theme that year was a circus theme, I chose this mainly because the food options would be inexpensive and his fave food at that time were animal crackers!

I am a very theme oriented person and want everything to match. I looked and looked that first year for a prepackaged party set that fit the circus theme. I found a lot of stuff out there but nothing caught my eye. Plus these sets were expensive and you can't mix and match or add and subtract items to your purchase. That is when I decided to make my own party set. I started with the invitations. I then branched out and made labels for the drink cups that matched the invites as well as the party banners.

I chose red, yellow and blue as my colors. The tableware, balloons, invites, party banner, welcome sign, Jaxon's outfit and the cakes all had these colors in them. BirthdayDirect is my party source for any of you looking to buy solid color tableware. It's inexpensive and they have a great selection of mylar balloons!

Party number 2 was farm themed. I decided that year to paint a mural in our basement, it was a farm scene and I thought that it would make a great backdrop to his party. I am finding that every year I do a little more, get a little bigger and spend more time perfecting every little detail. This year's theme is Planes, Trains and Trucks. I try and use things that he is really into, I also pick very classic themes so that in the future when I don't have as much time I can reuse some of my stuff.

Some of the new things I am trying this year are party favors and designing my own cake! These things are all ran by Jaxon first, he helped pick most of the things I am using plus he has been a big help in the kitchen as I start to practice w/ the cake baking and decorating!

I have read that you shouldn't make a big deal out of birthdays... I DISAGREE! I hope to one day look back w/ my children and show them pictures and share stories w/ them of how we planned for months to make their special day as special as we could. This is a family tradition that I plan to pass on!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Sea of Wal-Mart

Jaxon has never really had a security "blanket". Not that we haven't tried to attach him to something other than his Thomas the Train sippy cup (that he insists on sleeping next to at night)! We tried pretty early on to put stuffed animals in bed w/ him and for a short time we did manage to get him to sleep w/ a friend we called "Sleepy Bear". Once we switched him to a toddler bed, "Sleepy Bear" sort of lost his appeal.

When he realized that he could get out of his bed and climb into Mommy & Daddy's (at times unnoticed), "Sleepy Bear" got ditched totally. Quite often we will find other friends sleeping next to us and some of these friends are not so soft.

Jaxon has always loved those rubbery, realistic animals you can find at Target and Wal-Mart in the dollar aisles. His first rubbery friend was a lizard he named "Scary Guy". He recently was hit by our lawnmower (very sad)! Luckily we had "Scary Guy 2"! Right now, his other friends a grey shark, an orca, an iguana a.k.a. "Scary Guy 2" and a chameleon are our bedfellows.

This morning we were "talking w/ the animals", I was the orca and the orca asked Jaxon - the grey shark, "Where are you from? The Pacific ocean, the Atlantic ocean, the Indian ocean or the Red Sea?" He responded with this... "I from the Wal-Mart sea!"

I love his honesty! To him, everything comes from Wal-Mart so why would it be any different this time?!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Backyard Pumpkin Patch

I have always loved pumpkins & gourds so I thought it's be fun to try and plant some of our own this year. Jaxon has helped w/ the planting, watering, weeding and finally the harvesting. Our pumpkins haven't done too well and I'm afraid that an early frost might get them before they are ready, but our gourds have done quite well.

Jaxon has been asking for weeks "can my pick one Mommy?" I was afraid I'd go out one day and see that my little helper had picked them all early but luckily for me, he actually listened this time! Yesterday I told him that we would pick a few and put them up in the barn to dry. He was really excited & so was I!

We went out after lunch w/ our cardboard box and pruning nippers and picked and picked and picked! We filled our box and there are still more out there that are growing! It was fun to watch Jaxon get so excited about something that he and I had done together. He was telling the calves all about how he had put seeds in the ground and these beautiful "balls" came out that we would eat! After explaining that we don't eat the painted variety, we put them up on a shelf in our garden shed to dry.

When we went out this morning to do chores, Jaxon could hardly wait to show Daddy what we had picked. If someone had told me ten years ago that I'd enjoy planting gourds someday, I would have laughed in their face! We have already decided to plant more next year and to try a few new varieties of gourds and pumpkins. Who knows, with our "petting zoo" and gardening skills maybe one day Jaxon & I will run a Pumpkin Patch in our own backyard!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pet Projects

Growing up I always had pets. I had cats, dogs, calves, birds, hamsters, even a pot bellied pig! Kent & I both felt very strongly from the beginning that we wanted to give Jaxon pets so that he could have friends to grow with as well as lessons to learn from the responsibility of owning animals. Before we got married I talked Kent into taking a farm cat and cityfying him. My apartment complex did not allow pets, but his did! Misfit will be 6 this year... we think,
of course we also thought Misfit was a girl for the first few months of his existence!

After moving from my downtown digs to southern Lincoln-living I would finally have the chance to get a dog since I chose a place that welcomed pets w/ open arms. Kent new I wanted a pug but after looking asked if I'd settle for a Lab since that was the breed he had been wanting. Our friend Kate had a brown Lab named Maggie, Kent & I both loved that dog. She was the sweetest animal and Kate had told us that she was wonderful with kids. Since we new that there was a chance that kids would be in our future we settled on a black Lab we called LeRoy.

