Category: Jackson (page 1 of 15)

I’m so glad it’s summer break.

how long has it been
since we didn’t have to rush
to get everywhere

how long has it been
since I listened to you talk
and did nothing else

how long has it been
since I held you in my arms
til you fell asleep

We did as little as possible the first few days after school was out. Now, we’re starting to shift into our summer schedule. We’re staying up later and sleeping in a little. Sometimes a lot. Each day, I put a to-do list in a clear pocket folder for each of the kids. It usually includes some school work, piano practice, and a few chores.

Just a little school at home during summer break

It doesn’t take long for them to get it all done. I do my part along with them, so then we’re free for laid-back summer fun until softball or dance class.

Phoebe and Jack playing in the sprinkler

Lucy running through the sprinkler and what is Jack doing?

Sprinkler!

Jumping Bee in the sprinkler

We have some busy weeks ahead, but I’m hoping a lot of the summer is just like this.

And all the years will come and go, take us up, always up!

We may never pass this way again! Seals and Croft sang that in 1973. And if you graduated in ’73, there is no way that wasn’t your class song. I was born in the 70’s and am soothed by that music. It makes me think of a golden-haired girl walking in a meadow at sunset. That may have been in the commercial for Sounds of the 70’s from Time Life. Still, it’s a nice feeling. I’m listening to it today because I am completely aware that a phase in our family life is ending.

Today was Julia’s last day of middle school.

Julia's last day of middle school

It was Lucy’s last day of elementary school.

Lucy's last day of elementary school

It was Phoebe’s last day of Kindergarten.

Phoebe's last day of Kindergarten

And it was Jack’s last school day at home as he’ll be heading to preschool in the fall.

We may never pass this way again!

Welcome to summer vacation!

The great thing about an ending is that something else can now begin. I’m looking forward to what will take us up. Always up.

Mother’s Day Weekend and Also the Day After

Dave gave me two dozen roses for Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day roses

Mother's Day card

The youngest three kids made me breakfast in bed, which they ate themselves, in my bed. And they made me some lovely crafts which they forgot to clean up after doing, but it was alright because they decided they’d leave that to me. You know how moms love doing that stuff! After Julia woke up, they all presented me with a card, some cash, and a sweet poem she’d written telling me to GO SHOPPING! We ordered Chinese for dinner so I wouldn’t have to cook and could instead sit on the couch and cross-stitch while watching Twister with my mom. So I guess you could say it was a pretty great day.

The weather was beautiful all weekend. We spent some time outside and that felt good.

She had her hands behind her back and said she had two things to give me.

We took the guinea pigs out for a while and that somehow magnified their cuteness. I mean, LOOK AT SPOTTY RUN!

The guinea pigs!

Spotty

Phoebe and Waddles

Julia’s team won their first softball game of the season, yesterday.

After their first win!

I missed it because I was watching Prince Charming perform with his dance class for some nursing home residents.

Jack's Tap Routine

Jack's Ballet Routine

This would be the perfect spot for some emojis because there are no words.

Dynamite with a Laser Beam*

Yesterday was Julia’s first game of the softball season and her first ever pitching.

First game of the season and first time pitching

I am so proud of her for trying something new! Pitcher is a high pressure position. She is sharing it with another team member – when one pitches, the other catches. I get so nervous watching her! It actually stresses me out to watch any of the kids play. My stomach churns when they go up to bat and I pray that they’ll hit it. They usually do and I realize my anxiety comes from my own experience with sports. I was never an asset to any team I was on. I know how it feels to see your coach hang his head and hear the crowd groan at your performance. I was an outfielder at best. I did have a kickass volleyball serve that landed me a spot on the varsity team in high school. My coach was never so nervous as those moments between my serve and his first opportunity to take me out of the game. He would give an audible sigh of relief when I’d take my place on the bench. I created such conflict in that man. He hated himself for loving my serve. Any time I played softball, I just wished to be walked because I was scared of striking out. Julia is furious if she’s walked. She wants to crush it! I love that about her.

Here is something I love about Jackson. He sings. For me and to me.

True Colors

I know, his face is dirty. It’s always dirty. Last night, I washed it immediately before we walked out the door for the softball game. By the time I was strapping him into his car seat, it was filthy again. How did this happen? It is the mystery of age 4. He’s living his Filthy Face Years. He also has two warts on his face. And, a broken tooth in the front. Much of what is left of the tooth is yellow because there is enamel missing. People notice these things. But when he sings? Love and joy.

