He’s Not Joining the Military


Jack had his first hair cut by Daddy this weekend. Jeff has cut his own hair for years and he does a good job. It’s really just a buzz cut with different lengths on the top and the sides. Jeff’s hair grows so fast, he cuts it every two weeks.



Jack’s very first haircut

Jack’s hair isn’t quite like his Daddy’s, although it still grows fast. Every month I spend $20 taking Jack to a fancy, over-priced, kid-specialized salon. He sits on a little motorcycle, watches the movie Cars, and cries for most of the 10 minutes it takes the hair stylist to cut his hair. For awhile Jeff and I were thinking Jeff should cut Jack’s hair. I made Jeff attend Jack’s last haircut so he could learn how the experts do it.


After two days of Jack’s poof sticking straight up, Jeff said “Jack do you want Daddy to cut your hair?” Jack was very excited about this, even though he seems to hate getting his hair cut. We discussed briefly, then started to get ready. Jeff got the clippers, I started praying. Just kidding… kind of…


Jack did better than he has at any hair cut. Lots of hair fell to the ground. I had to remind Jeff that Jack isn’t joining the military, so he didn’t need to go so short.










But in the end we saved money, had fun, Jack looks adorable, and I’m not even mad at Jeff! Success!IMG_3407

The Cat in the Hat is Sleeping

Just in case any of you are resolving to be more patient in 2014, I told you I’d blog again and then made you wait a week for the next post. Just helping you be patient. You’re welcome.

If we are Facebook friends you may have seen my post about Jack’s New Years Resolution. He didn’t know he made this resolution. I decided for him. There will be no more waking up in the middle of the night and watching Cat in the Hat episodes.

Sometime in November Jack’s perfect sleeping habits became disrupted. He started crying sometime between midnight and 2am. But since Jeff is so busy at work during holiday seasons, I thought I wouldn’t bother him to trade off turns getting Jack. I’ll just handle it myself.

For awhile we got away with bringing Jack into our room and he’d cuddle up next to me and sleep immediately. It sounds real cute, but as I balanced on the three inches of space, shivering from the cold of no blankets left for me, I’d move Jack back to his bed. This continued once every night for awhile.

Then one night Jack didn’t want to go to my bed. I was stumped. My mental functioning is significantly decreased in the middle of the night. So I grabbed my iPhone, opened the free PBS app, and we watched Cat in the Hat. The episodes are only 12 minutes and sometimes I’d be able to put Jack back to bed halfway through.

This happened with such frequency that I planned for it: pajama pants with pockets, phone charged. We alternated Curious George into the mix. Jack didn’t seem to get bored watching the same episodes over and over again, but I did. I even looked on YouTube for new ones.

Now that the holidays are over I’ve realized how long this habit has been going and I’m determined to sleep through the night again. I’m also sick of falling asleep to and/or waking up to theme songs playing in my head.

But the last few nights have gone surprisingly well without The Cat. Jack still wakes up but I hold him and sing him a song, pray out loud that God helps him sleep (I think Jack likes that), then I tell him I’ll sing him one more song, but I usually sing between one and three more songs – accompanied by Jack’s whining/fake crying and “monkey hugs” where he holds me so tight I don’t need to hold him – then I lay him down and leave. I give him five minutes. He usually cries for four and falls asleep. Then I have a little victory party for myself. Woohoo!

I think eventually Jack will realize I’m far less entertaining at 2am than the Cat in the Hat so he’ll stop waking up. Right?

On another note, Jeff and I were disagreeing at dinner about how the Cat in the Hat Christmas song went so we played that episode just to figure it out. We proceeded to sing it the rest of the evening. “Welcome to my party… If you want to play some musical chairs, just have a seat with these polar bears…” You’ll have to look it up, or Jeff and I would be happy to sing it for you.

Here’s a picture from when Jack was only a month old! It was easy to sleep with him when he was this size.


Don’t Freak Out When the Squirrel Comes in The House

Have I mentioned lately that Jack doesn’t stop moving? It seems that everyday he discovers more of the house and increases his speed. Despite the multitude of toys he could play with, he prefers making a speedy get-away to everything he’s not supposed to get into: the newspaper, pulling up the floor vents, etc. Yesterday Jack discovered how to open the kitchen cabinets and drawers. And he’s very proud of himself for doing so. He also enjoys inspecting the cables behind the media cabinet as if he is planning on rewiring the system.

image_4After chasing him all over the house this morning, I fashioned my own gates to at least keep Jack in one room.

