Thursday, November 29, 2012

To Sum Up the Past Year...

 I have to admit...when I saw Becky post about this link up, the first thing that went through my mind was, "What if I do this and nobody likes me?"  And then I remembered I wasn't in high school anymore.  I have been majorly slacking over here...sorry.  I have been babysitting everyday and then traveling to PA for Thanksgiving, so all I have been doing is catching up on everyone else's blogs instead of paying attention to mine.  Such is life...

So, what to talk about...

I originally started this blog to document my new life as a mother.  I talked about my birth story and how it went completely different than what I had planned.  I wrote about the hardships of adjusting, even giving new moms some advice.  Last year at this time, I was just returning back to work and having an incredibly difficult time doing so.  Time went on and I posted all about the new milestones my son reached and even a couple funny posts thrown in there too.  He recently turned one year old and we celebrated surfer style.  I am not working full time now (praise the Lord), but I am babysitting my niece and nephew an awful lot and probably will continue to do so for a while.

I have also posted about (unsuccessful) weight loss and a few DIY projects, but really the heart of this blog is to share my love of living.  Finding joy in each day.  Loving my husband, my son, my family, and every person on this earth that God created.  It just comes easily to me.  I hope that reading this blog leaves you with a smile.  Because smiling is fun.  And contagious.

XOXO, Jessica

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sorry I've Been MIA...I was in jail...

JUST KIDDING! :)  But that does remind me of a story...

Once upon a time, when Brian and I were fresh off the market, we visited his bro and sis in law up in the mountains.  The boys were spending the day snowboarding, while the girls stayed behind to eat and watch TV tend to the chores. It was a nice relaxing day, and we were expecting our snow bunnies slope studs to get home around 8 with a hot dinner waiting for them.  Well, 8:30 rolled around and I had been trying to call Brian to see where they were, but never got an answer.  Finally, around 9, his brother called me.  That's weird. 

Hey Jess.

Hey.  What's up?  Where are you guys?

Well...something happened.

What do you mean?  Is everything okay?

It's Brian...

<insert heart pounding>Okay, tell me!

We're waiting for the cops to arrive.

WHAT!!??  How?  Why?  What did he do?

Well, it's stupid, really.  We stopped at a gas station to grab some snacks and hot chocolate for the drive.  Brian grabbed a Snickers bar, some chips, beef jerky.  Then, he went to get his hot chocolate.  He couldn't carry it all, so he stuck the Snickers bar in his back pocket.  He carried everything up to the cash register, paid for it, and as we were walking out the door, the crazy old man yelled, "Stop!  Did you plan on paying for that or were you just going to steal it?"  Brian said that it was a mistake, but the stupid old man said he was calling the cops to clear things up.  We might have to stay here tonight.

<tears in my eyes>What!  Oh my gosh!  This can't be happening!  That's so dumb!  He was going to pay for it, right?  <images of our life together halted.  Am I going to have to do conjugal visits for the next 8-10 years?  We just got married!>

........In walks Brian and his brother, grinning from ear to ear...... 'GOT YA!'

YOU JERKS!  I ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK!  <walk up to Brian>  *SMACK!*  RIGHT ON THE FACE!  How could you do this to me?!

Then, I ran into the bathroom and cried.  Out of relief, anger, and embarrassment.  For smacking the crap out of my new husband in front of his brother and wife.

And that was the highlight of winter 2006.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Let's Be Honest...

I was wondering what to write today, and then I remembered that I haven't done one of these in a little while.

So, let's be honest...

I spent waaay too long reading the comments from this post yesterday.  Hilarious.  Sad.  Cruel. Weird.

Heck, I spend waaaay too long reading blogs period.

I have subjected my husband to so much ANTM, Project Runway, and Giuliana and Bill that he has threatened ending his life if he had to watch any more of it.  Sorry hubs.

When taking Brody for a stroll around the neighborhood, I felt my belly jiggling with every step I took. Is it bad to start a diet right before the holiday season?  Yeah, you're right.  Screw it!

