Holidays & Special Events, Life with Jameson

The best Christmas.


I LOVE the holiday season. Some years are better than others, but this one really blew every other year that I can remember out of the water. For real, this has been my favorite Christmas.

A lot of different things played into it to make it extra wonderful… the fact that Jameson was old enough to open his own gifts and get excited about them. Spending the morning reading the Christmas story from our Bibles on my parents’ bed like always. Having a delicious dinner with my parents and Alex’s parents all together. Christmas being on a Sunday which let us celebrate with our church family at night. Getting blessed out the wazoo with such generosity from friends and family. Going to see Alex’s brother and our sister-in-law up in Prescott the Friday before Christmas. Spending Christmas Eve with my grandma and tons more family.


It was all so so good. But I think my very favorite part was when I gave my parents their gift. A few months ago I decided to get all my parents’ home videos digitized as their present for Christmas. They had been sitting in the garage for over twelve years (since we moved to Arizona) and even longer before that at our house in New York. The video camera that was used to record them broke a loooong time ago, so we hadn’t been able to see any of our memories for closer to fifteen years, probably over twenty years for some of the oldest videos.

So when my parents went out of town for a few days last month, I stole all the tapes and sent them off to Legacy Box to be converted into DVDs. They JUST made it back in time (two days before Christmas) and I was so so SO happy with the results. All of our childhood memories were right there in front of me, videos I had never seen before and videos I had forgotten all about. Hours of footage from all our best moments and tons of ordinary moments too (which actually turned out to be my favorites). Videos of me and my sister playing together in our backyard with our old family dogs. Videos of each of our newborn days. Videos of our birthdays and school plays and tap recitals and baton performances and snow days. Videos of inside jokes we quote all the time but haven’t been able to see in years. It was all there.

Needless to say, I cried like a baby watching it all through. And I was literally giddy with excitement to give it to my parents on Christmas morning.

It was the last present under the tree and I handed it to my dad while my youngest sister recorded on my phone. His reaction was the best thing ever and I’m so glad we caught it on video! He and my mom were absolutely shocked and thrilled. Oh it just made me so very happy!


They asked to watch the videos right away so we popped one in and all our memories came to life as if no time had passed at all. I’m still blown away by the care and thoughtfulness my parents used as they filmed our lives. Each clip was so obviously done with intention and with the knowledge that our childhood days would be fleeting. You can hear my dad saying multiple times in the videos, “We’ll watch this in twenty years and laugh!” Or “Maybe someday God will bless you with a baby and then you’ll know how I feel right now.” They knew time would slip by so quickly, and it did.

So this next year I’m making it a point to record more everyday moments with Jameson. Not just ten second clips for  Snapchat or a quick video of something cute he’s doing for Facebook. I want videos of our life just as it was and just for our family, because if I learned anything this Christmas it’s that the time God gives us with our children is so precious. Not every moment is “extraordinary,” but those aren’t always our best moments or memories anyway.


I hope your holiday season has been oh so very merry!

Love, the Iwanski’s

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Jameson Monthly, Life with Jameson

Fifteen months of Jameson

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It’s been awhile since I wrote one of these updates, but Jameson just had his 15 month well-visit and I thought it was time to document all the new and exciting things in this boy’s world. 🙂

He’s grown a TON since I wrote his 12 month update, in every way possible! Oh, he is just the sweetest little guy. Full of cheesy smiles for everyone, so so smart, determined to learn new things and gain independence, generous and kind to all his little friends, and an incredibly good listener. I could brag on this kid all day but I better get to the update. 🙂

Weight & Length: He weighed in at 21.1 lbs, which is almost exactly what he weighed at his 12 month checkup. But he grew two inches since then (he’s now 2’7″ which is adorable), so I think he’s just staying the same for weight because he’s so active now. Still getting bigger, just losing some of his baby chub. He’s in the 40th percentile for height, the 25th for weight, and his head circumference is in the 15th percentile (little peanut head <3).

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Clothing: Honestly right around the same as he was in the last update. 12-18 month range for clothes (or just 18 month stuff) and still size 4 for diapers. Gymboree and Target are my favorite places to shop for him; all the winter lines are just so stinkin’ adorable!