Phoebe has been singing, lately, too. She’s on a real Queen bender. We listen to Queen plenty, but she watched the video for Bohemian Rhapsody recently and was completely awed by it. She’s been working her way though all the songs on Queen’s YouTube channel. She can’t get enough of Freddie Mercury’s theatrics and pays close attention to the way he changed his look from one song to another. And of course, she is blown away by his voice. She has specific moments in each song that she especially loves. She’ll listen to an “oooh” or some phrase again and again and sing it herself. Anyway, now we’re trying to convince Julia to learn this so she can sing along.

*From Killer Queen by Queen because oh my gosh, we love it.

We went on a date.

Dave took the girls to the Daddy-Daughter Dance.

Daddy-Daughter Dance ??

I took Jack to the movies.

Movie date with my guy.

You knew this was coming.

Meet Waddles.

They say every guinea pig needs a companion. Meet Waddles.

He’s a little guy. His hands are little. His features are small. He’s a little guy. (We should have named him Garmin!)

Jack and Waddles

I know this is starting to seem a little bit like the whole fish tank affair what with the getting the new guy, a new cage and a bigger cage and even more supplies, but the thing is, these guys are furry and cuddly. FURRY AND CUDDLY. Totally worth it.

Five Pounds!

Lucy and Phoebe came home from school yesterday with the biggest chocolate bar I have ever seen.

Lucy and Phoebe won the biggest chocolate bar I have ever seen

Their names had been put in a drawing for participating in the latest fundraiser and one of them was picked as the lucky winner of the 11,400 calorie prize. (We’re not sure which name was drawn. This is probably best for peace-keeping purposes.) Everyone posed for a picture with it and before you suggest that’s a weird thing to do or be excited about, consider that there is an entire amusement park dedicated to the love and celebration of this very candy bar.

Julia and the chocolate bar

Jack and the chocolate bar

Phoebe and the chocolate bar

Lucy and the chocolate bar

Once we hauled it inside, the kids unwrapped it and stared in disbelief. Breathlessly Julia asked, “Mom, mom what do we do?” Lucy suggested they each take a corner and start gnawing. We ended up cutting off some pieces with a knife. The remainder is taking up an entire shelf in the refrigerator.

You know that A-Ha song that goes “do-do do do do do do do do-do do-do”

The weather was glorious this weekend, so we spent most of it outside.

They spent the whole day playing outside.

I did some mowing and they did stuff like make a tent and have a picnic.

They made a tent and had a picnic

Look at those faces

And they did some dancing.

You know that A-Ha song that goes "do-do do do do do do do do-do do-do"

It’s Tuesday.

Jackson cannot be trusted with scissors. Do you see why?

And there's Jackson...cutting his hair again.

He cut his hair. This is not the first or second or third or even fourth time. He does this a lot. And it isn’t as if his bangs were long and he cut them to get them out of his face. This is just random snipping. For what purpose, son? He has no answer.

Haylee’s cat Spooky is finally warming up to us.

Haylee's cat Spooky is finally warming up to us.

He’s moved from Julia’s room to mine, though he is venturing out of it now and then. He likes to sit next to me while I sew. He enjoys being near me and rubbing up against me. He does not enjoy being picked up or held or petted too much. He likes me best when I’m standoffish. He’s teaching me to be cool.

There was a nice article in the paper about the piano competition. Julia is still flying high from it all. (Me, too.)

Croup

Guess where we were last night?

Jack at the ER

Jack woke up coughing and just couldn’t seem to get enough air. He couldn’t talk or swallow and within minutes, he was struggling to breathe at all. I scooped him up and headed to the emergency room. I took Julia along to sit with Jack to make sure he was staying upright and conscious during the ride there. Thankfully, my dad was up and able to stay with Lucy and Phoebe. Dave was on his way to work when I called. He turned around and met us at the hospital. By the time we got there, Jack seemed a little better. The doctor said it was the cool, moist air outside that helped it start to clear up as he obviously has croup. My fourth child is four years and old and this is the first time I’ve experienced croup! I think we’ve been pretty lucky, because this stuff is terrible.

There had been no warning signs. He hadn’t been coughing before this. He’d had strep throat in early February and a stomach virus last week, but never a stuffy or runny nose. And he’d been fever-free and feeling fine the past few days. Since no one else in our family had ever had croup, it wasn’t on my radar at all. I was worried he had something caught in his throat or maybe was having some kind of asthma attack. It was terrifying.

At the ER, they did a chest x-ray, gave him some steroids and ibuprofen and sent us home. By the time we left, he was laughing and talking about video games and I realized I was out in public in my pajamas, Jack wasn’t even wearing shoes, and I was so very tired. He slept the rest of the night between Dave and me in our bed. I’ve never been more thankful to be kicked all night.

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