Since moving to our country home we have added a stray named Lola and a puppy from Monroe (Traci & Tony's dog who passed a few months ago), we call her CoCo. But we didn't stop there! In July we brought home two French Lop bunnies, we named Daisy & Lilly, they were being given away at the Washington Co. fair. Jaxon loves to get them out and hold them... they don't enjoy this quite as much!
One of our favorite "pet projects" so far has been raising calves. The first batch was brought over earlier this summer and were sold the first part of July. This second batch came straight from the bucket which meant smaller babies (this is the batch Jaxon reads to). There are currently 22 out in our little pin right now after adding four more to our herd last night.
These four are "special needs" calves which means more attention and time but both Jaxon & I are more than willing to give them some extra love! We woke up early this morning and went right out to do our chores like any other day. Of course nothing in our lives can be too easy, we had a calf out and after running around the pin 4 times and lots of cursing & swearing we got him back in. After Kent left for work it was up to Jaxon & I to finish up w/ the feedings.
Two of our new babies are significantly smaller so we are keeping them separated from the rest. I asked Jaxon if he'd like to name them so he came up w/ Furbee (who is missing some of his fur) and Dinkee! (There was no prompting from Kent or I on these names!!!)
There was a time in my life when I hated going out to help milk or feed calves. Looking back, I now see that those chores helped to mold me into the person, wife and mother that I am today. Watching my little one take such pride in his work makes me so happy and grateful to my own parents. I hope that one day Jaxon will feel the same!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lost in Translation

It's not very common for Kent to have to do the translating in our family, most of the time he's asking me, "what did he say?" On our way home from church yesterday Kent became the translator. We had been discussing how good Jaxon had been. I'm not even sure when in the conversation this came out but it was one of those comments I new I must write down.

Jaxon looks at me and says, "I prayed Mommy!" I said, "You did? So did Mommy. Do you know what Mommy prayed for?" He asked so I told him that I had prayed that God would give him a baby brother or sister someday.I asked him if he'd like that, his response was, "No!" So I then asked what he had prayed for. "I prayed for candy! I prayed in my wagon for candy!"

That's when Kent "the translator" ques me in on what he was really trying to say. Earlier that morning while I was getting ready Jaxon had been watching Max & Ruby, they were having a parade w/ their wagons, people were throwing candy!

If it hadn't been for Kent's help I would have kept on believing that he really had prayed for candy during church!

"Poop" Training

There isn't much that I don't love about being a Mommy but when it comes to "Poop" Training, I am NOT a fan! I have been Potty Training now for almost a year! With our next child I have already decided that when he/she gives me the signs that he/she is ready, so is Mommy. Being a first timer, naturally, I went w/ the advice given by Jaxon's doctor. It was her advice that prompted me to start after the 2nd Birthday. All my friends kept telling me "when he's ready, it'll happen." After committing to this whole mess I felt I had no choice but to keep on truck'in and not give up.

A few weeks ago I was at the point of quitting, he had had numerous accidents and I was over the whole cleaning poop out of underpants thing! Last weekend while at home for 3 days w/ Daddy, Jaxon decided it was time to be a big boy and pooped on the toilet for his Daddy!

After all this time, instead of being excited and overly joyed, I was pissed!!! That Daddy hasn't so much as cleaned out a pair of poopy pants since diaper days... why would Jaxon do this for him and not me?! A week later I am over being mad at Dad and loving the fact that Jaxon is now, finally after almost a year, poop'in on the toilet for me too!

Hearing the words "Mom, I gotta POOP", are the sweetest words this child could utter at this time in our lives. Who would have thought, I might just meet my goal of being trained by the 3rd Birthday!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Grandparents Day

Every year we celebrate Mother's and Father's Day but seem to let Grandparents Day go unnoticed. While giving Jaxon his bath this morning in preparation for church I asked him if he knew what today was. His response was simple and sweet "it's church day Mommy". I of course agreed and told him he was right but said "did you know that it's also Grandparents Day?" He looked at me a little puzzled and asked what that meant. I went on to explain that we have a day set aside every year celebrating Mommys and Daddys and that today was similar but we'd be celebrating having Grandpas & Grandmas instead.

Jaxon is blessed to have several Grandparents in his life. I thought all day about getting the camera out and taking some special pictures to send to the Grandparents on their special day. Before I knew it supper was finishing up, the last bath for the day had been given and he was asking to go to bed... the camera never got used! I take thousands of pictures and share loads of stories but what better gift than that of a blog to keep those Grandpas and Grandmas up to date on little, everyday comments.

Hope you Grandparents all enjoy this simple gift of toddler gab!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

StoryTime w/ the Calves

I have read to Jaxon since he was in the belly. After Kent & I felt those first kicks we headed off to Barnes N' Noble to purchase our first board books. We chose "The Runaway Bunny" (for those of you with kids I'm sure you know the book). I have read that book to him hundreds of times and can pretty much recite it by heart.

About a month ago Jaxon & I were out doing chores when he asked me if it'd be alright if he go back in and get something from inside. I didn't think too much of it, I thought he was probably just after some trucks to dig in the dirt with. I continued pulling my weeds and didn't even look to see what he'd gone in after when he came back out. He headed straight for the fence and under he went. He has been told a thousand times that he isn't allowed in the fence unless Daddy, Mommy, or an adult is with him... he doesn't listen too good!!! Anyway, I let it slide this time since I was standing right there and could watch him close. It was then that I noticed what he had gone in after.

He sat down on the ground next to one of the smallest of our herd. I watched him read aloud (as best as one who does not know how to read can) "The Runaway Bunny"! My first thought was to run in after my camera but instead stood back and watched, I knew this was a moment I might not get back. When he was finished he said in the sweetest little voice "my Mommy read the bunny when I was in the belly... now I read the bunny to you babies"!