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Hair & Eyes: Everyone always comments about how light his hair is! Some say it’s red, some say light brown, I see more of a strawberry blonde. He got his first haircut about a month ago (November 16th, it was a bittersweet day) so most of his cute little curls are all gone. But! As his hair grows out I can see it getting more and more wavy, so I think the curls will be back someday. As for his eyes, they’re super dark…sort of brown, sort of hazel, with eyelashes for daaaays.

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Before his haircut. Those curls! ❤

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Sleep: Honestly this has been so hard lately! He’s in this phase right now where he wakes up several times a night crying for us. Sometimes he can get himself back to sleep, sometimes one of us has to go in there and pat his little tushy until he calms down. One night he was up from 1am-5am, oh it was just the worst. We transitioned him to one nap a day hoping this would help him get more solid sleep at night but it really hasn’t done anything at all so far. He does nap for longer periods of time during the day (sometimes, hah) so hopefully his nighttime sleep will improve soon too.

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Eating: We’ve definitely seen improvement in this area, although he is still super picky and finicky about food. He eats three square meals a day (with some snacks in between) and nurses once during the day and once before bed. I’ve thought about trying to wean him completely (he’d probably be fine nutrition-wise) but he’s still so happy to nurse and I love it too so we might keep it around for a little while longer.

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Milestones: He’s got 8 teeth total now and he’s blasting through physical milestones! He runs and climbs and does daredevil things that terrify me all the time. He can eat with a fork or a spoon, he tries to jump (mostly just lifts his shoulders up haha), throws balls and tries to catch them too, he’s figured out how to open doors (that’s been real fun), and he loves climbing all over the playground and going down slides. He’s really not afraid of much!

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Communication: This is my favorite area right now! Wow, this kid is smart and so quick to learn new words. He’s picking up vocabulary left and right and he understands a ton. He follows directions so well (“go clean up your toys” or “give this to Daddy” or “do your cheesy face!”) and his sign language amazes me! Honestly. I counted the other day and realized he can actually say at least 10 words and he can sign 8 other words! Plus he knows like 10 different animals sounds and a few vehicle noises as well. I am very impressed by him all the time. And I love all his other forms of communication too, like pointing, high fives, giving knuckles, waving, blowing kisses, playing peekaboo, giggling with his friends, etc. It’s so sweet watching his personality blossom.

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Saying “no no no”

Loves: Going to playgroup, reading, music and dancing (especially to “Oh How I Need You” by All Sons & Daughters), animals, being chased/wrestling/playing rough, copying everything (there’s nothing like a copycat toddler to let you know what you do and say all the time haha), Charlie, playing with all our DVD cases, his cousin Madelyn, playing with kids his age, playing outside, watching airplanes, trying to sweep with my giant broom, hanging out with his family, checking out our little garden, watering the plants, and eating pizza!

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Hates: When I brush his teeth for him, sitting in his carseat for too long, really sitting still anywhere for too long, and getting his diaper changed (along the same lines of sitting still haha). Mostly he just hates being still.

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Things I want to remember: The way you tell yourself “no no no” (wagging your finger and saying the words at the same time), how you bust out of the bathroom after a bath so you don’t have to get dressed, how sweet you are to your friends and how you love to share, how you kiss the plants in the garden, how you immediately start dancing when my dad sings your Mister Man song (and how you dance to really any music as soon as you hear it), how you say “yes” (very quietly with a big smile), how loud and weird you get when people come over or daddy comes home because you’re just so excited, how you say “that” when you point to something you want (“dat?!”), the way you nod your head up and down very slowly, all your cute little animal noises (especially your monkey noise “ah ah!” and your kitty noise “mouw”), how you speak with such confidence in fluent gibberish, and the way you start waving night-night and signing “milk” when you want to go to sleep.

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First time at the zoo!

