Who’s calling? “They didn’t have a face, mommy!” as the decline buttons pushed. 🤦🏼‍♀️

Who’s calling? “They didn’t have a face, mommy!” as the decline buttons pushed. 🤦🏼‍♀️

I think sometimes there is a misconception that if you are a stay at home mom or you’re homeschooling you’re really vegging out on the couch and your little one is an idiot that shoves toilet paper up his nose all day. 🤣 Nope & nope!

Rarely will you find us vegging except at bedtime which is 6:30-7:30 (GASP) for Jack. We are goers by nature and early risers. And in the car a LOT. He didn’t have screen time until he was over two but made up for it today because I’m pretty sure he had my phone in the backseat most of it. “All is well in moderation” — I’m chanting that if you didn’t know.

So….. how did he homeschool today. How did he learn a thing with his eyes glued to my iPhone? Because we talk. And talk. And talk. I use (almost) every errand or try to anyway as a learning opportunity. Today, we took my mother to the doctor. He informed two doctors that they should have glubs 😍 (gloves) on because of all the bacteria. We listened as my mother was told a plan of action and 25 minutes later she asked me what one of the details was and before I could open my mouth he looked up and told her. We picked up two rocks from her neighbors yard 😬 and that discussion led to volcanos and then to earth quakes and then to the extinction of dinosaurs. 🤷🏼‍♀️

We came home and fed Little Wing (our broken winged butterfly) and talked about how he eats. He colored a picture while I unloaded the dishwasher, and then did our normal nighttime routine before bed. So no, he wasn’t in a classroom for 7 hours today and yes he had entirely too much screen time but our littles are learning all.of.the.time.

All this to say that today wasn’t our norm. And I’m okay with that. He’s 5 and while I do teach him what he “should” know at this age I focus primarily on the things of interest to him. Why? He’s a child and needs to be taught specific curriculum?

Life is full of educational opportunities. I’ve always followed his lead. And when he’s interested in something he generally masters it. So he may not know all of the required sight words for kindergarten but he sure does know a lot more than I knew at his age.

Do you momma! Whether that be homeschool or brick and mortar. There is no right or wrong only what’s right for YOUr family at this moment in time. 👊🏻

Be kind. It’s simple.

Be kind. It’s simple.

Recently Jack started Play Therapy. I’ve questioned whether or not to discuss this here but I’ve decided to for two reasons. 1) When a child needs help we help them. 2) Because I want him to grow up with the tools to express himself in a healthy way, problem solve, and have healthy relationships.

Backstory: He has been through some traumatic events. I tried diligently to shield him from them but that isn’t always possible. I was at the library at our co-op one day and he pushed me (new behavior that breaks my heart) and a friend w/o judgement told me about this book.

It was if God himself placed her there at that very moment and I immediately checked it out. As I was reading it spoke about the brain… all about the brain and how we as parents have to tune into it. We are all a little traumatized so this book helps adults heal too. If we are healed then we are better equipped to help our littles heal. However, we needed some more help.

* Let me say here quickly that my child isn’t “broken” and why I feel the need to say that makes me sick because I’m so against the stigma that comes with therapy. *

He has a friend, my best friends son, and there were (are) times he would almost bully him even though he loves him so much. They’re 4… well 4 and 5 now as they both just had birthdays! 🎉 Where did he learn this behavior? I’d always been patient, I’d always been nurturing, I practice gentle parenting, we play outside, I’m hands on, I’m home with him….. you get my drift. Then I realized two things: another child had been aggressive towards him and used words we didn’t allow (not an excuse but truth) and he was having BIG emotions that he was unable to verbalize to me. Our schedule had been off and there were a couple of life changes that happened but still – where did my sweet boy go? This was beginning to affect our relationship and other close relationships we have. My true friends didn’t treat him any different, were so very supportive of us both, and were willing to help me help him anyway I could. There were a select few that chose to talk about him and me as if we were a joke. Quite disgusting.

We’ve been twice now to play therapy and by reading the book there has been some improvement! I can’t wait to see how he flourishes moving forward with play therapy and by being around those that truly love him.

This is my goal for him. ⬆️ I’m not a quitter and we will win this together.

My goal for myself. ⬆️ And I think so many other parents should take note of it too.