Unfortunately the incredibly loud thunderstorms interrupted Jack’s nap (and mine – you know its loud if it wakes ME up!) So we prepped for a walk. While I grabbed our jackets, Jack crawled head first into the frame of the coffee table.  I didn’t see this, I only heard the thud and recognized it immediately. I’ve walked into the table myself. I know the pain. Poor boy.

image_1Thankfully he was distracted from crying because our squirrel was at the back door! Jeff has trained several squirrels over the years to come to our back door for treats. Our first squirrel, Buddy, was trained by throwing little nacho chips toward him like frisbees. Since then we’ve had a few squirrels but I don’t remember all their names. They usually stick around for a season and then we don’t see them again…image_2

Lately we’ve had a new squirrel who has a patch of fur missing, hence his name Patch (are you amazed at our creativity?). He’s a little enthusiastic about getting a nut. (That’s some foreshadowing for you!)

Jack sat by the back door and I knelt next to him, getting a nut out of the jar for Patch. I open the door to throw the nut but Patch imagelooks like he’s going to bite my hand off. So I dropped the nut. Except Patch didn’t see that. So he came inside the house.

At this point I wanted to freak out and run away.  (Aaaahhh! Rabid squirrel in the house!!!) But then I remembered Jack boy sitting next to me. I mustered up some bravery, half shielding Jack with my arm (because of course the squirrel who climbs high into trees can’t make it over, under, or through my arm to the cute little boy sitting less than two feet from him).

Patch took a few steps backward out the door and I threw him two nuts. Closed the door and locked it. Just in case he knew how to open the door. Breathing a sigh of relief, we watched Patch while safely protected by our super heavy glass door. I’m sure Jack would have preferred to pet Patch. 

image_5After our walk, Jack had lunch when he demonstrated his faster-than-mama-reflexes by hitting the spoon as I move it towards his mouth. You can imagine the disaster. But wait – you don’t have to imagine, I took a picture! I had to change his whole outfit which is an adventure itself because he won’t lay down or sit still. (When we are in public and I have to change Jack’s diaper, I strongly consider asking a stranger to come help me).

I put Jack back with his toys while I cleaned up lunch real quick and when I turned around Jack is licking the bricks on the fireplace.

Success for today: at least we didn’t get attacked by our squirrel.

Yesterday I Couldn’t Walk

This post should have been written last week but I was too busy hobbling around.

Last Monday night I sprained my ankle playing soccer. (Hopefully that’s glamorous enough of a story for you because all I did was step and turn and my ankle didn’t come with me.) I heard a lot of cracking, breaking noises as I fell to the turf. I was hoping my ankle wasn’t broken because how do you take care of a 9 month old who doesn’t stop moving when you can’t move yourself?

Arriving home, as I hopped through the house to shower and change, I realized my chances of taking care of Jack on my own the next day were slim. My mother-in-law (“Mimi”) and grandmother-in-law (“Granny”) came over to help with Jack. It also happened to be a huge snowstorm.

IMG_1541Before Mimi and Granny arrived I tried putting Jack down for a nap. I pulled him onto my lap, sat in my computer chair, and rolled over to the stairs, where I hopped/limped up and laid Jack in his crib.  He was much too curious about our mode of transportation to go to sleep. After a few attempts, we went back downstairs and cuddled on the couch watching Dinosaur Train. I tried to ice (with a frozen bag of corn – it’s the best ice pack!) but Jack wondered what it was. Eventually I quit icing and Jack fell asleep on the couch.

When Mimi and Granny arrived (and even brought lunch!), I left Jack in their capable hands – and movable feet – and drove myself for x-rays to make sure the ankle wasn’t broken. Although it took the doctor forever, she finally confirmed my ankle was just sprained. Then she tried to put my old air brace on me which I had brought with, but she adjusted it incorrectly… At one point she said “You probably know more about this than I do!” Yes, I’m sure my previous injuries are the equivalent of a Medical Degree.

That evening I talked to my mom, requesting her assistance for the next day to help me get back into this walking thing which was painful and nearly impossible.  She gladly agreed.

Wednesday morning I woke up, and despite the still-swollen and still-bruised ankle, I walked on it with almost no problems and little pain. Jack decided he’d help me test this out.

Jack standing at the table he's not supposed to stand at.

Jack standing at the table he’s not supposed to stand at.

  1. Jack poops. I change his diaper. He finishes his bottle. While he’s playing nicely on his play mat I rinse the bottle and put in dishwasher.
  2. I rush back to find Jack playing with the blinds and he has pooped again. I’m not sure what transpired except that I put my glass of water on the coffee table, went to the kitchen for literally 5 seconds before I hear some clinking noises.
  3. Jack spilled my water on the table and floor but thankfully the glass was rolling on the floor and not broken.
  4. Poopy and somewhat wet Jack was sent to jail, I mean the pack & play, so I could dry the floor.
  5. I changed the second poopy diaper. But before I can get a new one on, a fountain shoots forth (which always shocks me like I don’t know where it’s coming from. In fact most of the time this happens, I actually back away from the fountain, instead of covering it.)
  6. Jack goes back in pack & play so I can clean up his pee. 
  7. Returning to Jack I see he managed to reach the box of Kleenex on the side table and had shredded a Kleenex, dropping most of it on the floor and I assume eating the other parts.
  8. Then Jack spits up all over pack & play.