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Oh Nugget, we love you so! You are such a joy to be around. You light up everyone’s day with your happy smiles, your silly spirit, and your kind little heart. We love the person you are and the person you’re becoming. Happy fifteen months, Jimmy Jam! ❤

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DIY, Holidays & Special Events

Halloween 2016

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Wow, okay. This post is super late. It’s November and I’m blogging about Halloween. Stuff came up, things got busy, I was needed for a top secret mission. But I really do like documenting all the major holidays for future me to look back on, so here I am…blogging about Halloween in November. Hope you don’t mind.

Halloween isn’t really a big thing for us. Never really has been, especially for me (I’d actually never even trick-or-treated until this year). But something about dressing a baby in an adorable costume is just too fun to pass up! So we made it a thing this year.

It was a Monday, our day for playgroup, so all the mamas decided to bring the kids in costume for a little photo shoot. Oh it was so cute! These are some of my favorites. ❤

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Alex and I chose a monkey costume for Jameson this year just because he knows what sound a monkey makes (“ah ah!” he says) and we knew it would be hilarious to see him walking around trying to sound like a monkey all day. It was. 🙂 I wanted to dress up with Alex as something along the monkey-theme, but we didn’t want to spend any money because…what a waste. So we ended up just pulling stuff out of our closet and borrowing a couple of hats from Alex’s parents and dressing up as safari explorers.

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All in all, our family costumes ended up being very ambiguous haha. Jameson’s costume was kind of poorly made so the headpiece made him look like a bear rather than a monkey, and Alex and I kind of looked like zoo keepers instead of explorers. But whatever, it all kind of worked anyway.

Our friends from church hosted a dinner and trick-or-treating party that evening and a bunch of people ended up going. We all ate together, walked the kids around the neighborhood to get some candy (I still feel like this tradition is super weird and awkward), and then sat around the fire and passed out more candy/ate that candy. As I said, this was my first year ever going trick-or-treating. But we actually didn’t even get candy because I think it’s weird for adults to have their babies collect candy when everyone know that the baby isn’t going to be the one eating that candy lol. I just felt shady about the whole thing. I think it’s fine when you have older kids too, but I would feel like a total fraud walking up to a stranger and being like, “This is my baby. Yeah uhh…he says he wants your candy.” So we mostly just went to walk around with our friends who have older kids.

We had a great time anyway. 🙂 Even though we don’t really “celebrate” Halloween, it’s still a great excuse to get together with friends and eat a bunch of sweets. So I approve.

By the way, here’s my sister and her adorable family as Mike Wazowski, Sulley, and Boo. All hand-made!

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Hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween too!

Out & About

Oct 2016 // Mother Nature’s Farm

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Monday nights are family nights for us. Alex gets home for work, we pack up Jameson and the Charlie woof, and we head over to my parents’ house for dinner and dessert (right now my mom has these really yummy sugar cookies from Costco at her house, which have this weird power over me like for real I eat them until I feel sick). My sister, her husband, and my niece meet us there and we all eat together, let the babes play, and watch The Voice exactly at 7pm (sometimes a minute or two later if we’re all fighting about who has to find the remote to turn on the TV).

This past Monday night, though, we did something a little different. It’s FINALLY kind of sort of Fall-ish in Arizona (not really, but we’re pretending) and Monday was a really nice cloudy evening. So, we all (minus my dad) met at Mother Nature’s Farm in Gilbert. Last year we took the babies to Schnepf Farms, which is the cutest place, but it’s really more of an all-day thing and right now the days are just too hot for it to even be fun. Maybe in a few weeks.

For now, this little farm was perfect for the toddlers. We got to take them on their first hay ride, feed the animals, and pick out pumpkins. Such a fun time!

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Jameson’s favorite part was definitely the pumpkin patch; he was beside himself with joy! I’m preeeetty sure he thought it was just a giant field of orange balls, which is basically his dream come true.

I’m praying we get some cooler weather up in this oven of a state very soon. My Facebook and Instagram feeds are flooded with gorgeous autumn photos featuring cozy sweaters, colorful leaves, hot tea, and cloudy days. And I’m over here like, Jameson and I played in the sprinklers today. Ugh. It’ll happen soon, I just need to be patient.

If you live in a state where it’s actually Fall, please enjoy a pumpkin spice latte for me and fill your lungs up with that crisp autumn air. And know that I am jealous of you.