Thursday, we had play therapy and then that same night issues arose with a couple of people I know unbeknownst to him. Friday, probably after a day of processing from therapy he brought up a hurtful event that happened to him from a friend. We talked through it over and over until he was comfortable enough w/ our discussion to go to sleep. Unfortunately, I had to discuss that adults can be mean to each other too. His sweet self said “mommy, I don’t want anyone to be mean to you.” I explained I felt the same for him and that it’s important to be the friend he wants in return.

Man, we certainly can learn a lot from children.

And what a great quote for adults too! ⬆️

Ever feel like a mom failure?

Ever feel like a mom failure?

No? Just me? Almost daily? 😭

Lately we’ve been off. The house is in disarray, our schedules (don’t hate – we thrive on them) have been cray, we’ve had extras come up and life happens and I’m tired and when my house is crazy I feel crazy and… gasp. All of these things are true BUT we are also at a stage of testing boundaries, sharing those BIG emotions LOUDLY, and if I want to be real – defiance. Straight up. It makes me lose my shit patience on the inside, makes me mad and sad and want to scream and cry all at the same time.

This babe is amazing. He’s hilarious and quick witted and charming and cute and smart and creative and adventurous (hence the name of the blog) and really really really sweet and cute… wait I already said that but I’ll say it again for the peeps in the back – CUTE! 😍

He’s also strong willed, determined, and quite sure of himself. Qualities I absolutely love but they can also be tiring for this momma and those near and dear to us. My goal will never be to extinguish that fire!

Even as adults we have to be reminded and recenter ourselves. We have to go back to the basics and build on what’s worked before. For example: with us – he didn’t really talk until he was 2. No delays and could comprehend everything just didn’t talk. He made sounds and signed and that’s how I knew his needs but there were days that he had huge emotions and literally couldn’t voice them to me so he bit me. My knee jerk reaction could of been ugly but I had to pause for a minute and remind myself. I started acknowledging his emotions… you must be sad, upset, frustrated, etc. and I ignored the biting. By the Grace of God and God alone ignoring the “bad” behavior worked well for us.

When things are out of whack or we are going through a developmental leap (I don’t even think they’re called that at his age but ya know) I have to go back to the basics. I could be filled with mommy guilt and beat myself us but tonight I choose to give myself grace.

I pulled out this book at bedtime and we read it. I can not tell you how much I love this book. I change the wording around a bit in some areas but it’s all of the things I say only this book has a way of letting them HEAR it.

And now I’m off to drink a glass of well deserved wine. Cheers.

Miss Betty’s

Miss Betty’s

There is something about the outdoors. Something about the air, the dirt, the freedom, the adventure that can not be explained. Jack comes alive in a different way. His mood changes, his smile is different and his imagination goes wild.

Recently we went to a women’s house that we lovingly call Miss Betty. I can’t even tell you her age but I guarantee she would no longer be considered a “miss.” She lives with her daughter on a small farm and it is perfection. I have known her (my best friends grandmother) for 26yrs this year. But for our kids to experience this too is amazing.

They got to pet the skin of a snake that lives in the barn. I mean, I’d die if I knew a snake was anywhere near me, but this one is welcomed. And got to touch, examine, explore, and hold a birds nest that is made so amazingly that you can only praise Jesus.

So.many.animals run free on the many acres they have from horses to chickens to goats to roosters. And turkeys.

And then the tractors, oh my!

As the day escaped us way too quickly the littles were able to pick their own strawberries…

Can you even? 😍⬆️

Before we were sent home with dozens of fresh eggs!

I have ALWAYS considered myself a City girl but I tell you that every time we encounter a new farm I feel this pull inside of me. There is absolutely nothing like it. The hard work, the filth, the sweat, the tears, the harvests, the peace, the adventure, the imagination, the dreams….

I’ve said it a thousand times and will a thousand more — you can learn ANYWHERE. Follow your heart and the heart of your children regardless of if it’s a farm, a newspaper stand, a video game, etc. Just watch what comes alive in your child. That second right there will help you help them. To see there eyes twinkle is to know their little minds are soaking it up. And the beauty of it all is you’re right there with them. ❤️

Learning Toy Review

Learning Toy Review

I bought this from amazon https://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-Magnetic-Anatomy-Storage/dp/B001SVX6NI

Annnnnnd I love it!

Jack is always dressing up and if it’s not a firefighter, policeman, or a caped & masked hero of some kind it’s this entirely too small and pelvis missing skeleton costume. 🤷🏼‍♀️ So, this evening he put it on and I had an idea to pull out this set I’ve been holding onto for Summer learning.