That was only the first hour he was awake! I was definitely ready for a nap. So my mom, Grammy, shows up while Jack is napping. But since she always wants to be productive (and is aware of my infrequent deep-cleaning of my house (or cleaning, not even “deep“)), she begins to clean. She’s wonderful.

About the time she finished cleaning the house, my ankle was miraculously healed! (I joke, but I’m kind of serious). At least my ability to keep up with Jack was almost back to normal, and to do so without much pain. “Mom, yesterday I couldn’t even walk.” I tried to explain that I really did think I was going to need her help, but turns out I would’ve been ok. Thankfully Grammy loves any excuse to see her precious little Jack.

What a blessing to have family who drop everything to come help me! And I’m very thankful my ankle is healing quickly.  Back to soccer next week!

Love It. Hate It.

I’ve found recently there are several things I both love and hate simultaneously. I’ve been making a mental list in preparation for this blog.IMG_3869

1. Jack will be fussy late afternoon despite my fun and creative playing with him. Then Jeff walks through the door and Jack smiles and cheers like he’s been a perfect little boy.
Love It: Jeff’s a great dad and I’m glad Jack is happy to see him.
Hate It: what’s wrong with playing with me?

2. In the middle of the night Jack sometimes cries. As soon as I pick him up he is quiet and asleep in my arms.
Love It: Jack is so cute and cuddly when he is asleep!
Hate It: I had to get out of bed and walk on a cold floor.

Jack cuddling with Mama because he wouldn't sleep in his crib. Another Love/Hate.

Jack cuddling with Mama because he wouldn’t sleep in his crib. Another Love/Hate.

3. When Jack and I arrive to see family, or friends, or Bible study. People immediately greet Jack.  It takes about half an hour later for them to say hi to me.
Love It: Jack is so cute and fun and smiles when he sees you, not to mention he’s changing everyday, so it makes sense people would greet him more.
Hate It: You know Jack wouldn’t be here visiting you unless I had driven him over 😉

4. Usually Jack is with me at the grocery store. He sits in the cart like a little big boy and smiles at everyone we see, especially those of grandparent-age. People smile back, tell me how adorable he is, and often we are in conversation for a few minutes. Shopping without Jack is quicker, but less friendly. People aren’t as forgiving when you almost run into them with your cart.
Love It: I enjoy showing Jack off and getting into conversations with strangers. I think Jack brightens people’s days.
Hate It: I can brighten people’s days too. I smile. Just smile back once in awhile.

5. Sometimes I worry about Jack: what he’s eating, who can babysit him, what he’s going to be like when he grows up, he’s going to grow up and not be in my arms anymore. But continually God is reminding me that He is in control – not me, as much as I think I am often. God holds Jack in His hands. His purposes are greater than I can imagine. I can trust the Lord with everything, including my precious Jack.
Love It: My faith is growing as I learn to let go of my concerns and realize that God cares and God is in control.
Hate It: I don’t want to worry. I know I have to continually surrender my cares to God.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

“Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders— He’ll carry your load, He’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin. But you, God, will throw the others into a muddy bog, Cut the lifespan of assassins and traitors in half. And I trust in you.” Psalm 55:22-23 (The Message)

Tis So Sweet

Almost two years ago I stood in the church I grew up in. The church where I played Mary in the Christmas pageant. Where I taught Sunday school to children. Where I played guitar. But this day I stood in the front row with a small shoebox-size coffin in front of me. It was my son’s funeral.

Caleb passed from my womb to heaven. I held his body in my arms, but his soul was already with Jesus.

Now in the church we stand to sing the hymns I have chosen: Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus and Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus / Just to take Him at His word. My heart sings but my lips are silent as my tears pour forth. Oh for grace to trust You more. Even as the words are sung I know this will be my anthem. My prayer.

Today, how things have changed… or have they? I stand, not in church, but in the baby’s room, holding my second son Jack, singing him to sleep. Jesus, Jesus how I trust You, how I’ve proved You o’er and o’er. My heart sings, my lips sing. Sometimes my eyes water as I remember. It’s not an easy journey to trust God. But it’s a journey of blessings with a faithful, loving God. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, oh for grace to trust You more.


