Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Way Back When-esday

Someone tell me when this bald baby in January of 2006...

...became this beautiful young lady?

These Way Back When-esdays sure know how to make a mama nostalgic!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Band Busy-ness

Check out my other blog to see exciting things happening with our band, Grace Reigns Down!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What happens at Nanny's...

...makes for some pretty cute text messages.

Jake and Nanny WiiSledding.

And Brooklyn drinking Sprite from a wine glass.

And living room campouts.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If the hat fits...

My kids love wearing hats.

And they look pretty cute in them, too.

(Hats 1 & 3 courtesy of Great Grandma.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Way Back When-esday

Today's Way Back When-esday is brought to you by a sweet, snuggly Brooklyn.

Date: January 2009
*Brooklyn and Uncle Eric enjoying some sweet bonding time.

Date: January 2010
*Brooklyn and Jake enjoying some sweet bonding time.

Happy When-esday, ya'll!

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Very Johnzler Christmas

In all the excitement of snow and ice and Baby Silas, I completely forgot to post this final Holiday blog entry!

We did our annual Johnzler Family Christmas on January 1st this year. Presents, Tanglewood's Festival of Lights (minimal lines after Christmas, people!), and a yummy dinner at J. Butler's.

We left Jake for his first sleepover at Gramma and Pops' house since long time in the car + dinner after 7:30 does not = a happy baby. But, we may bring him next year and leave Brooklyn and Allie home, because all we heard in the car was "I'm hungry...I have to pee....I'm hungry...When is it over...I REALLY have to pee...." It was mostly Brooklyn complaining to give Allie some credit. :-)
But we had a great time, and it's something that we enjoy every year with our special God-family.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm in love again...

I am so excited to announce the arrival of Silas, sweet son of our dear friends, Luke and Emily.

Silas was born at 3:45pm this afternoon and weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces.

He's perfect.

Happy Birthday, Silas! Your Aunt Jaclyn loves you so much already.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Kid Tricks

This video cracks me up because it shows that kids don't always want to do all the tricks on command. And sometimes they just don't know the answer. :-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

6 Short Months...

In just six short months, we will be celebrating this beautiful couple in sunny California...

I will gain another sister in July when my brother, Eric, marries his love, Caroline. We are so excited to make the trip cross-country to participate in their ceremony and witness the joining of two fabulous families.

Sadly, not everyone will be able to attend the wedding in California, so we had an engagement party/wedding shower/reception for Eric and Caroline the week after Christmas while they were both in NC. Both families came together to honor the couple, enjoy NC barbeque, and eat a fabulous tasting "wedding cake" made by our Aunt Sharon.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Next week...

Next week starts up Season 2 of my work's Biggest Loser! I am excited to get back into the weight loss saddle again after taking a few weeks "off." I am also participating in a second competition, Iron Scout, that tracks fitness over 12 weeks. I figured if I do both one will help the other and maybe I have two shots at some extra cash. :-)

And more importantly, I am excited to lose another twenty pounds. This would put me in the "normal" range for my BMI. I am encouraged in the fact that after Season 1, I went from this:
to this:So, hopefully after Season 2, I can get back to this: Game on!

(I am also posting pics of Chad to brag on his progress. It's been wonderful going through this with my partner. It helps a lot!)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Confessions of a mom that works. And loves it.

I had several thoughts about what to title this post.

I just wanna be a "stay at home wife."
Thoughts from a working mom.
What is a working mom?
Aren't all moms working?
The guilt. Should I feel it? Because I don't.

Do you have any idea what I am about to write? No? That's why it was so hard to pick a good title.

After spending two weeks off work, I would like to say that I have had a lot of time to think. And write. And clean. And rest. And watch TV.

But I didn't.

Because while I was off for those two weeks, so were Chad and Brooklyn. And Jake was home 75% of the time. And that equals a busy two weeks. Not to mention Christmas and all.

I enjoy working outside the home. A lot. I enjoy making money, because I enjoy spending money. And, let's face it, as a teacher, Chad doesn't make enough for us to both spend. :-) I also enjoy my office. I love the people I work with, I believe in what my company does, and I believe that my job has value. But I LOVE my office because I have a door...that closes. And doesn't open unless people knock. So, whenever I need to accomplish something, I have the choice to close my door. And it stays shut.

And I can use the bathroom by myself. Without interruption.

I know, amazing, huh?

But, as a mother, I do feel a tug to want to stay home with my children in their younger years. I love them so much and want to witness every moment of their childhood.

But, then we have a two week vacation, and I am reminded why I work.

When I am home with the kids for long weekends, or snow days, or holidays, why am I exhausted? Why do I get frustrated? Shouldn't I be thrilled to have this extra time with them? I spent some time (maybe in the shower when I was semi-alone) over the holidays mulling this over.

I shouldn't feel guilty for loving my life the way it is. I shouldn't feel guilty for enjoying the fact that they go to school everyday, and I go to work. I shouldn't be confused as to why "extra days" all day at home exhaust me.


Because it's not part of our normal daily routine. And kids thrive on routine.

When Brooklyn was a baby, she only napped at school. She napped on a mat, by herself, for hours. But at home on the weekends, we would spend forever trying to rock her to sleep in a bathroom with the fan on for white noise, and then one of us would have to lay down with her in our bed to keep her asleep. I have to say, I didn't really care that much when she gave up naps. That was three hours of our day back. I just thought we did something "wrong" with Brooklyn and somehow missed the nap train.