I haven't had my hair cut in over a year.  My split ends are horrendous!  That'd going on my 2013 Bucket List.  Isn't that sad?

I am kind of ashamed to have people over to our house.  I never feel like it's clean enough, organized enough, or classy enough.  Our walls are different colors, we don't have fancy furniture, and my husband's idea of decorating is surfboards and a humungous picture of us with a dolphin from our honeymoon above the sofa.  We're working on it though.

Check back tomorrow for a couple of amazing and awful things that have happened with Brody lately.

Later Homies,


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Brody's First Birthday Bash

I feel absolutely horrible that it has taken me almost 3 months to post this, and I still feel like it's lacking with pictures.  I felt that I really needed to put this up though because it was such a huge milestone for my little guy.  I am hoping to upload more pictures from family members later....

It's been a long time coming.  The birthday party that I had planned for months.  The party that started out as one color scheme and then switching to something else the last month.  I looked all over Pinterest and the Internet, spent hours looking up ideas, hours thinking and sketching out stuff, making clothes and hats and decorations.  Phew!  Am I glad it's over!  The sad thing was, Bo Bo was not feeling good the couple days preceding the party and was only about halfway back to being his normal crazy self that Sunday.  He decided to have a nap right in the middle of his party, but we were having too much fun swimming in the lake to care.  We had a great time and had so much fun seeing everyone.  Our friends and family were so generous with gifts and Brody has enjoyed all his new toys.   Now, on to the pictures..... (I didn't get as many pics as I'd like because my camera died, so I did the best I could! :)  )

Table decor.  Each one had pictures of Brody in frames that I spray painted in coordinating colors.

Bro's high chair.  Made the streamers, bib and hat.

Gift table.  More pictures and Birthday cards on ribbon.

Brody's monthly pictures.

More tables

Other end

The set up--with snacks.  

View of the lake

Mom holding Brody in the shirt I made him




friends and family


my peeps

snacks on the dock--goldfish, M&M shots, jell-o with (Swedish) fish swimming in them

Cupcakes I made with shark fin and surfboard toppers

close up

The setup at dinner time--my mom made that awesome shark with fruit

Back up to see the lanterns

The sharrrrrk!  Cool, huh?  And yes, my mom cut a leg out of paper and put it by the mouth!

And this is where my camera pics of him eating his cake...which he was crying almost the whole way through.  He started to freak out when everyone sang the Happy Birthday song.  He didn't calm down until I took his birthday hat off, took him out of high chair and held him for a few minutes.  Then, I had to feed him a couple bites of icing before he realized that it was the best thing he ever tasted!

Happy First Birthday Brody Lee!  We love you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Next 4 Years

Something happened tonight.  I had the privilege of putting my son to bed.  Usually Brian has this job which he joyfully accepts.  One on one time with his buddy.  But tonight, Brian wanted to watch the election news.  So, I wrapped Brody up in my arms and gave him his bottle.  Most nights, little dude will drink for a couple minutes, get squirmy, and he's ready to be put in the bed.

But tonight...

I watched his eyes blink a little more slowly.  His grip loosen on his bottle.  His little legs start to twitch.  His chest rise and fall in rhythm with mine.  He fell asleep safe in his mama's arms.  I sat there taking him all in, cherishing this rare time with my busy (almost) 15 month old.  His golden brown hair.  His long, dark lashes.  The sweet rocket ship pajamas that he will soon grow out of.  His wonky, crooked toe nails.

And I thanked God for giving me this moment.  Reminding me that while who the President is very important, this....this gift is more important.  What goes on in these four walls is what is going to impact his life the most these next 4 years.

The next 4 years, he will learn --- his ABCs and 123s.  how to use the potty by himself.  how to write his name.  the difference between right and wrong.  how to be independent as he walks through the doors of his kindergarten classroom.  the importance of kindness, compassion and gratitude.  that Jesus loves him and hopefully the feeling will be mutual.  that mommy and daddy will always be there no matter what.

And this is up to me. And Brian.
not the President, whomever that may be.