It has a magnetic base (skeleton) which is a great tool to learn bones & then you attach different systems to it.

It has an organ system both for males and females. My uncle had a liver transplant in January and so we have talked a lot about different organs but this was age appropriate and clear.

It has the vascular system which gave a visual to our talks about blood and what it does in our body.

It has a muscular system again giving a visual to talks during yoga, running, etc. and eating right for our muscles.

It has two naked bodies; 1) representing a male and 2) representing a female. We are very open.. I always have been with both boys. Jack knows the technical term for his genitalia and he knows mine. *Side note: while he has a name for his “peep” I think it’s super important that children know from an early age the technical term for a number of reasons but one being in the case of sexual assault.*

And it has clothes to makes the bodies dressed.

He loved putting all of the different systems together and asking questions about each. We love this! Now — let me add that I realize that MANY people do not identify with one gender. I also realize that many like gender neutral items. I get that. I’ve never directed him to choose anything simply because he’s a “boy” in fact I’ve embraced whatever he’s drawn to. He so happens to really love cars and trucks so they take up most of the house but we have a Barbie in the shower as we speak. I am in no way shaming ANYONE at all because this happens to be boy/girl nor am I discluding or discrediting or demeaning. We do do not live in a box and embrace all people. Period. With that said, I do really like this as a teaching tool for my little.

One love. ❤️

Memorial Day Weekend! 🇺🇸

Memorial Day Weekend! 🇺🇸

This was a busy and fun weekend. We went swimming, visiting friends, saw my grandma 😍, talked about the true meaning of today, & then a little science because why not when your little dresses up like a skeleton?

Jack and I both really enjoy the outdoors. Swimming allows him (& most children) the freedom to MOVE. That’s one thing that’s super important to me and why I really enjoy homeschooling.. they get to move! How we expect 3, 4, 5 year olds, etc. to sit still for a lengthy point of time is beyond me. (source: fix.com blog)

And watching the growth of his swimming from last year until this was awe-mazing! Is he an Olympic swimmer? No. 😂 But the independence and motivation was beautiful to watch.

We also went to the fire station. *FYI – at Jacks 2yo bday party the local fire station brought a truck to my house (for free) so that the kids could see the truck up close and personal. He’s always been OBSESSED w/ fire trucks/fighters so this was a win for us. Thank me later.* Jack goes often but we took his friend this time too.

Both of us (my friend and I) are single moms. Our precious babes don’t see their fathers so not only is going to the fire station fun and they learn but it also shows the boys that men aren’t to be frightened of (in our case) and that we can trust them. I encourage all mommas to go but especially to teach them a respect for first responders. We hit up the police station too a few weeks ago. 👏🏻

Then we let the babes play outside while we drank wine.. I mean chilled and took it back to the old school with hop scotch. You would have thought these kids were taken to Disney. They LOVED it. Not only fun but helped with gross motor skills and reinforced counting and number recognition.

Puppy brother got a treat too. He’s soooo basic!

But then today we visited my grandmother. She lost her husband in 1961 when his plane went missing and was never found. I have been talking to Jackson all week about this. Gently and age appropriately. She never remarried bc he was her love

and the respect I have for her as a sudden single mother of 3 is unexplainable. To all of our fallen hero’s & their families, our hearts were with you today and always.Now a pic of my sweet boss babe!

Teen Mom vs Mom at 34 and the Differences in the two.

Teen Mom vs Mom at 34 and the Differences in the two.

This blog is called The Adventures of Jack but truly the adventure began 21 years ago yesterday. I was 17 w/ 17 days until my 18th birthday and had just given birth to the most beautiful 9lb baby boy, KJ.

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing if I want to be honest. I knew nothing about breast feeding… I wasn’t even comfortable yet in my own skin. I knew nothing about how to feed him period. I overfed him too many times to count. I knew nothing about colic which he had. In 1997 they (doctors because I had no clue there were other resources) recommended babies slept in a crib or bassinet on their side. He hated it. It took about 2 weeks for my maternal instincts to kick in. We began (safely) bed-sharing, he napped on his tummy, and we gently bounced instead of rocked to sleep.