Fast forward a few years. Jake was a great napper. He was at home (or Aunt Patty's house) for the first 6 months of his life. He slept in his bed for naps. He took pretty decent ones. Then, he transitioned to school and did great there, too. At about 8 months, he moved from the crib to the mat. And he did great at school.

But then he stopped napping at home in his bed. And the cycle started again. Refusing to nap at home = rocking in front of the TV and then laying down with me in our bed.


Then, it dawned on me. For 5 continuous days, Jake sleeps on the floor, with a teacher patting his back, with his friends, with special music. Then, on Saturdays, we look at him and expect him to just happily climb in his crib and nap mid-day. A break in routine. He's confused, he's lonely, and then he just gets pissed.

And then nap time is over.

So, we try to accomodate him. We shoot for the same time of day (12-ish), but we snuggle and love and cuddle. And we nap beside him. So he's not lonely.

And though I don't get anything done for 45 minutes to 2.5 hours (he's very unpredictable), I do get to read a few pages of Harry Potter. And watch my beautiful sleeping son.

So, back to the long days at home. 5 days at school- where he has friends to play with non-stop in a child-proof, age appropriate setting, where they bring him meals at a teeny table and he sits in a teeny chair, and where he naps on his own mat in his same spot everyday.

If I were a stay at home mom, I am sure that I would still have days when I am exhausted. Positive. I read the blogs, and I have many friends who are stay at home moms. I believe that if that's what makes them happiest, then I support them 100%. It's a decision that only you can make for yourself, and I definitely see the same value in both "pathways."

But, back to if I were a stay at home mom. Jake would have a completely different routine. His day to day life would be much different than it is now. And it would be a 7 day a week cycle. Not a 2 on, 5 off. He would nap in his bed...probably most of the time. He would learn to play by least some of the time. We would join a playgroup. And our house would be child-proof.

Our house is not really child-proofed. Brooklyn was 3 1/2 when we moved. We added a gate to the top of the stairs and thought that was good. Since Jake has become mobile, I put a few locks on the fireplace, the wine cabinet, and the bathroom cabinets (OK, they have hair rubber bands, but they do the trick for now), and the ottoman blocks the bottom of the stairs. So, consequently, we spend a lot of time chasing Jake and getting him out of trouble. And we also have to do other things that don't get done during the week...boring stuff like bill paying, bathroom cleaning, and picture hanging. Which all leaves us pretty worn out. And leaves Brooklyn bored and also wanting attention. And she's pretty vocal when she needs attention. (Again, a child used to having friends around her 5 days a week since she was 8 weeks old = a child that does not entertain herself easily.)

No time to do much of anything else.

And speaking of doing anything else (are you guys still even reading this? I am usually much more organized with my thoughts!)...

Did you know that sometimes I leave work at 5 and go straight home? I work 2 miles from Jake, but sometimes Chad will go by and get him so that I can get home and start dinner. That way, when the three of them walk in the door, dinner is ready, and we can all eat together. I may even have time to throw in a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher. But there is probably not time in there to change clothes. That would be asking a lot.

Did you know that I don't work Fridays, but I send Jake to school anyway?

And I don't feel guilty.

Sometimes on Fridays, I get to grocery shop, clean the house, organize clutter, and do everything else that didn't get done Saturday-Thursday. But sometimes, I have appointments or obligations. Each week is different. But I do enjoy my Fridays.

I tell Chad I would make a perfect "stay at home wife." We could send the kids to school everyday, but I could do all the house and wife duties at home uninterrupted. Maybe if we win the lottery....

And if we do win the lottery, I will pay someone to come child-proof my new, huge mansion.

And hire someone to clean it weekly.

And cook my dinners.

And then I would spend all my free time playing with my kids.

After they come home from school.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Two-Part Christmas! (that means twice the fun!)

We were lucky enough to have two Christmases with my side of the family (Part 2 came when Aunt Caroline arrived in NC after spending Christmas with her mom). Here are pictures, in no particular order, from both celebrations.

Grandpa showing Jake a picture of he and Brooklyn. And Brooklyn just tearing through presents.

The gang.

One of my favorite gifts was a LightScoop for my camera. Eric was patient and helped me most of one evening learning how to use it. :-)

One of the kids' favorite presents was their new red wagon....Brooklyn "helped" Grandpa put it together.
There are just no words to describe how funny this picture is.

My precious family.
Grace Reigns Down CD framed. :-)

And more playing with the camera's lightscoop.

Now, if Santa would just bring me a few more hours in the day to put away new clothes, practice on my camera, clean out closets, and catch up on emails, I will be good to go! :-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

We interrupt Christmas vacation to bring you...

...a snow day!!!

On December 27th, my family came over to take advantage of the Winter Wonderland in our front and back yards (hey, the driveway is useful for something!). Brooklyn had a great time playing with Nanny and Uncle Eric...and Jake tolerated it for a few quick picture opts. :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Johnson Christmas (otherwise known as the "Nothing Can Stop Us Christmas")

Not even 6 inches of snow on the ground and the steepest driveway in the world can stop us from getting together with our Johnson family. (Though for a while there it was looking iffy, and we were VERY sad.)

But, bless my family, they loaded four adults and boo-koos of presents in a 4 door sedan and traveled across town to have Christmas with us at our (quite snowed in) home.

Jake was very excited and called all his friends (on the Wii remote).

There was lots of present opening...

And present putting togethering...
And Easy Bake cooking...

And very happy children!

And even happier Grandparents. :-)


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