Brody's 13 and 14 month update

I have had this post written for a while, but have held off posting due to gathering pictures.  Brody will turn 15 months, so I thought I'd better post this before it's too late!  This past month and next month will be in a December post.  Also, I may only do updates every couple months now.  Not that his milestones are any less significant, but I'm getting busier and busier!

My dear baby boy,

It seems since you've turned one, the weeks have flown by.  It has been an adjustment since the beginning, but I feel like we know each other pretty well now.  Yet, you constantly surprise me with how much you have learned!  You are just about to leave the baby stage and become mommy's toddler.  You aren't walking yet, but I definitely see it in your near future.  You love for us to hold your hands and walk you all around the house.  You laugh so hard and stomp your feet up and down, trying to get your balance just right.  You have started to try and stand on your own by releasing your grip on the couch or my pant leg.  It doesn't last long and you plop on the ground (gracefully), but you're getting close!  I have a feeling that you are going to be one that will climb out of your crib the second you're big enough to do so.  Because you are brave.  And it scares me to death!  You climb on everything!!!!!  You can't walk, yet I will watch you climb onto a skateboard up to your little rocking chair, stand up, then squat back down, turn around, climb back down on the skateboard and crawl away.  Really, baby?  REALLY?!  You have started to climb on and off the couch all on your own, so I have to be extra careful if I leave the room for a minute.  Oh!  And you climb out of the bath tub too.  Your dad watched you do it and then out you came, crawling around the living room soaking wet and butt naked! "I"M FREEEE!!"  What a little ham you are!

Remember how you only had one itty bitty tooth popping through by your first birthday?  Well, now you have a grand total of FIVE teeth!  And it never seemed to bother you!  Hallelujah!  With those chompers, you have been eating lots and lots of food!  There isn't a food that you have tried that you don't like.  Lemons, cucumbers with vinegar, pinto beans, cheese puffs, potato soup, peas, tilapia, spaghetti...You love everything.  And since your first birthday, you have had your fair share of PB&J's.  And we can't forget bananas.  You have a love affair with those!  I break off a piece, hand it to you, and you just laugh and say, 'nana.'  Sweet thing.  We have started to give you baby spoons and forks to use and you love it!  You make a huge mess, but you're learning.

Just like you eat us out of house and home like a teenager, you sleep like one too.  I have been blessed with such a great sleeper!  You sleep at least 12 hours at night, most times more.  And you usually have a good 2-3 hour nap during the day.  Sometimes an extra 1 hour nap later in the day, if you feel like it.  You never fuss at nap time.  Even if you don't sleep, you'll be content to just rest and talk to your pacifier for a good 45 minutes while I get stuff done around the house.  The only thing is, you hardly sleep in the car anymore.  You have to be extremely tired and cry for a good 5 minutes before you pass out.  I guess you know your crib is your comfy night night place and you don't like change.

You are a boy after my own heart because you love to dance.  And rock out to music.  Not kidding--anytime we enter a store and there's music playing, you automatically starting nodding your head and pumping your fists in the air, and jerking that shoulder up and down.  Even when you wake up in the morning, I pick you up and you point to the radio and do this funny questioning noise, 'huh?' and I turn on the alternative station and we rock out.  You even crawl up to the CD player in the living room and know which button to push to make your favorite Dirty Heads CD play.

Right now, you are totally, totally, totally in love with buttons and wheels.  Buttons on the remote, on the house phone, on your books and toys, buttons on shirts, buttons on the fan, buttons on the ATM machines at the store.  Wheels on the car, wheels on your stroller, wheels on your toys, steering wheels.  You will turn your push toys over and just spin the wheels.  I could set you in my lap in the driver's seat of the car and you would play with the steering wheel, jerking it back and forth, for 30 minutes with a big ol smile on your face.  And then scream bloody murder if I tried to pull you away.  You are serious about your wheels.

While you still love to be held, you are definitely Mr. Independent.  You know what you want and you always want it RIGHT NOW.  You point and cry if it's out of your reach until mama gets it for you.  You are recognizing environmental print, so you know what the graham cracker box and cheese puff bag looks like and you will be Mr. Meltdown if you don't get it.  Even if you just had lunch!  And I can tell the difference between your, 'Mommy help me, I'm hurt!' and 'Gimme that NOOOOOW!' cries.

