Tag Archives: parenthood


4 Nov

As promised, I said I would post a picture of my Rider-man once he decided to let me catch his handsome smile with my camera. And he finally did! He smiles all the time and makes the most adorable coos/sighs at the same time. I could simply just eat him up All. The. Days. Of. My. Life.

And a big Happy Birthday to my hubby, Jason! He’s the best husband and dad that we could ever ask for. No wonder this kids smiling!


27 Oct
This is a good day. Rider slept all the way through the night last night! Gosh, what a difference a consistent night of sleep makes! And it hasn’t been horrible- Rider has always been a very good sleeper and has only ever woken us up once maybe twice during the nights to eat. He always goes right back down to sleep and so we’ve been relatively rested since he was born. Well, I’ve still been exhausted but it hasn’t really been because of a lack of sleep. It’s just hard when you aren’t getting consistent sleep, you know?
Last night I fed him around 10:30 and put him to bed. I was fully expecting to wake up around 3:30 or 4 to feed him. But I woke up at 4:30 am, jolted awake wondering why I hadn’t heard from Mr. Rider yet. I went into his room to check on him just to make sure that he was still breathing, and of course he was. He was swaddled in his blanket, sleeping away in his comfy little room. I was for sure that I was going to crawl back into bed and five minutes later he’d wake up. I went back to sleep and didn’t hear from him until 6:30 am!!
We were so excited that he did it on his own. And he’s not even quite seven weeks old yet! I’m so happy that we chose to do Babywise with our kids. Given that if you approach it with balance in your life, it can work for most kids. I am confident in that. Our kids have both gained healthy weight and learned tremendously good sleeping habits through this method. And sleep is something that is SO important for kids and adults. We are a happier family when everyone is sleeping well.
I am aware, however, that it was only ONE night so far. We’ll see how tonight goes. I am grateful for today, however. Jason and I are rested. Cruz and Rider are rested. Everyone wins.


9 Oct

I’ve been wanting to take Cruz to feed the ducks for awhile now. Every time we’d drive past the park with the duckies, he’d always point and say “tweet tweet!” and so I knew that he’d love getting an up close look at them. But I was always gianormous pregnant and it was always 115 degrees outside.


It’s definitely cooled off this past week and this was the first thing I wanted to take him to do. I waited until a day when Jason was off work and when we could go as a family. I didn’t want Jason to miss out on something that I was FOR SURE was going to be an amazing experience for Cruz. And I’m embarrassed to report that I’m not sure if it was an amazing experience for Cruz because I was too busy FREAKING OUT and being an incredibly paranoid mom. Good grief, I could not get it together! Ha!

We started out at the edge of the lake with one little lone duck. It wasn’t too intense. Just one little duck and Cruz got to check him out up close. It was actually really cool, aside from the fact that I was CONVINCED that Cruz was going to dive head first into the lake. Every time he so much as moved his foot, I would gasp and inch closer to him. Jay finally looked at me like, Seriously?? and I knew that I was completely overreacting. Of course he wasn’t going to dive into the lake! Jason was RIGHT NEXT TO HIM. Even if he did happen to fall in, I’m pretty sure both of us would be in the lake faster than you can blink to fish him out. Why was I so worried? Oh cuz I’m a mom.

Then there were a couple more ducks that tried to join the one lone duck that had all of our attention. Not a huge deal. They came and left because they weren’t able to retrieve any food from the one duck we were originally feeding.

We were starting to run out of bread, which sort of disappointed me. I had envisioned Cruz throwing bread to dozens of ducks and having a brilliant time watching them all. One duck? One lousy duck??!! That was it?? Cruz wasn’t disappointed, but I kinda was. We started heading back to the car. As we were walking back, we saw a couple ducks up on the grass. We thought we’d just feed them the rest of our bread and be done with it. I asked Jason to pick up Cruz as I saw the ducks approaching us because I know ducks can be kind of aggressive- especially when you have food. And seeing as that they were as big as Cruz, I really felt better that he was in Jay’s arms.

But then I looked up and more were starting to come up from out of the water. Where were they coming from? I’m not sure. But more were coming.

