Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Sunday, April 10, 2011

welcome back, sunshine

Today was the epitome of beautiful- the sun was shining, the temperatures were nearly record-breaking... and Jackson and I soaked up every minute. Literally every minute because someone was on a nap-strike amidst all of the adventures- beginning with church, ending with playing outside with the puppies with the zoo squeezed in the middle. 
The zoo was a big hit. It was hot, which we aren't adjusted to yet, but Jackson loved seeing all of the animals we read about every day. It blows me away every time I see him make new connections in his mind as he discovers things that are entirely new to him... and seeing so many animals in person for the first time today was no different. These experiences rank high on the list for why parenting is by far the most rewarding blessing.

With all of the chaos in our lives right now, I haven't been keeping up with all of Jackson's developments and funny little stories, so I'll record a few now. His vocabulary continues to grow- learning new words all the time, although a few continue to be used most often... mama, dada, nanna, help, please, more, snack, dog, no. His animal sounds also continue to grow, he now identifies and imitates dogs, cats, chickens, cows, frogs, lions, pigs and sometimes alligators and monkeys.

This short little story borders on TMI, but amused me last night and is sure to embarrass him someday, so I feel obligated to document it here for his future reading enjoyment! Last night I was going "potty" and clearly when I'm home alone with Jackson I don't get "private time" so as I'm in the restroom he walks in giggling and with a big smile on his face, carrying a bowl of strawberries, clearly very proud of himself for finding this little snack. I told him to go put the strawberries back but he insisted on feeding them to me and would not take "no" for an answer. So there we were, him feeding strawberries to me in a moment that does normally not warrant snacking. 
This afternoon when we were at the zoo I looked at Jackson as he was standing in the middle of the petting zoo trying to sneak up on some unsuspecting goats and suddenly it hit me how much he looks like a toddler. He is no longer a baby at all, he is a full-fledged toddler. Absolutely scary to me, to realize that he is getting to be such a big boy. Fittingly enough, this revelation came just a few days after Jackson's paci went bye-bye. It was always our plan to take away the paci about a month after he stopped nursing. He stopped nursing at 13 months and so this weekend as he turned 14 months we took away his beloved paci. We've had a few rough moments, but overall he has been a complete champ. The bottle has been gone since 10 months, so he is officially baby-equipment free. 

As I write this I am loving re-living all of the memories we made today. It's this exact feeling that has always driven my blogging. And tonight the therapy it is providing me feels so needed. Today was such perfection and my fear is that what this week will bring with feel way too contrasted to this feeling. Meaning, life is hard right now with Dan gone all of the time, the renovation chaos and my heavier-than-ever work-load... and just knowing that the switch for all of that gets turned back on in the morning makes tonight bittersweet. Sunday night blues are in full swing.

Another slightly random string of thoughts that is going through my mind tonight stems back to the message in church this morning. It was all about forgiveness. Normally when we discuss this I don't feel as though it applies to me because I can honestly think of nobody who has done such a wrong to me that I haven't had the strength to forgive. But, this morning it hit me that while it is true that I can think of no single person I have yet to forgive for something, I do think that I sometimes need to forgive the "small" things that happen on a daily basis that cause me to get impatient, frustrated and disappointed. I expect perfection from myself every day and while I don't expect others to be perfect, I certainly do hold them to much higher expectations than most people probably do... and that needs to stop and in stopping that I need to forgive myself and others when the small things in life don't add up to the vision of what is in my head.

Luckily, along with the warmer weather comes longer daylight and longer daylight right now means that Dan has a slightly better chance of spending some time playing with outside once he gets home after working long hours. Tonight he had just a few minutes with Jackson outside before bedtime and then once the little man was tucked in, we went back out to take in the beautiful weather before the sun set. 

Dan found the first flower of the season in our yard. I tell you, these flowers are indestructible. They were planted by someone years ago in the most awkward place- in the middle of a grassy area, totally random, so every time I mow the grass I mow over them and yet they always come back, just as beautiful as ever.

And lets not forget to wish this handsome little man a happy 3rd birthday! Bing Crosby Engel turned 3 on Monday. Much to his dismay, I'm sure, we didn't celebrate in grand style, but we'll make it up to him with some extra fetch time and doggy treats soon. 

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