You babble and talk to yourself all the time.  You say mama, dada, nana (for banana), uh oh, nose, our (flower), out, and your try real hard to say diaper.  You stare at my mouth when I try to teach you new words and you usually respond with random sounds, but the correct syllables.  You are just so darn cute and you probably say bababa 100 times a day.

I also need to mention that you no longer breastfeed.  The last day you nursed was actually your 1st birthday, August 10th.  That was the day I got extremely sick and had strep throat.  We were only down to nursing once first thing in the morning and even that was only lasting for about 10 minutes.  I loved that time though.  I would bring you in the bed with me and it seemed to be the only time of day where you would still snuggle with me.  After getting sick, I took a few days off and when I tried to nurse again, you were not interested at all.  You even bit me!  I knew right then and there that our time together was over.  I still miss it so much.  But you chose for it to end, and I'm following your lead!

Now for the pictures.  I stopped taking pictures of him in the chair....

You can see his teeth coming in!

Looks like his 18 month PJs are still too big...

Did this all by himself...stuck in his drum


Pushed the turtle over and tried to climb up the cabinets

And you try to climb in the bath tub yourself...

And out of it...

You do NOT like the swings anymore

But you are still a very happy guy :)

Lowe's trips are fun

And you love Hap's cheeseburgers

Trips to IKEA make you just as giddy as mommy

You had so much fun at Tiger World

and the pumpkin patch.

We have had so much fun and we are so excited to see how much cooler you get!  Love you baby boy!

 <3, Mommy

Monday, November 5, 2012

Show and Tell: My Job


1. Tell us what you studied in college. Is your job now related to what you studied?

Short Story: Went to college for nursing, switched to Elementary Education, then graduated with Psychology degree.  Went to Cosmetology school, work at high end salon.  Hated it. Long hours and very stressful for my people pleaser self.  Went to school again--fast track El. Ed. program.  Substituted then was a Teacher Assistant.  Loved it, had baby and was saaaaaaad!!! (You can read about all the struggles I had when I first started this blog).  Now, staying home and subbing on the side.  Everything that I have learned has been applicable to being a mom.  Definitely.  

2. Tell us what your everyday job looks like.

I am so lucky to have such a sweet little boy who loves to sleep.  So, I usually wake up around 10.  If Brody is still sleeping, I take a quick shower and get ready.  Brody wakes up and I give him breakfast.  He usually eats eggs with cheese, a Nutri-Grain bar, half a banana and some milk.  I eat some eggs and do some dishes/laundry or read blogs while he finishes eating.  Then, he plays for a couple hours while I do some housework.  If we have a lot to do that day, we will run errands or meet up with daddy for lunch.  Brody will usually sleep for a couple hours whether he goes down for a nap around 1 or 4.  When he wakes up, he either eats lunch, we run more errands or just play around the house.  Daddy gets home and I make dinner.  We play and relax.  Then bath and bedtime for the little dude around 9:30.  Sometimes, I stay up later than Brian because he wakes up so early and works so hard.  I am so lucky to have a much less stressful life than I used to.  I have time to get things done and get my sanity back.  I know as Brody gets older, it will get harder and harder so I am cherishing the moments I get to relax.

3. Do you have a picture of you at work? Show us.

Kids say the sweetest things...

Translated:   "Dear Santa, I wish that you could take me for a ride on your sleigh.  I want a violin and an XBOX 360, and a new camera.  Mine is broken.  One more thing-a 4-wheeler.  Please write me back.  I just hope you will.  Love, Abbie.  I love you Santa!  I was told that you were not real.  I know that you are. I believe in you Santa!  Love, Abbie again!"

Fun 'green' party for St. Patrick's Day.

A word problem written by a parent.  This is what I was dealing with...

And now....