I have to say the first year was rough. I loved him beyond measure but had no idea that I could follow his lead and develop his own schedule. I was getting so much advice but one reached me more than the others. He’s your baby and no babies are the same so you find out what works best for the both of you. That help me not feel like a complete failure.

After the first year things began to fall into place. He was my everything. Truly. My grandmother once told me (several times actually) that I was put on this planet to be a mom. I am not perfect by any means and she of course is biased but I think she saw in me what no one else could. And even though I was young that couldn’t diminish the bond we had and the love I had for being a mom. His Mom!

I had Jack at 34 – quite an age difference and I see how different of a mom I am now. Some of it makes me happy and some of it makes me sad. For instance: I was ashamed of being a young and single mom. I was so caught up in what others thought. My house was always perfect (I’m kinda OCD anyway) but it took away from time with KJ. He always had to be dressed perfect. When he began school I lied about my age so the seasoned moms would take me more seriously. I mean what woman in the world actually pretends to be older? ✋🏻 I got very involved in his school and the PTA because I wanted to be the mom I didn’t have.

*Let me pause for a second. I had/have a mother. When I was growing up though she wasn’t the PTA kind of mom. That’s as far as I’ll go into her besides saying that she did the best she could. AND doesn’t every person want the opposite of what they have to a certain degree?Along with my mother ⬆ I had very strong women in my life; my great grandmother was instrumental and I see many of my life choices now come from her, my grandma who was/is very much a mom to me and the epitome of unconditional love and strength, and my aunt that was the best mom I think I’ve ever witnessed in motion.*

Back to my KJ after my short detour. We were and are extremely close but looking back I never got on the floor really to play cars or let him jump in mud puddles, or allow him to clean his own room because I had to have things perfect. We had amazing adventures, had so much quality time together, talked about any and everything and for that I’m grateful. We hugged and kissed all of the time and “I love you” was said multiple times a day but I was controlling and never realized it until Jack and for that I’m sad.

No one is the same person they are at 17, 21, 28 and 34. There is a lot of growth both emotionally and intellectually that takes place. With Jack, he gets to wear rain boots, a cape, and shorts in public 😳 and jump in mud puddles and dishes can wait while I play on the floor with him. I’m more aware now of what we put into and on our bodies, I’m more patient and gentle. (I was never a spanker because I wasn’t as a child and it just was unnatural to me to discipline in that way so meaning gentle in the sense of calm voice, eye level, etc. vs no and stop).

Did KJ get the short end of the stick? Sometimes I worry he did. BUT then I think of all of the things I did with him that I’m not doing with Jack. I went to ALL of KJ’s talent shows, school plays, classroom parties, etc. whereas Jack is homeschooled and might possibly not have those experiences with me. I could go on. And on. And on.

There are similarities too though. Neither were vaccinated past a certain point, both bed shared, etc. I honed into my momma gut as I became older. Breastfeeding was immediate with Jack and continued into toddlerhood. Schedules are life. I followed Jacks though and that made life easier. But the real truth is that I stopped caring what people thought of me as a parent. Both of my babes know they were and are loved. And both babes had different needs.

Mommin’ ain’t easy. And I give props to all parents just doing their best for their families…. no matter their age, experience, bank account balance, etc. And momma guilt is a bitch. So the next time I see a young mom or an experienced mom I’ll be yelling Do You Boo – silently though because I don’t want people to think I’m crazy! 🤣

Somethings you just can’t plan for.

Somethings you just can’t plan for.

As a parent we are usually going 90-nothing. Whether it be SAHM’s or working moms we are always thinking of our littles. We do the best we can and hope and pray that our precious babes aren’t going to be in counseling later in life because we screw them up. I mean seriously can I get an Amen?!

We are loving, nurturing, put our needs last, rarely get to pee by ourselves, teach our children, hope we make them laugh, dance it out when we are having hard days (I can’t be the only one that dances to Elmo, etc.) We pray for and over our children and ourselves. And when we slip up we hope by the Grace of God that we make up for it 10 fold.

Our toddlers have BIG emotions and can’t yet verbalize them. So we have a lot of patience and loving arms and soft laps to protect them, guide them, and try to help them make sense of things. But what happens when we, as parents, can’t make sense of them?

Today, my friend of 26 years lost her first baby, her dog. He would have been 12 this summer so he had lived a wonderful life. He passed away peacefully and even though we saw it coming no amount of understanding can prepare you for a loss. Especially when children are involved.