Put Your Arms In The Sleevies

Please tell me I’m not the only one who makes up songs to sing to my child. I’ve realized this trait was passed on from my mom who sings about anything. My sisters have followed her footsteps with their own children. Sometimes I sing songs about how much I love Jack and how everyone else loves Jack. But frequently the songs are more practical do-what-I’m-singing songs. Here are a few favorites (think Broadway musical styles):

Put your arms in the sleevies / Before you chew your hands

Legs down / Stretch ’em out / While I put your diaper on

There are other songs, but these have been the most necessary and therefore the most repeated. Of course somewhere in the songs are lines about Jack being the cutest boy ever and how much his mama loves him (Ma-ma, say ma-ma).

Anyone else have some classic made up song lines?


Morning or Night?

Are you a morning person or a night person? I wonder what qualifies someone as a morning person. I like the morning… the quiet before everyone is awake and life is busy, the sunrise, the birds chirping. It’s just that I rarely experience this.

This was a question in our premarital counseling many years ago. Before I could announce I had selected “morning person” for myself, Jeff said “I’m not sure what you are, but you’re definitely NOT a morning person.” The truth is I’m famous for my sleeping abilities.

In college I tried to become a morning person by scheduling all my classes at 8am. I loved it! I still hit snooze multiple times in my sleep (and once fell asleep standing up next to my alarm, which resulted in crashing into the chair, fridge, and desk, before landing on the floor with a few bruises), but I liked being up in the morning. When I worked at Copper Rock Coffee I had the open shift at 5:30am. Even more recently at A&M Partnership I chose to rearrange my hours to avoid traffic so I started at 7:30am, an hour before anyone else got to the office!

But probably no one who knows me would describe me as a morning person. Is it because I can hit the snooze button in my sleep every 9 minutes for an hour, even if the alarm is across the room requiring me to get out of bed? Or because, as any roommate of mine can attest to, I don’t talk for at least the first hour of being awake, and when I do talk I sound like Barry White? Or because I make poor decisions in the morning (shower or sleep? Breakfast or sleep? Do my hair or pony tail and sleep? Sleep always wins). Whatever the reasons, the world forces us to be morning people, unless you’re a rock star.

Unfortunately, I think I’ve passed on my sleeping qualities to Jack. He’s been known to sleep until 10am, often right next to me, cuddling in my bed. I had to wake him up the other day so I could hang out with my friend for a play date. I scooped him up out of bed and laid him on the changing table to get him ready. And he gave me that look. That look that says:

Why is it so bright in here? Did you have to turn the light on?
Haven’t you heard the experts say “never wake a sleeping baby?”
Mom, didn’t you see how cute I was sleeping, especially in your big bed with the covers pulled up around my waist?

I got a glimpse of the future. “Jack, wake up! Time for school. Jack! Jack! Wake up!” It sounds all too familiar, my mom is thinking as she reads this, because it’s exactly what I would hear (and ignore for as long as possible) every morning.

Well Jack, we’ll get through this morning thing together. Maybe once in a while we’ll even sleep in and I’ll just call the school and tell them you’ll be late. Just don’t tell Daddy.

PS – I’m not a night person either. Mid-day is pretty good for me.




Babies have this reflex where they throw their arms out if they think they’re falling. The funny thing is, they aren’t falling. Jack does this all the time. And it’s hilarious.

Jack loves his changing tables – any changing table for that matter. But it seems to be the place most often where he thinks he’s falling. I wish I could capture it in a picture or video but I never know when it’s coming. Sometimes he just throws his arms to the side, trying to catch himself (from no danger). Sometimes his legs go out too so his body makes an X or a starfish. I laugh a little and reassure him. “Jack you aren’t falling. I wouldn’t let anything happen to you.”

Then it hit me: how many times do I do the same thing? How often do I “freak out” over nothing? Worry about things that won’t happen?

And God looks at me, laughs a little, and says “Debbie don’t worry. I’m with you and I won’t ever leave you. Give Me your burdens and I’ll give you rest.”


Monster or Miracle?


“Mommy’s Little Monster” is what Jack’s shirt says. A friend gave it to us. I’ve seen “little monster” baby clothes everywhere. But I’m not a fan.

Jack isn’t a monster. He’s a miracle. Even if he wasn’t prayed for by a hundred people, even if it wasn’t a high risk pregnancy with complications, he’s still a miracle. Every baby is.

Babies aren’t monsters. They are a gift. A reward. A blessing.

Yes I even feel like this at 2am when he wants to eat. And though there will be challenges and hard days, I’ll feel like this when he’s a teenager.

It’s Jack’s third outfit for the day so he can wear the monster onsie. Yes I know its just a onsie and not a “big deal.” But he won’t hear his mommy call him a monster. My Jack is an amazing gift from God. What a privilege and blessing that God has entrusted this precious boy to me!