Bath time

Afternoon wagon rides

Helping mommy in the kitchen

4. In 10 years, what do you see yourself doing? Same thing? More? Tell us.

Really, I have no idea.  I would love to have more babies and stay home with them.  I have even considered homeschooling, but my husband is adamantly against that.  When all our kids get to be school-age, then I plan on going back to work as a teacher.  That way, I can see my kids throughout the day, have holidays and summers off, and still be able to take them to fun after-school activities.  

5. Tell us what you have learned, and what {if any} recommendations you may have for those looking to go into the field you are in. 

Well, for teaching---they do not get paid enough or get enough credit.  You never know how much time and effort they give every single day to make sure your child gets the best education possible.  Nowadays, it seems that parents rely solely on teachers for not only their education, but social skills and work habits too.  Teachers get a lot of flack from parents.  They also have a lot of extra responsibilities other than creating meaningful, rigorous lessons.  Let me just say that during my student teaching, I had numerous teachers tell me to think really hard if this is a career I really want.  Lesson planning takes up a couple hours outside of the normal workday, and several hours on the weekend.  There is much more to it than what is seen during the 7:30-3:00 hours.

As a stay at home mom--best job ever.  Wouldn't give it up for anything.  Do it.  Difficult and rewarding.  Wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Wanting a Blog Makeover

Hey there my blogger peeps.  My blog page is JANK!  I would love to have a blog makeover up in here.  I know what I want essentially, I just have NO idea how to do it!  If you can help me design it OR you are very pleased with your blog design and want to recommend someone, that would be fabulous!  Leave a comment or email me at the_shaw_shack (at) hotmail (dot) com  !!!



Also, if you want to see cute pictures of my kid and what happens around these parts, follow me on Instagram: @brodiddly
Twitter: theshawshack
Pinterest: Jessicalshaw
or GFC!!! duh!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ghosts of Halloween's Past and Present....

We love Halloween.  We get excited about the candy and dressing up.  The parties.  The people.  We don't ever think of the sinister side of it and I don't think we ever will.   I have compiled a lot of pictures from our Halloweens in the past together.  Some from college, some after marriage.  I am blurry on the years, so you will just have to enjoy them as is. :)  

From college:  

I wish I had pictures from the night where a bunch of us (10-15) dressed as zombies and went trick or treating.  Yes, we were on the brink of our twenties, but Halloween is a childish holiday.  And what are you in college if not childish?  I can tell you that we scared the crap out of a bunch of other kids.

Well don't I look...not bloody...

After marriage:

There were a couple years where old college chums would get together over homecoming weekend and have a big party.  Here we are working very hard at scooping the guts.

Our first Halloween as a married couple. Zombie:Pirate
We went crazy decorating our house and bought King Size candy bars from Sam's.  That's before we realized that we don't get many trick-or-treaters 'round these parts.

Another year, I joined in the zombie action, '80s style.

Then, another year, I was a nerd and Brian was...a zombie. (I have a pot over my head and Brian is sporting the blue boa...)

Then, we had a baby.  I broke out the pirate outfit again and Brian was...a zombie.

I do not know whose moped this was...

We dressed Brody as Superman.

And he flew around collecting treats.  (Well, just one last year...a tootsie roll.)

And now we come to the present.  (Well, the recent past)

You already saw this picture, but I had to bring it back again.  Brian finally was something other than a zombie (although he swears he will be one again next year).

Rednecks....mullet, cut-offs, slippers, Dale tattoos and all...

Then on Halloween day...Brody went as a...


I had my sis in law bring the shopping cart just for a prime photo opportunity.  Filled with his essentials for living and his traveling sack.

I have to say that this was a pretty popular outfit.  We even had complete strangers asking to take a picture of him!

Brody loved every part of Halloween this year.  All the people intrigued him.

We do not go around our neighborhood.  There is an area in town where the people go ALL out decorating and the streets are FULL of children and their parents.  It is like stepping into a movie when walking down these streets.

Brody even 'walked' up to a few houses with the help of his cousins, grandparents, or us!  He had this grin on his face the WHOLE time.  He's a people person.

Here's a quick video of the hobo walking up to get his treat!

Happy Halloween from The Shaw Shack!