I went to pick him up this morning to come to my house while my friend worked so that I could monitor him. Jack was excited to see him. She was relieved he wouldn’t be alone. It was supposed to be okay. Only it wasn’t. I walked in and he was gone.

I had to call her at work and tell her. I broke her heart into a bazillion pieces. And that broke mine. Luckily Jackson didn’t come in with me (and before we call DHS he was completely safe ☺️) but I did have to return to the car and tell him too.

I rarely cry. That’s not because I don’t have feelings I’m just super great at bottling them up. 😬 But I was crying and there was no hiding it no matter how badly I wanted to. I wasn’t prepared to talk about this with him. And as a mom I try to be prepared for just about everything. But today I didn’t feel the mom guilt for crying because I want him to not only know but see that it is OKAY to cry and BE sad and NOT understand. I want him to have empathy.

This post isn’t about me and Jackson or shouldn’t be but about my friend and her loss. Not only did she need to grieve BUT she had to explain to her 3 year old what happened. While holding back tears, she took him for ice cream and then had to explain that when they got home a piece of their puzzle was no more. He knew he was sick and she’d been subtly trying to prepare him but how much preparing can you give to a child especially when you as the parent aren’t prepared yourself?

Last night, her precious child “read” him a book to make him feel better. I think it worked. ❤️ And gave him some extra love…How precious are their hearts?!

This is life and bound to happen but these are the kind of days that break my heart for these babies. Not to mention his momma! 💔

Today’s adventure was a somber one. But it’s real and I don’t want to just show our ‘perfect’ days. We can learn from both kinds, grow, and learn to be okay with doing our best even through tears.

Co-ops. Why are they important for us?

Co-ops. Why are they important for us?

As a homeschooling mom that comes with many questions – Am I failing him? Am I equipped? Am I isolating him? And SO many more. Since there is a 16 YEAR gap in my children’s age it’s almost as if he’s an only child meaning he doesn’t have siblings to interact with and homeschool with daily.

I learned about co-ops last year. For those that aren’t familiar they are a group of like minded parents teaching their children on their own and get together about once a week. There are so many different kinds and formats for co-ops and sometimes it takes visiting several before you find the right one not only for your child but for you as a parent.

We visited one today and loved it. The parents were welcoming and so were the kids. And it happened to be right up our alley because it was at a farm! 😍He (we) learned about different kinds of eggs, fed the chickens from the palm of our hands, & tasted the freshest honey that literally melted in your mouth. But beyond that the kids were free to roam and play and get dirty. Learning and watching them learn is amazing. Seeing other littles interact and really talk about their surroundings warms my heart. And the parents that welcome you as if they’ve known you forever is how it should be.

These kids could possibly grow up together and the memories they’re making on top of the self led education is absolutely priceless!

Side note: Jack has really been interested in his great great grandparents that passed away in 2010. He literally looks at their picture daily and asks me questions about them. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking because I so wish KJ remembered them and that Jack could have known them. They were incredibly influential in my life and I notice it more and more as I get older based on food choices, etc. The farm we visited was close to their old house (and my uncles after that) so we went there after the co-op. It’s changed a lot but I was able to share stories of their garden and shed, the tree I climbed, & the sun room I spent many of summers in.

Homeschooling isn’t just about abc’s but also matters of the heart. “You climbed trees too, mommy?” Which then led to pecans and squirrels but I’ll spare you those details. 😘

Raw milk and True Joy

Raw milk and True Joy

I am in a raw milk co-op. For those that aren’t familiar.. we are a group that orders from a local farm and take turns every other Tuesday picking up milk for all of the members. Today was our “run” and we look so forward to it! I chose to extend breastfeeding into toddlerhood and once Jack began to self wean we began drinking raw milk. Prior to that we always had organic milk in the fridge but once I learned about it and TASTED it – done! IF we were going to drink dairy I wanted it to be as healthy as possible. And then I learned of this farm.Besides the milk we LOVED visiting. I mean can you even with the cuteness? 😍 But I was a bit skeptical at first. Was it safe? Was I putting my little at risk? So we did a little tour. It was sooooo clean and the cows were so happy. Plus..So we began drinking it and never looked back. Why should you consider it? Besides the fact that it is absolutely delish it is healthy and helpful!and because…but if you need an even bigger reason and despise chemicals as much as me..Try it! It does a body good.