So you think you know your kid, right? I mean, you’ve been with him 92% of his life. The other 8% was spent at a babysitter’s, the church nursery, and grandma’s. And 20% of that time, he spent sleeping. So really, only 6.4% of his life has been spent awake and away from you. Every other minute, he’s been with you. Awake, asleep, eating, playing, with you. You know him best.

You know his likes, his dislikes, and all his habits. And you can imagine that the 6.4% of his life that you’re away and he’s awake is very similar to the time when he’s with you. I mean, you know him. You really really do.

Then a day comes when you realize that you actually don’t. All this time, he’s been leading a double life. At least during part of that 6.4% of time, he has. Your 2-year-old boy has a whole other life that you know nothing about.

Let me explain…

Today when I got to Bev’s house to pick up the kids, Jacob was sitting on the ground drinking milk from a sippy cup. He looked up at me and said something about a ba-ba. I thought he was teasing and joked, “Is that your ba-ba?”

He smiled big and giggled. “Noooo…” he says.

“That’s right,” I say, “you’re a big boy. You don’t need a ba-ba.”

Bev looks at me. “You don’t give him a bottle?”

Surprised, I look at her. “No. Not for about a year now. Why? Do you?”

She smiles and starts to giggle. “Um, yeah… Then how do you put him down for a nap?”

“I just lay him in his crib. He plays and talks and goes to sleep. Why? What do you do?”

“I rock him. And give him a bottle. He cries for a ‘ba-ba’ if I don’t. And if I give him a bottle and don’t rock him, he cries to be rocked.”

Really?? He cries for a ba-ba? And to be rocked???”

Bev nods.

I say, “So, he gets a bottle. Do you warm it up?”

She nods again.

We both look at Jacob, still sitting on the floor with a sippy cup. He’s been watching this whole conversation. I say to him, “So… Jacob… You get a bottle at Bev’s house before you’ll go to sleep?”

That kid, my kid, the one I know so well, looks up at us with the biggest accomplished (yet somewhat sheepish) grin, and I’m certain he let out a little “heh, heh.”

“Jacob,” I continue, “do you ask Bev to rock you when you go to sleep every day?”

Same big grin. Same knowing giggle.

Hello, wool. I see you’ve met eyes. My eyes. And Bev’s. Apparently, you’ve been pulled over them for some time now.

Last spring, just after he turned one, we stopped giving the boy bottles. All summer long with me, he didn’t get a bottle. Back to Bev’s in the fall, and he started getting them. Asking for them. Oh yeah, and he decided he didn’t know how to go to sleep on his own but needed to be rocked.

Not to mention, he has never asked for a ba-ba anywhere else. Not at church. Not at Gramma’s. Not to anyone. In fact, when playing with and feeding his sister’s dolls, he doesn’t even call them ba-bas. He gives the baby a “bottle.” Aaaannnnndd, he and I have even joked about baby-ish stuff. Like, I tip him back in my arms and say to him, “Go to sweep my wittle baby. Do you want your wittle ba-ba?” And he laughs and says in his baby-est voice, “Ma-ma. Ba-ba. Ba-ba.” And we laugh and laugh, because he’s really a big boy. A big boy that actually says “bottle,” talks in full sentences, and plays jokes. And hasn’t had a ba-ba for a year.

The boy led a double-life. Big boy at home, baby at Bev’s. He’s just two, but it worked for an entire school year.

Today, he was busted. Wish him luck tomorrow.

And then wish me luck for the next 16 years.

In Honor of Jacob

I sat down to blog… on Friday. But then life happened. So now it is Sunday, and I am just sitting down to finish. Ah, well. Better late than never.

Today was a day to celebrate. For one, it was FRIDAY. – TGIF is an understatement. –  Two, it is Dr. Seuss’ birthday. It is a rule that as an elementary school teacher, you must celebrate this. Plus, if you have any kind of kid left in you, you should be happy about it too, because, well, Dr. Seuss is pretty awesome. And three, Jacob pooped in the potty. All you mamas out there know the joy that brings to a mommy’s heart. I had no idea bodily functions could be so exciting until I became a parent. Since it’s now Sunday – potty update… because it’s important… dry diaper 2 nights in a row plus nap time one day. 3 more successful potty trips. I’m hoping this isn’t just a fluke!