Pretty soon we were surrounded! There were ducks behind me wondering if I was going to throw down more bread! And that’s about the time that I started having a panic attack, hyperventilating and all as the ducks started closing in on us. They were fighting one another for the bread and completely ready to EAT CRUZ if I would have let them, I’m sure. Finally, Jason had to tell me to LEAVE because I was definitely ruining the experience for all involved.

“Maybe you should go wait in the car with Rider.”, he said. Ha! I couldn’t get it together. It was the single most scary thing I’ve done in awhile and I’m pretty convinced that the ducks were conspiring to attack us and our children. NOT OK. These pictures don’t even do it justice. There were SO MANY DUCKS. And I didn’t even get to enjoy watching Cruz look at the ducks and watch them eat our bread because I was too busy freaking out.

Geesh. What was my problem? Maybe feeding the ducks wasn’t as harmless as I thought it would be. I wasn’t expecting the ducks to be so aggressive! So I think Cruz liked feeding the ducks? But I am not sure if/when we’ll be doing THAT again. These pictures don’t even do it justice as to how many huge ducks there were. Terrifying.

one month old

8 Oct

It’s been a month?? A MONTH? Really? That is nuts! Rider is one month old today and I can’t believe it’s been that long! That’s not even THAT long, really. But when you have a newborn, it’s kind of an eternity. If you’ve been following my blog and reading any of my posts, you know that this past month has been one big, giant roller-coaster! Good moments, bad moments, exhausting moments, cute moments- all of it. And while I’m exhausted, I wouldn’t change anything that has changed/happened for us this month. It’s been such a growing experience and I’ve already learned tons more about myself through all of this. What a crazy ride it’s already been! And while I try not to wish for Rider to be bigger than he is, I do look at this little face and remember that this will not last forever. I will blink and he will be walking. I will blink and he will be talking. He’ll be going off to kindergarten and riding his bike and making science projects. This IS a season. One I will miss someday. It’s so hard to remember that when you are completely exhausted and wishing for the days for him to be sleeping through the night. But he will get there. And when he does, he won’t be a newborn anymore. And it will be gone. And I don’t want to look back and remember how I just wished for him to be bigger and onto the next stage. Because the truth is, every stage has it’s ups and downs. And I can’t be always wishing for the next stage, because pretty soon, the next stage will be him moving away to college.

Oh how my heart already hurts thinking about that.

It goes so quickly, this life. It’s passing before my eyes. Between exhaustion, tears and changing more diapers than I know what to do with, I’m taking in the moment and trying to embrace this stage. Although it’s so hard, it’s really not forever. And while I am eager for Rider to be able to do more than just eat and sleep, this stage is precious. And he’s such an endearing little boy. Such a sweet, easy going spirit. He’s such a lovable little guy. It is hard at times. But I AM taking the time to love it too.

Happy One Month Rider! We love you more than you know!

i am tired

5 Oct

Who isn’t, right?

Remember yesterday how I posted about balance and how I’m trying to get a grip on life? Yeah. Today I woke up completely overwhelmed, emotional, and well… I guess ‘overwhelmed’ pretty much sums it up. It didn’t help that we had a HORRIBLE night with Rider last night, who I think had a tummy ache all night long. I think I need to cut back on how much dairy I’m taking in since I’m nursing him. It’s hard because I totally crave milk right now, but I think it’s making him gassy. And he just spits up A LOT, gets bad hiccups, is gassy and uncomfortable very often. Needless to say, he’s still such a happy baby but it makes night time a little tricky on some nights because he just can’t get comfortable. I’ve tried gripe water too, which is hit or miss on how well it works for him.


I’m struggling to find the balance that I talked about yesterday even though the emails are piling up, there’s photos that need editing and dishes in the sink that are driving me crazy. We are starting to get into a routine of sorts, but I’ll be happy once it’s a daily rhythm and once I’m not so super exhausted. I love the baby/newborn stage for lots of reasons, but you kinda forget how hard it truly is at times. And I’m realizing how I’ve completely taken for-granted that Cruz is such a good sleeper and how he’s been sleeping through the night since he was THREE MONTHS OLD.

Anyways. I’m basically complaining about what I posted about yesterday. And you’re probably thinking that you’re wasting your time reading this crap because I’m such an emotional mess that I’m fine one day and complaining the next. Oh well. It feels better to write it out. And I know that I’m not the only mom that feels this way. It’s possible that YOU, dear reader, probably feel the exact same way to some degree!