In honor of his accomplishment, I thought I’d post a couple recent Jacob-moments that have brought us lots of laughter this week, and what I’ve learned from them…

Jacob-Moment #1 – The Grocery Store

While in the grocery store cart, Jacob hollered, “Mommy! I see CHINTA!”

Chinta is the name of Auntie Nee/Uncle Jeff’s dog, and since I knew she wasn’t in the store, I started looking around for a picture of a dog similar to Chinta. But we were in the soup/beans aisle. No dog pics nearby. And so the following conversation took place with each comment from Jacob getting increasingly louder:

“I don’t see Chinta, Buddy. She’s not here.”

“Yes. I see Chinta! He WIGHT DARE!” (I look. No dog.)

“No. I don’t see him.”

“Mommy, I see him. I see him, Mommy! I see CHINTA!!!!”

“Buddy, I’m sorry, I don’t see him.”

“Mommy! Look! Mommy! Chinta wight dare. HE. WIGHT. DARE!!!!”

As I moved down the aisle, Jacob started bouncing in the cart with excitement. “Mommy! Mommy! I see CHIN-TA. CHIN-TA! CHIIIINNN-TAAAA! HIIII CHINTAAAAAA!!!”  Oh great. Now he’s calling the invisible dog.

And just as I begin to shush him a bit, we pass an old man and Jacob hollers out, “HO! HO! HO! MEWWWY CWISMAS, CHINTA!”

Old man turns, with long white beard and large belly...  Oh.

Jacob smiles his big proud dimpled grin at me. “See Mommy? Is Chinta! I see him wight dare!”  I smile a sheepish grin at SANTA-ish man and hurry around the corner to avoid further embarrassment.

Note to self: Teach Jacob how to pronounce the word SANTA. And in the future, don’t argue with 1-year-old in public. Accept all things he says as truth, and move on.

Jacob-Moment #2 -The Other Jacob

Bev is a friend of mine that watches our kids 4 days/week. She also has two kids, one named Jacob, only her Jacob is in middle school. On Friday morning, her Jacob missed the bus. Bev texted me to let me know she was running him to school and would be back in a bit. Annalise saw me texting her back and asked what I was doing. I told her. She asked why. I said, “Because Jacob missed the bus.”

I continued to get ready and didn’t pay much attention to the kids as they played, but then I realized only one of them was playing. Jacob had been sitting so quiet, almost sad, for about 10 minutes. I looked at his little face and saw a bewildered and sad boy with a furrowed brow. Clearly, he was contemplating something, and he was bothered by it.

“What’s wrong, Buddy? Why are you sad?”

He looked up at me, then back down. He furrowed his brow again and shook his head. He spoke in a small sad voice, “Oh, man. I missed da bus!”

Note to self: When speaking of “Jacob,” clarify if it is the other Jacob.

Jacob-Moment #3 – Pronoun Problem

I already posted this on FB, but it is worth repeating.

I was home with just the kids. They were playing in the other room, but then Jacob came to me and said, “Sissy cwying.”

Me: Why?

Jacob: He mean to her.

Me: Who?

Jacob: He.

Me: Who???

Jacob: He… I… I is he. (Long pause while I look at him with eyebrows raised.) Oh man, I mean to her. ‘Scuse me, Momma. I go say sow-we.

Note to self: Teach Jacob proper pronoun usage. And raised eyebrows work well when needing to get the truth out of Jacob.

And one last Jacob-ism:

Me: I love you, my child.

Jacob: I. NOT. MY. CHILD!!!  I Jacobpweestman!!

Okay. I love you, Jacobpweestman!! TOOooo much!  (Another Jacob-ism) What a blessing you are!


I was so gung-ho about a blog. I was excited, motivated, and had lots of things I wanted to write about. But then this week happened.

I will not go into details, but basically, this has been one of THE most challenging weeks I can remember: spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, parentally, vehicularly, worldly, and teacherly. And I’m certain I’m missing some other -ly in there. I can really only think of 2 or 3  weeks in my adult life that were harder. I am drained. Completely emptied. I have not felt joyful.

Talk about testing my “Lift my eyes to the hills” challenge. Finding my joy? Ummm…. we won’t go there.

So I’ve decided I need to write. Because I need to focus on the moments that did bring joy – even if there weren’t many and they were short lived. And as I am spending a lot of my week trying to remember where my help comes from – because I’ve needed that help sooo much – I also need to be thankful to Him who is the giver of all good things. So here are this week’s “good things” in no particular order:

1. My husband. Wow. What a rock he has been. I am so grateful.

2. Jacob. Oh man. I could go on and on about the joy this kid brings. But one of my favorites recently is when he gets super protective and tells off someone who touches me. Daddy, the chiropractor, you name it. He scowls. And with his furrowed brow, he says, “No do dat!” or “You no kiss my Mama!” (That second one was to daddy, just to be clear.) I also love when he bursts into song then pauses and says, “I singing, Mama! I singing! Sing too!”

3.  An unexpected visit at some family/church family/friends’ house. We laughed, were entertained by Jacob’s singing, and enjoyed our time immensely. Up until the last 5 minutes when  “Parentally Hard Act I” took place. But such is life.

4. Mom home from Indonesia! Phew! 3 cheers for being able to talk on the phone with my mom when I want to! (Which is daily. Sorry, Matt.)

5.  Our pastor’s wife bringing Jacob up front during church to help her make an announcement about the nursery expanding. I’m pretty sure he knows when he’s doing it, but he completely melted my heart when he waved and said, “Hi, Mommy!” Because in all the whole congregation, I’m the one he’d want to go to.

6.  Celebrating my brother-in-law’s birthday. Because Tom is a cool guy and, well, chocolate cake is always good. But more importantly, it was nice to visit with Matt’s family. We haven’t done that in a while. And we got to see Matt’s mom’s new business. She is the new owner of Curves in Lynden. The remodel is astounding! It actually makes me want to work out. (If you haven’t seen it, you should like it on Facebook and check out the before/after pics!)

7. Valentine’s Day dinner. Not the whole day. Just the dinner. Well, the evening following the dinner was nice too. We just won’t discuss the earlier part of the day. It had something to do with “Parentally Hard Act II: And You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse.” But the dinner… pink heart-shaped pancakes (Leesie’s fav) and sausage (Jacob’s fav – and pretty much the only protein he likes) made for a pleasant meal with the people I love. No arguing about how many more bites needed to be eaten. No asking for something else to eat. No “I no like it. It YUCKY.” from Jacob. Ah. Peace.

8. Dinner was followed by my favorite moment of the week – singing with my girl. We rehearsed in the car all week and surprised daddy with a duet – her idea. If singing with an adorable and joyful girl  – a song about God’s faithfulness and love – doesn’t cheer you up, then what will? Am I right?

9. In one of my toughest moments – this time at work – my partner and friend showed up, on her day off, to help me get through it. She stepped in to the teacher role so I could step out. She brought Valentines to share. And she prayed for the hurt.  How wonderful to be cared for and to have a work partner be so kind-hearted. And what a blessing that she loves Jesus, too.

10. My students’ faces as they excitedly gave me my Valentine’s gifts and cards: Lindor truffles in a heart box, a single red rose, a stuffed dog, a note pad “because teachers like note pads and that kind of stuff,” a few hand-made cards, and a smashed homemade pink-frosted cookie from an adorable boy with a huge smile. There were other things as well. And each face was full of joy in the giving.

11. The Ferndale Levy Passed!!! WAHOO! I will have a job next year. Probably.

12. Twice today I received a text from someone I love. Each person said some encouraging words and ended the text with “Peace be with you.”  How much I needed that peace. I am so grateful for the love of family, friends, and Jesus. It is enough.

Peace be with YOU.

Oh yes. Some of you have asked how to follow the blog. (If you choose to, I promise they will not be as heavy-hearted. Lots of laughter to come from the kids.) But if you want to, click “Follow”  on the right side of this page.