So on a happier note, I’m going to post a few pictures of both boys. It’s fun to see their similarities and their differences already!

And it will end this post on a note that is not me complaining. Even though that’s all I feel like doing today.

– Cruz at almost one month

-Rider at almost one month

– But there are differences- Cruz is SO blonde and fair!

– Rider at the same age- dark hair and darker skin!

– Just a funny and cute picture of Cruz!

it’s time

1 Oct

Yes. It is time to snap to it and do something about this lingering baby weight. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Jess, you JUST had a baby 5 minutes ago. You should cut yourself some slack and give yourself a break!”. And while I LOVE the way your brain works, you would be wrong. This is not the time to cut myself some slack. If I don’t jump in head first and get back on track I fear I am never going to.


I have rejoined Weight Watchers and I have begun an eating “plan” of sorts. If you’ve known me for any length of time, you should know that I had HUGE success with Weight Watchers a few years ago. I found myself in a similar situation with no baby to blame the weight gain on. I knew that I needed to loose some pounds before we actually did decide to start a family. And I am SO glad I did. I lost almost 50 pounds the first time around and became a Lifetime Member with Weight Watchers, making the program completely free for me today- especially since I am nursing! So I am doing the Nursing program with Weight Watchers and have about 30 pounds to loose. I’m starting on getting my eating and calorie intake under control so that when my doctor clears me to excersise (probably at my 6 week appointment) I can start doing P90X again.

Intense? Yes. But I refuse- REFUSE- to hang on to this baby weight. I understand that it’s important to maintain the health of the baby and pregnancy, but the baby is out now and the weight should be on it’s way as well.

Anyways. I’m blogging about this for some form of accountability. So expect updates. And if you see me, feel free to ask me how it’s going. I’ll make sure to blog updates on my successes and failures. I know every mom can relate to gaining/loosing/hanging onto weight. And it’s not an easy subject to talk about. But the way I figure it, if more of us are talking about it, maybe we’ll have less to be insecure about and more support in our lives to make the changes we need to.

So here’s to taking off the baby weight!

dear rider,

29 Sep

I meant to write this letter to you very soon after you were born, but you’ve kept me very, very busy these past two weeks! I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks! I feel like you’ve been in our lives forever, but it hasn’t been long at all! You have joined a crazy busy family, sweet boy. A life that is full of ministry, music, love, friends and family. We are a family that laughs a lot, cries a lot and fights a little too. We love to work hard and are making our own dreams happen for ourselves. We are all still adjusting to your arrival a little bit, but even still, I can’t even imagine what life would be like without you here. You are just the sweetest and best little guy- you are super laid back and you have the sweetest little personality already! You are quiet most of the time, only crying when you are hungry or uncomfortable. You can sleep anywhere and are already on a pretty good schedule. You let Mamma and Dadda sleep at least 4 hours at a time at night and we only have to get up with you twice already! You are already growing and are such a cute little one- we couldn’t be happier to have you here.

Your brother is warming up a lot more too! Every morning, you are the first person he asks for now. He’ll run over and grab my hand asking, “Please! Please!” and I know that it means that he wants to go see you as you sleep in your crib. I have to tell him that we will go see you once you start to wake up because he doesn’t understand how to whisper quite yet. But he’s very interested in you. He’s always pointing to your eyes, ears and nose and telling me what they are. And whenever you start to cry he says “No cry brother!”, even though he can’t say that super clearly yet. He love to give you kisses, and gives them to you freely without me asking him to give them to you. And he loves to ‘help’ me burp you by patting you on the back. I know that even though Cruz has had to adjust big time to your arrival, you two will be the best of friends someday very soon. At least that’s what I pray for every day!

You are the biggest blessing to our family, Rider. We love you so much. And although adjusting to two little ones in the house has had it’s ups and downs already, there isn’t anything I’d change about our journey thus far. You are a special little boy, already bringing a different personality and dynamic into our home. I can’t wait to get to know you more and to watch you grow up before our eyes. We love you sweet Rider man. Welcome to this crazy family and this crazy thing called life!

I love you so much,


PS: Seriously, check out the cuteness! We just can’t get enough of how simply adorable you are. Such a sweet boy!